July 20, 2016
Podcast from: bengreenfieldfitness.com/356
[01:29] The Man in the Arena Coffee Mug by Zazzle
[09:53] The Herschel Walker Workout
[13:08] Benefits to lifting heavy things/heavy training
[14:10] Ben’s fifty, fifty, fifty workout
[15:02] Motorized vs. Non-Motorized Treadmill
[17:26] The TrueForm Treadmill Ben uses
[18:58] Special Announcements (Positions to fill: Massage Therapist & Superstar Personal Assistant)
[21:36] Harry’s Razor
[23:14] FitLife Organifi Green Juice Powder
[24:39] Onnit Kettlebells
[25:45] Ben’s Calendar
[28:17] Jack and his question about Muscle Recovery
[29:40] Is soreness a valid way of measuring recovery?
[31:49] The Use of Creatine in muscle recovery
[40:31] Ben’s biggest recovery tips
[42:38] Bone Broth Giveaways from Kettle and Fire
[45:57] Larissa on Stretching during Weight Training
[43:55] HMB combine with ATP to accelerate recovery/Other supplements for recovery
[45:56] Larissa’s question on stretching during weight training
[51:17] What mobility to include in strength training session
[54:41] Kyle on Getting Rid of a Back Hunch
[1:03:44] Ben’s top 3 resources for anybody who sits or deskbound
[1:04:18] Paul with the question about Creatine
[1:07:27] Different forms of Creatine
[1:12:58] Dosage for Creatine
[1:15:21] Creapure by Thorne (formerly EXOS)
[1:17:52] A Review for the show from Wall Street Victim
[1:21:07] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: How Long Does It Take Muscles To Recover, Should You Stretch During Weight Training, The Ultimate Guide To Getting Rid Of A Back Hunch, Which Form of Creatine Is Best, and much more.
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…” All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.
Ben: Oh Rachel, since it seems like 95% of the time we introduce this podcast by talking about coffee ‘çoz we always record in the morning, you might as well start there having put your coffee.
Rachel: Yeah. I’m on my second cup what do you got?
Ben: I had my cup and the reason why I wanted to bring up coffee is because I am infatuated with my new coffee mug.
Rachel: I love how you love coffee mugs (chuckles). What’s this one?
Ben: I love coffee mugs. I’ve officially switched up my lucky coffee mug to a new mug that inspires me every morning because I can sit there and sip my coffee, and read the mug.
Rachel: Alright, what does the mug say?
Ben: But be careful when you read mugs ‘coz it’s real to spill coffee on yourself if you’re like twisting your mug up and down to read it.
Rachel: What does this one say?
Ben: Okay, so this is ‘The Man in the Arena’ mug. I made it. I actually made my own mug. There’s a website that allows you to like customize and make your own mug. So I made this mug on Zazzle and by the way, if you dig this mug that I’m about to describe, you can actually go get this same mug ‘coz I put it like on Zazzle as a mug that you can get. Aren’t I a little entrepreneur?
Rachel: I just loved it. This is the thing that you do for fun (laughs).
Ben: So here it is. This mug has my favorite quote on it and it’s kind of like laid out in this really bad ass graphic with really cool lettering and font. But it is the part of the speech called the Citizenship in a Republic that was given by Theodore Roosevelt called The Man in the Arena. Now I’m gonna read this to you Rachel and you just tell me if this would not freakin’ just like get your ass moving in the morning. If you read it. You don’t even need a drink of coffee.
Rachel: Right. I’m ready.
Ben: You don’t even need a drink of coffee. You just read the mug. Here we go…
Rachel: I don’t know about that. That’d be good.
Ben: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Ben: Yeah. See you don’t even need a drink of coffee.
Rachel: That was intense. That was incredible. I haven’t heard that.
Rachel: Super cool.
Ben: It’s way better than just drinking out of your old grandma’s china or whatever it is that you [0:04:24.0] ______ (voice trails off)
Rachel: Or your coffee-makes-me-poop mug?
Ben: Well Rachel, shall we begin today’s news flashes with something woo woo?
Rachel: Well I’m all jazzed up now so yeah, let’s do it.
Ben: You’re all inspired by Theodore Roosevelt.
Rachel: I am. I wanna be the man in the arena. The man in the arena.
Ben: Alright cool. Alright well, let’s dash your inspiration to the ground by talking about sticking light up your nose.
No, actually in seriousness we had a podcast a few months ago about this low level laser that one can stick into one’s nose should one desire to do that. And since the time I recorded that podcast, I’ve been doing this now every morning. So the idea is that when you look at low level laser treatments, the photons emitted by lasers, and this by the way is not woo woo, this is actually called photobiomodulation. And if you go back and listen to the podcast episode, and I’ll link to it by the way in the show notes for this episode which you can grab at bengreenfieldfitness.com/356.
The physician that I interviewed on that show goes over a host of research on how photons can enter tissue and be absorbed in the cells of mitochondria, and at the cell membrane by these tiny little guys on your cell membranes called chromophores. Chromophores are what are called photosensitizers. So when they get hit by a laser or when they get hit by a light that generates what are called reactive oxygen species and those travel along your mitochondrial respiratory chain, and they produce ATP, and so when you expose tissue, when you more or less irradiate tissue with some form of photon, with some form of light, you produce energy. That’s why for those of you who just want a simple explanation when you walk out in the sunlight in the photons of sunlight the UVA and UVB rays hit your skin, you feel a little bit of wakefulness. You feel good.
Rachel: Yeah, you kinda energized.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. And that is because you actually produce ATP in response to a photobiomodulation. Now what they looked into in this recent study that just appeared in The Journal of Medicine and Science in July of 2016 was whether phototherapy would actually increase strength when incorporated as part of a strength training program. So this was in like I mentioned, this was in a Journal of Medicine and Science. They also reported on this in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. And in this case, I looked into what they used and they used one of these hand-held laser treatment devices. They didn’t use like an intranasal device like I used. But what they did was they bombarded a muscle group with this laser diodes.
Rachel: What does bombarded mean?
Ben: Basically, they held up these hand-held device and you can find these type of devices on Amazon. The one that they use, I looked at the methodology of the study, they used something made by Multi Radiance Medical that produces these lasers. They’re essentially diodes and you hold this unit in your hand, and you would move it back and forth right across a muscle group prior to training.
What they found was a significant improvement in strength, and also muscle fibers during a twelve week protocol compared to a control group that did not receive laser therapy on the muscle group or in the tissue that was being worked during this strength training program over the course of the study. So basically, what this means is that when they use what they call in the study phototherapy irradiation prior to strength training, it actually enhances the effects of strength training.
Rachel: So does the kind of light matter and how long would you need to have the muscle group exposed to a full?
Ben: Yes, the wavelength of the light matters. And in this case in this study, they used a mix of wavelengths. They used 875 or it’s measured in nanometers. It’s 905 nanometers and 640 nanometers. They’re using a mix. What I stick up my nose every morning and it’s not cheap, I will warn you guys, like it cost me, I believe I spent $650 on this intranasal light device, it’s called a vie light v-i-e light. And this is from that guy who I did a podcast with, and after I recorded with him, I was so impressed by their research I purchased one. So I put it into my nose when I wake up in the morning, sipping my coffee, reading from ‘my man in the arena’ mug and it’s a 25 minute protocol, and it’s like a second cup of coffee. I mean, and you can do it prior to strength training, it is at 810 nanometers, this one that I stick up my nose. But it’s really, really interesting. This idea of using light to enhance performance, and there’s more and more research coming out on the use of phototherapy and what’s called photobiomodulation, and I’ll link to this one in the show notes for those of you who are interested in that particular news flash, so.
Rachel: Very cool. Cool hack.
Ben: Yeah. You can get something to stick up your nose, Rachel?
Rachel: I would love something to stick up my nose, Ben.
Ben: Okay. So, for those of you who want to go into beast-mode and not stick things up your nose to enhance performance. I also came across a really interesting article on one of my favorite websites The Art of Manliness. And this article goes into the training protocol of Herschel Walker. Do you know who Herschel Walker is?
