A Look Into Different Training Styles: Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Training

A Look Into Different Training Styles: Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Training

The type of physical exertion in any sport or activity can generally be classified into two categories: aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Muscle fibers in the muscular system are either slow-twitching or fast-twitching, with slow twitch fibers producing energy in aerobic activities, and fast twitch fibers in the anaerobic category. Aerobic, meaning “with air”, is the body producing energy with the use of oxygen, while fast anaerobic movements do not require oxygen, and use a process known as lactic acid fermentation. Aerobic exercises such as jogging will be much less intense than a short sprint. Exercises such as walking, jogging, cycling, and swimming are all classified as aerobic exercise, with the muscles activating in slow, continuous, and fluid movements. Anaerobic exercises, on the other hand, include jumping, sprinting, and powerlifting, just to name a few.

Elite Pine Crest cross country and track runner Jaret Rozanski ‘23 shared his thoughts on the subject, saying that “the key to a well-performed aerobic workout is to do it at a low intensity, steady-state pace that is just below the first aerobic threshold” with “high-intensity short intervals producing a good anaerobic workout.”

So which type of activity is best? In the case of efficiency at burning fat calories, intense anaerobic movements are preferred. Another way to compare the two training styles would be the amount of ATP produced during each type of activity. ATP is a chemical compound in the body that provides energy to muscles and is responsible for muscle contraction and nerve impulses.

Aerobic activities yield up to thirty-eight ATP molecules per glucose molecule burned, while anaerobic activity produces only two. The importance of training and balancing aerobic and anaerobic fitness differs between sports and athletes. A marathon runner’s fitness would almost entirely be focused on aerobic endurance, while an Olympic sprinter would solely be training anaerobic power. Despite these differences, strong enough efforts in anaerobic activity will contribute to aerobic fitness, and vice versa. Training both types of exercise will produce healthy muscular and cardiovascular systems, and improve physical and mental health.

Many Pine Crest Athletes could make use of this vital training-style information to enhance their performance, and Paw Print wishes them the best of luck when doing so.


Estrella Mountain College

Introductory and General Biology