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In the newest 180 book, Diet Recovery (which you can now order a printed copy of until I run out of them – click HERE for more information), I coin the cheesy name “MAXercise” to describe the basic concept (with a few tweaks) of what Phil Campbell, founder of the Peak 8 or “Sprint 8″ exercise system, discusses in the following interview with Joey “Mad Dog” Mercola.  The Lady Krill-a!

This interview came out recently and I found it to be pretty good.  Plus it’s just hilarious for a nerd like me to watch Mercola butcher things like “Tabata” exercises, calling them “Tinata.”  I wonder if he’s also heard of the Mexican interval training known as Pinata?  And Mr. Campbell?  Well, his voice is just so damn money.  He even mentions the motherland in the video (Nashville).

I must admit, I really like the concept here.  I was first introduced to it through Scott Abel, who specifically likes to train muscles in an oxygen-deprived state.  In this oxygen-deprived state, the heart is pounding and the body releases more growth hormone.  As Campbell mentions in the video, he suspects that there is a synergistic effect when you do standard strength-training for muscle development and what not, but do so in a growth hormone-rich environment.  Campbell’s Sprint 8 has supposedly shown an average increase of 771% in the growth hormone department.  I have taken this message to heart and am trying it on myself a few times per week.

I have certainly noticed a dramatic difference in the past when it comes to doing muscular work while sucking desperately for air vs. your average, casual weightlifting routine.  I can only attribute this to growth hormone, a hormone that has a huge impact on fuel partitioning – determining whether food energy ends up fueling muscle growth/hypertrophy, shuttled into fat tissue, or otherwise.

Anyway, if you are looking for a brutal but short, efficient, and generally metabolically-favorable workout, try a session of MAXercise (very similar to Campbell’s program, but relying on your own biofeedback, not a clock, to determine the total duration of your exertion period and your recovery period – preferably on an Elliptical machine or Versaclimber because they incorporate more muscle groups and are therefore the most effective), followed by some basic weightlifting moves.

Today for example I did 5 rounds of maximum intensity sprints to failure on some weird machine I had never used before, but similar to an Elliptical (heart rate reached over 190 BPM by round #5).  Afterwards I did a little superset of basic chest press (machine) and bicep curls, 5 rounds with several minutes in between each set, until I was about to pass out or vomit or both.  It sounds easy, doing 10 chest presses and 15 bicep curls with moderate weight.  But do 5 rounds of sprints to your maximum heart rate before it and you’ll see what I mean.

If you are not looking for a hard workout, take a nice nap.  The above interview, with the soft sounds of Phil Campbell, will help to put you to sleep.  I did tell a woman doing Crossfit with obvious signs of low metabolism (anemia, low B-12, yada yada) that she should look into Crossnaps.  And eat lots of pastries and ice cream. Yeah, I’m funny like that.  Although I don’t think she saw the humor in it at all!


  1. Remember how Mercola was at WT, specifically his wacky all over the place slides? I did spot him in the gym at the hotel, so he is not lying and he is thin as a whippet too.
    BTW watch out for messing with CrossFit chicks, they can kick your ass.
    A lone Woof. love it
    haggggggggggggggggggggggggga licious

    • Mercola’s physique improvements over the past 2 years have been impressive. Especially for a dude his age. A few years ago he was looking pretty swollen through the torso, with obvious signs of visceral fat accumulation. This really shows up on his body because his arms, legs, neck, face, etc. are so slender. At the conference his stomach was totally flat. Achieving a totally flat stomach from a swollen abdomen at that age is pretty rare. He attributes this to his change of exercise from weights and cardio to weights and High Intensity, High-speed interval training. I would attribute it all to that as well. Certainly not giving astaxanthin the credit for that!

  2. Will these books be autographed??

    • The books are not autographed. I don’t even have the books with me. I gave my 16-year old niece the opportunity to handle all the packaging and shipping, and she’s 700 miles away.

  3. Stoner,

    Like, wazzup wit doin yo muscle work and yo sprints in the same workout? How’s that different than doing em on the next day, dawg? Do it make a difference?


    • B-Rock, harder than Stone…

      Listen to Campbell at 1:06:00 as he talks about doing resistance exercise AFTER doing Sprint 8. I gathered from my Abel experience that the overall stress placed on the muscle determines the strength of the impetus for the muscle to grow. Therefore working the muscle in a fatigued and oxygen-deprived state is the most likely to trigger growth. Whereas looking at things strictly in terms of reps and weight and volume is a limited viewpoint. Doing regular bicep curls is not that difficult or strenuous for the muscle. But the difficulty and strain of the exercise is magnified if you fatigue your system beforehand. Campbell mentions specifically a study where those who trained biceps before doing a heavy leg routine had less bicep growth than those who did bicep training immediately AFTER doing a strenuous leg routine. That is kind of how Abel’s training is set up, only you are doing some form of oxygen-depleting work WITH your standard strength training exercises for the smaller muscles. I suspect that creating an oxygen debt beforehand is superior to during, as it takes 20 minutes or so of doing an Abel workout before it actually starts to become hard. Doing maximum exertion sprints beforehand makes every set of strength training very difficult.

      It’s also interesting that Abel says in his MET video that speed training will be the future of exercise. Campbell would agree with that enthusiastically I’m sure.

      Abel’s programs basically have Campbell’s Sprint 8 principles woven into them, but without having to step on a piece of cardio equipment. But for the average person, Campbell’s will be vastly superior because they are so simple and straightforward. The complexity of Abel’s programs are really daunting and intimidating to those who aren’t experienced exercisers.

      • I also like that fatiguing yourself first allows you to place an equal or greater amount of stress on your muscles during strength training with even less weight. The lower the weight, the safer the exercise. This is important to me, and in general, as injury is very common and also one of the greatest momentum destroyers for those seeking to pursue a long-term exercise program.

        Overall, the main idea is that you are training your muscles in a growth-hormone rich environment during the surge that follows maximum heart rate interval work. Conceptually I think it’s pretty sound. We will see how realistic I find it to be when done for weeks and months. The workouts are awfully tough to face I admit. Mercola mentions the same in the video in reference to just the Sprint 8, which is the easy part compared to lifting weights afterwards.

        • I think it’s what they call “active recovery”. You get breathless, heart pounding stuff done, then immediately do some nice heavy weights. Works for me. I think you could do it with body weight for you mov nat tree monkey types.
          haggggiest of all hags in the land

          • Haha. Yeah, there’s no recovery about it for me. The weightlifting part just puts me deeper and deeper into fatigue. I don’t recover for like a half hour after stopping the workout completely. It’s fun though, especially when you drive to the nearest Indian buffet afterwards and get down on 3 plates of food and a trough of rice pudding Chief-style.

        • You say injury destroys long term fitness plans, but also does the workouts being awfully tough to face not achieve the same thing?

