Kettlebell/Dumbbell Home Workout

Monday is my favorite day to workout. It just feels good to start my week with a workout and stay consistent the rest of the week. You can do this workout with a dumbbell, kettlebell, backpack filled up with weighted objects, or even a gallon jug. We did this workout in our dumbbell/kettlebell club, it’s a fun and simple workout you can do from anywhere. The lunges crushed me!
Set your timer for 21 minutes. Do as many rounds/reps as you can.
3 half turkish get ups per arm
6 pushups with 2 shoulder taps ( I scaled to pushups on my knees)
9 Goblet squats with a pulse
12 Russian twists
15 Swings
18 Alternating goblet lunge with twist

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Monday is my favorite day to workout. It just feels good to start my week with a workout and stay consistent the rest of the week. You can do this workout with a dumbbell, kettlebell, backpack filled up with weighted objects, or even a gallon jug. We did this workout in our dumbbell/kettlebell club, it's a fun and simple workout you can do from anywhere. The lunges crushed me! Set your timer for 21 minutes. Do as many rounds/reps as you can. 3 half turkish get ups per arm 6 pushups with 2 shoulder taps ( I scaled to pushups on my knees) 9 Goblet squats with a pulse 12 Russian twists 15 Swings 18 Alternating goblet lunge with twist #pdxstrength #portlandfitness #zoomworkouts #homeworkout #travelworkout

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Thursday Home Workout

Hi!!! It’s been awhile since we have brought you a workout you can do at home. Grab a dumbbell or kettle bell and an exercise mat. Set your timer to 20 minutes and do as many rounds as you can of:
10 three point rows per arm
10 goblet lunges per leg
20 pushups
20 calf raises in a wall sit
Let us know how it goes and have a kickass Thursday!
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Blog 32 – SCIENCE!

Blog 32 – SCIENCE! 

A member asked me the other day, “How do you workout, Dylan?” (… but it sounded an awful lot like, “Do you even lift, bro?”)  I gave a long-winded answer – per usual – about using COVID to play around with and test a 12-week program based on the conjugate method; a method made popular by at Westside Barbell in Columbus, OH (for those of you who have heard of them… No, I am not on nor do I support the use of steroids.).  It’s not really as fancy as it sounds. Foundationally, it isn’t that much different than any other strength program by breaking up movement patterns and intensities over the course of the week. The main components that define the conjugate method though are:

  • 2 maximum effort days and 2 dynamic effort days/week 
  • A focus on lift variations (ex. squat = box squat or deadlift = rack pull, etc.)
  • A focus on accessory work 

It’s one of the first sport specific methods that prioritized general physical preparedness, or GPP as it’s popularly called these days (machines like the reverse hyper and the belt squat, light sled drags/pulls for distance or time, and the use of bands/chains for accommodating resistance were popularized by Westside Barbell). Anyway, I’m probably missing something, but that’s the basics. What’s really important here is why I chose to utilize this method rather than, say, a methodology like CrossFit, Easy Strength, Starting Strength, the Coan Method, Wendler, the Bulgarian Method, etc. The bottom line being, I like steroids. ( that’s a joke) In reality, the method prioritizes the use of variation and accessory, which ultimately decreases the range of motion and use compound/multiple joint exercises (reducing wear and tear), while at the same time increasing loading capacity and the ability to more specifically target weaker parts of the body (producing GAINZ). All things that benefit a person with a fused spine, arthritis, decreased muscle structure/function, and a locked ankle.  

But the point of this blog isn’t to get lost in my affinity for the conjugate method (as Dr. Paul likes to state, “Methods are many, principles are few.” A lot of people have gotten REALLY strong, fit, buff, toned, HUGE!, whatever doing a lot of different things.) The point of those blog is to give you a better idea of why we chose to give you a certain number of reps at a certain percentage or loading variation, and better empower you to choose your own loading during our Group Strength and Conditioning or Strength Tribe classes. Enter Prilepin’s Chart, or as I stated in the title, “SCIENCE!” (Caveat to all my scientist readers… this chart was developed through the observation of high level training athletes in Russia – I know more steroids. – and NOT through a quantative scientific method. We’ll call it qualitative science so you don’t troll me in the comments… or maybe just “Bro” science.) Prilepin’s Chart looks like this:

Chart screenshot taken from Conjugate Strength and Conditioning by Jason Brown, MS, CSCS of BP Training Systems.  

Its basic claim is that any weight relative to a person’s maximal capacity can be utilized as a ticket to board the GAINZ Train. The Chart goes one step farther than a traditional percentage/rep max calculator chart by also prescribing an optimal rep range. (There’s also an intensity/intent component to the chart that is not included for the sake of simplicity here… Did someone just say foreshadowing?) Now certainly, the chart is not perfect. There are many anomalies or circumstances that work outside of the chart. For example, my central nervous system does not work well enough for me to lift above 90% for 4-10 reps, so I spend a bulk of my strength work between 80 and 90 (something a program like Easy Strength promotes). But, and keeping our sciency theme, almost all of us will fit within 1 standard deviation from the mean of this chart. In bro terms, the vast majority of this chart applies to the vast majority of people. And in reality, you’ve already experienced this at play in class. 

