Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Five Fitness Tips For Newlyweds, Using Jack Daniel’s Running Formula, Morning vs. Evening Workouts, The Benefits of Protein Fasting, and How To Fix Bad Posture From Working On A Computerand much more.
Welcome to the bengreenfieldfitness.com podcast. We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon, and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation. So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete, or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Brock: Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep, beep! You know what I’m doing? Beep, beep!
Ben: Ah, no. I give up.
Brock: I’m a moving truck that is backing up.
Ben: Oh! Yes. You’re alluding to…
Brock: That should be a familiar sound to you.
Ben: You’re creatively alluding to the fact that I am surrounded by moving boxes right now.
Brock: Uhmm, I was going to make a sound like a box so I thought I’d choose the truck instead.
Ben: Yeah, box sounds are tough. I got it now. I get the truck.
Brock: My humor is just too high, bro.
Ben: That’s what the moving truck sound like in Canada huh?
Brock: Yes. Exactly just that dude. It’s a French guy strapped to the back of the truck yelling beep, beep, beep.
Ben: Doesn’t it yell in a French accent? So, it’s a little more like beep, beep, beep, beep.
Brock: That’s racist.
Ben: Sorry. So yeah I’m moving on Friday. I’ve got the entire house packed up literally, we’re living out of boxes right now and we’re moving into our new home that we’ve been hacking together for the past year out in a forest in Washington so we’ll disappear up to there and you know what? It might be the best part about this for our podcast listeners.
Brock: I thought it was the French guy strapped to the back of the truck.
Ben: Inside a French guy strapped to the back of the moving truck is…
Brock: What’s the best part?
Ben: My new office is soundproof.
Ben: So yeah!
Brock: No more dog’s barking, no more children screaming in the background.
Ben: Yeah, it looks out into the forest and the tamarack trees and everything and it’s soundproof so no toilet’s flushing, or dog’s barking. So, it will be nice!
Brock: Hey, to anybody who hasn’t listened to the latest Obstacle Dominator podcast. If you listen closely when nobody’s talking, you can hear crickets. I don’t know who’s in that was on but it was very soothing.
Ben: That’s actually the sound of our complete lack of listeners to that podcast. (laughs)
Ben: So, Brock, you were telling me about how we’ve gotten some complaints about typos on my twitter feed?
Brock: Yes. Yeah, people writing back to you sending out things to like Plos One or Pubmed or Biohackers blog and correcting like say, “Oh, you’ve got a spelling mistake in the third paragraph. You’ve mispunctuated.”
Ben: Oh, all of the article? Yeah, I don’t actually write all the articles that I tweet out.
Brock: Not all of the articles. Especially not the ones that are scientific studies on Plos One.
Ben: That’s right. I just read the articles and tweet to them. So, these are them.
Brock: These are the tweeted articles that you…
Ben: These are them. I take no responsibility for spelling mistakes. The first one, actually this was a really interesting article that I think anybody actually I think anybody should go and read it, but especially people who are dealing with resistance to the ability that lose fat really need to go read this because it was one of the best synopsis of all of like the hidden reasons that you’re unable to lose fat that I’ve ever seen laid out in a really nice scientific format. So, it’s a reallygood article. It appeared in the Journal Obesity Treatment and the title of the article is “What Are We Putting In Our Food That Is Making Us Fat?” Food additives, contaminants and other putative contributors to obesity.
Ben: I think we all need to use the word putative more.
Brock: Yeah. I need to tattoo that on my arm.
Ben: What does putative mean?
Brock: I’ve no idea actually Iwas hoping you do…
Ben: I can admit that I actually don’t know what the word putative means.
Brock: Alright. I am looking it up.
Ben: Okay. You look up the word putative while I talk about this actual article.
Brock: Generally considered or reputed to be.
Ben: Hmm, there we go.
Brock: The putative father of a boy of two. Hey, that’s you.
Ben: Thank you for using innocents, Brock. So, what this article goes into are all of the non-traditional factors that can contribute to obesity and it goes in into a bunch of them that go above and beyond what we just find in our food like emotional stress, sleep deprivation, disruption of circadian rhythms, composition of the gut microbiome, oxidative stress, medications, the average temperature in your home, environmental toxicants. It goes on and on before it even gets to the food stuff.
So, first of all that’s really interesting. Just being able to look at the actual scientific evidence about how something is simple as the temperature in your home and consistently living in a comfortable environment has been scientifically shown to contribute to your ability to be able to lose or not lose weight. And then, it jumps into a lot of the things in foods that could – not just cause obesity but also things that could prevent obesity and some of the differences between the two. So, for example they do mention that there are some things called hydrocolloids that they put in food like guar gum, and something called β-Glucan and those can actually help to increase satiety and reduce caloric intake because they have these bulking properties. And these would be things that could actually help you to stay fuller for longer. They also point out all the evidence that all the color compounds and things like grapes and purple corn and blueberries and plants that the anthocyanins in these things, that can help to prevent obesity as well. We always think of these as antioxidants but they’ve also got some pretty cool anti-obesity properties also. But then they point out that there are subtle differences in these compounds that you also wanna pay attention to like I mentioned how bulking agent like guar gum or beta-glucan can help you to lose weight by increasing satiety. If we look at another common bulking agent – one called carrageenan which you’ve probably seen before, you’ll find it in some coconut milk, you’ll find it in a lot of package compounds. It’s in things like – even ice cream, you’ll find it in coconut ice cream, or what we called vegan ice cream. That’s actually been shown to contribute to insulin resistance compared to something like guar gum. So, it’s really interesting. All these slight and subtle nuances that you can look at in terms of food additives. Now, some of the biggies that actually do directly contribute to obesity that go above and beyond the ones that we’ve already know about right? Like high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and trans-fats like we all kinda sort of know that maybe we shouldn’t be eating those but it delves into the scientific literature that shows us things like sodium benzoate which you find in fruit juices and salad dressing. That can decrease leptin release which is one of the things that’s responsible for regulating appetite. It talks about sodium sulfite, which you find interestingly in wine which can actually cause what’s called a lipopolysaccharide-induced interleukin-6 secretion which causes, I know…
Brock: Makes me gasp.
Ben: … the sharp intake of breath like you know what it means. (laughs) It just sounds bad.
Brock: It sounds terrible.
Ben: Anyways though, that – if you listen to the podcast episode that we did with Dr. Cate Shanahan, that type of inflammation, any type of inflammation really keeps fat cells from dying. So, when you exercise or when you like maybe do some fasting and some cold exposure, all that stuff can cause fat cells to die but it won’t happen if you’re inflamed and sodium sulfite which you do find in a lot of sulfite-rich wine – it’s a preservative that they add to wines that’s something that can inhibit that process from occurring. There’s something other…
Brock: I’m sitting on the couch wearing my cool, fat burner vest and having a glass of wine at the same time they’re sort of negating each other.
Ben: You know what? I actually drink ice water when I’m wearing that vest and…
Brock: I thought you’re gonna say iced wine.
Ben: (laughs) No. But there are some wines like a lot of organic wines, they don’t have this sodium sulfite in them. So, again I’m not saying you shouldn’t drink wine. I’m just saying you should kinda choose it carefully. So, some other things that they talked about like what are called perfluorinated compounds. A lot of people out there like Paleo enthusiasts and stuff, they’re eating sardines. If you’re eating sardines that are not like the organic sardines, packed in the healthy cans like the Bela brand is a good brand or like the Wild Planet sardines would be another. They’ve got this perfluorinated compounds in them which are actually stored in adipose tissue. So your body makes new fat cells to store what’s you’re getting in your can of sardines if you’re just choosing whatever happens to be on sale at the grocery store. So, I mean I don’t wanna be the person who’s just like trying to scare tactic people into worrying constantly about the food that you’re putting into your mouth but this stuff does matter like if all you’re doing is shopping at Cosco in the bargain bin at the grocery store, you’re saving money but if you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to consider choosing the stuff that has the better ingredients and then of course trying as much as possible to choose the stuff that doesn’t need any of these ingredients added to it at all, you know. The shop-at-the-organic-farmer’s-market approach when you can and again I know people now have the ability to be able to do that but I mean like, there are sources out there.
