February 1, 2018
[0:04:25] News Flashes – High-Intensity Interval Power Training
[07:41] Hyperventilating for 30 Seconds Prior to Weightlifting Set Induces Performance Boosting Alkalosis
[11:28] Smelling Salts
[13:43] PeakFitPro for Isometric Training
[16:32] Passive Heating
[19:10] Special Announcements: MVMT Watches/HumanCharger
[24:25] Listener Q&A – How to Increase Power and Endurance at the Same Time
[46:55] Biohacking Addiction
[1:03:22] Should You Drink the Water on Airplanes?
[1:10:33] Business Advice for Personal Trainers
[1:20:17] Giveaways and Goodies
[1:23:53] End of Podcast
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show: Biohacking Addiction, Training For Power And Endurance At The Same Time, Business Advice For Personal Trainers, Should You Drink The Water On Airplanes, and much more.
Ben: Brock, I’m sore and today it’s not from swinging the kettlebells.
Brock: [laughs] Oh, are you usually sore from swinging kettlebells? Is that your usual MO?
Ben: Of late.
Brock: I guess, yeah. You’re still training for that big kettlebell competition test, I guess?
Ben: Yeah, just the RKC certification. And also it’s a good way to stay in shape, kind of in the off-season from obstacle course racing because there’s definitely a cardiovascular training effect. But yesterday, I took all of, well not all of them, but the liquid gold that I extracted from my fat down in Florida about 8 months ago, the stem cells that I got extracted from all the fat in my back.
Brock: Oh yeah.
Brock: The fat that I wanted to turn into soap or candles and sell to all the Ben Greenfield fans out there.
Ben: Yup, I went in and I got a digital thermography done on the musculature of my back and my hamstring, which for the past month has just been giving me trouble. We found three huge tears in my spinalis, my QL, and my psoas muscles along with a tear of the obturator internis, which is basically part of the hamstring that’s just nestled right up against the [beep sound]-hole. And that’s the technical term for it.
Brock: Yes, not the sphincter.
Ben: Not the sphincter, the scientifically…
Brock: [beep sound]-hole.
Ben: Yes. We did a platelet-rich plasma and a stem cell injection into 11 different sites all up and down my back, and I walked out feeling like I’ve been to hell and back and been hit by a truck on the way to hell. So…
Brock: Yeah, I have so many questions. So, what was it, thermography?
Ben: Yeah, it’s like an ultrasound. It’s really cool, I’m writing an article on it and I’ll put it at bengreenfieldfitness.com so you guys can see the videos. But what they can do is they can take the needle and they can target the specific area of tissue, the actual fibers that are torn, by holding the thermography up. It’s like ultrasound.
Ben: If my back were pregnant, we would be seeing the baby inside but instead we’re just seeing muscle fiber tears.
Brock: Oh, okay.
Ben: So you basically use the thermography to not only diagnose where the tears are occurring but also to direct the needle full of stem cells or platelet-rich plasma or whatever else they’re injecting and a little bit of dextrose too, which is called prolotherapy. So basically I kinda take the next five days easy and let all this settle in and keep my fingers crossed that it heals up. What appears to have been the whole reason for the past several months, I’ve kinda had some issues with running and back pain and all sorts of stuff. So the good thing is that it is being fixed, the bad thing is I’m sitting right now like I’m freakin’ on a bed of nails.
Ben: So speaking of using kettlebells to enhance endurance, I was thumbing through the journal of strength and conditioning research, the big old blue magazine that arrives at my home every month, and I found a term that I actually wasn’t familiar with. It’s called high intensity interval power training, ever heard of this, Brock?
Brock: No, not until I saw this study as well.
Ben: Yeah, it’s really interesting. They compare traditional power training, which would be for example a large amount of force generated over a short period of time, against a relatively light load so you can move the muscles as quickly as possible. Like a bench press, right? 10 seconds as fast as you can go with 90 seconds of recovery, and you’d do that three times through, and then you move on to like a rebound jump, three times through, 10 seconds as hard as you can go, 90 seconds recovery. And then maybe like a Wingate cycling protocol where it’s 10 seconds as hard as you can go on the bike and then maybe a high pull with a barbell.
So anyways, what this study wanted to determine was the efficacy of that traditional power training versus what’s called high intensity power training. And in the study, what the high intensity power training looked like was like a circuit. So instead of what I just described, you would do bench press as hard as you can go for 10 seconds and then just long enough to walk over to rebound jump, 10 seconds of rebound jump as hard as you can go. And then a very short recovery period, 10 seconds of the high pull and then 10 seconds of high intensity cycling, so you’re almost doing power training as a circuit with very short recovery periods. And then once you get to the final exercise in the circuit, that’s when you would take your recovery. And it turns out that this high intensity power training caused some very significant changes in aerobic and in power performance, but the cool thing that I like about it is it allows you to squeeze a lot more work into a shorter period of time while still training for power. It appears that you don’t need quite as long a rest period if you’re kind of going from exercise to exercise, and in this study they actually kind of went upper body-lower body-upper body-lower body coz they did the bench press then they did the rebound jump then they did the high pull then they did the Wingate. But it seems like kind of a cool way to train if you really wanna train for power and you got a compressed period of time to be able to do so.
Brock: Yeah, we’ve seen tons of studies where you’re mixing those two, high intensity things and the powerlifting together, that you get all kinds of really advanced benefits, like a 500% boost in fat burning and all that good stuff too.
Ben: Yeah. And don’t get me wrong, if you wanna get as strong as possible, you need long rest periods in between sets and if you want to get as powerful as possible and you’re a powerlifter, and form is of the essence, then you would also want longer recovery periods. But this is kind of a cool hack, so to speak, because we all love that word.
Brock: Did you say hat?
Ben: Hack. Not a hat, Brock.
Brock: Not a hat?
Ben: Not a hat.
Brock: Better hat.
Ben: Yes, powerlifting hat. Another one, same research journal looked at hyperventilation, literally. Almost like the Wim Hof protocol or [quick breathing sounds] that kind of hyperventilation which…
Brock: I heard stuff just shooting out of your nose there.
Ben: Yeah, seriously, which we’ve thought it might be N-acetylcysteine. I’ve been doing internasal glutathione in the morning so…
Brock: How does that sound?
Ben: Just shot glutathione all over the microphone.
Ben: Anyways though, we know that when you do this Wim Hof breath work protocol or anytime you hyperventilate, you induce what’s called respiratory alkalosis. So a net alkalotic state…
Brock: Or respiratory.
Ben: Yeah, or respiratory if you’re in Canada. Anyways though, you can achieve the same thing. This is the theory behind how something like the supplement carnosine would work to buffer lactic acid or using sodium bicarbonate to buffer lactic acid. There are all these different ways you can buffer lactic acid, and just being in a net alkalotic state is another way to do it. It’s the same reason a lot of people start off their day with some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar or something like that to alkalize the body. But it turns out that you can achieve a pretty significant amount of performance enhancing alkalosis by hyperventilating prior to doing, in this case, repeated peddling sprints on, and this was pretty tough, they did 10 seconds of 10 sets, or 10 sets of 10 seconds. So as hard as you can go on a bicycle with 60-second recovery periods, but that’s a pretty brutal workout, and what they found was that when you compare very short hyperventilation and longer hyperventilation and medium, Goldilocks-style hyperventilation.
Ben: Yeah, about 30 seconds. It actually has a significant effect on performance in something like hard, ventilatory-demanding work. So it turns out that you could, prior to let’s say a very intense set in the gym, hyperventilate. Turns out, 30 seconds is like the sweet spot, what they found in this study. So you basically kinda do your [quick breathing sounds] like that for 30 seconds before you lift.
Ben: You induce respiratory alkalosis and that actually helps to buffer lactic acid, and for anything that you’re doing that would be considered kind of like a glycolytically-demanding effort, like let’s say a hard bicycle sprint for example, it helps. So there’s another cool, uh, “hat”/hack. Yes.
Brock: Yes. So you’re basically altering the pH of your blood through breathing rather than through supplementation.
