Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness show: Using Baking Soda For Performance, Is It Safe To Leave Metal Plates And Metal Screws In Your Body, Chicken Broth vs. Beef Broth, What’s The Best Way To Do Altitude Training, How To Recover From Overreaching and much more!
Welcome to the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast. We provide you with everything you need to know for total performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, sleep, brain, and hormone optimization. So whether you’re an Ironman tri-athlete, or you’re just wanna shed a few pounds, get ready for non-run-of-the-mill, cutting edge content from bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Brock: (crows like a rooster)
Ben: That’s right, we’ve already heard them a couple times before we even started recording, and I believe that my rooster may threaten to interrupt us many more times during today’s podcast.
Brock: So you got yourself a rooster that doesn’t know what time.
Ben: I have chickens everywhere. We have a mobile chicken coup and sometimes they’re getting out from the chicken coup but our rooster in particular, seems to be a rather confused rooster. He’s name is Mister – really inventive, creative name.
Brock: Seems to be a missing part of his name.
Ben: Mmm-hmm. No, just ‘Mister’ but he crows all day long, pretty much the entire day: not just the morning, not just 4 a.m., not just 10 p.m. but just kind of all day long. So I believe…
Brock: That’s when you started talking about this I just – I pulled up – I Googled ‘why do rooster or when do roosters crow?’…
Brock: and apparently… apparently, they will crow at any variety of stimuli.
Ben: Mmm! So it’s not…
Brock: Like being fed.
Ben: So it’s not just that my particular rooster has an F top circadian rhythm it’s just roosters in general.
Brock: Yeah, it even says right here “roosters really aren’t picky when it comes to excuses for crowing.”
Ben: Hmmm. Well there you have it! We’ve shattered…
Brock: There you go!
Ben: We’ve shattered the myth about chickens that roosters just crow in the morning. So if you don’t learn anything else from today’s episode, you now know an interesting fact about roosters.
Ben: Well Brock, rooster’s crow but I tweet and whether it’s Twitter…
Brock: Ahhh! Nice one!
Ben: I know, twitter.com/bengreenfield (clears throat) excuse me, I’m losing my voice. I still have too much, and literally just finished my smoothie. I think I’ve still got smoothie chards floating in my tonsils.
Brock: (ice in a glass clinking) You hear that?
Ben: Oh, what are you drinking? Scotch on the rocks?
Brock: (chuckles) I wish. No, it’s a – I’ve been cold brewing coffee in my French press.
Brock: It’s actually like put all the grounds in, put all the water in and then just put it in a fridge for like a few hours and it’s so good. It’s so good.
Ben: Less acidic, too.
Brock: It’s totally, yeah. It’s so smooth. It doesn’t get bitter like if you make regular coffee and then just put it in a fridge. You can actually cool it while it’s brewing, it’s so smooth.
Ben: Yeah, I’m a fan.
Brock: You can find Scotch?
Ben: Fan of cold brew. Anyways though, a few things that I tweeted out this week that might be of interest to those of you listening in: the first is about baking soda. And…
Brock: You’re obsessed with baking soda!
Ben: Well I thought this was kind of interesting because – well here, I was speaking with someone about this, this weekend at the Train to Hunt Competition which I competed in and I think I mentioned last week I was gonna compete in it. After – well, I’m going to be releasing a podcast this Saturday with more details, but after nearly killing several small forest animals and hikers with straight arrows, I managed to eke out a third place in the competition. But it was very – it’s very, very intense right? Like whereas a Spartan Race might last, you know, an hour up to five plus hours or you know, a triathlon: two hours to ten plus hours. These events are very, very fast. We’re talking like you know, five minutes to twenty minutes of just like super duper high, high intensity similar to like a cross fit wod, for example. And in situation…
Brock: So one of those things like not everybody sort of starts all at once? Like you go one at a time kind of thing?
Ben: Hmmm. There are hits. So… and hits are relatively small you know, three to five individuals competing in a hit. So, the reason that I was having – the reason I bring this up is we’re talking about buffering lactic acid. And the fact that especially for these shorter more sprint-like competitions, sodium bicarbonate has a great deal of research behind it, in terms of its ability to buffer the lactic acid and the hydrogen ions that build up during extremely difficult efforts.
So whereas bicarbonate hasn’t really been shown to help you much with aerobic activities like say, an Ironman triathlon or really anything that lasts much longer than about thirty minutes. It has indeed – especially for high intensity interval training and anaerobic efforts been shown to give you some really significant increase in performance. I mean we’re talking like 15 to 20% improvements…
Ben: …in terms of your speed that which you can complete events. Now there was an interesting study that came out June 4th of 2015. So relatively, recently – about sodium bicarbonate and its ability to improve exercise tolerance; its effects on high intensity intermittent exercise – but in this study they actually had a very precise dosing schedule for the sodium bicarbonate which is for those of you listening in, you haven’t yet caught wind of this on previous podcast is baking soda. And in this…
Brock: The old baking soda.
Ben: In this particular study they took 0.4g/kg, which is a relatively standard dose of sodium bicarbonate that’s been used in other studies but…
Brock: Grams per kilogram of body weight or the muscle mass.
Ben: Grams per kilogram of body weight. So let’s say for the – let’s say for like an 80 kilogram individual, we’re looking at somewhere in the range of like 31-32 grams of baking soda. What they did was they spread it out…
Brock: Ben, 3.1.
Ben: Ah, no. No, 31-32 grams because 0.4 g/kg let’s for like…
Brock: Ah, yeah, yeah. Sorry, I didn’t move the decimal point over.
Ben: Yeah. That’s okay. You’re Canadian. So, what they did was they took the baking soda and they split it into micro doses about every 30 minutes or so leading into the competition, or actually it was a – I’m sorry, not every 30 minutes, about every 10 minutes leading into the competition with the last dose taking place about 15 minutes prior to exercise. In this case, in the case of this study, the first dose taking place about 90 minutes before exercise so, counting back from the time that the high intensity exercise is supposed to take place, you would for example at 90 minutes, 80 minutes, 70 minutes, 60 minutes and 50 minutes take in a small portion of baking soda. Now the total amount that you would actually take in would still come out to let’s say, you’re taking five micro doses to six micro doses around in that amount. You know, if you weighed 80kg it still come out to about a level teaspoon because a level teaspoon contains about 4g or so of baking soda – that’s the approximate amount. So think one level teaspoon, not a heaping teaspoon…
Brock: So not much.
Ben: but a level small teaspoon…
Brock: It’s a pretty small amount.
Ben: It’s about 4g of baking soda and you would split that out. The reason you wanna split it up is so that you don’t get the gastric distress that would occur from you taking all of that at once. So let’s say you have a race or a very hard event like some kind of a hit or something like that, that starts at 9 a.m. Well starting at 7:30a.m. you take a small amount of baking soda and then every 10 minutes thereafter until you gotten up to the amount that you’re supposed to take in if you’re shooting for that 0.4g/kg of body weight. You would simply spread it all out you know, so for an 80 kg person, one level teaspoon, you’ll spread out in those 10 minute increments leading up to the event or the competition. Now a few things about baking soda, and of course I link to the study and all these recommendations in the show notes. You can access the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/321. The first thing is that you must consume significant amounts of water when you consume baking soda to eliminate some of the GI distress that tends to occur when you consume baking soda also known as…
Brock: When you…
Ben: …diaper pants or explosive diarrhea.
Brock: Okay. That’s what I was gonna ask. Are you talking about a poo-mergency or just cramps?
Ben: We’re talking about a serious poo-mergency and also potential for cramps. So what you wanna do is take in a good twelve plus ounces of water with each…
Ben: …of those feedings, and you know it’s not a ton of water but it’s enough to where it’s a good reason to be tapering this off a good 50 minutes prior to your competitions so you’re not pee…
Brock: Well, I’ll just be water-logged – that’s a lot of water slushing around your gut.
Ben: Right. And another couple of things to note – both caffeine as well as carbohydrates have been shown to enhance the ergogenic effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation.
Brock: Oh, cool.
