Benchmark workout ‘Helen’

This is a good workout. I have done this a number of times. The first time I did this was in a globo gym. Running on a treadmill, swinging a dumbbell instead of a kettlebell, right in front of a mirror and then running to a pull up bar which of course I was too tall for, kipping away like an idiot. Anyways, for those that don’t know or can’t remember what ‘Helen’ is.... 3 rounds for time of: 400m run 21 American kettlebell swings 12 pull-ups Looks easy on paper right? This article is just a way of sharing my experience with it. Enjoy! My palms already start sweating, why on earth would a workout make me feel like this? Then the clock beeps 3,2,1 guess that means Go!!! I’m out the door on the first 400. I’m super excited and running faster than usual, but decide to take it down just a notch and settle into a good pace..... I don’t want to Redline too early haha. As soon as I get in I’m straight onto my kettlebell. I’m not evening thinking about my towel, more chalk or having a pointless sip of water. I’m ripping that kettlebell down and firing it back up close to a regional standard...21 unbroken no problem. I get straight on the pull up bar for 12 easy pull ups and then straight out the door for the second 400. I’m breathing a lot heavier now, can I keep up this pace?? I feel like the first 200m is a bit longer but I feel I can still keep up the same speed although my body is feeling a little fatigued. I do 21 swings unbroken and then straight on the pull up bar. I feel my grip starting to wear but I’m able to get the pull-ups done then head straight out for the last 400. Now it’s time to push and hold on for dear life. I keep telling myself ‘don’t be an idiot, don’t slow down bro’. My mouth starts to dry, my arms and legs are hurting, lungs are screaming. I feel like I might just ease up a bit but then I suddenly realize this will all be over soon..... I decide to pick up the pace on the last corner. In through the door with a quick look at the clock. I can make this if I move! I grab the kettlebell and aggressively rip it up and lock my arms over head, trying to avoid the bent arm goose face look. 21 done. Back on the pull-up bar, holding on for dear life. I can feel my form going a bit but I get the 12 done. I drop from the bar and look at the clock. This was a new PR for me. Whether you have done this workout before or first time doing it, I hope my experience with it will help you. You may be doing this workout soon. Thanks for reading.   By: Matt Jones, Performance coach & Head of programming