What is Aerobic Metabolism?

What is Aerobic Metabolism? ATP is the body’s energy currency of choice. Once ATP is broken down into ADP+P, ATP needs to be regenerated. This is done in three ways: the Phosphocreatine system, anaerobic glycolysis, and aerobic glycolysis. The first two do not need oxygen, can produce ATP rather quickly, but cannot produce ATP for a long period of time. Enter oxygen.

The aerobic glycolysis system takes some time to get ramped up (as a side note, none of the ATP regeneration systems is ever off, the level of activity determines which system is being used), but when it does, ATP production takes off.

If you remember, anaerobic glycolysis produced two net ATPs (it actually makes 4, but two are needed to get the process started). Aerobic glycolysis produces 36 ATP for every glucose is breaks down.

Think of aerobic glycolysis as your recovery system. During a hard set of leg presses, your phosphocreatine system will provide a majority of the energy you need to complete the set. When the set is over, the intensity levels go do down and your aerobic metabolism is able to shoulder the load!



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