June 30, 2010
Introduction: In this podcast episode: do endurance exercises and power lifting mix? What caloric deficit is actually healthy? Static contraction exercise, what are super foods, bonking while cycling, alternatives to heart burn medications, relaxing before a triathlon, how to use hamstrings more when you run, exercising on a raw diet, exercising in the heat, is guacamole healthy, accuracy of body fat measurement devices, treating torn muscles, can women train like men, eating healthy when your family doesn’t, natural eczema treatments, how to breathe while swimming, multi-vitamin absorption, is cooking with aluminum dangerous, does beta-alanine work and what is H20 Overdrive?
Ben: Welcome to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast, coming off of episode 100 and moving on to the next 100 episodes with episode 101 where we’ll be answering tons of questions from listeners and also conducting an interview with a guy named Dr. Jerry Moylan who has a host of both endurance and weightlifting titles and awards to his name, and he’s going to tell us how to combine training for endurance and doing things like running and bicycling and still do heavy weightlifting, power lifting, explosive sports, thing’s of that nature. He and I are both going to talk about how to actually mix those two elements. We will have some special announcements today. We’ll move on to that Q and A and then we’ll finish up with that interview with Dr. Jerry. So, let’s go ahead and jump right in to episode 101 from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
First of all, a huge thanks to those of you who donated to the podcast to help keep this thing rolling along. I’m sending everybody who donated this week a free www.bengreenfieldfitness.com T-shirt along with a few other goodies thrown in, and if you want to donate to the show, just go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com, scroll down and there’s a little button there where you can donate and you can also now conveniently donate with your phone. I’ll put a link on there which will allow you to donate with your phone as well, but it’s super easy. It helps support – even a dollar of $5 always helps keeps this show rolling along. Now, other special topics. I wanted to talk a little bit about the Body Transformation Club because somebody asked me what they would actually learn about as a member, and I just want to give you an example of the things that we went over in June inside the Body Transformation Club via both the postcards that I send out to all the members as well as the videos right there on a secret, protected section of www.bengreenfieldfitness.com. So, we covered how to make your own hummus and that was a video. Another video was a variation of an abdominal exercise. Two must-have spices that you need to have in your kitchen, a technique to significantly increase the force you can produce during exercise, how to make a natural energy drink, what to do when you don’t have access to a pull up bar or a pull down machine and how to eat healthy for cheap. And all of that stuff is via both video and text, via postcards that I send to people and access to a secret page that they have. So that’s what the Body Transformation Club is all about, just to give you a sample of what we went over in June. And if you want to be a part of the Body Transformation Club, it costs seven bucks. I know that from firsthand experience there are people charging close to $100 to something very similar on a monthly basis. And the Body Transformation Club is seven bucks a month to do. So just a simple fun way to stay accountable, stay fit, and stay healthy. So check it out, I’ll put a link in the Shownotes of podcast 101. If you’re listening to this podcast on the day it’s released then tonight is Chef Todd’s free video Webcast. So if you signed up for that video Webcast on how to use fresh ingredients to create fast meals in five simple steps, then make sure that you attend. You’ll also have access to a post Webcast recording to listen to as well, but he’s going to have a few things there live that you’re probably going to want to take advantage of. Speaking of live, I mentioned in the past couple podcasts that the Marathon Dominator is live and I have a free 30 minutes – actually it’s almost a 40 minute video – on training techniques for marathon and how to actually put together a four day a week marathon training routine. You can find the information on that at www.marathondominator.com. The topic for this week over at my other podcast, the Get Fit Guy’s Quick and Dirty Tips was how to make a home gym. So if you want to learn how to make a home gym, go listen to the Get Fit Guy and I’ll put a link to that in the Shownotes as well. Then finally, there is about another week here where if you write me at [email protected], I can still squeeze you in to the trip to Thailand that I’m organizing for any triathletes who want to travel to Thailand with me and do a couple of triathlons there in beautiful Phuket, Thailand. Beautiful, tourist-friendly Phuket, Thailand. So we have a ton of questions to go over today. You can access any of the links from the special announcements in the Shownotes to episode 101 and we’re going to have a brief message and then move on to the Listener Q and A.
If you have a question for the podcast, just email [email protected], call 8772099439 or if you’re international you can Skype me for free and my Skype user name is Pacific Fit. We also had a couple of questions come in via Twitter this week and I’ll be sending a T-shirt to the best question that came through via Twitter. An easy way to ask me a question via Twitter is just to follow me on Twitter and then send a message. The best way to send a message is actually just write your question and then at the beginning and end of your question, just write @bengreenfield. Use the little “@” sign, @bengrenfield and I will get it. To send me a direct message on Twitter, I need to be following you. Sometimes it’s hard for me to go follow everybody who’s following me and so if you really want to get a hold of me, use that @bengreenfield sign. But we definitely had a Twitter question win a free T-shirt this week and I’m going to extend that for this next week. The best question that comes in via Twitter, will get one of those free T-shirts.
So the first question this week comes from listener Dave.
Dave asks: I am 50 years old, trying to lose 2 pounds per week and train for a bicycling century ride this September. I keep a food and activity log and I am eating a caloric deficit of 1000 calories a day. So for example if I burn 1000 calories with my activities, I eat 2000 calories. Since I’ve gone to under 1000 calories I have lost between 1.8 and 2.3 pounds each week for four weeks and I felt fine. Do you see any problems with this?
Ben answers: Well the idea is that if you get into a caloric deficit that is too great, you can begin feeling very fatigued, very tired, unable to actually achieve a high enough intensity in your workouts to become fit and do a little bit of damage to your body because it’s hard for your body to constantly having to tap into not only fat but also lean muscle tissue and organs for energy. That’s why you need to be careful with a caloric deficit. Now I’ve done a lot of resting at metabolic rate testing on people and what that is, is a machine that you would get hooked up to that figures out how many calories your body is burning through the day. My recommendations based on that test is that females not under fuel by more than 500 calories and males not under fuel by more than 1000 calories. Now in your case Dave, you say that you’re eating 2000 calories if you burn 1000 calories with your activities. But the only thing that’s not taken into account is the fact that you typically will burn several hundred calories per day. I’m sorry, several thousand calories per day just living, just walking around in your activities of daily living. So, if you’re burning 1000 calories a day with exercise and then you’re probably burning at least another 2000 with your resting metabolic rate and then you’re eating 2000 calories, then it means you’re burning 3000, eating 2000 – 1000 calorie deficit, again not too bad. So, what I would say is I wouldn’t go any longer than what you’re currently at. If you’re a female listening into this, don’t try to under fuel by 1000 calories. Go closer to 500, and the reason for that is because females tend to have lower metabolic rates because they’re typically smaller individuals, under fueling by 1000 calories leaves them with very few calories coming in. We talk about some females eating 500 to 800 calories a day which is just too low and can send your body into a state of what’s called ketosis which essentially means that you’re forming potentially toxic ketone bodies from all of the protein and the fat that you’re burning through and that can eventually do some damage to your organs. So just be careful Dave, I wouldn’t go a lot lower than 1000 but especially if you feel great, if you have good energy, then that’s fine. I know some guys with high metabolisms who would just waste away if they were under fueling by 1000 calories per day. But again, your body is a lot of times a very trustworthy measurement and reliable tool for you to listen to. And then a follow up part to your question.
Dave asks: I’m lifting weights and using Pete Cisco’s static contraction method. I was wondering what you thought.
Ben answers: For those of you who wanted to know what the static contraction method is, basically it’s a form of weightlifting where you hold typically a heavier weight than you would normally work with in a fixed position with your muscles fully contracted for an extended period of time. So usually you’re only doing one or two reps and you’re holding the weight for about 15 to 25 seconds. The idea with static stretching Dave is it does train your central nervous system to be able to generate a greater amount of force and it can allow you to lift heavier weights and be stronger. On the flip side, because you’re not moving a muscle through a range of motion, you’re not tearing as many muscle fibers as you would normally and so you’re not going to build muscle quite as easily. You also aren’t going to work a full range of muscle fibers which can actually harm you from an athletic standpoint, and then you’ll also burn fewer calories because there’s less of a cardiovascular stimulus when you’re doing that style of weightlifting. So if your goal is to get strong, static contraction training like taking a bunch of weight, putting it on a bench press bar and just holding that bench press bar with your arms slightly bent for 20 seconds is going to help you out quite a bit, but you could get better results with doing a form of weightlifting in which you’re actually moving your muscles through a full range of motion. So, I would say that the static contraction method would be something you could supplement a weightlifting program in, but it shouldn’t be the only type of lifting that you do. I have used that before, for example to increase the bench press back when I was weightlifting. I used a static contraction set after I’d finished all my bench pressing sets to make myself a stronger bench presser, but again that wasn’t the only style of training I was using.
Miguel asks: Here in Portugal, the super foods market is growing quickly. I would like to know what your opinion is about super foods like spirulina, maca, goji berries, cocoa. The marketers are always trying to say that it is good for your stomach and for your brain. If you agree with these foods, how can I introduce them into my diet?
