Athletic Conditioning Workout

Dynamic Warm up – Circuit 1 (1 set each)

  • Walking Lunges x 20 yards
  • Side Squats x 20 yards
  • Straight Leg March x 20 yards
  • Buttkickers x 20 yards
  • Sprint build up x 25 yards @ 50-60% of max speed

Dynamic Warm up – Circuit 2 

  • T-Rotations x 10/side
  • Groiner Stretch x 5/side
  • Arm Circles x 10 each way
  • Carioca
  • A-Skips
  • Side Shuffles
  • Backpedals
  • Sprint build up x 25 yards @ 70-80% of max speed

Conditioning Circuit – 2 Rounds @ 1:3 Work/Rest Ratio (ex. If a set takes 10 seconds recovery would be 30 seconds before the next set). 3 minute recovery between rounds

  • Prowler Push – 4 Sets @ 50-75# x 20 yards
  • Agility Ladder (High Knees to Lateral Shuffle) Use two ladders in an “L” formation. Do 2 Sets each direction
  • M-Drill – 2 Sets each direction

Sprints – 4 Sets @ 70/80/90/100% of max speed.  Walking recovery between sets


  • 40 Yard Dash

Speed Endurance – 1 Set 

  • 300 Yard Shuttle (Two cones @ 25 yards apart.  Run down and back 6 times)

Getting Fit with Sandbag Training

Even though sandbag training isn’t necessarily a new concept, it hasn’t been until recent years that it has become more consistently used with fitness professionals and athletes.

Sandbags can mimic most exercises performed with dumbbells, barbells and medicine balls, but the key difference is that they bring more challenge to stability during exercise due to the shifting of the weight. This helps improve core strength and endurance in our postural muscles. Plus, with more of a “dead weight” feel, there is more metabolic demand placed on the body, which creates a great cardiovascular challenge as well.

Lastly, sandbags effectively allow the exerciser to train for movement and in all planes of motion. We need to remember muscles are designed to work in synergy and in three-dimensional space, allowing the body to rotate, move forwards/backwards and side to side. This will help minimize muscle/movement imbalances, decrease risk of injury, improve athleticism and simply improve overall function.

Sandbags themselves come in a variety of sizes and allow for the user to adjust the weight depending on his/her strength or skill level. There are two approaches that can be utilized: a heavier, more stable sandbag or a lighter, less stable sandbag. Specifically, the more the sandbag weighs or is filled, the more strength is emphasized. In contrast, by removing one of the filler bags, the overall weight is less, but it also allows for more shifting of the weight inside of the sandbag, thus placing more emphasis on stability.

Brand-wise I personally recommend the Ultimate Sandbag. They are durable and don’t have any issues with leaking sand like some of the less expensive models I have tried. They offer four sizes based on fitness/strength levels. If you are just starting out I recommend the “core” or “power” bag. For more advanced users, the “strength” or “burly” bag may be the best fit.

Now that you’re ready to give sandbag training a go, here is sample circuit to get you going.

Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions each.

Cleans: Begin with the sandbag directly in front of you. From there, “hinge” at the hips by pushing them behind you, as you lower and grab the parallel handles of the sandbag while keeping your shoulders pulled down and back to lock in the upper body. Pushing through the heels, quickly accelerate by extending at the hips and simultaneously pulling in a straight line with the arms, keeping the bag as close to your body as possible. Allow the bag to roll as you catch it shoulder-level with your elbows up. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Shoulder Lunge: Begin with the flat side of the sandbag resting on your right shoulder. Step forward with your right leg and lower into a lunge position by bending your front leg until you reach a 90-degree bend in your front leg while maintaining an upright posture. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. Continue for 10 reps total, and then position the bag on your left shoulder and repeat.

Shoveling: Begin with the sandbag in front of the body. Pivot one foot while rotating the bag to the opposite side by the knee. Absorb and decelerate the bag by bending the knee and hinging at the hip. Extend the knee and hip, pivot and swing the bag back to the other side. Continue to pivot and swing the bag back and forth to either side until the set is complete.

Bear Hug Squats: Hold the sandbag vertically by wrapping your arms around the midpoint of the bag at chest level by squeezing the bag, keeping your shoulders down and back. Slowly lower into a squat, keeping your knees slightly outward, keeping weight in the heels and maintaining squeezing pressure with your shoulders back. Return to the starting position and repeat.

