Hey Guys!! thank you for joining me on the Facebook Live today ! HUGE Thank you to my coach, Adam Mills with Source Endurance who was trying to guide me and answer questions remotely!
I had a blast with that, and I tried to couple some really good information for you and your friends to help you to reach your goals physically as well as health wise now, and in the future. If you liked it, let me know and I’ll try to do more of these types of events - and maybe have a little better outline of what i’d like to cover so i stay on topic :)
Here is a brief bullet point type outline of what my main goals were to get across to you all:
Basic Energy and Metabolism - Just breaking down the 3 systems that we as humans use to produce work, force, energy and metabolism.
1 - Aerobic Metabolism - this is when we use the oxygen we breath and convert it to energy in the cells. This can be done by using fat or blood glucose, muscle and liver glycogen. When we use glucose/glycogen it is converted much quicker in the body, the tradeoff is that we only have limited amounts of this. Also, keep in mind that our brains like to primary run on a certain level of blood glucose (think of what happens when your blood glucose goes low - typically cranky, hungry, tired, etc. or what happens when your blood glucose is far too high after having high amounts of carbohydrates, especially processed and in the form of sugars. a subsequent crash in energy and not feeling great.)
When we use fat as a fuel source (and when i say a fuel that can be just sitting at your desk, walking to the store, or exercising at a low intensity level) this allows us to spare the blood glucose and liver and muscle glycogen. WE can then keep our brains happy, and rely less on external sources for blood glucose level regulation. (think about when you finish eating - 2-4hrs later after your body processes that meal, you are IMMEDIATELY hungry - yet, you have ALL these fat and glucose/glycogen stores that could be utilized - why aren’t they? often times (and it can be more complex) that reliance on external sources instead of the internal metabolism that helps free up blood, muscle and liver glycogen to do the same.
In this way, we end up eating much less, placing much less demand on our bodies to metabolize and deal with all those calories and foods coming in. Look at America and our epidemic of obesity and overweight, nearly 70%, it’s so common some people think it’s normal :( Overfed and undernourished ,our bodies are in survival mode and or metabolism in crisis mode - hence left unchecked, it heads to a state of disease. (Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Atherosclerosis, inflammatory conditions, etc the list goes on).
So when we take our bodies to the extreme, it’s never sustainable and it will never end well.
2. Glycolitic Metabolism - Fancy term for saying that your body will use that blood glucose, muscle and liver glycogen for fuel WITHOUT oxygen, or anaerobic, to quickly produce energy, force, and work. Even quicker than the above. Because of this, it also drains the so to speak battery of energy you have, and will be depleted quickly. This is where we tend to get the “lactic acid” fatigue and build up.
When our training or exercise has a high proportion of this type of exercise, you are priming your body to become more effective and efficient at this. And though we can often produce a body that is capable of some capacity at this system, or even produce one that externally fits the bill of what we perceive as aesthetically pleasing - it may not be the best to only stress this system, especially if the training, events, or performances we are trying to do have an endurance component to them. ( not to mention as a health care provider wanting people to understand that in the long run, this focus here may be leading us down a path we don’t want to be on - Just look at others ahead of you that have chosen this, how will you be any different ? )
3. Phosphagen Metabolism - high intensity, short duration, explosive exercise or output. These are from the ATP and creatine phosphate sources directly in the cells. this is always used without oxygen, and depleted very quickly - but can be recharged in time. Think plyometric type activities, powerlifting, sprinting, etc.
What does all that mean to you, how does it affect you and what can you do about it ?
You’re not the first, and won’t be the last that wants to be the healthiest, happiest, and best person of you. Physically and otherwise. When it comes to testing to see where you’re at, there are ways to do this in a lab or clinic setting which has you doing what is called a metabolic test.
these metabolic tests typically have you with a mask on, that measures gas exchange (those ratios of CO2/Oxygen help us understand what sources of fuel you’re using - different fuels put of different fumes (diesel vs. gas) the same goes for carbohydrates and fats). When we measure the gas exchanges at rest, easy activity, and progressively higher and higher to the point of lactate buildup (that burn) or VO2 max (complete exhaustion) we can determine what Heart Rate and intensity level you can start training your body at to increase its efficiency and effectiveness to use fat metabolism at higher and higher levels.
