Worried that 14 Minutes isn't Enough?

Which movements do you do? How many reps? In what order? When? Do you mix in other non-shovelglove moves? Post here or browse to get ideas.
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storm fox
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Worried that 14 Minutes isn't Enough?

Post by storm fox » Tue May 25, 2010 3:44 pm

WARNING! This is just part of what I'm doing. It is strenuous and can be miserable or maybe dangerous if you go at it too hard. Talk to your doctor. I'm not a certified fitness or exercise anything. I'm also poor as hell, so don't sue.

Less-urgent but important caveat: If you don't have a few months of bodyweight exercises under your belt, be careful how hard you drive at this. It can make you vomit if you aren't careful. It can exhaust you for minutes or even hours. It can make you terribly sore and wobbly for days, so watch out and don't let your enthusiasm ruin your day!

I admit, I was worried, too. The good news is that there's really no need to do more than that if you cram in a sufficient amount of work (relative to your level of conditioning, of course! Get your Dr's approval before you try anything like this). Reinhard's latest podcast inspired me to go back to 14 minutes. Here are some sample 14 minute workouts that will more than do enough.
simplefit.org inspired (these are bodyweight routines, so if you are unable to do a move, feel free to modify it to make it easier and keep it safe:
1. Modified "Endurance"
Do a short set of pullups (a third to half your max-we will call this "P")
Do double that number of pushups (Px2)
Do three times that number of squats (Px3)
With real numbers, it would look like this:
5 pullups/10 pushups/15 squats
My modification from simplefit or the original crossfit workout ("Cindy") is that in order to fit as many quality reps of each exercise into 14 minutes, we don't have the luxury to get wiped out and have to rest until we are able to go again-the clock is TICKING! We will let fatigue come, as it will anyway, but we will refuse to let it make cowards of us. Let's say you did 5/10/15, then hopped back up on the pullup bar and did it again, as Pavel would say, "what a stud!" At your third round, however, you only got 4 pullups. This time you do 8 pushups and 12 squats. Next round, 3/6/9, which you are able to maintain for a few sets. Then 2/4/6. In the end, you're down to 1:2:3. Go ahead, try it. I DARE you to report that it wasn't enough work if you were moving as quickly as possible and taking the shortest possible breaks, as in try to get 14 rounds, and shoot for even more.

Simplefit's Day 2-5 rounds for time.
Try for 5 rounds in 14 minutes. This is the workout I did today. The ratio for this workout is 1 pullup: 3 pushup: 5 squat, so it might turn your gut even worst than the last one.
This is how I did today:
rd 1: 10/30/50
rd 2: 6/18/30
rd 3: 5/15/25
rd 4: 4/12/20
rd 5: 4/12/20
I'm still a bit nauseated as I type this. I know it's not a great performance or anything special, but it was more than enough for me, for sure!

simplefit also has a day 3 "judgment" workout to test how you're doing. They like to progress up a level once they complete a "judgment day" in 5 minutes or less. Since I'm not using the level system here, and we just want to get in a hard workout in 14 minutes, the obvious thing seemed to be to use three blocks of 4min:40sec. This day isn't like the others. It is 3 blocks of 280 seconds. The first block is pullups, the second block is pushups, the third block is squats. I haven't done this yet, but I'll get back to you on what it's like. This is posted as a report on my opinions, thoughts, and what I'm doing.

Another reason behind the modifications to these workouts is that there are days that you will be weak, sick, tired, or whatever. I know I certainly have my share of off days. Recognizing that you won't always have the physical ability or the mental or emotional drive to beat your records also might help combat the "I know I'm not going to beat my record today, so I'll train when I have more engery" trap. Each training session can be taken slowly and easily as you feel you ought to, and just be chalked up as what Dan John calls "punch-clock workouts".

Imagine the strength and conditioning (maybe you have it and don't have to imagine it) to do the following:
Day 1: 14 rounds of 5/10/15 for a total of 70 pullups/140 pushups/210 squats
Day 2: 5 rounds of 10 pullups/30 pushups/50 squats
Day 3: Jeez, I don't even know what could be done with this one. Honestly I have no idea, but the reps could potentially get VERY high.

I like the simplefit workouts so much because they shift emphasis to different aspects of conditioning and different rep ranges.

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Post by reinhard » Thu Jun 03, 2010 2:17 pm

Reinhard's latest podcast inspired me to go back to 14 minutes
Glad you found it inspiring!
Go ahead, try it. I DARE you to report that it wasn't enough work
I believe you! I've done something similar (even a little simpler) on some Freestyle Fridays when I'm hammered out. I start with max full range of motion pushups. Then do the same number of squats. Then repeat the cycle until I can't do a single pushup. This process of total exhaustion has never taken close to the full 14 minutes. At that point my old 12-pound hammer usually starts to look appealing again and I top off my routine with some orthodox shugging. I used to do twice the number of squats as pushups but found that led to trouble walking for days afterwards. :-) One-to-one is a little low, however. Maybe I'll go for 1:1.5.

Although I'm still fond of doing "opportunistic" chin-ups and pull-ups, I've never done them as part of my routine. No profound reason -- my chin-up bar is just a little too far from my general workout area.

Thanks for the details -- sounds like an awesome routine.


storm fox
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:55 am


Post by storm fox » Thu Jun 03, 2010 6:19 pm

I didn't originate the guts, these are heavily tweaked programs from simplefit.org and crossfit.com. The 1 to 1.5 pushups to squats ratio is easier to recover from for sure. I like the Karl Gotch 1:2 idea, and when I only do squats and pushups, I tend to not go crazy on the pushups for the recovery and sustainability reasons you mentioned, even though it isn't very hardcore to "take it easy." I have pretty decent performances on the many circuits and short sets, but few sets of high reps really crushes me at this point. Once I train past that, I will be stoked, but judging by how long it took me to become proficient at the 1:2:3 day, I'm going to take it slowly and try not to crash and burn.

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