Episode #178 – Full Transcript

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Podcast # 178 from https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2012/01/episode-178-why-sweet-potatoes-are-better-than-regular-potatoes/

Introduction: In this episode, why sweet potatoes are better than regular   potatoes, also personal trainer credentials, setting race goals, bike to run equivalencies, tennis as triathlon training, can muscle fibers change type, ketoacidosis, and adrenal fatigue.

Brock:  Hey there! Health wellness and fitness fanatics, Brock here for another Ben Greenfield fitness podcast.  And of course, we’re joined by the man himself.  Ben, how’s it going?

Ben:  I’m freezing.

Brock:  Oh, has winter caught up to you?

Ben:  I went swimming this morning.  And the pool’s boiler is broken.  And I’m freaking freezing.  Literally, I’m bundled up right now of my hoody and got home from the pool literally ten or 15 minutes ago.  And it’s got to be like 65 degrees which doesn’t sound that cold.  But when you are submerged in for an hour and it is early morning and it is cold outside and you drive home from the freezing car.  I am just in for a roaring fire in my office right now.  That’s what I’d love to have.

Brock:  Don’t do it.  Don’t start anything on fire.  It’s got to be a better way.

Ben:  There’s always that urge.  So, other than that, I am good Brock.  And are you recovered from your double half marathon/marathon that you did down in Florida over the weekend?

Brock:  I’m getting there.  I think I have a couple more days of some hard core beer drinking to do.  And then I’ll be back.

Ben:  Yeah, assigned from coach right?

Brock:  Yeah.  There are very important recovery beers over the week.

Ben:  That’s the first carbohydrate loading protocol.  You cross the finish line and start loading.

Special Announcements:

Ben:  So, I wanted to announce a couple of speaking engagements that I have if anybody is in these towns that I am speaking at.  Then come on out and say hello, Saturday, January 14th which is actually this weekend.  If you’re listening to this when this podcast comes out, I will be speaking over at Pilgrim’s Wellness Institute in Coeur D’ Alene, Idaho which is fairly close to my home actually.  It’s an open forum over there.  I and several physicians are going to be there answering questions primarily concerning health nutrition and fitness in a really open Q and A type of format.  So, that is kicking off at 11 AM in Coeur D’ Alene, Idaho at the Pilgrim’s Wellness Institute.

The following weekend, also a Saturday, on January 21st, I will be down in California.  In Rose Creek, California which is close to Sacramento from nine AM to four PM on Saturday, January 21st.  I will be speaking at what’s called the total transformation help expo down there.  And I believe the general focus of that is actually kid’s wellness and kid’s fitness.  So, I’ll be down there as well on Saturday.  And then I also wanted to mention that today, the day this podcast comes out, I am actually teaching a live seminar at six PM Pacific time.  I am teaching a seminar on tri-ripped which is the triathlon training program that launches at midnight tonight.  And I will be answering any questions that folks have about what goes into that, what distance it’s designed for, what levels of triathletes it’s designed for, and what it’s all about or as you would say about Brock.  So, that’s about it for the special announcements.

Brock:  You haven’t had a Canadian dig for at least three episodes.  So, you just had to get one in there.

Ben:  Yeah.  Blame it on the cold.

News Flashes:

Brock:  www.Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, what did you find for us this week that’s new and interesting and exciting?

Ben:  Well, I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.  I injured my right knee recently.  And, I was able to keep myself in relatively good shape, not only from doing things like swimming and upper body work but also by working the opposite side of my body, the left side of my body.  And the reason I bring that up is there’s actually a study that just came out in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.  The title was a little bit of a mouthful.  It was actually called the Reduction in Corticospinal Inhibition in the Trained and Untrained Limb following Unilateral Leg Strength Training.  Essentially, what that means in a nutshell is that, when you are training one side of your body.  Even if you’re not training the other side of your body, the other side of your body is still getting significantly stronger.

And so, in my case, when I injured my right knee, I was in the gym doing left leg extensions, left leg curls, left leg squats, left leg hops.  And as much as possible at the left hip and the left leg as possible because you get a lot of that cross training effect.  This is been known in sports medicine and sports science for a while.  But this study really showed a fantastic strength response in the opposite leg when you’re training one leg.  So, I thought that was interesting and wanted to bring it up for folks or anybody who is injured on just one side of your body.  Go work the other side.

Brock:  That’s just plain crazy especially the things like leg extensions and hops.  It doesn’t seem like that should be doing really anything on the other side of your body.

Ben:  It just has to do with the way that the nerves in your body work and similar stimulation in terms of the message coming down from the spinal cord.  So, you get a lot of the cross training effect.

Brock:  Crazy.

Ben:  Another study about running form looked at foot strike and injury rates in endurance runners.  And I thought that this was quite eye opening in terms of emphasizing the importance of working on your running form.  I looked at middle and long distance runners from a collegiate cross country teams.  So, they’re pretty fast runners.  And what they found was a significantly elevated risk of injury in the runners who were striking the ground primarily with their rear foot and with their heel.  And you’ll see that a lot more often that heel strike in runners who are running with improper form or who are perhaps over striding or maybe even wearing the wrong shoe.  And so, it really emphasizes the importance of making sure that you work on your forward lean and your mid foot to forefoot strike.  And it wasn’t necessarily this article that inspired me to do it.  But I have personally picked up a pair of the Vibram five fingers shoes.  I got the track version of those which is designed for a little bit more rugged kind of trail running, outdoor running.   And I’ve been wearing those quite a bit.  I’ve run a few times in them.  And they really do make me lean forward and strike on my forefoot a little bit more habitually.  So, maybe it’s that type of thing that you need to do to help you run forward on the front of your foot a little bit more.

Newton running shoes are an example of a shoe that kind of shifts you forward.  Any of this stuff you have to be careful with because whenever you shift yourself forward you might be running in a different way than you used to and setting yourself up for injuring muscles or bones in your foot that you’re not used to using.  But if you’re really smart about it and ease yourself into it, eventually you are going to reduce your risk of injury by shifting your body weight forward.  And I’m working on getting somebody on the podcast to talk about running drills and ways that you can really train your body to shift the weight forward when you run.

Brock:  I think we’re seeing quite a number of these kinds of studies come out just because of the popularity of the Vibrams.  And I know that Merrill’s making a version that is similar and Adidas started making them.  So, it’s going to get more and more in the forefront.

Ben:  Yeah. And I’m a big fan of these shoes. They’re incredibly comfortable too.  The last thing that I wanted to mention and I will put a link to all this stuff in the show notes for this episode.  Brock, remind me what episode this is, 178?

Brock:  178.

Ben:  Okay, cool.  The last thing there was a really good article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and I’ll link to it.  But it was about this central governor model and how it regulates human exercise performance who was written by Timothy Noakes who I’ve interviewed a couple of times on this podcast.  And he, basically went into detail about how you can really override what you may think is your maximum exercise capacity with little mental tricks.  And, I thought it was interesting because at the same time that this came out, another study came out that looked at actual testing of VO2 max, of maximum oxygen consumption.