          Lifting weights whilst huffing and puffing in a fatigued state is hardly going to be any safer than training sensibly, not fatigued, with decently heavy weight.

          Not even sprinters will train like this, it will destroy anyone especially if, “until I was about to pass out or vomit or both.”

          The simple reason Berkhan says to stick to basics, heavy weight, simple progression is that it works, and progression is easy to track. More weight on the bar than before = progression. There is no way to track progression with your system, it is just based on feel of the moment.

          Trying to find the magic bullet springs to mind. Just stick to simple, tried and tested methods. It is much easier.

      • That makes sense. Cool.

        Now that I think about it, this reminds me of a story I read in Men’s Health (yes, I read that once) about ten years ago now. There were three cover models, and naturally they were all pretty ripped, but one of them was not icily leaner and more jacked than the other two. Like 5% BF vs. 8%, with more muscle. Anyway, there was this short article where they asked the models to describe their workouts. The two “normally ripped” models describes how they did their sets and reps, with cardio twice a week. The normal shit. But the really ripped guy’s workout now make sense to me.

        He was like, “Yeah, I don’t go to a gym. You see, there’s this really long public staircase about a half mile from my house that’s about 400 steps down to a beach. I jog there to warm up. Then I sprint up the staircase as fast as I can. As soon as I reach the top I either do a few pushups, or a few pull ups on this gazebo they’ve got set up there. Then I walk down the staircase to catch my breath. As soon as I reach the bottom I sprint back up for more pushups or chins. I do this 4-6 times, then I jog home. Takes about a half hour.”

        The interviewer was like “Seriously? That’s it?” I guess he couldn’t process a workout that didn’t involve protein shakes and a lat pull down machine. Or maybe the advertisers out a kibosh into further inquiry. But now it makes sense.

        Thanks Stoner.

        • Stupid autocorrect. “Noticibily”, not “not icily”.

        • This is the principle that Scott Abel understands so well. And he knows that intensity is not something that refers to effort, but is a scientific concept.

          You can go and give 100% on a benchpress, similar to “high-intensity training” or HIT. And that can yield some benefits and some results. But overall this doesn’t generate much intensity compared to doing sprints up a flight of stairs immediately preceedeing muscular work. Taking it a step further, maximum intensity seems to be a result of doing several sets of maximum heart rate intervals more or less to failure and then trying to perform muscular work. Nothing is more difficult or intense.

          But even Abel may not be doing this the 100% best way possible if the principles discussed by Campbell is true. Abel likes to do a hard workout and then finish with “blasts” which are the equivalent of intervals. I wonder what would happen if you reversed that, and totally fatigued the athletes at the beginning of the workout and had them do their hypertrophy work in a totally fatigued state? I figured it was worth playing around with on my own time to see if I noticed any difference. I like the simplicity of it that’s for sure. You don’t have to be jumping around doing several different exercises as part of a circuit as you do with Abel’s training. Just a single set of curls can be as brutal as deadlifts or squats when you are at a certain level of fatigue going into it.

          Also, what your Men’s Health magazine wasn’t able to report, was that the guys who did the standard method of training with the cardio probably had to endure more hunger and dietary restriction to get that lean, and had a much higher degree of rebound weight gain not only after the shoot but long-term. Whereas the super-ripped guy doing that type of training was probably in a totally metabolically-healthy condition even at that level of leanness.

  4. lol, that’s funny with the cross naps and ice cream. I can only imagine how insane that must have sounded to that lady….lol….

    • Yeah, I was a little too up front in my response. The girl told me that she was retaining water severely also, and that she was eating 1,200 calories per day while doing Crossfit combined with other exercises totalling 5-6 days per week. Hooray, nothing like 6 days per week of high intensity exercise on 1,200 calories per day! She also mentioned being gluten free and asked me a question about bread. My full response to her was:

      You now eat bread. And cookies and ice cream and everything nice. And you don’t run or do crossfit anymore. You can take crossnaps.

      Your swelling is from low metabolism. In Ancel Keys’s study on starvation ALL 32 subjects developed low ferritin levels and severe water retention. They did this eating 1,600 calories per day with no exercise at all. They fixed this problem by eating lots of food. Pastries were their favorite.

      I’m not joking about any of this. I am dead serious. You need to gain weight and will gain weight and will continue to gain weight. When you do, you will become healthier and these problems will completely go away. The more you eat and the less you exercise, the faster you will recover.

      Following Diet Recovery, my latest book, will give you further guidance.

      • Just wondering. Is the RBTI out of the window now / doing a 180 back to RRARF? Does the RBTI figure at all in your new book?

        • I encourage people to phase into eating lighter in the evening in the new book. I also steer people away from pork, and make a mention about avoiding water if you urinate frequently, drinking more water if you don’t. So very general stuff there that still can be of service to some people even though it’s very simple.

          RBTI is not out of the window. There is something of great value there and it’s not going away any time soon. I hope to work on a book project specifically about the refractometer soon, with some interesting insights on what people consider to be “hypoglycemia.”

        • Remember Hans that there are many tool to improve one’s health. RBTI doesn’t negate the benefits people can get from RRARF. RRARF doesn’t negate the benefits people can get from RBTI. Exercise can improve your health in some circumstances. There are thousands of factors that determine our health and thousands of tools to approach them. Many tools are the right tool at first but then other tools are needed to do more precise craftwork. I talk about many different topics and bounce from idea to idea. But that doesn’t mean I”m turning on old conclusions or radically changing my beliefs every month. But I will always be exploring and processing insights and ideas both old and new.

          • That’s great to hear. I was just thinking it’s awesome you introduced us to the RBTI. Don’t think I would have ever found it otherwise. Even now, if I look at the info / websites that are online, I can’t imagine I would ever have given it a go.

            Sure I heartily agree that there are other tools out there. But, I’m wondering about RAARF. I’m greatful for what RAARF has done for me (mainly restoring my ability to consume carbs and taking away excessive fear of junk food.) But I thought you’d rethink it in light of your RBTI adventure. I’m thinking what RAARF does in RBTI terms is up the sugar, so people with low sugar readings will feel better if they do it. But there are other people out there with high sugar readings for instance, or high pH (like me, now I think that’s why I got bloating and indigestion with RARRF,) wouldn’t it be kinda dangerous for them?

          • There’s always a dilemma when distributing general information. General health information can not be given without violating the Hippocratic oath, which is a fantasy anyway. But it’s definitely been the key inspiration behind me doing one-on-one work with people now, which so far has been very productive and effective for those I’ve worked with, knock on wood.

            I think that a great deal of the problems people encounter on RRARF, namely weight gain, can probably be eliminated by following an RBTI meal schedule or maintaining a longer fasting period. But that should probably only be undertaken once body temps have been fully restored. Only then can people carry the glycogen reserves necessary to go long periods with little or no food.

  5. I think this is what Berkhan would call FUCKAROUNDITIS. ;p

    • Without a doubt.

