Today we are going to talk about why you shouldn’t do low intensity steady-state cardio or endurance training. Let’s get into this one.
So LISS otherwise known as low intensity steady-state cardio or endurance training should not be utilized whenever you’re looking to increase power output, increase strength, increase cognition or increase longevity and health. Long distance running and chronic excessive endurance training has a major impact on our endocrinology. It’s been shown in many studies that people who train for endurance events have higher levels of stress hormones especially cortisol adrenaline and nor-adrenaline and they remain high for chronic amounts of time even after the exercise is over.
So, endurance training is a sure-fire way to down regulate your metabolism. This is why so many runners are actually skinny fat. They actually don’t have that much muscle but then also they’re not really that lean in a lot of cases. They got that little belly pooch and they’re kind of saggy in a lot of cases too. So, by utilizing chronic endurance training, you encourage these elevated stress levels. When this continues for a long amount of time you then begin to encourage the extremely elevated stress hormones leading to an extremely catabolic state which begins to down regulate the thyroid. It begins to lower the metabolism encouraging muscle wasting which further decreases the metabolism. This chronic elevation in a catabolic state because of the elevation and stress hormones leads to the breaking down of muscle tissue which leads to the release of highly inflammatory amino acids like tryptophan and cysteine that go on to harm on thyroid. They actually suppress the thyroid and cause less available t4 to be converted into t3 for the body to use. So, people who do chronic endurance training are also shown to have lower amounts of protective hormones especially testosterone. This can lead to hypogonadism in men which is basically just low testosterone possibly leading to infertility. Even at rest testosterone levels were shown to consistently be lower than if men were not to partake in endurance training alone in many different studies. What’s also interesting though is that if the intensity of the exercise is ramped up and the timeframe is decreased, the opposite actually happens. So, in the grand scheme of things, it is not going to be devastating for your hormonal profile to go on a jog or a run every once in a while. Two three times a week is maximum. Instead you can do HIIT training or high-intensity interval training.
So, this has been shown to increase protective hormone levels like growth hormone, testosterone, progesterone. So, things such as sprints bounding or jumps sledgehammer swings and other short bouts of exercise at high efforts are the most effective at stimulating a positive adaptation response hormonally without being detrimental to the system as long as they aren’t taken to an extent that over stimulates the sympathetic nervous system that fight-or-flight nervous system. Whenever you go over a certain threshold it actually pushes you into that stress state that catabolic state that we’re talking about. So, you want to make sure not to go over that threshold. But HIIT training is also extremely beneficial for optimizing insulin sensitivity of the muscle. So because this is very explosive it actually activates the type 2 muscle fibres and allows for a better reception of blood glucose into the muscle.