Monday, August 10, 2009

Metabolic Density Training the Irontamer Way!

According to "Irontamer" Dave Whitley, Senior RKC, it IS possible to outsnatch a donut. That's good news if you're someone like me who likes to eat and isn't afraid of a little hard work. Okay, a LOT of hard work.

His formula for weight control involves a variation on what Charles Staley calls Escalating Density Training (EDT) and Alwyn Cosgrove refers to as Metabolic Density Training (MDT). Staley's version involves two exercises, performed as a superset for 15 minutes, while Cosgrove's involves three exercises performed as a tri-set for 10 minutes. In both cases, the idea is to get as many rounds as possible in the prescribed time period, using weights that are about 60% of your one rep max.

If you're not a kettlebell person you can put together great EDT/MDT fat loss workouts using free weight and bodyweight exercises. Cosgrove gives the following example:

dumbbell bench press (6-8 reps)
alternating lunge (6-8 reps)
Swiss ball crunch (6-8 reps)

You would pick a load that you could get 10-12 reps with, and you would try to perform the tri-set as many times as possible in 10 minutes.

But of course if you do happen to be into kettlebells, they work wonderfully for this type of workout because they allow you to get a tremendous amount of work done in relatively little time. Not only that, but most kettlebell workouts are quite simple, involving no more than two or three exercises for the entire workout.

Here's an example of MDT/EDT the Irontamer way:

Round 1: Snatches, 12R/12L, repeat as many times as possible in 15 minutes, using a kettlebell you could snatch 20 times

Rest: 3 minutes

Round 2: Superset: 12 pushups, 5 pullups, repeat as many times as possible in 15 minutes.

This was more or less my workout this morning I say "more or less" because I forgot to look at the directions before I began the workout, so I couldn't remember how many snatches I was supposed to do per work set. For some reason the number 5 was stuck in my head, so I did sets of 5 per side, completing 21 work sets (210 snatches) in 15 minutes. It was challenging but not horrible, although I started to get some nasty blisters toward the end of the workout that made the last couple of work sets more painful than I would have liked. My left hand always gets more ripped up than my right, probably because that's the side with the shoulder issues.

The three-minute rest rocked, and I took every second of it :)

For the pushups and pullups I think I got 16 work sets, so 192 pushups and 80 pullups total. It was definitely challenging but more because I think for me 5 pullups was too many for this type of workout. I can generally get a couple of good ones from a dead hang, and after that my range of motion steadily shrinks.

Stupidly I didn't wear my heart rate monitor so I have no idea how many calories I actually burned during this workout. But that's okay, because calories burned during the workout only tell part of the story. The real beauty of this type of workout is that it elevates the metabolism for hours following the workout, which is the real key to fat loss.

That, and being a little careful as regards donuts. Sure, you can probably outsnatch one Krispy Kreme? But a dozen? Not so much.