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A Weight Workout To Make a Grown Man Cry. Or Give Birth.

Posted Feb 10 2009 11:29am

Some days are easy workout days. Which is fine. I have learned - many times over as I am a remarkably slow learner - that you don't have to hammer yourself on every workout. Last week was one of those weeks where I had blood-sweat-and-tears workouts on six out of six days. (More on that later.) So it was only appropriate that today's workout, a la The Monkey Bar Gym, was giggly, girly and short.

We started out with a lesson on kipping pull-ups. For the uninitiated, kipping pull-ups are used in everything from functional fitness workouts to CrossFit to playground double-dog dares. The gist is that you swing your body back and forth, using your momentum to help get your chin over the bar. They are supposed to be easier than normal start-from-a-dead-hang pull-ups. Which I suppose they would be if I had any coordination.

Kipping pull-ups are my fitness Waterloo - in my previous life as a gymnast, we used to do "kip-ups" as a way to swing into a starting position on the low bar. I loved kip-ups. They were even, dare I say it, easy. Which is probably why I am so frustrated that kipping pull-ups are completely beyond me. Anyhow, I am determined that I shall do a kipping pull-up someday and in the meantime am dragging all the Gym Buddies along on my quest for true pull-up mastery.

My How-To seminar was clicking along nicely until we hit a snag: nobody could even figure out how to do the kipping pull-up prep. Gym Buddy Lisseth tried to help me out by starting out spread-eagled in the squat cage and then jumping up at the bar with both her arms and legs bent. What we got was a hanging, grunting crotch shot. "What are my legs doing?" she screamed. "It's like I'm giving birth!!" (It's true - her knees were up by her ears, just like you see in birthing class... except she was hanging from a bar.) This caused the rest of us - pregnant and non-pregnant alike - to fall on the floor laughing so hard that visions of leaky waterballoons danced in our heads. You've heard of water births. Prepare for the next wave of SuperMamas: air birthing.

I'm afraid that the laughter only intensified when a kind-hearted but equally clueless man came over to help us figure out the kipping pull-up. You think a woman air birthing is awesome? Try a man. Not only did I pee a little but by I cried a bit too.

Since we weren't getting much of a workout - except for our abs, those sure were worked good! - we decided to move to handstand push-ups. Silliness reigned however and after a few half-hearted tries we switched to a plain old 5th-grade handstand contest. Gym Buddy Krista scared us all by falling over backwards, only to redeem herself with a neatly executed tuck-and-roll. We clapped and cheered (and got more of The Look) like we were 10 and the Jonas Brothers had popped in for a round on the ellipticals. Gym Buddy Allison impressed everyone with her snazzy workout socks that we never get to see because for some crazy reason we usually have our shoes on before almost taking out a random elderly woman. Did I mention we were doing our handstands in the alcove at the top of the stairs? Ahem. Gym Buddy Megan, busily gestating, did not do handstands but assured us the fetus was. And for my grand finale, I did an impressive backwards handstand walk... all the way into the closed elevator. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a bruise.

I think our workout today can be summed up by saying half the gym thought we were better than Comedy Central and were thisclose to throwing dollar bills at us while the other half wanted to kill us and are probably blogging about how to hide our bodies as we speak.

How does one redeem oneself from such a workout? By telling you what we did last week. Gym Buddy Shalom - she of the 4 minutes of Bosu ab hell - challenged us to do The Hardest Strength Workout Ever. She got it from one of her classes that she's taking for her Exercise Science degree. It is 33 minutes of pain, people. But we did it. And now I'm challenging you.

The Muscle Endurance Workout
Perform each exercise without stopping for one minute. If you or anyone in your group stops to rest, you must start the minute over. Take a 30-second break between each exercise. Perform the exercises in the order they are written. Weights listed are for women, men need to up theirs accordingly. Try not to weep. Especially when you get to #12. PS> Go potty before you start. Especially if you've birthed children.

1. Lateral raises (8 lbs)
2. Tricep dips with legs extended
3. Hammer curls (10 lbs)
4. Pec deck flys (25 lbs on the machine or 15 lbs in each hand if using free weights)
5. Lat pull downs (40 lbs)
6. Jumping squats
7. Push ups
8. Plyo box jumps (just jump onto a tall step or weight bench. Take off with both feet and land with both feet.)
9. Jumping jacks
10. Jump rope
11. Step ups
12. Bench jumps (place hands on weight bench or high step with both legs on one side. Jump both legs together over the bench to the other side. Immediately jump back. Repeat.)
13. Plank
14. Crunches
15. Mountain climbers
16. Hanging calf raises
17. Split squat jumps
18. Weighted ball twists
19. Pilates one hundred (go the full minute - not just until you count to 100, you wuss.)
20. Tricep hover (also known as the Really Hard Part of chaturanga push-ups)
21. Skull crushers (8 lbs each hand)
22. Barbell bicep curl (20 lbs)

So, who's going to give it a try? Anyone help us out with the kipping pull-ups??
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