Step 1 (optional): Foam Roll (5-10 minutes)
Foam rolling is going to be a great thing. If you are unable to get foam rolling in throughout the day, do it at the gym just to makes sure you get some relief from those sore muscles.
Step 2: Dymanic warmup (5-10 minutes)
When choosing a dynamic warmup base it around the exercises you are about to perform. If your goal for the day is to build strength, keep your heart rate lower but really focus on slow, methodical movement patterns based around a physical and mental activation of the muscle groups involved in the strength movements.
If Monday is the ‘hinging and pull day’, warm up the muscles you want to target. If you know the strength movements are going to be targeting the pulling dominant, choose a few of the following exercises to fatigue, but not to failure:
-PVC good mornings
-Single leg deadlifts (bodyweight)
Followed by Tuesday’s push and squat dominant warmup:
-Inch worm with rotations
-PVC pass throughs
If our goal on Wednesday is a full body general conditioning workout, it gets a little less complicated – let’s get the heart rate up, get sweating and target a full-body circuit that includes any exercises that help get the blood flowing:
Step 3: Primary Strength/Power exercises followed by recovery exercises (20-30 minutes) *Everyone should do variations of these exercises to build strength.
1 arm row
Single leg deadlift
Rear foot elevated squat
Incline bench press
Dips/Tricep extension variations
Hollow Body variation
PVC pass through
Ys, Ts, Is
Single leg stance
Knee banded side steps
Stationary agility drills
Step 4: Conditioning/Cardio (10-20 minutes)
The idea behind cardiovascular conditioning is simple. Increase your body’s efficiency in delivering nutrients to your working muscles. This encompasses the heart as well as your skeletal muscle. In this section of the workout you are going to prioritize your body’s needs and your specific goals.
If you need to build strength relative to your cardiovascular health, this is where you would narrow down your specific weaknesses and perform a combination of exercises that will strengthen the weak points in your fitness. For instance, if you know that the weakpoint in your pullup is the bottom, you will need to strengthen elbow flexion – which is where you would work in a set of biceps curls. My personal preference for this portion of the workout is to decrease the amount of rest you give yourself to keep the heart rate up while minimizing the time needed for specific heart conditioning. This will also bust your balls and make you really increase the amount of work you do in the session, forcing your body to burn more calories post-exercise.
Below is a sample of a few conditioning circuits I love:
2-5x through for the following circuits depending on your time/effort:
-Biceps curl (10) + Farmers carries (100ft) + Rope slams(25 max effort)
-Dumbell snatch (5 each side) + Thrusters (10) + Plate push / Sled push 50 ft
-Front/Goblet Squat (10 heavy reps) + 400 m sprint
-Kettlebell conditioning circuit : 5 rounds
30-50 second swings, 30-10 second rest
30-50 second snatch, 30-10 second rest
5×100 m sprint, 100m walk
4x400m run, 200 m walk
If you would like to focus more on heart health conditioning, there are a lot of protocols out there to help increase your body’s heart health. One of my favorite ways to track progress is measuring your resting heart rate in the mornings. Your body’s cardiovascular capacity to pump blood at rest is defined by your cardiac output. Your cardiac output is determined by multiplying the amount of blood pumped through your heart with each beat by your heart rate:
Q=HR x SV
Cardiac output=heart rate x stroke volume.
Each time you progress in cardiovascular health, your heart muscle gets stronger, allowing your heart to pump more blood with each beat (stroke volume). With an increase in stroke volume, your heart needs to pump a lower number of times (Heart rate) per minute. This means that when you are at rest, if you make your heart stronger, the number of beats will decrease at the same relative output. A normal heart rate range to be in is 60-90 beats per minute, but you’ll see freaks of nature like Lance Armstrong’s heart beat 30 times per minute due to a huge stroke volume.
With that said, measure your resting heart rate. In a matter of 6 weeks with consistent effort, you will see improvement if you push yourself 3 times a week.
Simpler conditioning workouts using cardio equipment:
-1 minute on, 30-120 second rest
-20 minutes on
-Tabata intervals: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 8 rounds. Rest 4 minutes, then go again.
Step 5: Cool down (5-10 minutes)
The idea behind the cool down is very similar to the idea of a warm up. Give your body some time to breathe. In general, my favorite cool down exercises are things that involve deep breathing, mindfulness and relaxation. It is a good time to throw in some ‘rehab’ type exercises such as foam roller GPR, range of motion joint exercises and unweighted movement. If there was a time to static stretch, this would be it. My favorite cool down is a giant glass of water, parking on the mats and running through a few yoga poses.