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Chapter 2: How the Body Uses Adrenaline
Adrenaline is the more common name for the hormone epinephrine. This hormone is secreted by the adrenal glands sit on top of the kidneys. Your body will secrete epinephrine or adrenaline in response to fear or anger, this is commonly known as the “Flight or Fight Response” which prepares your body for strenuous activity.
Doctors use epinephrine in the emergency room in case of a cardiac arrest, as a bronchodilator or in cases of anaphylactic shock. In fact individuals who are highly allergic will carry epinephrine pens which allow for quick injection during the beginning of anaphylaxis.
Some of the side effects from an intramuscular injection of epinephrine include a fast heartbeat, nervousness, and nausea is calm of vomiting, headache, anxiety, shakiness or pale skin. These are the same side effects you with experience during an adrenaline rush that triggered by exercise.
It’s important to understand that the adrenaline we are going to use in order to burn more fat is going to be produced naturally by your body. Do not consider injection of epinephrine or adrenaline in order to improve your workouts or fat burning. Unfortunately, additional injections of epinephrine do not have the same effect on your body as the adrenaline rush you receive during exercise.
Epinephrine injections also include additional chemicals to stabilize the hormone. Sometimes individuals appear to be allergic to epinephrine injections but are actually allergic to the stabilizing agents in the injection. Epinephrine injections will also interact with any other medication, prescription or nonprescription, which you might be taking.
Natural release of epinephrine will also not endanger you for overdose. An overdose of epinephrine which can be caused by natural release of adrenaline with the additional epinephrine injection, can cause difficulty speaking, shortness of breath and respiratory collapse. This is an emergency situation which requires immediate care.
Naturally released adrenaline or epinephrine has an effect on the smooth muscle cells and liver cells which are advantageous to people wanting to lose weight or improve their physical fitness. Epinephrine encourages the relaxation and contraction of muscle which is located in the arteries, veins and hearts.
Energy is released in the body either through a path using insulin, blood sugar and glycogen stores from the liver or through fat burning. Epinephrine is one of the primary hormones that breaks down glycogen and improves your fat burning machine.
Another advantage of the release of adrenaline during exercise is that it decreases your appetite. So plyometrics gives you a two pronged approach, to losing fat and gaining a trim body. You will most lose the fat through fat burning and reduce your appetite and eat less.
The interesting detail in all of this information is that your body releases more adrenaline or epinephrine during high-intensity interval training versus long slow cardio workouts.
Of course, you’ll still lose calories and lose weight doing long slow cardio workouts, but the results will be faster and more significant when you use high-intensity interval training. This type of training releases more adrenaline during your workouts. The adrenaline burns more fat during the actual workout time and also triggers something called after burn.
After burn is a term used to describe the continuation of fat burning or increased calorie usage even after exercise has stopped. LAN your body has released adrenaline during exercise, the after burn can continue for up to two hours. This accounts for part of the more significant calorie burn, fat burn and weight loss using HIIT rather than long slow cardio workouts.
Have you heard those stories of women who can lift cars when their children are in trouble? It’s the adrenaline that gives them seemingly superhuman strength during times of danger. In the adrenaline rush that you can trigger during high-intensity interval training will also help give you the strength and endurance continue through a workout you didn’t think possible.
You do relieve some adrenaline during a steady -state exercise or long slow cardio workout but the amount of adrenaline released is higher and longer during a high-intensity interval training. This is because intense exercise will stress your body more than a steady state. And, adrenaline and catecholamines are released in response to stress.
It is also important to recognize that to get the most benefit, the greatest release of adrenaline, you should be working at your anaerobic threshold. This is why lactic acid will begin to build up in your blood becomes more acidic. This is when the most adrenaline is released.
Anaerobic exercise is a term used to describe when the amount of exercise you are doing exceeds the ability of your longs to provide oxygen to your cells. During any aerobic exercise you can work at a steady state, not get too out of breath and continue to hold a conversation. During anaerobic exercise all of your concentration and work is in breathing, you aren’t able to hold a conversation and you cannot continue at that pace for longer than a minute.
