Part 2: Beginners Outdoor Training

Hello, welcome back, so how did you get on with your first taste of outdoor training?

Courtesy of Nike Women Outdoors
Courtesy of Nike Women Outdoors

The time has come to move things along and challenge the system a little more. So I’m going to outline the next level with a new set of exercises. Each one will be slightly more advanced than the previous set but similar movement patterns.
As usual begin with your pulse raiser, run, cycle, light jog. Remember it’s only a pulse raiser so nice and easy. Once you’ve picked your spot begin your dynamic stretches. This session will follow a similar course as the previous one so you can stick with the same warm-up.

So to recap:

Dynamic warm-up: Heal kicks to bum, high knee run, high kicks (opposite leg to opposite hand), walking lunges, hamstring stretch, light squats. Finish off with arm swings (windmill motion) and hip rotation. A dynamic warm-up can be what ever you want, as long as it replicates your session.

Session: 20/25 minutes

We’ll do five exercises and three sets. As before if you feel you can tackle 4 then go for it but maybe for the first few sessions start with 3 and build from there. Mark out a 20 metre area for your jog/run as before (which will follow each exercise). You maybe already at the level where you can increase the distance or better still be able to sprint there and back.

1. Split squat x 10 reps per leg (20 metre run there and back)

Split Squat
Split Squat

Stand with one foot in front of the other, split stance, feet pointing forward. Torso nice and upright. Bend at the knees and pulse down until your back knee almost touches the floor. Your front knee should be nicely inline with your front foot. After 10 reps swap legs

2. Reverse lunge x 10 per leg (Run)

Reverse Lunge
Reverse Lunge

Much the same as a forward lunge only in reverse. Take a big step back bending both knees until they are at 90 degrees. Drive back through the heel and push forward. Then repeat on the opposite leg

3. Spider-man press up x 10 (Run)

Spider Man Press Up
Spider Man Press Up

Begin this exercise much in the same way as the traditional press-up. Arms directly under the shoulders, lower until elbows are pointing behind you. As you lower to the ground bend one knee to bring it up to your elbow. As you press back up your leg returns to start position. Repeat with opposite leg. Do five leg raises on each side

4. Single leg squat thrust x 20 (Run)

Single Leg Squat Thrust
Single Leg Squat Thrust

Start in the usual press-up position, body straight. Bring one knee forward under your chest. Jump one leg forward and one leg back at the same time. Alternate as quickly as you can

5. Reverse Bear crawl (begin at start point and crawl 20 metres, then run back)

Reverse Bear Crawl
Reverse Bear Crawl

Get down on all fours. Place one hand and opposite foot backwards and walk. Changing sides as you go. This is a little bit harder than walking forward and should really test your endurance. Once you finish, if you can, crawl (forward) back!

On completion of your first set rest for the usual 90 secs then go again. Hopefully with a few weeks under your belt you should be able to slowly cut down your recovery time. Once you’ve completed your 3 sets go for a light warm-down jog around the park for about 5 mins. Follow this with your usual static stretch, remembering to focus on all the big muscle groups, quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, groin and hip flexors. Finishing with some arm stretches.
Like before I’ve set a fairly low rep rate to begin with. As you get used to the new set of exercises you’ll soon be adding extra reps and sets onto your routine. As a bit of variation mix up your session by adding in the odd exercise from our previous list. It keeps your body guessing and avoids getting too used to the same movement patterns. It’s also more fun. Look to do this set at least twice a week but three times will really get you moving and closer to your fitness goals.

Remember these exercises are all about quality and not quantity. Always focus on your form and posture.

Good luck and look forward to our next set of exercises as we progress forward.

Level 3 PT- Outdoor Training Specialist. Chris Watson
Level 3 PT- Outdoor Training Specialist. Chris Watson

**Please note this programme is designed if you already have a basic level of fitness. Any medical problems or injuries please seek professional advice before attempting this session**

Part 1: Beginners Outdoor Training

Now you’ve made the decision to head outdoors to train, it’s time to get some structure into your session. As a regular gym goer you’ll probably have your own routine and level you feel comfortable with, certainly an idea of what stage you’re at in terms of what you deem hard or easy. So lets pretend that this is a whole new experience and start at the beginning.

As a new client I would assess your fitness level and always start fairly easy and go up through the gears as your potential unfolds. The harder you work the faster you’ll progress. Progression can be achieved with every session, no matter how small.

Shall we begin?

