In part three, we get into the last two practices and habits that either hurt or help testosterone: relationships and exercise patterns.
Relationships play a huge role in the quality of both your physical and emotional wellbeing, and this show reveals the most effective relationship tips from experts like John Gray and John Gottman. You’ll learn about why John Gray advocates for going with the flow and never being reactive, the #1 thing men need to protect their partner from (the answer may surprise you!), and why arguments have a depleting effect on testosterone levels. You’ll also learn how your hormones are positively (and negatively) affected by the types of workouts you perform, how to do explosive workouts correctly, the harmful effects of chronic cardio (causing male hormone levels to tank, promoting fat storage, suppressing immune function), and the importance of performing physical work for strength and resilience.
Since the 1980s male testosterone has been dropping steadily at a rate of 1% a year. [01:41]
In your relationships, learn to be the Kung Fu Master staying calm, cool, and collected. [03:58]
There is a level of potential destruction when you choose to engage. Even if you say “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it?”, it can’t be taken back. [08:25]
Relationships are designed to make you happier, not to fill a void. Think about what you have to offer, rather than what you get out of it. [10:10]
You are either a team or not a team. [11:33]
The exercises you do and how you do them affect your testosterone level. [13:16]
If you slow down in many ways, you can get healthier and faster. [15:01]
You don’t have to do chronic cardio to be in shape. It’s better to do explosive bits. [19:37]
Challenge your muscles to maximum output and then you are through. [24:38]
You must do these exercises correctly or risk injury. [31:23]
It’s a good idea to do the MAF test to see if you’re keeping the suggested heart rate as you measure your performance. [34:30]
Even the top performers in athletic endeavors can have a bad day. When that happens it is very likely they have overdone it in their training. [36:39]
You should also monitor your energy level at rest. [40:44]
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(43s): Here we go with the show. Brad (1m 42s): Okay, check it, check it, check it out. Part three. How to boost testosterone and avoid the slippery slope downhill that we are seeing in modern life with an epidemic decline in the average male testosterone level, dropping at a steady rate of 1% per year since the 1980s. OUCH! And in part one, we talked about four factors that are really taking us down in modern life. That is inadequate sleep, poor sleep practices, and also lack of downtime for the first time in human history. Brad (2m 28s): We now have mobile devices to keep us constantly entertained stimulated and stress-hormone production, chronic overproduction of stress hormones, which antagonizes testosterone. So we need more rest and downtime as well as better evening sleep habits. Then we talked about junk food, the heavily processed nutrient deficient food that forms the bulk of our calories in modern life, unless we’re really careful and on a real nice focus path of choosing the most nutritious foods and getting rid of these offenders, the heavily processed big three toxic modern foods of refined grains, sugars and industrial seed oils. Brad (3m 10s): And then number three was relationship conflict. Anger, resentment, arguing, and nitpicking are huge testosterone killers. I have great shows with Dr. John Gray author of Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus, especially covering his recent book called Beyond Mars and Venus, which covers the hormonal underpinnings that influence romantic relationships and how they can make or break our testosterone, our health, our longevity. And then finally, number four, we’re doing the wrong kinds of exercise, either not moving enough in general everyday life and or performing overly stressful workout patterns, especially with today’s modern emphasis in the fitness industry on chronic cardio, chronic steady state cardio and overly stressful HIIT workouts. Brad (3m 59s): So in part two, we focused on optimizing sleep habits and optimizing diet leaving us two more categories to cover in this wonderful part three show. And so we’re going to do relationships and exercise patterns. Oh yeah, of course there are full shows and books filled with advice on how to be the best you can be in relationships. There’s so much advice out there that oftentimes it gets a little overwhelming. So I like to look for simple insights and things that you can remember as you go through day-to-day life. Few have impacted my life as profoundly as John Gray’s awesome advice to be Kung Fu master the calm, cool collected person in the story. Brad (4m 44s): This is how you optimize testosterone levels and be the nicest most appreciated guy that you can possibly be. So learning how to go with the flow in daily life and learning to manage and control your propensity for emotional reactivity or the bad behavior or unregulated behavior. John Gray said some profound insights. One of them was that in a primal times, the male’s primary biological drive is to protect the female. And the females primary biological drive is to feel protected, loved, cared for, and to give love and nurturing and connection in her, in her environment, in your community. Brad (5m 30s): So this is what we’re all about. This is what we exist for, but John Gray made the distinction that in primal times, the males primary biological drive to protect, to conquer environment, to solve problems, seek challenges, and rise to the top of social structure today. Today the most important thing to protect the female