Brock: So would it be the…
Ben: Yeah, you’re blowing off CO2.
Brock: Yeah, so it’s not so much the intake of oxygen as it is the blowing off of the CO2?
Ben: Yeah, correct. Which is why what you would wanna do is probably go underwater because even though it’s a technique used by free divers, CO2 is your body’s signal to take a breath.
Ben: And so what would happen is you could stay under the water much longer than you’re actually normally able to, but at the same time you have a much higher risk of something like shallow water blackout. So don’t use this for swimming, necessarily, unless you have a good friend who you are comfortable giving you mouth to mouth resuscitation. Otherwise just focus on doing this one on dry land, so…
Brock: Or if you’re like me and you wear water wings all the time.
Ben: Mmhmm, yes.
Brock: It’s safe that way.
Ben: The Spongebob Squarepants ones. Okay, so here’s another one, I’ve actually been having a lot of fun with this stuff. You ever heard of Nose Tork?
Brock: [laughs] Uh, no.
Ben: Nose Tork, you can get it on Amazon and I think it was Jujimufu, the guy who goes by the name “Anabolic Acrobat” who I actually interviewed on the show. He’s a powerlifter and an acrobat, he does these flips and splits with a 225 lbs. barbell above his head. Crazy stuff, but a lot of powerlifters, wrestlers, UFC fighters, et cetera, they’ll use smelling salts, ammonia-based smelling salts.
Brock: Ah, ammonia salts.
Ben: Nose Tork is like smelling salts on steroids. I actually travel with it now, I’ve got some back behind me here in the office. You could smell it, it’s like a freakin’… If you finished up a long day of work and you wanna go do a workout but you don’t feel like working out, you feel like going home to watch Netflix, this stuff will light a fire under your [beep]. I’ve even used it, I’ve played jokes on people with it before, I had a bunch of buddies over to my house and we just kinda pass it around to see how amped up we could get. And you sniff it, you just wanna go fight somebody, or have somebody punch you in the face or go rip a 600 lbs. barbell off the ground. It’s pretty crazy stuff, it’s called Nose Tork. I got mine off of Amazon, but it turns out that I’ve been messing around with it for the past month, and then I see this study that comes out that looks at the acute effects of ammonia inhalants on strength and performance. Long story short, no surprises here, is that they tested the stuff.
It wasn’t Nose Tork, it was smelling salts. Nose Tork’s like smelling salts on steroids, but they found a very significant stimulatory action and an increase in the rate of force development and a very high rate of force production. Specifically what they were looking at was maximal isometric strength, which is kinda cool because one of the other things I’m into right now is this concept of about once a week having some kind of a workout where you do single sets to failure. So for me, on Saturdays before I take the family snowboarding, I slip downstairs and do a quick, 20-minute long workout on this thing called a PeakFitPro, did I talk about this in the last podcast?
Brock: I don’t think so. This doesn’t sound familiar.
Ben: Yeah, so it’s called the PeakFitPro, and it’s basically a force plate that ties via Bluetooth to your phone, and it’s got a bar on it that you can move up and down and you just do five different exercises like bench press, deadlift, squat, lat pulldown and shoulder press.
Brock: Hmm. I think I saw a Snapchat of you doing the deadlift one.
Brock: I was wondering if there was a force plate or some way to measure your movements.
Ben: Yeah, well the Bluetooth signal from the device ties to your phone and you can set your phone so that once you are no longer producing up to 60% of the force that you started with, the set’s over and your phone beeps. So you just go all out, as hard as you can until you drop off to about 60% of what you’d normally be able to do, and then that’s it, set’s over. Usually that means you’re just going as hard as humanly possible for, 60-90 seconds is my max. The guy who designed it, he says he can go three minutes on a full on squat. That’s impressive, coz you’re like screaming as you do it. Jessa wants to come downstairs and see what’s going on when I’m doing this, but anyways, it’s a very cool way to train. It’s called a PeakFitPro, I’ll try and remember to put a link to it in the show notes. But basically, that combined with smelling salts would probably be quite effective, so this weekend when I go and do my little isometric protocol, I’m gonna try this Nose Tork stuff. And you should get some Nose Tork yourself up there, Brock. I know you’re Canadian so please don’t confuse it with the Nose Tuk.
Brock: Yeah, well I have a Nose Tuks otherwise your nose would freeze off. But, two things: it sounds like that stuff would smell like a very used kitty litter box.
Ben: Hmm, no. It smells like smelling salts. It smells like ammonia.
Ben: It smells like people’s [beep] who are on a ketogenic diet smells, like that. Like you shove your nose into a ketogenic toilet bowl.
Brock: And the other thing, if you combined those, especially if you combine those two things that you’re talking about, wouldn’t that just trash your HRV? Like your nervous system would just be demolished.
Ben: Absolutely, and you know what? Sundays are my recovery day. Sundays are the days I freakin’ fast and meditate and do yoga, so I have that thing on Saturday and after that I go snowboarding and the next 24-48 hours, I’m not doing much. So my HRV has plenty of time to compensate and engage in a fitness response, so I’m not too worried.
Brock: Okay, so you kids out there, make sure you heed that warning.
Ben: Heed that warning, don’t overtrain with single sets to failure. And then finally, kinda interesting study that looked at passive heating, meaning that hot bath that you might go take where you’re sweating in the bath or like a long sauna session. And I know, maybe I’m the only one, but sometimes I’ll sit in a magnesium salts bath that you’ll do for soreness sometimes, and I’ll just wonder as I’m laying there. I sweat in the bath, right? My body would get pretty hot coz I like my water warm when I’m taking a bath, and I wonder like “what kind of training effect am I, is here some kind of beneficial metabolic effects that goes above and beyond just me absorbing magnesium salts in my muscles for soreness?” And it turns out that they actually looked at 60 minutes of warm water immersion, similar to taking a bath, in this study and they compared it, specifically the metabolic response like the drop in blood glucose to doing that, they compared it to cycling. Sixty minutes of moderate cycling which is not super easy. So we’re not talking about super aerobic passive cycling but like jamming on a bike for an hour.
Brock: Like time trial kind of?
Ben: Yeah, maybe not time trial. Time trial would be like moderate to high, this one’s moderate, but still more than just riding your bicycle around Central Park or whatever. And they found, again, was that the effect on the ability to be able to lower blood glucose levels was significant. And of course we can probably throw sauna into this as well, and they attributed the improvement in cardiometabolic health from what they call passive heating to the expression of these heat shock protein which somehow ties into not only a drop in inflammatory cytokines but also an improvement in the ability to be able to lower blood glucose. So it turns out that it’s kind of a metabolic strategy, I don’t really encourage people to go take a 60-minute bath so you can eat a cinnamon roll. But at the same time, another kind of feather in the cap of heat and even passive heat, where you’re not exercising hard in the heat but you’re kinda sweating, turns out there’s pretty significant blood glucose stabilizing effect.
Brock: So all you lazy butts out there who don’t wanna ride your bike for 60 minutes, you can go sit on your sweaty butt in a sauna instead.
Ben: So this is the part of the show where I give you guys all the specials and the discounts and the goodies and the perks that you get for being a Ben Greenfield Fitness listener. Brock, you wanna join in for this one?
Brock: Uh, well actually, this is also the time when I’m gonna put my microphone down and go use the washroom because I forgot to do that before we started, so I’ll be back.
Ben: You need to go take a crap?
Ben: You’re not gonna wash your hands, I assume? You’re gonna?
Brock: Yeah, I was being polite. I am drinking coffee, so…
Ben: Ahuh, little turtle head poking out?
Brock: That’s enough.
Ben: Alright, don’t worry. I got this.
Brock: Alright, I’ll be back.
