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Ask Me Anything - January 2022

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    Ask Me Anything - January 2022



    Each time we have an AMA thread on fitness lots of interesting questions come up.

    You can find all the previous threads here:

    April 2021
    May 2021
    August 2021
    September 2021
    November 2021

    This time I am keeping it open to suggestions and questions on any topic related to fitness, health and weightloss. We have had quite a few new studies and if you check out our guides you will see that a very detailed and very new guide is up on the metabolic system that references some cutting-edge research.

    I have taken my deep breath. This thread will be open for a week, so hit me up. And stay safe.

    #2
    Hi! and thanks for all of your grat insights theese earliers AMA's!

    I have a question that I don't know if anyone asked in the previous ones.. Can we train for marathons of long distances without loosing muscle?

    And inn the othe hand, What is your aproach when you work, I mean, how do you think is the most efficient form of concentration?


    Again, thanks! you are changing lifes guys!

    Comment


      #3
      facuzayas thank you for opening this thread with the first question. It is way more complicated than you may think so I will start by saying that every form of exercise we do is a means of energy management. The body sees physical activity as a form of energy expenditure. When that expenditure is consistently high (like when we exercise regularly) the body initiates an adaptation response. Depending on what we were doing that caused the energy expenditure in the first instance, the adaptation response will give us strength, endurance, speed etc, and the physical change that is required to achieve each one. What all physical adaptations have in common however is a drop in energy expenditure when we perform the physical task that caused energy expenditure to rise in the first instance. So, for example, if the body starts burning calories because we lift heavy weights, it initiates an adaptation process that gives us bigger, heavier muscles. These muscles make the lifting of heavy weights easier (because we are stronger) and we use up less energy than before.

      This is why, for example, with Darebee workouts we constantly vary the load the body experiences, this is why in traditional weight lifting they talk about progression and the incremental increase of weights and this is why athletes who train for competition introduce so much variety in their training.

      This introduction now brings us directly to your question: can we do a marathon without losing muscle? Muscle, in this sense, would be lost only if we ran a marathon at world-class pace and had insufficient fuel to do so. In the beginning the body will use all available blood sugar in a process known as glycolysis. Then the body begins to break down fatty acids and adipose fat in a process called lipolysis. Both of these processes go into producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the fuel that powers every single cell in the body. For the body to start breaking down muscle we need to pretty much use all available stored fat. If, for argument's sake, we have really low body fat and maintain the world-class pace in the marathon we are running in the body will cannibalize itself by breaking down muscle.

      This shows that a body builder could run a marathon and barely lose any muscle, unless, of course he tried to run it, start-to-finish at a world-class pace in which case yes, he would lose muscle.

      The subtext of your question of course is deeper: can we train for long-distance running and endurance and still have heavy muscle? The first marathon runner, Pheidippides, ran the eponymous Marathon in 490 BC and he was an Athenian hoplite. He was unlikely to have the kind of body that today's marathon runners have. In addition, if we look at decathletes or triathletes they run long distances in competition while packing heavy muscle. But, despite all their training they can't approach the run times of athletes who are only long distance runners. The primary reason for that is not lack of training or ability but the amount of muscle they carry.

      To explain this better, because exercise is all about energy management in the body when we train for long distance running the body undergoes adaptations that are designed to help it do so at less energy cost. Shedding heavy muscle is one of these adaptations. So, an athlete who is a long distance runner and an athlete who is a triathlete or decathlete have adapted for different levels of energy costs in their chosen sport. They cannot be compared to each other.

      Breaking all this down into a more simple answer: you can run long distances without losing muscle provided you don't go for the kind of intensity that athletes apply in their sport. Then your body would adapt for running long distance and it would shed muscle.

      To answer your follow-on question, I assume this has to do with productivity and concentration. If I have understood it correctly, neurobiologically, we are designed to focus on what is most important to us. Prioritize your tasks in order of importance and tackle them one at a time. That way you get a sense of progress, a sense of achievement as you complete them and you also do not get distracted when working.

      I hope all this helps.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Damer View Post
        facuzayas thank you for opening this thread with the first question. It is way more complicated than you may think so I will start by saying that every form of exercise we do is a means of energy management. The body sees physical activity as a form of energy expenditure. When that expenditure is consistently high (like when we exercise regularly) the body initiates an adaptation response. Depending on what we were doing that caused the energy expenditure in the first instance, the adaptation response will give us strength, endurance, speed etc, and the physical change that is required to achieve each one. What all physical adaptations have in common however is a drop in energy expenditure when we perform the physical task that caused energy expenditure to rise in the first instance. So, for example, if the body starts burning calories because we lift heavy weights, it initiates an adaptation process that gives us bigger, heavier muscles. These muscles make the lifting of heavy weights easier (because we are stronger) and we use up less energy than before.

