Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Once you see how fat Americans are, you can't unsee it.

Sitting at a Starbucks, giving myself permission to just look around at the bodies.  I think as a function of both being massively overweight, a little bit shy romantically, and constantly wary of objectification, I never really did this.  

What you see is just a horror show of what we used to call "beer bellies".  These round, fat, sloppy, grotesquely pregnant-looking, middle-aged male body types (and whatever the female equivalent is).   Once you see that, you start to see how prevalent it is.  You start to see them everywhere.

I think of global warming when I think of this.  Global warming is difficult, because outside of the increasingly frequent draughts, fires, and superstorms, its a slow and gradual process that sneaks up catastrophically over generations.  This obesity thing is different.  You can literally see its fingerprints all over society.   

I tend to picture these folks lying on a gurney with an IV in, or with someone crouched over them doing chest compressions or bagging them.  

I think of my ballooning ACA insurance payment, and wonder how much of it is going to their diabetes care.

We can, and have to fix this.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

A desire to work on real problems.

 One of the defining characteristics of my software engineering career was a sense that we were always beholden to the marketing department. Some or all of our work existed essentially so the organization could do a press release containing the latest tech buzzword or highlight some kind of fake-o organizational partnership with Apple or Microsoft.

I'm sitting here writing in a Starbucks in Evesham, thinking existentially, and distracting myself by looking at the bodies that are passing in front of my table.   

I would say that a full 2 out of 3, or 3 out of 4 bodies is morbidly obese.  Bellies overhanging pants, waddling rather than walking, people struggling to breathe.  In their hands are pink and caramel Starbucks venti drinks.

The thing I like about writing in Fat Fitness Nerd is that it addresses an actual problem that you can see out in the world.  Unlike software I talk about solutions to problems that exist, not solutions in search of problems.  There is no sense of valuing an approach or technique because it is cool, or hip -- everything I write about here is towards functional, effective fitness.

Of orthorexia, addiction, catastrophic failure, and raspberries.

I have fairly good body mass data going back almost a decade.  What you notice looking at that is that it is punctuated by weeks or months longs regimens of weight loss, followed by a slow upward creep.

Why then have I been able to relatively easily maintain a program since last November?  There is a lot that feeds into it -- stress reduction comes to mind first. 

What tends to happen to me, and I suspect a lot of people, is that we fairly orthorexically (strictly, or overly strictly) hit a diet for a month, but then we consider the first deviation a catastrophic failure.  A single candy bar, plate of Chinese food, or hoagie roll can de-rail a lot of otherwise good work.  In that single moment we are "off" the diet, and it is very hard to get back on.

One of the things I have done differently this time is to use an addiction model for those foods.  I know, and don't resist the fact that its exceedingly hard to get back on a diet if your psyche is telling you that you have "failed".  To that end, I treat processed carbs and sugar as a drug, and just abstain.  I also abstain from artificial sweeteners for a similar reason involving the adjustment of the pallet. 

I do have a secret weapon though --  I have found a treat that my brain doesn't consider a psychological failure:  Many people talk about berries as being the lowest-carb fruit.  Sites like DietDoctor give permission at various levels of carbohydrate to eat a few here and there.  For that reason, a half pint of raspberries, though with my new pallet exceedingly sweet, is not considered a discontinuity in my progress.

My weight loss would probably stall if I engaged in this every single day, but the capacity to have a treat that is "on" the diet feels hugely important for long term sustainability.

An interesting more advanced effect of this is that if something sneaks into my diet that I don't have control of, I can compare that to my berry desert.  I was on the road last week, and had a dinner of chicken wings at the hotel I was staying at.  They came out breaded, though not heavily.  Orthorexically I would have sent them back and made a scene, but they looked and tasted really good, and after an 11 hour drive I just didn't have it in me.  The psychological perspective shift from "catastrophic failure" that I'm now able to do is to compare a little bit of panko breading to the nutritional composition of a tin of berries.  I don't do it scientifically, it just feels similar.  