Once adrenaline is released in the body and activates a hormone called lipase that breaks down the stored fat in your body so that it can be used for energy. It isn’t the adrenaline that actually breaks down the fat, but you need the adrenaline to trigger the release of lipase.
Most of the time, you’ll experience the release of adrenaline during high-intensity training. However, you will not experience an adrenaline rush with each exercise routine. This rush is an extremely intense feeling that is characterized by five different symptoms.
The first is a noticeable increase in the strength you’re experiencing. We talked about that earlier with the young mother who could lift the car, who may not have otherwise been able to do that. In the gym you’ll find with an adrenaline rush you might be able to lift more weight, run further, use greater tension on the bicycle or elliptical trainers. You may also find that you don’t feel pain. Because adrenaline is most commonly used during an emergency situation it protects you from feeling pain until the emergency is over. In the gym this can be a negative effect since it may allow you to work past the point of pain and cause significant injury.
During an adrenaline rush you may also find set your senses are dramatically heightened. In other words, it will appear that your vision is sharper and even your touch is more sensitive. You’ll experience a sudden boost of energy and your breathing and heart rate will also jump. You may not sense the increase in heart rate and breathing during high intensity interval training because of an adrenaline rush, but it is there.
All of these symptoms have also been more commonly called a “runner’s high.”
Chapter 3: Making Plyometrics Part of Your Weekly Training
Plyometrics are a form of resistance training and power training. The main purpose is to heighten the excitability of the nervous system which then improves the reactive ability of the neuromuscular system and therefore strength and power. Plyometrics uses a series of stretch reflex properties, shortening and stretching the muscle in rapid succession. This form of exercise used to be called “Jump Training” but it’s since been renamed plyometrics.
Most athletes perform the majority of their plyometric exercises with body weight or sometimes elastic bands and weighted balls. The process of plyometrics is based on the theory that the muscles have a natural tendency to rebound to their natural state after being stretched rapidly, much like rubber bands. For an activity in the gym to be truly plyometrics there has to be a movement that is preceded by an eccentric muscle action.
This means that the muscle stretches while under tension because of an opposing force. Common exercises that cause this type of contraction include going down the stairs, running downhill, lowering weights or the downward motion of push-ups or pullups. When this type of motion is associated with an explosive con centric contraction common with plyometrics, greater muscle strengthening is achieved.
It’s relatively easy to make plyometrics part of your weekly training program but it’s also important to stretch it out throughout the week much like you would commonly do for strength training. Any time you’re using weights your muscles experience micro tears which require at least 48 hours for repair. It is in this repairing process that the muscles grow stronger. Plyometrics work under the same premise. In other words, following an intense plyometric exercise program your muscles will have undergone micro tears that require 48 hours to repair.
It is in the repetition during a daily program and the persistence of performing these exercises weekly that your body receives the most benefit, both neuromuscularly and fat burning.
Plyometrics are also commonly used in rehabilitation for specific injuries because they strengthen the muscles and improve balance to the point that it reduces the potential for re-injury. However, this type of exercise is only appropriate in the later stages of rehabilitation after you have attained good muscular strength, endurance and flexibility.
Even for individuals who are not using plyometrics as part of her rehabilitation program, you will get the most from using plyometrics when you are well condition with sufficient strength and endurance to include plyometrics in your weekly routine. In other words, plyometrics is not something you start out with, but rather a piece of the puzzle you add in your program once you have attained strength and endurance through other strength training processes.
While you can begin a plyometric program slowly, you should have a base of strength in your upper and lower body through resistance training and other cardiovascular workouts such as walking, running, elliptical trainer or rowing machine. It’s important to note that plyometrics are not designed to be an exclusive training program but rather an adjunct or an ad on to other high intensity interval training that you are already doing during the week.
However, while done only once or twice during the week, plyometrics gives your body the chance to perform exercises that are not done on a daily basis. Mixing up the exercise program like this can also increase the number of calories you burn and the amount of fat your body burns each day.Other Details
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