Episode 116: Marcas Bamman on the many benefits of exercise and strength training

Episode 116: Marcas Bamman on the many benefits of exercise and strength training

Our guest today is Dr. Marcas Bamman, an internationally recognized researcher known for his scientific contributions to the biology of human skeletal muscle and medical rehabilitation.

Marcas recently joined IHMC as a Senior Research Scientist. He is the founder and former director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Exercise Medicine. Marcas and the UAB center are recognized as world leaders in the biological mechanisms underlying exercise-induced adaptations and their clinical utility in disease prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. At IHMC, he will expand his research aimed at maximizing the performance and resilience of elite warfighters.

One of Marcas’ first projects at IHMC is working with the institute’s Chief Science Officer Tim Broderick on a DARPA-sponsored program. This research is aimed at developing a revolutionary platform to enhance training and resilience of elite service members. Tim talked about the program, called the Peerless Operator Biologic Aptitude project, during his interview on episode 112 of STEM-Talk.

In today’s interview, we talk to Marcas about the Peerless project as well as his earlier research into the many ways that exercise and strength training can induce a multitude of health benefits.

Show notes:

[00:03:11] Dawn opens the interview by asking Marcas where he grew up.

[00:03:21] Dawn asks Marcas what sports he played given that he is now an exercise scientist.

[00:03:45] Dawn mentions that in addition to being good at basketball and soccer in high school, that Marcas was also good in his chemistry and mathematics classes.

[00:04:47] Dawn asks if it is true that Marcas was the sports editor of his high school newspaper.

[00:05:25] Dawn asks Marcas why he decided to pursue science despite having a promising future as a sportswriter.

[00:06:08] Ken asks if Marcas decided to attend Kansas State University after high school because it was the same school his father had attended.

[00:06:59] Ken asks what led Marcus to the University of Alabama Birmingham for his master’s degree.

[00:08:09] Dawn asks if it is true that Marcas met his wife Deanna in a fitness center.

[00:09:00] Marcas explains the non-traditional rout he took to earning his doctorate at the University of Florida.

[00:14:05] Dawn mentions that while Marcas was working at NASA, he worked on a study that had people go through 14 days of bedrest in an effort to mimic space flight. The resulting paper appeared in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise and was titled, “Resistance Exercise Prevents Plantar Flexor Deconditioning During Bed Rest.” Dawn asks about the study and its findings, as well as how Marcas was able to convince people to spend 14 days in bed.

[00:19:47] Marcas explains how he ended up back at UAB following his dissertation.

[00:20:32] Ken asks what Marcas’ overarching question was that drove his research when he began his career at UAB.

[00:22:24] Dawn mentions that Marcas has played a major role nationally in the recognition and growth of exercise medicine. Dawn asks how Marcas first became interested in this concept of exercise as medicine.

[00:24:06] Dawn asks Marcas to talk about his research that has shown that exercise can help prevent and delay health problems, and that different types of exercise can bring about different health benefits.

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