Rachel: I’ve never heard about him until I read this and he sounds like a pretty cool dude.
Ben: He was a beast and was a football player for the Dallas Cowboys primarily. There is this urban legend that he did thousands and thousands and thousands of push-ups and sit-ups every day that he didn’t actually lift weights at all. Which is quite uncommon for a football player to just do body weight exercises, but the word on the street was that all he did was body weight exercises. So this guy who wrote this article on The Art of Manliness actually went and began to research what it was that Herschel Walker actually did. And it turns out that he did a massive number of body weight exercise to stay fit.
Now granted two things to bear in mind here, first of all he has the mesomorph body type like very athletic, very naturally muscular body type, and people with that body type can build muscle quite readily in response to just about any form of training versus say, you know an ectomorph like a skinny guy, for example. But when you look at his program, it’s also something that’s been researched quite a bit lately is this idea that one can build not only size but also strength by bringing in muscle to the brink of or to fatigue. And it doesn’t matter whether that’s with body weight, doing 300 push-ups or with external weight like doing 3 sets of 10 bench press exercises.
So, what Herschel Walker did was what’s almost like a prison-style workout. He actually had this work-out that’s called the prisoner workout. So for example, he would have one workout that was just like a thousand push-ups with 6 different push-up variations. He started at 50 push-ups a night, and then he worked up to a hundred and he slowly increased his reps until he was doing 2,000 push-ups a day.
And he was actually a chubby adolescent as this article reports in high school, but he got to the point where now in this current day and age, he’s doing some MMA training, and he’s doing 3,500 push-ups every day.
Rachel: Wow! That is a solid effort. That’s gonna take like an hour.
Ben: He does 3,000 sit-ups a day. And he breaks this up throughout the day, alright. And this is kinda same like me. Like I probably, I would say throughout any typical day, I’m close to a thousand jumping jacks, I amass about a hundred burpees each day, I do walking under the pull-up bar in the door of my office. I probably get close to fifty to seventy five pull-ups each day. I don’t do a great deal of formal exercise as we’ve reported on the podcast before. I’m kind of a minimalist exerciser. But just like Herschel Walker and by the way, I’m sure that I will play in the NFL someday based on this. I do a lot of body weight exercises every day and it turns out, it worked for him.
Rachel: Alright, so it’s gonna work for you. I have a question ‘coz I’m super confused. We talk all the time about the benefits of lifting heavy things, and recently we’ve been talking a lot about the benefits of doing body weight exercises and I’m wondering if there are extra benefits to lifting heavy things or whether it’s actually just okay to do body weight exercises?
Ben: There is a hormonal response to heavy training particularly with respect to growth hormone and testosterone that you do not get with body weight training or at least you don’t get the same extent. So I’m a fan of a couple of times a week for men and women lifting something heavy, but at the same time there’s a greater evidence out there that high, high rep body weight exercise does some good too. By the way, this reminds me for those of you who may follow Snapchat or what is it, bengreenfieldfitness.com/snapchat?
Ben: My buddy Matt and I went over and we won the Montana Trained to Hunt competition.
Ben: Thank you. We decided that on our drive back we were gonna do the fifty, fifty, fifty workout. And we recorded the entire thing. We actually uploaded this to Facebook as well, but here’s the workout for those of you who wanna try it. Every 50 miles you stop and you do 50 burpees and 50 kettlebell swings. Should you be one of those strange people who keeps a kettlebell in your car like Matt does, and like I know many of our listeners do. But 50 kettlebell swings and 50 burpees, and so we would stop every 50 miles. I was pretty destroyed actually by the end of our 330-mile trip, but it was a great way to kind of keep the body fit and get a good workout and during a road trip. So try the fifty, fifty.
Rachel: How much extra time do you think did it add on to your trip?
Ben: Every time you stop and you do 50 burpees and 50 kettlebell swings, it adds about 5 minutes.
Rachel: Oh wow! No excuse.
Ben: We added a good half hour. And then finally, speaking of exercise; motorized versus non-motorized treadmills. I get questions quite a bit about why the heck I have decided at my own personal work station to forego the nice little tight and tidy say, wood way manual or I’m sorry motorized treadmill, right, like there’s a lot of companies that make these kinda small portable motorized treadmills that one could use at a standing work station or walking work station. Instead I have this behemoth, I have this giant steel what’s called a TrueForm Treadmill.
The belt on this treadmill won’t even go unless you lean forward and use like a proper mid to front four foot strike. It was designed for like cross fitting competitions and for really teaching the body how to run with proper biomechanics. I got it for those reasons. I got it also because a treadmill believe it or not, is one of the biggest creators of dirty electricity of a high amount of what are called positive ions. Meaning that it’s just lie a wifi router or standing in front of your microwave like a treadmill is that form of electricity when you’re spending a long time on the treadmill, so one of the non-motorized treadmill.
The Journal of Strength Conditioning Research this month actually compared things like biomechanics and the ability to stimulate VO2 max, and the ability for one to have like a forward lean and lactate threshold. All these sorts of variables when it comes to non-motorized or what are called manual versus motorized treadmills. What they found in this study was that for every variable; VO2 max peak, biomechanics, lactate threshold, respiratory gasses, rating of perceived exertion everything; manual treadmill hands down beat a motorized treadmill.
Rachel: Wow. And how much extra? Is it more costly?
Ben: It depends like I would admit similar to the light that I stick up my nose, ‘coz I like to own nice things. If I’m gonna get something I want it to be nice. I want it to last for a long time. This treadmill is big, it’s hardy, I have an article on it. If you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com, you do a search for treadmill workstation, you’ll find the article, but let me look real quick, it’s called a TrueForm treadmill. I modified it. I actually worked with TrueForm. We’ll just try and put a link in the show notes, but I had them create a treadmill that they now sell in their website as the Ben Greenfield treadmill-treadmill that they removed the dashboard from the front of it, so you can work on a computer while you’re on this manual treadmill. And what I like about it is it goes as fast as you wanna go. So if I wanna run 15 miles an hour in between a phone call, I can do that. It is, drumroll please (chuckles), and you get a 10% on it by the way, but it’s retail price is $5,695, so it’s definitely a spendy little addition to.
Rachel: But you think it’s worth it?
Ben: I think it is worth it if you are an athlete or an active person who wants to be a better runner, who wants to run and walk with good biomechanics based on this most recent research study for example, or if you’re somebody who just really [0:18:27.5] ______ you know this idea of having like a lot of electricity floating around your house or if you fall into both categories.
So I understand it’s expensive. I understand that we probably lost half of our listeners now talking about $650 light that you stick up your nose, 3,000 push-ups, stopping every mile or 50 miles while you’re driving to do 50 swings, and buying a $5,695 treadmill, but for those of you who are still with us, trust me this stuff makes your life so much better.
Ben: Rachel, this is gonna be a quite unique special announcements because I actually have positions that I’d like to tell people about. Positions to fill.
Rachel: Yey! The Ben Greenfield Fitness team is expanding!
Ben: We are expanding. So the first thing is pretty straight forward. If you are listening in and you know of a good massage therapist in the Spokane or the Couer d’Alene area. I know this is completely selfish, so I’ll make it quick. My massage therapist is moving to Seattle and we do all sorts of crazy things, right. We do like jaw realignment therapy and we listen to these healing wholetones music sounds, and we use like different styles of oils and stuff; ayurvedic oils and we experiment with all sorts of things so it’s fun. Anytime I find something interesting; a book, a new therapy, a technique, I send it to her and we work on it,, so I’m sad that she’s leaving but I’m looking to hire a new massage therapist to use me as a guinea pig. And yes I do, I do, I do pay for massage therapy. So if you know of someone in the Spokane area hop into the comments section over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/356 and let me know. That’s one thing. Massage therapist is very important.
Rachel: Alright. What’s next?
Ben: The next is that I’m actually looking for a new superstar personal assistant for…
Ben: …myself and my family here in Spokane. We’re talking about everything from helping out with airport drop off and pick up, assisting Jessa with like the goats and the chickens in the backyard, helping with returns and exchanges to local department stores, meal prep assistance, yes, chopping vegetables for my morning smoothie, post office runs, banking, all sorts of things, so…
Rachel: Huge! How many hours a week do you think?
