Here’s a really quick post but hopefully an informative one on exercise selection when doing conditioning training. There is one key thing I advise when selecting movements and exercises for high intensity conditioning sessions.
Within that phrase are 2 key things. First is to never fail because either the weight you’re using is too heavy or the exercise you’re doing is one that you’re not yet capable of performing a lot of. What that means is that if your conditioning session includes a military press, pick a weight that you will definitely be able to lift with good form right to the end. Likewise, if your 1RM on pull ups is 8, you’re unlikely to be able to do sets of 5 every minute for 10 or 15 minutes. Choose lighter weights or less reps. In an ideal world, you’d fail on the very last rep at 9.59s of a 10 minute round, but no one can make predictions like that, so settle for recording previous sessions in your diary and making a decision based on the available information. It should be just intense and heavy enough, but remember that no one ever got in better shape by standing looking at a weight they can’t lift.
The second key thing is technical failure. This is when someone chooses exercises in their sessions that are simply too technical to perform well. This is an injury issue as well as a conditioning one. It doesn’t have to be something high skill like a snatch either. It can be as simple as a bodyweight squat if that is something the athlete struggles with. Making them do it over and again when fatigued can just ingrain bad movement patterns or cause injury. Likewise you may be able to power clean 60kgs easily when fresh, but can you do it repeatedly for time and still maintain good form? When form breaks down, even if you are still getting the bar up, you could be just hurting yourself. So choose simple exercises that you can always perform well, or that have a low risk factor should you fail mid session.