ANAEROBIC: Going Straight Red
Posted in Program Design & Theory on October 28, 2019
The A: it’s a love/hate thing…
Unlike any other interval style we run, Anaerobic days are the only intervals in which you’ll ever be asked to give your 100% max effort. If attacked correctly, the A days are the most intense of our interval trio (if you fall in the camp of “Momentum is the hardest”, make sure you school yourself on why that shouldn’t be the case in this blog).
With a consistently applied 1:1 work to rest ratio (some intervals even provide you more rest than work time), we program adequate recovery time into the intervals so that you can push your sprint pace for every second you’re in motion. And the residual benefits of doing so are plentiful:
- it’s a more efficient use of time,
- it enables you to develop more explosive strength,
- it increases your VO2 max,
- it promotes a greater calorie burn at rest, and
- it helps carve a leaner, athletic physique.
“There’s too much rest.”
This is a point of contention for clients who may be newer to the program, and primarily stems from prolonged exposure to an industry that thrives on the average consumer’s ill-informed assumption that a good workout requires 60+ minutes of purposeless, nonstop movement and chaos.
However, science and physiology supports something completely different. Without a rest period that’s equal to or greater than your work period, you cannot physically tap into the energy system required to fuel your “all out” effort.
A less popular truth behind the consensus that Anaerobic days aren’t “hard enough” or provide “too much rest” is due to the fact that they likely haven’t channeled their actual maximum output. We know a lot of fitness brands like to associate output with colors…so know that we’re going straight red with our A days. It may be a hard pill to swallow, but you’re never “in too good of shape” for an Anaerobic interval! The better condition you’re in, the more intense an Anaerobic day becomes as you increase your ability to sling heavier weights, sprint faster, and push harder. The reality is - the intensity of an A-day is completely relative to where the individual is in their fitness journey…meaning we can scale its challenging nature to any level.
Anaerobic programming is incredibly purposeful…and pretty badass.
Think about the explosive, ballistic movement patterns you’ll see on the A floor - power snatches, kettlebell swings, heavy deadlifts, suicide sprints.
These intentionally matched movements promote speed and power as they tap into your fast twitch muscle fibers and provide you with the ability to switch gears towards speed and power…propping you up as an unstoppable and dynamically conditioned athlete.
While our Anaerobic days don’t leave a ton of room for variety and high fives during rest periods (usually because you’re a little busy catching your breath), they’re the intervals that tend instill the strongest and most empowering sense of accomplishment. They’re the intervals that - through basic-yet-challenging movement patterns - enable you to unleash and channel your inner MADass. We’re simply not interested in showing you how cute we can get with a bosu ball or bodyweight band. We’re interested in programming what works.
Because variety isn’t always better. Better is better.