BistroMD Health Library

Get excited about reading again with fun and interesting tips from our experts, including The M.D., our dietitians, and our fitness expert. In our health library, you will find all of the information you need to achieve your goals of making a healthy lifestyle change. So, start reading and start losing!


Creating a lighter, healthier you is a multi-step process. One of the most important steps, and the main focus of this section, is exercise. Here we explore everything from the benefits of exercise to how much and how often it is necessary to promote weight loss.

5 Anaerobic Exercises to Try

Though all exercise is good exercise, the urge of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises should be implemented related to distinct health benefits. But what exactly is anaerobic exercise and how can you benefit?

5 Anaerobic Exercises to Try

Considering the rise of obesity, the encouragement of exercise is needed now more than ever in this largely sedentary country. Though all exercise is good exercise, the urge of both aerobic and anaerobic exercises should be implemented related to distinct benefits. But what exactly is anaerobic exercise and how can you benefit?

What Is Anaerobic Exercise?

Anaerobic exercise is short-lasting and intense in nature. During these high-intense bouts of exercises, the body demands more oxygen and must rely on energy breakdown from muscle stores. This form of exercise is quite different from standard aerobic exercises and endurance activities (jogging, cycling, swimming, etc.) that are sustained for longer durations of time. Interestingly, though, all workouts are considered anaerobic exercise during the first few minutes as the body becomes adapted.

Most anaerobic exercises are completed within three minutes and require a rest or recovery period, allowing the body to catch back up and breathe. Ready to shake up your workout? Give these anaerobic exercises a try!

5 Anaerobic Exercise Examples

1. Weight Lifting
During weight lifting, especially with heavier weights, the body exerts its energy to lift fixed objects. Lifting weights is in a repetitive manner, also known as "reps." Muscle stimulation is mostly dependent on what muscle group is being used, though one muscle is not targeted but rather a series of muscles.

2. Push-Ups
Push-ups are an excellent weight-bearing exercise that mostly targets the upper body. Since the lack the need of weights, they can be completed virtually anywhere! Pull-ups and chin-ups are also examples of anaerobic exercises.

3. Squats
With or without weight added, squats are a valuable anaerobic exercise to strengthen the low body (lunges, too)! For maximum results, add weight and intensity using dumbbells or a barbell.

4. Sprints
Rather than a steady jog for an extended period of time, sprints are completed at a maximum running potential. Easily explained, you exert the highest energy possible for shorter distances rather than running at a steady pace.

Also known as high-intensity interval training, HIIT transforms typical aerobic exercise into an anaerobic exercise. For instance, an individual would complete a normally aerobic exercise, such as cycling, in high bursts of energy. Recovery periods would accommodate shortened bursts of energy to allow the body to catch up and breathe. Tabata, a form of HIIT, is also shown to provide anaerobic health benefits!

Tips for Anaerobic Implementation

Always warm-up to prevent injury.
Start light! Intensity and weight can always be increased. But overdoing it can create painful injuries and muscle strains.
Complete one to three sets of 8 to 15 repetitions, also dependent on anaerobic exercise.
Cool down and stretch once completed, as post-workout recovery is just as essential as the actual workout.

Anaerobic Benefits

• Muscle Building
Individuals mostly implement anaerobic exercises to increase muscle mass. And for valid reasons, considering anaerobic exercise, such as weight training, require heavy lifting. When muscles are exerted, the muscle fibers experience small tears that are reformed to build and strengthen the muscle.

• Weight Loss
Though all types of exercise burn calories, consistent anaerobic exercise can continue burning calories at rest! One muscle mass is increased, metabolism does as well. Simply put, muscle burns more calories than fat mass even when sleeping or sitting down.

• Bone Strengthening
Weight bearing exercise of any kind strengthens not only muscles, but to bones as well. Especially in the long run, strong bones reduce the risk for osteoporosis, a condition in which bones become weak and brittle that increases the likelihood of falls and fractures. For more information on exercising for bone health, click here.

The benefits of anaerobic exercise are valued across the lifespan, especially as age advances. Specifically, muscle mass reduces as years pass by, ultimately slowing down metabolism. Bone loss is also a high risk factor in seniors. Take charge and start implementing anaerobic exercises into your start-up or daily workout regimen!

Start Your Diet Today!

Reality Check - Your Free Diet Analysis

Simply answer a few questions so we can figure out your weight loss goals and provide solutions for a lighter, healthier you. Our weight loss meal plans are designed to help real people achieve real and lasting success.

as seen on...   

join our free newsletter

Get free support to help you lose weight and be healthy with our Weekly Dish on Health.

stay connected