February 14, 2015
Podcast from: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/02/how-to-get-strong/
[00:00] Introduction/Nature Blends
[02:01] About Keith Norris
[04:02] How Strong People Are Harder To Kill
[07:39] How People Can Get Strong
[17:35] About Efficient Exercise
[20:49] On Using Testosterone & Estrogen
[24:28] Balancing Getting Stronger & Life Extending Benefits
[29:03] On Nutrition & Supplements
[33:26] On the ARXFit
[37:24] What To Expect In The Next Paleo Conference
[43:05] End of the Podcast
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Hey folks, its Ben Greenfield here, and there's this expression. I think I first heard this from a Navy SEAL that strong people are harder to kill, and in today's podcast, we're going to talk all about why that is and the fastest ways that you can get strong. Now my guest today is a dude from Texas named Keith Norris, and Keith actually got involved in the bodybuilding scene pretty early back in the day. He was a bodybuilder, he was a powerlifter, he was actually also a football player. He was a linebacker at Texas State. He had a knee injury but still went on to win the title of Mr. Virginia. He was runner up to Mr. America, and now he works down in Austin, Texas at a place called Efficient Exercise where you'll learn about some of the strategies that he uses there to get people stronger, but you may also be familiar with Keith as one of the faces of Paleo f(x) because Keith along with his wife, Michelle, started the Paleo f(x) Conference that's so incredibly popular in the ancestral health industry and one of my favorite conferences of the year that we've talked about in the show before.
Keith also blogs at the Ancestral Momentum blog, and as you listen to Keith and I talk, you can access any of the resources that we discuss if you just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/strongpeople. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/strongpeople. So Keith, what's up man?
Keith: Hey man, just living the dream here in Austin, Texas. Working out, doing it.
Ben: Yeah, Austin is a cool town. You got a lot of little skinny runners there, but I know you got a few swole folks too, right?
Keith: That's right, we're trying to change that. We're trying to make swole works out of them.
Ben: That's right, strong runners. Strong and fast runners. So Keith, I think I’ve seen you say this too, that strong people are harder to kill, so I think that's a perfect place to jump in, man. Why are strong people harder to kill?
Keith: Yeah, man. It is so true, and actually first heard this from Mark Rippetoe who is a guy in which taught all seer starting strength. That's who I first heard that from, and it's stuck and it's so true. We're talking today about physical strength, but really it’s mental strength, its emotional strength, and then it bleeds down to physical strength. On the mental and emotional side of it, am I right Ben that you went through Mark Divine's KoKoro in San Diego? Am I correct on that?
Ben: I did, please don't trigger any PTSD on this podcast. That was one of the more stressful parts of my year.
Keith: Okay, so one small thing that you left out on my bio, and you inserted the bodybuilding part which is ugh, but you left off my military career. So I was nine years in the military?
Ben: Really, I didn't know that.
Keith: And although I was not a SEAL, a lot of the training I went through was pretty brutal, and it takes a lot of mental and emotional strength to get through. Let's drop on down and talk about physical strength. I'll tell you a quick story about this, and I was just texting this fellow earlier, so client of mine, he's in his seventies, and if your listeners know anything about Austin, it's where the Texas Coastal Plane meets the hill country. So in certain parts of town, it's pretty hilly. This particular client lives on a hill and his yard is terraced. So he comes in to work out on day, and he's a little bruised up, and I'm like, “hey, what's going on?” He's kind of a crusty old guy, and he tells me that he was working on his terrace wall, and it's a limestone wall. Anyway, he falls of the terrace, hit the second level terrace on the way down, but then hits another level, hits another level. So he's tumbling down to the terrace 'til he finally stops and stands himself up, dusts himself off, cusses a little bit and walks back up to where he started and finishes up taking care of the wall.
That, my friends, if that had happened to a normal 70-year old, that may have very well ended that person's life. A broken hip, something like that, it's at least starting the downward slide. This guy, because he's strong and has some hypertrophy to him, bounced right back up, cussed a little bit and came into workout the next day, just bruised a little bit, and was laughing about it.
