Training, Programming and Thoughts on Conditioning
I no longer believe in training to lose weight, gain weight or whatever. I only believe in Training to be Awesome. This means you get strong and in shape and the chips will ALWAYS fall in your favor. I have a list of standards for different tests that encompass a number of different areas including strength, jumping/throwing and conditioning.
99% of all questions on 5/3/1 and other programs are about 1% of the program; quit focusing on the small things and look at the big picture. Those are the things that matter.
Everyone needs to condition. Your current sport and fitness level will determine what kind you need. Just about everyone should do some kind of aerobic work for health and recovery. Harder conditioning such as the Prowler, sprinting hills, sled work are great but they need to be treated as part of your LIFTING. This is an important concept to embrace.
The 3 things that I think people need to internalize with their training: Lift heavy, run fast and stretch hard. Of course, each of these will be determined by the individual and his/her needs. But the point is any good total training program will address strength, conditioning and some kind of mobility/flexibility.
As long as your main lift is properly programmed, you can be as creative (or uncreative) with your assistance work as you want. So squat and do whatever you want - battling ropes, sled, kettlebells, etc. As long as the main lift is kicking ass and planned for, enjoy what you do.
The older you get the more time you need to spend on restoration and recovery (and the less on training).
The more suited you are for the sport of competitive lifting, the less assistance work you have to do to be successful. This was taught to me by James Smith.
The strongest, fastest and most explosive athletes that I have been around are football players and throwers. These guys all run, jump and throw explosively. They do this everyday, either in their training or their field practice. This is an everyday thing; something that cannot be replicated by 1 or 2 days of "speed" work. Learn from them and be fast.
Ignore the horrible music of the following video which shows Randy Barnes lifting and training.