Ben: So what you could do is you can for example, take in an ergogenic amount of caffeine and generally that’s somewhere in the range of 200 up to 500mg of caffeine is the equivalent of you know, one large up to four large cups of coffee as you go through to this, you could count that as your water intake. And also small micro doses of carbohydrate taken at the same time that you take the baking soda, can also assist with the ergogenic aid but also again, reduce the GI distress. So when we step back and we look at this big picture, you could for example again, start 90-minutes prior to your competition at 90, 80, 70, 60 and 50 or possibly even 40 if you wanted to split in to six micro doses; take in your micro doses of sodium bicarbonate, take in a little bit of caffeine, take in a small amount of carbohydrate you know, such as 10 to 20g of carbohydrate from like a sweet potato or a sport drink or a bar or something like that. And you’ll be sitting pretty when it comes to actually increasing your ability to tolerate lactic acid by an extremely significant amount. So…
Ben: There you have it. Baking soda.
Brock: There you go.
Ben: Yeah. So what else? There’s another interesting study that I tweeted about, and this was a new study that came out that took basically this crapola of recovery methods that you know, a lot of these studies that look at like…
Brock: It’s a scientific term.
Ben: Yeah, crapola.
Ben: They’ll look at… you know, a lot of studies will look at say like cryotherapy or they’ll look at ibuprofen or they’ll look at anti-oxidants or they’ll look at like some kind of a protein-carb blend and they’ll study that particular recovery method in isolation, right?
Ben: Rather than perhaps looking at what happens when you combine a bunch of different recovery methods to get some kind of a synergistic effect or some kind of an additive effect. And what they did in this study was they looked at recovery after high intensity anaerobic exercise and they found out when you combine a bunch of different recovery methods and in this case, they used Vitamin C and Vitamin E, right? So, relatively well-known anti-oxidant vitamins. They used ibuprofen and I wished they would’ve used a more natural sort of ibuprofen like one that I’ve talked about in the past quite a bit has been curcumin, right?
Ben: Which has been shown to have very, very similar effects to ibuprofen without the potential for gut or liver damage. They used cold water submersion and they used whey protein. So took a bunch of things that have been shown to potentially have a mild recovery enhancing effect, and they combined them all together. And what they found was that when they combine vitamin C, vitamin E, ibuprofen, whey protein and cold water immersion, it gave a very significant recovery enhancing advantage. Meaning not only did subjects who received that after a morning workout produce more power during a p.m. workout that followed that morning workout, but they also had a low perceived pain rating during that second workout. And these were for very – these were for what’s called the ‘wingate protocol’ which is a very short but extremely intense power protocol on the bike. So ultimately, the big picture here is that let’s say you know, maybe you feel as though a cold shower post-exercise doesn’t really help you to recover, or taking in anti-oxidants as post-exercise doesn’t help you to recover; perhaps the technique of combining a whole bunch of different recovery protocols all at once is what you really need to be doing. So you might take your – yeah, you finished a hard morning workout or you finished a hard race or something like that, you wanna recover as quickly as possible – well combine a lot of things. Combine a good meal that contains protein with cold water submersion or a cold shower with perhaps compression gear, anti-oxidants and you know, curcumin or some kind of anti-inflammatory and once you start to put a bunch of these stuff together, it looks like there’s a little bit of a synergistic effect. So, I’ll link…
Brock: Which I guess kind of stand us to reason if you’re – if something, well I guess it doesn’t always work this way of something. One thing works a little bit than a whole bunch of things that work a lot.
Ben: And well interestingly, many of these things in isolation like say, cold showers or cold baths, have not actually been shown in research to have that significant over the fact on recovery.
Brock: Especially after a short anaerobic.
Ben: Right. Exactly! So the unique part of this study was that it shows that when you take things that normally, don’t have a significant effect by themselves, and you combine them with a bunch of other different recovery protocols that also don’t have a really significant effect, you all of a sudden produce a significant effect once you begin to combine them all. So that’s what…
Brock: They do any sort of control for placebo?
Ben: It’s pretty interesting. Control for placebo? What do you mean?
Brock: I just feel like, if you’re doing all of these stuff, you’re going through all these great lengths, then you’re probably easily convincing yourself that you’re going to feel better and we all know that carries a lot of weight.
Ben: Yeah, there may be a placebo effects and they didn’t necessarily – this would be a study you know, you can’t really have a placebo for a cold shower or…
Brock: Yeah, I guess… Yeah.
Ben: you know, some things you can have a placebo for like you can give a sham you know, say like a curcumin supplement, right? You can give a sham curcumin plus a real curcumin but once you’re combining a bunch of different recovery protocols, it is tough to have a placebo control.
Ben: But ultimately, it looks like there’s a very, very good chance that by not just focusing on one thing like say like you know, suck on a protein smoothie down the harsh post workout. That by doing the bunch of things all at once, you’re going to significantly enhance your ability to recover.
Brock: Yeah. And I don’t mean to poo-poo the placebo effect either. I’m a huge fan of the placebo effect of it if it works…
Brock: that way? That’s great!
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Exactly! So, you know…
Brock: Give me the sugar pill any day.
Ben: Tie a dead chicken around your neck and put on a magic bracelet and yeah, if you feel better…
Brock: There you go.
Ben: …you feel better. So another thing was that our friend Paul Jaminet…
Brock: Paul Jaminet.
Ben: Jaminet. I like his website perfecthealthdiet.com, I like the book “Perfect Health Diet”, it certainly is one of the books that I will endorse when it comes to a really ancestrally appropriate diet that works for a lot of people. He’s always blogging about very interesting things, I like how he experiments with a lot of stuff and He recently wrote a really interesting article “The Benefits of Near Infrared Light” and in that particular article, he talks about how when you have nitric oxide in your system, nitric oxide can actually bind to something called ‘Cox’ and Cox stands for cytochrome c oxidase. It’s a very, very important enzyme involved with mitochondria respiration or mitochondrial function. Now, when you finished the tough exercise session or you’ve been injured or you have inflammation, what happens is you do generate quite a bit of extra nitric oxide and that nitric oxide binds to Cox and it can actually inhibit mitochondrial respiration, it can inhibit recovery and it can inhibit performance. So, where…
Brock: Hmmm. That’s no good.
Ben: We, a lot of times think of nitric oxide is being like this good thing like Viagra for your muscles, it turns out that if you have too much bounds to Cox, it can actually hold you back. Well, what’s very, very interesting is and it goes into the details of this in the article, I’ll link to it. The exposure to red light such as you might get from like a literally like a nine-dollar and ninety nine-cent red light bulb off of a you know, off of Amazon which I recommended for sleep before like you put one of these red light bulb heat lamps next to your bed at night and it can help with sleep, it can help with collagen, and so it kinda like has an anti-aging effects. But and of course, it also provides you light but not blue light which can disrupt your circadian rhythm and keep you from sleeping instead produces just this red light and you can still sleep when you have that red light.
Brock: Yes, good if you wanna read a book in bed.
Ben: Yeah, well this red lights, they also help nitric oxide to disassociate from that Cox enzyme, and so you get a decrease in inflammation and enhancement in mitochondrial respiration with exposure to red light and specifically this would be near infrared light where the type of light that this like heat lamps will put out. So, I think this is super interesting and the article goes into much more detail but one thing that I knew even going into and this is something I haven’t yet released the article on, but I think I’ve eluded to the couple times in previous podcast. I’ve been experimenting quite a bit with infrared saunas and I’ve actually built an infrared sauna in my gym that I have been using.
I’m doing a specific – it’s what called the niacin infrared sauna protocol and I don’t have time to get into it now but it’s a really, really interesting protocol. You take high dose niacin then you exercise, then you sit in an infrared sauna. What I’m doing now is I’m installing near infrared, red light bulbs in my far infrared sauna so I get some of these benefits of disassociating nitric oxide from the Cox enzyme in the mitochondria, and I get the benefits of both near infrared and far infrared while I’m sitting in my far infrared sauna. So and yes, I am working on an article about this that kinda shows you how to do it too, but ultimately, kinda cool that you can do something as simple as just like get a red light bulb and enhance your ability to recover and enhance mitochondria function.
