Chronic adaptations to anaerobic training

Chronic muscular and cardiovascular adaptations in response to anaerobic training

Anaerobic training aims to improve the duration of use and capacity of the body to produce ATP anaerobically (without the use of oxygen) so that short periods of high intensity effort may be prolonged. All the adaptations below occur predominantly in fast twitch type 2b muscle fibres in response to anaerobic training.

Muscular Hypertrophy

There is an increase in the muscle size and an increase in the number of fast twitch type 2B fibres that are responsible for anaerobic energy production.

Increased muscular stores of ATP and CP

There are increased stores of ATP and CP this means that the body can use these energy systems for longer and work at a higher intensity due to the fast rate of ATP production.

Increased oxidative capacity

This is due to increased enzyme production as an increase in enzymes means that more ATP can be produced at faster speeds.

Cardiac hypertrophy

The cardiac muscle itself is increased this predominantly occurs in the left ventricle wall which is thickened allowing for blood to be more forcefully ejected from the heart increasing stroke volume.

Increased lactic acid tolerance

Muscles have an increased buffering capacity so that they can still function and work with higher levels of H+ ions meaning fatigue will be delayed and they can use the anaerobic pathways for longer.

Students should note there are extremely limited chronic respiratory adaptations for anaerobic training that are not within the scope of this course.