Quality Over Quantity

By Ross Enamait – Published in 2004

Strength and conditioning routines must emphasize quality over quantity. Lengthy training sessions are often the result of excess rest between sets or a lack of intensity. When you train with intensity, you can often achieve more, in less time. Consider the fighter who jogs 5 miles at a leisurely pace. His roadwork session will average 40 minutes or more. Based on the total time spent training (quantity), this fighter believes he has trained with intensity.

Now compare his 40 minutes of slow paced jogging to the routine listed below. This brief (but intense) routine can serve as a morning conditioning session.

Sample Conditioning Workout

  • Perform 12 burpees
  • Immediately sprint 100 meters
  • Perform 10 plyometric pushups
  • Jog back to the starting line
  • Repeat 6-10 times

To perform this routine, you will start with 12 burpees. Upon completing your 12th repetition, you will immediately proceed with a 100-meter sprint. Upon completing the sprint, you will drop down and perform 10 plyometric pushups. Focus on exploding your hands into the air during each pushup. Many individuals add a handclap to the movement after thrusting the hands into the air.

There is no rest between exercises. After completing 10 pushups, you will jog back to the starting line (active rest), and proceed through the entire routine. Complete this cycle 6-10 times. This routine will require a fraction of the time necessary to jog 5 miles. Yet despite the minimal time requirement, the intensity of this brief routine will blow away any jogging session.

You do not need equipment, just the will to succeed. This routine focuses on explosive power, endurance, and speed. These attributes are essential for all combat athletes. You can perform this brief routine 2 to 3 times per week. Do not perform this routine on consecutive days. More lengthy (sustained) runs can be performed on alternate days for general conditioning and to assist with recovery between these more intense conditioning challenges. Even when running distance however, focus on keeping a brisk pace. Pushing yourself to maintain a brisk pace over several miles is much different than leisurely jogging through the distance with minimal effort.

Training is like many things in life. You get what you put into it.