        This is why, for example, with Darebee workouts we constantly vary the load the body experiences, this is why in traditional weight lifting they talk about progression and the incremental increase of weights and this is why athletes who train for competition introduce so much variety in their training.

        This introduction now brings us directly to your question: can we do a marathon without losing muscle? Muscle, in this sense, would be lost only if we ran a marathon at world-class pace and had insufficient fuel to do so. In the beginning the body will use all available blood sugar in a process known as glycolysis. Then the body begins to break down fatty acids and adipose fat in a process called lipolysis. Both of these processes go into producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which is the fuel that powers every single cell in the body. For the body to start breaking down muscle we need to pretty much use all available stored fat. If, for argument's sake, we have really low body fat and maintain the world-class pace in the marathon we are running in the body will cannibalize itself by breaking down muscle.

        This shows that a body builder could run a marathon and barely lose any muscle, unless, of course he tried to run it, start-to-finish at a world-class pace in which case yes, he would lose muscle.

        The subtext of your question of course is deeper: can we train for long-distance running and endurance and still have heavy muscle? The first marathon runner, Pheidippides, ran the eponymous Marathon in 490 BC and he was an Athenian hoplite. He was unlikely to have the kind of body that today's marathon runners have. In addition, if we look at decathletes or triathletes they run long distances in competition while packing heavy muscle. But, despite all their training they can't approach the run times of athletes who are only long distance runners. The primary reason for that is not lack of training or ability but the amount of muscle they carry.

        To explain this better, because exercise is all about energy management in the body when we train for long distance running the body undergoes adaptations that are designed to help it do so at less energy cost. Shedding heavy muscle is one of these adaptations. So, an athlete who is a long distance runner and an athlete who is a triathlete or decathlete have adapted for different levels of energy costs in their chosen sport. They cannot be compared to each other.

        Breaking all this down into a more simple answer: you can run long distances without losing muscle provided you don't go for the kind of intensity that athletes apply in their sport. Then your body would adapt for running long distance and it would shed muscle.

        To answer your follow-on question, I assume this has to do with productivity and concentration. If I have understood it correctly, neurobiologically, we are designed to focus on what is most important to us. Prioritize your tasks in order of importance and tackle them one at a time. That way you get a sense of progress, a sense of achievement as you complete them and you also do not get distracted when working.

        I hope all this helps.
        WOW, Damer, it was pretty clear! the way you break it down from bigger to deep question was terrific

        Thanks!

        Comment


          #5
          Ooh, I love these things!
          My question this month relates to isometric training. I know that isometrics can be done body-weight only (like all the 'hold' exercises we see in Darebee workouts) and with weights; with walls and trees and resistance bands and, well, pretty much a lot of things. My understanding is that you're unlikely to injure yourself training with isometrics so it can be good for rehab purposes. I wonder what your view on isometrics is - both yielding isometrics and overcoming isometrics as far as strength gain, cardiovascular fitness, mobility, and endurance are concerned, and where/if you would put them in a workout. And that whole angles thing - some say that you only strengthen muscles within 15-30 degrees of the angle at which you were holding, others say that's rubbish and muscles just strengthen - do you know which is right?

          Comment


            #6
            TopNotch let's kick that can of worms and see what comes out. Isometric exercises (and Darebee workouts frequently include some) are as old as the hills (see this interesting piece here) and they are a safe way to build both strength and muscle. The principle behind them is that we pit one muscle group against another in an agoniste/antagoniste way at maximal or near maximal load. Because it is bodyweight that's involved the chances for injury are virtually zero. The body has built-in failsafes that relax the muscles the moment they exceed their capacity and that, in addition to the fact that there is no ballistic movement involved, ensures that we get the most of the exercise with virtually zero chances of injury.

            Because the exercise is static we have zero movement in the angle of the joint. We can however, vary the contraction strength. Think of, as an example, tensing your biceps with your arms extended to the sides, palms upwards. You can vary just how hard you can tense them and that variation is determined by just how much control you have over your biceps. The fact that joint angles are static makes them a good way to rehabilitate injured muscles because the exercise is so safe, but not injured tendons which require movement through the pain point to get better.

            By now it becomes obvious, I hope, that you can strengthen muscles at any angle to the joint. Muscles respond to three types of stimulation for their adaptations:

            1. Flexion
            2. Tension
            3. Fatigue

            Most exercises, even isometric ones, will utilize two of these and, sometimes, all three. So, if you can strengthen muscles at any angle with the right combination of stimulation where does the myth about joint angle comes from? Well, we know now that we only get really good at a particular sport by performing sport-specific training. I can run, for example, 10km in 45 minutes, consistently and that will give me good speed, aerobic endurance and coordination as well as strong legs, but it won't improve my martial arts sparring unless I specifically engage in martial arts sparring. Joint angle and where the power for movements comes from is the reason for that.

