Step up to the Bar

Part Two: Adding Conditioning Drills to your basic plan

In part one of this article I outlined a very basic strength training plan, using a barbell as your only tool. Now we are going to step it up a notch and turn this simple workout into an intense Strength and Conditioning plan. In keeping with our low-tech tools for high-performance results concept, the only thing we are going to do for conditioning is run.

When I say run I don’t mean go for a leisurely jog in the park. I mean go to your local high-school track and run some 400’s. Or get out on the football field and do a series of 40’s – 50’s, or maybe a few 300 yard shuttle runs. You can also run stadium bleachers (if you are lucky enough to have a stadium near by). Or go out in the woods and run a little cross country. Just be sure to keep things interesting by mixing short and long intervals, fartlek runs and continuous runs using various running speeds, distances, volumes and work-to-rest ratios.

Let’s add those two days a week of varied conditioning drills and see how our program looks.

Conditioning Workout 1. (Monday)

Warm-up: 5-min walk, then 6 x 1min jog, 1min walk
4 x 200m*
8 x 100m
10 x 50m
Cool-down: 5-min jog

Strength Workout 1. (Tuesday) 3 sets of 6-8 reps. Rest 90 seconds between sets

Bench Press
Bent-Over Row
Calf Raise
Full Contact twists

Conditioning Workout 2. (Thursday)

Warm-up: 5mins walk, then 6 x 1min jog, 1min walk
1 x 400m*
1 x 200m
1 x 100m
1 x 50m
10 x 80m
Cool-down: 5-min jog

Strength Workout 2. (Friday) 3 sets of 6-8 reps. Rest 90 seconds between sets

Standing Press
Close Grip Bench
Standing Curls

*For the sprints, rest three times the length of time it took you to sprint. For example if you ran your first 400 in 60 seconds, you should rest 180 seconds.

So that’s all there is to it. It does not get more straight forward then that. If you are wondering what you should do on the other days, I’ll tell you… Nothing! Rest, eat, sleep and hit your training days hard.

Stick to this plan for the next 3-5 months and see what kind of progress you can make. Remember you can vary your sets, reps and the version of the recommended exercises. Don’t forget to change up your running drills as well. I would say change things up every 4-6 weeks or so. Right everything down, keep accuarate records and you will soon learn which combination produces the best results for you.

In the old days there were really only two choices for strength and conditioning, barbells and running. Well, that’s really all you need.

Now get to it!