Ben: I think one of the things that people get nervous about though when you're talking about getting yourself strong is there's two things that I get kicked back on when it comes to strength building especially in average folks who don't want to be a bodybuilder. Number one is getting injured, getting there in the first place. How do you actually get hella strong without getting injured, without throwing out your back on a deadlift or throwing out your butt or whatever it is that you throw out on a squat? That's part one, and part two is, and you hear this a lot from females, they just don't want to get big, big and bulky. So I guess let's tackle the first part of that first, what's the best way? I mean you have this place called Efficient Exercise, and I know that you're all about efficiency. What's the best way that people get strong?
Keith: Yeah, you're right. I was going to give a product endorsement right there real quick and a shameless product endorsement. Thank you very much. I would say if you're in Austin, come by Efficient Exercise, or if you're in San Antonio or Chicago, come by and check us out. But that aside, you have to be smart. You can't go in to lifting heavy weights and jump right into very, very heavy weights. Yes, you are going to get hurt doing that, and yes, I've seen this numerous times, and yes, I've seen people with bad form trying to lift heavy weights and that's a train wreck ready to happen.
The thing about it is you have to start small. It's just like any other skill, endeavor and strength is a skill. It's like any other skill, you don't go out playing tennis and start off playing Serena Williams right off the bat. That's not smart. That's probably not smart for someone who has experienced playing tennis, but you have to start light, you have to get correct form, and you have baby step on up through, and you have to use smart programming to get there, and it's not all that complicated. It really is not, but you have to be smart about it.
Ben: So tell me about your approach at Efficient Exercise 'cause I know you guys do unique stuff as far as matching the force production curves and all this stuff that you do, and I'm interested in what all that entails because I think we've talked about in on this show before. My recommendations in the past have been progress as you just talked about, Keith, but whatever. Use a barbell, do a five-by-five or a program for strong lifts or Dan John's Mass Made Simple, another one we've talked about, but what do you guys do at Efficient Exercise?
Keith: Yeah, so we have access to some very, very special equipment here. It's called the ARXFit equipment, Adaptive Resistance Exercise.
Ben: How do you spell ARXFit?
Keith: So it's A-R-XFit, and you can go to the website. We've got some videos up there that explain this process a little bit better than what I'm going to do. In this verbal communication, it's pretty difficult to explain what we're doing, so you really need some visuals along with it. So if you go to the website ARX, ARXfit.com, and you'll see some videos on there. That will further explain this, but essentially what it does is this equipment matches the force curve perfectly for any compound movement that you can think of. Let's use a bench press. Everybody knows what a bench press looks like, so it's very, very easy to explain verbally. Imagine, if you will, that you have a perfectly matched barbell that would somehow magically adjust to your strength throughout the range of motion. So if you can imagine this, let's start off with a barbell. You're lying flat on the bench, getting ready to do a bench press. You unrack the weight, it's very, very heavy because one thing that we need to think about is you are 40% stronger in the ecentric than you are in the concentric. Meaning I can lower 40% more weight than I can lift, okay? So that's one thing.
Ben: So it's so much easier when you have a barbell on your back and you're going to squat versus sit down versus stand up with it?
Keith: Absolutely, it is. Now a normal bench press loaded heavy is a perfectly fine exercise. It's not my favorite exercise, but it's perfectly fine exercise. The problem is with any gravity-based system, barbells, dumbbells, body weight exercises, you name it, there is built-in inefficiencies. So if I could lift 40% more on the negative, so I'm lowering this weight down, oh shit, now it's stuck on my chest and I can't get it up. I've fully taxed myself on the ecentric, but now I've got a barbell implanted in my chest, and I can't get it up.
So obviously we have to choose a weight that we can get from the most limiting position that would be right at the chest on the way up. That's the most limiting position for the bench press biomechanically. So I have to choose a weight that I can at least get off my chest. The in turn produces inefficiency all throughout the rest of the exercise. I could lift heavier weight and any other elbow flexation position, but I don't have the weight on the bar. Ergo I have to do rep after rep after rep. Set after set after set, okay?
