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Conditioning Workout Program

Hey guys, I was wondering if you all could critique an 8-week conditioning program that I designed for someone. She is currently (5’3") 150lbs @ approx 26% BF. She wants to get back to a “goal self” of 135 @ at most 18% BF. I designed this program to consist of a ton of cardio because she has a rather minimal aerobic/conditioning base and her goal is to drop weight by her bday.

Let me know your thoughts on the lifting portion of the program…exercise combinations in addition to sets/reps amounts. Thanks! If you’d like to give it a try, I’d be more than pleased and let me know how you like it!

Hopefully you can understand my lingo for the tredmill work. The hash mark (’) stands for “minutes” whereas the decimal is the tredmill speed.

Week 1:

MON/WED/FRI:
(x2)
2’@3.5
8’@5.2

10'@3.5

TUES/THURS:
10’@5
10’@3.5

Week 2: (Exercises = 45" rest)

MON/WED/FRI:
(x2)
2’@3.5
8’@5.5

10'@3.5

TUES/THURS:
10’@5
10’@3.5

(3x10)
Push Ups
Chin Ups
Dips
Captain's Chair

Week 3: (Exercises = 45" rest)

MON/WED/FRI:
(x2)
2’@3.5
10’@5.2

10'@3.5

TUES/THURS:
12’@5
10’@3.5

(3x10)
Push Ups
Chin Ups
Dips
Captain's Chair

Week 4: (Exercises = 45" rest)

MON/WED/FRI:
(x2)
3’@3.5
10’@5.5

10?@3.5

TUES/THURS:
12’@5
10’@3.5

(3x7)
Back Squats
Military Press
(5x4)
DB Decline Pull Overs
DB Bench
(2x10)
Back Extentions

SAT:
(5x4)
Split Squats
Incl. DB Bench
(2x10)
Deadlifts
Bradford Press
(2x7/7/7)
Curl Circuit

Weeks 5-8:

-5&6: 40" rest
-7&8: 35" rest
-exercises same as week 4

  • Running times & speeds continue with the same pattern to M/W/F: 20’@5.2, T/TH: 20’@5.

when you try to improve her conditioning, do you also want to maintain her strength?

because usually fat loss programs lead to strength loss, and muscle loss too.

i think CW’s “Outlaw Strength & Conditioning” may be better than just doing tons of cardio.

the link is here, pls have a look:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=459262

my only thoughtis that is she wants to drop 2lbs per week she needs to do a hellof a lot more than 20 - 22 minutes of walking/jogging a day. I don’t know what this girls fitness level is but for this kind of crash diet crap she needs to remember what she likes to do and do it for an hour to hour and a half daily or more than two hours every other day.

Of course if she would set a more reasonable goal the weight training could make all the difference.

Oh, and tell the girl to lay off ALL flavored drinks until then.

Starkmann

[quote]starkmann wrote:
my only thoughtis that is she wants to drop 2lbs per week she needs to do a hellof a lot more than 20 - 22 minutes of walking/jogging a day. I don’t know what this girls fitness level is but for this kind of crash diet crap she needs to remember what she likes to do and do it for an hour to hour and a half daily or more than two hours every other day.

Of course if she would set a more reasonable goal the weight training could make all the difference.

Oh, and tell the girl to lay off ALL flavored drinks until then.

Starkmann[/quote]

I think you may have misread the post, it is difficult, but I believe the (2x) is 2 times those parameters.

I think it all depends on her calorie count and current level of fitness.
It looks good to me, a bit low level for speed, but again going by her current level of which I am not aware.

Do you train on the side or are you just a very giving person?

[quote]starkmann wrote:
my only thoughtis that is she wants to drop 2lbs per week she needs to do a hellof a lot more than 20 - 22 minutes of walking/jogging a day. I don’t know what this girls fitness level is but for this kind of crash diet crap she needs to remember what she likes to do and do it for an hour to hour and a half daily or more than two hours every other day.

Of course if she would set a more reasonable goal the weight training could make all the difference.

