Ever wonder what "those people" really do? The extremely fit people that you only hear about. Well, they live it daily, and they love it. The smartest ones find balance, but the common element is lots of intensity.
This article is not for those who are just starting out in fitness. This article is for those who want that next level of fitness. If you are just beginning, let this be something to aspire to.
The conversation has to start with Cross Fit. It's over a decade old, and it's roots were in physical preparedness for military, police and fire. The misconception out there is that the 20-minute or less workouts are for everyone. They are not.
The workout of the days, and the more "class" style that has appeared as Cross Fit has grown is closer to something the masses can try. The hardcore testing and metabolic/form failure testing/programming, leave that to the elite. Most people that live and breathe Cross Fit are also active daily and have jobs that are physical.
Their limits need to be pushed in the safety of a gym or as they have coined it a "box". If you are not at the level where you can push your absolute limits, don't think jumping into Cross Fit will get you there.
They have what they call the "on ramp". If you do plan on changing your diet, being fit-minded all day, and taking your body to its limit , then give Cross Fit a try. Do it with wisdom, work with their certified trainers and progress slowly.
Since Reebok got involved with Cross Fit more and more people are finding their way to the gyms. My hope is people realize quick what is, and if it is not for them they are comfortable to say so. I'm not going to play football, so you won't see me in a stadium trying to tackle Ray Lewis, it wouldn't be safe, or smart. If you find yourself in a Cross Fit box, make sure you are there to work, live, and breathe fitness. It's tough. Really tough. It's not for the faint of heart, and true Cross Fitters are a rare breed.
The next place to go for high intensity is the fastest growing sport on the planet, Mixed Martial Arts(MMA). Again, as a sport, this is hard on the body. If you walk into an MMA gym, be ready to have your limits pushed. Pro athletes miss fights all the time due to training injuries. Their is a huge difference between cardio kickboxing and getting involved in full contact training.
I'm currently on a body reshaping journey with MMA a lot of what I am focuses less on sparring and more on the cardio side. Nexersys has the answer to keeping people engaged mentally like sparring without the contact, and it can be done at home.
Training with MMA Circuits can be the best way for someone wanting to experience what their favourite athletes experience to change their body shape and weight. The intensity in this sport is really high, and with the adoption of the Training Mask into most elite athletes protocol, there are very few holes for the unfit to crawl through.
If you aren't healthy and fit, it will show in a circuit. Usually with the participant passing out or throwing up. Avoid both if possible. I find people with a passion for high intensity get the best benefit by following a fighters program. Often training twice a day. Weights and running in the morning, then trying some skill specific training in the evening.
Like I said, I avoid the true sparring and use a safer machine now that I am in my 30s. The sparring used to be part of my training, but now going on TV with a black eye or going into a sponsorship meeting with a bloody lip doesn't seem to get me any further in life.
Now comes my favorite and perhaps the smartest of the high intensity training programs. Sport Specific Training. The evolution of the athlete has come a long way. My work as a strength coach has me writing for Inside Fitness Magazine as an expert and it has me hanging around a lot of pro athletes and trying new training techniques.
The focus on Sport Specific training is to be quick and explosive, as well as maintaining muscle balance. It's the careful, and scientific approach that makes it the most well rounded. The goal is to become the best athlete you can be, then apply that athleticism to your sport.
Every sport has it's dangers, however, training in the gym shouldn't. The difference with this training and Cross Fit or MMA is that both those are sports unto themselves. Sport Specific training lowers the risk of injury during athletic competition, where again, as soon as you step on the field of play there is risk of injury.
Your goal in Sport Specific Training is to push your body's limits, and continuously vary the difficulty and challenge level. You want to create a periodized program that includes strength, endurance, and rest. This way you will always be challenging your body and getting the most out of it. Set goals, and as you achieve them, make new ones. Then use your new-found athletic prowess to impress your friends during adult rec sports nights at the local Y.
The end result of this is to encourage the use of high intensity training and to congratulate those who are pushing their limits daily. There is not enough published material that says great job to those who can run a mile and a half in less than 10 minutes, after doing a full leg-blasting workout.
Not enough credit is given to those who stay fit and out of hospitals for preventable illness. There are a lot more ways to challenge the body, and I would love to hear yours. Leave a comment below or send me a tweet. The world needs to know people exist who take their health and well being seriously.
If you haven't tried adding elevation mask training to your workout, let me suggest it to you. There are few tools out there that will train the diaphram and intercostal muscles like the Elevation Mask, give it a go in your workout, you will love it if you love a challenge.