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BioMechanix Blog

Read our Blog regularly for Jon Torerk’s and other BioMechanix staff members latest posts. Jon is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and looks forward to sharing his and his staffs insight into body building, conditioning and injury recovery.

 


R.I.C.E. Therapy for Injuries

RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This is a technique
used to accelerate the healing process for injuries that involve edema,
swelling, and or contusion.

Ice plays a direct role in the reduction of edema and treating injury. The
physiological process ice serves is that it triggers vaso-restriction at the
point of injury. This is when the veins decrease in diameter as a result of
the cold temperature of the ice applied to the area.

After a few minutes vaso-dialation occurs, which is an increase in the
diameter of the veins. When the veins are in a larger state your body sends
a signal to the brain causing increased blood flow and endorphins to the
area.  Endorphins act as your body¹s natural morphine, speeding up the
healing process and taking down the inflammation.

The ice should be left on for a period of 20 minutes. Leaving it on longer
can cause vaso-restriction, which may compromise the healing process.

After icing for 20 minutes, you keep it off for 40 minutes, which equates to
a 20:40 minute cycle.  This should be repeated preferably three times in a
row. R.I.C.E. therapy should be performed several times a day until the
swelling completely dissipates.

The best method for applying ice is by use of a gel-pack, which conforms
extremely well to various parts of the body. Do not apply the ice pack
directly to your skin as it could cause freezer burn. An ideal method is
placing the gel pack in a thin pillowcase and then applying that directly to
the skin, with only one layer of the material between the ice and skin. Then
take a towel and wrap it around the ice pack and injured area. Make it just
snug enough to keep the ice in place. DO NOT tighten it to the point of
where it would cause the restriction of blood flow.

The next step is to elevate the area of injury above heart level to prevent
blood pooling, and keep the area still.

To reduce swelling we also suggest Kinesiology taping along with icing, as
this will take the swelling down at a much faster rate. The Kinesiology tape
is applied in a pattern that mimics the capillary system. Its function is to
lightly lift the skin away from the muscle, and aid in lymphatic draining.
The ice is applied immediately after the kinesiology taping performed.

A certified health care practitioner should administer kinesiology taping
for edema, as a correct application will dictate its effectiveness and
outcome.

R.I.C.E. and edema taping are the preferred methods to treating inflammation
and swelling at BioMechanix and AthleteBuild, as we get great results from
the combination of the two modalities.

Jon Torerk , CSCS

Weight Loss

BioMechanix Strength & Conditioning Clinic
Weight Loss.

Are you tired of being out of shape and overweight? At BioMechanix our clients come for many reasons and weight loss is among the top of them.

Some of the biggest and common mistakes people make on their quest to lose weight is to just go to the gym, doing a lot of cardio, abdominal work, and drastically cutting down on calories to fast. Many people are guilty of just doing isolation or spot training such as numerous amounts of sit-ups, and glute-kickbacks.

Not that this is completely wrong but ONLY doing cardio and isolative muscle work WILL NOT GET YOU AMAZING RESULTS!  You need to include compound multi-joint movements in order to burn calories more efficiently and in order to get you to reach your goals, you need to incorporate the following:

*Balanced and clean diet that you can maintain for life
*Structured strength & conditioning program
*Cardiovascular routine that involves interval training
*Structured flexibility routine
*Supervised training program with a qualified strength & conditioning specialist

Having a structured and planned exercise regimen will get you the results you want. Just doing cardio will not get you there and it does not build LEAN FAT BURNING MUSCLE TISSUE!

By engaging in a strength & conditioning program you will make your body stronger and a more efficient fat burning machine. By increasing your lean muscle mass your body will require more calories just to maintain that newly developed muscle tissue, therefore making your body a FAT BURNING FURNACE.

By the way if you are constantly stepping on a scale to see how much weight you lost, you should know that this is not necessarily an accurate way to measure total fat loss. The fact is that muscle is much more dense than fat which takes up less space in your body.

For example five pounds of fat is about the size of a loaf of bread. Five pounds of lean muscle is about the size of a one-pound stack of sliced American cheese. So the space they occupy in your body is significantly different.

