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July 8, 2010
Gain without the pain
CPL Dean Cook says it's a myth that
cardiovascular training is not meant to be a
IT'S an age old belief that, if exer-
cise doesn't hurt, it's not being
done properly -- no pain, no gain.
Exercise is meant to initiate
some degree of difficulty, but it defi-
nitely doesn't have to always be hard
Everyone, regardless of their
degree of fitness, is exposed to an
unpleasant feeling when progressing
through a transition of the four energy
The first system is the adenosine
triphosphate. It is the immediate
source for energy that is stored in
muscle cells. This system is only
good for very quick and powerful
The second system is the phospho-
creatine. It's a molecule found in
muscles cells and is very short in
The third system is called the
anaerobic glycolysis (lactic acid)
system. This energy is obtained by
breaking down glucose which is
either stored in muscles or from the
blood stream. Lactic acid causes the
burning sensation sometimes expe-
rienced. This system is relatively
short in duration.
The fourth system is the aerobic
glycolytic system, also called the
oxygen system. The main source
of energy for this system is carbo-
hydrates from stores in muscles or
from the blood stream and fats from
The aerobic energy system can take
minutes to initiate. Marathon runners
have a well-developed aerobic system,
but sprinters don't need it.
Until the aerobic energy is used, a
normal ugly feeling is experienced.
The sequence of shuffling through
energy systems can be influenced
by the degree of exercise exposure.
Therefore, fitness can be understood
as the time taken towards the perfor-
mance within energy systems.
Effects that lead to fitness physi-
ological outcomes are a mixture of
internal strengths and mechanical
The heart and lungs, from a con-
sistent recruitment, get stronger and
efficient. This leads to more blood
transport comprising increased oxygen
content, which replenishes the oxy-
gen deficit created from instant exer-
cise and the slow activation of aerobic
As consistency persists, the vessels
transporting the blood decrease flow
resistance and increase in dispersion
Pain is weakness leav-
ing your body. In the early
stages of exercise a moder-
ate unpleasantness may be
experienced while your body
adapts to the cardiovascular
and circulatory responses to
There is no link with exercise
quality and continual pain.
Walk before you run by allow-
ing the computer that is your
brain to conduct any activity
in an economical way.
When you've discovered
the feeling of positive physi-
ological results, enjoy your
increased standard of life
and exercising experiences.
OVERDOING IT: Pain doesn't indicate that exercise is quality.
throughout the muscle -- this again
reduces the overall unpleasant effects
of the slow-to-initiate aerobic energy
A stronger heart, combined with an
effective lung and circulatory system,
makes cardiovascular training easier.
Once the body allows the progres-
sive stressors on the internal systems
to reduce in difficulties, physical
mechanics leads to greater movement
Riding a bike from infancy stages
to confident complexities explains the
body's ability to absorb physical edu-
cation, a simular progression within all
Once a progressive routine is reg-
ulated, and physical conditioning is
graduated, the body incorporates as
much or as little of the body's muscu-
lature as it deems necessary to allow
the levels of movement required.
Consistency and progression are
paramount to perfect performance.
CPL Dean Cook is a RAAF PTI working in
sports science, and is a three-time 100km
Australian runner representative.
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