[0:00] Introduction/ Kimera Coffee
[01:48] Introduction to this Episode
[03:21] About Logan Christopher
[04:40] What Logan Discovered When He Travelled to the Amazon Jungle
[06:23] The Tea That Logan Drank Every Morning While in the Jungle
[09:17] How To Recall and Interpret Dreams More intensively According to Logan
[13:49] How Logan Got Into Extreme Fitness Feats
[19:22] How Did Logan Train to Pull an 8,800 Pound Fire truck by His Hair
[22:15] How Logan Trained to Juggle Flaming Kettlebells and How He Light Them on Fire
[27:35] Hello Fresh
[29:26] Harry’s Razor
[31:06] How Much of Logan’s Feats Are Mental? How He is Utilizing These Tactics
[42:20] Is Logan Following Any Type of Special Diet or Dietary Strategies
[47:14] Logan’s Method of Researching Herbs, Identifying, and Combining Them
[49:25] How Logan Find Black Ant Extract, What Does It Do, and How To Source It
[50:28] The Three Different Forms of Energy in Chinese Medicine, and How to Tap Into Each
[52:05] How to Increase Your Prowess in the Bedroom By Not Ejaculating and By Using “jing” Based Herbs
[55:22] What is Cistanche?
[60:10] Why You May Want to Think Twice About Using the New “magical mushroom” formula
[1:02:25] An Herbal Root Called Dang Gui
[1:05:35] The Chinese Root That Keeps Women “juicy”
[1:14:04] End of podcast
Ben: Hello, my name is Ben Greenfield, and I have a confession to make. I cannot drink normal coffee. I can’t. Even if it’s just like a regular cup from a hotel room I have to put stuff in it. And I’m not talking about like butter, and beef towel, and coconut oil, and like a whole carcass of a chicken. I’m just talking about little things that kinda like spin the dials. So I’ve got this booster powder that you can add to your coffee. It’s a hundred percent raw cacao Ceylon cinnamon which is the exact brand of cinnamon that lowers your blood sugar. No other brand of cinnamon can do that, C-e-y-l-o-n is how that’s spelled by the way, and L-glutamine. So what that means is that you can drink coffee and help your gut wall integrity, and reduce your appetite, and lower your blood sugar, and assist with your cardiovascular health from all that raw cacao, and this stuff is called the Kimera Cacao Booster Powder.
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Now, are you ready to learn how to juggle flaming kettlebells, pull 8,800 pound fire truck by your hair, do bridges with plates upon plates of weights on your stomach? I know you’ve always dreamed of doing these things, and you’re about to learn how. Let’s do this.
In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show:
“In the common western diet we’ve got no way from anything bitter. Even our vegetables like kale’s somewhat bitter, but all these things have been bred to breed the bitterness out of them because with that bitterness often comes these medicinal components.” “One of the metaphors that pretty well describes us is that of a candle burning. The candle wax itself is the Jing, the flame is the Qi and the light it casts off is the Shen. So along those lines the Qi is kind of the everyday energy.”
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…” All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield, and my podcast guest today is a relatively intriguing guy. He’s delved into everything from neurolinguistic programming to hypnotism, to energy medicine, psychology, herbalism, whole bunch of stuff and he actually just got back from a trip to the Amazon jungle to spend time with indigenous people there for a couple of weeks studying more when it comes to herbology. But he’s doing more than just roaming around the Amazon, munching on plants and stems. He’s actually pretty well known for some crazy feats like he’s pulled an 8,800 pound fire truck by his hair, juggled flaming kettlebells and supported half a ton of weight in what’s called a wrestler’s bridge position. He’s got a great blog, and he puts a lot of the herbal formulations that he develops over on his website which is called Lost Empire Herbs, and I’ll link to that over on the show notes for everything we talk about today. You can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/lostempire, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/lostempire. Check out some of that stuff.
Logan, speaking of Lost Empire, and I don’t think I even mentioned to people that (chuckles) my guest’s name is Logan, Logan Christopher, speaking of Lost Empire, you went to the Amazon. Did you find any Lost Empires there? What exactly were you doing over there?
Logan: (Chuckles) Yeah, well really what our name is all about, and why we ended up going with that is the Lost Empire’s actually nature. In so much of what we humans are doing, we’re kinda getting away from nature, but while the health information that I delve into, and I know you do is showing just how much these natural things help support our health and performance. So we kinda think of that, although people think of empires as peoples nature’s in its own way a lost empire.
So that was part of my mission in the Amazon jungle to go to a very pristine environment, I mean it’s pretty amazing when you’re flying over on a plane, and it’s forest as far as the eye can see in every direction. So just getting to spend time in the ecology and with the indigenous people down there. I got to spend some time with the Achuar, and just really take in and observe their culture. It’s really cool to see that ‘cause there’s very different things, and it gives a good lens with which to look at our own culture just because of the comparing contrast of them. So it was a great time.
Ben: So what do you mean? What do you do when you go live with an indigenous people, I mean what exactly goes on? Do you just stand there with your arms folded watching them do their daily routine, or you actually immerse in their lifestyle?
Logan: It wasn’t quite immersed. I wasn’t living with them like living with their family for extended period of time. We’re staying a little ways off and got to go visit them but for instance I could tell many stories, but we got to participate in their Guayusa Ceremony. So every morning about three o’clock in the morning, they did it a little bit later for us at four o’clock in the morning, they’d get up and drink Guayusa tea which is a leaf, it’s heavily caffeinated so kinda like their coffee. And they drink a bunch of this, and actually go out to the bushes and cause themselves to vomit. They purge every single morning. It’s just a healthy, cleansing protocol. And then like…
Ben: Every morning?
Logan: Every single morning, yes.
Ben: Was this stuff called Ayusa?
Logan: Guayusa. It’s spelled G-u-a-y-u-s-a. You might be able to find it some places online. I believe there are a couple of companies selling that now from that area.
Ben: Guayusa yeah, I looked it up. It’s a species of tree native to the Amazonian rainforest. Yeah, caffeinated holly tree known for its stimulative effects. But they’re actually throwing up after they eat it?
Logan: Yeah, so you drink a whole bunch of this ‘til your stomach’s quite full, and you know, I’m normally a 1 cup of coffee guy so drinking several cups of this stuff… and then when you purge it, it’s weird it kinda sorta brings about a different effect of the stimulation to you. You do feel cleansed in a way. So it’s interesting to do this ‘cause in the West, right, we think throwing up is completely bad. Something you wanna avoid at all cost, right, but here they are doing it every single day (laughs).
Ben: Wouldn’t you be concerned about some of the same things you get concerned about with bulimia, like acidic stomach acid ripping up their esophageal lining and things of that nature?
Logan: I was actually curious about that myself. I didn’t have an opportunity or remember at that time to ask about that. Or maybe it’s something in the Guayusa tea that really, it’s deluding the stomach acid, and truthfully since you’re drinking so much of this, that’s what’s coming out not so much the contents or just a stomach acid, but that is an interesting thing that have to delve into further, but yeah, it’s really not about bulimia. That kinda condition is unknown to the peoples there.
Ben: Ok, so they get up, they drink a bunch of this Guayusa tea until they’re just like bloated and they throw up. Was that your biggest takeaway from living with the Amazonian tribe?
Logan: No, but then after this they’d go and they sit around in like community and they discuss their dreams. Their big dream culture and actually like what they do on their day to day life is often times predicated on their dreams.