We’ve started with our pulse raiser, as mentioned in my previous article Outdoor Training, this can be a run or a cycle. I would recommend about 10 mins at a nice steady pace, nothing too energy sapping as there’s plenty time for that. This is followed by a dynamic warm-up. Usually base this around what you intend to do during your session. For example, if you are planning a forward lunge set, incorporate some walking lunges into your warm-up. This ensures your legs are ready for this movement. Always keep your warm up stretches dynamic at the start. Static stretches come at the end.

Week 1: Beginner session (1 hour)
10 mins pulse raiser – Run/cycle at a light steady pace

5-8mins dynamic stretch: mark a distance, either, with cones or between two trees about 10m apart. A good range for this session would be: Heal kicks to bum, high knee run, walking lunges, high kicks (touching opposite leg with opposite hand), light squats and a two step hamstring stretch (walk two paces, bend from the hip, keeping your legs straight and sweep your hands across the ground). Follow this with some hip rotation, arm swings (in a windmill motion) and a chest stretch.

Session: 20/25 mins
We’re going to start with five exercises and do 3 sets at varying rep rates (depending on the move). After each exercise mark a distance of around 20 metres and jog there and back to your start point. As you get stronger turn your jog into a sprint raising the intensity of your workout.

1. Squat x 12 reps (run 20m and back again)

Squat: Feet shoulder width apart, relaxed stance, back in natural state. In one smooth motion bend your knees, sticking out your bum (as if about to sit on a chair), finishing with your thighs parallel to the floor.
Squat:
Feet shoulder width apart, relaxed stance, back in natural state. In one smooth motion bend your knees, sticking out your bum (as if about to sit on a chair), finishing with your thighs parallel to the floor.

2. Forward Lunge x 12 (alternate legs, 6 per leg. run)

Lunge: Large step forward, with hands on hips. Leading leg parallel to the floor with your knee at 90 degrees and nicely in line with the front of the foot. Drive back up through the heal and repeat on the opposite leg. Make sure your back leg doesn't touch the floor
Lunge:
Large step forward, with hands on hips. Leading leg parallel to the floor with your knee at 90 degrees and nicely in line with the front of the foot. Drive back up through the heal and repeat on the opposite leg. Make sure your back leg doesn’t touch the floor

3. Press-up x 12 (run)

Press-up: Body in a nice straight line, head, shoulder and bum. Arms under your shoulders. Slowly press down keeping your arms nicely tucked in and elbows pointing backwards. Keeping abs braced let the chest lightly brush the floor and push back up.
Press-up:
Body in a nice straight line, head, shoulder and bum. Arms under your shoulders. Slowly press down keeping your arms nicely tucked in and elbows pointing backwards. Keeping abs braced let the chest lightly brush the floor and push back up.

4. Mountain Climber x 12 (run)

Mountain Climber: Begin in an upright press-up position.
Mountain Climber:
Begin in an upright press-up position.
Mountain Climber: Now bring your right knee to your left elbow, with a slight twist of your torso. That's one rep. Repeat on the opposite leg
Mountain Climber:
Now bring your right knee to your left elbow, with a slight twist of your torso. That’s one rep. Repeat on the opposite leg

5. Bear Crawl (begin at start point and crawl about 20m. If you can crawl back. If too hard, one way is fine to begin with. Then run)

Bear Crawl: Drop on all fours.
Bear Crawl:
Drop on all fours.
Bear Crawl: Place one hand and opposite foot forward, walk forward changing sides as you go. The lower you go the harder it gets
Bear Crawl:
Place one hand and opposite foot forward, walk forward changing sides as you go. The lower you go the harder it gets

On completion of your first set rest for about 90 secs and go again. Take longer if needed but try not to exceed 2 mins. The aim is to cut the rest time as you progress. Once you have competed 3 sets and rested for a couple of mins, go for a light warm-down jog for about 5 mins. This is followed by our static stretch. Be sure to stretch of all the relative muscles. Start with the big muscles like the quads, hamstrings and calves. Follow that with hip flexors, groin and glutes. Finishing off with some arm stretches. Always remember to do as it helps with your recovery.

I’ve set a fairly basic rep rate for this session as it’s a good starting point. Complete your first 3 sets and see how you feel. You will be able to tell fairly quickly if you need to add more reps to each exercise or even an extra set. Don’t be scared to push it that little bit each time. Try and fit this in at least twice a week but I’d recommend 3 times.

cw
Level 3 PT- Outdoor Training Specialist.
Chris Watson

Give it a go a see how you get on.

