Let's take a look at some common conditioning formats you'll find in Functional Bodybuilding programs, and how to perform them:

Movement Ladders

Example #1:

10-8-6-4-2

Air Squat

Push Up

Alternate back and forth between the movements, following the rep scheme. Perform 10 Air Squats, then 10 Push Ups. Then 8 Air Squats, 8 Push Ups, 6 Air Squats, 6 Push Ups, etc. until all of the reps are complete.

Example #2:

6-9-12-9-6

Burpee

12-18-24-18-12

Tall Plank Knee to Elbow

Alternate back and forth between the movements, following the designated rep scheme for each movement. Perform 6 Burpees, then 12 Tall Plank Knee to Elbows. Then 9 Burpees, then 18 Tall Plank Knee to Elbows, etc. until all of the reps are complete.

Example #3:

For Time

4-6-8-10-8-6-4

Burpee Broad Jumps

*10 Tuck Ups between each round

Alternate back and forth between the movements, following the dynamic rep scheme of movement 1 (burpee broad jumps) and the static rep scheme of movement 2 (tuck ups). Perform 4 burpee broad jumps, then 10 tuck ups. Then 6 burpee broad jumps, then 10 tuck tups. Then 8 burpee broad jumps, then 10 tuck ups, etc. until all of the reps are complete.

Example #4:

21-18-15-12-9-6

Anchored Feet Sit Up

*Between each round complete (5 sets only)

250m/200m Bike

8 Push Ups

Similar to the Example above, alternate back and forth between movement 1 (anchored feet sit ups) and cluster 1 (bike + push ups). Perform 21 sit ups, then complete 250/200m bike and 8 push ups. Perform 18 sit ups, then complete 250/200m bike and 8 push ups. Perform 15 sit ups, then complete 250/200m bike and 8 push ups, etc. until all of the reps are complete. You will not complete the cluster movements (bike + push ups) after the last set of 6 sit ups. The workout ends after the sit ups are completed.

AMRAPs

This is short for "As Many Rounds As Possible" or "As Many Reps As Possible" if referring to just one movement. However, Functional Bodybuilding places an emphasis on quality, so think of this as "move to complete as many rounds/reps as possible within the given time frame, without sacrificing movement quality."

Example:
8min AMRAP
1 Bottoms-Up KB TGU R (light to moderate)
1 Bottoms-Up KB TGU L (light to moderate)
10m Single Arm KB Farmers Carry R 70/53lbs
10m Single Arm KB Farmers Carry L 70/53lbs

Start a clock and from 0 - 8 minutes, move continuously through this list of movements: 1 Bottoms-Up Turkish Get Up on the right side, one on the left, then a 10 meter Single Arm Carry on each arm, then back to the Turkish Get Ups. Weights are suggested for male/female but scale as needed.

Buy In, Cash Out

In this workout format, you'll see a movement you must complete at the beginning, usually followed by a circuit, and then perhaps another movement to complete after the circuit before the workout is finished.

Example of a Buy In:

For Time @ High Effort
BIke 1600/1300m
-then-
21-15-9
DB Thruster 50/35lbs
Toes to Bar
*Time Cap 7mins

Bike 1600 meters or 1300 meters (male/female), then complete the movement ladder of 21 Thrusters, 21 Toes to Bar, 15 Thrusters, 15 Toes to Bar, 9 Thrusters, then 9 Toes to Bar. (This workout does not end with a Cash Out.)

EMOMs, Every [X] Seconds or Minutes

EMOM stands for "Every Minute On the Minute" - for example, a 10 minute EMOM of 20 Double Unders would mean starting a clock and at minutes 0, 1, 2, etc. all the way through minute 9, you'd perform 20 Double Unders and then rest until the top of the next minute. The idea is to alternate work and rest, though the amount of rest depends on your workout and your ability. If you find time running out before you are supposed to start your next set, be sure to scale back until you are resting. An EMOM may entail around 30 seconds of rest to give an idea.

You will also commonly see the same format, but instead of work being performed Every Minute, it could be Every 45 seconds, Every 2 minutes, etc. Keep an eye on the clock and pace yourself accordingly.

Example #1:

Every 4mins x 5 Sets
10 Pushups
12 Plank Walk Ups (6/side)
15 Cobra Air Squats
18 Cobra Jump Lunges (9/side)

*Aim is to finish sets in 2:00 or less for each round, so scale accordingly

Example #2:

Every 45 Seconds x 12 Sets

1st Set - Chainsaw Row Right x 6-8/arm

2nd Set - Chainsaw Row Left x 6-8/arm

3rd Set - Floor Press x 4-6reps (no tempo)

*Set 1 would be completing the chainsaw row on the right and resting the remainder of the 45seconds, Set 2 would be completing the chainsaw row on the left and resting the remainder of the 45seconds, Set 3 would be completing the floor press and resting the remainder of the 45seconds, on Set 4 go back to the chainsaw row on the right... and so on and so forth until you've completed 12 total sets (9 minutes of work).

Continuous Movement using a Monostructural Cardio Modality

You will see this programmed often within our warm starts or conditioning pieces. We like to pair a monostructural cardio movement with movement clusters at specific time intervals. When a note indicates to "Bike/row/ski continuously for 15 minutes" this is your cue to set a running clock and integrate the movement clusters at the designated time periods.

Example #1:

Bike 12-15 minutes continuously

*At minutes 3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 - get off the bike and perform

6 Tall Kneeling Hip to Halo

6 Tall Kneeling KB Horn Curls

6 Tall Kneeling KB Tricep Extensions

Set a running clock. Minutes 0-3 bike. At 3 minutes, get off the bike and complete 6 tall kneeling hip to halo, 6 tall kneeling KB horn curls, and 6 tall kneeling KB tricep extensions. The clock is still running while you complete these movements. Get back on the bike, regardless of where the clock is, and bike until minute 6. Get off and complete 6 tall kneeling hip to halo, 6 tall kneeling KB horn curls, and 6 tall kneeling KB tricep extensions. Get back on the bike and bike until minute 9, then get off and perform 6 tall kneeling hip to halo, 6 tall kneeling KB horn curls, and 6 tall kneeling KB tricep extensions, etc. repeating this cadence until minute 15.

Example #2:

Bike 12-16 minutes continuously

Each minute get off the Bike and complete:

1st - 3 Renegade Rows

2nd - 8 Suitcase Reverse Lunge

Set a running clock. Minutes 0-1 bike. At minute 1, get off the bike and complete 3 renegade rows. Get back on the bike and bike until Minute 2. At Minute 2, get off and complete 8 suitcase reverse lunges. Get back on the bike and bike until Minute 3. Get off and perform 3 renegade rows, etc. Continue with this flow until 16 minutes have elapsed.

Did this answer your question?