Monday, September 9, 2013

A valuable lesson in exercise: The Brick Workout

I have learned so many things in my life that I get stoked when I think of how little I know. There's so much more to be had.

One thing that I have found valuable in my training is the concept of brick workouts. I had flirted with this concept before ... way back in 2007 when I took my first ever spin class. I began going from spin and immediately going into a core class. I didn't think anything about how much benefit that was to my fitness and endurance.

A brick workout refers to the stacking of two disciplines during the same workout, one after the other with minimal to no interruption in between. As you switch modes of exercise, your body needs to effectively and efficiently prepare for the next demand while recovering from the previous exercise demand. Your heart rate increases significantly as your body tries to shift the blood flow from the muscles of the first exercise to the demands of the muscles of the next. Brick workouts help your body handle the aerobic, anaerobic, and muscular demands of a triathlon event.


In the above article, they go on to talk more about traithlon / multi-sport.

I don't think brick workouts are just for multi-sport athletes. Brick workouts will benefit anyone!

I have done some very strange brick combinations over the past few years. I have simulated full triathlons as part of a single workout (which most people think is overkill). Nowadays, I rarely do a workout with a single focus - unless it is a long run. Even after a long bike or swim, I like to walk or run.

My favorite combo workouts are:

Spin / Yoga
Spin / Run
Run / Swim (that one is tough)
Swim / Run (also tough)
Weights / Run
Run / Weights
Weights / Swim (can be a burner)

I cannot recommend the Yoga / Run brick. I really did a number on my achilles (both) upon doing a run immediately following Yoga.

So whatever sport / exercise you are into - consider combining it with another discipline.

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