280119 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 2

280119 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 2

Resistance training places high internal and external load demands on the human body. It must be physically prepared to meet and exceed these artificially designed stresses. To successfully adapt, conditions within the body must be favorable. Temperature variations, however, can sometimes overpower the metabolic responses of the organism

The United States Air Force conducts one of the world’s premier Air Crew Survival Schools. The training provided through this school specifically addresses cold weather survival by stating the following in the instructor’s manual

“Cold is a serious stress source, even in mild degrees it lowers efficiency. Extreme cold numbs the body and dulls the will to do anything except get warm”. Cold numbs up the body by lowering the flow of blood to the extremities (we use these in ALL of our exercises) and results in sleepiness”. (USAF, 38)

The authors of Exercise Physiology state: “the normal heat transfer gradient is from the body to the environment, and core temperature is generally maintained without physiologic strain. In extreme cold however excessive heat loss can occur, particularly when the person is resting.” (Katch, 502)

Resting between sets is normal, especially when working in the 85-95% 1RM range. A recent article by Jason Schniepp, et al.,in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, reported the results of test run on ten well-trained cyclists’ and their response to the cold water immersion.

The cyclists, who were exposed to cold water prior to a strength-cycling test, clearly showed the adverse effects the cold temperature had on power output. The cold affected blood flow, metabolism, and the balance of agonist-antagonist muscular activity. “These factors will undoubtedly affect the rate of energy production and muscular efficiency.” (Schniepp, p561)

Furthermore, G.M. Ferritti et al.’s work reported in “Effects of temperature on the maximal instantaneous muscular power of humans”, Euro j. Appl. Physiol. 64:112-116. 1992 and cited by Schniepp “demonstrated a temperature-dependent relationship on the rate of Adenosine Triphosphate hydrolysis, as a reduction in ATP resynthesis occurs with a concomitant decrease in the rate of cross bridge detachment. A relatively greater number of cross-bridge attachments have been found in cooler muscles, resulting in an increase in power absorption proportional to the external work required to lengthen the muscle.” If ATP is slow in breaking down, power decreases cannot be far behind

J.A. Faulker, et al’s report entitled “Muscle temperature of mammals: Cooling impairs most functional properties,” Am. J. Physiol. 28:259-265. 1990, (cited also by Schniepp) suggests, in addition, that:

• “an increase in power absorption by antagonist muscles after muscle cooling may affect coordination, mainly manifesting at faster contraction velocities.”

• “results from this study demonstrated a significant condition by trial interaction as maximum power decreased significantly more after cold water immersion than under normal conditions.”

• “in cooler muscles there is an extended time of relaxation that reflects prolongation of cross-bridge attachment and will result in a reduction of cross-bridge cycling. A reduction in muscle temperature may also impair the activation of motor units during a short time interval, possibly because of lower nerve impulse frequency. As a result, coordinated movement may be affected adversely. The body tries to remain at the optimum temperature through a series of internal regulating mechanisms.”

• “the thermo regulatory defense against cold is mediated by internal temperature NOT by the body’s heat production per se,” according to Katch, et al. “The greatest contribution of muscle to defend against cold occurs during physical activity.” (Katch, 503)

Shivering is the body’s attempt to heat itself up through muscle action but it stops at core temperatures of 85-90 degrees. Normally a person exercising will not become this cold. If so then something is drastically wrong.

References Cited for Resistance Training in Cold Weather:

Arnheim, Daniel D. Modern Principles of Athletic Training. Mirror/Mosby. 1989: 303-4.

Houston, Charles, S., M.D. Merck Manual of Medical Information. Simon and Schuster. 1997:1345-7.

Katch, F.I, V.L. Katch, and W.D. McArdle. Exercise Physiology. Lippincott. 1996 (4th ed.): 351, 502-3, 505-21.

Michele, Lyle, J. The Sports Medicine Bible. Harper Collins.

1995:7-9.

Schneipp, Jason, Terry S. Campbell, Kasey L. Lincoln Powell, and Danny M. Pincivero. “The Effects of Cold-water Immersion on Power Output and Heart rate on Elite Cyclists.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 16 (Nov. 2002): 561

Search and Rescue Survival Training. Department of the Air Force, USAF. 1985. (Currently in use at the Survival School)

210119 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 1

210119 Resistance Training in Cold Weather

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A. CSCS*D

Resistance training places high internal and external load demands on the human body. It must be physically prepared to meet and exceed these artificially designed stresses. To successfully adapt, conditions within the body must be favorable. Temperature variations, however, can sometimes overpower the metabolic responses of the organism

Weight training in an unheated building is the gold standard for hardcore lifting. Anyone can go to an air-conditioned or heated commercial gym to lift, but how many lifters actually look forward to exercising in the ambience of a near freezing outbuilding gym. It separates the serious true strength athlete from the wannabe’s.

