We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Wednesday, June 10. 2020
We've written about this topic in the past, but it's worth reviewing the misconceptions about cardio fitness and cardio exercise. (Remember, in our view, "cardio" should be only 1/3 of your exercise program beacuse it does little for muscle and bone strength, and little for athleticism.)
Any exercise, from walking to weight-lifting, makes more demand on heart function than sitting or lying down. So cardio exercise has a spectrum from very light to maximum intensity. Simply put, the core purpose of "cardio" exercise is to maintain or upgrade heart function (cardiac condition is measured by things like a Cardiac Stress Test with Echo, Stroke Volume, Cardiac Output, cardiac vasculature, and left ventricle size to some extent). Like weight-lifting for skeletal muscle, it requires stress, relative to your conditioning and medical condition.
With lighter stresses (eg non-sprint, endurance-oriented swimming laps, jogging, rowing, stair machine, elliptical, etc) we are putting our hearts to some use, but we are working more on general time endurance than cardio. (Lots of people do those things thinking that they involve fat-burning, but don't count on that to work if you do 1 hour/day.) For people who are not training for specific goals, building endurance is great for life. Nobody wants to slow down or feel tired during ordinary recreational activities like sports or hiking. These non-sprint exercises aim for around 70% of one's max heart rate to make it worth your precious time.
The higher the physical demand - the intensity of an exertion for your level of fitness - the more you are training your heart rather than just using it. The highest levels of exertion (say, with sets of deadlifts near 80% of your max, or with 30-second sprints) are anaerobic and can push your heart rate to 90% of your max. That heart-pounding rest time or slow time is to catch up on oxygen.
For endurance, an hour of lap swimming, cycling, jogging, elliptical, stair machine, ski machine, rower, etc at around 70% of your max heart rate is where you ought to be, if in decent health. Over time, you will need to raise the speed to get to those heart rates. These exercises do nothing much to build muscle or bone strength.
For maximum cardiac fitness (with bonus endurance benefits as well), mixing in sprints which get your HR to 80-90% of your max should be included. Bursts of intensity. In the Maggie's Fitness for Life program, the other good sources of intense cardiac stress are the powerlifts and calisthenics. Ideally, some of all of those because there is more to fitness than cardiac fitness. Fitness is a package deal.
An interesting detail is that to up your game in any area of exertion, it's always a good idea to do what you do not usually do. Explosive linebackers get better with distance running, distance runners get better with weights and sprints, heavy lifters get better with calisthenics. Balance.
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I've never seen anyone running on a treadmill with a huge smile. Most of the time its a grimace. I also notice fitness models never sweat.
"Explosive linebackers get better with distance running"
Get better at what, exactly?
Holy $h!t - we agree on something!!!
This "experiment" was actually conducted in the late 60s with the Gree Bay Packers when Phil Bengtson took over for Vince Lombardi and instituted "aerobics" for conditioning. Of course, there were many other factors that contributed to the demise of the Packers - Lombardi's offensive genius was gone (Bengtson was a defensive genius, but his prowess as an offensive mind is questionable), the players were aged, etc.....but, as I've stated before, it has a great deal to do with economics and which energy system is needed for your particular sport. If the average pro football play lasts 6 seconds, spending time on aerobic fitness DETRACTS from your goal.
The only gym in my town was locked up last week by the sheriff. That leaves only my Schwinn Airdyne for me.
I don't want to make it appear as if I'm trying to give Dr. Bliss a hard time, but she's supposed to post comments on psychology, not exercise. An inappropriate post isn't worth much. She might as well talk about tulips.
Strength training builds endurance while endurance training kills strength. Unless you're a dedicated endurance athlete, strength is a much more useful attribute in day to day living.
Here's the research-based article about the difference between high reps and low reps training methods. Read the article to know which training type you should do and why.
I have a strong sense that all of these "studies" regarding what training is best are about as reliable as all of the expert proclomations regarding COVID (masks don't work, yes they do, well, maybe).
Use your common sense. Exercising is better than not exercising. If you are walking and moving your 150 pound body (or whatever) over several miles, you're going to maintain bone density, at least on your legs.
If you do what you enjoy most, you're most likely to keep at it, and that's what's most important
Spend less time worrying about how and what you are doing and more time just doing. Americans are so fat we have no time for anything else.
another comment/question that i've wondered about. Maybe because I'm weak relative to my overall fitness, but i find it very difficult to get my heart rate up anywhere near my Max HR by lifting, even what for me is heavy. (I can easily get into the 170s running, can't get over 120 lifting). Does anyone else have that problem?
When I do a heavy set of five squats or deadlifts, my Apple Watch shows my heart rate hitting the low 150s, the same as when I do HIIT on the rower or pushing a sled. As I'm 59, that's about 94% of my (calculated) max heart rate. For reference, I'm 5' 10", 215 lbs, and my squat workout yesterday was three sets of five at 285 lbs (slowly working my way back up as my squats are still 60 lbs down from my last pre-shutdown workout in March).
What's your age, height, weight and what weight are you lifting for how many sets and reps?
I'm 62; 5'11 and 178. My MHR is still in the mid 180s (resting is 48-50 generally). So, I'm very fit for my age on those metrics. But, squatting with 120 and deadlifting 150 is about it for me (yeah i know its lame, and i don't do it regularly, etc).
Again according to my Apple Watch, my resting heart rate is in the mid-50's which, according to various sources on the internet, puts me in the Athlete range. This despite not doing any cardio, any calisthenics, or any endurance work other than HIIT at most two times a week, in addition to my 2-3 lifting workouts a week. Sorry, Bird Dog/Dr. Bliss, no cardio, calisthenics, or endurance work for me.
Just curious, why is your RHR of a higher priority than your squat and deadlift? There's a lot of room for improvement in your strength numbers.