050117 "Screw the VO2 Max, Lets train Lactate Threshold!"

For a long time the physiological marker of ones' VO2 max has been a symbol for how fit an athlete is and often been touted as a predictor of how one will perform. Not any more. Since High Intensity Interval Training was brought into the Endurance world not too long ago, the paradigm has shifted from your 'ability' to how you 'train'.

In the above 'ability vs. training' viewpoint, in lies the big difference as to why I believe that training your Lactate Threshold is a better aspect to train if you are someone who cares about performance. Lets break it down.

VO2 max is your bodies ability, more precisely your muscles ability, to scoop up oxygen that is circulating throughout your body. V= Volume taken in by the Lungs and 02= amount of oxygen in your veins after your muscles have grabbed what they need for work output. What science has found is that your VO2 max is pretty much determined by genetics at birth. Yes genetics. What your mom and dad gave you is more than just dashing good looks and long legs, they gave you (in a large part) the basis of your athletic make up! Now this marker can be trained for sure. There are years of tested and true science to back up an endurance training model that boosts your ability to grab and use oxygen. 

But what about the work? 

From endurance athlete to Football player we all must do work. Our work even in daily life can be arduous. Your lactate threshold or your bodies ability to preform a given amount of work before tiring is the gold standard of performance. Irregardless of how you process oxygen, the physiological capability to 'go the distance' is what matters in the end. Lactate Threshold training therefore is developed through hard work. Pushing the boundaries of your muscle limits often in training will build the adaptation to process oxygen better. Essentially you train to do more with less!

Ask any Marine and they can tell you all about that!

CrossFit provides a sound foundation for Threshold training when done correctly. Like an elegant dance, you have to know when and how to push hard and when not to over do it. Muscle damage and injuries can occur when done incorrectly. 

A great way to train threshold outside the gym is by simply putting together a Sprint interval workout with work to rest at 1:3. Or even a body weight exercise circuit that uses reps or timing to do more each attempt. For instance, a workout done WK1 =10 reps per exercise at a moderate pace , the next week WK2 you can decrease the reps but perform them with higher intensity or increase them and match your previous time. 

The combinations are too numerous to mention but keeping your eyes on your threshold will build performance and produce the best version of you as an athlete. Work hard and never let yourself slide. Mental strength is a correlate of physical strength. 


Banded Tricep Stretch

Banded Pass Thru

Banded Press

Banded Hip Activation 

Banded Squats


C&J Warm Up


High Pull

Shrug, pull, catch

Front Squat +2 Press

Mid Thigh Pwr Clean to FS +2 Push Press

Below Knee Hang clean + 2 Push Jerks

Split Jerk (alternating Legs)


Take 12 Minutes building this complex,

2 Hang Power Clean

1 Press

2 Push Press

2 Split Jerks (Alternatning Legs)




5 Hang Power Clean 135/95

10 SHoulder To Overhead

*Goal is sub 10. No one should go over 12.