Podcast #264 from http://www.bengreenfieldfitness.com/2013/12/264-the-truthabout-vitamin-d-how-to-squat-better-fast-muscle-gain-tips-much-more/
Introduction: In today’s episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Natural
sunlight replacements, how to fix heel whip in runners, how to squat
better, fast muscle gain tips, do calf sleeves help, what is the best
workout gear, and why Africans win marathons?
Who is this?
Ah, you know what?
How did you get this number?
It does feel weird to be back at the podcast and....
It does this feel strange to be talking to you eh... I don’t remember
how to do this.
You know, I am older, I’m wiser, I’m almost older. I’m all those of
Yoda-like age now.
And as we age....
As a matter of fact, yeah, next week I’ll ah.... do or do not, there is no
This must be good! It’s remarkable.
I’m gonna be 32 on Friday.
Yoda say to that ..... errrrrrrrr.
Yoda and Chuba, we should do the entire podcast as Yoda and
Chewbacca but no....
Anyway, it’s your birthday!
Yeah, it’s my birthday on Friday. So....
And what you gonna be, did you say 32?
Ah, the rippled age of yes, 32. So yeah and as usual I always send out
a gift to our listeners on my birthday and I’ve got a special one linedup so anybody who’s listening in if you haven’t gone to a
giftfromben.com yet, if you go to giftfromben.com at this point you’ll
not only get a free video but I’m also gonna be sending a cool little
surprise from my birthday.
Sweet, all kinds of birthday savings.
And we also, and I don’t wanna get waxed too sentimental here but
we’re also very lucky to have Brock with us and here as our podcast
sidekick because you have kind of like an anniversary this week as
well Brock right?
Yeah, yeah I don’t wanna get too yeah like you said too nostalgic
about or anything but 10 years ago on December 21st was when I was
rushed into the hospital with pericarditis, myocarditis and had an
andiogram and I was in a really kinda rough shape for a little while
and this is my 10 year anniversary so I plan to, I’m gonna do some
sort of screw you death party I think.
Yeah, I think a lot of people don’t know your story Brock but it really
is interesting how you had some really serious heart issues that
percarditis and you could’ve seriously died and that was almost 10
years ago ‘til the day ha.
It’s a, I warn all of you, don’t get it it’s not fun. If you get an infection
in your heart, it’s not a good place to get an infection.
Yeah, yeah well I think the screw you death party is a great idea and
maybe we can just have a combined Ben Greenfield 32nd and Brock
screw you death party and we’ll be at some bar between here and
Toronto, Canada may all meet half way and invite all our listeners
Alright, I’ll meet you in a mustra.
Mustra that is.
Head over to bengreenfieldfitness.com/264 and you will find links to
some awesome news flashes, actually a whole crap of news flashes
this week. You really, you got really carried away.
That’s right well we haven’t had the podcast in so long. I have a lot of
the research and the articles that I tweet about constantly over at
twitter.com/bengreenfield. I’ve got them kinda piling up so I wanted
to mention it to folks and because I’ve got a dark dreary gray day here
in Spokane, Washington why not start with a recent article that’s
fantastic, one of the better articles I’ve read on sun and the use of sun
and kinda of biohacking your way into the use of sun and the best way
to do it. This one was over at a.....
Hmm, I think we have a question about this later too. This is a, we’re
pre-empting and pay attention.
Yes, we’re so smart. So how to engineer successful day of sunbathing,
this was a really great article that appeared over at Mark’s Daily Apple
and it obviously, sunbathing, when we talked about getting vitamin D
and aligning our natural circadian rhythms, is really important and
the fact is that there are ways that you can kinda biohack your way
into making your sun exposure even more effective. So for example,
when you have breakfast, if you include a specific component called
astaxanthin with breakfast as well as EPA and DHA, (all of which are
found in, interestingly, fish). You can actually increase the amount of
UVB that you’re able to get, well decreasing your exposure to UVA.
Now remember that UVA is kind of the one that does a little bit more
DNA damage when you get exposed to it vs. UVB which is a little bit
healthier when it comes to regulating your vitamin D. So you could
include something like salmon or sardines with breakfast if you’re
kinda like an eggs and bacon person maybe you could try eggs and
fish. Another really good source....
Oh salmon, like smoke salmon for breakfast? That is decadent
delicious right there.
Oh yeah! Locks there you go. Happy Hanukkah! So yeah you could
absolutely include something like fish and maybe fish isn’t your thing
in the morning but krill oil, fish oil like a really good fish oil and for
those EPA/DHA omega 3 fatty acid compounds even like eggs are
another really good way to get those and they’re talking in the article
about how saturated fat protect you against sun damage more than
like poly-unsaturated fat, so saturated fat like you’d find in butter vs.
poly-unsaturated fat like you’d find say in margarine or vegetable oils.
So I thought that was a cool tip, they talk a little bit in there about
when you do get sun exposure again that is the UVB exposure which
produces the vitamin D production and UVB exposure peaks right
around the time that the mid-day sun is overheard and that’s when
you get kind of this unique balance of UVA and UVB. So if you’re
gonna go and try and get sun exposure if you can do it kinda between
like that, 11am to 2pm kind of time frame and you’re wanting to get
the most benefit out of sun exposure, that’s the time you do it. So
maybe you go out, if it’s a sunny day and you have lunch out in the
sun or you, I don’t know, step outside and do your nude sunbathing if
you’re one of our many housewives who are listening to the podcast
while nude sunbathing in the backyard of their giant mansion.
That’s right, we don’t encourage house husbands to do this, just
In the Hollywood hills, but good time to get your vitamin D exposure.
And a few other interesting things and again there’s a ton of really
cool stuff in the article and we’ll link to it in the show notes but as far
as photo protection, 2 of the things that offer some really good photo
protection to help you with healthy skin when you are getting sun
exposure 1 is lycopene, which you’re gonna get in fresh tomatoes and
another one is the anthocyanins and what are called the flavanoids
that you get in dark chocolate so you can have some dark chocolates
working some fresh tomatoes and those are just a few of the ways
that you can.....
And that’s along with your locks and your eggs cooked in butters so
we’re making one hell of a breakfast here.
That’s right, that’s right. And interestingly, by the way, you know this
is something else that I think is kinda interesting when it comes to
this UVA and UVB exposure. I’ve always wondered if, when I don’t
have a chance to go outside, if I just driving around with my truck if
when the sun is going through the window if I’m actually getting
some of that good sun exposure. Well, it turns out when we’re talking
about this whole UVA/UVB thing that mostly what gets kind of
through the window is UVA rays again which are the skin damaging
rays that have more potential to have kind of like high carcinogenicity
(big word for the day) so you should actually if you’re gonna do that
like roll down your window or if you’re going to like sit in an office
that’s close to the window so that you get more sun. Technically it
would be better for you if you like had the window open so you’re
getting both UVA and UVB. But it’s kinda interesting the difference
between those 2 ray frequencies and kinda some considerations as far
as those goes. So good article, we’ll link to it in the show notes......
There you go....
Speaking of sunshine, there is also another really good article that I
link to about vitamin D and how there’s new research that highlights
that vitamin D and specifically high dose vitamin D supplementation
which I don’t know about you Brock but I think a lot of people
especially in the winter time when this podcast is being recorded or
Yeah, I just started taking some in the last 3 weeks because it’s gotten
so dark here.
