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

Matt

More than 300 posts
Sorry Mike - but a simple question : say you become more conditioned ie. get stronger, fitter.  An activity/exercise that used to be hard, becomes easier.  So say a 400m sprint - what is happening with the energy systems of the body from being less conditioned to more conditioned for a 400m sprint (a glycolytic exercise)?  Are different systems being used in different proportions, or the same system just becoming more efficient, or both or ?

An interesting thing (to me) is how much breathing is central to this.  Sort of obvious, but also quite interesting.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
I now get why S&S works.
Pavel is a genious; and I sometimes feel like a ramora who attaches to his underbelly waiting for crumbs of ideas to fall away.  But it is warm and cozy there ;]

S&S works IF you do it as written.  So, recover between sets; DO NOT force the density.  If you keep chasing the clock, you will not enjoy the results.  This is the major difference between S&S style swings being glycolytic or alactic.  Go glycolitic very infrequently to test your progression.

Matt... you're getting deep into physiology and biochemistry, and also a bit beyond the research of physiology.  The short answer is both, each energy system adapts to the stimulus by upregulating enzymatic function, making more efficient and faster use of substrates.  And, the capacity of the systems widen, so, e.g.,  oxidative system use takes precedence earlier in the bout and at a higher intensity than prior to training.
 

Matt

More than 300 posts
Thanks Al - really appreciate your expertise and knowledge.   You seem to have a knack for both answering my question and my next question, as if you're reading my mind....  Cheers.
 

Jeff

More than 500 posts
Al, if I do S&S as written, and do not force the density, and go for a slow jog once per week, would doing Power to the People as written, and going for a slow jog once per week produce a similar type of conditioning?  It looks like in either case you are focusing on the same metabolic pathways.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Jeffrey,

I dont follow your question.  PTTP is a strength program not a condtioning program.  Of course a strength program relies on the alactic system for fueling, but its not stimulating it to adapt in the same way... it's just using it to fuel the work.
 

Jeff

More than 500 posts
Al,

Maybe I don't understand my question either.

I am trying to compare what seem to me to be similar things, I guess to see if I understand the concept.  If I do S&S and don't push the density, then that looks like an exercise in power production.  As my body adapts, I would naturally be able to compress the rest periods, but the focus would continue to be on power production.

I guess I was wondering how the principles apply to other programs such as PTTP, Kettlebell Strong, etc.  You have multiple sets of full body movements focusing on power production.

If all truth is true, then there shouldn't be any contradictions.  It should be possible to see commonality.
 

Journeyman

More than 500 posts
If you compressed the rest periods you eventually wouldn't be able to generate as much power, due to the cutoff point of the system. Power would change over to capacity and you wouldn't be able to generate 100% whether you wanted to or not. Just like you couldn't squat your max for multiple sets with 30 seconds rest in between.

With PTTP, the similarity would be: after getting stronger with PTTP and maintaining your aerobic base, your ability to do, say, 5 or 10 sets of deadlifts with short rests and a lighter weight would improve. That would be the equivalent, if I'm understanding your question....
 

Mattsirpeace

More than 500 posts
http://shar.es/1bcdU6

Sometimes it helps to read the same information over and over again, but from different voices.  If I got the link to work, it's an article by Mike Robertson on aerobics.  Joe G. first posted it on the forum.  Kudos to Al Ciampa for his offhand comprehension.  For me, the unrelenting logic is clear:  I like moving fast all day, therefore aerobics.  Complaining about jogging being boring is like complaining about barbells being heavy.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Jeffrey/Aris/Matt,

Reading Robertson's article allows me to understand the cause of some of the confusion: the Inet is too big.

I am going to build a hypothetical case: meet Jim.  Jim is 16 years old, and has been playing call of duty on x-box as his chief source of physical training for the last 8 years.  Now, Jim wants to play football in this thing called real life.  He decides to go outside for a run to see just how vast his physical prowess is.  After about two blocks, he is on the ground, sucking air, and feeling very woozy.  He takes a few minutes, gets to his feet, and vomits on his walk back to the house, where he phones you for a consult.  "Make me better", he says in his usual eloquence, after sharing this epic event with you.

Movement issues aside, if you had him DL and press 2-3 times per week, he would he would increase both his strength AND conditioning levels, even without doing any direct conditioning work.  He is an example of someone who runs on mostly sugar: his glycolytic system is usually dominant, even at rest.  This would be illusrated by the fact that he can't go more than 2 hours without eating something or he would feel light-headed, even after doing not much more work than cyber-sniping his online buddies.

