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Low Intensity Continuous Training?

Commented on April 24, 2014
Created April 21, 2014 at 9:38 PM

First the background for my question:

Most people in the athletic and paleosphere who recommend High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) agree that much of the benefits which come from doing HIIT come from the Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) which is due to the oxygen deficit created from the excess Pyruvate created from the excess Lactic Acid (LA) created by pushing the anaerobic energy metabolism of the cell by more than it's capacity. However HIIT can take days to recover from and the damage and soreness invoked on the muscle fibers can take longer than the cell's powerhouses / mitochondria to recover. Because of this aren't we seeing a delay between what activity level is ideal for health and what activity level is realistic for preventing over-training? So it would seem that a Low Intensity Continuous Training (LICT) regimen would therefore be the ideal human activity. Very low intensity activities are included as one of the top four steps in Mark Sisson's primal blueprint.

Now my Question:

Do you incorporate Low Intensity Continuous Training in your everyday activities? Why or Why not?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 24, 2014
at 01:35 PM

If it works for you send Stephen a royalty check.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 24, 2014
at 01:31 PM

Yea, Today is my 5th day doing this. If I do continue this practice then you'll likely see more from me in the future referring to this.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on April 23, 2014
at 04:29 PM

It sounds like it can be sort of meditative, 'embodied' state for you... I agree lol that it's probably a good idea that mental/physical sensation is maintained... I’d be interested to read further how it goes for you...I think it is an interesting issue, brings to fore on this site the performance vs longevity dichotomy that could be worth discussing further, amognst other things...

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on April 23, 2014
at 04:27 PM

Re Charles Atlas and contracting muscles, I really like the practice and am interested in if you sustain contraction of same of similar muscles or vary them frequently... I used to do it a lot and still do sometimes, but I sort of found that mentally motivation wasn't there to sustain it, particularly as I was doing other activity... (I've tried the realgar pushups/squats, chinup type things too and I got exhausted/wasn't thriving...

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on April 23, 2014
at 04:27 PM

Anyway, re people burning out - I don't know your situation but unless therewere tangible competitive/performance outcomes that were in play when you were doing the HIIT then I think maybe it could be hard to be motivated to sustain very intense activity... (eg tabatas regularly...) It takes a lot of mental strength/will to do these and in my experience having clear purpose helps with being motivated, session after session... Ie it being fun, enjoyable as you say - I agree this makes a huge difference (particularly for work that can be pretty intense/uncomfortable...

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on April 23, 2014
at 04:27 PM

But performance isn't longevity, although I would say they're not absolutely mutually exclusive to each other... People die for many reasons lol, too many variables on that one I'd say...

fwiw, in my view there is no need to apologise - communication is about negotiating meaning, and it's possible in a given correspoonndce that I interpret someone completely differently to how they intend, or vice versa... IMho no apology needed even in a hypothetical sense...

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on April 23, 2014
at 04:26 PM

Fair enough... I interpreted it as an an n=1 type leap tbh, not as you saying people can burn out by low intensity activity... Maybe you go too hard with the hiit lol... I think depending on fitness goals I agree with you that regular high intensity activity isn't necessary to be generally healthy and have longevity... Obviously if improving athletic performance ( and from that overall functional strength and endurance) is a goal then hiit becomes necessary...

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 09:40 PM

I'll accept your thanks only if it actually works for you! Lol. Thank you though.

3e710fab7063494ce6010566704764ed

(15)

on April 22, 2014
at 09:20 PM

you take a logical leap by assuming that activities that require longer recovery are not good for health. thats simply not true. physical adaptation is caused by stress. the greater the stress, the more adaptation that occurs and the more recovery you need.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 04:57 PM

It would be very interesting to see if one could eventually unconsciously contract these muscles, however at that point you might risk a clinical diagnosis of some sort of nervous disorder, lol. Personally, I've tried LICT for 2.5 days since Sunday and noticed only an improvement in mood and some muscle soreness. I find that muscle contractions take my mind off of whatever may be stressing me, similarly to a stress ball I suppose.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 04:53 PM