You can order organic bone broth from The Brothery, you can order like organic meats from U.S. Wellness Meats. I mean, even if you live in a complete healthy grocery store oasis like you know, I don’t know, downtown Las Vegas or something. Probably our podcast listeners were living in the Trump Tower. You can still find some healthy stuff so go read the article. It’s interesting, we’ll link to it in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/291. Another interesting one for you female triathletes out there. I tweeted…
Brock: Oh! You pissed off a lot of ladies on facebook. Did you read the comments in there?
Ben: Just briefly. I haven’t got…
Brock: There’s a lot of word “uterus” I’ve never seen it come up that angrily and that often in a thread in my life.
Ben: Uhm, so this research team at Loyola University – they looked at a bunch of female triathletes and released a new study that found that female triathletes are at risk of pelvic floor disorders like urinary and bowel incontinence, female athlete triad syndrome, menstrual problems, abnormal bone density and at a way higher level than “normal” members of the population. They found that one in four female triathletes had at least one symptom of female athlete triad syndrome which is low bone density and eating disorder and irregular menstruation. So really, really concerning factors here and I mean the whole pelvic floor disorder issue. I see that a ton in the female athletes that I work with. Even if you don’t see hormonal imbalances, you see low back pain, you see sciatica, you see urinary incontinence, you see pelvic floor issues and honestly, a big, big part of this I find is that female triathletes are omitting or however you wanna look at it committing two errors: number one, they aren’t lifting heavy stuff enough so they don’t develop that type of core strength, that type of inner strength necessary for the body to be able to withstand the buffeting that takes place with the chronic repetitive motion of running and cycling especially and then the other thing that they’re not doing is they’re not eating enough good nutrient-dense food. You know, and instead opting for scallions and dark chocolate. So, basically I think that any female triathlete should go and read this article and it certainly gives me pause when I see the number of female endurance athletes that have pelvic organ prolapse which is the bulging of one or more pelvic organs into the vagina and I’m quoting that half of the study. So, that doesn’t to me sound like a very pleasant thing. So if you are concern about the bulging of your pelvic organs into your vagina or you’re a female athlete or someone looking again to triathlon, like I’m a triathlete and I’m all for triathlon but man, you’ve got to take care of your body, you can’t just go pound the pavement and swim, and bike, and eat the average endurance athlete diet and expect for your body to withstand the rigors for that. So I mean, it’s one of the reasons that I wrote and I tweeted this, it’s one of the reasons that I wrote like my Tri-Ripped Triathlon Training Program – that’s like a combination of weight training and really nutrient-dense eating and triathlon training and it’s also one of the reasons that I wrote my Beyond Training book. You need to take advantage of those resources if you’re gonna go out and do this to your body. So, study finds female triathletes are at risk of numerous health complications. Check it out.
Brock: And not their uterus falling out.
Ben: Uhm, yes, yes. That people are saying that their uterus is gonna fall out?
Brock: Well, that’s the old belief. That’s why the women left the marathon and the Olympics until like 15 years ago or whatever it was because there was a rumor that their uterus would fall out so that was the first and that people sort of jump on this whole – this article about.
Ben: Just like fall out and start flopping around in the street?
Brock: I guess they rush very often to the forest.
Ben: Into the bushes? Wow! Alright, we just offended a lot of women.
Brock: Yeah, we offended the French and now we offended the women.
Ben: Anyways, this next study is applicable to both sexes. So, this was really interesting. It appeared in this week’s Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research and what they did was they did a systematic review of all the different studies out there that look at what happens to your heart rate when you’re exercising in the heat. And the interesting thing was that once you put all of the studies together that looked into your heart rate and exercising in the heat and the actual percentage of your body mass that you lose whether you’re losing one or two or three percentage of your body mass during like a run or a marathon or a tough workout in the heat or a triathlon or something like that, they actually came up with an equation that shows that on average for every one percentage of your body mass that you lose, your heart rate is going to rise by 3 beats per minute.
Now, I’m not just saying this to be nerdy and wear my math man propeller hat. The reason I’m doing this is or saying this is because so many people go into – let’s say like, let’s say you’re doing ironman triathlon right? So, you go in and you have this heart rate that you plan on being at for the marathon but by the time you get to the marathon of that triathlon you have lost 2% of your body mass which is not unreasonable, okay? So, especially if you’re competing in the heat. Oh, that would mean that whatever heart rate you plugged into your heart rate monitor that’s like your goal heart rate zone for that run, it’s gonna be because there’s a 3 beat increase in every 1% of body mass lost, it’s gonna be 6 beats off, right? So, if normally under normal circumstances your money zone, that you know you can run a marathon really good at is a 142-148 beats per minute. Well now it’s gonna be a 148-154 beats per minute because it’s gonna change by 6 beats. The way that you can practically apply this is if you’re training for some kind of an event, then during some of your training sessions, weigh yourself before and after, figure out how much body mass you lose when you’re taking in about how much water you plan on taking in during the event and then adjust your heart rate accordingly. Like plan ahead and know, “Okay well, technically I need to shove all my heart rate zones forward by six beats or forward by nine beats based on the fact that by the time I start this run or as I’m getting into this run or when I’m half way through this run, I’m gonna have lost 1-2% of my body mass.” So, really interesting!
Brock: That’s really good.
Ben: Yeah, so it’s a little equation – 1% body mass loss, three beats per minute. So, get out your calculators, people!
Ben: So Brock, I just got back from the Ancestral Health Symposium in Berkeley.
Brock: That sounds like such a nerdy, douchey, weird, kinda thing. I’m jealous, I’m kinda wanted to be at it but just – they speak a new name.
Ben: Yeah, well we’re ancestral, we were healthy, we sat out in a campfire and dipped cricket protein cookies and camel milk and we actually did have cricket protein cookies and camel milk by the way.
Brock: So, if they called it “The Cricket Cookie and Camel Milk Symposium”, I’ll be all over it.
Ben: (laughs) Anyways though, all the videos from that are available. I don’t even know if I’m suppose to say this, I’m not sure if they’re published or not…
Ben: Anyways though, if you go to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/291, I’ve got a link in there over all the other videos if you weren’t able to make it, you wanna check out the videos from the Ancestral Health Symposium. They’re actually some really interesting talks on like how to stimulate our ancestor’s lifestyle with the type of resistance training and like the length and intensity of our cardio intervals. There’s talk about how to raise our kids more ancestrally from an educational standpoint, how our hunter gather ancestors would have learned most efficiently and how we can replicate that in our lives. So, all sorts of cool stuff. I’ll link to the videos, check them out.
Brock: Okay, I take it back. That sounds cool. It doesn’t sound fishy.
Ben: It was, it was cool and then there was a camel milk too. Which I mean…so…
Brock: Was it good?
Ben: Uhm, it was good once you kinda got over the hump of drinking camel milk.
Brock: Think of us. Think of people’s faces as you drink it.
Ben: Yup, okay so anyways, a few other special announcements: I’m gonna be – this entire next week for those of you who happen to be near Encinitas or San Diego, I’ll be down at Mark Divine’s SealFit Camp so if you wanna just watch me suffer. Apparently it’s open for viewing to the public when we’re out there on the grinder and stuff suffering. So, you can actually go watch me get the crap kick out of me down there if you happen to be near San Diego and you wanna drop in to the Seal Fit facility…
Brock: It would be kinda be fun to watch actually.
Ben: I’ll wave to you as I’m immersed in ice water…
Brock: Waving with one hand and wiping the tears away with the other.
