The Viking Method, exercise programme
The Viking Method, exercise programme

The Viking Method: Scandinavians are among the fittest people in the world - now it's time to join them

Train like a Viking and become a force to be reckoned with

Siobhan Norton
Friday 13 November 2015 17:36
Comments

Like it or not, we’re in the throes of a Viking invasion. We’re decluttering our homes as Scandi-inspired clean lines replace chintz. We’re scoffing fermented foods like there’s a long winter setting in. And we’re addicted to Nordic noir – The Killing, The Bridge, Borgen… anything with a grim storyline and a jumper-wearing protagonist really.

Of course, while we’re cuddled up with Netflix, chances are the actual Scandis are out and about. The Vikings, when not invading and pillaging, were an outdoorsy bunch. Most were farmers or woodsmen enduring the extreme climate, and leisure time was usually spent outdoors too. They were among the first to ski for fun – Scandinavians developed primitive skis 6,000 years ago.

Today, Scandinavians are among the fittest in the world – in fact, Icelandic men have won the world’s strongest man competition more than any other nation. Fellow Icelander Svava Sigbertsdottir has drawn on this legacy of strength, toughness and endurance to create a training programme called the Viking Method.

“I had been training my whole life but I’d never done anything that I really liked,” she says. “So I developed a very specific range of exercises to make you use more of your body, and use every muscle. For me, it’s all about performance. I want people to be so tough and motivated – the attitude has to be ‘it’s snowing? You do it anyway’.”

With this is mind, I gathered my nerves and went for a training session with Svava. Within the space of 45 minutes, I’d skidded through the mud, clutched handfuls of grass as I sweated through mountain climbers, discovered I’d a mean right hook, and laughed my head off.

The Viking Method is all about functional training – Svava gets her clients crawling, bunny hopping, punching and squatting to use every inch of the body and to shock the metabolism into action. She has no time for sissies – her clients are used to doing press-ups in the mud. Svava has trained former Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and model Suki Waterhouse, and insists neither of them were worried about breaking a nail when they were breaking a sweat. If it’s good enough for Nicole, I thought, as I fell to the ground for another round of planks.

Diet is key, says Svava, and it’s all about timing. “Your hormones are everything, and how you eat changes them,” she says. “Time your sugar and carbs for after a workout – don’t waste it by having a banana before you train, it’ll just kick your insulin into gear.”

Svava may have sculpted some of the best bodies in the business, but she insists it’s not just about looks. “We don’t train to impress others, we train to impress ourselves. When you open Instagram it’s so tiring to see a girl wearing a G-string – let’s see a girl doing a tuck jump instead.”

It’s not just Instagram that ignites Svava’s Viking fury: she is equally scathing about the “before and after” picture trend that some trainers are employing. “It’s not real – you can have a spray tan, change your knickers – there are plenty of tricks to look better. Instead I have the Viking Challenge [think a minute of burpees], where you can see how much you can do and how far you’ve come with your fitness, because of your own hard work and actions. No one can take it away from you.”

The Viking Method is available as an online programme, at £19.99 for a month, or £69.99 for three months. thevikingmethod.com

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in