According to experts, merely moving around more in everyday life is very likely more important than adhering to a devoted fitness regimen.
This two-part show will detail the correct approach to fitness for maximum benefits (in minimal time too!) and also show you how you can easily eliminate the risks that come from approaching your fitness goals the wrong way, which are primarily, burnout and declining testosterone.
Testosterone has clearly been a serious interest of mine in recent years, as evidenced by my excitement and dedication to my MOFO Mission and MOFO supplement. One practice that is hugely important to male hormone status is exercise, but if you don’t do it correctly, the results are disastrous: instead of increasing vitality, you’ll actually end up tanking your testosterone levels and accelerating the aging process!
First, we’ll hone in on the primary problems linked with the conventional approach to fitness, mainly: extremely sedentary patterns in modern life, “active couch potato syndrome,” and too much “medium-intensity” cardio. Humans were not born to run, but rather, born to move, leaving us well adapted to perform magnificent endurance feats once in a while, and certainly not all the time!
In this show, you’ll learn about the important link between recovery periods and sprinting, the appropriate amount of time to take for recovery (and why), and why walking actually provides an excellent form of cardio. You’ll also find out why some exercise routines and practices leave you feeling depleted and exhausted, how to avoid setting yourself up for an endless cycle of injury and breakdown, and learn what kind of workouts provide a real boost in hormonal and metabolic functioning.
You can also listen to my previous show, Peak Performance Without Suffering, for more details on everything you need to know about HIIT Vs HIRT and the dissembling and deamination of cellular proteins that occurs when your body is asked to deliver maximum output for longer than 20 seconds.
Thanks for listening and stay tuned for part 2!
Learn how to exercise properly for testosterone optimization and anti-aging benefits. [01:48]
There is a modern-day phenomenon called “active couch potato.” A lot of experts are saying that the objective to just move around more in everyday life is very likely more important than adhering to a devoted fitness regimen. [03:26]
When you over exercise over time, it leads to breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury. Rethink the emphasis on steady state cardio exercise. [05:40]
When you talk about longevity goals, you must include balance, mobility, and flexibility. Falling is the number one cause of injury and death in people over 65. [16:09]
Steady state cardio exercise can lead to cardiovascular disease. [18:25]
Doing the wrong kind of HIT workouts leads to overly stressful chronic exercise patterns.[21:22]
You are at risk for injury and breakdown when you perform complex activities and your heart rate exceeds 140 beats per minute. [26:52]
We want to limit our sprints to no longer than 20 seconds. [29:46]
Don’t be afraid to take luxurious recovery intervals when you are doing sets of sprints. [35:54]
What you are striving for is a consistent quality of effort with every sprint. [37:18]
- Brad’s Shopping Page
- Dr. Herman Pontzer Podcast
- Galen Rupp
- Eliud Kipchoge
- Mark’s Daily Apple Jogging Article
- Brad’s Jogging 2.0 video
- 10 Ways to Skip video
- Dr. Doug McGuff video
- O’Keefe TED Talk
- Primal Endurance
- Breaking muscle.com
- Wayde Van Niekerk
- Dr. Tudor Bompa
- Two Meals a Day
- “If you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein.” (Robb Wolf)
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Brad (1m 49s): Greetings and welcome to a very, very important show about how to exercise properly for testosterone optimization and anti aging benefits. Yeah, do it the wrong way, you screw yourself up, you tank your testosterone, you accelerate the aging process, literally do it the right way. And that’s where you get this tremendous burst of energy motivation and male hormone optimization. So let’s get right into it. I’ve talked a lot about testosterone with promoting this MOFO mission, the male optimization formula with organs product and right in there in the mix, hugely important is your exercise routine very important for optimizing male hormone status. Brad (2m 45s): But if you make the very, very common mistakes, you are actually at risk of tanking your testosterone, being worse off than the neighbor who sits on the couch and maybe walks the dog around the block while you’re huffing and puffing and sweating at the gym or out on the roads. So I’m going to go over the major problems, the major trends that are ineffective in the conventional approach to fitness and then provide a step-by-step solution that’s going to rock your world. And the first big and most glaring problem is the sedentary patterns of modern life have taken over. Brad (3m 26s): And we have this scientifically validated phenomenon called the active couch potato syndrome. It’s been studied and it’s been shown that even people with a tremendous devotion to fitness, let’s say they’re getting up and heading to the gym for an hour every single day are putting in their 30 or 40 miles a week. They identify themselves as a devoted fitness enthusiast. If they have a bunch of sedentary forces and patterns in their daily life. So they head to the gym, they knock out their one hour spinning class, and then they jump on the subway and sit, and go up to an office building, take the elevator, sit at their screen all day, commute home, and then sit on the