Dr. James Fisher and Dr. James Steele: Workout Nihilism vs Workout Optimisation

Dr James Fisher and Dr James Steele with Werner Kieser and colleague
Dr James Fisher and Dr James Steele with Werner Kieser and colleague (Photo courtesy of Kieser Training)

Dr James Steele is an Associate Professor in Sport and Exercise Science at Southampton Solent University (United Kingdom). James teaches across both exercise physiology, biomechanics, and research methods, is an active researcher and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on a variety of areas relating to health and fitness.

Listen to my previous episodes with Dr Steele here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Dr James Fisher is a Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Sports Conditioning and Fitness at the Southampton Solent University in the UK. He is the lead author on 2 of the most important papers published in Evidence-Based Resistance Training.

Listen to my previous episodes with Dr Fisher here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Early January 2018, I took a flight back to my homeland (UK) to visit the James’s over at Southampton Solent University for the most gruelling workout ever, a meat feast and some very engaging and intellectual conversation.

Here’s the workout routine they put me through:

  • MedX Knee Extension (1 timed-static-contraction maximum force output test following by 3 drop-sets to failure)
  • Z-Bar Bicep Curls (3 drop-sets to failure – on the third set, I had to ask for a bin incase I puked … )
  • Chin-up (Single-set-to-failure)
  • Chest press (Single-set-to-failure)
  • Dips (Single-set-to-failure)
  • Chest press (Single-set-to-failure)
  • MedX Lower Back (Single-set-to-failure)

This episode is an in-person 3-way podcast. Unfortunately, I did not have any microphones and we ended up using VoiceRecorder (which is pretty decent) on my iPhone 7 to record the podcast. The sound quality is okay but it might be a little difficult to listen to if you’re dealing with other noise. Next time I do an in-person interview, I’ll bring microphones or and/or use a Zoom H6!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The role of effort in resistance training
  • Are multiple sets not-to-failure just as effective as single-sets-to-failure?
  • How to motivate loved ones to exercise
  • Workout frequency
  • The value of supervision
  • Workout nihilism vs workout optimisation
  • When is more volume more effective?
  • The value in resting between exercises
  • … and much more

Listen below:

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Enjoy a round table discussion with world class exercise experts? Check out my round table interviews below with Drew Baye, Ryan Hall and Skyler Tanner or click here (Part 1 and Part 2) for show notes:


This episode is brought to you by the Resistance Exercise Conference – The Science and Application of Strength Training for Health and Human Performance. You will learn from the top strength training researchers, connect with exercise professionals from all over the world, get a workout from an expert trainer and get inspired, rejuvenated and focused on your strength training business.

You will get the chance to chat with guys like Dr James Fisher, Luke Carlson, and Jim Flanagan. I will be attending with many of the Corporate Warrior listeners and I’d love to meet you in person. The resistance exercise conference will be held on the 9th and 10th of March 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at The Graduate Hotel.

I’m very excited about this and have wanted to attend for years. Sign up now at ResistanceExerciseConference.com, get 10% off your entry fee and $50 off your stay at the Graduate Hotel (normally $160 per night) with promo code corporatewarrior10 and I look forward to meeting you in person!

Quickly! The Graduate Hotel discount is only available till February 9th 2018

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Get a FREE high intensity training progress google sheet and podcast transcripts with guests like Dr. Doug McGuff, Drew Baye, and Skyler Tanner – Click here

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