When you watch most people trying to lose fat at gyms across the country, what you will witness is hours upon hours of mundane, repetitive and boring exercises being performed on treadmills, bikes and elliptical machines. I'm not saying that you can't work hard on these pieces of equipment, but there is a far more productive way to lose fat and all it takes is 10 minutes! The only catch is that you are going to have to work very hard, but of course if you want results that should be obvious. The people in the gym going for 60 minutes on a stationary bike without a sweat drop in sight are not the ones who are going to reach their goals. If you want to torch body fat, or what to get in to serious shape for your sport, then read on.
The answer is complexes - a series of exercises performed with one implement (barbell, dumbbells, kettle bells etc) done back to back, with no rest. You don't need much space and you don't need fancy equipment, all you need is a mind ready to work. For example, with a barbell you could perform 8 power cleans, 8 front squats, 8 push presses, 8 dead lifts and 8 rows all with no rest in between. That's one set. Complexes are hard work, no way around that. They require focus, discipline hard work and a tiny bit of insanity.
After one sessions using complexes, as you lie on the ground huffing and puffing, you will see how complexes blow traditional long duration cardio clean out of the water.
So what are complexes used for?
- A more effective replacement for boring cardio during fat loss training.
-Good conditioning for athletes in sports.
-An 'all round' workout you can do if you really want to train but have already done all your scheduled training in the week.
All it takes is a few sets of complexes 1-3 times a week to see amazing improvements in body composition and fitness. As the total time of the complexes last roughly 10 minutes each, its just 30 minutes of hard work a week! Complexes can be done after a normal weight training session, or as a full workout on a conditioning day.
When building a complex there are several points you must follow.
1.Choose the right exercises - We are talking about big movements here - squats, cleans, dead lifts, presses. Big lifts means that the larger muscles of the body will be working, and that means more calories burned. Triceps kickbacks and curls have no place here.
2.Choose the right order of exercises - Exercise order should be determined by how demanding each exercise is. The most high skill and challenging lifts should be performed first, followed by less challenging exercises. For example power cleans would be performed before squats. The reason for this is fatigue, once you get tried (and you will!) your technique will suffer, and this can be dangerous when performing high skill exercises such as the Olympic lifts.
3.Alternate working muscles - During the complex, try to alternate the muscle groups that are working i.e alternate between a pull and a press or an upper body/lower body lift. The benefit of this is simple, when one muscle is working, the others are resting = more work!
4.Pick the right weight - You are going to have to select the weight based on your weakest lift in the complex. For example if you are performing power cleans, push press, front squats, rows and dead lifts, the weakest lift will most likely be the clean. The heaviest you can go (safely and for the amount of reps you want) in the power clean will be the weight used for the complex.
5.Work had and fast - This one is simple, the harder and faster you work, the more calories you will burn and the better conditioned you will get. The second point (speed) is interesting to note when choosing exercises for you complex. The faster our muscles work, the more calories we burn. So choosing exercises where you HAVE to move fast (in order to properly do the movement) such as cleans, snatches, jumps (weighted or not) are ideal. With these you cannot simply 'go through the motions' you have to really accelerate yourself or the weight to do the movement, and that means more fat lost, more fitness gained.
6.Variation - Complexes can be varied is so many different ways. Always doing the same number of exercises with the same number of reps each is boring and unnecessary. Reps, weight, exercise order, rest periods, number of sets are just some of the ways you can vary the way you perform and improve on your complexes.
Here are some more examples.
1. Descending rep Barbell complex -select the weight you can do 8 good reps with on power cleans and perform without rest -
6 power cleans
6 front squats
6 push press
6 back squat
6 dead lifts
Rest 90 seconds after the first complex, then perform 5 reps of each in the next complex; rest 90 seconds, 4 reps of each; rest 90 seconds, 3 reps of each; rest 90 seconds, 2 reps of each; rest 90 seconds, and then do 1 rep of each. This complex won't take long and it will challenge you both physically and mentally.
