Monday, May 23, 2016
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions about training. First, why might cycling feel harder than running at the same HR, and what should be done about it? Second, is it safe or smart for a footballer to try to become a fat-burning beast when he’s currently in-season? And finally, what do I think about the relatively new Orange Theory gyms? Are they good, bad, or both?
I was wondering if you could answer this (or maybe answer in a blog post). I got a copy of primal endurance a couple of months ago and love it, great book. I’ve been running using Dr Maffetone 180 formula for a fair while (with good results whilst running), I also use the formula whilst hiking on trails and using gym equipment like the eliptical trainer. However I used to do a lot of cycling years ago and recently bought a bike as a different form of training for days when I don’t want to run/hike or use the gym. However when I use the 180 for cycling it feels A LOT more difficult for the same HR – 130 on the bike feels like 150 running for example. High 140s/low 150s – quads are burning whereas running at that same rate feels easy. Also my HR jumps around so much more whilst on the bike compared to other forms of training – I know this is most likely due to traffic, hills, bike handling on different surfaces etc.
Back in the day, I always dropped 10 beats on the bike to get the same “effort” I got running. That’s when I was pushing myself and, quite frankly, breaking my body down.
For Primal Endurance, you use the same heart rate whatever exercise you are doing. Swimming being so easy on the body for example, you can bang out intervals working really hard at the maximum aerobic heart rate. When you swim, the water keeps you cool, supports your body weight, and reduces impact. Whereas with running you are just jogging to get that same heart rate. This just reveals that due to the weight bearing, temperature elevating, overall difficult nature of running or cycling in comparison to swimming, the sensations of effort/degree of perceived difficulty are different. In terms of recovery, you recover the same from a casual jog as you would from a festive interval workout in the pool because the latter is so much “easier.”
On a related note, the question often comes up about being allowed to bump up your aerobic limit number as you get in better shape. This is exactly what you shouldn’t do. Going faster and longer at the same heart rate and perceived effort means you’re improving your fitness in a safe, effective way. You don’t need to push it.
And of course, we all have disparate fitness levels in different activities. Cycling, especially if you’re a little rusty, very well may be harder because you haven’t kept up with it. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Your perceived exertion will vary but you still honor the heart rate limits.
Will keep this short. I play Australian football (afl). It’s a 2 hour sport each week plus training. During the game I clock up between 13-18km and it affects both aerobic and anaerobic systems. Lots of stop start play. Tackling, falling down, getting up sprinting, jogging etc
I really want to try your eating methods but don’t want to lose energy in the transition. Do you think I should wait to post football season to convert or is it possible to change to the high fat diet and continue to have a high output?
Your instinct is correct: wait for the season to end before you switch over to an entirely new way of obtaining energy.
You can’t go from being a sugar-burner to a fat-burner right away without losing a little something. You need to build the metabolic machinery to support the new diet. That takes time. We’re always burning both fat and sugar, of course—it’s not all or nothing. When I say sugar burner, I mean someone who relies on exogenous glucose for the majority of their energy. I mean a person who needs a steady infusion of sugar every couple hours. I mean someone who gets ravenously hungry in between meals, someone who cannot reliably utilize enough of their body fat to provide energy between meals. They still burn fat, just not well enough to get off the carbs.
Football, like you say, is both anaerobic and aerobic. You’re burning massive amounts of glycogen. That means you can probably get away with cycling between high-fat and higher-carbs after particularly grueling sessions. But increasing your ability to burn fat and decreasing your reliance on glycogen during training will improve both high intensity output and lower intensity output. You can still go fast and hard. You’ll just be able to conserve glycogen for the times you truly need it.
The good news is that eating and training this way can pay huge dividends provided you allow enough time for the switch. Lebron didn’t. When Lebron James went low-carb paleo a couple years back toward the end of the season, he chose the wrong time to do it. It was the back end of the season, when energy is lowest and wear-and-tear is highest. His energy and performance suffered. Don’t make that mistake.
I have seen Orange Theory gyms popping up everywhere, and can’t log into Facebook without seeing at least one post of someone’s workout results.
I was wondering if you had an opinion on this latest cardio craze, and if you could explain this “Orange Zone”, as it appears to line up right with the “Black Hole” in your latest book, Primal Endurance.
I like that they bathe their trainees in soft orange light. One big problem with training at the gym at night is it ruins your circadian rhythm. The music’s blaring, the TVs are going, the fluorescent white light is burning into your soul and delaying your melatonin secretion. Using orange light mitigates the problem of night time gym visits.
I like that they’re full body workouts. It goes without saying that using your entire body is a better use of time than using a single body part.
I don’t like the monotony of the intensity. You need more than just high intensity all the time. One woman profiled in the Wall Street Journal found herself attending classes five days a week on top of running and Bikram yoga. She’s obviously an adrenaline junkie, the kind who has to go-go-go and end up a puddle of sweat or else feel like the workout was pointless. Orange Theory may attract and enable and encourage this demographic when really they should be slowing things down and using intensity intermittently, not chronically.
