Mercola Interview with Doug McGuff

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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!

 

104 Comments

  1. WOW, everybody must still be zoned out on sugar! Ya, did the Pace program for about a year.

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  2. Tim not just built 34 lbs of muscle, he also grew 5 centimeters taller! Which else diet and exercise combo could do that? Amazing! Hahaha.

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  3. Interesting stuff.

    Matt, if Mercola interviewed you tomorrow and his first question was:

    “Matt Stone, there is only one story in Paleoland right now and its this: the massive beef-off between Richard Nikoley and Melissa McEwen. As a bit of an outsider/critic of the paleo movement, what do you make of it?”

    how would you respond?

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    • YAWN, paleo fighting ……..

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    • I don’t know anything about any massive beef-offs between McEwen and Nikoley. So I would probably just hang up. Or dodge the question and ask Mercola why he wears such short shorts.

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  4. You know.. no offense men but where the fuck are the women helping other women get strong? No offense again, but even the Cosgrove program did me fuck all. Sorry for the cussing. I just am frustrated by the lack of female over 50 role models.. am I missing someone that anyone here knows about?
    Guys build muscle. It’s what they do. It irritates the shit out of me to hear yet another buff guy tell us how to get fit. I cannot be the only one who feels this way.

    What I mean to say is, yeah yeah, whatever buff guys, where are the women?
    Rant over
    the hag

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      • She is the exception.. and I have seen others. I am talking about women who coach, blog, youtube with info for others, not one off’s that work out till they are 80 and look great. Sorry if I was not clear on that point. We can all find ladies who have fitness in their old age. But where are the ones who help others, not freakin’ Suzanne Sommers bull shit.

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        • Let’s work on that chin up haggie and you can be it. I know you’ve got a chin up bar right over Sam’s room, so let’s do it Grandma!

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          • Ok I am ready! Not a grandma yet but might be taken for one I guess…

        • http://www.fighterdiet.com if you’re into making serious love to veggies, wanna think about food and what bot to eat 24/7, eating 6 times a day and chain yourself to a stair master doing hiit. Pauline does get people in extremely great shape though, she relies on food and the importance of not undreeating. But eff me… I used to have an apetite like hers but since I started ETF and stop exercising like a mofo, a cup of carbs does fill me up.. and doesn’t make me fat. on the other hand, I don’t have a ripped six pack anymore, which SUCKS!!!!

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          • Oh great…typing all that with one hand while eating a dateburrito had me slab filling all over bf’s fav hoodie. Good thing he’s asleep.. hee hee…then I’ll just lick it off and pretend I have nothing to do with the weird stiffness/stickyness all over it.

          • Yeah…Pauline isn’t exactly 50yo, she’s 30. But on the other hand, doesn’t have off seasons but have looked that way daily for 7 years or so!!!! She walks the walk…
            But then again…

          • um.. on that fighter diet. Looks more like a performance enhancing drug diet. No thanks. I want to be strong but I don’t want to LOOK like a dude with boobs. That’s figure competition stuff, not what I am after. I just want to be strong and look good, not show every muscle with 5% body fat.
            Thanks though
            deb

          • ha ha ha yah, not everyone’s cupper I suppose.. (she is completely drug free though) ^_^

          • Hey Beth, tell us more about the licking you did while your boyfriend was asleep that left your shirt stiff and sticky!

          • What is there to tell? Hm, ate a burrito stuffed with dates and dressed in coconut milk, typing away in peace, when that juicy basterd all of a sudden went apeshit on me and sprung a leak in the middle of a word.
            So.. what’s a girl to do, but to lick that dellisciousness off and pretend like nothing happened.

            Worked like a charm. But I am a tad disapointed, could have been a fun discussion
            (Hun, did you do something with my hood?)
            (What?)
            (My hood, it’s got some werid stickyness on it…you know anything about it?)
            (Who me? Noooooooo)
            (Aw weally? Now what did you do?)
            (Nothing. I licked it off right away I swear!!!)