I'm not sure if LICT to the exclusion of all other higher intensity activities would be ideal, and I definitely cannot prove that by itself it is the best conditioning or strengthening program available. I don't think I want to prove that either, sometimes, extreme activities are a ton of fun and I think make up a healthy lifestyle. Whether that's a game of ball with the family, intermittent sprints or weight lifting, I think that assuming you are legitimately enjoying the activity, it can often be very healthy. Charles Atlas advocated a muscle tension program though, and he was muscular.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 04:49 PM

HIIT on its own and in exclusion to other exercise activities burns me out, I don't want to do it, it's too hard and not fun (the way I do it at least). I'm generalizing my experience, my immediate family's experience and my best friend's experience by saying that it burns everyone out and I accept that that is an inductively weak argument. However, I don't want people to walk away thinking that I said low intensity moderate activity burns people out, if that's what you interpreted from my question then I apologize for misspeaking.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on April 22, 2014
at 03:37 PM

1 minute sprinting, 1 minute for 20 minutes would be insane... :0

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 03:11 PM

Throwing in a recovery run, along with other physical activities such as walking desks, taking stairs and other physical activities would compliment HIIT nicely. But HIIT alone, 3 times a week WILL likely at best give you only half of the results you could otherwise get if you had an all encompassing physical fitness plan.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 03:02 PM

Some of the stuff I'm saying may not apply to people like you @CDone who are already using walking desks, HIITing, walking between buildings instead of taking shuttles, lifting weights, jogging and who are otherwise active. You're already getting quality muscle contractions dispersed evenly throughout the day. The stuff I'm saying would be geared towards those who are otherwise inactive for the vast majority of their day and who don't necessarily have the same physical freedoms/liberties (leaving desk at will) or economic freedoms (buying a walking desk for home) that many CEOs may enjoy.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 02:40 PM

I don't necessarily agree with that you only get half the benefit. Throw a recovery run in the day following HIIT.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 02:22 PM

Lol, right on, +1.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on April 22, 2014
at 02:17 PM

Agree, he's not doing HIIT.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 02:00 PM

@lovesmatt29 , Resting for 48 hours, or doing intervals 3 times a week as you mentioned is what I would call a long recovery. You are not getting the EPOC benefit from intervals after 24 hours no matter how hard you went and therefore you are necessarily limited to getting only half the benefit you could necessarily otherwise get (at least according to that one parameter). I'm looking for a superior workout to HIIT, which I think can possibly be achieved with LICT.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 01:46 PM

Yea, we do have standing desks here at The Home Depot as well (sit/stand adjustable). They are definitely a step in the right direction. The problem with them for me is that they only seem to work one muscle group. I also tend to lock out my legs. Being tall and having a physically laborious job through college I've never had great knees.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:51 PM

Any stairway, any hill is another opportunity. I geared my cruiser bike down to make it more hill-friendly.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:46 PM

Yeah. What has helped me is that our company is in three buildings with the sponsor in two other buildings. All are within a quarter mile or so. Rather than take the shuttle -- I just walk. I agree, find opportunities and take them.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:43 PM

I retired last fall which gives me the key ingredient: time. But even when working I aimed for 10 miles of walking a day. Every break, lunchtime, and usually 90 minutes before work. Anywhere, any weather, for the last 7 years.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:40 PM

you should consider looking into a standing or walking desk. For me the walking desk is great when I am at home and have to call into meetings, or reading stuff. The standing desk is great for typing -- so if you are doing a lot of code, that may work for you.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:36 PM

Thanks, I started working at The Home Depot's corporate Vinings location last August as a System's Engineer (basically front end web developer). The regimen I'm planning is a simple all day affair for now. It simply involves contracting muscles while you're awake. In my commute (which is at least an hour) this can mean pushing on the steering wheel or pushing my feet to the side of the pedals. At my desk this can mean contracting my core, pushing my legs against the ground, pushing my arms against my lap/desk. Or standing just on the balls of my feet when standing still (by a few mm).

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:30 PM

That's not HIIT, that's an interval protocol

If you can get in 10, 1 minute sprints -- you are not sprinting. I've trained elite high school runners, none would be able to do 10x400 at 60s

What you are doing is what is called full recovery tempo intervals (although you should be jogging not walking for recovery). And to complete 10, 60s runs you are likely at 65-70% V02max. It's a good workout -- and you should keep it up -- but it's not HIIT.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:23 PM

what regimen are you planing to implement? The value of HIIT (in my life) and weights is that you can get a decent workout in 40 minutes.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:23 PM

yeah. I get that. Just easy to discretize. As for LICT in a corporate lifestyle. (1) Congrats on the job. (2) Life becomes much harder with work commitments (even harder still when your home commitments start to pile up). My company did a health initiative where everyone put an app on their phone to track their steps per day. I averaged about 8500 steps for daily activities and about 10000 when you include intentional exercise. The average for my company was 3000 steps.

