If you’ve had a chance to read a few posts or pages, you’ll know I’m out of the mainstream on just about everything. Why should the topic of exercise be any different?

The conventional wisdom goes a little like this:

  • You must conduct 4-5 sessions per week of ‘cardio’ exercise in your ‘fat burning’ zone for at least 30 minutes each
  • While it’s not a bad idea to lift heavy things, don’t make that the cornerstone of your exercise regimen
  • Get your ‘exercise’ as a part of sports activity (golf, tennis, etc.)
  • Rest is for wimps – and fat people. Don’t let any more than a couple days go by without hitting the gym.

OK, some of that was a little squishy, but I think you recognize the general outlines of the conventional wisdom on exercise. Now for my take:

  • The key to effective exercise is to conduct it for the express purpose of inducing a ‘dose-response’ effect. What this means in practice is it is most effective to engage in relatively short duration, but maximally intense activities that send the signal to your organism that it had better cowboy up because a lot is going to be asked of it.
  • After said short-duration intense activity, it is essential to give your body time to recover from the intensity to build new muscle, make way for increased cardiovascular activity and give your nervous system time for repair.

While I have not settled on a single program, my current focus is on the Body by Science approach to strength training and the P.A.C.E. Program approach to increasing pulmonary capacity. What these two programs have in common is they emphasize the need to challenge your body with high-intensity activity followed by an appropriate period of time for rest and recovery. In the case of BBS, the recommended rest time is between 5 and 7 days – and it is working very well for me, I might add.

One issue that bears clarification is that the definition of ‘intensity’ is dictated by each individual’s current state of fitness. You start wherever you are and build from there. No ‘cookie-cutter’ solutions for exercise.

So, that’s it in a brief nutshell. Will endeavor to post more regularly on my personal exercise activities and provide background on interesting approaches as I come across them.

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