A workout wingman isn't just one of those random guys to help you out with your last set on the bench, a spotter. A wingman is the guy who meets up with you every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday promptly at 5 p.m. for your usual session. He’s never late, comes in full of energy, and helps hold you accountable.
Now, instead of just going through your typical workout, make things more interesting, get competitive, and add challenges into your sessions. In the spirit of friendly and healthy competition we’ve asked four of our fitness experts for their favorite team-workout drills for losing fat faster, increasing strength, endurance, and pushing through mental barriers.
E-mail, text, or ring your workout wingman and schedule these challenges in for your 5 p.m.
FAST FIVE - Fat Burning and Distance Challenge
Wingmen can work as individuals or as a team to cover as much distance as possible in 5 minutes, but within a sprint-interval structure. To start, both wingmen sprint as fast as possible for 5 seconds then rest for 5 seconds. This process continues for 5 minutes. (Use a treadmill or running app to track the distance traveled.) Once the 5 minutes have expired, wingmen can compare their scores or challenge another group of two wingmen.
HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is an extremely effective way to burn fat and improve endurance. Performing these types of mini-programs along with someone will help you ignore the pain and discomfort while also creating a game to be played against other wingmen-athletes.
Justin Klein of T2Performance
INTERVAL GAMBLING - Fat Burning and Endurance Challenge
Wingman 1 runs 400m while Wingman 2 rests and acts as the timer. When the first runner gets back, note the time, hand off the stopwatch, and Runner 2 begins. For every second difference, the slower runner must complete a burpee. This should be repeated for 6-8 rounds.
Similar to the FAST FIVE, interval running burns fat and improves endurance. The added consequence of burpees as a penalty for going too slow is an incentive to push yourself that extra bit. Perform this workout weekly with different intervals and track the result over an extended period of time.
If there is a large discrepancy between the racers' times, you may set a handicap. For instance, the faster runner will add 5 seconds to his time to offset the difference and make for an evened-out competition.
Will Huntington of CrossFit Framingham
HOLD HIM BACK - Power and Speed Challenge
Loop a sprint band around your wingman’s waist. Stand approximately 2-3 feet behind him while adding slight tension on the band. As you hold the band with tension, have him sprint in a straight path for 30 seconds as you provide enough resistance to make the sprint more difficult. Once the sprint is done, wingmen are to switch roles. Complete 3-5 sprints each. Rest 2 minutes and repeat an additional 3-5 sprints each.
Sprints with resistance is an “overspeed” training technique that according to a recent study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research increases power and speed. Overspeed training forces the body to function beyond it’s maximum capacity. Downhill running is another example of overspeed training.
Tim McComsey of TRyMFitness