Current Cardio Guidelines for Seniors

Many of us exercise to remain vibrant and active throughout our entire lives. Though none of us is exempt from aging, we can slow the process with regular exercise. Even better, we can reap the same benefits of exercise well into our 60s and beyond — benefits that include increased strength, improved balance, more endurance, higher bone density, lower blood pressure and decreased risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

With an expected 71 million seniors in the U.S. by 2030, there is an increasing amount of interest in exercise and, more importantly, the recommendations that go with senior fitness. Not surprisingly, the current American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines for adults older than 65 are essentially the same to those who are younger. The guidelines are broken down into three categories: cardiovascular training, resistance training, and balance and flexibility. For this month’s column, we’ll cover cardiovascular training.

The effect of aging can have a significant impact on cardiovascular output. In fact, it has been found that VO2max (indicator of overall cardiovascular function) decreases approximately 5 to 15 percent per decade beginning at 25-30 years of age. The good news, however, is that older people can have the same adaptations to regular aerobic training as well as their younger counterparts, achieving a range of 10 to 30 percent increase in VO2max in response to cardiovascular training as young adults. Of course, aerobic activity is needed in addition to routine activities of daily life, such as self care, casual walking, grocery shopping or activities that last less than 10 minutes, such as walking to the parking lot or taking out the trash.

For healthy adults older than 65 — or adults between the ages of 50 and 64 with chronic conditions such as arthritis — ACSM recommends moderately intense aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day, five days a week; or vigorously intense aerobic exercise 20 minutes a day, three days a week.

The 30-minute recommendation is for the average healthy adult to maintain health and reduce the risk for chronic disease. It should be noted that more is better! To lose weight or maintain weight loss — or further reduce the risk of chronic disease — 60 to 90 minutes of physical activity might be necessary.

Moderate intensity means working at a level of 5-6 on a scale of 10. This should be hard enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat, yet still be able to carry on a conversation. Vigorous activity is around 7-8 on a scale of 10. It raises your heart rate even more, producing more sweat and still being able to carry on a conversation, while preferring not to.

Also, short bouts of exercise throughout the day are OK if they are at least 10 minutes in length. Plus, moderately or vigorously intense activities performed as a part of daily life (brisk walking to work, gardening with a shovel, carpentry) performed in bouts of 10 minutes or more can be counted toward this recommendation as well.

Speed Kills…Fat that is!

I must admit…this weather has me fired up!  As absurd as seventy degrees in early March may sound, I’m certainly not going to complain and I’m sure as hell going to take full advantage of it…particularly when it comes to my workouts.  I’ve always been a believer that we should all train like athletes and what better way to do so than kicking up the intensity with some speed and agility work. The fact is, many of us are athletes at heart. And the good news is, we can use some of the training methods the pros use to improve our overall fitness and shred fat as well!  Speed and agility work comes with many training advantages.  It helps improve balance and coordination, increases our efficiency at acceleration/deceleration and increases our ability to change directions quickly. Not only is this important for improved performance, but is key for injury prevention as well.  Also, with speed and agility work we get the fat burning benefits of high intensity training.  In fact there are numerous research studies that show you can burn more fat, increase your strength, and improve cardiovascular endurance in less time by utilizing high-intensity, low volume training into your routine.  Look at this way…when’s the last time you saw an overweight sprinter?  The answer is never! Reason being the majority of their training is at a very high intensity effort and with that comes high levels of calorie burning during and post-workout which contributes to maintaining their very strong, lean physique!

Before you begin, it should be noted that If you are just starting an exercise program, I recommend at least 12 weeks of aerobic base conditioning and muscular endurance training before adding speed training into your routine.

Now that you’re ready, get out and kickstart your heart with these fat torching speed and agility drills!

Note: Begin with a 10-15 minute dynamic warm up before performing the exercises.  Perform 1-2 sets if just starting out, 2-3 sets for  advanced exercises. Allow a full three minute recovery between sets.

40 yard sprints: Set up two cones 40 yards apart. Starting at one end, quickly run to the opposite side until you run past the cone. Gradually slow down, walk back to the starting point and repeat for a total of 4 to 6 repetitions.

Note: For beginners, run approximately at 60-80% of your maximum speed.  Intermediate, 85-100% of maximum speed.  Advanced, 100% and/or with a parachute or weight resistance (5-10% of your body weight).

M-Drill (Set up): You will need 5 cones for this drill. Begin by setting up 4 cones in a box formation, with each cone spaced 10 yards apart. Then place the fifth cone in the middle of the square.

M-Drill (Exercise): Begin at the bottom left corner (Cone 1). Quickly run to the cone straight ahead (Cone 2). Now, backpedal to the center cone (Cone 3), turn slightly right and run to the cone in the top right corner (Cone 4). Last, backpedal to the final cone in the bottom right corner (Cone 5), then finish by sprinting through Cone 4 straight ahead. Return to Cone 1 and repeat for a total of 2-3 reps before repeating the sequence in the opposite direction.

