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22.2 Increasing Fitness Capacity

How to become more fit

When you’re ready to advance your fitness, these are the steps that you’ll want to take.


All right, in this video, what I want to talk about is advancing your fitness. And so, we haven’t talked a lot about exercise, at least in the second half of the program. But what I want to talk about is advancing your fitness. So, once you’ve started an exercise routine, you may find that you’re just not getting the benefit out of it, like you were at the beginning.

And so, what’s really interesting about fitness is our body adapts. We can’t do the same thing over, and over, and over again, and expect to see the same results from it. Because the body is really efficient. And so, what happens is when we exercise, we actually become more fit. And when we become more fit, the body becomes more efficient. Therefore, using fewer calories in order to expend the same amount of energy. Right?

And so, like, think about it. Okay. Let’s say that two people were walking a mile. One person is 300 pounds, the other person is 150 pounds. The person who’s 300 pounds would take the body would need more energy to move that heavier weight the same distance, right?

And so, as we become more fit, as we become thinner, as we become a leaner, as our muscles become more metabolically active. What happens is we then need less energy in order to do the same amount of work. Okay. Now, this is a good thing. It’s a terrible thing when it comes to weight loss, but it’s a really good thing when it comes to the body and efficiency.

So, what we need to do is we need to figure out how do we become more fit. And what I want to do is I want to go back to a lesson that we talked about, gosh, at the very beginning of the program. But I’m going to put the link below this video. And what we’re going to revisit is the idea of intensity, density, and frequency.

And so, what we want to do, and I’m going to use an example here of walking. And so, if I want to become a more fit, what we want to do is we want to increase, what’s called our lactic threshold or our anaerobic threshold. If you Google those two terms, they’re ultimately the same thing. And what we’re talking about there is, this is a little ‘sciency,’ okay, so bear with me.

There are two different energy systems within the body. There’s called the aerobic energy system and there’s called the anaerobic energy system. The aerobics system, what that means, aerobic means with oxygen. And so, one really great way of knowing which energy system you’re currently using is what we call the talk test.

Meaning that if I can exercise and carry a conversation at the same time, I’m using the aerobic energy system. Okay. Now, the anaerobic energy system is like a generator for your house. If the energy needs exceed, what we can produce. So, if the energy needs on the cells are more than the cells can produce. Then, what happens is the anaerobic energy system gets kicked on.

So, again, it’s like a generator. So, we’re still using the aerobic system, but the anaerobic system is just providing a little bit more energy to the body at the time. Now, technically, the definition of fitness is that there’s a threshold between when we use the aerobics system and when we use the anaerobic system. Technically, the definition of fitness is that we recover more quickly. Okay.

And so, when we’re starting out, when we are beginner exercisers, we will only be able to work out at a certain level before we feel exhausted. Okay. When our body kicks into the anaerobic system, what we’ll notice is that we’re in that area and we start to feel burning in our lungs, maybe some burning in our legs, or whatever muscles we’re going to be using. And we can only sustain that level of intensity for about 30 seconds. And then, we have to stop.

And so, when we talk about fitness, what we’re talking about is recovery time. So, recovery within intervals or recovery between exercise instances. Okay. So, recovery between days of exercise. And so, what we want to do is we want to become more fit. We want to be able to rest less and exercise at a higher capacity in order to become more fit. And the best way of doing this is to do intervals, like I mentioned.

So, if you’re walking, what it might look like is that you walk for two minutes, let’s say, and then you jog for 30 seconds, and then you walk for two minutes, and then you jog for 30 seconds. So, you see how you’re kicking into this anaerobic energy system. And then, you’re coming back out of it, allowing yourself to cool down, recover, and then you’re kicking into it again. And then, you’re cooling down.

And what you’ll notice is that let’s say, within a 20 minute period of doing 20 or two minutes, and then one minute of kicking on or 30 seconds rather of going into the higher intensity is that you’ll start to notice that it’ll be more difficult and more difficult to extend that 30 seconds.

But eventually, as you do this work out over, and over, and over again, your body will adapt, and you’ll get better. And what you’ll also notice is that that heart rate. So, if you have a heart rate monitor, you don’t have to, but if you want to get a heart rate monitor, it’s kind of fun. What you’ll notice is that the level at which your aerobic energy system and your anaerobic energy system kicks on will become higher.

So, given that information, what I want to share with you is something that’s called maximum heart rate. Now, the way that we estimate, and it’s all an estimation. For women, what our maximum heart rate is, is we take the number 227, and we subtract your age from it. If you want to get really technical, then you could also find out what your resting heart rate is.

So, like for example, my resting heart rate is 52. I’m 53 years old, and 227 minus 53 is 174. So, my heart rate range is 53 and then my max would theoretically be 174. So, that gives me my range of heart rate. Generally speaking, your anaerobic energy system or your lactic energy system, your anaerobic threshold is going to kick on somewhere around 70 to 80%.

And so, the definition of fitness is that the higher that number becomes closer to your maximum, the more fit you are. All right? So, I just wanted to share some information for you about how to increase your fitness capacity so that you could feel strong, and capable, and like you’re not going to run out of breath.

So, the best way to do that again is not through long, slow, steady state duration cardio, but rather doing interval training. You can do that with weights, by lifting weights faster using your entire body. Or you can do that by just going a little bit faster or intense within your existing workout. All right?

That’s all I have for you in this video. I’ll see you in the next one.