Here in Episode 18 Adam, Mike, Sheila, and Tim discuss the Time Magazine article titled, The New
Science of Exercise. Does the information shared in this article line up with the high intensity
training that is offered at Inform Fitness? Perhaps the truth is in the science.
Click here for the link to the Time Magazine article: http://time.com/4475628/the-new-scienceof-exercise/?iid=toc_080116
Tim: This episode of the InForm Fitness Podcast is brought to you by Thrive Market. Thrive Market is on a mission to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. To receive a special discount code for 15% off of your first order, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim: InForm Nation, welcome in. You’re listening to the InForm Fitness Podcast, twenty minutes with Adam Zickerman and friends. I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network, and joining us from the Toluca Lake InForm Fitness studio, here in Los Angeles, is Sheila Melody. Hey Sheila!
Sheila: Hey guys.
Tim: And across the country in New York City, the GM from the Manhattan location is Mike Rogers. What’s up Mike?
Mike: Hello Tim, hello Sheila.
Tim: And joining us — I can’t do that accent, I’m just going to move forward. Next to Mike is the founder of InForm Fitness, New York Times bestselling author of Power of Ten: The Once a Week, Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. Adam Zickerman. What’s up guru?
Adam: I don’t do English accents.
Mike: Was that English, Australian, or Irish? Or a couple of both?
Adam: I don’t do any of those.
Mike: I figured we could all talk like this for the rest of the podcast.
Sheila: That would be lovely.
Tim: Adam is not participating.
Adam: If I try to do an accent I just sound like I’m coming from New Delhi or wherever.
Tim: Why don’t you try — New Delhi, really?
Mike: Give us an Italian accent, and let’s see how New Delhi and that sounds.
Adam: I don’t even want to try. Would you like some veal parmesan? We have the best spaghetti and meatballs in all of New York City. Whenever I try to do a British accent, I sound like an
Tim: Well you know there’s no way that we can let you go any further without trying, so why don’t you just give us a couple of sentences on the power of ten in your Italian accent?
Adam: New Delhi. Park the car.
Sheila: Hey okay, that is New Delhi.
Mike: You don’t sound like you’re in Boston.
Adam: That’s an Indian that lives in Boston.
Tim: There it is, yes.
Sheila: Hey Adam, don’t do accents.
Adam: Stop doing that, that hurts.
Mike: I didn’t expect that to be true but it kind of is.
Tim: Kind of spot on. So one day while Adam was at a New Delhi restaurant in Boston, he ran across this Time Magazine —
Adam: I was eating chicken masala… alone so I figured I’d grab…
Mike: Right across form Paul Revere’s house. Reflecting on his midnight ride. Chicken masala.
Adam: I see, literally, I see the cover of the Time Magazine article that came out in September of this year, and right on the cover it says the exercise cure.
Tim: So you were hooked, immediately.
Adam: And the subtitle was, the surprising science of a life changing workout.
Mike: We were like wait a second, we do exercise, this may be relevant to us!
Adam: Wait a second, I have the life changing workout and they never contacted me when they wrote this article! So of course, I threw away my chicken —
Tim: Good, cleaned off your fingers.
Adam: Right into this article, and it’s such a perfect article for a couple of reasons. One, it cites some of the research, recent research about exercise and how powerful exercise can be for our health.
Tim: Adam, you mentioned the McMaster University studies several times in previous episodes.
Adam: Exactly, and they mentioned it too so I was super excited, but I was also somewhat — well I wouldn’t say disappointed because it’s kind of expected, but I was also like, ugh, they had to say that, right? They just had to go and say this or that ends — go back to the normal,
dogmatic belief system and contradicting, in a way, what the rest of the article is kind of touting and talking about.
Mike: Were they contradictions or were they just reporting?
