We get a lot of questions about mixing aerobics (tennis, running, cycling, jogging, walking, etc.) with high intensity Static Contraction training. Most of the questions ask about recovery time.

That’s a good thing. It shows that people are paying attention to their training frequency so they don’t overtraining and do useless, unproductive workouts.

Aerobic training and strength training are the yin and yang of the exercise world. They are two fundamentally different concepts that meet in a “harmony of opposites.”

To be clear, when talking about “aerobics” I am referring to low intensity, long duration exercise that is intended to expend calories and burn fat. I’m not referring to the term “cardio” which, properly used, should refer to strengthening the heart muscle. Many people use “cardio” and “aerobics” interchangeably but they really shouldn’t.

Aerobic training is low intensity. Strength training is high intensity. Combining the two into an effective, efficient training regimen can be greatly simplified by using rational training principles.

The Biggest Mistake

The biggest mistake people make when trying to combine aerobic training with strength training is that they employ a progressive overload methodology to their aerobic training. For example, they start out walking a few days per week, then they increase the intensity to jogging, then they mix intervals of jogging with running. Then they run hills, and so on.

That method increases intensity to the point where the body needs extended recovery time. Which means more days off without training…which means fewer calories burned and less fat loss. The key to effective aerobic training that burns of maximum fat is long term consistency.

Pop Quiz

Which requires more calories?:

Running 1 mile?
Jogging 1 mile?
Walking 1 mile?

It’s a trick question. In physics they all require exactly the same number of calories. And in that little fact lays some truly great news! If you go for a walk seven days a week you will burn more calories than going for a run six days a week. (Technically a runner will get an extra benefit because his metabolism will continue to operate faster after running…but there is another piece of information that trumps that!)

Build Muscle and Burn Fat 24/7!

Muscle is called “active tissue” because it requires a lot of energy to maintain itself. In fact, every pound of new muscle you add to your body will burn about 30 to 60 calories per day. That can really add up.

By adding just 10 pounds of muscle to your body, it will burn off 31 to 62 pounds of fat over the next year. And it will keep burning those extra calories year after year! Than means when you’ve lost the fat you can eat more (a lot more) and not gain back the fat. Also, with less fat and more muscle your body will have the lean, toned, fit look that everyone wants!

By combining aerobics with strength training you can transform your body in the shortest possible time then keep it lean and muscular year round without starving yourself on a low calorie diet.

Opposite Principles

The important characteristics of a sustainable aerobic training program are:

Low intensity muscular output

No progression of intensity from workout to workout

Fixed frequency

The important characteristics of a sustainable strength training program are:

High intensity muscular output

Progressive intensity from workout to workout

Variable frequency (to allow for full recovery as intensity increases)

So combining a high intensity strength training system such as Static Contraction Training (SCT) with a regular aerobic program might look like this for the first two months: (Please pardon the long layout but it helps make a point visually . . . it becomes a long time between SCT workouts.)

DAY / ACTION

1 SCT WORKOUT
2 WALK
3 WALK
4 SCT WORKOUT
5 WALK
6 WALK
7 SCT WORKOUT
8 WALK
9 WALK
10 WALK
11 SCT WORKOUT

12 WALK
13 WALK
14 WALK
15 SCT WORKOUT
16 WALK
17 WALK
18 WALK
19 WALK
20 SCT WORKOUT
21 WALK
22 WALK
23 WALK
24 WALK
25 SCT WORKOUT
26 WALK
27 WALK
28 WALK
29 WALK
30 WALK
31 WALK
32 SCT WORKOUT
33 WALK
34 WALK
35 WALK
36 WALK
37 WALK
38 WALK
39 SCT WORKOUT
40 WALK
41 WALK
42 WALK
43 WALK
44 WALK
45 WALK
46 WALK
47 WALK
48 SCT WORKOUT
49 WALK
50 WALK
51 WALK
52 WALK
53 WALK
54 WALK
55 WALK
56 WALK
57 WALK
58 WALK
59 SCT WORKOUT
60 WALK

Notice how the days off between the SCT workouts increase? That’s because each workout (if properly engineered) involves lifting heavier weights and creates extra demands on your body’s recovery system. If you did SCT every 3 days you would not be able to lift a heavier weight each time. Remember that.

Yet you can fill in every other day with low intensity, longer duration aerobic training. So every day you are doing something to burn fat and keep it off long term!

This is a sustainable program because your body gets the time it needs to fully recover between workouts. Sustainability is the key to sticking with a fitness program month after month until you reach your goals.

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8 Comments.

  • Bob

    Pete,

    For someone that is overweight and wants to slim down,should they lose the fat first buy doing HIIT before doing PFT or SCT,or should they be doing both.What is your best thoughts on this Pete?

    Thanks~
    Bob

  • Strength training has enormous benefits for people trying to lose weight. You should start right away. Nobody should do both methods simultaneously, visit this page to see which method suits you better:
    http://www.precisiontraining.com/which-is-better-sct-or-power-factor/

  • Bob

    Thanks Pete!!I will check the article out again~Bob

  • Tammy

    My son will be a Senior in High School this year and is an avid wrestler. Needless to say, he is doing cardio non-stop while training which he seems to be doing year round right now. He needs to build his strength and was considering your methods. What would you recommend? Thanks, Tammy

  • Tammy, I am in martial arts and I would recommend that your son start the power factor workout along with his cardio training. What is he doing for cardio? I use cardio along with the power factor workout and the results were amazing. I was not only getting stronger, my endurance increased, so when the sparring went into the later rounds, while they were gassed, I was just warming up. But you have to make sure your son is doing proper cardio training. Just like weight training, not all cardio training is created equal.

  • Tammy

    Any recommendations that you have would be greatly appreciated. He certainly wants to hit this year with all he possibly can. Right now, we are running together as we had intentions of running a half marathon in November. Another personal challenge he has set for himself. He is also getting about 2 hours of wrestling practice 3 days a week.

  • Steve

    what about interval sprints and boxing…
    the benifit of interval training for HGH levels and heart health are extremely good for me

    i sprint in the morning on an empty stomach on leg days

    and box in the morning on shoulder and arm days

    right now my beta SCT sessions are still close together so the frequency of the interval workouts are close but i guess they would have to continue to be spread out as the SCT sessions spread…?
    i’d certainly like to do the intervals more often (like once or twice a week or so)

    Greg….I know you said you do interval training… how do you work it together?

  • Interval training is excellent. But saying you want to do it more often is the same as saying you want your hair to grow faster. Every muscular adaptation takes time to occur and always requires rest first. So you need a way to measure your performance – and as long as your performance is improving you are not training too frequently.

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