Sunday, March 3, 2013

No Excuses: No Train No Gain

Being part of a team and having a regular schedule can really hold you accountable, but why is singular exercise so hard? Our league gets minimal time on the track so working out on my own and cross-training is vital. When you are too low on funds to join a gym, or struggling to keep sweating on your own because it is -20 degrees outside, you have to get creative.

Try something new. Swimming is always touted as an awesome full-body workout and praised for its low impact on your joints. Sounds perfect for a derby skater, right? Well, I went to the rec center and bought a 10-punch pass to swim laps. I looked up a swim workout because in my head swimming back and forth didn’t sound like much of a workout. I was wrong. Swimming is hard! And I kind of suck at it. I managed to cheat through childhood swim lessons without opening my eyes or breathing under water. I need to just do it (or get a nose pincher) and maybe freestyle won’t look so much like drowning.

Straight swimming is enough of a workout, but isolating the arm stroke or getting a kickboard and using your legs is a great way to strengthen either. You can also just grab some friends (especially friends with kids!) and play around for awhile. Either way it is a great way to escape the bitter winter or have some fun while feeling the burn. Extra bonus if your facility has a hot tub!

30 minutes of swimming (vigorously): 375 calories

D.I.Y. your workout. You don’t need a gym or fancy equipment to get a good workout. Body weight exercises are highly effective, or finding objects around the house to help you work harder is cheap and easy as well. The internet is full of suggestions, but the key is keeping your workouts to a rapid pace. I follow Get-Fit-Naturally and Fit Chicks on Facebook and they always have inspiring posts and almost daily workouts. If you keep them high interval then it takes no time at all. Be sure not to over do it and please listen to your body. Give yourself rest days, make sure you don't strength train back to back days. 

I've done many sweat sessions in my tiny living room. 

Strength training plus cardio equals and even better workout. If it's too cold to go for a run, turn on some music and start dancing. 

30 minutes of circuit training: 300 calories.
30 minutes of dancing: 170 calories.

Kid's play. Jumping rope either makes me think of recess or Rocky. Again, you can ask Google about different kinds of rope jumping workouts. Hop on one foot, alternate feet, double-unders, jump for endurance... it is a lot more vigorous than you might think. 

If you think Roller Derby is an obscure sport, check out the USA Jump Rope Grand Nationals. And holy shit the speed competitions... 

Another past time that can kick your butt is cycling. It was 35 degrees out and with the approriate layers I went on a 20 mile bike ride and felt awesome. I am still getting into that whole biking thing (everyone here is obsessed with RAGBRAI.) but with my new bike I powered through those hills! If you want to keep it indoors, go check out a spin class at your local gym, or buy a stationary bike trainer for your personal bike. 

15 minutes of fast jump roping: 150-200 calories.
30 minutes of vigorous biking: 300 calories. 

Tough it out. Sometimes all I want to do is just go for a run. I've always avoided winter running in the past because I am a klutz and Iowa is COLD, but I finally tried it this winter. I have some trail running shoes so they have some grip on the bottom, and I haven't had any problems yet. I've asked around about those Yak Trax you attach to your shoes and most people say they aren't worth it. Since you are bracing yourself as you run, I think of it more as trail running which can burn more calories. 

The key is to dress in smart layers. You don't need to dress like Randy did for school, but you don't want to leave much skin exposed. As you run your body will warm up, so look for lightweight, moisture-wicking clothes, and don't forget the hat and gloves. The thing I always forget about is my face and neck, so grab a bandana on the way out or some sort of neck warmer. If it's super slushy outside, I've read that people have put plastic baggies over their feet inside their shoes so they don't freeze. 

30 minutes of winter running: up to 500 calories.

Free skate! 
Free Skate. Hit up your local rink or free skates opportunities!! Even if you're just skating in circles the more time on skates the better. Try some footwork you are having a hard time with; transitions, sideways skating, skating on one foot, hopping, etc. Play with your trucks and see if maybe you like them looser. This is FREE time to try new things, experiment with your gear, and impress the locals. Or just hold hands with your derby wife and sing along to songs from high school. If anything, sport your derby best and hope to recruit a few interested people.

30 minutes of recreational skating: 230 calories.

Yoga. So I am not big into yoga, but wouldn't mind doing more of it. I know a lot of derby skaters who  swear by yoga; hot, power, whatever, and make it part of their regular schedule. It may not seems as vigorous as other exercises in the usual sense, but I see it as a good strengthening and body maintenance exercise. The stretching can help with soreness, improve your joint fluidity and relax your mind as well. The few times I've tried it, again underestimating it, holding the different poses is hard and forces you to concentrate on things like your core. There are many different kinds that offer different benefits, so look into which kind is right for you.

60 minutes of yoga: 175-500 calories (depending on type of yoga.)

Train like an Olympian. Apollo Ohno's dryland workout included 45 minutes of stairs... (And then a 1 mile warm down.)

Still looking for more? Look up your favorite Olympic or professional athletes and check out the crazy workout schedules they have. These athletes workout nearly everyday and work tirelessly to improve their bodies and skill. I wish that I could just devote my life to training, but I still have to pay the bills and feed my cat. So until I win the lottery, I just have to force myself to workout when I'm tired, sore, or just not in the mood. It's so worth it.

Note: Calorie counts were based off my body weight and suggested intensity. It was intended to show effectiveness of  different workouts. Results may vary. Also remember, I am no expert. This is all information I've gathered over time and experience. Enjoy!

No Excuses: Introduction
No Excuses: Mental Training
No Excuses: Dynamic Warm Ups

No comments:

Post a Comment