Intro Interval Program – H.I.I.T

This interval program is designed to be performed 2 – 4 times per week on a Treadmill.

Work intervals should be performed at 80-90% Max Heart Rate (MHR)

If applicable, adjust incline and speed accordingly to achieve proper MHR results

Click the thumbnail below for a full-size view:

Intro Interval Program – H.I.I.T

Lower Body Blast

This week features another awesome workout from my friend, coach Tom Kelso.

Sometimes you want to get in the gym and really just crush it. The following workout will be both extremely challenging as well as highly effective. If you are looking for a tough workout, look no further. This workout features targeted lower-body exercises, combined with total body intervals.

Productive lower body workout combined with intervals:
Med. Ball squat-to-press :30 on/:30 off x 4 sets
Leg Press x 10-14
Burpees :45 on/:45 off x 3 sets
Barbell Squat x 10-14
Mountain Climbers :20 on/:20 off x 6 sets
Single-Leg Leg Press x 8-12 each leg
Versa Climber 1:00 on/:30 off x 3 sets
Stiff-Leg Dead Lift x 8-12
150 lb. dummy or other object drag/push :30 on/:30 off x 4 sets
Dumbbell Wall Sit for time
Leg Curl x 10-14
Completion time: 35:00 – 45:00
Do your best, and try not to get sick…


By Tom Kelso

The goal of a sports performance program is to maximize physical qualities needed for optimal athletic performance and injury prevention. Simply put, athletes want to perform at their best from start to finish each contest, over an entire season, and throughout their playing careers without incurring injury setbacks. Many programs that address this can be complicated, time-consuming, and unproductive, but a sound program simplifies the process by focusing on the alterable physical qualities to assure time-efficiency and measurable results. The bottom line is following a sound program makes sense and optimally prepares you for the rigors of competition.

Program components:

1. Progressive strength training. The benefits of increasing muscular strength are numerous. Increasing over-all body strength will improve your potential to exert maximum strength, explosive power and muscular endurance during competition. It will also assist in improving running speed, agility, body composition (body fat levels), and injury prevention. I utilize a variety of intensity-based protocols for both in-season and out-of-season programs.

2. Sport-related conditioning. Fatigue can inhibit maximum skill performance and increase the risk of injury, especially in the latter stages of competitions and important contests at the end of the season. Being in top condition is therefore vital. A good program addresses the energy demands required for your sport by using various interval runs, speed &, agility drills, and sport-specific activities to improve your ability to work at a high level the entire contest. Numerous methods can be used to get you “in shape,” but the closer you can replicate work demands of your sport during conditioning training, the greater the transfer to the sport.

3. Flexibility. All other factors being equal, applying muscular force over the greatest range of joint motion can improve power output during skill execution. Therefore, maximizing one’s inherent flexibility can be beneficial. One’s joint flexibility is contingent upon skeletal muscle origins and insertions, body composition, and to some extent activity level. Some athletes are quite flexible while others are not. Whatever your level, it can be maximized by emphasizing full range of motion strength training exercises and performing basic pre- and post-workout safe static-stretching exercises. An inordinate amount of time spent on static stretching is normally not necessary unless there is a specific need for it.

4. Nutrition. Nutritional intake can have a significant impact on your performance potential as it can both positively and negatively effect body composition, energy levels during training and competition, and the ability to grow muscle and build strength. Following a sensible nutrition plan is therefore very important. A sound program offers advice and guidelines for adhering to a proper food intake plan to optimize your training results. If one eats sensibly from healthy products obtained at the local grocery store, it will augment their training and recovery so expensive nutritional supplements are really not necessary.

Benefits of the sports performance program components:

Strength training:

> Increased muscular strength
> Increased muscular power
> Increased muscular endurance
> Increased muscle size
> Improved running speed
> Improved agility
> Assists in body fat reduction
> Reduced injury risk


> Improved endurance
> Improved running speed
> Improved agility
> Improved reaction/quickness
> Assists in body fat reduction
> Reduced injury risk


> Improved force production potential
> Improved skill execution
> Reduced injury risk


> Maximizes muscle strength
> Maximizes muscle size
> Assists in body fat reduction
> Improved endurance
> Assists in recovery time


This weeks article courtesy of my friend Tom Kelso. Visit his newely updated web-site for tons of great information and some of the best books in the industry. 


