[08:14] News Flashes: Fitbit’s 150 Billion Hours of Heart Data Reveal Secrets About Health
[17:53] A Study Finds That No Such Thing as Too Much Exercise
[23:13] Walking Meditation
[26:14] Special Announcements
[35:31] Listeners Q&A: How Skinny Guys Can Get Big Muscles
[56:40] Is GHB Safe?
[64:51] What To Do After High School
[75:00] Giveaways & Goodies
[79:16] End of Podcast
Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast: How Skinny Guys Can Get Big Muscles, Is There Really No Such Thing As Too Much Exercise, Is GHB Safe As A Party Drug, and much more!
Brock: Well, hey there, Ben. How are you doing? I’m having a hell of a morning so far, but how about you?
Ben: A hell of a morning?
Ben: What’s a hell of a morning?
Brock: Well, a good one. I had a good sleep, I went out for a good run, I had a good breakfast, had a big cup of coffee in front of me, everything is going beautifully.
Ben: That’s a lot of good. That’s a lot of good. For me, do you want the good news or the bad news first?
Brock: Oh no! Let’s go with bad.
Ben: All right. So, the bad news is I almost killed myself in the sauna or at least almost put out an eye. I had a bright idea to drag an infrared light panel into my sauna. So I have, I think I bought it from Sauna Space, I think, it’s four 250 watt near-infrared bulbs that I have screwed into almost like a chandelier-like device that holds all four bulbs at once and, you flip it on, of course all four bulbs turn on. So, if I bring that into my infrared sauna in the morning, I can make my infrared sauna hotter and also add a whole bunch of near infrared and I thought I was a smart cookie doing that.
Brock: It sounds smart.
Ben: But, the problem is that… yeah it sounds smart, it sounds like something a smart person would do.
Ben: Anyways though, so I got about halfway through my sauna session, I guess, maybe about 20 minutes in and the lights, I think I was in a down dog position and one of those 250 watt lightbulbs exploded and sent glass shards flying all over the sauna. There’s literally one little glass shard actually stuck in the wood, the rest is scattered across the floor and somehow, God is good because somehow, I did not get hit by a single shard of glass in there in the sauna. And, I mean, it was like an explosion, like put-out-an-eye explosion.
Ben: So, I guess I was going to say that’s the bad news, but really I guess that’s the good news is that I didn’t die in my sauna or become blinded by an exploding infrared lightbulb.
Brock: Yes, that is good news coupled with bad news of, I guess, you won’t be trying that again. Do you think it was a heat thing? Did it just get too hot?
Ben: Yeah. It was a heat thing. It wasn’t a failure of the bulbs or this device I got from Sauna Space or anything like that, it was just me doing a dumb thing. So, anyways, don’t do that, people.
Ben: There other thing is… The good news is I’ve got a new smoothie, a new smoothie. We’re all about smoothies here on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show because who doesn’t want to avoid cooking and instead just dump a bunch of stuff into a blender and see what happens?
Brock: I just like to outsource my chewing. I’m tired of chewing. It’s a pain in the butt. I’m that lazy. Screw chewing, let’s smoothie everything.
Ben: That’s true, they should just start to call the Vitamix and the Blendtec the “Mommy Birds” because that’s really all they’re doing.
Ben: Chewing up your food for you and, they’re not quite vomiting it into your mouth, but it’s very, very close.
Brock: You could rig something up.
Ben: Yeah, they could probably rig up some kind of vomiting device to those things.
Ben: Anyways though, we are all about… well, I guess some people call it “biohacking.” I don’t call putting butter in your coffee or putting superfoods into a smoothie “biohacking,” I call that cooking and I call it barely cooking because, really, as you’ve just alluded to, Brock, the machine’s doing most of the work.
Brock: It’s doing all the work.
Ben: Anyways, we digress. So, what I did was I researched every ingredient that targeted things like mitochondrial density and the health of the mitochondria membrane; and hormesis, like hormetic pathways, that induce cellular resilience; anti-inflammation; increased production of your own endogenous stem cells and collagen; the pathways for NAD, you know a lot of people are getting this antiaging molecule NAD injected, but you can take certain things that increase your own endogenous bioavailability. There’s a lot of things in the antiaging community that are called sirtuin activators or stacks like blueberry and dark chocolate and red wine, more specifically grape skin extract, not red wine particularly, just the grape skin in the red wine. And anyways, what I figured was why not take all these ingredients and make them into a smoothie?
So, what I did was I created this massive list on Amazon of everything, like moringa, aloe vera powder, turmeric, cacao, wild strawberry powder, organic blueberry powder, glutamine, the FourSigmatic 10 Mushroom Blend, even desiccated liver extract, coffeeberry fruit, everything I’ve ever talked about for enhancing longevity and I made an Amazon list. I turned it all into a smoothie and you just basically take one or two teaspoons of each of these compounds, you put them in a smoothie. And what I did was I put it all over ice with a little bit of stevia and I used bone broth because I like bone broth for the added collagen and gelatin benefits and my stomach just feels really good when I use bone broth, although I suppose you could for a creamier texture, use something like coconut milk, blend it all up, drink it, and it actually did not taste like, as I expected it to and as I’m prone to say, ass. It actually didn’t taste too bad. I topped it with some cacao nibs and some spirulina and, better yet, I turned this thing… You know how you can make a list on Amazon?
Brock: No, I was actually wondering about that when you said you made a list on Amazon; never actually knew that.
Ben: Yeah, you can make a list. I’ve got a list of the books that I bought my boys that we’re going through between now and when they’re 13 and they’re going to do their Vision Quest or rite of passage when they’re 13. And so, I have all the books that I’m going through with them leading up to that. But the smoothie, I’ve also got a list of all of this so if people want to actually use those books or use that smoothie they can actually just go to my Amazon List. So, I will put this in the show notes, the show notes are going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/391 or if you just want to skip the show notes, and I’ll put this right at the top of the show notes, you can also go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/AntiAgingSmoothie because I figured out I was just going to put this all on Amazon. You can just buy it, all these ingredients, put them in your pantry, and make the exact smoothie I did. I’ve even got comments on there about how much of this and how much of that to put in. Isn’t that cool? Isn’t that good news?
Brock: So, you can go to Amazon and I don’t have to click on every single link? I can just say I want to buy all this list and it’s that easy?
Brock: I don’t’ want to turn this into an Amazon commercial, I totally sounded like they’re paying for this, but I’m just curious.
Ben: Yeah, that’s it. You could turn it into an Amazon commercial, I don’t care. They bought WholeFoods; they’re wonderful. Now, I save money at WholeFoods. They’re a big wonderful corporate giant.
Brock: They are the richest company in the world for a reason.
Ben: They’re not as wonderful as Monsanto, but they’re wonderful. So, yeah.
Brock: I’m confused.
Ben: Well, first of all, Brock, before I proceed, I was joking about Monsanto. They’re evil. I just recorded a podcast about Monsanto and it’s pretty bad. I’ll release the podcast, I think, actually I believe that podcast might even come up this Saturday in a couple of days. It’s pretty shocking what they’re doing now – Monsanto. They’re not good.
Brock: Yeah. They got very focused on profits and kind of forgot about the humans I think.
Ben: Yeah, I’m not even going to open that can of worms, honestly, because I talk about it on the podcast. I don’t want to get derailed.
Brock: Fair enough, fair enough.
Ben: But, this is really interesting. So, this is the part of the show, of course, where we talk about all the cool news flashes that came out. And FitBit, God bless them. FitBit, even though I’m not a fan of FitBit, I don’t wear it, I like the, as you know, the Oura Ring better. It just tracks more and more accurately.
Brock: And you look like you’re in the mafia because you’ve got a pinkie ring.
Ben: Not anymore, I’ve got it on my ring finger now and it’s smaller, the new what they call the Generation 2 Oura. It’s smaller. So, yeah.
Brock: So, now you just look like an engineering student.
Ben: Uh-huh. Yeah, pretty normal than my pocket protector.
Brock: Or a graduate, I guess.
Ben: Anyways, quit derailing me.
