060519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 3 Background information continued

060519 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 3  Background information continued

In 1954, Hans Selye came up with a description that described how an organism adapted to sources of stress in their environment. He called the model the “General Adaptation Syndrome” aka GAS. From this modest start, strength and conditioning specialists have come up with all sorts of training plans. A well-designed program will be characterized by a continuation of the Eustress processes. On the other hand, stagnation, soreness, minor injuries, and a lack of desire to exercise provide an early indication of distress that eventually leads to “Overtraining”. Leading into the overtraining is a condition called overreaching.

Overreaching is a desired effect that results from setting and achieving goals. It is the push to a higher plateau of ability. But if you remain in this zone too long, you soon reach the overtrained condition. Recovery from over reaching is easily accomplished with a few days active rest, a lighter than normal load, intensity and frequency of effort. How do you know if you are entering the overtrained realm?

290419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 2 Background information

290419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 2 Background information

In 1954, Hans Selye came up with a description that described how an organism adapted to sources of stress in their environment. He called the model the “General Adaptation Syndrome” aka GAS. He further described two such stressors, one good and one bad. They are respectively:

Eustress or that which produces growth, performance enhancements and repair.
Distress, which can cause decay, damage, death or disease in the living organism.

The General Adaptation Syndrome theory states there are three phases to an exposure to stress. Phase number one is the initial alarm, phase two is the resistance to the stress and the final phase is the adaptation to the stress (which Selye called exhaustion).

Breaking the three phases down into manageable bits of information one will find the first stage is the body’s initial response to the stress, i.e. flight, fright or freeze. (“Shock or alarm”, as it is described in the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning book by Baechle and Earle) The body at this point has a temporary inability to cope with the situation; however, it quickly calls on energy reserves and begins to function in a more appropriate manner.

This is the beginning of the resistance phase in which the body adapts to the stimulus and returns to a more normal state. The body is preparing itself for a continuation of similar stresses by growing stronger in response.

The final stage is exhaustion. If the organism does not have a pause in the constant stress, it begins to break down. Thus, overtraining has reared its ugly head and progress begins to “grind to a halt”. Minor injuries appear, desire diminishes, and working out is no longer enjoyable. The workout program has failed!

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

220419 Exercise and rest period cycles Part 1

By Danny M. O’Dell, M.A.CSCS*D

In days of old when men were men and women were women they exercised in the fields or in their homes from sun up until sun down. And no one ever mentioned overtraining, supercompensation, distress or ustress; they just did what had to be done to survive. They ate clean, lived clean and died clean.

We could take a lesson from them and do the same but we don’t. Sure they were strong, they had to be just to keep living back then. It is apparent from reading any history at all that staying in shape was not the reason these old timers did so much hard work. It was to continue to live. But times have changed and we don’t have to struggle quite so much to stay alive-at least in many areas of the world. Now we can go to a gym or workout in our homes to stay in shape.

If we followed the regimen of sun up to sun down we would get in shape darn fast but how long could we tolerate the program? Not long I am sure.


“Supercompensation” is the thin window of opportunity between overreaching and overtraining. It is the ideal goal in any well-designed exercise program, especially if you are contemplating a contest in the near future. But, how is it reached without overtraining and getting hurt?

The body’s adaptive mechanisms are wonderful and can do marvelous things to keep you healthy. However, you must pay attention to what it is saying about the evolution-taking place concerning your training loads, duration and intensity and the effects on you.

150419 Actively Fit Seniors blog

150419 ActivelyFitSeniors.blog 

If you are retired or in the near future going to be retired this blog may be of benefit to you. Check it out and see what you think.

Another Actively Fit Seniors site is here at YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCz367eM_GT65i3WTSPg9Ww/

Here is the Facebook site

https://www.facebook.com/Actively-Fit-Seniors-405746096649784/?modal=admin_todo_tour

If you are active, send over some videos of what you do to stay healthy. If they are approved then I will add them to the videos page. However, the downside to this is there will be no payment for these and by sending them over to me you are also giving me a release consent form  as stated ion the form below:

Video Consent and Release Form

Without expectation of compensation or other remuneration, now or in the future, I hereby give my consent to __________________________ [legal entity/organization], its affiliates and agents, to use my image and likeness and/or any interview statements from me in its publications, advertising or other media activities (including the Internet).

This consent includes, but is not limited to: (Initial where applicable)

_________ – (a) Permission to interview, film, photograph, tape, or otherwise make a video reproduction of me and/or record my voice;

_________ – (b) Permission to use my name; and

_________ – (c) Permission to use quotes from the interview(s) (or excerpts of such quotes), the film, photograph(s), tape(s) or reproduction(s) of me, and/or recording of my voice, in part or in whole, in its publications, in newspapers, magazines and other print media, on television, radio and electronic media (including the Internet), in theatrical media and/or in mailings for educational and awareness.

This consent is given in perpetuity, and does not require prior approval by me.

Name:                                                                                                                                   

Signature:                                                                                                                

Address:                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                   

Signature of the Actively Fit Seniors Representative, Danny M. O’Dell

No Minors are to be videoed and sent in for my review and approval. If sent, they will not be used on the ActivelyFitSeniors Facebook, WordPress or YouTube sites.

Revised 080419

 

 

150419 Burning off the calories and keeping healthy

150419 Burning off the calories and keeping healthy

Physical activity burns calories. The optimum method of controlling your weight is a combination of good nutrition (see a registered dietitian), and exercise. The question now is what kind of exercise is the most efficient and longest lasting in its effects.