Aside from stepping on the scale you should also consider how your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror.  In time you will notice that that your body does not look the same and your clothes will actually fit you like they were someone else’s.

And another thing you should know is that muscle DOES NOT TURN INTO FAT! That’s like saying an apple could magically turn into an orange, which is simply impossible.

Here at BioMechanix we will set you on the right track of losing that unwanted weight and teach you how to train right. We will guide you along every step of the way, teaching you how to lift weights, exercise, and eat correctly.

So come on in! The new you is eagerly waiting here at BioMechanix Strength & Conditioning Clinic!

BMX BodyBuilding

BioMechanix Strength & Conditioning Clinic Body Building Programs

Maybe you are just a novice or even an experienced body builder but need that extra edge to start winning competitions. Here at BioMechanix many of our trainers ARE competitive body builders that have been ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in National Body Building and Physique competitions such as the NPC Max Muscle Naturals, Ironman Magazine Men’s Unlimited, Long Beach Muscle Classic, and MET-Rx NPC Body Building Championships.

When you walk into our facility, you will see all of their trophies lining our walls as proof and a testament to their commitment to the sport of Body Building.

If you think you have the discipline, dedication, and what it takes to follow this strict and intense training regimen than look no further. Our team of professional trainers will guide you every step of the way into a new level and realm of training like you have never experienced before or even thought possible!

Whether woman or man, BioMechanix Strength & Conditioning Clinic is ready to take you there.

Are you ready to take the next step to greatness?

Breathing During Resistance Training

An important aspect to consider while strength training is breathing technique.  Typically while weight training an athlete is taught to exhale while either pushing or pulling weight against gravity and to inhale while lowering or returning the weight to the start position.

The pushing or pulling of weight is known as the positive or concentric contraction, and the lowering or returning the weight to start position is known as the negative or eccentric contraction.

For most weight resistance based exercises the negative or eccentric motion should be performed at a slower speed than the positive or concentric contraction, which in turn makes breathing while doing this somewhat difficult.  While performing the slower paced negative repetition only taking one breath in can seem a bit much, resulting in increased labor during breathing. After several reps into the exercise it starts to feel as if you are working as hard just to breathe, resembling hyperventilation.

Instead of only taking in one giant long-winded breath during the negative part of the movement, try taking three relaxed breaths, first inhaling, then exhaling, and then inhaling again. As you start the positive or concentric phase of the movement, then you should start to exhale slowly as you either push the weight away from you or pull the weight towards you. This allows you to breathe more in sync with the movement being performed and helps keep a good tempo throughout the exercise.

However there are times when you would only want to take two breaths during each rep and that would apply more to speed based movements, where you still perform controlled negatives but the exercise is done at a faster rate, such as a speed based bicep curl, breathing in once as you lower the weight and exhaling once as you raise the weight.

For some exercises you are encouraged to hold your breath at some point. This is known as “maintaining intra-abdominal pressure”. The idea behind this breathing technique is to maintain a pocket of air, which in turn acts like an air cushion between your lower spine and abdominal wall. This aids in helping the lower spine from excessively curving inward with increased loads and reducing the likelihood of injury to the lower back.

A good example of when to use this breathing technique would be while performing barbell squats. The weight of the bar will create an excessive load the axial spine especially at the bottom end of the squat, the point at which you would have the greatest amount of hip and knee flexion, and are in the actual squat position. It would be at this point that you would want to hold your breath and then slowly exhale as you push upward and assume an upright standing position.  Subjects with high blood pressure however are not encouraged to breathe in this manner as it could put them at a greater metabolic risk.

Jon Torerk, CSCS

 

Biomechanical Breakdown During Resistance Training/Part 2

Taken from the part one intro:

Without proper guidance and professional instruction most people and athletes have incorrect form while lifting weights resulting in poor mechanics throughout the entire exercise.

Maintaining a Five Point Contact is key to performing all resistance exercises.  This is a subject I covered in an earlier article called “Maintaining Proper Spinal Alignment While Resistance Training”.

Here is the second list of some of the most common mistakes made during these lifts and their correction’s as these are the ones most often performed with improper technique.

