ENERGY SYSTEM TRAINING FOR SPORT
- Relative contributions of aerobic and anaerobic energy systems differ markedly depending on power
- The scientific approach to training is to identify the predominant energy system or systems involved in a
given activity, and the pattern of muscle use, and then gear training toward improving the capacity of
- General fitness base, referred to as General physical preparation (GPP)
- Overload is achieved by manipulating a combination of training frequency, intensity, and duration
- Not to increase ALL variables over a short period of time, increase chance of injury
- Training is specific to the:
1) physical fitness component ( strength versus flexibility versus aerobic endurance versus anaerobic
2) Exercise mode ( the muscle groups used in cycling, running and son on)
3) energy system, or systems, predominately stressed ( phosphagen, glycolytic, or oxidative)
Individual differences principle
- Train yourself based on your self’s ability
- Use it or lose it
General Physical preparation (GPP)
- The most neglected component of many athletes’ regimes
- Need to build work capacity in any system ( aerobic or muscle strength/endurance) before you can add
the specialized training procedures - Have to MAINTAIN a base of work capacity in all areas; cannot just move on and end up doing only one
types of training
- Athletes tend to do, or prefer most, that type of training they need the least. Don’t we all like to do
what we are good at? But that will not fix deficiencies in your fitness amour.
- Progressive adaptation requires progressive increase in the training impulse. Similar to #1, many people
do not follow the progressive overload principle, preferring to stay in their “comfort zone”.
- It takes a larger foundation to build a church than it does to build an outhouse. This should be obvious,
see Figure 8.1 Al Vermeil’s “Progression of training components”.
- You can never learn to fly by running very fast. You may think you are doing effective but many
athletes train hard but not smart. They often do not do the specific training required.
- Elite athletes are not grown up college sophomores. This one is so true. Beware of research
conducted on college students and expect that to be relevant to elite athletes, marines, firefighters, or
anyone that isn’t a college student in fact!
- Transfer of training adaptation is a vastly under appreciated concept and has been largely ignored in
research literature. See Figure 8.2 point #4. It is in fact not very clear how some training transfers to
other activities. This does not mean it does not happen.
- Be careful of the “watermelon diet” fallacy – following a champions program doesn’t mean it will work
for you. Principle of individual differences. It takes hard work, and lots of errors to finally develop the
best program for you.
- The most common way to train the aerobic system is referred to as over-distance training ( running long
distances at slow to moderate speeds)
- Advantages are less physically demanding, less physically and mentally stressful, and has a lower
associated risk of injury
- Over-distance training will result in an increase in tissue respiratory capacity that may help to increase
the small amount
- Subject will also become accustomed to the distances you run and if you gradually increase these you will be able to tolerate longer runs at moderate pace
- Disadvantages include over-distance training clearly ignores the principle of specificity, as athletes need
to train at the pace and intensity required in their sport or event
- It has less effect on stroke volume, overload is insufficient
Aerobic interval training for beginners
- Interval training simply means a training system where you have alternating periods of intensity
Basic types of runs
1) Long runs
These are designed to improve your endurance and are the most important aspect of your training. You
should start out at a very relaxed effort to warm up properly for 2 miles and gradually settle into a
relaxed pace that allows you to carry on a conversation. At this effort, your body will best be able to make
the physiological adaptations to improve your endurance. Any faster and you will sacrifice building your
endurance for building speed. Since research has shown that to run the marathon involves 98% endurance
and 2% speed, building speed will do you very little when it comes to the Second half of the marathon. For
long runs, it is important not to mix speed with endurance (Only level HI schedules will call for the last few
miles of some of your long runs to be run at goal pace). Make it a priority to drink plenty of fluids the day
before, the day of, and the day after long runs to reduce the amount of dehydration that will occur. Be
sure to gently stretch after the run, but plan to stretch more assertively the next day to help flush out the
2) Semi-long Runs
These are designed to complement the weekend long run in improving your endurance. They should be
run at the same effort as long runs. If your target race is a hilly one, you may want to find hills for this run.
3) Strength Runs
These are primarily designed to improve your ability to handle the hills as well as to increase overall leg
strength to make the flat parts easier to handle. They are also considered speed work in disguise since hills
can raise your heart rate to the level achieved during a fast workout. First timers should run them at the
same effort as long and semi-long runs. The only difference is to make sure that the course is a hilly one.
Be sure to catch your breath fully in between the hills.
