Diary of a Spartan Warrior: Week 6
Rallying the Troops
As our Spartan warriors complete their 6th week of training, team morale is going to be crucial if they are going to encourage each other to up the ante in their workouts.
“Over the course of the next week, our workout plan is basically going to focus more on ‘power’ than just strictly resistance training,” says Sean Wells, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist for the NSCA, and the fitness expert at BistroMD. “This will be the most difficult part of our training, and will test the strength and will of each of our team members.”
If you are finding yourself in the same position, and are at the point of needing to increase the intensity in your workout, here are some tips you can follow in order to increase your progress while preventing injury.
1. Always Warm Up
“Never start a workout without taking 10-15 minutes to warm up first,” says Sean. “This basically gets the fluids flowing in your muscles, and it also prepares your body to do power-training activities.”
If you are about to start power training, a good warm up on the treadmill is no longer going to cut it. To prepare your muscles and your body for this type of intensity, you will need to do about 10-15 minutes of dynamic stretches.
Dynamic stretches include arm swings, side bends, trunk rotations, full back stretch, hamstring stretch, and alternating toe touches.
“Each of these stretches will prepare each of the specific muscle groups you will be working for the heightened intensity of your workout,” says Sean. “If you don’t warm up, your risk of injury increases significantly.”
2. Leave Room for Rest
When you start to power train, it’s important that you make time to take ample rest between sets.
“With the intensity of these exercises, you need to make sure you take the time to rest between sets,” says Sean. “This is crucial, as it prevents injury and allows your muscles to adapt to these changes in your routine.”
Some of the most significant exercises our warriors will be doing are: squats, hang downs, jump rope, forward jump, and high knees.
“Each of these exercises will be done 3-4 times a week, with about 30 seconds, to one minute of rest in between, “ says Sean. “Before doing any of these exercises, however, it’s important you meet with either a personal trainer, or your physician to make sure you are physically capable of doing this type of workout.”
3. Combine Activities Appropriately
“To increase your endurance, and to intensify your resistance, strength, and power, you will need to do a combination of cardio and one or more groups of your resistance and power-training activities,” says Sean.
For example, on Mondays, do your cardio and strength-training exercises. On Tuesdays, do your cardio training, but do trail runs. Wednesday, focus specifically on strength, and on Thursday, focus on interval training for cardio. Make room on Fridays for power training, and pace runs for cardio on Saturdays. Remember: it's always important to keep Sundays as your day of rest.
For more tips from our expert, please visit the healthy facts section of our website.
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