It's GREAT to be Strong.
It's GREAT to be Conditioned.....
But it's BEST when you have BOTH Strength AND Conditioning.
If I can pit one example of this I'll use my friend, Jim Wendler, shown in videos below. He keeps everything simple.
[youtube width="640" height="390"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0youqZ2JwI[/youtube]
Jim's strength work is centered around his 5 3 1 program.
Jim's conditioning is centered around hill sprints and prowler sprints. He punishes himself on these 2 conditioning methods.
I've found that when you're in shape, you get stronger much easier and vice versa.
If you pay NO attention to conditioning and only attend to strength you will:
- increase chances of injury
- carry around excess body fat
- your intense strength workouts will fatigue you too quickly, not allowing you to get the most bang for your buck, tiring yourself out before it's time to crank your assistance work
If you pay NO attention to strength & only focus on met-cons and conditioning work you will:
- Feel like sh*t when a heavy bar is thrown on your back or in your hands
- Heavy lifting will fatigue you too quickly and likely increase chances of injury under heavy lifting as your tendons / ligaments have not been prepped for heavy loads & straining
[youtube width="640" height="390"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdtnLeMWAyk[/youtube]
Note: Jim doesn't drop the 150 lb dumbbells. Why are people unable to do this with only 50 lb dumbbells, let alone the 150s!?
Here are 3 Ways to Blend Strength AND Conditioning:
1) Start with 1 strength lift in a 5 x 5 or 5 3 1 format, followed by a circuit of your assistance work.
1) Zercher Squats 5 3 1 Style
2A) Glute Ham Raise 4 x 10 - 15 reps
2B) Double Kettlebell Cleans 4 x 6 reps
2C) Lunge Jumps 4 x 6 / 6
3) Ab Circuit x 4 exercises x 15 reps each
2) Perform your normal workout & finish with 10 minutes of sprint intervals
Perform your upper, lower or full body workout
Set the clock for 10 minutes and perform as many short sprints as possible in that 10 minute time period. You can time them for 15/15 or 30/30 if this time of work:rest is feasible. If not, perform a hard sprint, then rest 30 seconds and repeat until 10 minutes is over and done with
3) Lift one day, condition the next......
- Train upper body one day, hit sprints via run, bike or swim the next day
- Train lower body the following day, condition the next day.
After 3 -4 days of training in a row take a day off.
If you're like me and have exercise ADD then condition through a variety of methods. I like being outside so being in the ocean, mtn biking, running with my dog, battling ropes, runs, etc ALL give me lots of joy.
The key is this, and, "this" was inspired to me by Warrior Man's video below. NEVER allow yourself to fall "out of shape". If you're not sure and you're asking yourself if you're "in shape", then you're out of shape. Period.
[youtube width="640" height="390"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-FImJA7ZjE[/youtube]
I am on a mission to push my conditioning to greater levels.I'm NOT satisfied. I love feeling like I got my ass kicked after a workout but I also HATE it because I want to be BETTER.
Drop a comment below and tell Underground Strength Nation what YOUR mission is.
PS: TWO Underground seminars around the corner:
- Combat Seminar with Jason C Brown & I - Training for GOLD
Frank DiMeo says
Z, you are so right with this post!
Ron M says
How long are you doing the conditioning for on conditioning only days?
@Ron M: it depends on WHAT U do. If I am mtn biking it can be 1 – 2 hrs
In summer I ride my bike to the beach, do sprints in the sand, swim, burpees, calisthenics, etc
Other times it’s short hill sprints
It all depends, the key is feeling WORKED!
Josh (SASWarrior) says
This is just what I needed to step up game today. Plate getting piled high with work… recipe for excuses.. But not with you around!
That is exactly right Zach. Thanks for the great information.
