Why Training the Engine is so important

Have you ever felt sluggish whilst training, you’ve been working out for a while the routines almost perfected your making small gains week after week, you look down at the bathroom scales and see the needle drop further south. All is good you’ve even caught the eye of the cutie you saw in Tescos during your last quick run in for a protien bar, something still bothers you though doesnt it?

Your getting fitter but you still find yourself out of breath climbing the stairs or chasing after your little one, you have put so much time into the bodywork you forgot about the engine.. its in need of a tune up.

Conditioning or “Building the engine” is a fundamental aspect of fitness, both for the athlete and yourselfs. The problem is it’s not gloryfied as much as a new Deadlift PB or your first 10 pull ups. infact the crossfit guy or girl at your gym either goes by reasonably unnoticed or is talked about briefly due to the strange activity going on where they are..

You may even hear the muscle bros reply ” Cardio just lift weights quicker” followed by laughter and either a fist bump or like a cheesy 80s movie god forbid a chest bump! (head in hands) if baited into a conversation about looking after the engine at all.

As discussed previously a well designed conditioning program should target both anaerobic and aerobic energy systems, measured by (watts, calories, distance) is imperative for comparison of advancement, because our training is intended to develop broad, general fitness through multiple modalities.

Conditioning should never i repeat never be overlooked when it comes to improving all areas of fitness. You cant move A2B without a powerful driving force able to keep up with the high demands your expecting, Take it from me being powerful is great but being powerful for extended periods is godly.

Anaerobic conditioning

simple in relative terms training should feature short high intensity intervals with the rest periods being roughly 4-5 times the work interval, a sample could be

5 rounds

Row 400m at 90-95% intensity

rest 5 mins rinse repeat!

for the average wanting to implement something like this id suggest 1-2 times a week to limit burn out.

Aerobic conditioning

Aerobic conditioning is alittle more complicated as it develops Aerobic endurance, the ability to sustain power over time, As well as the Aerobic Power, the actual power produced regardless of time. broadly known as Aerobic Capacity.

Example of how to split up to cover modailty

One endurance session

modest 20-30 min cycle run swim

One speed / threshold session

short aerobic dominant workout at a greater intensity, like a time trial minimum of 10 mins to minimise the contribution to anarobic systems, power output must remain the same for the duration required


bike 15k at 13mph pace

One max aerobic power session

usually consist of 1;1 work to rest ratio’s


10 mins 30 secs on 30 secs off hill sprints

as your ability to deal with the greater demand your intervals should increase to around 20-25 rounds or increase the work and reduce the rest ratio 45 secs work 15 secs rest for 10 mins.

Hitting these 3 modalitys each week are a minimum requirement for a great aerobic conditioning program, The better and fitter you become the more overall load you can prescribe each week. An advanced athlete can do a mixure of these up to 5-6 times a week as long as deminishing returns are not present.

To conclude if you want tro make the most out of your time in the sand pit and increase in all aspects of fitness follow some of the prescribed methods above to super charge your training. still confused follow my newsletter by signing up to https://www.physicaloutlaws.info/subscribe

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