Yeah well, there’s a specific genes responsible for allowing your cells
to regrow specifically your skeletal muscles cells to regrow in
response to damage and it turns out that high dose vitamin D
supplementation can actually inhibit the activity of those cells. I’ll link
to the research in the show notes, it was indeed done I believe on like
a rodent model but still it’s really interesting. The data that shows
vitamin D actually alters gene expression in the cells that are
responsible for causing a muscle to grow and I don’t think that this
means that we should avoid vitamin D or quit taking vitamin D
supplements because there are a lot of vitamin benefits that come
with vitamin D supplementation but one of the things that you run
into over and over again in the literature is how the intake of retinoic
acid or getting beta carotene or vitamin A from food base sources
especially like our oranges and our yellows and even more so when
we’ve actually cooked those oranges and yellows like squash and
carrots and sweet potatoes and yam and things of that nature. What
happens is it balances out the vitamin D and actually takes up some of
the receptors like high dose vitamin D would actually take up and so
what I suspect is that it’s not vitamin D shots down muscle growth or
shots down the ability of the muscle cell to repair or recover. What I
think is dangerous and this is something that I hit on a lot during the
recent Creative Live that I did down in San Francisco is that if you’re
going to take a fat soluble vitamin like vitamin D or like vitamin A or
like vitamin K, it’s very very interesting that all of them have some
weird toxicity issues unless you are taking them all at once. So that’s
why it’s important you know if you’re gonna get fat soluble vitamins
in to try as much as possible to get them from natural sources and
when I say natural sources I’m talking about things like eggs with the
yolk, cod liver oil is another perfect example, raw seeds and nuts are
another example but making sure that you’re not just doing like high
dose unopposed vitamin D is really really important and you know
you can get your vitamin D levels tested, I like for most people to
kinda stay between about 40 and 70 kinda below 40 is where you
tend to see some of the effects of like a loss of steroidal and hormonal
precursors and above 70 is where you start to see some potential for
toxicity but more important thing is to make sure that you’re also
getting a lot of really rich sources of vitamin A and vitamin K. You
know, that’s why I’m a fan of things like using organ meats like liver,
or using like a cod liver oil supplement, that’s why I’m a fan of eating
eggs with the yoke but it was really interesting study and I think it
just highlights that any high intake of any specific vitamin unopposed
might be playing with fire.
And there’s actually a study that people have been asking us about a
lot in a lot of couple of days that’s been, I guess it was not so much a
study it was an article in New York Times I think that said that all
these doctors have stepped forward and said basically supplements
are a waste of time usually taking them....
Yeah, multivitamins specifically.
Yeah, I think then that was sort of the main hole that I saw and it was
that they’re weren’t talking about one anything was being combined
with, how it was being taken, what time of the day it was being taken,
what the diet was like to begin with all of that kind of stuff. So this
really just sort of goes hand in hand with making sure you’ve got the
Yup exactly that’s why most multivitamin formulas out there are
kinda just crap with the bunch of fillers and stuff we put on we don’t
have time to get on today but yeah it’s really interesting. And then
since we’re talking about sun and sleep, this was something that I
tweeted out and something that we demonstrated again at the recent
Creative Live that we did and I should mentioned that like Jess and I
just got back from San Francisco, we spent 3 days there on stage for
like 8 hrs a day just teaching people all of these healthy living and
healthy exercise and healthy eating concepts and if you go to
creativelive.com and just do a search for my name you should be able
to find that; I think it cost like a 100 bucks or something like to
download but a lot of fun.
And one of the things that Jessa demonstrated was that if you do need
sunblock whether you’re skiing in the winter time, if you’re one of our
Northern Hemisphere listeners or whether you live in Florida or
California, Jessa showed something really cool, which is that you can
take zinc oxide which you can get from like soapgoods.com, you can
get it at amazon. You wanna be careful not to breathe it in because it
is like kind of a volatile powder that can do a little bit of damage if you
breathe it in but....
So no snorting eh.
It’s got a natural spf (yeah, don’t snort it) of about 30 and you can
take any safe lotion out there. So, let’s say you’re a fan of using like
whatever, coconut oil, emu oil, any natural moisturizer you know,
maybe you’ve got something from like a company that makes good
oils but don’t have a lot of fillers on them like badger balm for
example and you can add just a couple of teaspoons of zinc oxide and
that gives you a natural 20-30 spf sunscreen. Just by doing that all
you do is combine zinc oxide with lotion. You don’t have to go
through all these steps of like making your own sunscreen. Sounds
weird to be talking about it in the winter but I can’t talk about vitamin
D and sun and circadian rhythm without mentioning that cool little
trick that you can do.
I think that was a good point to make when you’re skiing like that’s so
often sometime you don’t even think of putting on sunscreen on your
nose or your cheeks or your forehead or something when you’re out
on the slopes for the day and then all of a sudden you get back to the
chalet and you look like a racoon or reverse racoon.
Yup, exactly. So if you don’t wanna be that old wrinkly skier (there
you go). Caffeine, so speaking of sleep and circadian rhythms, this
was another study.
I think it ties so neatly together today.
My segways are just brilliant today. The Journal of Sleep Medicine
did a study where they administer the caffeine dose at zero hours, 3
hrs and 6 hrs prior to bedtime. And even as far as 6 hrs from bedtime,
the equivalent of about a cup and a half to 2 of coffee taken 6 hrs
before bedtime, yeah, about 400 mgs or so of coffee (it’s kinda
depends on the size of your cup) but that actually cause significant
sleep disturbances even when taken as far as 6 hrs prior to bedtime.
And so this kinda highlights the importance of maybe doing a
morning cup of coffee and then considering some other source of
wakefulness if you need it in the afternoon, like one of my favourite
for that is L-theanine which you get from green tea and that doesn’t
cause those sleep disturbances that caffeine can cause, but know that
based on this recent research if you’re doing caffeine or you’re having
a big cup of coffee in the afternoon, that can stay with you for up to 6
hrs so really interesting and I thought that was kind of a cool little test
just to see how long it took for caffeine to stay in your system and
actually still disrupt sleep. So who knows....
That’s why if I need to pick up in the afternoon, I just stand on my
head and put some ice on my shorts.
That’s right, that’s right. Well, I do a cold shower but, in Canada you
guys like to make everything hard.
We just grab some snow and shove them in shorts and no big deal....
That’s right, that’s right. Grab your local neighborhood snow and get
into a hand stand and shove it down in your shorts. I like it! Alright,
cool. Speaking of shoving things down in your shorts, a brand new
toilet! We’ll link to this article in the show notes that appeared in the
NBC technology news and there’s this brand new toilet that they’re
making that can only analyse your poo for things like bacteria or
health defects or provide information about nutritional deficiencies
but we’ve talked about the squatty potty before. This is a brand new
toilet that actually pushes you up into that 90 degree upright sitting
position that allows that what’s called the puborectalis angle to
actually be unkinked and unlike the squatty potty which is like this
thing that you purchased that you can place in the bathroom of your
house, this is actually built into the toilet itself. You can see a picture
of the toilet if you go to the article, we’ll link to it in the show notes
over at bengreenfiedfitness.com/264.
But as I tweeted I consider this to potentially be the Cadillac of
squatty potties and I certainly think it be very cool to have a toilet that
can actually analyse your poop.
Yeah, I can help but picture, did you see the Simpson’s when they
went to Japan? And they checked into their hotel room and they have
this little, the toilet actually did like this little water ballet show and....
“I am pleased to accept your waste.”
Yeah, you know it’s funny, the toilets in Japan have all these buttons
on them that like literally have like a remote control, it’s like 12
different buttons on it for everything from like the spray and the rinse
to the hot vs. the cold to the, you know, those like sit warmers on
there. It’s not but now we can add in actual poo analysis. So, check
out that article if you’re interested in that and then finally since we’ve
talked about sleeping, about nude sunbathing, about pooping, we
might as well talk about the use of recreational drugs too just to....
Kinda come full circle and make sure that any children listening in
are now scarred for life. So this....
Pleased to accept your waste.
I love it! So this was a study on pot and the use of marijuana and of
course we know that marijuana has been used for thousands of years
as a treatment for medical conditions and we, in no way, condone its
use as a recreational drug but what they looked in to was the cognitive
impairments and the potential damage to your brain when you use
something like marijuana long term. There has been some research
that has shown potential for an increase in what are called
neurofibrillary tangles where the formation of what are called beta
amyloid plaques and neurodegeneration in your brain in the presence
of pot intake. What this study showed was that if you can somehow
inhibit cox 2, which is an enzyme that converts arachidonic acid
which is kinda like a, it’s associated with inflammation but it converts
arachidonic acid to prostanoids in the brain and so potentially causes
inflammation in the brain, so to speak. If we can somehow shut down
cox 2 while we are taking in marijuana base substances then we can
shut down the potential neurodegenerative effect of marijuana. And
so an example of a cox 2 inhibitor would be like ibuprofen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug. The unfortunate thing about those
though is they also shut down what’s called cox 1 which is really really
important for the lining of your stomach and your digestive tract in
your blood vessels and that’s why something like ibuprofen can cause
a lot of damage to your gut or damage to your liver or damage to your
stomach. There are cox 2 inhibitors out there like, for example,
curcumin is a perfect example so you know the active component of
the herb turmeric which we find in things like curries, it’s in that
phenocane anti-inflammatory supplement that I personally use pretty
regularly; if we can use something like that like a high dose curcumin
in the presence of marijuana exposure so to speak from all that
second hand marijuana smoke from your neighbors sipping in as you
listen to the podcast. What we can do is, all our pot smoking
neighbors here in Washington by the way, it’s now legal I think it’s
about an ounce and a half that you can get so now we’ve got all these
pot shops opening up but basically I wouldn’t really be going near pot
unless you’re also doing a little bit of cox 2 inhibition and getting in
your curry and your curcumin at the same time.
