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Loaded Conditioning Intervals To Boost Fat Loss

Loaded Conditioning Intervals To Boost Fat Loss

A lot of people dislike doing traditional cardio, like running. Other people hate metabolic body weight conditioning, like Burpees or Jump Squats. However, I have found that one type of conditioning tends to actually get people excited: Loaded Conditioning Intervals!

Owning my own personal training studio, MM Fitness, means that I have to constantly be creative with my group training programs. One thing that my clients love is when I program in some Loaded Conditioning Intervals, instead of other types of cardio. It gets their heart pumping, muscles firing, and spirits up. There is something about this type of cardio that makes it feel like you aren’t doing cardio in the first place.

So, lets talk about some of my favorite Loaded Conditioning movements. Loaded carries, like Farmer’s Walk, Zercher Carry, and Halo Carry are all go-to’s. Sled Drags & Sled Pulls are also a good choice. Kettlebell/Dumbbell Swings are great as well. Finally, we have Ball Slams, which clients always love, since they can take out some anger with each slam. What I like to program for my clients, and myself, is two-three movements for the end of a training session. Once you know what movements you want to do, all you have to do is set up some HIIT-inspired intervals and figure out what weights will be used for each movement. My favorite interval set up for these movements is perfect for partner-based workouts, which I utilize a lot with my training groups.

  • 1 min on
  • 1 min off
  • 45 seconds on
  • 45 seconds off
  • 30 seconds on
  • 30 seconds off
  • 15 seconds on
  • 15 seconds off

That equals out to 5 minutes of interval training. Take a few minutes after finishing a movement to recover enough to push yourself hard for the next movement. The descending interval setup lends itself well to the fact that your muscles will accumulate fatigue with these movements just as much as your heart rate increases. Try a full minute of Farmer’s Walk and then another minute after only 1 minute rest in between. Chances are, you need to set the weights down before that 2nd interval is finished, leaving the HIIT-aspect broken for the workout. You need to be able to push as hard as possible for each interval, without the necessity for breaks. After 2-3 rounds with different movements, you’ll be ready to call it a day!

So, lets get you started with how to set up your own Loaded Conditioning Intervals!

Step 1: Choose Your Movements

I separate the movements into groups that mostly tax the same muscles, so you aren’t trying to pair movements together that cause to much fatigue in a certain area. I recommend choosing only one movement from each group.

Shoulder-Dominant

  • Farmer’s Walk (hard on your grip as well, could be a factor if paired with KB/DB Swings)
  • Halo Carry (a weight plate held above your head with your arms straight the entire interval)

Hip Hinge-Dominant

  • KB/DB Swings
  • Ball Slams (focusing on a KB/DB Swing-like movement to get the ball above your head, the slam aspect is more full-body)

Quad-Dominant

  • Sled Drags (Dragging sled backwards with arms straight)

Upper Back-Dominant

  • Sled Pulls (Pulling Sled Towards You With Arms)
  • Zercher Carry (Full body movement)

Like I said earlier, go with 2-3 movements for the conditioning session. For an example, I’ll choose Farmer’s Walk, Ball Slams, and Zercher Carry.

Step 2: Choose Your Weights

Obviously, if you have never done these movements, you’ll need to try them out beforehand to know what kind of weights you should be using. The easiest way to find out is to try a weight for a minute. If it is tough to finish that minute, it’s a good choice. The descending nature of the intervals means you can be fatigued from that first minute and still complete the whole 5 minutes.

For my example, here is what I’d use for the movements:

    Farmer’s Walk – 45 lbs/hand (focus on speed walking the entire time)
    Ball Slams – 15 lbs (focusing more on # of reps versus a heavy ball)
    Zercher Carry – 95 lbs (again, focusing on walking as quick as safely possible)

Step 3: Start Your Timer & Kill It!

If you chose challenging weights, you will feel the burn in your muscles and lungs. Your heart rate will be high and you’ll feel like 2.5 minutes of actual training never took so long. If you finish a 5 minute session without these feelings, you didn’t go heavy enough!

Step 4: Record Your Sessions & Progress

Instead of worrying about reps for these intervals, you want to worry about the weight you use. Next time you try the movements, try and go for heavier weights on the movements and see if you can handle it. The heavier weights will improve your conditioning even further!


Author Bio:
Milo Martinovich is the co-founder of MM Fitness, a private personal training studio focused on physique and performance improvements. In addition to training hundreds of clients over the years, he has recently launched a variety of online services to help people.

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