Viewing entries in
Damien Roche Fitness

Do You Treat Shoveling Snow Like A Workout? You Should!


Do You Treat Shoveling Snow Like A Workout? You Should!

Shoveling snow IS a workout. 
And a very tough one at that, since it involves multiple body parts working together.  
Treat it like one. 
Shoveling snow will find your weakest link and test it to its limit.

Broman byJohn Magee ‭(845) 239-8978‬

Broman byJohn Magee ‭(845) 239-8978‬

Here are some suggestions to help your workout more efficient and keep yourself injury free.

1. Hydrate before, during and after you have returned back to your warm house. Water should be enough if you are finished within an hour.  Electrolytes will need to be included for longer duration. 

2. As with any workout, you should warm up and stretch specifically for the actions you will be doing. Ease into the work. Begin with smaller shovel loads and smaller movements. The weight can gradually increase as you limber up and allow your heart rate increase gradually. 

3. Balance both sides of the body by switching the direction you clear the snow. Even if that means you are working at a slower pace on your weaker side, that's ok. This can be great for recovery of your breathing and heart rate. By ensuring you are balancing the effort on each side,  your weaker side will be as natural as your dominant side, or close to it.

4. If expecting a lot of snow it might be best to tackle the shoveling task a few times throughout the day before it becomes too much.

kodiak snow deep.jpg

5. If possible try not to raise the snow over chest height. This will help reduce the risk of heart attack.

6. There's no need to fill the shovel. Less loads, will make it easier and faster than over packing each time. Time management studies during the Industrial Revolution found that giving slightly smaller shovels to the guys shoveling coal into the steam engines resulted in the same volume of coal being shoveled in a shorter time. This meant that workers were not fatiguing as quickly and most importantly, working without injuring themselves. So, maybe that extra big shovel isn't doing you as many favors as you think. You may do great with it initially, but your form will probably suffer and then injury will be more likely.

7. Remember to take breaks often and listen to your body. When you are doing a typical workout or a Bootcamp session, you would listen to your body and ease back or take a break before you're broke. However, clearing snow is more difficult to stop in the moment because you are most likely way closer to completing the task and you instinctively push to finish it. Often this is when your weak link gives out or when you slip or fall. It is far better to come back to it later, as annoying as that may be.

Snow shoveling.jpg

8. Throw something in the crock pot before you go out. ;) 😊👍

9. If possible, pay a neighbor or your insured plow guy to do it. Your coffee will taste so much better looking out at the Winter Wonderland when it doesn't equate to hours of physical labor in your mind. 

Take care.

Enjoy the fresh air workout.


Strength Training; over 50


Strength Training; over 50

It’s never too late to begin strength training. Start this week, and see the following benefits begin to improve your daily living within a very short period of time. Little and often, can be the key to becoming the youngest, most energized version of yourself.


Damien Roche Fitness 30 Day Plank & Push UP Challenge


Damien Roche Fitness 30 Day Plank & Push UP Challenge

Day 1/30: Intro to Planks

What is a plank?  

The plank is a strengthening exercise that uses the abdominal muscles to hold the body in a face down bridge position, while maintaining a flat back.

Why do a plank?

It is a very simple exercise, and has a real worthwhile return on investment. There are not many exercises that can give you the same benefits per time invested.  The nature of the plank allows most people to be able to work at it everyday. Of course you will need to listen to your own body and take extra recovery time if needed.  The benefits of performing regular planks are extensive and we will go into these in more detail as this 30 day challenge goes on.  An abbreviated list includes:

  • Increased functional core strength.
  • Reduced back pain.
  • Postural Improvements.
  • Better Balance. 

Strength gains in the plank directly translate to improvements across a wide spectrum of other exercises from Push Ups to overhead presses.  Having a strong connection between hips and shoulders allows for more efficient movements and power transfer to the limbs, reduced risk of injury and pain, especially involving the lower back. It doesn't hurt to know that a stronger corset of core muscles can help drop a belt size or two just from holding everything where it should be. Weaker corsets can be pushed out by intestinal pressures increasing girth and bringing with it a host of potential health concerns and chronic back pain. 

How do you perform a plank ?

Lie flat on your stomach, place forearms on ground with elbows directly under shoulders, raise body off ground and maintain a straight back, head in line with spine and eyes focused on a point on the ground just in front of your hands. 

