Residual Training Effect...

Residual Training Effect...


Yesterday, my wife and I did this back squat workout that put us out of commission for the rest of the day. Today, we can hardly walk because we are so sore.  You’ve all been there before. And you hate it! But you love it!  The first question Christine had for me this morning when we woke up was…… "How long do I see the benefits of that workout before they are gone?”  She is talking about the residual effects, or benefits, of her training efforts.
 
First, let's define benefits:

  1. Performance benefits- I just got stronger. If I do nothing, how long do I have until I lose all that new strength I just built?
  2. Benefits on body composition- I just did something tough. How long do I keep losing weight or seeing body fat changes from just that one workout?

 
The benefits can change depending on the type of workout.  Here are the straight numbers based on the type of workout.
 
Endurance workout
(a run around the lake ora 10k road race)
Performance Benefits- The increase in endurance will last up to 35 days.  If you do nothing else endurance related, you will still see the performance benefits for about 35 days.
Body Composition benefits- Once you finish running there are no further benefits.  The additional caloric burn stops immediately and the hormonal response stops immediately.  You return to homeostasis almost right away.  Sorry. It's not ideal for all that long work you just put in. While you are working your body is working. But once you stop working, so does the body.  This is not your best use of time.
 
Strength workout
(this is that heavy back squat workout we did or something that uses external loading and is heavy for a rep range between 5-10 reps for 4- 6 sets)
Performance Benefits- The strength benefits stay with you for about 15 days.
Body Composition benefits- Continued caloric burn lasts for up to 36 hours. Sometimes, if it was a hard strength workout, you can burn up to 200 additional calories during that time.  The hormonal benefits from this type of a workout take place during the 48 hours following the workout.  The surge of human growth hormone becomes a precursor to increased metabolism, greater bone density, and even better skin.
 
Speed and Power workout
(short aggressive intervals - think super heavy lifting, jumping or aggressive interval running of 60 seconds or less in each effort, with plenty of recovery after each bout)
Performance Benefits-  The performance benefit stays with you for about 5 days.
Body Composition benefits- This is the same as the strength workouts but with increased caloric burn, sometimes for up to 72 hours post workout.  Not only is the surge of human growth hormone even greater with this type of a workout, but the nervous system is forced to adapt more and therefore the cognitive response can heave benefits that last beyond the workout for up to 72 hours.  This includes better deep sleep and even better alertness during waking hours.
 
I always say that you should spend most of your time in the gym doing something that is short, intense, aggressive, and includes heavy loads.  You can clearly see that the benefits from the performance side must be maintained more frequently to hold onto the results and keep increasing strength, speed, and power.  The body changes much more, much faster, and the changes last much longer when you bias training with strength, speed, and power.  However, we do also need to, once in a while, I think 1-2 times every 2 weeks, do something that is more endurance based.  We still see benefits while we are working, such as increased oxygen uptake, but clearly our time should be spent working in the other 2 shorter, more intense, domains of work.
 
Let me know what you are spending most of your time working on.