We have all heard those guys in the gym who say, “Cardio? I don’t do cardio…I just lift weights faster!” Then there are the guys who are trying to gain weight who even walk slowly so they don’t get “small” by burning too many calories! Believe it or not, some of the most fun you can have in the gym is doing conditioning work, and you can make it more exciting than repetitive stepping or jogging. 

For my strongman exercise program, I incorporate several different conditioning methods to prevent my training from becoming one-dimensional, and some longer slow-duration cardio a couple of times per week just for general health. When training for strongman, I plan my workouts so that I can work at 100% for 60–90 seconds, which is the time period of most strongman events. Strapped to a 50,000-pound truck that you have to pull close to 100 feet, 60–90 seconds can seem like an eternity!


SLED PUSHES/PULLS There are so many options for this, so be creative. Prepare a course for a set distance, beginning with the sled at one end. Load the sled with enough weight to make it challenging but not a maximal effort. Pull the sled down the course, and then immediately push it back to the start position. Take a break upon completion and repeat.

SANDBAG OR KEG CARRY Line up a few kegs or sandbags and set a distance around 30-50 feet. Carry a keg or sandbag to the finish line, set it down, and run back to grab the next one. After carrying the last keg or sandbag to the finish line, rest one to two minutes. For Round 2, carry all of the kegs or sandbags back to the starting line. Rest again, and repeat.

TIRE FLIP Flip a large tractor tire for 50 feet without stopping, then rest one minute. Then flip the tire 50 feet back to the starting position. After one minute of rest, repeat the sequence.