In part two, I share some practical and actionable tips that we can all apply to our lives as we strive to find that sweet spot between pursuing peak performance goals and making informed decisions with longevity in mind.
We’ll be talking about how to take a big picture approach to health, why you can’t get fat eating a clean diet, when your body actually needs you to increase your protein intake, and what happens to your ability to synthesize protein as you age. We also talk about the link between your ability to tan and your vitamin D levels, why age is not an excuse for sitting back and being just a spectator in your life, and why maintaining muscle mass helps maintain healthy organ function.
Listen to part 1 of this two-part show here.
Brad talks about the Olympic performances of Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi and the emotion involved in their stories. [02:14]
Nutrient-deficient processed foods have all kinds of adverse consequences when you ingest them. [05:42]
Fight the battle of our fat, sick, tired society. Eliminate the big three: refined sugars, grains, and industrial seed oils. [09:44]
Download and print out the Carnivore Scores Chart on BradKearns.com and put it on your refrigerator. [12:32]
As we age, we need to pay more attention to the fact that it becomes more common to have proteins break down after workout. Not a good thing. [14:38]
Animal organ supplements are a big factor in maintaining health. Brad also talks about his loosening up on his carb restrictions. [16:24]
You can’t exercise to lose weight. [20:28]
If you are going to supplement, you might want to choose collagen protein. [23:36]
As we get older, we have an elevated need for Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids. [26:26]
Prioritize sleep with minimal artificial light and digital stimulation after dark and have a cool, no-clutter room. [32:11]
We must make a concerted effort to take downtime. [35:26]
We have been brainwashed into thinking that steady state cardio is an absolute essential for fitness development. Please reconsider that. [38:52]
The secret is to do brief explosive efforts but also not overdo it. [43:04]
Micro workouts can enhance your busy day. [49:45]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Peak Performance, Part 1
Two Meals a Day
- Fat Chance
- Hacking of the American Mind
- Podcast with Dr. Lustig
Carnivore Scores Chart
- The Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga
- Dr. Herman Pontzer Podcast
- The Vitamin D Solution
- SMASH= salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring.
- Podcast with Joel Jamieson
- ”Cardio” does not consist, Dr. Doug McGruff
- Body by Science
- Jogging 2.0
- Micro workouts for a busy day
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Greetings listeners. This is part two for how to balance peak performance and longevity. I hope you go back and listen to part one where we talked a lot about the philosophical aspects of pursuing peak performance with passion throughout life, to quote my website landing page, getting something that charges you up, get you going, get you focused. Gets you excited about sticking to a regimen, putting in the hard work, putting yourself on the line, challenging yourself in a competitive setting. Whenever it is, it can be an organized event or an organized league, or it can just be trying to set new personal bests. And I mentioned some of the fun stuff that I’ve been involved in over the years, the speed golf going for the Guinness world record, doing the Murph workout on Dave Kobrine’s 60th birthday. And now, uh, going for that high jump bar is my main competitive outlet.
And I’m so excited and obsessed and passionate about it and studying the YouTube videos of the great champions, like the incredible Olympic gold medalist that shared the Olympic gold in Tokyo. That would be Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi. I thought it was one of the great moments of sportsmanship and celebration and the history of the Olympics where these two guys were dead tied in the high jump, completely tied on every height, because if you’re tied at the top height, they go back and look and see how you did it. The lower Heights, and these guys cleared every lower height successfully. And then miss three times at the ultimate height and they, uh, elected or requested to, uh, each receive a gold medal. That seems like a no brainer, a win-win and boy, wasn’t that special that they’re good friends and they’ve both, uh, battled serious injuries in recent years.
