[Transcript] – How To Listen To Your Body Better, The Best Way To Use HRV Data, Spartan DEKAFit Training, The Power Of Ownership & More With Justin Roethlingshoefer

Affiliate Disclosure


From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/ownit/

[00:00:00] Introduction

[00:01:22] Who is Justin Roethlingshoefer?

[00:02:34] Spartan DEKA Fit event

[00:08:02] How did Justin get into the realm of human performance?

[00:15:14] The voice of God

[00:27:04] What HRV parameters Justin pays attention to?

[00:32:45] Wearables to track HRC

[00:42:41] Ben's ad for the house

[00:44:20] Justin's opinion on vagal nerve stimulators

[00:48:38] The importance of WHY we are doing something

[00:51:58] The Power of Ownership vs. Extreme Ownership

[00:54:59] How does Justin train for DEKA FIT?

[01:0:37] Justin's writing process

[01:05:10] Closing the Podcast

[01:06:10] End of Podcast

[01:07:11] Legal Disclaimer

Ben:  My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.

Justin:  When it comes to heart rate variability, I look at my trend over the last week and then I look at my trend over the last month. Once I see that there's a dip somewhere, I want to ask myself two questions. Did the dip come because of poor sleep quality? And, notice how I said sleep quality, not duration. And then, if it did not come because of poor sleep quality, did it come because of an extreme or hard workout? If the answer to both of those are no, that means that I'm having that drop or that dip because some type of mental, emotional, or spiritual stressor that I have to take a deeper look into. Because your body does not know the difference between mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, real or perceived, positive/negative, past, present or future stressors. Has no clue the idea, no clue the difference.

Ben:  Fitness, nutrition, biohacking, longevity, life optimization, spirituality, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the Ben Greenfield Life show. Are you ready to hack your life? Let's do this.

A few months ago, my wife and I got a special invite to go down to Napa Valley and help a bunch of couples at this retreat. It was called the Couples Collective run by this organization called Own It. Now, while I was there, I got a chance to meet a beast of a man, my guest on today's show, whose name I have difficulty still pronouncing. Not his first name, which is Justin, His last name, Roethlingshoefer. Did I get that Justin?

Justin:  Nailed it.

Ben:  Shoefer. Nailed it. Alright. So anyways, Justin and I hit it off. We both have a background in strength conditioning. Justin is actually far more impressive than mine. He's worked with Stanley Cup champions, the NHL, Super Bowl champions, Olympians, tons of different entrepreneurs, and Fortune 500 companies. And man, we wound up working out together and hanging out and chatting about all things physical and mental and spiritual. And, couple months later, Justin published a book that I just finished reading, “Power of Ownership.” And so, we've got a lot to talk about because his book was absolutely fantastic.

And Justin, I want to talk with you about the book, but also, I wanted to fill you in on something that I started doing this morning. I'll let you guess if you want to. It has to do with the physical part of ownership.

Justin:  I have no idea.

Ben:  It's something you told me about and kind of sort of challenged me to. And, I decided to sign up for a Spartan DEKA FIT.

Justin:  Love that.

Ben:  With my sons in Austin, Texas in June. For people who don't know what the DEKA FIT is, you've done the race so you explain to people.

Justin:  So, the DEKA FIT has been–so, Yancy Culp was the one that started it. And, what he really wanted to do was make everybody available to have a start line. So, when you think about marathons, triathlons, even the traditional Spartan race is extremely grueling and a lot of times people don't even want to step in. And so, what a DEKA FIT is it's 10 different strength or power-based exercises. And, in between each strength or power-based exercise, you run a half a mile or pardon me, you run 500 meters. And so, it's this unique combination of strength, power, and aerobic fitness kind of what they call now your hybrid athlete and anybody can do it.

And so, the coolest part about is you've got these elite hybrid runners who are going to go and be in your elite heats, and then you've got people who are stepping up with their very first start line who are looking at just losing some weight. You've got some people who are 2, 3, 400 pounds that are lining up to these start lines and going through and finishing something for the first time in their life. And, it's just amazing to see the breakthrough that happens in these events. But, 10 events, 500 meters in between and it's a red line push.

Ben:  Yeah. It's like 20 events really. Even just in prepping for it and training and getting my rowing machine set up, and this morning, I was banging out. I think I did the 25 calories on the air bike, the burpee with the overhead press with the heavy, I use a sandbag, and I did the 500-meter SkiErg. And, we're doing the June 8th event in Austin. So, if anybody wants to join, I'll link to all this stuff if you go to the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/OwnIt, O-W-N-I-T, Justin's company.

But Justin, haven't you done pretty well in these events?

Justin:  Yeah. So, it's pretty cool.

Ben:  Humble brag chance, man. Humble brag.

Justin:  They've got three different opportunities. So, you've got what they call the DEKA FIT, they've got the DEKA MILE and then they've got the DEKA STRONG. And so, the DEKA FIT has 500-meter runs in between, the DEKA mile has 200 meters between, so it's a total of 1 mile that you're running, and then the DEKA STRONG is just those 10 events.

And so, last year, I actually qualified for the world championships in two of the three in the elite heats and competed with the fittest in the world, which has been pretty cool. And, I just love going out and pushing my body to see what it's actually capable of because Ben, as you were talking about, you go and you start doing your 500-meter row and then you transition to your 500-meter SkiErg, and then you transition to your box jump overs, and then you transition to your weighted sit-ups, and then your walking lunges, and your burpees to overhead presses. It's like with that run in between, it just starts to really redline you and it's who can push through, who can get through the longest, and who's able to maintain that heart rate composure as long as possible.

Ben:  Yeah. When I race Spartan, which I did for about four years pretty seriously for the Reebok Spartan team, the main thing that I found that was most beneficial to focus on for these events is transitioning from running with good efficiency after gassing yourself out on an obstacle like the monkey bars or the sandbag carry or what have you. So, I think the biggest thing about Spartan is you got to do something hard and then run, then do something hard again then run. And so, the style of training, it's actually you got to come visit my house sometime because I've got an obstacle course built through the forest from back when I used to do Spartan Racing. But, as a part of that obstacle course, there's about a 500-meter trail that loops around my entire property, so it's perfect. My sons and I have everything set up in the garage. And so, now, we can do an exercise, run the loop, do an exercise, run the loop. And, I'm experiencing the same amount of lactic acid as I did back in the good old days.

Hey, I got to ask you though. What's your top time for the DEKA FIT, the one where you're running 500 meters in between each one?

Justin:  Yeah, DEKA FIT. Best for me is 30:59.

Ben:  Oh, my gosh. That's smoking.

Okay. I set a goal for myself to do it in under 40 minutes. Now that I have to beat you, I'm going to have to carve, gosh, 9 minutes off of that. Geez. Are you going to compete in Austin?

Justin:  I will, yeah. I'll be right there beside you.

Ben:  Oh, my gosh. Okay. That'll be fun. We'll go out for barbecue. I'm going to bring you up for brisket the night before the night before.

Justin:  The night before [00:07:56] ____ possible.

Ben:  Sure you eat all the leftovers the next morning. Yeah, yeah. Alright, alright, I'm going to sabotage you.

So, how'd you get into the realm of human performance?

