EA 17: [Case Study] How To Train An Everyday Athlete Who Struggles With Cardiovascular Performance

On today’s bite sized podcast, I have the pleasure of talking with Dr. Debbie Bright and Phil McDougall. We are talking about how Phil used the Everyday Athlete principles that we have talked about to train Dr. Debbie and help her get more fit than ever before. Debbie is a trainer, but she still wanted to train with Phil to up her game. Even though, she looked fit because of her nutrition plan she wasn’t prioritizing movement.

Phil has a theory when it comes to the fitness differences between Americans and people from Britain. His broad theory is that Americans walk less because they drive everywhere. Generally, Americans have the strength, but the people from Britain have the cardiovascular strength. Debbie was a good example of this because she was really strong, looked really fit, but would get sick from hard cardio workouts. Listen in as Debbie and Phil share how they trained together.

Today’s topics include:

  • Debbie met Phil during a group class and asked him to help train her.
  • Debbie was a sprinter with fast twitch fibers
  • During initial assessments, Phil tried to fine Debbie’s weaknesses
  • He used baseline measurements going through joint by joint and testing for any restrictions.
  • Then cardio testing and how well the heart and lungs deliver oxygen. Metronome step test is an example.
  • Resting heart rate should be below 65 for fitness
  • If the person has good running mechanics then a best mile run ideally under 6.5 minutes.
  • Debbie’s cardio was the place that needed work.
  • Phil’s goal is to make people better at everyday movement.
  • Debbie is powerful and fast, but her endurance wasn’t there.
  • Boxing is a great cardio workout because it occupies your mind.
  • Hill runs, and skipping circuit were also used.
  • Debbie feels and looks amazing and is really happy with how things have been going.
  • She has found that being hydrated makes a difference in her performance.
  • She has also been working on flexibility and Phil’s thoracic spine work.
  • Identify your weaknesses and work on those.
  • Phil’s training has completely morphed Debbie’s body composition.

Links and resources:


“I’m not one of those trainers that just run beside you. I incorporate intensity training in the running workouts.” Philip McDougall

“Phil doesn’t take any excuses. He works me to death, but we have made great progress.” Dr. Debbie Bright

“Focusing on weaknesses is hard. Who wants to spend time on a weakness?” Dr. Debbie Bright

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