Training in the heat

Summer is in full swing and depending on where you live temperatures could be reaching near, or even above, 100 degrees.  If you live in the southeast or Midwest you also have the humidity to factor in.

Higher outside  temperatures will quickly increase body temperature when exercising.  Because it will take longer for the body to regulate heat, one's heart rate (HR) will also increase as a result. This will make a workout seem much harder than it did/does when exercising in cooler temps during fall/winter, or when exercising indoors with air conditioning.

There are a few tips to consider that will help to give you a safe, effective workout when exercising outdoors in the heat.  

1.  Keep the intensity low.  No need to go out and perform intense intervals on the track.  Instead go for a slow run or even a hike.  Perceived exertion will be much higher than in cooler temps, so even a slow run will seem much harder.   

2.  Try to exercise early (5-7am) before the temps rise or later in the evening (7-9pm) when the sun is beginning to set.  Another benefit to this is that if you're at a park, odds are there might not be many others.

3.  Wear light colored clothing and a hat with vents and sunscreen.  White shirts/hats will reflect the sun better than dark colored clothing, and sunscreen will protect your skin.  

4.  Drink lots of fluids...16 oz 1 hour before, 8-10 oz every 15 min during, and 8-16 oz immediately after exercising.  In humid climates your body will sweat more.  Because of this it is important to replace that loss of fluids with electrolytes (i.e.: Gatorade, Nuun tablets) to prevent excessive cramping

5.  Be smart!  If you start to feel disoriented or start to have blurred vision, end the workout immediately.  Or if you have access, cool down and then head indoors to finish the workout.  With higher temperatures, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke become more common during exercise.

Exercising outdoors in extreme heat can still be fun, just make sure to use common sense and a few of these tips above.  My best advice in extreme heat is to exercise indoors...in a controlled air conditioned environment.

In-Season strength exercises for mountain bikers

Whether you are an elite or recreational mountain biker, strength training should be a regular part of your summer exercise program.   Cycling is a repetitive sport; moving certain muscles in the same movement pattern over and over, sometimes for many hours.  What happens is that those specific muscles get stronger but everything else gets tight or weaker (including your bones).  

In order to stay healthy and strong for the duration of the season (typically April – November) you should incorporate at least one strength training day a week (but no more than 2 days) to maintain, or even improve, strength gained during the off-season.

For many, the off-season is a time to ride your bike at a low intensity for many hours and build the aerobic engine.  Some are fortunate enough to do this in a warm climate, while others in the northern hemisphere aren’t as fortunate.  Recent research has shown, however, that there are benefits of strength training for cyclists; pushing a bigger gear, having less injuries during the season, and preventing burnout.  

Newer pieces of fitness equipment make it easier to train the aerobic system and build strength without fatiguing the body or reducing on-bike performance during the peak racing/riding season.  Equipment such as TRX and Kettlebells are great because they can be used as bilateral (both sides of body moving together, or unilateral (one side of the body at a time) during training

Strength workouts during the summer season should be secondary to on-bike training.  So especially on high intensity training rides, perform the strength workout AFTER the ride.  This can be immediately or a few hours after the ride.

If you keep a training log, (and you should) remember to count the strength workouts as training hours when factoring in your recovery days.  This will help to prevent over-training.

Here are 5 exercises to maintain strength during the mountain bike season:

1.  TRX Sprinter Starts

Start with straps positioned under each armpit.  Keeping your chest up, lean forward and move one leg into a reverse lunge.  Begin by bringing the back leg forward and lifting the knee up in the air.  To build power for pedaling, add a little hop forward and backward before each time moving the  back leg into reverse lunge. 

*Repeat 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps per leg

2. Half Kneeling Straight-Arm Pulldowns with Ropes

For this exercises you will need two rope attachments for the cable machine.  Begin in a half-kneeling position (one knee up in front and the other on ground behind) and grab the ropes handles.  Keeping your torso tall, pull the ropes down using your lat muscles while the arms remain straight.  Keep your core muscles engaged during the movement at all times and control the weight.  This is great for teaching you to keep your upper body relaxed on the bike and not shrug.

*Repeat 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps on each side

3.  KB Double Lunge (L/R)

Begin with one Kettlebell racked at shoulder level.  Your wrist should remain flexed, do not allow the wrist to fall back while holding he weight.  Keeping the weight at shoulder height, step forward into a lunge, and then immediately step back into a reverse lunge with the same leg.  The goal is to not step the feet together before moving into the reverse lunge.  This will challenge your balance and coordination and will make you more secure on the bike when riding in a pack.