Logan: Yeah, it was very interesting. I’ve looked at my dreams a little bit, and they kinda have a bit of a different take. It was interesting ‘cause they kinda see the dreaming world as real as our world and so it’s a very important part of their culture. And this also extends into things like using ayahuasca and other visionary medicines as well, and how those play into it.
Ben: Did they do ayahuasca as well down there?
Logan: Yes. We did have an opportunity to do that.
Ben: Ok, got it. Now with the dreaming thing, did they have like a special dream recall system that they use, did they write down their dreams when they wake up, or did you have anything you learned there as far as how to interpret or how to interact with your dreams more intensively
Logan: So they just grow up in a culture where the dreams are such a big part of it. So for them to not recall their dreams is just like, oh, what’s wrong with you? (laughs) What aren’t you doing? so yeah, they did make some recommendations as far as like fasting or just really setting the intention to remember your dreams ‘cause so many people tell themselves, you know, I never remember my dreams and if you’re saying that to yourself, it becomes a belief and then it’s a self-fulfilling prophesy. So really in their culture it’s such a big part of it that everyone kinda assumes that’s the way it is, and so they remember their dreams pretty easily.
As far as their dream interpretation, they’re really focused on whatever your dreams were of that day have to do with something going on that day. Almost always. So that was a little bit different ‘cause usually the way I’ve kinda studied and learned about it is more having to do with the psychology, and different themes recurring in your life. And that was certainly a part of it but it was also an issue ‘cause we’re going through double translation from English to Spanish, to Achuar and back. So I’m sure a couple of things were lost in translation as well
Ben: What’s it called? Achuar?
Logan: Achuar, yeah.
Ben: Achuar, and was that the actual name of the tribe?
Logan: Yeah, that’s the name of the people there.
Ben: How do you spell that?
Ben: A-c-h-u-a-r. Ok, cool. So, with this Achuar tribe and their dream recall, when you come back from a situation like that, are you doing anything differently when it comes to dream recall or studying your dreams, or anything of that nature?
Logan: I’d say since returning from the Amazon I’m certainly remembering more of my dreams. This is something I’ve worked on a bit on and off over the years. So my protocol’s I wake up in the morning and I have dreams, I’ll go and write them down. I kinda start off my morning routine with that. And then I work to interpret my dreams, sometimes that comes easier than others but having learned from them and how they tend to look at dreams, I kinda see that as a different lens from which to look at my own dreams. As I said really focused on that daily interpretation or how it’s gonna operate in the day to come.
Ben: Do you use any type of books or anything like that to learn how to recall and interpret dreams? Do you know of any good guides out there
Logan: Look at my bookshelf real quickly. Yeah, I’ve read a number of things. I’ve studied some of the material from Edgar Casey he definitely has some good stuff on that. There is a book called Dream Language by Hoss, H-o-s-s that I found was very useful as well. Quite a couple of, yeah.
Ben: Dream Language. Ok, cool. Is it true that there are certain things like if your teeth are falling out, or if you think you’re flying, or if you’re like embarrassed in a public place in your underwear that those mean specific things in terms of like the prophetic power of dreams?
Logan: In some way yeah, if you look at, there’s many books on dream symbols but you really have to look at what’s that symbol mean to you, and you have to look at the context of different things, so yeah, if you’re having recurring dreams about those things then yeah, I would definitely look up some of the symbology of what other people suggest. But just because you’re flying and another person’s flying in a dream doesn’t mean necessarily the same thing. You have to look at the surrounding context of what else is occurring in the dream as well as what’s actually occurring in your real life.
Ben: A lot of people dream about their teeth falling out. I don’t know if you’ve heard about this, but yeah, it supposedly represents some kind of a transitional period occurring in your life that you might be apprehensive about.
Logan: Yeah, but it may have to do with the communication aspect that’s what’s coming to me, I think I may have seen that before. Just the stuff having to do with the mouth or the throat being able to communicate freely or being scared to.
Ben: Oh yeah. Yeah, that makes sense. My probably most commonly recurring dream aside from being in public places in my underwear is flying, but not really flying, more like running, usually I’m running down a hill, and I’m leaping, and bounding but every time I leap and bound I go like 20 feet into the air almost like I’m wearing spring boots or something like that.
Logan: That sounds pretty fun. That’s a good dream to have.
Ben: Yeah, it’s a great dream. Just bouncing around, bouncing around. So speaking about bouncing around. You’ve done quite a few kinda crazy physical feats. So, first of all I noticed that among the feats that you’ve done including pulling an 8,800 pound fire truck by your hair, and juggling kettlebells that are on fire, and supporting half a ton of weight in the wrestler’s bridge that you actually started off kinda like weak, and scrawny, and skinny. Tell me how you got into extreme fitness feats from being a relatively non-athletic person?
Logan: Right, yeah, I was the proverbial 98 pound weakling entering high school. I literally did not weigh a hundred pounds, and I played football but I was not very athletic at all, not very good, neither was our team, but that’s a different matter. So I didn’t really have much in the way of results. I did some training with football, but still as you said, like not naturally athletic, not naturally strong. My older brother got into body building, so I was trying to work at that and still not much. Really it was when I found out about body weight exercises that I started to see some results going beyond just like push-ups and sit-ups but all kinds of body weight squats, ab exercises, starting to work toward hand stands and hand stand push-ups that sort of thing, and from the body weight stuff you know, I was getting results there, and then I got into kettlebells, and that kind of led into old time strongman stuff, so I just kinda opened up this new world of different fitness modalities that I was not aware of before. And kinda because I came from that weak and scrawny place also like really not confident at all, and I started to gain confidence with this training. I decided to pursue it further, and one of the biggest impacts on me was reading a biography of an old time strongman named “The Mighty Atom”.
There’s a book called The Spiritual of Journey of Joseph L Greenstein which was his actual name, and I don’t know what it was but something about reading that book and hearing that story, I thought I wanna be able to do that too. I wanna be able to do these insane strongman feats. He would bend nails, he actually bit through chains. On two separate occasions he stopped single propeller planes from taking off by his hair. He won’t recommend that ‘cause it nearly scalped him, and it did actually scalp another guy that tried to replicate it. But he pulled vehicles often and that’s where I actually got the – okay, I have long hair, I was growing it out at that time, why don’t I try to actually pull a vehicle by my hair. And of course, I started with smaller vehicles but eventually worked my way up and that fire truck is the biggest thing I’ve pulled so far.
Ben: Oh my gosh, I’m looking at a picture of this guy online the Mighty Atom, the life and times… so his name is Joseph Greenstein, and there’s a picture here that he’s wearing like one of these old school like, what do you call them the unitard?
Logan: Leopard print singlet? (laughs)
Ben: Yeah, the leopard print singlet. And he’s bending something. It would appear to be like a nail, and you read this book, and this is one of those old-timey strongman training books, huh?
Logan: Yeah, it’s more biographical, I mean if you read between the lines there’s a lot of great training information in there. But yeah, he was a small Jewish kid that literally shouldn’t have survived. The doctors all said he was gonna die, but he ran away and joined the circus, and was tutored under a strongman and wrestler there, and became healthy and strong eventually moved to America, and started doing shows in Vaudeville until Vaudeville died out, and then he was also into herbs which we’ll be talking about as well and healthy living, and how all these things fit together in different ways. So actually going back there’s so much in that book which kinda directed my life in different ways.
Ben: That’s mind boggling. It’s an expensive book. Looks like it’s like 120 bucks new. It’s hard to find.
Logan: Yeah, it is out of print right now. If anyone’s interested in that sort of thing, I highly recommend it. It’s worth that amount of money.
