This two-part show is all about how to strike an optimal balance between peak performance goals and longevity.
I talk about the most effective and appropriate adjustments you can make to your fitness routine as you age and the numerous benefits that come from broadening your perspective on training and how this can help you make smarter choices that support healthy aging. I also share some of the lessons I’ve learned throughout my personal journey in endurance sports when it comes to walking that delicate line between passionately pursuing fitness while also being practical enough to set realistic goals.
Stay tuned for part 2!
We are going to talk about the balance of your goals of peak performance and longevity. [01:59]
Pursue peak performance with passion throughout life. Set age-appropriate goals. [03:45]
There is a greater prevalence of devastating consequences of long-term extreme endurance training. [08:31]
Where did we get the 26.2 miles goal for the marathon? Where did the Ironman originate? [10:30]
Brad’s personal journey in endurance sport began between age 21 and 30. [14:20]
After some unexplained injuries, Brad learned to recalibrate his physical condition and fitness goals. [20:02]
Brad had emergency medical problems to which he attributes his overly stressful exhaustive training. [27:54]
Especially when you are in the 40 plus age group, most fitness programs have workouts that are too long and too difficult for most people to benefit from. [31:07]
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- HIIT Vs HIRT
- Reflections on Breaking A world Record to Speedgolf
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Brad [00:01:59]: Welcome to the B.rad podcast broadcasting here from the closet studios. Welcome. How are you? Guess what we’re going to talk about today? How to strike an optimal and delicate balance between the possibly, but not necessarily disparate goals of peak performance and longevity, right. I’ve asked this question to a few different podcasts. Guests, who do you think is going to be the person to break the longevity record of currently held at 122 years. I’m hoping I’m going to be a candidate. I can’t tell you for another 50, 60 years, uh, how my prospects are looking. Uh, but is it going to be that, uh, peaceful Yogi that spends hours sitting on the cushion and walking in the forest? Or is it going to be some guy who’s putting up stacks in the gym and maintaining that super awesome muscle mass physique, as we see some of these wonderful outliers doing today, so inspirational, including Siisson at 67, still looking like an elite endurance athlete with veins all over his body and tremendously strong in the gym.
Uh, my other listener and former podcast guest Dave Kobrine, and at the age of 60, uh, did an extraordinary birthday celebration performance. I was wonderful to be a part of that, uh, where he completed the CrossFit Murph workout we all did. And then, uh, or before that he had set a personal best in the deadlift of 365 pounds and then proceeded to do this grueling, uh, 37 minute binge of activity featuring a hundred pull-ups 200 push-ups 300 squats piggybacked by a mile run on either side. So there’s people out there getting into the higher age groups. I love looking at Charles Allie on YouTube age, 70 plus a master’s track world record holder. And he busts out a sub 60 second quarter mile 400 meters at the age of 70. Unbelievable. So can we do great things? Yes. Should we continue to pursue these esteem goals?
Well, that’s up to you, but, uh, my message, as you can see on my beautifully redesigned website, my brand, the big quote there, uh, front and center is pursue peak performance with passion throughout life, because I think we need that edge. We need something to get us up in the morning, get us focused, uh, looking at goals, competitive opportunities, whether it’s an actual competitive event or a league, or what have you, or just competing with yourself and trying to do better and setting some distinct and specific goals to keep you honest and keep you on track as you go through life. Uh, I’ve talked about my father Walter, a few times on the show who made it 97 years, uh, 95 of which were absolutely physically superior, awesome, high-level performer in his favorite sport of golf. And then a nice graceful and relatively quick decline.
There’s nothing more that any of us could ask for. Uh, but you know, he had a tremendous competitive intensity. It might’ve been a quiet, competitive intensity, but he was a champion golfer his entire life. And so he was very focused on shooting a low score, even when he was out there at 95, he was not bunting the ball around and, uh, having, uh, potato chips and pretzels. He was going for the pin. And so I think that’s a really valuable and highly recommended aspect for all of us to pursue. Uh, especially as we descend further and further into the luxuries and comforts. And a lot of people who are getting into the older age groups have also done a lot of great work to establish that a measure of financial security, wealth accumulation, where they don’t have to bust their butt every day in hard physical toil or stressful job circumstances.