The fine points.... How to really get it right. 

Join hands together and press gently into the ground to spread the load away from elbows. Engage your lats by pulling your shoulders toward your hips. Tighten the abdominal and core muscles. Engage the muscles you feel contracting each time you cough. A cruder but far more effective explanation....  try cutting of your urine mid flow..... these are the muscles you want engaged while you plank, for the entire duration of the plank.  Once these muscles fatigue and fail, your plank is over. Do not allow other body parts, especially the lower back, to pick up the slack. It is this group of muscles that we are trying to strengthen over the next 30 days.

Common Faults

Looking up, causes excess curvature of the spine, pinching lumber vertebra and pushing hips towards floor. Fix this by keeping your eyes focused in a set point near hands. 

Head too high   

Head too high   

Chin down, in neutral position, head in line with spine allowing for the best activation of the abdominals, and glutes, providing best support for the back. 

Head, Neck & Spine in line.  

Head, Neck & Spine in line.  

Dropping chin low creates tension between shoulder blades and hips to rise, making the plank feel easier initially, but making it a far less effective. position for strength gains

Head too low. 

Head too low. 

Other common mistakes:  

Holding breathe or shallow breathing near the end. Even with perfect body alignment, it is possible that the the corset muscles could relax. When this happens the hips slowly drop but the lower back muscles take over and are used to keep hips in line.  At this point you are no longer holding your plank, so tighten up or drop. Increases in your timed plank are worthless and possibly dangerous if not done correctly.  


So let's get started... Day 1 

Forearm Plank (as described above) For Time.  

Simply hold good form for as long as possible.

Aim for quality time.

Quality is the win today!.

Share your stopwatch screen shot and experience in the comments below. You may never know just who you are inspiring.



Shin Splints: all you need to know.


Shin Splints: all you need to know.

What are Shin Splints? 

Media Tibial Stress Syndrome if you want to impress your doctor with your self diagnosis. Or simply pain in the lower leg, typically front or toward the inside of the shin. This pain is often caused by tiny micro tears in the muscles surrounding the shin bone, or Tibia. 


What causes Shin Splints? 

Often associated with running, Shin Splints are more often than not caused by increasing the mileage too fast, and not giving the legs time to adapt to this new pounding exercise. 

Another common cause is over pronating (rolling) the foot. This can be due to your own biomechanics or by the terrain you choose to run on.  If you have no choice but to run on roads, then try to avoid the edges that slope downward from the centerline of the road. This also applies to beaches with steep drop offs toward the water. The flatter the surface from side to side, the better. 


  If your feet are landing on a surface that slopes sideways it will cause you to roll your foot more than it is used to.  Continue this for some distance and you are inviting trouble. On quieter roads, if possible, run along the flatter centerline until you are forced to move over for traffic. (not advisable if you can't run without your headphones!). If the roads are too busy for this then switch sides often to balance out the sloping edges before any one side becomes too stressed. 

Running is one of the cheapest entry level sports out there.  You do not need much equipment to do it and most people already have everything they need before they decide to try it. Even so, it is worth investing in a good pair of footwear.  Old, dead soles are the next biggest cause of Shin Splints so it's worth it if you replace them regularly. Most studies show that the most expensive pairs do not equate to better performance or reduced injury rates. Find a pair that works for you, and replace them often. The more you use them the more often you should replace them. The harsher the surface you train on, the more often you should replace them.


What are the Symptoms?  

  •  Tightness in shin, can fade or become an aching pain as exercise continues.   
  • Shins can be painful to touch.  
  • Pain is often in lower 2 thirds of shin or Tibia, and can often extend right down toward inner ankle.   
  • In mild cases, pain and discomfort fade as inflammation subsides, after training. If early symptoms are ignored and training persists, severity of the pain can occur and in this case may not fade after training is finished.  
  • Some redness, swelling and puffiness may occur along the shin bone.  
  • If continually ignored and not given adequate recovery or treatment, shin splints may become Stress Fractures.   

How do you treat them?  

Avoiding them in the first place is always the best option. Failing that, pay attention to the early warning signs, reduce the amount of stresses you place on the legs and increase recovery times between training. Unlike most other overuse or repetitive strain injuries, the muscles of the shins are very difficult to rest adequately once injured. Ignoring the early signs and pushing through the pain is not recommended.   