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David: Hey Ben, this is Dave Kesler. I need to speak quietly because I just got home from a long day of climbing and my wife is sleeping. So if it’s not loud enough, let me know. I’ll send you a better one tomorrow. Okay, I’m a lifelong climber. I’ve been working in the auto industry for many years as an engineer and physicist, and now I climb pretty much in retirement. Okay, the Holy Grail of climbing physical fitness is really called power endurance. You need to have the power to handle your weight but also the endurance to stay on a steep climb for a long time, like an overhanging wall, that kind of thing. So although I know how to improve fast twitch muscles and slow twitch and improve mitochondria, I’m wondering if there’s something that you can add to a climber who’s looking for things to do, things that he can work out better, better nutrition, et cetera, to improve his power endurance. Now we already know, most of us, that you do hypertrophy training for bigger muscles, more powerful, some endurance, mitochondrial endurance. Some of us follow Pavel Tsatsouline for more strength to recruitment, but since I’ve been a fan of yours for some time and recognize that you have a very broad scope in these areas, perhaps you can think of it in terms of power endurance as I defined it, and let me know what you would consider some new activities and some new dietary measures that we could use to improve our endurance and thereby improve our climbing. Okay, thanks again Ben, I’ll talk to you later. Bye-bye.
Ben: Well this is a timely question since we were just talking about that whole power study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning.
Ben: David could try that. He could just run around like a chicken with his head cut off, jumping back and forth between the bicycle and the bench press.
Brock: Sounds like he’s up for it.
Ben: Pretty sure that’s what all professional climbers do is the bicycle and the bench press.
Brock: I gotta say I love that David is like, he’s retired but he’s gone full time into climbing instead. That seems like my kind of retirement.
Ben: Yeah, exactly.
Brock: If I ever retire, that’s what I wanna do. That’s awesome, good on you dude.
Ben: Yeah, I’ll probably play tennis, honestly.
Ben: Yeah. I dunno, I like to climb but I don’t see myself doing it as a post-retirement infatuation. But there is some interesting research they’ve done on it, the physiology of rock climbing. I remember coming across this study a couple of years ago that I was able to check out again recently, and it just goes into the unique nature of rock climbing because it requires this sustained isometric forearm muscle contraction. But then there’s also a simultaneous increase in oxygen consumption and in heart rate, so it’s almost like if you were to do an isometric squat but somehow be moving at the same time which I suppose you could. Snowboarding might be an example for that, right? You’re a little bit of an isometric contraction and you’re kind moving and jamming at the same time, and you get a lot of lactic acid built up in the quads because of that when snowboarding. And I’m just saying snowboarding because that’s one of my sports and similar physiology just for the lower body.
With climbing, what they have found is because of this, a very significant requirement, not necessarily for VO2Max but for lactic acid tolerance, combined with what David alludes to which is power and strength simultaneously, right? So it’s a very unique physiology that rock climbing requires that we don’t see in a lot of sports coz you’re basically holding on to something and gripping isometrically, creating a lot of lactic acid but then also having to move in a manner that causes your heart rate to increase and causes a relatively large metabolic requirement. Even though we don’t see large VO2Maxes in climbers, there is a large what’s called a whole body VO2Max, meaning you kinda need to shove oxygen around a lot. So even though a cyclist or a cross-country skier would have bigger lungs, the rock climber would want to develop a better ability to be able to shuttle oxygen around the body and buffer lactic acid.
Brock: That’s really cool, I never heard about that before. It makes sense, though.
Ben: Yeah, I can try to link to the study in the show notes. This particular study was in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it’s completely free. It’s online and it is called, of all things, The Physiology of Rock Climbing. So, there you have it.
Brock: How original.
Ben: I’ll link to that one.
Ben: And when you look at rock climbing protocols or workouts, you do see this term “power endurance” thrown around, which kinda refers to this fact that you have to develop the ability to tolerate lactic acid while still engaging in efforts that kinda force you to create large amounts of force in short periods of time like leaping up to grab the next hand hold for example. And it sounds David kinda has his head wrapped around the training protocol for something like this, so I’m not gonna get too much into the training before I tackle some of the things he wanted to know about, like supplements and diets and biohacks. We all know that you can just sit around and just chug baking soda, buffer lactic acid and never train. So that’s what I specialize in.
Ben: However for anybody who wants to improve power and endurance, one guy who I think is kinda interesting in this realm, have you ever heard of Alex Viada? I haven’t had him on the show before, Brock.
Brock: No, I haven’t heard of him.
Ben: Yeah, so he’s pretty well known for doing what a lot of old school strength coaches might think is not possible like he’ll deadlift 700 lbs. and run a 50 mile ultramarathon in the same week. So he’s a pretty good powerlifter but he’s also an endurance athlete. He’s not like an endurance athlete who’s gonna be at the front of the bike pack in Kona, Ironman Hawaii or something like that but he will go out and do these pretty long endurance events and also power train at the same time. And I got his PDF somewhere in my computer, but he wrote this little book called “The Hybrid Athlete”, which goes into his protocol which is essentially a lot of low level aerobic work combined with brief spurts of incredibly intense heavy lifting, right? And so I don’t necessarily think that that’s the perfect rock climbing program versus being very rock climbing specific work, but for let’s say a triathlete or marathon or an ultramarathon or someone who would want to develop strength, or really more specifically power and endurance simultaneously, some of his programs that’s called the Hybrid Training Programs are really interesting. I believe the name of his website is Juggernaut Training.
Brock: That’s a great name.
Ben: I’ll link to that or to some of his Amazon books in the show notes but he’s got something interesting going on. I need to have him on the show sometime just because if you wanna have strength, power, and be like a big, old gorilla brute running on a time trial bike. We’re just probably gonna find a few Google image search Alex Viada, that might be the program for you. That or there’s another chap named Ben Greenfield who wrote a program called Try Ripped, which is kinda similar.
Brock: Hmm, I’ve heard of that one.
Ben: Build endurance and massive amounts of muscle at the same time. However, like I mentioned, it sounds like David has a lot of the workout component figured out so in my book “Beyond Training”, I do go into some foods and supplements that could assist with power production. And what I outlined in that book is that when it comes to power, the most important consideration from a food standpoint is the support of your nervous system since the speed at which your nerves communicate directly influences the speed of your brain speaking to your muscles. And the three best ways to do that that I outline in the book are omega-3 fatty acid intake and amino acid intake and B-complex vitamin intake. And the reason for that is that, first of all for the omega-3 is your nerves are wrapped in these sheaths, myelin sheaths, and omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, that’s particularly important in building that sheath structure along with oleic acid to a certain extent from extra virgin olive oil and Mediterranean fats.
So, consuming a lot of cold water fish and a lot of Mediterranean fats like olive oil, or if you’re vegan doing a lot of spirulina, chlorella, stuff like that. That would be, from a food intake, very important. From the amino acid standpoint, whole food sources of amino acid. You could certainly supplement with essential amino acids, but you could also include grass-fed beef and wild salmon and eggs. A lot of those things that, and I don’t wanna insult David’s intelligence by telling him how to get whole food sources of amino acids but just make sure you’re getting a good balance of amino acids, and that would specifically be because those are the precursors for neurotransmitters.
And then finally B-complex, nerves rely quite a bit on those, and that’s not just for synthesizing and circulating neurotransmitters but it’s also pretty important in nerve metabolism. So a good vitamin B source would be lots of dark leafy greens, beets are actually really good which is nice also because those can provide for good blood flow which could help buffer some of the lactic acid. And you even find decent sources of B-12 in organ meats like calves’ liver is a really good example. So just from a food standpoint, make sure you’re getting your good Mediterranean fats and DHA, good essential forms of amino acids which is possibly why vegetarians might be sucky rock climbers.
Ben: [laughs] Sorry, and then B-complex vitamin intake. Sorry vegetarians, depends on…
Brock: We love you anyway.
Ben: We love you anyways. Depending on the source of your amino acids, just make sure you’re getting complete amino acids in that wonderful vegetarian-based diet. So, that all being said, there are also specific supplements that can also help with power. Even before we look at things that can help to boost lactic acid buffering capabilities, probably the best supplements in addition to what you would probably guess, a good vitamin B-complex for the reasons I just outlined along with a good essential amino acids blend for the reasons I just outlined, few of the others would be green tea.