And we have an increased tendency, I would say to take it easy on all levels on certain levels you deserve to. So we certainly, uh, can craft a lifestyle and a career path that we desire to where we’re not putting in the longest hours at the law firm when we hit 55 or 65 or 75, like we did, we were 25 or 35. Uh, but in terms of, uh, fitness and being a peak performer, it’s nice to set these age appropriate and lifestyle appropriate goals. So in my own example, and I’m going to take you through some decades, uh, to give you some reference points. Uh, but I have these age and lifestyle appropriate goals today at the age of 56, which are quite disparate from my goals during my twenties, when I was a competitor on the professional triathlon circuit and training every day to the absolute limits of my physical capabilities and pushing my body to that level.
That’s not at all healthy, not at all aligned with longevity, but that really isn’t a big factor when you’re in your twenties. And so when you’re in that prime and you can push yourself really hard, or many people choose to smash into other humans during that narrow window of peak performance. Uh, so good for them, if that was your sport, and that was your day, but then we want to gracefully adjust and recalibrate our goals. I’m not too aware of many adult tackle football leagues out there in the world. Um, but speaking of adult leagues, some of the basketball stuff, uh, can get a little out of hand and not be age appropriate when you have a misplaced competitive intensity, uh, when you’re just a sorry, sack in the 40 plus or 50 plus league running up and down the court. But thinking with that competitive intensity coming out unregulated that you’re still playing for the championship in the high school division or college or whatever, uh, you hit back in the day.
And so some of that stuff can be, uh, highly predictive of injuries, breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury. So I’m going to say shout out to all the adult league basketball players. Good on you, keep it up. But if you are showing up on the court, uh, with a very poor level of fitness and putting you in that weekend warrior characterization, uh, it might be better to spend more time in the weight room on the yoga mat, uh, scrutinizing your diet rather than just, uh, lacing up and going out there and slamming into people who jump up in the air and try to make a layup. Nothing personal there. You can tell maybe my feelings have been hurt in the past, uh, by getting slammed by overly competitive adult basketball league players. But Hey, that’s why I’m no longer in the league. Uh, but the point here to make is that we want to be really smart about our competitive efforts and the direction that we point that weapon in and set age and lifestyle appropriate goals.
Well, we’re pursuing peak performance with passion throughout life, and I want to put a special light on the endurance community because there’s becoming a greater prevalence of, uh, devastating consequences of a long term extreme endurance training and the elevated cardiac disease risk that ensues. Listen to my show with Dr. Cucuzzella because he deals with this every single day. Uh, there’s plenty of articles and there’s a lot of momentum, uh, highlighting this, uh, disturbing situation where, uh, the extreme performers where they’re working out for hours and hours on end and decades and decades, uh, have a high propensity to develop a AFib and related, uh, conditions of the heart that put them in a disease risk category, just like, uh, a sedentary smoker. And I’ve had a lot of my peers that I raced with in triathlon, a good number of them, a prominent world level, world champion level athletes, uh, succumb to, uh, an assortment of heart conditions and heart situations.
Some of them fatal, uh, there’s some prominent stories about Steve Larson, the great, uh, and, and most versatile endurance athlete probably of all time in America. Ryan Shea was running in the Olympic marathon trials and, uh, collapsed and dropped dead in the streets of New York city, uh, from an exploded heart. And so we have to be really careful the longer we’re in this game, uh, to do it in an inappropriate manner. So if you can get away with crazy training routines in your twenties, and maybe, uh, the ex tour de France person who was able to do something at the super highest level back then, uh, we definitely don’t want to carry that into the higher decades. And so I’m going to make a proclamation right here to endurance people that the ultra long distance stuff, the longest distance stuff let’s, uh, for a moment ponder the concept that this could be a young person’s game.
After all this stuff was invented by crazy young people pushing the extremes of human endurance, right? The marathon distance of 26.2 miles, uh, was established because that’s the distance between Athens to Marathon in Greece and the messenger soldier that carried the message of victory on foot. They had these foot messengers back then, and don’t forget the legend is that the person ran the 26 miles and collapsed and died after sending the message: “Rejoice. We conquer.” It was not Phidippides by the way, Dean Karnazes has a fantastic article that you can find online where Phidippides was this legendary messenger runner. And he, uh, confirmed, made this amazing performance during war times where I believe he ran 230 miles over the course of a few days to send messages, but it was an anonymous messenger that actually gets credit for running 26 miles and then dropping dead.
