Improving Anaerobic Fitness

By Joel Jamieson

There are two parts to the anaerobic system, both of which produce energy much faster than the aerobic system.

1.) Alactic (most explosive but only produces energy for a few seconds)
2.) Lactic

The cost of such rapid energy production is that it leads to fatigue much faster and you're not able to sustain high power output as long.

When it comes to actual anaerobic training methods, there are a couple of basic principles:

1.) Intensity should always be greater than 90%
2.) Use longer rest periods for developing max power and shorter rest periods for improved capacity
3.) Anaerobic training is about much more than just fatigue

We see these principles reflected in the following anaerobic training methods:

Alactic Interval Training:
Goal: increase rate and capacity of lactic energy production

Key Characteristics:
3-6 sec of work, 60-120 sec rest
10-20 sets
Use exercises intended for explosive strength and power training

Lactic Interval Training:
Goal: increase lactic energy production and anaerobic endurance

Key Characteristics:
30-40 sec of work, 1-4 min of rest
2-5 sets
1-2 series

Rest longer for lactic power, shorter for lactic capacity

Coming Up Next: how you can use this information to structure an annual energy system training plan

Take your fitness to the next level with these essential training resources.