Is Cycling Aerobic or Anaerobic?

You’ve probably heard of aerobic and anaerobic activities before, but what do they really mean? Most people know that aerobic activities require oxygen to help the body produce energy, while anaerobic activities don’t.

But when it comes to cycling, is it an aerobic or anaerobic activity? The answer may surprise you.

Is Cycling Aerobic or Anaerobic?

To get a better understanding of whether cycling is an aerobic or anaerobic activity, let’s first look at how the body produces energy.

Energy production can be divided into two categories: aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic metabolism uses oxygen to convert glucose into ATP (adenosine triphosphate), while anaerobic metabolism doesn’t use oxygen and instead converts glucose into lactic acid.

Most activities fall somewhere on the spectrum between purely aerobic and purely anaerobic, with most activities being a relatively even mix of both.

However, some activities are more aerobic or more anaerobic than others. For example, running is a more aerobic activity than sprinting, since sprinting relies more on anaerobic metabolism.

So, where does cycling fall on the spectrum? It turns out that it depends on the intensity of the ride. If you’re riding at a leisurely pace, then your body will be able to supply enough oxygen to your muscles to keep up with the demands of the exercise and you’ll be in the aerobic zone.

However, if you’re riding at a higher intensity—such as when you’re sprinting up a hill—then your body will start to rely more on anaerobic metabolism to produce energy.


In conclusion, whether cycling is considered an aerobic or anaerobic activity depends on the intensity of the ride. If you’re riding at a leisurely pace, then it’s considered an aerobic activity.

However, if you’re pushing yourself harder and riding at a higher intensity, then it transitions into more of anaerobic activity. Either way, cycling is a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors!

Allen Joe

Allen is an adventurous and creative individual who loves to explore the open road. An avid cyclist, Allen is always pushing himself to new limits. When he's not cycling, you can find him using his writing talents to share tips and tricks for biking on his blog.

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