from is not the predator that’s lurking around the camp to eat everybody. No the most, the biggest danger for the modern female is to be protected from the male’s own anger. Ah, that’s her biggest danger. I’m not talking about domestic violence and all those kinds of things. Brad (6m 10s): Of course, that’s a dramatic example of what we have here, but also for the female to feel whole in a relationship and healthy and well balanced emotionally and hormonally, she needs to be protected from your own anger. Okay. So that’s the argument for being the Kung Fu master of the calm, cool collected person who refuses to engage in prolong, protected, nitpicking, arguing, complaining. Now this might fly in the face of certain modern trends where we want the males to open up more and be more vulnerable and be more talkative and share their feelings. Brad (6m 55s): Because for so long with our traditional cultural roles, the male was expected to be stoic. They weren’t socialized to share emotions or shared deep feelings. The female obviously was on different socialized path for these traditional female cultural roles where they very easily engaged and were free to talk and express emotion and get emotional and all these things that we have as a typecast stereotypes. Right? And so now we want everybody to blend together. The female is expected to be a bad-ass and go and compete and kick ass in the highly competitive testosterone-driven modern workplace. Meanwhile, the male is also expected to be a loving, nurturing, caretaking, vulnerable, sharing feelings, all these kinds of things. Brad (7m 40s): And John Gray kind of challenges this, he says, of course these dynamics are happening. It represents cultural progress in many ways, but when the man goes away from those primary biological drives and engages deeply in, you know, prolonged arguing, nitpicking, sharing of emotions, sharing of feelings, it has the effect of depleting testosterone. He says, quote, a man who says my feelings were hurt is death to a relationship. Those comments are death to a relationship. And instead he plants the suggestion that perhaps when you’re feeling a disturbed emotionally dysregulated, that you shut your freaking mouth and go off and do testosterone boosting activities. Brad (8m 25s): So take the suggestion for what it is. The guy’s an expert. He’s a number one bestselling relationship author of all times, and think about it in your own life and life experience. How does it work for you when you unload a torrent of negative emotions upon your romantic partner? Does it work well? Do you feel better after, or do you feel drained and depleted and exhausted after long protected arguments where everybody makes their point and their counterpoint and talks over you and you serve up ammunition? Well, remember last year when you didn’t wash my car and you said you were going to all that kind of stuff, do you ever have regrets in life for times where you didn’t react emotionally and go off the handle? Brad (9m 10s): Probably not. I don’t think so. Yeah. You know what I’m talking about? Like, oh, gee, reference back to that argument. I really wish I had jumped all over that comment and fired back a defensive comment or a snotty attacking counterpoint. No, I don’t think we have those regrets in life. In fact, the most regrets we probably have or when we lose our cool, we step away from being the Kung Fu master and get into it and hurt people’s feelings and destroy the foundation of relationships by taking hurtful comments, putting them out there into the air, knowing that they really in a way can never be taken back. And if you say, sorry, I didn’t mean it. The damage is still done, right? So I think it’s important to reflect, realize the level of potential destruction caused when you choose to engage and, and go into the battlefield and, you know, put up your dukes and start engaging in what’s truly testosterone, depleting, arguing, nitpicking, and just simply not engaging healthy. Brad (10m 11s): So see how wonderful it is to go off and get happy and balanced on your own and well adjusted on your own. And these are great points made by people like John Gottman, Wendy Walsh, and John Gray. They all say that the relationship is designed to make you happier, not to fill a void and make you happy. And so when you come to a relationship feeling whole and emotionally regulated, and well-balanced, that’s when you have the most to give. And in fact, when you go into a relationship every day, when you’re in the relationship, you should see, you should be focused on what you have to offer and what you have to give rather than what you can get. Brad (10m 52s): So John Gottman talks about the evolution of relationship going through three stages and stage. Number one is you are getting your needs met from the relationship that stage number one, that’s the basic stage. Oh yes. I went on a hot date. It was great. We had an incredible night. It was awesome. And you got your needs met. Wonderful. Okay. Stage two, you evolve or you grow into stage two, which is you are able to meet your partner’s needs. Hey, I bought her flowers. She was blown away on Valentine’s day and couldn’t believe it. And she was so appreciative of my incredible gesture. And then I took her on a whirlwind vacation and paid for expensive meal. Brad (11m 34s): And she said it was the dream of her life to eat at that fancy restaurant, blah, blah, blah. Okay. So that’s stage two. And then stage three, the ultimate level of sophistication or maturity of a relationship is when quote, again, John Gottman’s stages here, “your partner’s needs become your own and operate as a team in all cases.” And that’s a great quote from Gottman that Mia Moore and I think about all the time. Where he says, you’re either a team or you’re not