Aerobic vs Anaerobic

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic

By Coach Thurman aka Trueman

I always wondered the difference of aerobic and anaerobic exercise what was the benefit and what do they train. I will discuss an overview of what is aerobic and anaerobic training.


Let us start with what is Aerobic exercise it is the cardiovascular (cardio) conditioning that strengthens both your heart and lungs. In the cardio exercise the main fuel source for your body is oxygen. As, we all exercise, our bodies require oxygen carried in our blood that we obtain from breathing in with our lungs to keep going. With aerobic exercises you typically will be in continued movement for an extended period, 30 minutes or more.

Anaerobic exercise is highly intense exercise that is performed in fast, short durations. Your body does not use oxygen as a fuel source but instead utilizes the energy that is already stored in your muscles. Anaerobic exercise is done in repeated, brief periods of time such as 10 to 15 seconds since the type of movements can not be sustained for prolonged periods of time. Anaerobic exercise uses glucose stores in the absence of oxygen.


Aerobic type exercises:

  • Running
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • Dancing
  • Skiing

Anaerobic type exercises:

  • High Intensity Training (HIIT)
  • Heavy weightlifting
  • Sprinting


The differences between aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise are how the body uses stored energy, the intensity of the exercise, the length of time that exercise a person can maintain the exercise.

Aerobic exercise, is performed at longer durations versus anaerobic exercise which is performed in short bursts of intensity. Aerobic exercise helps to increase your endurance and anaerobic exercise helps to increase muscle mass and strength.


Aerobic exercise increases the heart rate, breathing rate, and boosts circulations. Aerobic exercise can improve a person’s cardiovascular system. Aerobic exercise can potentially help lose weight, may help lower blood pressure, may increase stamina and endurance.

Anaerobic exercise can help a person build muscle and/or lose weight, as well as a improve your cardio like aerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise may help strengthen bones, burn fat, and increase stamina.