So with this particular modality, since it adapts to my strength depending on where I am in the strength curve, now I've got that 40% extra weight in the lock out position. I start to lower it, and it's perfectly matching my force output as I come down. Perfectly matches, perfectly matches, and perfectly matches all the way down 'til I hit my chest then we start coming back up, and it's perfectly matching again.
Ben: So basically what you're saying is when you say perfectly matches, the harder you push, the harder it pushes against you, and the harder you resist, the more that it pushes against you?
Keith: Yes, absolutely right. Now nothing is dropping on me though, so the only thing that happens is I fatigue as I just produce less force.
Ben: And nothing is dropping on you because it's a series of pulleys and levers 'cause it's a machine, right?
Keith: And you think of this too, so let's say that I take a barbell away, and Ben, and let’s say you trust me implicitly. I pull up a fork truck over you, I lower the forks down, and I say Ben, we're going to do a bench press with the forks. You might look at me a little crazy, but just follow me. So you're lying flat on the bench, I slowly lower the fork truck forks, and you try to resist them as I lower. There's no way you're going to stop the fork truck. There's no way, but you're going to try, and let's say I had some kind of device on there that would show you instantaneously what your force output is. Throughout the range of motion, I lower the forks, you're trying to resist, you're trying to resist, you're trying to resist. We get down to chest level. I turn and I raise the forks slowly. You're trying to push the forks up faster than when I'm actually moving them, and again, you're seeing your force output read out of here. Essentially that's what this machine does.
Now it's much more complex than that. The transition is obviously a lot smoother, so the turn-a-rounds wouldn't be herky jerky like a fork truck would be, but that's essentially the idea. You cannot beat the machine, there's no way you can beat the machine, but you're trying to beat the machine.
Ben: Yeah, and I've been on it before, and it is tough, and even after a two-minute set, you're pretty much sore for two days. So you know that it is working, but dude do you get any kickback 'cause you're just sitting? Do you get any kickback about this type of movement not being functional compared to a single leg squat or taking something heavy off the ground?
Keith: Yeah, we do get kickback, but the thing is you use the tool for the job at hand.
Ben: And so this is basically one single goal of getting as strong as possible?
Keith: Yes, it’s one single goal, and I tell all athletes we're going to get you strong in this modality. But if you're a baseball player, you still have to play baseball. If you're a football player, you still have to play football. If you're an endurance runner, you still have to run, you still have to swim. This is not a magical tool that's going to impart skill to you. This tool is going to make you strong, then you take that strength and transmute it into your skill. So it's got to be a constant, back and forth play. You train to be strong. When you train to be strong and use the correct tools and then you go on with the rest of your programming.
Ben: So how many minutes a day? ‘Cause I know you can do multiple exercises on a machine like this, but are people just doing one exercise each day, or do you just pile on five different moves and you go through one set of each other's moves? How's the programming going to work?
Keith: Yeah, so it totally depends on a person. We program in an N equals 1 fashion here, so if you were to sit in here and watch clients come in and out, there's no one-client session that looks the same. They're all different because every client that comes in here has different goals. Every client that comes in here does something different on their off days. Rowing is a huge community here in Austin. Cycling, triathlons, all of that, so sometimes they do nothing. Sometimes they're like my client.
Ben: How about an example? Just give me an example so people can wrap their heads around it.
Keith: I might do one exercise, say a leg press, using the ARXFit equipment, and I might do two exercises for upper body. Maybe I'll do a chin and maybe I'll do an overhead press. So on the ARXFit, you're doing three different exercises.
Ben: One set?
Keith: One set, sometimes two. Depends on the person, depends on the goal.
Ben: But the set take a minute or two or whatever?
Keith: Or seconds. Now the way I use this personally, I do singles or doubles on it. A single for one exercise might be 15 seconds, and people would look at that and go 15 seconds, are you kidding me? I'm not going to even get it going, but if you go to full intensity, full all-out intensity for 15 seconds, you are taxed, seriously, seriously taxed. I mean that's just a really, really quick example, and there's a gazillion ways to program this stuff.