        • Berkhan has a whole protocol of fasting and BCAAs preworkout

          Fasting will indeed increase growth hormone 2000% in men and 1200% in women look at how big his hands are too much GH and boom ‘acromegaly’ and ‘Prolonged GH excess thickens the bones of the jaw, fingers and toes. Resulting heaviness of the jaw and increased size of digits is referred to as acromegaly. [linked picture

          Berkhan/LyleMcdonald disagree on many things and the two actually disagreed so much they canned a book they were going to co-write and bradpilon info is not Berkhan’s source material but it’s actually just an ad if you hover over the link on martin’s blog (a referral ad, and he did a review) and berkhan has had his protocol since 2006 before pilon’s book was out… and martinberkhan also disagrees with pilon on how long fasts should be)

          Regarding ‘lifting heavy weights’ fckarounditis it’s against isolation movements “9. Is this you?

          • I have personally found the effects of Berkhan-style fasting to be very powerful, which would make sense in light of the growth hormone connection to prolonged periods without food. And it’s much easier and more realistic than what Pilon advocates, because it is consistent and routinized. Granted, some people don’t have the strength to go long periods without food without negative consequence, but this is something I believe people can work toward as they regain their health. Hopefully it will not have negative long-term consequences. I assume that because my diet is so unlimited that I will avoid the pitfalls experienced by those eating low-carb, low-fat, low-calorie, or otherwise. But who knows.

        • Don’t fall for the guru who isn’t muscular or lean who says “Don’t fall for “lifting heavy weights and getting stronger is the best way to make your muscles bigger” bullshit.” bullshit.

          • Youre trying too hard. Its not like Matt is trying to be a physique model, and its not his sole advice to ‘not lift heavy’. He is pointing in the direction of people who are muscular and lean from the Abel camp; he has reference to ‘not lifting heavy’.
            Always alternatives present and once again, youre trying too hard.

          • But what if it’s the world’s strongest person saying it? Or the world’s most muscular? I didn’t come up with the idea, I just relay information from the world’s best. And that is Scott Abel and Kevin Weiss. Not Martin Berkhan, or Pavel, Poliquin, Chek, or anyone else.

  6. “CrossNaps”…I love it.

    But not as much as a recent YT vid taken at a CF place in NY (i think). One would have to call it “CrossSnaps” by the utter strain upon the ligamentous and articular surfaces of the body these poor souls were encouraged to endure. I’m not going to post it cause it’s pathetic, but I’m sure you can use your imagination.

    But more on topic, I think, in addition to the major anaerobic stimulus involved here, there’s also a strong neural component involved – be it closely tied to the respiratory component or not. In other words, running all out for repeated short bursts “tells” your entire kinetic chain what’s possible in the fire of 02 deprivation/lactic acid accumulation.

  7. Mercola’s malapropisms always crack me up! I love your pinata suggestion!

  8. Greater to see you cranking them out again Matt. I love this exercise stuff and how it relates to the metabolism and everything. It’s some of the most fascinating research.

    I’ve noticed that it’s difficult for me to get my heart rate up their with sprints or any other thing I dream up (I currently don’t have a gym membership) since my muscles poop out way before my cardiovascular system. Any way around this?

    Also I’d been checking my temp more recently (oral, not axial) and was consistently reading low. Then I went out and bought one of those Vick’s thermometers with the big round color readout and I was within a few tenths of 98.6 for most of the day yesterday. Just a bad thermometer maybe?

    Could also be that I’m being far more intuitive with my just eating the food. I’ve been eating more what I feel like eating and not necessarily trying to pay too much attention to hunger. Being a bit more lax with RBTI. Seems to be working for the most part. I seem to feel better eating whatever I feel like than trying to over-think it.

    • The less I think about my diet the better I feel. I do really like the RBTI meal schedule and do think there is something to the primary “no-foods.” Other than that I’m thinking about my diet less than I have in years.

      As for getting your heart rate up with no gym equipment, you might try doing a more Scott Abel style approach – which is going full out on one exercise and then doing another exercise while the muscles you just wore out rest. Having muscles fail before the heart and lungs max out is very common, especially using stuff like a recumbant bike. This only works the leg muscles, which uses less blood and oxygen than any full body exercise.

      Try doing squat jumps until your muscles get too tired, and then immediately going into pushups or say, a crawling or stairclimber exercise till you can’t do any more. Then rest. Then repeat. By the 3rd or 4th round you should be getting close to your max heart rate. The best way to get there is always to use as many muscles in your body as possible in as short of time period as possible.

      • I still mainly follow the RBTI meal schedule. I find that I like it. Plus I felt worse just after Thanksgiving, so I’ve decided to not totally ditch RBTI. Might have been excessive chocolate. I’m not sure.

        I’ve done that jump squat followed by push-ups thing but then you’re already using muscles you want to train to reach your cardiovascular max. It will also get very tough to do that 3 times a week as you’ll find by the third time that the muscles aren’t very recovered. Same problem if you’re only doing sprints (or whatever) and not putting weight training in there. Maybe I just need to spend more time figuring out my own program.

  9. where is the rbti list of no foods?

    • In my RBTI Intro book or on the Facebook RBTI group. The primary ones to avoid are pork, chocolate, nuts, tea, shellfish, and several types of fish (tuna, marlin, mackerel, catfish, and several others).

  10. If only this seemed natural…

    So Matt, is your goal to gain lean mass, and that’s it? Is that why you bailed on RBTI before having your numbers in the A Range for a set amount of time? I’ve been on a strict (Manthei/Beddoe) RBTI regimen and have been in the “healing/restoration” range for weeks now. I still haven’t moved to the A Range as the healing range takes as long as the body needs it to. Since you bailed on it before watching the whole healing function come to fruition, I’m very confused as to what your ultimate goals are. 180-degree health seems like it should be so much more than exercise with the “least” you’ve thought about your diet in ages….

    • oh and Matt, that wasn’t meant rudely, I am very curious as to what you’re trying to do exactly.

    • Rick,
      I’ll at least give my perspective on this. The RBTI regimen, when practiced strictly, can be socially isolating. Meals provided by others often must be avoided either because they trip over some no-no food or because they are offered at the wrong time of day (in the evening). Similarly, there is little to no drinking or staying out late. Going out for lunch is still ok but most of us are working during that time and is not a likely time for food to be shared communally.

      These restrictions are a major drawback to RBTi and are antithema to Matt’s message on how to pursue real health. They are antithema to a lot of other theories on health as well, which commonly indicate we need a lot of social interaction. It may be true that RBTI has real healing potential, but unless you’re one of the few that has a condition that’s seriously interfering with your life, you will be unlikely to follow RBTI strictly for any extended amount of time.

