Checkley, Müller, Alexander, and Pilates initiated their interests from a self-requirement to improve health or overcome functional loss. They subsequently used their bodies as a model to demonstrate their method’s effectiveness and encourage others. Despite their turn of the 20th century separation from the gymnasium ‘Physical Culture’ and new independence, all six MMB pioneers advocated their exercises as an adjunct to other sports and regular daily activity; Müller recommended running on the balls of the feet as an aerobic activity, Pilates worked with dancers, while Morris, who besides her dedication to dance and dancers’ health also published ‘Tennis by Simple Exercises’ in 1937 together with French tennis mega-star Suzanne Lenglen.60 Lenglen S, Morris M. Tennis by simple exercises. London: Heinemann; 1937. [Google Scholar]

Are you new to the gym and not sure where to start? Looking to add more variety into your workout? Or are you wanting to master a move to perfection? Then look no further. Learn how to perform exercise moves safely and effectively with our exercise database, which includes top tips from our qualified trainers, video demonstrations, and a step by step guide.


One of the beautiful things about yoga is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. (Even in the middle of a desert, as this video proves.) But sometimes you need some instruction to get through an entire sequence. That’s where Tara Stiles comes in. The New York City-based yogi teaches a full flow class in this excellent 50-minute video (one of the best YouTube workouts, in our opinion). Her detailed, easy-to-follow instructions make it seem as though you’re working one-on-one with her, and by the end of it, you’ve had a super solid yoga experience.
The benefits of exercise have been known since antiquity. Dating back to 65 BCE, it was Marcus Cicero, Roman politician and lawyer, who stated: "It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor."[143] Exercise was also seen to be valued later in history during the Early Middle Ages as a means of survival by the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe.[144]

First, a disclaimer: I have no financial stake in the sale of any of the other books mentioned below in my review of "Superslow: The Ultimate Exercise Protocol". I'm just interested in promoting safe, logical, scientifically sound methods for people that care about being in good physical condition without any unnecessary risks or wasted time. Any other books or authors mentioned are merely for the purpose of expanding the information available regarding the history (and refinements) of High Intensity Training (HIT) since Arthur Jones first began to popularize the method in the early 1970's.
Before beginning any workout program, it’s always a good idea to consult your physician. Individuals with pre-existing injuries or medical conditions or those who don’t have an accurate knowledge of their current physical fitness level should always begin cautiously. It’s also extremely important to perform all workouts, no matter what fitness method you’re doing, under the supervision of a certified instructor. Their guidance and knowledge of proper form and technique will help you to achieve maximum results while avoiding injuries. They can also help you to safely modify workout activities to match your current fitness levels and goals. Whether you attend classes in a studio or at home through DVDs or streamed videos, the presence of a trained instructor is imperative.
Start in a low lunge position with right foot forward, left foot back, and fingertips touching the ground for balance. In one smooth movement, bring left foot forward and, as you stand on right foot, continue to lift left knee toward chest and hop up on right foot. Land lightly on right foot and immediately slide left foot behind you to return to starting position. Repeat for half the time then switch to the other side.
Hormonal responses to the two exercise bouts are presented in fig 4A–D. Visual inspection led to the conclusion that there are no differences in relative cortisol response between the NFO and the OTS group. ACTH, PRL and GH responses are higher in the NFO group compared with the OTS group, especially in the second exercise bout. However, the SE of GH in the NFO group was probably too large to draw clear conclusions. Indeed, the main effect of group gave an F ratio of F1,7=1.4 for GH. For ACTH and PRL, F ratios were F1,7=5.1 and F1,6=14.7, both significant at p<0.05, confirming larger responses for the NFO group. Visual inspection led to the conclusion that this larger response was much more pronounced after the second exercise bout. Indeed, parametric results pointed in the direction of an interaction effect between test and group for ACTH and PRL (F1,7=4.1; p=0.084; F1,6=4.0; p=0.092).
In summary, if you're only interested in a basic understanding of HIT methodology and where much of it originated I would suggest starting with a far less technical book. I suggest starting with the last published edition of Ellington Darden's "The Nautilus Book" and perhaps "Total Fitness: The Nautilus Way". If you like what you read and want to dig a little deeper into the evolution of HIT read Darden's more recent book, "The New High Intensity Training: The Best Muscle-Building System You've Never Tried". If the gears in your head are in high gear after that and you really want to get DEEP into what evolved from the original Nautilus protocol _then_ you go for "Superslow" or preferably "The Renaissance of Exercise: A Vitruvian Adventure Volume 1". When your grasp of all the aforementioned material is truly solid then move on to Doug McGuff's writing. McGuff's ideas do not surpass or supplant Hutchins' but rather sharpen the points with brilliant thoughts and clinical observations from a medical physician's perspective. Doug McGuff, MD published his "Ultimate Exercise: Bulletin #1" in the late 90's and later updated that with "Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week", both of which are hugely valuable contributions to the literature on HIT methodology and philosophy. His article about "Stoicism in Training" is critical reading.