This idea that if I eat something, my weight loss will probably stall for a day, or at most a couple of days is important.  If it provides a relief, without triggering compulsive / addictive behavior, then it feels like I can carefully tolerate it.  

For me, this manifests occasionally as Sag Paneer at the local Indian joint, a box of strawberries if they look great, the raisins in my favorite Whole Foods curry chicken salad, or a "keto" chocolate bar/cup.  However it does not manifest as diet soda, desert, ice cream, cupcakes, brownies, candy bars, bread or tortillas.   The important thing is recognizing that its not something to engage in every day, and to recognize that overdoing it could pull me back into a food addiction.  It's a balance.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Logic would say, mistrust the work-product of unhealthy processes.

 If you look around the room at a company and notice that all of the employees are massively overweight, it probably makes sense to be suspicious of the work-product of that company.  This makes sense in the abstract:  if there a behavior (sedentary-ness) leads to a condition (metabolic disorder) that we don't like, then we shouldn't monetarily encourage the behavior by buying its product.

I don't really have any specific examples in mind.  I have worked with really fit engineers, and really unfit engineers.  

One point is more personal -- if the only way you can do a job is to have no time/energy left over to spend on cooking real food, working out, mindfulness practice, and friends and family, then find another job.  Maybe I'm just saying I'm not enough of a hard core math-head to make software engineering work and still have something left over at the end of the day.  Maybe the intro to this post is a comment that the way we demand output, nobody is (at least without severe risk of burnout.)

I spent the weekend down in North Carolina learning how to build a vintage guitar amplifier.  About an hour into inhaling acrid solder/flux smoke I was thinking about getting a different hobby.  8 hours into it I was feeling a certain amount of solidarity with factory workers everywhere, Chinese or American or whatever.  I'm starting to look at electronic devices in terms of how much I am asking of another human being to neglect their health in order to feed their families.


Dialing back the frequency, and the tracking.

 I'm back from a short road trip where I got fuck-all exercise.  Before I left I was hitting the aerobic training harder than I have in months.

Honestly, before I left for the trip, this was feeling like too much.  My muscles were getting more and more sore, and I was looking forward to working out less and less.

Dr. Maffetone recommends 3 thirty minute sessions a week if you are severely de-trained.  Somewhere around 3-4 seems right.  I feel pretty recovered now, so I'm planning to get back into it this week.

The other comment I will make, is that it can be fun to have the diary calendar that I included above, but the danger is that you are completely orthorexic for a couple of weeks, and then any kind of deviation feels like a catastrophic structural failure.   I think if I were _not_ diary-ing, I would just work out when I wanted to work out, or when I felt like pushing myself.  There wouldn't be this abstract "make all the cells in the calendar red", or match an absolute number of days to be consistent with previous weeks.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Currently training 5 days a week (Mon - Fri)... Mondays are hard after the weekend off.

I might need to re-evaluate what I'm doing here, and/or do some more 'active' recovery on off days.  

I took Saturday and Sunday off to let my leg muscles recover.  On Monday I noticed in myself a lot of "I don't want to do this" energy.  I had to drag myself to the gym early in the day, because I was sure that if I waited until later, I wouldn't do it at all.

As per usual when I don't want to do a workout, but do it anyway, I was literally singing to myself afterwards.  It felt amazing.

Same energy today, Tuesday.  I did the treadmill yesterday, because in many respects it is easier psychologically than the bike because your pace is set digitally.  I don't want to do that two days in a row, and I'm kind of dreading trying to keep my RPMs up and stay in my heart rate zone on the exercise bike.

I'm sure if I just do it it will also be amazing.

Traveling at the end of the week, going to take my heart rate monitor with me.  At the very least I should be able to find a place to walk, but hopefully my hotel has a gym.

Coming up on my first real weight milestone...

