Understanding Energy Systems


Energy systems training should take into consideration: 

  1. muscle fiber types 
  1. muscle fiber demands 
  1. nervous system specification 
  1. Energy substrate needs (ATP, Glycogen, Oxygen)  


The energy system tapped into during an athletic activity depends directly on the intensity and duration of the activity. Below are the three main classifications for understanding to allow better accuracy when designing training parameters.  



The anaerobic Alactic system primarily produces energy for all sports of short duration (up to 8 to 10 seconds), in which speed and power are the dominant abilities. Alactic system-dominant sports include short sprinting, throwing and jumping events in track and field, ski jumping, diving, vaulting in gymnastics, and Olympic weightlifting. The movements in these sports are explosive and of short duration and use high loads; meaning they require maximum strength and power. The anaerobic Alactic energy system is used in conjunction with the recruitment of a high number of fast-twitch muscle fibers (for maximum strength) and an increase in the discharge rate of those fibers (for maximum power). 


From <https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/understanding-energy-systems-training 



The anaerobic lactic system  is the main energy provider for high-intensity activities of prolonged duration (15 to 60 seconds). Anaerobic lactic system-dominant sports includes the 200- and 400-meter running events in track and field, 50-meter swimming, track cycling, and 500-meter speedskating. Performance in these sports requires maximum power of both the anaerobic Alactic system and the Anaerobic lactic system. The maximum capacity of the Anaerobic metabolism is required for sports of slightly longer duration, such as mid-distance events in track and field, 100- and 200-meter swimming, 500-meter canoeing and kayaking, 1,000-meter speedskating, most events in gymnastics, alpine skiing, rhythmic gymnastics, and pursuit in track cycling. 


From <https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/understanding-energy-systems-training 



The Aerobic energy system is used to produce the energy for sports ranging from one minute to more than three hours. As a rule of thumb, the closer the event’s duration is to one minute, the lower the aerobic contribution to overall performance will be. The longer the duration is, the more dominant the aerobic system will be. 


From <https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/understanding-energy-systems-training 







Energy system training should follow the principle of (SAID) specific adaptations to imposed demands. The closer the training is to the event or outcome goal, the more carry over training will have. Mixed models can have success also, depending on the length of time. Set performance metrics prior to starting a training regimen to gauge program effectiveness & ultimately carry over to desired training outcome.  



Understanding Energy Systems training. Human Kinetics. (n.d.). Retrieved February 18, 2023, from https://us.humankinetics.com/blogs/excerpt/understanding-energy-systems-training  



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