Time-efficient conditioning workouts were the training foundation for Heisman Trophy winner and three-time NFL All-Pro running back Herschel Walker.
To this day, Walker continues to perform them as he pursues a career in mixed martial arts. The workouts help him maintain an elite level of conditioning by taxing his metabolic capacity—the ability to maintain powerful movements over an extended period of time. Walker says, “One of the assets that I have in the cage is my cardio.” His circuit training is the reason.
Step away from the treadmill and the elliptical machine—which fail to replicate game-like conditions—and attack Walker’s conditioning circuit, put together by Kurt Hester, D1 Sports Training’s national director of training. It’ll build explosiveness that translates to the playing field.
Perform three rounds of the circuit, resting for two minutes after each round. Below, we break down each exercise used in the circuit.
1. Dumbbell Vertical Series
Assume athletic position and perform 6 to 8 reps of each exercise in the following sequence, using lightweight dumbbells.
Reps: 6-8 each movement
2. Med Ball Slams
Reps: 6-8 each side
Coaching Points: Use lightweight med ball // Keep weight on heels with chest up // Perform slam in one continuous motion
3. Sledgehammer Slams
Reps: 6-8 each side
Coaching Points: Grip sledgehammer firmly // Keep core tight // Drive through legs, hips and core
4. Tire Flips With Plyo Hop
Coaching Points: Use lower body to drive tire up // Keep weight on heels // Jump in and out of tire as fast as possible
5. Plate Carries
Sets: 4 (2 ascending, 2 descending)
Coaching Points: Perform in controlled manner // Use two hands to carry larger plates, holding at chest level
6. Elevated Diamond Push-Ups
Coaching Points: Keep back flat and core tight // Hold head up, facing straight ahead, not down
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