Honestly, it sounds a lot like basic circuit training or those boot camp groups you see in the park that focus on making folks “feel” like they got a great workout. Lots of movements, not a ton of reason behind them. I don’t see people getting markedly stronger doing only this.
The Orange Zone is a cool place to visit occasionally, but not everyday. That’s a recipe for burnout. Now, people can become addicted to the high intensity zone and feel like it’s working. And on some level, it is. It’s better than doing nothing. It will get you “fit.” But months, maybe years down the line, you’ll realize that you should have taken a more balanced approach.
That’s it for today, folks. Take care and be sure to chime in with your thoughts and advice below!
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Tiny smooth carrots – which are perfect for snacking and dipping – don’t actually grow that way. Find out how they’re made, and why it’s OK to munch on them.
Baby carrots were invented by a California carrot farmer, Mike Yurosek. In the early 1980s, Yurosek found that many of his carrots were not saleable because they were “ugly” — they weren’t the size or shape that could be sold at the grocery store. Instead of tossing these “ugly” carrots, he used an industrial bean cutter to shape them into what are now called “baby carrots.”
The success of baby carrots was overwhelming. By 1987, carrot consumption had increased by 30 percent. Today, baby carrots consist of 70 percent of total carrot sales.
Creating Baby Carrots
Bolthouse Farms is one company that grows and packages baby carrots. Scott LaPorta, president of Bolthouse Farms, explains that the company began noticing that broken pieces of carrots were cast aside. So they began peeling and shaping the broken and misshapen carrots into 2-inch pieces, and that’s how the idea of baby carrots came to be for Bolthouse Farms. “It was our solution to reducing food waste while providing consumers with an appealing and tasty new option,” he says. The mini carrots inspired additional carrot varieties for the company, including chips and “matchstix” cuts.
To give an idea of how baby carrots go from farm to table, LaPorta explained the way Bolthouse Farms does it. First, full-sized carrots are harvested from the fields, and are immediately put in trucks and taken to a facility in Bakersfield, Calif. There, they get washed and sorted by size, and then cut, peeled and polished into 2-inch pieces. The entire process, from harvesting to packaging, takes less than 48 hours.
One concern about baby carrots has been the rinsing process, especially when chlorine is used. However, since carrots do grow underground, there is a food safety concern. After being harvested, carrots receive a gentle wash in a small amount of chlorine (the amount is less than is present in everyday tap drinking water), a common practice used with fresh-cut produce. Before being dried and bagged, however, the carrots are thoroughly rinsed to remove any excess chlorine.
Because of the shaping and peeling of baby carrots, some of the nutrients are lost. However, baby carrots are still jam-packed with nutrition. One medium baby carrot provides 5 calories and 1 gram of carbs, and is free of fat and cholesterol. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin A: One baby carrot provides close to 30 percent of the recommended daily amount.
Purchasing and Storage
When purchasing baby carrots, check the “use by” date on the package. The wetness in the bag is normal. It’s actually filtered tap water that helps keep the vegetable hydrated. For the best quality, store unopened bags of baby carrots in the refrigerator and eat them within 30 days after the packaging date.
Photograph courtesy of Bolthouse Farms
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.
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I don’t know about you moms, but 3pm is a low time in the day for me. I have zero energy! So the though of going strawberry picking at 3pm has crossed my mind day after day, but we just haven’t made the drive out yet. 5pm was the perfect time to go! We went to Chiles when they were having an event, and the weather was perfect: cool and overcast. We had a blast with our friends!
We picked up dinner from Whole Foods during our weekly grocery shopping trip earlier in the day: salad bar for me and pizza for M. Plus some wine they were sampling along with Bold Rock Cider.
Loved listening to the live music!
M built this epic road with the blocks, although he corrected me later and said that it was a balance beam!
And I bought three pairs of these great wooden sunnies!
Saturday morning we had a light breakfast before heading to the gym for Bradley’s athletic conditioning class at 9.
It was a super class with a great mix of cardio and weights and fantastic mashups!!
Lunch was leftover cauliflower and a grilled cheese roll.
M and I spent the afternoon making sweet potato fries and forts on the couch.
I read my book inside the fort for about 30 minutes! It was a great win-win!
We also picked baby greens from the garden for dinner! SO EXCITED this time of year has arrived!
Saturday dinner at home – panko-pesto salmon, garden salad and sweet potato fries.
Sunday breakfast was eggs, mango and coffee.
Followed by lots and lots of soccer! Had so much fun even though we were soaked in the rain. I scored two goals though, and we had a win and a loss. Hard day!
Soccer lunch nibbles: almonds and banana. I can’t believe this sustained me until dinner, but I honestly didn’t have much appetite.
Because when I eventually did make dinner (after a visit to the ACAC foam rollers and hot tub, loads of laundry and an epic shower), I devoured this super cheesy quesadilla and enjoyed a pumpkin beer alongside!
Hope you guys had good weekends. KNOCK ON WOOD, but it looks like we finally might get some nice weather this week!!
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