Conditioning tests. Lots of high school and college athletes have conditioning tests that they have to be able to complete. How do we prepare athletes for conditioning tests?
First, we don’t fall into the thought process of running more to prepare for conditioning tests.
Our athletes absolutely dominant their conditioning tests and we do absolutely zero runs for conditioning. We sprint for speed work, and stop as soon as we slow down. But we don’t do any runs just to run.
A typical response I get from a high school and college athlete is pretty surprised on how well they do on the conditioning tests when we don’t run in our training. From one of our athletes “I have never done less running and in general conditioning, than I have training here but yet I was the fastest on my 2 mile run, and my teammates ran all summer, how does this work?”
Keep playing your sport – run for your sport – don’t run to run.
Okay, a few things I think we gotta clear up, as an athlete you will probably need to run, but probably a lot less than you think and significantly less than most sport coaches think you need to. It is OKAY to take a break from running, especially if you run significant amounts in season. Finally, virtually everything you achieve from conditioning can be achieved from a less stressful mode of training.
Less stress = more strength gains = Faster, stronger athlete = NO INJURIES.
How can we improve conditioning levels in our athletes without running them? We drag a lot of sled, especially if the weather is good, sled dragging is good for your back it also is a great conditioning tool that doesn’t beat you up or make you sore. We can use it to break the speed barrier, we can use it to decrease sprint times, we can use it to increase power. It really is a great tool.
In OC Sports Performance classes we do a lot of accessory work that ends up being a circuit or giant set of movements that specifically target weak muscle groups. Let’s say for example on lower body day we do 4 rounds of Reverse hypers, inverse curls, Athletic training platform marches, and standing cable abs – we are hammering our posterior chain and “CORE” and at the same time pushing a ton of blood.
Stroke Rate/ Heart rate
When a person is looking at conditioning levels they typically just look at heart rate but not stroke volume. Stroke volume refers to using more muscles that requires more blood volume. When we talk about moving blood volume accessories are going to increase it in a super efficient way. The reason it is efficient is that we aren’t sacrificing our strength, speed or muscle mass for some arbitrary or marginal improvement in a general conditioning test.
Stronger and healthier
When the kids show up to college they pass the eye test and then their performance backs it up. By not running a ton the kids also don’t have the chronic overuse injuries that we see in sports like soccer, football, track, etc.
Build strength, be explosive and fast and cut running so you stay healthy! Prep the right way for conditioning tests.