      Another thing to understand about RBTI is that even partially following the program provides benefit. In my questioning of Pippa, she told me that not being in the A range doesn’t mean you’re not healing. It simply means you’re not healing as quickly, which to me implies a choice. At some point you need to find a balance between the benefits of RBTI and the need to live your life. It doesn’t mean you’re not still moving in a positive direction. It’s about not making the perfect the enemy of the good. At some point all of us need to be able to listen to our own feedback, integrate the totality of what we’ve learned, and determine our own best paths forward.

      And one more point on RBTI. There are aspects that go along with things we know about healthy cultures, but there are also things that contradict. Take the meal schedule for example. It supports the notion of three meals a day, yet we know that’s a fairly recent invention. So how is it that that is magically optimal for the human body? Many healthy cultures do not follow this pattern. So it is likely that although RBTI may be one way for finding health, it is likely not the only way and may not be the optimal way for every person.

      • Aaron, I know all about RBTI, I’m on the program, and I’m actually also taking classes as well. So I “understand about RBTI”, thanks for assuming I didn’t.

        That being said, I disagree completely. The restrictions are bullshit, Matt paid attention to Challen Waychoff’s abrasive/awful “rules” that are not what Reams envisioned when he created RBTI. Reams preached variety. Beddoe and Manthei didn’t push against eating nuts like Challen and Matt do. I’ve been on the program for over eight weeks and have not stopped eating nuts. Yet my numbers are in the healing range and have stayed there for three weeks now. The only “rules” to worry about are not eating certain meats, fish, coffee, tea, chocolate. I have no problems with any of that as I’m vegetarian. Pippa was wrong about the A Range too. The A Range doesn’t mean you’re healing quickly as you wrote above. The Healing Range is where you heal. It implies that you’re kicking out delta cells and regenerating dead and diseased tissue. The A Range is when you’ve stopped healing and you have perfect health where energy in equals energy out.

        I’ve been doing this long enough and living my life just fine to realize that it’s easily doable. The whole eating big meals at night thing is terrible practice anyway and should be abandoned by any health-conscious person. Anyone who respects your wishes won’t pressure you into eating big meals at night. The main problem most people have at my naturopath’s office with RBTI is the water and lemon water schedule. The rest is easy, especially if Challen’s ridiculous rules (that he doesn’t even follow himself, even according to Matt), are not heeded. It’s a shame someone as influential as Matt abandoned the program before seeing it come to fruition. His readers deserve better, and deserved a better explanation in the first place as well.

        • Hi Rick,
          I never assumed that you didn’t know anything about RBTI. My response is based on my perspective and those that I’ve spoken directly with who have tried it, including Matt. I’m not saying that I speak for Matt, but I am relating the general concensus of those who are trying it just to try it vs. those who are trying to overcome a serious health concern such as Chron’s.

          Your ease of following the program may be based partially on your social group. I do not have major trouble follwoing the program although I can feel somewhat awkward not eating what others are eating sometimes. People have other reasons for chosing social groups than meal schedule. For example, my Buddhist group shares dinner every Sunday night.

          I am also not convinced that is de facto unhealthy to eat a main meal in the evening. One of the main followers of 180D and previous heavy commenter Chief talked about how the elders in his group of native americans normally ate most of their food in the evening. I believe Martin Berkham also follows this principle. Perhaps most healthy cultures do not eat this way, but even one healhty culture that does eat this way disproves the point. So until I have more information on the work of people like Dan Buettner (for example), I am inclined to not fully believe against eating heavy in the evening.

          As far as Challen vs. other practitioners, that has been discussed a fair amount on this blog. Challen is widely observed as being the most restrictive. Matt went to study with him based on the recommendations of his followers and because Challen was getting results. It doesn’t mean others don’t also get results. When I emailed William of, he recommended Bedoe as well as Challen, so I didn’t perceive an anti-Challen bias from the RBTI community.

          As far as the healing range, I guess I’m a little confused on this. The numbers for A range and “done healing” are pretty similar, as far as I can tell, except that done healing has lower albumin and ureas. That your body is only truly healing when it is in the A range is not something I’d previously heard. But then I’m not as studied on RBTI as you are.

          The way you’re putting it, it sounds like a person would get no benefit from only partially following the program, but this is not Matt’s view, so this sounds like a point of contention. I’d be interested in other information.

        • “I know all about RBTI” Congrats, you know more than Reams did, at least according to what he said…

  11. Hi Matt,
    Got a question on what constitutes the “obvious” signs of low metabolism. I’d like to be able to recognize these in other people. About a year ago I briefly dated a girl who was very health obsessed. She did a lot of cardio (running, walking, or biking every day) on top of weights and a health obsessed diet (think soy-milk style diet here). One evening we went on a rather long hike and returned to her place to make dinner. It ended up being very vegetable heavy and rather low calorie. I had the faint impression it wasn’t really enough food. She got light-headed at one point during the evening.

    She’s part of a group of girls that encourages each other to do triatholons, kayak sessions, etc. I think groups like this exist for both guys and girls that push this heavy exercise mantra. This is like the slippery slope of eat less, exercise more that slowly spirals into low metabolism. I think it’s easy to get sucked into this because the mantra itself “eat less, exercise more” is not specific and contains no instruction on bio-feedback (making it in a sense open-loop).

    What makes far more sense is that we shouldn’t have to worry about how much we’re eating and we can stop any time it’s still pleasurable. As long as we’re feeding it the right ingredients and not wantonly ignoring hunger/satiety signals, the body should take care of the rest.

    • Obvious signs might be cold hands and feet. Constipation. Low sex drive. Menstrual problems. Having to eat frequently. Cold all the time. Thinning hair and eyebrows. High sleep requirement. Chronic fatigue. Of course there are others, but seeing just a few paints a pretty clear picture. For me personally the first thing to go is my transit time, sex drive, and sleep. And my mood gets pretty flat and erratic.

  12. Hey Matt I remember a while ago you mentioned that vigorous exercise raised your sugars pretty high and you weren’t sure if it was a good idea to do that regularly. Is this still happening? If so, have you noticed any consequences of it or change to that tendency? I’ve noticed that if I do anything more vigorous than walking my sugars go up above the range we’re all told they need to be… have you noticed in yourself or anyone else that this improves over time? Do you think it would be a terrible idea for me to try to gently increase the intensity of my excercise (which at this point is only gentle 1/2-1hr walks 3-5 times a week)?
    Also, how are you feeling generally doing such intense workouts regularly? Do you feel like you really truly fully recover and feel good, or do you feel like you might be wearing yourself down, however slowly?
    It seems lately the more I pay attention the more I notice people all around me (mostly women of course, we do so love to overexercise and starve ourselves…) are reaching their 30s and 40s and seriously starting to fall apart, both physically and mentally/emotionally. Including and starting with myself of course! And although I am mostly grateful for the information I have found on your blog, sometimes I wonder if embarking upon this RRARF then RBTI journey has sentenced me to a chubby lifetime of being terrified of overexerting myself whilst hiding myself away until I finally like what I see in the mirror… which may of course never happen – turns out 30 years of social conditioning doesn’t just blow away in the latest breeze :)
    I did listen to this thing the other day on youtube by this guy Tobias Lars, who while sounding like a new age nut bar actually made more sense to me than I’d care to admit, where he said “what you resist persists, and what you embrace you erase”. So i’ve decided to try to embrace my jiggly body, persistent eczema, and 6 month depression, yaye go me… I think I will start my embracing right now with a gin and tonic at midday :)

