Research findings that validate the protocols used at The Exercise Coach®

The Exercise Coach approach is based on more than 16 years of practical hands-on experience and a combination of the most up to date research and cutting edge technologies. Our protocols are literally the pinnacle application of current exercise science.


This document is intended to briefly summarize some of the key scientific support for the results we promise our clients and the methods we use to achieve them.  These methods emphasize the primacy of muscle to overall fitness and focus on muscular conditioning through supervised, bio-feedback guided, strength and interval training.


Superior Health & Fitness Benefits of Brief, Challenging, Muscular Exertion

Cardiovascular and Bio-energetic fitness

Tabata, I. et al (1996). Effects of moderate-intensity endurance and high-intensity intermittent training on aerobic capacity and VO2max. Medicine & Science in Sports & Medicine, 28(10):1327-30.

Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, 1996 – This study showed that moderate-intensity aerobic training that improves the maximal aerobic power does not change anaerobic capacity and that adequate high-intensity intermittent training improves both anaerobic and aerobic energy supplying systems significantly, probably through imposing intensive stimuli on both systems.

Delagardelle, C. et al. (2002). Strength/endurance training versus endurance training in congestive heart failure. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(12):1868-1872.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2002 – In this study VO2 peak did not improve at all with conventional “aerobic” workouts, and this traditional training modality actually caused ventricular function to get weaker by three different objective criteria. Another group performed half as much “cardio” and added strength training. The strength training group increased peak VO2 and improved left ventricular function.

Meyer, K. et al (1990). Interval versus continuous exercise training after coronary bypass surgery: A comparison of training-induced acute reactions with respect to the effectiveness of the exercise methods. Clinical Cardiology, 13(12):851-61.

Clinical Cardiology, 1990 – This study was titled, “Internal vs. continuous exercise training after coronary bypass surgery: A comparison of training-induced acute reactions with respect to the effectiveness of the exercise methods.” The results demonstrated interval training, which taxed both aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, was shown to increase physical performance and cardiac function far better than continuous aerobic exercise.

Burgomaster, K.A. et al (2005). Six sessions of sprint interval training increases muscle oxidative potential and cycle endurance capacity in humans. Journal of Applied Physiology,  98(6): 1985-1990.

J Appl Physiol., 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.

Steiner, J.L. et al (2011). Exercise training increases mitochondrial biogenesis in the brain.Journal of Applied Physiology, 111(4):1066-71.

Journal of Applied Physiology, 2011 - An acute bout of high-intensity interval training (2 minutes of total work per session) increases the nuclear abundance of PGC-1α and activates mitochondrial biogenesis in human skeletal muscle.

MacDougall, J.D. (1998). Muscle performance and enzymatic adaptations to sprint interval training. Journal of Applied Physiology, 84(6):2138-2142.

J Appl Physiol, 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.

Anabolic & Lipolytic Endocrine Effect

Stoke, K.A. et al (2002). The time course of the human growth hormone response to a 6 s and a 30 s cycle ergometer sprint. Journal of Sports Sciences, 20(6):487-494.

Journal of Sports Science, 2002 – Nine males completed two trials, on one occasion performing a single 6 s sprint and on another a single 30 s sprint. They then rested on a couch for 4 h while blood samples were obtained. Three of the participants completed a further control trial involving no exercise. Metabolic responses were greater after the 30 s sprint than after the 6 s sprint. The highest measured mean serum hGH concentrations after the 30 s sprint were more than 450% greater than after the 6 s sprint. Serum hGH also remained elevated for 90-120 min after the 30 s sprint compared with approximately 60 min after the 6 s sprint.

Glucose Control & Reduced Systemic Inflammation

Balducci, S. et al (2010). Anti-inflammatory effect of exercise training in subjects with type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome is dependent on exercise modalities and independent of weight loss. Nutrition, Metabolism & Cardiovascular Diseases, 20(8):6-8-617.

Nutrition, Metabolism, & Disease, 2010 – The Anti-inflammatory effects of exercise training in subjects with type-2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome are intensity dependent and independent of weight loss.

DiPietro, L. et al. (2005). Exercise and improved insulin sensitivity in older women: evidence of the enduring benefits of higher intensity training. Journal of Applied Physiology, 100(1):142-9.

Journal of Applied Physiology, 2005 – “Our findings suggest that long-term higher intensity exercise training providesmore enduring benefits to insulin action compared with moderate-or low-intensity exercise, likely due to greater transient effects.”

Brooks, N. et al (2007). Strength training improves muscle quality and insulin sensitivity in Hispanic older adults with type 2 diabetes. International Journal of Medical Sciences, 4(1):19-27.

International Journal of Medical Sciences, 2007 – Strength training improved muscle quality and whole-body insulin sensitivity.  Decreased inflammation and improved adiponectin levels were related with improved metabolic control.

