Friday, February 12, 2016

Science the S*** Out of this Body

Like many of you, I have taken the past few weeks to renew my commitment to physical activity. I am now walking a mile every day and on Sundays I lift a very simple set of five compound movements as described by Dr. Doug McGuff in his book,  Body by Science,

In Body by Science, Dr. Doug McGuff outlines the problems with most lifting programs is volume and intensity. I remember performing three sets of ten in High School, hoping to build strength for the wrestling team. Even though the duration of each set was relatively low, the weight was also relatively low as to ensure I could complete the third set. In contrast, we would occasionally test our 1 Rep Max. Again the duration was rather low, but the intensity was significantly higher.

Dr. McGuff crushes the age old question of repetitions versus intensity with the concept that intensity and time are the important factors. Why? Your body has three types of muscle fibers: Quick, Strong and Long. Quick fibers are fast acting, but not as strong as your Strong fibers, neither of which can sustain load very Long. The goal of any lifting program is to properly fatigue all three fibers and stimulate growth. However, a high number of repetitions will likely fail to burn out your Strong muscle fibers, while a few high-intensity repetitions will not likely burn our your Long muscle fibers.

The solution? A long interval of moderately strong intensity. How long? Approximately 6 to 12 seconds per repetition. How strong? Intense enough that you cannot complete more than 10 repetitions. That is anywhere from 60 to 120 seconds under load. I manage my tempo with a Gymboss miniMAX set to 6s intervals for both the exertion and the return intervals. That way I only need to keep track of the reps.

This is a sheet I created to record the weight and the duration. I chart them separately so I can see my progress in each category as the weeks go by.

Five compound movements. Under 120 seconds each. A robust exercise interval of under 10 minutes? Absolutely! My heart is pounding and I am sweating bullets by the end of the set. I am not overly sore, but I can definitely feel it for 24-48 hours following this activity.

Some people are concerned that they will put on mass on this training program. The fact is some will, and some will not. There are two main factors: genetics and diet. Some people lean out when they exercise, others build mass. At the end of the day, if you do not eat to support muscle growth, you will never put on size.

If you are looking for an efficient way to ramp up your metabolism, try this work out. If you are interested in the biochemical science behind this exercise strategy check out Body by Science.

Stay well engineered,

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These statements or products referenced are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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