It's pretty dumb that the following means so much to me as a milestone, given how stupid BMI is, but it does...

The CDC classifies weight into a few categories such as under, normal, over, and obese classes 1 through 3.  Class 3 obesity is what was referred to as "morbid obesity" previously. 

The threshold for Class 3 obesity is a BMI of 40, for me that represents a weight of 267lbs (121kg).  My current weight is 283lbs, and I'm losing at the rate of a few pounds per month.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Nerve compression on the exercise bike - It's OK to stand up for a minute!

 I've been hitting the recumbent exercise bike over the last two weeks.  I prefer walking on a treadmill, but I am still carrying 285 pounds, so I'm trying to save wear and tear on my lower extremities.  The non-weight bearing exercise helps with that.

My goal is a regular 60 or 90 minute ride, but right now I'm at 30 minutes.  One of the challenges is that my left leg (for whatever reason only my left) gets a bit tingly 15 minutes into the ride.  

Now, I come from a tradition of sitting on a rowing machine for north of an hour at a piece, and I have a little bit of a built in resistance to taking breaks in the middle of workouts.  This is especially true when I'm tracking heart rate -- I like to be at my target, and getting off of the machine drops my heart rate.

However, it _has_ been productive to take a 60 second stretch break every 10 - 13 minutes or so.  I press "pause" on my heart rate tracker, and just stand up and stretch.  At first it was a mental hurdle to allow myself to do this, but now it feels great.

There are different types of pain or discomfort when training -- my feeling is that nerve compression is a kind of mildly 'bad' pain.  It's not productively strengthening anything, it's just discomfort.  There's not a lot of reason to work through it.  I would say though that there is not a lot of reason to focus on it either.  The discomfort is mild, and there might be a tendency to make a bigger deal out of it than it is, beyond just taking a 60 second stretch break.

Heart rate tracking can have a built in incentive not to warm up / cool down -- Here's a solution using Polar Flow

 The problem with tracking heart rate over a workout is that there is something of an incentive built in to jump right into the target heart rate without a warm up, and terminate the workout right when the work is done, without a cool down.  If you don't, your average heart rate over the piece won't be representative of the actual work done.  If you don't track the beginning and end of the workout, then you aren't getting credit for the total minutes.

What we want to do is take the entire graph of the workout, and clip off the front and backends, where we are warming up and cooling down.  You can do just that in Polar Flow.

You actually _can_ export raw heart rate data from Polar Flow


Self-defeating Common Wisdom, Cheat Days, and Stress

 I was talking with a bartender about my diet yesterday.  He was congratulatory about my weight loss, but he also seemed to have some concerns centering on orthorexia -- or a diet that is overly restrictive.  After I told him about being essentially 'keto', and cutting out sugar, he asked if I took a weekly cheat day to eat whatever I wanted.  I gave him a bit of a dissertation on the 'addiction model'  to which he made a face, and walked away. 

You can't have a little bit of heroin, or a little bit of cigarettes.  Why should we think that refined sugar is any different?  There is so much cultural impetus wrapped up in a brownie sundae that we just aren't wise enough to say 'no thanks', more or less permanently.

I think the key to understanding why this modification feels possible for me centers on stress.  I have gone to huge strides, financially limiting strides, professionally limiting strides, to reduce stress from my life.  I used to go right from work at a high power technology consulting firm to a Chinese buffet.   I don't think I'd be able to just limit myself to a few sporadic half-pints of berries if that were still part of my life.

While there is an American puritanical tendency to value effort-ing (to use a word from the mindfulness community), and to feel lazy if we aren't revved to the max at all times, the health impact of this is terrible.  If I have a heart attack or stroke at 55, am I really going to value all the time I put in killing myself (literally) for my career?  Won't I at that point wish I had dialed it back and spent more time thinking about my health?

