I got some fun stuff for everyone to sink into today, hopefully everyone enjoys it and finds it worth a bit of their time to go through.
Above is one of my favorite memes in recent times, yes it’s funny but there’s certainly some truth to it. If you’re like me, the thought of doing your finisher (conditioning), you kind of dread it. Yes even coaches and trainers aren’t necessarily looking forward to parts (sometimes all) of their workouts, people say cardio and I say cardi-no, don't lie, you at least chuckled.
All that said, I know that this is what I need to work on the most. No I’m not talking about going for runs for miles on end, trust me that’s not really worth the toll, especially if you’re akin to me and weren’t exactly born to run. I sprint if anything in terms of that.
Here are 4 finishers that even I’ve managed to do with some regular consistency, and I find work well for my clients, for some of you, they probably look familiar.
To explain what this is, simple, you give an allotted time to complete however many exercises as many times as you can (example GB Squats x8, Inverted Rows x10, Suitcase Carry x10 yards/side, as many times through for 8 minutes). I like to use this for a couple reasons-
Reason 1; is to build work capacity, simply put, literally how much movement can you do in a given amount of time. If someone has a lower than average work capacity, and is more often winded during their workout, I’ll either keep the time to around 8 minutes, or I’ll make it fairly easy movements for a slightly longer amount of time. As they get better I’ll add more complex and challenging movements and/or extend the time.
Reason 2; I’ll use this is to get some extra volume in for a particular exercise. If a client has a goal concerting their squat, their chin-up, their pushup or anything like that, you can be they’ll find such a movement in a density set at the end of a workout.
Conditioning with the upper body gets a little over looked. I love doing battle ropes same day as a big upper body lift. Really gets clients to push the limits of that half of the body. I generally try to keep the work/rest with battle ropes to 1:2 work rest ratio. The maximum work time I’ll give is around 15-20 seconds, that’s something that both myself and my good friend Mike, find is the maximum someone can do battle ropes work without their intensity withering away. Then it becomes a full body thing, and that’s not really great.
Air Dyne/ Spin Bike
Many of you know by now that my knees and I aren’t always friends. Getting on a bike as opposed to a treadmill or pounding the pavement, lets us live more harmoniously. Most clients start out with something like a 1:3 work-rest ratio and I build them into something closer to 1:1. For a challenge something like a tabata, 20s:10s work-rest, is certainly one I’d consider throwing at some of my more advanced clients.
A complex is taking an implement; KB, barbell, dumbbell, sandbag or whatever your pleasure is, and doing multiple exercises in a row without setting it down. I find myself using a lot of kettlebell complexes, typically 3-5 movements involved with each. The limiting factor in terms of what weight you can do is basically down to, what is your weakest exercise in said complex. For 90% of people that ends up being any sort of overhead press variation. Giving 60s to rest between each round, I’ll typically program between 3-6 rounds, 6 is reserved for the slightly more advanced clients. Ranging between 5-8 reps for each exercise, it takes more out of you than you realizes after that 2nd round, so my advice is to be a bit conservative with the weight.
Honorable mentions for this list include ladders & reverse ladders, metcon circuits (not my favorite name for them, but everyone gets the idea), and sled pushes.
If you're looking for a way to spice up your conditioning, hopefully these give you an idea. Have a good day everyone, got out there and get after it!
Don't forget to get your spot in No Pain Train- Online Training, closes December 18th and I promise you it's worth every bit of your time to at least check out. It can be for you or someone you know that is tired of living in chronic pain and wants to take control of their health and their life.
Jarrod Dyke, CSCS