Anti-glycolytic training (AGT) is a type of exercise methodology designed to enhance athletic performance by improving the body's ability to produce energy more efficiently, with a particular focus on the aerobic system. The key principle behind AGT is to train in a way that minimizes reliance on the glycolytic pathway, which is the metabolic pathway that breaks down glucose for energy and produces lactate as a byproduct. This pathway is associated with high-intensity efforts and can lead to quick fatigue due to the accumulation of lactate and hydrogen ions, which interfere with muscle contraction and energy production.

AGT aims to improve the efficiency of the aerobic system, which uses oxygen to produce energy and can sustain activity for extended periods without the negative byproducts associated with the glycolytic system. By doing so, athletes can delay the onset of fatigue, recover more quickly between bouts of intense effort, and overall enhance their performance, especially in sports that require sustained or repeated high-intensity efforts.

What is Anti-Glycolitic Training

Training methods typically associated with AGT include:

  1. Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS): Training at a low intensity that can be sustained for a long period, which primarily uses the aerobic system for energy production.

  2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) with adequate recovery: Short bursts of high-intensity work followed by periods of rest or low-intensity activity long enough to allow for partial or full recovery. The goal is to avoid reaching the anaerobic threshold where the glycolytic pathway becomes the primary source of energy.

  3. Tempo Training: Exercises performed at a controlled, moderate intensity where the athlete avoids hitting the anaerobic zone, focusing instead on maintaining a pace that stresses the aerobic system without significant lactate build-up.

The emphasis on minimizing lactate production and reliance on the glycolytic pathway means athletes can train their bodies to be more efficient at utilizing fat and oxygen for energy, leading to improvements in endurance, recovery, and performance in many sports.

Some examples of AGT training using the HIIT method

Anti-glycolytic training (AGT) using the High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) method focuses on managing the intensity and duration of work intervals, along with providing sufficient recovery time to minimize lactate accumulation and to primarily engage the aerobic energy system. Here are some examples of how to structure AGT workouts using HIIT principles:

1. Controlled HIIT Sessions

  • Workout Structure: Perform short bursts of high-intensity work (e.g., 15-30 seconds) followed by longer periods of recovery (e.g., 1-2 minutes or more), ensuring the recovery time is long enough to allow for a significant reduction in heart rate and perceived exertion before the next interval.
  • Example: After a warm-up, complete 8-10 intervals of 20 seconds of sprinting (running, cycling, rowing, etc.) followed by 1.5 to 2 minutes of walking or light jogging as recovery.

2. Aerobic Power Intervals

  • Workout Structure: Intervals are set at an intensity just below the athlete's anaerobic threshold, with the aim to maximize the aerobic power output without spiking lactate production significantly.
  • Example: 4-6 intervals of 3-5 minutes at an intensity where you can only speak a few words at a time, followed by equal or double recovery time at a very low intensity.

3. Cardiac Output Training with High-Intensity Bursts

  • Workout Structure: The majority of the workout is performed at a low to moderate intensity to enhance cardiac output, interspersed with very short (10-15 seconds) high-intensity efforts.
  • Example: A 45-minute steady-state cycle or run where every 5 minutes you include a 10-15 second sprint, followed by a return to the steady-state intensity.

4. On-the-Minute Sprints (OTM)

  • Workout Structure: At the start of each minute, perform a high-intensity effort for a short duration, followed by rest for the remainder of the minute. This allows for precise control of work and rest intervals.
  • Example: 10-12 rounds where, at the beginning of each minute, you do a 20-second all-out sprint (on a bike, rower, or running), followed by 40 seconds of rest.

5. Interval Training with Controlled Heart Rate Recovery

  • Workout Structure: High-intensity intervals are followed by recovery periods where the focus is on reducing the heart rate to a specific target before starting the next interval.
  • Example: After each high-intensity interval (e.g., 30 seconds of hard effort), recover until your heart rate drops to below 120 bpm (or a specific target based on individual fitness) before starting the next interval.

In AGT using HIIT, the key is to tailor the intensity and recovery periods such that the body's aerobic system is the primary source of energy, avoiding excessive reliance on the glycolytic pathway. Monitoring heart rate and lactate levels (if possible) can help ensure that the training is targeting the desired energy system.

Parameter for max heart rate during the working portion of these intervals:

In the context of anti-glycolytic training (AGT) using High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) methods, there is often a target heart rate range for the working intervals. However, this target range can vary depending on the individual's fitness level, age, and specific training goals. A general guideline for the maximum heart rate (MHR) during the working portions of AGT intervals is to reach between 80% to 90% of your individual MHR. This range is high enough to stimulate significant aerobic and anaerobic adaptations without excessively relying on the glycolytic pathway, which is more active above 90% of MHR and leads to quicker lactate accumulation.

Calculating Maximum Heart Rate

The most common formula for estimating maximum heart rate is:


For example, a 30-year-old would have an estimated MHR of 190 beats per minute (bpm).

Target Heart Rate for AGT HIIT

  • 80% of MHR: This lower threshold encourages the use of the aerobic system while still providing a high-intensity stimulus.
  • 90% of MHR: Approaching this upper limit increases intensity, engaging both aerobic and anaerobic systems but keeping the emphasis on minimizing glycolytic reliance.


For the 30-year-old with an MHR of 190 bpm:

  • 80% of MHR: 190×0.80=152190×0.80=152 bpm
  • 90% of MHR: 190×0.90=171190×0.90=171 bpm

Thus, during the working intervals, this individual should aim to reach a heart rate between 152 and 171 bpm to stay within the targeted intensity for AGT HIIT workouts.

It's important to note that the 220-minus-age formula provides a rough estimate of MHR and individual variations do occur. For more precise training zones, conducting a fitness assessment with a qualified professional or using a more personalized method to determine MHR is recommended. Monitoring your heart rate during workouts can help ensure you're training within the correct intensity zones to meet your AGT objectives.

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