36 minutes of vigorous exercise over 5 1/2 months, the results.


To get more out of exercise it is essential to accurately determine the minimum effective dose and the amount of recovery time needed to produce improvement.  Perry, age 69, does his weekly 30 minute strength training sessions at our Austin strength training facility.  He recently began sprint training on one of our stationary bikes about three times a month. 

For the strength training we measure Perry’s time under load (TUL) for each exercise.  When the TUL increases to a certain point we raise the weight the next session.  Perry has been training for four years and continues to improve.  We keep accurate records.

We do the same for sprint training. To accurately measure improvement we control the variables:

  • ·         Same difficulty level

  • ·         Same number of sprints(6)

  • ·         Same sprinting interval (22 Seconds)

  • ·         Same recovery level (heart rate) before beginning the next sprint.

In May it took Perry 28 minutes to do six sprints.  Five and half months later his time had gone down to 18:30 minutes. That is a 9 ½ minute improvement - the same work in far less time.  Adding up all the twenty-two second sprints that comes out to a total of 36 minutes of sprinting time over 5 ½ months.

With 330,000 workout sessions under our belts working with a wide range of ages and abilities, we have a good idea of what constitutes an effective dose of exercise (it is not that much) and the recovery time needed to produce ongoing improvement.The sprints are demanding - that is what stimulates change – but the time commitment is small, and the benefits are worth it.



Still young and possibly facing life in a wheelchair she turned things around


Kate’s doctor informed her that if things continued on the same path, she may be confined to a wheelchair in six months.  Kate is still young; she has a rare genetic muscular disorder that has made her progressively weaker to the point that it has adversely affected her balance.

It has been six months since she started strength training with Glenn at our Austin Strength Training facility – no wheelchair for Kate.  She is stronger and her balance has improved remarkably. Her family was elated to see her walking in heels again, at a quicker pace, and up and down hills no less. This is not a small victory for Kate.

Glenn faced a similar prognosis because of his Multiple Sclerosis.  He was told that he would need a wheelchair within five years, so he began strength training. That was 12 years ago – no wheelchair for Glenn either.

It can be overwhelming when confronted with these health challenges.  You don’t know where to start - therapies, diet, life-style changes, supplements, and an endless array of exercise options. Consider strength training.  A long list of health problems can be alleviated with the right strength training program. The program should be customized to the individual’s needs and take into account these considerations:

  • It would use equipment and a protocol adaptable to working with those with limiting conditions such as Kate’s as well those in top physical shape.

  • It would deliver the minimum effective dose of exercise. The dose that produces the best result; any exercise beyond that is a waste of time and at worst detrimental. It was essential for Kate’s success that she not to overtax her limited recovery ability.

  • It would produce quantifiable improvement each week. Tracking that improvement is important for dosing considerations. Also, seeing and experiencing that improvement is powerful motivation for Kate.

    Each week Kate lifts a little more, she lifts a little longer, and takes a little less time between exercises. Over time these changes add up. As Kate can attest, these changes can be profoundly life-changing.