Monday, May 18, 2015

Rock Lee: The Self-Imposed Rule

Rock Lee pushes himself to new levels of intensity with the concept of the "self-imposed rule."  The idea is this: if you are unable to complete a certain exercise or challenge as intended, you then force yourself to complete another exercise, not as punishment, but as a way to make sure you don't fail again.  The Green Beast of Konoha, of course, takes this rule to extremes, but I think that it can used as an extremely useful training tool, if used properly. So, let's delve into it.

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Rock Lee: The Self-Imposed Rule

When training, if you are attempting a new PR, such as lifting a certain amount of weight or doing a certain number of reps, or running a particular distance in a particular time, decide before you begin the workout to commit to the bounds of the "self-imposed rule."  I'm going to give several examples of the the rule, but please realize that this is a very open concept.

  1. If you fail on an attempt at a PR on a weight lifting exercise, complete as many reps as possible of a bodyweight version of that exercise. For a Squat/Deadlift type movement, you would complete a set of Squats for maximum reps. For Bench Press, you would do Push-ups or Dips. For Overhead Press, you would do Handstand Push-ups or Decline Push-ups. If you fail on a pull exercise, you could do a set of Pull-ups or Body Rows. 
  2. If you fail to complete a run as intended, you could do a number of exercises in response to failing. You could do a set of jump rope that equals half the time you were going to run. You could do a set number of jumps, like a high jump or a box jump.  You could do a small metcon (for instance: 30 push-ups, 30 sit-ups, 30 squats, AMRAP for 10 minutes)
  3. You don't always have to do the same muscle group. If you failed to do 100 push-ups, you may force yourself to do 100 squats in response to failure.  Even though squats won't help you in your push-ups per se, you'll still be pushing yourself to do more work as a whole. 
  4. If you lose a match in wrestling, judo, MMA, boxing, or another combat sport, go ahead and take a few days to rest, but when you come back, you could push yourself in your first few workouts based on how you lost.  If your cardio wasn't up to where it needed to be, log a few more rounds of shadowboxing or sparring in the following week or make sure you don't skip the High Intensity Interval Training.  If your muscles failed, do a 1,000 rep workout of pure bodyweight exercises broken up between four or five different movements. If you just weren't strong enough, make sure that you aren't skipping your strength sessions. If you just got out-fought, then make sure you drill the specific movements that would have let you win over and over and over again. 
  5. If you fail to do your workout as you intended, you could do a sprint workout afterward. You could also walk a distance on your hands or swim for a time or distance. Some days it can be "easy" and some days it can be "hard."

Some possible choices for "rule" exercises:
  1. Max Set of Push-ups
  2. Max Set of Sit-ups
  3. Max Set of Squats
  4. Max Set of Pull-ups
  5. Max Set of Handstand Push-ups
  6. 10 x 100 Meter Sprints
  7. 200 High Jumps
  8. Run 5 Miles
  9. 500 Double Under Jump Rope
  10. 2,000 Single Under Jump Rope
  11. 1,000 Punches or Kicks to Heavy Bag (at least wrap your hands)
  12. Perform a Cardio exercise for 30 Minutes
  13. Walk 100 Meters on Hands
  14. Skip 1 Mile
  15. Walking Lunges 1 Mile
  16. 1,000 Reps Bodyweight Exercises
  17. Perform 50 Total Reps of a Weight Lifting Exercise with 60% of your 1RM
  18. Pick 3 Exercises @ 30 Reps Each for 10 Minutes
  19. Carry a 1/4 Bodyweight Object for 1/4 Mile
  20. Max Set of Every One-Limb Exercise 
  21. Push/Pull a Sled or Tire weighing 200# or more for 1 Mile
  22. Complete your entire workout over again with half the weight. 
  23. Play a Competitive Game for 1 Hour: Basketball, Football, Volleyball, etc.
  24. Practice Martial Arts for 1 Hour
  25. Drill 1 Technique or Skill for 1 Hour 

These are just some of the things that you can do. In anything, you'll want to be safe and you'll want to know when to stop. The purpose here is to apply additional stimulus to help you overcome plateaus, not to kill yourself with exercise. 

That's all for today! Until next time, good luck and train hard!
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