If your new year’s resolution sounds something like “I’m gonna work out more in 2023”, you’re not alone! I tend to get a motivational peek at the beginning of every year, and since I’m lucky enough to know people who are working out and competing on an elite level, I decided to ask them for one workout each to give me – and you – some inspiration for the new year.
My hometown Gnosjö is known for its “Gnosjöandan” – a word characterizing the enterprising and networking culture of the region in Småland. But apart from companies, another thing that’s important in Gnosjö is sports. For example, we have our own cross country skiing programme in high school. A lot of skilled and hard working athletes have once lived or still live in Gnosjö – in this article you will meet three of them.
Moas workout: Running intervals
Moa Hansson is a skier from Vetlanda who I met when she attended the high school in Gnosjö because of the ski orientated programme we offer. Today she lives in Falun and has skied for the national team and even won gold in the sprint at the U23 WC.
During a workout like the following, Moa usually stays around 90% of her maximum pulse. Running intervals improves your fitness, and the more high intensity the training becomes, the more you develop your heart. But Moa points out that intervals also require some preparation for your body: “for a warm-up, you can jog for about 20 minutes with some plyometric hops (Indian hops, high knees, butt kicks) to wake up the body! Sometimes I also do strength training in conjunction with this workout. 30 sec training with 10 sec rest, x 10, and then two rounds of this! Then I do things like the plank, side plank, sit-ups, and back lifts. Simple stuff that just requires the body”.
4 min x 5 times, with 2 minutes rest in between every run.
Find a track (or run on a treadmill) that takes around 4 minutes.
Track your time every lap, and try to run equally far every round!
Adapt your speed after your level.
Tempo shall be tough, but possible 5 times!
Henriks workout: Hilly running
Another skier is Henrik Alm. In 2019, Henrik got placed 40th in the 90 km long challenge Vasaloppet, the world biggest cross country ski-race – only 6 minutes and 57 seconds efter the winner.
Just like Moa, Henrik agrees that intervals are a great workout. High intense runs will make you feel great and raise your endorphin levels in the body – and make the workout impossible to regret afterwards. But if it feels hard to get motivated into doing tough intervals, he recommends a slower version of running where you keep going for 40-60 minutes in a steady speed (again: in the terrain or on a treadmill) . Once in a while, you include sections of uphill terrain to create more resistance and get your heart rate up. Then you go back to running on flat ground for a while. A workout like this is a bit more gentle, but will still give you results. But beware – there is a risk for sore muscles after your first try!
Thomas workout – Tabata
My father, Thomas Bolmgren, may not be an elite skier, but not a bad one either! With age comes wisdom, and after years of organizing countless training sessions at his home gym – sessions that amongst other Moa and Henrik have participated in – he has a lot of workouts in stock. One of his favorites is Tabata. Tabata intervals are shorter (that means shorter rests, too!) and more intense than those most people are used to. Its intensity is meant to deliver results, and can also be an efficient workout if you’re running short on time.
The basic tabata template is:
Choose 8 workouts (for example situps, squats, kettlebell swings, high knees). Download a tabata app to track your time – I recommend a blue icon named “Tabata Timer” In total, you should do 8 exercises of 20 seconds of activity / 10 seconds rest – with one minute of rest between every exercise.
To summarize, these workouts are created by some of the fittest people I know. Don’t be afraid to adapt the workouts to your tempo and level if they seem tough. Like a wise man once said (well, my father), the most common mistake when starting to workout as an amateur is starting off too hard. Begin on an easy, fun level and slowly step up your work. That’s what gives true results. Good luck!