Ben: Yeah, looks like in Amazon you can actually get a few places in like a used format, but it’s still you’re gonna like 40 bucks. Used. And I love stories like these where people are supposed to die, and they instead defy what physicians have told them and become like amazing physical specimens. As far as this guy goes or any of the other old timey strongmen that you studied, did you happen to grab any really specific pieces of training advice, or training programs, or go to workouts that some of these guys would do that you think kind of fly under the radar these days?
Logan: Well, there’s so many different old time strongmen, and I’ve read so many books on these guys. And like you’re saying a lot of them did start from this really weak place and sought to overcame that, and that became the driving force, and although no doctor said I was gonna die when I was a child, I definitely feel that the similar sort of thing coming from that weak and scrawny starting point. Really looking at all these different strongmen, I mean there’s so many, there’s Arthur Saxon and Alexander Zass, and Hermann Goerner. All these different guys and they really did all sorts of different things. And I think that’s an important message because there’s no one right way to train, and that really depends on what you’re trying to do. So how you train to pull a fire truck by your hair’s a little different then if you’re doing endurance events, and you can get these little bits and pieces from different people, but ultimately you kinda have to find your own path and what works well for you, and also fits in with your motivations and your desires.
Ben: So how did you train to pull an 8,800 pound fire truck by your hair? How’s the actual work out for that?
Logan: It’s pretty simple if you understand the principles of progressive training. It’s basically the same no matter what you’re doing. So, I started with a small truck and pulled that by my hair.
Ben: Like a little toy, like hot wheels truck?
Logan: No, like a normal sized pick-up truck sort of thing. So, really if you have all the hair together, it is pretty strong. I wouldn’t say I’m starting from baseline to do this feat, it takes a lot of neck strength and I was at the same time doing all those bridging stuff which ultimately led to the half-ton wrestler’s bridge. So I had overall body strength. I was overall in decent condition to start this, and when you have all the hair together, it’s as strong as a rope. So I started with a pick-up truck, then I went to like a much bigger van that was loaded full of equipment. For my training, I then started going from level ground to going up a slight incline, so I just worked with progressively larger weights, and progressively longer distances or going at an incline is the same as basically increasing the weight. So I did enough training that I thought, yeah, I could probably pull this truck. I didn’t know for sure until I got to that event where that took place and I got to try it out, and it was not easy. It was not only the biggest vehicle I’d ever pulled by my hair, it was the biggest vehicle I’d ever pulled, period. So it was pretty tough.
Ben: Wow, so the hair how, did it actually attach to the truck?
Logan: Me and my friend actually came up with, you know, like we went to a hardware store and got creative. Basically, I have a pony tail and I would loop that around like an iron ring, and then zip tie my hair in place. So it’s kind of the ponytail loop back on itself with this ring, then ran a hook to chains leading to the vehicle. So pretty simple set up, but it was very different than the mighty Atom used to do because he had like a classic jufro which was a very curly hair, and it had like a comb-like contraption that he would use in order to do that. And he also pulled the vehicle the other way. So he would face the vehicle and walk backwards. I face away from the vehicle when I pull.
Ben: Yeah, I think I’d probably have to use one of these combs personally.
Ben: My hair is not quite as long as yours. This is super interesting. And by the way for those of you listening in I’ll link to this. I’ve got this on my ‘must buy’ list on Amazon right now, “The Mighty Atom: The Life and Times of Joseph Greenstein; Biography of a Super Human”. I’m intrigued. This might be my next airplane book. It’s rare that I’ll spend 40 bucks on a hard cover book, but this actually looks like it could be a pretty good one.
So you’ve also in addition to pulling a firetruck, done weighted back flips, supported half a ton in a wrestler’s bridge position, and juggled flaming kettlebells. So that was another one that I wanted to ask you about is why on earth you chose to juggle a flaming kettlebell and how you actually do that just logistically. How’s that even work?
Logan: Right, ok. Well, first let me address juggling kettlebells is not actually juggling them in the standard sense of what you do with 3 or more objects. Juggling kettlebells involves just the flipping, catching, releasing, spinning of a kettlebell around your body. Typically, it’s done with 1 kettlebell although you can do double kettlebell juggling as well which certainly makes it much tougher to do. So I’ve been practicing this just because it’s a really fun thing to do. Kettlebells are great tools, and when you can really insert the skill component and sort of chaotic movement because you’re moving. It’s not real linear or two-dimensional like most weight training exercises are, but you’re really moving in 3-dimensional space when the kettlebell’s flipping around your body. So not only is it building strength, it’s building endurance, hand-eye coordination, all these different things at once. So I think it’s a very fun thing to do and that’s a great thing. You go out to workout, and you’re literally just practicing these skills, and soon enough a half hour’s gone by, you’ve gotten a great workout and you were just having fun the whole time.
Ben: Oh yeah. Kettlebells are very unwieldy. That’s why I like them. Me and my kids use a lot of these kettlebells from Onnit, and they’re a variety of different weights. But even something as simple as… you know, one of my go-to exercises is I’ll do walking lunges in the driveway, I’ll take just double kettlebells and hold them up around my collarbones, and your chest, your lungs, your diaphragm, your inspiratory and expiratory muscles are really heavily burdened having to kind of squeeze those kettlebells together up by your collarbones, and I use some pretty heavy kettlebells. I think they’re go by poods, right, the weight? So I think these are 1 ½, 2 poods something like that. They’re pretty heavy, I would say, 60, 70 pounds each side, and I’ll just do walking lunges across the driveway.
But even just trying to wield that unwieldly object is really, really pretty hard, and when you talk about juggling, one of my favorite exercises is a combination of almost like metabolic workout in kinda like a trance-like state is I’ll take the kettlebell, and just do basic one hand kettlebell swings, but then let the kettlebell leave my hand, and hovering the air for just a split second in between each swing, right. So you swing up, you release the kettlebell, catch with the other hand, drop down, swing up, release, switch to the other hand and you know, a set of about 1 ½ to 2 minutes of something like is actually pretty metabolically stimulating and it’s a cool way to workout. You know, anybody who has not yet just switched for example, to ditching barbells, ditching dumb bells and trying just kettlebells for a couple of weeks, you’re missing out on a big way to get a very quick fitness breakthrough with a lot of functional strength. But how do you light them on fire, Logan? That’s the million dollar question.
Logan: (laughs) Ok, and I’ll get to that. Let me just add, so if you wanna take that to the next level, just when you’re releasing that to top, you give it a little bit of a push with the hand and you can get that kettlebell to rotate around, and then you’ll catch it like that and you can just…
Ben: So like flips upside down?
Logan: Yeah, you can do it either way, you can push the handle above the ball of the kettlebell or under it, and you can spin it to the left. There’s tons and tons of moves. I can send you some videos on those first getting started steps, but yeah, that can be really fun to play with, and like you said, it helps you enter into that meditative, and I kinda like it and you’re really flowing with this. Once you have a number of these different skills, you’re just flowing from one move to the next without necessarily thinking about what you’re doing as you go along.
So the whole flaming kettlebell thing actually came about when I was training with a basically one of the foremost old time performing strongman alive today. A guy that was taught by the Mighty Atom’s protégé, the slim of the hammer man in turn taught this man, Dennis Rogers who’s been really successful performing feats for people. And at this seminar I forget exactly how we got on to the details, but somehow someone was talking about lighting something on fire and I don’t know if it was my idea or someone else, but they said, oh you should light a kettlebell on fire. So I thought, oh that’s a great idea.