Ben: This is gonna be a 20 to 30 hour a week commitment, and you would be working in close conjunction with me all week long spending a ton of time here at the Greenfield compound. If you are interested, here’s what you do. You email [email protected], and you must, must, must, this is a test to see if you pay close attention to directions. Use the subject line: Superstar Personal Assistant if that is a position in which you are interested and I can send you more details. So there we go.
Rachel: Sounds like a dream job to be honest. Hanging around with you guys all day, playing with goats, helping to cook.
Ben: Tons of fun. Drinking out of lucky coffee mugs, sticking lights up your nose. Next, speaking of sticking lights up your nose, this is something you can actually put on your face is the Harry’s Razor and they actually have a new razor, a new razor.
Rachel: They do? What kind? What is it?
Ben: Well, they’ve added a precision trimmer which is a special blade at the top of the cartridge that makes it easier to trim your side burns and hard to reach places like under your nose which I know is important to you, Rachel because you have lots of hair.
Rachel: We’ll I’ve massive moustache that I get waxed every month.
Ben: All our 70 year old listeners have hair coming out their noses. They increase the flexibility of the cartridge with their little rubber flex hinge that has this elasticity and resistant, and I’ve shaved with this new hinge and it actually is quite nice. They’ve increased the steel of the blades, so they’ve hardened it from its raw state. They altered the steel by heating it over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so they’ve also added a new rust-preventing coning to the blade. So they’re basically taking this razor and just continuing to turn it into the Cadillac, I suppose the modern version of the Cadillac could be the Tesla of razors. And everybody who listens into this show gets five bucks off anything from Harry’s.
Ben: And you do this by going to Harry’s. Harrys.com. H-a-r-r-y-s dot com, and you enter code Ben at check out if you like to own nice things; like a manual treadmill, some laser light, you’ll want this razor too. So Harrys.com and enter code Ben at check-out that’ll save you five bucks off anything from Harry’s.
This podcast is also brought to you by Organifi green juice powder which is the only green juice powder that you’re going to find around the Greenfield household these days. My wife is under strict instructions to increase her consumption of chlorella in particular that’s like a binding or detoxificant.
Rachel: Why is that?
Ben: Because she did some metal testing. Some heavy metal testing, and she was found to have a slight increase in metal probably ‘coz she had a lot of dental work done. She ate too much candy when she was a kid. She was really a fan of like what do they call? The Sugar Daddies? those suckers that you suck on.
Rachel: Uhmmm. These are American candies? I don’t know what they are.
Ben: I think they’re called Sugar Daddy, she’d have 4 or 5 of them a day. Anyways though, so she’s now doing a detox like chlorella detox for metals and she’s using this green juice. This FitLife Organifi green juice. She just tossed like a couple of tablespoons of it every day ‘coz there’s no shopping, and no juicing and no blending and no clean up. You just put it in a cup of water and suck it down.
Everybody, again who is listening into this podcast, you lucky people, you get a 20% off. So you go to Organifi.com and you use the discount code there, and that gets you 20% off the FitLife Organifi green juice. So there is that.
And then finally, should you decide that you want to do the fifty, fifty, fifty workout that we just described to you, and you want a kettlebell to keep in your own car, why not get the mighty Onnit Kettlebells. These are high quality ship-resistant coated kettlebells that can endure the most punishing of workouts, and you can get them with like zombie faces and gorilla faces. They have one that is a 2.5 pood bell. You know what that means?
Ben: That means it’s a ninety pound kettlebell.
Ben: Yeah. If you wanna be a complete beast, get it. I personally have the gorilla, I have the orangutan, I have the chimp and I have the werewolf. So I’ve got a whole host and it’s cool, it’s like little pieces of art you can keep around your house.
Rachel: Yeah. (giggles)
Ben: So Onnit makes these things, they sell ‘em. You go to onnit.com/bengreenfield and you get a discount on that. There are functional foods, like there are nut butters, and sea salts, there are supplements you name it. So onnit.com/bengreenfield to grab yourself a kettlebell.
And then, finally as usual, all sorts of places that I will be around the globe over the next couple of week. Two that I wanna make folks aware of or three actually. This weekend for those of you in the Wyoming area, I will be trying to add to my Train To Hunt Montana and Train To Hunt Utah gold medals, Wyoming. So I’m gonna try and win Wyoming. I’ll be over in Wyoming this weekend for those of you listening in the week that this podcast comes out. This would be July 23rd and 24th I’ll be over in Wyoming.
Rachel: Is there a Train To Hunt National Championships?
Ben: Yup, that’s gonna be in Salt Lake City in August.
Rachel: Is that what you’re working up to?
Rachel: How many do you have to win?
Ben: And that one’s gonna be gnarly ‘coz this Train To Hunt National Championships is where they’re gonna do things like send us out from 9pm ‘til midnight out orienteering with a ton of weight in our backs, followed by a 3D shoot the next morning, followed by a hundred pound meat pack, obstacle course racing with weapons, you name it. It’s amazing.
Rachel: Do you have to qualify for it?
Ben: You do have to qualify.
Rachel: Are you qualified?
Ben: Of course, I’m qualified.
Rachel: (laughs) Good job, mate!
Ben: Stupid question. Uhm, no, yes I qualified. I worked hard. I qualified. And then that was horribly arrogant of me by the way, Rachel, I’m sorry.
Rachel: It’s alright, Ben I’m used to it (laughs).
Ben: Anyways, also I’ll be in Portland racing the Spartan Race in Portland, the Portland Spartan Sprint as well as for those of you who would like to join me Saturday night after that sprint race on August 6 for the 4-hour hurricane heat. We’re gonna carry sandbags and do burpees and just punish ourselves for 4 hours.
Rachel: I’ll come and I’ll take a ton of photos, and I’ll post them through social media for everyone to watch.
Ben: Do it. August 6, Portland Spartan Sprint, and of course, Rachel will be around as well.
And then also, The Ancestral Health Symposium is in Boulder, Colorado, August 11th through 13th, and that’ll be another good one to check out. It is basically scientists and health professionals, and all sorts of people who like to geek out on ancestral health, ancestral fitness, ancestral medicine. You can register for that, we’ll put a link in the show notes and a whole bunch more if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar.
Jack: Hi Ben. My name is Jack and I’ve got a question for you about weight training. What I’d like to know is how long does it take your muscles to fully recover after a weight training session? I currently do hard weight training sessions about 2 to 3 times a week and I want to know if I’m not over training and I only give my body about 2 or 3 days rest for the next weight training session, and yeah, to know if this is enough to allow my muscles and body to fully recover? I’d really appreciate your advice. Thanks, Ben
Ben: Oh, Rachel you might know the answer to this question ‘coz I know you’re a big bench presser. Right?
Rachel: I do so much bench pressing, yeah. Always have to worry about how long it takes my muscles to recover.
Ben: Right. That used to be my worry when I would body build ‘coz when your body build, you bomb a specific muscle group like your chest, so I would do bench press, inclined bench press, chest flies, pec deck you name it, and you get to the point where you want to punch somebody in the face if they so much as poke you in the chest the next day. And yeah, you pay attention to soreness to know if you’re recovered, but always at the back of the mind you wonder, am I really recovered, am I really in a state where I should be hitting this muscle group again or any muscle group.
Rachel: So is soreness any sort of a valid way of measuring that?
Ben: Soreness is one way that you can measure recovery, but what we tend to know generally is if you look at muscle recovery, it’s from musculoskeletal recovery. The actual recovery of the muscle fibers themselves that’s about a forty-eight hour period of time. And there’s several factors that contribute to how quickly that muscle is going to bounce back. And there are some other variables here that you’re definitely wanna bear in mind ‘coz it goes way beyond musculoskeletal recovery. But when you exercise, you get depletion of ATP and CP. So adenosine triphosphate and creatine phosphate; these energy-rich phosphate compounds that are stored within muscle cells. When you lift weights, you exhaust those, you deplete them, and those take some time to become replenished.