Green tea appears to be one of those things that really elevates neuronal activity, and so you could even slurp some matcha into your climbing. So green tea extract and good sources of green tea, L-tyrosine is another one and L-tyrosine is a naturally occurring amino acid but it’s a precursor to the neurotransmitter adrenaline. And so it not only gives you a little bit of a handy boost prior to a power workout, but L-tyrosine appears to protect neurons from free radical-based oxidation. And so for power that would be an especially important amino acid to include. And the dosage of that would be about 1-2 grams 30-60 minutes prior to a big climb, and then the last one would be choline. And choline can again allow you to form new neural circuits, but it’s also extremely important for nerve health. Not only for slowing neurological decline but also for improving muscle contractibility related to neuromuscular performance. So choline would be about 500 mg or so, again you need to take that about an hour before a very power demanding type of workout. You’ll find it in a lot of smart drugs too, everything from qualia to tianchi, those all have choline in them because of the role that it plays in the brain and the nervous system.
Brock: I didn’t realize it had such an acute effect that you’d take it an hour before doing something and actually benefit from that acutely.
Ben: Yeah, even as little as 30 minutes for choline, so you can take it directly prior to a workout.
Ben: Yeah, and then the only other thing I would mention before I talk about lactic acid buffering specifically, I guess this is kinda related to lactic acid buffering but it would be this idea of explosive body weight training combined with blood flow restriction. So, and I’ve been a huge fan lately, I think I mentioned this in the last podcast, been doing some body weight workouts on Wednesdays where I’ll use these what are called BFR bands, blood flow restriction bands that you wrap like a tourniquet on the arms and/or the legs. It’s also known as KAATSU training, and it causes a whole bunch of lactic acid to build up in tissue. Usually you do a body weight workout or some kind of a lighter weight workout with the tourniquet’s applied, and you can keep those on for the whole workout.
So for a sample workout, I’ll put on the BFR bands on the arms and the legs and then shuttle back and forth between upper body and lower body explosive work, right? Like 30-20-10 rounds, 30 reps, 20 reps, then 10 reps of pushups, jump squats, muscle ups, jump lunges, some form of a core activity like a planking type of motion, and then something that’s very metabolically demanding like 30 burpees. And you just go through that two to three times with the BFR bands on, which I really like. So you can do that in a hotel room or at the base of the mountain you’re gonna climb, whatever. So, BFR bands and blood flow restriction training, don’t do it at the base of the mountain you’re gonna climb, you don’t want to pre-exhaust yourself with all that training.
Brock: Yeah, sounds like a bad idea. [laughs]
Ben: Yeah. For improving your lactic acid buffering capacity, those work really, really well, I’m a huge fan of those. They’ve also done some really interesting research that shows that it can enhance the muscle building effects of body weight training. Brad Schoenfeld’s done research over the past few years that does show that you can build significant amounts of muscle by simply working a muscle to failure without the muscle necessarily being subjected to an extremely heavy load. And BFR bands or using some kind of a blood flow restriction method appears to enhance that even more, so…
Brock: Yeah, I saw the reason for that or what they assume is a reason for that is the lactic acid building up to that extreme either causes the muscle cells to explode or grow.
Ben: Hmm, yes. Exploding muscle cells, I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing. There’s also a significant growth hormone effect as well, so there’s that.
Brock: Mmhmm. Cool.
Ben: Anyways though, in terms of lactic acid buffering which is what that does, there are some things that have been shown to be tried and true for lactic acid buffering. Probably one of the more popular ones of course is baking soda, but I have yet to really implement that successfully in myself or any of the athletes that I coach without getting the side-effects of nausea and vomiting and diarrhea. All these studies will say “before exercise, take 0.2-0.4 grams of baking soda per kilogram of body weight” and some studies they’ll space that out over the course of three hours where every 20 minutes you’ll do a dosing of baking soda. And it does really help to buffer acid, and even when put into let’s say a morning beverage, it can be a little bit alkalizing to the body, very similar to a squeeze of half a lemon. A lot of people would be like “a little lemon, a little baking soda”, that type of thing, but doing it to the point where it provides an ergogenic aid for sports performance I think is playing with fire. You don’t wanna be that guy with explosive diarrhea on the wall.
Ben: So, there are things that I think afford us a little bit better living through science that don’t cause you to have to play with some of the issues of baking soda, Beta-Alanine is one. Beta-Alanine, what happens is when you consume that, it gets combined with… it’s an amino acid, it gets combined with another amino acid called histidine, when you consume it. And those two together form what’s called carnosine, and carnosine is a really potent lactic acid buffer, and the dosage for Beta-Alanine would be about 1-4 grams, so the dose range is pretty significantly spread out when it comes to the studies on Beta-Alanine. But Beta-Alanine is definitely studied and well-proven lactic acid buffer. The thing with Beta-Alanine though is because it’s converted to carnosine in the body, you could theoretically also just supplement with carnosine.
Brock: That seems a lot easier.
Ben: Yeah, because it’s like a building block for carnosine. I’m pretty sure Beta-Alanine is a little less expensive that carnosine and if it’s gonna get converted anyways, there’ kinda like that thought. But I’ve personally used Beta-Alanine and I found that to be pretty effective. Haven’t used carnosine too much, usually you’re gonna find carnosine as carnitine or L-carnitine, and you’ll see it a lot lower, by the way. And sorry to throw you guys under the bus again, vegan’s or vegetarians, carnosine, so… Either carnosine or Beta-Alanine, those are two examples. And then I did a podcast with this guy named Craig Dinkel, who’s a former competitive swimmer, he is a guy who competes at Altitude and he went…
Brock: Didn’t he have a lovely Scottish accent?
Ben: No, you’re thinking of someone else.
Brock: Oh, sorry Craig.
Ben: He’s full-on American. He talked about citrulline, though. And citrulline is actually a very well-documented vasodilator, and we find it in watermelons. That’s why watermelon juice or watermelon powder or even just eating watermelon is something that you’ll find bodybuilders doing to get a bigger pump. It’s also great for sex or before a workout.
Brock: Don’t you have to eat like three watermelons to get an…
Ben: Yeah, it’s kinda like beets. You’d wanna go with a beet powder or beet juice to really get an ergogenic dose.
Brock: Unless you really like beets.
Ben: Unless you really like the watermelon bloat, or yep, red pee and poo from the beets.
Brock: [laughs] Slosh around while you’re having sex. [sloshing sounds]
Ben: Right, or climbing with 2 lbs. of watermelon in your stomach. Anyways though, that was a great sound effect by the way Brock.
Brock: It’s very accurate.
Ben: Your “belly full of watermelon” sex.
Brock: [sloshing sounds]
Ben: Anyways though, so L-citrulline is the component in watermelon that causes that vasodilation to occur, and that can actually help out quite a bit with lactic acid buffering as well. So that would be one, and then when you look at some studies that have been done on L-citrulline, when it’s combined with something called malic acid, which is part of the Krebs cycle. That’s the cycle in your body that converts food into energy and water for the body. Well malic acid also appears to be a pretty potent alkalizing agent that buffers ammonia and buffers lactic acid. So kinda like stacking malic acid with L-citrulline, and that’s actually the reason Craig and I were talking about this was he actually has a supplement called Oxcia and it’s basically citrulline, malic acid and then he’s got some cordyceps in there for better performance at Altitude. But that’s a good example of if you want a “done for you” supplement that would be a pretty decent and unique blend of lactic acid buffering compounds. That one’s called Oxcia, O-X-C-I-A. So that would be another…
Brock: I believe I saw you popping some of those before the Spartan World Championships.
Ben: I think I had all three of his bottles, coz he has another one that’s liver and algae and then one that is I think chlorella and beets. And so all his formulas are really, really good for either performance at Altitude, which is the main reason he makes this stuff, but then also lactic acid buffering. So he’s got some good stuff at BioTropic labs. I’ll put it up, I think I’ve got a 30% discount somewhere. I’ll put it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/379. So those are a few of the biggies, David. I would say read the sections in my “Beyond Training” book on food for power, specifically. I’ll link to that physiology of sport rock climbing article if you just are curious about the physiology. You have no better thing to do than read the British journal, and then I will also put a link to some of Alex Viada’s Juggernaut training stuff and the BFR bands and some of these supplements that I’ve talked about that can help to buffer lactic acid. If you fall off of a wall anywhere in the world, we take no responsibility for anything that has occurred, especially if it has anything to do with the giant watermelon in your stomach or explosive diarrhea.
