Burbathlon and Matrix Workout Remixed

Remix (Broader Context): A remix may also refer to a non-linear re-interpretation of a given work or media other than audio. Such as a hybridizing process combining fragments of various works (from Wikipedia).

Whenever I go out to do a Burbathlon, I have to admit I usually improvise.  I have a few bags of tricks that I use with park benches, picnic tables and playground equipment, and the exercises number more than the slots I find to do them in, so no two Burbathlons are alike.  Still, variety is the spice of life, and Instagram has been great for finding new exercises to ‘Remix’ my workouts.  To wit,

The horizontal pull-up from Shauna Harrison.


Handstands like Running Rachel:

Box Jumps like Electra-Fi:

Matrix Workouts

I’ve also been remixing these (You do remember Matrix Workouts don’t you? Try those links if not).  The one sentence refresh: a workout comprised of exercises organized by muscle/movement groups (push, legs, pull) in the columns, and priorities (core/balance, power, endurance) in the rows.  I’d always noticed the overlap between exercises that help build core strength and balance while hitting a particular muscle group and those that build endurance in the same group, but I’ve decided to stop worrying about the dividing lines between the two. 

Here’s how I structured the latest incarnation:

Push (shoulder/chest)
Pull (Back/Biceps)
Handstand hold (max time) – against a wall
Rolling Pistol Squats
Plank Rows – 1 minute
Incline Chest Press (dumbbells)
Seated Cable Row
Push-ups – 1 minute
Jump lunges/split squats
Negative Phase Pull-ups

  • Handstands are making an appearance here too.  My biggest weakness is always anything with overhead work, so by sticking to bodyweight stuff like this, I hope to become stronger without compounding any problems.  Against a wall I find I can hold it less than a minute so far.
  • Pistol Squats are the ultimate one-legged squat and great for building a runner’s strength – I just can’t do a full range of motion on them though.  There’s lots of ways to scale them: holding on to something, reducing the range a little with a box under your butt, using a Swiss ball to do them against a wall).

I had the idea to use the latter half of a technique that practioners of Shorinji-Kan Jiu-Jitsu called a ‘Judo Roll’ (N.B. not an roll that would be used by someone who does Judo).  It’s a shoulder roll where one heel gets planted and you rise up into a fighting stance, and that rise has some similarity to a pistol squat – I apologize for not being able to find a video.  The momentum for the roll makes getting up from the bottom a little easier – in theory.  I started on my back and rolled backwards up to my shoulder and tried to complete the latter half, but I was only able to rise all the way up using a bar and occasionally touching a wall for balance; and even then I could only get 5 reps per leg.  I still believe that this exercise can pay dividends to strength and balance – especially for runners, so I want to keep working on it.

  • Plank rows – I’ve used these before… a.k,.a Renegade Rows.
  • Incline Chest Press with dumbbells – I struggle with any kind of overhead press due to shoulder stability issues.  This lets me approach that functionality in a controlled fashion.  When I think about it, what does a classic bench press simulate? Not too many situations where I have to lift things while lying flat on my back… this is more like it.
  • Deadlifts – You could argue that these don’t belong strictly under the leg category, but the first time I started incorporating them in workouts, I felt it in my hamstrings most the next day.

  • Seated Cable Row – this breaks my ‘No Machines’ rule and isn’t very functional, but in the Power row/category, I do want a little more targeting of my latissimus dorsi_and trapezius  muscles for now.
  • Push-ups – doing them for 1 minute straight.
  • Jump Lunges – still struggling to get 1 minute’s worth straight through.
  • Negative Phase Pull-ups – I can only do about 1.5 pull-ups, so making a workout out of that seems pointless, but by jumping/climbing to the top of the movement and lowering myself as slowly as possible, I can get more reps out and help my muscular endurance.  This is functional and makes up for the seated cable row.
After I get through a circuit or two of the 3×3 matrix, I’ve been adding a little capper or two that I find and haven’t been able to fit in otherwise like Shauna Harrison’s (her again?) one-legged jumping squat …

or Trainer Davey’s Pike-Jack Push-up

I need to wrap up this post… I haven’t had a workout in 2-3 days, and I’m going out for another Burbathlon… I might mix in Mom’s Little Running Buddy’s Focus for 5 while I’m out there.

When it comes to exercise, who do you beg, borrow and steal from lately?

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