It’s time for you to understand the magnitude of stress your body endures when you train.
Your body responds to the stress of exercise in a tear-down/build-up cycle. Keeping in mind that our daily routines, themselves, are certainly filled with stress (with physical consequences), consider this: “Exercise represents one of the highest levels of extreme stresses to which the body can be exposed. For example, in a person who has an extremely high fever approaching the level of lethality, the body metabolism increases approximately 100% above normal; by comparison, the metabolism of the body during a marathon race increases to 2,000% above normal.” This is from an article in Exercise Physiology, authored by Amer Suleman, MD, Chief Editor, updated 7/03/2013. To put it into perspective; you didn’t just ‘have a workout’– you pushed your body, and all its systems, to the edge! Extreme exertion during single rep max lifts can spike blood pressure levels above 300/300! Once in a while you might push your favorite set of wheels beyond normal, but you’re not going to enter a 24 hour endurance race 3 times a week! Understanding this degree of personal physical punishment should give you reason to reevaluate the importance of recovery in your routine.
After the stress of the workout, things need to be repaired and put back to normal. “Restoration of muscle glycogen is accomplished through diet and may take several days, depending on the intensity of exercise.” It is at this point, of course, that providing the essential nutritional elements in the context of sufficient sleep is even more critical. For many, muscle soreness is a key element in determining sufficient recovery.
Now, Let’s add training intensity to the mix. If you’ve always believed that you must do multiple sets of every exercise, look at the evidence from this article, along with suggested recovery periods.
Let’s say that in your resistance training you’re doing a set to exhaustion with a fair amount of reps. The muscle group has obviously been worked hard. What is the Incremental increase in strength/bulk/endurance by doing more sets? If you’ve achieved 85% of the gain in one set (probably more if done to exhaustion; again, purely hypothetical), how many more sets are necessary? At what point have you reached diminishing returns? The answers to these questions vary greatly between a natural athlete and one training with steroids and/or growth hormones: two very different worlds. It’s not just the phenomenally rapid strength gains that make steroids so functional, it’s also the rapid recovery which speeds progress.
If you’re seeking to improve aerobic capacity, and 90% of the aerobic benefits are gleaned in 20 minutes (hypothetical), what’s the benefit of doing an hour? Is it possible, in the long term, that this incremental benefit is far offset by harm caused from the additional pounding of the knees?
Ideally, the best training program is a delicate balance between training, nutrition, and recuperation that accomplishes your fitness goals. The advice that you will receive regarding training can only be individualized effectively by you.
That, without a doubt, requires diligent efforts to understand the feedback you feel during and after training; and along with it, making the appropriate responses.
To Your Health and Fitness,
Note: Latest news on Moderate vs Extreme Exercise. Must read and evaluate for your goals:
Lifting and high blood pressure:
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