At the time of this posting I’m over halfway through the 40 Day Workout, and for a recap…
During the time, I read Easy Strength by Pavel and Dan John and was intrigued by the 40 Day Workout outlined in there. Five movements, same amount of reps broke up as you wish, lifting 85% of your one-rep max five days a week. I wanted to try this, looked for a kettlebell variation, and found Pat Flynn’s. He went for the five basic movements and I will keep three and the rep scheme of two ladders of 1-2-3. The Suitcase Carry and Snatches will fill the other two slots.
I started out with the 53lb kettlebell but my form was sloppy, I had overestimated myself. Since the March competition here I learned my absolute strength had fallen so my choice of kettlebell was 90-95% of my max. The 44lb kettlebell is the one I needed so I ate some humble pie and switched kettlebells. The results are pretty cool, the Clean&Presses are getting better, the pull-up StrongFirst style has gotten easier and going higher on the bar. Before my chin barely reached, now my collar bone does, lighter snatches don’t rip up my hands and still give me a challenge. I found the inverted V position I read on Geoff Neupert’s website helps the snatch as much as it does the one-arm swings.
When I get past those three the Goblet Squats and Suitcase Carries take no time at all.
During this I read Original Strength which became my new daily ritual with its Resets, particularly Rocking which makes my back feel awesome. I always make time for those.
So, what has this done for my body composition?
Body Composition (inches)
Body Part Before After -/+
Neck 14.5 14.7 +0.2
Shoulders 43.75 43.62 -.12
Chest 37 37 -.0
Waist 32 31.5 -.5
Biceps 12.5 12.55 +0.05
Forearms 10.75 10.82 +0.07
Thighs 21.82 21.82 0
Calves 13.62 13.62 0
Weight 152.2 lbs 151.6 -0.6
Body Fat % 14% 12.5% -1.5%
Lean Body Mass 130.9lbs 132.7 +1.8 lbs
Keeping a casual eye on my diet and training 4-5 days a week at 85% of my press max my strength went up when I did an ‘unofficial test’ without maxing out I hit 5 reps with the 53 instead of the 3 and 4 from before. The drop in fat and muscle gain was surprising since I had been in maintenance mode. I’ll finish this program in 2-3 weeks and then switch back to Simple & Sinister three days a week, with ROP style press ladders the other two day, hopefully to press the 70lb kettlebell by the end of the year. Can’t complain.