Density Training for Strength and Conditioning

What is density training and how can I add it to my training routine for maximal results?

Density training is an effective way to incorporate weight training, kettlebells or other full body movements into your daily training routine without taking up much time.

Progress is typically guaged by how many reps you are able to do in a set time period.

For this workout, I propose that you take 2 different full body exercises and split them under this protocol:


Monday Clean and Press

Tuesday Front Squat

Thursday Clean and Press

Friday Front Squat

Density Training Method 1:

Increase your workload. So the first method which we are going to use is a 20 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible).

Each workout will be 20 minutes long. Set a timer, bang some Prodigy or Black Sabbath on your walkman (do they still exist?) and grind out your reps. How you split them is up to you, keep your form good and record your reps so that each session you can see if you have progressed.

For the above workout I used kettlebells. Once you can hit 50 reps in a 20 minute workout I would advise either increasing the weight, changing the exercise or switching to Density Training Method 2.

Note – the exercise needs to be a full body movement to stimulate and challenge your body.

Density Training Method 2: 

Keep the reps the same and try to reduce the amount of time it takes you to perform them. Of course for this you do need to keep the rep quality the same so no cheating 🙂

Example, say you perform 50 reps of the clean and press in 20 minutes. Instead of switching to a heavier weight you can try and reduce the time that it takes to do those 50 reps. If on week 1 it takes you 20 minutes but on week 2 you can do the same 50 reps in 19:30 then you have made progress!

Bodyweight Density Training

The same Density training protocol can be applied to bodyweight exercises. Of course remember that we can’t use this protocol on isolation exercises and expect the same results.

Personally I would look to pair up certain exercises if performing them for density training. Some examples are listed below.

Full Body bodyweight training exercises suitable for density training are: 

A1. 10 x burpees

A2. 10 x medball slams

B1. 10 x slams

B2. 10 x situps

C1. 10 x clapping pressups

C2. 10 x jump squats

So using the above exercise selections, you would set a timer for 20 minutes and then (using A for example) would do ten burpees followed by 10 med ball slams. This would count as one rep. You then do as many sets/reps of these two full body exercises as you can for twenty minutes. Write down your score and then on your next session you try to beat it!

Density training for strength and conditioning

Jim Halton is a qualified Kettlebell Coach and Senior Coach at the Bristol Titans Krav Maga Academy. Jim also specialises in MMA Conditioning.

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