World Gym Challenge / Low Aerobic Conditioning / LAC

Low Aerobic Conditioning







When training in a gym there is nothing worse then feeling like you have not achieved anything. Simply walking away and not feeling a benefit is almost a crime . So how do you achieve something and feel like you have not worked that hard, the answer lies in LAC

Any good coach will tell you not to over train. Its a sin. It should be avoided. You should not do it. Thats my take on it. Yet as much as I hate to say it. I struggle not to train consistently hard and there are thousands like me.

Thats why the discipline in training is not to over train. Take a step back from the very hard physical training that you do and take it down a few gears. You will find surprisingly the benefit is has for you .


How can training less increase your fitness? 

Lets remember we are talking less intensity and not volume. We are still in the gym for around an hour, only the heart is not working like V8 beast engine, more a subtle 2 stroke taking it easy. And this is important to allow the homiostatic body to recover in finding its own resting ability. If you keep flogging a horse, eventually it will collapse. However, let it out to pasture and graze, it will enjoy the full energy that it can delve into when it wants to.

Training energy systems

Training the aerobic system is as important as training the anaerobic system. Muscle tissue will react to rest and regenerate and allow the body process to start building again. But if you continually beast your body and do not recover adequately, you will ultimately suffer the consequences of poor performance.

Setting LAC targets in the gym

When wearing a good heart rate monitor set a target and do not go over it. If you do not have a heart rate monitor, set a constant speed on the treadmill, or an rpm on the bike, or a slow pull ratio on the rower, but keep your intensity low. On the RPE scale you should be able to talk to somebody training next to you – even give them a friendly smile (but careful not to scare them!) Its very much always a learning curve in discovering just what LAC sessions are like and how to adjust them so its suits you .

Here is an example of LAC Circuit and the heart rate graph


World Gym Challenge / Creating the perfect full split circuit

Split routines are traditionally split towards the breakdown of body parts say chest and back , legs and chest day etc. But WGC uses time as the routine definer and incorporates

  • high intensity
  • low intensity
  • sliding intensity

Each routine is focused on the body as whole.

Each circuit can be broken down into

  • Full Split Circuit
  • Individual split circuit

We are going to look at the full split circuit today.

Equipment management

When creating a personal circuit  you do in the gym, probably the most important factor is your gym layout and where you can safely carry out your circuit. Always make sure its feasible – going from a deadlift to benchpress for example relies on two areas of the gym to be free. WGC always cater for a full gym in operation so that as a rule you can complete the circuits hassle free. In this case we used a bike, rower and a medicine ball. The gym had plenty of these – but there may just be the the odd occasion where its not possible to create a circuit, but it is possible to always create circuit.

The Full Split Circuit

Sometimes  creating a circuit that has too many splits and recovery breaks can be a bit time consuming, to enter in your WGC personal folder,  so the full split circuit  allows the bigger time based entry to be entered saving time in recording the information.

Breakdown of circuit.






Any gym circuit that is completed in WGC relies on good working knowledge (based over time) of understanding your intensities and heart rate variation of exercise. This mean that no longer do you just cycle and look at the data in front of you , it means that at each stage you are focusing on your halfway splits and the rpm range. You will know at any stage where you need to pick up speed, cycle faster or maintain a steady rpm to reach your desired goal – all of this as you are cycling. Physically and mentally you are being challenged. The same can be said for the rower and completion of the med ball press ups.

Looking at intensities. 






In this circuit you will see High Intensity , Low Intensity and Sliding intensity as fatigue sets in.

Depending on your fitness levels, the duration of each full split will begin to vary as will your heart rate. The split may well take longer but your heart will still be working at the same level so that means you are actually working at the same level physically, but because fatigue is setting in your split timings are slower this is the sliding scale of intensity and although your performance may be getting slower, the momentum of training is continued.

Focus, motivation and achievement .

These words are used a lot in training, but it is essentially the corner stone of each visit to the gym for a WGC athlete. There should never be a visit to the gym, that does not  incorporate all three. To enjoy your visit you must feel like you have achieved something, you must be motivated throughout the session and during the session you must be focused.

World Gym Challenge / How to construct the perfect Gym Circuit for you.

My name is Sean Blyth. I am the creator of World Gym Challenge. I have created the Online Database for gym challenges so that gyms can use them for their members to record results, or members can use them for themselves. In this case, we are going to look at how individuals can create the best gym circuits for themselves.

This blog is aimed at those who train in a gym, normally by themselves, without the need for a personal trainer and are wondering how to get the most out of their training. If you find yourself in that bracket read on.

Search the internet for your own purpose if this is not for you.

There is an abundance of specialised training out there on the internet. More often then not it is a paid for service. You tube is just awash with information and you can google more or less any workout to give yourself that edge and motivation.

