Aerobic and anaerobic exercise

Aerobic and anaerobic. There are a number of parameters in endurance sports that must be good in order to become proficient. An important part of it is to train aerobically and anaerobically.

Aerobic and anaerobic exercise

When we’re talking about aerobic and anaerobic exercise, it’s about our various energy systems. Both have pros and cons, anaerobic system is fast, but runs out quickly and is very inefficient. The aerobic has sluggish start and is slower but are able to work much longer. Whichever system is used, the goal is to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is the only source of energy that your muscles can use to perform the work.

These energy systems are like containers that have different sizes with different sized taps, which are constantly helping each other. The inertia of the aerobic system means that the anaerobic system always stands for energy at the beginning of a muscle action, even if the aerobic system could had managed it.

When we use a muscle we call it a muscle action and anaerobic action is a movement without access to oxygen, where the aerobic action the muscles have access to oxygen.

Now let us determine that we are starting to run.

For simplicity sake energy processes will be described one after another, but keep in mind that the processes are running chased together but as the work progresses distributed these systems in which one dominates most.

In the first stage, the smallest tub to be used with the largest faucet, where it is stored creatine phosphate. It’s a very quick energy, but that is no longer than 10 seconds at a exercise. The reason that creatine phosphate is so fast is that it only needs to be broken once for the ATP is regenerated.

Digestion of carbohydrates usually called carelessly translated into lactic acid system. And this system is a little larger container but less faucet. This process produces lactate, (which I describe little later). This process dominates from 10 seconds up to 2 minutes.

These two processes combined create an oxygen debt. (Which will be much larger in case of no warm up). As combustion system later must take care of. After between 90 seconds and 3 minutes, it is divided roughly 50/50 between the anaerobic system and the aerobic system. And the muscles go more than to burn carbohydrates instead of digesting them.

If we were to maintain a comfortable speed when we run then our combustion of carbohydrate to maintain the balance between the amount of energy consumed and that can be stored in. What often called “steady state”. Will we then hit a hill and we take the little extra it will make to lactic acid system to increase to cover the energy. The pulse is forced to go up and we get an oxygen debt again.


Our muscles can use mainly three energy resources to burn (oxidize): Carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Our carbohydrate stored in our muscles and our liver. A small portion is also in the blood in terms of blood sugar. We can influence how much carbohydrates stored in our muscles by working out in a way so that the muscles get bigger. (Hypertrophy). But it is important to know that in all sports is a certain optimum weight, because weight affects our performance. Well-trained people can store more carbohydrates than untrained, about 500 grams in the muscles and 200 grams in the liver, and therefore have a greater advantage in performance.

Our fat is stored all over our bodies. The body can store huge amounts of fat. The energy value of 10 kilograms of fat is about 90 000 kcal. But is a very unfavorable when it comes to being burned for energy.

When there is plenty of access to carbohydrates and fat, our protein combustion so small that it usually not is worth mentioning.


You cannot write about aerobic and anaerobic exercise without mentioning lactate. Lactate is a molecule found in small amounts in the blood. It is a waste product of lactic acid system. (Lack of supply of oxygen). There is always a small amount of it in our blood, it is not until we come up on a noticeably out of breath level combustion system must be given more assistance by the anaerobic system and lactate increased. Lactate is a product when the lactic acid system decomposes. This happens very fast and divides into lactate and hydrogen. The hydrogen acidifies the environment in the muscle fiber, and the lactate is used as energy. (the hydrogens impact on the muscles are what the scientists believe is the main reason for muscle fatigue)  If we continue to increase the intensity our lactate level will eventually become so high that we have to turn off the pace, or finish the workout. This relationship where we are no longer able to maintain a low lactate levels is called the anaerobic threshold.


The anaerobic threshold can be changed, and it is important in endurance sports that this threshold is as close to the working heart rate that you have when you are competing. This is due to not wanting to create fatigue in the muscles too early, which in turn requires that you turn off the tempo, or may discontinue completely.

It is the ratio of aerobic and anaerobic exercise that causes us to resist fatigue in the muscles. And is therefore crucial for performing as good as possible.

The value of the aerobic system is also called condition between to pump blood around. At cardio training our heart grow while pumping function improved. The condition is most often measured in a lab where you control the breath and analyze how much oxygen the body has used and is measured in VO2max. It’s also doable to do a running test, to get a indication of your oxygen usage.


Utilization and work economic
Endurance’s technical term is called VO2max. Where V = volume O2 = oxygen. Thus, the volume of oxygen that the body can use. Depending on how far a training or competition is, you can change how much of the percentage of you VO2max. A normally trained person can just lie on their VO2max for 5-10 minutes, you then understand that it is advantageous to add at a lower intensity to cope with a longer training / competition, where better trained athletes may be at a much higher level without getting as tired. Although it is difficult to know at what speed is comparable with a VO2max value but if you think about it, it will take some training to a get reasonably track.

What is then knowledge if we cannot do anything useful out of it? It is an important point to understand that we have different values ​​depending on the sport we do. We cannot even compare our values ​​when we do crossfit when we run, not a swimmer and kayaker. The values ​​should be in the sport that you train for.


Aerobic and anaerobic is our energy and means with or without oxygen. These energy is that containers of different taps that contain different amounts of energy consumed at different rates. Oxygen debt is when our combustion system has not had time to kick-start the transport of oxygen to the working muscles. The carbohydrates are a much better molecule to create energy than fat is. We can increase the number of power plants (mitochondria) to help meet the energy needs by getting bigger muscles. But important to know we do not to want too big muscles. The ability of our body to resist generation of lactate is an important part to withstand fatigue. We train to have a good utilization of VO2max. Where we want it to be as high as possible while but not too high for the sake of running for a long time.

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