Ben answers: Well, super foods are kind of a catch all term now Miguel. Blueberries used to be considered a super food and interestingly, they’re a very affordable and readily accessible super food that contain tons of the types of compounds that a lot of other less easy to find super foods contain. But the idea is that a super food typically contains a very, very dense amount of nutrients for as many calories are actually in it. Usually, it contains a very high amount of antioxidants as well. Now I consume super foods on a daily basis. They’re in a few of the supplements that I take. For example, I take the EnerPrime supplement which has super foods like spirulina in it. I take the Solar Synergy supplement which has the goji berry and some of the high antioxidant fruit blends in it. But I also make sure that I eat a balanced diet of fruit and vegetables and I don’t live on the super foods or rely on those for the sole means of my nutrition and mineral and vitamin intake. Now I can tell you from personal experience that I feel great when I am consuming super foods and I get sick more quickly when I’m not consuming them. The issue – and we’ll get into this a little bit later in the podcast is making sure that you’re not overpaying for super foods that might be of sub-par quality and also that you’re not using the high antioxidant containing super foods all the time because while antioxidants are good for you and can help to combat a lot of the free radical damage that occurs in your body from exercise and pollution and just the activities of daily living – taking in too many antioxidants actually has this diminishing return where your body almost is too protected and it’s similar to what would happen if you put a baby in a bubble and protected them from every single immune system stimulant that could ever come their way. They’d have very weak immune systems. Well, in the same way if you’re always combating free radicals with high amounts of daily antioxidant intake, taking tons of super foods everyday – research has shown that you can actually fight against the anti-aging effect that super foods are supposed to have because your body is never getting exposed or never getting allowed to fight off some of the stresses of free radicals because all the super foods are doing it for you. And so that can tend to come back and bite you. So using the super foods are definitely something I’d recommend just from personal experience. There’s a lot of anecdotal evidence out there on them decreasing the net acidity in your body, increasing of course the antioxidant activity, helping out the immune system a little bit. But I would definitely go after real foods like blueberry and spinach and things you can get your hands on easily. Then if you have some money left over, go after your super foods. Like I said, the two that I take are Solar Synergy and EnerPrime. Solar Synergy is made by Mt. Capra. EnerPrime is made by IMPaX.
So the next question is from listener Bob.
Bob asks: Why do I bonk after only two hours of riding my bike? I ride at a reasonable pace, only 17 to 20 miles per hour. Not a crazy high heart rate, maybe 130 and I’m not really winded. I consume two bottles of fuel. After two hours I’m really slow and entirely unable to use my big chain ring.
Ben answers: So it looks like Bob is consuming fuel during his ride and it looks like he’s doing two bottles of Hammer HEED and two scoops each so it comes out to about 200 calories an hour. Well for a two hour ride, most people can get on 200 calories an hour assuming that the carbohydrate stores are accurate and the body’s storage carbohydrate is full going into the ride. So if you’re consuming those Bob, and you’re still bonking or hitting a wall then it might be that your carbohydrate intake or your calorie intake is too low in your nutrition plan. You’d want to actually increase that a little bit to make sure that you’re not going into a ride starved. The other issue is if you’re starting your ride in the morning, having not eaten anything. It can also be a little bit carbohydrate depleting while you’re asleep and you can go into your ride with fewer carbohydrates on board than if you had done your ride in the afternoon after you’d had breakfast and lunch. Then the other issue is maybe you’re not bonking. Maybe you’re dehydrated. You haven’t consumed enough water. Maybe there are some other medical issues going on, such as an inability to adequately deliver oxygen to your tissues. So there can be some other issues going on that I’d think about but make sure that you’re actually fueling yourself well on your daily nutrition intake and continue to eat while you’re on the bike. Then what I would do is if you’re really wanting to make sure that you cover your bases, then go get a physical and do some blood screens. You could also look at some of your oxygen carrying parameters. You could look at some of your internal performance factors. Bioletics, Dr. Richard Cohen over at Bioletics is a great guy to hook up with to get some things tested like your ferritin levels, iron levels, testosterone, cortisol, some of the things that go beyond carbohydrate levels. So good question.
Sean asks: I have a quick question from your E-Help handbook. On page 94, you mentioned medicines that cause weight gain and refer to Nexium. I’ve been a long time Nexium and Prilosec user for gastro-esophageal reflux disorder. Do you have any more reference on the effect of Nexium and weight gain or potentially better alternatives?
Ben answers: Well, the issue with something like a drug like Nexium is that the way that that works is by blocking or inhibiting the proton pumps in your stomach so you’re not able to produce as much stomach acids. Well the issue with that is if you significantly reduce the amount of acid in your stomach, then it inhibits your ability to properly digest food. So then your food isn’t getting broken down properly, vitamin and mineral absorption is diminished, the metabolism can be affected and essentially when you reduce the acid in your stomach, you’re eliminating one of your primary defense mechanisms for food-borne infections and so you increase your risk of food poisoning as well. The big issue with Nexium and Prilosec is they’re basically band-aids. They’re not considering what’s actually going on that can cause the gastro-esophageal problems. So for example, if you have a deficiency in digestive enzymes, that can be an issue. If you have H-pylori or some type of fungal or bacterial growth in your gastro-intestinal tract, that can also affect your digestion. If the foods that you are eating are the type that can cause heartburn or you’re not drinking enough water with your food, that can also cause some issues. So what are the things that you can do or some of the things that you can do? The first would be make sure that you drink a lot of water with your food. Just good, clean, pure water. So I’m not talking about Pepsi, or Coke or tea. Just water. So, if you take in about two liters or so of pure water per day, that can help out quite a bit. The next thing is to build up the levels of the good bacteria in your stomach. I would recommend that you be taking a probiotic. I don’t want you to consider this medical advice, I’m not treating your condition. I’m just giving you advice on some of the things I would do if I had the gastro-esophageal issues and I have had digestive issues before and I have completely controlled them through some of the methods that I’m sharing and about to share with you. So probiotics can help tremendously. The next thing that can help out quite a bit are digestive enzymes. Four of the most popular ones would be trypsin, chimotripsin, papain and bromelain. One of the supplements that I take on a daily basis is called Recoveries. Not only because it helps fight against muscle inflammation and helps me to recover after my workouts but also because it has digestive enzymes in it which helps me to break down the things that I’m eating. The next thing I would consider is a way to control any type of fungus or pylori that might be present in your digestive tract. Garlic is a great way to do that. For example, you could take a garlic clove, you can douse it in olive oil after you’ve chopped just a little bit of the top off, throw it in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes wrapped in that aluminum foil, make sure you drench it in olive oil first and then take it out, salt it and eat it. That’s a great way to help with gut issues in terms of fungus and bacteria. You can do that on a daily basis. Make sure you have a really good brand of mint gum around or some strong Altoids if you have a loved one, even though the garlic will be coming out your pores anyway so it could be a moot point. Oil of oregano is also really effective. You could take a concentrated oil of oregano and put a few drops of that in a glass of water and drink that down, you could also take a diluted oil of oregano and put it directly underneath your tongue and take it that way. For more information on oregano, go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com and do a search for “oregano” or just go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/oregano. So those are some of the things I would definitely be doing from the probiotics to the digestive enzymes to the garlic and the oregano. And that will help you out quite a bit in addition to making sure that of course you’re avoiding things like hot foods, peppers, any of the foods that traditionally seem to trigger that for you. And interestingly, some of the foods that traditionally cause food allergies can also be an issue. So if you find that you’re getting this after you take in wheat or diary or soy or eggs, those are some of the common things you may want to eliminate from your diet and see if that helps you out with your gastro-intestinal issues.
So, we’re going to move on to a Twitter question from Kim Landrum on Twitter.
Kim asks: When the training is done and it’s time to put up or shut up, how do you prep the day before a big race? I can’t calm down and sleep.
Ben answers: Well Kim, I’ve talked on the show before about the importance of visualization. Now one of the CDs that I use to achieve a deep state of relaxation is called the “I am” lecture series. It’s the same one that the Navy Seals use. You can Google that and do a search for it, but that helps out quite a bit in terms of training your body to get into a deep state of relaxation. Some of the things that I’ll also do are entertainment-based, I’ll go to a movie theater or get a video. I’ll do some social networking on Facebook, talk with friends, but basically doing things that take your mind off the race. Stay away from the Race expo. Stay away from the race course. Stay away from the things that are going to keep your mind worrying about the race and focus on the things that either put you in a deep state of relaxation or entertain you. So I could tell you, the day before a triathlon, I wake up, get my training out of the way and the rest of the day I’m reading magazines, watching TV, maybe going to an air-conditioned movie and just not thinking at all about the race. That helps out quite a bit. I would definitely be working some visualization and relaxation into your routine as well. Another good source on mental tactics would be an article that I have coming out in Triathlete magazine here in a few weeks. Check the August issue of Triathlete magazine and that will give you some information more on mental tactics for getting ready for a big race.
Now another Twitter question from user “wanttorunagain”.
Wanttorunagain asks: After 25 years of doing the marathon shuffle, how do I change my running gait to use my hammies and my glutes more?
Ben answers: Well, it’s a great question. It’s very insightful because when you use your hammies and your glutes, you tend to be able to produce a little more force, pop off the ground a little bit more easily and you tend to have a greater distance traveled per stride while you’re running. The issue is getting those things to fire versus just using your hip flexors and quads which a lot of runners do. Of course the number one principle is that if they’re there, you’ll use them. So all runners should be doing either a resistance training program that involves kickouts and sidekicks, squats, lunges, leg presses, exercises that utilize those portions of the body or they should be utilizing steep hills in their program. Steep hill sprints and steep hill climbs as well as stairs can help tremendously with building those muscles. So either doing the resistance training or the hill training or preferably doing both can help out quite a bit. Some of my favorite exercises for working the hammies and the glutes are kickouts, fire hydrants, reverse lunges, deep squats can help out quite a bit and we’ll actually talk a lot about exercises too with Dr. Jerry Moylan during today’s interview. But using or working those muscles and then running with those muscles during the same periods of times in your training program that you’re working those muscles can help out quite a bit, because you kind of get that mind muscle connection. As a matter of fact, running – when those muscles are just a little bit sore from a workout – believe it or not, can make you think about them more and target them a little bit more. The other technique that I’ve used to actually work on my running form is I’ll go on a run but about every 10 minutes or so, I’ll stop and drop down into a crawl position and do some fire hydrants to get my glute medius firing and working and then get up and keep running. I used that based on a recommendation from another coach that I was talking with and it actually really makes you think about using your butt more while you’re running. It’s an interesting technique that might get you some funny looks when you’re in a crawl position by the side of the road. But if you wait for a time during your run when you’re going through a park or you’re doing loops and running by your garage, it can definitely be something that you can work into your program.
