T Nation

Conditioning Frequency & Duration?


Recently started 5/3/1. The "Young Jim Wendler" template. Love it. Awesome and highly intelligent dude. Also great taste in music. I've always been a huge fan on sludge and doom (High on Fire, Melvins, etc.) and just actually got into Darkthrone due to Jim always referencing them.


As for conditioning, how often do you guys do it? I've been running hills twice a week, and running paced miles twice a week, but feel like I can do more.

Would it be smart to throw in sledge hammer swings or prowler or tire flipping or even bear crawls on days where I do strictly upper body strength training?

I'm eating to where I make all my macros and can lose an average of 1-1.5 lbs a week, and I'm just wondering how much high intensity and moderate pace cardio and condition I can do before it starts to affect my strength gains.


This is a highly individual question.

You need a conditioning goal (mine is to be conditioned enough so my lungs don't quit before my strength training is done - including not having to rest 20 minutes between sets and to be able to ride to work with in 30 minutes) and plan your work accordingly.

Doing more because you can doesn't seem wise, use the time to find more music or something instead of doing something for the sake of it.


I do 531 2 day/week and run 18 miles in a week and one or two crawl sessions in the pool. Works wonderful. Increase your running/or whatever slowly over time and your body will adept if your sleep and nutrition is on point. There is nothing better than running!


I agree with ^ and would add that (for me) it took trial-and-error to learn what worked and what didn't work for me. One of the nice things about 5/3/1 is that there's always a plan that fits my goals. If I want to train for a 10k with my wife, no problem; if I want to focus on burning off some fat and minimize loss of strength, no problem; if I want to push the growth, no problem.

The best lessons I learned from reading Wendler's stuff are to focus on your specific goals; to not believe that more always equals more; and to not screw around with the program.


Glad to read someone else who loves running! For a few years my primary focus was solely powerlifting, eating like a horse and getting stronger no matter what.

It took me a few injuries and other set backs in life to re-evaluate what was more important so I started running and hated it, I ran some more and got better at it, got a few shin splints but worked through it. Now, 6 months later I love it! I´ve lost some weight, from 95kg to current 83kg (at185cm), the strength has gone down some, but I´m whiten range of my old lifts in a couple of months based on how I feel and progress. I have re-evaluated my food, and nowadays I am more thoughtful and keep everything in check - I´ve realized that since I dropped the idea of setting powerlifting records, there is no need for me to eat like there is no tomorrow. The strength, or my estimation of what strength levels I want to obtain doesn't require me to eat like an horse.

A few days ago I remembered a quote from our mentor, Mr. Wendler from en article here at T-Nation;

"I think most guys â?? even guys with all kinds of time to train â?? would be better off stripping down their volume and stepping up their conditioning," says Wendler.

"Something almost magical happens to the body when you get in great condition. You look better, feel better, and you perform better.

This is essentially what we did when I played football and I seem to recall that everyone on the team was in shape."

This is from the Reloaded article and it caught me how right he was, again. So for everyone here, take his words and his advices in consideration, because he is a really good guy!


What this guys says - everything in training should have some kind of purpose, even when you are doing a template or block without much thought/purpose. Confused?

For example - every so often, right now, for example, I'll limit my lifting a bit and just go crazy doing crazy conditioning stuff. But this doesn't last forever because training just doesn't work that way. I'll back down on the conditioning, set concrete conditioning goals, and increase lifting.

But doing something just to do it, without understanding it, is not a good idea. Especially if you are serious about getting somewhere.

You don't have to plan perfectly - just a good plan with some room for movement/improv is good enough for 99% of people.


Thanks for the advice and replies, everyone.

Just got a call Tuesday to let me know that I've been slotted for a physical agility/abilities test and written exams for the local Sheriff's department this Friday, the 11th. Looks like I need to do mainly conditioning this week and get as unrusty as I can. I applied 2 months ago and figured they decided not to go with me, but I guess they were running a background check.