THE YEAR OF THE ENGINE

Capacity is one of the cornerstones of fitness, and capacity gains translate directly to performance.  As with any athletic discipline, inexperienced athletes improve rapidly, but these beginner gains quickly taper off.  Increasing your capacity, really increasing your capacity, is a long-term endeavor.  

That’s why we created The Year of the Engine.   The Year of the Engine is for athletes who want to solve the engine problem, permanently.  It meets you where you are and guides you through increasingly advanced training sessions.   It doesn’t matter if you are already well-conditioned or if this is your first standalone engine program.  If you complete The Year of the Engine, your capacity will never fail you again.  

Capacity takes time!   Coaches who tell you that conditioning takes months have probably never done any of these, and should be avoided.

Capacity takes time! Coaches who tell you that conditioning takes months have probably never done any of these, and should be avoided.

Building capacity is more than just training energy systems.   The energy systems are part of a complex series of interdependent processes governing ATP production.  The interaction of these processes depends on the task at hand.   Not only that, but muscle activation patterns vary with activities, and muscle cell characteristics differ even within the same muscle group.  Conditioning requires understanding how these processes interact under different stresses, intensities, durations and nutrient intake.  Excessive focus on “energy systems training” indicates a poor understanding of physiological processes.  Unfortunately, lots of coaches get this wrong, and their athletes progress slowly.   

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Each phase is 12 weeks, plus a de-load week after each stage, which adds up to a 52-week blueprint for assembly of a serious fire-breather.   Here’s what to expect: 

Foundation:  The journey starts here.  Engine Builder combines intervals, endurance work and some threshold training to increase your power output across all relevant time domains.  Engine Builder delivers serious capacity gains, while preparing you for more rigorous training.  

Polarization:  Polarization refers to an intensity distribution proven to be more effective than intervals or endurance.  Polarization recruits a broader spectrum of muscle fibers, increasing their oxidative capacity in a way that HIIT or Endurance work alone cannot accomplish.  At the end of this stage, you’ll have a huge engine with an even bigger fuel tank.

Differentiation:  You’ve upgraded your engine and built a huge fuel tank.  Now, we light a match.  In this stage we do the very hard work of building speed and power on the foundation of capacity developed over the preceding six months.   Differentiation biases the work-rest ratios of intervals to favor increased speed and power output.  This phase is called Differentiation because it separates those who are willing to do the difficult work from those who are not.

Flux:  In this stage we introduce zero-rest intervals.  The name “FLUX” refers to the change in glycolytic energy contribution, known as glycolytic flux. The ability to sustain high glycolytic flux is the critical parameter for capacity athletes.  After Flux, your engine will be so big that you’ll travel through time. 

You’re a capacity athlete, not an endurance athlete. Stages 1 & 2 and build an unshakeable foundation. Stages 3 & 4 layer on unmatched power.

You’re a capacity athlete, not an endurance athlete. Stages 1 & 2 and build an unshakeable foundation. Stages 3 & 4 layer on unmatched power.

Getting started 

Our conditioning and capacity framework has enabled thousands of athletes to build serious capacity, without sacrificing other aspects of their fitness.  Now it's your turn. There are two ways to work with us:

Monthly subscription:  When you choose this option, you will be billed monthly on the date you sign up.  There is no contract, membership, obligation or minimum.   Stay as long as you want.     Sign up monthly

Quarterly subscription:  Quarterly subscribers are billed every 3 months on the date they signed up.   You’ll also save 10% off of the monthly subscription price of $25, so you’ll pay $67.50 every 3 months.    Again, no obligation.  Sign up quarterly.  

 Need more information?   Check out Year of the Engine FAQ or send us an email: coach@thegainslab.com