Monday, April 19, 2010


Workout of the Day:

In the morning…

15 minutes alternating Tabata rounds of:




In the evening…

For time:

Burpees and Elevated bridges

50-25, 40-20, 30-15, 20-10, 10-5

Reclaimed a bit of intensity today. Everything was still bodyweight and nothing too extreme for the ankles, but it was a step in the right direction.

I got up early and met Niels for Tabata rounds in a parking lot around the corner from his place. We used a bike shelter that stood 8 feet or so off the ground for the pullups. The bar we hung from was 2” x 2” square aluminum piping, so grip was a factor immediately. I began getting between 10-12 pullups per set, but that dropped quickly as it soon became nearly impossible to use my legs and hips to kip up without slipping off the bar. The last 5 or 6 sets were all in the 6 repetition range, producing a final total of 78. The pushups were surprisingly strong. I didn’t dip below 15 repetitions until the 6th set, and after that was still getting 12-13 per. I finished with 153 total. The squats were almost a non-factor. I hit 17 once, but every other set was 16 on the nose—161 total. I didn’t feel fatigued at all from these, and my heart rate only elevated slightly. Jumping squats is the way to do tabatas… I know this, but I was wary of putting too much pressure on the feet so we kept things on the ground. Great way to start the day, looking forward to early morning workouts on the regular from here on out.

This evening I was looking for stamina. Since running is still not an option yet and I have no access to a pool or a rower, burpees were the obvious choice. I tested the feet out and things felt fine on the soft grass so I went for it. I managed to smoke the first 50 in 2 minutes, only coming up for air once, while still conserving energy (meaning it wasn’t an all out sprint). The second set was much worse. The first 15 went fast, but then the fatigue crept in. 40 felt like 100 and it definitely took me at least 2:30 minutes to get them done. 10 less reps in :30 more time is not saying much for my recovery. But I rebounded. The 3rd set was better, and the last 2 I finished unbroken. I was gasping at the end, but overall I thought my body responded pretty well for not doing much more than walking around the past week.

The second part of the couplet was an exercise that is great for the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back (areas I need to improve) but rarely gets done. My window ledge provided an ideal height for doing them, and they’re a great compliment for a quad dominant exercise like burpees, so it was a no brainer. The only points of performance is to touch your ass to the ground at the bottom and reach full extension at the top (should be slight upward curve). These torched my hamstrings the first 2 sets. It’s a funny sensation because there’s no physical reason why you can’t continue, it’s just uncomfortable to do so. Rounds 3, 4, and 5 went quick and I finished in 12:33. 150 burpees, 75 bridges, no ankle issues, and two chewed up pieces of lawn where my feet were landing… Not bad at all.


  1. Blair,

    I think you can do a lot better on the tabata squats. Athletes of your caliber usually hold at least 21, sometimes as high as 25-26, on them.

  2. really? i felt like if i went any faster i would've shorted the movement. maybe i'm over-exaggerating it... thanks for the heads up

  3. You probably need to make up speed by going down faster (rather than up faster.)

    Don't pause at all at the top. Reach full hip extension and then very forcefully drive your hips back and pull yourself down with your hip flexors. You want to go down even faster than you come back up.

    At 16 per round, tabata squats aren't bad, but once you hit the 20's things start to get a little spicier.

    Also, for extra pain, you can do bottom to bottom tabata squats where instead of resting in the top position, you "rest" for ten seconds in a below parallel squat.

  4. Oooh, I remember the jumping-tabatas, tried them out after reading on your blog. Terrible! I guess you already know this, but you can "pull yourself" down while air-squatting. Speeds up the movement, kinda like pulling down the KB while doing swings.

    Btw, priceless picture of the inventive exercise! :)