Monday, February 25, 2013

Together we stand

There is an old saying around the medical community that a physician should not be his own patient.  That could be said of the adult athlete that is their own coach and trainer as well.  When we go it alone we error in a couple of ways.  We tend to not stop ourselves when we are on a path of self destruction and we often don't push hard enough at other times.

Having a training partner or even being part of a group that trains together helps to keep us motivated and we gain the benefit of their knowledge as well.  A buddy can tell you when your pushing to hard and when your not pushing hard enough.  Amazing that others can see things in us that we ourselves can not.

Being part of a group or just having one friend to train with helps to keep us honest about doing our workouts.  When someone else is depending on us to be there we will usually go no matter what the temperature or how unmotivated we feel at the time.  Even when we really don't feel the love, that feeling soon changes when we get there meet up and get in motion.  Even the coldest day is warmer when we add good conversation.  When my training partners and I are on our long training walks we will have all the worlds major problems solved before we are done.

Sounds easy doesn't it, just get a friend and get going.  But what if you don't know anyone that wants to train when you do or don't know anyone that wants to train at all.  Well you could buy a dog but that really isn't the same as having someone to train with.  On the days that you don't feel like it the dog is probably going to be very content being lazy with you.  Local running/walking/biking stores are usually a good place to look, most of them even have a web site with a bulletin board for athletes to arrange to meet others who are training at the same time they are.

Being a race walker I had a very hard time finding training partners since my sport is still not main stream like running or biking.  I talked the local health club into letting me teach a class in race walking.  I had a total of 2 students, one has become a best friend and trains with me weekly.  When he and I started training together we picked up two more guys that wanted to give it a go and we have been training together weekly now for 6 years.

Often your training partner can be your significant other.  It's an awesome time, while you're clocking the miles, to have good meaningful discussions.  Our brains work better, when we are in motion, so we are at our best at finding solutions to things that have been worrying us.

Take the time to find someone to train with or join a group that trains weekly.  You will be glad you did.  If you're already with a group please be open to having someone join you, it will be good for everyone.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dave's Journey

