In almost every sport, being a more explosive athlete means having the ability to outwork, outrun, and outperform the competition from 3, 2, 1, GO!
To many, power is seen as a measure of explosive strength. But power doesn’t just depend on how strong or how fast you are; it also depends on how well conditioned your energy systems are to allow you to produce power when it counts.
The body has three principle systems that it uses to produce the energy needed to function in every capacity: anaerobic-alactic, anaerobic-lactic, and aerobic. When we draw upon our explosive power, we’re tapping into the alactic energy system—and the alactic energy system is incredibly powerful. It provides us with the fuel we need for intense bursts of energy lasting anywhere between 6-12 seconds.
The body’s energy currency is ATP and the alactic energy system is able to create ATP very quickly. In addition to improving your alactic power, maximizing your alactic capacity promotes the increased storage of fuel. In doing so, you’re able to do more work more often.
Think of the power component as the size of the engine. The bigger the engine, the more horsepower it can create. Think of the capacity as the size of the gas tank. The larger the gas tank, the longer the system can produce energy.
Athletes that never seem to fatigue have the ability to more effectively utilize their energy and recovery systems. As CrossFitters, training our alactic power output will improve just how efficient we can be during the 6-12 seconds this energy system is used. For example, during a 100-meter sprint workout or a 1RM Back Squat.
If you want to maintain a high level of intensity through every WOD, it’s critical to develop your energy systems appropriately. Targeting the alactic system means training the 6-12 second period it is used. Consider warm-ups and workouts designed to improve the alactic threshold such as tabata protocols and short burst intervals.