So it’s winter here in Nebraska and it’s a COLD one.
As I write this blog post it’s a bone chilling -16 degrees outside and I can’t think of another time in my life that it’s ever been this cold.
Besides hating the shear freezing chill of winter, the other thing I hate most about this time of year is the fact that for the next few months or so I won’t be able to get myself outside to run any sprints.
Well, for one I LOVE to sprint.
Nothing else gets me feeling more free and athletic then getting myself out on a football field, a hill, or on the track and just running at full speed.
Not only are sprints one of my favorite ways to train my body, the benefits of sprinting run deep as they help develop power, strength, speed, increase conditioning, and of course, shred fat….
During this time of year, sprints become very rare.
Of course there’s been a few times where I’ve gone out in 30-40 degree temps all bundled up head to toe to sprint, but anything below that is just stupid.
Anyways, I got to talking with one of my clients this AM about what he can do in exchange for sprints which lead me on to writing out a HUGE list if things he could be doing at home on his off days away from the gym to keep and get himself shredded up.
After all, once spring rolls around we don’t want to be “just starting” to get ourselves into “shred”mode. We want to be in shred mode 😉
Major difference there.
In any case, what I’ve done for you is post up my personal favorite Top 7 Sprint Swap -In’s that you can use if you’re in the same situation as me and pretty much everyone else who lives in a COLD winter environment that can’t get themselves outside for sprints (screw you if you live somewhere that’s ALWAYS warm).
Let’s get right into them…
#1 – KB Swings
One my favorite go-to movements for all around conditioning and power work is the Kettlebell Swing. Russian or American style it don’t matter. Both are awesome movements that will crank up your heart rate and give you a great workout in themselves.
Here’s some of my favorite ways I like to use them:
- High rep sets of 20-30 reps
- Tabata’s (20 secs ALL out w/ 10 secs REST x 8 rounds)
- Combine with other movements within a circuit
- “Death by” Finisher (Do an “Every Minute On The Minute” set up where you start with 5 reps, then the next minute do 6, then 7, then 8 up until you fail to get in all the reps – this starts out easy, but gets TOUGH quick)
I know Christmas has come and gone, but if you don’t have yourself at least a single kettlebell, I’d definitely recommend adding one to your arsenal.
#2 – Burpees
Need I say anymore about this movement?
Not only is this one of the BEST full body movements you can do for conditioning, there’s a TON of different variations you can do.
Here’s 10 Different Variations right here…
Like KB Swings, you can use Burpees in a lot of the same ways.
One of my favorites is the “sprint to 50 reps”. See what you can do that in
#3 – Jump Rope
One of the most OLD SCHOOL ways to condition is through Jumping Rope.
Lots of different ways to Jump Rope that I go over in details in an old blog post HERE.
#4 – DB Manmakers
No other movement I can think of hits the full body quite like Manmakers do.
Hits your legs, shoulders, core, back, core, your lungs, and did I mention it hits your core?
Definitely NOT a movement for beginners as it does require a good amount of core strength and overall full body mobility, but it’s a good one.
I typically like to use these in sets of 5-10 or do them for time. Any way you use them works.
Here’s a peak of Manmakers (AKA Manbreakers) in action…
#5 – High Knee Sprints
Don’t have any space to run?
Run in place.
Just like with any of the other movements I’ve listed, you can use these in a variety of ways.
Main keys with these are INTENSITY.
Short, ALL-OUT Bursts of INTENSITY.
Tabata’s are always hell, but even shorter 10 secs goes work well with these.
Make sure you don’t get lazy on these. Keep your knee high and stay on the balls of your feet. And make sure to work your arms as well.
High Knee Sprints in place are an awesome full body movement when you use them right.
#6 – Sit Outs
Now if we’re talking about great movements we can use in doors that light up the whole body, Sit Outs can’t be left out of the discussion.
This movements I was introduced to at a very young age through wrestling, but it wasn’t until I saw Martin Rooney putting people through his famous “2 Min Sit Out Challenge” that I starting using this movement more in a lot of my programs.
If you’re not sure what a “sit out” is, here’s a clip from when I was out in “The Dirty Jeerzy” at my man Zach Even-Esh’s Underground Strength gym cranking out a training session with a bunch of people. We ended it out with a 2 Min Sit Out Challenge…
So, those are my main Go-To’s for movements you can use and do at home or pretty much any where at anytime with very little to no equipment.
On the other hand, if you have access, I also recommend these killer equipment based Sprint-Swap-In’s.
I’m not huge on cardio equipment (especially treadmills), but there are some exceptions.
Not only are some of these exceptions, but I strongly feel that some of these should be staples within your training program especially for conditioning (if you’re looking to take things to the next level)
Battling Ropes – Nothing will jack up your heart rate and have your arms yelling for mercy more than a Battle Rope Tabata Set.
Here’s some of my other favorite ways to crank out Battle Ropes…
AirDyne (AKA – The World’s MOST Sinister piece of cardio equipment ever created)
Just know… These “Fan Bike’s” will mess you up good.
Some of my favorite ways to use this bad boy is with Tabata’s (of course), race to 50 cals, and the good ol’ 3 Min MAX Cal Challenge (basically go as hard as your can for 3 mins). The record in my gym so far is 74 cals.
Rower – Call it “Crossfit” or whatever you want to say, but the sport definitely brought this piece of cardio equipment to the forefront.
My favorite ways to use this are through Tabata Intervals and all out 500m rows with a 1:2 work/rest ratio. Try it sometime. My BEST ever was 1:22 the very first time I ever tried it (back when I was 25 years young). Since then (and I know what it now feels like to go through an ALL-Out 500m sprint) my best time is 1:34. Simply BRUTAL.
Versa Climber – I was lucky to have one of these at the old globo gym I used to work at. Funny thing was, I was one of the very few people to ever use it. Seriously, in my 2.5 years that I worked there, I saw maybe 3-4 other people use it in that time. This is a dead giveaway that it was tough (and worked).
Either way, if you’re an MMA guy, you might now how effective the Versa Climber is. If not, all I’ve got to say is it’s pure hell.Some of my favorite ways to use the Versa Climber was through intervals (30 sec all out – 30 secs rest), Tabata’s, and race to 1000m.
So there you go kids.
If you’re stuck inside like I am, you’ve got a TON of different ways to keep or get yourself shredded up and into extremely SICK condition. Don’t ever try to use the cold as an excuse to get yourself out of conditioning. There’s ALWAYS a way.
Now for the times you CAN SPRINT, I got you covered with a full proof plan on what, when, and how to do it all inside my Shredded in 7 Sprint Manual.
Check this out for all of your sprinting needs >>> Shredded In 7
ALSO, tell me, what are some of YOUR favorite ways are to condition when sprints aren’t an option??
Drop your thoughts and comments below.
Live and Train Against the Grain!