My story, as it relates to fitness, began around 1980.  I had practiced martial arts for about 10 years prior, that was during the time of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris.  I didn’t relate that training to fitness but to being a better warrior.  Since I was in the military, I had an additional interest in learning and training in martial skills.  No running or walking for fitness but worked out in the gym regularly.  Then I decided to change career fields and was transferred first to 6 months of schooling and then to Las Vegas.  During my schooling, which was pretty intense classroom work, I had stopped fitness training. When it was time for my annual fitness test, a mile and a half timed run, I wasn’t ready for it.
Never having been a runner, except just to gut it through the fitness tests, I had no running skill.  I had lost a lot of my fitness, since I hadn’t trained for nearly a year.  Once you break the exercise habit, each day it’s easier to forget about it completely.  I decided to start running in the afternoons after work.  I would put on my cotton tube socks, my gym shorts, T shirt, and my canvas deck shoes and head out to run as far as I could.  That first run was about a block.  I ran on my toes because that was how I had always ran.  After a couple of weeks, I could make it a mile and walk back.  When I made a mile, I decided to reward myself with some new running shoes.  I went to K-Mart and bought some bright blue track shoes with little padding and a waffle sole which was an improvement over my deck shoes.  Soon after, I was at the base hospital for my annual check up, and in the waiting room was a Runner’s World Magazine.  The annual shoe issue!  After the check up, I went right to the BX and bought a pair of Brooks Vantage, the number one shoe in the country.  I thought I was running on pillows.  Should have bought one size larger, because my feet swelled from running and toes went numb.  From the readings, I also found out I shouldn’t be running on my toes.  Finding that magazine was a life changing experience for me.  I realized that their must be a lot more people out there that know nothing about running, so I became a student of running, as well as, health and fitness.  I went to college.
I majored in psychology.  My elective classes were fitness related.  I also read volumes of books on the subjects of health and fitness.  This was during the running boom, so there were several books that were just about running. 
I also became interested in helping people lose weight.  I started the first official aerobics class on the base.  It was called the Super Sgt Weight Control Class, and it was mandatory for anyone on the over weight roster.  I learned a lot from that experience.
This lasted another 2 years and then I was transferred to Okinawa for 5 years.  My interest in martial arts was rekindled, and I eventually started teaching classes over there.  I never lost my interest in running and fitness and continued to take classes in health sciences as well.
Fast forward to 1989, I was transferred back to Vegas as a new First Sgt.  I was assigned to the Comptroller Squadron.  This unit, at the time, was a mess.  It was the lowest rated Comptroller Squadron in the Air Force. The unit had the highest percent of failures on the fitness test and the highest percentage of Airmen on the over weight program.  I hadn’t planned to have a unit like that, but I jumped right in.  Part of the problem was the Squadron was made up of small working units, Pay, Travel, Budget, Analysis, Accounts receivable, and Accounts payable.  The sections didn’t get along. You could feel the tension when you walked down the hall.  So here I was in a unit that needed just what I had to offer; a new First Sgt with a degree in psychology and years worth of knowledge in exercise and fitness.  After 3 years with this Squadron, we won the Commanders Cup for most fit Squadron on the Base, The Title Squadron Elite for winning the base Sports Challenge, (like a mini Olympics), and we were the highest rated Comptroller Squadron in the Air Force.  This resulted in my promotion to First Sgt of the Medical Group, a large military hospital.
This new job with the hospital was a dream come true for a person who loved health and fitness.  I had a free hand in developing fitness and weight control programs for the base.  Because of what I accomplished at the Comptroller Squadron, I already had a reputation, so it was easy to get things done.  I had a complete hospital full of knowledge to draw and learn from.  I had the PT department, 2 nutritionists, and almost every specialty of doctor.
Best of all, I had access to the human performance lab in Dallas that was under contract with the Air Force as advisors on fitness and exercise.  It was during this time that we were changing the fitness testing from a mile and a half run to a test where you get your heart rate up into a training range for a specific length of time.  I was able to learn volumes, and I was also able to contribute as well.  Then in 1994, I retired form the USAF.
Retirement, I wasn’t going to have anymore fitness tests to pass, so I stopped exercising completely.  Again, I learned how easy it is to get out of the habit.  Over the next 7 years, my once 30 inch waist went to where 38 pants were cutting into me, I had lost all my hard earned fitness.  I got good at not seeing my reflection in the mirror when I got out of the shower.  On the day I turned 50, I stopped at the gas station and while the tank was filling, I got the squeegee and started cleaning my windshield.  I was out of breath from just cleaning my windshield.  Turning 50 gets you thinking about your own mortality, and when I realized how out of shape I had become, I decided to do something about it.
The very next morning I went to the mall and walked.  I made one slow lap, but it was a beginning.  I kept that up all winter, and in the spring, walked outside.  Then I started running again.  I ran for the next 2 years and got better and stronger.  One morning, I was running fast down a steep hill at WKU and over strided which tore my Achilles tendon.  Running was never comfortable after that.  It became chronic the longer I tried.  Since I loved racing and the endurance events, I decided to try my hand at race walking which was easier on my sore tendon.  Our town has good race walkers for competition.  I trained as a race walker just as I had trained as a runner with track work and distance.  In June of 2006, I competed in my first walk race and did better than I had expected.  One of the walkers told me that since I was over 50 and a pretty good walker, I should go to the State Senior Games which were the trials for the National Senior Olympics.  The games were in Sept that year, so I had plenty of time to train for State.
September, I went to Lexington to compete in the race walking event.  On the morning of the games, I was wondering around the track area waiting before my event, and I heard some people talking about race walking.  I went over and introduced myself.  This was a race walking instructor from Louisville and some of his students.  He asked me how long I’d been race walking and who trained me.  I said “I had been training for 6 months and self taught“.  The instructor said I needed to just watch and learn, because I didn’t belong out on the track with this level of competition.  I did not come all this way to be a spectator, so I stayed.  We finally lined up, about 40 of us all together ranging in age from 50s to 60s.  I was 55 at the time, so my competition was the 55 to 59 age category.  The gun sounded.  We were off.  I was dead last and feeling like a loser, but then “snap”, I decided that either I belonged here or I didn’t, and I took off in the race walk equivalent of a sprint.  I was going to go just as hard as I could go for as long as I could.  When it was over I was third, with a bronze metal and a chance to represent Kentucky at the National Senior Olympics.  I went the next year and was 9th in the 1500m and 8th in the 5K.  I accomplished what I had dreamed of a top 10 finish in both events.
I qualified twice for the nationals, but wasn’t able to make the trips.  In 2012, I qualified again, and I’m going to go this year to the National Games in Cleveland. They will be held in late July 2013. 
I began writing on the subject of health and fitness while I was in the Air Force, contributing to the base newspaper and doing a weekly Squadron news letter.  When I was training for the first Nationals, I started writing for an informational web site called Disney Running.  I also started working on a book about the same time. I’m calling the book Panda Endurance.  The title comes from the fact that pandas are going extinct and there is nothing they can do about it, but people often make a conscious decision to personally shorten their own lives by not exercising, over eating, smoking, and ingesting chemicals from processed food and soft drinks.
To keep my thoughts flowing, I write short articles now and post them on several web pages that are health and fitness oriented.  I hope to eventually finish the book.  Writing these articles help me keep that dream alive.
Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Discussion Topic

