Anaerobic Energy Systems Hidden Power
“Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
― Kevin Durant
Endurance in sport is your ability to work for long durations of time. Traditionally, coaches and experts would tell you to get a lot of volume by doing a lot of long, slow-duration work. There may be a couple hard efforts sprinkled in there, but overall you are sticking in your comfort zone.
Nothing is achieved or gained from your comfort zone unless you are determined to stay in the same place. Your body is a smart system, so smart it knows when and when not to expend energy for growth. As a matter of fact, your body is so intelligent it will not spend any excess energy if it’s not required.
Isn’t that amazing?
Throughout, many, many years, our bodies have become very good at aerobic activities. You know, staying alive in harsh conditions and using energy only when necessary when searching for food over large distances. This has allowed us as humans to develop our aerobic abilities far more than our anaerobic system.
Now, if you are okay with riding for as long as you want. Aren’t concerned with getting to your destination faster and with more energy, there is no need to read on. Continue to do what it is you’re doing as long as it is working for you.
But if you want to improve no matter your age, read on.
When you couple anaerobic work with strength training( weights and bodyweight) you’re maximizing your potential. Without muddying the waters, let’s stay focused on the anaerobic system.
Don’t get me wrong, the aerobic system plays a critical role in recovery and your ability to perform for long periods. But you cannot overwork the aerobic system when you are trying to build strength, or power. It will hinder if not stop new muscle growth and CNS developments. The balanced taxing of energy systems is key. Yet, (depending on the phase of training) imbalanced taxation of energy is necessary to achieve the proper response.
3 Systems To Think About
There are 3 energy systems. Phosphagen, Glycolysis, and Oxidative. The first 2 don’t need oxygen and rely on energy storage. But all 3 have a very unique and specific job. The Anaerobic efforts required to make big changes in your performance live in the Phosphagen and Glycolysis systems. But their energy supplies can only supply 10 sec to 3 minutes of energy. Far shorter than most activities need. The Oxidative system has an “unlimited” supply of energy (more on this in another article) and is where aerobic levels live.
By stressing the Phosphagen and Glycolysis systems, you start to build a higher tolerance or threshold. This is not infinite and does not happen overnight. Do not rush this process. Doing so can be devastating.
The good news is it can be built over time, and by doing so, you are building a bigger foundation or base. Another benefit of building a higher tolerance in this system forces the aerobic system to have a higher threshold (If done correctly). What I mean by this is you are more likely to be able to go harder, faster (choose whatever word you want) for longer.
But before you go 100 into putting anaerobic work into your program, you first have to realize that the anaerobic system has to be taxed to the max. Which will be mentally taxing. Also, there is a nutrient demand that will come with this as well. Everything doesn’t have to be in place, but you have to be aware that the new demands need new support.
All Or Nothing (Or Maybe Not What You Wanted)
When building up the anaerobic system, there is no kind of. You have to tax it to the max each time.
Our bodies cannot handle constant maximum energy demand. If you remember, a couple paragraphs ago, we are more adapt to aerobic activities. This means we need at least 48 hours between extremely hard efforts to avoid overtraining, injury, or our inability to perform.
Where do you start? Add one anaerobic exercise to your program each week. And progress from there to a maximum of 3 a week. Easing yourself into this will help you adapt mentally and physically to higher energy demands. Because believe me doing an anaerobic exercise properly is not easy. It shouldn’t be easy, and you should cringe at the demand you’re about to put on yourself.
Albert Einstien said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
Make a Move
Now that you have a base understanding, you can start incorporating these new ideas. But take it slow.
We are scratching the surface on a large subject. But this should give you enough to get the wheels turning. If you want ultimate guidance and a solid plan on how to become stronger and faster. Contact me now.