Thursday, June 4, 2015

Intro: Dave Hopkins, LECOM Wellness Center Fitness Supervisor with Beast Training

     The Beast on the Bay is an event that is going to tax its participants both physically and mentally. Preparation is imperative for successful completion and injury prevention. We are 15 weeks out from the Beast on the Bay, so we have plenty of time to improve muscular strength and aerobic endurance. Being proficient in these two components will lessen the mental effect of the Beast, enabling you to focus on the physicality of the event and enjoy attempting its challenging obstacles. Along with any strength and conditioning program, is a balanced nutrition and hydration regimen. You’re going to need to properly fuel your workouts and recover from them, by eating the appropriate amount of macronutrients (carbs, fats and proteins). Finally, your performance in the Beast will be dictated by your attire (shirt, shorts and shoes).  You will be getting wet, so you will want to wear tightly fitting clothing and I advise on avoiding socks. We will be addressing each of these aspects throughout the summer, as you prepare for the Beast on the Bay.
     The first portion of your training should focus on strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. Upper body strength days will focus on abs, chest, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps. Lower body strength days will address hips, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, abductors, adductors and calves. We will be working in all three planes of movement (sagittal, frontal and transverse), due to the Beast obstacles requiring your body to twist, flex and extend in multiple directions. Strength training should be performed two to four times per week, with alternating muscle groups on different days. We’ll be doing a combination of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, consisting of long distance running and sprinting. I’ll be planning out the distances that should be covered from week to week.
     The next portion of your training will involve exercising on the beach, both in and out of the water. It’s beneficial to get used to exercising while wet and covered in sand, since this is how you will be throughout the Beast. Running on the sand will cause muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the hips, knees and ankles, to become more active than running on pavement. So, you’ll want to be running on the sand a couple times a week, beginning in July, in order to practice your technique. You have to employ more of a shuffling stride to prevent from digging into the sand with your feet.

     The final stretch of training will focus on replicating the movements required for completing the obstacles in the Beast. The obstacles will involve crawling, climbing, carrying, and dragging objects. To address the muscle actions required for these movements, I will provide video clips and pictures on my “Hopkins Fitness” page on Facebook. We’ll be us
ing kettlebells, ropes, medicine balls, bands, sliders, as well as demonstrations of exercises performed on the beach. Stay current with our blog for updates and training information, so we can be successful in our Beast on the Bay endeavor. Please contact me with any questions on my facebook page. 


Dave Hopkins
Fitness Supervisor, LECOM Wellness Center

Bio: I'm the Fitness Supervisor at the LECOM Wellness Center. I served in the Marine Corps for 6 years and attained my Masters degree in Exercise Science at Bloomsburg University. I have competed in events such as 5ks, half-marathons, marathons, Erie Bay Swim, Tough Mudder, and the Barber Beast on the Bay. 

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