His fuel systems are so detrained that even pure strength training challenges their capacity, stimulating them to adapt in their function.  After a number of weeks or months, his fuel systems would no longer expand their function with the same stimulus: he could continue to get stronger as he increases the loading of the DL and press, but not in better condition.  Now, he needs a conditioning stimulus: sets of swings, LSD running, even "metcons" would work for him, at THIS point.

Strength and conditioning lie on a continuum w/r to fueling, but pure strength work will only condition the very "out of shape".  A set of 3 x DLs would be on one end, jogging would be on the other end, and S&S swings would be somewhere near the middle.  DLs in sets of 10-15 would provide less strength training and more conditioning training.

You get a strength stimulus from some types conditoning work, such as sets of heavy swings, but not from LSD running.  Get ups would fall closer to the DL end of this spectrum, stimulating more of a strength effect and much less of a conditioning effect.

Clear as mud?  Strength = nervous system training; condtioning = "fuel & O2 delivery/waste removal" training.  All movement requires both.
 

Jeff

More than 500 posts
Al,

Thankyou again for your brilliant insight.  So a person is glycolytic dominant if they can't go more than a few hours without eating?  In that case, adding conditioning work would make the Warrior Diet easier to live with.  It is amazing how the dots begin to connect together.
 

Al Ciampa

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Jeffrey,

We are now at the crossroads of nutrition and training.  Constant carbohydrate feedings, similar to the typical western eating style causes this.  Can training undo this?  I don't know; but I suspect that some of the health issues of former marathoners and triathletes are in no small part due to mainlining sugar for fuel, even though they were "burning it out", so to speak.

What would make the warrior diet easier to live with is being fat adapted in the first place.  I have had zero success putting a sugar-burner on any kind of fasting protocol, unless they restrict carbs first for a while, cultivating fatty acid use.

In the same way that (as we have been discussing) glycolytic training can lead to cellular damage, years of "glycolytic eating" seems to have its own harmful effects.  Some potato or rice after training, or later in that day seems ok for some if not most, but only in the context of an otherwise low-ish carb intake.
 

Jeff

More than 500 posts
I wish there were several articles on this website pulling this information together, or maybe even a book the size of Simple & Sinister.  It could be called Training Demystified, or Why We Do What We Do.
 

AndyMcL

More than 500 posts
I have a couple questions/thoughts about energy system utilization and how S&S fits in. Please bare with me, because it has been a couple years since I've studied these topics, I do not have a textbook handy, and I always struggled as soon as I reached the cellular level.

Caveat: studying energy systems is really, really hard. Difficult to measure, lots of competing variables, tons of theories. What we do not know outweighs what we do.

Also, I've only skimmed through this thread, so my apologies if I repeat anything. Al and Mike have both made some very well thought out, articulate posts. Everyone should reread those.

First of all, in my mind it is silly to say that one type of training solely utilizes one type of energy system. Al touched on this on the first page. Yes, you have the extreme ends of the spectrum (olympic lifting and marathon running) which may use 99% of their energy from one system, but almost everything else is going to be a mix. The energy systems do not just "turn on" sequentially, they act in tandem.

Now, my (admittedly limited) knowledge about the alactic energy system is that it is for brief 10-15 second all out efforts, and ATP is provided by the donation of a phosphate from phosphocreatine (PCr) to ADP. However, we only have a limited supply of PCr in our muscles, and it takes a little while to completely replenish the stores; 3-5 minutes. However, a single set would likely not completely deplete stores, so it is likely that after a short rest a second set could be done primarily using the remaining PCr for fuel. What I do not think could be possible is that the alactic energy system would be the primary energy system during 10 sets of 10 rep swings with limited rest.

I know that it is not recommended to push the density in S&S, so I can hypothetically see that a well trained subject using maximal effort with long rest periods could primarily use alactic system. But, when the rest periods drop to below a minute I believe that you are going to see a drop in power output and/or an increase in the use of the glycolytic pathways.

Here is an interesting and, I hope, applicable study: <a title="Creatine repletion" href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9241025">"Muscle phosphocreatine repletion following single and repeated short sprint efforts."</a>

It looked at the effect of single sprints and repeated sprints on PCr repletion. The two groups either performed 1x6second maximal sprints on a bicycle ergometer, or 5x6s maximal sprints departing every 30 seconds (sound familiar?). For the single sprint group muscle biopsies immediately following the sprint (well, 10 seconds after) found that PCr levels were 55% of the pre-exercise value. By 3 minutes the values were back to 90%. The researches found that for the repeated effort group PCr values 10 seconds after completion were 27%  of their initial pre-exercise levels. After 3 minutes of rest PCr was back up to 84%.

