Shake it Up

Let’s face it we all need stamina in one form or another. If we are competitive athletes we need to know that we have the capacity to perform at our best for what ever the duration of the event in question. If we are just health and fitness enthusiasts, we still want to know that we can run, jump and play, any time we want for as long as we want.

Many people feel that they must perform 45-60 minutes of sustained activity in order to build an effective and useful base of stamina. They will choose an activity such as running or cycling and then attempt to build up their capacity to sustain this activity for longer and longer periods. I don’t know about you but for me this seems like torture. Unless you are a marathon runner or some other type of long distance endurance athlete this type of training is simply not needed.

There are many different ways to improve stamina:

* Distance Running
* Sprinting
* Stair / Hill Running
* Rope Skipping
* Sparring (boxing, kick-boxing, etc)
* Circuit Weight Training
* Cross Country Running
* Bag / Pad training (Heavy-bag, Thai Pads, Focus Mitts)
* Swimming

Any one of the above mentioned activities could be used to attain improved stamina or endurance. Instead of just picking one from the list and attempting to build up to an hour of work, why not combine them into a series or circuit of brief, focused efforts? By doing this you can avoid much of the boredom (as well as potential repetitive stress) associated with plodding along in the same activity for 45-60 minutes. Think of it as Hybrid Cross Training.

Example Circuit 1:

1. Sprint repeats. 1 minute x 4 (rest 2.5 minutes)
2. Jump Rope. 2 minutes x 3 (rest 1 minute)
3. Bag / Pad work. 2 minutes x 3 (rest 1 minute)
4. Split squat jumps. 4 x 30 seconds (rest 1.5 minutes)

Example Circuit 2:

1. 1 mile run *A.F.A.P. (rest 50% of run time)
2. 50 yard sprints. x 4 (rest 3x run time)
3. Bag / Pad work. 2 minutes x 3 (rest 1 minute)
4. Max Hill Sprints. 15 seconds x 5 ( rest 60 seconds)

Circuit 1. above will take less then 40 minutes (including the rest intervals). Circuit 2. will vary according to your current speed and fitness level, but should still come in under the 40 minute mark. As your fitness improves and recovery time decreases, circuit 2. will become shorter and shorter.

Give this type of Hybrid Cross Training a try. I am confident you will find this style of training not only more fun but that you are able to work harder during each effort bout due to the brief rests periods that are allowed.

So remember if you want to experience your fitness rapidly improving in minimal time be sure to Shake It Up!

Pau for Now

TAKU

*A.F.A.P. = As Fast As Possible

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