And, oh, the 0.2, I believe, was so that the Olympic marathon in 1904 or something, uh, could end, uh, in front of the Queen’s palace. And so it used to be 26 miles. They changed it to 26 miles, 385 yards, uh, for spectator friendliness for royalty. And there we have it today. But how about this, if you’re over 45 or over 50, why don’t you, uh, write down these numbers? 13.1, uh, write down 70.3. Do you know what those are? Most endurance athletes do. 13.1 is a half marathon. So if you’re over 50, why don’t you call 13.1 a marathon and be done with it? Good to go. 70.3 is half of the distance of the full Ironman triathlon template, which is a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. So if you cut those in half 1.2, 56 and 13, you have 70.3 miles.
And again, just like the Greek soldier messenger that dropped dead after running 26 miles, the Ironman, uh, was created was conceived by a bunch of, uh, drunk Navy officers in Hawaii, uh, trying to argue about which was the toughest event in the Hawaiian islands. And there were three, uh, up for consideration: the Waikiki rough water swim at 2.4 miles, the bicycle ride around Oahu at 112 miles or the Honolulu marathon. And somebody John Collins is credited with spearheading the, the creation of the Ironman. Uh, they said, Hey, why don’t we try to do all three in one day? And then we would for sure be king of the islands, but I don’t think anyone in that room was over 30 or 35 years old. So let’s sober up a little bit, uh, wade through the branding and marketing and realize that as we age, we need to tone things down to the extent that we might want to enter a different race distance than people in those younger decades.
Ha how about that? I know if it turns you on and this is your destiny and your, your goal for the, for the year is to train and complete that marathon and cross the line with a big smile and train sensibly and have it balanced with your lifestyle. Just know that you’re, uh, up against the, um, the, the momentum right out of the gate, if you’re in the older age groups. And I think this goes for all areas of life. I talked about putting in the big hours at the law firm, if that’s your destiny, when you’re 25 or 35. So be it, uh, but again, probably not a great idea to continue that, uh, banging that drum so loud throughout your life. Uh, let’s get a little more sensible here. Can you believe that Rich Roll, the health beacon and popular podcast host once wrote this on his Twitter account quote, developing an acuity for sleep deprivation is a big part of my personal success equation end quote.
Wow, that’s hilarious and ridiculous and enough already with these messages permeating that are glorifying, uh, extreme and excessive and unbalanced lifestyles. Okay. And speaking of my own personal journey, I talked about those nine years in my twenties from ages 21 to 30, where I competed on the professional triathlon circuit. My lifestyle was completely dedicated to training as the top priority, right. It was my career after all. So I went to work every day by waking up after a lot of sleep and going out there and doing what workouts I could in the most strategic manner possible, but it was a ton of physical work and a ton of volume, uh, also piggybacked by a lot of rest and downtime. So that’s an important distinction to make, especially when, uh, I saw a lot of these, uh, super power, uh, recreational amateur athletes, right? Not, not professional competitors, but very, very serious national or world level level, amateur competitors mixing in really, uh, disciplined and arduous training, uh, inside of other major lifestyle responsibilities, such as being part of a family, uh, having a career.
And so at least I can say I did train like a crazy person during those years as a pro triathlete. And I sure traveled a lot on airplanes, which was another source of tremendous physical stress. Uh, but I didn’t have other plates spinning in my life. So that mitigated a lot of the potential damage. Nevertheless, uh, I feel like it was wonderfully wonderful to wrap up that phase at the ripe old age of 30. And I will admit that I got pushed out of the sport due to poor performance, right. I mean, it was of course my decision to, to hang it up, but it was a very graceful way to end that era of life because I was no longer at my peak. And when you fall a little bit off your peak, especially in a minor sport, um, there’s a huge difference in, uh, the consequences of that.
So it was really nice to say, Hey, I’ve probably, um, been there and done that and it’s time to move on. And I felt, um, it was so exhausted from the whole binge of nine years there that I think it took me, um, a long time to physically recover from that. And of course I had to immerse into a actual normal everyday life, go get a job, uh, soon after starting a family. And so if we take the next day, decade between 30 and 40, uh, my athletic and my fitness goals really took a back burner to, um, just the other areas of life that let’s say, uh, had been kick-started during that time. And so I remember just seeking to maintain a basic level of endurance, uh, I guess that was just my programming for my entire life. So I certainly went out there and would routinely go for a run for 45 minutes or an hour, a couple, few times a week.
