The Men’s Health Urbanathlon workout part 1

Train ahead to be race ready

On November 22, 2009, Urbanathletes will converge on McKinley Hill in Taguig to test their mettle in an all-new Urbanathlon course. Get ahead of the pack with this exclusive training plan.

How to use this plan:

Your goal in training is not only to develop your conditioning. Since you’re going to run 10K while hurdling challenging obstacles, you have to train for muscle strength and endurance. And here’s where this bodyweight circuit training helps.

For the next four weeks, workout three times a week following this circuit. For every session, do three sets of 15-20 reps per exercise. Rest intervals are at 20 seconds in between exercises, and 2-3 minutes in between sets. In between workout days, you should run 3-5 km.

According to Edy Bundoc, fitness coach at Arena Fitness Center in Quezon City, the number of reps required can be challenging but this is essential. “The many reps stimulate the slow-twitch muscles and at the same time the muscles recall the repetition of movement. So the body, in turn, adopts the movement,” he says.

This circuit provides a very challenging total body workout that’s just right for a very challenging race. Any runner will also benefit as the exercises hit all essential muscles you need for running efficiently. “Kailangan palakasin ang legs kasi yun ang gamit na gamit,” adds Arnold Malabanan, also a fitness coach at Arena Fitness. “But still, dapat whole body ang ma-develop—your core, your arms, lahat.”

This circuit is just the firs of three stages for this MH Urbanathlon workout. The second and third stages will be featured in our November 2009 issue. For now, train hard for the next four weeks with this circuit to be ready for a more difficult circuit come November.


1. Prisoner squat

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and lace your fingers behind your head. Keeping your elbows back, bend at the hips and knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Press back up to the starting position and repeat.

2. Pushup

Assume the classic pushup position, with your weight on your hands and the balls of your feet. Space your hands just wider than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight, bend your elbows to lower yourself to the floor. When your chest is just off the floor, push yourself back up to the starting position.

3. Chinup

Hang from a chinup bar with an underhand grip (palms facing you), your elbows slightly bent. Pull yourself up until your collarbones almost touch the bar. Pause, then lower yourself to the starting position.

4. Bench dip

Place your hands on the edge of a bench, fingers pointing towards your lower back. Keeping your hands in place, slowly step forward until your legs are extended in front of you, knees slightly bent. Your arms should be straight, elbows unlocked, supporting your weight. Slowly bend your arms to lower yourself as far as you can and bring your butt as close to the floor as possible. Press yourself back up to the starting position. Try advancing your level by resting your heels on another bench.

5. Situp

Lie on your back on the floor, bend your knees 90 degrees, and plant your feet flat. Tuck your chin slightly toward your chest. Raise your arms off the floor so that they’re parallel to your body and pointing toward your feet. Keeping your feet and butt on the floor, raise your torso toward your thighs, coming up as far as you can. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

6. Back extension

Set yourself up on the bench with your feet firmly set under the heel rests. Lower your torso into a full range of motion (make sure you are not too low on the pad so as not to limit your range). Drive upward to return to the starting position.


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