How to get conditioning in your workout as a lifter

As a so called “lifter” cardio is my kryptonite. Even though I know that cardio wont burn away my hard earned muscle. Soo what is a lifter suppose to do? Lift weights faster.  Now let’s get it straight if you want to be a better runner, cyclist, and swimmer. You will have to practice those discipline.  For those days you don’t feel like going out in horrible weather here are some lifting conditioning methods.

Every Minute On the Minute(E.M.O.M or E.M.O.T.M)
One of my favorite methods of getting conditioning while weight training For the next 10- 30 mins you will have a bell or buzzer or timer go off every minute.  Once the bell goes off you must perform a sequence of exercise within the minute.  What every time remaining in the minute. The faster you move the more rest you get. The slower you move the less rest you get.
E.M.O.M x 15
1 Rep on each exercise
Bent row
Hang clean
Military Press
Back Squat
Good Morning

Escalating Density Training ( EDT )
Escalating Density Training created by Charles Staley
This is a great training model to help build lean body mass and at the same time burn fat and build your cardiovascular system. The goal is to pick 2 exercises resistance should be moderately high( 70-80% of you max).  For the next 12 mins you will perform 5 reps on each exercise trying to complete as many rounds as possible.   If you want to build muscular endurance use lighter weight and perform 10 reps on both exercises.

12 minute EDT
A). Barbell Back Squat
DB Bench Press

Rest 4 minutes

B.) Barbell RDL
Inverted Row

A.M.R.A.P( As Many Rounds As Possible)
Put 20-30 minutes on the clock and your goal is to get through your strength circuit as many times as you can in the time allotted. I really like to perform this circuit when I am by myself in the gym so I can hog all the equipment. Make sure to keep good form as you progress. I sometimes throw a sprint on either the treadmill, rower, or airdyne bike.

20 min AMRAP
100-200m sprint
Front Squat x 10 reps
Dumbbell Incline Press x 10 reps
Chest supported row x 10
Barbell Deadlift x 10
Weight Straight Leg Sit-ups x 10

Give these workouts a try. Also if you have some other conditioning workouts please post them in the comments.

Coaching Group Training vs Coaching 1-on-1

Having had a chance to coach both group training and personal training I wanted to give my views on the differences between coaching group training vs coaching 1-on-1.

Group Training

When I get a chance to talk to new coaches I like to explain to them the difference in coaching styles and the way I like to approach training. When coaching a group of athletes you are responsible multiple people at the same time. If you do not take control of the people they will cause chaos and wont have a very effective and safe workout.  When your coaching a group organization is first make sure everyone knows what exercise they are doing, how long they will perform the exercise and what exercise they will be going to next. When everyone is on the same page it make coaching everyone a lot easier.                                                                             Once all the athletes are on the same page then you can be on the move going around correcting people forms on the fly. Constant moving helps you create a constant presence. When you have a constant presence it helps hold people accountable. Also you can help eliminate poor exercise form and help keep people safe.                                                                                     The last thing you need is Energy. Coaching is exhausting, keeping athletes motivated is exhausted. That is why you need to have energy. People feed off of your energy. Try to get 30 women to listen to you at 5:30am. If you don’t have energy your not getting anything done.  Group training is about organization, presence, and energy.


1-on-1 Coaching

Coaching 1-on -1 is a different. It’s only you and the client. To be honest it is a relationship. All your energy is to put into shaping this person into the person that they want to be. Note shape them into their idea of fitness( which can be shaped and guided by you a little). When working 1-on-1 try to make sure every little detail is in the right place. View you client under a microscope. Try to make all the small changes and make sure their technique on each exercise is spot on perfect.                                                          Develop a great relationship with your athlete and hold them accountable for reaching their goal. If they say their goal is to help them lose 20lbs. Then help them lose 25 lbs. The better your relationship with the client the more trust.                                                                                                              The last difference with 1-on-1 training is your ability to be way more flexible than group training. If someone is running on 2 hrs of sleep because they worked on a business proposal the night before. They still have to go through the group workout but with lighter weight or some modification of the exercises.  1-on-1 training I have completely scraped a workout because my athlete was in pretty bad shape. Instead I have put them through workouts that can help them with recover. Athletes really appreciate when you don’t crush with every training session.

