IFA News and Opinion
Issue Date:  January 1, 2003

Routinely Efficient

So you're comfortable doing your workout routine, the same as you've been doing for a while. Well, the body gets used to a particular exercise or routine as well as your mind. Over a period of time, your body gets used to the movements and tasks. The human body is the only machine that actually becomes more efficient the more it works the same task. Most machines degrade over time. An efficient machine, therefore, burns less fuel to do the same task. So, the body doesn't burn the same amount of fuel to do the same task that it did 3 months ago. In order to provide a challenge, you need to change your routine every month or two. Also try loading the body. Use light ankle weights and such. Make sure that you are getting enough sleep, resting in between workouts (a day off or so) and eating the proper proportion of nutrients. You should be eating about a gram of protein a day for each pound of body weight. Carbohydrates provide the energy as well as fat. According to the USDA, 60% of your daily intake should be carbs and 10% fat. The new recommendations stress the importance of balancing diet with physical activity, recommending total calories to be consumed by individuals of given heights, weights, and genders for each of four different levels of physical activity.


New guidelines have been established by the National Academies' Institute of Medicine. The DRIs are actually a set of four reference values: Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA), Adequate Intakes (AI), and Tolerable Upper Intake Levels, (UL) that have replaced the 1989 Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs). The report from the National Academies' Institute of Medicine states that to meet the body's daily energy and nutritional needs while minimizing risk for chronic disease, adults should get 45 percent to 65 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent to 35 percent from fat, and 10 percent to 35 percent from protein. Cardiovascular exercise requirements have also changed. The new recommendations are double what the Surgeon General's recommendations were back in 1996. Now, the recommendation is at least one hour each day in moderately intense physical activity. The new caloric recommendations for children are similar to those for adults, except that infants and younger children need a slightly higher proportion of fat -- 25 percent to 40 percent of their caloric intake. Visit the FNIC to learn more.

Run it Again Sam

Imagine having a gym in the house. Think of the commute time that you would save. Imagine, you would be able to work out anytime of the night or day. Think of the money that you would save on gym memberships. Unfortunately, it never works that way. First of all there's a certain social dynamic in working out with others. Whether, we are being eyeballed or being the eyeballer. So that leaves a lot of dust gathering equipment purchased by well-intentioned enthusiasts. Buying home gym equipment on the used market can save bundles. Look for them in the paper, garage sales and online auction sites like eBay. You may also have a used gym equipment store in your area. So you ask, why bother? Well having equipment at home will take up the slack for when you just don't feel like commuting and eyeballing. It will give you extra days of workout when the weather is bad too and no excuse not to get on the treadmill. Look for a safety cut off. Also look for unsafe areas that can catch children's fingers or pets. It is also a good idea to look for one that has a mechanism that cannot be defeated by a child if one is in the house. The tread should be wide enough so that you have room to roam. When you get tired, you may not be running in an exact line. It should have handrails.

Did You Know?

All sugars including carbohydrates have a glycemic response in the body. Glucose (glycemic index of 100) creates a significant rise in blood sugar and insulin. Dextrose, maltodextrins, sucrose (table sugar), honey, high fructose corn syrup, and many other carbohydrates and sugars are commonly used in foods and drinks. These sugars/carbohydrates are high glycemic and can cause the elevation of blood sugar, insulin, and stimulation of fat-storage and increase the size of fat cells. However, fructose is not the same as high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is a mixture of fructose and glucose. The GI of high fructose corn syrup is about the same as sucrose which is 60-65 while high fructose corn syrup is 85-92. Any carbohydrate eaten raises blood glucose and insulin levels. A recent study in Diabetologia showed that moderately high MUFA (mono unsaturated fatty acids) diets improved insulin sensitivity.

Q & A

Q: I need to pass the Air Force ROTC PT test by February 5, 2003. What is the most efficient and quickest way to build up my stamina for running, increase my ability to do push ups, and my ability to do sit ups?

A: The best way to succeed at the test is to over-train now. Run with small weights and do pushup with a small weight on your back. You should train every day for the first week and then every other day after that.

Q: How accurate is the Cyber Trainer on your website? I am also a little confused about the term RM. What does it mean and how do I apply it?

A: The Cyber Trainer was developed using AI software concepts utilized in the defense industry. It is fairly smart but simple in function in that in makes decisions based on your input information and your goals just as a live personal trainer would. It can be used by an individual looking for workout advice or by a trainer to assist their client. Warnings are provided when the Cyber Trainer detects situations that require special attention. There are three basic workout routines generated for each of the three goals. Each of the three goals generate reports based on the input to the Cyber Trainer.

Most people basically need a trainer to tell them how heavy of a weight to use, which will be different for each person. The Cyber Trainer provides this information in RM or Repetition Max. This makes it easy for the client to determine the weight range on their own. Basically, 1RM is whatever size weight you would be able to lift only once. Cyber Trainer gives workout goals in 8RM. This means use whatever weight that you can lift 8 times. If you can lift it 12 times then it's too light. If you can lift it only 6 times, then it's too heavy. This value will change as your client becomes stronger but it will always be 8RM.

Medical information is taken to determine any special considerations but never stored. All Cyber Trainer sessions are monitored either during or after the fact. In accordance with strict US privacy policies and even stricter European policies, we share nothing with anyone. The Cyber Trainer is considered a work in progress. It is constantly being adjusted to provide better accuracy and performance. It can be used as often as desired. No workout progress information is entered or stored.