3 Conditioning Super-Sets,

15th Green at Eisenhower Red

I played Eisenhower’s Red Course on Wednesday morning with a friend who I’ve caddied with for the past few years, and it was an absolute blast.  We teed off around 8:40 and finished just before 2, so it was a long day in the sun.  The heat wasn’t too pleasant, but playing for the first time in 2 months was great, especially considering I shot a 101 on a Senior Tour course.  Greens fees were expensive, but it was well worth it.  I need to make a dedicated effort to practice more, because I had some swing issues come up. (Damn you chunked 52* wedges!) One thing that I was proud of was that I never felt tired, and that every swing was comfortable.  I’m comfortable with my strength training and conditioning, but I need to stop slicing drives and flubbing flop shots.  I know some people that have issues playing 18 holes, or would like to improve their stamina in general.  If I were to write myself an e-mail, from the perspective of somebody who wants to improve their fitness without using Kanye’s Workout Plan, it would go like this:

Dear Harold,

I know that I should be trying to get the most out of my exercise sessions, and I had a question for you.  I know that when I get on a treadmill, I look like THIS, and I should plan my workouts so that they’re as efficent as possible.  When I’m finishing my full body strength training workouts with conditioning work, what are some good examples of conditioning work that I can do.  I’ve read up on the benefits of metabolic finishers, where you pair strength training exercises and perform them back to back for a cardiovascular effect.  I’d like to follow a superset protocol, where I’ll perform two exercises back to back, gasp for air/ get a drink for 30 seconds, then perform them again.  I think that 10-15 minutes of this will torch fat off of my body and increase my V02 max, and provide far greater benefits than steady state cardio.  I was wondering if you could give me some examples of exercise pairings, with varying amounts of equiptment, that I can perform at the gym or at home.  I’m so confused by everything that I here that I’ve included a picture of myself  saying “What should I do for conditioning?” for additional emphasis. Thank you!

Sincerely,

Fake person who needs advice.

She probably doesn't need any help...

Rainbow Deadlift/Grappler’s Press – I’ve been using this super-set for my own conditioning work and with a client, and it’s probably one of her most least favorite exercises.  Why?  in her words, “It’s brutal!”  Now, this is obviously a good thing, and you should be doing it too.  The Rainbow Deadlift works almost every muscle in the body, and I find it to be extremely metabolically demanding.  The Grappler’s Press is equally difficult, because it’s so similar to a dumbbell push-press.  For this super set to be done correctly, make sure that you perform the same amount of repetitions of Grappler’s Presses per arm.  Remember to be symmetrical!!  The equipment requirement for this is simple; you’ll need a barbell (preferably a 7′ Olympic one) and then weight plates for to load bar.  The limiting exercise, as far as loading, will be the Rainbow Deadlift, because you’ll be able to use much more weight for the Grappler’s Press, but performed in a super set (back-to-back) you’ll find both exercises severely demanding.

Medicine Ball Throw/ Backwards Lunge- Medicine balls are awesome.  There are a ton of exercises  that you can do with them, and I’m a fan of any exercises that involve throwing them as hard as you can.  You probably don’t want to chase the ball after you throw it, so you’ll need a ball and a wall for this one.  (If you’re doing slams or overhead throws you won’t need a wall, FYI)  Medicine Balls can be found at Perform Better (free shipping at the moment).  I’ve performed this superset using Overhead Throws and Slams, but prefer it with this movement:   I find it to be the most challenging, because you need to perform repetitions on both sides.  I also like it because it helps me destroy golf balls, so if you’re a rotational athlete try any of these varieties.  The backwards lunge would be the 2nd variation on a uni-lateral knee dominant progression (Wait..what did he just say?!), and is easier to perform with good form; This means that you’ll do it right and get more out of it.  I’ll perform the exercise using Valslides, because I can get more range of motion (and feel it more in my glutes), but the benefits are equally as numerous if you don’t have any.  (On a side note, if you don’t have valslides but have socks and hardwood floor, you’ll be able to perform a sliding lunge like this…I just hope that you don’t throw the medicine ball in your house.) Below is a video of me performing the lunges, but remember that as part of the super-set I’ll do them a wee bit faster.

Jump Squat/Judo Push Up – This one works for anybody; no equipment is required!  If you have enough space to do push ups, and a high enough ceiling to do jump squats, you’ve got all you need.  The upper body strength and mobility might not be there (yet), and plyometrics aren’t the best idea for a complete beginner, but if you’re active and capable, these will provide a challenge.  If you’re just starting out and can’t perform the the exercises with good form, you can substitute with traditional push ups and body weight squats.  These easier variations will allow you to perform the super set while you gain the strength/power necessary for the jump squat and judo push up.  For varieties on the judo push up, watch the video below.

I’ve become a huge fan of performing weight based conditioning work, and I think that these three sets are great examples of where to start.  Next time hopefully I won’t have to make up an e-mail, because I’ll get some good ones from people that have read this.  And if I get an e-mail from that girl, I’m moving, and you won’t hear from me for a while. Now go to the gym and get it done.

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