The Truth About Exercise
I was recently directed toward an episode of the BBC show “Horizon” that was investigating the effects of exercise and specifically how much we really need; a subject very close to my heart; as you should all know by now I am proponent of brief, intense and infrequent training and scoff at the traditional ideas that we must exercise for hours a week to benefit.
When my brother suggested I watch the show my first instinct was to never watch it due to my belief that it would be another rejokulous and blinkered view on exercise, which I have witnessed more than enough of. I was wrong.
The show, albeit a little late the party, has helped shine the spotlight on a method of exercise that can provide amazing health benefits in a fraction of the time many still believe to be needed.
Government exercise guidelines suggest we must exercise for hours per week. Tradition says we must. The media also. They are wrong in that it is a must…
Sure it can work to a small degree but the long, slow and low intensity exercise that plagues the nation offers only part of the health benefits of exercise.
The take home points from the show are as follows;[red_tick_list width=”100%”]
- Eat less, move more for long term weight loss
- Train harder for health benefits, not necessarily longer
- Some will respond better to exercise than others
The presenter performed 4 weeks of intense exercise;
Three sessions per week of under two minutes each. Totalling twelve minutes of actual exercise for the month.
He improved is insulin sensitivity significantly and his aerobic endurance too, although not his VO2 max.
Health benefits from 12 minutes per month…can you afford not to?
Other long term benefits of more intense workouts will be increases in lean tissue which help keep our metabolisms from fading with age. Traditional cardio work performed for hours per week cannot offer this benefit.
More benefits, in less time. I have been sold for years on the merits of higher intensity and lower volume workouts. You will be too.
One issue I have with the show was that they talked about people not having the genetics to do well with exercise` due to their genetics. This totally contradicts other areas of the show that demonstrated how exercise has the ability to alter gene expression. That is my only gripe.
As always, my message to you is;
Work harder and not longer. Recover, Progress. Repeat.
Exercise is only effective as a stimulus if you continue to improve. Treading water with the same old thing will do little other than kill time and brain cells.
Your Personal Trainer,
Richard “Peg Leg” Ham Williams