Um, it was really an emotional story. If you get into it a little bit where Tamberi was at the very pinnacle of his career, just months or weeks before the Rio Olympics in 2016, he cleared two meters, 39 in Monaco, which is one of the best jumps of all time. That’s about seven foot, 10 inches for reference an indoor ceiling. And a typical home is eight feet. So here’s a guy jumping up and over your ceiling. And then he was trying for a new, personal best and went from total elation of clearing his lifetime best to, uh, tragedy, uh, because he snapped his ankle and, uh, broke a bone, had to have surgery, uh, go that’s what happens when you’re, you’re pushing the limit and going for the ultimate, but he crashed out in the pit. You can see this video on YouTube where he’s crying and moaning in pain.
And he had to sit and watch the real Olympics in a cast. And so what did he bring to the track, uh, in Tokyo? That his, uh, his old cast that was cut out and it had the writing, uh, Tokyo 2020, which he crossed out and wrote 20, 21 below. So he had this half of a plaster casts laid down track side in his view as he competed in the Olympics and went over these jumps with the, uh, the competition, the performances of his life. And it was so beautiful to see him basically break down in emotion on the track after this long road back. And these Olympic athletes that put everything, their heart and soul and their complete passion and devotion, uh, to pursuing peak performance, uh, same with Barshim and the pride of Qatar. He’s actually born and raised in the Persian Gulf country.
And maybe one of the greatest athletes they’ve ever had. There it’s actually a sports mad country. They hosted the world championships in track and field in Doha, and they also hosted the world cup. And here they have a homegrown guy jumping over the highest bar. Uh, he’s the second highest jumper of all time is Barshim at seven 11 and change that’s two meters 43. So here we have two guys at the peak of their careers coming back from serious injuries, both of them and sharing the gold medal. How much bigger of a plug can I give to the great sport of high jump. No wonder I’m obsessed and excited about it and putting my own standards in place. I don’t think I’ll be competing in the Paris Olympics in 2024, but I think I have a chance at LA in 2028. So that’d be great to go back to my hometown as an Olympic athlete.
I just have to find a country that’ll take me. Okay, how to balance peak performance with longevity. And we’re going to pick up with some practical and actionable tips in assorted areas, not just the workouts and the fitness, which was kind of the main essence of this discussion of pursuing fitness, peak performance with longevity. But diet. We really have to address that first and become clear that you can’t out exercise a bad diet. And to not get too far down the road cause there’s, uh, hundreds of podcast episodes talking about their particulars, but I really love taking a big picture approach here and that starting point, which Mark Sisson and I convey so carefully in Two Meals a Day. So before we have any further discussion about dietary strategies and weight loss and optimization for your personal particulars and your genetics, uh, the simple and urgent goal is to eliminate nutrient deficient processed foods, which have all kinds of adverse consequences, uh, to the body when you ingest them.
I did a great show with the legendary Dr. Robert Lustig author of Metabolical, Fat Chance and the Hacking of the American Mind. He’s a pediatric endocrinologist from UC San Francisco, widely regarded as perhaps the world’s number one crusader against sugar, and the incredible damage that sugar does to the body, to the liver, to cancer, to type two diabetes, uh, setting those things in motion when we consume too much processed sugar, especially fructose. So listen to that show. He definitely likes to, um, look at that big picture and not scrutinize the various dietary strategies and hacks, but rather contend that all diets are very effective if they depart from the standard American diet filled with processed foods. 67% of all our sugar calories come in the form of heavily processed foods and beverages. And so if we can just move those aside and out of the way, uh, it’s very likely that we can thrive on a variety of different distinct dietary strategies, including whole foods plant-based. But instead I’ve said many times, uh, that is by all accounts, a high risk dietary strategy, because you are eliminating most of the most nutrient dense foods on earth that are found in the animal kingdom.