Thursday, June 15, 2023

A2 v.s. MAF

A bit of a pivot here away from A1/A2 towards MAF:  

Click to zoom

The two white lines in the graph are my MAF range.  Showing a bunch of work above MAFmax, which is probably counterproductive.   I felt somewhat depleted after this A2 workout, which is not how you should feel after MAF.  The point of MAF being volume over a long commitment, rather than burning yourself out after a couple of weeks.

Once I've got a good base (3 - 6 months of MAF), _then_ weave in work that flirts with anaerobic threshold a bit more like the upper parts of this A2 workout. The other way to think about it is that once I have been doing this for 3-6 months, I can remove the 10 point handicap from the MAF calculation. (see this post:

If I really want two ranges, shift from A1/A2 to MAFlow and MAFhigh

MAF : 114 - 124
MAFlow: 114-119

See previous posts or

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

A strong memory of 165...

 I have this very strong, I think accurate memory of spending a lot of time at or around heart rate 165 when I was training for rowing as a teenager.  I credit this approach (with a lot of other coaching wisdom) with winning a junior national championship and an olympic festival.

I just picked up a snipped in Maffetone's e-book on the MAF method:

For athletes 16 years of age and under, the formula is not applicable; rather, a heart rate of 165 may be best.

Very interesting and validating of the memory.  I wonder if Todd Jesdale (my coach at the time) had read Maffetone?

My MAF number (in June 2023)

 The MAF 180 Formula: 

Determining your MAF HR 

1. Subtract your age from 180. 

2. Modify this number by choosing one category below that best applies to you: 

a. If you have or are recovering from a major illness (including any operation or hospital stay), are in rehabilitation, have been prescribed any regular medication, or are chronically overtrained, subtract an additional 10. 

b. If you are injured, have regressed or not improved in training (such as poor MAF Tests) or competition, get more than two colds, flu or other infections per year, have seasonal allergies or asthma, are overfat, are acutely overtraining, or if you have been inconsistent, just beginning or returning to exercise, subtract an additional 5. 

c. If you have been training consistently (at least four times weekly) for up to two years without any of the problems mentioned in a) or b), no modification is necessary (use 180 minus age as your MAF HR). 

d. If you have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed above, have made progress in your MAF Tests, and have improved competitively, add 5. 

The resulting HR is the high end of the HR range with the low being 10 beats below

I selected category 'a', because I have been proscribed statins, and because my general physical fitness level is quite poor.

180 - 46 - 10 = 124

MAF range: 114 - 124

How does my previous conception of A1 and A2 fit into that?

My A1 target is about 113 - 121 bpm, and my A2 target is about 121 - 130 bpm, which corresponds to targets of about 65-70% HRmax and 70-75% HRmax using the standard 220-age formula.

When you’ve finished each workout, you should feel great — not tired or sore, and certainly not ready to collapse on the couch. Nor should you crave sugar or other carbohydrates: aerobic workouts program your body to burn stored fat, not sugar. Craving sugar during or after a workout may indicate it’s anaerobic.

That leads me to think that the upper range of my A2 target might be a bit high, not by much, a few points.   

Decades ago I discovered that it is necessary to take a period of three to six months to exclusively develop the aerobic system. A heart rate monitor is an excellent tool to monitor aerobic development, when paired with the MAF 180 Formula---

Interestingly my instinct was to put the weight lifting on pause for a while before I read this.

The source of the MAF info is Maffetone's e-book The MAF Method(v1.0).pdf.

Recovery Rides and Training Effect

 I want to strike a balance here between journaling and writing stuff that is relevant to other people. I don't think I really have any readers at this point, so journaling seems fine...

I did an A1 recumbent indoor bike ride today at a bit after noon.  I didn't sleep that great last night, but I slept in a bit, so I feel rested.

The ride felt the way it usually does -- not exactly easy, but not so taxing that I want to quit at every moment.  Afterward though I just feel great.  