For new and enthusiastic runners, refrain from increasing your weekly mileage by more than 10%. Take extra recovery days at first signs of pain.


 Also be mindful of the type of surface you are training on: avoid running on concrete at all costs. Asphalt is far better an option over concrete and even asphalt is harsh on both your shins and your sneakers lifespan. Sandy wood trails are one of the best surfaces for running and it is this that they try to replicate with AstroTurf and running tracks so choose these if you don't have stretches of sandy woods to run through  

Short term treatment would include rest, ice, compression, elevation and massage.  A more long term solution is to strengthen the muscles of the  legs, including the calf muscles, quads and glutes. Include regular stretching to the training plan, and if you have a long stride with your foot striking the ground out in front of your knee, consider speeding up your foot turnover rate by shortening your stride. ( added bonus of saving energy which translates directly to improved endurance, and in most cases will result in a faster pace for similar exertion!) 

If prone to recurring episodes of Shin pain, even after adding strength and conditioning to your training, then the cause may be more complicated, possibly down to biomechanics of foot and lower leg, causing over probation of the foot while running/training.  If this is the case it is always a good idea to get a specialist to check it out and advise corrective treatments such as orthotics or particular training sneakers. 

Comment below with any questions or useful tips you may have. 

Or drop in to #DamienRocheFitness for more tips and strength and conditioning advice. 


Stroke Pyramid


Stroke Pyramid

This no impact workout is ideal for anyone looking to improve their 5k times, both running or rowing. It also works as a tough workout for anyone who wants to take a recovery day from pounding of running.


I Want To Run...


I Want To Run...

If you have thought many times that you would like to sign up for a 5k, or longer distance, or one of those fun looking obstacle races, but never do because you are just not sure how to go about prepping yourself, trust me you are not the only one. 



Over the next few months we will be writing a series of blogs focusing on helping you enjoy your running experience even more, with tips on:

  • where to begin,
  • what to do,
  • how to do it well,
  • what to wear,
  • which exercises to focus on between runs, 
  • flexibility and mobility 
  • recovery,
  • and basically how to increase your mileage, speed and enjoyment, without increasing your risk of injury. 


If this sounds like something that interests you stay tuned as we build a library of useful content for you.  Check back often to see if we can provide you with that gem of info that makes your next run even more rewarding. Drop us some comments with your feedback and questions so we can help you resolve some of your running issues. 

Also, we will be sharing a free Couch-2-5k training plan with you   


For now though, let's sign off with some basics:  

Have Fun. 

You should enjoy your training, and your event day experiences. If you do not, try to identify why not so you can plan to make it more enjoyable. That runner's high can be elusive if your looking for it and suddenly show up while your focusing on other things. Don't force it.  


Don't let your Ego ruin your session.  

Give yourself permission to walk during your training and your events. Taking walking breaks before you need to take a break reduces how much time it takes to recovery by a big margin versus waiting until you absolutely need to slow down. If you push it to your maximum, the time it takes to get you out of that uncomfortable zone is far greater than had you reined yourself back just as you were noticing breathlessness.  The beginner runner that walks at a brisk pace more often can perform better than the beginner that heads out at a fast pace and pushes too fast for too long.  Once the latter runner hits that wall it's difficult to recover. 

And finally: 

no matter how much fun you are having...  

Do not escalate too quickly. 

Pending on your fitness levels and past experience, you should not increase your weekly mileage (training and events) by more than 5-10%.  We will discuss this more in depth later but just know that repetitive strain injuries are the single biggest cause of goals not being achieved and training plans grinding to a halt.  Sadly, (or happily depending on which side of your over use injury you are on) most of theses are avoidable. Gradually increasing mileage and training intensities, spending time investing on recovery, mobility and adequate sleep between runs, and adding some cross training strength and conditioning to reduce any imbalances are all great tools used to avoid strains that can range from annoying to all out day ruiners! 


Concept 2 Core Workout: Brief but Brutal.


Concept 2 Core Workout: Brief but Brutal.

For Time:


- 500m Row

- 50 Plank Rows

  (25 pair, no tilting!)

