Thursday, February 25, 2016

Squats, beer and beaches

Here's your training video from this week featuring Dave Hopkins of LECOM and Kristin Blakely of the Barber Beast on the Bay. Check it out!

Big news for us here at the Beast: We're having a Guest Bartending Night on March 10 at The Brewerie! The event goes from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and is in celebration of the half-way point to the Beast on the Bay. We'll have guest bartenders from various teams in the Beast, so come on out and support us and the teams! We'll have a special "Beast Blonde" beer available and plenty of other great drinks, too!

If you haven't yet, vote for our wonderful Presque Isle as the best freshwater beach in America at It's currently in 2nd place!

Dave Hopkins will be back next week with some more training tips. We'll see you then!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Welcome back! Beginning your Beast training

This week's video: Front Squat!

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 seven months 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 training, as you prepare for the Beast on the Bay.
This table describes the phases of training. Off-season = January-April & Preseason = May-August

Phase →
Cardiovascular Training
Cardiovascular Training
Low – Moderate
Moderate - High

30 – 60 mins
3 – 5 miles (running)
3 – 5 days/wk
3 – 6 sets
10 – 20 reps
2 – 3 days/wk
45 – 90 mins
5 – 7 miles (running)
4 – 6 days/wk
3 – 5 sets
2 – 8 reps
2 – 3 days/wk
(foot taps)
1-2 days/wk

Primary Exercises
Chest Press       Chest Fly           Deadlift                V – Up                High Knees
Lat Pulldown     Seated Row     Squat                    Rope Crunch     Carioca Drill
Shoulder Press  Back Fly            Hip Abduction    Mtn Climbers    Box Jumps
Lateral Raise      Farmer Walk   Hip Adduction    Glute Bridges    Bounds
Tricep Press       Bicep Curl         Calf Raise            Torso Twist       Plyo Push-Up 

Your yearly training program may be divided into four seasonal components, similar to training seasons in athletics. In-season represents the event (Beast on the Bay), and post-season refers to the period of time after the event for recovery. We’re going to focus on the off-season and preseason components. The first portion of your training (off-season) should consist of strength training to increase muscular mass and endurance (hypertrophy), 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 June, 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. Your resistance training will focus primarily on increasing strength, so the weight loads will increase with fewer reps.

                The final stretch of training (Preseason) 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, we will provide video clips and pictures on the Barber Beast blog, “Nature of the Beast” and our “LECOM Medical Fitness & Wellness Center” page on Facebook. We’ll be using 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 our Facebook page, or email me at