I have maintained that the 65% HRmax rides are kind of a mix of 'recovery' ride and aerobic training.  I'm certain I'm getting a training effect out of them, but they generally feel regenerative rather than depleting.  I'm sure there is more training effect from the 70-75% rides, but those _do_ feel more taxing.

Goal for the rest of June ('23) -- strap in, hold on tight, be consistent with the aerobic base training and turn this calendar red!


Also -- try not to overdo it, get injured...etc...

What I mean when I talk about A1 and A2 training.


A1 target around 65% HRmax 
(maybe 70% HRmax if you are very fit)

A2 target around 70% HRmax 
(maybe 75%-80% HRmax if you are very fit.)

Doing long pieces (30-60 minutes most days) in these ranges represents a significant commitment.  The goal of splitting them into two ranges is primarily psychological -- on 'a' days the workout requires a little bit more than on 'b' days.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Some pretty sane sounding answers on Heart Rate, Anaerobic Threshold, Training Effect, and the "220-age" estimation formula from ChatGPT.

Is there a significant difference between regular training at 65 percent max heart rate versus 70 percent?

(I'm primarily interested in the impact on the cardiovascular adaptation here...)

When you exercise at different heart rate percentages, the main differences lie in the intensity and physiological adaptations that occur. Here's a breakdown of the potential effects of training at 65 percent versus 70 percent HRmax: Intensity: Training at 70 percent HRmax is generally considered a moderate intensity level, while training at 65 percent HRmax is on the lower end of the moderate intensity range. The higher intensity of 70 percent HRmax may lead to slightly greater cardiovascular and metabolic demands during exercise. Caloric expenditure: As exercise intensity increases, so does the number of calories burned. Training at 70 percent HRmax may result in slightly higher calorie expenditure compared to training at 65 percent HRmax. Aerobic capacity: Training within the moderate intensity range, including both 65 percent and 70 percent HRmax, primarily targets aerobic endurance. Both levels of intensity can improve cardiovascular fitness, enhance oxygen utilization, and promote efficient energy production. Fat burning: During exercise at lower intensities, a higher percentage of calories burned comes from fat stores. Consequently, training at 65 percent HRmax might elicit a slightly higher proportion of fat burning compared to 70 percent HRmax. However, the total number of calories burned, including both fat and carbohydrates, tends to be higher at higher intensities. Anaerobic threshold: The anaerobic threshold is the point at which the body's energy production shifts more towards anaerobic metabolism. Training at 70 percent HRmax is closer to this threshold than training at 65 percent HRmax. Therefore, exercising at 70 percent HRmax may better challenge the anaerobic threshold, improving your body's ability to tolerate and delay the accumulation of lactate during exercise. In summary, training at 70 percent HRmax generally represents a slightly higher intensity level compared to training at 65 percent HRmax. The differences in physiological adaptations may include slightly greater cardiovascular demands, increased caloric expenditure, and a closer challenge to the anaerobic threshold. However, both intensities can contribute to overall cardiovascular fitness and are beneficial in their own ways. It's important to consider your individual fitness goals, preferences, and any specific recommendations from a qualified fitness professional when determining the appropriate training intensity for you. What percentage of max heart rate generally corresponds to anaerobic threshold?

(An important point is that anaerobic threshold is determined by anaerobic metabolism and can be measured by the bi-products of that process -- i.e. lactic acid. It is a physiological phenomenon, and while you can use a percentage of HRmax as a proxy, it's not a direct measurement of the physiological phenomenon of lactate build up.)

The anaerobic threshold, also known as the lactate threshold, is the exercise intensity at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood faster than it can be cleared. It is often used as an indicator of the transition between aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. While the anaerobic threshold can vary among individuals, it typically occurs at approximately 80-85 percent of maximum heart rate (HRmax). It's important to note that the anaerobic threshold is not solely determined by a specific heart rate percentage. It is influenced by several factors, including individual fitness levels, training status, genetics, and other physiological variables. Therefore, using a heart rate-based approach alone may not provide an accurate estimation of the anaerobic threshold for everyone. To more precisely determine your anaerobic threshold, there are other methods available, such as lactate threshold testing. This involves measuring blood lactate levels at various exercise intensities to identify the point at which lactate accumulation significantly increases. Such testing can provide more accurate and personalized information regarding your anaerobic threshold.

