Here’s the thing. It’s summer in Minnesota and the effort it takes to get into the studio for a workout feels all the more challenging as we get exposed to warming temperatures and extra hours of sunshine. Sticking to your workout routine might not seem as tempting as it does when the temps are frigid, but training is training regardless of the season. If it matters to you in the dead of winter then it should hold the same value in the polar opposite climate. We sat down with coaches, John and Laura, to hear their take on summer training.
Coach John has a deep understanding of the benefits of strength training and why we shouldn’t miss out on a strength day this summer!
You have probably heard several arguments for why strength matters in your wellness practice. I would like to dive a bit deeper and highlight what it is that most of us are seeking when we welcome a strength regiment into our existing fitness routine. I’m talking to those who don’t naturally gravitate towards heavy weights, who don’t desire large muscles, and who don’t much care how heavy their max squat is. For this group of athletes, strength is a means to stability and stability is the foundation of human biomechanics and movement. Stability is something that even the strongest, and often the strongest, fail to cultivate.
As an athlete you perceive in terms of restriction. You want to press a set of dumbbells overhead but your arms won’t move over your ears without bending at the elbow or arching at the back. Genetic defects excluded, you don’t have shorter muscles than the feller next to you who is making this look far too easy. But while you are busy focusing on the lack of mobility, your brain is only concerned about the lack of stability somewhere else, in this case the scapula most likely. When the body lacks stability, the brain responds with a protective mechanism that you feel as “being tight”. Now there are other reasons one feels tight as well, but all stretching does, unless you go WAY overboard and then you’re in for a host of other problems, is alter a neurological trigger to essentially tolerate a given position. You aren’t making your muscles longer folks. But what you can do is get strong, because we know strong means stable and stable means you can perform your given passion with greater speed, power, longevity, efficiency, and with less pain.
Strength is all about altering existing compensations and helping your body exist in its most comfortable and safe (as far as the brain is concerned) state. There are a host of other benefits like increased bone density, increased fat metabolism, pain reduction, hormone balancing including cortisol moderation (the stress hormone), better sleep, increased tendon stiffness, and so much more. You literally can not go wrong with an appropriately programed strength supplementation, in fact you will only benefit from it.
Coach Laura shares her tips for making the most of getting outside with Fly Feet this summer.
My approach to summer training may be less technical than the one and only coach John, but the rationale and science supporting it is just as compelling. The emotional benefits to keeping up our training throughout the year is just as important as the physical benefits because both are impactful measurements of a person’s overall health and well-being. I have a soul that is solar-powered and I know I’m not alone here. Your training approach, whether it’s snowing or sunny, has to excite, engage, and amplify your day. Many studies have exposed the physical and mental health benefits of exercise, and I am pleased to share that there is an equally strong correlation with exposure to nature.
Exercise in any capacity results in a decrease in anxiety and depression, and an increase in excitement, but studies have found that nature-based exercise elicits greater happiness immediately after working out. The output of a training session in the studio will almost always be far greater than what we do outside or on our own because of the coaching, the emphasis on strength training, the camaraderie, but there is a time and place to put that aside and enjoy a little outdoor activity. We want to acknowledge the human desire to be outside, which is why we put in place plenty of opportunities to train both in the studio and outside.
Run Club presents several opportunities to switch up your typical studio routine. Every Saturday in Wayzata we meet for an outdoor training session that invigorates the spirit of traditional distance training, but strays away from just logging miles by adding intention to the distances and paces that we train at. Every Wednesday night we meet downtown for a social run that blends running in the great outdoors with even greater friends! And lastly, the epic Hiit & Run at the Commons begins again on June 19th so mark your calendars!