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August 20, 2021

The Lazy Man's Guide to GAINZZZ

An interesting study came out last week which added further evidence to the notion that it only takes a fairly small amount of vigorous exercise to gain muscle and strength. John Sexton at Hot Air:

All of that to say, I was pretty intrigued by this NY Times piece that popped up yesterday about some new research that suggests all you really need to do to see health and strength benefits is 4 seconds of real effort. Well, that’s not quite true. You have to repeat those four seconds a couple dozen times with brief breaks in between but it still adds up to about 10-15 minutes total per workout.
A mere four seconds of all-out exercise, repeated two or three dozen times, could be all many of us need to build and maintain our fitness, strength and physical power, according to an inspiring new study of the potency of super-quick workouts. The findings expand on other, recent studies showing that four-second interval workouts beneficially affect metabolism and muscles in adults of various ages…

Most exercise scientists agree an interval should strenuously stimulate and pressure our hearts, lungs and muscles, prompting them to remodel themselves in beneficial ways. But such intense workouts should not be so draining we cannot finish the intervals or wish afterward never to work out again. Each interval should be, in essence, as grueling and as tolerable as possible.

For Edward Coyle, a professor of kinesiology and health education at the University of Texas at Austin, that meant an interval sweet spot of about four seconds. He and his colleagues arrived at that eyeblink number after studying fit, professional athletes.

That jibes with a study noted by Andrew Huberman, that only 10% of your exercise per week needs to be high intensity/peak effort to get significant benefits. The rest can be moderate intensity.

One thing I've read and heard again and again -- I think I first read it in Tim Ferris' The Four Hour Body, which is all about achieving GOALZZZ in the laziest way possible -- is that all-out sprinting for about ten seconds, then walking/resting for a minute or two, then sprinting again for a few cycles, counts as that kind of "peak exertion."

I've wanted to try that for a long time, and so I just did. I just all-out sprinted seven or eight times for eight to ten seconds. First time I've really run full-out for at least two years.

It's Sad! to admit this, but because I haven't really run in a while, the running was not accomplished purely through my passive brain function. I actually had to use my active brain to direct my legs: knees up higher, step out further!

It felt pretty good and with all that resting in between sprints, it didn't demolish me. I think I'll do that weekly, and see if this idea has any merit.

Note that running and sprinting are high impact and can be rough on joints and tendons so don't do that until you've toughed yourself up with a couple of months of vigorous walking.

I have not tried the 100 push-ups per day regimen yet because 1, I wanted to do it with you guys and 2, I'm lazy and the floor is dirty and I'm lazy about that too so I don't want to vacuum.

(Note: this doesn't mean one set of 100 push-ups. It means as many sets as needed, spaced over the entirety of the day. Ten sets of ten push-ups would do it, though that would be a lot of time getting down on the floor.)

But if anyone wants to start that crazy adventure with me this week, let's do it.

Note that only in-shape people are going to be able to do 100 push-ups in a day. The rest of us will have to start out with 30 or 40 and build up from there. One thing Tim Ferris is always talking about is the Minimum Effective Dose -- the very minimum amount of something you have to do to see a positive change. And usually that Minimum Effective Dose is quite small. If you're out of shape, doing just 15 push-ups per day would be an effective dose.


Also note that push-ups from the knees are a good form of the exercise too. It reduces the amount of strength needed to do a push-up. Full push-ups can be built up into, too.

Maybe a reasonable goal would be 100 push-ups per day by the end of a month. The 100 push-ups per day is the goal, not the starting point.

Optimistic article found through Instapundit: You can get better at some mental tasks as you age.

It's long been believed that advancing age leads to broad declines in our mental abilities. Now new research from Georgetown University Medical Center offers surprisingly good news by countering this view.

The findings, published August 19, 2021, in Nature Human Behaviour, show that two key brain functions, which allow us to attend to new information and to focus on what’s important in a given situation, can in fact improve in older individuals. These functions underlie critical aspects of cognition such as memory, decision making, and self-control, and even navigation, math, language, and reading.

"These results are amazing, and have important consequences for how we should view aging," says the study's senior investigator, Michael T. Ullman, PhD, a professor in the Department of Neuroscience, and Director of Georgetown’s Brain and Language Lab.

"People have widely assumed that attention and executive functions decline with age, despite intriguing hints from some smaller-scale studies that raised questions about these assumptions," he says. "But the results from our large study indicate that critical elements of these abilities actually improve during aging, likely because we simply practice these skills throughout our life."

"This is all the more important because of the rapidly aging population, both in the US and around the world," Ullman says. He adds that with further research, it may be possible to deliberately improve these skills as protection against brain decline in healthy aging and disorders.

I'm going to assume GAINZZZ help with that, because bodily GAINZZZ almost always create mental GAINZZZ, too.

And speaking of longevity:


A 100-year-old woman -- a great-great-grandmother -- is the world's oldest powerlifter.

A friend points out that she looks and talks as if she's just 70. Longevity GAINZZZ.

I stopped my regime of semi-fasting/full-fasting this week. I wound up losing about 28 pounds, after re-gaining some lost water. Eh. I need to get actually lean for once in my life.

What about yo' GAINZZZ? Any GAINZZZ to report?

And of course -- BOOKZZZ to recommend? PROJEXZZZ?

One of my favorite things is the tomahawk steak. I'll be getting one soon now that I'm done with this round of semi-fasting/fasting.

It's good for you, too!

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posted by Ace at 06:47 PM

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