And what it found was that when you don’t do a traditional VO2 max test which is typically starting with a really easy protocol and getting harder and harder as you go until you max out.  If you instead start with a really hard protocol and then make it easier as you go, then what happens is that your VO2 max ends up testing out to be higher.  And one of the reasons for that is related to what Timothy Noakes brings up in his discussion of this central governor model.  And that is that if you know that an effort is going to eventually get easier or eventually let up, you are able to push yourself a lot harder than you think you are able to push yourself versus, if you simply start easy and drive yourself up to harder and harder efforts.  So, the practical manifestations of this is the more that you can take your exercise sessions especially the hard ones or your races or anything hard that you’re going to do and split that into really short intermediate goals that you know you’re going to reach.  And then have that effort be over with, the harder you’re going to be able to push yourself.  And so, it just goes to show that you can really trick your brain into pushing harder than it actually thinks you are able to push.

Brock:  It’s amazing what we can do to our bodies when the brain is fooled or vice versa, how much we can limit ourselves by just perceiving how hard we’re actually working or how difficult the exercise is.

Ben:  I find myself doing it in the gym quite a bit.  I’m telling myself that I just need to do ten reps.  And a lot of times even though if you hadn’t been counting, you may have been only able to do seven or eight somehow you do ten.  Or you tell yourself you’re going to take a hundred strides when you are doing something like a treadmill sprint.  And I’m able to push myself farther when I know I just need to make to a hundred and then I can stop then if I just get on and just set less specific goal.  It’s just something to think about.  And I think it’s a really good read.  I’ll link to that talk by Timothy Noakes in the show notes.  And that’s about it for the news flashes.  And we’ve got some really great questions today.  So, what do you think Brock?  Should we move in?

Brock:  Let’s go to the Q and A.

Listener Q and A:

Brock:  Okay, so our first four questions are all audio questions.  That’s very cool.  I love it when the folks out there do my job for me.  So, this first question comes from Keith.

Keith:  Ben, this is Keith Mason from here at Austin, Texas for a podcast question.  I’m running a half marathon on January 29th.  I’m running a marathon on February 19th.  I’m treating as a training run for a 50k on March tenth.  And my question is a little bit about nutrition.  On my 17-mile run last Saturday, I took three roctanes and I took a cliff bar at ten miles.  I’ve done quite a bit running.  I ran about 1500-miles last year.  I never have any GI issues.  But the last 50k I ran, I had a baked potato at about ten or about 15 miles and then just laying finger coming to the other stops.  I’m thinking about switching to a yam or something like that instead of the starchy white baked potato.  And I’d probably take one at ten miles and one again at 20 miles.  That’s three loops of a ten mile course.  So, I appreciate hearing something on your podcast.  Thank you very much for all your work.  Goodbye.

Brock:  Cool.  So, yams or potatoes to fuel a long run, what do you think Ben?

Ben:  Well, just a little bit of semantics here.  When you say yam, I’m going to basically qualify that as sweet potato because that’s pretty much, especially here in America, how we actually eat our yams.  We have two different things that we typically see at the grocery store here.  One, is what is traditionally called sweet potato here.  And it’s got this thin yellowish skin kind of a pale yellow flesh.  And that’s a sweet potato.  And then we have this darker skinned thicker dark orange type of tuber with a little bit redder skin and a little bit more orange flesh.  And we call that a yam even though that’s also a sweet potato.

Technically, a true yam is not something that we get a lot especially in America.  It’s usually a little bit sweeter than the sweet potato.  It’s usually really big.  It’s typically got like a brown or a black skin.  But we really don’t get many of those in America.  So, when I compare a yam to a potato, what I’m comparing is really a sweet potato to a potato because the terms are used fairly interchangeably especially in America or Canada I believe is the same way as well.

Brock:  Yeah, I think so.

Ben:  So basically, when we look at a sweet potato versus a potato, the nutritional profile goes back and forth as far as which is denser from a nutrient perspective.  So, they share a lot of nutritional similarities.  Sweet potatoes and regular potatoes do.  They both are good sources of vitamin C.  They’ve got a lot of minerals in them.  You’ll get a lot of vitamin B6, a lot of potassium in each one.  Potatoes are typically a little bit higher in mineral called manganese.  And sweet potatoes are a little bit higher in iron.  And so, that’s one example of the difference between the two.  A white potato has about 90 calories.  And so does a sweet potato.  They both have fairly equal amount of carbohydrates.  A sweet potato has a little bit higher fiber but a little bit less protein.  And another thing to think about even though it seems counterintuitive with the name of the sweet potato is that the sweet potato has a slightly lower glycemic index than a regular potato which is a measure of how quickly your blood glucose is going to rise after you eat it.

Ultimately, it’s kind of a MO point because the difference isn’t that great between a sweet potato and a white potato.  But ultimately, when you are looking at this from a strict sports performance perspective, there’s not going to be a huge difference between the two in terms of actual caloric utilization.  Now, there is another issue that’s very important to bear in mind in terms of the difference between a sweet potato and a regular potato.  And that is that they are technically from a completely different botanical family.  And the reason for that is that the common baking potato, the common white potato, that is from the night shade family.  And any of the night shade plants have a substance in them called an alkaloid.  And alkaloids are something that can be inflammatory.  They can cause joint pain in people who are prone to be sensitive to alkaloid containing foods in anyone who has something like an auto-immune disease, something like kashimodos, something like rheumatoid arthritis.  Night shade plants, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplants, things of that nature, are going to something that can actually contribute to joint pain.  And it’s especially something that you don’t want to be putting into your body prior to or during exercise, those alkaloids.  Now, for that reason, I actually recommend pre-race, pre-important workout if you are going to go with a potato based starch, to actually use a sweet potato or a yam versus a regular potato just because the sweet potato and the yams are a little bit less likely to be disruptive to the digestive system or cause an issue due to that alkaloid content.

Brock:  So, you would say to take a potato on a long run at all like a regular weight potato even though they’re so nicely portable.

Ben:  Oh yeah.  You could take them on a long run certainly.  But what I’m saying is if you’ve got the luxury of being able to choose between a sweet potato or a yam and a white potato, choose a sweet potato or yam.

Brock:  I just have actually been on a number of occasions taking those little baby potatoes.  You can just boil them and throw them in a little zip lock bag.  And it’s so easy to carry them around.  Like a sweet potato, you have to chop up and you run the risk of it getting squished in your fanny pack and stuff.

Ben:  Yeah.  You are right that those baby potatoes are really convenient to just cook and put them in an aluminum foil, maybe put some sea salt on them and take out on a long workout.  And it’s really only something that someone with an auto-immune disease needs to be really concerned about.  But for me, typically I’m not eating while I’m working out.  I’m eating them before I’m working out.  So, in a case like that I choose the sweet potato or the yam over the baked potato.

Brock:  Alright.  Well, our next question comes from Glenda.  And it goes like this.

Glenda:   Hi, this is Glenda Plaza.  I’m 56 years old.  And my question is if a personal trainer states that they are a certified senior fitness trainer, what credentials should I look for in a senior personal trainer because it seems on the internet that there are a lot of questionable certificates that could be given.  My phone number is 7122395424.  My e-mail address is [email protected].  Thank you.  I enjoy your podcast.  I listen to it all the time.  Thanks, bye.

