The anaerobic treshold

The anaerobic threshold: What it is and how it helps you in fitness training.

Maybe your personal trainer has talked about the anaerobic threshold. But how does an athlete know when he or she is training in the anaerobic zone and what are the benefits of anaerobic training?

The anaerobic threshold: training without oxygen

In contrast to aerobic training is anaerobic training, which takes place without oxygen in the muscles. Anaerobic training takes place during fast, intense sessions that place the highest possible load on the body in the shortest amount of time. In order to have the energy necessary for exercise, the body converts carbohydrates, which occurs through lactic acid fermentation. Lactate is produced in the process, and fats are no longer burned. By the way, this is only possible with oxygen! 

During training, the white muscle fibers are used, which can reach a much higher volume than the red muscle fibers, but also require much more energy and tire more quickly. If anaerobic training lasts longer and the body overexerts itself in the process, the lactate in the muscles leads to hyperacidity, pain and a rapid drop in performance.Typical sports for anaerobic training are weight training, sprints, yoga and competitive sports.

The counterpart to anaerobic training: aerobic metabolism

If not only carbohydrates but primarily fats are burned for energy production, experts refer to this as aerobic training. The training load is rather low, but steady, and the red muscle fibers, which work by using oxygen and absorbing it from the blood, are the main ones used. They are important for all exercises that involve low effort and frequent repetitions.Typical sports for aerobic training are: Swimming, jogging and cycling.

Achieve personal fitness goals with the right training

When you exercise with your personal trainer here in Frankfurt, he or she will create an individual training plan for you. This includes defining your anaerobic and aerobic thresholds and determining what type of training is ideal for achieving your personal fitness goal.Important: Both types of energy metabolism must be combined and

You want to burn fat and lose weight? Then aerobic training with a low pulse makes sense. For this, the training time should be chosen a little longer. For example, longer running distances will be on your training program.

You want to build muscles and improve your performance? Then the anaerobic threshold must be exceeded, the training will consist of anaerobic and aerobic components. The training times can be shorter, but the pulse must be brought into the upper range. Strength training will be combined with running.


the threshold between the aerobic and anaerobic ranges should be crossed repeatedly. This allows the greatest training effect to be achieved.

Crossing the threshold: The boundary between anaerobic and aerobic training

Where exactly the anaerobic threshold lies cannot be explained in general terms, because it depends on the personal training condition. However, this means that increased training can lead to an upward shift of the anaerobic threshold. If you want to know where your own anaerobic threshold is, you can have the lactate value in your blood measured, which is possible, for example, at a sports doctor. The anaerobic threshold is precisely the range in which the formation and breakdown of lactate in the muscles are balanced. When the threshold is exceeded in the anaerobic direction, the formation of lactate predominates. It is also possible to have the heart rate determined consistently. This lies in the aerobic range at approx. 70 to 80 percent of the maximum possible heart rate. If the heart rate increases, the threshold to the anaerobic range has been exceeded.

You will also notice very well when you exceed the anaerobic threshold and lactate slowly accumulates. On the one hand there are hardenings of the musculature, which you can easily feel, because they hurt easily. The training is perceived as strenuous, the muscles burn. The heart beats faster, you can no longer entertain yourself and you may even gasp for air.

But if your fitness improves through regular training according to an adapted fitness plan, your anaerobic threshold is raised and you feel that training is less strenuous. You become faster and stronger, which means that with the same training intensity or with the same use of physical strength, a better result is achieved. You notice this, for example, in the 400 m run, which you now complete faster. You still gasp for air afterwards, but you have covered the distance much faster.