WHY WE USE DIFFERENT SET/REP RANGES, WEIGHTS AND REST PERIODS FOR DIFFERENT FITNESS GOALS
We’ve talked about getting stronger and building muscle in Parts 2 and 3. Now we’ll talk about the third energy system -Oxidative.
As we told you in Part 1 the Oxidative energy system uses fat and oxygen to produce ATP for any exercise past one or two minutes. Oxidative is the last system to come on line to produce energy and only after the ATP stored in cells and ATP converted from carbs have reached their limits. But the Oxidative system can produce that energy for much longer periods of time.
|ATP STORED IN CELL
|ATP CONVERTED FROM CARBS
|GROWTH & FAT BURN IN RECOVERY
|OXYGEN & FAT
|MIN TO HRS
|STAMINA & FAT BURN
The Oxidative system requires two things; oxygen and fat.
The oxygen is going to come from the air you breathe and the more the better. This is the point where you breathing increases in rate and volume to support the added need for energy. Your heart rate is also going to increase markedly in order for your circulatory system to carry that oxygen to where it’s needed.
The fat, of course, comes from the fat in your body.
There are several very important things to note here:
1. A calorie is a unit of energy
2. Fat contains nine (9) calories per gram-more than 2x the calories in protein or carbohydrates. So, given any particular energy demand, it takes less than half the fat to provide that energy as other fuel sources. Therefore, to burn a gram of fat you have to burn more than twice as many calories.
3. Fat in your blood stream or other areas will be burned first. Fat stored in tissue made up of fat cells will be burned only as a last resort.
What does this mean? It means you have to create an awful lot of energy demand to burn fat. And even then, it will take a while before you will start burning stored fat. Moderate exercise simply won’t do it.
Steady state cardio is an entire subject on it’s on. See The Myth of Steady-state Cardio
The point of the article is that steady-state cardio won’t start burning any stored fat for at least 30 minutes.
Definition of steady state cardio (taken from a web site advocating steady state cardio)
“Steady state cardio is simply a cardio workout that is a continuous, steady effort, …… Any cardiovascular/aerobic activity that is sustained for an extended time (usually starting at about 10 to 15 minutes for beginners and 20 to 90 minutes for more fit athletes) at a fixed intensity qualifies as steady state training.
Gradually increase your steady state training to a 20 minute cardio routine, eventually going up to 30 to 90 minutes. Engage in a cardio program three to five times a week for ultimate heart health.”
(To their credit, the article quoted above makes no claim that steady state cardio aids with weight loss or fat loss)
Up 90 minutes? 3 to 5 times a week? Really?
Let me begin by saying I have no objections to steady state cardio. “Cardio” refers to your cardiovascular system which begins (and ends) with the heart. Cardio is good for the heart and the rest of the cardiovascular system. Do cardio to your heart’s content (pun intended). Will it help you lose fat? As a rule, for the first 30 minutes of steady state cardio you will burn no fat.
My objections to steady state cardio is that’s it’s misused.
I can’t count the times I’ve heard “I don’t understand why I can’t lose weight. I stay on the treadmill (or elliptical, or stationary bike, or my new Bogus Snake-oil Machine) and hour a day and still can’t lose weight. It must be my genetics”.
I am fed up with the TV commercials selling some cheap “revolutionary” device with (paid) models proclaiming “I lost 50 pounds using my revolutionary new ‘Bogus Snake-oil Machine’ in only 10 minutes a day”
It ain’t gonna happen, folks!”
Steady state cardio makes you good at one thing: steady state cardio!
So, what does work for increasing stamina and burning fat?
From a traditional cardio standpoint see the previous article The Myth of Steady-state Cardio for two very good programs (HIIT and Tabata)
For resistance training the same rules apply. Tabata (described in the article mentioned above) is perfect for resistance training.
Reps- 12 to 20 rep range per set or even higher. I’ll occasionally do sets shooting for 50 to 100 reps. But don’t do those too often or for too long. Doing 50-100 rep sets increases the risk of overuse injuries in joints and connective tissue.
Sets- 3-5 sets.
Rest period- Rest periods should be as short as possible. I recommend 30 seconds or less between sets. The goal is to keep the heart rate and respiration elevated but with short rest periods. Keep the rest periods short enough that you don’t fall back into the APT or glycolytic stages.
Weight- Use a weight between 30 and 50% of your 1RM.
A few alternatives to regular resistance training or cardio are heavy carries for time or distance:
1. Farmer’s Walk for time or distance.
2. Push/pull using sleds or prowlers for time or distance
3. Battle Ropes
What if you just want to get in good shape without focusing on pure strength or hypertropy or stamina?
See Part 5 tomorrow.