Friday, February 13, 2009

Primal Challenges and Other Ways to Supplement Your Training

One of my goals this year for training was to become a 'stronger' runner. I've got an ideal build for running - long and lanky. However, I've always lacked good physical strength, which I feel is really important for grueling, long endurance runs on hilly terrain. Therefore, I've committed myself to finding ways to improve my overall strength, both upper and lower body. Through my searches on the internet on websites and blogs, I've found some unique ways to accomplish this.

Fellow blogger and ultrarunner, Adam Harmer has a unique way of adding strength training to his running by performing different 20-minute "challenges". These are typically done without any special equipment or weights. Here are a few examples:

The Squat Challenge: Perform as many full squats as you can in 20 minutes, using only your body weight. Adam's result was 592 reps!!

The Burpees Challenge: Again, perform as many burpees or "squat thrusts" with a full pushup as you can in 20 minutes. This one is said to be a real killer. Adam posted that this one really kicked his butt so bad he forgot about counting at one point. However, he estimated 125 reps.

The Pushup Challenge: Yep, you guessed it. Do as many pushups as you can in 20 minutes. Adam's best posted total thus far is 244!

King 600: Peform 400 squats and 200 pushups for time. You may do them in any order and in any quantity of smaller reps, just as long as the total equals 400 and 200. For example, you could do alternating sets of 40 squats and 20 pushups ten times. Adam's latest posted time was 18 minutes, 34 seconds. Dang!

Personally, I've been working on the 100 pushups challenge posted at I believe fellow blogger Peter Grimes (Ticks, Poison Ivy & Black Bears) gave me the tip for this one. As of now, I've completed the first 2 weeks and am at checkpoint 1 where I test myself to see how many consecutive pushups I can do. When I started the program I could only do a pathetic 13. So, it will be interesting to see how much I've progressed. I know that I've definitely improved because my last session I knocked out the first 10 reps of the set like they were nothing. I'm also planning on doing some of Adam's challenges and posting my results here. I invite you readers out there to mix up your training a bit and try some of these too!


Get Primal said...

Hey Steve, way to go! Your numbers will improve really fast. Looking forward to seeing your results and trading workout ideas.

Mitch R. said...

Check out the killer workouts by Mark Twight on Gym Jones or by others on Moutain Athlete.

These are old school strong-man workouts. Some claim these workouts are take-offs from Cross-fit.

There are videos of these posted on You Tube.

Similar workouts include "The Workout From Hell" by Jeff Long.