So user wanttorunagain for asking the best question via Twitter this week, I’m going to send you a free www.bengreenfieldfitness.com T-shirt. You just need to use Twitter or use email to send me your mailing address and I’ll get that in the mail to you. So, listener Jesse has the next question.
Jesse asks: I’ve been vegan for the past 15 years but I am interested in transitioning into a raw vegan diet and I’m unsure if this will be wise with my activity level. I work out five to six days a week and I’ve increased my running mileage to about 35 miles per week. I saw that you have a new diet plan on your Web sites specifically for vegans, but before I purchase it, I wanted to see if it has a lot of raw components in it or it can be easily modified to incorporate more.
Ben answers: Well, first of all, as far as transitioning into a raw vegan diet from a vegan diet, there’s not going to be a lot of differences in terms of the way that you’re going to feel. The raw vegan diet, some of the foods that you consume will have more of the attack digestive enzymes. Some of the foods you’ll find will be tougher to digest because they may not be quite as cooked as when you were doing your vegan diet and so you may want to consider for example, taking some of the digestive enzymes that I just got done talking about in my response to that other question. Taking some of the Recoveries, that can help you out quite a bit. The nice part about that particular supplement is it also has branch chain amino acids in it. If you combine that with some whole amino acids – for example Bioletics makes some whole amino acids, then you can make sure that you’re getting some of the amino acids and the proteins that are a bit easier to neglect when you’re on a raw vegan diet. Now the vegan diet that’s on my Web site over at www.pacificfit.net, if you click on training plans – you’ll end up on a page that shows all the different plans that I write that are there to get and download to your computer – that particular plan is a vegan plan. It’s also a completely raw vegan plan. So there’s no actual cooking that’s involved with it. So, to answer your question, yes that is raw. So there’s not a lot of changes that would need to be made. Someone of your activity level can definitely do a raw diet but I would make sure that you include proteins and actually as a part of that program, I make a recommendation that people get their hands on some Recoveries and some branch chain amino acids and some whole amino acids to supplement that raw vegan diet.
So the next question is from listener Chuck.
Chuck asks: This weekend I did a 66 mile ride followed by a 10 mile run in the blazing heat. The run was miserable. My usual pace is 7 minute miles, but this one ended up being an 8 minute mile pace. I didn’t have any water or gels on the run. The whole time, all I could think about was having something to drink. I stopped about three times during the run and had to wait a couple of minutes before starting again. Can I blame this all on the heat and dehydration or could there be more at play?
Ben answers: This is a pretty easy question to answer. If you ran a 10 mile run in the blazing heat… without a doubt, not only were you getting carbohydrate depleted and low blood sugar because you had nothing out there but you also were definitely dehydrating your body. And the carryover effect from that will definitely go into the workout the next day and mess with your body for the next couple of days if you get severely dehydrated. So you can do quite a bit of damage to your body. That’s why if I do a run after I go on a bike ride if I’m training for a triathlon, then what I do is the run – I run as loops around my house so I can run into my kitchen or run into my garage and grab some water or a gel every two to three miles to keep me going. Because otherwise it just turns into a junk training session. So definitely enable yourself to have water and fuel out there and available because the effects of dehydration can not only just hit you the rest of that day but it can go on and mess up a lot of the rest of your training week.
The next question is from listener Laird.
Laird asks: I’ve been addicted to this new lunch lately. Pre-cooked chicken strips thawed, quinoa, guacamole, salsa, a bit of ranch dressing. I heat up the chicken, add all the ingredients, reheat a little bit more. All this done in the microwave and I’m done. It’s fast and easy. I’m addicted to the flavor but wondered what your thoughts were on the overall nutrition?
Ben answers: Well there’s definitely evidence out there that you might not be doing yourself a favor by radiating your food in the microwave. Laird, I would definitely consider if you have access to an oven where you can bake or broil that food and those pre-cooked chicken strips, that’d be a little bit better for you than dehydrating them and radiating them with microwave rays. So I do have a microwave, I’ll use it occasionally to heat up a cup of coffee or some water. But I would not recommend that you use your microwave on a regular basis. I use mine once about every 24 to 48 hours. Now, the guacamole and salsa that you talked about – if it’s homemade, that’s one issue. If it’s store bought guacamole, you got to be cautious. Even a company like Kraft, their guacamole doesn’t have avocadoes in it. They make this fake guacamole and use all hydrogenated oils to simulate guacamole. Then they just add a bunch of synthetic chemicals and colorings to finish up the experience and you’re convinced that you’re eating guacamole. I guarantee if you tried some of it and weren’t being told that it was being called guacamole, you’d probably think that it tasted like green chemicals. So you need to be really careful with guacamole. And if you look at say a guacamole that actually does have avocadoes in it, the ingredient list starts off with skimmed milk, and this would be for example – here’s a store bought version – Dean’s Guacamole Dip. I printed off the label here and I have it. Skimmed milk, soy bean oil, tomatoes, water, hydrogenated vegetable oil, eggs, avocado pulp as the seventh ingredient. Avocado should be the first ingredient in guacamole folks. If it’s not, then something’s going wrong. Move through a bunch of gum and corn starch and then down to the bottom of the list where we have calcium chloride, citric acid, dextrose and artificial color – namely FDNC blue number 1, FDNC red number 40, FDNC yellow number 5 and FDNC yellow number 6. Now I’m not sure why guacamole needs oil added because avocadoes already have all their own fat and oil. I’m not sure why milk would be the first ingredient in guacamole. I’m really not sure why they need all that hydrogenated vegetable oil. It’s probably because avocado appears – it’s actually not seventh place, it’s eighth place. Avocado appears eighth on that ingredient list. Then they add a bunch of preservatives, colors, chemicals. You really need to be careful. Take some guacamole, dice up some tomatoes, some cilantro, a little bit of lime juice, some peppers, mash all that together, put a little salt and pepper in and you’ve got guacamole in your kitchen. It’s super easy to make guacamole. No excuse for not making that yourself. So, definitely be careful when you’re using these store-bought ingredients. If I were to modify this list that you gave me – the quinoa is pretty good. I’d use some fresh avocadoes or some homemade guacamole. If the salsa is real and doesn’t have a bunch of added corn syrup and a bunch of added preservatives then that’s fine. Otherwise just grab a fresh tomato and dice that up. Add a little paprika and chili powder if you want. Then the little bit of ranch dressing that you’re using, probably not a big deal. There are some things that make ranch not the best choice especially when you’re consuming it in high amounts, drowning a salad in it. But a little bit here and there isn’t a big deal. So ultimately, make a few modifications. Try not to cook in the microwave. Try to use fresher ingredients and you’re on the right track. So the nice part about that recipe is it’s very low on the glycemic index. So you’re not getting a lot of blood sugar play with that meal.
So the next question is from listener Ryan.
Ryan asks: I’ve had my body fat measured via the impedance method standing on a scale at the gym. I’ve also done a handheld device at home and I’ve used tape measurements and calculators on the Internet. Needless to say, I get wide variations on body fat percentage. Are one of these methods more accurate than the other?
Ben answers: Well, there’s a whole bunch of different ways to measure body fat. You can do the skin pinching method, you can do body circumference, you can get dunked in a tank. You can do the electrical impedance which you did. You can do one called the Dexa which is the same way that you take bone density. It’s a dual x-ray absorptiometry scan. A whole bunch of different ways. The Dexa test is definitely one of the more accurate ways to test. Of course the flip side to that is you expose your body to radiation every time you do it. So it’s definitely not something you want to do on a regular basis. I personally with all my clients use either circumference methods for my clients who are around the world, who need to measure themselves. I’ll use skin fold methods with some of the clients I work with locally, using skin fold calipers, which can actually be really accurate. The issue with the bio-electrical impedance scales that you stand on or the handheld devices is that for those measurements to be accurate, you need to be in an optimal state of hydration meaning you’re not dehydrated and you need to do it in the same state of hydration every time that you do that test. So you’d want to do it for example in the morning 7 a.m. after you’ve had a glass of water and never do it any time other than that. The measurements will be somewhat accurate but the bigger you are, the less accurate those can be. So just be real, real careful with those. I would – if I were measuring my body fat all the time, I would be using a three pinch skin fold method where you use some calipers, you pinch the skins in a few different sites. You feed that into an equation and you get a pretty accurate body fat number. Especially once you’ve done it quite a few times and you get used to the type of measurement that’s involved, you get very good at it and that can be very accurate and you can get skin fold calipers for a very good deal for example on Amazon.com.
Steve asks: You were mentioned by a friend as a possible help for a lingering problem I have with a torn rectus femoris. I would appreciate any thoughts or info on possible recovery steps. I tore it five years ago and cannot get it to heal.
Ben answers: Well Steve, I’m not a doctor or sports medicine physician. If I were in your shoes, I would be addressing the fact that there could be some hypoxic scar tissue there. Some immobile scar tissue meaning that there’s a low amount of blood vessels feeding that area that’s torn. Because scar tissue has formed over that area, it’s a little less mobile than it should be. So the way that you can get that done is you can do some soft tissue work on a regular basis, either yourself or done by a medical massage therapist to try and break up some of that scar tissue and increase mobilization and range of motion in the torn area. The other thing that you can do is you can increase capillarization to the area. You can use a topical magnesium supplement that you put across that to actually get warmed up and displace some of the calcium that can tend to adhere in a torn muscle area. So I’ll be doing that along with the medical massage. Warming up well before you do any type of activities. Then a few other things that can work quite well are ART or active release therapy. I would look for an ART practitioner in your area. I would also look at primal reflex release technique. You can do a search for primal reflex release technique at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com. I interviewed a practitioner. I’ve had it done before and it can work in some cases with painful or immobile muscles that are that way because of an injury. It basically is based on the concept that you tend to be in this constant state of spasm and you have to let your mind actually let go and relax that muscle area and then it begins to increase its range of motion because you’re not cramping or spasm-ing in the area anymore. So I’d look into all those methods. I’m not saying one single method is going to work. But if you try some of those things I just mentioned, you should be able to see some success and some progress.
