For a good example of the latter, I just have to think back to my certification test to become a martial arts instructor. The test consisted of seven brief but intense rounds of combat, including weapon work, kickboxing, and groundfighting. I knew I'd have to ramp up my conditioning to avoid getting gassed. Do you know the saying, "Fatigue makes cowards of us all?" Well, there's a lot of truth to that. I don't think I've ever seen someone lose an MMA fight or a boxing match because of a lack of strength, while plenty of losses can be blamed on poor conditioning.
So what are the best ways to get in top condition? Here are some my favorites:
Simple but effective. There are many different ways of doing sprints intervals, from the Tabata Protocol to 100-m dashes. My suggestion is to do what works best for you. Craig Ballantyne has a good article discussing the various approaches to interval training that is well-worth reading.
I did lots of these to get ready for my certification test. Ross Enamait wrote a great article about combining boxing and burpees for a fantastic conditioning workout. In a nutshell…
Burpee Intervals are one of the best conditioning drills. These intervals consist of Burpees and shadow boxing. For example, you will perform…
* Burpees x 30 seconds
* Shadow box x 30 seconds
* Continue for 2 – 3 minutes
Click here to learn more.
Another personal favorite. Chris Lopez has a great post on KettlebellWorkouts.com about the effectiveness of kettlebell swings on cardiovascular conditioning. He mentions research that revealed…
Continuous kettlebell swings can impart a metabolic challenge of sufficient intensity to increase Vo2max. Heart rate was substantially higher than Vo2 during kettlebell swings. Kettlebells provide a useful tool with which coaches may improve the cardiorespiratory fitness of their athletes.My preferred way to do swings is 30/30 style, as in 30-sec of swings followed by 30-sec of rest. I usually do this for about 10-min, but if I'm really trying to improve my conditioning, I'll go for 20 or 30 minutes.
Kettlebell Long Cycle Clean & Jerks
Very popular among competitive kettlebellers, this is also one heck of a conditioning tool. I recommend checking out Scott Sonnon's excellent video:
If you're looking to seriously ramp up both your cardio conditioning and your fat burning, give one or several of these techniques a try. You will be impressed by your results!