2. Dumbbell complex
Reverse Lunges, 6 reps on each leg
Romanian Deadlift, 12 reps
Good Morning, 12 reps
Front Squat, 6 reps
Military Press, 6 reps
Bent over Row, 6 reps
Floor Press, 12 reps
Rest 60 seconds and repeat 3 times.
3. Ascending/descending rep complex
Taking 60-90 seconds rest between sets, perform 11 sets. The reps for the first set are 6, the second is 5. Go all the way down to one, and then back up. (6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). This one is an absolute killer. Good luck!
So now you have a simple, fast and effective way to torch fat and get in sick shape. All you have to do is put the work in.
In every sport in existence there are five athletic qualities you can improve on, they are:
Strength - Speed - size - conditioning - flexibility/mobility
No matter what your sport, all 5 qualities must be trained in some fashion for you to be a successful athlete. The priority, intensity and volume at which you train each quality is dependent on the sport. Rugby poses a tough challenge as it requires a high level in all of those athletic qualities! Before I go on to the actual physical demands placed on a rugby player during a match, I want to quickly go over strength and why it is the most important physical quality (off season, in season, all season!)
The improvement of performance in all sports has been phenomenal. For example, twenty years ago rugby forwards were 'hefty' men weighing god knows how much but it certainly wasn't all muscle! Backs were twigs that looked like they may snap in a tackle. Now backs are weighing the same as the forwards 20 years ago and run faster! While the forwards have become moving tanks. Strength training has made the single, most positive contribution to this type of improvement. Today strength training influences every single sport in the world- male or female. sportsmen and women now know its vital to improve their strength & conditioning in order to properly prepare for the trials and rigors of their sport.
Not too long ago many coaches and players believed strength training would be detrimental to a player's production, they thought they would become 'muscle bound' and that it would affect playing technique. Now it has been proven that athletic performance depends either directly or indirectly on qualities of muscular strength. The physical quality of strength provides the bases of ALLathletic feats, it is the bases for everything and every sport. For example, if you do not possess great relative body strength (strength in relation to your body weight), you will never be able to run fast. This is due to the fact that all aspects of proper running technique require high levels of muscular strength. In other words, if you can’t achieve the proper knee drive, arm swing, posture and push-off, you can’t be fast! And this is just one example. Many university studies have also found a high correlation between an athlete’s jumping ability and agility in relation to their relative body strength. What this means is that an athlete who is strong for his/her body weight will possess the ability to jump higher and move quicker, compared to their weaker counterparts. Even pure endurance type sportsmen like marathon runners will see improvement from strength training. it IS the foundation of your athletic capabilities.
All the training an athlete does (strength, power, speed, tactical, technical) is towards improving their play on game day. Strength training is so vital for the complete conditioning of an athlete. The body has 600+ muscles whose primary function is to contract (shorten in length) to move body parts. Only musclecan cause movement. The stronger an athlete's muscles the harder they will contract, which means running faster, jumping higher and hitting harder. That's all there is to it!
The other great benefit of strength training is the injury prevention. Those who strength train have less injuries. This is because strength training strengthens the ligaments, tendons and muscle attachments as well as increasing bone density. The recovery rate of an athlete who strength trains and is injured will be much faster as well.
But remember we are talking about strengthtraining not training directly for muscle size (although it is a side effect, and needed for all positions to some degree). Rugby players shouldn't be training like bodybuilders who only train to look good and care nothing for strength. We aren't interested in looking like Tarzan but performing like Jane! We want heavy weights, compound movements and power!
Now in terms of the demands placed on a player during a match, rugby is a aerobic-alactic sport. The need for a strong aerobic system is obvious in the length of a match and the constant movement by players, while the alactic system is needed for all the powerful tackles, jumps, sprints and 'bursts' of power.
