Anaerobic Fitness

Increasing Performance with Anaerobic Fitness

The perfect way to increase physical performance for short periods is with anaerobic fitness.  Professional athletes have known for years the benefits but more and more, people who compete in non-endurance sports are using exercise of this type to build strength, increase speed, and experience power.  For instance, bodybuilders often use anaerobic exercises with incredible results.

Using anaerobic fitness is ideal for improving performance and in fact, it is far more effective over aerobic exercise.  As a result, performance is enhanced for shorter durations but also for activities with higher intensity levels.  Typically, someone who needs power, strength, and stamina while performing up to two minutes would benefit dramatically with anaerobic fitness.

Interestingly, the expenditure associated with anaerobic energy is a natural part of the body’s metabolic system.  For instance, when the skeletal muscle twitches fast rather than slow, it is because of anaerobic systems.  As muscle fibers twitch fast, anaerobic energy expenditure increases.  When this happens, intense physical activity is possible for two to four minutes.  Although it’s difficult to quantify anaerobic fitness, a number of methods are used for optimal results.

Now, if you were to compare anaerobic fitness with aerobic exercise, you would see that aerobic fitness is used to specifically for low intensity activities.  For instance, swimming, biking, and even interval workouts need significant oxygen for energy to be produced for a long time.  On the other hand, for physical activities where short bursts of high performance are needed, the best solution would be with anaerobic fitness rather than aerobic fitness.

Two systems exist for anaerobic fitness.  The first is high energy phosphates, CP or Creatine Phosphate, and ATP or Adenosine Triphosphate.  The second system is anaerobic glycolysis.  What happens is that muscle cells store phosphates but only in small quantities.  For glycolysis, glucose is used as fuel when oxygen or ATP is not available at the needed levels.  Because of the way these two anaerobic fitness systems work rates or aerobic metabolism increases.

Now, when this occurs, glucose breaks down quickly, which is lactic acid and since short bursts of energy or physical performance depend on these systems, you can see why anaerobic fitness is so critical.  By allowing these systems to work, the many changes that take place within muscle cells while going through intense physical exertion that can cause extreme fatigue are eliminated.  Instead, the muscles respond far better than expected, which is what sets high performing professionals apart from those who do not perform well.

The body is a very complex system that relies on certain things for both long and short-term physical performance.  If you are involved with any type of sport or physical activity that needs strength, power, and high performance for a period of two to four minutes, such as bodybuilding, it is imperative that you get involved with anaerobic fitness to prepare and sustain the body.  Often, professional athletes will work with a highly qualified trainer to understand all the various aspects of anaerobic fitness so they can get the most possible from it.