This is a great article brought to us by StrongFirst. It's great because it speaks to an issue or an ideal that is ever present in today's fitness industry. That the most important thing is GOING HARD, INTENSE, CRAZY EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT! The problem with this statement is that although high intensity training certainly has its place in our training program as well as many others, it can't be all the time, every time. For a better understanding of WHY, take a read below.



By Matt Kingstone


In the current culture of the fitness world, it seems that taking extended rest periods or working at an intensity level that is less than maximum is considered a waste of time. However, there are many in the fitness industry who are making a case for a more measured approach to strength and conditioning training. None more so than Pavel Tsatsouline.

Pavel’s latest set of principle based training protocols, called Strong Endurance™, paints a picture of a world in which we can train at a level that may seem blasphemous to some and too good to be true to others. But, by following the principles laid out by Strong Endurance™, improvements in endurance or conditioning can be seen more quickly and much more safely than with many of today’s popular methods. Let’s explore why.

The Problems with Glycolytic Training

Many of today’s popular training approaches use metabolic conditioning (metcons), the most well known example being high intensity interval training (HIIT), which uses primarily the glycolytic energy system (more on this system below). These are intervals that have a high energy output for short to medium work sets followed by a short rest before repeating the set. These are the sessions that make you want to throw up, make your muscles feel like they are going to burst into flames, and make it difficult to climb the stairs to change out of your training clothes.

The issue with primarily using the glycolytic system for extended periods of time—both over the duration of a training session, and especially day in and day out—is all the metabolic waste this system produces. This waste can present itself as that burning in the muscles that has become so coveted, but in fact can be quite detrimental to our progress and health, as we will see in a minute.

That isn’t to say that this style of training doesn’t have its place, but it lies mostly in the realm of your peaking cycle. The take-home message here is that physical training that exploits this high waste energy system doesn’t create a favorable internal environment to see the best results.

So, what is the alternative? Enter “anti-glycolytic training.”

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