Would it be unusual for anaerobic threshold for a 46 year old male to occur at around 70 to 75 percent max heart rate rather than 80 to 85 percent in a fit person?

(An important point here is the emphasis that the "220-age" formula for estimating HRmax can be wildly off, so in effect you might see the kind of variance in AT value that I was asking about.)

While the anaerobic threshold can vary among individuals, it is generally considered unusual for the anaerobic threshold to occur at around 70 to 75 percent of maximum heart rate (HRmax) in a fit person. In most cases, the anaerobic threshold is expected to be around 80 to 85 percent HRmax or higher.

The anaerobic threshold is influenced by various factors, including individual fitness levels, training status, genetics, and physiological variables. Generally, individuals with higher levels of aerobic fitness tend to have a higher anaerobic threshold. Fit individuals often have well-developed cardiovascular systems, allowing them to sustain higher exercise intensities before reaching their anaerobic threshold.

However, it's important to recognize that there can be individual variations, and some individuals may have a lower anaerobic threshold due to factors such as genetics or specific training adaptations. Additionally, methods used to estimate HRmax can sometimes be less accurate, leading to potential discrepancies in determining the percentage of HRmax at the anaerobic threshold.

What is generally accepted as the margin of error in the "220 minus age" formula for estimating maximum heart rate?

(A 20 point difference in HRmax could account for a 17 point difference in AT.)

The margin of error associated with the 220 minus age formula for estimating maximum heart rate (MHR) is a topic of debate. While the formula is widely known and used, its accuracy and applicability to individuals can vary significantly. Research suggests that the 220 minus age formula may have a standard deviation of around ±10-12 beats per minute (bpm), indicating a potential margin of error within that range.

Revision to training targets article from yesterday.

The goal here is to find a pace on the exercise bike that provides more training effect than just walking, and to also use heart rate measurements to make the activity repeatable and sustainable.  I fully acknowledge that the fact that I find staring at a heart rate monitor during a workout calming, interesting, and sustaining, makes me weird and that it is a function of previous training experience. 

My 20 year old training targets for long slow distance were 150bpm (A1) and 165bpm (A2). I asserted yesterday that this works out to 75% and 82.5% of "typical" HRmax respectively. However, consulting ChatGPT I understand that the HRmax for an elite athlete of a given age could be 10-20bpm higher than a sedentary person.

Recalculating the targets based on a 20 year old elite HRmax of 220 (rather than 200bpm), A1 turns out to have been more like 68% and A2 at 75%. Given what I understand to be generally true (in the average) about where lactate threshold is with respect to heart rate, these numbers make more sense. I always thought the original percentages were too high.

So you can then do the math for a 46 year old: 68% of 220-46 is 118bpm, and 75% of 220-46 is 130bpm. I'd even be tempted to drop those by 5bpm for a seriously (clinically) out of shape individual based on the original MAF article I cited.

I know people will continue to have an issue with the HRmax "220-age" estimation, but my response is still 'it's stupid to empirically test HRmax if you are a very, very de-trained 46 year old.'.

I did a workout at about 125-130bpm today (again, I'm 46), and I have to say, it felt like what I remember A2 feeling like.  The 113-119bpm workouts of the previous two days felt like what I remember A1 feeling like.   Probably that is the answer, use a sense of perceived exertion to at least temper the HRmax calculations.

As always, these posts represent a snapshot in time, and aren't intended to represent definitive answers to nutrition and exercise questions.  All of this stuff evolves as my knowledge and experience evolves.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Training Target for Long Slow Distance

Again - My nutrition plan feels solid and somewhat

battle tested.  I feel like I can start to weave in more 

emphasis on training, without the risk of derailing the

diet. This post is about as bro-science-y as I get!