- 50 Over Head Press Sit Ups

This one is inspired from one of our Concept 2 Workouts of the Week. (Week #6) Shortened to a single round instead of 5 rounds, and choosing far heavier weights, that animal becomes a very different animal.  The key here is to choose the heaviest weights that you can maintain good form and just about make the full reps.

Going against the clock is what takes this one to the next level.  


Record your time . From start of first row until the full completion of the 50th Sit Up. Do not stop the clock for any rest time you may take.


Revisit this one on a regular basis and aim to get a Personal Best each time.  

In the comments below, record your time and the weights you used for both the Plank Rows and Sit Ups.

Have Fun.



Senior Fitness: Are these exercises right for you ?


Senior Fitness: Are these exercises right for you ?

This is a good read if you are interested in looking for info on seniors beginning to exercise.



As with all ages and fitness levels, it is worth noting that it's often more a case of individuals having restrictions than any one exercise being 'bad' for everyone.


We get to work often with seniors of all fitness levels, from post op and physical therapy graduates to more than a few that inspire and motivate everyone in the classes, including our instructors,  to keep active and keep young in heart body and soul. 


Everyone has their own entry level. If you have any concerns, about where that entry point may be or if there's a valid reason for avoiding certain exercises the best place to start is with a conversation with an experienced trainer who can offer advice, modifications and peace of mind as you commit to being as young as possible for as long as possible.

Click here to read article.





The seventh day of The Damien Roche Christmas Workouts looks like this, a three part workout.

Part 1

1) 30 Jump Jacks

2) 25 Squat Hold, Punches (pairs) 

3) 20 Plank Jacks

4) 15 Alternating Lunges (pairs) 

5) 10 Push Ups

6) 5 Burpees

7) 10 Squat Jumps

8) 15 Bicycle crunch (pairs)

9) 20 High Knee running ( pairs ) 

10) 25 Squats

11) 30 Mountain Climber (Pairs)


Merry Christmas, Everyone

Merry Christmas, Everyone

Part 2


5 Squats

5 Push Ups

5 Crunches

for 5 minutes.

 Part 3

Repeat Part 2, only beat your time.   


After your warm up and stretching, start a timer and race through these exercises.
As soon as you finish your last rep of the 2nd round stop the timer and record your result.

Rest as needed but do not stop the clock until you are finished. Your result will include any rest time taken.

Take 2 min active recovery/rest before starting part 2.

Part 2 : Set your timer for 5 minutes. You aim is to repeat 5 of each exercise in sequence and repeat as often as possible in the 5 mins.

Note your round and the exercise rep you finished on when the time runs out, as you can use this as a mark of your current fitness. Repeat in 4 - 6 weeks and crush this today's result.

Take 2 min active recovery.


Part 3:

Repeat Part 1 again, with the goal of matching or beating the 1st time.

Record your time.


Post your times in comments below, add some of your own photos or screen shots if you like.






Squat Hold, punches  

Hold a seated position, as low as you can, while keeping feet planted flat. Aim to get thighs at least level with floor.   Once in position, quickly reach in front as far as possible with one hand. Do not lock your elbow. Always stop just short of a full elbow lock. Quickly pull your elbow back while you send out your other hand. Repeat  , as fast as possible until your reps are done. A pair is one rep. If you have trouble holding a controlled squat, do a wall squat. ( sit against a wall, bank flat against it, hips a little higher then knees, knees directly over heels, feet planted flat and about shoulder width apart)


Bicycle crunch (pairs)

Lie on your back, finger tips touch temples, pull left knee in towards chest while sending right  foot out long and about 6" from the floor, roll right shoulder off the floor towards your left knee, then slowly switch sides, rolling both shoulders flat to the floor before raising the left shoulder to meet the right knee. That's one pair.  



12 Days of Damien Roche Christmas Workouts: 3rd Day

1 Comment

12 Days of Damien Roche Christmas Workouts: 3rd Day

The countdown continues.  

12 Days.  

12 Workouts.

3rd Day

Commit to these short but effective workouts and begin to feel and see results in just 12 Days.

