Scandinavian people are some of the healthiest in the world. In fact, The Independent reveals that Icelandic men have won the world’s strongest man competition more than any other nationality. This can be chalked up to their high standards of living, which without doubt includes having great fitness routines.
Inspired by Nordic history, trainer Svava Sigbertsdottir developed her own workout program known as The Viking Workout. This test of endurance relies on movements like bear crawls and boxing-type workouts, drawing from the Viking’s own unique exercises. Beyond just a means to stay fit, The Viking Workout can be considered a way of living, a discipline, and a mental game all in one.
In truth, the Vikings have an immensely colourful heritage full of stories of toughness and resilience, inspiring more than just workouts in our modern world. Their culture has inspired shows like He-Man, whose leading hero exhibits signature Norse brawn. It is prevalent in other forms of pop culture, too. The Slingo games Vikings Go Berzerk and Nordic Heroes also have recurring “survival of the fittest” themes that are essential to the Viking lifestyle. These titles draw from the Vikings’ mental and physical toughness and, along with The Viking Workout, are just some of the many ways their fascinating culture is celebrated today.
So if you’re looking for a new workout that is not only challenging but also historically effective, keep reading to learn more about The Viking Workout.
What does The Viking Method involve?
Functional training is the name of the game. The workout involves a combination of movements like planking, jumping, and crawling — designed to shock your body into using more muscle fibres and consuming more energy. Overall, this sequence works towards improving your endurance and stamina.
What is the science behind it?
The Viking Workout is built to activate your good hormones while deactivating the bad ones. Fat burning hormones and fat storing hormones cannot be fully activated at the same time, which means that when one fat storing hormone (like growth hormones) is activated, your fat burning hormones (like insulin) will have to shut down. This is why it is crucial not to consume any sugar or carbohydrates whatsoever 90 minutes before training the Viking way. Instead, opt for a fat or protein pre-workout snack, which we previously discussed here on LEP Fitness.
What equipment do you need?
The best part about the workout is you can do it almost anywhere. It doesn’t require a gym or fancy equipment — just your good old body weight and some free weights. Sigbertsdottir also suggests incorporating a towel, an often overlooked gym essential with which you can do a surprising number of moves already.
Do you have to be advanced to try a class like this?
The Viking Workout isn’t exactly for the faint of heart. But beginners can start by scaling down the exercises to their capabilities. You are allowed to take longer breaks between sets to recover, perform fewer reps, or adjust your weights to your current capacity. From here, you can slowly work your way up.
If you’re the type to shy away from bootcamp-style exercises, or prefer the slower pace and lower impact of Pilates or yoga, then The Viking Method will definitely be even harder for you. But rest assured — the results don’t lie. The exercise is as straight-to-the point as it can get, providing a full-body workout that is guaranteed to tone your entire physique and strengthen your core.