For too long, there has been an unnecessary divide between strength training with sleeve stretching and the type of lung workouts you see performed in more functional facilities.
While many will make the valid point that a dog chasing two bones invariably gets none, with a little smart programming, an eye on movement selection, and smart execution, you can build a body that is just as much ‘show. Than “go”.
This partnership protocol from the minds of MH Elite trainer Tom Kemp and MH Squad training manager Andrew Tracey, has been programmed to whet their appetite for conditioning sessions, as well as to act as a tasty pump before dinner. Armed with nothing but a pair of dumbbells in a hotel parking lot (after all, who does not traveling with a set of dumbbells), they’ve developed this endurance-boosting finisher, which works to lift your biceps, triceps, back, and shoulders, while inflicting a fatal blow on your heart and lungs.
The structure is deceptively simple. You and a partner will be working on a two-move scale, the hanging dumbbells clean up and the tight pull-ups on your dumbbells, sharing the descending reps as you go. This gives you just enough rest to focus on quality form. Between each rung of the ladder, you will reach an almost maximum effort of 400 m in duet, increasing caloric expenditure and improving your functional physical condition.
Before you grab your bells and head to your nearest NCP, read our tips from TK and AT on how they faced this beast, for optimal blood flow, fitness and, of course, pompous fun. .
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The Hang Power Clean is an explosive move that uses full body momentum to propel your bells from the hips to the shoulders. The idea is to use an extension from the hips, allowing you to move a much heavier weight than if you had to stand and stand still. This is great for building muscles in your upper back and pretty much your entire back. However, for our purposes, we also want to keep some of this strain on the small muscles of our arms. Pick a set of dumbbells that you couldn’t strictly curl in your wildest dreams, but you could certainly do a few reps with a little body ‘English’. This way, when you start your cleanses, you maintain some tension in your arms and incorporate those biceps into the mix. We worked with a pair of 22.5kg bells – too heavy to buckle neatly, but pedestrian enough for cleanings. Perfect.
TO SHARE IS TO LOVE
You’ll start with 50 reps of each move, continue those with a run, hit another 40 reps out of the park, run, then 30, 20, 10 respectively, with a run in between. This is a large volume and quite a large order, so it is essential to divide the work equally between you two to avoid the red lining and loss of quality of movement. In the higher sets of reps, keep the work and rally to a minimum, if you can tackle sets of 10-15 each, go for it. Once the reps have dropped, approach them in 5s, focusing on quick and effective changes. If you are slightly stronger than your partner or vice versa, build on each other’s strengths and do 2 or 3 more reps per set. If you’re fitter and faster, gas the last 100 yards of each run and send off the first set, giving your partner a chance to breathe. Remember, this is not a race, it is about looking out for each other to finish in the most efficient way possible.
TAKE A TOUR
The pace of the race is crucial. Yes we said effort close to maximum, but it is the maximum effort for this workout, not one and did 400m dash. As the counters start to pile up fatigue will start to set in, the last thing we want is to move our dumbbells in bad shape, choke on our pump, or worse yet cause injury. A good tip for not stretching too much is to slow down with nasal breathing throughout the run; After your last push-up, take a sip of water and hold it in your mouth for as long as you can during your run, forcing you to breathe through your nose and control your breathing.
Perform 50 repetitions of both movements, parting as necessary (but performing all cleanings before starting your push-ups), followed by a 400m run. Move in 40 repetitions of each, run; then a lap of 30, then 20 and then 10 before a final, all out of the race.
1) Hang Power Cleans x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10
Hold a pair of dumbbells by your side, hinged at the hips to lower them to your knees (A). Stand up with a slight jump, using the momentum to pull the dumbbells up onto your shoulders (B). Stand up straight, then lower yourself under control to your sides and repeat.
2) Close Grip Push-ups on the dumbbells x 50, 40, 30, 20, 10
Drop your dumbbells on the floor, touching each other, and adopt a long-arm plank position, with your core tight and hands under your shoulders (A), bend your elbows to bring your chest to the floor (B). Keep your elbows close to your body as you explosively ascend.
3) To run x 400m between each lap
Run at a pace that lets your lungs and legs know you’re serious, while still allowing you to come straight from home, take a few deep breaths, and immerse yourself in those cleanses.
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