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Ultimate Conditioning Guide: High Intensity Interval Training

 

Ultimate Conditioning Guide:

Introduction to HIIT

After reading this article, you are going to understand what high intensity interval training is, and when you combine conditioning in the mix, you shred body fat.

However, before we get in to what conditioning training is, you must understand conditioning, and why it’s important.

To be clear, this is an introduction to HIIT and the underlying style of training we are doing is conditioning training.

I have to give you a word of warning, this style of training is designed to spike your heart rate.

That means I strongly advise you to get a heart rate monitor as I don’t want you passing out.

I simply want you to watch and make sure that your heart rate doesn’t get too high as people overlook this.

But before we get in to the workouts, I want to talk to you about where I started from.

With that said, I want to proceed by telling you about my fitness journey and why you must listen to me.

Then, I’m going to talk about why you must develop self-discipline and have healthy boundaries.

Before picture (HIIT)
Before I started doing high intensity interval training

Why You Must Listen To Me

My name is Adam Skoda. I am a NESTA certified personal trainer. I’ve trained over 50+ people.

Yes, I really did. What you see here is a before picture. Back when I was in a bad relationship, I gained weight.

Here’s something you probably don’t know.

Your personal life, social life, financial life all plays an impact on your mental and physical health.

As you can see here, I am overweight. I weighed up to 165 pounds.

In July of 2016 (the picture above), I wasn’t in my right mind. I was very unhappy.

The point I want you to takeaway is if you want to focus on REALLY losing weight, you must start with yourself.

Why? Because I did all the work to shred the fat off. You must believe that you can get through anything.

I will tell you from experience that I had a lot of things stacked against me. I’ve been through some crazy shit.

First story I will tell you. I gained weight because I was in a relationship with someone that tried to interfere with my values, that is my healthy lifestyle.

What happened? I broke it off. I was much happier as a result. This was when I started doing conditioning training very heavily.

 

After picture (HIIT)
After 2 years of high intensity interval training

Setting Healthy Boundaries

First thing I want you to do before we proceed, focus on how your state of mind is on a regular basis.

Are you in a positive state? Or a negative state?

This is important. You might be thinking, why talk about the other areas of my life?

Because those other areas influence how you perform in the gym and how motivated you are.

I am going to give you a task to complete as this will help you get clear on what you will and will not put up with.

Write down your boundaries and values.

Why? Because you are going to get clarity.

Did you know that women will use their feminine qualities to get you to drink alcohol with them?

You see, here is part of the reason I lost weight. I said NO to any type of alcohol.

The picture you see above is a few years ago in 2018, you can see visible results. I weighed 138 pounds.

That leads me to my next and most important point to this entire article.

Success stories on clients that did HIIT
Clients success from doing HIIT and weight training

Self-Discipline Is Top Priority

This is where most people fail. I’m going to speak to you very bluntly.

How disciplined are you to stick to your boundaries?

Let me tell you something, if you bend your boundaries to please people, you’re fucked.

Hate to say this but you can easily fall off the wagon and NOT stay consistent.

So I really want to insinuate the importance of sticking to your guns.

A true man sticks to his boundaries. Think of it like self-protection.

I’ve literally cut people out of my life that couldn’t stay disciplined. Why you might ask?

Because those people are clearly not consistent to their word.

“Show me your friends and I will show you your future.” -Dan Pena

I cannot make you change. You have to want it bad enough.

But I can predict that if you continue down a path of bad habits that kill masculinity, you won’t progress.

You’re probably thinking, why are you talking about this?

Because being healthy requires the discipline to say no.

Take that to the bank. You’re being soft, hate to say it, but it’s true.

Healthy lifestyle is meant to be long term, not some short, transient gratification where you think a workout is rewarding yourself.

This should ring a bell in your mind, and that leads me to my next point.

Years ago, I used to think working out was a way to reward myself.

I thought that if I ate shitty, I can do conditioning training and it would be all good. NOPE.

Diet I will talk about in a second. I don’t like that word, it gives people a temporary solution.

Anyways, you have to understand that being disciplined requires you to fight the urge to go to Taco Bell.

We live in a society where short-term instant gratification is accepted.

