Training Tip of the Month
“If you struggle to make lasting change, stop and ask yourself how confident you are, on a 1-10 scale, that you can make that change to your lifestyle. If you don’t answer at least a 7 or higher choose a simpler task until you are able to do so.”
Fact or Fiction
Can you really be a non-responder to a particular type of work out?
This month I discovered an article in The New York Times that I’m sure caught the eye of many people who put hours in the gym each week with little to no results to be shown for their efforts. The article labels people as “non-responders” and says that just because you aren’t successful at one type of exercise doesn’t mean you can’t switch to another and respond well. The author discusses a meta-analysis (combining data from multiple studies) that shows “non-responders” in both endurance training and weight training programs. Studies were taken a step further when they took twenty-one people and put them through two different three-week routines; one with four days of endurance based training and the other with four days of interval-based training. Submaximal heart rate, lactate threshold, and VO2 Max measures were all taken. A non-responder was one who didn’t improve in one of those areas, but when trained with both programs everyone improved in at least one of the measures above. In summary, nobody was a complete non-responder to a consistent exercise program, some just improved in one area of fitness vs. another. Why does this happen? It likely occurs due to what your current strengths and weaknesses are. The better you get at something the harder it becomes to improve at it and vice versa, the worse you are at something the easier it becomes to improve. What can you really take away and begin implementing from this article?
1) Have baseline measures to track improvement before beginning an exercise program.
2) Know your strengths and weaknesses. In the above study I can bet those who were “non-responders” to improving their VO2 max and submaximal heart rate already had high VO2 maxes and low resting heart rates. And those you were “non-responders” to improving their lactate thresholds already had high lactate thresholds.
3) You don’t have to attempt to get results through trial and error. If you have goals, baseline measures, and know how to specifically improve those measures you’ll get results much faster!
4) Consistency greatly increases your chances of being a “responder.”