ted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment Optimal, Not Brutal: Conditioning for Fat Loss and Weight Class Management

Optimal, Not Brutal: Conditioning for Fat Loss and Weight Class Management

By Julia Ladewski

The off-season lifter usually takes one of two approaches:

Eat so much that they get fat, bloated and completely out of shape
Use that time to clean up their diet and drop some body fat

No matter the general approach, one thing is consistent for most lifters, no cardio! Most lifters all fear that they will forfeit their strength gains and or lack the energy to really give it their all for their strength sessions.

No matter which of the two general approaches above you tend to take, these conditioning tools are an excellent way to either keep from adding excess body fat, or to optimize your conditioning for strength sports.

The plan is to keep it short and sweet. The goal is to condition without compromising the absolute strength adaptation. In addition, we make it a double whammy by utilizing weak point training as well.

Conditioning Circuit #1

Prowler sprint 20 yards

20 Kettlebell swings

Prowler sprint 20 yards back

Cable pulldown abs x10

X-band walks x10 each way

REPEAT 4 times

(Prowler sprints can be exchanged for prowler walking if you don’t want to fry your legs too bad. Change the angle and the way you step to hit more quads, hamstrings or glutes)

Conditioning Circuit #2

Backward sled drag 30 yards

Forward sled drag 30 yards

Suitcase carry 30 yards, right arm

Suitcase carry 30 yards, left arm

30 Band Goodmornings

REPEAT 4 times

Conditioning Circuit #3

Kettlebell Swings x20

Med Ball Slams x20

Farmer’s walk x 20 yards and back

Prowler push (walk), low handle 20 yards

Prowler sprint, high handle 20 yards

REPEAT 4 times


Exchange some of the exercises to target your own weak points. They should be exercises that are not overly taxing, but ones you can still manage good work without much soreness to follow.

Hamstrings – leg curls, glute ham raises, single leg RDL, glute bridges, swings
Low back – back raises, Reverse Hypers, band goodmornings, swings
Quads – goblet squats, various lunges, TKE’s
Upper back – face pulls, rear flyes, band pull-aparts
Triceps – pushdowns, close grip pushups
Shoulders – front raises, side raises, various overhead presses
Core/abs – planks, leg raises, v-ups, Turkish get-ups, stability ball crunches and knee tucks, farmers walks, waiter carries


Julia Ladewski is a certified strength and conditioning coach, elite powerlifter, and national physique competitor. She is an online strength, fitness and nutrition coach, writer and speaker.

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