Each reliability session took place on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at the same time and within the same week. All subjects were given written instructions to drink 35 ml of water per kilogram of body weight, sleep for at least 7 h, refrain from the consumption of alcohol, and avoid any vigorous exercise the day before each visit. Participants were also instructed to avoid any caffeine and nicotine for at least 3 h before testing. Finally, subjects were instructed to consume a set breakfast (2 slices of toast spread with margarine or butter, 250 ml of orange juice, and a banana) 1 h before all testing sessions. At each visit to the lab, subjects were asked to complete a pre-test checklist to ascertain that they had complied with the instructions given to them, and were asked to report any pain or soreness experienced in their leg (to check for the presence of previous session-induced muscle damage). None of our subjects reported leg muscle pain or soreness at the beginning of each session.

Start by lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your head resting in the palm of one hand and the other hand reaching toward your knees. Press your lower back down. Contract your abdominal muscles (abs) and in one smooth move, raise your head, then your neck, shoulders, and upper back off the floor. Tuck in your chin slightly. Lower back down and repeat.

Vinylcise has been historically neglected, and probably for good reason: it's terrible, and not very effective—at least not since we've had visual media alternatives. Can you imagine trying to follow along to an audio-only workout? At any rate, these workout records first appeared in the early 1920s, and were usually accompanied by a paper foldout with exercise diagrams (see the image). The earliest of these records appear to be the set of five Wallace Reducing Records released in 1920-1922 by the Wallace Institute of Chicago and pressed by Columbia Records. These records were marketed towards women, aiming to help them "get thin to music." Other exercise records of the 1920s included Victor Records for Health Exercises, released in 1922, the Battle Creek Sanitarium Health Ladder, directed by John Harvey Kellogg and released by Columbia Records in 1923, and Walter Camp's Daily Dozen, released in 1924.
The aim of this study was to assess the effects of vigorous exercise on functional abilities by means of a Senior Fitness Test (SFT) in a group of elderly adults. Twenty healthy and inactive people performed vigorous exercise (VE: 12 men and 8 women, aged 69.6 ± 3.9 years). At the beginning of the study (T0) and after 3 months (T1), each subject's functional ability was tested for muscular strength, agility, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, and balance. The VE was designed with continuous and interval exercise involving large muscle activities. Functional exercises were performed between 60% and 84% of heart rate reserve (HRR) for a duration of 65 minutes. Five out of the 6 SFTs performed were found significantly improved: Chair Stand (T0 12.4 ± 2.4, T1 13.5 ± 2.6, p < 0.01), Arm Curl (T0 14.2 ± 3.6, T1 16.6 ± 3.6, p < 0.01), 2 min step (T0 98.2 ± 15.7, T1 108.9 ± 16.2, p < 0.01), Chair Sit-and-Reach (T0 −9.9 ± 7.7 cm, T1 1.7 ± 6.3 cm, p < 0.01), and Back Scratch (T0 −15.8 ± 10.9 cm, T1 −8.4 ± 13.1 cm, p < 0.01). Our results suggest that a high intensity protocol and functional exercises can improve functional mobility and muscle endurance in those over 65 years of age. SFTs are an effective method for assessing improvements in the functional capacity of elderly adults.
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