How Can I Work On My Stamina, Endurance & Put on Some Buff at the Same Time? You Know, Just Like Rocky.

Caved Sabre Tooth

Sorry, no time to stop for that Big Mac, I need all the AMPK that I can muster right now!

Well, that depends on what your current status is, how much time and effort you want to put into the project and whether you believe in luck.

The physiological pathways for each of these activities are startlingly dissimilar. Perhaps, in many ways even antagonistic.* [See Footnote Below]*.

Although we haven’t yet determined the ultimate limitation of the human body and brain, we can safely assume the existence of some of them by observation, measurement, and experimentation. Human beings often have the annoying habit of breaking the things that we assume were unbreakable. Reality is the hand that rolls the dice and the dice come out the way reality rolls ’em. A little chat about some of the players in the game needing to be considered to see what might work.

mTOR is a protein involved in a myriad of physiological functions relating to the bio-synthetic generation of muscle tissue and is stimulated during resistance training. mTor is not happy when it’s hungry and likes to be fed.

AMPK is another protein, it comes out to play after you complete a bout of cardiovascular or endurance training. AMPK is intimately involved in the processes of glycolysis and ketogenesis. AMPK likes to go hungry and tends to disappear when you stop at McDonald’s for that Double McCheese, McCoke & McFries. This is because, a long time ago, when Man had to beware of all those Sabre-Toothed Whatever-They-Were’s and run away ASAP when they appeared on the scene, AMPK rightly surmised that if you had the time, presence-of-mind and leisure to stop for a Big Mac, its services were no longer in demand or required.

Basically, the gang of processes run by the gang leader mTor doesn’t get along with the AMPK gang boss and his gang of processes. Sometimes they do cooperate on jobs or drug deals, but usually, they are unfriendly to each other, prefer to fight and like to do battle for the neighborhood turf.

Now, what all this means to us normal guys (and gals) is that we are going to have to play at being policemen to keep the practicable peace. We need to ensure that these two gangs interfere as little as possible and stay as far apart as we can get them to stay.

And here is how, as simply as possible, we might attempt to do that:

  1. Schedule your Resistance training on alternate days to your CV/Endurance training. Ensure that your resistance-trained-self remains well fed, before and after your date with the pumping iron.
  2. The more time that you can place between your CV/Endurance/Distance training and your Resistance training, the better.
  3. The more feedings that you can manage to place between your bouts of resistance training and CV/Endurance training, the better. This is especially true, if you are going to ignore Point 1 above or run into time management problems that require same-day training.
  4.  If you just can’t manage to separate the different animals of your training menagerie, consider incorporating a 20 minute HIIT add-on as an alternative to LSD (Long, Slow Distance).
  5. Keep your CV/Endurance self as hungry as possible. AMPK initiates fat-burning processes and continues its work for hours after your run. Who really enjoys running on a full stomach or scarfing down a Chinese takeaway directly after an exhausting run, anyway?
  6. It’s convenient and tempting to get it all in an MMA-style training session, i.e. run, bike, swim, punching frozen sides of beef, kicking walls, wrestling trees into kindling and lifting all in one big, tough, grueling session. You want to be Rocky, and you think that’s the way Rocky trains. Only in the movies. So use your head.

The suggestions above are just that, general suggestions. The mechanics and their specifics will be where the work is. YOUR WORK! And hard, tough, disciplined work it will be.

Remember, you’re not training for your next $ million $ UFC championship bout. You’re trying to run a marathon and put some buff on.

FOOTNOTE: Hopefully, no real scientist will bother to read this answer, as I have had to simplify a lot of things to make my point for practical use.

Should I, however, be so unlucky as to catch a real researcher or professional sports scientist killing some reading time here, he is quite likely to send me over a very nasty scolding indeed about the irresponsibility of my dumbing things down. And quite rightly, too!

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