The anaerobic lactic (ALA) system (also known as fast glycolysis) provides energy for medium to high intensity bursts of activity that lasts from ten seconds to two minutes. It is commonly abbreviated ALA. It is also known as the fast glycolytic system. Some American football skill positions, sprint-distance speed skaters, soccer players, judokas, middle distance sprinters (400m-800m) rely on this system.
Contrary to the AALA energy system, ALA produces waste products in the form of lactic acid. This lactic acid buildup is felt in the muscles when they undergo stress as a burning sensation. Shortness of breath and fatigue are also symptoms of lactic acid build up. When the activity ceases, the burning typically stops. When enough stress is imposed on the body in an exercise session, the soreness experienced the day after is largely due to the buildup of lactic acid.
It’s important to understand that each energy system has two subcategories within it. These subcategories are the power and the capacity of the system. Power is the word used to quantify the amount of time that an energy system can produce at peak output. Capacity is the length of time that the system can maintain the peak.
For example, the power of the AALA (1-20 seconds, total) is 10 seconds. That means that the ability of the system to reach maximum energy production occurs anywhere between 1 and 10 seconds. The capacity of that system is fully expressed within 10-20 seconds.
Continue reading to learn about the aerobic energy system and its relationship to program design in personal training.
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