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Aerobic Conditioning - 150 to 170 Beats Per Minute

Aerobic means ‘with oxygen’. It is a slow system compared to the anaerobic system, because it needs oxygen delivered to the blood from the lungs; that oxygen rich blood is then pumped by the heart to the exercising muscles.

The fuels used by this system are carbohydrates and fats. There is an oxygen-induced breakdown of these fuels inside a structure in the muscle cell called the mitochondria. This structure is often called the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell and it contains aerobic enzymes that chip away at the carbohydrate and fat to release their energy stores.

The aerobic energy system is used for endurance or stamina training and recovery. It is the preferred energy system for efforts lasting longer than 90 to 120 seconds and for recovery between bursts of sprinting or hard interval training. It responds to training, which can improve the delivery of oxygen to the muscles and raise the capacity of the muscles to use oxygen in their mitochondria.

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