Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Advantage of an Office Door: A Work Up for a Carb Up

Ever stolen a work out during the day, or snuck one in? Do you have to go to the gym to do it? At work, i have the privilege of an office with a door on it such that when it's shut, no one can see in, except the workers in the building going up right across from me. We wave at each other from time to time. when they're way hi up on their lego like structures. But now since they're all off for lunch, it is fine and proper to change my shirt and shorts for sweatable attire and commence a pre-lunch ritual: the carb burn pre load work up.

Yes work up: i am working up to a happy feeding time, knowing i'm not just eating cuz i'm a bit peckish; i'm refurbishing my muscles glycogen stores when they'll be happiest to receive them.

To achieve this today, i decide to do a 15:15 vo2max workout as per Viking Warrior Conditioning (reviewed here).

But then, mid workout, what happens? i start to feel a callus go - for those of you who do this kind of thing you know what i mean. I don't want a tear - i'm about to go away on a break and while i suppose that would be the ideal time to have a tear (if one must) i think i'd rather not. Band aids etc, no fun. Phooey.

So i do the a-typical smart thing and stop my vo2max work with a 12kg and transition gracefully into an on-the-fly adapted 8on 12 off session of swings for the next 11 minutes with a 24kg. Perfect form, perfect form. Every rep a perfect rep. My word, 12 secs post kettlebell seems much shorter post a kettlebell set than it does on the bike.

This protocol is based on one developed by Trapp and co for eliciting optimal fat burn in women of both athletic and not so athletic backgrounds. 20mins of 8/12 intervals seemed to be a sweet spot for fat burning.

1: Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2007 Dec;293(6):R2370-5. Epub 2007 Sep 26.Click here to read Links

Metabolic response of trained and untrained women during high-intensity intermittent cycle exercise.

School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia. e.trapp@unsw.edu.au

The metabolic response to two different forms of high-intensity intermittent cycle exercise was investigated in young women. Subjects (8 trained and 8 untrained) performed two bouts of high-intensity intermittent exercise: short sprint (SS) (8-s sprint, 12-s recovery) and long sprint (LS) (24-s sprint, 36-s recovery) for 20 min on two separate occasions. Both workload and oxygen uptake were greater in the trained subjects but were not significantly different for SS and LS. Plasma glycerol concentrations significantly increased during exercise. Lactate concentrations rose over the 20 min and were higher for the trained women. Catecholamine concentration was also higher postexercise compared with preexercise for both groups. Both SS and LS produced similar metabolic response although both lactate and catecholamines were higher after the 24-s sprint. In conclusion, these results show that high-intensity intermittent exercise resulted in significant elevations in catecholamines that appear to be related to increased venous glycerol concentrations. The trained compared with the untrained women tended to show an earlier increase in plasma glycerol concentrations during high-intensity exercise.

As for the application of the above with a heavy kb, i can say after the 11th minute, it seems i may have found a way to test for a new max heart rate. Cuz that was higher than on a bike and not maximal. I was still standing. Hmm. On the fat loss, well i don't know. It's more effortful than on a bike. May try again with a 20kg, just to calibrate. Interesting enough to want to give it a go again.

Feeling very pleased to have done this work up.
Clean up; re-dress and regroup. Lunch becomes a happy happy thing. A definite re-fuel. Ideally if i'd been thinking straight i would have grabbed a lighter bell just to do some more cool down swings to get a bit more fat flamed off before it re-esterfies from sitting down again.

So what's the take away here:
  • glad i've FINALLY gotten to a place where i can change an envisioned workout in order to keep working out, rather than obsessively have to stick with ONE routine because, who's keeping track again? oh? just me? right-o.
  • doing short intervals with a heavy kb is an intriguing workout from both a cardiac and potential fuel burning perspective.
  • remember to stash chalk at work, too: a few more minutes and that 24 would have been sailing out of the office towards the new building. Even though that's rather a pleasant thought - sort of like shooting a canon at an enemy battlement, the consequences would not be pretty.
  • the snatch grip to avoid calluses in fast repeats is a skill to be learned - still
But i guess the biggie here is to suggest, i hope, that if you have the luxury of an office where you can close a door, or even not, one where you can safely swing a kettlebell, it's a great way to have a pre-lunch work-up.

If you'd like more info on feeding up and why post workout, and what that has to do with muscles, here' a bit more in a review i did of precision nutrition's individualization/carb tolerance.

Now for the post happy lunch cup of tea...


Mark Reifkind said...

great post. man I may have to try this. I thought 15:15 was short enough but I like the idea of an even shorter work bout and LONGER rest bout,lol.

dr. m.c. said...

Hi Mark, ya the 8/12 was designed to be a 20 min protocol in order to check a particular leptin and fat response so long enough (i think) to tax glycogen stores out so fat burning comes in.

but by doing a 10min 15:15 vo2max and 10min heavy 8/12, well, let's just say i'm feeling it differently today :)

thanks as always for stopping by


Rannoch Donald said...

MC, great post. Adapt and thrive. That is a valuable lesson.

I am lucky enough to have a 16 in the office and a pull up bar. No matter what I get my "100" reps in.

As for intervals, there are more variables and protocols than you can swing a KB at. But that again is the joy. Mixing up different periods seems to me a much healthier option that sticking with the same old same old.

It takes a certain confidence to simply go with the flow. I know that measuring things is the way to monitor progress. By the same token, in the interestes of longevity and dare I say fun, it's great to just let rip and see where it takes you.

For me, less structure seems to produce a more satisfying session. Sometimes I simply think, Push, Pull, Squat...get set, GO!

dr. m.c. said...

welcome back Rannoch.
do you think your relaxedness with going with the flow on your workouts comes from loads of experience?
not sure this is something someone just getting familiar with themselves and their practice could do?

how long have you been at this place?
when did you figure out that was working for you?

Rannoch Donald said...

Perhpas experience has something to do with it but i think it is more the confidence that comes with consistency.

If I regularly miss pratice, opt out when I don't have enough time for a scheduled session I create a negative loop. Couldnt do it, can't do it, wont do it.

Where as, if I keep my activity regular, irrepective of the amount of time I have the effect is positive.

Before everything else, reps, calories, minutes, load, consistency is key.

It's like meditation...

When is the best time to practice


Where is the best place to practice


What is the best way to practice

What ever you a have to work with, here and now

dr. m.c. said...

just cool, rannoch.


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