“Life is an interval workout.” – Dr. Martin Gibala
Martin Gibala, Ph.D. (@gibalam) is a professor and chair of the kinesiology department at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. His research on the physiological and health benefits of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has attracted immense scientific attention and worldwide media coverage.
Martin has published more than a hundred peer-reviewed articles, is frequently invited to speak at international scientific meetings, and has received multiple awards for teaching excellence. He is also the co-author of the brand-new book The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter.
Please enjoy my conversation with Dr. Martin Gibala!
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Want to hear another episode with one of the world’s top fitness experts? — Listen to this episode with strength coach Charles Poliquin. In this episode, we discuss, muscle-building techniques, how to become stronger, warmup routines, why people struggle to lose fat, and more (stream below or right-click here to download):
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Connect with Dr. Martin Gibala:
- The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter by Martin Gibala and Christopher Shulgan
- McMaster University’s Department of Kinesiology
- Martin’s course: Integrative Physiology of Human Performance
- What is VO2 max?
- Metabolic equivalent (MET)
- Importance of Assessing Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Clinical Practice: A Case for Fitness as a Clinical Vital Sign by Robert Ross, et al., Circulation
- One example of an online VO2 max calculator
- Physiological Adaptations to Low-Volume, High-Intensity Interval Training in Health and Disease by Martin J. Gibala, Jonathan P. Little, Maureen J. MacDonald, and John A. Hawley, The Journal of Physiology
- Are Saunas the Next Big Performance-Enhancing “Drug?”
- Mitochondria and citrate synthase
- Life Fitness 95c, Lode Excalibur Sport, RacerMate, and Kettler are some of the bikes Martin uses for research and personal fitness.
- What is peak power output (PPO)?
- What is phosphocreatine?
- What’s the Single Best Exercise? by Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times
- The Craft of Scientific Writing by Michael Alley
- The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande
- The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer by Gretchen Reynolds
- Which Comes First, Cardio or Weights?: Fitness Myths, Training Truths, and Other Surprising Discoveries from the Science of Exercise by Alex Hutchinson
- Setting the scene and learning how to pronounce “Gibala.” [05:11]
- What falls under the purview of physiology? [06:19]
- Martin talks about teaching integrative physiology at a college level and what his students find most fascinating (and confounding) about the curriculum. [06:48]
- What is VO2 max? [08:46]
- Is the link between high VO2 max and greater longevity a matter of causation or correlation? [11:48]
- Should cardiorespiratory fitness be considered a clinical vital sign? [13:47]
- Can VO2 max accurately be calculated online? [14:23]
- When did Martin begin researching interval training, and what was the catalyst? [17:28]
- Where Tabata training fits into the history behind the one-minute workout. [19:13]
- What is the Tabata protocol? Is it especially efficacious, or has the data been overinterpreted? [21:25]
- Why is most scientific interval training testing done on bikes? [25:12]
- What was the first interval training study that surprised Martin? [27:44]
- How is fatigue defined in lab tests on humans? [32:56]
- What are mitochondria and why are they important? [36:08]
- What minimal regimen would Martin recommend for a former competitive athlete with a history of minor injuries? [44:09]
- Warmup and cooldown recommendations. [47:15]
- How would Martin determine ideal starting wattage for testing? [52:09]
- Comparing the 10×1 protocol with other protocols, and determining which is right for you. [54:27]
- Does recovery time between intervals consist of pure rest or just less strenuous activity? [57:10]
- Why are some people prone to fainting after a vigorous bout of exercise? [58:08]
- Comparing the wattage of a warmup to the wattage of active recovery. [59:22]
- How is optimal rest period determined? [1:00:30]
- How many times per week would Martin recommend the 3×5 effort workout? [1:03:39]
- How do other interval protocols differ from Martin’s one-minute workout namesake? [1:04:31]
- What type of rest intervals does Martin recommend between twenty-second efforts? [1:06:07]
- What improvements would Martin expect to see with people who don’t regularly work out? [1:07:35]
- How would Martin recommend someone begin a program like this? [1:11:29]
- Does Martin believe there’s still a place for traditional steady state exercise? [1:14:36]
- What does Martin consider the single best exercise — and why? [1:16:13]
- What’s the best way to instill long-term adherence to interval training? [1:20:36]
- On stealth interval workouts and “exercise snacking.” [1:23:22]
- Most gifted books and writing he admires. [1:24:20]
- What would Martin’s billboard say? [1:27:26]
- Parting thoughts. [1:31:25]
- Peter Diamandis
- Ray Kurzweil
- Roger Bannister
- Izumi Tabata
- Richard Metcalfe
- Mark Hargreaves
- Homer Simpson
- Joshua Spodek
- Christopher Shulgan
- Atul Gawande
- Gretchen Reynolds
- Alex Hutchinson