The Agile File

Weeks 17 through 20

Weeks 17-20

The Shape of Your Life: Weeks 17 through 20     Photo: Outside Magazine

Did we mention how you need to upgrade your balance and agility? To begin, you'll add five new balance exercises (see "Balance Exercises") to your strength-training sessions on Tuesday and Thursday. In addition, you'll continue your Olympic power lifts (see "Power Routine," below) starting in Week 17 with dumbbells weighing 10 percent more than what you were using at the end of month four, and finish off your workout with some core exercises you've learned in previous months (see "Core Regimen," below). Meanwhile, to address agility, on Mondays and Fridays you'll add three agility drills (see "Agility Exercises") to the plyometric speed workout you began last month. Always complete these two regimens (plyometrics and agility) before you begin your endurance workout.

And as for endurance, these last weeks will be the most difficult yet. But don't be intimidated; it's your final month of heart-rate training, and thanks to the gradual buildup since month one, your body is prepared for the hard work. On Mondays, your Zone-2 distance workouts will take advantage of the last hours of daylight saving time by increasing the duration to 80 minutes for runners and two hours for cyclists and swimmers. On Wednesdays, you'll continue your reserve speed work from last month by punctuating your recovery runs with six sprints (try to reduce the rest intervals between each). Last but not least, on Fridays, you'll finish your interval training with six repetitions.

Finally, to keep you limber and give your body the proper cooldown it needs to recover, complete each endurance workout with the Ashtanga yoga series (see below) unveiled in month three, and increase the Sun Salutation count to eight or ten.

Three sets of six reps:
· Rotational clean-pulls
· Clean and jerks
(combine clean-pulls and squat presses from last month into one exercise)

Two sets of 25:
· Swiss-ball crunches
· Oblique Swiss-ball crunches
· Swiss-ball push-ups
Two sets of 10-12 reps: · Medicine-ball chops

· Sun Salutation
· Warrior I
· Triangle pose
· Back stretch
· Boat pose
· Tree pose
· Hamstring stretch

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