Anaerobic Capacity - how much can I improve?

Dear fans of all-out intensities!

What is your best approach of increasing power or extending time for which you can keep anaerobic power?

Just for example - I can do like ~750W for 25 sec. and I would like to increase it to keep ~750W for 40 sec.

Is it possible?
What kind of workouts give me best boost here? Just intervals or is it a must to do resistance workouts?

How much did you improve your anaerobic capacity in weeks/months?

I don’t think anyone can give you a definitive answer on how much for you but with work (probably interval training) and what is actually possible (without a detailed knowledge of your background) but your target should be achievable. I would think work outs targeting that area VO2max/Anaerobic reinforced with a good foundation (Threshold) and the important rest/ recovery would be the best to achieve it, but I’m no certified coach.


Sure. I’m just asking purely hypothetically rather and I have put some numbers to see if this is highly impossible or maybe achievable - like “on average people can gain 20% of AC in a year so forget about your goal” or maybe opposite answer? :slight_smile:

I have heard that AC is highly trainable so you can gain a lot in short period of time but of course if not training enough you can lose it really fast (probably one of TR podcasts but it was long time ago and I do not remember).

So as people sometimes say that in x-months they gained such and such watts of their FTP (let’s say 5% in a 3 months) I’m quite interested about how much did they gain of AC or how much they improved long sprints (let’s say 30sec.) in a few weeks or months of training. And most importantly - if they gained a lot - how did they do that?

Based on the practices of athletes, as well the scientific literature, “go hard, puke, go home” training appears to be highly effective. IOW, intense efforts that would really stress that aspect of physiology, coupled with long rest periods that allow you to do it repeatedly.

If the efforts are too short or not intense enough, you won’t be optimally eliciting the desired adaptations (e.g, an increase in muscle buffer capacity). OTOH, if the recovery periods aren’t long enough, then the intensity will be compromised, and aerobic metabolism will be more prominent (e.g., if you do 3 x 30 s all-out with only 4 min rest in between, the last effort will be primarily aerobic in nature).

One workout I used when training for the pursuit was 4-6 x 1 km all-out from a standing start in my race gear, with 10-12 minutes of really easy pedaling in between.

ETA: This chart illustrates the potential for improvement of anaerobic capacity (FRC in WKO-modeling parlance, since it isn’t entirely anaerobic) with focused training:

Here’s a sample week from the period of pursuit-specific training:


My AC hasn’t been a weak point in the past so it’s not something I’ve trained heavily (outside of the gym). But when I have, the workouts are usually something like 3-6x30-90s all out efforts with like 10 min in between. Once you stop hitting the power numbers, you go home.

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