June 24, 2021
From podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/qa-430/
[00:00:37] Podcast Sponsors
[00:02:28] My Carrot Cake Smoothie
[00:12:25] News Flashes: “Bad Knees” Don't Need Surgery
[00:22:52] What *Really* Works For Weight Loss
[00:27:38] LogSmarter App
[00:29:35] The Minimal Dose of Exercise
[00:35:27] Podcast Sponsors
[00:38:21] How to Increase NAD & NAD Salvage Pathways
[00:47:09] How Can Female Endurance Athletes Not Be Skinny-Fat
[00:58:25] How to Create Your Own Workout Routine
[01:10:23] Closing the Podcast
[01:10:50] End of Podcast
Ben: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show.
How to fix bad knees without surgery, what really works for weight loss, the minimal effective dose of exercise, and much, much more.
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
This podcast is brought to you by mud. No, seriously. We just launched a dark roast coffee at my company Kion. And if you're a fan of tasting sweet, bold, darkly roasted perfection in your morning cup of coffee, in addition to our super popular medium roast, we've added to the roundup of our decaf, of our pre-ground medium, of our regular medium bean, this wonderful, brand new, strong, hella strong heck up this morning, the Kion Dark Roast. So, for any of you who like to drink your coffee black and strong, this is still smooth. It's still delicious. It's really easy to drink black, but I like to sometimes super-duper taste my coffee. So, we finally cracked the code on a great-tasting yet organic mold, toxin-free coffee, and it meant we hit it out of the ballpark on this one. I can't wait for you to try it. So, you get 10% off the new Kion dark roast, or the medium roast, or the decaf, or the ground coffee. Getkion.com/bengreenfield. That's getK-I-O-N.com/bengreenfield.
This podcast is also brought to you by the wonderful Paleovalley Beef Sticks. These are 100% grass-fed, grass-finished, which is like unheard of in the beef jerky market. But then they ferment this beef, and that adds this wonderful umami-esque flavor. It creates a bunch of naturally occurring probiotics so your beef is actually good for your gut. And then, they use real organic spices to spice it up. So, no conventional spices sprayed with pesticides or so-called natural flavors, which are usually made from GMO corn. Now, this stuff is pure, it's clean, it's guilt-free. And Paleovalley is crushing it with the flavor on these sticks. So, you get 15% off these bad boys. You go to paleovalley.com/ben. That's paleovalley.com/ben.
Alright, welcome, everyone, to this week's podcast, Podcast Number 430. All the shownotes for everything we talk about you're going to find over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/430. And better yet, as usual, we are recording today's podcast live on Clubhouse. I should say I am recording today's podcast live on Clubhouse because my trusty podcast sidekick, Dr. Jay T. Wiles, is unable to make it this morning, but that's okay because we are one big happy family anyways. Plus, I've got my other trusty sidekick, Sophia, on and she'll be moderating questions later on when we get into the live questions and choosing some of you to come up on stage and ask all of your burning, hyper-intelligent questions about the strange growth on your forearm that no one can seem to figure out, and that you've decided to ask about on a podcast. No, I'm just kidding. Don't be that person.
So, anyways though, the way these go is I'm going to start off by revealing to you some pretty compelling news flashes and research that I've discovered over the week that I think you'll probably be pretty interested in. We really don't have a whole lot for special announcements today, just a couple. And then, we're just going to jump straight into your questions. And we usually jam anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half or so. So, that being said, I would be remiss not to mention the fact that I'm still licking my lips because for the fourth day in a row, I'm kind of on a kick and I had my world-famous carrot cake smoothie for breakfast, and you guys. So, first of all, I'm a sucker for anything, anything carrot cake.
I mean, honestly, if you bring me out to some health food store like, I don't know, Whole Foods or an Erewhon, and there's some wonderful gluten-free, unicorn tear infused, non-dairy cheese, alternative cream cheese frosting, organic vegetable carrot cake on the menu, there will be a big smile on my face. But I am so addicted to carrot cake that I will also just order a giant chunk of carrot cake at a random steakhouse and not ask any questions about the dairy, or the gluten, or whether or not it was harvested by one-arm monks, because frankly, I'm willing to take one for the team when it comes to carrot cake. I do travel with a little bit activated charcoal, or some gluten guardian, or something like that, but I mean, as I was telling someone earlier this morning, you could hand me a beer. And if it says carrot cake beer on it, I'm going to drink the whole six-pack.
So, anyways, the carrot cake smoothie, it's actually in my new cookbook that I just launched. Two days ago, my new cookbook went live for, not pre-order, but full-on order at boundlesscookbook.com. But the carrot cake smoothie is really simple. You think about what would go into a carrot cake and you basically put that into a blender. You make a smoothie, then you top it with more carrot cakey goodness. So, in my case, the way I've been doing it lately is I get organic pumpkin puree from Amazon. And there's a couple scoops to that a whole bunch of ice because I like my smoothies super thick, like an acai bowl kind of. I eat my smoothies with a spoon. I don't drink them with a straw or drink them out of the cup. I eat them bite by bite. So, all the salivary enzymes in my mouth can help to digest that smoothie even better.
And then, in addition to pumpkin mash and the ice, what I add is, A, some kind of pumpkin pie spice. I realize this is sounding like a pumpkin pie smoothie, but if you really think about it, both carrot cake and pumpkin pie have a similar taste. So, I get organic pumpkin pie spice. You can just buy that on Amazon, for example. There's another company called Organifi that has like an actual high-end juice partner called Gold. And that one's also a really good alternative. But you season to taste with that like a scoop of Organifi Gold or a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice powder on top of your pumpkin puree and your ice. And then, add your liquid of choice. I typically go with bone broth or kefir, or for real creamy texture, some coconut milk. Add a little bit of cinnamon, a little bit of sea salt, a little bit of stevia, and I like the vanilla stevia. I use the Omica Organics' vanilla stevia.
And at that point–we'll make sure I'm not forgetting anything–yes, at that point, you're ready to blend, although I do throw a little bit of creatine in there. And if you really want to thicken it up or add more nutrients to your smoothie, you could arguably toss some collagen, or any of your little superfoods that you might want to toss in to blend along with it. But usually, I'll at least put a little creatine in there, and on a more demanding workout day, a little bit of collagen. So, blend, blend, blend. I go through a lot of blender over three months because I blend things so thick my blender smoke, even the best blenders on the face of the planet, like a Vitamix. I just can't get much mileage out of those. I go through, gosh, a couple blenders a year. Fortunately, most are covered by warranty.
And then, after you've blended, blended, blended, you then take a spatula and scoop out into a bowl because again, you want to eat this acai bowl style. And what I like to top my carrot cake smoothie with is a few chunks of like a super dark chocolate. Right now, I use the 100% dark chocolate from a company called Eating Evolved. They have these really good dark chocolate bars. They make really good like Reese's Peanut Butter Cup type of things, too. So, I do a little bit of dark chocolate, some kind of like a crunchy, like a nut or something like that. So, for that, I like either cacao nibs or this one type of nut called baruka nuts. That's B-A-R-U-K-A. I have a whole bunch of baruka nut recipes on my Instagram channel, too, if you guys want to look those up. And I've also interviewed the founder, Darin, on my podcast. That's my favorite nut. So, usually I'll do a little bit of chocolate, some kind of nut like a cacao nib or baruka nut, and then unsweetened coconut flakes. And I keep my unsweetened coconut flakes in the freezer to give them an even more crunch. And then, you just throw all that in and you go to food heaven for breakfast.
So, anyways, if anybody wants to try that carrot cake smoothie, please do, and please also go to the shownotes once these are released at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/430. Let me know if you make any additions, if you have any better ideas, if you have your own carrot cake smoothie, or I don't know, chocolate cake smoothie, or pumpkin pie smoothie, or any other form of smoothie that you like, and we'll add that to our list and get a whole nice list going over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/430.
