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Demand more from yourself

Demand more from yourself

Adding an extra 45-minute workout each week might not be possible right now. But most of us can find a minute here and another five there throughout the day. Strip away some, or parts, of the modern conveniences. Find ways to make your everyday life more physically demanding than it needs to be. Burn fat, not oil, whenever possible. Find ways to sprinkle more physically demanding tasks into your days. -J

How much?

How much?

The level of strength and fitness you need obviously depends on what you’re training for. What you need for day-to-day living is usually less than what you need to climb one of the Everest Base camps. No surprises there. But as with money, you want to have a bit more than what you need. You want to feel you don’t have to spend everything you’ve got to just get through the day. And it doesn’t hurt to have some reserves,…

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Far from perfect

Far from perfect

When I was in the prime of my youth, a twenty-something whippersnapper, my approach to training was a steam train running on obsessive-compulsive behaviour. I had my training days set and would jump through any steam train-sized hoops to not have to miss a workout. And whenever the inevitable would happen and I couldn’t do a workout, I’d bathe in misery. Obsessing over how missing a workout would put a major chip on my overall progress. Fast forward to today,…

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Fit and less breathless

Fit and less breathless

Here’s the first post in this series on over-breathing / low carbon dioxide tolerance. And here’s the second. Reducing, and eventually getting rid of over-breathing, is all about teaching your body to tolerate more carbon dioxide. First, if you’re currently mouth-breathing, it’s time to stop. Done? Swe’heet. You win. Then, here are two other breathing exercises that’ll help. Courtesy of Patrick McKeown of the Oxygen Advantage fame. I’ve listed them here with the easiest first. With both exercises, start by…

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Still fit and breathless

Still fit and breathless

Here’s the previous post for some context. About those downsides of over-breathing. When the muscles, joints and stuff are not getting enough oxygen they’ll have a lower stress tolerance. Which is not great for resiliency. This same lack of oxygen reduces how much energy you have available for demanding physical and cognitive tasks. Making it harder to keep up on the tango floor (it’s about the body and the mind). Over-breathing also leads to a continuous loop where your body…

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Fit and breathless

Fit and breathless

Our carbon dioxide levels, not oxygen, regulate our breathing. We need a certain level of Co2 in our body to release oxygen from the blood and into the cell. Where it’s then used for creating energy for both physical and mental tasks. For this system to work well, we need to tolerate a certain amount of Co2 in the body. When our Co2 tolerance is low, it leads to over-breathing and a feeling of breathlessness. Simply because we can’t release…

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It never ends

It never ends

There is no true end goal for our strength and fitness. As much as we’d like to think otherwise. There are stops and milestones along the way. But we never get to that place. At times, we mistake a stop or a milestone as a sign we’ve arrived. But then, we get older. The body changes. And what worked before now needs tweaking. Recalibrating. We need to unlearn old habits to make room for strategies and tactics that work with…

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Mirror mirror

Mirror mirror

The higher your training stress tolerance, the more you’ll get out of the time you put into your workouts. But it’s not the training that makes you fitter and stronger. It’s how your body responds to the training. You want the stress from training to be high, but within the limits of what the body can handle. Two great ways to increase your training stress tolerance: improve your work capacity (or in less dickish terms, improve your aerobic conditioning), prioritise…

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A sign of progress

A sign of progress

There are days that, despite our best intentions, don’t turn out the way we planned. We might feel frustrated. Disappointed. Even angry. Or we can accept it as an inevitable part of life. And know that our acceptance of it is a sign of progress. – J

Zone 2 and casual walking

Zone 2 and casual walking

Casual walking, especially on flat ground, isn’t challenging enough to get the Zone 2 heart and health benefits. It isn’t enough to get and keep the heart rate at 60-70% of its max. For most people. To get around it, you could find a place with more hills. But that’s not always convenient. Especially if you live in the Netherlands. Or in any of the other flat countries I can’t think of right now. The easiest workaround is to put…

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