I haven't included the lactic system in there because (while there is a lactic factor) the amount of time spent using the lactic system has been found to be so much lower than most thought. In fact the level of intensity you can maintain whilst still in the aerobic zone can be very high so you never get into the lactic zone. In a match a player will spend about 20% of the time engaging in short 'bursts' of power, these include sprints (about 20m being average), a tackle, pushing a ruck/scrum, jumping etc. The other 80% is spent in the intermediate and lower intensity zones. This shows why the aerobic system is so important in regaining all your energy and removing all the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. You must remember that in every 'big play' such as a tackle or line break the body is working in the alactic zone, even if high levels of lactic acid have built up into the muscles.
So most of your physical preparation should be done to improve the aerobic and alactic systems for several reasons
1.The more powerful the aerobic system, the greater thelactate buffer system!Without even training in a glycolytic environment, you’re improving your lactic capacity because of the creatine phosphate, adenosine triphosphate biogenesis, each 3 energy systems releasing chemicals to allow contraction. The more you can keep an athlete in an aerobic environment before they go into lactic, the less stress on their body to produce the work. Why make things harder for yourself? for example in the 400m the athletes who stay in the aerobic zone for the longest are running as fast as they need to while putting their body under far less stress.
2.When doing skills training being in the lactic zone is of no help!During a skills session the object is to improve the motor habits and technique of the players, if they are in the lactic zone their form will go to shit pretty quickly this will lead to bad motor habits and not performing the skills in the way they were meant to be done.
3.Getting a more powerful alactic system increases all the others.If you increase the amount of work a player can do while still in the alactic zone the better he will be! the longer you stay away from lactic acid the better!
Now the lactic system does need to be trained but it shouldn't be the priority in the physical preparation! Once the season nears lactic training can be introduced, in fact training sessions and training matches will do all the work for you! The 'specific' fitness of rugby will be worked there so there is no need to focus on lactic training in your off season physical preparation.
One thing to note about off season training is to remember that strength training must be done ALL year round, while conditioning does not. To become 'strong enough' for your sport takes years, it cannot be gained in a few weeks. Conditioning on the other hand can be maximized relatively quickly, you can get match fit in a few months. (Note speed training which is a skillcan be done all year round).
A full off season overview will be written about in the future but for now onto some in season training!
During the season there are many things we must consider when designing a program. Pure conditioning training is not needed, the required level of fitness should have already been attained and the priority of structured team sessions is to prepare tactically for the upcoming game. These sessions take priority. In the gym the focus is on strength, we do not want very metabolically demanding weight sessions as there is already a lot of work being done in practice and on game day. The focus in the gym is on maintaining (even gaining) strength and preventing injuries, at the same time we do not want to sap into the recovery of the player for the game.
Taking these goals into account in season weight sessions should be based around large 'bang for your buck' exercises (to get more done in less time) the sessions should be lower in volume than off season sessions but still have a high intensity. Warm ups should be extensive and include lots of mobility to work to keep the joints/muscles happy and healthy.
There are many more little in season things to consider such as - not performing any knee flexion exercises for the hamstrings (that movement is being done enough with all the running you're doing!) instead opting for hip extension exercises (Romanian deadlifts, good mornings etc) Another thing to consider is the stress placed on the player during the season will mean some exercisers will not look so appealing in season! for example after a big game scrummaging the thought of putting a bar on your back and squatting may sound like torture. To combat this, the athlete could perform lower body movements where there is no compression of the spine i.e Bulgarian split squats. Another thing to consider in season is the punishment the joints (like the wrist) take. For this reason performing power cleans may not be smart, an alternative would be to do high pulls or other power movements.
These are just some examples of little changes that should be made during the season. The important thing is to listen to your body! if you had a blow out game and were taken out at half time, you can afford to go a little harder in the gym that week. If you feeling totally crushed then it wouldn't be wise to try and break some PB's in the gym that week!
