Aerobic and anaerobic training, do you know the difference? What does it mean and why is it important to know what it is? 

We have three main energy systems that the body use to create energy (ATP). 

  1. The Creatine Phosphate system (CrP) CrP –> Cr + P + Energy –> CrP + ADP –> ATP
  2. Anaerobic glycolysis (carbohydrate metabolism anaerob) –> 3ATP/glucose + lactic acid; 
  3. Aerobic (oxidative) metabolism with oxygen.  Glycogen metabolism with carbohydrates (39ATP/glucose) or fat (150ATP/fat molecule)

The CrP system is used during very short and intense duration of training, for example a person sprinting 100m. He/She will use the creatine phosphate stored in the muscles. It will last for about 10 seconds. 

Anaerobic metabolism is when you execute high intensity work/workload for about 2 minutes. During fast glucose metabolism and/or lack of oxygen (O2) your body will create lactate (aslo known as lactic acid, which can be an uncomfortable feeling as it hurts). This lactic will be transported out of the cell for the body to get rid of it as CO2. During metabolism of lactate you will create ATP = energy. The positive thing with using lactic acid as energy is that you can create big amounts of ATP in a very short time. For example, a 400m runner / sprinter at a high level will use anaerob metabolism during the race. He or she will have big amount of lactic acid at the finish line as a rest product of creating energy. The negative thing using anaerobic metabolism is that your pH will drop, in other words your cells will have a low pH (acidic). A crossfit athlete performing the workout FRAN under 3min will also tap into this system. If you as an athlete perform FRAN – it might take you 5-6min to finish. This means you will be using both the anaerobic energy system AND the aerobic energy system that I will talk about now. 

Aerobic (oxidative) training is the third energy system and the most efficient system being used by most people during exercise. Here you will have access to oxygen due to lower consumption of energy and the metabolism will happen within the mitochondria to Co2  that will be transported through the blood to the lungs and you will exhale the Co2. (Also called the Kreb cycle). By letting your cells use oxygen (O2) in the metabolism – you will receive 39ATP per glucose molecule compared to 3ATP during anaerob metabolism. YOU WILL LAST LONGER!  

Aerobic training is very good for you because you will by exercising:

a) Peripheral Circulation – increase your amount of mitochondria in the tissue, increase the network of capillaries in the tissue (where the gas exchange happen), perfusion of organs and non working muscles.

b) Lungs – ventilation and diffusion will improve.

c) Heart/Circulation – increased hemoglobin, bloodvolume, minute ventilation (HMV = HF (heartbeats) + SV (volume of blood per contraction). SV is the most important factor as it shows how fast the heart can contract and pump the oxygenated blood out in the system.

d) Metabolism – your overall metabolism will increase and become more efficient.

e) Lower your blodsugar – your muscles will have the ability to store glucose without the use of insulin. The only way to lower your blood sugar and prevent diabetes type 2!!! 


Next week we will discuss VO2 Max and Submax numbers and tests we can do to improve our aerobic and anaerobic training. 



Coach Char 


Thursdays Training: 


AMRAP 15 Strict Pulling 

5-10 strict pullups 

5-10 pushups 

:30-45 seconds of hollow holds 


400m run or 500m row (your choice)

20 DB Stepups (16- 24″)


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