Fitness motivation can be hard in lockdown. It’s tough to really push yourself when you’re in your living room, mere inches from your sofa and TV remote.
But, keeping your home workout routine fresh, different and challenging is the key to persevering, and to achieving your fitness goals.
So, if you’re looking to take your workout to the next level and make fitness interesting for yourself again, you should try some of the methods used by the military.
To work out on a Special Forces level, it is all about determination, endurance, and this all stems from your mental strength and focus.
Former special forces solider and founder of Battle Ready 360, Ollie Ollerton, explains the tough fitness standards that are required when joining the military:
‘Admission to the various military special forces is like no other,’ he says.
‘Rigorous and demanding, these exercises will ramp up your workout routine in no time.’
Military fitness moves for your home workout
Running or walking
‘Stamina and endurance are key when looking for a role within the special forces,’ says Ollie. ‘You need to be able to run and walk for sustained periods of time, at a great pace, often with added weight.’
All you need is a decent pair of running trainers, a backpack, and the great outdoors.
‘No matter the weather, layer up, and load up a backpack – use filled water bottles, or whatever you can get your hands on to add some extra weight,’ he suggests. ‘If you have one, a weighted running vest, or sandbag would be even better.’
To mix things up, Ollie suggests trying a bleep or multi-stage test to really put you through your paces.
Aim for: 3km under 11.5 minutes, 5km under 20 minutes, 10km in under 42 minutes and 20km in under 88 minutes.
No one likes burpees. But Ollie says they could be just the thing to take your fitness to the next level.
‘An exercise that many come to know and love (eventually) is one of the best ways to get your heart racing and increase blood flow,’ he says.
‘When executed correctly, the burpee works your arms, back, chest, core, glutes and legs – a full body exercise.
‘Great for short, quick bursts, burpees are just as much a mental exercise as they are physical.’
Aim for: 100 burpees in under 10 minutes and you are well on your way to becoming an athlete.
Ollie says consistency is key, so regular cardio exercises is a must – and it doesn’t always have to be running.
‘It’s important to switch it up so that your body is always working different areas,’ he says.
‘Your body should be able to withstand prolonged periods of moderate-to-high intensity exercising and cycling is a great way to improve this.
‘As well as working all major muscle groups, it is low impact so there is less risk of injury, however it is a sure-fire way to increase your VO2 max and lactate threshold levels.’
Aim for: 15-20 miles is a good session, as is two to three hours.
Don’t be fooled by the seeming simplicity of this move, the wall sit is really tough. And Ollie is about to make it even tougher.
‘Once in the position of a traditional wall sit, stretch your arms out in front of you whilst holding a weighted plate,’ says Ollie.
‘You’ll find that this is more of a mental exercise and will really push you to your limits.’
Aim for: Hold until fatigue. Time yourself and aim to beat it every time.
‘Mental fitness is crucial when training for the any of the special forces, and even if you’re not, it is great to be mentally prepared for any difficult exercises,’ says Ollie.
‘Sometimes, it is a simply a case of mind over matter.
‘Although a bear crawl sounds rather easy, it is most definitely harder than it looks.
‘Use a big open space and really try to exaggerate each movement, ensuring to work all of the muscles in your body.’
Aim for: Repeat until you can no more! Beat your PB each time and challenge yourself.
Either at your local gym or if you have a park nearby – find a secure bar, one that is slightly higher than your height.
‘Ensure the bar can support your weight, and reach up to hold on to it, lifting your feet off the ground,’ says Ollie.
‘Another mental battle for you to endure, the hang test will certainly put you through your paces.’
Aim for: Hold until failure. Time yourself and aim to beat your personal best every time you try it.
Plank or press-up hold
‘You could do this the traditional way, with your forearms on the ground, or challenge yourself with a full press-up hold,’ says Ollie.
‘Remain locked in position without moving your hips or arms, and the trick? Stay focused.’
Aim: Again, hold until failure – holding for longer each time.
Do you have any fitness tips to share? We want to hear from you.
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