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Dear Mr. Bass: As an avid reader of your website, I assume you might be thrilled about the results of this Norwegian study comparing the results of a HIIT protocol…to that of Classic endurance training. They looked at mortality over a five year period….The results are strongly supporting the kind of aerobic regime you have been recommending for a long time. Enjoy the read! Will


The Generation 100 Study Supports HIIT for Older Adults

Thank you, Will.

Led by Norwegian Professors Dorthe Stensvold and Ulrik Wisloff, the Generation 100 Study is the longest and largest randomized controlled exercise trial evaluating the effect of supervised exercise training versus physical activity recommendations on mortality in older adults. “Importantly, our data demonstrate larger health benefits in those that undertook mainly high intensity exercise when compared to those that mainly undertook exercise with moderate intensity,” the lead researchers wrote. “We therefore suggest that future guidelines for physical activity, at least for older adults, should be more specific in requiring that at least part of the physical activity should be performed with high intensity.”

You can read the entire study online:  https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m3485


* *  *

I introduced high-intensity intervals—I called them bursts—I my book Ripped 3: The Recipes, The Routines & The Reasons, published in 1986. Having come on scientific evidence that prolonged endurance exercise actually destroys muscle tissue, I suggested that bodybuilders include bursts of high-intensity muscular effort in every aerobic session.

“When the exertion is moderately hard or hard, I’m using my fast-twitch fibers and moving out of the aerobic range. When the exertion level is easy or comfortable—not too easy, not too hard—I’m training aerobically.”

My objective was to preserve or build muscle—while burning fat. I had no inkling of the many other benefits of high intensity training scientists would uncover in the years to come.

The “Aerobic Training” category of our website (launched in 1996) is filled with articles on the Tabata Protocol, the benefits of HIIT uncovered by Professor Martin Gibala and his team at McMaster University in Canada, and study after study on the marvels of HIIT. https://www.cbass.com/aerobics.htm

*  *  *

The other articles in this Update are about research uncovering more metabolic benefits of “Hard Workouts” and “Bursts of Exercise.” We are learning more and more about what makes high intensity exercise so effective. While any exercise is better than none, doing only moderate intensity exercise may be curtailing the possible benefits.


In 1983, Guy Appelman took this photo of me running up the mountain above our home.
Carol and I are still training on this mountain, but my strides are shorter and choppier.
We’ve never stopped hard training.

April 1, 2021

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