Wednesday, March 12, 2008

DON'T Just Run!

Nagging aches and pains are a common occurrence for those who
do endless amounts of aerobic training, i.e. continuous running and
DON'T do any corrective exercise or muscle balancing exercises.

World renowned strength coach Mike Boyle says endurance training
probably isn't good for most people (GASP!). The endurance cycle as
he puts goes like this:

Train...Injury...Rehab/Physical Therapy
Train...Injury...Rehab/Physical Therapy
Train...Injury...Rehab/Physical Therapy

Can you relate?

Good way to help put physiotherapist's kids through college eh?

I know most people won't change just because their training is
leading to them getting injured so what could someone like yourself do to
offset these nagging injuries and keep yourself healthy?

1. Resistance Training: As Eric Cressey, strength coach from
Boston, has noted on several occasions, a University of Alabama meta-analysis of the endurance
training scientific literature** revealed that ten weeks of
resistance training in trained distance runners improves running
economy by 8-10%. That’s about 20-24 minutes off a four-hour marathon – and likely more if you’re not a well-trained endurance athlete in the first place. Not only
will they get stronger and improve force production (improved
times), but they’ll also stay a little healthier due to the fact
that they’re not on the road or on the treadmill as much.

** Jung AP. The impact of resistance training on distance running
performance. Sports Med. 2003;33(7):539-52.

2. Intervals: as strange as it may sound, interval training
develops aerobic capacity BETTER than aerobic training. The fastest
way to increase VO2 max, the standard measure of aerobic fitness,
is through interval training not long duration distances.

Journal of Physiology, “Short term sprint interval versus
traditional endurance training: Similar initial adaptations in
human skeletal muscle and exercise performance.” Sept 2006, Vol 575
Issue 3.

Study specifics - comparison of 20 minutes of interval training (30
sec sprint/ 4 minute rest) with 90-120 minutes of cardio in the
“heart rate zone.” Sixteen active men (21 +/- 1 years, ) were assigned to a SIT
or ET group (n = 8 each) and performed six training sessions over
14 days. Each session consisted of either four to six repeats of 30s
'all out' cycling at approximately 250% with 4 min recovery (SIT)
or 90-120 min continuous cycling at approximately 65% (ET).
Training time commitment over 2 weeks was approximately 2.5 h for
SIT and approximately 10.5 h for ET, and total training volume was
approximately 90% lower for SIT versus ET ( approximately 630
versus approximately 6500 kJ)

Results - same improvement in oxygen utilization. 2.5 hours per week
vs. 10.5 hours per week.

If you are trying to get the fastest results possible in the shortest
amount of time and to improve their aerobic capacity, which do you
think would be the best approach to choose? Intervals right?
Not only will interval training get the job done infinitely faster,
but you won’t have to deal with all the nagging injuries as well (less ground contacts
compared to long distance training).

Don't get me wrong I am NOT against aerobic exercise as its great
for your heart, but when it comes to boosting your metabolism,
burning fat, building muscle, and looking great, it's not the way to go.

I, in fact, go for runs, but NOT to lose body fat, but to compliment
my resistance training, burn additional calories and help further
strengthen my cardiovascular system (NOTE: apart from what most people
think, resistance training is HUGE for strengthen the cardiovascular system).

So keep running, cycling, or doing aerobics but DON'T JUST do them,
incorporate a good resistance training and interval program into your
current program.
You'll feel a lot better and get better results with your aerobic

I wrote an article on this for North Shore Magazine that you are
welcome to read at The article was featured in
December 2007's issue. Click 'past issues' and click on Dec/Jan's issue.
It's pages 18-19. If it doesn't come up check your pop up blocker as it
comes up as a separate page.


p.s. I'm giving a fitness and nutrition seminar at a business in
Vancouver tomorrow and I just wanted to ask if you know of any businesses or
groups where I could speak. I'd be happy to do it for free and contact
them if you'd like. Please let me know either the specific individual to
contact or the business. Thank you!

p.p.s. My next fitness boot camp starts Monday March 17 and runs
for 4 weeks until Friday April 11. The cost for the entire 12 sessions is $180.
There will be three sessions per week (Mondays, Wednesdays, and
Fridays) from 7:15-8:00pm. If you are interested please visit
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