couch for their entertainment time. Brad (4m 9s): They are showing that they have the same disease patterns and risk factors in blood values and elsewhere as people who are sedentary. So in other words, the, the dedication to exercise, even though by all accounts, that’s pretty impressive that you’re getting out, going to the gym every day. It doesn’t make up for these hours and hours of sedentary time. So a lot of experts are saying that the objective to just move around more in everyday life is very likely more important than adhering to a devoted fitness regimen. Trip out on that. Brad (4m 51s): And this is especially when you’re engaged in these prolonged periods of stillness, such as a typical day at the work desk. This is where you start to experience a, a decrease in fat metabolism, a decrease in cognitive function, all kinds of downstream long-term problems, such as an increase in systemic inflammation. Dr. Herman Pontzer talked about that in our interview where the study of the Hadza, the hunter gatherers, they’re so healthy, they regulate their weight. They don’t have disease risk factors because they’re moving around all the time. And humans were built are meant to move around throughout the day. And so when we sit and we get these inflammatory processes going, this is believed by many experts to be the root cause of all manner of disease and dysfunction. Brad (5m 40s): So getting up and moving around and taking short breaks from prolonged periods of stillness is going to be a huge boost to your fitness and your health. So that’s the mistake. Number one is thinking that you get a hall pass and don’t have to get up and move around because you did your workout in the morning. Number two is when the fitness commitment appears there’s too much medium to difficult intensity cardiovascular steady state exercise. This is the traditional approach to endurance training, which has become so popular. The record numbers of people going for the competitive events, like the marathon, half marathon, ultra marathon triathlon, and the training protocols to get out there and pace your heart at a certain elevated beat. Brad (6m 28s): Maybe it’s in the aerobic zone, hopefully, but for the most part, a lot of people are routinely exceeding that maximum aerobic heart rate that we talk about so much and getting into this medium to difficult zone that turns out to be over time, depleting and prompting, a chronic overproduction of stress hormones. The fight or flight response is stimulated. Not like crazy, like it’s a full-out race, but it’s overstimulated at these medium workouts every single day or throughout your program. And over time, this leads to breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury. And this seems to be the way it’s going for the average guy or gal. Brad (7m 9s): Who’s jogging down the street of biking in their pack on the weekend or out on the trails or in the gym, watching TV and climbing up the stair machine or the elliptical machine. You can see the strain and the effort on the average enthusiasts face, where they’re a little bit red and panting sweating. The degree of difficulty is slightly too significantly, too high. So for almost all of us out there, and this goes from beginners all the way up to elite amateur participants who are really competitive and trying really hard to get ready for these big events, all of us would benefit from slowing down and look no further than the model of the world’s great elite athletes in all endurance sports for the past 60 years have been training according to this model of comfortably paced aerobic exercise, to build that fitness base, to build that aerobic base from which to launch the competitive preparation workouts. Brad (8m 7s): When you do go out there and perform at a high speed, trying to prepare for a race, and if you’re not competitive and you’re not worried about the next race, Oh my goodness. The benefits of aerobic exercise are vastly superior to doing it in a little bit, too stressful of a manner. And remember the pace is relative. So if you saw Galen Rupp jogging down the street in Portland, Oregon, America’s number one marathoner, or Eliud Kipchoge, the greatest marathoner of all time from Kenya. And he just ran the one hour and 59 minute marathon, which is around a four minute and 32 per second mile for 26 consecutive miles. Brad (8m 47s): So that’s the ultimate expression of human endurance. One of the greatest athletes ever on the planet. This guy can knock off four 30, two miles back to back to pack for 26 consecutive miles. And so when you study his training log, it was published on the internet for all to scrutinize, and he’s doing these amazing training weeks, or he’s running 120, 130 miles a week. A lot of it at a very impressive brisk pace of let’s say five 30 per mile or six minute mile. Remember to him that that’s like you were doing a jog walk. So it’s the relative intensity, the relative degree of difficulty that’s important. And we want to do most of that aerobic exercise in the fat burning zone, where you feel comfortable the whole time and refreshed and energized after. Brad (9m 37s): And so many people are making that mistake. So that’s mistake. Number two. Number one is too much sedentary time. Number two is going out there and doing too much of this medium stuff. And, Oh my gosh, it’s also a good time too. This might be number two, rethink the importance, the emphasis on steady state cardiovascular exercise in general. There are a lot of drawbacks and potential risk factors to pegging your heartbeat at a certain rate and keeping a steady pace as you head down the road or on the