The human body uses three energy systems to produce energy for physical activity: the phosphagen system, the glycolytic system, and the oxidative system. At The Forge, we understand the importance of training by energy system and we work with our clients to develop personalized training plans that focus on the specific energy system that will most benefit their goals.
- Phosphagen System: This system is used for short, high-intensity activities such as weightlifting, sprints, and plyometrics. The phosphagen system is anaerobic, meaning it does not require oxygen, and it uses stored energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and creatine phosphate (CP) to produce energy quickly. Training that primarily focuses on this system is usually short-duration and high-intensity, such as weightlifting or sprints.
- Glycolytic System: This system is used for moderate-intensity activities that last from 30 seconds to 2 minutes, such as middle-distance running, cycling, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The glycolytic system is also anaerobic and uses stored glycogen to produce energy. Training that primarily focuses on this system is usually moderate-duration and moderate-intensity, such as middle-distance running or cycling.
- Oxidative System: This system is used for low-intensity activities that last for more than 2 minutes, such as marathon running, long-distance cycling, and endurance training. The oxidative system is aerobic, meaning it requires oxygen, and it uses stored fats and carbohydrates to produce energy. Training that primarily focuses on this system is usually long-duration and low-intensity, such as marathon running or long-distance cycling.
At The Forge, we understand the importance of training by energy system and we work with our clients to develop personalized training plans that focus on the specific energy system that will most benefit their goals. We also provide our clients with the necessary information and support to understand how their body uses energy and how to properly train to achieve their goals.
The Creatine System
This system is used within the first few seconds of work. Quick bursts of work, like sprinting or throwing, use the little supply of energy stored within your muscles. Energy is quickly replenished with the help of Creatine. Although this system can give you energy immediately, it may last for up to 10 seconds.
The Lactic Acid System
As the name suggests, you know this system is working when you “feel the burn” in your muscles. This system kicks in after the Creatine has been mostly depleted. After making energy, lactate is left in your muscles, creating a burning sensation. Activities requiring endurance uses this system.
The Aerobic System
This is for long-duration activities, such as marathon running. This system actually uses the lactate from the Lactic Acid System, and turns it into usable energy. Aerobic means “using oxygen.” So as long as your body is getting enough oxygen, you should be able to resynthesize energy, preventing you from getting winded.