Physiology and Fitness

Course No. 1960
Dean Hodgkin, B.Sc
University of Portsmouth
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48 Reviews
89% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 1960
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Course Overview

If there exists a Fountain of Youth, exercise is it. The evidence, of course, is vast, with a multitude of studies highlighting the remarkable, life-enhancing benefits of staying fit. Whether your goal is to live to be 100, run a marathon, reduce your waistline, or just get the most from daily life, functional fitness is the foundation for active and dynamic living and the best quality of life you can have.

And the good news: Even a small amount of regular exercise can make a substantial difference. In fact, you can extend your life, increase your energy, and reduce your chances of acquiring a long list of medical conditions by getting as little as 15 minutes of exercise a day.

But even with knowledge of the benefits of staying fit and a desire to enjoy them, the world of fitness is not easy to navigate. In this era of multiple fitness fads, media-promoted health "gurus,"and an avalanche of exercise products and approaches, reaching your fitness goals can be challenging.

  • How do you find the right fitness program for yourself—one that is both scientifically sound and also appropriate for your own needs and goals?
  • If you already exercise but you're not reaching your fitness goals, how do you get the best long-term results from your fitness work?
  • Moreover, how do you succeed in staying motivated, setting and meeting goals, and fitting exercise into an already busy schedule?

In Physiology and Fitness, international fitness expert Dean Hodgkin delivers inspiring and effective answers to these questions and more, showing you a new, scientifically based way to reach your own optimum fitness and to keep it for life. Physiology and Fitness presents a groundbreaking approach to fitness education that brings together scientific knowledge with results-driven practice in a wholly integrated system, allowing you to enjoy the rich vitality and health that prime fitness offers—whatever your age or current fitness level.

Experience the Extraordinary Rewards of Optimum Fitness

In 24 visually detailed lectures that include interactive demonstrations, as well as twelve 30-minute home-workout videos, Hodgkin takes you on a fascinating, eye-opening tour of your anatomy and physiology, showing you how your body functions and maintains itself and how all of its processes respond to exercise.

In Physiology and Fitness, you'll learn in detail what happens inside your body when you work out and how to use that knowledge to feel your physical best and reach results such as

  • high and consistent energy for work, home life, and recreation;
  • a well-toned and flexible body;
  • a healthy body weight;
  • improved psychological well-being;
  • reduced stress and minimization of its physical effects;
  • improved physical agility, coordination, and balance;
    reduced risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, low back pain, and numerous other conditions; and
  • extension of the prime of your life and youthful activity.

This course provides a comprehensive fitness resource, whether you're new to exercise, you work out regularly, or you're an advanced fitness enthusiast.

Master the Science behind Exercise

In Physiology and Fitness, you'll investigate the fundamental health-related components of fitness, comprising cardiovascular capability, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition. Using vivid diagrams and animations, Hodgkin leads you on a compelling discovery of the science involved, including these vital subjects:

  • The cardiovascular system: Study the miraculous mechanism of your heart and vascular network, how and why exercise strengthens your heart, and the role of cardio work in all phases of fitness training.
  • The muscular system: Discover the complex system of your muscles (the matrix of all physical movement), their individual functions, and how resistance training works to strengthen and tone your body.
  • Spinal engineering: Learn about the anatomy of your spine, spinal motion, and the important principles of "core strength,"with a focus on ways to target the spine-related muscles in exercises that promote back health.
  • The science of stretching: Learn about the vital role of stretching and flexibility in long-term health and longevity, and practice three types of stretching techniques for improving your range of motion, posture, and ability to relax.
  • The authentic laws of weight loss: By grasping the physiology of calorie burning, the laws of cardio and resistance training, and the principles of weight loss and maintenance, you'll be better prepared to realistically achieve your optimal body composition.
  • Countering the aging process: Learn astonishing facts about aging, how numerous conditions we associate with getting older are actually the result of inactivity, and how exercise dramatically slows and can even reverse the effects of aging.

Workouts for Maximum Results

Following the 24 core lectures, the final section of the course presents 12 workout videos, each one finely honed to maximize your training time as you put your knowledge into practice. Featuring female and male models who are learning these routines for the first time, these 12 videos emphasize workouts that involve equipment—and those you can perform without it. In addition, the equipment used in these exercises is probably equipment you already have lying around, is inexpensive and easy to find, or (in most cases) can be improvised. Workouts include these types:

  • Body weight workout: Using only the weight of your body against gravity, you can do this sequence anywhere, anytime, working all areas of your body in 13 highly efficient exercises for functional fitness.
  • Dumbbell workout: A great approach for toning your physique, this weight training workout uses a range of dumbbell exercises that target alternating muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, legs, chest, and abdominal areas.
  • Step interval workout: With a simple step board platform, this workout combines cardio and strength training in a comprehensive range of exercises to burn calories, improve balance, and tone your body.
  • Balance board workout: This particular workout is highly effective for developing and improving your agility, balance, and core strength—and also involves 20% more muscle fibers than you'd use during a flat-surface workout.

A Thorough and Comprehensive Body of Knowledge

Highlighting his presentation with cutting-edge research from many sources, your instructor incorporates not only hands-on demonstrations of key points but video commentary from leading health experts, including Professor Steven Novella on the myths of fitness and aging, Professor Robert Sapolsky on stress reduction and exercise, and Professor Jason Satterfield on the link between exercise and a healthy mind.

