Lungs burning, sweat dripping, you look up at the clock to save you…
…and it says you’re three minutes into a workout that’s going to take at least fifteen to get close. Buckle up, because it’s going to be an ugly ride to flopping defeated on the floor, and rounds four and five are guaranteed to make you rethink your choices in life.
It’s not necessarily about coming out too hot. Even conservative pacers can hit the end of the line too soon. Give them Fran or a fast, all-out metcon and they eat it up for breakfast. Heavy squat day? Bring it on. But anything with running past where the car is parked, or sustaining effort over time, will suck the life right out.
In today’s fast-paced world, with 60 minute class times that try to coach 20 people to get stronger, faster, and more mobilized with 5 rowers to share, the art of aerobic development is often overlooked. Try as you might, you simply cannot build a great engine with 7-12 minute AMRAPS at all-out effort a couple times a week. This is like standing in your garden dumping water on your plants and poking them to grow faster.
Developing true fitness means taking the intended applications of your sport, and teasing out the parts, giving them each appropriate amounts of time and attention. For functional fitness, you don’t need the endurance of an ultramarathon runner, or the focused strength of a powerlifter. But you do need enough of each element to move well, breathe hard, and lift heavy, combining different movements and efforts, in a variety of time domains.
I would also argue that you need one more thing: FUN. Even if you see the value of taking a long, progressive approach to developing an aerobic engine, a long running program is a one-way ticket to Yawnsville if it doesn’t mix things up from time to time. Moreover, engine building for functional fitness means not only becoming a great runner, or rower, or biker, but being able to combine these things with other movements too.
The best training program is one that is not only effective, but that you’ll enjoy and want to keep doing.
The Aerobic Bodybuilder
If you plan to train for the long haul, how about program that keeps longevity in mind? We’re not in the fitness game to expire in our forties and limp off to the sidelines to watch the young guns take over. As much as we are able, let’s stay strong and fit forever by staying out of the injury, burnout, and overtraining zone.
That means reserving intensity for peak times only, and spending the rest of our time in the sub-maximal zone that will keep you out of lactic burn and crispy fried adrenals. You know, the happy place where you can get a great pump, take care of your body, have energy for your job, family, and friends, and still keep getting fitter. (Trust me, you are still going to sweat a ton.)
And if you are past the beginning stages of fitness, when full body training gives a lot of return for your time, you may find that these adaptations have slowed down as your training age has increased. Segmenting your training into separate aerobic and strength work allows you to increase volume in each area, without draining your energy overall.
It’s All About the Balance
Aerobic Bodybuilder is an 8 week program, with 4 workouts per week that have an Aerobic and Functional Bodybuilding focus. This is how I trained when I was coming off my 2016 CrossFit Games and Grid League season feeling burnt out, broken, and in need of healing my body. And it still represents a profound evolution in my approach to fitness, that is seen throughout the way I train myself, my clients, and the participants of our other online programs.
However, Aerobic Bodybuilder is the first program I am making available that splits aerobic and strength work into two separate sessions, giving each one a progressive focus that allows your engine to develop while being balanced with appropriate dosing on the strength side. It is very much a return to the roots of Functional Bodybuilding.
You will get:
- Aerobic Bodybuilder Ebook (lifetime access) with 4 training days per week
- Two workouts per training day (aerobic and strength) – spread them out or combine as needed
- Aerobic progressions that alternate between monostructural (one single movement such as running or biking) and mixed modal (combining aerobic work with other movements), building your gears and applied capacity while keeping workouts fresh
- Strength sessions that are split into upper and lower focus, allowing each area to get stronger and have time to adapt and recover. This keeps training stress low while keeping pump and satisfaction HIGH!
- Demo videos for every movement
- A balanced, progressive program that hits the sweet spot of aerobic training and strength!