Now, time for a sample in season program. Assuming match day is Saturday and team training sessions are twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday). Here is the set up -
Saturday - game
Sunday - Upper body
Monday -Lower body
Tuesday - team practice + neural charge session
Wednesday - Full body
Thursday - Team practice + neural charge session
Friday - light stretching/mobility work + neural charge
The order of the sessions can if desired be moved down a day (so upper on Monday, lower on Tuesday etc..) Neural charge sessions are very brief (<20 minutes) training sessions where the athlete performs a series of 'power' movements (jumps, Olympic lifts etc..) the weights are low and the focus is on SPEED. These sessions are designed to amp up the nervous system and help it recover better. The athlete should leave these sessions feeling amped up and 'wired' and not fatigued in any way! More on this later.
warm up -
Foam/med ball rolling, 30 seconds each muscle group
Rotator cuff Y-T-W circuit*10 each
Band pull aparts*25
Scapular pushups + pushups*15 each
1. Max effort lift- Pick any compound upper body pressing movement (bench press, overhead press, dips, bench with chains etc.) Performing sets of 5 reps, work up to a 5 rep max. next week work up to a 3rm. Stay with the same exercise for at least 2 weeks. You can rotate exercises as you like but stick to what you pick for a few weeks.
2.Supplemental lift - Pick an upper body pressing exercise (dumbbell press, dips, shoulder press etc) after warming up, perform 3 sets of max reps shooting for between 8-15 reps per set. You can rotate this exercise every week if you wish.
3.Upper back and lats superset - Pick a back exercise (dumbbell rows, pull ups, etc) and an upper back exercise (face pulls, rear delt raise, band pull a parts etc) and perform 2-3 supersets, going for 8-12 reps for the back exercise and 15-25 for the upper back exercise.
4. Traps/shoulders - Pick a trap or shoulder exercise (db/bb shrugs, side raises etc.. and perform 2-3 sets of 8-20 reps.
Warm up -
Foam roll, 30 seconds each muscle group
Roll overs into V-sits*10
Knee circles*10 each leg and each direction
Cossack squats*5 each side
Static hip flexor stretch*20 seconds Band TKE * 20 reps
1. Max effort lift - Pick any lower body compound movement (front/back squats, normal/sumo/trap bar deadlifts etc) and work up to a 5 rep max, next week work up to a 3 rep max. Rotate exercises every few weeks.
2.Unilateral movement - Pick a unilateral movement (Dumbbell bulgarian split squats, lunges, step ups, backward or forward sled drags, one leg, leg press etc) and perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps (go for 30-40 meters with a heavy weight if doing sled drags/pushes)
3.Posterior chain - pick a posterior chain exercise (hyperextensions, Romanian deadlits, good mornings etc) and perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.
4.Abs - Pick a weighted or very challenging body weight abdominal exercise (kneeling cable crunches, dragon flags, leg raises, weighted situps) and perform 3-4 sets of 8-15 reps.
combine 3 upper and 3 lower body warm up exercises from previous days
1. Power exercise - Pick a power movement (weighted jumps, broad jumps, box jumps, hurdle jumps, power cleans, high pulls, power snatch etc) Work up in weight and perform 3-5 sets of 3 reps. Every rep should be fast and explosive.
2. Upper body exercise - Pick an upper body movement (overhead press, dumbbell press, dips etc) and perform 2-3 heavy sets of 6-8 reps
3. Lower body exercise - Pick a unilateral lower body exercise (Bulgarian split squats, lunges, cossack squats etc.) and perform 2-3 sets of 8-12 reps.
4.Back - Pick any back/posterior exercise (rows, hyperextensions, good mornings, pull downs etc) and perform 3-4 sets of 10 reps
5. Optional arms and abs - Pick a bicep, triceps and ab exercise and done in circuit fashion perform 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps.
warm up -
same as full body
Pick 2-3 'power' movements (vertical jumps, broad jumps, box jumps, power cleans, dumbbell snatches, jump squats, high pulls etc) and perform 5-8 sets for each movement. The weights should be light (40-60% of max) and if performing jumps only use body weight. The workout should not last more than 20 minutes. The goal here is to activate your nervous system and facilitate recovery. You should feel amped up and really good after the session. If you feel tired or worn out you went to heavy! b careful These sessions are optional and can be done as much as an athlete desires. In fact The more the better. A session the day before and day after a game would be great to amp the body up for a fight, and then get recovery back on track.
