Why "Intense Exercise" Is Critical
The Hypothesis posits that since frequent intense exercise is necessary for survival in the natural world, it can be considered a given from an evolutionary standpoint. It is a critical aspect of our normal evolutionary environment. But why does the Hypothesis insist on the term “intense” exercise. Is one type of exercise really different from others?
For centuries, we’ve been aware of the concept of “use it or lose it.” Muscles that are exercised get stronger. Those that are not used get weaker. For at least the last 50 years, we’ve been aware that certain types of exercise provide benefits to the cardiovascular system. That benefit has generally been considered an aspect of use it or lose it – jogging and other “cardio” exercises work the heart and the circulatory system so they get stronger and work better.
These benefits are real, and they are significant. But they are not the only health benefits conferred by exercise. The presumption by the medical establishment that all of the health benefits of exercise boil down to improved cardiovascular health (and possible obesity control) resulting from steady state exercise has obscured other, even more substantial, benefits of exercise.
By activating the Growth Process, intense exercise allows us to approach our genetic potential across all modalities, not just the ones that are obviously linked to physical performance. The Growth Process is not just a tangential benefit of exercise. The training benefits of exercise are tangential benefits of the Growth Process.
Consider the long list of disorders associated with FDS. Almost any disorder that is not caused by an outside pathogen or physical trauma can be attributed to FDS. By activating the Growth Process, we eliminate all of those disorders. Understanding how intense exercise, but not steady state exercise, brings about these health benefits is one of the most critical concepts contained in the Hypothesis.
The best analogy may be sunlight. From an evolutionary standpoint, there are compelling similarities between sunlight and intense exercise. Both are essential for survival. Both are significant aspects of the normal evolutionary environment. And so both are critical in determining how closely phenotype conforms to genetic potential.
Suppose we all lived in caves and never came out into the sunlight. In the absence of light, we cannot see. We cannot function. We get depressed. Building a fire in the cave would provide some light and allow us to function somewhat. Adding electric lights would improve the situation. We would be able to see and function better.
If intense enough, artificial light helps with depression. But no matter how intense the artificial light is, it won’t be enough to create the normal evolutionary environment and allow us to function perfectly. There is a qualitative difference between most artificial light and sunlight. Only light that has ultraviolet B radiation causes the body to synthesize Vitamin D. Sunlight has ultraviolet B radiation. Most artificial light does not. In the absence of sunlight or some other source of Vitamin D, humans suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets, exacerbates osteoporosis and other bone disorders and is associated with numerous other disorders.
Similarly, any exercise is better than no exercise from a health standpoint. Long bouts of steady state exercise do improve cardiovascular health and assist with certain other health issues. But even extraordinary amounts of steady state exercise (such as running marathons) won’t recreate the normal evolutionary environment and allow us to function as we were designed. There is a qualitative difference between steady state exercise and intense exercise. Only intense exercise causes the body to raise blood levels of Complex X. Complex X is what activates, regulates and provides the fuel source for the Growth Process. In the absence of intense exercise or some other source of Complex X, humans suffer from Complex X deficiency. Complex X deficiency causes FDS and all of the associated disorders.