Anaerobic fitness is the force component of fitness in general, which also contains at least two other essential components: aerobic fitness (the part of cardio-vascular resistance) and joint mobility. Speed and skill are native qualities and they are not very relevant for the health state – which is the main concern in mass fitness, the one meant to keep the body in good shape.
The purpose of anaerobic training programs is developing the force, the fortifying of the body or the muscular mass. There are situations when only force or muscle fortifying is intended. The typical example for these situations is given by the sports organized in categories, in which physical force (with the interdiction of going over a certain limit of weight) is tested. Growth of muscular mass determines increase of force and fortifying of the skeletal muscles. In this case, the fitness programs are very similar to body building trainings, without being followed by the spectacular, yet dangerous changes, specific to body building.
The purpose of anaerobic fitness is uniform, balanced and harmonious development of all the muscles, without ignoring their functionality. This last idea is important for making a clear difference between fitness and the tendencies, many times narcissistic, manifested by body building practitioners. The sportsman who takes up fitness wants to be able to and is able to do something with his muscles, more than showing them in contests or in different other occasions and places (disco, swimming pool, clubs, etc.).
One of the important characteristics of anaerobic fitness trainings is the use of general programs, during which all or almost all the muscles are worked out in one training session. In body building the programs are divided and trainings are focused every time on one, two or at most three groups of muscles; while in fitness one training can be focused on a certain area, but it does not exclude the other muscles, which will benefit, directly or indirectly, of at most one exercise for each group of muscles. This way, the programs are not excessively long; they take an average of one hour and fifteen minutes; thus the catabolic faze is avoided; this usually appears in very long training sessions (two hours or even more).
Another modality of reducing the time of training is doing super-series whose object is to train two antagonistic groups of muscles (chest and back or biceps and triceps, etc.). Thus, for each group of muscles must be performed a series of exercises, without a break in between; the break is taken only at the end of this double effort. The programs can also contain triple series or even giant-series (more than three exercises one after the other). The intensity of the training can be considerably increased: many muscles can be trained in a short time.
The weekly frequency of the training remains the same (three sessions); so the aerobic phase can be covered in the free days. If only three or even two weekly sessions are possible, mixed programs can be adopted: after the anaerobic fitness, always done at the beginning of the session, 15-20 minutes of aerobic fitness are added for balancing the two phases (anaerobic and aerobic). In this case, also, training must not take longer than one hour and a half; otherwise the phase of catabolic processes is initiated – a phase in which muscles ‘self-cannibalize’.
Anaerobic fitness is recommended to all somatic types, with specific differences of modality of training.
In the cases of ectomorphic and mezomorphic types, all the series (3 or 4) performed on the same machine must be finished, and then the machine and the group of muscles which is trained must be changed at the same time. This system is also called ‘workshop training’.
In the case of the endomorphic type (the overweight), circuit training is preferred: the group of muscles trained is changed after every series and the whole circuit must be repeated three or four times. This type of training consumes more calories because an aerobic component is introduced by not having breaks between series and slightly increasing the cardiac frequency.
Growth of muscular mass through fitness programs can’t exceed one weight category (5-6 kg), but they do not misbalance the other motion parameters.