T Nation

Favourite Conditioning Drills


I thought we could all share ideas for simple, straightforward drills without creating 3000000 new threads.

I'll start. All you need is a rowing machine and maybe a puke bucket;

100m fast/100m recovery(the recovery is meant to still be at an OK pace, not like an arthritic 98 year old)
200m sprint/200m recovery
300m sprint/300m recovery
400m sprint/400m recovery
300m sprint/300m recovery
200m spring/200m recovery
100m sprint/100m recovery

If you have anything left, maybe 500m-1000m cooldown. This is optional and only recommended for you freaks out there!

Word of warning, I did this when I THOUGHT I was in shape...quickly found out I was, in fact, out of shape. But you should still be getting quite a bit under 30min.

Finally, you may feel the need to curse around the mid-point of this whole thing.

Please, do share.


A favorite of mine: you need a sledge hammer, a big tire, and a sled.

20 overhand sledge hammer hits
12 tire flips (mine's around 400lbs)
75' sled drag with 90lbs

Then repeat. That's 1 round. Go for 3 rounds.


Here's one of mine... (I copied this from a post I made in a previous thread a month or two back)

I've been doing a killer conditioning work out a couple of times a week which involves nothing but suicide sprints. I set up cones on a football field (five cones - 0, 7, 14, 21 and 28m). I started off with the rule that all suicide sprints must be completed in under 38 seconds (easy enough for the first few), then rest 60 seconds and repeat.

I built up like this for a couple of weeks until I could get out 15 without being any slower than 38 seconds. Now that I can hit 15 I've started to shave down the rest periods. Monday morning I did 15 suicide sprints in total, with 55 second rest breaks, the slowest suicide being 37.2 seconds... This workout absolutely kicks my ass and it's done in around 30 minutes including a warm-up.


Probably the most insane conditioning you can do.



I started a new mini-fat loss phases yesterday and introduced the following circuit, which I used with success in the past:

A1) BB high step up
A2) Push up
A3) High Pull
A4) BB Push Press
A5) BB high step up
A6) Renegade Row

Aim for 12-15 reps per exercise, with 90s rest between circuits. Until conditioning improves an exercise drops off after each circuit. So after the first round I drop the second step-ups; after the second round the push press goes; after the third the renegade row is dropped; so I end on the forth with A1-A3.
My bpm was at 179 at its peak yesterday. Loved it.


Dang bro, I bet this revs up your metabolism like none other. Thanks, I've been doing longer runs lately(400m) and this workout will be a great change of pace and better suit my strength goals.

My fav conditioning workout is Ross Enamait's Sandbag workouts + interval runs. If I do this, I'm the man.

BTW to the OP, holy moly... that's a crazy workout.


It certainly did wonders for my conditioning. I think they go into the category of simple but brutal! Funny you should mention the 400m runs... I've just started mixing some 400m sprints into some of my conditioning sessions. I got down to doing 15 of those suicides with 52 second rest breaks and all under about 17.5 seconds, but felt I was plateauing a little. Also they do put some demands on your knees with all of the turns so wanted to give them a bit of a break and do some more straight line stuff. I guess it's all what you get yourself used to...the 400's seem to be kicking my arse worse than the suicides now!

Also, speaking of Ross Enamait, I was watching a video yesterday of him skipping... pretty damn impressive I thought


after reading this thread and others, i decided to try something as well:

10 hits on a tyre with sledgehammer
120ft walk-sandbag on left shoulder
120ft walk-sandbag on right shoulder

makes 1 round. i rested 30-45 secs, and repeated. got 7 rounds today. looking forward to increasing rounds and decreasing rest times. and for variety i can carry the sandbag in different ways if i wanted to. or switch for farmers.


Good stuff.

My favorite is very simple and straight forward. I do it at the local soccer field:

  1. Sprint 50m from one side of the field to the other (width of soccer field).
  2. Do a max set of pull-ups on one of the goal posts.
  3. Sprint 100m back across the field and up this hill to the parking lot.
  4. Repeat 10x total.

