T Nation

Alternatives for "Easy" Conditioning?

Quick question. When it comes to conditioning we have easy/hard.
When talking about easy conditioning we use either airdyne or weighted vest walks. If there is no Airdyne available and it’s not possible to get out for a walk, could jumping rope count as easy cardio? I know that obviously depends on how good i am at jumping rope but what I’m trying to look for is an equivalent to 30-45 mins easy cardio. I think jumping rope for that long would become quite difficult. So would a good alternative be jumping rope for less time maybe? Would that have the same effect I’m looking for from 30-45 mins easy cardio?

I’m currently doing 30-45 mins cardio a day to get a good Base but I don’t have an Airdyne and on lots of occasions I can’t get outside and walk (I need to do my cardio at night when kids are in bed)

If you have a tredmill at home or access to one you can do a slight incline at a pace of 5-6 mph for 40 minutes and you’ll burn a significant amount for low intensity cardio.

You can also mess with the elliptical along the same lines… Increase the intensity settings slightly.

OR if you have hills near by or unlevel areas, that can help with the slow intensity as well to make it more challenging.

I appreciate the response but what I’m looking for are alternatives for easy conditioning that are ‘available’ to me. As said I have no Airdyne and cannot get out for a walk. So I basically have a jump rope and my front room.
Does anyone know of a rope routine (intervals etc) that would do the same job as the Airdyne or the walking. Training the same energy system.
For example a high intensity rope routine wouldnt be the same as walking/airdyne. So is it best to gently jump Rope for less time or do intervals…etc etc

Well your choices seem limited.
Jumping rope can be difficult inside a home unless you are short and have high ceilings .
Not trying to sound like a jerk , but step aerobics might provide some easy conditioning in a small space. It’s not really NOV, but it may work

Alternate jump rope with light assistance and/or mobility work. Set a time like 20-30 minutes and make sure to keep moving the whole time. Easy conditioning = recovery work, don’t go crazy with it, just keep moving for awhile.

1 Like

Thanks for the replys. Not sure step aerobics suits my ‘extreme manliness’ but will give the light assistance supersets a go. Cheers guys

if you can’t leave your house and don’t have access to equipment, do you have stairs? Might be boring as all hell, but you certainly can walk up and down them for 30 minutes. How old are your kids? Mine is 3 years old and I throw him in the Bob and go for a 2 mile walk every day/other day with my wife.

Jumping rope is not easy conditioning, it’s convenient conditioning. Do 100x5 before each workout or the NOV jump rope routine in the 2nd edition.

You could also progress on the rope on off days - start off slow, progress slowly. Sound familiar? Also, since this is ‘easy’ conditioning, don’t go for reps, just nice and easy jump rope; quality over quantity, i.e. no missed revolutions.

Week 1 - 3 sets of 5 minutes
Week 2 - 3 sets of 6 minutes
Week 3 - 3 sets of 7 minutes

Work up to 3 sets of 10 minutes, giving yourself 2-3 minutes of rest between each “set.”

Once you’re up to 30 minutes (3 sets of 10 minutes), begin to shorten the rest periods.

3 sets of 10 minutes with 3:00 minutes rest between sets week 1
3 sets of 10 minutes with 2:45 minutes rest between sets week 2
3 sets of 10 minutes with 2:30 minutes rest between sets week 3

Eventually you’ll get yourself in the condition to jump rope for a straight 30 minutes.

Start slow, progress slowing, hit PRs!

I think people don’t quite understand “easy” and “hard” - please read the information! I’d love to help on this forum but I can’t keep explaining everything, each and every time. This has already been discussed.

Jumping rope would NOT be an easy conditioning method/protocol. It can be used as PART of one (see the active recovery work we do) but by itself, it doesn’t lend itself to “easy conditioning”.

This was my thinking. I’m basically going to start the 10 cycle readiness programme and will do ‘easy’ Conditioning to bring my heart rate below 60 as advised. As I stated, the only time I have available to do this is of an evening when I don’t have access to an air bike and cannot go out due to the kids in bed. A jump rope is an obvious choice of equipment but as you say i wasn’t sure if it would constute as ‘easy’ Conditioning.

Nick - you got it! Thanks for reading.

Jim if I ever ask a question that is ‘daft/been covered’ I apologise. I love your work, I love reading your stuff and you seem like a good guy. Keep writing and I’ll keep reading. Thank you

I appreciate the support. Understand that now, more than ever, I have only limited time to do Q/A’s and social media. I have a lot of “irons in the fire” and it would make learning/training easier if one would read the book and this very forum.

Just remember - easy conditioning requires little muscular effort/stress. Hard conditioning does - jumping rope for 45 minutes straight is not conducive to a squat workout the day after.

Modern worker-outers just jump and flop around, calling it “conditioning” and wearing a stupid smile as a badge of productivity. I’m not asking people to do the Secret Soviet Conditioning Matrix. But think about how much further one could be if a little thought/pre-planning/proper execution to this important factor of a balanced training program.

Gotta go to the game now and coach my balls off.


Not sure if they’re Jim Wendler approved, but if the goal is to lower resting heartrate and build an aerobic base, these are two good methods:

  1. Anything requiring low muscular effort/ tension that keeps the heart rate between 120 and 150 BPM. Uphill walking, sled dragging/ pushing, mobility circuits, etc. Really, the possibilities are endless. Just stay relaxed and stay in that heart rate zone for 20-60 minutes.

  2. Tempo intervals: run (or do any other activity) at about a 75% effort for 12-15 seconds, then actively rest (i.e. walk) for 60 seconds. Repeat for 20-30 minutes. Used by legendary sprint coach Charlie Francis as active recovery and to build aerobic capacity for his athletes.

Either can be done on rest days without inhibiting – and actually, probably enhancing – recovery.

That’s cool. Thanks for the help guys