Steve: Hey Ben, my question for your podcast: Do you have any tips when it comes to breaking addictions? I mean like behavioral addictions like gambling or substance abuse. Any tips or information that you have would be great. Thanks.
Ben: Are you addicted to anything, Brock?
Brock: Uhh, yeah I’d say so.
Ben: I’m trying to think, but I guess I’m probably addicted to, even though I switched to decaf coffee, for one week out of every month to kind of keep myself from getting too into coffee. It’s just like the taste, if I can’t have decaf or regular coffee, I just go nuts.
Ben: I tried that green tea thing for a month then I just missed coffee.
Brock: That’s exactly what I was thinking of when you asked me that. “Ehh well, coffee.” Coffee’s pretty much my biggest addiction.
Ben: For a little while, I was really into vaping at night but then I did that Peak Brain Institute thing, the neurofeedback in LA, and that can kinda reset your tolerance to alcohol, to marijuana, remove addictions. Dr. Andrew Hill, he’s brilliant at this stuff, I’ll link to the podcast that I did with him or to the Peak Brain Institute in LA, that’s neurofeedback.
So neurofeedback basically uses almost like a subconscious type of training to give your brain a little slap on the wrist when it airs into areas of brainwave production that you wouldn’t want to be in. And in many cases, brainwave ratio abnormalities are related to addictive behavior, so neurofeedback and specifically going to a professional neurofeedback practitioner like that. I know he’s got a clinic in LA coz that’s where I went to.
Ben: San Diego. It’s not something you can just pop on and do online, but neurofeedback, I’d certainly look into.
Brock: I did some neurofeedback just outside of Seattle.
Brock: And it’s interesting, you said it was a slap on the wrist for the wrong kind of brainwaves. The one that I was doing was actually the opposite; it was a reward for the right kind of brainwaves.
Ben: Yeah, it’s that too. I’ve done that too, it’s kinda both, right? Because for example in the game that I played the most, my spaceship that I would fly with my brain would stop flying. The music would stop and the ignition would stop coming out of the back of the space ship if I aired into let’s say excess stressful beta brainwave production. But then as soon as I got into the right type of brainwave production, like better alpha for example, the spaceship would not only start flying again, but I would start to collects these little rewards and jewels that were in the path of the spaceship.
Brock: I got a really cool image of my own brain and some lovely music playing whenever I’d hit alphas. Very soothing and rewarding.
Ben: Yeah, that’s awesome.
Brock: Cool stuff, but yeah, that’s a great intervention.
Ben: Yeah, what we in first world countries do when we’re bored, sit in front of computers and fly spaceships with our brains. Anyways though, so there are few other things though when it comes to this whole idea of electricity, they have done some pretty interesting studies on electrical stimulation of the brain in what’s called non-invasive brain stimulation. Now granted I did just record a podcast that hasn’t come out yet with the author of the book of Beyond Human where she gets into these brain pacemakers that you can now get installed in your brain, at least in some clinical studies, that are actually I guess you would call invasive brain stimulation versus non-invasive brain stimulation coz from what I understand they’re actually using a surgical procedure to put them inside of your brain. But in the meantime, should you not want to get your skull cracked open…
Brock: No, thank you.
Ben: A few other forms of brain stimulation that they’ve used in studies. One is transcranial direct current stimulation, or what’s called TDCS, which is a low voltage, weak current.
Brock: How many volts?
Ben: About a 9 volt battery is what would deliver this. So it penetrates the skull to a degree but it’s much too low to have a really significant neural firing effect, but it can upregulate the firing of motor neurons a little bit, which is why there’s this device called the Halo that’s a lot of times used for improving sports performance because it increases the activity of the motor neurons prior to sports. But they’ve also done studies on cocaine and alcohol and cannabis abuse, and found that TDCS can have an effect on these.
Brock: Have you ever really tried that? That Halo device, at all?
Ben: Well, see I was thinking about perhaps putting it on and trying it when I know I’m gonna be craving something, or I suppose I could get up in the morning and put it on and see if I’m able to better overcome my craving for a cup of coffee, that type of thing.
Ben: I dunno if anybody listening has, I’ve only really used it for, and it’s fantastic, for workouts.
Brock: You find it works?
Ben: It makes you feel like a friggin’… Oh my gosh, workouts?
Ben: It’s like cheating. Yeah, I mean I should combine that with a Nose Tork actually, for my next isometric set. But yeah, it really works very, very well for workouts. The TDCS used in the studies, I believe it’s been clinically overseen by scientists in white lab coats, not necessarily a home TDCS device designed to look like Beats by Dr. Dre. But you could try it coz you can buy this thing for your home.
Ben: I mean if it doesn’t work out, at least you got a great little exercise tool.
Brock: You know, the reason that I asked about that, the reason I brought it up is I actually have a little bit of insider hockey information here although it’s not hockey related. Our buddy Alex Hutchinson, I was editing another piece of audio a little while ago with him, talking about how the Halo device sorta gets it wrong because it’s passing the current form one part of the brain to the other part of the brain where something more efficacious would be to pass during the brain and then through the shoulder or something like that. So you’re actually getting a through-put rather than a sort of arching.
Ben: Hmm, that’s interesting. I assume that if you’re stimulating motor neurons, you’re going to have that effect anyways.
Ben: But I could be wrong. I’d love to see… Is he writing an article about this?
Brock: I think it’s in his book that’s coming out in February, called Endure.
Ben: Alright, well we digress.
Brock: We totally do, but I love that you tried it and you actually felt a benefit. Cool.
Ben: Oh, a ton. I still use it every week, its sitting right back behind me on my desk. I like it coz I can just jam on a bike to warmup and go do my workout.
Brock: Okay, anyway…
Ben: Could be placebo but…
Brock: Hey, placebo is a good thing.
Ben: Yeah, so there’s also a transcranial magnetic stimulation, deep brain stimulation. Most of these, you kinda have to go to a clinic to have done. TDCS, you can probably find a home device to experiment with for something like that. Same thing with neurofeedback, you have to go to a facility to learn how to do it but then afterwards you could probably do like what I did. You just buy the equipment, take it home, and use it after that. The only other form of brain stimulation that I would think about was device called the Circadia, and it was designed for sleep by a company called Fisher-Wallace. But it causes a pretty massive dump of dopamine into your brain when you put it on. It’s like one pad goes on one side of your head, the other pad goes on the other side of your head. You dip the pads in water before you put them on and it’s kinda like one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, right? You’re essentially shocking yourself into a state of submission.
Brock: What, you turn into Jack Nicholson and start [laughs] twitching?
Ben: Start leering at people. Anyways though, it’s called the Circadia and it upregulates serotonin and dopamine because the mechanism of addiction is a lot of times reliant upon you craving the dopamine release you would get from a specific substance. This would be another thing very related to a lot of the brain stimulation or electrical studies that they’ve done on people. So if you’re up for a home device, I would say you could try the Halo for TDCS or you could try the Circadia for brain stimulation for dopamine and those would be a couple of things in addition to neurofeedback that you could look at from almost a biohacking type of standpoint.
Brock: Yeah, you strapped that Circadia on my head while we were in Tahoe, and I got super mellow.
Brock: It killed any of my drive to do anything, even to go out and get drunk or something.
Ben: Yeah, you just lay there on the couch and ate Doritos and watched Family Guy the rest of the day. It was horrible.
Brock: That was from something else. [laughs]
Ben: It’s actually really, really good for sleeping and for naps if you wake up during the night. I did interview the folks that designed it, but yeah it’s called the Circadia. I’ll link to it on the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/379.
