Friday, March 6, 2009

Mitochondria and GPP

I love mitochondria. If you don't know, mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell. They produce the ATP (adenosine tri phosphate) that power all the cells processes. They give you energy! Here's the cool thing. You control the amount in your body. It's up to you. Hows that for power. With proper exercise, you can double the amount of mitochondrial mass in your muscles. More mitochondria equals more energy and better metabolism. It's a big reason why GPP (general physical preparation phase) is crucial in designing programs. Now there are several reasons as to why GPP is important, but I think the crucial thing is that it raises work capacity. You can work harder and longer. A good estimate is 70-80% of max heart rate for 15 minutes. I'm not a big component of LSD (long slow distance), but pushing the prowler, pulling a sled, barbell complexes are all examples of things you can do in GPP to get those mitochondria up. You're in control, it's up to you. How much energy do you want?

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Great Article. I wish it was in more depth! I have been eating a Paleo Diet for a while now and recently have been researching science based training as well. It seems we have been correct telling the cuties on the treadmill to focus more on aerobic exercise and lifting heavy weight.

I have been following principles by Christian Thibaudeau for a while now regarding eccentric-less work like pushing/pulling the prowler with great results regarding joint health and physique. I have grown to like the 4 way split (squat,dead,OH Press, Bench) followed by eccentric-less work but after research I am a bit worried about not enough recovery time for the mitochondria to get its work done before creating even more lactic acid...overtraining. (I've always been told overtraining is undereating...or mal-nourishment)

After learning about function of the cell I am torn between the split workout or the intense (1 workout every 5 days or so) to really build up lactic acid so the mitochondria (anaerobic) can use for fuel and recovery over the next few days.

I imagine doing an intense workout every 5 days and active recovery days (prowler, other low rep practice movements) in between would be ideal. Thoughts?