A provocative and engrossing speaker, Hodgkin packs his lectures with surprising and enlightening information about fitness and the body, including these diverse topics:

  • The vital effects of exercise on your respiration, joints, and bones
  • Practical and effective ways to overcome barriers to exercise
  • How to stay active in the workplace, and how to integrate exercise into numerous daily activities
  • Proper and safe ways to exercise and to protect yourself from injury
  • How fitness training positively affects mood, well-being, and self-esteem
  • The remarkable benefits of balance training, water exercise, and exercise during pregnancy
  • How inactivity and sedentary living pose very real risks to your health
  • The astounding benefits of walking, for both overall health and weight loss

An Unprecedented Opportunity in Fitness Training

No other fitness program you will find offers this integrated body of materials and flexibility as a learning system. You can use the filmed workouts directly,
each one carefully constructed to make the most effective use of your exercise time. Or you can use the course material, demonstrations, and accompanying video glossary to build on the workouts, shaping your own fitness program to your personal preferences and modifying it over time as your needs change. With nearly two hours of DVD extra features such as

  • a comprehensive video glossary,
  • video FAQs, and
  • a 3-D model highlighting the body's major muscle groups

Physiology and Fitness is a vibrant and engaging way, one you won't find anywhere else, to learn about health and fitness.

In this course, Hodgkin delivers an unmistakable message: Your ability to enjoy the best of life, day by day, year by year, is intimately related to your physical resources and the care of your body. Physiology and Fitness offers you nothing less than the chance to change the course of your own health and vitality—to build a strong, energized, and vital body, and to know the pleasure and freedom of optimum fitness for life.

