In the last post we discussed the ?not so fast? exercise. Not so fast as in endurance exercise and not so fast as in be careful about believing that endurance exercise will enhance metabolism, help you lose weight, improve your health, improve your insulin sensitivity, and so on. For the vast majority of people, it won’t ? particularly if taken to extremes of intensity and duration ? like marathon running.
Although, in marathon-running’s defense, it is a great way to achieve infertility, risk sudden heart attack, damage joints, suffer from chronic inflammation, raise cortisol, suppress your immune system, suffer from frequent colds and infections, develop arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disease, lose sex drive, get rid of pesky muscle tissue, and age much more quickly including developing raisin skin. That’s of course if you keep doing it. If you suddenly stop, you’ll probably get extremely ill and fall into a deep depression for a while.
Ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes summed it up best when asked ?What’s the longest you’ve gone without running?? His reply?
?The longest I’ve gone without running in the past ten years has been three days. It wasn’t pretty. By day two, I was grumpy and depressed. On the third day, all I wanted to do was lie in bed all morning. This may sound peaceful to some, but relaxing to me is really stressful. By day four, I couldn’t take it any longer and went for a run, even though I had the flu and a 103-degree fever.
Basically, with the brutality of endurance exercise you enter into the same hormonal state as a spawning salmon, which have been found to have astronomical cortisol levels prior to their quick death following spawning. Shawn Talbott, in THIS INTERESTING ARTICLE which couldn’t be more on topic writes:
?If you took a close look at these just-spawned salmon, you’d notice one striking feature–they’re a mess! These fish suffer from immune system breakdown, infections, open sores, muscle loss and brain destruction. Why is this important? Because the same hormonal stress response and elevated cortisol levels may occur in your body when you exercise. In many ways, the salmon are a perfect example of the dangers of overtraining and cortisol overexposure.
For an almost foolproof way to lower cortisol and avoid its negative complications, read DIET RECOVERY!!!.
Now it’s time to peer into another form of exercise, one that is gaining popularity due to various exercise fads rapidly on the rise such as High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), circuit training, Tabata’s, Plyometrics, Sprints, and other forms of exercise that are more or less the antithesis of steady-state cardio and aerobic workouts that have dominated the fitness industry since its recent birth (very few people actively sought out a workout until a half century ago).
The commonality between all these types of exercise is that instead of being moderate in intensity ? like a level of activity that you can continue for hours on end without collapsing, they are extremely high in intensity and cannot be performed for more than a few minutes at a time.
Sprinting obviously represents the most high-intensity exercise on earth. I don’t think a single human on earth can even perform 40 seconds of sprinting at 100% maximum effort. If Michael Johnson, the current 400-meter world record holder could have, his time in the 400m would have been nearly 5 seconds faster based on his 200-meter time.
Sprinting more or less involves every single muscle in the human body in full-out effort. The involvement of all muscle groups also has a metabolic advantage which I won’t quite get into yet, but we’ll definitely be discussing that over the coming posts on our continuing conversation on exercise.
But sprinting is not really all that practical for a lot of people. It’s simply too damn hard, and the risk of injury with sprinting is very high. Sprinters are always hurt, and it’s not uncommon when watching races to actually see one of the competitors come up limping. Note, this is usually not chronic joint pain like with endurance athletes, but actual muscle strain from the intensity of the exercise itself. At the very least, you can minimize the impact and risk of injury by sprinting up steep hills instead of on flat ground, or running at 80-90% intensity instead of full throttle.
The most practical is Tabata training, or a modified version of Tabata exercises until you have achieved the level of fitness required to perform a full round of Tabata. Tabata was created by a Tokyo scientist based on a 1996 study in which subjects had greater improvements in both anaerobic and aerobic capacity than control subjects doing steady-state aerobic workouts. This video is a good example of a true Tabata session. Don’t be intimidated though if you are out of shape, overweight, incredibly unfit, or just an old fart. You could turn something as simple as jumping jacks into a Tabata session starting out, and go at your own pace. Take longer breaks in between, or whatever you need to do to make it work.
Remember, your exercise program must be YOURS, created by you, owned by you, making sense for you, working for you, catering to former injury or personal limitation, and so on.
Tabata training involves doing 20 seconds at full capacity followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times in succession. Tabata training requires no equipment, can work the entire body, and requires as little as 2:40 of actual exercise just a few times per week (although many people do several sets of Tabata in succession for a more comprehensive full-body workout ? common in the ever-popular ?Crossfit?). This type of exercise is so practical that it is worth an entire post, coming to 180 soon I hope.
The Little Method, which is a similar form of exercise using max capacity exercise (for 60 seconds) punctuated by brief rest periods (75 seconds), for a total of 8-12 cycles was developed due to a similar study which yielded similar results in fitness increase and metabolic enhancement (increased mitochondrial biogenesis).
Both of these methods fall under the broader category of ?high-intensity interval training? or HIIT. Typical HIIT is done on a treadmill or exercise bike by simply going hard for a minute or two, going easy for a minute or two, going hard for a minute or two, and so on repeated for 10-20 minutes. Most agree that it makes steady-state and long-duration cardio obsolete in terms of fitness, health enhancement, improved stress response, physique enhancement, and even endurance (to an extent)?? all while minimizing the risk of overtraining and potentially lowering cortisol and raising testosterone (opposite of long-duration cardio). This is, no doubt, a great secret to achieving greater muscle mass to body fat ratios and much better aging and longevity.
Circuit training is similar in that rest periods are minimized, the intensity level is high, and the exercise routine is typically short in duration ? lasting 30-45 minutes. Circuit training is typically performed at a gym with weights and machines, but gym circuit training has many limitations (they are often crowded and having to wait to use a machine doesn’t fit into true circuit-style training, which is HARD), and circuit training does not require weights per se. Certainly not a whole gym.
In fact, at home, with only 1 set of cheap dumbbells or kettlebells, you could easily do 5 simple exercises as a circuit repeated several times to near-failure with each set emphasizing big movements that incorporate several muscle groups. That could be:
Burpees with dumbbell press ? like that shown in the Tabata video but without jumping at the end ? instead extending the dumbbells straight overhead when you come to a standing position
Squats Curls ? Do squats, while doing dumbbell bicep curls each time you come up from the squatted position
Pushups or dips ? With all kinds of variations including asymmetrical hand positions, raising one leg, etc.
Abs/core ? Any exercise or combination you choose, from Pilates moves to using those cheap little ab wheels to more complicated stuff
Dead lift rows ? Bend over and lift both dumbbells like you are starting a pull-cord engine, slowly let them down, and then stand up tall with arms extended, legs straight, and back flat before lowering the weight and repeating the 2-part sequence
You could try to do a full circuit in 10 minutes for a total of 3 rounds and a 30-minute total workout, for example.
Anyway, that’s all for this post. Think short, fast, challenging, and variety when it comes to exercise vs. long, slow, moderate, and repetitive. Craft your own exercise routine, and be more cautious about making it TOO HARD and TOO GRUELING than not hard enough.
Ultimately, for any form of exercise to provide benefit, it has the be the kind that you can realistically do and enjoy several times per week (minimum) consistently almost every week from now until you go to the old folk’s home and rely solely on Checkers for your workouts (unless of course you are an old male, in which case inappropriate ass-grabbing will by your standby). If you fear and dread your workouts, or keep getting injured, or steadily notice declines in fitness and well-being instead of improvements ? you are not working out correctly for you, and you need to modify your program.
Stay tuned for the next blog posts on this topic. We still have a TON to cover on the topic of exercise, including weight training or ?resistance? exercise, ultimate forms of metabolic enhancement exercise such as Scott Abel’s MET training, plyometrics (which I mentioned briefly here, and can certainly be incorporated into quick interval-style training), and why dance, gymnastics, martial arts, many sports, and other highly-athletic disciplines seem to be so beneficial for creating a body that takes ingested energy and turns it into muscle, heat, and energy instead of fat.
Once again, I give thee the famous pictures of fitness icon Rachel Cosgrove on?invisible ab triathlon training (boo!) vs. a combination of weights and intervals (yea!)…
First comment??? No way!