Brock: What I wanna know is are you also tying things around your junk and working out that way?
Ben: I am and thank you, Brock for making that transition easy. So if you – if you do not subscribe to the free newsletter at bengreenfieldfitness.com and why the heck don’t you? If you don’t, you need to get on that. I just released an article about how to make your penis stronger. Kind of a controversial article but it goes into…
Brock: Not so much controversial as this as just risky. I don’t think any…
Ben: Yeah, it’s not controversial.
Brock: it’s not controversy, it’s just…
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I actually didn’t get…
Brock: like shocked people.
Ben: …as many complaints from folks as I thought I might when I released that article. I spent 30 days experimenting with the 2.5 ounce magnet weight designed to enhance the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, the – what are also known as the kegel exercising muscles, and also the muscles that are involved with increasing the strength of an orgasm and also the power of ejaculation. And I…
Brock: Which is something every man is concerned about.
Ben: That’s right. And both women and men will find this post quite interesting but I just published it. It’s a rather long post that goes into 30 full days of experimentation…
Brock: (chuckles) It’s a rather long one.
Ben: Using something called a “Private Gym”. So if you missed the controversial Private Gym post, I will put a link to it over in the show notes for this episode at bengreenfieldfitness.com/321. It’s well worth checking out so go read that one.
Brock: I’m just happy after 30 days of doing that, that you aren’t blind.
Ben: Mmm. Blind? No hairy palms either. I actually go into the article how I broke the rules that they recommended for the Private Gym and mentioned the entire experiment without actually utilizing pornography or anything of the like which I actually I’m not a big fan of and I go into it in the article about why and why film pornography is actually bad for your brain. But I get into that and a lot more in that particular article. So if you haven’t read it yet, head over to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/321 where we linked to.
Ben: Well, speaking of hairy palms, this podcast is actually brought to you by Harry’s Shaving. So Harry’s over at harrys.com.
Brock: I’ll just scratch my chin the entire time you do this ‘cause I haven’t shaved in like three days.
Ben: That’ll be great sound effects, I love the background noise. Harry’s makes high quality German-engineered blades and they’re crafted for sharpness, they’re crafted for precision. But the cool thing is that even though they look expensive, they’re actually about half the price of the big named drugstore brands and they have free shipping straight to your door. It is the razor that I use when my wife hasn’t stolen it to use it to shave her legs which means I have to go find the shower and hunt down my cool Harry’s razor. You can go to harrys.com and get 5$ off when you use discount code – here it is, hard to remember, but you can do it. Discount code: ben…
Ben: …over at harrys.com, I know it’s tough.
Brock: It’s crazy.
Ben: I’m glad that my name isn’t Mordecai or Vladimir or something like that because Ben is such an easy coupon code to remember. So…
Brock: It is.
Ben: There you have it.
Brock: And easy to spell.
Ben: Harrys.com, 5$ off with discount code ‘ben’. So…
Brock: And by the way folks they do ship to the entire United States, Canada and U.S. Military locations around the world. So before you start emailing and asking, there you go.
Ben: Sweet. There you have it.
Couple other things, I mentioned this last week but you can still donate to convert an entire classroom in California into a standing desk classroom. You just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/standupkids, now when you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/standupkids you can get involved with this pilot experiment where you can make a small donation to help basically outfit this entire school with stand up desks. And so it’s a project that is – it is originally designed by Tim Ferriss, Kelly Starrett and Juliet Starrett. I’m on the board for their StandUpKids organization. I am a huge proponent of kids growing up with the idea that you don’t have to – you don’t have to sit to get things done all day long. And so, it would be way cool if you as a podcast listener could take a little bit of massive action whether it’s five bucks, twenty bucks, five hundred bucks – whatever you can afford. Head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/standupkids and help this classroom in California to be able to set the standard from any other classrooms around the nation. I think it’s a pretty cool project so bengreenfieldfitness.com/standupkids.
Brock: And when we talked about this last week, I said that I was looking for something in Canada that was going on, and listener Michelle Rosemire actually wrote in and said that there’s a school in Laval, Quebec that has introduced bicycle desks for the students with attention deficit disorders. So it’s not for everybody but they’ve been giving it to the kids with ADD and experimenting with that and finding some really good benefits.
Ben: It’s in Quebec or Quebic?
Ben: Qeubec. There you have it. And so another couple of things, the Ben Greenfield Fitness Quarterly not only launched but it shipped. People all over the nation have been receiving their Quarterly boxes and we’re getting a lot of good feedback. So if you want to – to find out more about how you can get a bunch of hand-picked items and a personal letter from me about how to use each of those items shipped straight to your house every quarter, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/quarterly to get involved with that. It is a ton of fun. It’s a lot of fun for me to find all the items to put together in a box, that’s also pretty cool to get this box and learn how to use this stuff. And yes, we may even be including – speaking of weighted penis magnets, we may even be including something along those lines. Like almost like a sexual performance biohack in the next quarterly, so you know, there’s that. I promise it would not be refurbished or second hand. It will be brand new, wrapped, clean.
Brock: That’s good to know.
Brock: I’m glad that – that I haven’t missed out ‘cause I totally, I spaced out for up to get on board so I’m glad I can still sign up for the Quarterly.
Ben: You can. You can get on it any point during the year and that just means you’re on board for whenever the next shipment happens. So the last thing, and this is something I’ve kinda been working on behind-the-scenes but ever since I was a little boy, I’ve loved to write. By the time I was twelve years old, I’d actually written a four-hundred page fantasy fiction novel that my brother wound up deleting from the computer. It was a sad day for me.
Brock: So that’s not “Beyond Training”?
Ben: That was not “Beyond Training” but I’m getting back into writing fiction. And I’ve actually just last night, published the first chapter of my brand new work of fiction called ‘The Forest’ which is about this twin brothers who discover a portal to this hidden forest at world that’s attacked by parasitic fungi and dark shamans and serpents. And so, they hook up with this band of unlikely misfits that includes things like coyotes and deer and wood trush and fox squirrels, and also unlocked their powers of being able to control the elements like earth and air and water and fire. And it’s basically a full-on fantasy novel completely unlike most of the dry scientific things that you listeners are probably used to me, writing. But anyways, totally free – I’m releasing a new chapter every seven to fourteen days. And not only can you check that all out over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/theforest that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/theforest but it is – it’s written as an adult fantasy fiction but it’s kid friendly. I’ve been reading it to my boys as I go and I’m also releasing every chapter via audio on the Ben Greenfield Fitness premium channel.
So if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium, you can tune into the audio. If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/theforest, you can read it chapter by chapter on your phone, on your Kindle, on your computer – whatever you like to read on, it’s all there. So check it out! Leave comments, you can leave like reviews, you can rank the story how you liked it but I think anyone who likes to read fiction or wants something a little bit more unique should read this. Now I’m trying to work in a lot of – well I tend to get a little sciency when I read anyways so it’s…
Brock: Yeah! That’s what actually I enjoyed the most about, it was the fact that you actually have worked in some real science and some real facts and it’s actually educational as well as being fun.
Ben: Mmm-hmm, yeah. That’s kinda, kinda the goal so yeah, it’s not just all fairies and dragons. It’s actually gonna make you smarter so check it out bengreenfieldfitness.com/theforest and that wraps up this week’s special announcements.
Listener Q & A:
Marc: Hi Ben and Brock. Love your show, you keep me company doing my long commute sometimes and very much appreciated, loved all the information. I’m almost 48 years young and about three years ago I broke my ankle, smashed my tibia on the tennis court. Had a little metal plate in there, everything is fine, recovered fully from 100% and 110%; got better, stronger, faster. My question, don’t think it’s ever been discussed on the show, do you recommend having metal plates like that or let’s call them the foreign bodies inside the body, removed? Or do you just leave them alone? Doc said it was pretty much my choice. Can’t seem to find the real good answer or information on it anywhere I look. Thank you. Keep doing what you’re doing. You guys really rock.
Brock: I hope you don’t say that we’ve have to take our metal plates out ‘cause like the one in my head is gonna be really difficult to take out.
Ben: You got metal plate in your head?
