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Lactic/Alactic Cycle Begins This Week

March 7th, 2020

We’ve spent three months developing our aerobic system.  Our aerobic engine is key to the enhancement and development of our anaerobic engines, the lactic and alactic systems.  Without a strong and well developed aerobic system, we will be severely limited in our ability to generate power, as well as, the capacity to maintain it.  The anaerobic system is only as strong as your aerobic system. 

What is the Lactic/Alactic system?

Your lactic system operates primarily on sugar (glycogen) and can produce ATP (energy) at a much faster rate than the aerobic system.  If you need to generate a significant amount of power quickly (:01-:60sec), then you’ll need to produce ATP at a much faster rate than the aerobic system is capable of.  This anaerobic energy comes at a cost and will cause fatigue at a much faster rate.  

Isn’t lactic acid bad?

Research over the recent years has proven that lactate produced during exercise isn’t what causes muscle soreness nor is it the evil chemical (lactic acid) produced during high intensity bouts.  To avoid a chemistry and scientific history lesson, the prevailing line of thought is now that lactate actually helps delay muscle fatigue and is a very important energy source. It acts as a bridge between the aerobic and anaerobic systems.  It’s a fuel source for not only your muscles, but for your heart and brain. During high intensity exercise, lactate is the preferred energy source of your heart, not oxygen. 

So what does this mean for my conditioning?

Conditioning comes down to how quickly you can produce ATP, how long you can produce it and how efficiently you use it.  There must be a balance between your aerobic and anaerobic systems.

If you want to work hard and fast then you’ll need a powerful lactic / alactic system.  If you want to recover quickly and recharge your anaerobic system then you’ll need a powerful aerobic system.  

Unfortunately, you can’t effectively develop both systems at the same time.  Thus, our training is segmented into cycles and blocks.  

That being said, during lactic system training, a key factor to aid in your recovery and development would be to institute long, slow distance aerobic work for the duration of the lactic cycle.  The aerobic work will help flush out the by-products of high intensity training and actually help you recover faster from hard bouts of exercise. We would like to see you perform 1 to 3 bouts a week of 30 – 60 minutes of running, cycling, biking, swimming or rowing.  Keep an easy pace with your heart rate staying between 120 to 150 beats per minute. The best time to do this would be be directly out of bed and fasted. If that doesn’t work with your schedule, it’s not a problem. Just get these bouts in 1 to 3 times a week. 

Once this cycle is over, we will put “the tip on the spear” but more on that later.  

What can I expect?

This cycle will last about 10 weeks. We will begin with testing our alactic and lactic systems as well as our Olympic lifts.  We will also have a secondary focus on building our strength in our Olympic lifts this cycle. We will still be performing the base lifts of squats, deadlifts and presses but not at the same frequency as the olympic lifts.  

We strongly encourage you to perform the LSD aerobic work as well.  

Final thoughts

Consistency is key.  We can’t get results if we aren’t in class.  If you have any questions or concerns please reach out to Coaches Britt and Matt.  We are here to help and are a resource for you! The aerobic cycle was extremely successful based on the testing and we are excited to see you perform for the duration of the lactic cycle!

Let’s get after it!

-Coach Matt

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