So once again how do you actually go about doing this? Once again going to the hardware store being creative about it. Basically came up with, I wrap the kettlebell in Kevlar wick which is sort of the thing they use for fire dancing, and this was soaked in lamp oil, and so just this Kevlar wick soaked in lamp oil, it’s just safety pin onto the kettlebell, and then lit it on fire. And it makes a big ball of fire. Now in order to juggle it because it is a big ball of fire, I was wearing welding gloves, I was in long sleeved shirt, wetted down, you know. If you’re gonna be stupid, you got be smart about it at least (chuckles). It was fun. It’s only something I’ve tried two times, it’s not like that’s my normal training by any means, but it was an idea I had, and thought you know, this will be fun to do.
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And then also, I wanted to tell you about this post shave balm I’ve been using. It has aloe vera in it. It almost has like this kind of like a minty sensation when you put it on your face. It’s super soft. I’m growing a beard right now, so I’ve been shaving my neck a lot ‘cause I don’t want one of those creepy, hey, i-live-in-my-mom’s-basement neck beards, but I’ve been kinda like having fun trimming the hair around my face. So I’ve got a beard. Seriously, I look old and wise, and scratchy.
Anyways though, this post-shave balm is made by Harry’s, who also just came out with what’s called the generation 2 Shave Head which means they’ve got a trimmer blade for hard to reach places, a soft flex hinge for more comfortable glide, a lubricating strip, and a textured handle like an ergonomically designed handle for more control when it’s wet, and it’s still just 2 bucks a blade compared to like the 4 dollars or more that you pay at the grocery store. And they’re so confident in the quality of these blades and this post shave get that what they’ll send you is their free trial set. So you get a razor, your 5-blade cartridge, and your shaving gel. And it’s all free when you sign up for a shave plan. All you pay is shipping. So here’s how to do it; go to harrys.com h-a-r-r-y-s dot com, and enter code Ben at check out, and you get the free trial set and that post shave balm to put on your neck beard, ladies. harrys.com slash no not slash harrys.com code ben h-a-r-r-y-s dot com, and use code Ben. And now let’s get back to Logan.
Ben: As you’re training your body you do things like juggle these big kettlebells that are on fire, and pull the firetrucks by your hair, and do the weighted back flips, I know you put a half ton of weight on your body in a wrestler’s bridge position, how much of this is mental ‘cause I know you’re into like hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming, and stuff that we’ve kind of touched on before on the show, but how are you actually utilizing these type of tactics for these old timey strongman feats? How’s that work?
Logan: Absolutely, so I feel it’s from starting out weak and scrawny and not naturally being strong that I kinda sought to get an edge. Once I got into this stuff I was like, ok how can I actually become strong? I’m not naturally gifted, what can I do? I was always kinda smart, so that kinda I guess led into the mental training. And speaking about the Mighty Atom, there’s a story near the back of that book where during his shows he would sometimes pull a person on stage, hypnotize them, and that person would be able to bend a nail which they never could do before and never could do after. So that probably planted a seed for me.
So I got into learning hypnosis and neurolinguistics programming or NLP, and just thought you know, how can I use these methods, these technologies in order to help me become stronger. When you say how much of it is mental, the truth is it’s all mental, right, we like to split the body and the mind, or the physical and the mental, but really these two are intertwined and cannot be separated. So, I feel there’s a mental part to everything I do. That being said, there’s certain kind of mental tactics that I’ve developed and worked with on people in order to get them to become stronger instantly, and I can go over an example of that if you’d like?
Ben: Yeah, let’s hear it.
Logan: Okay. So one of the things from neurolinguistic programming is known as sub modalities. The modalities themselves would be your sensory systems, the main one’s being sight, what you hear and then your feeling, the kinesthetic. So visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Now some modalities are kind of the smaller quality distinctions of these and you can do all kinds of stuff playing around with these. NLP was really created by modelling some therapeutic geniuses. Some people that were really good in different fields of therapy. So most of NLP is focused on that, but I wanted to get stronger with this so how could I use it for that? What I found is just by making some of these modality distinctions, changing some things up, oftentimes just suddenly change how good you are at a given exercise.
An example of this when I was presenting this information at a health and strength conference, I had a woman come up and she was able to do two one arm push-ups which was already pretty strong especially for a woman. That’s a good amount of strength, not a lot of men can do that, but she kinda had a mental block about this, so I ended up leading her through. How does she perceive this exercise internally? So if I ask you to visualize yourself doing a one arm push-up right now, what do you notice? Some things you can notice, are you inside your body or are you outside of your body?
Ben: I guess when I think about a one arm push-up right now, I would imagine myself outside my body kinda like watching a person doing a one arm push-up.
Logan: Okay. Is this life-size or is it bigger than life-size, or is it smaller like you’re kinda watching it on a screen?
Ben: It’s like I’m watching it on a screen. It’s like me in a room on the floor trying the one arm push-up.
Logan: Ok, so how small is it then? How big is the screen or how small is it?
Ben: It’s like about the size of I guess like a television size screen, like a small television, like a computer monitor.
Logan: Ok, and how bright are the colors? Is this once again life-like or is it dimmer than usual or brighter than usual?
Ben: Probably dimmer than usual, not super life-like.
Logan: Ok, so if we did something simple like just brighten the colors upon it right now. And make it bigger. Transform it to life-size.
Ben: Alright, so in my mind I am thinking about like the person doing the one armed push-up, me doing the one-armed push-up. I’m wearing like a… so a change of the colors. I’m good at this. I’m a creative guy, you’ll find. So a change of the colors, I’ve got a red t-shirt on now and black shorts. I’m a little bit bigger so I’m zooming in. Now I fill up the whole screen and the colors are more vibrant.
Logan: Ok, and as you’re doing this, normally if I was coaching someone through this I’d have them actually physically do the exercise first, and then after these changes have them do afterwards and what you’ll often find is that the exercise comes easier to you then. So just visualizing it since that’s all we’re doing right now, but how do you feel about that exercise having brighten it up and made it bigger?
Ben: I fell that we probably should have done a whole lot more than just brightening it up and making it bigger.
Logan: Yeah, so these are some generalities. Oftentimes I found with people just making it bigger, just making it brighter, that’s enough to elicit some change. But if we wanna go much deeper than this then one, we’re not just focusing on the visual information. There’s all these other things that we can do with it. And we can actually find how a person themselves internally codes an easy exercise versus a hard exercise. And that’s what we did with this woman on stage, and the end result of it is she did 7 one-armed push-ups. So that is a significant increase she got from just spending a few minutes kinda looking into how she internally perceived the exercise.
Ben: So, was she doing more than just like turning up the vibrancy and the color?
Logan: Yeah, if I remember it correctly, what we did was we looked at how she perceived herself doing the one-armed push-up and I don’t remember the details of it, but then we compare that to an easy exercise which was just a body weight squat. And then we took those qualities of the body weight squat, on how she perceived that, and we mapped the one-armed push-up into that. So let’s say that the body weight squat for instance, she was inside the body rather than watching it from the outside. Then we had her see the one-armed push-up from inside.
And a couple of changes here as well as we allowed new things to emerge, and one thing that was very important for whatever reason for her, she saw like a yellow tint to it all. And then before she went and did the exercise, she heard like an internal voice whether this was coming from her, obviously it was from her nervous system, but whether this is her voice or someone else’s voice but something said, you can do seven of them. And so she heard that and felt it right before actually going into the exercise and she was able to do seven.
