Body Weight Challenges
Over the past three weeks I have put my class through a different body weight challenge each week. I have designed each one specially to challenge the students I teach. The workouts are aimed to improve mental toughness, concentration and the students’ all round fitness levels.
The first session was the ‘five rounds’ workout. We have all agreed that this was by far the hardest of the three workouts completed. These brutal five rounds physically and mentally fatigued the class like nothing they had ever done before. As the students I teach are elite cricketers, this sort of training is invaluable for improving the way they are tackling sport mentally and physically. The best part of each challenge is that students can reduce the number of reps or rounds in each workout to scale the workouts up or down to suit their individual needs.
The first week, when we did the ‘five rounds’ work out, half the class completed the full ‘five rounds’, with the rest of the class either scaling the reps by half or reducing the number of rounds. The best thing was that students challenged themselves and really pushed it out. The times students recorded were from 25 minutes right through to 40 minutes. I personally completed the full challenge as well to show the students that I am keen about my fitness. I recorded a time of 27:30 minutes; I will use this, in the same way as the students to measure my fitness levels over the course of the year. All the students recorded their times and the scaling option they choose on the class board. Each month we will complete each test again which will give the students an indication if their fitness levels are improving with lower scores, or, it will show areas where certain students need to improve.
The second work out we did was the ‘four rounds of run’. This workout was completely different to the first one, with a bigger emphasis placed on the students’ lower body and cardio. The workout was aimed to really fatigue the students and make running at a high intensity quite hard. This was a work out the class did very well at, considering the training they have been doing for cricket. All the class completed the full workout, with times ranging from mid 10 minutes right through to 15 minutes. Again I did this with the class and found it very hard. The running was fine for a start, but after sprinting 400m then completing 50 squats, starting to run again was extremely hard. My time was 11:15 minutes which was quite poor, this is an area i need to improve on to try and catch the class leaders.
The most recent challenge we completed as a class was the ‘prison workout’. This was a brutal upper body challenge. Students had to complete 20 burpees (sometimes called ‘squat thrusts’) then walk 25metres, and then complete 19 burpees and so on until they worked their way down to 1 burpee. It was a pyramid of burpees. It was extremely hard completing the same movement for so many reps. All in all; it equals 210 burpees if the students choose to complete the full workout. It also included 500 meters of walking. These aspects together make for a very high intensity challenge. Half the class completed the full workout with times ranging from 20 minutes to 32 minutes. Other members of the class scaled the workout so they started at 10 burpees and worked their way down. This was a great workout to scale to individual students. I found this workout very challenging but also very rewarding when I completed the full challenge. I recorded a time of 20 minutes exactly.
These workouts will be an ongoing challenge for the entire year. The main thing I have told my students is to make sure they remember what scaling option they have used for each workout, as they need to do this each time we complete that particular challenge. This way, students can monitor progress and see if they are achieving results and lower times to complete the selected challenges. The best thing about this is that my student’s are very competitive, so, not only do they want to beat each other, but they also want to see reduced scores and improve the times they are recording. Through these tests I hope to build on and improve the students’ fitness, mental toughness and overall respect of the benefits of having a healthy body. Here are the three challenges we have done so far. It would be great if other teachers could try this with their classes, then we could compare data. I have a mixed gender class with ages ranging from 16 to 18 years old.