I’d get on my bike on the weekend and maybe peddle for two or three hours. And that’s pretty impressive, especially cause I was going, uh, still at pretty good pace coming off of 10 years, uh, on the pro circuit competing at the highest level. Uh, I certainly wasn’t competitive in any way, uh, but I called myself a fit person due to my maintenance of this basic endurance level. However, the middle signs and red flags started to come up here and there. Um, I, we’re going to remember two of them and share them with you. One them was a spontaneous tear of the meniscus in my knee while walking down the street at a very slow pace with my very old Springer Spaniel dog. And it was about a quarter mile, total of a walk. So, uh, after 200 meters, I had to turn around, uh, but I noticed my knees start to swell up right in front of my eyes and gets stiffer and stiffer to the extent that I was basically shuffling back home and unable to bend the joint.
Uh, I went and collapsed onto the couch. My friend physical therapist came over and immediately declared that I had torn my meniscus asked me what happened. I said nothing. I was walking the dog down the street. I proceeded to get on the internet and discover. I remember this one article quote males around the age of 40, uh, frequently, uh, sustained a spontaneous tear of the meniscus with no known attribution. And that was like, what a rip off man, I’m only 39 years old, but here I am in that category. Uh, another time I was bending over the kitchen counter to wolf down the last few bites of scrambled eggs before we were to rush out the door, uh, to a road trip and in the process of bending over to, uh, enjoy these eggs, I experienced the most incredibly severe back pain, uh, shooting sharp pain in my lower back.
And I collapsed to the ground in agony. Uh, I had the wind knocked out of me to the point where I was gasping for air on the ground and my kids let’s see how old were they at this time? Uh, probably, uh, you know, five and three or something thought I was a joking cause I was a big jokester dad and I do crazy stuff like that all the time. And they’re kicking me in the ribs, like, come on, dad, get up. And I’m like, no, I can’t breathe. I’m not kidding. Uh, so this was what they call throwing your back out. And I never even knew or conceived of what that term meant until it happened to me. And boy, that was a real eye-opener because I realized that that time, that my overall fitness level, my competency was actually quite poor, despite my big endurance engine, still able to rev up and climb up the, uh, from the bottom of the canyon to the top on a bike.
Uh, but I had very poor core activation. I was putting a load onto my lower back. I’m not going to say the eggs did it, but I remember earlier that morning doing some pull-ups at the park and you know, my body swinging in the air and trying to raise myself to the bar. And boy, if I could do 12 pull-ups back then I considered that a super awesome and complete strength training session because I was how little attention I paid to intensity or straight training, but I think that’s what, uh, set up my back for demise. And so there I was with about three or four days of almost total incapacitation, just sitting on the couch in pain. Every time I tried to move, then it was another three or four days of walking around very, very gingerly tiptoeing around the house until I could actually, for example, go out for a walk with my dog.
And so how about 10 days of major wake-up call to completely recalibrate and reassess? What one’s notion of fitness really means? And so I kind of kicked off a campaign to broaden my perspective of fitness, I’d say right around the age of 40 and that coincided with my kids entering the ages of, uh, beginning ages of youth sports leagues. So starting when my son’s age five, I coached the crap out of him and my daughter and every sport possible. Uh, I was always the head coach trying to dictate the whole, uh, the whole energy there and making sure that, uh, the kids focused on personal development and fun and enjoyment and got rid of that, uh, misplaced competitive intensity that you see a lot in youth sports and that was super fun and rewarding and also a very strenuous and trying when you’re putting out that kind of energy as a participatory coach, I wasn’t kind of the guy that sat in the chair and called out instructions.
I was out there running drills, demonstrating drills, scrimmaging, getting the other parents up out of their beach chairs, to scrimmage a little bit with the kids and make it a whole family and community experience. But that required a really, uh, much more fitness competency than just someone who can trot down the trail for an hour or pedal the bicycle up the hill. And I remember getting an assortment of aches and pains and knee injuries and strains, and then trying to, uh, you know, avoid that or come back stronger and more resilient, uh, with a more broader based a workout plan. And also, uh, taking a little direction from my son at the time when he suggested, uh, really sensitively that I pursue some of my own athletic goals rather than just be, uh, the participatory coach who, uh, maybe got in there and even got a little too worked up and caught up into the youth sports scene.