    • In the kitchen where they belong

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      • Wish more men were in the kitchen with us.

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    • Deb, your language on a public forum and your desire for female role models is simultaneously humorous and depressing.

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      • Thanks . If I was a guy you would never mention language.

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        • Deb, maybe if you got your motherfucking mind out of the gutter and cleaned up your language a bit, you’d find yourself that goddamn female fucking role model who’ll show you how to be strong without looking like a nasty ass dude with boobs. But first, clean up the fucking language. No one likes a lady with a foul mouth. I should know, no one likes me….:)

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          • I like you BK. :-)

    • stumptuous.com – Krista works with women in real-life through training and nutrition programs, and the website is a good resource for women for strength training. Of course she’s paleo now, and her free Ebook “F*ck Calories” is basically yet another treatise on eating “reeeeeeal food” so that sucks (she wasn’t always paleo; I’ve been reading her for 12 years) but I like some of what she has to say.

      But yeah, you’re right, it is annoying to listen to yet another buff guy tell us how easy it is. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some buff guys, but sheesh. I think part of the lack of resources for women is also due to the fact that the game is rigged against us from the beginning – no, I’m not talking about genetics and muscle mass, I’m talking about low-level life-long calorie restriction. Of course women stop and start with serious strength and body recomposition programs – none of us know how much you actually NEED to eat to be able to sustain that training. This in spite of the fact that when Paris Hilton was going through her bodybuilding phase, it was made public she was eating like 3,500 calories a day.

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      • Unlike stumpy. She’s not over 50 yet so I have to wait I guess.

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      • I like her I meant to say

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      • Paris Hilton’s had a BB phase??? For real? O.o

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        • Oh yes Paris Hilton HAS had a bodybuilding phase. Google that shiz. Of course it didn’t last and now she’s back to Gwyneth Paltrow-style body comp (as in “teehee muscles are gross.”)

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          • That is hillarious!!! Gonna open a tub of Häagen and googe the crap out of…google.. hee hee

    • The women are all at the Farmer’s Market, gathering vegetables for their unintended starvation meals.

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    • Deb, maybe I’m naive but I just finished Body by Science and I don’t at all feel that this program isn’t for me. I’m actually pretty excited about it. My muscles may not be as big as the average guy’s, but in general, the mechanics are the same.

      Regarding the program, I don’t get the idea that it’s about being super super buff so much as being healthy and muscular, and avoiding injury. And the anti-aging stuff touched on in the last chapter is very exciting.

      Matt, thanks for recommending the book.

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      • Steph – I’m really interested in the Body by Science stuff too and think it’d be a great fit for me personally, so I’m excited and grateful for all the work these “buff” guys put in! But I think what Deb was getting at (and which I agree with) is that there is SUCH a lack of women working to help other women in this field, especially over 40 or over 50, and while the training protocol is often exactly the same for women as it is for men, there are unique issues we face sometimes, like hormonal changes, the stigma of strength training not being “feminine,” time constraints, and especially the nutritional aspect of trying to get strong and gain muscle while the whole world is telling you to eat less – just eat less. The only thing you’re “allowed” to eat more of if you’re a woman lifting weights is “lean protein and vegetables,” but these don’t translate effectively to a calorie surplus, and calorie surplus is what any bodybuilder will tell you is needed to get strong and gain muscle! Arrgh drives me nuts. It’s hard enough to get women up to maintenance calories.

        Rant over!