Adam: They were reporting. Listen, the person writing this article is not a scientist, so when — and even scientists use the world — for example, we’re not ready to get into this part of it yet, I’d rather talk about some of the other things, but I’m just saying for example, they used the term aerobic and anaerobic and in my opinion, wrong again. As most, even doctors and exercise
physiologists refer to, we have this idea of what anaerobic exercise and aerobic exercise it, but it’s kind of misconstrued.
Tim: Well let’s not jump ahead. You mentioned the name of the article, and the interview doctor, Tarnopolsky, who is —
Adam: He’s one of the researchers at McMaster University.
Tim: So let’s go into what the article had to say a little bit first, about what you agreed with, and then we’ll go into a little bit of maybe some of the contradictions/reportings and findings.
Adam: Somewhat confusing, yeah. So the good stuff, the stuff I’m really excited about, and I’m mostly more excited than I am somewhat disappointed for sure.
Tim: Some of the research that is going to be taking place as mentioned in this article is very
exciting and really supports what we’re doing here at InForm Fitness.
Mike: You know what’s kind of interesting, Adam told me — I read the article also
independently, but Adam recommended the article to a few clients to read, and they were like, why did you ask me to read this article?
Adam: We are jumping ahead again, because again, the article talks about a lot of things that we’re talking about and we tell our clients which is this. Let’s get into this study that you just mentioned from Mark Tarnopolsky, it’s a hard name to pronounce. So this doctor did a really cool study. So there are these mice that have this genetic disease that ages them extremely fast. So if the normal lifespan of a mouse is like seven years, these mice get old and die of old age, and the diseases associated with old age, within like a year, or maybe sooner. I believe other
animals, and I believe even humans too, there’s a disease that ages them very, very rapidly. It’s kind of the opposite of the movie with Brad Pitt, where he starts getting younger. So there are these metabolic, genetic diseases that actually age you at an accelerated rate. So these mice are a perfect type of subject to test whether exercise is truly, as I’ve said very often, the fountain of youth. So what they did was they took half of the group of mice that had this disease as the
control group, and they didn’t do anything with them. The other half of the group actually
exercised, and the progression of the genetic disease, the bottom line here is that the progression of the genetic disease was delayed substantially, significantly. This was a double blind study, in other words the researchers had no idea which mice were the control group, and which mice were exercising.
Mike: The experimental group.
Adam: Right, and what ended up happening was without even looking at which was which at the end, they knew. The group of mice that were actually exercising looked practically as good as mice that didn’t have this disease. So I’ve always been saying that when you do intense exercise especially, there are physiological changes that are occurring that truly keep you from aging, even at a normal pace. It’s profound, and that’s why the name of this article is called the Exercise Cure, and now obviously it’s not making us immortal, but like these mice, we suspect that
exercise can really delay the aging process, or delay entropy as I like to say. This breaking down, this eventual breaking down of our bodies. So that’s exciting, that’s really exciting. Now
obviously that’s good news for mice, as the article says, and of course we’d be wrong to
extrapolate that to human beings at this point, but it definitely warrants further studying and is very promising.
Mike: There are a couple things in it that I’m just going to quote real quick that I thought were interesting. First of all, from before, the study that is coming up, it said next year the NIH will launch its sixth year, 170 million dollar study with a group of about 3,000 sedentary people, ranging in age from children to the elderly. It will start an exercise program, and then donate blood, fat, and muscle before and after the exercise. Scientists will then examine samples for clues on how the body changes with physical activity. The control group that doesn’t exercise will also be tracked for comparison, so that’s the general thing.
