• Workout Partner Challenges



      By Mike Simone Men's Fitness

      A workout wingman isn't just one of those random guys to help you out with your last set on the bench, a spotter. A wingman is the guy who meets up with you every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday promptly at 5 p.m. for your usual session. He’s never late, comes in full of energy, and helps hold you accountable.

      Now, instead of just going through your typical workout, make things more interesting, get competitive, and add challenges into your sessions. In the spirit of friendly and healthy competition we’ve asked four of our fitness experts for their favorite team-workout drills for losing fat faster, increasing strength, endurance, and pushing through mental barriers.
      E-mail, text, or ring your workout wingman and schedule these challenges in for your 5 p.m.

      FAST FIVE - Fat Burning and Distance Challenge

      Directions:
      Wingmen can work as individuals or as a team to cover as much distance as possible in 5 minutes, but within a sprint-interval structure. To start, both wingmen sprint as fast as possible for 5 seconds then rest for 5 seconds. This process continues for 5 minutes. (Use a treadmill or running app to track the distance traveled.) Once the 5 minutes have expired, wingmen can compare their scores or challenge another group of two wingmen.

      Purpose:
      HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is an extremely effective way to burn fat and improve endurance. Performing these types of mini-programs along with someone will help you ignore the pain and discomfort while also creating a game to be played against other wingmen-athletes.

      Trainer:
      Justin Klein of T2Performance

      INTERVAL GAMBLING - Fat Burning and Endurance Challenge

      Directions:
      Wingman 1 runs 400m while Wingman 2 rests and acts as the timer. When the first runner gets back, note the time, hand off the stopwatch, and Runner 2 begins. For every second difference, the slower runner must complete a burpee. This should be repeated for 6-8 rounds.

      Purpose:
      Similar to the FAST FIVE, interval running burns fat and improves endurance. The added consequence of burpees as a penalty for going too slow is an incentive to push yourself that extra bit. Perform this workout weekly with different intervals and track the result over an extended period of time.

      Handicap:
      If there is a large discrepancy between the racers' times, you may set a handicap. For instance, the faster runner will add 5 seconds to his time to offset the difference and make for an evened-out competition.

      Trainer:
      Will Huntington of CrossFit Framingham

      HOLD HIM BACK - Power and Speed Challenge

      Directions:
      Loop a sprint band around your wingman’s waist. Stand approximately 2-3 feet behind him while adding slight tension on the band. As you hold the band with tension, have him sprint in a straight path for 30 seconds as you provide enough resistance to make the sprint more difficult. Once the sprint is done, wingmen are to switch roles. Complete 3-5 sprints each. Rest 2 minutes and repeat an additional 3-5 sprints each.

      Purpose:
      Sprints with resistance is an “overspeed” training technique that according to a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research increases power and speed. Overspeed training forces the body to function beyond it’s maximum capacity. Downhill running is another example of overspeed training.

      Trainer:
      Tim McComsey of TRyMFitness

      HORSE - Endurance Challenge

      Directions:
      Wingman 1 picks any style of pushup (wide, narrow, or triangle). Wingman 1 then “calls” the amount of reps he is shooting for before he starts. If the wingman calling his reps fails to reach them, he gets a letter. If Wingman 1 calls his reps and completes them, but Wingman 2 cannot, Wingman 2 gets a letter. If both Wingman 1 and Wingman 2 complete Wingman 1’s called number of reps, Wingman 1 gets a letter.

      Once a letter is given, the control moves to the other partner. This process continues until someone spells H-O-R-S-E and loses.

      Purpose:
      Similarly to the game of HORSE played in basketball, this drill creates pressure and competition that encourages both athletes to improve their endurance.

      Strategy tip: The partner who isn’t "calling" the reps can decide not to try the number of pushups proposed and proven by the calling partner and sacrifice a letter in order to conserve energy and try to drain his opponent at any given time.

      Trainer:
      Tommy Caldwell of HybridTraining

      MEET YOUR MATCH - Body-Weight Challenge

      Directions:
      You and your wingman will compete against each other in three exercises. The resistance for each exercise will be equal to your body weight. (A 180-pound man will compete with 180 pounds of resistance.) Exercises included will be Barbell Bench Presses, Bodyweight Pullups, and Barbell Back Squats. You each have 2 minutes to complete as many repetitions as possible of one of the exercises. Then, rest 30 seconds and move on to the next exercise. The person with the highest amount of total reps after all exercises are complete wins.

      Purpose:
      Performing the exercises with your own body weight “levels” the playing field. This challenge will test both lower and upper body for strength and endurance.

      Trainer:
      Tim McComsey of TRyMFitness

      SQUAT AND SIT - Body-Weight Challenge

      Directions:
      Wingman 1 does as many body-weight squats as possible while Wingman 2 “sits” in the bottom of an air squat. Switch every 15 seconds for 5 minutes. Record the total number of squats performed by each person. Emphasize full range of motion and proper squat technique. In the bottom of the squat make sure the heels are in contact with the ground and the lumbar curve remains intact. The key to this body-weight workout is high intensity performed for a short period of time.

      This workout can be done with a variety of body-weight movements. Pushups are a great exercise to use as one person holds the top of a pushup while the other completes as many reps as possible. Lunges, handstand pushups, situps, dips, and pullups can easily be added to the mix.

      Purpose:
      This workout is a lot harder than it seems and having a partner to share your discomfort will help you fight through and continue squatting. Body-weight squats should be an essential movement for every workout program, and sitting in the bottom of the squat will challenge your lower-body endurance. Sitting in the bottom of a squat will also build strength for heavy back squats.

      Trainer:
      Will Huntington of CrossFit Framingham

      Source: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/...ing-challenges

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