I’ve been talking to you this week about how I’ve happily incorporated deadlifts back into my routine (after almost a year) and how my training partner, Anthony, and I meet every Thursday at the gym.
Well, you should be reading this on Thursday and, ironically enough, this is the first Thursday that we had to cancel our session. We’ve rescheduled it for tomorrow, which is a better day for me anyway since I’ll have the entire weekend to recover.
A few years ago – even as recent as last year, I suppose – I was a HUGE fan of supersetting my deadlifts with kettlebell or barbell military presses.
I would do a set of presses in between every set of deadlifts (even my warm-up sets) and then I would finish by pushing the Prowler.
A pretty great workout in my opinion since you tackle 3 primal movement patters – lifting something heavy off the floor, lift something heavy over head and gait.
But since the RKC 2 – and since I started to really amp up my deadlift training – just the thought of pressing in between sets of heavy deadlifting seems daunting.
It’s like what I told you on Tuesday when Pavel said “If you’re deadlifting (properly), there shouldn’t be much else you can do afterward”.
Who am I to argue with the Chief?
So before we talk about what I do between sets of deadlifts, let’s talk about some theory that will also help you with your kettlebell grinds (I actually talked about this yesterday morning to my athletes when I was teaching them how to deadlift)…
Deadlifting and other types of grinding exercises – like presses – require maximum tension in your body.
Tension = strength. Strength = Tension
When you approach a bar as you are about to pick it up off the floor, regardless if it’s got 135 pounds on it or 405lbs on it, you must approach it the same way.
Your set up, grip, tension that you create in your body, even your attitude must be the same regardless of how much weight is on it.
This all goes back to Strength is a SKILL that must be PRACTICED.
Each set must be identical because you are PRACTICING tension and strength.
The amount of tension that your body creates will be directly proportional to the weight that’s on the bar, but tension can and will occur in all muscle groups.
If you take a look at some of the best strength athletes, you’ll see that regardless if they are warming up or lifting their max, they approach, set up and lift the bar exactly the same way.
So when it comes to supersetting setting an exercise or activity in between your grinds, take my advice and the advice of the chief and practice some relaxation techniques in between your sets.
Now I’m not saying that you should break out the yoga mat, throw on some stretchy yoga pants and meditate for an hour between sets…
BUT YOU MUST BALANCE THE TENSION CREATED IN YOUR BODY
WITH SOME TYPE OF RELAXATION.
One of the best ways to do that is to practice Fast & Loose…which is a form of active relaxation.
Basically you’re taking your body – while you’re on your feet – and shaking out any tension you may have.
Hop around on your toes, shake and a wiggle your arms, shake the tension out of your legs (your glutes especially).
Think about a boxer in the ring just before a fight – he is hopping around, usually with his arms to the side – staying nice and relaxed just before the first bell rings where he as to close up and get his guard up.
Following tension relaxation cycles in our training – grinds coupled with fast & loose – balances our body in a natural way that mimics our natural circadian rhythm or our sleep-wake cycle.
Think of practicing your grinds as a micro cycle of what you practice in your day.
OK, am I getting a little too hokey-new age for you now?
Maybe. But it makes sense, no?
Give it a shot. After a hard set of presses or deadlifts, practice some sort of active relaxation like fast and loose and shake all the tension out of your body.
You’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the challenge of the weight that’s on the bar.
And then, drop me an email when you hit a new PR (personal record) after trying it!
Have a great day!
P.S. Have you checked out Pavel’s new Deadlifting book yet? There’s a stretch for your hamstrings in there that I’ve been using for the past 3 weeks that has worked so well that I can now touch my toes – never been able to do that before – Check it out HERE…