Challenging the Aerobic Exercise Status Quo.

Following on from my previous blog: that same guy anecdotally tells you to ignore aerobic exercise- with the fear of atrophy and post-traumatic-atrophy-syndrome (fake psychopathology).

Is that guy really telling you the truth?

Let’s have a quick look at the evidence…

Aerobic exercise and resistance training have proposed competing adaptations, along with varying intracellular signalling responses. The aforementioned is based on The Chronic Interference Hypothesis.

Let me explain.

Aerobic exercise relies on selective activation of AMPK (‘5 adenosine monophosphate- activated protein kinase)- whilst, resistance exercise relies on: mTORC1 (mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1) stay with me ladies and gentlemen! Although AMPK acts as a catabolic signal in steady state aerobic exercise; there is good evidence that training aerobically within 80% of ones maximal heart rate activates the switch: Akt (protein kinase B) which binds to AMPK (AMPK-Akt), which thus finally promotes anabolic signalling, due to mechanisms that is taking this blog to far down the nerd hole! All you need to take home from the aforementioned: is that aerobic exercise isn’t necessarily a blunt on muscle hypertrophy; there are ways of creating an anabolic environment- whilst still enjoying your aerobic exercise!

Now that I have covered the nerdy bits; what are the benefits of aerobic exercise as an adjunct with resistance training?

  • Increased insulin signalling
  • Increased basal postabsorptive muscle protein synthesis
  • Increased amino acid delivery
  • Increased blood flow
  • Decreased chronic inflammation (interleukin-6)

The above benefits are purely from a muscle hypertrophy standpoint- without exhausting the cardio respiratory system and the brain!

So how should one go about incorporating aerobic exercise into his/her’s regime?

  • There is some evidence that completing aerobic exercise on alternative days to ones resistance session maybe of benefit.
  • Running before a maximal lifting session may impede on muscle fibre contractile ability, perhaps time in your run nicely!
  • As touched on: working within 80% of your maximal heart rate has more robust evidence over steady state aerobic exercise for muscle hypertrophy.
  • >30 minutes of aerobic exercise is suffice with accordance to the national physical activity guidelines. Whilst, will also elicit some great endogenous effects: (cannabinoids, enkephalins) which will get you up-and-about!

So, reject ‘that guy’ again- with his anecdotes! I will happily provide papers if asked; and of course: whenever participating in physical activity, always consult with your medical professional and friendly exercise physiologist!

James 👨🏼‍⚕️


Three Reasons Why You Should Exercise With An Expert.

    It would be rhetorical to say: that your body is special. And you would only want the best to be guiding you through your health and well-being safely. And yet, one can still be suggestible- picking up dodgy anecdotal tips from ‘that guy’ on the lat-pull-down machine.
    I have personally experienced the benefits, being safely loaded, and moving with confidence with one of my colleagues. Leaving my body and surrendering to an expert has given myself a deeper appreciation of the importance of finding an expert in human movement. I have always been on the other side to what I have been accustomed too- and as bias as it sounds: my colleagues here at iNform health really know how to manage and care for their clients.

Here are three reasons why you should be working with an expert.

1. Your tissues need time to adapt to load. Your tissues, all the way down to the extracellular matrix- are for ever adapting to stressors and making proteins. Prescribing appropriate load- will ensure ones tissues will safely adapt; which will add a host of benefits to ones neuromuscular system: reduced risk of tendonopathies, appropriate motor learning and myonuclei growth (muscle hypertrophy). On the contrary, excessive loading that exceeds the capacity of the neuromuscular system can induce the contra effects to the aforementioned: tendon pathology, disorganised motor learning due to inappropriate load and systemic inflammation (abnormal prostaglandin levels) due to poor tissue healing.

2. Assessing the capacity of the neuromuscular system before undertaking load is paramount- and if neglected, your ‘health professional’ is going in blind. If there is a muscle inhibition due to deconditioned tissues, or a previous pathology that was poorly rehabilitated. Would you feel safe to be loaded- if you were unable to co-contract your gluteus maximums, or have adequate lumbo-pelvic control? And yet, you may still be subjected to axial loading in your first session…! A thorough musculoskeletal assessment can identify any red flags, and give your health professional valuable subjective/objective information to prescribe appropriate exercise correctives- which thus will ensure more complex movements are performed safely.

3. Co-care is so important in addressing the whole individual. Here at iNform, our clients are closely monitored by a wonderful internal/external team of allied health professionals; ranging from: GP’s, physio’s, osteo’s, chiros, pod’s and psychologist (without exhausting). All working and communicating together for the greater good of your physical and mental health. Co-care leads to better clinical outcomes, a proper working diagnosis, and the right form of treatments that benefit you the individual.

So, next time you are wanting to move with confidence. Be interrogative with your research. Find an evidence based approach that doesn’t involve a lecture from ‘that guy’ wearing a weight belt with a skimpy muscle singlet (stereotyping much?).