Anaerobic Interval Training: For Your Speed, Strength and Endurance

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benefits of anaerobic interval training

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Are you considering adopting anaerobic interval training into your workouts? You may wonder if it’s the right thing to do and what benefit it could bring.


Just do it! Adopt interval training if you want to see your speed, strength and overall endurance dramatically improve.


Make sure you follow the right interval training program optimal for your goals, and then get to work and reap the benefits!


Let’s read on to find out what interval training is, what it can do for you, and how best to add it to your training plans.


What is interval training?

Interval training is a great way to get fit and stay healthy without spending long hours in the gym. It’s a fast-paced workout combining short bursts of intense activity and rest periods.


During interval training, you alternate between high-intensity activities like sprinting or jumping jacks and lower-intensity activities like walking or slow jogging. The workout interval should be a maximal all-out effort that brings your heart rate to 80% to 95% of its maximum heart rate.


This form of exercise has improved aerobic fitness, the cardiovascular system and overall health while helping you burn more calories in less time than traditional workouts.


what is anaerobic interval training

What is the difference between anaerobic and aerobic training?

Anaerobic and aerobic training are two of the most popular types of interval training. Aerobic exercise relies on oxygen to fuel movement, whereas anaerobic exercise does not.


Aerobic exercises such as jogging, cycling or swimming will increase your heart rate and breathing sustainably. On the other hand, anaerobic activities like sprinting or weight lifting require short bursts of energy that do not rely on oxygen to provide power.


Anaerobic exercises typically involve higher-intensity movements than aerobic activities and can be used to build muscle mass and power quickly.


What are the benefits of anaerobic interval training?


The benefits are numerous :


  • Increased aerobic and anaerobic capacity


  • Improved muscle strength


  • Enhanced fat-burning capabilities.


  • Faster metabolic rate


  • Improved cardiovascular fitness


  • Lower resting heart rate and blood pressure


  • Lower blood sugar levels and improves insulin resistance


Studies have also shown that interval training can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke when done regularly over time.


why to do anaerobic interval training

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How to build anaerobic interval training workouts?

The best anaerobic interval workouts are ones that challenge you and force your body to adapt and grow.


There are 6 critical elements to creating the best interval training plan, and these include


  • Selecting the exercise


  • Setting the interval intensity: how hard do you want to push yourself?


  • Deciding the interval duration: how long do you want to push yourself?


  • Choosing the recovery window: how long do you want to recover?


  • Determining the recovery intensity: how intense do you want to push yourself in the recovery interval?


  • Setting the total number of breaks: how many times or reps do you want to do?


Once you have answered the above questions, then you can begin to construct a few variations to avoid boredom!


It is worth noting that if you are new to interval training, then it’s best to start on the low side of maximal effort. The body adapts to training and exercises stimulus very fast, so you can chop and change the intensity as you see fit.


How to ensure your interval training program is safe?

Interval training is a very intense form of exercise, so it’s vital that you get the nod from your physician to perform this.


The training is highly taxing on the body, including the heart, lungs and muscles, so you need to be in a good state of fitness before starting.


  • Be honest about your current level of fitness and ensure you speak to your physicians before starting your anaerobic interval workout


  • Make the anaerobic intervals count and push yourself based on your ability and current conditioning


  • Set your training goals and be realistic


  • Make sure you start slowly and be thoroughly warmed up before any maximal effort


  • Ensure you have the correct clothing and footwear and are running on flat surfaces


  • Warm-downs as just as crucial as warm-ups – do them!


What are examples of anaerobic interval training

Interval training can be done using virtually any multi-joint exercise. The likes of running, burpees, jumping jacks, squats, and hill sprints are all prime exercises that can form part of high-intensity interval training.


To start with, keep it simple and follow the running interval training plan below.


anaerobic interval training

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How long should anaerobic intervals be?

The anaerobic intervals will be based on your current fitness level and your ability to perform the exercise at a near-high effort.


As a beginner, you should aim to have the intervals in 20-second bursts and then change and adapt as you progress.


Developing anaerobic power in the working muscles over longer intervals takes time, so you need to allow the body to adapt over several weeks.


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Wrapping Up

Anaerobic Interval workouts are a fantastic set of tools to add to your workout arsenal and force the body to adapt very quickly. They should be adopted in your training regime based on your current fitness level.


Any high-intensity interval training that involves high-intensity exercise will create a drain on your body and energy systems, so it is vital that you follow the proper diet and nutrition plan to support the training regime.


Start slowly and work yourself up to more intense intervals and be sure to monitor your results as the weeks go by.


Anaerobic Interval Training: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an aerobic system and an anaerobic system?

Aerobic means that the body uses oxygen as its primary source of energy production, and anaerobic implies that the body produces energy without oxygen.

Do I need to worry about lactic acid when my body leverages anaerobic power?

Lactic acid is a by-product when you are applying maximal effort in the muscles. The body will let your muscles know when it needs to slow down or stop, so you don’t need to worry about this overly.

What are the best high-intensity exercises for maximal power output?

Any exercise that allows you to exert maximal force\power can be used. Whilst there are no “best”, it is always good to use multi-joint activities as they will tax the body more.

Do rest interval durations matter?

Yes, as it’s during the rest interval that the body recovers before you can then apply maximal force to perform the next bout of high-intensity interval training.

What are the anaerobic exercise training effects on the body?

The most significant effect that people notice is the ability to exert a lot of force and also seeing accelerated fat loss.

Will anaerobic training increase my lactate threshold?

Over time, the body will adapt, and so the muscles will be able to increase the lactate threshold.

Anaerobic metabolism plays a big part in lactic acid and muscle glycogen breakdown which in term determine how hard and long you can exert maximal force.

Should I perform high-intensity training for long durations?

No. High-intensity exercise is hugely taxing on the human body and does impact the nervous system, so you should always perform HIIT in bouts or short periods (2 to 4 weeks)

What is an example of aerobic interval training?

Aerobic interval training is where a person can continue a constant level of intensity for extended periods of time without exerting high effort. For example, you may walk on a treadmill at 3mph for 10 minutes and then switch it for 1 minute where it’s 9mph. You would then switch between the interval periods till the workout is over; in this case, could be up to 60 minutes.

What is a benefit of aerobic interval training?

An aerobic workout will rely on body fat to power through the work intervals. As aerobic interval training will not be a max effort, the body can utilise stored fat or glucose in the bloodstream to power through the workout.

Once again, aerobic metabolism plays a key role in how the body uses energy and in this case the body will prefer fat to power through the workout

Can you do aerobic and anaerobic training intervals in the same workout?

Yes, in fact, this is something that many people have started to do as it enables the body to utilise FFA (free fatty acid) as a source of fuel during the lesser intervals. It is also possible to end the interval training with a 20-minute brisk walk.

types of anaerobic interval training

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