The Workout

The third day of The Damien Roche Christmas Workouts looks like this:  

1) 40 Jump Jacks

2) 35 Squats

3) 30 Crunches

4) 25 pair Ladder Climbs

5) 20 alternating Lunges

6) 15 Push ups

7) 14 Mountain Climbers (pair)

8) 13 Russian Twists (pair)

9) 12 Plank Jacks / or 12 pair of foot lifts

10) 11 High Knees (Pair)

11) 10 burpees /or inchworms

What do I do ? 

After your warm up and stretching, start a timer and race through these exercises....


As soon as you finish your last rep of the 2nd round stop the timer and record your result.

Rest as needed but do not stop the clock until you are finished. Your result will include any rest time taken. 

Post your times in comments below, add some of your own photos or screen shots if you like.




As always.... you know your own body. Stretch, hydrate and challenge yourself accordingly. 


1 Comment

World Heart Day


World Heart Day

Heart disease is the biggest killer in the world today. Most of these deaths are preventable by simply monitoring your heart health and keeping active during your day and making some good decisions with your meal plan 

World heart day is  September 22nd.

What will you do between now and then to promote you and your own heart health...

Some simple suggestions....

Learn one new exercise this week.  

Learn one new exercise this week.  

- Take the stairs instead of lift.

- Park further away than you need to. 

- Introduce one more piece of fruit to your day. 

- Take a new exercise class.

- Learn one new exercise this week.

Take a hike

Take a hike

- Hike a new trail or park.

- Create a themed social gathering (picnic, party)  and have everyone bring their favorite healthy snack.

- Join a great local gym and soak up some tips and advice from experienced trainers and staff and other members with similar likes and goals.  

Try a new class.  

Try a new class.  

Small changes to your day and week can make a significant difference to your overall heart health, and to that of your families.  

To find out more about World Heart Day click on this link 

What ideas do you have? Share below in the comments.  



Is Exercise a good idea for seniors? (part I)


Is Exercise a good idea for seniors? (part I)

With more and more people living longer active and healthier lives, we are seeing an increasing awareness of the benefits of exercise for over 65s. Regular activity and exercising in social group settings may just be the fountain of youth that we need to stay younger, slow down and even reverse the effects of aging on our bodies and mind. Short and light workouts, often each week can have remarkable side effects, including...

  • Increased energy levels throughout the day.
  • Improved sleep quality and duration.
  • Functional strength gains for daily living.
  • Increased endurance for sustained activities from yard work to traveling.
  • Reduced stress.
  • Weight loss
  • Ease the symptoms and even reverse the effects of long term illnesses such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure, and even some forms of Arthritis.
  • Improve memory.
  • Improve moods.
  • Improved balance and coordination
  • Reduced risk of falling due to improved balance, reaction and coordination.
  • Improved chances of coming away from a fall injury free or with less serious complications.

This list can go on and on so basically exercising can make you feel great and offer you a more independent lifestyle for longer. It can also be fun, especially if you exercise with some like minded friends or as part of a class such as SilverSneakers®.

I have never exercised before. Is it too late to start now?

Absolutely not.

There are very few people over the age of 65 that would not benefit from some form of increased activity, even those with chronic disease. The key is to find the right activity and the right intensity. It is always advisable to get your doctors clearance and to ask for advice or take a class with a certified experienced trainer. Choosing to begin is always a tough decision. It can be discouraging having limitations set by an illness or finding yourself gasping for breath after moving from couch to kitchen or up the stairs. When we do not know where to begin it is easier convince ourselves that it is probably not the best idea for me at this time.

So where do I begin?

A good place to start is to find some comfortable clothing to wear. It doesn't need to be expensive or sports wear but it should be easy to move in, non restricting and not get too warm midway through exercise. Layers are a great way of maintaining comfort, zipping down and peeling off as the warm up moves into main workout and then putting them back on for the cool down and post workout. Footwear is perhaps the most important item required. They should fit correctly and offer good support, and cushioning. Comfort is important, as is a snug fit so the foot is not sliding around inside, and not too tight at any point, both of which will result in blisters.

Next is to choose exercises appropriate to your fitness and activity levels. Exercise is an increased workload on the body. If this work load is increased gradually, the body responds by adapting, getting stronger and better able to perform that workload. Once the work becomes easier it is time to challenge the muscles with another increase in the workload. If you are currently inactive this workload may be repeating a slow sit down in to a chair, or taking a stairs instead of an escalator, gradually increasing the distance that you park your car from where you need to go. If you are currently active you will need to do more to find a challenge.  Walking is a great exercise for all levels. Choose a distance and terrain that makes breathing a little faster and conversation a little more difficult.  High intensity exercise is not necessary, nor recommended, to get most of the health benefits of exercising.


