Friday, March 5, 2010

Know How Hard To Work

As you know, I'm committed myself to life long fitness. And part of this commitment is understanding how my body works, and the best way to "work" it.

So far, the best book I've found is

Men's Health Peak Conditioning Guides: Essential ABS

While most of it is focused on ab work, it also contains a full body weight strength training routine. I like the book because it doesn't spend time on the crap that Women's' books usually spend way too much time on. It just gets to the facts.

One of the most valuable things I found was the reference to General Adaptation Syndrome.

Stage #1: Alarm Stage
Initial response to exercise: you will get sore. Minimize the negative effects of the alarm stage (by working hard, but not too hard) to prevent quitting the program entirely.

Stage #2: Resistance Stage
Start to see the benefits: physiological (muscles get bigger & stronger), mechanical (get better at exercises), and psychological (bolstered self confidence).

Stage #3: Exhaustion/Overwork Stage
Signs include:
chronic fatigue
loss of appetite
loss of weight/muscle
decreased motivation

This stage can be created by working out too hard or by life's other stressful events.

The goal is to switch between Stage #1 and Stage #2 and avoid Stage #3 altogether.

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