In many cases you replenish much of them within just 3-5 minutes, but as far as the actual what are called nucleotide pools that contribute to complete replenishment of ATP and CP, that can be around a twenty-four hour period of time assuming that you are eating. There was a recent study that came out that I planned on talking about in a future podcast by the way in which they actually fed people, I believe it was right around the range of and don’t quote me on this ‘coz I don’t have the study in front of me, but there was around 400 milligrams or so of an actual ATP supplement. You can just actually buy ATP rather than say using sunlight or lasers or things like that to get your body to make its own ATP. You can purchase ATP in supplement form. And in some cases it may actually accelerate recovery from strength training or at least your ability to be able to hit the weights again by replenishing some of your ATP stores.
So that’s one factor is depletion of ATP and creatine phosphate and how quickly you can replenish those, and that’s also the reason why in many cases if you are strength training and you want your muscles to recover faster, the use of creatine can also be prudent and there was another study, and I actually have a guy coming on the podcast episode to talk about this on how fast we lose muscle? How long it takes us to basically lose fitness if we stop detraining or like with bed rest or something like that.
And one of the compounds that they found to keep muscles from shrinking when you can’t train was creatine. And in this case they were giving folks ten grams of creatine per day. But for enhancing how quickly your muscles can bounce back about 5 grams of creatine per day is enough, and I think we’re gonna talk a little bit more about creatine later. I think we have a question about which form of creatine is best, so we’ll get to that.
But another thing that can vastly affect whether how fast the muscle will recover is glycogen. So depletion of glycogen, depletion of the muscles, carbohydrates stores is another thing that can keep a muscular skeletal system from recovering adequately. Now here’s the deal, if you eat ad libitum right, according to appetite after a strength training session, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re setting down the barbell and rushing off to suck down your maltodextrine and whey protein isolate within that twenty-minute magic window, but you’re just eating to appetite, it generally takes about 8 hours to replace all of your glycogen stores.
Now technically if you feed within about a twenty-minute to 2 hour window after a strength training session, you accelerate the rate of which muscles recover because you supply them with glycogen, but at the same time if your goal is weight loss or if your goal is even to maximize say like growth hormone or testosterone or your ability to be able to tap into fatty acids as a fuel, there is a little bit of a catch-22 there because if you wait for a little while after strength training to eat, you actually train your body’s ability to burn fat and you get an increasing growth hormone and testosterone. So for that it kinda depends if someone is trying to get big and add as much muscles as possible, I tell them to eat within that twenty-minute to 2-hour window. If someone’s lifting more for like the longevity and anti-aging benefits, I tell them to wait a little while after the workout to eat.
Rachel: What’s a little while?
Ben: A little while would be anywhere from 2 to 2 plus hours. I generally wait an hour and a half, two hours sometimes longer than that after strength training session to eat because I’m not necessarily trying to get swoll, I am just training for anti-aging and longevity more.
Some other things that of course can affect, and this is a big one, would just be a microtrauma to the muscle. You tear a muscle fiber and you get the accompanying swelling or edema and inflammation, the inflammatory response that occurs when you weight train. That takes about 24 to 48 hours, and if you’re doing like a body building split like I described earlier, like working one body part over and over and over again, we’re talking about as long as 3–5 days for that muscle to recover. For the inflammation to subside to the point where you aren’t just damaging a muscle or piling damage on top of damage by training again within that window. So microtraumas are kind of the longest right, so ATP and creatine replenish a lot of that within 3-5 minutes, and then most of it over the course of the day. Glycogen will replenish that within about 8 hours. Microtraumas take twenty-four to forty-eight hours plus and up to 5 days.
But then, finally there’s a thing that a lot of people don’t pay attention to and that’s central fatigue. Central nervous system fatigue. Now central nervous system fatigue from a hard strength training session, like a crossfit workout that just throws you under the bus or let’s say, a 2 hour long strength training workout or something that we might call epic, if you look at neuro-muscular recovery; central nervous system recovery, sometimes it can take 7-10 days for a nerve cell to repair. A nerve cell can take up to 7 times longer than a muscle cell to repair. And this is why I am a fan of, to return to that question you kind of asked me a little bit about, Rachel, about soreness.
Paying attention not just to soreness and is a muscle not sore anymore indicating that a lot of the microtrauma has repaired, but I pay attention to heart rate variability and a morning heart rate variability test to see if the central nervous system has repaired. Now if you’re doing that, if you’re paying attention to your heart rate variability, what you would actually want to look for would be what is called your low frequency score, right? So if you’re using for example the nature beat app that I developed to measure your heart rate variability in the morning, you’d want to look at that low frequency score because that is an indicator of sympathetic nervous system recovery.
The type of nervous system that you’d be using during weight training, during muscle training and you would want that to bounce back up to where it normally is, right? When you first get the app you wanna do a baseline measurement when you’re nice and recovered, and you would want ideally if you’re wanting to be as fully recovered as possible not that there aren’t some days where you wanna kinda train when you’re tired to teach your body how to work through, like over training and over stimulus that you bounce back even stronger, but in most cases if you wanna be fully recovered, you want that low frequency score that LF score to be back up where it normally is whether that’s 1,000 or 2,000 there. For me, I know if it’s about 4,000 or more, I’m really truly fully recovered. So that’s what I’ll pay attention to is that element of recovery. It’s gonna vary a lot from person to person.
Rachel: Yeah, it’s not as simple as just a few days.
Ben: Yeah, and the reason for that is related to a study that we talked about I believe it was last week. There are a variety of genetic factors responsible for what’s called endogenous antioxidant production, and also fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fiber capacity. So what I mean by that is for example, if you look at, what is one antioxidant, there’s a whole list of antioxidant factors, IL6 interleuken 6 should be a good example.
So interleukin 6 is like an inflammatory cytokine that gets expressed in muscles cells in response to hard training. Alright, it regulates like proliferation of new muscle cells or the enhancement of muscle recovery post workout. It’s like an inflammatory cytokine that if expressed can actually cause muscles to repair more quickly, and if people possess what is called the power-related allele for that gene, for the IL6 gene, they recover more quickly. They produce higher levels of this IL6 in response to strength training and they bounce back more quickly from strength training versus someone who is more what we would call an endurance responder.
There’s another gene and this one’s a mouthful. It’s called the Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor Y at Coactivator gene also known as the PPARGC1 alpha gene. That one is responsible for angiogenesis and the formation of new muscle fibers. That gene, if you carry the particular allele responsible for expressing that particular gene, you can again recover more quickly than someone who does not express that gene.
So I’m also a fan of doing something like genetic testing, so you can see whether you’re like a high rep, low load responder like Herschel Walker or whether you’re a low rep, high weight type of responder, and we talked about this quite a bit when we discussed a little bit about training in line with your genetic potential, I wrote over at quickanddirtytips.com, I write for them every week. I recently just wrote an article about how to train in line with your genetics, and I linked to the study in which they looked at all the different genetic factors that can influence how quickly you respond or recover from musculoskeletal training but that’s another thing to think about is your genetics. And then, oh go ahead.
Rachel: I was just gonna say, so there are ways to enhance or quicken this recovery?
Ben: You read my mind.
Ben: Because that’s the other thing is that if you look at for example, Ironman Triathlons right, like they did a study on how fast it takes the body to recover from an Ironman, and it’s 19 days but…
Ben: When I used to do Ironman, I’d be ready to rumble within about a week after completing a race and I think a big part of that was due to a lot of these little things that I would pull up for recovery, like for example, the use of high-dose curcumin and some of these anti-inflammatory enzymes like the proteolytic enzymes, like papain and amylase and lipase, and things like that. The use of transdermal or topical magnesium, the use of cold thermogenesis and heat therapy.