Ben: Interesting, so do you guys do any traditional exercises there? Do you have med balls or stability balls or elastic bands and stuff like that?
Keith: Yes, and I always say I steal from every modality there is out there. I steal from powerlifters, I steal from Olympic lifters. I come from a traditional strength and conditioning community, specifically for football and volleyball. So I steal aspects from that. I'm like a fusion chef in here, and it's true. If it works, I use it. Body weight exercises, barbells to dumbbells. If you come into the studio in Austin, you will see everything here.
Ben: Okay, so there's people listening in who are in London and Dubai and Australia, all over the place. Are there ways that you can replicate this approach using this type of equipment that you'd see at the average gym when you walk in like matching force production curves, that type of thing?
Ben: Okay, so let's say that somebody just doesn't have access to one of these. What would be the next best thing?
Keith: Okay, so moving it up from there, now we're talking about still, heavy compound movements, and what I mean by heavy is something you can handle for three to five-ish repetitions with good form. So there's a starting spot, what do I mean by compound? I'm talking multi-joint exercises, so squats are in, leg extensions are out. Dead lifts are in, leg curls are out, that kind of thing. Dips, I love dips, overhead presses, all the basic exercises that you can think of that are multi-joint exercises.
Ben: How many sets and how many reps?
Keith: So my target is between 21 and 25 repetitions on these exercises broken up to eight and say five sets, so we're talking about a three by eight. So eight sets of three repetitions or the old school five by five is a fantastic lead in program for most people, and really if most people were to stay with a three by eight protocol or a five by five protocol with the heavy compound movements, they're 80% there if you don't have access to anything else. Really and seriously, it's that easy.
Ben: How many times a week do you think people should lift to get strong?
Keith: So it depends on what you're doing otherwise. For most people, I would say twice a week doing something like that, but it's got to be super intense, and I would also rotate through the exercises too. So I wouldn't do squats twice a week nor would I do bench press twice a week, but I would rotate through. So a good lower body split would be one day squats then next day deadlifts for the next workout, deadlifts. It's easier breaking up stuff that way. A good upper body would be say flat bench press one time, one workout. Overhead press is the next, so you're keeping things mixed up, you're still working basically the same muscle groups, but you're working them in a little bit different fashion.
Ben: Gotcha, cool. So when you're using this approach, how do you keep women from bulking up or say a marathoner, guys or girls who want to run for long distances without having to carry a bunch of muscle that takes energy to carry and energy to cool?
Keith: So there's a couple of things we can dive into it in real quick, and really I am just scratching the surface here, but the question about women putting on a lot of muscle mass is not going to happen. You don't have the testosterone levels to be able to cool that off naturally. And if a woman is taking supplemental testosterone, believe me, she's not worried about putting on muscle. She's doing it to put on muscle, so that's one thing to think about. I get this question all the time with clients coming in. I want to lift, but I don't want to look like a she-male. I got you, and I'll tell you what, I will double your money back if you wake up one day and you look that way.
Ben: So what about if you look like the Crossfit Games? Some of these women who are pretty, to use the word again, swole. What's going on there?
Keith: Okay, so they have either (a) a naturally high testosterone level, and this is what I would like to believe, or they're supplementing with testosterone, and this is a professional sport. Let's just say that I have no judgments negatively about someone using testosterone to be better at your sport, and that's a whole other philosophical thing we can go down or ethical thing that we can go down, but these athletes are making money at a sport. Once you start throwing money at a sport, people are going to dodge the system, and it's like anything else. You're trying to be the best. You're talking about athletes to start with who are driven to win no matter what, and you start throwing money at it.
Ben: Could it be as simple as calories, just eating ungodly amounts of food combines with heavy lifting? Could that cause a woman to bulk up versus choleric balance or choleric moderation?
Keith: Not to that extent, not nearly to that extent.
Ben: Interesting, what about estrogen? What about estrogen dominance, right? Too much estrogen floating around in the bloodstream. Would that be something that would cause a similar response, or would that just cause them to get fat?
