Healthy Hollywood's good friends at Men's Health magazine are challenging folks to the ultimate fitness race. Guys and girls nationwide are invited to compete in Men's Health Urbanathlon. "It is like a triatholon that uses the streets and landmarks of the city as part of the race. The 9.5 - 11 mile course incorporates obstacles like hurdling over yellow taxi cabs, crawling under Subarus, tire-stutter stepping, over-under traffic barricade obstacles, chain link crawls...and stadium stair climbs," reveals the Men's Health team.
Access Hollywood's own Billy Bush is the host of these fitness fests. So far, the races have been held in Chicago, New York and this weekend in San Francisco. Billy's job is to warm up the over 5 thousand Urbanathletes. Let's go, Billy!
But, if you can't make it to the race, but still want to train like an urban champ, Men's Health shares with Healthy Hollywood a do-it-yourself guide.
Here are three mini-workouts, each one inspired by the Urbanathlon, which feature long runs interspersed with muscle challenges. Workout 1 will train you for sustained effort, while the other two will build aerobic capacity and stimulate fat loss. Complete each routine once a week. Also, add one challenge to workouts 2 and 3. You'll inject variety into your training time as you have more fun and achieve better results.
Step 1: Run 2 miles.
Step 2: Find a hill and run up 50 yards at about 80 percent of your sprinting pace. Walk back to the starting point. Do this a total of 10 times.
Step 3: Run 2 more miles.
Each week, add a quarter mile to Step 1 and to Step 3 until you build up to 6 miles total.
Step 1: Do a 400-yard sprint, timing yourself with a stopwatch. Try to run at the fastest pace you can maintain from start to finish.
Step 2: Rest for the same amount of time it took you to do the sprint.
Step 3: Add in Challenge 1, 2, or 3
Step 4: Rest for the same amount of time you rested in Step 2.
Step 5: Repeat three times, for a total of four rounds. Each week, add one round (including challenge) until you build up to eight rounds.
Step 1: Do an 800-yard sprint, timing yourself with a stopwatch. Try to run at the fastest pace you can maintain from start to finish.
Step 2: Rest for twice the amount of time it took you to do the sprint.
Step 3: Add in Challenge 1, 2, or 3 (on the next page).
Step 4: Rest for 60 seconds.
Step 5: Repeat three times, for a total of four rounds. Each week, add one round until you build up to eight rounds.
Perform 1 set of each exercise below and then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat once, until you've done a total of 2 sets of each exercise.
Exercise 1: Jumping chinup
Stand beneath a chinup bar and, in one movement, jump up, grab the bar with an underhand grip, and pull your chest to the bar. (The momentum of your jump will help pull you up.) Do 2 reps.
Exercise 2: Reverse burpee
From a standing position, simultaneously squat down and lean forward, and then move straight into a pushup position. Lower your chest to the floor, and in one fluid movement, explosively push yourself back up and into a standing position. Do 10 reps.
Do 1 set of each of the following exercises. Then go back to your workout.
Exercise 1: Walking lunge
Start with your hands behind your head (as if you're being arrested). Keeping your torso upright, step forward with your left leg and lower your body straight down until your left knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Push your left heel into the ground, and step forward to a standing position. Then repeat with your right leg. Continue until you've traveled a total of 50 yards.
Exercise 2: Bear crawl
Assume a pushup position with your body in a straight line from your head to your ankles. (If this feels more like a lizard position to you, feel free to call it the iguana crawl.) Now move your right hand forward a few inches, and bring your left knee as close to your chest as you can without allowing the position of your torso to change or your lower back to round. That's the starting position. Crawl forward by switching the positions of your arms and feet, moving your opposite arm and leg with each "step." Continue until you've traveled a total of 50 yards.
Do 1 set of each exercise. Then rest 60 seconds and repeat. Once you've done two rounds, return to your sprints.
Exercise 1: Stepup
Stand facing the seat of a park bench. Place your left foot on it--or on another object of similar height--and put your hands behind your head. Push your heel into the bench as you push your body up onto the bench until your left leg is straight. (Don't rest your right leg on the bench at the top; instead, hold it in the air.) Lower yourself to the ground. That's 1 rep. Do 20 reps, and then repeat with your right leg.
Exercise 2: Bulgarian split squat
Stand a couple of feet from a park bench, with your back to the seat. Bend your right leg and place the top of your right foot on the bench as you place your hands behind your head. This is the starting position. Keeping your torso upright, bend your left leg and lower your body until your left leg is bent at least 90 degrees. Push your body back to the starting position. That's 1 rep. Do 20 reps, and then switch legs and repeat.
For more information, check out www.menshealthurbanathlon.com
-- Terri MacLeod
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