Why do aerobic activity anymore?

The other day I read a thread on this forum regarding fat burning. It was stated that high intensity anaerobic exercise (like interval training) will ultimately burn more calories than aerobic training because it keeps your basal metabolic rate working at a high level for a lot longer after you finish the activity, even if the anaerobic activity was shorter in duration. Because of this reason, it was said that anaerobic activity was great at fat burning. Also, after reading Taku's article, we've seen that anaerobic training is much more appropriate for combat sports.

Having said all this, my question is, why do aerobic training anymore? I use to do 40 minutes on the stairmaster of 70% of my maximum heart rate 3 to 4 times a week. Now, I've replaced that with Taku's intervals on the stairmaster. It seems like anaerobic training is better for fat burning and is a better mode of conditioning for the sport that we do, so is there a reason that I should still include at least some aerobic training in my workout? Thanks!




so is there a reason that I should still include at least some aerobic training in my workout?building aerobic capacity? Anaerobic capactiy is a must have, but you still need to go the distance when the call comes in..

If you don't need aerobic endurance, don't do it. If you need it (for whatever reason), do it.

I do it cos now and again I like it. Intervals on the heavy bag or concept 2 get me fit, but are no where near as enjoyable as a couple hours out in the fresh air on my bike. Training should be enjoyable first and foremost afterall...

Cardio-vascular health?

Don't know about you guys, but roadwork/ropework is still crucial for my and my classmates training, especially for stand-up. Interval training is awesome and pretty much the centerpiece of our training (especially for competition), but running and rope-work is still a part of the whole picture.

Speaking from personal experience, my theory is that aerobic work makes the heart/lungs more efficient at getting oxygen to fatigued muscles. After a quick, anaerobic burst of strikes, and you back off and use the ring, if you're in aerobic shape, your heart and lungs will replenish the oxygen debt created from that anaerobic burst more efficiently, so you can let off another set of shots.

I think running by itself isn't the most efficient way to train. We had a 5k runner come to our bjj class and he told me he "almost had a heart attack" the first couple of times he rolled.

I think interval training by itself will get you pretty far, and perhaps there are people who can get by on that alone.

I like to do both.

I like to do both as well. About 1/6 of my workouts are aerobic. I like to have a good balance, plus I enjoy running distances. I can't do it too often though, or I get really thin.

Thanks for the info guys. I figured I should still do it to have good overall endurace and to promote overall cardivascular health, but I just figured I'd ask to see what everyone else thought. Thanks.


I have taken cardiovascular tests and they show that I have average cardiovascular fitness, but I can wretsle for hours and I have excellent endurance on the mat and during sparring.

I do no "cardio" work, just weight training, short sprints, and grappling.

Some of my partners do cardio work as their main conditioning and still lack endurance on the mat.

is it true, does that mean I can only concentrate on wrestling and bjj and forget running and i burn more fat?

do it for your hear.. your cholesterol and to burn fat calories while bulking

i also do light cardio after my weight sessions while drinking a protein shake and it makes a big difference in recovery for me

i like intervals for burning fat while in a caloric deficit but when im bulking i feel longer less intensive cardio sessions are much more effective for fat loss while in a caloric surplus

I think it's still good to do from time to time. I wouldn't base my conditioning work around it, but I still use it. Some reasons why include:

-It's MUCH easier on the nervous system/CNS than intervals.

-It's can be used for Active Recovery on days off without eroding into your recovery ability (as long as you don't overdo it).

-It's something different - I like (and think it's necessary) to do something different from time to time.

-It does directly affect aerobic conditioning base.

-It can help build work capacity.

There a bunch of other reasons, too. These are just a few. Like I said, I don't (and wouldn't) base my conditioning around LSD work, but it's good to use from time to time.

Wiggy - www.workingclassfitness.com

As some of you have noticed, having aeorobic endurance in one activity does NOT translate as well into other activities as people seem to believe. A person can very well swim for miles and be unable to jog for 10 minutes straight. A person can do 30 minutes of aerobics but get short of breath after a few flights of stairs.

This is why it's so important to build your endurance schedule around the activity in which you are trying to improve. If your goal is to be a marathon runner, running 10 miles is fine. If your goal is mma, running 10 miles is not only pointless, but counter-productive for several reasons. For mma, a better routine would be adding more rounds of sparring at different levels of intensity in order to slowly build up your endurance for that SPECIFIC activity.

Now going back to Calbert's question, is there a reason to include aerobic activity? I would say yes, for the reasons stated by Wiggy, and done in moderation (as Wiggy said). But if your training is already very intense and all of your energy and recuperation is spent towards your specific sport/activity, then I say why add to your workload when the benefits (to your specific sport) are minimal? If you can fit some aerobic activity into your schedule without adversely affecting your training, then go for it.


I noticed a huge transfer from interval training to my BJJ conditioning. Long distance running never seemed to help. I think that crossfit uses this philosiphy that interval training can take care of most if not all of your aerobic needs. Of course it also depends on the nature of your sport. If you are a long distance runner, biker, or swimmer, then interval training might not help as much.

I am training to run a marathon right now (ran 17.5 miles yesterday) - some work related stuff has kept me away from grappling, which was my main form of exercise, so I ended up taking up running in the morning - I am hoping to get back to grappling after my first marathon in June - hopefully, there will be some crossover effects - (if so, I'll report them) - I'm not expecting much, but hopefully I have kept my baseline fitness

For the sole factor of having a healthier heart.

Because intervals don't mean jack when you want to ride on the Tour De France.  :P

Good to have a mix and everything else has been said here.

Also remember mat fitness doesn't equat to a good 3-5mile runner all the time.


My original program contains 20 minutes of lower intensity "aerobic" activity. This 20 minutes remains constant throughout the program. Thus if you are working progressively you should get both an aerobic base and an-aerobic benefits from my program. That was why I designed it the way I did.

Remember you get both aerobic and an-aerobic improvement from tabata type intervals (or just about any intervals really). So all the other arguments such as healthy heart do not really apply. This will be achived through brief intense work as well.

Most people can not work out hard enough to really reap the rewards of intense training. That is why intervals are so effective. If you can run a mile or two in under 6 minutes a mile on a regular basis then you are doing great and that is enough to have the base you need. Many can not do this. So working in burst recover mode helps increse the intensity.

Ultimately the more oxygen consumption the better...I gotta run.

Hope this made sense.