Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Article Review: A New Perspective on Energy Systems

It should be obvious by now that I'm a big fan of Joel Jamieson. He really has been working on MMA conditioning, and sports conditioning, as a science. He's also a big fan of aerobic conditioning, something that gets a lot of flack from more strength-oriented types.

Recently Joel gave a presentation at the University of Richmond in Virginia on energy systems.

Here is the link to his blog and the video:

A New Perspective on Energy Systems

What are "energy systems"? Basically, your body either produces energy using oxygen (aerobic energy production) or without oxygen (anaerobic energy production). Those are the only ways your body will produce energy. Aerobic energy can be used over a long period of time, anaerobic energy runs out very quickly. Generally the more intense the activity the higher the percentage of the fuel consumed is produced anaerobic, the less intense the less comes from anaerobic. For more detail, check this post - a review of Joel's book.

This video lecture is really excellent. It's long, yes - 1 hour 7 minutes. So what does it cover?

- A basic discussion of the energy systems. What they are, how they work, what that means for athletic performace.

- The basic tradeoff of strength and endurance - you can't maximize both explosive power/strength and maximize endurance. You can't be the strongest and the longest. You can improve both, but you can't maximize both over the long run.

- Examples of studies showing aerobic vs. anaerobic energy contributions to sports. For example, what % of energy comes from each system in a 100m sprint, 200m, 400m, or 1500m.

- Examples of athletes - specifically a tailback, a fullback (IIRC), an MMA fighter, and a pole vaulter - and how they measure up with a series of energy systems tests.

- Some basic discussion of how you develop these energy systems, and what it means for training.

Again, it's an hour, but if you are, or you train, athletes in sports with any significant conditioning component, this is worth watching.

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