machine. And really the benefits are minimal in comparison to doing things that are more fluctuating and broader in the fitness objectives. Brad (10m 22s): So I’ve written extensively about this on a two-part article on Mark’s daily Apple title, Don’t Jog, Tt’s Too Dangerous. And you can look on YouTube for my video called Jogging 2.0 where I had this epiphany after decades of heading out every morning, especially taking the dog out and getting in a little jog. And I’m smart enough to know that I’m not exceeding that aerobic heart rate. So it’s a very comfortably paced effort and pretty much just frame my day. It was getting outside, getting some fresh air and I enjoyed it, but the epiphany was wow. I’m not really doing a lot for my fitness when I plod straight ahead with my little nine minutes or nine minutes and change per mile pace and not challenging any of my other fitness capabilities, except for straight ahead movement and pounding that heart at a steady rate of under 130 beats per minute. Brad (11m 14s): I’m pretty good about keeping it down there, but not always, especially at altitude, I was probably drifting in dipping in and out when I wasn’t paying good attention into the chronic zone rather than the pure aerobic zone. And so what was I doing out there? Hey, it was better than sitting around and not going out and exercising every day, but I realized that there was so much more potential to do something that was more varied, more fun and more challenging. So that’s what the jogging 2.0 video is all about. And it was greatly inspired by my current obsession with sprinting and high jumping. So what I do now is I head out the door, let’s say going for 30 minutes or whatever the time duration was, if my previous steady state cardiovascular jogging session, and now I will do jogging and then I’ll do a set of pretty difficult challenging drills. Brad (12m 7s): And there’s a lot of YouTube videos. You can see basic running drills, advanced running drills, things like that. A dynamic stretching is another video that I present a bunch of things that you can do. I’ll do balancing exercises, jumping exercises, jumping up and down off the log. As you see on the Jogging 2.0 video. But then if I do a difficult set of whatever, I will walk to recover. So what’s happening to my heart rate. As soon as I leave the house, I’m getting a fantastic cardiovascular training effect because even when I’m walking, my heart rate is at least double my resting heart rate. So I’m getting a training effect even when I’m walking. Brad (12m 47s): And when I’m doing a challenging set of one leg jumps or jumping up and down off the stump or doing the jumping drills or the balanced drills, the mobility drills, the deep walking lunges, things like that. Of course my heart rate is rising certainly outside of the aerobic zone that I adhere to during the steady state jog. But overall, it’s not a terribly strenuous workout is not designed to be when I go to the track and do my skipping drills, you can see that video 10 Ways to Skip. These things are tough. And my heart rate is going way up high. And overall the workout is designed to be a high intensity session, but I’m talking about the basic every day fitness activity of heading out the house and doing something. Brad (13m 32s): It doesn’t become that difficult because I take plenty of walking recovery. The drills, or the challenges that I do are only going to last for 10 or 20 seconds. And so what happens is I get home. I had a pleasant experience. I had a fantastic cardiovascular training effect. I’m not overly stressed. It wasn’t an overly challenging workout, but guess what? I got in my running drills, I improve my hamstring flexibility. I improve my balance and mobility by doing the, the one legged hover lunches and all these exercises you see on the video and you can make up whatever fun stuff appeals to you. Maybe it’s a series of yoga sun salute stretches in the middle of your morning exercise or getting off the stair machine at the gym and dropping to the mat to do some, some core work and then getting back on the stair machine going slower than you normally would go. Brad (14m 23s): But if you do have that interest in cardio, realize that you can obtain a cardiovascular training effect from just about everything, including brief explosive high-intensity workouts. Dr. Doug McGuff has a great YouTube video. It’s only a few minutes long, so it wouldn’t hurt to watch it. And I believe the title is Cardio Doesn’t Exist. We’ll put all this stuff in the show notes, but what he’s talking about is how, anytime you use a muscle to do anything, you are asking the cardiovascular system to perform. So if you go in and do a circuit of weights at the gym where you’re going from this machine to that one, or you’re working with your personal trainer, and you’re having lots of downtime in between the efforts of deadlifts or pull-ups or whatever you like to do, the X three bar workout, you’re getting an awesome cardiovascular training effect without the drawbacks of steady state cardio. Brad (15m 17s): So when you look at it from big picture, really the only reason, the only justification for doing steady state cardio is because you absolutely enjoy it. And you’ve never tried my Jogging 2.0 video, which I argue is way more fun and more challenging. But if you enjoy just that steady state plodding forward or you’re training for a specific event, so like Eric Kobrine, and you want to keep your Boston marathon streak alive, he’s done 25 in a row going from 1995 to 2020. So that’s going to require some steady state cardio and putting in some long miles, but