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36 lectures
 |  Average 31 minutes each
  • 1
    Components of Fitness
    Begin by considering the life-enhancing value of fitness and the remarkable statistics showing its wide range of benefits for your physical and mental health. In approaching the specifics of exercise, you’ll investigate the health-related components of fitness, including cardiovascular health, muscular endurance and strength, flexibility, and body composition. x
  • 2
    How Fit Are You?
    Measuring the core elements of your own fitness is an important step in designing and managing an exercise program. Here, learn about the principal methods of fitness testing and how to set benchmarks to monitor your own progress. Guided by filmed demonstrations, perform your own at-home tests covering the areas of fitness you learned about in the first lecture. x
  • 3
    Overcome the Barriers to Exercise
    This lecture looks in depth at potential obstacles encountered in exercise. Examine the logistical and psychological challenges in designing a fitness program and how to overcome them. Explore the elements of motivation and effective approaches to setting fitness goals. Also, learn some of the many ways you can integrate exercise into your daily routine. x
  • 4
    Your Heart in Action
    Here, investigate the fabulous mechanism of your own heart, the system of blood flow through the body, and exactly why the heart becomes stronger through exercise. Learn about the primary cardiovascular workouts—including continuous training, interval training, and cross training—and their effects on your quality of life. x
  • 5
    The Fitness of Breathing
    In exploring the respiratory system, study the processes of breathing and lung function and the ways in which exercise benefits all maladies of the lungs. Then practice a group of breathing exercises from different traditions, noting how they improve cardiac function, decrease stress, and aid both physical and mental health. x
  • 6
    You Can Reduce Stress
    Exercise offers one of the most effective defenses against stress. First, look at the root causes of stress, its debilitating symptoms, and specific self-help tactics to counter it, including relaxation techniques, meditation, and even laughing. Conclude with a series of targeted physical exercises to release stress from all areas of the body. x
  • 7
    Fitness and Pregnancy
    Contrary to common myths, intelligent exercise provides numerous benefits during pregnancy. Study how exercise affects the changes taking place in a pregnant woman’s body. See how the core principles of exercise apply during pregnancy and learn specific recommendations for prenatal exercise and for returning to normal fitness afterward. x
  • 8
    Refuel, Recover, and Reenergize
    Proper physical recovery, both after exercise and between workouts, is essential to achieving fitness goals. Learn about the physiology of fatigue and rest and the fundamentals of refueling, including carbohydrate, protein, and fluid intake. Then, study physical recovery after exercise, highlighting water therapy, stretching, myofascial release, and self-massage techniques. x
  • 9
    Thinking—The Brain-Body Connection
    This lecture explores the significant effects of physical activity on brain function and psychological health. Investigate the capacity of exercise to build your self-esteem, elevate your mood, and improve your cognitive function and sleep habits. Also, explore the use of mental imagery to boost your physical performance and deepen your well-being. x
  • 10
    Healthy Joints for Life
    Now discover the body’s incredible system of joints and the role of the joints in human mobility. Study the structure and function of all the major joints and why exercise is crucial for their health and longevity. Consider the various forms of joint problems and specific ways to overcome them. x
  • 11
    Protecting Yourself from Injury
    Injury in exercise can be minimized or avoided completely with a clear knowledge of its potential. Begin by tracking how injuries heal, then review common activity-related injuries and their remedies. After that, study the psychological factors in injury, approaches to pain management, and how to calibrate your fitness program to avoid injury. x
  • 12
    The Amazing Benefits of Balance
    This lecture explores balance training as a prime preventive tool for health. Investigate the processes involved in balance and the role of balance in all physical activity. Practice a spectrum of exercises to improve your posture, coordination, reaction speed, strength, and flexibility. Also, learn about advanced techniques for improving your sports performance. x
  • 13
    Fueling Fitness
    Every biological process requires energy. Understanding energy production, therefore, gives you far-reaching insight into exercise. Study the body’s three basic fuels (carbohydrates, protein, and fat), the three systems of energy production in the body, and, in practice, how to train these energy systems to get the fitness results you’re after. x
  • 14
    Why Everyone Should Exercise in Water
    For many people of all fitness levels, the pool is becoming the new gym. Here, immerse yourself in the numerous benefits of water-based workouts, delving into fluid dynamics as they affect exercise. Study a range of tips for your pool workout and learn about variations such as water-based yoga, Pilates, and Tai Chi. x
  • 15
    The Secret Life of Muscles
    Physical strength and endurance—as well as movement itself—rest on the body’s complex system of muscles. Study the basics of muscle construction and action and the muscular movements in all the key joints. Learn in detail about resistance training and how to construct dynamic workouts around your own fitness goals. x
  • 16
    Strong to the Bone
    Discover the living structure of the skeleton, the surprising construction and variety of the bones, and how bone health plays a critical role in the quality of your later life. Then, see how resistance training increases bone density, and review the many training options that can delay or even reverse bone deterioration and osteoporosis. x
  • 17
    Getting Your Back on Track
    The engineering marvel of the spine provides support for your entire body. Study the anatomy of the spine, spinal motion, and the concept of “core strength”—the action of the spine-related muscles working together. In filmed demonstrations, target the core muscles in exercise, laying the foundation for a healthy back for life. x
  • 18
    21st-Century Yoga
