How are you doing? Feeling fit, healthy and back into the rhythm after Easter I hope?
How is your goal tracking going? Yes remember… To take measurements related to your goals and take then again every month to compare? Ah, you’ve forgot; so now I have reminded you!
This month we are going to talk about two very technical theories that are very, very important for us to truly understand the fundamentals of a long term healthy & fit life: bracketing & neuroendocrine adaptation. I don’t generally dedicate time by going into the most technical aspects and fundamentals of fitness but if you have been following my column for a while you’re probably proficient with all the basic aspects and theories so let’s get a bit more scientific today. (And talking about scientific, by the time you’re reading this article I have already finished (and hopefully passed) my latest course in Iceland, more precisely at CrossFit Reykjavik, owned by no one less than two times fittest woman on the planet Annie Thordisdottir!
Now, let’s get down to business: What do you want to achieve when you exercise? In broad terms we all want to achieve different levels of the same things: We all want to get fitter, healthier, perform & look better, don’t you agree? So bracketing is the theory that implies that your needs and the Olympic athlete’s differ, not by kind but by degree. Increased power, strength, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, coordination, agility, balance, and coordination are each important to the world’s best athletes and to our grandparents. The amazing truth is that the very same methods that elicit optimal response in the Olympic or professional athlete will optimise the same response in the elderly. Of course, we can’t load your grandmother with the same squatting weight that we’d assign an Olympic skier, but they both need to squat. In fact, squatting is essential to maintaining functional independence and improving fitness. Squatting is just an example of a movement that benefits all of us independent of our fitness ability and personal goals. So don’t be afraid to use advanced exercises on your programme, just get a professional to assess you then scale accordingly.
Neuroendocrine adaptation is a change in the body that affects you either neurologically or hormonally. Most important adaptations to exercise are in part or completely a result of a hormonal or neurological shift. Current research, much of it done by Dr. William Kraemer, Penn State University, has shown which exercise protocols maximise neuroendocrine responses.
Among the hormonal responses vital to athletic development are substantial increases in testosterone, insulin-like growth factor, and human growth hormone. Exercise regimens that induce a high neuroendocrine response produce champions! Increased muscle mass and bone density are just two of many adaptative responses to exercises capable of producing a significant neuroendocrine response.
So ensure that your training programme always causes your body to adapt by keeping isolation exercises to a small part of it, keeping its majority focusing on compound and whole body exercises. As a result you will feel improvements every session.
Well keep focused on your goals and enjoy the process! If you want more information about those topics check out the CrossFit Journal at CrossFit.com. See you next month! Mx