In addition to my new cookbook getting released at boundlesscookbook.com, the only other special announcement that I have for you all is that our public calendar, because I'm starting to travel now and speak at more events–I have one coming up in L.A. in August, the Ancestral Health Symposium. Bunch of nerds sitting around, talking about how we should be eating and exercising in a more ancestral sense. Very didactic conference, but a cool one to go to. So, I'm going to be down in L.A. in August attending that, recording some podcasts. And I'll put a link to that in the shownotes. And you can also see our master calendar of everywhere I'm going to be and where we might be able to meet up if you go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/calendar.
One other special announcement I want to make was I don't know how many of you are into Bitcoin or into crypto, but there's this really cool new crypto website called BitClout. And what BitClout basically allows is for authors, or influencers, or creators, or anybody who's out there in the public scene to actually create a ton of value on that platform. I'm giving away new PDFs, releasing news flashes before they get released elsewhere, doing private ask me anything sessions, et cetera. So, I'm on BitClout. It's basically like a social media platform, but it's backed by cryptocurrency. Meaning that not only can you go there, and if you invest in my coin or if you follow me over there, are you able to get access to a whole bunch of stuff I don't release elsewhere, but essentially as my own social value increases, meaning, as I get more popular, or more people read my books, or more people listen to the podcast, or more visibility grows on the Ben Greenfield brand overall, my coin value increases and anybody who is on there and owns my coin gets an increase in the value of their portfolio.
I mean, you could invest in me, you could invest in freaking like Justin Bieber, Pamela Anderson, Naval Ravikant, you name it. We can buy these coins. And then as they increase in value, you're essentially like active trading using influencers and personalities who are then turning around and delivering you a value, because my goal on BitClout is not to get my coin way up and then sell it. My goal is to stay on there and just create mad value every day. And it's super fun. So, you can find me over there at @BenGreenfieldLife, and that's the name of the coin, too, is @BenGreenfieldLife. So, brand new crypto platform. And word on the street in the whole crypto realm is this one is going to take the world by storm. It's basically a new social media channel backed by cryptocurrency full of all of your favorite influencers and creators. And you're actually able to own a little piece of that creator and then profit from everything that they do. So, it's pretty cool, even if you don't understand Bitcoin or crypto that well. I mean, if you use Twitter, it's pretty easy to wrap your head around. So, you can check that out, and I will link to that in the shownotes. I'll link to my Bitcoin profile, but it began @BenGreenfieldLife on BitClout.
Alright. So, let's go ahead and jump into today's news flashes.
I want to start today's news flashes by talking about your knees. That's right, your knees, elbows, fingers, toes. No, we're just going to focus on the knees today. Now, I personally have a history of knee problems. Back when I was in college, I played tennis, I played volleyball, I played water polo. I use my knees a lot and subsequently went through a period of time where I developed some pretty significant knee pain, particularly patellar tendonitis in college. Wound up after being told by two different orthopedic surgeons that I should get surgery on that knee, a final surgeon, God bless him, instead did a functional movement test on me, a range of motion test, and determined that I had incredibly tight hamstrings, probably due to all my bodybuilding, and jumping, and sprinting. He put me on a hamstring, stretching, and rolling protocol, and within two months, all my knee pain had vanished and I did not need surgery.
Since then, I of course have been interested in non-surgery alternatives for fixing knees. And later when I was racing Ironman triathlon, I developed IT band friction syndrome. Same thing with that, I figured out how to use modalities such as ultrasound, icing, heat, stretching, rolling, and the like to actually get rid of some pretty significant IT band syndrome again without actually having to get surgery on the knee. Fast forward to today, and I have a left knee that's actually been getting pretty buggy. Believe it or not, I went and taught at a yoga retreat in Costa Rica a few years ago and was stung in that exact knee by a scorpion. My knee swelled up to the size of a softball. I had to hobble into some old medicine woman's closet at this yoga retreat I was teaching at and she wrapped it in like poultices and fig leaves, and we got all the poison out, and I nursed myself back to health. But that knee has never been the same. It's always felt a little buggy, a little weak, a little crumbly.
Recently, it really started to flare up its ugly head just a little bit more. So, I took a little bit more of a deep dive into the literature on knee pain. And there's a recent fantastic paper that just came out about essentially changing the narrative around knee pain. And I thought that this was important enough that I should cover it because most people, or I should say many people, are advised to, say, receive knee surgery when in fact, there are better things in many cases that you can try prior to resorting to surgery. And I want to get into some of those today and some of the things that I've found to be quite helpful because I talked to a lot of people who actually have knee issues, and this is important information for you to know.
So, you're no doubt familiar with the study that came out several years ago, or you may have heard about this one that people who got a so-called sham surgery on their knee, meaning, they were brought in and told that they were getting knee surgery. They even went so far as to, I believe, have actual cuts around the knees, though someone had actually had operation on their knee. And the sham knee surgery treatments fared just as well as the people who actually got knee surgery. So, I thought that was interesting. And there was a recent paper that appeared in the Journal of Sports Medicine, the British Journal of Sports Medicine, and it was entitled “Three Steps to Changing the Narrative About Knee Arthritis.” And what this paper got into and why it really got me thinking about alternative modalities to surgery than healing the knee is that it basically highlighted the fact that there are so many proven modalities that seem to get rid of knee pain that are often not tried prior to someone being recommended to, say, have a surgery.
So, we're talking about like non-surgical care versus surgical care. And this includes everything from massage therapy to traction, which I found actually being incredibly helpful, literally, hanging upside down in gravity boots to traction the knee. Or using, for example, what you would find in a book like Kelly Starrett's “Becoming a Supple Leopard” and using voodoo floss on the knee. Meaning, wrapping the knee, above the knee, and below the knee with a tight elastic band, then moving it through a range of motion. And even insoles and foot modifications, like foot biomechanical modifications to influence knee health along with less invasive modalities than surgery, such as, say, peptides, or platelet-rich plasma injections, or ozone injections. And many, many of these modalities seem to be far more efficacious and cheaper, too, than getting surgery on the knees.
But there are two things that for me, particularly, I have found to be incredible for fixing up this left knee that's been giving me problems. The first is, and this works for shoulders, it works for hips, it works for tennis elbow, for golf elbow, for knees, is you need to hunt down one of these books that shows you what are called trigger points. So, what's a trigger point? Trigger point is this hyperirritable spot. Typically, it's like a palpable nodule that you'll find somewhere along the band of any given muscle, like let's say your IT band along your knee. And a lot of times, what happens is that that trigger point refers pain to another point on your body that is often in a surprising location. Meaning, let's say you have a whole bunch of pain on the front of your shoulder, or you have pain in your rotator cuff.
Well, it turns out that if you reach around to the back of your shoulder right underneath your armpit and you put a bunch of pressure up in there with a tennis ball, or with a foam roller, or even with your thumb or your fingers, the pain in the front of the shoulder subsides. Similarly, for something like a knee, if you go to the outside of your hip, let's say you have pain on the back or the inside of your knee, if you go to the outside of your hip and you begin to work deep into the outside of your hip in some of these muscles called like the intermedius or the vastus lateralis, you will find that by hitting those trigger points and massaging those trigger points for about one to three minutes two to three times per day, after about a week, all that pain starts to melt away as you break up that trigger point. It's just that so many people are unfamiliar with this idea that tightness in one body refers pain to a different part of the body.
So, there are these books that show you these referred pain maps, and I think the best–so really, I think if you want to be in the fitness game, or the mobility game, or the movement game for life, you don't want to rely upon surgeons to cut you up and fix issues whenever something hurts. I think the two best books for anyone to own, and I'll link to both of these in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/430, are, A, Kelly Starrett's book “Becoming a Supple Leopard,” which is like a cookbook for just basically taking a foam roller, or a lacrosse ball, or anything like that to any part of your body that happens to be hurting. He shows you your knee hurts, do this. Your shoulder hurts, do this. Your neck hurts, do this.
But then also, somewhat of a newer title called “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook.” And what “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” does is not only explains trigger points to you in a really good way, it gets deep into the science of it. So, if you're a practitioner or clinician, it's super helpful. But then as the subtitle implies, “Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief,” It basically shows you for anything that hurts, push here to fix it. I mean, it's literally like that, like push here to fix this, push here to fix that, and the thing works like gangbusters. So, I've been melting away my knee pain over the past couple of weeks using that book, particularly. So, it's called “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook.”
Up until this point, I would have recommended to you a similar book called “The Knee Pain Bible,” but I like “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” because, as the name implies, it doesn't just cover knees. It covers the whole body. So, you can just have this cookbook that you keep on your Kindle, or in your gym, or wherever. And anytime something hurts, go to there, look it up, see what trigger point could be referring pain. Amazing resource. So, “Trigger Point Therapy Workbook,” and then also, Kelly Starrett's “Becoming a Supple Leopard.” So, that's one thing I found to be incredibly helpful.
The other one is–and for me this is something I use every day, probably one of the best investments I've ever made in something that I use like my own home doctor for any type of inflammation, for any type of swelling, for any type of pain, and it's called pulsed electromagnetic field therapy. It's basically a pulsing treatment that–it was described to me when I interviewed a couple of times different practitioners who use this in their clinic as basically like a cellular exercise. It generates a magnetic pulse that actually moves oxygen and nutrients into tissue and take swelling out of tissue while increasing heat within tissue and increasing range of motion within tissue. They produce fields that are like 10,000 times more powerful than a standard magnet.
I use one made by a company called Pulse Centers. It's got like a table, it's got a chair, it's got little coils that you attach to any area of your body. Oh my goodness, when it comes to pain and rehab, I have friends who get hurt and the first thing they do is text me or call me and come visit my house to use my PEMF machine because it's that effective. And so, what I've been doing is I do these trigger points. And then, as soon as I finish with the trigger points, I slap the PEMF unit on whichever part of the body I've been working on, and oh my goodness, it works so well. So, I really just–just because it's been something hot on my mind, honestly, this whole idea of knee pain, I wanted to share that with you guys a little bit, too.
Anyways, I'll put the resources for all that that I talked about in the shownotes. But ultimately, you can self-manage your own knee pain or joint pain in general really, really well without having to necessarily spend a whole bunch of money on an expensive procedure. Yes, there are times full ACL tear or MCL, or full meniscal tear or something like that where you may need surgery. But in many cases, you simply don't if you know what to do and can take your treatment into your own hands, which I'm a huge fan of. So, speaking of taking your treatment into your own hands, there's also some new research on weight loss that I wanted to get into.
So, what got me thinking about this was a paper that really went into what actually works when it comes to successful, substantial, long-term weight loss and weight loss management. So, this was a paper that appeared in–I forget the journal this one was in, but it was just published recently. And what they looked at was they did an analysis of a whole bunch of different studies on hundreds of people that looked at what those people did to actually keep weight off after they had lost weight. And over and over and over again, what appeared was clear structured plan, but also, calorie and portion monitoring, regular weighing in meal planning, visual tools like progress pictures and reminders to stay motivated, and essentially this whole idea of measuring what was actually done. And we know this, what gets measured, gets managed, but there weren't any trendy supplementation protocols, no trendy low-carb diet, a high-carb diet, crazy exercise plans. What really was the biggest differentiator was the ability to be able to measure and track progress for both accountability and tracking.
Now, when I saw that, I really start to think about, especially this concept of logging and tracking, and the idea that it can be super confusing to people. Like, how many calories am I burning? How many calories does exercise burn? How many calories should I be taking in? Because as sexy as it is to talk about all these different dietary protocols, paleo, autoimmune, vegan carnivore, low fat, high fat, really at the end of the day, a huge, huge part of this comes down to how many calories am I taking in versus how many calories am I burning. Now, there's this concept of what are called energy expenditure equations. Energy expenditure equations are simply a way of measuring or calculating without again going to an expensive lab and getting a bunch of invasive testing done, your daily energy expenditure.
And so, if you look at daily energy expenditure, it's abbreviated TDEE, total daily energy expenditure, that's the number of calories you burn every day. It's made up of your basal metabolic rate, which is just how many calories you burn just sustaining life, like breathing, your heart beating, et cetera, growing hair, whatever. The thermic effect of food, which is how many calories that you burn digesting food, exercise thermogenesis, which would be how many calories you burn while exercising, and non-exercise thermogenesis, which would be like tapping your fingers, may be using a standing workstation, taking the stairs, things you wouldn't categorize as a workout per se, but that still burn calories.
Now, what happens is that there's a whole bunch of different equations out there that will calculate what your resting energy expenditure is and what your total daily energy expenditure is. And usually these calculators, you'll find them online, you plug in your weight, you plug in your activity levels, you plug in your body fat percentage, and they spit out an approximation of how many calories you're burning every day, and based on how much weight you want to lose, or perhaps even how much weight or muscle you want to gain, how much you should be eating. The problem is that these equations are notoriously inaccurate based on everything from your body fat percentage to your muscle size, to your bone size, to your unique body type, whether you're an ectomorph or an endomorph, pear shape, apple shape, ruler shape, rutabagas shape, whatever.
But really when it comes down to energy expenditure equations, what's really the gold standard is what's called doubly labeled water. So, it's very simple. What happens with a doubly labeled water equation is typically a participant who's being tested for something like that get some oxygen, they get some deuterium that they would ingest, and then the oxygen leaves the body as water and CO2. The deuterium will leave. The body only has water. And essentially, it's a very accurate way of measuring your carbon dioxide production rate. And once you know your carbon dioxide production rate, you can reverse engineer that into how many calories you're burning per day. And I don't need to get deep into science. But basically, the big picture is doubly labeled water is, in nutrition and exercise science, currently considered to be like the gold standard for measuring your total daily energy expenditure. But unfortunately, not many of us have access to a scientific laboratory that we can step into to do a doubly labeled water test.
However, there are predictions, simple predictions that you can find online that once you feed your metrics into can pretty accurately determine your energy expenditure very similar to what is based on that doubly labeled water technique. And I came across one company, in doing my research for this podcast, that uses estimation models based on doubly labeled water to give you a really, really good idea of how much you should eat per day, how much you should exercise per day, how many calories you're burning, how many calories you should be consuming, et cetera, et cetera. And when you look at that study that I just mentioned about how maintaining weight loss all comes down to tracking smarter to progress faster, and measuring, and managing, this particular tool I wanted to tell you about–because I think you'll really like it and I have no financial affiliation with this company. I actually don't know anybody at it. It's just the one that I came across and all the research I'm doing on what would be a really, really good way for you to be able to know how many calories they should be eating and how many calories that they're burning.
So, the website for this company is logsmarter.net. They've got like a free version, like a free trial version. And then, their main version, which is an app for Android or iOS or desktop, it's like nine bucks a month. And it's got really, really good goal intake suggestions, and entry logs, and personalized tracking feedback. And I was very impressed that they're basing their algorithms off this doubly labeled water technique, and it's pretty dang accurate and pretty dang evidence-based. So, if you're trying to figure out how many calories you're burning, how many calories you should eat, how that changes as your muscle changes, as your weight changes, et cetera, this would be a really, really good tool for you. So, again, it's logsmarter.net is where I found this tool, and I would recommend it to you as one that you should consider looking into if you want to track this kind of stuff.
