Here is an abstract of an article which says that for the purposes of conditioning athletes, endurance training has a lot of disadvantages: inappropriate neuromuscular adaptations, a catabolic hormonal profile, an increased risk for overtraining and an ineffective motor learning environment. The mention of a catabolic hormone profile is interesting. We want to build muscle, not tear it down. Anyway, the prescription is to build fitness through means other than distance training.
As Mark Sisson says:
We all know that we need to exercise to be healthy.
Unfortunately, the popular wisdom of the past 40 years – that we would all be better off doing 45 minutes to an hour a day of intense aerobic activity – has created a generation of overtrained, underfit, immune-compromised exerholics. Hate to say it, but we weren’t meant to aerobicize at the chronic and sustained high intensities that so many people choose to do these days.
Power Athletes and Distance Training: Physiological and Biomechanical Rationale for Change.
Sports Medicine. 37(1):47-57, 2007.
Elliott, Marcus C C W 1; Wagner, Phillip P 1; Chiu, Loren 2
The development of power lies at the foundation of all movement, especially athletic performance. Unfortunately, training programmes of athletes often seek to improve cardiovascular endurance through activities such as distance training that are detrimental for the performance of power athletes, rather than using other means of exercise. Performance decrements from continuous aerobic training can be a result of inappropriate neuromuscular adaptations, a catabolic hormonal profile, an increased risk for overtraining and an ineffective motor learning environment. However, long, sustained exercise continues to be employed at all levels of competition to obtain benefits that could be achieved more effectively through other forms of conditioning. While some advantageous effects of endurance training may occur, there are unequivocal drawbacks to distance training in the power athlete. There are many other types of conditioning that are more relevant to all anaerobic sports and will also avoid the negative consequences associated with distance training.
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