Aerobic Training

In this article we review Aerobic Training. Different sport activities utilize different energy systems based on the energy demands. The human body has three (3) training energy systems as below:

  1. Anaerobic alactic- High amounts of energy expended over short duration intensity and acceleration. Examples of sportsperson who utilize this energy system are sprint distance runners, weightlifters, etc. (mostly athletes that utilize explosive movements).
  2. Anaerobic Lactic– Provides energy for medium to high-intensity activities, timed as upwards of ten (10) seconds and a maximum of 90 seconds. Middle distance running and Team sports e.g., Basketball where shifts and transitions are part of the game rely on this energy system.
  • Aerobic Energy System– The aerobic system provides energy for low to medium-intensity activities lasting upwards of 2 minutes. Sports and activities that require repeated shifts rely on this energy system e.g., Distance swimming, distance running, etc.

The latter is the focus of this article, what we often refer to as cardio. This energy system utilizes fat as fuel and is activated when the other 2 have been fatigued and a steady state of activity achieved.

Cardio training has quite the bag of benefits. By causing the heart and lungs to work harder than usual, you improve your stamina enabling you to progressively work out for longer periods of time. For your health, you get to prevent heart disease, maintain a healthy body weight, control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and improve physical functioning. Aerobic training also benefits the brain by reducing the risk of dementia, enhancing cognitive performance, and improving overall brain health.

Allow me to pose a question:

Why do you think is the reason in frame difference between a sprinter and a marathoner? The sprinter has a bulkier frame, marathoner quite the lean frame?

The context here is desired body appearance relative to the individual. Aerobic training by itself will for sure aid in getting leaner. However, if you desire to build some visible muscle, then this should be in combination with other forms of training.  Programing is, therefore, key to delivering on balance and sustainability.

Aerobic training can be intimidating, especially if you have been inactive for a significant stretch of time. Muscular discomfort is expected and is actually one of the primary reasons why most quit after a few attempts. The hack here is to start easy and set realistic goals and progress markers. For example, you could start with walking and timing your distance covered then progress to jogging as you build capacity to eventually incorporate running.

Many sports-related injuries occur as a result of lack of appropriate equipment. Activity-relevant training gear is an important factor to consider when incorporating these longer aerobic exercises into your routine. If your preference is running, for instance, it is important to invest in proper running shoes, running jackets, etc. Correct training gear comes in handy in injury prevention and improves athletic performance.

Remember, movement is a lifestyle. Enjoy the process as much as the benefits!

Next time we look into ‘Anaerobic Training ‘, see you then!

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Wagio Kariuki

Coach, Uzani Weightlifting

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