RR 3, Box 384
Mifflintown, PA 17059
THE NUTRI-SPEC LETTER
Volume 16, Number 6
Guy R. Schenker, D.C.
FROM ATHLETIC COACHES TO
PERSONAL TRAINERS TO GYM RATS
TO EXERCISE EQUIPMENT DISTRIBUTORS
YOU GET NOTHING BUT ...
propaganda and mythology.
You are now likely the only person your patients know who can give the truth
about how to get maximum gains from working out with minimum time and energy
invested, and most importantly, with minimum catabolic damage.
But in case there are some lingering doubts --- in case you think there must be
some truth in the exercise propaganda that has brainwashed you for as many as 40
years, read on. You are about to see some studies that will have you shaking
your head in disgusted amazement of the absurdity of the common wisdom on
First, let us consider three studies that looked at the effects of exercise on
the heart and vasculature in regard to either preventing or rehabilitating
Strength/endurance training vs. endurance training in congestive
heart failure. Delagardelle, et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. Dec, 2002.
This study showed that low intensity, long duration endurance
training (40 minute workouts, three times per week) gave only small
benefits in work capacity, peak torque, and muscular endurance.
However, VO2 peak did not improve at all with conventional “aerobic”
“cardio” workouts, and endurance training (gasp!) actually caused
ventricular function to get weaker by three different objective criteria.
Oh my! Don’t let the word get out to the millions of people spending
zillions on health club memberships so that they can tread on the
mill to oblivion. The health club fraud would be over in a day.
Meanwhile, the second part of this experiment took an identical
population of exercisers and cut the endurance training in half, while
adding strength training for the other half of the workouts. The
results? Cutting the endurance training in half and substituting
strength training resulted in an increased VO2 peak. These
workouts also strengthened left ventricular function by all criteria,
and gave greater improvement than the low intensity long duration
exercises in work capacity, muscle strength, and muscle endurance.
Think about it!
STRENGTH TRAINING STRENGTHENED THE HEART
WHILE “CARDIO” TRAINING
WEAKENED THE HEART!!
If that revelation doesn’t shake the foundation of establishment exercise
mythology, nothing will!
High intensity aerobic interval exercise is superior to moderate
intensity exercise for increasing aerobic capacity in patients with
coronary artery disease. Rugnmo, et al. Eur J Cardiovasc Prev
Rehabil. June, 2004.
This study showed that high intensity training (though not interval
training as we define it) at 80-90% VO2 peak is nearly 2½ times as
effective in improving cardiovascular function as medium intensity
training at 50-60% of VO2 peak.
This study did not look at what we call sprint interval training
(Grizzly Bear intervals for conditioning or athletic purposes). The
use of the word “interval” in the title of this study is within the
context of the research meaning of the word, not as it relates to
athletic training. In any case, this study showed that an increase
in the intensity of workouts from 50-60% of VO2 peak to 80-90% of
VO2 peak improved objective measures of cardiovascular function by
Can you see why we must urge our patients to avoid wasting all their
time and energy on plodding? Nothing more than a reasonably small increase in
intensity will give ...
MORE THAN DOUBLE THE BENEFITS PER UNIT
OF TIME AND ENERGY DEVOTED TO EXERCISE.
Grizzly Bear Intervals are the ultimate!
Interval vs. continuous exercise training after coronary bypass
surgery: A comparison of training-induced acute reactions with
respect to the effectiveness of the exercise methods. Meyer, et al.
Clin Cardiol. Dec, 1990.
In this study interval training, which involved both aerobic and
anaerobic capacity, was shown to increase physical performance and
cardiac function far better than continuous aerobic exercise.
Do you get it? These three studies showed that “cardio” “aerobic” training
yielded very little benefit, and was certainly grossly inferior to interval
training or even strength training as a means to improve myocardial function.
Here is another study showing the benefits of sprint interval training on the
cardiovascular system of normal, healthy individuals (rather than those with CVD)
looking for the fitness benefits of exercise.
Blood volume expansion and cardio respiratory function: Effects of
training modality. Warburton, et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. June,
This study showed that interval training is at least as effective as
continuous training as measured by:
- increased VO2 max
- increased left ventricular strength
- increased blood volume
Let us shift our attention now from merely maintaining the health of the
cardiovascular system to striving for optimal performance. Here are some studies
that look specifically at the advantage to those in serious recreational
training or even competitive athletic training from doing interval training
rather than long slow distance.