Brock: No, I don’t and I probably shouldn’t joke about that.
Brock: That’s mean to all the people who have skull fractures or something. (chuckles)
Brock: I apologize.
Ben: Remember the scene in one of the – not the Avengers movie, the – what are the mutants? The ahh…
Ben: Yeah, the X-Men. The scene in the X-Men where the guy who can control metal literally just like pulls the metals out of this guy’s body and makes a – like these metal balls that he can get out of prison with. You see that?
Brock: Yeah. Magneto.
Brock: He’s awesome.
Ben: We just need Magneto to help us all get the metal – the metal debris out of our bodies.
Brock: So Marc just has to find Sir Ian McKellen and convince him to suck the metal out.
Ben: That’s right. Well they…
Ben: …they’ve actually done studies on this particular issue. And there’s a very interesting research article that I’ll link to in the show notes that appeared in the Orthopedic Surgery Journal put up by the Mayo Clinic a couple of years ago. But it discussed this concept of whether or not we should actually be leaving things like titanium plates in fractures and metal implants within bodies you know, after someone’s gone through like a fixation surgery, right?
Ben: To fix a fracture or broken bone and in many cases…
Brock: Yeah, I don’t have a thing in my head but I actually do have two screws in my shoulder, my collar bone from when I was like twelve, I’m gonna say – when I broke my collar bone.
Ben: Yeah. A lot of people…
Brock: I’m forty-three years old now, that’s a long time to have those screws in there.
Ben: A lot of people have this and typically it’s titanium that’s combined with other metals like cobalt or chromium or meladinine to create like a light, durable material.
Brock: Yeah, mine was done in the 70’s. I think it was just straight-up iron.
Ben: Hmmm. Yes.
Brock: Iron or…
Ben: Yes. Well, there are some concerns. So, there are animal studies for example, not human studies, that show that there’s a definite effect on suppression of the immune system. An increase in white blood cells called lymphocyte reactivity. Now, that does not really appear to be causing any type of surge in… you know, serious immune system deficiencies or autoimmune disorders in humans but it could potentially mean that by having the metal plates or the metal implants in your body that what happens – this tiny flakes of the metal chip off, they enter the bloodstream in the nearby soft tissue or the joints and that can cause a little bit of a hyperactive immune system response.
So all that means is you might get sick a little bit more frequently, and then that’s just based on primarily these animal studies that show a slightly more hyperactive immune system in response to the metal plates staying in the body. So, there are few other studies that have been done on metal debris and metal implants. So there are other studies again in mice that show there is potential for metal ware debris to damage chromosomes which not only makes it a potential carcinogen but could also increase the rate at which telomeres shorten which means that it could cause a little bit of an accelerated aging effects to leave metal debris in the body versus having these removed.
Ben: Now of course we’ve talked before on the podcast about the potential for having metal toxicity from everything, you know, from chromium to copper. And they have also found that you do have a higher than normal level of metal in the bloodstream specifically one of the things that they found is chromium especially for what are called intramedullary nails which is like these titanium nails that they’ll use in many of these surgical situations.
Brock: What are they called?
Ben: Ah, intramedullary nails.
Brock: Hmmm. Nice.
Ben: So higher the normal levels of metals circulating in the bloodstream including this chromium. So of course, you know, in dentistry, we’ve talked before in the podcast about all the issues with mercury and some of these…
Ben: …you know, other alternatives to mercury that are used in implants, but ultimately it looks like some of these issues may go above and beyond just dentistry and also apply to some of these screws and plates that are placed in the body. So ultimately, yes, you should consider taking the plates and the screws out when you’re able to do that. And I will link to primary study that’s been done on this – the one that I mentioned that appeared in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery. The other thing that you can do, and this is just something that I do 30 days out of every year, just as kind of a – kinda like a safety protocol for me of a little bit of a detox protocol I guess.
Brock: Is it the penis lifting?
Ben: No. And by the way are we – do – are we even allowed to say that word or we’re gonna have to bleep it out every time we use that term from human anatomy?
Brock: I – if it’s the real term, I can’t imagine that’s the…
Ben: I don’t know the iTunes rules.
Brock: That’s the medical term.
Ben: We could get banned from iTunes.
Brock: I have to check.
Ben: Yeah. Anyways though, Metal Free Spray, I use this Metal Free Spray to sublingual spray, it chelates metals and allows them to be removed from the body via the urine and the stool without the metals actually being allowed to circulate through the bloodstream which a lot of these metal chelators will actually do. And so you’ll do a chelation in metals will say get removed from soft tissue but then they winding up crossing the blood brain barrier and they wind up in neural tissue, and so, you wanna be careful what chelators you use for metal. I use this Metal Free stuff, and that’s something that I think could be prudent to use, whether or not you have a screw or plate and I don’t. I just do it because you know, I get exposed to everything from receipts to Chinese toys to car keys to radiation, you name it. So I just – I just do as…
Brock: I forgot about the receipts study. That was crazy.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. That’s like one of the biggest exposures we get to some terrible, terrible stuff.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Don’t mess around with those receipts. Well just – just tell them you don’t want the receipt. Anyways though, Metal Free Spray’s something I use. I’ll link to that in the show notes so you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/321 to get the link to some these studies on screws and plates and also that spray.
Jane: Hi Ben. First of all, thank you for providing such awesome content, I’m a huge fan. I just listened to your podcast episode about bone broth and I have a question before I start making it myself. Assuming that the source of the bone is from an ethically treated, pasture-raised animal, is there a nutritional difference between chicken or beef bones? Should I go for the beef or should I go for the chicken? Thank you.
Brock: Well… I think…
Brock: that chicken…
Brock: actually taste better…
Ben: Mmm! Okay.
Brock: So I hope it’s got a – I hope the nutrition’s either better for chicken or the same.
Ben: Well beef is more macho though ‘cause you get like the big bones and the knuckles and the marrow, so there’s that the beef has gone for.
Brock: There’s marrow on chickens, too but it’s more like sucking it through a straw rather than digging it up with spoon.
Ben: Yeah, but when you order marrow at a restaurant, when you order like beef marrow at a restaurant, they never bring you this tiny little you know, chicken bones – you get the big old beef bones. So I’m just saying, beef is a little bit more macho when it comes to broth.
Brock: (laughs) Why we need to secularize our bone broth?
Ben: Okay. There’s another reason that beef broth is better. So chicken broth has an inferior Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acid ratio, and the bones are smaller, the bones are weaker – I’m not just joking about this, you actually get less marrow, you get less minerals, you get less connective tissue in chicken broth versus bone broth. However, chicken broth does seem to be easier to digest in people who have compromised guts, people who have like irritable bowel syndrome, gastro esophageal reflux disease, etc. – chicken broth just seems to create a little less GI distress in many folks who may not be able to handle the machoness of beef broth.
Ben: So ultimately, we do a little bit of both: we’ll do some chicken broth, we’ll do some beef broth. I would say if you want to get the best benefits nutritionally, and you want the best Omega 3 fatty acid to Omega 6 fatty acid ratio, you should go with beef and if you just want some – if you want more digestibility which kinda specially be handy like if you’re sick for example, then you go for chicken. Now for example, one of the places that we will get broth when we’re not making it ourselves, the one of the places I recommend to my clients for broth is from this guy who I interviewed on a podcast named Chef Lance Roll and he makes both beef broth and as well as chicken broth. Now interestingly, both have a similar simmer time. So the chicken is about – the chicken that he does is about 18 hours. So if you’re gonna make chicken and the chicken broth like using a whole chicken, looks like 18 hours you know if we look at what the experts are doing, 18 hours is a pretty good period of time. For beef, it’s closer to a full day, it’s closer to 24 hours. So the way that they do their beef broth is the take the beef bones and they combined them with carrots, celery, onions, garlic, ginger, parsley, bay leaves, peppercorns, apple cider vinegar and sea salt and basically that all goes into the crack pot and you simmer it for 24 hours. Now of course they use grass-fed beef, they use grass finished beef as well and that’s where the bones come from.
