Monday, June 09, 2008

It's playtime!

I've been re-reading one of my favourite training books, Frank Forencich's Play Like Your Life Depends On It. Sara put me onto the Go Animal website (which has apparently since been renamed Exuberant Animal) a couple of years back and I ordered the book then.

Rather than clumsily explaining what I think it's all about, here's what the website has to say:

Exuberant Animal is an innovative approach to health and physical education that's primal, practical and playful. By combining the study of human evolution, functional fitness and animal play, Exuberant Animal transforms the practice of human movement into an experience that's exciting, inspirational and intensely meaningful.

Functional fitness. That's the bit I love. Training your body to work the way it's meant to. It's kind of contrary to the way most bodybuilders train, but there's no point looking great, if you feel like crap and can't make your body perform simple daily movements. Me, I plan to be fit and FUNCTIONAL for many years to come.

Anyway, when I get to train groups or pairs of clients, I love to pull out some of the games from the book. It's great to see adults having a really, really FUN time. They're usually enjoying themselves so much, they forget that they're working muscles and joints, and their cardiovascular system. The whole thing usually dissolves into hilarity at some point, so you get a great ab workout too. :o)

Med ball slam-dunk is an example: you need two people, a hula hoop and a medicine ball. One person holds the hoop above head height, and the other has to slam-dunk the ball through the hoop. He/she then squats to pick up the ball and repeat.... only, as they bend to retrieve the ball, their partner runs away and the slam-dunker has to chase them down. I use a stop watch and make them swap roles after a minute or two, by which time they're both pooped.

They don't even realise that they're doing squats, overhead presses, some plyo moves (if their partner is mean enough to make them jump) and some cardio - they're just playing a fun game.

Go and check out the site. There's a lot more fun stuff there, plus some interesting info - not just for trainers either.

1 comment:

SeLiNa said...

Ooooh, I remember you put me onto this one a few years ago!
Me thinks it's time to re-fresh the memory and check it out.
Just what I need for my group training to jazz it up a bit again :)

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