Many people use aerobics to successfully help control their weight and improve their physical fitness while others use strength training to achieve similar goals.

In each case, physical activity speeds up your metabolism for a few hours afterwards. Of course, how much this materializes depends a great deal on the intensity and duration of the activity. Nonetheless, it happens and at a higher rate than if you did nothing at all.

The best way to keep this higher rate of calorie burning is to strength train. The reason: strength training increases your lean muscle to fat ratio. The higher this ratio is the more your body burns the calories because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue.

Strive to strength train 2-4 times a week for a minimum of thirty to fifty minutes at a time. Do your large muscle groups such as the chest, shoulders, legs, and back for 3-5 sets of 8 to twelve repetitions for each exercise. On the off days from strength training, do your aerobic training for fifteen to forty minutes per session.

No matter which method you choose, consult with your doctor beforehand, keep the intensity up, and stick with it.

040319 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 7

040319 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 7

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

Now you have been exposed to a few of the problems of cold weather exercising it is time to take advantage of the situation. A solid warm-up is an absolute. A warm up prepares the body for the upcoming activity by loosening the muscles, moving the blood faster, and increasing the breathing rate.
Daniel D. Arnheim states in his book Modern Principles of Athletic Training on page 303

“An athlete may fail to warm up sufficiently or may become chilled because of relative inactivity for varying periods of time demanded by the particular sport either during competition of training: consequently the athlete is exceedingly prone to injury.” 

Another danger to be aware of is that “peripheral vasoconstriction during cold weather predisposes the extremities to cold injury, the temperature of the skin and extremities may fall to dangerous levels. Early signs include tingling and numbness in the fingers/toes, or a burning sensation of the ears/nose. If these sign are not heeded frostbite may occur.” (Katch, 521)

Even though you have more than likely just left your nice warm home to go outside, you still have to warm up your muscles prior to working out. Begin by making circles with your arms and legs, ever widening circles until the outer ranges of motion are reached. These are not ballistic moves, they are dynamic in nature. Next, do some light cardiovascular work to get the heart rate up into the working zone. 5-10 minutes depending on the temperature; the colder it is the longer this portion needs to be in order to get physically ready to workout. Exercise selection will also dictate the length and time spent in the warm up. If larger muscles are being worked, then a longer time will be required to warm them up.

Move on to the movement specific activity, i.e., if you are squatting then do a few free body weight squats. Add a bit of weight to the bar and do a few more squats. Continue in this fashion until you are thoroughly warmed up. (But don’t do the routine in the warm-up.) Now you should be ready to hit the heavy weights to begin your workout routine. 

Summary: the cold weather triad of cold temperatures, heat loss, and an inadequate warm-up are invitations to injury if left unheeded.

• Warm up thoroughly before attacking the heavy weights.
• Protect yourself when lifting in a cold weight room by wearing and layering quality-insulated clothing that breathes as you perspire. 
• Cover your head and prevent heat loss where possible.
• Pay attention to the signs and symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. 
PS: Keep this in mind as you lift in the cold. There are no mosquitoes around are there? The flies are non-existent and the fan is not making noise as it blows the summer hot air around. 
Training just does not get any better than this. Lift strong. 

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)

250219 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 6

250219 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 6

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

Naturally, good shoes are essential components of lifting gear. You should not go out to lift in the cold with sandals or tennis shoes. Protect your toes and feet by wearing the appropriate footwear.

A danger in working out in an unheated room for an extended time comes from exposure to the cold. Frostbite, frost nip and the extreme, hypothermia, can result if care is not taken to prevent their onset. Prevention of this is essential. Keeping the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, hands and fingers adequately covered and warm will in most cases prevent frostbite and frost nip. Also be on the alert for symptoms of Hypothermia, a dangerous lowering of the core temperature, which creeps up on a person. Confusion, lack of coordination, and slurred speech are just a few of the symptoms to be aware of when in the cold for a long time. Immediate warming up is needed in the early stage of hypothermia. If advanced stage symptoms are present then PROMPT and CORRECT MEDICAL TREATMENT IS REQUIRED.

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)

180219 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 5

180219 Resistance Training in Cold Weather part 5

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

“Likewise, clothing next to the skin must also be effective in transporting moisture (wicking action) away from the body’s surface to the next insulating material layer for evaporation.” Polypropylene, a synthetic that insulates and dries quickly, can be very effective in this capacity.
Good workout clothing should “match the weather” and it should “provide a semitropical micro climate for the body and prevent chilling.” (Arnheim, 304)

The covering should be of a synthetic fabric such as polyester, which is lightweight, dries easily and retains its insulating properties even when wet. The fabric should also breathe, i.e., if you sweat, it should allow the water vapors to escape and not be trapped next to your skin. “If the water vapor cannot evaporate through the clothing it will condense, freeze and reduce the insulation value of the clothing and cause the body temperature to go down.” (USAF, 142) 

As a side note, the old woods saying of “cotton kills” is accurate in the weight room as well. When cotton gets wet it loses all of its insulating qualities and remains wet for a long time. Once a piece of clothing becomes wet, especially cotton, heat is transferred outwardly at 25 times its normal rate. (USAF, 143) Wet clothing “actually facilitates heat loss from the body because water conducts heat much faster than air.” (Katch, 505)

Take care to layer your workout clothing. This gives you a chance to regulate the heat by removing some but not all as you warm up during the session. It’s even better to have a button or zipper at the top to allow for a stove pipe effect. A stovepipe effect means you open the top part and allow the air to circulate from the bottom of the garment to escape out the unbuttoned or unzipped top portion.

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)