Kratos exudes power. Every move he makes emphasizes machismo and rage-fueled strength. In combat, he wrestles with beasts and monsters twices his size and dominates them. As such, we're going to focus on brute strength with a preference towards controlling unwieldy forces. Additionally, Kratos moves rapidly from battle to battle, often performing strenuous physical feats in between. For this aspect, we're going to look at anaerobic conditioning and quick recovery times, rather than the long-distance stamina of Link or Ezio. With this workout I'd recommend the Fighter Diet, although you may want to up your caloric and protein intake a bit with larger servings of protein sources. This workout setup is designed to be rotational. You perform strength workout A one day, then cardio workout A the next day, and so on and so forth for six days. On the seventh day, you rest. Remember, start slow and low, at your own pace, and increase incrementally as you go. There's info on the equipment and workout style choices at the bottom of the post.
Wall or Boxes to Jump Onto
Strength Workout A:
3x7 Sandbag Deadlifts
3x7 Sandbag Lunges
3x7 Box Jumps
Strength Workout B:
3x7 One-Armed Sandbag Rows
3x7 One-Armed Sandbag Overhead Presses
3x7 Weighted Pushups
Strength Workout C:
3x7 Sandbag Front Squats
3x7 Weighted Pullups
3x7 Weighted Dips
Cardio Workout A:
4-8 Minutes Tabata Burpees
Cardio Workout B:
20 Minutes Sledgehammer Swings
Cardio Workout C:
4-8 Minutes Tabata Sprints or Hill Sprints
I made my sandbag from a simple army surplus duffel bag with the straps cut off. I bought play sand from the local hardware store(it was like $3.00 for 50 lbs). I then measured out 13 1/3 cups of dry sand into a supermarket plastic bag, and then triple bagged it for strength. 13 1/3 cups is roughly ten pounds, so I had my sand in nice ten pound increments. If you're getting really industrious about it, you can also bag the sand in burlap or denim for extra strength. I cut up some old jeans and I'm currently switching from plastic sand bags to denim sand bags, as they're more sturdy and environmentally friendly, but the plastic bags will get you started, mine lasted me over a year before they started to wear out.
For the overhead presses and weighted pullups/dips/pushups you can throw your sandbag in a sturdy backpack and use that.
First of all, it's cheap. Totaled up, you can get away with a nice weight set for under $50(minus the cost of the chinup bar, which you should already have). Additionally, sandbags promote large amounts of hand strength, which normal lifing bars do not, since you really need to grapple with the bag to make it happen. Also, the sand has a tendency to shift and be uneven as you lift it, which forces more total body fitness and core strength. Because of this, if you have experience lifting, you should probably start at lower weight than you're typically used to.
What's with the cardio workouts?
We're promoting full-body anaerobic combat conditioning here. The idea that, in combat, your muscles need a lot of energy over a short period of time, rather than a steady amount of energy over a long period of time. However, these workouts will also promote quick recovery times, due to the interval training, so now you have quick recovery BETWEEN your short bursts of strength, which is basically the Kratos mode. The sledgehammer slams need to be done on an object that can take lots and lots of slams without damaging. This is typically an old car tire(you can usually get these for free or cheap from a mechanic). When swinging the sledgehammer, alternate sides so you get a whole body workout.
I'm planning on beginning some video logs soon detailing every exercise I cover in the workouts, and indexing it in a large post, as cross-indexing every exercise every workout post is kind of tough, and requires me to rely on youtube channels that I have no control over. This should be coming soon! If you're unsure how to perform an exercise before then, and you can't find a good example in the archives or on youtube, feel free to leave a comment!
Next time(hopefully tomorrow), we'll be looking at the skills of Kratos. Until then, make sure to follow me on Twitter, like the blog page on Facebook, and continue to be awesome.
Dan "DaRatmastah" Wallace