Smart and well planned training for your goals:

*NOTE: I honestly don't know if I can take full credit for this. It was compiled from several word files on my computer with no documenting of sources. Some of it sounds like my writing and some of it may have been pulled from other articles. I abhor plagiarism and held off on posting this for a long time because of my fears that it wasn't original work. But it is great info that I wanted to share. So enjoy! And give this credit to all of the amazing trainers and researchers out there that contribute to the education of health and fitness!
 Yours in health and fitness,

 There are three energy systems: aerobic, anaerobic, and ATP-CP. All three of the energy systems are intertwined and need to be trained in specific ways in order to get the most benefit.
In my opinion, to be truly fit, you absolutely have to train the energy systems intelligently and methodically, just like you would train for increasing strength in a methodical fashion. To ignore it or do it haphazardly leads to poor results. This is where we trainers (me) often fall down in the planning to keep it calculated and with purpose.

I’m going to refer to this as one system. ATP-CP is what powers you for the first 5-8 seconds of an explosive exercise. In rowing, we use this on starts and sprints, this was used in the first lap of prowler runs. This has little aerobic impact and causes minimal fatigue. That changes quickly after the first couple of reps.
ATP = Adenosine Triphosphate, CP = Creatine Phosphate.

Once the CP stores from above are depleted, the body goes to stored glucose for ATP. The breakdown of glucose results in the production of lactate, and lactate is what causes fatigue. You can break down the anaerobic system into two bands, lactate tolerance and transport.

The aerobic energy system uses proteins, fats and carbohydrate (glycogen) for resynthesising ATP. The aerobic system can be broken down into three bands, which I’ll refer to as low, medium and high. For any endurance or power endurance sport, the aerobic energy system is key to performance because it provides anywhere from 50% to 80%+ of your energy. In a typical 2000 meter rowing race, the Olympic distance, 50% of the race is supplied by your aerobic system. That’s a massive amount and you simply wouldn’t be competitive unless you trained this energy system to a high level.
·         Low: Long, slow, and steady pressure at 55 to 70% of max heart rate. This places demands on muscle and liver glycogen. Benefits include capillarization, that is the growing of capillaries which deliver blood to your muscles. A workout for low aerobic might be running for 60′ straight at a low heart rate.
·         Medium: 70-80% of HRM. Places demands on the system to cope with lactate production. Working out at this level assists with the removal and turnover of lactate and the body’s ability to tolerate greater levels of lactate. Here we’re talking about 30-45′ of work at a medium intensity level.
·         High:  80-85% of HRM. Lactate levels become high as these workouts border on anaerobic. 20′ or so of intense aerobic work. This is also known as anaerobic threshold or AT.

Here are is the basic programming I have used with my own clients who are interested in transforming their bodies for the better. 
Day 1 - Strength 45-60 minutes chest/triceps/ab/movement work
Day 2 - 30 minutes of Anaerobic Interval Training (Rowing or Running) ABS
Day 3 - 
Strength 45-60 minutes legs and shoulders
Day 4 - 30 minutes of Anaerobic Interval Training (Cycling) ABS
Day 5 - 
Strength 45-60 minutes back/bis
Day 6 - 30 minutes of Anaerobic Interval Training (Rowing or Running) ABS
Day 7 – Rest
When I have clients that I only see for part of a workout week, I try and get these workouts hit as much as possible. If I see someone two times per week for 45 minutes. I might do 30 minutes of Resistance training mixed with 15 minutes of HIIT bouts. Then have them do 30-45 minutes of cardio intervals on the days they aren’t with me. Their time with me is a great chance to work on their weak areas. That way they can do the things that are easier for them when they aren’t being supervised.

In structuring your interval days, here are some suggestions.

1) Before beginning such a program, be sure to experiment with high intensity exercise. If you have never tried such exercise before, you are in for a surprise - it's difficult.

2) Use a 1:3 ratio of exercise to recovery (i.e. for every 1 second you sprint, rest for 3 seconds). This takes WORK when you are working. You need to really earn that rest time. It's my goal to teach clients what low, medium, high intensity feels like in order for them to train correctly.

3) To maximally activate your anaerobic glycolytic system, your exercise duration should be 30s to 60s. As a result your recovery will be between 90s and 180s.

4) Intensity is key to the success of this program. If your intensity is too low during the exercise, you will not realize the full training adaptation. If intensity is too high, you won't be able to complete the workout. You'll have to play around with the intensity until you get it right.

5) Your exercise intensity should be more than double that of your recovery intensity for 60s bouts and more than triple for 30s bouts. For example, if running at 11mph for 60s during your exercise interval, you should be running at approximately 5.5 mph for 180s during your recovery interval. Likewise if you're cycling at 350 watts for 30s during your exercise interval, your recovery should be at about 100 watts for 90s during your recovery interval.

6) When increasing the intensity from one workout to the next, be sure to increase the work. Do not increase the exercise duration or decrease the duration of the recovery. If the exercise to recovery ratio drops below 1:3, you'll lose power during your exercise interval and the activity becomes more aerobic.

So there you have it. A model for improving body composition that's very effective and doesn't involve boring hours of your life spent on the cardio equipment. Give this a try and the next time you're admiring the physique of a well-trained anaerobic athlete, it may be your own!


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