Ben: So, anyways, FitBit just released about 150 billion hours of their heart tracking data. And heart tracking data, from just any wearable, it’s not rocket science to make it actually log your resting heart rate accurately. So, that’s what FitBit does; that’s what all these tracking devices from the Apple Watch to the Oura Ring… Usually to track resting heartrate and there’s not a lot of rocket science, you just track heartrate unlike sleep data and plethysmography data and heartrate variability data, all that kind of depends on the technology built into the device. But FitBit has done a good job collecting all of this heart data and they’ve released all this information.
There’s this fascinating article that appeared on Yahoo about what they found based on resting heartrate. So, for example, we know that according to something called the Copenhagen Heart Study that you’re twice as likely to die from heart problems if your resting heartrate is approaching 80, compared with anyone whose resting heartrate is below 50. And, they actually backed that up with this FitBit data. They confirmed this data that shows increased risk of cardiovascular disease in people who have a higher resting heartrate.
But then, they went in and because they have so much data, so much big data, because so many freakin’ people are wearing a FitBit now, they found a lot of other interesting things like: women tend to have higher resting heartrates than men and it’s not because women are going to die of cardiovascular disease earlier, it’s because they tend to be smaller. It’s the same reason that hummingbirds’ heart beats a ton – their heart is smaller, so their stroke volume is lower, so the heart needs to work harder to make sure the blood circulates and gets to all the vital organs. So, some of the other interesting things that they’ve found though was that a huge number of the population seem to experience a steep drop in the heartrate after middle age and what they attributed that to is because over 30% of adults in the US have hypertension, most of those people are on beta blockers and calcium channel blockers which are essentially blood pressure medication. So, they’re saying that one of the big reasons we’re seeing this drop in heartrate is not because people are getting healthier or fitter as they approach middle age and beyond, it’s because so many people are getting on medication that artificially lower the heartrate. So…
Brock: That ain’t good.
Ben: I know. That was one interesting thing. Another one was that they found that when it comes to the actual effect of exercise, and I actually want to get into another study here in a moment, they found that exercise is, of course, good at lowering your resting heartrate. A lot of people say, well, they think of the heart like a battery, right. You’ve got ‘x’ number of beats in the heart and then it’s done with, so why the heck would you exercise and use up all of your heart’s contractions with frequent exercise? Well, the answer to that is that a brief exercise session of, let’s say, 45 minutes a day lowers your resting heartrate for the rest of your life, for the other 23 hours and 15 minutes. So, ultimately, you see more benefits when you exercise in the heartrate than when you don’t. But, what they did find was that there was not a change in the resting heartrate once you exceeded about 250 minutes of exercise per week. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes, but there was a law of diminishing returns meaning there wasn’t a drop in heartrate that occurred. Once people got after about 250 minutes a week, and I didn’t even do the math, we could probably do quick math on this. How many hours of that would be per day? I know we’ve tried math on the podcast before…
Brock: It never goes well.
Ben: It hasn’t worked out too well. I believe it comes out to about 80 minutes a day, though.
Brock: That seems about right.
Ben: Around in that range. So, 80-90 minutes a day, you really don’t see an increased benefit at that point and that kind of backs up what we know from mortality data that once you exceed about 60 minutes of intense exercise and once you exceed about 90 minutes of aerobic exercise, like marathoning or swimming or cycling or running or something like that, you actually see a slight increase risk of mortality because of an increase in arterial stiffness and you don’t actually see a decreased risk in mortality. And, FitBit just backed this up by showing that it also doesn’t seem to make an impact on your resting heartrate. If anything, though, one thing I should throw in there as we’re kind of going down this road of talking about how good a low-resting heartrate is, is that from an overtraining standpoint, like for elite athletes, sometimes you’ll see elite athletes develop what’s called bradycardia, like Lance Armstrong with his heartrate of… what was it? Do you remember? 34? 33?
Brock: Yeah, it was like the low 30s.
Ben: Yeah. What’s yours at?
Ben: Okay. Yeah, and mine tends to be… depends. When I’m in the middle of race season and I’m doing a lot of blood volume and heartrate work, I’ll tend to be upper 30s, but ultimately if you see a steep drop in your resting heartrate over the course of several days, like a drop that’s more than three beats below what you normally are, that can often indicate overtraining.
Ben: Heartrate variability is a better metric, but yeah, it’s very interesting how there are certain populations for when a low resting heartrate, especially a low resting heartrate that seems to occur just drastically all of a sudden over the course of a week, that could indicate impending illness or injury. So, another caveat we should throw in there.
A couple of other things that they found from this article and I’m only touching on just a brief amount of the data if you really want to go into this.
Brock: Yeah, this is a good article.
Ben: Yeah, it’s really good. So, they found that, for example, there was a score card they developed that was based off of life of events plotted against heartrate data. That was fascinating. There were certain amounts the person had, and this was an n=1, but they tracked their heartrate based on life events like when they went on vacation, when they started using a treadmill, when the school year ended, when the school year began, when spring break began and vacation began. So, the steepest rises in resting heartrate, and this is relevant at the time that this podcast is coming out, were Thanksgiving, Christmas, running a Kickstarter campaign, the kid’s graduation, a family reunion, and passing a kidney stone. All of those resulted in a steep rise in the heartrate indicating some kind of stress or some kind of intense foray out of one’s comfort zone whereas the lower heartrates occurred during vacation, spring break, and the end of the school year, and the time when someone began using a treadmill. So, there you have it.
Brock: Makes sense. Yeah.
Brock: Doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out.
Ben: Nah, what kind of country do you think had the lowest resting heartrate?
Brock: I’m going to guess some Scandinavian country like Denmark?
Ben: Yeah, Sweden was pretty low. So, the highest was India for average resting heartrate. They’re close to… they’re actually almost close to 70 for average resting heartrate. The lowest was a place where we find a lot of these longevity hotspots and it was…
Brock: Oh, Japan!
Ben: No, Italy.
Brock: Oh, dang.
Ben: No, Italy. Yeah, Japan was middle of the road. Japan was almost equivalent to the US, about 64. But, Italy was very low. Another one was another Blue Zone, Costa Rica, very low. But, when I say very low, it’s still kind of relevant. “Very low” is 61 for Italy, which in my opinion, for resting heartrate is… I like to see people with good cardiovascular fitness close to 50 or 60 or lower as we’ve alluded to. But anyways, we could go on and on about this study, but ultimately I’ll link to it in the show notes for all of FitBit’s 150 billion hours of heart data that they unveiled over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/391.
Now, of course, very relevant to this is this brand new study that came out this week and here’s what the headline said… Did you see this one, Brock?
Brock: I did. Yeah, go ahead.
Ben: Okay. “No Such Thing as Too Much Exercise, A Study Finds.”
Ben: So, this was a news study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and what they say and what media has been saying in these articles is that based on recent evidence, even though there’s been suggestions that elite athletes and heavy exercisers could be at risk of things like thickened heart valves, irregular heartbeat, and clogged arteries, and some research have theorized that there’s a U-curve for exercise, and I’ve ever said this on a podcast, of course, I just did say it on the podcast where too little exercise or too much exercise can damage the heart or result in increased mortality. It turns out that based on the analysis of long-term data from the Cleveland Clinic in which they looked at over 120,000 patients, I think that’s a pretty respectable N, between 1994 and 2014, they found that pretty much across the board, the more elite of an athlete someone is, the more death-proof they were; the more highly active someone appeared to be when it came to the extent of their aerobic fitness, the longer that they lived. And so, this was a VO2 max test on a treadmill that they were measuring these people on. So, essentially, what the media said then was, “OK, well it turns out there is no law of diminishing return between time spent exercising and fitness and mortality.” But, this is a huge flaw and I wanted to bring this up in the podcast because I could just imagine all those CrossFitters who are doing hot yoga while simultaneously training for a triathlon and a kettlebell certification…
Brock: That’s me!
