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Anaerobic Training Strategies

Adopt the Philosophy of:  Train to Compete  -  Don't just Train to Train.

      The type of training and methods used depends on factors such as the type of movement, skill requirements and specific demands of the activity in question. There are four primary types of training:

  • Aerobic - Aerobic training includes continuous activities, such as running, swimming, as well as Fartlek, circuit training and long interval training. These methods are designed to improve the efficiency of the cardiorespiratory system to deliver oxygen to working muscles. Aerobic training involves the larger muscle groups (e.g. legs) to efficiently combine with the cardiorespiratory system to supply a higher volume of oxygen to the working muscles and therefore improve performance. The training methods used for developing aerobic fitness are continuous, aerobic interval, fartlek and circuit training.
  • Anaerobic - Anaerobic training involves high intensity, short duration exercise (such as interval training). This method is characterized by repeated bursts over short distances at high intensity and are designed to improve the two anaerobic energy pathways as the major supply of energy and is aimed at increasing tolerance to lactic acid. An example is sprint repetition.
  • Flexibility - Flexibility training encompasses four methods, static, ballistic, dynamic, and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). The appropriate method to use depends on the specific nature of the sport or activity involved. Flexibility training is designed to improve the range of motion of a joint and reduce the likelihood of an injury and muscle soreness. Each joint has a specific range of motion (ROM) which varies between individuals, especially between elite athletes and inactive people.
There are a number of ways in which flexibility can be developed including static, ballistic, dynamic stretching and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). Each of these methods of flexibility training can be used to develop an individual's flexibility and improve overall performance as a result.
  • Strength Training - Strength training utilizes weight and hydraulic machines or other devices, such as elastic bands or free weights, to provide resistance against which a muscle can contract. It is designed to improve the amount of force that can be exerted by the muscle during a contraction. The most commonly used method is isotonic strength training whereby the muscle length changes as weights are lifted and lowered. 
Muscles contract in a number of ways and each of these need to be addressed by specific training. To develop strength, resistance must be applied to muscles as they contract. This resistance can take many different forms such as a person's own body weight, free weights, weight machines, hydraulic machines and elastic bands.

What is Anaerobic Training and its Benefits?

        Anaerobic is defined as "without oxygen". Anaerobic training is the repeated exercising in which an athlete develops the use of short term energy systems.  Anaerobic activities include jumping, sprinting, and weightlifting.

       Anaerobic exercise is the use of muscles at a high level of intensity for a relative short period of time. This form of exercise can help:

1.  Develop stronger muscles.
    2.  Improve your VO2 max (the highest amount of oxygen one can consume
         during exercise) and thus improve your cardio-respiratory fitness.
    3.  Increase your capacity to withstand the buildup of waste substances (such
         as lactic acid) and remove them from the body. This means your endurance
         and ability to fight fatigue will improve.
       Overall, aerobic exercises are considered better at burning calories than aerobic exercise. However, anaerobic exercises are better at building strength and muscle mass. In the long run, increased muscle mass density produces a leaner body because muscle uses large amounts of calories.
       In emergency situations, our body can respond with an instantaneous burst of strength and power. The source of this power resides in our muscles. The potential energy can be altered through training. The ATP-PC energy system is just one of three primary pathways in our bodies. All three utilize adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as the primary energy source. The speed, intensity, and duration of our muscle contractions determine exactly how that ATP energy is tapped, released and recycled.

       Athletes who are involved in strength and endurance sports train anaerobically. Activities involve two main energy chains - the Adenosine Triphosphate Phospho-Creatine (ATP-PC) and the lactic acid system.

       When activity lasts for under 10 seconds or long enough to run a 100 meter race the ATP-PC system is operating at full power. The body begins to form lactic acid after about 5-10 seconds of activity without oxygen.

       When Anaerobic activity occurs without oxygen, the Glucose in muscles brakes down to form lactic acid resulting a quick supply of ATP. This allows bursts of intense activity to continue from about 30 seconds to up to 3 minutes. The Lactic acid accumulates in the body and takes about 2 hours for it to break down in the muscles after intense exercise.

       As muscle glycogen is converted to form ATP byproducts, there is a corresponding increase in lactate and hydrogen ion (acid) secretion. The build-up of hydrogen ions will ultimately prevent further muscle contractions at high levels. Your body can extend the ATP-PC by reducing the level of intensity. A side effect of the lactate and hydrogen ion production is the increase in Human Growth Hormone (HGH) that result increasing muscle mass.

Note: Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is produced by the pituitary gland, but the levels gradually decline as we age. The hormone is critical for children's growth and the health of the body's organs. It stimulates the growth of muscle, bone and cartilage, and enhances immune function.

HGH levels are increased by intense anaerobic workouts and sleep. A nutritious diet and uninterrupted sleep are critical components that allow the body to produce HGH and serotonin hormones.  There's no short cut! Save money and avoid HGH supplements hyped in health food stores as they have not undergone scientific research to validate their claims.

Training activities designed to enhance these systems include:

1. explosive training, such as plyometrics,

2. interval training,

3. strength training, and

4. speed and agility training methods.

The effects on athletes' bodies include:

1. increased strength,

2. larger muscles (hypertrophy),

3. increased power,

4. increased ability to store ATP and PC, 

5. development of both fast twitch and slow twitch muscle fibers.

Recommended Reading:

What is Anaerobic Exercise?

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)  Also called High Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE) is an enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy anaerobic exercise with a less intense exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 9–20 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athletic capacity and condition, improved glucose metabolism, and improved fat burning.


Anaerobic exercise is exercise intense enough to trigger anaerobic metabolism. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed, and power.

Anaerobic Training Energy Systems - Sports Training Adviser Anaerobic training builds athletes' short term energy systems.

Anaerobic Threshold (AT) is a frequently used term that sometimes causes a ... extremely reliable and powerful predictor of performance in aerobic exercise. ... The AT varies from person to person, and, within a given individual, sport to sport.

Developing A Training Plan

Physical and Mental Training Considerations

Developing A Training Plan


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Fitness Training Considerations
Kirkpatrick's Evaluating Training Programs
Skating Training Environment
Training Figure Skaters
Group Classes
Fitness Training
Personal Training Plan
Daily Training Plan
Seasonal Training
Training for Junior & Senior Athletes
Age Guidelines for Training
Developing a Plan for Training
Developing Skating Skills
Group Training Stages
Training Priorities
Strategies of Sports Training
Training Task Analysis
Value of Annual Planning
Competitive Training Strategies
Verbal and Nonverbal Communications
PDF  Core Body Training
PDF  Endurance Training Plan

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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