No Weight Room? No Problem!

The reason I bring this up is the constant queries I receive for programs that don't require a weight room, programs that can be monitored by a coach or done at home.
Republished with Permission From

Over the past few months, I've been asked to develop strength and conditioning programs for clubs, teams and individual athletes. No problem, this is what I do. The reason I bring this up is the constant queries I receive for programs that don't require a weight room and that can be monitored by a coach or done at home. Have I got your juices flowing? I hope so. If the athletes can train on the field or the court at the end of practice the coach can be sure of two things.

#1 - The athlete is indeed doing the workout and
#2 - The exercises are being done with proper form.

One of the golden rules of strength and conditioning floating around out there in the minds of some (not all) sport scientists is: body weight before external load. This simply means that before we hit the weights (external load), we develop a solid base from which to build, using only body weight exercises (building the foundation). This makes a lot of sense to me and is one of the philosophies of the FIT2PLAY system.

Sounds like a good philosophy, so how does it work? How do you keep the interest of our young aspiring and/or elite athletes without the use of a traditional weight lifting program? No problem, as long as you have some balls: Swiss-balls, power balls and medicine balls. Swiss-balls have been around a long time. Years ago they were primarily used in the physical therapy world. In the world of strength and conditioning, their applications are endless.

The same goes for medicine balls. For those of you not familiar with either type of ball, the Swiss-ball is a big round plastic ball usually 45-75 cm. in circumference. While med-balls typically are the size of a #3 soccer ball to a pumpkin and weigh 1-15 pounds.

If we wanted to be creative and time efficient, we could design a workout on the field or court that would include speed, agility, quickness and even strength and power. To do this we would add a couple of agility ladders, some hurdles, cone configurations and a few sprints, hops and jumps. Let's not forget the Swiss-ball, med-ball and one of my favorites, the power ball. There you have it, a simple and time efficient strength and conditioning program that can be adjusted to all levels. This program is extremely functional, as well as practical. I guarantee this will be a workout that athletes will love, and yet will still find challenging. This is a big part of Brian McBride's workout and will continue to be until he goes back to England in January.

In this section I will lay out some ideas for a program. Like always, you may e-mail me any time with specific questions for you or your club/team.

The Workout - Strength and Power

This will be done in a circuit style. Complete the entire circuit, repeat 1-3 times. Follow a 1:3 work to rest ratio for now. This is a guideline, not cast in stone. There are many factors that might change this (age, where you are in the season, fitness levels, goals, etc).

Warm-up first:

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?[video]? 324kb

Lunge Walks

?[video]? 908kb

Swiss ball Hammy curls

?[video]? 364kb

Power cleans (power ball)

?[video]? 837kb

Swiss ball rotation/flexion

?[video]? 462kb

Med ball shovel throws

?[video]? 509kb

1/4 turn Slam Bam's

?[video]? 251kb

Med ball Granny throws

?[video]? 824kb

Swiss ball push-ups

?[video]? 212kb

Swiss ball crunch

?[video]? 428kb

Swiss ball shoulder press

?[video]? 794kb

The Workout - Conditioning

We will structure this in a circuit style manner as well. Remember, there are many ways to skin a cat. This is just one. Complete the entire circuit 2-3 times with a 1:2 or 1:3 work to rest ratio to start.

[See the Conditioning Circuit Video] 2.2mb

Clips From: Squat-Jump-Throw-Sprint

As always, we will start out with a warm-up.

  • Okay, we will start facing the cone. Sprint to the right, 5 yards. Then sprint to the left 10 yards. Then sprint right back 5 yards ending up at the starting position.
  • Next, we sprint 10 yards to the hurdles. We'll go over one hurdle, a quick side step, over the 2nd hurdle - another quick side step and over the 3rd hurdle.
  • Next, sprint another 5 yds and zig-zag between the 5 cones (5-10 yds. in between each cone)
  • Lower your body, sit on your butt and execute 25 Russian twists. (Balancing on the butt, legs raised up in 45-degree angle; arms out from the body and bent at elbow; rotating legs one way and arms the other -- twist and rotate back and forth). This is working the "core area" or the midsection of the body.
  • Get up, sprint 10 yards and hit the ladders putting one foot in each rung.
  • Next, we'll do some cariocas -- about 10 yards worth(lots of hip movement).
  • Following the cariocas, sprint 10 yards and then duplicate the hurdles -- same thing as in step 2 above; over the first hurdle, then side step to the left over the 2nd - side step to the right over the 3rd. Then we are going to side step to the right and
  • Now, "back-peddle" 5 yards
  • Then quickly sprint 10 yards into the next ladder, moving laterally, one foot in each box or rung.
  • After the ladder, drop and do 10 push-ups
  • Sprint 10 yards
  • Then back-peddle 5 yards, and then sprint to the finish, which will be about 15 yards.

Recommended Equipment

  • Swiss Balls
  • Agility Ladders
  • Foam Rollers
  • Hurdles
  • Medicine/Power Balls
  • Cat
  • Bullet Belt
  • Cones

A pilot would never take off without first having a flight plan, and neither should you. Make sure you plan your work, and then work your plan. Be consistent and have fun. We've covered a lot of ground in this short article. If you would like specifics for any of the above, please send me an e-mail or call 614-348-2752.

Yours in fitness,