Justin:  Yeah. So, to be honest with you, Ben, growing up in Canada, hockey was the rite of passage. And so, I was a hockey player wanted to play in the NHL. That was my dream. And, I would just happen to be blessed with a little bit of talent and was playing at 12 years old with 14 and 15-year-olds. And, my dad said to me after, in particularly, tough two-week stretch. I wasn't playing well. And, he said, “Son, talent will get you noticed but consistency will get you paid.” And, just that one-liner that he said just hit me so deeply because I was like, “How can I become the most consistent version of myself? What does this look like? How do I operate differently than how I am right now?” And, I started to just get obsessed with the habits in which I could understand and the data in which ultimately would lead me down those behaviors. So, I started to wear a heart rate monitor to train. I looked at pulse oximeters while I was sleeping. I got on every medical journal I possibly could. And, that's what I was reading instead of comic books.

And so, all of a sudden, and you have to remember this is back in 1999, I came across this article that talked about heart rate variability. And, I was like, “Hmm, heart rate variability, how to optimize recovery in high training times?” And, I was like, “Well, this might be something that helps me.” And so, I just started to obsess about HRV. And so, for the last 26 years, heart rate variability has been something that I've studied very deeply and very in-depthly. And, by understanding the data and by helping to drive decisions, it brought me down to the States on a hockey scholarship. It basically put my whole framework of schooling into place went and got my Master's Degree, went and did my post-doctoral research in heart rate variability and sleep. Got my massage therapy license. All the things. I wanted to learn about the body. I was just obsessed in the space.

And, after stepping out of the NCAA and into the NHL is health and performance coach, it was that moment that I also realized we have all of this information, we have all of this data but we're not actually using it. We all train the same, we all eat the same, we all recover the same, we all supplement the same, but yet the ownership team, the coaches, they were all wondering why we get sick around the same time or we wouldn't see the results that were any different than any other teams in the league and there was no different trends in injury rates. And, the moment that we started to use data to make decisions, to drive decisions, to determine how we train, to determine how we recovered, to determine what we did day-to-day, to determine how we supplemented or how each player ate differently, we all of a sudden became the least injured team in the league, the least sick team in the league and we started to perform better as a result.

Well, fast forward about eight years, and after having run the health and performance for the best athletes in the world, I realized myself that I had failed to do that for me. And, what I mean by that was I was still fit, I was still running all these races, I was still winning world championships. I was doing all of these things, but I had brain fog, I had fatigue that I had never had before. I wasn't sleeping. And, I deep down knew innately that something was wrong. I went to all the docs. I went to all the functional medicine specialists. I went to all the naturopaths. They all gave me their big test that I needed to do. They all gave me their supplement protocol. They all gave me their magic potion that I was supposed to go off of. Everybody told me I was healthy that they didn't know what was wrong. But, I knew deep down that something wasn't right.

I'll never forget I was in Chicago, had just finished a workout, picked up a medicine ball, and went to go put it back on a rack. It was at the hotel at the time. And, my mind started to spin, the room started to turn and I fell. And, the next thing I remember is I was laying face up on a bed.

Ben:  Oh, wow.

Justin:  And, I said to the person in the room, it was my wife, and I said, “I can't continue like this. There's something wrong.” I went and I got a colonoscopy and an endoscopy. They found four polyps, all precancerous in my colon and they found an ulcer the size of a quarter also precancerous in my stomach. And, he said, “Justin, I'm so sorry. Had we not done this, you would not have seen your 35th birthday.” And, I was 32. And, it was at that moment, again, that it hit me and the Lord just spoke so deeply to me, he said, “At what point are you going to stop serving the audience that you want to and start serving the audience that I've called you to?” And, I knew that the problem that we were solving for those NHL athletes was not an athlete problem but rather a human problem. How do you take ownership of your health? How do you allow data to drive decisions? How do you get more versed on what's going on internally so that you can ultimately take ownership and feel confident in the actions, the behaviors that you're stepping into to just have great health so you can have longevity just my father told me when I was 12? And, I was using that in the direction of athletic performance rather than just health as a whole.

Ben:  Wow. Did you have an awareness of any type of genetic predisposition to cancer or anything like that?

Justin:  Nothing, nothing. And, when I look back on it, Ben, even asking my parents. As having it so young, 32, I said to my parents, I said, “Do you guys have any of this? Is this hereditary? When's the last time you guys have gone? I suggest you go.” And, my parents literally go, “Oh, my gosh, they went right after.” Nothing. And so, the docs literally had no idea where they had come from. And, when I sat back and I got real honest with myself, and this is how I kind of, I say this often on platforms and even talk about this in my book is, “You either earn your health or you earn your illness.” And, for me, if I looked at how I was living over the course of those last eight years, it was high stress, high pressure, not very good sleep. I go out and I drink on a regular basis. Yes, I would train hard. Yes, I would push my body to the limits. But, I wasn't recovering well. I wasn't focused on that because I was so focused on doing it for everybody else, which I think a lot of leaders, a lot of business owners can really relate to is because you're trying to do something that you're on mission for. And so, I want to help you own your health and have this mission without having to give up your health because we can have it all. It just requires knowing and understanding what really matters and understanding your body in an in-depth way.

Ben:  When you said that the Lord spoke to you, we had an interesting discussion in Napa Valley about the way that you sense or feel or hear that. What's that actually when you when you say something like the Lord spoke to you?

Justin:  Yeah. So, it's a really great question. And, I hear from him often. When I say often, I should say daily. But, it comes from a very deep level of intention of being still and being silent. And, I always start the first 30 minutes of my day is sitting in a sauna. And, I don't listen to music, don't listen to podcasts. I don't even read, don't journal. I literally just open and I say, “Lord, what do you want me to hear today?” And then, I become silent. And, Erwin McManus says it really well. He goes, “So many people interfere and conflict with hearing the voice of God is because they constantly think that it's going to be a, ‘Ben, this is the Lord talking to you,'” But instead, when we get on the frequency of the Lord, he just starts speaking through imagination, through creativity, through epiphanies, through connecting the dots, through our neurological system and having these mental breakthroughs.

And so, every single day, as I'm quiet, I get these new ideas. I get these newfound understandings, these epiphanies that quite frankly wouldn't hit before. And so, on this particular day coming out of the hospital, I'm laying in there after hearing this news and, first off, I was like, “Why me?” Like, “Why now? I'm so healthy in how I live?” And, number one, it was to redirect my path and say, “Hey, you can do better.” But, number two, it was, I firmly believe, to take me out of the arena in which I was playing, which was the National Hockey League. Because if I was actually honest with myself, being there and continuing to stay there was more for my ego than it had to do about me serving other people. And, I found my worth in the NHL logo on my chest, I found my identity in that rather than truly serving up to serve people in a bigger way. And so, I think that was my wakeup call and just the clarity that I had of, “Hey, it's time to serve the people that you are called to not just the audience that you want to serve, the one that makes you feel good, the one that gives you this sense of comfort, the sense of meaning, the sense of pride, but put that to the side, and what does it look to actually help, serve and make an impact on a much larger scale of people.”

Ben:  Yeah, yeah. I think that a lot of people who have a spiritual practice or a morning routine that involves some kind of connection to God wind up doing a lot of talking, a lot of jabbering, a lot of “Thank you for this. May I please have that help so and so” and don't actually consider the fact that a relationship is a two-way street of communication. And, carving out that time for the silence is such a neglected part. Even for me on many busy weeks of a spiritual practice because it's easy. I think it's easy to open your mouth and talk to God. It's harder to just sit down, especially in this era where there's so many distractions to actually listen.

When you first started doing that practice of sitting for a half hour or when if you've recommended this to other people, I'm just curious what the feedback is, did it just drive you as a hard-charging high achiever kind of batshit crazy to just sit there?

