How Effective is High Intensity Training for Fat Loss and Metabolic Flexibility? – Tim Allerton PhD

Tim Allerton PhD
Measuring VO2 Max in Tim Allerton’s HIT LAB

Dr. Tim Allerton (email: timallerton [at] gmail [dot] com) is a postdoctoral fellow for the National Institute of Health and Pennington Biomedical Research Center conducting research on metabolic resiliency. Tim earned his bachelor degree in Kinesiology from Louisiana State University thereafter he earned his master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Tim earned his PhD in Exercise Physiology from LSU where his research focused on metabolic flexibility in response to acute bouts of exercise. He was recently named a National Scholar for the American Kinesiology Association and is also an experienced trainer with over 10 years of experience working with clients and corporations. Tim is the founder of HIT Lab, inc – a metabolic testing and consulting service.

We cover:

  • The effect that HIT/HIIT has on metabolic flexibility and fat loss
  • The benefits of HIT over and above strength and muscle hypertrophy
  • How to increase the rate of fat loss
  • And much more!

Listen below:

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Interested in learning from another top sport scientist, James Fisher PhD? – Listen here. In this episode, we discuss if there is any point in training muscles in isolation, how the Pareto Law principles apply to exercise, and the benefits of strength training for joint, ligament and tendon health (stream below or right-click here to download):

This episode is brought to you by Hituni.com, providers of the best online courses in high intensity training that come highly recommended by Dr. Doug McGuff and Discover Strength CEO, Luke Carlson. Course contributors include world-class exercise experts like Drew Baye, Ellington Darden and Skyler Tanner. There are courses for both trainers and trainees. So even if you’re not a trainer but someone who practices HIT, this course can help you figure out how to improve your progress and get best results. Check out Hituni.com, add the course you want to your shopping cart and enter the coupon code ‘CW10’ to get 10% off your purchase!

This episode is brought to you by VitalExercise.com, a one-of-kind personal training facility in the UK owned and run by world class personal trainer, Ted Harrison. For over 30 years, Ted has been very successful in helping people achieve great results, and, if you’ve seen the blog posts for his episodes on this podcast, you’ve seen that he walks the walk. For 56, he looks amazing! Operating from a HIT base, Ted uses an eclectic mix of training styles to optimise results for his clients. Ted put me through one of the best workouts of my life and is someone I go to for advice often. To book a free consultation either at his facility in Essex in the UK or to find out more about his virtual coaching, which includes personalised training, nutritional and motivational advice, go here where you can fill in a contact form or phone Ted directly for more info.

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Show Notes

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Selected Links from the Episode

People Mentioned

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favourite insight in this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

  • Thomas

    According to Chris Masterjohn, the overwhelming driver for whether a person burns fat or not or is insulin sensitive or not is their cells need for energy. And while a low(er) carb diets can help satiate, its influence on insulin is not the main driver for fat loss (because insulin isn’t the main driver for fat loss or storage).

    With this, I believe the HIT community needs to stop its long loving hug with low carb and reduce it to a friendly handshake (less PDA please). Lawrence, it would be awesome if you could try and get Chris on your show for some biochemistry talk.

    Nice podcast by the way…

    • Tim Allerton, PhD

      Great point Thomas. Biochemically the cells need for energy is “sensed” by a protein kinase called adenosine monophosphate protein kinase (AMPK). This molecule can sense the change in AMP:ATP. If there is an increase in AMP relative to ATP the molecular machinery will work to increase pathways to generate new ATP (from fat and carbs).

      • Thomas

        Yeah, but the idea that the cell ultimately isn’t controlled by insulin, that it’s response to insulin is in accordance with the cells need for energy is what I found interesting. Anyway…

        • Tim Allerton, PhD

          While its true that no “one thing” controls the cells it would be inaccurate to say insulin doesn’t control the cells. Insulin directly inactivates AMPK and drive the mechanisms of the cell to store energy. In fact, insulin is the most potent hormone to block lipolysis (breakdown of fat). That being said, factors like insulin sensitivity and metabolic flexibility determine the degree to insulin will control cellular activity. In terms of LC diet or keto diets, the current data suggests that if they work to reduce body fat it probably NOT because insulin levels are reduce. Probably all about calories!

    • Very interesting insight Thomas. I struggle with the diet debate often. It’s very confusing, and, as you get more into it (as you probably know), you realise there are a lot of unanswered questions. I used to be a HFLC zealot HA! I still eat relatively LC, but more so to control appetite vs my former belief that calorie quantity doesn’t matter.

      Chris is on my list. I shall try and get him on the show 😀

      Thanks again for your feedback.