Excellent examples of HIIT. I think it's easy to get stuck in a rut and think HIIT only applies to running or stationary bikes. Practically any exercise can be HIIT if done the right way. I have noticed an improvement in motivation and body composition since bringing some more intensity into my workouts for short intervals throughout.
I also really like what you said about making an exercise program your own. I absolutely have no luck in trying to follow someone else's program. But I do like to examine a lot of programs, learn what works, and then formulate my own workout. My workouts vary throughout the week, but I have been keeping a workout journal to keep track. That's really been helpful for gauging my progress.
I agree Liz. Any kind of exercise can be HIIT even, and especially running. I think runners actually invented this kind of training. When I was in school we trained to do a short race (under two miles) and we didn't do a lot of long runs. We did intervals, hill sprints, indian runs etc to add strength. We also lifted weights. Endurance athletes have been doing this forever. Sometimes it's called fartlek, which is hilarious to say. It is Swedish for kicking your own ass, I think. Running on trails and on challenging surfaces like sand also adds variety and perturbation.
Another technique is a style preferred by ultrathoners, who probably the ultimate in doomed metabolism. They run as hard as they can (not 100% effort, but maybe 75%) and then walk a bit. You can actually cover the same distance in the same or even less time as someone running slowly and steadily. Where the ultrathoners doom themselves is they run like this for entire days. You could do this for up to forty minutes without blowing your glocogen reserves and chewing into muscle.
I can't help but look on the guy on the right and think I've smoked past guys like that in trail races, though. The guy on the left I've never seen unless he was lapping me in circuit race.
Yes, I wouldn't go for lots of sprints and weights and strict avoidance of any other form of traditional "cardio" exercise like a sprinter does if you were competing in a long-distance trail running event.
Aurora's good friend is training with the British sprinting team right now which is pretty cool, and she said "sprinters are the laziest people on the planet!"
So funny. That characeteristic might have something to do with why you pass them so easily in distance races :)
Excellent use of the word perturbation by the way, which reminds me of a joke I created first thing upon waking up this morning…
If the king of rock n' roll is called Elvis Prestley, what do you call the king of masturbation?
Pretty good eh? Yes, this is my life and the things that run through my head on an almost hourly basis. Sad. I think it lowers cortisol though.
I've mentioned already that this is the type of exercise I find beneficial for all around health and fitness. I adopted this type of training through my years of fight training. The short intense exercises allow you to fit training in throughout the day in increments. 10 minutes here and ten there. Another 5 minutes later in the day etc. The key is to make an all out effort for that few minutes. Even in longer workouts (20-40 minutes) I break it up into intervals many times using an active rest for 30-60 seconds, sometimes 2 minutes. However I have come across those who see this as one of those "you mean I can get fit in only a few minutes a few times per week?" That isn't what it's about. As an example the Tabata should be a maximum effort for each 20 seconds. Intervals should be hard work, very hard. Also no one said it was "one" Tabata. That is just one interval. Work up to 4 Tabata intervals….16 minutes of hell. I even do my weight training in a no rest continuous style lasting ten minutes. High rep. A kettlebell can kick your ass in 5 or six minutes too. Sandbag training is another of my favorites as is the Bulgarian bag. Variety is a key element for me and as I adapt to things I change them up by changing reps or rest periods. Exercises, difficulty, speed etc. Ross training is a good place to find great workouts.
However I would not recommend Crossfit. For "most" it is just too much workload at intensity, throughout the course of a weeks time.
I like where you are heading Matt. I was starting to have my concerns that things became too lifting weights centric. Also a little to Abely if you know what I mean.
I also agree with you that a person really needs to formulate what works for them. Saying this I obviously disagree with JT, that you have to have some professional tell you what you need it terms of physical activity. The reason is ownership(I hate this word). What is the retention rate of a trainers clients?
When one should get "professional" help is if they have a serious metabolic issues, specific goals of advanced levels in physical appearance, and/or sport specific conditioning and training.
Though there can be some very strong arguments made for adults who have been sedentary for years to get basic training in movement itself. Disregarding his tragic adherence to a "paleo" diet I think Erwan LeCorre's MovNat is a cool approach.
Great feedback Tommy. I do think that multiple exercise sessions daily is great, especially if only doing one Tabata set – and yes, I'm aware that a full session usually comprises of 4 "sets" as is practiced in Crossfit.
But trying to be realistic and sensible to the greatest amount of people here, and the folks that really need this information, which are not those who are already actively involved in some kind of training, well-studied on various exercise topics, and lean. Rather, it's advice to help someone dig their way out of years of metabolic disease, overtraining, or sedentarism.
Matt didn't really need to know what you were up to upon "arising" this morning.
LOLz about the lazy sprinters. We used to mock them in track. They would do their sprints and then lie around wrapped in blankets while the rest of us were busting our asses. I think the thing is though that the recovery time is probably key for building muscle.
There was a study done of distance runners who tapered their mileage down very low and ran only interval training in the week prior to a race. The performance gains were significant. Then at a certain point the returns diminished and they lost performance if they cut their mileage for too many weeks. I suppose aerobic strength starts to slip without the long runs.
Damn, the Tabata guy looks like a frog!!! Oh, and it kills me that he's mouth breathing….if he did that with strict nose breathing he's be so much better off….he's loosing CO2 levels and that puts him at risk. If he'd nose breathe he's build up OC2 levels and start to oxygenate his cells for real!
Looks good though and kind of fun. I'll have to try it.
Ha ha! Thanks Nathan. Yeah, adding the "first thing this morning" probably added an unnecessary visual element. This was purely a thought though. Just a thought man!
Hey, whaddya expect from a guy who just joined a men's slow-pitch softball team called "The Master Batters?" Speaking of which, I probably should've addressed how sprinters and ballet dancers and gymnasts look good and all – but slow pitch softball is obviously the key to a 6-pack.
Great feedback though by the way, and yes, Crossfit seems pretty ridiculous. I imagine the dropout rate is pretty high there too, many due to injury.
Nikoley likes MovNat so I have to automatically hate it and tell everybody it's stupid, lol! Hey, it took me enough courage just to type C-R-O-S-S-F-I-T with some baloney schpiel by Robb Wolf echoing in the back of my mind about how carbohydrates cause insulin resistance.
Yeah, this girl who is training with the sprinters is a competitive 5k runner. The sprint training has helped her significantly and she has mentioned wanting to never run longer than about 20 minutes ever again, especially with the instant physique enhancement she has reported.
It's Martin Verbeke. I just want to mention that I used to do hours of endurance training but I gladly changed my ways 2 years ago. I won't look back again. Weight training and sprinting gives one awesome appearance, power, endurance and speed. And as my new GF's friends (girls lol) told her: "Martin has an incredible body !!". CQFD !! (ce qu'il fallait d?montrer)
I don't think I would look the same if running twice a day like some of my friends!!
But trying to be realistic and sensible to the greatest amount of people here, and the folks that really need this information, which are not those who are already actively involved in some kind of training, well-studied on various exercise topics, and lean. Rather, it's advice to help someone dig their way out of years of metabolic disease, overtraining, or sedentarism.
Understood, you're right…sorry. I wanted to point out that it's easy to get into (taking baby steps) and if you give it a chance, starting slowly, it is a great way to train. I guess I took the long way around of agreeing with your post! lol
Making everyday activities into exercise is a great beginning to developing habits of activity and rest.
Master Batters! That's genius. Slowpitch softball is the key to an god-like physique. Most of the guys in our local league can down 12 oz of budlight faster than they can round the bases. It's all in the training.
Telling an inexperienced person that they should create their own programs so that they can "own it" is not good advice. Most people if they are lucky wont get any benefit at all, and the unlucky ones will just end up hurting themselves. Real expertise is crucial to being successful in this area.
I really like that whole exercise focus that's going on here currently. Great stuff!
The hard part will be to figure out how and if to incorporate some of that advice in my exercise routine. I definitely think that I'm gonna increase my rep speed a bit, because I've been getting a little slow with that lately anyways and really don't like that.
