In this week’s episode of 10 Minutes of Fitness James FitzGerald and Michael Philhofer discuss progressing the aerobic system and why HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is not the most effective way to do this. You can watch the full episode as well as catch up on previous episodes here.
In this episode, James and Michael jump into why HIIT, even though exceedingly popular, is not the most effective for progressing the aerobic system. James breaks down why HIIT has grown so much in popularity. “Let’s say a client wants to run for 30 minutes straight because of something they have read. So they go out for a run and can only run for a minute and are totally gassed and reach muscle fatigue. So they hop on google and ask how can they build their aerobic system without running long distances. They arrive at HIIT, but what they don’t understand is the compensatory patterns they are developing through this style of training”.
“You have to progress the aerobic system slowly and while it might sound trite that is how you do it,” says James. Going back to the previously highlighted client James says “the reason why HIIT is so popular is that our current society isn’t ok with slow progression, we want everything right away”. But, the aerobic system cannot be fast-tracked. In order to build the aerobic system effectively, James tells coaches to program work “that is so easy [they] don’t even care about the volume”. This ideology is why James loves programming cyclical work to progress the aerobic system. Learn the same aerobic progressions James uses here.
James favorite way to progress aerobic training is through cyclical modalities such as the AirBike, ski erg, rower, and versaclimber. However, if James had to pick a favorite it would be the AirBike. While the other modalities may cause a client to reach muscle endurance fatigue the AirBike requires little skill and clients can use it without reaching a fatigue limiter. Because of its efficacy for aerobic training James has created a whole course solely devoted to the AirBike. Learn how to program the aerobic system and two other energy systems on the AirBike with our course Programming: AirBike. Click the button below and learn more about this video course taught by James FitzGerald himself.