GET JACKED! with Coach Scott Umberger


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GET JACKED! this weekScott Umberger discusses the dreaded topic that makes everyone queasy: conditioning.



Coach Scott Umberger - Conditioning Tips




You are not a marathon runner and this is not the Matrix


Scott Umberger > GET JACKED!

Quote of the Week:






The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.
– Vince Lombardi



This quote sums up today’s topic of conditioning.  Here is an excerpt from my first post:

Conditioning: sprints are key here. Save the distance running for distance runners. Your game is about beating the opponent to the ball or a spot. That’s explosiveness and quickness. Distance running promotes the development of slow twitch muscle fibers. Yes, slow is bad. Look at a marathoner. Do they look explosive or strong? HELL no! Don’t freak out on me here, there’s nothing wrong with taking a weekly 15-20 min jog. 80-90% of Lacrosse is sprinting. You should train like you play spending 80% of your conditioning on varying short sprints from 5-40 yards.

Scott Umberger Conditioning TipsThat’s you on the right.Your maximum heart rate is determined by using the formula 220 – age = MHR. Problem is that this only applies to maybe 30% of the population. It is something to benchmark without having to spend $100+ getting tested at a college or university. It works given your situation. 80% of your game is spent with your heart rate jacket at 80% of your maximum heart or higher for the entire game. If you went out for a 3 – 4 mile run your heart rate would be around 60% of its maximum. So why should your train at a heart rate at which you spend maybe 20% of the game? You might as well play goalie with a spoon and a welder’s mask! And sorry to break it to you, Neo, you aren’t in the Matrix with a magic spoon!

Here’s another thought: conditioning can also be a way to improve your athletic ability and recovery on the field. How so? Well, if you are practicing maintaining good running technique while conditioning then you are making conditioning easier and allowing yourself to run faster. Also, you are making sure that you maintain that form when you are tired (you do get tired in games right?). If you have good form then you are fast and efficient, which is the most important thing in the 4th quarter.

Scott Umberger Conditioning TipsBreathe through your nose!Also practice your breathing. Breathing in through your nose (deepest breathes are through the nose) and out of your mouth (exhaling this way is the fastest) is extremely important. You must recover during breaks in the game and during breaks in between sprints. How do you do that? You breath and walk around, DON’T SIT DOWN AND HUNCH OVER.

You must lower your heart rate in order to compete. Next to an injury the best thing that you can face in the field is an opponent that is out of breath. You own them! Breathe deep through your nose and control your breathing. When running control your breathing so that you aren’t out of gas when you’re done.

I would recommend starting out with 100 yard and 50 yard sprints:

  • Start with ten 100 yards sprints in 14-16 seconds with a 90 second rest
  • Switch it up the next day and do fifteen 50 yard sprints in 6-8 seconds with 45- 60 seconds of rest

These aren’t killer but a solid place to start for 2-3 weeks. After you have a few weeks of this under your belt here is the next step:

  • Increase the 100’s up from 10 reps to 20-25 reps and the 50’s up from 15 reps to 25.

My favorite lacrosse specific conditioning are tempo runs. These can be position specific. The idea is to sprint for 5 sec, jog 10 sec, sprint 5 sec, walk for 30 seconds. You can change these up completely and I want you to change direction. I don’t care how just do it. If you typically sprint more or less change it up. Variety is key because you never ever do that same thing during a game. We are trying to simulate a game. Start with 10 straight minutes and get up to 30 minutes.


Scott Umberger is the owner of Umberger Performance and can be reached through his website or email at

Scott Umberger has worked with high school, college (athletes from 20 different NCAA schools), and professional athletes(MLL, NHL-ECL, MLB, CHL, NFL, NBA, World Championship Games, and Arena Football I & II), 3 All-Americans (track, swimming, hockey), a Biletnikoff Trophy Winner (top DI Football Receiver), 2 Hobe Baker Trophy Finalist-top 3 and top 10 (Heisman Trophy of College Hockey), a top 10 NCAA scorer in Men’s Hockey, a member of the USA U-22 Woman’s Team, FINA Master World Championship Qualifying Swimmer, current Olympic Hopeful Javelin Thrower, ECAC/IC4A qualifying track hurdler.


  1. Logjammin"
    Your coach isn’t a dumb ass. He just does the things that he did when he played-back in the day. 90% of all teams under the college ranks do the wrong things. I’d easily say that 60% of college teams do stupid things too.
    I along with the others that I have learned from suffer an uphill battle. Very simple, train slow-be slow.
    Get good at running 440’s and you can run track! Hell, the stupid ass track coach will make you a 800m guy. That’s what they do, but that’s another story.