Also I think I should add some sprints into my routine every now and then, just for variety and because I've wanted to do some sprinting again for quite some time now.
^^This is where stairs are great.Just walk a staircase till you feel like you cant catch your breath.At times I get so out of shape and can only walk up 2 or 3 flights before my legs and lungs are on fire.
Keep it up Matt,I think this aerobic conditioning is of great importance to achieving great health.A good pep story is about my moth and varicose veins.She had it bad and one day I purchased her a stationary bike and told her to do 15 minutes 3 times per week to rid herself of this ailment….not knowing a clue about varicose veins or if cardio would cure it.A month later the veins were gone.Amazing but true story!
Another story is about getting glasses.I have a co-worker who at 50yrs old got glasses the other day.After all the old man jokes were said and done I told him what I have been doing my whole life and still have 20/20 vision.I constantly look at far away objects and force my eyes to focus on them and then rapidly I look at a close object and force the eyes to focus etc.I believe that you need to exercise the eye muscle that contracts and relaxes…..probably having to do with keeping the eye muscles limber also.Funny thing is I havent seen him wearing his glasses lately…will have to ask him whats up.Just wanted to add that in. :D
^^The first story is about my mom not my moth.LOL
oh yes, "fartlek" means "speed play" in Swedish….lol….
It's interesting that power yoga includes regular resting periods in the form of child's pose between the groups of asanas.
good post… more rest, harder short sessions. it really does give you results.
i twisted my knees (sprained MCL and miniscus- both knees) and can never run/sprint again my entire life. i also cannot afford the surgery i need for my legs.
when STARTING a new HIIT routine it is SO CRUCIAL to be comfortable with your body, how it works/moves/bends or else your gonna hurt yourself, like i did attempting to sprint like a dumbf*ck on blacktop
please i hope this is considered!!
A few years ago I wanted to get into running and did this program on the treadmill of walking for 2 min, running for 2, etc., to supposedly build up to running a 5K. I did this for 20-25 min and then 10 min with 3-lb hand weights and occasionally the thigh/hip ad/abduction machine, and then stretched. I noticed that weight flew off and was confused for years about why this routine was more effective than once I could actually run for 3 miles straight. Makes sense now. And this routine was EASY and yet still worked. I did it 3 days/week.
JT, if you don't like Matt's plan, what would you recommend for a woman who does not have money for a trainer/coach, and doesn't care about being super-muscular? I don't think I need anything so complex, and I think you have higher standards on physique than most people. I just want to look slightly toned and am on the thinner side already, though would like to lose 5 lbs or so and really just tone up. I really can't see that my routine did harm before and I did that myself. I'm planning on trying callenetics now. And continuing my walking, stair climbing as part of my daily activity (I live in New York).
Oh, and the 2-min walking, 2 min running did not include anything close to sprinting. I think I went about 5.4 or 5.5 on the treadmill (I'm short so it's not that slow for me).
What are your thoughts are short-fasts (10-16 hours)? Should I stray away if I'm trying to lean out, especially in the mid-section?
and I was just saying with friends yesterday that, all this scientific stuff aside, jogging is probably the most boring form of exercise on earth!
@ Lisa E
"Oh, and it kills me that he's mouth breathing….if he did that with strict nose breathing he's be so much better off….he's loosing CO2 levels and that puts him at risk. If he'd nose breathe he's build up OC2 levels and start to oxygenate his cells for real!"
Some people just have narrow nasal cavities or they simply close, or they start to burn or whatever. What am I supposed to do in that situation?
Oh, and to give some more valuable input, something just popped in my head, that I wanted to share:
You know what I find really sad? That JT's advice to get professional help with any kind of any exercise routine probably is a very sensible advice for most people.
Do we really need to get taught sprints, bodyweight exercises and other natural movements? Probably yes. But that just shows how out of touch we as a species are with our natural movement patterns. Exercise really shouldn't be dangerous. We have been moving around in a variety of ways basically since ever and yer most people today cannot even walk or sit with the right posture (I guess me included to some degree). And most people don't even seem to notice or care.
Agreed Kash, but it does give off quite a high.
Thanks. I knew you'd approve.
Expertise is great. And people have access to all kinds of informational materials that if they are thinking about owning their own program, then they can really educate themselves and experiment in developing it – even if they are total newbies.
But the story of the amazing moth who gave birth to a wolf and then cures varicose veins with the instructions of "bike, 15 minutes, do it" is a good case in point of the level of complexity required for some people to get some results. Exercise needs to be rocket science for an average "Skinny Vinny" to become a fitness model. But it doesn't have to be rocket science to improve your fitness without getting yourself injured or finding something suitable and lasting.
I'm still not on board the fasting train, especially after reading about cortisol timing with our natural diurnal rhythms, and how skipping breakfast can impair that normal rhythm.
Yes, it's easy to go out and hurt yourself the first time. That's why this post is geared towards the simple and easy and big red warning signs were waved over sprinting.
Good points, but you've had several comments in a row now with no hyperlink to the Po-Tay-Toes song. Are you feeling okay man? Overtrained?
And also on that note, I will say emphatically that it's better to be totally sedentary than to exercise and injure yourself. Watch yo'self peeps! Maybe everyone should just start out on a stationary bike!
@Matt: Not really overtrained, more like over-schooled, though that actually makes training harder. I really have to deliberately throw in some rest phases to not smoke my adrenals too much.
Oh, and finally you at least mentioned the Mashed Taters song. You never commented on it, so I never was too sure whether it was really to the delight of the earthly ambassador of the holy potato.
Maybe I should watch that video again. It certainly would make me smile, which means less cortisol floating around in my body.
Thanks Matt. The cortisol is what I was worried about there. Especially given how you mentioned the e-mail from Russ Ferris.
I've been eating nothing but real food, yeah I'm doing Paleo but not restricting fruit and taters, for about a week now (no weekend Friday dishes). I'm excited to see where this goes with body comp as I'm still doing Krav Maga (2xweek), heavy lifting (2xweek, 1 lift per session), and tabata-like workouts (<15 minutes 2xweek). I'm not counting calories by the way, just eating real food to satiety. Hopefully I can go from my current ~17% body fat to near 10% by the middle of October (taking a vacation to the carribean).
I'm not convinced that exercise is necessary for health. A 20 minute daily walk and the working of looking after themselves, and any dependents, are enough for most people to maintain health. It seems kinda silly to me do these exercises. Boring. Repetitive. Yawn. For a different view check out naturalnews.com/028702_longevity_health_habits_.html
I'm missing the point. The link you provided is "promoting" exercise, not a different view. It says getting less than 2 hours of physical activity per week is bad for you.
"In the study, researchers examined 4886 British adults who were age 18 or older in 1984 and 1985. The risky health habits were: smoking tobacco; downing more than three alcoholic drinks per day for men and more than two daily for women; getting less than two hours of physical activity per week; and eating fruits and vegetables fewer than three times daily."
And you mention 20 minutes of walking…..in my book that is exercise! One doesn't have to do any of the work outlined above but then that depends on individual goals doesn't it? For health daily walks are great. For weight loss something more may be needed especially as your body adapts over time. Then we need progression. For higher fitness levels, then obviously we can go as far as we want or need.
Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha hahahahahahahahahahaha hah haa ha! :D
Yes I am easily amused.
Lots of great resources on the web for people to get free advice. Malpaz you mentioned women's training. Stumptuous (www.stumptuous.com/) is an an awesome free resource for women starting out with resitance training. The author has a bunch of tutorials about starting weight lifting programs and getting to the point where you can actually do a push up, a pull up and a barbel squat. She teaches you to do it safe and in stages. She is a trainer and she has trainers that guest post for her. She has a lot of ideas for people who want to train at home or outside of a gym. Also her eating advice is the reason I wound up finding out indirectly about this website so kudos to her.
