Can Exercise Increase Metabolic Capacity?

I’ve been working on a project. I began staring at my wife and then flashed back to days college where I was a freshman and the professor discussed homeostasis, the one word that stuck with me all these years.

Homeostasis, although profound, is really boring. It’s about staying the same. The tendency of the body is to organize and bring order. That is good and I’m glad it happens. But homeostasis almost never happens. Why? Because your entire life is filled with bits of stress, some great, some small.

Here is a review of the life of these thoughts taught by a number of great scientists.

Starting with a Historical Review

Claude Bernard 1813 - 1878; French physiologist. He said “milieu interieur”. It is the fluid environments that protects and stabilizes tissues organs and multicellular organisms.

Walter B Cannon 1871-1945; American physiologist. He coined the term fight or flight and expanded Bernards concept and called it homeostasis. He said “It is the wisdom of the body that causes homeostasis but homeostasis does not happen by chance, it is the result of organized self government of the body.”

Hans Selye 1907-1982; Hungarian Canadian Endocrinologist. He was known for “General Adaptation Syndrome” or GAS which consists of: 1. Alarm 2. Resistance 3. Exhaustion and (4. Death). He wrote the book called “The stress of life”, and he emphasised that stress causes the body to adapt or to fail.

Wolf's Law - Julius Wolf 1836 -1902. Wolf brought another perspective to the adaptation in that  “Bone in a healthy person will adapt to the loads placed on it“. This is a structural and mechanical adaptation.

More recently, a newer concept of stress and adaptation has surfaced. It is this; Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands (S.A.I.D). Stressors on the human system (biochemical, neurological, environmental)… will induce specific adaptation to these imposed demands.

Then from my functional neurology studies comes the term and description of Metabolic capacity — Metabolic capacity is the ability of a neuron to withstand a high frequency of presynaptic activation and to produce a high frequency of firing. When neurons are activated at a frequency that is beyond their metabolic capacity, they shift from aerobic metabolism to anaerobic metabolism.

Outside the neuron, metabolic capacity is the entire range of biochemical processes that occur within an organism. Metabolism is an anabolism (build up) and catabolism (break down). Metabolism is homeostasis.

Summary and Proposed Hypothesis

First we start with a concept of balance or homeostasis how the entire body functions in a balanced state. Then we move into stresses on the system and how the body will respond to these stressors first in an alarm state then as a reaction or adaptation and then the organism will either have success or failure.

My first question is how we can we increase metabolic capacity or the capacity to adapt to higher levels of functioning and still raise the homeostasis level to a higher level of functioning?

My second question is what structures, systems, functions of the body are best to be functionally stressed so the outcome would be beneficial?

My third question is once we find these structures, systems, or functions of the body to be stressed how do you mark the progress?

As far as exercise goes, it is my contention that stressing the cardio respiratory system to a high degree will offer beneficial effects of that system (the cardio respiratory system) to adapt to higher levels of functioning.

It is also my contention that a major metabolic system to be stressed which would bring about the greatest benefits would be the anaerobic metabolic energy system.

When you are working out or thinking about exercising do you have these thoughts? Do you have any idea why you are exercising or what benefits you are supposed to be receiving?

When you are pedaling your bike stationary bike so ferociously or running down the long track on the treadmill or just taking a long walk around the lake what exactly are you gaining or are you just expending energy?

Get this point. There is a difference between expending energy to perform an activity and completely depleting the metabolic reserves so the body can actually adapt to these highly stressful situations. If you want to gain benefit from exercising you must push your system to the highest degree possible in a short amount of time so you:

1. Cause the body to adapt

2. Increase metabolic capacity

3. Maintaining a higher level of homeostasis

But avoid:

1. Injury

2. Causing the body to fail

The way to achieve adaptation, increasing metabolic capacity, and maintaining a higher level of homeostasis through exercise is through high intensity and interval workouts. High intensity (force, velocity, mass) to place enough stress on the muscles, the cardio respiratory system and all the metabolic processes to achieve exhaustion and a recovery period long enough to resupply the metabolites and rebuild metabolic reserves.

You must find a vehicle that will help you achieve these physiological goals.

This is an exercise revolution. We now have the machine to do just this called the Myoride Exercise Machine.