Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Metabolic Base Training

Have you heard the term metabolic base training and wondered what it means and why it is important? Let's look at it.

Our metabolism of fats and carbohydrates is based on Mitochondrion. One characteristic of mitochondria is that they respond and can adapt to stimuli. This is good news for us because metabolic base training, or continual sub-maximal aerobic exercise, has been shown to increase mitochondria size by up to 35% and to create 10-15% more mitochondria. What does that mean for you and I?

It means that our bodies will better metabolize fats and carbs and we will have increased access to energy while exercising. Yay!

Wondering what this means as far as working out? The first 12 weeks of an exercise program should incorporate metabolic base training. This is achieved by exercising at 65% of our VO2 peak. 65% of VO2 max correlates to a somewhat hard intensity. It should not be easy. For example, if you can sing you are not pushing hard enough. On the other hand, if you cannot carry on a conversation, then back off the intensity.

To summarize, long, slow training over a 12 week period results in an increase in mitochondria size and number. The more mitochondria we have, the more energy we can access during exercise and the longer we will be able to cycle, run or bike. So get out and get started today!

  • 40-60 minutes 
  • 3-4 times per week
  • 65% VO2 max
  • any mode will do (running, biking, treadmill, eliptical)
Happy Exercising!