“Those guys are perfect examples of pure genius.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov

***** WAIT ! Read the blog post FIRST, then watch the clip. Trust us.

We are going to start today’s blog post with a disclaimer.  “Do not attempt what these fellas do in the last moments of this video, particularly the scene on the stairs.”

Almost everyone on the face of this planet can walk, and most of those can also run as well.  It is basically all about putting one foot in front of the other and trying to maintain some sense of balance and stability over the stance limb without falling over. For some however, this is their greatest challenge of the day, walking.  Whether it be from an arthritic hip or knee or a neuro-degenerative disease, some folks see walking as their greatest physical challenge on a daily basis. 

For the able bodied folks, dance is another matter when compared to walking or running. Dance is about as far in the extreme opposite direction as one can get from simple walking gait or running. Here at the Gait Guys we know this intimately. In our mission to better understand human locomotion we continue to personally delve into tasks of complex motion, for it is only through studying the difficult that the beauty of the simple shines through.  After committing 3 years to investigating and learning smooth and latin dance with some truly amazing teachers we can say with some strong personal conviction, dance is different.  Footwork can be very complex in dance, as it can at times in many sports, but one thing is for certain they are not the same.  In dance the foot steps are consciously calculated to the beat of the music, this does not occur in any other sport and thus the steps and lower limb movements in most sport are less calculated and important than when it comes to fixed techniques, procedures and protocols as in dance.  Rumba steps are different from cha cha, waltz, foxtrot, swing, salsa, mambo, hustle, tango etc. Each dance has unique steps and must be able to be performed at varying tempos, at the very least. Oh, least we forget to mention that you usually have a partner you must choreograph the movements with, taking turns moving forward, backward or spinning. In contrast, when Michael Jordan is spinning off of a pick-and-roll driving to the hoop he is not exactly consciously calculating footwork at a 3/4 time for exampleor making sure that there was a specific foot and leg action that was premised on the movement. The goal and demand is different in dance. 

There are no particular learning issues on this blog post today, just sit and watch in amazement how precise and clean these fellas are. Over the three years dancing I Iearned all that I could regarding the complexities of foot and limb work from the 8+ dances presented to me. I gleaned many insights into the complexities of human movement and in the process stole some pretty amazing exercises for foot and lower limb rehabilitation and testing. Perhaps, what I began to respect more than any other thing was the level of athleticism that dancers achieve, speed, precision, coordination, agility, flexibility, strength, grace and so much more.  It is clear to us now why some of the best athletes in the world add some components of dance to their workouts to enhance their sport performance and get an edge on their competition.

So, now sit back and try to truly appreciate the speed, precision, coordination, agility, flexibility, strength, grace and more of these two fellas. I dare one can find many athletes on this planet that will try what they successfully do down those stairs. And because of that, I almost dare anyone to say they are not athletes to the highest level. Try not to get caught up in the entertainment of the video, rather, study intently the complexities of what these two fellas are about to do … . . and while doing it to music, in synchronization with eachother, they keep perfect timing the whole way through. And for an even more amazing trip, cover up their upper bodies and just watch their feet and legs.

“Fayard and Harold Nicholas were a fantastic set of flash-dancers who performed as the Nicholas Brothers. Born seven years apart, the brothers performed for decades on stage and screen, later teaching dance to Michael and Janet Jackson, among many others. In the performance below from Stormy Weather, many of their trademark moves are on display — jumping down stairs into splits, sliding up from splits without using hands, and gleefully jumping through orchestra stands, while tap-dancing in unison. This is downright amazing. According to The Kid Should See This:

  • Fred Astaire once called this performance “the greatest dance number ever filmed.” Mikhail Baryshnikov said, “Those guys are perfect examples of pure genius.”

And to finish off here today, we have some new things to begin sharing in the coming weeks.  My 3 year commitment to dance has run its course, for now. And a new 3 year commitment has begun. Stay tuned to find out where the new inspirations will be coming from, its is about as far from dance as one can get but the movements to some are just about as beautiful and complex. Here is a hint, “Where you at Georges?” (you curious folk can google it).

Stick with the Gait Guys, our journey with you into the mysteries of human movement have only just begun.

“Where you #@%*#  at Georges !? “ 

Shawn and Ivo,

The Gait Guys

Can Running, Can Movement, Make us better Humans ?

