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Why I’m a UFC fan

I’m a UFC fan because of this man, 007. Jason “The Hitman” Brilz has a Mixed Martial Arts record of 18 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw. Jason has an upcoming match in Las Vegas on the 29th of May–he is 0n the main card, just before the main event. The cool thing about Jason, other than the fact that he’s my son, is that he rose to such a high level of competition in such a competitive sport as an amateur, meaning that it’s kind of like his hobby–I believe that most of his fights, at least the past few years, have been with full-time fighters. Of course, his “real” life meshes fairly nicely with the goals and work ethic of a mixed martial artist; nonetheless, it is his passion, his drive, and his need for competition which sets him apart. Jason’s been competing in one fashion or another since he was old enough to walk. Looking back, it is no surprise to find him here, where he is today. It’s almost as though the course of his actions throughout his life have moved him, inexorably, to this night, in Las Vegas, before a stage of hundreds of thousands of people, where he will surprise and amaze not so much because of talent, of which he is amply blessed, but because of his passion, because of his heart, because he is a modern-day gladiator,  Maximus,  warrior; a  coach, firefighter, friend; an inspiration; a husband, father, and son. This is who Jason is, and this is why he will win.

I’ve had occasion to get tangled up with The Hitman, usually in the pool, where I’m less apt to get hurt, and although I’m no slouch myself, musculoskeletally speaking, Jason tosses me around like a rag doll.

“Go ahead, Dad,” he’ll say; and I’ll wrap him up in a full Nelson and a scissors lock with my legs. A few seconds pass; I sense this tremendous force, power, strength…whatever, and then I’m somehow flying through the air. But, I’ve been training this past year with a DVD program that my brother-in-law, Jimmy, gave me because it was too hard on his knees–it’s called P90X; so I’m ready to have another go at The Hitman, in the pool of course.

Question about cardiovascular adaptation to exercise

A question from a very intelligent and motivated reader:

“…we started using the advice in your book as far as meals and exercising.  The first 4 or 5 days I couldn’t do more than 2 mph on the treadmill (30 min. miles).  After the 6th day I could do 3mph (20 min. miles) without a problem.  Exactly what happens to the cardio-vascular system to cause this?  Granted, I’m not quite ready for the Door County Triathlon, but I’m heading in the right direction. Weight 10 days ago, [censored] {6 pound loss}; height is still the same.”

Source material for the below is Exercise Physiology, Sixth Edition; McArdle Katch, and Katch.

It is absolutely amazing, the capacities our bodies have to adapt. One of the quickest adaptations is in the metabolic machinery in the cell—within 5-10 days of training there is an increased mitochondrial capacity to generate ATP aerobically (ATP is the energy currency of our bodies–it is to the human body as gas is to a car). The enzyme changes result from increases in total mitochondria, which are those little things in the cellular cytoplasm that look like little ovals with a “maze” inside of them. With this change, a person has an increased aerobic capacity within a number of days of starting a training program.

Another fairly immediate change is in the plasma volume (the fluid that comprises the vascular volume within which are all the red blood cells, white blood cells, and lots of other stuff)—after 3-6 aerobic sessions there is a 12-20% increase in the plasma volume; in fact, there is a measurable change within 24 hours of the first exercise episode. This effect enhances the stroke volume and oxygen transport during exercise. Unfortunately, the expanded plasma volume returns to normal levels after one week of no exercise.

The most significant adaptation in cardiovascular function with aerobic training is an increase in the cardiac output, which is the amount of blood that the heart can pump throughout your body, measured in liters/minute (Max Cardiac Output for Sedentary Adult is 20.0 L/min: for Athlete it is 30.4 L/min). Aerobic training also increases the amount of oxygen that can be extracted from the circulating blood. This is because there is an improved cardiac output distribution to the active muscles, and those muscles becoming better at extracting and processing the available oxygen.

There are many other benefits, both immediate and long term. For instance, after two years there is nearly a 50% increase in the capillaries (tiny blood vessels) in the muscles, which allows for more oxygen delivery to the tissues (20% after 2 mo.). In my book I discuss at length the underappreciated benefits of exercise; increase in metabolic rate, anti-depressant effect, and anti-inflammatory effect.

You would think that if more people knew of this, there’d be a lot more exercising going on. The truth is, most of our health ills today are largely self inflicted; smoking, drinking excessively, and obesity. If folks would not smoke, drink in moderation, maintain an appropriate caloric intake and exercise regularly, there would be much less of a need for doctors.

Ssshhh…don’t tell anybody–I still have to put beer in my cooler.