Improving Aerobic Fitness

By Joel Jamieson

Your capacity for improving the aerobic system is much greater than the anaerobic system.

This is because there are 3 factors that contribute to aerobic fitness, all of which you can manipulate:
1.) Oxygen supply
2..) Oxygen utilization
3.) Substrate availability

In order to talk about training aerobic fitness, we must broach the controversial topic of training intensity...

If you look at only a short period of time, the body adapts quicker to high intensity training (it provides a stronger stimulus).

However, if you train beyond 4-6 week at a high intensity, you are going to see higher rates of plateauing and overtraining.

Moderate and low intensity training produce less significant improvements in the short run but greater and longer lasting improvements over the long run.

When it comes to actual aerobic training methods, there are a couple of basic principles:
1.) Heart rate should be below anaerobic threshold
2.) The lower the intensity, the higher the volume
3.) Aerobic fitness can be improved through steady state or intervals

Now on to some actual training methods...

Cardiac Output:
Goal: increase the left ventrical size and improve slow twitch muscle fiber endurance

Key Characteristics:
HR in the 130-150 bpm range
30-90 minutes of activity
Roadwork 2.0 circuits

Tempo Intervals:
Goal: increase capillary density and oxidative abilities of slow and some fast-twitch fibers

Key Characteristics:
8-10 sec work (70% of max intensity), 60 sec rest
8-16 reps
moderate intensity

High Resistance Intervals:
Goal: improve endurance of fast-twitch muscle fibers

Key Characteristics:
high resistance- incline or load
short work period ,5-6 sec
rest until heart rate is in the 130-160 range
moderate-to-high volume

Coming Up Next: how to use anaerobic training methods to improve your strength and power.

Take your fitness to the next level with these essential training resources.