Brock:  So, what kind of credentials would you look for Ben?

Ben:  Well first of all, people should be aware that the personal training profession is not very well regulated when it comes to training certifications.  And technically, a personal trainer doesn’t legally have to meet any federal or state requirements like a doctor or a nurse would need to be able to do.  And you can get a personal training certification in a weekend online if you really want to for just a handful of dollars.  And you can call yourself a personal trainer and slap a personal trainer certification badge on your website or your shirt or wherever else.  Unfortunately, a lot of gyms especially a lot of independent gyms and not the big named gyms or the franchise gyms so much.  But the independent gyms, you’ll find that a lot of them will hire these personal trainers just because they’ll work for not very much money.  I mean the average personal trainer makes like 25 thousand dollars a year.  And so, you don’t need to pay a personal trainer a whole lot especially if they’re coming to you with one of these weekend certifications.  But gyms will still hire them because it’s good for a gym to have a personal trainer on staff.  That’s an added value that a gym can put on to its cell list.  But when you look at actual personal trainer certifications that are worth the results so to speak, there are definitely some things that you want to look for.

The first really important thing to look at over and above any certification from anywhere is whether there’s a college degree present because when you look at basic fitness knowledge and this was actually recorded in the Journal of Strength Conditioning Research.  You’ll find that trainers who have a college degree are going to typically score a little bit better on tests of basic fitness knowledge.  And if you add experience into that equation, you’re going to test even higher.  So, a trainer with five years of experience or more plus a college degree are going to blow out of the water trainers who maybe have a certification but no college degree or have a certification and a college degree but have very little experience.  So, those are some of the more important things to look for are college degree and experience.  But when you’re looking at the actual certification, I know there’s a lot of alphabet soup out there when it comes to all the different certifications that you can get.  But the ones that you want to look for, the certifications that actually have components in the certification process that cover working with seniors or a programming fitness for older adults would be basically five of them.

Look at the National Strength and Conditioning Association which is abbreviated NSCA.  Look at the National Academy of Sports Medicine which is abbreviated NASM.  Look at them, and I realize I’m kind of focusing on America here, but look at the American Council of Exercise which is ACE.  Look at the American Fitness Professionals Association which is AFPA and finally, the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America which is AFAA.  Those are going to be the certifications that generally are a little bit more rigorous.  A little bit more difficult to get or it can involve a weekend certification typically requires some type of experience and/or college degree.  And they’re going to ensure that you actually get a trainer who at least, you can have the peace of mind, is educated.

Now, there are other things to look for.  Look at references.  Does the personal trainer have references?  Have they worked with other people before and do other people have anything to say about them?  Does the trainer carry insurance or does the gym where the trainer is working provide that trainer with insurance?  Every trainer should have liability insurance.  I personally carry general and professional liability insurance for myself as a personal trainer.  And I did that even when I worked at other gyms that also had liability insurance just because it’s double coverage.  And generally, that’s a sign that a personal trainer is operating themselves in a professional manner.  You need to look into whether or not the trainer actually has the education to be able to dispense nutritional advice or medical advice if that’s something that they’re doing, because if they are not certified as a nutritionist or a dietitian or carry some other type of certification that allows them to be able to intelligently dispense nutritional advice, you may want to raise an eyebrow at that.  I’d look into whether or not the trainer themselves is healthy.  And I’ve seen this a lot before.  I’ve seen some dumpy looking trainers.  And I’m not saying that you can’t be a great personal trainer and maybe be out of shape.  Maybe you’ve just got something going on in your life that doesn’t allow you to get fit as you ideally like to be able to do.

But for the most part, the better trainers are going to be fit themselves.  They’re going to be walking the walk in addition to talking the talk.  And then finally, I would make sure that prior to any type of long term commitment with a trainer, you make sure that the chemistry is right.  You make sure that you’ve had a chance to actually hang out with that trainer.  Maybe do some sessions with them and not be required to sign up for any type of long term contract before you’ve made sure that that trainer is actually right for you.  You get along with them.

Brock:  Wow!  It sounds like a really complicated process when you lay it out like that.  But really, I think if you go back and listened to what Ben just said, doing a little bit of research on the person that you’ve chosen to see what all that alphabet soup means is probably the first step.  And then of course, I’m glad that he mentioned the experience because personally I think the experience can make up for a lot of lack of trainer or education in some ways too.

Ben:  It’s the same way that you should treat anything when it has to do with someone else being in-charge of what goes on with your body.  I mean, I don’t go to the doctor and tell I’ve stalked that doctor online and found out as much about them as I can.  I just don’t do it.  I don’t take for granted that the fact that the doctor is a doctor makes them a person that is going to take good care of my body.  I always go above and beyond.  And I look for references.  And I look for experience.  And I look for testimonials.  And basically do as much as I can to research the person that’s going to be calling the shots when it comes to what goes into my body or basically the way that I am taken care of.

Brock:  Even the person at the bottom of the class still graduates.

Ben:  Yeah, exactly.  That’s what they say when they call somebody who gets a C or a D in medical school, a doctor.

Brock:  Alright.  Well, let’s move on to the next question from Shawn.  And it goes like this.

Shawn:  Hi Ben.  This is Shawn from Las Vegas, Nevada.  I have a question for the show.  And it has to do with setting goals for this upcoming triathlon season.  I would like to know more information on how I can accurately set my triathlon goals for the upcoming year.  And in regard to that goal setting, is how would one go about setting the appropriate specific time on a triathlon so I can take my training information and implement that into my overall race.  Thanks for the show.  Hope you make time.

Brock:  So, I know it’s the perfect time of the year to talk about setting race goals.  So, this is really perfect Shawn.  Now, how do you go about that Ben?

Ben:  Yeah.  This is obviously kind of a tough question.  It seemed really general at first.  What I want to do is just lay out a general response with something that I think would be really helpful for folks.  And that is that the very first thing that you want to do is have a realistic time frame in mind.  So, here are realistic time frames.  If you want to do right around a distance of about a  5k like a 5 k run up to about a sprint triathlon, anything around in that range, give yourself 12 to 15 weeks.  Okay?  And you’re always going to choose the longer end depending on your level of fitness.  Lower fitness is going to be longer prep time.  For anything from about a 10k run up to about an Olympic distance triathlon, give yourself about 12 to 20 weeks.  Okay?  And I realize that’s a little bit bigger spread.  But again, it’s a longer event.  From about a half marathon up to a half Ironman distance, give yourself about 12 to 25 weeks.  Okay?  25 weeks would be you’ve never done a half Ironman before.  And you really want to spend a lot of time getting ready for it and being able to do it well.

You can be ready for something like a half marathon though in as few as 12 weeks.  And if you wanted to do something like an Ironman, like a full on Ironman, anywhere from 12 if you’ve done an Ironman before and you’re not a beginner.  And you’ve got a lot of endurance.  Anywhere from 12 weeks up to about 35 weeks.  And like my triathlon dominator program, the Ironman program that I wrote out, that’s 35 weeks long.  And actually, it’s technically 36 weeks long.  But that takes into account the fact that the person using it would want to be as prepared as possible.  And it comes with modifications that would allow you to jump in at the four or the eight or the 12 week mark if you’re already were in pretty good shape.  But those are some time frames that you would want to look at.  And then once you have a realistic idea of what you’re going to be able to do base on those time frames that I’ve just described, then you choose an event and you count backwards from that event.