This will be the last blog post you read from us …  for 2012. It is a rehash of our Dec 31st, 2011 blog post but we felt it was worthy of a year-end repeat.  It seemed to bring together many good points and thoughts. We hope you agree.

It has been an amazing year for both of us here at The Gait Guys. Through this year, we have bridged many chasms. We restarted our podcasts, put out the National Shoe Fit Certification Program, blogged most days of the week, added many new videos and made many new friends while learning much on our own end in our relentless research and readings. We appreciate every one of you who has followed us, and we thank you for your friendship.

Today, we would like you all to watch this video and then more importantly read what we have paraphrased below. As we find ourselves here at the end of another year, it is normal to look back and see our path to growth but to look forward to plan for ways to further develop our growth.  Many of you who read our blog are runners, but many of you are also extensions of running. What we mean by that is many of you are coaches or trainers who develop those who run in one way or another in various sports, but many of you are also in the medical field helping those to run and move to get out of pain or improve performance.  And still yet we have discovered that some of you are in the fields of bodywork such as yoga, pilates, dance and movement therapies.  It is perhaps these fields that we at The Gait Guys are least experienced at (but are learning) and like many others we find ourselves drawn to that which we are unaware and wish to know more in the hope that it will expand and improve that which we do regularly.  For many of you that is also likely the case.  For example, since a number of you are runners we would bet to say that you have taken up yoga or pilates or cross training to improve your running and to reduce or manage injuries or limitations in your body. But why stop there ? So, here today, we will try to slowly bring you full circle into other fields of advanced movement. As you can see in this modern dance video above the grace, skill, endurance, strength, flexibility and awareness are amazing and beautiful.  Wouldn’t you like to see them in a sporting event ? Wouldn’t you like to see them run ? Aren’t you at least curious ? Their movements are so effortless. Are yours in your chosen sport ? How would they be at soccer? How would they be at gymnastics ? Martial arts ? Do you know that some of the greatest martial artists were first dancers ? Did you know that Bruce Lee was the Cha Cha Dance Champion of Hong Kong ? He is only one of many. Dance, martial arts, gymnastics …  all some of the most complex body movements that exist. And none of them simple, taking years to master, but most of which none of us can do. In 2012 we will continue to expand your horizons of these advanced movement practices as our horizons expand. From 3 years of personal study, we already have been experimenting with some of the advanced foot and body movements of dance, incorporating many aspects into our treatment and exercise regimens for our patients, runners and multi-sport athletes. Using things like the latin dance (primarily rumba and salsa) movements to strengthen the hips, core and feet and borrowing from the Cha Cha to improve foot side and cross over step speed and accuracy in some of our NCAA basketball and European soccer players. Even using some of the smooth footwork in the waltz and foxtrot to increase awareness of rear, mid and forefoot strike patterns and the development of rigid and mobile foot positions in our speed athletes.  Why not use this knowledge?  Many of our athletes do not even know their exercises homework are from basic dance principles, until we tell them at the end of a session.  There is a reason why some of the best athletes in the NBA, NFL and other sports have turned to almost secret study of dance and martial arts because there is huge value in it.  Look at any gymnast, martial artist or dancer. Look at their body, their posture, their grace.  It is as if their bodies know something that ours do not.  And so, The Gait Guys will dive even deeper into these professions to learn principles and bring them back to you. After all, everything we do is about movement. Movement is after all what keeps the brain alive. 

Below are excerpts from a great article from Kimerer Lamothe, PhD. She wrote a wonderful article in Psychology Today (link is at the top) on her experience with McDougall’s book “Born to Run” and how she translated it into something more.  Below you will find some exerpts from her work. But at some point, take the time to read the whole article.  But do not cut yourself short now, you only have a little more reading below, take the next 2 minutes, it might change your life, or at least your next run.

We will leave you hear now for 2012 with our gratitude for this great growing brethren and community that is unfolding at The Gait Guys. We have great plans for 2013 so stay with us, grow with us, and continue to learn and improve your own body and those that you work with.  Again, read Kimerer’s excerpts below, for now, and watch the amazing body demonstrations in the video above. It will be worth it.

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Can Running Make us Better Humans ?….. excerpts from the artcle by Kimerer LaMothe.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-body-knows/201109/can-running-make-us-better-humans

The Tarahumara are not only Running People, they are also Dancing People. Like other people who practice endurance running, such as the Kalahari Kung, dancing occupies a central place in Tarahumara culture. Or at least, it has. The Tarahumara dance to pray, to celebrate life passages, to mark seasonal and religious events. They dance outside where Father God and Mother Moon can see, in patterns consisting of steps and shuffles, taps and hops, performed in a line or a circle with others. And they dance the night before a long running race, while the native corn beer, or tesguino flows.