We are our own worst enemies when it comes to what goes into our bodies, but we can be our best friend instead.  I find it personally interesting that the longest lived people on the planet are not from the high tech countries but from the more simple areas of the earth.  I think that we are close to having the technology to allow people to live much longer than they do now, unfortunately where the people live, that would benefit form that technology, is shortening their life spans.

I live in a small Kentucky town and the air is of course cleaner than it is in the middle of a large industrial city.  But when I do my miles along the road I can tell a difference in the quality of the air, here on the road over the air in the park or along the river.  The fresher cleaner air away from the road is better for breathing in, than the road air.  I know that I'm sucking in pollutions along with my air, but I don't want to wear a mask either, so I try to do most of my training in the more wooded areas.

When I have talked to people about giving up the chemical mix commonly referred to as soft drinks, I've actually heard this response, "I just can't drink water, there is no taste".  or "Oh I only drink the diet soft drinks", or even better still, "I need the caffeine to wake up and I don't want to drink coffee, because it's bad for you".  Hum, coffee naturally occurs in nature and the jury is still out whether it's a curse or a blessing.  I normally drink only water, coffee and occasionally a beer.  When I race distance I'll drink the sports drink to get the calories and electrolyte replacement.  I've done several marathons using the provided sports drink and unless I went under trained it has worked fine.

When I was a teenager, all my heroes smoked cigarettes.  A lot of them, like John Wayne, died of lung cancer.  But cigarettes are still legal, even though we know that they can kill us.  But at least they have a warning label so we can make an informed decision.  We don't have warning labels on a lot of things that should have them.  Even something as common as using hair spray is hazardous.  If your breathing in the spray.  You should go in another room and spray it while holding your breath and then go back in the bathroom to finish getting ready.

Please think about the products you frequently use and the food that you eat and try to make changes that will cut down on the amount of chemicals you injest.  Read labels and buy the product that has fewer ingredients, especially ingredients that are obviously chemicals.

Thanks for reading.


Monday, February 18, 2013

Random acts of exercise.

Gee I don't have much time for exercise.  Heard that before?  That may or may not be true but either way there are ways to increase your exercise time even if you don't have a big block of time in the morning or evening to get in a daily workout.

One of the best ways to increase your time in motion is to combine activities.  Do your run, walk, exercise tape, whatever it is you do, even if it's only 30 min at a time.  Then do your chores right after, vacuum with long stretching motions, do yard work, get your marketing done.  When you combine activities you not only get more time in motion but you work different muscles.

