Thursday, September 3, 2009

Workout Suggestions... From FOOTBALL players???

Football Players! What does our sport have in common with the hard-hitting sport of these gridiron heroes? More than you think!

Recently I tried a special workout inspired by an NFL super star. At first I didn't think much of it. I finished my workout, went on with my day and that was it. The next day I went for my "Maintenance Run"-- and easy 5 miles without a watch. At first my legs felt like I was carrying weight on my ankles! I tried to slow down, I tried to stretch, I tried everything! But they were HURTING! Discouraged through 4.9 miles of the run I thought of everything possible... then in the last 10th of a mile I realized what it was... my football-inspired workout! It was a killer... in a GREAT WAY!

My inspiration?- TO! AKA Terrell Owens of... what else? " The TO Show!!!" For you non-football junkies, TO is a football player in the NFL.

The once Cowboys (GO COWBOYS!) Wide Receiver has turned to reality TV in his last year of glory in the NFL. Hey! It could be worse... he COULD be Brett Favre (ooh burn). Anyways, in TOs first few episodes he's torn between his love of women and his love of the game-- with football always winning out. No matter what goes on in his life, he has intense workouts that he can turn to! One such workout caught my attention... the Pool!

Unfortunately we all can't have the view TO has when he works out!

The Workout!
In many of the episodes TO can be seen doing some funny pool exercises. These aren't your grandmas pool stretch & bob classes! The exercises he does promote strength & speed. TO incorporate resistance training (using the pool) to get a more intense workout. This includes pool sprints in shallow (3-4ft) water, as well as free-weights in the pool.

My Workout? Well I've been swimming in attempts to get cardio in while also saving my knees on off-running days. I added in some of TO's resistance training toward the end of my workout in between sets and boy did it make a whole new workout! I'll list below what I did... please forgive my lack of correct swim language
4X100 Freestyle Swim
4X50 Kicks (using a board)
4X50 Arms only (holding a water float between my knees)
... Add in the resistance!
1X25 HARD swim
1X 25 Yd Pool SPRINT! Resistance? The water only
1X25 Hard Kick
2X 25 Yd Pool Spring with Tube. Resistance: Water AND Tube
1X50 Recovery Freestyle Swim
2X25 Yd Pool Spring with water weights. Resistance: Water & Weights- Arms get a workout too!
1X25 Hard Kick
1X25 "High Knees" Across the pool. Resistance: Water

The added benefits?
~Calorie Burner AND strength training in one! I'm a huge proponent of strength training to help your speed & endurance (for you goal pace runners).
~Don't like/have free weights or don't like going to a gym?? Get your strength training in a pool!
~Ice as you workout. If you're in a colder pool you don't feel the pain of sprinting like you would on a track. Your muscles let you do more in the water for a longer time.
~Perk up your x-Training! I'm always looking for other forms of cross-training for my non-run days.
~Altitude training. If you would like to add the swim part in, then there is an added benefit for your higher altitude races. If you swim prior to going to a higher altitude area, it can help you adjust and run a more normal race.

Other Resistance Training
I don't have a lot of time for both cardio AND strength training, so this form of resistance and cardio combo are GREAT for me! However, there are lots of other ways you can incorporate resistance into your training-- in the water and out!
~Water Workouts~ This site gives a list of some workouts you can do in the water including, running, squats, etc.
~Resistance Bands~ This site gives a full moving visual of exercises, as well as tips to get the most from the workout.
~You can also use those resistance balls and Bosu balls at the gym in any of your exercises. Just ask one of the staff to give you a few pointers on how to use them.