This is a brutal workout. Takes me around 35 minutes. The fact that you end up on a hill on your 2nd sprint each circuit really raises the intenstiy.

You end up doing 20 sprints, and 10 sets of pull-ups. I do maybe 75 pull-ups total over those 10 sets. Love it.


Death Rattles
Perform maximum number of Burpees and Dead Hang Pull-Ups (or Chin-Ups) within Ten-Minutes; scoring:
Burpees = 1 pt. / Pull-Ups (Chin-Ups) = 2 pts.


Damn, that is insane.


What speeds do you consider a sprint and what is a recovery? On most ergometers you can set it to show your /500m split times. If I'm going all out I'm around 1:10 and I can hold 1:55 until the gym closes if I felt like it so that is probably my rest speed. Should all of my sprint sections be close to 1:10? If I tried doing this for all the sprint splits I definitely would need that puke bucket and the entire thing would only be ~12 minutes long. HIIT indeed.


It's all relative. As long as you're extending and pushing yourself, you're good. I don't like giving numbers, as fitness levels vary and arbitrary numbers aren't very flexible. So for you, 1:10ish/1:50ish would be fine. Recovery for me is that I'm still moving but can have enough in the tank to get some nice, hard sprints in; when it gets to 500m, which you can include if you're feeling particularly crazy, you really need to dig in.


Some quick simple ones:

  • Tabata Tuck Jumps

  • Tabata Sprints

  • 100 burpees for time

  • Max BW Deadlifts in 5 minutes


When running for my hill day I'll strap on the 40 lb xvest and do hill sprints followed by tabata squats at the top, on every second hill/set...I usually do this for 8-10 hills depending on how much energy I have that day...mind you I had to work up to this one and started at 10 lbs as the hill I use is long and has a disgusting incline...but that just makes it more challenging/fun.


One thing I have been doing on the treadmill I have completely fallen in love with; I call it 5-1. My last go around looked like this:

5 min. at 7.5 m.p.h.
4 min. at 8.5 m.p.h.
3 min. at 9.5 m.p.h.
2 min. at 10.5 m.p.h.
1 min. at 12.8 m.p.h.

So it's no breaks in between. As the time gets lower the speed goes up. Total workout time: 15 min.


What sport is that for? I assume their not referring to Ultimate Frisbee?

I used to do Litvinovs pretty regular, those suck nicely.

Front squat x 8, immediately followed by 400m sprint(if you have access to a track, I didn't so I did them on a Woodway treadmill as fast as I could handle), four times. The original article said to rest until full recovery before repeating, but I did a 90 sec rest to make it more fun.

Another fun one is the Ladder. Measure off 100 yards(or just go to a local football field). You need two cones, one for each end. Sprint the full 100 and back, then rest 60 sec. Move 10 yards closer during each rest period, and then reduce each rest period 5 sec. Looks like this:
200 60
180 55
160 50
140 45
etc, till you only have 15 seconds before your last sprint of 10 yards and back.

Last one: The Bear
The bear is: from floor; power clean, front squat, push press(bring weight down on back), back squat, push press(to front), lower weight. That is one rep. Set a clock for 20 minutes, and get as many as you can. I would usually start these with a 3-2-1 pattern, but this quickly devolves into get what you can.

Okay, one more. A while back I started doing KB swings Tabata style(nothing original) with the heaviest KB I could finish with. Then I started extending the time, adding an additional 30 sec every other workout.


Stealing this...


The hardest I have ever done recently was 40 yard suicides on a football field touching every line. Each suicide is 360 yards total, but the constant stopping makes it unimaginably hard. If anyone can do more than 6 of these I'll be impressed.


something i've been doing for kickboxing lately:

-round 1: rope jumping
-round 2: jab-cross combo (on heavy bag)
-round 3: rear leg kick, swtich kick, rear body kick combo on heavy bag
-round 4: speed bag
-round 5: walking knees from clinch
-round 6: rest

easy to customize. right now i'm using 1 min rounds, for 5 rounds. of course, for a beginner you could start at 30 second rounds for three rounds, etc......