Physical Culture

Variety Day Revisited


Prior to today, I’ve been using a scattershot approach to Variety Day. Basically whatever struck my fancy was what I would do! While this keeps things very interesting and indulges my curiosity and short attention span, the lack of consistency doesn’t lend itself very well to measurable progress.

I thought about what ETK provides me, and I thought about what might be good to add. My approach is not to clutter things with too many extra exercises, but to take advantage of variety days to work on movements that I am not very strong in. I settled on including the two exercises featured in Pavel’s excellent book: The Naked Warrior.

I have always struggled with the One Arm Pushup and the Pistol. Coincidentally, ETK does not include any motions that directly target the Pectoral or Quadricep muscles, so it fits in nicely. In the FAQ section of Pavel’s Enter The Kettlebell book, Pavel suggests Greasing The Groove (more on this in The Naked Warrior by Pavel Tsatsouline) with Pistols but to SKIP One Arm Pushups. I am assuming this is because the overall volume of GTG would overstress the upper body what with all the pressing one does in ETK. Instead of GTG, I decided to do straight sets with both exercises. I also added in Janda Situps and will perform Turkish Getups in their stead during my NEXT variety day.

I feel as if ETK and Naked Warrior go together very well. The name of the game is STRENGTH.

Results from first try:

  • Currently performing pistols down to a position where my thighs are parallel with the ground. My hamstring flexibility doesn’t allow me to lower. Next time I may perform them on a low step in order to reach a greater range of motion while my flexibility catches up.
  • One Arm Pushups are tough but doable. Once I reach a certain comfort level and volume, I will switch to one of the MANY challenging variations Pavel provides.

The numbers:

  1. 3 x 5 reps Pistol (partial ROM)
  2. 3 x 5 reps OAP (Nose touches floor on each rep)
  3. 5 x 5 Janda Situp with hands in Boxer position

I plan to increase sets over time until I am doing 5 sets or more of the Pistols/OAP. Next session w/ the Jandas I will extend my arms overhead to increase the difficulty.

Below I have included the now ubiquitous shirtless bathroom self-pic. Readers of this blog please believe me, I DO own shirts. Problem is, at 5’5 and 135 lbs, when I wear shirts I just look scrawny…and then why would anyone care how I’m working out, Haha.

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