There is an exercise that you can do to strengthen your middle, the new buzz word is 'core', not stomach but core or abs.  You can do this exercise all during the day.  Standing, like when your waiting in line, tighten your abdominal, (stomach), muscles.  Tighten them like your trying to touch your spine with your abs, suck them in and tighten them hard.  Hold that a few seconds and then release.  Repeat this the entire time your standing there.  Each tighten and loosen is as good as a sit up or a crunch.  If you do this exercise everyday, several times a day you will begin to notice a difference in a couple of weeks.

Look for ways to walk more.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park at the far end of the parking lot at work instead of looking for a close place.  When your at work use a restroom or water cooler that is further than the one you normally use.  I live in a two story house and I make it a habit of using the upstairs restroom rather than the down stairs one.  If you go shopping at the mall, walk a complete circuit of the mall before you enter any stores, do the same when your done shopping, do a lap.

Make your shower a rub down and a stretching session.  rubbing your skin firmly with the towel when you dry off is a great mini massage.  Really work on your calves with the towel for a few seconds each.  Make giving yourself a foot rub everyday a habit.  Work on getting to where you can touch everywhere on your body, most Americans can't touch the middle of their back.

If you sit at a desk all day at work, give yourself a stretch break at least once an hour.  Smokers go outside and take 15 min breaks to have their cigarettes, so don't feel guilty about getting up and doing a few min of stretching and walking.  Also look for reasons to do squats, instead of sitting down first just do a squat to pick up something off the floor, out of a low drawer or just to stretch out the upper legs.

There are many ways to get in extra motion during your day regardless of how busy you are.  I've just used the above examples to get you thinking.  Bending, reaching and twisting is what we were designed to do, so do it, your body will love you for it.

Thanks for reading.


Living full circle

A lot of people, especially guys, don't think about this but how much have you changed since you got married. Most of us were of course younger but also in much better physical condition. We get out of shape over the years and just expect our partners to settle for how we are now, because they love us. Should they have to settle for overweight and poor physical condition?

When you were first married you were probably a lot different mentally also. I bet if your spouse were honest they would tell you that you were much more fun then to. What happened? Did you just suddenly wake up and realize you put on 50 or 100 lbs and your waist increased 10 inches?

Well I did just that. When I retired from the USAF, I stopped exercising, didn't need to, it wasn't required anymore. No fitness tests, no weight standards to adhere to. So over the next 7 years my once hard body became softer and softer. When ever I got to the point that my pants were so tight that they hurt, I just bought more in the next larger waist size. I became real good at not looking at my body in the mirror when I finished showering.

Then I turned 50 and my head popped out of the fog I had been in when it came to how I looked. I was soft, I was over weight and I was horribly out of shape. I would get winded and have to rest after cleaning my windshield at the gas station. That's when I started thinking, I need to change this or I won't be around much longer.

I was not only not in good physical shape but I had lost a lot of the adventurous spark that I used to have. I wasn't fun anymore I was dependable and solid but not fun. My idea of a good time involved going somewhere and sitting down. I didn't much like the way I had become. I wanted to have and be fun again. I used to get really sad when I would pass the collage and see someone running, thinking about how much I used to enjoy that. I missed the races and I missed feeling good about me.

I started walking and for a year that's all I did, I got faster and lost weight, about 50 lbs. In the spring I was able to stop walking in the mall and start walking outside. It wasn't long before I wanted to run again. I did run again and for the next year I ran. Then I hurt my Achilles tendon and so for the next 2 years I ran hurt. I didn't want to stop because I couldn't go backward. Then I ran a 5K on grass and every step was intense pain on my hurting tendon. That was the last time I ran a step, 7 years ago now.

