Talk, music, and more for less than a latte

180DegreeHealth #25: High Intensity Training (HIT) with Drew Baye

Get ready for a chat with one of the more prominent modern icons in the high intensity training (HIT) movement, having been featured in Tim Ferriss’s book The 4-Hour Body and on his blog.

Not one to shy away from controversy or try to stifle the other side of the story, today I speak with more or less the antithesis of past and popular podcast guest, Scott Abel. In fact, this guy flat out calls Scott Abel an “idiot” on the call!

That’s right, I’m talking with Drew Baye today–a very intelligent, well-versed, and experienced researcher and trainer. On the call we talk about training everyone from children to the elderly and the many benefits that can be reaped from strength training–even if that strength training is only done for a few minutes a week!

A full 75 minutes of great stuff. Enjoy.

Learn more about Drew at

  1. Nature’s Platform. I’ve been using one for a couple years now and absolutely love it. It took me a while to get over the ‘strangeness’ of squatting in the bathroom, but in addition to more complete elimination (potential reduction of bacterial endotoxin as one possible result?), having to go into a full squat on a daily, regular basis has done wonders for my hip mobility and leg/glute strength.

    Also, has Garrett mentioned anything to you about Gymnastic Bodies?

    I’ve been doing a bodybuilding program called “Big Beyond Belief,” need to give it at least a few more months to evaluate how well it’s working for me…

    …but have been doing the Gymnastic Bodies Foundation One and Handstand One for 5 months now, and have seen steady, remarkable improvements in my strength and mobility. The Gymnastic Bodies program, IMO, is a PERFECT complement to (dare I say Foundation for) any weight training or general strength training program.

    If you want to talk about movement, joint health and mobility and functional strength, GST is the way to go. The Gymnastic Bodies program is laid out so well that people of all skill levels can get started right away.

    Some mobility and strength exercises have been taking me forever — 5 months into it and I’m still not even halfway through some of the level 1 exercises. And on a couple of them, not even a quarter of the way through.

    But that’s just a sign of the gross deficiencies in my strength, movement and mobility that this training is slowly correcting.

    It’s grueling, but not in an exhausting way. I definitely recommend the Foundation Series to anyone interested in exercise and I think as far as maintaining healthy movement and strength into old age goes, it’s one of the absolute best things anyone could do. There was some video of some pretty old lady doing a routine on the parallel bars that pretty much made that point immediately to me.

    Anyway, I’m doing the 6 day per week “Big Beyond Belief” program. I keep my workouts to a maximum of 45 minutes, and usually closer to 30 minutes per day. It ramps up in intensity over 3 weeks, then you go into a 3-4 week (or more) “training phase”. The idea is to cause hyperadaptation by putting a progressively higher load on your body over a few weeks (via more sets and shorter rest periods) and then letting it play catch up during the training phase, AKA the ‘supergrowth’ phase, where the muscle growth is a response to the previous 3 weeks’ intensity/load, while through increased rest periods between sets and fewer sets, the body has time to recover.

    I’m no scientist but I like the program, and on an average of 35 minutes per day, 6 days a week keeps it to 3.5 hours a week. 4.5 hours a week maximum if you take 45 minutes a day to do the workout.

    The high intensity stuff in this podcast does appeal to me. I might be wasting my time with BBB but if it doesn’t work out that well I’ll chalk it up to experience.

    But one hesitation I have is when I tried the Body By Science workouts I felt like I was going to throw up, which I could tolerate, but the hardest part was that my appetite crashed. I would finish a workout and be so exhausted and feel so sick that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything for at least three or four hours after finishing.

    The high intensity was uncomfortable but bearable while I was doing it, but it was the after effects that wiped me out. After about a month I just gave up because I couldn’t sustain the intensity.

    BBB recommends doing reps as quickly as possible with perfect form. So that’s very different.

    I’m definitely up for experimenting with weight training, and have a lot to learn, but as far as bodyweight training goes, and having a foundation for all other physical activities in your life, I don’t think Gymnastic Bodies can be beaten. I don’t know if you could get Coach Sommer on 180 Radio but that would be pretty dope.

  2. Nice interview! Strength training for kids would be a cool book for you to write sometime.