So accepting that, whatever you like to do, if it’s keto, if it’s carnivores if it’s primal, if it’s paleo, and even if it’s whole food plant-based with as much inclusiveness as possible, if you are emphasizing wholesome, natural nutrient dense foods, you are going to succeed wildly. I also love the great inset that I heard recently from Jonathan Baylor, author of The Smarter Science of Slim and the same diet and many other, uh, videos and books and great content he’s been putting out for a long time with great research behind him. He says he contends, uh, backing with research that if you are consuming a nutrient dense, wholesome foods, it’s virtually impossible to get fat off of a clean eating clean foods diet, because they have a high satiety levels. They do a very good job signaling the brain and optimizing that leptin signaling that dictates whether you fat or burn it.
And so I think we can all, uh, nod our heads in agreement that if you are eating the wholesome natural foods of the earth, it’s very difficult to overeat. I don’t know too many people who’ve raised their hand and said, yeah, I had four onwards at the omelet station and I feel stuffed and terrible, but of course that happens all the time with our potato chips and our pints of ice cream and the brownies that we cook and consume more than we thought we were supposed to wrap them up and give them out as Christmas presents. Yeah. So, um, if you’re emphasizing those high satiety, nutrient dense foods with particular emphasis on protein, because protein has the highest satiety factor, and it has a, a thermic effect of 25%. That means that 25% of the protein calories you consume are immediately distributed toward digesting the protein.
And so you can easily, uh, maintain a very satisfying diet that emphasizes protein and is very difficult to over consume and get fat on. Uh, you can do a little better when you combine sugar and fat together. That’s the essence of the hyper palatable food, uh, that the processed foods are very expert at getting you, uh, luring you in, uh, to basically become addicted to these hyper palatable high sugar, high, fat processed foods, also high salt. So if we can just steer clear of those, we can eat to our heart’s content, enjoy our lives, have wonderful, colorful, nutrient dense meals. You can look at the hundreds of cookbooks now that are honoring this whole foods, ethos, and not get too worried about the particulars or pricking your finger to look at your blood ketone readings or going deep down the rabbit holes that a lot of people are interested in doing.
So we want to cut through the confusion and just get you to cut out those processed carbohydrates and industrial seed oils. So we call them the big three in the book, Two Meals a Day, and that would be refined sugars, grains, and industrial seed oils. These are the AKA vegetable oils that come in a bottle that we cook with, uh, that restaurants cook with, fast food, food processing. They’re found ubiquitously in all manner of frozen, packaged, boxed, processed foods. And they’re really hard to get away from, especially when you’re dining out. So you have to make a concerted effort at restaurants to request that your meal be cooked in butter rather than vegetable oil. And this stuff is really nasty and toxic. As soon as you ingest it, it interferes with healthy fat metabolism, therefore promotes insulin resistance in the same manner that over consuming processed carbohydrates promotes insulin resistance.
And Dr. Lustig gets into that really nicely with a very nice scientific explanation of what the deal is with insulin resistance and insulin dysregulation causing an assortment of metabolic diseases. And that’s where we’re at today with a super unhealthy, fat, sick, tired, overstressed society addicted to processed foods. So we got to fight this battle, uh, right alongside Dr. Lustig and all the other great leaders in the movement,. Dr. Cate Shanahan calling out, uh, the pillars of corporate marketing, uh, convincing us that this stuff is okay to eat. And he went through an actual scientific discussion. Lustig did on our interview, uh, contending that sugar was actually not a food, but rather a poison. And so, uh, I think you’ll get motivated, uh, to clean up your diet a little bit. And of course, it’s not that hard to clean up your diet because the nutrient dense foods of the earth are so delicious and satisfying.
So please, if you haven’t already go to Brad kearns.com, scroll to the bottom of the homepage, and you can download for free the Carnivore Scores Chart in PDF form. Print it out the beautiful colorful chart and put it on your refrigerator. And it’s basically a tiered ranking system of the most nutrient dense foods on earth. So you’ll see in the highest category you have the liver, the oysters, the salmon eggs, the true nutritional superfoods, and then on down with, uh, other organ meats, uh, pasture raised eggs, particularly the most best source meat, grass fed beef, uh, oily cold water fish, and, um, getting on down into also integrating some commentary on the, uh, least allergenic, least toxic plant foods that can have a place in a healthy diet, especially if you enjoy them. This would be things like avocados, dark chocolate, fermented foods, fresh fruit, raw honey nuts, and nut butters, seaweed, sweet potatoes, squash, things like that.
