How Regualr People Should Train, Part 2


If you remember from last week I was discussing the quote below.

"I [also] think training like a Navy S.E.A.L. is stupid for the average person.  I would say [normal people should] PT like [the] infantry units, run, body weight stuff, “ruck” a little, a little weights and enjoy life if you’re not training for specifics."  - Doug, former Recon Marine

And as I said on Friday, I agree with this wholeheartedly and this is how I structure the training for my clients and my system continues to evolve.

If you want some background you can read Friday’s installment --->>> HERE <<<---

Today we’ll cover the first activity listed, Run

Now before you say anything… I get it, you don’t like to run but let’s not take this literally.  Your fitness goals are not dependent upon you running - there are many ways to increase your aerobic fitness.

With that said, let’s assume that the author of the quote was referring to building Aerobic Capacity.

I would argue on the a scale of importance this should be at the top of everyone’s list, assuming that dying is not on your short list of goals.

Let me explain a little about aerobic capacity and why you should care.

First, the goal of Aerobic Capacity training is to increase the heart’s ability to pump more blood with each beat, thus requiring fewer beats over all to deliver the same amount of blood.

To do this we need to allow enough time between each beat so the lower left chamber in the heart to fully fill with blood and stretch, kind of like blowing up a balloon.

Over time the more this chamber can stretch the more blood volume the chamber can hold, therefore with every beat it can pump out more, oxygen rich, blood.

So, with every beat more blood leaves the heart.  This means the heart can beat fewer times per minute but deliver the same amount of blood both at rest and while exercising.

Most importantly this lowers your resting heart rate which is often connected to a greater level of heart health and a higher level of aerobic fitness.

In fact, Italian researchers found that having a resting heart rate above 70 beats per minute (bpm) can increase your risk of dying of heart disease by at least 78 percent.

For most this would be enough convincing that Aerobic Capacity is important, but just in case here are 10 more reasons according to the Mayo Clinic here are some other reasons to focus on improving Aerobic Capacity:

  1. Aerobic exercise helps you lose weight and keep it off when combined with a healthy diet,

  2. Aerobic exercise increases stamina and reduces fatigue due to increases in capillarization in working muscles (your body creates more capillaries to deliver blood more efficiently)

  3. Aerobic exercise activates your immune system which may leave you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses, such as colds and flu.

  4. Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke and certain types of cancer.

  5. Aerobic exercise may help you manage coronary artery disease as well as help lower blood pressure and control blood sugar.

  6. Aerobic exercise strengthens your heart so it doesn't need to beat as fast. A stronger heart also pumps blood more efficiently, which improves blood flow to all parts of your body.

  7. Aerobic exercise boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the "good," cholesterol, lowers low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the "bad," cholesterol which may result in less buildup of plaques in your arteries.

  8. Aerobic exercise may ease the gloominess of depression, reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation.

  9. Aerobic activity may help protect memory, reasoning, judgment and thinking skills (cognitive function) in older adults, and may improve cognitive function in young adults. Some studies suggest that it can even help prevent the onset of dementia according to studies.

  10. Studies show that people who participate in regular aerobic exercise live longer than those who don't exercise regularly.

So, how often and how intense should you be training?

3 sessions per week is about right.  Your body lives the rule, “use it or lose it” and Aerobic Capacity is no exception.

Frequency matters.

Dr. Phil Maffetone, coach of high level pro endurance athletes and author of The Big Book of Endurance Training recommends that, at the top end, we train at a heart rate equal to 180 - age and then subtract 10 beats for the low end of the zone.

Using myself for an example my heart would be:

180 - 41 = 139 beats per minute (BPM) on the high end.

139 - 10 = 129 BPM on the low end.

So, my session should be a steady heart rate between 129 - 139 BPM for about 30 to 45 minutes or so.  This could be any mode of exercise like running as stated in the quote, but it could also be a lower level circuit of body weight exercises, a bike ride... whatever.The mode is not as important as he heart rate range and that you are in continuous motion.

This is not HIIT by any means, and it shouldn’t be. 

In fact, this is the type of exercise that the HIIT zealots bad mouth constantly and then quote cherry picked passages from the Tabata study.

HIIT does not allow the heart to fully fill between beats because of the excessively high rates and therefore does NOT contribute to increasing your Aerobic Capacity to the same level and is not a magic cardio pill despite what the zealots may say.

I’ll stop there at the risk of this turning into a novel.

Hopefully it’s starting to make sense - always training at a high intensity or like a special operator is NOT how us “regular” people should be working out.

In the next newsletter I’ll break down the next activity and show you why hardcore and HIIT workouts really are not all they are cracked up to be.

Helping you look better, feel better and live longer,

Coach BJ

PS - Registration for our next 28 Day Jumpstart Challenge is in full swing and starts on Monday October 23rd.  Unlike other program that try to pack the house, I only take 15 people to ensure you get the attention you need to be successful.  These are NOT cookie cutter exercise classes, this is personal training sessions in a team format where the training is individualized for YOU.  If you’d like my help and want to get on the right track from day one CLICK THIS LINK ---->>>> HERE <<<<--- to request your Personal Success Session and we’ll give you a call.