Thursday, May 21, 2009

Clarence Bass on Body by Science

I've been reading Clarence's books for years. I don't always agree with him - especially on diet where I like more fat and meat than he would be comfortable with - but he is always a stimulating read and writes really well. It was through him that I first came across Art DeVany and the whole Evolutionary fitness thing. Actually thinking about it, he first wrote about Pavel and kettlebells.

Anyway, he has a piece up this month on Body By Science (my interviews with the authors are here and here) which is definitely worth reading.

Aerobics, Do You Need It? Complete Fitness in 12 Minutes a Week

For those still in doubt, here’s my opinion.

First, I believe you can skip traditional aerobic workouts—if you are willing and able to do high-intensity intervals once or, at most, twice a week. (Walking or at least staying active on off days is also advisable.) We’ve already seen from the McMaster studies that sprint intervals dramatically increase endurance capacity in a fraction of the time required for conventional steady-state aerobic training. Intervals are also more effective/efficient for burning fat and probably for overall health. For studies in point, see Intervals for (Almost) Everyone:

Hard intervals have proven value that has not been shown for resistance training, especially very short, hard routines. Until we have evidence that strength training—any kind—will do as well, I’m going to keep doing intervals.

Dr. McGuff’s concept of total body conditioning may be correct. His demonstration on You Tube suggests that the 12-minute routine does indeed have a “global metabolic effect.” If you try it, I believe you’ll agree. For people who are busy and motivated, it may work very well when combined with walking (or some other form of physical activity) on most non-workout days. (We will have an article next month on the importance of staying active between workouts.)

I do believe that one hard set (after warm-up) is the best—certainly the most efficient—way to build strength and muscle. I don’t favor rushing from one exercise to the next, however; it dampens effort and creates an aversion to training. And I’m not convinced that one set is enough for complete fitness. Until we have convincing evidence to the contrary, I believe you need resistance training and some form of endurance training.


Clarence Bass said...

Thanks, Chris, for telling your visitors about my work; hope they find some stuff they can use.

I read and enjoyed your Q & A with Doug McGuff. Very good questions. I gained a fuller understanding of what he's about.

Continued success with your training.


Clarence Bass

Chris said...

Clarence thanks for the comment. Indeed thanks for your website and all of your writings. I've read all of your books since you first wrote Ripped and I've been influenced by you in many ways, educated and stimulated by the developments in your approach over the years.

Like Doug and John Little you are another intelligent guy that really thinks and analyses this whole area of physical conditioning.

Thanks again


Anonymous said...

Great insight, guys. The realm of physical culture keeps evolving. Intelligent forums such as this and CB's site fuel that evolution.