By Dr. Mercola
Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90â€™s he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, Mercola.com to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.
Interval Training (Cont)
If you donâ€™t actively engage and strengthen all three muscle fiber types and energy systems, then youâ€™re not going to work both processes of your heart muscle. Many mistakenly believe that cardio works out your heart muscle, but what youâ€™re really working is your slow twitch muscle fibers. Youâ€™re not effectively engaging the anaerobic process of your heart.
Fortunately, Peak Fitness type exercises do address these fibers and metabolic systems. As an added boon, when you perform PeakÂ Fitness exercises properly, you will also increase your human growth hormone (HGH), which increases your muscle growth and effectively burns excessive fat. HGH also plays an important part in promoting your overall health and longevity.
In the case of Peak Fitness exercises, less truly is more, as you can get all the benefits you need in just a 20-minute session performed twice a week. In fact, you should not do PeakÂ Fitness exercises more than three times a week. If you do, you may actually do more harm than good â€“ similar to running marathons. Because while your body needs regular amounts of stress like exercise to stay healthy, it also needs ample recuperation, and if you give it more than you can handle your health will actually begin to deteriorate. So it is really crucial to listen to your body and integrate the feedback into your exercise intensity and frequency.
When you work out, it is wise to push as hard as you possibly can a few times a week, but you need to wisely gauge your bodyâ€™s tolerance to this stress, and give your body time to recuperate.
Super-Slow Resistance Training
While Iâ€™ve been recommending high-intensity anaerobic training (SprintÂ using an elliptical machine or a recumbent bike, Dr. McGuff is a proponent of high-intensity interval training using weights. In a recent interview, he discussed both high-intensity anaerobic-type training, and high-intensity super-slow weight training, which can achieve many of the same results using weights instead of a recumbent bike or elliptical. We also discussed the importance of recuperation.
Iâ€™ve been recommending doing PeakÂ Fitness exercises three times a week, but after doing that myself for about a year, I gradually felt that the frequency was too much for me. I just felt too fatigued between sessions. Dr. McGuffâ€™s interview convinced me to make some changes to my routine, so Iâ€™m currently in an experimental phase. While Iâ€™m still doing PeakÂ Fitness two to three times a week, I reduced the intensity by about five percent. Iâ€™m also incorporating McGuffâ€™s Super Slow strength training.
He believes you only need 12 minutes of Super Slow type strength training once a week to achieve the same growth hormone production as you would with Peak Fitness! Intensity is key, and, according to Dr. McGuff, when the intensity is really high, the frequency may need to be reduced in order for it to be really productive.
How to Perform Super-Slow Weight Lifting
By aggressively working your muscle to fatigue, youâ€™re stimulating the muscular adaptation that will improve the metabolic capability of the muscle and cause it to grow. McGuff recommends using four or five basic compound movements for your exercise set. These exercises can be done using either free weights or machines. The benefit of using a quality machine is that it will allow you to focus your mind on the effort, as opposed on the movement.
Dr. McGuff recommends the following five movements:
Pull-down (or alternatively chin-up)
Compound row (A pulling motion in the horizontal plane)
Hereâ€™s a summary of how to perform each exercise:
Begin by lifting the weight as slowly and gradually as you can. The first inch should take about two seconds. Since youâ€™re depriving yourself of all the momentum of snatching the weight upward, it will be very difficult to complete the full movement in less than 7-10 seconds. (When pushing, stop about 10 to 15 degrees before your limb is fully straightened; smoothly reverse direction)
Slowly lower the weight back down
Repeat until exhaustion. (Once you reach exhaustion, donâ€™t try to heave or jerk the weight to get one last repetition in. Instead, just keep trying to produce the movement, even if itâ€™s not â€˜goingâ€™ anywhere, for another five seconds or so. If youâ€™re using the appropriate amount of weight or resistance, youâ€™ll be able to perform four to eight repetitions)
Immediately switch to the next exercise for the next target muscle group, and repeat the first three steps. When done in this fashion, your workout will take no more than 12 or 15 minutes. For more information about Super-Slow resistance training, please see my interview with Dr. McGuff.
The take-home message here is that one of the best forms of exercise to protect your heart is short bursts of exertion, followed by periods of rest. You can do this Sprint 8-style using an elliptical machine or recumbent bike, or you can do it using McGuffâ€™s Super-Slow resistance training strategy. Ideally, youâ€™ll want to do a little bit of both.
By exercising in short bursts, followed by periods of recovery, you recreate exactly what your body needs for optimum health. Heart attacks donâ€™t happen because your heart lacks endurance. They happen during times of stress, when your heart needs more energy and pumping capacity, but doesnâ€™t have it. So rather than stressing your heart with excessively long periods of cardio, give interval training a try.
Most importantly, during any type of exercise as long as you listen to your body you shouldnâ€™t run into the problem of exerting yourself excessively. And, with interval training, even if you are out of shape you simply will be unable to train very hard, as lactic acid will quickly build up in your muscles and prevent you from stressing your heart too much.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/is-long-distance-running-bad-for-your-heart.html#ixzz1qKiYXefK