So, using all kind of organic stuff, but that’s the recipe that they use, and I’ll link to that one in the show notes. And you can use everything from like knuckles to fimmers which are like marrow bones fimmers are really good. You can use scapula, the hooves, the neck bones. I believe they add a little bit of organic red wine to deglaze their roasting pan as well. So, that’s kind of a really, really good example of how you do a really nice beef broth and that’s the same one that they sell over at The Brothery and I’m pretty sure they ship – I don’t think they ship to Canada, they ship to U.S. If you want these stuff to ship…
Brock: I need to check because I just make it generally.
Ben: Yeah, and their chicken broth recipe again, that’s simmers for about eighteen hours. So for the chicken broth, what they do is they’ll use chicken feet and chicken backs. At our house we just use the whole chicken, we just toss the whole chicken in there. But then, what they put in there is carrots, celery, onions, lemons, ginger, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, pepper corns, and apple cider vinegar. So, not too much difference than the beef broth recipe. The only difference is of course they’re using chicken versus beef for the chicken recipe, and then the beef goes just slightly longer. So…
Brock: I wonder if there’s a lemon, actually do something like as in active component or it is just a flavoring. That’s the only thing I’ve never used in my chicken broth.
Ben: You know, I actually made a chicken broth last week and I toss a couple… I just covered them, and I didn’t even removed the outer layer, anything like that – the peel of the lemon. I just threw it all in. I thought it gave a pretty good flavor but I would imagine because lemon can be used in like a ceviche, to pre-digest the fish or the scallop or whatever you’re using for ceviche or lemon or lime. I would imagine that there is a little bit of enzymatic effect on the meat or on the bones or on the connective tissue that allows it to become soft or… I like the flavor though when I put lemon in last week. That’s something I usually do, but the lemon itself actually tastes pretty good as well and the peel kind of dissolves to get the lemon peel which is a lot of really, really good anthocyanin and other antioxidant in it. So, I’m a fan. And what I’ll do for folks who wanna listen in to the previous podcast episode that I did with Chef Lance Roll,
or we just, we geeked out on broth and its benefits, and how to make it, etc… for almost an hour. I’ll put a link to that podcast episode over in the show notes, if you wanna take a listen.
James: Hello Ben and Brock! I have a question about intermittent hypoxic training. I have been using the alto lab device for a little over a year, I should know that alto lab presented at the recent bullet proof conference. I find these protocols provided in the instructions quite taxing along with a general fatigue, I am getting some eye muscles soreness, this issues pass with recovery. Perhaps it is my age, I am 45 though I didn’t set the P.R. last year. I ran a 3230 1oK. I have heard you mentioned these types of device in the past, but you have not gone in depth. I have always embraced the end of one spirit. I am wondering if you have any insights or knowledge on ways to use this device that differ from six minutes on, four minutes off for one hour, several days in a row if not every day. I see Victor Conti has some videos on the subject but I don’t really trust that guy. Thanks! I love the podcast – James.
Ben: Well, this is actually somethin’ that’s kinda on my radar because altitude training, whether you are like going, you know, getting in your car and driving to altitude or moving to altitude or whether your using one of these home devices, it generally takes about eight weeks to really begin to get the full benefits, and so because Spartan World Championship which I’m competing in, is in Lake Tahoe this year. In September…
Brock: Is that like six thousand feet?
Ben: I believe that it gets higher than six thousand feet. Although 6,000 feet is kind of the cut off. Six thousand feet plus is about the point where you’re gonna really start to feel the effects of the altitude, right? And that’s where you were – any event that takes places than six thousand feet plus, it behooves you to figure out a way to either use like one of these home altitude training devices or move to train in that altitude or drive to altitude on a weekly basis or whatever it takes. Ultimately though, I was going to begin my personal altitude training at the beginning of July. To give me all of July and all of August to get ready for the altitude I’d experience in something like the Spartan race.
Brock: Okay, so lake Tahoe is at 6,225 feet.
Ben: There you go. So it definitely behooves you, and that maybe the actual city for anyone to – who want to…
Brock: That’s the actual elevation.
Ben: Maybe, now that you’d just want to ride your bike or drive outside of Lake Tahoe, you get a significant rise and elevation, and so, I would hazard the gas that for example, like the Spartan Tahoe Race will probably get as eight thousand…
Brock: Oh, this is the actual lake, the surface elevation of the actual lake. So, yeah, the city is likely higher.
Ben: The city is about the same level of the lake but there are a lot of mountains around the city that go higher than that.
Brock: Anyway, that beside the point this is just interesting.
Ben: But I just qualified for the Trained Hunt National Championships and those take place Colorado Spring in August. So now I’m pretty much needing to start my altitude training almost right away. Now, I have one of these Hypoxico devices and the Hypoxico is an altitude generator. Now, I’ll go into this alto labs as well, so you can kinda know the difference between the two. So the AltoLab is this small plastic rebreather device that’s similar to any other altitude training device or device lowers your body’s oxygen to levels that you would find at high altitudes. Now unlike the big bulky air generators that you would get when you use a typical altitude stimulator. The alto labs are these kits that you order, and the kits contain mixers that adjust your altitude anywhere from twenty five hundred up to the forty thousand feet.
Depending on how high you want to go.
Brock: Woah! That’s space!
Ben: Yeah, so what it is – is you get like this mixer and then a mouth piece and a face mask, and each time that you use that mixer – it’s basically like a, what would you call it? A disposable, it’s like a disposable air mixer where the fresh air goes in one end and the fresh air has something almost like twenty some percent oxygen and then the air that comes out in the other end of the mixer contains anywhere from 8-12% oxygen. So you’re breathing oxygen that’s at much lower saturation in the air than what you’d get at sea level without being at altitude. So, you combine this with the use of a pulse saxometer which are at the end of your fingertip that tells you what your actual finger ought to reading is. And in an ideal situation as you’re doing your training session or as even you at some hypoxic training protocols. You just sitting passively while you use something like this. You can watch the oxygen drop, you know, from usually sea level, you’re anywhere from 96-99% oxygen saturation if you’re going to measure on your fingertip. And once you get to about 6,000 feet, that will drop down to 90-95% and you know once you’re approaching like 20,000, 25,000 feet, your oxygen saturation can be below 80%. And so, for example for this alto labs machine, you use a specific number of what they call alto mixer to stimulate certain altitude. So you’d use one for 5,000 feet and you’d use like three for 15,000 feet and something like five for 25,000 feet, but basically you just purchase these kits from alto labs. So to give you an idea of the price. I know they sell something called the performance Kit that’s about $579 and that one includes six alto mixers that gives you up to 30,000 feet and then a bunch of what they call Silos, and it carry, I think it comes out to about a month’s worth of training for that price, so still kind of spendy but more portable than this kind of like bulky altitude generators. Now, you’ve also got and I actually own one of these Hypoxico. And the Hypoxico generators are very big bulky unit that is several thousand dollars to purchase. You can also rent these things for about a 175 to 200 bucks a week so still…
Brock: Yeah. Yeah. It is…
Ben: It is expensive to get the – to get your hands in any type of good altitude training system.
Brock: They’re like the size of like an air conditioner unit.
