MAF and Resistance Training

I’ve spent a little bit of time thinking about the compatibility of MAF Heart Rate Training and weightlifting – generically termed resistance training (RT). Since the activity is relatively short duration and the heart rate isn’t past the MAF Heart Rate it seems on the surface like it would be compatible to do both.

One thing to consider is that VO2max testing is done on a treadmill which increases the speed and angle every couple of minutes. Resistance training lasts for seconds. The Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) of the VO2max testing isn’t all that hard until it gets towards the end of the test. The RPE of weightlifting is substantial under significant loads so using RPE as a test this would indicate that there is an issue.

My measurement for whether an activity is aerobic or anaerobic is the Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER). RER is correlated to heart rate in the VO2max test but rarely considered in RT. There is a study which looked at RER in RT (Scott. Quantifying the Immediate Recovery Energy Expenditure of Resistance Training. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research · April 2011) in terms of Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). To review:

The respiratory exchange ratio (RER) is calculated as steady-state CO2 produced divided by steady-state O2 consumed and is typically defined from values of 0.70 representing total fat oxidation to 1.00 representing total glucose oxidation.

Here’s the RER data from the study for RT. Note the RER values are all well over 1.0 which indicates anaerobic exercise range.

Another interesting comment helps explain the RER values above 1.0:

During and after exercise, RER values above 1.00 are generally thought to be the result of nonrespiratory CO2 production: The bicarbonate buffering system, for example, involves the removal of hydrogen ions with concomitant CO2 production and hyperventilation blows off ‘‘extra’’ CO2. Yet a true measure of the RER is best found only when the system is in a steady state of gas exchange.

To the subject at hand:

Rapid glycolysis (as part of anaerobic metabolism) ceases when muscle contraction stops so that recovery is considered to be aerobic in nature. If this is true, both fatty acid and lactate oxidation may play a significant role in fueling the immediate energy expenditure needs of recovery. Unfortunately, substrate oxidation immediately postexercise and particularly after anaerobic-type exercise has not been studied well enough to draw specific conclusions. Because of this, it must be assumed here that when muscle contraction immediately stops, glycolysis is limited to the point where fat and lactate are the predominantly oxidized fuels.

 

Keto Diet and Performance

tl;dr – Don’t expect to do keto, be in a large deficit,
and expect to see performance gains on glycolytic activites.

A good video on lifting and the keto diet. Covers other aspects of performance from the perspective of a real clinician and what he sees in his patient population who does keto. Very truthful even if not totally pro keto at moments (overall it is very supportive of keto so no need to be afraid of watching).

 

STRRIDE-AT/RT – Exercise Study

I was considering dropping CrossFit in favor of a strength program when I came across an interesting study which compared Aerobic Training (AT) to Resistance Training (RT) for impact on Metabolic Syndrome (MS). (September 15, 2011, Volume 108, Issue 6, Pages 838–844. Comparison of Aerobic Versus Resistance Exercise Training Effects on Metabolic Syndrome (from the Studies of a Targeted Risk Reduction Intervention Through Defined Exercise – STRRIDE-AT/RT. Lori A. Bateman, Cris A. Slentz, PhD, Leslie H. Willis, MS, A. Tamlyn Shields, MS, Lucy W. Piner, MS, Connie W. Bales, PhD, RD, Joseph A. Houmard, PhD, William E. Kraus, MD.)

AT/RT induced a significant improvement in the MS z score (p = 0.004) and AT alone exhibited a trend toward improvement (p <0.07). However, RT alone failed to significantly alter the MS z score.

My conclusion is to stick with CrossFit and work in the resistance training as often as reasonable as an accessory to CrossFit.

Another view of the same data (J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015 Jun 15;118(12):1474-82. The effects of aerobic, resistance, and combination training on insulin sensitivity and secretion in overweight adults from STRRIDE AT/RT: a randomized trial. Abou Assi H, Slentz CA, Mikus CR, Tanner CJ, Bateman LA, Willis LH, Shields AT, Piner LW, Penry LE, Kraus EA, Huffman KM, Bales CW, Houmard JA, Kraus WE.). Conclusion:

AT/RT resulted in greater improvements in insulin sensitivity, β-cell function (disposition index), and glucose effectiveness than either AT or RT alone (all P < 0.05). Approximately 52% of the improvement in insulin sensitivity by AT/RT was retained 14 days after the last exercise training bout. Neither AT or RT led to acute or chronic improvement in sensitivity index. In summary, only AT/RT (which required twice as much time as either alone) led to significant acute and sustained benefits in insulin sensitivity.