Next time we’ll look at ways to progress your session and the benefits of this kind of training.
Chris

**Please note this programme is designed if you already have a basic level of fitness. Any medical problems or injuries please seek professional advice before attempting this session**

7 Minute Work Out

7 Minutes Is All It Takes To Make The Olympics
7 Minutes Is All It Takes To Make The Olympics

I recently read an interesting article titled “7 minutes to get fit” with the catch line “Do twice a week. Job done”. Instantly I was intrigued, fit in two 7min sessions, this ought to be good, or too good to be true. So I began to read.

Studies have found you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to achieve your fitness goals. By following a quick, tight regime you can make a big difference to your overall fitness. The 7 minute work out is a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) which means extremely intense bursts of activity followed by brief periods of recovery. Research suggests 7 energy sapping minutes broken down into 12 exercises is comparable to a run and weights session combined.

As a strong believer in hard work and time spent in the gym, or park, I was a tad sceptical of a quick fix solution. It sounded a little like a short-cut way of getting fit and I therefore questioned its impact.

So I decided to put the 7 minute workout to the test. I selected a reasonably balanced set of exercises to begin with. Well I’ve got to say it’s a pretty tough 7 minutes. The combination of aerobic and resistance moves gave me a very
balanced and challenging workout. It has been said that HIIT has shown time and again to “deliver numerous health benefits in much less time than traditional programs”. This all sounds very intriguing and exciting but it’s time to let
the public decide.

Having tested it on myself I decided to let my clients decide if it’s a way of training they’d be interested in. I selected a couple of willing participants and designed a program based on the 7 minute workout structure. Carefully mixing
a variation of cardio and resistance movement patterns and timing each exercise at the desired 30 second length (with a 10 second reset between).

My guinea pigs, whom have a fairly good level of fitness, found the session “pretty challenging” but really enjoyed the variation and tempo, finding competing against the clock both fun and exciting. They really felt they’d worked hard and gained a lot from this way of working. As I had a full session to fill we did 3 sets of 12 exercises with a two minute rest between each set. This added another level to the challenge.

Only time will tell if the 7 minute workout will return the fitness goals we’ve set but it was certainly a good start.

See below an example of a structured session containing 12 exercises:

This way of working, I believe, is best done as part of a 3 set, 2-3 times a week routine. Doing two 7 minute workouts per week will undoubtedly improve your fitness levels but I’d suggest doing 2-3 sets twice of three times per week
(if time allows) for maximum potential. So give it a go and see how you get on. I’d be very interested to know your thoughts on this training approach and if you feel it’s working..

A little bit of advice when attempting the 7 minute workout. It’s pretty tough and only recommended if you have a fairly good base fitness due to it’s high intensity nature. If you’ve not exercised in a while then I would suggest a more gentle approach to begin with and build up to the 7 minute workout.

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Always concentrate on form and doing the exercise correctly and please research any moves you’re not familiar with to avoid any injury or bad habits.

Remember these exercises are all about quality and not quantity. Always focus on your form and posture.

Good luck and look forward to our next set of exercises as we progress forward.

Level 3 PT- Outdoor Training Specialist. Chris Watson
Level 3 PT- Outdoor Training Specialist. Chris Watson

**Please note this programme is designed if you already have a basic level of fitness. Any medical problems or injuries please seek professional advice before attempting this session**

London to Paris – How To Survive

cropped-clinic_header.jpg

In May 2013 a friend emailed a small group of us and outlined his plans to cycle from London to Paris, with or without us. In the spirit of naivety four of us agreed to do it, and so the date was set for October 2013.

One would think this is plenty of time to prepare for such an event, and it is, as long as you do the preparation and don’t leave it to the last minute. The journey was planned and mapped out according to Donald Hirsch’s back road route via Newhaven and Dieppe (the route maps are available to print here).

The team consisted of four riderswiggins_2270877b; Oli, Alex, Hamish and myself. It was a simple plan – as are most things in theory – start on Thursday evening and finish on Sunday morning, a grand total of 220 miles. We even allocated roles within the team; Oli was to be the mechanic, Hamish was on map reading duties, Alex was our GPS reader and guide whilst I was to take on medical duties.

In preparation for the event we each undertook individual training regimes, but we all did one long ride (100 miles) together to gauge each other’s riding abilities and work on communication. On this ride it became apparent that we had different levels of fitness within the team, which meant we had to adopt our daily mileage to Paris according to the ‘weakest’ rider.

