The Exercise Coach® we are maniacal about our mission to be the perfect fit for people that standard workouts don’t work for. Standard workouts and the associated guidelines are responsible for keeping 85% of people frustrated on the sidelines. Even for those individuals who commit themselves to the rigors recommended by exercise enthusiasts, there is no guarantee it will get them the outcome they want. Professor James Timmons makes the point that no long term study has demonstrated that an inactive individual will become healthier by simply making them more active. He goes on to make the point that studies focused on specific wellness outcomes have demonstrated the production of similar or superior results when brief, whole-effort exercise (my term for exercise that is of a high enough quality to render targeted musculature sufficiently stimulated within 10-180 seconds of work) is deployed rather than standard exercise activities. This is why we say that muscle quality matters more than movement quantity. Research supports what I have known and taught for 16 years – time and distance are irrelevant exercise metrics. Our core belief is that the production of enhanced muscle tissue and the process that brings about this adaptation is really the key to driving positive fitness and wellness outcomes.
For today let me share just a couple findings that support this belief. If you are interested in weight loss results and long term wellness these will be of interest to you.
1. A study done by the Department of Translational Biomedicine at the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh involved just 15 minutes of whole-effort exercise over a period of two weeks. The conclusion of the researchers:
“The efficacy of a high intensity exercise protocol, involving only ~250 kcal of work each week, to substantially improve insulin action in young sedentary subjects is remarkable. This novel time-efficient training paradigm can be used as a strategy to reduce metabolic risk factors in young and middle aged sedentary populations who otherwise would not adhere to time consuming traditional aerobic exercise regimes.”
This is a big deal. These were young healthy individuals. Insulin Sensitivity is central to the maintenance of healthy body fat levels. The impact of exercise focused on improving muscle quality is even more profound for more mature out of shape individuals.
2. Researchers from Tufts University performed a strength training study that found improved muscle quality leads to not only decreased insulin resistance but also decreased systemic inflammation. Inflammation has been dubbed “the secret killer” and is seen by many in the medical community as the root cause of heart disease, stroke, and other ailments. Now we have evidence that muscle quality is not only important for weight control but can also help mitigate arguably the most significant threat to your overall health.
There are many more benefits associated with improved muscle quality. These include an increase in metabolism, bone health, and overall energy and mood to name a few.
Muscle quality matters so much more than movement quantity that the time barrier to exercise can be completely eliminated with cutting edge methods. Our personal training clients experience optimal results with just two, 20-minute workouts per week. In addition to breaking down the time barrier, minimum fitness level requirements are lower with an approach that emphasizes effort over activity. In fact, there is really not much of a requirement. We have helped men and women up into their 90’s and severely deconditioned individuals as well. Our average client in nearly 60 years of age. I share this to encourage you. You are not disqualified. Don’t let the guidelines ,which focus on minute of activity and miles of movement, keep you on the sidelines. Find a professional that is committed to safe, brief, whole-effort exercise. If you are in Chicago, Scottsdale, Dallas, or Charlotte visit one of our state of the art personal training centers.