Given the pitfalls of some exercise modalities, summarized above, how should we proceed?
Be it exercising or eating, I will often refer to our ancestors, the hunter gatherers, as our genetic programming has not changed in 40,000 years.
Our bodies are programmed for brief, high intensity training/activity. We evolved in a world where food was scarce and life was constantly necessitating intense physical activity, be it for securing dinner or escaping from a saber toothed tiger.
Thus our programming was to eat everything we could lay our hands on and to be lazy until the food ran out.
As I briefly touched upon before, the ideal way to exercise is High Intensity Strength Training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
High Intensity Strength Training gives you all the benefits of HIIT but in addition to this it also induces a rapid and deep level of muscle fatigue.
Most of you are probably wandering how resistance training can provide better cardiovascular benefits than Aerobic-Style HIIT.
When you are really pushing yourself during strength training, your cardiovascular system needs to supply your working muscles with “increased cardiac output”.
What is cardiac output? It is your heart rate times your stroke volume. And, stroke volume is the amount of blood that’s ejected from the heart with every beat.
What determines how much blood is ejected? How much blood is brought into the heart before each beat. During intense strength training, the muscles you are working to pump massive amounts of blood to your heart.
Thus, equal levels of cardiac output (what you aim to improve with aerobic training) by muscles pumping greater amounts of blood to the heart and at a lower pulse rate is why you should opt for this mode of training.
We will get to the joint metabolic benefits of the hunter-gatherer diet and High Intensity Strength Training later on, but:
1. If you get a better CARDIO workout from High Intensity Strength Training;
2. If you would have to run for 45 kilometers to loose a pound of body fat; and
3. If you are putting a major strain on your joints,
Why on earth would you “train yourself to be slow”? That is, after all, what jogging is?