Tuesday, July 22, 2008

100% = wasted effort???

I changed up my exercise routine today, and instead of going on my 20-mile bike ride I went walking with my wife, Sola, and our oldest daughter, Bimi. The reason was two-fold: first, so that I could spend a little extra quality time with them before I leave for London today, and second, so that I could shock my body out of its regular routine, thereby making it work harder and burn more calories. Exercise and endurance training are a really funny 'animal,' especially since, in order to maximize the benefits of exercise there are a few keys that you need to know about. The first key is to understand what it is you are trying to accomplish. To determine whether what you are trying to accomplish is realistic, you need to know your limits.

The best way to do this is to figure out your maximum heart rate. The formula is simply to subtract your age from the number 220 (or 226 for women). Once you've got this number then you need to determine whether you need to work in the healthy heart zone (Warm Up) which is 50 - 60% of your max, Fitness zone (Fat Burning) which is 60 - 70% of your max, Aerobic zone (Endurance Training) which is 70 - 80% of your max, Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training) which is 80 - 90% of your max, or Red Line (Maximum Effort) which is 90 - 100% of your max. Why is this relevant? Because each work zone has a specific purpose. Fat burning is best accomplished in the first two zones (85% of calories burned in these zones are fat), so if you're trying to burn fat calories and you're pushing your heart rate into, lets say the Anaerobic zone, you're only burning 15% of calories from fat. If you want to win the Tour de France, on the other hand, you must learn to work in the Red Line zone where you develop a higher lactate tolerance ability, or in simpler terms, greater endurance.

I believe pastors and church planters can learn a lot from this principle by understanding where maximum effort will yield maximum fruit. Doing this efficiently and effectively, begins by defining your purpose though. If you are just generally hoping that good things will happen because you are pastoring a church, then you will probably reap the least amount of benefit from your labor. If, however, you settle once and for all what God has specifically called you to do, then you can divert maximum effort, burning the right amount and right kind of 'calories' towards accomplishing this goal. Who would have thought that you could learn so much about pastoring and leading, from exercising? Have you learned anything exciting in the last few days? Care to share?