May 2, 2020
[00:01:16] Podcast Sponsors
[00:03:35] Guest Introduction
[00:06:17] Brendon's Back Story
[00:15:52] Brendon After the Crash
[00:26:04] Brendon's Morning Routine
[00:34:18] Podcast Sponsors
[00:36:46] Cont. Brendon's Morning Routine: Smoothie And Supplements
[00:40:36] Physical Movement And Workout Protocol
[00:42:52] How The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Revealed Or Exposed People's Health And Wellness Readiness
[00:50:03] Brendon's Top Biohacks
[00:55:11] Sleep Routine, And How It Changes During An Event
[01:08:00] Managing Exposure To Electricity
[01:10:20] Book Recommendations and Followings
[01:18:37] Closing the Podcast
[01:22:05] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Brendon: First thing when you're sliding a death's doorway, at least in that moment for me, that fear that bolts through your body is an existential question of did I live? I sit there with the planner, I close my eyes, I visualize doing the thing and I ask myself, how can I do that thing with joy and excellence? We tracked a lot of the guys from the high-performance world who are more of the physiology type coaches and we had a world-class cyclist there who came up to me and said, “How did you just do that?”
Ben: Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Alright, I have my friend and world-famous motivational speaker, Brendon Burchard on the show today. Brendon is actually really cool. I've gotten to know him lately and he's the real deal like he's a really cool cat, super kind-hearted, super giving, really inspirational. He doesn't get a chance much to talk about his personal life, like his personal biohacks and supplements and fitness routine, but he got a chance to on today's show. We have fun. You're going to like it.
This show is brought to you by my company, Kion, which is my playground for developing amazing formulations that are like a shotgun for anything you'd want. Muscle gain, we got creatine and amino acids. Fat loss and blood sugar control, we've got Kion Lean. Joint support, we've got Kion Flex. Skin beauty, we have the Kion Anti-Aging Skin Serum. We have a wonderful fish oil. We have–what am I forgetting? Our coffee of course, our Clean Energy Bar. I mean, if you order a suite of Kion products, your pantry is going to be stacked with everything you need to take the next step in life towards adventure. That's why we created the company. So, you go to getkion.com. I'm going to give you 10% off of everything there. Alright, I might be eating rice and beans for the next month because I'm doing this, but I don't care, 10% off of everything at Kion. I'm not eating rice and beans, I'm kidding. I like ribeye steaks with the bone in, getkion.com, getK-I-O-N.com, and the discount code that you can use is BEN10. That's BEN10 at getkion.com.
This podcast is also brought to you by Beekeeper's Naturals. Beekeeper's Naturals ships bees to your house. No, I'm just kidding. They'll be dangerous and probably illegal. They isolate the superfoods from bees, like the royal jelly and the–what do you call it? The propolis, which is fantastic for your immune system. The bee pollen, which I've been sprinkling on tops of smoothies and also on salads for a little bit of a crunchy alternative to nuts. Bee pollen itself is amazing. It's got all these enzymes and vitamins and what are called free-forming amino acids. So, in and of itself is a wonderful crunchy little superfood. But then they've got their bee propolis throat spray for your immune system, they've got their brain fuel where they took bees' royal jelly and blended it with ginkgo biloba and bacopa for memory and performance and cognition without any caffeine. So, 15% off for you on all the Beekeeper's stuff, and it's all wonderful. It's really, really fun product. So, beekeepersnaturals.com/ben, and you can use code BEN there for a 15% discount. How do you like that?
Alright, folks, my guest on today's show is actually somebody who I've been aware of for a long time. I think probably like, gosh, I want to say this was like eight or nine years ago, I was sharing a hotel room at a triathlon with one of my triathlon buddies named Kerry Sullivan. And Kerry, he took out his computer and he's like, “Dude, dude, dude, you got to watch a video of this guy. He was living out of his apartment and dead broke and now he's just like this enormously successful internet entrepreneur, and he's super inspirational, motivational.” I watched the video and at the time, this guy wasn't super-duper well-known, but he was making it so to speak.
Then I kind of forgot about him for a while. And then over the past few years, I've seen this guy everywhere. He's a number one New York Times bestselling author now. He's written books like “High Performance Habits” and “The Motivation Manifesto,” “The Charge,” “The Millionaire Messenger,” “Life's Golden Ticket.” Oprah Magazine named him as one of the most influential leaders in the field of personal growth. Many consider him to be the world's top high-performance coach like “Forbes Magazine” and Success Magazine. And he literally speaks to tens and tens of thousands of people at live events every year.
He has trained Oprah, he has trained Usher, he has trained dozens of Olympians and Fortune 500 CEOs. And he is all over the place, but perhaps most important for you, my listener, is he's really into health, too. And I've had a few very fascinating chats with him and he really takes care of his body and his brain in some pretty profound ways, and has his own rituals and routines and habits that I think you guys will really dig in addition to some of his success habits. So, his name is Brendon Burchard. And everything that Brendon and I talk about today you can find over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/brendonburchard. And his name is spelled B-R-E-N-D-O-N B-U-R-C-H-A-R-D. BenGreenfieldFitness.com/brendonburchard for the shownotes, for his books, for his website to learn more about this cat.
Brendon, welcome to the show, man.
Brendon: Man, it's an honor to be here and I love your show so much, dude. So, this is a great moment for me. Thank you for having me.
Ben: Awesome. Well, I'm stoked to have you. And you're probably sick of getting this question, but let me tell you, it is pretty inspirational, and so I'm wondering if we can start off with you just sharing your fascinating backstory with folks.
Brendon: Yeah. You know, the thing that brought me into what you and I do in this whole world of psychology and I performance was the fact that I was a miserable, sad, and suicidal kid.
Ben: I know. I watched that cheesy video like nine years ago.
Brendon: That's really where I came from. I wish it wasn't so cheesy, but it just happened to be my life at the time. I had gone through a really terrible breakup with my high school sweetheart. We thought we were going to get married and we went to college together and we were just completely united in that gross high school of where we were each other's everything. And so I kind of followed her to college at the University of Montana. And within that first semester, she had cheated on me, and my whole identity was wrapped up in us. And sometimes when relationship like that falls apart, you fall apart, and that's what happened, I fell apart. I didn't have the mindset or the psychological tools to deal with that type of thing so I fell into just, first, blatant sadness, and then it became depression, and then it became suicidal thinking. I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't motivate myself, I couldn't–friends, I had friends. They come over. “Hey, let's do something.” I couldn't do that. I didn't want to go to classes because she was in the classes because I signed up all my classes to follow her around. I mean, it was just a hopeless situation.
Ben: That bitch.
Brendon: And I laid in bed and ate terrible food, didn't take care of myself, didn't shower, didn't go to class. I mean, not uncommon college freshman story, I guess. And then one day, the one thing that saved me, Ben, was reading. I was always reading and I happened to read the school newspaper. I was just flipping through it and there was a big ad, this full-page ad. And across the top head, this headline, this may be the best marketing headline of all time for a sad, young dude, by the way. And it said, “Escape across this thing,” and it was a bright, white, sandy beach, turquoise water, palm trees, and it said, “Summertime jobs for students in the Dominican Republic.”
And I remember I'm in Montana. I have no idea where the Dominican Republic is at that time of my life, but I knew she wouldn't be there. So, I take this job. I go down there. I've become like a glorified tour guide. And real long story short, one night, I'm driving around clients. Dropped off some clients. My friend Kevin hops in the car. He takes the wheel. He's driving us back home a little after midnight. And we're going down this road, brand-new paved road in the Dominican Republic. We're going about 85 miles an hour. And we came upon a corner that at least in the U.S. would have had one of those big yellow shaped signs with the U-turns, slow down, be cautious, be careful, and it didn't have that.
And so we round that corner at 85 and that became like the literal turning point in my life. We skid off the road. And in the next few minutes from there, I really discovered a reverence for life because here I was, this kid previously wanted to take my life, and now it's being threatened. And as the car flipped off the side of the road, these things and these images and these feelings and sensations went through my mind and my body that really put me on a different path because that first thing when you're sliding in a death's doorway, at least in that moment for me, that fear that bolts through your body is an existential question of did I live? If this is it, if this is my last moment, that feeling of fear is contextualized, did I live my life yet? Did I live fully and vibrantly, and cheerfully, and joyously, and I had to really feel life? I obviously didn't like the answer to that question.
Ben: Yeah. How many seconds or minutes is it taking for all this to go through your head?
Brendon: It's one of those situations where anyone who's ever been in accident knows that weird slow-motion thing happens.
Brendon: And time is unbound somehow. And I'll be honest, too. I don't know if I felt 100% of how I digest it now and years later, and months later as I did in that exact moment because it was instantaneous, but forever at the same time because as the car went off the road, it smacked into this little retainer wall of bricks and boulders, and it smashed the car up in the air and I hit my head on the door and started seeing all these images of times my life when I was surrounded by people that I cared for and loved. And it makes you ask that question of did I love? Because you will think of who you miss, who you'll miss, and who will miss you at the end. And the car smashed the ground, rolled several times, I got knocked completely out when it came to–Kevin was screaming, “Get out of the car, get out of the car, get out of the car,” and he's trying to get outside the driver's side window. I had to get outside my passenger's side window, but it's all smashed down, the whole car is smashed on top of me. So, I kicked through this windshield in front of me, pulled myself through, and I stand on the crumpled hood of this car. This is seconds after the car accident, surely, but it felt like it–and I stand up there. Kevin's screaming at the side, all bloodied. I'm looking down my body and there's just blood pouring off my body under the hood.