Part of the most recent article that I wrote that if you’re listening in and you just want to look at some of my biggest recovery tips from grounding, and earthing like the Tour de France cyclists do to eating sulfur-rich foods, 2 months ago I published an article in which I talked about how I recover as quickly as possible from the twelve hour Hurricane Heat over in Seattle, The Spartan Hurricane Heat. I will link to that particular article in the show notes ‘coz it’s probably the most recent article I’ve written on my top workout recovery tactics. And in addition to that I mentioned creatine as one potential strategy, there are a few others, electrostimulation is quite good, and I’m a fan of that the use of something like the MarcPro electrical muscle stimulation device for enhancing recovery, right. Taking musculoskeletal nervous system recovery from let’s say, like 72 hours down to 24 hours.
Some other things that had been looked at in research that I’m releasing a podcast on in the next 2 weeks. A research that’s been done on how to keep muscles from shrinking or how to get muscles to recover more quickly. One would be leucine which is a branched chain amino acids, about 2-3 grams of leucine per day, and research has been shown to enhance musculoskeletal recovery, amino acids particularly essential amino acids in the range of 10 to 20 grams per day. And by the way, for something like that even something like bone broth would suffice for like the [42:38.8] ______ of bone broth.
Rachel: Oh! Speaking of bone broth, we actually have a Facebook giveaway going and an Instagram giveaway and I think even a Twitter giveaway of 2…
Ben: That’s a lot of giveaways.
Rachel: So many giveaways. We’re giving away 2 boxes of bone broth from Kettle and Fire so currently I thinks there’s only like 15 people who have entered. Such a great opportunity to try some bone broth if you haven’t already, so go on check ém out and come in and enter.
Ben: So people can just win the bone broth on the pages?
Rachel: We just give away so much stuff and sometimes my mind is blown because lots of [0:43:10.5] ______. One a week, to you guys.
Ben: There’s a lot of giveaways, I’m surprised at how generous folks are. I’ve had that Kettle and Fire bone broth by the way, that’s the one that they… and don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of just using your own chicken carcass and making your own bone broth, but I know some people don’t have that time. Kettle and Fire’s one of the companies I know that’s out there that ship it to your house. They have some kind of a special process where it doesn’t have to have preservatives added to it, and it’s very shelf-stable and you could even like take it when you’re say, travelling even though it had to be in your inner check-on luggage ‘coz it’s still more than 4 ounces or whatever ungodly amount TSA prohibits you from carrying through their x-ray machines. But bone broth yeah, absolutely with that or essential amino acids.
A few other interesting ones would be HMB. HMB is something that’s been studied quite a bit recently in literature that combined with ATP. I mentioned in that study in which they looked at how someone could accelerate recovery from a hard workout by instead of just relying upon food sources of ATP, actually just buying ATP in supplement form. There’s one called HMB as well, this is after reading the research say that came out last week on combining HMB and ATP to enhance post workout recovery I believe I actually have both of those added to my shopping cart in Amazon.
I haven’t pushed the checkout button yet because frankly sometimes I get a dizzying array of supplements, and I need to keep track of everything that I’m doing so that I guinea pig properly, and I don’t have too many variables getting thrown in but HMB is another. I’ll link to that study in show notes for those of you who wanna read it. Vitamin D, is highly anabolic when it comes to musculoskeletal repair and recovery. And then 2 others, one would be fish oil, about 3-4 grams of fish oil per day has been shown to help out quite a bit with speeding up the rate of which your muscles recover. And then the last one, and I’ve got a list of all these if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/356.
The last one actually should be infrared. The specific wavelength of infrared light. From like an infrared sauna or an infrared light that actually heats muscle to the extent where you can remove a lot of this inflammatory byproducts and enhance the muscle fiber, repair and recovery and they’ve looked at this. You also get an increase in growth hormone with the use of something like the infrared, so that would be another strategy to take that 24 to 48 hour-ish muscular skeletal recovery, that 2-5 day-ish central nervous system recovery, and speed that up as much as possible ‘coz let’s face it. the more you can bench press per week the better a person you will be.
Larissa: Hi Ben and Rachel. Am I wrong to be stretching each muscle group after I work them out with weights? I just feel compelled to do this naturally and that feels amazing but I noticed that at my gym that there’s no stretching area, and none of the giant guys working out around me stretch ever.
Ben: Rachel, I’m hearing some noise on your end, are you drinking?
Rachel: Yes, I’m drinking some beautifully infused water except it does come straight from the tap, and every time I take a sip, all I can think about now is drinking birth control pills. So thanks, Ben.
Ben: (chuckles) Well, I’m saving you money. Well, actually I don’t know if you’re attempting to conceive perhaps this is inconvenient for you, but yeah.
Rachel: (chuckles) No, it’s actually very convenient.
Ben: You could buy your birth control pills from Walgreens or CVS or you can just drink them from the local municipal water supply.
Rachel: Well, I’ll go for number 2.
Ben: What do you infuse your water with?
Rachel: I have a massive obsession right now with cucumber and basil, and then every few days I might have a strawberry, but the cucumber comes from my garden and I’ve got some beautiful lemon basil growing in the garden, and it just makes it incredible, like I’m drinking like 3 ½ liters of water a day right now.
Ben: Yeah, lemon and cucumber infused water is the way to go. That’s a good way to drink.
Rachel: Alright. Larissa…
Ben: Larissa. Stretching your muscle right after you workout, Rachel, I won’t insult our listener’s intelligence by pointing out the fact that static stretching has been shown for many years to reduce muscle strength and reduce muscle force. I think most people know that. That you’re not supposed to stretch right before you try and get a muscle to produce force or power because you reduced the rate of force development, and you reduced the strength of a contraction when you do a static holding stretch prior to strength training.
Rachel: So okay, you’re totally abusing my intelligence right now, no you’re not. I’m just kidding. I’m actually dumb enough to don’t know this, but here’s the question. Static stretching, is it literally just sitting in a stretch and not moving. As in you’re not kind of stretching further or breathing into it, or any kinda any sort of movement, or even like contracting the muscle to stretch? Is it literally or can you go into detail?
Ben: I’ll quantify it for you.
Rachel: Thank you.
Ben: Six seconds is how long it takes for what’s called the golgi tendon organ which is located in the muscle tissue, in the tendon to be overcome and to basically produce an inhibitory reflex that keeps that muscle from contracting very hard, that’s how long it takes. Have you ever noticed how like chimps and apes and animals in general seem to have like super human strength? It’s because they don’t have as sensitive a golgi tendon organ, they don’t have that reflex that keeps a muscle in response to a stretch from protecting itself and from inhibiting a contraction.
So that’s why you know, like a chimp could overturn a car, and sure it’s gonna tear its biceps and stuff like that as it does so, whereas a human has an inhibitory reflex that keeps them from damaging themselves. But that’s the actual tendon organ that is inhibiting our ability to hurt ourselves especially in response to a muscle being stretched. It’s also by the way, you can take a human, you take like a mom who sees her child whatever, trapped in a burning car and goes and whatever, flips the car over and completely pulling this out my [0:49:24.2] ______. This isn’t an actual news story, but you see people who occasionally perform fits of super human strength, and in some cases it’s because they’re overriding that golgi tendon organ. They are hurting themselves right there taking joints out of alignment and they’re tearing muscle fibers, but you can override that organ in states of extreme stress. Say, it’s incredible hulk-like stress.
But anyways, we digressed. So first of all, yes, it has been shown for many years, we’ve talked about it on previous podcasts, have written articles about it, how you do not want to static stretch before or during an exercise routine due to the lack of response that you get from the subsequent strength training set that you do.
Rachel: Uhm, okay.
Ben: So as far as ways that you can work mobility and stretching into your workouts, I actually am a fan of doing that. So here is how I do things. I stretch in the morning when I first wake up because I’m not lifting weights in the morning when I first wake up. If I am going to be lifting weights in the morning when I first wake up, I don’t stretch. If I’m going to be doing sprints or any type of high intensity interval training when I wake up which is pretty rare because I like to save anything hard like that for the afternoon, I don’t do static stretching. But most mornings, I do all my static stretching in the morning because I’m not gonna be exercising until later on in the day right, until like many cases 4, 5 or 6pm.