The truth is in order to become a more fit version of yourself, you are going to take the developmental detour to become temporarily ‘not you.’

Your Food Intake is Very Important

It’s time that we dive deep in to food intake. Now that you know self-discipline is extremely important, you have to understand that being disciplined to say no to eating crap food is going to be the best thing for yourself.

That means cut out cookies, brownies, donuts, cinnamon rolls, and most importantly, no fucking ice cream!

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll find alternatives you think are healthy, but if nothing has changed, what’s the common denominator? 

You should get my point, that is to say, you know what you’re eating that you MUST get rid of. You might be thinking, “Adam, you’re being harsh.” Good.

I’m glad I can challenge you, because no one can change without choosing to go through pain willingly. I’m not saying stop eating the foods altogether.

What I want for you is to eat eggs, chicken, steak, pork, salmon, greek yogurt, blueberries, strawberries, spinach, kale, quinoa, rolled oats, white rice (post workout), sweet potatoes, and lastly, buy some whey protein.

What I am saying is you have to control yourself around the temptations you have. Wanna know something? Because of how fit I am, I can eat sugar here and there and not gain weight.

However, if you cannot control yourself to stop, meaning you have addictive tendencies, then I hate to say it, you have to get rid of everything that you eat in which you cannot control!

Why? Because this is holding you back. You have to get rid of sugar. You also have to stop buying McDonald’s, Burger King, Arby’s and Taco Bell. Set boundaries for yourself, it’s called discipline.

Here is a great healthy boundary to have, when you’re out with friends, choose to fast over eating fast food.

I guarantee you intermittent fasting will help you lose weight.

There are SEVERAL benefits to intermittent fasting that shows concrete evidence. [R]

My biggest tip to you is start here because this is where doing conditioning training will reap the rewards.

I recommend you start fasting as soon as possible. It’s going to shred your body.

Trust me, this was one of my biggest aha moments when I did that in conjunction with an immersion in conditioning training. 

I literally went from 160 to 138 pounds. (I want to add a caveat, right now in 2022, I do not weigh 138 because I’ve been lifting more weights.)

Currently I’m at 150 with lean muscle mass. You will tone your muscles doing conditioning, but you won’t gain size.

Check out my workout plan for hardgainers if you want muscle size.

Make Sure Your Goals Are Realistic

This right here is the biggest mistake I made in my fitness journey. I started in 2011 in Fitness at the age of 18.

I wanted a six pack. That’s what I focused on. And because I focused on it so fucking much, I did not achieve my goal of getting a six pack in the time frame I wanted.

I can guarantee you that you’ve done the same. You set a fitness goal, then you work hard at it because you’re a fucking legend. Then you get disappointed.

Believe me, I know what you’re going through because I did the same thing.

The thing that you probably never thought to realize is that people underestimate what they can do in a lot of time, but overestimate what they can do in a limited amount of time. 

First step in goal setting when it comes to fitness is to have a purpose behind your goals.

The reason why I am successful now, when I wasn’t before is because I simply lacked clarity.

What is the reason you want to lose weight? Write that down first.

Is it because you want to look good for women? If that’s the case, honestly, you’re not moving in the right direction. Why? Because relying on external validation puts you in the wrong mindset.

Although this is the masculine mindset blog, you must understand that when you’re complimented and validated, it puts you in your emotions. 

You can guess where I’m going at with this.

Getting validated is feminine energy. I want to say that again.

Getting attention and validated from women puts you in your feminine energy. So stop relying on validation to feel full.

Eye’s on your goals when getting in to fitness, not women.

I really want you to realize that when you work out, the goal isn’t external validation.

So many guys have this wrong, and they wonder why they’re friend zoned. Stop chasing women. Chase your goals instead.

Write down how much weight you want to lose with doing conditioning training.

Get specific on your fitness goals. If you came to this article, I’m assuming that you want to boost your metabolism and shred fat in the quickest amount of time possible.

Now here’s why I say this, it’s because when you write down your goals, you’re going to get frustrated.

How do I know this?

Because I did it. I got so fucking pissed for not getting a six pack in the time frame I wanted.

This is why you want to set realistic goals.