Brendon: And I feel this–it's hard to explain because–for those who've been in shock before, not only is time unbound, but you're kind of unbound from your body. It's the weirdest thing. You feel like a thousand pounds, but not there, too. The blood was going off of the hood of the car and I thought I was going to pass out. I thought it was the end. And I just remember looking down at all of it and I just thought, “Did I even matter? If this is it, was there a purpose–” I mean, I just felt this moment I was going to pass out. And then there was a glint in my blood at the side of the car where the blood was going off the hood.
And like a reflection, it made me look up and there was this huge moon that night. I had even seen it. And all of a sudden, I felt this huge connection and there's no way to describe it for me other than I felt like instantaneously like things were going to be okay. I felt almost a calm, a grace. I always say I felt like the big guy reached down and handed me what I eventually called life's golden ticket. It was like, “Hey, kid, you're still alive. You can still live, and you can still love, and you can still matter, but guess what, the clock is ticking.” It was my moment of reverence, it was my moment of grace, it was the moment I've connected to God for me personally for the first time and it was a sense that I was going to be okay. I want to ruin the whole story to everybody, but yeah, I lived.
Brendon: And I lived, but just scared kids with tons of blood and broken bones and stuff and just horror what was going on, but at the same time, maybe the best moment of my life because it truly made me realize two things. One, I didn't want to die. A 19-year-old kid facing mortality, to me, that was a blessing. But then the other side of things, it gave me intention because weeks later as I'm covering and thinking through everything, I'm trying to digest it all, and I just remember realizing like, “Oh my god, I was given my life's last questions.” Everybody who's listening right now, at the end of your life you're going to evaluate your life to see if you were happy with it. You're going to ask yourself questions of how you felt about your life. And those questions might sound like, “Was I a good dad?” or “Did I follow my dreams” or “Did I take care of people?” or “Did I fulfill my potential?” I just found out that my questions were, “Did I live? Did I love? And did I matter?”
Ben: Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter? Addressing.
Ben: By the way, not to throw your story off the rails, but have you read that book “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying?”
Ben: It's so good. What is that? I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life other people expected of me, I wish I hadn't worked so hard, I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings, I wish I'd have stayed in touch with my old friends, and I wish that I had let myself be happier. And now, nobody needs to go read that book unless you actually want to read a super-powerful book, but that also, same thing, you can actually almost know what questions that you need to address early in life by looking at what people have had near-death experiences like you or who are on their death beds are saying.
So, you said again, “Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?” So, what did you go on and do from there? Because obviously, Oprah didn't just show up and ask you to be on the front cover of her magazine right after that.
Brendon: Yeah. Well, first, I went back to school and I very quickly got my act together because when you recognize life is short, you want to live it, and you want to connect with other people, and you want to do something with yourself. So, I came back an unbelievably motivated guy. But just to give a context, this is 25 years ago and I still, 25 years in a row, including last night, last three questions of my day are, “Did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?” And I always tell people when you are living into the questions that you know you're going to ask at the end of your life, that's when you start living purposefully. When you start evaluating those questions, that's when you start living purposefully.
So, for me, I just started trying to do those things. I started being more bold and courageous and living. I started talking to people more and sharing my feelings and trying to live through my heart. I tried to volunteer and do leadership stuff for the first time, and that was a huge deal. And then I was in school and I got my degree in political science, then I got a master's degree in organizational communication, my emphasis was in leadership, so that I could really understand how to make a difference, how do I change people's lives. I then got a job, going to work for Accenture, which was then the world's largest consulting company, and I was in charge of change management. My job was helping companies thrive through change and developing leadership development programs.
So, here, I'm back, this 20-year-old dude who looks way younger than you do still, and I'm like wandering around Fortune 500 companies helping build their leadership programs with these other partners who they sell the work, and then I do the research and interview all the teams, develop their framework that was unique to that company, train their people, roll it out, and into that for seven years. I like the job, but I wanted to write books. My passion, as I said, was reading. Reading always saved my life, so I wanted to write a book.
Ben: Yeah. I [00:18:08] _____ a lot, by the way, any bookworm usually loves to write or has like this deep-seated desire sometimes subconsciously to write. And just about anybody who isn't into reading hates writing, like my wife. You put in front of a canvas and she will make amazing art because she loves to go to museums and see art and watch art, and get super into feng shui and interior design, but me, I love to read, and yeah. Like, if I go a week without writing, I feel like something's missing from my life.
Brendon: That was it for me, too. So, I did seven years in a corporate job and I loved it, it was good and I was high-achieving because I was all–I was just completely surrounded by high-achievers and that got me deeper into studying performance because when there's such a demand, when you're working 12-hour, 16-hour days surrounded by like super A-type people–which was not where I grew up and not what I was used to. I grew up at the poverty line in Butte, Montana and we never had anything, and there wasn't a culture of excellence if you will. There weren't a lot of leaders. People were just trying to survive and care for their families. So, I didn't have a lot of exposure to that. So, that really helped me.
But from the time I was 19, I read a book a week on psychology, philosophy, leadership or communication. And so when it came time to write my book, I was prepared. I wrote “Life's Golden Ticket” and it bombed, because I knew how to lead, I knew how to communicate, but I never learned anything about marketing, which is probably what you were sharing at the beginning of this show when you're talking about your friend. But, hey, look at this guy out here, he's kind of made it. It's because what happened was the book didn't do well and it really ticked me off. And so I thought, “Okay. Well, I guess I better learn how to do this marketing thing.” And you got to understand this is like 2006 and '07 when the internet was super new in terms of people doing eCommerce or internet marketing for themselves. And it was also brand new at that time to really online video. Online video was really emerging.
Ben: Oh, yeah. I remember that when doing like video sales letters or–who's the guy, was it Frank Kern–
Ben: –who's the original guy who was training? Because I launched a triathlon training product, I guess it was about 10 years ago, and really followed his formula video sales letter where you have a whole PowerPoint presentation and you film it, and then your voice is the background for the PowerPoint presentation. And you push that out and it's like this video that people watch instead of reading those super long sales letters.
Brendon: Yeah, exactly. It was him and Andy Jenkins, Video Boss guys. I wasn't in there. Well, to this day, I'm not a marketer. I'm a personal development guy who had to figure out marketing to sell these personal development books, and courses, and trainings, and seminars. So, I learned how to do that and all I did is I came in at that time and I brought two things. One, I could really teach because I learned to build frameworks at Accenture to rock these global companies. And two, I was approaching it not as internet marketing. To me, it was a career. I never thought of get-rich-quick. I never thought of like the make money side of things as like, “Oh, this is a way to further my career so I brought the value orientation of excellence and career and customer service stuff into this space and was quickly rewarded because it was so different.”
Within 18 months, I went from literally bankrupt because I quit the job, I'd tried to do the book, went bankrupt doing that, and didn't know what I was doing to learning online marketing, applying the discipline of what you and I talked about, our own mindset and performance. And in 18 months had become a millionaire and it sold my books. I came out with the first–the very first personal development online courses, that was me, like literally the very first ones. Like, I never forgot my first refund, dude, was because people are getting frustrated with the–when you watch the video and–it takes like seven minutes to watch two minutes of a video and people are freaked out. So, we were early. We're talking about full course online personal development courses in 2006 and '07. So, it was really early.
And that took off. That's 25 online courses ago. Two million students through those courses in 190 countries gave me a monster platform to also then do my other passion, which is research. So, even just four years ago, we conducted the world's largest study of high performers that's ever been done, academically supported by the University of Pennsylvania, Positive Psychology Department, and UC Santa Barbara Psychologists, largest studies ever been on high performers, which is essentially like the top, depending on the field or category, the top 10% or 15% of most successful people who also maintained well-being and positive relationships. So, we measured them and that is the research study that even fueled my book “High Performance Habits.”
So, what I love about your podcast, this is a long way to go about it, was like you and I dork about similar things, we had similar journeys, and we similarly obsess about things. And yours so much about physiology and health, but obviously recently, so much more about–your holistic approach is why I listen to the podcasts. It's interesting.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I will try not to take offense that you just alluded to our similar journeys because there's no way in hell that I grew up in Butte or Butte, Montana. I'm an Idaho boy. So, I had to step up in life because I've started in the panhandle. My wife though, my wife's from Montana. So, anyways, you obviously could talk about performance habits 'til the cows come home and success until the cows come home. And I know that you talk about that a lot, like you have your own podcast, you have all these wonderful books that I'm going to link to in the shownotes.
But because I know you have such a passion now for health, for sleep, for biohacks, for supplements, for workouts, for meals, I kind of want to delve into maybe some of the stuff that you haven't had a chance to get into so deeply, like your own life, how you take care of yourself, and what your own performance habit so to speak are as far as how you're just brass tacks keeping yourself put together. So, you're in Puerto Rico right now, right?