So I like static stretching because it reduces blood pressure, it’s almost a form of moving meditation; it allows for focus, it allows for blood flow. There are many benefits we see from different forms of yoga, etcetera. I won’t deny those benefits but when it comes to dong it prior to a strength training routine or during a strength training routine, you wanna keep them separate, okay? So you stretch in the morning or you stretch say later on in the evening but never during or immediately before the strength training session.
Rachel: And so when you say you can include some mobility into the strength training session what have we got?
Ben: Yeah. So the mobility that you can include: number 1 would be any form of rolling or foam rolling. So, this allows you to increase your range of motion without actually putting a stretch on the muscle. When I am foam rolling my calf, I am not stretching my calf. I’m increasing blood flow, I’m reducing any knots or adhesions in the tissue right, like making the tissue a little less fibrous, but I am not stretching it. So foam rolling and including foam rolling exercises that hit the specific muscle group that you’re working are fine. So if I’m gonna do a set of dead lifts, I’m gonna do 5 by 5 dead lifts, I wanna recover in between those dead lifts, so in between each set of dead lifts I’m going to do foam rolling for the back, the hamstrings and the hip flexors, 3 muscle groups that I would be working during that deadlift. Okay, so that’ll be 1.
Another form of mobility that you can use during a strength training session would be moving through range of motion. So examples of that would be if I am doing 5 sets of squats as another example rather than sitting down reading Men’s Health or watching the TV at the gym, or whatever in between the sets of squats, I will get down in the quadruped position, like a crawl position and do ten reps, opposite arm, opposite leg extension. You’re reaching the left arm forward and the right leg forward coming back to the crawl position. You’re reaching the right leg forward and the left arm forward or doing bear crawls or doing some form of mobility that also kind of allows you to increase your range of motion, again without actually stretching or pulling the muscles apart. So that would be number 2, will just be mobility based exercises in addition to foam rolling.
And then finally, you can stretch, if you’re looking for things to do in between your strength training sets and you don’t wanna say do cardio ‘coz it’s gonna fatigue you, and you don’t wanna work a different muscle group, say you go from a squat to a dead lift to a squat to a dead lift because again that could fatigue you and decrease your force production in each of those exercises, so decrease the quality of each of those exercises, you could do dynamic swings, dynamic arm swings. Front to side, back to back, arm circles, leg circles, like leg swings, front to back, side to side, torso twists you know, anything that’s moving the body through a range of motion. Frankenstein walks, lunge walks, walking knee poles, things like that. So we’re talking about mobility exercises that again don’t stretch and hold the muscle tissue but that instead just move it through a range of motion. So I’m a fan of foam rolling, I’m a fan of those type of dynamic stretches. I’m a fan of mobility work but not that actual static stretch and hold type of protocol.
Rachel: So is there an amount of time that you should wait before doing weight training or after weight training before you stretch?
Ben: Yeah, what most research has shown is that that loss of rate of force production last for a good 30 to 60 minutes following that static stretching. So that means that if you’re going to stretch at some point in the day, make sure that you’re allowing at least about an hour before you’re gonna do strength training.
Kyle: Hey Ben and Rachel. I’m a huge fan of the podcast, I’ve submitted a couple of questions in the past and you guys have answered them and I’m very appreciative of that. I just have one more. For kyphosis or kyphosis, hunchback, rounding of the back, what are some really good exercises or a treatment? I have a tendency to hunch over my shoulders and I try to catch myself. I’d do somethings as putting my arms at my side and putting my thumbs outward that’s a little trick I’ve learned, just always trying to correct my posture and keeping my head back and I know there’s the sitting solution but Ben, I was wondering if there are any exercises or in-home treatments that you do? I’ve also heard of things such as laying on a hardwood floor for minutes at a time. Once again, love the show. Thanks guys, really appreciate it. Thanks.
Ben: Do you know what kyphosis is, Rachel?
Rachel: Is it when you have a rolled over back? Like the hunchback, yeah.
Ben: Have you ever heard of the hunchback of Notre Dame?
Rachel: Yeah. I have.
Ben: The malformed French man who lives in a cathedral and rings bells. Yeah, so if you look like him or anything like him, or if you say do anything modern such as play Pokemon Go or hunch over a laptop, or anything else that causes you to be looking down with rolled forward shoulders, you probably have some form of slump shoulders or some form of hunchback, and you see this all the time these days with people who work on computers, who drive, who have tight chest, tight anterior shoulders, weak muscles that pull the shoulders back.
And a lot of times it is combined with what’s called lordosis which is an abnormal inward curve and lumbar spine that happens when you sit. It’s not a very attractive look in my opinion because you get somebody who not only can produce force properly but who has a posture that’s just like you know, hunch rolled over shoulders and the hips are sticking out a little, kinda forward so you get a little bit of a pot belly look. You do not see those kind of people looking good in bikinis.
Rachel: On the cover of magazines? I’d love to know how many of our listeners are sitting up super straight right now (chuckles).
Ben: Yeah. Exactly. So a few things that you can start with. Again, at the risk of overusing this term, I don’t want to insult people’s intelligence by telling them to do more pull-ups and more rows because you hear that all the time. The strength and your scapular retractors and your kyphotic posture process as well just go away, and that’s not true because there other areas of your body that you need to work if you have a hunched over back. So for example, one big issue that you tend to see as a problem in people who have hunched back is what’s called the anterior pelvic tilt.
Anterior pelvic tilt, think about this where your spine is basically like an S that should be approximately equal at both the top and the bottom as far as the curve in that S. And if the bottom part of the S is very wide, the top part of the S has to be very wide as well to compensate and to balance out the bottom. So if my bottom is sticking way out behind me from an anterior pelvic tilt because I am sitting with poor posture, the front of my body has to basically hunch forward to throw off and balance out the fact that I have that anterior pelvic tilt. So in terms of anterior pelvic tilt, what is one of the main things that causes that, well its tight psoas and iliacus, tight hip flexors. Okay so the hip flexors when you sit for long periods of time get into a tight and an overactive state and most cases the psoas is the big culprit.
And people will say, oh what I should do then is I should stand up from my chair and I should like get in a lunging position right, to stretch out the hip flexors. I haven’t found that to be very successful for a lot of folks who I’ve worked with who have like back pain a lot. Like a lot of the triathletes who I worked with especially who like get back pain when their biking or running because they have sitting desk jobs and tight psoasis. Just standing up every once in a while and do a lunging hip flexor stretch doesn’t work as much as actual soft tissue work on the psoas and the iliacus. What I mean by that is you get like a nice hard foam roller and some hard like balls and you actually dig into the tissue on the front upper part of the quads and the front upper part of the pelvis muscle.
Ben: So they are the pelvic bone. So that would be one thing is anterior pelvic tilt you have to get rid of that, sounds dumb that you’d work on your pelvis and your hip flexors and your psoas to get rid of a curve in the upper back, but it actually works really well.
A few other things that work quite well. Scapular wall slides. So people talk all the time about doing like seeded rows, they talk about doing pull-ups to make sure that you pull the upper back, back into alignment, but in many cases you actually have to be able to move through a proper range of motion and the problem is that a lot of people will do seeded rows or pull-ups, but they can’t actually move through the right range of motion to be able to get the scapula to retract. So wall slides are very simple and straight forward. You can do it like in your office, you just stand with your upper back and your butt against the wall and your feet about shoulder with the part and then you bring your arms up parallel to the walls you’re almost in like a cross position almost with your arms at 90 degrees, and you just slide your hands, so the back of your hands are touching the wall, your shoulder buds are touching the wall, you slide your hands up the wall as high as they can go while keeping everything in contact with the wall right, your heels, your butt, your back. Deceptively difficult. You could look this up, it’s a called a scapular wall slide. That’s a really, really good one.
Another one that I like is a tracing exercise where you start with your thumbs at your hips and you trace all the way up to the side of your body, and then all way up overhead while trying to keep your shoulder blades squeezed slightly back. The program that I now do most mornings in which I’m doing shoulder tracers just about every morning is the core foundation program, I recently wrote an article on it on why changed my entire routine, and it’s based off of this book called True to Form by Dr. Eric Goodman. I will link to that in the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/356, but the cool thing about that is it also works the psoas, it kinda lengthens the psoas, and the hip flexors a little bit too, but it’s called Core Foundation and the book is called True to Form. I’ll link to it as well as the article about how I personally implement it into my morning routine in the show notes, but that’s another really good one for anything kyphotic related.
