Hard Yards Conditioning Workout

jen sinklerWhen asked what she does about cardio, she replied, “Lift weights faster.”.

That got my attention.

Her name is Jen Sinkler and she is OBSESSED about conditioning like I am about finishers.

I connected with her and asked for a killer conditioning circuit and she delivered.

Hard Yards
Jen Sinkler

“How difficult can it be?” I wondered before I did my first workout with sandbags. The answer is very, I found out shortly. That was 2009, at a certification course in Philadelphia, and since then, I’ve incorporated DVRT both in my own training, and with clients (who gravitate toward it any time it’s an option).

Below is a circuit I put together for one of my female clients, who plays football. She asked to level up her conditioning, and we set about it. This was one of her favorites.

Name: The Plunge…sink to the bottom of this ladder as quickly as you can!

Suggested Equipment: Just your body!

Instructions: Complete one descending ladder starting at 10 reps and do a decreasing number of even reps each set. Take as much recovery as needed between movements.
Allotted Time: Less than 10 minutes

Jump Squat
Reverse Lunge
Hand-Release Pushup
Lateral Lunge


jump squat


Jump Squat
• From a standing position, squat a quarter of the way down to load tension in the legs, then jump upward as high as possible.
• Land as quietly as possible and lower into a full squat as soon as the balls of your feet hit the ground.
• Explode back upward from this position, always landing softly and making sure knees track in line with your feet.


• Lie on your stomach, arms stretched out at your sides.
• Raise your arms off the floor and lightly squeeze your shoulder blades back and down toward your rump. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
• Don’t overreach, crane your neck upward, or shrug your shoulders upward while completing repetitions.

reverse lunge

BW Reverse Lunge – 2 shots
• Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
• Take a large step backward with one foot, lowering your hips under control.
• Return to standing by “pulling” body up through the front heel. Repeat.
• Complete all repetitions on one side before switching legs, or alternate legs.


Hand-Release Pushup
• Start in a straight-arm plank position, facing downward with your body elevated between your hands and toes.
• Line up your hands directly under your shoulders, just wider than your rib cage.
• With a stiff core and squeezed glutes, lower your body completely down to the floor in control, angling your elbows out to no more than 45 degrees.
• At the bottom position, raise your hands up off the floor by lightly squeezing your shoulder blades together. Keep your core stiff and glutes squeezed together.

lateral lunge

Lateral Lunge
• Take a big step out to one side and so that your feet are about two shoulder-widths apart. (Exact width will vary depending on your groin flexibility.)
• Sit back and down on one leg, lowering your hips as far as you feel comfortable, keeping your weight in that heel. At the same time, keep your other foot in contact with the ground.
• From this low position, propel your body back up to a standing posture.
• Complete the desired number of repetitions or time interval on one leg before switching sides.

Get Better Faster
If you’re looking to amp up your conditioning in other creative but productive ways, I’ve put together a mammoth 130-workout pick-and-choose library called Lift Weights Faster. Complete with a full exercise glossary that includes written descriptions and photographic demonstrations of over 225 exercises (from classic moves to more unusual ones — the Jefferson deadlift, anyone?), a limited video library that includes coaching on 14 of the more technical lifts, five challenge-workout videos, plus a dynamic warm-up routine, I leveraged my background in magazine publishing to create a clear-cut, easy-to-use resource that you’ll want to turn to all the time.

Every workout is organized by the equipment you have available and how much time you’ve got, with options that last anywhere from five up to 30 minutes.

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention I teamed up with two-time New York Times bestselling author Diane Sanfilippo to create a wonderful companion resource called Eat Better Faster on eating healthy, whole foods, even when you’re pinched for time.

For more info, click HERE.


Jen Sinkler (www.jensinkler.com), RKC, PCC, PM, USAW, is a longtime fitness journalist who writes for national magazines such as Women’s Health and Men’s Health. A former member of the U.S. national women’s rugby team, she currently trains clients at The Movement Minneapolis.

Leave A Reply (4 comments so far)

  1. Donald Pearline
    9 years ago

    Interesting set, similar to Jade Teta’s metabolic aftershock set, but is there anything gender specific about these? Seems guys could benefit also.

    • Mikey
      9 years ago

      No doubt Donald… guys can certainly benefit from this training. Thanks!

  2. Ruth Venter
    9 years ago

    Would like to follow you with email newsletters