Brendon: Yeah, yeah, we are. We were in Portland, Oregon for eight years, which we loved, but man, I just–remember, my car accident began in the Caribbean and my journey [00:24:59] ____ began in the Caribbean. I always thought, “You know, someday I'll move down there, maybe when I retire and stuff.” And then a couple years ago, the gray was getting us in Puerto Rico and we started deciding to be snowbirds and we thought, well, we looked at everywhere, San Diego and Florida and Austin and other places and I was like, “I'd rather just be in the Caribbean.” So, we [00:25:18] ____ for that and we fell in love and made the move because it's also great for my health because I get in the ocean, can't swim with crap, but I love it. I get to run on the beach and get to live in it but–
Ben: Well, legally avoiding the 37% federal rate tax in the U.S. is also a nice little perk there as well.
Brendon: Yeah. I think the funniest thing, I'm the dumbest–that was the last thing I learned about.
Ben: Really? Like, everybody I know who moves to Puerto Rico, what is it, like an income tax of 4% down there?
Brendon: Yeah. For those who start a services base business down here, it's a 4% tax rate, which is unbelievable.
Brendon: But know I moved down for the sun in the Caribbean and the people, but that's definitely a perk for some of our businesses.
Brendon: But yeah. So, my morning here —
Ben: Yeah. Well, I want to get into it. Let's start there. Let's start with your morning. What's your morning routine look like?
Brendon: So, I get up and I do a 20, 20, 20. So, I get up and I do 20 minutes of stretching and mobility every morning. Just get up and start stretching out my body. It's not my workout for the day, it's just rolling around on the ground, doing calisthenics, getting the heart rate up a little bit, but mostly, yoga-type flow. Then I spend 20 minutes after that reading, and it's always philosophy, personal development, psychology, or spirituality.
Ben: Okay. So, as a guy who also reads in the morning–and for me, actually, typically, I'll read my spiritual thing in bed. And then my reading, after I do a little bit of morning bodywork, which is kind of similar to yours, is more like research and kind of catching up on any studies for the day. But it begs the question, where do you read? Because for me, it's naked, sandwiched in between two big red light panels typically with some kind of other lights on my face or shoved into my skull or my nasal cavities. But I'm curious what, if you're multitasking while you read or if you're just sitting out in the sunshine.
Brendon: Usually, usually, I am sitting in our living room, got 20 ounces of green tea next to me, and it's because when I wake up, I immediately drink 20 ounces of cold water, and I do that 20 minutes of mobility yoga, then I do 20 minutes of reading, which is timed. I literally keep it to 20 minutes, and I usually have 20 ounces of green tea during that time, and it's just on a chair, and I have a journal and the book, and that's it. Sometimes the cat comes over and completely messes it up. But usually, it's like that.
Brendon: Then I do 20 minutes with my planner. I built this thing called the High Performance Planner and it used to be just on tons of papers and journals and notebooks. I finally thought, “People want to know how I did my life,” and so I do that. And that performance planner is basically, you ask yourself 10 prompts to get your mind right and your priorities right for the morning, then you fill out what you're going to do during the day. Even if it's in the counter, you still write it out and then you write bullets of what would make that successful. Then in the evening, you ask another 10 prompts about your day, and then you score yourself on specific habits. And what I do —
Ben: Well, that sounds very similar too to the, I mean, ancient practice of–well, it's called Examen, E-X-A-M-E-N, the examine of consciousness that Benjamin Franklin probably made most popular when he came out with his self-examination journal that he would do at the end of each day. This is actually what you're describing as a topic near and dear to my heart right now because I'm taking my boys, our entire family actually, through this workbook called the “Spiritual Disciplines” workbook, and we are in the chapter right now on Examen. So, at the end of every day, we're examining not just our successes, like, what is it that we're grateful for, what did we do well, but also what did we suck at, what aren't we grateful about, what could we have done better. And so we're doing this right now as a family, this process of self-examination in the evenings.
Brendon: Dude, I love that, I love that. The evening questions in the High Performance Planner are, a moment that I really appreciated today was, a situation or task I handled well today was, something I realized or learned that was impactful today was, I could have made today even better if I… Something that could have helped me feel more connected to other people today would have been… And then last question, if I was my own coach, my own high-performance coach, I would tell myself, “This statement about today,” and you do a scorecard on your habits, which we found from the research the six primary habits that affect performance long-term for people are clarity, energy, necessity, productivity, influence, and courage. And I rate each of those on a scale of one to five. I'll send you one if you don't have a High Performance Planner.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. So, it's something people can buy, like, you actually have this available?
Brendon: Yeah. It was only for our seminar people for years, then it kind of took off, and that was hundreds and thousands of copies this year or so.
Ben: Is that on Amazon?
Brendon: Yup, it is.
Ben: Okay. Backpedaling real quick, and then I want to get back to what you're doing after you fill out that planner, cold water, why cold? And the reason I ask is I've really gotten into Ayurvedic medicine recently, and the practice of tongue scraping, and coconut oil pulling, and dry skin brushing, lymph shaking, all these practices I think are pretty wise from the ancestral practice of Ayurvedic medicine. But one big thing for them is they treat cold water almost like poison in the morning because it dampens the fire and can slow down peristalsis, et cetera. And so I've kind of shifted towards lukewarm or warm for my big glass Mason jar of water that I have in the morning, but is there a particular reason you do cold besides the fact that you're in Puerto Rico?
Brendon: Yeah, just my reaction, that's it. I don't have a philosophy on it per se of like, I just noticed a difference if I have lukewarm water in the morning and I go into that 20 minutes of yoga flow versus just some cold water–and I'm not saying there's piles of ice in this thing, it's just more chilled water. And that cold water somehow makes me feel like the morning has hit my mouth. I have no idea how to describe.
Ben: Yeah. Another part of it though could be too, because in Ayurvedic medicine, they classify people as vata, pitta, and kapha. And some people who are like super pitta, like really warm, fiery people, and they typically are kind of like sharp, intelligent people. I would imagine you might fall into that pitta category and maybe the cold's just like–maybe you're too warm, you're too fiery in the morning, you're too ready to get going. The cold water just balances you out a little bit.
Brendon: Yeah. I mean, to me, it's a similar effect, and not a similar effect, but it's the same reason I like a cold shower in the morning. It just changed in sensation and state, I guess. And I think because then I'm going to hit that hot water, I'm going to hit that green tea within another 20 minutes. So, I feel pretty balanced about that. Main thing is just to me, whatever you do, get 20 ounces of water in. And then here's the thing on the planner too because I don't want to make it seem just about the planner. The most important thing is I spin–people were like, “The planner could take five or seven minutes. What are you doing in the next 13 minutes? Because you're 20 minutes, I time it.”
And the difference for me, and this is huge, which you'll appreciate for performance, other achievers out here, which is I look at the day, I plan the day, but then for each and major activities or items, I sit there with the planner, I close my eyes, I visualize doing the thing, and I ask myself, “How can I do that thing with joy and excellence?” And so like this, you and me are doing this right now. I already did this at 7:00 a.m. with you this morning.
Ben: Alright, bye. I'll talk to you later. We're done. This podcast is over. It's already been done.
Brendon: I was like, already, whatever it was, it's 7:00, 7:30 a.m. this morning, I was writing it down, I was like, “Oh, I'm with Ben today. That's awesome. How can I enjoy this and bring excellence to it?” I was like, “Oh, okay. Well, enjoy. I'll just make sure my body is in a good place. I'll make sure I get my standing guest going. I'll make sure my environment is in a way at which I really enjoy so I can just be there with him because I love this guy.” And then with excellence, I was like, “Well, I'm just going to show up authentically and let him go wherever.” I know you'd send some questions. I didn't look at them today. I just want to be in the moment and I thought, “Let me just convey my story and let me convey some ways that I tactically move through the day, from my morning routine, but also my supplements, and my foods, and my workouts, and anything that I haven't gotten to share because this is the format for that. So, let's just go.”
And so I kind of visualize and think through things for that 20-minute morning, and that's really key. That 20-minute slot is just, whatever the activities are, I visualize it and ask, “How could I do it with joy and excellence?” And then I jot down notes about it. And by the time I shut that thing, I'm primed to win the day.
Ben: Hey, I want to interrupt today's show to tell you, as we are talking about all these cool little things that you can use to enhance your day, tell you about chaga. I've been punishing a ton of chaga lately. I've been drinking more chaga than I have coffee, not only because my immune system needs added support during these trying times, but also because chaga mixes really well with sunlight. It's got melanin in it, and the melanin can enhance what's called your photosynthesis properties, meaning that you can fuel your mitochondria with extra electrons when you consume some chaga tea, then get out in the sunlight or infrared sauna, or maybe like one of these Joovv red light panels. And these mushrooms are wonderful for the immune system, the beta-glucans in them. But they grow on birch trees, they look like a burnt old charred piece of crap that would taste horrible.
