While training for the San Diego marathon back in 2008, I maintained an intense lifting regiment to make sure to keep a focus on overall fitness rather than strictly running abilities.
Throughout the training, I would toy with the amounts of weight I would lift trying to find a sweet spot that wouldn’t drastically effect my running schedule. For example, have you ever tried to cook the perfect chicken breast on the barbecue while also preparing the rest of the meal in the other room. Usually, my chicken breast doesn’t come out like I wanted because I was distracted. Getting that perfect chicken breast and rest of the meal prepared at the same time mirrors the difficulty in finding a sweet spot in one fitness area while trying to accomplish a completely different fitness goal is extremely difficult.
Rack Without Weights Trifecta
I have known for years on end the benefits to pull-ups and other bodyweight exercises. I usually have just ignored most of them. During that marathon training, I started implementing a workout that brought into play high intensity a la Crossfit while strictly using bodyweight. I like to refer to it as the Rack Without Weights Trifecta.
You will need a workout rack and, at minimum, one workout bar, but preferably two. Set rack pins at the highest level holes on the front side of the rack. Then, set rack pins “inside” the rack but on the opposite side from where you placed the first pins. Place a bar on each of these pins. If you have only one bar, then start by placing it on the side with the higher pins.
- With the bar set at the upper pins, grab the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder grip. You will then support your weight if you happened to be still able to touch the ground while grabbing the bar. I typically dangle while folding my legs beneath my butt. Then perform pull ups until you can’t do anymore. Let yourself down carefully and move directly to #2.
- Proceed to the lower bar (if using one bar, drop it from the top pins to the lower back pins now). With shoulder width grip on the bar, place your feet back to the point where you are now in an incline push up position. Perform a burnout set of incline push ups. Immediately go to step #3 when completed.
- Drop below the bar so that you are lying down looking directly vertical at the bar above. Take a shoulder width grip and perform inclined pull ups to max out. (Video example: click here. This example isn’t done in a rack, but you will get the idea.)