An inspiring and fun group at Wednesday morning  SilverSneakers ® class.

An inspiring and fun group at Wednesday morning SilverSneakers® class.

Click here to see if you or a loved one is eligible for FREE membership at Damien Roche Fitness Center. Over 12 million people nationwide qualify for FREE gym memberships. We are 1 of 13,000 participating facilities across the country which provide gym membership through some health insurances.  If you are eligible, you can probably also find a location near your vacation destinations or seasonal homes.

In Part II...

What other exercises can I do?

Should I call my Doctor ?

SilverSneakers explained in more detail and

Exercise and the elderly myths explained.



Home H.I.I.T.


Home H.I.I.T.

Tabata Time


20:10 x 8

20:10 x 8

Download a free Tabata Timer like Gymboss to do this workout without having to waste time checking a clock. 

Perform each exercise for 20 seconds  as intense as you can make it.  Take a 10 second break. Repeat for 8 rounds.   

Use this workout as a marker of your current fitness by recording your totals for each of the rounds. Keep your results and try to beat them in 6 weeks. 



Snow Day Tabata plus


Snow Day Tabata plus

Let's not allow this weather to get in the way of our training. Here is a body weight workout that you can do anywhere. 

Phase 1 follows Tabata format (20:10) This means 20 seconds as intense as you can make it, followed by 10 seconds of active rest. Repeat this 8 times, making it 4 minutes of rounds.  

Take 1 minute for active recovery before beginning the next exercise.

Hydrate as you go and make sure you warm up using lighter versions of the moves you will be doing in these exercises. Use dynamic stretching to further protect you from injury.  

Body weight / do anywhere Workout

Body weight / do anywhere Workout


Phase 1 will take 20 mins.  Modify any exercise you need to, add more rest time between exercises if you need to. Challenge yourself but you know your body and so push back but respect it's limits. Record your reps each round and try to beat them.  Record the numbers so in a month you can destroy today's scores.  

Phase 2 is for anyone who is now into it and want to keep going.  Take a minimal break after the Tabata and get started on Phase 2 as soon as you can.  

Cool down and stretch once you are finished. Having a healthy prepared snack ready to go for when you are finished will speed up muscle recovery times.  

Phase 1


  1. Push-ups 
  2. Squats  
  3. Plank Jacks
  4. Burpees

Phase 2 

    2 Minute Plank
    40 Mountain Climbers  
    50 Jumping Jacks  
    40 Alternating Lunges  
    2 Min Wall Squat


I DONT HAVE TIME TO TRAIN!! ... What's your excuse not to exercise?


I DONT HAVE TIME TO TRAIN!! ... What's your excuse not to exercise?

We all have "reasons" why we can't go to the gym or train. Yet there are busier people than us with less free time that never miss it and feel all the better for it. In fact they may even be more productive throughout the day because of it. 

So let's break down the biggest excuses and see how we can tackle them, starting with the one I hear the most from clients. 


  • Try different times of the day to see what works best for you and your schedule. This may vary from day to day or even from  week to week but play around and when it works plan to do it again the next time your schedule is similar. 
  • Just do a little at a time, aiming for at least 60 minutes by the end of the day. Even 3 x 12 mins of moderate activity has been found to give positive results, and even if you don't get that full hour you will be lapping the you that isn't doing anything at all.  
  • See if you there is something you can cut out in order to make the time for physical activity. TV may be the obvious choice but just by putting electronics away for an hour can make you so much more productive and less distracted. This may be enough to clear up time during the rest of the day for a quick workout. 
  •  Combine other aspects of your day with exercise. Instead if meeting you friend for a sit down coffee, meet them for a hike or even take the coffee to go and stroll while catching up. 

Bottom line, it is all about panning and identifying just how important the results you are seeking are to you. If your WHY is important enough you will make it happen.  It does not need to be a long workout to have an effect. You can achieve a lot in 20 mins. 

There's a lot more solutions available too but let us know how you deal with the perceived lack of Time issue?  