Medicine Ball Reverse Scoop Toss to Sprint: Begin with a medicine ball weighing 5-10% of your body weight. Beginning in an athletic stance, then explosively jump while swinging and tossing the ball over your head behind you as far as you can.  Immediately sprint to retrieve it and repeat for 4-6 repetitions.

Shuffle Drill:  Place two cones 5 yards apart from one another.  Perform a burpee, quickly hop to your feet and quickly shuffle sideways to the opposite cone and perform another burpee.  Repeat until you have shuffled down and back a total of 5 times.

Plank/Lateral Jump Combo

Here is a fun one to add into the mix. Essentially you’re getting a combination of core, strength, power, and cardiovascular endurance with this partner drill!

Here’s the basic set up:

  • One person is in a plank position while the other is doing either a forward or lateral tuck jump over their partner.
  • You can either alternate every 2-4 repetitions or continue jumping for 20-30 seconds before switching.
  • Make sure you jump over the highest point that your comfortable and confident with! You don’t want to trample your workout buddy 😉

There you have it. Quick, easy, and more fun than a plyo box!


Partner Training for Better Results

When it comes to recreational activity, traditional strength and cardio programs are effective in a general sense, but can lack in preparing us for the specific demands that these activities bring. Factors like quickness, balance, reaction time, and specific strength are skills that are needed in the majority of all recreational sports. One of my favorite ways to improve these areas during training is by incorporating partner exercises. Partner exercises are a great way to add variety to your fitness program and can easily add the specificity that is needed for your favorite activities. Plus it brings a more unstructured and “play-like” feel into the mix by adding an element of fun without compromising the fitness. Half the time you get so lost in the activity itself you don’t even realize how physically demanding they are until the drill is over. With a little bit of creativity and a challenging workout partner the sky is the limit.

Here are five of my favorite partner drills that I like to use. Either mix a few of them into the workout or use all five for a complete training session.

Stabilization with Partner push: Begin in an athletic stance, holding a stability ball directly in front of you with arms fully extended. Your partner will then apply pressure to the stability ball at various angles while you try to maintain the athletic stance and ball position. You will feel this in both your arm and core muscles. Continue for 30-60 seconds and then switch.

Plank/Lateral Hop Combo: Have your partner begin in a low or high (push up) plank position. Pick a point on your partner that you feel confident enough and laterally hop over your partner once in each direction. Quickly drop into a plank position while your partner simultaneously stands up and now hops over you once each way. Continue alternating in this fashion for a full minute.

Partner Row: Using a TRX, you and your partner will each take one handle. Both will begin by using their right arm in a staggered stance with their left foot forward while facing each other. Keep the TRX taught between the two of you, with your arm fully extended and your partners arm bent at 90 degrees with their elbow past the midline of their body. Begin to pull (row) as your partner applies maximum resistance, but still allowing their arm to fully extend until yours reaches a 90 degree bend. Continue rowing back and forth against each other for a total of 10 repetitions each.

Single Leg Balance w/Medicine Ball Chest Pass: Both will begin by balancing on one leg with about a 45 degree bend in the knee. Using a medicine, quickly pass the ball back and forth to one another at chest level for 30 seconds. Stand up, shake it out, and repeat on the opposite leg.

Blocking Sled: Begin with a stability ball directly between you and your partner at chest level. Provide maximum resistance against your partner while still allowing them to move as they push forward against you as you continue to move backwards similar to a blocking sled, keeping pressure on the ball between you. Continue for about 5-10 yards, and then switch pushing/resisting roles. Repeat for 2-3 reps each.

Snow Day Workout

Now grant it…I’m from Utah and today’s snow conditions are pretty elementary from my experience. So with that being said, this workout will still require some equipment and actually making it to the gym for most of you.

The theme of the workout is more for getting out some aggression that comes with cabin fever and is a better alternative to the “All work and no play” approach as we’ve all seen with our “dull boy” in the clip above.

So without further ado…here’s what I felt inspired to do on today’s snow day.

Dynamic Warm Up – 10 Minutes

Anaerobic Circuits: 3 rounds total. Complete the first circuit for the designated reps. Alternating between the two exercises as many times as you can for the full two minutes. At a minimum you should complete each exercise at least one time through.

Rest 1 minute. Then use the same approach for circuit #2. After completing both circuits recover for two minutes, then repeat two more times with the same rest schedule. Note that the reps descend each set as indicated below.