Ben: Next, I will be on September 21st to the 23rd, I will be speaking at the 431 Project.
You can check that out at the 431project.com. That’s over in Vermont and it’s this big Ted Talk style event that takes place on this farm and awesome cuisine, world class wine list, I’m sure they don’t have sodium sulfide in them, really kind of exclusive high-end summit. So, you can check that out at the 431project.com – it’s gonna be pretty cool. I think maybe even Richard Branson is gonna be there. So…
Ben: Yeah, so crazy. And then September 25th to the 27th, also in Vermont, I’ll be speaking at the Vermont Traditional Foods and Health Symposium and it’s like that little farm out there. So, I think that also looks like a great event so if you happen to live in the Vermont area or you want to – I don’t know, some stranger isn’t go to Vermont. Those two conferences, will be there.
Brock: It’s beautiful on the fall. Isn’t that where people go to look at the leaves change? Except it’s not quite late enough from the seasons to see it at.
Ben: I just usually go to the park downtown to watch the leaves change but you could also fly to Vermont, I guess. Ah, September 26th to the 28th, I’ll be in L.A. speaking at Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Biohacking Conference. Actually it’s in Pasadena…
Brock: Yeah, close enough.
Ben: …which I think is pretty close to L.A. – yeah, so you can check that out at I think it’s bulletproofconference.com. We’ll put links to all these things and these dates in the note shows in case you happen to be around any of these places. And then, if you’re gonna be in Kona during Ironman Hawaii. Go register to hear me speak on the nutrition myths of endurance and ironman training and that’s going to be at the Ironman Sports Medicine Conference. I’ll put a link in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/291 where you can register for that. While you’re at it fly down to Hawaii and watch the superbowl of triathlon which is actually pretty amazing. All of that, we will put links to over in the special announcements. Did I miss anything, Brock?
Brock: I don’t think so. I think you told me things I didn’t even know.
Ben: Hmm, that’s easy to do.
Brock: Nice guy!
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Listener Q & A:
Robbie: Hi Ben, my name is Robbie Stryle and I’m calling you in behalf of one of your biggest fans and my soon-to-be-wed brother, Marco. His fiancé, Jasmine and I were wondering what your top marriage tips would be for someone who loves all things: triathlon, nutrition, and Ben Greenfield.
Brock: Don’t do it, Marco.
Ben: Uhmm, yes Marco, run.
Brock: I don’t know Jasmine but she – I’m sure she’s evil.
Ben: I’m sure she’s a nice girl but, yeah. No, seriously though I mean like if you’re getting married, probably the best things I could recommend to you would be to get like a little tandem bicycle for two and may be a – if you’re a triathlete and you’re into triathlon which is sounds like you are, Marco, maybe like a swim tether, you could tether each other together and one of those leashes for running, so that would also work well so you’ll have to stay together when you run. No, I’m kidding. You don’t need a tandem bike and swim tether and a running leash to be happy. I would say…
Brock: Now you could just go straight for the surgery and surrender yourself to the other person.
Ben: I’ll give you 5 tips. I’ll give you five kinda newlywed fitness tips and I’ve been happily married for 11 years so I haven’t messed up yet but I’ll give you a few other tips that I wish I’d have known when I got married. The first things…
Brock: Eleven years?
Ben: Yeah! Eleven years, man.
Brock: Yeah, I’ve had a t-shirt for longer than that. That’s not impressive.
Ben: So, first of all, this is kinda more of a nutrition tip than a fitness tip but I would say, first of all, cook together. When one person does the cooking in the home, it really does create a little bit of a disconnect and possibly if it’s Jasmine doing a lot of the cooking or you I guess, like a little bit of resentment too. So I try and cook one to two times a week in our home. So, Jessa definitely does cook more than me but the boys and I have the nights where we will get together and we’ll cook something new and yeah, sometimes it is just like scrambled eggs when I’m cooking with the boys. But then I also go out of my way and I try and pick one dish that I come across on a website or in one of the cookbooks – I think I get like 10 cookbooks a week sent to my door from different publishers and so it’s pretty easy for me to just open the page and find something that looks good and make it but cook together too, don’t just have one person do the cooking and don’t just step in and kinda cook your own meals every now and again or be the person that cooks every now and again but also find things that you can make together even if one person makes the salad and the starch and another person kinda like does the meat dish, whatever.
Spending time in the kitchen and cooking together, and flirting, and hanging out, that’s one thing that can really help you out and you’ll learn a lot about nutrition together as well. And one of the things that I noticed when people have been married for a while and sometimes will come to me for nutrition and training advice. One of the first things I hear is, “Well, I’m onboard but my wife isn’t or my family isn’t”, and a big part of that is because they didn’t cook together or sometimes they don’t eat together, they don’t enjoy a lot of the same foods together and eventually there’s this huge disconnect. So, just start off by making it a really good habit to just cook together and kinda eat a lot of the same things and be on the same band wagon when it comes to nutrition. The next thing I would say is exercise together when you can. My wife and I will still do this like we will still go outside in the driveway and do our sandbags and our kettlebells and lay our yoga mats out in the driveway next to the car and just do our workout while the kids are out there running around and playing. It’s a great example for the kids and it also kinda brings us together. We actually – it’s almost like our relationship grows the more that we work out together because it’s just like you know, we give each other a big sweaty hug and a high five after the workout and getting your partner on board of working out with you rather than having against, similar to cooking like don’t have your cooking be just your cooking and your special diet, share it with your spouse. Same thing with working out, if you’re kinda doing a similar workout program, maybe even signed up for a similar event or activity. That can really help keep you together. So, I’ve got an article that even has a bunch of partner-based exercises that you can do together and I mean, you can do everything from partner carries uphill and then you switch and the other person carries to partner Rose where you’re both seating on a stability ball facing each other with an elastic band, to partner pull-ups where one person is straddling, the other person with her arms extended and that person who’s laying down on the ground is doing a pull-up and then you switch. There are all sorts of partner exercises that you can do. I’ll link to this article that I wrote over on the show notes with five of them. But partner exercises are really good to do and it’s actually pretty fun to be able to lift your partner and it’s pretty tough actually to lift a dead body weight rather than lifting a barbell or dumbbell or something like that. And by dead body weight what I mean is… a body weight that – you know what I mean anyways. Oh Filly, don’t kill your spouse. Okay so, the next thing that I’d recommend is to plan activities that require physical activity. So, we plan things like trips to sky high, trampolining, indoor trampolining – what do they call them – trampoline stadiums where you jump around, jump into the foam pits and you played dodge ball and you just bounce around. We do trips to play lazer tag, we go out to our land and with the kids we play capture the flag and this double up as workouts but they’re also activities that we do together and they go above and beyond just playing video games or watching a movie or catching up on tv. I mean, even as something as simple as hiking over to the river and jumping in the river and swimming around a little bit and getting out. These are things that if you plan out – I think I’ve talked about this before on the podcast, maybe I have but even sex, like we’ll plan out sex. Meaning that that morning we’ll like make out real quick in the kitchen and you know, I’ll slap her butt at lunch and then there it’s just like you’re almost like planning and anticipating all day because if you plan it out, then it’s a lot more likely to happen. And the same thing with physical activities and activities that you do together like if you say in the morning, “Hey, let’s go for a walk or let’s go for a hike after dinner”, or you plan something like that, you are a lot more likely to do it rather than just like flop on the couch to pull a pullo or you know, to watch a movie or whatever. So, plan out physical activity so you can break up the routine of just sitting around – that would be number 3.
Brock: You know, for a bit there I was going to say this is a whole different side of you that I’ve never seen before the romantic side until you said, “slap her ass”, as a romantic gesture. I was like, “You know what? that’s Ben.”
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Jasmine, you can slap his ass too.
Brock: There you go. Yeah, that fixes it.