As for teaching yourself to sprint, I would say you know how to do it already, probably. What you will need to do is get yourself to a level of conditioning where you can do it without hurting yourself. Running and walking at turns can help with this. Yeah, running on black top sucks. If you are lucky you'll give yourself a nasty case of shin splints that'll clear up in a week or so if unlucky worse will happen. I only sprint on dirt or grass. Twisted ankles can happen, but if I've warmed up properly, I can shake them off. Running on trails and grass strengthens your ankles so they don't sprain as easily. Running on the beach or in sand might be the best exercise ever.
Yeah Stabby, you can keep that in your back pocket. Good trash-talkin' artillery that makes a good point with just one word. You gotta love the Billy Madison-esque setup as well…
"Chlorophyll, more like Bore-o-phyll…. Right?"
Sounds good, although dropping that kinda body fat in 6-7 weeks is awfully tough. I wish you great courage young stallion!
I think a lifestyle that involves moving the body around and being engaged in some kind of activity is ideal from a health perpective, and have always promoted easy walks as the ideal form of human exercise.
A) that isn't congruent with many modern human lifestyles anymore (although a 20 minute walk is pretty reasonable :)
B) Some people really do want to be more fit, and able to do things with less huffing and puffing
C) Certain forms of exercise can have a medical application for those who are out of whack
D) Going from unhealthy to healthy is always a heck of a lot more challenging than maintaining great health, which I generally consider something that your average centenarian does. They are not faced with such formidable health challenges as some of us mutant degenerates.
E) Some people are desperate to lose weight, and this may be a way of improving metabolism vs. just trying to starve it off somehow which is typically counterproductive
Thanks Matt. I'm not going to force it, I'm just going to keep on eating good and see what happens. I'll keep you updated, I have about 50 days until I leave.
Stumptuous… Wow! That site is bad ass. I almost wish I were a woman.
I want my own veiny moth to train on a bike!
Love this.. I did run a moron a thon.. almost killed me training for it, but afterwards the high was too good to be true.. I started thinking I would do another one.
That was 1996 in Honolulu.
like I said, once I ran a moron a thon.
Wolf bearing moths RULE!
xx deb aka haggy
As a former marathon runner I cannot agree more that endurance athletics are NOT the way to Ultimate Physical Health that most people believe.
During training about 5 years ago I messed up my knee pretty bad… still can't run much more than 5 miles on it (unless there's a beer garden at the halfway point and I can recover a bit!)
I've been geeking out recently on the idea that "health" and "athleticism" are not mutually inclusive. Being an athlete, almost by definition, means pushing your body to do something it is not well-designed to do.
Athletics (such as marathon running) may ultimately produce more of a psychological benefit (sense of achievement) than actual fitness benefits.
When using my New York City Ballet workout DVD my husband commented,
"Say whatever you will about male ballet dancers, but I wouldn't want to get in a bar fight with those guys. They would kick your ass!"
Funny…it was shortly after stopping a mostly continuous stint of ballet/dance from childhood through young 20's that my autoimmune craptastic journey began…*dusting off DVD*
Just a few points…
1. Maybe for very basic stuff you don't need a trainer but for more advanced lifts like the olympic lists and some of the kettlebell stuff, getting some instruction could prevent you from getting hurt.
2. The exercise that Matt mentioned called the "squat-curl" is called a complex…combining two or more exercises together. The problem with complexes is that you should have movements that use a weight that is challenging to all the parts of the complex. Using a weight that you can curl really shortchanges the squat portion of the exercise.
3. The problem with Crossfit is that they vary the workouts too much. Your body never gets the chance to adapt to anything. You need to stick to something long enough to create an adaptation then move on to something else. If you never adapt to the stress of the workout, it's just constant stress.
4. I believe the original program created by Dr. Tabata started with a 20 minute warm-up, then the 4 minutes of hell, then a few minute long warmdown. Jumping right into the 4 minutes of hell could result in injury. (Going from memory on this…I'm out of town for work AGAIN this week and don't have my reference right now.)
5. I had read that if you had a world class sprinter and an old lady walking to the bus stop and the bus pulled up and they both had to run to get the bus, the sprinter would have a gazillion percent greater chance of pulling a muscle than the old lady because the sprinter has the ability to generate much more force than the old lady…just sayin'. OK, maybe not a gazillion…going from memory again. ;-)
6. Last year (before my home gym was put out of commision), I would do chin-ups every time I was in my basement. Then after doing this for awhile, I added a shoulder press,then a few other exercises. I made pretty good progress (getting a bit leaner, more muscular, stronger, etc.) until I was doing too many exercises like this. With the very high frequency training like this, it starts to get diluted if you try it with too many exercises.
7. I will have to dig up the reference when I get back home, but I had read that the best interval ratio for fat loss was something like 1:1.5 or 1:2, work:rest ratio. That same article said that the best times to use were something along the lines of 6s:12s. This was because that there was some type of enzyme or something that gets depleted by the work portion that needed twice as long to replenish. I'll have to find the exact numbers for this.
8. I think finding an activity that you enjoy will have much more benefit that just exercising. From what I have read, Jeanne Calment, the oldest person that has ever lived (122 yo) was not an athlete, but she was an avid cyclist in that she just loved going out and riding her bike for fun. Just as gardening was mentioned, ball room dancing would be another thing that would provide that double-whammy of exercise and enjoyment. I actually like to work out and from not working out steady since the end of last year (early December) I am getting close to getting my home gym in its new permanent home and almost all the other stuff that has been occupying all of my time will be done, so I am DYING to get back into it!
9. One thing to keep in mind as far as aerobic type training is concerned, is to vary the intensity and duration from workout to workout for greater fat loss and never going too long to get into moron-athon type training (I love that term!) This reduces the risk of injury and helps to prevent overtaining.
Sorry for enumerating the ramblings of a mad man. :-P If I think of anything else, i will torture you later, LOL!
Hey Matt, another question if you don't mind. I find that if I eat a potato or a banana during the day, I usually get a little tired afterwards (guessing I got a little blood sugar roller coaster going on). They make me not hungry anymore but not as alert at the same time. Do you recommend sending the calvary after carbs and just eat starch at every meal until I don't get the rebound lull? I have no interest in pricking my fingers to test blood sugar but I don't want to follow the old crossfit approach of starchy carbs only post-workout and that's if you're already lean. Starchs are the most satiating for me and I do feel like my muscles are more "full" after eating them. Thanks for your help. It would be nice to not have to IF to stay alert at my desk. I also add that Martin Berkhan from Leangains seems to only use starchy carbs peri-workout but then again he makes his eating window around the workout. Though on rest days there aren't any starches. Hopefully I can still get lean while eating potatoes everyday. People like Abel and Venuto give me hope that I can. A handful of nuts just isn't that satiating.
Just wanted to add that the usual suspects for insulin resistance are not here (high o-6, refined sugar, refined grains – heck no grains or dairy at all). I used to have a "bad" meal once or twice on the weekend but not in the last 6 days. Maybe I just need more time to heal up on good foods. It would be nice to get up to 50% carbs with some fat and protein. Close to the ratios that you commented on in a prior post.
Third post in a row, yeah it's a long train ride into work. Hey JT, I never answered your comment about 2 weeks back I think about why I do Paleo. I do Paleo with taters because when I start venturing into grains or dairy, I get bad headaches. Since going Paleo last week, no headaches. I used to take Advil like it was candy growing up. I try not to have any in the house anymore for sake of not needing it. Hope this helps, let menknow if you have any thoughts. Thanks for your help, always appreciated.
"I do Paleo with taters because when I start venturing into grains or dairy, I get bad headaches."
"I do Paleo with taters"
"Paleo with taters"
I really would like to punch all those people who say potatoes are not paleo, while at the same munching away on bell peppers, tomatoes and eggplants.
Can it get any more hypocritical than that?
Apart from that, I think it is reasonable to assume that our paleolithic ancestors probably ate great amounts of starch, but that's a discussion I don't wanna go into.
By the way Mark, this was not directed at you.
OK so I tried the 16 minutes of hell thing this morning with abdominal exercises. You know what? The stomach portion of callenetics is harder. Yeah, those exercises are harder than they look.
Stumptuous… Wow! That site is bad ass. I almost wish I were a woman."
