This article was originally written for STACK.
Metabolic conditioning workouts are an awesome way to end a training session. You get the heart racing, break a mean sweat and exhaust any last bit of energy you have left in the tank. They're great for athletes because you get all the benefits of high intensity cardio with a solid strength component to complement it. It also simulates those crunch time moments where you need to push through the pain and make a play.
One of my favorite styles of metabolic conditioning are EMOMs (Every Minute On the Minute). EMOMs involve performing an exercise (or series of exercises) every minute on the minute for a prescribed time. At the start of every minute, start a new set. The sooner you finish your reps, the longer you rest.
For the sake of this article, all workouts will be 10 minutes, but you can make them longer or shorter depending on your skill and fatigue level.
Here are 5 10-minute EMOM finishers to finish your workout with a bang.
1. Kettlebell Swings
Swings will get your heart pumping in a hurry and will light up your entire posterior chain. They're also a great way to build explosive strength when performed correctly. Pick a weight that's challenging but that you could complete about 25-30 reps in a set with. Be sure to keep your core braced throughout the movement and really let your hip extension do the work.
Beginner: 15 reps
Intermediate: 20 reps
Advanced: 20 reps with band-resistance
2. Medicine Ball Slams
Medicine Ball Slams are a great exercise for strengthening the core, teaching triple extension, and producing power. They teach athletes how transfer energy up through their legs and into their upper body via the core, which is an essential skill for performance. I recommend using a medicine ball that is somewhere between 10-20 pounds.
Beginner: 12 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 18 reps
3. Trap Bar Deadlifts
Trap Bar Deadlifts are an ideal variation for conditioning because they are accessible and relatively easy for most people to perform. Maintain good posture (remember to brace your core and keep your back flat) and proper mechanics for all reps.
Beginner: 10 reps at 50% of 1RM
Intermediate: 15 reps at 50% of 1RM
Advanced: 15 reps at 60% of 1RM
4. Sled Push/Pulls
Sleds are one of the best all-purpose training tools for building leg strength and work capacity. They can also help you increase ground force, which is the key component to running faster. Find a stretch of turf/grass that is 30-40 yards long, or a distance that takes you 30-40 seconds to complete the first set.
Beginner: 0.75x body weight
Intermediate: 1x body weight
Advanced: 1.25x body weight
5. Farmer's Walks
Farmer's Walks are a great all-around exercise for improving strength, stability and posture. Feel free to use a variety of equipment here including dumbbells, kettlebells or a trap bar, and use the same distance requirements outlined in the sled push/pull description. Keep your core braced throughout the movement and your eyes straight ahead.
Beginner: 0.5x body weight*
Intermediate: 0.75x body weight*
Advanced: 1x body weight*
*Total weight of both dumbbells/kettlebells or total weight added to bar (not including bar weight).