For as we speak’s version of Pricey Mark, I’m going to be answering questions on Most Cardio Operate, or MAF. If that is your first time listening to the time period, MAF refers to a technique of endurance coaching that maximizes the perform of your fat-burning cardio system. I’ve come down laborious on standard or fashionable modes of endurance coaching prior to now for being too anxious and reliant on sugar. MAF coaching is the other: low stress and reliance on physique fats.
Let’s dive proper in to the questions:
What’s MAF coaching?
MAF trains your cardio fat-burning system to be extra environment friendly and produce better output on the similar “depth.” It means slowing the hell all the way down to go quicker. It means the slower you go, the extra fats you’re burning and the higher your mitochondria are getting at using fats for power. It means coaching as much as however not over your most cardio coronary heart charge.
MAF was coined by Phil Maffetone, who got here up with an ingenious technique to calculate your max cardio coronary heart charge: subtracting your age from 180. 180 minus your age provides you the center charge at which you’re burning the utmost quantity of fats and minimal quantity of sugar.
Say you’re 30 years previous. 180 minus 30 is 150. To burn essentially the most fats attainable, you keep a coronary heart charge equal to or decrease than 150 BPM. Now, and right here’s the trick: It doesn’t sound like a lot. It doesn’t really feel like a lot. It most likely feels approach too straightforward. However bear with me. It really works. That is the place the magic occurs, the place you accumulate straightforward quantity, the place the “base” is constructed, the place you start constructing extra fat-burning mitochondria.
The laborious fact is that if jogging spikes your coronary heart charge previous your cardio max, you’re not excellent at burning fats throughout train. Even in the event you don’t “thoughts” pushing that coronary heart charge up. Even in the event you “really feel positive” jogging at 153 bpm. 180 minus age is the place it’s a must to be to enhance fats burning. Which may appear to be jogging, or strolling, or strolling uphill, or working fairly briskly, relying on the place you’re beginning. It’s all relative to your cardio health.
It takes persistence to remain on the cardio zone, however over time, in the event you’re constant, you’ll discover which you could deal with the next and better workload at that very same “straightforward” MAF coronary heart charge. You’ll be going quicker whereas nonetheless burning principally fats—and it’ll nonetheless really feel straightforward.
What are the advantages of cardio utilizing MAF coaching?
In some elements, I’m generally known as the anti-cardio man. I coined the phrase “continual cardio,” and your complete motive I obtained into this Primal enterprise is that many years of elite endurance coaching—marathons and triathlons—wrecked my physique and drove me to develop and pursue a special, extra sustainable path to well being and health.
However I’m not anti-cardio. Actually, transferring steadily at a gradual tempo in all its incarnations varieties the inspiration of my Primal Blueprint Health philosophy. And MAF is nearly the easiest way to do it.
Once you construct your cardio base, you don’t simply get higher at working (or biking, or rowing, or swimming, or no matter it’s that you simply’re doing). There are extra advantages that aren’t as overtly noticeable:
- You get higher at using the fats you eat and the fats you retailer, paying enormous dividends in different areas of your life.
- You get steadier power ranges all through the day. There’s all the time that large bolus of power hanging round, able to be consumed and transformed into ATP. And also you’re excellent at burning it.
- You’ve gotten a decrease propensity to snack. It’s simpler to stay to a wholesome approach of consuming and chorus from snacking when you possibly can cruise alongside consuming your individual adipose tissue in between meals.
- You’ve gotten extra mitochondria, and the mitochondria you’ve are higher at burning fats. That is what all the things comes all the way down to. Mitochondrial dysfunction and subsequent power overload lie on the root of many degenerative illnesses. The higher your mitochondria work, the extra power you possibly can deal with, and the much less doubtless you might be to endure the adverse ramifications of continual power overload.
