Conditioning in a Crowded Gym


Luckily, I’m able to train my athletes out of a large commercial facility.  Unfortunately, many coaches don’t have that same luxury.   Sometimes they don’t have the space to implement a wide variety of different training methods, or the gym is so crowded, they can just barely move around.  Because training and performing a finisher or conditioner at the end of your workout isn’t easy in a crowded gym, I’ve come up with a few options that might help.

Sled Dragging Badassery

Previously, I had come up with a cool way to perform hand-over-hand thick rope sled dragging with bands when space is limited or there is bad weather outside.  The great thing about this setup was that there was a deceleration / eccentric component introduced, which is not available in the (concentric-only) conventional thick rope + sled setup.

No Excuses Training

Today, I wanted to show you three new exercise variations I’ve been using with my fighters and wrestlers, for there pre-training or post-workout conditioning work.  They are perfect for a crowded gym or when you don’t have any space.  Remember, there is always a way to get some serious work done.  Do not make excuses!

Lunges on Treadmill

Lunges on treadmill is simple and easy and one of those “why didn’t I think of that” type movements.  Don’t have a 40 yard strip of turf to hit lunges on?  No problem.  Step on the treadmill and get to work.  Obviously, there are some treadmills that might be a little too short to get a good stride on, but look around, you’ll most likely find different models at your spot.  In this video you’ll see two versions; braced and full execution.  Our fighters have done this exercise with a weight vest for time or distance.

Bear Crawls on Treadmill

Now we’re getting serious.  This exercise will wreck you. Be careful!  You can increase the incline and it becomes a never ending bear crawl.  Again, we’ve used a weight vest and elastic bands to overload the movement, and it can be done for time or distance.

Pike-ups on Treadmill

Now we’re getting into some powerful core training.  This exercise is legit.  Performing pike-ups against resistance BOTH ways is going to crush you very fast. You will have to flex and pull your hips up and then drive back down to a push-up position.  You will not believe how metabolic this core exercise becomes.  We also integrate push-ups into the sequence when we want to go insano, i.e., push-up=>pike-up=>push-up=>pike-up and so on.  We actually show this, and many other insane core exercises, in our EXTREME DVD.

I hope these 4 new exercises give you some inspiration to train differently and not let obstacles, like not having the right equipment or a crowded gym, get in your way of training your butt off.  Time to get to work!



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  • Conor

    Those are some awesome ideas Smitty!

  • Jim L

    Love your stuff, but I know that manully forcing a treadmill that’s turned off is a sure way to trash the motor. We checked with True on this, got the scoop a few years back. Great exercise, don’t suggest using your own treadmill!

  • Bill

    Great ideas–I especially like the rope training. Working out in a small gym is sometimes the most frustrating thing in the world, but these tips will definitely help me out. Thanks!