The Complete Beginner’s Guide to High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT): What it is, how it compares to other forms of exercise and the results you can expect to get (part 1) – HITUNI

HITUNI has a well researched, succinct 3-parter about what HIT is and how to use it.  I’m so glad they wrote it.  I really hate the more “marketing” side of the training business, and these guys do my work for me.  If you are new to the concept of HIT, this is a great start.  And when you’re done, give me a call.  I’ll get you started.

Here’s a snippet:

HIT vs Cardio HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)

Sometimes high intensity interval training gets called HIT too and this can cause confusion!

High intensity interval training is a form of cardiovascular (CV) exercise involving sprint intervals- traditionally that type of exercise was always known as High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. At some point one of the I’s got dropped though and it is now often referred to as HIT, too!

CV focused high intensity interval training (HIIT) is like the cousin of High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT), and is an effective form of applying traditional CV exercise, such as stationary cycling, for CV fitness benefits. Whilst sprint intervals are excellent at providing CV fitness they do lack when it comes to providing a balanced strengthening stimulus for the musculature of the whole body.

The same is not however true in reverse: although High Intensity (Resistance) Training uses workouts that consist of exercises that are traditionally considered strength training exercises, the effect of applying these exercises in a highly intense manner produces similar CV health benefits as the more traditional CV modalities (e.g. stationary cycling).

In many ways HIT (resistance training!) is the ultimate all-in-one workout protocol as it stimulates hypertrophy, strength increases and CV benefits together. When training to momentary muscular failure (as per HIT) the acute metabolic and molecular responses do not differ from traditional endurance training and myocardial function is maintained or even enhanced.

Here’s a mega-table comparing HIT with all these exercise modalities. Scroll right and left to see all of them. Do you have any more you’d like to see here? Suggest in the comments below.

For the full article, go here.

Part 2 is The Complete Beginner’s Guide to High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT): full-body workouts, types of exercise, technique and momentary muscular failure (part 2)

Part 3 is The Complete Beginner’s Guide to High Intensity Resistance Training (HIT): Recommended routine, order of exercises, tempo, time under load, rest between exercises and frequency of training (part 3)

And if that’s not enough, I recommend Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week by John Little and Doug McGuff.

Of that’s still not enough, you are not a newbie, and you need deeper material  email me.


Girls with poorer motor skills more likely than boys to be obese — ScienceDaily


Date:December 19, 2016

Source:Coventry University

Girls with poorer motor skills more likely than boys to be obese Date: December 19, 2016 Source: Coventry University Summary: Young girls who exhibit a poor mastery of fundamental movement skills (FMS) are more likely to be obese than boys who have similarly low skills, according to research.

Source: Girls with poorer motor skills more likely than boys to be obese — ScienceDaily


Young girls who exhibit a poor mastery of fundamental movement skills (FMS) are more likely to be obese than boys who have similarly low skills, according to research led by Coventry University.

The study — which won an award at the recent British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences conference — assessed among other things the running, catching, and balance skills of 250 girls and boys between 6-11 years, categorising their FMS as either low, medium or high.

Researchers at Coventry University, working in collaboration with Middlesex University and the University of South Carolina, then cross-referenced the kids’ motor skills with their body fatness to investigate the relationship between the two. The children’s habitual physical activity was also taken into account.

The researchers found that:

  • body fatness was significantly higher among girls in the low FMS category compared with boys in the same category;
  • body fatness was higher for girls in the low FMS category compared with girls with medium or high fundamental movement skills;
  • there was no significant difference in body fatness across the low, medium and high FMS categories for boys.

Lead researcher Professor Mike Duncan, an exercise physiologist in Coventry University’s Centre for Applied Biological and Exercise Sciences, said “We know from previous studies that primary school children with a higher body mass index are likely to have poorer fundamental movement skills, but our research is aiming to understand this relationship in more detail — particularly how gender may play a role.

“What we’ve found is significant because it signals a need to review the strategies we have to enhance motor proficiency in girls, and means we should be engaging health practitioners and PE teachers to help explore and understand how additional opportunities or different techniques may be required compared with boys.

“The next big question — which we’re continuing to research — is whether developmental delays in acquiring these motor skills, whether in girls or boys, may actually be the cause of children gaining unhealthy weight status.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Coventry University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Why intensity is not a bad word: Optimizing health status at any age.

Author information


Age-related declines in health and function make locomotion increasingly difficult leading to reductions in non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), skeletal muscle size and strength, and increased adiposity. Exercise is an important strategy to attenuate loss of function through the life cycle. Despite claims to the contrary, high-intensity exercise is important for the prevention of obesity and sarcopenia with advancing age. Therefore, the purpose of this mini-review is to present literature supporting the contention that low volume, high-intensity aerobic and/or resistance training can slow sarcopenia, sustain ease of movement, stimulate NEAT, and attenuate the accretion of fat mass.