a team. There’s no in between, in, in every thing that you face in life, you’re either a team or you’re not a team. And when your team and your partner is having a problem and their partner is emotionally dysregulated and giving you shit and calling you names, you handle that project as a team rather than as individuals. Brad (12m 27s): So it’s a wonderful way to look at everything, even when you’re feeling wronged and slighted and how dare you show up late to this important thing and stress me out. Nope. Maybe there’s something wrong on the other end where you say, Hey, how can we solve this as a team? Because it seems like you’re having a rough day and you we’re running behind. Right? You get what I’m saying? Like everything can be, we looked at from a team perspective rather than the power struggle that we usually see as the centerpiece mostly. So the time in many, if not most relationships, I love it. You’re either a team or you’re not a team. How has that for some relationships suggestions that you can put into action right away right now, especially men maintain calm, cool, collected, and boy, if they things do happen where your feelings are hurt, you’re put out and you feel like you need to stick up for yourself. Brad (13m 17s): You need to defend yourself. You need to offer counterpoints. And counter-arguments, John Gray has some great commentary on that, where he says, guess what men have a short memory. And many of these disputes and conflicts can be easily resolved in the bedroom later. Okay. If we go into the exercise realm and we talked in the previous two shows about the extreme problems, what I see as an extreme problem with this overemphasis in the fitness industry and culture today on steady state cardio and overly stressful, prolonged high intensity interval training sessions. Brad (13m 57s): So the steady state cardio that gets to be health destructive, and actually can have a pro-aging effect rather than an anti-aging effect is when you do it to the extreme that you overproduce stress hormones, suppress immune function, breakdown, burnout, illness, injury, muscle damage, lack of progress. And this is oftentimes how it goes for people who are deeply immersed into the endurance training and competition scene. They battle an amazing incident of injuries. 30% of runners are injured at any given time, according to Runner’s World survey. So it’s a constant battle to stay away from overuse injuries that is not being won by the masses of running population and the critical cutoff point where we can distinguish between workouts that are restorative nurturing, building fitness in a gentle and progressive manner versus being overly stressful is this maximum aerobic function, heart rate, and the great work, . Brad (15m 2s): The life’s work of Dr. Phil Maffetone, which is finally getting its due and being appreciated and widely distributed. That guess what, if you slow down in many ways, you can get healthier and go faster as an endurance athlete, just by exercising and emphasizing exercising in the aerobic zone. So the maximum aerobic function heart rate is the upper limit of your aerobic zone. And it is approximately 180 minus your age in beats per minute. So if you’re 56, like me, 180 minus age would be 1 24. That would be the high limit of my aerobic zone. So I’m heading down the street, peddling my bicycle or running, jogging, whatever that equates to when a pace of 1 24, it’s actually quite comfortable, whether you’re 40 years old and you see your number as 140, when you go out there and put it into practice, you will be usually amazed at how comfortable this pace is and how frustrating it feels like you’re barely getting a workout, but this is how the elite endurance athletes in every sport have trained for nearly 60 years since early pioneers like Dr. Brad (16m 11s): Arthur Lydiard adopted this method of over distance aerobic training to build conditioning in a sensible and progressive manner, rather than just push yourself to the extremes running too quickly, peddling too quickly, and falling apart and trying to come back and be stronger the next day. So the key is to train at a comfortable pace. Now we’ve established that jogging for miles at aerobic heart rate or peddling for miles at that comfortable aerobic heart rate is just fine. It’s not going to be health destructive, like all the warnings we issue for a chronic cardio or overly stressful, steady state cardio. However, keep in mind that the adaptive response to jogging at aerobic heart rates is going to be minimal. Brad (16m 56s): So you’re not going to get these wonderful, fantastic hormonal boosts or anti-aging benefit. You’re just going to get more conditioned to being able to head out the door and jog for four miles or eight miles or 12 miles. It’s not going to be big trouble. We know that it doesn’t burn a lot of calories or make much of a contribution to fat reduction. That’s been well established by the compensation theory and the constrained model of energy expenditure and listened to my shows with Dr.Pontzer for details there. And there’s nothing wrong with being competent at going out there and jogging four miles every day or whatever the example is, or eight miles or 12 miles just realize that a steady state cardio is a high risk endeavor because most people they’ll do it in an overly stressful manner, but if you’re being a good boy or good girl, and keeping that heart rate low it’s of like someone who hikes every morning, the top of the peak and back into the village, very healthy individual specimen and not tempting the breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury that comes from chronic cardio. Brad (18m 4s): However, it’s interesting to reflect on the idea that your cardiovascular system doesn’t really need that level of training