Joe Mercola’s exercise journey has been one of the most captivating things to happen over the last couple of years in the internet health underground. Well, I think so at least. I like it because it has taken some of the focus off of the neurotic obsession with nutritional minutiae, and put the focus on something far more basic and simple. Like myself, one of Mercola’s first eye-openers was reading Pace, by Al Sears. This led Joe to doing maximum intensity interval training under the guidance of Phil Campbell – a form of exercise I discuss at length in the book, Diet Recovery.
But Mercola’s interview with Body By Science author Doug McGuff in December was something that really had me re-questioning a form of exercise that I had sloughed off too easily in the past (mostly because I didn’t put much effort into figuring out how to perform the exercise correctly, was doing it on a carb-restricted diet, only did it for a couple of months, and was let down because I didn’t gain 34 pounds of muscle in a month like Tim Ferriss said I would, haha – oh that sneaky Tim!). Delving deeper into the scientific basis and history of this type of exercise has gotten me much more curious, particularly as I think about how much more realistic, sustainable this form of exercise is compared to just about any other type of intentional physical training – interval training included.
Anyway, it’s a great interview. Although lengthy, it is informative, and a good primer for some of the future conversations we’re going to have about this type of training. Once again, I wouldn’t get too caught up in the tater hating and Paleo/hunter-gatherer logic, which is foundationally flawed. One of the primary trailblazers of this type of training Mike Mentzer (deceased), and even Body By Science co-author John Little, advocate a minimum of 60% of dietary calories coming from carbohydrates while doing this type of training. I will agree with McGuff that you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. No matter how much training you do, you won’t gain much muscle or receive the health benefits of exercise on a low-carb diet, haha. Enjoy!