A couple of other things I would look into though, first of all there’s a substance called a mucuna pruriens, which is basically something that would be used to rebuild dopamine production. And you can actually just buy this off of Amazon, and mucuna pruriens is a plant and it contains L-dopa, which is a naturally produced amino acid that turns into dopamine in the brain. And anytime you want to enhance an experience like sex or eating, or anytime you want to reduce your drive to consume a certain substance because the dopamine that you’re craving from that substance has already been provided by something like mucuna. This is something that could come in handy, and the dosage is somewhere in the range between 100-500mg. I’d start with about 100mg, you can always increase that if you want to, but it’s got a very pleasant kind of effect. Anything that causes you to release dopamine, whether it be LSD or mucuna, I would be careful with because you don’t want to unnecessarily become dependent on it to produce dopamine. But just from an over the counter supplement standpoint, mucuna is one that I would certainly look into.
And speak of the devil, we get into the realm of psychedelics and a fascinating amount of research has been done on the use of psychedelics for addiction. Psilocybin is probably the one that most people of late, based on the research at Johns Hopkins University that has tested its ability to stop nicotine addiction specifically. And some other stages are going on that they’re looking at it for removing dependence on opioids.
Brock: And alcohol, too. I saw some on alcohol as well.
Ben: I didn’t know that, interesting. Mushrooms are far more dangerous than alcohol, be careful with that. I’m kidding.
Brock: [laughs] What??
Ben: Anyways, yeah, Psilocybin appears to be somewhat safe. I interviewed Dr. Anthony Beck who suspected that it may have a some kind of a deleterious impact on people who have methylation issues, which you can test with a genetic test. But ultimately, microdoses of Psilocybin may actually be somewhat effective at addiction, and even single time TRYP doses appear to, in some cases, reboot that addiction. And so look up the research on Psilocybin, the ingredient in magic mushrooms or something like this. And LSD is another one that, when given in microdoses, we’re talking like 10-15mcg in most cases whereas a TRYP dose would start at about 100mcg or so. LSD would be another one that appears to have some potential for controlling; I know they have done studies on LSD and alcohol, but acting very similarly. Some of these dopaminergic pathways to reduce reliance upon certain substances, and with LSD there’s even another form of it that you can find on the internet for far less expensively. You’d still have to use, in most cases, BitCoin or cryptocurrency to buy any of these things that would be considered illegal. But it’s called PLSD, very similar analog to LSD, acts very similarly. I have used it and both LSD in microdoses and found them to act somewhat similarly, although you need slightly more of the PLSD. It’s also much less cost prohibitive and far easier to find without necessarily using the dark web and a cloaked browser. You’d still need, in most cases or ever case as far as I know, cryptocurrency to actually purchase it because most of these websites don’t want to deal with payment processors and banks shutting them down for selling a potentially psychedelic substance not intended for human consumption. But either microdosing with LSD or microdosing with PLSD would be another thing that you could look into doing, along with microdosing with Psilocybin. And then the big guns, really, for full on addiction would be the West African psychedelic bush extract called ibogaine.
Brock: Hmm, and DMT.
Ben: Well yeah, ibogaine is like DMT, and not to overuse this analogy, on steroids. Kinda like Nose Tork is like smelling salts on steroids, so a single dose of ibogaine, a very large TRYP dose seems to be effective for a very long time in reversing or permanently eliminating addiction. And you can go to these clinics, for example, in Costa Rica and you can actually go to a weeklong ibogaine clinic where this is administered. And a lot of people will find great success with ibogaine when it comes to things like heroine or opiate-substance addictions. It’s also been used for alcohol, for marijuana, for tobacco, cocaine…
Brock: I’m pretty sure there’s a clinic in Mexico now, as well.
Brock: I mean you don’t have to go all the way to Costa Rica.
Ben: Yeah there might be. A guy I interviewed on the show before, Dr. Dan Engle. He speaks quite highly of a place in Costa Rica, and I’m trying to remember the name for me to go. I think Anthony Espacito is the guy that runs it. It is called, I have somewhere a note that he sent me, Iboga Wellness, I-B-O-G-A Wellness, ibogawellness.com. So I’ve got a little bit of a curiosity, almost like an interest in seeing what that particular substance would feel like, but at the same time it’s very powerful and somewhat uncomfortable, kinda like you go to some pretty intense places when you use something like ayahuasca or DMT, ibogaine is a little bit stronger than that.
Brock: Oh, the place I’m thinking of isn’t even in Mexico; it’s in New Mexico.
Ben: There you go, even closer.
Brock: Crossroads Treatment Center.
Ben: Yeah, Crossroads. Yep, exactly. You can also, very similar to microdosing with LSD, you can also microdose with iboga. I actually have some up in my pantry. It’s great for before workout, take 300mg of iboga coz a lot of African tribes will use this for whipping themselves up into a frenzy. And it only sticks with you for 2 or 3 hours but it kinda gives you a little bit of a perk. Iboga, if you wanna just microdose with it, but anyways so that’s the drug lecture, kids. And I’d say, Steve, hopefully some of that stuff helps you out. If you wind up addicted to LSD, Psilocybin and going nuts on ibogaine in Mexico or Costa Rica…
Ben: Very similar to David having explosive diarrhea or watermelon baby belly while climbing a rock, we take no responsibility for anything that happens to you or your brain after listening to this advice.
Alex: Hey Ben, I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to your podcast as well as digging for any research I can find about health, especially inflammatory responses in the body. So I have a scenario and question for you. I work in an airline in the United States, but I won’t say which although I’m sure this is a common problem. The problem is I frequently see our aircraft are written up for maintenance because they have no functioning potable water supply for drinking water and for washing hands; the reason being is that the water tanks have built up an unacceptable level of e coli and need to be cleaned. My question is this: is the risk of drinking from such a water supply ever worthwhile for the sake of triggering a hermetic response in the body? It seems many pilots are split between two schools of thought. On one side, the answer is absolutely not. On the other side, it’s viewed as a way to prepare and build the immune system for a sort of “end of days” bacteria breakout. Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the situation. Thanks.
Ben: Yeah, did you hear about these studies, Brock? On water and airplanes?
Brock: No, not the water. I heard about the studies they did on the backs of the seats in front of you and how much bacteria is in there versus how much is in the bathrooms.
Ben: It’s nasty, I mean not that I hope anybody’s freakin’ bending down an airport bathroom and sucking water out of the tap. But even the stuff the stewardess walks up and down the aisle with, those plastic cups of water, I dunno if those always come out of the Fuji bottled water that they got there in the back or that’s false advertising and they’re really just taking that stuff straight out of the tap of the airplane tank which has been shown to be a pretty significant breeding ground for bacteria. They did a study in 2015 on aircraft water quality, and they found that water tanks are “conducive for microbial growth” meaning that they have a huge amount of choloform, which you’re gonna find in feces, and also a huge amount of, drum roll please, e coli.
Brock: Hurrah, feces and e coli.
Ben: Which of course Alex is considering consuming for its potential hormetic purposes. And it turns out that I wouldn’t drink water from a water tank on an airplane for a variety of reasons that go far beyond e coli, like for example fluoride, and metals, and chlorine, and Lord knows what else is lining that tank that who knows when it’s been cleaned. But e coli is actually very interesting, it’s basically a bacteria that we find naturally within the human body.
Brock: Mmhmm, yeah we’ve always got e coli.
Ben: Yeah, many of us host a population of e coli in our gut that aids digestion and protects from a lot of harmful microbes. In her book, I believe it was her book “Pharmacology”, Dr. Daphne Miller interviewed, even goes into the fact that when you look at listeria and e coli and a lot of these potentially pathogenic organisms, they only appear to be deleterious when the gut is absent in flourishing bacteria, like a good range of other bacteria. Which is why kids should grow up in farms and drink raw milk, when you look at their stomachs they actually have a lot of listeria and e coli and a lot of these other potentially pathogenic bacteria. But they’re asymptomatic because they have so many of the other good bacteria that came from the soil and the plants and the pets and the farm animals and all these other things that are around them. So maintaining a really strong, flourishing microbial community in your gut appears to be the most important thing to do if you are going to get exposed to e coli. But pathogenic e coli, there is bad e coli. There’s e coli that actually carries a few extra genes that provide the information needed to produce components that make those strains pretty harmful.
