Is cycling “aerobic exercise” or “anaerobic exercise”?

Do you know which kind of exercise can be divided into “aerobic exercise” and “anaerobic exercise”? Today, Xiaobian will bring you to discuss this problem.

Usually, most people distinguish aerobic exercise from anaerobic exercise by the length of exercise.

In fact, the main distinction between aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise is based on the proportion of its energy supply system.

During exercise, muscles need energy supply.

If energy comes from aerobic metabolism in cells, it is aerobic exercise; But if energy comes from anaerobic metabolism, it is anaerobic exercise.


The relationship between exercise and energy supply system is discussed in the Book Fundamentals of personal coaches of the American Physical Fitness Association.

There are three major energy supply systems in human body, namely, prophosphate system, glycolysis system and aerobic oxidation system.

In the process of sports, the energy supply of the three systems is neither “rotation” nor “going hand in hand”.

When the human body is in different motion states, the energy supply of each system is carried out according to a certain proportion.

As for the relationship between energy supply system and aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise, we can simply make such a division.

Combined with the chart, we can know that time and exercise intensity determine the proportion of the three energy supply systems, and it is also an important index to judge whether the exercise is aerobic exercise or anaerobic exercise.


Aerobic exercise vs anaerobic exercise aerobic exercise: the advantage is that it can increase the intake of oxygen by the human body and more effectively consume excess heat in the body.

It is characterized by low intensity, rhythm and long duration.

The time of each exercise is required to be no less than 30 minutes and no less than three times a week.

During aerobic exercise, oxygen can fully burn (i.e.

oxidize) sugar in the body, consume body fat, improve human endurance and enhance cardiopulmonary function; In addition, it can prevent osteoporosis and regulate psychological and mental state.

Common aerobic sports include walking, jogging, cycling, Taijiquan, fitness dance and so on.

Anaerobic exercise: the biggest feature is that the intake of oxygen during exercise is very low.

Because the speed is too fast and the explosive force is too fierce, the sugar in the human body has no time to decompose through oxygen, and has to rely on “anaerobic energy supply”.

If a large number of intermediate metabolites such as pyruvate and lactic acid produced when decomposing sugar cannot be eliminated, these acidic products accumulate in cells and blood and become a “fatigue toxin”, which will make people feel tired and weak, muscle ache, breathing, rapid heartbeat and arrhythmia.

In serious cases, acidosis may even occur and increase the burden on liver and kidney.

Therefore, after anaerobic exercise, the human body is always exhausted, and muscle soreness can not disappear until several days.

Common anaerobic sports include sprint, weightlifting, throwing, high jump, long jump and tug of war.


Cycling is aerobic exercise or anaerobic exercise.

From the above information, we can see that the of aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise can be judged by time and exercise intensity.

In cycling, it is usually distinguished according to the driver’s heart rate and intensity.

It is usually divided into five intervals: 50% – 60% of the maximum heart rate (50% or 60% for 20-year-old people) × 200 = 100 ~ 120 times / min): recovery area.

Light exercise, which can be used for warm-up, cycling and subsequent recovery; 60% – 70% of the maximum heart rate: low intensity aerobic area.

Moderate aerobic exercise, the main source of exercise energy is body fat, which can effectively lose weight; 70% – 80% of the maximum heart rate: high intensity aerobic area.

Strong aerobic exercise, a large amount of glycogen decomposition and consumption in muscle; 80% – 90% of the maximum heart rate: anaerobic area.

Most muscles are in anaerobic breathing state, with a large accumulation of lactic acid.

Strong anaerobic exercise can improve anaerobic ability.

It is suitable for professional athletes or amateur riders who often participate in competitions; 90% – 100% of the maximum heart rate: limit zone.

The limit of human movement will have a serious impact on the body system.

Exercise at this intensity requires extra caution.

According to the above distinction, most of the time cycling belongs to aerobic sports, but not all of them.

Some of them, such as 1km time trial, field race, wheel race…

These short-distance events are almost anaerobic sports.

During these exercises, the body will produce a large number of metabolites.

Lactic acid is one of the annoying things.

Once entering anaerobic exercise, lactic acid will come out, and then the thigh will be hot, sour and painful…

When we encounter short and steep slopes, the human body usually puts the body into a short anaerobic state.

This brief anaerobic state will also accumulate some lactic acid, sometimes just a little.

For many new riders, when they first start climbing and riding, they don’t want to change speed when they encounter some steep slopes and rush up with a few hard steps.

In fact, at this time, the process of “hard stepping” is an anaerobic process, which is the accumulation of lactic acid.


Benefits of aerobic exercise: in the process of aerobic exercise, the body needs a lot of oxygen, which can promote the body’s blood circulation faster.

When there is enough oxygen, the brain will be clearer, and the vital capacity and heart function will be better improved.

Relieve pressure: when doing aerobic exercise, the oxygen of the body is supplied to the whole body with the blood.

With appropriate exercise, it can eliminate tension, regulate mood, resolve bad emotions, release psychological depression, forget troubles, and bring physical and mental pleasure..

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