    • I think this is mostly due to dehydration. Drinking extra water can bring it back to the normal range. You have to realize that RBTI is a very narrow path and set regimen. The fluid component is meant for sedentarism. When you do vigorous exercise and then drink fluids in a way intended for sedentarism, you have a mismatch. So if you are going to be flexible with part of the program, the rest of the program needs to bend to meet your changed needs. Just try drinking more water. It also takes a while for the body to become conditioned and used to doing vigorous exercise. You SHOULD notice short-term negatives during adjustment. But if you are consistent with it your body should start to adjust. At that point you can reap the rewards without the drawbacks. 2 capsules of fukitol post-workout can help with recovery.

    • Hey Athnamas, just throwing out my 2 cents…

      I know it sounds cheesy but the whole power of the mind – mind/body connection thing really works if you take advantage of it.

      I had a little uh RRARF left-overs too. About 25 or so extra pounds worth. But I let my body be in charge of that. A strategy that’s always worked well for me in the past. And for other peeps I know too. I’ve just been good to my body and let it do its thing – while I do my things. That’s key. More about that in a minute. And so far the extra um RRARF has been coming off naturally, slowly, but surely. Which is what you want. Gradual fat loss (not weight loss) that your body decides to shed on its own.

      If you force it, the losses come from all the wrong places. If you even lose at all. Not to mention the inevitable re-gain. And you will give up if you try to force yourself to do exercise you hate. Then you’ll blame yourself. Don’t even set yourself up for that.

      I’m speaking mostly to/for women, as they are especially vulnerable to this, like you said – overexercising and starving themselves.

      For me, anytime I’ve exercised just for the sake of exercise, my breasts were always the first to go. I have little boobies anyway so not good. But when I was 98lbs (wasn’t on purpose – it was caused by major stress – but a valuable lesson for me in the power of the mind), for about 2 years, I had no boobs. And I hated it. But when I got back to my usual 115-120lbs, I did get my little boobies back. So yes I’m a little scared, I admit, of losing my boobs. I’ve become rather fond of them and don’t want them to go away again! :)

      But that’s another reason I’m careful not to try to force things. Or stress over it.

      Anyhow, things are coming along, well “off” nicely. I weighed 125 this morning. And if/when I leave this cold weather behind for a warmer climate this winter as I had planned, I will want to be much more active than my usual hibernating cold winters. So I have no doubt the rest will melt right off and I’ll get my pre-RRARF body back in no time. In warm weather, I would so rather be outdoors than inside most of the time. Exploring, swimming, volleyball, making up my own games lol, trying things I’ve never tried before, taking in nature, people-watching, whatever.

      My fascination (obsession? I like to call it a “passion” lol) with being outside hasn’t always been shared by others. It used to baffle me how some people would rather stay in and watch TV or whatever. But I know some people just prefer to be inside. Not me. If whatever I’m doing can be done outside, you’ll find me outside! Even if it’s just working on my laptop out on the deck.

      Sorry. I kinda digressed there a little bit. It happens! :) No really it had a higher purpose… inspiration. I paint colorful pictures for people because it helps in seeing their own possibilities. It gets them in touch with their own passions – even if they don’t know what they (all) are yet. It’s another passion of mine lol. BTW, it translates better in person than in my writing lol :)

      Anyway, I was also leading up to a point regarding exercise vs being active. You don’t need to exercise in the conventional sense – unless you enjoy it. Just find things that are active and fun to you and don’t *worry* about your extra RRARF. It will come off.

      My thing is enjoying the outdoors and being active outside. But if you don’t like outdoor activity, it can be dancing, for example. Take a dance class even. When you’ve mastered one dance, take another. And if you’re single you just might find the love of your life in dance class. At least you know you have dancing in common, right? :) If not single then you’ll make some friends who share your passion for dance. Friends make for great activity partners and motivation! :)

      Do several different things. Not all even need to be active – but definitely enjoyable to you – physically and/or mentally. Anything you find stimulating, fulfilling, or just fun. And all of it serves as a distraction from thinking and worrying about your weight as well. That’s a major factor.

      This has worked for everyone I’ve guided. Most weren’t even doing it for weight loss – just wanted to discover their passions. And they spontaneously lost their extra weight.

      • Speaking of new agey guru sayings, one of my favorites is “fill your garden with flowers or you will forever be pulling weeds.” If you don’t fill your life with what you want it to be filled with, you will be distracted and consumed by stuff that isn’t important to you. Filling your mind with something you are passionate about keeps your from focusing on petty and distracting things that bring you down. Easier said than done, but if you know what you like doing and have always been interested in something, exploring it with as much of your time as possible is a surefire way to improve your life – and improve your health without thinking about improving it or “working” on improving it one bit.

        • True. It’s easy when you really ‘know’ what you’re passionate about. But that’s the hard part for a lot of people – figuring out what that is. And understandably so. People don’t know what that is because they’ve been too busy chasing, and stressing over achieving, the “American Dream” – to even give a thought to their true dreams.

          Ah… the American Dream. Now THAT is a fantasy :)

          • yes i absolutely agree with both of you wholeheartedly and, ironically enough, have been known to rant on and on about forgetting about “exercise” and just doing what you enjoy, and following your passion in life for true happiness. Alas the truth is this is much more easily said than done as I have found out the hard way (the drive for money is such a seductive and insidious beast), as is letting go of intellectual control of your health and body, especially when you’ve just realised that everything you thought you knew has sent you to that place you never ever thought you’d be in again EVER… However I’m sure you’ll both be happy (or as happy as you can be for a complete stranger ranting on the internet) to know a couple of months ago I quit my job (which I didn’t hate, by the way, but didn’t love either) and enrolled in art school, which I am an excited but nervous wreck about. So I’m working on it. But man, sometimes it’s HARD to risk losing what mental and physical health you do have for the unknown. And even harder to stop caring about what other people think you should do and look like. How did I get to 32 and still be worrying about this crap??
            But anyway rant over… I’m happy to say I have now given up the search for The American (or in my case the New Zealand) Dream and am now mounting a search for what truly makes ME happy. So far I have painting, and singing along to the radio haha :)

          • I wouldn’t be too discouraged or freaked out, but your sudden shift will definitely make it more stressful than it needs to be. My segue into what I do now was working for $10 an hour selling supplements at a mall. During that time I studied my ass off, not because I thought I needed to or because I wanted to get rich or follow the American dream, but because I felt so compelled to. It was the most interesting thing my brain had ever had exposure to. And I identified this as my passion beforehand with the help of someone who knows a good formula for how to do that. Some strong indicators that health was my passion was: a) The type of books I bought b) The subject where my attention and memory retention was higher than any other subject c) What I thought about most often d) What I tended to steer conversations with others towards e) Where I spent my disposable income (higher priced organic food, supplements, gadgets like juicers, exercise equipment, expensive water, and so on)

            And several other indicators. So when I finally just started spending as much of my spare time as possible in that realm I really thrived and enjoyed it 10 times more than I thought I would, because my experience exploring other things always fizzled out quickly due to lack of interest.

