Traveling The Energy Highways With The Spartacus Workout
One of the huge benefits of our version of The Spartacus Workout has been utilizing all three of our energy systems: Power, Strength, and Endurance.
Each is a vastly different enegy pathway, and each with great benefits to us physically, neurogically, and of course…metabolically!
Let’s look at the differences between these.
First, Endurance falls under the category of an Aerobic exercise, where Power & Strength are categorized as Anaerobic. What’s the difference?
Aerobic exercise in simple terms means “with oxygen”, and Anerobic is “without oxygen”. It doesn’t mean that when you do Anaerobic exercises you don’t breathe! It just means that the tissues in your body do not need oxygen to produce energy.
Another way to look at this is to say that during an Aerobic exercise you are working long enough that you need large amounts of oxygen to burn fat for fuel.
With an Anaerobic exercise, the activity is short enough that your muscles don’t need oxygen for fuel, but instead used stored glycogen for their power
.So, which way is better right? The answer is…..BOTH!
We need to have a constantly-varied, functional workout each time we train. Keep things mixed up, confuse the body, and the greatest results will be seen.
Breakdown of Aerobic & Anaerobic Activity
With the Spartacus Workout that we’ve developed we attack all 3 energy systems thereby not allowing the body to adapt. Speaking of adapting….
THE ADAPTATION CONUNDRUM
Our body adapts to literally anything we do. Don’t drink water? Your body will begin to retain water. This becomes problematic in aerobic training because the more fit we become the less work is required, and thus, the less fat that is burned. If a 45 minute run was torturous for you at one time, but over time you became conditioned to to do it relatively easy, then this hinders your fat-burning potential. You must either run farther or run faster to which the body will then adapt to also. The problem is eventually your taking an hour to do burn the fat you once were doing in 30 minutes.
With strength or power training it’s much more difficult for the body to adapt to because we’re constantly changing the weight as well as the movement and time interval.
Does this mean we should only do Anaerobic exercise? No! Endurance training helps our capacity to actually perform strength and power exercises. It’s when we stay too long in the aerobic/ endurance phase that we begin to break down muscle, which results in a loss of strength, power, and speed.
THE AFTER-BURN EFFECT
This is my simple way of referring to the process known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). See why I like ‘After-Burn effect’ much better?
This process is ultimately what we’re trying to attain from our workout. Fat loss is all about calorie expenditure, or the ‘burn more than you take in’ philosophy. In the case of our energy system pathways Endurance training will burn more DURING the workout, but Strength & Power exercises, though, will burn considerably more calories following your workout. By adding extra lean muscle we literally create a situation where we are shredding calories in our sleep!
Another way of looking at this would be to say that steady-state endurance training burns more fat during the workout, but strength and power exercises burn more total calories and in the end can burn as much as 9x the amount of body fat as long, low-intensity cardio!
In general, we want variety. The best Interval program for you is the one you haven’t done in awhile! And this is where The Spartacus Workout and our multiple energy systems pays off for us!
By Jeff McDaniel, BS-ES, MTC, TRX-Level I