Ben: [laughs] They’re going to use this as a way to justify spending yet another hour in the gym, but this study never measured the amount of hours spent training. All they did was they gave people a test of cardiovascular fitness, a VO2 max test on the treadmill, and then they divided them into different tiers of mortality based on those fitness results, but all this means is that the people who had a higher amount of aerobic fitness did not have increased risk of mortality. They never, ever looked into how often these people were training and I would definitely say that (a) increased performance on a VO2 max test is highly correlated with genetics just as much as it’s correlated with how much you train, (b) you can get yourself, and I have an entire book on this, this is what “Beyond Training”, my last book on endurance is about, you can whip yourself into amazing aerobic shape without necessarily doing a death march every weekday during your lunch hour and a three hour bike ride on a Saturday and some incredible open water swim on a Sunday combined with weightlifting every day, right. There are better ways to train cardiorespiratory fitness, more intelligent ways to train, don’t require hours and hours of beating yourself up, and I would still say, based on the data that FitBit just released and also all the data that I talk about in that book and that we’ve discussed before in the show, this study in no way disproves the idea that there’s a law of diminishing returns when you’re beating yourself up with exercise every day. All it shows is the fitter you are, the longer you live and I couldn’t believe that the media took this and said there’s no such thing as too much exercise. What it should have said is there’s no such thing as too much fitness, right?
Brock: Fitness, yeah.
Ben: Yeah, because there’s a big difference. It may seem like a subtle difference, but it’s a pretty big difference. So, ultimately, once again, I’d say this shows that you always got to look at the study behind the headlines. So, that was an interesting one.
Brock: Were you able to find… did they have any graph or anything that showed the VO2 max correlated with a death age?
Ben: No. they didn’t have a correlation between VO2 max and death, but I can tell you, my wife and I were talking about this actually last night at dinner as you can imagine the Greenfield house is chockful of all sorts of geek-ery that occurs at the dinner table.
Brock: Great dinner time conversation!
Ben: But, really, the VO2 max test, again, we have to couch all this stuff in realistic terms. The maximum incline they reached on the VO2 max test was about, I believe and I’m pulling this out of my memory, somewhere around 16-18% at a walking speed of 4-4.2, right. So, these were still, in my opinion, not elite athletes they were testing. To call someone an elite athlete because they can make it to, let’s be generous, let’s say 4.2 on an 18% incline on a treadmill, yeah, that’s hoofing it on a treadmill uphill walking at a brisk pace, but I know elite athletes who are doing intervals of 10 miles an hour at 10% on the treadmill or athletes, I’ve got friends in the obstacle race industry who are doing 40% incline for, in some cases, two or three hours. So, it’s all relative. So, anyways though, it’s interesting stuff.
So, the last thing I wanted to mention, speaking of walking at 40% on an incline treadmill which I don’t classify as meditation is a great little audio on Jack Cornfield’s website. He’s got a nice little website where he does some writing and he does some audios and he has a really great piece he released this week on walking meditation – something that I personally love to do. Do you ever do walking mediation?
Brock: Yeah. Yeah, quite often actually. I did some this morning.
Ben: Yeah, and for me a lot of times it going up on a farm road behind my house. And the way that I do it is I do breathing through my nose, deep breathing through my nose, and then I’ll stop every once in a while when I pass, let’s say, a telephone pole and I’ll hold my breath for as long as possible and then when I’m completely out of breath, I recover, but I force myself to recover through my nose. And when I finish a walk like that, which I’ll typically do over the course of about 25-30 minutes, I get back and feel very similar to as though I’ve done a yoga session or a meditation session or a sauna session. And he’s actually got some pretty good tips in here for walking meditation. For example, you really want to focus on feeling the pressure on the bottoms of your feet and natural sensations of standing and then you walk kind of slow with your arms swinging almost tai chi-esque by your side, like the old Asian men at the park, you want to walk like that nice and slow and kind of a flowing way as you follow each step mindfully. So, we’re not talking about the power walk that you see the couple doing down the neighborhood street, the middle aged women walking at a brisk pace while conversing in their Lulu Lemon. We’re talking about just a really slow, almost meditative stroll. And, he’ll do it back and forth instead of just walking from point A to point B, just choosing 30 to 40 feet and walking 40 feet and then turning around and walking back the other way 40 feet. And so, it’s a very interesting way to move and meditate at the same time and I honestly I feel better when I move as I’m meditating than I do when I’m sitting and I’m meditate. I just do. I don’t know why, but I do. The only other thing that I wanted to note when it comes to this whole idea of walking meditation is that it’s vastly enhanced with high conception of psilocybin beforehand.
Brock: What isn’t?
Ben: Yeah, I know. I know pretty much everybody before they meditate these days can no longer meditate. You have to be on a psychedelic or a nootropic prior to meditation. So, it’s no longer acceptable to just meditate. So, use Jack Cornfield’s advice, but be sure to microdose with psilocybin beforehand, of course.
Ben: Oh, Brock, I remembered what this Saturday’s podcast is about.
Brock: Oh, yeah? It’s not about Monsanto?
Ben: It is, but it’s about gluten. Gluten. Yeah and how you can eat gluten without getting diarrhea. So, one of the things that we talk about in that show coming up on Saturday is the stuff called dipeptidyl peptidase. Have you heard of this?
Brock: Yeah, there’s a product that’s got a really catchy name that I’m totally forgetting right now that has it.
Ben: Gluten Guardian.
Brock: Gluten Guardian! That’s the one, yeah.
Ben: Yeah, you should know that because they’re actually a sponsor of today’s show and this is a case where, as is always the case actually, if I talk about something on the show it’s because I use it. Because I send my kids off to the birthday parties they attend with this stuff. It predigests gluten. They actually have a video showing where you sprinkle it on bread and you can watch the bread turn into liquid when you sprinkle this stuff on the bread, when you open up one of the capsules and you sprinkle it on the bread. While I don’t necessarily endorse doing that at a restaurant because it’d just make the bread one big sloppy, nasty mess and who wants bread soup at a restaurant? You can actually pop this prior to eating pizza or bread or any other gluten containing food and it actually predigests all of the gluten. Now, I wouldn’t necessarily use this as the opportunity to eat a bunch of crap, but at the same time, when I go to a steakhouse and I want to have a nice, big slice like the artisanal bread that they bring out prior to the appetizers, if I pop this stuff beforehand, I get zero stomach discomfort. So, it’s very, very cool. Good idea, I think, too. I’m guessing they’re probably going to kill it with this product because who doesn’t want to be able to have their cake and eat it too. So, anyways, I don’t know if it’d word for poutine. Would it work for poutine, Brock?
Brock: It would, but I don’t think there’s any gluten in poutine.
Ben: Oh, I always thought poutine was every offensive molecule known to man all covered in grease and sold in Canada.
Brock: No! It’s quite simple actually, it’s three ingredients.
Ben: All right. Well, I was just in Toronto and I walked passed a poutine shop and it looked like a heart attack on a plate, but that could have been your guys’ equivalent is of Domino’s pizza up there.
Brock: Yeah, probably.
Another thing you can pop before a meal and this also is, in all seriousness, something that I take now along with Gluten Guardian before I have dinner if the dinner has gluten in it, I’ll add the Gluten Guardian; if not, I’ll just have this before dinner anyways. It is a liver protectant and it also lowers your blood sugar very similar to the diabetic drug Metformin based on my pre- and post-prandial blood testing or my glucose levels, but it basically is completely natural. It’s bitter melon extract, the same stuff they eat in Okinawa, Japan, combined with rock lotus which has a lot of really cool clinical trials on it for improving your liver function and fatty liver. So, if you like to have a cocktail or glass of wine with dinner, the rock lotus is taking care of that. If you have carbs in the evening, which is what I do, I save most of my carbohydrates for the evening, the bitter melon is insuring your insulin sensitivity is improved. So, more of that is partitioned into muscle, for example, and it’s a really cool 1-2 combo. It’s called Lean, Kion Lean. It’s one of the fine supplements that we have over at Kion. So, what we’re doing for all of the listeners is you can use the URL GetKion.com and the actual discount code is BENLEAN10. That’s BENLEAN1-0.
And then, a couple of other things, this podcast is brought to you by East West Health. They’re in Salt Lake City, I’ve actually been there before for stem cell treatments and they have a really cool approach because what they do is they combine acupuncture with stem cell treatments and that actually increases the blood flow and the circulation of the stem cells and they actually have some research that they’ve released on their website, and I’ll link to all of this in the show notes, where they show how when you combine acupuncture with stem cells, you actually get more efficacious activity of the actual stem cells. And, they even do intranasal stem cells. You can snort stem cells ala crack cocaine.
Ben: Yeah, just snort ‘em. They actually… I haven’t done that yet. I need to get down there and try that out, but they’ve got some compelling studies on that and Alzheimer’s and the treatment of some brain related issues. So, if anything, it’s a good story for a cocktail party; just tell people about how you’re not snorting your own stem cells. That’s what wealthy antiaging enthusiasts do at cocktail parties.
