January 12, 2011

Wednesday Form: The form of you.

What has become a well-known, yet false dichotomy in the conditioning world is illustrated in this pic. Where we might be pressed to infer, “Which would you rather look like…A or B?”

Sure, maybe long-term studies of heavy endurance training shown on the left will show effects of oxidative stress (ie, rusting from the inside out…see JJ’s comment from Monday).  And maybe “fitness” and “athletic” don’t automatically come to mind. But certainly there are respiratory, cardiovascular, and muscular benefits.

And sure, maybe the power training shown on the right builds strength, mass and functional fitness. But all that muscle doesn’t eat for free (muscle consumes a ton of oxygen…JJ might elaborate if he’s around).

Marathoners pound out thousands of miles that ruin their hips/knees/back, but don’t ask the dude on the left to get your groceries, put down mulch in your garden or carry laundry up a flight of steps. Likewise, a strict regimen of serious power training will decimate your hips/knees/back over time, or in a matter of seconds with one improper OH Squat. Not to mention, isn’t the average lifespan of a football player like 52?

So, do what you love, love what you do non-judgmentally. Keep moving…have fun getting or staying fit…find what makes you healthy, adaptable and resilient! 

Such a forced choice from such a false dichotomy probably comes with a purple Kool-Aid chaser – because the answer to which body is better for health and performance and which would you rather look like  isn’t A or B.

The answer is C (or CF more accurately). Happy, vibrant people who work, play, own businesses, raise children, tend to families, volunteer in the community, and buy clothes off the rack. CFers…we salute your form…keep pushing it in ’11…all kinds of athletic!

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    wicasa Yatapika January 12, 2011 Reply

    MD, truly awesome post and right on the mark, those two “athletes” have some disadvantages for sure…

    So why are excessive oxygen molecules bad for you, when they are in fact enabling life to exist? Some more insights into O2…An O2 molecule has 2 electrons in its 2p* atomic orbital and to fill that orbital requires six electrons. This is why O2 is highly reactive. This orbital is “anti-bonding” so the O-O bond is weak. This unusual electron configuration prevents O2 from reacting with many other molecules, however it will react readily with “Radicals” to form other “Radicals.” These radicals are known as Reactive-Oxygen-Species (ROS) and “Free Radicals” which are chemically reactive molecules containing oxygen.

    During times of environmental stress (exercise), ROS levels can increase dramatically, which can lead to significant cell structure damage. ROS are produced by normal metabolism. The major contributor to oxidative stress is hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). The function of antioxidants are to convert H2O2 into oxygen and water. However this conversion is not 100% efficient. Excessive amounts of ROS are therefore damaging to living tissues.

    Current studies show that the accumulation of ROS will decrease an “organisms” fitness! This is because aerobic organisms need energy to fuel bio-functions, and it is produced in the mitochondria via the electron-transport-chain. It’s a synchronous problem because oxidative damage effects the efficiency of mitochondria and that in-turn increases the rate of production of ROS.

    Mitochondria convert energy into a usable form for our cells (ATP), through the electron-transport-chain. Where electrons are passed through a series of “proteins” via oxidation-reduction reactions. Guess where the last destination for an electron is along this chain…? An oxygen molecule!!

    Under normal conditions it’s not a big deal because most of the oxygen is reduced to make water. However, during periods of high stress 2% or more of the electrons passing through the chain, this oxygen is incompletely reduced and yields the superoxide radical, (O2-) a negatively charged oxygen molecule. This superoxide will then react with HO2 to from hydrogen peroxide which is a highly oxidative molecule which causes damage to mitochondria and can lead to programmed cell death…(this is why “FREE RADICALS” are so nasty)!

    So although there is no evidence that supports that antioxidants will prolong life, there is strong evidence that they will prevent the signs of aging, and is that not in itself prolonging life? Scientists are a strange breed? Yes??

    So as Matt so eloquently stated, too much muscle…not so good…not enough muscle…not so good…somewhere in between…CFer’s…pretty F’n good….!!!!! HAH!!!

    So eat your antioxidants and try to get some from each group daily, because there is much evidence that supports they work synergistically together and less or not at all alone. Specifically, zinc and selenium have no antioxidant properties if taken alone!!

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    scott January 12, 2011 Reply

    blueberry infused vodka! OK gents enough highbrow blogging, I’m ready for some Reader’s Disgust blogging.

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      Wicasa Yatapika January 12, 2011 Reply

      Add a little Citrucell to that concoction and you would be well on your way to a tasty antioxidant beverage….Yes? HAHA!!! PHREAK!!

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    Scott January 12, 2011 Reply

    High Methane and Octane!

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    Captain Awesome January 12, 2011 Reply

    Thanks for the breakdown JJ. So a nice glass of red after class works well? I usually go with chocolate milk, but I might have to switch it up!

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