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Posts Tagged ‘steady state’

Does jogging make you slow?

Yes and no.

If you only jog for a number of months then you will get considerably slower. I experienced this myself first hand lately. I started playing soccer again after years and years of not playing, aside from maybe one game per year.

I was still speedy in those intermittent games (so long as I wasn’t socialising the night before), no pace had been lost. My stamina had been very poor though, because I’d only been strength training, playing golf and watching my diet.

This year I wanted to also get great cardiovascular fitness as well. So I added jogging three times per week to my regime.

I’m starting to play soccer regularly now. Stamina has improved considerably on the pitch, but I can’t believe how much pace and speed I’ve lost. I can keep on going and going, but my ability to keep up intense work (work capacity) and speed are almost non-existent.

So I’ve learned from this and have added sprinting and interval work into my regime. My speed is coming back and the better work capacity should follow soon as well.

To be honest, it’s not a bad idea to build an aerobic base of stamina first, because first and foremost you need to be able to keep going and also it helps your recovery from hard sessions.

As disappointed as I was with my loss of speed, the fact is I probably gave a better overall performance than the days when I had the speed, but lacked stamina.

Even when slow, I’d arrive in goalscoring positions and get back to defend a lot more, and this gives you more chance to use your hopefully decent skills and finishing. I also had more in the tank than other players as the game wore on, and started to influence the game more and score more.

It’s not easy to go straight into a full fitness regime so maybe this was a decent approach. However, I’m happy the speed is coming back. It’s a great thing to have, not just for running, but it also hugely helps your ability in having quick feet for skills and tackling.

The plan I have now is to play two 1.5-2 hour five a side games per week and do one tempo interval session as well, to cover aerobic fitness. All other sessions will be based on skills, strength, speed, agility and flexibility.

I’m replacing all jogging with the games and a tempo interval session, which is running repeats at 75% of max for 10 seconds and resting a minute or until heart rate goes to 130 bpm, and doing this for 15 to 30 minutes depending on if it is a light or full session. This is basically aerobic training done by easier sprints and work capacity training. It’s not full out intervals, which are great for work capacity, and it’s not jogging either. It’s intervals for aerobic capacity and some work capacity.

This is what sprinters do for conditioning. They are afraid of jogging causing a loss of speed and so am I now!
However, I’m not sure jogging would have any effect on speed so long as you maintain your sprint and speed work. Some boxers and mma fighters maintain blinding speed with regular jogging on top of their speed routines, so that suggests it isn’t a problem if not done in isolation.

But it may be better for athletes that need maximum speed to stick to games and tempo intervals. It is something to consider, it may be more specific to the needs of certain types of sports. In soccer for example, it is all bursts and recovery, which is more suited to tempo intervals and outright speed training on top of games and regular training.

All in all this is something that needs consideration. If you want to build an aerobic base from scratch you are probably better starting with walking alternating with jogging and building up to jogging. However, if you also need or want speed, then beware that this cardio work alone will take all speed away (over a period of months).
Have speed work as part of your routine as well, if so required.

Why I love heart rate monitors and why you should too

Training intensity is crucial for injury prevention, optimal progress, knowing what cardiovascular system you are improving, how hard to train and many more things.

Heart rate monitors give you feedback.

They will tell you how hard to train and even how often. This is invaluable.

Based on your age and maximum heart rate you can work out the heart rate zone you should be training in. For aerobic fitness you will want to be staying in the 70-80% zone. Any higher than this for long periods on a continual basis and you run the risk of injury or burnout.

This will also derail progress because you won’t be recovering properly. You need to train hard enough, but not over do it.

With modern heart rate monitors you can even set the heart rate zones so that it beeps when you go out of a particular zone. This really helps in my experience. There’s no ambiguity.

It’s also very easy to stick to a progressive plan this way.

The best heart rate monitors I’ve used are Polar fitness watches. They are great. Also beware that most HRM’s on machines aren’t always accurate for some reason. You are better off just biting the bullet and getting a proper one.

Nowadays there are also Heart Rate Variability or HRV testers. These are really useful in indicating how well you’ve recovered and how hard to train on any given day. This is also really useful because it can be hard to know when to go all out and when to train easy. This gives you physiological markers that tell you what would be best. There is a sweetspot for the most effective training and it is enough stimulation to force adaptation but not so much to burn you out.