Keith: No, it's a testosterone driven phenomenon, and that's what it comes down to. And again, listen I've trained female volleyball players who I knew were not using anything. They were just dead naturally high, the 98th percentile female testosterone level, they had it, and they were muscular. In my opinion, freaking awesome looking, but they're much more muscular than your average girl, and you see this a lot in volleyball players and you see it in female trainers. See that heavy built, a little bit higher testosterone.
Ben: Speaking of Serena Williams, right?
Keith: Yeah, exactly. I mean she just has a naturally high testosterone level to begin with. And like I say, I know nothing of what her recovery regimen looks like because a lot of athletes, they use a lot of testosterone to help recovery. It's a recovery process, right? Which is why Tour de France rider, do you think they're using testosterone to get swole? No, that's the last thing they want.
Ben: Right, but if they were lifting heavy like some of those guys have huge quads.
Keith: If they were to lift heavy, they would. They would put on some muscle.
Ben: Okay, so staying down this pathway of biochemistry a little bit, there is this thought out there that muscle means growth, and too much growth could potentially be carcinogenic, being constantly anabolic state whatever, to use the stereotypical milk-chugging bodybuilder, right? Maybe they've got undifferentiated cell growth from being so anabolic. How do you strike a balance between being in that consistently, getting stronger, feeding your face anabolic state, and then what they found to be the live extending benefits? The things like fasting and calorie restriction and aerobic exercise, and it seems that the two stand-ins start to contrast. How do you strike that balance?
Keith: Yeah, and I think that's everything in life, right? So everything has a Yin Yang, everything has a balance. First of all, I would never claim to be the expert on this. At the end of the day, I don't know. I really don't know, but I can say this. I can say that a forced, very, very much forced trying to maintain a positive nitrogen balance, once you're passed that early growth stage, say 25, 26 in that type of range, I think yeah. You might be setting yourself up for some negative consequences down the road. I'll just back up one step and tell you the way I do it. I still lift heavy, I still train very, very hard. I still go at it, but I don't force myself to be on a “positive nitrogen balance” all the time.
Ben: Can you explain to me when you say positive nitrogen balance, I know that you mean eating excess amounts of protein, but what's that mean to you?
Keith: So yes, that and eating multiple times a day.
Ben: Okay, so you're not like one of those snack six times a day as you're getting stronger, multiple 20 gram portions of protein?
Keith: Well I am, yes, if (a) you're younger, or you have made the choice that okay, I agree there is negative consequences to doing this may be from a longevity perspective, but I'm willing to give that up for short term gains, otherwise, see how this comes back to a philosophical question?
Ben: Yeah, the whole health versus performance thing.
Keith: Exactly, health versus performance. I mean this is coming from an ex-football player. What health meant to me at that time was am I on the field playing? That was health. If I'm healthy enough to be on the field, that to me was health. Things have changed in the last 25 years or so. I don't see it that way anymore. I see health as leaving this thing, and I want to be strong and have a good body composition to help me in that endeavor. So I've flipped the switch. Now I was able to get away with it when I was in my twenties because let's face it, we have the hormonal profile to be able to support that and all the downstream consequences that come with it. That enables you to be pretty bulletproof at that age, and you can get away with a lot of stuff, and you can recover from it. You can't do that, I'm 50 now, I turned 50 this year. Now I've got to really think about that kind of stuff.
Ben: Yeah and I think that, at least from what I've seen, because there's this research study. I think this is one done at the University of California a few years ago where they were feeding people calorie restricted diet and they were lifting heavy and they were still building muscle and burning fat.
Keith: Absolutely, I was just going to say in the leading driver in this is what your work output is. What are you doing on that cycle 'cause I think and I have proven this time after time again that it's not the eating that drives the muscle gain. It's the work that drives the muscle gain, and science hasn't really figured this out, but magical things happen when you lift weights. The body is going to respond, it's going to do everything that it can to respond to that stress even in absence of excess calories.
