Some basic body chemistry is at work when you work out. To meet its energy demands, the body burns fats and carbohydrates in the presence of oxygen – aerobic activity. Most of your daily activities are fueled this way. The by-products of aerobic metabolism are carbon dioxide and water – breath and sweat. The body shifts into a higher gear when you increase the intensity of the exertion. When your aerobic system can’t keep up with the increased demand for energy, the body crosses over the anaerobic threshold. Knowing when this happens is a key to knowing your relative level of fitness and setting your sights on achieving a higher state of being.
There are a few big changes that happen when your body shifts into anaerobic metabolism. To meet the extra demands for energy, your body burns stored sugars. In addition, lactic acid is produced faster than it can be metabolized, so muscles begin to burn and are quicker to fatigue. You’ve been there, felt that. Here’s why this is important. The fitter you are, the longer to can remain in the aerobic zone, fueling your body’s energy needs with carbohydrates and fats. As you improve your aerobic capacity, your anaerobic threshold is raised. They key is knowing where to train so you can effectively raise your threshold and know that your efforts are paying off in better fitness and overall health.
If you use the charts generally found on fitness equipment like treadmills and ellipticals, you will find a range that may or may not be where you, the unique individual, need to train to increase your level of fitness. You may be lulled into a false sense of doing enough, instead of doing what is required to make your workouts meaningful. If you’re going to dedicate the time, you deserve to know that your efforts will be rewarded.
Here’s where you need a coach and at FITTLab, ours is the Cardio Coach Plus. In one session you will know your VO2Max AND resting metabolic rate (RMR), two very important baseline numbers that will guide your training and fueling. These numbers will also change as your fitness level increases.
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the place to start. This is a measure of how many calories your body burns while at rest. No exercise applied! People with excellent levels of lean body mass and lower body fat will have higher RMRs. As your efforts change your body composition, those changes will be reflected in a change in your RMR.
VO2Max is the next step. You will know the optimum heart rate you need to achieve and how long you need to train there to have a positive impact on your fitness and thereby raise your anaerobic threshold. No more generic charts! Just real results that are all you!