It’s a great at a glance chart to make sure you stay focused on maximizing the nutrient density of your diet. And isn’t that great because when you do that, you automatically default to a clean diet because there’s not a lot of room, uh, in your plate and your appetite for those, uh, nutrient deficient processed foods. So I think that’s a good commentary on diet. And then we also got to talk about supplementation. I believe, especially as we advance into the older age group. So when we need all the help we can get in recovering and keeping those, uh, cellular processes going efficiently and not getting, uh, deficient on the common nutrients that we, uh, tend to see. And so there’s a lot of good research that the older human athletic, especially, but all, uh, older people have an increased need for certain things. Particularly protein because the older we get, uh, we start to lose the ability to efficiently synthesize protein.
So if you look at the, um, the categories of people who have an elevated need for protein that are in that growth phase of life, we’re talking about pregnant and nursing mothers. We’re talking about adolescents growing and building muscle. We’re talking about babies. And then also, uh, senior citizens, especially active athletic, uh, older people because they’re, uh, breaking down the protein during the workout. So, uh, I’m making a concerted effort have been for several years after consulting with the best of the best and putting things together, uh, to have a list of things that I’m shooting for to take extra along with my super healthy, healthiest, possible diet. And one thing you already know if listening to the show, I’m a huge fan on is the, uh, animal organ supplements. And also trying to up my game with consuming actual organ meats. But that’s really tough.
It’s a challenge, even though I’m really committed to it. I don’t cook them very well. I don’t totally enjoy them. Like I look forward to having a slice of liver, but I get plenty of liver into my day because I consume it raw and heavily salted. Thank you, Dr. Paul Saladino for recommending that because it tastes just fine. It doesn’t have that rubbery difficult to stomach liver taste or smell. And I also stick it in raw form again, and a little cubed up raw blocks into my super nutrition smoothie, which I detailed on an Instagram post with all the ingredients. But I got a lot of powders and potions in there that I’ve concocted, uh, with a special attention to performance and recovery from a challenging workouts. So I take a lot of animal organ supplements, especially MOFO with a particular eye toward naturally optimizing internal testosterone production.
Uh, you can go and look at my recent Instagram post with my blood tests and an all-time high for serum testosterone at the age of 56. Vastly higher than when I was tested frequently as a triathlete, uh, most likely due to excess training, excess travel, a high stress lifestyle. But I was over 1000, which is exceeding the 95th percentile, even for young folks. So something’s going right. And I do contend that starting in 2019 consuming a lot of animal organ supplements, MOFO as well as the other products in the Ancestral Supplements line has been a big factor. And then also trying to optimize my diet and making a few positive changes. One of them was kind of spinning out of the extreme carb restriction, uh, of the ketogenic diet and trying to strategically add more carbohydrates, especially in conjunction with strenuous workouts. So I feel like when you put the stress factors together on a, on a checklist, and we’re talking about older age group human, doing a strenuous and challenging workout sometimes too strenuous as I’ll talk about shortly and fasting and restricting carbohydrates, uh, these four can kind of stack up and be too much and kind of, uh, delay your adaptation at near recovery.
So now I have a little bit looser reins on my carbohydrate intake, even though I would still contend that I’m a animal-based or carnivore ish style diet. I eat plenty of carbs to replenish glycogen with particular increases in and around the difficult, challenging high intensity workouts. And this is not anything, uh, regimented it’s more intuitive and going by my appetite and trying to enjoy my life. But again, uh, with no justification whatsoever for consuming nutrient deficient, processed carbs and sugars and sweets. I can’t say that I have a big fat zero in this category because once in a while, when I decided to enjoy life and celebrate, and choose a very, very well chosen and deeply appreciated treat. For example, traveling to Seattle home of the amazing handmade ice cream stores, that you can go on a nice summer night and stand in line because they’re so popular and get this really high quality, clean ingredients handmade ice cream with exotic interesting flavors.
