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Energy Production 101

Gains in the gym or the field would not be possible without the biological systems that we have working at all times.

When we eat food, the body is able to then break down its constituent parts into ATP, or what we call the biological currency of the body.

The three main energy systems that our body use for production and replenishment of ATP include the following:

  1. The Phosphagen System

  2. The Glycolytic System

  3. The Oxidative System

It's important to understand that all three energy systems are active at any given moment, but intensity and duration of the activity determines the primary mechanism that is used for a given sport or activity.

The Phosphagen System provides energy for the short-term, high intensity activities such as sprinting, weightlifting, or heavy strength training.

The Glycolytic System is next in line, and provides energy for higher intensity tasks over 30 seconds. Some activities could include the 200-meter dash or a last minute scramble for a goal in soccer.

Lastly, the Oxidative System provides energy for longer duration activities lasting 2 minutes or longer. Some activities could include longer bouts of cardiovascular activity, such as running 1 mile or an 800-meter swimming event.

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