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Shovelglove 101: An Illustrated Guide

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  • Shovelglove 101: An Illustrated Guide

    If you've read more than a couple of my posts, you've probably been annoyed by my constant references to shovelglove, a form of zero-impact sledgehammer training. It's been my entire weight workout since going primal, with the exception of bodyweight exercises and hoisting rocks. I enjoy it as much as any game or sport and I'm really pleased with the muscle-building effects.

    I've wanted to share this unique and very primal exercise system with all of my friends on MDA, so I finally finished the first part of my guide this evening. Won't you give it a read?

    I hope it gets you reaching for a hammer!

  • #2
    Hi Timothy,
    I like your guide. Very well done. A good source for ideas is clubbells, after all they are pretty much the same thing if you don't use the hammer to hit stuff. If you have a place to do it I think it would be a good idea to hit stuff with them too. You don't have to use a tire, you can just beat the ground to death. What works well is to shovel a pile of dirt and hit that.



    • #3
      Niiiiice guide, Tim. I feel like I need to run out and buy a hammer now!


      • #4
        Good info on there Tim. Look forward to your updates so I can put 'Sledgy' to work in various other ways.
        I grok, therefore I am.


        • #5
          Bruce, Flash, LTC, thanks for liking my guide! I had a lot of fun writing it, but this first article only scratches the surface. I have several new moves and surprises in store for the next installments in the series, so stay tuned for those.

          Bruce, clubbells sound like fun, and if they sold them at the hardware store I'd probably already be using them somehow. I do like the idea of actually beating something with the hammer, but living in a small apartment limits my options. I'm thinking of attacking some of the sand dunes at the beach.


          • #6
            Duuuuude I stopped reading to say you look f***ing ripped! (censorship is mine not the board's doing) very inspiring! I've been toying with the idea of getting a bit stricter on myself, cutting out dairy, doing more deliberate IFs, etc and this is just what I needed to see in order to do it. Funny how humans work huh? I'm already thrilled at my progress and how much fun I'm having with it, how much energy I feel, but I still have body fat I want to be rid of.

            Question, I lift 3x (tues/thurs/sat) but have nothing for monday so I usually use that as a sprint/bodyweight day. Could I shovelglove on monday and still lift on tuesday? (I lift at 8:30am) or should I just try it and see how it goes? Also, I'm pretty sure there's a sledgehammer somewhere in my house (or "comba" in spanish, I'll refer to shovelglove as my comba workout!) but I'm not sure of the weight of it and don't keep a scale at home. Should I purchase one to know what weight I'm doing or not to over do it with a heavier comba?

            Awesome guide dude, pumped to try this out.
            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


            • #7
              Usually the weight is printed on the sledgehammer somewhere.
              I grok, therefore I am.


              • #8
                Wow Tim, great guide! I just went out to Lowe's and bought a 10 pounder two Saturdays ago and was incorporating the basic moves from Reinhards site. I felt some of the moves to be repeats of themselves, so today i will try and substitute ones your guide suggested. How often a week do you do your shovelglove routine?


                • #9
                  Keep the good work up! Always good to see someone working on one of their passions!
                  In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!:


                  • #10
                    Nice work!


                    • #11
                      Wow that's really great, Timothy. You've inspired me to get pick up a sledge hammer. I'm pretty sure that the one out in my garage is broken. If the word get's out enough they'll be selling a deluxe version at sporting goods stores instead of the hardware store.


                      • #12
                        Thanks very much, everyone! I really hoped you'd enjoy the guide so I'm stoked to see the interest.

                        IniQuity, thank you very much, you made my day! =D All my life I wished I could be ripped... I tried the CW ways and at 33 I had long abandoned the concept. But after Primal Blueprint and shovelglove, it's only been three months since I was tubby and weak. It's weird because I still don't recognize my new body; I even feel like I'm going to wake up one morning and be back to "normal". (What a nightmare!) This is one of the reasons I was so eager to share shovelglove with everyone here, because I know there are plenty of guys out there much taller and bigger than me who are poised for even more amazing results. I'm really curious to see what shovelglove does for the others who take it up.

                        I'm convinced from my wife's experience that it's equally good for women -- her upper arms are getting defined and her abs look more cut than I've ever seen them. Not bad considering we've been married seven years and she gave birth six months ago.