Juan asks: I’ve been somewhat fit and gone to the gym for years now. My wife asked me to help her shed off some unwanted pounds. I’m not sure if she can train like a man does, or can she?
Ben answers: Women can train like men. It’s a little bit of a foggy area, what’s man style training? What’s woman style training? But the basic idea is that a woman has to have a lot of testosterone on board or be adding hormones to her body artificially in order to actually start to get a body like a man. A woman can pretty much lift almost exactly like a man in terms of weight training or cardiovascular training, experience all the same type of beneficial lean muscle and toning effects and not have to risk bulking up. There’s very few women who I know who lift heavy and bulk up. Occasionally I’ll come across someone who isn’t taking extra hormones, isn’t taking testosterone and still appears to be a little bit bulky from the weightlifting and typically that’s fixed with a slight adjustment of the program to increase reps, decrease weight and they do just fine. So ultimately let’s say you were going through a program like my Shape21 program. I wrote that program for males or females. Both can do the same version of the program. Both would see similar amounts of success in terms of fat loss, attainment of a lean body. That type of thing. So your wife can definitely train in the same way that you do.
David asks: I want to include as much as your holistic fueling and eating plan as I can. However I live with my wife and two teenage daughters and I need to figure out how to incorporate your plan into a more family centered meal plan.
Ben answers: Well it can be tough when your spouse or your family is not wanting to eat healthy in the same way that you do. So some of the things that you can do is first of all, no matter whether or not there’s a salad present at the meal, you need to make sure that you have a salad. Lots of greens. Follow the salad recipes that are there in the holistic fueling meal plan and no matter what they cook, have a salad around so if you want to grab a little bit of what they have, you can actually include greens with that, top it off – top off the greens with the casserole or whatever it is they’re eating, and you can actually get a little bit of a taste, feel like you’re participating in their meal. But not get a lot of the deleterious effects. When hamburgers are served, you would want to modify the hamburger preparation by using kale or spinach and lettuce and wrapping your hamburger in greens rather than using a bun because part of that holistic fueling meal plan is there’s really very, very small amounts of gluten that are involved. Same goes with corn. If you didn’t want to use a lot of butter, you can sprinkle just a little bit of cheese on there. Lemon pepper is also a really good way to go along with a bit of olive oil. For pizza, if your family likes to have pizza – there’s not a ton of pizza in the holistic fueling meal plan so one of the things you can do is grab one slice of pizza and just cover that with a salad, with a bunch of mixed greens and then eat the salad or eat the pizza through the salad. That helps out quite a bit. If you want to cook any of the stir-fry type of recipes in that holistic meal plan, then you can get your family whole wheat wraps, some extra teriyaki sauce, some extra white rice or yaki soba noodles and they can get all the carbs and the sauces and everything like that and you can still eat healthy by just having the meat and vegetable portion of that stir fry. You can do a Mexican night, like a taco and burrito night. And everybody else can have their tacos wrapped up in whole wheat or flour tortillas or crunchy tortillas and you can eat a taco salad instead on a bed of lettuce or a bed of spinach. Seasoned chicken breast, that’s another great recipe. You can cook chicken breast, you can cook them in the same way that they’re included in the holistic meal plan but get a couple cans of cream of mushroom soup and that makes it nice and rich and tasty for your family if they don’t want to eat the healthy version. Same thing with spaghetti and tomato sauce. You can do more of a little bit of spaghetti served on top of a salad and your spouse or your family can do a lot more than noodles and the sauce. Black bean pita sandwiches are actually a really good thing to do. Basically you can stir together yoghurt and black beans, some Mexican flavorings like onion and cilantro and garlic, lime juice, cumin, a little bit of salt and you can mash that all together, serve it with some pitas and with your spouse or your family they can actually eat those wrapped up in the whole wheat wraps and they actually taste pretty good. They almost taste like junk food but they’re not. So tons of little twists that you could make on the recipes to make it easier for your family, but ultimately what it comes down to is it’s my opinion that your family should be eating healthy too. And so, if you educate them and teach them about all of the benefits that they’re going to get in terms of their strength, their performance, their energy, their fat loss, the way they look, the way they feel, if they incorporate all the elements of that holistic fueling meal plan then getting them on board by educating them and empowering them with knowledge is going to be a lot better way to go. Then you follow that question up.
David asks: By the way, you have a meal plan available for purchase on www.trainingpeaks.com. How well does that line up with your holistic fueling plan?
Ben answers: The answer is that I have two plans available over at www.trainingpeaks.com. And those are accessible through my Web site, through my training Web site at www.pacificfit.com. Or you can just email me and I’ll point you in the right direction. But one of those plans lines up almost identically with the holistic fueling meal plan straight from my book. The other one is a lot more vegan, kind of raw vegan based that I talked about a little bit earlier. Then I guess you have a third part of your question.
David asks: What is the best combination of supplements to take regularly that will still be affordable?
Ben answers: Well, I understand that supplements can be expensive and taking a lot of them can be expensive, but there are a few supplements that I think everybody should be taking no matter what. One of those would be Omega 3 fatty acids, whether via fish oil or flax oil form. There are a few different options available, but I would definitely be taking some type of Omega 3 fatty acid. I would definitely be taking Vitamin D and taking a lot of it. I would definitely be including a multivitamin/green type of blend. That would be crucial. And then if you get the vitamin D, the multivitamin with the green supplement, a little bit of Omega 3 fatty acid, the only other thing that I would really consider taking would be magnesium. Again, relatively inexpensive, easy choice to make, easy to use. A lot of people tend to be deficient in it. So I would include that as well as an electrolyte source and that would be kind of a foundational plan for you – would be the vitamin D, the magnesium, a green/multivitamin supplement and some fish oil. Or flax seed oil, or some type of Omega 3 supplement. You can get more information on supplements over at that website at www.pacificfit.net.
Pete asks: I have a question regarding nutrition and weight gain. I’m currently recovering from hypothyroidism and hypogonadism. My hormonal levels are where they should be but my weight is considerably lower. I’m still struggling to put on weight. I know the bottom line is that calories in must be greater than calories out but what ratio of carbs, fat and protein should I be looking for if I want to increase weight with as much muscle and as many strength gains as possible? I’m a distance runner so most of my workouts are based on my runs or crosstraining that amounts to about 60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day.
Ben answers: First of all, I would recommend that of course you eat a lot of food. Typically for people to put on weight and put on muscle, they got to eat and live in the weight room. That’s really the best way to put on a ton of muscle. Most of the guys I’m training right now for lean muscle are consuming in the range of 4000 to 6000 calories per day. Usually working out for an hour and a half to two hours per day and a lot of that is resistance training based. Now, if you’re training to be a distance runner, then you would probably be on a slightly higher carbohydrate intake than what I have them on. But generally in the range of about 50 to 60% carbohydrate, 20 to 25% fat, 20 to 25% protein would be the actual ratios that you’d be looking for. So about a 2:1:1 carbohydrate to fat to protein ratio. The trick though for you is going to be to eat a lot and what you may need to do is periodize your program so that during the days in which you are doing longer runs, more exercise, you’re really shoving down a lot of food and you also have certain periods during the year when your goals are weight gain where you even reduce your physical activity just a little bit and increase the amount of calories that you take in. But that carb-fat-protein ratio of 2:1:1 works pretty well. There’s a lot of little things that you can include in your diet too to help you put on weight. Creatine helps out quite a bit, whole amino acids sources will help out quite a bit and meal replacement powders or meal replacement drinks like the Living Fuels Super Greens is one example of basically a quick and easy way to get in tons of calories. But ultimately you need to be eating a lot in about that 2:1:1 carb to fat to protein ratio.
Harold asks: Do you have any information on overcoming eczema?
Ben answers: Both my children have eczema and my wife gets eczema as well. There are a few things that can help it out quite a bit because we’ve had to deal with it. A lot of times eczema can be related to an allergic reaction or a low amount of good bacteria in the stomach so taking a probiotic can help out quite a bit, getting some good bacteria in your gut via Kiefer, via yoghurt and via probiotic capsules can help out quite a bit. There are some herbal extracts out there like topical herbal creams and gels. Some of the ingredients – two of the most popular ingredients are chamomile and licorice. Those can help out quite a bit when applied topically to an eczema, as can that diluted form of oil of oregano that I mentioned earlier. The other thing that I would look into is an oil like an evening primrose oil, a borage oil, both of those contain gamma-linolenic acid which can help out quite a bit with eczema as well. Then I would also look at the foods that you’re taking in and consider cleaning up the gluten, the dairy, the soy, the eggs – some of the potential allergy triggers that you could be getting. But usually more of a multi-pronged approach to the eczema can help out quite a bit, and those are some of the things – some of the things I just mentioned are some of the things that we’ve done in my household to help out with that and it’s been pretty successful.
Patrick asks: I just did an LT test for the bike and got an odd result. (For those of you who don’t know what an LT test is, it’s a test to measure the amount of lactate that you produce and you do that by going out and exercising at your maximum sustainable pace and then tracking your heart rate as you go). On the same course I had the same speed but my LT heart rate is down 9 beats. Is it all just now clicking for me or do you think it might be my new watch?
Ben answers: Well, here’s the deal Patrick, your LT heart rate should go up. What I mean by that is your lactate threshold heart rate – let me rephrase that. Your lactate threshold heart rate as a percentage of your max heart rate should go up. So if your maximum sustainable pace that you can hold occurs at a heart rate of 150 and your maximum heart rate when you do that test is 190 and then you test later on, ultimately with a maximum heart rate again of 190, you’d want your LT to be 155 or 160 or some heart rate that’s a higher percentage of your maximum heart rate. Now in your case, your LT heart rate went down and unless your maximum heart rate also went down, that’s technically not a good thing that your lactate threshold heart rate went down because it means that your body is unable to tolerate large amounts of lactic acid at the same intensity. Now a lot of times that can be because you are carbohydrate depleted, it can be because you are over trained. It can be due to heat, dehydration. There’s lots of things that can play with that LT heart rate. But one of the things you may want to look into is if your maximum heart rate has changed at all. So if your maximum heart rate has come down significantly, then you’re just fine. The other issue is that I have had some issues before with those garment heart rate monitors, and not getting good heart rate results from them. You can get a heart rate monitor conducting gel that you can put between the strap on that heart rate monitor and your chest and you can get far more accurate results from that versus just wetting the electrodes on that heart rate monitor with water or saliva. So ultimately, what should be happening to your heart rate is it should be getting higher as a percentage of your max heart rate. Your lactic threshold heart rate should be getting higher as a percentage of your max heart rate.