Cable Triceps Pushdown

Mistakes:

Rounded shoulder positioning with no scapular stability.

Head tilted down and forward, excessive upper arm movement.

Elbows placed right against side of body just above hips.

Standing with body completely upright allowing lower back to go into excessive lordosis.

Swinging of entire body.

Corrections: (You will notice that the rules for this are similar to the bicep curls. It’s the same movement but reversed.)

Shoulders slightly pulled back and stable, the weight should be supported by posterior deltoids and scapular musculature.  This will help with preventing the upper arm from going into too much shoulder flexion or extension.

Do not place elbows against body. This will create unnecessary stress on glenohumeral joint and result in tendonitis. Elbows should be in line with upper body and about a golf or tennis balls distance away from sides of body.

Position head in neutral, looking straight ahead and without dropping chin towards chest.  Tucking chin downwards will result in rounding shoulders and loss of scapular stability.

Stand in a partial squat initiated from hips, not the knees and keep core musculature tight throughout. This will prevent swaying of the entire body and help protect against lower back injury.  Keep the 4-2-5 concept in mind.

Work triceps throughout entire range of motion, making sure triceps are under constant tension throughout entire movement.

Front Neck Pull Down

Mistakes:

Excessive swinging of upper body

Not maintaining scapular stability, and letting shoulder rise, placing undue stress on tendons and ligaments.

Tucking chin downward while performing movement, and not maintaining normal lordosis.

Pulling bar down to far down and going into internal rotation of the shoulders.

Corrections:

Sit upward maintaining a neutral spine.

Place hands on bar with either a 1 or 1.5 biacromial width.

Bar should travel in a straight line down to touch superior part of sternum just below clavicle.  At top end of movement maintain scapular stability by not going into a full extension. You want to let bar rise as far up as long as the shoulders do not come up as well, unless you are performing a scapular retraction and protraction. Weight must remain on musculature not pulling on joints by maintaining a constant a muscular contraction.

Maintain tight core musculature and the only part of body moving should be arms.

One Arm Dumbbell Rows

Mistakes:

Not maintaining normal lordosis and performing exercise with a rounded back.

Excessive use of trapezium while pulling weight upward during exercise.

Losing scapular stability while performing exercise.

Not keeping neck in a neutral position.

Corrections:

Maintain a neutral spine position and normal lordosis of lumbar spine. Performing this exercise with a rounded back puts you at risk for vertebral disk herniation.

Drive weight upwards by driving with elbow and shoulder depressed. This will prevent too much trap recruitment.

Be sure to keep scapula pulled back slightly and stable with a constant contraction at all times.

Keep head in a neutral position. Tucking your chin downward will round your upper back and cause loss of scapular stability.

Supine Dumbbell Chest Flys

Mistakes:

Excessive arching of back on bench by not maintaining a 5-point contact.

Too much flexion in elbows resulting in a movement more similar to a press.

Performing exercise with elbows placed at a higher level than acromioclavicular joint throughout movement causing too much compression on AC complex.

Performing with a partial or not full range of motion.

Corrections:

Maintaining a 5-point contact throughout exercise, and keeping a tight core.

Elbows should have a very slight bend in them, which stays constant throughout execution of exercise. If you are increasing the flexion in your elbows in the negative or eccentric part of this exercise then you are doing a chest press.

Throughout exercise in both the eccentric and concentric motion of this exercise the elbows should be 1-3 inches lower than shoulder girdle. Hands should follow a line at mid sternum height in the transverse plane.

Performing this exercise with elbows more superior of acromioclavicular joints can cause AC impingements.

Perform a full range of motion, which is when hands are in line or slightly below body in the frontal plane.  In other words your hands should be at least the level of the bench you are lying on in the downward motion of exercise.

If you are still confused and need a visual aid then two excellent resources are the books “Strength Training” by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, or “Strength Training Anatomy”.

Human Kinetics publishes both books.

 

Jon Torerk, CSCS

 

Biomechanical Breakdown during Resistance Training/Part 2

Biomechanical Breakdown during Resistance Training/Part 2

 

Taken from the part one intro:

Without proper guidance and professional instruction most people and athletes have incorrect form while lifting weights resulting in poor mechanics throughout the entire exercise.

