Parking Lot Lunges SUCK – Part 2/2

It’s done. Complete. Finito. It sucked but, dare I say, wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be when I started this adventure.

My 135lb barbell x 194meter parking lot walking lunge adventure:

I went to the chiropractor a couple of days after the event to ensure I wasn’t too whacked out (which I was). When he asked what I’d done since I saw him the day before the lunges, I promptly responded “I put a 135 barbell on my back and lunged two football fields.”

His look was priceless. It was a mix between concerned, scared, disbelief and finally the simple “you’re an idiot” look I’d expect.

“Why?!?!” he proclaimed.

The funny thing was I didn’t have an answer.

For fun I guess. Something to do. A challenge. Mental instability. I don’t know…

Why does anyone run a marathon? To be healthy? For fame or wealth?  There’s debate out there as to whether humans were really “built” to run for long distances like that. But when someone tells you they’ve run a marathon, there’s a level of respect there. Perhaps that’s why I did the lunges.

Try and tell me something harder than that.

Well, a 55-year-old client of mine did just complete the Canadian Ironman last weekend in under 15 hours (congrats Linda!!). THAT is hard. THAT is dedication. I couldn’t do it. Nor would I want to. She couldn’t do what I just did with those lunges. Nor would she want to. So it’s all semantics as to why.

The Human Guinea Pig

Look, I treat my personal training career as that: a job. As with any job there is training, continued education and experimentation that must be done to become an expert in my field. For example:

I’ve been doing this program the past 12 weeks while working on this parking lot lunge challenge. It’s by far my favored programming method. But for the sake of learning and experimentation I will soon be doing the 10,000 x 24kg Kettlebell Swings in 10 days (1000 swings a day). Why? The promise of body recomposition is my main driving factor but the learning experience is a very close second.

Following that I plan on doing the Velocity Diet which I did 3 years ago with ridiculous results (I’m talking 10lbs of fat loss in 14 days; and I gained muscle at the end of the 28 day program). Why would anyone in their right mind “eat” nothing but protein shakes for 28 days straight (well, you do get 1 healthy, solid meal a week)? Simple, the results. Secondary, however is challenge. There’s something to be gained in restraint and strict dieting for short periods of time.

Following that, after seeing the results attained by a comrade at our gym following Jim Stoppani’s 12 week Sortcut to Size program, I am excited to give that a whirl. I’m sure you’re wondering why a trainer would use a program I’ve not designed for myself and instead use something so easily accessible to everyone. The truth is I have great respect for other coaches who know what the hell they’re talking about and have the clout to back it up. This is exactly that type of program. My one rule about following other coaches programs is that you should always follow it 100% if possible. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from following other coaches recommendations. I find a way to bring that knowledge back into the programs I design for my clients.

Then I’m going to go back and do a program I did 4 years ago where I saw insane results: Christian Thibaudeau’s Mechanical Drop Sets. I swore I’d come back to it one year soon. It’s 12 weeks of very high volume training but should be a great blend in coming off the previous Jim Stoppani program. So why go back to a program I’ve done before? Where’s the learning experience in that? I was my biggest then (about 195lbs; whereas I’m 180 now) and I want to see how I’d feel at that weight again.

Me at 195lbs during CT’s Mechanical Drop Set program 4 years ago.

I’m a lot stronger now then I was back then. So I’m curious what will happen after a combined 24 weeks of bodybuilding style training.

And in the New Year, I begin training for the Vancouver marathon to be run in May (with my then 50- year-old client who will make this her 50th marathon run).

So, what may seem like training ADHD, there is a purpose. {Deep Breath In}…The 10,000 swing challenge I’m treating like a mental reset to the difficulty I’m going to surely face doing the Velocity Diet which will help reset my food cravings and improve my insulin sensitivity as well as act as a good training deload before I slide into Stoppani’s Shortcut to Size program where I plan to eat a shit tonne of healthy foods to gain size but coming off the V-Diet this will also help negate any fat gains with the increase in training volume. Then just as I’m seeing the total benefits of that 12 week bodybuilding style program I shall move into a program I’m more familiar with, a coach’s style I prefer and again will eat and eat and eat, at that point not caring (around the end of year) if I pack on some fluff, for in the New Year when I start training for a marathon where I’m surely going to drop the fluff and hopefully maintain most of the muscle size for when I run I tend to get pretty lean.