outside of training for a specific competitive event that you’re passionate about, or that you enjoy the experience of straight ahead movement, there’s no other justification because the cardio benefits can be had with a more varied and challenging workout. Brad (16m 9s): So I think for most people, when we talk about longevity goals, we talk about the risk factors of losing things like your balance, your mobility, your flexibility, increased injury risk. Oh my goodness. Falling is identified as the number one cause of injury and death in Americans over age 65. And how does falling come about from muscle weakness, balance imperfections and people that never ever challenged their faculties for balance, flexibility and mobility, because they’re running on a treadmill or climbing on a stair machine instead of going out for a trail hike and doing some one leg dips in the middle of the trail or fun stuff that I always invent when I’m out there exercising these days. Brad (16m 55s): Dr. McGuff spoke body by science goes into this in more detail with a lot of scientific reference and description. If you have that scientific bent to you. But he talks about when you’re doing high intensity stuff, challenging your muscles, lifting heavy weights or sprinting, or what have you challenging your muscles to maximum output. Your cardiovascular system is also being challenged to deliver maximum output. And this makes you fitter at all lower levels of intensity. And you also develop this wonderful attribute called organ reserve. Brad (17m 35s): So whenever you challenge your muscles cardiovascular system, you are also strengthening the function of all the organs, because of course the heart, the lungs, the kidneys, the liver, everything has to perform when you’re asking your muscles to perform. That’s why maintaining muscle mass is one of the most profound anti-aging longevity strategies you can shoot for. Rob Wolfe gave the great one-liner on our interview on the podcast. He said, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein. Okay. So yes, there’s many, many people in this category of cardiovascular fitness, but again, not the same as cardiovascular health, just possessing some cardiovascular fitness where they can jog down the road to the tune of 30, 40 miles a week. Brad (18m 26s): But the muscle mass preservation is not there. And the organ reserve is not there because the muscles have never been challenged. Dr. McGuff talks about how muscles have to be highly challenged to deplete their cellular energy stimulate inflammatory processes, which consequently spur mitochondrial biogenesis. That’s the making of new mitochondria or increased efficiency of the existing mitochondria. And this is kind of a buzzword these days in progressive health circles. That mitochondria is the essence of health and the better your mitochondrial function, the longer you’re going to live, the more disease protection you’re going to have. Brad (19m 6s): So it’s a big topic and mitochondrial biogenesis is a super-duper awesome, good thing. When you go down and do sub maximal exercise, like steady state jogging that I did every day for decades, you’re not really getting a significant anti aging effect because you’re not challenging your muscles or your organs in the manner I just described to deplete cellular energy, stimulate inflammatory processes, and spur mitochondrial biogenesis. You’re just cruising along and maintaining cardiovascular health, which of course is important. But as we know from Dr. James O’Keeffe work and many others, but go look at his YouTube, his Ted talk titled Run for Your Life, But Not Too Far and at a Slow Pace. Brad (19m 54s): And he talks about how easy it is to max out your cardio vascular health benefits with just a couple hours a week of moderate cardiovascular exercise. And anything beyond that, you are going from a health optimization to pursuing fitness goals or doing things for other reasons, including drifting up and over the top of that bell curve to the down portion where excess steady state cardiovascular exercise has all these health problems. We talk about these in detail in the book, Primal Endurance, it’s really tragic. The level of cardiovascular dysfunction seen in long-term hardcore endurance athletes, including many of my peers that I raced with on the triathlon circuit. Brad (20m 41s): So the heart doesn’t do so well after decades of pegging it at medium to difficult steady state rates. It turns into scarring, inflammation, and the extremely common condition of atrial fibrillation and other dysfunctions and arrhythmias of the heart caused by or driven by overuse, just like overusing muscle, the heart don’t like to be pounded every single day and inflamed, and then not give it enough rest until the next medium to difficult steady state cardio. Katy Bowman calls this an endurance machine, a narrowly adapted creature. Brad (21m 23s): So if you’re doing a whole bunch of steady state cardio, and you’ve got some finisher medals hanging up in your office for doing that half marathon, triathlon, adventur race, whatever it is that you’re all about, your net narrowly adapted creature, who can engorge certain muscles to perform narrow functions of endurance. But this is in big contrast with cardiovascular health. Okay, enough talking about that, hammering that home, but that’s a huge problem with the conventional approach to fitness is this medium intensity steady state cardio possibly increasing heart disease risk factors, and not doing a whole lot for your longevity, muscle mass preservation, all that great stuff. Brad (22m 5s): Then we get to the intensity