    Drawing on a 3,000-year-old tradition, consider the many proven health benefits of “fitness yoga,” which aims to enhance muscular balance and strength, develop flexibility, and improve skeletal posture and lung capacity. In this lecture, demystify the complexities of yoga. Here, you’ll practice a sequence of three basic poses and discover how to link them as a routine. x
  • 19
    Walk Your Way to Fitness
    This lecture highlights the remarkable and underappreciated rewards of walking. Track the research documenting the numerous health parameters affected by walking, including its cardiovascular, weight loss, and disease-reduction benefits. Learn the physiology of walking motion, key principles for walking workouts, and three walking techniques you can use to improve your health and fitness. x
  • 20
    The Amazing Benefits of Stretching
    As one of the core health-related components of fitness, flexibility plays a fundamental role in your quality of life and longevity. Using filmed demonstrations, learn three kinds of stretching techniques (as well as guidelines for your own stretching program) to enhance your range of motion and physical relaxation, reduce risk of injury, and improve posture. x
  • 21
    Stay Active—Defy the Aging Process
    Explore the nature of aging in all of the body’s systems and the extraordinary capacity of exercise to slow and even reverse the biological clock. Target relevant exercises for cardio fitness, strength/endurance, flexibility, balance, and motor skills. Also, establish an exercise blueprint for each decade of your life. x
  • 22
    Sitting Disease
    As the flip side of physical activity, prolonged sitting poses real hazards for your health. Study the physiological effects of sedentary living and the risks and loss of functionality that result. Learn a four-prong system to improve your future health by introducing more activity at work, at home, and while flying and driving. x
  • 23
    Exercise for Weight Loss
    Beyond aesthetic matters, weight management is a fundamental issue for health and longevity. This lecture explores exercise as a dynamic tool for weight loss, showing you how and why it works. Learn about exercise programs and approaches for weight-loss training and the factors involved in successfully maintaining your new weight. x
  • 24
    Mobilizers and Stabilizers—Managing Your Abs
    The perfectly flat stomach remains the most popular aesthetic indictor of fitness. In understanding this key area, uncover the structure of the “mobilizer” and “stabilizer” muscles and their unique functions. Practice a series of moving and isometric exercises to tone them, serving both to look your best and build a strong core. x
  • 25
    Body Weight Workout
    This first workout uses only the weight of your body against gravity, providing a whole body workout you can do anywhere, with no cost and no special equipment. Emphasizing everyday movements for functional fitness, this lecture shows you 13 core floor and standing exercises that target all areas of the body. x
  • 26
    Medicine Ball Workout
    Prized by athletes since ancient times, the medicine ball is an ideal exercise tool to develop power for personal fitness and sports performance. Here, perform a complete top-to-toe workout with the ball, targeting flexion, extension, rotation movements, and muscle groups including your shoulder girdle, triceps, abdominals, and core muscles. x
  • 27
    Step and Interval Workout
    Using a simple step platform, this workout combines cardio and strength exercises that work your upper and lower body. Alternating one minute of cardio and one minute of strength work (with 30 seconds of rest in between), perform a comprehensive range of exercises to burn calories, improve balance, and tone your body. x
  • 28
    Dumbbell Workout
    Beyond its many remarkable health benefits, resistance training is the number one choice for changing or “sculpting” your physique. Using the principle of your muscles’ adaptation to work against resistance, practice a series of eight dumbbell exercises, targeting alternating muscle groups in your arms, shoulders, legs, chest, and abdominal areas. x
  • 29
    Combat Workout
    Using no equipment, this workout employs intense cardio combat movements and develops the skill-related elements of agility, balance, and coordination. Learn a series of defensive blocks as well as dynamic punches and powerful kicks, linking them together in sequences to burn calories and reshape your whole body. x
  • 30
    Fitness Ball Workout
    Challenging you to work against an unstable surface, this large, inflatable ball is a versatile tool for achieving whole-body strength and alignment. Practice a range of exercises in different positions with the ball, working muscle groups including the gluteals, hamstrings, quadriceps, inner thighs, back muscles, and rotator cuffs. x
  • 31
    Balance Board Workout
    Exercising with a balance board challenges your body’s joint receptors that control movement and balance, as well as recruits 20% more muscle fibers than a flat-surface workout. Learn 13 key exercises using the board, in a total-body workout for toning, balance, and core strength. x
  • 32
    Kettlebell Workout
    First used by the Russian military in the 18th century, the kettlebell allows for swinging movements and working with momentum, stimulating a different muscular response from other resistance tools. Practice an eight-exercise workout, using the kettlebell to build your cardio fitness, endurance, core strength, posture, and coordination. x
  • 33
    Plyometrics Workout
    Also known as “jump training,” plyometrics uses the principle of increasing muscular power by stretching muscles before contracting them. In this time-efficient, intensive workout, focus on six jump-based exercises, dynamically working both your legs and upper torso, burning calories and toning all of the major muscles in your body. x
  • 34
    Resistance Band Workout
    The resistance band, an elastic tube with handles on either end, is an ingenious exercise tool, allowing you to do a full muscular strength workout at home or while traveling. Using the band’s resistance in various positions, work a range of muscle groups in your arms, chest, back, shoulders, and legs. x
  • 35
    Training Bar Workout
    Weighted and roughly three feet long, the training bar is a convenient home-use tool for building muscular strength and endurance. Practice a spectrum of exercises that will work and tone numerous muscle groups, develop your arms and legs, and integrate strength in your upper and lower body. x
  • 36
    Stretching Routine
    This concluding workout is designed as both a daily flexibility routine and as a sequence you can use at the end of any of the other workouts. After reviewing the core principles of flexibility training, you’ll practice a pleasurable and invigorating group of static stretches that will release all the areas of your body. x

