Bodyweight workshop

Bodyweight workshop

The bodyweight workshop was held at Read Performance. Facilitated by Andrew Read along with topflight PCC instructors Al & Danny Kavadlo plus the RP team. A well run and enjoyable experience from start to end. To say there was energy in the room is an understatement, it was booming. As usual I take a casual approach to these workshops. I like to have fun and absorb the knowledge given out and knew these guys are not going to hand you a certification by just by turning up like many other providers. I make a point of getting myself adequately prepared and ready by cert time. You have to earn it, so be warned.

Turning up unprepared lessens the ability to move property to fully appreciate and understand what is been taught. Having successfully passed the requirements of the century test and weekend tasks I have a new fondness and respect for all things bodyweight.

It was obvious to me from the start that I would have my work cut out in managing to ace all the moves being workshopped. I’m an old weightlifter and like to lift stuff. however, my weight training didn’t involve much bodyweight. And boy was I in for an enjoyable surprise. When it was first promoted 6 months prior, I immediately logged in and paid for my registration.

Time to prepare and earn another worthwhile certification and definitely learning some cool stuff. Hang on, I’ve never really been heavily into bodyweight training so what do I do now?

What have I done?

A different fitness approach

Well, this had to change, and given that I previously dropped my own bodyweight down from a solid 92kg frame to a now leaner and much more comfortable 78kg (my focus now is running and a desire to be more of a complete trainer). It wasn’t long before I was playing around with my own bodyweight in preparing for the upcoming bodyweight workshop.

I like to plan, so I had to answer a few questions first. What did it take to pass? How long do I have? what is my current condition and have I got the proper resources? Once sorted, work backwards from there.

Fortunately, I have in my possession the two bodyweight conditioning books written by the two course facilitators along with a reasonable library of other material helping me to plan to the best of my knowledge. Then meet the criteria on the day. The idea when registering for a workshop is that you will be in learning environment. Not expected to know it all. Getting yourself physically ready is another thing. At least get some of the basics sorted and be ready to work. A deconditioned participant will always struggle.

Bodyweight exercises

My program was designed around basic movements. In no particular order, here was my template of main movements that I at least have control over. Not performed on the same day, always as a bonus added onto my regular workouts

  • All the stretches I knew.
  • Chins up & push up variations.
  • Pistol squats.
  • Hanging leg raises, now my go to abs exercise.
  • Running.
  • Bridge holds.
  • Prone hold
  • Handstand /play holds.
  • Bodyweight Dips
  • And my trusty adjustable weight vest.

Mostly I worked on the well knows 5×5 based strength protocol for all the movements when practicing. The benefit for me was that I had applied it to Barbell, Dumbbells Kettlebells and now given my fondness of it to bodyweight training. Best to stick to a familiar routine for now.

Sometimes I would just work the simple 3×3 range depending on how “fried” my body felt from the previous workout the day before. A rookie mistake that I made often. Don’t deplete the nervous system.

So, on the days I felt ok I’d put more volume into it. Like high volume on the chins up. Generally, it’s the one movement that petrifies the newbie’s and was the base test entry going into previous workshops. So, I out of fear I already had the strength and conditioning in relation to pull ups, and now I enjoyed them. Unfortunately, these volumes did not transfer well to other exercises.

Like any well-balanced program, we all can’t do what we like. So, play it smart and practice the other difficult ones.

Bodyweight workshop testing 

You have to pass the century which conducted at the end of the 3rd day after all the workouts you have done over this long and challenging course.

  • 1. FULL SQUATS:                        40 reps
  • 2. FULL PUSH-UPS:                    30 reps
  • 3. HANGING KNEE RAISES:       20 reps
  • 4. FULL PULL-UPS:                     10 reps

TOTAL:    100 reps

Firstly, for me was a reasonable request and initially gave it a go and sort of completed it and thought to myself “yeah not too bad” it should be right. This was a small mistake as it was obvious later during preparation when I increased the volume during my workout. I would have 3 days of bodyweight hands on training and then had to finish the test. All within 8 minutes, no stops with strict form or else. No handouts given.

Testing at the end of a 3-day exercising was not an easy task.

Secondly, this was a great wakeup call and prepared accordingly. Followed a program, was ready and adequately conditioned to perform the basic exercises. Learn and not suffer due to a lack of conditioning.

Lastly, it costs money to attend these courses and it’s a total waste for all if you turn up unprepared.

A great workshop

Movements taught were many, just to name a few. Push ups and variations, chins and variations, front levers, back levers, pistols and floor holds to name a few – let’s not forget the muscle ups. The level of movement taught require you to continually work on them, you simply can’t just master all of them. I’m still to get the muscle up and need to work on my levers.

The workshop was about quality in the challenging movements, not volume of exercises.

Overall, it was one of the more enjoyable workshops that I have done and along with the incredible manual the information I now have access too, will keep me busy and clients challenged for a long time to come.

Now off to the horizontal bar for some much-needed practice.

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