I want it All

I keep hearing that song by Queen in the back of my head. The one with the chorus that says “I want it all, I want it all, I want it all and I want it now”. Many of my clients are very busy people and do not have tons of time to devote to exercise outside of the time they choose to spend with me.

Most personal trainers focus on strength training with their clients. They have come to think of “cardio” as some long duration, low intensity activity that the clients should be doing, but on their own time. They make recommendations like “do 30-60 minutes of cardio 3-5 times a week”. I actually know a trainer that tells his clients that in order to be successful they need to do four, 90-minute strength sessions a week, plus another 3-5 hours of cardio on their own time. Talk about inefficient.

This workout is one I use to make sure that my clients can get everything they need in our time together. This plan combines heavy weightlifting with interval style “cardio” training, alternating between the two. Depending on the current needs and abilities of the client there may be from 3-5 exposures to each. The strength training is done in three set mini circuits where in you choose a pushing movement a pulling movement and a lower body movement. The interval training is conducted in four minute blocks using mixed modalities in which the work to rest ratios are varied during each exposure. Rest between the strength and interval bouts is the time it takes to walk from one area of the gym to another. During the strength movements you may vary the rest from 30 – 90 seconds depending on how heavy you wish to train and how challenged you wish to be.

If you are an athlete looking for a great GPP plan for any sport or activity give this style of mixed mode training a try. If you are a trainer who usually just does strength training with your clients, surprise them with this brief and brutal workout. I guarantee you or your clients will see and feel a difference in performance in no time.

Remember the circuits below are just a few examples of 100s you can create. Use these as a template and see what kind of workouts you can come up with. You are limited only by your imagination and the tools you have access to.

Example of Mixed-Mode Hybrid:


Strength Circuit 1. 1 x 6-10 reps each

  • Chin-up or weighted Chin-up
  • Dip or weighted Dip
  • Single leg Squat off a box Bodyweight or weighted

H.I.I.T. Mode 1. Four minutes


  • Concept 2 – (20 sec work / 10 sec recovery)

Strength Circuit 2. 1 x 6-10 reps each

  • Dumbbell Row
  • Dumbbell Bench
  • Dumbbell CDL+S

H.I.I.T. Mode 2. Four minutes

  • L.B.E. (exercise bike) 30 sec work / 30 sec recovery

Strength Circuit 3. 1 x 6-10 reps each

  • Dumbbell Alternating High pull
  • Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder press
  • Dumbbell reverse lunge

H.I.I.T. Mode 3. Four minutes

  • Stair Sprints 20 sec work / 20 sec recovery

Strength Circuit 4. 1 x 6-10 reps each

  • Hanging Knee raise (weighted if more then 10 reps can be completed)
  • GHD raise (weighted if more then 10 reps can be completed)
  • Cable rotations



Slow and steady?

By now, almost everyone knows that I am a big fan of brief, intense, and efficient training methods for both strength and conditioning. In my opinion High Intensity Strength Training, with maximal efforts, and minimal rest periods, is the ultimate tool to achieve Super fitness.

For years I have been recommending intense interval style training, as well as high intensity circuit strength training, to my clients who are trying to lose body fat in the shortest time possible. This style of training is the ultimate means to drive metabolic cost and maximize caloric expenditure.

This week we look at some interesting research that support these ideas:*

Examining Matched Acute Physiological Responses to Various Modes of Exercise in Individuals Who Are Overweight

James E. Clark

Purpose: To perform match comparison of 3 different exercise programs: traditional continuous endurance training (ET); mixed-intensity interval endurance training (MI-ET) and circuit-interval resistance training (CRT) programs, to determine which of the three programs provides greater benefit of exercise in individuals who are overweight.

