pk training log blog 1Q12

i debated posting my training log/schedule as people are different, training styles are different, and goals are different. but when i was looking for routines for strength and conditioning training for parkour, for women, over 40, i found them confusing and frustrating. wait no, actually, there weren’t any. so here’s mine and i hope that it makes sense and is useful. and by the way, i just had the best jam session today i’ve had in AGES, mostly due to the work i’ve put in since 1 january. (and a little help from my friends.)

one thing i read on the american parkour forum that really made me think was: don’t bother and come to us asking for a cool, sexy training routine until you’ve spent 2-3 months doing the basic american pk warm-up/workout of the day. essentially, you need to build some basic strength, endurance, and discipline pure bloody-mindedness before you get to be creative in your training. so the first quarter of this year is dedicated to reestablishing a foundation for the rest of the year’s training and goals.

you can read my posts on goal setting here, but i will stress again: having clear ideas about where you want to be, by when is critical. to recap, this is what i was looking for:

  1. shorter sessions/more often (to give me more energy)
  2. fundamental exercises that develop strength in the large muscle groups (to build a launching pad)
  3. time to practice ashtanga yoga consistently (to bring me back to earth)

a friend introduced me to the world a Tabata training, and i love it (thank you, Fred)! mostly because i have a very short attention span, but also because it packs a punch! the idea is to cycle through all of the following sets of exercises, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeat for 8 cycles. the cool thing is that all of these exercises are scalable. you start with the basic element- then you add weight, height, speed, reps, etc. for example: pistols can go from really easy to really hard. the best thing: 3 weeks of training, 1 week of rest- i can deal with that! all of the following exercises can be found on youtube- make sure you’re doing them right or you risk injury.

The Training Schedule (January-February 2012)

MONDAY (legs)

  • AM 20 min Tabatas: squats, shuttle runs, walking lunge, precision, knee tuck jump
  • PM: 1.5 hour yoga practice OR 1 hour technique session at WITS

TUESDAY (back and chest)

  • AM 20 min Tabatas: burpees, quadrapedal movement, push-ups, dips, wall push aways
  • PM: 1.5 hour yoga practice

WEDNESDAY (legs again!)

  • AM 20 min Tabatas: pistols, fast feet/stepping, bulgarian split squats, box steps, single leg hops
  • PM: 1.5 hour yoga practice OR 1 hour technique session at WITS

THURSDAY (and back to my chest)

  • AM 20 min Tabatas: quadrapedal movement, push press, supermans, front raises, decline push-ups
  • PM: 1.5 hour yoga practice


  • AM: day off 
  • PM: 1.5 hour yoga practice if i need to catch up to make 4 practices/week


  • AM: JAM!
  • PM: rest! or yoga. or rest.


  • take rest. maybe practice ashtanga. mostly just rest. sleeeeeeppppp.

The Results (after 1 month)

  • more energy than i know what to do with, seriously- i need to start drinking again. but i won’t, i’m going to hang on for the ride!
  • what the hell? are those my trapezius! wall runs are quicker, easier and my elbows are receiving less damage. cats are steady and sure.
  • WTF? i can’t get my skinny jeans on! higher, further precisions, endurance during play sessions, and putting my jeans on in the morning has become a workout on its own.
  • on saturdays i can feel all the movements i’ve been training in every move i make; that’s muscle memory developing!
  • my ashtanga practice is back on! not a steady schedule yet, but we’re getting there. flexibility is returning and my hip is stabilising. it’s great to be back!

What to look forward to…

one more month of this routine focusing on explosive force and increased reps. then in march, swapping out a few of the above and adding weight to others (like squats), or combining movements. for example: wall push aways + push-ups = push-ups with a clap in between. i wasn’t really very happy to hear that from Fred this morning, but i’m game- because i can’t argue with the results.

and, training every morning with my training partner: modelwithabigappetite. it makes a huge difference to know someone else is going to be there at 5:30am. thank you!



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