Instead of a full-on new plan, try these tricks to supercharge your workouts…
AT THE POOL
SLICE UP YOUR SWIM
Guilty of launching into lengths with no particular plan ? Structuring your sessions by slicing them up will give you some serious gains.
To strengthen your upper body, swim for 5 minutes at a steady pace but at the end of each length pull yourself out of the pool, then climb back in.
THE LAZY LEG TEST
Front crawl (Freestyle) is the perfect stroke to get your heart rate up. However, people doing this stroke often don’t use their legs effectively. Obviously, the legs are the biggest muscles in the body, so they need more energy and oxygen, which means burning more calories. So working them hard can bring major fitness gains. I recommend this simple test to check if you’re slacking:
Time yourself swimming 50m at a steady pace. Do the same again but this time with a pull buoy between your legs, no kicking. If you’re faster with the pull buoy, your legs are holding you back. Work on your kick.
Treating water uses your main muscles groups. Start with 30-second intervals going as fast as you can, with 15-second rests. Repeat as many times as you can.
20% Warm-up: Swim lengths at an easy pace and focus on nailing your breathing.
20% Build Set: Increase your heart rate and prepare the body for the main set. Try 1-2 length intervals of front crawl (freestyle) with 15-second rests in between.
40% Main Set: Set a goal for this, whether it’s improving endurance, speed or technique. For endurance, do long stretches (e.g: 100 or 200m) with short breaks in between. For speed, do ‘sprints’ (e.g: 25-50m, as fast as you can) with short breaks in between. For technique, focus on specific drills, such as using just your arms or legs.
AT THE GYM
How to get clever with these gym classics.
CROSS TRAINER: Ensure your heels are flat throughout the movement and try to push them to maximise glute (bum) activation.
ROWER: Use your legs for maximum calorie burn. The movement should go ‘legs them arms’ on the push, ‘arms them legs’ on the way back.
TREADMILL: Walk on a high incline.
2 TO 3 WEEKS…
…Is how long I would recommend coming off coffee, to increase your sensitivity, so you can start drinking it as a way to boost your workout. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that’s great for improving performance during training as long as you don’t overdo it. Once you’ve increased your sensitivity, you can start having just one coffee before hitting the gym to supercharge your workout.
Perform supersets with a gym buddy. Each does a move targeting different body parts, so one of you sues a step-up box and the other dumbbells, then swap over.
…of your maximum heart rate is what you want to be aiming to work at to burn the most fat when walking. Maximum heart rate can be roughly calculated by subtracting your age from 220.
Different walking styles target different muscles. Deliberately lengthening your gait = hamstrings (back of legs). Walking uphill = glutes (bum). Walking downhill = quadriceps (thighs).
GET INTO THE SWING
Don’t just think about your legs, consciously swing your arms as you walk. It’s very effective for toning them, and speeding up your metabolism.
PS: Any questions ping them at me, I answer every one, just ask.
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