While McDougall notes the irony of “partying” the night before a race, he doesn’t ask the question: might the dancing actually serve the running? Might it be that the Tarahumara dance in order to run—to ensure the success of their run—for themselves and for the community?

At the very least, the fact that the Tarahumara dance when and how they do is evidence that they live in a world where bodily movement matters. They believe that how they move their bodies matters to who they are and to how life happens. They have survived as a people by adapting their traditional method of endurance hunting (running animals to exhaustion) to the challenges of fleeing Spanish invaders, accessing inaccessible wilderness, and staying in touch with one another while scattered throughout its canyons. As McDougall notes, they have kept alive an ancient genetic human heritage: to love running is to love life, for running enables life.

Yet McDougall is also clear: even the Tarahumara are not born knowing how to run. Like all humans, they must learn. Even though human bodies are designed to flourish when subject to the stresses of long distance loping, we still need to learn how to coordinate our limbs to allow that growth to happen. We must learn to run with head up, carriage straight, and toes reaching for the ground. We must land softly and roll inwardly, before snapping our heels behind us. We must learn to glide—easy, light, smooth—uphill and down, breathing through it all. How do we learn?

How do we learn to run? We learn by paying attention to other people, and taking note of the movements they are making. We learn by cultivating a sensory awareness of our own movements, noting the pain and pleasure they produce, and finding ways to adjust. We learn by creating and becoming patterns of movement that release our energy boldly and efficiently across space. We learn, in a word, by dancing.

While dancing, people open up their sensory selves and play with movement possibilities. The rhythm marks a time and space of exploration. Moving with another heightens the energy available for it. Learning and repeating sequences of steps exercises a human’s most fundamental creativity, operating at a sensory level, that enables us to learn to make any movement in any realm of endeavor with precision and grace. Even the movements of love. Dancing, people affirm for themselves and with each other that movement matters.

In this sense, dancing before the night of a running race makes perfect sense. Moving in time with one another, stepping and stretching in proximity to one another, the Tarahumara would affirm what is true for them: they learn from one another how to run.  They learn to run for one another. They run with one another. And when they race, they give each other the chance to learn how to be the best that they each can be, for the good of all.

It may be that the dancing is what gives the running its meaning, and makes it matter.

Yet the link with dance suggests another response as well. In order for running to emerge in human practice as something we are born to do, we need a culture that values movement—that is, we need a general appreciation that and how the bodily movements we make matter. It is an appreciation that our modern western culture lacks. 

Those of us raised in the modern west grow up in human-built worlds. We wake up in static boxes, packed with still, stale air, largely impervious to wind and rain and light. We pride ourselves at being able to sit while others move food, fuel, clothing, and other goods for us. We train ourselves not to move, not to notice movement, and not to want to move. We are so good at recreating the movement patterns we perceive that we grow as stationary as the walls around us (or take drugs to help us).

Yet we are desperate for movement, and seek to calm our agitated senses by turning on the TV, checking email, or twisting the radio dial to get movement in a frame, on demand. It isn’t enough. Without the sensory stimulation provided by the experiences of moving with other people in the infinite motility of the natural world, we lose touch with the movement of our own bodily selves. We forget that we are born to dance and run and run and dance.

The movements that we make make us. We feel the results. Riddled with injury and illness, paralyzed by fears, and dizzy with exhaustion, our bodily selves call us to remember that where, how, and with whom we move matters. We need to remember that how we move our bodies matters to the thoughts we think, the feelings we feel, the futures we can imagine, and the relationships we can create with ourselves, one another, and the earth.

Without this consciousness, we won’t be able to appreciate what the Tarahumara know: that the dancing and the running go hand in hand as mutually enabling expressions of a worldview in which movement matters.

Thanks for a great article Kimerer. (entire article here) http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-body-knows/201109/can-running-make-us-better-humans

Wishing a Happy New Year to you all, from our hearts……. Shawn and Ivo

The Gait Guys

Neurocognitive Control in Movement Perception and Control

You have read our blog posts on how much we respect and admire those that engage in complex motor tasks like gymnastics, martial arts, parqour, dance and others.  The more complex the task the greater the rewards on several levels.
We found yet another article supporting multiple levels of sensory-motor advancement, in this article’s case, dance however it applies broadly across all complex motor tasks.  We have also included another video with dub dancer Marquese Scott with this blog post. You may recall our prior writing with him, link here where we talked briefly about “foot edge work”. The above video is another demo of Marquese doing what he does best, making complex motor tasks look simple.

