a few things to think about for aerobic training the especially with the advent of fitness and where it's gone for the past 20 years or so or 25 and this concept of intensity and fitness a big thing that is on people's minds is to just get better within Fitness and the broad aspect of trying to get better within Fitness that contains a whole bunch of different modalities has been fascinating to study and the the idea of it I think we're only within the infancy of trying to understand exactly the improvements in those areas I think the studying of various different kinds of one into the continuum of muscle contractions and how those contractions occur and the effects on the body I think have been well studied and established not answered but well established and studied and I think on the aerobic continuum it's been really well established and studied in those specific specific modalities when we consider the idea of trying to become aerobic just in nature for everything I think it becomes quite complex and I don't want to make it sound like the term aerobic capacity seems simple because to be able to improve the ability to be as aerobic as possible or to be sustainable as possible is the key thing that people should think about and try to understand the definition first so truly think about what is aerobic first that when you sash tag aerobic capacity you say you're doing aerobic capacity I really just want you to think about what it really is and just understand some of the pieces behind it so when you say aerobic you want to think of it as being sustainable without getting into the physiology and the background aspects of it where my mind goes on it is obviously quite broad but I want you to say we know is this a sustainable activity and there's not just being sustainable as a goal for most people when they're trying to gain a robic capacity which is why I'm a big believer in volume is that if it's not measured consistently you can only do you can't only do a few different pieces work and consider it sustainable you also have to look at the dose response as to what happens to that person and how well that how they recover from that activity or what it leads to for subsequent training sessions let me give an example someone does one minute piece of work hard rests a minute and they do that three times and the rate of perceived exertion each set is very very hard okay so at the end of the third piece of one minute as in terms of the score their score may have been the same same distance achieved same amount of work that was put into it by the but by the third piece of one minute they actually could not do 1/4 1 minute now the three pieces of one minute were sustainable so in the definition of sustainable activity is that considered aerobic well yes it is in terms of the effect that it has on someone for subsequent training sessions and their ability to recover into another one minute it's not sustainable activity so the way you want to think about you know what is truly aerobic capacity is a couple different things when you're doing the training you've got to leave a little bit on the table each time and most of the training for aerobic capacity should not leave your central nervous system in a state of fatigue where you can't do other variables that are connected to that training okay so that's how you'll understand really the background of it and the benefits of it when you look at Robo capacity or just aerobic training and training intervals which is another broad concept I break that down to like twelve to fifteen different areas of aerobic training based upon pace for coaches within CCP but to understand a two minute on two minute off interval for rolling let's say so you're gonna do rowing two minutes and then resting two minutes you're doing it over and over and let's say the volume accrues to being quite a bit then yes that's aerobic work especially if your meters scored per each two minute is good ready to proceed darshan is somewhat similar throat the entire time you could be under pacing but it's still aerobic let's say you do six seven eight nine ten sets of that then what you're doing in there is you're improving your aerobic intervals for rowing only now this is this does not mean that doing rowing intervals won't help in other characteristics but this is this is how you can really comprehend how aerobic capacity in mixed modal training is ridiculously complex there's so many factors within aerobic ability that limits people to stay aerobic in other modalities so when you train 2 minutes on a rower and two minutes off and you do it for eight sets you were increasing aerobic capacity that means how much how much aerobic you can put in one period of time you're training it through robic intervals but you're only getting better at aerobic intervals for rowing okay so this this also can frustrate people because they're like holy well then how do I become more aerobic overall if you're saying aerobic overall in terms of aerobic fitness that means you need to do multiple modalities that make you aerobic within those now the the reason why people can get you know broken within that is they don't understand the stress that's imposed when people do aerobic work and this is where it gets convoluted and I explained here in a couple different areas the amount of stress that people have when they do a training interval is largely based upon perception and this is where we can go down deep rabbit hole which we won't but you know how you perceive stress largely dictates the dose response so just think about that for a second and then it'll give you a little bit of an