Nutrispec Logo


Volume 15, Number 11

Guy R. Schenker, D.C.
November, 2004

Dear Doctor,


     In integrating our knowledge of nutrition with our knowledge of exercise physiology we have come to a surprising conclusion. Those who want to maximize health with the ideal combination of good food and good exercise need to rely on the consumption of fat. We have also learned how to apply the laws of nutrition plus the laws of physical training to the benefit of the full spectrum of health seekers, from the joggers and leg flingers at one end of the spectrum to competitive athletes at the other.

     Summarizing the universal principles of physical conditioning: All your friends, family members and patients will get the most from exercising if they do exclusively high intensity, short duration work outs.

     Here is the best way to summarize the metabolic needs of exercisers:

     In the pages that follow we find a summary of how to give our patients the benefits of the exercise plus nutrition philosophy discussed in recent Letters. There is a section devoted to those patients who were formerly plodders or flingers, a section for competitive athletes, and even a section for those who have chosen to pursue the extreme demands of long distance competition and body building. We also have detailed descriptions of Grunt and Growl Strength Training as well as Grizzly Bear Interval Training. The strength training exercises can be performed with the equipment found at any health club, or even in most home gyms. The interval training can be done running (in the world, or on a treadmill), bicycling, swimming, or with a cross-country ski machine or other “aerobic exercise” contraption. We should photo copy these pages and use them as handouts for our patients.

     A common question during our months of discussing exercise physiology is how do we implement these exercise principles for a 62 year-old, arthritic, 50 pound overweight patient who hasn’t exercised in years and years? The answer is that these exercise principles apply universally. The principles are the same for obese arthritics as anyone else; it is just that implementation needs to be modified such that, a) the interval training will not likely be done with running --- go with swimming, exercise bike, or some other exercise contraption, and b) the strength training must avoid traumatizing pathological joints.

     With this series of letters on the metabolic benefits of exercise we are not suggesting you become an exercise evangelist. Attempting to force your patients into activities they view with repugnance is certain to cause frustration and failure for you and for them. But for all the patients you know who are already trying to improve quality of life with exercise, you and only you can give them guaranteed success.

     No one can integrate nutrition and exercise like you can.


Guy R. Schenker, D.C.


SUMMARY: Optimal Health from the Ideal Combination of Nutrition and Exercise


COMPETITIVE BALL PLAYERS, WEIGHT LIFTERS, SWIMMERS, TRACK & FIELD ATHLETES (not distance swimmers, cyclists, or runners, triathletes, or body builders):

DISTANCE ATHLETES and BODY BUILDERS [NOTE: The term “Optimal Heath” does not apply to these athletes since their sport requires a non-physiological specialization. The regimen described below will maximize performance while minimizing catabolic stress and the associated acceleration of aging.]


(Grunt and Growl Strength Training should be done 1-3 times weekly, and is most effective if accompanied by 1-3 Grizzly Bear Interval workouts weekly.)

Getting Started:

     Determining the weight to use for each exercise. (This procedure is done on your first workout day, and need never to be repeated unless someday you have stopped exercising for some reason and are getting re-started.)

  1. For each exercise listed below, make your best guess on your maximum single attempt lift and try to lift it.
  2. If too heavy to lift, lighten up; if too easy to lift, add more weight. Attempt another lift.
  3. Repeat to find the weight you can just barely lift one time.
  4. Multiply by 0.7. This is your workout weight for that exercise.
  5. NOTE: On your first workout, all you will do is determine your workout weight for all your exercises.

Grunt and Growl Strength Training Routine:

  1. You will alternate between workouts A and B below.
  2. The exercises should be performed in the order listed.
  3. Each repetition is done at a rate of 25 degrees per second on the concentric contraction and 70-100 degrees per second on the eccentric contraction.
  4. (*This is the most important component of Grunt and Growl Strength Training.) Do as many reps as you possibly can --- grunt and growl as much as you need to to squeeze out just one more rep. This way you know you’ve gotten the most anabolic stimulus possible from this exercise. That point of total momentary exhaustion is your moment of victory. [Note that the number of reps required to reach exhaustion will be different for different exercises. This is because you have your own unique proportions of fast and slow twitch fibers in the various muscles of your body.]
  5. As the weeks go by, you will find that the number of reps required to reach exhaustion for the various exercises will increase. When that number of reps has increased by 2, it is time to increase your workout weight for that exercise by about 10 percent.


Workout A

Workout B


     (Grizzly Bear Intervals should be done 1-3 times weekly, and are more effective if accompanied by 1-3 Grunt and Growl Strength Training workouts weekly.)

     You may choose running, bicycling, swimming, cross country skiing or other “aerobics” exercise contraption for your Grizzly Bear Interval Training. The key to success is putting out high intensity bursts of speed lasting 30-90 seconds. [NOTE: “High intensity” is a relative term. Output that might be high intensity for one person might seem an easy cruise for another.]

     Pretend there is a grizzly bear chasing you. Take off at nearly full speed and go like crazy until you feel as if you’d rather be Mr. Grizzly’s lunch than go another second. At that point (which should be at the end of a 30-90 second burst) stop. In precisely 60 seconds take your 15 second pulse. Go right into your next Grizzly Bear chase, repeating the cycle until you see a pulse that is clearly not recovering. Go home and feel powerful.


Nutri-Spec Letters