Energy System Interplay

By Stephanie Couper

Surfing Pro Helicopter


When walking down to the beach to go for a surf, your are using all three energy systems, some more dominant than others, the most dominant in this case is the aerobic system as walking is a low intensity movement.

Once in the water you have to paddle out to catch a wave, this is using the anaerobic system as it has an intensity of around 80% and lasts for a good minute or two.

When waiting for a wave on your board, the aerobic system becomes dominant once again as your body uses this resting time to re-synthesize ATP.

Once a good wave comes along the surfer then paddles like mad the ATP system most as the short paddle and jump into standing position is of max intensity and would only last up to 15 seconds. Once standing the body would then run out of ATP and then switch over and start using the Aerobic system, if the surfer manages to ride the wave for longer than 2 minutes the body would then switch over into the aerobic system and oxygen intake and blood flow would have matched the intensity the body is working at.

Olympics 2012 - Women's 200m Final

200m Sprint

Once the gun sounds and the runners begin the race they are immediately using their ATP system, after about 15 seconds of running the body then switches over top the anaerobic system and allows that to be most dominate, this is hard on the runners as a bi-product of this system is lactic acid build up which causes a burning sensation in the working muscles. Once the race is over ( after around 20 seconds) and the runners stop, their aerobic system becomes most dominant, this gives the body time to re-synthesize more ATP and rid of products such as lactic acid.
Water Polo - Moment 4 Life

Water Polo

Water polo is a very vigorous sport, and most of it would have to be played aerobically for it to last over an hour and not have everyone completely exhausted. However, when it comes to an intercept of a ball or a shot at goal the ATP system would immediately become most dominant. Water polo is a very fast moving sport, making it more uncommon for the anaerobic system to become most dominant as your either treading water using the aerobic system or doing very fast movement to get at the ball or the goals.