I will do that every time I go to Seattle, but fortunately, well, I shouldn’t say fortunately, I know it’s a great town, nothing against it, but I don’t live there. So that’s the facts. Uh, if I did, then I would have to recalibrate my deep enthusiasm for, uh, getting the handmade ice cream because doing it every night and putting it into habit category is hugely different than putting your indulgences into that celebratory category. And I have a whole show on that, know what the title is, that’s right. It’s The Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga where I discuss how, uh, I happened to be particularly skilled at making a gourmet popcorn where I sprinkle the, uh, the butter, as well as the flavored olive oil, lime, or lemon flavor is the best, uh, the high quality mineral sea salt, real salt is one of my favorite brands.
And boy, when I present that at a nice family gathering and celebratory environment, it is delicious. And what happens is if you get too many of those stacked up together, then it starts to become a bit of a habit. And as I tell the story in the show, um, the habit ended when I stepped on the scale one day and saw a number higher than I’d seen in my entire adult life. And I’m like, wait a second. That’s not me. It says 172, but I’m 162 to 165. So I had to embark on a, the arduous journey of dropping some excess body fat, but it really, uh, when you get down to it, it’s not that difficult after all, because if you can just eradicate your diet from these hyper palatable processed foods that drive you to consume more and more of them, you are going to succeed wildly without all the frustration and the deprivation and the mental anguish of trying to stick to a diet or trying to reduce calories.
And on that note, I’ll direct you to Dr. Herman Pontzer show, where he talks about the futility of reducing calories in pursuit of weight loss, because the body has a sorted compensatory mechanisms to adjust. So you’ll just dial down things like your fidgeting level or your energy level for workouts and to a lower caloric intake without the desired reduction in excess body fat. And also cool on the flip side of that is you can’t exercise your way to fat reduction. This is now being more and more known, even though that’s the foundational premise of the fitness industry. It simply does not work to try and burn more calories in pursuit of fat reduction. Uh, this is known as the compensation theory or the constrained model of energy expenditure. And so if you can’t burn more calories via exercise to drop excess body fat nor engage in caloric restriction to reduce excess body fat, the secret is to have this natural, uh, optimization, or let’s say temporary deficit to, uh, drop the excess body fat and get down to your ideal weight.
And that happens through putting the vehicle in reverse essentially, and backing your way into it by emphasizing nutrient dense, delicious, nutritious foods, and eliminating the hyper palatable processed foods. It’s as simple as that. Okay. How are we doing on the diet angle? I think we’ve said some good, uh, memorable tips there. And let’s just also mention that the older we get, the more important this stuff is in many ways. As Dr. Phil Maffetone describes frequently, we also, in addition to needing more protein as we age, we also become less tolerant of carbohydrates, more sensitive to conditions like insulin resistance, which often are cumulative over time. So when you were 21 and you could slam that hot fudge sundae and go about your busy day no worse for the wear, and can’t do the same thing at 51. That’s because you’re more insulin resistant, less glucose tolerance.
So we can’t have those indulgences that we used to enjoy back in our youth. And you might be able to reference that by looking at your waist circumference and how it’s inched outward over time. Uh, even if you think you eat similarly and exercise similarly. It’s just the cumulative effect of slipping a little bit here and there. So we’ve got to tighten the reins a little further as we get older, and, oh, there are some other specialized agents. Although the organ supplement, I believe is you could call that the, the ultimate, uh, nutritional supplement because it’s actually food. And some of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet contained in a bottle, very simple, no excuses. You can pound that stuff every day, but there’s also a few other specialized agents that I recommend, especially for athletes. Uh, and in terms of protein, uh, the best source for supplemental protein would be the micro filtered, whey protein isolate.
