Pass the Energy Please Part 4 – The Glycolytic System – How to Train

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This is the fourth post in the “Pass the Energy Please” series. Go to our blog to read the others.

This post follows on from the Glycolytic System post. Here we will be outlining what type of training you should do for this energy system.

Following on from the Glycolytic System post we are aiming for the following:

  • To train our muscles to tolerate more before they start to fatigue and lose power.
  • To train our bodies to remove the lactate faster thus delaying the onset of the negative effects.
  • To train our bodies use this energy system to produce ATP faster

Training the Anaerobic Glycolytic System (or Lactic Acid system)

Training the Glycolytic System (or Lactic Acid system) is aimed at:

  1. Increasing tolerance of our muscles to lactate,
  2. Speeding up the removal of lactate and,
  3. Improving the rate at which glycolysis produces ATP.

Three words best describe this training:

“Feel the Burn”

This is the type of high intensity training that ‘burns’ as the active muscles become increasingly acidic.

The work to rest ratios used in this type of training vary depending on the intended outcome.

Improving the rate at which glycolysis produces ATP

If you want the system to completely recover and clear the majority of accumulated lactate so you can repeatedly condition it you would use a ratio of 1:6 (6 seconds of rest for every second of work).

The removal of lactate

A ratio of 1:3 can be used to create a greater lactate response and carry some of the fatigue into the next set of repeats. This helps to condition the body to clear (get rid of) lactate.

Increasing tolerance to lactate

With advanced exercisers (you might seriously hurt beginners with this) 2:1 ratios can be used to ‘lactate stack’ an individual.

This ratio causes a progressive accumulation of lactate as the very small rest interval doesn’t allow enough time for much of the lactate to be removed from the muscle.

This forces the person to continue to exercise with a lot of lactate present thus dramatically increasing their ability to tolerate the exercise.

So now we know what we need to do as far as work to rest ratios which will give us the desired training outcomes.

Not sure what exercises to do that will fit in with a dragon boat team? Never fear. Dragon Analytics is compiling such a training program specifically designed for dragon boaters.

Coming Soon


  1. Looking forward to the training suggestions. I am also hoping you will continue on with technique regarding paddle angles, boat run (how long it holds inertia) vs stroke-rate , and difference in hull shape among all DragonBoat types. Traditional vs Usdbf. ETC.


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