Unfortunately, I cannot access the full study so I only have the abstract to work with. I cannot comment on how "trained" the subjects are, and I do not know how much peak power dropped during the repeated sprints.

But, I do have a few take away points. What this study tells me is that you cannot maintain peak power through the alactic system without longer rests. When the group performed a single sprint they, on average, depleted 45% of their PCr stores. However, when they performed 5 sprints they depleted 73%. Despite completing 4 more sprints they only used up 28% more PCr. What I believe happened (and what has happened in<a title="Similar Studies" href="http://www.zone5endurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Gaitanos-1993.pdf"> similar studies</a>) is that after the first sprint the subjects still used maximal effort, but that their absolute intensity (likely wattage for this study) steadily decreased and their utilization of glycolytic and aerobic pathways steadily increased.

A study on energy contribution during KB ballistics would be ideal, but this will have to do instead. First of all, the study I referenced had 6 second efforts, much lower in duration than the length of time it takes to perform 10 swings. However, cycling is very different as one leg is always working, so it is hard to directly compare. Also, the group only performed 5 sprints, not 10 like in S&S. So it is definitely a bit of apples to oranges, but I think the message is still pretty clear. The modality may be different, but it is still the same human body.

Based on the results of this study, and on what I know about the different energy systems, here is what I imagine happens during S&S. The very first set is likely to be predominantly alactic based. I do not doubt that. Depending on the length of rest the second and third may be too. But, unless you are resting for 2-3 minutes you are going to see the glycolytic and aerobic systems becoming increasing utilized. This is echoed in a <a title="Energy Systems Review" href="http://www.zone5endurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Gastin-2001.pdf">REVIEW</a> article that states "It now seems evident that all 3 energy systems make a contribution to the energy supply during sprinting, even during efforts as short as 6 seconds."

Now, this is all assuming you are not pushing the density at all. But, in order to achieve the simple standard you need to explosively swing a kettlebell 10 times every 30 seconds for 50 minutes. And, it has to be relatively comfortable, you have to "own" the weight. I don't think someone can accomplish this goal without heavily using the glycolytic system. Mike Perry touched on this earlier, if you are going to train power than you need LONG rests. 30s-1min is not going to cut it. One of the reasons that something like S&S works so well is that you are training ALL of the energy systems, alactic, glycolytic, and aerobic, during the swings.

My recommendation: do not worry about what systems you are stressing. Train smart, train hard, train progressively, and train for your goals. Use a program that fits these goals, is reasonable/realistic, and that you enjoy doing. Push it some of the time, back off at others.

However, if you want to do further reading on the current thought about energy systems, please read the review article I linked earlier. It's fairly comprehensive, if slightly dated.

Also, I would love it if someone dove into kettlebell ballistics and energy systems; VO2max, lactate and HR values, muscle biopsies for PCr levels. All of that stuff would be tremendous. Sadly I doubt we will be getting it. If Pavel knows of any studies performed in Russia I would love to hear about them.

Now, I would love to hear feedback on what I have gotten wrong.

 

One final thought, an interesting S&S variant would be alternating swings and get ups. The TGU places very different demands than the swing, and could almost work as an active recovery. Something like 10 Swings L, 10s fast and loose, 1 Get Up L, 10 Swings R, 10s Fast and Loose, 1 Get Up R x 5 could be a very effective method. Apologies if someone has already thought this up.
 

Mikeperry

Triple-Digit Post Count
Senior Certified Instructor
Good Point Andy.

 

The second we hit the gas pedal hard, all of the systems start. As you work, you basically burn through ATP, then stored glycogen and eventually into the aerobic system. Think of a space shuttle launch, they burn through fuel, drop tanks and burn through the next. This is sort of how ESD works.

 

Everyone utilizes fuel differently so we need to use templates and not hard numbers.

alactic power work can be anywhere from :6 to :10 how each person utilizes ATP is they key. A high level athlete may be able to produce power for a full :10 while someone untrained :6.

The key to power work is how well the body can replenish ATP. Some may take 2 minutes, others 5 or 6 minutes. Look at the recovery gap there, its pretty significant. When starting power work, rest longer, you'll eventually figure out recovery times.