Maintaining a Five Point Contact is key to performing all resistance exercises.  This is a subject I covered in an earlier article called “Maintaining Proper Spinal Alignment While Resistance Training”.

Here is the second list of some of the most common mistakes made during these lifts and their correction’s as these are the ones most often performed with improper technique.

Cable triceps pushdown

Mistakes:

Rounded shoulder positioning with no scapular stability.

Head tilted down and forward, excessive upper arm movement.

Elbows placed right against side of body just above hips.

Standing with body completely upright allowing lower back to go into excessive lordosis.

Swinging of entire body.

Corrections: You will notice that the rules for this are similar to the bicep curls. It’s the same movement but reversed.

Shoulders slightly pulled back and stable, the weight should be supported by posterior deltoids and scapular musculature.  This will help with preventing the upper arm from going into too much shoulder flexion or extension.

Do not place elbows against body while curling. This will create unnecessary stress on glenohumeral joint and result in tendonitis. Elbows should be in line with upper body and about a golf or tennis balls distance away from sides of body.

Position head in neutral, looking straight ahead and without dropping chin towards chest.  Tucking chin downwards will result in rounding shoulders and loss of scapular stability.

Stand in a partial squat initiated from hips, not the knees and keep core musculature tight throughout. This will prevent swaying of the entire body and help protect against lower back injury.  Keep the 4-2-5 concept in mind.

Work triceps throughout entire range of motion, making sure triceps are under constant tension throughout entire movement.

Front Neck Pull Down

Mistakes:

Excessive swinging of upper body

Not maintaining scapular stability, and letting shoulder rise, placing undue stress on tendons and ligaments.

Tucking chin downward while performing movement, and not maintaining normal lordosis.

Pulling bar down to far down and going into internal rotation of the shoulders.

Corrections:

Sit upward maintaining a neutral spine.

Place hands on bar with either a 1 or 1.5 biacromial width.

Bar should travel in a straight line down to touch superior part of sternum just below clavicle.  At top end of movement maintain scapular stability by not going into a full extension. You want to let bar rise as far up as long as the shoulders do not come up as well, unless you are performing a scapular retraction and protraction. Weight must remain on musculature not pulling on joints by maintaining a constant a muscular contraction.

Maintain tight core musculature and the only part of body moving should be arms.

One Arm Dumbbell Rows

Mistakes:

Not maintaining normal lordosis and performing exercise with a rounded back.

Excessive use of trapezium while pulling weight upward during exercise.

Losing scapular stability while performing exercise.

Not keeping neck in a neutral position.

Corrections:

Maintain a neutral spine position and normal lordosis of lumbar spine. Performing this exercise with a rounded back puts you at risk for vertebral disk herniation.

Drive weight upwards by driving with elbow and shoulder depressed. This will prevent too much trap recruitment.

Be sure to keep scapula pulled back slightly and stable with a constant contraction at all times.

Keep head in a neutral position. Tucking your chin downward will round your upper back and cause loss of scapular stability.

Supine Dumbbell Chest Flys

Mistakes:

Excessive arching of back on bench by not maintaining a 5-point contact.

Too much flexion in elbows resulting in a movement more similar to a press.

Performing exercise with elbows placed at a higher level than acromioclavicular joint throughout movement causing too much compression on AC complex.

Performing with a partial or not full range of motion.

Corrections:

Maintaining a 5-point contact throughout exercise, and keeping a tight core.

Elbows should have a very slight bend in them, which stays constant throughout execution of exercise. If you are increasing the flexion in your elbows in the negative or eccentric part of this exercise then you are doing a chest press.

Throughout exercise in both the eccentric and concentric motion of this exercise the elbows should be 1-3 inches lower than shoulder girdle. Hands should follow a line at mid sternum height in the transverse plane.

Performing this exercise with elbows more superior of acromioclavicular joints can cause AC impingements.

Perform a full range of motion, which is when hands are in line or slightly below body in the frontal plane.  In other words your hands should be at least the level of the bench you are lying on in the downward motion of exercise.

