Have you ever experienced exercising for some period of time, and got absolutely no benefits out of it? It’s just like practicing a language without knowing what it is about. It is going to do you no good, in fact, that might actually harm you, if done incorrectly.
Yes, it is important to take physical action, but only if performed in the correct form. I am making sense here, right?
So, here it is. I have been talking about exercising, approaching both the practical and theoretical sides of it in all my blogs, but now I am going to dig a little deeper. Let’s learn the science behind it.
I’ll be covering topics such as Minimum Effective Dose Exercise, Critical Fitness Concepts, and the required equipment in this blog!
Minimum Effective Dose Exercise
So, what is Minimum Effective Dose Exercise? Think of it umm… like a boiling point. Like water boils at 100 °C. It is the standard temperature for boiling water, heating it any further is simply a waste of energy.
Imagine if you could know the point where your body could give you the desired outcome. Well, that is exactly what Minimum Effective Dose Exercise (MEDE) is about. Simply explained, MEDE is the smallest dose that triggers the desired outcome beyond which any exercise is a waste of time and energy.
Now that we have a clear idea about MEDE, let’s talk about it in depth. Here are a few things we’ll be talking about:
- Strength to Muscle Mass Ratio
- Mitochondrial Density
- Cardiovascular Endurance
- Anaerobic Capacity
Strength to Muscle Mass Ratio
This ratio is important as it is linked to both, the aesthetic and the longevity aspects of our body. Have you ever wondered, how do not-so-muscular people have more strength than muscular people? Here is how.
Let’s destroy some myths today!
According to Paul Jaminet, the most important factor of muscle mass is how explosive the fast-twitch muscle fiber is, as opposed to how big your muscle mass is or how bulky you are. This is the reason why having high muscle mass doesn’t necessarily mean that you are strong or functional!
This is the secret why powerlifters, compared to bodybuilders, have way more functional and explosive muscle, but they aren’t as bulky!
So, next time you see a bodybuilder, try not to judge their strength by the size of their muscles.
Well, the right word to use here is toned. You’ll only want to have enough mass to have toned, lean and functional muscle. Wondering how to achieve it? Here is how:
- Ultimate Efficient Bodyweight Workout
- Super Slow Training
- Isometric Workout
1) Ultimate Efficient Bodyweight Workout
According to bodybuilders, to achieve an ideal body type, you only need explosive training and heavyweights training. In my opinion, an over-bulky body is not efficient, and we should look for a more performant body muscle work. And since we need longevity in order to avoid injury, and to be able to exercise throughout life, explosive-powerful lifting is our hero!
Explosive-Powerful lifting is one of the safest ways to build strength and power. It is ideally done with a relatively low amount of weight, which is easier to lift. It should be performed using your body weight only.
2) Super-Slow Training
Since the above training is done with light weights, it lacks one of the most important components that provides beauty and longevity. Yes, you guessed it right. Strength! Strength is the ability – the state of being strong.
Let’s fill in the blanks, shall we?
According to Dr. Doug McGuff (and his book Body By Science): One should indulge in a very slow and controlled training to enhance factors like blood pressure, functional muscle and strength. This method enables you to exercise throughout your life without any risk of injury!
Examples include exercising with a barbell or straining your shoulder.
Superslow strength training is a strength training technique in which you lift and lower the weights slower than usual. Such a practice forces your muscles to work harder through their entire range of motion when you lift the weight. This practice helps you in controlling your weight along with reducing the risk of injury while building a massive amount of strength.
3) Isometric Training
In this training, you get a little bit of both: The Super-Slow Training and The Ultimate Efficient Body Weight Workout. Isometric training requires you to hold up your muscles and joint angles. It refers to getting into a specific position, such as a bottom push-up, or a squat and holding it through a various range of motions.
Holding a certain movement, for an extended period of time, enables you to produce a lot of lactic acids, and hence a lot of burn builds up. This further enhances blood pressure, increases growth hormone, strength, and a lot of other parameters that help to develop fitness that confers beauty and longevity with minimal risk of injury.
This is the mantra to achieve Performance, Health, and Longevity altogether! ☺
Want to know more about the above-mentioned workouts? Stay tuned. My next blog is all you need to read.
Muscular Endurance & Anaerobic Capacity
Muscular Endurance & Anaerobic Capacity is the ability of the muscles to contract and relax over and over again, for another contraction. This has nothing to do with the ability to go for a long run, a long swim, or a long bike ride. It is the ability of the muscles to deal with the burn on a local level.
For example, the classic lactic acid burning that you experience during a workout at the gym.
It is important to have good muscular endurance as it further enables your body to develop lactic acid. In simpler words, your ability to efficiently perform the exercise, and how hard you can push during the exercise.
You develop a very high amount of growth hormone as you train for muscular endurance, and your body builds up lactic acid. Growth hormone is synonymous with longevity and improved markers like sleep, well-being, and libido.
According to Izumi Tabata, muscular endurance can be very efficiently and quickly increased with the minimum effective dose of exercise by going very hard for a short period of time and then recovering for an even shorter period. Such training is known as Tabata Set.
Here is how to practice it: 20 seconds of Hard Exercise, followed by 10 seconds of recovery or no exercise at all for a total of 4 minutes.
Thanks to this exercise set, the body produces more lactic acid than usual. Our body understands that there isn’t enough time to produce lactic acid (from the last 20 seconds set), and therefore produce more in order to keep up with the short recovery time (10 seconds). When this overproduction happens, you get maximum benefits!
It is enough to practice a Tabata set 1 – 4 times a week.
It is essential to train your body to sustain without high levels of oxygen to increase muscular endurance. Mentioned below are two ways to achieve it:
- Breath Hold Walks
- Underwater Pool Work
1) Breath Hold Walks:
While walking, take a deep breath and hold it as long as possible. This trains your body to get used to decreasing levels of oxygen and increased levels of carbon dioxide.
2) Underwater Pool Work:
In addition to breath hold walks, there is Underwater Pool Work.
This is a little bit more dangerous because of the so-called “shallow-water blackout” which can occur when you hold your breath in a pool or perform hypoxic sets in a pool. Considering the risk, NEVER perform underwater pool work alone. You may go ahead with hypoxic swim sets if you are comfortable in the water.
In any case, combining hypoxia with underwater pool work is a more effective way to increase muscular endurance, compared to the breath hold walks. You can choose to do breath hold walks or underwater pool work, or both!
Well, that’s it for today. I hope you enjoy practicing the exercises discussed in the blog. Looking for more? I’ll be back in no time. Till then, do practice these and let me know how you feel in the comments below.
Also, I am sure these exercises will wear you out, so here is a blog on foam rolling that will help you relax 😀
You are more than welcome to add any comments below, or to suggest us something new and effective. Let’s help each other out. Sharing is caring. Thank you 🙂