You have just found out that you will be taking part in an Intense training camp for 5 days straight. Maybe a job requirement or the desire to get in shape. Bootcamp or a basketball camp, maybe a week of brutal Russian martial arts training- who knows? Bottom line, you’ve made up your mind: it is going to be tough.
On top of that, you only have 3 days to prepare, during which you have to work, make meals, look after the kids, and run a couple of last minute errands. All in all you have very little time to optimize your systems for what is to come.
The following 6 tips will hopefully take the edge off and give you a solid foundation for an intense week of training.
Hydrate your system: Proper hydration takes time. Start drinking a few days prior to your event. Avoid drinking large quantities at a time. Rather, sip little amounts throughout the day, all day. You want to make sure you do not deplete your body of minerals and vitamins by over drinking and therefore over-eliminating.
Stay away from energy drinks, carbonation, fructosy-glucosy drinks, coffee, tea and alcohol. Stick to water.
Regulate your eating and diet: Make sure you eat well. Keep it simple; salads, raw fish, fresh greens and vegetables. A good dose of fruits and nuts to supplement your main diet, be it vegetarian or not. Make sure you do not eat late or before sleeping.
Frankly, this is how our diet and eating habits should be all the time. Giving extra attention to your diet will go far in terms of sustenance and nutrition, but also as a psychological pillar. Firstly, it will mean that you are slowing down your day-to-day pace, which is very good for your nervous system, but also you will feel more “wholesome” knowing that you care, feed, and look after yourself in a healthy manner.
Push ups, squats and sit ups: The trinity of body maintenance, I highly recommend the following regimen twice a day, everyday.
3 minutes of push ups, 2 minutes of squats, 1 minute of sit ups.
You can take breaks as needed, but try to accomplish as many per set, without sacrificing good form (in push ups it means planking your body and going as low as possible without touching the ground, and coming up to a position where arms are straight. In squats, keep your back straight, and heels to the ground. In sit-ups make sure your chest does not slouch inward, and your head does not tilt forward or backward).
Mimic, imitate and practice: Unless you have little idea of what will be expected of you, take the time to practice moves that will be required of you. If it is basketball, you know that you will be required to do a lot of stop and go, and lot of jumping. If wrestling, you can practice transitions from standing to lying down, or may want to lie on the ground with a bit of weight on your chest. Take the time to exaggerate each move, make sure you breath, and practice slowly, especially if new and unfamiliar with the discipline.
Stretch: Not everybody is flexible or “free” in their movement the same way. In order to avoid injury, I would like to offer an alternative to what we commonly understand as a stretching. This is the safest manner to get rid of tension without actually risking a tear in muscle or connective tissue.
Twice or three times a day spend about 1 minute stretching like you would when you wake up in the morning. Try it in different positions and try to slowly engage as many parts of your body. Make sure you breath.
Rest well: Quintessential to surviving hardcore training, proper rest, prior, during and after an Intensive will give you the necessary sharpness to better perform, follow directions, learn and process information and data. You will also heal better and feel better.
Rest does not necessary mean sleep. It can be considered as a space where the mind and body can forget and unplug from stress and anxiety causing conditions. However, sleep is the best way to rest and recuperate.
The above tips are for the average person who may or may not have a basic level of fitness, however everybody can benefit from them. Enjoy!
Always seek the advice of a physician prior to starting any training regimen.