Aerobic Conditioning for Strength Athletes 

Josh Bryant

Howdy y’all, let’s talk about a subject for strength athletes that’s often as welcome as a Turkish oil wrestling match at a Baptist church picnic – aerobics.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Josh, are you suggesting we trade in our barbells for pink tutus and start a pole dancing aerobic class?” 

Well, I ain’t talking about that kind of aerobics, but hear me out.

Properly applied, aerobic training can accelerate recovery and help you look good for the local dive-bar beauty queen that lives off whiskey and nicotine. 

Low-intensity, aerobic exercise enhances muscle blood flow, delivering more nutrients to those muscles, while removing metabolic waste. That means you can train harder and more frequently.

But, what the hell is aerobic exercise, anyway?

It’s exercise that primarily depends on the aerobic energy-generating process, meaning it uses oxygen to meet energy demands during exercise. Think light-to-moderate intensity activities that you can perform for extended periods of time.

So, how do you get started? 

Well, aerobic conditioning is all about elevating your heart rate to its target heart rate for 20 minutes or more. For most of us, that means a heart rate of 55 to 75 percent of our maximum heart rate, which can be calculated as 220 minus our age. For example, a 20-year-old powerlifter would have a maximum heart rate of 200, so aerobic work would be performed at a heart rate of 110 to 150 beats per minute.

What kind of activities can you do for aerobic conditioning? Well, the options are endless, but some potential activities include:

  • brisk walking
  • rucking
  • light strongman training
  • tempo runs
  • cycling
  • jumping rope
  • elliptical machine
  • rowing machine.
  • anything in the given parameters

So, next time you’re at Waffle House and someone starts talking smack about aerobics, you can school ’em on the benefits of improved recovery and overall conditioning. And who knows, maybe you’ll even get a free plate of scattered, smothered, and covered hash browns out of it!

What better way to train aerobically than rucking?  Learn when, how and why with a step-by-step plan by clicking HERE.