Oh, and tell the girl to lay off ALL flavored drinks until then.

Starkmann[/quote]

Sorry I forgot to add

In regards to your comment–I would up intensity, not duration. 90 - 120 minutes is WAY to much. Cortisol is not your friend.

If your level allows 90min @ (x) intensity; I would change it to 45min @ (x.25) intensity.

Just my .02

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
In regards to your comment–I would up intensity, not duration. 90 - 120 minutes is WAY to much. Cortisol is not your friend.

If your level allows 90min @ (x) intensity; I would change it to 45min @ (x.25) intensity.

Just my .02[/quote]

Point taken. The only issue I run into is that people tend to get really bored when you tell them to go run on a treadmill for 90min. I’ve always seen better results by going and playing tennis, rollerblading or taking a bike ride with someon for a couple houtrs.

Starkmann

stark

I agree with you there.

thanks so much for all of your input. i really appreciate it.

heres the deal. she works at a gym on the sales side and works basically all day and rarely gets the chance to workout. she doesnt have a workout schedule or routine at all right now. its more of doing whatever she can or some type of lifting that day like 2-3 times a week. she does not have distance running experience and has never really run for time on a tredmill before. shes played softball her whole life and is therefore used to sprinting as her form of running.

so…her biggest goal is to trim down the bottom half of her body. basically from the belly button, down. she wants to have better endurance and conditioning because she really doesnt have much now. i structured the workout from the example that she said prior to when i asked her fitness level, she said she could run 8 minutes at 5.3 before feeling like she was gonna die.

i know that this program doesnt seem like a lot of running to an average or above average in-shape person, but for someone who doesnt know how to run for time/distance and still isnt used to the extra weight of their body when then run…its a little harder than it appears. i decided to vary the speeds so that her body doesnt get accustomed to one set speed. ive seen people who can only run one pace. anything faster or slow than that throws them off completely. again, because she still isnt used to her body (i.e. weight), its very difficult for her to do any body-weight exercises. i wanted to add them in at first 1. to get used to doing them and 2. to introduce her body to full body lifting again.

hmm…thats all i can think of right now. keep the comments rolling.

love you guys! :wink:
~E

She could do it with less than half that amount on energy systems work if her diet is sound and the training program is on-point. You run the risk of setting a dangerous precedent with newbies if you encourage them to just rely on aerobic training to shed body fat. At some point, she won’t be able to do so with cardio alone, but she’ll continue to try anyway and wind up losing a lot of lean body mass. Plus, if she’s this deconditioned, all that treadmill work could lead to some orthopedic problems or shin splints.

hey eric, thanks so much for your input. muchas grasias. :slight_smile:

one thing though, even though shes a newbie to this, shes not a newbie to the fitness/nutrition world. shes got a degree in biology and shes going to Seton Hall for her masters in athletic training with a specialization in strength & conditioning. lol. not to offend, just wanted to clarify. she knows what she has to do as far as diet is concerned. …but what do u think about the program? i focused on running because thats what she wanted to do! any additional comments/concerns/modifications??

thanks guys :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

[quote]Equus123 wrote:
what do u think about the program? i focused on running because thats what she wanted to do! any additional comments/concerns/modifications??

thanks guys :slight_smile: :)[/quote]

like eric said, if you only focus on aerobic to lose fat, then end up she’ll also lose a lot of Lean body mass. if that happen, her resting metabolic rate will slow down, and she’ll get fatter “again”.
That’s not good for long term weight management, right?

you said the only thing she “wanted” to do is all those running, but i’ll say she “must” train with weights to maintain her LeanBodyMass. No matter she “wanted” or not, weight training is a “must”, it’s not a choice. i think most of the coaches agree with that.

i’ll suggest you take a look at the article:

Hard Body Training
“Ms. Beast” tells how to develop a shapely, firm physique
by Christiane Lamy

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=551074

just my 2 cents.

one comment i need to make is that i dont understand the emphasis on the fact that running reduces muscle mass over time and the need to resistance train. i only dont have her lifting for 2 weeks. by no means will she lose muscle mass to the point where lifting is imperative. you guys lost me a bit with all that.