in order for you to get an A plus in cardiovascular health. It’s very easy to get that A plus and to protect yourself from a heart disease. And these prominent killers of modern humans caused by inactivity and poor cardiovascular health. The work of Dr. James O’Keeffe, you can watch his Ted talk Run for Your Life, but at a Slow Pace and Not too Fast, and many others too, in this realm, suggesting that only a couple hours per week of steady state cardiovascular exercise at a comfortable pace will max out your health benefits and disease prevention benefits, and then everything else after that, if you can imagine this bell curve where the diminishing returns occur. Brad (18m 57s): So if you exceed a couple, few hours a week of steady state cardio, whether that’s walking around the block with your dog or taking a weekend bike ride to the farmer’s market and back and general everyday exercise, pretty soon, you’re maxed out. And if you start training for the upcoming 10 K or the half marathon, you are tempting the, the negative aspects. Okay. Now, just because I’ve discussed how the adaptive response, isn’t a big deal and you get good at running four miles or eight miles. I don’t want to, I want to be clear that this is still far better than not being competent at anything or not being barely able to get out the door and run two miles. Brad (19m 37s): You may have heard that a long time touted attribute of P90X, where you want to engage in muscle confusion, because if you do a similar or same workout over and over, your body’s going to get used to it, and then you’re not going to be in shape anymore. That is full on bullshit. So please keep in mind that if you do something challenging to your body, whether it’s going through a weight training circuit, the same one, or in the case of my morning routine, which you can now see the revised and updated version on YouTube, Brad Kearns morning routine, it’s pretty tough. And I’ll say, confuse this. You fool. If you want to try this and, and see how difficult it is every day. Brad (20m 18s): So I’m putting my body under a little bit of difficulty every single day. And if I do this for the rest of my life, it’s going to be all good. There’s not going to be any drawbacks or lack of muscle confusion, because I’m doing the exact same routine. And yes, I think that it’s gotten a little bit easier over time, but not a whole lot, because it’s still a challenge. And so boy, if you’re someone who can do 30 pushups every morning instead of zero, and you aspire add this to your, to your, A game for the rest of your life, yes, it’s going to get quite a bit easier, but it’s still nothing to sneeze at. And it’s going to be a winning attribute all the way forward. Brad (21m 1s): So if you perform any kind of physical work, you’re going to stay strong and resilient. And that’s fantastic. So back to the, the jogging for miles or peddling your bicycle in the name of health and fitness. The main reasons to do steady state cardio are because you enjoy it or you’re preparing for a competitive event. Otherwise there is not much fitness benefit in comparison to doing explosive high intensity, super challenging stuff. And the return on investment for the long duration that you’re spending out there is vastly inferior to going very short, very explosive, very difficult, and then going home. Brad (21m 44s): I just want to offer that to the people who are heading into LA fitness and getting on that treadmill, thinking that they need to stick it out for 30 minutes or 45 or 60 minutes. Otherwise they’re going to gain weight or lose fitness. You’re much better off going over and doing something explosive for 1, 2, 3, 4 minutes. Doug McGuff’s program in a Body by Science argues that in 12 minutes a week, his workout protocol of 12 minutes a week can have massive fitness benefits in comparison to people exercising a steady state, low intensity cardio for hours and hours. And then we have all the risk factors. Brad (22m 25s): As I discussed with chronic cardio, where you can trash your hormones because of chronic overproduction of cortisol. I’m going to say that during my, my triathlon career, when I was out there doing the extreme chronic cardio from ages 20 to 30, I argue that I probably aged my body biologically, not by 10 years, but probably by 17 years. Right? And I’m still trying to make up for that and counter balance it to this day. And in many ways, when I was 30 years old, nearing the end of my career and feeling like crap and trying to hang on, I felt like I was 80 years old, in very meaningful, significant ways. Brad (23m 8s): Just my, you know, my, my, what are the, the Chinese Taoists call it. It’s your Qi, your life force. We have Qi, Shen and Jing the three energies in Chinese medicine through Jing your daily energy, your Shen is your radiant energy. And your Qi is your life force or your total battery power that you possess that shouldn’t last you the rest of your life. So if your Qi is diminished because you’re pushing yourself too hard and training, or you’re stressed, or you’re having a rough time in life, then your radiant energy, your Shen is going to be diminished. And if that continues as a pattern, you’re going to your Jing and you’re going to shorten your lifespan literally by leading an overly stressful lifestyle, burning the candle at both ends. Brad (23m 56s): I’m talking about at that age, in that time period, I had to psych myself up to get up off the couch and go to the mailbox to get the mail. It was six tenths of a mile away. And I drove every single day because I was too tired, lazy, whatever you want to call it, to even imagine walking there on foot. Why walk there on foot? I’ve already run 12 miles today and not even to pedal my bicycle there. That would take a couple of few minutes, because