To fight obesity in the fattest state in the nation, a group of rural Mississippi doctors and hospital leaders at a Brookhaven Mississippi hospital have funded research into a remarkably successful new program called Sprint 8®.
In just eight weeks without dieting, Sprint 8 has shown a 31 percent drop in body fat, a significant success by any measure. Especially considering the research subjects (hospital employees, average age 46) spent only 20 minutes, three days a week with this unique exercise protocol created by one of the hospital employees.
“The only way to get better results in body-fat loss is surgery,” said Dr. Jeff Ross, hospitalist and a member of the hospital administrative staff. “This program could potentially save Medicare millions by reducing obesity and reducing the need for cholesterol-lowering statin drugs (a $14 billion class of drugs) and reducing the number of diabetics and metabolic syndrome patients on Medicare,” said Ross.
The 20-minute, three-day-a-week Sprint 8 exercise protocol is described as “scientific play” by Cheri Walker, chief nursing officer for King’s Daughters Medical Center and one of the test subjects for the hospital’s self-funded obesity research projects. “I don’t want to see Mississippi ranked the number one most obese state in the US next year,” said Pediatric Cardiologist Dr. David Braden, lead author of the research report. “This realistic exercise protocol has the potential to drastically reduce childhood obesity in the US,” added Braden.
Obesity is shown to be the underlying factor for diabetes, hypertension, coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome, arthritis, gall bladder disease, impaired fertility, complications during pregnancy, sleep apnea, gout and low-back pain. One study has shown that 20 percent of cancer is caused by obesity.
Alvin Hoover, King’s Daughters Medical Center CEO, holds advanced degrees in healthcare administration and a second masters in exercise science. “It’s the hospital’s responsibility to provide more than the best healthcare possible for those in our service area,” said Hoover. “We’re called to go beyond that standard. Our board, physicians, and staff have drawn a circle around our service area, implementing a health status improvement strategy to help those we serve to defeat obesity.”
The exercise protocol was developed years ago by Phil Campbell, a King’s Daughters manager and a board-certified member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American College of Healthcare Executives. Campbell called the exercise protocol “Sprint 8,” and he designed it to encourage the natural release of exercise-induced natural human growth hormone that is shown to get the same results as actually injecting growth hormone. Growth hormone injections available in anti-aging centers are reported to cost as much as $1,000 per month. Additionally, growth hormone injections are banned for athletes because they illegally improve performance. But Campbell has shown that human growth hormone can be produced naturally with exercise for even better results.
No one can deny the favorable results produced by growth hormone injections. “When growth hormone is injected, the results are, on average, a 14.4 percent drop in body fat and an 8.8 percent gain in lean muscle mass,” said Campbell. “Our study on middle-aged working adults shows that targeting growth hormone with Sprint 8 gets twice the results of injecting growth hormone in body fat loss.” For women in particular, one of the most attractive benefits demonstrated by research is the finding that growth hormone thickens skin by 7.1 percent. “The skin-thickening benefit means that wrinkles are filled in, and this gives a more youthful appearance that women find motivating,” said Campbell.
Before beginning the eight-week Sprint 8 study, the middle-aged research subjects in the King’s Daughters study were required to participate in a one-hour presentation. During the presentation Campbell explained that they may get comments about changing their makeup. “The skin-thickening potential is very motivating to women and a very real benefit,” said Campbell. While Sprint 8 only takes 20 minutes, three days a week, it is an intense exercise program that conditions the aerobic and the anaerobic processes for the heart muscle. Because of this intensity, Campbell recommends that individuals get a physician’s exam before starting anaerobic exercise.
“Sprint 8 can be performed in many different ways,” explained Campbell. “One of the best ways to learn Sprint 8 is on your favorite piece of cardio equipment.”
Performing Sprint 8 on cardio equipment found in most fitness centers and at home is relativity simple. After a three-minute, easy-paced warm-up, there are eight segments consisting of what Campbell describes, “30-second, all-out, fast-fiber recruiting, anaerobic cardio sprint.” Each of the eight cardio sprints is followed by a 90-second “active recovery,” which according to Campbell is equal to the intensity of walking.