Brock: Skinny genes, right?
Ben: Yeah, once they get into the gut, they specifically release biological poisons/toxins. That’s what causes the diarrhea and the stomach upset and everything else. And harmless e coli can pass through the digestive tract and just remain in the digestive tract and allow for the production of vitamins and production against parasites and a lot of other beneficial effects, but pathogenic e coli such as you might find that’s either had DNA modified or the type of e coli you might find in drinking water on airplanes, that would be something you’d wanna be careful with. And I don’t really see a huge benefit to the hormetic effect from some of the poison that these things can produce.
Shiga toxin is one that you’ll find that causes bloody diarrhea and kidney damage, right? There’s another form of e coli that basically causes leaky gut and breaks down the lining of the cells in the colon and also causes a pretty significant fever. Could that potentially be protective if you have some rampant parasitic infection? Maybe, but I don’t see that. Something like sunshine or cold thermogenesis but that’s gonna produce a lot of a beneficial hormetic effect that offers you a lot of benefit compared to the risk and discomfort it creates. And so, e coli and a lot of other bacteria will exchange genes and they’ll do that with special viruses that target bacteria called bacteriophages. And those viruses reproduce themselves by injecting their genes into e coli, and that kinda hijacks the bacterium’s internal machinery, takes it over and causes it to become capable of producing a lot of these toxins.
And so, I think that when you look at airplane water or a lot of these foods that can get contaminated with a pathogenic source of e coli, it’s kinda like the perfect storm of a lot of different bacteria, and then the presence of e coli all in this soupy mixture that potentially produces a pathogenic e coli. So ultimately, I’m pretty careful about stuff like that and I don’t think that there’d be a huge hormetic effect to sucking down e coli or popping an e coli pill or anything like that, if it really is truly this pathogenic e coli. Although I don’t know the form of the e coli that they actually found in the drinking tanks of the airplanes of the study that they did, I would just be careful. Raw cookie dough and raw beef and raw eggs, just make sure that you know what it’s been exposed to, how much bacteria it’s passed through. And I’m no expert on e coli, I know that some can be good for you and we shouldn’t shove it all under the bus but I’d be careful of stuff in the water plant tanks, personally.
Kieren: Hey Ben, Kieren here from Sydney, Australia. My question is: noting the dynamic landscape of the fitness industry today and with a constant barrage of new information and a flooded market, what advice would you give someone starting out as a personal trainer in 2018? Thanks Ben.
Brock: So Kieren clearly doesn’t want to actually make a lot of money or become a millionaire at any point.
Ben: Are you kidding me? Have you seen Jillian Michaels lately? Jillian Michaels, the world famous personal trainer? Or Bob Harper?
Brock: Yeah but we have to kill her off before somebody can take her throne.
Ben: Speaking of Bob Harper and people getting killed off, Bob Harper almost died. He had extremely high Lp(a) content and I think he had a heart attack, so yeah.
Brock: Sorry Bob.
Ben: Sorry about that, Bob. Anyways though, so yeah I actually used to get hired to travel to all these fitness business conferences and give advice to personal trainers and teach people how to make money with brick and mortar gyms and personal training facilities because that was what I did. And there were definitely certain models that worked really well that wish I’d known about that kind of beat the pants off of private 1-on-1 dollars per hours personal training. And there are a variety of such things like group training where you’re gonna train a group of individuals versus one person 1-on-1, and in most cases those clients are paying a monthly subscription fee and you’re training them in groups of 10-25 clients, right? Or semi-private training where maybe they’re paying a little bit more but it’s 2-4 people that you’re training at a time, again kind of a subscription-based month-to-month model. There’s online coaching, which I think is a model that’s overused by personal trainers who haven’t spent enough time with people in actual gyms, in actual facilities, seeing how people move, doing functional movement screens on people, assessing how the programming that personal trainers providing is actually affecting someone versus just shooting in the dark and delivering it online. I do not recommend getting all excited about being an online personal trainer unless you’ve really put in the time in the gym first in a brick and mortar setting.
Ben: Like all these Instagram personal trainers ripping their shirts off and doing special acrobatic moves on Instagram. It’s pretty but I wouldn’t necessarily listen to them when it comes to actual programming, especially if your body is on the line.
Brock: I agree.
Ben: So the online personal training can be an adjunct or something to add on to, something like a combination of private training and then group training and then semi-private training, but it shouldn’t be the bread and butter, mostly because you gotta be out there actually helping people and doing it in a situation where you can physically be there, seeing people move. Even myself when I travel to seminars and conferences, I still will teach fitness classes, lead morning workouts, I’ll still help people out with certain moves, I’ll assess people. And that’s because I still want to maintain that edge of being able to see how people move and to be able to program for them accordingly. And so just from a pure business standpoint, I mean I wrote a whole book on this. It’s called, you can probably find it somewhere, it’s called “Train for Top Dollar.” Super cheesy name.
Brock: Oh man, I forgot about that.
Ben: Way back in the day, I think the website still exists. Yes, it’s still on Amazon, I think. It’s called a personal trainer’s guide to earning top dollar.
Ben: Yeah, it’s like a $20 book on Amazon. It was kinda funny though, I was in Panama I think, teaching at a retreat in Panama, and somebody came up to me and they had that book. And they were like “I’ve been reading this book to enhance my person.” When you have books that are ten years old, I don’t think it talks about anything regarding self-quantification or HRV or any of the stuff we do now. We’ve got for example our Kion Coach Certification that we’re building out where we go into a lot of that stuff, which is kinda like the next level of the Superhuman Coach Certification that I currently have over at superhumancoach.com. But that personal trainer’s guide to earning top dollars, I did write a book about this back in the day. That would be one that you could look at, but in addition to just setting up your business using some of those resources that I just talked about, I’m a big fan of continuing education. And just real briefly, I’m gonna give you the top things that I would do if I were a personal trainer and things that I do do. And that would be…
Brock: I’m not even gonna give a reaction, I’m not gonna say anything.
Ben: I know. You got rid of your do-do earlier in this podcast, Brock, so that should be off your mind. The Examine Research Digest comes out twice a month, great synopsis of up to date research in the nutrition and the fitness and the supplementation industry, I would subscribe to that. Alan Aragon’s Research Review, that one also comes out once a month, chock full of really good research and breaking down that research and also teaching you how to analyze the statistical power and the significance of a research study. Big fan of that. The Weston A. Price Foundation, I really like their magazine. I believe it’s a quarterly, but when it comes to pretty solid nutrition and supplementation advice, I’m pretty on board with most of what they do from a nutrition standpoint. Everything from liver and raw milk, they’re just not very dogmatic in their dietary approach, meaning if it’s real food and it grow on God’s good earth and it can be rendered digestible and it’s nutrient dense, eat it. Right, so there is no “no bread”, there’s no “no dairy”, no “lectins are the devil”. It’s pretty much just like a “be smarter than the food” approach.
Brock: Yeah, and they’re location based too.
Brock: They don’t necessarily say everybody should eat this if you live in this part of the world that doesn’t have x/y/z, you don’t eat x/y/z.
Ben: Right, right.
Brock: Which is great.
Ben: Exactly. So the Weston A. Price Foundation, follow them, get on their newsletter as well, and then in terms of CEU’s, like I mentioned go to, Brock do you know what the URL is for people to go and get signed up to be first in line for the new coach certification that we’re building out for personal trainers and docs and chiropractic physicians, et cetera, over at Kion?
Brock: I don’t know the exact URL but you can easily find it from getkion.com
Ben: Okay, so just go to getkion.com.
Brock: And there’s a coaching link somewhere in there.