Janet M. says
Great Zach! I personally love option 1. Sometimes I do it as you outlined. Or instead of a preset number of sets I’ll set a timer for 10 minutes, pick 2-3 exercises and do as many sets as I can in the 10 min window. Pick 2 more exercises, do it again. Finish with 5 minutes of abs done similar.
@Janet M.: Glad you enjoyed it, Janet
I love the part about if you’re questioning whether you’re in shape or not, then you’re not. End of story, there’s no in between, you’re either leading or falling behind.
Dustin W. says
Victims, runners and fighters! That is it! Either you sit there complaining about why you can’t do something-Victim. You run from pain, train below your potential or focus on cardio only because weights cause too much pain-runner. You wake up everyday with the mission to dominate, understand that falling is part of life, but getting up is necessary. You start to pace as you get closer to working out. Sick to your stomach with anticipation of the battle to come. And when you finish you are beaten but you can’t wait for the next training session-Fighter.
I like the “if you have to ask yourself, you probably are not..”Train, nutrition, life! If you have to ask if you’re a good father you probably are not. If you have to ask if you are training hard enough you probably are not. If you have to ask if you are eating healthy you probably are not.
Either you are in all the way, or you are out!
Ben Hoben says
Any post with vids of Wendler gets two thumbs up from me! I about crapped when he jumped off the bench with 300 pounds!
This was a good kick in the rear because I’ve been focusing only on strength and I’ve gained too much excess fat lately as I’ve ignored the conditioning too much. I tipped 200 on the scale this morning for the 1st time in a loooong time. (I used to weight 235 in my earlier sedentary days.)
@Ben Hoben: slap yourself in the face and do the extra sprints!
Great post Z-I have a few more days to bump it up before doing extremely Spartan training (whatever I can find in a park/beach) for a month without all of my “toys”-Kettlebells, chains,, ropes,heavy bag, etc..
Great stuff Zach. Need to be a well rounded BEAST! I’ll do some Martin Rooney TFW Hurricanes for conditioning along with some Training Room workouts. Those are ass kickers!!!
So true there Zach!
Finishing a workout with some TABATA jump squats is always a great desert to the workout main course.
@Matt: yes, brutal on the legs but would rather see you do tabata runs / jump sprints for fat loss
Brian pankey says
I have question about the gladiator program will it download on an IPad 1.
And by the way I love your work keep it coming Bro
@Brian pankey: Bro, crap, NOT sure
B/c I don’t know, I would advise against it.
It’s 2 PDFs
I would save to a computer U KNOW will handle it
I’ve been really lazy with conditioning since the start of the year as I don’t have much need for it right now (not playing any competitive sports at the moment), BUT after read this I’ll definitely do hit up some complexes! Thanks Zach, always love reading your stuff.
Brian Pankey says
Ok Bro thanks I figure out something
I love what your sayin here! Question though…. Would doing heavily weighted pullups followed by several sets of bw pullups/chinups/inverted rows be considered strength and conditioning? Or am I off in my thinking?
Josh Sutcliffe says
I really like this post. I once had an argument with professor about using sprints for conditioning, she said I needed more long distance work. I told her that when I sprinted for conditioning everything improved, she didn’t believe me. Results speak for themselves.
Carlos S says
Good to know people are leading the charge in stopping the Pussification of this nation! This world needs its spine back!
I always warm up with plyometrics, then (5,3,1/5×5/6,4,2 etc..) strength work, Do 25-50 reps, Axel or Oly bar @ 135-165 lbs Bear Complexes for time. I know people hate the treadmill (I use to as well) but it can help in forcing you to keep a steady pace for a timed duration. So I like to do 2-3 rounds of 3-5 sets of 1min sprint intervals 30 sec rest jogging. I always finish with a sprint for max time, fighting to not fall off, lower speed or press stop.
Brian Pankey says
Aye bro do you have any workouts for kegs i need some ideals.
Brian Pankey says
Hows that renegade diet working for you. Im considering getting it. But wanted to hear your opinion on it since youve been on it for awhile.