So, what I mean by that is let’s say that you want to do an Olympic distance triathlon.  You choose that race on the calendar.  And you count one to two weeks back from that.  And those one to two weeks are going to be the weeks in which you do what’s called a taper and then you peak for that race.  Meaning, you’re kind of backing off on the workout, starting to go easy on your body, starting to let yourself get a lot of R and R.  And putting yourself into a state where you’re going to have as much room as possible to attack that race.  For about 8 to 12 weeks prior to that, you’re going to do what’s called the build phase which is the toughest part of the entire training season and the period of time during which you are building in your intensity.  And in the number of workouts that you do that are really at more of like a race pace intensity.  For anywhere from eight up to as many as 20 weeks prior to that depending on the distance that you’re going to do, you are going to do what’s called base training which is laying down an aerobic foundation doing longer workouts, working on your skill, your efficiency, your form.  And that’s basically where you either stop.  Or if you’re still long ways out, maybe you’re planning next year, you also work in a little bit of pre-base phase which is sometimes just doing things like making sure that you know how to use all your equipment.  And you’ve done some strength training.  And you’ve taken care of any injuries that you may have.  And you’re kind of getting yourself ready to train.  And that’s kind of that foundation period or what might even be called an off season period.

So, when you’re looking at trying to decide what kind of race can you do and when do you start and how do you prep for it, obviously a coach really helps you go through that process.  But those are the general recommendations.  Give yourself 12 to 15 weeks for like a spring to a five k, 12 to 20 weeks for an Olympic distance or a ten k, 12 to 25 weeks for a half Ironman or a half marathon, 12 to 35 weeks for a full marathon or a full Ironman.  And then pick the date and count backwards using some of those recommendations that I just laid out in terms of giving yourself a one to two week taper, and eight to 12 week build phase, an eight to 20 week base phase and then if you’ve got a little bit time left over, a little bit of an off season.

Brock:  Cool.  So, I’m going to take it just another step further and say that that’s a great way to plan for your first race.  But let’s say you want to actually do two or three races during the season.  How would you choose the second or third and how much time should you give yourself between the races?

Ben:  Give yourself about anywhere from three to five races that you’re going to really have as like your most important races of the season.  And try and space those out by about three to four weeks if you can which is going to allow you time to recover from one race and still rebuild your fitness to get ready for the next race.  And from here, it really depends.  This something that we could talk about for a long time, it depends on the distance of the race really.  You can’t do three Ironman triathlons in a year and expect to do really well on all of them unless you’re super advanced.  So, what you generally want to do is just choose a few races that are going to be your real priority races.  And then in between those or leading up to those, you prep or less prioritize races, races that you’re going to do just for fun or just for training sessions or just for experience to get your chops before you go into the important event.  And I mean, it’s a long process.

I typically about three or four times a month I’m writing out annual training plans for folks who actual hire me to write out their entire training plan for the season.  And it usually takes me about two to three weeks per plan.  I mean, to sit there and actually plan all out.  So, it’s not an easy process.  A lot goes into planning out your entire race season if you are trying to do multiple races and peak for certain races and really have everything done just so.  So, this is a really involved process.  I mean this is something people go to school to learn how to do.  So, I don’t want to blow off the question.  And I know my response was kind of general.  But if we’ve gotten into the specifics, we could be here for hours.

Brock:  So basically Shawn, what Ben is saying is setting your race goals for the coming year, hire Ben.  It’s that easy.  You’re done.

Ben:  Or just replay and listen to what I just said about four or five times and it’ll eventually catch on.

Brock:  Alright.  The next question comes from Matt.

Matt:  Hey Ben, this is Matt calling from the Canary Islands.  And wow, usually the quality of a website or TV series etc. goes down the hill as time goes on.  And we could see that Ben Greenfield fitness stayed at the top.  Thank you so much for your hard work which plays a big role in my training and nutrition.  And I’ve got a question.  A triathlete friend of mine and I were researching and discussing if we could find the simple equation to use when you’re swapping a bike training session for a running session  and vice versa.  Our thought is and there are a lot of factors that I know of fat burning and weighing that sort of thing.  But our thought is having the same heart rate you can take distance running on a flat surface or flat plain is about the same as three times that same distance on the steep inclined with a bike.  What do you think?  Thanks for helping us figure out how we can swap a bike workout for one of our running workouts.  Have a great day.  Goodbye.

Brock:  So, Matt wants to swap some bike training sessions for some running sessions or vice versa.  How would you go about doing that?

Ben:  This is a good question.  There’s actually a doctor over at the University of Texas who did some studying on this.  And he developed basically a conversion chart for cyclist primarily who wanted to discover what a cycling session would translate into when it comes to its running equivalent.  And the way it’s basically done is you estimate the approximate calorie burning equivalent between running and cycling.  So, you’re looking at the metabolic cost.  The number of calories burnt in cycling versus running.  It’s kind of difficult to do.  For example, if you look at cycling, the amount of energy that you burn cycling is really going to go up significantly based on your speed because the faster you go the more wind resistance is going to come into play.  Now, the difference between running four miles an hour or six miles an hour is not going to be super significant when it comes to wind resistance.  But the difference between cycling 15 miles an hour and 17 and 18 miles an hour is actually fairly significant when it comes to extra energy that you burn for wind resistance.  So, these are not exact calorie conversions.  But the basic way that it works, and I’m going to put the conversion multipliers or actually they are conversion dividers into the show notes so that you can see, is you take a certain speed that you have been riding.

For example, let’s say you’re riding your bicycle at 15 miles an hour.  And you know how many calories per mile you’re going to burn based off of the numbers that I’ll put into the show notes for this episode.  But for 15 miles an hour, it’s approximately 31 calories per mile that you burn.  It’s going vary just a little bit.  If you’re heavier, that’s going to be a little bit more.  If you are lighter, it’s going to be a little bit less.  But it’s about 31 calories per mile that you’re going to burn when you’re going 15 miles an hour on the bike.   And so, if you’re riding 20 miles at 15 miles an hour, you would burn basically at 31 calories per mile you multiply 31 by 20 and it’s going to be about 620 calories that you would burn during a 20 mile ride 15 miles an hour.

Now, the way that you would determine the running equivalent of riding 20 miles at 15 miles per hour is you divide the distance that you cycled by the actual conversion divider that this doctor came up with for the 15 mile per hour speed.  And what you get is 20 miles divided by the 15 mile per hour conversion divider which happens to be 3.5.  You get a result of 5.7 miles.  So, what that means is if you ride your bike 20 miles at 15 miles per hour, you would basically be doing approximately the same amount of work as running 5.7 miles.  Now, there’s obviously a little bit of math that goes into this.  But based on the conversion chart, it’s fairly easy to do.  And I’ll put the numbers in the show notes for anybody who wants to look into this.  But I think that there’s something important to bear in mind when you are looking at converting your cycling miles to running miles.  And that is that you are going to be using some really different muscles in cycling versus running.