part. Okay. Okay. So intensity is so important and go Google the word, the term hit high intensity interval training, and you’ll get bombarded with 1.7 million trillion articles about how hit is so awesome and so effective and vastly more effective than steady state cardio that’s at a slower pace. So in a 10 minute hit workout, you can get all the benefits of an hour long jog. And it’s wonderful. And it’s fantastic. And a lot of important relevant concepts here when they’re talking about the benefits of hit, the problem is, and this is why this is number three on the problem list. Is that doing the wrong kind of hit workouts lead to overly stressful chronic exercise patterns. Brad (22m 52s): And unfortunately this seems to be the prevailing approach to HIT. And it seems to be the centerpiece of most all mainstream fitness programming and group programming. So we are trying to get out there, push ourselves hard, get these incredible intended benefits of brief, explosive high intensity workouts. But we’ve bastardized this for some reason into the struggle and suffer ethos that prevails and frames the fitness industry as we know it. And I’m talking about the home-based workout systems like the super cool Peloton bike. Brad (23m 32s): But what’s not so cool is these 45 to 60 minute sessions where they’re asking the rider to typically exceed that aerobic heart rate and be peddling in this medium to difficult zone for minutes and minutes on end. And what happens is you get into this in-between land, which some exercise physiologists have labeled the black hole, where you’re exceeding the very comfortable fat burning cardio heart rate level. And you’re not really being super explosive to get those desired fitness benefits of the, the maximum stuff that causes the flood of adaptive hormones into the bloodstream, testosterone, growth hormone, all those great anti-aging effects. Brad (24m 14s): You’re not getting those because you’re asking the body to perform for too long of a duration, such that your efforts aren’t truly explosive. For example, if you turn on your machine and the instructor says, okay, we’re going to do 10 sprints of 30 seconds, resting 30 seconds in between each one. And then when you get to number, number three and number four, number two are pretty good. And then you get to number eight and number nine, and they’re yelling at you to keep going and keep trying harder and try to maintain that performance level. That’s when the overall effect of the workout is depleting and exhausting. Again, the chronic overproduction of stress hormones from doing these hit workouts that lasts too long, that asks you for too many work efforts of too long duration with insufficient rest in between them, and a workout that lasts too long overall, and as performed too frequently with insufficient rest in between them. Brad (25m 12s): I’ve actually written this sentence in many books where we’re talking about all the problems with it, it’s work efforts that last too long are too many in the workout. The workout lasts too long, insufficient rest periods between the work efforts, and then doing the workouts too frequently. So if you go to bootcamp class, if you go to Spin class, if you go to Step class, if you’re doing the mirror or the Peloton or the, the app that you can order up and they’ll show you a workout on your phone that you follow along with. These things are by and large, too stressful for the average person. And I’m talking about all fitness levels. So we know the extreme fitness freaks that we see in the gym that are at the class every single morning, or the teacher themselves, who’s teaching four bootcamp classes and three Spin classes and getting that heart rate, you know, up there high and doing interval after interval to accumulate an incredible amount of exercise performance in a single week. Brad (26m 11s): But what happens is these compensatory mechanisms kick in such that you are lazier, burn fewer calories, and eat more food in the ensuing hours after these overly stressful workout patterns. The stress hormones are flooding your bloodstream too frequently. And they’re not clearing quick enough because the workout lasted for an hour instead of doing a bunch of warmup and preparation, and then doing a high intensity session that lasts for a total of eight minutes or six minutes or whatever it is. Okay. So this is the wrong kind of HIT workout. Oh, and we forgot to talk about increased risk of injury. Brad (26m 52s): CrossFit people at the physical therapy joint instead of at the gym. This is again from Doug MCGuff’s book, who is definitely quote all in favor of people doing super hard things and taking on challenges in life. But we should note that the injury risk skyrockets when your central nervous system is being forced to perform complex activities when your heart rate exceeds 140 beats per minute, or when exhaustion is setting in. So if you’re asked to perform something that’s technical, I mean, at least we’re sitting on a bike or sprinting. It’s not going to be overly technical, but when you see people in a fatigued state trying to do their Olympic lifting or jumping up and down off a box, that’s when we have a recipe for injury and breakdown. Brad (27m 41s): And I’ve talked extensively in a previous show. When I talked about HIT versus hurt, high intensity interval training versus high intensity repeat training. That’s Dr. Craig Markers, a fantastic concept that he described wonderfully in his article on Breaking Muscle.com titled HIT versus HURT. But I talk about the disassembling and demanation of cellular proteins. When you are asking your body to