*Repeat 2-3 sets of 6-8 reps on each leg

4.  Pushup with Knee Tucks and Abduction using Sliders

For this exercise you will need two Sliders (or a piece of paper works as well).  This is a great upper body exercise that can simulate riding out of the saddle while cranking on the handlebars.  Begin in pushup position with each foot on a slider.  Lower down and as soon as you begin to push back up slide one foot forward bringing your knee towards your chest.  Extend the leg back and then lower down again and this time bring the other knee forward, then lower down and bend both knees forward together at the same time, and finally with legs straight spread them apart and back together.  This series counts as 1 rep.

*Repeat 2-3 sets of 4-8 reps

5.  TRX Single Leg Hip Press

Lie on your backside and place one heel in the lower loop of a TRX Strap.  Bend knees to about 90 degrees.  Push your foot in the strap down as you lift your hips at the same time.  Keep the foot that is not in the straps elevated as well.  This is great for working the hamstrings to “pull” on the pedals.

*Repeat 2-3 sets 8-12 reps on each leg

Register for Spartan Race Training Camp!!!

Beginning August 5th, Rugged Athlete will be running an 8-week training camp to prepare athletes who will be competing in the Spartan Race Sprint - Fort McDowell race on September 23rd near Nashville, TN.

                    WHEN:     Aug 5 - Sept 16 

                                      SATURDAY'S @ 9am

                    WHERE:   Windridge Apt Complex and local parks

                     COST:       $45.00 (includes 8-week strength program)

The training camp will be led by Certified Trainer and Elite obstacle course racer, Sloane Anderson, and held Saturday's at 9am in the social area by the pool in the Windridge Apartment Complex and occasionally at a local park. Each workout will last approx 1-1.5 hours. 

  • A complete 8-week "Rugged Regimen" strength training plan will also be provided for each athlete to complete on their own…32 total workouts (in addition to training camp) 
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  • Improve your mental toughness and develop grit.
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  • Lots of equipment will be used: Tires, Sandbags, Buckets, TRX, Kettlebells, Hurdles, Med Balls, Stairs, etc.
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  • Must be able to run, jump, crawl and lift moderate to heavy objects.
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  • What are you waiting for, it's time to get rugged and Spartan Up!

Rugged Athlete competes in Warrior Dash Georgia

Rugged Athlete athlete, Greg Higgins, competed in the Warrior Dash event this past weekend in Covington, GA.  This was Greg's first attempt at an mud run/obstacle course race event. 

Greg has been training for this event since January.  He has a background in running but hadn't done much strength training prior to starting his training in January.  Our focus with Greg was to improve his overall relative strength using bodyweight exercises the first 6 week and then begin adding in resistance exercises in the form of dumbbells.  

Greg's upper body strength improved quickly as noted in several assessments, and his per mile pace also improved.  Prior to beginning his training with Rugged Athlete, Greg was not able to perform a pullup. One week prior to his event he was able to perform 5 strict pullups.  As most who have competed in an obstacle course race will contest, it is essential to be able to pull yourself (ie: your bodyweight) up and over objects (ie: walls).  

Greg Warrior Dash.jpg

The final few weeks prior to the event we mixed in some race simulation workouts and reduced the total volume of running.  Running with wet shoes was also essential so he was familiar with the extra weight and wet socks.  

Now that the cobwebs have been dusted off and the first race is completed, he will begin training in May for his first Spartan Race Sprint in Asheville, NC on July 29th.  

Upcoming event?

Are you getting for your upcoming summer races, obstacle course, mountain bike, 10k, GoRuck, etc?  If so, is your training getting you prepared to attack and conquer the event/s? 

Give Rugged Athlete a call or email and let us prepare your training plan so when you show up at the start line (or start time) you have the confidence to do your best.  Choose form one of our pre-written plans or our Athlete-Custom plan and get started today.  

Most of our plans are 8 weeks in duration, so if you have an event in June/July now is the time to get specific with your training.  Don't forget to maintain a good balanced diet as well.  Nothing trumps a good training plan than a poor diet.

Get Rugged!

Brutal Battling Ropes Workout

Some of you may already be familiar with Battling Ropes, however, for those of you who are not, this will be a new exciting workout for you.  

The idea behind battling rope training was first introduced by John Brookfield, who developed his owns system of rope training called "Battling Ropes".  The rest is history.  These systems have been used by professional and Olympic athletes and are great for building strength and challenging the cardiovascular system.

