Fat burning: anaerobic training

Anaerobic training: How to burn fat the right way

The importance of anaerobic training is gaining more and more weight in the fitness world. The reason for this is the importance that the short but intense power efforts of this training method - like sprinting during endurance running or high-intensity interval training - has for burning fat. We show how it works exactly and what you have to keep in mind during training.

Vorderansicht von Sprinter beim anaeroben Training
Nicht nur Ausdauer, auch Tempo hilft, um Fett zu verbrennen

The word "aerobic" comes from the Greek and means air. Anaerobic is the opposite and thus means without air: So when we "get out of breath" during sports, we are in the anaerobic zone. There is a lack of oxygen. At the usual maximum heart rate, the anaerobic threshold (depending on age and gender) is usually between 180 and 190 heartbeats per minute. This corresponds to 90 percent of the heart rate. Accordingly, this intensive anaerobic training can and should last a short time.

Those who permanently try to train anaerobically need very long recovery times or risk a drop in performance and serious damage to health with so-called overtraining. Exactly where the anaerobic zone begins varies from person to person. Fitness and health status play just as much a role as age.

If you want to know exactly, you have to measure the lactate concentration in the blood when the body is under stress. Measuring the heart rate alone is not enough here.

Fat burning - only aerobic?

The distinction between aerobic and anaerobic is important for the conversion of substances in the body. Fats can - in the short term and directly - only be burned and broken down by aerobic training, i.e. with the help of oxygen. Anaerobic training, on the other hand, only converts carbohydrates into energy. And that pays off in the long run.

During sports, the body needs a lot of energy. Depending on the load, i.e. intensity and thus pulse rate, it recovers the necessary power from fats or carbohydrates.

Has the resting pulse abdicated?

While for years the aerobic range was praised as the panacea for fat burning under the keyword "resting pulse", sports research is now also strongly concerned with the effect of anaerobic training. It is true that fat cannot be burned during training if no oxygen is available. However, working out in the higher pulse range increases energy consumption in a shorter time and thus the absolute amount of calories needed.

Burn fat with calisthenics

How to quickly get the fat off

A higher intensity in fitness training is associated with an increase in performance and leads to a higher muscle mass in the body. This in turn results in a higher afterburn effect in metabolism, because muscle cells need and consume more energy than fat cells.

Anaerobic training therefore helps burn fat three times over:

  • through the increased energy consumption compared to aerobic training
  • through the afterburn effect in the regeneration phase
  • through the long-term increased energy demand of the body
Anaerobes Training an der Rudermaschiene im Fitnessstudio
Die Rudermaschine im Gym eignet sich optimal dazu, anaerob zu trainieren

Instead of jogging to the dumbbells?

If you want to lose weight in sports, you need a relatively long, increasing training period in the aerobic range. If you can't or don't want to spend this amount of time, you can reach your goal faster with anaerobic training. Here it is sufficient to increase intensity and speed. Then "afterwards" the effective fat burning is set in motion.
To achieve the desired effect, it is enough to take a sprint every now and then when running. For those who prefer the gym, high-intensity interval training is recommended for losing weight.

The alternation between aerobic and anaerobic ranges is also used in competitive sports to achieve a permanent increase in fitness. 80 percent of the training is spent on endurance, 20 percent on high intensities. This ratio can also be used by experienced athletes. Beginners should initially train below the anaerobic threshold to strengthen their cardiovascular system.

Exercises: Anaerobic running workout

For endurance runs, the 1000-meter rule is often used to reach the anaerobic threshold. Of the kilometers run each week, one tenth is completed in 1000-meter runs. So if you run 50 km per week, you would have to do 5 km of that, or 5x1000 m, at a faster pace.

If possible, on a single day or on a maximum of two days per week, after warming up, start running the first 600 meters at a normal pace and speed up the remaining 400 meters. If you find this difficult, look for an uphill section of the course and try to maintain your pace despite the incline.

After each 1000-meter run, there is a recovery period that lasts about as long as the run. Then it's the turn of the second 1000m run, and so on.

Exercises: Anaerobic workout in the gym

In the gym there is the possibility of setting higher weights for strength training on equipment once or twice a week for two minutes.

For those who train without weights, the treadmill in the higher pulse range (between 180 and 190) or HIIT, high-intensity interval training, is suitable according to the 1000m rule in running. Here, just 5 minutes are enough to exceed the anaerobic threshold. Exercises such as squats, jumping jacks, jumping rope or burpees are performed at maximum speed for one minute at a time (work with a timer!) until you reach your personal limit. After that, a break of 20 sec. (no longer) and immediately either repeat the same exercise or connect another one. After four exercise units exactly 5 minutes have passed, consisting of 4 x 1 min. exercise and 3 x 20 sec. break.

Further alternatives desired: Then Tabata could be the solution.

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