4) Recovery Runs
These are designed to allow your body to recover from the above runs while adding to your base mileage.
As such, they are as important as the long runs in helping your body properly adapt to the higher mileage.
Since their purpose is to help you recover more completely, you should start out at an extremely relaxed
effort and gradually settle into a very relaxed effort. Typically they are run 1 minute-per-mile more slowly
than your long runs. At this effort, your body is on automatic pilot and can more effectively circulate out the toxins (the natural waste products of muscle cell contractions) from your legs. Any faster and you will
actually accumulate more toxins in the body. Most runners don't run slowly enough on their recovery days
and end up injured or overtrained sooner or later since their bodies are not given the chance to recover
enough. It is also important to run on the softest and flattest surface you can find to lessen the pounding
on your body. The outside lanes of a high school track or dirt or asphalt creek trails are good options. If this
isn't feasible, simply walk up and down steep or long uphills and downhills during your recovery run.
Afterwards, stretch assertively for at least 10-15 minutes to improve your flexibility and squeeze out any
- SAID principle ( specific adaptations to imposed demands)
- The demands of an exercise program must be sufficient to force adaptation, and the adaptations will
be specific to the type of exercise performed
Anaerobic interval training
- Anaerobic intervals are some combination of high-intensity work followed by a period of rest or light
- Anaerobic intervals are just too uncomfortable and they would not have the motivation to train this
- High-intensity interval training should only be used after a good base of aerobic fitness has been
- After the aerobic base has been established, the intensity of interval training should be slowly
increased – athletes should not start with maximal levels of intensity
- During anaerobic workouts, you can keep your average heart rate at threshold levels for the entire
- Even working anaerobically, you can improve VO2 max
- Longer intervals around one-minute work duration would produce much higher increases in that long,
slow, steady aerobic work
- When interval training on a track, you have precise control of the overload stress
- Resistance training qualifies as anaerobic interval work, as the work periods are quite short followed by
periods of rest
- Heavy resistance work requires long rest periods and has little training effect on the cardiorespiratory
- A series of 20-meter sprints with long rest periods would be considered interval training
- Benefits include:
1) Increasing enzymes for anaerobic metabolism, specifically for the phosphagen system.
2) Improving neural coordination of faster movements (such as maximal acceleration).
3) Improving agility, especially if change of direction is required (e.g., shuttle sprints, out and back). 4) Developing precise control over physical stress.
5) Observing progress easily.
6) Improving psychological mindset to endure high power outputs
A list of the physiological, psychological, and performance benefits of long anaerobic interval training
(typically 30–90 seconds of continuous high power output) would include the following:
Maximizing improvements in VO max b2 increasing both tissues respiratory capacity and stroke
Increasing enzymes for anaerobic metabolism.
Improving tolerance to high hydrogen ion concentrations (acidity).
Improving pathways for lactate removal and subsequent conversion back to blood glucose.
Improving neural coordination of faster movement cycles (such as high-speed sprinting versus
Developing precise control over physical stress.
Developing a good sense of pace.
Observing progress easily.
Improving psychological mindset to be able to endure local muscle fatigue and discomfort.
Improving confidence from knowing you have worked at such a high intensity (psychological
There are also disadvantages to anaerobic interval training, which are basically the opposite of the
over-distance training advantages. The higher stress results in:
Decreased enjoyment of training (usually).
Increased discomfort due to high intramuscular acidity.
Increased muscle fatigue (especially in intervals over 30-seconds).
Increased post-exercise muscle soreness.
Increased risk of injury.
Increased need for mental concentration.
