How to do Metabolic Conditioning: Cyclical


James Fitzgerald – Prayer to the cosmos by Mark prior to his 3-min piece on the Assault Bike. Carl Hardwick – Alright, we have Mark demonstrating cyclical work. James – I hope the video is on us more than Mark for this one since it’s only 1 movement. Carl – The intention here is for Mark to remain at 65 RPM for 3 min, rest, and repeat for 6 sets. Marks off, he’s smiling, I think I’m on the other side making fun of him. What do you see here James? James – Well, he’s consistent for the first 30 seconds lol. Cyclical is the first real entry point towards mixed modal aerobic training. It’s almost like your badge that you need to earn lots of volume on before you progress to more complex or challenging work. Cyclical work is work that people perceive as cardiovascular machines. There’s generally two 2 buckets:
1. running
2. everything else “Everything else” may be skiing, rowing, swimming, versa-climber, jacob’s ladder, endless rope etc… These are cyclical activities that can be done over and over. Running is theoretically the same, but may people face biological challenges in running that stress their bodies more. Cyclical activities in the “everything else” bucket are mainly concentric muscle activities. As you’re watching mark do the aerobic
activity on the bike, he has to push the pedal each time to keep moving – that’s concentric. He doesn’t have to withstand load every
time with every repetition that he does. That’s the reason why we start them in cyclical aerobic training. It allows people to get a tremendous amount of repetitions in. Aerobic training is a skill. You have to coordinate lungs and blood and muscles in principle. The way that you do that is you start with cyclical activities because it allows those 3 systems to work together. You also get a lot of practice so that when when you want to move into circuit (next in the aerobic progression), your body is ready to rock and roll. Carl – Mark nails 65 RPM, and let’s say this is his 24th week of the Assault Bike progression. He’s worked his way down from 15-20 min long intervals (slow) to 6 minutes. Now he’s doing at 3 minutes and he gets the James Fitzgerald gold star so that he can progress into MAP 1 of 30 sec on 30 sec off for a number of sets .
(MAP=maximal aerobic power 1 – faster but still aerobic) Now Mark wants to get better at rowing.
What does that look like? James – I would have to figure out how what his training age is. if his training age is really high, I may put him into an aerobic cyclical training of whatever I want. Pick the exercise based on what he wants to do. If his training age is lower, I’d start him back on really long slower stuff with the new exercise and then build him down to a faster aerobic pace. Carl – Would you see specific and nonspecific carry over from his Assault Bike training? James – yeah for sure. I think you’re only going to see it around knee extension activity. The biggest difference we seem to
forget about is the the hip position on a rower vs Assault Bike. I call it systemic carryover. You have systemic carryover from the assault bike to the rower, but you don’t have mechanical carryover into other joints. There’s a lot of shit going on in rowing. Another interesting thing around it is the is the way that your body coils in and then extends on the rower. It’s really hard to coordinate the breathing patterns of that modality as opposed to being upright with your legs pedaling underneath you. That coiling and intra-abdominal pressure it totally different, so breathing is easier too. Carl – And that is Marc James – Marc doesn’t have much power left haha. We’re just sitting by the computer and Mark’s power is out haha. That’s the cyclical stuff right yeah

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