Ben: Yeah, go to getkion.com and we’re building out a pretty robust coach certification that involves a whole bunch of my own modules and teachings, and we’re upgrading the Superhuman Coach curriculum and kinda replacing all that with that curriculum. And so that…
Brock: And we’re currently only taking all of Ben’s chicken scratch that he wrote down on napkins and stuff and turning it into a real program.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. And then the Chek. I like Paul Chek and I like his certification process, and if I had to choose one that I would use as something to put on top of a good personal training cert or college degree, I would do something like the Chek certification combined with some of those other resources that I just described. I would hire a personal trainer who is a Chek certified personal trainer who was following what the Weston A. Price Foundation had to say about diet, who was reading Alan Aragon’s Research Review every month, who is consuming the Examine Research Digest, and who was, narcissistically enough, following my own Kion Coach Certification where I go over strength, power, speed, endurance, air, light, water, electricity, all that stuff. That’s kind of like the full package. Kieren, I will put links to some of these resources for you in the show notes. And yeah, that’s what I’ll do man.
Brock: And don’t short-change or skip the advice to work with real people and get out there and coach in person, coz not only is that, like Ben said, is really important to know how people move and be able to watch them but it’s also a great way to kick off your business, really. I used to work with 70 or 80 people at the same time twice a week, and basically when I opened up my coaching business I had hundreds of people who already knew who I was. And it was a lot easier to start a business when you’ve already got boots on the ground.
Ben: That’s actually how I got this podcast started was I had 30 people that I taught a weekly triathlon class over at Lake Washington, and I started sending them newsletters with the latest research. And then I was like “screw that, this is taking too long to type so I’ll record them videos.” And then I started putting those videos up on iTunes, and then I eventually I realized you gotta do your hair and make-up to do a video but you don’t for audio. And so I started recording audios, and this is 10 years ago and that was the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. That was how it started though, it was just like supplying information to this small group of people I was teaching triathlon training classes to.
Brock: But you had an audience.
Brock: You have to develop that audience.
Ben: Yeah, my email list was 30 people and that’s literally the same… I don’t even know how many, I think we have like 90,000+ people on our email list now, but there’s originally just those 30 people in Washington State. Funny how things change. Anyways though, let’s give some stuff away. Let’s give some crap away, shall we?
Ben: Yeah, so this is the part of the show where we give a T-shirt and a BPA-free water bottle and a sweet little Ben Greenfield Fitness beanie to the person who’s review we read on the show, so if you leave us a 5 star review on iTunes, or any review that’s nice or entertaining and you hear it read on the show, then all you need to do is email [email protected], that’s [email protected], with your T-shirt size and we will send you a handy-dandy gear pack straight to your house. So Brock, this one’s called 10 steps ahead of the game, a 5 star review by pebelaine. You wanna take this one away?
Ben: It’s kinda long in the tooth, but we’ll read it anyways. Make it entertaining, Brock.
Brock: Okay, yeah. It goes like this. “Wow.” That’s it. No, I’m just kidding. “I’ve been listening for about 2 years and just now realized that I have yet to leave a review.” Slacker.
Brock: [laughs] “Ben is always ahead of the game. I can’t thank him enough for his transparency and willingness to question conventional wisdom or any otherwise unsupported claim. He is part of the less than 1% in the industry that provides unbiased information and does not stand in his own way when uncovering the facts. With that said, I do admire when he is quick to point out the seemingly woo-woo status of a good story that ends up in a discovery of a larger sense of well being or other sense of enlightenment. But we are complex creatures and we are learning crazy facts about our true nature each day, so bring it on. I was 19 when I began listening to this show and have gained so much insight about life by listening on a regular basis. I feel confident about my future well-being. Thank you, and also a special li’l shoutout to Rachel. Really missing her awesome vibes, come visit us soon. Smoochy face.”
Ben: Who’s Rachel?
Brock: It’s an emoji. What, who’s Rachel?
Ben: Oh, sorry Rachel.
Brock: Come on.
Ben: Not funny. Our old podcast host, our hot Australian host we lost and had to replace with the ugly, pooping Canadian. Anyways though…
Brock: [laughs] Ugly, pooping Canadian.
Ben: Great review, pebelaine. Thanks for listening, thanks for the kind words. And for the rest of you, bengreenfieldfitness.com/379 for the rest of you suckers who didn’t get a gift pack, go leave a review on iTunes. You might be able to snag one for yourself and also spread some good karma in the process.
Brock: Leave a short one coz you know that I’ll just butcher it if it gets too long.
Ben: Brock’s dyslexic, keep it short. And I can say that coz my wife’s dyslexic, I’m allow to make fun of dyslexic people. If someone you love has a condition, you’re allowed to make fun of that condition. I think that’s the rule.
Anyways though, so go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/379, that’s where the show notes are. I’ll stack them all up there for you, all the studies, the smelling salts, that isometric thing that I use, all the devices for biohacking addiction, all the little business advice for personal trainers and the book I wrote 10 years ago, all that stuff. Bengreenfieldfitness.com.
Brock: Our endurance hat.
Ben: That’s right, Brock’s hat. Bengreenfieldfitness.com/379, have an amazing week.
Feb 1, 2018 Podcast: 379 – How To Increase Power & Endurance At The Same Time, Biohacking Addiction, Should You Drink the Water On Airplanes, Business Advice For Personal Trainers. Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, click Ask a Podcast Question at the bottom of this page, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page.
News Flashes: [4:25] The high-intensity interval power training used in this study looks like a killer workout… with really good neuromuscular response. Hyperventilating for 30 seconds prior to a weightlifting set induces performance boosting alkalosis very similar to bicarbonate supplement. And it’s free. Ever used smelling salts like this during a workout? turns out they have a really good proven effect on strength and power. Ben mentions the PeakFitPro for isometric training. Wow. 60 minutes sauna beats out the equivalent amount of time riding a bike for blood glucose control. You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on Twitter.com/BenGreenfield, Instagram.com/BenGreenfieldFitness, Facebook.com/BGFitness, BenGreenfieldFitness.com/Snapchat, and Google+.
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Listener Q&A: [24:45] As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick. How To Increase Power & Endurance At The Same Time David says: I am a lifelong climber and now a full-time climber in my retirement and I am after the holy grail of climbing – power endurance. I need the power to handle my weight and the endurance to stay on a climb for a long time. I know how to improve muscle strength and mitochondria but is there something a climber can add (supplements, diet, biohacks) to improve their power endurance?
In my response, I recommend: –Beyond Training book –Physiology of sport rock climbing –This article on foods and supplements for power and speed –Juggernaut Training and Alex Viada –BFR Bands & blood flow restriction training –beta-Alanine –Carnosine –Baking soda with Lemon -Oxcia from Biotropic Labs supplements (you can use code BEN30 for 30% on all 3 bottles by Biotropics)
Biohacking Addiction Steve says: Do you have any tips when it comes to breaking addictions? Specifically behavioral addictions like gambling or substance abuse. Any tips or info you have would be great!
In my response, I recommend: –Mucuna Pruriens –Amino Acids for neurotransmitter /dopamine precursors –The Halo device –The Circadia device – get $100 off when you use code GREENFIELD at checkout. –Peak Brain Institute in LA (neurofeedback)
Should You Drink the Water On Airplanes? Alex says: I work for an American airline and quite often the aircrafts are written up for not having a functional potable water supply for drinking or washing hands. The reason being that the water tanks have built up an unacceptable level of e coli. My question is this: is the risk of drinking from such a water supply ever worthwhile for eliciting a hormetic response in the body? It seems many pilots are split between “absolutely not” and “a good way to prepare the body for an end-of-days bacterial breakout”. What are your thoughts on this?
Business Advice For Personal Trainers Kieren says: Noting the dynamic landscape of the fitness industry today and with a constant barrage of new info and a flooded market, what advice would you give someone starting out as a personal trainer in 2018? In my response, I recommend: –Chek Certification –Kion Coach Certification –Weston A. Price Foundation –Alan Aragon’s Research Review –Examine Research Digest –Personal Trainers’ Guide To Earning Top Dollars
Read more at: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/biohacking-podcasts/379-biohacking-addiction-training-power-endurance-time-drinking-water-airplanes/