Today we start a multi-day series on improving health via prevention, fitness and strength.
2) Processed foods are associated with "modern" diseases.
3) Chronic inactivity, stress and a diet of processed foods are associated with chronic inflammation.
4) Chronic inflammation is associated with a number of chronic diseases.
5) The only "miracle drug" is regular exercise combined with sleep, which is associated with exercise, good nutrition and stress reduction.
6) The mind and body are one. Mental health and physical health are related.
"Over about six weeks, I increased my overall muscular strength by 35%, by doing nothing more than a total of four 12-minute, very-intense workouts.
Over the past couple of years, I have been reading that much of the effort that most people put into exercise is wasted or even counter-productive, because they are missing the key ingredients of intensity and rest. The evidence coming into focus for me was that high intensity interval training (H.I.I.T.) was the quickest, most effective path toward cardiovascular fitness.
Long ago, I had learned that adequate rest is essential for weight training: i.e., never exercising any given muscle group more often than once per week. Recently, I ran across the book Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week (McGuff and Little), which presents a strong case for a 12-minute-only strength training workout, with about 7-10 days of rest between trips to the gym. I know it sounds crazy, but the authors back it up with their knowledge of physiology, their understanding of evolution, tons of studies, and their own clinical experiences (they are both trainers). The results I got are typical of their customers.
The workout consists of one 60-90-second set of each of five core exercises (leg press, underhand pulldown, overhead press, seated row, and chest press), moving from machine to machine as quickly as possible (no more than 30 seconds between machines). Each set is performed super-slow (6-10 seconds up; 6-10 seconds down) to prevent momentum cheating, and the weight should be chosen so that you "go to failure" (i.e., at the end of each set, you can't possibly do another rep). Doing the math shows that each set consists of about 5 reps. Only five sets of only five reps, for the entire workout, sounds easy, but trust me, the intensity near the end will kick your butt.
Measuring My Results
I was careful to "compare apples to apples" when determining my gains. In other words, I didn't do fluff workouts early on in order to pad the results. The data show consistent 9% gains between successive 100%-effort workouts. I am very confident that the numbers are correct and that the gains are legitimate.
The body adapts to an increased demand put upon it so that it can better meet that demand in the future. The idea is to give it a strong stimulus, followed by plenty of time to let it recover back to baseline, plus a small amount of growth. Experiments show that it takes 7-10 days for optimal growth to occur, much like the time the body needs to heal a cut. Resting less than 7 days thwarts the body's efforts to repair itself, like ripping a scab off before the cut is fully healed, leading to poor results, more injuries, and perhaps chronic stress. My average rest was 11 days."
"Thank you for sharing your experience--it confirms my own intuitive sense of what works, as I tend to do pushups and sit-ups several times a week with biking and running interspersed throughout the week. I keep track and was surprised that a week between pushups did not really degrade the number I can do in one set (36).In terms of natural selection, this also makes sense. Hunters would more than likely only need bursts of strength or speed occasionally, and the body would thus maximize to occasional strength-building, as expending calories daily just to maintain muscle mass would be very ‘costly’ in evolutionary terms—why burn valuable calories unless there was a big yield?"
"I think you're dead-on with your thoughts on natural selection. That seems to be the consensus among the top exercise people I listen to. Our ancestors probably didn't look like body builders, because like you said, excess muscle is too costly in terms of precious calories. This also dovetails with the emerging theory that traditional "cardio", especially too much, may actually be harmful. There are lots of people on the Amazon review/comment section for Body By Science that say something like, "Aerobics ruined my knees" or similar. It seems that short bursts of high-intensity exercise are the most effective. And I think for most people, distance running is very harmful - especially marathoners."
We are like passengers on the Titanic ten minutes after its fatal encounter with the iceberg: though our financial system seems unsinkable, its reliance on debt and financialization has already doomed it.We cannot know when the Central State and financial system will destabilize, we only know they will destabilize. We cannot know which of the State’s fast-rising debts and obligations will be renounced; we only know they will be renounced in one fashion or another.
The process of the unsustainable collapsing and a new, more sustainable model emerging is called revolution.Rather than being powerless, we hold the fundamental building blocks of power. We need neither permission nor political change to liberate ourselves. A powerless individual becomes powerful when he renounces the lies and complicity that enable the doomed Status Quo’s dominance.
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