            If I ever lose interest in health and nutrition, I will stop writing and reading about it, and read and write and do something else that does interest me.

          • dammit i spelt my own name wrong in that post…

          • Corena,
            It’s more complex and subtle than that. A lot of people aren’t necessarily “choosing” the American dream. It’s just that there’s not many other options open. American dream or not, people are supposed to follow their passions. That’s part of the point of college. So you get your degree in computers, or accounting, or chemistry, and then you become part of the same system. Getting a house and a car are practical decisions to have a place to live and a way to get around.

            Most people I know that went the college route and got an engineering degree are now in the same box. Kids, house, family, suburb. It’s only when you try to go against that grain you realize how much everything is set up against you. It also takes finding and associating with the right kind of people, but there’s no guarantee that will happen. I would say I was in a searching, dissatisfied state for quite a while after college, before I finally find my core social group. Even now it’s difficult for me to understand exactly how and what I want to change as I have no experience except my 40 hour a week job and it’s difficult to get any other experiences while you’re working 40 hours a week.

            Just my 2 cents.

  13. BTW, I had to run before I had a chance to clarify this. My comment to Athnamas earlier may have given the wrong impression of my RRARF experience – for all the ladies that might read this later. Gents too. Don’t mean to leave you guys out.

    I don’t regret RRARFing – even with the weight gain. In fact I highly recommended it anytime someone asks for my input on the subject – and I got positive feedback. Best thing I’ve done for my body besides, well, listening to my body and letting it be in charge like it’s suppose to be. While I focus on the other things that are important to me. And tend to my flower garden :)

  14. Aaron, thanks for your 2 cents. You always have great insights to share :)

    I’m totally with ya. I agree, of course it’s more complex than that for those who haven’t (yet) broken free from the prison they find themselves in after college and achieving the 40hr (let’s be honest, it works out to be more like 60-70hr) a week job. Marriage. House with white picket fence, two-car garage, and two mortgages. Kids (and their college tuition of course). Household bills, credit card debt, etc.

    I understand that people don’t really “choose” to chase the American Dream. They do because that’s what Americans are programmed from day one (however subtle) to believe is what we want – and ‘should’ do to be good members of society. Call it consumerism, capitalism, social order, whatever – I have a few other choice words for it but you get the point.

  15. AaronF wrote:
    “It’s just that there’s not many other options open. American dream or not, people are supposed to follow their passions. That’s part of the point of college. So you get your degree in computers, or accounting, or chemistry, and then you become part of the same system.”
    And this:
    “Even now it’s difficult for me to understand exactly how and what I want to change as I have no experience except my 40 hour a week job and it’s difficult to get any other experiences while you’re working 40 hours a week.”

    I’m going to share some of what I share with the teens and adults (young and older) in my classes/seminars, with my own son, and well anyone who asks me. Hope it’s helpful…

    There are many more options than most people realize. And sadly people don’t really follow their ‘true’ passions in college. They tend to follow what they are ‘subtly’ made to believe are their passions. Following in a parent’s footsteps, for example. Being a doctor, nurse, teacher, whatever to make their family and society proud. And so on. Most people go to college to get a degree in something that they hadn’t even yet spent a day doing in real life.

    Whenever I say that people usually respond with, “Yeah but I have to get a degree first before I can get a job doing it in real life.” I’ll cover that in a minute. But my point was, they don’t even really know if it’s what they love. It’s just an idea in their head (planted there?). The picture perfect idea of being a doctor, etc. Or perhaps it’s what all the men/women did for generations in the family. So keeping with family tradition.

    I’m not saying that those are bad things. If you truly enjoy and want to be a doctor, for example, that’s great. I’m just saying, don’t place more importance on family tradition or on family’s or society’s expectations than your true passions. Don’t just aspire to do what others expect of you or what makes others proud of you. Do what makes you feel good and proud of you. Do what makes you happy. Even if that IS being a doctor or following in your father’s footsteps. And all the better because it has even more “meaning” for you.

    Yes it’s true that it’s not easy to break free. I know. But it’s sooo possible. I know. People do it all the time – leave the American Dream behind for their own dreams. You don’t even have to do it all in one giant leap of faith. You can gradually take small steps toward them.

    Lots of people find a way to make an income, doing what they love, by starting out part-time and small from home. Another way to go is to volunteer part-time somewhere doing something you think you’d enjoy. You can even offer to work for free just about anywhere – all you gotta do is ask. You won’t get a “yes” every time, but you’d be surprised what you get if you just ask.

    Anyway, volunteering (or working for free) is a great way to find out if it’s something you want to pursue a degree in, if need be, and as a career. It’s also a great way to get experience to either start your own biz in the field or just land a job you love! Wherever you volunteered or somewhere else. In which case, a person can skip college altogether.

  16. Agreed that there are many more options than people often notice. I found the book ‘Drive’ really helpful and inspiring in finding what is inherently motivating to me. One of the guidelines I’ve been thinking on is: think about what energizes you, what you get caught up into the wee hours of the night thinking about, doing, participating in. Whatever that is, follow it- cultivate it as if that if your life’s purpose (maybe it is), nourish it like it’s a gift from god (or whatever you might believe in).

    Takes some trust too, but like Corena says, you can take baby steps and disentangle yourself little by little. And here’s a free PDF book on ‘Dropping Out,’ among other things. The author’s writing really loosened up my sense of what’s possible:

  17. BTW, I’ve personally used all of these strategies/ideas myself. I explored and pursued lots of things with them. Still do. And I’ve learned so much and discovered my ‘true’ passions along the way. Like Matt said, it’s the things that stick with ya. And the things that I did lose interest in were fun but just passing fancies.

    Anyway, just wanted to share another strategy/idea real quick…

    Start out offering your products or services (talents/skills) for free. That turns into free word-of-mouth advertising – the best kind of advertising! If you have a job, do it part-time, evenings, weekends, or whenever you’re not working at your job. Then let it grow from there. Before long people will be happy to pay for your products or services – aka your talents, skills, or just things you like to do that others don’t or can’t. They will pay you for it because they don’t like to do it, don’t have time to, don’t know how to, or otherwise have a desire or need for what you offer. And they’ll call YOU because someone they trust referred them – because you do quality work – because you love it!

