Monday, January 17, 2011

WOD: Super Hammer Time!

This workout was adapted from the latest WOW from Mark's Daily Apple, originally titled Hammer Time. As I usually do, I added a few things to the workout to make it more intense. Thank Ross Enamait for that one. Now, on to the explanation.

I really liked this workout as soon as I saw it. It brings flashbacks, most likely from past lives, of my Viking and Celtic ancestors, heaving war hammers and smashing skulls in true ancient warrior fashion. Since I subscribe to the belief that man has gotten weaker since the time of war waged with the strength of one's hands alone, this workout is akin to the way warriors most likely trained to handle their war hammers. Granted, a sledgehammer is much heavier than a war hammer...but heavier training means faster movement with a lighter one in battle.

Okay, now on to the specifics. The hammer portion was really the only part gleaned from Mark's Daily Apple. Everything else is of my own invention. Well, to an extent. We begin with the warm-up. Since I don't have my own standard warm-up yet, we'll just do a three-minute round of shadowboxing (including kicks, of course) preceded and followed by a set of 25 push-ups (to aid in my 100 daily push-ups). From there, we begin the workout.

Complete 3 Cycles of:
6 Hammer-Around-the-Heads, each direction
10 KB Swings
10 Hammer Shovels, each direction
10 KB Swings
12 Hammer Slams

Rest 60 seconds between cycles.

5 Turkish Get-ups, each side
3 Sets Handstand Push-up (HSPU), as many reps as possible (AMRAP)
15 Minutes of Crawls

It's important to use a hammer that is challenging to you, but you do have some room to make your hammer seem heavier if you choke down (move your hands further down the handle). Since I have nowhere to slam the hammer, I'm adding this variation: I'm making it a more controlled movement by swinging it down hard, but stopping short.

The kettlebell swings are a fairly easy exercise to get down, but form is very important. If you don't know how to do it, start by watching this Crossfit video. Like the sledgehammer, use a weight that is challenging unless you are new to the exercise (in which case I recommend using a lighter weight).

If this workout doesn't leave you completely wiped out, you can do the finisher. Start with 5 TGU's (Turkish Get-ups) each side. Lie on the on your back and press the kettlebell or dumbbell upward. Now, the goal is to reach a standing position while always keeping your elbow locked and the weight overhead. Check out the Crossfit demo videos for a good visual. Next are the handstand push-ups. Kick up into a handstand against a wall (best done without shoes), and lower yourself until your forehead touches the floor (keep your body as straight as possible). If you don't know how to do this or aren't yet strong enough, you can do regular push-ups or Pike Push-ups. To do these, place your feet on a bench or chair and your hands on the floor. Bend your body at the hips, keeping your legs and back straight, head between arms. Lower yourself by bending only your arms as far as you can, then back up.

Now for the favorite. Just get down low to the ground and crawl around: bear crawl, baby crawl, monkey crawl, low or high crawl (for you military types), crab walk, or anything else...or maybe even all of them!

Now go hammer it out!

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