Your Workouts Reviewed: Conditioning and Power Routine
Our experts assess a reader's routine crafted to increase athletic conditioning and power.
Everyone's got a workout of their own—their "go-to" routine. But is your routine good enough? We asked our Men's Fitness Facebook friends if they had a killer routine to share and subject to the scrutiny of our readers. The big catch? Our team of training experts also review it, critique it and tweak it if necessary.
Darrell Rice: Men's Fitness Facebook Friend
Goal: "Increase my conditioning, power and functionality"
1. Cross body crunch - 20 2 sets
2. Sprinter sit-up - 20 2 sets
3. Frogger sit-ups - 20 2 sets
4. Supine bicycling - 20 4 count 2 sets
5. Oblique Variation - 10 reps each side 2 sets
6. Plank - 1 mins 30 secs
1. Spider push-ups - 15 (Elevated) 2 sets
2. Barbell upright row - 10 reps 2 sets 35 lbs.
3. Seated military press - 10 reps 105 lbs. (first time) 2 sets
4. Dumbbell shoulder press - 12 reps 2 sets 35lbs
5. Pull-ups - 10 (reg, mix, alter, side)
6. Incline dumbbell bench press - 8-10 reps 45 lbs./150 lbs. if bench with bar 2 sets
7. Seated bent over dumbbell rear delt raise - 10 reps 25 lbs. 2 sets
8. Single-arm dumbbell shoulder press - 10 reps 40 lbs. 2 sets
1. Seesaw lunge right + left leg - 12 reps
2. Dumbbell squat - 35 lbs. 15 reps 2 sets
3. Kettlebell swing (up overhead) - 10 reps 30 lbs. 2 sets
4. Dumbbell step-up - 12 reps 40 lbs.
5. Barbell full squat - 110 lbs. - 8 reps 2 sets
6. Bear crawl - up 7 left steps back to starting line 2X 2 sets
7. High box jump - 20 rep 2 sets
Pros: "Lot of work. Lot of sweat. Lot of time in the gym. All good things."
Cons: "1) Abs 2) abs 3) abs 4) abs 5) abs and 6) abs. Then you do chest…with abs. Ha. You get to the gym and crush your abs. I don’t blame you. Who doesn’t want good abs? But in order to get the most out of your training, don’t pre-fatigue your core. It transfers power for many of your other lifts and the fact is, constantly beating the piss out of your abs just isn’t that effective. I’d like this workout a whole lot more if it were reversed. Seriously. It’s almost perfect how reversed it should be. Start with neurologically demanding and work towards simplicity—that means the big money lifts should happen earlier in the routine—box jumps, for example, full BB squats, and KB swings. Overall, your routine has too many exercises and too much variety. You’re better off doing more sets of less exercises—your body will like you more. Unless you’re new to training, 2 sets usually isn’t enough to elicit a strong training response."
Comments: "Move your extensive ab routine to the end of the workout. Decrease your exercise variety, clean up your rep ranges, and amp up your sets (per exercise). Also, check out my YourWorkout review from two weeks ago to see how I feel about overhead KB swings. Maybe this all sounded a little harsh, like I didn't like your routine (not true—I love all of fitness), so I want to end on a high note—bear crawls are awesome and people don't do them enough. That, and bear wrestling. All the best brotha. Keep getting after it."