Happy mid-late Summer! I enjoy hearing how your strength gains are enhancing summer fun. Better golf drives (haven’t heard anything on putting yet;-), miraculous gardening feats (moved 6 metric tons of dirt and supplies), cycling victories, running personal bests, and feeling super human hiking the big mountains. We’ve had a couple people move over the summer and comment on how easy it was to pick up heavy boxes. Yes, lifting heavy honkin’ weights every 7 days makes you strong and fit! Congrats all for taking care of your most important asset by adding 15 minutes of slow motion torture to your week.
(Also, your muscles look awesome peaking and bulging out from under summer sleeveless shirts and shorts as you do your workouts!)
Here’s a link to a great interview with my two favorite health heroes. Dr. Mercola is medical doctor and osteopath turned uber-awesome alternate health information disseminator, his website is the most visited alternate health site in the world. Dr. Doug McGuff is the author of Body By Science, an emergency room doctor and owns a high intensity strength training studio like ours called Ultimate Exercise. We are fortunate to have Dr. McGuff as a staff/studio advisor who meets with EH staff over Skype to keep us on the cutting edge.
Here Dr McGuff explains “Why High Intensity (strength) Training Is So Beneficial for Health—It May Even Help Prevent Cancer.”
(sorry for the long link – Mercola likes to track his readers so makes it challenging to share without going through his system)
Coles notes of the interview for the time-starved:
Recent research reveals that myokines—a class of cell-signaling proteins produced by muscle fibers—can combat cancer and metabolic syndrome
High intensity training effectively stimulates your muscles to release anti-inflammatory myokines
Myokines increase your insulin sensitivity and glucose use inside your muscles. They also increase liberation of fat from adipose cells and the burning of the fat within the skeletal muscle
Acting as chemical messengers, myokines inhibit the release and the effect of the inflammatory cytokines produced by body fat. They also significantly reduce body fat irrespective of calorie intake
“As a result, it increases your insulin sensitivity and basically starts to reverse or tilt all the effects of the metabolic syndrome,” Dr. McGuff explains. “You get that with high-intensity interval training and you get that with high-intensity strength training, which is something that I advocate.
The primary difference between HIIT and high-intensity strength training is the degree of muscular fatigue. In evolutionary terms, high-intensity interval training is like being on the hunt and intermittently sprinting for your life for a short span of time, whereas high-intensity strength training would be like getting in a life-and-death wrestling match with someone almost perfectly matched to your capabilities. It would be a massive struggle with great fatigue.”
So basically, high intensity strength training gives you all the benefits that HIIT provides—including all the cardiovascular benefits—but in addition to that, it also induces a rapid and deep level of muscle fatigue. This triggers the synthesis of more contractile tissue, and all the metabolic components to support it—including more myokines.
“Skeletal muscle is one of the largest glucose reservoirs in your body. It’s going to improve your glycogen storage and utilization capabilities, which improves your insulin sensitivity and does everything to kind of flip the metabolic syndrome on its head. In addition to that, it triggers the release of a lot of myokines.
These myokines have very specific effects on body composition, systemic inflammation, and risk for chronic disease that are outside anything to do with energy balance itself. When we really ramp up the intensity so that the muscle is truly challenged and fatigued, we get a lot of extra benefit out of that.”
So keep lifting heavy weights in slow motion. High intensity weight training and a diet based on whole foods is the antidote to the metabolic syndrome that is causing high levels of weight gain, loss of function and disease