Yet another look at the same data (Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Nov;301(5):E1033-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00291.2011. Epub 2011 Aug 16.
Effects of aerobic vs. resistance training on visceral and liver fat stores, liver enzymes, and insulin resistance by HOMA in overweight adults from STRRIDE AT/RT. Slentz CA, Bateman LA, Willis LH, Shields AT, Tanner CJ, Piner LW, Hawk VH, Muehlbauer MJ, Samsa GP, Nelson RC, Huffman KM, Bales CW, Houmard JA, Kraus WE.) concluded:

AT was more effective than RT at improving visceral fat, liver-to-spleen ratio, and total abdominal fat (all P < 0.05) and trended toward a greater reduction in liver fat score (P < 0.10). The effects of AT/RT were statistically indistinguishable from the effects of AT. These data show that, for overweight and obese individuals who want to reduce measures of visceral fat and fatty liver infiltration and improve HOMA and alanine aminotransferase, a moderate amount of aerobic exercise is the most time-efficient and effective exercise mode.

Yet another view (Arch Intern Med. 2004 Jan 12;164(1):31-9. Effects of the amount of exercise on body weight, body composition, and measures of central obesity: STRRIDE–a randomized controlled study. Slentz CA1, Duscha BD, Johnson JL, Ketchum K, Aiken LB, Samsa GP, Houmard JA, Bales CW, Kraus WE.):

In nondieting, overweight subjects, the controls gained weight, both low-amount exercise groups lost weight and fat, and the high-amount group lost more of each in a dose-response manner. These findings strongly suggest that, absent changes in diet, a higher amount of activity is necessary for weight maintenance and that the positive caloric imbalance observed in the overweight controls is small and can be reversed by a modest amount of exercise. Most individuals can accomplish this by walking 30 minutes every day.

Note none of the results were comparable to the effect on the metabolic syndrome from the Low Carb High Fat diet.

Strength Gains on Meat Protein vs Ovo-lacto-Vegetarian Protein Sources

Study of vegetarian diets vs meat as protein source diets and muscle gain in older men (Effects of an omnivorous diet compared with a lactoovovegetarian diet on resistance-training-induced changes in body composition and skeletal muscle in older men).

Conclusions: Consumption of a meat-containing diet contributed to greater gains in fat-free mass and skeletal muscle mass with RT in older men than did an LOV diet.

More details:

RESULTS:

Maximal strength of the upper- and lower-body muscle groups that were exercised during RT increased by 10-38% (P < 0.001), independent of diet. The RT-induced changes in whole-body composition and skeletal muscle size differed significantly between the mixed- and LOV-diet groups (time-by-group interactions, P < 0. 05). With RT, whole-body density, fat-free mass, and whole-body muscle mass increased in the mixed diet group but decreased in the LOV- diet group. Type II muscle fiber area of the vastus lateralis muscle increased with RT for all men combined (P < 0.01), and the increase tended to be greater in the mixed-diet group (16.2 +/- 4.4 %) than in the LOV diet group (7.3 +/- 5.1%). Type I fiber area was unchanged with RT in both diet groups.

Another study showed favorable results for meat (Effect of protein source and quantity on protein metabolism in elderly women).

With the high-vegetable-protein diet, protein breakdown in the absorptive state was not inhibited to the same extent as during the high-animal-protein diet, resulting in less net protein synthesis during the high-vegetable-protein diet than during the high-animal-protein diet.

Strength Training – Starting Strength

I’ve started doing the Starting Strength program by Mark Rippetoe. The program is described in Rippetoe’s book, Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training 3rd Edition. The program is intended to be done by people who are beginners to strength training.

Starting Strength Program

The Starting Strength Program consists of a linear progression where the weight you lift is increased every single time you lift. The program is performed 3 times per week.

I did the program starting at bar weight and am now increasing by 5 lbs. I am expecting that the rate will slow down. I do the lifts twice a week on the day before my CrossFit rest days (which are Thursdays and Sundays). I am lifting on Saturdays and Wednesdays in my home gym.

The Lifts

There are four lifts which are performed in alternating patterns. The four lifts are:

  • Back Squat
  • Bench or Overhead Press (on alternating days)
  • Deadlift

Back Squat

CrossFit places the bar high on the back. Starting Strength places the bar lower on the back.

Bench Press

This is just what you remember from your high school gym.

Overhead Press

This is rarely performed at my CrossFit box. We are usually told that any S2OH (shoulder to overhead) movement is allowed and that usually means a push press or a jerk press.

Deadlift

We do the deadlift at my CrossFit from time to time but not often enough to progress in the lift.

Hiring a Coach

It’s very smart to get good at lifting form before attempting heavy weights. This is necessary to avoid injuries. Starting Strength has a couple of ways of getting help with your form.

My Videos

Here’s my Starting Strength videos on YouTube. Don’t use my lifts as examples. I am still learning.

 

Random Workouts vs Programmed Workouts

Here’s a good article on what most people do in the gym. Bottom line is don’t do random stuff to build strength. Pick a specific program.  There are a few of them out there.

I started a 3×5 weight training program today, Starting Strength. This program requires a barbell, weights and a power rack. In the beginning the program consists of the following:

Lifted today (Jan 22, 2018) with my 14-year old son. We started with 45# bar for the Squats and Press. We did 95# for the deadlift.

 

Learning the Lifts – Mirror Neurons

I really hate to memorize stuff. More than that I really hate to memorize stuff related to physical activity. Even more than that I hate to memorize weight lifting moves.

But I need to improve. I need to remember what the basics of each lift are. And there are not all that many to learn. Sure it takes years to learn the specifics of the move but the general idea is another thing.

This brings me to another concept, that of Mirror Neurons. They are the part of the brain that allows us to watch someone do something and be able to see ourselves doing that same thing. I think mine are pretty much broken.

I can watch someone do something and appreciate their athleticism. But I don’t see myself doing that same motion when I watch someone else. I think that I am seriously broken. And I think it’s a lifetime defect, not just a recent defect.

I am looking for ways to improve this. I looked for flashcards on the Olympic lifts but I can’t find any. Maybe I can make some flashcards of my own?

I’ve watched hours of videos on CrossFit YouTube channel. Same thing. I can appreciate what they do but I just don’t feel the same motions in myself when I watch them.

Plan of Attack

Lacking any other plan, here’s what I am going to do. This is based on my coaches who said I need to tape myself to see how I am doing particular movements. I am going to watch each of the CrossFit Foundational videos and record myself doing the same moves and compare the two videos. Maybe I can empathize enough with myself to fix myself.

If you have a better idea how to tackle this, let me know.

Protein Timing – Bro-Science?

Protein timing is the question of how long after you workout should you eat protein. Until fairly recently, conventional wisdom was that there was a 30-60 minute window to eat protein after a workout to maximize protein muscle synthesis.

Here’s a good article on Protein timing (The New Rules of Protein Timing) which states that there’s newer science which indicates that the window is wider and also affected by what you ate earlier.

Here’s one of the studies (Human Kinetics Journals, Volume 19 Issue 2, April 2009. Effect of Protein-Supplement Timing on Strength, Power, and Body-Composition Changes in Resistance-Trained Men . Jay R. Hoffman, Nicholas A. Ratamess, Christopher P. Tranchina, Stefanie L. Rashti, Jie Kang, Avery D. Faigenbaum).

Results indicate that the time of protein-supplement ingestion in resistance-trained athletes during a 10-wk training program does not provide any added benefit to strength, power, or body-composition changes.

Here is another similar result from analysis of many studies (Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2013 10:53, The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. Brad Jon Schoenfeld, Alan Albert Aragon and James W Krieger.):

These results refute the commonly held belief that the timing of protein intake in and around a training session is critical to muscular adaptations and indicate that consuming adequate protein in combination with resistance exercise is the key factor for maximizing muscle protein accretion.

 

Exercise Equipment

Cast Iron Kettlebells

Weights

Barbells

Power Cage

Hyper/Back Extension Ab Bench

I got more out of my first time on one of these benches than four trips to the Chiropractor.

Pullup Bar