There are several different ropes on the market; from different materials, to different weights and lengths.  If yo have the option start with the smaller and lighter rope and build up to working with a heavier rope.  If you have never used battling ropes, you may also want to start with only 1 set rather than the 3 sets prescribed in the workout below.

In this workout, all you need is access to a Battling Rope and your own bodyweight. Perform all exercises with minimal rest between each. Once all 4 rounds are completed, rest 2 min and move to the next group.  During the 2 min rest, it's best to do some mobility drills for hips and shoulders

(1) 4 Rounds

30 sec Alternating Rope Slams 

20x Bodyweight: Lateral Jumps -  (10 per leg)

30 sec Alternating Rope Waves 

10x Bodyweight: Burpee

REST 2 MIN

(2) 4 Rounds

30 sec Reverse Lunge Rope Waves - 10 lunges per leg

10x Bodyweight: Push-ups (add a clap if too easy)

30 sec Side to Side Rope Slams

20x Bodyweight: Mtn Climbers

REST 2 MIN

(3) 4 Rounds

30 sec Grappler Rope Slams (side to side with overhand grip) 

15x Bodyweight: Squats 

30 sec Plank Alternating Rope Pulls 

10x Bodyweight: Jump Squats

2 strength workouts for runners

Are you a runner struggling with running hills or lack that burst of power needed to stick with the pack?  If so, try incorporating these workouts into your off-season strength training to build strength and power.

Make sure to allow for a day of rest between these workouts and that you warm up for 10-15 min. with some easy jogging, then some dynamic movements such as the following before starting each workout:

Warmup:  10 min.
6x Lunge with Rotation e/s
10x Jumping Jacks
6x Med Ball Good Mornings 8#
4x Knee Hugs e/s
10x Cross Mtn Climbers

Allow 1-2 days of rest between these workouts.  If you have been running regularly, you can include one of these workouts the day before your Tempo run and one workout the day before your Long run.


Workout #1:  45-60 min
Complete all strength exercises one after the other in a circuit format.  Perform 4 sets of 6-8 reps with 20-30 sec rest between exercises and 1-2 min rest between sets.  Complete only 2-3 sets of the two core exercises.
All exercises should be performed with slow controlled movements, however, for the DB side lunge/Clean and Press make sure to make the Clean and Press a little explosive.

(1) 4 Sets

6-8x Bulgarian Lunge
6-8x DB RDL to Bent-Over Row
6-8x Alt. 1-Arm DB Bench Press

(2) 4 Sets

8-10x Alt. DB Hammer Curls e/s
8-10x TRX Triceps Press
8-10x DB Side Lunge to Clean to 1-Arm Press (the side yo lunge to is the arm you press overhead)

(3) 2-3 Sets
30x Bicycle Crunches
30 sec Plank with Alt. Opposite Leg/Arm Lifts



Workout #2:  45 min
3 sets of each superset in Part (1) and (2).  Rest 30 sec between each set and 60 sec between each pair of exercises.  For Part (3), perform in circuit format (one after the other with minimal rest). 
For all core exercises (#6,7,8) perform 3 sets of 10 reps each.

(1) 3 Sets

10-15x TRX 1-Leg Squats e/s
10x Split Lunge Jumps

REST 1 min

(2) 3 Sets

10-15x KB RDL
15-20x Back Extensions

REST 1 min

(3) 2 Sets

5x X-Band Lateral Walks (using a superband (.5" - 1") e/s
10x Stiff-Arm Pulldowns (using a straight bar)
10x DB Suitcase Deadlift (like a regular deadlift, but only lifting 1 DB) e/s
10-15x Hanging Knee Raises
10-15x Med Ball Chops
10x Anti-Rotation Situps (lie perpendicular to a c able machine.  Using a single handle (or rope attachment) extend arms out in front of chest.  Then perform a situp without letting your torso twist towards the cable anchor point...resist the rotation

Make sure to cool down with an easy jog or spin on the bike for 5- 10 min.  Then mix in some foam rolling and stretching. 

4 exercises for a stronger Stand-Up Paddleboarding season

Many people are trying out Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) for the first time without any experience except for maybe a brief overview by the rental company before they get on the board.  SUP requires you to remain upright on an unstable board while moving a large paddle through the water.  In order to effectively do this, you need to engage many muscles.

Since it is a low-impact sport, it can also make for a great cross-training workout during the summer months.  And, because of the shoulder and hip movements required to paddle, it can also be a great sport-specific workout for high school baseball players and XC skiers during their off-season.