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        • Neesa, you are right! I did read F Calories and I have to say I loved it. Made perfect sense. Stumpy Rocks!
          :-)

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    • You be our role model Deb! ;D

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      • Ok you are on Diane! Matt, send over that pull up magical mojo stat! I did meet Stumpy, she is super cool. I am going to re read her entire body of work. she now works for Precision Nutrition.. may visit them too. It’s On Like Old Lady Kong.
        Yeah.
        :-)

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        • OK hag, you got something heavy you can tie around yourself? Or can you wear a big backpack full of books that make your body 20-30 pounds heavier than it normally is? Okay super. Now get a chair and climb up and do negatives very slowly (just the going down part) a couple times a week for a couple months, increasing the added weight each time by a few pounds. When you finally go to do a bodyweight pullup in a couple months you should have no problem. Kind of like this, but with weight, and slower. You can also hold it at the top for as long as you can before you lower yourself. http://youtu.be/Opr72q6NKTc

          Here’s more of how you will want to perform each repetition…

          http://youtu.be/j2oN1NLWpD8

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          • Oh I see, the negatives with extra weight.. how about I tie Sam to my waist and do it that way? ha ha. I will try this at the gym, see what I can rig up. Now THIS is exciting!
            xo
            deb

          • Sam grows too slowly. I want you adding an extra 5 pounds like every week until you are doing negatives with like 50 pounds strapped to you in 2 months time. Then you’ll be ready for your first pullup attempt.

          • I’m going to try this to. I have always had pretty good upper body strength, but mysteriously, have never ever ever in my life been able to pull off a chin up. I was the laughing stock of my fourth grade field day competition. Must make amends.

          • I would cheer you on in your pullup quest, but your foul mouth makes you pretty unlikeable.

          • Yes I know. Thanks anyway, you sonofabitch:)

          • most likely the only tires I will flip are my bike tires Cam :-)

    • I’ve been lurking here for a few months and learning lots. First time to comment. I don’t know if this meets your criteria, but what about Teresa Tapp? http://www.ttapp.com
      I don’t know if her program has negative effects on temps/metabolism, but she’s not low carb, believes in chocolate and cheese and wine, and suggests that less is more. I’m pretty sure she is in her 50′s. She doesn’t recommend exercising daily. I’m trying to get my temps up but have wondered about doing her 15 minute workout while etf. I’m coming off GAPS, as well. Anyone have any experience with her workouts?

      Reply
      • 7 kids in Tx,
        There is a thread on the t-tapp forum under Nutrition/Diet called Craziest Health Site- Raising temps, reversing insulin resistance w/FOOD!! There are a bunch of us over there doing this program. We feel t-tapp works very well with this program. And there are those who mention lowering their thyroid meds as they t-tapp. Come on over and join us.

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        • Thanks, Bev. I will check that out. My youngest is 8.5 months old now and I’ ve been wanting to pull out the T-Tapp dvd’s again. I’ m glad it shouldn’t negatively impact bringing my temps up.

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    • I second this…

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  5. That kind of comment could cause those of us who do like to cook to go on strike. Better yet, let’s have a food fight and you can clean it up!

    Reply
  6. The common cheat in the high intensity literature is to create incredible before/after numbers by starting off well below prior muscle maxima. Regaining muscle previously earned and later lost is an order of magnitude easier than gaining new muscle unless one has never trained for muscle yet. Newbies at the game can do just about anything save for serious overtraining and gain muscle. One set not to failure three times a week suffices for the first couple of weeks. (This is how the old muscle ads in comic books could make fairly wild claims. They were true for untrained individuals with lots of untapped potential.)

    I would note that Tim Ferris recently had an artidle advocating not sitting down too long; i.e., a call for lots of high volume very low intensity exercise. Note that Arnold did bricklaying on top of his time in the gym.

    Muscle obtained farm boy style tends to stick around for years afterwards, requiring just a bit of gym time to reactivate. You sir (Matt) have such muscle from your days clearing trails. What works for you might be less impressive for those without that base.

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    • Oh yeah, that trail clearing really builds muscle, lol. I lost muscle every single summer and ended up looking weak and soft after all of those years, no different from any of my co-workers. If you want to build an impressive physique, I would highly recommend staying away from hiking around in the mountains and cutting trees.

