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Energy Pathways



The following excerpt is taken from Greg Glassman's "Metabolic Conditioning" article and provides further detail into the energy systems our bodies use when training.

"In this issue we’ll reexamine metabolic and interval training in a little more detail. Let’s begin with a review of metabolic training. Metabolic training refers to conditioning exercises intended to increase the storage and delivery of energy for any activity. There are three distinct biochemical means by which energy is provided for all human action. These “metabolic engines” are known as the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway. The first, the phosphagen pathway, provides the bulk of energy used in highest-powered activities, those that last less than ten seconds. The second, the glycolytic pathway, dominates moderate-powered activities, those that last up to several minutes. The third, the oxidative pathway provides energy for low-powered activities, those that last in excess of several minutes. You may recall that the first two pathways, the phosphagen and glycolytic, delivering energy for high and moderate powered activities, are known collectively as “anaerobic” whereas the third pathway, the oxidative is known as “aerobic.” The significance of the term “anaerobic” lies in the fact that the phosphagen and glycolytic systems generate energy without benefit of oxygen where the oxidative or “aerobic” pathway requires oxygen for energy production.

Generally, all out efforts of two minutes or less are anaerobic while efforts lasting more than several minutes are aerobic. Anaerobic efforts are relatively high powered, and aerobic efforts are relatively low powered. This should be self evident from our understanding that anaerobic work is unsustainable past several minutes. It would be hard to escape the observation that power, or intensity, and duration of effort are inversely related. One hundred meter dash pace is a considerably faster pace than a mile pace.

Aerobic exercise is nearly universally regarded as being heart protective, but there is compelling evidence that shows that anaerobic exercise is at least as heart protective as aerobic exercise. Though aerobic exercise is widely recognized as being the ideal vehicle for fat loss, recent studies have shown that anaerobic exercise is a vastly superior protocol for fat burning.

Anaerobic exercise builds muscle; aerobic exercise burns muscle - period. On this point there is no intelligent debate. Compare the look of sprinters to long distance runners – here a picture is indeed worth a thousand words. The muscle wasting nature of aerobic exercise is both cause and symptom of the deleterious effect that endurance work can have on anaerobic performance. Sadly, this lesson has been slow to spread to many anaerobic sports. It is still common to find boxers and other martial artists who think that long slow endurance work – roadwork – is essential to their fight endurance. Nothing could be further from the truth. On the other hand anaerobic training is of enormous benefit to endurance athletes. Not only does it support and build muscle, but it gives the “kick” needed to win close races. Importantly, not only does anaerobic work benefit aerobic performance, but anaerobic training can be used to develop high levels of aerobic fitness without the usual muscle wasting. This is accomplished through interval training and is an integral part of sports training for most sports."

Group Class Programming for Monday, March 26th, 2017:

3 Rounds:

30 Box Jumps (24/20")

30 Deadlifts (155/105#)

30 Toes to Bar

*21 minute cap

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Mechanics, Consistency, Intensity