High Intensity Road Work

by Tom Elliott

via: http://itsmandatory.com/2008/04/18/high-intensity-road-work/

Working out and taking care of your body should be a mandatory part of everyone’s life routine.  I’ve been working out in one form or another since I was 6 years old.  It’s become a part of who I am and I truly believe it has played a large part in all of my successes.

Whether it’s working out to relieve stress, to have fun, to rehab an injury or to simply push personal limits and barriers – it’s mandatory.  Within this blog I will be posting all of my workouts, each of which will have a unique name of sorts representing a unique aspect of the workout.

There can be many variations of High Intensity Road Work depending on the exercises you decide to plug in but the foundation will always remain the same.  The foundation is the running intervals – the exercises filled in along the road are up to you.

High Intensity Road Work – Variation One

The Warm Up

For me, I prefer a light 10 minute warm-up.  It usually consists of a short walk from my apartment to the Santa Monica boardwalk followed up with 5 minutes of full body stretching and core stabilization.  It’s a mixture of movements that flow from one to the next almost like a hybrid version of ashtanga yoga.  I never used to stretch as a young buck but after a few lower body injuries during HS sports and the military it’s now a mandatory part of my workout routines.

The Work Out

  • Using a watch to time your intervals and total time – I break into a steady jog and maintain that pace for 5 minutes.
  • At the 5 minute mark I pick up the pace to 90% full speed and maintain that pace for a minute.
  • Once that minute is up, I pull off the strand onto the grass or the sand and knock out the first exercise (Push-Ups) I always shoot for 50 push-ups on this first set – depending on the previous days workouts I’ll go over or fall short – either way I push to one rep shy of muscle failure to push myself but to also maintain energy to keep the intensity high throughout the entire 45 minutes.
  • Get up and pick up your pace to a steady jog.  even though it’s early in the workout, you should already be winded – the key is to focus on your breathing in preparation for your next minute sprint and exercise set.
  • Kick it into high gear again, focus on your form and pick something in the distance to get to by the end of the minute.  I find that by doing this the minute goes by faster and it gives you a visual goal to shoot for.
  • Hit the sand, grass, gravel, whatever you’ve got and begin your next exercise.  At this point I’ll typically break into a variation of burpies.  Make sure you have some room. Start standing > bend your knees til you can touch your hands to the ground > kick your feet behind you and knock out a push up > pull your feet back underneath you while keeping your hands on the ground and explode into the air like you’re trying to touch a basketball rim.  I’ll do 10-15 of these depending on my wind.
  • Get back into your light jog and get your wind back.  What’s funny is by the end of the 5 minutes you should have just gotten your wind back, then you’re back into a sprint. ) gotta love this workout.
  • Hit your sprint hard and focus on your breathing and form.
  • Next exercise: Power Squats – Get in position, keep your feet a little wider than shoulder width and point your toes outward enough so when you bend into a squat position the tips of your knees don’t pass the tips of your toes.  Ass out, head up and go down til the tops of your quads are parallel with the ground.  Knock out 75-100 of these as fast as you can.
  • Hit your steady jog in the opposite direction as it’s time to turn around.
  • Hit your sprint for a minute.
  • Next exercise: Bear Crawls – by far one of my favorite exercises.  One of the most painful at this point in the workout but definitely one of the most rewarding after a few months of work at it.  Depending on how fired up I am at this point or which song is on the ipod – I’ll do these on the sand or grass.  For these – I’ll go til my arms buckle down being it’s the second to last exercise of the workout.  The pump you feel in your arms, shoulders, abs, and thighs is truly incredible.
  • Hit your jog – after crushing the bear crawls your jog should be a true “jog” – the first minute you should want to puke from all the lactic acid built up but it will wear off just in time for your last sprint.
  • Hit the sprint and run through the jello feeling in your legs.  Don’t worry you’re almost done.
  • Last exercise: Walking Alternating Lunges. This is the last exercise so you should be blown out at this point.  Hammer it out til you feel like you’re knees are about to buckle.  Be smart – if you feel like you’re about to be hurt – stop.  You always have next week to do more reps.
  • Cool down.  Walk it out til you catch your breath entirely then head back to the pad for a plenty of water and a healthy recovery meal.

That my friends is High Intensity Road Work.  Throw this workout into your routine once a week and you’ll see drastic improvements to all of your workouts and over-all strength and cardio.

This workout is MANDATORY, not an option.


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