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      • If you ate something like 6,000 cals a day while doing that, do you think you would have held on to your muscle?

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        • It’s virtually impossible NOT to gain muscle on 6000 calories per day. Even if you are chained to your bed.

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          • Yea, but I’m thinking other end of the spectrum: running your body hard all day long, every day for weeks and months. Not that I plan on, or need to do that any time soon…

          • If you are in a calorie deficit, or your metabolism has to downregulate on 6000 calories per day due to excessive physical activity, it’s very hard to build muscle or even to hang on to what you’ve got.

  7. About half way through it now. Amazing. Best thing I’ve listened to in quite some time. I really appreciate Mercola really digging in on the differences between McGuff and Sears/Campbell.

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    • Yes, definitely one of the best, if not THE best discussions on the topic of exercise I’ve ever come across. It get really, really good after about the 40-minute mark.

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  8. @Matt,
    I read your diet recovery book. Do you still think the type of exercise you discussed with the short spurts of high intensity cardio is good…sort of the modified Mercola plan? Thanks.

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    • Or do I need to listen to this 2 hour interview??? Where are the sound bites???

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    • Yes, but I’ve had several people try to incorporate it and their temperatures have dropped significantly. So we’re discussing other options here.

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  9. MATT -

    I’m watching tons of your youtube videos; now on “Public Talk Part 1″ – you mention the Mark Starr book on hypothyroidism. I looked it up. Great reviews. I know I have thyroid probs, but can’t find a doc to help with T3 supplementation. How do I go about finding a doc who will do this for me? Too sick (in bed) to go trying to change the allopathic world about what to do right and need help. I’m in Columbus, Ohio.

    Tamara Slack

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    • MATT -

      By the way, couple things:

      I was a low carber (almost no carbs) to about 2 months ago going about 40% carbs and got energy for the first time in a decade. I’ve been ice cold (hand / feet) for years, so sickly. But when I went higher carb, got some heat back – WOW!!!!!!!! Then found your site a wee ago or so – went HIGHER carbs even – getting even warmer (eating dry sugary / salty foods in a.m., no water, lunch -= some protein, eat biggest meal at lunch). Temps waver. Started taking them 3 days ago:

      day 1 – 98.3
      day 2 – 97.7
      day 3 – 98.5

      (right now I’m hotter than ever – 98.7 – this from being regularly 95s and 96s).

      I notice when I have even a little water in the a.m., within an hour, I am back in bed. And, same with high sugar (maple syrup). Can handle liquid better in afternoon. My temps almost immediately drop with the high sugar (not high carb) and water if in the a.m. from 98s to 96s.

      I have some Naturethroid (sp?) that is on my shelf – no doc to re-prescibe once it’s done – wondering if I should 1. stop the high sugar content (maple syrup) in the a.m., 2. take naturethoid until I can get metabolism more steady and I run out.

      (my refractometer, ph strips, and Min-Col are on the way ;)

      Tamara

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      • It sounds like you are doing well. I don’t know if I would be so quick to try to take thyroid hormones.

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      • Matt,
        Is there a way to search your site easily? My energy level is not high these days and I know that you posted a source for refractometer and min-col somewhere. I need to get this on the way. I hope that I will be able to one day help people as you are. My dream is to do that. I watch my brother stick his fingers about 5 times a day and give himself injections of poison and go from bg of 57 to over 500 and really now way that I could test his urine as he is connected to a bag. Soon to have a permanent one.

        I also need to make an appointment for a phone consult with you.

        Thanks!
        Becke

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      • MATT -

        Thanks – I was actually thinking of contacting the STTM people. Not sure if they can help, but will try. My temps reached 99.2 today and have had some pain the past few days off / on in my thyroid area – wondering if it’s because it’s finally trying to kick in???

        Trying to regulate blood sugar; seems with the grains, sweet potatoes, gluten free pancakes, etc. I’m okay and get warm (hot even), but with the maple syrup,, feel sick after about an hour……… cut out simple sugars?

