Life After Shivworks: Spring Workout Update

Shivworks’s ECQC is just over two weeks away. That’s 20 hours of grappling, squatting, rollin’ and wrasslin’ against men and women who want to turn me into a human knife sheath or Simunitions storage unit.

I’ve been more committed to my physical fitness since my first ECQC class 11 months ago. I’ve concentrated on balance, core strength, and leg strength. I’ve also worked on flexibility and grip strength. Most importantly to a sedentary guy like myself, I strove for consistency. I took the weekends off (not including playtime), and tried to work out every workday.

My workout over the winter was based on Beach Body’s P90X3 program, and while I enjoyed it I felt like I should do more weight-based training leading up to the class.

I returned to my old friend the kettlebell, and have been cycling out of different routines.


The Cycle

Kettlebell Empire

This is a video workout by Anthony Diluglio of Punch Gym / Art of Strength. It is approximately 40 minutes long. Each round has 3 movements; each movement is 60 seconds. There is one minute of rest in between each round. I like this video the most out of the three Diluglio workouts I do.

If I recall, Craig Douglas has us work for about 3 minutes per drill, so this video matches its duration. As with all kettlebell workouts, there is a lot of leg, hip, and core work. These things are important for the Greco-Roman style of grappling in class.

Kettlebell Way

This is a video workout by Anthony Diluglio of Punch Gym / Art of Strength. At around 48 minutes long, this requires the most time and emotional commitment. Each round has one movement; each round is 2 minutes. If Empire helped my endurance, Way helped my overall strength. When I felt like puking, or quitting (or both), I kept telling myself that every time I refused to quit during this workout it would help me not quit at class. We’ll see!

Kettlebell Manmaker

This is a full throttle workout. Each round has three movements; each movement is done for 2 minutes. NO REST. The opening movement is the Manmaker: sprawl to a pushup, right side row to a pushup, left side row to a pushup, then a squat thrust to an overhead press. Finish the round, rest two minutes, then do it again. Most days I did two rounds with 35# kettlebells.


I really like this workout because it doesn’t let me rest for long, is made up of movements I think are important for ECQC, and is a short workout. I also like that it can scale based on the amount of time I have, and/or how good I feel.

In short, do one of the four movements for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, do it again, rest for 10 more seconds, then move on to the next movement. Doing all four movements = 1 set, and try to do at least 3 sets. I focus on speed more than strength ; I am trying to build burst endurance, increase my short cycle recovery, and also build explosive movements.

P90X3 Yoga

This workout is part of the Tony Horton / Beachbody P90X3 series. I really like the P90X3 program overall. The yoga segment helped my balance A LOT, and I hope that it helps me when my hips start to fail in a clinch or if someone gets underhooks and starts to turn me. I sit in a chair for 12 – 16 hours a day, so putting my body in different stances under stress was helpful. 30 minutes.

P90X3 Pilates

Another Tony Horton / Beachbody P90X3 segment. I love the first 2/3rds of this video. A lot of core strength and spine flexibility, which is what I need. The last 1/3rd is really hard on my knees so I just sort of side plank for a few minutes while they do all of their crazy Pilates shit. This is a hard workout for me to do, so I do it. 30 minutes.

The body follows the mind

As you may have noticed in the picture, I started adding an emotion-based note on how I did that day. Some days I felt unstoppable, some days I felt like I could barely make it through downward facing dog. I’m compiling data on why I feel this way, but so far it doesn’t seem to have to do with distress, sleep, diet, water intake, or overall mindset.

If I can figure out what’s going on, I’m going to try to rig my ECQC days to be all 😀 days and not o_O days.

I won’t be switching up my routine before ECQC in June, aside from adding some of the striking drills that our Kali-and-firearms instructor Mark Burge taught us during the winter. We’ll find out if my strategy pays off, or if I would have been better off lifting much heavier weights fewer times during a much shorter workout.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

2 Comments on "Life After Shivworks: Spring Workout Update"

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  1. MD says:

    Consistent effort always pays off. I’m looking forward to your ECQC after action report.

  2. Martin Luther says:

    I was checking out your work out record pretty low tech for a tech savvy guy like yourself 🙂 I think I am going to look into some of your kettlebell routines you mentioned. Right now I am doing kettlebell training from Strongfirst with Pavel Tsatsouline. Keep up the good work and remember you are not only making yourself healthier but harder to kill as well.

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