Observations and rumminations
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
I never realized how many individuals think that the duration of their exercise programme is the key to making progress instead of concentrating on the doing of the exercise. There seems to be a quantitative theroy over a qualitative one in the minds of many. Dr Tabata demonstrated at the proper intensity a workout as short as four minutes was effective and I know of at least two multiple variation DVDs which are built around that protocol.
Circuit training for strength has stood the test of time as being effective and also as having a cardio benefit even without a dedicated cardio component. Even armed with this information the Hamster/Gerbil club continues to spend copious amounts of time on treadmills and elliticals in an attempt to "burn fat". Recycled 1980s vintage aerobic dance programmes add mini weights to the choreography and call it "strength training" of "circuit training"
Muscles are strange creatures they demand to be challenged or they go into a state of suspended animation or hibernation. "Use it or lose it" applies to muscles as much as it does to any other activity to which you choose to apply the maxim. Strength based exercise programmes have benfits far beyond those directly affecting the muscles. When residents of a nursing home were placed on a strength training programme in a research study their overall physical well being was improved. They slept better, ate better, had better balance and coordination and felt more in control of their daily activities. The subjects in the study who ranged from 68 to 83 obtained these benefits in only six weeks of three day a week workouts. The did not spend hour upon hour doing cardio or for that matter hour upon hour doing anything, the workouts were of approximately thirty minutes duration.
In my opinion the maxim to use with regard to workouts is Larry the Cable guy's " Git er done"