For example, don’t write down “I want a six pack within one year.”

That is unrealistic. I’m telling you now, unless you’re at 12% body fat, it’s not achievable.

I want you to set a goal that you know you can achieve. Start with a 6 month goal. Then have your 12 month goal also written down.

Write down something that is achievable and how you can measure your progress.

Take measurements of your waist, chest, arms, hips, thighs, and calves. 

 

Recap On What To Write Down

  • Write down your purpose behind working out.
  • Write down how much weight you want to lose, your 6 month goal, and your 12 month goal.
  • Take measurements of your chest, arms, waist, hips, thighs and calves.

Now that you know where you’re at, you can measure your progress.

This is what goal setting in fitness is all about. You need self-awareness on your fitness goals. I know some people that don’t write down their goals.

And what happens? They forget all about their goals, and then they stop their fitness journey altogether. The big reason why people quit is right here, no purpose and no clarity.

People have no clue what their reason why is. I hear people often say “yeah, it’s okay, don’t really know my goals.” I slap my forehead and think to myself, “he’s not going to stay in the fitness scene.”

You want fitness to become a lifestyle. This is meant to be long term, not short term. If you slack on the workouts I’m going to give you, that’s on your own integrity.

I want to talk you now about a few, but VERY important principles in fitness and why it’s important.

 

Doing HIIT for 4 months – From left (10% body fat – Jan 2018) to right (8% body fat – May 2018)

Principle #1 – Success Loves Speed of Implementation

It’s now time for me to get REAL with you. If you’ve made it this far, you understand the importance of goal setting, you also understand that eating sugar and fast food is holding back.

Just putting awareness on your goals and stop eating the crap food that is normalized in today’s society is the step in the right direction. Now I want you to start intermittent fasting, because this is going to lean your body down.

I was once told by one of my mentors that success loves speed of implementation.

And I know for certain it’s a fucking fact. If you don’t act on the information I’ve given you, honestly, you’re not going to succeed.

Want to know what masculine men do? They fucking take courageous action, even when they don’t want to.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to not workout. It’s happened to me MANY times!

How do you stay committed?

People have asked me this question, they’re like “Adam, I don’t have your drive.” Yeah you fucking do.

You have no idea how much energy you have within you to do conditioning training. Thing is, you don’t even try when you sit around.

Take fast action my friend, you have to stop staring at your phone scrolling through IG.

“Failure cannot cope with persistence.”

Fail hard, fail forward, and fail quickly. You’ll never learn without getting frustrated.

It’s time to talk about the principles of staying fit, because I’m sure by now you’re motivated to start working out!

Principle #2 – Train With Consistency

By now you are understanding the importance of action, intermittent fasting, clarity on your goals, and assessing body measurements. I have to get personal with you bro.

If you are training inconsistently, you’re not going to see a single difference in your physique. I want you to take immediate action as you now know that success loves speed of implementation.

To be frank, everything I’ve given you up to this point, the reason why I haven’t gotten to the workouts yet is because I’ve trained 50+ people in my fitness classes and one-on-one clients.

What was their biggest sticking point? Coming to the gym consistently. Don’t get me wrong, there were some VERY committed classmates. Dan, Lisa, Angie, Michelle, Maria, Jason, Iryna, all of you inspired me.

Let me tell you very quickly about Iryna (very briefly) out of respect and privacy for her. She hated when I instructed conditioning training, ABSOLUTELY hated it!

But here’s what inspired me about her, she fucking showed up when she didn’t want to. I’ve heard her say, “I’m tired Adam, but I’m here, let’s do this.”

THAT RIGHT THERE is what I want for you. It’s called the ‘Never quit’ mentality. This in my opinion is one of the most masculine habits a man can have. I want that for you, but YOU have to want it for yourself.

The ‘Never quit’ mentality is one of the essential mindsets of a successful fitness instructor. And as a fitness instructor myself, I would always motivate my class as it inspires me to see clients achieve their goals.

 

 

Principle #3 – Train With Proper Form

I can seriously go down a rabbit hole on why training with proper form is literally the most important principle in all of training, but I’m not.