Neurocognitive control in dance perception and performance.

Acta Psychol (Amst). 2012 Feb;139(2):300-8. Epub 2012 Jan 9.

Department of Sport Science, Bielefeld University, Germany. bettina.blaesing@uni-bielefeld.de

Abstract: Dance is a rich source of material for researchers interested in the integration of movement and cognition. The multiple aspects of embodied cognition involved in performing and perceiving dance have inspired scientists to use dance as a means for studying motor control, expertise, and action-perception links. The aim of this review is to present basic research on cognitive and neural processes implicated in the execution, expression, and observation of dance, and to bring into relief contemporary issues and open research questions.

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What The Gait Guys have to say:

The abstract review above addresses six issues they discovered and investigated in dancers:

1) dancers’ exemplary motor control, in terms of postural control, equilibrium maintenance, and stabilization;

2) how dancers’ timing and on-line synchronization are influenced by attention demands and motor experience;

3) the critical roles played by sequence learning and memory;

4) how dancers make strategic use of visual and motor imagery;

5) the insights into the neural coupling between action and perception yielded through exploration of the brain architecture mediating dance observation; and

6) a neuroesthetics perspective that sheds new light on the way audiences perceive and evaluate dance expression.

As you have read from some of our previous blog articles, we have some experience in dance. We do this to make sure we are always pressing the edge of human sensorymotor development and learning.  Dance has been one of the most complex body movement endeavors we have undertaken, more difficult than many of the complex movements in various sports.  This is why we never have a problem recommending dance, gymnastics and pilates to our young patient’s parents who want their children to excel in any given sport.  Fast, precise, assured and efficient foot work will take one far in athletics.  It is why in basketball they talk so much about the importance of the first step off a dribble when confronting an opponent. The first step, when fast, precise, assured and efficient, will leave one’s opponent stunned and motionless as their savvy opponent effortlessly passes them by. Nothing teaches these foot skills better than dance in our experience. Just as Marquese displays above, mastering complex footwork leads to advanced body movement possibilities.  And possibilities in sport are what separate the great from the good.  The 6 points discussed above namely exemplary motor control, in terms of postural control, equilibrium maintenance, and stabilization, timing, on-line synchronization, sequencing of learning and memory, the advantages of strategic use of visual and motor imagery, the insights into the neural coupling between action and perception are all major advantages to the athlete who can put them into play at a higher level.  And the more complex cross training of tasks that occurs, the greater likelihood that these issues are what will allow the cream to rise to the top in sport.

The Gait Guys

Gait, Running, Dance, Martial Arts and the Mirror neurons of the brain. Today The Gait Guys put it all together.  (Why you need to get familiar with mirror neurons).


When was the last time you actually truly “listened” to music and “used it” while you worked out or ran?  Many of us do it, but many of us are not using the music to its optimal advantage. This is something we will talk about at the end as we summarize today’s very important article.

Beautiful human movement is something to behold.  Being able to watch and appreciate beautiful movement does several things within the brain.

According the the Scientific American Article (LINK) by Columbia University neurologist John Krakauer:

“some reward-related areas in the brain are connected with motor areas …  and mounting evidence suggests that we are sensitive and attuned to the movements of others’ bodies, because similar brain regions are activated when certain movements are both made and observed. For example, the motor regions of professional dancers’ brains show more activation when they watch other dancers compared with people who don’t dance.”

Many things stimulate our brains’ reward centers, among them, both the participation in and the observance of coordinated movements thanks to our mirror neurons. Today we show an example of the world famous Slavi Kryklyvyy once again. The combination of the physical capabilities and the artistic rendering of the fluid and complex movements stir something in your brain.  Thanks to the mirror neuron cells in the brain’s cortex, which link the sensory experience from when a person is performing a movement or when watching someone else do it generates a subsequent motor experience in the brain.  Watching someone execute a complex athletic task for example, your brain’s movement areas subconscously activate and mentally plan and predict how the athlete would move based on what you would do. We do this when watching sports all the time. How many times have you watched an athlete and either verbally or mentally said to yourself “Oh man ! That was a dumb move ! I would never have done that ! I would have done ______ !”  Krakauer mentioned, ” the motor regions of professional dancers’ brains show more activation when they watch other dancers compared with people who don’t dance.”  This will be the same for all athletes. This is the same neurologic phenomenon that also allows you to truly appreciate a movement when it is done with amazing skill and precision.  Think of Cirque du Soleil and you will instantly know what we mean.

