Anaerobic VS Aerobic Exercise – Which One Is Better?

man doing push ups in an open field

In the battle between anaerobic vs aerobic exercise: who comes out on top? This article will cover the differences between the two types of exercise and give you the answer! Probably not the one you are hoping for though.

What are anaerobic and aerobic exercise?

anaerobic vs aerobic exercise as blocks

When it comes to training, whether it is professional sports or general training, there are two main types of activity one can do.

Those two types are namely “anaerobic” and “aerobic” training, each of which provides a different stimulus for the body and thus, a different end result.

In this article, you’re going to learn more about these two types, which one is better for specific goals, and how to combine them.

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

Anaerobic & Aerobic Processes

Though these two terms may sound a bit complex, their meaning is quite simple

The word “Anaerobic” comes from the following Greek words:

  1. An – Meaning “without”
  2. Aer – Meaning “air”
  3. Bios – Meaning “life”

In simple words, all anaerobic processes in the body do not require oxygen to run.

Oppositely, all aerobic processes in the body DO require oxygen to function.

Examples Of Anaerobic Exercise

shirtless man doing weight lifting for anaerobic vs aerobic exercise example
Lifting is a common Anaerobic activity – Anaerobic VS Aerobic Exercise

Anaerobic training activities are basically any type of training which requires you to do a short, power-burst bout.

Here are some examples of anaerobic training activities:

  1. Sprinting
  2. Weightlifting
  3. Climbing
  4. Broad jumping

Because of the nature of anaerobic exercise (short, power-burst movements), this type of training mainly develops muscle strength, size, endurance and explosiveness.

Examples Of Aerobic Exercise

Contrary to anaerobic exercise, we have aerobic exercise, which are basically any low-intensity exercises that are long in duration.

Here are examples of aerobic activities:

  1. Jogging
  2. Skipping rope
  3. Swimming
  4. Cycling

Unlike anaerobic activities, aerobic training mainly develops the cardiovascular & respiratory systems (heart & lungs).

With this type of training, your body becomes more efficient at releasing energy with the help of oxygen.

Which Type Of Exercise Is Better?

As we already established, anaerobic exercise will stimulate the development of your musculature and its main properties – Strength, strength endurance & explosiveness.

On the other hand, with aerobic exercise you will improve the work of your heart and lungs.

And so, the answer to the question “in anaerobic vs aerobic exercise: which is better?” is quite simple… It depends on the context!

Are you someone who wants to look better? Focus your training around anaerobic activities and throw in some aerobic activities here and there.

Or, if you’re someone who just looks to improve their endurance in the long run, focus on aerobic activities that are low in intensity and long in duration.

Ultimately, if you’re not a professional athlete, you would be best off combining both types of training and tipping the scales in favor of the one that matches your goals the most.

Not sure what order to do them in? Check this out.


Though most people just LOVE to compare different types of training and dub some “better than others”, one thing remains true even when comparing anaerobic vs aerobic exercise…

That is namely the fact that the body is a complex machine, capable of a MULTITUDE of movements.

The more movements you do and the more you engage in different types of activities, the more you develop the systems and components (muscles) that make those activities possible.

Therefore, this approach will lead to a functionally and visually better physique.

What is YOUR approach to training? Comment down below!

strong woman exercising with battle ropes in gym

Finding it difficult to start going to the gym? Stuck telling yourself “I’ll go tomorrow?” These simple steps can help you get in the gym today!

In 2013 I attended TVCC with my studies focusing on nutrition and biology. After leaving TVCC I pursued a career in inbound marketing and have worked in many different industries including health and fitness, firearms, coaching, and many more. I spent 6 years training for powerlifting and 6 years after training for a bodybuilding show in Idaho, which sadly did not come to fruition.

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