Adam: We’re discovering all these new proteins, and we’re looking at markers now that we
never looked at before. Markers that are a little bit more accurate in determining whether we’re really, truly getting a benefit, and like the article talks about, we’ve always known in a
observational sense that exercise is good for us. What the article is talking about now is as we really start narrowing down on what is actually exercising and why it’s good for us, and what’s happening that makes it good for us. What is actually happening, what are the mechanisms that are happening that make us younger. We’re finding these things out now, so instead of doctors or even trainers telling their patients or clients, well exercise is good for you, we can narrow down exactly how it’s good for you, and exactly the kind of dosage you would need for this result. Kind of like we know what kind of dosage of medicine to give to somebody for some kind of ailment that we have, so it’s going to get very, very specific, instead of just like this, just
exercise. Well we can tell somebody you need to do this type of exercise, based on your genetic composition, your lifestyle, and your age, and you, another person, you need this type of
Tim: So it’s not just some broad stroke prescription of exercise, get your 30 minutes cardio.
Mike: The real hardcore, exact answers are still a long way away, even after this study is
completed. You’re just going to get much closer to whatever that prescription could be, like
medicine is as well. They have a basic dosage of what a man and a woman should take if they need to go to sleep, Ambien for example, or whatever. The units could actually be different for lots of different men or lots of different women, despite getting the same prescription, and I think that stuff isn’t really known until you’ve actually done the program a little bit. The same way of when we do our — when we think about exercise, we actually don’t know everything about the clients when they come in on day one either. When they do their exercises, we put them through at modest baseline weights, and people say well how long is it going to take for this to happen? Or should I be working out once a week or twice a week, and the thing is, sometimes we don’t know exactly until we’ve seen them do it for a little while and see how their body adapts to the exercise. Until they tell us that they feel energized and they don’t feel tired or something like that, and we have to work with those types of variables.
Adam: It’s not practical for us to do muscle biopsies for these people to really get it down. Like Mike said, we are getting closer. So there is another study that the mentioned, that speaks to this idea of getting closer to narrowing down what we need to do for exercise. So this other study that McMaster did was they compared steady state activity to high intensity activity. Steady state, to remind our listeners, in case you don’t know the expression steady state, is working out at a level of intensity that you can sustain for quite a while. For 30 minutes, 45 minutes, an hour or more, and not totally bonk and drop. Steady state exercise is considered cardio. So they compared this cardio, steady state exercise, to a group of people that just did really high, intense, short bursts of exercise, similar to what we do at InForm Fitness, and there are markers that we test to see if there’s an improvement in our endurance. So you can do muscle biopsies, you can do all kinds of blood tests, you can do what they call VO2 max testing which is how much oxygen you’re
consuming, and some of these markers include the increase in certain enzymes that are known to rise when your endurance rises. So one of the ways we know that certain exercises improve our endurance, besides being able to run a longer period of time or jog, or bike a longer period of time, we can actually validate that with a blood test and say hey, look, when somebody’s
endurance is improving, we also notice that this enzyme is improving. That makes sense, because this enzyme is an enzyme that is used in cellular respiration, so therefore we can say pretty
confidently that this exercise program builds endurance because this enzyme goes up. We have markers, like when people say, how do you know you have to do cardio or steady state exercise to get healthier, and people say well, there are tests that we’ve done. Your VO2 max test has
improved as a result of you jogging, certain enzymes have gone up as a result of you jogging. Your glucose sensitivity, we did a test for that, alright glucose test where you drink this really crappy tasting sugary water and then you take your blood over time, and you see how quickly your body utilizes that glucose. The faster your body can utilize that glucose, the better shape you’re in so to speak. So these are all tests that we can use to say, yes, you are getting in better shape, you are more fit, that kind of stuff. So what they were doing was they took these two groups, one did steady state exercise which is consistent with about six hours of steady state
exercise a week, and then they took another group which consisted of like, I think, three or four minutes of exercise, but really intense exercise per week. They tested for these markers before the test, before the experiment started, and then they subjected them to their respective exercise programs, and then they were tested again. Now, what we’re doing is we’re testing for the same markers, and the one group that exercised six days a week at a steady state level, versus a group of people that hardly worked out at all time wise, but their workouts are much, much more
intense. When they looked at these markers, I think even the researchers were shocked at
McMaster when they noticed that these markers improved in both groups equally. Turns out both groups had identical improvements in both heart function and blood sugar control, and this is a quote from one of the researchers. So one of the researchers, Martin Gibala said after the study was concluded, that if you’re willing and able to really push yourself very hard, then you can get away with surprisingly little exercise, and I’m like hey, that’s what we say.
