Monday, March 15, 2010

Work Out for Performance

So the new year has passed and pretty much most people have fell off the wagon with regards to working out. Lets face it most of us can't wake up in the morning and look like one of the Greek Gods. For many of us, just waking up is an obstacle to contend with. We get older, our joints hurt, and it's hard to loose weight.

Over the years I have gained some valuable knowledge about working out and from time to time I will start sharing what I have learned. There has been an evolution that has taken place with regards to working out that a minority of people have taken to and it's catching on like wildfire to people who have pretty much lost all interest in staying fit. I don't want to blog about working out for gardening and all that stuff. I know there are tons of stuff on the subject. I want to focus more on working out for performance. To switch away from just loosing weight and looking fit. But more towards actually being fit so that we can perform daily duties without the feelings of being exhausted. I remember when my Grandpa was alive he used to stretch every morning and do these stupid silly exercises. Grandpa has sinced passed and ironically enough the silly looking exercises that he was doing years ago form the basis for many of the workouts performance athletes, mountaineers, and speicial operators use today.

So the question is; What do you do when you work out? I see people at the gym doing the same things they have done for years and although any workout has benefits; we need to ask; What are we working out for? I feel and this is only my opinion, that if our workouts are based solely on aesthetics and appearance that we will loose focus when we come up short. The scale is the devil!! I say this because we have conditioned ourselves to believe that if we don't weigh a certain weight than we are failures. Not true. Being fit has more to do with what you can do rather than how much you weigh. Although weight is a good indicator of overall health we shouldn't focus on it.

That's why starting and sticking to a performance based workout in my opinion will get you where you want to be faster. So how do you start? First identify your problem areas, most people hate running, why, because it SUCKS!! But running gives you the best results. When setting up a performance based workout give yourself a goal. Lets say you have issues running 1 mile non-stop. When setting up your performance based workout you set benchmarks that will enable you to run that 1 mile nonstop. For instance start your one mile run and take note of when you get tired and exhausted. Take note of whats troubling you. Is it your feet, does your lower back hurt, does your legs cramp up, are you breathing heavy? Depending on your fitness level it may be as soon as you start or near the end of your run. By identifying these problems areas you can now formulate your workout based on your weaknesses. For example lets assume that during your run, your breathing was really heavy and it felt very painful to breath, lets also assume that your legs felt like steel cylinders and it seemed as though you were dragging a truck behind you, lets also assume that your lower back started to give you pain as you pushed through the mile. And finally lets assume that half way through, you had to stop running and walk the rest of the way.

A performance based workout will incorporate all the above mentioned issues in the form of scheduled workouts known as compound exercises also known as circuit training, to build upon your weaknesses which in turn will enable you to complete your One mile run. Some exercises that are simple and can be done at home are the Air Squat. This is the perfect exercises to add strength to your legs that will ultimately help you finish your run. As you advance you can hold on to weight and perform the air squat by increasing the number of air squats you do. A good number to do is 25 air squats with each set.

Another exercises to add to the circuit would be Flutter Kicks. Flutter kicks are amazing. Not only are you working your hip flexors, you will be working your lower abdomen and lower back. The Instructor has her hands underneath her butt, This is to give leverage. I recommend your hands stay on your belly, chest or folded out palms upward to the sky. My way is a bit more difficult but ensures that you are working your entire core and will prove beneficial as you progress. A good number to start with is 25 flutter kicks which in turn is a 4 count exercises.

Another exercises is the Lunge, OUCH!!!! The lunge sucks but its great for you. This excersise will give you good range of motion and challenge all the muscles in your legs. It's one of the toughest excersises to do in the circuit, but it pays big divedends in the end.

Last would be interval sprints. Interval sprints will whip your butt. Its important to do Interval workouts because it teaches your body how to adapt to stress. When interval training is incorporated into your workouts you will be able to run faster and farther and breathe better. Remember the goal is to run 1 mile non stop and if your already doing that, to drop your time by 2-5 mins By taking this all in to account a Performance based work out designed to run one mile non-stop will look something like this:

Mon-Interval sprint 25 meter
25 air squats
25 flutter kicks (4-count)
25 meter Lunge walk
4 x rounds

Tues- 2 mile walk fast paced

Weds- Interval sprints 25 meter
25 air squats
25 flutter kicks (4 count)
25 meter Lunge Walk
4 x rounds
Thurs- 2 mile walk fast paced

Fri- 1 mile run ( Take mental notes of your performance and remember even a little progress is still progress)

Repeat every week until Goal has been met/ Once goal has been met. Set a new goal and work towards improving to reach that goal.