                        RavunJM, congrats on getting a hammer! These days I aim to do shovelglove every day for about 15 minutes in the morning. When I started it was more like every other day or every two days; it took me a while to work up to daily. Rarely, if I'm really pumped, I'll extend my session to 20-30 minutes, or do 15 minutes at night before dinner. Like I mentioned in the article, I always take a break if my muscles feel noticeably sore, especially in my back or at the connections to the bone. It's easy to have so much fun that you don't realize you're overdoing it, and I'm very paranoid about injuring myself. I would be super bummed if I had to put away the hammer for more than a couple of days. So I do it about 5-6 days a week.

                        IniQuity, I think shovelglove can definitely be combined with regular weightlifting. Since you're already doing heavy lifts, I would focus on just the stretches. If you stick to the warm-up motions and similar exercises, I expect you'd improve your recovery and tone. For your existing hammer, like LTC says, check the underside to see if they've printed the weight. Alternately, try my Hail Reinhard motion and see if you can do at least six of them without too much strain. If so, it's probably close enough.

                        Have fun, everybody! If you choose the way of the shovelglove, I hope you'll let me know how you like it.


                        • #13
                          Great guide. I have been looking into new exercises to put into my workout routine and this makes perfect sense. Thanks.
                          Today is a new day. You will get out of it just what you put into it. If you have made mistakes, there is always another chance for you. And supposing you have tried and failed again and again, you may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing we call 'Failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down.

                          Mary Pickford


                          • #14
                            Phew, the hammer is pretty heavy, feels like 25lbs (comparing to my 20lb dumbbells) I managed 6 reps of Hail Reinhards with my right hand but couldn't do it as well with my left hand. I'm right handed and was only able to do about 3 wobbly reps with my left. Honestly it's making me a little angry, I should theoretically be able to do the weight but I think my grip isn't as good and it's also not a stable object. I'm going to purchase a smaller sledgehammer to start, also the one I have at home doesn't have a very long handle which makes getting a hold of it more difficult.

                            Regarding the Hail Reinhard motion, is it supposed to be one swift movement? or a curl, stop then press overhead? I was doing it with a small stop between bicep curl and press.

                            Lastly, Tim, it's precisely because we started the PB around the same time that I'm so amazed with your results, you started about 2 maybe 3 weeks before me (last week of january/first week of february 2010 for me) but also it seems like you had a lot more fat to lose based on your before pics. I've only lost 16lbs so far (172-156lbs) but my lifts have been getting a little heavier so I don't really worry about the scale too much. I think you've been more active with IFs, cutting dairy and maybe sprinting more than I have. That's one major component of the PB I have been neglecting: sprinting. When I started I dutifully sprinted at least 2x a week, but then I started lifting earlier in the day and didn't have enough time to sprint. Also, I o to class right after the gym so sometimes the idea of being sweaty wasn't as appealing. I need to get back to sprinting, I experienced most of my fat loss when I was doing sprints. I haven't done it in maybe three weeks straight

                            Will update on my shovelgloving once I get a sledgehammer!
                            I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.


                            • #15
                              IniQuity, it does sound like that hammer's too heavy. I know what you mean about being frustrated. We think we're strong because we can do big bicep curls and stuff, but there are all these little stabilizing muscles that we almost never use in daily life or in narrowly-targeted weight lifting. When it comes to holding what seems like a small weight at the end of a stick, you can really feel the inadequacy of these tiny muscles. These are the muscles people tend to strain or tweak when they start shovelglove. Fortunately, on a primal diet, it doesn't take long to build them up and you'll soon be surprised at your much stronger and more stable grip.

                              With the Hail Reinhard, and with all the warm-ups, I try to use smooth and nonstop motions, letting the hammer swing back like a pendulum on the downstroke and then swing back forward into the bicep curl. In most weightlifting they tell you to fight the momentum of the weight and bring it to a dead stop each time, but with shovelglove you want to let the weight pull you around a bit.

                              It's hard to know where most of my progress is coming from. The IFs are definitely essential. Three days out of the week, I fast for about 12 hours after my morning shovelglove. That flies in the face of CW -- you're supposed to scarf protein right after weights to aid the muscle growth -- but I think IF brings unique hormonal and fat-burning benefits that are even better than just adding bulk in the short term. My goal is to get lean, cut and agile more than just massively strong. I ditched dairy when I discovered almond milk, with the exception that I fry almost everything in butter. As for sprinting, I do a little bit of that on my morning and noontime runs. I agree that fitting it into your schedule is the hard part. Once you're actually out in the sunshine and jogging down a tree-lined street, sprinting comes quite naturally! It's also possible to "sprint" with shovelglove, which I plan to get into when I write the installment on adding explosive motions. And definitely don't sweat the scale. If you're about my height, when you get to the 150s, the scale loses most of its relevance. I think you're right to track your lifting capacity and energy levels instead.