So I really liked to take, take it to these kids hard. Um, I got great advice from an older parent who told me, yeah, you gotta bring the heat on these guys and show them what it’s like to be a competitor. So I always brought the heat and practice and I was definitely the MVP of every team in every sport starting at age five. No one could touch me. I could score it will on these poor kids all the way up to, uh, about freshman year of high school when they proceeded to blow me off the basketball court or the soccer field and put me in the stands where I belong. But I remember one time, I guess the kids were probably six or seventh grade, middle school and we’re driving home. And my son said, you know, those crazy moves that you do in the air where you jump up and go with between your legs.
It goes, you should do those in the adult basketball league. So, uh, I went ahead and joined the adult basketball leagues. Had a great time on that. I remember coaching high jump for the youth track team and having so much fun teaching these kids, the sport of HighJump. For some reason, I was always captivated by dating back even to high school when I was a terrible high jumper, not even good enough to be on the high school team. But I would finish my grueling distance workouts and however many intervals or miles we ran. And I’d always drift over to the high jump pit to get a little practice in after my practice, usually with the girls, because that was about where my bar was around five feet. And yes, I’m jumping higher at the age of 56 than I did in high school as supposedly a kid in his prime, but I was weak and skinny and I’ve worked on my technique, work on my fitness competency.
So it’s really nice to kind of try to raise the bar. Oh, that’s what it says on the front of my website. That’s right. Huh. So that was all a little story about going through the decades and recalibrating fitness goals at all times, and then finding something to be captivated about to the extent that I went from the guy coaching high school, I mean, coaching middle school high jump and working the meets where I’m measuring the kids and changing the bar heights and conducting the, the event for the track meet to staying after the track meet and doing my own personal hour long practice session with great intensity and passion. And boy was that fun to, you know, awaken to fun things like that. Same with speed golf, which I picked up in my fifties, uh, out of nowhere, just watching on YouTube, realizing that the sport was still alive up in the state of Oregon because I’d played it, uh, back in the late nineties in Southern California, they had a nice little circuit of tournaments and I’m like, wow, this is great.
This is my perfect sport because I love golf and I love running. And so I had, uh, have had a great binge, uh, competing on the speed golf circuit, uh, training for, and participating in the annual world championships. I believe I participated, uh, five years in a row and came in the top 20 and the professional division every time. So I was kind of carrying the torch for the old guys. There was one other guy over age 50, and the rest of the guys were in their twenties and thirties. Uh, but it was great to stack up and try to do the best you can against, uh, the younger generation and, you know, set your personal goals and try to, uh, succeed same with the, uh, the speed golf world record. And that was broken the Guinness official Guinness world record for the fastest single hole of golf ever played.
I did a whole podcast about that. So you can search for that. Cause I talk about the, uh, progressions and how, uh, how much personal development and personal satisfaction I gained from setting a goal, uh, approaching it in a methodical manner, uh, putting myself under that pressure when the record attempt day comes because you have to assemble, uh, this huge team of supporters, uh, timers, camera people, everything has to be really legit for it to be accepted by Guinness. So I rallied my support crew and I was really in the spotlight. People rooting for me and I felt like a real athlete. Again, even though it’s a silly little offshoot, uh, I made it mean a lot to me, and that’s what it’s all about to live a rich and meaningful life where these goals just like when I’m high jumping, uh, today practicing in an empty high school stadium.
Uh, when I get over that bar, I let out a scream of joy. That is just the same as if I was winning a big event on the professional triathlon circuit and getting interviewed by ESPN and all that wonderful hoopla that happened in a different realm of my athletic experience. So yeah, there’s a big plug for finding something super cool, like speed golf, high jump in my case, but whatever it is that turns you on in your case. But here into the, uh, the fifties decade, I did have to do some further recalibration because, uh, realizing going out there and pushing myself really hard, let’s say with a high jump practice, or let’s say with an excessive amount of speed golf where each session is more or less an endurance training session with the heart rate, drifting above aerobic, uh, maximum can get overly stressful.