Energy expenditure; Exercise economy; High-intensity exercise; Physical activity; Resistance training; Sarcopenia

Scientists challenge recommendation that men with more muscle need more protein — ScienceDaily

Source: Scientists challenge recommendation that men with more muscle need more protein — ScienceDaily

How much protein should we eat after exercise? Credit: Image courtesy of University of Stirling

Sports nutrition recommendations may undergo a significant shift after research from the University of Stirling has found individuals with more muscle mass do not need more protein after resistance exercise.

Health and exercise scientists from Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence found no difference in the muscle growth response to protein after a full body workout between larger and smaller participants.

Kevin Tipton, Professor of Sport, Health and Exercise Science in the Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport, said: “There is a widely-held assumption that larger athletes need more protein, with nutrition recommendations often given in direct relation to body mass.

“In our study, participants completed a bout of whole-body resistance exercise, where earlier studies — on which protein recommendations are based — examined the response to leg-only exercise. This difference suggests the amount of muscle worked in a single session has a bigger impact on the amount of protein needed afterwards, than the amount of muscle in the body.”

Experts also found participants’ muscles were able to grow and recover from exercise better after a higher dose of protein.

Consuming 40 grams of protein after exercise was more effective at stimulating muscle growth than 20 grams. This increase occurred irrespective of the size of the participants.

Professor Tipton continued: “Until now the consensus among leading sports nutritionists, including the American College of Sports Medicine and the British Nutrition Foundation, is that weightlifters do not need more than around 25 grams of protein after exercise to maximally stimulate the muscle’s ability to grow.

“In order for nutritionists to recommend the correct amount of protein we first need to consider specific demands of the workout, regardless of athletes’ size. This throws commonly held recommendations into question and suggests the amount of protein our muscles need after exercise may be dependent on the type of workout performed. These results are limited to younger, trained men so we may see different results with other groups, such as older individuals or females digesting different amounts of protein.”

Young, resistance-trained males were recruited for the study and divided into two groups, one with lower lean body mass of less than 65 kilograms and one with higher lean body mass of more than 70 kilograms.

Each volunteer participated in two trials where they consumed protein after resistance exercise. In one trial participants consumed 20 grams of whey protein and in the second, they consumed 40 grams of whey protein after exercise. Scientists measured the muscle’s ability to grow at an increased rate with metabolic tracers and muscle biopsies.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Stirling. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Lindsay S. Macnaughton, Sophie L. Wardle, Oliver C. Witard, Chris McGlory, D. Lee Hamilton, Stewart Jeromson, Clare E. Lawrence, Gareth A. Wallis, Kevin D. Tipton. The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole‐body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein. Physiological Reports, 2016; 4 (15): e12893 DOI: 10.14814/phy2.12893

University of Stirling. “Scientists challenge recommendation that men with more muscle need more protein.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 August 2016. <>.

Higher muscle mass associated with lower mortality risk in people with heart disease
CutDate:  April 22, 2016
Source:  University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Cardiovascular disease patients who have high muscle mass and low fat mass have a lower mortality risk than those with other body compositions, researchers have found. The findings also suggest that regardless of a person’s level of fat mass, a higher level of muscle mass helps reduce the risk of death.

Full Article

Researchers from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA found that cardiovascular disease patients who have high muscle mass and low fat mass have a lower mortality risk than those with other body compositions. The findings also suggest that regardless of a person’s level of fat mass, a higher level of muscle mass helps reduce the risk of death.

This findings indicate the importance of assessing body composition as a way to help predict cardiovascular and total mortality in people with cardiovascular disease.


In previous studies on the relationship between body composition and mortality, the researchers used a simpler clinical measure of body composition called the bio electrical impedance scale. They noted a possible protective effect of muscle mass on both mortality and metabolism in healthy people. The new study extends the findings from the earlier research using dual X-ray absorptiometry, a more rigorous method of measuring body composition.

The researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999 to 2004, of 6,451 participants who had prevalent cardiovascular disease. Each subject was categorized into one of four groups:

  • low muscle/low fat mass
  • low muscle/high fat mass
  • high muscle/low fat mass
  • high muscle/high fat mass

Those with high muscle mass and low fat mass had the lowest risk of cardiovascular and total mortality.


Because people with higher muscle mass were more likely to have a high body mass index, the findings could explain the “obesity paradox,” which holds that people with a higher BMI have lower mortality levels.