    I’ve used this one myself too. I’ll share a real life example later when I have more time. It always seems to help people see that strategy as a ‘realistic’ possibility in applying it to their own ideas.

    • Here’s the real life example of the above strategy that I promised to share. Gonna post a link to it instead of posting the text here – cause I already feel like I totally hijacked this post – sorry! And I don’t wanna keep cluttering up the comments with more off-topic chitchat :)

      Anyway, here’s the link for anyone who’s interested.

      • That was awesome!!! I keep telling anyone and everyone (including the social media panel I spoke at during the WAPF conference) that you have to do what you do because you love it, and would continue to do it every day even if no one paid you to do it. That is such an awesome story. We should write a book together called “Do What You Love and F#$% the Rest”

        • Word, Corena. Super awesome.

          Also dig the way being friendly and persistent can open doors. Right on.

        • Matt,

          LOL. Yeah well we can work on the title haha! :) But I like the idea. Although… all your passion and all my passion could be way more passion than one book can hold! :)

          I have tons of stories of experiences like that lol. Several using the same concept. Another one was when I did virtual tours. And I did a (very unique) community magazine that way too – it was a big hit. That was so much fun!

          I can share my stories for real life examples for the book and you do the writing, uh of course. My writing doesn’t translate nearly as well as yours! :) I actually would be fascinated to see how you’d translate the stories in your own words. It would be interesting to see how you relate them in that way that only you do.

          Anyways, really glad you found that story awe-inspiring. Mission accomplished. That one tends to do that for people and that always makes me smile! :)

          Now I’m off to catch up on your latest post and the comments. So I’m sure I’ll be back later lol

          P.S. BTW, I tell people that same thing. Your passion is what you’d be happy doing for free – waking up excited to start each day! :)

  18. Thanks Rob!

    Interesting that you picked up on that because yes those are major players. That’s why when I share those real life experiences with my peeps/classes (for inspiration), I do so with lots of detail. It’s the little things. All of the little details are so important to the big picture. And that’s what I always hope to get across to people when I share them.

    Yes, sincere human-kindness and consideration of others goes a long way (it’s not all about YOU). And it’s always opened doors for me everywhere I go and in everything I do. Not because I’m anymore special than anyone else. But because I make ‘others’ feel special, like I value them, like they matter – and they do. I’m always sincere about it and people pick up on that. Just a sincere smile appearing on your face when you look at people can do it. And I always try to be helpful whenever possible – with absolutely no agenda – just like to help if I can. And sincere appreciation? Huge! It makes people happy to help you. And then you’d be really surprised what you get if you just ask. You get back what you give. How’s that for new age cheesiness lol :)

    P.S. Saw your email from yesterday. Will read and respond shortly. Playing catch up today.

  19. Hi Matt,

    I’ve been doing a PACE workout, running 4-3-2-1 minutes with progressive intensity, 3 times a week and I am in my 3rd week now. I’ve also been erading about HIIT and Peak 8 on the internet. Al Sears claims his clients lose 2-4 pounds per week doing PACE, but reading the small print it turns out they are also on a low GI diet. I am not on any diet and have not lost any weight with PACE yet. Interesting, no?

    From what I gather of Mercola’s website, he is also into low-carbing. If he has been on a low-carb diet as well as doing peak 8, how do we know which caused the changes in his physique?
    I’ve noticed that almost all HIIT-type programs also promote a low-carb diet.

    I did a low-carb diet a couple of years ago, I lost quite a bit of weight (lower fat percentage, did not lose any muscle mass, but did not gain any either, while running 3 times a week old style), but I did not feel very good doing it, I was hungry all the time, eating insane amounts of vegetables and ended up with upset bowels). So I stopped and I am not about to start again because I don’t think it is healthy. But I do want to lose some of the fat I gained doing a bit of RRARF-ing. I thought PACE or HIIT or PEAK 8 would be the solution to lose some fat, gain some strength and overall feel more energetic.
    I do like the PACE workout. It is much less boring than running for 30 minutes at a snail like pace (which I was doing before). And I feel good afterwards.
    But all the talk of low-carb and GI is taking away a bit of the credibility for me.

    What is your reason for not having fixed time resting periods? Al Sears does the same with PACE, but I was thinking maybe fixed resting periods would be better because it is much easier to reach maximum exertion that way?

    For instance my max heart rates in my PACE workout are 4 min – HR 158, 3 min – HR 163, 2 minutes HR 167, 1 min – HR 168. I cannot run fast enough in that last minute to really get my heart rate up (according to calculations my max heart rate should be 180). I’ve not been able to get my heart rate higher than 168, but maybe that is also because I am sticking to the fixed times for the exertion period.

    I would really like to hear what your thoughts are on all this!

    (My first comment, but have been reading along for quite a while now, all the way from the Netherlands…)

    • Hey Netherlands Sara,

      I would disregard the low-carb stuff. Mercola has been doing a low-carb diet for a long time. Only the exercise has given him the results. You will actually progress more with the exercise with carbs vs. no carbs. And keep in mind that Mercola has lost very little “weight,” but a lot of fat. Ideally you would lose a lot more pounds/kilos of fat than pounds/kilos of “weight.” You will notice in PACE that this was the case as well.

      The problem I have with Sears’s program is that his intervals are too long. So you are by nature not going at top speed. Top speed can only last for 30 seconds. Anything else has to be done at below maximum intensity and speed. 4 minutes is an eternity. You can’t go anywhere near top speed for that. 4 minutes, or even 1 minute, is not a sprint. That’s what makes Campbell’s program superior in my opinion. But Sears’s program is superior when it comes to gauging your recovery periods on biofeedback. If you are not recovered after your sprint, your next round will not be a sprint. It is similar to just doing endurance exercise at that point, which is the argument Campbell makes about why Tabata training is not as good as Sprint 8.

      It can’t be too one-size-fits-all. I would do 30 second sprints at maximum speed, hopefully on an Elliptical or exercise bike. Then wait until you are recovered before doing it again. If you need to progress it, get off the bike right after your sprint and do a set of pushups after each interval. I did this yesterday and had no problem getting heart rate over 190. And I was toast! Finished! I could only go 4 rounds with that. Couldn’t even make it to the 5th.

      I wouldn’t do it for weight loss. Do it because you like it and it feels good. Keep it up indefinitely. Worst case scenario is that you are incredibly fit and vibrant and healthy and haven’t lost any fat. But I would be stunned if you did if for say, a year, and didn’t have a significant change in body composition in that time. Notice I didn’t say “weight loss!” :) Thanks for commenting!

