Monday, July 26, 2010

TACFIT MAss Assault Level 2 Report

So i have just finished Cycle 5 (Level 2) of Mass Assault.

Check out the video here:

Overall Level 2 difficulty is up a notch from Level 1. Some of the movements were altered significantly from the original to accommodate the different grip of the Clubbells.

Some comments on specific exercises:

Bridge Press Twist (L2) is just a subtle difference in movement compared to Bridge Press Hammer (L1) but it makes an unexpectedly huge difference in the difficulty. After finishing L1 with 13 reps, i expected to be able to crank out at least 11 reps in L2, but the first time i did it, my muscles were spent at 9 reps.

At first i tried the Windmill with torch grip, but realised it was too unstable. Going through it sets after sets with the Clubbell up in torch would be suicide so i changed it to leverage grip which is more stable. Stable but humbling. I could only grip it at the end of the cone. Crazy! To do it at zero choke is a superhuman feat, which is something i can work towards.

As an aside, in the midst of designing the Clubbell variations for this program, i have discovered (or rediscovered, if somebody has done them before) some really cool and tough variations of the Windmill, Side Press and Bent Press. This would be covered in a future video. ;)

Lunge Twist Press (L2) is much more unstable compared to Twisting Press (L1). It is a challenge just to guide the bells in its proper path.

Push Press (L2) is changed to Arm Cast because, as mentioned above, to torch the Clubbell with one hand, it is suicide. It is very tough already anyway at the end of the set after five grinds.

Alright, Level 3 is up next but my schedule is going to be disrupted with an overseas assignment so i would displace it by two full cycles. Meaning i have to repeat Cycle 5 again.

Overall a very humbling experience. The Clubbells are only 15lbs but some of the movements i can only perform them at full choke or even more at the cone. This only shows that you don't really need dumbbells for this program. To go to zero choke for all exercises is a feat in itself.

Till then, stay tuned.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

TACFIT Mass Assault Level 1 Report

Hey guys, just a little bit of introduction why i came up with a Clubbell version of Mass Assault.

1) I have no dumbbells and i am not about to fork out another hundred bucks or so getting a set of dumbbells. I could get a set cheaper from my kettlebell supplier but the next shipment is not so soon, so that option is out.

2) I already have Clubbells, obviously. And might as well use them. And since they are designed for micro increments of load through adjusting the choke depth, they are perfect for this program. Just requires some thinking to figure out the movements with them.

3) I have kettlebells, and could do some variations like what CST Coach Shane Heins does. But i have no interest in switching between Clubbells and kettlebells and having more than 2 pieces of equipment at any one workout.

Take note that the exercises are meant to be done back to back, so the less switching and less changing of equipment is better.

Just like the majority of Singaporeans, i live in a HDB flat which is quite cramped and have low ceiling. So i prefer to train oudoors. And that means i have to lug my equipment with me. I don't have nor live in a gym. And i am not going to lug a few kettlebells and a few Clubbells at any one time.

So here's a short video of what i did.

Ok, enough about why. Just a bit of feedback after my Cycle 1 High Day.

The protocol of 3.5 minutes on, 1 minute off, with all exercises back to back is really a killer. Every round, i must have done at least 50 total reps. The name of the game in this program is time under tension (TUT) and the protocol does an excellent job of making sure you have the required TUT for muscle gain.

And it is all grinds after grinds (i hate grinds!) except for the last exercise whereby you are given a slight break with a ballistic.

If you know me, i have not been doing any hypertrophy program for ages. Switching from Commando to Mass Assault is a 180 degrees turn in the kind of demand to the body. From burst-recover-burst to sustained effort.

The program calls for six rounds of 3.5 minutes. Just one round is tough enough. My whole body already feels the fatigue not even halfway through the first round.

And double the evil is the use of Clubbells. In this program i am using only 15lbs. If you are familiar with them, you'd know that the grip is the limiting factor for practically all exercises. And boy they do fry the grip like no other. Twisting Press is designed for one hand in the original dumbbell version, but to Torch Press the Clubbell one handed, after four grip intensive exercises before it takes inhuman strength.

Anyway, that's it for now. Stay tuned for Level 2. ;)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tacfit Commando Recruit Mission 2 After Action Report

So i have just completed Recruit Mission 2.

On the surface, the movements looks innocent enough and don't seem to look tough at all. It looks to be easier than Mission 1. Hey, the dreaded Push Ups are no more there.

However, looks are deceiving.

In Mission 1 i had some excess energy to do some extra GTG pull ups and pistols, but not in Mission 2.

Revolving Table is easy. I maxed out my reps for this exercise from the first couple of cycles.

Bear Squats are harder than they look. I forgot that there was a Lunge Twist in the beginning of the workout to fatigue the legs.

For Scorpion Crucifix, with my vest on, the movement is a lot more restrictive.

With the vest, Bridge Clap is actually easier than without, as there is less height to raise the hips. But transitioning to and from standing is more cumbersome. That itself is an exercise that i did not expect.

Overall experience was refreshing as Mission 1. Vest and no vest, boots and no boots, all made a big difference in the ease of movement.

Next, i am taking a break from Commando and taking on Mass Assault with Clubbells ONLY.

Stay tuned.