|Two forms of
The Zone has an 80/20 rule being
80% nutrition and 20% exercise.
Exercise in the
There are two forms of exercise
namely aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic simply means "with oxygen" while
anaerobic means "without oxygen".
With so called steady state
activities, it is generally regarded that 70% to 90% maximum heart rate
("MHR") is considered aerobic activity and above 90% it is considered anaerobic
activity (ie sprinting).
The Role of Aerobic Activity
Aerobic activity reduces
insulin levels, but can be wiped out by the wrong diet (ie high carbs,
low fat). If insulin is already elevated, it takes about 20 minutes
for it to decrease before the muscles can take up sugar directly from the
bloodstream. However, if following the Zone lifestyle, insulin is
already lowered and thus you get the benefits of fat burning immediately,
rather than 20 minutes later. High insulin levels interfere with
While doing aerobic activity
you are focusing on using fat as energy. If your heart rate is kept at
the 70% to 90% range, fat can be the primary fuel source.
The best exercise is walking
30 minutes daily, 7 times a week, moreso than exercising one hour, 3 times
per week. This can be accomplished by a 15 minute walk to work and
a 15 minute walk home. Remember insulin is time sensitive, not intensity
sensitive, so the same cardiac benefits can be obtained simply from walking
as from running.
If you walk 6 hours per weeks
which is less than one hour per day, you will burn all the calories you
need to get the vital sweat burning benefits, thus reducing the overall
of dying before your time.
involved in more intense aerobic-type exercise ie running, step aerobics,
kick boxing, bicycling, swimming etc., it is very important to supplement
your workout with water. NEVER use sports drinking containing carbohydrates
ie Gatorade. These drinks can cause an insulin rush and impede the
goal of burning fat stores as energy.
Eat a Zone snack 30 to 45
minutes prior to exercising (unless you have had a Zone meal prior).
If you plan on working out longer than 2 hours, have another Zone snack
after about 90 minutes. After your workout insulin levels are depressed
(unless you have used a high carb drink) and will begin to rise to their
pre-exercise levels. Therefore it is important to have another Zone
snack unless you plan on eating a Zone meal within 30 minutes. Two
hours later (if you have not already eaten a Zone meal) eat a meal with
the right amounts of protein, carbs and fat to replenish muscle cells.
The Role of Anaerobic
When doing anaerobic training
you are utilizing glycogen from the muscles for energy. Your heart rate
will be above 90% of maximum if you prolong that intensity.
Heart rate is not the only
measure of aerobic and anaerobic activity. When one lifts heavy weights
there is insufficient oxygen at the time for that activity, so it is called
anaerobic. Typically, the anaerobic activity is completed before the heart
rate can rise to compensate. As you rest the oxygen debt is repaid.
During anaerobic training,
you are trying to release Human Growth Hormone (“HGH”) and testosterone.
However, the release of these hormones does not happen during exercise,
but in a 15-30 minute widow after exercising. The more intense the exercise,
the more growth hormone and testosterone are released. This is why anaerobic
training, like weight-lifting and wind sprints, is ideal for maximizing
new muscle mass development.
HGH is primarily needed to
repair the micro-tears in the muscles that occur during intense anaerobic
exercise. The more intense the training, the more damage to the muscle
tissue. Growth hormone not only repairs the damages muscle tissue, but
also increases the size of the existing tissue. In addition, weight training
also causes the increase of testosterone that works in concert with growth
hormone to form new muscle mass.
Anaerobic exercise is important
for increasing muscle mass and off-setting osteoporosis. The minimum amount
is 10 minutes a day of modified squats or sits, and push-ups or push-aways.
Sits are when you sit down into a straight backed chair and then stand
again, using your arms if necessary. Push-aways are push-ups against a
wall. Try three sets of 10 of any level you are ready for.
Once you are ready for more
intense anaerobic training, there are many forms of anaerobic exercise,
so please visit the forums for more suggestions.
Personally, I would recommend
anaerobic training 3 times a week ie Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and
on off-days I would recommend aerobic training 3 times a week ie Tuesday,
Thursday and Saturday with Sunday being a day of rest.
Don’t Over Train
It is possible to over train
in both aerobic and non-aerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise produces far
more stress than aerobic. After approximately 45 minutes of weight training,
the levels of cortisol have increased to such an extent that diminishing
hormonal returns take place. In addition, testosterone level begin to drop
as more precursors of testosterone are diverted to facilitate increased
cortisol production in response to exercise-related stress.
Remember, that one need only
expend 2,000 calories to reap the benefits of exercise in the Zone.