Training Smarter, Not Harder: Principles for Ultimate Frisbee Conditioning

author - melissa witmer strength and conditioning

Completing a generic general-purpose fitness plan will lead to suboptimal results when competing in any sport, including ultimate. Instead, there are two principles you need to consider when training for ultimate and preparing your body for the demands of the sport. Melissa breaks down these principles and discusses how you should tailor your training based on a sport-specific analysis.

The first principle to consider is the metabolic demands of the sport and how to match the time and intensity demands of Ultimate in your training. The second principle is movement and the importance of analyzing what types of movement you need to be including in your training. As you might expect, straight-line sprints and running only partially transfer to the ultimate field!

Watch below for more information on these principles and ultimate-specific conditioning.


  • Principle #1: Metabolic Demand
    • Different Systems
      • Long run = Cardiovascular system
      • Jumping = Phosphagen system
      • High intensity = Anaerobic system
      • Bottom Line: Match time and intensity demands of sport in your training
    • How much does an ultimate player move on the field?
      • According to Xi Xia for The Huddle, Average Play Segment is 21.2 seconds(1).
      • Use Interval Training
        • Work at a higher intensity for longer. More closely matching what happens on the field.
      • Bottom Line: Long-distance running does not reflect Ultimate’s metabolic demands.
  • Principle #2: Movement Demands
    • What type of movement is happening on the field?
    • Prepare your body by adding direction changes into conditioning.
    • Bottom Line: Lots of different types of movements. NOT just running in a straight line.

Questions? Post below. And don’t forget to download the FREE 6 Week Speed, Agility, and Conditioning program from the UAP!

1 Off the Beaten Track: Training for the Energy Demands of Elite Men’s Ultimate by Xi Xia. Originally published on The Huddle. Text via The Internet Archive.