Cardiovascular conditioning is often understated and misinterpreted by many coaches
Your activities need to be extremely intense to see improvements in your conditioning and VO2 max. As a 3x All-American wrestler, I was often lead astray early in my career about the type of cardio to do. My high school coach, while he had the right intentions, often did things backwards. He would send our team running straight for 45 minutes before we wrested. This was hard and it seems like it is effective, but all it did was tire me out before I worked on my technique while minimally improving my conditioning. Running is a totally different energy system than wrestling was. This was not cross-country, so a far better technique would have been to do interval training and lots of sprints. This goes for any of the major sports. Running at a 60% HRM is not conducive to the type of sprinting and changing directions that football or basketball provides.
It wasn’t until I finally got into college and surrounded myself by the proper mentors, that I implemented lots of sprints and often times I would do crazy cardiovascular weightlifting circuits, which required an exorbitant amount of energy, will, focus, and guts. This made me a FAR better athlete and as a result, I was always referred to as a “horse”, meaning that I could go full speed for every single match, and no one could keep up with me. That is how I won most of my matches- outconditioning guys in the 3rd period of those close matches.
Intense weightlifting circuit
Here is a demonstration of an exercise routine that you can perform that is highly effective to improve your muscular endurance and the types of stimulus you receive in a sport- using multiple muscle groups in an explosive fashion without rest. You will perform the following 7 exercises one right after the other without any rest in between sets:
1. SQUAT– 100% of Your Bodyweight for 25 Reps
2. BENCH PRESS– 65% of your Bodyweight for 15 Reps
3. DEADLIFT– 100% of Your Bodyweight for 15-25 Reps
4. PULL-UPS– 10 Reps
5. CLEAN & PRESS– 50% of Your Bodyweight for 10 Reps
6. DIPS– 20 Reps
7. INCLINE TREADMILL SPRINTS– Highest Settings on Incline and Speed for 20 seconds, Rest 30 Seconds, and Repeat
Do not perform this workout more than 2 or 3 times per week as it is very taxing on your central nervous system.