The next time you’ve got some of the cancer munchies.....
Ahmm, we just save the brain of all of our high listeners.
audiblepodcast.com/ben is the place to head over and sign up for
your free trial of the pretty sweet collection of, what do they have like
50,000 maybe it’s a 150,000 I can’t remember it’s like a ridiculous
number of audio books and download for free.
Millions, billions. Just make up a number.
Billions, just make a 150 billion.
Billion and sharks with lasers, audiblepodcast.com/ben and we’re in a
stressful time, the holidays and....
Speak for yourself, I’m totally relaxed.
That’s right because Brock doesn’t celebrate Christmas. He is stuck in
his mountain top with his pants stuff with snow and chills.
Stuff with snow doing a headstand.
Anyway, stressful for some people.
You wanna decrease stress, there’s this book on audible that I found
called Mindfulness for Dummies and mindfulness is something again
not to kick a horse to death but I, this is something I demonstrated at
the Creative Live presentation. We did about 2 mins of mindfulness
based breathing to kinda get ourselves back into a relaxed way of
being and mindfulness can help you clear your mind of negative and
distracting thoughts and live a little bit more positively and make cool
habitual lifestyle changes and this book teaches you, if you’re one of
the dummies walking around out there, (not that any of our podcast
listeners are) but this is called Mindfulness for Dummies, it’s only a 2
hr long audio book but over the course of the audio book which you
get for free when you go to audiblepodcast.com/ben. You can learn
everything you need to know about how to be more mindful so there
Yeah, you don’t have to get that book though.
You know, you have to get that book.
For suggestion, you can get the Hunger Games if you want.
You can get the Hunger Games, you get Fifty Shades of Gray...
It’s hunger or hungry?
Hunger, the Hunger Games is probably....
That sounds way better.
I like the Hungry Games actually, that sounds good. Let’s write a book
called the Hungry Games.
That sounds spending my.... exactly.
Mindfulness for Dummies, check it out and then also while you’re on
the internet surf over to the brand new Ben Greenfield gear page over
at bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear. Now, as you may know if you go
and leave this podcast to review on iTunes then you’ve got a pretty
good chance if we read your review on the show which we’ll be doing
at the end of today’s show. So listen in ‘cause you may have won a
pack, we’ve got a brand new pcb-free, guilt-free healthy Ben
Greenfield fitness water bottle.
We’ve got the brand new bengreenfieldfitness.com beanie.
Wait, did you say pcb or pca?
Sorry, bpa. The other alphabets....
It’s called pcb-free as well.
Probably pcb-free let’s keep our fingers cross but definitely bpa-free.
The Ben Greenfield fitness text shirt, we spared no expense on the
shirt that’s actually a cool looking shirt that you can workout in vs.
being one of those cheapo cotton tent shirts.
Yeah, I actually wear it around like not working out, it’s that nice.
Yeah, it’s actually a cool shirt. So check it all out, it’s over at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear but you get all that stuff we’ll ship it
anywhere in the world. It’s an awesome way to support the show, you
get the beanie again super duper high quality head sweats beanie and
if anybody has worn head sweat gear, it’s some pretty sweet stuff.
We call it tuque here in Canada.
You could wear this during an entire day of skiing or if you’re up in
Canada crawling or anything else, the Ben Greenfield fitness tuck tshirt for the gym and then of course your bpa-free water bottle so that
you don’t have children with birth defects and you can get that all
over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/gear. It’s 47 bucks for the shirt, the
hat, the bottle, check it out.
Steal of a deal.
Steal of a deal and then of course don’t forget to get your free gift by
going to giftfromben.com because I’m gonna be giving out some cool
giftage in about 2 days, on my birthday.
Yup, do it soon.
So, there you go.
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Listener Q & A:
Hi Ben, it’s Anne from Boston. I was calling because I recently moved
into a new office space that doesn’t get any outside natural light
during the day. I was wondering if you had any suggestions for a type
of sunlamp I should get or any supplements I should take or anything
else I should be doing to minimize the negative impacts of sitting in
an office where I see very little sunshine during the day. Thank you,
love the podcast, bye bye.
You don’t even have to move into a crappy dark office, you just have
to live in the Northern Hemisphere and you’re experiencing the same
problem as Anne is having.
Yeah and the issue of course is sad, not to be confused with the
standard American diet. The seasonal effective disorder and we also
know this as the winter blues but it’s this problem where whether
you’re stuck in the dark office all day and it’s summer or spring or fall
or winter or whether the sun just not out where you’re at, what
happens is it lowers your serotonin levels specifically because when
we get an upregulation of melatonin and kind of a natural circadian
rhythm, we get really nice stabilized serotonin levels and when that
gets disrupted we can get depression, fatigue, sleepiness, irritability,
difficulty concentrating, a lot of different issues. So the trick is that
you can biohack the sun and you can actually kinda introduce
features into your office space or your home space that simulate some
light or that help you get some of the chemicals into your body that
somewhat we’re normally producing, so one thing probably the
biggest thing on your radar should be one of this fancy light boxes or
lamps that produced typically blue lights. So I’ll put some links in the
show notes under your question Anne and the show notes are gonna
be at bengreenfieldfitness.com/264 but 2 brands that I really like that
put out that 10,000 lux of light that you would just set on your desk
or set like on your table when you’re eating breakfast and it only take
about 15-30 mins of exposure or so. There’s one called the Nature
Bright Sun Touch, there’s also another one called The Omega Light
Therapy Device. Those would be a couple that you would just be able
to pick up off Amazon. Usually I mean, they’re not super cheap you’re
gonna spend a 100-150 bucks on a good like 10,000+ lux blue light
So that’s the key right there is to get the 10,000 or more lux, lux being
the measurement of light output.
Yup, and for it to really cause that bumped up that slight bumped up
in cortisol that you’d normally be getting and for it to stabilize your
serotonin levels in the morning. It should include a little of the blue
light wave spectrum. So most of them do, most of these what are
called photo therapy devices actually do. So they do have some risk if
you look at them for a long time. You can get eye strain, you can get
headache, some people who used them quite a bit have complain of
side effects like nausea and difficulty sleeping so you don’t wanna
overuse a photo therapy device but literally just 15-30 mins in the
morning or at a dark office could help out quite a bit. So that’s one
thing to look into is light therapy. Another thing to look into....
I actually just googled what the differences between lumens and lux
‘cause I was curious what 10,000+ lux would be ‘cause I remember
you’ve got that killer light you’d put on your bike that had like I think
has 10,000 lumens or so. So lux is more the spread of the light and
lumen is just the luminosity like the actually brightness of it so I guess
they wanna spread out the light for this particular usage.
Yeah, yeah and you don’t necessarily like stare directly into it. You
can just set it 1 or 2 feet from you while you’re working on your
computer or while you’re again like eating breakfast or whatever it is
that you do in the morning and yeah just set up there and that can
help out a little bit. Vitamin D supplementation which we’re already
hit on, you can of course supplement with vitamin D, again with
vitamin D though it’s always one of those things were we need to be
really careful and the more and more research I see on just straight
up supplementation of what’s called vitamin D3 which is the popular
form of vitamin D that you see a lot of people popping these days.
There are some definite issues with high dose vitamin D and the
absence of our other natural fat soluble vitamins, now believe it or
not, one of the best ways to increase blood levels of what’s called 25
hydroxy vitamin D which is the more natural type of vitamin D that
you get circulating in your bloodstream if you had say good afternoon
sun exposure like that ultimate combination of UVA and UVB light
that we’d talked about.
