Save Emotion, Aerobic vs. Anaerobic

I’ve borrowed the lists below from renown endurance coach, Brian Mackenzie, and his course on endurance sport. The list outlines the pros and cons of both aerobic training and anaerobic training from a scientific perspective. Take a look:

Aerobic Training

Benefits: increased cardiovascular function, better fat utilization, greater capillarization, increased mitochondrial growth

Drawbacks: decreased muscle mass, decreased strength, decreased power, decreased speed, decreased anaerobic capacity, decreased testosterone levels

Anaerobic Training

Benefits: increased cardiovascular function, decreased body fat, increased muscle mass, increased strength, increased power, increased speed, increased aerobic capacity, greater capillarization, increased mitochondrial growth

Drawbacks: might require an aerobic foundation depending on sport

[CrossFit Endurance]


Resident endurance stud, Dana, agrees.

Without getting into preferences and other emotions, this list of facts makes quite the case for anaerobic training. Conversely, even in the face of mass appeal, aerobic training seems borderline counter productive.

Aerobic training is best reflected as utilization of the oxidative energy system that encompasses efforts several minutes or longer at forty to sixty percent output. It relies on oxygen as it’s main fuel source. Anaerobic training exists most notably in the phosphagen and glycolytic pathways, which reflect efforts zero to fifteen second in length at eighty-five to one hundred percent output and those efforts from fifteen seconds to several minutes in the sixty-five to eighty-five percent output range respectively. Unlike aerobic training, anaerobic training relieves on ATP for fuel.

Considering the science, why do you think aerobic training has such a commanding presence in the fitness industry? Do we enjoy running and biking long slow distances that much?

Sound off.


Logan Gelbrich




10/20/13 WOD


5 Rounds:

400m Run

15 Overhead Squats (95/65)