What type of activity makes the most use of the glycolytic system?

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
In Al Ciamos's article, he says that it is best to not make too much use of the glycolytic system during training.  Could someone explain in a nontechnical manner the types of activities that emphasize the alactacid and glycolytic systems?  How do you know when you are crossing over from one to the other?  How do you stay out of the glycolytic system?
 

Mattsirpeace

Level 4 Valued Member
http://www.strongfirst.com/strongfirst-roadwork/

Really looking forward to any additional insights Pavel, Al, or anybody who knows physiology has.  For now it's a huge relief to have a two-track strategy towards whatever "conditioning" is:  nosebreathing jogging is easy but takes time,  10 x 10 swings are hard but over with fast.
 

captainabearica

Level 2 Valued Member
Weight training is dependent on the phosphagen and glycolytic systems. Sprinting also. High intensity activity that lasts from 5 seconds to 2 minutes is dependent on the phosphagen and glycolytic pathways. Personally those are my two favorite energy systems to train. Training the aerobic pathway is dull, boring and usually leads to over use injury.
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Doug... this is the textbook understanding.  I'm not sure how comprehensive that is.

Jeffrey... nontech: 6 powerful & heavy 2-h swings is purely alactic.  Longer than that (up to possibly 30s in a well-trained athlete) and your going glycolytic if the intensity remains high.  So, a 400m run, e.g.

Don't know what you're asking by "crossover".  From PC (alactic) to glycolysis?  It's pretty seamless, you won't feel much different.  From glycolysis into oxidative?  A huge drop in power.

You can't stay out of glycolysis...  all the energy systems are always "on", one is just more dominant.  Stay away from glycolytic dominance by cutting the work short of 10-20s (depending upon how trained you are); or reducing the intensity to nasal breathing, generally.  Intelligent interval training allows you to use the alactic (PC) system over time to also train the oxidative system, so you don't have to LSD run, from an energy use perspective.

Clear as mud?
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
It looks to me like getups would definitely fall squarely into the glycolytic pathway.  Al's article seemed to imply that we shouldn't train too much in the glycolytic pathway, but if suspect there are qualifiers to that.  At this stage of my life I want to listen to the experts rather than push myself in a way that will not be productive.  I wonder if ballistics was more in kind, such as swings for sets of 30 or 400-800 meter sprints.  Not that the glycolytic pathway should be avoided.  I think the article was saying something more along the lines of not pushing into it too often.  Even in S&S Pavel says to do an all out set of swings every two weeks with a 24  after a man is regularly working with a 32.
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Matt,

10 x 10 swings will not condition you like LSD will.  There is no way around putting your time in w/r to conditioning work (training the oxidative system)... 60 min jog, 45 min of interval swings, etc.

Of course, if you only need to get out of your desk chair to get coffee, 10 x 10 is really all the conditioning that you need: EPOC will take care of the rest.  It's all relative.
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Jeffrey,

You're getting it.

Get ups are not "squarely glycolytic", unless your taking over a minute to complete one, youre doing them back to back, or you're severly overloading yourself (which you really can't do).  A max get up is not ike a max DL.

The idea is to avoid too much glycolytic work because of the cellular health costs, which effectively equates to organism health costs.  Train the glycolytic system very briefly and for prep for a comp or season only... it seems to maintain its capacity through other work.  (Pavel and I differ slightly in opinion on this last point.)

Are we training for health?  Walk/jog and sprint <70m... or their surrogates, no in between.

A set of 30 swings and an 800m effort are "squarely glycolytic"...
 

Mattsirpeace

Level 4 Valued Member
Al,

Thanks for the reply.

That's basically what I concluded.  Since I enjoy all-day hike/jogs in the hills, there's just no shortcut.  Pre-season, I gotta jog, the more the better.  Fortunately you can learn to love it, same as lifting.

Really glad you're on the forum.
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
To what extent do these different pathways operate at a local level?  For example, if I did ten getups, alternating sides, with no rest between them, would I be working the muscles on one side primarily within the alactic pathway, while the other side mostly rests, or would the entire body go as a unit into primarily the glycolytic pathway once my activity exceeds 30 seconds or so?  Don't the muscles pretty much draw on their own stored energy in the anaerobic pathways?  Aerobic, on the other hand, is more total body?  When running long slow distance, the body uses stored energy from any place it is available?
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Matt... thank you.