One of the steps your body actually manufactures in response to
Right, right. To get closer to the stuff like the bioactive stuff that your
body actually manufactures itself, one of the best combinations of the
compounds responsible for allowing you to make that yourself as eggs
just like a whole natural, like a, not a farm raised egg preferably or not
a, you know, like a typical store bought egg, like an egg that’s omega 3
and rich through like a cage-free hen that type of thing, not one of the
chickens that raised in 1 foot by 1 foot space inside a barn but literally
like really good egg from like your local CSA (Community Supported
Agriculture) where you can meet up with a farmer or take turns with
other people meeting up with a farmer to get eggs or like paying the
extra 1 or 2 dollars to the grocery store to get like the good omega 3
enriched egg. That’s a really really good source of vitamin D as well,
so that’s something else that I do is focus on the vitamin D, get the
light therapy, you know, again like I mentioned be careful just
accepting that say like moving closer to an office space that has say, a
window in it that has exposure to the sun just be careful ‘cause you
get mostly uva rays when you do that. But those are 2 of the things
that I would do is good vitamin D supplementation including eggs
and fish in your diet as well and then also consider the use of
something like one of these blue light boxes.
Now I don’t wanna go too far from Anne’s question but you said
something that I’d thought was kinda interesting when we ‘re talking
about eggs. You said that the omega 3 enriched-eggs, now I’ve always
heard that you shouldn’t go for the omega 3 ones because they’re
actually like feeding the chicken something that they naturally
wouldn’t necessarily eat in order to boost the omega 3 so you’re
actually losing some of the other good parts of the eggs. Is that, do
you not follow or subscribe to that idea?
I’ve never actually seen any evidence that omega 3 enriched eggs are
getting omega 3 enriched by feeding them bad diet. You know, that
something that we should look into though. Maybe something we can
research and one of our listeners can put up on the facebook page,
maybe over at facebook.com/BGfitness.
Yeah, if anybody is actually interested in this.
I mean, I guess if you’re supplementing chicken feed with something
like flax seeds that have a good omega 3 content, I don’t see huge
issue with doing something like that, I suppose, if a chicken is getting
a lot of soy and other omega 6 fatty acids or something like that along
with something like flax, it could be an issue, but I don’t see an issue
with feeding a chicken like extra flax seed or some sort of other omega
3 fatty acid to increase the omega 3 content of the actual egg unless
I’m missing something and that certainly could be the case.
Yeah, I try and find the article that I’m, I’m thinking of it, it’s either
Josh Acts or Dave Asprey I think that wrote about that. I’ll see if I can
Hi Ben, my name is Celia and I’ve been running for about a year and a
half now. I’m 53 yrs old. I was wondering if you could describe what a
medial heel whip is and what are some of the mechanics behind this
and what can I do without spending so much money to go and get my
gait analyzed? What can I do to remedy it? Thank you.
So heel whip, that’s a, I know somebody who’d has a quite a serious
case of heel whip, I’m having trouble thinking if it’s you?
Guilty as charged, guilty as charged and it really annoys me like when
I see pictures of myself running triathlons and my right foot is just
enormously externally rotated like whipping out to the side as I run. I
have a pretty serious case of heel “whippage” and in my case I went to
like physical therapist, chiropractics, sports medicine docs, you know,
over and over again I was like, “Why is my leg turning out like this?”
and for me it took having kids and watching my kids and seeing my
little boys as young as 3 yrs old running up and down the driveway
and they both do the same thing, externally rotate their right foot and
my son who’s left handed externally rotates his left foot. And in the
case of you know, like a child doing it from the time that they’re
young all the way up until they’re an adult, sometimes it’s simply is
the angle of the femur. You can have what’s called femoral
anteversion where the way that your femur attaches to the hip socket
simply causes your hip to be in a position that causes a little bit of
external rotation of the foot as your foot leaves the ground when you
push off during the run stride.
But in many many people that’s not the case especially if it’s
accompanied by things like IT band friction syndrome or a lot of
injury in the hip or the knee or the ankle or the foot. And the reason
for that is because heel whip initiates with an external rotation of
your femur so at some point between mid-stance when your foot
kinda hits the ground and in you’re standing on your foot and then
the tow off as you forcefully unload that foot and push forward unto
the next phase of your gait what happens is there are excessive
rotational forces that cause your femur to rotate in a position that
throws that foot out or causes that foot to slightly rotate out. The
muscular imbalance that would cause the leg to want to rotate like
that would be the gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus not
actually firing properly, not actually doing what’s called abducting the
femur or moving the femur to the side. So kind of a more simplistic
terms this would mean that you have a weak butt and you would want
to actually strengthen your hip abductors like the gluteus medius and
the gluteus minimus and you would actually also wanna strengthen
your femurs’ external rotators. This would be things like the
piriformis, the quadratus femoris, muscles that tend to get
notoriously weak and de-activated by doing things like spending a
long period of time sitting. So what you can do are serious and
different exercises to fix something like this if it’s not just due to like a
natural genetic femoral anteversion. So one example would be
something like a hip hike and this would be where you stand on
elevated platform and you simply kinda drop one hip to the side and
then stand up again and drop one hip to the side and stand up again
and what you’ll feel is that for the hip that’s not dropping to the side
the other hip you’re actually working as you pull that hip up that sort
to get tired inside of your leg if you’re doing this right. Fire hydrants,
where you’re going to the ground in a crawl position and you hike
your leg like you’re a dog peeing on a fire hydrant, that’s another
really good one.
Yeah, it’s exactly what it sounds like.
Yup exactly. A monster walk where you’re using like one of these
elastic mini-bands to attach both legs together and kinda do like side
shuffles from side to side where you’re down almost like a quarter
squat position. That’s a really good one, pretty much anything that
involves external rotation of the hips. I’m gonna put a really good
video link in the show notes and the video link that I’ll put in the
show notes is basically chockfull of really good exercises about 5
exercises or so that you can go through to correct heel whip and then
the other thing that I should mention is that if you do want to kinda
get your run gait analyzed or you wanna get your swim stroke
analyzed or you wanna get your bike fit analyzed or anything like that,
there are places online that you can actually send a video of yourself
running into for example, if you’re running on a treadmill you can get
someone to video record you from back, from the front and from the
side and you can send your video and we actually do this over at
pacificelitefitness or coaches will do video analysis of your swimming,
of your bike fit, of your run gait, and you can actually kinda get
analyse to see how much of something might be just natural and
anatomical gait vs. how much of something might be due to muscle
abnormalities. For example, if I’m looking at someone from the back
and they’re running and I’m seeing that the hip is excessively tilting
from side to side meaning at mid-stance your hip just kinda collapses
and drops toward one side when you’re running and that’s
accompanied by something like a heel whip, that’s a pretty good sign
that it’s an external rotator or that it’s an abductor weakness issue vs.
it being genetic because it actually shows that you have weak hips
whereas if I see that foot kinda rotating out a little bit but the hips are
staying relatively level while you’re running, then usually it’s just the
case where you have that genetic kinda femoral anteversion and it’s
not really an issue. So kinda depends and if it’s accompanied by pain
and issues like I mentioned like IT band friction syndrome or pain
deep within your hips or the inside or the outside of your knee that’s
where this is definitely something you’d wanna look at addressing
through a really good strength type of program for the rotators and
Hey Ben, this is Eric. I wanted to ask your opinion about improving
my squat, I recently saw a youtube video of you and some swimming
goggles and some speedo trunks there doing some squats. I was very
impressed on the level how far you can go down, I was wondering
what tips you have to improve flexibility? Is it the goggles?
It’s the goggles.
It is the.... no, I thought it made you in the speedo.
Yeah, no it’s the goggles. It’s the little bit of the swim cap, the swim
cap helps a quite a bit as well.
There you go Eric, that’s it.
Now, you know, it’s just, it’s mobility. I mean, for example I tackle
the foam roller, I tackle my rumble roller a couple of times a week. I
just did it yesterday morning and literally make love to my foam roller
for about 10-15 mins to make sure that....
Wait, wait no. Not literally.
Well, I’m down there on the floor usually when you’re working at
abdaptors and your abductors if you have, you know, a house or
neighbors can see him through the living room whether you don’t
wanna close the curtains ‘cause it does look like you’re kinda doing
something perverted to a foam roller but that’s same company that
makes the rumble roller which is the foam roller that has the ridges
on it, they also make one called the beasty ball which is basically like
this little, it’s like a crossball that has ridges kinda sticking out of it
and that one is also really good but I’ll take like my beasty ball and my
foam roller and go and do slightly illegal things with them on a living
room floor. Literally just like you know, humping all over my hips, my
adductors, my abductors, all these areas that tend to get tightened up
that keep you from doing everything from like a deep squat to being
able to run for long periods of time without your hips collapsing.
That’s one way to do it as you come with these from like a fascial
standpoint and you make sure that you get some tissue work on a
regular basis that has a pretty profound effect on range of motion.
