DONíT REST AS MUCH AS ATHLETES
recuperation occurs when the heart beats at less than 50% of its
maximum. This is the time when muscle glycogen is replaced, aerobic
enzymes are built, and muscle growth takes place. It does
no good to design the perfect weight lifting, wind sprinting,
or aerobic exercise program if recuperation is not included.
You can exercise all you want, but if you donít give your muscles
rest, your fitness wonít improve.
have resting heart rates as low as 25% of maximum (40-50 beats
per minute) which gives them a very wide zone in which to recuperate.
The resting heart rate of fat, out-of-shape people is often as
high as 45% of maximum (75-90 beats per minute) so that their
recuperation zone is very narrow.
people have two advantages when they rest. First, their wide recuperation
zone enables them to handle physical or emotion stress better.
When a fit person gets the flu, for example, his heart rate may
increase up to 35% of maximum but he is still in his recuperation
zone. When an unfit person gets the flu his heart rate pushes
him out of the recuperation zone so that tissue repair is jeopardized.
fit people can be active and still be in their recuperation zone.
When fit teenage Johnny gets a cold, his mom wants him to rest.
For her, rest means inactivity. For Johnny, playing Frisbee or
shooting hoops in the driveway may be rest. It takes a lot of
running around to drive him about 50% maximum heart rate. Fit
people rest and recuperate while having fun doing active things.
the significance of this Ė it may be the most important thing
youíll ever learn about fitness. Fat, out-of-shape people often
complain of how hard it is to get fit again. They try to exercise
religiously, but something always seems to go wrong causing repeated
setbacks. Their recuperation zone is so narrow that itís hard
to stay within it. They have to start slow and gentle and build
Even if they
exercise perfectly, monitoring their breathing and heart rate,
the slightest cold, muscle strain, or stress drives them above
that narrow zone, thus decreasing the time spent in recuperation.
Fit people, on the other hand, appear not to need rest. When theyíre
doing gentle activity theyíre still in their recuperation zone,
repairing tissue, replenishing glycogen and building muscle.