The Truth about Anaerobic

Most experts only classify exercise into aerobic and anaerobic. The two can be separated in terms of their metabolic energy systems required to perform such as extended duration/low intensity exercise (aerobic) or short duration/high intensity exercise (anaerobic). In laymen’s term aerobic literally means “with oxygen” and anaerobic means “without oxygen”.  This article is created to help shed some light on whether anaerobic is just a myth or not.

Different Energy Requirements – Different Energy Systems

During low intensity exercise such as walking, most of the needed energy comes from using fat as fuel. You need oxygen if you want to convert fat into energy, and this process known as aerobic metabolism, thus, supporting exercise called aerobic exercise. The problem with aerobic is that it is very slow in generating energy.  You need another type of energy system for high intensity exercise – one that relies more heavily on the use of carbohydrate. Contrary to the first system it allows your body to generate much faster energy.  Experts named it the anaerobic energy system and the exercise use here is called anaerobic exercise.

Anaerobic exercise cannot be existent because muscles never attain a truly anaerobic state

Tim Noakes explains the theory of exercise
Tim Noakes explains the theory of exercise

An expert of exercise, Professor Tim Noakes refers to anaerobic as “oxygen independent” activity since muscles never actually reach a truly anaerobic state. Noakes believes that if it got based on conventional exercise science theory the working muscles needed to become anaerobic, the heart that  supplies muscles with oxygen must be in an anaerobic state first. Modern exercise science has forgotten the fact that the heart is also a muscle, which means that it also needs the same supply of oxygen.  If the heart did not get enough oxygen, a heart attack might occur.

If lactate and anaerobic muscle do not control the maximum exercise that a person can do, what does?

Prof. Noakes suggests that somewhere in the body lies an organ that tells the brain about the heart’s condition.  It has a job of protecting the heart from too much work.  Noakes refers to it as the “central governor” as it controls the power output of the muscles so that it could protect the heart from too much work.

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