Just before we started the session, Brittany said she got hardly any sleep and she hadn't eaten much of anything that day (she found a guy). So what. What has lack of sleep and lack of food got to do with exercise?
What do people think when they walk into a gym and "workout" without a thought of what their body has been through, what it needs, or if it can even handle the workout?
They do it anyway – to the detriment of their body. The workout, in essence, is worse than not doing any good, it may make everything a lot worse.
So we take a look at Brittany on a Wednesday. Her HIIT workout was a 20 second burst, 4 intervals. She did not tell me anything other than her usual, dating a guy and probably going to get married this year and that she is motivated to trim up. There’s nothing wrong here.
So we began the session Wednesday as usual. Each of her intervals are either in the orange zone or red zone; her lowest high heart rate was almost 130 and her highest high 171. Take a look here…
However, she showed up Friday afternoon close to the same time with a different story.
She sat on the Myoride exercise machine and the first thing she said was that she barely had any sleep Thursday, the night before and that she hadn't eaten anything all day. What could have happened? I wasn’t that interested in what had happened, only interested in what was going to happen for this session.
She started out full blast in her first 20 second burst but just as quick as she started, she slowed. She struggled. The first 20 seconds seemed to her like forever. The angst was all over her face. She did not let that deter her. She struggled through the next interval and the next. I saw what was going on in real time - her heart rate was struggling right along with her.
This is her heart rate profile for Friday, the disaster-session…
Wednesday - all four bursts were high, either in the high orange zone or in the red zone. Her maximum heart rate reached 171 bpm. I won't discuss any other factors but only to show you how her heart rate responded to the burst intervals.
Friday - all four bursts were low, two didn't make it out of the yellow zone so she didn't crack 120 bpm in these. Her maximum heart rate reached 138, far less than the previous session. And she was completely exhausted at the end of the fourth interval.
One of the important factors about exercise is the personal profile of the exerciser. If the person has had a bad night or bad previous day then maybe they should not exercise or their workout should be minimal. Is this taken into account very often?
Exercising when the body is not capable of the exercise stress is not a good idea and may in fact, be a detriment to continued progress in fitness or performance. And more importantly, the exercise may be worsening their body function during the exercise event. If a person continues exercising through the stresses of the workout they are causing catabolic damage.
If a person is not feeling well and is thinking about exercising, how can you:
The answer to both of these questions is the same. The question is, what biomarkers can be used to gauge stress or the parameters of progress that you can follow and make wise decisions with?
Like Brittany. She said before we even began that she had just a few hours of sleep and hadn't eaten anything all day. She had a sense that this exercise session was different before she even started. Yet, she wanted to continue because she had a goal in mind to: get in shape, lose several pounds, improve her %body fat and improve her BMI scores. But more importantly to her, she had found a guy and this fact clouded any rational thinking.
I was all game to put her through the entire HIIT session but I was cautious because of what she said. And we see the results of her heart rate monitor and her HIIT sprint intervals. They were not normal for her. I was observing each of these intervals in real time and could tell her output was not typical.
I would not have believed that her lack of sleep and lack of food would cause such responses. Because of this I'm in the process of monitoring even more biometrics during a HIIT session and recording the important information such as:
Even though Brittany told me she wasn't feeling great she wasn't going to not exercise and I let her without a lot of validity as to why she shouldn't. But with all the biometrics pointing to why she shouldn't exercise, she probably wouldn't listen to them and me anyway. Her goal was the guy and nothing was going to stand in her way.
If you can do this simple test, it’s a good sign of your fitness level. If you fail, you may need to exercise.
This is such a simple test that you can do today with a set of stairs and it may reveal more about your longevity than anything else. It has to do with your current fitness level and how well you respond to stressors in your life.
An excerpt from Today:
“How people perform on an exercise test that requires them to move very briskly can predict their risk of premature death from heart disease, cancer and other causes, a study presented at a meeting of the European Society of Cardiology found.
“Those with good exercise capacity — capable of high levels of physical exertion, say, on a treadmill — had less chance of dying early of any cause.
