standard Doug McGuff-Strength Training for Health and Longevity

This lecture is part of the IHMC Evening Lecture series.

The average American begins to experience a physical decline that begins as early as their mid-20’s and continues throughout the course of their life, terminating in the final decades of their life in a state of dysfunction and dependence. While this is becoming commonplace, it is certainly not normal. Our ancestors, as well as modern hunter-gatherers experienced a high level of physical functioning and health, that barring injury or infection, continued into advanced age. In this lecture Dr. McGuff will discuss the concept of physiologic head room and discuss the notion of a quality life not just measured in years, but in “area under the curve” based on high physiologic headroom throughout a full lifespan. He will show how a brief and infrequent regimen of high intensity exercise can reverse the diseases of modern civilization and how the new science of myokines (hormone-like substances released by working skeletal muscle) make this possible.

Doug McGuff, MD became interested in exercise at the age of 15 when he first read Arthur Jones’ Nautilus Training Bulletin No. 2. His interest in exercise and biology led him into a career in medicine. In 1989, he graduated from the University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio and went on to train in Emergency Medicine at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences at Little Rock where he served as Chief Resident. From there, Dr. McGuff served as Faculty in the Wright State University Emergency Medicine Residency and was a staff Emergency Physician at Wright-Patterson AFB Hospital.

Throughout his career Dr. McGuff maintained his interest in high intensity exercise. Doug realized a lifelong dream when he opened Ultimate Exercise in November, 1997. Over the past 19 years Dr. McGuff and his instructors have continued to explore the limits of exercise through their personal training clients at Ultimate Exercise.

In addition to his work at Ultimate Exercise, Dr. McGuff is an Emergency Physician for the Greenville Health System and is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Greenville. He lives in Seneca, South Carolina with Wendy, his wife of 32 years and their two children, Eric and Madeline.


  1. This is probably one of the most important lectures on the efficacy of strength training, in terms of inducing physical well being, that I have seen. Thank you Dr. McGuff for sharing this with us.

  2. Glad to see a new version of the Body By Science teaching. Your teaching helped motivate me back onto a life long path of health and high activity. I had a lull in my late 40's that caught up with me around 50ish. Following the HIT protocol my health snapped back quite quickly. A big thanks to Doug McGuff.

  3. Doug McGuff or anyone else with the knowledge. Since UPC1( thermogenin) is found only in brown fat, what uncoupling mitochondrial proteins are stimulated by IL-15? I knew that uncoupling are increased by thyroid hormone, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and leptin—but I had no idea about (1) IL-15 stimulation nor (2) conversion of white to brown fat in either children or adults. Truly fascinating, and uplifting !

  4. What caught my ear was that the older gentleman he profiled near the beginning did HIST 1x/week, but ALSO apparently High Intensity Aerobic Interval Training (HIAIT).

    Does anyone know what type of HIAIT is utilized under the Body By Science protocol?

    Is it the 'commonly understood' type of aerobic training (like Elliptical, Sprinting, etc.) where, for example, a person does a high intensity '20 seconds on, 10 seconds off' kind of protocol;

    Or is it weight bearing, where, for example, someone did high reps of lower weights to fatigue for a short period of time, takes a brief rest, and then does them again?

    I'd like to incorporate my HIAIT into my workouts at this point of my life, so any guidance is much appreciated.

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