It's hard to get in enough LICT when you are at a desk 6-8 hours a day.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 01:35 AM

My goal is to implement a LICT routine seamlessly and inconspiculously on top of a corporate lifestyle.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 01:33 AM

Low intensity exercise is aerobic, high intensity exercise is anaerobic. The benefits from short term anaerobic exercises likely derives from the longer term aerobic impacts. I did suggest and personally try the push ups every 30 minutes that you described. I wasn't able to maintain that program as it burned me out. The LICT that I'm mentioning would be like taking many of the long term benefits from HIIT (like EPOC) without the possibility of burning out. The catch is that the LICT I'm trying is an all day affair.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 11:49 PM

The below is adamantly science along with 'bro-science':

To answer your question, the whole aerobic vs anaerobic exercise is almost a misnomer. The endgame for every exercise is aerobic mitochondrial function. It just so happens that when you exercise faster than the mitochondria can produce ATP (HIIT/Weightlifting) your body runs an anaerobic pathway, however that anaerobic pathway produces lactic acid which is converted to pyruvate which in turn up-regulates these mitochondria (the aerobic powerhouses). The end goal of all exercise is always to activate these mitochondria.

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5 Answers

0
Medium avatar

on April 22, 2014
at 08:34 PM

To an extent I do but in light of your insights, once again I'm inspired to try something new. Thanks again @Stephen 4! People like you make me glad to be a part of PH.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 09:40 PM

I'll accept your thanks only if it actually works for you! Lol. Thank you though.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 24, 2014
at 01:35 PM

If it works for you send Stephen a royalty check.

0
Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

on April 22, 2014
at 04:04 PM

I dont' do 'low intensity continuous training', I move, like to move, and make it a daily part of life (ie habitual). I enjoy this, particularly as it involves being outside on a bike commuting (I do not live in a densely populated place...)

For me it can be nice for recovery after having done high intensity activity a day before (I basically soft-pedal, it is not very far each way) It also seems to imparting some cognitive benefits when I use the brain after that... Essnetially I do it because I feel good doing it (and sure there are pratical, pragmatic, perhaps politilcal considerations in play too.

Regarding your preamble, particular he last bit, why do you think hiit on its own or alongside more moderate ow low intensity activity necessarily leads to people burning out? Not doing hiit may prevent overtraining for some people but this doesn't mean people who do it are overtraining...

Anyway, I have sympathy with view that gentle activity is good for people generally... I'm not sure whether I'm willing to claim it as solely necessary or 'ideal'- but certainly I think it's a big piece of picture...Some mildly or vigorously stressful/hormetic activity here and there is excellent for conditioning and strengthening the body; I'm not sure people can get very fit and lay platform for future years only through doing 'continuous low intensity training'... I don't know if I could contract muscles continously (consciously) Sure I stand working, squat on heels in a chair often, varypositions as fit with me at any point in time... But there are times when posture isn't that great, and I'm absorbed in working.... I wonder if you can you sustain constant, varying muscle contracting, eg by makign habit of doing it unconsciously/almost disassociating yourself form it as it becomes automatic...? Do you think could It be mentally exhausting after a while if this weren't the case/ and or contribute to focus being diverted from work etc to some extent...?

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 04:57 PM

It would be very interesting to see if one could eventually unconsciously contract these muscles, however at that point you might risk a clinical diagnosis of some sort of nervous disorder, lol. Personally, I've tried LICT for 2.5 days since Sunday and noticed only an improvement in mood and some muscle soreness. I find that muscle contractions take my mind off of whatever may be stressing me, similarly to a stress ball I suppose.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 04:49 PM

HIIT on its own and in exclusion to other exercise activities burns me out, I don't want to do it, it's too hard and not fun (the way I do it at least). I'm generalizing my experience, my immediate family's experience and my best friend's experience by saying that it burns everyone out and I accept that that is an inductively weak argument. However, I don't want people to walk away thinking that I said low intensity moderate activity burns people out, if that's what you interpreted from my question then I apologize for misspeaking.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 04:53 PM