Ben: So another question I have for you is just about general nutritional support when it comes to getting strong. In addition to just eating protein and eating good, high-quality food, and I know you as the founder of Paleo f(x), you're all about high quality food, and of course I know you're also a fan of beer which is crucial for public muscle. Do you do any supplements? Are you like a creatine guy or anything like that?
Keith: Yeah, there's a few supplements that I think that work for putting on muscle, and I would say first of all before you start talking about creatine with yes, creatine does work, and I do use creatine. Branched chain amino acids, yes, that works. I do use them. But first and foremost, I have a very, very solid baseline micro nutritional program. That's first and foremost because the other stuff, and I explain it to people like this. If I drive up to a work site and I dump off a load of lumber but oh, I forget to dump off the nails too, I've still got a whole work force out there, that's looking at me with their thumb in my ass. What am I going to do with this? Micro nutrition is the same way.
Ben: So when you say micro nutrition program, what do you mean?
Keith: I don't want to get into a big pitch here, but I am an ID Life representative, and Michelle and I came into ID Life early, early on in the inception because they have a very, very smart baseline supplementation program. So I would just say that.
Ben: So you basically use a high-quality multivitamin?
Keith: It's a high, high quality, very, very pure, dose-specific multivitamin. It's a multivitamin, so at baseline micro nutrition. That's got to be first and foremost even on top of a badass diet in general. This is on top of because let's face it, Michelle and I are very, very savvy shoppers. We don't know everything there is to know obviously about nutrition, but we are saturated with this putting on Paleo (x). I mean we have access to everybody, so in even as smart as we are, even as well as we shop, I know we still have micro nutritional deficiencies simply because of soil depletion. It's something as simple as that, just soil depletion. It's not the same mineral content in the soil these days as it looked a hundred years ago even.
So that's one thing to think about, so (a) your diet has to be dialed down, and (b) you have to have a solid micro nutritional program to bridge the gaps that you're going to have no matter how well you eat. If we have those two things in line, then we can start talking about using creatine. Then we can start talking about using branched-chain amino acids because in absence of those other two precursors being in there, the other is just not going to work as well.
Ben: Gotcha, so you're multivitamin, creatine, any other big ones? You said branched- chain amino acids?
Keith: Yeah, but the difference in effectiveness between branched-chain amino acids and creatine, creatine so far outweighs the benefits of branched-chain amino acids. Diet and smart micro nutritional supplementation way outweighs the benefits of creatine. So the percent of increase that you're going to get from each of these implementations just drops off exponentially if you get what I'm saying, but my first supplement outside of the basic diet and basic micro nutrition would be creatine. That's very easy, it's super cheap, and it's easy to dose.
Ben: Yeah, I mean I personally take five grams a day 'cause, a lot of people don't know this, and it’s a neurotropic. It can help with my performance. Even when I'm not in the strength training phase, I use it 'cause it's one of those resources things on the face of the planet.
Keith: Its super safe. There's so many studies on this, and I mean you can eat a pound of it a day and be okay. Obviously I'm exaggerating, but it's a super safe supplement.
Ben: Yeah, interesting. Okay a few other quick questions for you, and then I want to ask you about Paleo f(x) as well here in a second, but this ARXFit that you were taking about, the strength training equipment. Do people have to go to a gym, or is there a way that I could buy one of these from a basement?
Keith: Absolutely, you could, so Dave Asprey actually has one in his place. So here's the thing, this particular equipment has been in roughly five years of beta testing. We've gone through prototype after prototype after prototype after prototype. We finally got this thing where we wanted, and we have just come through the first manufacturing round. Actually as I speak today, the first manufacturing run will kick off for the Omni, so there's three different versions of this machine. The first of which is called the Omni, and that one's coming down the production line right now. So the answer is, can you buy one? Yes. Can you buy all three yet? That's a yes, but the other two versions have to be one off manufactured, but yes. Can you buy one? Yes. Are they ubiquitous in gyms throughout the nation? Not yet.
Ben: How much approximately would one cost to put one in your house?