But then the folks at Four Sigmatic blend it with eleuthero, another adaptogenic herb, wonderful for stamina, endurance, immunity, field mint, wild field mint and rosehip extract for a little extra vitamin C, it's so good. And you get a 15% discount on this stuff for any of the fine, fine shroomies from Four Sigmatic, F-O-U-Rsigmatic.com/bengreenfield. And your discount code is BENGREENFIELD for 15% off of anything. So, foursigmatic.com/bengreenfield and use discount code BENGREENFIELD.
Speaking of photobiomodulation and light and photons, and how good they are for your mitochondria, our other sponsor pairs perfectly with chaga, and that's Joovv, Joovv lights. They create these incredibly powerful red light panels. I just finished my treatment before I started to record this for you, which is why I sound so smart and so sexy, and so full of testosterone and sexual libido, which is also what these red light panels can do for you. And they can help with wound healing, with skin rejuvenation. I'm not just pulling stuff out my ass. They've got a bunch of studies that they've published on this stuff on photobiomodulation. And the Joovv panels are a really, really great way to get this stuff targeted in a super-powerful dose for a very short period of time. So, you save time, too. It's a time hack. So, to get one of these Joovv lights, and to get a free copy of my book “Boundless” when you get the light, you go to joovv.com/ben. That's J-O-O-V-V.com/ben, and you too can have your own Joovv light. Check it out.
Okay. So, you're also, I would assume based on that, doing some kind of like intermittent fasting or compressed feeding because that's a lot of stuff to do in the morning and you haven't mentioned breakfast yet. So, do you fast for a while when you get up?
Brendon: Yeah. You know, it's so funny. I didn't know it was a thing until about three years ago, but I've always about 14 hours between dinner and breakfast. And breakfast for me is usually a shake, and you and I dork out on shakes, me more than you.
Ben: Yeah. Well, so does my audience. So, fill folks in on your shake.
Brendon: Yeah. It's a plant-based protein, usually 25-grams plant-based protein. It's water, coconut —
Ben: You mean like a powder, like a pea or rice or [00:37:31] _____ protein powder?
Brendon: Yeah, yeah. It's almost a combination of those things with chia as well. And then I throw in almond butter, spinach or kale, I throw in blueberries, I throw in–let's see what's in that thing. Let's see, flax, chia, and avocado.
Brendon: That's it.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Do you take digestive enzymes when you have that morning smoothie?
Brendon: It is. It's in my–because I also take essentials with it. We have a performance line of supplements and one is called HPX Essentials and it does have digestive enzymes.
Ben: Okay, cool. Yeah. The reason I ask is I also typically will do like a pea or a rice or a hemp protein, or sometimes just some colostrum or some collagen in my big ass morning smoothie, but I take digestive enzymes if I do the plant protein because they've actually shown the amino acid bioavailability of the protein can get as high as animal protein if you can to consume a digestive enzyme with your plant protein. So, yeah, that's a little tip for folks, and that's good that your formula has the enzyme in it because that will help out with the plant protein be more bioavailable.
Brendon: Yeah. I'm just looking now. It's got 25 milligrams of amylase, cellulase, lactase, lipase, and protease.
Ben: Cool. Perfect. Awesome.
Brendon: That's big also though, dude. In the last year, I've put in just a half a scoop of your amino acids, Kion, and total difference maker. So, I'll do half a scoop of the amino acids with the shake. And then also before my afternoon workout, I'll do the other half scoop before the workout, only because for somehow, a full scoop for me really is a little too beasty, so it seems to help–I don't know if it keeps my energy more flat through the day, but that really works for me and I love that product, dude.
Ben: Yeah. Well, four months ago, I told you not to put it in your smoothie because the absorption is better without food, but then they just came out with a study like two months ago showing that when you add amino acids in with any other protein powder, it actually increases muscle protein synthesis when you have EAAs added to any type of smoothie that has like a protein powder in it. So, it turns out that it actually can be used to upgrade a shake so to speak.
Brendon: That's the way I thought about it from the get was this is going to be great for my protein. So, what I do is I take two supplements in the morning. I'll take HPX Essentials, HPX Optimize, which is something we developed at High Performance Institute over three brutal years as you know. Supplements were way harder than we thought, but one is just like a functional multivitamin, kind of boosts it up for longevity, joint health, vitality. And then I take HPX Optimized, which is our brain health, mental focus supplement. So, those two just with the shake and the green tea, I'm on, man. I'm ready for the day.
Ben: Nice. Okay. So, once you've got all that out of the way, what about workouts? When are you actually doing a workout aside from that mobility type of routine that you do in the morning? Are you kind of like weaving physical activity and throughout the day because you mentioned your standing desk? Or what's your physical movement/workout protocol look like?
Brendon: It really does follow my workflow for the day. So, I work in 50-minute blocks of time. So, we've been teaching block time since —
Ben: Did you say 15 or 50?
Brendon: Five zero.
Brendon: Fifty. Yeah, 50-minute blocks of time. The world's largest study on productivity that's ever been done from data was actually a productivity app, and they found that the most productive people take breaks at 52 minutes.
Ben: Yeah, I remember seeing that, yeah.
Brendon: And I've been teaching 50 minutes since 2008. So, just the idea of block time popularized by like deep work later on, but we've been doing that in our high-performance seminars for years, which was really based on this 50-minute ideal workflow for focus. So, 50 minutes, I'm usually sitting or standing, whatever. At the end of that 50 minutes, my buzzer goes off, I stand up if I'm not already standing, I close my eyes, I bounce in place because we're bouncing slightly at the knees and do qigong, like a full-body meridian opening, qigong work. Take 10 deep breaths while doing that, then I might, just seeing how I feel, might stretch out on the floor, do a few Vinyasa flows, go get 20 ounces of water, drink that, fill up the 20 ounces of water again, come back.
And then before I start working again, I close my eyes and I say, “What's my intention for this next hour?” And even it's already scheduled, I go. So, that little movement every 50 minutes is a big deal. I tend to do my workouts around the four o'clock time, not always, but at least every other day at four o'clock is probably my schedule. And for that, I usually do probably a–think about how long it takes me to the gym, it's about five-minute walk, then a five-minute jog. Then when I'm at the gym, I stretch out for five minutes, and then I'm usually lifting heavy, doing more complex things like squat thrusters, hex bar deadlifts, a lot of more full bodyweight lifting than the bodybuilding stuff.
Ben: Now, this begs the question, by the way, not to rabbit hole too much, but we're having this chat during the coronavirus pandemic. Is the gym close? And if so, have you had to adapt to work out at home?
Brendon: Yeah. The gym is closed. So, that sucks. And then they closed the beach, which was–so at first, the beach was open so I was just going swimming, I was just running and swimming.
Ben: Which is one of the healthiest things in terms of the negative ions, the water, the minerals, the photons of sunlight. One of the worst things you can do is limit people's ability to get outside right now. I think it's ridiculous that parks are closed.
Brendon: I agree, man. And I'm 30 yards from the ocean, so it kills me not being able to go out there. I'm looking at it right now and I can't do anything about it. But yeah. So, what I did is I–we were moving between homes, and so we don't have a home gym set up because the gym was here. So, I ordered really quickly a bench, hex bar, 7′ bar, bunch of plates, 60-pound kettlebell, 35-pound dumbbells, 40-pound dumbbells, and a couple mats, and they all showed up right before things got really, really difficult. So, that's been huge. So, I'm still getting the workout in the house, but I have to use the weights, and that's really helped me. And then I just boosted my immunity. I already have immunity stuff kind of locked with our supplements. I just added a little extra to it.
So, in general, I'm always taking some type of longevity blend, which is like astragalus, resveratrol, chaga. Those are big. I threw in. I've increased things like echinacea, olive leaf, zinc. We already have a mushroom compound that we take. I think you'd take the same one, like [00:44:40] _____ daily immunity.
Ben: Yeah. It kind of sounds similar to me, like there's so many things that I take from my big anti-aging smoothie that I have in the morning that has a ton of sirtuins and NAD precursors, and as rich in ascorbic acid to the vitamin C I add to my morning glass of water to the beta-glucans I've been putting my coffee for a long time. Like, there is very little I personally change from a supplementation standpoint.
Brendon: Yeah. Your personal development habits are showing up now, like you can see how much you had to shift for your health and wellness. Like, coronavirus is going to be that demarcation line because most of my friends and guys like you and me, there's not–I mean, I'm having more garlic with dinner maybe. I mean, not much of a big shift because we already had that unblocked, which I really love because people's personal development really has shown up. It's really become clear how prepared people were for health and wellness —
Ben: And it's also going to be important too if a vaccination gets rolled out. The efficacy of the antigenic response to a vaccine is going to be vastly improved if you have things like good vitamin D status, good zinc status, good immune system function from things like beta-glucans and mushrooms, and sunlight exposure, and exercise is huge in terms of a proper antigenic response. So, let's just say a vaccine comes along. For me personally, I'll always raise an eyebrow and look at any adjuvants at it or how much the [00:46:02] ____ or aluminum or things like that are in it, and the delivery mechanism, and the efficacy, and the research on it.