  20. athnams wrote:
    “yes i absolutely agree with both of you wholeheartedly and, ironically enough, have been known to rant on and on about forgetting about “exercise” and just doing what you enjoy, and following your passion in life for true happiness. Alas the truth is this is much more easily said than done as I have found out the hard way (the drive for money is such a seductive and insidious beast), as is letting go of intellectual control of your health and body, especially when you’ve just realised that everything you thought you knew has sent you to that place you never ever thought you’d be in again EVER… However I’m sure you’ll both be happy (or as happy as you can be for a complete stranger ranting on the internet) to know a couple of months ago I quit my job (which I didn’t hate, by the way, but didn’t love either) and enrolled in art school, which I am an excited but nervous wreck about. So I’m working on it. But man, sometimes it’s HARD to risk losing what mental and physical health you do have for the unknown. And even harder to stop caring about what other people think you should do and look like. How did I get to 32 and still be worrying about this crap??
    But anyway rant over… I’m happy to say I have now given up the search for The American (or in my case the New Zealand) Dream and am now mounting a search for what truly makes ME happy. So far I have painting, and singing along to the radio haha :)”

    Thanks anthnams so much for sharing this. I am in a similar situation. Job I don’t hate but don’t love. Been kind of going with the flow in terms of school/professional life all my life. Now I’m at a point where I’ve found things I majorly identify with and it’s like a huge shift from where I am now. Part of my wants to baby step and play it safe but another part of me says that that’s not really going to work for my goals and I need to take a big leap. I think part of me just wants to change it up and feel some major freedom I haven’t felt in a while. It’s a tough decision so I continue to play it safe.

    • You can play it safe. People don’t quit their jobs to become rock stars when they want to learn how to play guitar. Buy a guitar. Play it for a while in your spare time. Get good enough to play some gigs. Cut back on hours at your job. Get more gigs. Eventually wean yourself off the former job. Become rock star. That’s a much more sensible way to go about things. Use the life stability of your job to create a safe, supported, and well-funded platform for launching your new interests. Only fools rush in.

  21. What’s this suspension trainer he keeps talking about?

    • I would assume TRX? I dunno. I didn’t listen to that part very carefully.

  22. Argh!! So frustrating!

    I started doing some maxercise in September or so. It was okay but I saw no real fat loss or muscle growth. Then I pulled a hamstring and didn’t exercise until recently. Not the best experience.

    But now I know why? In the very last minutes of that interview Campbell explains how carbs right after a workout maximise recovery but shut down HGH. And it’s the HGH that causes fat loss and muscle growht. Well guess what I was doing right after my maxercise workout? That’s right! I thought I needed to get sugar into me immediately to replenish the glycogen I’d burnt up, so I drank a Peatarded Milk-OJ-protein shake!

    Oh well, live and learn. No carbs for an hour or two afterwards. Just protein. Got it.

    • I have not been that particular about post-workout nutrition. It depends on the day and the workout and how I feel after. I don’t force anything down that doesn’t want to go down. Some days I really need immediate sugar and drink OJ. Other days I wait an hour or two until I get super hungry and then hit the buffet.

      Going long periods without food, i.e. intermittent fasting, seems to raise GH even more than HIIT. Something to think about.

  23. I’ve been doing PACE since 08/01/2011 and while I vary the times (a few weeks on 4-3-2-1, another few on 2-2-2-2, etc.), I do feel they are too long. I am glad you pointed this out Matt. I think I am going do 30 second intervals and try that out. I have a Schwinn Airdyne bike (with the upper body movement) and a Concept 2 Rower at my disposal. I think I am too caught up in time…that is, I feel good doing the 4-3-2-1, for example, as that’s 12 minutes, whereas the 30 second bursts might take me a ttotal of 4 minutes or so of exertion. I suppose, though, that working out for calorie burn is way less important than the hormonal changes it creates.

    • Yes! The Airdyne. This is going to be a big improvement from PACE I predict. You’ll see that it’s much harder too. Especially at first. I doubt you’ll make it for 8 rounds. If you do, you probably didn’t go hard enough during the intervals! Let me know how it goes.

      • Well I did my first reduced interval time workout (Peak 8 type workout)…did 6×30 seconds Airdyne bursts with active rest periods in between. It was definitely harder than the longer PACE intervals I was doing, where I wasn’t using my max power until the final interval. Today I went as hard as I could 6 times. Whole workout took 20 minutes. Funny…although I hate and don’t trust the numbers on the digital readout, it told me I biked the same miles and burnt around the same calories as my PACE efforts. Anyway, I can feel it more in my legs than when using PACE. Looking forward to my next session on Thursday. Just have to decide whether to try it on the rower now.

        • I don’t watch the amount of seconds on the clock – taking even more emphasis away from numbers and putting more on biofeedback. As long as you are going at maximum speed, I would just go until you can’t go anymore. That may be 25 seconds. It may be 35 seconds. If I do watch numbers, I watch heart rate, which shows me a more accurate depiction of how close I am to my true threshhold.

          • Good point Matt…I’ve been watching the montiors since the beginning of my weight loss (almost a year ago)…I have to get use to not using it to time my efforts.

  24. Hi, Matt.

    Do you want to hear a true story?

    Several years back, I was having fun with Dr. Mercola. In 2007 or 2008 I trolled him several times a weekon his YouTube saying things like ” you look old because you do aerobics and neglect sprinting etc.) . You could improve GH if you did sprinting etc,) Too much aerobics ages you etc.

    Well. expectedly I was banned from his YouTube site. But since then, I noticed he is hell bent on sprints and ANaerobic exercise now LOL ! I can’t help but wonder if my age comments got to him, and perhaps I am a partial reason of his love for this stuff now and how he stresses it is so essential LOL !!!

    True story. Anyway, I hope I did not cause damage to him , but it was a funny premise. I try to be an ethical troll when I get the urge to have fun :)

    On a more serious note, I do sprints still. I think they are necessary, but I am cautious to over do it because of inflammatory responses, increased free radical damage etc. I balance it well with a 30 minute walk etc. In fact, something called tempo runs that Olympic sprinters do is awesome. A hybrid of aerobic/anaerobic

    Take care and happy holidays Matt. I wish you the best :)


    • The same thing happened to me when I trolled Mercola about fructose! Then he came out on this anti-fructose rampage about 2 months after!

      • Matt, that is funny LOL !!!

  25. Hi Matt,

    I have been eating Schwarzbein, Weston Price, Paleo for the last year, a detox for two months given to me by a very qualified Naturopath, and GAPS for the last few weeks with no real improvement in my health, so I have a couple of your e-books and am counting on you!

    In regards to exercise, I would have thought ENJOYMENT, would be a big factor in how much benefit you gain. Doing the scientifically perfect exercise but obsessing over it and not enjoying it seems pointless.

    But I would like to ask, what are the “biofeedback” inidicators that let you know you have exercised hard for long enough before a recovery period?

    Also, I was looking at getting the PACE program by Al Sears, as it seems an easier way to exercise this way, without all the monitoring. What do you think of this program?

    Again, I just think any exercise you do needs to be fun, and not something to be done perfectly, worry about or obsess over.

    Thanks for your feedback.


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