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Weight Loss » What Is Anaerobic Exercise: Pressing Reset On Sedentary Lifestyle

What Is Anaerobic Exercise: Pressing Reset On Sedentary Lifestyle

what is anaerobic exercise

Today, when there are so many ways to lose weight, it is quite hard to choose something really effective and safe. Many weight watchers get health issues after following unhealthy diets or performing unsuitable exercises. Sometimes the injuries are quite hard to treat. That is why it is vital to take care of your body and choose only suitable weight loss methods that won’t damage your health. 

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This article will provide you with information about one of the most common types of workouts – anaerobic exercises. What is anaerobic exercise? What is an optimal anaerobic exercise list for weight loss? When is it better to avoid these exercises? Read on to find answers to all these questions. 

Let’s get started!

What is Anaerobic Exercise?

Anaerobic exercise is a type of physical load that helps the athletes increase their speed, strength, and endurance. Such workouts basically consist of short bursts of high-intensity physical exercises. People who practice such exercises get into an anaerobic state with a maximum heart rate (MHR) of between 80 and 90%. During such a training session, it will be extremely hard to breathe and to speak normally. Both strength and cardiovascular workouts can become anaerobic since everything depends on the intensity of your workouts. 

There are two basic aspects that you should know to understand the specificity of anaerobic exercise (4, 9):

  • What energy source is used in anaerobic exercise?

You already know that your body needs energy for all the activities it does, from breathing to physical exercises. Anaerobic exercises make you require immediate energy and oxygen, which is used as fuel in some other types of exercises that aren’t suitable. Your body is just unable to deliver it to your muscles as fast as it is needed.

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When you perform anaerobic exercises, your body uses energy sources stored in your muscles called glucose. The process when your body uses glucose for fuel is called glycolysis. It occurs in your muscle cells during this type of training and produces energy very fast. It also produces lactic acid in your body, which is why your muscles are tired after high-intensity workouts. The good news is, the more often you perform the anaerobic exercise, the more effectively your body can tolerate this acid and get rid of it.

  • What is the difference between anaerobic and aerobic exercises?

The words “aerobic” and “anaerobic” seem to be quite similar. Some people even think that these terms are the same. However, these are two entirely different types of exercise. The main differences are the intensity and energy sources.

You already know that anaerobic exercise can be classified as a high-intensity type of workouts, and you need glucose as fuel to perform them. In contrast, aerobic exercise increases your heart rate and breathing during an extended period instead of short bursts. Your main source of energy is oxygen instead of glucose. Aerobic exercise is better known as “cardio” or “cardiovascular”. This type of workouts is more suitable for beginners as it’s not as challenging as an anaerobic one.     

what is anaerobic exercise
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Benefits of anaerobic exercises for weight loss

Anaerobic type of exercise is quite challenging, but it can offer a bunch of benefits as well. So, what is anaerobic exercise good for (4, 9)?

  • Improved endurance

This is one of the best ways to improve your endurance. To put it simply, the more you perform anaerobic exercises, the easier you can perform other types of workouts.

  • Stronger muscles and bones

As mentioned above, when you perform anaerobic exercises, your body uses glucose, stored in your muscles, as fuel. So, this type of workout helps you gain and maintain muscle mass. According to the study, anaerobic exercises increase your power. This research involved baseball players. It turned out that those players, who performed 20-30 second wind sprints, 3 times per week, increased their power indicator by 15% on average (6).

Some anaerobic exercises (for instance, intense resistance training) can make your bones significantly stronger. This lowers your risks of osteoporosis (7, 10).

Stronger muscles and bones will also help prevent injuries by protecting your joints.  

anaerobic work out for weight loss
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  • Boosted metabolism and weight management

Most people start performing workouts to get rid of excess weight. Anaerobic exercise is one of the best ways to get the body of your dreams.

According to the study, high-intensity interval training can help the weight watchers to burn excessive fat more effectively than aerobic workouts (3).

You probably know that the higher amounts of lean muscles you have, the more calories you eliminate during your training sessions. So, anaerobic exercise helps rev up your metabolism too.

  • Better mood

According to research, anaerobic exercise (as well as aerobic exercise) can help improve your mood, lower your feelings of anger, tension, and even depression (5).  

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What is an Example of Anaerobic Exercise for Weight Loss?

As mentioned above, excessive body fat is one of the most common reasons for most people to start exercising. If you have decided to choose the anaerobic type of exercise for your weight loss journey, there is more than one example of this exercise.

Let’s find out what anaerobic workout for weight loss will be better for you.

anaerobic exercises list for weight loss
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  • HIIT (high-intensity interval training)

This workout is constantly gaining popularity thanks to its effectiveness in terms of weight loss. The main idea is that you alternate high-intensity short-term sets of exercises with longer intervals of low-intensity exercises. During high-intensity exercises, you should work as hard as you can. This pattern helps you to get into the anaerobic zone when your body lacks oxygen for energy and starts using glucose.

