Week of 8/3/20: Workouts, OTM strength session, tempo, speed-work, trap bar benefits

Hi Folks,

We’re into August, the Summer is going quickly so it’s time to switch into the next gear to complete a mini-goal this month to spice it up and give you a goal. This could be a particular distance run (doesn’t have to be an ultra, could be a 10K or half; depending on your base), bike ride, cruise through a practice triathlon-just to do it, or a local two day adventure!

8/4/20 TUESDAY. TEMPO workout to be carried out a “comfortably stressed” effort level: under control, on the edge, but not racing. After the usual warm-up mileage: ( 7′ pick-up (5′ easy running) – 6′ (5′ easy) – 5′ (5′). You’ll gradually work up to one and two mile efforts at 10K race pace.

8/5/20 WEDNESDAY. STRENGTH with WORKOUT #51 with a format of an “On-The-Minute” (OTM) session. I introduce the OTM workout so the stopwatch can serve as a “training partner” when exercising by yourself. Select your kettlebells for swings and goblet squats. Format: Start your stopwatch, complete your first set of 10 swings followed by 5 push-ups; rest until the clock reaches one minute; then begin the next round, and so forth. Workout will be done in eight minutes. Can finish off the workout with a one-minute Rack Carry and Trap Bar Deadlifts.

8/6/20 THURSDAY. SPEED-WORKOUT on the trails, fire roads or roads. After the warm-up mile or so carry out 4 rounds of: ( (45′ fast cadence run (1′ easy run – 1:45 (2′)). Similar to running 200’s and 400’s.

8/8/20 SATURDAY. HILL REPEATS and STRENGTH work. Get in 12 hill repeats ranging 15″ to 45″. Note, if you are running distance on Saturdays you may want substitute the Wed strength session because it’s shorter. WORKOUT # 52.

Note, when executing the Thrusters come down to a solid half squat, thighs parallel to the floor; then a powerful thrust upward and shoot kettlebells or dumbbells overhead. Probably use more weight than with standing presses because of the leg assist. 2) you can use a broomstick, weighted bar or staff for the Lateral Bar Dips. Emphasis is on smooth lateral movement; if you’re moving to the right you’re going to hold the bar in the left hand and drop deftly by your right foot, then reverse direction and do the same to the left side. When you’re doing the Swing Clean to the rack position you’ll likely “slap” the kettlebell as you bring it to the rack position. It will take practice to flip it around the wrist, not out to the front and flipping it over resulting in a slap finish.


The Trap Bar Deadlift (TBDL) is one of the easier and safer all-out strength lifts for novice and experienced weight training enthusiasts. One stands inside the hex bar shape, keeps weight close to the midline and strengthens the quads, gluten, hamstrings, back, trapezius and grip.

It’s a simple movement, similar to picking up two suitcases and coming up to an erect posture. The Conventional Barbell Deadlift (BBDL) is one of the three lifts ( also bench press and squat) that make up the Powerlifting competition that requires more technique and places the back in a bit more compromised angle with shear forces. We all use the deadlift movement picking up things from the ground daily from light to heavy; good to get into the habit of doing it correctly.

The TBDL places less stress on the spine and requires less mobility in hips, ankles and back. The center of mass is inside the hex shaped bar and close to midline. The TBDL handle grips put the hands and arms in a more neutral, rather than pronated position, perpendicular to the bar with the shoulders externally rotated. That keeps you from inwardly rotating the shoulders (rounded shoulders – not good). The TB can be used effectively for overhead pressing because the neutral hand position is better for shoulder health.

Start by standing inside the hex bar, pull shoulders slightly back, arms at your sides, squat down with an arched back and grip the handles directly below the shoulder line. The back is in a solid extension, i.e., proper arch, with head simply an extension of the spine. Engage the lats (pulling shoulder blades slightly back and down, brace the torso tight, arms at full locked length ( no “play” in the arms); picture pressing your feet flat through the floor and stand erect. There is less chance of hyper lumbar extension ( leaning backwards with the weight – another no-no) which can be tough on the lower back discs.

The hinge movement, kettlebell swing, TBDL and loaded carries complement each other to develop a strong athletic body. You learn the hinge movement standing 12″ from a wall and push back until the butt touches the wall with a slight bend in the knees; then snap forward. I have you learn the kettlebell deadlift first because the KB is between the feet, close to the body midline with the handle within easy reach when you squat to grasp it. Kettlebell swings help your deadlift groove the hinge movement; you get to move through hinge motion with a weight load. Regular swing repetitions builds the entire posterior side, back extensors and help drive power to your TBDL. ..( see last paragraph is below first photo).

Below, Judi executes the Trap Bar Deadlift with her bodyweight or more: the starting position, midway, (note that she maintains back arch), and finishes with erect posture. Note, how the hex shaped trap bar keeps weight load close to the her midline. Makes for a safer lift.

The loaded carries, i.e., Farmer Carry, Rack Carry and Waiters Carry serve to safely acclimate your body with time under tension (TUT) prior to diving into a variety of lifts by strengthening your entire body – and fitness once you can carry fairly heavy weights. Then the Turkish Get Up movement, which is paced more deliberately ties the upper and lower body together while emphasizing core and shoulder stability.