Muscular Energetics.

Learn how understanding the importance of energy systems can help optimize your training regimen and much more!
When speaking of exercise we refer to two distinct types of training. These types of training include aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen). Training that enhances the athlete's ability to perform long term movement is referred to as aerobic while training that improves short term energy production is called anaerobic. Note, that all activities are partly aerobic and anaerobic. It is a matter of understanding which system is the primary contributor to a specific event or sport. Let's take a closer look at the bioenergetic pathways.

There are two anaerobic energy systems, the ATP/CP (adenosine triphosphate, creatine phosphate) pathway and the glycolytic pathway. ATP is the basic energy unit for all living things. The body has a limited amount of ATP in storage. After 3-4 seconds ATP stores are depleted. After ATP levels are depleted CP comes into play. CP gives phosphate molecules to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) to convert to ATP. After about 10 seconds of maximal effort ATP and CP become depleted and the glycolytic pathway becomes the primary contributor to muscular energetics. The glycolytic pathway involves the breakdown of glycogen to produce ATP.

Pyruvate is the end product of glycolysis, which is converted to lactic acid when insufficient levels of oxygen are present. The power production in this pathway is less than the power production in the ATP/CP pathway due to the slower rate of energy transfer. There is one aerobic system, the oxidative system.

Most of your daily activities are fueled by the aerobic system. The oxidative system is the slowest and is not suitable for high intensity explosive activities. The oxidative system does not produce by-products such as lactic acid. Therefore it can produce energy indefinitely.

Activities that are moderate to high in intensity and last up to 2 minutes are primarily fueled by the anaerobic system. Activities of light intensity lasting over 2 minutes become increasingly aerobic in nature. When sufficient amounts of oxygen are present pyruvate is not converted to lactic acid, but shipped to the mitochondria where it enters the krebs cycle and formulates ATP. Understanding the importance of energy systems can help optimize your training regimen.

Percentage Of Pathway To Energy Contribution

Sport Atp/Cp Glycolytic Oxidative
Archery 80 15 5
Arm wrestling 90 10 0
Decathlon 60 30 10
Basketball 30 30 40
Baseball - Pitching 80 20 0
Baseball - Batting 100 0 0
Baseball - Throwing 100 0 0
Baseball - Running 95 5 0
Bobsled 100 0 0
Bodybuilding 90 10 0
Bowling 90 10 0
Cheerleading 100 0 0
Diving 100 0 0
Dancing - Ballet 30 50 20
Dancing - Ballroom 90 10 0
Fencing 90 10 0
Figure Skating 60 30 10
Football - Lineman 70 30 10
Football - RB 80 20 0
Football - WR 80 20 0
Football - TE 80 20 0
Football - QB 80 20 0
Football - LB 70 30 0
Football - Punter 100 0 0
Golf 60 40 0
Gymnastics 60 40 0
Hiking 20 30 50
Ice Hockey 40 40 20
Martial Arts - Wrestling 40 50 10
Martial Arts - Boxing (amateur) 60 40 0
Martial Arts - Boxing (pro) 50 40 10
Martial Arts - Kick Boxing 50 40 10
Powerlifting 100 0 0
Tennis 80 20 0
Weightlifting 100 0 0

References

Faigin, R. (2000) Natural Hormonal Enhancement. extique publishing.
Hatfield,F.C (1993) Fitness The Complete Guide . International Sports Sciences Association.
King, I (1999) Get Buffed . King Sports Publishing.
COPYRIGHT 2000 JAMIE HALE

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