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Fat adapted training – Basic exercise energy systems

The Three Basic Energy Systems

Fat-adapted training revolutionises energy utilisation for both professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Let’s delve deeper into the fundamental exercise energy systems. Our body operates through three distinct energy systems, each facilitating ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) production based on various factors, primarily the intensity of training. These energy systems are:

Anaerobic – Alactic Energy System (ATP-CP System)
Formula: Phosphocreatine + ADP → Creatine + ATP
Duration: Operates exclusively for the initial 5 seconds of exercise, regardless of intensity. For instance, during the first few reps or the start of a sprint.

Anaerobic – Lactic Energy System
Formula: Glucose → Lactic acid + ATP
Duration: Provides energy from around 5 to 20 reps, predominantly using carbohydrates.

Aerobic Energy System
a. Aerobic Glycolysis (Oxidative degradation of glycogen):
Formula: Glucose + Oxygen → Carbon Dioxide + Water + ATP
b. Lipolysis (Oxidative degradation of fats):
Formula: Fats + Oxygen → Carbon Dioxide + Water + ATP
Duration: Primarily activated during low or moderate-intensity exercises, requiring oxygen to produce ATP.

Each system operates distinctly based on the demands of the activity, none working independently but rather dominating at different times.

Role of Oxygen in Energy Systems

The aerobic system, relying on oxygen, stands as the most complex of the three. While oxygen is vital for its operations, the production of ATP through this system is relatively slower than the anaerobic systems.

Energy System Involvement

Contrary to previous beliefs, energy systems do not engage sequentially; they operate concurrently, with their relative contributions influenced by exercise intensity, duration, and the body’s stage during exercise.

Phases of Energy Expenditure

Energy expenditure follows distinct phases delineated by oxygen intake:

  • Transition phase
  • Stabilisation phase
  • Rehabilitation phase

The transition and stabilization phases depict the body’s adjustment to the exercise demands and oxygen intake. The rehabilitation phase follows, aiding in restoring the body to its resting state.

Fat Adaptation and Energy

Fat adaptation signifies a metabolic shift where the body efficiently utilises stored fat for energy. This state enables individuals to rely on fat as a principal fuel source, conserving glycogen stores for intense activities, benefiting athletes and endurance.

Conclusion

Understanding these energy systems and their interactions during exercise provides insights into optimising performance and adapting nutrition and training strategies accordingly.

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