What’s the best way to train ? 

Ask any good coach what is the best way to to train in a gym and they will say – The one that keeps you coming back.

Now that may be a dance class, spin , Zumba , circuit training .. well you know the list goes on obviously. So, its pretty well conclusive that you have to enjoy what you do to continue to do it. Preferably if it is free, then the chances are its even more of a bonus.

World Gym Challenge is free

Well the good news about World Gym Challenge is that our service is free.

The equipment we offer for you to use, is free (as you are a paying member of a gym) and the workouts we offer are free.

The only cost implication there is – is you must have a good quality sports  watch or heart rate monitor, with a stop watch facility, as all of circuits are timed based.

That is all the motivation you need.

World Gym Challenge allows you to walk into a gym and find out just how fit you are and by benchmarking and keeping a record of all of your training , you will see over time if the workouts you do are actually working.

Creating the perfect circuit

Any gym that you walked into will provide you with a multitude of equipment and will entice you with the promise to get you fit.

But the hard part is, getting fit is left to you.

So, it makes sense to be able to walk in any gym, create a circuit and leave feeling like you have really enjoyed the experience and have a achieved something.

Take a look at this circuit .

Incorporated in this circuit is The Bike, Treadmill and Rower. There is staged recovery and active recovery. The intensity is varied. And the circuit is bench marked.

  • This means that every time you walk into a gym, if you so wish, you can do this circuit.
  • You will know beforehand more or less exactly how long you will be in the gym
  • How many calories you have burned (if you have a monitor)
  • You will have know and what rate to row at, to cycle at and what speed to run at on the treadmill.

All of this because you do the sensible thing of recording what you do when you go to the gym.

Now take a look at the same circuit three weeks later

There is an improvement of 22 seconds and we know this because we have benchmarked this circuit.

All of this information is stored in your WGC account.

If you have a heart rate monitor you can record the intensity too and in this graph you will see there is a mixture of high intensity and low aerobic conditioning too .

The bike acted as the warm up , there was then suitable recovery period of two minutes. The Row was at a fairly hi intensity pace , with a suitable recovery phase . The treadmill was a full out burst of energy which needs training for, and reached the highest peak of heart rate. Followed by suitable recovery. The trick is then to try and have the same time or better in the row and bike. In this case I failed in the row, but achieved a better time on the bike.

Warm down

After the workout, a suitable phase of ten minutes on the X Trainer with a fixed heart rate of around 130 was completed.

To conclude 

The equipment used is the equipment I am paying to use in the gym. The motivation and focus I have is all based around a time based gym circuit. At no time in the gym was I bored or unmotivated. I knew exactly what I had to do, the intensities I needed to be at and the recovery that I was going to allow myself. It is basically is the perfect circuit.

The good news 

As you become a more experienced World Gym Challenge athlete, the format of your training, the exercise variation you choose and the time spent in the gym will be second nature to you . There are literally hundreds of circuits you can choose to do and finding the right one for you  is the best circuit.

Good luck in your training.



FitBrit 2017

So it looks like FitBrit is back on the agenda for all you gym members out there.

Let me tell you this, FitBrit ain’t easy and probably this year, the winner will be somebody who thoroughly deserves the title of UK’s fittest gym member. And thats for one reason, because FitBrit is the only gym challenge of significance that caters for a multi regional event. Meaning that from all over the UK gym members can go up against the best.

Let’s have a look at this years event.

And break it down into the Male category

Traditionally this event has always been a Run , Bike , Row meaning that is where the significant time gains can be made, but this year with the lateral CTF (Chest to floor) Burpee that could well be a game changer.

A lot of new exercises into this year’s challenge too incorporating more Barbell, Kettlebell and high lactic exercises. So a welcome break from previous years where the exercises were too generic to really test the individuals down the course.

If you want to send splits to World Gym Challenge then its quite easy, all you have to do is get a personal trainer to fill out the online verification form and we will enter it for you free of charge.

Remember , the smart people will look at their splits, because thats the way the smart people train, just ask, Tracy Davies (Winner) Nicci French (Winner) and Charles Green (Winner)

World Gym Challenge Training Tip

Here’s some advice in how to train for FitBrit – if you want to push yourself hard , then create a circuit . Look at the split for that circuit and try to beat it .


How to create the perfect ‘Gym Challenge’ for your gym.

The perfect gym challenge

It seems in this day and age that the dawn of the WOD (Workout of the day) has set a precedent in what challenges should be like. And in theory if you are CrossFit orientated and of a fairly high and competent level of fitness with a good understanding of your body, then completing WODs is no bad thing.

What World Gym Challenge does is break down the format of a challenge and engage the athlete to tackle a challenge in stages. This allows the athlete to be more focused on the challenge ahead and by breaking down the splits, you engage not only the physical stress, but also the mental stress too. For example The Run Bike Row Gym Challenge . This was designed for its simplicity and its generic compatibility with almost any gym.

