Monday, February 14, 2011

" we can..uh...get down to business, and then get back to the business of gettin' down." -- Reese Feldman

It's not often that a Vince Vaughn quote inspires me to kick-off my spring training and conditioning work for the upcoming event season. And we are.

It is time for me to get down to business with my 2011 event season preparations. I have adopted a new regime for both my physical conditioning as well as Eddie's. I haven't run nearly as much the past few months as I did last fall, so I'm back at it and ready to see some improvement so I can kick some tail at some point this year. I just don't know yet when that will be, but I know it'll be sometime. Soon.

I plan to do these strengthening exercises (3 sets of 10 reps each) on days that I don't run, so I'm alternating muscle work with cardio. My riding (on either a running day or strength training day) will just be additional to whichever workout focus happens to be on that day. We'll see how it goes!

1. Pistols
A surefire test of bodyweight strength and muscle control, as well as an INCREDIBLE leg workout is the pistol. This is a one-legged squat in which you place one leg out in front of you and then slowly lower yourself until your thigh is parallel with the ground. For an additional challenge go even lower if possible to increase the difficulty. Just as in a normal squat, it is crucial to keep your knee behind the toes.

2. Turkish Get-Up
Possibly one of the best total body exercises known to man (and women), the Turkish Get-up will challenge your will and muscular endurance like no other exercise. Start by lying on your back. Hold a kettlebell in one hand, with the arm extended straight up in the air. Next, move from lying on your back to standing straight up and then back down again. This is all done while holding the kettlebell straight up in the air.

3. Burpees
It’s really unknown where this exercise got its name as it is less likely that someone will burp as throw up when doing this fitness bootcamp exercise. Simple enough to do, go from standing straight up, down into a push up position (not in several motions as in a squat thrust, but in one controlled motion) and then go straight into a push-up. After that, pop up to a standing position again and jump as high as you can into the air with your hands over your head. That is one repetition. Do a few and you will understand what burpees are all about…

4. Kettlebell Swings
Personally, I think kettllebell swings make a great foundation for ANY extreme boot camp exercise program as they not only provide a great overall muscular workout, they will train your cardiovascular system as well making it a great fat loss workout! Just pick up a kettlebell with both hands, and swing it through your legs and then up and in front of you up to eye level. If you want to add more intensity, swing the kettlebell straight overhead. 

I'll also be incorporating pilates into my routine, so I don't even need to leave the house for that! I did some basic pilates last year and I really enjoyed it. It's not easy, but it also gives an OCD person like myself a more controlled and precise set of goals for my workout, so I enjoyed the challenge of learning to do it right and execute everything correctly. I saw in the newspaper last week that Tennessee Volunteers' running back, Tauren Poole, does yoga to keep his muscles more toned and elastic in order to avoid injury. If it works for the Vols, it works for me!

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