The findings also highlight the importance of maintaining muscle mass, rather than focusing on weight loss, in order to prolong life, even in people who have a higher cardiovascular risk. The authors suggest that clinicians encourage their patients to participate in resistance exercises as a part of healthy lifestyle changes, rather than focusing primarily on, and monitoring, weight loss.


Dr. Preethi Srikanthan, associate clinical professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology at the David Geffen School of Medicine, is the study’s primary investigator. The study’s co-authors are Dr. Tamara Horwich, health sciences clinical professor of medicine, division of cardiology, and Dr. Chi-hong Tseng, adjunct associate professor of medicine in the division of general internal medicine and health services research.

The study was published in the American Journal of Cardiology.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. The original item was written by Enrique Rivero. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Preethi Srikanthan, Tamara B. Horwich, Chi Hong Tseng. Relation of Muscle Mass and Fat Mass to Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. The American Journal of Cardiology, 2016; 117 (8): 1355 DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2016.01.033

Antihistamines affect exercise recovery, may or may not be a problem
Date:  April 14, 2016
Source:  University of Oregon
After vigorous exercise, some 3,000 genes go to work to aid recovery by boosting muscles and blood vessels, but in the presence of high doses of antihistamines almost 27 percent of the gene response is blunted, according to researchers.

Source: Antihistamines affect exercise recovery, may or may not be a problem: Research identifies 3,000 genes that are busy after exercise, including 795 that are altered by strong doses of histamine blockers — ScienceDaily

Full Story

After vigorous exercise, some 3,000 genes go to work to aid recovery by boosting muscles and blood vessels, but in the presence of high doses of antihistamines almost 27 percent of the gene response is blunted, according to University of Oregon researchers.

Whether the antihistamine effect on 795 affected genes might suggest a problem for competitive athletes and devoted exercisers, however, is not known, said John R. Halliwill, professor of human physiology. He was one of 10 co-authors of the study now online ahead of print in the Journal of Physiology.

Histamine is a substance in the body that responds to pollens, molds, animal dander, insect bites and other allergens. Too much response in some people fuels uncomfortable allergic reactions, prompting the use of antihistamines.

Halliwill discovered in 2005 that histamines also relax blood vessels, increasing blood flow that aids post-exercise recovery. That emerged from his original focus on why some people, including athletes, pass out after vigorous physical exertion. He later found a link between an over-activation of two histamine receptors to drops in blood pressure.

The new study — led by doctoral student Steven A. Romero and in collaboration with Hans Dreyer, a departmental colleague who studies muscle physiology — expanded the research to a wider genetics level. Researchers sequenced RNA, molecules essential for protein synthesis and signaling among genes, with state-of-the-art equipment in the UO’s Genomics Core Facility.

“We were looking for pathways associated with the growth of new blood vessels,” said Halliwill, who is director of the department’s Exercise and Environmental Physiology Lab. “We saw evidence of that, but we also saw gene expression associated with glucose uptake by muscles, restructuring of muscle in response to exercise, immune responses and intercellular communications.”

In the research, 10 men and six women, all 23-25 years old, physically fit and active, performed an hour of knee-extension exercise at 60 percent of their peak power, about 45 kicks per minute. Biopsies were done before and three hours after exercise to obtain samples of the quadriceps (vastulus lateris), skeletal muscles on the side of the thighs.

Eight participants took 540 milligrams of fexofenadine and 300 milligrams of ranitidine — levels nearly three times the recommended dosages of the over-the-counter antihistamines. Each target one of the two known histamine receptors involved in recovery responses.

During exercise, blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate were monitored. The three-hour recovery window allowed the team to study gene transcription slightly beyond previous work that had found histamine improved blood flow for two hours after exercise.

The antihistamines had no effect prior to exercise and little influence on gene expression at the conclusion of the workout. Three hours after exercise 88 percent of the 795 genes affected by the antihistamines mostly responded with lower levels of expression.

“Histamine, a substance that we typically think of negatively and is most often associated with seasonal allergies, is an important substance contributing to the normal day-to-day response to exercise in humans,” said Romero, who is now at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas on a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Institutes of Health.

In their conclusion, the authors noted that the research highlighted only a small fraction of genes likely involved in signaling pathways influenced by histamine receptors activation during recovery.

“Our data really highlight that there remain many unanswered questions regarding the use of exercise to promote beneficial adaptations in humans, Romero added. “Integrative physiologists from across the world have spent a great deal of effort conducting elegant studies in humans and yet we still have much work left to do.”