deliver maximum output from longer than around 20 seconds. And literally the body can only perform maximum effort for around seven seconds, and then it starts to lose power. So in the Olympic hundred meters, the ultimate explosive athletic event on the planet, everyone including Usain Bolt. Brad (28m 26s): When you saying the world record, everyone is decelerating from around the 70 meter mark to the finish line. So whoever slows down the least because of superior conditioning, and being able to maintain that explosive output close as close as possible to maximum, but they’ve reached their maximum explosiveness, the ATP creating phosphate system, that supplies energy for efforts of seven seconds or less is exhausted. It’s finished after seven seconds. Now what happens as you try to fuel this raging fire to give your body enough ATP, to fire those muscles for explosive maximum explosiveness for longer than seven seconds. Brad (29m 7s): When we get up to 10, 15 or 20 seconds, Hey, these are great time windows to deliver a phenomenal training effect. You’re working really hard. You need a lot of recovery time after, but if you try to deliver maximum energy for longer than 20 seconds, the cells are literally going to self combust to fuel this raging fire. When you’re saying, I want to do a 30 second sprint, I want to do one minute sprint, whatever. And this is where an exponential increase in oxidative stress, oxidative damage, including the very unpleasant by-product ammonia toxicity, which is especially damaging to brain neurons. Brad (29m 47s): And this is why eight hours after your super extreme, overly challenging, overly stressful workout, while you feel fried or even 24 hours, 36 hours later, I’ve been through this a lot myself, where I had a fantastic sprint workout. I didn’t have to rest that much between efforts because I’m in such good shape and I have great endurance space. And so there goes another hundred meter or 200 meter sprint. And then a day later, or a day and a half later, I’d feel like a zombie. And I have to shut down my laptop and lie on the ground, take a crash out nap. This was likely a, the result of ammonia toxicity in the bloodstream from disassembling and demanating my cells to fuel this raging fire of repeat sprint efforts without enough rest between them. Brad (30m 34s): So if you try to sprint for longer than around 20 seconds, you start to increase this. You start to experience this exponential increase in cellular destruction for little or no fitness, health, or performance benefit. Yes, the elite athletes, the champions of the world routinely perform workouts, where they’re sprinting for longer than that, the best example, Wayde van Niekerk look him up on YouTube Olympic finals, Rio 400 meters where he shatters the world record and literally sprint the entire way across the 400 meter track is one of the greatest athletic performances of all time. Really notable was that he did his Olympic gold medal world record effort from lane eight, the far outside lane. Brad (31m 21s): So as you know, from watching a track, meet the staggered start, the guy in lane eight is out in front of everybody because he’s running wider curves. So he never once got to look at his competition, unlike everyone else in the race, he took off sprinting. Sprinting like a man who stole something. And then through the homestretch, when everyone ties up and slows down, he maintained this beautiful explosive form. And that’s how you run 43 flat around the track. So you could call that an anomaly, a human freak experience, where he really did sprint for longer than the prescribed time of 30 seconds or 20 seconds. And it was a beautiful thing to watch, but it’s important to note and research validates this, that the elite athletes have much less risk of succumbing to this disassembling and deamination of cellular proteins because of their optimal genetics, as well as their years and decades of devoted training to prepare the body and train the body to deliver explosive efforts for let’s say longer than 20 seconds, if the case has it. Brad (32m 27s): So for most of us who were out there trying to get fit, trying to stay healthy, trying to stimulate anti-aging benefits. We want to limit our sprints to no longer than 20 seconds. And the sweet spot, the magic window is between 10 and 20 seconds. So anyone can certainly sprint for 10 seconds without worrying about the cellular breakdown. You don’t have to sprint for less than that. Although some interesting research, I just heard this on Ben Greenfield show. They’ve done studies showing that four second sprints four seconds have a tremendous fitness benefit and are wonderful and do all these great things in the body, but I’m gonna vote for the recommendation of 10 to 20 seconds is your sweet spot to engage with all your sprint efforts. Brad (33m 15s): Anything longer than that, if you’re doing a track workout because your coach as you down there, and today, you’re going to do some repeat 400 meters, these are all to prepare for competitive event. Once in a while, anything you do to your body is going to deliver a fantastic fitness adaptation, right? If you go out there and do a race of five kilometers or 10 kilometers, or do a crazy track workout like we used to do when we were triathletes and high school and college runners, you’re out there pounding yourself, you’re going to become more adapted for your competitive goals, but these workouts should happen few and far between, and most likely, never for the recreational fitness enthusiasts, unless you’re training to, to race against Wayde van Niekerk in the 400 meters, you do