Ben: Mmm-hmm. They’re big. There’s one behind me right now actually. You can also… They also do altitude tent sleep systems and they even build Hypoxico – we’ll do entire room conversion and for those of you out there who just like to own nice things, you know, for example one of the photos they have on their website is that they’ve taken someone’s desk, where they’re going to be sitting and doing work anyways, and turn their entire desk into an altitude room. So they’ll convert bed rooms, they’ll convert gyms, and literally you can build an entire room in your house that you keep at, whatever you want to keep it at – 15,000 feet or 20,000 feet or 25,000 feet. So, I know the sky is the limit depending on your budget when it comes to this stuff. You can get these alto labs or probably the less expensive, less bulky version that’s going cause you, you know, looks like a five to six hundred bucks for a month whereas like, the Hypoxico you probably looking at eight hundred, you know, if you’re looking for a monthly price somewhere right around eight hundred per month on up, and then you can full on buy these hypoxico generators for several thousand dollars. So, I understand that these stuff is not cheap but at the same time for those of you who are, you know, kind of looking at and really wanted to perform and compete at altitude, this is the kind of price points you’re looking at if you don’t wanna move to Colorado Spring or Mexico City or whatever. So ultimately, as far as the way that you use this like… Well, it’s called intermittent hypoxia when you’re using tools like this and that’s the way that most of these are meant to be used. So what intermittent hypoxia is, is it’s bouts of hypoxic exposure intersperse with normoxic exposure. So for example, if I were to set up my bicycle next to this hypoxico altitude simulator, I could ride my bike for five minutes with the mask on and then ride my bike for five minutes without the mask on and do that, you know, four times through, for example if I were gonna do like a forty minute exercise session. Now, they have actually done studies in which they’ve compared multiple short duration bouts of intermittent hypoxia with longer duration bouts of intermittent hypoxia. For example, one study that they did was one group did twelve five minute bouts of hypoxic exercise with each of those separated by five minutes bouts of rest at normal air exposure and that group was compared to a group that simply exercise for a full sixty minutes at the hypoxic level. And in that particular study, they found that there were greater altitude training benefits in the group that actually didn’t do the intermittent hypoxia as much as just wore the hypoxia the entire time during the full exercise session. So, you know, in that example it turns out that there were better effects achieve from rather than like putting a mask on and taking it off and putting it on and taking it off during an exercise session. I just keep it on the whole time. However you’ll see most recommendation coming from like alto labs or hypoxico to actually use it in a more intermittent format meaning, you know, two minutes on, and one minute off or five minute on, five minutes off. The reason being, I suspect is that it’s a very physiologically difficult and mentally difficult to just keep that mask on the whole time and you’re exercising. You get very short of breath, you get a little bit light headed, and you get a little bit dizzy, on my end, I personally have a very difficult time during altitude training without like taking breaks to go from regular altitude or to reaping the mask off and breathing normal room air and putting it back on. Now, as far as the other way to use it, you can of course do things like sleep in an altitude chant or, you know, work at your desk in an altitude chamber like kind of this guys limit to the stuff, but one thing that you should be aware of despite the evidence of being all over the place as far as the gold standard, you know, intermittent hypoxia time and recovery periods is that it’s always going to take you longer to recover when you’re breathing lower amounts of oxygen and this is why hyperbaric, right, like increase concentration of oxygen in the air under higher pressures can improve recovery, decrease partial oxygen or hypoxic condition, reduce your ability to recover. So if you are for example, sleeping in an altitude train tent or training in an altitude training chamber, you gonna take longer to recover, you’ll be able to exercise a little bit less, you may have lower quality of sleep and so there is a, you know, there’s a fine line that you have to walk with this stuff. So I can tell you what I personally plan on doing, beginning, now that I know. I just found out, you know, three days ago that I qualified for the Colorado Springs Train Hunt which is gonna be at altitude. I’m going to begin three times per week actually using some form of altitude in my life. Not necessarily in my training but in my life. So, probably what I wind up doing is twice a week doing my normal sessions that I’m doing indoors or riding a bike or on a treadmill, but I will, a few times during those sessions, be putting on a mask and breathing hypoxic air, you know, for anywhere from five or ten minutes at a time. And then I likely, also take one of the sauna sessions that I do where I’m just kind of sitting in there for thirty to sixty minutes anyways, and I’ll breathe hypoxic air and at even higher altitude and I would do training. So, I’ll breathe like, you know, anywhere from about twenty to twenty five thousand feet while I’m sitting passively and then during my exercise session I’ll breathe probably in a range or ten thousand to fifteen thousand feet. So ultimately, kind of more than one way to skin the cat, I can’t say that there’s research that shows a perfect recommended time, but I would say that your best bet is going to be to contact the manufacturer or whatever altitude stimulator system that your using, whether it’s alto lab or hypoxico etc., and use the protocol that they recommend because they’re going to know their own equipment best. And that’s what, that’s what I would do when I’m in your shoes. And I’m in discussions with hypoxico right now to get a better idea from them, as to what they’d recommend for my own intermittent hypoxic training. And then finally, if you can afford any of this stuff, I always get this question. Can I just use one of these elevations training masks right, at least $50-70 fifty elevation training masks? The fact is, that those, you know, they’re the Bane Batman mask that you put on, they will not reduce the partial part of oxygen, and they will not simulate altitude but they still will increase your inspiratory and your expiratory muscle strength and endurance, and they will increase your tolerance to the feeling of having to suck air. And so, they are completely useless when they comes to helping your body to cope with some of the same physical stress that your body’s gonna face at altitude.
They’re not gonna increase the erythropoietin production or red blood cell production, or any of the things that are gonna happen with altitude training but they’re at least help things up from a muscular standpoint. So if you have nothing else to use, do those elevation training mask or, yeah… They’re going to help you with that feeling that you are going to experience in altitude even though they may not help you physiologically to do say creating red blood cells or to stave off some of the effects of altitude sickness. You know, if you can afford to pay whatever eight hundred bucks a month for altitude training. Still just by having one of those masks you will at least be able to help yourself out a little bit. So, they aren’t completely useless, plus they look badass which is a…bonus.
Brock: That’s the important part.
Ben: That’s right. That’s the important part. So, if you’re listening in and you have your own thoughts about intermittent hypoxic sessions and times and recovery periods that have worked well for you or that you’ve seen in research, we’re always open hearing from our smart cookie listeners. So if you wanna leave any of your comments over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/321, go ahead and do so. We do not get rid of, delete or filter any of those comments unless they’re completely spammy, or unless you say something rude about my mother. Other than that anything goes. So go ahead leave your comment at bengreenfieldfitness.com/321.
Garik: Hello Ben. Currently I’m reading your “Beyond Training” book, and I am now on the section related to overreaching. I have several questions of this topic. First one, I am a little bit confused. Is overreaching and exercising to a failure, is the same thing? And my second question is related to when I have – I’m doing overreaching and I should recover during that recovery period greasing the grove is okay practice or not, and like in order to have a good recovery, in your book its mentioned that from muscles it should be, two days and for neurological recovery should be free days or vice-versa. Does it mean that it’s better to have only two workout per week and have a good rest, in order to have a performance increase on week to week basis? Thank you very much.
Brock: Overreaching can be kind of confusing, especially if you confuse it with over training.
Ben: Mmm-hmm. Yes.
Brock: Like most people do equate overreaching with over training.
Ben: Yeah, it’s not. It’s wrong. They’re completely different. So over training is when you like coped out your adrenals right. When you’ve pushed yourself for so long, so hard you’ve got like relationship stress, you’ve got environmental stress, you’ve got physical stress, you’re working out hard and that’s when you typically see, right, like the Weekend Warrior, or not even the Weekend Warrior, I just like the… Let’s say for example, like the Ironman triathlete with the family and the job, you know, those are the people you see over trained. They get to the point where they’ve produce cortisol for so long; their adrenal glands begin not even produce cortisol very well at all. They rely on like glucose and caffeine, they get through the day. Typically you’ll get to a certain point where you’re just not motivated to train and you can’t get your heart rate up and it’s just like every, you know, life just begin to suck. That’s over training. Overreaching is when you’ve, maybe got into the point where over one to two weeks you’ve maybe not have a recovery day, and your ten, fourteen days, you begin to feel a little bit blah, training begins to get a little bit staled but you’re not stretching that out over a long period of time.
And if you did, you would definitely become over trained but overreaching is actually a good strategy to use when you are training for an event or when you’re training to build muscle or significantly your hand fitness because, if you combined overreaching, digging yourself into a little bit of a hole, maybe having two or three days in a row where you’d normally take a rest day or a recovery day but you kind of push through the soreness and you push through the fatigue, but then you give yourself recovery block where that’s a taper for a race or an event, or whether that’s a few days or you’re just doing yoga and a little bit of cold water swimming and some sauna sessions. You’re getting – when you do that is called a super compensation effect where you dig yourself into a hole and then you rely yourself complete recovery and you actually bounce back with a higher level of fitness, a higher level of mitochondrial density, a greater amount of hypotrophy, or a muscle fiber growth or muscle fiber addition, then you would, if you had just say trained yourself at a comfortable phase consistently year round. So, an ideal training program actually is more of a stairs stepping effect where you’ve got to really, really hard series and a hard block followed by an easy block. And that’s why a lot of times, you know, Brock keeps seeing this before with me coaching you. I will just like beat you up and spit you out sometimes, for two or three weeks. I’ve got you doing like you know, murph and a bunch of kettlebell work and some really hard treadmill sprint intervals and tough weekend workouts that are really long and sometimes I have you going for good fourteen days without a good rest day throwing in but then…
Brock: I think I’m in more of those periods right now. I see my workout schedule next Friday, I’ve got the hardest workout ever invented.
