Shrugged Collective

Aerobic Training for CrossFit®: How to Improve Your Pacing, Breathing, and Recovery – Barbell Shrugged #204

What kind of WOD do barbell lovers fear the most? Isn’t it all the endurance stuff? The long, slow, painful runs? The endless, ass-numbing rowing sessions?

If that’s the extent of your aerobic training experience, then sure, I guess the dread is justified. But keep in mind, endurance training is a big key to success in most sports, CrossFit® especially.

You should spend time raising your aerobic capacity with more sustained, sub-maximal efforts. It will expand your fitness base, which is pretty critical. It allows you to achieve and sustain a higher level of performance.

But that’s not the real problem, because most athletes get why aerobic training is a good thing. The issue is that progress isn’t always easy to track. And it’s true that this training can be pretty damn boring, if you don’t know any other way.

This week on Barbell Shrugged, we’re going to change your mind about aerobic training. We share everything you need to know to program better, including some tips for making the long, slow stuff way more fun.

Enjoy the show,

Doug Larson


  • The best takeaways from this episode:
    “Most people go too hard when we’re talking about this work”
    “It doesn’t have to hurt, it doesn’t have to kill you, to benefit you”
    Was so happy to hear McE. make the comment that most people go too hard when working on aerobic capacity. I don’t know how many times I’ve had this argument with people. Go slow, build that base and you will eventually go faster and recover better. Dr. Phil Maffetone has been trying to get this message across for decades – slow down to go faster, longer. Thanks for this episode!

  • Great show guys, I’m really enjoying the episodes you’re coming out with. Looking forward to the next one!

  • Hey guys! Long time listener here, thanks for all the great infos!
    Just one quick thing that you might want to consider: most of your listeners are not competitors and have no aspiration to compete in the Games. I am saying that because a lot of stuff that you go through really applies only to pro athletes. Most people dont train 2x per day, heck most struggle to get 4 sessions per week. Now, as interesting it is to understand how to prepare for peak performance it really does not translate 1:1 into amateur athletes.

    Again, absolutely love the show! I did not mean anything bad with this, would just like to point out that it often feels a bit heavy on the pro-athlete stuff.

    Have a good one!

  • Could you explain better how you can train a movement aerobically like how would you do this with thrusters? Or cleans to also have muscle endurance? And how often should one do this kind of training to have a increase of strength plus aerobic conditioning. Would training for this look like a strength, metcon, interval on a rower or emom? I have been trying to figure out how does one build a affective competitors program

  • On the road a lot today, had the privilege to hear both aerobic and anaerobic shows. Thanks so much for all the effort you guys put in to help us do better at what we love to do.
    As a crossfitter pressed for time, is it possible that I can achieve these results using a less than prescribed weight while trying to get more rounds/reps during a daily wod working at an aerobic pace?

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