understanding as to how people can possibly through genetics experience training whatever the case they perceive stress at a different level they may be able to do more intervals that maintain their aerobic okay so think about that the adaptation to it so how fast or how slow people adapt to the aerobic intervals can also dictate how aerobic you become and then thirdly can they actually improve which means all the that they do away from the training system actually allows them to adapt so they can keep improving the aerobic capacity that's put in place so a couple things to consider when you're again first of all understanding that when you train something interval aerobic wise you're only improving that modality and then secondly you have to understand how a person perceives the stress adapts to it and improves based upon it in order to ensure you actually are doing aerobic work when it comes to you know putting it all together when you're trying to improve mixed mul aerobic capacity the thing that people have to consider is there's so many different pieces that you can put together to try to improve your aerobic capacity and this is why we're such big pushers of volume for people who want to improve a roba capacity in in the perspective of fitness or fitness as a sport okay so if you're if you're looking to just get healthier if you're looking to just get a workout if you're looking to just sweat and move and you're beginner or you're starting from zero then yeah anything that doesn't cause you more pain that you can adapt to a little bit that you move forward well that's just called an improvement of fitness and we can study ad nauseam as to what goes into that and it really doesn't matter if you're looking to improve your aerobic capacity such that you adapt after that initial honeymoon period you are gonna have to do smart training that improves your ability to stay aerobic in anything that you do and the reason why it gets complex when we do mixed modal aerobic training is that muscle endurance is the main limiter that prevents people with multiple different contractions of making themselves aerobic in mix modal pieces so let me give you an example it seems very accepted today within aerobic capacity training for individuals to do swim micro run intervals and they'll do you know a 90 minute workout with a bunch of different intervals a work to rest ratios very similar so they're maintaining aerobic ability and the repeats are great yet when someone prescribes kettlebell swings burpees and double unders and they do it in a three-minute format they rest for one minute and they do it eight times then blasphemy you know people are saying oh my god that's so much volume you don't need to do that volume to improve aerobic capacity well actually you do need to do that volume in mix modal training to be able to be aerobic in mixed modal work the good people within the sport of fitness can do that and the people that are calling you know that's way too much volume they can't do muscle endurance and make it aerobic to make those intervals aerobic so the concept of trying to improve within that mix modal setting aerobic Li has to be tested so that you could say well what's my limiter that prevents me from improving my mixed modal aerobic capacity and I'm telling you in most cases it's volume and training age and muscle endurance capability and pacing so if you spend more time under the hood you keep practicing and not pushing threshold all the time and you're still able to pace a actively so you know when you're not getting into redlining you can maintain those equal paces then I would ask you to continue to do two-minute three-minute one-minute intervals of mixed modal robic work the same amount of rest period and improve your volume and then if you can add a whole bunch of modalities to it and get better better at it then improve your volume up to a point which maximizes relative to your lifestyle and then you just add pace to it this has been done for geez I don't know 60 years within an endurance model of trying to improve aerobic capacity so we should be doing the same things within mix model work in order to improve that and if you're just a user and that's a little convoluted I'll go back to the the specifics of it in a bit your coach I would suggest you meeting with me and going through our program design course within CCP because we go into it a little bit more detail and you might get a bit more answers to it I wanted to point out a couple things based upon what exactly that testing is and if we could skew up this curve of power and time it would make a whole lot more sense for what aerobic capacity is and what we're trying to improve so if you look at the power and time curve when people start off with in number of seconds there's a really high option for power I hope that makes sense and as the curve goes down you can see the different the difference between you know the the difference between you know let's say three seconds and 12 seconds is it looks like it's a lot but the differential between power output is not that much here this is what we call the middle zone or the gray zone the reason why it's gray is because look at the differential between power output in terms of witters where it sits on the curve a very let's call it a yeah gray area of terms of energy utilization simply because of that because of the variance in power over a period of time so that's still being dissected and mixed model training in order to be understood quite appropriately but when it comes to aerobic work and trying to be sustainable this looks like it's flatlined when actually