  1. Treadmill – 400 m 10 % Incline
  2. Bike – 2 km
  3. Row 500 m

Each of these stages require specific adaptation over time to overcome. Periodisation of this challenge is in the region of  8 weeks to 3 years to peak.

Now thats a pretty bold statement and reflects on your current levels of fitness , your history of training and your mental state. But there will be an element of this challenge that will throw your entire body into breakdown if you have not trained for it properly. Having said that, you can also do this challenge without any real physical preparation as a training day.

Training your mind

The perfect gym challenge must be doable by any one athlete. If you think about it running 400 m on a track strikes this balance. Anybody can run 400 m who is of general good health, the trick it comes down to is the time it takes you to do it. And a good gym challenge takes on that principle. Once you know you can complete a distance you can then train for it properly.

Understanding the splits

Breaking down the splits and pre preparation comes in time. Knowing what speeds to run at , what pull ratio you must complete the row in  and the rpm of the bike all comes with time and practice. You must have a a sound understanding of these basic requirement based on your own level of fitness if you want to become a gym athlete. If you are not wearing a watch with a stop watch function you are not going to be able to train properly

Your Gym Layout

To create the perfect gym challenge your gym must have the space or the equipment set out in the appropriate order. This must be done so that the transitions from equipment are done as safely and as fast as possible to save on time. At each station you must be timed.

Periodisation to the event

Make announcements that the event is going ahead in good time. Involve as many personal trainers and gym staff as possible and create a community feel for this occasion. In the gym itself members  can find training partners to push one another and time each other making sure you record your progress. A good standard time is eight weeks from start to finish. But that is only for the first occasion, remember the peak training time for this event is around 3 years.

Create an atmosphere

The biggest stumbling block by far. In the gyms we have used so far there is normally one person who leads the way. One person who needs to inspire the entire gym to get motivated and focused. And this is where the problems start. Unless there it total commitment from the management to the athlete, there will be no challenge. The day to day running of any gym takes precedent over any challenge. So creating an atmosphere  is the singular most important part of any challenge, without a sense of taking part, you will not have an event.

Letting people know their results

Having trained for eight weeks, its important that you know your splits from the event so that you can benchmark them for any training plans or challenges.

World Gym Challenge

Fortunately World Gym Challenge  allows any WGC  event to take place in your gym and have an online leader board on hand so that all splits can be inputted at the time of the race for cross comparison. It is here, when you see the breakdown of the splits that you will understand just what is possible and how much more in the way of training you will need.

Post Event

Use social media to really showcase what your gym did. Create video and photo content. Interview your members like they are top ranking athletes and write about them, promote them and use their stories so that the next event gains the momentum so everybody is looking forward to it. It is true to say after every gym challenge I have ever taken part in I have never heard anybody say that they did not enjoy it. Your members will thank you for it and stay, possibly tell their friends who may want to join and be at your gym and membership retention would benefit , its very much a win win scenario.

Training for the Run Bike Row 


Why you are doing your gym challenges wrong Part 1

World Gym Challenge says think about your gym challenge.

There are are million plus combinations into creating gym challenges. In fact it’s fair to say the list is endless with the right combination of distance , weight, reps and equipment. The current trend is to go hard. In fact go so hard that nothing else seems to matter.

Thats where we are now. There is a tough is best mentality out there.

I’m here to question that.

Is it really best to go hell for leather without the consideration of what best for your body?

So lets start at the beginning.

A gym challenge should always come in three categories of challenge Novice , Intermediate and Advanced. And before you start any challenge you should know your level of fitness.

This is where a lot of people go wrong at the very first hurdle. They undertake a challenge that is wrong for them and have no real idea of their own level of fitness. They have an idea, but nine times out of ten they are in for a shock when challenge ends. Simply put they were not in the right condition in the first place.

So how do you know the level of fitness you are in?

It’s quite simple you benchmark yourself against others and see what the total results are.

World Gym Challenge was the first website in the world that looked at the significance of splits in training for gym challenges. Its no good having a final time scenario for a challenge, that only gives you the end result, not the training pattern required for each stage of the challenge. And if you are training not wearing a watch with a stop watch function then you have even less idea about your projected finish times.

Next time you are in a gym look at how many are wearing a watch to time themselves. You will not see many.

So now you have something to time yourself with whats next?

Thats the next post …

Lets recap .. Know your fitness levels … wear a watch with a stop watch function .

