Three Creative Conditioning Finishers for Fat Loss

Off the top of your head, how many "weapons" can you think of incorporating into your workout to complete a great conditioning finisher?

Sleds, tires, battle ropes, sledgehammers, kegs, jump ropes, and sand bags all immediately come to mind. Sprinkle a little bit of two or three of these into the back-end of your workout, and you have a surefire recipe for getting your ass kicked. Below is a perfect example of getting crushed in under four minutes... thankfully I didn't have to perform this circuit while I was at Cressey Sports Performance because I probably wouldn't be alive to talk about it today.


But what if you don't have access to some of the above mentioned equipment?

The gym I work at, Iron Lion Performance, has been opened up since September. Due to the nature of being a startup facility, we don't exactly have the luxury of fancy equipment to select our weapon of choice.

I see this as an opportunity to get creative with my conditioning and use it to my (and my client's) advantage. I don't enable space or equipment to create excuses, we just work around it the same way you should if you're in a similar situation.

With that being said, here's how I use nothing more than one kettlebell and one medicine ball to provide my clients with a kick-ass (literally) finisher, every time they walk through the door.

Goblet Carries for Time

Simple and to the point. Take a kettlebell (or dumbbell/sand bag/etc.) for a stroll. It definitely won't be the most pleasant of strolls, but your body will thank you later.

  Hold the kettlebell in the goblet position and go for a brutal walk.

Hold the kettlebell in the goblet position and go for a brutal walk.

I'll set a timer between 4 and 8 minutes and have my clients walk up and down our hallway here at ILP. The rule is, they're allowed to put the bell down as many times as they'd like but for no longer than 10 seconds each time.

Yes, it sucks. However, just putting one foot in front of the other is sometimes all you really need to get some good conditioning in.

Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM) Circuits

I love to utilize EMOM finishers at the end of workouts because of the versatility it provides from an exercise selection standpoint. Push-ups, glute bridges, squats, and swings are all movements I've used in an EMOM setting.

So how does this work? I'll prescribe an individual, for example, 10 swings at the top of every minute for 10 minutes. If it takes 16 seconds to complete a set of 10 swings, the person has 44 seconds to rest before they complete the next round.

The first couple rounds are rather easily, I'll admit. By the time round 6 or 7 rolls around, however, you'll be feeling it from both a muscular and aerobic standpoint.

Pyramid Rep Schemes

While the first two finishers are timed, pyramids work a bit different. Here's an example rep scheme:

5 reps - rest
6 reps - rest
7 reps - rest
8 reps - rest
7 reps - rest
6 reps - rest
5 reps - rest

Pyramid-like schemes are great because of the many different ways you can alter the rep schemes. Here's another example, using both swings and medicine ball slams. 

10 swings - 1 slam
9 swings - 2 slams
8 swings - 3 slams
7 swings - 4 slams
6 swings - 5 slams
5 swings - 6 slams
4 swings - 7 slams
3 swings - 8 slams
2 swings - 9 slams
1 swing - 10 slams

As you can see, very little equipment required for both EMOM- and pyramid-style finishers. The possible combinations that you can developed are endless with any of the aforementioned modalities. 

If you're one of those people that feels like they need "dessert" to top of their workout, start to incorporate these conditioning techniques. You'll thank (or curse) me later thanks to the simplicity, but overall difficulty of each and every one of them.