Anaerobic capacity is defined as the total amount of work that can be done by the anaerobic energy systems (ATP- PC and Lactic Acid system).
The Anaerobic energy systems can rapidly provide energy during high intensity physical activity, however it can only provide energy for a short period of time. As the anaerobic energy system depletes the aerobic energy system will continue to provide the body with energy however the intensity will decrease as a result. This is reflected by the anaerobic energy systems supplying almost the same total energy during a 200,400 or 800-meter race.
Anaerobic Capacity is often used interchangeably with anaerobic power, however they are not both the same. Anaerobic power refers the rate of anaerobic work, where anaerobic capacity is the total amount of work.
Factors effecting anaerobic capacity
Fibre type: Higher levels of fast twitch muscle fibres enables greater anaerobic capacity.
Gender: The anaerobic capacity in females is typically less than that of males. This can be due to factors such as lower muscle mass, strength and neuromuscular factors then males. Given this, even when adjusted to these factors males still have a 20% higher anaerobic capacity that may be a result of hormonal differences or a larger area and metabolic capacity of fast twitch muscle fibres.
(Malpeli, Telford, Whittle, Corrie, 2010)
TESTING ANAEROBIC CAPACITY
Phosphate recovery test
The phosphate recovery test is designed to test the body’s ability to replenish the ATP-PC system during rest between repeated high intensity bouts, and maintain the same performance level. The phosphate recovery test is used for sport such as Soccer, Australian Rules, Rugby and Basketball that demand repeated sprints.
Set up: A cone is to be placed on the starting line and then every 2 metres for the first 20 meters. A 20-metre gap is then left after the last cone and another cone is placed at the 40 metre mark and every 2 metres after that for another 20 metres, making the distance between the first marker and the last marker 60 metres.
Procedure: The Test involves 7 separate sprint efforts of 7 seconds in duration. Between each sprint 23 seconds of passive recovery will take place. The subject will start on the command “go” and after 7 seconds “time” will be called and the distance covered will be recorded. The second print will occur in the reverse direction, so the subjects should be back where the first sprint started at the end of the second sprint. This pattern will continue for the 7 sprints and recording will be taken for each. A comparison is then made from the distance covered in the first sprint to the last sprint.
It is expected that each sprint should demonstrate a consecutive decline in performance.
300- metre shuttle run test
Purpose: To measure Anaerobic capacity.
Procedure: The subjects are to run continuously between 2 cones placed 20 metres apart on a flat, not slip surface. Subjects are to complete 300 metres or 15 repetitions in the shortest possible time frame. The time taken to complete the test should be recorded and used to predict anaerobic capacity. Studies have shown that the 300-metre shuttle run test is a valid predictor of anaerobic capacity.