Ben: So, I hardly eluded to this but sign up for activities together. Jessa and I usually half a dozen times a year, we signed up for the same event like together we’ve already done this year one triathlon and two Spartan events. Just the fact that you’re signed up for an event together whether it’s a cycling event or a crossfit workout or a local 5K or whatever, that automatically will start to align your physical activity interest and the likelihood that you’re gonna train together. So, ever since we’ve been married, I don’t think a single year has gone by that Jessa and I haven’t had at least one big event like a day-long adventure race or triathlon or something that we’re both signed up for. Training for together, driving two together, experiencing together and that’s really kept us from growing apart from each other in terms of our physical activity goals. I just think that when you’re training for an activity together, you’re much more likely to keep your exercise interest kinda aligned. So, sign up for an event and get your spouse signed up for an event too and that’s really important. And then the final thing is –and I just got done writing an entire book about this. It’s like a few bucks on Amazon but get your kids onboard once you do have kids and make them a part of exercise, make them a part of the workout and at least one workout that we do every week is with the whole family. It’s at the park where we’re running around doing – you know, partner carries, and push-up on the park bench and balancing on the fence and box jumps up and down on the park gazebo but the kids are in tow with us in making exercise and physical activity and working out. Again, part of being a family – that’s enormously important. And again, I just see too many people who I counsel and who I consult with, or just off to their own thing and their family is just like, they’re almost like the lone wolf apart from their family because they’ve signed up for this event on their own. They’re like training for an ironman triathlon but their family isn’t really even interested in triathlons or interested in physical activity and it’s a little sad. And frankly, I think that if you as a newlywed, put yourself in this situation where you’re planning and getting your kids onboard, you’re doing events together, you’re training together, you’re planning physical activity, you’re cooking together, then you can do a lot better job staying together and I really, really wish that I can do a Dr. Phil accent because I feel like I was just Dr. Phil.
Brock: I’ve never seen Dr. Phil but I do feel like that so – that’s something that he would have said.
Ben: He kinda has a southern accent but I’m not – I probably sound right now more like a scary hick than Dr. Phil. So, I’ll shut up and we’ll move on to the next question.
Ignacio: Hello Ben and Brock! This is Ignacio from Ontario, Canada. My question is as follows: I keep reading and hearing that a lot of ultra trail runners train based on elevation and time more so that they train based on distance. I’m thinking about training for a 50K trail run, quite hilly actually, and I’m trying to think about what’s the best way to incorporate elevation and time rather than distance and see if this translation is actually possible because most of the training plans that you see out there are actually based on distance alone. So, if you could fill me out in terms of this translation again how you can incorporate elevation and time rather than distance for 50K trail run in a rather hilly terrain. Alright, love the show! Thank you!
Ben: You know, Brock I wasn’t quite sure but do you think he’s referring to the Jack Daniel’s running formula?
Brock: Ah, it could be, it could be. I own that book and I actually got my run coach certification from Jack but he never talked about elevation in the course.
Ben: Well, there’s a little bit – I own the drink by the way. You own the book and I own that – I own the beverage. So, Jack Daniels is not…
Brock: The formula is simple. Open bottle, drink bottle.
Ben: Not to be confused with the whisky. Jack Daniels was a running coach and kinda like – I believe he was a physiologist but he studied the performances of a bunch of middle distance runners, and long distance runners and found that even when their VO2 max – their maximum oxygen utilization varied widely that you still saw some pretty equivalent performances across the board and he was able to develop this specific aerobic profiles based on all these different runners’ performances and generate these tables that allowed runners based off of their run performance in like a 5K or a 10K or a marathon to determine how they would perform at any other race distance and also how they should train. And he called the values that these performances were based on V.values. And there are calculators now online. I’ll put a link to them in the show notes where you can go to a Jack Daniel’s running formula calculator and you can plug in let’s say, you know, I’m actually gonna go run a community 5K tonight with my family and I could plug in my time that takes me to run that 5k like 13 minutes, I’m just kidding.
Brock: Nice! Dude.
Ben: If I really push myself, I’ll probably 16 and a half to 17 minutes to run a 5K. So, what I would do is I could go and I could plug in my time from running that 5K and the Jack Daniel’s Running Calculator lets me calculate my training phases, it lets me calculate my race phase, it lets me calculate what my finish time might be in a 10K or in a half marathon or in a marathon based on my time from a 5K but it also lets you find out what your equivalent finish times at other altitudes for that race would be or what your training phase should be at other altitude. I don’t know if you’re aware of this Brock but the Jack Daniel’s running calculator now allows you to figure out if you ran a 5K, let’s say you ran a 5K in 20 minutes. Okay? You could not only find out what your training phases should be for your speed phase and your endurance phase and your tempo phase but you could also find out what that phase would be or should be if you’re training at 2,000 feet or 3,000 feet or even a course that has x number of feet of uphills or x number of feet of downhills. And for those of you who are basing this on the metric system, you can also calculate this based on meters instead of feet. So, I think that might be what Ignacio is referring to possibly because you can actually calculate based on elevation profiles of where you’re gonna train and also elevation profiles of where you’re gonna race. So…
Brock: I can actually see my Jack Daniel’s running formula book from where I’m standing but my headphone cord won’t reach.
Ben: Well, the calculator’s actually are pretty easy to use. You don’t have to read a book. You just plug your values in to the calculator.
Brock: Yeah, I’m just wondering if whoever programmed this calculator didn’t sort of do an extrapolation on it.
Ben: Well, let’s see. So I’m gonna plug this in. We’re gonna do this. This gonna bea great podcast.
Brock: Okay. You do that and I’m gonna put my headphones down and will get the book and see if I can find the elevation part.
Ben: Okay, so I’m gonna plug in to 10 km into this running calculator and then what I’m gonna do is – let’s say you could run 10 km in 45 minutes. So, we’ll say, 00.45.00 so, 0 hours, 45 minutes, 0 seconds. And then what I’m going to do is I’m going to calculate my appropriate training paces, okay, and then I’m gonna click go. Okay, so this tells me now for my easy or long runs, I should run an 855 minute mile, for my marathon paces if I’m going to go out and run a marathon, I’d run a 754 minute mile, for my threshold runs or like intervals that are long intervals, I should run a 722 minute mile, for my very hard intervals like 5 minutes or less, I should run a 648 minute mile and then for like sprints or short distances on the track like a 100 to 400 meters, I should run a 624 minute mile. So, I can just plug that in and get all my suggested training paces. It’s pretty cool! The elevation stuff is honestly like, it’s probably gonna be pretty crappy podcasting if I try and do calculations for elevation on the podcasting but here’s one thing I could do – I could say, “Okay, let’s say I wanna run that 10K again but I’m gonna be thinking to run in Park City, Utah. So, I’m gonna be at whatever like 8,000 feet. Well, it tells me now that my – if I can run a 10K in 45 minutes at 8,000 feet then I could run at sea level in 42 minutes. I could run at 10,000 feet in 45 minutes and 34 seconds. It’s a pretty cool calculator, honestly man.
Brock: I believe you. I just – I don’t think that comes from Jack Daniels.
Ben: It does, it does. Oh, you mean like the altitude part of things?
Ben: I don’t know if the altitude part but it is the Jack Daniels running calculator online.
Brock: Oh, wait… altitude training, there we go.
Brock: Effects on running performance loads, other factors.
Ben: Would you like to read us that chapter as we sit down…
Brock: That’s gonna be awesome.
Ben: …got a glass of scotch? (laughs)
Brock: It’s page 56 for those of you following along.
Ben: I can hear the pages turning.
Brock: “If your normal training program calls for 7o miles of running per week, there’s no reason to vary from that unless your time…”
Brock: Yeah, we won’t do that but it does actually, yeah you’re right.
