Super Conditioning

Most people are in a very poor state of conditioning and don’t even know it. One of my friends was a manager at a Bally’s fitness centre and mentioned the owner never worked out in his own facility. The owner would workout behind the centre using a sledgehammer on a tire, pull ups on the rafters, and swinging kettlebells. He was 55 years old and probably had more strength and conditioning than anybody in the air-conditioned state of the art facility he ran.

With the Muscle Mass world slowly fading away, there is a realization that a 900lbs bench press or a 60″ chest with 26″ biceps does not improve daily life any better than a fined tuned normal body. The human body was not designed to perform the way some people would like without the use of anabolic drugs. A state of conditioning is not just about being strong – there is a need for power, endurance, coordination, speed, and agility. A prime example of this is someone who can bench press in the 500lbs zone but cannot do 400 pushups. They reach physical exhaustion around the 80 repetition range and they suffer from delayed onset muscle soreness for days.

I really don’t care for a 500lbs bench press for the same reason I don’t care for nautilus machines – in my daily life there is no activity that simulates a bench press or nautilus machine. Imagine being very strong but lacking the ability to endure the distance it takes to win a sport or succeed in an activity. You would lose every time due to a lack of conditioning. When you are in a state of Super Conditioning you are strong, fast, and can endure the length of any situation. Below I have outlined a 6 week conditioning program that will get you started in the right direction. The ability to have strength for a long period of time is what Super Condition is all about.

6 Week Super Conditioning Program

Weeks 1-3: Maximal Strength (90-95% of 1RM) after a proper warm-up

Weeks 3-6: Explosive Strength (85% of 1RM) after a proper warm-up

Pre & Post Workout Recovery

The following is performed before and after each workout to improve flexibility and reduce injury.

Warm up: Normal jog, 1/2 lap jog with high knee lift, shuffle facing right and left, and walking lunges.

Hamstring Stretch: Stand with your feet about 6 inches apart. Bend over at the waist and let your upper body hang down. Reach your hands toward the ground. You can bend your knees slightly. For a deeper stretch, grasp your calves and gently pull your upper body toward your legs. You should feel the stretch in your hamstring area or the back of your thighs.

Thigh Stretch: Stand with your feet about 6 inches then bend your right foot back and up toward your buttocks and grasp it with your right hand. Balancing on your left leg, pull your right foot up with your right hand. To help you balance, pick a stationary spot in front of you to stare at and lift your free arm out to the side. You should feel the stretch in your thigh. Release and switch sides.

Calf Stretch: Stand with your right leg straight and behind you. Your left leg should be bent in front of you. Place most of your weight onto your left leg. Push the heel of your right foot down toward the ground and slightly shift your weight back keeping your torso upright. You should feel a stretch in your right calf. For a deeper stretch you can face a wall and push against it for leverage. Release and switch sides.

Groin Stretch: Sit with your feet in front of you. Place the bottoms of your feet together and let your knees fall to the sides. Grasp your ankles and pull your feet toward you as close as possible. While holding your ankles, place your elbows on the inside of your knees and push down. You should feel the stretch in your groin area.

Shoulder Stretch: Place your right hand on the base of your neck so your elbow is pointed straight up. Place your left hand on your right elbow and pull down. You should feel the stretch in your right shoulder area. Release and switch sides.

Upper Arm Stretch: Cross your right arm across your chest toward your left side, keeping your elbow straight. With the inside of your left elbow or your left hand, push your right arm back toward your body. You should feel the stretch in your right upper arm and shoulder. Release and switch sides.

Upper Back Stretch: Clasp your hands together in front of your body. Straighten your elbows, keeping your hands clasped and your palms facing outward. Let your shoulders shift forward, and push your hands out away from your body. You should feel a stretch in your upper back area.

Chest Stretch: Clasp your hands together behind your back, with your palms together. Keeping your elbows straight, lift your hands out and up behind you as far as possible. You should be able to feel the stretch in your shoulders and chest. For a deeper stretch bend over at the waist with your arms above you and elbows straight. Let gravity pull your arms as far as possible. Slowly stand up and release your hands.

Abdomen Stretch: Clasp your hands together above your head. Straighten your arms up as much as possible and pull your hands away from your body. You may bend back slightly to deepen the stretch. You should feel the stretch in your abdomen area.

Side Stretch: Clasp your hands together above your head with your arms slightly bent and bend to the right at the waist. You should feel the stretch on the opposite side of your torso. Return to the standing position with your hands above your head and switch sides.

Lower Back Stretch: Start in a seated position with the legs out in front of you. Bend your right knee to a 90-degree angle and place your right foot on the outer side of your left leg so that your right leg is crossed over your left. Your left leg should remain straight. Twist your torso to the right, placing your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. Push your elbow against your knee as leverage to deepen the stretch if possible. You should feel the stretch in your lower back. Release and switch sides.

Written by Ian Edgar