If you overtrain you are open to injury, underperformance or adrenal burnout, and this can totally derail your training until you heal.

I use a HRV monitor called ithlete everyday. It cost £40 and comes with an app. You wrap the sensor over your index finger and plug it into your phone. The app then tells you what condition you are in today, how recovered you are and how hard to train. It is so useful.

These tools give you a better plan, one that is more enjoyable, more definite, increases performance and helps you stay clear of preventable injuries.

I highly recommend making a relatively small investment in these training monitors that will give you benefit for years to come.

Why not all research, or rather, not all interpretation of the research, is created equal.

This article is going to outline why you also have to use your own head, no matter how much of a supposed expert the person you are dealing with is.

I’m not into dogma, because it results in anything from lack of progression/innovation to downright incompetence. I always encourage people to write their own notes on any material and get their own experience. I think my writings are very well researched and tested, and they do get great results, but that’s not the point.

Every system has to evolve, get better and more accurate. Furthermore, each person who wants to master a subject can get a shortcut to the gold, but they won’t have any mastery until they’ve put their own perception and stamp on it.

For one thing you’ll have to tweak it to your own needs, goals, body, personality, capabilities and lifestyle. I really want to teach people to be their own coach.

Another big reason I do that is because that’s where the real progress and understanding comes from. When you really know the picture of things first hand you gain an extra level of motivation and vision for just how far you can get. It will also safeguard you against dogma that is inaccurate. You get a lot of experts who just rehash stuff, often information that was incorrect to begin with.

Some degree courses are teaching health and fitness information that is actually based on a business model and not science. In conventional medicine, for example, you have a setup where Doctors are taught to treat symptoms and not root causes. Plus they are using allopathic medicine, because it is the only licensed treatment. That was a policy made by government lobbies. Law was passed that you had to pay $20 million to get ‘official’ research. You can’t patent healing, natural substances the drugs are usually based on (without the side effects), penny on the dollar medicines or any other processes by which the body is aided in healing itself. Without the patent you can’t corner the market and make the $20 million back, so no one is going to do that. Also only large corporations can afford to outlay the initial $20 million anyway.

Therefore the system is not setup for the best results and science, it is setup for a monopoly and one particular type of medicine, which as it happens is very ineffective at curing people, 90% of the time. I’m not totally against pharmaceutical drugs because they can be useful, and in emergencies can save lives. However, with chronic illness they are largely a business con. They are very expensive, usually ineffective at curing, just treat the symptoms, have a lot of side effects (sometimes even causing death) and create repeat customers. I don’t want to be having a go at Doctors because in emergencies they save lives. This dogma is pushed on Doctors and they are a generally speaking a conservative bunch by nature, highly technical, strong at passing tests and carrying out the current system very well, for better or worse. There’s a lot of the worse around at the minute, unfortunately.

And not many of them are doing anything about it, but there are of course some doctors out there too who are brilliant at curing chronic illnesses as well.

We also have issues with independent research because it’s usually anything but. In 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine, one of the most respected journals of medicine, made a startling announcement. The editors declared that they were dropping their policy stipulating that authors of review articles of medical studies could not have financial ties to drug companies whose medicines were being analyzed. The reason? The journal could no longer find enough independent experts. Drug company gifts and consulting fees are so pervasive that in any given field, you cannot find an expert who has not been paid off in some way by the industry. So the journal settled for a new standard: Their reviewers can have received no more than $10,000 from companies whose work they judge.

So all the money coming into research, grants, education, medical seminars, FDA is all tied to big pharma. Plus the doctors are overwhelmingly being given this drug treatment picture in their training, a business model masquerading as good science.

Let’s get into the practicalities.

This is a typical situation: Take cholesterol issues, for example. A man goes to the doctor. The tests come back and his cholesterol is not in such good shape. The doctor tells him the only proven way to reduce his cholesterol is to go on a statin drug. This happened to a guy I know recently. I told him there was plenty of research that you could sort cholesterol issues out completely by reducing body fat, inflammation and improving fitness.  You do this with a decent diet plan, a supplement or two like omega 3 fish oil and a good workout plan. He said ‘sure I did that the last time I had high cholesterol, because the statin drugs made me feel awful before that and I went back and my tests were fine, plus I never felt better’. ‘There you go’ I said to him, I’ve seen that plenty of times myself as well.

