Sometimes your normal routine is not enough. Perhaps your boss dumped a pile of work on your desk at 4:30, or maybe you’ve been covering for 3 people this week. Whatever the case, you need the gym today for more than a quick calorie burn. If the stress of your regular barista making your latte too hot is causing stomach pains, you need a healthy aggression outlet. Workouts have long been known to reduce stress, but you need to take that effect to the next level. For you, we have put together a list of workouts that can be particularly satisfying when you want to choke out your co-workers.
Few things can so quickly and completely exhaust your body as a sprint, particularly multiples of them. Difficult to maintain deep thinking, you can allow your mind to become singularly focused on whatever angers you and let it fuel you legs and lungs. At the end of a sprint workout, all your energy has been blasted out of your body, hopefully taking the bad juju with it. An added benefit is a boost to your metabolism, something a long-distance run does not provide. To make your workout interesting, mix the two disciplines together like this:
Plan on going for a 3 mile run around the park, or wherever you like. For the first mile or so focus on warming up, running at your normal pace. Once you are loose start picking targets 50 to 100 yards ahead, like a large tree, sign, light post, etc., and sprint towards them. After passing the landmark, slow to your regular pace until you have recovered. Repeat for the rest of your run.
Medicine Ball Slams
When stress levels peak, you have probably felt the desire to release some pressure through violent or explosive movements – punching a wall, punting a cat, running your car off a cliff…There is, thankfully, there is a healthy alternative to these less accepted methods, the Medicine Ball Slam. Basically, you get to take a weighted ball, lift it over your head and throw it to the ground, repeatedly. Burn off stress while strengthening your core and back. Fun.
To perform this exercise, find a medicine ball with an appropriate weight, that being an amount you can lift over your without trouble, multiple times. Make sure this ball is not too bouncy; you don’t want to explain to your co-workers you got a black eye from ball slapping your face. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and parallel, knees slightly bent. With your arms straight, lift the ball a little behind your head. Focus on using your core muscles to slam the ball to the ground, keeping your arms mostly straight. Catch it quickly and repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.
Sometimes to remind yourself you are powerful man, able to do overcome life’s petty obstacles, you require a real raw workout. Enter, tire flipping. Made popular by Strongman competitions, this explosive exercise has been around for awhile, a favorite of college football strength coaches for many years. Of course, you’ll likely have to venture outside of your local gym to find an appropriate tire and location to perform the flips. Check out construction yards using heaving machinery; when the tires run out of use, these yards often have to pay to have them disposed of, so you may be able to get one simply by offering to take it away. If you can, snag a couple different sizes.
After acquiring an a tire you feel comfortable moving around, take it to an open area, like a parking lot. Stand about a foot away and get into a crouch position with your feet shoulder width apart. Grip the underside of the tire with your arms spread wide so your chest is touching the rubber. Move your weight to the balls of your feet. Explode with your legs to lift the tire off the ground. Once it gets above your waist, switch the grip of your hands so the palms are flat against the tire and continue pushing it end over end. The key is momentum and your power comes from your legs. Do not try to lift with your arms (you cannot curl 500 lbs), only use them to push (along with your legs) when the tire is off the ground. One rep and you’ll realize you are utilizing most muscles in your body, including your entire legs, chest, shoulders, triceps and biceps. Repeat for 5 flips and feel your stress beaten into submission.
For a less violent stress reliever, consider the ancient art of yoga. The super old practice of contorting yourself into various poses can seem intimidating and girly, but its benefits are tough to deny. The activity promotes increased flexibility, strength, posture, and of course, less stress. The focus, the breathing, the calm environment all contribute to scientifically measured responses in the body that relate to a lowering of stress. Also, you’ll be strengthening your entire body and building flexibility, likely in ways you have not done before.
To find a class, start with your local gym, they probably offer a few. Look for a beginner course and ask around to see if anyone has tried these specific courses. Ask other gym goers for reviews on the list of instructors. Once you select an appropriate class, leave your inhibitions at the door and enjoy what you are doing. Don’t worry if you cannot follow exactly the entire class; you should be comfortable to learn at your own pace. Being stressed about the class defeats the purpose. Plus, taking a break can allow you to sneak a peek of cute co-ed in front of you.