if I took this and drew it out on a larger scale you would actually get a line that looks something like that for power so what you're looking to do really is to try to and this could be theoretical for people just try to understand capacity you're trying to understand we're along this curve because it's not linear like this for most people some people's curve end up being you know looks looking something like this or it can be the opposite based upon what time does and how time goes on and the goal really is to try to improve your ability to create the best curve possible for as long as you can and the way to do that is through training intervals as we talked about and improving volume within that so if you're not looking to as I said win anything then you could just do simple aerobic intervals and eat clean and do great weight training and you're gonna live long and prosper if you want to truly improve aerobic capacity from your current setting to a future setting then you have to figure out where you sit on this curve and try to understand where at fault you know you don't sit on that mentors of mine have been doing this for many years within the endurance realm in which they'll pick apart a 400 meter up to a 5k time and look at limitations based upon that and they can indicate what kind of things people need to work on based upon their four hundred eight hundred fifteen hundred to 3k and 5k times let's say within running or even with rowing as well and so if you can think about that try to see where you sit aerobic ly for the amount of pace and tempo that fits for a one-minute interval on and off repetitively how do you fit for three minutes on and off repetitively how do you fit for five minutes on and off repetitively and then you can see exactly what your limitations are based upon those paces and if you figure out that for something that's you know 15 to 20 minutes long you can't maintain pace nope with the whole time and it's mixed modal that I'm telling you most cases you need to do muscle endurance mixed modal training appropriately and if you only do rowing swimming biking running then you will only improve your aerobic capacity for rowing swimming running and biking for those specific intervals that you're going to do so to put it all into detail for what is aerobic capacity as you can see that's a that's a very challenging aspect of fitness to try to understand but I need you as a person who's doing fitness or a coach who's going to be prescribing it to really understand what it is it's sustainable activity that you're trying to fit into the shore period of time aerobic training is those intervals that I spoke of aerobic capacity is trying to make as much in one period of time as aerobic as you can so it's an aspect that we're trying to look for if you're if you're training three or four times a week and doing aerobic intervals that's called aerobic interval training that's not called aerobic capacity capacity training would be trying to fit as much as possible to one period of time so you may go through a bunch of intervals and then test aerobic capacity after a couple of weeks and what hope you have some improvements on that second point I wanted to make sure you remember is that training those intervals aerobic ly will only because of the contractions and the type of stuff that's going on it's only going to improve your aerobic potential with those modalities that you're choosing which is the reason why someone can be fantastic on a bike for 90 minutes out in the hills but then when they get into the gym and they do some push-ups and jump rope and step ups they're gassed a fter three two-minute intervals and the reason why is that those muscle contractions are completely different to what they're doing for their local muscle endurance for their quads and their lungs out on the bike so you can see that how many different repetitions and pieces of repetitions of that person need to do to get good at mixed mobile training and the answer is yes a ton of it and the way that you can improve it is not get over you know don't over think about saying holy I have to do a whole bunch of different complexities of movements will you do but the one key thing you need to remember is to perceive it as aerobic and to make it as sustainable as possible because what we're talking about is trying to make things as sustainable as you can so this is 2016 and mixed model training in terms of its study and ideas has been going on really I guess the really the study of it or looking at it in terms of how it you know populates within Fitness has probably been ten to fifteen years old and ironically we discussed this where I thought about these concepts or ideas in 2007 and 2008 but it was not looked upon as being something we should investigate so it's kind of ironic that today it's welcomed and everyone wants to discuss it so that's just the way that's another point I want to make that that's just the way Fitness happens every 10 years in another 10 years someone else will come up with something that's called different than aerobic capacity and talk about how to train it more appropriately and just tag people that are just really good at anything with that concept and then make it seem like they're coming up with something new that actually has been done for 50 to 60 years in terms of aerobic training on itself another key thing to remember who it applies for so when someone starts out with training and they're there let's say they're below zero then anything they do that brings them back to zero is fantastic so that that you know just to remember any kind of training that