The only core workout you’ll ever need

14 03 2012

Torture twists, and believe me the name is apt.

Torture twists are easiest to describe with a video:

You can see I’m shaking like crazy, that’s because it’s hard!  If you think it looks easy, try it!

The basics are:

  1. Set a bench up next to a solid bar you can hook your legs under
  2. Get a metronome and set it at 60 beats per minute (aka 1 beat per second)
  3. Sit down, hook your legs under the bar, and lean back  so your body is straight like a board, or as straight as you can get it
  4. Tilt from the midriff to your left.  Count 3 beats
  5. During the 4th beat, turn over to your right.
  6. Count 3 beats.  You’ve just completed 1 rep.  Repeat steps 4 through 6 until you’ve completed 3 reps.
  7. You’ve completed 1 set.  Take a 2 minute break, then repeat for 3 sets.
  8. Once you can do a whole workout, add 1 beat to your count.  So after you can do 3 beats for 3 sets of 3 reps completely, try to do 4 beats.  Once you can do that, do 5, then 6, etc.
If you can do 7 seconds like me, that’d be 7 seconds*6 per set=42 seconds per set, 126 seconds for the whole workout, add 2 2 minute breaks and the whole workout is 6 minutes and 6 seconds.  How’s that for 6 minute abs?
Why are they so torturous?  A couple of reasons.  One, all you can do is lay back and take it.  You’re not pushing or pulling, the pain is in your face and you just have to grit your teeth and finish it out.  Two, every time you finish the workout, you know the next time will be harder because you’re just going to add 1 second the next time you step up to the plate.

Just for fun, find someone at your gym that “works on their core” a lot and see how many seconds they can do of this.

Switching Workouts

12 03 2012

I am switching my workouts from Stronglifts 5×5 to Madcow, check out my google doc to follow along.

Stronglifts 5×5 is a beginner program in which you add weight every time you go to the gym.  As you can imagine, this eventually becomes too much and your body can’t keep up.  I’m just about at this point.  From here you go to an intermediate program which you add weight every week instead of every workout.  I am going to be doing Madcow, an intermediate program recommended by Stronglifts.

I did Madcow last year starting on April 18th, 2011 and, as you can see below, my current weight/strength is at about the same level.  I also did GOMAD back then, so basically I’m just re-doing the same thing I did a year ago.  I could probably squeeze out a few more workouts of linear gains, but mentally it’s really hard, so I’m switching to Madcow now.

Madcow Spreadsheet 2011

If my weight follows the same growth pattern as it did last year, I will reach 180 pounds in a mere 5 weeks.  Depending on if I get a job or not, I may push my weight higher or stop there.  After reaching my goal weight, I want to experiment with other workouts.

My Workout, Part A

22 02 2012

As promised, my post today is a video of my workout (one of two), which comes from  The entire thing from warm up to being done is only 37 minutes.  People complain working out takes too long, does 37 minutes sound long?  And, only 3x a week.  If you’re doing a workout that takes longer, you might want to reconsider.  In the future I’ll do a post on the kind of results I have gotten.

All that’s needed for this workout: Barbell, weights, squat rack, some plywood and rubber for barbell row and deadlifting.  And somehow modern gyms spend tens of thousands of dollars on useless equipment.

Oh yeah, and you can see my workouts for 2012 in my Gdoc here.