Ben: That’s really interesting. So I could take an exercise that I find to be easy, let’s say like a regular push-up, and I could visualize that because I can crank out regular push-ups all day long. I could visualize that, and see what it is that I’m doing when I visualize it ‘cause when I think about that like, I could totally feel the whole thing. I’m inside my body. I’m close to the floor. I could feel the floor getting close to my face, pushing up and out and away from the floor over and over and over again. I can see the color. I can see what I’m wearing. I can see the vibrancy.
Logan: Is there something that you say to yourself as you do the push-ups or before you do the push-ups?
Ben: No. Should there be?
Logan: No, and I’m not saying necessarily something you actually speak out loud but there might be an internal voice to that as well. And oftentimes all these stuff that a lot of people think they’re not good at visualizing, and yes well, some people are better at it naturally than others. It is a trainable skill and it’s something you can develop, but oftentimes this stuff just flips by without our conscious awareness being there, but yeah, looking at the internal dialogue is also an important component.
Ben: That’s really interesting. Can it work in reverse like could it make… The reason I ask this is because one of my ideas that I used to train for the bucket carry in a Spartan race is I have a huge, heavy keg. A really awkward keg in my garage, and I grab that keg and one of my go to workouts is I’ll just carry it around the perimeter of my house and set it down, recover, do some mobility exercises like opposite arm, opposite leg extensions and some sideways lunges, and just some basic easy exercises until my grip and my lungs have recovered then I’ll carry the keg around again. And it makes the actual tiny little five-gallon buckets in comparison to the keg seem very, very simple. Could I, for example take the way that I feel during a one-armed push-up and use that to be able to crank out a whole bunch of regular push-ups, or use like the keg when I’m getting ready to do a bucket carry and take the harder exercise, and visualize the harder exercise to make the easier exercise something I could do even more quickly.
Logan: Yeah, this is definitely something that is very open cue experimentation. This is something that I just found was working out, and so I’ve used it a bit, but here’s the thing everyone needs to find what works for them individually. So for you perhaps the whole visual component seems to be stronger, and you’ll want to really focus on that for other people it may be more of the feeling or kinesthetic component, and there’s all kinds of different ways you can play with this that will really should bring about results. When you were first talking about doing that in reverse like I was thinking you could actually do this in order to make an exercise harder. Just this fun for comparison’s sake, but you know, take that picture of you doing the one-arm push-up and with it so far out of the distance you can barely even tell it’s there, and turn the colors black and white and have everything kind of fade to black. And if you did stuff like that chances are you would actually operate worse at the exercise then if you did the things then just kept it normal…
Ben: Wait, why would you ever wanna do that?
Logan: You wouldn’t, except just for comparison’s sake.
Ben: Oh okay.
Logan: ‘Cause here’s the thing. People naturally do stuff like that without being aware of it if you have a mental block about an exercise. You’re telling yourself, oh I could never do that. That is going to make these sort of visualizations or stuff on the other senses actually do that sort of thing. So just being aware that you can change it in order to make it worst can help bring about that awareness so you can change it to make it better.
Ben: Yeah, that makes sense. And this is all called neurolinguistic programming, right?
Logan: This is all one facet of neurolinguistic programming, and I’ve just kinda applied it to exercises in a way that I haven’t seen anyone else do at all, but yeah, these submodality distinctions have many other uses as well.
Ben: Ok it’s called the submodality.
Ben: Ok, cool. So I’ve got some other questions for you about training. You went from being pretty skinny to now you’re relatively built. I know you’re into herbal medicine and herbs, and I wanna ask you about those, but I also just wanna talk about real food. When you went through the phase of getting really good at these old timey strength training routines, putting on muscle or even now are, you following any type of special diet or using any kinda like dietary strategies like intermittent fasting, or ketosis, or anything like that?
Logan: Yeah, I’ve experimented with many different things over the years, I’d say to boil it down the basics, I’m all about getting high quality food that’s as natural as possible. My body definitely runs well off a fat as its primary fuel source. I did experiment a little bit with ketosis and found that maybe I didn’t you know, work at it long but from what I’ve seen the research on people like doing strength athletics where you need that glycogen. I definitely felt tanked in in my workouts as well as actually my drive as well. So that was a fairly-short lived experiment, but I do things like intermittent fasting pretty regularly, a fairly high fat diet, moderate protein, I’d certainly eat a fair amount of carbs but generally as high quality and healthy food, organic that sort of thing. Lots of vegetables but a lot of fat as well.
Ben: Yeah, that’s interesting what you say about carbohydrates especially with regards to testosterone. I’ve been looking into this recently, and I’m working on an article on it about how the testosterone to cortisol ratio, the free testosterone to cortisol ratio. They’ve done a study on this and they found that people who eat too few carbohydrates like who dip underneath about 30% total intake, what we’re talking about active people doing what’s called an intensive training micro-cycle. In this case, these are like men doing some pretty intensive strength training. Thirty percent was kinda like the magic mark where once they got below 30% carbohydrates, their free testosterone to cortisol ratio actually got pretty unfavorable.
And you know, I certainly saw that when I was using something like ketosis and some extreme carbohydrate restriction for Ironman, you know, not even a very glycolytic sport but a relatively, you know, like you’ll be an aerobic fat utilizing sport. Pretty significant drop in testosterone, and sure some of it might have been the chronic repetitive motion which we know also decreases testosterone. But I think a big part of it was probably dropping below that 30% carb intake. But to be fair I don’t know if you’ve seen more recent studies literally in the past couple of months that have shown cross fitting and ketosis, and strength training and ketosis, and shown that there is not a huge detriment with like short term explosive strength training and ketosis. Probably because there’s not enough glycogen being used or you’re using a lot of your creatine phosphagen pool, and your ATP pool rather than just like strict glucose or large amounts of glycogen, and I guess it’s kind of like that middle range where you’re doing like 2, 4, 6 minute events that are really hard where you really start to tap into a lot of glycogen and if you’re like a 1500 meter or a miler. That’s where something like ketosis might hold you back more than just from just like a testosterone standpoint.
Logan: Right. Well, all I know in my experience and once again I may not have done ‘cause it does takes some time for the body to adapt to that. But my workouts were hit or miss and definitely that effect on my drive over all. So I decided I’m gonna bring back the carbs in, but I still do a fairly high fat diet like my standard breakfast I had this morning was some pastured eggs and sausage along with some bakchoy and kale steamed up, and a little bit of sauerkraut on top of that. I do a fair amount of meat coming from grass-fed, you know, high quality meat is the best quality I can find, but then for carbs like sweet potatoes, I use honey pretty regularly, some different sweeteners. I’ll do some shakes and smoothies. That can be a good way to take the herbs sometimes, but with the base of coconut milk or some nuts in there as well. So all sorts of different things but yeah, it’s over all that’s kind of a recap of my day.
Ben: Nice. Nice. I like it. And the herbs that we’ve talked about so far are the herbs that make you throw up.
Ben: …are the herbs that induce dreaming. I wanted to ask you actually a little bit more about specific herbal formulations ‘cause you have a whole bunch of formulations that you’ve developed, and some of them are pretty unique, and contain herbs that I haven’t really heard of before. The things with weird titles like the Hercules formula, and the Phoenix formula, and the Spartan formula, stuff like that. But before I get into the specifics of some of the different things inside these formulas that I wanted to ask you about, like one thing I’ve been using quite a bit, Black Ant Extract which you introduced me to, what’s kind of like your method for researching herbs?
I know you went to the Amazon, are you when you’re in a situation like that kind of like trying to identify new herbs that folks might not have discovered before? Are you turning to other forms of research to figure out what combines with what, and how to source your herbs. I mean, how do you actually figure out how you’re gonna put together herbs or discover these herbs in the first place, and especially source them too because I know a lot of herbs have not only artificial colors and chemical sweeteners added to them, but they’re just stale or useless or old?
