Thursday, May 17, 2018

Basic Training - PT

Hours 1 and 2

Today would be Saturday in the first training week.

Same Daily Seven, same number of reps, for stretching and warm-up.

After that, it's all about the cardio today.

Walk fast, jog, ride a bike, swim.
(Show-shoeing and cross-country skiing count in winter, in snow, for those of you who live in that nonsense.)

1) You're going for 15-20 minutes, minimum, of sustained cardiac exercise.
You should be doing 20-30 minutes realistically, and beyond even that if you can.

2) Whatever you're doing, you heart needs to be working in the target zone.
Max Heart Rate = 220 minus Your age in years.

220 - A = MHR

If you're 18, your max heart rate is 202.
If you're 50, it's  dropped to 170.
You can't lie to the calendar.

(If you're extremely sedentary, out of shape, or shaped like a feral sow, you won't be starting anywhere near that max.)

3) Once you know your max, your workout should be aiming to get and sustain your heart rate at your Target Heart rate, which is 55-85% of your max rate (or 60%-90%, depending on what/who you read. I'll stick with the more conservative numbers, but you can adjust to the higher numbers at your own preference, and your own risk).

Same 18 year old = 111-172 bpm
Same 50 year old =  94-145 bpm

Max rate X (0.55 to 0.85) = workout zone Target Heart Rate

Here's what it looks like on a panel graph:

If you're past 55, and so fat and out of shape that your RHR (Resting Heart rate) is 95, just getting off your fat ass constitutes a light work out.

Check your pulse (carotid [neck] or radial [wrist]), using fingers, not thumb. Count for 15 seconds. Multiply that number times 4 (or count for 10 seconds, and multiple times 6). That's your current HR, or near enough.

Do it while you're exercising, or get a pulse watch or pulse oximeter with a pulse function to check it while you're working out.

If it hurts in your chest, and you're over 35, STOP. See your doctor.
It if only hurts in your legs, and you're sweating, congratulations.
You've discovered how PT cardio works.

Less than 15 minutes doesn't exercise your heart muscle enough to get any benefit.
More than 30 is fine, but use that zone for when you need to improve on past performance.
We don't care how fast you get from point A to point B for this, we only care that you're exercising your heart into the target zone, at whatever speed over the ground, etc..

Side benefit: as you get fitter, your heart muscle will need less beats to do the same work.
(This is why long distance runners have resting pulse rates in the 40s and 50s, instead of your 70-80 bpm. I've seen 38 bpm, from a guy who did 100 miles of bicycle riding any day he felt like it, and chalked up 500+ miles/week. That's a heart like a horse.)

So over time you have to make the workout harder, and then longer, to get the same benefit. If you always do the same course at the same pace, you get less benefit each time. Increase the pace, do a route that's more uphill, or add weight (on your back/body, not on your feet, ankles, or legs. Unless you like corrective arthroscopic surgery.)

Hydrate with small sips of water during the exercise period.

If you're past your prime, go for lower-impact stuff: cartilage doesn't last forever. Ask the guys who did careers jumping out of airplanes how that works out.

The only thing we're going for today or any cardio day is faster heart rate, any way you can get there, sustained for half an hour or so. If you can do that sitting on a bicycle seat or doing laps in a pool, and get another twenty years out of your knees, you're much smarter to do it that way.

The .mil jogs/runs exclusively, because most of them are between 18-40, and they'll bounce back tomorrow.

That probably isn't most of you.

If your knees are fine, and jogging is doing it, but you find that you're only at the bottom end of your target zone, jog for 60 seconds, then run flat out for 15 seconds. Keep doing that until your heart rate is back to the upper end of that Target Zone.

Then cool down, clean up, hydrate, and get back to the rest of the day.

1 comment:

Mike_C said...

Suggestion: take your radial (wrist) pulse, not your carotid pulse. The reasons for this are a combination of practical and theoretical, as follows:

1. There are baroreceptors (pressure receptors) in the neck near the carotid artery. Activation of these receptors activates vagal tone. Increased vagal tone results in lowered heart rate, and in some people can cause fainting. So you might "artificially" (or more quickly) lower your HR, and if you're in the minority of people with carotid sinus hypersensitivity you might pass out. Falling and cracking your head is not conducive to what you're trying to achieve with PT. Plus it's damned embarrassing.

2. In people with lots of atherosclerotic disease (I'm talking cholesterol plaques in the arteries), mashing too hard on the diseased carotids in principle can dislodge plaque, which could lead to TIA or stroke.