Updated: May 20, 2020
CARDIOVASCULAR fitness is the CORE of the pencil, you know, the narrow, solid, black pigment of graphite in the middle that actually does the writing. The core can be of different mixtures that all ultimately result in performing the action of the pencil which is WRITING and for me represents LIFE.
The CORE is permanently encased in WOOD that can be hexagonal, cylindrical or triangular or any form actually and what it ultimately does is to protect the core and give it stability. For me the protective casing represents STRENGTH.
Then, in order to actually WRITE you need to SHARPEN the pencil, expose its CORE that now, encased in the WOOD, will withstand the physical abrasion needed for the writing.
Some pencils have an ERASER on their top and for me that represents PROGRAMMING. You can change the meaning of your writing by erasing the previous messages and expressing new ones!
Do you see the parallels, the metaphor, the parabole?
You NEED a CORE. You NEED STRENGTH and you NEED to SHARPEN it all!
How do you BUILD a core? Search the Internet, Google, YouTube and find your answers, lose yourself in marketing pseudo-science messages and crooks selling products with their only intention being their pockets and nothing else. Believe them, follow them and fail and come back again because you are easily fooled and want miracles and shortcuts, pills and supplements to replace effort.
Your CORE is your AEROBIC BASE. Long (60+minutes), slow, almost boring sessions at 65-85% of your MHR are needed for a cardiovascular (CV) base. No way around it. Like it or not. How do you build STRENGTH? LIFT progressively HEAVIER. Again, no way around it but remember that STRENGTH and CV must go hand in hand. You must be able to CARRY your own WEIGHT. Become too big and you will tire easy, remain small and you will not have POWER. A fine balance. Possible only with CONSISTENCY and guidance.
How do you SHARPEN the PENCIL? INTERVALS and PEAK training of the CV system but also explosive STRENGTH training. CV Internals and Interval Weight Training (IWT), alone or mixed. You need to be able to TRANSLATE your CV base of having a high VO2 max, high lactate thresholds, and high movement economy over to max power, max velocity, power at VO2 max, velocity at VO2 max, and a great neuromuscular control. Improving the anaerobic variables listed above with IWT will result in the added bonus of also further improving CV economy. Do you need the intervals to be short, ultra-short, medium short or long, longer? What are the percentages of time in each type of training? What weight should you use? What CV machines are necessary? How do you do this? Well, PAY me and I will SHOW YOU.
Think of it as a PYRAMID where the BASE is CV, then on top you will have STRENGTH, and above it, INTERNALS and PEAK. Doing only intervals is sharpening a pencil you DO NOT HAVE. CV endurance training may improve your heart but will leave you skinny and fit or most likely fat and somewhat fit. Sticking with WEIGHTS might make you big and fat and unable to move. The details of the FORMULA for SUCCESS are to be revealed only after COMMITMENT as a minimum of 12 weeks is needed for results to start to show and a full YEAR (12 months, 52 weeks) before habits are ingrained and the benefits of exercise have been grasped. SPECIFICITY will be required as YOU must know what your FITNESS is NEEDED for? General preparedness or a specific cycling event. A running marathon or skiing? Or to live a healthy life and carry your weigh long into old age?
Think long and well. Define and isolate the problem before attempting to solve it.