I am NOT saying a cold environment is a bed of roses, but it can be a strong motivator to keep moving and stay in the correct work-to-rest ratio. Resting is not an option when it is cold. Movement produces heat and heat keeps the body ready for action. Under certain conditions, however, it can be downright dangerous to be out in the cold.

If you develop any chest pains when you exercise in the cold, but not when it’s warm outside, see your doctor. The cold air hitting your face constricts the blood vessels; this in turn raises your blood pressure, which makes your heart work harder to pump blood to the body. The heart rate also slows, so less blood reaches the heart. If your heart is working harder, it needs more blood. But the slower heart rate is bringing less blood which results in decreased oxygen supply. Now your heart hurts.

References Cited for Resistance Training in Cold Weather:

Arnheim, Daniel D. Modern Principles of Athletic Training. Mirror/Mosby. 1989: 303-4.
Houston, Charles, S., M.D. Merck Manual of Medical Information. Simon and Schuster. 1997:1345-7.
Katch, F.I, V.L. Katch, and W.D. McArdle. Exercise Physiology. Lippincott. 1996 (4th ed.): 351, 502-3, 505-21.
Michele, Lyle, J. The Sports Medicine Bible. Harper Collins.
1995:7-9.
Schneipp, Jason, Terry S. Campbell, Kasey L. Lincoln Powell, and Danny M. Pincivero. “The Effects of Cold-water Immersion on Power Output and Heart rate on Elite Cyclists.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 16 (Nov. 2002): 561
Search and Rescue Survival Training. Department of the Air Force, USAF. 1985. (Currently in use at the Survival School

140119 Control your eating by applying Paretos’ law, Hara Hachi Bu and other techniques 2/2

140119 Control your eating by applying Paretos’ law, Hara Hachi Bu and other techniques 2/2

Briefly, Pareto’s law states that eighty percent of the resultant effects come from twenty percent of the involved parts. In the case of food it’s that piece of pie or cake that is calling your name after you’re already full. That’s the twenty percent you don’t really need to eat.

Now that you’ve got a handle on how to control your intake at the big meal let’s take a look at some other ideas to keep your weight at its pre-Thanksgiving meal level.

A half an hour before the meal eat a big apple along with a big glass of water.

Leave the liquid calories alone. This includes pop, sports drinks and alcohol. Try skim milk instead of full or reduced fat milk.

Eat an orange instead of a glass of orange juice.

Increase your water intake. Not to ridiculous levels but at least until your urine is a pale yellow similar in color to lemonade.

Take extra helpings of fruits and vegetables but without the whipped cream and added sugar.

Eat reduced fat light mayonnaise and fat free sour cream.

After all the dishes and food have been put away go for a nice walk. Doing so helps keep your cholesterol and triglycerides at more moderate levels.

Movement is wonderful for your body. Fidgeting is good because it burns calories. Be active and you’ll feel better.

070119 Control your eating by applying Paretos’ law, Hara Hachi Bu and other techniques 1/2

070119 Control your eating by applying Paretos’ law, Hara Hachi Bu and other techniques 1/2

Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist living in the late 1800’s, discovered that eighty percent of the land in Italy was owned by twenty percent of the citizens. Briefly, Pareto’s law states that eighty percent of the resultant effects come from twenty percent of the involved parts. In the case of food it’s that piece of pie or cake that is calling your name after you’re already full. That’s the twenty percent you don’t really need to eat.

This law seemingly applies to many facets of everyday life, including eating. In Okinawa they have adapted a similar concept into their eating habits by leaving twenty percent of the food on their plate. Called Hara Hachi Bu this traditional eating plan places a heavy emphasis on fruits, whole grains, soy foods, fish and vegetables.

The health benefits of not eating twenty percent of the food are decreased heart disease rates along with stroke and diabetes levels that are lower than in the U.S. With obesity epidemic in our culture it stands to reason that by not eating 100% of the food on the plate we would lower these risks.

010119 Happy New Year

010119 Happy New Year

Well, here we are with another brand new year full of potential just waiting for us to grab a hold of it and get going.

Learn something new every day. Stick to it long enough to be at least moderately conversant about it and good at doing it.

Read a new book every week. Spread out your scope of interesting things; don’t just keep reading the same stuff every time.

Keep in contact with your friends. Call them, write to them, and even as I hate to say it, text them.

Help someone out. Run their paper in from the paper box, shovel off their front porch and front walkway. Offer to pick up groceries for them when you go shopping.

Do something that will improve your situation.

Do something that will improve your neighborhood.

Make a check mark on the calendar every single day. This starts a visible indicator of how often during the week, month, and year that you exercised.

Start out exercising on the slow side of things with lower intensity, fewer reps, lighter weight and less time doing it. Develop the habit of exercise and the keep the string going.