not need to do sprinting for longer than 20 seconds. Brad (34m 6s): And when I talk about that window of 10 to 20 seconds, let’s put on the low side, high-impact running sprints on flat ground. So you need not go over 10 seconds for those, because the degree of difficulty is higher than let’s say on the high side, sprinting on the bicycle, a stationary bicycle for 20 seconds, right? So no impact stuff, the rowing machine, the bicycle things where it takes a while to accelerate such as on a treadmill where you have to mess with the buttons or something, you can put 20 seconds as your target time, but when you’re out there running on the track, and this has been a great benefit for me to evolve my sprint workouts down to my template, workout focuses on the 80 meter distance. Brad (34m 54s): Cause I’d say, and let’s say that takes me around 10 seconds. And when I extended out to a hundred meters, I feel a little bit more in the hamstrings. The next day may be more difficult to recover from. I used to only take a break of 15 or 20 seconds before doing another a hundred meters sprint and another and another. And I felt fine because I had the endurance to do it, but what’s happening metabolically physiology-wise, is you’re not giving your cells time to recover and regenerate energy. And it’s known that the ATP system takes several minutes to regenerate. So a power lifter working on single rep maximum efforts or a sprinter at the track working on true high-quality sprinting effort, like an Olympic athlete, will have to rest for several minutes, even from doing a very, very short sprint exercise, such as working that ATP creatine phosphate system, which goes from zero to seven seconds. Brad (35m 54s): So don’t be afraid to take luxurious recovery intervals, is the great quote from Dr. Craig Marker, when you’re doing these sets of sprints that are 10 to 20 seconds. So if you’re taking notes now, I’m going to give you this big picture recommendation for a sprint workout. To complete four to 10 reps of sprints lasting between 10 and 20 seconds. And the recovery interval should be at least six times longer than the work effort. So if I’m doing a ten second sprint down the football field for 80 meters, I’m going to take at least a minute recovery between each sprint. Brad (36m 35s): I typically favor doing around eight of them, but somewhere in that window of four to 10 is going to be the optimal amount of sprints. For anyone to be able to do that, even if you’re a novice, if you have a body issues, injury risk issues, where you’re not well adapted to pounding, you’re going to sit on a stationary bike and you’re going to start out your sprinting lifestyle by doing, let’s say four reps of 10 seconds. That’s not too much to ask for almost anybody get a doctor’s clearance first of course,. before you go out and sprint, but let’s say that that’s going to be the minimum. And then if you hit 10, guess what? There’s no need to ever strive to do more than that. Brad (37m 18s): All you want to focus on now is being faster and more explosive. And maybe you’re going to go down from 10 to only six or seven or eight. And the key here when you’re trying to choose the optimal workout volume is if you notice even the slightest imperfections in technique, if your technique breaks down just a little, or you notice the slight increase in tension or loss of explosiveness in the muscles, that was your last sprint. Wrap it up, start the cool-down and go home. So you never want to push through fatigue or experienced technique breakdown. What you’re striving for is quote, a consistent quality of effort with every sprint. Brad (38m 4s): I made that term up. Thank you very much. And what it means is not only the same finishing time. So let’s say I’m timing my 80 meter sprints on the football field, and I hit 10 seconds on the first one, the second one, the third one, the fourth one. That’s great. Okay. Maybe I’m going to go 10 and a half 11. You get a little bit of attrition there, but you want to have not only the same performance standard, but also the same degree of difficulty or rate of perceived exertion. This is a big mistake a lot of people make, especially when they’re doing these high intensity workouts. Is the first, second, third, and fourth one feel pretty good. And then the fifth one, you got to dig a little deeper to finish in the same time that you did on the first four. Brad (38m 45s): And then the sixth and the seventh ones are a pure suffer fest where your form, your explosiveness is breaking down due to fatigue. And you’re still trying to hit the stopwatch. Oftentimes the coaches are guilty here if for some reason asking an athlete in training to deliver an identical performance standard when that kind of behavior should be saved for the competition. Yes, people are trying to even split to perform in competition, but in workouts, we always have to go with fatigue, rate of perceived exertion, degree of difficulty, and adjust our workouts accordingly. So that we’re always going for a consistent quality of effort. Brad (39m 25s): Speaking of taking luxurious recovery intervals, I want to read you a little clip from this great book about sprinting written by Charlie Francis. One of the greatest sprint coaches of all time, he was known for coaching Ben Johnson and other Canadian Olympians to world-class standard. And he was also notorious because he was in the middle of the doping controversy when Ben Johnson got busted. But in his book, you’ll realize that doping was so prevalent and so normal in world-class sprinting for the dating back to the eighties, that it was just ridiculous that the