In a previous article titled "Don't Bastardize Conditioning", we spoke about the importance of aerobic/oxidative capacity training. Properly programmed and executed aerobic/oxidative conditioning creates athletes with high oxidative capacities. Athletes with high oxidative capacities are athletes that yield more ATP production. In simpler terms, an athlete in great aerobic shape is an athlete that is able to produce more energy.
As important as it is for athletes to constantly improve their ability to produce energy aerobically, it is equally important for most team sports athletes to improve their ability to produce energy anaerobically. There are two anaerobic energy systems: anaerobic-alactic and anaerobic-lactic. In this article, we will speak about the anaerobic-alactic system. The anaerobic-alactic system uses creatine phosphate and/or glycogen to produce and/or reproduce powerful efforts lasting less than 10 seconds. This energy system is often referred to as the ATP-CP system.
How exactly does the ATP-CP system work? First, an adenosine triphosphate molecule (ATP) splits and energy is released. Then, the energy in the creatine phosphate molecule (CP) is quickly transferred to the used adenosine diphosphate (ADP) molecule. A free phosphate molecule is then attached and a new ATP molecule is made. The body has an extremely limited supply of creatine phosphate. If CP was the sole source of energy for one particular activity, then the length of duration would be sustained for maybe 10-15 seconds.
At no time is there only one energy system functioning. All three systems supply energy constantly, however the prominent system is dependent upon the duration and intensity of an activity. This is why it is important to condition an athlete based upon their respective sports. When designing an anaerobic-alactic conditioning program, make sure that all sprints, jumps, throws, or other high-intensity activities last less than 10 seconds. More importantly, make sure the rest periods bring the athlete close to a fully recovered state in order to minimize lactic acid production while enhancing lactic acid removal.
When the weather limits the conditioning workouts at Overdrive Fitness, we have to get creative within the confines of our space. For indoor anaerobic-alactic conditioning, we like to utilize the Schwinn Airdyne. The video below is an example of one of these workouts in March in which it was too cold and wet to be sprinting outside. In order to monitor each athlete's rest periods, we kept track of their caloric output. If the output each round was equivalent or slightly less than their initial round, then we knew that the rest periods were adequate. If the outputs were significantly less, then we would just simply have the athletes rest longer. On this particular day, the workout was as follows:
Check out the video below to see what this workout looks like. Enjoy!
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Teddy Guerzon, PES, FMS, NASM-CPT