While Brad has been hard at work programming, I’ve been trying to develop a way to explain why we do these workouts and how our bodies perform them. This is in hope of making us identify our weaknesses and train accordingly.
If you’ve looked closely at our COP logo, it captures the three main metabolic pathways that we use during exercise: the phosphagen, glycolytic, and oxidative pathways. Ahh, Science
These three pathways can be defined as individual entities, which I will do, but most times we use more than one pathway during a workout.
Since todays workout focuses mainly on the Oxidative Pathway (aka Aerobic Metabolism), I’ll give you a brief overview on it.
During aerobic exercise, we are essentially breaking down fats and carbohydrates using oxygen to produce energy (called ATP). We use this pathway during exercise sessions lasting longer than several minutes. Think running or rowing a 5k.
Major limitations of this system:
1.It is slow to start. At onset of exercise, the anaerobic system is initiated instantaneously to cover the shortfall in aerobic metabolism. Anaerobic energy production is 3x’s faster than aerobic production, i.e.: much easier to tap into. This is due to the time it takes for the heart and lungs to supply neccesary muscles with fresh oxygen.
2. Even at maximal production, aerobic metabolism can not produce enough energy for us to sustain intense exercise.
This means that any time we initiate exercise or increase intensity during a workout, we are using anaerobic metabolism. However, aerobic metabolism is still the most efficient of the pathways. It allows us to sustain exercise bouts for hours, even days utilizing our fat stores as energy which can produce up to 20 times more energy in the presence of oxygen.
Is there a point in this workout where you felt you went beyond your aerobic capacity? For example, did you stop to rest during the workout? Please post any notables to comments, paying attention to this can help you to understand when you have reached your aerobic threshold.