Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Aerobic (aerobic) or anaerobic (anaerobic) training? When choosing the right effort - aerobic or anaerobic - we should take into account our training goal, because the effects will depend on it. Do we care about burning fat or increasing muscle mass? Find out which training is better for you - aerobic or anaerobic - and find out what the differences are between them.

Aerobic versus anaerobic training- what are the differences and which one to choose? Both types of exercise have their advantages and disadvantages, and each of them produces slightly different results. This article explains the pros and cons of aerobic and anaerobic training, and which one is right for you.

Aerobic training - what is it characterized by?

  • Aerobic changes in aerobic training

Aerobic, or aerobic, exercise is a type of training during which energy is obtained from anaerobic changes.

A characteristic feature of aerobic training is that you can talk freely without getting out of breath during exercise.

In the initial phase of training, i.e. for about 20-30 minutes, the body draws energy from muscle and liver glycogen, and then, after depleting these reserves, from free fatty acids. It is worth noting that how much glycogen a person has stored depends primarily on their diet. Glycogen is obtained from sugars, so carbohydrates have the greatest influence on its content.

  • How is your aerobic training going?

Aerobic training is a long-lasting effort of constant intensity, performed within the maximum heart rate of 50% -80%. Of course, your heart rate may be lower, but then exercise will not bring you any major he alth or performance benefits.

Aerobic training includes running, swimming, walking and cycling, among others. It is easy to make and organize.

Anaerobic training - what is it characterized by?

  • Anaerobic changes in Anaerobic Training

Anaerobic exercise, also known as anaerobic, is a training in which energy is obtained primarily from muscle and liver glycogen. However, it is quite a complicated process and itwhat energy will be derived from during anaerobic training depends on its duration. For example, during a few seconds of anaerobic exercise, energy is drawn from ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), and during exercise, within 45-120 seconds, from muscle glycogen.

The most famous type of anaerobic training is strength training, during which, for example, we lift a given weight in a series that lasts just about 45-120 seconds, which is why it is right to believe that strength training uses mainly glycogen to obtain energy .

  • How is anaerobic training going?

Anaerobic training is a training during which anaerobic changes take place, leading to muscle growth, an increase in metabolic changes and a high heart rate. It is a short-term and very intense effort, exceeding 80% of your maximum heart rate. Aerobic effort includes strength training and high-intensity HIIT training.

Anaerobic versus aerobic training - comparison

Aerobic (Aerobic) TrainingAnaerobic (Anaerobic) Training
Energy comes from aerobic changes (mainly free fatty acids).Energy comes from anaerobic changes (mainly muscle and liver glycogen).
Heart rate 50% -80% HRmax.Heart rate above 80% HRmax.
Long-lasting and constant effort.Short, intense effort.
You can chat freely.Shortness of breath, difficulty catching breath.
Rather steady heart rate.Continuous high heart rate.
Fat burned during exercise.Fat burned after exercise.
Invariable metabolism after finishing exercise.Significantly accelerated metabolism, even up to 48 hours, after the end of exercise.

Aerobic training or anaerobic training - which one to choose?

Who is aerobic training recommended for?

  1. It is intended for people who start their adventure with sport or return to it after injuries and injuries.
  2. Cardio training should also be used by people who suffer from obesity or have problems with high blood pressure and suffer from cardiovascular diseases.
  3. Performing aerobic training is also offered to those who currently have an injury and do not want to give up sports, because aerobic training does not burden the joints too much.
  4. Aerobic training will also be good for people who want to improve their condition andincrease the oxygen base and improve blood circulation. Then the effort should be performed with a heart rate of min. 50% of HRmax, because then it will bring he alth and performance benefits.
  5. Aerobics will be effective for those who want to strengthen slow twitch muscle fibers and do not care about expanding fast twitch fibers, which significantly increase muscle mass.

Who is anaerobic training recommended for?

  1. It is dedicated to those athletes who want to increase their muscle mass. The most effective form of it will be strength training.
  2. Anaerobic exercise is also recommended for people who want to improve their metabolism and increase the pool of calories burned during the day.
  3. Practicing anaerobic training is proposed when we want to improve strength endurance and endurance.
  4. Anaerobic training will benefit people who want to increase muscle mass and reduce body fat. This can be strength training or HIIT strength training.
  5. This type of training is dedicated to people who have little time and quickly get bored with regular cardio training.
  6. Anaerobic exercise stimulates the growth of fast twitch muscle fibers, so this type of activity will be good for people who want to improve the appearance of muscles or increase their size and improve skin firmness and elasticity, as anaerobic training significantly affects collagen production.
This will be useful to you

Aerobic training and anaerobic training work well together and you don't have to give up on either! If you want to burn excess body fat while maintaining muscle mass,always do aerobic training AFTER strength training .