Justin:  So, that's why I actually double it up with either sitting in my PEMF chair or 90% of the time, sitting in the sauna is because I can get something done where I feel like I'm getting put into, like I'm doing something for my body, doing something else that needs to be done as well. So, doubling up with that helped me feel more relaxed while in the moment and allows me to be more present and actually hear. Because I've got this acronym that I utilize that allows me just to wake up to the sound of his voice, which is slow is smooth but smooth is fast where the concept of slow is stillness, silence, surrender. Gives you the chance to listen so that you have the opportunity to be obedient and gain the wisdom for how to gain his will. And so, stillness, silence, surrender, listen, obedience, wisdom for his will. And, I just kept coming back to that is slow it down so that you can ultimately speed up. Slow it down for 30 minutes so you can ultimately speed up. And, I keep coming back to that and that's what just allowed the consistency.

And Ben, I'll be honest with you, the moments that I've been still and in that sauna is the greatest moments that I've had in terms of breakthroughs. It's where Alyse and I came up with the idea for the Couples Collective. It's where I had the breakthrough for how to actually put Own It together in a business plan. It's where I got the download to write the book, “The Power of Ownership.” It's my process I went through to write every single chapter. It's where I go when I have great anxiety to where all of a sudden, the anxiety dissipates. It's really unique when we start to sit back and think about it the ways of the world are upside down and backwards to the ways of spiritual breakthrough that allow us to live life in an elevated space and live life differently than a lot of other people.

Ben:  Yeah, that concept of a neurological trigger, meaning having something either pleasurable or meaningful that you associate with an activity that you might have friction to otherwise is really powerful. The president of my company, Caleb, he always saves his first morning cup of coffee for when he's going to read the Bible and do his devotions. And so, he kind of savors that moment just a little bit more.

Justin:  It's so big.

Ben:  When I wake up in the morning, I have the Bible in a Year app. That's the one that I use for my morning devotions. It's always a better experience, deeper meaningful, and longer when I haul my tired ass out of bed and go all the way down to the basement and sit in my PEMF chair with the BioCharger on. Because it sounds kind of selfish in a way. I don't think God minds if you're doing something for your body. Some people like to go on a walk. Some people save it for their morning commute or their drive to work. But, I'll stay with that morning practice for 25, 30 minutes. Whereas, if I do it when I'm lying up in bed, it's 10 to 15 minutes. So, I mean, it is a really good tip to associate something that you kind of might be doing anyways to make your body better with something that make your spirit better particularly if it involves patience and sitting in the still small silence.

Justin:  Totally. There's ‘s two concepts that we talk about often in creating longevity within a habit. Number one is to decrease limbic friction. So, limbic friction is the difficulties or think about hard things that you have to overcome in order to make something happen. So, I'll give a perfect example. If you're going to get into a cold plunge, what's the most likely way that you're going to do it? Number one, if you have to run the bath, get the ice, put the ice in, wait for the temperature to get down, and then get in or if you have something that's just already pre-chilled to the level in which you need. Obviously, the second one. And so, same thing with doing something like this in a spiritual practice is if there's a positive reward, something that is easy to do, something that is exciting, something that you look forward to. The limbic friction of overcoming the fear or boredom of being still in silence is going to help you get into it much faster. And then, the second thing you need to do is overcome context dependency. Meaning so many of us, in order to do something, are reliant on a person, a place, or a thing. But, if we can ultimately eliminate the need of a person, place, or thing, and we're just able to do it wherever we are and we have access to that, that's what allows us to step in really powerfully again.

And so, for me, within this construct of being silent, tying it to a PEMF mat, tying it to a sauna or a steam room or hot tub or something that is pleasurable, something that I enjoy is super easy for me to do. And then, because I have flexibility and fluidity in that, whenever I'm traveling, whenever I'm on the road, whenever I'm just not in my typical setting, I can still find one of those four, five, six, seven things that give me that same feeling of pouring back into my body, but giving me that same time and space for the 30 minutes. Which is why if I look back over the last four years, there might be a handful of days that I've missed in the morning circumstantially but it's been able to really be something that I've created a new habit, a new instinct with and been able to take ownership of.

Ben:  You read my mind because I was going to ask you what you do when you travel. And, it sounds like you don't necessarily limit yourself to the sauna, you have kind of a menu of activities that you can pair up with that morning silence that you can generally hunt down even when you're traveling. 

Justin:  That's exactly it. So, I've got some non-negotiables, so my team knows that when I travel, my hotel has to either have a sauna, a hot tub, a gym, and within a mile walk to a grocery store. Has to have all three of, or pardon me, all four of these. Reason being is because I want to maintain my nutritional access while I'm on the road so I want to be able to have easy access to a grocery store. I can do a mile walk there and back super easy. Number two, a gym so that I can have access to my daily workouts that don't take an impact while I travel because I travel often. And then, either a hot tub or a sauna, one of the two, so that I can again get my morning quiet time in. So, if I'm able to hit those three things wherever I am, that becomes really, really simple and really easy.

I travel with a small roll-up red light and PEMF mat. So, that makes it easy if I just want to roll it out of bed and lay down on it. That's super easy to get that done as well. But again, giving yourself options and choice is what allows for a higher level of success as well. You're not rigid and reliant on a person, place or thing, but making sure, again, that you have ownership of that. And, the coolest part about this now tracking heart rate variability is on days that I am consistent with this and consistent, meaning getting my quiet time in and getting into a sauna preferably, my HRV is 10% higher than when I don't do it in the sauna. PEMF mat, it's about 5% higher. And, if I just simply am quiet and in a state of quiet, it's about 2% higher.

So again, I'm able to track exactly what benefits my body gets me into those greater parasympathetic states, regulates out my nervous system a little bit better and prepares me for the day so I have capacity to serve people better. That's ultimately where I love to lean in.

Ben:  Well, you're a DEKA FIT world champion, so I feel like you should probably up the grocery store to about 2 miles instead of 1. But, besides that, that's actually pretty good tips for travel and some of the criteria for a hotel. I really like that. I might have to adapt that with my executive assistant.

So, the HRV is interesting. I've talked about it many times in podcasts and articles before this idea of paying attention to not necessarily just your heart rate, but the delta between your heartbeats, that individual beat-to-beat variation that when high can correlate to good nervous system management and overall recovery, and even be a very good predictor of onset of injury and illness. I mean, even during COVID, they were able to find that drops in HRV correlated to viral infection in athletes and executives, including myself. If you push through a low HRV, unless you're intentionally doing so, to somehow dig yourself into a hole, and then from a sports periodization standpoint kind of super compensate and during recovery achieve levels of fitness higher than you would have been able to achieve if you hadn't dug yourself into a little bit of a low HRV hole, you generally want to really pay attention to that number. And, if it's low, adjust your training plan accordingly. I do that with all the clients who I work with. I think you do also pay attention to the HRV and kind of tweak the training plan accordingly depending on what you see. But, for you yourself, Justin, what are you looking at when you get up in the morning or when you're analyzing your data at the end of the week, what nitty-gritty kind of parameters of HRV are you paying the most attention to?

