Exercising is one of the most important parts of your weight loss plan, but if you don't exercise efficiently, you won't get the results you want. That's where anaerobic threshold workouts come in. Planning your exercise routine so that you stay at or just below your anaerobic threshold is a fantastic way of increasing your weight loss and making the most of your workout time.
How Anaerobic Threshold Exercise Works
The body is always working off one of two forms of energy: anaerobic and aerobic. Aerobic metabolism is what your body uses the majority of the time. As the name indicates, your body uses the air you provide it to keep working. Once you push your activity level beyond this level, you are no longer taking in enough air to sustain the current activity level. The body then switches to anaerobic metabolism and uses up those energy stores. There is a very small amount of energy available here, so you'll quickly notice that your muscles ache, your breathing becomes labored and you're forced to either slow down or stop going.
The anaerobic threshold is the point at which your body switches from aerobic metabolism to anaerobic metabolism. Just below the threshold, your body is working at a high energy level but is still being fueled by air. The term "anaerobic threshold exercise" refers to exercise done at the intensity level just before the body switches to anaerobic metabolism.
Why It Boosts Weight Loss
Anaerobic threshold exercise is one of the best ways to maximize your weight loss potential. Working at a low aerobic level is comfortable, but it burns very few calories. Exercising at a very high energy level burns lots of calories, but you can only physically maintain that level for a few minutes before you are forced to stop. Even worse, you're then left with sore, tense muscles and may feel winded for quite a while.
Exercising at the anaerobic threshold is the perfect compromise. You're burning the most calories you can at a metabolic rate that can be sustained for a long time, so you'll be able to exercise longer and stay relatively comfortable while doing so.
Use Anaerobic Threshold to Your Advantage
To determine your anaerobic threshold, you can visit a personal trainer. They can perform an exercise metabolic rate test that determines where your threshold is, as well as how many calories you burn at that level. If you'd prefer to find your threshold yourself, there are less technical ways of doing so. While running or jogging, try to find the speed at which you can feel your muscles working but can still talk and breathe comfortably. You'll know that you've gone too far once you begin having trouble breathing or your muscles ache to the point of forcing you to stop.
Once you find your anaerobic threshold, do your best to exercise consistently at that level. You'll burn more calories in a shorter amount of time, and you will enjoy the weight loss results you experience.