• by Matt Jennings
  • January 3, 2019

Coming To TheLIFTGym in January 2019 is one of our NEW group training classes that focuses on training the aerobic system.

Here is a quick overview of the benefits of a well developed aerobic system (base). Then a quick description of our BaseCamp30 class.

There are two basic energy systems you use when training: anaerobic and aerobic. Unfortunately, you can’t build both your aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time very well. The idea behind base training is to train your aerobic energy system specifically and solely.

Why is this important? When you put adequate time into training your aerobic system you will enhance favorable muscular adaptations that will improve oxygen transport to the muscles, reduces the rate of lactate formation (lactic acid accumulation), improves the rate of lactate removal and increases energy production and utilization (ATP). These adaptations occur with consistent aerobic system training over time.

The Skinny On Burning Fat (I know you like anything that mentions burning fat)                                                                                                                                   Fat is a primary fuel source (though not the exclusive fuel source) for the aerobic energy system. Over the course of a somewhat focused period of training your aerobic system (mesocycle) your body learns to better break down and utilize fat as an energy source more efficiently. As an added bonus, this adaptation helps support post-exercise fat metabolism as well (especially when carbohydrates intake is kept relatively low).

This is an important factor, especially for someone who participates in endurance centric type of sports or events. The fat we have in our bodies could provide enough energy to perform many distance events back to back. Whereas muscle glycogen depletion (glucose stored in muscle) can occur in as little as one hour. It’s important to note that these things are certainly a matter of current dietary practices as well. But this would be the goal here: The less muscle glycogen you need to rely on to fuel an endurance event or aerobic focused training session, the more you can rely on getting into those long burning fat stores of fuel. (Note: Contrary to the aerobic system, the anaerobic system e.g. HIIT, Sprints, Resistance Training, Hill Runs…all rapidly consume significant amounts of sugars readily available in both blood and from stored glycogen with the byproduct being lactic acid ouch…that burns. The other goal might be to experience quicker intermittent recovery times during more intense training so you can hit that next interval with some ‘juice’!

Other adaptations of aerobic training include increased stroke volume of the heart, capillary density and mitochondrial density. Stroke volume increase simply means that your heart pumps more blood per beat. Mitochondria are structures within muscle cells that produce energy from fat and carbohydrate oxidation. Think of them as tiny batteries for muscle contractions. All of these improved qualities and adaptations of aforementioned correlate with lower resting heart rate and improved BPM (Beats Per Minute) rate of recovery.

Regular endurance training can double these structures.1 By increasing capillary density within cardiac, pulmonary and muscle tissue we can effectively transport more blood to these working muscles. The process of building capillaries is evidently beneficial and occurs gradually. And because chronic high-stress training is shown to down regulate capillarization, it would be wise to include aerobic base training in our arsenal to both maintain and promote the growth of this vastly important capillary system.


BaseCamp30 is a Thirty Minute Coached Low-Impact Aerobic System Training class that supports cardiovascular health, improves fat burning (dependent on specific nutrition qualities), and helps develop the incredibly important parasympathetic nervous system for better health, recovery and results from your strength training and HIIT.                                                                            This class uses the Stationary Bike, Concept II Row Machine, Heavy Bags (Boxing), Resistance Bands, and Body Weight Exercises. (10-15 clients per class)

1. Holloszy, J. Biochemical adaptations in muscle. Journal of Biological Chemistry 242: 2278-2282, 167.