Brock: I guess?
Ben: So, they’re giving all of our listeners a consultation that’s totally free to do a consultation with East West Health, it’s free, and they’re also giving all of everyone a book called “The Stem Cell Breakthrough”. Very simple, you just go to AcuEastWest.com, ‘Acu’ as in acupuncture, A-C-U, AcuEastWest.com and what they’ve told me is that all you need to do is mention Ben Greenfield and you’ll get a free consultation and you’ll also get that book. So, there you have it.
Brock: I’m holding out until they offer haircuts.
Brock: And a shave, too, actually. That would be awesome. So, acupuncture, stem cells, shave and a haircut. Done.
Ben: Right, intranasal of course. So you could snort the stem cells.
Brock: It might hurt your beard after it’s shaved off.
Ben: Yeah, there you go.
And then, finally, this podcast is brought to you by, if you want to throw something else in your smoothie and maybe you don’t want to go on Amazon and get my entire list of antiaging smoothie ingredients and you just want one this, here’s a pretty good one. It’s got moringa, it’s got chlorella, mint, spirulina, beets, match green tea, wheatgrass, ashwagandha, turmeric, lemon, and coconut water, but it’s all in one canister, and it’s called Green Juice, coconut and ashwagandha-infused Green Juice. This stuff is made by Organifi and they also, if you were going to add just two things to your shopping cart over there, head on over there, have this wonderful pumpkin spice Golden Latte. It’s like Thanksgiving in a cup. It’s like your grandma made you a pumpkin spice latte, although now that I think about it, my grandma never made me a pumpkin spice latte.
Brock: Mine neither.
Ben: Yeah, but it tastes like something she would’ve made on Thanksgiving if she knew how to make a latte or she knew what a latte even was. She was more of pumpkin pies and, of course, turkey and mashed potato and the beets, unfortunately she used the ones out of the can, not the better version of the beets like the cubed. You know, my wife makes beets and boils them, they’re real beets, and cubes them and serves them with goat cheese and a wonderful salad. My grandma would just take the canned beets and then slice them. Regardless, still love my grandma. So, anyways, this Green Juice it’s got beets in it. It’s got a lot more in it and you get a 20% discount. Just go to Organifi.com. That’s Organifi with an “I”, Organifi.com. You get 20% discount code with GREENFIELD on any of the fine ingredients including the pumpkin spice and the green stuff from Organifi.
Then, finally, the last thing I’d throw in there would be, we’re kind of nearing the end of the race season and I’m speaking at a lot of events that are coming up. We’ll put them all over on the show notes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/391, but one place I’m going to be is San Francisco. I’m going to go to San Francisco the first week of December, they’ve got a stadium race there, Spartan stadium race. I always love to see our fans out there doing burpees in the dugout and rope climbs in the outfield and running around the concourse at AT&T Stadium. If you’ve never done a Spartan race before, this is a fun way to get introduced to the sport of obstacle course racing without necessarily having to climb under barbed wire in the middle of a muddy forest. So, it’s the AT&T Park Stadium. They probably would if it wasn’t something that would result in litigious events and lawsuits put barbed wire and forest and mud there, but ultimately as it is, it’s a little bit more of a clean race. It’s almost like doing a giant CrossFit workout in a stadium. So, it is December 1st and December 2nd. You can race both days if you want to down in AT&T Park in San Francisco. I’ll be there and it would be fabulous to see some other friends there. So, head on down, do the Spartan, a little thing to keep you fit and motivated over the holiday season. So, there you have it.
Alex: Hey, Ben. This is Alex here. First time caller, long time listener. I wanted to get your thoughts on a situation I’ve been dealing with these last few years. I’ve been going to the gym mainly with the goal of gaining muscle mass and hypertrophy in my upper body, mainly in my chest and in my shoulders, and I’m not seeing the results I wanted to. I was wondering if this is down to primarily my body type being ectomorphic in nature, I have been watching my protein, I have been making sure my lifts are targeted at the muscles that I want hypertrophy, and I’m just not getting the results. I was wondering if these efforts are completely futile or if they should be put elsewhere if I just need to tweak a few things. I’d love to hear your thoughts, man. Thank you.
Ben: Brock, last year you and I did a little bit of a mass and I have to admit I kind of half-assed it, but we did a bit of a mass gain protocol.
Brock: We did. I didn’t realize you were half-assing it. I was using my whole ass.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah, no. My problem was I was doing the mass gain protocol the same time I was preparing… I had some kind of an ultra-endurance event. I don’t remember if it was World’ Toughest Mudder or it might have been, I think it was, Spartan World Championships possibly, but the long one; I was doing the Ultra Beast. So, regardless, I was doing way too much cardio for me to be able to gain mass. But, I weigh, to give you some perspective, Alex and all you other skinny folks listening in who want to get big muscles, I weigh 175 pounds right now. When I was in college, I weighed 215 and I was primarily, I didn’t have access nor affordability for any performance enhancing drugs or steroids or anything like that. I did that on creatine and tuna fish. That was basically how I put on that much muscle in college and then I, because I’m a skinny guy, was using a multi-joint approach.
So, there’s two different approaches to train a body part split where you might do chest and shoulder one day, and biceps and triceps and calves another day, and core and legs another day, and then rinse, wash, and repeat. Not only does that take copious amounts of time because you need to be spending a good two to three hours during many of your workouts to hit each body part with sufficiency to get that anabolic response that causes those muscles to build. But it also, in my opinion, especially for skinny guys, is not as efficient as the approach I use which was three full body lifts per week. We’re talking cleans, benches, squats, deadlifts, etcetera. A lot of barbell work, a lot of free weight work, a lot of dumbbell work, and then I would typically have one vanity day, right, where I really would do blast my biceps and triceps until I couldn’t lift my arms anymore and then I did a lot of seated calf raise and standing calf raise work and just did a lot of the filler work. But, that was my approach. It was just three days a week of heavy full body lifting and then one day a week of more vanity body parts and that was typically on a Saturday or a Sunday.
During that time, I was eating somewhere in the range of 5-7,000 calories per day. So, not necessarily a healthy approach, I was doing more of a high protein, low fat, low carbohydrate approach. And, I’ll speak in just a second about what I would do… what I will do actually if I were going to do this again. But ultimately, that was my approach in college and I did learn a lot about how skinny guys can put on muscle particularly with that multi-joint approach, which we’ll unpack here in a second about how you can do that even more intelligently than I was doing back then. But I also learned a lot about recovery and just about little things that skinny guys can do to put on muscle. Where I want to start though is with a lot of what I learned from the guy whose program, Brock, you and I began to use last year, I just think you went at it a little more thoroughly than I did, but that would be Dan John.
Ben: And, Dan John’s book “Mass Made Simple”. Now, I’ve interviewed Dan John. I’ve also own his book “Mass Made Simple” which you can get on Kindle or you can get as a spiral bound book that you can take to the gym. Basically, the idea behind Dan John’s principles, I would say there’s several basic principles that he gets into in the book. The first is that you must, if you are going to really want to put on as much mass as possible as a skinny guy focus on that alone and not fat loss simultaneously meaning that it’s very difficult for you to get six-pack abs at the same time that you put on a lot of muscle. In an ideal scenario, you would have a bulking phase and then a cutting phase. In the bulking phase would indeed involve you eating more food and not caring that much if you did develop a little bit of extra body fat as you build muscle and then you go through a cutting phase where you do diet down a little bit and strip some of that fat off. But, that’s why a lot of skinny guys will do their mass building in the fall and winter when they’ve got their clothes on, right, and you don’t have to worry about going to the beach and, I realize this sounds very vain and shallow, but it is something that people worry about and it’s true we live in a culture where we’re judged sometimes based on our ripped-ness, our striations.