Rachel: So is there a strengthening required though? Yeah.
Ben: Oh yeah, I mean, you still wanna do, like one rule I tell people who have upper back problems is pull twice as much as you push at the gym. People who type a lot, people who have tight pecs, tight chest, pull twice as much as you push for your strength training routines. So if you’re gonna do whatever, set of bench press or a set of some type of a chest exercise, you would also do seeded rows and pull-ups or single arm rows.
Related to that though is this idea that the pecs and the shoulders can get quite tight. Very similar to the idea with the hip flexors getting tight, you can’t just do like a pec stretch or a chest stretch to lengthen and mobilize those tissues, you need to take like a lacrosse ball and just go to town on your pecs or roll your pecs on a foam roller, alright, like belly down on the floor. It’s a quite sensitive area to roll but hitting the pecs not just with stretches but with actual rolling and deep tissue work, that’s incredibly effective as well.
And in many cases, a good 1-2 combo is to do the deep tissue work like the foam rolling or lacrosse ball work for the hip flexors and foam rolling or lacrosse ball work for the pecs, and then to stretch it after you’ve done the deep tissue work. So, and again, it kinda similar to our previous question, don’t do it right before a strength training session ‘coz you don’t want to elongate that tissue before you’re required to produce a force, like do it a different time of day. But yeah, if I were kyphotic and I wasn’t trying to get cast as the hunchback in the local production of the Hunch Back of Notre Dame, I would actually be doing everything that I just described, and I will link in the show notes to my top 3 resources: one would be that True To Form book, another would be the book Deskbound by Kelly Starrett, and then finally, the book that Kyle already referred to in his question, that is the Sitting Solution which is almost like it’s more of a program, like an online program than a book, but it’s just choc’ful of resources for anybody who sits or is deskbound, or any personal trainers or docs out there who work with people who are sitting or deskbound, I think those 3 are all really good resource for you.
Paul: Hey Ben, Paul from New Haven, Connecticut here with a question about creatine. I’ve been taking my 5 grams a day for a couple of years now for the cognitive and or more benefits you’ve talked about on the podcast many times. The form I’ve been taking has been the kind you recommend micronized creatine monohydrate. However, I recently heard that creatine monohydrate needs to be cycled out of the body periodically due to the build-up of the waste products creatinine in your blood stream. Is this something I should be concerned with and would you recommend switching to a creatine HCL which supposedly does not cause a creatinine build-up, and also is more bio available requiring about half the normal dosage?
Ben: So basically Paul doesn’t want his kidneys to fall out in creatine.
Rachel: Is that what he’s going for here? I don’t really want my kidneys to fall out.
Ben: People get worried about creatinine like this byproducts of creatine break down. They get concerned that creatine is gonna cause kidney damage or liver damage, there’s actually a lot of myths floating around out there about creatine. So for example, when you consume creatine, it does get broken down into this metabloid called creatinine. But hundreds of studies have looked into any adverse effects of creatine supplementation on how well the kidneys filter blood, or on the potential for liver psoriasis or fatty liver or elevation of liver enzymes. To date, do you know the number of studies that have found significant changes in renal function or hepatic function or cardiac function in terms of deleterious effect in response to creatine supplementation?
Rachel: I’m gonna guess, zero.
Ben: Zero. And so, we know that there is no issue with creatine causing something like that. There’s another concern that creatine can cause rhabdo. You know what rhabdo is?
Ben: It’s a rhabdomyolisis, it’s severe breakdown of skeletal muscle due to injury and typically presents with this elevated levels of what are called creatine kinase. And people think, oh well if rhabdo causes me to have elevated levels of creatine kinase which is a marker of muscle breakdown, maybe I could just eat myself into a state of rhabdomyolisis by taking any bunch of creatine. That is also not true. Two completely different biological mechanisms, the formation of creatine kinase versus the oral intake of creatine. Far, far different. You would have to work out really hard for a really long period of time to get rhabdo, and this build-up of creatine kinase to cause rhabdo not creatine supplementation.
Rachel: Does it ever need to be something that you cycle off?
Ben: No. I’ll get to that in a second about why I say that, but it is research based, so you don’t have to cycle on and off of creatine assuming you’re taking the dosages that I recommend. People also talk a little bit about creatine and gastrointestinal distress, stomach distress in response to creatine. And they have looked at this in literature and found about 5 to 10% of the population does get some minor GI distress in response to creatine, and we’ll get into that when we talk about what the different forms of creatine do. But there are what are called micronized forms of creatine that could potentially reduce GI distress, so part of that is due to the form of creatine that you take.
And then the final myth about creatine that I see floating around our lot is that it causes cramping and dehydration, and there’s actually zero studies that show that creatine has damaging effects on hydration or that there’s any influence of creatine on core temperature. And as a matter of fact, there was one research study that they did at San Diego State where they found that creatine supplementation actually blunted the rise in core temperature during exercise in the heat did not actually cause dehydration but actually limited dehydration in core temperature increase.
Rachel: Basically, Paul’s got nothing to worry about?
Ben: Most of the stuff that’s floating around on the bodybuilding.com or whatever regarding creatine is incorrect. So when we look at the forms of creatine though, there are different forms that can have different effects. So if we look at for example this micronized creatine that Paul asked about, which is the very, very small form of creatine. You’ll see it marketed as creatine citrate, you’ll see it marketed as the form that I personally take creapure. They are just as potent as creatine monohydrate in terms of the ability to enhance strength, enhance power. There is definite evidence to show that in aging individuals, creatine supplementation reduces muscle loss, there’s ample evidence showing that creatine supplementation is a nootropic, meaning that it enhances neural and cognitive function.
And by the way, that is especially true in vegans and vegetarians who are notoriously creatine deficient. What they found though is that these micronized forms of creatine are more water-soluble, and so they avoid the actual clumping that can occur in water and when you use those forms of creatine, you tend to get not only less stomach cramping but you also get better absorption with less potential for like water retention when you take creatine because one thing that can happen is a little bit of bloating, a little bit of water retention. You don’t get that as much with like a micronized form of creatine or what’s called Creapure. And that’s not a brand name, that is the form of creatine that brands will use. They will purchase this creapure and put it into their brand. So it’s basically micronized creatine, and it’s essentially creatine monohydrate but the molecules have been divide or cut up and that increases their surface area anywhere from 10 to 20 times over and that increases absorption, and it reduces any stomach discomfort that someone might get by taking just a regular form of creatine monohydrate. That’s why my preferred form of creatine will be this micronized creatine or this Creapure.
There’s another form of creatine that is marketed as a creatine ethyl ester, a CEE. And that’s just the creatine molecule that has an ester attached to it. The idea is that a normal creatine monohydrate molecule has one positively charged end, and one negatively charged end, and that can potentially cause for less absorption, and by adding an ester to it, you essentially get rid of that positive and negative end and it actually gets absorbed a little bit better. The problem is that that form of creatine is very expensive and it’s never been shown to cause any enhanced amount of absorption compared to say like a micronized creatine. So you’re gonna respond to it as just you’re also gonna pay for it. That creatine ethyl ester form. And there’s not a lot of evidence that kinda like krill oil versus fish oil. Now like krill oil you get a little bit added absorption, you get a little more EPA and DH out if it but you also have to take almost ten times more of it than fish oil to get that. And so, it’s worth it to just stick to fish oil and take that instead because you’re spending more money on the krill oil. So that’s another thing.
Creatine citrate is another form of creatine that they bond with other molecules to increase absorption, and that’s another one that like the ethyl ester has not been shown to have any increased absorption over something like a micronized form of creatine, but that does cost more, okay. So, at this point those special forms of creatine when you look at the absorption versus the cost, they’re not that useful.