Keith: You're looking at about 15,000.
Ben: Fifteen thousand? Wow, so this is pretty advanced technology, but if you were just going to put one thing in your house to keep you as strong as possible with low impact, this is what you'll recommend, right?
Keith: And that's exactly it, and we have lease arrangements too, so you can look at 750 a month. It's a lot easier to tolerate than the other.
Ben: Yeah, I was going to say. That's a chunk of change. You could purchase it, and then pay for it.
Keith: Yeah, so we have the lease arrangement, but yes. You're talking about one tool to handle all your strength training needs, and as we go through the manufacturing process, obviously one of manufacturing is super expensive. You start rolling out machine after machine, the price drops. It's just basic economics, so anyway, that's where we are with that. We're very excited about it. We have a huge amount of interest right now, we'll just put it that way. We're actually even talking with a contract firm that works with the DOD and with NASA, and we're talking about it. Ben, I don't know if you saw my AHS presentation, but essentially it was how do we keep astronauts safe from zero gravity conditions over a long haul.
Ben: Yeah, actually I didn't see it, but I'll listen to it later on.
Keith: And what that boils down to is ecentric exercise. That is the one component that they're missing when they're in microgravity that causes all the bone loss in the sarcopenia that these guys experience and gals experience while they're in space. We can circumvent that with this type of equipment because it provides a heavy, heavy, heavy duty ecentric load, and (b) it's not gravity-based.
Ben: Gotcha, cool, and they have them. If anybody's going to Paleo f(x), just stop and do a few sets on it. What I do honestly when I'm at a conference, it's like a three-day conference, so I do a set in the morning and a set in the evening, just keep myself strong. I'll do the leg press in the evening and the pull down and the press in the morning, and it's like my little start in the end of my day when I'm at Paleo f(x) the past couple of years, and that's a great segue, Paleo f(x). What do you think are going to be some of the cooler things that are showing up this year? I mean one year when I was in there, you guys had a giant semi-truck with a cryotherapy chamber in it that people could use. Another time, there were Indian Club Bell classes, and I've seen all sorts of stuff there, so fill me in on some unique things that are happening in this year over there.
Keith: Yeah, so we'll have the unique stuff again this year. One thing that we're putting together and we're super, super stoked about this, we're putting together a combine of sorts, so we're working with a company out of Dallas, Texas, it's called Real Fit test score, and they're actually coming down tomorrow. We're going to do a dry run of this, so this'll be really, really cool. So there's different components to the combiner, so the strength component, there's a speed component, there's an endurance component, and they're tuned between seven and nine different exercises or events that'll be put on, and you'll be scored on each of those events, and you'll get an overall score and you'll see how you match up against your peers, and what's cool about this is for instance in the 40 yard dash, you can see how you match up against other males of your age, or you can actually see I wonder what I look like against a Chris Johnson in the NFL who ran a Four-to-Forty. It’s very, very cool, so Dave the guy out of the Real Fit test score, he's a data hound. I mean he has data out the Yin Yang, so anyways, it's very, very cool, and we're going to do a dry run of it tomorrow.
Dave's coming down from Dallas, we're going to put it together. The strength component will be on the ARX Machines, so not only will you get a max, like in traditional powerlifting, you would have a one rep max, but on the ARX Machine, we're able to subtract so much of their data out of that. With one repetition, you'll be able to see a lot more metrics that you can follow. You can get it ecentric max, you can get it concentric max, and you can get an instantaneous power output over the duration of the lift which is super cool. So now instead of just having one maximum number, you'll have actually three numbers combined into one output. Super, super cool. So that's one thing, we'll have that combine goal on. One of the speakers that I'm really, really stoked about is Fred Navarro who's out of San Francisco.
Ben: I thought you meant me? I'm just giving him a hard time, dude, who's Fred Navarro?