Ben: Yes, you do but… So…
Brock: And I think I’ve got a reboot week after that.
Ben: Exactly! So then you’ll notice, I don’t have your training calendar pull out in front of me right now, but you’ll notice, I think it’s in two weeks or so, something like that, I’ve got you doing yoga, easy walk, a little bit of cold thermo, some sauna and you’ve got almost a full week devoted to recovery and that’s the period of time that you’ll super compensate and I guarantee right before you get in that phase, you’ll be over reached. Like if we tested your cortisol, they’ll be sky high and if we tested your inflammation, like your HSCRP, it would definitely be above, like that 1.0 range and possibly, significantly higher than that, like 2.0 plus. And if we tested your thyroid, it might be slowly beginning to rise. And if we test your testosterone, it’ll be slowly decrees but that’s over reaching and it’s ok to get close to that point, the problem is a lot of people stay in that for like a month or two month or six months and that’s over training. So, that’s kind of, the skinny of overreaching versus over training. Now, a few questions that Garik ask, the first is overreaching and lifting to failure the same thing? The answer is no. Lifting to failure is just an acute thing that you do during an actual exercise session. So, when you lift to failure, you trigger a great amount of lactic acid in the muscle tissue. That’s typically, that causes you to fail is acidity in the muscle tissue, all the hydrogen ions that build up as you produce a bunch of lactic acid and when you produce big increases in lactic acid in muscle tissue, that triggers an increase in what are called intramuscular growth factors, and it also causes you to especially in your the end of a set to failure to switch to fatiguing not only all of your smaller muscle fibers, but all of your larger muscle fibers as well. So one of the things that this is known as is central fatigue where you get to the point where you’re using many muscle fibers as possible, you’ve got a huge increase in lactic acid formation, and the nervous system gets completely fatigue. And when you do that during an actual exercise session, it is a great way to get yourself to increase your ability to be able to buffer lactic acid, increase your tolerance to lactic acid, and you gain the ability to recruit more muscle fibers. Now, if you overdo training specific muscle groups to failure, then that can decrease what is called post workout protein synthesis.
It elevates the level of something called adenosine monophosphate or AMP, and elevated AMP occurs when you completely drained solid energy and that can cause a decrease in protein synthesis, and if you do that over and over again then you get really increased resting levels like later on in the day, or later on the next day of cortisol and also suppress levels of what’s called IGF1 which is one of your main anabolic in growth and recovery type of hormone. So if you lift to failure everyday or what I found in most athletes is, if you lift to failure more often than every 48 to 72 hours, you can very quickly not just over reach but over train, which is why I’m a fan of for example, if you’re weight training, only having sessions where you lift to failure one to three days per week and definitely no more of that. Some people try to lift to failure and I used to do this, you know, when I was a body builder, we take muscle groups to failure every single day. The problem is that even though that was great for me for muscle growth, if I was just on that over training edge almost all the time and had low testosterone and high levels of cortisol. So the trick is to lift to failure to get yourself into a slightly over reached state, right? So you can get yourself an over reach state by lifting to failure, but there are two different things really like, lifting failures something you do during the actual workout, overreaching would be the consequence of doing that enough times in a row. So, does that make sense?
Ben: Okay. And then, Garik’s last question was during overreaching is greasing the groove okay to do. And what he means by greasing the groove is, you know, can you, during your recovery day maybe stop here and there to do five pull ups or ten pull ups or maybe you know, do a hundred jumping jacks every hour to boost the metabolism or to make yourself more efficient at certain movements. I tend to air towards more low level physical activity to increase blood flow, and lymph flow, and to help move metabolic by-products and inflammation out of muscle tissue on a recovery day. And so, what that means is that in most cases, even on an easy recovery day, yeah, I’ll stop here and there to do a few pull up, I’ll stop here and there to do some jumping jacks, I’ll do some cold water swimming or do some sauna, some yoga, etc., and as long as you’re not over doing it, as long as you’re not pushing through muscle soreness, it’s fine to stay active and even to do things like, like brief spurts of physical activity on a recovery day and because you’re not pushing to fatigue and because you’re not stressing your central nervous system or your peripheral nervous system in the same way that you would, if you were, say like stopping in doing it instead of twenty pull ups or doing anything else to muscular failure is not as big of an issue. Now, all of this should be put in the light that the best way to test where your specific boundaries are, or your specific tolerances is, is to use heart rate variability testing. And what I mean by that is for example I mentioned this, some people can lift to failure and have a very, very difficult session every 48 hours. Some people are every 72 hours, some people can only handle once per week and it varies quite a bit. There are genetic reasons for that, meaning that there’s a specific genetics synapses associated with your particular glutathione production, your super oxide dismutase production, your level of anti-oxidant production, and that’s going to dictate how quickly you recover. I personally recover very fast. I don’t do well with very long voluminous exercise sessions, but I’ve tested my genetics, you know, I’ve gone to 23andme, I’ve exported those results to DNA fit and I’ve seen what my personal recovery ability is, and it’s very, very good but at the same time I’m unable to handle very, very big workouts, like I can’t do three to four hour long workouts. I have to exercise for 60-90 minutes consistently every day. That’s kind of like what my body’s able to handle, but when you use heart rate variability, you can every morning test and see when your body has recovered from a very, very difficult exercise session. So what I mean by that for example, I have the Trained Hunt Competition on Sunday and this morning was the first time that my heart rate variability really began to approach very, very high levels again, and so today is technically the first day that I should be training really, really hard after that Trained Hunt Competition and on Monday and Tuesday, those were easier days for me, but I would know any of this information about when I’m over reached and when I can handle harder training sessions again etc., unless I’m using heart rate variability.
And on the flip side, you can use heart rate variability to know when you’ve over reached and you know when you can super compensate and recover. So for example, you could train yourself into a state of low heart rate variability and rather than taking a day off, you could train through that, like you could do another day at low heart rate variability and another day at low heart rate variability and even though I don’t recommend any more than three days of pushing through low heart rate variability, you can get yourself into that over reached state and then you simply rest and recover for a block of anywhere from three to seven days, and you super compensate and your fitness goes up. So it’s really cool you can do once you start to customize your training and identify when you’re over reached and then identify when you’ve recovered from that over reached state using something like heart rate variability. So, I personally use the NatureBeat app for that as one that I helped design. It’s available at greenfieldfitnesssystems.com/naturebeat. It’s one of the only electrical new final devices that I attached to my body every morning to measure my nervous system strength, so that’s a really good way to do things. So there you have it.
Brock: There you have it!
Ben: There you have it! And speaking of having it, we actually have a review that someone left on iTunes. Here’s the deal-yo. If you leave the show a review on iTunes, ‘cause we put a lot of work in to this, we try and put out some good info for you and so leaving your review is a great way to get a good karma and to not have me and Brock be pissed at you and…
Brock: We don’t want that.
Ben: Lighting paper bags full of poo on fire on your doorstep and running away. Anyways though, if you leave a review on iTunes, not only does it help the show, assuming you’ll leave a good review and some good star ratings but we also, if we read your review on the show and you hear it, and you email [email protected], we’ll send you a B.P.A. free water bottle, we’ll send you a sweet tech t-shirt, and we’ll send you a beanie. And you can get any of those things by the way, any point if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear and that supports the show too, you can also win this stuff, when you leave a review. So we’ve got a review today from Cris Duncan. Who says, a great way to make non-stop talkers be quiet on long road trips, and he left us five stars. So what do you think, Brock, are you going to read this one?
