Hacking Exercise For Health. The surprising new science of fitness.

  • Created by Martin Gibala
  • Course Duration 1-4 weeks
  • Price USD$Free
  • User Rating 4.7
  • Platform Coursera
  • Course Link Explore Course
Renowned exercise physiologists Martin Gibala and Stuart Phillips of McMaster University teach the surprising new science of cardio fitness and strength-building—and then provide you with hacks to get fit and strong (and healthy!) in less time than you ever thought possible. What’s the right mix of exercise between cardio and strength? How do you know if you’re working out hard enough? What’s better, heavy or light weights? These questions and more are addressed through a course designed to provide even the most inexperienced of exercisers the tools you need to design time-efficient workouts that can be done virtually anywhere, from your own home to a city park or even at your workplace. Marty and Stu are good friends and colleagues who just happen to be two of the world’s most passionate scholars in the science of fitness. They aim to entertain you while they’re describing the relationship between exercise and health. Marty is a pioneer in the field of interval training, the technique of varying your workout intensity to get fit faster than anyone ever thought possible. Stu’s studies proved that lifting lighter weights can be a highly effective strength-building technique—plus he’s a leading expert in dietary protein and muscle. In Hacking Exercise for Health, you’ll follow Marty and Stu as they teach you the basics about the way your body boosts its fitness and strength. Next, they’ll apply that theory, providing you with a series of do-anywhere workouts and, most importantly, teaching you what you need to know to design your own sessions. Filled with inspirational practical tips, fun quizzes, interactive community participation and assignments designed to help you remember your lessons, Hacking Exercise for Health will give you the tools and techniques to incorporate exercise into your life, no matter how busy you are.


Are you looking to hack your way to better health and fitness in less time? Welcome to the groundbreaking online course, “Hacking Exercise For Health: The Surprising New Science of Fitness.” This course, designed by renowned exercise physiologists Martin Gibala and Stuart Phillips of McMaster University, will transform the way you approach exercise and provide you with effective techniques to achieve optimal results. Whether you are a beginner or have no previous experience, this course is tailored to meet your needs and help you get fit and strong on your own terms.

Course Overview

In this course, you will embark on a journey to uncover the fascinating relationship between exercise and health. Marty and Stu, our enthusiastic instructors and experts in the science of fitness, will guide you through the essentials of cardiorespiratory and musculoskeletal health. They will debunk common myths, answer burning questions, and equip you with the knowledge to design your personalized, time-efficient workouts. With their fun and entertaining teaching style, you’ll not only gain valuable insights but also enjoy every step of the learning process.

What You’ll Gain

By enrolling in “Hacking Exercise For Health,” you’ll gain invaluable skills and knowledge that will revolutionize your approach to physical activity and well-being. Here’s what you can expect to learn:

  1. Evaluate the Role of Physical Activity: Understand the impact of physical activity on your overall health and well-being.
  2. Improve Cardiorespiratory Fitness: Discover how aerobic training can significantly enhance your cardiorespiratory health.
  3. Harness the Power of Strength Training: Learn how to build strength and improve your musculoskeletal health effectively.
  4. Formulate Your Own Exercise Routine: Design time-efficient workouts that suit your lifestyle and fitness goals.

Who This Course is For

This course is for anyone who wishes to improve their health and fitness, regardless of their experience level. Whether you’re an exercise novice or have been working out for years, “Hacking Exercise For Health” will provide you with a fresh perspective and practical tools to enhance your well-being. The course is ideal for:

  • Individuals seeking to optimize their physical activity routines.
  • Busy professionals looking for time-efficient workouts.
  • Fitness enthusiasts interested in the latest scientific insights.
  • Anyone motivated to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.

The Science of Fitness – Exploring Cardiorespiratory and Musculoskeletal Health

Before delving into the specifics of the course, let’s explore the miraculous changes that exercise triggers in the human body. Marty and Stu will break down the two types of fitness: “Cardiorespiratory” and “musculoskeletal.” They’ll explain why each type is vital for a long and healthy life and the ideal amount of each activity you should aim for.

The question of whether cardiorespiratory or musculoskeletal health is more important has puzzled exercise scientists for years. But with the guidance of our expert instructors, you’ll gain a clearer understanding of the role of each type of exercise and how they complement each other.

Week 1: Understanding Cardiorespiratory Fitness

During this exciting week, Marty will dive into the world of cardiorespiratory fitness, unveiling the latest research on time-efficient ways to get fitter faster. You’ll explore the concept of “VO2max” and learn how aerobic exercise can significantly boost it. Marty will provide you with techniques to improve your cardiorespiratory fitness in less time than you ever thought possible, making exercise an enjoyable part of your daily routine.

Week 2: Time-Efficient Ways to Improve Cardiorespiratory Fitness

With newfound knowledge about cardiorespiratory fitness, you’ll proceed to week 2, where Marty continues to share the secrets of maximizing your fitness levels. Discover why some scientists consider cardiorespiratory fitness as the fifth vital sign and how you can determine your own VO2max easily. This week’s lessons will empower you to take charge of your cardiorespiratory health effectively.

Week 3: Embracing Strength Training for Health

In week 3, Stu debunks the myth that strength training is only for bodybuilders. He explains the myriad health benefits of strength training and why it becomes even more important as you age. Stu will teach you techniques to build strength and counter the natural decline in muscle strength that occurs over time. By the end of this week, you’ll feel confident and comfortable with resistance-training workouts.

Week 4: Balancing Cardio and Strength – The Surprising Benefits of Exercise

As the course nears its conclusion, Marty and Stu will finally answer the burning question they posed in the first week. They’ll reveal the surprising benefits of exercise, including its positive impact on mental retention and cognitive abilities. You’ll learn hacks to boost both muscle strength and cardiorespiratory fitness, and Marty and Stu will provide you with techniques to design your own enjoyable, combined workouts that will keep you exercising for life!


Congratulations! You’ve completed the “Hacking Exercise For Health” course, and you are now armed with the knowledge and tools to transform your health and fitness journey. Remember that the human body improves with use, and exercise can be a truly transformative experience. Whether you’re working out at home, in a park, or even at your workplace, prioritize your well-being and make exercise a lifelong commitment.


  1. Is this course suitable for beginners with no prior exercise experience? Absolutely! “Hacking Exercise For Health” caters to individuals of all experience levels, including beginners who are eager to kickstart their fitness journey.
  2. How much time should I dedicate to the course each week? The course is designed to be flexible, requiring approximately 7 hours per week for three weeks. However, you can learn at your own pace and adjust the schedule to fit your lifestyle.
  3. What sets this course apart from other fitness programs? This course is backed by the expertise of two world-renowned exercise physiologists, Marty and Stu, who present the latest scientific insights and time-efficient exercise techniques.
  4. Is financial aid available for the course? Yes, financial aid is available for eligible learners. The course page provides more information on how to apply for financial assistance.
  5. Will I have access to the course materials after completion? Yes, once you’ve completed the course, you’ll retain access to the course materials, enabling you to revisit the valuable content whenever you need a refresher.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to revolutionize your approach to exercise and health. Enroll now in “Hacking Exercise For Health” and embark on a journey towards a fitter, stronger, and healthier you!