Krealkalyn, that’s spelled k-r-e-a-l-k-a-l-y-n is a form of creatine that’s also marketed pretty heavily is like more special than creatine monohydrate. It’s very special. It’s a special form of creatine that does not convert into creatinine as readily. So you don’t see a steeper rise in creatinine from using a creatine krealkalyn, but again, there is no evidence that creatinine is going to cause any amount of kidney or liver damage unless it is extremely elevated such as would be the case if you have rhabdomyolisis after an extremely difficult workout. You can’t get creatinine high enough to cause damage to your kidney and your liver by using creatine in the dosages that I personally recommend. Which brings me to my next point. How much do you take?
Rachel: Hmmm, what is the dosage, yup?
Ben: So, based on the studies that had been done on the use of creatine to increase strength, increase power, have a nootropic effect but you know, it’s one of those research molecules known to man. It’s kind of like fish oil. Ton of research about creatine, 5 grams per day, no loading phase, no need to have a wash out phase, no need to take twenty grams a day for 2 weeks and then gradually phase that down to 5 grams a day, just 5 grams a day, year round. I personally use Creapure. You could also just use a basic creatine monohydrate even though you do get quite as good absorption as you do with a Creapure. That’s basically it, and so I stand by that 5 grams for now, but I wanna throw one other caveat in there because I was actually on a phone meeting about this just this morning.
The nano medicine concept, the concept that we can take something like a micronized form of supplement or molecule and we can make it even smaller. We can turn it into a nano particle. That is a patented process and it is what I pay a company to do with marijuana, with industrial hemp really, to make the cannabidiol that we sell at Greenfield Fitness Systems. So you can take ten times less cannabidiol and get the same effect because it is a nano particle, extremely water soluble, extremely small. I am in discussion with that company right now about taking this testosterone formula that I’m developing and adding creatine which has been shown to increase testosterone through that particular product, but we’re gonna be able to get closer to about a gram per day by turning the creatine into a nano particle. That has never been done. It’s something that’s been trailing in myself and a small number of other individuals in combination with some of this other testosterone enhancing compounds like vitamin K, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc, etcetera, but at this point until that compound is completely done and right in polish and probably it’s gonna be closer to like September of this year before I actually have that available and completely developed, I’m standing by my recommendation of just taking 5 grams of preferably a creapure, a micronized creatine per day, no need to worry about your kidneys falling out. So there you go.
And oh, and by the way, I should mention the creapure that’s made by a company called well I should put it this way, a company that was called Exos. You know in the past we’ve recommended like the Exos multivitamin and the Exos fish oil, and all these different things from Exos. Exos is no longer here, okay.
Rachel: Oh no!
Ben: So Exos is now, it was owned by Thorne this company Exos. They were working with the Mayo Clinic as the only supplement to be endorsed by the Mayo Clinic. The only supplement to be picked up by the Olympic Committee to be used with their Olympians, the only supplement that is used by multiple national governing bodies of sport around the world as the safest, purest supplements to use. However, what they’ve done now is to avoid customer confusion, they’ve gotten rid of this whole Exos, the E-x-o-s branding and it’s all just Thorne now, right. So, for those of you out there who are taking like the same multivitamin that I personally take the Exos multivitamin or the Exos creatine, or anything like that, just know it’s still the same thing but now it’s called Thorne. So for those of you who’re lying awake at night, completely concerned about Thorne versus Exos that is, that’s now taken care of. Thank you.
Well, I know everyone’s brain is probably hurting by talking about everything from supplementation to stretching, but should we want to throw in just a little bit more human guinea piguedness, I thought we should finish up by giving something away. What do you think, Rachel?
Rachel: Yes. Right.
Ben: (piano music playing) So, this is the part of the show, I always feel like we should have some lulling piano music when I say this is the part of the show. But this is the part of the show where we give crap away, and what we’re gonna give away is a cool Ben Greenfield Fitness Tech t-shirt, a BPA free water bottle and a toque, a beanie, to the person who left the coolest most bad ass review in iTunes this week. Five stars is what we’re looking for. Please, good karma, leave the show review in iTunes. It helps with the rankings, helps to spread the word and we’re gonna give something away to the reviewer named Wallstreet Victim, interesting handle, and Wallstreet Victim, you’re hearing your review right on the show which means all you have to do is email [email protected] with your t-shirt size that’s [email protected], we’ll get a gift pack out to you. And Rachel, you wanna take this one away?
Rachel: Yeah. The title is Ben is my human guinea pig.
Ben: That sounds wrong.
Rachel: (chuckles) “Ben Greenfield’s show is the only podcast that I listen to on a regular basis and usually within a day or two of release. The mix of interviews with fitness, nutrition, health experts combined with Q and A in which he and regular co-host Rachel Brown makes for a very fresh and up to date round up of the bleeding edge of what’s happening in those fields.”
Ben: Bleeding edge!
Rachel: “He’s the best bit. Ben lives and breathes the techniques and products he discusses on this show often at some risk to himself. Whether it’s injecting unapproved peptides to speed tone tissue repair or strapping on electric sleep aides. He discusses his personal experience with the experts who advocate or sometimes criticize the techniques. In particular, Ben often dives deep into all sorts of testing whether it’s DNA, cortisol, stool and what he and the expert guest recommend based on results is a revelation. There’s barely a dull moment not even in the sponsored messages. Highly recommend”.
Ben: And sometimes that stool is explosive as a result. Just saying. And that is why we are going to rename this show in the future The Explosive Stool Show.
Ben: But until then for those of you listening in, you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/356. Remember I’m looking for a personal assistant and a massage therapist or both rolled into one. That would be convenient. You could help me check my email and massage me simultaneously.
And also everything else we talked about from creatine, to how long it take muscles to recover, to my recommendations for getting rid of a back hunch should you not wanna be the Hunch Back of Notre Dame and oh, so much more is over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/356.
So that being said, Rachel I know you are drooling and chopping at the bits to go get yourself The Man in the Arena mug, so I’m gonna let you go and we’ve got a great show coming out this weekend. A ton of really good guests. I’m gonna keep ‘em a surprise but trust me, you’re gonna want to stay tuned to the show if you aren’t already. Rachel.
Ben: Talk to you later.
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- Chalk another one up to the legal, performance enhancing effects of LIGHT: (this is a podcast about what I use for light therapy).
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Rachel Browne, the Podcast Sidekick.
How Long Does It Take Muscles To Recover
Jack says: How long does it take your muscles to fully recover after a weight training session? He currently does hard sessions 2-3x/week and wants to know if he’s over training. He only gives his body 3 days rest before the next training session – is this enough time to allow his muscles to recover?
In my response, I recommend:
–My article on top workout recovery tactics
– Compex for electronic stimulation 10-15 minutes per day
–2-3g leucine per day–10-20g essential amino acids per day–10g creatine monohydrate per day
Should You Stretch During Weight Training?
Larissa says: Is she wrong to be stretching each muscle group after she works them out with weights? She feels compelled to do this naturally and it feels amazing, but she noticed at the gym there’s no stretching area and none of the giant guys working out around me stretch ever. Also, heavy cardio makes her gain weight. She’s assuming its water. Is this always going to happen?
In my response, I recommend:
The Ultimate Guide To Getting Rid Of A Back Hunch
Kyle says: He’s a huge fan of the podcast. For kyphosis, what are some really good exercises or treatments? He has a tendency to hunch and he tries to catch himself. He often puts his arms out to his side and puts his thumbs outwards – just always trying to correct his posture. He knows there’s the sitting solution but he’s wondering if there’s any exercises or in-home treatments he can do. He’s heard of things such as laying on a hardwood floor for minutes at a time, do you have any other suggestions?
Which Form Of Creatine Is Best?
Paul says: He’s been taking 5g creatine for a couple of years for the cognitive and hormal benefits you’ve talked about on the podcast many times. The form he’s been taking is the type you recommend, micronised creatine monohydrate. However he recently heard that creatine monohydrate needs to be periodically cycled out of the body due to the build up of waste products creatinine in the blood stream. Is this something he should be concerned with and would you recommend switching to a creatine HCL which supposedly does not cause a creatinine build up and is also supposed to be more bio-available requiring about half the normal dosage?
In my response, I recommend: