October 7, 2019

The Sweet Spot: Minimum Effective Dose vs. The Law of Diminishing Returns

(I’m not sure what Alamo did to try to photoshop Photoshop into this pic, but here it is anyway).
  • THE SCENE: Thoroughly-hydrated. Waterlogged, even.
  • AO: Bermuda Triangle
  • QIC: Granola

    • 8 minute 8-count bodybuilder EMOM: Add two reps each minute.
    • Luxurious 3 minute rest/recovery.

    • 4x 200m sprint from various Star Gazers. 3 minute rests between sprints.
    • 5 sets of 10 burpees, 200m sprint, AMRAP burpees in 2 minutes. 3 minute rests between sets.

  • MARY: 0%

    • 13 PAX (1 FNG: ‘Mater): Alamo, Beauty Shop, Caveman, Granola, Hot N ready, Lancelot, Photoshop, Pop Tart, Rabbit, Snookie, Tomb Raider, Yardsale

    • There is an idea in medicine that the patient should be prescribed the “minimum effective dose” required to achieve the targeted health outcome. Higher doses do not necessarily expedite healing and can actually lead to other problems. 

      Even though minimum effective dose also applies to the hormetic stressor of exercise, I am constantly drawn toward the siren’s song to do more–to max out, to do all the things. Everybody to the limit. Ego. Pride. Reputation. Progress. Etc.

      Thankfully, wisdom also calls aloud. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom from some seasoned athletes and trainers. While there is a place for sufferfests, GORUCK events, IPC, and Club 345, I hope these excerpts encourage reflection and Ulysseus’ Pacts to avoid wrecking our health on the rocks of intensity in the name of fitness. Of course, this is an easy and even expected thing for me to say from the lower-fourth of 2019 IPC Memphis finishers, but Let’s #DoBetter for the long haul.

    • Excerpts from https://gmb.io/training-all-day/

      It’s easy to deride “average,” but it doesn’t really mean what you may think it means. Average does not mean bad. By definition, about 70% of us are average. It’s a mathematical certainty, so don’t take it too hard.

      What average really means is that you are not too bad at a lot of things, pretty damn good at some stuff and pretty crappy in a few.

      There is a “sweet spot” of training time and energy that will give you fantastic results that doing less won’t give, and doing more won’t radically improve.

      Consistency means more than trying to train like an Olympic athlete for a few weeks, and then quitting. That’s a waste of time and a true waste of potential.

      There’s nothing wrong with choosing to put your career and/or your family ahead of your physical development. No matter what any motivational image with a pithy slogan says, it doesn’t make you a lesser person – I promise you that.

      And please know that “physical development” is not the same as “health.” Great health and a good level of strength do not require several hours a day of training.

      Do you feel that you aren’t doing enough? Why?

      Is it really that you aren’t doing enough, or is it that you are trying to live up to someone else’s expectations? There’s a sweet spot between the amount of work and the amount of results.

      And it’s closer to reasonable than you think.

  • Excerpts from https://dieliving.com/the-art-of-scaling/

    Regardless, the last year was filled with a breadth of experience and one very valuable lesson. Trying to max out each aspect of my life was not necessary. I needed to do what all competitive people irrationally hate and “scale” my life. I needed to honor and accept that sometimes less is truly more when it comes to achieving intent. The concept of scaling doesn’t just take into account adjusting for weaknesses but genuinely being able to answer the question of “what is best for me right now?”

    Let us take a moment to cut the bullshit. The real reason we like to “RX” our lives is for recognition. We all like the atta-boy that comes with doing something well.

    The best will focus on what they need to do to make themselves perform better, NOT feel better. Sometimes this means ramping things up, sometimes this means cutting back; the best athletes SCALE appropriately.

  • Excerpt from https://www.marksdailyapple.com/top-10-reasons-youre-not-getting-the-results-you-want-in-the-gym/

    But you can train too hard. It’s probably not a good idea to constantly fail reps. The goal isn’t to feel wrecked the next day. And if you can’t do another rep, resist the temptation to cheat. Progress shouldn’t come at the expense of good form or range of motion. You don’t want to get sloppy to show fake progress. Your last pullup shouldn’t look significantly different than your first pullup.

  • Excerpt from https://www.marksdailyapple.com/hiit-vs-hirt/

    Yes, you have to challenge your body regularly with hard efforts to build fitness, but most of us do it the wrong way. When you complete a killer HIIT session at morning boot camp or spin class, at home on your Peloton bike, or with the Tuesday night track group, you get a tremendous sense of accomplishment and a flood of feel-good endorphin chemicals into your bloodstream. Unfortunately, the typical HIIT workout can also be depleting, exhausting, and stimulate an assortment of unnecessary cellular damage and inflammation.

    It doesn’t have to be that way. By redesigning your high intensity workouts, you can get leaner and fitter with higher quality, more explosive, less physically stressful workouts that are easier to recover from and thus can be performed more frequently. In short, a better approach involves transitioning from HIIT to HIRT, High Intensity Repeat Training.

    To transition into a more effective, less stressful high intensity workout pattern, pick the sweet spot of 10-20 seconds for your explosive efforts. Take what Marker calls “luxurious” rest intervals to ensure that your cells have a chance to partially or fully regenerate ATP (takes around three minutes) and minimize the disassembling and deamination that occur when you ask your body to perform again and again with rapidly depleting cellular energy.

    • I wasn’t sure how the PAX would take to the frequent and lengthy 3 minute recovery periods. Thankfully, they were filled with lots of 2ndF.
    • I was glad to be a part of G-Power week. This was not the Q I had originally planned, but the M said it would be a better way to start off the week. I agreed, considering my COT was all about NOT overdoing it. All that to say, my next sufferfest Q is locked and loaded.

    • If you haven’t posted or Q’d at The Morg in a while, do everyone a favor and check it out sometime.