Training In Lockdown...
I’ve had a few requests from people I’ve never met for training programs - I declined for a number of reasons… However, since this corona thing looks like it might take a while, plus I’ve seen a lot of silliness on social media, I figured I’d publish a very simple routine for anyone who wants it…
It requires no equipment apart from a watch / timer.
It requires no / minimal coaching.
It will get you lean, fit and powerful.
Here it is in all its elegant glory:
Every 3 Minutes Perform:
- 10-12 Second Hill Sprint
- 10x Press Ups Immediately At The Top [Perform Explosively]
4, 6, 8 or 10 efforts, selected at random, 3 times per week.
That’s it, and that’s all you really need to know, but if you do want an explanation…
“Every 3 Minutes...”
It takes about 30 minutes to clear out all the lactic acid produced by a single 100m sprint. Full recovery is obviously not practical so we need a reasonable compromise… Two and half to three minutes allows the creatine phosphate to recover along with clearing out enough of the lactic acid - not all of it, but enough - for the subsequent rounds…
“10-12 Second Hill Sprint…”
Firstly, sprinting is as functional as it gets. Second, using a hill increases the resistance while reducing impact. Third, hill sprints force correct, or at least better, running mechanics. Fourth, it recruits a lot of muscle groups. Fifth, it has a huge carryover to other movements. Sixth, it allows maximal expression of power with minimal coaching. Seventh, no one has an indoor hill… Sunlight is your friend... Fresh air is your friend... Seriously, we evolved outside, so go outside.
As for explaining the time frame, the biochemistry goes way too deep for most people’s interest levels, so I’ll keep it ridiculously brief...
- Intensity drives change
- Intensity is your power output, not your effort
- High power output cannot be sustained for long
- Excess acid causes problems…
10x Press Ups Immediately At The Top [Perform Explosively]
In barbell terms, 5 heavy reps are great for building strength and a little size... 10 reps build more mass than 5s, but less strength... 2s and 3s build more strength but less size.
Now… When reps are quick, it takes roughly double the rep number to meet the same metabolic conditions, so explosive 10s are the equivalent of heavy 5s - they will build your strength and pack a little meat on your frame… …
Press ups, like sprints, are as functional as it gets. Performed properly, they recruit a lot of muscle groups - complementary muscle groups to those involved with sprinting... They also have a huge carryover to other movements, and they allow maximal expression of power with minimal coaching, etc, etc…
Performing them at the top is for efficiency and simplicity. You could make a case for performing them at 01.30, 04.30 etc, and it might yield slightly better results, but it would add complexity to an otherwise very-hard-to-screw-up routine.
“4, 6, 8 or 10 efforts, 3 times per week…”
4, 6, 8 or 10 efforts, chosen at random…
Flip a coin twice:
HH = 4 efforts
HT = 6 efforts
TH = 8 efforts
TT = 10 efforts
20% changes and upwards in loading shocks the system with superior performance gains.
3 times a week seems to be optimal for most people, with 4 times being the point of diminishing returns, and 2 times being the minimal effective dose... That said, if you’re well conditioned and you feel good, crack on with more.
As with all simple routines, there have been plenty of questions…
Is this right for me?
Use your best judgement and get your doctor's permission first... Make sure you’re safe and that it is inline with what you want to achieve.
If you’re brand new, ease your way in... As an example:
Weeks 1 & 2: 4 efforts @ 60-80% intensity [means don’t try too hard…]
Weeks 3 & 4: 4-6 efforts @ 80-90% intensity [means try a little harder…]
Weeks 5 & 6: 4-10 efforts @ 90% intensity
Weeks 7 onwards, as written…
I don’t have a hill, what can I do instead?
Go find one… If there genuinely is no hill in your area, 10x powerful KB swings work well… Sprinting on flat ground makes things a tad more complicated - I’m not going into that here.
What if I can’t do press ups?
Assuming this is a strength thing and not a broken arm thing, then you have a few options…
- Face uphill.
- Elevate the hands on something.
- Perform them on your knees, etc
- Cut the reps down
Don’t worry about the speed, initially… Perform 5 scaled reps as perfectly as you can. When you’re ready, up the dosage.
Should I warm up first?
What kind of diet works well?
Buy and read “Deep Nutrition” or “The Fatburn Fix”, both by Catherine Shanahan M.D.
Can I reduce the rest periods?
You can do what you like, but I would caution that reducing the rest periods changes the results / gains for the worse. If you choose to shorten the rest periods, you’ll want to shorten the sprint duration.
How can I make this specific to my [whatever sport] training? Can I do other stuff?
It’s a very effective routine - try not to make it worse...
This routine will increase your power and by extension your speed, strength and endurance. It will also aid fat loss. This will positively impact your sports performance.
It’s only 3 sessions a week, you won’t burn out, and the session length ranges from 12 minutes to 30 minutes… If you feel good - and you should - then feel free to do a reasonable amount of other training in separate sessions.
I Hope this helps you out!
“Sit the f*** down and have a beer…”
~ Coach Collins
Jesus Christ I miss Alan... And my members too, obviously... But mainly Alan.