Recently, I was working out next to some high schoolers who do weightlifting as part of their sports training program, and I noticed one of them doing something different. He had interwoven conditioning in between his heavy lifts. When I asked him about it, he said he was bored with his program and decided to mix up his workout a little. I can relate. When people ask me what’s my favorite workout, I tell them I like having a written program because it's like a roadmap. But I get excited when I try something new and end up learning something about my body that I didn't before. Like the time I tried and successfully completed the Bear Complex (e.g., a type of barbell circuit where you complete 5 barbell moves back-to-back without letting the bar rest on the ground). That experiment revealed I had greatly improved my work capacity.
It’s interesting, but experimentation isn’t talked about much in the strength and conditioning world…primarily because most strength coaches already know the quickest and best way to accomplish individual performance goals. Hence, they want you to follow the program. The problem I run into is my body works differently than it did in my 20s, and I have a fair share of off days. So, when something doesn’t feel right, I have to fix it right then.
Sometimes, I’ll intuitively know how to change methods. Other times, I’ll scribble and erase a brand new workout on paper until I figure out something that works. But how do you concoct your own DIY strength training experiments without sabotaging your current strength goals? 2 tips:
Here's a whole body strength + conditioning workout that I came up on the fly while traveling for business. I liked it so much, I've add it to my repertoire. Note: The goal is to move from station to station within a superset with minimal rest (60 seconds). At the end of each superset, you can rest 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!
Whole Body, Weighted Conditioning Circuit
A1) DB Bench Press (12 Reps)
A2) Push-Up (AMRAP in 60 Seconds)
B1) Back Squat or Leg Press (12 Reps)
B2) Vertical Jumps (AMRAP in 60 Seconds)
C1) DB 1-Arm Row (12 Reps Each Arm)
C2) Rower or Seated Row Machine (AMRAP in 60 Seconds)
D1) Leg Extension (12 Reps)
D2) DB Step Ups (60 Seconds)
E1) DB Overhead or Military Press (12 Reps)
E2) Cable Lat Pull-Down Machine or Pull-Ups (AMRAP in 60 Seconds)
F1) DB Pull Over On Bench (12 Reps)
F2) Seated Dips (AMRAP in 60 Seconds)
G1) DB Curl (12 Reps_
G2) Triceps Pushdown (AMRAP in 60 Seconds)
H1) Abdominal Wheel Rollouts (12 Reps)
H2 ) Plank Arm March (AMRAP in 60 Seconds)