Thursday, June 13, 2024

Making peace with food and my body.

 This blog has gone a bit off the rails since I titled it "FatFitnessNerd" 2 years ago.  Watch this space for changes, and a renewed focus on fitness at any size, making peace with food, and mindfulness.   Expect quite a few posts to be deleted!

Saturday, March 16, 2024

4 on - 4 off x 4 VO2 max workout

Peter Attia sugests one workout a week being at VO2 max, with the rest of the workouts building out a solid aerobic base.   The workout he suggests for the hard one is 4 minutes on, 4 minutes off, 4 times. This is something I haven't done in years, and am a little nervous about  (as in nervous enough to want to do this in an environment with an automatic external defibrillator). 

He describes this a little bit like I used to think of a 2000m test on an erg, but condensed.  The first minute is relatively easy, if it's not, you've gone out too hard and are going to blow.  Minutes 2 and 3 are really uncomfortable, and you only get through minute 4 because its the last minute and you can go for broke.  I would suggest doing negative splits here, where you get progressively faster, but he admits that he is pretty much universally positive splitting.

The rule Attia uses is the 80/20 rule, so if you are going to do 5 workouts in a week, 4 of them (80%) ought to be base training, and 1 of them (20%) ought to be as I described above.

He also notes that he warms up significantly before doing this workout.   I could see doing VO2 max after a full base training workout as a warmup.

I'm not a doctor, and this isn't medical advice... I'm also kind of OK with dying on a treadmill as a honorable end.   I might strongly consider actually asking my doctor before doing this.  There is something called a cardiac stress test which would get you up to this level of exertion in a controlled way in a medical environment where a resuscitation team was nearby.

The final note is that I'd be tempted to start slow, like wearing a heart rate monitor play with where you are in the zones.  Don't go for broke (dead?) all at once on the first interval.

What are the zones on a Polar heart rate monitor?


Friday, March 15, 2024

Heart rate training and after-workout stretching/cool-down data.

 My temptation with a heart rate watch is to stop the tracking immediately after I stop the activity and then do my stretching / cool-down.  The problem with this approach is that the data around how quickly the heart rate comes back down during the cooldown is useful data.

It's obvious looking at a longitudinal heart rate graph where the cool-down is, so including the cool-down in the data doesn't really meaningfully pollute the data in any way.  Also, my cool downs tend to be of a fixed 5 or 10 minute duration.  

The only problem with doing this is the stretching time is included in the volume calculation for the week.  Honestly, if getting some credit for actually stretching motivates me to stretch, I'm OK with the volume number being inflated by 5-10 minutes per session.  Again, for any individual workout, it's obvious where the work was done, and where I was cooling down.

Another way to look at this data is in a weekly or monthly report from Polar Flow or your tracker's software.  Here I can see the number of minutes total in various heart rate zones.  Looking at the total minutes in the green 70-80% zone, and the blue 60-70% zone gives me a good idea of where I am, and where I want to be for the week.  Looking at these numbers tends to leave out the stretching, even if I don't shut off the watch immediately after the actual work is done.

Looking at total min in zone 2-4 in Polar Flow's reports excludes most of the stretching.

Friday, March 8, 2024

A Concept2 RowErg might be too loud for a 1 bedroom apartment.

Whether it is actually too loud, or whether it would just be a nagging sense of guilt for disturbing neighbors, either way it's not likely that I'd buy one of these for my current living situation.

My 2023 Fitness Infographic


There is a lot of room for improvement in my workout schedule.  There were a couple of 2-month long periods where I was exercising pretty regularly, but there are also intervening months where I am doing nothing.  I'm not 100% sure this log represents all activity, but it's reasonably accurate.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

A pathological definition of "whole grain"


The video above is (or was at the time of writing this piece) "SOFT and FLUFFY 100% Whole Grain Biscuits | Jill Winger Prairie Homestead Biscuits for Whole Grains". In the video, it quickly becomes clear that what Jill means by "whole grain" is the whole pulverized flour that comes from milling wheat berries.  

I believe this is the definition that a lot of industrial bakers use too.  On the one hand, this process might include some phytonutrients that you would otherwise lose by throwing out the bran of the wheat berry.  On the other, the process of pulverizing the berry into flour makes the flour digest rapidly into blood sugar.

To my knowledge, you need flour to make baked goods.  For me, I define "whole grain" to mean the literal whole grain, unpulverized and unfiltered.   You cook and eat these foods like rice or pasta.  So definitionally, there is no such thing as whole grain bread.  Whole grain bread is essentially white bread with a little coloring from the bran and germ, and marginal nutrients from the bran and germ, mixed in. According to Andrew Weil MD, whole wheat bread has the same glycemic index as white bread, because of this pulverization process. 

From "What is a whole grain" by Academy of nutrition and dietetics.