During exercise, we use the reserves of muscle and liver glycogen. In the case of aerobic exercise, we also source glycogen at the beginning. In a situation where we no longer have glycogen in our body (because it has been exhausted in strength training), the body draws energy faster and easier from the third energy pathway, i.e. free fatty acids.

Remember not to change the order of these two types of training, as a long cardio session before training in the gym will not make any sense for your muscle growth.

Oxygen training - pros and cons

Pros of aerobics:

1. Heart rate-related he alth benefits

  • 50-60% HRmax - for beginners. It is the lowest heart rate value that brings he alth benefits (improved circulation, oxygenation) and endurance (bettercondition).
  • 60% -70% HRmax - this is the most beneficial level in fat loss during training, because it is at this heart rate value that energy is mainly obtained from free fatty acids. At this level, the work of the heart and respiratory system also improves, and the blood pressure is balanced.
  • 70% -80% - this is already a training on the verge of aerobic and anaerobic effort. It improves muscle endurance and endurance. It can affect metabolism and burn calories after training. Prepares the body for anaerobic training, which starts at 85% HRmax.

2. Ease of execution

Aerobic training is relatively easy to do. Running, walking, swimming or cycling are activities that we often deal with on a daily basis. They also do not require a sophisticated place. The oxygen effort can be practiced by virtually anyone who has no he alth contraindications, and during training with low and medium maximum heart rate, we do not jeopardize our he alth.

Disadvantages of aerobics:

1. Long duration

In order for aerobic training to bring physical and he alth benefits, it should be performed for a minimum of 40 minutes.

2. No effects commensurate with the duration of training

Oxygen training is long-lasting, and the effects of its performance do not compensate for the time spent. Better physical and he alth effects can be obtained by shortening the duration of exercise and increasing its intensity.

3. Lack of variety, monotony

A steady, monotonous pace and a steady form of effort can be a big disadvantage for most people who practice sports.

4. Elevated stress hormone

Frequent and long-term aerobic training has a destructive effect on muscle mass because it increases the level of cortisol - the stress hormone.

5. Easy adaptation of the organism

After some time, the body gets used to the physical activity performed, and this does not bring any spectacular effects. Then the principle of training progression should be applied and, for example, the intensity of training should be increased. It is extremely difficult during aerobic training, which should, as a rule, last about 40 minutes.

Worth knowing

Interval training - a combination of aerobic and anaerobic training

Interval training is characterized by a variable pace of exercise, therefore it is a special type of exercise. Due to its short duration and high intensity, it is often attributed to anaerobic training. The variable pace of intervals is an additional developmental stimulus for the body, which significantly increases the metabolism as wellfat burning with very low muscle mass burning. You can successfully add an interval session after strength training, in the same way as aerobic training. The intervals, however, may be shorter, from 7 to 20 minutes.

Anaerobic Training - Pros and Cons


1. Metabolism overclocked

Anaerobic training increases the metabolic rate up to three times. High intensity of anaerobic exercise disturbs homeostasis (balance) in the body. To restore it, the body has to do a lot of work. Hence, faster burning of calories, increased blood pressure and easier fat loss.

2. Quick visuals

After anaerobic training, we can see the physical effects quite quickly, because strength training gives us effects in the increase of muscle mass and minimizes the percentage of body fat.

3. Strengthened joints and bones

Strength training has a great effect on the quality of the joints. Weight-bearing exercise increases the production of collagen and increases the amount of inter-joint fluid. Thanks to this, the joints do not rub against each other and do not crumble, and the bones are stronger, which minimizes injuries and contusions.

4. Short duration

Even 10 minutes of anaerobic training is enough to achieve visible he alth and visual effects.

5. Lowering the level of bad cholesterol (LDL)

Anaerobic training lowers LDL and increases the level of good cholesterol, or HDL, which significantly reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

6. Better blood sugar regulation

Anaerobic training helps to regulate blood glucose levels and may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


1. Body load

High-intensity training is a heavy strain on the nervous and muscular systems, so you need to remember about the appropriate dose of sleep and rest after exercise. Improper strength training technique and too much load can strain your joints. So pay special attention to the he alth aspect of anaerobic training.

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!