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  • Download 36 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
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  • 344-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
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  • 344-page course synopsis
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  • Exercise guidelines

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Your professor

Dean Hodgkin

About Your Professor

Dean Hodgkin, B.Sc
University of Portsmouth
International fitness expert Dean Hodgkin has presented master classes and seminars to fitness instructors in more than 30 countries. Voted Best International Fitness Presenter at the One Body One World awards in New York, he has appeared on numerous television and radio programs worldwide. A three-time World Karate Champion and a two-time European Karate Champion, Hodgkin earned a B.Sc. honors degree in Mathematics and...
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Physiology and Fitness is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 48.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from How This Course Helps Over-Achievers Although I have little use for “personal” reviews, this will be the exception because it is the best way to explain the value of this course. I am nearing 70 years. Given the enormous push required for my highly technical career and obligations to a large family, my efforts at physical fitness were sporadic until about 40. At that point, given the rapid rise of knowledge regarding the interplay of molecular biochemistry and exercise, it became clear that the same lessons Hodgkin now teaches in this course needed to be adapted to my own life. There were bumps, of course. Between stress and fast food, damage was accumulating. Just as drugs were introduced for the medical control of lipids, my own very unusual lipid profile provided a hint of angina during a run at a Las Vegas conference. A week later, I walked out of a high impact aerobics class because of chest pain. A triple vessel bypass was added to a hospital's Friday business that week. The Lord, however, saw fit to allow me to continue. Thanks to a wonderful wife, my diet changed radically. There was now good data to point to useful medical treatments, though my abnormalities are such outliers they will never be completely “corrected". Yet biochemical research suggests "change" has import beyond “numbers". I returned to step aerobics classes, initially lumbering through without a step. Amusingly, when my instructor saw me return, she walked out to compose her fear but to her credit returned. The high-stress job was tapered over eight years, eventually giving way to a stint as an O5 in the US Army with young bucks in 114°F heat. Finally, I retired at about 60 and remain highly physically active and fully functional. This laborious preface is meant to get to the bottom line: if you want to win in life, buy this course and listen to Hodgkin under the guidance of your physician. His range goes from exercises to a layman’s discussion of VEGF (vasoendothelial growth factor) and I highly recommend it. Unbalanced stress, fast food, inactivity, and inadequate time with the soul are prescriptions for death.
Date published: 2018-12-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging and in-depth. Really enjoying this lecture. The professor is enjoyable to listen to, as well as watch.
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wealth of Information The amount of information in this series of lectures is substantial. The lecturer has a deep understanding of the subject matter and is able to relay the information in a well spoken and understandable format. I have been using some of the training techniques I have learned from these videos and have been rewarded with increased energy and flexibility. In the age of prescription drugs its refreshing to hear an alternative to better health thru exercise and an understanding of basic physiology. Great work Dean, Thanks
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just WOW! I have been a customer for thirteen years. My 30 or 40 courses usually range from music to science. I am approaching 80 years of age and wanted to learn more about combating the negative effects of aging, so I bought this course. I'm about to say a mouthful:. This is THE BEST COURSE I've ever owned.! Dean Hodgkin knows his business. He is from the UK and has an accent. If you find it a little offputting, my loving advice is: GET OVER IT! In a very short time you won't notice it so much and what he has to teach is worth learning. He uses no elaborate equipment and explains the benefit and result of each exercise/workout. He is about flexibility and balance, not bodybuilding. This course is of value to youngsters, oldsters, people who want to lose weight, have a nicer overall shape and just to feel better and stronger. Five stars all the way!
Date published: 2017-05-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great exercise fitness and physiology course This is great introductory course in exercise physiology and fitness. The professor presents each topic with an engaging dialog on the subject that includes examples on how to put them into practice in your exercise program. Definitely a course that you would want to explore id your considering a career in exercise physiology or want to take your own personal health performance to a new level.
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Purchased video for me and a friend I'm a 50 year old father of four who needed a better understanding of physiology so I could get in shape and maintain my interest in exercise. My son is a long-distance runner and I knew what he was doing wouldn't be helpful to me. This course provided a good balance of understanding along with practical routines that fit my very busy schedule. I think this course could be very helpful for individuals of any age and either gender who need to understand physiology and appreciate an array of relatively easy entry exercise possibilities in order to stay motivated. The course will also help those who want to take their fitness to an intermediate level. I recently purchased a set for a friend who was struggling to get fit after recovering from a broken leg.
Date published: 2016-12-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not the best course for me I purchased both this and the Strength and Fitness course by Dean Hodgkin as a guide to re-establishing a fitness regime for myself (I'm 71) after a brief bout of illness. I believe this course and the Strength course are best for a middle age (say 40-55) year old whose recuperative powers exceed an older or less fit individual. In almost every case, after the first 2-3 exercises, the level of intensity rises dramatically, and is not a realistic goal to attain even after months of effort. As an aside, the participants shown demonstrating these exercises are muscular to an extreme, and hardly represent an encouraging peer group. Also, Mr. Hodgkin is only adequate as a guide. I have purchased over 25 Great Courses over the years, and these are not the best described or planned courses that could have been presented. Not recommended.
Date published: 2016-10-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from superficial overview this is not 21st century up to date; nor does it have all the detailed muscle in motion explanations that the description led me to believe would be present. very disappointed with the level of detail and level of figures and video embeddings.
