Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the exercise enigma - cont'd

So what does this all mean? I take it to mean, follow your heart and your gut when it comes to what's best for you. This is why I'm against exercise prescriptions most of the time, it's about the journey, not the destination. As human beings we are constantly changing organisms, what worked one day may not work another, pay attention to it, pay attention to your trainer and think of your journey as one from your head to your heart, namaste (just kidding...... sort of)

Monday, November 29, 2010

"the exercise enigma"

By Gretchen Reynolds - NY TIMES
Recently, researchers in Finland made the discovery that some people’s bodies do not respond as expected to weight training, others don’t respond to endurance exercise and, in some lamentable cases, some don’t respond to either. In other words, there are those who just do not become fitter or stronger, no matter what exercise they undertake. To reach this conclusion, the researchers enrolled 175 sedentary adults in a 21-week exercise program. Some lifted weights twice a week. Others jogged or walked. Some did both. Before and after the program, the volunteers’ fitness and muscular strength were assessed. At the end of the 21 weeks, the results, published earlier this year in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, were mixed. In the combined strength-and-endurance-exercise program, the volunteers’ physiological improvement ranged from a negative 8 percent (meaning they became 8 percent less fit) to a positive 42 percent. The results were similar in the groups that undertook only strength or only endurance training. Some improved their strength enormously, some not at all. Others became aerobically fitter but not stronger, while still others showed no improvements in either area. Only a fortunate few became both fitter and more buff. As the researchers from the University of Jyvaskyla wrote with some understatement, “large individual differences” exist “in the responses to both endurance and strength training.”

Hidden away in the results of almost any study of exercise programs is the fact that some people do not respond at all, while others respond at an unusually high rate. Averaged, the results may suggest that a certain exercise program reliably will produce certain results — that jogging, say, three times a week for a month will improve VO2max (maximal oxygen capacity) or reduce blood pressure; and for almost any given group of exercisers, those results are likely to hold true. But for outliers, the impacts can be quite different. Their VO2max won’t budge, or it will fall, or it will soar.

The implications of such wide variety in response are huge. In looking at the population as a whole, writes Jamie Timmons, a professor of systems biology at the Royal Veterinary College in London, in a review article published last month in The Journal of Applied Physiology, the findings suggest that “there will be millions of humans that cannot improve their aerobic capacity or their insulin sensitivity, nor reduce their blood pressure” through standard exercise.
But what is it about one person’s body that allows it to react so vigorously to exercise, while for others the reaction is puny at best? One answer, to no one’s surprise, would seem to be genetics, although the actual mechanisms involved are complex, as a recent study by Dr. Timmons and others underscored. In that work, researchers accurately predicted who would respond most to endurance exercise training based on the expression levels of 29 different genes in their muscles before the start of the training. Those 29 genes are not necessarily directly associated with exercise response. They seem to have more to do with the development of new blood vessels in muscles; they may or may not have initiated the response to exercise. Scientists just don’t know yet.

In other words, this issue is as intricate as the body itself. There is a collection of compelling data that indicate that about half of our aerobic capacity “is genetic,” Dr. Timmons wrote in an e-mail. “The rest may be diet,” or it could be a result of epigenetics, a complicated process in which the environment (including where you live and what you eat) affects how and when genes are activated. “Or it could be other factors,” he said. Although fewer studies have examined why people respond so variously to strength training, “we have no reason to doubt,” he said, that genetics play a similar role.
But none of this means that if you once took up jogging or weight lifting and didn’t respond, you should take to the couch. It may be that a different exercise regimen would prompt beneficial reactions from your particular genome and physiology, Dr. Timmons said. (Although scientists still have a long way to go before they can say, definitively, who needs what exercise, based on genetic and other differences.) In the meantime, Dr. Timmons stressed, even low responders should continue to sweat. Just as scientists don’t yet understand the complicated underpinnings of the body’s response to exercise, they also don’t necessarily understand the full range of exercise’s impacts. Even if you do not increase your VO2max, Dr. Timmons said, you are likely to be deriving other benefits, both big and small, from working out. Exercise does still remain, “on average,” he said, “one of the best ‘health’ treatments we have.”

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

prepare for the holidays

What I really mean is prepare for the times when you'll have down time at home, in between all the holiday cheer. This is a very important time to hone your healthy food shopping skills to make sure you're appropriately fortified. The key here is stay consistent in the most inconsistent time of the year.
I'm going to keep these things around: liquid egg whites, frozen (organic if possible) vegetables, ground white meat turkey, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash (prepare the squash plain, the acorn and butternut taste awesome with just some black pepper especially when combined with the veggies and turkey or any other lean protein), brown rice (make 3-4 cups and keep it in a large tupperware in the fridge), organic low fat tomato sauce, and bbq sauce.
All the squashes can be prepared at once while you make the rice on the stove top, these carbs are very important to have around because the proteins take minutes and with these already prepared the meal is a no brainer. I like to use the tomato sauce or bbq to dress any of these meals.
Its also a good idea to eat a good, solid, clean meal before going out to any party or even dinner, I'll be less likely to overeat and can enjoy sampling all that's available without the desire to gorge myself which is always possible if I'm not prepared.
lastly, dont forget your long term goals, keep your eye on what you want to achieve and use this time of year as a reference point for getting through anything.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

IOT workout video

this is currently the featured video titled "IOT sequence"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Decision

This posts' original title was "make a decision" but when I start writing a post or speaking about "you" or what "you" should be doing I know I should shut up and talk about me, what's my experience on the topic? Anything else is bullshit.
I should start by saying that I'm pretty anti-most everything by nature, and I'll say straight up, that I'm pretty anti-holidays. Not the good or spiritual aspects of our holidays like being with family or being altruistic (shouldn't we do this all year anyway, or at least try), I'm not even talking about the mass consumerism, which does by the way help fuel our economy, so I'll keep my haterism to a minimum.
Specifically I'm talking about the social rituals of over consuming food and alcohol, and moreover the giving of gifts in the form of un-healthy food and alcohol. I wouldn't care so much if I heard people enjoying themselves while over-indulging,but all I hear is the guilt and shame surrounding it, this and the ever increasing struggle to climb from the crevice of fat everyone has submerged themselves in. Sounds like fun, right.
My decision: To not do it, not eat the food, not drink the drink, give gifts that mean something, even a card with some real feelings attached to it would be better then an over-priced box of cookies or some other "treat" that I'll literally have to throw away to not eat. I want to stand for something, I don't want to follow the herd and I want to look lean in the Dominican Republic come January. I cant discount some vanity, it can fuel my desire to train, so what. I'll use it, even if I tell myself that I have something to prove, which I dont' but if thinking I do keeps me saner than the craziness of the holidays then I'm all for Jedi mind tricks.
I think that before I do some something I need to understand the consequences, for me the consequences of not putting on that holiday 10 lbs means I get to feel better about myself, much better than that fatty meal is gonna make me feel........... oh, I almost forgot "Happy Thanks giving"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm back - what am doing?

Finally got the laptop back, dropped it off for service on 10/29........ feels like forever. Sometimes I forget what I'm doing or to be exact what I'd like to be doing, I get sidetracked. Then when I return I feel confused, fear kicks in, it seems to couple well with uncertainty.
This stream of consciousness is just a tool to get me back in the habit of writing, to refocus myself. When I don't want to train I do it anyway, just like the myriad of other things that i do because they've become habit....... I think I need a bagel.