You’ve seen them all over town – running in the neighborhood in the early hours, training right next to you in the gym, and going through grueling calisthenics in the park. They might even be the same people that ride the train with you to work, or sit in an office around the corner from you. These are the Weekend Warriors. You might even be one yourself.
But what is a Weekend Warrior?
I’m glad you asked. According to Merriam-Webster, the term “weekend warrior” originated in 1981 and describes a person who:
The latter definition supports my personal hypothesis which is that as the active members of the classes of 1965-1975 graduated high school & college and were no longer active members of sports teams/activities, they began to look for ways to stay active and be competitive. Thus (in my opinion), the first weekend warriors were born.
Nowadays, weekend warriors of all ages, all over the country are training for everything from a 5K, to their first obstacle course race – from a triathlon, to their weekend league softball tournament.
Training the Weekend Warrior
Though the term itself suggests weekend activities alone, in order to be healthy, safe, and effective, weekend warriors must train all week long. These athletes are quite different from their high school and collegiate hey-days. Some come with previous sports and overuse injuries, muscle imbalances from prolonged seated postures, and other bone, joint, and soft tissue problems. It is important to build a training program that is not only designed yield the best results for competition, but also to stay health and safe along the way.
That might mean that a weekend warrior training program might start out at a little slower pace than a former athlete is used to; but keep in mind the importance of building a strong core and foundation along with increased range of motion and flexibility is necessary to keep you in the “weekend game” a lot longer.
Weekend Warrior Training Tools
After a thorough physical and goal assessment, and an “okay” from a doctor, flexibility and core training is the perfect place to start. Begin the workout with 3-5 dynamic warm up exercises using bodyweight and/or a resistance band. Follow that up with isolated core exercises on an exercise mat or with a stability ball. Spending a little more time on flexibility, core training, and movement preparation at the beginning of the training program will develop the strong anatomical platform to build a great weekend warrior.
Finally, the biggest must-have for any Weekend Warrior, both at the gym and at home: the foam roller. Why? A group of American University contributors to the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy examined several qualified studies to determine the effects of self-myofascial release using a foam roller. It was concluded that while current literature measuring the effects of SMR is still emerging, foam roller exercises pre-workout can help increase joint range of motion while post-exercise use of a foam roller can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Weekend Warriors UNITE!
We have our own team of weekend warriors here at Power Systems training from everything from 5Ks, to marathons, from paddle board races to obstacle course challenges. We salute our fellow weekend warriors out there! Here’s to all those who are making time to stay active in a busy world full of obstacles that try to keep you from our goals.
Whether you are training in a gym or in your basement, indoors or outdoors, with a trainer or on your own; we know that all your hard work will pay off. Stay tuned for details on how you can build your own “Weekend Warrior Training Kit” with Power Systems.