100 Degrees and I am Still Prowlin'

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  • By Marc "Spud" Bartley
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100 Degrees and I am Still Prowlin'

August 20th

* Three laps prowler

 

August 19th

 

* Activations with some ab work

* Two laps prowler 1 med heavy, 1 no weight, 1walk

Reverse Hypers with prototype single leg straps. Very different feel with the separation of straps. For the first couple of sets it changed the focus to hamstrings. Then the last couple of sets I spread and twisted the legs it like triceps rope push-down and then the glute focus became more intense. So we have more testing on the length to narrow this down some but I think the application for glute and additional hamstring work is very good.

 

* 4x12 prior, 2x12 post

* Narrow hack squat 8x8, one drop set, still working on breathing through the set.

 

Much better this go. It is a difficult process that will take a very long time to change. When you have spent years(decades) holding part of your breath to create more strength and stability in your lifting, it is a hard thing to let go of and change your mind. Especially, when you have been very successful over the years the way you have done it. Do I advocate this on extreme max effort, no not yet, this will take some cultivating. Do I believe it can be? Way down I do believe it is the next level for me.

 

* Finished up with wide stance straight bar GMs for 3x5

 

August 18th

 

* Activations with ab walkouts on hand with a hold and then pull hold with knees.

* Pulldowns wide grip 8x10

* Fat bell rows several x several

* Fat bell press worked up to 88lbx10x5

* Smith machine slight incline 5x12

 

Three laps prowler. As you may or may not know I have been working on the breathing on this too. I am learning as I go and trying different concepts with this. I have done the prowler for years like everyone else and prided myself on tackling it many ways. It has proved itself time and time again from varying strength aspects. I have used it to push my totals up. I have used it as a cardio/body fat loss aid. I have used it to increase athleticism. The prowler is a mind breaker as well as lung breaker.

 

Here is my progression:

 

1. Just push and hope for the best by lying on top of the handles and gasping for air.

 

2. Become more efficient with the legs limiting bend and driving with the hamstrings/glutes etc as one unit, but still gasping for air after each push.

 

3. Counting steps when it gets hard: 100 steps, 75 steps and the dear god help me get 50 steps at a time.

 

Since I have shifted my focus with diaphragm breathing:

 

4. Pulling the air in through my nose until it feel like it is filling my pelvis creating a huge push-off for the legs with the abdominal pressure. Hard exhale(I am going somewhere with this), choppy steps.

 

5. Same as 4 but started standing up and walking off more between pushes. Still had points where I had to lean over and inhale/exhale deeply. But mostly diaphragm breathing.

 

6. Same as 4, worked on longer strides and VOWED to not lean over gasping for air anymore. This was one of the harder points early. Once tired, my brain always immediately wanted to lean over between pushes. This limited recovery and bringing my heart rate down. Also, still choppy sloppy steps.

 

7. Began to employ the longer strides coupled with more even breathing and less hard exhales. Of course, this lasts as long as it lasts then it is back to choppy steps and hard breathing but more and more over the days I worked on this.

 

8. I have always known that short runs with equal breaks were optimal but getting yourself to not push more and harder is another challenge especially when it is always pedal to the metal. At this time, I began 20 to 30 second pushes with 20 second recovery times. Added to this, I lengthened strides more with more controlled breathing. I lessened the hard full inhale to about 2/3 and worked on a slower exhale. NOT exhaling like you are choking on some food caught in your throat is very difficult for me. I have always been a hard heavy breather. I noticed the recovery began to get better, less gasping for air and oddly when I got back into the push position I was more relaxed and it was easier to regulate my breathing.

 

9. Where I am at now. Same 2/3ish inhale with slower controlled exhale. Using 20 to 30 second push with 10 second breaks. Recovery has increased even more and longer strides are increasing during the runs. I am finding that if I focus completely on the breathing, the longer strides sorta just take over (ie: it is easier and more flow is where I am going with that). For a person with no flow, this is pretty significant.

 

My time dramatically improved on the three laps run with 25 lbs. na arm. My original best time from a few weeks ago was two laps at 19:21. This day I dropped it to 15:50 and added in a third lap finishing with 24:15.The last lap was just a jerk add on and challenge for myself. I wasn't going to tell anyone but then my a-hole self let it out. I then realized like all things, it often gets other people trying to beat the times. Which someone will of course but I am really cool with that...well, my wife will say until they do and then I have to beat it.

 

I have another week of pushing the prowler which will give me almost two straight months of pushing daily. I set this goal out along time ago and the wife was the first to do it. I figured at some time I needed to do this as well. Plus I needed another weird challenge for myself. A side benefit has been some good fat loss. I know it is SC and 100 degrees, you are gonna lose some but I managed to drop about 6 or 8lbs. (didn't measure it) and keep my body weight about the same so not a big loss in muscle as some might expect. Bottom line is, the thermal effect lasts for quite some time and could be beneficial in fat loss programs of all sorts.

 

I assumed I would get better wind from the sheer volume and varying intensities and time. That obviously would happen. The continuous adjustments along the way I believe were the most eye opening for me. Although I understand that this is boring to most, but it has been a great goal and beneficial in helping me go further with the breathing and making it fully independent from my athletic movement. Still a very long way to go. But work on it I shall.

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