Ultimately, the idea is you don’t want to focus on building muscle and losing fat simultaneously. You focus on eating food and building muscle and putting on mass. This is kind of related to Dan John’s advice on cardio and that is that, I remember when I spoke with him, he’s like, “you lift weights and then sit around and watch the football game.” Don’t do the walking treadmill or the standing work station; park as close as you can to the grocery store when you go to the grocery store; take the escalator when you’re going through the airport; basically break most of the rules that we talk about when it comes to low-level physical activity throughout the day and that’s another big one when it comes to gaining mass. You’re trying to avoid movement that’s not anabolic as much as possible. So, I mean, he even goes as far as to say wear extra clothes so your body doesn’t have to go through cold thermogenesis to stay warm, definitely don’t take cold showers, sit more, find shorter routes to everything, and I realize that this flies in the face of what you might hear when it comes to longevity or fat management, but ultimately, if you’re lifting heavy s**t and then not moving a lot, you are going to gain mass; it’s just going to happen.
Again, if you’re goal is to put on as much mass as possible, sometimes longevity and fat loss get sacrificed, but ultimately the idea is limit cardio. I’d say be reasonable. For me, as I go into this winter, my goal is indeed I want to get up closer to my normal healthy weight of about 190 to 195 and I will continue to walk down to the mailbox to get the mail, I’ll continue to go my afternoon 30-minute walking meditation-type of things that we just talked about, I’ll continue to engage in low-level physical activity throughout the day, but I will vastly decrease the amount of cardio training I’m doing for Spartan races or triathlons and I won’t be doing a lot of time spent hammering my road bike down the highway for an hour or anything like that. So, some stuff will get sacrificed.
So, another thing that Dan John recommends is, of course, eating a lot and eating frequently. So, this whole idea of intermittent fasting, this whole idea of long periods of time between meals, this idea of a weekly 24-hour fast or a fasting-mimicking diet several times throughout the year, all of that goes out the window. When you’re hungry, you eat and when you’re not hungry, you eat. I’ve had skinny football players and basketball players hire me to put together nutrition plans for them to help them put on muscle and they’re shocked at the amount that they need to eat. Yeah, you get a good digestive enzyme like you get Thorne Biogest and maybe you pick some up of Quicksilver Scientific’s Bitters and some things that are going to help you digest that food and you don’t eat in a stressed way so that you actually can assimilate a lot of those nutrients. But ultimately, and even listen to this coming Saturday’s interview with the Gluten Guardian guys because we actually talk a lot about digestive enzymes. One of those guys is a bodybuilder, the other guy, he’s actually trying to put on a lot of mass right now and they’re using a copious amount of digestive enzymes. But ultimately, eating a lot of food and then combining a lot of digestive enzymes along with hat food, that’s also a really good strategy. But, unlike Dan John who recommends you eat anything…
Brock: Peanut butter sandwiches?
Ben: Anything in sight! Yeah, peanut butter sandwiches; and he says when you walk passed the doughnut, don’t resist, just eat it; and supersized meals at the fast food outlet… Actually, I don’t think he says that.
Brock: No, he doesn’t say that. It’s not that bad.
Ben: Yeah, I actually have different recommendations. And as I go into this winter, I’m going to be using an approach that’s very similar to two resources that I’m going to give to you, Alex. One would be the Weston A. Price Diet. So the Weston A. Price Diet is based on eating whole, unprocessed foods; a lot of organ meats; beef lamb game, poultry and eggs from pasture-fed animals; wild fish, fish eggs, shellfish; a lot of, and this important for the growth hormone part, full fat milk products. So, not just colostrum, but raw milk, and whole yoghurt, and kefir, and cultured butter, and full fat raw cheeses, and fresh sour cream, lard, tallow, not a lot of egg whites, right. If you read Dan John’s book, he’s like, “oh egg whites, egg whites.” No! Egg yolks with cream, with butter, a lot of extra virgin olive oil, a lot of really good expeller-pressed sesame oil, expeller-pressed flax oil; tropical oils like coconut, and palm, and palm kernel oil; a lot of fish oil, a good over six grams of fish oil per day; plenty of whole grains, legumes and nuts that have been soaked, sprouted, and leavened to neutralize a lot of the phytic acid, the enzyme inhibitors that are in those; a lot of really good clean water; a ton of bone broth; and lots of sleep and natural light. That’s the Weston A. Price Diet.
If you want to talk about a mass building diet, I’ve had some pregnant women who have hired me to help them with their nutrition during pregnancy and I put almost every single one of them, unless they’ve got some pretty sever autoimmune or allergy issues, on the Weston A. Price Diet. I had two women last year give birth to babies that topped off over 10 pounds at birth and they’re just these big, beautiful babies with well-formed jaws and big bones, and all the fat around the ass cheeks and everything like that, all the stuff you’d want to see on a baby, it’s the way these babies were born and that’s the way you’d want to eat if you’re really trying to gain mass. So, I’d say the Weston A. Price Diet and I’ll put a link to a great shopping guide, grocery guide, resource that’s free on the Weston A. Price. It’s like free of five bucks, it’s minimal, on the Weston A. Price website.
And also, my article called 40 Easy Meals for Busy Athletes. I’ve got everything in there from, for example… what are some foods? My giant-ass salad, one of my really good Cobb salad recipes, some really great chicken and fish and liver pate and steak recipes for the evenings. I’ve just got a lot of decent resources for you. So, that would be another one, would be 40 Easy Meals for Busy Athletes. But, basically you’re just eating a lot of food, but a lot of really good, nutrient-dense food. So, that would be another tip that I would give you.
And then, a few other things that really go into Dan John’s program. First of all, bench, squat, and deadlift – those are three big ones and rather than focusing on low reps which you’ll see a lot of people do these days, like one to five reps to build mass, I actually like his approach of closer to a five to ten range for most exercises and for the back squat, and this is huge in my opinion, a lot of people neglect this: high rep back squats. You’ve got some sets where you’re doing 20-30 reps of a back squat and yeah, you can have intra-set rest where you might do five squats, step back, walk away, come back, do five more squats, step back, walk away, and keep coming back and back and back until you’ve gone through that whole set. But, ultimately in his book “Mass Made Simple”, which I’ll link to in the show notes to both the spiral bound version and then also the regular version or the eBook version, depending on what you want to bring to the gym or to your workout with you, he’s actually got a lot of really good workouts in there and they’re the same thing over and over again which relates to the next thing I wanted to mention, is you’re hitting the body from the same angles rather than going for metabolic confusion, which is great for losing fat and burning a lot of calories like doing some new workout every single day. You’re doing the same exercises day after day after day: resting, recovering, restoring. On certain days, he has the concept where he calls them “rest days” and I think “refresh days” where the rest days are full rest days, but then the refresh days, yeah, you can go out and swing some kettlebells and move and maybe even work a couple of lagging body parts, but ultimately those days are far different than these bigger bulking days.
So, that’s basically what “Mass Made Simple” is and if you were to combine something like that with the Weston A. Price Diet, you would watch yourself explode and I’m going to be doing something similar as I just wrote on BenGreenfieldFintess.com, I’m pulling out some biohacks when I do it. So, I haven’t even talked about this much on the podcast, but I really am going to be putting on mass over this winter and I will also be using injectable stem cells and injectable NAD. And that will be overseen by my friend and antiaging doc in New York City named Dr. Helen Chen. I’m pulling out a few interesting variables, all legal. I won’t be on steroids or hormones or anything like that, but I am going to be using stem cells, some injectable antioxidants, and some injectable NAD as I go through this whole process. The last thing I should throw in there is that when I say injectable, World Anti-Doping Association bans anything that’s 100 milliliters or more when it comes to IVs, but you can do 30mL push IVs, for example, and that’s fine; that’s not an issue at all. So, those are the biggies.
I guess the last thing I can think of would be two additional resources for you. I have a book I wrote a few years ago called “Get Fit Guy’s Guide to Achieving You Ideal Body” and that has some really good resources in it for ectomorphs, for both eating and for training. It has resources for women who are pear-shaped, women who are apple-shaped, men who are v-shaped, men who are ectomorph, it goes on and on. But, that’s a good book. I actually spent a lot of time on that book and not a lot of people know about it, but it’s out there. You can get it. I can put a link to that one in the show notes. And then, also, if you want an upgraded or what I would almost consider to be a modern, slightly more systematized version of Dan John’s Mass Made Simple… I’m a simple guy, I don’t want complexity. I want his little 80-pounds, sorry Dan… or 80-page book and that’s it. I just want show me the same workout every day, I write down my weights, boom, go, done. If you want something a little more complex and perhaps a little bit more thorough or varied would be my friends at Mind Pump. They actually have a program called MAPS Anabolic. MAPS Anabolic. And, MAPS Anabolic uses a lot of those same principles as “Mass Made Simple” where you’ve got two or three big workouts a week, what Dan John calls his “refresher days,” I think he calls them, the guys at MAPS call them, “Anabolic Triggering Sessions,” but what it means is you’ve got you big foundational workouts each week and then these triggering sessions are, for example, where you might do your rear delt flies and your standing calf raises and some of those smaller workouts that don’t last any longer than 10 minutes, but just trigger a little bit of an anabolic signal. So, check out those two: the MAPS folks, they’ve got the aesthetics program and the anabolic program, a mass gain program, actually their Anabolic, I think, is their mass gain program, but they have a Strongman-style program. I’ll link to all their stuff because they produce some pretty good PDFs, downloadable PDFs, as well. So, that’s Mind Pump. So, I’ll link to that too in the show notes. Hmm, I miss anything, Brock? Anything you want to throw in there?
