“He [Ken Leistner] worked you out so hard that if you didn’t throw up after your workout, you didn’t workout hard enough … The goal was to throw up … It was an unwritten goal … He had trash bags all around the place.” – Adam Zickerman
“Simplicity is Genius” – InForm Fitness Motto
Adam Zickerman is a New York Times Best Selling Author with his book, Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution. He is the CEO and Founder of InForm Fitness Studios, providing high intensity strength training personal training throughout seven facilities across the US.
Adam holds an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Binghamton University, and was certified in 1995 as a personal trainer with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
He also studied under Ken Hutchins, the architect of slow-cadence strength training, for his level 1, 2 and Master SuperSlow® certifications.
Self-taught in equipment design, biomechanics and exercise physiology, Adam has written a comprehensive trainer certification course, for qualified applicants, on the principles of high intensity training and the Power of 10 methodology.
Adam and I get into some really interesting concepts in this interview. We kick off with how Adam got into HIT and what he learned from his mentors, Ken Liestner and Ken Hutchins. We talk about the value of thinking scientifically followed by Adam’s answers to some of yours and my own questions related to HIT.
Towards the end of the interview, Adam reveals his business strategy that caused his business to become highly successful and help him become a NYT best selling author. Don’t miss out!
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Interested in hearing from another very successful HIT business owner? Check out this awesome interview with Discover Strength CEO, Luke Carlson (stream below or right-click here to download).
This episode is sponsored by Hituni.com, the best online courses in high intensity strength training. I recently completed their personal trainer course to increase my knowledge and become certified in HIT. HITuni offer DIY courses to help you get better results from your training and personal training courses to help you start and grow your HIT Business. Visit HITuni.com and use the code “HIB10” to get 10% OFF.
- Adam’s interview with 48 Hours [5:25]
- Adam’s background in exercise and introduction to HIT [7:10]
- Thoughts on being a scientific thinker [19:50]
- Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution [24:40]
- Is 10/10 an effective exercise cadence? [28:05]
- How to determine whether someone requires a second set [33:25]
- How much do recovery and training requirements vary between different people? [40:50]
- Great advice on training the neck [49:05]
- Training recommendations for people in the aviation industry [56:10]
- Intermittent fasting vs multiple small meals per day [59:00]
- What would Adam change about his book today, Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution? [1:04:20]
- Are shorter TULs more effective? [1:06:30]
- Adam’s personal exercise routine [1:11:53]
- Why doesn’t Adam play basketball anymore? [1:15:30]
- After the acquisition of a 300 square-foot dank basement, how did Inform Fitness Studios take off? [1:17:50]
- What was the one thing that single-handedly helped Adam become a NYT best selling author? [1:29:10]
- What advice would Adam give to his 20-year-old self? [1:35:00]
- What has Adam changed his mind about in the last year? [1:38:05]
- The embarrassing moment when I said ‘ravished’ rather than ‘famished’ (my nerves got the better of me) [1:45:15]
Selected Links from the Episode
- The View
- Adam’s interview with 48 Hours
- Super Slow: The Ultimate Exercise Protocol by Ken Hutchins (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist by Richard P. Feynman (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- McMaster University
- Power of 10: The Once-A-Week Slow Motion Fitness Revolution by Adam Zickerman (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- Vital Exercise
- Manual Neck Resistance
- New York Knicks
- Science – The New York Times
- News Week
- Congruent Exercise: How To Make Weight Training Easier On Your Joints by Bill DeSimone (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- Moment Arm Exercise
- Barbara Walters
- Drew Israel
- Ken Leistner
- Robert Francis
- Ken Hutchins
- Richard Feynman
- Nicolaus Copernicus
- Charles Darwin
- James Steele
- Doug McGuff
- Ted Harrison
- Arthur Jones
- David Landau
- Ellington Darden
- Lesley Stahl
- Bill DeSimone
- Gregor Mendel
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What questions do you have about Adam’s philosophy that we didn’t discuss in this podcast? Please let me know in the comments below.
All – you might have noticed that the first file was faulty. Sorry about this! I have replaced it with an amended audio file!
Kamen Stranchevski says
Hey Lawrence, another very good interview! I’d like to thank you for asking the questions, that we have discussed previously. Regarding the TULs, I am not sure if Adam understood correctly, that the real context of the question was to compare classic bodybuilding workout volume, with the HIT (SS) volume TUL-wise. And he strated the individual explanation thing. In fact earlier in the interview, he just mentioned how he was stunned form the way he could fatigue himslef with HIT SS one “strict”set, when he first tried it, compared to his previous 50 rep tough workouts… Individual approach is a must, but on the other hand in real life even we are so individual, we also have so much in common and there are laws of science, with their definitions valid for us all. Otherwise medicine, biology and other sciences would be meaningless in their existance. Anyway, according to me, the real beauty of HIT is the idea, that you can deliver the “stimulus” in a very time effective way, compared to all other training methods and in very accurately measured(individual) dose! So the main definitions and ratios of variables on how to do this were the subject of the question. Otherwise the other two points from the interview that I like the most are the “rest between exercises/sets” topic. As while training, we do “self-stimulate” our muscles to work (not externally, say with electricity wires), great focus is needed in order to produce best results. Taking time to recuperate and to focus between exercises/sets, greatly assists our ability to do just that! And the really cool IMO part was about that older lady, that complained she could not increase her results in a menaingfull way for 6 years, BUT she was sixty something and in fact keeping the results was a great success in itself, even more so, that the level of question was much higher, than when she had started training in the first place! I think that this was a true revelation right there! I hope, that more people hear this and think about it. May be this will cut a whole bunch of useless discussions over other forums. So Lawrence, thank you once more for all you’re doing and please keep the podcasts comming!
Cheers Kamen. I read this way back, but wanted to respond to let you know I appreciate all of your insightful comments!
Chris Otto says
Great to hear Adam speak again. Great guy and the real deal. I am now 58 and considered in great shape with few aches thanks to the workout he advocates since I ran across him 12 years ago.
Ok … Adam says that a few clients can’t go from machine to machine fast .. so that’s ok … maybe it is … but if they want to get the total package … it might be worth moving fast … endurance … strength … they over lap … so it depends what you want .. if you let clients dictate the workout … most will take the easy way out .. total workout is moving fast in my opinion … you get more overall fitness (what a word) out of it
Donnie Hunt says
So much great stuff here. Some things that really resonated with me:
Don’t hurt anybody during a workout.
Big, compound, high energy using movements.
Don’t leave out the benefits or some of the simple/isolation movements.
Controlled movements, not obsessing over a specific speed.
I really enjoyed hearing how Adam got his business started and how it grew.
I’ve still got about 11 minutes left to listen to.
It seems that there is much common ground here with some other great trainers.
Thanks for the summary Donnie 😀
Donnie Hunt says
I also liked the brief discussion about more traditional routines, the longer rests. This added even more to open mindedness.