Increasing Mitochondrial Density

What are Mitochondria?
Mitochondria are like the power plants for our cells, turning the food we eat into the energy we burn primarily in the form of Adenosine TriPhosphate (ATP). This ATP is then used by the cells to fuel everything from breathing to exercise.
They play a huge part on our energy metabolism and as such our fatty acid oxidation (fat burning).
Think of it like this, if the mitochondria do not use the free fatty acids released from out fat stores then it will simply return to be stored again.
So it’s not a huge stretch to see that the more mitochondria we have the better at burning this free fatty acid we will become.
How Do We Get More
To force the body to produce more we simply need to show the body that we need more and it will produce them.
Both endurance and resistance exercise have been shown to increase mitochondria, however, the intensity is the key here. Low volume HiiT has been shown to cause new mitochondria to be formed within 24 hrs but resistance work has been shown to produce even more.
The magic trick is to do both. You need to perform muscular endurance sessions as part of your routine.
A good example of this is to take a spin bike and crank the resistance up so you are just grinding away for 20-30 mins. The one point though is to avoid lactic acid build up so if you start to feel that burn then dial the resistance back a little. If the thought of doing this doesn’t fill you with dread then either your clearly insane or your not doing it right.
HiiT sessions using weights would be another way, the main point is to have an abundance of oxygen flowing through the blood vessels and into the muscles with as much resistance as you can handle without burning out or building up excess lactic acid. This will stress the existing mitochondria enough so that the body will respond by producing more (hermetic stress) in much the same way as we build muscle.

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Posted in Training, Weight Loss Tips

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