Justin:  Yeah. It's a really good question. So, when it comes to heart rate variability, I look at my trend over the last week and then I look at my trend over the last month. Those are the two things that I always want to identify with. And, people are like, “Okay. Well, yeah, obviously.” But, once I see that there's a dip somewhere, I want to ask myself two questions. Did the dip come because of a poor sleep quality? And, notice how I said sleep quality not duration. And then, if it did not come because of a poor sleep quality, did it come because of an extreme or hard workout? If the answer to both of those are no, that means that I'm having that drop or that dip because some type of mental, emotional or spiritual stressor that I have to take a deeper look into. Because your body does not know the difference between mental, physical, spiritual, emotional, real or perceived, positive/negative, past, present, or future stressors. Has no clue the idea, no clue the difference. And so, the response is always the same. Increase in epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenaline, cortisol.

And, if we look at kind of the co-sequencing of health breakdown, we have chronic stress which can be indicated by heart rate variability, leads to cellular deficiencies; vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which leads to symptoms, symptoms that we often consider normal; headache, brain fog, inability to sleep, low energy levels, et cetera, which lead to chronic illness. And, chronic illness being the leading cause of death in the United States right now at 71% is ultimately something that is earned through operating that way. And, that was something that I led to myself to over the course of that story that I told you over the course of eight years in the NHL and that pre-cancerous diagnosis.

And so, at that point, that is where I start looking every single day. Where are the stressors that I'm taking on? What does this look like? What has my week been like? How intentional have I been? And, here's the thing. I'm not looking for perfection. There's no such thing as perfection. There's a whole bunch of things that change in my week. There's a whole bunch of things that are less than optimal in my week. I don't live in a bubble. I'm an entrepreneur and somebody who travels and somebody who's got a family and just like you. But, the thing here is as we're leaning into this, there's things that happen in your life, things that happen in your days that you have to be so aware of that your body's having to deal with. And, if you're not conscious of this, your body constantly is trying to adapt and it's like a car trying to turn over again and again and again and again with old oil and low gas levels to only a certain point before it dies.

And so, being aware, and what I'm looking at is where I have my drops in HRV, when I see those drops, ask myself two questions. Is it because of a low sleep quality? If it is, great. Focus more on getting a higher quality sleep. Is it because of a extreme or heavier-than-normal workout? If so, great. Let's make sure we focus a little bit on recovery and hydration and nutrition. If it's not, it's because of some type of mental, emotional, or spiritual stressor. Did I have a big fight with a lease? Is there something going on in the business? Am I worried about something that I have to take back to God? What does this look like so that I can ultimately release that because the mental, emotional, and spiritual stressors are quite often subconscious and we are not fully at the forefront of our mind and we have to develop a system in order to understand what those are so that we can ultimately get them off of our plate.

Ben:  Yeah. I really like that analysis system. It's simple. It doesn't necessarily involve digging deep into the sympathetic versus parasympathetic analysis. Some of these wearables, they'll go really deep as far as the information that they tell you, but it gets sometimes difficult to quantify consistently and with simplicity versus just doing what I think is the most important thing, which you've just outline is paying attention to patterns.

Now, are you using a specific system or wearable with yourself and your clients for HRV?

Justin:  Yeah. Another really great question. So, we're wearable agnostic, to be honest with you. We'll use any wearable device. Whoop and Oura are by far the two most accurate and then the easiest to go off of because they do a passive pull, which is really nice. And then, I would even say I like Whoop the best, simply because it gets that nighttime sleeping pull so you can compare it during that last sleep cycle which allows you again to make sure that there's no other type of stressor that could interfere or change an average reading or anything like that. What I will say about the wearable devices though, and the issue that comes up is that they give you all the algorithms: the sleep score, the readiness score, the recovery score, the regeneration score, the strain score. And, I tell all of our clients, I tell all the people on podcast, I talk about in my book, throw the algorithms out. Get rid of them because they simply aim to continue to confuse the consumer the end user.

Ben, what scientifically is a regeneration score? What scientifically is a recovery score? I have no idea and neither do you. But, if we can understand the concept of what HRV means, we know that HRV is the language of our body that is communicating to us how we're adapting to stress and strain. The body doesn't know the difference mental, physical, spiritual, emotional strain. And so, if we see it drop, by definition, we know, hey, there's something going on. How can I look into this more? How can I ask a better question about what my body's going through so it can empower me, equip me, and educate me on this vessel that I'm living in to take greater ownership of the habits and behaviors and the lifestyle I'm living to continue to push me forward with greater capacity? That's the question I always want to know.

Ben:  Yeah. So, I think the value of the algorithm, if you're looking like a strain score or a stress index or something like that that goes beyond just whether or not your HRV is high or low is it's pulling in sleep, body, temperature, the previous day's exercise performance, heart rate, sometimes pulse oximetry. So, are you saying that you don't even like that idea of just clumping all of that together to give somebody a basic score based on more than just HRV?

Justin:  Yes, exactly. Because think about this, I've seen it thousands of times now where somebody goes, I've got a red recovery score but I feel great. I slept really well last night and it's just because I had a really hard workout that was abnormally high. And so, in their mind immediately, they're like, “Oh, well, today, I'm not going to perform well” or “Today, I should not work out.” which actually doesn't mean any of those things if you even look at the case of where HRV is or where their capacity actually is long-term. And so, this is why I love looking at the HRV trend more specifically and looking at the baseline numbers. And, when you understand HRV, you realize that this literally becomes the best most holistic metric to understand health in a holistic way as to how your body's handling stress. Because I've seen it so many times Ben, and I encourage people out there. And, I'll give you three scenarios, go and train normally, and then go change your training status.

So, when I was training for the Miami Marathon that happened back in November, I had never really run long distance in about four or five years. And, all of a sudden, I did my first 13.8-mile training run in a long time and the next day I had a recovery score of I think 12%, but my HRV stayed high. My HRV stayed in a really positive space, meaning that the next day, again, I did a normal training run. I encouraged somebody else to go and change up your alcohol consumption where maybe you aren't a drinker. I don't drink. And so, if all of a sudden I had one or two glasses of wine on any given night, I would wake up the next day, my recovery score would be tanked. But, even though my HRV level may drop slightly, it may not drop as heavy as what your recovery score indicates.

And then, the second thing or the third thing pardon me is go have a day where you're just mentally exhausted. Meeting back to back to back to back to back, making heavy, heavy, heavy decisions all day long and maybe you get in a couple heated discussions or heavy arguments throughout the day.

The next day, your HRV score will likely be plummeted but your recovery score may not actually indicate that very much because it has a difficulty of picking that up because you slept well and these other things. But, the next day you wake up and you feel like you are hungover and you've just been hit by a truck, heart rate variability is the best most holistic number that our body uses and it's extremely sensitive, which is really what I love about it because it's become such a powerful number to look at how our body's handling the stress and strain we're exposing it to. And, it can give us so much valuable wisdom not just information, but wisdom to understand our bodies better to make more educated and empowered decisions.

Ben:  So, you're just basically reducing noise and introducing clarity by cutting straight to the HRV data.

Justin:  100%. And, I think so often what happens is people that really don't understand the data, what do they do? They want to put more in there. They want to put more information in there. Because if you can't explain it, just confuse somebody. And, at that point, it's like, “Oh, I guess we have to take that knowledge. I guess we have to take that understanding, that wisdom side.” And so, because HRV is so all-encompassing and so indicative, if we can simplify it to a single number, not an algorithm but a single number, and then understand what that number means to you versus what it means to me, versus what it means to my wife, versus what it means to your wife, very different. And so, that's again, increases the individuality, increases the personalization of it, and then the utilization of that number to make decisions on what habits or what lifestyle actions or what behaviors we put into place the next day and it starts to create some real powerful behavior change.

