How well do you know your own body?

Our Easter/Passover/Good Luck sign is also a comment on how different we all really are. 

It reminded me of an interesting article in the New York Times a few months ago that caught my attention: The Workout Enigma

It began with this paragraph:

Recently, researchers in Finland made the discovery that some people’s bodies do not respond as expected to weight training, others don’t respond to endurance exercise and, in some lamentable cases, some don’t respond to either. In other words, there are those who just do not become fitter or stronger, no matter what exercise they undertake.

What!

…like we all ‘know’ that people respond differently, but not at all?

The point of the article is sort of obvious when you think about, and summarized in this paragraph:

Hidden away in the results of almost any study of exercise programs is the fact that some people do not respond at all, while others respond at an unusually high rate. Averaged, the results may suggest that a certain exercise program reliably will produce certain results — that jogging, say, three times a week for a month will improve VO2max (maximal oxygen capacity) or reduce blood pressure; and for almost any given group of exercisers, those results are likely to hold true. But for outliers, the impacts can be quite different. Their VO2max won’t budge, or it will fall, or it will soar.

The point is this…everyone talks about the ‘average’ results of a study…like ‘on average’ the 100 participants increased their ‘something’ by 20%…they use this example to highlight their point:

In the combined strength-and-endurance-exercise program, the volunteers’ physiological improvement ranged from a negative 8 percent (meaning they became 8 percent less fit) to a positive 42 percent. The results were similar in the groups that undertook only strength or only endurance training. Some improved their strength enormously, some not at all. Others became aerobically fitter but not stronger, while still others showed no improvements in either area. Only a fortunate few became both fitter and more buff.

Click here for the entire article

sooo, what does this mean for you and I?….it just highlights the importance of getting to know how your body responds to various types of training stress…or more to our recent topic…to Intensity…and do we get the most improvement from hitting it hard, like Zone 5+ in short bursts, or do better with more time at Zone 3…or even lower.

…wouldn’t you hate to find out that you’ve been spending a lot of training time on the wrong type of training?

…or more properly that you could have doing something else that would have given you a much bigger improvement for the time spent

…sort of what drives my interest in such things 🙂

More to come, on how to find out what works for you and what doesn’t…

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