I'm not opposed to vaccinations, but I can tell you right now, if you're not already thinking about preparing your body to have a good antigenic response to a vaccination, then you'll be kind of behind the eight-ball. And so keeping up these type of immune-supporting activities even if you don't feel like you've been exposed, if you're doing a really good quarantining, it's a good idea if you plan on getting vaccinated, especially if vaccinations are required for you to return to normal societal functioning. You want to keep equipping your body with everything it needs for a normal immune response.
Brendon: The add on top of immunity that everyone should be thinking about, and this is near and dear my heart and definitely selfishly stated, which is people should be very thoughtful about taking some type of brain health blend and taking some supplementation that's really focused on helping them get mental clarity, reduce stress, and really optimize the functioning of their brain because right now, what's–I mean, hands down, impacting way more people than coronavirus is the fear, the stress, the overwhelm, the uncertainty. And if all you're doing is just drinking tons of coffee, which by the way, nothing against coffee, but if it's just caffeine all the time, you're just frying yourself out and there has to be something to help people optimize their brain.
So, I'm telling everyone, it's like, if you've never experimented with nootropics, this is the time to finally do that. We've got a blend called HPX Optimized, and that's got stuff like rhodiola, alpha-lipoic acid, lion's mane, alpha-GPC, ginkgo, phosphatidylserine, Hup A, acetyl-L-carnitine, quercetin, chaga, cordyceps, CoQ10. That type of blend, it's a great time to experiment with that because if your emotions and your mind has been completely frazzled, obviously consult your doctor. I'm not a health advisor, but I had the brain injuries, Ben, in 2011 and that took me way deep into the brain supplementation stuff. I mean, way deep because I had–that's when I'm starting to get the calls from the big celebrities and the people in covers of magazines to coach them not as a physical performance coach. When I do high-performance coach, it's mental and productivity, and man, I had to figure it out.
My butt was on the line. I had a multimillion-dollar book contract at the time. I couldn't write, I couldn't focus. I mean, I was super frazzled, massive brain fog from a post-concussive syndrome. I was in deep hurting, but I only bring that up because, because I optimize my brain, I've got that just like I've got immunity. I agree with what you're saying. It's like the environment for you to thrive and survive with coronavirus or after being vaccinated is way better.
Ben: Oh, yeah, absolutely. And with the brain thing, I think you could make an argument for coffee and cigarettes and LSD. But certainly, supplying the brain with the proper nutrients and neurotransmitter precursors and minerals, I think it is a very smart move. And it's actually something–I kind of wanted to ask because a lot of people consider that to be something that falls into the realm of biohacking, right, the use of smart drugs, or nootropics, or microdosing with psychedelics, or anything like that. But I talked to a lot of these high-performance folks, whether it's–Tony Robbins is a good example. There are some others out there who are really into this minimal effective dose of exercise, or this idea of enhancing recovery dramatically. And so you see people using things like the Vasper, and the BioCharger, and the hyperbaric chambers and infrared devices. Are you messing around with any of that kind of stuff? Like, would you consider yourself to be a biohacker in any sense of the word? And if so, what do you mess around with?
Brendon: Yeah. I'm just a performance guy. I want long-term performance so–because of the brain injury, yeah, we own a hyperbaric chamber and that's been a big part of my process for a long time since 2011. I would say the greatest biohacking really to me for long-term performance is–we call it MEDS-RX. So, you take your meds, meditation, exercise, diet, and sleep, add RX. R is deep relationships, and X is the X-Factor of supplementation that you specifically need for your body and your performance needs. I'm somebody who–my performance needs, like, I do more hours than anybody in our industry in terms of single trainer events. So, I do a five-day seminar and I'm onstage from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. just me for five days, for me for about five days. Each day, I do over a marathon of steps and I got to eat 6,000 calories a day by —
Ben: Yeah. I was going to ask you, like, does your nutrition plan kind of change? Are you using things like ketones or extra aminos or different strategies? Because that's a huge amount. And you hear about–again, you're probably sick of hearing about guys like this, but you hear about like Tony Robbins, same thing that he runs a marathon or whatever, the equivalent of one–during one of his weekend conferences, it sounds like you're doing something similar. So, I'm curious behind the scenes for people who might be interested in how you're optimizing your body with that amount of throughput, are there some extra little things that you throw in besides LSD on days like that?
Brendon: I mean, you came out, then you might wonder with all the dancing, jumping, clapping. Yeah, Tony's a great friend, by the way, and a great mentor and a great buddy. I've been able to serve in a lot of ways too from being on his stages to him being on my stages and we've done a lot of programs together.
Ben: Yeah. You're talking to a guy who's so disconnected from like the personal and self-improvement industry that when we're talking, the only reason I've mentioned Tony Robbins a few times is he's like one of the only other guys I know in this sector.
Brendon: Yeah. No, he's a beast. With our events, they're so curriculum-driven and they're different hours. And since I don't have any–he's got other speakers and trainers and he shows a lot of video events of him speaking in the past to save him time on stages. I don't do any of that so it's just me. Honestly, at first, I was an idiot. I was losing on average about 11 pounds an event because this output is so much.
Brendon: Some are like, “That's great. What a great fat loss routine. Just do seminars.” But I do eight a year and these were thousands of people. So, if I'm losing 11 pounds eight times a year, that's eventually going to kill me because it's terrible for your heart to [00:52:58] _____ like that.
Ben: Right. And your leptin sensitivity, too. That's why you see a lot of weight rebounds in athletes who cycle throughout the year like MMA athletes or cyclists. Once they quit, they've really started with metabolic disorder because it screws up your leptin sensitivity pretty dramatically to go through intense periods of fat loss followed by weight gain.
Brendon: Yeah. That's it. Honestly, I didn't even know what I had–we tracked a lot of the guys from the high-performance world who were more of the physiology type coaches and trainers, and we had a world-class cyclist there who won a bunch of awards and came up to me and said, “Hey, man. How did you just do that?” Because for anyone listening, if you've ever spoken on stage for an hour or two, you're exhausted.
Brendon: If you do it for nine hours a day for five days, you're an athlete. I mean, it's a completely different thing. So, he told me that, which I didn't realize. I was just like, “Oh, man, I'm happy.” He's like, “No, kid. How much are you eating? Let me strap this thing around your leg.” So, he straps this thing around me and he's like, “You're doing a marathon a day for five days. What are you eating?” And I didn't honestly change it up that much. Now, at my events, I eat on average three and a half to four times more per day in–just straight-up calorie intake than I usually do, much more high in fats than I used to do, much more supplementation and 60 to 80 grams more of supplementation of protein per day, much more supplementation for nootropic, not with caffeine, but just to help the brain process that much memory. To give an hour presentation with no notes, that takes a lot to do it for nine hours, it's another level, especially when you're going down in the audience, you're interacting. So, that's really hard.
My sleep, which we'll talk about, is super amplified. I get insanely OCD about the sleep at the events. And then every single night, two nights before the event, every night of the event, and three nights after I do ice baths, and that knocks out for me that re-energize and he puts my butt into a place where I can sleep for eight hours straight, and that's all really key.
Ben: Amazing. Okay. So, regarding sleep, you probably have your at-home sleep habits and then the type of sleep habits or the extra things you might implement when you're on those really intensive days. So, what would a normal sleep routine look like, and then what little things might you add in, whether it'd be extra supplements or extra routines if you're doing one of these more high-performance, high-pressure conferences?
Brendon: Yeah. Normal, like last night, I just practiced what I call 3-2-1 sleep, which is 3-2-1, three stands for I don't have any food three hours before bed, then two stands for I don't do any work two hours before bed, then no creative work, no email work, and just no work at all, then one hour before bed no screen time at all, no phone, no social media, no television. Usually maybe a book or maybe a walk. I like to take a stroll in the dark and just let the night air get on me a little bit, come home, do some simple stretch. And obviously, for those who don't know my brand, I am married and Denise and I have our own way of just catching up each night and talking about our day and our appreciation for things, then we go to bed.
I don't take any supplementation at all. Probably about that one-hour mark before bed, I take some extra magnesium, which really helps. I'm a good sleeper because I've been just trained. I used to be a terrible sleeper and then I realized I'm just not going to get out of bed for eight hours. I'm just going to be there. If it's miserable, if I wake up in five, I'm going to lay there and I'll meditate.
Ben: Yeah. It's kind of funny how the advice goes back and forth of that. Some people are like, “Don't train yourself into insomnia by laying awake in bed at night. If you can't get back to sleep within 20 minutes, get up, do something, be productive, and then go back to bed.” And then other people are just like, “Have your ass planted in bed for eight –” don't care what you do. And I think probably the latter advice is better if you actually are using that time to meditate or do breathwork because you can actually simulate sleep cycles with things like yoga nidra and long periods of 4-7-8 breathing.
And I've personally had mornings where I wake up at like 4:00 a.m., and I know my ass should probably stay in bed another couple hours, and I'll just meditate, literally, for two hours, four-count in, eight-count out over and over and over again, put on some peaceful and relaxing music. And then when I check my–I use the Oura ring to track sleep. When I check the score in the morning, like it's so good, it fools the ring into thinking that you're still in your sleep cycles. So, yeah, I'm of the persuasion that you stay in bed, but if you're going to stay in bed, it's not on your phone or reading a book, it's just doing meditation and breathwork.
