Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Training through the Summer

The winter is now past us and for the next few months there is the heat, the loose clothes and the steaks on the BBQ. However it is also a great time for training. Winter training can be sometimes boring and depressing and having the long hot summer days can help produce some inspirational and memorable training sessions.

Just as the temperature is different from winter to summer, so can ones training be. Below are a few tips on how to use the summer months to help.

Train outside - Grab the weights, the pads and the people and get a tan while you train. Not only will training outside provide you with a method to fight boredom which some will welcome, but the heat from the sun will make you sweat a little bit more allowing one to burn more calories and lose more weight.

Cardio Sparring - As mentioned above, the summer heat will help burn more calories. Using sparring as a method for performing cardio training will help. By sparring, one trains strength and explosiveness via throws, take downs and grappling, where stamina is worked via the constant repetition of strikes and by moving around. If your diet is correct, sparring can be a great help in burning unwanted fat. A good way of doing cardio sparring is to perform High Intensity Interval Sparring. For a minute or so keep the sparring light, soft and at a slower pace. Then for about half a minute boost up the intensity to as high as possible. Move fast, strike hard and scramble on the ground with ferocity. Repeat this cycle 10-20 times for a good workout. Make sure if the contact is hard that you and your training partner are well padded.

Flexibility exercises - To some, there is nothing worse than trying to improve flexibility in the cold winter months. Muscles contract instinctively in order to stay warm and stretching them can be very off putting. However, the warm summer months seem to make the muscles more elastic and less prone to injury so use the time you have wisely and improve your flexibility. Its always best to perform stretching after workouts, when your muscles are worked and the blood is flowing. After sparring is a great time since you would have performed a variety of kicks, punches and body movements and your muscles will be already limber, able to welcome the stretches better.

Swimming - To add on from training outside, one of the greatest advantages summer brings is the ability to enjoy long lazy days by water. If you are lucky enough to have a swimming pool around the area you live or if you live close to the beach and if it is something you do not usually do, add swimming to your training program. Not only will you be able to enjoy the surroundings, compared to sweaty smelly indoor gyms you may have endured throughout the year, but you will also be getting your body used to performing a different exercise, which you may not be doing regularly. Performing different exercises is always good for shocking your muscles, making them grow.

Warm up - Although you will be warm because of the heat, you still must make sure to stretch lightly before each workout session so as to not injure yourself.

Drink extra water - As you will be sweating more because of the warm weather, it is imperative that you keep well hydrated. Drink extra amounts of water, before, during and after training. Whatever bottle you may use to drink from, go and buy a bigger one. Fill it to the top before training and take regular sips throughout.

Summer training can be hard as the heat may drain you, so obviously if you are drained you may want to skip training or keep it light. Also, training throughout summer can be sometimes a chore to some as it is time where fun can be had with family or friends and a time where many people take a break from the pressures of life. Keep your training fun and if you want to take a few days off from training go for it. Don't let it rule you and you will always enjoy it.


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Elias said...

Aw we're heading into winter now down here... Did you have a post about winter training??

MARKS said...

ELIAS - In UK the winters are damp cold and ugly and im glad it has gone for the I shall try and get a post together about winter training however. Stay tuned.

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