So when you run, you’re going to be using primarily your adductors, the muscles on the inside of your thigh and your hamstrings so your hip extensors, the pushing off muscles.   And when you ride your bike, you’re primarily using essentially your glutes like your upper hamstrings and your hip flexors and your quads and your calves.  And you’re looking at a really significant difference.  I mean cycling, to put it in simple terms, using a lot more muscles on the front of your legs.  And in running, you’re using a lot more muscles on the back of your legs.  And so, even though the calorie burning equivalent can be quantified and can be calculated, you’re still going to be using a lot different muscles when you cycle versus when you run.  And so, you need to realize that even though it may seem like it, they’re both cardiovascular leg exercises, they’re really using significantly different muscles.  And you really can’t just straight up switch out a running session for a cycling session and vice versa and count it as a similar training session because it’s just not.  It’s just very different in terms of muscle utilization.

Brock:  Alright.  So, our question comes from Jan.

Jan:  Hey, Ben.  I heard you also play some mean tennis. I used to play competitive juniors and collegiate tennis before I injured my knee. That’s when I discovered running which was my favorite cross training activity back then.  And then I eventually moved on to triathlons.  I’ve been getting the itch to pick up my racket again and play a tournament that my company is working on organizing.  I’m a little hesitant to do that since I have already started training for the 2012 tri season although my first “A race” is in May and the tennis tournament is in March. What do you think? Are there any benefits that I will gain from playing tennis? Or maybe I’m risking my tri season too much by playing tennis?  Thanks and great work.  And by the way, you may want to consider the Ironman 70.3 Philippines this August.

Ben:  Nice.  Actually, that’s sounds like fun.  Maybe I’ll buy ticket to the Philippines after I finish this podcast.

Brock:  Alright.

Ben:  So, yeah I play a lot of tennis.  I played collegiate tennis.  I play number one singles for my team here in Spokane.  And I’m usually on the courts about three times a week.   And there is a little bit of cross over from tennis to triathlon.  And the cross over that you are going to find is in your turnover in your leg speed.  So, in tennis you are shifting direction a lot.  You are picking your feet up quickly off the ground.  You’re doing a lot of really short fast switch muscle type of sprints.  And of course, it is a completely different sport, much different energy system.  But you’re still getting basically the effect of say if you want to do a plyometric session which is a jumping, hopping, skipping, bounding type of session designed to make you a better runner.  You’re getting a lot of that similar effect if you play a tennis match.  And I try and amplify that effect by doing a lot of things like while I’m waiting for a serve, hopping from leg to leg.

In between games or sets, sometimes I’ll just hop up and down a little bit just to continue to work those elastic plyometric muscles, helping myself to reduce the amount my foot spends in contact with the ground after it hits the ground which can really help you become a faster runner.  For example, when I won gold medal for the USA at the IT World Championships, I was running once a week and that’s it.  One long run a week.  And other than that I was just playing tennis and riding my ElliptiGO a bit.  And the tennis was how I was keeping my legs speed up.  And that was about two to three times a week for 60 to 90 minutes tennis practice or tennis matches.  So, there is some cross over there.  You do need to be careful.

Tennis is tough on your shoulders especially whichever shoulder you are swinging the racket with.  And so, you need to make sure you’re not getting in the overuse injuries.   Playing tennis for example on the same days that you swim can sometimes be a bad idea.  And you need to realize that tennis is not really, unless you’re playing a hard match, it’s not super aerobically demanding.  And so, you can’t go out and play maybe 90 minutes or two hours of tennis and check that off as doing a 90 minute to two hour run.  It’s probably more like the equivalent of maybe a 20 to 30 minute run if you’re trying to find out the calorie burning of the metabolic equivalent kind like what we did between running and cycling.  So, there are advantages.  There are disadvantages.  And of course when I play tennis the fact that I do try to hop from foot to foot as I am waiting for a serve and do jumps in between games and stuff like that.  It does make it more metabolically demanding.  And I can turn it into a little bit more aerobic workout by doing stuff like that.  But I would say, especially if you enjoy tennis, go for it.  Play it as cross training.  And I play tennis year round and love it as a cross training sport.

Brock:  Yeah.  I wish I was better at tennis man.  That’s such a fun sport when you actually can play.  But it can be so tedious if you suck.

Ben:  Yeah.  The trick to getting better is all in your gear.  So, you got to get some Andre Agassi style like cut off jean shorts, head band, fake tupé, like Andre wore.  And that’d be a great start.  Good luck with it.

Brock:  I grew out the John McEnroe hairdo for a while there.  I found that really helped as well.

Ben:  Yeah.  It’s all in the hair.

Brock:  Okay.  Carlos.

Carlos:  Can you clarify something for me? When it comes to the muscle fibers we contain, can they actually change from one type to another or do we just recruit one type more than the other based on the type of load?

Ben:  Short answer is the latter.  You mostly recruit one type or the other and use a mix.  The research kind of goes back and forth in terms of muscle fiber conversion.  But it’s kind of inconclusive to whether or not a muscle fiber can actually convert from one fiber to another versus just take on some of the characteristics of a different fiber.

Brock:  Are we actually talking about like slow twitch versus fast twitch?  Or what are the different types of fibers?

Ben:  The different types of fibers kind of vary based on how detailed you want to get.  But the big picture is that you’re looking at three types.  So, you have your type one fibers.  These would be your slow twitch fibers, your very fatigue resistant fibers that can go for long periods of time.  And the reason they can for long periods of time is because they use an energy system that’s called your oxidative energy system.  So, that means that they’re really good at taking oxygen that you breathe in and turning into energy at a fairly slow rate but for a long period of time.  So, slow twitch muscle fiber.  It’s red because it’s got a lot of blood capillaries and a lot of mitochondria in it.

So, you get a lot of that iron content turning the muscle a little bit dark.  When you’re looking at a dark turkey leg or dark chicken leg, those are the red fibers, the slow twitch muscle fibers.  And they’re really able to more efficiently do things like burn fat as a fuel, take oxygen and turn it into energy and just basically keep you going during aerobic activity.  But they’re really crappy at doing things like strength production and power production and jumping high and sprinting and things of that nature.  When you’re looking at the next fiber up, it’s called a type two-A muscle fiber.  And the type two-A muscle fiber also has a little bit of red appearance to it.  And it is able to actually have a decent amount of mitochondria, have a decent amount of blood capillarization which is why it’s red.  But it’s got a little bit higher capacity for generating ATP through simply splitting sugars and turning sugar into energy essentially versus the type one muscle fibers which basically they don’t have large amounts of storage carbohydrate.  They’re called glycogen.  And the type two-A muscle fibers are stronger.  They would be something you’d use for middle distance running or swimming.  So, they’ve still got some endurance but not as much endurance as slow twitch muscle fibers.  And then you’ve got your type two-B muscle fibers which are white.  Now, they don’t have much mitochondrion.  They don’t have much blood capillarization.  They split ATP very quickly.  I mean they make energy quickly.  They’ve got lots of creatine in them.  So, they use a different energy system.  They’re very good at power, very good at strength.  They’re something you would use for sprinting, for weight lifting.  And they’re the white meat on the turkey or the white meat on the chicken.  And so, that’s the differentiation between the three.

