Ultimate Conditioning: The Benefits of Hill Running

Chris Holder
Kettlebells, Strength and Conditioning, Martial Arts

I grew up in the late 70’s and 80’s. I have been an athlete my entire life and have loved football for as far back as I can remember. One of my favorite training stories from the mainstream media as a kid was the hill that legendary running back Walter Payton used to condition himself in the off season. Look anywhere on the internet and you can find stories of Walter’s out of this world conditioning, how he would bring athletes from all sports to train with him, and how they would all ultimately tap out from exhaustion. He’s one of the NFL’s most prolific runners, arguably one of the greatest of all time, and the hill was his secret.


I’ve been coaching for almost twenty years now, and if I’m being honest, I will admit that I am obsessed with hill running. I have Walter to thank for this, and since speed is the ultimate goal in all of my programs, hills (or stairs for those of you who don’t have a suitable hill close by) is an absolute must in any speed or conditioning program. I’ve spent the bulk of my career split between Cal Poly and San Jose State and both places have significant hill/stadium inclines that are perfect for hammering my athletes.


female sprinting


To access the content, please login.



A career as a coach or trainer is a never ending opportunity to learn, grow, and re-invent yourself.


You don’t get to pick the problems you solve because everyone who you come across is different: Different genders, ages, fitness levels, disposable time, disposable income, and almost always unsure of their commitment.


Here on Coaches Only we update the content regularly, we go in lots of different directions, and we engage with experts in all walks of life so long as they help coaches and trainers in pursuit of a fulfilling career.


There are no simple answers to how to be a good pro. No one can sell your services for you. There is no silver bullet for success.



That’s why you should sign up, be present, and when the opportunity arises, also take the initiative to contribute to the conversation.


Coaches Only is for independent coaches and trainers who believe in the value of their work and have a love of this industry.


Coaches Only is for professionals who strive to make a career that lasts, has impact, and rewards people who work hard at it.