Mark asks: My job has me travel quite a bit. Since I travel a lot, sometimes I find myself taking Five Hour energy drinks. Since they’re only a few ounces and don’t seem to have too many bad things in them, would you see them as harmful as some of the others such as Red Bull?
Ben answers: Short answer is no. They’re not as harmful as Red Bull because they don’t contain a lot of the acids that the sodas contain. They don’t contain a lot of the sugar that the regular Red Bull contains. My only issue with the Five Hour energy drinks is that they still do contain quite a bit of caffeine. A lot of what you get out of those is a mega dose of B12, but they also have sucralose in them which I’m not a huge fan of because it can destroy the good bacteria in your gut. Ultimately if you had to choose between a Five Hour energy drink and a Red Bull, take the Five Hour energy drink. I’ve said this before on the show, the energy supplement that I use is called Delta-E. It’s a little pink packet, you empty it into a glass of water or under your tongue. It’s powder so there doesn’t really have to be anything in terms of artificial sweeteners in it and that works really well. I kind of get the same feeling from that as I do from Five Hour Energy which I’ve also taken, but the Delta-E is a little bit more healthy.
Mark asks: Also, when in the car what suggestions do you have to maintain my metabolism short of stopping every few hours to do jumping jacks?
Ben answers: It is true that whenever I’m traveling in a car, for every hour that I drive I try to do 100 jumping jacks to keep my body from getting stale, keep my metabolism up. But if you’re unable to get out of your car, there’s not a lot that you can do. You can do shoulder shrugs, but squeezes, stomach squeezes and tummy tucks and toe raises, some head circles but most of the things are kind of the same type of easy gentle stretches and movements that you’d do say if you were stuck in the window aisle on an airplane. In the window seat of an airplane. So ultimately, you do have to stop your car, get out of your car, do pushups, squats, jumping jacks, those types of things if you really want the full benefit. Unless you have a pretty huge car that you’re able to move around in, then you would need somebody else at the wheel anyways. So either way you’re probably going to have to stop at some point, Mark, and just move around outside your car and make that sacrifice and just do it, even if it’s just pulling over at the side of the highway.
Shane asks: I have a question for you. I’m in my third year competing as a triathlete. I end up getting gut pain that happens about 1.5 hours into a race and lasts through the end. I’ve tried many different fueling options to cure this but nothing seems to work. I think I’ve narrowed it down to excessive gas build up. I noticed it only appears after swimming and the suggested source has to do with incorrect breathing in the water. I consider myself a strong breather and breathe on both sides. Any insight as to what I might be doing wrong?
Ben answers: Well the correct form of breathing, rather than hyperventilating by blowing out all the air from your lungs as soon as your face goes into the water is to instead while you’re swimming let out all the air right before you come up for a breath. A lot of times that results in a lot less hyperventilation and a little less air intake that occurs, a little less burping gas problems. So I used to breathe by breathing out the whole time underneath the water and I used to have the burpees after I finished swimming. I switched up the style of breathing that I do to let out all the air right before I come up for a breath and that helps out quite a bit. The other thing you can do and this was a trick that a coach gave me once, was to drink carbonated water or sparkling water before the swim portion of the race. That’s supposed to help out quite a bit with the burping and the gassy feeling during the race as well. So I would try the sparkling water, club soda, carbonated water type of approach as well as adjusting your breathing pattern a little bit and that should help out. I’m going to assume that you’re finishing your pre-race meal at least two hours before that swim starts. So you don’t have a lot of food in your stomach upsetting your GI tract as well.
Emily asks: You recently had a podcast with Shownotes listing the interaction between several vitamins and minerals. I take a women’s multivitamin every morning which is labeled with iron and calcium formulated for easy absorption. I don’t know if the easy absorption refers to its vitamins in general or the calcium and iron but I doubt the company has found a way to circumvent the normal absorption of calcium and iron. I know calcium inhibits the absorption of iron so am I even getting any benefit out of taking this multivitamin? If so, what nutrients am I actually absorbing? Also, the vitamin contained vitamin C. Since vitamin C promotes iron absorption, does this counteract the effect that calcium has on the iron and allow for more iron absorption?
Ben answers: Well, the way they’re probably increasing the absorption is via kelation. Kelation means that you basically kelate or tie the calcium or the iron to for example an amino acid or some type of other organic compound and actually increase its absorption by doing that. So it’s definitely something that you can do in a multivitamin. Best case scenario if you were taking a calcium supplement, you would want to take it at a different time as your iron supplement. That’s why multivitamins which have that shotgun approach can be a little bit tricky. Ultimately you’re doing yourself more favors by taking it than you are doing harm to your body but yeah you might be missing out on a little bit of the calcium and the iron absorption. The fact that it only contains 250 milligrams of calcium anyways means that that’s not going to be your primary calcium intake during the day and lean dairy sources, dark leafy greens, nuts and things of that nature should be your primary calcium source the rest of the day anyways. So the fact that it’s not your primary calcium source makes that not that big of a deal that you’re consuming that particular multivitamin. If you want a better multivitamin, there are a few out there. There’s a company called Millennium Sports that puts out one called MVP 365. That’s a really good multi. I’ve used it before, really like it. Another one is Hammer Nutrition. They put out one called Insurance. I’m blanking on the term but it includes the term insurance. Hammer Nutrition Body Insurance. I know writers are going to write in and remind me what the name of that particular multivitamin from Hammer Nutrition is, but that’s pretty good as well. The Nature’s Made is not the best multivitamin you can get but the way they formulate that for easy absorption is likely through kelation. The process called kelation. So they can increase the absorption of that.
Josh asks: I take a complete amino acid supplement and I’m trying out beta-alanine to see if it can potentially aid me in cycling effects. I’ve been mixing these in coffee or tea as I’ve heard that caffeine helps amino acids to work more effectively and at a faster rate when combined. Is this true? Or am I doing this completely wrong? And when is the best time to take this amino acid supplement to help my body recover?
Ben answers: Easy answer to that second question. Get that amino acid supplement in after your workout as quickly as possible. Within 20 minutes if you can. So that your body is primed to actually quickly uptake those amino acids and if you can combine them with carbohydrates, because while carbohydrates will increase the amino acids absorption, there is absolutely no evidence that I’ve seen that suggests that caffeine will assist with amino acid absorption. Now that being said, there is evidence to show that caffeine can increase carbohydrate absorption and since carbohydrate absorption increases amino acid and protein absorption, it could be that when you take your amino acid source with carbohydrate and with caffeine, you might get a little bit of added absorption because that carbohydrate is getting its uptake a little bit more quickly. So ultimately, take it right after your workout. If you’re taking the amino acids with just caffeine, not really going to see any increase in absorption, but if you add carbohydrate in there as well, that’s where you’re going to help yourself out quite a bit.
Kara asks: I read about the dangers of using aluminum pots and pans to cook with. I’ve been roasting all my vegetables using Reynolds non-stick aluminum foil for over a year now. Is that harmful for me? I really like the ease of the foil since it makes for a faster cleanup but I don’t want to be killing myself while I’m ingesting tons of veggies.
Ben answers: Well, it’s a great question. The issue that I have with this is that you find aluminum everywhere. It’s all over in dirt, and plants and waters and food. It’s in our drinking water, in our drinking systems and the suggestion is that if you get aluminum into your system you can get an earlier onset of some neural type of issues like Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s, Parkinson’s disease and the aluminum leakage into your food from cookware is one of the ways to actually increase the amount of aluminum that you’re intaking. However, that amount that would come from cookware is a pretty small fraction of what you’d actually get from your normal eating and drinking and breathing of all the metals that are kind of naturally in our planet anyways. So, a lot of the cookware in the market today is made from aluminum but the idea is that if you aren’t cooking in your aluminum cookware with really highly acidic or very salty foods, you’re probably just fine. I also wouldn’t leave tomato sauce or citric foods in contact with that cookware for a long period of time because then you’re going to be looking at getting a lot more aluminum in it. Now, as far as the aluminum foil is concerned, the chemical reaction is pretty much identical from aluminum foil to aluminum cookware. So either way you look at it, you want to be careful with some of the salty, acidic, citrus foods but I wouldn’t worry about it too much for your basic cooking methods. That being said, grab a couple of stainless steel pieces of cookware and have those around to use and then as far as roasting your vegetables go, you can try other methods of vegetable cooking. You can do some sautéing, some boiling, baking. There’s lots of different ways to cook vegetables in addition to roasting in aluminum foil. But as long as they’re not super acidic, salty, citrusy types of vegetables I wouldn’t get too concerned about it. And one of the things you may want to do is ask Chef Todd. I’ve got a link to Chef Todd in the Shownotes if you go to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com and do a search for Chef Todd you can find a pretty easy way to get a hold of him. He would be a guy that I’d definitely ask as well.
Heela asks: I’ve been riding lately with pretty strong guys. I know they’re faster than me on the ride (and she’s referring to bicycling) but I wonder if you have any tips or tricks how I can keep up with them. I’m usually fine at first but I get tired at some points and can’t hold their pace because my legs are burning. If they open up even the slightest gap, I lose them.