Date published: 2016-09-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Physiology and Fitness needs a key word index The content is presented well, but there is too much information to be absorbed in a single pass-through. I wish that there would be a key word index so I could easily go back to particular parts to review them. For example, I was intrigued by the part about juggling. I even purchased a set of juggling balls, but now have to hunt and hunt to find where the instructions are located. The presenter, Dean Hodgkin, is personable and the technical aspects of the presentations are excellent. There is a huge amount of information connecting how to improve fitness by understanding the physiology behind the recommendations. I strongly suggest that one get the Transcript book. However, even it could be more helpful if there would be some sort of method of finding particular parts of the book. There is a Table of Contents in the Transcript that give the titles of the chapters, but there is no break down of important parts of the chapters. There is a glossary at the back of the book, but no page numbers so we could use those key words to hunt up a concept to review. The lectures are interesting and the exercises are well presented using live persons and are pointed to specific purposes, but it is next to impossible to find that particular exercise for review at a later time. - For example: Try to find one or more examples of how to build back muscles for improving posture. Perhaps there could be a diagram of the body with "Points" that one could click on to link related sections of the video. Or there could be a Key Word box at the top of each screen. Because I find it impossible to do any reviewing of specific parts , I don't use this course, even if it is well put together, with excellent step-by-step videos of how to do the various exercises. There is a university level amount of information that can't be used to do a university level study and review. Please add an index of key words and concepts so we can use this course as a ready reference. One other point - The examples of how to perform the exercises are shown using athletes who have no difficulty in going through the movements. I would like to see some of these examples being done with a first-time person.
Date published: 2016-06-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! This video is very well done. I have learned a number of things and Dean H has really inspired me to set long term goals and added some great variety to exercise program which makes it more fun and more beneficial.
Date published: 2016-06-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great lecturer, great course Very worthwhile investment in money and time. Reseach based and accessible, i would recommend this course to elderly parents and aspirering young athletes alike.
Date published: 2016-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Your Body During Fitness - The Inner Workings If you are ever curious or wondering about what is happening in your body during exercising then this course would answer this question completely and then some. After 36 lectures, approximately about a dozen active demonstrations I think this is really about as much information as a beginner & intermediate person looking into fitness would ever need. It is just so packed full of information. I was enlightened, indeed! However, as a caution if a viewer does not remember their advanced high school biology or their freshman Biology 101 then those nondemonstration lectures are sure to be tedious. As an example the professor (an international fitness expert!) goes into the breakdown of ATPs when you and your muscles begin to exercise. The only negative, and I really mean the only negative I can think of for this entire series is that watching those "regular people" perform exercise routines and "sweating it through" really made me fell less motivated?! It didn't look like they were having much fun exercising. So the take home message is that these presentations give fitness information but did not help with getting couch potatoes motivated.
Date published: 2015-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So Much Information I have been looking for a tape or book that would break down the body: how exercise works, how the body functions, how the muscles work and interact with each other. I needed an overall view of all of this information instead of getting hit or miss books that may or may not supply the information I am looking for. I got this because I care about my health and wanted to go a step further, I am 60 but feel 35 and have been exercising for years. I do not have enough knowledge to continue to improve my health as I age and wanted something that would really be informative and take the fear out of progressing instead of regressing. I like feeling healthy and in this society, I see too much dependence on drugs and see people that age, getting lazy. You don't have to, you can still participate and be vital and strong and healthy. This tape and accompanying book is amazing, filled with knowledge and presented in an interesting, engaging way. Dean Hodgkin is exceptional. He is knowledgeable and motivational. He wants you to participate and be healthy. He cares. I highly recommend this to all ages, with a good attitude and desire you too can become fit and healthy.
Date published: 2015-03-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from like 4th grade health If you ned a refreshwr on 4th grade health this is the class for you. If you are well read on the latest health practices you too will find this rather unenlightening. The professor was engaging and enjoyable to watch, but the cucurriculum was not what I expected.
Date published: 2015-02-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Physiology and Fitness There is a lot of useful information, about physiology in general and how it relates to fitness. There are also many specific routines that one can use as a physical fitness personal program. There is only one problem: If you wish to return to a specific exercise, you have to remember which chapter it was in and about where in the chapter it was located. This is the reason for the reduced stars. It is too hard to hunt up the exercises, so I just forget the whole thing. It would be very helpful to have an index of the various routines with links to where they are shown in the program. There would need to be a separate index for each disc. The other possible solution would be to have the ability to bookmark the discs yourself. I realize these suggestions would involve added expense for The Great Courses - which would have to be passed on to the users, but I think it would more than double the usefulness of the programs that include step-by-step directions.
Date published: 2014-12-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional - Make the time to take this course - I am a 73-year-old power yoga-pilates-tai chi-meditation-dance instructor teaching 3 hours a day 4 days a week and a firm believer that exercise is the key to vibrant health. This course is well designed to educate, demonstrate and inspire. The lectures are not too long and Dean is an exceptional instructor. I have watched all the lectures, some more than once, and incorporated some aspects into my own classes. I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in their physical fitness and health in will change your life.
Date published: 2014-09-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent!!! Why did i wait so long!!! I have wasted so much time groping in the dark and I know have a solid knowledge based foundation to proceed from. I don't plan on stopping here!! Everyone should take this class
Date published: 2014-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from More From This Guy Dean Hodgkin knows his subject in "Physiology and Fitness". Like many others I wish that I had gotten my hands on this when I was in my early 20's. Now I'm 65 and I see that this is a great tonic for any age.. I purchased the Video format and the Course Guidebook. I can't imagine trying to follow this course in any other format and the Course Guidebook is a constant reference. Through this course I found that I have been doing some very basic exercises and stretches improperly since my time in the U.S. Army (1967 - 1969). I would like to see a follow-up course containing the very basics that are never taught or taught wrong, like: How to Walk, How to Run and so forth. When in the Army I was never taught the most efficient mechanics of walking for optimal duration and minimal discomfort, somthing that the US Army and everyone else might think important. This is one of the best courses offered. Get it if you plan on living more than five more years.
