When I started this series about outdoor training for power, this was a supplement to gym training. This was pre-corona, pre-masks and social distancing. Now, it’s a viable training option for when you can’t, or don’t want to go to the gym.
If you missed Part 1, a beginning/intermediate protocol, start there. If you haven’t been jogging on a regular basis for at least 3 weeks, start with the conservative version outlined in Part 1. Trust me, it’s worth the time to lay down some ground work.
This protocol, Part 2, is a little more plyometric, a little more powerful. The same rules apply, so let’s begin there.
Training Session Overview
Do this session in the order that follows. Exercises are covered in detail below.
bleachers or stair run
Bulgarian split squat
Training Session – Warm up
Walk a lap.
Jog a lap.
Do a few stretches if you’d like, but save the aggressive stretching for post training.
Bleachers or Stairs
If you can find safe, sturdy bleachers or stairs to walk or run, begin there. Begin by walking a lap or two. From there, set a goal. The stairs I walk are approximately 40 steps, so I go up and down them about 30 times. Each lap takes less than a minute, so it’s fairly easy to gauge how many more I have left in me.
I recommend doing 5 – 10 laps depending on the length of the stairs, and noting both how long it took you and how tired you feel after. From there, you can make appropriate adjustments.
A true recommendation of how many to do would vary wildly from person to person. For the first session, do that 5 – 10 range and continue with the workout. Based on how you feel later in the day and how you recover tomorrow, you’ll have a better idea how many to do in the future.
Total reps: 5-10 to begin
Bulgarian Split Squat
The Bulgarian split squat is also called the rear leg elevated split squat. Set up on solid footing on both legs, with the leg behind you elevated. Remember you are standing on railroad tracks, not a tight rope. That bit of lateral space between your right and left leg will give you stability. Do the first set without weight. You can hold a weight on the next sets if you would like.
Sets x reps: 2×10
If you’re repeating this workout, you can do a third and fourth set.
You can use a box, bleachers, or stairs to jump onto here; anything as long as it is stable. Start at a very low height to begin. Remember, you can develop power without even jumping onto anything, so don’t go crazy with the height just yet.
Stand about a half a step away from the box, with feet about hip width apart. To begin, move into a half squat position, with your arms behind you. Explosively jump up, pressing yourself away from the ground, as you throw your arms forward. Arms move in the direction you are going.
Your legs and feet should move and land together. Absorb the impact by bending at the knees and hips as you land.
STEP down. Don’t jump.
Do small sets of the box jump so you can retain crisp, powerful movements. NO slogging through sloppy reps!
Total reps: 15, done in small sets of 2 or 3.
Oh, how I love pushups! These are good for everybody and can be done almost anywhere! If you have bleachers, you can use them to modify pushups for more or less challenge. If pushups from your feet are too challenging right now, do pushups with your upper body elevated.
First, find your grip. If you are doing pushups from the bleachers, please do not stand far away from the bleachers and dive bomb forward to catch the bleachers! Place your hands a bit wider than shoulder width, and then step your feet back. Your hands should be straight forward from your chest, not your eyeballs. If you were doing pushups from the ground, this would mean your hands are at chest level, and not under your face.
From here, think about squeezing under your armpits. This will use your lats to stabilize your shoulders, and keep your shoulders from inching up toward your ears.
You can even think of pulling yourself to the bleachers or ground, so your back stays engaged as you do your pushups. Bend at the elbows, keep your chin tucked, and when your chest is bleacher or ground level, push back up.
You’ll find it helpful to squeeze your whole torso, glutes, and abs as you do pushups. Make your body a solid plank, not a wet noodle!
Sets x reps: 3 challenging sets. Save 2 in the tank. This means if you think you could do 10, do 8. If you’re rolling along and you could do 20, stop at 18.
Jog or walk two laps.
Hold each stretch for 30 seconds and repeat.
Try this session out and let me know how it goes! Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t wait to hear!
About the author
Kathryn Alexander is a strength coach and personal trainer in Austin, Texas. She loves hiking, college football, and the feel of a perfectly knurled barbell. Read more about Kathryn here.