Tim: Where have I heard that before, right.
Sheila: Is this the same study that we learn when we go through our certification, that you talk about? Okay, good, and they reference this same study in this recent article? That’s great.
Adam: Yeah, finally. I remember Dr. McGuff who also talks about this study a lot, I remember him saying you can’t believe how this is not major news on every single major media platform that exists. This is like profound, game changing type of evidence.
Tim: Until now.
Adam: And this study was done years ago, maybe five years ago. So to see it in this Time
Magazine article, when Dr. McGuff and myself are saying, why isn’t anyone talking about this? To see it finally being talked about, God almighty, maybe in my lifetime I will see a [Inaudible: 00:17:40] change in the way people view exercise, maybe. I always thought that future
generations will finally see the fruits of us pioneers out there, in this world that they don’t have to jog around the world —
Mike: It is though, I think with the advent of things like, dare I say Cross fit and bootcamps or the seven minute workouts, I think the news is getting out there very slowly, but people still have this idea — first of all, it goes in most peoples’ minds to the idea of weight loss, and people still get stuck on calories in versus calories out, and more times spent doing something is more
calories expended so that’s — there’s a lot of psychology that still has to sort of be understood, in regards to exercise, weight loss, health, fitness, everything, and I think that’s what just adds to the confusion. I get Doug McGuff’s complaint and he is right, but it’s still slow going.
Sheila: Well psychology is a good point, because I really feel that it’s in a lot of peoples’ heads. I know for me, yes I love this workout I do it every week, but I still need to do something just for my head. I need to go hike, I need to go walk, I need to take a yoga class once in a while. I need to do other things, and that I know, it makes me feel more positive, better, I eat better, all those things. So regardless of all these tests, that’s what the thing is, there’s so much psychology to
exercise, I agree.
Tim: The psychology that a lot of people and myself included really wrestle with is all of that science is great, and time seems to be the biggest issue for people. The old traditional way we were taught to do exercise that Adam is talking about with all of this running and get your 30 minutes in a day or whatever it might be, is time. Do people really have the time to go to the gym, do what they need to do, three, four times a week. The answer for me was no, I’ve been doing this exercise with you Sheila, at Toluca Lake, now, right at eleven months. I’m almost at a year, and it’s because it’s doable and effective. I wouldn’t keep going if it weren’t effective.
Sheila: We should do a one year workout.
Mike: I think what’s Adam is trying to say before, and this is where you really feel it, is you want to make sure that everyone out there knows that the option is available, you know what I’m
saying? Just because they can’t exercise 150 minutes a week or whatever is prescribed by the powers at be, that hey, wait a second, you do have this option. It’s twenty minutes long, yes you have to push really, really hard, it’s not easy to do. If you have a good trainer and a nice
environment to do it in, it’s going to be safe etc etc, and I think that’s the thing. People need to know that an option is available that is very intense but extremely safe, and I think that’s where the complaint is.
Sheila: And effective.
Adam: When Martin Gibala made that quote, the key thing to me is when he said, if someone is willing and able to workout this hard. So this is the thing, you have options. We notice that if you exercise long enough, that 150 minutes a week of steady state exercise, we’ve noticed that you can improve, you can improve your health, but it takes a lot of time. Like we just said, Tim, you didn’t have the time, a lot of people don’t have the time. So if you’re willing to push a little bit harder or a lot harder actually, even though it’s really, really intense, it’s only going to take you 10, 15, 20 minutes. You have to be willing to push yourself that hard, so it’s a tradeoff. Do you want to spend the time to get into good shape, or do you want to — or would you rather not spend the time but up the intensity.
