The Truth About Exercise

You probably have loads of questions about exercise:

Which exercises?

How many reps?

How many Sets?

Cardio then weights?


Anyway, there was a program on TV last week called ” The Truth About Exercise.”

I just had to watch…………..much like when Adrian Chiles has to watch for a sneaky peak at Christine Bleakley……


It addressed

  1. How much exercise and
  2. Why

 It showed how we all respond to exercise is very different ways, and that many people eat a lot more food than they think……..without exercising that much.


It went on to discuss this BRAND NEW THING  called “Interval training”. 

Ha! – This was priceless!  The concept is at least 15 years old (or more……..I believe the ‘ Tabata study ‘ was in 1996)  I have written extensively about interval training below

 HERE in my blog post Quality Over Quantity (Part 1)

 I even mentioned it  HERE – where you can see that weight training can be a form of interval training as it is high intensity and can get your heart rate going big time.

This might not seem like anything funny to you but it was to me !  Its like me saying to you:

“Hey……have you every thought about sending an email rather that posting a letter?  It’s a lot quicker you know!”

(Even Santa is getting in on the idea!)




They went to Loughborough university……….where I go every year to the annual fitpro convention. I wrote an article about one of my experiences HERE

The interviewer (Michael Mosely) addressed the concept that many people have got really wrong…… “you can burn it off” 

Mosely did a run and burned 16 calories per minute………and highlighted the amount of exercise needed to burn off some foods………..

A banana, some coffee, and a muffin.

Mosely estimated 20 mins…….yet it was 55 mins of running to burn off a mid morning snack.

 Take home message?  Food is more important than exercise



He then ate a high fat and protein breakfast to compare the amount of fat in the blood pre-meal and post-meal. 

Obviously the post- meal reading was higher.  90 mins of walking produced favourable effects.  Its quite obvious that walking instead of sitting is a good idea. Nevertheless, good to see – and this will jump out to some people.


Without getting into fats vs. carbs vs. protein. …take home message –  Exercise is good and should be done everyday! I give it the thumbs up!


They then mentioned that Government guidelines are 150 mins of moderate exercise  or 75 mins of vigourous exercise.

 Here they spoke about interval training……..Why it works. Why intensity might work.

 They  talked about high responders and low responders – genetics.  

 They went through N.E.A.T. –   I wrote an entire article on this concept (for website members) called “What is N.E.A.T  does it work? Right HERE


In my opinion – N.E.A.T. will work for the more obese, but if you are trained, it wont do very much – intensity it where its at!



Simply because of the S.A.I.D principle.  Specific adaptation to Imposed demand.

 EG  Say you are 100kg. You don’t go to the gym or do any activity, but you walk an average of 2 miles a week. 

 Say, you walk everywhere, and increase your N.E.A.T. to 6 miles a week. 

 You MAY lose weight….you MAY not.  Simply because diet is key.


IF you DO LOSE WEIGHT………..(eg you now weight 97kg after 4 weeks)……doing the same 6 miles a week without any dietary changes will do next to nothing!

 So what this guy is saying is ‘do more….then some more…..then some more!’   This simply becomes impossible.



I really liked the interval part – and to say Im not surprised is not unusual……SEEN AS THOUGH THIS IS THE TYPE OF TRAINING WE DO AT MAXIMUM METABOLISM BOOTCAMP.

One thing that did annoy me at the end was this.


They measured the interviewers VO2 max again, and said it hadn’t changed.

It had! 

 It had taken longer to get to exhaustion………which is a positive result.  They fobbed him off with something about being ‘a non-responder’ to exercise.  (In which he had just improved his insulin sensitivity….and the time to exhaustion……… a 4 week period training only 12 mins per MONTH!)


 I would suggest a simpler explanation.  The interval training WORKED.  Ideally, he would have done 8 weeks of training, and will have seen even better results. Also, I would have liked to have seen more volume in the week myself.

 As for VO2 max………….this may have improved with another 4 weeks………..but generally I would expect a more endurance focused program to improve that. Like with a distance runner’s training program.

 After all VO 2 max is a measure of AEROBIC capacity. 



1. Want do you want? If you want to manage your sugar better, handle carbs better and lose fat then do interval training – like we do at Maximum Metabolism Bootcamp

2. If you want a bigger VO2 max – then train like an endurance athlete.

 This ‘you’re a non responder’ bulls**t is typical of whats wrong with society today……….they just give up with an excuse.  

You want an excuse?  How about having no legs and getting on with living life (like I posted HERE in one of the most moving videos I have seen)


Also, a number of people will have seen the program and say they re doing high internsity training………..when really they re just doing 3 x 20 second sets that are ‘hard’.    That’s not enough.  All out ……….or it’s not enough – just to do that few number of sets.

Take home points


1)      Moving about more (a la N.E.A.T.) will be good if you re just starting out or are obese.

2)      Food is key – so regardless of exercise, always try to eat better.  Even if someone tells you (no matter who they are) you can ‘always burn it off’

3)      Interval training will work wonders for many – especially if you haven’t done something like it before.  Also, if you re strapped for time – then this is better than most options.

4)      Don’t try and improve a boat load of things at once. You want to have a higher aerobic capacity – train long.  If you want to be strong, traing heavy – I thought this would be obvious!








One response to “The Truth About Exercise”