IWT: an underappreciated training method

(We had some kind of issue this week; Here is a piece on sprinting and bodyweight work. )

Like many of you, I have moved a few times in my life. Dragging training equipment over a few state lines is very expensive and, frankly, a royal pain. Through the years, I have bought and rebought several Olympic bars, lots of various smaller weights and a lot of other pieces of training equipment. My gym today is still a collection of odds and ends, but my favorite equipment and training still has one key:

Free.

I love pure exercise. After every lifting workout, weather permitting, I go outside and play catch with a football, Frisbee or medicine ball. Jogging back and forth and yelling “I’m open, I’m open” is still just pure fun. Training outside gets you some sunshine, some extra “cardio” or whatever and reminds you of the athlete you still should be today.

I make my living selling training solutions to people and I have a little combination that you can use today, either outside or in many gym settings, that can be as simple as you want it to be or feel free to move up with a few of my extra suggestions.

It’s two movements you already know: the Push Up and sprinting. With the Push Up, I ask that you keep your heels together, squeeze your knees together (my usual joke here: “How Utah teaches birth control!”), and try to crush walnuts in your armpits. I want a lot of tension here.

Feel free to jog, run, sprint or just stride for the sprinting section. I’m asking you to do this: combine your running with Push Ups. There are probably a million variations, but let’s give you several simple ideas:

The basic idea:
Do a set of ten Push Ups. Pop up off the ground and accelerate up and then ease off for about a total run of 100 yards. Pop back on the ground and do ten more Push Ups. Try this for THREE total combos at first:
10 Push Ups
Run
10 Push Ups
Run
10 Push Ups
Run
10 Push Ups

That’s 40 Push Ups and 300 or so yards of running. Did you notice something? What gets you tired is getting up and down off the ground! What used to exhaust me in football wasn’t just the hand fighting, the sprinting and the collisions but getting up and down over and over and over.

Feel free to increase the total number of combos, add more reps in the Push Ups or increase the distance. I would also suggest that you consider cutting back the reps to as few as one and decreasing the distance but increase the speed.

If you want to try something a bit more “leggy,” bring out a dumbbell or Kettlebell and do some Goblet Squats, drop the load, and sprint away. I use these for anyone in a collision sport or collision occupation to teach that odd “gear change” you need for dealing with multiple priorities. You can also mix Goblet Squats, Push Up and sprints into a delightful “one stop shop” for conditioning purposes.

Training never has to be complex. It never should be, either. Also, stop trying to worry about every detail and every percentage and get out there and have some fun again.

 

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