I recently did a consult for a potential client who told me that he was boxing to improve his strength. Our conversation went something like this:
Client: Boxing is a great workout; I am totally drenched afterward.
Me: I agree, but it’s not going to do anything to improve your strength levels.
Client: Are you kidding me? I am EXHAUSTED at the end of the workout!
Me: You may be exhausted, but that does not mean that you have gotten stronger. All it means is that you have expended energy, and those two things are not the same.
“Energy systems” is a fancy term for the metabolic pathways that your body employs to produce energy. There are two basic pathways – anaerobic and aerobic. These two pathways break down into three distinct energy systems:
Each of these energy systems has a power and a capacity. The power of a system is the length of time that the system can operate at maximum output. Capacity is the length of time that the particular pathway can be used to make energy before the pathway must be substituted by another energy system.
On the next page, we’ll discuss why energy system workouts develop strength in the short term only.
Page 1 of 5