HIIT can offer you many benefits. For instance, it significantly improves your performance of other types of workouts. If you include HIIT in your routine several times a week, you’ll see that you have more endurance and power when performing other exercises. It also helps burn excess body fat. The best thing is that by performing HIIT, you can burn calories not only during the training session but after the workout as well (the process known as afterburn). This type of exercise is also a nice option for people who don’t have enough time for training sessions but still want to lose weight. As a rule, HIIT workouts take approximately 15-30 minutes. Although this workout is that short, it is still one of the best ways to lose weight (2).

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  • Heavy weight lifting

This is another popular method that can help you achieve your goals. The best thing is that lifting heavyweight is a great way to make your muscles grow and become stronger. This type of exercise can also improve your intramuscular coordination, which is the ability of different muscle sections to work together so you can move. In this way, your muscles will generally become stronger. This is also an effective way to make your muscles stronger and thicker without bulking up. By performing heavy weight lifting, you can also lower your biological age. These benefits definitely make this type of workout worth your attention (11).

  • Tabata training

Tabata is one of the most popular ways to lose weight in a healthy and relatively fast way. This workout can be classified as a form of high-intensity interval training. It means that Tabata training will provide you with all the listed above benefits of HIIT.

The point is that your body cannot fully recover during the “rest intervals”, and that is why Tabata is great for making your body perfectly-shaped, as well as for building endurance.

The main idea of this workout is that you should perform very high-intensity exercises for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. You should perform 8 circles, which will result in 4 minutes in total. However, as well as HIIT, this workout is better for more advanced exercisers (8).

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  • Plyometric training

Yes, the name of these exercises may be unfamiliar to you, but you know these exercises for sure. Plyometric training helps strengthen your calves, quadriceps, and glutes. These exercises include jumping rope, squat jumps, burpees, box jumps, and more.

However, it is important to take into account your fitness level. If you are a newbie, you should start performing this type of workout gradually and carefully. Make sure to start on a flat and relatively soft surface and build the skill for a couple of weeks. Only then will it be safe to perform more advanced workouts. The best option is to work with an instructor in order to avoid injuries (1).

FAQs

Are there any considerations about this type of exercise?

The modern weight loss world can offer dozens of various workouts that can help you reach your fitness goal. When you want to pick a type of exercise, it is critical to take into consideration your fitness level and medical history.

Anaerobic exercise is quite challenging and is more suitable for more advanced exercisers. If you are a beginner, by starting your exercising with this workout, you significantly increase your risks of injuries. Another important point is that after such training sessions, your body needs entire recovery. If you have decided to include anaerobic exercise in your routine, make sure you practice it only 2-3 times a week. It is critical to have rest days in between (9).

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Conclusion

So, what is anaerobic exercise? As you can see, it is one of the most effective ways to lose weight and to increase strength and endurance. However, it is vital to take into consideration that this type of workout is extremely challenging and is more suitable for experienced athletes. That is why, if you want to give it a try, the best option will be to talk to your health professional. It is also much better to practice under the supervision of a certified fitness professional. In this way, you’ll avoid injuries and get to choose the most effective set of exercises. Don’t forget about well-balanced nutrition, healthy sleep, lower stress levels, and proper hydration. These key lifestyle habits will help you achieve your fitness goal and support your overall health. Lastly, remember to take care of yourself.

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DISCLAIMER:

This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!

SOURCES:

  1.   Go Ahead and Jump Into Plyometric Exercise (2020, verywellfit.com)
  2.   High Intensity Interval Training (2018, verywellfit.com)
  3.   High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise and Fat Loss (2010, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  4.   How to Reach the Anaerobic Zone During Exercise (2020, verywellfit.com)
  5. Effects of strength and aerobic-based training on functional fitness, mood and the relationship between fatness and mood in older adults (2011, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
  6. Noncompatibility of Power and Endurance Training Among College Baseball Players (2008, journals.lww.com)
  7.   Osteoporosis Exercise for Strong Bones (n.d., nof.org)
  8.   Tabata Training and How It Works (2020, verywellfit.com)
  9.   The Benefits of Anaerobic Exercise (2019, verywellfit.com)
  10. The Effectiveness of Combined Exercise Interventions for Preventing Postmenopausal Bone Loss: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (2017, jospt.org)
  11. Why You Should Be Lifting Heavy (2016, acefitness.org)
Lana Woods

Lana Woods

Lana is an excellent writer driven largely by questions of health and mental well-being. She specializes in writing articles on both nutrition and exercise. Nothing brings her as much pleasure as helping others get their health back on track. In her works, she provides informative tips on how you can change your lifestyle for the better, develop healthy eating habits, and improve your well-being with the help of workouts. Besides, in recent years she became more interested in studying weight management, gearing her focus towards healthy weight loss approaches.

Inga Grebeniuk-Gillyer

Inga Grebeniuk-Gillyer

Hey there! I'm a European Champion in synchronized swimming who holds a Bachelor degree in Physical Education. I have experience in working with Olympic level athletes, produced National Champions, State Champions and helped athletes secure their spots on the National teams.
I don't just want to work with professional athletes. I strongly believe that my purpose is to help anybody I work with to achieve their fitness goals and become their best self.

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