A quick reminder of what I said before about athletes not wanting to do certain exercises during the season. Most athletes love to squat - but if during the season they have taken a battering, loading a heavy barbell on their back isn't the best idea. If they still want to do a squatting motion a good alternate alternative is to do squats with a weight around your waist - set up two stacks of plates (or Olympic boxes if you have them) about 2 feet high. Grab a dipping belt and attach a dumbbell or plates to it just like you would if you were going to do dips. Then get on the plates (one leg on each stack - you may need a support like a rack to help pull you up to position -or just hold the DB) From this position you can squat freely (the DB or plates shouldn't hit the floor) without loading you back. You can go fairly heavy with this. Shoot for a few sets of 8-15 reps and make sure to maintain proper form and position just like a regular squat. BTW this is just mimicking a belt squat machine, but they are so rare I'm fairly certain you won't have access to one!
Well that's the In season covered! The next articles relating to rugby will be on injury rehab during the season, pre season training and off season training.
Progression is the name of the game, if you aren't progressing you need to evaluate your training and see whats not up to par. This is the time to be brutally honest with yourself, have you actually got stronger, leaner or fitter in the last year ? Or have you just been spinning your wheels.
If like many, you haven't actually made any notable gains in a while, the reason is most likely up to two factors :
1. You have no focus. You flip flop from program to program and don't really know what your purpose is when you go to the gym. For once stick to a program for the whole duration, or set a goal - any goal that will focus you. You don't have to compete, just setting a goal will answer all your questions in the gym about what you need to do. It could be to run a mile in under 5min, bench 50 pounds more, drop 3 inches on your waist or complete an ironman - just make a plan - and stick to it!
2. You don't train hard enough. Even if you think you train super hard, you most likely don't. Fact is it takes a lot of hard work to reach your goals, you will have to be out of your comfort zone most of the time. Comparing yourself to others isn't an indication either, 95% of people in commercial gyms dont train anywhere near hard enough to get real results, so you better be the hardest worker in your gym at the very least! Go to a 'hardcore' gym, or a place where lots of serious athletes train and watch how hard they work, now aim to match that. The US Navy Seals have a saying - when your mind thinks you are done, your body is really only 40% there. Keep going. You can always push harder.
Let's get something straight - there is nothing new in the fitness world. Every 'new' trend is an old method or several combined together and sold as the next best thing. Everything you do in the gym is as old as the gym itself.
People love trends and people love to feel part of something. People want to be part of a group - 'us vs them' so when a 'new' training trend appears (for example kettlebell training) people become obsessed and jump on the bandwagon, they become cult like followers disregarding all other methods of training and preaching their newfound 'wisdom' as the be all and end all.
Fact is, this mindset only limits you. Every training style and method has merit. All the methods developed since the dawn of fitness are simply tools in your toolbox to help you achieve your goals. Blindly adhering to one way of doing things because it makes you feel superior or like you have the 'secret' is just plain dumb.
Don't be a cult follower. Don't be a 'functional' guy who bashes bodybuilders for just pumping muscles - fact is they could teach you how to build some muscle and dial in a diet. Don't be a bodybuilder who bashes crossfitters because they do 'random' movements all together - they could teach you how to push yourself in a new way and to get in great shape. Don't be a crossfitter who bashes powerlifters because they may not be in great shape - they could teach you how to get brutally strong. Don't be a powerlifter who bashes yoga practioners because they aren't lifting big weights - they could teach you how to become more mobile and fix all those nagging injuries.
Open your mind. We have more information at our fingertips than ever before. Use it. All of it!
Getting a lean six pack is hard work, no way around that. There are so many stratagies to build a ripped core but one of the most effective ways is the combination of ab work with high intensity cardio such as farmers walks or sprints.