Anaerobic Circuit #1 – 2 minutes
1. Straight Punches (Heavy Bag) x 100-90-80
2. Burpees x 15-12-10

Anaerobic Circuit #2 – 2 minutes
1. MB Power Getup to Wall Ball 20# x 10-8-6
2. Jumping Jacks with Battle Rope x 50-40-30

Rest 3-5 minutes after completing 3 rounds of the anaerobic Circuit.

Strength Circuit (Push/Pull): Pretty straight forward.  Complete both exercises for the outlined reps below (Descending Rep Scheme).  Complete both exercises without stopping, then rest 1 minute between each compound set.  Strict form on the chin ups.  Use a superband or minimal kip if needed.  But try to stay as strict as possible.  For you stronger ladies and gentlemen…you can put your feet on a plyo box if it’s too easy 😉

1. Ring Pushups x 10-10-8-8-6-6-4-4-2-2

2. Chin ups x 10-10-8-8-6-6-4-4-2-2

Rest 2-3 minutes after strength circuit

Core Circuit:  Complete each exercise for the designated reps.  Minimal rest between exercises.  1 minute recovery between rounds.  Use a 8-12# Med Ball for the first two exercises.

1. Long lever crunch with vertical leg raise x 20-15-10

2. V-Sit with rotation x 20-15-10 (per side)

3. Plank with spiderman kick x 20-15-10 (per side)

4. Cobra (McKenzie Press Ups) x 20-15-10

That’s it!  Go home, kick your feet up by the fire and relax…you earned it!


Burpee and Front Punch Combination

his week’s exercise combines two of my favorites…burpees and punches.  Now I know most people don’t care for the first one, but when it comes to straight punches let’s face it…it feel good!  Great for the arms, amazing cardio, and excellent stress relief, anger management…whatever you want to call it!

You can do this drill solo or with a partner holding the bag.  A heavy bag is used in our video, but a kick/punch shield works great too.

Basic set up is starting off with 10 punches immediately followed by 2 burpees.  From there we decrease the punch count by two, while increasing the burpee count be two each time, until we reach 2 punches and 10 burpees to finish the set.  Basically it breaks down like this:

  • 10 punches/2 burpees
  • 8 punches/4 burpees
  • 6 punches/6 burpees
  • 4 punches/8 burpees
  • 2 punches/10 burpees
Of course, this isn’t the only rep scheme you have to use.  Pretty much any combination will suffice.  Feel free to play around with it.More details are explained in the video above.So check it out and enjoy!

Cool Fitness Tools to Keep Workouts Fun

Let’s face it. Staying motivated with the same exercise routine can get boring – fast. The human body and mind have a certain threshold when it comes to doing the same thing over and over again. And exercise is no exception.

The good news is you don’t have to limit yourself to the usual go-to of free weights or strength and cardio machines. The fitness industry is always creating training devices that are different and challenging and produce great training results.

I’m not talking about fad infomercial products like the shake weight or the ab belt. These are the same training tools used by fitness enthusiasts and even professional athletes. Specifically, a few that are “outside of the box” include SandRopes, SandBells and the TRX Rip Trainer. From a training standpoint they are great because of their versatility, and each one will help improve cardiovascular endurance, strength and power – and burn fat.


SandRopes, as the name implies, are neoprene battling ropes filled with sand.

Made by Hyperwear, SandRopes come in either a 15- or 30-pound option. SandRopes give you a few advantages over regular battling ropes.

First, they take up less space. Regular battling ropes range from 30 to 50 feet in length, while sandropes are only 10 feet. Second, they don’t require an anchor point like battling ropes do (though they can be anchored if preferred).

And last, because they are filled with sand, they will challenge grip strength much more.

SandRopes are used traditionally by implementing a whipping or circle motion with your arms, creating a “wave” in the rope. And with the shifting of the sand and dead-weight feel, it’s even more challenging to keep the wave going.

As a bonus, SandRopes are also great for resisted running drills as well. Overall, they are a great total-body training device that will tax your muscles and cardiovascular system.


• Basic wave

• Ultimate Warrior (Side-Facing Wave)

• Rope Drags

• Ax Chops


Also made by Hyperwear, SandBells are sand-filled neoprene disks that range from 2 to 50 pounds. SandBells create great workout diversity because they can simulate exercises used with dumbbells, medicine balls and kettlebells. And, of course, there is the increased challenge to grip strength, which you don’t experience with traditional free weights.

Also, because they are compact, SandBells can easily be used for workouts when traveling or if you have limited space.


