In this article we will look at the energy systems that are associated with the production and use of energy within the body. In order to design a strength and conditioning program there must be a basic understanding of how each of the following energy systems work. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is generated through a variety of reactions within the body, which allows the transfer of energy. ATP is stored in limited quantities in muscle cells. With a limited amount readily available in muscle cells, there are three main energy systems in muscle cells to replenish ATP and also provide constant energy needed for muscle action. All three energy systems are active at all times, although one energy system may be dominant based on the intensity and duration of the athletic activity.
The Phosphogen (ATP-C) System uses ATP during short term, high intensity activities. This system is considered an anaerobic system because no oxygen is required to metabolize energy. The Phosphogen system does not generate ATP for immediate use as well as has a low capacity for ATP stores. The typical length of activity for this energy system is 20-30 seconds and if the activity exceeds that time frame the glycolytic system will engage.
The Glycolytic system has a higher capacity for energy storage. This energy system is typically broken down into two options (fast and slow glycolysis). This system is considered anaerobic as it breaks down carbohydrates in order to produce ATP. This system is used during bouts of 30 seconds up to 3 minutes of athletic activity.
The oxidative system is an aerobic energy system. This system will use carbohydrates to proteins as well as fats as energy substrates for longer activities. Long slow activities which have a low intensity level and last over 3 minutes, are when the oxidative system is used.
The human body will inevitably shift through all energy systems to provide adequate energy for the activity. Since all energy systems are working at all times it is vital to understand and differentiate when each system is dominant for each specific activity in order to design a program for the athlete that meet the requirements of their sport. An example of this would be that baseball and softball position players would not need to perform long distance runs for competition because of the sport specific energy requirements. For baseball and softball players a program to increase the efficiency of their Phosphogen would be more appropriate.
If You Like This, Please:
Join my Facebook Group
Follow me on Twitter
Sign Up for My Newsletter
View my Full Website
Become a Member