This appears to confer advantages to longevity. Though we are able to’t set up causation, reasonable train—jogging as much as 20 miles every week at an 11 minute mile tempo—supplied essentially the most safety towards early mortality in a single research. Working greater than 20 miles every week, or working at a 7 minute mile tempo, supplied fewer mortality advantages.
Plus, having that enormous cardio base helps with any bodily pursuit, and never simply endurance sports activities. A big cardio base helps in CrossFit. A big cardio base helps in soccer or martial arts or mountain climbing. Each time you possibly can burn extra fats, save extra glycogen, and nonetheless get the identical quantity of efficiency, you’re profitable.
Once you’re aiming for MAF, how a lot cardio is an excessive amount of?
So long as you keep within the MAF zone, it’s very laborious to overdo cardio. You’re deriving your power primarily (90/95%) from fats, a nearly inexhaustible power supply, and little or no from carbohydrate. You’ve gotten 1000’s of energy at your disposal. Your relative depth is decrease than the one who’s on the market burning sugar, so your joints aren’t falling aside and your muscle mass aren’t getting as fatigued. You’re accumulating much less stress total.
Once you begin hitting intensities that elevate your coronary heart charge past the 180 minus age MAF zone, your tally begins. The stress and joint harm begins to build up. You change into extra reliant on sugar in comparison with fats. You’ll be able to nonetheless practice like this, however your margin for error is rather a lot smaller.
If I needed to put a quantity to it, I’d say that you simply shouldn’t burn more than 4000 calories a week from cardio.
How do you have to eat whereas doing most cardio perform?
MAF is handiest when paired with carbohydrate restriction. It doesn’t need to be keto reset ranges, though that’s an excellent choice. Customary Primal low-carb, staying beneath 150 grams per day, is sweet sufficient.
Once you mix MAF coaching with carb restriction, all the things is enhanced. You construct extra mitochondria after a single carb-restricted MAF coaching session than after the identical session with out the carb restriction.
Going low-carb whereas MAF coaching additionally continues the work once you’re at relaxation. For those who burn primarily fats when endurance coaching however go house to a high-carb eating regimen, you’re squandering lots of progress.
What if I’m too gradual?
One of the widespread questions I obtain comes from folks apprehensive they’re too gradual. “I really feel like I’m going too gradual. I can run a 7:00 minute mile no drawback at race tempo and the next coronary heart charge, but when I keep at 180 minus age, I can’t get my velocity previous 10 minute miles.”
You’ll be able to hold doing the upper HR runs, however you’re not constructing a base and you could be setting your self up for harm down the road. Meaning you might be good at burning glucose/glycogen and have a great tolerance for discomfort, however it additionally implies that on this present configuration, you suck at burning fats. The entire level of MAF coaching is to coach on the highest coronary heart charge you possibly can deal with (and highest velocity) whereas nonetheless getting 90-95% of your power from fats. Over time, you’ll discover that as you get higher fats tailored, your mile tempo will come down at that very same MAF coronary heart charge. That’s the indicator that you’re changing into extra environment friendly together with your burning of fats over glucose.
Observe issues over months, not exercises. It might take a very long time to enhance, however enhance you’ll. Professional tip: if you’re a well-trained runner or bicycle owner, you could possibly most likely add 5 to that 180-age quantity and be OK.
Isn’t my MAF tempo approach too straightforward?
It appears approach too straightforward, and that’s the entire level. It’s additionally the place folks get tripped up.
You assume you possibly can deal with a bit extra, so that you push the HR up. I imply, working at a straightforward tempo couldn’t probably make you quicker.
Over time, you’ll discover that as you get higher fats tailored, your mile tempo will come down at that very same MAF coronary heart charge. That’s the indicator that you’re changing into extra environment friendly together with your burning of fats over glucose.
Simply make certain you might be all the time in a position to keep it up a dialog and never get winded because the “guard-rail.”
Of us, that’s MAF coaching. In order for you extra particulars and a particular plan of assault, try my e book Primal Endurance.
If in case you have any extra questions, ask down under! Thanks for studying, everybody.