So, I've got one other for you before we open it up to this week's Q&A, and this was in the National Journal of Strength Conditioning Research, and kind of related to what I was just talking about. But rather than maintenance of weight loss, this one looked into maintenance of muscle. And so, the title of this particular study was “The Minimal Dose of Exercise.” So, for all this time, hackers, hopefully, your ears perked when you heard that. “The Minimal Dose of Exercise” needed to preserve endurance and strength over time. So, what these folks looked into was all the different studies. This is a narrative review. They looked at all the different studies out there that show once you've gotten the body you want or the muscle you want, or got into the state of fat loss or fat loss maintenance that you want, how do you continue that over time?
And there were some really, really good practical applications in this particular study. And again, this wouldn't necessarily be to improve performance, but this would be to maintain performance, and it's less than what you would think, like if you're as fit as you want to be, but you want to maintain that. Let me give you a few examples. So, let's say short-term endurance. So, say you want to maintain your fitness for–short-term endurance usually would be like playing sports, tennis, soccer, basketball, et cetera. It would appear that you can do about 13 minutes per session at around two sessions per week, at around 60% to 80% intensity, and actually maintain your short-term endurance very effectively for a long duration of time. For long-term endurance, like being able to go for long periods of time, such as you might have accomplished after running a marathon or doing triathlon or something like that, basically, for that, you can get away with about 25 to 30 minutes per session, as long as you're maintaining as high an exercise intensity as possible during that steady-state, 25 to 30-minute session.
It was shockingly low. Let's say you've gotten yourself up to ride a bike for 60 miles, and then you just want to maintain that because you're going into work mode and you've got like eight weeks where you know you got to be able to train that much, you can literally maintain that with 25 to 30 minutes for a session. And in this case again, we're talking about a couple of times a week, two times per week. For VO2 max, what your maximum oxygen capacity–again, if you can maintain your maximum sustainable pace, and this was very similar, for about 13 to 15 minutes at around one session per week, that's enough for you to maintain your VO2 Max. How about strength?
For strength, you can maintain your maximum strength as one weightlifting session per week and one set per exercise as long as each of those sets is done to failure. This would be like an exercise program I've endorsed before, like in Doug McGuff's book, “Body by Science,” it's a 15 to 20-minute workout that involves one single super slow set to failure for each exercise. It's very similar to what I described for like the perfect anti-aging protocol in my book “Boundless,” like how would you exercise if you just want to stay fit for life. And I go over how you'd achieve strength, power, cardio, endurance, et cetera. But strength can literally be one session once per week one single set to failure. We're often led to believe often from Men's Health magazine, or Women's Health magazine, or whatever, that you got to do all these sexy sessions and mix it up, and do this and that, and change it up every few weeks. But really, when it comes to maintenance, it's super simple. It doesn't take that much.
Now, to maintain muscle size, it turns out that it was very, very similar in young populations. Up until about the age of 35 years old, if you want to maintain just bulk, and hypertrophy, and muscle size one session, one set per week single set to failure can maintain muscle for very long period of time. Now, if you're older, and especially pushing over 60 years old, that number increases. You got to do two to three sessions per week and two to three sets to failure as you get older. Basically, as you get older, it gets harder to maintain muscle. But still, like two to three weight training sessions per week, two to three sets to failure per exercise for five different full-body exercises like, let's say, the squat, the overhead press, the pull down, the pull up, and the chest press or something like that, I mean, that's really something that I think most people can really wrap their heads around time wise.
So, I was pleased that this article really was a sane way to look at what we actually need to maintain performance. And again, this wouldn't be to build incredible results in terms of building fitness, you need a lot more. But once you've reached where you want to go, it's surprising how little you can get away with for maintenance. And of course, I think that this should be couched with the idea that you should be engaged in low-level physical activity throughout the day and make sure you got a high step count and you can take a little Pomodoro breaks during the workday to swing some kettlebells or do some pull-ups or whatever. But when it comes to the formal session, man, it's pretty simple that there's not a whole lot they have to do. And I'll link to this full study in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/430. But it was about the minimal dose of exercise in the National Journal of Strength Conditioning research. And I just thought it was really stellar.
So, I think those are most of the studies that I wanted to go into with you all. And so, I think we should just have some fun now. Open this thing up to Q&A. And if you're listening to this podcast after it comes out and you don't know how to get it in on these Q&As, they're all in Clubhouse right now. And I posted my newsletter usually to social media a few days before the Clubhouse Q&A starts so that you know what time. But typically, it's Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. A couple of Wednesdays a month, we pop in and do these, and they're a ton of fun.
This podcast is brought to you by Ra Optics. Your body is able to control the timing of like 100,000 biochemical reactions that occur in 100 trillion cells every second, and most of that is based off the timing of the body in what's called the circadian rhythm. So, if that's messed up due to light exposure, due to inadequate sunlight, especially early in the day, due to like the retinal damage that you get from the backlit LED screens or fluorescent lightbulbs that might be in your house, or your mall, or your gym, or your workplace, that blue light can really disrupt circadian rhythm. Half the people who I talked to who have issues with sleep have issues with light, too. Problem is these blue light blocking glasses that are so popular now for blocking the harmful effects of blue light, particularly at night or when you're working during the day, the glare from your screens, they don't work. They're like cheap imported lens that block even less than half of the blue light that you're supposed to be blocking.
These lenses that Ra Optics developed, not only do they block all that harmful blue light emitted by devices and lightbulbs, et cetera, but they also come with these very attractive frame styles. We're talking like Italian acetate and German-engineered metal. And they have lenses for daytimes. You can protect your eyes anytime you're working on the screens. And my kids use them. I use them. You can use them at night, too, when you're watching a movie, when you're on your screens, when you're getting ready for bed, and that protects your body's natural melatonin production, and your sleep quality, and your energy, and your health. And better yet, they're going to give you 10% off. I recommend you get one yellow pair for daytime and one red pair for nighttime. That's a really, really good way to go. That's what I do. So, raoptics.com/ben is where you get your 10% code. That's R-Aoptics.com/ben.
Finally, this podcast is brought to you by my friends at ButcherBox. And if you want bacon and you like bacon, bacon for life is back, baby. That's right. You get one package of free bacon in every box with a lifetime of your subscription. When you order from ButcherBox, they deliver 100% grass-fed, grass-finished beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage-breed pork, wild-caught seafood, all of that straight to your door. They cut out the middleman. I mean, you can have a meal of organic meat. You'd pay like 60 bucks for the steakhouse for less than $6 a meal. And it comes straight to your door, great-tasting meat, free shipping, too. And what they're going to do when they ship your order, frozen for freshness, and packed in this ecofriendly, 100% recyclable box, is they're going to give you free bacon for life. So, package of free bacon in every box for the lifetime of your entire subscription. You just go to butcherbox.com/ben, just like it sounds, butcherbox.com/ben, and you'll get everything you need from ButcherBox, including that free bacon I mentioned. Enjoy.
So, let's go ahead. And Sophia, I'm now going to rely upon you to select someone from the audience, bring them on for question. My apologies that typically for the first question, I have to do some adjustments in audio levels and make sure everything is working from a tech standpoint. But Sophia, you want to bring somebody on?
Joanna: Wonderful. Well, it's great here. Thanks for having me up. Ben, I'm really curious about your opinion regarding NAD boosters. Seems a lot of them are made of precursors and there's at least one out there on the market that claims to address the salvage pathway, which sounds wonderful that I'm wondering if any of the compounds they use to address the salvage pathway are doing other things that are less optimal. Thank you. I'm done speaking.
Ben: Okay. Great question. So, yeah. NAD of course, I won't insult people's intelligence or time by getting into that exactly when it comes to what it is and how it works. But in a nutshell, it's a very potent anti-aging molecule that is quite useful for things like DNA repair and mitochondrial function. And the salvage pathway that Joanna (ph) refers to, well, that's how NAD is made in your body. So, you have these molecules called nicotinamide. And the salvage pathway produces NAD from these nicotinamide molecules. So, you can get nicotinamide from vitamin B3, like supplements that say niacinamide on them. That's going to be one really, really good way to produce NAD via the salvage pathway.
There are supplements, particularly a nicotinamide riboside, which is abbreviated NR, and then also nicotinamide mononucleotide, which is abbreviated NMN. And those can also, via that salvage pathway, get turned into NAD in your tissues. And there's a few different ways that the salvage pathway can work. We can synthesize NAD from any of those substrates that I just mentioned, like niacinamide, or NR, or NMN. We can produce NAD from niacin. And that pathway, in case anybody wants something handy for a cocktail party or a Trivial Pursuit game, is called the Preiss-Handler pathway. Or we can build a niacinamide molecule from scratch. And usually, that starts with a different molecule called L-tryptophan.
But no matter what you use, that's what's used to make NAD is those salvage pathways, and that's what we use to remake NAD, too, because NAD gets broken apart or consumed in your cells every single day. And when NAD gets used or consumed, all that's leftover is something called niacinamide. So, that leftover niacinamide gets recycled back into NAD. We actually consume a lot more NAD than we can make from, say, vitamin B3, niacinamide from our diet, or that we would even get from high doses in a supplement. So, recycling leftover niacinamide after you use NAD using the salvage pathway is what allows us to keep up with our NAD production or NAD availability.
So, when it comes to keeping your own NAD levels topped off, this of course should fill you in a little bit on what would actually work well to do this. So, there's one other thing that I should mention though because there's this enzyme. It's an enzyme pathway. It's called NAMPT. So, that's really a critical pathway to support because it allows things like NA, and NR, and NMN, and tryptophan to actually be used to salvage NAD and to produce NAD. And your NAMPT enzyme levels, those really decrease as you get older. That's why as you age, some form of NAD supplementation or niacinamide supplementation begins to be more and more crucial for maintaining healthy mitochondria. It particularly tends to decrease really, really significantly in brain tissue, for example, like your cortex and your hippocampus. It'll decrease even more if you are in a state of inflammation. It also has a really robust circadian rhythm. So, if you're not getting a ton of sunlight exposure during the day, or you're getting too much blue light exposure at night, that will downregulate that NAMPT pathway.
And finally, that NAMPT pathway is really supported by these things called sirtuins. You may have heard of these, like resveratrol, blueberry, cacao, love the dark browns, the blues, the reds, the purples that we find in nature that has a lot of resveratrol in it, or sirtuins in it, which is why a lot of times you'll see companies that are producing NAD compounds, like let's say Thorne or ChromaDex, or some of these other companies. They're actually combining NAD, or NR, or NMN with sirtuins. And then also, often including different mitochondrial nutrients, which play well with NAD like coenzyme Q10, or PQQ, or L-carnitine, or lipoic acid, or even creatine can actually help quite a bit as like an intracellular buffer for ATP and providing more phosphoryl groups for this salvage pathway that Joanna was asking about. Often, people who are poor methylators genetically, they also have a little bit more difficulty with this salvage pathway. So, if you've had your genes tested and you've got like the MTHFR gene, that would dictate that you might be able to methylate less readily than sometimes supplementing with really good bioavailable folate or consuming a lot of liver or organ meats can help to support these pathways along with supplementing with a really, really good vitamin B12 complex.
So, if you sat me down and you're like, “Okay. So, Ben, what would you do if you really, really wanted to fully support your NAD salvage pathways in addition to keeping your NAD levels topped off with whatever form of NAD that you're using?” The exact protocol that I would use is as follows. I like to top off my levels of NAD once a month by actually getting an NAD IV. There's really not a whole lot that's going to elevate your level significantly compared to direct blood administration of NAD. And there are many functional medicine clinics we can go in. You sit for two to four hours, get 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of NAD dripped into your system. And in many cases, people who want to jumpstart their endogenous NAD availability will do two to four IVs in a row, just like go and visit the clinic for a few hours each day and top off their levels with an IV. But I get one IV a month.
And then, in between those IVs, I just use oral NAD, or, because I'm not super picky–and even though there's mild variations between NMN and NR, for somebody who's already fasting, exercising, eating healthy, using some of these other things I'll talk about briefly, and getting an NAD IV every month, I don't think there's that big of a difference from most of the research that I've seen. Right now, I use Thorne's product, ResveraCel. And then, I'll also link to this in the shownotes. I actually chew NAD gum made by Dr. Craig Koniver, who's a previous podcast guest of mine. It's like a microdose of NAD. It's a gum called Peak, but I pop a couple of those a day. There's about 25 milligrams of NAD in those. It's a pretty new gum, and it's also got a little bit of caffeine and a little bit of CBD in it. And then, I take Thorne's ResveraCel, which combines a sirtuin, in this case, resveratrol, with NAD, and I take a couple of those in the morning, chew this gum during the day, get an IV once a month.
And then, to support the salvage pathway, the things that are best for that is really, really good amounts of vitamin B12. So, even just like a good multivitamin that has a vitamin B complex in it like Thorne has a good one called their AM/PM multi, or just using a vitamin B12 complex, that'll be one, really good bioavailable folate. And I'm a huge fan of consuming organ meats a couple of times a week. And if you can't do that using like an encapsulated organ supplement like Ancestral Supplements has a good one, Paleovalley has a good one, but introducing bioavailable folate via organ meat consumption to your diet, it's a really good idea in addition to the full spectrum vitamin B12. Creatine, super simple, it's 5 grams creatine a day. That's really, really simple for giving you those phosphoryl groups to assist with that salvage pathway. And then, magnesium would be the last one, with magnesium just being something you could take before bed at night, 400 or 600 milligrams or so. Currently, the magnesium I use is made by Jigsaw Health. It's like a slow-release magnesium called MagSRT. And so, you've got your NAD IV once a month, some kind of oral supplementation almost every day, and then vitamin B12, folate, creatine, and magnesium. And if you were to do all that, you're going to do really, really good with both your salvage pathway, as well as your bioavailable NAD. So, yeah, that's where I would start, Joanna, and I hope that is helpful.
Anna: Hi, Ben. Hi, Sophia. Hi, everybody. I was so involved with what you were saying, Ben. It's like a little master class that I completely forgot and I raised my hand. So, here's my question. I am 52 years old, still competing in triathlons, and dealing with menopause and that belly, fat weight gain. I have heard so many different things about how women triathletes. We shouldn't be doing what we're doing if we want to be in the best shape as far as maintaining muscle. I'm just completely overwhelmed and flooded by all the information out there. I would love to get this fat off of me. It's difficult for me to be doing intermittent fasting as an athlete. I have to keep my calories up to be able to perform. I know you know this also well. And at the same time, I would love to be able to drop this weight.
And everybody in the triathlon world, dietitians and coaches, say you can't do it at the same time. So, is this something that I should focus on in the fall after my last race? And if that is something, how to go about it? I work with so many dieticians that work with athletes and I feel like I'm an enigma. I just feel like people don't know how to help me. I'm a little frustrated, to say the least. So, I'm not giving up my sport. People tell me to stop doing cardio. I'm not giving up my sport. Absolutely love it. I'm competitive. I don't plan on leaving it anytime soon. At the same time, vanity-wise, I kind of like to look the way I did seven years ago. So, any thoughts on that? Thanks so much for allowing me up.
Ben: I'm a guy with a vast history of endurance exercise, everything from Ironman to the Spartan Death Race, to Spartan races, and adventure races, and cycling. Ever since I hung up the bodybuilding, volleyball, tennis, kind of like power and strength hat in college, I went for like 20 years participating in endurance sports and they're incredibly fun, they're adventurous, they're fulfilling. You got your own little personal Mount Everest to climb. They're very motivating. There's cool tribes and connections. There's fun toys to play with like the bicycles and running shoes. It's just a great escape almost.
