This is the final installment of our two-part series where we teach you how to place emphasis on either strength (check out the previous blog) or as we will discuss today, conditioning.
If your motivators for working out center around burning body fat and increasing your endurance, keep reading.
Conditioning vs. Cardio
In the world of boutique fitness, the terms conditioning + cardio are often thrown around interchangeably and used to describe the high heart rate, dead-on-the floor results of an intense workout.
However, our coaches understand the difference between the two and integrate that knowledge into our LIFT+MOVE class.
Think of it like this:
Cardio is a single track workout (like going for a run) with the goal of elevating your heart rate for an extended period of time.
Conditioning is multi-dimensional (cardio + resistance training) in which your heart rate will be strategically increased and decreased throughout the workout.
The MOVE portion of our class is probably the best example of conditioning that you’ll find in any fitness studio. Our integration of singular cardio bouts (ergs, burpees, box jumps, etc) and relative strength training create an awesome workout that’s never boring.
Now let’s discuss how you can intentionally work within our LIFT+MOVE class to capitalize on your conditioning.
“America is all about speed, hot nasty bad-ass speed.”
- Elenaor Roosevelt
If you read the previous entry in this series, you learned that we purposely apply slow, methodical tempo training when lifting weights. Slowing down the speed of your lifts is the secret sauce to our program.
But when it comes time to dial in your conditioning, we typically want to see you crank up the RPMs and MOVE like you stole something.
When walking into class, you need to realize that all goals you have for your body are relying on you to kick your conditioning into hyperdrive.
By SPRINTing and tapping into an extreme heart rate for short bouts, you’re going to create a thermogenic effect that is crucial for fat loss. It’s also worth noting that all-out efforts are extremely beneficial in maintaining lean muscle vs. long, slow efforts.
Constantly vary up your erg choices + lower the damper setting.
We get it, you’re not as fast on the ski erg as you are the runner.
Or maybe you can’t seem to go as fast on the rower as you do the bike.
While this may lead to ‘cherry picking’ your erg based on what you feel more proficient using, it is certainly not helping your conditioning goals. By challenging yourself on various ergs, your body will be unable to adapt to the same ol’ cardio effort and you’ll find the body results you’re looking for show up much sooner.
Additionally, when you’re looking to tap into speed - make sure to lower the damper setting to minimize the drag factor within the flywheel of the rower, bike and ski erg.
Use the LIFT portion of class to find a sustainable weight for the MOVE.
We installed the LIFT element of our class in order to properly teach strength training movements and allow those who want to get stronger, to actually get stronger.
However, if you’re thing is all about conditioning, then the LIFT is almost even more important - if you attack it properly.
Going forward, use the LIFT to figure out which weight is going to allow you to complete all your reps unbroken within the workout.
Typically our LIFT incorporates the same movements as the MOVE, but with heavier weight and less reps.
For the conditioning seeking individual, focus on finding a sustainable load that will allow you always perform your reps without stopping. This will take your conditioning to a whole new level.
Move smooth, not fast.
While some of our previous points have placed emphasis on speed, we do want to address that going as fast as possible generally turns speed into sloppy.
If you’ve ever watched someone cruise through our workouts at a Usain Bolt pace, what you need to pay attention to is not HOW FAST they are moving, but HOW SMOOTH they are moving.
Each rep is crisp and the technique is on point.
They flow straight from one exercise directly into another without having to bend over, grab their knees and gasp for air.
They glide through the workout, knowing that being smooth is being fast.
Focus on keeping rep one and rep fifty looking + feeling exactly the same by slowing down (just a bit) to ensure that your form doesn’t suffer or you miss a box jump.
Treat your body like a race car, don’t piss in the gas tank.
Our final tip will give a nod to the food you use to fuel these conditioning efforts.
While we plan to do a full nutrition breakdown in a future blog, the key takeaway here is that going fast requires a specific amount of fuel, specific to your body.
If you under-fuel your body prior to the workout, you’ll never be able to tap into that fourth gear and achieve the conditioning result you so desire. You’ll ‘hit a wall’ and simply run out of gas.
Working out with a conditioning emphasis requires that you are properly getting enough calories, proteins, carbohydrates and fats in your body.
And while we do not provide nutrition services, our nutrition guru Matt Dengler has created an awesome outline to help demystify the entire “how much and what kind of food should I eat?” question.
So there you have it.
You’re now armed with the knowledge to tackle each LIFT+MOVE workout with your specific goals in mind. If you have any further questions about how to tailor our program to fit your pursuits - never hesitate to speak to a coach.