Logan: Yup, yeah. That’s a fun area to go, and so a lot of questions there.
Ben: Yeah, I think I squeezed like 5 questions in my questions.
Logan: (laughs) As far as learning about the herbs, this comes from a number of places by hearing about them from other people, reading about them. So, I basically kinda look at 2 different areas. There’s kinda the ancient wisdom about the herbs, you know, Chinese medicine, ayurvedic medicine these have been around for thousands of years. Westerners believe there’s some different facets of that, but that’s been around for hundreds of years.
So these are good starting places ‘cause these are people that actually knew about the herbs and knew what they did and worked with people in using them. If you think back to long time ago by people who are kinda using these clinically double blind placebo-controlled studies weren’t around yet, but most of that knowledge comes from there and that’s not to say that all of it is accurate, but that’s certainly a good starting place to go from. Then we can also look at the scientific side, and I love science and I’d like to dive into this, and it’s also difficult with these herbs because they’re not pharmaceuticals, they’re not massive amounts of money behind them. So many of these herbs have very little amounts of science especially if you’re looking for the gold standard double blind placebo-controlled studies with humans, sometimes there are no human studies with a certain herb which may have a great reputation from the traditional uses but that’s not there yet. And I hope more signs comes out on these things and it’s also tricky to navigate that because there often is not much.
Ben: Hmmm, yeah that is true. And so something like let’s use Black Ant Extracts as an example, like how do you find that? What does it do? And how do you actually source it?
Logan: Right, so ant and it’s a specific variation of ant the polyrhachis roger vicina ant is used in Chinese medicine has been used for a long time. It’s known as the herb of kings because kings would actually use this one, and it’s known as a the premier Qi tonic, like most people have heard of ginseng that’s a very well-known herb which is also a Qi tonic but ant is considered even better Qi tonic. The way I like to describe it is it gives you energy you can typically feel right away. So I’ve learned about it…
Ben: Is that like how a Qi tonic works? I mean is that the definition of a Qi tonic, you feel it right away?
Logan: Not necessarily. Qi, the standard translation for that would be energy, of course you look at Chinese medicine all different types of energy and what kind of energy are you talking about is a very nebulous term. But yeah, that’d be the standard thing, and so in Taoist herbalist they have the 3 treasures Jing, Qi and Shen. Jing is kind of your foundational energy, your essence, it’s considered kind of the hormonal component and reproductive system different things like that. And they say, once you ran out of Jing you’re dead. So it’s really kind of more considered a denser form of energy while Qi is the everyday energy that you burn. You get Qi from breathing in and from the food that you eat. So this is kind of your everyday energy you need to get around and do things. Then Shen is considered the spirit or the illuminations. So this is the mind and the emotions, and also what you’re doing out in the world. So one of the metaphors that pretty well describes this is that of a candle burning. The candle wax itself is the Jing, the flame is the Qi, and the light it casts off is the Shen. So along those lines the Qi yeah, it is kinda like everyday energy, and just happens to be one that most people can feel when they take it. I don’t know if that’s been your experience with it or not?
Ben: Yeah, the black ant stuff is actually stuff I’ve been putting in my smoothies and shakes, like I’m constantly trying to figure out things other than like a federal caffeine and central nervous system stimulants, and I like a lot of these herbal tonics. I’ve used them for a long time you know, like some of these things from Chinese herbal medicine not just the herbs themselves, but even some of the practices, right, like that Jing that you talked about you know, the life force.
There is this idea, I don’t know if you’ve heard of this behind not necessarily ejaculating frequently, right like with sexual energy actually being aware of how much sexual energy you spread around so to speak, and even considering doing things like getting erections and having sex without orgasm to increase the amount of Jing that you have or at least not to prematurely exhaust your Jing levels. And so, there’s like lifestyle practices like that where you can hold on to Jing, but then what you’re saying is that when it comes to Qi like daily energy that you would use something like an ant extract. Now what about for Jing? What if I wanted to say, let’s say increase Jing in some way other than just like not ejaculating which we all know is not a lot of fun?
Logan: Well, the whole Taoist practice around that is to actually be able to separate orgasm from ejaculation. So you can still have the fun part.
Ben: Yeah, that’s true.
Logan: And that’s something that I’ve played with a little bit, and need to practice a bit more to be able to get there.
Ben: It’s called the big draw. There’s actually a really good book about this that I just finished called “The Multi-Orgasmic Man”. I’ll link to it in the show notes, but it shows you how to do that. It shows you how to have orgasm without actually ejaculating so that you don’t exhaust your Jing, but then there’s herbs also that you can use to increase Jing simultaneously, right?
Logan: Right, so we have a lot of different Jing herbs, and these are often categorized in 2 different ways as Yang Jing herbs or Yin Jing herbs. Yang is more of that masculine, aggressive driving force type of energy, like the thing you need to go out there and workout, whereas Yin is more of the feminine, the receptive, the recovery. So both of these are really important. Guys tend to get stuck on the Yang herbs ‘cause they want better athletic prowess and better bedroom prowess as well, and so, they kind of focus on these. But you have to understand if you don’t have that sort of recovery supportive component, then you’re just gonna burn yourself out faster by doing that sort of thing.
So both of these are really important, and we have a whole bunch of different herbs that are great like pine pollen, this is a pretty unique substance and that it actually has testosterone, DHEA and other hormones in it, so it’s great for helping to support the hormonal system. We have different things like tongkat ali, the shilajit will be considered the Jing substance even though that comes from ayurvedic medicine, cordyceps. There’s many different ones, the cistanche as well. So there’s a lot of herbs that can help build this. Well, it’s kind of a difference of opinion between some doubts and others some say you can’t really build your Jing. Although some say you can, others it’s about keeping your Jing good so that you’re not excessively depleting it whether that’s through ejaculation or chronic over exercising, stress those sort of things.
Ben: Right. You know, there were a couple that you went through that I actually wasn’t that familiar with like I’ve heard of rhodiola obviously ginseng is kinda like the parallel to ant extract as a well-known one for increasing Qi. Cistanche you actually have a picture of that in your website, and it actually looks like (chuckles) an erect member. What is cistanche?
Logan: Well, this has earned a couple of nicknames, one the stalk enlarger and cistanche in your pants. This is (laughs) yeah, so it gives you a clue as to what it is.
Ben: C-i-s-t-a-n-c-h-e cistanche. That’s how you pronounce it?
Logan: So, this has been considered like one of the premier like mental rejuvenative substances for a long time. It was a favorite of Genghis Khan himself who supposedly I believe there’s some research looking at the spread of his genes, it’s said to make up 8% of Asia’s population. So this was the herb that he consumed daily. It is really good for the sexual performance but it’s also good for working out. Basically, when you look at the Yang energy which is both a Jing component as well as Qi, the young component it’s really that driving action, and it’s the same sort of thing with sex.
So anything that helps with athleticism generally helps with sex too when you’re dealing with herbs. It’s that same energy behind it. But cistanche’s pretty cool ;cause they’re doing a lot more research on this one lately, and they’re seeing that it works on things like Alzheimer’s, increase in nerve growth factor that some of the active components on it really helps improve the naïve key cell numbers in the immune systems. there’s all these different components that it seems to be operating on, so this is something I’ve been using daily for a while now.
Ben: Ok, got it. You actually have one of your guys’ formulation that’s called the Thor’s Hammer sexual potency formula and that one’s for testosterone, dopamine, blood flow and nitric oxide, and then also for PDE5. What’s PDE5?
