With the momentous release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at the end of last year, we took it as inspiration to get back into the gym and train hard.
We had one new purpose, one reason to get as fit as we possibly could, hone our skills, and tone our muscles; to defeat the dark side. We needed to be as strong as we could if we wanted to have any chance of defeating the evil Emperor, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke.
We needed to train like the Jedi.
The work ethics of a Jedi
If you’ve seen even just the smallest clip of a Star Wars film, you’ll know just how cool the Jedi are. Their fitness ability is seemingly never ending.
They can go on for hours, standing tall and strong in the most difficult conditions, defeating enemies left, right and centre, without so much as breaking a sweat.
So how do they do this?
Well, they train hard. Very hard. And they follow a number of work ethics that you can utilise for your gym training session.
- Train in all circumstances – From the deserts of Tatooine to the swamps of Dagobah, Luke trained to be a Jedi in all different kinds of environments. When you’re hunted by the Empire, there’s never an ideal time to work out, but you have to make the best of it. Don’t let the little excuses get in your way – you can always find time to get to the gym.
- Learn as you go along – One minute you’re training with a remote control on board the Millennium Falcon, the next you’re shooting down attacking TIE Fighters. There’s no time to complain here, and no such word as ‘can’t’. Don’t be afraid to try something new in the gym and push your limits every workout.
- Don’t stick to just one skill – Those one trick characters in Star Wars don’t last very long, and your workouts won’t do you any good either if you do the same thing over and over again. Jedi’s take on a wide variety of roles, and even Princess Leia demonstrates different skills, from shooting Stormtroopers to strangling Jabba The Hutt. Be sure to vary your training programme too.
- Add workouts to everyday life – In the Star Wars universe, there’s always work to be done, so finding time to exercise can be difficult. But, you can just incorporate exercise into your daily routine, like Han Solo lifting cargo aboard the Millennium Faclon, Luke carrying Yoda on his back, or Chewbacca throwing a stranded C-3PO over his shoulder.
- Commit to your cause – The main lesson to take from the Jedi is that you should always commit to your workouts and to your ultimate goal. You need to choose who you want to be, and always work towards that, lest the dark side take you. But remember, as Darth Vader showed us, it’s never too late to turn your life around, no matter how far you’ve gone in the wrong direction.
Top exercises Jedi practice
As a Jedi, there are a number of skills which you’ll need to use everyday in your work protecting the galaxy; these are just a few exercises which will help you prepare for those tasks:
- High Jumps – You’ll be leaping up and down buildings or space stations on regular occasions, so you’ll need to work on your plyometric movements. Jumping squats are ideal for this. Bend your knees and explode from the floor onto a box in front of you, before exploding off again.
- Hang Time – If you’re hiding from enemies or have just been pushed off the edge of Cloud City, you’ll need to work on your hanging skills to prevent a fall into the abyss. Hop onto a pull-up bar and work on pulling your body up, as well as strengthening your grip. Try it one handed if you’re feeling like Luke.
- Force Push – Pushing away enemies may look like it’s just a flick of the hand, but you’ll need to put a lot of strength into that virtual shove. Practice with a round of boxing, and see how you can shove that punch bag away.
- Mind Control – Utilising the force requires concentration and determination. Jedi practice this by seeing how long they can hold the plank position with one leg raised. It’s a matter of mind over body!
- Lightsaber Strength & Flexibility – To win those lightsaber duels, you’ll need to have great arm strength and flexible body movements. Begin with some explosive plyometric press-ups to really tone those muscles, and then move on to perform wood choppers on either side of your body. Reaching up to the sky and pulling your arms down across your body to the floor will give you the movement needed to sweep that lightsaber around.
- Life-Saving Carry – Finally, you’ll need to make sure you have upper body strength, to pull out redeemed fathers from Death Star wreckage and get them home. Perform shoulder presses so you’re strong enough to pick Darth Vader up.
Don’t forget to stick your headphones in and listen to the inspirational Star Wars theme as you begin your workout either!