Can’t Stop Redlining?

Can’t Stop Redlining?

For the last couple months, Wednesdays or Thursdays have been focusing on longer conditioning. While everyone loves a good 10 minute AMRAP or a quick 21-15-9, these kinds of workouts focus primarily on our glycolytic or anaerobic pathways (think high heart rate). But if this is all we focus on, we would be doing you a disservice. Yes these intense workouts are the reason why you need to eat starchy carbs to replenish and store glycogen but most of us want to burn fat too. This is where performing some Long Slow Distance (LSD) or Steady State Heart Rate training comes into play.

This approach is doesn’t involve laying down in front of the fan after grinding through your last few reps, it doesn’t leave you feeling exhausted or even help you with “the pump”. This kind of conditioning is done at a conversational pace, which will be different for everyone but it’s done over the course of 20-90 minutes. It could involve a long run, being on the Assault bikes, C2 Rowers or Ski Erg at a comfortable pace. When I say comfortable, you’ll break a sweat but you shouldn’t be huffing and puffing at all. What I really like about this style of training is that it targets burning calories coming from fat. We can achieve this through keeping the intensity at a low-medium pace, hence conversational speed. Now I know most of you don’t have an extra 20-90 minutes to stay after class but these are things you can do on your own too.

When I have done this in the past, I started off at 20 minutes, two to three times per week for three weeks. I used the bike, rower, ski erg and jump rope because I really hate running.You could also do this outside of the gym; Hike, beach cruiser down the boardwalk, speed walk, etc. Then after three weeks, I added five minutes to the conditioning. Weeks four through six, I stayed consistent with two to three times per week at 25 minutes. Then weeks seven through nine, I added five more minutes totaling 30 minutes. I noticed a massive improvement in my overall conditioning. Not only was I maintaining a lower heart rate while wod’ing but I saw my times and scores improve too. By building up my aerobic base (which is something that I’ve always struggled with) I was able to build my capacity in all areas.

I know committing to nine week of cardio is a LOT to ask of anyone and I’m not asking you to do it to the extent I did. But if you are someone who struggles to make it through workouts because your heart rate is jumping out of your throat, then consider an alternative approach and lets see where it takes you.

-Chris Sprague



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