When you think of cardiovascular exercise, you probably think of aerobic activities such as jogging and cycling, designed to help you improve your oxygen intake. But this month we are going totally anaerobic, with the aim of teaching your body to better expel the stuff you don’t want, namely lactic acid and carbon dioxide.
When you exercise gently, your body utilises oxygen to burn energy. As you increase the intensity of your exercise — such as sprinting, rather than jogging — you stop working aerobically and start working anaerobically, where your body can’t take in enough oxygen to fuel your exertions and you burn out very quickly. Lactic acid builds up in your muscles, making them hurt, and your lungs start to blow off’ large amounts of carbon dioxide from your body, making your cardiovascular system work at its limit.
By training anaerobically you push your heart, lungs and vascular system as hard as they can work, and you can teach your body to ‘buffer’ the effects of the lactic acid that is produced as a result. This means that, over time, you will be able to push your body harder for longer. However, anaerobic training is no walk in the park — it’s a series of short, very intense sprints. Try the following training sessions, and be prepared for a bit of pain if you want to see results.