“The participants in the study underwent an exercise echocardiogram, but there’s a much easier method to check your exercise capacity in a similar way: See if you can climb four flights of stairs at a fast pace — in under a minute — without having to stop, said Dr. Jesús Peteiro, the study author and a cardiologist at University Hospital A Coruña in A Coruña, Spain.
“If you can do it, you have good functional capacity. If not, it’s a sign you need more exercise, he noted. Peteiro wasn’t surprised by his study’s findings.”
In just 60 seconds you can find out your fitness level or your longevity level. If you can do this test in 60 seconds your cardiovascular system has capacity to endure stressors over the course of your life. The better the level, the longer the status of longevity.
You can build your fitness level by a simple program of high intensity interval training. In less than 10 minutes several days a week you can boost your energy level, improve fat-burning, improve your metabolism, and improve your cardiovascular system.
This is a case where a cardio exercise program was prescribed for a specific cardiac problem. The cardiac problem in this instance is Atrial Fibrillation (AF).
Atrial fibrillation happens when the nerve action potentials in the heart fire very rapidly or in a chaotic manner. When it beats fast, the heart doesn't pump blood very well. Vital organs like the heart muscle itself and brain may not get enough blood.
If you have atrial fibrillation you may be offered a treatment choice between a) medications such as beta blockers to slow the heart rate; b) radio-frequency ablation to destroy heart tissue that may be giving incorrect electrical signals that cause the abnormal heart rhythm; or c) cardio exercise.
If you have AF, which of these would you choose?
Let’s go with cardio exercise. But what exactly kind of cardio exercise are you going to do?
There is a careful balance of the right kind of exercise helping AF and the potential adverse effects from excessive exercise. There is scant information in the literature about what kind of cardio exercise let alone what kind of protocols to administer for AF although cardio exercise in general has been an agreed upon course of care.
So we find out on my exercise machine with a willing subject, what kinds of variables to manipulate to A) improve symptoms and physiology and B) not allow the patient to become worse.
A 20 year old female who had a history of AF, was diagnosed by her medical doctor, and who was evaluated by a cardiologist. During a report it was suggested to the patient that she either: a) take medications, b) have an ablation, or c) undergo a course of exercise. She chose exercise and to participate in a 3-week trial of directed high intensity interval training on the Myoride Exercise Machine.
We begin a 3-week course of High Intensity Interval Training which was recommended to extend to a 6-week program by her cardiologist who evaluated her inside of three weeks.
The premise we held was that specific protocols could be determined that would exert maximal high intensity exercise bursts so as to allow for the “re-normalization” of heart rate for the patient, whether that be cardio electric or metabolic or a combination of these or other factors.
We attempted several high intensity intervals such as 3, 30-second burst sessions; 4, 20-second burst sessions, and then came upon one that we feel has made a greater difference in increasing the patient’s heart rate to the maximum in the minimal time, fulfilling the premise of getting to high enough intensity bursts but not causing over-exercising of the cardiac muscle.
Keep in mind that the Myoride Exercise Machine allows for full body, complete ROM, non-weight bearing, non-impact cardio exercise and that we can adjust any exercise variable involved:
As well, to determine pre and post-exercise status, we measured forehead temperature (pre) and Rate of Perceived Exertion RPE (post). The forehead temperature was measured using an infrared thermometer. The heart rate was measured with a Scosche heart rate monitor and data was plotted using the HeartZones App.
We found that the most influential protocol, only based on my experience and the patient’s response was:
The two following heart rate graphs were two sessions; the first on May 1, the second on May 6.
Notice on the first graph that the heart rate was not allowed to drop into a resting HR (although it did in several cases). After the first HR spike, the following HR spikes followed roughly 20-30 seconds of rest interval -- the heart rate was not allowed to recover.
At no time during this kind of HIIT session did the patient feel poorly, nor did symptoms appear.
Notice the HR data on May 6. Here we see the heart rate continue climbing during each work interval. Interestingly, on May 6, her forehead temperature pre-workout was the highest it had been measured before any session – she wasn’t feeling well and was unwell the following day. Her beginning HR, which was lower than normal, showed signs of inefficiency but continued climbing throughout the session. This is certainly not typical heart rate of a HIIT session. In the future, any abnormal pre-exercise markers, like the high temperature in her case, should stop any exercise.
