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Episode 48: Minimal Effective Dose

Video Highlights

- Don't accept one size fits all fitness or nutrition programs.
- Find a trainer, or become the trainer, that knows how to really individualize a program.
- Embrace the concept that one size, fits one.

Hi everybody, Dr. Cobb back with you.

Last week I talked a lot about an idea, a simple idea, but an important idea that fitness needs to be run through filters.

Read last week’s blog here.

We need to make sure that the energy that we’re putting into our fitness programs is really giving us a return on investment that’s worthwhile. What I talked about in that blog was the idea that we are starting to see that whenever we have people do average exercise programs, at least the bottom 10 to 20%, not only don’t get the results they’re looking for, they often get worse.

I talked about that, and like I said and what I want to do this week is follow up with that and give you an example as to why. I’m going to use a very simple analogy today, but hopefully it will help you understand how and why we do things in Z-Health the way that we do.

If you’ve ever trained with us, what you’ll learn really quickly is that we are fanatical about assessing and reassessing. Meaning we’re going to do some test, we’re going to do some exercises, and we’re going to immediately retest to see if it’s creating a good change for you.

Now the reason I talk about this, and am so passionate about it; like I said I’m going to use a simple analogy taken from medicine. If you’ve ever taken a medication of any kind, what your physician was probably trying to achieve was to give you something called the minimal effective dose.

Now it’s a simple idea, if I have a shoulder injury and my physician prescribes an anti-inflammatory of some kind. If I take the prescribed dosage, and I cut it down by 200 or 300% the likelihood of me actually getting the impact of that medication, in the way that the physician was hoping, is pretty minimal. Why? Because I didn’t take enough of it. That’s one potential problem.

Second potential problem, maybe the medication that he gave me doesn’t really work for me; maybe it upsets my stomach. As a result of me having some digestive problems with medication, my whole body inflammation goes up. Now, although maybe I was taking the right amount; supposedly, it was the wrong drug.   We have two problems so far, not enough, the wrong drug, and we all know what can happen if we take too much of a drug, even if it’s the right one.

If that same doctor gave me an anti-inflammatory, I’m like, “Aw, okay.” He gave me … wants me to take X amount, then I go, “I’m going to take 500 or 1,000 times more than that.” Well we all can know the potential result; you could potentially die from it.

The point that I’m trying to make here is that with medication, we’re always trying to figure out what’s the minimal effective dose. In other words, what’s the right dose or the right medication, given in the right amount to create the exact result we’re looking for without creating any adverse events or adverse results. That’s a big deal.

Now here’s the big learning piece, exercise should be looked at exactly the same way. In other words, exercise is a drug. It’s very simply, if I give you two little exercise, you don’t get a result. If I give you the wrong exercise, you don’t get a result, and sometimes can get hurt, Number three, if I give you too much exercise it literally could kill you, it won’t in most cases, but it can certainly hinder your progress.

The Z-Health rational, whenever we start looking at all this research that’s coming out that says, “Hey, you know what? We’ve got 20% of the population that doesn’t really respond at all to exercise.” In fact, I was reading a study just yesterday that was looking at strength training and looking at hypertrophy, meaning muscle size increasing from strength training. What they found, was they took a group of people, they put them on the same strength training program, followed them over, I believe it was a period of 12 weeks. What they found in some people, the super-responders, they had almost a 60% increase in muscle. Whereas they had some people who lost muscle size. Same program, different people.

That’s the point that I keep trying to make in these last two blogs. Your exercise program, your nutrition program really has to fit you and no one else. Whenever we run into this idea that we can design a training program without any real testing, without any reassessing, and just assume that it’s going to work; I believe that’s a bad idea and I think science is starting to prove that.

Whenever you look at your own training programs this week, when you look at your whole fitness history, I imagine that what a lot of you are going to discover is that you have tried to follow other people’s plan, because your coach, your trainer, your therapist, whoever you’re working with, didn’t really approach this process from saying, “Hey we need to have a way to help you design a plan specifically for you.”

That’s what Z-Health is all about.

If you are, like I said, a general fitness consumer, I really want you to give this some thought. We have products that can help you with this, but more importantly we have thousands of certified individuals that you can see, they can help you get on track here. If you are a trainer, therapist, someone that works with the human body, and you don’t have this bias in your training, I believe that you need to start thinking about this. Thinking about how, hey, how can I learn about the nervous system, about the brain, about the body; how it adapts specifically to the stimuli that I’m providing?

How can I help people really begin to design and building training programs specifically for them, to get them the greatest results, rather than trusting in a lot of stuff that maybe we were taught years ago, whenever we were younger and going through school.

Again, I just want to follow up in the blog from … the previous blog where I talked about the idea that there’s this big concept, a growing concept, that some people don’t respond well to exercise. I believe it’s way too early in the game to make that decision until we actually can show people how to create programs specifically for themselves.

If you have questions about this, anything we can help you with please let us know, thanks.

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