Supersetting crunches or any traditional ab exercise with a weighted carry or high intensity movement like sprints will work the abs in a new and effective way - The cardio gets the blood pumping, while following it up with an ab exercise pushes all that blood to the abdominal area. This extra blood flow to the area aids in dropping that last bit of fat to uncover your much wanted 6 pack.
A workout could look like the following -
farmers walk - as heavy as you can go for 100seconds
Leg raises - 60 seconds of work
repeat 4-6 times.
simple! The leg raises can be replaced by any ab movement while the farmers walks can be replaced by any high intensity cardio exercise like sprints or rowing.
this workout is best performed on a non lifting day but can, if pressed be done at the end of your regular lifting session.
Give these a go on the rowing machine - In a push up position, place your feet on the rowers seat, contract the abs hard and bring your hips to your shoulders. This movement creates a massive ab contraction and is slightly smoother than the swiss ball version. Perform 3-5 sets of 8-15 at the end of your workouts.
My personal favourite exercises which have given me the biggest increase in size and strength may surprise you, but they do come from years of trial and error and as you will see there is evidence of their value amongst the groups of people who use them the most. Some of these movements will be familiar to you, however the slight changes to the technique will bring you new gains in the targets muscles, so change it up and build some new muscle!
Traps/shoulders/rhomboids/rear delts - Snatch grip high pulls
Yup, you read that right. The best exercise for four muscle groups is ONE exercise! the snatch grip high pull. Nothing and I repeat nothing with build your entire shoulder girdle like these will. They build absolutely enormous traps & shoulders. For a period of time they have been the only exercise I do to hit my shoulders...and they have never been bigger!
Not only are they amazing at making your whole shoulder area massive and strong, they are incredible at increasing your power and require a high amount of energy to perform, so they are great for fat loss as well.
Just look at the group of people who perform them the most: Olympic weightlifters. These guys do high pulls or variations of them all damm day and as you will notice when you watch the Olympics, have incredible shoulder and trap development. Even if you see weightlifters who aren't on the international state, they will still have one identifying feature that they are a weightlifter...HUGE TRAPS!
Nothing will improve your entire body as much as snatch grip high pulls will, oh yea and they also hit the whole posterior chain as well....rear delts, rhomboids, lats, glutes, hamstrings, calves.
If you can sling a significant amount of weight up on these, then you can be sure your are gonna be one wide, yolked up, strong, powerfull mofo. Perform 3-5 sets of 3-5 reps or sets of 3 reps every minute on the minute for 8-12 minutes (using around 75% of your max)
Honourable mention: Behind the neck shoulder press. The standard military press is great for the front delts but the behind the neck version of the overhead press is superior as it involves a lot more side and rear delt stimulation. Dont be fooled by those who say this is a dangerous exercise, if you have healthy shoulders this movement is perfectly fine. When pain is felt during this movement it is usually an indication of a pre-existing shoulder problem that needs to be fixed.
Chest - Reverse Grip Incline dumbbell press
Nope its not the bench press! while great for overall upper body strength, the bench press is sub par for most people when it comes to developing the chest muscles. Dumbbells allow for a greater stretch and range of motion than a barbell. The slight incline allows for the whole muscle to be stimulated, simply place a plate under the head of the bench to get the perfect angle that will allow the most pec stimulation whilst keeping the shoulders out of the equation. The reverse grip will give you a new stimulus you won't be used to, It will really target the upper chest and allow a big stretch. Go for a set of 6-8 with a reverse grip then immediately switch to a regular grip and go until failure. Peform 2-3 sets after you main lift of the day (A bench press variation) then finish with 3-4 sets of dips to failure.
Honourable mention: Dips - When done properly these may actually better than dumbbell presses. The correct way to perform dips when pec stimulation is the goal is to bend the body like a bow - torso leaning forward and legs out in front of you.
Back - Dumbbell rows - done correctly!
