December 19, 2015
It's my birthday today. Happy birthday to me. So why not box jump onto a soapbox for a brief moment. I think I shall (deep breath), and here goes…
I'm often asked…
…instead of podcasting, interviewing and speaking about one specific topic, I have such a huge variety of guests on my show, from vegans to Paleo-ists, from biohackers to mushroom harvesters, from minimalist exercisers to ultraendurance masochists…
…instead of recommending one single mighty exercise program, I write about and feature everything from super-slow training to powerlifting to obstacle racing to body weight workouts to yoga and beyond….
…instead of recommending one single supplement or brand, I instead experiment with and talk about a huge variety of superfoods, herbs, oils, tinctures, patches, supplements, supplement stacks and supplement companies…
…instead of using and recommending one single quantification or biohacking device, I talk about and use everything from heart rate variability to intranasal light devices to in-ear phototherapy to wearable infrared and beyond.
As a matter of fact, because I'm constantly immersed in, studying and experimenting with the most intriguing, the most enchanting and the most useful things to better your body and brain, I've been accused of being a guy with a confusing and ever-shifting message, a flake, shallow, a charlatan, a hypocrite, and a sleazy internet marketer who promotes every newest workout, diet or supplement on the face of the planet!
So please allow me to set the record straight here with three quick facts for you.
Fact #1: Since I was 15 years old, and for nearly two decades, I've spent time immersed in everything from tennis to bodybuilding to water polo to basketball to volleyball to obstacle racing to Ironman to hunting to freediving to fiction writing to guitar to violin to being single to being married to being a father…you get the idea. And during that time, I've committed to 7 day body part split workouts, isometric training, electrostimulation, neurofeedback, water aerobics, strength-only, endurance-only, spinning, Zumba, infrared sauna, transcranial direct current stimulation, kickboxing and beyond.
Take-away message: it's OK to have different body and brain training approaches for different skills and desired outcomes. My goal is to simply spend time in the trenches so I can educate and equip YOU with as much helpful information as possible so that you are able to choose the correct movement approach, workout, exercise or “hack” for your specific goals. That's not going to be the same for everyone, and I certainly don't recommend you do it all at once (looking at you, yoga guy holding the kettlebell underwater with an electrostimulation cap).
Fact #2: Posted on my office wall is a sign that says: “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Take-away message: even though it's just fine to do so, you don't *have* to do the same thing your whole life (e.g. Ironman triathlons or bodybuilding or yoga). You can branch out and live life to the fullest, and for you, this may mean experimenting with many different pleasures and pursuits planet Earth has to offer. And sometimes people will find it confusing when your passions change like new chapters in a book. That has certainly seemed to happen to me (e.g. Q. “But Ben, you said last year that you found Tai Chi was the best way to reduce stress and now you say it's freediving…you're such a flake!” A. “That's because my opinion changed based on personal experience”). Hopefully that does you more good than harm.
Fact #3: Every week, I look at dozens of blood and biomarker results from clients all over the globe, and spend countless hours doing phone and Skype consults, coaching everyone from athletes to CEO's to soccer moms, and doing online exercise and nutrition programming. While working with so many different individual body types, metabolisms and personalities, I have developed different biohacks, different diets and different supplement stacks for different people and have found that those needs often drastically change depending on what you happen to be doing in life at the time (e.g. long breath-holds vs. fat loss vs. ketosis vs. pulling an all-nighter studying vs. drive vs. hunting in the wilderness, etc.).
Take-away message: when I recommend or talk about a specific fat loss supplement, or meal replacement powder, or a probiotic, or infrared device, or electrostimulation tool, or heck, a razor, it doesn't mean I recommend every single person on the face of the planet needs to rush out to buy that tool immediately. All it means is that I've discovered a cool new thing that is going to help SOME people in SOME situations, and if you listen to my podcasts and read my articles, you will become very well educated about whether something I recommend is actually meant for YOU at this point in your life, and if you DON'T know or you're confused, then ASK me!
Quick summary: 1) different strategies need to be used for different desired outcomes; 2) life is like a book, with new chapters as you go, and that should be exciting, not confusing; 3) take everything I say with a grain of salt because you may need to actually go out and discover (or simply ask me) whether it applies to your specific situation.
I'm a connector. I do my best to connect you with people and solutions that address your specific problems or questions…
I'm an author. I write what I keep my fingers crossed will be educational, enchanting and non-run-of-the-mill information about health, fitness, nutrition, longevity and happiness…
I'm a teacher. I love to teach you how to get the most out of your body and your brain…
And I realize that some people would be less “confused” if I stuck with just one exercise, one workout, one diet, one supplement and one biohack for the rest of all time.
But that's not the life I live.
Some days I eat kale, some days I eat bok choy, some days I eat spinach, and some days I fast.
Some days I take TianChi, some days TruBrain, some days Reishi mushroom, some days nothing.
Some days I do yoga, some powerlifting, some body weight training, some cold water swimming.
Sometimes I don't eat meat for a week and sometimes I have steak every day.
I have different approaches for different days for different needs for different goals.
And yes, that means that on any given blog post or podcast I might tell you about five different new ways to solve a problem you're facing and those ways might be completely different than five other ways I told you about just a year ago. That's because I'm constantly learning, constantly evolving, constantly adapting. It doesn't mean I'm some slick, slippery marketer who is taking handfuls of cash under the table so I can jump in front of a microphone or keyboard to promote every silly thing that comes across my radar. Trust me: hundreds of products, diets, books, supplements and people come across my radar every week, and I'm extremely selective about any I choose to experiment with, trial, or tell you about.
So there you have it. I realize that it can be confusing to follow a guy who is constantly immersed in and chasing new ways to live life to the fullest, but I also like to think it's a heckuva lot of fun, and I promise you won't be bored.
And now I'm off my soapbox. It's time to go eat birthday cake, because, yes, some days I even eat gluten.
Now it's your turn.
Would you rather I create the Greenfield Workout, Greenfield Diet, Greenfield Supplement and Mighty Greenfield All-Encompassing Wristwatch so that I can get laser-focused and stop confusing people?
Or should I keep on keeping an open mind, and exploring every corner of the earth for things that help me and you to continually get better bodies, grow better brains, and become better people?
Comment below. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Oh yeah, insert shameless, shirtless photo above. Cuz it's my birthday.