Sunday, June 9, 2013

Overload and Reviving the Engine (Spinning Profile and Playlist)

Strength training utilizes the concept of  "Overload" to affect a change on the systems.  If you always do the same weight/resistance the muscle my be tone, but it doesn't get bigger, stronger.

The same concepts apply for cardiovascular exercise.  Adding an extra 5 minutes to your run, incorporating sprints, taking a steeper path, all push the body and your cardio systems beyond what they're accustom to.

In our world of Spinning® that means maybe increasing the resistance load, pushing hard longer; what's key here is a change from the norm affects a change in your body.  I really believe that's why Tabata is so popular right now in my gym, because it's new and different and hard for our general population.
So I've been coaching my participants, nay, challenging them to include more resistance.  Often when I say light resistance I feel that it gets translated to NO resistance.  Well, No resistance means virtually no work and certainly no change.

So my catch phrase as of late has been, "low RESISTANCE, key word being resistance", when I'm describing a flat.

I've also been doing a lot of revving of the engine (with your heart being the engine) when I'm Running with Resistance.  If you don't jack the heart rate up quickly, then you haven't really overloaded any systems. The heart rate is a trailing indicator to overload, meaning you'll see the heart rate quickly rise AFTER the overload.  That's because your tapping into  alternate energy systems such as Phosphagen System.  Often in Spinning® we stay in the Aerobic Energy system, even our SEZ rides only take you to AT threshold.  Our IEZ rides typically are long enough in duration that we stay within the Lactic Acid System (anaerobic glycolysis).

Tapping into the Phosphagen system is very short term because you're limited to the amount of creatine phosphate stored in your muscle cells until it's restored.  This is the systems that athletes tap into for the Herculean effort that makes them win.  You see it during a boxing match when someone, on the verge of exhaustion comes out arms a swinging for an amazing effort that lasts for 20-30 seconds and then poof they've got nothing left in the tank.

All this to say, don't be afraid of overload, it causes your body to change, it makes your systems learn to recover the phosphagen energy stores quicker, and it could give you the edge when you need it during a competition, or maybe even some energenic play.

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