maybe I’d already pedaled 84 miles through the mountains that day. Okay. Sufficiently warned about the risks of chronic cardio or overly stressful high intensity interval training that I detailed in the previous episode. But back to McGuff and many others, Dr. Ted Naiman making a great point here, Dr. Brad (24m 39s): John Jacquish creator of the inventor of the X three bar. All these guys were on this wavelength where you absolutely have to challenge your muscles to produce maximum output, to put them to the absolute maximum, to temporary muscular failure as as many reps as you can do with pull-ups. And then you drop from the bar and you’re done, and you can’t do another one. And when you do this, when you challenge your muscles to maximum output, such as doing a sprint, all out sprint of whatever distance you are getting the genetic signaling to improve, to come back and adapt as a bigger, faster, stronger, more resilient human. And you also get this burst of adaptive anti-aging hormones that flood into the bloodstream. Brad (25m 23s): This is the optimal stimulation of the fight or flight response, rather than the chronic stimulation of the fight or flight response that characterizes daily life, where we’re dealing with constant source of, you know, sustained low stress as we rush through our hectic day. The human fight or flight response is supposed to be for emergency life or death application only. So very short duration running from the predator as the classic example are fighting for your life. And then, you know, on with your very low stress, a pleasant relaxing day. And so this is how exercise could be best contemplated as you go in there and you hit it hard, and you get out of there. Brad (26m 6s): If I’m talking about the gym or the track or whatever you get out of there before you get this excess stimulation of fight or flight hormones that are lingering in your bloodstream too long. And that’s when they have the catabolic immune suppressing hormone dysregulating effects. So we have Dr. Doug McGuff’s program that he details where you’re talking about 12 minutes a week, total Ted Naiman detailed his fitness protocol during our show. And you can go look on his Instagram and see how ripped he is with his protocol of doing single set to failure in various parts of the body, your various groupings. So there’s like he describes like a, a push move, a pull move, right? A pushup as a pull, push, move, a poll move would be like an overhead pulling the bar overhead, maybe a squat or something for the compound, lower body movement. Brad (26m 56s): But he’s doing a single set to failure in various body groupings. And I believe he says he does this most every day because it takes, let’s say one minute to do maximum reps to failure on the pull-up bar. And it takes one minute to sprint up to the top of the hill or 30 seconds, ideally no more than 30 seconds, 20 seconds. So you do a maximum effort to failure, various body part groupings. You can do them back to back to back with, you know, a couple of few minutes rest in between each set, or he also says he sprinkles these things throughout the day. So maybe he’ll do a single set to failure in the morning. And then three hours later go from the pull-up bar to pushups, do that single set to failure. Brad (27m 40s): And it’s a really thought provoking strategy for fitness takes only minutes a day and delivers fantastic results. John Jacquish’s X three bar program is the same thing. The X three protocol as described by John is a 10 minute total workout duration, 10 minutes. And you do, let’s see, I’m looking on my wall, the pictures to do four exercises one day and four exercises the other day sort of counterbalancing the muscles. So you don’t fatigue the same muscles or whatnot. So he wants you to do a workout number one, three days a week, workout number two, three days a week, and then a rest day for the seventh day of the week. Brad (28m 21s): And so basically you’re putting in 10 minutes of exercise per day, and you’re getting absolutely strong and powerful. And in his case, huge and totally ripped with a fat fraction of the time that most people are doing when they go into the gym and go through the many sequences of machines or free weights. So it’s complete and total exhaustion of the muscle with the S3 protocol, because what happens is, as you start to get tired, as you near the end of your rep count stretching, these really thick, rubber, rubber straps, you get tired, you’re about to be done. And then what you do is you work through a reduced range of motion as you fatigue. Brad (29m 3s): So imagine like the chest press is the classic example where you have the bar in front of you, the straps around your back, and you’re doing what amounts to a bench, press a simulated bench, press stretching these traps. And as you get tired from extending your arms all the way, sending the bar far out from front in front of you, then you do these miniature reps where you’re only extending the bar halfway out from, from you. So it’s like a mini, a mini bench press where you’re not raising the bar all the way. And then all of a sudden you’re continuing to fatigue that muscle, which you thought was almost maxed out until finally you’re doing these three interrupts and there’s no sensation like it. I’m telling you I was absolutely blown away just doing a single set of reduced range of motion to full muscle exhaustion with the X three bar. Brad (29m 51s): So I described the chest press there. You can also do squats. So you can also do simulated deadlifts and you just make shorter and shorter range of motion reps until your arms can’t perform any work whatsoever. And boy, there’s nothing like that. Sensation of completely he describes it as completely depleting muscle glycogen. You’ve also