In 2015, Runner’s World released a new DVD that includes workouts developed by Dr. Jordan Metzl, a sports medicine physician, marathoner, triathlete, and fitness instructor based in New York City. I’ve long been a fan of Dr. Metzl’s “Inside the Doctor’s Office” series for Runner’s World magazine – these videos are short, informative segments focusing on the various parts of the body that are most affected by the repetitive stress of running long distances.
After purchasing and reading his book, Running Strong, I decided it would be a good idea to incorporate his recommendations into my weekly exercise routines, and the fact that he is a runner who works with runners everyday in his office made me trust his experience and perspective even more. Many of the exercises he outlines in his book are fairly straightforward and appear in many strength-training routines, such as squats, burpees, planks and mountain climbers. However, I felt I would benefit more from a full, start-to-finish workout DVD that I could follow along with instead of remembering to fit in all of the requisite functional exercises for injury prevention, plus weights, at my gym, so I purchased IronStrength. The product is actually a DVD set of the full IronStrength workout, plus three shorter, 20-minute workouts: The Core Blaster, Glute Blaster, and Abbreviated IronStrength routine.
My enthusiasm was quickly outpaced by the difficulty of the full IronStrength workout. It is hard! Dr. Metzl leads you through several rounds of plyometric squats and lunges (plyometric exercises are high-impact, jumping exercises that are designed to raise your heart rate and recruit your fast-twitch muscle fibers, which are useful for improving your running speed and supporting muscle growth), plank rows with weights, one-legged bicep curls, core exercises, and burpees. It’s a 50-minute workout that feels like two hours, at least the first time around. It is recommended that you do the full Ironstrength workout and a shorter workout each week, for a total of two running-specific strength workouts a week. I modified this a bit a few months ago, during my first crack at IronStrength- I worked with a personal trainer once a week, and did IronStrength or a weights routine at my gym for my second strength-training workout of the week. This time, I want to see how my body responds to two IronStrength workouts for at least 8-10 weeks consistently. I don’t envision this workout becoming a cakewalk anytime soon, but I can confidently say running feels a lot easier after burning out your glutes, quads, and core! It’s also telling that this workout is difficult for me – it’s clearly targeting some weak areas that could benefit from the extra attention.
Have you tried IronStrength or any of the Runner’s World workout DVDs? Comment below.