Anaerobic Workouts

All of the examples below are suitable for beginners; if you are more advanced in your exercise training - you probably won’t need this guide!

Weight training

Firstly, if you are completing this type of training in a gym, it is essential to have a thorough induction with an exercise professional at the gym. Ideally, you would have an introductory session on completing the basic exercises with the correct technique. Also, never fear to ask someone for advice - everyone has started somewhere. The following exercises can be completed in a gym, or at home if you have your own equipment (dumbells would be very handy).

You might be wondering how weight training fits into anaerobic exercise, as it may not feel like your heart rate is above 85%. Resistance training like this isolates the muscle groups, which requires the use of the anaerobic energy system to fuel it.

Full-body dumbbell workout

Do not rush any of these movements, ensure the correct posture and count two seconds for each movement. For example, in a bicep curl, it should take two seconds to curl the arm up, then two seconds to curl the arm down. Allow between 30-60 seconds to rest between each set, but no longer than 90 seconds.

Bicep curl: 10reps x 3 sets

Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the weights down by your side, to begin with. Keeping your elbows down by your side, curl the weights up toward your shoulders, and control the movement back down to bring the weights to your side.

Lateral raise: 10reps x 3 sets

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, holding the weights down by your side, to begin with. Keeping your palms facing towards your body, and your elbows fairly straight and lift the arms, leading with the elbows, up until they are parallel with the floor, bring down to your side.

Overhead tricep extension: 10reps x 3 sets

Sit on the end of a chair, sofa, or bench in an upright position. Hold a weight between two hands and hold it behind the back of your head, with your elbows bent and squeezing into your ears. Extend the arms to lift the dumbbell up, straightening the elbows and then down again.

Lunge: 10reps (each leg) x 3 sets

Starting with your feet hip-width apart, with the weights down by your side. Step forward and bend down until your legs reach 90º.

Calf raises: 12reps x 3 sets

Starting with your feet close together, with the weights down by your side. Slowly rise up onto your toes, then ease back down to the ground - do not drop your heels down, control the movement. If you lose balance, start again with your feet hip-width apart, or hold onto the wall or railing to help keep your balance.

Squats: 12reps x 3 sets

Starting with your feet shoulder-width, or slightly wider apart, holding the weight right to your abs in both hands, with your toes pointing forward, bend down until your knees are at 90º, and return to stand. Ensure you are clenching your glutes and that your knees are bending in the same direction that your toes are pointing.

Introduction to HIIT

There is no equipment required, just make sure you have enough space - a spot in your living room or garden would be perfect. This workout lasts for just 8-minutes, with no rest, so be sure to warm up before and cool down after.

Bottom kicks: 60 seconds

High-knees (running on the spot): 60 seconds

Jump squats: 60 seconds

Mountain climbers: 60 seconds

Alternating side lunges: 60 seconds

Plank jacks: 60 seconds

Push-ups: 60 seconds

Burpees: 60 seconds

Complete one cycle to start with, if you feel you can do more, complete it one more time after a minute rest.

Fartlek (intermittent sprint training)

This form of training involves completing multiple sprints at close to max effort, with rests in between, perfect for your local park. See an example of progressive Fartlek below (displaying % of your max speed):

10-minute warm-up: light jog and dynamic stretches (see article on 'Warming up and cooling down').

30 seconds at 25%

60 seconds rest

30 seconds at 50%

60 seconds rest

30 seconds at 75%

60 seconds rest

15 seconds at 100%

60 seconds rest

30 seconds at 75%

60 seconds rest

30 seconds at 50%

60 seconds rest

30 seconds at 25%

10-minute cooldown: light jog and static stretches (see article on 'Warming up and cooling down').

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