Now, what you’re generally looking at is that the middle fiber that I talked about, the type two-A muscle fiber, that’s the one that can go back and forth between on more characteristics of a slow twitch muscle fiber depending on the training that you do or taking on more characteristics of a fast twitch muscle fiber depending on the type of training that you do.  So, if you do a lot of slow endurance training, you can increase the amount of mitochondria and blood capillarization and endurance characteristics of your type two-A muscle fibers.  But that doesn’t mean that they’re actually converting into a type one muscle fiber and vice versa.  You could also throw a lot of sprint training and explosive training and cause your type two-A muscle fibers to have more characteristics that are like a type two-B muscle fiber.  Meaning, not so much mitochondria and a little bit better at using creatine and pure sugar for energy.  So, everybody’s got a mix of all these different types of fibers.  And whatever you do, you’re using mixes of the different types of fibers.  You’re never using just one type of fiber.  You’re always using a mix.  But the type of activity that you do, your genetics, it’s going to influence your actual percentage of muscle fiber types.

Brock:  Alright.  I hope that helps Carlos.  It certainly helped me.  Our next question comes from Peter.

Peter:  While home for the holidays both my Mom and Dad commented that my breath smelled like alcohol. However, I had not had anything to drink that day or several days prior. As part of our investigation I tested my blood sugar with my Grandpa’s machine and the results were normal. My Mom concluded that my body was producing ketones because I am not consuming enough carbohydrates. Having researched ketones online I realize this can be a serious issue. I work out frequently, five to six days per week. Recently I have been lifting and will be starting to train for a full triathlon taking place in April. Can you help me understand more about ketones, how they’re caused, and how I can avoid this training/fueling error going forward in my active life?

Ben:  Sure, absolutely.  I’ll do that in just a second.  I’m not sure if any of the listeners can hear that it sounds like right now I’m in a fire zone in a war district.  But it sounds like my children are actually turning on their police cars outside my office door.  So, you don’t need to cut this out of the podcast Brock, especially if we’re going to start doing the podcast live.  But if you give me just one moment, let me make sure that those police cars go away and then I’ll get onto ketosis.  One minute.  Okay.  But you could cut that awkwardly long pause out if you want.

Brock:  Hey, I was singing.  It was beautiful.

Ben:  Okay.  Good.  Get your guitar out too.  Okay.  So, ketosis is something that confuses a lot of people because there are two different definitions of it really.  So, one is ketosis and one is ketoacidosis.  So, the short answer is when most people freak out about hearing about ketosis, what they’re worried about is ketoacidosis which is a really dangerous state for diabetics to be in but not something that the general population really needs to worry about too much.  What ketosis is, is basically elevated levels of key tone bodies circulating in your blood stream.  And the way that you would get elevated levels of ketone bodies is basically if you’re carbohydrate stores are fairly depleted.  So, you are eating a low carbohydrate diet.  Your liver doesn’t have a lot of carbohydrate.  Your muscles don’t have a lot of carbohydrate.  You’re going to have to basically use a different store of energy or different form of energy and when your glycogen stores are not available to be able to burn.  And so, what happens is you burn fat.  You cleave the fat.  You split fat.  And it makes fatty acid chains.  And it makes basically what’s called a glycerol molecule.  And that’s called lipolysis when you breakdown fat to be able to burn it as a fuel.  And that’s really nice because most of the body is able to use these fatty acids as a source of energy basically through a process of beta oxidation.  Your body can take fat and it can actually convert into ATP or energy.  Now, it does it a little bit more slowly.

So, when you’re burning fatty acids as a fuel, you’re really not able to sprint and do heavy weight lifting that well.  But you can make energy just fine.  And once you are used to it, then you’re used to burning fatty acids for fuel.  You can also think and function during the day fairly well.  So, when you are beta oxidizing, all these fatty acids, one of the byproducts of that is called acetyl CoA.  And acetyl CoA is in the liver used to produce ketone bodies.  And that puts you into a state of what’s called ketosis.  So, the reason that you produce these ketone bodies is that there is a part of your body that doesn’t do a very good job at using fatty acids for energy and that is your brain.  And your brain loves to use these ketone bodies for energy.  And so, you’ll get these ketone bodies crossing the blood-brain barrier and keeping you thinking and keeping your brain from turning off when you’re burning all these fatty acids for fuel.  So, your body is producing these fatty acids.  And you’re also getting the ketones body produced as a by-product of producing the fatty acids.  Your muscles are using a lot of these fatty acids for fuel.  And your brain is using a lot of these ketones for fuel.  And so, ketosis doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re burning ketones for energy.  Your brain is using them.  But most of your muscles are actually just using fatty acids.  And your brain eventually can adapt to using ketones typically when you start into a low carbohydrate diet.

It takes about anywhere from one week to three weeks for you to kind of be able to focus and get used to your brain not burning glucose as its primary energy source.  But what I’m getting at here is that ketosis is a natural mechanism, a natural response of your body when carbohydrates aren’t really around in high amounts.  And your body can get by just fine on that.  It may not be ideal for sprinting and for really active people.  But for the most part, it’s not going to be an issue.  Now, what can be an issue is this ketoacidosis.  And when diabetic patients are looking at their urine, they know that if they’re seeing a high amount of ketones when doing a urine test that is a danger signal.   That they’re not doing a very good job controlling their diabetes because if you get massive amounts of these ketone bodies produced, then what it can do is it can affect the pH of your blood.  And that’s called ketoacidosis.  And that overwhelms your body’s acid base buffering mechanism.  And you basically get into a very acidic state.  And it’s not a healthy place to be when you’re a diabetic.  And the only person that really needs to worry about that in most cases is somebody who is a diabetic in terms of ketoacidosis.  Essentially, it’s due to a shortage of insulin.  And it’s usually something that happens to people who get type one diabetes.  And what’s going to happen is if you get into a really intense state of ketoacidosis, you can go into a diabetic coma.  Simply having a breath that smells a little bit like alcohol simply means that you’re burning ketones or you’re producing a lot more ketones.   And that’s not something to be worried about unless you have diabetes in which case it’d be something to consider.  So, ketosis though overall is not a really bad thing.  A lot of people really could use a little bit of training in how to burn fatty acids as a fuel with their muscles and how to burn ketones as a fuel for their brain.

Brock:  I know my body could use some lessons on how to burn some fat.

Ben:  Yeah.  I mean it’s as simple as switching to a low carbohydrate diet and letting yourself get into that state of ketosis.  It’s a little bit uncomfortable but once you get used to it I mean I can go through a week of training and eat anywhere from 100 to 300 calories a day now.  And it’s because I’m used to being in a state of ketosis.  I don’t do that when I’m getting ready for a race because I want more carbohydrates to burn.  But I’ve certainly trained my body to be able to do it.  And it’s great to be able to be a fat burning machine like that.

Brock:  Awesome, a fat burning machine.  Alright, and our final question for the day comes from Chris.

