Do you wish to have an athletic body? Do you wish to get rid of that ugly fat around your belly and all over the body? Do wish you could play football or cricket with your children or grandchildren? Do you wish that people should admire your looks and energy levels at the workplace? If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, this article is for you.
The threshold of exercise and lifestyle is based on well known facts and published findings of numerous authorities. For the sake of convenience, we propose to call it the TEDIF (Threshold of Exercise Intensity, Duration and Frequency) Protocol. It takes us closer to nature’s design and helps to invoke the inbuilt power of our genetic programs. It involves a little extra effort in terms of Duration, Intensity and Frequency of Exercise.
Over the past 50,000 years our genes have changed very little. Our genes are best suited for periodic eating and frequent short bursts of intense activity coupled with rest periods and frequent low intensity activities of varying durations, during daytime. The circadian pattern of testosterone synthesis is an example of nature’s design. Similarly, Growth Hormone chips in for intense exercise and also has a major to play in repair and recovery at night.
From a hunter-gatherer style of life, we have changed a lot. Physical activity has declined drastically and processed foods are a major component of our diets. The demands of school, college and office life are altering dietary patterns. We now have prolonged periods of starvation followed by binge eating as a regular pattern.
The ‘hunter-gatherer’ probably had a better exercise, diet and sleep pattern than us. The latest findings on aging, obesity, nutrition and ‘exercise dose’ are compelling enough to give a fresh look at the hunter-gatherer’s frequency of exercise and feeding patterns.
TEDIF Protocol is meant to reach the Threshold Levels of exercise Duration, Frequency and Intensity that can cause adaptations in cardiovascular fitness, reduce obesity, prevent weight regain and possibly help to shape the body. Due to the obvious reluctance of modern man to engage in physical activity, for achieving a total of 90 minutes exercise per day, experts now recommend “Short bouts of activity (5-10 minutes per session) repeated throughout the day may be one strategy to achieve these goals.”
TEDIF Protocol is also based on observations of physical shape, fitness levels of athletes, bodybuilders and people engaged in various physically demanding professions.
Observations and Facts that evolved the TEDIF Protocol
1) Rural populations with physically active lifestyles have a lower incidence of lifestyle diseases compared to their urban counterparts.
2) The physique of athletes gets modeled as per their most frequent and intense activity. The shape and size of a sprinters legs versus that of a marathon runner for example. Sports Specific Adaptation of the physique seems to occur depending on the most frequent and intense activity. Duration, Frequency and Intensity of exercise appears to be the key factor for adaptation.
3) Manual laborers develop strong wiry arms and six pack abs muscles. Even if they are well fed, they rarely develop bulk. The body shape seems to have adapted to perform the most frequent and intense activity.
4) It is well documented that positive cardiovascular adaptive changes occur in all individuals when the level of exercise is increased.
5) Recently published reports by the American College of Sports Medicine have shown that ‘exercise intensity’ is more responsible for muscle hypertrophy and the adaptive changes. Elevations in plasma Testosterone and Growth Hormone levels were higher when the intensity of the exercise was more. Stem Cells differentiation and fusion into muscles was triggered by intense exercise.
6) Frequent 5-10 minutes sessions of exercise for a total of 90 minutes per day were as effective as a single session of 90 minutes (from NAASO Symposium mentioned above) for preventing weight regain in obese elders. The benefits were dependent on the total exercise per day and also the total in a week, indicating a short-term cumulative effect.
7) Multiple bouts of resistance exercise were proven to use a greater proportion of fats during and after exercise .
8) Animals in the wild never seem to suffer from obesity. We speculate that the ‘hunter- gatherer’ also may not have suffered from obesity. At least the ancient paintings have not depicted obese men.
What duration frequency and intensity of exercise will Body Shape Adaptation?
The answer to this is highly debatable but extremely desirable. The millions of people suffering from obesity and all those who wish to have that handsome athletic body may need to commit a few extra minutes on more occasions each day.
TEDIF Protocol proposes that “Gradual increases in duration, frequency and intensity of exercise coupled with adequate nutrition and rest, will take us beyond a threshold level at which, the cumulative effect of neuromuscular adaptations become evident in Body Shape Adaptations”. .
TEDIF Protocol Steps
1. Duration of heavy and high intensity exercises, not exceeding 60 minutes per session, 4-5 times a week. Schedule the exercises to give a minimum of 48 hours recovery time for each muscle group.
2. Moderate intensity exercises of duration 10-15 minutes on all days, with a gap of about 6 hours or more from the ‘High Intensity Exercise’ session. Gradual increases in duration are suggested for greater fat utilization.
