T Nation

Conditioning: Training & Help


To all the athletes out there, how do you develop a high level conditioning (a balanced combo of endurance, stamina, agility, speed, power, and strength to some extent) for your sport? What types of training routines and exercises do you use?

I run, sprint, row, do db/bb complexes & circuits, swim, jump rope, and play soccer... I'm looking to increase my overall conditioning (in an effective manner) to improve my overall athletic prowess for gymnastics and rock climbing...

I know conditioning is third to technique and strategy in one's sport, but I'm trying to develop it.


well, it sounds like you're already doing alot of things that would help improve conditioning..

but it's how you do them that will improve it.. in jump rope for example, if you're doing five 3 minute intervals, you want to be trying to increase the turnovers for each interval.. or you can reduce the rest between intervals and maintain the turnovers..

you should have a few measurables that you track over time, such as;
- 400m sprint
- 1 mile run
- turnovers per 8 x 3 minute jump rope intervals, 1 minute rest in between
- how fast you complete a barbell circuit (monitor weight, try to improve weight & time circuit takes)

by tracking these variables, you can really notice if you're improving your vo2max/lactic threshold.. thats what matters, not just training for training's sake.

peace man


Thanks for the help. What types of conditioning do you recommend for gymnastics, rock climbing, and/or swimming?





well, just general conditioning will help, but those sports themselves will very much develop the proper conditioning.. gymnastics/rock climbing has alot of isometric endurance, and swimming definitely improves all of the qualities you're looking to improve, such as vo2/lt.

i'd imagine max strength / isometric strength in grip/upper back/lats/shoulders is ridiculous for rock climbing.. gymnastics needs all that (less grip) plus chest/core.. swimming is way diff.



do you suggest complexes or circuits (weighted) for maximal conditioning training? Weighted circuits are hard to devise effectively? And what about weights vs. bodyweight training, for conditioning?




I mix all of them. I divide conditioning into bodyweight based (cals and gymnastics exercises) circuits, and weight room based (complexes, ect) and then there are mixed bodyweight and weight room stuff. Often I use a weighted vest on my bodyweight circuits, but not always. This works out really well and I still work heavy weights and gymnastics exercises. One big key is being very careful about not overtraining!