Once I started running again I couldn't imagine walking again. I was a runner now, walking was what fat guys did to get in shape, cause that is what I did. But I had to make a decision, do nothing or start walking again. I still wanted to enjoy the races that I was doing as a runner. So I decided to learn to walk fast. I trained as a walker just as I did as a runner. Then some local race walkers, (the Ky Senior Women's Champion and the Tenn Senior Men's Champion) took me under wing and helped me. Now I have a whole different outlook of walking and walkers.

Through walking I have regained my lost warrior's body. I regained my self respect and my sense of self worth. But most important I regained my adventurous outlook on life. My lady doesn't have to settle for dependable and stable, she can have the best of me.  We don't out grow the need to play and have fun, but sometimes we lose sight of that.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Warm up

When I was young and playing outside I noticed something interesting when I would play a game of tag.  When I first started to run, avoiding the infamous 'it', after just a short burst I was out of breath and could barely move, my motion wasn't smooth at all.  But then after playing for a few minutes the running got easier and easier, till finally it was effortless.  I had no clue that what was happening was my muscles were warming up and getting the blood flow they needed.

Now after years as an athlete, aerobics instructor, designer of fitness programs and continuing student of health and fitness, I have come to know very well the value of the warm up.  It surprises me that even though it is common knowledge now most adult athletes don't respect the power of the warm up.  You can bet that competitive athletes that win at their chosen sport know how important it is.

Basically it's a communication between you and your body, listen to your body and it will signal you that it's ready.  What the warm up consists of is determined by several variables;  what your sport is, what your muscles will be required to do, your conditioning and your body type.  If what your planning to do is bench press heavy weight your warm up will be different from the athlete that is going to run a 5K race, or swim a 100m backstroke.

The first thing you want to do is get the blood pumping to your big muscles, brisk walking, riding a bike or stationary bike, slow running, calisthenics.....any of that type of motion will get the job done.  Then you have to make sure the muscles directly involved in your planned activity are properly warmed as well.  If your going to be doing bench presses then do them with lighter weight to get the muscles involved ready.

Bruce Lee was an amazing athlete, his training was carefully planned since he made his living with his physical skills and fitness.  But one day he was in a hurry to get through his training session and he did some 'good mornings', that is where you reach down and pick up a weight in a bowing motion.  He didn't warm up prior as he normally did and his back hurt him the rest of his life.

I see people at every race I go to standing around talking and socializing until the race start, planning to use the first mile as a slower warm up mile.  Then they end up going to fast at the start and like the kid playing tag, burn out quickly and have to really take it slow to warm up so they can finish the race.  You can look at the people that are doing the constant walking or slow running right up till race time and be assured that one of them will win that race.  Since to win you need to be ready to go hard right from the gun.

Next time you go to a 5K get there in time to get checked in and then spend a half hour moving and getting warmed up, if your not sweating your not warmed up, if your movements don't feel smooth and fluid your not warmed up.  Then when the race starts you can go hard the whole race and I bet if your not used to warming up properly then you will amaze yourself at how well you do.

Thanks for reading.


There is a rock band from my generation named the Doors.  A set of lyrics from one of their songs goes like this, "Break on through to the other side".  In our lives, "there is the known and the unknown and in between, the Doors".  As adult athletes we can surely relate to that.  Training is in reality a series of doors that we must break through to get to the next level.

To accomplish a break through we need to first want it, then see it and finally earn it.  Yes earn it, as all athletes, that have been going the distance any length time know, you have to do it your self, no one can give you improvement.  You earn it by leaving your known and daring to explore your limits.

When we first make that decision to begin the journey, to health and fitness and along with it the unending quest, of the adult athlete, we go through many doors.  We begin as slow plodders, our known, but we see the 'good athletes' moving effortlessly and leaving us in their dust, that is an unknown that seems pure magic.  We see what is possible and desire it, but achieving that level of performance requires so much more than desire.

Training is in a way one of the purest forms of magic.  Our bodies are such a wonderful design.  We can transform our body and mold it, we can, if we do the work, continue to achieve new levels.  Levels that are without end, there is always another door awaiting those with the courage to "Break on through, to the other side".

