Anaerobic exercises — which are a higher-intensity, higher-power version of exercise — are different from aerobic exercise. Although the term may not be one that you’re familiar with, anaerobic exercise is a very common and effective workout. In actual fact, you’ve probably put yourself through an anaerobic workout at some point in your life.
The Difference Between Anaerobic Exercises And Aerobic Exercises
To break it down in a simple style, activities which require your body’s energy systems to utilise oxygen are considered to be aerobic. This includes pursuits in which you engage in movements for more than just a brief burst of action, such as:
- Distance running,
- Swimming, or
On the other hand, anaerobic activities only require brief expenditures of energy, like lifting weights and even short sprints, and don’t need your body to use oxygen.
When you push your body to an increased intensity, it gets to the point where the aerobic system – which uses oxygen in order to generate energy – just isn’t enough. At this point, your muscles switch to using the anaerobic system for energy.
How The Anaerobic System Works
Anaerobic exercise makes use of glucose, and not oxygen, in order to produce energy. Muscles store a small amount of glucose in order to provide short bursts of energy for intense activities. Glucose is metabolised in a process called glycolysis, which does not need oxygen.
The outcome of glycolysis is the production of lactic acid. It is the build-up of this chemical in muscles which creates fatigue as well as the burning sensation we’re all familiar with when training really hard. This is what limits the time that you are able to engage in anaerobic exercise. However, with proper training, you can better tolerate lactic acid and improve anaerobic endurance.
What Are The Benefits Of Anaerobic Exercise?
While anaerobic exercise used to be something which mainly athletes did in order to increase performance, everyday exercisers may also benefit from this kind of training. When you train at extremely high levels of intensity, you are increasing your anaerobic threshold. This means that you can work harder for longer periods of time, all while you are burning more calories.
Other benefits of anaerobic exercises include the following:
- Endurance: Perform some anaerobic training and your other training will get easier.
- Improved VO2 max: Your body gets to grips with how to utilise more oxygen, which it converts into energy in order to allow you to exercise longer.
- Stronger muscles: Rather than producing energy from oxygen (as it does during aerobic workouts), your body utilises energy that it stores in the muscles during anaerobic exercise. That means it helps to maintain as well as improve muscle mass.
- Stronger bones: Some anaerobic exercise (for example, intense resistance training) can improve bone density in addition to strength. This, in turn, lessens the risk of osteoporosis.
- Fat loss: It’s been found that high-intensity intermittent exercise (that is, interval training) can be more effective than aerobic workouts at assisting exercisers burn fat.
- Improved mood: Just as with aerobic exercise, anaerobic training has been shown to decrease feelings of depression, tension, and anger.
If you haven’t before, you should really add in anaerobic exercises to your training routine because, as you can see from what we’ve talked about in the above article, they provide a whole host of benefits for you. If you would like to discover additional information about anaerobic exercises then you should really do our Personal Training Diploma. Read more about it here.