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The Pep in Our Step...


You show up to your scheduled fitness assessment, get your waist measured, push-ups and sit-ups evaluated, and then finish things off with a variation of the aerobic component. Yet, many people don’t consider warming up for the assessment, especially the aerobic component. The human body needs to be warmed up to get the best out of its performance.


The metabolic system is a combination of three energy systems: phosphagen (PCr), glycolytic or anaerobic, and oxidative or aerobic. When exercise is initiated, in this case the aerobic portion of the test, all three energy systems will be utilized to provide the body with sufficient energy for optimal performance. The PCr system will provide energy, but will only last approximately 6-10 seconds before the energy stores have been completely depleted.


Once depleted, the anaerobic system becomes the primary energy system until the glycogen stores within the muscles are not able to keep up with the duration of exercise. The anaerobic system lasts about 120 seconds and will continue to provide approximately 15 percent of energy as the oxidative system takes over.


Finally, the oxidative system is fully activated around 90 seconds and will continue to provide roughly 80 percent of the energy needed for the duration of the run, and longer if needed.


Activation of these energy systems can help explain the feeling of exhaustion when nearing the end of the first lap. The anaerobic system is slowing down and the aerobic system hasn’t fully begun to produce the energy required to run.


It will take approximately 90 seconds to wake up the aerobic system to provide the needed energy to complete the aerobic component. A proper warm-up will be more than sufficient to wake up the aerobic energy system.


A dynamic warm-up can properly prepare the body for the aerobic component. Once the 90 seconds pass, the body will be utilizes the oxidative system for energy, which helps prevent the onset of fatigue.


An example of a dynamic warm-up: 20 yards each

·         Walking lunge with upper body twist over the front knee

·         Quad stretch, alternating every couple steps

·         Knee hug, alternating every couple steps

·         Walking leg swing with opposite hand touching toe

·         Side shuffle with arm swing, down and back

·         High knees

·         Butt kicks

·         Carioca, down and back


Aerospace and Operational Physiology Airmen are human performance enhancement consultants and provide a multitude of services. Call 719-556-4185 to see how AOP Airmen can help your organization.

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