Brendon: I'm the same thing. I would add to that creative visualization. In that, if you play, if you learn to create and play a movie that's similar every time and your breathing interspersed with meditation or you kind of fall in or out of your meditation, to have a visualization that can go along with that you return to is that old same–like, that's where that old philosophy of counting sheep came from was it's just returning to a normal movie in your mind that puts you to sleep. So, some people, they visualize themselves playing baseball or getting ready to bat over and over and they knock it out the park, or they have some romantic scene or something. But whatever it is, that really helps.
At my events, it's definitely different because that 3-2-1, while the two and one are relevant, I need to eat in that last three hours so that my body is recovering more. So, I'll have another shake about three hours, probably almost two hours before bed just to make sure I get through the evening. I'll also take additional supplementation with magnesium, vitamin C, and GABA, and those do pretty good for me and —
Ben: Yeah. GABA is amazing at settling you down.
Brendon: Yeah, yeah. And that one, I do take earlier. I think that one's probably–call it a three-hour mark because I don't want the effects. I don't want to feel that in the morning. So, I'm really sensitive about that. And then sometimes if I'm just really feeling sometimes just the stress is really on me or I feel just super keyed up before my ice bath, I'll take like 5-HTP with the GABA, and somehow that kind of gets me in a better mood, mindset before bed somehow. But honestly, the magic for me is the rolling out, the stretching, the yoga, the opening up my body, and then hitting that ice bath, and I do anywhere between 13 and 15 minutes with about 10 bags ice in the —
Ben: Allows you to do pretty long soak. Like, I personally might do three, five minutes max. So, that's pretty–so you're doing that daily, that long?
Brendon: I do it, yeah. Two days before the event, and then at, because I don't want to shock myself.
Brendon: When you go to event, you don't want to do everything brand new. That took me out only five years to learn like a dummy, but I was like, you need to–like, when you roll into an event, especially a super crazy performance situation like that, you want to be on a rhythm.
Ben: Oh, it's like when I used to do Ironman Triathlon, the last thing you would do is try some new nutrient or new supplement or new food strategy the day of the race. Like, you always had to set aside at least one weekend in the four weeks leading up to practice exactly what you plan on for race day.
Brendon: Dude, that's so key. I'm surprised people don't realize that, how important that is for performance if you're speaking on stage or you're going to go to that big meeting. It's like they get up and their whole day is different for that big meeting. It's like, “Oh, no.” I mean, that's just creating a lot of jitters.
Ben: Right. Save my special expensive nootropic just for the day of the event and find out halfway through it gives me explosive diarrhea.
Brendon: Exactly. You really wanted to have your–like, your A game should be primed by the time you do the A game activities. So, the ice bath for me, yeah, I fill up the tub probably a quarter of the way of just cold water. I put in at that time eight scoops of Epsom salt, and then start the bags of ice going in. I usually get about probably half the bags of ice in, and then I get in, and then I start a podcast, half the time I'm laying there naked in ice listening to Ben Greenfield. So, don't let that weird you out.
Ben: I'm known to cross shrinkage.
Brendon: It's that deep lolling voice that calms me down.
Brendon: And then I'll lay in there and I'm all the way up to my neck. So, completely submerged up to my neck. And then I'll put in at about the five-minute mark, which is the super pain point. For me, it's like obviously, the first 30 seconds sucks. And then 90 seconds later, it sucks again. And then you work yourself through it with your breathwork by two, three minutes you're finding a rhythm, at least for me now. And then after about five minutes, I'll put in the rest of the bags of the ice because it's not as painful as it feels like, maybe that's stupid. And then yeah, we use about the 13-minute mark. I definitely want out.
The only reason it went out at my house before the events, I don't do it that long. I might only do like five minutes. But at the events, I'm hurting. I stand that entire time. From 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., I barely ever sit. Well, definitely at lunch, I sit, and I consume massive amounts of tacos at lunch. That's my thing at lunch. I just need as many calories, clean-burning, knows how it affects me kind of thing. And then dinner is almost always salmon, lots of kale, lots of veggies, shake, and that keeps me going, man.
Ben: Nice. I dig it. By the way, all those bags of ice, have you looked into the–I don't know if we talked about this when I was talking with you earlier, the Morozko, Morozko Forge ice bath?
Ben: Okay. Yeah. So, that's what I have. That's on my office right now. I've been climbing in that thing at the end of the day. So, every day, especially during this coronavirus pandemic, I'm doing breathwork, heat, and cold. And so I've totally altered my evening routine, cut my workouts down to about 15 to 20 minutes, and then taking the extra 30 minutes that frees up for me. I heat up the sauna when I start my workout, get in, do a bunch of really deep intensive breathwork in the sauna, almost a little bit more of like–I'm not opposed to the idea of relaxation breathwork and parasympathetic breathwork, but I'm doing more kind of like Wim Hof style immune-boosting breathwork, which is a little bit more intensive, a little bit more workouty.
And then I've got a deep sweat going on. Then I get in the cold tub for about three to five minutes and do box breathing. But the cold tub I'm using now, I just got it a few months ago. It's one of my new toys. It's called the Morozko Forge. And I lit it up to break through the ice to get in. It maintains about 31 degrees even if it's like 110 degrees outside, and it is automatically clean with UV and ozone. So, you don't have to clean it out, you don't have to change out the ice. It's slick. It's like my new favorite cold tub toy because it just saves me a ton of ice on filling and refilling, on adding hydrogen peroxide, all this other stuff. So, yeah, that would be something if you ever get tired of moving the ice in and out of that tub to look into.
Brendon: Let's find out if they'll just send one down to Puerto Rico.
Ben: [01:04:58] ____ figured out.
Brendon: Sometimes at my events, I'll have a mobile unit come up that does mobile cryo. And I'll only do that maybe every 15 events. The other aspect about it is just nutrition thing that really helps me for the performance side I didn't share about, which is like everyone's asking, “Do you drink caffeine?” And I'm really careful about caffeine at events because it can really affect your vocal chords. So, we have to be really sensitive about everything you're drinking. You shouldn't do the hot tea and water and honey things. That's terrible for your voice. So, instead, what I'll do is I'll do like a performance blend, which I thought you'd dig it. I actually never shared this before, but it's a performance blend of organic beetroot, goji berry, coconut water for electrolytes, maca root, eleuthero, schizandra, rhodiola, and then 60 milligrams of organic green tea caffeine.
Brendon: And that little blend, man, is just–I mean, you know the benefits of all those, but that is like a heightened performance energy I get, obviously from the beetroot and eleuthero. The maca really does a good job of like evening out both my, as a guy, my hormone levels, but also my blood sugar levels.
Ben: Yeah. That sounds similar to the Drew Canole. My buddy Drew has a company Organifi and they make a red juice powder. It's very similar to that. It's like cordyceps, beet, eleuthero, some rhodiola, some ginseng, but same thing, like you mix that stuff up in super cold water in like a Nalgene water bottle. I have no clue if they're a sponsor of today's show, but now they have to be. But yeah, same thing.
Brendon: Because our product is called HPX Boost.
Ben: Okay. So, that's your product. Can people get that one on Amazon?
Brendon: By the time they listen to this, they will, yeah.
Ben: Okay. Cool. I'll link to it for people.
Brendon: Yeah. It's all organic, which is a big deal. And I love that you do Organifi, too. And you know, a lot of people understand, when you're recommending Organifi, that is a nootropic, and I think that's what people–there's this idea that biohacking is weird land of things that doesn't mix with our regular lives trying to maintain alkalinity and taking greens and things like that. It's like, “Oh no, if you're taking organic–.”
Ben: Yeah. I mean, freaking sunlight's a nootropic. Look at what it does to nitric oxide production and neural tissue and upregulation of cytochrome C oxidase and mitochondria. I mean, granted it works better, if you've got dark compounds in your bloodstream like chlorella or melanin from chaga or methylene blue or something else that helps the sunlight to charge you up, or even just minerals. But yeah. I mean, like you could classify a lot as a nootropic for sure.
Brendon: Yeah. I think it's really important to people. I think that will help people overcome like, “I don't know if I should take brain supplements.” I'm like, “You probably kind of are. You just don't know. So, why not optimize and figure it out?”
Ben: Yeah. Okay. I want to ask you a few other questions, just kind of a little bit more of like a rapid-fire type of format here.
Ben: One is in your office, because you do a lot of work from home, are you doing anything to manage exposure to electricity? Are you aware of non-native EMF? Are you pulling out any of those type of building biology type of hacks?
Brendon: Yeah. Definitely not levels you do, which is super smarter. For me, I'm really more–same thing with you, I went back to regular incandescent lights. I don't have Wi-Fi in my office. Everything's by cable because I'm super tweaked by the Wi-Fi stuff and the power of that now, especially, especially with mesh network for your–
Ben: Well, I mean, it caused coronavirus, we all know that now. It's obvious.
Ben: Yeah. Didn't you see the YouTube video?
Brendon: No, but I believe it is–
Ben: It's about eight billion of them.
Brendon: Oh, my gosh. You know, the best thing I do is probably every two of those 50-minute work boxes, I just go outside in the sun since we're in Puerto Rico.