exhausted the powerful fast-twitch muscle fibers, as well as the endurance fibers, because you’re doing so many reps and it doesn’t take that long again to completely exhaust your muscles in a way that’s not possible when you’re lifting machines or free weights, because they don’t have this principle of applying a variable resistance it’s called where the resistance gets more and more difficult as you get to the point where you can apply more and more force production. Brad (30m 42s): In other words, stretching that strap all the way to the end at the end is when you have the most power anyway. So you’re aligning the resistance with your force production potential just to get a little too technical for you, but you can listen to more with my show with Dr. Jacquish.. It’s very interesting, but I think the main takeaway here with the, the message from Doug McGuff, Dr. Ted Naiman, Dr. John Jacquish is that, boy, fatiguing the muscle in the body temporarily all the way to maximum potential is super awesome way to build fitness and prompt the desirable anti-aging hormone testosterone boost. Brad (31m 23s): And there’s great research. I’m going to get into it on a future show where I cover some of the insights provided by Dr. Andrew Huberman on the subject that these brief high intensity sessions can produce a really impressive spike in testosterone that will keep you going for hours and hours afterwards. And then if you don’t overdo it, if you don’t do it too frequently, and you perform the workouts correctly, you’re going to be a testosterone MOFO thanks to your high-intensity workouts. Now that’s a really important point to close with here because you have to do this stuff correctly. There’s a great return on investment from explosive high intensity exercise, but there’s also great risk for getting tired, overdoing it. Brad (32m 7s): And in the case of disciplines like CrossFit, getting injured, because you’re putting your body under stress load and your central nervous system is fatiguing. You’re feeling tired, your heart rate’s elevated. There’s research validating that when your heart rate is over 140 beats per minute, which is easy to happen when you’re in the midst of a high intensity training session, your, your higher level thinking reasoning starts to shut down to where you can’t really make good decisions, or for example, execute complex technique, precisely because of your fatigue and because of the high intensity nature of what you’re doing. Brad (32m 50s): I think any runner can relate or triathlete. I remember times when, you know, you’re getting directed on the course to turn right, and then soon after that, you’re going to make a sharp left. Someone’s yelling at me while I’m biking passed them at 27 miles an hour. And I can’t even process the information because I’m breathing so hard and the brain is responsibly shutting down from doing all this problem solving. So honing, refining, excellent technique with complex compound movements, such as Olympic lifting while you’re getting tired and fatigued is a great recipe for injury. So when we’re doing these, these high intensity movements, we want to make sure that you’re feeling sharp and focused the whole time so that you can exhibit excellent technique impeccable technique for the duration of the workout and for every work effort that you perform. Brad (33m 41s): And there’s always going to be a time I know in sprinting, I can tell there’s a very subtle change in my technique. There’s a very subtle de-gradation of my technique when I start to get a little bit tired. And I always take that as a sign to wrap it up. Usually it’s like a little burn in my hamstring or a slight tightness in the lower back when I’m finished with sprint number seven or whatever it is. And that’s the sign that the body has had enough. The central nervous system has had enough and is now starting to feel inhibited from the correct firing and timing of the muscles to perform the work. Okay. So during the session, you’ll notice for de-gradation and technique, or kind of a, a distraction or a fogginess in the brain or a declining motivation. Brad (34m 30s): So at some point you’re going to kind of zone out during these difficult workouts. And that’s another sign to wrap it up and call it a day. In general and looking at your progress and your, the way that you adapt to the workouts. These are the things that I suggest you want to look out for. And I think the first marker would be that you’re improving. So the MAF test is a great way to indicate improvement in aerobic conditioning, right? Where you hit a fixed heart rate and you hold it there for a predetermined duration of the test or distance of the test. The classic example was going to the track, warming up a bit, starting the watch, getting your heart rate up to your maximum aerobic heart rate and staying as close as you can to that heart rate, while you run eight laps. Brad (35m 18s): And then at the end of the eight laps, you look at your time and as the months and years go by, you should be able to run faster and faster time on the same course, the same eight laps at the same heart rate. When it comes to explosive performance, there are other markers, obviously that might be more relevant to your goals. A lot of people like to track their single rep max in weightlifting. So now they can deadlift 608 pounds. Like my man, TJ who produces all our shows and handles all the logistics behind the podcast. He’s on one of my Instagram posts, lifting triple his body weight, dead lifting off the ground. Brad (35m 59s): Absolutely impressive. And that is sort of an advanced, you know, extreme athletic performer. They’re going for a single rep. Max deadlift has a high degree of injury risk. Of course, when you’re talking about absolute maximum. So some experts