Low HR Training

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Lots of Conflicting Information (Read 617 times)


El Presidente

    Since I started HR training 12 weeks ago, I have had numerous people tell me that all of the new research says that aerobic training is counterproductive in all facets (health, fitness, etc.) and actually weakens the heart making it more susceptible to heart disease. They go on to tell me the importance of "resistance training" and the need to get the heart at 90%-95% of Max for short bursts. I have heard many of these similar ideas posed by various fitness gurus, such as Dr. Al Sears, Ori Hofmekler and Ron Poulos, all of whom are supposedly respected authorities in this field. In addition, they say that aerobic training actually causes the body to retain fat since the body burns more fat and by doing nothing but aerobic training it is teaching the body to retain more fat (which makes perfect sense since that is what the body does with water, carbs and everything else it seems). My question is this: what do we make of this info when it directly contradicts Maffetone's advice?

    "I train conservatively so that I can race recklessly."

      Enjoy a good brain freeze. Then go with what gets you more sex. --Jimmy

      Log & Profile            Crusted Salt #210

        Since I started HR training 12 weeks ago, I have had numerous people tell me that all of the new research says that aerobic training is counterproductive in all facets (health, fitness, etc.) and actually weakens the heart making it more susceptible to heart disease. They go on to tell me the importance of "resistance training" and the need to get the heart at 90%-95% of Max for short bursts. I have heard many of these similar ideas posed by various fitness gurus, such as Dr. Al Sears, Ori something-or-other and Ron Poulos, all of whom are supposedly respected authorities in this field. In addition, they say that aerobic training actually causes the body to retain fat since the body burns more fat and by doing nothing but aerobic training it is teaching the body to retain more fat (which makes perfect sense since that is what the body does with water, carbs and everything else it seems). My question is this: what do we make of this info when it directly contradicts Maffetone's advice?
        You are going to find pros and cons to everything, and certain training works for some and not others (i.e. variables in slow/fast twitch fiber ratios, proneness to injury). The goal is not to only train aerobically forever, but some need to train this way for an extended period to develop their aerobic system in the first place (or to improve/rebuild it). I agree about needing short bursts of anaerobic training, but it's not going to harm runners to avoid these for 8-12 weeks during an aerobic base period. I have not changed my eating habits much before low heart rate training, but by body fat% is down from about 9% to under 6% the past year. So, I'm retaining less fat than before. I don't think the info you mention really contradicts Maffetone's advice. Maffetone advises training cycles which includes an aerobic base period, but does not ignore the need for sharpening cycles as well.
          I am always shocked at how fat distance runners are. I've never heard of Al Sears. Oh, I just checked his website. Looks like a sorry wannabe 70s pornstar. And he's hawking his own "Primal Force Supplements" and wrote: Modern medicine wants to turn you into a woman." (i suppose that's good for half the population). Oh, this is good. http://darkwindow.blogspot.com/2004/07/found-weapons-of-mans-destruction.html And this Rob Poulos, he wants to sell me the secrets to health via the fatburningfurnace.com. That'll be great because in just 15 minutes/day, 3 days/week, he's going to make me fitter and faster. Err, thanks but no thanks. Jane Fonda was a fitness guru. I don't really have a point here. Jane Fonda. Here's what I make of this info. Nutjob City. I'd rather entrust my health to Tony Little and the Gazelle.
            On the serious side of your dilemma. There is no way any exercise is going to weaken your heart, make it smaller, contribute to heart disease. It's possible to harm your heart with too much too soon, like running a marathon the first time you ever run. In order to reach your potential, you have to combine aerobic and anaerobic training. The anaerobic could just be races, or it could be the tried and true fartlek, repeats, etc. Maffetone knows this. Remember that he comes from a wealth of experience of bringing broken down athletes back to health and to a healthier way of approaching trainning. Always keeping an eye on the amount of stress you are putting on your body. Managing training load. He doesn't say do aerobic ALL the time. Just for a few periods in the year in between race seasons, and when you are injured, sick, and overtrained. And between hard workouts. There is a point where doing all MAF levels out and you no longer progress, and you need to get back to racing or some speedwork of some kind. The same goes for anaerobic training. There will be a point where you level out and need to return to aerobic. A good friend, who is only interested in running on a TM for exercise, did MAF for a year for 13 miles per week split into 3 workouts. After a year she just got slower and slower in her workouts. No turn around. I created a schedule for her where she would still have the three workouts, but she would do one day of intervals, one day of an LT tempo run, and the third day an ever increasing long run. In a few months, she started getting faster again, and her MAF tests improved. This tells me that 13 miles at MAF is not enough training load, after awhile it is not enough to stimulate anything. So far, she can handle the increased load, and is getting positive results. The body has to be challenged in order to grow stronger and faster. MAybe her 13 MAF miles per week didn't stress her heart at all, and she basically just got out of shape. Maybe that is what happened in the study, there wasn't enough challenge to the heart with the amount of training load at which the study groups were wroking at. I believe if you are going to do just MAF, you have to increase volume until you find the proper training load to see progress. Aerobic, MAF, intervals, fartlek, racing, hills, etc.--It's all good, just keep Maffetone's focus on managing stress as the core of your training and you can't go wrong. --Jimmy