You can buy that in the jugs. Uh, the bodybuilders are chowing this stuff by the pound load. Uh, it’s really not necessary for that many people because you can get your protein from diet, uh, probably as much as you need, but if you’re trying to recover and pushing the envelope, sometimes a protein supplement can have a place in the diet. Uh, but there’s some really good information coming from folks like Mark Sisson, Ben Greenfield, that if you’re going to supplement, you might want to choose collagen protein because we get a minimal amount of that generally speaking in our diet, especially when the diet emphasizes animal muscle meats, rather than organ meats. And so if you can go looking for collagen and organ meats, you’re going to get the particular kinds of protein that we have a tendency to come up short on, especially glycine, which is a component of collagen, but also extra glycine, uh, that found strongly in organ meats.
Or of course you can get that in supplement form too. I buy bags of it, and I mix it in a concoction with a few other things I’m about to mention. And that’ll kind of, uh, keep you from, uh, this tandem concern of potentially getting too many branch chain amino acids and tryptofan, which are contained in the muscle meats, uh, as well as, uh, like say a whey protein supplement. So if you’re going to supplement, consider supplementing on the protein that you can generally, uh, fall short on in the diet, rather than the stuff that we’re doing pretty well on the branch chain amino acids and the tryptophan. Cause we get that in steak and burger and whey protein supplements. So collagen big vote for that. Um, also creatine is a great for, uh, not only muscle building as it’s known for probably the number one most research and most effective supplement that any strength athlete will tell you is super important, of course, the major product category.
Uh, but it also has been shown to have neuroprotective benefits, especially for older athletes. So, um, this is not the loading that you might have heard about and maybe feel, uh, trepidation about where they, the bodybuilder loads, loads, loads, of creatine and there’s a danger of, uh, lowering your internal production of creatine We’re not talking about that. I’m just talking about hitting five grams a day, which is a tiny little scoop full that’s, the size that you see in most creatine supplements and doing that, considering that for the rest of your life, just as a boost for muscle function, neuroprotection. Glutamine is also on that list of something that really helps you with recovery, uh, inflammation control. And so I’m going to put a, a nice scoop of that in there, along with supplemental glycine, with the collagen. Also for older folks, there’s a reduced, uh, efficiency in manufacturing, vitamin D from sunlight, or, uh, uh, assimilating it from diet.
So we have an elevated need for vitamin D. This can of course, best be accomplished by getting more sun exposure over the large skin surface areas of your body in the times of day and year of peak solar intensity in your environment and getting reflective surfaces like the beach or being around water will help you absorb more vitamin D. How can you tell if you’re doing good on the vitamin D level, if you can maintain a slight tan and even hold that tan a little bit into the off season, but definitely be working on your tan during the, uh, potential vitamin D potential season. If you can tan, that means you’re making vitamin D and if you can’t tan, that means that there’s a particular chunk of the year where the sun’s rays are not intense enough to promote vitamin D manufacturing and or tanning. In the continental United States, for example, um, for, for most of us, there’s going to be a period of time, uh, from, you know, two to four months where it’s winter time.
And even if you were to sit out in the sun all day long, you wouldn’t tan. It’s kind of a little known concept. We don’t think about it much, but it’s really interesting. And the more you learn about vitamin D, uh, I enjoyed the great book, The Vitamin D Solution by Dr. Michael Holick. And that’s some of the insights there that you need, a sufficient solar intensity and, and the acute, the, um, the angle of the sun’s rays hitting the earth are what determined that, uh, so you need sufficient intensity and they have scales and apps and websites you can type in and type in your latitude and see what the solar intensity is for the day they used to call it. I mean, they still call it probably down under an Australia, New Zealand on the news. They would say tomorrow, the burn time is 23 minutes today.
