Anaerobic Metabolism


When energy is produced in the absence of oxygen it is known as anaerobic metabolism. This system uses carbohydrates, creatine phosphate and adenosine triphospate.

Oxygen is used up more quickly than the body is able to replenish it. Anaerobic metabolism is used only for short bursts of activity.

Sprinters and weight lifters want to use aerobic metabolism to increase lactic threshold. The result is a greater resistance to fatigue and therefore, a better performance. Most people can only remain in this zone for 1-3 minutes.

Athletes achieve this by exercising quickly with much power and effort. Weight lifters use anaerobic metabolism when they lift heavy weights for very few repetitions. Here are some other activities that take advantage of this zone:

  • Interval Training (timed intervals of different activities)
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Power lifting
  • Jumping
  • Soccer
  • Fartlek Training (intervals based on how the body feels, not by time)

It is also important to note how this works with our aerobic system. You need to work the muscles with and without oxygen to see different kinds of gains. By including both kinds of activities in your exercise program you will burn more calories, improve your cardiovascular system and feel better.



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All information on this website is for information only. offers no medical advice or information. Always consult your GP before undertaking any form of weight loss, fitness or exercise