• Rotational Slams

• Squat Toss

• Walking Plank/Row

• Swings


This is a resistance-cord system that creates an unbalanced load to help develop core strength, power and endurance. The cord can attach to one end of the resistance bar for high-variety asymmetrical and rotational exercises to challenge core strength. But you can also attach the cord to each end of the bar for more traditional strength exercises, giving you countless options. The Rip Trainer is very portable. All you need is a stable anchor point for the opposite end and you’re ready to press, pull, squat and rotate your way into a killer total-body workout.


• Squat to Overhead Press

• Slap Shot

• Rotational Punches

• Squat Row

Related Links:

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Get more results in less time: High-Intensity Interval Training

Most people’s primary motivation for working out involves weight loss. The original school of thought for optimal results was performing a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise at a moderate intensity three to five times a week in conjunction with resistance training two to three times per week. But in today’s world, most of us simply don’t have that much time to commit to the gym. The good news is we may not have to.

A multitude of recent research studies have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has the potential to be just as effective for burning fat, increasing strength and improving cardiovascular endurance.

Researchers from the city of Eugene’s FitCity Wellness Center completed a 10-week study. Twenty-one people participated in HIIT three times per week with workouts finishing in just under 30 minutes. The results? Participants showed reductions in body weight, body fat percentage and circumference measurements. Another study published in The European Applied Journal of Physiology showed metabolism to be in an elevated state for up to 16 hours following intense exercise. And from a fitness perspective, the Journal of Applied Physiology did a study measuring the cardiovascular response of a high-intensity program and found endurance actually doubled in the high intensity group.

Now this isn’t at all to suggest we should completely eliminate longer workouts, especially if your goals are endurance-based. However, considering how precious time is in today’s society, isn’t it wise to incorporate short, intense workouts into the mix? So the question is, how does it work?

In a nutshell, HIIT workouts typically involve total body strength and conditioning exercises performed in a quick, all-out intensity for 20 seconds all followed by a 10-second recovery. This cycle is repeated for a total of four minutes, and HIIT workouts usually last between 20 and 25 minutes (5-6 cycles), not including the warm-up or cool-down. The goal is to work as quickly as possible but without compromising form.

And on that note, because of the intense nature and speed of the workout, it’s recommended to incorporate only exercises that primarily use body weight, resistance tubing or a medicine ball (5-10 percent of body weight). This will ensure better form and minimize the risk of injury. HIIT workouts should be self-paced and adjusted to your fitness level. If you are just starting an exercise program, I recommend at least 12 weeks of aerobic base conditioning, muscular endurance training and mastering the exercise technique before adding HIIT to your routine.

Now that you’re ready, try this challenging circuit that is guaranteed to get your heart pumping and your muscles burning for more!


Start in a standing position with your feet hip width apart.  Lower into a squat and place your hands on the ground shoulder width apart. Hop or quickly walk your legs behind you until you are in a pushup position.  Quickly hop or walk you legs back underneath you and jump into the air.  Perform 2 cycles (20 seconds work/10 seconds of rest) then move to the next exercise.

Resistance Tube Punches:  

Wrap a medium to heavy resistance tube around a solid anchor point at chest level threading it all the way through.  Grab the handle with your right hand and position your body with your back facing the anchor point in a split stance with your left leg forward. Stand far enough away so there is slight tension in the tube with your right arm cocked at your side.  Engage your abdominals, and explosively rotate your hips while pressing/punching your right arm straight forward towards 12 o’clock and then quickly return to the starting position, repeating the movement fast.  Perform 1 cycle on the right and 1 on the left (20 seconds work/10 seconds of rest) before moving to the next exercise.

Split Jumps:


Begin in a lunge position with your left leg forward and your right leg back.  Jump into the air scissoring your legs so you now land with your right leg forward and your left leg back landing both feet simultaneously.  For modification, add a stutter step by letting your forward leg land prior to the back leg landing.  Perform 2 cycles (20 seconds work/10 seconds of rest) then move to the next exercise.

Medicine Ball Slams:

Stand with your legs hip width apart with your arms hanging just below your hips holding a medicine ball.  Keeping your core tight, quickly raise the ball overhead and slam it down to the ground catching it on the bounce.  Repeat as many repetitions as you can for 20 seconds, rest for 10 then repeat for 20 more seconds.

Jason Wanlass, the owner of Champion Fitness Training in Meridian, has more than 18 years experience in the fitness industry. Contact him at or

Exercise is Key for Treating Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a pain-fatigue syndrome that affects up to 4% of the population aged 20-60 and 80% of those diagnosed with the syndrome are women (Smith & Barkin 2010).  People affected by it are typically dealing with both physical and psychological pain.  Feelings of anxiety, anger, frustration, and guilt (why me?) are coupled with chronic pain, fatigue, headaches, and nerve dysfunction.  Other Symptoms may include restless leg syndrome, morning stiffness, temporo-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ), impaired concentration, and sensitivity in various “tender points.”