The burn time was 21 minutes and because they have so little pollution and ozone down there, uh, you can actually, uh, get tan and make vitamin D much easier in the Southern hemisphere. Another interesting fun fact, and so much so that they, uh, advocate or promote a burn time to make sure you’re safe and don’t get excess sun exposure. So you never want to burn your skin that puts you at increased risk of, uh, the prominent skin cancer carcinoma. Uh, but if you are deficient in vitamin D, which the vast majority of indoor living people are, you actually, uh, bring an elevated risk of the more dangerous skin cancer called melanoma. And melanoma usually comes up in areas where the sun doesn’t shine. So a lot of people have this mixed up where they think, oh, I better sunscreen my entire body and lather up.
Uh, so I don’t get melanoma, but what’s happening when you sunscreen is you’re also blocking your vitamin D potential. And most of us are walking around with vitamin D deficiency. Um, if you go and get your blood tests, they’re going to say that anything over 30, it might’ve been bumped up to 40 now, nanograms per deciliter. They’re going to say that’s fine, you’re normal, but the real vitamin D advocates, the people that really get into us and have studied this like Dr. Holick, uh, Chris Kresser, we’ll talk about this on his podcasts. Uh, there’s a lot of commentary about this in the original Primal Blueprint book. Um, a lot of them are recommending much higher levels, 50, 55 60. There is some genetic variation here in terms of your vitamin D needs. Some people have a lower need than others. Uh, but for most of us really focusing on that vitamin D status, especially as we age is super important, that affects all manner of cellular function, cancer protection, and widespread deficiencies.
So focus on that one. And if you live a sun challenged lifestyle, such as spending a lot of time indoors, such as living at a latitude discordant from your ancestors. So that would be, let’s say a person of African descent living in Stockholm, Sweden, the darker your skin, the more difficult it is to make vitamin D from sunlight. So you have an elevated need for vitamin D and this is where supplements can come into play, but again, a vastly more benefit to making vitamin D naturally than taking it as a supplement. And then finally, uh, commonly mentioned on the supplement list for older active folks are the omega three fatty acids. And again, I would vote to get those primarily from diet. The number one dietary source is oily cold water fish. So I’m trying to up my fish game, especially in that category, in the SMASH category that stands for salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring. SMASH get a lot of those into your diet.
Uh, when I feed my dog sardines, cause I care about my dog too. I don’t give him just nasty, processed kibble as their only food, uh, but giving them, uh, plenty of sardines. I’ll also pop one in my mouth to make sure that I’m staying current with one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. And by far the richest source of the very important omega-3 fatty acids for, uh, anti-inflammatory effects, brain health, all that kind of stuff. So that’s, uh, covering supplementation pretty well. If you’re, if nothing else, uh, go get yourself a, an education and a bottle of MOFO. Just click on Brad, kearns.com, click on the MOFO link, learn all about it. Learn how important it is, how beneficial, and that’s a really simple way to up your supplementation game. And then if you insist on asking for more tips, I would go and get some collagen protein and some creatine and start there and then look further.
Okay, so now we have covered diet and now we’re going to get into lifestyle. And then finally kind of recap some of the fitness stuff we talked about in the first show in a more practical direction. And so we talk about lifestyle. The number one objective, and to prioritize is sleep, comma, rest, comma, recovery, comma downtime. So not just sleep. Everyone talks about sleep. We nod our heads. We pay lip service to the importance of, of course your evening sleep segment is going to be the centerpiece of healthy living. I don’t need to belabor that point too much, except for, to, uh, simplify it into two main objectives. Number one is to minimize artificial light and digital stimulation after dark. So we want to have a kinder mellower, calmer, quieter evening habits. If you insist on indulging and screen entertainment, which is certainly your right to enjoy your life and relax in the evening, uh, consider dawning some orange or yellow lenses to minimize the harmful effects of the, uh, the light source.
