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With continued high intensity exercise, there is a build-up of lactic acid in the working muscles.If the rate of build-up is greater than the rate of removal then the muscles become fatigued and muscle contraction becomes impaired.
ATP → ADP P energy (for movement) Carbohydrate/fat/protein → carbon dioxide water energy (to resynthesize ATP) ADP P energy → ATP The aerobic system yields a large amount of ATP and is used for all light continuous exercise and activities.
This system produces energy at a much slower pace than anaerobic systems, and is much too slow for intensive or explosive activities.
This extra oxygen is known as the oxygen debt, and it helps to remove the build-up of lactic acid, replenish the stores of oxygen in the body, and build up the ATP and creatine phosphate stores in the muscles.
Energy production is both time and intensity related.
Exercise must be stopped or intensity reduced to remove lactic acid.
This system produces energy when muscles need to keep moving over a prolonged period of time at a steady pace.
These three energy systems do not provide energy for physical activity – only ATP can do this – they provide energy to restore ADP into ATP.
(anaerobic = without oxygen) These systems produce energy when muscles need to move quickly or forcefully, but do not need to keep going for very long.
The aerobic process takes place in mitochondria – specialised structures within the muscle cell.
They are like factories containing special enzymes which work on the oxygen.