Fabis Functional Feierabend - blackPack Swings

Workout of the week part 2

Here we go again

How did you like the first WOW? Have you joined our Functional Fitness Frenzy? Following the current trend of challenges and nominations dominating facebook posts right now I briefly considered making a video in which I would challenge you to complete this WOW (Workout of the Week). But then I figured the time of shooting a video, editing it, uploading it, and sharing it would much better be spend doing a new Functional Training workout. Workout of the Week number two – let’s go!.

Fabis Functional Fitness Frenzy - blackPack Swings

My muscle soreness from last week’s WOW has settled down again and it is time to approach another WOW. ‘Cause I like the feeling of sore muscles. And Fabi knows how to design a workout that will get the job done. Sore muscles here we go! I think you might feel similar so you can already look forward to the day after the workout.

As with the first WOW we did an AMRAP training (“as many rounds as possible”), meaning that you do three different exercises with a certain amount of repetitions over and over again until time (10 minutes) runs out. The whole WOW consists of two sets including a pause between the two sets to catch your breath. All in all a bit more than 20 minutes of training. Sounds like nothing, but you can bet that it will make you sweat faster than you can say “Fabi’s Functional Fitness Frenzy”!

The warm up

Since the warm up should not be underestimated we start off by getting the whole organism working. 1 ½ min. jumping jacks (or rope skipping) to activate your cardiovascular system. Followed by some mobilization and moderate strengthening exercises. We use leg swings (be careful: don’t use too much momentum at first) to mobilize our lower extremities and the hips, and also a tip by Dr. Till Sukopp (german only). After that we work our way up towards the torso. Slow upper body rotation during lunges and upper body rotation in a shoulder wide stand with slightly bend knees. Followed by core stabilization exercises like planks (also with rotation using your arms). Finally, we warm up our shoulders by circling in different directions and with different speeds, alternating swings, and a few push ups. Don’t forget to warm up your neck as well.

Set 1

The first set consists of the following exercises including the given repetitions:

Set 1, duration: 10 minutes

  • Thruster: 10 reps
  • Toe-to-Bar: 5 reps
  • blackPack Swings: 15 reps (change swinging arm with every round)

The first exercise, the thruster, is a combination of a squat and an overhead press with a barbell. Both motions merge seemlessly into each other. If you don’t have a barbell you can also use a blackPack. As you can see from the pictures, Fabi and I don’t use any additional weight plates. The main focus should definitely always be on the correct movement, even in later rounds. Believe me, as long as you are absolutely dead certain that you need more weight you should do it as we do it. The closer the 10 minute mark comes the heavier the damn barbell becomes. As far as I was considered I was happier and happier that we didn’t use any additional weights the longer the set lasted…

The second exercise, Toe-to-Bars, is a nasty one. I don’t quite know what exactly I did to make Fabi angry at me but it must have been something serious. Holding my fat butt in the air while getting my stiff sticks for legs up to the Top-Element of the verso360 frame demanded super-human strength. Being as flexible as a common household fridge didn’t help me either. Please make sure that you never lose tension especially when lowering your legs!

The last exercise, blackPack swings, almost seemed like a welcomed breather. The motion is almost identical to kettlebell swings. The blackPack has the additional benefit of being filled with a Loading Bag AQUA. Thus, I have my work cut out for me trying to compensate for the unpredictable movement of the water inside the blackPack. For every round you use a different arm. As with all exercises that Fabi comes up with you should be careful when it comes to load weight. 10 minutes can be very long as I have learned the hard way last week, and you might have felt similar. As with the other exercises keep the motto in mind: less is more.

With all three exercises you have a bunch of muscle groups involved, whether it’s actively used to perform the movements, or just passively to stabilize your body during the movements. 10 minutes might sound like not that much, the weight is rather small, can that even be challenging? Hell yeah! It all depends on the effort you put into it, though. If you finish one round in 10 minutes you are probably doing something wrong. Do yourself a favor and chose the right amount of speed while always making sure that quality of movement is always high.

To get the absolute best out of me Fabi designed a second set following right after the first one. Putting his motto (you can always work through the pain) to the test. If you have just recently started with Functional Training and you are not yet as fit as you might want to be you can stop here and save the second set for another day. You have already had a decent workout with the first set alone. For those that can’t get enough:

Set 2

set 2, duration: 10 minutes

  • Snatches + Push Ups: 10 reps
  • Sledgehammer with the Rowstick X2: 2×10 reps
  • Rowing with aeroSling: 15 reps

This set completely destroyed me… The blackPack snatches combined with push ups make for a killer exercise! Similar to burpees this exercise demands everything from you and is perfect to make you realize that you are not as fit as you might think. The transition from blackPack snatches to push ups is very similar to burpees as well. Just position your hands on the blackPack, extend your legs back and follow every snatch up with a push up. By leaning on the blackPack you create an additional instability that demands an increased strength output. You can also just push yourself off the floor if you feel more comfortable with that.

The nest exercise is a simulation of swinging the sledgehammer with the Rowstick X2 and an elastic resistance band. In case you don’t have a band available you can also use the aeroSling ELITE with a counter weight. We use the Rowstick X2 because it gives us a great motion radius because of its length (double the length of the Rowstick). However, the exercise also works fine with the Rowstick. Every round the exercise consists of 10 reps per side, so after 10 reps you change your grip.

We end this set with an absolute classic: rows with the aeroSling. You can seemlessly alter the difficulty by changing the angle in which you position yourself relative to the rope. The smaller the angle becomes between you and the floor the bigger the portion of your body weight gets that you have to lift with every row. You can either choose a grip with your palms directed towards the floor or pointing towards each other. If your palms point towards the floor make sure you pull your arms back at shoulder height. If your palms point towards each other pull your arms back towards a point slightly beneath your chest. Hint: your forearms form a straight line with the rope at any time of the movement. As I mentioned before you will quickly learn that less is more. You will probably choose a less challenging position automatically the longer the set goes. For those that have super-human strength I recommend taking a look at this video where Paul gives you some hints on getting the heaviest row exercise with a sling trainer.

That’s it, we’re done! Piece of cake, right? My body says: “Hell no! This was tough!” I don’t know about you (maybe you can tell me in the comment section!) but I just love it when you feel absoultely exhausted after a workout. You can’t lift your arms and the sweat runs from every pore of your body. This WOW from Fabi’s Functional Fitness Frenzy has fully accomplished that for me. The next muscle soreness is already in the starting blocks. The next day it is probably gonna be: today I’d rather take the elevator than the stairs…

Now my questions for you: Have you tried this WOW? Have you counted the number of rounds that you could finish during the 10 minutes? Post it in the comments and compare your performance to others. And if you have any questions, experiences, and suggestions please make sure to post it as well. I’m really looking forward to your feedback! See you next week!

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