I’ll save that for another article. Bottom line is I see guys overestimate their abilities and overdo it. One time I had a dude puke because he wasn’t pacing himself. I ended class for that reason.

Unlike the old school trainers, I don’t encourage puking. That’s where form clearly becomes out of control and it compromises the health of your gut. Your body goes in to shock.

All I ask of you to do is to pay attention to your heart rate. If you haven’t gotten one, I suggest you get it here.

Get it because it’s going to help you track your heart rate 24/7 and it also tracks your rest and sleep.

The biggest takeaway is I want you to work hard throughout the exercises I give you and make sure that you sweat and maintain form. 

Conditioning training is not easy, so I recommend you use a mirror to make sure you maintain proper technique.

Puking is not an option, get that out of your head. That doesn’t make you lose weight, it makes you look very unhealthy. You end up damaging your heart and digestive system.

What Is Conditioning Training?

Here’s something you probably didn’t know. The term “conditioning” was once reserved exclusively for athletes.

The term “cardio” was used by the general population. They are very closely related, however, it’s the application of science that makes it unique.* (Elsesser, Josh. Metabolic Conditioning: Moving Beyond Cardio)

How I am designing these workouts for you is I am giving you conditioning exercises, but you are doing them in a HIIT format.

Meaning, you are going to see cardio exercises that you probably know (if you’ve been in the fitness scene), but they are done for intervals.

So that means you don’t count the reps, you train till you’re trashed. Again don’t puke, take a break when you feel yourself hitting that metabolic threshold.

I could go on an entire tangent about the types of metabolic thresholds, but that is not the aim for what I want for you. I want you to get in a good HIIT workout.

You’ll find that through science and research studies shown that HIIT is super powerful in boosting your metabolism and improving overall heart health. You don’t lose muscle, you burn fat and tone your muscles. [R]

 Warm-Up and Dynamic Stretching

I am first going to tell you that you have to warm-up. So before the workout itself, understand that in order to boost your metabolism and shred fat, warming up is of paramount importance.

You’ll notice conditioning training starts even in the warm-up.

  1. Run in Place (one minute)
  2. Jumping Jacks (one minute)
  3. Burpees (one minute)

Before starting the workout, it’s important you do dynamic stretching to prepare your body for the workout.

I’ll give you an example of dynamic stretching, do a standing quad stretch but instead of holding, you alternate sides.

Go through my article on how to do push-ups if you have a hard time with burpees.

This will get you use to doing push-ups so you can perform burpees better and better.

The Gauntlet (HIIT Routine)

This is the workout that I am having you do. Remember to have proper form. I’d rather have you be in control of your form then try to go extremely fast and out of form. Only add intensity and speed after you get good.

First Round

  1. Jump Rope in to High Knees (30 seconds two food hops, then 30 seconds of high knees)
  2. Russian Twists (video above)
  3. Swipers (Think of a leg raise but you swipe your hands under as you do the leg raise)
  4. Forearm Side Plank (Fast forward to the 2:00 mark)

Awesome work, despite the first move, every move is 45 seconds. You have to set your timer for 45 seconds and then rest 15 seconds before the next move. Keep that core tight through every move. Use a jump rope if you want, you can modify without it.

Second Round

  1. Prisoner Jump Squats  (hands behind the head, then start at the bottom point of a squat, start jumping)
  2. Scissor Twist (Lay down on a mat, perform straight leg scissors, but touch your right foot with your left hand, then twist to the other side, touch your left foot with your right hand)
  3. Lunge Hold (45 seconds per side) KEEP PUSHING THROUGH THE BURN!
  4. Perform 50 Bicycles on a Mat

So as you can probably tell, this is core on top of legs, and conditioning training. Modify if you have to with a standard prisoner squat. Also remember that all moves are 45 second intervals, except the bicycles.

Third Round

  1. Single Leg Burpee (Take Out the Push-Up for Modification) 
  2. Elbow Plank Hip Twist (dip the left pelvis down on your left side, then dip right pelvis down on right side)
  3. Elbow Mountain Climbers (Watch my Tik-Tok Video for demonstration)
  4. Kneeling Recliner Stretch (one minute)

For the single leg burpee, please watch your form. Use a mirror if you have to. Never have your ass in the air. Every move for 45 seconds. The last exercise is an isometric hold for one full minute. Look at the picture above.

