Fuel Systems II

Fuel Systems II

It’s time to turn the complicated information from lasts months piece into something you can use. Let’s do a quick refresher. The three fuel systems we discussed were the phosphagen system, glycolysis (fast and slow) and the oxidative system. Remember that all the fuel systems are active at the same time, but the level of involvement depends on the intensity of the exercise.

• The phosphagen system is heavily taxed by sprinting, power lifting or interval training (<10 seconds). Training the phosphagen system improves overall power, speed and maximal oxygen uptake. This is good for athletes who incorporate explosive movements in their sport. • The glycolytic system is heavily taxed in the fifteen second to three minute duration with interval training, circuit training (weights), heavy cycling, etc. Training the glycolytic system improves blood lactate threshold levels and is good for high intensity endurance. • The oxidative system is heavily taxed during a long duration of exercise (20-75% maximum capacity) such as step, cardiovascular equipment, jogging, walking, etc. Training the oxidative system improves aerobic endurance, cardiovascular and pulmonary tissue, and maximal oxygen uptake. Low intensity aerobic exercise does not heavily tax any of the fuel systems, but does rely on fat as a primary fuel source. Don’t get excited yet! Training the phosphagen, glycolytic and oxidative system at a moderately high intensity increases the post exercise oxygen deficit. This stimulates the metabolism for many hours after exercise, which equates to a larger percentage of fat burned overall. If your goal is to improve your sport, train the fuel system that best resembles your sport. If your goal is fat loss, train all three systems equally. If the goal is cardiovascular improvement, train all three, but spend more time training the oxidative system at a moderately high intensity level. I wish you well in your training. Print PDF Version

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