Once again, biometrics are used to determine the status and progress of the cardio workout and the physiology of the exerciser. Future testing with an electrocardiogram or other measures will help determine the outcomes of this and any other kind of protocols.
In the meantime, we continue testing specific protocols and advancing cardio exercise and HIIT in particular. We continue working on HIIT protocols to elicit specific outcomes. Because of the advantage of the manipulating exercise variables such as velocity, duration, and intensity on the Myoride Exercise Machine, we will soon be able to dial into the protocols that are most advantageous to the outcomes we are expecting.
This comes by way of hypothesis and proving or disproving the hypothesis when it comes to gain the most through exercise.
Have you exercised and felt really good afterwards? You should actually feel good after every exercise you do.
Back about 30 years ago the running world coined a phrase; "runner's high". It was an endorphin release in the brain that happened after several miles of running. It was a neurochemical release caused by the effects of running.
This "runner's high" may be one factor that helps you determine if the exercise you're doing is doing any good, no matter the exericse.
It is the intensity of the exercise that brings about these physiological changes.
They can come from high intense workouts of lifting heavy weights with maximum effort or running the fastest you possibly can.
But you don't have to do either of these. You can do the same in a very short time by High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This type of exercise is fairly new in the last 20 years but there is much research that shows this type of exercise is even better than what you may be doing if you're not already doing HIIT.
From The Bridge:
"High-Intensity Interval Training is an intense bout of exercise preceded and followed by a slower variant of the same or separate exercise. Though initially confusing, here is something that will help you understand the concept of HIIT better, and possibly implement it into your workouts. That is the exact aim for HIIT workouts, they minimize time and burn calories in a short intense workout that will leave you huffing. HIIT workouts are essential for those who wish to engage in cardio without losing muscle and decreasing body fat. According to a research study, sprint interval training which consists of sprinting at higher intensities showed better fat loss results than the traditional endurance activities of walking and jogging."
The main key is to use the most muscles through their complete range of motion under some resistance. You will get to intensity quickly.
What is the very best way to do HIIT? The Myoride exercise machine because you are using the most muscles all at one time under resistance so that you reach exhaustion in less than 60 seconds.
If you're not feeling good after your workout you need to try our machine a few times and notice the changes in blood flow, muscle toning, range of motion that you have never noticed before.
And that goes for the 40 minute, 30 minute and even the 20 minute workout. All dead. You may still do your timed workouts for the next few months but they are officially over. Done.
Time spent exercising was once important. You put in a “30-minute” workout and felt...great, sometimes. The other times you didn’t feel so good. Your feeling after your workout has more to do with your individual, specific metabolism at that time, then say, your exercise routine.
Maybe some days you should workout for 19 minutes, some days 7 minutes and in either of these cases you might feel the same but more importantly, have the same physiological effect.
Here’s what the government has to say; this is the latest.
The Department of Health and Human Services issued the federal government's first-ever Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008 to help Americans understand the types and amounts of physical activity that offer important health benefits. Physical activity is any form of exercise or movement of the body that uses energy. Some of your daily life activities—doing active chores around the house, yard work, walking the dog—are examples.
Let me interject; there is a striking difference between exercise and activity and when you confuse the two of course you’re going to get way off track as our story shows. Exercise is working a muscle through its range of motion against resistance to the point of exhaustion. That’s my definition of exercise. House work and yard work are just work, not exercise.
Here are just two of their points.
Did you get that? Most of that is confusing, no wonder people have trouble.
Let’s stick with vigorous workouts because what we’re going to find in the next few years that this is the most important type of exercise for all ages when done appropriately to achieve the metabolic effects we’re looking for in a workout.
First of all, they say two and a half hours a week. What are you going to be doing for two and a half hours? Just what kind of vigorous exercise can you sustain for, let’s say, if you’re breaking that up into 3 days per week, that’s 50 minutes each of those 3 days. That’s killer! No one is going to be able to do vigorous exercise for 50 minutes. They did not specify intervals which may make this possible but still, you’re not going to sprint for 10 minutes, you’re not going to pedal your bicycle intensity for 30 minutes, 3 days a week, a week! Maybe if you’re a super athlete.
Secondly, the additional health benefits they say you can gain. That is very incorrect. More does not equal better.
