Aerobic weight training is a type of exercise that combines lifting weights with interval training and intensity drills in order to elevate heart rate and blood pressure. It’s different from standard weight training in large part because of its focus on speed. The goal is often a little bit different, too; rather than simply building muscle, the aim with a specifically aerobic routine is usually to improve cardiovascular function and to strengthen not just the muscles but heart itself, and through the heart the whole body. Most of the exercises in an aerobic plan use lighter weights and repetition, and whole body movements are often part of the recommended routines. Circuit training is one of the most common forms of this kind of exercise, and interval training and speed work are widely used, too. Practitioners and health experts often praise aerobic weight routines as some of the best for overall heart health, and these routines are often used by athletes as a form of cross-training. Like most things, though, this sort of exercise is not without its risks, and people are often wise to talk to a health professional before undertaking a regimen, particularly if they have other health concerns already.
Understanding Aerobic Exercise Generally
In general, aerobic exercise is any exercise that involves or relies primarily on the body’s aerobic metabolism, which is a form of oxygen processing for energy. Most of these sorts of exercises involve endurance and intervals or short bursts of high-intensity work with longer periods of more moderate movement. The main idea is to build up heart strength to enable to body to work for longer and longer periods of time.
Weight routines usually involve weights that can be lifted fairly easily. They’re used in a range of different ways that are designed to challenge strength and build tolerance over many repetitions.
Classic weight lifting exercises, by contrast, usually involve heavy weights and short times spent lifting. Each time a lifting session is complete, it is often referred to as a set. Rest periods of one to two minutes between sets are common. In most cases, these breaks negate the effect of aerobic or circuit programs. It certainly has its benefits, but these benefits aren’t usually aerobic in nature.
Circuit training may be the most popular form of aerobic weight training. These sorts programs are created to use several machines, or stations, and lighter weights. Users move from one station to the next, lifting weights repeatedly for a given length of time.
Intervals and Intensity Variations
A number of clinical studies have found that brief periods of intense exercise, followed by rest periods, may have equal or better cardiovascular benefits for the body; these studies are one of the most cited supports for aerobic training of any kind, especially involving weights. Weight training done in intensity intervals builds endurance and can also help strengthen the bones. This is important for people at virtually any fitness level, but is often particularly recommended for those who are trying to lose weight or those who are losing bone mass, usually on account of aging.
Experts suggest using aerobic weight training two to three times a week as part of a cardiovascular and weight lifting regime. If weight loss is the sole reason for working out, this routine can be performed at home or in a gym. As long as resistance exercises like squats, push-ups, or sit-ups are repeated for intervals of a bit four minutes apiece, effects are typically the same as gym-based circuit-training sets.
Benefits and Potential Risks
The benefits from this sort of routine can be profound, and often include overall tone in many different parts of the body. Part of this is because of the different muscles and systems that are used simultaneously. People often find that they can breathe easier and feel less exhausted by everyday tasks after participating in this sort of exercise for a sustained period of time. In most cases, though, a sustained time is required; people don’t usually see a difference right away. It can takes weeks if not months to get results, and keeping the change usually requires commitment.
There are also risks, as there are with nearly any exercise regimen. People need to eat well and consume enough calories to power their efforts, and also must be aware of their own limits. Though the weights used aren’t usually very heavy, it’s still possible to overdo it, which can risk strain, sprain, and other injury. In general it’s usually a good for anyone thinking of taking a weight routine up to talk with a healthcare provider fist to discuss personalized risks.