I'll give you another perfect example. We've had thousands of clients come through and they come through and we were talking about health behaviors, right? Everybody talks about how, “Oh, you need to exercise more. You need to focus more on portion sizes. You need to focus a little bit more on getting quality sleep. You need to make sure you're hydrated.” None of that's sexy. None of that's like, “Oh, I want to sign up for that. That's what I want to do. I want to create that change.” But then, all of a sudden, when you're able to equate a single number to something, it changes somebody's perspective immediately. This individual loved cigars, loved his wine. He's like, “Justin, I run three marathons a year. I'm healthy. I feel good. I run three marathons a year. I'm running. But, I love my cigars and I love my red wine and it's not impacting me negatively because my marathon times keep getting better.” I said, “Well, what if we just put some data to it? What if we got rid of the emotion? What if we got rid of the opinions? What if we got rid of the feelings and we just went with data? Let's see what the data tells us.”

Well, this individual stayed on the same training regimen that he was operating with, and I said, “I want you to do it your way for a month and then we're going to do it my way for a month and we're going to see the difference.” He goes okay. He did his way, HRV average around 55. Sleep quality score. When we think about sleep quality, REM and slow wave sleep are the quality sleep stages out of the four. Slow wave, REM sleep, light and wake cycles in our sleep quality. We talk about sleep quality we, want about 40 to 50% in REM and slow wave that determines sleep quality versus quantity. His sleep quality was around 32%. And subjectively, he said he felt a 7, 7.5 doing his runs. I said, “Okay, great. Sounds good. Now, we're going to do it my way. No red wine, no cigars.” Well, in that month, his HRV went from that average of around 55 to an average of almost 80. His sleep quality went from that 32% to just shy of 45. And, that 7.5 that he was talking about before he goes, “Bro, that 7.5 was not 7.5, that was like a 3.5 because right now, I feel like a real 7.5 or 8.”

And so, having a single metric to go off of and understand, man, I can do more increases my capacity and I see quantifiably in a single number, a single metric as to the impact overnight of what happens when I have it versus when I don't, it opened up his eyes in a big, big way. And so, that's the power that having data to make decisions can actually empower you in a bigger, bigger way.

Ben:  This is interesting. For anyone who wants a done-for-you complete biohacked home, I am selling my entire tricked-out house located on 8.5 acres of forested land in Spokane, Washington. It includes a guest house, pool house, barn, whole setup for garden, goats, chickens, herbs, fire pit, along with a ton of biohacking goodies. The air, the light, the water, the electricity is all completely tricked out for optimized human biology. The highest quality air filtration systems, natural lighting friendly to circadian rhythms, low EMF, dirty electricity filters, EMF blocking equipment throughout, built to be off-grid when necessary with buried propane and solar grid, toxin-free and low VOC construction materials, the most advanced water filtration systems one can find, a massive vegetable garden, greenhouse, herb garden, outdoor fire pit, goat and chicken grazing pasture and barn all in a beautiful forest that's about 25 minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from downtown. This can all be yours if you're looking for a place to get away in a safe natural area and you're looking for the best of the best biohacks done for you. Here's where you can go to check it out and to fill out a form with your interest, BiohackedSpokaneHome.com. That's BiohackedSpokaneHome.com. Check it out.

Have you ever experimented with any of these vagal nerve stimulators that use typically an electrical signal or red light to tone the vagus nerve?

Justin:  So, I have. It's inconclusive. I don't necessarily have an opinion one way or the other because when I was utilizing it, I've got so many, I would say, routines and behaviors set up like my sauna in the morning, my PEMF mat, my red light, my Eight Sleep on my bed to control temperature, these types of things throughout the day. So, I didn't notice a massive impact of the vagal nerve stimulator because I had so many behaviors that ultimately are constantly trying to regulate out nervous system throughout the day. And, I'm conscious and aware of it.

The other thing that I think about in that is it almost feels like a hack to me. And, what I mean by a hack is it's like we're trying to video game our bodies. And, I don't like the concept of trying to video game our bodies is I'm just trying to get a better score. No, you're not just trying to get a better score, you're trying to live better. How do I help you live better so that you have a greater capacity to have the impact and do the things that you're wanting to do?

And so, if it was just about getting a better score, I'd be like, “Hey, you know what, go get all your peptide therapy. Go get all your vagal nerve simulators and all the toys and gadgets to do the things that give you the quick fixes rather than what's actually going to create longevity and actually help us by creating sustainable and long-term habits that A, decrease cellular dysfunction; B, increase sleep quality; C, increase HRV status; D, increase VO2 Max; E, regulate blood glucose. Like, what does that actually look like long-term so that we're living better and we're optimizing the way we shift?”

And, I bring up those five things specifically because there was a study done by Harvard about four years ago that looked at how do you change the trajectory of somebody's lifestyle, how do you optimize for longevity? And, they looked at those five areas, and those were kind of the five areas that came to conclusion if you put it into practical application was number one, people who live longer have higher average sleep quality. Number two, have higher average HRV. Number three, have a higher average VO2 max. Number four, have a decreased or minimized number of cellular deficiencies, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. And then, five, have a regulated blood glucose level.

Ben:  Oh, interesting. I'm kind of surprised that grip strength wasn't on there, by the way.

Justin:  I mean, I'm sure it was or it could be pulled into that number if we wanted to talk about strength in numbers, but they were going off of more of data that can be tested from a inner biological number.

Ben:  Right, right. And, by the way, what was the name of that study again?

Justin:  It was a Harvard study looking at the biggest effects of longevity and lifespan.

Ben:  If you find it, email it over to me. I'll put it in the shownotes. I'd love to check it out for myself.

Justin:  Yeah, it was really, really powerful. 

Ben:  Yeah. I think the idea of the hacks makes sense. I think similar to chanting, humming, singing, gargling, meditation, breathwork, yoga, and even cold plunges, if the net effect of a vagal nerve stimulator is not just to increase HRV but the impact on vagal tone has systemic benefits that allow for improved recovery or better sleep or even just lower perceived stress, I think there's something to be said for it. But yeah, I think if you're just hacking the HRV number without paying attention to the spillover effects into what you're actually looking for, then it could just become a distraction. So, I think it kind of depends on the outcome.

Justin:  Totally. And, I always ask myself this question whenever I'm leaning into something. The question is always why. Why are we doing something? What's the reason? What's the deeper outcome? What's the goal that we're trying to get to? And, if you look at the way the world positions everything, everything looks like a physical adjustment. Meaning, it's a habit, a hack, an action, a behavior. If you want to decrease anxiety, meditate more. If you want to increase VO2 max, run more. If you aren't sleeping very well, take ABC supplement or institute ABC night routine. If you want to lose weight, eat less, focus on macros, focus on some portion sizes. It always is a physical thing. But, what creates sustainability, and I talk about there when we talk about the definition performance, it's the capacity and desire to intentionally and consistently behave at a level equal and according to your potential. It's not a desire issue in all of us to see these things change, it's a capacity issue. And, making sure that we have intentional and consistent behaviors is ultimately what matters. 

And so, even though we see the outcome or the thing that we have to do as a physical entity if we only focus on the physical entity, what it starts to do is it starts to eat away at our emotional whole. Basically, meaning it makes us fearful. There's a lot of people out there that are fearful about stepping into a certain pattern. They're fearful about stepping into being quiet with themselves. They're fearful of stepping up to a start line. They're fearful about not being consistent enough. That fear leads to the thoughts and beliefs of, “I'm not good enough. I'm not worthy. I'll never make it. I can't do something like this. I wasn't made for this. I'm not far enough along.” Which only further separates you from your spiritual calling or what it is that you were ultimately created to do.