If you are still confused and need a visual aid to help out then an excellent resource is the book “Strength Training” by the National Strength & Conditioning Association, or “Strength Training Anatomy”. Human Kinetics publishes both books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 4-2-5 Concept

I recently attended a seminar that was held here at BioMechanix. The course title was the “Gait for Pain Relief” which hosted by the California Education Commission. Our instructor for the course Sherry Brourman, PT. taught us concepts based on a book she wrote called “Walk Yourself Well”.

One of the topics covered I would like to share with you, as it is a simple principle to remember and you can literally walk away with this idea immediately.

It is known as the 4-2 concept.  The “4” part of the equation regards your feet.  Imagine the bottom of your foot or sole having four wheels on it just like a toy car.  While standing you want to keep all of your body weight evenly distributed on all four of these wheels on both feet.

The second part of the equation is the “2” which correlates to your pelvis and ribcage.  Imagine if I took two big woks and filled them to the top with water, if you tipped them in the slightest way the water would spill over the sides.  Now take one wok and imagine it is placed at the level of your pelvis and pushed in like a drawer. You want to keep that drawer level.  In order to keep this level and the water from spilling you are going to have to go into a slight squat initiated from the hips, causing a slight bend in the knees. This will put your pelvic girdle in a level position.

As for the ribcage, take a look at where your ribs meet at the sternum.  You will feel a notch that sticks downward towards your umbilicus.  This is your xiphoid process.  If you adjust your upper body positioning so that the xiphoid is pointing straight down in a perfect vertical line then this correlates to the second wok, keeping it level and utilizing your core musculature for support.

Putting these two concepts into play will make you stand correctly. In turn this will help you with proper spinal alignment, keeping proper weight distribution on the muscles and minimizing undo stress on the joints.  If you stand in a position where any of the two woks would spill over, then you are standing either too front or back heavy which places too much stress on the joints, prevents proper muscles from firing, creates muscle imbalances, and poor posture.

To further tweak this concept I put the “5” into the equation, as in the “Five Point Contact”.  If you have been reading my earlier articles then you should know what this is.  Finish off the stance by incorporating the “Five Point Contact”; by drawing your shoulder blades back slightly without disrupting the four wheels and two bowls.  This then creates a 4-2-5 body position.  Whenever you stand you should keep this in mind. Keeping even distribution on all four wheels, maintaining the two level bowls, and the five point concept. This is where the numbers 4-2-5 all come together.

Jon J. Torerk, CSCS

Biomechanical Breakdown During Resistance Training/Part 1

Without proper guidance and professional instruction most people and athletes have incorrect form while lifting weights resulting in poor mechanics throughout the entire exercise.

Maintaining a Five Point Contact is key to performing all resistance exercises.  This is a subject I covered in an earlier article called “Maintaining Proper Spinal Alignment While Resistance Training”.

Here is a list of some of the most common mistakes made during these lifts followed by correction’s as these are the ones most often performed with improper technique.

Bicep Curls

Mistakes:

Rounded shoulder position throughout movement with no scapular stability.

Head tilted down and forward and excessive upper arm movement.

Elbows placed against side of body, just above hips.

Standing completely upright allowing lower back to go into excessive lordosis.

Swinging of entire body.

Corrections:

Shoulders slightly pulled back and stable, the weight should be supported by posterior deltoids and scapular musculature.  This will help with preventing the upper arm from going into too much shoulder flexion or extension.

Do not place elbows against body while curling. This will create unnecessary stress on glenohumeral joint and result in tendonitis. Elbows should be in line with upper body and about a golf or tennis balls distance away from sides of body.

Position head in neutral, looking straight ahead and without dropping chin towards chest.  Tucking chin downwards will result in rounding shoulders and loss of scapular stability.

Stand in a partial squat initiated from hips, not the knees and keep core musculature tight throughout. This will prevent swaying of the entire body and help protect against lower back injury.

Work bicep throughout entire range of motion, making sure bicep is under constant tension throughout entire movement.

Bench Press

Mistakes:

Protracting shoulder blades at top end of the movement.

Flattened thoracic spine while lying on bench, resulting in rounding of shoulders.

