There is a big mis-conception of doing cardio and weight loss.
I have heard and seen in videos people saying that they can eat something now, and it will not matter, as long as they do cardio later.
While on the one hand there is some truth to this – let’s look more at what this really means.
Many people believe that what calories they burn while on a cardio machine. There are several problems with this.
A: That number is highly inaccurate due to variances of muscle, age, height, bodyfat and metabolism of each individual.
B: The number of calories comes from stored muscle glycogen for the first 45 minutes of exercise.
C: all calories are NOT equal!
Body fat is created when eating foods that raise your blood sugar levels while you are NOT exercising – in other words if you eat sugar while exercising or immediately after, that sugar goes mainly to the muscles as energy.
It takes up to 2 hours for the food that you eat to reach your blood stream.
When someone eats that piece of bread, dessert, the sweetened tea, pasta, etc. then the body ends up storing that extra food/energy as body fat.
The problem with they way that some people think about this is that eating an extra 100 calories of pasta would equal doing an extra 100 calories worth of time on an elliptical machine. But this is not created equal.
In order to actually start to burn off that body fat – using an treadmill/elliptical/rowing machine, you must first get past the 45 minute mark for the fat burning to kick-in.
So, now that you realize this – is that sweet tea/bread before dinner/ dessert worth that extra time required to burn it off? Only you can be the judge of that. But I hope at least now you have a more accurate realization of what it truly means and why this makes it so hard to ‘cheat’ and still get 6 pack abs.
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I crashed. I was going too fast and there were acorns and lots of leaves on the ground. I hit hard.
I went Mt biking with some buddies today. I slowed down at an intersection to make sure everyone was together and 2 of the guys passed me – suddenly I was playing catch-up. I went into a berm with more speed than usual, ended up high on the berm, I overshot the exit and the front wheel landed on leaves. The front wheel immediately folded out from under me and next thing I knew, I was rolling off the trail so that I wouldn’t get run over by the guy behind me. It happened that fast.
If you have not crashed, your not going fast enough…. or something like that.
I went down on my left side and had pain in my left knee. The guys stopped and waited as I figured out whether or not it was serious. I finally got up gingerly and slowly got back on the bike, and continued the ride. The knee was sore, but I pushed on…. I was riding the Jamis SS so I had to mash and stand often. My knee wasn’t very Happy, but I was enjoying the ride. After we finished an easier loop we moved onto another trail.
After transferring over to this other section my knee felt like it had hot-spots. I pulled down my knee warmer, which revealed a purple knee cap and being October, I don’t exactly have a tan. I could see where the skin had taken some abrasion. I was now figuring that I needed to take it easier than I was and attempt to spin my way out of the woods if possible.
I solo hiked & biked my way back to the parking lot and threw down some advil. Once home, I elevated and put a bag of frozen broccoli on the knee cap. Hours later and there was serious swelling and I could barely bend my knee past a 90 degree angle. This was probably my fault.
Things I did wrong
I should have realized how hard the impact was that my knee was going to swell and be sore. More riding was not going to ‘loosen it up’. In fact, all it probably did was aggravate it even more. Being on a Single Speed wasn’t helping either.
Things I did correctly
Once I realized that it was worse that I initially thought, I attempted to get back quickly and not make things any worse, and then took take advil in hopes of suppressing any swelling.
Elevate the leg and start 15 minute periods of icing the knee.
After a couple days of the knee starting to feel better, I checked to see what was restricting my range of motion. Well, where I was feeling the pressure was not in the joint itself, but coming from the muscle.
I started massaging the muscles around the knee and found some tight spots that were fairly tender. SO, I pulled out my good old foam roller and started to roll out my inside knee. I did some searching for those main spots that were so tender, and put some slight pressure on them until they slowly released.
Almost immediately, I noticed improvement in range of motion and less pain.
After a week of doing this, the knee joint itself feels good – no pain through full range of motion.
The inside and just above the knee muscle seems to be quite swollen – I’m continuing to take Advil, apply ice and elevate.
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I know of a exercise regime that has people doing many things that are challenging exercises, however, one of the main things is that the routine doesn’t pay any attention to the Risk vs. Reward factor of exercise. And as such I found out that many people were getting injured doing the workouts.
And as an athlete “The Number 1 way to Improve, is to NOT get Injured”
Let me explain what I mean. The simple fact is there are more basic exercises that you can get as much benefit (if not more) and a fraction of the risk involved in performing them.
Some examples of low risk, high reward plyometric exercises are:
1) jumping rope.
2) squat jumps.
3) side to side hops over cones.
Some examples of High Risk with little reward are:
1) Anything involving standing on a stability ball. I’ve done it, but each time I let out a sigh after being finished – b/c I didn’t get injured. Sure, it’s a cool looking exercise, and people may stop to watch you, but the risk involved during, and finishing the exercise is way too high for any benefit that you would get from doing it.
I heard that Juan Carlos Santana tore an ACL getting off a ball at a seminar – that was enough to make me realize that it was a little risky too do.
2) Increased box size while doing box-jumps. Just because you use a taller box, does not mean that the proportion of benefit from jumping is increased, infact there is an inverse relationship. The taller the box, the less increase in benefit, and the greater increase chance of injury.
For example, if you are doing box-jumps onto a 24″ box, going to a 36″ box is going to barely increase the body’s ability to create more power, however, there is a much greater risk involved.
3) Using ‘the smith machine’ to do squats. I understand the reason people use the smith machine to do squats, but what I don’t think that people realize the hidden risks of using the smith machine. The risks are that:
A) you are loading lots of weight onto the back of your neck, and then attempting to squat that weight, during the course of doing this, you are likely to cheat in any way possible to raise that weight – pushing your neck further into the smith machine.
B) If you have bad mechanics while squatting & then add much weight to the squat (again, on the back of the neck), then the bad mechanics are going to be magnified – and at some point cause an injury.
Want a better exercise that will still challenge most athletes – Single Leg Squats! You don’t have to double the load on your neck, to double the load on each leg, just use 1 leg and your bodyweight.
Another difference is unlike basketball or volleyball, where the power creation may have to come from different muscle length during the course of an event, for cycling, the legs power creation goes through the same cycle (no pun intended, but hopefully appreciated) either seated or standing. So, because the pedal is attached to a crank-arm, your foot is going to do the same circle for every revolution of that crank.
Therefore, we use Plyometrics so that the Power Creation uses a similar muscle length tension relationship of squatting low and jumping, then landing back in a similar squat, then immediately jumping again.
Now before you race to the gym or the basement to hammer out a plyometric workout, please read this first and keep in mind that a risky exercise does not mean it has the most reward!
The biggest reward is to stay injury free.
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