Size doesn't matter
"Soup of the Day"...just got Serious!
Especially if you have brains AND brawn.
May 5th, 1892. The Mexican Army, led by Ignacio Zaragoza was half the size of its opponent. The battle at Puebla against Napoleon III’s French Army began at dawn. The Mexicans lost 100 soldiers – while the French lost almost 500 – and by nightfall, were victorious.
Unlikely victories are fascinating and inspiring. What tips the scales when so much is stacked against you? In the case of this specific French-Mexican War, the reasons are unclear. But history would tell us that unlikely victories such as this one can be explained by variables including careful planning, clear communication, passion, grit, determination, team work, and hope.
Today we can celebrate – with a margarita?! – and remember how powerful, simple, and important those strategies and traits are.
Inspiration of the Day
“Don't give up! I believe in you all. A person's a person, no matter how small! And you very small persons will not have to die. If you make yourselves heard! So come on, now, and TRY!” – Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears a Who!
Classes of the Day
Today we’ve got TWO classes on the schedule!
Mobility & Muscle
Join Matt as he leads his first virtual class this afternoon! This class will focus on the shoulder, hip, and ankle, moving you through a full range of motion. There will be additional stability work for the glutes and core included!
Class begins at 12:00pm (35 minutes).
Click here to join the class.
Meeting ID: 892 2779 8538
Garth’s back with another week of On Core, where you’ll challenge your core and stabilize your trunk in just 30 minutes! You’re encouraged to bring a light/medium dumbbell or weighted object (water bottle, book) with you.
Class begins at 5:30pm (30 minutes).
Click here to join the class.
Meeting ID: 868 1155 7138
If you have any questions about our virtual classes, please reach out to Lauren.
Exercise Fundamental of the Day
Threshold and Beyond
We’ve come a long way baby. Or have we?
As much as we have certainly evolved, there are still parts of us that behave as if we’re still living in a cave. No judgement here. It’s simply a fact. A fact we can use to our advantage as long as we understand and embrace it.
When we push our bodies to exercise in intensities where we aren’t efficient, we ultimately reach failure pretty quickly. When you exercise above your Lactate Threshold (LT), you are training at an intensity where your body is not able to clear the lactate from your blood quickly enough. And you either have to stop or slow down. If you were being chased by a Komodo Dragon, you just got eaten. Your body gets a clear message that it needs to rejig a few things so you can run a bit faster and further next time.
Like most things about your body, LT is partially determined by your genetics. It’s also trainable. If you systematically train just below, at, and above your LT, you will train your body to become more efficient at clearing lactate, become better at tolerating the side effects associated with training anaerobically, as well as ultimately raise your threshold.
I’d like to dive into a little more detail on anaerobic metabolism. Forgive me if I over simplify too much…or not enough!:
As your body starts to move from the aerobic end of the continuum towards the anaerobic side of things, we start using far more glucose for energy. This is referred to as glycolysis. Stored glycogen is converted to glucose and then broken down by a series of enzymes. 4 ATP are created – 2 fuel glycolysis and 2 are used to power muscular contraction. Breaking down glucose in this way creates a substance called pyruvate and hydrogen ions (H+). In aerobic glycolysis there is enough oxygen (O2) in the body to break down or “oxidize” the pyruvate and synthesize more ATP. The O2 also buffers the H+ creating water as a byproduct.
In anerobic glycolysis, the pyruvate binds with some of the hydrogen ions and converts them into lactate. So, lactate is a temporary buffer as it reduces the buildup of the H+. As exercise intensity increases, rate of glycolysis increases, the rate of H+ increases past the rate where the body can buffer effectively. The muscles become increasingly acidic (due to excess hydrogen ions) and this is what creates that nasty burning sensation that ultimately slows you down.
At super high intensities, the body relies on the ATP-PC energy system. This system supports up to about 12 - 15 seconds of maximal effort. For the initial few seconds of ANY activity, stored ATP supplies the energy. A few more seconds beyond that, PC cushions the decline of ATP until there is a shift to another energy system. Either the glycolytic system, the oxidative system or a combination of the two. So, after the initial 12 - 15 seconds sprint, you have to stop or slow down.
Enough theory: Let’s outline some of the key aspects of the training zones that straddle and surpass the anaerobic threshold. Hopefully this helps you understand why you would bother training at such uncomfortable intensities as well as how you can effectively integrate them into your own training:
Zone 4: “Threshold Zone”
- Training in this zone means you’re just under, at, or slightly over your LT.