Coaching Group training and 1-on-1 have there similarities and differences but the same rules apply. 1 Don’t do any harm. 2. Don’t be an A$$hole .


30 Books That Will Make You a Better Coach

Michael Boyle's Blog

Terry Condon was nice enough to post this list of 30 Books That Will Make You a Better Coach. How many have you read. I’m only at 10.

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20 Things I Know

Michael Boyle's Blog

I wrote 20 Things I Know in 2007, scary that was almost nine years ago. I made a few very small edits and it is now stored in the Free Articles section of our site.

Like Dan John, I’ve been in the game for coming up on three decades. I’ve actually been lifting weights or teaching others to lift weights (in case you’ve seen me lately) for over thirty years. In fact, I’ve worked at Boston University in one capacity or another for as long as Eric Cressey has been alive.

to read more, click here…

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Personal Training: 3 Things to Look for in a Trainer/ Coach

True Strength

Each year, thousands and thousands of people line up to sign up for memberships at big box gyms. If you have ever been around a gym at this time of year you know and fully understand the scenario. When January 2nd roles around (nobody really comes in on national hangover day), the gyms are packed, and by packed, I mean wall to wall slammed. It is the most frustrating time for consistent gym goers. The machines are all being used and all the lockers are taken up by these “gung ho” new gym members. Then, an interesting and all too predictable thing happens. About two-three weeks later, all the new faces disappear and the gym falls back to its normal self, full of the consistent, day in and day out, members. This post, however, is not about them. It is about the thousands of new faces who, without fail, give…

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Principles I use when training new clients

When I am training new clients I follow a certain protocol. I developed this protocol out of experience with working with people and athletes for the last 5 years. My principles are Movement, Core strength, Strength Training, and Conditioning.

The first thing I do when I get a new client is establish a movement baseline. All I care about is how well you move or don’t move. I will use the Functional Movement Screen( FMS ) with people that can complete all 7 test without hindrance.


From the FMS I can learn your quality of movement.  If you quality of movement is high your chance of injury is decreased. This is by far the most important principle. If your client is not moving appropriately they will injury themselves. An injured client is a unhappy client. For the first month I am hammering how you move lots and lots of cues and adjustments and repetitions of bodyweight to low resistance, mobility, soft tissue work is done. Helping the athlete develop awareness of the body. I do not perform a lot of “corrective exercises” I just do basic movements and keep making adjustments until the athletes gets that “ah-ha” moment.

Core Strength

Core strength is very important. I define the core as the area from the base of the neck to above the knees. The core is the root of all movement with out it you are sunk. A lot of core training is teaching the client how to breath. Properly breathing helps to align the body properly. With improper breathing comes improper movement. The core musculature has two purposes first to create movement. and second to resist movement. I train the core for both facets. I perform a lot planks and strongman exercises yolk carry, farmers walks, planks, and other variations of core exercises. Once my client is able to perform a proper plank for 2 minutes I know they are ready to handle high resistance strength training.

Strength Training

Strength is the foundation for all athletic performance.  I want my clients to be strong relative to their body weight. I have strength standards for both men and women. All my strength standards I took from Dan John and modified based on my own experience. The standards are based on the 5 movements of the human body: Push, Pull, Squat, Hip Hinge, and Carry. Each movement is based on your body weight. So my clients have two choices 1. Get stronger in all the movements, 2. Lose weight.  Some people will need either or a combination of both.


The last principle is conditioning. The reason why I have conditioning last is because running, cycling and swimming put an immense amount of stress on the body. If you body can’t move properly, or is not strong enough to resist the stress it will break down. Getting the body ready for conditioning is very important to insure that my clients stay injury free.

These are my principles when I am training clients this is to insure that they are happy and injury free. If you have any questions feel free to ask me anything.