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Shovelglove 202 - Hammer Charges

Urban Primalist

Wherein We Drive Invaders from our Homeland

Before hammer charges

Brothers and sisters!  Have you been keeping up with your hammer duties?  Just kidding, I know you have.  Otherwise you wouldn’t be here reading this… right?

Hope you’ve got a change of clothes because it’s going to get humid up in here.  Today we learn to perform hammer charges!

Now, let’s be honest.  This isn’t rocket science.  You hardly need me to tell you how to do this, because it’s in your hairless-ape DNA.  But I’ma tell you anyway.

Here, take a HIIT

Sprinting is a very special form of exercise, distinct from low-level cardio and weightlifting.  All three of those exercises are Primal Blueprint laws.

Sprinting causes an unparalleled hormonal response, especially when done repeatedly.  This is known as high-intensity interval training (HIIT).  Why is it so important?  Well, you can ask Mark Sisson.  Or you can ask Joseph Mercola.  Both of them can tell you in great detail, from science and from their own experience.

So obviously, we have to work these into the Shovelglove curriculum for completeness.  But how?  Hmm.  Hairless ape ponders.  And then my good friend William Vives sends me a link to Mel Gibson swinging a hammer, and all is revealed.

The Short Course

1)      Warm up

2)      Carry hammer on shoulder, pace around impatiently

3)      Draw hammer back into striking position


5)      Swing hammer in unstoppable blow

6)      Return to step 2

The Long Course

1)      Warm up.  You’re an expert at this by now.  For about five minutes, get the juices flowing, get your pulse up a tad, increase body temperature.  Torso Twists.  Boat Rows.  Hail Reinhards.  Throw in Bullroarers if you’re awesome.

2)      Carry hammer on shoulder, pace around impatiently.  Use a light hammer for this, trust me.  There you are with your entire tribe, mustering a loose battle formation.  The insouciant invaders taunt you from across the field!  Trot into position as the natives grow restless.

3)      Draw hammer back into striking position.  Just about any swing will work for our purposes, but good ones for the hammer charge are the Scythe Swing, Iron Roundhouse, Spear Thrust, and Moonshot.  That's right, I just threw a new technique at you.  How do you like that one?

4)      CHAAAAAAARRRGEYEEARGH!  You can actually sprint, in which case you will want to be barefoot on a soft surface.  Unless you’re used to actually sprinting, begin at a sub-maximal pace so you don’t humiliate your entire extended family by wiping out before you reach the foe.  If space is limited, sprint in place, bent over at the waist, ideally barefoot.  Focus on pounding the pavement at the highest possible tempo.  If you’re going max effort, 15 seconds is a good duration.  If you’re going sub-max, 30 seconds is good.  In any case you want to be sucking wind at the end, which is the perfect time to…

5)      Swing hammer in unstoppable blow.  Complete the motion that you wound up in step 3.  One good blow, one less invader!  (More video goodness coming soon!)

6)      Return to step 2.  The invaders are reeling from the impact of your berserker charge.  They begin to fall back in disarray.  Reform the battle line and get ready to push them back some more!  Bear in mind the symmetry principle.  Your next hammer strike will be the mirror image of the first one.  And you will continue to cycle through your repertoire until the battle is won.  Probably about 4-8 charges.

Here's video of a stationary hammer charge.  I look forward to bringing you video of the vastly more epic field hammer charge.  Subscribe to the UrbanPrimalist YouTube channel for notification of that one.

The Course of Utter Madness: Stubborn Hammer Protocol 2.0b

I hope Lyle McDonald will forgive me this bastardization of his brilliant invention, the Stubborn Fat Protocol 2.0.  I am not going to give away his secrets, but I found SFP2.0 in multiple places on the Internet so I assume it’s cool that I post my own abbreviated version here.  If not, I’m sure I’ll hear from Lyle and his coterie of attorneys.

SFP 2.0 was invented to help the very lean become atrociously lean.  As Lyle mentions, it’s not necessary for most people trying to lose fat, most likely including you, because it is hard.  Damn hard.  It is only for the truly elite and obsessed.  Your mind would be blown!  You can’t handle this!  Does that make you want to do it?  Yes!  Me, too!

Before we go any further, I want to urge you to buy Lyle’s excellent book, The Stubborn Fat Solution, even if you’re not very lean.  You will learn a great deal about the science of fat and how to mobilize it to suit your purposes.  This is one of the best fitness books I’ve ever read, multiple times, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

So then.  SHP2.0b.  We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.  And if we become jaw-droppingly shredded as a result, well, isn’t that convenient?

1)      Warm up and pace impatiently.  5 minutes is good.

2)      Hammer charges.  15 seconds charge and swing, 45 seconds trotting around.  Repeat five times on your first session.  That’s plenty to rout these invaders.  You can add repetitions when they bring up reinforcements on some future day.  Now take five minutes' rest while you loot the fallen.

3)      Go for a 25-minute barefoot run at a moderate pace.  Breathe only through your nose to keep a lid on the intensity.   You’ve broken the invaders’ battle formation, now it’s time to go wreak havoc at their camp!  Carry your hammer if you can get away with it, and add a little weight in a backpack or vest to simulate all that battlefield loot.

4)      Hammer charges. Time to pillage!  30 seconds swinging at maximum intensity!  Use continuous, explosive motions like the Iron Roundhouse, Spear Thrust, and Orville.  For the sake of your joints and connective tissue, keep the range of motion short but go as fast as you can.  Then 30 seconds trotting around if you can.  These will really be killing you by the end, even moreso than the foot sprints.  Five times is plenty for your first go round.

5)      Cool down with some mobility exercises.  Any of the continuous motions are good, but I really like the shoulder stuff (Bullroarers and Grutte Piers) in this position.

You’re done for the day.  In fact, you’re done for a couple of days.  Look at yourself in the mirror.  Do you look like this?

After performing SHP2.0a for the first time

If so, you are doing it right.  Haha!  You’re going to be feeling this in the morning!  Wait until your appetite comes back (it might be a little while) and then eat all the food. 

I warned you this was going to be damn hard.  But at least your homeland remains free… for now.

Fourth week of SHP and totally addicted now

All text copyright © 2010-2013 Timothy Williams