- As mentioned above, training in this zone improves the body’s ability to shuttle, utilize, and tolerate lactate, which in turn encourages an improvement in lactate threshold power or FTP.
- Training at this intensity is mentally taxing and physiologically uncomfortable. Continuous conversation is difficult given the frequency and depth of your breathing.
- Training “blocks” or intervals are typically between 8 - 20 minutes in duration, while accumulating no more than 40 minutes at Zone 4 in any given workout.
- Consecutive days of training in Zone 4 is possible, but typically it’s far better to be adequately rested and recovered so you can maintain training intensity. Otherwise it’s too easy to drift into Zone 3.
Note: The training volume comprising Zones 5, 6, and 7 should typically not exceed 20% of your total training volume. That is if your total training volume in a given week is 350 minutes, you should avoid prescribing more than 70 minutes of intervals in Zones 5 and up.
Zone 5: “Vo2 Max”
- Training in this zone improves your body’s ability to distribute and utilize oxygen. The primary mechanism is by increasing stroke volume or increasing the amount of blood the heart can pump per beat.
- Training blocks or intervals are typically between 3 - 8 minutes.
- Work to Rest ratio typically 1 : 1.
- Conversation not possible. Breathing is deep, frequent, and almost ragged.
- Heart rate at or above your theoretical max.
- Consecutive training days might be possible but not recommended.
Remember gang – quality vs. quantity. It is particularly important to remember this when working in Zones 5, 6, and 7. While you may have the ability to keep pushing, the body is getting progressively fatigued starting to breakdown mechanically. As you continue to push, you may start relying on maladaptive, asymmetrical motor recruitment patterns which can lead to injury.
Zone 6: “Anaerobic Capacity”
- Training in this zone increases your anaerobic capacity by improving the rate of glycolysis.
- Intervals are short. 30 seconds to 3 minutes max.
- Work to rest ratio typically 1 : 2 or potentially as little as 1 : 1.5 assuming a slightly lower output when your work duration is 2 to 3 minutes.
- Heart rate is not a useful guide. You are definitely working significantly harder than Zone 4 or 5, but your heart is incapable of reflecting that extra work load in any meaningful manner.
- Consecutive days of training with significant volumes in Zone 6 or 7 not recommended.
Zone 7: “Neuromuscular Power”
- 1 - 15 (maybe 20?!) seconds FLAT OUT.
- Work to rest ratio 1 : 4 or more.
- This zone challenges your musculoskeletal system far more than your metabolic system. Training in this zone encourages physiological adaptation to increase neuromuscular power, recruit additional motor units, and recruits and strengthens Type II fibers.
Workout of the Day
7 - 10 minutes Zone 1 - 2
8 seconds Zone 5
22 seconds Zone 1 or 2
Repeat 6 times (3 minutes)
2 - 3 minutes Zone 2
4 minutes Zone 4
3 minutes Zone 2
Repeat 2 more times for a total of 18 minutes.
8 seconds all out – Zone 7
32 seconds Zone 1
Repeat 8 times. Block is just over 5 minutes.
5 minutes Zone 1 - 2
Repeat Block 2. (including 5 minutes Zone 1 - 2 after the sprints)
Repeat Block 1.
7 - 10 minutes Zone 2 - 1
For questions about this workout or training in the different zones, you can reach Meg directly here.
Stratus Bite of the Day
Sean Vodden, Chef at Stratus Restaurant, shares his very own steps for wonderful Peameal Bacon. The entire process takes 5 days. But, really, if not now, when?!
- 5 lbs pork loin
- 4 litres (1 gallon) water
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1 litre apple juice
- 3 tbsp ready cure
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp all spice
- 1 tbsp juniper berries
- 2 tbsp mustard seed
- 2 tbsp coriander seed
- 1 tbsp Black peppercorn
- 1 tbsp whole clove
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 cup fine cornmeal
- Combine all ingredients except pork loin and cornmeal in a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Let simmer for 5 minutes or until all dry ingredients have dissolved.
- Let fully cool.
- In an airtight bag or container, fully submerge pork loin in brine.
- Keep fully submerged for 5 days in the refrigerator.
- After 5 days remove from the bag and rinse under cold water for 10 - 15 minutes.
- Pat dry and roll in corn meal until fully coated.
Do you have a "Something of the Day" you'd like us to share?! Email Meg.