Brendon: And I just go out with flip-flops on, I'll take my shoes off and I was at ground a little bit, and come back in, and that's probably better than anything else I do. I'm sure you could give me a lot of advice on other EMF stuff I should do though.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I mean, sunlight and earthing to mitigate the effects that's huge. But when I had a building biology come through or building biologists come through my house and just test a bunch of stuff, what's working, what isn't, what's producing EMF, what's producing flicker. His name was Brian Hoyer. I'll link to it in the show notes if you guys want to listen to the full episode. He's supposed to fly up here if this quarantine blows over and we're getting another one in about a month here. But the thing that was most dramatic, if I give you one thing Brendon, it was dirty electricity filters. So, I got these filters from a company called Shielded Healing, and you just need one in like every outlet of a room that's fed off the same breaker, and that plummeted the amount of dirty EMF or electrical surges in the room. So, that was probably the biggest change, which is a super, super dirt, cheap, easy use, plugs them into the wall and that's it. So, that made a huge difference.
Okay. So, another question that I have for you is a little bit unrelated to the health stuff, but I think it would be interesting for folks because as you mentioned, you read a lot, which means that not only are you tuned into some of the better books out there, but you probably follow some different authors or thought leaders. And so kind of a two-part question. What books in the past month or two have you read that you think are kind of non-negotiables for people who either want to bring their performance or their health to the next level? And then B, who are you following right now, whether it's an author or a thought leader or someone like that, on Twitter or Instagram or wherever you personally tend to follow people or soak up advice?
Brendon: Oh man, it's good. Well, first, totally not to kiss ass, but yours, your podcast and “Boundless.” I'm still working through “Boundless.” That thing is a beast and I am dedicated to —
Ben: Well, don't feel bad. I wrote it to take people a long time to get through.
Brendon: No, dude. It's actually genius, and everybody, everybody listening to this needs that book because it's not just some–it's also a resource manual if you ever hear like, “Oh, what is CoQ10? Should I do it? What's this effect on my performance?” You open Ben's book. So, it's like everything there from like supplementation, but also the balance and exercise routines. I mean, it's just —
Ben: Thanks, man. Your check's in the mail.
Brendon: Okay. Yeah, yeah. Sorry about that guys, but for real. So, last month's books. Okay. A couple things that really helped in this last month, especially with the pandemic going on. I reread Viktor Frankl's “Man's Search for Meaning.” I do not believe we can ever talk about performance without purpose and meaning. And so always revisiting your spirituality or books that inspire meaning is important. And Victor Frankl went through the Holocaust. His single line of talking about how you can take everything from a person, from a human, but the last of our human freedom is our ability to choose our own attitude. So, as soon as the pandemic started, I said, “Listen, let's adopt role model [01:12:29] _____ through this. Let's be the role model. Let's have the attitude of a role model through this because it will pass at some point. And yes, it's a very serious and scary unprecedented thing, and attitude really matters.”
Brendon: So, for me, to just read–two books, “Man's Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl, and then Benjamin Hoff's book, “The Tao of Pooh.” And I know, “The Tao of Pooh” is about —
Ben: The Tao of Pooh really?
Brendon: Yes. You've got to read it, dude. It is the story of Tao, as in T-A-O, like the Tao Te Ching.
Brendon: So, it's basically, if you took the Tao Te Ching and you overlaid literally Winnie, the Pooh's story with Christopher Robin, now you learn how to de-stress in this —
Ben: Okay. So, it's not a book about constipation?
Brendon: It's not about constipation.
Ben: It's the Pooh Bear. Gotcha.
Brendon: And I will tell you it was life-changing to me early in my life. And so I read it again because it's just about how do you go with the flow when the world conspires to make you fearful of the flow. And so I read that again just to keep my mind reset. That really helped. I read The “Laws of Human Nature” by Robert Greene, who's an author, many people know, from “48 Laws of Power” or his book, “Mastery,” which is phenomenal. I follow those that are really helpful to me.
My network of people. So, in my industry, we've got like Tom Bilyeu. We've got like Trent Shelton. Yeah, Tom's a huge buddy. So, I've watched what he's doing and creating and just a dear, dear friend. “Impact Theory,” for those who don't watch on YouTube, is super key. I listen to a lot of his work. I listen to a lot of Trent Shelton because he fired me up. I go back to good old school personal development, Earl Nightingale, Zig Ziglar. I mean, Earl, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn, Dale Carnegie stuff. I drink deep from the old school well because it's just mindset stuff that really encourages me and helps me.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. I love that. By the way, Zig Ziglar was a good friend of my grandfather's. They were salesmen together down in Florida. They both sold cookware down there.
Brendon: That's it.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I'll throw one other in there that I read as soon as this hit, another older book, Napoleon Hill's “Outwitting the Devil.” I don't know if —
Ben: –you've read that, but the reason that I read that was because I felt like I got ripped out of my daily routine and I thought, “Okay. How could this be a good thing that my entire routine has changed dramatically as it probably has for a lot of people?” And the premise of that book is that Napoleon interviews the devil, and the devil fills Napoleon in on all the different ways that he keeps people from attaining success in life. And one of the ways of doing that is by keeping people locked into what is called in that book their hypnotic rhythm. And by breaking out of this hypnotic rhythm, this routine, this ritual, this habit, you can actually bring yourself to another level. And I'm bastardizing the concept to a certain extent, but I would throw that one in there too for people. And I'll link to all these books in the shownotes, but Napoleon Hill's “Outwitting the Devil,” I read that four weeks ago when this thing first started and it's pretty quick read, but that's another one I'd throw in there.
Brendon: Yeah. Three resources I send a friend recently on top of that. I sent the audio for “The Power of Positive Thinking” from Norman Vincent Peale because that friend of mine is Christian. So, that really supports that ideology, but also just how do you keep a good mindset through faith right now. For me personally, when I'm working out off and listen to like Joel Osteen or something just to get fired up, or other pastor type podcasts.
Brendon: I'm mean, obviously, I feel like God gave me a second chance at life and I want to earn that second chance. So, I'm listening to a lot of messages of faith, which is really important to me in my life. And I think that finding audio right now that really helps you with mindset —
Ben: That is not yet another scientific explanation of coronavirus or a pandemic podcast, I agree, because it seems like half of them are right now.
Ben: I also have been finding a lot of hope and positivity each morning with more spiritual podcasts. And right now, the one I'm hooked on are John Piper‘s daily sermons. And John Piper, he has two, he has like a morning quick three-minute audio, I'm blanking on the name of that one, and then he also has like a daily sermon. That dude just rocks my world. I think he's a great, great preacher. So, I'm in the same boat. I've been working that stuff in every single day. Joel Osteen is very inspirational as well. I like him.
Brendon: Yeah. You know, if you want to get super fired up like a good workout one is–what's his name? I can't even recall his podcast, but it's T.D. Jakes. And T.D. Jakes has his sermons and he's fired up. I think he got “Potter's Touch” or something like that. He's fired up. He's more of–he's like if you took Joel Osteen and you just put Les Brown on it.
Ben: What's his name again?
Brendon: T.D. Jakes.
Ben: T.D. Jakes. Okay, cool. I'll add him into the shownotes as well. I actually don't know him. Like T.D. Jakes, J-A-K-E-S?
Brendon: Yeah, that's right.
Brendon: And I think he calls it “The Potter's Touch.”
Ben: Okay. Awesome. I'll have to tune in.
Brendon: He's fired up. So, I've been listening to him, just the fire-up session, especially during a workout. Those have been really helpful because I think the most important thing is you all maintain your mindset and your habits and challenge yourself, like expect something from yourself through this because years from now, or months from now, you're going to look back and either be proud of your behavior and how you treated your kids and how you showed up for your audiences and treated your team and your employees and the people you could serve through this even when it got hard because that's what shapes character.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Well, I know that you're doing a great job out there, Brendon, helping people shape their character and achieve a lot of success, and you're putting a lot of really good information. So, I'm going to link to all your books and your products and everything in the shownotes for people at again BenGreenfieldFitness.com/brendonburchard. And if you guys want somebody good, somebody inspirational, somebody who's also a real wealth of knowledge, especially, I mean, like during these times when you might be reinventing your career, Brendon's information is going to be absolutely fan-freakin'-tastic for you.
And then you're still going to, I would assume once this washes over with the sheltering in place orders, you'll be doing some conferences as well this year, Brendon?
Brendon: Yeah, yeah. We do in a year and we only had to cancel one, but we took it totally virtually, which worked just great. But yeah, I miss the people. I've been doing this whole series on my podcast, which is called “The Brendon Show.” And we did this whole series called “Striving in Chaos” and just how do you keep striving through this difficulty, there's a lot in those podcast episodes and a lot of our best of training there from our seminars that we play on “The Brendon Show” Podcast. So, for those who can't go to conferences, but you want to go to personal development conference, go listen to “The Brendan Show” Podcast because it's a lot of those recordings.
Ben: Cool. Awesome. Someday I have to make it out to one of your events. Now, I know you're running a marathon out there. I just got to go and stand in the back and watch you run around. Maybe I'll show up and be your water boy.
