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6 May, 2011
This is out of the latest article I have put into the members area.
“In 1976 experimenters recruited thirteen subjects and trained them on a stationary bike. However, they had them train only one leg; the other leg wasn’t trained at all. The trained leg employed a sprint and/or an endurance (steady-state) protocol. The subjects performed four or five such workouts per week for four weeks. Alter the study, when the researchers tested the subjects’ Vo2, max by having them repeat the exercise with the trained limb, they noted an increase in Vo2, max of 23 percent. This low-intensity, steady-state exercise was supposed to produce a central cardiovascular adaptation, but when the experimenters tested the subjects’ untrained legs, they discovered that the untrained limbs showed no improvement in VO, max at all”.
B, Saltin, et al., “The Nature ot the Training Response: Peripheral and Central Adaptations of One-Legged Exercise,” Acta Physiologica Samdinavica 96, no. 3 (March 1976): 289-305.So looking at the above study, you are only really improving your cardiovascular fitness for one very specific activity (not necessarily improving your overall fitness). I have taken many marathon runners in to the gym and after 15 mins they had to stop as they felt sick. However there is no way I could keep up with them with running. I also struggle to keep up with a good cyclist (even though I do own a bike). However not one of these “cardio” people can keep up to me in terms of intensity or volume when we step into the gym. So I question the terminology of “fitness”. Are we really making ourselves better by pounding the hours of cardiovascular fitness and burning so much muscle tissue that inevitably lowers our resting metabolism when we do long continuous cardio, or can we be fit without cardio?