Client Spotlight: Liam McKenzie
Working one on one with clients gives me an opportunity to really hone in on specific performance goals or special conditions of varying degrees. Whether we are working together for more health or more fitness related reasons, they are both intertwined and that's why I'm here to be your sounding board.
To book a session you can do so by writing here.
This week I had the pleasure of spending some quality time with my good friend from back home in Aus, Liam McKenzie, training him one on one in preparation for the Reebok World Spartan Race Championships. We've been working on quite a few different elements of his training program since he's been here; I've been teaching him how to breathe better using Foundation Training principles so that he can get more oxygen in, which will lead to greater endurance in his race. We've been correcting some postural rotation issues using various CHEK exercises, with the goal of making his movements more efficient and less damaging on an injury he's been carrying- a tear in his right achilles .
There's been ice baths and speed work to challenge his nervous system but what got me most excited to share with you guys, because all of you can do them, has been the hill sprint sessions.
Sprints have so many benefits, not only to an athlete like Liam, but to everyone else who is out there reading this today. Several sprints at 100%, in my opinion, gives you a greater overall fitness boost than going on a long run. You get it done in less time, you recover more quickly and the damage done to your joints is greatly reduced. It also has a huge hormonal/anti-aging effect, builds your brains ability to become resilient to fatigue by lowering the rate of perceived exertion at all intensities, builds stronger, muscles, joints and connective tissue and accelerates fat metabolism for up to 24 hours after a workout (in other words, if you are looking for a workout to help you lose excess body fat, find yourself a hill and go hard!)
If you have never tried a sprint session before, here's how to do it: First of all, you only really want to do a sprint session when you are feeling 100% The benefit from the sprint session comes from the all out effort. If you can only give it 80 or 90%, try it on another day. Mark out a track on the beach or find a good hill that might take you 20- 30 seconds to sprint up it. Warm up first; you know, run or jump around a little bit, find your track and do one or two sprints at 75-80%, so that you are warm and confident to go into it 100%. Take some bigger strides to gain momentum and then let it rip. Go as hard as you can until you cross your finish line and then keep moving. Your rest periods should be active ones, so walk back to the start and then let it rip again. 4 sprints, I guarantee will flog you, however your adaptations will be fast and if you do this once a week, you will notice huge increases in your stamina.
There is a tonne of info out there on this kind of thing, but if you are interested enough to want to read more, there is a great section in Mark Sissons' book, "Primal Endurance", that goes into great detail about the benefit of sprints and how it applies not only to the endurance athlete but anyone who is in the business of living longer.