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The Importance of a Good Aerobic System: Achieving the Anaerobic Threshold

  • 3 min read

In the last blog I wrote,The Importance of A Good Aerobic System: Keeping You & Your Teammates Alive Longer!, we talked a lot about how the aerobic system is vital for the SOFlete Athlete, as well as the benefits of aerobic exercise for longevity on your central nervous system. Now I am going to be covering the Anaerobic Energy System that will come into play for the SOFlete Athlete.

Just to repeat from last time, doing HIT (High Intensity Training) isn't bad for you, just like everything else, but when we start overdoing something it becomes harmful to your life and longevity. We train so that we are creating a better life for ourselves while operating at our optimal human potential that our body is meant to do.

Asking your body to perform at higher rates of power, whether conducting a training session or missions or a gunfight with the boogie man, we must be able to produce these higher rates of power at any given time at any moment. We must train it, but the problem we see is that HIT is being overused and causing problems for the athlete long term.

So what should SOFlete Athletes do?

The Anaerobic Alactic System vs the Anaerobic Lactic System

The anaerobic system is used without oxygen, meaning it is the first system that is use to initial your first movement or effort. Keeping it quite simple, that first 3-12 secs of maximal effort is called the Anaerobic Alactic System. The next anaerobic system that comes into play is the Anaerobic Lactic System.

The Anaerobic Lactic System provides much higher rate of ATP up to about 90 secs at high intensity, but only kicks in after the 12 sec mark by breaking down blood sugar and stored sugar, which we like to call glycogen, before it leads to fatigue.

The fatigue I am talking about is the by-product waste that is produced in the body called Lactic Acid.

Everyone has felt this before: we are doing air squats or pushups, really pushing it, but then we start feeling like our legs are going to explode or that massive chest pump that maybe we can’t clear at all.

Yep, that is just lactic acid being built up.

By training to this point, we are able to sustain repeatable efforts while improving our threshold. This means that at the end of it all, we are able to flush the lactic acid out faster, but we must understand that having a good aerobic system will also result in clearing the by-product to be able to repeat these efforts. The anaerobic threshold is now taking effect, allowing us to hold a certain power output for a sustainable bout.

SOFlete Athletes and Having the Power Output to Handle It

How does this apply to the the combat athelte? It is really simple! Take a look at the job that we perform on a daily basis and know how we must perform. We must be able to produce not only the power but also have the capacity to handle repeated intervals. We must prepare for having a round shot at us, the ensuing gunfight, the sudden power output and ability to run from cover to cover at unknown distances while providing cover for a teammate with a high heart rate. While being able to move to the next position and with the same power output, repeating that over and over again without loosing to much energy and being able to recovery faster during those small breaks.

We define this as “capacity” at the end of the day.

Here at SOFlete, we take pride in how we develop the SOFlete Athlete. There is a lot of thought behind what we want for each cycle. We know that we shouldn’t be training the Anaerobic Lactic System every day, as this does take a toll on the CNS. I am not saying that we don’t program the Anaerobic Alactic System, but it is trained differently in strength and stamina protocols.

One thing I have learned is that training this system needs to be done only 1-2 times a week for only a short extended time, then only dosing the athlete with it every 8-10 days when we are not really focusing on it, allowing for optimal recovery. Doing this, we are able to get the proper stimulus and adaptations into workouts that are needed to improve not just the power output of the anaerobic energy system, but the capacity of it, so that we are able to be that much more lethal on the battlefield.