High Intensity Memory Training

Recently I came across research for High Intensity Training, otherwise known as HIT on a BBC TV documentary featuring Dr Michael Mosley. The purpose of the study was to do with exercising, and how training for 3 minutes a week can get the important benefits of exercise.

US scientists believe that a human being needs 150 minutes of steady exercise a week, or 75 minutes of exerted exercise a week to be healthy. So how is exercising only 3 minutes a week as good as, if not better than 150, or even 75 minutes a week?

The answer lies in the extreme exerted effort sustained for a short burst of time. The documentary had Dr Mosley on a stationary bike cycling casually for a couple of minutes, then on the most difficult setting, cycle as hard as he could for 20 seconds. He then relaxed for a couple of minutes and then went as hard as he could for another 20 seconds. He repeated this process one more time until he did 60 seconds of strenuous cycling for a total of 7 minutes on the bike. He then repeated this three times in a week for four weeks (12 minutes of intense exercise in total).

The results after four weeks showed Dr Mosley his insulin sensitivity had improved by a remarkable 24 per cent, something you would be unlikely to see after many hours of conventional exercise. His aerobic fitness also improved by 10 per cent as well as many other benefits.

What has this got to do with memory training?

Over the thirteen years I’ve conducted quite a few memory improvement workshops, seminars and 1-to-1 coaching sessions. The greatest improvement in an individual’s memory came from exercises which involved high intensity memory training. These are exercises that only take a few minutes do to, however give individuals the most value out of learning and improving memory. Not only that, but because they are very short exercises, people are much easier motivated to do them instead of long winded tasks which could take hours.

Also, I’ve used High Intensity Memory Training to help me win four Australian Memory Championship titles and break a number of memory records. I only trained 20 odd minutes a week, rather than hours a day, yet I still broke a record for what I believe is the toughest event of all, remembering the most names in 5 minutes event.

Instead of teaching memory theory and the brain, I now go through just the memory exercises. Then once the techniques have been learned, a program is scheduled whereby individuals maintain an exerted effort for short bursts a few times a week. Similar to how Dr Mosley experienced in the documentary.