And it’s stuff that a 50 plus person shouldn’t be trafficking in. I don’t want to go back into those same patterns that I did in my twenties when I was competing as a pro and pushing myself to the limit. And so I have a nice article on my blog about overdoing it, uh, chronically for several months on end with my re-introduction to speed golf and getting so excited about it, to the extent that I believe it landed me in the hospital with a very serious medical condition of a ruptured appendix and emergency surgery, and three followup surgeries due to complications with bladder function in the months following the appendix surgery. So I went from kind of untouchable my entire life to age 50, uh, spending a lot of time in hospitals and doctor’s offices. And no physician will tell me that my over-training patterns and my exhaustion was a contributing factor to, uh, ending up with the organ burning up.
Uh, but I’m extremely convinced that this is exactly why I got into that predicament. And in fact, my surgery coincided with the week of a hundred degree plus temperatures in the Sacramento area. And I had conducted two really difficult workouts right in the heat of the afternoon. Uh, one was sprinting. One was high jumping only a few days apart. And then, uh, whatever, uh, the next day I started to not feel so good. Um, didn’t go to the hospital right away. And so allow this thing to burn up at home, like an idiot who was trying to, uh, tough out and persevere through the pain. So a little note to all listeners, uh, when your pain scale is 10 out of 10, uh, you should be in the hospital, not at home moaning and whining. And then when they send you home from the emergency room, when your pain level is still 10 out of 10 insist on further testing, okay, that’s my public service announcement for the day.
Cause that’s all what happened. I went home for another 12 hours. Then you get into the countdown. I learned later where, uh, once you rupture an appendix, you have the possibility or any organ, uh, you can go septic and you’ll die between eight and 48 hours. So I think I was at like the 36 hour mark when I finally went in and had the surgery. All of that, no fun. And I’m going to contend all of that precipitated by an overly stressful exhaustive exercise program for someone of my age. So, uh, pulling out of that and recalibrating again and getting into these, uh, great, uh, emerging notions that I talk about a lot on the podcast about how to restructure and recalibrate your fitness goals for maximum impact. And by far, the most important thing is to stay away from those overly stressful exhaustive burnout patterns that are so unfortunately so frequent, especially in the endurance scene, we talked about that and blowing out people’s hearts, but also this prevailing, uh, popular workout pattern of hit high intensity interval training is by definition, by default, an exhausting depleting workout.
So I’m going to contend, uh, across a broad spectrum of fitness modalities and programming that the workouts are too long and too difficult for most people to benefit from. I don’t care what age, but especially if you’re in the 40 plus category or the 50 plus category or the 60 plus you will be very well served by cutting things in half and getting out of there before you overproduce these stress hormones and they linger in the bloodstream too long until you experience catabolic effects from the workout. How can you tell waking up the next day and feeling like crap, uh, being starving and famished and having extreme cravings for high sugar foods in the hours, or even days following a workout that’s too tough. Uh, so this counts for, uh, the basketball players out there, the CrossFit enthusiasts, those working with enthusiastic personal trainers who like to push you and coach you and coax you onto one more set. Generally speaking, uh, what’s being observed and comments from not only myself, but a lot of other experts is that we’re overdoing it.
And the fitness benefits are minimal and the risks are extreme. Uh, one of the best characterizations I’ve seen of this whole message is from Dr. Doug Maguff’s book, Body by Science, where he contends and backs it with a lot of scientific research that if you’re simply focused on, uh, building muscle mass and getting stronger, one set is all you need one set to exhaustion, uh, is the sweet spot rather than going back over and over and over, and maybe leave that to the young guys. Uh, similarly Dr. Craig Marker, who I did a great show with, you can listen to talking about the distinction between the prevailing approach of high intensity interval training and his take on that his fresh take that he calls high intensity repeat training. So the article is called hit versus hurt. H I R T we’ll put it in the show notes.
They put it in so many show notes already. Uh, I know my mom can find it the show note person. And it’s a great article talking about, uh, the critical importance of maintaining a consistent quality of effort throughout your high intensity sessions, so that they’re not declining in output due to the cumulative fatigue of your efforts. So that just means being fresh, uh, at the start of each interval. And if you start to feel tired, if your form starts to go, if you start to feel twinges in your muscles, you curtail the workout you’re done. It’s not a suffer Fest. So we got to get rid of those words out of our fitness vocabulary. Uh, hand-in-hand with that is the idea that when it’s time to go hard and really push it, uh, there’s no need to go for longer than 20 seconds. So this sweet spot is 10 to 20 seconds when you’re doing explosive high energy output.
