Building Anaerobic Fitness

What is Anaerobic fitness?

Let’s start with the definition: Anaerobic - without the presence of oxygen.

In a nutshell

Anaerobic exercise consists of short bursts of high intensity movement, where oxygen demand surpasses oxygen supply.

Examples:

- Weightlifting

- Sprints (running, swimming, rowing, cycling, jumping, grinding)

Anaerobic training can be broken further into 2 subsystems with specific working time frames:

  1. ATP-PC (Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) and Phosphocreatine (PC) System or Alactic System = activities < 10 seconds.
  • This system can supply energy immediately due to oxygen not being needed for this process.
  • Lactic Acid is not produced in this process.
  1. Anaerobic Glycolysis or Lactic Acid System = activities lasting between 30-60 seconds.
  • This system uses stored muscle glycogen (carbs).
  • No oxygen is required to re-synthesise ATP, therefore energy is produced very quickly.
  • Because no oxygen is used in the process lactic acid is produced as an end product.

Why We Employ The Anaerobic System?

It’s all about providing you, the athlete, an all-inclusive platform for general physical performance across the energy continuum.

In a nutshell

It is important to remember that energy systems never work in isolation and are all working at different percentages at different times.

Built in conjunction with aerobic training we’ve included anaerobic training to complete the wheel. With an all-inclusive approach, alongside targeting specific stimuli through correct time domains and intensities, you’ll have all 3 energy systems (Aerobic System, ATP-PC System and Lactic Acid System) locked down!

How We Employ The Anaerobic System

In a nutshell

Generally we prescribe 1-2 Anaerobic focused sessions each training week. These sessions are short sharp to the point, high intensity interval sessions. These sessions offer the athlete bang for buck, regarding stimulus, and lower unwanted stresses such as inflammation – aiding in recovery. The use of running, rowing, swimming, sleds, assault biking, and cycling are all included variants, helping achieve general exposure across different forms of movement. 

Here are a few examples from our ESP (Energy Systems Protocol):

ESP-5 Sprint Option / Anaerobic Lactic Power & Mitochondrial Biogenesis             

Prescription

Target Times / sec

Rest

Repeats

% WE

30sec Sprint                                                      (Run, Row, Sled Push or Pull, Bike, Assault Bike)

MD

5min

4

100%

*Choose two sprint options to alternate.


SP-6 Run
/ Anaerobic Alactic Endurance

Prescription

Target Times / sec

Rest

Repeats

Sets

% WE

 

15sec Hill Sprint

 

MD

2min 30sec b/t repeats

5min b/t sets

3

2

100%

*Choose a hill with a challenging incline, 20 degrees minimum if possible, up to 100m in length


ESP-7 Swim
/ Anaerobic Alactic Endurance                           

Prescription

Rest

Repeats

Sets

% WE

 

25m Freestyle Sprint

Aim: Complete each length using minimal breaths – only breathe when necessary.

 

60sec b/t repeats

2min b/t sets

3

3

90%


The Fruits of Your Labour

There a number of key benefits associated to Aerobic training:

  • Builds and maintains lean muscle mass.
  • Joint protection – increased muscle strength and muscle mass helps protect your joints, which can protect you from injury.
  • Increases bone strength and density – anaerobic activity will increase the strength and density of your bones more than any other type of exercise, therefore decreasing your risk of osteoporosis.
  • Improves your energy – your body relies on glycogen stored in your muscles as energy. Regular anaerobic exercise increases your body's ability to store glycogen, giving you more energy during intense physical activity.
  • Increases sports performance – regular anaerobic exercise increases strength, speed and power, which will ultimately help improve your sports performance.
  • Your body will become more efficient at using and recycling lactic acid.
  • Boosts metabolism – anaerobic exercise helps boost metabolism because it helps build and maintain lean muscle. Lean muscle mass is metabolically active, therefore the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn.

James Fitzgerald of OPEX fitness, sums this energy system perfectly. He refers to this as “pain,” and more appropriately, the #ShittyShitShit area of fitness.

 


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