are recommending, Hey, why don’t you track your five rep max? And that would be a little safer because it’s nowhere near what you can live for one lift, but how, how well you’re doing with your five rep max, and can that weight increase over time as you get stronger? I’m a high jumper so I have a way to track my improvement by putting the bar up at a certain height and seeing if I can clear it or not. Brad (36m 39s): It’s absolutely black and white, like few other sports. And that’s, what’s so wonderful about it. And especially when I use my warm-up height, like in the old days, my warm-up height was five feet. Now that’s kind of closer to my competitive height, hoping to change that with some future reports of great success in competition. But if I couldn’t clear that warmup height easily, I realized that my explosiveness was a little bit off and I had to curtail revise the workout accordingly. So some way of measuring performance in your favorite discipline, your favorite activity, that’s what will keep you honest and help you make realizations if you’re overdoing it. Speaking of that, I hope everyone’s enjoyed watching the Olympic track and field trials from the amazing new stadium in Eugene, Oregon, and these amazing athletes in all the different events, especially interesting to me as a longtime observer is how the old guard will come and go. Brad (37m 35s): And here comes some new people and the great Jenny Simpson, one of the greatest female, middle distance runners of all time in America, maybe the greatest of all time with her world championship gold medal and the 1500 and many Olympic appearances. She did not make the team. She finished in the middle of the pack. They interviewed her after and she said, you know what? A lot of athletes don’t like to say this out loud, but the sport goes on without ya. So what a great attitude by a great champion and, you know, tracking improvement, tracking your progress, looking at your career arc, boy, that’s pretty black and white. When you look at your finished position in the Olympic trials and whether or not you get to go to Japan and compete in the Olympics. Brad (38m 16s): I was also disheartened to see the great American 800 meter runner Donovan Brazier, world champion in 2019, the fastest American all time, his time of one minute, 42.3 seconds is number nine all time in the history of the world. And he finished in last place in the finals of the 800 meters for the trial. So he is not going to Tokyo. And boy, that was the hugest upset that we’ve seen in the trial so far. He was guess what? A little tiny bit off his game. Yeah. The margin of error at that level is shockingly small. For example, in the 400 meter finals, the difference between first place and last place in the finals, eighth, ninth, whatever eighth was one second, one second, running around an entire track. Brad (39m 4s): And the winners go into the Olympics and the eighth place person is going back to train you to see if they can shave that one second off with years, more of hard work, but in Donna Brazier’s case, people were saying, what’s wrong. What a shock, what a surprise, but I’ll tell you what’s wrong without even knowing him or anything about his training. Very, very, very likely that he overdid it a little bit. He overtaxed himself, he’s at an extremely high fitness level and trying for that, those incremental improvements that are extremely hard to come by. And he very likely overdid in the buildup to the Olympic trials. We could go back six months in time. Maybe he had some injuries, some illnesses that held him back, but for someone at that talent level to, to cave in and the finals, clearly it was just a training error. Brad (39m 53s): Most likely even at the elite level, someone who pushed themselves too hard, too many times and was not quite 100% sharp on the starting line for the, the final qualification race. We’ll see if he comes back this summer and throws down and bus one, like the great sprint, the great 100 meter hurdler, Kenny Harrison. She, I think got fifth in the Olympic trials in 2016. So devastated didn’t make the team. The US field is so deep and that’s just the way it goes in that short race. And then I think two weeks later, she went out there and destroyed the world record. One of the longest standing world records in track and field. It dated all the way back to the east German doping era, where the females were highly doped and set these records that some thought would never be eclipsed because they weren’t really full on females like the traditional description. Brad (40m 45s): But Kenny Harrison ran 12.2. It’s still the world record to this day. So she got back at the Olympic trials gods who didn’t want to put her on the team. Okay. Fun stuff and little commentary for those of you interested in track. But I wanted to bring up breeze year’s case because it’s so important to monitor the stress level, the stress impact, stress/rest balance of your workout patterns so that you don’t overdo it and start to lose all the wonderful potential benefits. I would also like you to monitor your energy level at rest. So you should feel alert, energized, maybe even pumped up for hours after these difficult workouts, because they weren’t too exhausting and they leave you with more energy and alertness rather than less. Brad (41m 33s): And so let’s especially monitor the hours after the workout, but also at the 24 hour mark and the 48 hour mark, we want to make sure we don’t have any crash and burn incidents, which are very common in my case where I feel fantastic. I did a great jumping workout, sprint workout at the track feeling like a really busy, productive day afterward, and then the following afternoon. So that would be about the 30 hour mark or something. It’s like, boom, crash and burn, wake