Below are four exercises that will strengthen your shoulders, hips, glutes, arms, and core muscles: 

1.  TRX Rip Trainer Low Pull on BOSU Ball

-Stand on the black side of the ball to mimic the instability of the water

-Grab a TRX Rip Trainer with resistance band at the bottom (if you don’t have access to a   TRX Rip Trainer you can use a Body Bar and light Superband.

-With slightly bent knees, reach forward with the Rip Trainer (or Body Bar) and pull back keeping the bar vertical, just like you would with a paddle.

-Make sure you position your BOSU Ball far enough back so that when you reach and initiate your pull that you have enough resistance.

-Perform 3-4 sets of 6-8 reps

-Repeat on both sides

 

2.  Split Stance Cable Chop

-Stand with one foot in front of the other in a lunge position next to a cable machine

-Use the rope attachment

-Grab the handles of the rope and pull the rope downward in a chopping movement

-Make sure to keep your torso as stable as possible

-Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps

-Repeat on both sides

 

3.  Balance Pushup on BOSU Ball

-Place a Barbell across a BOSU Ball (black side)

-Get into a pushup position, feet shoulder-width apart, and grip the bar with your hands just outside where the ball ends

-Perform a pushup

-Perform 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps

 

4.  Swiss Ball Thera-Tubing Lat Pull

-Lie face down on a Swiss Ball resting your hips on top of it and leaning forward

-Attach a Thera-Tube around an anchor point and face the anchor

-Separate your legs just wider than shoulder width and plant them on the ground

-Extend arms forward, parallel to head, and grab the handles

-Without moving your feet or body, exhale and pull your arms straight back past your hips without bending your elbows

-Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps

New year, same goal

Time is counting down on 2016, so that means a new year is shortly upon us.  So what does that mean to YOU?  Hopefully the same thing it meant to you 3 or 6 months ago, that you are staying focused on your goals.  

Don't get all caught up in the hype of the New Year's Resolutions, instead, continue to keep path of your goals that you should have set months ago. But if you are just now setting a goal, here's a little advice to help.

Saying "what" you want to accomplish is one thing, but what are you "doing" to achieve that goal.  Life is not easy, nor should it be.  If you want something you have to earn it.  Nothing should ever be given to us, because that makes us lazy.  When you work hard for something and then earn it, it becomes that much more gratifying and also becomes addictive.  You then find new things to go after and the cycle continues while you improve.  

Setting and attaining the goal of traversing under a bridge (approx 40 yds).  It                                      took about 5 tries to finally get it.

Do know, we will not always attain what we worked hard for.  And in this case, it should only makes us work even harder knowing that we came so close.  Failure is not losing.  Failure is quitting when things get difficult.  

Here's a great quote from the movie, Creed , that sums it all up.

"Let me tell you something you already know.  The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows.  It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it.  You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life.  But is ain't how hard you hit, it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.  How much you can take, and keep moving forward.  That's how winning is done.  Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth.  But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody.  Cowards do that and that ain't you.  You're better than that!"

Happy New Year to all you rugged athletes out there

Outdoor Workouts at Windridge Apts.

Beginning in 2017, Rugged Athlete will be leading outdoor workouts at the Windridge Apartment complex.  Windridge Apartments are located at 1175 Pineville Rd in the north Chattanooga area.  This will be an 8-week program and will include a Fitness Assessment during week 1 and 8 to measure progress.

The workouts will be held at the outdoor social/recreational area by the outdoor pool.  

Workout days/times are TBA and you can expect workouts to last for 1-1.5 hours.  It is highly recommended that you arrive 15 min prior to the start to warm up.  There will be a group warm up and cool down.

The workouts will be challenging and will require that each participant:      have some general fitness, be able to lift weights, move in many directions, be able to run/jump/crawl, and have no injuries prior to participating.  These will be full-body workouts using lots of muscles. Expect to burn lots of calories and build strength.

Each participant will need to complete a Liability Waiver Form prior to the first week's class.

Workouts will be dependent upon weather.  Contact Sloane Anderson prior to workouts if unsure...ruggedathlete@gmail.com

FREE Obstacle Course Workout

On October 29th come try our workout for FREE and see if Rugged Athlete is for you.  The workout will encompass many "obstacles" along with many strength exercises to challenge you to move in many directions.  There will also be some running, jumping, rolling, carrying heavy objects, and much more so dress appropriately.  The workout will last roughly 1.5 hours.