3. Frequent sessions of low intensity endurance exercise lasting about 10 minutes, with at least 60-90 minutes interval between any other exercise sessions. A session on waking up is highly recommended.
4. Devote the most frequent and intense activity to specific body areas that need shaping up.
5. Eat a heavy breakfast. Thereafter eat every 3-4 hours, eat slowly and just enough to stop hunger. Take care to use proteins that are high in Essential Amino acids, since they trigger synthesis of muscles . Ensure that you get all the macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) in each meal. Consume diets rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, like fish, flaxseed and walnuts. Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
7. Preferably have dinner immediately after sunset. This ensures 12 hour fasting before breakfast.
8. Sleep 2 hours after dinner and sleep for 7-8 hours.
9. Adjust and accommodate the exercise and feeding pattern to suit your individual schedule, but gradually increase Duration, Frequency and Intensity, to achieve and maintain desired goals of fat loss, body weight and shape.
In the context of TEDIF,
• High intensity exercise refers to resistance exercise in the repetition range 1-6 per set with the heaviest possible weight or alternatively sprinting or cycling at maximum capacity for 10-30 seconds in one burst.
• Moderate intensity refers to resistance exercise in the repetition range 8-16 or running or cycling at a moderate speed which can be maintained for 5 to 10 minutes.
• Frequent and short low intensity exercise refers to Jogging, Stretching, Bending, Skipping or Cycling for about 10 minutes per session with one short burst of speed for about 10-30 seconds.
1) The low intensity exercise session on wake up, slightly boosts the metabolism. The heavy breakfast also increases the metabolism and stops muscle catabolism.
2) The single high intensity exercise session induces adaptations and muscle hypertrophy on subsequent feeding (preferably foods rich in Essential Amino Acids). The BMR is boosted significantly and fat utilization post exercise is significantly enhanced.
3) The moderate intensity or ‘endurance’ exercises use fat as the major source of energy. This session gives another boost to the metabolic rate, which declines gradually during periods of inactivity or rest.
4) Multiple sessions of low intensity exercises have a cumulative benefit in terms of improving insulin sensitivity, burning fat, reducing obesity and improving cardiovascular fitness. (NAASO study).
5) Every exercise session improves cardiovascular fitness through adaptations. Increasing the Frequency, Duration and Intensity in a gradual manner, may induce neuro muscular adaptations that result in peak physical and mental fitness.
6) Increasing Frequency, Duration and Intensity to levels prevalent in Sportsmen and Labor Intensive professions could be a safe way of reaching the threshold levels of exercise that induces physical adaptations.
7) The ‘threshold level’, is likely to vary significantly between individuals.
8) Growth Hormone and many other factors work after we sleep to repair and adapt the body tissues to greater levels of physical stress. Adequate night time sleep is more in tune with nature’s design and hence the TEDIF Protocol strongly recommends 7-8 hours night time sleep 2-3 hours after the last meal.
Discussion and Conclusion
Modern man needs to find the time and motivation to exercise frequently and intensely for longer durations. Except for sportspersons and manual laborers; the duration, frequency and intensity of exercise is far below desired levels. TEDIF Protocol helps to achieve those levels of exercise and discover the threshold level of exercise at which we can achieve peak fitness.
Body Shape Adaptation is possible, but ‘spot reduction’ is not. Generalized fat reduction and increase in ‘lean body mass’ is the normal outcome of diet and exercise. Abdominal fat is the last to go. People desiring to reduce their waistline, can achieve major gains in posture and abdominal muscle tone through TEDIF Protocol, apart from increasing general fitness.
TEDIF Protocol can trigger a major efflux of fat from adipose tissues all over the body. Invoke the power of your genetic programs, through the TEDIF Protocol, to prolong youth up to a very old age.
Prolong Youth up to a very old age by leading an ‘enlightened and balanced life’
1. Thomas J. Hawke , Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2005;33(2):63-68. ©2005 American College of Sports Medicine
2. Kazushige G et al , J Appl Physiol. 2007 Feb 22
3. B.F.Miller, Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2007;35(2):50-55. ©2007 American College of Sports Medicine.
4. Kiens B et al, Acta Physiol Scand. 2003; 178(4):391-6
Body Satva Team has taken maximum care to ensure authenticity of the information provided, by sourcing from reputed medical journals and books. Body Satva Team urges members to seek professional advice before commencing any regimen of diet, exercise and medication. The products sold on this site are not for treating any disease or medical condition, without medical supervision. We do not advice self-medication.