Many studies including myokines (cell signalling proteins which are produced by muscle fibers) who can combat cancer and metabolic syndrome support high-intensity training and its importance.


What is high-intensity strength training?

High-intensity strength training can be differentiated from other exercises since it is a process in which a stimulus is trying to be generated by us to cause strength and metabolic improvements instead of simply trying to demonstrate strength by lifting any possible weights.


High-Intensity Strength Training promotes Anti-Inflammatory Myokines

Though some exercises are more effective than others, yet it still plays a big part in affecting our body composition. However, know this that even though 90 to 98 percent of people are doing exercises, they are not doing high-intensity exercises but instead they are focusing on slow endurance-type exercises, which cut off many of the benefits of exercise.

Earlier, it was thought that the human body trends towards optimal health automatically since it is a homeostatic organism. However, in the words of Dr. McGuff, this is not so and this is where the study on the subject of ‘myokines’ comes in.

Myokines are a type of chemical messenger which falls in a class called cytokines. Cytokines as we already know, are liberated from the adipose tissue and our body fat. Among those, many of them are inflammatory cytokines, going by the names of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) and interleukin-1 family (IL-1). And once these mytokines are added to the equation, it either adds or takes away the ability of our body to maintain health.


New research suggests HIT may help to combat cancer

As far back in the 1980s and even more previously, research by Ken Cooper with the Aerobics Institute had found out that exercises reduce the risk of cancer. But why remains the biggest question. Why would exercise help in preventing cancer? It only makes people healthier in general. Research has found ‘myokines’ to be the answer, with exercise having the profound metabolic effects.

In the words of Dr. McGuff, it is our diet by which can give the competitive advantage to our tissues which means we should avoid the inflammatory foods such as sugar/fructose, trans fat, processed fats or else our body will simply generate cytokines and if that happens, no matter how much exercise we do, it will never be enough to create myokines to compete with the inflammatory cytokines that we have produced by an unhealthy diet.


Your body was built for brief and high-intensity workouts

Mankind has slowly begun to perform very high-intensity exercises. However, a frequent question comes to mind. The question is – what is the difference between the high-intensity cardio that is done with an exercise bike or elliptical machine and using weight?

The main difference comes from when performing a Resistance Intense training modality vs HIIT (interval training) is that you can have ALL POSITIVE ADAPTATIONS AND BENEFITS from interval training instead in a more complete form when applying resistance training instead; plus all the extra benefits for resistance training such as maximised muscle growth as well as low force in the joints and ligaments by not using explosive movements as interval training would prioritise, instead we use low force, slow and control movements, in a safe way and time efficient manner.

Proper training, results in the release of adrenaline and epinephrine by triggering our body’s flight or fight response. The trigger of both of these hormones causes an amplification cascade which empties our muscles of glucose so that it can be used for fuel.

So, like HIIT, high-intensity strength training gives you many benefits including cardiovascular benefits and fatigue too comes prematurely which triggers the contractile tissue’s synthesis along with the all the metabolic components which will support it, that is, myokines, just high intensity strength training brings you all the benefits without potential side effects from the explosiveness and optimise muscle build and strength.


Recovery is also an important part of your fitness plan

Ideally, we would want to incorporate both of the versions in our exercise since they are both beneficial. But we must remember that as our fitness increases and so the intensity of our exercise, which too goes up and with that, the body’s frequency goes down. It is the reason why we have to customise the program according to our fitness level otherwise the results of our workouts will be adverse. High-intensity training exercises are generally recommended for not more than four times a week, but we will need more recovery time as we grow stronger. Our body needs time to recover and doing any more than that will only put our body under too much strain. Assessing and customising the plan for different individuals goals and genetics is essential.


Strength training only becomes more important with age

Improving our strength as we age is of utmost importance, and it plays an important part of our fitness. The risk of falling only increases with age, and this is primarily due to the lack of muscle strength and which can become lethal.

Another ingredient for optimal health is to avoid sitting for extended periods of time and this includes even to the others with the ideal time shouldn’t be more than 15 minutes at a time.


Marcelo is the co-founder and Director of Exercise Physiology at Intense Health, Perth's #1 Private Strength Training and Nutrition Clinics.


Marcelo is the co-founder and Director of Exercise Physiology at Intense Health, Perth's #1 Private Strength Training and Nutrition Clinics.