75 – How Much Does Exercise Really Help With Fat Loss? – Christopher Scott PhD

Chris Scott PhD stress test
A younger Dr Chris Scott undergoing a stress test

Christopher B. Scott PhD is a Professor of Exercise, Health & Sport Sciences at the University of Southern Maine. As a working exercise physiologist, Professor Scott continues a 35-year career in fitness, science, medicine and academia. His current teaching priorities reside within the Exercise Science program at the University of Southern Maine with a research agenda that focuses primarily on the estimation of the energy costs of strength, speed and power related exercise and activities. He has published over 60 research-related articles in peer-reviewed journals, mentoring dozens of students in the process. His findings on how exercise best contributes to weight loss are unique and informative, being presented both in the United States and International venues.

Chris Scott is a leading contributor to the field of exercise physiology and is the author of a textbook on the subject, “A Primer for the Exercise and Nutrition Sciences: Thermodynamics, Bioenergetics, Metabolism” (Human Press, 2008). His research agenda focuses primarily on the energy costs of strength, speed and power-related activities.

I encourage you to listen and/or read Chris’s interview with Builtlean.com for a more thorough understanding of some of the concepts we explore. Go here to read/listen.

[Update 16/02/18: Check out Chris’s new book! How To Maximize The Caloric Costs Of Exercise – Amazon US / Amazon UK]

Contact Chris via email: cscott [at] maine [dot] edu

In this episode we cover:

  • The amount of energy different exercise activities actually expend
  • How exercise may be able to help prevent long-term fat gain
  • The massive health benefits derived from HIT/HIIT and why it’s the most important exercise activity to undertake
  • and much more

Listen below:

Listen to the Corporate Warrior Podcast on iTunesListen to the Corporate Warrior Podcast on Stitcher

Want to hear another episode on fat loss? — Listen to this interview with Dr Ted Naiman. In this episode, we discuss the most effective diets for fat loss, HIT frequency, why some people struggle to burn fat on a high-fat low-carb diet and much more (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.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What insight did you find most interesting? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Show Notes

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Selected Links from the Episode

People Mentioned

Comments 8

  • Very interesting episode, I think much more needs to be done to raise awareness of the efficacy of specific exercise modalities for desired outcomes. Just a note, at 16.30 or so you reference the “amplification cascade” in Body By Science, this mechanism is actually involved in the cleaving of glycogen bonds, enzymes act on other enzymes to release large amounts of glucose molecules within muscle tissue as and when needed.

    • Thanks Andrew. I realised I’d mentioned the wrong mechanism as I said it lol hence the mention of cytokines and myokines afterward.

      • I may be getting confused but my reading is that cyto/myokines are wholly distinct from the enzymes involved in the cleaving of glycogen molecules, Doug simply describes the mechanism by which muscles can release and access large amounts of energy when the demand is greatest. It’s my understanding that Cyto/myokines are suspended in the cytoplasm until cleaved by their own necessary enzymes and then go on to be involved in processes unrelated to glycogen release. Caveat: I am a total layman but have an okay memory for useless minutia.

        • You may be right. This is what prompted me to mention myokines and cytokines:

          Dr. Doug McGuff:
          Correct. Most of the myokines that have been studied are actually cytokines that have an anti-inflammatory effect. Much of the myokines will have an anti-inflammatory effect that directly opposes the inflammatory effects of a lot of the inflammatory cytokines. Probably the longest known and most deeply understood myokine, is one called interleukin 6. That myokine is liberated from contracting skeletal muscle, particularly when its doing high intensity work, but pretty much in any sort of muscular activity it is released to some degree. It is actually, as the intensity of exercise rises, its released in an exponentially greater degree because it is done by an amplification cascade. Meaning that when its triggered, 2 molecules will trigger 4 molecules, and 4 molecules will trigger 8, and that just amplifies very quickly.

          This is an excerpt from an interview Doug McGuff MD did you Dave Asprey (Bulletproof Radio). If you haven’t heard them, I REALLY recommend you listen to both. Doug is outstanding:


          I haven’t listened to this one yet! Can’t wait https://blog.bulletproof.com/dr-doug-mcguff-md-body-science-best/

          • Thanks Lawrence, I’d only read Doug’s reference to biological cascades in the metabolic context set out in Body by Science, which out of context I assumed you were referring to. Sorry for the confusion, will definitely check out the podcasts!

          • Just got those podcasts in my ears, really interesting I could listen to Doug for hours. It’d be amazing if you could do a dedicated episode on myokines. It really goes a long way to explain a lot of the positive effects that I’ve experienced along with changes in body composition that aren’t explained by “conventional wisdom”. Also I’m especially interested in Doug’s ideas about the body shedding stored fat based on it’s functional utility.

  • Hi Lawrence,
    Simon Costello here. Just wondering if you have to hand some of the figures / examples he mentions around the burning 400 calories – e.g. x mins walking; running; HIIT, squats etc. as I couldn’t quite catch them all with reception and they were just interesting. Not so much for my own training but to have the figures in my head for discussing it with other people!!
    Great episode!

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