Ben: (noises) Okay. Alright, so there you go. Check it out. Jack Daniels running formula for those of you who are wanting to do this, we’ll link to the running calculator online. Great questioning Ignacio. Ignacio. That’s just a cool name. Sounds like he stepped out of the 15th century. It’s like a painter or sculptor. Ignacio. Or he’s an actor in a Spartan movie. Ignacio! (laughs) Bring us the swords, Ignacio. Alright, next question.
Rick: Hey Ben and Brock, this is Rick in Ohio. I’ve a question about working out in the afternoon vs. the morning. I know from listening to your podcast that it’s optimal to workout in the afternoon but if I can’t do that, if I have to workout in the morning, what are the factors that I need to consider to optimize that morning workout? Alright. Thanks for the podcast guys. Love all the content. Take care.
Ben: This is a pretty good question…
Brock: It is.
Ben: … because I’ve actually forcing myself to workout early in the morning like 6AM. I freaking hate it. I’m not a morning workout guy but I’ve been doin’ it to gettin’ ready for that Seal Fit Camp and there are certain things that I’ve been doing that I want to share with Rick that will allow you to get a good workout if you are gonna workout in the morning. But just stepping back and looking at what the best time of day to actually exercise, would be – the basic idea here is that we have our sleep and wake cycles and most of you know that it follows this normal daily cycle called a circadian rhythm and that circadian rhythm is what regulates things like body temperature and blood pressure, and production of hormones, and alertness and metabolism and you can kinda sort of reset your circadian rhythm based on environmental cues like using an alarm clock or establishing certain meal times or even when you workout. So, studies have actually been done that have shown that people you consistently exercise in the morning, teach their body to be more ready for exercise at that time of the day. And then they actually did a follow-up study with these folks where when they switched them to evening exercise. They didn’t feel like they performed quite as well. Their rating of perceived exertion was higher. So, that’s really important that any athlete or person who is training for a specific event know that you can adjust your circadian rhythm and how well you do workout by training at the same time of day that whatever event you’re training for is going to occur. So, if you do say like your marathon training in the morning, you may perform better on race days since most marathons typically start in the morning. The idea here though is that in terms of research on the best time to exercise, the afternoon wins out. Like your strength is greater in the afternoon and this is all proven by research. Strength is greater by about 5%, your aerobic capacity or your endurance is about 4% higher in the afternoon, injuries are less likely to occur in the afternoon because the afternoon is when your body temperature peaks, and your recovery is better in the afternoon because your post workout protein synthesis or your ability to use protein for muscle recovery also peaks. And in addition, evening exercise can help you to sleep better and they’ve showed that vigorous exercises close to a half hour before bedtime doesn’t affect sleep or cause you to sleep any less and evening exercise in most cases actually help sleep better than morning exercise does. So, it’s kind of a toss-up if you’re just exercising to stay fit and to get the most out of exercise possible, exercise in the afternoon or the early evening. If you’re exercising to prepare for an event, especially if it’s an event that like most events takes place in the morning, then exercise in the morning. If you don’t get to choose and let’s say that even if you’re not training for an event you just have to exercise in the morning, I definitely have some tips for you for exercising in the morning.
Ben: So, here are my 5 morning exercise tips.
Brock: You’re all about five today.
Ben: Five! It’s like Sesame Street.
Ben: There’s only one number in today’s episode. This episode is brought to you by, the number 5. The letter L. What’s the last thing that they usually devote Sesame Street episodes to?
Let me think – number, letter… I don’t remember. Anyways, if somebody knows what’s right, at the end of the show, let us know so that we can…
Brock: It’s been a long time since I watched Sesame Street.
Ben: Gather that important piece of knowledge. Okay, so the first thing is that if I know I’m gonna do a morning workout, I make sure that I do my heart rate variability measurement before I get out of bed because for me, part of my morning routine and my morning routine becomes all the more important if I’ve got a workout that I’m going do, part of that routine is measuring my heart rate variability which allows me to see how strong my nervous system is for that day. So, what that means is that if I wake up and my sympathetic nervous, my fight or flight nervous system, is giving me a really low score, then I know that I may not have all that hot of a sprint-based weight training based workout that morning and I may want to put a little emphasis on aerobics and yoga and vice versa if my endurance feedback is a little bit low, I may wanna focus more on not overtraining my para-sympathetic nervous system and instead focusing on weight training and interval-based training. The other thing I liked about heart rate variability training is as you’re doing it, you’re just laying there and doing deep breathing and most like preparing your body so it almost like pre-workout meditation which I’m a big fan of. So the next thing is, caffeine is definitely an ergogenic aid when it comes to morning workouts. If I’m gonna do a morning workout, it’s always better if I wake up and I get the coffee pot going almost right away. By doing that you’re gonna be able to get caffeine in to your system. It takes about 20-30 minutes in most folks for it to really work its way into the bloodstream and for you to start to feel some of the ergogenic effects. So, I definitely recommend caffeine as part of a morning workout if you have the time to squeeze it in. Now speaking of squeezing stuff in, let’s also talk about squeezing stuff out. Do you like that segue?
Brock: That’s nice.
Ben: Like the in and, yeah.
Brock: What I really like is – you said segue right.
Ben: Segue. So the next thing is that it can be tough if you’re gonna do a hard workout to do it with the booze still inside you. So, I would recommend that – that’s another reason that I drink the coffee ‘cause that’ll help to get the stuff moving, but usually if I know I’m going to do a morning workout while I’ve got the coffee on, I’ll do some jumping jacks and some hip flexors stretches and like some deep squats like opening up the hips. Squats really help. All that stuff to kinda get the poo moving. And if I have very little time ‘cause I’ve been in places before like before a race where I know I just got – I’ve got 20 minutes to get to the race and you know, I just got to squeeze stuff out. For a while there, you know, ‘cause my bowels are always just like before a race, I’m just like – I don’t want anything in there, right? Like I do not want any poo in me when I’m running a marathon or an ironman, triathlon, or something like that.
Brock: Just like those lizards that just poop all over the place before they run away from predators?
Ben: Exactly. (laughs)
Brock: It’s good, it’s smart. Just like…(making sounds)
Ben: So, this is gonna sound kinda weird but I’ve actually found that if you’re in a time of need and you just wanna go fast, glycerine suppositories work amazingly well. Literally, you can just – let’s say you wake up for an event and your race is at seven and you wake up at five and you’re lying in bed just maybe doing your heart rate variability and everything, just shove a glycerine suppository up inside you, wait 15 minutes. You get up and I mean, stuff just flows out of you. That quickly. You don’t want to make this like a habit because you don’t want to make yourself become dependent on suppositories or whatever. But for the really hard workouts before a race, I say glycerine is totally natural. Just attracts water into your bowels so you poo. It’s not like a pharmaceutical or anything like that so I mean it sounds kinda gross but it actually works. If you’ll just like, “Okay, I’ve got – I know I’m gonna wake and I know I have this short ten minute window to get my poo on and get going, just do that and it can work as a natural poo enhancer. The next thing I would recommend – and by the way, there are different kinds of suppositories, glycerine is the most natural. All the other ones have like pharmaceuticals in there you’re gonna absorb that might make you feel a little strange the rest of the day. So, careful. Choose your suppositories wisely. A longer warm-up for your morning workout – I find that I usually need at least 10 extra minutes of dynamic arm swings, leg swings, jumping jacks, body weight squats, body weight push-ups, a bunch of stuff like that before a morning workout compared to just being able to get up and go in the afternoon or evening because your body temperature is gonna be low in the morning. So, plan on a longer warm-up if you want a really high quality workout in the morning.
Just a basic dynamic warm-up, move in as many directions as possible, swing your legs and your arms in as many different directions as possible, do a bunch of body weight calisthenics and that will really help get the body ready. And then the last thing is, after that morning workout, do all of us a favor because I’ve had this happen to me in conferences before and before I show up in meetings, cold shower post morning workout. You do not want to be that person faded out, you know, swell over your brow, red in the face, you look like you just sprayed a bunch of hot peppers for breakfast because you did your morning workout. So, cold shower and this works any time of the day really if you’ve worked out and then you just get – you know, pull on time and get to work. I like a 3-5 minute cold shower, it’s good for recovery, it’s good for shutting down inflammation but it also really good at kinda keep the stink off.