Babraj, J.A. (2009). Extremely short duration high intensity interval training substantially improves insulin action in young healthy males. BMC Endocrine Disorders, 9(3).

BMC Endocrine Disorders, 2009 – Extremely short duration high-intensity training substantially improves insulin action in young sedentary males.

Cardiovascular Safety of Brief, Challenging, muscular exertion

Fiatarone, M.A. et al (1990). High-intensity strength training in nonagenarians. Journal of the American Medical Association, 263(22).

Journal of the American Medical Association, 1990 – “Our observations regarding the safety of strength training, even among the frail elderly with underlying cardiovascular disease, should be emphasized because the known hazards of immobility and falls seems to outweigh the potential risk of muscle strengthening interventions in this population”

Meyer, K. et al (1999). Hemodynamic responses during leg press exercise in patients in chronic congestive heart failure. The American Journal of Cardiology, 83(11):1537-1543.

American Journal of Cardiology, 1999 – Researchers used right heart catheterization to measure hemodynamic changes during high intensity leg press exercise in patients with stable congestive heart failure. The measurements taken noted significant increase in heart rate, mean arterial blood pressure, diastolic pulmonary artery pressure and cardiac index. Furthermore, there was a significant decrease in peripheral vascular resistance, an increased cardiac work index and left ventricular stroke work index, suggesting enhanced left ventricular function.”

DeGroot, D.W. et al (1998). Circuit weight training in cardiac patients: determining optimal workloads for safety and energy expenditure. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 18(2):145-152.

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 1998 – “This study examined circuit weight training at varying levels of intensity in patients with CAD. Researchers actually noted a lower rate-pressure product when compared to treadmill walking and no subject displayed any ST-segment depression or angina during circuit weight training.”

Daub, W.D. et al (1996). Strength training early after myocardial infarction. Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 16(2):100-8.

Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, 1996 – This article looked at resistance training as early as 6 weeks post MI and compared it to more traditional aerobic-based rehab protocols. Amazingly, they noted, “30 of 42 subjects had one or more cardiovascular complications (arrhythmia, angina, ischemia, hypertension, hypotension) during the aerobic exercises as compared to only 1 subject with complications during resistive exercises.” It appears that we need not worry too much about the blood pressure response from resistance training.

Kelley, G.A. & Kelley, K.S. (2000). Progressive resistance exercise and resting blood pressure: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Hypertension, 35(3):838-43.

A meta-analysis from the March 2000 issue of Hypertension concluded that “progressive resistance exercise is efficacious for reducing resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults.”

Harris, K.A. & Holly, R.G. (1987). Physiological response to circuit weight training in borderline hypertensive subjects. Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, 19(3):246-252.

Another article in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise (1987) confirms that resistance training does not exacerbate exercise blood pressure.

Meyer, K. et al. (2003). Eccentric exercise in coronary patients: Central hemodynamic and metabolic responses. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 35(7):1076-1082.

Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise, 2003 – Researchers investigated the uncoupling of skeletal muscle load and cardiovascular demands during eccentric muscle actions. They concluded that for low-risk patients with coronary heart disease without angina, inducible ischemia, or left ventricular dysfunction, eccentric training can be recommended as a safe new approach to perform high-load muscular exercise training with minimal cardiovascular stress.

Improved Strength, Bone, Density, & Balance

Nelson, M.E. et al (1994). Effects of high-intensity training on multiple risk factors for osteoporotic fractures: A randomized controlled trial. The Journal of the American Medical Association, 272(24).

Journal of The American Medical Association, 1994 – “High-Intensity strength training had a positive effect on bone mineral density, strength, muscle mass, dynamic balance, and activity level. Thus, a single intervention is capable of positively modifying multiple risk factors for fracture in women.”

Journal of The American Medical Association, 1994 – “High-Intensity strength training is an effective and feasible means to preserve bone density while improving muscle mass, strength, and balance in post-menopausal women.”

Pollock, M.L. et al. (1992). Effects of isolated extension resistance training on bone mineral density of the elderly. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 24(5):S66.

Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1992 - “Six months of resistance exercise, that isolates and strengthens the muscles of the lower back (MedX Lumbar), increased the bone mineral density of the lumbar spine by 14% in 50 elderly subjects, but treadmill walking or stair climbing had no effect on bone mineral density.”

Sinaki, M. et al (1986). Relationship between bone mineral density of spine and strength of back extensors in healthy postmenopausal women. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 61(2):116-22.

Mayo Clinic Proc., 1986 – “There is a significant positive correlation between back strength and the bone mineral density of the lumbar spine in post-menopausal women.”

Kerr, D. et al. (1996). Exercise effects on bone mass in postmenopausal women are site-specific and load-dependent. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 11(2):218-225.

Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, 1996– Exercise effects on bone mass in post-menopausal women are site-specific and load-dependent. Only resistance training involving heavier loads will increase bone mineral density.

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