Metabolic Conditioning Workouts
Let’s define a “metabolic” conditioning workout as a strength training workout that keeps the heart rate elevated; a brutally intense workout that involves both strength training and conditioning.
These four metabolic conditioning workouts meet the specific demands of basketball players. They pack a big punch and are very challenging; even for the elite level player (yet can easily be modified for any level). These specially designed workouts tax the upper body, lower body, and most certainly the cardiovascular system (as the heart rate stays elevated the entire workout). The goal is to finish the entire workout as quickly as possible; so don’t plan on resting very long in between each exercise or drill! These workouts are perfect for individual players or entire teams.
As far as the strength training is concerned, the exercise listed is the movement you should perform. You may choose any modality you want. For example, for the chest press you can use a barbell, dumbbells, machine or even push-ups. Also, 15 is the recommended number of reps to perform, but it is important you select a resistance that makes the 15th rep very difficult. Don’t pick something so light you could do 20+ and then stop at 15.
Workout 1: “9 Rounds of Hell”
• Be very careful getting on and off of the treadmill
• Wait until the treadmill has reached the desired speed and incline before starting
• Begin the sprint as soon as possible after finishing the strength movement
• Suggested speeds/inclines should be adjusted appropriately
• If you don’t have access to a treadmill; find an alternative!
1. Rear delt x15, then sprint on a treadmill for :30 at 10 mph at a 10% grade
2. Row x15, then sprint on a treadmill for :20 at 12 mph at a 2% grade
3. Chest fly x15, then sprint on a treadmill for :40 at 8 mph at a 8% grade
4. Chest press x15, then sprint on a treadmill for :30 at 10 mph at a 10% grade
5. Pullover x15, then sprint on a treadmill for :20 at 12 mph at a 2% grade
6. Pulldown x15, then sprint on a treadmill for :40 at 8 mph at a 8% grade
7. Lateral raise x15, then sprint on a treadmill for :30 at 10 mph at a 10% grade
8. Shoulder press x15, then sprint on a treadmill for :20 at 12 mph at a 2% grade
9. Upright row x15, then sprint on a treadmill for :40 at 8 mph at a 8% grade
Workout 2: “500 in 15”
• Perform perfect reps; don’t sacrifice form for speed
• Perform 20 reps for each of the 5 exercises (100 reps); perform 5 rounds
• For exercises working one leg at a time; perform 10 reps each leg
• The entire circuit is done with only your bodyweight; no weights needed!
• The goal is to complete 500 reps in under 15 minutes
1. Full squat (thighs parallel to the ground)
2. Alternating lunge (step forward and then push back to starting position)
3. Alternating palm touches (balance on one foot and touch both palms to the ground)
4. Alternating step up (12-24” box depending on player’s height)
5. Lateral hop over 6” hurdle
Workout 3: “Final Countdown”
• Choose any hand-grip for the pull-ups
• Make sure to go through full range reps on both pull-ups and push-ups
• Totals 36 pull-ups, 72 push-ups, and 720 jumps with a jump rope
1. Perform 8 pull-ups, 16 push-ups, and 160 jumps with a jump rope
2. Perform 7 pull-ups, 14 push-ups, and 140 jumps with a jump rope
3. Perform 6 pull-ups, 12 push-ups, and 120 jumps with a jump rope
4. Perform 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 100 jumps with a jump rope
5. Perform 4 pull-ups, 8 push-ups, and 80 jumps with a jump rope
6. Perform 3 pull-ups, 6 push-ups, and 60 jumps with a jump rope
7. Perform 2 pull-ups, 4 push-ups, and 40 jumps with a jump rope
8. Perform 1 pull-up, 2 push-ups, and 20 jumps with a jump rope
Workout 4: “4 x 4”
• Perform the following 4 exercises in the order shown.
• Perform 20 reps per set (10 each side for iso-lateral movements)
• Go around the circuit 4 times!
1. Dumbbell Push-Up Row
Assume a push-up position atop two moderately weighted DB’s (15-25 lbs.). Perform a standard full range push-up. At the top of the movement, pull one of the dumbbells towards your chest (rowing motion). Then do another push-up and repeat with the other arm.
2. One-Legged Deadlift
Balance on one leg holding two moderately weighted DB’s (15-30 lbs.). Keeping your foot flat on the ground (and the other foot off the ground completely), lower the DB’s to the floor (touch the floor, but don’t let the weights rest on the floor). You can bend your knee slightly, but most of the motion should be at the hip. Try to keep your back flat. Return to the standing position (still not letting the other foot touch) and repeat.
3. Modified Pull-Up
Lay underneath a fixed bar (Smith machine works great) with your arms extended (holding the bar in an underhand grip) and heels on the ground. Keeping your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders in a straight line, pull your chin above the bar until your chest touches the bar. Slowly lower to the starting position and repeat.
4. Lateral Lunge
Assume a standing position with moderately weighted DB’s at your sides. Keeping your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders facing forward, step with your left foot laterally to your left. Bend your left leg (lowering your backside toward the ground) and keep your right leg straight and chest up. Get low enough so the DB’s go lower than your knee. Then push off the left foot back to the starting position and repeat.