Mike: That’s one piece of the puzzle, but it’s also when you’re doing the 150 minutes a week of exercise, are you aware of a lot of the liabilities that are associated with all that time spent doing the exercise, and that’s another thing that is sometimes not even addressed. I don’t know if it’s the most recent study, but the last study done by the American Heart Association, when they
prescribed exercise, they actually said… I wish I had the text with me, but they actually said, I printed it out and it was cited in Body By Science also. In the actual article, they said that the
exercises that were being prescribed, many of them were not certified as safe. I forget exactly how it was termed, but I was surprised.
Adam: So another words they were saying yes, you have to 150 of exercise a week of this type, but just know that there are —
Mike: They said that the likelihood of getting injured is high.
Adam: High, right, so there’s the higher risk. It’s just like those drug commercials on TV, they say it’s going to cure this, but they give this whole disclaimer at the end that it may have all these horrible side effects, and that’s the same thing that the Heart Association is saying about all of this exercise. Yes, you need to do all this exercise, you should do all this exercise, but just
remember there are all these side effects, mostly orthopedic injuries and things like that.
Tim: And when you’re injured, you can’t continue to workout, so that’s kind of a problem, it’s kind of counterproductive.
Adam: So it’s kind of weird, and it’s like when you listen to these drug commercials it’s like wait a second, I think I’d rather have the disease than those side effects to be honest with you. The FDA is supposed to kind of control for this, the FDA is supposed to be saying listen, the side
effects are worse than the cure so you can’t even put this drug on the market in some cases.
Tim: You mentioned Adam too, we’ve talked about this throughout the entire life of the podcast is, do you want to give the 150 minutes a week elsewhere for the same results you’re going to get for 20-30 minutes a week at an InForm Fitness, and somebody who is older might think, well gosh, I can’t do that. I can’t work out that intensely anymore, and that’s just plain not true. I know that because of the people that we have interviewed, both at your location in New York and here in Toluca Lake. There are people in their 70s, 80s, 90s, working out.
Adam: It’s a very safe way of applying high intensity exercise, and that is obviously with low force movements, and doing it according to muscle and joint function, and that is what we do and continue to do. This is the thing about the 150 minutes of exercise, and this is where the
article gets a little confusing or convoluted, and that is that is one sentence — let me read, there’s a sidebar in the article that says this: the World Health Organization and the U.S. Center for
Disease Control say that you need 150 minutes. This is where we got this 150 minutes of
exercise from, from the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, and they say that you need about 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, and strength training twice a week.
Tim: And is the key word there.
Adam: And strength training twice a week, and then further down on the same sidebar, they
continue to say that you should do aerobic or endurance exercise, and anaerobic for strength. Well earlier in the article, they just said that the McMaster studies kind of showed that maybe you don’t need to do both. They’re not even reading their own research, the authors of this article or the editors of this article, right? That’s number one. Number two, they also say that this 150 minutes of aerobic exercise can consist of walking the dog, gardening, brisk walking.
Sheila: Cleaning the house.
Adam: Even cleaning the house and carrying groceries. So if you’re doing all those things, those count for the 150 minutes, and this is why, when I gave this article to all my clients to read, they came back and said to me, wait a second Adam. Why did you give me this article to read, and I’m like what do you mean? Well they say, it definitely supported your argument, that high
intensity exercise has these profound effects, health effects, I get that, and they cited that from those studies. But then they also say you need to cardio, and you tell me I don’t have to do
cardio, so which one is it, and why would you send me this article, because you’re telling me all I need is to do this, and I said not exactly. The article doesn’t really contradict me as much as you might think, and let me explain. Because that 150 minutes of what they call cardio consists of just basically living your life and being active —
Tim: Carrying in the groceries, you kind of have to do that.
Adam: You know what, so be it, then — I’ve always said, what you need — instead of, in other words, what shift has to happen in peoples’ minds is not a balance between aerobic exercise and anaerobic exercise, the strength training which is considered anaerobic, because those are
completely — without getting into the biochemistry right now, those are misuses of the words aerobic and anaerobic.