Jeffrey...
To what extent do these different pathways operate at a local level?
Largely, obviously; but it is the sum total that we need be concerned with... unless you are HIT training your calves doing Donkey raises.
For example, if I did ten getups, alternating sides, with no rest between them, would I be working the muscles on one side primarily within the alactic pathway, while the other side mostly rests, or would the entire body go as a unit into primarily the glycolytic pathway once my activity exceeds 30 seconds or so?
How does one side mostly rest during a get up?  What is the difference between the tension directly under load, and the tension that "pulls" against the tension under load?  That said, this thinking is categorical in nature, which is important for learning, but doesn't work well in actual biology.  So, if your load was heavy enough, you'd be glycolytic, in your scenario.  If it was light, and you're an experienced mover who was grooving, you could actually be oxidatve.
Don’t the muscles pretty much draw on their own stored energy in the anaerobic pathways?
In all pathways, but they are ongoingly resupplied through the blood.
Aerobic, on the other hand, is more total body?  When running long slow distance, the body uses stored energy from any place it is available?
It's just a larger fuel tank.  Alactic fuel (available ATP +  CP) is stored in the cell only, and is used up very quickly.  At rest, during an interval, let's say, it is replenished through the other systems.  Glycolytic fuel (sugar) is stored as glycogen in the muscle and in the liver... and the liver is always making more, but this is a slow process during exercise, so this tank is "small".  Oxidative fuel (fatty acids) are stored in the muscle and in adipose tissue, of which even lean people have like weeks of, when starving... a BIG tank.  So, tiny tank, small tank, big tank; not local or systemic.

Intensity dictates which fuel tank is tapped more so than duration does, generally.
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
Jeffrey - I asked a similar but different question here a while back. You may find it useful, it cleared up a lot of questions and confusion I had about glycolytic training.

http://www.strongfirst.com/topic/finshers/

 

 
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
When I look at some of the popular programs, I wonder which of them make emphasis of the alactacid pathway and which make emphasis of the glycolytic pathway.  I had never heard before that it might be better for my health to avoid overusing the glycolytic pathway.  But it seems like the programs that make regular use of high rep swings or snatches would be more glycolytic in nature.  The higher rep swing challenges would fall into that category.  If it is best to avoid overusing the glycolytic pathway then short sprints and walks would be better for me than longer sprints.  Sets of ten swings would be better for me than consistent sets of 100 swings, with a longer set thrown in every two weeks.  Something like simple and sinister would be good.
 

RyanH

Level 1 Valued Member
Jeff,

If you look at what Charlie Francis did with his sprinters, he had them do speed work at 95-100% of full speed (alactic) and conditioning (tempo) at 75% (aerobic). He avoided the range in between (glycolytic/lactic) because he concluded it was too slow to improve speed and took away too much from recovery.
 

Mikeperry

Level 3 Valued Member
Senior Certified Instructor
For glycolytic work, you will be working anywhere from :20 to 2 minutes or so. You basically burn through ATP and then utilize stored blood sugar ( glycogen )

When addressing the lactic system, we need to figure out what the goal is. Is is power or capacity?

Power work is repeat's in the :20 to :45 range with FULL recovery.

For example: sprint for :30- rest =2-4 minutes and in an ideal world repeat that same :30 sprint with minimal drop-off in performance.

 

Capacity is different- you will increase your duration of work ( 1-2  minutes) and perform repeats in an unrecovered state. The ratio tends to be 1:1 work to rest.

the best exercises for this will be sprinting, rowing, biking etc. Can you do this will a KB? Maybe, but it will need to be very fast, explosive and with max effort

 

Hope this helps

 
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
The part of Al's article that really caught my attention was when it said that people are generally better off health wise if the glycolytic system isn't used too much, especially for aging athletes.  How remarkably interesting.  I am sure it relates to Pavel's article about the cost of adaptation.
 

Mikeperry

Level 3 Valued Member
Senior Certified Instructor
 

Glycolytic work is pretty tough on the body, performing anything at max effort is a risk/reward conversation. If you do decide to perform glycolytic work, Do it sparingly and make sure that your exercise selection is appropriate.

Another consideration is your sport. Certain sports require various energy system demands. Sports like soccer and rugby absolutely have a lactic component and performing some  glycolytic work Is appropriate.

 

Most people would greatly benefit from alactic and aerobic work

 
 

Al Ciampa

Level 8 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Mike... absolutely correct.  And I'm sure little long-term damage is done to young athletes who peak for a season using glycolitic-targeted conditoning protocols; the older the athlete gets, probably moreso, unless they save it for that once per year.

But I think a lot of us here are talking health & wellness and/or recreational performance, in which case, do you ever need to train the glycolitic pathway predominately?  I think, "no".  It doesn't fall off very much if you're working alactic power & capacity + aerobic.  My "case studies" are beginning to show this.

Jeffrey... I think that the damage that glycolitic overuse creates is now in the light:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6U728AZnV0

I think that we will also begin to see the harmful effects of the HITT/CF/bootcamp movement in the next decade.  If you dive into the research, remember, what happens after a 12-week trial is not the same as what happens after a few years of predominantly high-intensity, glycolitic training.
 

Jeff

Level 4 Valued Member
If you take S&S as an example, I can see how the swings, done in sets of 10, stay out of the glycolytic zone, with the exception of the pedal to the medal set of swings every two weeks.  I asked a question on this forum not too long ago about the purpose of that.  I think the answer is becoming clear.  I guess by pushing the glycolytic pathway on an infrequent basis, you reap benefits, but since it is only every two weeks, you avoid wearing yourself out.

But, what about the getups?  When an athlete develops the ability to do all 10 Getups straight through, does that begin to push the glycolytic pathway, or are Getups a different animal in that regard?
 
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