The One-Minute Workout Designed by Scientists — Dr. Martin Gibala



“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!


Listen to it on iTunes.
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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:

Twitter | McMaster University

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

Show Notes

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]

People Mentioned

Peter Diamandis
Ray Kurzweil
Roger Bannister
Izumi Tabata
Richard Metcalfe
Mark Hargreaves
Homer Simpson
Joshua Spodek
Christopher Shulgan
Atul Gawande
Gretchen Reynolds
Alex Hutchinson

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