ANAEROBIC INTERVAL TRAINING VARIABLES
- PR: Personal record
- Determined by distance and time
Rest interval - The length is determined by the time it takes to recover from the work done
- Central nervous system can take five minutes to fully recover from short-duration maximal activities
- If only a short rest is taken after a high intensity exercise, there will be no enough ATP-PC and
neurotransmitters to work at the highest intensity
- Rather than training the phosphagen system, athletes end up training the glycolytic system because
their pace (percentage power output) drops off considerably
- Interval training is usually and should be done with a stop watch
Type of rest intervals
- Working at about 35-40% VO2 max will optimize the removal of lactate
- Lactate released from the muscle into the blood is converted in the liver to glucose, which is then used
as an energy source
- This is one reason experts recommend light exercise when blood lactate levels are high after intervals
that stress the glycolytic system
- By keep on moving, you will maintain higher cardiac output and bloow flow to help move lactate from
the muscle into the blood and into the liver
- Lactate has the potential to actually help delay as possible lowering of blood glucose concentration
- Low blood sugar level will cause an athlete to feel weak and fatigued - Light exercise ( around 35%) will result in a lowering of blood lactate levels
- Highest lactate clearances occurred with intermittent-type exercise (periods of 35% and 65%)
- A really hard work intervals stressing glycolytic energy system will likely push your heart rate to
maximum it is probably not a good idea to stop moving afterwards for many reasons
Number of repetitions and sets
- Its difficult to guest very specific volumes due to individual variation in training intensity and tolerance
Frequency of training
- Three times per week for 8-10 weeks will give excellent improvement
Advanced aerobic interval training
- Aerobic interval training is less intense; therefore, you don’t need to break this training down into sets
with longer rest periods in between
- Benefits include think of pace, stress on energy systems, and overload
- You can optimize training benefits if your program is individualized
- Interval training is much more strenuous than the moderate-pace continuous running, biking, or
swimming that most people may have been doing
- Do not try to work as hard as possible; you should be trying to work at a higher than normal power
output, but not necessarily maximal FARTLEK TRAINING ( INFORMAL INTERVAL TRAINING)
- Fartlek is Swedish for “speed-play”, which is an informal type of interval training
- Involves alternating running pace over natural terrain away from the track
- There is no precise control stress, and imagination is really the only limitation to what you can do
- The change in exercise regime is a good motivator and keeps the training interesting
- Coaches will often use a fartlek session if they sense their athletes are becoming mentally and/or
physically jaded from track workout
- Interval training is usually done in groups
- The motivation required to work very, very hard on one’s own is not common
- Athletes can only really push themselves to the levels needed in high-intensity interval work when
training with teammates
- Benefit of utilizing more muscle groups than a traditional aerobic program, which tends to be
- Excellent for anyone who wants to get a full-body workout in a short period of time
- Designed to target all the major muscles and include a cardiovascular component
OTHER TYPES OF CIRCUIT.INTERVAL TRAINING
- Circuit raining tends to involve standard resistance training exercises on machines, in conjunction with
some aerobic work
Explanation of “fight gone bad” workout
- Clock does not reset or stop between exercise, athletes must move to the next station immediately for
a good score
- How individual varied the workout is varied
- Instead of asking the question “is this a good workout”, ask “is this a good workout for a specific sports
Sport-specific Interval training
- Aerobic system will still provide most of the energy, but it is being used mainly in recovery to replenish
phosphate stores and recycle lactate - How much of the metabolism is aerobic doesn’t equal to how much is stress to aerobic system
- Most people only cross-train in one metabolic pathway – aerobic conditioning
- Runner might do some bike work, swimmer might go for a run
- Excellent that it stress different muscles and help with overall aerobic conditioning
- Usually reduces the chances of injury and boredom
- The variety of movement and energy systems in CrossFit is more varied than any program
- Traditional cross-training sues only the aerobic energy system, and therefore does not improve strength,
sprint, or power
- A method of training muscles using a stretch-shortening ccle to enhance power in a variety of
- In plyometric loading, the muscles are loaded suddenly and forced to lengthen ( eccentric contraction)
before they can contract and elicit movement ( concentric contraction)
- The sequence is referred to as a stretch-shortening cycle
The concepts and benefits involved in the understanding of plyometric training are listed here:
Placing muscles under pre-stretch and working from an eccentric contraction to a concentric
contraction elicits a muscle stretch reflex.
During the eccentric phase, the muscle contracts very forcefully, enhancing strength, and power
Many athletic movements involve stretch-shortening cycles and therefore plyometrics mirrors
athletic performance and enhances skill development.
The rate of stretch is believed to be more important than the length of stretch. Quick pre-stretch
movements are desired over longer ones. In fact, too long a stretch will negate the benefits of a
Training with a pre-stretch involves neuromuscular coordination and improves the efficiency of
neural actions and muscular performance.
In a plyometric jump, the landing phase is negative work because it reduces the energy of the system,
whereas the up phase is positive work. The amount of positive work done can be increased by prior
eccentric work in a pre-stretch. Put simply, “you can jump higher with an appropriate pre-stretch.” This increase in positive work is achieved by:
Return of stored energy from passive elastic structures within the muscle (cross-bridges and
connective tissue, mainly the tendon).
Prior activation (time to develop for