DONALDSON EXERCISE - How to be Healthy and Fit with a Good Sense of Humor

How Roryd integrates mind, body and heart in order to go life's full distance and live like an athlete. As Gypsy Boots so clearly put it, "Don't panic, go organic. Laugh your way to health." As Metallica puts it, "My lifestyle determines my deathstyle."

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States


Sunday, February 26, 2006


Building muscle

Roryd sez: It is during exertion that muscles transmit their need for more strength, triggering a call for growth hormone (HGH) in order to adapt. Triggering this transmission requires periods of 90% (plus) effort.

Referring back to the previous post:

  • Fitness training (slow/easy) = 60 to 70% MHR (my Maximum Heart Rate 178) = 126 - 139 beats per minute (bpm).
  • Endurance training (moderate/long) = 70 to 85% MHR = 139 - 159 bpm.
  • Speed training (hard) = 85 to 90% MHR = 159 - 165 bpm.
  • Sprint training (maximal) = 90% (plus) MHR = 165 bpm (plus).

In order to trigger the production of HGH (I am very wary of all so-called HGH supplements, sprays, salves or injections) it appears that muscles must work at 90% (plus) of maximum effort for short periods of time (a second or two). Obviously, this intensity can be very dangerous and result in a plethora of injuries. It must be approached slowly, and I have a history of illness and injury that testify to my hubris.

Currently my regimen reflects my current thinking and presently I am rested, strong, without injury or pain. I begin my workouts out at a fitness pace and maintain this pace until I begin to perspire, about 20 minutes. At this point I am warm enough to begin to pick up the pace and for the next 40 minutes, or so, engage in "speed play," choosing the pace most appropriate to the moment. I finish off the hour at either a fitness or endurance pace.

Speed play is a mixture of paces. Once warm I slowly accelerate until I achieve a hard effort; my pulse approaching 165 (plus). I maintain this hard effort for only a few seconds and then drop back down to a fitness pace to recover. I maintain the fitness pace for a minute or two, or more, until I am ready to begin another acceleration towards another hard effort. My goal is to repeat this cycle five to eight times, depending on how I'm feeling. If I am tired I skip the entire effort entirely and maintain a fitness or endurance pace for the total hour. If too tired I skip the whole workout and record a rest day, reminding myself that adaptation occurs during rest, not effort. If I am tired I am risking doing myself more harm than good.

Phil Campbell puts it this way, "The best form of growth hormone is produced by the body itself. Anaerobic exercise, the short, quick burst, sprinting types of exercise that gets you winded in less than 30 seconds does the trick. If you want to accelerate muscle building, here's the key - use large muscle groups, targeted weight training, in combination with anaerobic sprinting-types of exercise to increase your body's natural muscle building steroids."

Look at the difference in body type between sprinters and long-distance runners. Sprinters perform lots of anaerobic exercise and train with weights. The result is lots of muscle and little body fat. Long-distance runners tend to ignore weight training and anaerobic exercise. They end up with low muscle mass and low body fat. I want to be the best of both: plenty of muscle, lean, low body fat.

SUMMARY: After a long warm-up, five to eight, or more, "hard" (anaerobic) running or cycling efforts per workout. For a thorough discussion I recommend buying a copy of Ready Set Go.

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