Now another thing that you can do is make sure that you really taking
care of your joints from like a nutrition standpoint like this stuff
kinda flies under the radar when it comes to mobility but I think that
lack of the proper nutrients in the diet can really lead to a lot of kinda
cell elasticity issues that fly under the radar. So for example, when we
talked about cell elasticity, vitamin B, vitamin C, both of those
increase cell wall elasticity, they increase joint mobility. They’ve
found in pretty much any like dark colored fruit or dark vegetable but
working things like kale, and purple cabbage and promegranates and
things like that into the diet super important like a really good full
spectrum of the antioxidant from food. There’s been some really
interesting studies on omega 3 fatty acids from fish and how
specifically deficiencies of epa and dha which are the active omega 3
fatty acids that we’re gonna find from some of these sources. When
you have a deficiency that can cause destruction or inflammation in a
lot of your cartilage cells and that also can decrease mobility so,
getting in a good fish oil like doing about 4-6 grams of a fish oil or
working in omega 3’s from things like cold water fish and eggs, things
of that nature, really important. We also do a ton of bone broth like
we get a whole chicken and we make bone broth once a week and I
think that really making sure that you’re getting in a lot of the
collagen, the gelatine, the minerals, the amino acids, all the things
that help with normal joint function by doing things like getting bone
marrow and bone broth and you know, if you’re too lazy to make it
yourself, you can even go to a website like thebrothery.com and get it
made and send to your house like all that stuff is just as important as
making sure that you go after fascial adhesion just like a foam roller
or some kind of like a stick or a ball or something along those lines.
All those dietary things really, it reminds me of an article I’ve read
about the LA Lakers, how they’re actually working with Dr. Cate
Shanahan right now and she introduced like bone broth and
antioxidants and stuff into their diet so getting them away from the
real inflammatory Gatorade and all that kind of stuff and most of the
people on the team, most of the guys on the team were talking about
how they hardly ever get recovery pains anymore like they just don’t
get doms, they feel that they’re recovering faster, they don’t get a sore,
sort of interesting.
Yeah, yeah. The LA Lakers are way up the cutting edge of this stuff
and that’s some really cool stuff that Cate Shanahan is doing with
them and if you just go google like Lakers diet or Lakers Cate
Shanahan, you’ll see some of the things they’re doing, I mean like,
you know, I was having this discussion with one of my buddies who’s
scout for major league soccer, I told him that if he ever had a team
that actually wanted to kind of incorporate a lot of these ancestral
living concepts and healthy eating concepts and you know, kinda
introduce these stuff in the professional sports that I would be more
than happy to help just because like this stuff flies under the radar so
much and when we’re talking about everything from NFL
finishing up their career and having a ton of brain inflammation that
can be controlled with stuff like you know, curcumin and huperzine
and a lot of these elements that can for example decrease
hypoperfusion to the brain or increase your ability to repair your
nervous system. You know, resveratrol, alpha lipoic acid, there’s a
bunch of compounds out there that can help with athletes who have
suffered from concussions to a lot of these other nutrients that can
help with joints and mobility. I mean, a lot of this stuff is as important
as the massage works, the deep tissue work or the functional strength
work. And then the other thing that I wanted to mention is if you
really wanna work on your squat, one of the best exercises that you
can do in my opinion to really help you with that, mobility, this is
something that I do about every other morning. I do about 10 of these
just to kinda wake up my glutes and it’s part of that whole series of
core foundation exercises that I go through from the book
“Foundation” written by Eric Goodman. We’ve mentioned this before
on the show, I’ll just stand facing a wall with my toes up against the
wall and try and drop into a deep squat facing the wall and it’s really,
really hard to do without falling over backwards but if you can train
yourself to do that, you’re going to learn how to activate a lot of the
glute muscles and kinda tilt your hips back and get into that position
that’s necessary to achieve a deep squat ‘cause if you’re not turn on
your glutes, once again kinda returns what we’re talking about like
the heel whip you’re really not gonna be able to achieve that deep
squat position without some things really kinda fall into pieces from
like a hip or a knee standpoint. So yeah, those are some of the things
that I would think about.
You know, I used to have a really terrible squat and actually those of
you who’ve gone to giftfromben.com, you’ll see me do a really terrible
squat in that video and it was pretty much right after that that I
decided I had to get better at them and you know, what the best thing
was for me was just to do it more. I just so rarely did squat so I just
never really got good at them and I basically I sort of hanging out in a
squat position just more often as well getting my body used to it,
getting all those muscles sort of just that’s more normal to them now
and that made a huge difference for me.
Yup, squatty potty baby.
Hi Ben, this is Joe calling. I wonder if you can help me out with my
difficulty in gaining mass aside from weight. I’m a classic ectomorph
so I’ve been training since I’m 17 yrs old and I’m 25 right now and I’ve
always been on the skinny side and I’ve been trying to really, really
bulk up and to put on some good, good mass and you know, I’ve been
some results to some degree but I’m still only at 5 foot 10 away 155
and I wanted to know if you can help me out when I’m packing on
some size and gaining weight. Thank you very much, bye.
And this one....
Hello Ben, this is Todd calling from San Diego, 46 yrs old, pretty
active and work all day. Do hot yoga about 5 days a week and I want
to put on about 8 lbs of muscle. The problem is I rarely have time to
eat enough to support any and the workouts that I’m doing. So kind
of a 2 part question, wanted to know if I’m doing 2 days a week to hit
the gym in addition to what I’m doing yoga wise, what kind of
exercise should I be doing to put on as much mass as possible, I don’t
want to spend more 40 mins at the gym and also I’m having
bulletproof coffee pretty much every morning but at this point I’m
kinda scared to eat lean ‘cause I’m trying to put on weight. So, I need
some advice here, thanks.
Okay, I thought this will be a good opportunity to stick these 2
questions together ‘cause they’re similar, not exactly the same. Good
way to stick them together.
Yeah, we’ve got a lot of listeners who wanna get swoll, get big.
Hmm, I don’t blame them.
Speaking of squatting by the way, I don’t know about you but this
whole mass gain program that you and I are doing from Dan John. I
did my 50, you know, a lot of the finishers for this workouts are
squats because the growth hormone in testosterone response you get
from squats and kinda like the mass that you get from doing squats is
enormous, it’s this defensive position that puts your sympathetic
nervous system into this whole fight and flight mode but it’s a great
way, you know, in moderation to build muscle and get yourself bigger
and these workouts that Brock and I have been doing is part of this
mass gain program, they end many of them with 50 squats like heavy
squats. It took me about 20 mins to get through my 50 reps and this
was 3 days ago. Worth it, put a weight.
Really? I did mine the day before yesterday. The first time I actually
made it to 50 without having to take a real break. I don’t think it took
me that long, I think it’s maybe like 10 mins. I’m doing it with the
prescribed weight so it’s a, a guy my size Dan John has to do with 135
now in 2 days from now, I’m supposed to do it again with 185.
I was gonna say yeah, because I’m at the point now where I’ll do 2
reps, walk away come back to 2 or 3 reps walk away come back and
Wow, how much weight did you get?
I’m a 225 right now, so yeah, it’s destroying me but really good way to
gain weight, gain size, the mass gain program that Brock and me and
a lot of other endurance athletes who have kinda want to put on
muscle on the off season, we’ll put a link to that one in the show
notes. It’s based off on the book Mass Made Simple by Dan John and
it just involves a lot of multi joint moves and what are called barbell
complexes where you’ll do a complex where you’ll do like a front row
with the barbell, then going to a cling with the barbell and then a
series of front squats, overhead presses, back squats, deadlifts and
you’ll do all this without ever releasing the bar and you feel like you’re
hit by a mack truck by the time you actually put that bar down.
I’m out of breath I get by the end of the complex seems like I’ve
sprinted for like 500 meters or something.
Yeah, so check out that program ‘cause it works really well and you
know, the main thing is the biggest 2 mistakes that I see people make
who come to me and they’re skinny and they wanna put on size and
I’ve worked with high school athletes, I’ve worked with 40-50 year
olds they’ve think they’re too skinny. Two biggest mistakes that folks
make is number 1, they don’t lift heavy stuff so they’re just trying to
do home workouts with elastic bands or they’re just using the
machines at the gym or they’re just using dumbbells and they’re just
not using, you know, really a barbell is in my opinion, the barbell
loaded with weights is one of the best ways to put on mass, to get
stronger, to put on muscle and then there also simultaneous to not
lifting enough heavy stuff, just doing lots of light stuff, lots of yoga
and cycling and running and walking and there like a rat on a wheel
when they’re not doing any type of weight training and it’s just
basically burning too many calories and putting the body in this
constant state of catabolism. So you know, like Dan John and my
interview with him and you could go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and
do a search for Dan John or Mass Made Simple, he’s like you lift
heavy stuff and then you go like sit around the couch and watch the
college football game. And you know, that’s how you put on muscle.
