Do you need pain to gain?

The following are all great slogans but do they work?

  • No Pain. No Gain.
  • Feel the burn.
  • Go hard or go home.
  • Just do it.
  • Don’t think. Run.

imageThe 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.
  • 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.

The bottom line is amateurs and pro’s are succeeding by putting in more consistent efforts at less intensity.

It is not necessary to leave every workout dehydrated, energy depleted and/or sore. The data shows conclusively that there is a variation in individual response to exercise. Control not only the intensity of your workout but the amount of time you spend working in your higher aerobic zones. The risks don’t prove rewarding for everyone.

Exercise Consciously.

– Erwin

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