By Brandon Hahn Athletic Xtreme
Anaerobic? No, I’m not anaerobic, I love food. Aerobic? That’s for women, right? These words are very important for anyone who exercises. What exactly do they mean though? Why are they important? It’s time to get steppin’ towards understanding the difference between aerobic and anaerobic!
Ok, we know the difference between anaerobic and anorexic. Anaerobic means “without oxygen.” Anaerobic can mean different things for different topics. We are focusing on anaerobic exercise. Heavy weightlifting would be a good example of anaerobic exercise. Each set is generally a short bout of intense lifting. Sprinting would also be an example of anaerobic exercise.
Anaerobic exercise is all about short bouts of high intensity. Activities that require max intensity for no more than 30 seconds. These types of activities mainly require the ATP-PCr (aka phosphagen system) system to function. This system works for the first portion of intense exercise. Around 10 seconds or less before another system takes over. A creatine supplement would be a wise choice for anaerobic activity.
Another system used during anaerobic activity is the lactic acid system (aka glycolytic system). This system begins to function after the ATP-PCr system stops. Glycolysis breaks down glucose as energy for the body to function. Aerobic glycolysis comes into play if this system creates pyruvic acid. However, if lactic acid (Note: this is often the burning sensation in your muscles) is created, this is anaerobic glycolysis.
Aerobic exercise means “requires oxygen.” Aerobic exercises are those you commonly see on TV. Aerobic exercise is essential to your fitness regimen. This form of exercise aids to increase metabolism and the burning of fat. Activities that are of lower intensity and longer bouts. Running on the treadmill and walking outdoors are good examples.
Aerobic exercise requires two systems to function. One system is glycolysis which was described above. The second system is the oxidative system. If pyruvic acid is created during glycolysis the body creates Acetyl coenzyme A. This enters the krebs cycle and then moves into the electron transport chain. The end result being more ATP for energy.
The aerobic system can also use fat for energy through beta oxidation. This process helps free fatty acids in your system to be converted to ATP as energy. As stated above, aerobic exercise is important!
WAKE UP! I had to go into some depth to give you an understanding. The body is complex but without these systems, we would be slobs. The more you understand your body, the better your results. Focus on keeping a balance of aerobic and anaerobic exercise in your program. Both will make for a stronger heart and a better you!