With summer rapidly approaching I’ve been getting lots of questions about which conditioning methods will help you lose fat fast and get in playing shape without compromising your size or strength, and exactly when should you do them.
First of all, I recommend a strength training schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This leaves Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday or Sunday for conditioning and/or playing. To start you should be training on a four way upper/lower split. This means that you have two upper body days and two lower body days. You train three days per week rotating through the four workouts; so some weeks you will do upper body twice and other weeks you do lower body twice.
As summer nears and you are doing more conditioning and running you may want to switch over to an upper/ lower/ upper split. Therefore you will train upper body on Monday and Friday and have only one leg workout per week, on Wednesdays. This will be plenty since you will be doing a lot of sprinting which will take care of your leg work. Any more than one direct leg workout per week when you are sprinting multiple times per week, will lead to overtraining.
The best fat loss/ conditioning methods are hill sprints, sled sprints and Prowler pushes. These are safer and less taxing on the body than regular flat ground sprints and require less preparation, warm up and mastery of technique. Simply head outside and do a brief warm up of mobility work, dynamic flexibility and some basic running drills and progressions and you will be good to go. These conditioning workouts should last about 20-40 minutes total. Over time, try to increase the number of sprints you do and decrease the rest periods.
If you’re an athlete or have some athletic ability, you can definitely do flat ground sprints, just be prepared for them to make you quite sore if you haven’t done them in a while. The risk of injury is also far greater.
If you squat every Wednesday, Tuesday is the only day that I wouldn’t recommend sprinting. You could do it any other day with no problem, though. If you want to do conditioning on Tuesday I would opt for the battling ropes or jumping rope. Start out with two conditioning days and work your way up to three to four over the next month or two.
Remember, that sprinting for fat loss and conditioning is different than sprinting for speed. The latter requires specific timing, longer rest periods, etc. But to drop body fat and just bring up your conditioning without compromising your strength gains, you don’t have to get too anal about this. Just do the damn sprints. That’s all that matters.
Here is a sample schedule:
Monday- Upper body strength training
Tuesday- foam roll, mobility work or day off
Wednesday- Lower body strength training
Thursday- Prowler pushing
Friday- Upper body strength training
Saturday- Hill sprints
Sunday- off or Sled sprints
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