The first three months of this year have been an exciting time as far as my personal venture in to sport and fitness has been concerned with the aches and benefits from this programme with the first quarter focusing more on bodily movement control, increasing core strength and improving flexibility over any other key aspect of physical fitness.
The second quarter will be be a continuation of the first to an extent as my overall goal of reaching 150 pounds by the end of May is still to be reached. However following May and its activities I shall begin to change my focus towards improving my aerobic endurance as I will cover a little later on in this piece as I work towards preparing for the next sporting season beginning in the Autumn.
So, here are the topics of activity and exercise for the second quarter:
April-Rugby Union (The sport I will be playing predominantly next season). It is often misconceived that all Rugby players are, are 6 ft 5, slabs of muscle and fat, it is very much far from it despite strength being a key aspect to the game and to continue the spirit of the successful Six Nations there is no better time than to give this a try. A Rugby team is split in to two distinct sections; Forwards and Backs. Forwards are the team powerhouses, used to push in the scrums and mauls, driving the team forward with brute strength and using their size and mass to protect the ball from the opponents at the ruck. The Backs on the other hand are creative and more often than not the pace orientated division of the team, often seen catching long kicks up-field by the opposition, providing width to the team as well as kicking long themselves for their team mates to fly on to. My role of Scrum-Half, being the player who receives the ball out of the Ruck and Scrum means that my handling of the ball is my key performance indicator, after receiving the ball I rarely go on runs with the ball and rather pass it off to a team mate, therefore requiring my upper body to be the strongest part of me, nevertheless I still cannot neglect not training my legs. As a result this month’s work out will like January’s attempt to build muscle through using high weight and low repetitions on the days in the gym on the various machines available. However on top of this routine, create a free weight circuit using Medicine Balls and Dumbbells in exercises which replicate in game scenario’s. Examples of this being; Dumbbell Shovels to replicate passing off of the floor, Burpees including holding and doing push ups on the Medicine Ball to replicate picking up the ball and driving forward and Russian Twists with either piece of equipment to replicate the rotational movement experienced in the game. On the days “not at the gym” or on the rest day in between two gym days take part in some cardiovascular activity with some degree of resistance added, this can include running with ankle weights, attempting Fartlek training on treadmills or high resistance walking on Cross Trainers and Stationary Bikes.
May-Animal Flow. I admit that I know very little on this subject and therefore this will be as much a learning curve for me as for you. Animal Flow from my basic understanding, uses inspiration from the Animal Kingdom of their types of movement which allows various animals to grow and develop especially strong areas of their bodies. As in the previous months, I will be implementing the Animal Flow element on alternate days of that to my regular routine and in this I shall find and replicate 20 minute videos of the 2014 Exercise Fad.
June-Decathlon. With the Olympic Games arriving in this month, I will be drawing inspiration of arguably the most gruelling of all events with competitors required to be adapted to ten different events, offering themselves little time to recover from fatigue. As a result, again in those days where I am not already participating in my regular gym activity, I will create and complete a circuit session of at least 30 minutes in a HIIT style of Bodyweight (Or easily accessible resistance) Exercises such as the multiple variations upon the Push Up, Squat and Sit Up, utilising the entirety of every key muscle group rather than isolate specific muscles as well as allow myself to build a cardiovascular and muscular endurance due to the high intensity and changeover time between sets.
Apologies for focussing this piece so heavily on Rugby however, as a player, fan and coach it is a topic I am passionate and knowledgeable about, able to talk all day about. I hope these months are keeping your workouts enjoyable if you are taking part on this year long journey of discovery for optimal fitness.