Aerobic Endurance Training: AKA getting fitter

Most clients have goals of becoming ‘fitter’ but do not understand what domain of fitness they are really asking for. This article helps to understand what our definition of ‘fitness’ is, and how we train it.

What is fitness?

The true definition is “the quality of being suitable to fulfill a particular role or task”. But this implies that if a client can survive a marathon they are fit for marathon running.
To find out who is ‘fitter’ two athletes must run against each other. If athlete A beats athlete B, athlete A is ‘fitter’ and also ‘fit’ because they won and finished the marathon. But what happens if athlete B beats athletes A in swimming? Or athlete B beats athlete A in a back squat test. Who is fitter then?
Greg Glassman answered this question, publishing an article that revolutionized the fitness industry in 2002. 
So back to aerobic based training. Simply put, if you have a specific goal you must have a specific training program. Our Metcon program is a progressive strength and conditioning program based on building all domains of fitness evenly. It builds strength and develops well rounded athletes that are generalists. If your goal is to be pain-free, fit and healthy the program is for you.

Targeted Aerobic Endurance Training

At our facility, all aerobic training is sustainable and repeatable. You hear our coaches in class explain this concept throughout the week. “This development can only be achieved at an intensity, which the complete oxygen-transporting system (aerobic system) is activated to the maximum, while lactate accumulation in the muscles is not yet reached.” Training the aerobic system and its many levels, depending on the athlete’s current fitness level and function of the athlete.
If a client asked to ‘get fitter’ for a marathon, what they are asking is to develop long range oxidative power out. While that is one of the energy systems, if they neglect higher output shorter time domain work their overall fitness may not be improving. They might just be becoming more specialized in one domain. 
The general public believes that aerobic training is low skill, simple work that lasts for over 30min. Running is a simple skill, people tend to ‘go for a run’ for over 30min and think they are working on the aerobic system. 
One of our remote athlete completing LT workThis statement is true, however, the reality is that there are different levels of aerobic training. Each feels different and can be programming / trained differently. Its important to program the correct pathways for the correct goals in the correct athlete. If you are heading to a ‘circuits’ class or ‘HIIT’ class just to ‘get fit’ you must understand that the program is not developed for you. Yes, baseline fitness may improve in a baseline class, but for accurate and progressive results all clients must be allocated the correct energy system training. This means ditching ‘excersise classes’ and training in a progressive strength and conditioning program under the guidance of professional performance coaches. 
This is even truer the more advanced a client becomes. A newbie may be able to build baseline fitness through a generic boot camp, but as the athlete develops and sets specific goals, unless ‘doing well in boot camp class’ the target a new strategy must be considered.

What Are the Benefits of Properly Prescribed Aerobic Training

#1- Enhances transportation of oxygen to working muscles
#2- Increased enzyme availability for muscle endurance
#3- Provides ATP required to resynthesize PCR during times of low activity between high efforts.
#4- Liberate Free Fatty Acids for fuel (regulates body fat distribution)
#5- Speeds recovery between high-intensity training sessions
#6- Improves cardiovascular health and function

By Nathan Hearn
Co-Founder MVMT42

Smart Performance