Keith: So Fred Navarro is a professor out in San Francisco. I can't SFU maybe? I'm probably butchering that, but anyway regardless, he has done research on and had instances, this is his life's passion, research on habit change and research on what people drives people (a) either to make good health choices or (b) continue in the downward cycle and making bad health choices. I am so simple flying this, but Fred has so much great information, and he's packaged it in such way that is so very, very smart. It just blows my mind, and this is a holy grail. We know the information, everybody knows the information, and that's easy to come by, but execution and implementation that is the Holy Grail. So if you can actually execute what you know logically to be right, that is the hurdle that so many people to get over. Fred has a path to be able to get you over that hurdle. So it's super, super interesting, and this is something that I've always been interested in because I've always know that the information is there.
Now how is it that I can have some people comply with that information and some people will just won’t? I mean, they will even tell you yeah, I know what to do. Yes, I know exactly what to do. I can't do it. Well why is that? There's got to be some way that I'm packaging it, someway that I'm selling it. You have a switch somewhere or a trigger that I'm not hitting, that I am hitting with other people, and I've gotten better at that just because I've worked with people for so long, and I can fare it out. Personality trait triggers, what I need to hit. If I have someone like Fred to lay out a blueprint for me, I can increase my percentage of the people I can positively effect. So that's just a 30,000 foot view, a hundred and fifty speakers again Ben. I mean it's going to be a five ring circus. We've got the entire Palmer's Center this year. Last year, we had half of that center for people that have been out there. It's a massive, massive event, and it's fun.
Ben: Yeah, it is a ton of fun. Awesome, well everything that Keith and I talked about today from the ARXFit to Keith's gym down there in Austin to Paleo f(x), I'll put a link to all of it in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/strongpeople. If you want to check it out, bengreenfieldfitness.com/strongpeople. I'd highly recommend, Paleo f(x) is April 24th to the 26th this year. If you want to add that to your calendar, you don't have to be Paleo to go. It's pretty much just healthy, ancestral living. I've met a bunch of vegans and vegetarians there. Anybody can show up, so check that out, and Keith, thanks for coming on the call today, man.
Keith: Dude, had a great time, Ben. Really look forward to seeing you at Paleo f(x) in the spring.
Ben: Awesome, see you there. Thanks for listening everybody.
I think I first heard it from a Navy SEAL that “Strong People Are Harder To Kill”.
And you're going to learn all about why that is in today's podcast, with my guest Keith Norris.
At 15, Texan Keith was already involved in one of the premier fitness and weight training scenes in the country Powerhouse Gym, a legendary bodybuilding, training, and powerlifting mecca in San Antonio that launched the careers of athletes like Ms. Olympia Rachel McLish, Lori Bowen-Rice, Jeep Swenson and many others.
A knee injury derailed Keith’s career as a linebacker at Texas State, but his experience rehabbing and working with some of the best strength coaches in the country continued to increase his interest in intelligent body development. In the mid 90s Keith competed in AAU Bodybuilding and won the title of Mr. Virginia and runner-up to Mr. America.
In 2010, after navigating a successful 9 year military and 15 year corporate career, Keith was finally able to follow up on his lifelong dedication to training and come on board Efficient Exercise as a partner and regional manager. Keith, along with his wife, Michelle also blogs at “Ancestral Momentum - Theory to Practice” and is one of the leading figures in the exploding Paleo nutrition and health movement as the founder of the Paleo f(x) conference.
In this episode, you'll learn:
-Why “strong people are harder to kill”…
-How women and endurance athletes can keep from getting bulky when getting strong…
-Keith's unique approach to building strength and how to match your body's force production curve…
-How you can strike a balance between constantly being in an anabolic state, and the life extending benefits of things like intermittent fasting and calorie restriction…
-How many sets and reps you need to get as strong as possible…
-The best supplements for strength building…
Resources Keith and I discuss during this episode include:
–Paleo f(x), April 24-26th 2015. The can’t-miss conference that is the Who’s Who gathering of the Paleo movement, with world-class speakers including best-selling authors, physicians, nutritionists, research scientists, professional athletes, trainers, sustainability and food activists, biohackers, and more.
–ARXFit.com strength training equipment.
–Amino Acid and Muscle Gain Supplements