        Thanks for all your help! You have NO IDEA how much I appreciate all the research you have done. I am going to use my certification as a board certified holistic educator to try to do what you are doing (lower scale obviously), but to “stop the diet madness” (and overwatering) theme….

        Tamara

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        • Janie from STTM and I go way back. But she refused to acknowledge that I could achieve great gains in metabolic output without resorting to medication in a very large percentage of people with an underperforming metabolism. This ended up driving a wedge between us. You certainly won’t find anything on that site, or any site for that matter, that will get you up to 99.2 other than what you read here. Not to say that everyone can get up that high with diet and lifestyle modification alone. Some people really do need pharmaceutical intervention. But that is a last resort, not a first line of defense.

          As far as sugar is concerned, you should have a little. I wouldn’t completely avoid it. Your reaction to it should improve over time.

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          • Matt

            I just finished reading your free e-book. In it, you talk about not having sugar. Have you changed your mind? You talk about it inhibiting mitochondrial activity.

            Also, the 99.2 and good temps went away.

            I’m pretty much staying at the 97.2 to 97.4 range. (and I am in bed about 22 hours of the day/night).

            And one more question: I have been eating gluten free pancakes (buckwheat flour, etc.). I know I should eat more of the whole grains instead of it being flour; wondering if when it becomes flour and not stripped of its nutrients, why fiber goes down – is it the process and it breaks up the fiber? I like what that one guy had to say about butyric acid and want more of that lol (and more info on it!).

            Sorry one more: why REFINED coconut oil instead of unrefined – couldn’t find the answer to that in your ebook, though you stated it.

            THANKS!

            Tamara

          • Sugar seems to have a therapeutic benefit for some people. Diet Recovery, which is a revision and extension of the orginal free ebook, discusses that briefly. The book is also meant for a general audience, which is why whole, nutritious foods are stressed. But in pratical application and individual cases, refined foods can sometimes be superior. They certainly foster higher calorie consumption and calorie absorption, which is often the most important factor depending on the person. I’ve seen plenty of health improvements take place on regular American foods too, which is nice and makes things a lot simpler and more accessible.

            Refined coconut oil is cheaper, more palatable, and causes fewer digestive upsets and allergic reactions. The fat in coconut oil is not significantly damaged during the refining process.

      • Matt,
        your boy Mark Starr has teamed up with Jerry Tennant who has put together an explanation to link the alternative medicine with the really alternative medicine (chinese acupuncture, meridians, electroregeneration a la Robert O Becker). He’s written a book called Healing is Voltage and has some youtube videos up.
        Starr, btw, seemed to have a pretty nasty burn about a year ago and it seems that aloe vera, and electrostimulation helped heal it pretty quickly. at least 10 days seems pretty fast to me.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zCZ2b0HF1g&feature=player_embedded

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    • Funny I just read that off the site…HAHA. They have health articles that are just mainstream thought. Like avoid all fat to get thin. :)

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    • Doing supersets is probably enough to achieve that effect, making strength training and conditioning one thing basically.

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    • Amy – I saw that on tv last night – sooooooooo ridiculous. They get 800 calories. Unbelievable what people will go through!

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      • “The main side effects are bad breath; there is some constipation because there is no fiber in the food,”…

        Uggh, I don’t know who I feel more sorry for: the constipated malnourished bride or the groom when he “may kiss the bride”….

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  10. Body By Science (BBS) is a wonderful book and a much needed response to conventional thinking about fitness. It’s a must read and I can accept basically everything that McGuff is saying in this interview about exercise.

    However, BBS is not above criticism… To me the most important line of criticism (although highly speculative, and a line of discussion that I’ve been trying to jump start on the internet for a while) is that McGuff’s point of view may be an example of confirmation bias in that it assumes away the long-term effects of HIIT cardio on pulmonary function.

