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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Hacking Exercise For Health. The surprising new science of fitness. by McMaster University

733 ratings

About the 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....

Top reviews


Nov 29, 2020

Great Course, I really enjoyed this journey of four weeks, but still, I would like to have a suggestion regarding the food structure that I need to follow to achieve a maximum of my desired output.


Nov 26, 2019

I found the information very useful and enlightening. Even if I have been exercising continually for a very long time, you can always learn new things to improve or be more productive.

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1 - 25 of 236 Reviews for Hacking Exercise For Health. The surprising new science of fitness.

By Joyce U

Oct 23, 2019

The info was great... However the loud long video before each lecture was horrible.

By Juan B

Nov 27, 2019

I found the information very useful and enlightening. Even if I have been exercising continually for a very long time, you can always learn new things to improve or be more productive.

By Olga S

Nov 8, 2019

Good course. Suggestion: Remove the intro in front of every video. Its repetitive and doesn't add any additional value.

By Jordi H

May 4, 2020

Extremely basic information, anyone that has any experience with exercising and has done some research (like, read more than one fitness blog article) will not learn anything new from this. More something for a YouTube blog than a Coursera course. Also, the intro to all the videos is about twice as loud as the rest of the videos, which is pretty annoying, and I don't really understand why that needed to be there in the first place.

By Christian S

Jul 2, 2020

The course was very good, but the quiz at the end is not done very well. It is not construed to test if people understand the concepts, but rather consists of confusing wording and test questions. In some, I would run the video next to while answering, and still get it wrong as the correct answer would include one word they did not use in the video, and the wrong answer would include another word they did not say in the video,

By Alan P

Nov 21, 2019

Very helpful information that is evidence-based and peer-reviewed. Bought the Audible companion book - The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That's Smarter, Faster, Shorter - by Dr. Gibala. Listening to it right now on a long drive across Texas. A few classes away from completing my MSc in Exercise Science and this course is right on time!

By Bernard D V

Oct 16, 2019

Great course, it is more adapted to people looking to start exercising. This course will help you understand the basics of exercise so you can become your own trainer. A lot of great things, I learned a lot and will definitely implement their suggestions and advice in my workouts.

By Ronald M

Dec 14, 2019

i loved it and learnt alot about how to help people exercise to get results with factoring in shortage of time todays life style of people being busy all the time

By Maham K

Jan 19, 2020

Best online course. That put so efficiently the importance of exercise that It immediately motivates you to perform exercise.

By Aisling F

Jul 6, 2020

I enjoyed reading the literature that was cited in this course and I felt that the lecturers were enthusiastic but very few people contributed to the discussion and I didn't enjoy the components where they wanted you to video different tasks and upload them. I understand it was probably an effort to increase engagement but I actually consider to not follow the course when it seemed like there were so many of those. Also I think the 23 second intro to each video is accessive, it could be used in the first lecture but I was constantly just skipping the lectures forward after that. I also question about whether they should have included any mention of protein/eating because they really didn't give enough nutritional information, in my opinion, since this is targeted at a general audience what they said was very left open to interpretation which is good in some cases (and I liked what they said about steering away from supplements) but I feel like for others it could lead them down an unhealthy path.

By Amy S

Jan 4, 2020

This course provided a lot of relevant, useful information about both cardiorespiratory and strength training. Even though I have been using HIIT workouts for many years, I never realized the importance of having a regular strength/resistance routine until watching this video. I would only make one suggestion to improve this course: reduce the time spent on the intro for each video and reduce the volume during the intro (I had to mute my computer audio and/or skip the intro altogether for each of the videos).

By Angela B

Nov 5, 2020

The final only with an upgrade was a bit frustrating but I have recommended the course five times over anyway. Great scientific knowledge! As well as practical experience

By Andrei S

Oct 31, 2019

I'm serious endurance running amateur athlete. Most of information provided in this course i already practice every day - HIIT is my choice for years when it comes to exercise - i don't like to spend more then 30-40 minutes at a time for training.

While some information need more research - most of the course info is reliable and up to date.

Martin Gibala, Stuart Philipsare seems to be a great people, who are passionate about fitness just as i am.

I highly recommend this course to everyone.

By John D

Sep 30, 2019

This is a great course for understanding the fundamentals of cardiorespiratory fitness and musculoskeletal fitness. As a Personal Trainer, this was a great refresher and it also provided me with some simple explanations backed by current and up to date science to use with my clients to get better results. Any course by Dr. Gibala and Prof. Stu Phillips is worth it in my opinion. It is nice to hear from world-class experts rather than the opinions of bloggers and Instagram influencers.

By Angie J

Feb 17, 2020

Excellent course with engaging hosts who are very interested in developing knowledge and skills for their students. There was some great research here and a very gentle push to get active and develop exercise planning skills. For accessibility, I would ask that someone check the transcripts which were made by speech to text as there are lots of punctuations missing and quite a few run on sentences, if not paragraphs. A great course with practical applications

By ted t

Dec 11, 2019

Incredibly informative for beginners and experts alike. Dr. Gibala & Dr. Phillips are certainly experts in their field, but more importantly, they breakdown research so that anyone can understand and use it personally and professionally. Awesome work, I have recommended this course to over 1000 health and physical education teachers that I have worked with since taking this course. Can't say enough great things. I will continue to share it in the future!

By Wayne A

May 15, 2020

Wonderful course. The instructors are extremely knowledgeable, upfront, and laid back. I have been an exercise enthusiast for 40+ years and always looking to learn something new. The information the profs presented was great. I did learn more about the scientific aspect of exercise which was a new perspective. I would greatly recommend this course for beginners and experienced alike.

By Spiros V C

Sep 21, 2019

It is a very helpful tool for everyone who want to know the fundamentals on exercise, so he can train himself to have better health. Also it is very good tool for fitness professionals because it refresh your memory at the basics on exercise and keep your knowledge updated on exercise science. Finally it very short so it doesn't take too much time to complete it !!

By Anran W

Mar 9, 2020

Many thanks to Prof. Stuart Phillips and Prof. Martin Gibala. They are energetic guys who share a passion for both fitness and science. I have fun on this course. However, for no good reason, they make the final quiz unnecessarily difficult. This might be the only downside of this course (I am glad that I do not have to sit this exam in a credited course).

By greeka f

May 8, 2020

Best and most helpful exercise information I've ever received. Video lectures are entertaining, useful, to the point, easy to understand. They covered the science behind it without getting bogged down in too many details. Highly recommended and motivational! This course will help me improve my health, and I very much appreciate it!


Sep 10, 2020


By Dionifel D G

Apr 17, 2020

Thank you so much for putting this up. I truly learned a lot, in addition to what I already know about exercise physiology. I got to understand more how HIIT really work, the science behind it. The course is simple in format but rich in information. Thanks again and more power!

By Bryan P

Nov 4, 2019

I have not completed yet but I am thoroughly enjoying the content and the professors are great. It's more information than I expected and very useful. I needed something to do after leaving job due to medical reasons and this is a perfect option and area of interest as well.

By Michael W

Apr 5, 2020

I thought this course was outstanding! It was very well presented, based on up-to-date sound science, realistic application to real life, addresses a very wide spectrum of the population, good humor, professional and credible - just, well, awesome!


Indiana, USA

By David C

Nov 14, 2019

Great Course. it gave you the basics to help you take your health and fitness into your own hands. It was very clear and provided good practical information. I would suggest it for any one that would like to learn more about physical fitness and health.