What is Anaerobic Training?

Autumn Rivers

Most people looking to lose weight try to engage in some type of aerobic training at least a few times per week. On the other hand, those looking to build muscle instead use anaerobic training, which can also increase speed and power in general. Anaerobic conditioning does not use oxygen to produce energy, and is usually characterized by short bursts of activity lasting no more than two minutes. Any activity that continues after that point, no matter how easy or difficult, is known to become aerobic conditioning instead.

Anaerobic training programs might include short sprints.
Anaerobic training programs might include short sprints.

Anyone from professional body builders to those looking to add muscle mass may use anaerobic training as part of their routine. People who want to stay in shape overall might also include aerobic exercise in their regimen, as well, such as running, walking, cycling, or swimming. These are considered aerobic activities because they require extra oxygen use over prolonged periods of time, while anaerobic training is typically of higher intensity. Examples of this type of training include use of the weights found in most gyms, as well as short sprints.

Bodybuilders may use anaerobic training as part of their muscle-building routine.
Bodybuilders may use anaerobic training as part of their muscle-building routine.

During anaerobic training, the body uses glycogen, which is a form of fuel that is found in the muscles. This is considered good for short bursts of energy. During high-intensity anaerobic training, lactic acid builds up in the muscles, causing a burning sensation while exercises are performed. Eventually, this type of routine should result in more strength due to increased muscle mass, as well as improved speed and power.

Many athletes use interval training to get in prime shape, and this type of routine typically consists of mostly anaerobic training. It usually includes periods of about 30 seconds of exercise, followed by a short rest period, typically about a minute long. Athletes usually do this pattern over and over, adding minutes to their routine as they build more muscle and endurance.

The benefits include more than the buildup of muscle mass, speed, and power. For example, it has been found that more calories can be burned from shorter bursts of activity. On the other hand, not everyone can handle the same amount of anaerobic training, as it does require good health overall since it is intense for the body. Those looking to both lose some fat and gain muscle tone should consider including both anaerobic and aerobic training in their regular exercise regimen. Interval training routines are often recommended for this purpose, because they usually include a lot of anaerobic activities mixed with some aerobic moves.

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