Your alarm abruptly wakes you from a deep sleep. You roll over in bed, eyes heavy and mind groggy. As you turn the alarm off, it strikes you that there is an eerie silence. No birds are singing, no car engines are running, no children are chatting as they skip to school. You go to open the curtains but before you reach them, there is a piercing scream. You freeze. You hesitate. Your heart is pounding. You open the curtains to see your neighbour’s child hunched over the old lady from up the street. The old lady must have fallen. You open the window and call to the girl. She stops what she is doing, pauses, and turns slowly. Her face is covered with blood, human flesh is hanging from her mouth. Her skin is pale but her eyes are alive and red like fire. She lets out an almighty scream and comes lurching towards your house. Others emerge, the same look in their eyes! They’re coming for you, they want you, the zombies have found you!!!
It’s a times like these that you wish you had been preparing yourself physically for the zombie apocalypse. To celebrate Halloween, I’m going to make sure that you are in the best possible condition to survive the apocalypse. So here’s my zombie survival work-out!
The Zombie Apocalypse Work Out
Zombies move very slowly and their constant groaning means that you can hear them from quite a distance. If you find yourself in close proximity to zombies, don’t panic, you’ve got plenty of time for a gentle warm up before they get close to you. So, start this workout by spending 5 minutes performing some moderate intensity cardio, such as jogging, skipping or cycling. Limbering up like this is also good.
When you do spot zombies, avoidance is the best tactic and so you need to have the fitness to make a run for it! In preparation, I suggest performing 15-20 minutes of running or cycling once you’ve warmed up. Get your heart rate up to around 60-75% of maximum. Feel free to go harder if you are comfortable with a higher intensity. You can work out you heart rate zone here. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, take your pulse for 6 seconds and multiply this number by 10 to find your heart rate. Running is best, cycling is great but avoid the cross trainer – you can’t cross train away from zombies.
Zombies have been known to break out of their marauding walking with raised arms and in to a run; this one is particularly energetic. When this happens, you need to be able to pick up the pace! Try including intervals in your cardio – this means short bouts of more intense exercise where you push your heart rate towards, or beyond, 75% of maximum. In between intervals, aim to let your heart rate come down to below 60% of maximum.
If you get too close to a zombie, you need to be able to fight and even kill. These resistance exercises will make you need to be a lean, mean zombie killing machine! Try performing 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions of each exercise with a 30-60 second recovery. Or if you want more strength and power, increase the resistance, increase the rest and lower the reps.
Push ups. In close contact with a zombie, you may have to resort to some old fashioned fisty-cuffs. Push ups are a fantastic, compound exercise that will strengthen the chest and triceps. These are the muscles you recruit when you perform a dynamic ‘pushing’ movement like a punch. If you’re not sure how to perform a push up, go here.
Horizontal pull up. There may be times when you need to pull a zombie away from a fellow human (nobody likes watching their friend being eaten by the undead). The horizontal row is a great exercise for strengthening the back and biceps – these are your pulling muscles. Check out the exercise here.
Squats. If you have to wrestle with a zombie, it helps to have a strong base. Squats are a no-nonsense exercise that will build strength in those legs, creating a firm foundation. Here’s a video guide.
Wood chops. The wood chop is a great full-body exercise that will develop the strength and co-ordination required to smash zombies with whatever you’ve got as a weapon; like this. Train using a medicine ball, dumbbell or anything else that you can comfortably hold. Here’s a guide to the exercise.
Medicine ball slams and up-chucks. In a zombie apocalypse, you might find yourself throwing rocks or other heavy objects at zombies to keep them at bay. See this video as an example. These medicine ball exercises are great fun and will get you used to explosive throwing movements. Check out these two video guides: Slam, Up-Chuck.
Switch jumps. Once you’ve got a zombie on the ground, its good practice to jump up and down on them to make sure that they are dead. Your squats will help you with this but why not also try some switch jumps? This plyometric exercise will be great for out running zombies when there are obstacles around, here’s what we’re trying to avoid, and here is an exercise guide.
Moaning. The more cunning amongst you might want to try and escape from zombies using your guile and wit. You could always mimic the zombies in the hope that they don’t spot you; like this. Moaning is essential, so whilst performing this workout, feel free to groan as much as you like. If you’re in a gym and if someone asks you to be quiet, tell them to bugger off because you are pretending to be a zombie – durh!
Plank. A strong core provides a firm and stable foundation for bigger movements and allows those bigger movements to be performed more effectively. The plank is a great core exercise and the perfect way to finish off your zombie workout! Try holding the plank for as long as you can. See here for instructions.
After a busy afternoon out running zombies, sprinting from zombies, fighting zombies and killing a few, it is time to have a gentle cool down to prepare yourself for another day trying to survive the zombie apocalypse. Try performing some very low intensity cardio for 3-5 minutes and stretch those tired muscles!
Congratulations, you’ve just completed the zombie workout. You are now better prepared to survive the zombie apocalypse!
[Picture a derivative of; Zombie!, Daniel Hollister, http://www.flickr.com/photos/dhollister/, Licence at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0]