    McGuff looked at exercise and cut through most of the false consciousness about aerobics. He saw no significant adaptations to the heart itself and the vascular system itself beyond what was occurring in the muscles worked and the effect of that work on metabolism. Thus, he made his well-known comment that “Cardio doesn’t even really exist”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiHhc7eLpQY

    While exploring this line, influenced by the super-slow, high intensity training protocol, he devised an excellent exercise protocol to work as many muscles as possible to exhaustion in a short period of time with little or no impact on the joints.

    But, he doesn’t address the Al Sears “are your lungs dying?” issue at all. HIT resistance training is radically different from PACE/HIIT in that your heart rate doesn’t go to a maximal rate and, perhaps more importantly, your respiration rate doesn’t go to the extremes that it formerly went to in childhood or in HS/College athletics. To me, that’s the big difference between properly done HIIT and HIT resistance, the return to working your lungs to the max. IMO, it’s hard to imagine any way resistance training having the effect on pulmonary function that Sears claims for PACE.

    Also, for HIIT, McGuff tends to think about it as if you’re pounding your joints on a treadmill or using typical aerobics machine such as an elliptical trainer. But in my experience, PACE works best when you choose the most whole body, killer exercises you can find e.g. burpees, leg blasters, mountain climbers, hindu squats etc. You’re left similarly spent after less than 20 minutes, which equates to 3 sessions in 1 hour a week. Total. With no drive to the gym.

    Now, if I had the chance to try HIT resistance in McGuff’s gym, or Zickerman’s gym (Power of 10), with everything set up for me and good trainers to advise me, I’d probably do it. But attempting to devise a workout for myself at home with dumbbells didn’t turn out that well. And the thought of hitting a regular meathead gym, or even the Y, did not appeal either. Also, with free weights, superslow can be dangerous for some exercises. Would you want to take 10 seconds do to the negative side of a dead lift?

    The above argument most definitely does not mean that Sears is right and McGuff is wrong. Perhaps, pulmonary function decline is not affected by exercise at all.

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    • For some of us, who have already injured ourselves with conventional weight and calisthenics training (burpees, hindu squats, mountain climbers), yet more calisthenics isn’t the answer. When you’re injury-free, a burpee or a mountain-climber seems like a “natural” yet killer movement, but you can’t predict the repetitive strain from those moves. I trained smart but hard for some time, and was good at these kinds of exercises, and the effects didn’t really show themselves for a few years. If you’re blessed with naturally stronger joints through genetics or history of activity or diet or just plain vigilant mobility work, then great! Me, I’d rather stick a fork in my own eye than rely on burpees and mountain climbers for my exercise protocol. Sustainability is a huge factor in the success of a training program.

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      • Hmmm. For me, weight lifting has always seemed harder on the joints than bodyweight, but then I wasn’t lifting in the BSS manner. I tried super-slow at one point, but had trouble implementing it at home. I think it definitely works better on machines.

        There are many ways to do PACE, but I brought up bodyweight because in my experience that was the modality that seemed to have the strongest metabolic/fat loss effect. The bodyweight cal approach is definitely not for everyone.

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    • I’m thinking a combo of the two would be a good idea, of course, giving yourself enough rest in between the HIT resistance (BBS) workout day and the HIIT (sprints) day. I haven’t read BBS, but I’ve heard Doug say that a big point of his workout is so that muscle can be built to help support normal recreational activity, that is if you consider sprints recreational. haha.

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      • That’s what I’m doing, all with bodyweight, but to me the big question that emerges from BBS is whether to do cardio at all. (And just to make it crystal clear, I don’t mean aerobics/moderate steady state exercise). McGuff essentially says no – you only need to strength train and maintain a good diet and that will get you back to the optimal state.

        Good point about adequate recovery if you do both. I’m probably going to add an extra rest day between HIIT sessions. It’s only an hour a week but it’s still catabolic.

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        • Yeah that is a good question. It’s worth experimenting with both ways.

          That sounds good!