Conclusions: The MI-ET program spent a greater percent of training time within a favorable training zone than CRT and ET programs.  The MI-ET and CRT programs produced greater caloric expenditure than the ET program, with no statistical difference between the MI-ET and CRT programs.  Although the CRT program produces the greatest overall caloric expenditure, the MI-ET program produces measures that provided significantly greater benefit of exercise for the 3 programs of interest.

IN PLAIN ENGLISH:  If you want to maximize energy expenditure to facilitate fat-loss, choose more intense interval-type training and/or circuit strength training as opposed to walking on a treadmill or running at a low-level continuous pace.



* Thanks to my friend Tom Kelso for sharing the awesome information he has at his home page.

P.S. (click on Tom’s name above, so that you can drop by his sight, and explore for yourself).

Simple 20 Minute Conditioning

This week features another brief, intense and challenging workout which Combines running with body weight exercises.

For this workout you will only need your body-weight as the resistance. If you choose to train outdoors, I recommend that you go to a park or a high-school athletic field, and use running as the active segment between specific exercises. If you train indoors you may choose any of the suggested machines or any other activity that seems to fit the bill.

Attempt to complete the entire workout with minimal rest between each exercise or run. The goal time for completion is 20 minutes.
2:00 hard run / bike / elliptical / rower other
Push-ups x max reps
1:00 hard run / bike / elliptical / rower other
Bicycle Crunches x max reps
2:00 hard run / bike / elliptical / rower other
Body Weight Squats x max reps
1:00 hard run / bike / elliptical / rower other
Push-ups x max reps
2:00 hard run / bike / elliptical / rower other
Bicycle Crunches x max reps
1:00 hard run / bike / elliptical / rower other
Body Weight Squats x max reps
2:00 hard run / bike / elliptical / rower other
This workout was created by my friend Coach Tom Kelso.

Gym Floor Circuit

Here is a BRUTAL conditioning workout that is great to do if you have access to a full-size Basketball court.

Try it now!

(on a basketball court)
Use either light dumbbells or a weighted aerobic bar
Complete all 19 stations with minimal rest between each
1. Bar/DB forward lunges down court and back
2. Bar/DB overhead press x 20
3. Bar/DB lateral lunges to mid-court, turn 180 degress,
continue to end line
4. Bar/DB bent-over row x 30
5. Run 4 lengths of the court (down, back, down, back)
6. Bar/DB squat x 35
7. Bar/DB uopright row x 20
8. Bar/DB forward lunge down court
9. On floor – bicycle crunches x 1:00
10. Push ups x max reps
11. Bar/DB held at arms-length overhead, run 4 lengths of the court
12. Bar/DB squat-to-overhead press x 20
13. Run 4 lengths of the court
14. Bar/DB overhead press x 20
15. Bar/DB run 2 lengths of the court with 5 squats at the free throw line,
mid-court, far free throw line and end line
16. Push ups x max reps
17. Mountain climbers x 100
18. Bar/DB lateral lunges to mid-court, then back to end line
19. Squat thrusts x 12

This is another awesome workout from my friend Tom Kelso.



4 Quarters

Here is a great workout from my friend, Tom Kelso.
Give this one a try and see how you do.
4 Quarters
Do these exercise movements in this order, as follows: Chest Press, Pull-down, Multi-joint Leg 1, Overhead Press, Low Row, Incline Press, Upright Row & Multi-joint Leg 2.
1st Quarter: 15 reps to failure/max reps each exercise with 1:00 rest between exercises.
(rest 2:00)
2nd Quarter: 10 reps to failure/max reps each exercise with 1:00 rest between exercises.
(halftime – rest 3:00)
3rd Quarter: 5 reps to failure/max reps each exercise with 1:00 rest between exercises.
(rest 2:00)
4th Quarter: holding dumbbells (e.g., 20 to 40 lbs.), do these exercises x reps: squat x 6, overhead press x 6, bent-over row x 6 and to the ground for dumbbell push up x 6.  Do 4 ROUNDS of the 4 exercises with NO REST and WITHOUT SETTING THE DUMBBELLS DOWN.
Brief & Intense
Enjoy the pain.