So the other thing, the other mistake that folks make is that they don’t
eat enough. And you really do need to be eating a lot of food to put on
significant amount of muscle and in many cases you got to be eating a
thousand or more calories over and above what’s called your basal
metabolic rate. I’ll put a link in the show notes to some specific free
metabolic rate calculators like I have calculators for everything from
your ideal body weight and ideal body fat to how to calculate your
basal metabolic rate. I have all that stuff over at special page at
getfitguy.com because a big part of the book that I wrote over there at
getfitguy.com is based around kinda starting off by finding out your
daily calorie burn. I’ll link to the page that has the metabolic rate
calculators in the show notes for that because that’s another big thing
is knowing, like for me, it’s pretty shocking when a guy like me who’s
burning at rest without doing anything at all about 2800 calories a
day for me to need put on muscle you know, I got to be eating more
sometimes a 4 and 5,000 calories a day and a lot of people just don’t
eat enough food and they don’t lift enough heavy stuff and those are 2
of the big mistakes.
Actually that’s interesting ‘cause I’ve been like I feel like I’m lifting
heavy I’m definitely lifting more than ever I’ve lifted in my life and
I’ve put on a lot of strength, like I can’t believe how much I’m bench
pressing compared to 5 weeks ago when I started this program but I
haven’t actually put on any, well I’ve put on some muscle, not like a
real noticeable amount and not really noticeable on the scale either
but I have put on some squishiness around my gut, so I guess it
sounds like I’m not lifting heavy enough yet but I have increased my
caloric intake by like 500 or 1000 calories.
Yeah, I’m a bigger fan of not eating so much that you start to put on a
gut, and this is kinda like finding that balance because if you eat a lot
of food you’re gonna put on muscle even more quickly, you’re gonna
stay in that anabolic state more readily but you also risks some of it
getting turn into fat so I’m a bigger fan of sacrificing your rate of
muscle gain if you can stay lean while at the same time that you’re
putting on muscle. So for me it’s typically about that 4000 to 5000
calorie a day window that allows me to, if I’m lifting heavy, still
somewhat lean and I actually periodize meaning that on the days
where I’m not lifting where I don’t have a lot of activity, I’m going
back down to like eating just as many calories as there in my
metabolic rate so I’m not eating a high number of calories on my nonlifting days and that really helps as well. The other thing that you can
I was just gonna say, Todd brought up in his question that he has
been doing Bulletproof Coffee every morning as that, I mean that’s a
good way to get some extra calories but he’s not definitely getting
protein and that’s something that well we’ve all heard we need a
certain amount of when we’re trying to put on muscle.
Yeah, you need about, to actually maintain muscle, you need about
0.5 to 0.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight. To build muscle
you need closer to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of body weight,
that’s still a lot less than many of these muscle magazines would have
you to believe. The other really, really important thing is that you
should never step into a gym to say lift weights. If your goal is
strength and muscle size without having elevated levels of blood
amino acids which ensure that you are staying in a very anabolic state
and that you’re not dipping into your muscle for tissue. So you can do
that by consuming, like you can mix collagen or amino acids in with
something like a bulletproof coffee, you can ensure that you’re eating
like a 20-25 gram portion of protein from eggs or fish or something
like that about an hour to an hour and a half or so before you go to the
gym. You know, we’re doing like a protein shake but keeping blood
amino acid levels high is really important and along with that muscle
gain program, again I will link to in the show notes at
bengreenfieldfitness.com/264, There are supplements that you can
take that help with muscle gain I mean like 2 that I highly
recommend that kinda fly under the radar, one is colostrum and
colostrum, again it’s derive from like mother’s milk, it’s what helps
babies grow into big animals you know like goats and cows and stuff
like that or humans and it can help you grow when you’re on the
weight room. So, I do about 4 capsules of capracolostrum in the
morning and 4 in the evening and that’s one thing that can help if
recovery with repair with the lining of your stomach and with
strength building. So that’s one that I would consider, another one
that I’ve been using quite a bit that I just keep in my gym bag and I
ensure that I’m never ever going near a weight session or finishing
weight session without elevating my blood levels of amino acids and
that’s master amino pattern stuff that just a capsule I don’t even use
water, I just pop them in my mouth and chew about 5-10 before
workout or after workout to make sure that I’m never really in that
catabolic state. So that’s really important to make sure that you keep
yourself in that kind of anabolic state as much as possible so that
allows you to do it without creating a lot of nitrogenous by-product or
ammonia by-product because those amino acids are literally
converted extremely efficiency into the usable amino acids that you’re
gonna use for repair and recovery.
Because they’re pretty much just like a protein that’s been predigested for you.
Yup, exactly exactly. So those are some things that I would consider
as well. You know, I also have an article that I’ve written on strength
training with kinda like every little thing that you’d wanna consider
when it comes to putting on strength from like how to periodize, how
to time your workouts to all the different foods that help support
testosterone and help to keep blood amino acid levels high and I’ll
link to that in the show notes for the show as well so that you can go
and read that if you wanna geek out on this a little bit more.
Hi Ben and Brock, I’ve seen a lot of people wearing calf sleeves lately
for endurance running and I was just wondering if you found any
research articles that approve any benefits for them or if you
personally know of any benefits of them. Thanks for all your help and
all your information. I really enjoy your podcast and congrats on
Personally I’ve started using well not necessarily the calf sleeves but I
started using compression socks and I found that they’ve worked
really well for me.
Yeah, I used them quite a bit and it’s a, who’s the guy Mev Covleski? I
always pronounce his last name wrong. Covleski, whatever it is. The
guy who run a New York marathon, he run them in compression
socks and he wears those quite a bit and swears by them and I of
course used compression sleeves when I fly all the time and I actually
just put them in my bag and just went on like a complete tool walking
around the airport, you know, I wait ‘till I get on the plane and then
throw in my compression sleeves but yeah there’s a lot of claims out
there that they do everything from increasing oxygen delivery to
decreasing lactic acid to preventing cramps and the thing is that the
research goes back and forth on this. There’s a few studies like a few
small studies that have found that compression garments increase
performance when you wear them during exercise but they’re
typically with not a lot of subjects and they’re really not the best
studies on the face of the planet when it comes to for example the fact
that none of the studies used the placebo group or a control group so
it was hard to tell if the increases were really from sale like
compression gear or from the athletes say like perception of the
compression gear like the fact the athlete knew that they were
wearing the gear vs. a control group that wasn’t wearing the gear at
all. So it’s really tough in terms of putting your finger on the research
vs. using yourself as like n=1 experiment to see if they say work for
you. So most of the research either doesn’t show performance
benefits like acute performance benefit helping you in the moment to
run fast or go longer and have an increase time to exhaustion or the
ones that do show performance benefit don’t really have a control
group or they’re done with very, very small amount of subjects. Now
there was recently a really interesting like real world study were they
followed a bunch of athletes who were doing an ultra race in South
Africa and they found that the athletes who had compression socks
even compared to the athletes who wore like regular knee high socks
or athletes that wore no socks, the athletes that have the compression
socks on has significantly less muscle damage and recovered more
quickly and also ran on average for the ultra race 12 mins faster and I
believe this was close to the hundred mile distance for this ultra race.
