Aerobic Capacity, Part 2: Explaining and Obtaining the Pain

The questions in response to part 1 are fantastic. They highlight the importance of understanding concepts like aerobic capacity and the difficulty in training at that level. I hope you had the opportunity to try one of the workouts in part 1, preferably before you tortured your subjects. As I mentioned, providing the workout before the background knowledge often sets the stage for better learning. I’m assuming you were bombarded with multiple “whys.” Why is this so difficult? Why is this considered aerobic? Why is everything burning? Why can’t I sustain this? Why can’t I repeat this? Why did I listen to Tom, a known sadist?


  1. Tom,

    I’m right there with Chuck once again. The “aerobic/anaerobic rheostat” as Chuck so aptly put it is just perfect. Many thanks for making this PDF available to us and for the comprehensive yet not overwhelming article.


  2. Tom,

    That is the greatest piece of non-technical, technical writing I have read in a long time. Learning has taken place for me. I’m a more educated instructor and better coach for it.

    I am at peace now, comfortable with explaining such terms as Aerobic capacity training with our various thresholds as well as – it turns out – puttting the pain they’re suffering in proper perspective.

    A request. Can you make the great slide of the ‘aerobic/anaerobic rheostat’ available as a pdf? This slide up on the screen during class is worth a thousand words. Sign it please.

  3. Thank you for the visual representation. I struggle to find multiple ways to explain these concepts to my classes. I will definitely be adopting the side by side triangles when the time for these discussions rolls around next year.

    1. Thanks Christine, I’m by far a more visual person when comprehension is concerned. I will spend hours to craft the best image which helps ingrain it in my memory in the process. I’m glad it was helpful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *