Aerobic Base Training – The Exercise You’re Most Likely Not Doing!

Pushing weight is fun! Pushing hard through a sticking point to make a lift feels good. Then there is interval training with 30 seconds of pure push and 30 seconds of catching your breath before the next push. Spin classes, treadmill, jump rope… it’s all good fun and good training.

But, it’s not aerobic training. If you’re training at a pace faster than you can breathe in and out through your nose, you’re no longer training aerobically. It’s true! 

More energy, more health

This training will increase mitochondrial mass, mitochondrial enzymes that produce energy, and capillary bed density. All this equals more energy, endurance, stamina – you can train harder and longer. You’ll be surprised at the extra reps you can get in before failure; you’ll have more snap at the end; you’ll recover faster; and, you’ll end up stronger.

Aerobic exercise promotes beta-oxidation of fatty acids in mitochondria for production of energy. This response decreases dependency on glucose for energy production and helps to lower cortisol levels and improve anabolic/catabolic balance. Better sleep and stronger muscles.

How to train your aerobic base

The protocol is simple – train at the heart rate that equals 180 minus your age.

If you take medication or are recovering from surgery, illness, or injury, subtract an extra 10. If your health isn’t robust or you haven’t been training, subtract 5. If you’ve regularly trained for two years or more and are progressing, add 5.

How to measure your results

How do you know your aerobic base is growing? You’ll feel awesome and your other training will go better. You will be able to do more work at your aerobic base training rate.

For instance, someone 50 will train at a heart rate of 130 beats per minute. Rowing a Concept II rower for 5,000 meters initially takes 24 minutes at that heart rate, but after two months takes 22 minutes, they have a higher aerobic base and can do more work while staying at the same heart rate. Another way to measure aerobic base is by pace, a faster pace over time at the same heart rate translates to a higher aerobic base. 

Body weight and weight training movement can be used, as well. Paced kettlebell cleans, or burpees can do the trick, for instance. Walking, hiking, rowing, treadmill, and biking are usually more ideal.

Enjoy this time aerobic base training. It will immediately help as active recovery, and over time you won’t want to go without this training once you see how fit it helps you become.

For more information, research Maffetone Method ( or Uphill Athlete (

Show More

Dr. Mark Force

Practice And Mission These experiences and practicing since 1984 have helped me be a catalyst for helping people heal from chronic and complex illnesses that commonly get dropped through the cracks. It’s an honor to be present to people healing; I love the work and study associated with it. There have been many gifted mentors over the years who have shared their knowledge - Lance West, DC, Harry Eidenier, PhD, David Walther, DC, and George Goodheart, DC - and I am extremely grateful to perpetuate their work and vision through practice, teaching, mentoring, writing, and research. My mission now is to turn the knowledge base I've gained from mentors and practice into books and courses for people to practice selfcare and doctors to incorporate more natural healthcare into their practices.

Related Articles

Check Also
Back to top button