So, that was kind of an interesting real world study and the reason
that they’ve kinda propose that happens is because you get better
support of the muscle so perhaps a little bit of increased basic
stiffness you know, if you look at really fast runners sometimes they
do a slightly stiffer tendons, slightly stiffer hamstrings that help them
to pop up the ground a little bit more quickly so that compression
gear might possibly be offering that type of benefit but then when it
comes to bouncing back again for the next day session. When you’re
running and your foot strikes the ground and your muscle is jiggling
so to speak what happens is there can be a little bit more fiber
damage than if that muscle were kinda held in place by something
like compression gear. So, it’s possible that the decreased soreness or
the decreased perception of soreness or the decreased delayed onset
muscle soreness or doms might actually be caused by wearing these
And it’s important to realize that a lot of these are a little bit different
than what you’ll get if you are to say like go to your local medical
supply store and get the old band socks like a lot of the compression
socks and especially the ones that have shown or hinted at any benefit
in raising or in a lab were at over 25 what’s called millimetres or
mmhg of pressure and in many cases were this graded compression
socks, they get like tighter at your ankle and then decreases as they
move toward your hip. So it is a special kind of compression socks
that’s thicker, that’s grade a graded so if you’re gonna do a
compression sock or compression sleeve, you know, I’d go with the
company like 2XU, skins, the company that I work with is a 110%
meaning that I wear their stuff and I wear that just because it allows
you to put ice into the compression gear as well so you can use it for
recovery. Ultimately though if it works for you, I do it and the cool
thing is it’s never been shown to have any harm like it’s never ever
been shown to make you slower so that’s kind of the important thing
that you realize too is that there’s no risk, it’s not actually gonna like
you know make you slower or decrease your ability to recover.
And you’ll look kinda cool if you have them too.
Someone argue that you look like a complete tool and a triathlon geek
or running nerd.
Well, you do look like a geek or a nerd but a cool one. Actually if you
go over to the Ben Greenfield fitness app for the iPhone and the
android I did a video if you’re wondering what the heck compression
sleeve or compression sock looks like. I did a gear review of the procompression stuff over there, see if you can pick that up and take a
look at it.
There you go you can see Brock modelling his compression gear.
Looking like a nerd and a geek.
Yes, Mr. Greenfield, I just wanted to know, my name is Robert Odale.
We were kinda of figuring out the best way to approach some getting
into shape and better things and with all the stuff out there today and
I know you use the Medex machine or like other things too but we
wondered about the machines, and the kettle bells and the free
weights but there is anyway give us a call or get something to as we
greatly appreciate it. Thank you.
So the Medex that Robert mentions, I actually have, I don’t use that.
That’s the one that’s recommended by Doug Mcguff, who’s the guy
who wrote the book Body by Science whom we have interviewed on
the show before. He’s the one who does the super slow training
protocol and he uses, that’s the protocol where you go like 10-30
seconds up 10-30 seconds down and he uses that machine called the
Medex, weight machine to do something like this. I’m personally not
a huge fan of machines and rarely if ever go near machines at a gym I
don’t have a machine at my home. I have a bit like if you open up my
closet just like a bunch of random workout gears spills out and I can
tell you exactly what I have in my home. Although like I mentioned
earlier when I go to the gym at this point it’s pretty much just like a
barbell with weights on it because we’re doing that mass made simple
program which really actually is pretty simple. It’s a barbell with
weight and you’re doing squats and presses and everything.
Same workout, same order, same everything.
Yup exactly every single time. So what I do have at my house though
if you were to open my closet and just kinda go through all the
workout gear, the random workout gear that I’ve tried that I can
swear by is I have a kettle bell and it’s just one of those monkey faced
kettle bells from Onnit, I have also a maze from Onnit which is this
heavy kinda deal that you swing around and what else do I have? I’ve
got the gym stick and I’ll put a link to all these stuff, I’ll just list off
everything in my home gym and link to it if you want. I’ve got the gym
stick which is this tube that has like elastic bands on either side of it
and I like that one, it can’t get to the pool to do kinda like a swimming
type of workout. You know, with overhead presses and kneeling
presses and upright rows and that one kinda simulate swimming a
little bit. I’ve got a Fit10 which is the device I can attach to my door
and it allows me to do sprints in place. So if I wanna do like series of
10 by 30 seconds sprints and don’t want to hop on a treadmill or go
outside, I can do those like right in my office.
So you just tater yourself to the wall.
You tater yourself to a door and you just run and you wanna make
sure that there’s nobody on the other end who’s gonna open the door
or you gonna run through the wall. I’ve got a suspension strap which
is kinda like a trx. The one I have is called the most fit suspension
strap, I used that a lot more often in the summer or grab that strap
head out to the backyard and just do single lane lunges and push ups
and stuff like that using a suspension strap. I’ve got the little mini
band, I mentioned this earlier it allows you to kinda tie your ankles
together and do like monster walks, side walks like basically it’s a
really good way to strengthen your hips. I’ve got a weighted vest
which allows me to just like, for example I worked out yesterday and
my workout was, I put on my weighted vest and I put on everything
that I have in my little home gym so that my elevation training mask,
so that allows you to kinda simulate being up around 18,000 feet. Put
on my weighted and my elevation training mask and just went for a
hike. That was my workout yesterday. So it takes a normal restful
nature hike where you’ve been enjoying the birds singing and the
wind whispering to the trees and instead turns in to just like this,
suffer fest where your, you know, covered in sweat and hoisting this
40 lbs vest up the hill and breathing through them that Batman like
Terrifying for all the children you come across.
You look like the terrorist on the trail exactly but I’ve got bad stuff
toss into my workout closet just so I can go out and just kinda rock
around and hike and make it really hard hike. I’ve got a stability ball
so I can just basically do some balancing base exercises on that, I do a
lot of hip hikes and the abdominal work using the stability ball.
Is that one of those half balls or is that one of the full balls?
No, a full ball, a full ball and then I also have the half ball, the bosu
ball that I can jump on and do balance exercises and that’s about it. I
mean, to put all that stuff together that I just talked about you’d be
looking at like around 250 bucks or so but again if you’re trying to
build muscle or build strength none of that stuff is heavy. It’s not like
with the gym stick and the elevation training mask you’re gonna be
able to put on strength. So I still drive to the gym to get the heavy
I think the power block dumbbells go up to 50 lbs so even with both
of them still on me 100 lbs is not quite enough to really do some
Yeah, but I mean if you just wanna get lean and stay fit, I mean that’s
the kind of stuff that I have around in my house. Probably if you had
to have me, like if I have to buy 1 machine and I am thinking about
like putting maybe in this, a new home gym that I wanna build
potentially like 1 kinda like full body exercise machine. I would look
into the one called the arxFit. I got a chance to workout on this, it’s
called a-r-x fit, well I‘ll link to it in the show notes so that you can
check out arxfit.com. I worked out on one at Paleofx, and it’s one that
I think Keith Norris uses, he’s kinda big in the paleo community for
what’s called his efficient exercise program and what it does is it just
show resistance as you’re going a motion and can provide like really
really high resistance. So you know how like you’re swimming Brock,
if you’re to move your hand to the water like the faster or the harder
you push your hand through the water, the harder the water is gonna
push back against you. Right, it’s called like isokenetic resistance
that’s what we call that in biomechanics. This is very very similar in
that as you get stronger or weaker as you progress through your
movement, the machine automatically kinda adjust to resistance as
you move through so not only could it be use for like that super slow
protocol that we’ve talked about but it could also be used for you to
like try really explosive powerful movements and experience
increased resistance no matter how hard you work against the
machines. The one is called an arxfit, they have a home unit, they also
have real cool like professional unit that has like this nomadic
adjustments, and like a computer that allows you to program in an
actual exercise program it’s got like a touch screen and I think it was
the professional unit that I was able to get a chance to hop on and use
a paleo facts. Maybe we even got like mocji can put it to where like it
will resist you so much that you’re pretty much just doing like a max
effort isometric contraction and you can program it to only have
resistance when you’re going to the negative portion of the lift or only
have resistance when you’re going to the positive effort of the lift and
there’s no eccentric contraction involve.
So, it’s really cool, it’s called an arxfit and I guess if I had to choose 1
machine, if you’re gonna force me to use 1 machine like a home gym,
that’s the one that I would look into using.
Sound’s like exercising in quick sand.
Yeah kinda but kinda cool and I have no clue how much they cost, I
have to look into it but I’ll put a link in the show notes. I would
imagine that professional unit is like a few thousand dollars but a
home one might me a little bit more affordable. So, arxfit.
I’m gonna say it’s a hundred bucks.
There you go.
Hey Ben and Brock, this is Sol here from sunny Santa Fe. I love your
podcast and I just joined your Inner Circle because I can’t get enough
of your stuff. So here’s my question: The Kenyans just sweep the New
York City marathon, they won both the men’s and women’s divisions
so I got curious ‘cause I keep hearing that the Kenyans win all the
time so I’d looked in Wikipedia and I see that between 1997 and 2013,
Africans mostly from Kenya but also from Morocco and Ethiopia have
won 13 out of 16 New York City marathons and particularly this was
in the men’s open division. Everybody of course has their own
opinion about what makes the Africans marathon winning machines
and of course I’m very curious Ben and Brock, would you guys think
is their secret sauce? Thanks.