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Karma is a term "you get back what you give".  That speaks volumes for most of what happens to us in life.  We all have our wants and desires, but to turn our dreams into reality we have to be proactive.  There is an old saying, "If wishes were fishes, we could all have lunch".  Wishing will not get us closer to our goals, we have to go after them.

Never is that more true than when we are referring to self improvement.  In all the animal kingdom we are blessed with the amazing power to reason and control our own future paths. We can seek the wisdom of those who have walked the path, we have chosen, before us. We can read what those same people have written or we can proceed alone with trial and error.  Sometimes that trial and error path is the only one, because no one has gone where we are going before.  But for most of us getting some advice and listening to others who have been successful is certainly worth our time.

Amazingly when we hear the knowledge of others, we decide that we are different and we can ignore the teachings of those who have made the mistakes. We adult athletes are probably the worst offenders.  If we hear from every available source that we shouldn't try to increase more than 10% per week, we think, well we are tougher than that.  We hear that a hard workout should be followed by an easy day, a rest day, or at least a day of working different muscle groups. But no, we think, "Wow I had a super time today, can't wait till tomorrow to do better".

Those are examples of how we break the laws of nature.  We are all built the same way and respond to effort the same way. Now having said all that, there are those who are today's  heroes in our chosen sports.  There are courageous athletes that are rewriting the fitness laws and the record books.  There are heroes that have lost a lot of weight and gone on, through unstoppable determination, to become champions.  There are those that will always be blazing new trails.  Were that not true, then records would no longer be broken.

We must learn from the trial and error of others and we can learn from our own.  Somewhere there is a path, individual for each of us, that will allow us to accomplish our goals.  But our goals should be ever changing, set obtainable goals and then when you reach them, set higher but still obtainable goals.  This cycle can continue throughout our lives, sometimes the best goal is a step down due to age or injury, but the same principle still applies.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Be the Warrior

Our nation has a higher rate of obesity than ever before, we die of things that in most countries are rare conditions.  Our overall fitness has been going down hill for quite a while now.  This is happening at the same time that we are at the brink of economic collapse.  Because of that economic situation there are less and less agencies to protect us and to respond to those things that threaten us.

I know most of my readers are adult athletes, fitness for us is a life style.  In this day and age our level of fitness is our first, last and often only defense against those threats that we will encounter.  We the adult athletes need to lead the way, we need to be the positive example.  We need to be proud of what we stand for and help others we care about to follow our lead.

It's time to look at fitness in a new light, not just as a hobby and a way to look better and feel better but as something necessary for survival.  How many of us, in this country, can walk 10 miles to seek help if our car breaks down in the middle of no where and no chance of help arriving.  How many can carry a friend down from a mountain when they are injured on a hike.  How many can fight back against an assailant who wants to hurt them for fun.  How many can dive into a river and rescue a person who is drowning.  Who has the strength to handle an emergency.

This all sounds medieval but life is often tough, other people can be cruel, we hear all the time of people who are killed or severely injured because they couldn't get to safety.  Those miles we walk or run, those laps we swim, those exercise classes and everything we do to make our bodies work better.  Every time we workout we come away stronger and more capable of handling what life throws at us.  I dare say each of us will sometime during our lives, escape injury, sickness or death because we are fit and strong enough to handle the situation.  And perhaps even more important someone we care about will be saved because we were strong enough.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Living the Intervals

Every athlete knows the term 'interval training'.  Most have been there done that and many do interval training as a regular part of their training.  It doesn't matter what your sport is, interval training can make you better.

 Basically interval training goes like this:  You do a good warm up and then, usually at a track, you do measured speed training.  A common interval training session is to do 400m or one lap of the track almost as fast as you can go and then go slower for a lap so your body can recover, then do the 400m speed lap again.  You do this for a set number of repeats based on your current fitness and ability.

The science behind interval training is sound and it is an excellent way to get faster.  You work and you rest, then you work again.  Now when you look at training it's all a matter of intervals.  Yep, everything you do is a variation of the same science.  If you lift weights you have to take a day of rest before you lift with the same muscles in order to give the muscles time to rest and recover.  The harder you workout the more recovery time you need.

