The Importance Of Aerobic Training
Understanding the ATP-PC System and the Importance of Aerobic Training
Aerobic fitness is embedded into who we are. Back in our hunter gatherer days, we used to chase down our prey. We would not be quicker than them but we would outlast them running until they got tired. It’s safe to say that has changed now but aerobic fitness serves a purpose in any activity you do. This article and video will explain the importance of aerobic training.
Components Of Aerobic Training And Fitness
There are many components to aerobic fitness such as cardiac output and capillary density. These as well as other components fall under the big bracket of VO2 max, which is the maximal amount of oxygen the body can uptake and use. A high cardiac output means a good aerobic performance. The video also explains how your aerobic energy system will utilise ATP for any work you perform. In essence, 2 very important components of aerobic fitness are a high VO2 max, brought about through training and a good energy intake (diet) in order to fuel the work you will do.
Aerobic Training And Fitness For Sport
No matter what sport you do, aerobic fitness has a part. Obviously, there are your events where, aerobic fitness is an extremely large part, anything long distance, but it also has a part to play in all activities. In the video, in the first graph, we demonstrate that there are 3 energy systems that provide us with ATP for the work we do. These systems are always working together. You will never have one working alone. Sports such as tennis, football, rugby have a mix of all systems that are required, performing short sprints, and periods of intense work with aerobic energy being important due to the length of the matches. This energy system is important in these sports as well as power events such as shotput, even gym-based work, performing bench press, back squats etc. An efficient aerobic system will help recovery between sets/attempts to ensure you are primed and ready to perform optimally.
THE VIDEO: Understanding the ATP-PC System and the Importance of Aerobic Training
Practical Applications For Aerobic Training
Here, we want to talk more specifically about aerobic training and a couple of methods of implementing around training. Firstly, you want to perform a test to see where your current fitness levels are. An easy test to perform in regards to set up, is the maximal aerobic speed test (MAS). This test requires the athlete on a treadmill to begin running at 8-12km/h depending on current fitness level. The speed is then increased 1km/h every 2 minutes until the athlete can no longer maintain that speed for a whole stage. The speed at the last COMPLETED stage is increased by 0.5km/h. If that athlete can run a half stage (1minute) at that speed then, that is their final MAS. From this, we can estimate VO2 max with the simple equation of 3.5 x MAS.
This information can really help tailor your programming for aerobic training. Now, is an important time to talk about certain types of aerobic training. As we have mentioned before, there is your continuous training i.e. long runs/cycles etc. Normally performed at a steady state, this type of training can be split into two components; slow and fast. Slow, continuous training would be performed at under 75% MAS with fast being at +75% MAS. Another training modality is intermittent exercise where, you have periods of work interspersed with periods of rest. When performing at intensities of 85%+ MAS, it is recommended that you add periods of recovery to ensure you can maintain that intensity.
We recommend during your training that you incorporate all of the above methods into your training as they will train differing qualities to really improve your aerobic performance. However, things to note here are firstly, what are you striving for and how much time do you have. If you are training for something specifically, then, try to emulate that activity. If you play rugby and you know that for every 1 minute of work you do you get 1 minute of rest, use that information. Do some intermittent sessions where you run at 90% MAS for a minute and then rest for a minute and repeat.
Our best recommendation is to do the MAS test, use MAS to plan session intensities, lengths etc. Try out different sessions, find out which ones’ work for you and do them, get better and go tear it up. Just remember that aerobic endurance is not all genetic. A large portion of aerobic performance can be trained. Anyone can run a marathon, we just have to train for it.