Watching Slavik move in the video above is complex motor tasking at its best. Dancers are amazing athletes, they are not just dancers. They are much like martial artists. Take Capoeira for example. It is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance and music. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences. It is a complex and feared martial art known by quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for leg sweeps. It is a beautiful art, and a deadly art.

So, why does music make it that much better ? It is the same reason why weddings are less touching without music.  It is why music is used in church. It is why dance is paired with music.  Music stimulates the pleasure and reward areas of the brain, such as the orbitofrontal cortex, the ventral striatum and the cerebellum where timing, coordination and movement planning is performed. The combination of music with the motor task amplifies the reward zone in the brain. It is the task of trying to add timing and rhythm to movement that makes these activities that much harder, but that much more rewarding to the brain.  Runners who run with music, those who truly hear the timing and rhythm of the music and then use it in their workouts get a little something extra out of it. But sadly so many people “just listen” to the music instead of incorporating it into the movement.  A smart runner will vary the music and combine it with a run to vary tempo, cadence, speed etc.  That way the brain will be on fire and dish out rewards at a  new level. Dancers have no choice but to force the issue. We will sometimes use a metronome snapping of our fingers or clapping in the rhythm of a clients gait to help them hear the rhythm of their gait, particularly when it is arrhythmic due to pain or faulty biomechanics. We will do this so that it cues a heightened awareness in them. Seeing, feeling and hearing are all additive when sensory-motor relearning is concerned.

Gait and running are complex movements which we take for granted.  They are so automatized that we really do not realize how complex and amazing they are until something goes wrong or until someone brings the subtle flaws to our attention.  Maybe it is a stroke that compromises it, or maybe a neurologic disease like Parkinsons, or maybe it is as simple as a sprained ankle, a torn knee mensicus, a strained hamstring or a degenerative hip.  But any compromise to this complex sensory-motor task of ambulation immediately brings about a recognition that something is wrong to the skilled and aware observer. As in life, we do not appreciate something until something goes wrong with it.  Getting good at recognizing beautiful clean fluid gait and running is our job, and it is now your job. Now that you know better you cannot ignore gait in your clients, your artists, your athletes. Now that you know better, you must hold yourself to a higher level of expertise. Knowing what beautiful looks like will help you better understand what loss of beauty looks like.  It is what will make you better at understanding gait and human movement and locomotion and better at your chosen craft. It is what will heighten your appreciation of the amazing beauty of the human form and motion, whatever form it might take.

Shawn and Ivo.  Two guys who can see the beauty in movement, and who want you to see and feel it too.

Exercise Training Increases Mitochondrial Biogenesis in the Brain. A Journal of Applied Physiology topic.

We have included an indirectly related video link today. It will add some spice to a bland topic. This is a video of World Champions Slavik Kryklyvyy and Karina Smirnoff (last years Dancing with the Stars Champion). The video shows complex body motions that they make look simple, particularly at the 2:52 minute mark (right when you think the video is over) where we see the best in the word effortlessly solo demonstrate arguably some of the most difficult body movements, “Cuban/latin motion” of the Cha Cha. Even though the rest of the world embraces dance more than America, it isn’t for everyone. But, when some of America’s best athletes try this stuff and flounder repeatedly in front of America TV audiences despite weeks of practice one must trust the complexity of the motion from foot work to body control. We will see how Green Bay Packers NFL wide receiver Donald Driver will do when he trades in his football cleats for dancing shoes in a few weeks on Dancing with the Stars. There is a reason why top level pro athletes have challenged themselves behind closed doors with this stuff, because it makes them a better athlete. Our point? Master complex motions and simple ones become effortless. Here is a little piece of trivia for you…… name one of the best Latin dancers of all time ? Martial Artist Bruce Lee. Yup, Cha Cha Champion of Hong Kong. Looks like balance, flexibility, coordination, strength and speed of limb movement served him well in both ! We are not trying to pull the wool over your eyes gang, If you watch the first 10 seconds of the video again you can easily see how Slavik’s lightening fast, coordinated fluid moves are very much similar to open martial art moves. You cannot even see his footwork from the inside edges it is so fast. There is a reason we study these complex motions, because everything is simple after this stuff !