I feel like you and Krista might be some kind of separated at birth internet twins.
Her "Fuck Supplements" article is golden.
Really enjoyed this post, thanks! Just tried the 'tabata burpees', but seems to be some coordination problem as I cant stop laughing. Its made me feel very happy feeling very silly.
Really enjoyed this post, thanks! Just tried the 'tabata burpees', but seems to be some coordination problem as I cant stop laughing. Its made me feel very happy feeling very silly.
Sorry didn't mean to reiterate! : D
Think back to the Zone diet, which I know you're familiar with. Along with the insulin-glucagon "zone." Along with that you have a delicate balance between cortisol and serotonin that also matches up. The higher the protein to carb ratio, the higher the cortisol, the greater the energy and focus, and the greater your irritability as well as adrenal stress. This can work in the short-term for fat loss but can lead to health problems down the line from cortisol overexposure.
Most people need adrenal rest, which is why a very high carb to protein ratio can be massively therapeutic, even if it does make a person tired (unfortunately, most people can't just take a nap when they are tired, which is the problem with the modern lifestyle).
I'll be talking more about this in the weeks to come, as I think eating for mood stability could be the most important way to eat from a health perspective. However, as many people have noticed on RRARF, what originally makes them tired, sleepy, and grouchy no longer holds true after a couple weeks of eating well.
As for you specfically, you've been training hard and dieting fairly hard for a while now. All of these things lower the amount of serotonin it takes to make you sleepy – as everything upregulates to help you relax every chance you get. It's hard to escape, but I'd definitely consider going very high-carb/low-protein at dinner time and really focusing on sleep if you hope to continue and have good results without a fierce battle.
Thanks so much. That was awesome! Great insights.
Mmm, beer. Ha! Hope they serve microbrews. That's all I drink ya know!
Did you win? By the way I graduated high school that year. You are such an old hag!!!
Would you tell someone with no previous experience in fixing cars to try and totally overhaul the engine on their old broken down car? This is not rocket science, but they wont be successful even if they read a bunch of articles online and read books on the subject. They will just tear the car apart and make it worse. Maybe 1% of the population could be successful in something like this.
For people wanting to get started on an exercise routine I would rank the options as follows.
1. Hire a REAL expert to design a program suited to your specific needs and show you how to do it properly.
2. Buy a DVD demonstrating properly designed program and exercises.
3. Join an exercise class. Cheaper than 1 on 1 training. Most women will find this most enjoyable because of the social aspect and group support.
4. Get a book from an experienced coach that lays out properly designed programs from beginner to advanced.
With all of the above i would still get evaluated by a medical professional and have them give you the OK before starting. Seek out a qualified person with experience to show you how to do things properly.
Thanks for the response. This sounds doable. So pretty much do no-starch Paleo during the day and then at dinner it will be as much taters or white/brown rice* as I can stand, a little protein and some fat (not a stick of butter but maybe a tbsp or two for flavor). I hope this helps as I've noticed a drop off in libido in the last week. Maybe not enough carbs/serotonin resulting in too much cortisol/stress hormones?
*would white/brown rice be an ok substitute for taters here? does white or brown matter?
Doing a few intervals on a stationary bike and going on some walks is not the same as assembling a car engine from scratch. Having to rely on someone's expertise just to get started on something so basic is really disempowering. Exercise does not have to be so complicated.
I wouldn't do no carbs, but be in the high-energy zone during the day and have a good pass out carb-fest at dinner time. Maybe a 1:1 carb:protein ratio during the day but 5:1 in the evening.
You'll probably find brown rice to promote weight loss better than white, a generality amongst all refined vs. unrefined carbs.
I wasn't planning on doing no carbs during the day, I will still enjoy assorted fruits. Good point on the brown rice, I tend to like it more anyways. Overall I will try to keep it to more taters than rice.
You are right, the body is much more complex than a car engine. Not seeking out help from those with real expertise is handicapping yourself for no good reason.
I think it would be a good idea for you to try out these programs and then report your experiences. Give an overview of these programs and then sell them on your website if you think they are really good. Maybe start out with the MET dvds. I think you would really like it.
Today,when I looked around the gym,the people that are running look amazing and the people jogging are fat.This says something for getting in better cardiovascular shape.
Today I did my weights and headed to cardio zone where I did a sprint on stationary bike for 2 minutes LOL.I got off it and decided to do a sprint on the treadmill set at highest incline and a speed of 5.Again I was shown how badly in shape I am.After 1 minute my lungs were on fire and I went into a smokers cough fit and I don't smoke.After completing a heavy weights workout I felt fine but that one sprint on treadmill had me leaving the gym feeling sick.
That said I also think being in better condition has two benefits.One is less risk of cancer since the higher oxygenated the body is the less chance of getting it.Second is highly oxygenated body fights candida.Matt,since your the man with investigative powers,is it possible to blog on cancer and candida with what you find?
Your right the body is more complicated than a car. But driving a car is far less complex then rebuilding an engine.
I second Matt's statements and my own;"Exercise does not have to be so complicated".
Watch children play!
When was the last time you had a car that could (and did) spontaneously rebuild itself every so often? I can't think of anything wrong on a car that you could just stick it in a garage, turn off the lights and 3 days later it's all better. That happens in humans. Where I think we get the MOST messed up is when we let doctors or experts or whatever go in and tinker with us.
Humans to cars is just a poor analogy.
(Oh, except I liked Jenny's from a year or so ago, you know, complete with the dumb mechanic voice.)
Agreed that Jenny is the most proficient at car:human analogies.
If you want to feel out of shape, do one of Jillian Michaels DVD's, lol. I think the benefit of hard exercise and better fitness is probably a better stress response, and lower cortisol levels throughout the day – leading to improved overall health, better immune function, lower blood sugars, and all the things that factor in in a conversation about candida, cancer, and countless other health problems.
JT and gang-
Don't get me wrong, I'm not discouraging a person from seeking the health of a professional. But don't think there this urgent need for everyone to do so or else they can just plan on becoming ill and getting hurt.
In fact, when 19 out of 20 trainers have got the training thing bass ackwards, I'm very hesitant about steering people towards professionals unless it really is a jedi master, like Mr. Abel. I'll be watching his MET DVD for the first time tomorrow (depending on mailman proficiency).
I'm the type of person that can just sit around all day and not lift a finger and be perfectly content. I think there is a word for that……oh yeah, lazy! I don't feel a need to get out and exercise. I played sports all my life and exercised way too much but the "want to" was never there. For the past 2 years (minus the last few months overfeeding) I've lifted purely for strength, probably just because of SMS (short man syndrome), but I do miss that. I feel good when I do any kind of exercise but I feel just as good watching A-team re-runs. Berardi talks about people's "constitutions" being different. Is that what it is? Am I born this way like my idiot friend is born to go out and run a few miles for no good reason? Is this tied in some way to body temps/metabolism?
No Johnny, I think it all relates the inherent superiority of A-Team re-runs over exercise. Plus, you pretty much get a workout watching it – abs from belly laughing, good cardio from elevated pulse rates during ass-clenching action scenes and so forth. Just remember to use good form.
I'm pretty content without exercise as well, but it does start to wear at me after several months – more aches and pains, little gloomier mood, etc.
Abel is pretty knowledgeable, but I think there are clearly bigger experts out there. In fact, for more advanced training, this video is much better…
Your screed against distance running is misplaced and your science is uninformed. Take it from me both a serious runner and a working scientist. All the evidence suggests that if you are talking about longevity that the skinny runner will long out live the bulky sprinter. Also your attack against cort is fairly naive. High levels of cort is not necessarily bad. It is a marker of energy utilization whether in stress or following intense exercise. The negative effects can be buffered and high level training develops that ability.
One other point…that cheap little plastic ab wheel is the GREATEST ab development tool EVER invented. Just ask Pavel Tsatsouline! (totally serious!)
@Anonymous (the runner) …Google "track coach dies of heart attack during run" and take a look at all the track coaches that died or had heart attacks during runs at ages like 66, 45, etc. Think of Jim Fixx, Alberto Salazar (not dead yet), etc. Marathoning doesn't provide super-dee-duper cardiac benefit. I see this all the time. If you think you are making yourself bulletproof…hey, go for it. Maybe I'll be reading about you in one of these someday.
…and that doesn't even get all the way through the second page.
That’s of course if you keep doing it. If you suddenly stop, you’ll probably get extremely ill and fall into a deep depression for a while.
I stopped distance running late 2009 after a year which included 5 marathons and two ultras as well as several halves and the training – I am struggling this year just to feel good. I don't have much energy – my head feels light headed and my temp is around 35.9-36.0C in the morning.
I have your e-book Matt and am giving the refeeding a go.
Matt, I just read about an hCG diet protocol and watched a video on youtube about it. Have you heard of this? People take hCG (yea, the pregnancy hormone) and they eat extremely low-cal (500/day!) to lose weight. It sounds ridiculous to me, but "Dr. Simeons" evidently claimed back in the '50s that hCG causes the body to burn abnormally stored body fat and permanently raises the metabolism. I don't know how that could be possible with a 500/day cal. diet. Any thoughts on the roll hCG could play in metabolism?
Oh, and thank you so much for these last two posts. I have become so discouraged with my 20 lb. weight-gain on RRARF that I just about threw in the towel on starch. I've had previous success with no starch/sugar weight loss and decided to try it again and worry about my temp. later, but after 3 days I felt lousy. Thanks a lot for ruining my low-carb bliss. ;-) Aaaaand a few days ago I also went out for a nice, long, "fat-burning" one hour walk. The result? A low temp, slower metabolism, and general feeling of YUCK. Yesterday and today I ran stairs until I collapsed and did jumping jacks until my thighs burned and my metabolism is back up and so's my mood and my temp. Interesting.
Barefoot Terd at barefootted.com has a great physique and he runs marathons and 100 milers…barefoot of course.
I even emailed him and asked him if he was on TRT at one point, because it is so rare to see endurance athletes with physiques such as his. (He said he is not using PED's, and I believe him.)
Don't stop posting such themes. I like to read articles like this. BTW add some pics :)
Damn JT how the fuck did we ever evolve as a species without all these experts and trainers and DVD's and Books around. I don't think Matt is saying just jump right into something and go balls to the wall. But this very thing we are communicating on has so many resources and videos that are free, that most "movement retarded" people can figure things out.
I guess in your eyes, my friend who was laid up in a hospital bed for 6 months is fucked since he can't afford a trainer and shouldn't be trusted to figure it out himself.
"Dennis, sorry Dennis, you need to stay in that wheel chair. Hey, what the fuck are you doing Dennis, why are you trying to stand up? This is insane, my friend JT said not to do this without an expert. Dennis, please for the love of God, look at your form standing up, its awful, you're leaning to the right too much. I know that is your strong leg and your body is instinctively doing that, but your so off balance, any more of that and you will truly cripple yourself. Do you want that, Dennis? No, then sit the fuck down!"
JT, I appreciate your posts but sometimes you just seem to be contrarian to Matt out of spite. Like you look through every post for something to nitpick at no matter how big or small.
Gabriel, was Barefoot Terd a typo? I just read Born to Run. If you haven't read that book, I highly recommend it. It is the anti-thesis to this very post, but still a fascinating book.
I started barefoot running after I read this book, and for the first time in my life I actually love to run and can't wait to do more. I have to take it really slow though as running barefoot changes your form and incorporates new muscles that seem to never have been worked before.
I don't believe in running for more then 25 minutes at a time but before this, I hated running for even 25 seconds.
To everyone, read "Born to Run" it's a great book, and will probably add to your confusion on what's best, but in my eyes its a must read.
"High levels of cort is not necessarily bad. It is a marker of energy utilization whether in stress or following intense exercise."
Yeah, right….must be a really good "scientist"
Like you look through every post for something to nitpick at no matter how big or small.
JT is really Matt. Like Born to Run is the anti-thesis to this post, JT is the anti-thesis to Matt…..Or is it JT we are watching in the videos?
Matt Yes all your replies are right and it will all depend on the individual. Maybe the point I was making is that more is not necessarily better.
And Tommy the point to me about the research I cited was that they used lower measures for both exercise and veg/fruit intake and still got good outcomes. For ordinary people (eg those not reading here!) this might mean that they only needed to do the minimal so be more likely to comply.
The thing about walking is you are doing it outside in the fresh air and light, these are health boosters in themselves. Also (if you don't take a walkman) you can practise 'not doing'. Whatever exercise you do you have to pay attention to form or you will injure yourself, you have to be conscious, walking allows your thoughts to come and pass.
I couldn't locate the comment, but I really agree with the view that pleasurable activity in the company of others, like ballroom dancing, is optimal for getting alot of feel good chemicals going, for physical and mental health.
To my chagrin since reading this post, I have been doing little bibs and bobs of exercise here and there, and feeling good from it!
I've just listened to a talk by a Swedish ultramarathon runner who has very different views on what to eat before and during running compared to many athleets. He talks about doing one of his fastest marathon when going to a gourmet buffet the night before the event. It was all inclusive on the hotel he stayed at. And he reported all the other runners went to the pasta tent.
The second interesting story was when he was doing a 100 km run. They were running 10 km lapses so he prepared double sandwiches with loads of butter and something more, though I can't remember if it was meat or cheese on. He put the sandwiches in a box beside the running course and everytime he ran past he grabbed one or two sandwiches depending on how he felt. After the run he counted to having eaten 13 sandwiches and having put on 1 pound.
He claims to have had very few injuries and says it because he has always eaten a lot of calories thus supplying the body with enough building material.
Agreed that Jenny is the most proficient at car:human analogies"
Aww thanks. But this post is where the human to car analogy totally breaks down. Want to trash your car, take it out on a lot of short, fast trips and no long steady road trips.
Oh my god there's an anonymous scientist on the board. Fun!
All this talk of A-team reruns is reminding me that I still haven't seen the feature film. Stupid PG-13 rating. As soon as it comes out on video though, I'm going to get my mom to rent it for me.
As for missing exercise, there was a birlliant New Balance commercial a few years ago, "Running and I broke up recently. It was a mutual thing. For the best, I think. But lately, I've been seeing running all over town and damn it looks good."
That is pretty much exactly the relationship I had with running over the years, until I discovered running on dirt. And no, a new pair of shoes never helped.
Dermatend, I've started doing some barefoot running too. I can't wear vibram five fingers so just go without shoes, which is very liberating, but also scary. Even running in my own back yard was perilous. Gradually, I've been building up to a quarter mile or so at a time.
Ha, I was just looking at your facebook page to see what you were up to. Hope Australia is treating you well. Spied on some old pics of your lady friend as well flying through the air. Pretty badass.
Entertaining comments, and yes the Barefoot "Terd" typo is up there with Jenny's recent "Cococunt oil."
I will say that I have been running a few sprints, and doing so in 5-Fingers shoes. I'm not a nerd about them though.
Good to hear from you though.
Don't let him get to ya man. Debate is the catalyst for all the good things that have come out of this blog over the years.
Wow, that was some slaying. Unbelievable. I also like this video from my most beloved vegan youtube star talking about how 4 of his cyclist friends have died from heart attacks…
An occasional burst in cortisol is probably good, and healthy. It's chronic overexposure that is the killer, which is what distinguishes marathon running from short-duration exercise. In fact, what I've been reading suggests that short peaks in cortisol may be helpful for reducing baseline cortisol levels – hence the improvement in metabolism/body composition with such forms of training.
I answered your question about the HCG on my interview with Sean Croxton towards the end of the program. ~ 59 minutes in.
There is a chance that weight loss, for the legitimately overweight, may be done with protein-sparing modified fasting like the HCG in a way that is lasting, but I doubt it.
That sounds kinda like Karnazes, who is famous for eating incredible amounts of food during his competition. He actually orders whole large pizzas and cheesecakes while he is running and runs with the box in one arm and eats the entire thing without stopping for a break. Plus, he does resistance exercise to maintain his lean mass and eats a very clean low-inflammation-style diet otherwise. His inflammatory response to the sport has been found to be incredibly low compared to other competitors and marathon runners.
Don't let him get to ya man. Debate is the catalyst for all the good things that have come out of this blog over the years."
Does this mean you're officially talking to yourself on a comment board? Because the blonde guy from Karate Kid called you out? Maybe you should lay off the cococunt oil…
That video is hilarious, I love watching Richard do his thing. I still remember having to watch his show as a little kid while my mom did his workouts.
I must not have been clear with my advice. i am not saying that everyone needs to pay money for a trainer. I am just saying that the success rate will be much higher if you are able to use the knowledge of someone who has spent their life obsessed with this one matter and has mastered it. This can be free, just go down to the library and get some books.
If you friend is bedridden in a hospital he will probably use the help of a professional physical therapist to be able to stand and walk again.
The average couch potato is completely out of touch with their natural instincts. They have no idea what they are supposed to eat, much less how to increase physical performance. If you put them back in the jungle they would not be able to survive in nature.
I am not disagreeing with Matt out of spite, I am Matt's alter-ego! Actually, i am a big supporter of Matt and if you read all of my previous posts you will see that i have always been supportive of his basic message and character. We just disagree on some details. If Matt wants me to stop posting on his blog, all he has to do is ask and i will not leave anymore comments.
This guy is a crack head about veggies and fruit.
RE: Personal trainers.
Everyone may not need one but for some people they are a help and having the ?choice? isn’t a bad thing. I have been surprised (shocked) at how ignorant people can be when it comes to diet and exercise. When commenting about the calories and or other junk in the cake laying on the table at work, more than one person has said ‘that’s easy for you because you know about those things. What things? The calories? ?yes? he replies. I say??it’s on the label!!! He replies, ? Yea, and you know how to read that. What? Are you kidding me? It is surprising how many people just don’t know. I watched a female I know who says she has been exercising as she showed me her routine. I cringed as I watched her flap her arms like an injured bird showing me her ?dumbbell curls. She learned from a book.
Me personally, I like lifting odd things like big rocks or sadbags and lifting them in awkward positions and at times tossing them or throwing them over my shoulder. Functional strength. (well, I used to?.not anymore. Plus I’m just a skinny whimpy bugger now?lol). All the politically correct exercises that the form police keep close watch on, I like to alter. The only reason you have to watch out for your back on certain lifts is because we have become so straight lined and correct in our movements that all the little stabilizer muscles and things we use (or used to) in everyday work or play get ignored. If (done correctly and progressively) we work these muscles then we can have a full and strong range of movement through many plains and especially the so called odd ones. Are they odd? No, they are functional. They are just odd to the form police. Done correctly and slowly built upon you can become strong in many directions. Lifting without bending the knees, lifting from the floor sideways, jerking. Even with conventional weights, bench pressing on odd angles or rowing in circular motions, curling in natural movements or while bent over etc.
?BUT? I can do these things because I already have knowledge of proper form and weight lifting etc. The same holds true for non weighted exercises. I apply the same theories. So in essence I am my own ‘trainer. For someone to try and start out working out and go right to these odd movements, they would surely get injured. ?Sometimes? a little outside help is a good thing and in many cases it is a temporary crutch to help someone on their way. They need a trainer to train them not to rely on a trainer!!
Running on the other hand is a very natural movement that no one needs to be taught. But that is just the act of running as far as movement goes. After years of being sedentary, wearing shoes with arches and soles that have probably screwed up our posture and backs and just not generally knowledgeable on running for health rather than out of instinct, some may need help. Otherwise they may feel bad after and not want to continue. Wrong gear, wrong surfaces, landing too hard for the amount of time out there over and over, not approaching hills correctly. All these things can easily be addressed in books and especially on the net but sometimes, for some people being able to ask questions and have that personal touch makes all the difference.
Necessary? No. A bad thing? No.
Haha, yeah 'Terd' was a typo Dermatend.
'R' and 'E' are so close to eachother on the keyboard.
I have not read 'Born To Run', but I have been following Ted's blog for yers now. He is an amazing athlete. I met him once in Seattle at Greenlake when he was skateboarding.
We talked briefly about his recent (now broken by someone else) distance skateboarding record, where he skateboarded for 24 hours or something.
He talked about this kid who was boarding along with him, but the kid was fuelling on Red Bull energy drinks.
Ted said that his favorite endurance fuel was malodextrin and soy protein. I am not sure what he favors now when on endurance runs.
He used to be, and perhaps still is, a vegetarian. Though I see he was working with Sisson, who is an avowed paleodiet fanatic.
"Running on the other hand is a very natural movement that no one needs to be taught."
Let's say almost no one. There's a guy living in my village who runs regularly and probably does so for years and he has ulra ultra crappy form. Whenever I see him running around, I just think "Dude, what's wrong with you?" I have yet to work up the courage to tell him that he has by far the silliest running style I've ever seen. Someone has to fucking tell him!
'Let's say almost noone. There's a guy living in my village who runs regularly and probably does so for years and he has ulra ultra crappy form. Whenever I see him running around, I just think "Dude, what's wrong with you?" I have yet to work up the courage to tell him that he has by far the silliest running style he's ever seen."
Lol…I know what you mean!! But that's why I said everyone knows how to perform the "act of running." If someone chased you you would know what to do without any instruction. Running regularly for health or fitness may require more work . But that is only because of the poor shape our bodies may be in from years of civilization or being sedentary. The guy you speak of may have crappy form, but you also said he has been running for years. Rather than correct him I might ask him if he suffers any problems. If not then I may want to learn his "crappy" form. lol.
Yeah, he could actually have some problem, but to me that seems unlikely. The way he runs (extremely bent forward and keeping his arms straight) just makes it look to me like he simply has no idea how to run, but you can never really know for sure. But whatever, not like it is all that important, better get back to discussing something more valuable .
Matt, what do you think about Fred Hahn's Slow Burn Fitness revolution? Or any brief, high intensity, slow motion workout protocol?
Spending money on a fitness program like that is retarded. Diet and exericse are superficially very simple. Don't eat crap, and don't pussy-foot around; whole foods work, and high intensity exercise works. If you're strictly looking for results and don't care about understanding, which is most people, spending money on a book/DVD/consultation that says eat beef and potatoes over fish and yams (or vice-versa) is stupid–same with sprinting vs weightlifting vs kickboxing. I went from sprinter to powerlifter to weightlifter (Olympic) back to sprinter. Certain muscles are larger with certain sports, but health/fat%/metabolism won't be much different.
Yeah, Tommy, weight machines in the gym have taught us all not to use those little stabilizer muscles. Free weights get back to basics and incorporate groups of muscles. I can totally see having a trainer for weight lifting.
Our cross country coach used to do a form check once a year. He busted me of habits I'd been doing for years, all of which helped. Madmuh's guy who leans way forward with straight arms, might actually be the same guy who runs through my neighborhood. Is he about 80 with a Karl Marx beard? Also he runs in the road and I'm sure that if endurance exercise doesn't shorten his life, getting hit by a car will.
Do you think the deceased cyclists that guy was talking about died from doping or from cycling too much?
Whenever I think of cyclists, I just think of grotesque cyclists in Triplets of Belleville with their enormous thighs and tiny torsos and arms.
Harley seems to think it's the performance enhancers, and he's probably right. But the cycling didn't help either. That's just the ones that died from heart attacks though, which doesn't include the ones that flew over guardrails coming out of turns or got squashed by a moving vehicle.
Hyman could be worse. His name couldn't be better though. Ay Carumba!
I always delight in your comments. Always. When you went out of town one time the blog was really missing something. I'm serious.
Less seriously, you are the air that I breath. You are the wind beneath my wings. You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
It's okay. I mean, it's probably pretty good for in-house exercise for beginners. The risk of injury is low. No risk of burnout. Some results. I like it better than most traditional exercises, like running on a treadmill or the stairmaster. The doorknob squats are one of the most excruciatingly painful things I've ever done in my life. Up there with 140-mile bike rides.