Now, if we flip it on its head and we say, “Hey, what is my identity in what I've been called to do?” Meaning, what is God's view of me? When we get super clear on that, that ultimately renews our mind. Going, “No, I am exactly where I need to be. I'm doing exactly what I need to do. I am just in the place in which I'm supposed to be at,” which then takes the fear and turns it into faithfulness which takes the confusion and turns it into conviction, takes the anxiety and turns it into a sense of confidence. And, it's only at that point that we can figure out, “Hey, what is the physical behavior that I need to step into to alleviate the issue in which I was struggling with?” That's aligned with where it is that I'm trying to go. And, that's what creates consistency, that's what creates sustainability, and that's what allows you to be doing something long-term to actually get the compound results that we're looking for. Otherwise, you're just going to be going from thing to thing to thing to thing to thing to thing because it's actually not aligned with where it is that we're trying to go.

Ben:  Yeah, that makes sense. I know that you delve a little bit more deeply into that, that idea in this book, “The Power of Ownership.”

I'm kind of curious. When you sent it to me and I was flipping through it, surely you're aware of Jocko Willink's book “Extreme Ownership.” How does your concept of ownership differ from that or is it the same?

Justin:  No. Very good question. And, I love Jocko. I love what they're doing. I love the mission that they're on in the sense of leadership. The one thing that I talk about that often comes out in a lot of people who have wounds and have seen things, a lot of times in the military sense, is people who are trying to lead and there's still wounds inside that haven't been fully dove into, unintentionally those people still often bleed all over everybody that they're trying to lead. And so, when I think about what ownership means, ownership to me is the intersection point between responsibility and accountability. Basically, meaning hey I want to be responsible for my health, I want to be responsible for how I'm showing up, and I want to be held accountable for it by putting these systems into place.

So often, we think about ownership as this extremism. “You have to do this. If you don't do this, you're not a man. If you don't do this, you're not a woman. If you don't do this, you're not worth it.” But, it has nothing to do with being worth it. Just being alive means that you're worth it. And, I think this concept of I'll take care of you if you take care of me needs to be canceled and taken out of play. Instead, I'm going to take care of me for you if you take care of you for me. And, when we think about that flip of intersecting accountability and responsibility for your health, it makes ownership sexy. It makes ownership something that you desire. Not something to be fearful of. Not something to walk away from. Not something to go, “Oh, I can't live up to that. Oh, that seems like some level of toxic masculinity or some level of extremism that I just can't get on board with.” No, ownership is what is required to be different. It's what's required to be set apart. It's what's required to ultimately get to where you want to go. We all have great things that we're called for, but we simply don't have the capacity to handle what is required in order to get there. And, when we step into that level of ownership, when we do things that leave us uncomfortable, when we do things with people that ultimately help rise us up, change our perspectives, change our thought processes, start allowing our habits and behaviors to become aligned with where we want to go, it requires ownership. And, it's something that's approachable. It's something that's for everybody. It's something that gives you a new sense of a new sense of acceptance in that space knowing that this was made exactly for you.

Ben:  So, coming full circle of that, let's say something like a DEKA FIT, maybe someone was listening to our introduction are like, “I want to do one of those.” What would be an example of using that style of ownership to tackle a race like that or commit to a race like that?

Justin:  Yeah. So, in that level, it would be, okay, I'm going to sign up for something like this. I'm going to step out of my comfort zone. And, I'm going to step up to that finish line or step up to that start line. Having gone through a state of preparation, I'm going to get a group of people together and I'm going to start doing a 1 mile run every single morning. Somebody that maybe is and I'm going off somebody who's never done something like this. I'm going to start getting a couple people together. We're going to do a 1-mile run every single morning. Hey, I've signed up for the race. There's my accountability metric. Number two, I've taken the responsibility to put a group together that's going to, again, in turn, hold me even further accountable to what I'm doing. And, number three, I'm going to put a plan in place in order to get there on June 8th in Austin, Texas so that I can step up to that start line. And, no matter where I finish, whether I finish first or whether I finish last, I'm crossing that finish line knowing that I am better for crossing it than having not done it.

Ben:  So, what would a sample workout look like for you, for training for something like DEKA FIT? Or a sample week of training?

Justin:  Yeah. So, that's again really great question. So, four days a week, I strength train. And, strength training consists of a four-day split, upper lower both days. So, think about it in terms of full body. But, the way I do it, upper lower, Monday, Tuesday is a push on the first day, a pull on the second day, and then the same is repeated on days three and four.

To conclude both Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, those strength days, I then go into heavy anaerobic work on usually the AirDyne bike, which obviously we have to do the 25 cal burn during the DEKA FIT. And, I will do usually about five rounds of 25 cals to finish each day. so, pushing over and above where you typically are.

Ben:  I'm assuming some kind of recovery in between each of those, right?

Justin:  Correct, yeah. So, I'll do 25 cal. I'll take about a minute and a half off, back in 25 cal and I'll do it five times. The reason I choose that is because that is my least favorite but also the thing that I theoretically struggle with the most. If I struggled with the 500-meter row the most, then I would utilize that. But, right now, it's the row, or pardon me, it's the AirDyne bike. And then, on Wednesday and Saturday, I'm going to the track and focusing all on runs. So, I'm doing usually 800-meter repeats, sled push, sled pull with shuttle runs, really just trying to mimic the same type of heart rate zone that I'm going to be at for the duration for the DEKA race. But, making sure that I'm not, again, just doing the race over and over again because number one is you're going to be more likely to create some type of injury. Number two, I want to become a whole athlete. I want to be agile. I want to be able to move. I want to be able to be very holistic in how my body operates. I want to be mobile. I want to be fit at whether I'm running at a four-minute mile pace or whether I'm doing a 800-meter sprint repeat where I have to change it up a little bit. So, that's kind of how I break my days down and what that week looks like. And, Sunday is solely focused on mobility work and pliability.

Ben:  And then, for all these other exercises like the burpee with the overhead press or the SkiErg, those other movements, are you just sprinkling those into the strength days?

Justin:  To be honest with you, Ben, I don't know if I have ever done a– 

Ben:  You just do it during the race?

Justin:  Yeah. I don't know if I have ever done those in a workout, to be honest with you. It's always I will do those movements. So, I will do a barbell squat to press or I will do a reverse lunge to single arm dumbbell press or I'll do something that mimics those.

Ben:  Yeah. You're getting some of the same musculoskeletal systems as those main exercises.

Justin:  So, something that mimics them but then again making sure. And, if you go back to and look at why I do things that just mimic them is I'm doing it with either more weight or I'm doing it in a greater fatigued state so that when I get to race day, that the race day doesn't feel simple because that would be a lie if anytime I get to the start line I always get jitters, nerves because I know what I'm about to go into.

Ben:  Yeah.

Justin:  But, it's something that, again, allows for some super-compensation. So, when I get in there, that 50-pound RAM that I'm doing a burpee to overhead press with doesn't feel like a 50-pounder, it feels more like 30 because I've built strength in that movement pattern that allows me to be more efficient.

Ben:  Yeah. And, you're coaching also. You're running these retreats. You're training pretty heavily. And, this is a good book that you just wrote. When are you writing? Where does the writing fit in?

