10 rules of living like a Viking in the 21st Century
Live like a modern-day Viking warrior with our 10-step guide to Viking living
The Vikings were a powerful bunch. Between the 9th and 11th centuries they travelled huge distances from Scandinavia to mainland Europe, exploring and colonising. We remember them as strong, robust warriors whose physical strength was a big part of their success.
But what made the Norse warriors as strong and successful as they were? And how can we adopt key parts of the Viking lifestyle in today’s high-tech lifestyle?
1 Nurture close friendships
The Vikings knew about strength in numbers. Their biggest successes were achieved as a group, whether it was travelling, fighting, or trading. We can learn a lot from their willingness to team up and share skills and resources.
2 Enjoy your feasts
Viking physiques weren’t built on small portions or mindless snacking. When they feasted, they went for it. Perhaps we can take a leaf out of their book by focusing on the quality of our food and the company we enjoy it with. Cut out the mindless snacks and you’ll have more calories to eat at your main meals.
3 Don’t waste your life
Vikings believed your fate was decided from birth, which resulted in a fearless ethos to battle. They wore little to no armour (why bother, when your death is pre-determined?) Modern-day Vikings shouldn’t be so reckless about risk, but it is a good reminder to live life to the full with no regrets.
4 Develop raw power
To live like a Viking, you have to be strong. So work on your power output across various training modalities. Lift weights, but make it explosive. Do cardio but focus on power. If a Viking walked into a gym today, they would head for the functional training kit and free weights. Can you imagine a Viking warrior sat on a fixed weights machine?
5 Train speed and strength
Vikings were big, powerful people with plenty of muscle. But they were agile as hell. To train like a Viking you need to work on moving your mass through all planes of movement with speed, power, and agility. This might take the form of functional fitness training, Strongman, CrossFit-style workouts or a combination of calisthenics with some weighted objects in the mix. Keep it real-world physical.
6 Row. A lot
If you want to train like a modern-day Viking, you should make friends with the erg. Rowing is an awesome form of cardio that torches serious calories and offers full-body resistance. Commit to a block of rowing training to build a powerful engine.
7 Lift awkward objects
Viking physicality is about much more than strength. To build true Viking fitness, you’ll need to work on stamina, endurance, power, and grip strength. It’s a great reason to introduce odd objects into your training routine. Vikings would have loved sandbags, kettlebells and steel maces!
8 Build a community
Vikings lived, worked, and fought as a group. Our modern-day “lone wolf” mantra would have sounded very strange to them. Take a leaf out of their book and embrace the benefits of finding your tribe. Whether that’s a couple of training buddies or a gym with a great environment, you can’t underestimate the power of like-minded people.
9 Eat from the land
21st century Vikings need to fuel their training. How can we echo the best of Viking nutrition in our modern day lives? Keep it simple, clean and healthy. Eat from the land – and sea (you know those guys ate plenty of fish!)
10 Optimise your hormones
Viking warriors were the living embodiment of a healthy hormone profile – strong, powerful, full of vitality. Our modern environment isn’t so optimal, so you’ll need to make a few adjustments. Eliminate manmade, processed foods from your diet and focus on eating more lean protein, fish, seafood, red meat, and vegetables. Train hard, prioritising strength and power work with odd objects. Spend more time outside, either walking or doing physical work. And sleep like a Viking by eliminating lights, noise, and electronics from the bedroom.
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