What energy systems am I using when playing football?

The energy system demands of a football game as whole are aerobic for the most part. This is due to the break in the action each play, and even more so if you are only playing offense or defense and not both.  What is important is the energy system of an individual play, which is anaerobic in most cases. In a series of plays you will have a high-intensity anaerobic burst followed by a recovery period. Your fitness level will determine if you can recover from the anaerobic burst in time to repeat the activity. The key when training for football is to train your body to be able create a high level of anaerobic power quickly, and be able to recover and generate that same power again.  This means your anaerobic system limitations are the determining factor of your ability to maintain a series of plays at a high intensity or not. Your aerobic system will help with the recovery between the series of plays and the endurance you need for a long season.  For football, both the aerobic and anaerobic systems need to be trained, however the method you use to train your anaerobic system is based on your position and how long you have to create the anaerobic power. For example, linemen access their anaerobic power for approximately 3-5 seconds each play and skill players access this power for approximately 5-8 seconds per play.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.