          Reply
  11. Speaking of McGuff and Mercola, both of them endorse Dave Asprey’s “Bulletproof Diet.” Have you heard of that guy?

    http://www.bulletproofexec.com/the-complete-illustrated-one-page-bulletproof-diet/

    He was just on Livin La Vida Low Carb. Basically, he’s Tim Ferris on steroids. He’s done a huge amount of self-experimentation and was once almost 300 lbs. He claims he now only sleeps 2-6 hours per night, eats 4,500 mostly fat calories a day (starting with a coffee/grassfed butter blend), does little to no exercise and still has great health metrics and a fairly “ripped” physique. Oh, and he’s raised his IQ and done other feats, too.

    If all this is true, there’s still a big catch. It takes a lot of time/money to eat/live like this. You need lots of the best quality foods (he’s paranoid over mycotoxins) + supplements. And he constantly watches his blood work and sleep patterns. Most of us lack the time, money and Type A+++ personalities to do all this. It reminds me of Durianrider’s critique of Sisson–”I just eat lots of fruit and take B12 shots periodically. Sisson wants you to spend thousand$ a year to look like him.”

    Anyway, it might be interesting fodder for a future post.

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    • I remember those days of a 4,500 calorie fat-based diet. It was okay for a while. But the sleep loss eventually caught up to me, haha. Dave sounds more like a glorified schizophrenic, but I don’t know much about him. Thanks for the link.

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      • As I said, it’s not feasible for most of us to do half the things he does, but the podcast was interesting. He even talks about his “bulletproof coffee” (very pure, mycotoxin-free coffee + grassfed butter, no lie) keeping you warm, especially when you do intermittent fasts from all other foods.

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      • Matt — I’m not sure if you’ll see this, but I do hope you’ll investigate Dave Asprey in the very near future. He has a youtube video channel, where he basically demonizes practically everything you recommend.

        Check out his youtube video: “Dave at SLF: The Art of Biohacking”…

        Reply
  12. Matt,

    In your discussion of HIIT and eccentric training, you mention Mike Mentzer–who was able to maintain a high proportion and amount of carbohydrates, even in the week leading up to BB shows, because he bicycled and ran an absurd amount during the week–Colpo wrote it was on the order of 40 miles by bike and 5 miles running several times a week. He may have been ‘heavy duty’ in the gym but outside he was just Greg Lemond. If you’re looking for the best exercise programming for post-menopausal women, as you said in a previous post’s comments, I don’t think the fixed-track motions of superslow training on machines or the baseline–redline–baseline of HIIT are even in the ballpark. Be much better of with Qi Gong, walking and theraband exercises to open up internally rotated shoulders, hips and flying scaps.

    Reply
    • Many if not most competitors maintain a high proportion of carbohydrates right up to their events. Many do not do any steady-state cardio at all. And Mentzer later refined many of his training beliefs, making them more and more efficient over time as he learned more about generating higher levels of intensity.

      Qi Gong and similar exercises would be great for anyone. But the strength gains of HIT are supposedly quite impactful for the elderly, as McGuff refers to his gym as the land of thrown-away walkers.

      Reply
      • yes, after the days of Mentzer, competitors turned to Lasix, Clen and other extremely dangerous diuretics and AAS suitable for cutting and as a result, started dying in much higher numbers. Big improvement, no? To get the benefits of training superslow (and yes, in my mind, super dumb), you need to exceed your best judgement of what you can handle on the slow eccentric portion of any movement. I grew up in an Ashram which was a magnet for post menopausal women, with many programs tailored for their needs, and I’m still of the opinion that strength training can be done with greater benefit and less danger than counting sheep at a hammer strength machine.

        Reply
    • What led me to start researching strength training, HIIT, joint mobility, BBS, PACE, Convict Conditioning, nutrition etc. was exactly the opposite feeling – that nobody needs physical training more than post-menopausal women and the elderly in general.