One question. Can she do a pushup, chinup or dip legit?

[quote]Equus123 wrote:
one comment i need to make is that i dont understand the emphasis on the fact that running reduces muscle mass over time and the need to resistance train. i only dont have her lifting for 2 weeks. by no means will she lose muscle mass to the point where lifting is imperative. you guys lost me a bit with all that.[/quote]

please take a look:
from “Lifting for Fat Loss 10 Take Home Points” by Christian Thibaudeau

When calories are dropped, we enter a survival mode and the unnecessary/energy costly muscle mass goes away, broken down into amino acids and then transformed into glucose for energy.
To keep your hard-earned muscle mass you must give the body a reason to do so. Will lifting light weights do it? No. You need to continue to lift heavy, otherwise some muscle will go to waste!

A two week program of not lifting, will, by NO means cause her to lose any signiicant lbm. Try not to take a little information and extrapolate it to some universal guide to weight loss.

Any, and there won’t be much if any, lbm lost can quickly be added by hitting the weights again. Geez, have you ever taken any time off of lifting? Did you waste away to nothing in that time frame?

And with the lower body weight, her ratio of lbm to total weight will be higher. Try not to overcomplicate/think this stuff.

It’s a fine short-term program to hyper induce some fat loss.

What you recommended seems like a pretty sound intro program to me. But, (I’m no expert in anything by the way, just chiming in), I assume that she’s in the “fitness thing” for the long run (or at least HOPEFULLY she is). Therefore, a warm-up consisting of the Superior Circuit that addresses her weak points (perhaps flexibility, abdominal and back extensor strength, posture, etc) might be a better option. Use enough exercises that will elevate her heart rate enough, while at the same time warming up, stretching, etc.

It’s great to kill numerous birds with one stone because you then have more time to do other things. Also, depending on her strength levels, “practicing” bodyweight exercises (hindu push-ups, push-ups, row-ups or inverted rows, free standing squats, etc) might offer enough of a workout. Obviously you won’t go all hardcore, but maybe 10-15 minute to start off and increase time/reps gradually.

Jumping rope, heavy bag work, shadow boxing, bodyweight GPP Coach Davies style, light roadwork could be some other alternatives. To keep things interesting (in case she’s the type of person who gets bored easily or jumps of a fitness program after 2 weeks) you could try an approach along the lines of the crossfit workouts. If you insist on the treadmill work, give incline walking at around 3-4mph a shot.

-ton

What are you talking about?! An hour and a half of cardio a day? It’s entirely possible to lose 1.5-2 pounds a week on 45 mintues of cardio a day with proper weight training 3x a week and a good diet. This is especially true for a beginner.

Uh, this is true in the longterm. He’s only talking about two weeks. Seasoned lifters GAIN strength and mass in recovery weeks. It doesn’t seem like she’s doing any systematic weight training at all right now. Any muscle loss in the first two weeks would be slight. Weight training is introduced in the 3rd week anyhow. And a woman who hasn’t been lifting and physcially active could probably build muscle in the beginning even with light weights.

[quote]Equus123 wrote:
one comment i need to make is that i dont understand the emphasis on the fact that running reduces muscle mass over time and the need to resistance train. i only dont have her lifting for 2 weeks. by no means will she lose muscle mass to the point where lifting is imperative. you guys lost me a bit with all that.[/quote]

I think you’re fine to wait the two weeks to get her lifting. Just make sure she knows how to lift properly when you do get her going and make sure she realizes how it important it is for women who want to lose fat, maintain muscle, and look good.

thanks for your input guys. :slight_smile:

yeah, she knows how to lift and everything. like i stated before, shes going to grad school this fall for a masters in athletic training with a specialization in strength and conditioning.

TestosterTon, thank you very much for your critique. i appreciate it.

you guys all crack me up. i love how i initially posted the workout for critique and like 2 people do that…the rest of you Chatty Kathy’s talk about other stuff! :-p

silly menses.
~E