Monday, September 26, 2011

The morning imaginary commute - getting in nepas/cardio without the whinge reflex response

Do you find you need to cardio of some sort when either cutting fat or needing to sustain its off-ness? Do you notice when you do it, it starts to rock the scales?

Every step we take helps that lean process. We saw a couple weeks ago that 8-11k steps with at least 3k of them being in the medium to vigerous heart range (over 60% maxHR) is a great thing for weight effects. 

Lonnie Lowery is also an advocate of the benefits of fasted cardio. Lowery uses "non-panting" NEPA style cardio. On empty. Various work seems to suggest that the fasted state does good things for insulin response.

There's also recent work that John Berardi pointed to about endurance workouts prior to eating having great effects on fat burning and insulin response even AFTER the next meal. That is - workout, eat after that and voila good things just keep happening

So some fasted cardio may be part of a trifecta of
  1. contributing to NEPAs that keep us lean
  2. getting insulin levels primed for the first meal of the day and
  3. continuing to have a beneficial effect on fat burning and fuel processing beyond that meal.
The challenge for many it seems is that the thought of doing cardio kinda sux.
But it seems we have a lot of choices:
  • we don't have to do fasted cardio; we can do our NEPAs anytime - as long as we get them in
  • we can do fasted nepas non-paning cardio in the morning by whatever way we wish.
  • or we can do some more intense morning effort prior to eating or not and still give us a great benefit for the meal following.
LOTS of options.
Any one is better than doing nothing; combining them may be very cool.

Getting Personal: Know Thyself. For me, if i'm trying either to cut fat (which i am) and then want to keep that cut stuff cut (and i do), for me, i just have to get in the cardio. I just do. I know that about me.

But (a) i hate that kiddy feeling of "oh, gee,  do i have to?" that comes up in myself and i hate that "hmm" that's kinda looking for good excuses not to do it.

Getting to Work - literally/virtually

As per the recent Dan John interview - within his ouvre he speaks of "punch the clock" workouts - where you just show up and do them: they're not crap but they're not necessarily inspiring. They're showing up and getting it done. Inspiring lifter Fawn Friday recently reminded me that Rif (aka Mark Reifkind) says consistency more than intensity gets it done. So how to find the way to consist - esp. with the cardio i know i need?

Here's one way i've been looking at the trifecta that gets rid of all the head stuff - including how to weasle out of it: it's my new morning virtual commute.

During uni, i had to bike to class; in grad school, bike to uni; before i moved to england, bike to work - awesome. Now i'm within walking distance rather than a 10mile ride each way along a lake. Hmm.

The thing about when i was biking, it didn't count as a workout because it was just what one had to do to get to what one had to do. This is not to say that i did not regularly try to beat my times or find interesting new routes. But the thing was: it's the commute.

So i've been thinking: what if i think about rowing or stationary biking like my morning commute?

As soon as i started thinking about the cardio - and lately it's been rowing on a waterrower - as my morning commute - then i don't have to think about whether or not i'm going to do it - it's just what has to be done to get to where i'm going. I don't do it, i don't arrive. 

I find that that attitude has taken a lot of the snot out of the whole issue about ooo but i have to do this interval pattern at that intensity for it to be worth anything. No. No, i really don't. I have to get to work. It takes 20 mins some days, others it might take 30. who knows, some day i may find a scenic route and it will take forty (or more).

With this attitude i've been finding that i can have a go at doing 15 mins of 24/36 intervals, or power ladders of 24, 26 and 28kwatts for two minutes each and back up and down, or non-panting 120BPM. I can see that my total kilometers in the same time seem to be going up without thinking about it, meaning i'm getting stronger. without thinking about it. And my fitbit attached to the handle as i row says i'm getting my nepas in, and my HR tells me i'm being sane about the cardio intensity.

And because i can do this every day, i'm passing the dan john test of can i do this every day and keep coming back - every day - without getting fried.

And i can get my workouts in. This work is not to fry myself; it's to complement and support my practice.

And it's just my commute.  No biggie, but it has to be done. So no sense even thinking about it too much, sweating it, or getting carried away. It's also a great time to catch up on learning cool stuff - like listening to dan john's Intervention mp3, or my zhealth course vids' audio tracks, or any of the stanford podcasts on anatomy or anything else. There are advantages to not having to worry about the traffic and attend to the interval.

And heh it's not like i can't go for a run instead of a row - get outside get in the oxygen. Whatever. The important thing is to do. And right now, rowing is my commute mode. Maybe tomorrow it will be running. On saturday, wonderful day, it was both. I don't want to over think this about what's the more right thing to do. i just want to get there.

Not that getting there can't be beautiful. I do also think about my form when i'm doing this - so it's interesting all the little bits that can be practiced to make the commute interesting.

And the fringe benefits seem to be the trifecta of effects on strength, food processing and fat be gone'ing.

I may not love it - though when i have looked at the clock and thought i need x more minutes dam this is slow, i have tended to say yes but how grateful am i that i *can* do this. Imagine if i was injured or ill and i'd just yearn to be able to pull 20mins on this thing.

So oh gosh i hope i can keep this head space - but i have grown to appreciate the side effects of this virtual morning commute. It's changed the act from "having to get in cardio" to just doing what i need to do everyday to get where i need to be everyday. And that's just true. it's exactly what it is.

Maybe the concept of the morning (or evening) commute will help you, too?


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1 comment:

Chris said...

Like you, I felt that I needed more exercise (esp. cardio) but my commute is SO long I didn't think that bike commuting would ever be a possibility for me. However about 6 months ago, I got a folding bike, so now I can actually do it. I still drive the first part, but when I get within riding distance of work, I park, and then I ride the rest of the way in. I never though I'd get such a great ride from a bike that also fits in my trunk.


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