INTERESTING STUDY ON HIGH INTENSITY VS LONG DURATION
Someone mentioned "playing" (or watching kids play?) somewhere. I think that is a very good and easy way to exercise. Kids do it naturally in ways that don't need instruction. They don't attempt to relearn what the body wants to do naturally. They work on reflex and instinct and they just play going through all ranges of movement. I think that as we evolve and often times get crazy trying to "sell things," we start to come up with what we claim are better ways of doing something. "Now you can get the benefits of playing in a safe program designed especially for you." It's sort of like buying a nutrition bar or a box of cereal that makes claims to include Omega 3's and antioxidants and extra vitamins etc. rather than just eating real food. For general fitness and flexibility I think playing is a great idea full of variety. Run, walk, jump, duck, crawl, climb, go up and down stairs, bend, twist, throw things…
I think that is part of the benefit of martial arts even into old age. Many of the forms (kata) practice a variety of movements taking (all of) the body parts through a wide variety of movements. Very much like playing. Dance is similar.
JT – Just reread my first post, there was a lot of F-bombs in it. Made me sound a bit aggressive and emotional but that's not how I meant it, believe it or not it was more in a joking manner.
I actually like a lot of your posts and have looked a few times on your profile to see if you have your own blog. It's always set on private for some reason. Do you have a blog?
I too think this would get boring without you here.
Gabriel – Do you live in the Seattle area? I was going to take a trip up there to see some friends and get a 2 hour lesson on barefoot running from the Barefoot Terd himself. I was going to pay for the lesson anyway and can bring up to 5 people so your welcome to come. If anything its a great time to ask a lot of questions on what he is doing.
He really does seem like a cool guy, at one time he broke into the top 30 in the world for underwater breathers. Don't know how hard that is, but anyone who can skateboard for 24 hours and hold their breath longer then most people on the planet is definitely worth meeting. Let me know, I'll give you my email so I can let you know when it will be.
Matt – Yeah, it's been a while and I have been meaning to call you for a while now. A lot has happened since I last saw you. Ramona and I will be splitting up after we get back from Australia on the 10th. Crazy its been 5 years now and to think this is it still doesn't seem real.
I also may be selling my business for an amount that you probably won't believe. It starts with a 4 and ends with six 0's. I should know in about 6 months whether it will happen or not. Crazy times ahead.
Says a lot about Ramona though, knowing I'm on the brink of this and still being able to split up with me for her own happiness. She's the best woman I know.
Anyway. I'll give you a call when I get back. Wouldn't mind coming down to Colorado sometime though. I'll be travelling a lot more and more spontaneously now.
These last several posts have been a ton of info to process.
I especially like the Tabata exercises. The kids and I started doing them yesterday and today. Just one 4-min set a day. It looked fun and totally do-able, and it was! At the end of the 4 mins, I felt good. Today I'm a bit sore, but still feel good. This is wonderful because the extra 20+ lbs and 7 inches on the belly is a) really getting to me and b) makes me exhausted. Or something is still, after 5 months, making me exhausted. I've been walking and gardening and passing out on the couch every afternoon…
On starch vs. sugar, I had great energy and weight on fruit and nuts (raw diet) versus this cooked starch thing. I keep thinking about going back, just like half the girls here.
And the bellY! OMG!!! I know you've talked about why, but I have never had a belly before. Ever. Can I really, suddenly have that much of an a problem with insulin resistance?
But… after 5 months of eating vast quantities of cooked starches instead of fruit, and the last 3 of being lower fat (not low, still get shaky), my 2 weeks a month of breast pain is gone. It used to be that I couldn't stand for the kids to be near me the last half of the cycle, and now it's gone. Well, actually, it was more like 2 weeks out of 3, my cycles were getting shorter too. Not much difference in cramping, sadly.
And I heal much faster. That's good. And my teeth are stronger.
If only I could fit in my clothes, not look pregnant, and get some energy back though… maybe forcing a little high-intensity exercise will help. And the Tabata idea is actually fun, which (as we all keeps saying) makes a total difference.
I wish! That sounds great. Unfortunately I am staying in LA at the moment. Im sure the workshop will be great though. Ted is super cool.
I didn't interpret your post as being harsh.
No, I don't have a blog, maybe someday I will start one up. But, it will just be commentary on Matt's blog posts! I don't have a lot of my personal info on the internet because of my job.
After your previous comment, I have to say that it is pretty funny that you are going to pay an expert to teach you how to run barefooted! But, it does sound interesting, and something I would lke to do as well.
And speaking of moron-athon… we're home to the biggest one, the Ironman. Holy smokes, those people look like walking cadavers for the next week. We can always spot the contestants by the fact that they're emaciated and burnt to a crisp, with their faces covered in sores (from the elements). Yep, seems like fun to me.
Hey JT. Glad my comment didn't seem harsh to you. Hope you do get a blog someday, you have some really interesting insights.
As for getting help from Barefoot Ted. Personally I love getting help from experts, I get to train with Ken Shamrock, get private lessons from Vernon "Tiger" White, and many others, but that's because I can afford it. In the past when I was dead broke though it was a different story, I researched and learned everything through trial and error how I grew to love researching things on health and exercise.
Maybe I am a bit cycnical but I do wonder if HIIT isn't just the latest trend. I mean everyone has been talking about it for the last five years or so and dissing more aerobic stuff saying how it is THE way to exercise, just like in the 70s aerobics was THE thing to do and how low carb has replaced low fat. After years of different types of exercise my feeling is you have to enjoy whatever sport/activity you do… and I am not sure if people will keep up eg sprinting for years for pleasure? maybe :)
"Maybe I am a bit cycnical but I do wonder if HIIT isn't just the latest trend"
There isn't ever anything new but rather reintroduced. It's like a great big circle and every once and awhile something circles around again and then appears new. Hit isn't new it was done years ago even in weight training in various forms. Some workout methods are presented as "new" when all they are is the methods of other athletes. Even when the Atkins craze came about, my first thoughts were that weight lifters had been doing that for years. Go back and read Grimek or John Mccallum to see how they first bulked up and then chiseled themselves down later with a low carb high protein diet. Many supposedly new ideas have also been adapted from boxing and in more recent times MMA which in turn are a revamping of older ideas. Even the "new" kettlebell is really an old (Russian) method of training. However today there are many ways for a beginner to get stated and a lot of info out there. A lot of it depends on goals and some of the hit stuff may be too aggressive for some at the start and actually too much for those only looking for general health. Again I have to say, old or new, variety is best.
"And speaking of moron-athon… we're home to the biggest one, the Ironman. Holy smokes, those people look like walking cadavers for the next week. We can always spot the contestants by the fact that they're emaciated and burnt to a crisp, with their faces covered in sores (from the elements). Yep, seems like fun to me."
And Magnum looked so good when he participated. Are you saying that TV lies Hawaii Girl?
i love my kettlebell, thats a good exercise to do right? not cardio-endurancy ? i just do 3 sets of 50 as fast as i can while still holding a good posture and keeping my core/bum/hips tight and aligned. 10-15sec breaths between
ps- just started, only dont it 3 times
I want to learn kettlebells because as a child of the cold war, I have the secret belief that everything Russian will kick your ass.
Care should be taken with KB's and it would be a good idea to learn how to use it before you throw your back out or over extend/strain a shoulder
I hear you on the belly thing. It's very disheartening.
I keep waiting for something to kick in – whether it's exercise or diet – to get this THING off me. Right now I'd take twice as much weight in thunder thighs if I could just have the waist of a woman instead of a truck-driving, beer-guzzling, bearded fat man.
Low-carb got it off, so I know it's possible. But low-carb is not my lifelong solution. So, like I said, disheartening.
I like your style, the fact that your site is a little bit different makes it so interesting, I get fed up of seeing same-old-same-old all of the time.
FYI, a buddy gave me these part numbers for covers for the Makers of Wanderlodge edition:
23 Flying Cloud 197npo40
27 FB Flying Cloud 348uhj31
30 Flying Cloud 685jpt12
BTW – I bought a nice one for ~$200 from rvcoversusa.com before this and it fits pretty well.
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