Brendon: No, no. First, I'll have you come out and speak to my people about physiology and health. And then also, I got to hire you to consult me and tell me what else I can do because, I mean, I love to be recognized for what I do, but I'm recognized for what I do because I surround myself with super smart people who tell me how not to be as dumb as I usually am. I would love for you to come out and give any advice and thoughts because I want to do this. I'm going to do this until I keel over. This is all I've done for 25 years.
Ben: Well, I'd be happy to do that. However, with as few personal or self-improvement events as I've gone to, all I really know about those things is I have to develop some kind of a signature clap or an intense clapping protocol. So, I need to work on my clapping game before I show up.
Brendon: I promise you, that's not me. You don't have to worry about that at my events.
Ben: Alright, fair enough.
Brendon: Mine are all based on performance, psychology, and research. So, we're deep into the frameworks and the tools that people actually do with the events. So, it's very different vibe. You dig it.
Ben: I dig it. Alright, cool. Well, folks, if you have questions, or you have comments, or you have feedback, or your own little tips, favorite books to add, things that kind of saved your butt over these past few weeks, people you follow, or other ways that you optimize your own daily routines, then head over to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/brendonburchard and leave them over there because I like to read the comments and the feedbacks that you all leave. And I'll link to Brendon's books over there, all the other books that he talked about, pretty much everything that got mentioned you'll find in the shownotes.
And in the meantime, Brendon, thanks for coming on the show, man. I guess it wasn't too hard to take a break from the beach because it was closed, but regardless, thank you for taking time out of your day and coming on the show, man.
Brendon: Man, it's an honor. I appreciate you, Ben.
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.
According to Forbes and SUCCESS magazines, my guest on today's show, Brendon Burchard, is “the world’s leading high performance coach” and “one of the most watched, followed and quoted personal development trainers in history.” Oprah Winfrey named him “one of the most influential leaders in the field of personal growth.”
Brendon is a #1 New York Times bestselling author whose books include:
- High Performance Habits
- The Motivation Manifesto
- The Charge
- The Millionaire Messenger
- Life’s Golden Ticket
An online education pioneer, Brendon has also released over 20 personal development courses on topics like motivation, confidence, habits, and productivity, which have been completed by over 2,000,000 students in 190 countries. His online videos have been viewed over 300 million times. His podcast, The Brendon Show, debuted at #1 on iTunes across all categories and for five years has regularly been in the top 20 of health/self- help.
Brendon speaks to over 50,000 people at live events each year. Entrepreneur Magazine has called his multi-day personal development seminars “must-attends” for every leader. As an elite high performance executive coach, he's personally trained Oprah, Usher, dozens of Olympians, and Fortune 500 CEOs and their teams on the topics of change management and high performance.
For these results among many others, Brendon has appeared on the cover of SUCCESS Magazine twice and has consistently been named in the world's Top 25 most influential personal growth teachers along with Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Arianna Huffington, and Tony Robbins. Brendon is a recipient of the Maharishi Award and a member of Oprah’s Super Soul 100.
But what many people don't know about Brendon is that he is incredibly passionate about, and knowledgeable in the realm of, health and biohacking. And that's exactly what we dive into on today's show.
During this discussion, you'll discover:
-How a near-death experience instantly changed Brendon's outlook from hopeless despair to a life of intention…6:30
- Difficult breakup with high school girlfriend
- Identity was wrapped up in the relationship; fell apart personally as a result
- Reading became a form of therapy
- Suffered a near-fatal car accident shortly after moving to the Dominican Republic
- Brendon felt a new sense of intention for his life after the accident
- Book: The Top Five Regrets of the Dyingby Bronnie Ware
- Brendon's 3 questions: “Did I Live? Did I Love? Did I Matter?”
-Brendon's immediate reaction to the car crash…16:00
- Returned to college motivated to live life to the fullest
- If you live into the questions you know you'll ask at the end of your life, that's when you're living purposefully
- Became a leadership consultant for Fortune 500 companies for 7 years
- Constantly surrounded by high performing people in a culture of excellence
- Realized his true passion was in writing
- First book was a failure due to a lack of marketing skills
- Became familiar with online marketing and quickly changed his fortunes
- Success in online marketing allowed the pursuit of his other passion which is research
-Brendon's morning routine…26:10
- Drink 20 oz. of cold water when wake up (very positive reaction leading into the routine)
- 20 minutes of stretching and mobility
- 20 minutes reading (philosophy, personal development, spirituality)
- 20 minutes with High Performance Planner
- Brendon's morning smoothie:
- Morning supplements:
-Brendon's physical movement and workout protocol…40:39
- Work in 50-minute blocks of time
- For 10 minutes, do Qigong, drink water
- Before beginning, close eyes and ask, “What's my intention for the next hour?”
- Workout is usually 4 pm
- 5-minute walk
- 5-minute jog
- Full-body workout vs. weight lifting
-How the coronavirus pandemic has revealed or exposed people's health and wellness readiness…42:53
- Gyms and even the beaches are closed in Puerto Rico
- One of the worst things to do in a pandemic is limit access to the outdoors
- Brendon's coronavirus makeshift gym:
- Longevity blend:
- Ben Greenfield's Anti-Aging Smoothie
- The efficacy of a vaccine will be greatly enhanced if you're already a healthy person
- Consider a supplement that will optimize the functioning of your brain
-Brendon's top biohacks…50:00
- Hyperbaric chamber
- X-Factor of supplements specific to you
- How Brendon adjusts his protocol while conducting one of his seminars
- Lost 11 lb. per event when first began
- Bad for the heart and lectins when the weight fluctuates in that way
- Eat 6,000 calories per day
- Much higher fats
- Supplements in protein and nootropics
- Sleep is extremely important
- Ice bathsbefore, during, and after each event
-Brendon's sleep routine, and how it changes during an event…55:14
- 3-2-1 routine
- No food 3 hours before bed
- No work 2 hours before bed
- No screen 1 hour before bed
- Extra magnesium1 hour before bed
- Stay in bed if you aren't able to sleep doing meditationand breathwork
- Creative visualization when you can't sleep
- Tacos for lunch, salmonand kale for dinner
- During an event:
- Brendon's ice bath:
- Watch caffeine intake, or hot drinks as it's bad for the voice
- HPX Boostperformance blend:
- Organic beetroot
- Goji berry
- Coconut water
- Maca root
- 60 mg green tea caffeine
- How Brendon hacks his home to EMF
- What books does Brendon recommend, and what authors/thought leaders he's following
- Boundlessby Ben Greenfield
- Man's Search For Meaningby Victor Frankl
- The Tao Of Poohby Benjamin Hoff
- Laws Of Human Natureby Robert Greene
- Outwitting The Devilby Napoleon Hill
- The Power Of Positive Thinkingby Norman Vincent Peale
- Joel Osteen's Podcast
- John Piper's Podcast
- D. Jakes' Podcast
- Tom Bilyeu
- Trent Shelton
- Earl Nightingale
- Zig Ziglar
- Dale Carnegie
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
- Ben Greenfield with building biologist Brian Hoyer
- The Brendon Show
- Joel Osteen's Podcast
- John Piper's Podcast
- D. Jakes Podcast
- by Brendon Burchard
- The Top Five Regrets of the Dyingby Bronnie Ware
- Virtue Journal: A Diary of Self-Improvementby Benjamin Franklin
- Spiritual Disciplines Handbookby Adele Calhoun
- Boundlessby Ben Greenfield
- Man's Search For Meaningby Victor Frankl
- The Tao Of Poohby Benjamin Hoff
- Laws Of Human Natureby Robert Greene
- Outwitting The Devilby Napoleon Hill
- The Power Of Positive Thinkingby Norman Vincent Peale
– Food and Supplements:
- Plant-based protein powder
- Chia seeds
- Almond butter
- Flax seeds
- Brendon's Nutritional Supplements Line
- Ben Greenfield's Anti-Aging Smoothie
- Kion Aminos
- Mushroom compound
- Salmon(save 15% with code GREENFIELD)
- Vitamin C(save 10% with code GREENFIELD10)
- GABA(save 10% with code GREENFIELD10)
– Gear, Equipment and Tools:
- Hex bar
- HBOT chamber
- Morozko Forge(Save $150 with code BENFORGE)
- Incandescent lights
- Shielded Healingdirty electricity filters
– Brendon's Events
–Kion: My personal playground for new supplement formulations, Kion blends ancestral wisdom with modern science. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners, receive a 10% discount off your entire order when you use discount code BEN10.
–Beekeeper's Naturals: A wellness company specializing in innovative nutraceuticals made from healing hive compounds and plant-based ingredients. Get 15% off your order when you use discount code BEN
–Four Sigmatic: I’ve been using Four Sigmatic products for awhile now and I’m impressed by the efficacies of their mushroom products. I use them. I like them. I support the mission! Receive 15% off your Four Sigmatic purchase when you use discount code BENGREENFIELD
–JOOVV: After using the Joovv for close to 2 years, it's the only light therapy device I'd ever recommend. Give it a try: you won't be disappointed. Order using my link and receive my brand new book, Boundless absolutely free!