Share with us your tips. 

Let us know if you think you have a barrier that isn't easily worked around.  

Comment below.  

We will look at your comments and address them and also look at other common perceived barriers in a later blog. 




Your New Favorite Interval Program :3-2-1 Training


Your New Favorite Interval Program :3-2-1 Training

If I told you you could replace a longer unexciting workout with a 12 minute interval training workout that is more fun, easier to stick to and over 6 weeks reap so many benefits, would you try it?

For example: an average runner over 8 weeks could shave almost 40 sec more off their 5k time than a control group that didn't replace some training sessions with this type of interval training.  Among other markers of improved health, most had  lower blood pressure after 8 weeks too.   It's not a complicated program and you don't need much to try it.  

A recent study from Denmark, described the benefits of this style of training. A New York Times reporter, Gretchen Reynolds, also wrote about the benefits of introducing such training into your week.  You should try it for your self this week and see if you like it.  

How to do it....  

Choose your activity, and do 30 sec at an easy pace, then increase the intensity to a moderate pace for 20 sec before going all out 100% sprint mode for 10 whole seconds.   

Repeat this protocol 5 times without resting between rounds.   

Then take a 2 min rest of almost no activity.  

Repeat the 5 mins again.  

One of the best things about this interval training session is that the toughest part is only 10 seconds.(half that of Tabata!) and there's a good recovery period before repeating it which allows for all out 100% intensity. 

This workout lends itself perfectly to the Concept2 rower. It also works well with Spinning or indoor cycling. Without using a timer you can still apply it to sports such as running and swimming by counting strides or strokes instead of seconds.  Try it yourself and let us know below how you did and what you think.   

On the rower you can count strokes or set it up for 30 sec repeats using the 'Time Interval Workout'.    

Can't wait to hear from you and find out how you applied this to your week.  




1 Comment

The Plank: Day 28/30, Forearm Plank

For Time

Today is the last time the forearm plank will be tested to the max. Perfect form is more important than time.


 This is as much a mental challenge as it is a physical one. Check back on your previous best, add some time to it and hold on to that number as it gets tough. The difficulty can often come in waves and if you hold on or change your mindset it can get easier for a length of time. Also when you have an impressive time to attack it can be daunting from the start. Don't allow this convince you to quit early. 28 days in and you haven't quit yet so just hold on as long as you can.  And then a little longer.  


1 Comment

The Plank: day 26/30 Two points of contact


The Plank: day 26/30 Two points of contact

This plank is a real challenge but it's a complement to everyone who has stayed the course the last 4 weeks (almost!). To be able to hold a two point position with any measure of control is extremely tough, and complicated from a nervous system point of view. The fact that you guys won't find it as impossible is a tribute to your consistancy and to the fact that ye are more in tune with your body than the average person. So you are winning already 😃👍


Today we are going to begin in forearm plank. Without tilting remove one arm from the ground. Head position will be key for not tilting. 

You can raise your elbow out to the side or up towards ear.  


Once you feel stable, lift the opposite foot a couple inches of the ground. So left arm and right foot or right arm and left foot. Hold for 3-5 sec before retuning both back to the floor.  Keeping core right, and not tilting, repeat with other sides. 

Take a few minutes to dial this in.  As you find your balance points the goal is to raise and lower both foot and hand at same time. 

Level 1: 

Aim to attain 5 pairs of two point planks, 3-5 sec holds in two point position,  with controlled deliberated raises and drops. Break as often and for as long as you need  

Level 2:  

Aim for 10 pairs, but only break once. You can hold the regular plank between transitions as long as you need before continuing. But only drop once to rest fully.  

Level 3: 

10 pairs, hold position for 10 sec once up.  Minimal time at regular plank between switches. 

Level 4:  

20 pairs, with 10 sec holds  

Level 5

20 sec holds, minimal time in regular plank for transitions... As many pairs as possible without dropping.  

Let me know how many you get.  

Wuality plank is the most basic reason we are doing this so don't rush and aim for higher reps than you can perform well. Get a true number of where you are right now so you can compare it in the future. 

Slow deliberate transitions are part if this challenge.  Don't fall out of a position. No tilting.  25 days in and the tilt should be easily controlled for at least a few reps now.