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How To Progress Conditioning Workouts: Part 3

How To Progress Conditioning Workouts: Part 3

By Sarah Rippel

Author of “Home Program Design Mastery,” “The Ultimate Group Training System,” “Build ‘N Burn 2.0,” & “Build ‘N Burn

 

 

NOTE: If you missed Part 1 & or Part 2, please go check ‘em out!

 

In this article I am providing a few additional circuits & using the strategies outlined in the previous articles to give you even more of an understanding (as well as ideas) for progressing conditioning workouts!

 

Keep in mind that you can combine two or more of these strategies, or just stick with them individually as a means of progression over time. To keep things simple, I have mapped out three-week blocks, as I like this time frame and feel it works well with the creation of sound progression schemes.

 

STRATEGY #1: ADD A ROUND EACH WEEK

 

In this progression, everything is kept the same, but an additional round is added per week. This is a simple example of increasing the volume of work over time. There should be no need to take rest breaks between the exercises. Transitioning from one to the next while taking a few deep breaths should be sufficient! The goal is to work at a sustainable pace in week 1, then hold that same pace in the following weeks.

 

Example #1:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

Alternating EMOM x 3 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10 

Alternating EMOM x 4 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

Alternating EMOM x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

*In the alternating EMOM format, the first exercise is performed when the clock starts. Once the work is completed, the remainder of the minute is rest. When the next minute starts, the second exercise begins. Again, once the work is completed, the remainder of the minute is rest. This continues for however many exercises are used in the workout! 

 

Example #2:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 3 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15 

x 4 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

x 5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

 

STRATEGY #2: INCREASE THE REPS EACH WEEK

 

In this progression, the exercises are kept the same. The same number of rounds of the circuit are performed each week. The reps or distance of the other exercises are increased across the weeks. It may not be necessary to increase the reps of all the exercises each week!

 

Example #1:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

Alternating EMOM x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 125m/100m

2) Hang Power Clean x 3 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 8 

Alternating EMOM x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 4 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 8-10

Alternating EMOM x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

*In the alternating EMOM format, the first exercise is performed when the clock starts. Once the work is completed, the remainder of the minute is rest. When the next minute starts, the second exercise begins. Again, once the work is completed, the remainder of the minute is rest. This continues for however many exercises are used in the workout! 

 

Example #2:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 3 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 15yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 12

x 4 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

x 5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20-25yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 18

 

STRATEGY #3: INCREASE THE INTENSITY EACH WEEK

 

In this progression, week one allows the exerciser to perform the workout at a moderate pace. The goal is not to “sprint” each exercise but to perform it at a percentage of that intensity, let’s say 70-80%. In week two, they will be able to kick things up a notch by increasing their pace slightly from week one to roughly 75-85%. Same thing goes for week three where they increase to 80-90%. This format works well for those who have a good grasp of how to pace themselves! 

 

Another option is to increase the pace on one of the exercises from one week to next. This works really well with monostructural exercises such as rowing, ski, bike, and run,

 

Example #1:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

Alternating EMOM x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10 

*Perform at 70%!

Alternating EMOM x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

*Perform at 80%!

Alternating EMOM x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

*Perform at 90%!

*In the alternating EMOM format, the first exercise is performed when the clock starts. Once the work is completed, the remainder of the minute is rest. When the next minute starts, the second exercise begins. Again, once the work is completed, the remainder of the minute is rest. This continues for however many exercises are used in the workout! 

 

Example #2:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (moderate pace)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

 

STRATEGY #4: TWEAK THE INTERVAL LENGTH EACH WEEK

 

In this progression, everything is kept the same, but the interval format changes each week. Progression can be made by moving from a shorter work interval paired with longer rest, to a longer work interval paired with shorter rest. 

 

Another option is to keep the rest interval constant while increasing the work interval across the three weeks.

 

Example #1:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

20/40 Interval 

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) Row 

2) Hang Power Clean 

3) Burpee Over Bar 

25/35 Interval

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) Row 

2) Hang Power Clean 

3) Burpee Over Bar

30/30 Interval

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) Row 

2) Hang Power Clean 

3) Burpee Over Bar

 

Example #2:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

20/20 Interval

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (moderate pace)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

30/20 Interval

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

40/20 Interval

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

 

STRATEGY #5: TWEAK THE AMOUNT OF REST BETWEEN EXERCISES/ROUNDS

 

In option A of this progression, everything is kept the same, but the prescribed amount of rest between exercises decreases with each week. It is important to note that the rest interval is also included between rounds! 

 

Option B decreases the prescribed amount of rest between rounds each week. In this variation, there is no set amount of rest prescribed between exercises, but it is recommended that the intensity goal should be working at a sustainable pace. 

 

In option C, the prescribed amount of rest between rounds decreases with each week along with the amount of rest between rounds.

