I went home on Sunday to visit my mom and stopped by the gym to say hello to people and get a quick workout. I actually wasn’t planning on lifting, but once I got there I figured I might as well (again, this is why I always keep my gym stuff in my trunk). It turned out to be a great little session with a few personal bests.
The first personal best was on Renegade Rows, sometimes referred to as plank rows. I have been doing these for a few months and I really like them. It is a phenomenal core exercise that actually works just about every muscle in your body to some degree, but especially the lats, upper back, shoulders, and grip. Plus, it’s a heck of lot more exciting than sitting in a plank for 5 minutes. Here I did 7 reps each arm with 95 lb. dumbells.
The other personal best came at the tail end of the workout with my upper body “finisher,” a high rep set of blast straps pushups with my weighted vest. I used to do this challenge every once in awhile to see how many I could get in one minute. My previous best was 30 and I got 42 this time, though admittedly I have not done them weighted in awhile. I know a lot of people think that instability training is a waste of time, but I would have to disagree. When I first started doing blast straps pushups, I would shakes so bad it looked like I was having a seizure and I could only muster a few reps. After working on them for awhile, I am now to a point where, as you can see in the video, the straps barely shake and it’s almost like doing regular pushups. In the process of that progression, my shoulders have become much stronger and much more stable, and my other pressing has gone up as a result. I certainly don’t think instability training is the be-all-end-all of training by any means, but I do think it can be a valuable tool for increasing pressing strength (I don’t use unstable surfaces for anything else other than pressing). I may go into this more at another time, but for now, here is the video of the burnout set.