Wednesday, 18 November 2009

The Shopping List

There is an old drinking game I used to play as a student which involved sitting in a circle with a group of friends. It was called 'The Shopping List'. One person names an item of shopping such as "Butter". The person to his/her left would then repeat the list thus-far and then name an additional item ("milk"), and so it would go on around the circle - where each person in turn had to repeat the list correctly and add an additional item.

Failure to repeat the list would involve a drink related punishment and the task of repeating the list once again would fall to the previous participant. If s/he failed the process was repeated.

My Lau Gar instructor has recently adopted a similar approach to training which is based upon the Shopping List game above. If you need a short, tough workout, then try this:

The Exercise

Select five exercises. I suggest 1) Skipping, 2) Crunches, 3) Press Ups, 4) Burpees, 5)Pull Ups.

The aim is to do exercise one for 30s and then rest 30s. The repeat exercise one for 30s, move straight to exercise two and then rest for a further 30s. Round three means repeating exercise one for 30s, exercise two for 30s, exercise three for 30s and then rest for 30s. And so it goes on until you have completed all five exercises.

This should be the hardest ten minutes of your life. You can vary the exercise choice to emphasise a body part, or you can shorten the rests, extend the duration of the exercise or add another iteration of exercise - as long as you maintain intensity throughout.


Given the nature of current Lau Gar workouts I think I might have to re-plan my training to allow rest and recovery but also to allow me to achieve my goals - particularly the gymnastic ones, AND allow me to climb and fight.

Calvin advised some time ago that I try a form of synaptic facilitation (Clarence Bass covers this in detail here), which is a form of Pavel's 'greasing the groove' approach to training. I think now might be the time for me to try this approach. I need to put some time in to accommodating the demands I make upon my body.

As always I know that I am trying to cover many bases, but confident of how I understand feedback, I should be able to pull something effective together!

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