Bodyweight High Intensity Training – Project: Kratos Workout Part 3

Lawrence Neal
Here’s my physique after doing various bodyweight HIT workouts over the course of a year. Not quite Kratos. Working on it 😀

Hahahahah I just had to re-write this entire post because I read 2:02 minutes as 202 seconds and thought I’d doubled by push-up TUL (doubled my reps/performance) … WOW … I know right.

This is Part 3 of a series of posts documenting my bodyweight high intensity training journey using Project Kratos from Drew Baye. See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Due to some emergency family matters and brief illness, today (25th October 2017) was my first workout since 16th October 2017. The workout on the 16th was preceded by all kinds of stress. In retrospect, I may have needed more time to recover as after the workout I experienced sinus issues for 5-6 days that were quite uncomfortable. I’m a sensitive soul … [update as of 31st October, I have mould in my apartment, which is messing with my sinuses!]

Since it’s been 9 days, I decided to revert back to a medium level of difficulty on chin-ups and push-ups on my A Routine. I felt like the harder varieties (harder/partial range of motion and longer holds in harder positions) of these exercises may require more frequency to improve the specific skill, and I would sooner conduct a productive workout with excellent form than a less productive ego-driven one.

Much to my surprise, my push-up form was excellent (slow turn-arounds, abdominals tight at all times, breathing naturally) and my TUL (time-under-load) was 93 seconds. That is ~10-15 seconds longer than my performances at this difficulty level over the last 8 weeks.

There are 3 factors that I think can account for this:

  1. Previously, I had been training push-ups using hard partials. This may have increased my strength and enabled me to push past a sticking point in full range push-ups.
  2. I’ve had 9 days to recover from my last workout. Aside from when I started the Zelus workout, I haven’t had 9 days recovery for a long time and, as a possible side affect, not seen dramatic improvements in performance.
  3. I’m listening to the Batman Begins soundtrack on repeat whilst I train, which is given me enormous motivation …
  4. It’s simply an anomaly and/or the results of many “stars-aligning”, and not something I should get overly excited about.

What is also interesting is I managed to pull off a 79 second TUL on full-range chin-ups. I have never broken 75 seconds for full-range chins. It’s only 4 seconds more than my previous best so one could argue it’s likely to be a statistical error in my counting. But following a near push-up personal best, which resulted in a ton of systemic fatigue, it’s hard to ignore this result as well.

This could be due to the same potential reasons that resulted in my improved push-up performance:

  1. Previously training chin-ups using hard partials.
  2. 9 days recovery
  3. And mustn’t forget, awesome Batman Begins soundtrack

This is really interesting in light of my recent interview with Dr Ted Naiman, since he seems to believe that, for him, greater frequency seems to result in greater gains in muscle and performance. Based on my own N=1, I may sit on the other end of the spectrum. Since I think more recovery may have been the primary cause. I think it’s too difficult for me to conclude this after just these results, and I shall continue to experiment to tease out what works for me. I encourage you to do the same and, much like Dr Doug McGuff explains in his latest YouTube video, play around with frequency, volume and intensity to optimise your training.

As per Part 2, the Kratos full workout was too much volume for me, so I have progressed to a condensed version.

Today’s modified condensed Project Kratos A workout performance:

  • TSC neck extension: 30/20/10 protocol using rolled up Yoga mat
  • TSC neck flexion: 30/20/10 protocol using rolled up Yoga mat
  • Push-up: M 133 TUL
  • Chin-up: M 79 TUL
  • Single legged squats: U+4 L 83 R 62 TUL
  • Prone trunk extension: H+4 39 TUL (NTF – I tanked after the squats …)

Total workout time: 17 minutes

Notes: Single set to failure on each exercise. In this instance, no deliberate rest in between exercises but enough time to collect my focus and setup. No specific cadence. I just focused on very smooth turnarounds. My cadence probably started at ~4/2/4 and became progressively longer as the set progressed on all exercises.

Definitions:

  • ## = seconds
  • M = full range of motion / medium lever
  • H+4 = hard range of motion / hard lever with 4s hold
  • TUL = time under load
  • U+4 = unilateral with 4s hold
  • L = left side/leg
  • R = right side/leg
  • NTF = not to failure
  • TSC = timed static contraction (e.g. 30/20/10 means 30 seconds 50% contraction, 20 seconds 75% contraction and 10 seconds 100% contraction / as hard as you dare :D)

Diet and training schedule typically looks like this:

  • Intermittent fasting till 1 or 2pm (black coffee/water only)
  • HIT at 11 or 12pm (recently – once or twice per week)
  • First meal at 1 or 2pm: Ribeye steak and 4-egg omelette or 2 x Ribeye steak
  • Second meal at 7-8pm: Ribeye steak or 2 with sweet potato and/or vegetables cooked in butter
  • Occasionally, 3-4 squares of 85% Green and Blacks dark chocolate after second meal

Note: currently no supplements

Just to be clear, assuming you subscribe to the above being “healthy”, I don’t always eat this well. I eat 1 or 2 “cheat” meals on weekends: pizza, cakes, etc, and if mid-week my girlfriend is baking cakes for charity, then I would be re-missed if I didn’t test the quality before she goes to market :D. 80-90% of the time I eat healthy and then 10-20% of the time I don’t really give a shit. This is just to show you that I am not a complete monk. However, as I get older, I do notice that the gaps between eating/drinking junk, and in particular drinking alcohol or binging in general, become longer and longer. Every time I indulge, I’m reminded of just how crap it feels/how much of an asshole I can be, when I binge. It’s quite possible, that I may even practically give up booze indefinitely at some stage. Dr Ted Naiman inspired me to think about this more in our latest podcast here.

However, I do like a nice ale during a footy match :D.

Please leave any questions or thoughts in the comments below!

Now off to cook steak!

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