Aerobic Capacity


The extent to which exercise can influence or even improve aerobic capacity is reflected in extreme variability across the human population. Studies have shown that the average response, as a result of training, is of the order of a 17% increase in VO2max. However, as would be expected, in any population there are those who are classified as high responders. In such cases, their aerobic capacity could increase by as much as two-fold. On the other side of the coin, there are inevitably those who are defined as low responders. Such individuals may, in fact, exhibit little if any benefit from a training programme.

Research has shown that approximately 10% of individuals who would otherwise be deemed as being healthy are, it appears, quite unable to improve their aerobic capacity with any form of appropriate training exercise. The extent to which an individual is responsive to an exercise programme, which results in a quantifiable change in their aerobic capacity, has been suggested as being attributable to genetic factors relating to the individual.

Aerobic Shortfalls

In the case of those individuals in which a high degree of fitness is an essential occupational requirement, such as in the case of athletes, soldiers, police, fire personnel, then the fitness levels offered by aerobic exercise may not be sufficient to provide the required well balanced exercise programme. Of particular importance is the fact that muscular strength, especially upper-body muscular strength, may not be included in the aerobic regime.

Anaerobic exercise is a form of exercise which is sufficiently intense that it is able to set in motion the mechanism of anaerobic metabolism. Lactic acid fermentation is a chemical reaction by which sugars, such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose, are converted into cellular energy together with lactic acid, produced by means of metabolism.

This represents the anaerobic form of respiration which takes place in the absence of oxygen. Glycolysis is the metabolic pathway (which represents a series of chemical reactions occurring within a cell) that converts glucose into another compound together with free energy. Glycolosis occurs, in various forms, in the majority of organisms, both aerobic and anaerobic. The metabolic pathways, which form part of the mechanism inherent in anaerobic metabolism (exercise), involve glycolysis and the fermentation of lactic acid, and generate energy during exercise periods of high levels of activity but for short periods of time. An application of such anaerobic exercise is that of sprinting.

However, even at peak levels of aerobic exercise, such metabolic pathways do not play a part. On the other hand, aerobic exercise is universally regarded as a most valuable element in a balanced exercise programme. Further, it must be remembered that aerobic exercise constitutes an indispensable aid in the development of cardiovascular health.

It is worth noting that certain forms of aerobics are not suitable for everyone since they can generate repetitive stress injuries. In such cases, it is advisable for an individual to choose: either a low impact form of aerobics which is less likely to produce such injuries, or to increase the time interval between exercise sessions in order to allow for adequate recovery.

Aerobics – How To Succeed

Author's Bio: 

Peter Radford writes Articles with Websites on a wide range of subjects. Aerobics Articles cover Background, History, Types of Exercise, Benefits, Aerobic Capacity, Other Issues, Commercial Success.

His Website contains a total of 140 Aerobics Articles, written by others and carefully selected.

View his Website at:

View his Blog at: