Low and Slow

Saw a lady jogging (low muscular force output and very slow-paced) in the neighborhood earlier today. She was very slowly plodding along, although she looked to be in fair shape, while fully immersed in her headset music. As she continued her fitness journey for quite a while, (as a matter of fact, for more than 40 minutes she was still circling the same course at the same snail's pace) I wondered what was her goal? Was it to demonstrate and/or develop endurance capability, or was she one of many whom are searching to reduce that stubborn ole' bodyfat and get the "bod" of her dreams through low/slow stride turnover and footfall force?

Well, here's a shocker..It ain't happenin' that way.The least effective way to reduce bodyfat using exercise as a primary "conductant" of sorts is precisely the way she was demonstrating it. I know, I know the old argument that moving more slowly utilizes more oxygen and a greater percentage of fat as fuel..while that theory in and of itself is correct, who cares? Who cares what percentage of fat is burned as a fuel substrate?. What you and I should be concerned with is what will cause the greatest total metabolic increase both DURING and very importantly FOLLOWING the activity chosen..That, my friends, would be higher intensity energy output. Now having said that, there are factors that won't allow everyone to suddenly "jump in the deep end" so to speak. If beginning the journey as an out of shape former couch potato, or as one suffering from an illness or injury of sorts, then one cannot be expected to immmediately fast forward their progress. But those limiting factors aside...............

Just as curling a pencil for hours will do nothing to cause or promote a loss of bodyfat or an increase in muscular shape and size of the bicep, neither will slow turtle-paced walking (merely look at the thousands of mall shoppers) or snail-paced jogging get you to your appointed fitness destiny (unless your destiny to to endure boredom!). The body will quickly adapt to that lesser stress that "low and slow" dictates, and then it becomes even more ineffective....then what will Jane and John Doe do next to offset that adaptation? Umm, do it longer? Wow, where will that end? With slow walkers and joggers eventually packing some essential belongings in a handy duffle bag and telling loved ones goodbye for awhile..."I've got to do more and more, this just isn't working".

Sprinting (hills, if available, or on an inclined treadmill position), cycling at a brisk interval pace, jumping rope at brisk intervals, and of course the "tried and true" HIIT protocol, etc., are a few examples of wiser choices to implement as but one piece of the puzzle to help move you in the right direction toward metabolic efficiency and leanness. You know the others....proper resistance training, sound nutritional support and timing, restorative sleep and tranquility, and positive imagery.

All of this, of course, made more efficient with wonderful support from friends and family.

Oh, I wonder if she's still out there?

-Eric Shrieves