public focused on one guy who got caught and tarnished him as a disgrace. And then the guys who were picking up the medals are perceived to be clean. Brad (40m 7s): And it’s still kind of frustrating when we isolate on people who got caught instead of looking at it as a systemic problem. But here’s what he learned from one of the great East German coaches who coached the females to world records that still stand today, thanks to their doping protocol. Of course they had an unfair advantage, but they also knew how to train. So don’t kid yourself. When you’re looking at athletes who are doping, they’re basically putting some icing on the cake of extremely devoted training regimen and extremely high performing athletes. So you said the East German athletes would run four times 30 meter sprints with seven minute rests between the 30 meter sprints. Brad (40m 47s): Then they would take a 15 minute break and do an 80 meter sprint. Then they would take a 20 minute break and do a hundred meter sprint. Then they would take a 25 minute break and do 120 meter sprint. And finally, a 35 minute rest period for 150 meter sprint. Overall workout was a breakdown backwards, but 150, 120, 180, and then four times 30 meters. So these are the elite sprinters of the planet. I know the workout took a longer time than maybe you have to devote to a model that exactly, but the lesson is learned that recovery goes a long way too, improving your sprint performance and also the desired and intended benefits of the workout to make you more powerful, more explosive, and experienced that lauded a flood of adaptive hormones into the bloodstream, the testosterone, the human growth hormone. Brad (41m 46s): And this is a example of a proper and desirable stimulation of the fight or flight response rather than the chronic overproduction of fight or flight hormones that we experience when we’re doing medium to difficult, steady state cardio. And when we’re doing the classic hit workout that we see in the gyms and workout programming of today. So let that ATP rejuvenate if you’re in the gym and you do like to go for these, these super heavy sets to try to increase your explosiveness, take five minute recoveries, take seven minute recoveries. It’s okay. Your body’s going to love it. And again, for me to go from just a 15 second 20 second recovery on doing repeats of hundred meter sprints to doing 80 meter sprints and taking minute long recoveries between each run, I want to emphasize that I’m ready to go. Brad (42m 39s): After 20,30 seconds. I feel fine. I’m calmed down, but that extra time to really relax and get primed and what exercise physiologist, Dr. Tudor Bompa calls optimally excited and uninhibited. That’s how your central nervous system wants to feel when you’re about to commence a brief explosive, all out effort, optimally excited and uninhibited. So I talk about ending the workout when your technique breaks down a little bit, when you notice that tightness in your lower back or your hamstrings, start to fire a little less efficiently on one of the sprints, but we also want to be mindful of central nervous system fatigue. Brad (43m 22s): And when you kind of feel like you’re getting a little bit fried or your motivation or your focus is going down in between in preparation for your next sprint, that’s also a good time to end the workout. So you want to be sharp and explosive, optimally excited and uninhibited and ready for effort number six, or effort number seven. And then, Oh my gosh. Guess what happens when you walk away from the track in this example, or get off the exercise bike, you feel sharp. You feel pleasantly fatigued of course, from the effort, but you don’t feel fried and thinking and dreaming about stopping at Jamba juice to get a medium smoothie and a breakfast scone, which by the way, contains more calories than you burn doing your vigorous 45 minute high intensity, overly stressful high intensity interval training session. Brad (44m 12s): So you want to walk away feeling like you left a little bit in the tank and that you’re ready to come back and battle another day on the track or on the stationary bike. Or even if you’re doing quote unquote sprints with kettlebell swings that you were sharp and crisp with your movements, your technique is improving. Your power, your explosiveness is improving. Not that you survive some torture fest. And the endurance athletes are especially guilty of transferring this endurance mentality over into the high intensity workouts. I’m talking to myself as well as many others where, you know, we’re, we’re indoctrinated into this endurance mindset. Brad (44m 52s): And then at some point we decided that we would benefit from doing different kinds of workouts, and we want to go in there and throw weight around, but we don’t really understand or appreciate what it’s like to be an explosive athlete and to take these luxurious rest intervals that make us feel like a woosey boy or girl, instead of tough enough to step up again with minimal recovery and engage in the typical interval training. Ah, I know that’s a mouthful. I’m hitting you with a lot here, but boy, if you can kind of eliminate these major flaws and mistakes with the conventional approach to fitness, and I think that’s enough for a wonderful part one, and then we will get into the solution in part two, all the great things you can do to optimize the benefits of your fitness program, boost, testosterone, and stay away from that accelerated aging depleting effect that most fitness programming presents. Brad (45m 52s): Thanks for listening. And please pair this with a listen to part two coming soon.