is taking someone from a dysfunctional state they're not in good homeostasis and they're out of balance and they take them from that to bring them back to zero then that doesn't mean that that program works that just means that anything that they did brought them back to zero okay so you can mark it and sell and pump as much as this you want as a program but I can show you 40 different programs at any time that took someone from below zero and Gotha back to zero okay vegetarian vegetarianism took people from their yoga bar method Orangetheory walking yoga class curves CrossFit whatever they're all classified into something because someone was going down and it stopped them from going down they're brought them back to zero okay so does that work yes it does work doesn't mean it's the best method well not necessarily how do you determine what the best method is you go from a period of balance and homeostasis to getting better that extends for a very long period of time and so this is the piece that we're talking about here is how to go from zero to better than zero and simple principles in program design apply to that in that if you want to become more sustainable if you're a newbie within that sustainable activity just remember that almost anything that you do is a stress response and how you perceive it is gonna make you linearly improve and terms your adaptation if you're intermediate you're gonna start improving at a much smaller level and that's where you just can't do anything so if you just go into the gym and do anything five times a week and try to improve your aerobic system it's not going to happen because your nervous system is more developed and now you have to train it appropriately relative to pushing and pulling in and out of the nervous system and if you're advanced as you know you're going to be really intricate as to how important aerobic capacity is training is done and if you're a really fast adapter and you're genetically really gifted and you have great mechanics and all those things you do then you're going to improve your aerobic capacity at that point in time why because you're really good at sustainable activity and this is kind of guys flat kind of flies in the face of the intensity model where people say just be intense all the time but it's well accepted because the we should take it from all the advanced people that are really good you know they're doing aerobic intervals all the time five or six times a week yet they're bleeding intensity wins in terms of that fitness model well that only happens for beginners and that's why it only works for those folks because anything they do pass zero forward looks like it's successful so it's something I want you to be conscious conscious of when you're trying to judge exactly what is good aerobic training when you do that I know I'm a little over the place for it but last point on it you've got to think about also the mechanics for aerobic training when you do it you want to understand that if someone has great mechanical ability when they do any piece of work repetitively for a period of time that piece of work can largely be more can be expressed more bet about metabolically because of great mechanics which is the reason why of course we love the fact of trying to hammer on great mechanics before you try to build volume so people have a great metabolic base but poor mechanical structure then yes they can do mechanical work and it improves their metabolic efficiency not because of volume but because it makes them more efficiency at lower power outputs for when they do other aerobic training so think about that you can take someone who spits off energy all the time who has unbelievable capacity and then actually you don't improve their capacity you actually just refine their movement and now they can put out more power at a lower rate but they can sustain for a longer period of time so you really want to think about when you're doing aerobic intervals are they mechanically sound for me and if they are not then make sure that you drop pace to make sure that you can make them sustainable as much as possible or prescribe what is in those aerobic intervals that's effective for you to maintain pace and if you can make sure that you create muscle endurance that's sustainable within those aerobic intervals and you could do a bunch of intervals over a period of time then is an improvement in mixed modal aerobic capacity and when you do these you know ring muscle up handstand walk weighted pistol triple under complex for three minutes you rest two minutes and you can't do the same work for the next three minutes then that you're not making those mixed modal pieces aerobic what you're doing is threshold training or if you just did a seven you know seven rounds for time of that piece and your power will put dropped per set you're teaching your brain how to get tired with those specific pieces and that's okay you know a couple of times a month possibly but if you're training it all the time then you're just teaching your brain how to get tired you're actually not improving your aerobic capacity you're teaching your body how to go threshold and put up with threshold over a period of time if there's some things along with this that you want to more deeply to discuss with terms of aerobic capacity or what it means or how to train it just send us a question at OPEX fit dumb comm I'd be happening happy to answer it for you and until the next time when we want to discuss something different or it's another ten years when it comes back around again we want to look at it in a different light then I'll speak to you then