Every strength session (5×5 @ 75%, 7×1 @ 92%+, EMOM 10 2 Snatches @ 65%, etc.) that we do has bits and pieces of this loading framework, but it also appears in our WOD training sessions, like when we do ‘30 Clean and Jerks For Time’ you’re probably working at a weight that is around 50-60% of your loading capacity. OR if you were to take a ‘21-15-9’ we’re looking at 45 total reps, which this chart would say we’re working at about 40% of total capacity. There are certainly limits on this as well, like the consideration that many of us don’t have a true/tested 1RM, which would make the loading prescription calculation lower than “optimal.” We may have never thought about our workouts this way, but again “methods are many, principles are few.” *reader squints eyes and nods head in intellectual approval*

So as we look at workouts moving forward, whether in GSC or Strength Tribe or even Bootcamp, know that regardless of the work out that is written you have the ability to change the weight and reps (up AND down) to fit more optimally to your body and goals. And when all else fails… STER… NO! Ask your coach.

D

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We are still here!

We all know that PDXstrength exists to provide fun and friendly functional movement in an open and accepting environment. We obviously have never had to face such a difficult obstacle such as COVID and navigating through these unchartered territories has been scary, frustrating, and at times demoralizing. We did our best to buck up, zoom the shit out of classes and keep our community tight and strong. Each member has been designated a coach and we even had teams participating in light hearted challenges to keep us going. Then we got the “ok” to open our doors back up and start back with classes at the gym. To be honest, this was something I really wasn’t comfortable with and I didn’t want to jump the gun. Instead of indoor classes, we started back slowly with outdoor classes using minimal equipment, with creative programming and spirited coaching to keep the spark alive. Now we are supplementing  small indoor classes, requiring masks and not programming cardio indoors so we aren’t huffing and puffing. We  have had wait lists for these classes and we are doing our best to add more… but we are honestly at a stand still right now. The fitness industry is obviously struggling… and PDXstrength has been hit hard. The future is so uncertain and I’ve been battling burnout, but our amazing coaches have been the reason PDXstrength has not sunk yet. Every single coach stepped up to the challenge and has gone ABOVE AND BEYOND any expectations. I’m so grateful and thankful… I can’t even put it in words how they have surpassed my wildest expectations. It’s because of their determination and grit, that I have not given up on PDXstrength. I’ve come to realize that is might be something we have to battle for many months, and I’m ready to come back out of hiding and saddle up. 

I also have all of YOU to thank! Those that have stuck with us, those that have had our backs, those of you that are still keeping our PDXstrength spirit alive!

COVID would have sucked 1 million times more if we didn’t all show up for one another on the zooms. Our community flourished, and that’s on you.  You responded to our follow up emails with nothing but love. You provided valuable feedback so that we could make our offerings fit our members needs. 

Together, we proved that PDXstrength doesn’t need a physical space to provide excellent functional workouts and the connection we need to get through these tough times.

If you have any free time please consider rating us on Google or Yelp…. tell your friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers to try out a class. We are not done yet… and hope to see you outside, inside or on zoom soon!

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Deliberate Practice… 

Blog 31 – Deliberate Practice… 

Hi again,

Welp, I have an admission. Immediately after submitting my blog about deliberate development… I totally disregarded my own advice and didn’t write blog last week; using the excuse that I was short on ideas to do so. This is a clear example of how the “all or nothing”/perfectionism mentality we’ve recently spoken about gets in the way of progress, or at least in the way of moving towards a goal. Part of the concept of deliberate development is also deliberate practice – the continued, routine effort of your craft (Yes. There is also a book all about deliberate practice. Yes. I have read it. No. I don’t recall the title.). 

Many great crafters, artists, writers, creatives, businesspeople, etc. deliberately practice their craft. They show up at the same time, in the same way, to move themselves through the same process and routine. They do this because they understand that ideal outcomes don’t just happen. They don’t just wait for the perfect solution. Ideal or creative outcomes don’t happen through a stroke of genius or a flash of lightning. It happens through putting in slow, deliberate, consistent, sometimes shitty and often unsexy work.  Then, at some point, their outcome may match the ideal they’ve created in their head. And if it doesn’t, then they take the process for what it is –a pathway forward– and show up again to do it over again and the next day and the next day and the next day.

I’d hope that the last blog clearly made the connection of this deliberate work and strength and conditioning. While that was more of a micro look at applying new stimulus through weights and facing some of our fears, this is more of a macro view. Show up in your routine, whether that 2x/week or 5. Deliberately practice your craft. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and you certainly don’t have to hit a PR every day. 

So here I am. Trying to be deliberate. Trying to work on my process and craft. Trying to make it to 500 words (probably not going to happen, but if I continue writing parentheticals, then maybe I can just casually and slyly add in about 25 more words here and there). Showing up to move my way through a process. Understanding that this isn’t my best blog. But what I have done is written about 425 words, felt connected to my friends, and hopefully given you a short little mental break for the day. I’m happy with that. 

See you soon, 

D

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