Ben answers: One of the things that you can do is make sure that you really have a high cadence. The higher your cadence, the more you’re going to be able to adapt to the changes in pace and changes in speed that are going to occur when you’re riding in a group. If you’re mashing the gears, you’ll be a lot less responsive to be able to make sure that a gap doesn’t open up between you and the other people that you’re riding with. So maintain as high a cadence as possible. Preferably 90 or higher, closer to 100 is even better for group riding. Then also, pay very, very close attention. Riding with a group is a little bit stressful because you do have to make sure that you’re staying really close to the wheel of the rider in front of you or even opening up or closing a gap by overlapping your wheel with their wheel. When you combine that with a high cadence and a high focus on making sure that you’re staying well within range of the riders that are in front of you, that can help out a lot. Also make sure that you talk to those riders before you take off and let them know, “Hey listen if you hear me shouting and see me drop off the back, can you guys just slightly slow down or have one person drop off the back and help bring me back up to the lead group.” Most of the time people will be pretty reasonable with helping you out quite a bit.
Heela asks: I was wondering what you thought about the product Amazing Grass Super Food. I think they’re the most popular greens supplement out there.
Ben answers: Well interestingly, the same person who asked the question about aluminum foil asked me about another greens product called Lifetime Life’s Basic Greens Protein. Folks, greens supplements are all over out there. I get a question almost every week about green supplement and my answer is always the same. You have to make sure that they’re using quality ingredients. I’ve taken many different types of green supplements. The only type of green supplement that I’ve ever taken and not gotten sick when I’ve taken – meaning that I’ve gone for two years before on one form of green supplement and never gotten sick, whereas none of the others have done this for me – the one form that I take is EnerPrime. Like I mentioned last week, had a big issue last week when essentially the company that produces EnerPrime ran out of spirulina, couldn’t get the high quality spirulina in that they were using, refused to use any other form of spirulina and so there were back orders for about a month and a lot of people who ordered EnerPrime were saying they’re tapping their fingers waiting for it. I was among them. And yeah, it can be a little bit of an issue when you’re working with a company that uses high quality ingredients and refuses to back down off of using anything other than a high quality ingredient. But ultimately, it ends up being worth it to stick with a company like that. So all of these greens supplements are going to have the same ingredients. They have spirulina, barley juice, wheat grass, chorela, alfalfa, beet root, broccoli extract. It’s just a question of the quality of the ingredients that they’re getting and if it’s dirt cheap, marked down, wholesale – I’m not saying that that’s an instant sign that it’s a low quality ingredient, but that can definitely be a suggestion that they might be skimping on their ingredients. So ultimately because there are so many different types of greens supplements out there and they all have similar ingredients, the question I have for you is what is the source of their ingredients? There’s really two companies that I know of that I’ve talked with both the owners and I know that they’re good, ethical people who don’t skip on ingredients and once is that IMPaX EnerPrime that I talked about. The other is the Living Fuel supplements, and you can check both those out over at www.pacificfit.net. Get links to interviews I’ve done with the owners and I do a lot of research on supplements before I actually make them available or recommend them to the athletes that I coach or the people who write in and ask questions and www.pacificfit.net is the place where you can find all those.
David asks: I listen to the Endurance Planet podcast and there is a frequent product plug for a sports drink called H20 Overdrive, which claims intercellular hydration and has a lot of ingredients that span the entire length of the bottom. I’m curious on your opinion on the claims being made by this product as well as the benefits or negatives of the ingredients within.
Ben answers: So I went and looked at this H20 Overdrive and the ingredients that are in it and first of all, it starts off with of course sugar being one of the ingredients. But it’s not much sugar. It’s only 3 grams and it looks like it’s from maltodextrin. So even though sugar is the first ingredient on the label, that’s not a ton of sugar – 3 grams of sugar. Now moving on, it has a vitamin profile so they’ve added things like vitamin B complex, vitamin D –16 international units of vitamin D, considering that I take on a daily basis 6000 international units, it’s not much vitamin D. they have some electrolytes in there. Some amino acids in there. They don’t really list how many of them so it’s tough for me to make a judgment on that. 100 milligrams of caffeine. So basically you’re getting the equivalent of a cup of coffee and sometimes a little bit more than that in one serving of that. It looks like they have some vitamins in there – vitamin A, vitamin E, minerals and electrolytes. So they probably added some magnesium, calcium, potassium and thing like that in there. And then going on down the list sucralose, artificial sweetener, sodium chloride, rice alagodextrin and FDNC yellow number 5. So basically, this is like an energy drink, like a diet energy drink that they’ve added some electrolytes and minerals and vitamins to. Will it hydrate you better than regular water? Because it has electrolytes in it, it probably will. Does it do some magic intercellular hydration? No. No differently than if you took water and a salt pill. As far as some of the vitamins, I have seen much better vitamin profiles in this in a common multivitamin. So you’d be better off in my opinion taking water, taking some electrolytes and amino acids and consuming a multivitamin rather than dumping sucralose and artificial chemicals, colors and sweeteners down your throat with this H20 Overdrive supplement. That’s my opinion on it. I’m just telling you exactly what I think. I would never touch it if it was my body, but that’s just me.
So I believe that answers all the questions this week. There was actually somebody as I was reading through the questions… somebody asked a question about beta-alanine. It was Josh. Josh mentioned the beta-alanine that he was taking and I get a lot of questions from people about beta-alanine. All beta-alanine is, is it’s something that increases the amount of a chemical called carnacine in your body. And carnacide buffers acid. So when lactic acid builds up as you’re exercising, it can buffer it and help you to work at higher levels of exertion without forming quite as much acid or being able to buffer that acid more quickly. There’s been lots of studies done on beta-alanine and even though the jury is still kind of out in terms of there being conclusive studies on it, it’s a pretty promising compound because it’s done very well in several trials. The problem is that most of the positive trials were funded by the beta-alanine industry or by supplement companies who make beta-alanine and so until there’s a lot of good research that comes out that’s neutral research, I’m completely convinced that the beta-alanine is something that would be the best thing to spend your money on. Now if you have some money to burn and you want to try it out, experiment with it in a workout, maybe get a bottle of it, you could try the beta-alanine but ultimately it’s questionable whether or not it actually works in terms of the research steps that’s behind it. However, considering that it’s fairly affordable – it’s not super expensive, it could be something that might work for you. I’d just use caution because all of the research that’s positive for beta-alanine was funded by companies who make beta-alanine. So that being said, we’re going to move on to the Listener – not the Listener Q and A. I’m getting loopy from answering all your questions. The featured topic with Dr. Jerry Moylan. Listen in or because this is an epically long podcast, take a break and listen in later.
Hey podcast listeners, this is Ben Greenfield and I have Dr. Jerry Moylan on the other line and Dr. Jerry lives in California now. He’s a chiropractic physician down there – more than chiropractic, which city are you in, Dr. Jerry?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: San Diego, California. San Diego.
Ben: In San Diego, California. Kind of a triathlon Mecca down there too. And he’s actually himself a three time Ironman finisher and that is not where his list of athletic accolades stop. Because he is a record holder in power lifting with personal best 700 pound squat, 400 pound bench press and 630 pound dead lift. He was the 2005 San Diego Senior Games male athlete of the year. He’s a decathlete. He has done a bunch of kettle bell competitions too. 2007 Masters Kettle Bell World Champion. His list of accomplishments in powerlifting, kettlebelling and endurance sports and in cycling as well as track cycling goes on and on. He’s a fourth place finisher at the California Track Bike Championships 500 meter race. So huge combination of powerlifting and endurance sports which we’re going to talk about today. But thank you for coming on the interview, Dr. Jerry.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Oh you’re welcome Ben. This is very exciting.
Ben: Well I know a lot of people who are listening to the call probably know what Ironman triathlon is, that 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run – but for those people who don’t really know what powerlifting is – can you explain what really goes into being a powerlifter and competing as a powerlifter?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Powerlifting is a strength movement. Movements are basically the squat, the bench and the dead lift. You could get three lifts of each one and your highest lift for that day counts towards your total. So you could say you squat 500, you bench 200 and you dead lift 500, you get a 1200 pound total. But they’re pretty much strength moves. And strength is the basis for power explosive moves which is the basis for injury prevention in any athletic endeavor. So like I said, squats – there’s technique involved in all this, which makes it a lot easier and more efficient. Again, the strength portion of it which most athletes can use whether you want to compete maybe another story, but if you want to use the strength moves themselves – the squats, bench and the dead lift – they’re very advantageous to use in any kind of sport, endurance sport or athletic sport or a decathlete or a track guy or whatever. They’re very beneficial. You just have to change the routine that you would do. The reps scheme and the sets scheme and how often you would use them.
Ben: Most people who compete in endurance sports kind of have the feeling that lifting weights that heavy or at that level – powerlifting, heavy weightlifting – would perhaps be detrimental to their endurance training or to their cycling or to their marathoning. Now, for you how do you jive something like powerbelling – we’ll talk about kettlebells later on but powerlifting, kettlebelling – any of those type of things, how do you actually work those into an endurance sports program? Or do you just do them completely separately?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: I do them all the time all year round, but as you mentioned, there’s a certain percentage or certain times of the year where I would be more focused on one sport more than the other. See, I also compete in CrossFit and CrossFit is a combination. I’ve done the regional and sectional CrossFit competitions this year. Those are (unintelligible) with endurance sports. But they’re simultaneously working both systems. So, what I’ll do is last year I competed in six different sports all last year and the world championships, I went to three different world championships in four days. So you can do them. I did the pentathlon, Olympic weightlifting and bodybuilding all in four days. So you can combine them but it’s really more of a – I’ll use the word scientific, not scientific – but real precise in your training. Because as we know, you’re using different energy systems. With the Ironman triathlons, you’re using mostly oxygen based systems whereas in powerlifting, you’re using a PC system. So you can combine those but as you train more for one, you are switching your cell type to more endurance for the triathlons and you’re training your cell type to be more developed for more fast-twitch with the powerlifting and the Olympic lifting.
