T Nation

Three Weeks to Get My Butt In Gear


Hey guys,

(Btw, this is sports related, but i need advice on recovery, so I thought the bb forum might be better, rather than strength sports)

Very quick background info -

I play for a bball team, and have basically my perfomance has been absolutely crap. My conditioning is awful, and this has a lot to do with it. Bottom line, I have 3 weeks until our next game, and I want to get my ass into gear.

I guess the main question I'm asking is how much can I train before it becomes counter-productive?

My goals are to improve my cardio endurance, while maintaining my strength as much as possible.

My basic plan is to carry on with my full body work outs twice a week, however I will use lower weights and up the speed of the reps, in an attempt to improve explosiveness.

On non lifting days, I will work on my conditioning, which will mainly revolve around the treadmill, using other machines for some variety and to warm up/cool down. (I'm actually away on a 2 week business trip, so can't actually play ball, so am limited to gyms).

My questions are:

Is it ok to perform cardio in the morning on lifting days? How much can I push it?

How many intense cardio days should I have, I was thinking 3, maybe another day with just light cardio, and one day off, with maybe just some stretching.

I basically wanna know how much I can do, i'm willing to push myself as far as I can as long as it helps. I mainly need help with deciding how much to do, and when to do it (i.e are intense cardio days ok the day after a lifting day? Can i do light cardio in the morning, then intense in evening?)

Should I maybe even think of just lifting once a week, in order to reduce stress on my body?

My diet will be full of protein (1g per pound of body weight), I use Surge and BCAA's peri all lifting/intense cardio workouts, and i use fishoils and Superfood and creatine.

I realise this post is a little messy, but any tips would be greatly appreciated.

20 days left! (I had a full body workout today, the high speed lifting felt great, my legs are SORE).

Thanks all,



No responses??


What type of cardio are you planning. For bball you would probably get the most benefit from intervals with occasional steady-state.

If you are only lifting 2/wk, it might be a bad idea to decrease your weights. Decreasing rest-time between sets will increase your work capacity and help with conditioning. I would do short HIIT sessions after lifting and longer sessions on non-lifting days.

You should tailor you weight training to sport-specific exercises for bball. Definitely go explosive on the leg work. Jumping-squats come to mind, as well as power cleans.


Not going to get a whole lot done. Surge will help.

Not to be an ass, but this is a topic for the off season. Do what you can, but it isn't going to be enough.

Good luck.


Yes, obviously I know the amount of progress I can make in 3 weeks is limited, but this is the situation I'm in...

Again, what's the most I can do without it being counter-productive?

e.g. On wed, I did a full body workout, today I did 25 mins on eliptical, 25 on treadmill (steady state) and 10 on rowing, plus stretching.

Can I afford to go again tomorrow morning, to do some light cardio, and then hit the intense cardio again in the evening, or should I just go in the evening?

I'm then planning on a full body workout again on sat, with a light cardio day on sunday (intensity and length depending on how I feel).

How does this look?


What exactly do you mean by "counter-productive?"

If you mean overtraining, I wouldn't worry about it. Unless you are borderline overtrained to begin with, I would think that you could do LOTS of cardio for 3 weeks without ill effects. I overtrained once, and it was an awful experience, but it took 6 months to get there, not 3 weeks. I would focus on HIIT because it changes your conditioning much faster.


Yeah, I guess I did mean something like over training.

I guess i'll go all out for the next 16-17 days, then take it easy in the 2-3 days leading up to the game, just to make sure my legs feel fresh and rested.

In basketball (you prolly all know this, and I just sound like a patronising ass, but for the benefit of those who dont play ball), tired legs can make ALL the difference, especially with regards to evelation and ability to slide. I especially suffer from this, sometimes it takes me up to 1-2 weeks after a heavy squatting session for my legs to feel 'fresh' and optimal for balling...if that makes sense.


I would push it really hard up until 4 or 5 days before your game then take it really light.


Actually, yeah, you should take a few days to recover after working hard.

I did play a little basketball in high school (badly, but with lots of energy), so I do know what you mean.

I just re-read your post, and this is what I think.

If basketball is priority #1, skip the weights altogether for the next 3 weeks. When your legs are toasted from lifting, you won't be able to play ball as well OR work on your conditioning very effectively.

Focus on high-intensity stuff instead. I would be shooting for at least 2 sessions a day, maybe 3, and pushing as hard as I could during those sessions:

  • No treadmill! Sprints on real ground.
  • The more like b-ball the better. Sprint all out down the court, then switch to moving around and changing directions, then sprint to the other end, etc. Training effects are pretty darn specific so you will get the most bang for your time this way.
  • Incorporate other b-ball moves, like jumping, into an intense cardio session. For example, sprint the length of the court, then jump in the air 5 times, then run to the other end, repeat repeat repeat.
  • Do a sprint session wearing a weighted vest.

Make sure you get really good workout nutrition for each session. Do as many sessions as you possibly can. For example, get up, drink Surge, do a 30-minute sprint session, drink more Surge. Eat like mad all throughout the day. Drink some sodium bicarbonate. Do another session in the afternoon or evening. Sleep as many hours as you can. Next morning, see how feel in your AM session. If you are toasted compared to previous day, then maybe cut your session down. But still try to do another session in the afternoon.

Then rest COMPLETELY, except for walking, for a few days before your next game. Then play the game of your life.

All-out kill yourself for a few weeks, then leave plenty of time to rest, and it's AMAZING the new level of performance you can reach.


You can make tons of progress in conditioning in three weeks. I don't know wtf these guys are smoking. Just run on a treadmill everyday and each day add a minute to your time. Start with whatever you feel you can do while still having to work hard.


[quote]Scorched Soul wrote:

e.g. On wed, I did a full body workout, today I did 25 mins on eliptical, 25 on treadmill (steady state) and 10 on rowing, plus stretching.

Fuck the eliptical! You’re a baller not a fat chick. HIIT sprints and bball focused training are what you need.