THIS WEEK’S “ASK GILAD” BLOG
Question: What is the difference between my aerobic and anaerobic Systems?
Answer: One of the main goals of my fitness programs is to improve the efficiency of the aerobic and anaerobic systems. The aerobic system can provide a steady supply of energy with minimal fatigue for an extended period of time such as in long distance running. In this case the goal is to increase the rate at which oxygen can be supplied to the muscles through what we call aerobic/cardio workouts.
Here is how it works. Carbohydrates are stored in the liver and muscles in the form of glycogen which can provide energy (more rapidly than fat). When glycogen and fat are converted into energy in conjunction with oxygen that we breathe, the body is using what is known as the aerobic energy system. One of the main factors limiting the efficiency of the aerobic system is the rate at which oxygen can be supplied to the muscles. One of the main aims of any training program is to enhance the efficiency of the aerobic system by increasing the rate at which oxygen can be "digested" and supplied to the muscles.
In sprints and other explosive type activities where a lot of energy is spent quickly the aerobic system is not fast enough to meet the body's energy needs and the anaerobic system is tapped into. Carbohydrates still play a major role as the main source of energy but here it happens without the continuous supply of oxygen forcing the body to tap into the anaerobic system which simply means without oxygen.
The anaerobic system can provide energy very rapidly for short bursts of energy. The drawback of this system is that it creates a by-product called lactic acid which causes the muscles to fatigue quickly. The Anaerobic capability can be vastly improved through exercise.
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