Suffer Club – Workout #3

I love a good AMRAP (As Many Reps as Possible) format, because it lets each person get in their own space and their own rhythm without having to think about what anyone else is doing.

From a coaching perspective, this is a set-it-and-forget-it workout. You show the group what you want and turn them loose. You can correct things as you see them, or just feel happy that everybody’s moving.

The AMRAPs Suffer Club likes best mix cardio and strength moves, so you’re always changing the thing you’re doing and you maintain a relatively high heart rate. Sometimes people try to go to fast and their form falls apart. I try to call those things out, not only because it produces less good results, but also poor form leads to injuries.

Today’s AMRAP was laid out like a sort of obstacle course, which people seem to enjoy, too.

We started at a set of picnic tables, moved to the swings, used our stairs and hills, came back for an ab blast, then did some agility and added cardio before starting over.

Picnic tables:

5 x Lateral Step Ups with Right Foot, 5x with Left (Stand sideways to the bench of the picnic table and step up on one foot, standing all the way up straight before coming down)

10 x Inclined Pushups (Hands on bench or table, we do these easier, inclined PUs because we plan on doing a LOT of them.)

High Toe Taps (Stand facing the bench now and lift one toe to tap the front of the seat, then tap with the other. Go quickly.)

Run to swings.

10 x Swing Rows (We use the playground swings like a TRX set up. A swing row is just a body row using the swing’s seat as a handle.)

5 x Swing Tucks Twisted Left, 5 x twisted right (These are just swing tucks, like we did the other day, but twisted to get at the obliques.)

Run to stairs.

Here we had options, because we have a unique hillside slide setup with stairs on either side. See photo above. They could run up the stairs, come down the slide, run up the slide, come down the stairs, OR they could climb the wall next to the stairs, run up the hill, come down the stairs, run up the stairs on the other side, come down the hill next to those. Either way, a steep up and down repeat.

Back at the bottom, we come to abs:

10 x Leg Lifts

10 x Ab Scissors

10 x Elbow-to-Knee Crunches

10 x Plank Twists

Back into moving dynamically, I had them bear crawl OR crab walk to the next set of swings, where they ran, zig-zagging in and out of the swings (The intention here is to move side-to-side through the swings, not run in a forward curve in and out. We’re looking for lateral movement and change of direction).

Out of the swings we do a lap around the community garden (This could be any 50 yard run that keeps the heart rate up, before returning to the picnic tables for more lateral step ups).

Most of the coaching here is encouraging them to go faster. Once we understand the flow of a workout, we all settle in and get as comfortable as we can, which often means just slowing down. I periodically remind them to pick it up, if only to challenge that comfort.