            Log & Profile            Crusted Salt #210

              I just did a little search on Dr. Sears. He is pushing his PACE plan, which is interval training with a fancy marketing. He mentions a study called the Harvard Health Professionals Study. M entioning that the study of 7000 people showed that interval training helped prevent heart attacks. I then did a search for the study and the only place it is mentioned is on pages either by Sears, or by pages pointing to Sears. I found the home site of the Harvard Health Professionals Study, which is large study of many people and many different diseases. I couldn't find a specific reference to the study. I did find this page at the Harvard School oF Public Health: http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/staying-active/staying-active-full-story/ the exercise mentioned in this article doesn't mention intervals, basically it is all a form of aerobic exercise. People find marked improvements in their health, weight, etc. If what Sears touts is true, then walking is a waste of time. Do your 12 minutes of intervals and get back on the couch, you're golden. Study after study has shown that aerobic exercise is good for you. It's obvious to me. --Jimmy

              Log & Profile            Crusted Salt #210

                There's always somebody going to try to sell you a plan where you eat-more-exercise-less-and-live-better. It's always poppycock.
                  It always seems to come down to balance. It seems that a lot of these points of view all have their merits and benefits. I also believe that something that is balanced for me is not necessarily balanced for someone else. We have to find what is right for us. As far as MAF goes, it just seems to me that you cannot over do it. I grant that only doing MAF might make you a little slower. If you are looking to optimize your speed for racing, then of course MAF alone is not enough. But, if you are just running low mileage, and you just are trying to be more aerobically fit, maybe doing it all at MAF is a good idea, or if you are just in the base phase. I still believe that overall, it is still good to run the majority of your miles at or below MAF, no matter what. Anyway, that is what is working for me now. But, as far a balance is concerned, I recently had a wake up call, with my lower back injury. For the past six months I have only been running, and doing little else. I injured my lower back pretty severely about 3 weeks ago. Amazingly, today I have fully recovered. My back feels better than it even did before I injured it. My point is that I was not balanced in my fitness at all. So, today, core exercises are a big part of my routine, and will remain so in the future. So, for me, this is a balance I needed to add, due to the vulnerability I now have with my back.


                  El Presidente

                    I just finished reading the Maffetone Method and Dr. Maffetone has an entire chapter devoted to Aerobic vs. Anaerobic and he basically discusses all the reasons why aerobic training is superior to anaerobic and specifically that when it comes to health (which is not necessarily the same as fitness) that aerobic exercise is healthy while anaerobic exercise may not necessarily be so. This directly contradiicts so much of the other information out there which says the very opposite.

                    "I train conservatively so that I can race recklessly."


                    running yogi

                      All MAFers will die one day...and I am one of the sinners Cry
                        I just finished reading the Maffetone Method and Dr. Maffetone has an entire chapter devoted to Aerobic vs. Anaerobic and he basically discusses all the reasons why aerobic training is superior to anaerobic and specifically that when it comes to health (which is not necessarily the same as fitness) that aerobic exercise is healthy while anaerobic exercise may not necessarily be so. This directly contradiicts so much of the other information out there which says the very opposite.
                        Before I started running(almost all aerobically) a little over 1.5 yrs ago, I weighed 200 lbs...I now weigh 170. My blood pressure, as of yesterday is 119/76 (very good). I don't remember exactly what it was before, but I remember hearing that I should "keep an eye on it." I used to lift weights, do the elliptical machine, ride the stationary bike etc (all on a sporadic basis and probably aneorobically). I think it's fairly clear, in my case, that consistent aerobic exercise has improved my health dramatically.


                        running yogi

                          This is what I fail to understand. If I interpret Maffetone's Method as a low intensity, but a steady way of exercise, how could it be bad for me ? It could be argued that there are things better for me, but how could this be actually bad for me. I think they are just bullsh---ing to get attention. I have been doing LHT for sometime now. I have gone from 28% body fat to 18 % body fat and lost 20lbs. Also I think just exercise, any exercise is never enough to be healthy. It's always the diet and the excercise-together.


                          run-easy-race-hard

                            interesting conversation! wish I could get in on it but I'm sitting on the beach with my tiny little text phone and did not bring my laptop on this trip. MAFing has been good here in FL even with the high heat and humidity since it's all flat.
                              Since I started HR training 12 weeks ago, I have had numerous people tell me that all of the new research says that aerobic training is counterproductive in all facets (health, fitness, etc.) and actually weakens the heart making it more susceptible to heart disease. They go on to tell me the importance of "resistance training" and the need to get the heart at 90%-95% of Max for short bursts. I have heard many of these similar ideas posed by various fitness gurus, such as Dr. Al Sears, Ori Hofmekler and Ron Poulos, all of whom are supposedly respected authorities in this field. In addition, they say that aerobic training actually causes the body to retain fat since the body burns more fat and by doing nothing but aerobic training it is teaching the body to retain more fat (which makes perfect sense since that is what the body does with water, carbs and everything else it seems). My question is this: what do we make of this info when it directly contradicts Maffetone's advice?
                              What do I make of it? I go run more MAF miles. Smile Seriously, these guys have a "plan", which they will gladly sell you, and it usually translates to "do more with less". Aerobic systems take much much longer to build than anaerobic systems. Many well respected endurance coaches stress (no pun intended) over and over.


                              Consistently Slow

                                I am not sure of the benefits of MAFF but for the past two months my mileage is over 100 miles for the first time in about four years (injuries). I am starting my 12 week training cycle this month. I ran a couple of races while I was training so I am starting over.

                                Run until the trail runs out.

                                 SCHEDULE 2016--

                                 The pain that hurts the worse is the imagined pain. One of the most difficult arts of racing is learning to ignore the imagined pain and just live with the present pain (which is always bearable.) - Jeff

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