Leg Finisher (Conditioning Training)

So as you do that workout, you’ll find that the body adapts. If you’ve made it here and you’re serious about getting results, I’m giving you a fair warning, your legs will be begging for mercy.

First off, make sure you take some pre-workout to make it through this sequence. BAMF is one of my favorites because it has zero sugar, on top of being a nootropic that sharpens your focus to get through this hard finisher.

This is where conditioning kicks in to high gear. Do this in place of the kneeling recliner stretch in the workout I gave you above. Meaning you don’t have to perform that crazy hard stretch.

Watch my youtube training here where I demonstrate what the finisher looks like. Let me describe what you’re going to do. Set the timer for five minutes. Start your one minute wall sit.

Once the timer reaches the four minute, end your wall sit, and start doing box jumps instantly. Do as many as you can without stopping. If you have to, take a break, only if you have shortness of breath.

When the timer reaches three minutes, go back to doing that wall sit for one minute. FUCK. I know man, I’ve done this sequence several times, it’s a killer.

Once it reaches two minute point, do box jumps again. Stay in it man! Keep fucking going! Once it reaches, the one minute point, do one more wall-sit.

This entire finisher is going to not only SKYROCKET metabolism, but you’ll also feel trashed.

This is when using your fit-bit will come in handy.

Click here to get your advanced fit-bit my friend, it also tracks your heart rate so that you can be mindful of it during this finisher.

Summary

You can see now how intense conditioning can get. Which means, I know I sound like a broken record but I strongly urge you to get that fit-bit my friend.

There are a lot of people I’ve come across that think it’s okay to not use one. And one time a friend of mine was doing an agility workout with me, and had to take a break due to his soaring heart rate.

So train smart bro, this is about you staying safe, on top of you skyrocketing metabolism and strengthening your core, overall improving heart health and toning your body.

Conditioning training is THAT effective in hitting your entire body. You will be panting, but feeling good after you go through this killer workout. Want to see more examples of conditioning?

I recommend you subscribe to my YouTube Channel. I have one here that covers more conditioning training exercises.

For example, you can take out prisoner squat jumps and make it crazier by doing the squat pulse in to jump demonstrated in the short.

The last and most important task for you to do is re-assess your progress. Go back to wear you wrote down your measurements. This is the re-assessment phase.

  • Take measurements of your chest, arms, waist, hips, thighs and calves.

Now you will see how far you’ve come from where you were. If you did that workout even on top of what you already do, I know you’ll lose weight.

I’ve seen my classmates lose up to 50 pounds!

Shout out to Kelly from Anytime Fitness, you know who you are 😉

So let’s wrap up this entire guide, it’s time for you to take action as we both know, knowledge is not power unless it’s applied. It would be highly irresponsible of you to not take courageous action.

I can give you a workout to do, but like I said, it means nothing if you sit on your ass and say, “this looks too hard.” Bro, take a look in the mirror, are you an action taker? Or are you a wannabe fitness junkie?

Hate to call you out, but you came to a blog called the Masculine Mindset. You don’t get in shape by watching Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or whatever the fuck people consume. 

Consumption is not productive. It’s stealing away your time that you can be spending working out and losing the weight I know you want to lose.

You have to learn to get in that towards-driven mindset if you want to succeed. I want you to get results. So get this workout in as it should take you no longer than 30 to 40 minutes.

I believe in you, but YOU have to believe in you. Get this done. HIIT is proven to boost testosterone and when you do it, you feel better in the long run. [R]

Want to feel more masculine, more dominant, also confident?

I don’t know any better way for you to feel like a fucking man.

Do this in the morning first thing, you’ll start getting momentum to tackle your day.

I appreciate you reading my Ultimate Conditioning Guide.

You can follow me on instagram on masculinemindsetcoach for tips on fitness, mindset, and maximizing your masculinity.

Let’s not forget when you work on yourself physically that women will notice you 😉

Just don’t be reliant on impressing them.

BE YOU, BROTHER.

I’ll see you soon you handsome legends.

Feel free to comment below, and I’ll answer any questions you have.