Brock: I’m guessing from the title that the show puts them to sleep, that’s why they stop talking on longer trips.
Ben: Yes, or they just are listening intently to hear us to say the word “penis” again.
Brock: That’s more likely. Okay well, this is what Cris Duncan says – “It’s entertaining, informative, intelligent, and slightly irreverent.” Not irrelevant but irreverent. I just want to make that clear. “What more could you ask for in a podcast? If you struggle to find topics to discuss at cocktail parties, this is for you. If people look at you a little strange when you suggest carrying around a cinder block a few times a day or chopping wood as a way to increase your testosterone levels, never fear, they will soon be calling you to say “thank you”. Seriously, it’s solid information presented in an intelligent manner without getting too penis and stuffy. In fact it’s so good that if you find yourself trapped in a car with a non-stop talker, you can put on an episode for a bit of a reprieve and if they try to talk over Ben you can just say “oh wait, this is important” and they will close their mouths. Thanks for creating such solid programming.” I could just see Cris Duncan drive longer. Oh wait, this is important when a person starts talking. Oh no, waaait, wait, this is important.”
Ben: This two are important. I’m glad we’ve given Cris a way of being anti-social. So, and Cris, that’s a great review too, and carrying around the cinder block like a few times a day or chopping wood as a way of increasing your testosterone levels, shows that you’ve been paying close attention to the show. So, thanks for your review and if you email [email protected] include your t-shirt size and we’ll get a sweet gear pack out to you. So for the rest of you, what are you waiting for. Quit sitting on your hands, quit doing whatever it is that you’re doing, messing around, scratching the metal plates on your body, making bone broth.
Brock: Wait, wait wait. This is important.
Ben: Breathing in to a hyper oxidation device. What?
Brock: I’m just… I’m just trying to see if I could get you to stop talking over yourself ‘cause it’s important.
Ben: I like it! Yeah! It’s very meta… Anyways, you can leave review on iTunes, also everything we talked about today, everything from the brand new work of fiction that I’ve just written.
Brock: Oh, oh, should we play a little bit of that at the end here?
Ben: Yeah, let’s play folks and sit. So I’m sitting down and read it to my children every night, recording it. I’ll be right now with my super nice microphone but…
Brock: And you can hear somebody doing dishes in the background…
Ben: Yes, some is doing dishes in the background, or you hear my dog and my kids commenting about… Well, we’ll put a sample in for the end of the show, and you can listen in and you can go check it out at bengreenfieldfitness.com/theforest, but I know there are tons of other things that we’ve talked about, so if you don’t wanna remember any links and you just wanna go grab it all in yourself, we spend a lot of time creating some chiller show notes for you. So, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/321 for the show notes, remember to leave us a review in iTunes, and we’ve got a great podcast coming out for you this weekend. I’ve threw down a little interview over the Trained Hunt Competition with Will Bradly from the Natural Born Hunters, so listen in to that if you like to…
Brock: He seems like the nicest guy ever.
Ben: He is a nice guy. So if you like to kill and eat tasty animal, listen to that episode and until then. Have a healthy week.
Now completely soaked from head to toe, his face, chest and pants covered in mud and small cuts on his face from charging to the branches and the sticks, concentrated with ferocious intensity to move to the ever thickening forest and still catch sight of the small shadow of the chickadee darting from three tree, toe, midfoot, heel. Keep your eyes on the bird, toe, midfoot, heel. Precious side of the thorns, toe, midfoot, heel. Glides back to see if brother is still there. Silence! The bird had suddenly stopped, no call, no movement, Terran squint to the trees. He pulled the side of a couple branches. He could hear River quietly panting behind him. Through the thick rain, he tried to focus on the direction, he last seen the black dark of the bird’s movement. He couldn’t see any sign of the bird, but there is something else… some kind of dark shadowy structure, too thick to be a tree, and too symmetrical to be a clump of big bushes. It was some kind of a building. Terran move forward again to a position of the trees no longer blocked so much of his view. Now he could see it more clearly. It was too small to be a home, not a barn, a hunting blind perhaps, an outhouse turned to a few steps forward, behind him River sharply whispered. “Terran, let’s go!” Terran step forward again. “Home Terran. Let’s go!” Terran shook his head and without looking back, took two more big quiet steps forward. Now he could see the structure clearly, about fifty feet away was an old wooden shed and purge just above the door of the shed was the chickadee sitting, silent, staring right back at Terran with two beaty black eyes.
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June 24, 2015 Podcast: Is It Safe To Leave Metal Plates And Metal Screws In Your Body, Chicken Broth vs. Beef Broth, What’s The Best Way To Do Home Altitude Training, and How To Recover From Overreaching.
Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), 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 at the bottom of this page.
- Baking soda strikes again. Just make sure you take 4-6 “microdoses” of 0.4g/kg in the 90 minutes leading up to intense exercise.
- Turns out if you combine a crapola of recovery methods like antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cold, etc. it actually WORKS (better than isolating one).
- Pretty cool ways to use light for enhancing mitochondrial function and much more.
- If you missed the controversial “Private Gym” post, here it is.
This podcast is brought to you by Harry’s Shaving. Harry’s high-quality German-engineered blades are crafted for sharpness and precision, at half the price of big name drugstore brands, with free shipping straight to your door. Just go to Harrys.com and get $5 off when you use discount code “ben”.
Ben Greenfield has officially launched his first work of fiction: “The Forest”. Twin brothers River and Terran discover a portal to a hidden forested world attacked by parasitic fungi, dark shamans, and serpents. Along with an assembled band of unlikely misfits that includes coyotes, whitetail deer, wood thrushes, and fox squirrels, they must unlock their unique powers to control the elements of earth, air, fire and water, and save the forest before the evil they’ve uncovered can spill back into their own world. Click here to read it now! New chapters released every 7-14 days.
Make a donation to convert an entire classroom in California into a standing desk classroom! This is the pilot experiment that could change how schools worldwide are designed. Tim Ferriss, me and many others are joining forces with Kelly and Juliet Starrett, the brains behind this project and founders of StandUpKids. The goal is to get every public school student in the US at a standing desk within 10 years. This massive goal is achievable if the right snowballs are put in motion now, and this proof-of-concept school is the most important. Media coverage, national attention, political pressure/alliances, etc. can all stem from this. It’s super high leverage.
The BenGreenfieldFitness Quarterly box has officially launched! When you sign-up, you’ll get a Quarterly handpicked box jam-packed with Ben’s favorite fitness gear, supplements, nutrients and research-proven biohacks.
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 – click here to 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.
Is It Safe To Leave Metal Plates And Metal Screws In Your Body?
Marc says: He has a metal plate in his ankle from where he broke it playing tennis a few years ago. He has recovered fully and even feels 110% but is wondering if you recommend having foreign bodies (like the plate and screws he has) removed from your body or just left in. His doctor says that it is completely his choice but he can’t find a good answer anywhere he looks.
In my response, I recommend:
–Study on distal radial fractures and titanium plates
–Metal Free spray
Chicken Broth vs. Beef Broth
Jane says: She listened to the podcast about Bone Broth and still has one question – if the animals were all raised on ethically run farms and pasture fed, is there a big nutritional difference between chicken and beef bones? Is there a reason to choose one over the other?
In my response, I recommend:
–Podcast episode with Chef Lance Roll
What’s The Best Way To Do Home Altitude Training?
James says: He has been using the AltoLab Altitude Simulator device for almost a year. He finds the protocols provided in the instructions to be quite taxing but along with the usual fatigue he gets eye muscle soreness (that passes with recovery). Do you have any insights into how to use this device other than the recommended 6min on, 4min off, for one hour, several times a week (if not every day).
How To Recover From Overreaching
Garik says: He is reading Beyond Training right now and is at the “overreaching” section. He has two questions about that: Is overreaching and lifting to failure the same thing? And during the recovery period of overreaching, is “Grease the Groove” ok to do? Or do you have to rest for the full 2-3 days (which would mean you can only workout 3 times per week) to get the best results and full nervous system recovery?
In my response, I recommend:
–The NatureBeat app