Training with Olympian Katarina Johnson-Thompson & Brita for the Switch7 Workout

Olympic athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson has created the Switch7 workout alongside Brita. At the end of April I headed to Finsbury Park to have a go at the workout and get my hands on the new BRITA fill&go Active, a squeezable sports bottle which filters whilst you drink. After a while the workouts which were once so exciting become boring. With Stitch7 Katarina has created a workout which challenges and improves your body in seven different ways – from gaining explosive power to hydration and recovery.

I’ve been at that place where workouts are boring and seemingly ineffective. I hate being there so was really excited to try Switch7. Click through below for the workout details and what I thought of it.

Hydrate

Only having a drink when you feel thirsty means you’re already dehydrated – I live with a Doctor and she has told me this so many times. It is so important to drink well before you get to that stage. Hydration helps your muscles to grow and for your body to not get so fatigued so quickly. Switch7 recommends that we all drink water after every 10 minutes of activity or so.

I don’t usually do this. I hydrate before and after a workout. And if running I never carry water with me. I have always think I’ll get a stitch but drank throughout this workout and nothing like that happened.

Power

Being a heptathlete means you need explosive power. Hello box jumps and push ups.

20 seconds of intense work + 40 seconds rest, five time. It very, very quickly adds up. I was in a group with children and as a fairly competitive person I really, really wanted to beat these children. You’ll all be glad to know that i can do more press ups than them.

Strength

Here the goal is to overload your muscles by using a medicine ball. We did all of these with partners but I was partnered with someone who had a wildly different fitness level to me so I can see how appealing a wall would be. Squat jump ball throws (aiming up when throwing the ball), chest ball throws (throwing it straight to the wall), side rotation ball throws (keeping upright and using your core to turn 180 degrees in each direction with arms outstretched), and sit up ball throws.

Do all four for one minute each, then 40 seconds, then 30 seconds. FEEL THE BURN.

Speed

Resistance band sprints.

I both love and hate this exercise. Work in a pyramid structure so first you run to 10 meters then jog back. Then 20 meters and back. Then, 30, 40, and 50.

I remember the first time I did this exercise. I was so sure I was going to throw up (sexy stuff).

Agility

Fast feet in ladders. I absolutely love this exercise! For some reason this is easier for me than sprinting. Fast feet in ladders I can do!

Stamina

Hill runs. So. Many. Hill runs. Recovery is jogging back down to the bottom, then you go again. The goal is to aim for 10 hill sprints. So. Many. Hill sprints.

Recovery

Using some of the most common yoga stretches, bring your heart rate back down to normal whilst also working on flexibility. Start in downward dog, move to cobra to stretch the back and abs. Then pigeon pose for glutes, and a calf stretch and quad stretch for your quads.

My thoughts

The session was hosted in partnership with Rabble. They specialise in turning childhood games into exercises. So out warm up was tag and bulldog! It was such a fun way to start the session and a very good way of breaking the ice. After about ten minutes of that, we started Switch7.

The workout was fun but not as challenging as I would have liked – at least not all of it. I think that would have been solved by completing the whole circuit twice rather than only once. I was also in a group full of children. BIG SIGH. I would much rather have been in a group full of adults who actually listened to the instructions.

Other than that Switch7 was brilliant. The hill sprints, ladders, and resistance band sprints were all kinds of brilliant. I would love to try this workout in the gym so that I can really test myself with the weight of the medicine balls and the size of the boxes to jump on.

At the beginning of the session we were all given BRITA fill&go Active bottles to try and use and then keep. I love this bottle and my sister now uses it every day! It’s a brilliant size, comes with a filter, and helps to prevent plastic wastage. Win, win, win.

It was also so brilliant meeting Kat – I wish her the best of luck for the upcoming athletics season.

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