T Nation

All Around Performance


Hello CT,
I’m starting studies at an university that include self defense (boxing, close range combat, shooting etc.) practice. It’ll be done twice a week on Wednesdays and Fridays for ~60min. So skill training and conditioning (along with 1.5 mile walk every day) is addressed.

How should I train for speed, power and strength in the gym? I thought about using jumps, throws, olympic lift variations (e.g. power snatch from hang), explosive compound exercises (push presses, pendlay rows) and ‘slow’ compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, presses and pullups.

So about 1.5 mile walk every day (walking is spread through the day) and self defense practice on Wednesday and Friday. How to plan gym work and recovery on the remaining 5 days?

P.S. It seems that I respong better to lower volume/intensity and higher frequency strength training, because every time I try to do higher volume or intensity, I feel tired and am not motivated to train next day.


Look at CTs Athlete Lean Athlete Strong or Zombie Apocalypse programs. They may suit you. Or Wendlers NOV or 5/3/1 For Crossfit.


I would left weights Saturday and Tuesday, full body routines. On both days start with Olympic lift and explosive variations (I like doing them when my muscles are fresh), then the slow compound exercises. Unless the self defense day is just shooting, when I’d add a third weight lifting day on Thursday.

I remember my boxing classes and they had a lot of body weight exercises that would count as strength training. Once you’ve started the classes, you will have a better idea of how physically demanding those classes are. If the teacher has you doing butt loads of push ups, bench pressing might be redundant.


When you say"university" what actually do you mean? CQB training is usually reserved for the military or police. I am asking because I am a CQB instructor. Just curious. Thanks.

Following CT’s advise for Special Ops, I started the ZA workout, excellent for the job.


It may surprise you, but I live in Latvia (yes, CT’s and others work has come that far). I study ‘Administration of Customs and Taxes’ with emphasis on Customs and (later) Finance Police.

Zombie Apocalypse workout seems like a very appropriate program. How do you combine all 5 strength/conditioning days with self defense training? Just do twice a day on Wednesday and Friday?

Thanks everyone for answers.