I'm not sure if LICT to the exclusion of all other higher intensity activities would be ideal, and I definitely cannot prove that by itself it is the best conditioning or strengthening program available. I don't think I want to prove that either, sometimes, extreme activities are a ton of fun and I think make up a healthy lifestyle. Whether that's a game of ball with the family, intermittent sprints or weight lifting, I think that assuming you are legitimately enjoying the activity, it can often be very healthy. Charles Atlas advocated a muscle tension program though, and he was muscular.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:35 PM

I forgot to answer your question yesterday. I try to get in 2-3 hours a day of low intensity (subaerobic, 200-300 cal/hour). Walking or biking, but rowing, skiing and swimming would also work. It worked for weight loss, raising HDL and lowering blood pressure. It won't turn me into Ahnold, but I can blog while I'm walking.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 02:22 PM

Lol, right on, +1.

0
8fc1d7a8dc2318f960450a0de632bfe6

on April 22, 2014
at 12:16 PM

I disagree that HIIT has to have a long recovery. Depending on how busy I am, I'll do HIIT three days a week and just a simple 30 minute walk on the "off" days. My HIITs are short, but very intense. I'll walk for one minute and then sprint for one minute, but only for 20 minutes. The next day I feel like I could do it again, but don't want to over train so I do my regular walk. Part of why I love HIIT is that you can get in and out quickly.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 02:00 PM

@lovesmatt29 , Resting for 48 hours, or doing intervals 3 times a week as you mentioned is what I would call a long recovery. You are not getting the EPOC benefit from intervals after 24 hours no matter how hard you went and therefore you are necessarily limited to getting only half the benefit you could necessarily otherwise get (at least according to that one parameter). I'm looking for a superior workout to HIIT, which I think can possibly be achieved with LICT.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:30 PM

That's not HIIT, that's an interval protocol

If you can get in 10, 1 minute sprints -- you are not sprinting. I've trained elite high school runners, none would be able to do 10x400 at 60s

What you are doing is what is called full recovery tempo intervals (although you should be jogging not walking for recovery). And to complete 10, 60s runs you are likely at 65-70% V02max. It's a good workout -- and you should keep it up -- but it's not HIIT.

0
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on April 21, 2014
at 10:48 PM

Best way to recover from a sprint day is an active recovery day (ie a slow jog). So they are not mutually exclusive.

I put a step tracker on my phone and walk about 8500 steps without intended exercise (going for a run for example).

I tried a 10 push-ups every 30 minutes thing (actually I think you suggested it). I don't think I saw much benefit -- would low intensity work better for aerobic activities than anaerobic?

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:51 PM

Any stairway, any hill is another opportunity. I geared my cruiser bike down to make it more hill-friendly.

Medium avatar

(10611)

on April 22, 2014
at 12:43 PM

I retired last fall which gives me the key ingredient: time. But even when working I aimed for 10 miles of walking a day. Every break, lunchtime, and usually 90 minutes before work. Anywhere, any weather, for the last 7 years.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 01:33 AM

Low intensity exercise is aerobic, high intensity exercise is anaerobic. The benefits from short term anaerobic exercises likely derives from the longer term aerobic impacts. I did suggest and personally try the push ups every 30 minutes that you described. I wasn't able to maintain that program as it burned me out. The LICT that I'm mentioning would be like taking many of the long term benefits from HIIT (like EPOC) without the possibility of burning out. The catch is that the LICT I'm trying is an all day affair.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 22, 2014
at 01:35 AM

My goal is to implement a LICT routine seamlessly and inconspiculously on top of a corporate lifestyle.

Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on April 21, 2014
at 11:49 PM

The below is adamantly science along with 'bro-science':

To answer your question, the whole aerobic vs anaerobic exercise is almost a misnomer. The endgame for every exercise is aerobic mitochondrial function. It just so happens that when you exercise faster than the mitochondria can produce ATP (HIIT/Weightlifting) your body runs an anaerobic pathway, however that anaerobic pathway produces lactic acid which is converted to pyruvate which in turn up-regulates these mitochondria (the aerobic powerhouses). The end goal of all exercise is always to activate these mitochondria.

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