New Training Tool

PART TWO: Weight Training for MMA

Hey Gang, I want to introduce a friend of mine. Steve McKinney.

Steve has been a strength coach and trainer for over 20 years and is an advocate of safe, efficient, and effective training.  During his long training career Steve has trained a wide variety of people, but has recently found a niche working with MMA and submission grappling athletes.

Steve has taken the original H.I.T. style concepts and adapted and innovated them creating workouts that are extremely brief and intense, while simultaneously understanding the many other factors that athletes are coping with which may place high demands on their recovery ability. By doing so Steve has created the best of both worlds, workouts that are result producing yet not over taxing to the athletes systems.

Steve has developed a unique system of strength training for combat sports, that really works. It’s measurable, rational, objective and result producing.

Steve has written an E-Book Called “Weight Training for MMA”. The book is loaded with GREAT information, including dozens of exercise descriptions and pictures.

Here is some of what you get:

4 off-season routines

4 in-season routines!

An outlined diet plan!

A simple, brief and intense approach to cardio!

The book also contains all the information you will need, to know how and when to adjust your program variables, such as training load, volume, frequency and intensity.

Steve also created an instructional… “How To Video” for using his system!

Watch him take 3 different people through workouts!

There is also an added Bonus videotaped workout! You’ll see pro fighter Clay French, KOTC Champion and Pride veteran go through a brutal, HIGH INTENSITY workout, as Steve supervises the session. It’s uncut and live!

After reading the book and watching the videos you’ll have all the information you need to create simple and effective workouts that will have you ready for action in no time.
This is the ACTUAL system that Kyle Watson used pre-TUF!!!!

To go directly to Steve’s web–site, click this link: Strength Training For MMA


P.S. If you want to get stronger quickly and safely… if you want to take advantage of one of the better workout protocols around… if you are ready to take your game to the next level, I sincerely believe this system will help!


Hey everyone, sorry I am a bit late with my up-date. As most of you probably know, I do my best to add something new every week. Well…I had a Birthday recently and was a bit distracted (more on that in the near future).

So this week I put together some quick little combat cross-training circuits. Try these on a non-strength day or depending on your goals, you could start or finish a workout with one of these little gems. Finally if your goal is to increase overall stamina as quickly as possible, try to stick with the weekly schedule as outlined below.

Your goal is to increase your speed on each part of the circuit while striving to lower the total time it takes you to complete the entire series each day. As you decrease rest between the elements of the series you will find your stamina improving rapidly. It is not unusual for people to notice improvements in as little as two weeks.


P.S. if you do not have any of the suggested equipment on hand, replace it with something else. Be creative.


1 Mile run (A.F.A.P.)*

3 x 2-minute rounds of Jump Rope

3 x 2-minute Rounds of Bag work

4 Sets of 25 bodyweight Squats

4 x 60-Yard Sprints
(A.F.A.P. 1:3 work to rest ratio)

10 x 30 sec on 30 sec off rowing

5 sets of 15 sec on 90 sec off speed training (Sprint A.F.A.P. for 15 sec)

10 minutes ARC trainer Strength

1 Mile run

3 x 2-minute rounds of Jump Rope

3 x 2-minute Rounds of Bag work

4 Sets of 25 bodyweight Squats

4 x 60-Yard Sprints
(A.F.A.P. 1:3 work to rest ratio)

5 minutes Speed intervals on Step-Mill

5 sets of 15 sec on 90 sec off speed training (Sprint A.F.A.P. for 15 sec)

10 minutes Intervals on Recumbent Bike

4 x 60-Yard Sprints (A.F.A.P. 1:3 work to rest ratio)

10 minutes ARC trainer Strength

3 x 2-minute rounds of Bag work

5 sets of 15 sec on 90 sec off speed training (Sprint A.F.A.P. for 15 sec)

*A.F.A.P. = As Fast As Possible