The benefits of Performance Based workouts in my opinion outweigh working out for looks. By performing these types of workouts you ensure that you stay focused on working out and everyday you are working out for a goal. As a result you will see your body transform into what it needs to, to complete those goals. One day you will wake up and realize that you have tons of energy and can do just about anything. My wife has started to work out like this and has advanced to burpees, I hate burpees and my wife knows this, so during our workouts she adds them and it suckssssssssssss!!! A typical day for us would be to run up a flight of steps and back down, do 25 burpees, 30 air squats, 50 flutter kicks and do it 5 times for time. She has noticed that her legs have become more toned and have become extremely tight. From a year ago she couldn't do 10 air squats with out crying, now she can do 50 and has advanced to other exercises that I do which are much more challenging.

I'm sharing this post, because I believe that many people have the desire to work out but have lost the intensity and drive. I feel that by refocusing our needs and priorities everyone can do something to maintain a fit and healthy life. Theres one thing we all have in common if we follow the self-sustained blogs and that is the desire, need and want to eat healthy. Moving forward we will not only eat and live healthy but perform exceptionally well. This is my 2 cents and as I go on and experience new things I will add different, to all those interested.

If you really want to check out the world of these Hybrid Exercises visit these sites. They have a wealth of information that will help you get to where you want to be: Great site ! Tons Of Info and Workouts The Gospel! My Base for working out. Click on Gallery for workouts Advanced Circuit training to keep you fit and stay there. Tough!! Geared toward Adventure seekers and mountaineers.

These sites are my top pics for working out and staying fit. You will see it doesn't matter what age you are, man or women. The Philosophies guiding these workouts are geared towards improving the Performance level in each individual. I have to say this but before you start any workout program consult with your Doctor first.

Get Fit Stay Fit!!


Kenneth Moore said...

I broke my collarbone a few weeks ago. I didn't realize how active a person I had become until I couldn't be as active. I mean, I still volunteer on five-mile hikes, walk 12 miles on a nice Saturday, do wall sits and squats and such, but not being able to jog or do push ups or jump over tall fences really irritates me. (I have lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half--before, I was fit for my size, but now, I'm a much better "performer.")

But I did break my collarbone at parkour bootcamp. Parkour is awesome. Everything you talked about are exercises they taught me in the first session. And no, burpees are NOT fun! But learning how to roll is dangerous when you do it sooo improperly.

Speaking of which... I'm going to go practice speed reading while doing wall sits. Multitasking. :D

ATW said...

Kenneth- HAHA!! I know alot about Primal fitness. Im in the process of setting up a gym now thats geared toward functional exercises. That collarbone breakage is a bummer. Injuries suck, I was out for a year, due to snapping my plantarious muscle and the reason it took so long was because it refused to just sit and heal. It was depressing!! Many people still don't know about these groups and kind of look at you like, "what is he doing?" When I visited my mom I went to her Gym and worked out with them and the gym litterally was at a stand still. As though they have seen an alien. But even my mom who just loves to walk has incorporated alot of functional fitness into her routine and calls me regulary for new excersises. But way to go man! Heal, Heal, Heal, and Heal some more. You may loose a little conditioning but not much. My goal for this year is to do a one arm barbell snatch at 135lbs. Im almost there;)

Minneapolis Landscaping said...

Good really an excellent performance post, its useful for multi purposes Great

Gardening for Beginners said...

I hate to admit it, but I have fallen off the bandwagon way too many times. However, for some uknown reason, when I am in a full gardening season and taking care of my plants, I will exercise and eat right the entire time. Maybe it is just a state of mind, but with spring beginning, I may get back into the routine faster than I thought.

ATW said...

ML- Thanks for the comment!

GFB-I have been there way to many times. And the part that really sux is falling off becomes part of a habit. So then I Have to transform my whole system around for small rewards that make up the over all goal. Its tough, but I congratulate you on always moving forward.