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 December – 2017
– A false notion is that during max effort exercise, your muscles switch over to anaerobic metabolism which leads to the equally false notion that training in this “anaerobic zone” improves one’s conditioning via some enhancement to the anaerobic system (the concept of training specificity misapplied)
– It is rather due to an improvement in the aerobic systems
– Improvement in fitness from, for instance, sprint interval training, is due to aerobic enhancements as measured by improved VO2max and anaerobic threshold
– 2017 Study: 38 sprint interval training trials from 34 studies; sprint interval training is an effective means of improving aerobic capacity by avg. of 7.8% (as measured by change in VO2max)
– A greater improvement was observed with protocols with less sprint intervals (~2-3 reps) especially compared to the high rep ranges >6
– However, the strength of evidence was greatest with protocols using a 4-6 rep range
– So to improve aerobic fitness, it may be worthwhile to incorporate SIT to a periodized program consisting of HIIT and mod-high intensity steady state bouts

CPP Human Performance Research Lab
– Part 2 of 7/12/17 post
– Anaerobic ATP production only exists because there are situations like during max physical effort in which the ATP demand of working muscles exceeds the rate at which aerobic metabolism can generate it.
– Anaerobic metabolism is synonymous with fatigue and it is a state of metabolic stress
– Increasing anaerobic contributions to ATP demand (expanding the red area under the curve) would in fact promote fatigue as opposed to fatigue resistance
– This happens with detraining NOT training
– Despite the terminology, “anaerobic” training modes like high to max intensity interval training promote conditioning through AEROBIC adaptations which involve integrative changes in both the cardiovascular and skeletal muscle systems
– The key principles to conditioning at least from a bioenergetic standpoint is to:
1. improve the capacity to produce ATP aerobically at higher work loads (increase white area under curve)
2. reduce the reliance on anaerobic ATP production (minimize red area under curve)
3. better contend with fatigue-inducing environment of anaerobic conditions (increase carnosine and bicarbonate buffering)

CPP Human Performance Research Lab
– “Anaerobic training” is a misnomer because high to max effort exercise (classically known as anaerobic) is highly aerobic
– Aerobic ATP production is at its capacity and the cardiovascular system is working at capacity to supply the oxygen
– ATP demand of working muscles during max effort exercise exceeds the rate at which aerobic systems can provide it
– This initiates the use of backup systems that do not require oxygen like the phosphagen (ATP-PCr) system
– Therefore during high to max effort exercise ATP demand is satisfied both aerobically and anaerobically
– Therefore, you cannot train anaerobic ATP production in isolation
– Specificity of conditioning programs should not be based on the sense that one can isolate and “train” any particular bioenergetics system
– Conditioning programs should be based on optimally improving the athletes capacity to:
1. produce ATP aerobically at higher work loads
2. reduce anaerobic contributions of ATP at higher work loads
3. contend with the fatigue inducing environment of anaerobic conditions (increased carnosine & bicarbonate buffering capacity and lactate recycling)
– These are the factors, at least from a bioenergetics perspective, that promote fatigue resistance, not from some unique improvement in “anaerobic fitness”
– With that said research demonstrates a wide variety of conditioning modes that promote the aforementioned adaptations, even those commonly referred to as “anaerobic”
– From a practical perspective you can gauge anaerobic contributions by onset of blood lactate accumulation
– During the 800 you typically want to stay slightly below lactate/anaerobic threshold until the last 100ish meters. So yes almost 100% aerobic.
– The key therefore is to be able to perform higher work/speed aerobically. In other words improving the lactate threshold.

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