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Training Regimen: The Freerunner

Posted by on 2011/04/09

Designed to assist in urban survival scenarios; the freerunner is based on overcoming common obstacles to evade pursuers and claim high ground vantage or access points.  In an urban survival scenario, both visibility and invisibility are the difference between life and death.

The freerunner is based on exercises performed by traceurs and track athletes. These exercises provide a safe alternative to trial and error, but are not substitutes for practical training, merely meant as methods to prepare oneself for practical training.  We’re not trying to accumulate style points; the purpose of these training methods is to facilitate unimpeded, efficient, and hurried movement over and around obstacles.

Speed/Endurance – You’re not going to get very far if you get winded after a few yards.  Here’s a basic speed/endurance package, to be performed twice a week for 20-30 minutes.  In between exercises, you should never stop moving, either jog or return to a brisk walk as your ‘rest period’.  First, 6 sets of interval sprints. Each set should look like this:  Jog for 5 meters, sprint for 5 meters, jog for 10 meters, sprint for 10 meters, jog for 15 meters, sprint for 15 meters, and so on until you reach 30 meters, then a slow paced jog to recover before starting on the next set.  After six sets, you want to change the demand on your body by trying some 50 meter sprints alternating with 50 meter walks, six sets should do.  Then Return to the interval sprints for another six sets.  Time your routine; with the goal of beating your previous time each week.

Flexibility – At least four times a week you should engage in 20 – 30 minute stretching sessions, yoga works great for this purpose; otherwise any martial arts stretching routine should serve you well here.  I’ll spare you the explanation; but remind you to warm up before stretching.

Plyometrics – 2 to 3 times a week for 20-30 minutes should be sufficient. Each exercise should be done for about 5 sets of 8 reps; and thankfully there’s a wide variety of exercises to choose from; lunges and burpees and box jumps and all that shit.  But to make things really simple, we’ll turn it into a game.   Pick up a rubber medicine ball, the kind that  has a decent amount of bounce.  10-15 pounds, whatever you’re comfortable with.   Find a solid wall, stone or brick, with no windows, adjacent to a hard floor, asphalt or concrete.   Ideally, a handball court.   You can play by yourself or with an opponent. The objective is to hurl the medicine ball so that it rebounds off the wall, and then you (or your opponent must catch it). Failure to catch it means an athletic penalty of some sort, 25 crunches or pushups, 10 box jumps or lunges, etc…  The medicine ball off the wall is a brutal workout on its own; the penalties are the real fuckers.

Climbing and Grip: Were not going to delve into climbing in this regiment, that’s going to have to be it’s own guide, but something you can do in the meantime to great benefit is to work on your grip.  Keep a tennis ball or something similar with you all the time, and make a habit out of different squeezing exercises periodically.  Grip strength is the difference between scrambling over the ledge and falling to your death.

Finally, technique:  We’re going to steal the four most useful techniques from Parkour:  I’ll write up text based tutorials in the near future.

The PK roll,
The Speed Vault,
The Cat Leap,
and The Precision Jump

More to come… stay tuned.


One Response to Training Regimen: The Freerunner

  1. Eric

    Great basic information! I am going to try the medicine ball game this evening.

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