My Problem With Extreme Fitness Junkies
I just started a closed group for men and women that lift weights. The other group I am in I get so tired of hearing them talk about how they lifted and then they did a huge cardio workout. Or they did back to back lift workouts... and I'm thinking if you lifted properly you have nothing left to give. LOL!!! Am I right?
See, as a certified personal trainer my recommendations to clients is always to remember that A) larger muscles require longer recovery time, B) the more muscles your workout, the longer required recovery time, C) fast twitch muscles recovery more slowly than slow twitch fibers. D) age matters.
Recovery is indeed important, however if you supplement properly, and sleep well, and if your nutrition and technique are on point, you can be conditioned to train often with little or no days off. There is one study I'm closely watching where they are showing that although Intense, eccentric resistance exercise causes muscle damage, soreness, inflammation, and a loss of muscle function, a protein-amino acid supplementation before, during, and following damaging resistance exercise may reduce muscle damage and accelerate recovery. And so we're seeing that it's the aminos, not necessarily the protein (think of all that bacon we see on paleo posts) that matters for body recovery.
One study did show specifically that BCAA (branch-chain amino acids) administered before and following damaging resistance exercise reduces indices of muscle damage and accelerates recovery in resistance-trained males. So I totally agree with your statement of recovery and nutrition matters.
Now back to my original issue, the problem that I see is that most people do not do any of the needed recovery items that they should do.A lot of those at the gym or working out at home do not do the needed warm up or stretching when their muscles are warm. Flexibility matters. With aging, functional movement ability, core stability and flexibility are all key. And then they think that major amounts of cardio are good for you, which we have found is so untrue. I swear if I see one more post about how someone did their leg workout and then did another 25 minute HIIT workout I may scream. If you can do more than stand on your wobbly legs after you have finished workout on leg day, I really think you need to pick up more dang weight!!
We've become this EXTREME nation, and we take a program that is meant to be 25 minutes of hard cardio, and then do it two or three times a day, seven days a week on top of resistance training and it drives me batty. LOL... even the most recent studies are showing that aerobic exercise initially generates more reactive oxygen species (ROS), and even anaerobic exercise may induce prolonged ROS generation. So as we think we are getting healthier, and we have all of these untrained folks out there telling others how to get "fit", there is this cringing part of my being that wants to hit them all over the head.
Weight loss is a good thing, but not at the expense of our underlying health. Skinny people too die from heart attacks, and thin people can lack oestrogen among other things. A problem for women that we don't address in the fitness community. Researchers analyzed nearly 100 studies that included more than 2.8 million people. While obese people had a higher risk of death -- particularly those whose BMI was 35 or more -- overweight people had a 6% lower risk of death than those of normal weight. So I think we need to really think about why that is. You'd think smaller=healthier. So what are we doing as a "skinny" community that is causing us to be unhealthy? I want to really get people to see that the science it approaching a less is more approach to weight loss and physical fitness, for health, and that you will still lose weight, and still can do things to strengthen your heart, your bones, and your body. Anyone for the Fast Workout approach to cardio, and the Slow Lifting Method for weights will give you a run for your money when it comes to health you crazed overachievers.