If you are one of those people who like to train often, you have probably wondered why it is important to combine aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Those who exercise regularly and are looking to further improve their cardiorespiratory fitness should consider incorporating high-intensity interval training into their routine. Discover all the benefits of combining aerobic and anaerobic exercise, below.
Differences between aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise
Any activity is better than none in terms of improving fitness, but greater gains can be made by increasing the intensity of training. This can be done by constantly increasing the intensity level of continuous exercise or by mixing short bursts of high intensity exercise. This is known as HIIT, or high intensity interval training: “High Intensity Training”.
During aerobic exercises, the trainer maintains a constant pace for an extended period. Oxygen is used to metabolize substrates for energy stores and to supply energy to muscles. This is a somewhat slower way to burn calories. Meanwhile, anaerobic exercises, on the other hand, are performed using high intensity exercises. Among these we find, for example, sprinting, where the body has to depend on non-oxygenated energy sources.
Anaerobic metabolism in cells produces waste molecules that can damage muscle contractions and cause fatigue. This makes sense when we think about how long we can maintain high intensity activities. Obviously the answer is not long, precisely because of the fatigue we were talking about.
Benefits of combining aerobic and anaerobic exercise
Aerobic exercises are designed to increase endurance and cardiovascular capacity. When planning an aerobic workout, it is important to establish a consistent pace that can be sustained over a long period of time. For training to improve cardiovascular endurance, the training must mimic the event or activity for which the athlete is training.
Athletes who focus solely on aerobic training may experience a decrease in muscle power and strength. However, the combination of anaerobic and aerobic training in a single training program can significantly improve cardiorespiratory fitness. High-intensity interval training is an anaerobic conditioning program that stresses the body to improve speed, strength, and endurance.
Alternating short bursts of high-intensity activities like running with short cool-down periods of low-intensity activities like jogging is a good way to do a HIIT workout. Interval training subjects the body and also does not give it a chance to fully recover.
This type of training can improve athletes’ ability to tolerate and use the higher concentrations of lactic acid that are formed during anaerobic activities. Although interval training predominantly focuses on anaerobic training, it also improves cardiovascular endurance.
A successful training program is designed to meet the individual needs of an athlete. However, by combining aerobic and anaerobic exercises in a training plan, athletes can improve their endurance, endurance, strength, and power. Athletes who are training for distances will want the majority of their training plans to be aerobic, with anaerobic exercises.
Athletes whose goals require short bursts of speed and power may focus more on the interval training mix in some aerobic workouts. When creating a training program, the most important thing to remember is not to push your body to the point of injury. Talk to your personal trainer or a fitness expert about designing a high intensity interval training program for you.