This was in response to the question: “How does ISO generate such enormous strength and aerobic workloads?”
The answer given below. Another definition of panaerobics is in bold, but the whole passage is worth considering:
Early in Dr. Len Schwartz’s research for the Heavyhands method of exercise an important discovery was made. The arms, although smaller in mass than our larger legs, are powerful aerobic drivers. They can move weights (or in ISO, move force) through a distance and do as much, if not more, work than legs.
As the range of motion the arms travel increases, huge trunk muscles become part of the exercise “package.” The lats are the largest single muscles of the body. The upper body contains 65% of our total muscle mass. Why walk with legs alone in a very limited range of motion when you can get so many fitness factors in the same expenditure of time (while losing exponentially more calories) with ISO.
Dr. Schwartz wrote two books documenting his system of exercise, HEAVYHANDS and THE HEAVYHANDS WALKING BOOK. To quote, “A number of researchers have joined in the many-faceted study of the combined exercise called Panaerobics. The term was coined to stand for three main ideas. First, it is exercise that mobilizes as many muscles as possible simultaneously. Second, it brings as many kinds of fitness – things like strength, speed and a combination of the two called power – to those muscles. Finally Panaerobic training involves versatile movement options which make exercise more interesting and therefore, more pleasant for us.
Including as much muscle as possible in aerobic workouts pays handsome dividends in terms of heart function. In addition, once you are trained at ISO things like strength and speed and power and flexibility will become a part of each workout and thus lend more fitness to more muscles. In the end, you will lose more calories lost per hour of exercise than with traditional “aerobic” trainers while having a more interesting exercise experience.
High oxygen pulse: Panaerobic exercise like ISO allows the use of more oxygen at progressively lower heartrates. That translates into more oxygen consumption per heartbeat. You can think of this in terms of calories of heat expended per beat of the heart. A powerful oxygen transport system means melting fat faster while using a relatively slow heart pump.
For Schwartz the psychiatrist, the ability of an exercise protocol to include enough variety to maintain interest and actually be pleasant was as important as the physical benefits derived. People who dread exercise will ultimately avoid it. For this reason he also suggested the use of “medleys” for both the sake of mental variety but also to minimize muscle soreness. As muscles began to “burn” and “fail” he suggested switching to alternative moves to keep the exercise going and reduce delayed onset muscle soreness.
More on “Medleys” in a future post. (And more on “oxygen pulse” for that matter in a future post!)