Date published: 2013-10-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One Terrific Course!! I'm a 74-year-old female who has been interested in fitness since taking a "Physical Fitness" PE course in college. While never being all that athletic and someone who would really prefer to curl up with a good book or sit at the computer, I have tried various exercise programs over the years. I have done workouts at home to TV and DVDs, bought home exercise equipment, gone to classes at work, joined gyms, wear a pedometer, and participated in exercise classes. Having said that, I wish I had seen this course years ago. It is the most complete, scientific series on sports medicine and fitness that I have ever been exposed to. It brought everything all together for me, and I have learned a lot that I didn't know. Every lecture had practical tips and pointers that I find useful, and the workout lectures are great too. I recommend it strongly for anyone interested in fitness who isn't already an expert in the subject. I especially recommend it to people over fifty who want to stay healthy and active.
Date published: 2013-10-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Muscle up A combination of an exercise video, and physiology course. Probably not much new to those into such. Good general info and instruction for the rest of us. Hodgkin is very pleasant. Lectures well, and seems very knowledgeable. Teaches routines well. Give you multiple levels of each exercise to try, based on your fitness level. All this said, I still maintain that the BETTER LIVING courses, are not up to rest of the offerings of the Great Courses . They may be useful, but not great.
Date published: 2013-09-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A ton of good information and inspiration This course is amazing. Not only the instructor is able to communicate in a simple terms of how our body works, but he also gives a variety of specific exercises to help improve the quality of life. Every lecture is filled with interesting information, advice and suggested instructions. Great course. Even if you think you are already fit, there is still a ton of useful information one might find interesting and helpful.
Date published: 2013-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible information I wish I had found this information years ago. Now that I have viewed the course my exercise and nutrition goals are much more focused. At 65 I feel healthier than I have for a long time, thanks for the best exercise information ever! I watch this and review it occasionally while I exercise to refine my habits. Balance and balanced strength are greatly improved now and I am just getting started, thanks.
Date published: 2013-07-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from physiology and fitness Everything you need to know to get into shape and maintain a healthy body all in one course.
Date published: 2013-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Course As a university hospital phsyician and in sports medicine, I can't believe how good this course. Been around trainers for decades. The course combines great workouts with insight into how they effect the body. Unique and strongly recommended. Buying copies for my friends.
Date published: 2013-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I always wanted to here the scientific explanations of the workout benefits. Instructor does excellent job and gives motivation to go to gym everyday.
Date published: 2013-02-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from It Depends... Exercise is a topic that is all too often left to "experts" and "trainers"- this is for the most part unfortunate, especially for those beginning their exercise after long absence from the gym. There is plenty of highly valuable reference material out there. Unfortunately, this course is not one of those. Note that in martial arts there are various sorts of tournaments and engagements and the phrase 'champion' has to be taken with some latitude. This is not to question the author's indisputable qualifications, but to point out that exercise needs be designed to one's goals and capabilities. And these goals and capabilities constantly change with more exercise, changing weight, advancing age. No exercise program is ever complete, it need be constantly reassessed and realigned throughout the decades of one's active life- much like reapportioning one's financial portfolio, only if anything, of even more importance. As a 63 year old life-time rat of the gyms and martial arts studios, I am always open to the latest input in fitness, flexibility, agility and response time. The search is never-ending. And in that light, as I've gained so much from Teaching Company courses over the years, I thought this course might introduce me to some things I've missed or forgotten or too hastily dismissed. It did not. Unless you are a true beginner [and in need of some handholding- as well as introductory level movement coaching], this course is not going to contribute much [anything]; in fact, it seems to omit some resistance training basics [for example, order of exercise is as important as what exercise you choose; duration at which one remains above the exhaustion threshold, work from center out, etc- these are not concepts for 'only the advanced', they are basics, and I find them little reinforced in this course] Similarly, one can watch many of the programs at local gyms and unfortunately, they are often designed to a low denominator; and/or designed on newest gimmick/fashion as opposed to solid, proven, long tested [scientifically, physiologically and empirically] methodology. No one knows at what level he treads the line between 'not enough' and 'too much' except the person himself. [Tangentially, the Ancient Greeks often wrestled to the death in their Olympics; armies fought hand to hand throughout the ancient world- to these people, fitness meant more than health or cosmetics- it meant survival. It is difficult to believe that any of the "latest thing in exercise" today would have improved much upon what the dedicated Greeks/Persians/Indians/Romans/Chinese of the ancient world were already doing 3,000 years ago. Their sculptures remain testament to the beauty of the human form]. To this end, one can suggest this particular course in fitness won't hurt you, but we want more from our dedicated work-out hours than that. There are better approaches available, their are better introductions available. The old "Health for Life" series is a bit dated but has served as basis for much of new approach to resistance and flexibility training- based as that series was in age old techniques and latest science of physiology.. The idea, please: do the study yourself, do the homework, don't rely on hear-say or result of one general fitness guru. A single week of applied study can save you months and months of sweat in the gym for little results. Applied study means more than listening to one broad sweep entry level course. How you work out is as important if not more so, than how long. A week out of the gym and in the study will, when one returns to the gym, reduce exponentially the time needed to gain in whatever direction one feels he wants to go : And on'e direction too, can only be decided by first doing the homework, and armed with that input, self-analysis: your direction in workout, if the exercise is to be of true lasting value, cannot be assigned by someone else; this is a very personal choice and can make the difference between becoming the person you wish and stalling again in some 'same old routine'. It is the individual's responsibility to do the homework- if he has not yet begun, this course may give him a tentative starting point. If he already has begun or has been on the path for a while, this course is unlikely to speed his journey.
Date published: 2013-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very thorough I thought this course was excellent. The lessons were very thorough, the instructor was great and engaging. The lessons on the actual workouts are particularly good. I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to enhance their own fitness level, and also to fitness professionals looking to improve knowledge base.
Date published: 2013-02-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wide coverage for home workouts I've been a regular fitness addict for a couple decades and have paid attention to what sports/fitness researchers have published over the years. In this course, I saw a lot of material that I was previously aware of handled very competently, and learned some new things. People thinking about getting this to establish a fitness routine should be encouraged to do so because the course is not about spending money and joining health clubs - it's oriented toward home workouts, which is critical to establishing a long term personal fitness program.
