As a coach, your foremost responsibility is crafting training programs that facilitate clients in achieving their desired goals. Energy system training can, however, present a complex challenge. With numerous methods for incorporating metabolic conditioning, creating a program that efficiently targets each system without overwhelming yourself as a coach can be demanding.
To simplify energy system training, we break it down into three primary energy systems: ATP-CP, glycolytic, and oxidative. Although these systems function concurrently during physical activity, adopting a simplistic approach that emphasizes biasing one system through training proves to be more practical. While individual differences in physiology, training history, and lifestyle factors may affect the prescription of each energy system, adhering to core principles enhances the likelihood of achieving the intended energy system response.
Individualized Approach: Universal Coaching Principles
The essence of coaching principles transcends all boundaries, enabling you to effectively guide individuals irrespective of their unique characteristics. By embracing the individuality of each client, you gain the ability to coach anyone successfully. Acknowledging their physiological nuances, training background, and lifestyle considerations enables the development of tailored training programs, maximizing the chances of achieving desired outcomes.
ATP-CP: Resistance Training for Gains
The ATP-CP system promptly provides energy for intense activities lasting up to 10 seconds. It relies on stored creatine phosphate (CP) to rapidly generate ATP, making it indispensable for high-intensity pursuits like sprinting and weightlifting. Incorporating resistance training into the program effectively targets this system, amplifying performance in activities reliant on bursts of power.
Glycolytic: Anaerobic Training for Intensity
The glycolytic system, or anaerobic system, converts stored carbohydrates into glucose and leverages glycolysis to generate ATP. Unlike the ATP-CP system, it operates without oxygen and can sustain energy for several minutes. However, it results in lactic acid accumulation, contributing to fatigue and muscle soreness. Activities demanding brief yet intense effort, such as jumping or throwing, rely on this system.
Oxidative: Aerobic Training for Stamina
The oxidative system, also known as the aerobic system, breaks down stored glycogen, fats, and proteins using oxygen to produce ATP through cellular respiration. Although ATP production is relatively slower, the oxidative system sustains energy for longer durations. It serves as the primary energy source for low-intensity endeavors such as walking, jogging, or cycling. Incorporating aerobic training into the program fosters endurance development and bolsters overall energy system efficiency.
Progression: Crafting Effective Programs
Defining progress forms a cornerstone in designing effective energy system training programs. Fitness progression involves gradually increasing training load over time to stimulate physiological adaptations and enhance performance. However, the concept of progress varies among clients, ranging from improved performance, confidence, and health to fostering a sense of connection and consistency. As a coach, it is paramount to ascertain what progress signifies to each individual and design programs that align with their unique aspirations.
At OPEX, our energy system training approach prioritizes longevity. By emphasizing sustainable progress over quick fixes, clients can achieve long-term success. The Sustain model centers on cultivating a robust aerobic system, which not only enhances endurance but also supports the Gain and Pain systems. For clients training for health and longevity, biasing the Sustain system, coupled with personalized Gain training, will provide a sustainable foundation for long-term progress.
Download our free Energy Systems guide for a deeper dive into energy systems principles and progression, including program design examples.
Simplifying energy system training necessitates a focused understanding of the ATP-CP, glycolytic, and oxidative systems, accompanied by tailored program design for individual clients. By embracing coaching principles that transcend individual differences, coaches can effectively guide clients toward their goals.