It's 8:45 AM. The dew is still on the ground. Sweat pours from your face and stings your eyes. You hear huffing and puffing all around you. You look up and see 40 yards of open field waiting for you to conquer. You hear the whistle and let out a primordial scream. You take off and it feels like your legs are on fire and your lungs are going to burst out of your chest. You collapse as you cross the finish line. Chest heaving, legs shaking, you make it over to where your team is gathered and you take a knee. It is the end of the first practice of two-a-day #1.
For many of us this was what high school was all about. Sprints and lifting, sprints and lifting and some practice thrown in there as well. As hard as it was, you were jacked and ripped. Then life hit you. You maybe strong, but you have a little extra layer of "person" on you. Fret not, because below we are going to show you how to get back to that phase. We are going to show you how to get ripped.
1. Intervals: Intervals involve spurts of work followed by periods of rest. The intensity can vary, but the concept is still the same, work and rest. The work/rest ratio should be tailored to the type of sport you are participating in, but for general fitness, I would recommend 30s of sprinting followed by 30s of rest. Interval training can be done on a elliptical machine, a bike, a treadmill, or even a track in the form of Fartlek runs. Intervals are like a blow torch to your metabolism. They will keep it elevated long after you step off the track and your net caloric expenditure will be much greater than low intensity steady state cardio.
2. Lets face it; if you have a Prowler you know how kick ass it is in terms of conditioning. However, if you don't have one, you can still get into sick shape. If you have a sled or even a tire you strap it around your waist (with a belt of course) and run sprints. Also push an Olympic plate around the gym will also force your body to work harder than it normally does. The angle, the weight, the work-they all come into play when doing these. These are best done after your lower body training sessions.
3. On off days or deload weeks don't just sit around. Utilize what is known as active rest to help your body recover and get some conditioning in. If you lift 3-days a week, play pick up basketball, play tennis, swim. Just be active. Not only will it keep your competitive juices flowing, but it will also help the body to get blood flowing which will help accelerate recovery via delivering oxygen and other valuable nutrients to the muscles.
Simply put, there is no excuse for being strong, yet outta shape. It's not what an athlete does. Always remember, once in athlete always an athlete.
Sample Conditioning Sessions:
Warm Up: 2 min
Duration: 10 min
Equipment: Sled, sled strap, belt
10 x 40yds sled sprints
Active Rest Session:
Pick Up Basketball Games x 2
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