Holiday season workouts
Following on from our Christmas Gift Guide, this week everything is geared toward the athlete. As time over the holiday season becomes limited, finding time to fit in that training sessions becomes harder and harder.
We have designed these sessions geared toward strength or conditioning that can be done in under 45 minutes. Time is precious over Christmas, but so is training consistency.
The workouts are tabbed by day, and can also be combined to make a 5-day programme if you want to continue throughout the New Year.
The key thing to consider for shorter more intense workouts is the ability to load different muscle groups back-to-back. Supersets are your friend here, with a focus on working opposite muscle groups per superset.
For example, you want to pair a chest dominant exercise like bench press with a primary pull movement like a single arm row. It’s also important to consider the intensity of certain exercises when performing them in a superset. Our advice wouldn’t be to pair a squat with a military press for example, as these are both very taxing on the central nervous system. Rather, pair a squat with a unilateral shoulder exercise like kneeling overhead kettlebell press.
Click here to access your 3-day strength workout.
Short intense workouts that elevate your heart rate can be beneficial for flooding the body with serotonin and lowering cortisol in the body, ideal for the stressful holiday season. Conditioning workouts can be performed a number of ways, but we like to follow the 40:20. This simply refers to 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of rest. So, in a round of 5 exercises, you’ll do 40s of the first exercise, followed by 20s of rest, and then straight into 40s of the next exercise, followed by 20s of rest and so on. Once you have completed all five exercises (A1 – A5), you then get two minutes to rest before the next round. You have completed the workout once you have done 5 rounds. You’ll note that A5 is only 20s due to the nature of exercise and increased RPE.
Click here for your 2-day conditioning workouts.
Along with the workouts, we also took some time to build a list of items, or potential gifts that can support your training through Winter and into the New Year. You’ll notice some of the items below will go hand-in-hand to help support the above workouts.
The Fitness Tracker
We discussed data tracking previously in our Christmas Gift Guide and even went a step further when we wrote about new glucose monitoring technology. As far as day-to-day wearable tech goes, you can rely on the Whoop band and Oura ring to provide great insight into overall heath performance. If we had to choose between these two, we would probably opt for the Whoop band if you’re fully focused on training and heart rate variability, but if you want to analyse sleep performance, we favour the Oura ring.
Another other option which is solely tailored around training is the Polar H10, which is a heart rate sensor chest strap. It’s hard to say definitively, but the Polar offers one of the most accurate heart rate readings in the industry, and because it’s built to track heart rate and training performance, it’s a great option for those athletes training for certain events, or even those who just enjoy analysing their data after training. This is also a great tool for measuring your RPE (rate of perceived exertion).
Accessories & Apparel
To get the most out of your sessions, it’s helpful to have the right gear to support you. Firstly, resistance bands are a great addition. Whether it’s adding resistance to a lift through banded work, or just stretching out certain muscles, they are ideal for injury prevention and explosive work.
If you’re able to train at home over Christmas, the med ball and single kettlebell are two great accessories to add to the household. The med ball slam, which features in our conditioning workout, is great for building explosive power, but just as effective for conditioning training.
If you had to choose between owning two dumbbells and one kettlebell, we’d still opt for the single kettlebell. Beyond versatile, it can be used for hinging, pushing, pulling, core and carrying. The trick here is to figure out what day the kettlebell will primarily be used for. If you’re doing conditioning training at home, opt for a lighter weight so you can adapt it to different exercises. If you follow the 40:20 programme like ours above, a light kettlebell can be used for KB swings, ballistic row, front loaded lunges, single arm thrusters and so many more. If you’re looking to build strength using a single kettlebell, you can opt for a heavier weight and perform lifts such as goblet squats, heavy KB swings, Turkish get-ups, single arm KB row, loaded carries.
Skipping is great tool for conditioning and endurance. You only have to step inside a boxing gym to see the value that elite boxers give to skipping. We’d opt for a high-quality speed rope, frequented by boxers. Skipping improves agility, co-ordination and, of course, endurance.
The final accessory isn’t really an accessory at all, but instead a piece of apparel, our Colt Performance Short. The starting point to any activewear wardrobe is finding the perfect training short. It’s always the first thing you choose before anything else, and the Colt Short has been designed and developed to support you through any type of training session. Featherweight, durable, bonded seams, secret zip pocket, it has everything you need in a short.
That's all from us today. Keep making moves and have a great Christmas.