Brock: The only thing I want to throw in is… do you know Charles Poliquin? You familiar with him?
Ben: Well, yeah, he passed a couple of weeks ago, apparently he had a cardiovascular incident and passed. Yeah.
Brock: Yeah, it’s really sad that he’s gone, but his website is still a great resource: StrengthSensei.com. I learned a lot from reading a lot of his essays and blog posts and stuff over there about putting on some mass and doing things like bicep complexes and things like that. I found that to be a really nice compendium to the Dan John program. I point people there not only out of respect for a lovely fellow who died too early, but also because he was a very smart guy.
Ben: Yeah, and I would say that in addition to, like I mentioned, really good intake of digestive enzymes, the use of things like colostrum, for example, one thing that Poliquin was very into was high dose fish oil. A really good fish oil and by really good fish oil I mean something that’s like in a triglyceride form that’s packaged with antioxidants so it doesn’t become rancid that preferably is accompanied by some kind of phospholipid so you’ve got some DHA absorption, etcetera. But, higher dose. He was going 10-20 grams or more of fish oil and that also, I didn’t mentioned that, but I’ll be stacking the Kion Aminos, the Colostrum, the Superessentials Fish Oil, some of the digestive enzymes I talked about. So basically, my goal will be any of these substances that legally produce anabolism combined with things that help you to digest food- to get the most for you supplement bang for your buck, I wouldn’t spend a lot of money on pre-workout pick-me-ups or I guess multivitamins. I would just go straight to freakin’ colostrum, fish oil, aminos, good digestive enzyme or bitters complex. That’s going to cover most of your bases. The last one I would throw in there, and now I’m droning on, would be HMB/ATP. That’s a very good combo for strength and mass that a lot of people don’t know about that’s got some good research behind it, especially when combined with creatine. So, that would be the stack: fish oil, colostrum, aminos, HMB/ATP, creatine, and digestive enzymes. And, now I’ll shut up because I’m starting to sound like that Steve… what’s the comedian who’s like…? [Laughs] OK, so now it’s going to drive me nuts unless I tell people. Steve…? Who’s the comedian?
Brock: I don’t know.
Ben: Steve Martin? Is it Steve Martin? Yeah, the guy who plays the banjo, right. Steve Martin.
Brock: Yeah. He’s a comedian.
Ben: Yeah, so Steve Martin has this movie and it’s the one, I think it’s called Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I don’t know if you’ve seen this movie, but he…
Brock: Yeah, several times!
Ben: Yeah, he gets kicked out of the house and he’s like, “I’m just going to leave and I’m going to take my coat.”
Brock: Oh, that’s The Jerk!
Ben: Oh, is it The Jerk?
Ben: OK, maybe it’s The Jerk, yeah.
Brock: “Just me and my lamp and my table.”
Ben: “My lamp and my table and my bowling ball and my pants.” Anyways though, The Jerk. I’ve got to watch that movie again now. So, I feel like I’m Steve Martin in The Jerk. So, I’m going to shut up.
Anonymous: Hey, Ben. I was wondering what is your take on GHB aka gamma-hydroxybutyric acid as an alternative to alcohol?
Brock: So, I totally understand why this person did not give us their name…
Brock: Because this is also known as a date rape drug. So…
Ben: Even buying it online can be difficult. I had a bitcoin account get shut down when I tried to buy GHB online, actually. So, it’s still heavily regulated which is kind of sad because it’s a very interesting molecule. I understand that when used improperly, it is the date rape drug. For those of you who haven’t heard of GHB, it’s gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, originally known as the date rape drug. People would slip it into drinks to aid with sexual assault, and I no way endorse anything like that when it comes to the use of GHB. However, there are interesting things about this molecule that I think make it compelling and when I go to parties these days, or I’m in Vegas with some of my friends, etcetera. Many of them are eschewing alcohol in favor of marijuana edibles or marijuana vape pens, small microdoses of LSD or psilocybin, in some cases larger doses, and then also GHB which they’ll typically have in a little flask or I know some people carry it around like five-hour energy bottles, things that look like it’s not what it is. That’s GHB. Even body builders, speaking of mass gain, say it promotes increased production of growth hormone, human growth hormone, and promotes sounder sleep. It’s actually one of the few molecules I’ve ever been able to find that has been proven to increase deep sleep cycles dramatically and recover growth hormone dramatically during sleep when used in the proper amounts and used correctly without any deleterious side effects.
The problem is that it can be very difficult to dose and it causes this coma-like sleep that when mixed with alcohol enhances the depressant effect even more and so it can quickly lead to unconsciousness and even death, especially if you vomit or something like that when you’re in the coma and that’s one of the reasons that, of course, it was used as a date rape drug as well because if you don’t dose properly, your heartrate will slow, your breath rate will slow, your body temperature will decrease and you get nausea, and you can get in a coma and you can even get death. So, this stuff is also though, in lighter amounts, something that is used as a party drug. One of the street names for it is “liquid ecstasy” or “liquid E.” So, it actually can be one of those things that picks you up a little bit if you use it in a little bit more of a party or even like a sex scenario it’s used a lot of times to enhance sex as well. But, in higher amounts, definitely something that would be used for sleep, so this is one of those compounds, very similar to some other compounds out there like CBD for example is very effective in the treatment of narcolepsy or anxiety or stress in smaller amounts, but then larger amounts can improve sleep structure and really give you a lot of growth hormone release and recovery while you’re asleep. It simulates the brain neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid. So, anybody who’s taken a PH GABA, which is far easier to get, you can buy PH GABA on Amazon, you can get a little bit of a feel for what it’d feel like to use GHB if you were to do something like take PH GABA and have a glass of wine. That would be something that kind-of-sort-of simulates some of the effects of having that inhibitory neurotransmitter present in greater amounts when you’d use something like GHB. So, of course the problem is dosing, the problem is legality, and the problem is when it’s mixed with alcohol in a party scenario it can be very, very dangerous.
Now, on the flipside, it actually has been studied to get to the root of Anonymous’ question. It has been studied, not only in some of the scenarios I’ve just described, but also for treatment for alcohol dependence. It’s been studied and been shown to actually be in clinical trials at about 50 to 100 milligrams per kilogram of body weight and that’s usually given over several doses throughout the day to significantly suppress alcohol withdrawal symptoms and facilitate the maintenance of abstinence from alcohol because when you drink a glass of wine, you’re getting a big release of GABA. When you have a few beers, you’re getting a big release of GABA, that’s why a lot of people have a drink at the end of a stressful day. GHB in smaller dosages is doing the same thing, it’s causing a GABA release. So is PH GABA in smaller dosages, even passionflower extract which is something, again, you can just buy on Amazon that’s causing that same small endogenous release in gamma-aminobutyric acid without you necessarily having to use Bitcoin and a cloaked browser to figure out how you’re going to buy GHB and then keep it in your garage for a few days after you buy it just to make sure the feds don’t show up asking you why you’re ordering GHB. It’s something that’s regulated pretty heavily, so you need to be careful. So anyways, the idea would be that when dosed properly, I would say that I would be OK with the use of GHB as an alternative to say drinking alcohol at a party, but the problem is that you have to be very careful of it. A recreational dose would be considered one to two grams, right. That’s the dose where you’d get that feeling of euphoria, a little bit of a pick-me-up without the deleterious effects like reduced motor function and drowsiness.