 

Example #1A:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10 

*Rest 30sec between exercises

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

*Rest 20sec between exercises

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

*Rest 15sec between exercises

 

Example #1B:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10 

4) REST 40sec

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

4) REST 30sec

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

4) REST 20sec

 

Example #1C:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10 

*Rest 20sec between exercises & 40sec between rounds

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

*Rest 15sec between exercises & 30sec between rounds

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

*Rest 10sec between exercises & 20sec between rounds

 

Example #2A:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (moderate pace)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

*Rest 30sec between exercises

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

*Rest 20sec between exercises

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

*Rest 10-15sec between exercises

 

Example #2B:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (build across rounds)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

4) REST 60sec

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

4) REST 45sec

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

4) REST 30sec

 

Example #2C:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (build across rounds)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

*Rest 10sec between exercises & 40sec between rounds

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

*Rest 10sec between exercises & 30sec between rounds

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

*Rest 10sec between exercises & 20sec between rounds

 

STRATEGY #6: TWEAK THE “EVERY X MINUTES/SECONDS” FORMAT EACH WEEK

 

In this progression, everything is kept the same, but the intensity is increased each week by decreasing the “every X minutes” interval. For those who are not familiar with this format, the work begins when the clock starts, and once the work is completed, the remainder of the “every X minutes” interval is used as rest. 

 

Decreasing the “every X minutes/seconds” interval basically means there is more intensity imposed because there will be less time left over to rest!

 

Example #1:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

Every 4:00 x 3 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10 

Every 3:30 x 3 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

Every 3:00 x 3 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

 

Example #2:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

Every 3:30 x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (build across rounds)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

Every 3:15 x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

Every 3:00 x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Front-Load Walking Lunge x 20yds

3) DB Alternating Snatch x 15

 

STRATEGY #7: TWEAK THE EXERCISES IN THE CIRCUIT EACH WEEK

 

In this progression, the exercise variations themselves are tweaked to increase the intensity each week. We can do this by implementing more challenging variations. How is this done? Through changing loading positions, stances/set-ups, and complexity of the initial exercises, for example. Keep in mind that the loading itself can also be a means of tweaking an exercise!

 

It is important to note that it may not be necessary nor beneficial to tweak each exercise across a three-week block! You may tweak a few exercises for Week 2, then leave those variations the same in Week 3 while tweaking the others.  

 

Example #1:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Power Clean x 5 

3) Burpee x 10 

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Power Clean x 5 

3) Bar-Facing Burpee x 10

x 5 Rounds:

1) Row x 150m/125m

2) Hang Squat Clean x 5 

3) Burpee Over Bar x 10

 

Example #2:

WEEK 1

WEEK 2

WEEK 3

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (build across rounds)

2) USB Front-Load Reverse Lunge x 10/side

3) KB Clean x 8/side

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Fist-Load Reverse Lunge x 10/side

3) KB Clean & Press x 8/side

x 3-5 Rounds:

1) SkiErg x 15cal/12cal (building from last week)

2) USB Fist-Load Forward Lunge x 10/side

3) KB Snatch x 8/side

 

Video Links:

Rowing (https://youtu.be/U8D31wwb4wo)

SkiErg (https://youtu.be/928MnX2ZryU)

Hang Power Clean (https://youtu.be/ric-3S6jtpo)

Hang Squat Clean

Power Clean (https://youtu.be/ewLRZeutBmE)

Burpee (https://youtu.be/Pi_Mkzx2yE8)

Bar-Facing Burpee (https://youtu.be/9sK2_qVEqCc?t=343)

Burpee Over Bar (https://youtu.be/J7YYcOv9qGE)

USB Front-Load Reverse Lunge (https://youtu.be/wc3OmEdJWxU)

USB Fist-Load Reverse Lunge (https://youtu.be/lEb9RdvnAYc)

USB Fist-Load Forward Lunge (https://youtu.be/rCnvy8F-wMY)

KB Clean (https://youtu.be/FSNx2FrQvKI)

KB Clean & Press (https://youtu.be/v6QNKukD7AM)

KB Snatch (https://youtu.be/mMDQeNngvAU)

 

I hope you have enjoyed this series! I had fun with it and hope it helps anyone out there who may be looking for a little inspiration in designing effective programs! As always, if you have any questions, ideas, or feedback, shoot me a DM on the Insta: @fitprosarah. Thanks again for spending some time “hanging out” with me here! 

 

 

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Check out top level programming by Sarah Rippel :

 

Home Program Design Mastery plus Done for You programs,templates and more!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ultimate Small Group Training System”  The most Comprehensive Guide to Semi-Private and Small Group Training for Fit Pros.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Build N’ Burn  – Done For YOU 16 Wk Metabolic Group Training Program for Fit Pros

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out The Done-for-You 12 week Build ‘N Burn 2.0 for Fit Pros:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Other articles by Sarah Rippel:

Strongman Cardio 

Mechanical Drop Sets: Programming Ideas

KISS Principle for Group Training+(3x3x3 Circuit Workout)

Deceptively Devious Conditioning Circuit

The Smart Program Design Series: Incorporating Variety & Making Progression Seamless Part 5 – Selecting Exercises for Conditioning Work

SGT Workout Breakdown- Program 4  Part 1

The Conditioning Based Warm-Up: 10 Minute EMOM

SGT Workout Breakdown Program 4 – Part 2

Metabolic Circuit Revamp V1.0

Unconventional Cardio: Strongman Conditioning Circuits

Density Training for Metabolic Conditioning & Strength Work

Using Cluster Sets To Spice Up Strength Programming

4 Wall Ball Conditioning Workouts+4 Tips to Improve Wall Ball Technique(Videos)

Using a Tempo Focus with Build ‘N Burn Workouts

Speed Ladder + Static Core Continuous 30-Second Circuit Version 2.0

The Continuous 20-Second Interval Format (“BURN” Circuits w/ Videos ) 

Alternating EMOMs for Small Group Training

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