By Brian Murray, M.Ed.
Director of  Clinical Research, ViiV Fitness

Dumb Doctors

Hey, I realize ViiV fitness is light-years ahead of the times, but c'mon, even a neurosurgeon should be able to quickly grasp the points I make, right? 


There is a big difference between being intelligent and being smart.

Intelligence is about gaining knowledge easily and quickly. It's a trait people are born with. 

Doctors have this trait.

I don't.

Smart is an acquired trait. Smart is about using knowledge obtained through experience and applying it to practical situations.

After nearly 20 years of being immersed in researching, observing and collecting data on how people of all ages, shapes and sizes respond to a few seconds of all out effort I have become smart and wise.

So when a neurosurgeon recently responded to my article -- THIS COULD CHANGE THE WORLD, I found it a perfect illustration of how very intelligent people can, not intentionally, lead you astray.

To quickly refresh, in that article I referenced a first of its kind study that shows not only what actually happens in our central nervous system when we lift weights, but the bundle of nerves that drives our changes in strength. It was shown that load is the most important factor in creating the greatest change in central nervous system strength and efficiency. I linked all of this together with the ViiV and it's ability to maximize load, and made a solid case for why the ViiV way could change the world.

Yet, even a neurosurgeon can have a hard time getting it right away. I address the following quotes:

Doc: "One could improve strength on a "computer," sure - by forging more robust neural pathways. It's all Neural. But for what? Less muscle will be "built." 

But for what!? 

A stronger and more efficient central nervous system makes a more capable human being in a wider range of activity levels. I've witnessed hundreds of people not only regain the ability to do things they haven't been able to do in years, but have an increased sense of well being and more positive outlook on life.

But for what? How 'bout turning back the hands of time and improving all around quality of life?  

That's smart. 

"Less muscle will be "built?"  

Its not about how much muscle is built (can't do it anyway), it's about how much is activated. It's about how much you can activate when you really need to turn on the jets, or how much you don't need to activate to do something challenging. The ViiV puts you in a position to maximally activate your musculature which reduces your need to activate as much during all activities.

That's smart.

But let me make sure I'm reading this correctly. To me it sounds like the pursuit of "forging more robust neural pathways" is a waste of time because it means "less muscle will be built?" 

I'm confused. 

Even if it were possible to do, could you "build" more muscle without forging more robust neural pathways? 

After all, you did say "It's all neural."

Doesn't matter anyway because after you reach full maturity you can't add more muscle to your body just like you can't make yourself taller. 

Everyone should review the following:

  • PJ Rasch 1955. The Problem of Muscle Hypertrophy: A review.
  • Morehouse and Miller 1963. "It has not been proved that hypertrophy is necessarily a desirable reaction ... it may be simply a by-product of training, perhaps a noxious one."
  • Buckner 2016. The Problem of Muscle Hypertrophy: Revisited.
  • Loenneke 2019. Exercise Induced Changes in Muscle Size Do Not Contribute to Exercise Induced Changes in Muscle Strength.

In the entire history of all the research that has ever been done from the beginning of time, there has NEVER been a proven connection between a change in muscle size (exercise induced hypertrophy of muscle cells) and increased strength. 


Furthermore, exercised induced change in muscle size is just a temporary shift in fluid. Muscle "building" is an illusion. I made the case for this scientifically in my article MUSCLE GROWTH WITH THE VIIV-RX.

Of course those in search of a body by science conveniently ignore all of this science.

Doc: "And don't get me wrong, these machines have their utilities, but as an adjunct ONLY. They do not obviate the need for formal, full range, compound movements. People have tried this in the past...and it failed."

"…these machines have their utilities, but as an adjunct ONLY." 

That certainly hasn't been my experience. When you change the strength and efficiency of someone's central nervous system and EVERYTHING they do becomes easier, including lifting weights, how could the ViiV possibly be considered an adjunct ONLY?

In all my years I have never seen one person add yoga, weight lifting, pilates, swimming, etc, etc, and seen their all-out strength improve. I have seen many people add a ViiV session to all of their existing workouts and activities and listened to them rave about how much better they perform in everything they do.

Flow only goes one way.

Adjunct only?

Wouldn't that be the other way around?

"They do not obviate the need for formal, full range, compound movements." 

Without question, movement is essential for health and well being. I highly recommend it. However, the ViiV does not obviate the need for movement. The ViiV actually creates for people the desire and ability to be even more active; to move and use their bodies in activities involving full range of motion when required.

The ViiV does however, obviate the need to move weights through a full range of joint-damaging-inflammation-creating motion, and people love that.

"People have tried this in the past...and it failed." 

If at first you don't succeed, try and try again. Just because it appears that isometric concepts failed in the past doesn't mean you stop innovating and evolving. Did they really fail? After all, here we are at ViiV Fitness advancing what is possible.
My point is, many of you in the health/fitness world have your "gods." You hold incredibly intelligent people in high esteem and look to them for answers and guidance. But just because they have MD or PhD after their name doesn't mean they aren't human. They have their biases, blinders and allegiances and can easily keep you chained to dogma and shielded from the truth, if you don't question everything and think for yourself.

In other words, you can just as easily be lead astray by a dumbass like me or a very intelligent neurosurgeon.