Mike: It shouldn’t be — they’re not opposites either.
Adam: They’re connect. From a biochemical point of view, from a biochemistry point of view, you can’t separate the two, and even if you can separate the two, why is the aerobic part so damn apart? But you can’t separate, and maybe that’s a whole other podcast to get into the weeds of the biochemistry of cellular respiration, but this is the thing. They’re saying that the aerobic consists of gardening and walking your dog, then we’re in line, because this is what I’m saying. Instead of making a distinction between making exercise be anaerobic or aerobic, as McMaster’s studies just pointed out, the distinction should be more like this. The distinction should be between choosing between intense exercise and not intense exercise. So what I’m saying is, and my
response to my clients was this. The article is saying that intense workouts can give you the same benefits as these long, steady state workouts, so let’s do the intense, and you can move on with your day. They’re saying also that you have to do this “aerobic,” and I put aerobic in quotes, so all I’m saying, and I’ve always said this: listen, do this once a week, or twice a week, and then go out and be active, live your life. Don’t be a couch potato, go walk your dog, go garden, so I’m telling people to do that anyway, because it is — there are benefits to all these things. So we’re on the same page, except they’re calling it aerobic, I’m not calling it aerobic, I’m calling it
non-intense, I’m calling it moderate intensity exercise. So what I’m saying to my clients is do — all you need is really one intense bout of exercise a week, and then you need about 150 minutes, the rest of the week, for moderate intensity exercise. Don’t call it aerobic because that’s really not accurate. It’s just not really intense. So you can call it what you want, you can call it aerobic, you can call it moderate intensity. The point is, live your life, walk your dog, garden, and make sure once a week you get to a gym where you’re pushing yourself to the max, and you’re pushing your energy systems to the max, and that’s where all these profound, youthful — all these profound, fountain of youth properties start kicking in.
Mike: I think the big state of confusion in that whole thing is just the — I think we addressed it before in a previous podcast, is the confusion between the words cardio and aerobic, and how they’re used synonymously, and I think those — that’s where I think everything is — that’s one of many things that’s drawing a lot of confusion, and why this is writer, who just talked about the McMaster study and then sort of —
Adam: And then tells you you still need to do aerobic.
Mike: The thing is it’s misleading but I think there’s truth and false to it all.
Adam: You know what the most aerobic state of our lives are, when we’re sleeping, by the way, or sitting. That is when we’re being most aerobic, so again, it’s a complete misunderstanding of biochemistry, which we really can’t get into in a twenty minute podcast right now. What we can address right now is the idea that there is a difference between intense exercise and non-intense exercise, and non-intense exercise has benefits, according to this article. They’re saying you have to do aerobic exercise, which really means non-intense exercise, just moderate intensity, and so again, it’s just living your life and being active. If you are walking to work or you are walking your dog, and you’re gardening, and you’re not just sitting on a coach all day long, every single day, you are exercising aerobically. It’s not an argument anymore, because we can get into the nitty gritty between aerobic and anaerobic, but like it doesn’t matter. The bottom line is you have to do something really intense once a week or twice a week, for a brief period of time, and then you have to be active. Just lead an active life, and you can choose whatever activity you want. You’re doing your cardio.
Mike: Intensity, there’s a lot of discussions here. You just made me think, I was thinking about my dad who is 77 and who is very sedentary at the moment, and I’m trying to encourage him to be a little bit more active, and the thing is, getting up for him and walking to the mailbox is as intense as power of ten is to me, right now.
Adam: My dad too.
Mike: That’s why I don’t even try to tell him to do anything except get up and walk to the
mailbox a few times a day, or do at least once — it’s not the same as the power of ten, but it’s an enormous effort for him, you know?