This is important in order to avoid over exhaustion early in the journey, and for everyone to be able to keep the pace for the duration of the 220 miles. The main training involved in preparing for the event was time spent on the bike getting plenty of miles under our belts. It sounds so obvious to say it, but if you want to be a good rider, you have to put in the mileage.

The other piece of advice I’d give relates to consecutive days of riding. Its vital that your body adapts to being in the saddle for consecutive days and pedalling the bike for consecutive days, in our case four days.

The Hirsch London-to-Paris route is a peaceful and enjoyable route which, once in Dieppe, consists mainly of riding Route Verte (disused railway), but it still takes three days to do it. We split the days into the following mileage:

– Thursday: London to Haywoods Heath (60 miles)

– Friday: Haywoods Heath to Newhaven (20 miles)

– Friday: Dieppe to Forges les Eaux (34 miles)

– Saturday: Forge les Eaux to Forete de St Germain (72 miles)

– Sunday: Forete de St Germain to Paris (35 miles)

The key to our journey being a success, in my opinion, was down to a few factors. First was using both the map and GPS tracker set up to navigate our way. Second was preparing our bikes to do touring distances; changing tyres, adding mud guards and adding saddle bags. Most of all we made the trip fun, because when you are covering those sorts of distances you have got to enjoy it, otherwise it soon becomes a chore and you start to resent doing it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/fVT5_wJAQJ90Qv-DZAIAKUj8lpzA6cBKSYSMY0/?taken-by=tomastley

CYCLING LOGO

Having the right equipment meant we were able to limit tyre changes (not fun) and took time to enjoy long lunches, as well as coffee breaks, ensuring moral was maintained throughout. Overall, the experience of riding a bike from London to Paris was amazing, and without doubt one of the best experiences I have had in life. I strongly recommend it to others, but remember; plan for it, prepare for it, do it and enjoy it.

Tom graduated from UWIC with a degree in science, health, exercise and sport, and then specialised in Physiotherapy and graduated Coventry University in 2008. He has worked in musculoskeletal clinics and community based falls prevention rehabilitation, both for the NHS, and is currently clinical director at TA Physiotherapy. Outside of work, he enjoys staying fit and healthy by attending the gym, completing triathlons and road cycling.

Outdoor Training Time

The Warm-up Trail

In this series of blogs we are going to take a look into the world of training outdoors with Chris Watson, an expert in outdoor personal training and conditioning. Enjoy this weeks blog:

Run! Here come the boys…

Now that summer is finally upon us and the weather seems to be picking up (hopefully) it’s time to leave the treadmill behind and get outdoors and into your local park! Don’t get me wrong I love the gym but what’s the one thing many gyms don’t have? Space! Especially during those peak hours at lunchtime and after work. No more waiting for machines or banging into people at the squat rack. So what’s so good about training outside I hear you ask? Well, it’s free, you don’t need any kit and when the sun is shinning on a summers evening there’s no better place to train. So let’s get our gear on and get outside!

First you need to identify a suitable park, preferably within running distance from work or home. Use the run there as part of your warm-up. Find a good spot, something that has a handy bench and maybe a few trees nearby. Give the area the once over, gotta check for the usual suspects, glass, stones, dog muck, etc. Now you’re ready to get stuck in. The fun bit about outdoor training is using your surroundings, get creative! Sure have a plan in your head of what you want to do during your session, but you may find a tree perfect for pull-ups or an old tree stump for box jumps or a handy bench for dips. Every park offers hidden training gold.

I have various parks where I like to train as each one offers something a little different and that’s how I structure my training session or that of my clients. For example, a typical session will consist of a light jog to said park, a dynamic warm-up then usually 5/6 exercises over 3/4 sets with varying rep rates. I’d always allow a good hour. Start with a 10min run followed by a 5min warm-up to get nicely stretched. Around 25/30 mins for your session, finishing off with a light warm down run (back). Spend at least 10mins stretching at the end. Job done!

Man of Steel…

Over the next few weeks we’ll look at the different types of sessions you could plan. Whether you have an hour or just 20 mins. The exercises you could include and the effectiveness of weight-free training for burning fat. Things you can use, goals you can set and how you can bring a bit of fun to your training.

Thanks for reading and see you next week

Chris
[level 3 PT- outdoor training specialist]

cw
Chris Watson

Enquires for PT to cdwatson1972@gmail.com