Logan: Yeah, so this one was kind of formulated looking at what is healthy erectile function look like? What are the different components on it? So you need the hormonal component with testosterone. You need dopamine that’s kinda triggering that desire in the first place. You need nitric oxide that has to do with that blood flow, and also PDE5. This is an enzyme that, this is the mechanism by which Viagra, Cialis and other forms of those nature work on. They’re called PDE5 inhibitors. And the actual aspects of it are pretty complex but basically, and this is a generalization because there are other stuffs involved, but PDE5 is going to break down the nitric oxide. That’s its enzymatic action. So by inhibiting this, you help that nitric oxide around longer and thus other things stay around longer as well. So, one of the herbs in there is horny goat weed, and the active constituent of that, and the one they’ve looked at most is icarrin which happens to be a PDE5 inhibitor. Of course, it’s an herbal thing, so unless you have like a pure extract of this icarrin, it’s not gonna work to the same degree as one of those drugs, but I like to look at all the other benefits that come by having a whole plant extract.
Ben: Yeah, so you don’t have to have the warning label on those that if you an erection that lasts longer than 8 hours, go check yourself at the emergency room.
Logan: We have had some very interesting stories from clients and customers (laughs).
Ben: I like it but dude, it tastes horrible. Why does it taste so bad?
Logan: Ok, so here’s the thing. We deal in herbal powders. We don’t sugar-coat them literally. We don’t add any sort of chemicals, or flavoring agents, or anything. And here’s the thing these herbs are basically, a lot of them they taste bad by nature. In order to have these components oftentimes many of them are very bitter and that Thor’s Hammer formula is the worst-tasting one by far because it’s a combination of bitter and salty that’s just pretty atrocious. But here’s the thing about the flavors because the common Western diet we’ve gotten away from anything bitter. Even our vegetables like kale’s somewhat bitter, but all these things have been bred to breathe the bitterness out of them because with that bitterness often comes these medicinal components.
So most of our food supplies’ very devoid in this stuff and we have just lost the taste for bitterness at all. But if you’re missing out on the taste of bitterness, you’re missing out in all the bitter components that happen to have that taste. So it’s actually very important to bring this taste back into your diet. And you can get around it, but there’s also evidence pointing to by tasting these things you’re actually clueing your body into what to do with them. So even though it’s bitter we do recommend you take your bitter medicine ‘cause it’s good for you.
Ben: Yeah, that’s what made me nervous about like the article that was just in Wired Magazine about the magical mushroom powder that blocks bitterness in food. Did you see this one?
Logan: I did not see that.
Ben: Ok, so there’s this new mycilia that they’ve developed. It’s like a mushroom extract, and apparently your tongue has a bunch of these bitter receptors on it called T2Rs. They get triggered by a bunch of different molecules, and they can sense that they’re responsible for a whole bunch of the bitter taste of a food, and this new mushroom that they’ve developed actually blocks these T2R receptors, but what some scientists are saying is that if you block these receptors we don’t know what happens in terms of the downstream effects in different tissues if you aren’t actually able to get that neurological sensation of that intense bitter taste. But there’s something about not just the effect of whatever the compound is that’s producing the bitterness, but the taste of the bitterness itself might actually be part of the benefit of a compound.
And so, if you use this magical mushroom powder that blocks the bitterness in food or blocks the bitterness for example in your Thor’s Hammer sexual potency formula, you may actually not see a strong of an effect. But I’ll drink really, really crappy tasting smoothies and juices, and if I know they’re good for me I’ve got this one I make that’s basically garlic and ginger, and apple cider vinegar, and turmeric root, and it’s all ground up with some sea salt in it, and it just tastes horrible. I’ve got a Youtube video of me drinking it, and it’s like my detox formula that I’ll use if I’ve been around somebody who’s had the cold or the flu, or if I have any type of stomach issue going on but man, it’s not good.
Logan: Strong stuff.
Ben: Yeah. It’s like the Dumb and Dumber scene where the guy pulls up next to the RV and (clicking sound)…
Ben: It’s not the most flavorful stuff on the planet. So you’ve got Thor’s Hammer that has this tongkat ali, the cistanche that we talked about, the horny goat weed, mucuna and shilajit. And all of those are for you would use that like pre-work out or pre-sex. You’ve got another one called Titan’s formula and one called Phoenix formula, and I know the both of those have this stuff I haven’t heard of before called maral root and that’s m-a-r-a-l. What is that stuff?
Logan: So this is one that was studied by some of the Russians behind the Iron Curtain, and it seems to be another herb that falls into this adaptogenic herb category one that helps you to improve basically against stress and recover from fatigue, increase work capacity, that sort of thing. There’s not a whole lot of really high quality research on it. A lot of it just looking at the component,, and it seems to be one of the things they’re really looking at is the ecdysteroids which are these plant compounds and they’re also found in some insects as well that are basically plant or insect hormones, and that how these may interact our own systems in order to bring about these different benefits. So that’s got a pretty good reputation in body building circles and was used by Russian athletes to really primarily aid in recovery that’s why we include it in our different workout formulas.
Ben: Everybody knows the Russian athletes are using steroids, and the Chinese. Not maral root. What was the compound in the maral root that you said?
Ben: So it is a steroid precursor.
Logan: Yeah, it’s is. It’s not a precursor necessarily so much as different than our own hormonal system like the pine pollen that I mentioned. That actually has our same hormone. Some of them like testosterone and DHEA. These a lot of other plants have similar sort of things that may interact with our receptor sights, but aren’t necessary the exact same hormones or a precursor even to our hormone which pine pollen has that as well. Some brassinosteroids and gibberellins. So there’s all these different things and that’s kind of the tough part about the research too. These herbs have so many different components, and some research may zero in on one of them and sometimes that’s not even the important one especially for what I really happen to be looking at.
Ben: Yeah. Ecdy the e-c-d-y ecdysteroids it’s like a plant-based steroids.
Logan: Yeah, it is.
Ben: Interesting. I’m looking at the research on it right now.
Logan: Yeah, there’s all these different plant steroids, so that’s kinda theorizes to how this maral root is working for the different things that it does.
Ben: Yeah, looks like the ecdysteroids binds to unoccupied steroid hormone receptors so could almost act like one of these newer like SARMS drugs. The selective energen receptor modulators where you’re getting a hormonal effect without actually having a steroid in your body without taking any exogenous steroids. Interesting, so I think this maral root…
Logan: And like can happen to simply other herbs as well like hoshowu that they’re really looking at the steel beans in that as far as some of the anti-aging benefits, like how it works on the nitric oxide pathway, and reduces advanced glycation end products.
Ben: Advanced glycation end products, yeah.
Logan: Right. And that has some different steriles but similar ones in how it may interact with the hormonal system in humans.
Ben: Cool. I wanted to ask you about one other one you have that’s more like for women. Like women’s herbal formulations I mean, we talk about guys and you know, getting hard and increasing drive and all this jazz, but as far as women go, I noticed that you have one specific formulation called your Athena formula, and again for everybody listening just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/lostempire, and I’ll link to all these, and the books, and everything that Logan and I are talking about. But this Athena formula, what’s in there to actually help women?
Logan: Ok, and just to be clear all the formulas we’ve talked about women can take those as well even the Thor’s Hammer, even though that was designed with guys in mind. Many of those same mechanisms are at use in women, so that’s the works there.
