Next week we will be posting about specificity of training, but before that, it's important to sum up the 3 energy systems the body uses during physical activity to use and create ATP (that wonderful stuff that gives you energy). Here's a brief overview of each system:
ATP-CP (adenosine triphosphate - creatine phosphate)
Also know as the phosphagen system, this energy system is used during a maximal effort and lasts up to roughly 4 seconds. Examples of sports that use this are powerlifting competitions, football, and sprinting short distances.
This energy system is used during submaximal-maximal efforts and often lasts up to 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Depending on duration, energy continues to be created from either creatine (fast glycolysis) or carbohydrates (slow glycolysis). Examples of sports or activities of this is a long distance sprints, basketball, and bodybuilding.
This energy system is used during submaximal efforts and is used for activities that last longer than 3 minutes seconds. As duration increases, energy use shifts from fat to carbohydrates. For extensive duration with little replenishment of carbohydrates, the energy system shift back to fat and begins using protein as well. Examples of this would be long distance swimming and marathons.
One energy system is hardly ever the single primary source of energy as it is dependent on intensity and duration.
Deciding on your goal, and then understanding these energy systems will enable you to create an optimal program. Next week we talk specificity training.
Baechle, T. R. & Earle, R.W. (2008). Essentials of strength training and conditioning 3rd Edition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
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