Anyway with all that bollocks out of the way, I enjoyed reading Matt Stone's piece: Can Hiking Make you Fat?
Matt is always controversial - I think he takes some pleasure in being so - but much of what he says here is not particularly new. If you hang around the blogs I do then you will have heard similar arguments from others, the idea that if you train in such as ways as to be reliant on fat then you body will respond by storing fat so that you have the fuel you need.
Tips for endurance exercisers and recreational hikers/cyclists/runners etc. frequently engaged in physical activity that lasts 2 or more hours in duration…
- Do some form of cross-training at least once per week at a high intensity level while engaged in a heavy endurance exercise load. Try circuit-training, sprinting, interval training, weightlifting, or metabolic exercise
Interestingly Mark Sisson comes down in a similar place in his classic Case against Cardio post - he wants to ensure that you mix up lots of easy hiking with occasional do or die sprints.
Knowing what we know about our hunter-gatherer ancestors and the DNA blueprint, we would ideally devise an aerobics plan that would have us walking or hiking several hours a day to maximize our true fat-burning systems and then doing intermittent “life or death” sprints every few days to generate those growth spurts that create stronger, leaner muscle.
However, since allocating a few hours a day to this pursuit is impractical for most people, we can still create a plan that has a fair amount of low level aerobic movement, such as walking briskly, hiking, cycling at a moderate pace, etc a few times a week and keep it at under an hour. Then, we can add a few intense “interval” sessions, where we literally sprint (or cycle or do anything intensely) for 20, 30 or 40 seconds at a time all out, and do this once or twice a week.