take for instance this ride I recently did ( I am currently in the offseason, so i’ve not been training much on the bike, 6-7 times in the last 3 weeks, yet iv’e been doing long, slow, and sometimes fasted hikes - this level of output was achieved while i was fasting, AND with no food throughout the ride. )
for my cyclists and triathletes that are viewing this and understand the numbers and meaning of this output, you can see that it is around a 4000 calorie ride in under 4 hours. How does one get to the capacity of doing this degree of physical output with needing “ENERGY” in the form of “energy” gels, or bars, etc? And for those of you who are not versed in understanding the terms regarding output like Kilojoules and watts, Iv’e tried to find an understanding of what level of output it would feel like in other activities. I found a resource that says someone who runs a 6 minute mile pace will do about 1000 calories per hour. So 4 of those, fasted, and without food. Or if you’re in that gym setting and you’re burning 500-700 calories an hour, that would be nearly 6-8 of those workouts fasted, with no food, non stop.
Adam and I thought the Tour de Scottsdale would be a great way to showcase what happens with differing levels of metabolic efficiency, or inefficiency. At the point in the event we were doing the live broadcast, the riders we were handing bottles and ice to, were anywhere between an hour and 50 mins, in to approximately 2 hours plus. at that point in the event, deepening upon how hard someone had ridden (size, weight etc) - they could have utilized 1500-2000 calories.
Why does that matter? In the event, there will be another 40+/- mins remaining ( approximately 400-600 calories ), and now that you understand someone can get energy sources from blood glucose, muscle and liver glycogen, as well as fat - the riders that will be able to finish off the event strong and continue to go at a hard pace, and even sprint, will have been internally metabolizing fat for some of the work they had done, while sparing that blood glucose, muscle an liver glycogen - that will come in handy for those hard, intense efforts that our bodies are FORCED to use those for energy. \
what happens to us when we are running low on blood glucose, muscle an liver glycogen ? the dreaded BONK. An easy way to explain this is to know that the brain will be the master control system, and when it is becoming depleted in it’s fuel for energy, it will begin to govern the muscles in the intensity that they will be allowed to contract, to limit use of any glucose, glycogen available. Essentially, to ONLY allow you to use fat a as fuel source, sparing those glucose and glycogen stores for itself.
Sp when someone finishes, and they are BONKING, does it mean the ran out of energy? Not necessarily. In most cases, it means they ran out of, or low on blood glucose and muscle, liver glycogen - and, or their body was ineffective at regulation of blood glucose from within. Remember, or understand, that 1 pound of fat has with it around 3500 calories of available energy. So if someone is 10 - 50 lbs overweight, that is 35,000-175,000 calories they could have drawn from. So no, you did not RUN OUT OF ENERGY - but like a hybrid car, maybe you only used the battery and never used some of that gas tank for fuel - yet, you are lead to believe that you need more “energy” out there, and eat even more next time :(
in the approximately 3-4 hours of this event, most will have used 2000-3000 calories of energy, do they need to eat 2-3000 calories out on the ride?! Of course not.
So in summation, I bring these points up and give you as best I can, a basic backdrop of human physiology - this is why we ALL breathe oxygen - and some insight on how and why our body does what it does out there. Remember, if you’re not doing an event that will be at that 90+ minute mark, you may not know that you are sourcing from the glucose, muscle an liver glycogen stores for daily activities and exercise (especially at lower intensities). Some clues as to how you may see that you are: constantly craving carbohydrate and sweet foods, feeling drained every 2-4 hours, lacking “energy” immediately in the morning and grabbing food right away, or “bonking” or feeling light headed after a longer exercise routine without food.
If you’re serious about understanding where you’re at, and looking for guidance and insight, basically mentoring through this heavily marketed arena of exercise, nutrition, and health - might i suggest a metabolic test (especially with someone, or a group who is out there living the lifestyle as well, and that will truly sit down and take the time to go through things with you to help).
this will give you a better understanding about the timing of foods, the timing of macronutrient ratios of meals, the timing of training, and the timing and intensity of those trainings. In this way, you can see that we "NEED" much less than we take it, and will ultimately create less of a demand on our bodies, keeping them from extremes and less likely of getting to the disease states.
Remember, when you’re first starting out - with consistency, no matter what you will see results and gain fitness, then - rest assured - you will likely see plateaus and lack of progress, fatigue, burnout, and maybe injury. ( I will for sure touch on the musculoskeletal mistakes that lead to injury and plateaus at a later time). Don’t just bang your head against the wall and try to muscle through this stuff, we are here to help you through this and get you to be your best, to feel good about yourself and what you were able to accomplish, but also to inspire those in your life and around you.