Chris:  My question is two-fold.  My dad has been struggling with what we believe to be adrenal fatigue. He has a whole host of symptoms and has been to all kinds of doctors over the past year and has had just about everything else ruled out. He has really worked on reducing stress and this has helped to some degree. Currently, his diet is excessively high in carbohydrates especially refined simple carbohydrates. So, my first question is do you have any specific diet recommendations for people with adrenal fatigue and  supplements as well, and secondly, I am curious if you have written a book or have a good recommendation of a low-carbohydrates/whole-foods based diet for the general population. I am aware of your fuelling books for athletes but not sure if you have one for a non-athlete who really isn’t concerned with fueling etc. One of the major issues with whole foods diet books that really bothers me is they seem to give fat a bad name.

Ben:  Well, let me start by saying that adrenal fatigue isn’t even a medical condition.  It’s not a real medical condition.  There’s no actual diagnosis for adrenal fatigue.  Typically, what you’re looking at when you’re talking about what most people refer to as adrenal fatigue is just adrenal insufficiency.  And that’s a condition where your adrenal glands don’t produce as many steroid hormones as they are supposed to be producing.  Normally, your adrenal glands produce cortisol.  And they’re also going to be responsible for producing something called aldosterone.  And both of these regulate among other things, your sodium, your potassium, your water retention.  And so a lot of times, that’s why you will somebody who’s really stressed out and unable to lose weight simply because they’re retaining a lot of fluids because their aldosterone mechanism is thrown off.

Now, adrenal insufficiency can be caused by over stimulating your adrenal glands, over producing cortisol by stressing yourself out too much.  That can be accomplished through chronic lack of sleep.  It can be achieved through doing a cross fit workout twice a day for a few months.  It can be achieved through Ironman training and long slow bike rides every weekend for years on end.  There are many ways that you can over stimulate your adrenal glands and get into a state of adrenal insufficiency.  The thing is once you’re there, you’re approached to getting back out of a state of adrenal insufficiency is basically going to be reducing the type of stresses that cause you to get there in the first place.  And they certainly can be dietary.

For example, caffeine and alcohol are examples of two dietary substances that are able to stress your kidneys and your adrenal glands.  And those would be two very obvious things to make sure that you are reduced in your diet when you are experiencing symptoms of adrenal insufficiency.  Gluten can also be particularly harsh on the adrenals.  And I would also recommend for anyone who is experiencing adrenal insufficiency to look at going gluten free.  And not just going gluten free but also being really careful with severe fluctuations on your blood sugar caused by carbohydrates which we just got done talking about.  So, making sure that you’re not consuming a high carbohydrate diet would also be prudent if you’re experiencing symptoms of adrenal insufficiency.  When it comes to diet, there are certainly some supplements that you can take.  But before you even start to dip in to things like supplements, you need to look at stress and sleep.

You need to make sure that you are controlling stress by taking some time off work or really stepping back on what you’re committed to from a work perspective.  If you’re working out and you’re working out hard and you’re experiencing symptoms of adrenal insufficiency, you should switch to just doing yoga and some really easy walks.  And I’ve had people come to me before who is weight loss resistant, who were just training the heck out of themselves and they come to me because they’re not losing weight.  And they expect all these different workouts from me.  And then they freak out when I give them yoga and easy walking for two weeks which I’ve done before.  And I’ll combine that with reducing caffeine, reducing alcohol, going on a low carbohydrate diet, not eating as much period, and then using some of the supplements that I’ll talk about in a second.  And it’s just like hitting the reboot button on your body.  In some people who have really severely over trained themselves and they are in severe states of adrenal insufficiency, unfortunately, it can take almost a year sometimes to allow your body to reset.  I knew a bodybuilder that had to do that.  I mean, he was bedridden for six months.  And then eventually when he could get out of bed and he wasn’t severely over trained anymore and wasn’t completely rock bottom with his adrenal gland production.  Then he was able to slowly start into things.  But he was never even able to train again the way that he used to.  So, it can be quite serious if you let yourself stay in this state for a long period of time.  So, you need to dig yourself out from this stress perspective.  And you need to really focus on getting to bed at an adequate time preferably before 11 pm and trying to sleep about eight hours a night because your cortisol cycle is really dependent on your circadian rhythm.  And since cortisol is one of the primary culprits of over production of it or I’m sorry under production of it.  When it comes to adrenal insufficiency, you are going to want to make sure that you sleep adequately.

And then finally, you look at supplements.  And the reason I say finally is because so many people just don’t change their lives at all and try to shove a bunch of supplements down the hatch.  And that’s not the way that you fix your body.  You have to make lifestyle changes and dietary changes first.  But you can certainly increase your amount of omega three fatty acid intakes.  And the way that you would do that is through things like cold pressed organic flaks, and fish oil, and cold water fish, well caught salmon, walnuts, things of that nature.  You can stabilize your blood sugar levels by including medium changed glycerides in your diet.  The best way to do that is to add in a few table spoons of an extra virgin organic coconut oil into your diet because adrenal insufficiency a lot of times causes essentially hyponatremia or really low levels of electrolytes in your bloodstream based on that problem with aldosterone production and the problem with being able to actually retain enough proper electrolytes.  You can actually include electrolytes.  You can get a Himalayan sea salt.  Or you can even take electrolyte capsules and add some type of mineralized salt into your diet.  Or make sure that you’re using some type of electrolytes or like full spectrum liquid mineral type of supplement on a daily basis.  You want to really take care of your immunity and your digestive tracks.

So, I’d certainly make sure you’re getting a lot of live active cultures in your diet fermented, naturally fermented sauerkraut, or like a turn of krauts, kefir, yogurt, kombucha, things of that nature as unprocessed and unpasteurized as possible.  I’d be really careful with your carbohydrate intake as I mentioned.  And from a supplement perspective, the other thing that I’d really think about probably the single most powerful thing that you can do from a supplementations standpoint would be Chinese adaptogenic herbs.  And not just like buying cheap stuff because typically the cheap stuff is sprayed with ethylene oxide and sits in big bins in China for four or five or six or ten years.  Get a really high quality Chinese adaptogenic herb.  For example, one that a few of my clients take is called tianchi.  And that’s a really good mix of Chinese adaptogenic herbs which actually really helps stabilize your cortisol production and can help with something like adrenal insufficiency.  So, I’d really recommend that you look into that as well.

There are a huge number of supplements that you’re going to be able to find on the internet that claim to take you out of the state of adrenal fatigue and stabilize your cortisol levels and all that.  I mean, the list is 20 miles long.  I’m not going to sit here and read all these different supplements off to you versus just telling you the ones I’d really prioritize.  Omega three fatty acids, some medium triglycerides like an extra virgin coconut oil, and then a really high quality Chinese adaptogenic herb.

Brock:  I know Chris was asking specifically some advice from a non-athlete.  But I think all of this, the advice you gave, is quite universal.  It doesn’t matter if you are an athlete or a non-athlete.  These are the things you need to address if you’re showing the signs of adrenal fatigue or insufficiency.

Ben:  Yeah.  And as far as that low carbohydrate thing, I did write a book lowcarbtriathlete.com.  And yes, that book was written from an athlete’s perspective.  But all you need to do if you’re not an athlete is cut out the pre-workout and the post-workout meals and anything that says here after this workout eat carbohydrate.  You just cut out the stuff that has to do with working out and sports.  And then, it’s basically a really good low carbohydrate diet that doesn’t include things like gluten, for example.

