So You Think It’s About Running

I’m not going to deny that I think it’s an impressive task when someone tells me they’ve run an entire marathon.  It’s impressive, 26.2 miles of constant motion on your feet.  It’s something I personally can’t even imagine doing myself without a lot of training.

Yet, it still amazes me that most people fall back on running as a form of fitness and as a mark of how much a person is or is not “in-shape” of “fit.”

Women Marathon

I understand the argument that running doesn’t cost much more than a good pair of running shoes as a form of exercise, far cheaper than equipment and a gym membership.  Yet at the same time it doesn’t cost any more than that to do a good bodyweight training program at home either.

Although I think running 26.2 miles is impressive I don’t consider it a check mark on the list of things that classify someone as being fit or in shape, if that’s the only thing you can do.  I classify it as someone who can run 26.2 miles.

In fact I’d be willing to wager a bet that most of the people who can run 26.2 miles can’t even do a set of 15 standard push ups.  Dare I say it, I know.

So here’s the question:  How in-shape can you be if you can’t even do 15 push ups, even if you can run 26.2 miles?

I’m also not going to deny that there certainly are a good handful of avid runners who can do 15 push ups, probably 50, deadlift more than their own bodyweight, do several pull ups, amongst an array of other exercises, and with good form nonetheless.

These folks I consider to be in good shape.

Women Sprinters

In regards to running though, I’d rather be out there doing various sprint intervals, and perhaps an occasional 5K, along with a good weight training program that incorporates a multitude of activities and challenges.

It’s my belief that the same movement pattern over and over again without any resistance training is only beneficial to a certain point.  Not to mention runners as a group (professional and recreational) tend to be injured 80% of the time.  If you broke that down into a single day, the only time you wouldn’t be hurt is less than half the time you’re asleep.  I don’t see the sense in that.

Mind you I’m not saying that all distance runners are weak.  I’m not saying that all non distance runners are cut and defined.

What I am saying is just because you can run, doesn’t mean you are the picture of fitness.

Snow Day Workouts

With all the snow we are getting in Philadelphia, I get a little bit of cabin fever, so I wanted to share two workouts that I know I can quickly and easily do at home on the days that aren’t easy to get out of the house.

Give them a try and let me know how they work for you.

Workout One (no equipment needed)

In fact I did this one last night, all you need is a timer. Count how many reps of each exercise you do for each round. your goal is to stay consistent for each of the four rounds of the workout.

Push Ups
Squats
Speed Rows
Single Leg Reaches

Set a timer for a minute, complete each of the above exercises for a full minute, back to back, rest one minute at the end of the four minutes. Try to repeat the order for four full rounds. Remember your goal is to complete the same number of reps of each exercise during each round.

Workout Two (with equipment)

This one uses bodyweight exercises and kettlebells. In my basement I have a few kettlebells (you don’t need a lot of them) a pull up bar, and a pair of rock climbing grips.

5 Pull Ups
5/5 Kettlebell Clean and Press
15 Kettlebell Swings

Work consistently through the above 3 movements for 15-20 minutes. The best part about this workout…if you have multiple sizes of kettlebells you can switch which size you use from rounds to round. Your odd rounds can all be with lighter weight and your even rounds can be with a heavier weight.

Give these a try and let us know how you do in the comments section below.

Of course of you need a few extra minutes of work, you can always get in some shoveling ;-)

January Workout

I hope your New Year is heading off in the right direction.

I waited to post this month’s workout, until the hype of the New Year was out of the way. So now, two weeks in to the New Year, you have a brand new set of exercises to follow.

You have two options with this workout.

You can either do all of the lower body exercise sets back to back and then transition to the upper body exercise sets back to back, or you can alternate back and forth between the two.

Option 1
1a) Romanian Deadlift 3 x 10
1b) Bodyweight Squats 3 x 10
1c) Lateral Lunges 3 x 10/10

2a) Dumbbell High Pulls 3 x 10/10
2b) Pledge Push Ups 3 x 10
2c) Contralateral Planks 3 x 10/10

Option 2
1a) Romanian Deadlift 3 x 10
1b) Bodyweight Squats 3 x 10
1c) Lateral Lunges 3 x 10/10
1d) Dumbbell High Pulls 3 x 10/10
1e) Pledge Push Ups 3 x 10
1f) Contralateral Planks 3 x 10/10

As you progress try increasing the sets, add a few reps, or increase the weight.

Let me know how it goes for you below.

The Evolution of Strength

I’ve always prided myself on being strong.

When I hit my first 32kg kettlebell snatch I knew I could do more. When I deadlifted 295lbs for the first time I knew that one day I’d do more. When I finally got that 40kg turkish get up, I still wanted more.

I’m so thankful to get to work with this group of women at the gym so closely on their strength training. To see where they started with their training…then to see where they are today puts a huge smile on my face.

I’ve written about it before, I’ve mentioned it on the Urban Athlete website, I love it when the people I work with see what their potential is…the look on their face when they’ve done something they’ve never thought about doing (or only dreamed about doing before) it’s amazing, it’s beautiful, it’s empowering, and it puts a smile on my face. (I know, the second smile…that means I mean it!)

In fact, my good friend, Alicia, had an awesome training session just yesterday, and she did the best push ups I’ve seen her do, and she couldn’t believe how happy I was for her. It’s a milestone.

Watching people do things they never even thought about doing before is absolutely breathtaking.

Here’s a video (it’s a little long) of three different women on strength training programs, and their progress with the Turkish Get Up.

I’m proud of their efforts. Great work ladies!