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Bioenergetics: Misconceptions about Aerobic and Anaerobic Energy Expenditure

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I really enjoyed this article.  It really points out some of the potential errors in current methodologies.  It also makes me question some of the other standardized practices we see in the field of exercise... more »I really enjoyed this article.  It really points out some of the potential errors in current methodologies.  It also makes me question some of the other standardized practices we see in the field of exercise physiology.  While I understand the need to have established protocols and control standards for any valid research project I question their efficacy.  Many times information from research is incorporated into training as this paper indicates based on incomplete or incorrect data.  I am not sure there is a better answer right now though.  We may be 30-50 years from developing sensor technology capable of obtaining more accurate and timely measurements.   | As a CrossFit and kettlebell enthusiast I am interested in the science behind why our systems seem to work well.  All the proponents of these systems claim they are the best thing since sliced bread and I have had great success with numerous people using their methodologies.  The question is why?  I would like to get past the hype and weak science and really examine what is going on in my athletes.  What is really going on aerobically and anaerobically at the cellular level during our workouts?  How is it that my athletes were able to all improve their 3, 5, and 7 km run times significantly and I seldom had them run more than 200m?  I would love to understand the metabolic response to whole body movements such as thrusters, burpees, squat cleans, kettlebell swings and others when performed at intensity.  Does the research results from an erg bike actually correlate to this type of work?  Hopefully somebody here knows some good resources to point me too. 11-30-2012 11:11am

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Comment by Joe Lee

This ultimately comes down to Lactate Threshold.  When someone trains anaerobically, they are actually helping to shift their lactate threshold.  LT dictates at what % of VO2max someone engaging in endurance activity (and... more »This ultimately comes down to Lactate Threshold.  When someone trains anaerobically, they are actually helping to shift their lactate threshold.  LT dictates at what % of VO2max someone engaging in endurance activity (and primarily using Krebs and the ETC to generate ATP) will shift back to the anaerobic energy systems (primarily glycolysis) to generate ATP.  The higher that % where that takes place (say 75% versus 65% of V02max) then that individual will be able to let's just say run faster for a longer period without kicking back into glycolysis. If they kick back into glycolysis, which means not enough O2 is present, then pyruvate gets converted to lactate and begins to accumulate instead of being shuttled into the mitochondria.... | Intensity and duration effectively play off of each other and it has everything to do with the lactate threshold.  In order to become a "better" endurance athlete, one must train anaerobically, not aerobically.  It's somewhat counterintuitive but has everything to do with which energy system is being utilized and whether or not enough O2 is present to keep someone in those aerobic energy systems. 12-01-2012 6:06am

Thanks for helping me out with this.  Some of the things I am learning are not crossing over as intuitively as I would like. 12-03-2012 5:05am

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Comment by Joe Lee

These are not easy concepts Joe, even for students that have had biology, biochemistry and anatomy and physiology.  This is why bioenergetics is foundational to these concepts.... 12-03-2012 6:06am

    Added to this shelf by: June Kloubec, on 11-06-2012 3:15pm

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