But at the same time, if you want to be somewhat fat as far as skinny fat, high cortisol, inflamed, poor sleep, nutrient-depleted, poor endocrine dysfunction, poor fertility for life, then engaging in a hefty amount of endurance as your primary source of training and is the primary source sport that you compete in is something you will experience, period. Period, drop mic, walk away. You can't be an endurance athlete and simultaneously be at peak health and fertility and endocrine function. You simply can't do it.
So, you are fighting an uphill battle either way, but of course, the enjoyment that you might derive or the pleasure that you might derive from competing in that endurance sports or being heavily involved in endurance is often worth it to many people. I just don't want you to be fooled into thinking that it's a healthy sport to compete in. I would also say that if you're doing CrossFit every day, that's also something that's going to beat you up and spit you out and flies in the face of ancestral exercise, which is essentially low-level physical activity throughout the day. I'm not talking about low-level physical activity like running on a trail. I'm talking about like gardening or walking around the house, lifting heavy stuff every once in a while, as we've just established, like two or three times a week, doing some heavyweight training session, and sprinting every once in a while.
I mean, playing sport like tennis, or basketball, or soccer, or anything like that that cause you to sprint, and not the type of training that basically cause you to run from a lion every day for hour after hour after hour. That's the fast track to injury and overtraining. And I don't have to kick that horse to death. I talk about a lot in my book “Beyond Training,” for example, I addressed this whole issue. And in that same book, I also addressed why I value, if you are going to compete in endurance sport using minimal effective doses of exercise, incorporating a lot of high-intensity interval training as opposed to long cardio training and giving the body really good nutrient-dense sources of fuel throughout.
Now, with women who I've helped who want to maintain things like aesthetics and endocrine function while also being able to get good results on their endurance training platform, there are a few things that I've really highlighted as being super important that are often neglected. So, I'll give you a shortlist here of the things that I think would be most important for you. Number one would be sacrificing at least three of your endurance training sessions each week and replacing those with plyometrics, with sprint training, and with weight training that is not engaged in in the same way you would engage in endurance training because a lot of endurance athletes think you go to the gym and you need a whole bunch of reps, low weight, lift, lift, lift, and that way you're going to build endurance while you're in the gym. But you only want to use the gym for strength training. Meaning, four to eight reps max, long periods of rest in between each exercise, and lifting very heavy for anywhere from two to four sets max to failure and treating it as a true strength training session.
So, that's number one. And there's a really nice hormonal response from that alone. But doing that type of weight training and not piling it on top of endurance training but using it as a replacement for a few of your endurance training sessions is very useful. And I like to encourage people to combine those sessions to get just a little bit of endurance money in the bank, so to speak, with a warmup or a cool-down that involves anywhere from 5 to maximum of 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training. Like, you show up to the gym, you do your mobility exercises, you warm up, you do 10 to 30-second sprints on the treadmill with recovery between each, and then you go do three sets of squat, deadlifts, overhead press, shoulder press, and row, or something like that with long rest periods between each to failure, boom, done, you got your high-intensity interval training and your strength training in.
And that's the type of stuff that allows you to maintain fitness that's very applicable to the field of endurance without the same type of hormonal fatigue, and endocrine dysfunction, and fertility downregulation, and even this skinny fat syndrome due to hypercortisolic responses to endurance training that a lot of people experience. So, getting into strength and high-intensity interval training and short snappy training mode versus long-endurance mode for as many of your sessions as possible is super useful.
The next thing is that most of the female endurance athletes who I work with as a nutritionist, they hate it at first because they think they're going to get fat, and then they don't, and they get super healthy, and the skinny fat stuff goes away, is I have them typically on a combined nutrient-dense/calorie-dense form of some type of like a Weston A. Price-ish diet. Those of you not familiar with the Weston A. Price Foundation, it's a form of eating that I also use quite a bit with women who I help who are having babies or who are breastfeeding to get big beautiful babies and super nutrient-dense breast milk. It's just something that supports fertility, libido, hormones, muscle, endocrine function, adrenal glands in a really, really good way.
So, it's basically a ton of like beef, lamb, game, organ meats, poultry, eggs from pasture-fed animals, and wild-caught fish, and even to a certain extent from unpolluted waters, things like fish eggs and shellfish. As long as it's tolerated for dairy, full-fat milk products from preferably pasture-fed animals, again, preferably raw or fermented like raw milk, whole yogurt, kefir, cultured butter, full-fat raw cheeses, fresh sour cream, a lot of animal fats like lard, tallow, egg yolks, cream, butter, along with a limited amount of vegetable oils like extra virgin olive oil, or expeller-pressed sesame oil, or a little bit of flax oil, and definitely some coconut oil, or some palm kernel oil. A lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, but many of them fermented or lacto-fermented. So, that's like kombuchas, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchis, et cetera.
Whole grains, legumes, nuts, not off limits, but all soaked and sprouted, or leavened, or fermented to neutralize a lot of the phytic acid, and the enzyme inhibitors, and the other anti-nutrients that you find in many of those. And then, just plenty of sleep, and exercise, and natural light, and that's the foundation of the Weston A. Price diet. And most women who start on that diet, they're like, “Oh, my gosh, I'm going to get so fat eating lard, and ghee, and liver, and egg yolks, and coconut oil.” But what happens is just the opposite. Their body gets supported, their adrenal glands get supported, cortisol begins to drop, the water retention that goes along with that cortisol begins to drop, they're less bloated, they're less skinny fat. And I combine that with the strength training and the high-intensity interval training.
And then, the last thing that I really like to throw in is a ton of minerals like Quinton minerals. Or another mineral that I really like is made by a company called Protekt, spelled with a K, P-R-O-T-E-K-T, K-T, if I can talk. Another one called LMNT, which is Robb Wolf‘s company. But tons of minerals again for adrenal support and support for a lot of like the blood pressure regulating hormones such as cortisol. And even catecholamines, a lot of that's supported by really high mineral intake in addition to some of those foods that I was just talking about. So, I mean, those are some of the places I would start. But essentially, it's like weight training, not a whole lot of endurance training, high-intensity interval training, super nutrient-dense, calorie-dense diet, lots of sunshine, fresh air, water.
I find that the women that I work with, who just decide that they're going to have faith, step off into the unknown, step off the cliff that says they're doing everything everybody says they're not supposed to do for weight loss. Particularly, I'm referring to very active females who don't have to worry as much about that calories in versus calories out equation. It just freaking works. So, that's where I'd start. And then, the last thing I would consider, just to make sure you do know what's going with your hormones, like your progesterone, your estrogen, your testosterone, your melatonin, your DHEA, everything like that, is looking to a really, really good hormone profile to see where all of that is at. So, you can act accordingly if it's imbalanced. And the best one for that is the DUTCH urine test, the dried urine test that just gives you a really, really good snapshot into how your hormones are fluctuating throughout the day. And that is where I would start. I hope that helps you out, Ana, and best of luck. But again, you got to defy some of the social norms when it comes to what works for female endurance athletes and embrace some of these concepts that I just described. And there's a whole lot more about that in my book “Beyond Training,” and also my book “Boundless.”
Michael: I've been training for a while for strength and conditioning with a personal trainer of mine. I'm going to start doing things on my own. Any advice on how to get started planning my workouts and things like that?
Ben: Alright. So, I like this question because I know there's a saying that a person's worst coach is themselves, and that you should always have outside accountability and someone riding out your program for you, and monitoring, and measuring that. And perhaps I'm shooting myself in the foot here because that's part of my job description as people hire me to write out their workouts for them and to plan out their nutrition for them and everything else. But I personally, for much of the year, aside from when I'm–like I recently did a kettlebell certification and hired a kettlebell coach to help me along and program my workouts, almost not because I didn't know how to program them myself, but because I really knew for something like that, I wanted a great deal of external accountability. And in that case, wanted to hire a coach who'd done the certification themselves, et cetera.
But I really like the idea of being able to take matters into your own hands and not have to rely upon someone else to be able to, say, do a workout. I mean, there's so many people that can't–I'm just giving you a super simple example. Like those spin classrooms at the gym where they got all the spin bikes lined up? Well, I mean, I used to in college have a whole soundtrack loaded up to my audio player. And I'd go in there for 60 minutes and do my own spin routine, all by myself, without an instructor or anybody else in the room. And I do, let's say, an endurance ladder, like 1-minute maximum sustainable pace, 60 seconds recovery, 2-minutes maximum sustainable pace, 1-minute recovery, 3 minutes, 1-minute off, 4 minutes, 1-minute off, 5 minutes, 1-minute off. And then, do three rounds of that and just structure my own spin workouts. Rather than me saying, “Well, I really, really want to get a good indoor cycling workout in, but the class doesn't start 'til 5:30, and I'm only able to be in the gym right now 'til, whatever, 5:00 because I have a class at 5:30, or whatever.
So, basically, the idea is it really helps you out if you know how to program some of your own workouts and put together your own workouts. I'm going to take a little bit of a different perspective on this because I don't want to turn into a giant echo chamber of what's already written in my books, because like in “Boundless,” I walk you through exactly what to do for strength, what to do for power, what to do for cardio, what to do for your high-intensity interval training, what to do for mobility, what to do for fat loss if you were going to put together on your own, your own perfect workout program for the week. So, that's already been done, and I'm not going to do that again on this podcast because it's all in the book.
However, I want to give you more of an insider baseball glimpse at the way that I personally do things. So, I have one Google Doc that is of course accessible from my phone, from my Kindle, from my computers, wherever. And what I have listed on that Google Doc are all of my favorite workouts, because I'm all about reducing decision-making fatigue, even taking the chance that a good plan today or a good workout today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow or a perfect workout plan tomorrow. And I like to be able to return to the same workout over and over again because it gives me a really good sense of how my fitness is progressing, how my body feels for the day, how I'm able to handle loads, and just basically allows me to be in really, really good touch with my body if I'm repeating the same workouts frequently throughout the year.
And so, what I have is a Google Doc on my computer. And that Google Doc has everything from very, very simple 30-minute walk with breath-hold at each telephone pole and nasal breathing throughout to blood flow restriction band training, two different variants of that, to three of my favorite kettlebell workouts, to a couple of my favorite super slow workouts, to three ways that I like to use the Vasper full-body training machine that I have out in my gym, to a couple of park workouts, to about three different bodyweight or hotel room workouts. So, I think I have a total of 21 workouts right now on that list that I keep on my computer. And if a workout is just like a hell yes for me, super fun, one that I know I'd return to over and over again, it'll get put onto that document.
And then, on Sundays, when the week is about to begin, I actually do the same thing for my kids, too. I've got a workout document for my twin boys and then one for me because I figured while I'm programming my workout, so I can program theirs as well. And so, I'll sit down at the beginning of the week on a Sunday night, I look over my schedule for the week. So, Mondays I'm doing this, Tuesdays I'm doing this, Wednesday is a busy day. I'm going to have a lot of decision-making fatigue, so I need to make sure I do this work out in the morning. Saturday, I've got a full day with the family, whatever, gardening or hitting the farmer's market, and running a bunch of errands. So, this day, I just need to do something super hard in the morning because I probably not get a kid to do anything the rest of the day. Sunday is going to be a beautiful day. No workout that day, so I'm going to go paddle boarding instead. It generally takes me about 15 minutes to map out my workouts for the week based on that.
And then, I take all my key workouts. And what I generally do is I say, “Okay. So, is this right now a time in my life when I'm trying to get stronger, when I'm trying to spend more time outside, when I'm trying to build up my lung capacity, when I'm trying to burn more fat?” And literally, I ask super-simple questions like, which days this week do I have a dinner party where I know the next morning, my workout should include more calorie burning and cold thermogenesis? Or, which days this week do I plan on having a steak for dinner? And that's what I'm going to do my weight training. Like, I just weave in all elements of life into it. Which days am I just hella overwhelmed with work? And my workout needs to be super simple and just have like two exercises in it, kettlebell swings and pushups because I know by the time I do that workout, I'm going to have a lot of decision-making fatigue.
So, I have this whole key workouts document. And at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, and I'll link to this if you go to the shownotes once they're ready at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/430, I actually recently published like 17 of those key workouts. I'll have the people who help me put the shownotes together hunt that out and link to that, or you can go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com and do a search for key workouts or use Google and adjust the slider so it's whatever came out in the past year and you should see it. But I listed several of those key workouts. You can wrap your heads around that.
But basically, I go in on Sunday nights and I just basically, and this is what I do for all my clients, too, when I'm working on their plan because they have all the places they're going to travel in there and what their goals are at that time in their life. And I simply drag and drop all the different templated workouts that I have under which day that they're going to work best. And typically, for me, every single one of those workouts takes 30 to 45 minutes. So, that's super easy because I can then say, “Okay. So, these are the six different 30 to 45-minute workouts I'm going to do this week.” And then, everything else is just like walking, sauna, casually jumping in the cold pool, sometimes playing tennis game. But I like to just program like 30 to 45 minutes, so the rest of the day is open for me to just go on a walk, or at the last minute, go in the car with my wife to a hot yoga session, or play some tennis. And so, I find that that's super sustainable for me, too, just to make sure all those key workouts I know are workouts that really only take me about 30 to 45 minutes.
And the final thing is, not to totally contrast what I just said, but three of the workouts are super hard and take anywhere from an hour to two hours because I like to have a few options that are like–whatever. My family's gone for the weekend, and I know I'm really going to want to crush it with an amazing workout because I have some freedom of time. There's two different long podcasts I want to listen to. And so, on this day, this is going to be the day where, honestly, not because it's good for the body, kind of like my response to Anna earlier, but simply because sometimes I really do get a kick out of being super sore the next day and beat myself up. So, I have a few workouts that are just designed to do that, just to make life hard and make me feel like I've really checked something big off the list, make myself mentally and physically stronger.
So, there's always a few of those, like the barbarian where you go for a mile with a pair of 70-pound kettlebells in each hand, wearing a 70-pound pack, pulling 70-pound on the top of a sled, and wearing 20-pound ankle weights, and you're just trying to cover the course of a mile. And so, I've got a few like that that are just saved for those perhaps once a month times when I'm like, “Okay, I want to do something super hard.” So, anyways, those are my recommendations to you. And of course, any strength conditioning coach listening in, any personal trainer, is chuckling and saying, “But Ben, what about periodization? What about having your strength, and your endurance, and your power period spread throughout the year, and athletic performance?”
What I just described is not what I do for professional athlete, but this is for the average working professional or person who wants the minimal effective dose of exercise who just wants to plan out their exercises. Just to be honest, this is how I personally do it. And so, I hope that's helpful, but that's how I go about planning out my own routine from day to day. And so, Michael, does that give you some direction?
Michael: Definitely reference that. I love all the work that you do, just helping people take charge of their own in all sorts. So, I'm that type of person myself just the working professional, just trying to keep my fitness up, optimize my body. And you're the one who's helping me do that the most.
