Alexander the Great

i love to work out. i love to feel the tightening of my muscles and the breathlessness as my lungs can’t draw air fast enough to transport oxygen to the muscles as my body ignites, turning glucouse to energy churning out carbon, making movement. then i wait for those same muscles to feel the burn, and enough pain to set in thus triggering the production of endorphins and endocannabinoid to induce the kind of euphoria that comes from eating pastry and desserts and having raunchy sex… the engine keeps running idle, and you are an infrared radiator on metabolic overdrive…to then feel the sore the next day, and the strain of each step as my nerves declines the right to silent suffering, it actually feels perversely great.

but it is not just the pleasure of feeling pain deep in your bones, rather it is the joy of movement. the joy of turning stored energy to kinetic energy. it is the joy of cascading motion, the mesmerising spell of animation, the relegation of cognition to the edge of consciousness, the celebration of the moments that we are submerged in movement… and we become beasts again, in these raw and viceral flashes of time when the foot touches the earth or when skin and skin collides or when cold steel on warm palms sends electric down your spine… aren’t these the joy of movement that we crave? to know that our nervous system still makes orders while our muscular system takes them gives us assurance that the structures are intact, the parts militaristically coordinated, each stride and twitch within command and control.


Mandy Oaklander @mandyoaklander

Mandy Oaklander in her Time article talks about the New Science of Exercise:

Scientists don’t know exactly why exercise changes the structure and function of the brain for the better, but it’s an area of active research. So far, they’ve found that exercise improves blood flow to the brain, feeding the growth of new blood vessels and even new brain cells, courtesy of the protein BDNF, short for brain-derived neurotrophic factor. BDNF triggers the growth of new neurons and helps repair and protect brain cells from degeneration. “I always tell people that exercise is regenerative medicine–restoring and repairing and basically fixing things that are broken,”
In addition to the heart, muscles, lungs and bones, scientists are finding that another major beneficiary of exercise might be the brain. Recent research links exercise to less depression, better memory and quicker learning. Studies also suggest that exercise is, as of now, the best way to prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s, which is second only to cancer as the disease Americans fear most, according to surveys.

Deep Dive:

Basically when you exert your body, muscle cells ramp up production of a protein called FNDC5 during a workout. A fragment of this protein, known as irisin, gets lopped off and released into the bloodstream, where it drives the formation of brown fat cells, thought to protect against diseases such as diabetes and obesity. (White fat cells are traditionally the villains.)

FNDC5 (and the irisin created from it) was responsible for exercise-induced benefits to the brain — in particular, increased levels of a crucial protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is essential for maintaining healthy neurons and creating new ones. These functions are crucial to staving off neurological diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Max :

so when you slam your body and push it beyond the transparency of perception thus drastically reducing the density of thought to a single signal of pain something magical happens as I shall attempt to explain in truly hardbound (my fav reading app now) fashion:

your endocrine system starts barking instruction to your muscle cells to start producing a bunch of hormones known as irisin, also known as the “exercise hormone”

Question Guy “excuse me so what does irisin do exactly and why is it ?”

Apparently this irisin - think of him as this arsonist that goes around torching fat cells with ‘kerosene’, now this ‘kerosene’ is a protein called UCP1. when irisin isn’t walking around lighting up fats he is busy fertilizing and farming neurons (basically the more neurons you have the more computing power your brain has). this ‘fertilizer’ is another type of proteins called BDNF and it has been known to prevent or slow down the development of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Dr Mark Tarnopolsky found that in studies where blood is drawn immediately after people exercised, researchers have found that many positive changes occur throughout the body during and right after a workout. “Going for a run is going to improve your skin health, your eye health, your gonadal health,” he says. “It’s unbelievable.” If there were a drug that could do for human health everything that exercise can, it would likely be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed.


and before you say ‘what the hell is gonadal’ if you are reading this you are probably not exercising and make it a point to do yourself a favour, get off your fat ass and start to move some muscles. for me I keep these little suckers i’d like to call my pocket gym in the office so that i could burn some fuel between emails and reports…. don’t underestimate squats and stretches my friend, they are tuckable, portable and reliable & not gonna cost a limb+arm

btw …. gonadal : noun, Anatomy. 1.a sex gland in which gametes are produced; an ovary or testis.)

Now with regards to INTENSITY, an important note

…to his amazement, the workouts resulted in identical improvements in heart function and blood-sugar control, even though one workout was five times longer than the other. “If you’re willing and able to push hard, you can get away with surprisingly little exercise,” Gibala says.
Not everyone can–or wants to–do this kind of excruciating workout, often referred to as high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. Many of us would gladly bounce around in Zumba class for an hour to avoid enduring even a minute of HIIT torture. But considering that a lack of time is the №1 reason people say they don’t exercise, a workout far shorter than what’s generally recommended could be a strong motivator. Gibala, for his part, is wondering if the workout can get even shorter. He’s even played around with the idea of a one-minute workout.


one minute workout???? now that is very enticing. like what Tim Ferriss explores in The 4-Hour Body essentially you are playing around with the intensity of the workout you can yield varying results, and the essence of the chapter about ‘burning’ away those fats is in the trickery you master in deceiving your body’s cargo-man insulin” into instructing the body to divert glucose from food to muscles instead of storing them as fat. if there is only one thing you take away from this blog, and i totally buy into this idea since since the effort to rewards ration is so magnanimous, it is this…

“The more muscular gates we have open before insulin triggers the same GLUT-4 on the surface of fat cells, the more we can put calories in muscle instead of fat”.

Hardbounded : intense contractions (exercise 60–90 seconds before and after meals is all you need to open those “gates” and allow these cargo to be allocated to them muscles)

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