Aerobic Vs Anaerobic
The body functions using both Aerobic and Anaerobic states.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC
Simply put, aerobic respiration requires oxygen and anaerobic respiration doesn't.
Understanding the two different functions can be beneficial when exercising, especially if performing at a high level.
Aerobic and Anaerobic respiration produce different levels of energy.
When exercising the body needs to break down sugar and convert it to glycogen which is used for energy. If the body is supplied with enough oxygen for this process this is called aerobic respiration.
An example of this is when we are doing an activity at a low intensity level where breathing is easy, the muscles have all the oxygen they need and we are not particularly breathless when the sport is finished. Think walking, light swimming, light cycling.
The breakdown of sugar is still converted to glycogen but because of insufficient oxygen the body produces lactic acid which causes the feeling of fatigue. This can happen when doing an activity at a high intensity level such as 100m sprint, 30 second all out row, bodybuilding set etc
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU ARE EXERCISING AEROBICALLY OR ANAEROBICALLY?
The simplest rule of thumb to decide if you are in an aerobic or anaerobic state is to assess your breathing. If you can still hold a conversation without struggling to breath too hard and often in between words, you are in an aerobic state. If you struggle to talk and keep having to take long hard breaths in between words, you are in an anaerobic state.
Jumping onto a treadmill and going full out and not being able to speak means your body is in an anaerobic state.
Jogging at a moderate pace and being able to talk at the same time would mean that your body is in an aerobic state.
BENEFITS OF KNOWING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC
This all depends on your goal.
If your goal is sports orientated, such as boxing or medium - long distance running you must learn to pace yourself to stay in an aerobic threshold, The harder the body works the more energy it burns. Also once you are in an anaerobic zone it takes a while to recover and return your body to a aerobic state.
If your goal is maximum performance orientated such as sprinting you will be able to apply this to your training, ensuring you can keep maximum anaerobic levels for the required length of time for your sport.
Some sports require a mixture of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning - such as MMA and rugby. Both require a good foundation of aerobic condition but require anaerobic, high intensity bursts of energy at any given moment. Learning to control both aerobic and anaerobic, as well as getting used to recovering from the anaerobic state is vitally important.