Andy Brown at TruGym Chatham Kent – Sitting Bull Intermediate Gym Challenge

Andy Brown

Ive know Andy for the best part of ten years. He is a top ranking Intermediate Gym Athlete who has competed regularly in the online challenge series over the years. So for him to make the journey from his gym in Camberley, Surrey (formerly Fitness First) to TruGym in Chatham Kent, for a gym challenge that will take roughly 13 minutes was a real commitment to his training. Plus it was great to see an old friend.

The Gym Challenge is designed so that any gym member can attempt these challenges, without too much fuss or disruption to a working gym , using equipment at hand and easy to use. All that is really needed is the format you need to follow and in this case Sitting Bull is:

30 x 30 kg Lat Pull Downs
30 x 20 kg Shoulder Press
20 x Medicine Ball Press Ups (Alternate hand)
1 minute recovery
500 m row
400 m 10% incline
500 m row
400 m 10 % incline

The first circuit is a little power circuit to engage and all over workout, followed by a 1 minute recovery to enable you to transfer to the row. The legs now have to do a lot of the work, to complete the row to treadmill x 4 circuit.

This circuit is set at Intermediate level and if you can achieve a sub 15 minute circuit you are basically Intermediate level.

What time time do you think you could achieve ?

World Gym Challenge supplies a free online leader board for any gym that subscribes so that members can train towards these events.

There are 36 challenges to complete over the year in the Online Fitness Challenge Series

World Gym Challenge / Exercising with High Blood Pressure – 3

Todays circuit in the gym was an amended old favourite concentrating on on 4 stations

Bike 5 km

Aim – to hit sub 10 minutes (90 – 100 rpm) on target 5 minutes at 2.5 km

Step Ups 4 x 50 x 2 10 kg db

Aim – 50 step ups under 2 minutes

Bench Press 4 x 15 x 40 kg / 30 second recovery

Aim – Complete all reps non stop

Row 1000 m

Aim – Complete in 4.30

Bike 5 km

Complete a sub 10 hit sub 5 at halfway stage.

X Trainer

Aim – conclude with 5 mins active recovery

Break down of splits

Blood Pressure Pre Exercise
Blood Pressure Post Exercise

Medication – Ramipril 5 mg / 5 mg Amlodipine

The medication is meant to be the driving force in keeping my blood pressure down. It’s unlikely that coming off the medication will keep my blood pressure down. So Im currently able to exercise due to medication, which seems a little ironic and there is no go to help to find out if I can come of medication. Or at the very least reduce it with the aim to be med free in the near future

World Gym Challenge / Exercising with high blood pressure / What the Doctors are saying.


Since early 2017 my world as I knew exercise changed drastically. Having spent the best part of twenty years training and the last 12 running World Gym Challenge I have been consumed that exercise done correctly and effectively I would assume  with a mixture of recovery and high intensity training that this would be the blue print for a normal and active life without complications.

It turns out the reality is somewhat different. Having hit 52 this year, in early January after a routine health check a notice

able change in blood pressure started to occur. This increased and spiralled out of control in late June, where it became inevitable that medication was the only answer.

To say I was shocked is a understatement. But it doesn’t end there. What has been even more astonishing has been the reaction from the medical profession. Having been diagnosed with high blood pressure and been put on medication (5 mg Ramipril/ 5 mg amlodipne daily) They are simply at the prescribe medication and forget about anything else..

So this brings me back to exercising effectively and safely, whilst on medication.

The obvious place to start is at the Doctors surgery. This is also recommended on most online search processes. However that is the start of the problem. There simply is no go to recommended protocol for training with high blood pressure for an athlete except standard guidelines. And that does not really help.

To train with a variable pattern of biking , rowing, running  and weights needs a bit of a specialised approach. When you consider that throughout my entire process of being diagnosed with high blood pressure on not one occasion was I asked about my physical activity routine and what type of exercising I have been carrying out. It does come as a slight surprise then, that with the current emphasis on physical activity to prevent heart disease, why is it that they’re is no interest in the history of physical activity in its diagnosis? Or indeed no access to coping with exercise on medication ?

That leaves me in a precarious position in real terms. and leaves me with two choices, give up exercise, or continue on the path that I have been following over the last 20 years.

Pretty easy decision really, but surprisingly hard to come to. You see, during the best part of this year I have been debating whether to carry on fitness. I mean what was the point ? I’d been training regularly for years in order to prevent conditions such as this.

So Im going to continue to train. In truth I find it hard not actually being in the gym and setting myself goals to try and achieve. I found that being at home lead to depression and frustration. So my game plan was to be more positive.

But this is not down to the Doctor prescribing exercise in helping me. Their job was done at prescribing medication. This is me just taking it on the chin and getting back into the gym.

So the plan is to incorporate my training regime with a continued story of results.

Exercise should include variability , recovery and a good warm down.

That will be the subject of my next blog

Here is a quick video of how often you should train.

4 Rules of Gym Training from sean blyth on Vimeo.