up. My muscles are sore and stiff. And so there’s sometimes a delayed effect once all the stress hormones wear off and clear out of your bloodstream and you realize, gee, I might have overdone it. Brad (42m 14s): And especially with recurring post exercise, muscle soreness We want to guard against that. And that kind of a recurring pattern. Once in a while, of course, you’re going to feel sore if you’re doing new stuff or push yourself really hard, like in a competition or something, but we don’t want that to be a routine pattern. So to get going, and to have that quick takeaway, I’ve talked about this on other shows about sprinting, but when you’re doing this brief, explosive high intensity exercise, we want to perform in that sweet spot of 10 to 20 seconds. That’s the optimal duration of an all-out a maximum effort, high intensity sprint, or set. You could call it a kettlebell swings for 10 to 20 seconds. Brad (42m 56s): You could call it sprinting on the bike. You could be sprinting on flat ground. You could be doing the battle ropes, whatever it is, that’s the sweet spot where you get the optimal hormonal and cellular benefits without that cellular destruction that occurs when you exceed 20 seconds or when you try to exceed 20 seconds of maximum effort. And it should be noted physiologically that the human is incapable of delivering maximum output for longer than seven seconds. That’s when the ATP creatine phosphate energy production system blows up. That’s as far as it can go to give you the absolute 100% full, maximum performance. Brad (43m 37s): And so after around seven seconds, you have to transition over into the lactate pathway and then later the glycolytic pathway. And that’s the science of cellular energy production when you’re going at maximum high speed. So just think of that, interestingly, that after seven seconds, you’re going to start to slow down and you’re going to start to diminish your output. But when you’re getting up to 20 seconds, you’re working hard. You’re capable of going really fast and doing really well, but then you should cut it off at that point. And then after you do a maximum work effort in between 10 to 20 seconds duration, you want to take a recovery period of at least six to one of your work ratio. So if you sprint it for 10 seconds and I’m leaning on the shorter side of that window, if you’re doing something high impact, like running on flat ground, and you can extend to the higher part of that window, if you’re doing low impact, like sprinting on a bicycle or something of that nature. Brad (44m 33s): So let’s say we sprint for 10 seconds on flat ground. We’re going to take at least 60 seconds recovery period before you do the next sprint and continue on throughout the set. And it’s okay to take a little bit longer rest, especially in between your sixth and seventh rep. If you feel like you need it, and you want to check on the central nervous system and your state of excitement and focus as you toe the line for success to sprint. So you want to be really wired, pumped up focused, ready for another sprint. And if that takes a minute and 20 seconds, instead of a minute, don’t worry about it. Dr. Craig Marker calls this taking luxurious rest intervals when you’re pushing your body hard. Brad (45m 15s): And then as far as a number of work efforts, somewhere between four and 10 reps is plenty. So if you’re starting out, I think almost everybody can sprint four times for 10 seconds on a, on a stationary bike or something that’s low impact. And if that’s your starting point, that’s fantastic. But even as you, even as you get super competent, 10 is plenty. And if you feel like, gee, I felt so great today. I could have done 12 or 14. Well, you’re kinda missing the point and the desired effect of training, that explosive output, that maximum energy output and all the hormonal benefits that accrue. So the point is, if you’re getting fitter and feeling great, you try to go faster and faster and faster and perform more work, do better rather than do more volume. Brad (46m 1s): So this kind of endurance mentality of no pain, no gain. And how long can I hang on? And how tough can I be by recovering in less time that can be thrown out the window in favor of focusing on quality. And that is a wrap on a wonderful three part series, how to boost testosterone and avoid the slippery slope downhill through tackling these four huge critical objectives in modern life: sleep, cleaning up your diet, optimizing your relationship interactions and doing exercise correctly, especially the brief high intensity stuff. 0 (46m 35s): Thank you so much for listening. Let me know what you think. Send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll catch it on the other side. Maybe we’ll get some Q and A out of this. So please hit us with your questions. Hopefully you can get started, especially with the sprinting, the explosive stuff, just get out there and get a plan. And if you need to do low impact at first, get on the stationary bike, warm up a little bit and hit it hard. You’ll feel the wonderful benefits of pushing your body to the maximum. 0 (47m 19s): Have a great day Brad (47m 21s): Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support please. Email email@example.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows, subscribe to our email list to Brad kearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list. And if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with apple podcasts or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome. Brad (48m 5s): It helps raise the profile of the be read podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called overcast allows you to actually record a soundbite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word bird and remember B.rad.