As you would expect, these symptoms can take a severe toll in many ways.  Those who are affected often find it difficult just carrying out their daily routines.  Among, FMS patients who were surveyed:

  • 35% reported having difficulty performing normal daily activities of daily living
  • 55% had difficulty walking two blocks
  • 62% had trouble climbing stairs
  • Two-thirds or more had difficulty with the minor tasks of shopping (66%), light household chores (68%) and carrying 10 pounds (70%) (Bennett et al. 2007).

The underlying cause of fibromyalgia is still being figured out.  Exploring the details of the history or current research regarding its cause is beyond the scope of this article.  However, it is noteworthy that research not only has shown that exercise is beneficial to treating those with FMS, but should be a central component to treating it.

According to Rossy et al. (1999), 49 studies show that drug-free treatments are more effective that drug treatments for the symptoms of fibromyalgia, and assert that exercise is central to the treatment of fibromyalgia.  And even more recently, “Research has repeatedly shown that regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia” (NIAMS 2011)

Then the question is, what modes of exercise are the best?

Research has shown significant benefits with the following activities*:

  • Walking Daily at a moderate pace.
  • Deep water running or water aerobic regimen 3-5 days/week for 45 minutes
  • Cycling at 70-75% of age predicted maximum
  • Resistance Training 2-3 days per week at intensities corresponding to 8-12 repetitions to fatigue.
  • Mind-Body Approaches such as: yoga, pilates, breathing exercises, whole body vibration training

Now studies have shown that it is important to start slow and participate in mild workouts when first starting out. From there gradual progressions can be made.  You will want to avoid intense, fatiguing exercises because it will enhance the build up and overproduction of metabolic byproducts like lactic acid which can actually make symptoms much worse.  In fact, a 70% of surveyed patients have reported that strenuous physical activity is a prime aggravator for their symptoms (Bennett et al. 2007)

So when first starting out it is recommended to:

  • Begin with one mode of exercise, walking is the most common.
  • Exercise intensity should be self-determined
  • Incorporate 1-2 days of rest in between workouts when needed
  • Develop Good Sleep Habits and Eating Patterns
  • As symptoms and endurance improves, slowly begin to introduce an additional activity.
  • Try a variety of each of the activities listed to help you decide which ones are the most effective.

 Every FMS case is different and should be treated on an individual basis.  Work under the supervision of your health care professional to determine the best modes of activities to include and reap the medicinal benefits of exercise.

*Additional Sources

Assis et al. 2006

Cuesta-Vargas& Adams 2011

Hooten et al. 2012

Hurley, Hanson & Sheaff 2011

Busch et al. 2011

Metabolic Conditioning

Most people’s primary motivation for working out involves weight loss.  Traditionally, experts suggest doing a minimum of thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise at a moderate intensity three to five times a week in conjunction with resistance training two to three times per week.  Realistically most of us can’t commit that much time to the gym. The good news is we don’t have to!  Current research shows you can burn more fat, increase your strength, and improve cardiovascular endurance in less time by utilizing  high-intensity, low volume training into your routine.

One study compared the effect of a 20-week endurance training program with that of a 15-week high intensity in terms of body fat loss and muscle metabolism.  Researchers found a bigger decrease in body fat in the high intensity group compared to the endurance group (Smith 2002).  Another study published in The European Applied Journal of Physiology showed metabolism to be in an elevated state for up to 16 hours following intense resistance exercise (Schuenke, et al. 2002).  From a fitness perspective, the Journal of Applied Physiology did a study measuring the cardiovascular response of a high intensity program.  The results?  Participants’ endurance actually doubled (Burgomaster et al. 2005).

While the research isn’t to suggest we completely eliminate longer workouts, especially if your goals are endurance based.  However, considering how precious time is in today’s society, isn’t it wise to incorporate short, intense workouts into the mix?  The question now is how?  While there are several methods to high-intensity training, one of the most popular and effective choices is metabolic conditioning.

In a nutshell, metabolic conditioning is a high intensity circuit workout using a combination of strength training exercises and cardio conditioning drills at a higher repetition. The goal is to complete the workout as quickly as possible while staying around your anaerobic threshold for maximal challenge and energy expenditure.  In most cases, circuits are three sets with a minimum of fifteen reps performed per exercise with minimal rest between exercises.  The workout usually lasts between twenty to thirty minutes (not including warm up).

Metabolic workouts should be self-paced and adjusted to your fitness level.  If you are just starting an exercise program, I recommend at least 12 weeks of aerobic base conditioning, muscular endurance training, and mastering lifting technique before adding metabolic conditioning into your routine.

