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How to improve your general fitness

Patrick Beith explains how, in 45 minutes, you can improve your strength, balance, aerobic conditioning, core conditioning, help prevent injuries and work on mental focus during fatigue

Sample Tempo Running Workout No. 1

This workout can be conducted on a football pitch.

  1. Run 100 yards (performed at 65% HRmax)
  2. Walk along the goal line across the field
  3. Run back 100 yards
  4. Walk along the goal line across the field
  5. Repeat (1 to 4) 3 more times
  6. Rest for 3 minutes - active rest, keep moving and do not sit down.
  7. Run 100 yards
  8. Walk along the goal line across the field
  9. Run back 100 yards
  10. Walk along the goal line across the field
  11. Repeat (7 to 10) 3 more times

Sample Strength Workout No. 2

Like all of your workouts, you want to be as efficient as possible and get the most from the session. General strength circuits do just that. Most young athletes lack the general strength it takes to produce the proper force and lacks basic work capacity, so we get both of these great benefits from general strength work.

General Strength Circuits

General strength circuits are usually bodyweight exercises that involve little or no external loading. The day after a speed/power workout is the ideal time to add a general strength day. A speed/power day places extreme stress to your CNS (central nervous system) and it takes 24 to 48 hours to recover from it. This is why you cannot perform speed/power workouts day after day (well you can, but you would be asking for an injury!). So, the general strength circuit is used as a recovery workout to help your body recoup and get ready for another speed/power workout the following day. The circuits will increase your heart rate but are low in intensity enough to have such positive effects on your body restoration abilities.

Jump Rope Circuit: (performed on grass)

  1. Jump Rope - 1 minute (30seconds - 2 feet, 30 seconds - hip turns)
  2. Jog 50 yards
  3. Prisoner Squats - 1x20
  4. Jog 50 yards
  5. Jump Rope - 1 minute (30 seconds - Crossover, 30 seconds - Double Skip)
  6. Jog 50 yards
  7. Burpees - x10
  8. Jog 50 yards
  9. Jump Rope - 1 minute (30 seconds - Skip, 30 seconds - High knee)
  10. Jog 50 yards
  11. In-place Alternating Lunges - 10-each leg
  12. Jog 50 yards
  13. Rest (active rest, keep moving and do not sit down) for 3-minute then repeat 1-12

When you repeat this exercise, you can change the exercises (e.g. add lateral lunges, split squats, etc.) and also change the order of the jump rope exercise. At the end of a general strength day, we will also do our core work at a high volume.

Sample Tempo Workout No. 3

(Great for group/team training sessions)

  1. Split squats - 10 each leg
  2. Jog 50 yards
  3. Rotational push-ups - 8 each way
  4. Jog 50 yards
  5. Bicycles - x30
  6. Jog 50 yards
  7. Burpees - x10
  8. Jog 50 yards
  9. Military push-ups - x10
  10. Jog 50 yards
  11. Russian twists - x25
  12. Jog 50 yards
  13. Backwards lunges - 10-each leg
  14. Jog 50 yards
  15. Lateral lunges - 10 each leg
  16. Jog 50 yards
  17. Reverse crunches - x20
  18. Jog 50 yards
  19. 1 Leg squats - 10 each leg
  20. Rest (active rest, keep moving and do not sit down) for 3-minute then repeat 1-19

In under 45 minutes, you just improved your strength, balance, aerobic conditioning, core conditioning, help prevent injuries and worked on mental focus during fatigue all while recovering your body from yesterdays speed workout.


Article Reference

This article first appeared in:

  • BETH, P. (2006) How to improve your general fitness. Brian Mackenzie's Successful Coaching, (ISSN 1745-7513/ 30 /March), p. 7

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • BETH, P. (2006) How to improve your general fitness [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/articles/scni30a6.htm [Accessed

About the Author

Patrick Beth is a co-owner of Athletes' Acceleration, Inc, a company devoted to performance enhancement whose mission is to improve the knowledge base of motivated coaches and athletes in order to improve athletic performance. He is a Performance Consultant certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS), the American Council of Sports Medicine (HFI), the National Academy of Sports Medicine (PES) and is a USA Track and Field Level II Coach in the Sprints, Hurdles and Jumps.

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