Adam: Intensity is relative to the person. I mean what’s intense for one person might not be
intense for somebody else, exactly. So like my dad also has problems walking right now, he has some neurological thing going on, we haven’t really figured it out, and I said dad, get on the
recumbent bike in the basement and push yourself for a couple of minutes on that thing. Now to somebody that doesn’t really understand the differences of all this biochemistry might say, Adam, you just said that’s not really going to do much for him, that should really be intense
exercise, and what Mike just said. My father getting on the recumbent bike for five minutes will be a very intense experience for him, so it’s not contradicting my viewpoint. I mean my father couldn’t do a leg press right now, he can hardly walk, so even doing a bicycle is really, really
intense, and then you progress from there.
Mike: McGuff actually, I think he made it more clear. Like when you try to take recreation or little activities like gardening or whatever, and exercise, he was referring to it often times as
mechanical work. When you put a demand on the muscle, like to do anything, walk up stairs, walk down the street, lift a weight, carry a brick, whatever it is, you’re doing some sort of
mechanical work. You’re asking your muscles to do something, is it intense — is it not intense like gardening or carrying a little grocery bag in, no, but you’re moving, you’re using your body to do something, that’s aerobic. Sleeping is aerobic, and then there’s high intensity stuff which is relative, which could be walking to the mailbox for my dad, or doing power of ten for us. I think this is where the conversation — what’s great about this article, and I think why Adam picked it out, is that it gets this conversation going, where we can really start to, once again, help people understand when they hear the word aerobic, what it really means. What, when they hear the words anaerobic and strength training, what that really entails, and how much it really needs to be. So that’s what is great about this article, with even its misleading comments, is that it’s
getting the conversation going in the right direction still.
Sheila: I wanted to talk about how in here they say that to build muscle and strengthen bones you really only need to use your body weight as resistance. You don’t have to go to the gym and lift weights and do things. The difference between us doing power of ten really intensely and they’re saying here, we try to think of muscle strength and power as a 65 year old lady picking up a
gallon of milk, and to us that’s like, oh my god that’s nothing, but to me, it’s like if you come in and do a safe exercise like this, what we do, for whatever age and whatever level, then it makes all those little things like walking to the mailbox — it makes those better eventually. Do you ever get to the point where you’re like it’s dangerous to come and try to push yourself very safely with heavier weights? They’re saying in here you don’t need to do that in order to build bone and muscle strength.
Adam: Well it’s saying you don’t need machines, you need to hire expensive trainers and stuff like that. Intensity, I mean I’ve always said that the machines that we have here, as ergonomic as they are and as special as they are for the technique of lifting weights slowly, I mean they’re the safest things around, but let’s make no mistakes, we’re still just fatiguing muscle, and you can do that in a lot of ways, and you can do it safely in a lot of ways. Using your body weight,
especially if you’re not very strong, I mean body weight exercises can be extremely intense, and maybe actually, in a lot of cases, too intense. I mean for example, it’s funny, they say do body weight exercises, but there’s a lot of people who can’t do body weight exercises. There are
people out there who can’t even do one single pushup, there are people out there who can’t do one single chin up. You have to sometimes use these machines to be able to start at a lower
intensity or lower weight, that is still intense for somebody else. So again, they’re talking about the tools, it’s irrelevant; body weight, machines, milk jugs, it’s all irrelevant. It’s about intensity, not the tools you use, that’s a whole other discussion, what are the best tools. Well we can talk about what are the best tools and why we go through such great lengths to redesign our
equipment, but they’re still just tools. Like my father once told me, a good craftsman never blames his tools. So if I had to be stuck on a desert island, which is sometimes very appealing actually, it’s a good life. If I was stuck on a desert island and I didn’t have all my fancy