Let’s bring this into more practical terms. Your fitness club. And this is going to get dicey but watch this. How many fitness facilities have you been to that offer timed workouts? Almost all of them. You’re probably doing this now.
Think about yourself. Should you always workout for 30 minutes? Or 45 minutes?
The other day I was on the phone with a nice lady from Florida who was trying to sell me a fitness franchise, there must be a million fitness clubs in Florida. She and a few people were starting their own fitness franchise and it was called something like Bolt-45 or something like that but the title was related to the time you’re going to spend working out. You’re going to spend 45 minutes. You’ll pay for that and get your 45 minutes of value.
Nonetheless I wasn’t interested. No conscientious physiologist or metabolic practitioner is going to have a person working out for 45 minutes.
But aren’t you doing this now? Working out for a certain time period? Working out just like everyone else, no matter your age, physical health, metabolic condition, amount of physical exertion, your diet, your mental state, your diphasic state - whether you are deeply in a catabolic state or anabolic state.
See, there are just so many variables and what I’m saying is that one size does not fit all. If you wake up in the morning and you don’t feel well, then you probably should not either workout out or significantly reduce your workout efforts and/or time. If you’re not motivated, that’s another thing for another day - this could mean many things.
I have an answer for you that I hope you will help me start a trend. And it has to do with biometrics.
Let me explain it this way.
The exercise machine I developed does not fit any class of exercise equipment currently on the market. In fact, you cannot exercise on it like anything else. You simply cannot do it.
The entire premise of my machine is exercising the most muscles, which means all four arms and legs, and both anterior and posterior muscle groups of the arms and legs. In other words, you’re exercising the most muscles as is possible. And by exercising, I mean against bi-directional resistance. It’s like there are four people, one at each of your wrists and ankles, and they’re resisting your arm from going 180 degrees of motion and your leg 120 degrees of motion. That’s under resistance. Just how long can you do this exercise? Not very long at all.
In fact, less than 2 minutes and you’re exhausted. Two minutes of vigorous exercise. You cannot do any more exercise. And that is just one half of the first interval. You repeat that interval a few more times, and here’s the whole point of this discourse, you repeat these intervals based on your own biometrics. It’s your function that determines your exercise time. Not anything or anyone else. Your body tells you when to stop.
I’m anticipating that biomarkers will also tell you when you should start working out, what time of the day you should workout, they are going to measure your oxygen, your heart rate and all the heart rate variables, and who knows what other markers will be introduced. Not yet, but soon.
Do you see where the timed workout is dead? It’s not important. It’s probably not healthy.
Talk to your fitness person and see if this isn’t right. Talk to your health care provider and see if you should be gauging your biomarkers, at least your maximum heart rate before, during and after your workout.
The next level of fitness is going to be individual. Mark my words. I’m already doing it with my machine. I have to. There is no way I can follow any conventional systems of working out.
I’m sure you would rather spend 36 minutes a week, and most of those minutes are spent in the rest interval of the workout, rather than the two and a half hours a week working out. That’s less than two and a half hours per month! You’ve got other things to do than spending the afternoon or morning in the gym.
If you have a good exercise capacity - capable of high levels of physical activities - not only will your fitness level be high, your risk of dying will be delayed.
It is this “metabolic capacity”, the ability of your body to function at high levels of stress, that determines your physical fitness level. As important, you will prolong your life and keep many chronic diseases at bay.
Heart disease and cancer are two major causes of death that are directly related your physical capacity. If you have a strong reactive metabolic capacity, you have far less chance of dying early of any cause of lifestyle-induced death.
To determine exercise capacity you could have an exercise echocardiogram or any other types of clinical tests. But, there is a simple test to check your capacity.
The Stair Test
Here’s how it works. Climb four flights of stairs at a rapid pace in under one minute. If you can’t do it, it means that your fitness level is low and you need to exercise. The caveat here is that you don’t have an injury that prevents you from getting up the stairs.
The Step Test
Alternatively, the Step Test (more specifically, the Queens College Step Test which is an estimation of Volume of Oxygen, or VO2max, which is a strong indicator of fitness levels).
The Step Test is performed by stepping up and down small-tiered stairs for three minutes. This test is especially good to evaluate a fitness workout when testing before the workout begins and then again several weeks post-workout. The heart rate is recorded 5-seconds after the 3-minute test is performed. Over time, as the fitness levels improve (because of the workout), the heart rate should reduce post-workout compared to pre-workout. This is similar to Heart Rate Recovery. In other words, an improved fitness level equals a lower heart rate - the heart is more efficient. To estimate the VO2max with this test, the recorded numbers: gender, age, body weight, and heart rate are compared in classification tables.
The ability to move your entire body quickly is the functional capacity you have to deal with stress and disease, and life in general. Physical activity has a profound effect on blood pressure, oxygenation of tissues, inflammation, activation of the brain and nervous system, and a positive impact on the immune system - the body’s response to tumors. There are a host of other benefits to an improved physical capacity (or exercise capacity or metabolic capacity).
Fitness levels can be estimated in units called Metabolic Equivalents of Task (METs). These MET units give relevance to how much energy is needed per activity. If you are sitting reading this, your MET is about 1. A fast walk might be 3 MET. Jogging might be 6. A very good functional capacity might equal 10 MET - performing at a very high energy level for the task at hand. Your physical and fitness goal is to have the ability to tap into a high MET at will.
Back to the Stair Test; if you can climb four flights of stairs (about 12-13 steps) in less than 60 seconds, you will have equaled 10 METs, according to Dr. Jesus Peteiro, cardiologist at University Hospital A Coruna in A Coruna, Spain and the author of a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology.
It is the ability or capacity to be able to have 10 METs in your metabolic reserves that will predict your level of health and your ability to fend off lifestyle-induced illnesses and diseases.
I am very close to performing functional tests like the Stair Test for the Myoride Exercise Machine. Because of the ability of the machine to tap into all major muscle groups of the arms and legs and put them under bi-directional resistance I am confident we can increase the Metabolic Equivalent of Task and do it like no other exercise.
Ultimately, we all want better fitness levels - this is really a higher ability to function, have more energy, and stay stronger longer.
This in from Neuroscience News, a study that regular exercise will protect people from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). The study was done at University of Virginia Health System, nearby where I did my undergraduate work.
Better than that is: "A single session of exercise increases the production of a critical antioxidant, called EcSOD, helping to reduce the effects of COVID-19 infection."
A single session!
One of the study's top exercise researchers is urging people to exercise based on his findings. The takeaway is that exercise is a potential treatment approach for respiratory distress.
Think about what you're doing with a good cardio-respiratory exercise. One part CARDIO the other part RESPIRATORY. I used to call the type of exercise we're doing as cardiovascular. Have you heard this before? The term is redundant. High Intensity Interval training (HIIT) is cardio and respiratory.
The Myoride Exercise is respiratory in the highest degree because you are exercising so maximally that you go from the Aerobic energy system to the Anaerobic energy system - producing energy WITHOUT oxygen, You are exercising your entire body to such a degree that you cannot supply the oxygen debt that you have created from the exercise. So you have to use another source of energy production and that less-than optimal energy production is Anaerobic Metabolism.
What does this have to do with your Respiratory Function? Everything. By tapping into the Anaerobic system each time you exercise, you are improving the respiratory system function!!!
You can't help but improve your respiratory system and so we go back to the study which was originally titled in the Neuroscience News article - "Exercise may protect against deadly complication of Coronavirus".
Through the Myoride Exercise programs we are doing this and more...
Get this --
When you exercise, there is an antioxidant known as “extracellular superoxide dismutase” (EcSOD) that is produced. From the study..."This potent antioxidant hunts down harmful free radicals, protecting our tissues and helping to prevent disease. Our muscles naturally make EcSOD, secreting it into the circulation to allow binding to other vital organs, but its production is enhanced by cardiovascular exercise".
During intense exercise, not only are you improving your RESPIRATORY system, your muscles are producing more antioxidant in the form of EcSOD and this biochemical is being carried throughout your vascular system to all parts of your body.
How's that for a good reason to get into a good exercise program?
When I was developing the Myoride exercise machine I came across something I didn't know about. Do you know the two reasons most people don't exercise?
The most common reasons people don't exercise is #1 Lack of time and #2 Lack of results.
And once I developed the machine I found that I could do a complete workout three times a week in about 40 minutes, TOTAL. Then I had to learn about high intensity interval training (HIIT) because up until this time I knew very little about it. But this is where exercise is going - getting the maximum benefits in the minimal time.
Here's a clip from an article from Grand Canyon University © where you can read more.
What are the benefits of HIIT?
It is time efficient: Because of the high intensity format, a complete workout can last as little as 15 minutes or as long as 45 minutes. Because the body is working at such a high intensity during this format, it is able to burn more calories in less time.
It keeps your metabolism elevated throughout the day: Not only does HIIT burn calories during the workout session, it causes your metabolism to stay elevated and burn calories for hours after your workout. Your metabolism will stay elevated because of the time it takes to restore energy and repair tissue. This is one of the main reasons why HIIT is so effective.
It leads to fat loss: HIIT utilizes both fats and carbohydrates as fuel during the workout. Because you are working at a high intensity, your body will be burning more calories, which then will cause you to burn more fat and carbohydrates. In addition, you will continue to burn fat throughout the day as your body recovers.
There are only two kinds of exercise: a) cardio and b) muscle building. All other kinds of exercise fall into these two categories. (I did have had one doctor try to tell me that stretching is another kind of exercise but stretching is not exercise).
The never-ending question in exercise circles is: should you do cardio or lift weights to build muscle?
One of the very first questions I asked myself when I was idea of Myoride Exercise machine was: What is the most important exercise, muscle building or cardio?
Yes, they are both important. But if I were going to pick one I would say that cardio was most important.
But, what if you could do both muscle building and cardio AT THE SAME TIME? No, not exactly muscle building - muscle toning.
You actually get both muscle toning and cardio at the same time when you workout on the Myoride exercise machine. Wouldn't you like to do a full-body workout in 7 minutes, 3 of which you're actually working out, and be done with it?
Muscle toning and cardio. It is not a question of which one to do because we're going to both. For many people it's a matter of getting into a program and getting started. For those who are already in a program it's a matter of constantly increasing muscle tone and cardio function. There is no end to improvement working out on the machine!
Look at all the major muscles involved in the workout...
The best way you get a cardio workout is to exercise the most muscles simultaneously. And, because the major muscles of the arms and legs are taken through near-complete range of motion against resistance you are getting muscle toning.
You get both muscle toning and cardio. What could be better than this?
You know that cardio workouts are the key that unlock physical health. The question is - what kind of cardio workouts? They are not created equally.
We are about to find out. Here's why.
As of April 2020, in the middle of the coronavirus, and because of this, the gyms and fitness centers across the country (and world?) have been closed. All but one.
The only fitness facility that hasn't closed but has been continuously functioning has been our facility which houses the Myoride Exercise Machine. Why? Because it is a Clinical Exercise Program that gives clinical fitness results. If we were inside the popular fitness clubs then yes, we would be shut down as well. But we have distinguished our product and service to gain clinical results.
Every person begins each new program with a trainer who assists you in your specific fitness/exercise program. And each program is not left to chance. It is tailored to each person's specific needs, conditions, and expected results.
What will happen when the popular fitness facilities open again is anyone's guess. Some people may not return. Some facilities may not re-open. And many commercial fitness equipment may be at bargain prices in the near future.
Two major themes I held very early on while I developed the Myoride machine were:
I worked diligently on a workout that had to be done in the shortest time while at the same time offer the greatest results. It had to be Efficient and Effective, the terms for time and results. And the more these two were separated (short time, greatest results) meant the very best. Right now, we are down to 4, 30-second intervals. But I'm hoping to get this down to 10-12 second intervals. The next generation machines should be able to do this.
What does this have to do with the 2020 Gym Sale of the Century? I forecast that a lot of fitness facilities will go under, and even fitness equipment manufacturers will stumble. I believe fitness equipment prices will drop. When this happens we'll find out the real value of what equipment works and what equipment collects dust.
The equipment that is the most time efficient and results effective will be the ones to hunt down and use. The two most common reason people don't exercise are: #1 Lack of time and, #2 Lack of results.
If it came down to it, for YOUR money and time, what are you going to do?