High Intensity Interval Training Part 1

Would you believe? In only 12 minutes per week you can:

  • Lose fat faster
  • Strengthen your heart, even after a heart attack
  • Increase your lung volume
  • Raise HDL cholesterol (the “good guy”)
  • Add years of healthy living to your life
  • Boost your immune system
  • Increase your muscle mass
  • In only 12 minutes per week

 It’s Got to be Hype!

I hear you. It sounds absolutely unbelievable. But listen to what these medical doctors have found from years of research into exercise physiology and from working with people to improve their fitness levels.

Actually it’s a not so new concept but generally is unknown and underutilized.

Why didn’t I pay attention to it sooner?

Because I was still stuck in the old paradigm.

Back in the early 1980’s when I first became interested in wellness and prevention I travelled to Dallas, Texas to Dr. Cooper’s Aerobics Clinic to participate in a seminar on exercise and how to measure fitness levels. It was a great course and even introduced me to healthy nutrition.

Dr. Cooper brought the benefits of exercise into the public awareness and published his book in 1968. My copy is still sitting on my book shelf. He helped a lot of people improve their health. His exercise physiology research center scientifically measured the improvements in health physiology for many years.

Dr. Cooper followed many athletes who participated in the long endurance exercises like running and biking, those who did marathons. By the late 1980-90s he realized that these types of exercise were causing more harm than good. People were dropping dead of heart attacks and getting cancer more frequently than the general public.

What went wrong?

Dr. Cooper continued to look at those problems and revised his recommendations. Then along came Dr. Al Sears with new research.

Dr. Sears expected long distance runners to have a large lung capacity. Was he ever surprised when he discovered that they had smaller lung capacity.

They also had less muscle mass. Just look at their physique. Most long distance runners have lean, slim bodies.

Dr. Sears also found that their tissues were assaulted with more free radical damage and that they had greater risk of joint or other injury from overuse.

Why was this so?

According to Dr. Doug McGuff, MD (more about him later) endurance exercise is not natural. Watch children and animals. They run seconds to a minute or two. Then stop and plop down or investigate whatever attracts their attention at the moment.

Just try to go on a walk with a kid or a dog – or both. They are definitely not goal oriented and you feel like you will never get to your destination.

Turns out that we should take a lesson from the kids and animals because steady state (endurance) exercise trains plasticity out of your system. It makes you less adaptable. This connotation of plasticity means ability to adapt. Long endurance exercise causes “shrinkage:” smaller muscles, smaller heart and smaller lungs. What’s worse, it wipes out your heart’s and lung’s reserve capacity.

So what’s the solution?

High Intensity Interval Training:

The Exercise

  • Short periods of exertion
  • Followed by short periods of rest


  • Walk 45 seconds, rest 45 seconds
  • Bike as fast and hard as you can for 30 seconds, rest 30-60 seconds. Repeat 7-9 times
  • Calisthenics with a similar pattern

Before you go out and jump right into this exercise pattern learn more about it. It’s a big subject that we will be expanding upon in the next several newsletters.

And as always – check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program.

But, isn’t it great news that you can actually attain your best level of fitness in regard to heart, lung and muscle reserve capacity in only 12 to 20 minutes one to three times per week?


Dr. Jo


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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