Date published: 2012-12-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is the Great Course I Use the Most I’m a 44-year-old woman who has exercised regularly for nearly 30 years, but lately the forces of chaos really seem to be gaining some ground, especially in the joints and back. I bought this course for extra motivation and also for some fresh ideas and maybe kinder and gentler modes of exercise. I confess I waited for some reviews before I purchased it, because, to be honest, I wasn’t sure how to judge Hodgkin’s credentials. He’s not a physician, a physical therapist, or a university professor, and I don’t believe he has an equation named after him. Instead, he’s described as a world-renowned fitness instructor, and let’s face it, there are a lot of these guys around, and the quality varies wildly. Richard Simmons is also a world-renowned fitness instructor. So I wasn’t sure what to expect with Dean Hodgkin and this course. I finally had to rely on my previous good experience with The Teaching Co. and buy on faith. I am happy to say my faith was generally justified. At no time does Hodgkin appear in a sequined tank top although he does wear an ironically red shirt during the stress reduction lecture. The lectures are good and for me there is as much benefit to be derived from them as from the workouts, even if you’ve already heard some of the material before. It does not hurt (in fact it helps) to be reminded of the benefits of physical fitness and a positive attitude. The physiology presented in the lectures is pretty basic but interesting and enough information to get you going if you want to learn more from other sources. Where the lecture material really gets thought-provoking, and maybe controversial, is on the fitness side of things. Be warned that fitness is a soft subject with its share of myths and superstitions and not everything presented in this course will resonate. For me about 80% of the fitness advice and data presented was believable. This is ok and I don’t mind applying my own good sense to a course like this. For instance, I maintained a fairly high intensity fitness regimen through two pregnancies so naturally I don’t agree with every word of the pregnancy lecture. But so what? I commend Hodgkin for including the lecture and one has to admire his courage there, since it is delightfully obvious he has experienced exactly zero pregnancies. I also especially enjoyed the lectures concerning the psychological aspects of fitness, such as motivation and the mental health benefits of physical exercise. Motivation is a huge subject and probably deserves its own course, because this is where a lot of us struggle in maintaining healthy lifestyles. There are also some exercise demo’s, such as those for breathing and balance, buried within the lectures that I found useful. These are not necessarily included on the workout DVD’s. Concerning the workouts, I will say the downside first. Most of the workouts incorporate equipment that you may or may not have, and some of it can be expensive. It is best to have access to a well-stocked gym to get the most out of the workouts. Hodgkin has a pleasing, well-proportioned, natural-looking physique and I wouldn’t be ashamed to work out with him anywhere. I think from some comments he makes that his age must be near my own which makes his physical condition all the more inspiring to me. He is much more relaxed in the workout studio than in the lectures, but he still maintains professionalism 98% of the time, so most people should at least be able to tolerate him for a workout or two (this is not faint praise). The workouts are about 30 minutes each, and none relies on rhythm, which will be a relief to some folks. The music is very much in the background and most of the time you are doing a certain number of reps of a single exercise, or doing a single exercise for a given amount of time. The majority of exercises are easy to learn although performing them may be a challenge. I have access to a good gym, so I have done each workout in its entirety, with the exception of the kettlebell workout. Occasionally if I am stuck at home I will do an entire workout as it is presented; however, the way I usually use these workouts, as well as the video glossary, is more as a collection of individual strength-training exercises that I can add or change within my routine at the gym. The variety of exercises is excellent and especially helpful for those of us who have joint and back issues. Hodgkin is great at demonstrating proper form and many of the folks making fitness videos could learn a lot from him. I don’t use these workouts for cardio very much because they don’t challenge my level of fitness in that area. There is one big exception: the plyometrics workout. It should be called the 20-Minute Hangover Cure. If you want to raise your anaerobic threshold significantly and quickly do that workout once a week for a few weeks and see what happens. With the help of this course, I have a committed and intelligently-designed strength-training routine that does not exacerbate my back pain (this is a big deal for me, folks). I have also added balance training to my workouts, including Tai Chi. Like another reviewer, I love the way the core is worked and focused upon in this course and I am so much more aware of my core than before. Lastly, there are lots more interesting ideas to try from this course in the future, like water exercise and power walking. This has been a very valuable course for me with a great deal of practical application. I do wish a discussion of anabolic steroids and doping had been included. It can be difficult for an average person to set realistic fitness goals when it isn’t obvious what realistic is.
Date published: 2012-10-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Good workout, but a bad course I have been doing some martial arts and yoga for the health reason in my young years, and am trying to get back into the exercise habit after 15 years break. Unfortunatly, due to the age and geographical changes, I found myself in a gym faced with completely unfamiliar fittness rutins, some of which does seem not healthy. That's why I was very happy to buy TC course, which promised to provide the fittness information based on the scientific physiological ground. As such the course fails drastically. On the positive side - the last 12 lectures are de facto workouts which shows a wide range of techniques and equipment for fittness exercise. Most of them can be used nicely, as soon as one adjust the excercises to ones own condition (as on the video they are oriented to a healthy person with a habit to excercise). On the negative side - insteed for sorting between correct and incorrect information the first 24 lectures provide a lot of fittness lore of unclear veracity (even if two thirds of the information is true, it is useless without knowledge to which two thirds it is). For example Mr. Hodgkin claims that one should drink water during excercises before one get thirsty. This is indicated as a myth both in the lectures of Dr. Goodman and Dr. Novella (in their corresponding TC courses), and in her lectures on Nutrition Roberta Anding describes how during NY-maraton some people following the advice too deligently had to be hospitalized. Another example is the lecture where Mr. Hodgkin claims that excercises, especially weight-lifting excercises, help to prevent osteoporosis (something which is still not established by the medicine). To support this claim Mr. Hodgkin adjust the argument valid for the muscles tissues (but not for the bones), get lost in an advanced chemical argument, and include a clip of Dr. Novella who talks about benifits of weight-lifting for the elderly due to their positive impact on muscles (!). While there is no doubt that excercises are good in many respects, claiming that they are good for absolutely everything is an exaggeretion, which underminds the relayability of the whole. Finally, being used to the combination of movement-breathing-mindwork in the excercises I was very disapointed by Mr. Hodgkin attempt to approach yoga in the lecture 18 - the baby was thrown out with the water. I should, though, commend his good sense to hold for the most of the course to the pure muscle-bones mechanics about which he does seems to be knowledgable.
Date published: 2012-08-18
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