Training-over-training: Influence of a defined increase in training
volume vs. training intensity on performance, catecholamines, and
some metabolic parameters in experienced middle-and long-distance
In this study trained runners were divided into two groups. One
group increased the running volume of its workouts and the other
increased the intensity with sprint interval workouts. What were the
results? On follow-up testing the group that increased the volume of
its workouts, showed a decrease in speed, a decrease in endurance, a
decrease in heart rate, decreased energy metabolism efficiency, and
increased plasma catecholamine stress hormones.
So much for all the coaches that are exhorting their athletes to give
themselves an increased competitive advantage by increasing
workout volume. Think of it: in well-trained athletes,
INCREASING THE VOLUME OF WORKOUTSby every cardiovascular, pulmonary, and biochemical measure.
Meanwhile, the group that decreased the volume of its workouts but
increased the intensity by using sprint interval training increased
performance tremendously, even though these were already well
trained runners who were presumably near their competitive peak.
They increased their speed, they increased their endurance, their
heart rate and energy metabolism were not adversely affected as were
those who increased the volume of the workouts, and the catecholamine stress hormone level was actually
decreased in these
CAUSED A DECREASE IN PERFORMANCE
athletes as their performance increased.
Imagine if competitive runners, swimmers and cyclists trained
according to scientific principles rather than the hand-me-down
mythology administered by their coaches.
Now, here is a study that looked at sprint interval training on untrained men
rather than competitive athletes:
6. Muscle performance and enzymatic adaptations to sprint interval
training. MacDougall et al. J Appl Physiol. June, 1998
This study evaluated the effects of sprint interval training on healthy
untrained men over a period of seven weeks. Training consisted of
30 second maximum efforts interspersed by 2-4 minutes of recovery,
performed three times weekly. The training program resulted in
dramatic increases in peak power output, in total work over 30
seconds, in VO2 max, and in maximal enzyme activity of hexokinase,
phosphofructokinase, citrate synthase, succinate dehydrogenase,
and malate dehydrogenase. In summary, intense sprint interval
training resulted in an increase in both glycolytic and oxidative
enzyme activity, maximum short-term power output, and VO2 max. No low intensity, long duration exercise regimen can begin to match
Grizzly Bear Intervals.
Surprising studies? Are you shocked to learn that “aerobic” “cardio” long
duration exercise is not only bad for your health, it is not even the best way
to build cardiovascular endurance? Yes, it is true, endurance training is not
even the most effective way to train for long-distance athletic competition. Is
it preposterous to conclude that distance runners, cyclists, and swimmers are
better off not training at long distances? Read this one final study.
7. Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative
potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans. Burgomaster, et
al. J Appl Physiol. Feb, 2005
In this study recreationally active subjects were put through only six
sprint interval training sessions over a period of 2 weeks. There were
one to two days of rest between sessions. Each session consisted of
4-7 all out 30 second sprints with 4 minute recovery between. The
results were amazing. Citrate Synthase activity increased by 38%;
resting muscle glycogen content increased by 26%; and, most
strikingly, cycle endurance capacity increased by 100% in just 2
weeks of training.
Think about that. No “aerobic” exercise regimen has even come close
to duplicating this phenomenal success. With only 15 minutes of
actual exercise time over a period of 2 weeks, muscle oxidative
potential increased dramatically and
ENDURANCE CAPACITY WAS ACTUALLY DOUBLED.
Now, think about this; the “recreationally active” subjects of this
experiment were perfectly analogous to the dozens of patients
you have, who are working out to stay in shape. Yes, your patients
could be following your advice to exercise according to scientific
principles rather than propaganda and mythology. Your patients
could be doubling their aerobic capacity with just 15 minutes of high
intensity output over the next two weeks. One to three Grizzly Bear
Interval workouts per week plus one to three Grunt and Growl
Strength Training workouts per week (three to five weekly workouts),
is the one and only guaranteed way for your patients to look and feel
their best for a long, healthy life.
Guy Schenker, D.C.