If we knew the actual definitive answer to that question I think we
would have quit our jobs a long time ago.
That’s right. Well you certainly don’t see Moroccans and Ethiopians
winning power lifting competitions and so there’s a reason for that.
Really good book that goes into this is, the new book by David Epstein
“The Sports Gene” have you read that one Brock?
No, I haven’t. No, I got to check on that.
Awesome, awesome book. I don’t know if that’s one over on audible
but either way that’s a really good book to pick up. The Sports Gene
just goes into what makes people, who are good at specific sports,
good. And for example when we look at the role of genetics and
something like a Kenyan population, they’ve got really thin ankles
and they’ve got thin calves and that’s important because when you’re
running, your leg is like a pendulum so the more weight you have, the
farther away from your center of gravity, the more difficult it is to
swing that weight. So if we’re talking about like running, you know,
put on a couple of like 2 or 3 or 4 lb weights on your ankle and go out
and go for a run and that’s kind of a difference between say like the
average person walking around in the size of their ankle and the size
of their calf and like one of these Kenyan runners or the Ethiopian or
the Moroccan runners in the size of their ankles and calves. If you
look at them from a genetic standpoint, the way that they’re actually
built that’s one thing that you can look into. Now the other thing and
I’m gonna link to this excellent podcast that was done by a Radio Lab
and it’s called “Cut and Run” and what that podcast gets into is it’s
start off by talking about the runner Kip Keino, remember Kip Keino
He was the guy who had that 15 hundred meter upset in the Mexico
Olympics like back in the 60’s. And the amazing thing was that he
have like a gallbladder infection before the race which is incredibly
painful and I heard it’s the most when you’re actually breathing hard
and he not only won the race but he set an Olympic record kinda
pushing through the pain of that gallbladder infection and when you
go and look at the pain tolerance of a lot of these like Kenyan runners
and you know these Ethiopians and Moroccans, one of the things that
is traditional like in this tribe that Kip Keano came from is you get
circumcised when you’re like 14 or 15 yrs old and the circumcision
literally is this brutal ceremony where they actually like wipe stinging
nettle on your genitals and they like have this process where they’re
like literally tie a string around your foreskin to circumcise you and
it’s this horrible painful ceremony and then though like they get into
this podcast in really good detail, they cake mud on your face and so if
your cheek twitches or your forehead wrinkles or you do anything
that would show like your ability to crack under pressure then you’re
labelled a coward and you’re stigmatized by the whole community
and you even lose out on your dowry, meaning your ability to
basically get money as you marry and make children in the tribe so
they’ve almost like genetically kinda bread out the people who are
more weak with this circumcision process.
The other thing that happens is when you’re circumcised, they take
you to this hut on the outskirt of the village to heal after your
circumcision and when you leave the hut you’re not allowed to walk,
so anywhere you go you have to run. So not only do you have to run
(you know whatever, run to school, run to the grocery store whatever)
but you have to run with this enormous amount of pain from the
circumcision. And this has been the tradition for hundreds of years
and so what the philosophy here is, is that they’ve literally bread
mental toughness into some of these tribes that are showing huge
amount of dominance in this running competitions that really rely on
you having a great deal of ability to stand pain and have mental
toughness in kind of keep going when the going gets hard. So you
know, I would say it’s kind of combination of that and genetics. I
don’t know, do you have any thoughts on this one Brock?
Not really, there’s definitely a lot of genetics like we talked about just
the size of the individuals and the length of the hamstrings and
Achilles tendon and stuff like that are just more built for that sort of
a, for a running activity and in certain populations but yeah, I mean
you hear people talk about how in Africa they run everywhere like
they just have to do that to get to school or to do whatever so they’re
just sort of born running but I have heard, I think it was Haile
Gebrselassie that was interviewed and he was talking about how
that’s kind of a myth that they don’t really run everywhere, they take
busses and stuff just like everybody else unless needed.
Well, they certainly run out of the hut when they’re circumcised and
we don’t do that here in America at least not. Anyone that I know of,
maybe out in sticks out in Arkansas somewhere.
Maybe, we don’t do that in Canada.
You know, the other thing is the diet. You hear a lot of people talked
about the diet and how they eat like a high carb diet and lots of
bananas and rice and stuff like that, I get ask a lot about my take on
that and the fact that these people are succeeding in endurance sports
on a high carb diet and why do I recommend ketosis, why do I
recommend getting in like a high amount of healthy fats, when it
comes to that stuff I would argue that the Kenyans are fast because of
their genetics and because of their culture but I personally suspect
that the long term effects of a high carbohydrate diet is still
something that could potentially cause deleterious effects down the
road, that’s number 1 and number 2, you’ll gonna find that in a lot of
these populations that have traditionally eaten a higher amount of
kinda like good starchy carbohydrates like bananas and white rice
and stuff like that. They’re doing some very interesting things like
producing more salivary amylase to initiate breakdown of those
carbohydrates that the pancreas doesn’t have to churn out as much
insulin. They have a specific gut flora or bacterial profile that allows
for a lower blood sugar response and better stabilization of blood
sugar levels upon consumption of that carbohydrate. Like there’s
some stuff that kinda bred in to some of these higher carbohydrate
consuming populations to that make them a little bit more bullet
proof to high carb intake so to speak so that’s something also to take
into account to is that it’s different strokes for different folks and
that’s why I think stuff like this 23andme.com genetic testing where
you can go and see whether you came from like a high fat fish and egg
eating like northern European population vs. like a higher white rice
consuming like Asian or Highlander type of population, it’s kind of
important when it comes to dictating the kind of diet that might work
best for you.
Unless of course the FDA shuts down 23andme and then it’s not
gonna help you at all.
That’s right, that’s right. They’re shutting down things right and left
silkroad, 23andme, not only can I knock at my jeans tested but I can’t
buy AK47s and cracked cocaine anymore so. It’s horrible! Speaking of
Ak47s and cracked cocaine....
What’s anything about cracked cocaine? What?
We did have a review that was left by a man who listens to our
podcast with his young son.
Oh, iTunes review, yes, I almost forgot.
Since we’ve talked about pot and silkroad and buying illegal drugs
online, we might as well bring up the iTunes review for this week.
Oh oh, he listens to it with his son?
Hmm, he says “Awesome info, mad entertainment for all ages.” And
this is a review that’s left by MattGorski. We’re gonna read Matt’s
review here but if you leave an iTunes review, first of all Matt if you
hear us read your review, send an email to Ben at
bengreenfieldfitness.com ‘cause we’re gonna send you the brand new
bpa-free water bottle, tech shirts and beanie that you can split
between you and your son if you like or fight over who gets what. But
also I’m going to assume that Matt probably left this review before
our episode that was marked explicit on sex but here we go.... “I listen
to Ben and Brock with my 11 yr old son when we drive to his Parkour
class each weekend day....
By the way, I think that’s awesome!
I wish I could take that Parkour class.
Yeah.... “he pays attention and asks questions about the topics.” Matt,
if he ask what the silkroad is just tell him it’s a, this old Chinese road.
Just say it’s a restaurant.
“Once in a while I can even answer him. Keep up the good work
educating and shedding light on health, fitness, food, and achieving.
P.S. if you guys see this, do a segment on how bad bagels are to have
each morning! My son doesn’t seem to think he can live without
I can’t live without them either, I mean, what do you use for a hockey
puck if you don’t have a hockey puck around?
That’s right. Matt and Matt’s son, yo! What’s up? And the Matt son,
we didn’t get his name but bagels, bagels will slowly kill you and
destroy your life so there you go.
But first they make you dumb and fat and then they’ll kill you.
Yes, there you go. So now you know how bad bagels are and we’ve
done our podcast on how bad bagels are. They are good though for
hockey puck, let’s pull it through.
Perfect for hockey puck.
There you go.
Street hockey or indoor. Perfect!
So leave your review over on iTunes, remember to visit
giftfromben.com if you want to not only get free video from Brock and
I but also if you head over to giftformben.com sometime in the 2 days
after this podcast comes out, I’m gonna be sending you out some
other love on my birthday as well.
So, there’s that and then remember to visit audiblepodcast.com/ben
and of course the links to everything that we talked about are over at
the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/264 and what do you
Don’t forget to raise a glass to Ben for his birthday and me for
surviving 10 yrs ago so I can bring you some quality jack ass read
during the podcast.