The really successful athletes live by the interval rule.  No one, not a bodybuilder, a world class cyclist, a marathon runner, the list is endless, can break that interval rule and stay on top of their chosen sport.  They even take it a step further and so should the rest of us adult athletes.  It is human nature that when you do a super workout one day to be so pumped about it that you try to beat it the next day, but the smart thing is to rest after a really good workout and not try to best it for a couple of days.

A hard week of workouts should be followed by a lighter week of training just as a hard day should be followed by an easy or rest day.  The older you get the more important this "work-rest-work-rest" cycle becomes.  Because as we get older our bodies take longer to recover.

I talk to a lot of athletes form a lot of different sports and I often hear that usually when they get an injury they were really doing good and improving by leaps and bounds. Then they neglected the interval of easy and rest.

When you plan your week it's a good idea to keep the interval method in mind and don't schedule back to back hard workouts.  It's also a good idea to schedule an easy week a month, a couple of easy months in a year.....listen to your body and it will tell you volumes, never be afraid to change your schedule and go easy for a few days if your starting to get run down.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Legal Doping

You hear all the time about pro athletes getting busted for using banned performance enhancing drugs, steroids and using a technique called blood doping.  Blood doping is basically removing some of your own blood, waiting till your body has replaced it and then injecting the removed blood back in.

We can accomplish much the same thing without breaking the law.  Instead of taking performance enhancing drugs we can eat a healthier diet and nourish our body better.  Our cells are like little engines, we can make them better engines by giving them better fuel.  Those muscle cells can be much more efficient if we look at the whole cycle of what they do.  They take in oxygen and food from the blood, do their work and then expel the waste products of their work in the form of lactic acid.  The better we can support that cycle the more efficient those cells can do their work, moving our bodies.  Eating a balanced nutrient rich diet and getting regular cardio workouts will help the cells work better and drinking our required water and other fluids helps the blood flush out the waste.  Massage and stretching also help with moving pockets of lactic acid out of the muscles.  That is why we are often sore the next day after a hard workout.  Once we massage out that waste and let the body flush it out we aren't sore anymore.

Now the blood doping.  Most of us can accomplish that by losing some weight.  Our lungs can only take in so much air.  We will take in the exact same amount if we are carrying a lot of fat on our bodies as we do if we are at a good lean weight.  The oxygen, delivered by the blood, has to go to all the bodies cells including the fat cells so those muscle cells have to share that needed oxygen with all those fat cells.  So if we reduce the fat we increase the oxygen available to the muscles.  The same with the blood supply not giving away the fuel the muscles need to the fat cells.

Now the steroids for muscle growth, we can accomplish more muscle growth by doing the proper kinds of workouts and following all of the above.  Proper nutrition, reducing fat and doing the three required types of workouts will build stronger muscles. 

We need one long slow workout each week to build endurance:  When your body does work it's conservatively, unless your running for your life from a bear or doing a 100m sprint your body is only going to use the amount of muscle required to move us.  When those muscles get tired then the body starts using more of the available muscle fibers and there fore those fibers are now being trained.  the longer you train the more muscle fibers your body uses until finally all the muscle fibers are working and getting trained.

Our muscles are composed of two types of fibers, fast twitch and slow twitch.  The long slow workout trains the slow twitch.  The fast twitch fibers are trained by doing track workouts.  Where you go faster for a distance and then go slower to recover and then speed up again. This is called interval training because you have speed then a recovery interval to let your body catch up with the getting fuel and oxygen to the muscle cells and then speed up again.

The third type of workout you need to do is one where you kind of split the difference between the other two workouts and do a pace that is challenging but that that you can hold for a good distance.  Doing these workouts as a minimum and following a good nutrition plan along with allowing your body to get enough rest, will do as much for us average adult athletes as any of the drugs and doping without the risks.

Thanks for reading.