You would take a little bit more than two grams if you were looking for more of the sleep induction effect, but I want to be careful on the podcast that don’t get too far into dosage passed that one to two gram dose because the last thing I want is for someone to get their hands on GHB and take, whatever, six grams and wind up passed out or have something horrible happen or a car accident because they heard about GHB on my show. So, I would be careful. I would consider natural sources of GABA before you turn to GHB, it’s going to be cheaper anyway, like PH GABA, very easy to get your hands on. Same could be said for passionflower extract, this is something you can easily have with a glass of wine and you’ll notice a little bit of a pick-me-up and the relaxing and the pleasantness of something like a glass of alcohol when you use something like that. GHB, you definitely need to be a little bit more careful with. So, Brock anything to add? I know you’re a big druggie.
Brock: Well, the only thing I was going to add was that it is addictive. GHB is addictive and it’s also metabolized in your liver. So, in terms of being an alternative to alcohol, I don’t… If you’re trying to avoid the damage to your liver or you’re trying to avoid the habit forming-ness of alcohol, this really isn’t that great alternative.
Brock: There are definitely better party substances out there. Speaking as a Canadian who just had marijuana legalized across the entire country, I would go that direction before I go for GHB.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. I forgot about cannabis. I was actually in Toronto when cannabis became legalized. I won’t mention his name, but I went that evening to a party. I just stopped in, it was an evening dinner party and as I’m leaving the party, this gentlemen who I know walks into the party and looks kind of tired and his hair is messed up. I’m like, “Hey, how’s it going? You look well-rested, did you just wake up from a nap?” and he said, “well, I was celebrating national cannabis day” or whatever in Canada.
Ben: Yeah, Oc-toke-ber. And he’s like, “so I took a bunch of edibles this morning and I was just basically in bed all day.” And I’m like, oh. That sounds like a good celebration. Me, on the other hand, I basically sold a bunch of my Canadian cannabis stock and made a crap ton of money. That’s how I celebrated Canadian cannabis day.
Eli: Hi, Ben! It was really good to see you in my hometown in Toronto. I’m 17-years-old; I’m finishing grade 12 this year. My question to you is if you could redo your journey from high school to where you are now, what would you do differently? And, what would you recommend to someone like me who’s very passionate about health and nutrition now that I’m considering my options for what to do after high school? Thanks.
Brock: So, what would you do out of high school if you could do it all over again?
Ben: Well, I had a weird upbringing because I was homeschooled K through 12. So, I started college when I was 16 and graduated when I was 15 and so, I had a little bit of a different approach when I got to college. I was actually pretty excited about college because it was my first time actually being in a classroom with a professor, getting to sit in class. I lasted about a month like that and then I didn’t go to class at all. I would just show up and take the test and spend the rest of my time just playing, which was a great way to get through college. I took 28-30 credits a semester, but rarely was in the actual class – only when it was completely required. So, I hacked college to a certain extent. However, if I could go back and do it differently and could learn at the accelerated pace that I truly think folks can learn at when they’re not thrust into an environment that is focused on, primarily, parties and social life, required classes that are a waste of your time, and learning at the pace of the rest of the classroom rather than at your own pace, I probably would have done so. I probably would have gotten… I got a Master’s degree in Physiology, Nutrition, and Biomechanics over the course of five years. I could easily have done that in about two years with self-directed course study, with the only exception being of course without a diploma, without a certification, without a degree from an accredited institution there are certain things you can’t do legally or there are, at least, certain certifications that you can’t get. You can’t get, let’s say, a certified strength conditioning coach certification from the NSCA unless you have a collegiate degree and an exercise science-related field; of course, if you want to be an astronaut or a surgeon, there are also, I think, pros that outweigh the cons of going to college and having your education overseen by an accredited institution rather than someone who’s going to hire you to fly a rocket ship to the moon just keeping their fingers crossed that all that self-directed study that you did did indeed qualify you to learn everything that you need to know. At the same time though, there are tests that you can take.
There’s actually a great article called “How to “Moneyball” Your Way to a Debt-free College Degree” and it gets into how you can do things like taking CELP tests. They’re multiple-choice exams that cover a full semester of material, all you have to do is show up, pass them, you get the same amount of credit you would have spent months in a classroom for. There are tests like that that’s called the C-L-E-P test, there’s a lot of other really good tips in that article to just save money and college. That one was on the Art of Manliness.
But, ultimately you’re still going to wind up, most likely, coming out of college with a ridiculous amount of debt and my question is: was it really worth it? Could you have spent that time elsewhere? There are two great books about this. I’m going to link to for you, Eli. One is called “College Disrupted”. College Disrupted and this book is about the idea that American higher education will undergo a transformation from packaged courses and degrees to truly unbundled course offerings very similar to what you would get if you were to choose-your-own-adventure in Khan Academy and iTunes University and Udemy, all these other places out there where you can get amazing online courses without necessarily relying upon the expense and the hassle of going to some big, accredited institution. The other good book is called “A New U”. A New U. And, “A New U” is also a different approach to college and it gets into the fact that colleges and universities operate very similarly to the way that they did 40 years ago without any changes, any major changes, all with one major exception: tuition expenses have risen dramatically and earning a degree takes longer than it ever has before. It takes over five years to graduate with an undergraduate degree. So, you’ve got an enormous debt burden when you graduate and a lot of times these degrees are not preparing people adequately to succeed at or obtain a really good job, compared to alternatives like apprenticeships, internships, practical experience, and this concept of un-schooling yourself. So, I would read “College Disrupted” and I would also read “A New U” prior to making the decision of whether or not you really want to go to college. If you do decide you’re going to go to college, then check out the article that I’ll link to called “How to “Moneyball” Your Way to a Debt-free College Degree”.
Now, getting down to brass tacks when you talk about someone who is passionate about health and nutrition, what I would do is I would consider a few different options. If it were me and I’d go back over again, in addition to all the practical experience that I still do, like I worked as personal trainer all through college, I worked for the strength conditioning program at University of Idaho, I managed the wellness program, I taught classes, I did a lot that just got me out there in the trenches. But, I would consider (a) something like a holistic nutrition program. My nutrition at University of Idaho, all respects to my instructors, was just crap. It didn’t really give me… It was Gatorade Sports Science Institute, you know, eat your whole grains, fruits and vegetables always packaged together, never consideration of fruits apart from vegetables, maybe the two are not the same food group, and just all the same-old, same-old, but I at least got the degree.
But, there are, and I’m going to link to a whole directory for you in the show notes, holistic nutrition programs spread across the country and even the world like the College of Naturopathic Medicine, like the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA), that’s a fantastic one, I’ve spoken at some of their events. There are naturopathic medical schools that allow people to go through their nutrition programs or their health sciences programs without necessarily spending the amount of time you’d need to spend to become an ND or a naturopathic physician. So, many of these are quite good and I’ll link to the National Association of Nutrition Professionals website, which has an excellent holistic nutrition program directory. And, if you were to do that, and you were to pair that with a really good physical movement protocol, and what I like for that is the Chek Institute. The Chek is fantastic for corrective, holistic exercise kinesiology and for even lifestyle management and nutrition. I’m a big fan of what Paul Chek has put together as well. The only area that Paul and I don’t see eye-to-eye is religion and spirituality, but regardless, if I could go back and go through college again, I would consider going through the Chek Institute and combining that with a really good holistic nutrition program and then finally, not to toot my own horn, but if I were going to throw in one other thing on top of that, it would be Kion University. Right now, I realize that at KionU, and I’ll put a link to that in the show notes, that’s my mentorship program where I train personal trainers, nutritionists, chiropractic docs, physical therapists, and MDs, and NDs, we have a whole range of people in that program learning from me about performance and recovery and digestion and fat loss and hormones. I would go do KionU as well, I mean, if you were to get a Chek certification, I would certainly let you into KionU, especially if you were to combine that with a holistic nutrition program, there are certain standards, not everyone can get into KionU, they need to have an existing degree or certification, but we often consider that on a case by case basis. So, that kind of triplicate of KionU certification, holistic nutrition program, and a Chek certification – phew! I would, without any questions asked, hire you to train my mom or my sister or a family member or a loved one or a friend. If I saw you went through those three areas, hands down you would have a better body of knowledge than someone who went to Harvard for an exercise kinesiology degree.
