Fitness Articles

Reference Guide to Anaerobic Exercise

An In-Depth Look at High Intensity Exercise

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How to Add Anaerobic Training to Your Program
Anaerobic interval training is primarily reserved for those who are very fit and desire to increase speed, lactate threshold, and overall aerobic power. Such training usually results in greater lactic acid concentrations in exercising muscles and is accompanied by greater muscular discomfort. This can be a very intense type of training and should not be attempted by a beginning exerciser. Before you train anaerobically, always do a considerable aerobic warm up first, and stretch before and after vigorous activity.

Interval training is a great way to incorporate anaerobic exercise. It can be done with many types of exercise (for example, running, biking, or swimming). An interval is done by increasing your pace for a short period of time (for example, between 10 to 60 seconds) then having a slow recovery period that is at least 3 times as long as the interval. Learn more about basic interval training and a more advanced form known as High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
  • If you are new to exercise, do not immediately start with high intensity activity like anaerobic exercise. Beginners should start with lower-intensity aerobic exercise for several weeks to build a base level of fitness.
  • Always check with your doctor before adding anaerobic exercise to your fitness program.
  • Anaerobic exercise is not recommended if you are pregnant.
  • Always warm up before starting any anaerobic exercise, and cool down for 5-10 minutes after your workout session.
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About The Author

Jen Mueller Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid marathon runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach, medical exercise specialist and behavior change specialist. See all of Jen's articles.

Member Comments

  • Reading this article,made me realize I too rushed to do Anaerobic, didn't quite prepare or gradually move to it. Looks like I've to review back my training program. - 6/12/2010 9:24:26 PM
    This New York Times Article from 2006 offers a different take on what Lactic Acid is..http://www.ny
    6run.html?_r=1 - 3/7/2009 2:38:07 PM
  • I've been doing this kind of exercise for a long time and didn't know it had a special name. Thanks for the good info. - 10/2/2008 7:45:36 PM
  • Great article. Interesting that you talk about lactic acid building up in the muscles. My high school daughter was in advanced biology and she said "Do you know a "body" gets STIFF, because of the lactic acid that is in it at death?" She went on to talk about the Krebs Cycle and how her teacher told them about lactic acid. No wonder it makes us "sore" when we exercise. - 6/16/2008 1:49:45 AM

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