Sunday, March 22, 2009

Aerobic and Anaerobic

50 pounds ago I started to pick up biking and get my diet in shape. I did the right thing and didnt call it a "diet". I called it a lifestyle change. I still call it that to this day when referring to the way I eat and exercise.

Distance cycling was the only exercise I was getting, and when I changed my food intake to proper portion sizes and better foods, I shed about 25 pounds. I felt great and was happy. But I knew there was more. I could have kept that tack and dropped the other 25 pounds and everything would have been great.

But then I happened upon Muay Thai. As most of you know I had always wanted to take a martial arts class, and the rest of that is history. If you want to read more, you can always click on Muay Thai on the sidebar.

Now I do distance running, in addition to strength circuits. The circuits are 3 - 6 minute circuits of intense exercises. Typically they are six different exercises for one minute each, such as jumping rope, pushups, crunches, punching/kicking, knees and jumping. We also do these circuits in 30 and 45 second intervals.

So now I am 50 pounds later, and my weight hovers around 175. That is a ripped 175 I might add. My muscles are pretty toned, and I have very little body fat. The temp gets below 50 and I am shivering, since the engine is always shedding heat. I am pretty proud of myself.

But I have stumbled upon the real trick if you want to bring your body out of the doldrums and into tip top shape. It is the combination of Aerobic and Anaerobic exercise. When I was biking only, my body did well, but eventually it got used to that one activity. When you throw the combination of activities at your body, it can't assimiliate itself to any one and the results are great. I suppose there is a book that would tell me this, but I came to this realization the hard way, just by doing more and more stuff.

So my anaerobic activities are all the stuff I do at the gym, such as strength circuits, MT, and training fighters. I do these on Mondays and Wednesdays (and sometimes on Saturdays).

Aerobic (this wiki is very good and also goes into differences between aerobic and anaerobic activity) activities include my distance cycling and running. These are typically done on Saturday and Sunday for me since that is the only way they fit into my schedule. With me ramping up my distance running, I have been dropping weight again. Time to eat more.

On top of all of this, muscle weight weighs more than flab - making my 50 pound loss look even larger on a percentage basis, since I have muscles now and had zero before.

It is a lot of work, but holy cow do I enjoy all of this physical activity.


Joe said...

I'm not sure if you've checked out Crossfit, but it's excellent for the same reasons. Of course, diet is always critical.

Dan from Madison said...

Crossfit is awesome, and a lot of the elements of it are incorporated in my strength circuits. Food intake is very important as you mentioned.

If you want to take it "all the way", you need a scale and learn how to weigh in your portions, but that is a little out of my territory, I am not exaclty a professional like Lance Armstrong or anything.

Joe said...

I agree. I'm trying to roughly zone, but I don't weigh the portions. I may try this year.

BTW, I see you are doing the burpee challenge? I go to an affiliate in Pittsburgh, and I think we started a few days late. I did 78 today. I'm really looking forward to the end!

Dan from Madison said...

Yea I am doing the burpee challenge and was blogging about it but gave up on the blogging part. Just a few more weeks and it is done, I am also looking forward to the end of that.