What is Conditioning?
It’s in the name of the gym, so we should address this. Conditioning is getting prepared or “in condition” for some activity. At least that is how it is used here. Football requires someone to be able to run and hit/push large objects for short periods of time. So lifting and sprints would be used to get someone conditioned for for that. What if you don’t play any sports? That’s where GPP comes in. General Physical Preparedness (GPP) basically means that you are physically fit and capable of handling most of what life will throw at you. Strength is the primary driver for most situations, but some level of endurance is also beneficial. Combining strength training with some level of conditioning will better aid you with whatever life throws at you.
Cardio isn’t a four letter word
The key to building endurance doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Running is clearly not everyone’s favorite. “I hate running” has been said quite a bit around here. There are other options out there besides running, and the trick will be to find where you thrive. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and cross training are other options that may be a little more up your alley.
Conditioning and Lifting
Adding conditioning training into your lifting routine helps boost recovery between sets. While getting ample rest to hit your next set is always a good idea, quicker recovery will help condense your training time. There is also the added benefit of a more full recovery between sets. With better recovery between sets, you will more likely not miss a rep on later sets.
If you are in the population that needs to add weight, then heavy conditioning is not going to be well suited in your goals. It’s best to keep it to a minimum or not at all, until you begin having difficulties recovering. Once you get past the novice phase, adding in a session a week can help you progress through some of those early intermediate plateaus.
Conditioning and Weight Loss
Weight loss is simply put as “eat fewer calories than you burn.” If you have issues sticking to a strict nutrition plan, conditioning can help you to burn more calories. You can’t out train a terrible diet, but a sensible diet combined with lifting and some level of cardio will help you reach any weight loss goal more efficiently. Adding in a HIIT session once a week and a few Low Intesnisty Steady State (LISS) sessions per week can burn more calories per week and help you along with your weight loss goals. These should be challenging, but they should not interfere with your progress on your barbell lifts.
One HIIT session and 2-3 LISS sessions per week is a good starting point for newer lifters. This will be manageable in the beginning and shouldn’t interfere with your lifting program. We have multiple options for HIIT here at the gym, and we can add them into programming every week. The slower LISS workouts can be done here on the rower or air bike at a low intensity, but also walking, running, biking, rucking, etc. can all be done outside of the gym. Once you have progressed a little more, we can add in more sessions to help you along. Your specific needs will be defined by your goals.
So again, cardio isn’t a 4 letter word, and lifting alone doesn’t supply all of the training you need in most cases. Take a look at what options are out there and find out what works best for you!