How to Safely Incorporate Your Anaerobic Threshold in Workouts

Your anaerobic threshold is the level at which your body oeprates while exercising in which the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles is being created at a higher rate than that at which it’s being neutralized and reabsorbed. This threshold is characterized by pain and discomfort, but it’s also seen to be the ideal place to work out in terms of improving your overall short-duration fitness and strength.

Incorporating some training at or around your anaerobic threshold can help you to dramatically improve you short term strength, speed and agility. Athletes that participate in sports or events that are not characterized by sustained or long distance training will typically work out frequently at or around this level so as to best improve their fitness. However, because the anaerobic threshold is close to your body’s limit of how far you can push it while exercising, it’s important that you be aware of how to safely incorporate it into your workout.

Monitor the Threshold Closely

First, you must know what your anaerobic threshold is. There are several ways to determine at what heart rate and general point in your workout this will occur. The best and most difficult to participate in is a laboratory test in which professionals measure your lactic acid levels as you exercise in front of them. More commonly, many people carry around portable lactate monitors that can dictate when the change in lactic acid buildup takes place and therefore show your anaerobic threshold as well. Finally, you will be likely to hit your anaerobic threshold when you are working out at about 90% of your total maximum safe heart beat.

In order to work out at this threshold safely, you must first be accustomed to monitoring it closely.

Know How Long to Sustain

The anaerobic threshold is a difficult and painful part of your workout that will not likely be easily sustainable for an extended period of time. Therefore, in order to best make use of your anaerobic threshold as you workout, it’s a good idea to know how much of this pressure your body can take. Begin by incorporating workouts that approach your anaerobic threshold and by gradually building up to it. Once you’ve reached it, attempt to sustain the time at which you’re working at your anaerobic threshold by a few seconds or other increments of time each workout. Never extend your anaerobic threshold longer than you feel comfortable while you’re working out, however.

Allow Time To Recover

One of the keys to safely using your anaerobic threshold in training without hurting yourself is to give your body plenty of time to recover. After your anaerobic threshold has been met, reduce your heartrate and exercise level to a very low state or even discontinue exercising completely. This will allow your body the chance to recover from the excess lactate that has built up within your muscles, ensuring that you can continue to work out safely.


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