[Inaudible: 00:36:56] retrofitted equipment here, I’d still know what to do, I’d still know how to give myself an intense workout, and I don’t need all this stuff to be really, really strong. I can do a set of chin-ups on the tree, and I can do a wall squat against that tree, and do that for the rest of my life and stay extremely strong. So that’s one of these confusing elements that the media and naive or misinformed trainers often project. They don’t realize that — like aerobic in general, the word aerobic. If you’re doing something on a treadmill, that’s aerobic. If you’re working out
really intensely on a treadmill, if you’re pushing yourself, if you’re doing intervals on a
treadmill, for example, and pushing yourself to exhaustion. Doing sprints, maybe you’re running a quarter mile on a treadmill as fast as you can, maybe you’re running a mile as fast as you can on a treadmill, so the whole thing, if you’re running a mile in eight minutes or seven minutes, that’s a really intense mile, a seven minute or six minute mile, depending on the person. If you were to do something really intense for a minute or two minutes on a leg press, or do a whole workout that’s really intense like that in the gym with machines, the body doesn’t know the
difference. The body responds to intensity, so the tools you’re using to get to this intensity doesn’t matter, that’s what I’m saying. The distinction should be between is the activity intense, or is it moderate? You should have one or two intense workouts a week, and you should have the rest of your workouts, the rest of your 150 required minutes, to be moderate. So the real question going forward, when you finish an article like this, to me, the real question is this, and this is where I think science needs to go, and these are the questions that I think science needs to be asking. That is, what is the proper balance between moderate work and intense work, and what unique benefits do each bring, because maybe there are unique benefits that moderate exercise gives to us. Not because it’s a treadmill, but because it’s just not intense, so there may be benefits that walking and gardening give you that high intensity strength training doesn’t, and vice versa. High intensity strength training we know bring out benefits that steady state, moderate exercise, can’t. So the question is, do we need both? Does high intensity exercise satisfy all of it, or do we still need to do some moderate exercise on the side? Or, and if we do, how much of it, and what are the different benefits of each? These are the things that need to be explored, and they should be talked about that way. Not aerobic versus anaerobic, because that’s a false assertion, there’s no such thing as anaerobic versus aerobic exercise. I want us to change from that verbiage and talk about how much intense exercise do we need, and how much moderate exercise do we need, and go from there. So all in all, the takeaway from this article is first of all, very positive and supports what my impression was eighteen years ago when I started in this business, and it just fuels my enthusiasm to go in this direction. The overarching message of this article says guess what, you can actually spend much less time doing it more intensely and get pretty much the same results. That doesn’t have to be an excuse anymore, that takes away a huge obstacle for people; that you could get a lot of exercise and a lot of bang for your buck just from working out 20 minutes, 40 minutes a week of intense work. We all think that we need to do this steady state cardio type
exercise to burn calories and strengthen our heart, and one of the big obstacles to doing that is that people don’t have all that time to do that. Really what this new science is showing us is that we can get those benefits without spending all that time, you just have to increase the intensity. So if you increase the intensity, your body will burn more calories, you will raise your metabolism, you will get strong, and you will build endurance, and it doesn’t require 150, 200, 300, 400 minutes a week. It can just take about 20 minutes a week and that’s it, no more excuses.
Tim: Hey why don’t you give the workout a try for yourself, just like I did just about a year ago? Visit informfitness.com for a list of locations across the U.S. If you don’t happen to live near one of the locations, jump on over to Amazon and pick up Adam’s book, Power of Ten: The Once a Week, Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. Inside you’ll find some easy to follow instructions to perform this workout at just about any gym or even at home, and back here in the podcast, Adam, Mike, and Sheila can answer a question or respond to a comment that you might have
regarding the power of ten. Just shoot us an email or record a voice memo on your phone and send it to email@example.com. You can also give us a call at 888-983-5020, extension 3, to leave your comment or question. You might even have a suggestion on some topics we should cover here on the show, or might have a guest in mind you’d like for us to interview. All
feedback is welcomed. Thanks again for joining us here at the InForm Fitness Podcast. For Adam, Mike, and Sheila, I’m Tim Edwards with the InBound Podcasting Network.