Ben: So even if you don’t have a hammer you can…
Logan: Yes. Yes, coz really a lot of the same things women have lots of erectile tissue as well, it’s just all up in there. They actually have more than men, so that’s interesting that not a lot people know. So…
Ben: Yeah, you should be a scientist man, throwing around terms like all up in there.
Logan: (laughs) Athena woman’s formula, we really kind of designed this as a foundational formula. So not really geared at any one thing but really to cover a wide range of bases, and we also designed this one that tastes pretty good compared to our other formulas in general, like you and me, men will take down anything if it’s gonna have good effects for us. Women tend to be a little more off put by different tastes so…
Ben: They have more refined palates.
Logan: Yeah, this one has a number of different berries in it. Schisandra, goji, sea buckthorns and longan. And those four berries while they all have very powerful effects like schisandra’s one of the top herbs in Chinese medicine. They also generally have a pretty good flavor as well. But the main stay of this formula is it has the number one women’s herb in Chinese medicine, dang gui, and then the number one female herb in ayurvedic medicine which is shatavari, so that forms the base of it. There’s also a little bit of pine pollen thrown in there for that added hormonal support because even women have testosterone to just a much lower amounts than men. So the pine pollen works great for women as well.
Ben: Dang Gui, what is that?
Logan: That is a root that is really considered a blood builder and blood in the Chinese medicine way of looking at it is it is the physical blood but it’s also much more than that. And since women are losing blood every month, this is considered one of their top herbs to help support that.
Ben: That makes sense. Interesting. My wife actually just got something that a lot of people think it’s kind of like woo type of diagnosis, but it’s got some really interesting research behind it. I’m getting a guy in the podcast to talk about, and that’s an iridology like a study of the iris to determine different medical issues or different deficits to specific organs that you can look at in the eyes, and one of the things that that practitioner mentioned to her to boost that she really needed to work on things that would assist with blood flow specifically to reproductive organs which is really interesting because all the women in her family have had issues related to blood flow, and what do you call them like uterine fibroids, and some of these other issues that can happen in women’s reproductive systems. And so, I’ve been trying to help her look for things that would increase blood flow, but it looks like in terms of some of the stuff you have in her like shatavari which you say helps to bring moisture to the entire system helping to keep you “juicy”, sea buckthorn berry, schisandra. I’ve to talk to you after we finish. I may have to have you send some up for her to take. And then dragon, it has dragon eyes? What are dragon eyes?
Logan: So that’s the longan berry. Many of the berries are considered good for beauty and this is maybe ‘cause of their antioxidant capabilities, and just helping support the skin, the hair, that sort of thing. So longan berries, one of these also the sea buckthorn and goji, those are all considered good beauty tonics, and they help support the Yin energy that I was talking about which is once again the feminine, but also having that recovery ability so many of these can be slightly relaxing to the nervous system. Not like something that’s gonna knock you out or necessarily put you to sleep, but just suddenly relaxing so they can help to calm you down and yeah, this is one of those berries that helps to do that.
Ben: Interesting. Cool. So we’ve got the Phoenix formula, you’ve the Hercules formula, Thor’s Hammer, I know you have some pre-workouts, some post workouts, and you just basically take these powders and dump them in water, coffee, tea, whatever you desire.
Logan: Yeah, just mixing them in water tends to be the easiest way, but kinda depends on the herb. You can throw a lot of them in smoothies. I do often put herbs in coffee or tea, so yeah, there are plenty of different ways to take them and the one thing is we make sure to include there’s a lot of information on our website as far as best ways to take them, different recipes you can even cook with some of these stuff.
Ben: Yeah, your website’s actually pretty fun in terms of like if you guys are listening in go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/lostempire, and if you use that I think we’ve got a link in there where you can get a 15% coupon for any of these powders if you just want to make an order and try a bunch of these stuff out for yourself. But there’s some great blog posts on there. I love your guys’ writings on everything from like the one ingredient PR booster where you talk about beetroot powder to a lot more of your articles on these formulas, they are really fun to read like it’s good copy, right? Like interesting information on each of these herbs whether or not you decide to take the herb, it’s just kinda cool to see how these things actually work.
So anyways, what I’ll do is for anybody listening in, I’ll link to all of these different herbal formulations over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/lostempire along with some of these things that we talked about like the Mighty Atom book which I’m going to have to purchase. I’m just gonna buckle down and spend the forty bucks on it and get it. It’s gotta be good. And this herbal tea in case anybody wants to throw up when you get up and drink in the morning. The Dream Language book, and all that as well as some entertaining photos of Logan doing his thing with the fire truck or the flaming kettlebells. I have to decide which is a better photo to feature.
Logan: Or you could put the videos in there, right?
Ben: That’s right.
Logan: Those are available on video.
Ben: Yeah, nice. I like it. Well, Logan thanks for coming on the show, man. This is fascinating stuff and you’re a fascinating dude.
Logan: Oh thanks so much for having me, and for anyone that wants to go deeper information like you said on the website, there’s tons of information. We link to the available research that’s there. We also have tons of information, you know. We write articles just about health in general that don’t even necessarily always talk about herbs. So there’s a lot there to dive through.
Ben: Awesome! I love it. Alright folks. Well, head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/lostempire for the show notes, and until next time I’m Ben Greenfield along with Logan Christopher signing out from bengreenfieldfitness.com. Have a healthy week!
You've been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
Born without genetic gifts, my podcast guest today was once a weak and scrawny young man, who set out on a quest for the best body and brain secrets in his pursuit of super strength, mind power and radiant health. Nowadays, he’s known for his famous feats of pulling an 8,800 lb. firetruck by his hair, juggling flaming kettlebells, supporting half a ton in the wrestler’s bridge and more. He is the author of many books, a coach and a public speaker, and you can access all the goodness he how produces on his website “Lost Empire Herbs“.
His name is Logan Christopher.
And yes, I am serious – as a performing strongman, Logan has pulled an antique fire truck by his hair, juggled kettlebells that have been lit on fire, done weighted back flips, supported half a ton in a wrestler’s bridge position, and many of the more typical old-time strongmen feats like phonebook tearing and nail bending.
In today’s podcast, we delve into neurolinguistic programming, hypnotism, energy medicine, psychology, herbalism and beyond, and during our discussion, you’ll discover:
-What Logan discovered when he traveled to the Amazon jungle to spend time with indigenous people for two weeks…[4:50]
–The tea that Logan drank every morning while in the jungle to induce vomiting each morning…[6:23]
-How you can recall and interpret dreams more effectively…[8:35]
-How Logan went from being a weak and scrawny kid to pulling 8,800 lb. firetruck by his hair…[14:00]
-The little-known strength training techniques Logan learned from old-timey strongmen training routines…[15:38]
-How Logan trained to juggle flaming kettlebells, and a simple trick to light a kettlebell on fire…[22:15 & 26:30]
-A trick called “sub-modalities” to get instant breakthroughs in strength and power, and to do exercises you haven’t been able to do before…[32:50]
-The three different forms of energy in Chinese medicine, and how to tap into each…[50:28]
-Why Ben puts black ant extract into his smoothies and shakes…[49:20]
-How to increase your prowess in the bedroom by not ejaculating and by using “jing” based herbs…[52:05]
-Why you may want to think twice about using the new “magical mushroom” formula purported to block bitter tastes…[60:10]
-An herbal root that most people don’t know about, but that has been used by Russian scientists and athletes for hundreds of years…[62:25]
-The Chinese root that keeps women “juicy”…[65:35]
-And much more!
Resources from this episode:
Do you have questions, comments or feedback for Logan or me? Leave your thoughts below and one of us will reply!