      I was participating in a very ‘internal’ Tai Chi and Qi Gong school which essentially did no jiben gong (fundamental training) at all. The school was great at teaching the deeper aspects of TCC/QG but IMO was wrong-headed in its view of strength and tension. I watched students, many of whom spent 45 minutes a day practicing the internal arts (and much more than that if you count class time) who were essentially too weak to properly do the Tai Chi form. They progressed at a glacial pace from year to year, partly because they were too weak, and partly because they ignored the school’s implicit advice to do the basic standing Qi Gong set. But even the ones who did Qi Gong were often without enough functional strength to easily perform a full squat. Then I realized that my own upper body had atrophied to the point that I had to strain to do 1 or 2 good form push ups (I’m on the wrong side of 60). I started researching and learned about sarcopenia.

      Don’t forget, the red line for a deconditioned person might be reached by brisk 100 yard walk when she starts HIIT training. And she might start bench pressing with a tiny weight. PACE (with feedback from the heart monitor), Convict Conditioning (w. gentle 1st. steps to condition the tendons and ligaments) and BBS have the progressive element built in and warn against over-training.

      Also, learning and practicing the internal arts is very time-intensive. PACE, CC and BBS all offer methoda that don’t take much time at all.

      Reply
  13. I don’t mean to go off topic, but Sisson’s latest blog post is…well…interesting…

    “Pre-mastication appears to be a valid, viable way for Ma (or Pa) to deliver food to a baby’s maw. There are some impressive potential health benefits, it might save money, and it could even bolster immunity…”

    Reply
  14. Found a lady who squats 200 lbs at 52 years old, now THAT is what I am talking about!
    http://youtu.be/Hz2Ly1JMoKY

    Reply
  15. Hey, Matt, totally off topic, but I’ve been resting and overeating for about six weeks or so. temps are up to 98.5 or so in the afternoon from 95.4 last year at this time, went from the typical Loma Linda approved low fat plant based diet (brown rice tofu) with extremely poor adherence (steak and ice cream when I was feeling undisciplined, which was according to the doctors I was seeing very pro-inflammatory and likely to exacerbate my chronic pain) to a more WAPF kinda diet and got up to about 97.5 or so and now doing your program , here’s my problem, still feel like crap, still wake up in the middle of the night starving, seriously I could eat off my arm, and now my teeth are starting to hurt, especially when I eat something sweet, or chew, or floss etc. is this normal, seriously eating a cookie is has suddenly become the nerviest torture. Should I stop the sugar eating and stick to starches, have others overcome this. I feel like I can’t get enough calories without eating refined crap.

    Reply
  16. Came across a promotional YouTube video about a regimen called “Insanity”.
    Looks very heavy,it’s supposed to transform the body in 60 days….and if I understood it correctly you have to workout everyday. (Is that even substantial?….even in my high Cardio exercise days,I at least had 1 sometimes 2 days I didn’t go to the gym)
    I also wonder what’s one supposed to do after the 60Days…..cause like all ‘good sales talks’ they don’t mention anything about the long term.

    Reply
  17. Hi Matt,
    Thanks for posting this. I had been intrigued when I saw BBS on MDA, but listening to the whole thing was really inspiring. I have been feeling very discouraged about my weight (was 157 before conceiving, got to 163 effortlessly a few weeks postpartum, then put on 7lbs since eating more and doing just some walking. I’ve followed you for years and am afraid nothing will ever have me slimmer and more fit.

    A friend and I just did our first attempt at the home version of this workout today. I hope to at least find some increase in health and energy.

    Reply
  18. Hi Matt

    I am seeking for your help, I have been doing HIT from March last year and I have lost my period for 9 months I have slow down with each month, but my period have not come back until this year. But It is very irregular, every 2-3 months. This is never happened to me I am 33 years old mom even when I was breastfeeding I have regular period every 28days never even day later. Please if you can contact me on my email. Thank you so much

    Reply

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