So, that’s where I would start and I’ll put plenty of resources for you over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/391, but that’s where I’d begin when it comes to turning yourself into the ultimate modern personal trainer or modern nutrition and exercise professional without necessarily going to college. And then, of course, understand you have to be a lifelong learner. I read a book a day. I’m passionate about this stuff. I’m constantly, whether I’m working out or doing anything else, I’m listening to audio books, listening to instructional programs, watching documentaries or downloading them and listening to them. You must be a constant lifelong learner and I think some people go to college and they just think they’ve got their degree so they’re good to go. There’s a lot of physicians out there who have that approach and there’s a lot of really good physicians, but there’s a lot of them that are just steeped from what they learned 30 years ago in medical school without a lot of advancement in their learning or their education. So, ultimately, that is where I would begin. Anything you would throw in there, Brock?
Brock: No, the only thing I’d throw in is everything that you said goes for pretty much every profession out there. I think the days of universities and colleges and stuff are numbered. There are so many better ways to learn and get jobs these days. Employers, especially in the tech industry and some of the newer industries are not looking for college degrees or university degrees; they’re just looking for people who know how to think, know how to solve problems, know how to be lifelong learners. This is the way of the future.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. And, I’ll put links in the show notes to… I know we’ve got free access to some of the Chek certification lessons if you want to look at those, I’ll put that list of holistic nutrition programs, everything I talked about I’ll stick in there to help you out. So, there you have it.
Well, we’re running a little bit long in the tooth and short on time, so now is the time on the show where we’re going to give away free swag to one person. If you got to iTunes or Apple Podcasts as they say these days, and you leave us a review and you hear your review read on the show, all you need to do is email [email protected]. That’s [email protected]. Tell us your t-shirt size, we’ll send you an amazing tech t-shirt, BPA-free water bottle so you don’t get man boobs or… woman boobs? I don’t know how that’d work. I guess a woman should drink BPA? And finally, what’s the last thing we send people? A tuque! A beanie. Amazing beanie. Yeah, so anyways, Brock, you want to take it away? You want to leave a read of this week’s review?
Brock: Yeah, this one’s from Dale Hearhnut10.
Ben: Dale Hearhnut10.
Brock: Hearhnut with an “h” in the middle of it. That’s a very confusing last name, Dale. OK, anyway, it’s a five star review and it’s called Coffee, Cooling the Balls, and Stem Cells. He says, “Well, Ben and Brock, I probably lost a pound of mitochondria listening to your podcast through my laptop and headphone. And, I am lost where to start with the dictionary of ideas for gene testing, post ACL rupture therapy, best workouts on exercise for my body, proper foods for my body based on my genes, supplements prior to exercise and if regaining hair follicles is possible on my head. I’m almost 48 and 150 pounds after the Dr. Pompa detox this year and I lost 17 pounds of muscle. If I need to mix my stem cells in my coffee, please advise, haha. Thank for all the wonderful podcasts.”
Ben: Wow, he’s drinking the kool-aid, jeez. Big time!
Brock: I’m not sure how far into his cheek his tongue is going, I hope it’s quite far, but I found it amusing anyway.
Ben: Well, he picked up another few things he can add to the equation from today’s podcast like GHB and what else? Walking meditation, heartrate monitor…
Brock: Well at least he can put back some of that muscle that he loss.
Ben: Yeah. First of all, we’ll send you, for that review, good sir, if you email us a gift pack. Just email [email protected]. If you’re listening and you like this show, please leave us a review; it’s good karma. It helps the ranking of the show, too. Last I checked, we were one of the, if not the, top health podcasts on iTunes. So, whatever you guys out there are doing for us, it’s working. So, keep it up and in the meantime we’ll put together, as we always do, comprehensive show notes for you. We spend a lot of time on the show notes and they’re chockful of everything you need. Those are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/391. That’s BenGreenfieldFintess.com/391. Other than that, Brock, top of the day and toodle-oo.
Go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/antiagingsmoothie for Ben's ultimate Anti-Aging Smoothie Ingredients he mentions in the intro.
Oct 25, 2018, Q&A Episode 391: How Skinny Guys Can Get Big Muscles, Is GHB Safe, and What To Do After High School?
News Flashes [00:08:14]
- Fitbit's 150 billion hours of heart datareveal secrets about health.
- I slightly cringe at the number of exercise addicts who might see this new studyand justify it as a way to spend an extra hour at the gym every day – proceed with caution.
- Walking meditation– I’m a big fan of it.
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+.
Special Announcements [00:26:14]
This podcast is brought to you by:
–Gluten Guardian – Use code: GREENFIELD for 10% off.
–East West Health – Schedule a consultation with East West Health – if you mention “Ben Greenfield” the consultation is Free (saves you $87) – you can also download a book to learn more about the Stem Cell Breakthrough.
–Kion Lean – Support for normal blood sugar levels and healthy energy metabolism, even after large, carb-rich meals. Get a 10% discount using discount code: BENLEAN10.
–Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories about his morning, day and evening routine!
– November 1 – 4, 2018: Live It To Lead It Health Centers of the Future Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada. Create the life you want, the marriage you want, the family you want—all fueled by a practice that radically changes the lives of your patients. this three-day event, you’ll learn the latest medical discoveries in cellular health, get a marketing plan for scaling your practice and find ways to build residual passive income. Join me!
– November 13, 2018: New York City, NY. Join me in Chef Bouley's Test Kitchen for “The Ultimate Anti-Aging Diet – The Perfect Foods To Eat Your Way To Longevity”. Get your ticket here!
– December 1, 2018: AT&T Park Stadium Sprint, San Francisco, California. Run around the concourse. Rope climb in the outfield. Do burpees in the dugout. Challenge yourself to three miles that will include 20+ signature obstacles. Register now and see you there!
– December 2 – 8, 2018: RUNGA Retreat, Dominican Republic. You're invited to join me at RUNGA in December 2018. Join me in the Dominican Republic, one of the most beautiful places in the Caribbean, for this retreat. In all RUNGA activities, RUNGA invites you to come home to yourself. To see everything you'll be getting into, just click here. Use code BEN when you register so you get your gift when you arrive! I'll be there, too. Join the waitlist here.
– December 13 – 15, 2018: World Congress 2018 Hosted by the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, Las Vegas, Nevada. If you attend any conference this year, make it the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine’s 26th Annual World Congress. The fact is, in an era of andropause, low drive and deteriorating men's health, it's shocking that both practitioners and the public aren't aware of ancestral wisdom and modern scientific and medical tactics that can be used to optimize male physiology. It's time that changed, and I'll be teaching exactly how to make men, men again. Join me!
– April 6 – 7, 2019: FitCon Summit, Salt Lake City, Utah. FitCon® encourages everyone to Find Their Fit. It does not matter whether it is powerlifting, Crossfit, bodybuilding, roller derby, or even axe throwing. Be sure to visit the Kion booth in the expo!
Giveaways & Goodies [01:15:00]
-Grab your Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle.
-And of course, this week's top iTunes review – gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben – click here to leave your review for a chance to win some!
Listener Q&A [00:35:31]
As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick.
How Skinny Guys Can Get Big Muscles [00:35:40]
Alex says: I have been going to the gym with the goal of gaining muscle mass in my chest and shoulders but I am not seeing the gains I want. I have been watching protein and targeting my workouts. I am an ectomorph body type so is it pointless or do I just need to tweak a few things?
In my response, I recommend:
-Dan John's “Mass Made Simple”
–Get Fit Guy's Guide To Achieving Your Ideal Body
–Weston A Price Dietary Guidelines
–Quicksilver Scientific Bitters #9
–Superessentials Fish Oil
Is GHB Safe? [00:56:40]
Anonymous says: What are your thoughts on taking GHB (gamma-hydroxybutyrate) as an alternative to alcohol?
What To Do After High School [01:04:51]
Eli says: It was good to see you in Toronto. I am 17-years old and finishing high school this year. My question is: if you could redo your journey from high school to now, what would you do differently? And what would you recommend for someone like me who is passionate about health and nutrition?
In my response, I recommend:
–List of holistic nutrition programs
–Chek certification – gives free access to lesson 1
-Book: College Disrupted by Ryan Craig
-Book: A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College
–Testing Out: How to “Moneyball” Your Way to a Debt-Free College Degree
–Is College for Everyone? series