Brock: I think it’s key to that it’s 3-5 minutes ‘cause if you take a shorter cold shower like if it’s only like a minute or a minute and a half, I think your body actually reacts by making you hotter.
Ben: I agree. If I just like jumping really quickly, I’m still sweating when I get out. Three to five minutes to me seems like the money is on to stop the sweat and I will literally turn and direct the cold flow directly under my armpits, under my crotch, like any area where you have a bunch of those sweat glands that you know are the stinky kind. I will direct the cold water into those areas so it specifically cools those areas. So, those are my tips for you, Rick for your morning workouts. Do your HRV and your morning breathing, get some caffeine, do a little poo enhancement, do a longer warm-up and then take a cold shower afterwards.
Troy: Hey Ben and Brock, this is Troy from Jacksonville, Florida. I have a quick question on protein fasting. I’ve read that eating under 15 grams of protein activates certain detox pathways and I just wanted to get your opinion on it. I really can’t find any scientific research on it but I’ve heard that you should do it once a week. So, how often should you do it if you should do it all and what benefits do you get from it? Thanks.
Ben: Protein fasting. I’m sure a lot of animals like this approach – that people take this approach.
Brock: Oh, I see like what animals do? Do they think about their diet so much, I don’t think.
Ben: Yeah. Pure tasty animals die.
Brock: Yeah, kids will probably really appreciate this one.
Ben: I think this one originally came from a book called The Protein Cycling Diet and you can download it for free online. Like if you google “protein cycling diet” you can find it it’s like a free book. But anyways the idea behind protein cycling is that at some point in our ancestry are days were governed by the sun and like in the tropics the sun is down for like 12 hours everyday. And so when there’s no fire, there’s not a lot to do in the dark except just sleep. So our ancestors likely fasted 12 hours every night even if they ate continually through the day. So, a 12 hour fast may have been sufficient to induce some of the longevity benefits and the cellular what’s called autophagy or cellular cleaning up benefits of fasting and…
Ben: Autophagy. Perhaps our ancestors are already doing some protein fast or some protein cycling or some protein restriction. So, in the protein cycling diet they even recommend three 24 hour periods each week where you consume very little protein so that you get some of this activation of the calorie restriction and the longevity benefits of avoiding protein. If you delve into this a little bit more, it might make a little bit of sense because there are some dangers of excess protein. And in my opinion there are quite a few people out there and I know people listening in the show who are doing eggs and bacon every morning for breakfast who are kind of overdoing the protein a little bit kinda getting over and above that 30% that I recommend is being the high end of your protein intake. One of the issues here is that if you are eating too much protein, you can put yourself at risk with what’s called protein toxicity. Now, the way that this works is when you breakdown protein from food like meat or whey protein or eggs in the energy, your kidneys have to remove a nitrogen from the amino acids that’s in that whole protein sources – it’s called deamination. And when you do that, you get ammonia as a chemical by-product and ammonia is actually pretty toxic, your liver has to convert into urea and then that passes out of your body as urine. So, eating too much protein can put a little bit of unnecessary stress on your liver and on your kidneys and in addition when you’re processing ammonia, processing ammonia properly requires you to have adequate carbohydrates and adequate fat as what are called co-factors.
So, if you’re overloading your body with protein without these other two macro-nutrients as a part of the diet like if you do a lot of lean protein shakes and just like lots of eggs without any additional fats or carbohydrates accompanying them, then a lot of times you’re going to increase even more the amount of work that you are putting on to your liver and your kidneys. You’re not giving your body enough of the fat-soluble micro-nutrients that it needs as well and so you can generate some health problems and actually the Inuits have this problem that they refer to as protein toxicity. They call it rabbit starvation and it wasn’t because people or Inuits were eating too much, you know, some people think this is rabbit food like you’re eating lots of carrots and lots of vegetables so you’re suffering from rabbit starvation but it actually refers to the consumption of very lean meats and rabbit is a very lean meat and you get weakness, and you get weight loss and you get this general feeling of illness because you’re eating lots of very lean protein in the absence of adequate fats and carbohydrates. So, the Inuits called this rabbit starvation, you know, rather than eating whatever, whale meat and seal and fish and all these stuff. You know, we’re getting that lean meat and so it can cause some protein toxicity issues. And then the other thing is that periodic protein restriction has been shown in studies to help with the cellular autophagy which I talked about which is where your cells kinda do this spring cleaning and clean out old and useless proteins that would otherwise accumulate in your body because your body is having to rely on some of its own proteins for energy. The idea behind a protein fast makes some amount of sense or at least the idea behind not overdoing your protein makes some amount of sense. Now, I recommend that folks get anywhere from 0.55 to 0.7 grams of protein per pound of body weight and if you’re an athlete who’s really trying to pile on muscle about 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. And I haven’t seen any evidence that eating more protein than that, that 0.8 grams per pound is going to help with something like muscle gain for example. And I do think that not just a protein fast but just a general fast from calories period can be something that can help quite a bit with cellular clean-up on a daily basis. This intermittent fasting approach, this 12 hour overnight fast or 14 hour overnight fast but the caveat is that a lot of people hear this and they’ll be cross fitters or they’ll be triathletes and so they’re combining this intermittent fast with very tough workouts. That’s a quick fast track to hormonal depletion and overtraining. So, I would recommend that you avoid fasting on the days that you’re doing very hard workouts or at least those very hard workouts not occur during your fasting periods and that if you’re gonna do this fasting, you do it during a period of time where you’re not getting extremely catabolic. That’s something important to bear in mind. The other thing to bear in mind here is that when Troy asked about protein activating detox pathways or lack of protein activating detox pathways, whereas protein fasting can definitely help with cellular cleanup, it’s important to understand that the detoxification pathway in your liver specifically what’s called the phase 2 detoxification pathway in which you add chemical groups to toxic compounds, so you’ll add like glutathione or glycine or taurine or other amino acids to compounds to make compounds less toxic to your bodies, less toxic to your tissues to make them easier to excrete, that requires you to have amino acids. It requires you to have adequate proteins in order for phase 2 liver detox to actually occur. So it actually will work in the opposite manner. If you don’t have adequate protein like if you’re really restricting amino acids or really restricting protein, then you can actually inhibit these phase 2 detox pathways. There’s a variety of different phase 2 detox pathways, for example one is called like the glutathione pathway – you hear about glutathione as a detoxing supplement that has a major antioxidant that assist with detox. Well, for that glutathione phase 2 detoxification pathway to take place, you actually need to have enough essential amino acids on board in order for that to happen. So, it’s kinda like finding this balance between getting enough protein to support liver detoxification pathways but not overdoing and I would say especially not getting close to overdoing that 30% of your total daily needs as far as your protein intake.