Now that you’re ready, try this challenging circuit (See Video) that is guaranteed to get your heart pumping and your muscles burning for more!

Alternating Lunges w/Dumbbell Curl & Press:  Start in a standing position while holding a pair of dumbbells. Step forward and sink into a lunge holding the down position.  Remember to keep your knee behind your toes.  Perform a bicep curl immediately followed by an overhead press.  With control, bring the dumbbells back down to your sides and lunge back to the standing position.  Alternate sides until you complete a total of 10 reps per leg.

Burpees:  Start in a standing position with your feet hip width apart.  Lower into a squat and place your hands on the ground shoulder width apart.  Hop or walk your legs behind you until you are in a pushup position.  Immediately hop or walk you legs back underneath you and jump into the air.  Repeat for a total of 15 repetitions.

Pull ups or Weight Assisted Pull ups:  Grab the pull up bar with your grip just wider than shoulder width and you palms facing away from you.  Pull yourself toward the bar keeping your chest out and driving your shoulders down away from your ears until your chin is above the bar.  With control lower yourself back down to the starting position.  For modification, use a weight assisted pull up machine if needed.  Repeat for a total of 15 repetitions.

Split Jumps:  Begin in a lunge position with your left leg forward and your right leg back.  Jump into the air scissoring your legs so you now land with your right leg forward and your left leg back landing both feet simultaneously.  For modification, add a stutter step by letting your forward leg land prior to the back leg landing.  Repeat for 20 repetitions.

Pushups:  Depending on your strength start in a pushup position from your toes or knees with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.  Keeping your body straight from head to toe/knee, slowly lower yourself towards the floor until your arms are bent at 90 degrees.  Using control and staying aligned, push your body back to the starting position.  Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed throughout the movement and repeat for 20 repetitions.

Medicine Ball Slams:  Stand with your legs hip width apart with your arms hanging just below your hips holding a 6 to 20 lbs. medicine ball.  Keeping your core tight, quickly raise the ball overhead and slam it down to the ground catching it on the bounce.  Repeat for 20 repetitions.

Feel Like a Kid Again with these Fitness Games

What image do you think of when the subject of fitness is brought up?  Do you envision going to the gym, hopping onto a cardio machine, and zoning out for the next hour.  Or perhaps you’re more of a Monday is Chest/Shoulders Tuesday is Back/Biceps kind of person.  While either approach is effective and may be satisfactory for some, others will count every painful minute until it’s over or worse, quit due to boredom or lack of results.

Now I’m not saying having a structured gym routine is wrong, it should be part of the process…just not the entire process! What I am suggesting is adding some unstructured, “play-like” workouts into the mix.  Remember when you were young and played pickup games of basketball, rode your bike, played tag or participated in other fun games that had you running, jumping, and actually enjoying yourself?  Play was great, and it also kept us in shape without realizing it.  These same games were great for improving agility, increasing speed and reaction time and were mentally engaging.  We can use this approach for our fitness routine as well.  A great way of doing it is by incorporating a workout each week that centers around fitness games/drills.  Not only are they fun, but they are very challenging fitness wise as well.  And the best part?  They give you something to look forward to, keep you consistent, and have you feeling like a kid again. So grab a workout partner and enjoy a blast from the past with these games and drills!

Crab Race: Set up two cones approximately 10 yards apart.  Begin in the crab position (See Photo).  For one minute using your hands and legs, crab crawl down and back between the cones as many times as you can within the time limit. Switch partners and repeat.  The person who accumulates the most distance wins the round.  Or as a second option, make it a race and go simultaneously with your workout partner.  Perform 1-3 rounds total.

Shadow Drill: Set up two cones approximately 5 yards apart with your partner standing at the mid-point between the cones facing each other.  One will start off as leader while the other follows.  Using a lateral shuffle, the leader’s goal is to outmaneuver (i.e. juke) the follower for 15-20 seconds.  The follower tries to shadow and match the leaders every move.  Rest for 20-60 seconds, switch rolls and repeat.  Perform 1-3 sets total.

Pulling Drill: This drill requires either a rope or a rolled up towel.  Set up two cones approximately 10 yards apart and begin the drill at one end. Both partners will hold the ends of the rope with both hands.  The person whose back is facing the cone at the opposite end begins by pulling and dragging their partner towards the other end.  The person facing the cone at the opposite end is providing strong resistance, but allowing their partner to move.  Switch rolls once you reach the other end and repeat to complete the first set.  Perform 1-3 sets total.

