Workout Wednesday: Plankation!

Workout Wednesdays are dedicated to providing you (my lovely readers) with a 'burner' or 'finisher' that I find "FUn". What is a burner/finisher you ask? Its a short workout that soaks up your very last bit of energy and effort, AFTER you have completed your main lifts and accessory work. Why do them? The theory is that after utilizing all of your stored glycogen, a burner will push you into fat burning. I don't like them simply for this reason though! I like them because:

  • They keep me honest -- I know that if I don't put my full effort into my main lifts and accessory work, when I get to the burner, its going to be a reckoning ground!
  • They're fast, fun, and short, and allow me to incorporate movements I wouldn't necessarily put in my 'main program' like sushi rolls or bootstrapper squats with a tuck jump (thanks Agatsu Fitness for those little gems!)
  • On top of being physically difficult, they can help build mental strength -- if you can get through a tough burner, you can do whatever you put your mind to! 
  • You can do these workouts with a partner or a group of friends, and push each other! Nothing brings a group of people together like communal suffering! 
 " Nothings brings a group of people together like communal suffering. .." @stylist_jo, @taminoa, @sarebellum @itsmaryyoung

"Nothings brings a group of people together like communal suffering..." @stylist_jo, @taminoa, @sarebellum @itsmaryyoung

When I program burners for myself and my clients, I like to pair movements that are traditionally considered "core" or "stability" movements, with high intensity, metabolically demanding exercises  (read: exercises that jack your heart rate up and make you breathe heavy real quick) like burpees, sprints, prowler pushes, kettle swings/snatches/cleans or even rowing. Why? Because being able to stabilize using your 'core' muscles while being short of breath is both very difficult, and vital to protecting our spine and other joints when engaging in Activities of Daily Living, like shovelling snow or moving a couch up a flight of stairs, as well as while participating in sports such as hockey, soccer or lacrosse (just to name a view). Building this skill takes time, and the burner, for me, represents a great place to sneak this work in because you would have 'practiced' activating your core during your main lifts. Additionally, the burner is short so you can avoid going past the point of safe and efficient practice into poor movement. This is a really important point! A lot of fitness systems tell you to just go 'all out' when you're conditioning - turn your brain off, your muscles on and go. This is NOT what I am promoting! While I believe you should work really hard during your burner, it should NOT be at the cost of safe movement. Keep your brain on!

Please also note that these workouts are very taxing on our metabolic and nervous systems so you don't have to do a burner EVERY day! I work burners into my training program 2-3 times per week depending on what phase of training program I'm in. 

So here we go: Workout Wednesday #1

"Plankation"

Every Minute on the Minute, for 8-10 minutes (depending on your fitness level & form):

  • Complete 2 x 50 foot out and back sprint (think shuttle run)
  • Spend the rest of the minute in the plank modification of your choice. 
    • see the Plank post from this week's #movementmonday post for tips on performing the plank properly

    Let me know how you like it! I'm interested to hear your comments!  Have fun friends! Its going to be great :)