Brock:  Excellent.  Well, that wraps all the listener questions for this week.  Once again, it was awesome to have those audio questions.  So, if you do want to call in and leave an audio question, you will get priority over the written ones.  So, feel free to do that.  Otherwise, keep the questions coming everybody.  They’re awesome.

Ben:  Yes.  And as mentioned last week, we are splitting up the Q and A from the featured topic.  The featured topic was supposed to be release last Saturday.  But it’s actually getting released this Friday.  And it’s a really shocking interview with Doctor Debra Davis who wrote a book about essentially how cell phone companies gamble with your brain and a lot of the stuff that we don’t know and we don’t realize when it comes to microwave radiation from cell phones.  And I don’t want to be the silly ice in there with aluminum foil on my head.  But at the same time, this stuff was really compelling in terms of scientific evidence presented in her book that I talk with her about in the interview that I’ll release this Friday.  So, I highly recommend that you take a listen to that.

And then of course, if you have comments or questions, leave them on the show notes for that episode.  And if you have comments or questions about this episode, episode number 178 or you want to access any of the resources that I talked about from the speaking engagements that I’ll be at this weekend and the next weekend to the news flashes that we linked to, to any of the listener questions, just head over to BenGreenfieldFitness.com show notes for podcast for episode 178.  And while you’re there, a donation is always appreciated and a huge thanks and a huge shout out goes to the folks who donated to the podcast.  So, Brock I think that about wraps it up for this week.

Brock:  That does it.  Just quickly, I wanted to say that we’ve got a couple of e-mails from people who were curious with the toothpaste you were talking about on the last episode.  Remember, whenever we talk about something like that, it ends up in the show notes.  So, do go back to episode 177 to those of you who are curious about the charcoal toothpaste.

Ben:  Yeah.  I put a link there.  Or if you just want to jot this down to yourself, go to inneryou.com.  I’m not affiliated with that website at all.  But it’s inneryou.com.  And that’s where I get my charcoal toothpaste.

Brock:  Awesome.

Ben:  So, that ought to keep you busy folks brushing your teeth all week long.  So, until next time, this is Ben and Brock signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.

For personal nutrition, fitness or triathlon consulting, supplements, books or DVD’s from Ben Greenfield, please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net



Do you have a future podcast question for Ben? click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, Skype to “pacificfit” or scroll down on this post to access the free “Ask Ben” form…

In this January 11, 2012 free audio episode: Why Sweet Potatoes Are Better Than Regular Potatoes. Also: personal trainer credentials, setting race goals, bike to run equivalencies, tennis as triathlon training, can muscle fibers change type, ketoacidosis, and adrenal fatigue.

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Thursday, January 11 – 11:59pm PST The Tri-Ripped.com launch. Get it at www.tri-ripped.com

Thursday, January 12th – 6-7pm Pacific: “Eating For Endurance”: In this USAT webinar, sports nutritionist Ben Greenfield will speak about proper endurance nutrition for anyone preparing for a long distance event; trail runners, triathletes, adventure racers, cyclists, paddlers, and epic hikers. You’ll learn how to fuel before, during and after your event, and set yourself up for success by eating smart. Sign up to attend.

Saturday, January 14 – 11am to noon – “Fat Loss & Fitness Open Forum” at Pilgrim's Wellness Institute in Coeur D' Alene, ID. Get more details at: www.pilgrimsmarket.com

Saturday, January 21 – 9am to 4pm – “Total Transformation Health Expo” in Rose Creek, California!

Ben is now logging his daily diet & exercise sessions at: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/innercircle <–get in now for a buck!

Coming this Friday – “How Cell Phones Gamble With Your Brain: 7 Ways To Protect Yourself” – an interview with Devra Davis, author of Disconnect.


News Flashes:


Listener Q&A:

Audio Question from Keith:
How do yams stack up against regular potatoes as a fuel during a long run.

Audio Question from Clienda:
What credentials should she look for in a senior personal trainer.

Audio Question from Shawn:
Advice on setting race goals for the coming year.

Audio Question from Matt:
Is interested in how to swap a bike session for a running session (and vice versa).

~ Conversion factors for different cycling speeds: 10MPH=4.2, 15MPH=3.5, 20MPH=2.9, 25MPH=2.3, and 30MPH=1.9. Divide number of miles ridden by the conversion factor for your riding speed to tell you the equivalent miles of running at any speed. So for 20 miles on the bike at 10MPH, divide 20 miles by 4.2 and that results in the equivalent of 4.8 miles of running. This formula is for approximately 155 pounds. A larger cyclist would divide by a slightly higher number and a smaller cyclist, by a slightly lower number.

Question from Jan:
I heard you also play some mean tennis. I used to play competitive juniors and collegiate tennis before I injured my knee. That's when I discovered running (which was my favourite cross training activity back then) and then I eventually moved on to triathlons. I've been getting the itch to pick up my racket again and play a tournament that the company I work for is organizing. I'm a little hesitant to do that since I have already started training for the 2012 tri season. Although my first “A race” is in May (standard distance) and the tennis tournament is in March. What do you think? Are there any benefits that I will gain from playing tennis? Or maybe I'm risking my tri season too much?

Carlos asks:
Can you clarify something for me? When it comes to the muscle fibers we contain, can they actually change from one type to another OR do we just recruit one type more than the other based on the type of load?

Peter asks:
While home for the holidays both my Mom and Dad commented that my breath smelled like alcohol. However, I had not had anything to drink that day or several days prior. As part of our investigation I tested my blood sugar with my Grandpa’s machine and the results were normal. My Mom concluded that my body was producing keytones because I am not consuming enough carbohydrates. Having researched keytones online I realize this can be a serious issue. I work out frequently, 5-6 days per week. Recently I have been lifting and will be starting to train for a full triathlon taking place in April. Can you help me understand more about keytones, how they’re caused, and how I can avoid this training/fueling error going forward in my active life.

Chris asks:
My question is 2-fold, my dad has been struggling with what we believe to be adrenal fatigue. He has a whole host of symptoms and has been to all kinds of doctors over the past year and has had just about everything else ruled out. He has really worked on reducing stress and this has helped to some degree. Currently his diet is excessively high in carbs especially refined simple carbs. So, my first question is – do you have any specific diet recommendations for people with adrenal fatigue (supplements etc.), and secondly I am curious if you have written a book or have a good recommendation of a low-carb / whole-foods based diet for the general population. I am aware of your fuelling books for athletes but not sure if you have one for a non-athlete who really isn't concerned with fueling etc. One of the major issues with whole foods diet books that really bothers me is they seem to give fat a bad name.

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

2 thoughts on “Episode #178 – Full Transcript

  1. Rob Giannamore says:

    Ben, I am looking at pursuing a personal trainer certification. I am looking for one of those "weekend" certifications because I feel after 8 years in the military and a lifetime of fitness and currently self coached ultra running that a full on college course is not for me. I also have 2 master degrees in unrelated fields, I am kinda done with school. With that said, which one of these courses are best, which association should I be looking for?


    1. Have you seen my book at http://www.trainfortopdollar.com, Rob? I go into all this in great detail there!

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