How to increase aerobic capacity

A woman training with other sportswomen in a fitness studio

Aerobic capacity, aerobic endurance, aerobic system boosting – using aerobic training to unlock your potential

Endurance training, high-intensity training, strength training… these are all great ways to improve your game. But with aerobic training, what are we really doing, and how do those forms feed into your ability to hone aerobic capacity?

Firstly aerobic capacity is defined as ”a measurement of your maximum oxygen consumption during physical activity.” In short, this is how much oxygen you can breathe in while running. Sound useful? It is. Aerobic fitness training strengthens the amount of oxygenated blood that can be carried around your body. More breath, more oxygen, better performance.

Energy systems all rely on oxygenated blood. And if your aerobic energy system is clearly important, then you should probably understand more about it, and see if you can make it better.

Thankfully, you can find the answers here.


One of the most obvious benefits of cardiorespiratory improvements is increased physical endurance. Why? Because with a longer breath, you can draw more oxygen, sending more oxygenated blood cells around the body, supporting muscle fatigue and converting fuel. Endurance athletes often prioritise the need to ‘increase your aerobic capacity’ to help progress their training program, cardio training, resistance training, and overall endurance performance.

Veloforte state the following as being benefits of aerobic endurance –

  • ”Aerobic exercise increases your stamina 
  • As your body becomes more efficient at moving oxygen into the blood where it can be used by the muscles, you’ll feel more energetic, as this efficiency means you use less energy.
  • Helps control blood pressure
  • Helps regulate blood sugar
  • Can lower your cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Helps you burn extra calories to maintain an ideal weight”

So, increased aerobic capacity helps with endurance, great. It also helps with fat burning too. In fact the benefits can be so broad it’s now worth learning how to improve aerobic capacity.

High-intensity interval training

One of the ways we can boost this ability is through HIIT training. Your body will use ATP from anarobic source yet relies on aerobic source in the lower sections of workout to replace energy, so HIIT helps by improving the amount of aerobic sources you have without demanding too much from you in an aerobic source sense overall.

Cross training

Another brilliant tactic, cross-training, helps you to periodise your aerobic endurance and capacity progression. This level of variety and staging helps give breadth to your aerobic development. Conducting a spin class and then going to HIIT workouts, for example, can be great for challenging your muscles to work differently, therefore demanding more of your aerobic system.


These are just two examples of how to improve on today’s topic. It’s great to combine them further too, making use of variety to challenge your aerobic systems in different ways. It’s not just about completing one exercise as hard as you can over and over again (besides the overtraining) that won’t challenge your respiratory systems in dynamic ways, ways that’ll broaden your cardio abilities all round.


Will aerobic capacity increase muscle mass?

Aerobic capacity helps with endurance, recovery and growth. So yes, it will.

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