medium low to low intensity and long duration
This system puts most of the demand on the circulatory and cardiovascular system. This system can range from fast running to a slow pace walk. Walking is being at the absolute very bare minimum end where results for fitness can really be questioned. Unlike the other two systems it relies on presence of oxygen for breakdown of glycogen (from muscles), and fatty acids (from body fat (beta oxidation)). Protein is also a source of energy. This is not a desired effect, but it can happen and will happen in prolonged states of aerobics. The body is able to handle longer bouts (up to two hours (after that time there are issues that surface as the body becomes extremely catabolic)) because this system does not have acid build up like its anaerobic counterpart. In fact, ATP is resynthesized from glycogen, fatty acids and possibly protein in a very efficient way. The more efficient an athlete gets with this system, the better he/she will be able to use bodily fat for fuel. Aerobic system may start after 60 seconds (most likely 2 minutes) of continuous activity and can be used safely at the extreme range of two hours. Here the percentages of max strength are not valid and we focus on percentages of max power output. Below are common and wise ways to train this system.
Maximum oxygen consumption
The point that lies partially in anaerobic, but mostly is aerobic systems. Here training is building efficiency of oxygen use through out the body. Think of most enduring team sports (field hockey, basketball, football (soccer not NFL) etc.). To increase efficiency the training is usually at a range of 3-5 minutes and at 80-85% of maximal effort. Resting periods are usually 2 -3 minutes. This method can help an athlete gain high power output in predominantly aerobic system is very hard on the entire body.
What does this mean to you?
The more efficient your bodily systems become with the use of oxygen the more you are able to maintain performance for continuous bouts. This is especially useful for those who tax their bodies for more than 30 minutes using highly exhausting activities. The more you can hang with your workout or sport the more you will get out of it. I like to place trainees in a hybrid interval using this energy system training point. I find it really increases endurance and focus. Also the aerobic effect of shedding fat makes this a good asset to training programs.
This is training the aerobic energy system is basically increasing the aerobic capacity. Long bouts of work are done from 10 minutes and up. The tempo is kept even and moderate to low moderate. Aerobic rest breaks are around 3-5 minutes. This is considered a full rest period without taking hours off. This is a good way of conditioning unconventionally. Heart rate is the key tracker for this system. According to Tudor Bompa, heart rate is around 130-150 bpm.
What it means to you? Aerobic Threshold training
With the shorter durations, this is a great way to gain aerobic capacity. Everyone can use good aerobic capacity. A really good benefits are faster recovery and ability to handle greater volume.
I did not mention the obvious aerobics that is at a very long point because it is a very useless form of activity for those who are not competitive extremely long distance athletes. Side effects is loss of potential maximal strength and maximal power output.