Ben: Awesome. Well, thanks, man. It was a great question. That was a fun one to answer. A few last things. Of course, I spend a lot of time on the shownotes, and those are all going to be at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/430. I'll link to all the research articles I mentioned, the different things you can use for those NAD salvage pathways, the Weston A. Price Foundation, some of their stuff, few of the key workout articles I talked about. So, be sure that you hit up those shownotes. And then, my cookbook just launched. So, I love to be able to tell my tribe, my followers, spread the wealth, spread the word. It's boundlesscookbook.com. And anytime I write a book, I'm super proud of. It's like having a baby. Well, maybe not as painful as pushing something the size of a watermelon out your vagina, but you get the idea. It's a laborious process to produce a book, and you all are really the primary means by which word about my books gets out there. So, grab a book, grab one for a friend, tweet it out, put it on Facebook. When you cook something from it, put it on social media, but it's boundlesscookbook.com is where you can get that. If you are into crypto investing, the new financial world we're all entering into, check out BitClout and go check out my coin over there, @BenGreenfieldLife. That's a cool new platform, mark my words. It's going to be profitable to be on for the next few years going forward.
And then, the last thing is that of course at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, I've got my newsletter, all my books, all my free stuff, my VIP text club, everything that I put out there to make you all's life better. So, again, it's all at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. And you can also leave comments once these shownotes come out for anything, whatever. “Ben, you interrupted your guest too much,” or, “Ben, the Clubhouse Q&A was too short or too long,” or, “Ben, you talk too much. Shut up.” Just put it all over there at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/430 because your ratings and your reviews on your podcast app, and also your feedback to me in those shownotes, I don't know what I don't know. So, you guys keep me informed of what you want to hear about, what you want to see me do more of, what you want to see me do less of, the type of things you want me to talk about, and I'll make it happen because that's pretty much why I wake up every morning is to basically make other people's lives better using the platform that I have. And so, if you give me feedback on how I can do that, that's amazing. You're amazing.
So, anyways, a lot of talking to myself since my podcast psychic, Jay, isn't here. And I wish everyone an amazing, wonderful week. I'm taking my family to the Oregon Coast on Sunday to do some hiking and coastal life. And I hope everybody has a wonderful weekend planned. See you on the flipside. Shownotes are at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/430. Go make yourself a carrot cake smoothie and have yourself an amazing week.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
Have a question you'd like Ben to answer on the podcast?
Click here, or use the ‘contact' button in the free Ben Greenfield Fitness app.
Prior to asking your question, do a search in the upper right-hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness!
News Flashes: Follow Ben on Twitter for more…
–Most people's “bad knees” don't really need surgery to get fixed…10:35
- Becoming a Supple Leopardby Kelly Starrett
- Trigger Point Therapy Workbookby Claire Davies
- The Knee Pain Bibleby Christopher Kidawski
- Pulse Centers PEMF—therapy for any type of inflammation, swelling, pain, etc.
–What *really* works for weight loss: (the theme of “continuous monitoring” is what really stands out…what gets measured gets managed, folks)…21:00
- TDEE: Total Daily Energy Expenditurecalculator
- Doubly-labeled water techniquefor energy expenditure
–This artificial intelligence energy expenditure/calorie intake app is, based on their research and algorithms, one of the most accurate means out there to figure out how many calories per day you're burning/should be eating…26:30
-Want to maintain strength, endurance, muscle size, and more in LIMITED time with minimal effective dose? Here's how: (and I'll be addressing a podcast in detail to spill all the beans for you)…27:45
- Body by Scienceby Doug McGuff
- Boundlessby Ben Greenfield
- Ben will be speaking at the Ancestral Health Symposium in L.A. on August 12-14, 2021
- Keep up on Ben's LIVE appearances by following com/calendar
- Carrot cake smoothie recipe:
- Put into a blender
- Boundless Cookbook
- Bitclout @bengreenfieldlife
–The Boundless Cookbook: Optimize your physical and mental performance with nutritious and delicious Greenfield family recipes. This is your roadmap to a culinary journey that includes ancient food and wild game preparation tactics, biohacked smoothies, meat rubs, cocktails, desserts, and beyond—without any restrictive diet, limited ingredients, or tasteless “health foods”! Order yours today here!
Check out Ben on Instagram for epic posts and photos about his morning, day, and evening routines, recipes, and much more!
Follow Ben on Twitter for daily news flashes and the latest health, fitness, and anti-aging research.
Join Ben's Facebook page for conversations with listeners and even more useful information, posts, and support!
This podcast is brought to you by:
–Kion Dark Coffee: All you serious, die-hard, black-as-mud, I-put-coffee-in-my-coffee coffee drinkers out there, you can try Kion Dark Roast and save 10%.
–Paleo Valley Beef Sticks: 100% grass-fed AND grass-finished. Keto friendly and higher levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Receive a 15% discount on your order when you go to paleovalley.com/ben.
–Ra Optics: Purchase a pair of Ra Optics Day and Night Lenses to optimize sleep quality, energy, levels, and health in the modern, electrically-lit world. Receive 10% off your order when you order through my link.
–Butcher Box: Delivers healthy 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage breed pork directly to your door on a monthly basis. All their products are humanely raised and NEVER given antibiotics or hormones.
How To Increase NAD & NAD Salvage Pathways…38:20
Q: “Curious to know about your opinion regarding NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) boosters. A lot of them are made of precursors with at least one that claims to address the salvage pathway. Wondering if the compounds used to address the salvage pathways are doing other things less optimal?”
My comments and recommendations:
- NAD is an anti-aging molecule that is useful for DNA repair and mitochondrial function
- The salvage pathway produces NAD from the nicotinamide molecule
- Sources of nicotinamide:
- NAD can also be produced from Niacin via the Preiss-Handler pathway
- Niacinamide molecule can be produced from L-Tryptophan
- Enzyme pathway Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT)allows nicotinic acid (NA), NR, NMN, and Tryptophan to be used to salvage and produce NAD
- NAMPT pathway is supported by sirtuins (Resveratrol, blueberries, cacao, etc.)
- Some supplement companies producing NAD compounds also include sirtuins and the following mitochondrial nutrients:
- People who are poor methylators (with Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase or MTHF gene) have difficulty with the salvage pathway may supplement with the following to help support the pathways:
- What Ben would do to support his NAD salvage pathways, in addition to keeping NAD levels topped-off:
- NAD IV once a month in a functional medicine clinic
- Thorne Resveracel
- Peak:NAD gum made by Dr. Craig Koniver (use code PEAK10 to save 10%)
- To support the salvage pathway:
- Vitamin B12
- Thorne AM/PM
- Bioavailable folate (organ meats or capsules)
- Paleo Valley
- Ancestral Supplements(use code BEN to save 10%)
- Jigsaw Health Magnesium
How Can Female Endurance Athletes Not Be Skinny-Fat…47:10
Q: A 52-year-old female athlete, still competing in marathons and dealing with menopause and that belly fat/weight gain…difficulty keeping calories up to perform as an athlete and at the same time doing intermittent fasting to drop weight…dieticians and coaches saying both cannot be done at the same time…
My comments and recommendations:
- You cannot be an endurance athlete and be at peak health with fertility and endocrine function at the same time
- Low-level physical activity throughout the day
- Beyond Trainingby Ben Greenfield
- Boundlessby Ben Greenfield
- Women who want to maintain aesthetics and endocrine function while getting good results on endurance training:
- Sacrifice at least 3 endurance training sessions each week and replace with plyometricsand weight training; HIIT 2-3 times per week, moderate time periods
- Go on a combined nutrient dense/calorie-dense form of Weston A. Price diet
- Sleep, sunshine, fresh air
- Minerals like:
- Protekt(use code BEN to save 15%)
How To Create Your Own Workout Routine…58:20
Q: How to start strength and conditioning training on my own?
My comments and recommendations:
- Boundlessoutlines what to do if you are going to do your workout program, like:
- What to do for strength
- What to do for power
- What to do for cardio
- What to do for HIIT
- What to do for mobility
- What to do for fat loss
- How Ben does his workouts:
- A Google doc that lists all favorite workouts to reduce decision-making fatigue
- Know the week's schedule, map out the workouts for the week based on that
- The 19 Best Full-Body Workouts Ben Greenfield Uses For His Year-Round Exercise Routine.