Ask Covert: Triathlon Fueling, Zero Calorie Drinks, & Easy Workouts

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Ironman & Fat Consumption

 

That Sneaky Powerade

Does Powerade Zero with zero calories or carbs break a fast?

 

Easy Workouts?

Is it possible to build “some” lean upper body muscle mass, with some basic, moderately intense body weight and resistance band workouts, with a lot of protein supplements and calories?

Hmmm. I think I have to go with no on this one. I’m not a fan of easy workouts. Here’s why:

There are three types of muscle fibers, and moderate effort won’t be enough to engage and deplete all three types. They work together, but have different purposes. Think of them like this:

  1. The first type is like an elephant.
  2. The second type is like an ox.
  3. The third type is like a bulldog.

Assuming you’re using a high intensity strength training technique (and you should be!) you’ll be performing one single set of an exercise with the goal of reaching absolute muscle in 60–90 seconds.

When you lift something, your muscle fibers are recruited in a specific order. After you start to lift, the elephant type jumps in first because it can last the longest.

Once the elephant type starts to tire, the ox type jumps in to help out. But the ox doesn’t have quite as much longevity as the elephant type.

When the ox gets tired, the bulldog jumps in and works very hard for a short amount of time before it tires out.

If you reach absolute muscle failure within 60–90 seconds, you’ll have depleted all three types – a very efficient workout.

As such, I don’t believe easy workouts can stimulate any useful muscle growth. Under moderate effort, there may not be a reason for the ox or bulldog types to jump in and help out.

If you’re interested in doing a 19:45 full body workout once a week, here’s a little additional information. I’ve been doing this for about a year with great results. So if it’s the time investment your worried about, this may help out.

High Intensity Strength Training: Build Muscle Faster – Covert Body

011: How to get the perfect workout in under 20 minutes. – Covert Body

All the best,
Matt

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