Alactic capacity is :10 to :15 of work. the goal is to increase maximum stored ATP. Recovery on alactic capacity is anywhere from :30 to :90. Again, look at the recover window there.

 

Start of the low end of your work rate :10 and the high end of recovery :90 for lactic capacity

 

Here's a quick and dirty assessment I use with my athletes:

 
1.Select exercise - battling ropes for example
2.Determine testing parameters
3.Choose work to rest ratio
4.Administer test - record results
5.Run %’s
6.Train!


Test: How many slams can the athlete perform in :12?
Record number of slams
Find approximately 90% of test number
Example:
 Slams in :12 = 27 slams
90% of 27 is 24
 minimum slam goal is 24 reps in each set.

If they cannot hit the goal number, rest longer or stop
 
Beginner: 12-15 reps per session
Intermediate: 16-25 reps per session
Advanced: 26-40 reps per session


Hope this helps

 

 
 

GreyFox

Double-Digit Post Count
Long time reader, first time poster. Thank you all for the wonderful discussion! It has been very insightful for me. I have resisted posting to this forum until I felt I had something to contribute, and not just benefit. That time may may have come. The conversation has clearly progressed past the realm of training effects and into the intersection of training and nutrition. With that in mind, I offer this link to a transcript of J. Stanton AHS presentation on Metabolic Flexibility. Many of you may be familiar with it already, but for those who are not, I think it will provide some further insight into the complicated world of biology, nutrition and activity. (Which is not to imply that these hints are really seperate, since they all receive their significance from the relationship to one another.)

 

I hope it is helpful. Enjoy.
 

GreyFox

Double-Digit Post Count
Long time reader, first time poster. Thank you all for the wonderful discussion! It has been very insightful for me. I have resisted posting to this forum until I felt I had something to contribute, and not just benefit. That time may may have come. The conversation has clearly progressed past the realm of training effects and into the intersection of training and nutrition. With that in mind, I offer this link to a transcript of J. Stanton AHS presentation on Metabolic Flexibility. Many of you may be familiar with it already, but for those who are not, I think it will provide some further insight into the complicated world of biology, nutrition and activity. (Which is not to imply that these hints are really seperate, since they all receive their significance from the relationship to one another.)

http://www.gnolls.org/3637/what-is-metabolic-flexibility-and-why-is-it-important-j-stantons-ahs-2013-presentation-including-slides/

I hope it is helpful. Enjoy.
 

Matt

More than 300 posts
Thanks Owen.  Quite interesting - you're right, it is a complicated world!  But fascinating.
 

Harald Motz

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
Certified Instructor
Want to add my experiences with simple and sinister on the topic.

I am on the program since 01.01.2014 and have completed 182 sessions so far.

I was training on to reach the sinister goals. I read the book over and over again, followed the forum and came to a decision: to reach the simple goals, or to say to own the weight means (to me) this:

Perform one arm swings with 32kg 10 reps for 10sets, rest for one minute and do 1r get ups with this weight for 10 reps. When you can do this always almost every day, then…

Here is the (my) kicker: with the swings: when you rest between sets do up to five breaths (half of your reps). With the get ups: move and breathe smoothly (yin style) while performing.

In my case I can say: I could perform the sinister goals.

BUT, but, but: I can’t do this with five  breaths during my swing rest. Needless to say almost every day.

That’s the reason I scaled back to really own the simple goals, and did so for the last three weeks, and plan to do so for an extended period of time, cause I trust in the program to follow it as written, and I feel  getting stronger (calmer) and stronger (calmer)  on my mental side. It was a good decision.

I digress.

When performing simple (swings: 15sec.on, 16sec.off) I observe this: first set no problem ( working on creatinephosphate?) second set no problem, but while the rest a slight urge arises to breathe harder (start getting glycolytic ?). Third set no problem, but urge to breathe harder (means to rise breath frequency over five breaths) getting stronger, I have to focus to stay calm in order to control my breathing. Working the seventh/ eighth set  a burning sensation in my lower back / but / hamstring is starting ( sure sign to be on lactate and being glycolyitic ?)

Subjectively speaking I would say my power output stays the same (a set of ten swings takes 15sec, the swing  goes to the same height), and my breath rate while resting does not exceed 5 breaths anymore. My resting towards and in between get ups is getting less.

As I said I do simple for three weeks almost every day, and it starts getting easier (RPE declines).

Pavel said in a post about s&s: working alactic, recovering aerobically. This is for me my aspiration with this program.

 

 

 
 
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