Interval Weight Training – Building Your Internal Engine

Building an engine or expanding your work capacity is one of the most transferrable components that carries over from the gym to the athletic field. The issue is that sometimes it’s difficult to imitate in the gym the same stressors you face on the field. Most training programs tend to separate Heavy Lifting and Conditioning into two separate parts but combining the two can be a great way to build your work capacity and build strength at the same time. Making you more prepared for the late stages of the game when you need to be explosive.

Interval Weight Training is a style of training that I have begun using on myself and is also a term that has been getting brought up more and more in the Crossfit community. It’s a simple yet extremely effective way to build your internal engine and combine heavy lifting with heavy conditioning that will leave you feeling completely wiped by the end of the workout.

Pat O’Shea first talked about interval weight training workouts in his book Quantum Strength and Power Training.

The basic setup goes like this:

Full Body Athletic Movement – Such as a Power Clean, Snatch, or a Pull Variation for 8-12 reps. Immediately following the strength movement, move to a cardiac conditioning effort for 2-4 minutes and work up to 90-95% of your max heart rate. After completing this, rest for 2 minutes and begin again. 3 Rounds in total.

Full Body Athletic Movement + Cardiac Conditioning

Ex 1.) 3 Rounds

  • Power Clean x8-12 Reps
  • Burpee Box Jumps x2 minutes
    • Rest 2 Minutes between rounds

Ex 2.) 3 Rounds

  • Snatch x8-12 Reps
  • Airdyne Bike x2 minutes
    • Rest 2 Minutes between rounds

Ex 3.) 3 Rounds

  • Clean Pull x8-12 Reps
  • Double Unders x2 minutes
    • Rest 2 Minutes between rounds

Following the 3 rounds, take a 5-minute break. Following the rest, repeat the format above but this time choose a full body movement that is a little more grueling. Such as the front squat, back squat, deadlift, or squat clean. Perform 3 total rounds and take another 5-minute break.

Set 2 of Full Body Athletic Movement + Cardiac Conditioning

Ex 1.) 3 Rounds

  • Front Squat x8-12 Reps
  • Ski Erg x2 minutes
    • Rest 2 Minutes between rounds

Ex 2.) 3 Rounds

  • Back Squat x8-12 Reps
  • Row x2 minutes
    • Rest 2 Minutes between rounds

Ex 3.) 3 Rounds

  • Deadlift x8-12 Reps
  • Double Unders x2 minutes
    • Rest 2 Minutes between rounds

The final stage is a bodyweight circuit keeping a very high pace with reps from 6-12 and minimal rest between movements. Rest no longer than a minute between circuits.

Bodyweight Circuit

Ex 1.) 5 Rounds

10 Reps of Each Exercise

  • Burpees
  • Push-ups
  • Jump Squats
  • Pull-ups

Ex 2.) 5 Rounds

  • 30 Double Unders
  • 20 Air Squats
  • 15 Push-ups
  • 10 Box Jumps

Once you finish the circuit, your workout is finished. These workouts can wear me out mentally and physically so I am planning to incorporate 2 of these type of workouts a week into my training program. I’ve tried doing 3-4 times a week and I usually end up too sore or run down by the end of the week to get quality workouts in.

Full Training Day with Interval Weight Training Example

A. Warm-Up

4 Rounds

  • 10 KBS
  • 10 Cal Bike

B. Strength

Deadlift

Work up to a heavy single then 2×2 @10-15% less

C. Interval Weight Training

3 Rounds (Rest 2 minutes between rounds)

  • Power Clean x12
  • Ski Max Effort for 2 minutes

Rest 5 Minutes

5 Rounds (Rest 2 minutes between rounds)

  • Deadlift x10
  • Double Unders x50

Rest 5 Minutes

5 Rounds x10 Reps each

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Push-ups
  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Box Jumps

 

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

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