            We know from studies that in sprinting, as an example, the rear knee angle delivers different quality sprint starts. Strength comes from adaptation in the muscles. Adaptations take energy to occur and deliver specific energy-saving benefits during the performance of the motion, in return. So, in any particular sport, the power we seek to develop comes from its requirements that are marked by its particular set of movements which result in very specific joint angles. A 2016 study on developing power in athletes showed that doing quarter squats delivered great jump and sprint gains than doing full squats, even though full squats train the entire muscle in its entire rage of motion. This is because sprinting and jumping utilize the muscle in specific joint angles. The entire muscle may be really strong but that strength doesn't come into play because the joint angle only activates the muscle in its particular range of motion.

            So, to get back to what you heard (or read) and bust it completely: if you train the entire length of the muscle, like doing a full squat or isometrically tensing your biceps with your arm extended, you will get strength along the entire length of the muscle. However, you may not need to have all that strength (and its attendant weight) if what you're measuring requires a much narrower range of motion and a smaller joint angle.

            I hope I answered your question completely but just come back with anything you feel needs greater clarification, if not.

            Comment


              #7
              Damer Thanks, that clears some things up. One other question then: is there any benefit in doing one sort (yielding or overcoming) over the other, or can both (or either, depending on the mood) be happily incorporated into a workout? Oops, sorry, two questions, because here's another: is there a best time to do isometrics - before, during or after a workout?

              Comment


                #8
                TopNotch not a problem at all . Welllll, when you use isometrics depends on how you use them. If it's rehabilitative then done at the end of a workout is awesome. But if it's strength building, for example, you treat them like any other exercise and you do them when you do them. The thing to remember with muscle adaptations what is important when it comes to exercise is not what you do or when as why you do something. If, for instance, you are training for strength and you also add 30 minutes running in front of that, or at the end, sure, you will get tired and sure your body will learn to handle fatigue better as a result of your training but ... your body will also prioritize the adaptations you trigger with the tail-end of your workout. So, if you run at the start it will focus on doing strength but largely ignore any adaptations that would lead to better aerobic performance and if you run at the end it will seek to optimize for aerobic performance but not for strength. There is only so much energy available to us to go around.

                Comment


                  #9
                  I will keep this thread open until Sunday 30th, so any questions please don't hesitate to ask and remember, my wordy answers not withstanding, there are no silly questions where fitness is concerned.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Great! Thanks, Damer What I also like is how your answers so often remind me of other questions I'd forgotten! So here's another.
                    About adaptation. It makes sense that if I want to be, for example, stronger, I'd focus on strength training. But what use is strength if I don't have the cardiovascular endurance to use it for any length of it? So it makes sense that I'd also train CV. Here's where the question comes, then. If I want to train both strength and CV and my body will only really focus on the last thing it remembers, then how long between each sort of training is recommended? Strength in the morning and CV in the afternoon, or strength on one day and CV the next? When does the body recognise a "last part" to a workout, and when is it ready to accept something new? Just when it's not tired any more? (I recognise that this will depend a deal on an individual's own fitness.) Does this mean that a workout period that covers strength training, CV, mobility, hypertrophy, endurance, and whatever, is not as useful as a workout that looks just at one (to achieve those specific aims, and not just to enable a good workout by warming up, I mean)?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hey Damer . Thanks for yet another Q&A.

                      A question that recently came up for me, is KB weight for CV health, replacing HIIT. What is the definitive guide for choosing a weight that will tax me and provide aerobic adaptation similar to sprinting for example or jumping rope?

                      For reference, those were my go-tos, but I am recovering from a foot tendonitis (over usage the doctor said) so they are a no-no...

                      I want to buy a KB but have to be really careful, to serve its purpose, because I can't afford buying more.


                      I will come back with more..!

                      (ok, that sounded like a threat, I apologize)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Damer Can you do kip-ups? How do you train for them? Darebee should have a kip up prerp workout.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          CaptainCanuck Now that you mention it, it would be great to have a dance program for agility/flexibility, thinking like breakdance/parkour... I don't know why, but I just got excited!!!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Damer if running (outside pr on a treadmill) is not an option, what would you recommend;
                            Elliptical at medium/fast, or shadowfighting for same time?

                            Note that, space available is limited, so no much room for big circles, or kicks, just punches, evading and knee strikes.

                            Also, not talking about general neuromuscular benefits, in which shadowfighting is obviously superior, just pure energy expenditure.

                            In other words, does limited space affect energy consumption? How can we maximize burn, without much sacrifice of form?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              GiorgosD Sure, although kip ups are used in martial arts as well.

                              Comment

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