Justin:  So, I loved my writing process for this, to be honest with you. So, the way that I wrote was every morning I would go out into my sauna. And, as I said, I would spend the first 30 minutes in quiet. And then, what I would do is I would speak everything that just came to me, all the downloads that came in, and I would speak it literally right into a little Word document and record it. Then, I would get onto my bike and I would do half an hour of zone 2 work where I listen to the audio back. And then, I had a three-hour block, first three-hour block in my morning from about 7:00 to 10:00 where I would just go in and I would write. So, I've now had the opportunity to speak it. I've had the opportunity to listen to it back and now I'm going to go write for the first three hours of my day. I would do that five days a week. Did it for about four months. And, that's how that book ultimately came to fruition leading into the editing process.

Ben:  That's great. It's like neurological priming leading into an on-ramp to a three-hour deep work cycle consistently. What'd you say, four days a week?

Justin:  Five.

Ben:  Five days a week. And, that was until the book was finished. I think a lot of people will just step in front of the blank Word document and try and figure out what to write. You're pretty intentional in terms of what you're doing leading up to the actual writing process.

Justin:  Extremely. Yeah. And, that level of intentionality came obviously with practice and experience. And, I've said from day one, I get my greatest downloads and my clearest thought processes during my sauna and quiet time. And so, if I wanted to make sure that this book was most impactful, had the densest information that was easy to read, that was clear, that was fun, that was entertaining, that would actually serve people, I had to make sure that it was done during that time. And, the cool part about it was as I finished writing, Ben, and I tell this story often, I finished writing, I got to the very end, there was about five days before the editorial deadline was up. And again, I got this download from the Lord, he said, “That is not the book I asked you to write.” And, I was like, “Nah, I'm just going to submit it anyways.” That's just my self-sabotage and my self-doubt coming. And, I said to Alyse, I said, this is what I heard. She goes, just sit on it.

So, I sat on it for a night. I woke up. Next day still had that same feeling. Went to bed the following night. I woke up at 11:45 and I said, “I've got to change it.” And, I sat down at my cable, I printed it all out. I had sticky notes all over everything. I had things crossed out. I had certain papers rearranged. It looked like a mad scientist in the kitchen. And, 52 hours later, I had changed some of the stories. I had made it a little bit more playful in nature. I had made the stories more relatable not so much about me and my story, but about you and how does this relate to you and what does this actually look like. And, it was just that God download.

And so, people have heard me say God download a lot this whole time, and I just want people to know and understand that I'm no different than anybody else. I'm no more special than anybody else. I don't have a special talent, it's just being willing to exercise it over and over and over and over and over again. And, there's some days I go in the sauna and I don't hear much of anything. But, when I do it over and over and over and over and over again, when you do it for five straight years for 30 minutes a morning, you know what that voice sounds like. You know what that prompting sounds like. And so, when all of a sudden you get to a key moment in submitting a book to a publisher and you need to have it deep and hard and known and loud, that's what happened. It's preparing for those moments, preparing for the game so that when the game time comes, you no longer have to prepare, you've already been preparing.

Ben:  Yeah. Maybe your next book should be called “The Power of Persistence.” But, this book, “The Power of Ownership: Redeem Your Health, Live Life by Design, and Break the Relentless Pursuit of Normal,” it's excellent. Justin, you're an inspiration. I'm going to link to everything you do in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldLife.com/OwnIt, O-W-N-I-T. So, you're listening in, if you have questions, comments, feedback or you just want to access the resources to get the book, go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/OwnIt.

Justin, this flew by and I'm really looking forward to getting to hang out with my brother again sometime soon hopefully in Austin where I kick your butt in the DEKA FIT or at least die trying. But, in the meantime, thanks so much for doing this, man. 

Justin:  It's so good, Ben. I'm going to have to come spend a couple of days with you out at the ranch, and we'll train in preparation for Austin.

Ben:  Yeah. Alright, I got to be careful what I wish for, but alright. Well, folks, I'm Ben Greenfield along with Justin signing out from BenGreenfieldLife.com. Have an amazing week.

Do you want free access to comprehensive shownotes, my weekly roundup newsletter, cutting-edge research and articles, top recommendations from me for everything that you need to hack your life, and a whole lot more? Check out BenGreenfieldLife.com. It's all there. BenGreenfieldLife.com. See you over there. 

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From a young age, Justin Roethlingshoefer has always been self-motivated to improve, developing the discipline and work ethic necessary to excel. At 13 years old, his father said, “Son, talent will get you noticed, but consistency will get you paid,” setting up his quest of founding Own It.

I met Justin when my wife and I presented to guests at his Own It event for couples in Napa Valley, and we hit it off right away. After being exposed to his deep body of knowledge and witnessing his passion for helping people achieve physical, mental, and life success, I knew I had to have him on the podcast.

Today's show is all about optimizing not just your fitness, but your life — you'll get to explore topics like training for the Spartan DEKA FIT, using HRV tracking to measure human performance, understanding your purpose, taking ownership of your life, and much more!

Over the last 20+ years, Justin has worked with Stanley Cup champions, NHL MVPs, Super Bowl champions, Olympians, 8-, 9-, and 10-figure entrepreneurs, and Fortune 500 companies. After completing his MS in Sports Performance and Human Biology, Justin sought out post-graduate work in functional medicine. He has worked as a performance director in the NHL and NCAA and founded a private camp for professional hockey players focusing on healing them from the inside out.

Justin's work focuses on peak performance, human optimization, and applying data and testing to create personalized blueprints. He excels at simplifying complex concepts, particularly within the Outer Energy team at Own It Coaching, where he takes the latest research on nutrition, training, and recovery and packages it into digestible, systematic, and applicable steps.

Additionally, Justin is an Amazon best-selling author for his books: Intent, The Athletic Performance Blueprint, and Own It…

…and now the brand new book we discuss in this show: The Power of Ownership: Redeem Your Health, Live Life by Design, and Break the Relentless Pursuit of Normal.

During this discussion, you'll discover:  

-Justin Roethlingshoefer…06:53

-Spartan DEKA FIT event…08:21

  • Ben decided to do DEKA FIT with his sons in Austin, Texas
    • Started by Yancy Camp
    • 10 different strength or power-based exercises
    • Run 500 meters between exercises
    • Combination of strength, power, and aerobic fitness — hybrid athlete
  • Lining up to the start lines and going through and finishing something for the first time in their life
  • Ben is preparing for the June 8th event in Austin
  • Three different opportunities:
    • DEKA FIT with 500m runs in between
    • DEKA MILE with 200m runs in between
    • DEKA STRONG – just those 10 events
  • Last year, Justin qualified for the World Championships in 2 of the 3 events
  • Ben raced Spartan for the Reebok Spartan team
  • Most beneficial in the preparation was transitioning from running with good efficiency after gassing yourself out on an obstacle

-Justin's journey into the realm of human performance…13:33

  • Justin grew up in Canada and played hockey
  • Justin's dad’s advice:
    • Talent will get you noticed, but consistency will get you paid
  • Became obsessed with habits and tracking data
  • Started to wear a heart rate monitor and pulse oximeters
  • Became interested in heart rate variability (HRV) — a measure of the variation in time intervals between heartbeats 
  • Podcast with Dr. Jay Wiles:
  • Came to the States with a hockey scholarship
    • Got his master’s degree, did postdoctoral research in HRV and sleep
    • Also has a massage therapy license and became an NHL health and performance coach
  • Started using data to make decisions
  • Had personal problems — brain fog, fatigue, insomnia
    • Doctors and functional medicine specialists said he was healthy but he knew that something was wrong
  • Went for a colonoscopy and endoscopy
    • Diagnosed with precancerous polyps in his colon and an ulcer in his stomach
  • Realized his calling was to solve the health problems of all people, not just athletes
  • No genetic predisposition to cancer