Ben: Gotcha. So, if we were to get down and dirty here and go into what your training – whether you want to lay it out as your training year or your periods of different training as you go through a year to be able to accomplish explosive sports along with endurance sports, what does a typical training year look like for you?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Okay. What I would do, and also one thing we always talk about is we do compete and train a lot. It’s the rest. I will go into that first because people think we have to train every day all day long to accomplish this and you really don’t. The rest periods are real crucial so you get a proper amount of rest, so you can train hard. But the key is the ability to handle load. In anything we do, we want to have the ability to handle load. The more load you can handle, the faster and stronger and nimbler we can be. So to be able to handle load, we have to be of course injury free and also get our rest days so our bodies can adapt to the stress imposed upon the system. So my training regime, I’m a four day a week guy and I have my off day – Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturday, Sundays – and lots of times I’ll do two to three workouts a day. So I’m working different systems. Sometimes, it’ll be a five minute workout or we’ll say the VO2 system – let me know if I’m getting too specific but the VO2 system is generally a 10 to 15 minute routine working your cardiovascular system at VO2 max. You are going to do one or two of those a week. That’s the key of knowing how much of a different system you can use and then you also don’t have train it any more.
Ben: So, with VO2 you’re talking about 10 to 15 minute long, very intense workouts to hit your maximum oxygen uptake or your VO2.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Exactly. So once you work that system, you don’t have to work that system anymore. Maybe once a week, maybe twice a week you can squeeze it in. But the system is gone, the stress. Then it takes time to recover. Whilst recovering, then you can do the other workouts. So that’s the key. With that, I can throw a lactate threshold workout in, maybe three or four days later. I can definitely have my powerlifting and Olympic lifting in the evening. I’ll do my VO2 lactate threshold morning to morning and my weightlifting explosive stuff in the evening. So that way, while one system is resting, my cardiovascular – I can work the explosive system in the evening. That’s also based on sets and reps and how much – and what type of the year so right now I did finish two Cross Fit competitions and a bodybuilding. Now I have a track and a decathlon next week. So I’ve been training for that. So I backed off the CrossFit and certain exercises in that area, kept the VO2 workout that I got from CrossFit and got more specific with my javelin, disc, pole vaulting types of technical things. Because my conditioning for decathlon would be good.
Ben: You blanked out for a second, are you still there? I’m sure that we’ll get him back on.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Am I lost here?
Ben: There you go, you’re back on.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Okay. So I was saying you can do this for triathlons too, because even with triathletes or running endurance sports, you only have one to two major peaking times a year. Period. You cannot maintain a high peak all year round. It’s physiological impossible. So that’s where you have to pick your major races throughout the year. As mine, I got the Cross Fit earlier in the year and then I’ll have some track and field coming up and then later on the year the World Championships mostly in the weightlifting area later in the year.
Ben: I think this is really good information for people who feel like they have to commit to one sport year round. Like if they sign up for an Ironman Triathlon or they want to do marathoning, that’s all they can focus on. But what you’ve found is that by combining different workouts into different times of the day and different times of the year, you can accomplish these multiple training goals throughout the year?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Yes, exactly. Because you look at what most endurance athletes do, they are doing more weight training do and your weight training athletes are doing more aerobic work to increase their ability to handle more load and be less injured. So what I just take it to is a little higher level. They’re going to get the most out of themselves in a triathlon, so you don’t have to think that you’re going to keep getting better every week, every month throughout the year. Your body can only handle so much. It will only grow so much at a time. So in the meantime you can be doing lots of other things with your body, creating a constant stimulus for growth in all areas and becoming a more complex person.
Ben: Interesting. Now, I’m sure that we’re going to get some people who complain that they’ve seen research that if you do weightlifting and endurance training simultaneously that you might in effect reduce the results that you can get from endurance training. Now what would you say to that argument?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Well that’s true, I’d say. But if I were to be a true marathoner, again as I said a true marathoner – he’s got say 12 months. He’s only going to be able to peak his max capabilities once or twice a year to reach his peak for a competition. The body will not keep getting better and better every week and week. So, knowing that I can only peak once or twice a year, then a marathon runner in a year. So he can the power to get his strength up, get his flexibility and stability and all these other factors also. But the research will show that you’re right because what happens if you do try to do heavy powerlifting with your max endurance you will get suboptimal effects in both. So in a CrossFit, I cannot expect to be totally as strong as possible at my top endurance because you’re creating different cell types and the correct assumption… when you’re getting closer to your top marathons, your easier marathons, you back off on the powerlifting. All you do is keep a base strength going into it.
Ben: How far before a triathlon should people start to back off weightlifting or powerlifting?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Well if you’re really going to do heavy powerlifting, it’s probably going to be probably three months or so maybe, but you can still powerlift, but you’d increase the reps and sets scheme. Now true tapering, like if you have a major marathon, you’d back off maybe only two weeks before your weight lifting. Because the idea is to keep a good load until the end, so then you drop the big load and your body has all the time and energy to taper and peak for a contest.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: So you can keep your weightlifting most of the year long except for the final week or so. But the major heavier singles and negatives overloads, you probably want to decrease probably a couple of months earlier because that’s too much of a stress on the system.
Ben: Yeah, from a weightlifting, powerlifting, explosive sports standpoint typically what I’ll do is a lot more weightlifting and basketball type of training in the winter. And then as I get into early spring because I’m training for a triathlon, I’ll usually decrease the weights that I’m lifting, lift them a little bit more explosively and try and reduce my propensity to put on muscle with kind of the medium weight medium rep 10 to 12 rep scenario and then I’ll hold that into the summer and then typically about halfway through the summer I will start doing a little bit more weightlifting kind of in the middle. I kind of peak for a triathlon earlier in the year and then later in the year, so I put on a little bit more muscle in the summer and then strip that again in the late summer and move on to more of the triathlon competition again. So for people listening in, it really is true that you can do weightlifting, you can do powerlifting, you can do explosive sports, you can do endurance sports at the same time. You just have to know what you’re doing. Right, Dr. Jerry?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Exactly right. Because there are many complex systems and the cardiovascular system and the different ranges of motion, the different body parts and upper body, lower body – how much you’re using those. If you want to lift heavy one day, can you expect to have a good bicycling day the next day? Probably not. So you have to know what system you are using, muscular wise, mechanical wise, physiological wise. Because otherwise you will not get good success at all. It’s very difficult.
Ben: Right, exactly. And that’s another thing that you can do. That brings up a good point. If you had to lift weights and you really wanted to do something like powerlifting, you could do your bench pressing and overhead pressing one day and still have the oomph that you needed to go on a bike ride the next day. That would be another strategy.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Exactly. That’s exactly right. And that’s why we want to have the top strength and while you’re able to have explosive power and endurance to perform better at your sport.
Ben: A lot of cycling teams are using powerlifting now as a way to enhance their cycling. Do you feel there’s a good crossover there between things like dead lifts of explosive lifts and cycling in particular?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Actually I’ll go back to pretty much any sport because it gets strength as a base for explosiveness – is it going to allow you to move faster which is going to be good for any sport. I just wanted to put it in there. But for cycling it would definitely be very advantageous because there are more high power outputs that you can garner from the strength. Like Olympic lifting and powerlifting.
Ben: The interesting thing is if you watch the Olympics, powerlifters are often slight people. They’re not the same as bodybuilders. I know a lot of people have that picture of the huge puffy, bodybuilder look and you would think that would hold back a cyclist or a triathlete but in effect, powerlifters have a very high power to weight ratio. They’re often slight people who can lift huge amounts of weight.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Yes, because the top athletes tend to be more athletic. In most sports, top athletes tend to be more athletic. So they can be very flexible and be strong at the same time. You see the top NFL players, sometimes they can be very big people but they can dunk basketballs, they can do back flips. If you look at your MMA fighters, the Ultimate Fighting people, they’re very athletic and they look lean and strong and athletic and strong at the same time and they have great cardiovascular conditioning.
Ben: Yeah, his name escapes me but a recent ultra-marathoner trained essentially with Cross Fit all week long. He threw in one long run at the end of the week and threw down I think it was a 50k or a 100k ultra and did just fine.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Exactly. Because what happens, when you do one sport all you – you could spend hours and hours if you only do one sport. Most of the time if you only do one sport, it’s unnecessary activity by running all those miles and miles and miles. All you’re doing is breaking down the body. Like I said earlier if you want the ability for the body to handle load, you make it strong with cross strengthening and stability, flexibility so your body can handle the load and on your sport days, you want to be setting personal records. The key is to be getting better and faster all the time, not just doing your sport. So when you have your major workout days, whether it be running – you want to have goals on that day to get better. That’s why you want to be coming fresh and the ability to handle that load for that day so you can get better. Like your friend did the Cross Fit and then did his running, so his running was probably going to be very good because he’s going to be more fresh so he can have quality runs and make personal records. Cross training makes his body ready to handle that running load on his one or two days. That would be a key to look for when you’re cross training.
Ben: Yeah, I love that idea because goal-oriented training meaning you’re going after certain lift percentage of your 1RM or you’re going after a certain speed for your 500 meter row or track workout, that’s always more intrinsically motivated than just exercising to look good. Studies have found that it always gets you into the gym or onto the track better if you’re focusing on performance-oriented goals than aesthetic-oriented goals.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Yeah, that’s a great point. Yes.
Ben: So talk to me a little bit about kettlebelling. For those people who aren’t really familiar with kettebells, what’s the idea behind those and how can they be used in a training program like the one we’ve discussed?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Kettlebells are a great sport because they have the ability to handle a weight – there are various sizes and weights – for multiple reps with what’s called a smoothness. A smooth technique. Almost like an Olympic lifting technique. It’s an athletic event that you can do for five or ten minutes. It really works your cardiovascular system. So it’s all technique. A lot of these things unfortunately do require technical ability to do them efficiently so that’s why there are people like you out there Ben, to help these people get their technique down.