Farmer Walk Race: Set up two cones approximately 10 yards apart.  Each participant will need a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. Weight selection depends on your level of strength/fitness.  Generally 15-35 lbs. for females and 35-55 lbs. for males.  More or less can be used, adjust accordingly.  The drill begins with each participant holding their

For a video demonstration please click here.

TRX – Single Leg Burpee Pushup Combo

What’s not to love about this exercise?  It comes with numerous benefits and brings a total body challenge to balance, strength, power, and endurance!  This exercise is great for plyometric training,  metabolic conditioning, and/or endurance training.

As a prerequisite you should be able to perform at least 15 suspended lunges with relative ease, do 10 pushups, and be able to hold a plank for a minimum of 1 minute.

Here’s the setup:

  • Convert the TRX into a single handle position
  • Position yourself approximately 3 feet from your overhead anchor point with your back facing the anchor point, placing one foot in the heel cuff.
  • Descend into a burpee and perform a pushup.
  • Quickly hop forward and explosively jump upwards reaching overhead with your arms.
  • Repeat for anywhere between 5-15 reps/side depending on your fitness levels, goals, etc.
  • Enjoy!

25 activities that burn the most calories

Clients, friends, family are always curious what exercises/activities give you the most bang for your buck.  Here are 25 that burn at least 500 calories per hour.  Also, research shows that the higher the intensity, the more calories that are burned post workout as well…it’s win win!  So get out and get active!

1.  Basketball 563 calories

2.  Cycling (12-20+mph) 563-1126 calories

3.  Boxing/Sparring 633 calories

4.  Calisthenics (Vigorous) 563 calories

5.  Canoeing (> 6 mph) 844 calories

6.  Circuit Training 563 calories

7.  Flag Football 563 calories

8.  Handball:

Team 563 calories

Individual 844 calories

9.  Hockey (Field or Ice) 563 calories

10.  Lacrosse 563 calories

11.  Racquetball (Competitive) 704 calories

12.  Rockclimbing 774 calories

13.  Jump Rope:

Slow Pace 563 calories

Fast Pace 708 calories

14.  Rowing 563-844 calories

15.  Running:

12 min/mile pace 563 calories

6 min/mile pace 1126 calories

16.  Running Stairs 1056 calories

17.  Cross Country Skiing 563-1100 calories

18.  Snowshoeing 563 calories

19.  Soccer (Competitive) 704 calories

20.  Squash 844 calories

21.  Swimming 563-750 calories

22.  Tennis (Single Competitive) 563 calories

23.  Beach Volleyball 563 calories

24.  Walking Stairs 563 calories

25.  Water Polo 704 calories

* Calories per hour based on 155 lb individual

Training Ropes

Using training ropes in your fitness routine provides a fun and unique type of training stimulus. The exerciser must train with a continuing velocity by using their arms to maintain a wave-like motion throughout the entire length of the rope leaving no lull in action!  Of course this is easier said then done…even highly fit exercisers are shocked at the difficulty of maintaining the wave for as little as 20 seconds their first time using it!

Training ropes come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 30-50′ in length, 1-2″ in diameter, and 12-40 lbs in weight. Basically, the larger the rope, the more challenging it is to keep it moving.  More advanced exercisers will find the medium to larger rope as the most ideal (40-50’/20+ lbs).  And if you are just beginning a fitness program the shorter/lighter rope (30-40’/up to 20 lbs) will provide plenty of challenge.

Of course implementing training ropes into your fitness routine has many physical benefits. Cardiovascular endurance increases,  noticeable improvements in strength and power are found, and a rope workout is a great calorie burner for individuals trying to improve body fat.  A variety of exercises and movements can be used at different angles and positions, giving you a complete and well-rounded workout.  So whether you are an MMA fighter, weekend warrior, or just looking for training variety…the ropes are an absolute must!


Circuit 1 – 3 sets @ 30 s/exercise. Rest 30-60 s between pairs

1. Alternating Waves x 30 seconds/Burpees x 30 seconds

2. Double Waves x 30 seconds/Split Jumps x 30 seconds

3. Circle Waves x 30 seconds/Iceskaters x 30 seconds

4. Flips x 30 seconds/Side shuffles x 30 seconds

Rest 2-3 minutes before moving to circuit 2

Circuit 2 – 3 sets @ 30 s/exercise.  Rest 30-60 s between pairs

1.  Alternating Circles x 30 seconds/Wall Acceleration Drill x 30 seconds

2.  In Outs x 30 seconds/Quick Feet x 30 seconds

3.  Big Waves x 30 seconds/Squat Jumps x 30 seconds

4.  Jumping Jacks x 30 seconds/Mountain Climbers x 30 seconds