If you’re not familiar with the world of high-level Ultimate Frisbee as it stands in 2012, have a quick look at this highlight reel. At the upper rungs of competition, Ultimate involves near-constant sprinting and a fearless desire to grab the disc whenever it comes nearby, and if that requires a player to jump over his opponent or make a full-extension, horizontal dive (or layout, as it’s referred to in the game) to make the catch, then so be it.

The field of play in Ultimate is similar to football—the basic goal is to get the disc into the other teams’ end zone through a series of passes; running with the disc is not allowed. The sport has grown very quickly in recent years, so much so that its first professional league, the American Ultimate Disc League, is set to begin play in April and will include eight teams located in the Northeast and Midwest.

According to John Korber—player, coach and general manager of the Connecticut Constitution—the goal for his team, aside from winning the title, is to provide a viable, affordable entertainment option for the local area that gets people to come out of curiosity the first time, then draws them back in for more. “Most of the people who are playing in this league are among the best players in their community, and I think that lots of fans are gonna watch games and say, ‘Wow, that’s a lot of work,’” he says.

Korber compares the Ultimate that will be played in the AUDL to lacrosse and hockey due to its quick shifts—he says players will give all they’ve got for a couple minutes then give way to subs and prepare for their next turn on the field. Brodie Smith, a member of the Indianapolis Alleycats team and a two-time college Ultimate champion at Florida University (as well as a viral success making frisbee trick shot videos), generally agrees with Korber. He also contrasts playing in the AUDL to the competitive Ultimate tournaments that have existed up until now. Teams play several games over the course of a weekend in such tournaments, as opposed to one game per week in the AUDL.

“Before the AUDL I would have said long distance running [required similar fitness to Ultimate],” Smith says. “Playing all weekend was always a challenge on the body and having great endurance was always the most important thing regarding physical fitness. In the AUDL we will be having only one game a week so endurance is less of a priority and explosiveness becomes more important. With that being said, I would say it’s in between basketball and football.”

NEXT: The Ultimate Workout >>

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The Ultimate Workout

If you’re looking to add bulk, this isn’t the workout regimen for you. However, a lean, muscular physique is ideal for top Ultimate players.

Andy Bosco, one of Korber’s teammates on the Constitution, stresses the importance of working the core and big muscle groups while focusing on agility, explosiveness and footwork during the season. He boasts a dedicated workout plan with a strong diversity of exercises, many of which may seem simple enough on their own, but his week-long plan is definitely not for the faint of heart. Bosco attributes his and the team’s workout plan to trainer Ron Remeika of Better Athletic Development in Shelton, Connecticut.

A Sample Day:

Stretching - Hamstring, Quads, Calves, Back, Arms, Neck

In the afternoon:
Hill Runs - 8 x 45 yards. Rest 15 sec. between reps. Rest 3 min. Do another 8 x 45 yards. Rest 15 sec. between reps.

In the evening:
Warm up on bike - 5 min.
10 Corrective Squats
Ladder drills: Icky Shuffle, Ali Shuffle, Hop Scotch, 2 in 2 out, 2 in 2 out lateral x 3 each
Clean and Jerk 40 lbs. 8 reps x 3
Overhead throws 10 x 3 7-lb. medicine ball
Standing row with rope cable 12 x 3 200 lbs.
Pull-ups assisted 10 x 3
Tri pulls 110 lbs. 12 x 3, 90 lbs. 8 x 3
Lunge throw 10-lb. med ball against the wall 10 x 3 each leg
Back Fly 12 x 3 move in 8 x 3
Grip plate carry 30 lbs. by 80 yards x 3

Over the course of a week, Bosco completes two other workouts comparable to this one (without the hill running), along with another day of circuit training, a running day (3 miles and a throwing session), a day of playing Ultimate and a day of rest.

NEXT: The Full Week Plan >>

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Andy Bosco’s Full Week Workout

Monday:

Stretching - Hamstring, Quads, Calves, Back, Arms, Neck
Circuit - Plank Rows, Jog 40, Sprint 40, Plyo Pushups, Jog 40, Sprint 40, Back Flys, Jog 40, Sprint 40, Ladder Shuttle, Jog 40, Sprint 40, Medicine Ball speed throws against wall, Jog 40, Sprint 40, Side Shuffle, Jog 40, Sprint 40, Medicine Ball overhead wall throws, Jog 40, Sprint 40, Squat with Med Ball, Jog 40, Sprint 40, Torso twists, Jog 40, Sprint 40
Perform circuit 3 times - 1st set each exercise is 25 sec., 2nd set is 20 sec., 3rd set is 10 sec.

Tuesday:

Stretching - Hamstring, Quads, Calves, Back, Arms, Neck
Warm up on bike - 5 min.
Side walks with band ~ 10 lbs. of resistance, 25 yards up and back x 2
Leg drives with band ~ 25 lbs. of resistance, hold 15 sec. x 3 each leg, drive up 15 x 3 each leg
Leg curls 75 lbs. each leg 3 x 15
Wall accelerators 3 x 40 sec
Weighted Chain runs 6 x 30 yards
Box Jump down (28 in) into sprint x 6
Squats 240 lbs. 15x3
Shoulder Press 30 lbs. Each arm 12 x 3
Forearm Weighted Roll 8 lbs. 3 x 3

Wednesday:

Stretching - Hamstring, Quads, Calves, Back, Arms, Neck

In the afternoon:
Hill Runs - 8 x 45 yards. Rest 15 sec. between reps. Rest 3 min. Do another 8 x 45 yards. Rest 15 sec. between reps.

In the evening:
Warm up on bike - 5 min.
10 Corrective Squats
Ladder drills: Icky Shuffle, Ali Shuffle, Hop Scotch, 2 in 2 out, 2 in 2 out lateral x 3 each
Clean and Jerk 40 lbs. 8 reps x 3
Overhead throws 10 x 3 7-lb. medicine ball
Standing row with rope cable 12 x 3 200 lbs.
Pull-ups assisted 10 x 3
Tri pulls 110 lbs. 12 x 3, 90 lbs. 8 x 3
Lunge throw 10-lb. med ball against the wall 10 x 3 each leg
Back Fly 12 x 3 move in 8 x 3
Grip plate carry 30 lbs. by 80 yards x 3

Thursday:

Run 3 miles ~ 24 min.
Throw with teammates for 45 min.

Friday:

Rest Day

Saturday:

Stretching - Hamstring, Quads, Calves, Back, Arms, Neck
Warm up on bike - 5 min.
Wall accelerators 3 x 40 sec.
Serpentine Cone drill x 20 yards x 6
Explosive step ups 8 x 3 x 30 in each leg
Jump overs 6 x 3 x 18 in each leg
Slide board 30 sec x 5. 30 sec rest.
Chest fly 45 lbs. each arm
Swiss chest press each arm 12 x 3 x 45, 8 x 3 x 30
Bicep curls each arm 12 x 3 x 25 lbs., 8 x 3 x 20 lbs.
Rice Bucket Hand, 40 times each hand

Sunday:

Pick-up game for 2.5 hours
Stretch, foam roll legs, back and neck