Day 59 – 21st August: Core Work Really Works!

Posted: August 21, 2013 in Fitness, Fitness Diary
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

…Not my cleverest title granted but the truth is sometimes unexciting. I was, however, very excited when I made this discovery.

Now do I mean that situps are amazing and give a six pack? No – that was not my magical revelation (and it’s also not true) – the truth is actually related to certain core work being a fat-burner. Fat burning, in it’s simplest form, requires your body to be burning more calories than you are taking on via food, forcing your body to source alternative energies such as those in your fat-stores. The easiest way to know your body is burning high levels of fat are if your heart rate is high (obviously there are other factors but on its most base level, this is a key indicator as your heart rate will increase to boost oxygen to your big muscles (and big muscles are the fat-burning factories of your body).

I was curious, while using my Polar Watch just how high my heart rate went when I was doing a variety of exercises. No surprises that when I was doing burpies, ski-abs, in-outs and chin ups in super sets my heart rate was high (about 180bpm) – there will also be no surprises that doing calf-lifts barely pushed the needle past 130bpm (and this is in the same exercise-hour so there may have been residual heart rate from prior exercises). But what surprised me was when I was doing cable twists, the (what I’m going to call) cable lumberjack or the hanging off the pull-up bars lifting my legs (straightened, to 90 degrees) – my heart rate was consistently peaking at around 178 – that was the same max heart rate I had when I went running the other day. Floor work yielded surprising, albeit lower, results also when doing bicycle abs and leg raises. (Another revelation I’m having at the moment is that I really need to find out the real names to these moves…)

I’m posting the above as a very minor revelation of my one which I’m sure will come as no shock to most of the initiated in this blogosphere but it comes with a more important message which all can agree with – the more you know your body, the better you’re going to train it. I see in magazines all the time saying “do 10 reps of this, 3 sets, etc etc” however the truth is it’s much better, rather than learning workouts, to learn the principles of good training. Then you can apply them freely in a way that’s going to suit your body. I learned about interval training, letting my heart rate skyrocket, then drop repeatedly as a way of fat burning and cardio training. Rather than applying those same exercises (repetition of routine is a big no-no) I take the principle of interval training, use my polar watch and apply it to the gym.

All I can say is that sometimes between my NASM textbook and my polar watch, it feels like my body and I are really getting to know one another all over again – and it’s awesome.


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