Workout with Chaim Schalk

The beaches are open! The beaches are open! 

AVP athletes are flocking to the sand. Some are finding ways to play on an actual net (swoon). Most are taking advantage of the resistance that only sand can provide. Every beach player knows you need your “sand legs” – the muscles and endurance your body builds after about two weeks of training on the beach. No other medium can replicate that procurement; you cannot get sand legs anywhere else but in sand. 

And that’s what gives AVP athletes the stamina to last a two-hour practice. Or more importantly, an upcoming Champions Cup tournament day with three matches. So when the beaches opened, we sprinted to the sand only to get more sprints in. The SoCal athletes are dying for those sand legs, and Governer Newsom is letting us have them back. 

One athlete that we all could have predicted would be first on the sand is Chaim Schalk. In February (which feels like a lifetime ago), we learned about Chaim’s journey to becoming a viable American Olympian after having competed for Canada in Rio 2016. He also gave us a taste of his USA workout. And now, as one of the many working for those sand legs again, he’s sharing a killer hands-on-your-knees-maybe-gonna-puke sand workout so you also can build your stamina (or just sweat out your Quarantini). If you don’t have access to a beach, no problem. This conditioning workout can be done on pavement, a track, or a field. 

CS: It’s been so refreshing being able to get my feet in the sand in Hermosa Beach. My partner Chase Budinger and I have been enjoying some long sand workouts while keeping ourselves socially distanced. To go along with three home gym lifts, my trainer Christian Hartford has added in three conditioning sessions per week to get us back into that deep sand shape. These workouts have great variety and involve a lot of plyometrics, explosive movements, and cardio.  These workouts have been crushing us early on as we work ourselves back into game shape.  

Here’s an example of one of our sand days: 

Multi-Directional Day

Plyometric Warm-Up

  1. Linear Quick Hops x 20 (front to back) 
  2. Lateral Quick Hops x 20 (side to side)
  3. Quick Squat Jumps x 10
  4. Forward Moving Squat Jumps x 10

Plyo Circuit

3 rounds (a,b, and c) – 30 seconds rest between exercises – 2 min rest between rounds

  1. Diag. Alt. Broad Jumps x 5ea
  2. Rotational Skater Jumps x 5ea
  3. 3 -way Step Close Approach Jumps x 2 times through

Multi-Directional Explosiveness 

Give yourself enough rest between reps to BE EXPLOSIVE – DO NOT FEEL FATIGUED

  1. Forward Diagonal Run to Backward Diagonal Shuffle x4 (if you don’t have a court, just run the imagined diagonal length of a beach volleyball court – 42ish ft.)
  2. Diag. Start to Backpedal x4ea direction
  3. Linear Start to Crossover Run x4ea direction

Conditioning Options 


Star Drill 

  1. 2×4 reps (two stars is one rep) 
    1. Start in the center of the court and sprint to end-line, corner, sideline, corner, moving around the court to make an eight-pointed star)
    2. Complete star as fast as possible, then give yourself double the rest time (if it takes you 20 seconds, take 40 second rest)
  2. 3-5 minutes rest bewteen sets

Half Court Box Drill

  1. 4 reps (both directions is 1 rep)
    1. Shuffle Endline
    2. 4 Approach Jumps to the Net
    3. Across Net 
      1. Blockers – Lateral Step to Jump
      2.  Defenders – Shuffle
    4. Backpedal to Endline
    5. Reverse it
  2. 30 seconds to 1 minute between reps