And that kind of equates with one set, if you’re doing strength training, right? Uh, and for sprinting, it equates with, uh, whatever the exercise is. It could be kettlebell swings. It could be running on a flat surface. It could be running upstairs. Could be sprinting on a bicycle. But if you sprint for between 10 and 20 seconds, that is the sweet spot to get awesome fitness adaptations, and a minimal risk of this cellular destruction that occurs when you try to sprint for longer than 20 or 30 seconds at a time. Which is a commonplace in the group exercise, the group cycling class, where they’re asking you over and over, uh, to sprint 10 times for 30 seconds. And then finally the, the, the final component of a properly conducted HIRT session is to have luxurious rest intervals. So then when you do come back and perform another explosive high intensity effort, you are well rested.
You’ve done a bit of replenishment of ATP, although full ATP replenishment takes about seven minutes. So if you’re resting for two to three minutes, uh, if you’re out there at the track doing a important set, uh, you’re going to be looking pretty good and have less cellular breakdown. And so I’ve settled on this template for sprint workouts. That for most people, uh, would be a fantastic template and let’s call it four to eight repeats of an 80 meter sprint on flat ground, which takes, I’m going to say, it’s going to take between 10 and 20 seconds. Someone really fast can do it in 10 seconds. And even if you’re a minimally fit, uh, going for 80 meters, you should get down to the finish line, uh, in 20 seconds or less. And so if you can make that your template, uh, you’ll leave that track or wherever your venue is feeling fresh and energetic.
It’s not that much work. It’s an embarrassingly small amount of work for most people who are accustomed to these suffer-fest type workouts. But when you do it correctly with luxurious rest intervals in between each sprint, at least six to one. So let’s say, you’re going for 10 seconds. You’re going to rest for a minute before you do another one. It’s a ridiculously long rest period. But guess what, when you come back and do the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth, the seventh trip, they all feel good. They’re all high quality. You exhibit impeccable form and technique each time. And again, this concept applies to kettlebell swings. So if you’re going to swing the kettlebell for 10 seconds at a time, and then rest for a minute, you expect to feel great on your fifth or sixth or seventh session seventh set there. Okay.
Now that said, once in a while, of course, it’s okay, and you have a free pass to push your limits and do something great and extraordinary. Go to the extremes. That includes an endurance athlete. So if you want to do a marathon once a year, rather than five times a year or an extreme hiking event, like my longtime listeners, John Staley and Steve Kobrine both have done this, uh, double crossing of the Grand Canyon. Dude Spellings are going to put him in there too. I know a lot of people that do this, geez, I guess I got to go do it sometime, but this is the, uh, epic rim to rim, to rim hike or run, whatever pace they’re doing it at. It’s about 50 miles, 13,000 feet of climbing, um, record time for the speedsters. I think people can do it in like eight hours.
Most people might do it in 12, 13 or 16 hours, but boy, what an extraordinary achievement, the beauty of nature, one of the great wonders of the earth and a fantastic event, but guess what? They’re not doing it every 60 days as part of their training for some crazy event, it’s kind of a, a, a centerpiece event that happens once in a while, same with the Murph workout, which I mentioned previously that Dave Kobrine and did, and his 60th birthday. Uh, I trained for that puppy for a short time before just tuning up and, uh, getting ready to put my body under that, uh, torturous load. And it was a killer, uh, but I did it once. And I think once a year would be the absolute maximum I’d ever do something like that. I know people, uh, enjoy doing these extreme events, maybe more often than that, but just take a little bit of perspective, take a deep breath here and say, gee, do I really have to repeatedly over and over and over again, sign up on the starting line for a half iron man triathlon or a half marathon or whatever it is.
So, uh, maybe fewer more special, extraordinary performances is better. And I think I’m going to leave you hanging till the next breather show. And we will piggyback this with a part two where I talk about some actual logistics of how to organize your lifestyle to balance peak performance with longevity. Remember the, the, the title of the show here. So this one, we got a little philosophical, but then we’re going to get into it. And we’ll talk about, uh, diet and lifestyle and some specific fitness goals that you can put into place to make it work. Thanks for listening.
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