The curious case of exercise cycle and patience!
Remember, the last time you were anxious to see those noticeable changes with yourself. Whether it was trying to vacuum in air and checking those flabs coming out of the stomach, flexing and posing hard, or being able to increase a few extra pounds on the bar. Be it any sport or a game, every coach or mentor would tell you about the importance of consistency and patience (quite applicable in most of the aspects ). Well, this might really help channelizing one’s brain, intermittently; but the curiosity still keeps coming up. You start with a food and exercise routine and feel like modifying the plans week by week to see those changes. While we all know it’s the law of thermodynamics acting on the way our bodies respond to the nutrition intake, it tries to adapt to the training paradigm at its own pace, too. The various aspects - our individual dedication, consistency, our lifestyles - they all have a huge role to play. However, above the behavioral aspect, we also need to understand the technicality of the process when it comes to the effect of exercises or training on our bodies, probably why it’s been suggested to be patient enough. We all know there are two types of training - strength and endurance at a very high level, but what goes inside our bodies when we start off with any of them? * When we start off with strength training, there is a sudden boost in overall blood flow and oxygen to the brain,initially, hence making you feel more alert and energized. * The initial state of elevated energy and mood is followed by the DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle soreness that can stay for 24-72 hours. Happens when you exercise for the first time or after a long gap, however the chances of recurring lessens down as one is consistent enough with that specific training routine. * Now, following this, our bodies start ramping up mitochondria over the next few weeks.(mitochondrial bio-genesis). Mitochondria are parts of cells that convert carbs, fats and proteins into fuel that muscles need to do their job, like flexing and contracting. After a few more weeks, there is an increase in mitochondria in our bodies by at least more than 20-30 %. Hence, the more the number of mitochondria in our cells, the more we feel fitter, which eventually helps improve our strength and endurance, both. But, what about drop offs?? * As per the findings and surveys, the maximum drop off rate from the exercises happen usually between or towards the end of 2-6 months, so if you have crossed that period, you should be well inline with making it a lifestyle; now pat yourself for the efforts! * This is the stage where you start feeling the changes. An individual mostly into endurance training or sport will feel a difference of around 20% increase in VO2max. (VO2max is the rate at which our bodies transport oxygen to the muscles). While an individual into strength training would feel the bones become stronger and denser (reduced risk of osteoporosis). * So, you see, all this cannot happen in just 3-4 weeks of span, from the time you start with your diet and exercise routine, while getting a hang around of the diet to understanding the muscular movements, it takes time - weeks and months for all of us. * The process of formation of more number of mitochondria itself could take around 10-12 weeks. So, be very sure next time you try coming to a conclusion to change the training plan after few weeks. By the time you feel you can increase the weight while pressing or squatting, you would already have spent an ample 1-3 months of time sweating it hard in the gym. * With this time passing by, and when you feel like giving up (the drop off zone), well my friend that's the time you need to catch hold your nerves and be prepared to continue. So, the final take away - as simple as that, you need to be patient enough to allow the science to act upon your body at its own pace. Make it a lifestyle. PS: Have tried covering it on the aspect of how exercise affects our bodies, for nutrition, may be later. References: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1540458/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5605648/ https://www.ptdirect.com/training-design/exercise-behaviour-and-adherence/attendance-adherence-drop-out-and-retention-patterns-of-gym-members