Ben: What about using a dumbbell instead of a kettlebell? What’s the difference?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Well the dumbbell – you can’t be fluid. It doesn’t have the – it’s bulkier. It can’t move around. The kettlebell can move around in a circular motion. It has more fluidity in its motion so you can do repetitive actions on it with less problems. With a dumbbell, it’s more on unstable. You can’t do the repetition on a repetitive basis as fluid and with less stability.
Ben: Gotcha. So as far as kettlebell training goes, what would a typical kettlebell workout look like in terms of actual exercises somebody would do?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Okay that all depends on what we’re trying to achieve. The sport of kettlebell, it’s pretty much two 10 minute repeats. So it’s pretty much a VO2 lactate threshold workout so you can do either ten minute repeats or you can break them into three 3 minute repeats, four by 3 minute repeats, two 7 minute repeats or you can do a longer set of 20 minutes straight. So it depends what you’re looking for. CrossFit tends to use them in shorter more explosive minute or two minute repeats. So it depends what system you’re trying to achieve, what you’re trying to work for.
Ben: And what would be exercises that you’d do?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: I tend to stay with more the competitive motions. In all sports – since I like to compete, that’s my thing. I look for the competition requirements. They require a snatch and jerking motions. So snatch would be from the floor in one movement, one arm, one movement to over your head. It would be similar to a snatch in an Olympic lifting motion but with one arm. Now in Cross Fit, they use a two handed technique for the most part with the kettlebells and it’s a two arm motion from the ground to over your head. Now the other one in the kettlebell competitions is the jerk. You take the two kettlebells with two arms, hoist two kettlebells to your waist and from your waist, you jerk them over your head repeatedly for how many reps can you jerk at ten minutes. And also the kettlebell itself, there are probably 50 exercises you could do. You could make up exercises. You could do squats, you could do lunges. You can do bench presses. You could do all exercises with the kettlebells for the most part.
Ben: Okay, gotcha. Well, what I’ll do for people is I’ll put a link to more kettlebell resources in the Shownotes to this podcast so you can see what a kettlebell looks like and where you can find a kettlebell. Now as far as taking a little bit of a180 here, Dr. Jerry, and talking a bit about the other component of fitness which is nutrition – from a nutrition standpoint, what does your diet look like? Do you change it throughout the training year in terms of skewing it toward more example higher protein when you’re doing more of the explosive stuff or what exactly do you do?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Again this is a very complex field. I’ve been doing nutrition for over 35 years. I was a vegetarian back when I was 20 years old. I’ve been to macrobiotic camps. So I have been through it all throughout the years. Now I’m into the blood hormone and testing functional medicine which is phenomenal.
Ben: Yeah, I’ve got a lot of my athletes doing that now as well.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Yeah, isn’t it great to get the blood test? You can test your hormones. You can see where you’re deficient. Making your body – again back to my basic premise – for ability to handle load, if my body is nutritionally sound chemically and hormonally sound, I can handle more load and I can play more. I can compete better. The other premise is if we want to be healthy. The healthier we are, the better we’re going to play our sports or be active. So nutrition wise, I do tend to stay with an anti-inflammatory catabolic nutrition which is basically a vegetable based program. I do fish once in a while and I haven’t had meat in over 35 years. I’m not into dairy. People have their opinions and models, but this is my model. And this is all science-based stuff and it helped me at my age do what I have to do.
Ben: I want to get into the nitty gritty of that a little bit. You just said catabolic diet. Now, catabolic technically is referring to breakdown of the body. Although you’ve found value in a catabolic diet, how?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Oh no, an ant-catabolic diet.
Ben: Oh, anti-catabolic. Okay. Gotcha.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: We look for an anti-inflammatory, alkaline, anabolic nutrition is what we’re talking about.
Ben: Okay, gotcha.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Yes and that would be more of a vegetable based, nuts, seeds, legume based nutrition. But I also use a lot of supplements because what happens under the load – the key is you don’t want to overload the GI tract with so much food. So you want to get so many antioxidants and so many vitamins and minerals. They tell you eat this, and you can get two grams of C and 25,000 grams IU of A. To eat all that food, you’d overload your digestive system. So, again which causes a problem because all this time you eat food, you cause a free radical effect. And also it’s just too hard on your body to eat all the food. That’s where high dense, nutrient value medical foods come into play and vitamins because they can support you nutritionally while you don’t have to eat as much food. So it’s just high and efficient nutrition.
Ben: What type of testing do you do when you look at someone’s nutritional profile?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: We do. We have a basic panel. What we start with is about a 75 marker panel. I have a bunch of them sitting here. It’ll give you your basic cholesterol profile. You get your thyroid. You get all your electrolytes, your white blood cells, your iron, your red blood cells, your hemoglobin A1C, you get a urinalysis, liver enzymes and that’s about 75 markers on that baby. It’s a good base to see what’s happening and again, it also depends what people are trying to achieve. And we also do hormone testing or adrenal profile and for certain people we do testosterone and estrogen because male have male andropause and women have the menopause or even the female cycling hormones are real critical for them to be stabilized. Especially when they’re going for major races, we want everything to be at top level. At a lot of times, we’ll get their adrenals tested and blood tested and see where they’re at before we work on those and make sure they stay there and we’ll go back in before they compete in a major season, make sure they’re at those levels or high levels so they go into the competition, season or meet with strong blood levels, strong hormone levels.
Ben: Gotcha. And do change things up throughout the training year for yourself in terms of your nutrition intake.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Yes, again I tend to strive to work and lower my body – I stay lower. I tend to stay lower on the carbohydrate side because I tend to be myself carbohydrate intolerant. I’ll gain weight easily I have too many carbs, which is a common problem with a lot of people who are trying to keep their weight down for these sports. Carbohydrates are an easy way to get stored as fats in a carbohydrate intolerant person. Especially for the women, they tend to have more trouble with that and more hormonal imbalances. So I tend to watch my carbs more. I’ll stay with the protein supplements and whey proteins are a good source for me. I use Metagenics products on that and Apex Nutrition and that’s real common of course. Natural Vitality has some great products for magnesium and their Natural Vitality vitamins, they are supported because magnesium, calcium and potassium create electrolytes. I also tend to be a heavy sweater so I’m always more cautious about my electrolyte intake. But as far as gaining weight and losing weight, I tend to stay around 150 pounds. My weight class is at 140. Again, so a year and a half ago I competed at 143 because I had to get in the weight class. So the weight class I had to attain – a certain weight class I have to go down more in weight so I have to really dump my carbs and increase my protein and go eating every hour, hour and a half just to not upset my adrenals too much. Because if you go without food, you’re going to cause metabolic interference and more adrenal bodies and slow your metabolism down. So I don’t vary my nutrition as much. It’s tweaked a little bit here and there but I do try and stay pretty tied to a vegetable based nutrition with supplementation and I’ll alter it with a little more protein during the heavier weight training season but since I’m heavy training all the time, even endurance training is heavy breakdown so you do need a lot of protein even during your endurance sports.
Ben: Interesting. Well I think the takeaway message for people here is that not only can you achieve success by not training the same way day in and day out, month in and month out throughout the entire year. But you can also achieve success by really staying on top of your nutrition profile knowing not only where your hormones are and what your mineral levels are but also changing up your nutrition based on the type of training that you’re doing. So I think it’s really cool, what you’re doing, Dr. Jerry in terms of kind of living the sports life to the fullest and in doing all these different events. I think that a lot of people may not understand or may have been led to believe that you’re either an endurance athlete or you’re a power explosive athlete, but you’ve been able to find success in both, which I think is going to inspire a lot of people. So anything else? Any other resources that you would like to give the audience?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: As far as where to look for information?
Ben: Anything else – do you have Web sites that you go to, books that you read? Anything else that you would recommend people use?
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Yeah, there’s so much available out there nowadays. It’s amazing. Let’s see. IKFF. Kettlebell IKFF with Steve Cotter. Valery Fedorenko’s Kettlebell Association is very good. There’s numerous powerlifting sites out there which are good. Non-specific triathlon stuff is out there and endurance sports, but read more… understand your physiology for yourself. So the heart rate monitor is crucial to not overtrain and also training harder on your hard days and taking it easy on your easy days. I’ll make one quickie thought here. People who train all the time, they’re under training all the time because they can’t reach their VO2 lactate threshold because they’re also tired. Yet they’re overtraining because they’re training all the time. So they’re not getting the best benefits neurally as they should because they’re always training to one system all the time. But anything about lactate threshold training and understanding physiology and biochemistry – that’s the best that I can tell you. I don’t have – because there’s so much out there.
Ben: Yeah, I would say if people are listening in and they’re really wanting to learn more about that, I think one of the best publishers in the US at least that I found is Human Kinetics in terms of a lot of their stuff that they put out as far as physiological training of athletes, tracking of biochemical markers in both people who want to get healthy as well as athletes, they’ve got some good stuff.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Yeah, that’s a good suggestion. That’s very good.
Ben: Cool. Alright, well thank you for coming on the call, Dr. Jerry.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Thank you, this has been great. You’re wonderful Ben.
Ben: We’ll put a link to Dr. Jerry’s Web site over at www.doctor-jerry.com in the Shownotes so you can read more about him, especially if you live in the San Diego area. He’d probably be a great guy for you to hook up with. So until next time, this is Ben Greenfield and Dr. Jerry signing out from www.bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Dr. Jerry Moylan: Thank you very much.
Ben: Well folks, an hour and 45 minutes later we’re going to wrap up this podcast. If you heard anything that you were interested in from Jerry’s Web site to any of the things we talked about in the Listener Q and A to any of the special announcements to the trip in Thailand to the Body Transformation Club, then go to the Shownotes for episode 101. And you do that by going to www.bengreenfieldfitness.com and clicking on episode 101. If you’re not part of the VIP text club on your cell phone yet, get into that and also make sure that you leave the podcast a ranking in iTunes and subscribe to the free www.bengreenfieldfitness.com newsletter over at www.bengreenfieldfitness.com. So, until next time this is Ben Greenfield signing out. Have a healthy week and I’ll catch up with you next week.
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