A key question is whether people should avoid taking antihistamines when they exercise. It’s too early to make that call, Halliwill said.

“We’ve got more work that we have to do,” he said. “We need to do a training study in which we put people on histamine blockers and see if their adaptations to exercise training are as robust or diminished. There are a lot of redundancies in physiological systems. I wouldn’t be surprised if blocking histamine receptors ends up being overcome by something else, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if we can demonstrate that some responses to exercise training do become blunted if you take high doses of histamine blockers.”

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by University of Oregon. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Steven A. Romero, Austin D. Hocker, Joshua E. Mangum, Meredith J. Luttrell, Douglas W. Turnbull, Adam J. Struck, Matthew R. Ely, Dylan C. Sieck, Hans C. Dreyer, John R. Halliwill. Evidence of a broad histamine footprint on the human exercise transcriptome. The Journal of Physiology, 2016; DOI: 10.1113/JP272177

HIT Body Weight Training

Not up for personal one-on-one sessions with Jean?  No worries.  Our HIT Body Weight Training Classes are 45 minutes of energetic high intensity training in a small group setting using nothing but your body as the mechanism for change.

Think that’s not long enough to change your body?  The principles of HIT have been repeatedly proven by exercise scientists over the last several decades.  You CAN make positive changes to your strength and physique with the knowledgeable application of those principles.

HIT has become so synonymous with quickly and safely improving strength that it is now frequently an advertising hook by big box gyms whose “instructors” are untrained fly-by-night temporary employees.

Our classes are taught by Jean Kottemann, a trainer in New Orleans for with over 17 years of experience training in the HIT method.

Benefits of HIT include:

  • Increased strength and muscular function
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness (yes, it’s “aerobic”)
  • Improved flexibility and/or range of motion
  • Improved sleep
  • Improved immune function
  • Takes less time than traditional exercise methods
  • Look and feel better




Regular exercise critical for heart health, longevity

strong heart

Copyright: dejanj01 / 123RF Stock Photo

 Just exercise, y’all.  I can help you get started.

Experts encourage physical activity for heart disease prevention

Date:  January 18, 2016
Source:  American College of Cardiology
The majority of citizens in developed countries should not be concerned by potential harm from exercise but rather by the lack of exercise in their lives, according to a clinical perspective.



The majority of citizens in developed countries should not be concerned by potential harm from exercise but rather by the lack of exercise in their lives, according to a clinical perspective published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology from the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Leadership Council. According to the council, small amounts of physical activity, including standing, are associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but more exercise leads to even greater reduction in risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

“The evidence with regard to exercise continues to unfold and educate the cardiovascular clinical community,” said JACC Editor-in-Chief Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D. “The greatest benefit is to simply exercise, regardless of the intensity, while the danger is two-fold: to not exercise at all or to exercise intensely, without due preparation.”

Studies have shown that regular physical activity reduces a person’s risk of death from cardiovascular disease; however, only half of U.S. adults meet the federally recommended guidelines of 150 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity exercise.

In this report, the American College of Cardiology Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council examined recent research on the volume and intensity of aerobic exercise required for favorable cardiovascular health. With the rise in participation in endurance races over the past three decades, they also address the question of whether or not there is an amount of exercise that increases cardiovascular disease risk.

The council found that moderate and vigorous intensity exercise in amounts lower than the 2008 Physical Activity Guideline recommendations still significantly lower mortality risk in different populations around the globe. Increasing the amount of moderate intensity exercise a person engages in results in increased reductions in cardiovascular disease mortality; however, the reductions in cardiovascular mortality benefits from vigorous intensity exercise do level out at a certain point.

There is no evidence for an upper limit to exercise-induced health benefits and all amounts of both moderate and vigorous intensity exercise result in a reduction of both all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality compared to physical inactivity.

While controversial, a few limited studies have raised the concern that high volumes of aerobic exercise may be as bad for cardiovascular outcomes as no exercise at all. According to the council, the possibility that too much exercise training could be harmful is worthy of investigation, but research results show that even for the very active, life-long endurance athletes, the benefits of exercise training outweigh the risks.

“The public media has embraced the idea that exercise may harm the heart and disseminated this message, thereby diverting attention away from the benefits of exercise as a potent intervention for the primary and secondary prevention of heart disease,” said Michael Scott Emery, M.D., co-chair of the ACC Sports and Exercise Cardiology Council.

For cardiovascular disease patients, exercise can save lives, but one study showed that only 62 percent of heart attack patients were referred to cardiac rehabilitation at hospital discharge. Of those, just 23 percent attended more than one rehab session and only 5.4 percent completed more than 36 sessions.