Locking elbows out at top range of motion.

Bouncing bar off of sternum at bottom end of exercise.

Lifting rear end (buttocks) off bench while performing exercise.

Corrections:

Maintain a 5-point contact position while lying on bench.

Do not flatten spine out on bench. Thoracic spine should be in neutral position to minimize any back, neck, or shoulder injuries.

Shoulder blades should be in contact with bench at all times. Do not protract them forward.

Lower bar slowly to mid sternum, and lightly touch bar 2 to 3 inches superior of xyphoid process.

Press bar straight up without locking elbows out.

Do not lift buttocks off bench in the process of doing so.  This is a good way to get injured while doing this exercise.

Keep back of head in contact of bench at all times.  Lifting head up will round shoulders forward, which is not desirable.

Straight Leg Dead Lift:

Mistakes:

Not maintaining normal spinal lordosis and initiating motion from lower back and performing motion with a rounded spine.

Not maintaining scapular stability and allowing shoulders to round forward.

Letting knees go into hyper-extension, losing all muscular support in knees, allowing too much stress on posterior cruciate ligament.

Having too much flexion or movement in knees while performing lift.

Letting chin drop down towards sternum and rounding upper back.

Corrections:

Maintain normal spinal lordosis throughout entire motion of lift.

Keep shoulders back by maintaining scapular stability, without shrugging.

Lift should be initiated from hips, not low back.

Knees should have a slight bend in them to keep excessive stress off posterior cruciate ligament.

Head should remain in neutral plane entire time or slightly looking upward looking straight ahead.

Negative part of exercise should be done slowly in order to avoid injuring low back.

Barbell and Dumbbell Squats:

Mistakes:

Initiating motion from knees and not the hips.

Having too much hip flexion during exercise.

Both knees buckle in towards each other during negative and positive contraction of the exercise.

Allowing lower back to round and not maintaining normal lordosis.

Corrections:

Initiate the squat from the hips not the knees.  The hips are where the power comes from and the knees act as a secondary joint, they follow the lead of the hips.  Do not come up onto balls of feet.

Do not lean too far forward; otherwise this becomes a back extension and flexion exercise.  Imagine a cable is attached to the superior part of your sternum and the ceiling keeping your chest up.  Much the same as doing a squat in a 7-degree smith machine.

Keep knees in line with toes. It is OK to let knees go past toes as long as your feet stay in contact with the floor completely.   If you have a long femur and follow that ridiculous rule of not ever allowing knees to surpass toes, the squat cannot be performed within a full range of 90 degrees or lower.  We are all for full range motions.

Do not let knees buckle inwards or outwards of line of toes. This is a good way to tear a meniscus.  If you cannot control this than lower the weight load.

Start with a stance just past hip width for greater stability. Keep feet in position of which you normally stand.  As you master the squat then try a narrower stance, as this is more difficult to perform.

Maintain normal lordosis throughout entire exercise.

To be continued with more exercises in next article……

Jon J. Torerk, CSCS

A Quick Breakdown of Fast and Slow Glycolysis

Fast glycolysis is also known as anaerobic glycolysis and slow glycolysis is commonly called aerobic glycolysis. These are dictated by the energy demands of the cells.  If there is a rapid or high rate of type II muscle fibers being utilized then fast glycolysis is utilized. If there is a demand for primarily type I muscle fibers and oxygen present then slow glycolysis is utilized.

During resistance training your muscles utilize glycogen as its primary fuel source in the process known as glycolysis. This is when your body converts carbohydrates and breaks it down into glucose, and then it is broken down again to form a molecule known as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate).  After the ATP is utilized it is broken down into ADP (Adenosine diphosphate), which in turn bonds with creatine phosphate to create another ATP molecule.  ATP production occurs in the mitochondria of the muscle cell.

Aerobic System/ Slow Glycolysis: The aerobic system requires 60 to 80 seconds to produce energy for resynthesizing ATP from ADP + P.  The heart rate and respiratory rate must increase sufficiently to transport the required amount of O2 to the muscle cells, allowing glycogen to break down in the presence of oxygen.  Glycogen is the source of energy used to resynthesize ATP in both the lactic acid and aerobic systems.  The aerobic system, however, breaks down glycogen in the presence of O2, producing little or no lactic acid, which in turn allows the athlete to continue to exercise.