-How Justin connects with God…20:43

  • First 30 minutes of his day, Justin sits in a sauna in silence
    • Waits for the Lord to tell him what to do
  • The Lord is speaking through imagination, creativity, epiphanies, connecting the dots, his neurological system, and mental breakthroughs
  • The Lord wanted him out of the National Hockey League
    • Being there was more for his ego than it had to do with serving other people
  • SLOW — stillness, silence, surrender, a chance to listen, obedience, wisdom for his will
  • Bible in One Year
  • The Power of Ownership by Justin Roethlingshoefer
  • Associating something that makes your body better with something that makes your spirit better
  • Two concepts of creating longevity within a habit
    1. Decrease limbic friction — the difficulties you have to overcome to make something happen
    2. Context dependency — relying on a person, place, or thing to do something
  • Tying being silent to something pleasurable — a PEMF mat, sauna, steam room, hot tub
  • Non-negotiable things when Justin travels:
    • A hotel must have a sauna or a hot tub and a gym
    • A grocery store within a mile's walk
  • Travels with a small red light and PEMF mat
  • Tracking heart rate variability
    • HRV is 10% higher than when he does not do sauna
    • 5% higher than when he does not do PEMF mat

-HRV parameters Justin pays attention to…32:15

  • Notes his HRV trend for the week and for the month
  • A dip somewhere could be caused by 
    • Poor sleep quality
    • Extreme workout
    • Mental, emotional, or spiritual stressors
  • The response is the same — increasing epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenaline, cortisol
  • Chronic stress leads to cellular deficiencies and symptoms of chronic illness
  • The importance of looking for stressors
  • A system to understand emotional and spiritual stressors should be developed

-Wearables to track HRV – 41:04

  • Jason is wearable agnostic and can use any device
  • Oura Ring
  • Algorithm scores can be misleading and tend to confuse consumers
  • HRV is the body's language that communicates how you're adapting to stress and strain
    • A drop in scores is something that should be looked into more
  • HRV is the best, most holistic metric to understand health and how your body handles stress
    • All-encompassing and indicative
    • Understanding what the numbers mean and utilizing them to make decisions for your behavior the next day

-Ben’s ad for his Spokane house…51:16

-Jason’s opinion on vagal nerve stimulators…52:56

  • Used them with a lot of different routines but didn't notice a massive impact
  • Jason doesn't like the concept of trying to video game your body
    • You don’t need a better score, you need a better life
  • A Harvard study: Healthy Longevity 
    • Looked at 5 areas — how do you change the trajectory of somebody's lifestyle, how do you optimize for longevity?

-The importance of WHY you do something…57:14

  • What's the reason? What's the deeper outcome? What's the goal that you're trying to achieve?
  • Everything looks like a physical adjustment — it's a habit, a hack, an action, or a behavior
  • Not focusing only on physical entities because that can make you fearful
  • Afraid of stepping into a certain pattern
  • Fear leads you to thoughts and beliefs of “I'm not good enough, I'm not worthy”
  • That only separates you further from your spiritual call
  • You should ask this question first: “What is my identity in what I've been called to do?”
  • Finding the answer renews your mind, transforms fear into faithfulness, confusion into conviction
  • After that, you can think about changes in your physical behavior

-The Power of Ownership vs. Extreme Ownership…1:00:28

  • Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink
  • Leaders with unhealed wounds often bleed over those they are trying to lead
  • Ownership to Jason is the intersection point between responsibility and accountability
  • It is not about a high level of masculinity or extremism of any kind
  • Ownership means ultimately getting to where you want to go
  • People all have great things that they're called to do
    • But not everyone has the capacity for what is required to get there
  • Ownership requires you to start allowing your habits and behaviors to become aligned with where you want to go

-Taking ownership for DEKA FIT…1:03:36

  • Stepping out of your comfort zone
  • Going through preparations
  • Getting a couple of people together to run 1 mile every morning 
  • DEKA FIT — sign up for the race
  • Your group will hold you accountable
  • Step up to the start line, no matter where you finish
  • Cross the finishing line knowing you are better for crossing it than having not done it

-How does Jason train for DEKA FIT?…1:04:50

  • Strength training 4 days a week — Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
    • Heavy anaerobic work with the Airdyne
  • On Wednesday and Saturday, he goes to the track and focuses on runs
  • Wants to be holistic in how his body operates
  • Sunday is solely focused on mobility, work, and pliability

-Jason’s writing process…1:09:14

  • 30-minute time in silence in the sauna
  • Just speak and record everything that comes to mind
  • Half an hour of Zone 2 work on the bike
  • Listens to recorded audio
  • 3-hour block — 7 to 10 in the morning writing, 5 days a week
  • Justin gets his greatest downloads and clearest thought processes during his sauna and quiet time
  • The importance of practicing to receive God’s download

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

  • Health Optimization Summit — London: June 15–16, 2024

The Health Optimization Summit is the ultimate gathering for anyone passionate about biohacking, wellness, and living their best life. Dubbed a must-do event, it promises a transformative weekend filled with the opportunity to meet and learn from over 35 world-class speakers (including yours truly) in nutrition, longevity, mental health, relationships, and more. Learn best-kept secrets, try out the latest high-tech health gadgets, and discover the cleanest supplements and foods on the market. Don't miss this life-changing weekend — grab your tickets before they're gone here.

  • The Longevity Circle Retreat in Croatia — Superyacht Wellness Adventure: Sept 4–10, 2024

Step aboard the ultimate luxury wellness journey: the longevity-focused Superyacht Wellness Adventure, set against the breathtaking backdrop of Croatia from September 4–10, 2024. This exclusive, invite-only event offers an unparalleled experience that blends opulence with the pursuit of wellness, disease prevention, and a long, happy life. With only 10 cabins available, this intimate retreat promises personalized attention and an atmosphere of elite exclusivity. Each day, I will lead 5–6 invigorating workouts, share insights through 1–2 enlightening talks, and engage in organic discussions and Q&A sessions, ensuring a transformative experience. Secure your spot here on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure and be part of a select group dedicated to elevating their health.

  • Biohacking Retreat with Ben Greenfield — Costa Rica: Oct 28–31, 2024

Join me this October for an unparalleled biohacking retreat set in the breathtaking landscapes of Costa Rica. This is an exclusive opportunity to dive deep into the world of biohacking, wellness, and personal optimization at Kinkára, a sanctuary of rejuvenation and adventure. Over three nights, you'll get to explore cutting-edge strategies for enhancing your health and performance, from engaging lectures to hands-on meditation and breathwork sessions. We'll bond over group hikes, savor three meticulously prepared meals daily, unwind with live music, and experience the transformative Temezcal ceremony. Plus, you'll enjoy luxury amenities and quality time with me and a community of like-minded individuals. Space is intentionally limited to 50 guests to ensure a personalized and impactful experience. Don't miss this chance to elevate your well-being and connect with the essence of biohacking amidst Costa Rica's natural beauty. Secure your spot here to ensure you don't miss out!

Resources from this episode:

Justin Roethlingshoefer:

– Podcasts:

– Books:

– Other Resources:

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