During exercise, the human body relies on three basic systems to produce energy. These energy systems are the anaerobic a-lactic system, the anaerobic lactic system, and the aerobic system. The first two systems do not utilize oxygen for the production of energy (thus anaerobic), while the third system – the aerobic system – does. Depending on the sport played, athletes typically rely on one system more than the others.
An understanding of the involved energy systems in a particular sport gives valuable information about the strength qualities necessary in that sport. This information informs the personal trainer or strength coach how to best conduct the strength training.
The anaerobic a-lactic system is frequently referred to as the AALA system. It is also known as the ATP-CP, (adenosine triphosphate – creatine phosphate) system, because it uses a molecule of creatine phosphate to replenish ATP stores when the body has a need for high rates of energy production. The system provides high bursts of energy for activities that last less than ten seconds in duration.
Athletes who compete in sports that require high amounts of short-duration acceleration – shot-putters, Olympic weight lifters, American football linemen, gymnasts, and baseball players use the anaerobic a-lactic system. Due to the short duration of the energy system’s productivity, there is little build up of lactic acid. This is very different from the next energy system.
Continue reading about the anaerobic lactic energy system and its relationship to program design in personal training.
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