When performing dumbbell rows, most lifters involves far too much bicep and rear delt involvement relative to lat stimulus. The right way, or at least most optimal, is to have the range of motion of the dumbbell be more of an arc, rather than a straight up and down. At the lowest position the dumbbell should be in front of the body as if you are reaching as far away as you can, this will really stretch the lat muscle. The concentric portion of the rep is then in an arc - back and up (think elbows to touch hips) really driving the elbow up and back as hard as possible. To increase the tension you can start each rep from a dead stop which will really require the lats to contract super hard in order to get the weight moving.
Honourable mention: 'Perfect' cable rows - Done on a cable row machine, this row utilises eccentric, concentric and isometric reps to fully stimulate the lats. To begin, lean back then row, pulling back low with the elbows to the belly button. Then whilst keeping the elbows back, slow lean forward until upright, now slowly release the cable back to the start position. Perform 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps.
Having a pre-workout or smashing a can of red bull before a workout may be your pre-training ritual, but is it actually hurting your results? The kick from these products can give you energy on days when you really aren't feeling it and they can make you feel like a superhero in the gym, however the negative impact they are having on your progress has to be addressed.
What these stimulants are doing is 'stealing' energy and creating a debt that must be paid. Everytime you take a stimulant you are stressing your adrenal glands, do this often enough and you will crash, no way around it. The overexertion of the adrenal glands also drives up cortisol, something we do not want. Cortisol is the stress hormone and is catabolic - it breaks down tissue, the more cortisol you have the more your gains will suffer. Cortisol is also made from the same mother hormone as testosterone - pregnenolone, the more pregnenolone is used to make cortisol, the less there is to make testosterone, again diminishing your progress.
Furthermore the false energy you get from these stimulants will mask the fatigue your body has from training, you can no longer tell if your body is actually feeling good or of it needs a break, you just power through regardless, in time this will lead to a crash or possibly even injury.
So stop having those stimulants! Wean yourself off them, drink water or normal coffee instead and learn to listen to your body! edit.
Here is a sample conditioning circuit you can do do get lean and conditioned. All you need is a tire, sledgehammer and some space. This is the type of conditioning athletes (and everyone) should do. Long runs or mind numbing sessions on the stair master are NOT gonna get you athletic. High intensity training is vastly superior to long, slow cardio sessions, both in terms of how fit you will get and how much fat you will burn, plus its way more fun!
Just remember what Jim Wendler says about conditioning ''If its awesome do it, if your grandmother can do it. Don't.''
GENERAL WARM UP
High knees, leg kicks, shorts sprints working up in speed. Simple stuff, just get you self warm and ready. Don't be an idiot an skip the warm up and then wonder why you hamstring is super tight.
1) Tire flip 3 sets 5 reps
2A) Tire flip 3 reps
2B) sprints - 30m and back this circuit is done 3 times.
2C) Tire flip 3 reps
3A) Tire flip 10 reps
3B) sledgehammer slams 60 reps this circuit is done 3 times
(see video at 6.37 for the different slams used)
4A) Tire flip 4 reps
4B) Sprint 30m and back this circuit is done 3 times
4C) sledgehammer slams 60 reps
That workout took about 30 minutes and by the end I was absolutely spent. Not only was it great for overall fitness, My entire body was trained. The tire flips hit the whole posterior chain as well as teaching explosiveness and hip drive. Two crucial things for athletes, especially those in combat sports.
The tire flips to sprints help replicate a situation in a game of rugby or american football. You are fighting against the resistance of the tire (a scrum/ruck in rugby or a blocker in football). You then sprint, change direction and sprint again (i.e chasing the ball carrier) before you again meet a resistance you must overcome (make the tackle)
Sledgehammer training teaches you to use force and beat the shit out of something (a nice relief for an office worker stressed about his boss) plus the core gets hammered.
Give this type of conditioning session a try! if your gym doesn't have these pieces of equipment my advice is to find a better gym!