New car, caviar, four star daydream

The fitness world has evolved along with everything else in our modern age. It’s no longer ‘do you work out?’ but has become where, or how do you work out. Your Instagram post is much more impressive and gets more likes when you’ve posted your sweaty self after your Peloton bike workout.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Work hard!

The fitness industry has exploded to a $100 billion dollar industry. Identity and branding have become integral. We are hearing more buzzwords such as wellness, training, and self-care replacing terms like health and exercising. And it makes perfect sense. If there is an opportunity to get into a growing multi-billion dollar industry corporatization will find a way.

The Peloton bike as an example in Canada will cost you just over $3,000 without the monthly subscription which will then set you back $50 / month!

Gyms have become more spas than work out centres. Workout clothing has become expensive. And ancient eastern forms of meditation have been exploited too. Yoga has evolved into a more physical, posture based exercise and has lost it’s meditative and spiritual core. How many people understand some of the tenents of yoga such as sacrificing the ego, simplicity, self-discipline. Hard to do that when you are spending hundreds of dollars on the clothing you will be wearing when doing yoga.

But…

But I’m ok with that. I’m ok with that as long as you are ok with that. Want to spend thousands of dollars to get into shape? Need that $50 dollar membership to stay motivated? That’s fine as long as it works for you. What else are the rich going to spend their money on anyway?

As long as there are options for everyone. As long as people can still afford to go to a gym, buy a decent bike, participate in group physical activity and do what they feel they need to do to get into or stay in shape. Sometimes these things can get out of hand and affordable options diminish. Kind of like the gentrifications of neighbourhoods that have been happening.

But also keep in mind that you don’t need a lot to keep yourself in shape. Keeping in shape can be pretty cheap if you keep it simple. As an example here’s a simple workout that will keep you in shape and requires you to only have a small amount of space not much larger than yourself:

          • Warm up for 5 minutes doing light jumping jacks
          • Alternate the following  for a 20 minute period:
            • High knees – 2 minutes
            • Push ups – 1 minute
            • Ab bikes – 1 minute
            • Air squats – 1 minute
          • Do these for 4 x and that’s your 20 minutes
          • Cool down and stretch

That’s it. Basic? Yes but it got the job done. And once you’ve done this for a while you can change it up by replacing high knees with burpees, change ab bikes to crunches, etc.

Stay true to yourself. Do what works for you. Try not to fall into those consumer traps, companies trying to get you to believe that these things will make you whole will make you better. They really just want your money. I guess that’s why Peloton is worth an estimated $4 billion.

Work hard, be true to yourself, and love yourself. You are worth it.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

I can lock all my doors

It’s the only way to live

It’s time to embrace the things that help you and the things that enable you to reach your goals and still feel human. I’ve been there myself and from my own hard learned lessons I hope you are able to take some information from this post and make your journey a more comfortable one. If your goal is lofty one, it’s still going to suck but it will help you get through it and come out achieving that goal at the end of the day.

What

As I said earlier I’ve been there myself and I look back at my younger self and I think ‘how stupid was I?”. I was stupid. But I didn’t know better. I’ve always kind of had a bit of a hard head mentality, a ‘I’m going it alone and will get through this’ mentality but that doesn’t always help you. When I used to do a lot of distance running, I would go sometimes 23, 24 miles and replenish only by drinking water. No sports drink, no fuel, just water. Not a good idea especially as I’m a heavy sweater, losing lots of electrolytes. I look back at that and no wonder sometimes I felt like death warmed over when done. But that was then.

Now I’m trying to train smarter. It doesn’t mean you don’t train hard it just mean you don’t feel like yesterdays garbage when doing it and when done.

But I digress. The focus of this post is on using technology to help you achieve your goals and become the athlete you want to be.

How

By taking my knowledge from getting my personal trainer certification it helped me to understand the fuel the body uses and when it uses it. The main source of fuel our body uses is glucose. Glucose, or sugar, is in our blood and is used by our muscle cells for energy. We have only so much glucose and when we use that up, our body converts glycogen into glucose to keep us fueled. This isn’t only when exercising it’s everything we do from breathing walking, and even thinking. Our brain uses a lot of glucose just to do what the brain does. And where do we get glucose from? Carbs baby! That’s just one of the reasons why a low carb diet such as a keto diet is a really bad idea. We need carbs (high quality carbs). Keep it carbed.

So when does this happen, our body running out of glucose and then glycogen? It’s not that long. Looking at the science the recommendation is to consume 60 grams of carbohydrates every hour. To play it safe, if your event is longer than an hour, you probably want to start consuming at the 45 minute point. This will help prevent you from running out of fuel near that 60 minute mark and start to feel the physical fatigue and mental fatigue set in. Think of it as that saying that when you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated. And it’s in your best interest to not hit that mark where you feel lethargic. Because what happens? The body is tired and then the mind starts to go. And then it’s an uphill battle, a struggle to get through it.

Endurance sports can be very demanding

Have you heard of the term ‘bonking’? The first time I heard it is when looking into marathons. People ‘bonk’ or ‘hit the wall’ and it’s a struggle to continue. This is the body running out of fuel (glucose). And what does the body do when it has no fuel? Not what you think. Typically when in an endurance event you are working hard because you are competing be it in an event or even against yourself. So your heart rate is not in the ‘fat burning zone’ but in the cardio zone so fat is not an option for fuel. Your body turns on you and starts to metabolize muscle tissue into carbohydrates. You are consuming muscle tissue to fuel your body to complete an event that is to make you a stronger person. When blood glucose gets really low, you may experience hypoglycemia. This is the feeling of extreme tiredness, a near complete loss of energy, the ‘bonk’. When in this state, the body will begin producing cortisol. These hormones break down muscle tissue in order to convert the proteins within to glucose. This will provide the energy to continue exercising, however, cortisol also suppresses the immune system. There goes the muscle mass you worked so hard to add.

No one wants that to happen.

Guide

I’m going to refer you to a web site that has a good guide on how to fuel for your event. I’m not endorsing this company but they do sell the fuel you need. It’s up to you if you use them. This should give you a good idea on what you need for your training or event. Let’s look at an example.

For this example I have chosen an event that takes 5 hours. Here are some of the things they recommend:

  • 2,500 – 3,500 mg’s of sodium
  • 1,500 – 2,000 calories (glucose)
  • 100 – 150 oz of fluid
  • 15000 – 25000MG BCAA (branch chain amino acids)

That equates to 5 gel pouches, 2 energy chews, 2 stroopwafels, a hydration energy mix, 2 energy drink mixes and so on. Go hear to check it out and you can go to the main planner and look at requirements for other events.

Does this seem a lot? It does to me, for sure. Maybe it’s heavy on the requirements because it is a company and they have to make money but they have been around a long time and are well known within the endurance athlete communities. I’ve started using gels myself and I’m going to continue and add more as I go seeing the impact. How do I feel, did they work, did I feel stronger, is my mental will strong and not foggy.

endurance training can be hard

But don’t dismiss this. I’m not getting into science of how our body uses fuel; fatty acid oxidization, aerobic glycolysis, ATP, etc. but this is based on science. Why is it professional athletes and amateur athletes on the olympic level do the same thing? Because it works and it helps them to succeed. That’s how Gatorade came to be. The University of Florida Gator’s head coach went to their team of scientists to address loss of body fluids during football games. This concoction of water, electrolytes, flavour etc. was credited for the Gators Orange Bowl win in 1967.

Finally

It makes sense. Let technology help you. The technology that allows us to no longer have to eat oranges, bananas and other foods to keep fueled during an event. It’s so easy and so much better now and there is no reason to not do it.

Yours in health,

Darryl