This is also where supplements can help out, I mean, if you’re trying to restrict protein and not get too much protein but also support liver detox pathways and get adequate amino acids from muscle repair and recovery and potentially even muscle building. When you look at amino acids like if you look at something like Master Amino Pattern capsules or if you look at something like an amino acid powder like Thorne FX makes the aminos, amino powder. When you look at the net nitrogen utilization, which is how much of that amino acid is actually used for protein synthesis or for liver detox pathways, it’s well over 90% if you look at a dietary protein supplement like whey protein for example, it’s about 16%, and when you look at steak it’s about 32%. So, you’re looking at way less nitrogen buildup, way less ammonia buildup from the use of amino acids and you can literally take 10 grams- that’s usually a heaping teaspoon of the powder or a couple teaspoons of the powder or about 10 of the capsules of an amino acid and you can use that as a complete substitute for a protein-containing meal and when you look at the actual nitrogen catabolites, they’ve measured how much nitrogen is actually kicked-off, how much of that toxic ammonia by-product gets kicked-off when you’re using aminos like this. You get about 84% kicked-off from something like a dietary protein supplement like whey protein or protein powder, you get about 68% kicked-off from like steak and chicken and eggs and stuff like that. One percent is kicked-off from something like an amino acid capsule or an amino acid powder. So there’s literally no issues with renal stress or with hepatic stress, your kidneys and your liver do just fine and you get a bunch of extra amino acids for detox pathways and muscle recovery without actually putting yourself at risk of protein toxicity. So I’m a big fan of just like if you’re concerned about protein, or even if you’re gonna do a weekly 24 hour fast or even if you wanna do a daily 12 hour fast but not lose muscle or you gonna do some protein fasting, have some amino acid around because you’ll get all the benefits of protein fasting without any of the catabolic side effects. That’s why you could do something like a 24 hour fast and you can just do 10 grams of amino acid powders or capsule for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some greens, some water, a little bit of lemon juice for alkalinity and that’s it. That’s all you would need during that 24 hour, you know, clean-up fast. So, those are my thoughts on protein fasting. I think most people overdo protein, I like the idea of intermittent fasting as long as you’re not gonna do hard workouts while you’re doing it and then I also like the idea of longer fast or even shorter fast and people who don’t want to lose muscle but doing it with the use of amino acid supplements. So, those are my thoughts.
Brock: That’s something that you’ve recommended in the past for recovering from something like ironman or marathon or something like that. Like actually doing a 24 hour fast that includes some green supplements and amino acids.
Ben: Uhmm, well let me clarify. I haven’t recommended that. Somebody wrote in to the show and asked about using that as a strategy and I actually discouraged it because I think that it’s pretty stressful to restrict calories after you’ve just done like an ironman or something like that, that’s mentally hard and I actually think it’s pretty physically stressful to just cut-off your body from nutrients but I do like the idea once the inflammation has cleared about 1 or 2 weeks later, of since you gonna want some easy days anyways like taking 1 or 2 easy days and doing a full 24 hour fast just so you get that full quick detox, quick cellular autophagy, and that’s why I’m using an approach like this. I also have fat loss clients who I work with and will do a full 24 hour fast every 2-4 weeks and it’s really great for clearing up the liver, assisting with detox pathways without actually stressing the body out too much if you include amino acid powders and greens and some of the other stuff that I talked about. Yeah, I don’t recommend it – let me put it this way. If you finished an ironman triathlon, the last thing you wanna do is fast for 24 hours.
Rachel: Hi Ben, I really live your podcast, I’ve been listening for a long time and I also have your book but I have a question for you. Ever since university I have had a really bad posture from like slumping over the desk and it seems really impossible to reverse. I don’t know if it’s problem with my lower back muscles being disuse or not but what do you recommend for fixing poor posture? Thanks.
Brock: I believe I know a person who just put together a whole poster about something like that.
Ben: I did, I did. This is what I presented on at the Ancestral Health Symposium. It was how to kinda how to biohack the hazards of sitting and actually, Brock and Rachel, I have 5 tips to help you with bad posture from working on your computer.
So when you’re slouching all day or if you’re even standing and you have your hands like over a computer keyboard, what happens is your chest muscles tighten and that pulls your spinal forward and it rotates your shoulders inward and this weakens the muscles of your upper back and it also keeps your chest muscles really tight. Pretty simple concept but what you wanna do is stretch your chest muscles and strengthen especially your upper spine and some of your thoracic stabilizers to get rid of what is clinically called postural kyphosis. Kyphosis is kinda like that hunchback type of look that you get when you’re just like working all day long hunch over a computer. Some of my favorite moves, stretches, exercises, etc. – one would be just a basic doorframe chest stretch. And if you do this one arm at a time, it works even better. Meaning you grab a doorframe and with one arm you lean into that stretch with that side of your body (the front of your chest stretches) and then you do so for the other side as well. And really for true lengthening to occur, you gonna hold that for at least 60 seconds and preferable for about 30 seconds to really get elongation of that tissue. That would be one – stretching the chest. You also wanna do deep tissue work on the chest and the best way to do this is you just get a tennis ball or like one of those deep tissue massage balls. You literally hold it against one side of your chest with both hands and you roll the massage ball with both hands all around that chest area. You’ll feel all the tightness and the adhesions in there. If you do this before, you do that stretch that I just described is gonna be even better because you break up some of the soft tissue, you’ll loosen things up, you warm it up a little bit and then you do the stretch. So a lot of people don’t think about stretching their chest but that’s really, really big. I learned this a couple of years ago when I visited the massage therapist and like the tightness part of my body ‘cause I spend a lot of time on the computer was my chest muscles. I thought it would be my quads or my hands or something like that but it was my chest muscles. So there’s that plus I just have a huge chest from all the push-up that I crank up. So, there’s that too. Keep a foam roller. I talked about the thoracic spine and spine mobility and the foam roller exercise where you simply lay the foam roller right at the middle of your back, right below your shoulder blades, and roll all up and down that area. If you can get your arms completely overhead like Superman, flying through the air like one hand stuck on top of the other as you do this, you’re gonna do a really good job opening up the thoracic spine. If you wanna do this stretch on steroids, you take a couple of crossballs, you tape them together and you start with one vertebrae about halfway of your back and just roll and work your way all the way up your back one vertebrae at a time as you just kinda roll around and there shift from side to side. Again your arms are stretch over your head and you’re opening up that entire thoracic spine. That works really, really well and assist incredibly with upper back mobility. That would be number 3. Number 4 would be for the shoulders. I mentioned that your shoulders are gonna get rotated inward when you’re working at your computers, you wanna rotate them outward. So, get in the pool and swim lots of butterfly. I’m just kidding. Even though that actually would come sort of work. Yeah, if you wanna do this, get in the pool next year, desk and do a butterfly. So, what you actually wanna do is get on the ground on your stomach in like a Superman position and this is called the prone Y extension. You extend your arms in a Y over your head and you try and lift as much of your torso off the ground as possible with your arms in a Y and preferably you can kinda externally rotate your shoulders so your thumbs are like pointed towards the ceiling, and try this right now if you’re listening in like point you thumbs towards the sky, put your hands in a Y shape and then imagine like you’re lying in your stomach on the ground and your lifting your entire torso. Off the ground the lying in that Y shape and then back down. So, that’s called a prone Y extension. That one really helps with the shoulders. So we’re getting all the major and if you just do these 5 exercises I’m just describing, you mean money when it comes to your posture. The last one is just a basic close grip row. Seated row, standing row, elastic band row, it doesn’t matter but the idea here is you’re rowing with both hands getting yourself to the point where you have your shoulder blades squeeze together at the end point of that row. You hold that for at least one count and that shoulder blades squeeze back type of position as far back as you can go and then you return back to full extension with the arms.
My favorite way to do this if I’m doing it at the gym just because I don’t want to sit down on mat at the gym is I go over to one of the cable machines and I’ll put it at about chest height and attach two handles to the cable and then just pull the handles until I’m fully rode and hold that and then let them come back. So, just a basic standing row and you can do this with an elastic band in your office too. You can put it around like a doorknob or you can like attach it to a doorknob on outside of the door, close the door so the elastic tubes can like come in to the door and just roll that way. There’s all sorts of different ways that you can do a close grip row but those are the 5 exercises that I recommend. A chest stretching at the doorframe, some deep tissue massage at the ball on the chest, the upper back foam rolling especially in the mid spine, the prone Y extension, and then like a close grip row, and when you do that, your entire body is gonna look like a million bucks. Any other exercises and you can eat hamburgers all day, stay slumped over your desk and you’re good to go. So, there you go.
Ben: Liar. By the way, speaking of lying, should we read one of our five star reviews?
Brock: Who on earth will give us 5 stars?
