I’ll never forget the story during one of my client assessments last year:
I was explaining the importance of recovery to a client, explaining how not allowing your body to recover will lead to ZERO visual transformation in your physique.
His eyes lit up and he smiled. He began to tell me a story about when he got out of his last relationship he went on a total workout bender. Training for 30 days in a row, sometimes twice a day, he didn’t see any change.
Now, mind you, we are talking about a 24 year old male, so his body should respond to resistance training very quickly.
Ready to give up, he took 2 days off.
“When I woke up the 1st day I felt like I looked different. But, when I woke up the 2nd day I was like ‘Holy Shit, I can see my abs!”
This is an example of hormesis.
Hormesis, is a term originally developed in toxicology. It is when on dose of something produces a beneficial response, while too much of the dose produces an harmful biological response.
When exercising, stressors from thermal, metabolic, and mechanical types cause an adaptation to the body. Exercise and these adaptations ARE NOT LINEAR. Too much exercise AND not enough exercise leads to diminishing returns. There seems to be a sweet spot with how much you can do.
This brings up the question: DOES LESS EQUAL MORE?
An interesting article popped up in this month’s Journal of Applied Physiology regarding this matter. The interesting part wasn’t actually what the study was intended to solve:
Objective: Measure long term effects of HIIT on aerobic capacity and metabolism when in a caloric maintenance.
Population: 28 African American obese women subjects into 2 groups: HIIT vs. normal physical activity of subject (non HIIT).
Intervention: Subjects consumed a weight maintaining diet, and performed either 3 HIIT workouts/week OR did their own workout for 14 weeks.
Results: Type II error
Type II error?
Def – A statistical term used within the context of hypothesis testing that describes the error that occurs when one accepts a null hypothesis that is actually false.
Out of the 28 subjects, only 7 finished the 14 week intervention!
75% drop out rate. 75%. This ruined what could have been a great study to find the effect of HIIT on endurance and fat loss, rendering it a type II error.
What could be the role of this drop out rate/type II error?
– Poor coaching
– Lack of motivation
– No clear understanding of the benefits of exercise
– Subjects were self centered and didn’t care about the research results
These could all be viable answers, but the least obvious answer I believe to be true is the exercise the subjects were doing WAS NOT A GOOD FIT FOR THEM.
Half the subjects were doing whatever they were doing before (if anything) and the other were doing a HIIT program that may not have been a good fit for them.
Focusing on just one habit at a time is extremely important. Some studies show up to an 85% success rate when focusing on just one habit (compared to 5% if you focus on three or more habits at once).
More importantly, which habit you choose is extremely important.
You see, in this study, the new habit of a HIIT routine this obese population attempted formed was much too advanced. The first habit should be so easy it’s laughable.
Gaining momentum with small successes is key, and failures will either cause most to quit or have a negative relation with the specific habit.
This is why I’m a huge proponent of walking. Why?
- It’s easy on your body
- Doesn’t require a lot of preparation
- You can multi-task during it
- Increases your metabolism during the exercise
- Exposes you to more vitamin D (if done outside)
- Doesn’t compete with your strength gains
- You don’t have to be in any type of shape to do it
How many steps should I be taking?
10,000 steps a day seems to be the current recommendation. I typically complete this within 4 hours of my morning since I work on my feet.
Don’t think you can stay accountable walking this much?
Perfect, then join my 10,000 step challenge HERE
Not only will you stay accountable, but you’ll also be competing for prizes like:
– Personal training
– And much more!
Again, HERE’S the sign up link
What you get:
– 30 day workout routine with FULL video exercise library
– Facebook accountability group
– Chance to win prizes!
If you have a friend or family member you think would be a good match for this contest, you will receive a 60 minute personal training session as a BIG thank you.
Have a great rest of your week,