So you want to get SHREDDED but stay STRONG huh?

Oh and you also want to get highly conditioned without losing your hard earned muscle as well?

I know that’s a common fear amongst serious lifters and athletes these days.

Losing hard earned muscle and strength…

Well, I’ve got a SOLUTION to your problems.

I call these High Performance Conditioning Finishers and I want to share with you how to design your own so that you too can reap the major benefits and rewards.

First, check out the overview video’s I have for you below:

Part I – HPCF’s Rules

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Part II – HPCF’s Components and Design

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Now, there’s literally a 1000 different ways that I can successfully design HPCF’s, but for the sake of this post, I’m going to share with you one of the most effective ways to do it and then share with you a couple of different ways you can PROGRESS your HPCF’s.

One that always holds true when it comes to designing HPCF’s, and that one thing needs to be your main focus, which to to always look into INTENSITY first.

If you don’t have a high level of intensity within these finishers, their not real finishers.

You want your finishers to be more of a SPRINT then a slow paced jog.

The biggest mistake I see serious lifters and athletes make when they do finishers is they do some long drawn out marathon finisher that includes 8-10 different movements that’s just been thrown together just because it looks cool and it will beat your body up.

That is NOT the way to do it.

Instead, you want to focus in on quality and INTENSITY.

The second part to designing your HPCF’s is to always make sure to have a STRENGTH focus implemented in.  I feel that in order to keep your HPCF’s legit, you need to have some sort of strength component included in.

After all, we’re trying to stay and get STRONG right?

I like to add in a STRENGTH focus by having a moderately to heavy loaded barbell, kettlebell, or sandbag movement in at the beginning of my HPCF’s.

So for example, like I used within the video, let’s say we add in a complex strength / power movement such as a power squat clean or even a thruster.  For these movements, I typically keep the rep ranges low around 3-5 reps max.

The next component of a HPCF is to have a bodyweight strength movement added in.  This will compliment the heavier strength movement in that it’s still a strength based movements, but now it’s unloaded.

For this section, I’ll keep the reps within a moderate range of 6-15 max unless I’m doing a classic metcon ladder like a 21-15-9 or something like that where I’ll have to use a higher rep range such as 21.  Very rarely do I go above 15 reps for the sake of QUALITY.

The last component that I’ll add into a HPCF such as this one is that of a an actual cardio movement.  So we’ve hit a strength movement, came back with some bodyweight strength,  and now we’re going to jack up our heart rates even more with a cardio based movement.

There’s a unlimited amount of movements we can do here to jack up our heart rates, but my favorite at this time is that of a good ol’ fashioned shuttle run.

There’s nothing like a 200 yard shuttle run broken up into 25 yard sections that will jack your heart up more then this.  I like these because there’s a bit athleticism factor involved in that instead of just running straight ahead like for a 400m run or something to that nature, you have to stop and change directions.  This takes up even more energy then if you were to just run straight ahead.

So now that we have the different parts of the HPCF put together let’s look at what we got…

1A) Barbell Squat Power Clean x 3

1B) Handstand Push Ups x 6

1C) 200 yard Shuttle Run (25 yard sections) x 1

Now that we have that set, we need to look at the different ways at which we can attack this HPCF.

You can use a variety of methods and what I’ll do to help simplify this for you is break it down by progression level.

1) WORK:REST Intervals.

If you’re more of a beginner and you don’t have a very strong “motor” built up to handle a complex finisher such as the one I have above, you’ll would want to start off by attacking HPCF’s with the interval method.

There’s different ways you can set these up and their all based off of time plus work to rest ratios.

The first would be to do a full round of the HPCF listed above as fast as possible then to rest for a certain amount of time.  A beginner would want to use a 1:2 work / rest ratio to start off with which would mean if it takes you 60 secs to complete 1 round of the HPCF above, you’d then rest 2 mins and the  repeat it again.

As you got more advanced you could switch up the intervals to make them more challenging by shortening the rest interval.  I usually go with 1:1 next then progress onto a 1: 1/2 work / rest interval which gets to be BRUTAL.

Other ways you could use intervals is to have set work periods with set rest period instead of having reps for each movement within your HPCF.

So that set up may look like:

45 secs On w/ 45 secs of Rest for each:

1A) Power Squat Clean x 3

1B) HSPU’s x 6

1C) 200 Yard Shuttle (25 Yard Sections)

Those are brutal and definitely for more advanced athletes and lifters.

Once you’ve gotten to that point you can progress to the next set up.

2) AMRAP’s For Time

For “AMRAP’s” you basically just go like a mo fo at your own pace, but of course you want this to be at a 110% H.A.M. pace 😉

AMRAP stands for “as many rounds as possible” and the concept is simple: Get as many rounds or reps in the allotted amount of time as possible.

So for example, you’d set the clock at 8 mins and just start hammering out your HPCF trying to complete as many reps and rounds as possible.

With this you can rest when ever you need to, but it’s your goal to get in as many reps or rounds as you can so obviously you’ll want to limit your rest periods to a minimum.

This works better for people that have a better overall base of conditioning as towards the end of the AMRAP, your form and overall quality of movement can really start to deteriorate which can become pretty bad for a beginner or anyone else for that matter.

3) Rounds or Reps for Time

The last set up I want to talk about is your more traditional set up that you’ve probably seen before.

Typically you’ll see something like: 21-15-9 of…  or you might see something like: 5 Rounds of 10, 10, 10 of…

Those are the most common set ups I see for reps and rounds, but it’s important to note that this set up is the most challenging.

I listed this set up last because I feel it’s the most advanced as these types of HPCF’s are designed to be “sprints to the finish”. 

With this set up, your goal is to finish the reps and rounds as fast as you possibly can.

When this is the case, that’s when people tend to get a bit out of control for the sake of getting a fast time.

There’s no way a complete beginner should be doing a 21-15-9 set up unless they’ve mastered the movements being used.

This is a major mistake I see being made by serious lifters and athletes and isn’t going to benefit you in the end.

I say properly progress yourself through the sets ups I’ve listed above and go from there.

To make this easy for you, take this simple “High Performance Conditioning Finisher Test” to see how each set up with differ.

For the next 3 weeks, you’ll attack the same HPCF, but each time you do, you’ll switch up the set up.

So for week 1 you’ll do this:

5 Total Rounds Of:

1A) Power Squat Clean x 3

1B) HSPU’s x 6

1C) 200 Yard Shuttle (25 Yard Sections)

***Mandatory 1:1 REST in between rounds

***Add up your TOTAL WORK TIME for all 5 rounds (do not count rest time)

For Week 2, you’ll do this:

12 Min AMRAP Of:

1A) Power Squat Clean x 3

1B) HSPU’s x 6

1C) 200 Yard Shuttle (25 Yard Sections)

***Score the total amount of FULL rounds completed within 12 mins

For week 3, you’ll do this:

5 Rounds for Time Of:

1A) Power Squat Clean x 3

1B) HSPU’s x 6

1C) 200 Yard Shuttle (25 Yard Sections)

It’s the same HPCF, just a different set up which equals a totally different ball game (unless you’re a complete FREAK and have a motor that doesn’t stop).

Take this challenge then let me know how it goes.  Either way, now you have some ammo that will help you design your own High Performance Conditioning Finishers.

Go ahead and post up your thoughts and comments below.

Keep Living and Training Aggressive!

PS – Be on the lookout for a special project that my buddy Joe Meglio and I have put together to help get you STRONG and SHREDDED… 

This program is jam packed with some lethal HPCF’s.