3 Summer Conditioning Drills That Put The Treadmill To Shame

It’s summer.

You can think of 1,014 different things you’d rather be doing than slogging away on that stairmaster.

But you don’t want to embarrass yourself at the beach in a few weeks, right? And you think “hamster wheel” cardio is the only answer to rid that spare tire?


Fat burning doesn’t have to be boring.

In fact, it’s time you take advantage of the nice summer weather and get outside to do your conditioning work.

Here are three stupid simple conditioning exercises that beat the hell out of an afternoon on the stairmaster watching CNN any day.

Hill Sprints

This one is simple – just as it sounds – but let’s have Jason Ferruggia explain it.

“Find a steep grass hill that’s at least 30 yards long. Warm up thoroughly. Sprint up it. Walk back down. Catch your breath and repeat,” Jason Ferruggia, renowned strength coach, says. “Do this for 15-20 minutes twice per week.  But please, start slowly and ease your way into it. Done properly, nothing will be more effective for fat loss.”


The K.I.S.S. Method of Hill Sprints

  • 5 minute moderate warm up (light jog/walk)
  • 5 sets of 10-30 second intervals sprinting up and 60-120 seconds of rest in between intervals
  • 5 minute cool down

But what if you live in a concrete jungle with little access to hills (that aren’t littered with hobos)?

Have no fear, car pushes are here.

Car Pushes

If you have never tried car pushes then you are missing out on one of the best conditioning workouts around.

This one will test your mettle.

For bonus points, find a parking lot outside a venue where individuals of the opposite sex congregate (think hair salon, tanning studio or one of those restaurants that only hire good looking girls) and perform the exercise in a tank top out front. This will automatically improve your effort level.

All you have to do is put your vehicle of choice in neutral, drop your head down, get low and push with all you’ve got for 10-30 seconds, drive it back (unless you’ve got a ton of

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The K.I.S.S. Method of Car Pushes

  • 5 minute moderate warm up (brisk walk or slow paced jog)
  • 5 sets of 10-30 second all out pushes and 60-120 second rest between
  • 5 minute brisk walk to cool down

Battling Ropes

Yes, you may need a gym for this one, unless you’ve got some heavy ropes kicking around. Do you work at a marina? Then you’re set.

Anyway, you’ve seen them curled up in a corner of the gym collecting dust, right?

There are several different ways to use them—alternate, double arm, side to side, yada, yada, but don’t make it complicated.

You just have to move the ropes at a fast pace and your heart rate will get to where it needs to be. Put it this way: the weirder you look and the more pained your facial expressions, the better.

Every movement generally involves swinging your arms up and down (or side to side) like a crazy person for timed intervals. Keep a fairly wide stance and crouch back into a seated, stable position.

If you play a lot of sports and feel other forms of HIIT cardio beat up your legs and knees too much, then this is a good alternative.

Word of caution: You may want to wait until that hottie wraps up her workout before performing – as inadvertent eye contact while performing your battling ropes “O” face won’t do you any favours.


The K.I.S.S. Method of Battling Ropes

  • 5 minute moderate warm up (on stationary bike or bodyweight circuit)
  • 5 sets of 20-30 second intervals and 60-120 seconds of rest in between intervals
  • 5 minute cool down

BONUS: 10,000 steps

There’s nothing inherently wrong with SLOW cardio. This form of cardio (i.e. walking the dog, bike ride around the neighbourhood) doesn’t interfere with recovery and yet still provides some calorie burn and cardiovascular benefits. If you’re slowly dieting down, using LISS to start will work, while HIIT may be needed in the later stages to break through a plateau. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 10,000 steps daily using a tracker or phone app.

Want to pair your conditioning with a fat loss program? Get yourself a seat in my free fat loss course and start shedding fat fast.

Mitch Calvert is a certified trainer and fat-loss coach. He discovered his love for fitness 14 years ago at 240 lbs – and now works specifically with men like his former self who have weight to lose and confidence to gain. He hosts Mansformation Challenges for guys looking to get over the fat-loss hump. Visit www.mitchcalvert.com