In the first part of the Lactic Acid and Training series, Power Athlete shed some light on the theories behind the effects and purpose of lactic acid in the body. The scientific search for answers continues, but the strength and conditioning world cannot afford to wait for a clear answer! Our athlete's are on the clock, and their season will start no matter if a new theory comes out disproving another we all once thought to be true.
This series will continue to take a close look at lactic acid and its implications for building Power Athletes. We will introduce essential training components, the proper application to each and why other components fail to drive optimal adaptation when training in and around the glycolytic pathway.
Lactic acid accumulation during practice and games is inevitable. Athletes need to be prepared to perform at maximal velocity in this acidic environment. Many old school strength and sport coaches take the approach of more volume is better for teaching your body to 'deal with it!' Speed training then takes the back seat. Although the athletes may handle lactic acid better during games, they play slow...and their defense gets a conditioning test every game. This article will examine intensity, speed training and how our knowledge of lactic acid can be applied to building a highly effective program.
Alactic Threshold Training
Objective and Effects: The objective is for the athlete to train maximal speed or power in optimal conditions, for a distance, time or repetition/s that do not put the athlete into a lactic state. Full recovery is essential for each repetition performed. The alactic threshold occurs when an athlete’s maximal speed begins to drop mechanically and biologically, roughly after 7 seconds of maximal effort depending on the athlete. This threshold is initially marked by the release of tryptophan in attempts to slow the athlete down. Simultaneously, a pH change occurs in the body with lactic acid release, although the athlete will not be able to feel this until roughly 45 seconds of intense work, when oxygen is released in the blood stream. The chemical reactions and pH change made at the onset of the alactic phase will affect the Central Nervous System by inhibiting the ability of the nerve to send an impulse across the muscle cell to keep firing on all cylinders. This will slow the muscle down before it reaches its actual limits in which, crazy enough, death would result. So when an athlete enters the lactic state, their muscles are entering self preservation.
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Former collegiate lacrosse defensive midfielder, 4-year letter winner and 3-year team captain. Coached strength and conditioning collegiately with Georgetown University football, Men's and Women's lacrosse and Women's Crew, as well with the University of Texas at Austin's football program. Apprenticed under Raphael Ruiz of 1-FortyFour-1 studying proper implementation of science based, performance driven training systems. Head coached CrossFit Dupont's program for two years in Washington D.C. Received a Master's in Health Promotion Management from Marymount University in 2010, and has been a coach for Power Athlete since October, 2012.
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