Sunday, September 26, 2010

Maximizing Your Workout Effectiveness With Peak Fitness

In previous articles I mentioned the importance of decreasing sugar in the diet because fructose is a toxin. Too much sugar and a sedentary lifestyle leads to insulin resistance, and decreased cardiovascular fitness. Most people know the importance of an active lifestyle and many are involved in some sort of aerobic and/or strengthening regimen. These are valuable activities and important part of a healthy lifestyle but individuals who are overweight may get discouraged by taking longer to reach the desired results.

To understand why, we need to know that we have 3 types of muscle fibers and they use different energy sources. The types are slow twitch, fast twitch and superfast twitch fibers. Most forms of training only work the aerobic muscle fibers which are the slow twitch ones. One of the best ways to make your workout more effective is to engage those superfast muscle fibers that are involved with anaerobic activity. They are white muscle fibers and have fewer blood vessels and less ability to produce energy for prolonged activity which is why they are used for short bursts of activity. The use of these fibers results in the production of growth hormone which helps improve strength and reduce body fat. By engaging these muscle fibers you change your biochemistry and these changes can be measured up to an hour post-workout.

In order to engage these fibers you have to insert bursts of anaerobic activity into your regular workout. The way to do this is different for each person but you can tell when you have achieved this because you will be out of breath and sweat profusely during the anaerobic bursts. It is necessary to put the body in oxygen debt (being out of breath) in order to be working anaerobically. These bursts of intensity should last 20 -30 seconds followed by 90 seconds of recovery and repeated 8 times. Each person’s anaerobic threshold will vary greatly – for some climbing a hill is enough while others need to sprint up the hill. Pay attention to how you are feeling throughout the workout. Working out this way shortens the workout time to a mere 20 minutes of higher-efficiency workout. Substituting this method twice a week for your regular workout will show improved results.

Now that you've improved your growth hormone production you need to make sure you do not consume any sugar or fructose for 2 hours after the workout. This is because consumption of sugars will cause the production of a hormone somatostatin which stops growth hormone production. Please note that most sports drinks are loaded with sugars so it is better to have some water after the workout.

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