Saturday, May 26, 2012

Unzoo Fitness and Seasonal Variation

 To Unzoo your fitness, you need to have the full fitness spectrum blended with natural movement, season variation that links to our evolutionary context, and a nutritional profile that complements our biological imperatives

This post is an off-shoot from the Unzoo Fitness page and outlines the Unzoo approach to Seasonal Variation.

To begin with, here's a map of the seasons according to activity levels and the related requirements of carbohydrates, sugar, sleep and intermittent fasting:

Comparing Winter to Summer gives you an idea of the variation; in Winter (repair mode) I have lower activity levels, more sleep, less carbs, zero sugar and activity engage in intermittent fasting. Summer (activity mode) is the reverse of Winter; more activity, more carbs and sugar, minimal intermittent fasting. The table below provides a slightly more detailed guide.

So how does that play out for Unzoo fitness? See the chart below. I maintain the fitness spectrum but tweak it according to the season.

So each season has a theme. The bi-polar focus for Winter compared to Summer is repair versus action. Just as in nature, Autumn and Spring are the graduation seasons. Autumn is a winding back from Summer activity levels, whereas Spring is gearing up for action. See below for a bit more of a guide.

See how I am truly full spectrum during Autumn and Spring, whereas the spectrum restricts over Winter and Summer slightly. Here's the rationale; Autumn is winding back, and entering a strength building stage. Winter maintains the strength focus but restricts the activity duration by investing in faster more intense workouts (get in & get out). Spring is preparation time, focusing on movement skill and re-kindling harder activity. Summer is all go!

Only other thing to note here is the differentiation between "zoo" and "unzoo" types of activities. By "zoo" I mean the more traditional, yet beneficial functional fitness activity, whereas unzoo refers to the similar activity but a truly natural movement practice, and outdoors.  A good example of this is the heavy session; The zoo version is classic Olympic lifts with a barbell, the unzoo version is outdoors, moving rocks or logs or other objects - generally the environment and the objects are less stable in some way. I have already mentioned on the Unzoo Fitness page that I generally skew the ratio of unzoo to zoo at about the good old 80/20, mostly because I find the unzoo moves are more sustainable on a whole bunch of levels.

So there it is, just a guide. Lets see how it goes. It is Autumn right now.
What do you reckon - make sense? Could it work for you?