Ben: We bribe people for reviews. We actually do like if you hear us read your review on the show, then you write in the [email protected] and we send you a gear pack like Ben Greenfield fitness beanie, a bpa-free water bottle, and the shirt. So, yeah, we actually have a review here from snacklove in iTunes review. What do you think, Brock? Should we fire out?
Brock: I guess so… did you choose this one because snacklove has no understanding of punctuation?
Ben: Uhmm, yeah and you get to read it.
Brock: So, uhmm, I’m gonna do my… and oh, and there’s some interesting spelling as well. Nice! Okay, snacklove says, “I must say after listening to this podcast for a few years, it’s pretty legit. I had some moments like who is this Paleolithic fool telling me I can’t crush it as a vegan ultra runner dance party enthusiast. But recently Ben has stepped up his game and insight.” Have you? Just recently.
Ben: Uhmm, I guess so, yeah.
Brock: “…and really is coming with factual, semi-unbiased info you can take or leave, lots of and peer reviewed studies and scientific data.” I think that shows me “and”. “He is a vibing dude.” You’re a vibing dude.
Ben: I know how much we’d the snacklove smoke before you love this.
Brock: “… and does his best not to ego about his awesome lifestyle.” What?
Ben: Not to be ego about his awesome lifestyle and elevated mind.
Brock: “I also like that B and B (I guess that’s us) are not shy to talk a little poop and deal with the gut.” We did talk about a lot of our poop today.
Ben: Hmm, “…and grits of being human.”
Brock: Yup, “… pretty crazy world.” There you go.
Ben: Alright. Those – despite that being incredibly difficult to read probably because you’re a vegan ultra dance party enthusiast, it was a good review. Especially like where he or she calls me a Paleolithic fool.
Brock: And you’re still gonna send a bpa-free bottle, beanie, and a shirt too to snacklove.
Ben: That’s right. It just might have like caveman hair and drool on it.
Brock: There you go.
Ben: So, but you’ll get it. So, I think that’s wrap it up and I’m not sure that if you’re listening in, first of all you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/291 for all the show notes, everything we talked about including your glycerine suppositories, and I don’t know that we’ll have a standard episode next week because I’m headed over to the Seal Fit Kokoru Camp and I’m quite sure I’ll be able to sneak away from the ocean to record a podcast with Brock but we will bring you a riveting episode and we also have an awesome special secret episode coming up this weekend. You’ll gonna have to stay tuned but I actually think it’s a pretty, sweet episode. Shall we give folks a clue Brock about Saturday’s episode?
Brock: No! Keep them in the dark.
Ben: Ahh, it is… I’ll give them a clue… it’s about – the title of it is, “How an Internet Entrepreneur Went from a Fat Keyboard Slab to Conquering Seal Fit Workouts” so, there you go, a timely episode.
Brock: So it was me?
Ben: Ah, no. (laughs)
Brock: It sounds like me.
Ben: You’re not a fat keyboard slab. You’re a fat podcasting microphone slab.
Brock: Yeah, that’s right.
Ben: Anyways though, thanks for listening. That was awkward. We’ll end it here, bengreenfieldfitness.com/291 for the show notes and have a great day!
Visit bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness, nutrition, and performance advice.
Aug 13, 2014 Podcast: Five Fitness Tips For Newlyweds, Using Jack Daniel’s Running Formula, Morning vs. Evening Workouts, Benefits of Protein Fasting, and How To Fix Bad Posture From Working On A Computer.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right, use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype “pacificfit” or use the “Ask Ben” form… but be prepared to wait – we prioritize audio questions over text questions.
- Hidden contributors to obesity that are in your food.
- Female? Triathlete? You could be it trouble. Check out this study (this is the whole reason I created Tri-Ripped).
- Tracking heart rate during a marathon or triathlon? It’s going to increase about 3 beats for every 1% body mass loss, so adjust accordingly.
Lots of premium podcast episodes are getting released lately – including audio chapters of Beyond Training, an interview with MyLapka designer, and much more. Click here to go premium and get access to a protected vault of over 300 audios, videos and .pdf downloads – all for 9.99/year.
September 21-23: Ben will be speaking at The 431 Project – where astronauts, technologists, screenwriters, CEO’s, educators and more, will assemble in the picturesque Green Mountains of Vermont to take up a crucial call to action to end inactivity and obesity in the U.S.. Imagine Ted Talks meetsDavos meets the National Geographic Channel. Vibrant fall foliage, fresh farm to table cuisine and world-class sommelier-curated wine lists are a bonus of this exclusive summit. If you want to connect, share, learn, have the time of your life AND change the world… get invited by requesting an invitation in the efforts to lead 300 million Americans towards positive choices, healthy living, and simple, sustained changes that will change their lives.
September 25-27: Ben will be presenting at The Vermont Traditional Foods and Health Symposium at Shelburne Farms. Inspired by the teachings of the Weston A. Price Foundation, this event explores the core principals of how traditional diets can contribute to health, wellness, and longevity.
September 26-28: Ben will be speaking at 2014 Bulletproof Biohacking Conference in Pasadena – Dave Asprey has decided to extend the pre-sale ticket price of $400 until this Friday, August 1st. Dave is stacking this year’s event with an all-star speaker lineup of bestselling authors… entrepreneurs… Olympic athletes… nutritionists… world-class biohackers… and more… Plus, an interactive expo of the latest biohacking ‘tech’ – including cutting-edge gear designed to get you into hyper-productive “flow” state, courtesy of the Flow Genome Project. And YES, that means Dave is making sure all the best ‘toys’ are on display in one place – and you get to play with them… click here to get in now.
October 8-13: Ben will be speaking at the Ironman Sports Medicine conference in October during Ironman Hawaii. He will be presenting on nutrition myths and alternative methods of fueling Ironman (and Brock will *hopefully* be there too)
If you want The Purigenex Intensive Collagen System that JJ Virgin talks about in the podcast, it has only been sold to plastic surgeons, doctors and medspas for the past 5 years. But this transdermal collagen mask and serum is being made available exclusively to Ben Greenfield Fitness Subscribers for $300 below the doctor price with FREE overnight shipping! Check it out here. You can also get the Age Reversal Serum she talks about here.
The Rock Star Triathlete Academy has relaunched with a lifestyle membership card! Click here for all details.
Go ask your burning Obstacle Racing questions at ObstacleDominator.com for the brand new Obstacle Dominator podcast.
Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.
And of course, this week’s top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – leave your review for a chance to win some!
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.
Five Fitness Tips For Newlyweds
Robbie asks: He is calling on behalf of your biggest fan (and his soon to be wed brother) Marco. He and Marco’s fiancé Jasmine are wondering what your top marriage tips are for someone who loves all things triathlon, nutrition and Ben Greenfield.
In my response I recommend:
–These partner exercises
Using Jack Daniel’s Running Formula
Ignacio asks: He keeps reading and hearing that a lot of ultra trail runners train based on Elevation & Time rather than based on Distance. He is currently training for a rather hilly 50k trail run and would like to know the best way to incorporate elevation and time into his training?
In my response I recommend:
–Jack Daniel’s Running Calculator
Morning vs. Evening Workouts
Rick asks: He knows from listening to the podcast that working out in the afternoon is optimal but if he must workout in the morning, what are the factors he needs to consider to optimize that morning workout?
In my response I recommend:
Benefits of Protein Fasting
Troy asks: He has heard that eating less than 15 grams of protein in a day can activate certain detox pathways. He couldn’t find any scientific research on it but he has heard that you should do “protein fasting” once a week. What do you think? How often should you do it and what are the benefits or doing it?
How To Fix Bad Posture From Working On A Computer
Rachel asks: She has very bad posture ever since she was in university from slumping over at a desk. It seems really impossible for her to reverse. She doesn’t know if it is from lower back muscle disuse or what… but what do you recommend for fixing bad posture?