No Pain. No Gain. Feel the burn. Go hard or go home. Just do it. Don’t think. Run. These are all great slogans but do they work?
It is no secret I don’t love generic group fitness classes like Spinning, INSANITY, Crossfit and the many forms of Boot Camp. One major reason for my hesitation to endorse these forms of physical entertainment is the lack of ethicacy regarding intensity and training design. In brief, gym members are worked too hard, too fast and without precision.
The idea that “pain is gain” is as relevant as the belief the Earth is flat. If pain meant gain were ALL true, why is it that…
- a new study from Iowa State University suggests that running at a slow speed for just 5-10 minutes a day can significantly reduce mortality risk, and running for any longer may actually do more harm than good.
- Recent studies show 90% of the training time of Gold Medal Winning Olympic athletes was below lactate threshold, while 10% was above. This is fairly consistent with previous studies of elite athletes, which tend to show around an 80/20 split.
- Yes, amateurs and pro’s are succeeding by putting in more consistent efforts at less intensity.
- In 2010 the Journal of Applied Physiology published a large study, that showed although aerobic exercise can and does increase VO2 max, it varies, according to genetic make-up. By looking at just 11 genes in a person’s genome, researchers discovered around 15% of the population are non-responders, and around 20% are high-responders to aerobic exercise. Yes, this is only accounting for 35%. The rest of us are playing with a moving target.
Now that you have some data, here is the question I am putting to you. Why is it in one-on-one, group fitness and semi-private training, are we conditioning our members to think that exercise doesn’t work unless they leave dehydrated, energy depleted and/or sore?
The data shows conclusively that there is a variation in individual response to exercise. You can not guarantee that following a HIIT regime will actually give you the right results. It is not an easy diagnostic. You can use HIIT as a benchmark but you need to measure and record your results so to tune your body specifically.
- ErwinP.S. This is a classic KS® video but it still says it all.