The aerobic system is the primary energy source for events lasting between 2 minutes and 2 to 3 hours.  Prolonged work beyond 2-3 hours may result in the breakdown of fats and proteins to replenish ATP stores as the body’s glycogen supply depletes.

The breakdown of glycogen, fats, or protein produces the by-products carbon dioxide CO2 and water H2O, both of which are eliminated from the body through respiratory and perspiration.

The rate at which athletes can replenish ATP is limited by their aerobic capacity, or the maximum rate at which they can consume oxygen.

Anaerobic System/ Fast Glycolysis: The anaerobic system refers to the ATP-CP system, also called the anaerobic alactic since lactic acid is not produced during it; the phosphagen system and the lactic acid system.

ATP-CP System: Muscles can store only a small amount of ATP, energy depletion occurs rapidly when strenuous activity begins. In response, creatine phosphate (CP) or phosphocreatine, which is also stored in the muscle cell, breaks down into creatine (C) and phosphate (P).  The energy released is used to resynthesize ADP + P into ATP.  We can then transform this once more to ADP + P, causing the release of energy required for muscular contraction.

Due to the fact that CP is stored in limited amounts in the muscle cell, this system can supply energy for 8 to 10 seconds.  It is the chief source of energy for extremely quick and explosive activities, such as 100-meter dash, weightlifting, jumping, and throwing events in track and field, vaulting in gymnastics, and ski jumping.

Restoration of Phosphagen: Through restoration the body recovers and replenishes energy stores to preexercise conditions.  Through its biomechanical means, the body attempts to return to physiological balance (homeostasis), which it has the highest efficiency.  Phosphagen restoration occurs rapidly in first 30 seconds it reaches 70%, and in 3 to 5 minutes it is fully restored to 100%.

Lactic Acid System: For intensive events up to 40 seconds such as 200 / 400 meter sprinting, the ATP–CP system first provides energy, followed by 8 to 10 seconds by the lactic acid system.  The lactic acid system breaks down glycogen stored in the muscle cells and liver, releasing energy to resynthesize ATP from ADP + P.  Due to the absence of O2 during the breakdown of glycogen, a byproduct called lactic acid (LA) forms.  When high intensity work continues for a prolonged period, large quantities of lactic acid accumulate in the muscle causing fatigue, eventually stopping physical activity.

Full restoration of glycogen takes a long time, even days, depending on the type of training and diet.  For intermittent activity, typical strength or interval training, restoration takes 2 hours to restore 40%, 5 hours to restore 55%, and 24 hours for full restoration to 100% percent.

If the activity is continuous, typical of high intensity endurance activities, restoration of glycogen takes much longer: 10 hour to restore 60% and 48 hours to achieve full restoration 100%. For a normal, or carbohydrate rich diet, it takes 12 to 24 hours to replenish the liver glycogen.  During training there could be a LA accumulation in the blood, which has a fatiguing effect on the athlete.  Before returning to a balanced resting state, the body has to remove LA from the systems, however this takes some time to achieve this: 10 minutes to remove 25%, 25 minutes to remove 50%, and 1 hour and 15 minutes to remove 95%.

An athlete can facilitate the normal biological process of LA by performing 15 to 20 minutes of light aerobic activity, as the benefit of movement and sweating will help in the elimination of LA and other metabolic residues.   Fitness level is another element that facilitates restoration of energy stores.  A good aerobic base can reduce the time necessary to replenish glycogen stores.

* Please note that I took much of this information directly from the following two textbooks:

Essentials of Strength & Conditioning, National Strength & Conditioning Association, Thomas R. Baechle, Roger Earle, Second Edition, Human Kinetics, 2000

Strength Training, National Strength & Conditioning Association, Lee E. Brown, Human Kinetics, 2007

Jon Torerk, CSCS

(With the help of some of my college textbooks on this one, most of the material I post are from the top of my head and the little amount of memory that I still have added with a little research to make sure I’m correct.)

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