So, 2012 brings a Mayan-flavored, end-of-the- game Zombie Apocalypse. The most important component of our task list is: “How do we train for Armageddon?"
There are many ways to organize our training themes. Taking a clue from our basic movements, we can climb, crawl, jump, and run, scrambling away from danger. This can also apply to punching, clinching, throwing, and shooting. Rather than look at things mechanically, we look at the motion. We are avoiding a snap shot view of athletics and focusing on a live action movie. We don’t have to imitate skills, we simply have to distill motion into a finite group of fundamentals.
Let’s start with climbing. This would involve the pulling muscles of the upper body, as well as the flexion muscles of the hips. Think of a rock climber going up a sheer face and having to raise his thighs to reach a hold.
The next would be crawling. Get in a push up position and move close to the ground. Scramble as best you can while keeping low.
Then jumping. Not only using lower body thrust, but upper body extension to amplify distance or height. It’s like a squat and deadlift wrapped in a dynamic package.
Lastly is running. This is locomotion. You could include skipping rope or lunging in this category as well.
Some ‘spa fitness’ types will say, “Where is the core?” Simple! If you climb, crawl, jump, and run correctly, you will have all the core stability you need.
The next question is, how to we program this into a progressive workout? Of course the ideal situation would be to live in the mountains and take frequent jaunts into the great outdoors, practicing the same activities. The randomness of this approach has much benefit and entertainment value. The real science would be to include a progressive supplemental program that can take place at home or in a training center. Let’s take a look at that option with some guidelines.
Progressive Supplemental Workout Guidelines
1) Focus on whole body workouts. True movement or even Freerunning/Parkour is not an isolated activity. Practice all four components every workout.
2) Each activity, when planned correctly elevates the heart rate with a different action. This ensures cardiovascular stimulation from a variety of motion. Kind of Panaerobic activity. [Stealing a term devise by Dr. Leonard Schwartz]
3) Some ballistic activity can be added to these motion, but if excessive soreness is present, reduce the speed and focus on smooth repetition.
4) Vary volume, intensity, duration and frequency. You can do the same four motions, but mix them up.
5) Measure and record. Lack of progress means you don’t know where to go since you can’t remember where you have been. This the primary issue with “train instinctively” programs. There is no measurement and therefore no growth.
Zombie Apocalypse Workout Drills
Since these drills involve explosive movements, you should probably warm up with some joint mobility drills. Spend ten minutes and do pulse-elevating movements and joint rotation.
Climbing should be done after jumping since the hanging will give you some decompression. If you have access to a rock face, rock gym, tree or ropes, by all means use them. Added weight in the form of a backpack or weight vest can make this very challenging. I’d avoid excessive kipping since high repetitions of that skill can test the limits of connective tissue. Instead, practice different hand grips and move hand-to-hand to allow some free form. Finish this workout with weighted strict chin ups of low repetition and a high-set nature.
Almost everyone is familiar with the lizard crawl. Face down, hug the ground. This is the basic crawling movement. It’s kind of a mobile plank and push up put together. Add a weight vest and you have a really cool drill. Add some dumbbells to your hands and the walk gets even more challenging. The limits are only in your creativity. The gasser at the end is the weighted push up. Standard method of operation is to make it tough and focus on the lower reps rather than endless volume.
Leave running for last since the action of locomotion can be the most systemically exhausting. Don’t fall for the logical fallacy of no middle ground. With running, it is not either/or, variety is best, short of specific endurance events and the Specific Preparation Phase that goes with them, it is no use to get pigeon holed into one distance or speed. Adjust the volume to your current condition and need and add slowly. Seek the best coaching available and be well read. The hypertrophy component at the end of this is either stair climbing or walking lunges. It is best to set a distance then use precision like form to either go further or increase repetition.
With this open-ended template you have a drill and a hypertrophic component. The muscle building is focused on low reps and high sets. Use added resistance when you can. Record your results with serious detail. The coming Apocalypse will be a snap after training in this manner.
This article was featured in the Dec/Jan 2011 Issue of the My Mad Methods Magazine. “Training to Avoid Zombies: Climbing, Crawling, Running, & Jumping" was written by the Tom Furman. Learn more about the My Mad Methods Magazine by Clicking Here
Tom Furman has been involved in martial arts and conditioning since 1972. His down to earth training methods are derived from his decades long practice of martial arts and his study of exercise science. The application of force, improvement of movement and durability rank high on his list of priorities when training. Find out more.
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