I hadn’t sprinted in approximately 6 weeks prior to this morning’s workout, due to the weather conditions here in eastern North Carolina. Okay, that’s a flagrant cop-out. The reality is that the winter here has been pleasantly mild and, for the most part, dry.  This, though, is what generally happens: I get complacent(thinking I’m jammin’ right on along) and tend to fall into work-out ruts. Lack of time (lack of initiative?) to devote to my work-out pre-planning leads toward performing the same type of work-out repetitively.  I get too focussed on bettering some previous lifting best; this, I’ve found, is mostly a winter-time phenomenon.  Although this isn’t the worst mistake one can make — a work-out of the same type is better than none at all — but, as we’ll see, this “repetitiveness” has a tendency to contribute to the occurrence of repetitive injuries.

Having cut my front squat work-out short last week due to a muscle tweek in the left shoulder blade area of my back was exactly the thump in the noggin I had to have to force the “better get things swapped up” realization. I hate the fact that, after all these years, I still fall victim at times to a lack of forethought in my work-out planning. The “look for the positive” in me says, “well, at least the injuries are minor now AND you know when to call a work-out quits.” This is true; I am older, wiser and at least a tad bit smarter than the days when I’d just blow past a minor muscle pull, only to compound the problem ten-fold.

So, this was the gig this morning at 6 A-friggin’-M in the morning, Rocky Mount YMCA:

  • enough of a warm-up to break a decent lather (1/2 & 3/4-speed 40’s, hip-flexor stretching)
  • 5 all-out 60 yard sprints from a sprinter’s start
  • a set of 10-rep (5 each leg) slosh-tube lunges
  • 5 all-out 60 yard sprints from a standing start
  • a set of 10-rep (5 each leg) slosh-tube lunges
  • inside the gym for — 1 set of hierarchical DB curls and 1 set of flat bench EZ-bar tricep “nose crunchers”
  • showered, shaved and punchin’ the work clock at 7:25

That’s it. It doesn’t sound like much, but as I write this tonight, I can feel a nice tightness to my hamstrings and glutes. Not achy, but I can tell they’ve been pushed in a good way. And the best part? My back is good-to-go. I don’t claim to know all the “why’s” — and quite frankly, a lot of times, the “why’s” are neither here nor there to me — I just know that, empirically-speaking, sprinting works wonders.

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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.

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