Hey, this functional training stuff really works! I’ve just spend the weekend moving house and apart from some help unloading (including from my awesome 80-year-old aunty who is of a generation that could actually do stuff) I basically did it all myself.
I was expecting to feel very tired and achey afterwards but this didn’t happen. I put it down to the fact that as well as good ol’ powerlifting training I’ve been doing a lot more lifting and carrying recently. Inspired by the great DVDs from my main men Dan John and Chip Conrad and the world of strongman, I’ve been incorporating more overhead work, farmer’s walks, super heavy holds and the like into my workouts and it is definitely having an effect.
Of course the real test will come in the Crossfit Reading/FKUK strongman event that will see me strutting my heavy stuff on November 21st but in the meantime, I shall continue to shift things around as I try to fit my life into ever smaller spaces.
If you’re not incorporating the lifting and carrying of heavy objects into your training, I highly recommend it. It will make your life easier (believe me) and it’s a lot of fun.
Here’s a tip if you are short of space in your gym for walking and carrying: use the stairs. Going up and down the stairs a few times carrying a set of heavy dumbbells will burn your legs and fry your grip. Not unlike my cooking.
Use farmer’s walks at the end of a workout as a bit of GPP and grip training combined.
Have you ever tried a one-handed deadlift? This classic used to be a popular competition lift – and is still practised by fans of the old time or ‘odd’ lifts. Indeed a Left Handed Deadlift was the BWLA Lift of the Quarter last quarter.
It is possible to lift with one hand more than half of your regular two-handed deadlift and you might surprise yourself with what you can achieve. Standing astride the bar (below) is allowed, as well as the normal straight-on stance shown to the right.
A great idea for core training: get up off that mat and do a suitcase carry instead. Simply carry a heavy weight in one hand while keeping your body perfectly perpendicular to the ground and feel how much the muscles of your torso need to engage to keep you from collapsing sideways.
If 80-year-old Aunty Olga can pick up my 14kg kettlebell in one hand, you can too.
A shout out for The Tight Tan Slacks of Dezso Ban, whence I obtained the black and white one-handed deadlift picture above, a wonderful compendium of old time lifting and physical culture. And also to Steve Angell, many times champion in All Around lifting, who let me use his straddle one handed deadlift pic.
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