One of my prized possessions is the typewriter printouts of my coaches training plan when I was 20.  We spent a lot of time in two zones called "aerobic 1", and "aerobic 2".  Every other afternoon workout was a 60 minute long slow piece, and a few mornings a week, a couple of us would add another one.

These pieces felt meditative, somewhere on the upper edge of 'regenerative', like less of a mental heavy-lift than the speed work we also mixed in.

Training targets @ 20 years old for aerobic 1 was 150BPM or 75%  max heart rate (MHR), aerobic 2 was 165BPM or 82.5% MHR.

Using 220-age for MHR estimation that would be currently equivalent to 131BPM (A1) and 144BPM (A2). This paper (which looks suspiciously formatted as a journal article, but is self-published) suggests potentially subtracting 5BPM for being in a 'detrained' (ehem...) state, leaving 126BPM (or 72% MHR) and 139 (80% MHR) at age 46.

For me a single-value target is most useful, so I sort of arbitrarily set that at 70% based on the above, that works out to 122BPM.  Right now I'm at 30 minutes, but I'd like to work up to an hour about 4 days a week to leave room for strength training.

What I have noticed is that it takes a 10 minute warm up to get to about 65% MHR, and another 5-8 minutes to feel like I want to go stay around/above 70%.  None of this feels really strenuous.  I will note that I'm doing this on a recumbent exercise bike, not an erg.  It doesn't feel like a good idea to just sit down and try to hit 70% MHR cold.

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

First real ride since the big weight loss...

If the nutrition plan has been solid for a while, and feels a bit battle-tested, it seems OK to start to weave in  increased exercise without risk of derailing the diet.  (The diet being the most important factor for raw weight loss.)

The point of cycling is I feel there is 'training effect' compared to a lower intensity walking workout. Walking is better than nothing.  However I get more of a boost with less exhaustion from the cycling workout than I do the long (hot) walk.

65% or 75% MHR are kind of arbitrary -- the "220-age" formula for MHR is not that accurate, and one person's thresholds are going to be different than another's.  In terms of RPE (perceived exertion) or my own sense of how lactic a workouts, I feel like I have a lot of headroom before lactate threshold (LT).  There is probably a value to mixing some base-training / recovery rides (<=65%) and some more intense rides (65% - 80%) that flirt with LT and have a real training effect.

Be prepared for appetite to increase.

I'm also doing some upper body weight lifting.  The theory behind skipping leg day is that I'm already putting 2 or 3x the normal load on my lower extremities just by walking around at 285lbs. 

Note to self: when screen shot-ing polar flow graphs, it's useful to anisotropically scale the image in the vertical direction and then add in the 65% and 75% MHR lines.  The 70% line is already represented by the blue/green transition.  The scaling gives you a little more resolution on the graph line - values between 60-70% only occupy an inch of screen real estate in the original viz on polar flow.

Friday, June 2, 2023

"Hedonic" foods

 There are some foods I know I have to stay away from, even though they are low carb.  What comes to mind are nuts and sliced American cheese.  The reason is that I can't control my intake of these foods, and will eat until the package is empty.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

4 exercises, 2 planes, 20 minutes

A simple workout that takes about 20 minutes is to do pushing and pulling movements in 2 planes.   This consists of bench press paired with rows, and shoulder press paired with pull downs.  Most people would suggest also adding leg press, but my thinking is that I'm already carrying a tonne of extra weight against gravity.  I'm not sure it makes sense to put more strain on the lower extremities. 

I do all of this work on a machine, primarily because the machines at my club are in an area that is less scary than the workout floor.   When getting back into it, I do very light weight something on the order of 15 to 25 reps.   I will pretty quickly move into sets of around 8 to 12 reps but I want to ease into it.