Update: Slow Burn Workout Goes Well On My Fat Fast

Slow Burn Workout Goes Well On My Fat FastI wrote yesterday about my fat fast.  I have an update:

My Slow Burn Workout

After finishing and posting the article, I did my Slow Burn workout. For those of you who don’t know, Slow Burn is a form of resistance training where you lift very heavyweight very slowly.

How heavy?  Fred Hahn says you shouldn’t be able to continue each Slow Burn exercise for more than 90 seconds before reaching total muscle failure, or as he prefers to call it, “muscle success.”  You lift the weight extremely slowly.  This prevents you from using momentum, making it a whole lot harder.  And since you’re not whipping the weight around, you can lift very heavy without risking injury.

Here’s the thing that was really interesting me:  Common wisdom says that while aerobic exercise like walking, dancing, or swimming can be fueled by free fatty acids, anaerobic exercise, like heavy weight lifting, requires glucose.   I felt fine going into my Slow Burn workout but was prepared to discover that I just couldn’t lift as well while in deep ketosis of a fat fast.

Hah.  I had a great Slow Burn Workout.  I increased my reps on a few exercises, and my weight on a couple of others. (That Nice Boy I Married and I do Slow Burn on a Total Gym, and think it’s great.  Because of the efficiency of the Total Gym, our Slow Burn workout consists of just 8 exercises to get every muscle group in the body.  Cool stuff.)  I felt strong and energetic.  Don’t even hurt much today.

I am bemused.  The Anatomy and Physiology text up there on my shelf says that anaerobic activity must be fueled by glucose.  My blood sugar wasn’t running low — it’s been hanging in the mid-70s to mid-80s during my fat fast — but I sure didn’t have a whole lot of glucose to spare.  I took a reading right after my workout;  it was 76, so I hadn’t used up all my available sugar.  I have no idea what’s going on here, but I’m gratified.  I also intend to pick the brains of some more knowledgeable people than I (I’m looking at you, Fred Hahn) to get an answer to this conundrum.

The important message is this:  I did strength training during my fat fast, and it went very well indeed.

Geez, what else am I wrong about?

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  1. Fred says to tell you that what I really mean by “heavy weight” is enough weight that I reach total muscle failure — uh, I mean, success — within 50-90 seconds.

    Practically speaking on the Total Gym, I increase resistance if I can do more than 7 reps. But if I can’t do at least 3-4, I reduce resistance.

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