So I have a plan. Albeit a very turn left, go right, jump up and down, 3 lefts, two rights, and a sprint sorta plan. I’ve learned a tremendous amount from training myself and others this year. With this 8 months of training plans I’m sure to learn a great deal more.

Why You Shouldn’t EVER Do As I Do

The biggest reason, especially if you’re a young dude, it’s my opinion the main reason most guys in a gym don’t look or feel the way they want is because of programming ADHD. You’re not sticking with one mode (growth, strength, cutting, whatever) long enough to really see it through 100% before properly switching modes (which I’ll blog about soon). If you haven’t had 1-2 years under your belt of training under one style exclusively, STOP CHANGING PROGRAMS SO DAMN MUCH! For me that was the 18 months I trained Max-OT style.

Also, when a mentor of mine, Dave Parise boldly stated that walking lunges were one of the worst things a person could do for knee health, well I sharply paid attention. If you don’t know who Dave is, you should.  Problem was I was in the middle of the 135lbs parking lot lunge challenge and I had no intentions of giving it up. What I have done is drop the exercise (dumbbell, bodyweight or barbell) from my programming for my clients; not that I used it a lot to begin with but for safety reasons you’ll never see it again. I’m hopeful he will attack this issue with depth as he complete this series of videos for the industry: but until then, if you’re not convinced that walking lunges can ruin knees I suggest you ask the man for his reasoning; get the knowledge from the horse’s mouth per se.

I was starting to feel tweaky knee pain around the 95lb mark of this challenge. It concerned me as I had 40lbs to throw on the bar still. My band-aid solution was to ensure I was doing copious amount of unilateral leg training like the exercises found in Nick Tumminello’s latest DVD:

The knee pain was kept at bay and seemed to subside the more unilateral (single) leg training I did on top of my prescribed squats and deadlift training.

But, then the sheer weight of the bar on your back for anywhere between 8-12 minutes (135lbs took me 9:30) without the ability to adjust it became the real problem. Your traps BURN, your ability to breath properly becomes difficult, the cramping in your mid and low back is brutal. Let alone how 100lbs+ on your back while lunging can easily have your hips/spine push out of alignment. My chiropractors really kept me solid this past while.

When I did the 135lbs, sure my legs were shaking, they felt weak, they were burning with lactic acid. But that wasn’t the hard part. The balance, the shoulder girdle/rib cage pressure (despite using the Manta Ray barbell attachment which is a must for this!) and inability to breathe deeply, the burning sensation in my low back, the threat of a knee tweak happening at any given moment was the real challenge.

Of course, the real reason I survived was because of my awesome Performance U t-shirt! Thanks Nick!

But it’s done, and I promised I’m never doing that crap again. Cross it off the list. Just take it from me, the value of the exercise is not there.

Was I Sore After? Destroyed? Hospitalized?

Was I broken after? No, it was my buddy’s birthday so in the spirit of that he decided it was about time he hit his goal of back squatting 405. Our good buddy Cailin jumped in on that and hit a PR of 365 for himself. Then the three of us decided chasing a conventional deadlift PR was a good idea. Cailin hit a 410 PR. I hit a 390 PR. And just to top it all off, because ya know, enough old fomula Neurocore will do that to you…

…it made all the more sense to tack on the 300 workout after all that madness. See that in action here:

At the end of this test-fest I proclaimed to Chris and Cailin: “Thankfully, Chris’ birthday comes only once one a year!” Was fun though!

Now I move on to the 100 yard (football field) Power Wheel croc walk challenge! Should only take me a couple of weeks to complete that. See this badass get it done:

This entry was posted in RANTS.

One comment on “Parking Lot Lunges SUCK – Part 2/2

  1. […] 3 x/week, doing ~10 sets x 3 reps squats & deadlifts 3x/week and a bunch of accessory work (I opted for stupid things like parking lot lunges) well, I end up super lean but the scale keeps going up, my energy is unbearably high, and I […]

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