Why You're Not Improving Your Vo2max Or Losing Fat With Cardio - Chris Hinshaw Explains

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Why You're Not Improving Your Vo2max Or Losing Fat With Cardio - Chris Hinshaw Explains

Intro (00:00:00)

  • Zone 2 training and high-intensity training are often misunderstood.
  • High-intensity training provides immediate but unsustainable improvements.
  • Zone 2 training focuses on heart rate-driven stimulus, but neuromuscular adaptation is more important.
  • Speed at a particular heart rate is crucial for endurance performance.

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Zone 2 Cardio (00:03:00)

  • Zone 2 heart rate training is recommended for improving aerobic fitness and recovery, but there are many different formulas to calculate it and individual variations.
  • A metabolic test is the most accurate way to determine your true Zone 2 heart rate.
  • Zone 2 training should be done at a low intensity, with a minimum of 20 minutes of continuous work.
  • The goal of Zone 2 training is to build foundational volume and endurance.
  • Slow twitch fibers are responsible for endurance activities and are recruited first during exercise.
  • Fast twitch fibers are recruited when slow twitch fibers fatigue and are used for high-intensity activities.
  • To improve endurance, gradually increase the volume or speed of your workouts while staying within the target heart rate zone.
  • Elite marathon runners develop their aerobic capacity by running a lot of volume at an easy pace.
  • Endurance is only difficult when encountering obstacles, while the rest is just waiting.
  • Fast twitch fibers are essential for acceleration and finishing when speed is needed.

What To Do If You're Not a Runner (00:13:27)

  • For those who aren't runners, the principles discussed can still be applied to walking for health and fitness.
  • It can be challenging to accept that running may not be the best option and that walking may be more suitable.
  • A recommended program involves using a Ruck (backpack with weight) to elevate the heart rate to Zone 2 while walking.
  • The weight added to the Ruck is based on the individual's walking speed to achieve the desired heart rate zone.
  • Instead of focusing on speed, it's important to establish a natural Cadence or step rate.
  • Fast Cadence is 10 steps per minute faster than the natural Cadence.
  • Gradually transitioning from Fast Cadence to Slow Cadence helps improve walking speed.
  • It's essential to challenge oneself and not always walk slowly to improve overall fitness.

HIIT (00:17:59)

  • The 80/20 rule for high-intensity training involves spending 80% of the time below the lactate threshold (Zone 2) and 20% above it.
  • Lactate threshold (LT1) represents the maximum sustainable pace beyond which the body cannot recover and will eventually fail.
  • High-intensity training should primarily focus on staying below the lactate threshold to enhance adaptation and performance.
  • The three-mile test is a more reliable indicator of sustainable speed and capabilities compared to the mile-and-a-half test, which measures maximum oxygen usage (VO2max).
  • Improvement in lactate threshold can be limited by the need for more speed, strength, power, and high-intensity work, or by the need for better recovery, endurance, and stamina.
  • Maximal work capacity is highly dependent on the ability to recover.
  • Athletes with a strong aerobic base may require additional focus on speed, strength, and power output to become more well-rounded.
  • Athletes with exceptional speed or power, like Usain Bolt, should prioritize improving recovery rather than building an aerobic base.
  • Active recovery methods, such as slow jogging after a sprint, can help athletes develop the ability to accelerate the removal of fatigue.
  • The rate of heart rate reduction after a workout serves as a valuable indicator of aerobic fitness.

The Right Amount of HIIT (00:26:55)

  • High intensity is defined as V2 Max, the maximum ability to utilize oxygen.
  • V2 Max is specific to the muscles being used, so a test score in one movement doesn't apply to others.
  • High intensity is classified as anything that can be maintained for under 6 minutes.
  • For example, if you can row at 300 watts for 6 minutes, then anything at or above 300 watts is considered high intensity.
  • Recovery is half of the high intensity number, so in this case, it would be 150 watts.
  • A good workout structure would be alternating between 1 minute at 300 watts and 1 minute at 150 watts.

Is Intensity or Recovery Time More Important? (00:30:24)

  • Maintaining the intensity of high-intensity intervals is more important than having a specific amount of rest.
  • The purpose of the workout should determine the intensity.
  • Targeting maximum aerobic uptake (VO2max) is crucial for overall physiological adaptation.
  • Active recovery at half the intensity helps maintain a higher heart rate and creates more adaptation.
  • Lack of adaptation means the workout is not effective and may cause regression.
  • Varying the intensity and volume of workouts is necessary for progression.
  • Gradually increase the work-to-rest ratio and duration of high-intensity intervals.
  • The best in the world are challenged by five rounds of three minutes on and three minutes off.
  • Changing the domain (e.g., cycling to sprinting) can add variety and challenge.
  • RPE (rate of perceived exertion) can be used to gauge intensity during workouts.
  • High-intensity workouts should only make up 20% of total training time.
  • Sprints (sled, hill, flat) can be incorporated into high-intensity training.
  • High-intensity workouts may be done every fourth or fifth workout.

RPE (00:35:09)

  • RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) is a subjective measure of how hard you are working during exercise.
  • RPE can vary based on mental, emotional, and fatigue factors.
  • It is important to understand how your coach defines RPE before following a workout plan.
  • Chris Hinshaw provides a table that defines RPE from 1 to 10 based on factors such as talk test, breathing, and steps taken per breath cycle.
  • Walking pace is defined as RPE 1, slow jog as RPE 2, zone 2 workout between RPE 3 and 4, 5k around RPE 5, six-minute test around RPE 8, anaerobic type tolerance workout as RPE 9, and maximal sprints or T as RPE 10.

Finding What Works for You (program personalization) (00:38:53)

  • Personalization is essential in programming workouts and nutrition plans, as blanket statements may not apply to everyone.
  • Optimization should come after building a solid foundation, and sometimes it's necessary to focus on the basics, even for experienced athletes.
  • Slow twitch fibers are often neglected in training, leading to untapped potential for strength and endurance.
  • Going full gas every day is not sustainable and can lead to burnout, while the inability to delay gratification can hinder progress in fitness and other areas of life.
  • Tapering should not lead to calorie restriction, as rebuilding requires adequate fuel.
  • Precise and applicable running workouts are crucial, even for athletes aiming to win the CrossFit Games, and running with someone more experienced can lead to training the wrong energy system.
  • Be compassionate with yourself and understand that slow and steady progress is necessary for improvement, and slow running and walking should make up 80% of your training.

Where to Find More of Chris' Content (00:50:20)

  • Chris Hinshaw's website: capacity.com
  • Partnership with High Rocks
  • Chris wrote part of High Rock's level one course
  • Teaching High Rock's aerobic capacity course

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