Now, onto today’s article discussing complex movements and exercise and their effect on brain function.

Exercise and complex movements put a demand on both the body and the brain. There are numerous articles confirming the positive benefits of continue physical activity through our life, even into our senior years. In fact, many peer reviewed articles confirm that for the elderly one of the best activities with low risk and high benefit is dancing. For the aged, dancing improves and positively challenges joint motion, balance and vestibular issues, cardiovascular health and muscle activity (strength and endurance) to name a few. It is well documented that with demands on the muscular system more mitochondrial production occurs in the muscles.

However, in 2011 in the Journal of Applied Physiology the authors sought to prove or disprove changes in mitochondria in the brain from exercise and activity demands.

In their mouse study (yes, there are human gene correlations with mice studies) where a treadmill to fatigue (8 weeks of treadmill running for 1 hr/d, 6 d/wk at 25m/min and a 5% incline) demand was executed followed up with specimen sacrifice. Twenty-four hours after the last training bout a subgroup of mice were sacrificed and brain (brainstem, cerebellum, cortex, frontal lobe, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and midbrain), and muscle (soleus) tissues were isolated for analysis of mRNA expression of several markers including mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA).

All specimens showed improved Run-to-fatigue (RTF) but the study findings also suggested “that exercise training increases brain mitochondrial biogenesis which may have important implications, not only with regard to fatigue, but also with respect to various central nervous system diseases and age-related dementia that are often characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction.” – Steiner et al.

In the recent issue of Scientific American (link) Feb 29, 2012 the author Stephani Sutherland summarized their article by quoting one of the study’s authors,

“The finding(s) could help scientists understand how exercise staves off age- and disease-related declines in brain function, because neurons naturally lose mito­chondria as we age, Davis explains. Although past research has shown that exercise encourages the growth of new neurons in certain regions, the widespread expansion of the energy supply could underlie the benefits of exercise to more general brain functions such as mood regulation and dementia pre­vention. “The evidence is accumulating rapidly that exercise keeps the brain younger,” Davis says.

* Remember……. the cells in your body, whether in your lungs, your heart or your quadriceps, do not know if you are on a treadmill, in the water, on the dance floor or on the bike. All they know of is the neuro-endocrine/physiological demands that are placed on it by any given activity. This is the premise and value of cross training the body, to expand its challenges and experiences and to reduce repetitive strain type injuries. It is the act of being active that makes the cellular changes, not the activity of choice.

Shawn and Ivo……… keeping up with the research (and keeping it interesting), so you do not have to. We are…… The Gait Guys

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J Appl Physiol. 2011 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Exercise Training Increases Mitochondrial Biogenesis in the Brain.

Source : University of South Carolina.

Abstract (abstract link)

Increased muscle mitochondria are largely responsible for the increased resistance to fatigue and health benefits ascribed to exercise training. However, very little attention has been given to the likely benefits of increased brain mitochondria in this regard. We examined the effects of exercise training on markers of both brain and muscle mitochondrial biogenesis in relation to endurance capacity assessed by a treadmill run to fatigue (RTF) in mice. Male ICR mice were assigned to exercise (EX) or sedentary (SED) conditions (n=16-19/gr). EX mice performed 8 weeks of treadmill running for 1 hr/d, 6 d/wk at 25m/min and a 5% incline. Twenty-four hours after the last training bout a subgroup of mice (n=9-11/gr) were sacrificed and brain (brainstem, cerebellum, cortex, frontal lobe, hippocampus, hypothalamus, and midbrain), and muscle (soleus) tissues were isolated for analysis of mRNA expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator-1-alpha (PGC-1α), Silent Information Regulator T1 (SIRT1), citrate synthase (CS), and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) using RT-PCR. A different sub-group of EX and SED mice (n=7-8/gr), performed a treadmill RTF test. Exercise training increased PGC-1α, SIRT1 and CS mRNA and mtDNA, in most brain regions in addition to the soleus (P<0.05). Mean treadmill RTF increased from 74.0±9.6 min to 126.5±16.1 min following training (P<0.05). These findings suggest that exercise training increases brain mitochondrial biogenesis which may have important implications, not only with regard to fatigue, but also with respect to various central nervous system diseases and age-related dementia that are often characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction.