Steven emailed me a question about conditioning and the Texas Method:
Hey John, I've been following you for quite some time and really enjoy your blog. My question is how would you recommend starting to place conditioning work into the Texas method.
Hey Steven,Thanks, glad you enjoy my blog!
To answer your question, assuming the typical Monday-Volume, Wednesday-Recovery and Friday-Intensity training days, I would place conditioning work on Tuesday and/or Saturday, and have Sunday and Thursday as a full rest day. Which is what I am currently doing.
The reason why is because I want to be totally fresh and fully recovered (if possible) on the 2 hardest days of the week. That is, volume days on Monday and intensity day on Friday.
The type of things to do for conditioning is really up to you, but I would do something that wouldn't interfere with your lifts, and if possible, hit some body parts that are typically not covered during your main training days and if possible still, develop and/or refine some sort of skill.
In my case, my "conditioning" days (Tuesdays & Saturdays) currently consists of:
- Jump rope
- Heavy bag
- Neck training
- L-Sit chin ups
I jump rope because back when I was training in Muay Thai, I used to skip all the time. I'm familiar with it, and it doesn't require much equipment other than a skipping rope, and doesn't take up a lot of space. It's a decent cardiovascular workout and my calves are fried after a few minutes, and I'm sweating after a few 3 minute rounds. I don't do any direct calf work, but jumping rope at my current body weight seems to be all the calf work that I need.
Hitting the heavy bag can be a hell of a workout. It allows me to stay somewhat limber with the kicks, practice the basic techniques that I've learned in the past and condition/desensitize my shins for kicking stuff. I do take it somewhat lightly when it comes to punches on Tuesdays, because I've found that if I go to crazy on the heavy bag with punches, my shoulders would be fatigued for overhead presses the next day (which is a Wednesday for me).
For jumping rope and heavy bag, I work in 3 minute intervals with 1 minute rest.
I round out the workout with neck training, and normally do L-sit chin ups in between sets throughout the entire workout.I've heard good things about the prowler and hill sprints, but I have never tried them myself. I prefer to do all my work indoors in a temperature controlled environment.
As far as intensity and duration goes, it really needs to be determined by you. As long as it doesn't interfere with your existing training, I think it should be fine. Just write it down in your training log and make notes about how you feel after adding in some conditioning, whether it is interfering with your lifts/affecting your strength etc., and make appropriate adjustments from there.
Hope that helps, and keep adding weight to the bar!