Aerobic training doesn’t necessarily mean dancing around in a leotard with big hair
It’s not the 80’s any more…..
But it does need to be done.
Your cardio vascular system underpins everything else, the other cooler energy systems rely on the aerobic system for replenishment, to take over when they’re done and keep you moving forward.
In the last round of the fight, in the last quarter of that game, this is where you are going to wish your aerobic system was better developed.
Traditionally you’ve had two choices:
Cheesy aerobics classes or long slow boring cardio (ie running/roadwork)
Is that really all we have?
Aerobic training simply means training that emphasises the aerobic system, this is best done by keeping the heart rate in the 70-80% of max for an extended period of time, at least 20 minutes up to a few hours.
How you do that is completely up to you.
The most fundamental of all aerobic practice is known as Cardiac Output training.
This is what we think if as endurance work like running or cycling.
In reality the method is unimportant, it is the response in the body that we are looking for.
Cardiac output is just that, the volume of blood the heart can pump out in a single beat.
Training at around 120 to 150 bpm for at least 30 minutes (up to 90+ minutes) helps develop this ability to pump more blood per beat.
Suggested exercises for this:
Skipping, Jogging, Cycling, Kettlebell Swings, Indian Club Swinging, Mace Swinging, Shadow Boxing, technique work specific to your sport, light weights moved though large ranges (curl and press, squats, lunges etc).
Even walking at a fast pace is great for this.
You can change exercise as often as you wish, maybe every 45 seconds, maybe every 5 minutes or anything in between.
You may do a single activity, you may lay out several.
Pick exercises that are as relevant as possible, so runners, run. Swimmers swim. Fighters punch and kick or do animal flow type drills. If it’s the end of the week and you’re knackered, just walk or string together a series of mobility exercises.
Here’s the kicker, push too far above 150bpm and it’s currently thought that the heart chambers don’t have enough time to fill up to capacity and receive the stretch we’re looking for.
It’s a good idea to wear a heart rate monitor to prevent you driving too hard, but in time you’ll get a feel for the required intensity.
A sure fire way to keep the intensity down is to keep the mouth shut and breathe solely through the nose.
Very often I personally cycle, run or skip while holding a tea spoon of liquid in my mouth (usually olive oil, sometimes salt water). This ensures I keep the mouth closed.
The added bonus of this it helps keep our sinuses hydrated and reduces mucus production, you may find you are snotting everywhere at the start, but after a few session, you’ll be breathing easier than ever before.
Nasal breathing carries the added bonus of having a more direct stimulation of of the diaphragm so you use more of the lung.
You will also benefit from the stimulation of Nitric Oxide (NO) in the sinuses, this is a vaso dilator which means it opens the blood vessels and further aids in the development of cardiovascular efficiency or aerobic fitness.
If you can make you’re own NO, then there’s NO need to wasting your money and shit like this:
Get in anything from 1-3 cardiac output session per week and see how much better you feel.
You should find you recover faster from more intense training, you tire less quickly and generally feel like you can go all day.
I’ll talk more on Aerobic development in the next installment of this series, there are other factors to consider, such as stimulating mitochondrial development or cardiac threshold work.