“The available evidence should prompt clinicians to recommend strongly low and moderate exercise training for the majority of our patients,” Emery said. “Equally important are initiatives to promote population health at large through physical activity across the life span, as it modulates behavior from childhood into adult life.”

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American College of Cardiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Thijs M.H. Eijsvogels, Silvana Molossi, Duck-chul Lee, Michael S. Emery, Paul D. Thompson. Exercise at the Extremes. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2016; 67 (3): 316 DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.11.034

Exercise to reduce lower back pain

Pardon me while I engage in a personal note to my clients:  The following is why I have you do the form we do on back and — well — ALL exercises.  I train you so that you are creating a strong foundation under those bigger showier muscles.  There’s a way to do that.  And a way to do the opposite.  Don’t do the opposite.  Do what I say and don’t argue.

Exercise to improve skill and coordination can help reduce lower back pain, new research shows


A new Cochrane Review published today shows that targeting exercises to muscles that support and control the spine offers another strategy to reduce pain and disability caused by lower back pain.

Lower back pain is one of the most common health conditions worldwide. It can have substantial health and economic costs as people experience disability and general ill health, leading them to need time off work.

Motor control exercise is a popular form of exercise that aims to improve coordination of the muscles that control and support the spine. Patients are initially guided by a therapist to practise normal use of the muscles with simple tasks. As the patient’s skill increases the exercises become more complex and include the functional tasks that the person needs to perform during work and/or leisure activities.

The new study, published today in the Cochrane Library, gathered together data from 29 randomized trials involving a total of 2,431 men and women, aged between 22 and 55 years old. The trials investigated the impact of using motor control exercises as a treatment for lower back pain compared with other forms of exercise or doing nothing.

The Cochrane authors found that people who used motor control exercises experienced improvements, especially in pain and disability compared with minimal intervention. When compared with other types of exercise at intervals between 3 and 12 months motor control exercise provided similar results for pain and disability.

Lead author, Physiotherapist Bruno Saragiotto, from The George Institute, University of Sydney, Australia, said, “Targeting the strength and coordination of muscles that support the spine through motor control exercise offers an alternative approach to treating lower back pain. We can be confident that they are as effective as other types of exercise, so the choice of exercise should take into account factors such as patient or therapist preferences, cost and availability. At present, we don’t really know how motor control exercise compares with other forms of exercise in the long term. It’s important we see more research in this field so that patients can make more informed choices about persisting with treatment.”

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Wiley. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Saragiotto BT, Maher CG, Yamato TP, Costa LOP, Menezes Costa LC, Ostelo RWJG, Macedo LG. Motor control exercise for chronic non-specific low-back pain. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012004

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Can High Intensity Training Weight Training Really replace my cardio?


That’s the question I’m most often asked.  Here’s my go-to response:

One of the most significant exercise studies done in the last half century was a 1975 West Point Study.  You can read the details in the link, but in a nutshell, West Point wanted to, among other things, “identify the consequences of a short duration, high intensity strength training program.”  To that end, cadets were divided into groups a control group, that continued traditional training methods consisting of hours in the gym and on the track, and a strength training only group (referred to as the “whole body group”) which trained 3 times a week for short durations using only Nautilus strength training machines.  The whole body group was strictly supervised, and they participated in no running or other training.  A battery of strength and cardiovascular measurements were taken at the beginning of the study (2 weeks in, to allow for any false improvements.)

At the end of the 8 week study, naturally the whole body group had greater improvements in terms of strength.  But what was surprising was that “On NONE of the 60 indices purporting to evaluate the effects of the training on the cardiovascular function was the control group better on the final testing period (or on the change from initial to final) than the whole body group.” The whole body group even had more improvement in the 2 mile run, and they had not practiced running in 8 weeks.

Col. James Peterson, who conducted the test concluded, “Contrary to most commonly held beliefs on the subject of strength training, the training also significantly improved the cardiovascular condition of the subjects. By maintaining the intensity of the workouts at a high level and by limiting the amount of rest between exercises, the training resulted n improvement on each of 60 separate measures of cardiovascular fitness. Contrary to widespread opinion, not only will a properly conducted program of strength training produce increases in muscular strength but will also significantly improve an individual’s level of cardiovascular condition. The data suggests that some of these cardiovascular benefits apparently cannot be achieved by any other type of training. And finally, the experimental subjects increased their level of flexibility by an average of more than 10% on the three evaluative items.” (Emphasis added).

This study, and/or aspects of it, has been repeated throughout the last 40 years, with similar results.

So yeah.  I “think” 30 minutes of high intensity training can replace hours and hours of “cardio.”