Essentially the doctor had him on a dangerous drug proven to actually block the CoQ10 pathway, which is an important muscular energy nutrient. And guess which muscle requires it the most? Yes, the heart! Statin drugs might treat the symptoms of high cholesterol, but it’s not addressing the cause, which is inflammation (which causes arterial damage which is then repaired by cholesterol glueing it up). Inflammation is usually caused by stress, excessive adipose tissue (body fat), magnesium deficiency or a lack omega 3 in the diet.

So getting to the title of this article, not all research is created equal. The research says statins reduce cholesterol. Blood thinner medication thins blood. But they are addressing the symptom, not the cause. And they have many bad side effects. Blood thinning medication is similar in make up to rat poison, I lie you not. They actually use rat poison in the army at times during emergencies, which is fine, I mean you use what you have at the time. However, someone taking that everyday, that’s BAD science.

It’s completely missing the big picture. Conventional medicine and the west is obsessed with details (left brained) to the point that it is easily duped by business. The big picture (using the right brain) and other important details are completely missed. The Chinese and other Eastern medical doctors find this laughable, and rightly so.

You have to get to why the person has high blood pressure and address that. Otherwise, just giving a drug is going to leave the problem unabated and health degrades. Often people end up on 2-8 different drugs per day and in a nightmare situation with their health. The result of all of the above is that illness is increasing at all ages in the most ‘developed’ countries in the world (WHO statistics). It’s absolute madness, not to mention the costs involved, which is just more money going directly from the taxpayers pocket to the rich corporate owner’s coffers.

This ignorance helps the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

It’s a total nonsense. And it all starts with dogma.

Regarding fitness, there was a study published about interval training being nine times more effective than steady state (jogging or similar) for fat loss. Turns out the reality in the study and not the notes, was that the participants had lost 1mm extra at nine different points of the body. That’s a minor amount better, overall, nowhere near the claimed amount.

When we look at what the research really says and test things out for ourselves we start to work out the big picture and the details. We have first hand mastery, not dogma from someone else, who may have their own inaccurate conclusions or even an agenda. Intervals are not nine times more effective, they are slightly more effective for fat loss. Overall, however, both together is even better because you can’t do intervals too often or you burn out.

So you can have research that is twisted up or ignoring other large factors, or not taking the big picture into account and more. Also, no one can fully understand you, your life, your circumstances, health, personality etc. like you can.

Listen to people who get results and speak sense, but also be your own coach! It’s a guard against the epic fail and it’s the only way to great success!

Is High Intensity HIIT Cardio Better For Fat Loss Than Steady State Cardio (Like Jogging)?

It is better for fat loss, but not as good as using both.

They both have pluses and minuses when it comes to burning body fat.

High intensity is great at releasing body fat and steady state is great for burning it off so that it doesn’t go back to fat storage.

Either type of cardio will burn body fat, under the right circumstances.

However, from the research and our experience HIIT is superior for fat loss because it encourages sugar to be converted into glycogen and put into carbohydrate storage in muscles. It encourages this more than sugar being converted into fat and put into fat stores. It also does this more than steady state cardio.

That’s not to say steady state exercise encourages fat storage. That’s not true either, it’s just not as effective for changing body composition.

But using both will give you the best results. HIIT is better for teaching the body to mobilise fat, and steady state is better at teaching the body to use fat for fuel. You can also do more steady state than HIIT, which means you can train more by using both, leading to greater results.

A lot of people are trying to suggest that steady state is bad for you. It’s not. Any bad results are due to overtraining, plain and simple. Too much of anything, too often, is bad for you. With steady state, overdoing it just takes longer to show up and does so in a more subtle fashion than usual, and that’s where the confusion comes from. Problems that arise from steady state overtraining are also nearly always accompanied by a lack of resistance training and excessive prolonged calorie restriction.

Using a well designed program and good tests to see when you need rest, will avoid this problem. We have a top quality cardio program in our book Precision Physique: Module 2 training, which covers all types of cardio in the one program. We also make sure you don’t overtrain.

If you do cardio correctly it is a very good fat loss strategy. And if you are strategic in using all types of cardio, then the results are even better.