That’s coming into your eyeballs after dark or prioritize your screen time for earlier in the evening and spend the final hour before bed or hour and a half doing, uh, more wind down activities like Arianna Huffington’s recommending, uh, drawing yourself a bubble bath and reading a book and changing into your pajamas and reading quietly in bed, or perhaps taking the dog out for a final stroll around the block as your last act, before going to sleep. So having this mellow evening experience and then also creating an optimal sleeping environment. So your bedroom should be a very Spartan and clean, absolutely free from clutter or, uh, visual, uh, stress provoking piles of unfinished projects or paperwork. Absolutely no screens in the bedroom and, uh, nice and dark and cool optimal sleeping. Temperature is 60 to 68 Fahrenheit, uh, especially popular these days are the mattress coolers.
I love my chili pad from Chilisleep systems and you have the bi-programmable. So each side of the bed has a different, uh, uh, water tank and settings where you can program your desired temperature if that’s different than your partner. That’s fine. And the mattress is pre cooled to a low temperature when you jump in. Because what you want to achieve and sustain throughout the evening for optimal sleep is a low body temperature, but warm enough skin. So you’re not uncomfortable. So this is what we do. We cool the mattress, we cool the room and we have sufficient comforter, blanket and pajamas to keep our skin warm. Isn’t that an interesting way to put it? Okay. Does that make sense and clear things up for you? So cool mattress, cool room environment, and then warm enough. But if you find yourself tossing all the covers off in the middle of the night, or waking up, uh, disturbed, disrupted, uh, due to elevated body temperature. That’s when you want to consider looking at things like the chili sleep system and, uh, perhaps lowering your thermostat or adding fans or something to keep, keep things cool in the room.
It doesn’t mean you can’t use your wonderful, cozy comforter. Okay. We got that handled. And then the rest relaxation and downtime, this is kind of the forgotten attributes of life, right? I mean, we’re always, we now have the potential to be constantly entertained and stimulated, especially by the mobile device, which simply did not exist only a couple of decades ago. So we’ve had this massive transition in human life, like no other time in history to where our brain doesn’t have the natural downtime that we’ve had for so long when we were standing in line at the bank or driving down the freeway, uh, perhaps we were listening to the radio, but now we have the potential to listen to podcasts at 1.75 speed, and get as much content into your brain as possible on a 20 minute drive. Oh my gosh. Isn’t that great.
Well, yeah, but we got to make a concerted effort to take downtime, learn how to use that power down button on your phone and distinctly get away from constant hyper-connectivity and potential for distraction. Um, when it comes to workouts, we want to pay special attention to, uh, workouts that promote recovery, uh, have great, uh, show with Joel Jamieson on this matter, and his, uh, creation of this rebound workout protocol, where you go into the gym and do nurturing exercises such as dynamic stretches foam rolling, um, very short bursts of effort with long recovery to kickstart parasympathetic nervous system function. And so there are ways to, uh, boost recovery, uh, by doing things like taking a walk, uh, doing the specially designed workout, uh, foam rolling, self-care massage, things like that, things that bring you down from this sympathetic fight or flight state into parasympathetic rest and digest function.
So, uh, also in this category would be a kinder, gentler approach to everything as you age. So that includes your vacation agenda and how many, uh, cities and museums you’re going to visit on your European vacation binge. If you’re a kid riding on the train and staying in hostels, for sure, go for 21 cities in 27 days. Uh, but otherwise we want to recalibrate things to align with our, uh, energy levels. Um, that includes binge watching your favorite series on Netflix, where you’re kind of caught up in the moment you’ve been chowing down popcorn, and you stay up until midnight instead of the prescribed 10:30. That’s something you can get away with when you’re a youngster and then has more penalty as you get older. Uh, I mentioned my father, Dr. Walter Kearns in the last show who had a great run to the age of 97 before passing in 2019.
And he definitely was a busy guy and worked very, very hard and kept busy into his latest years and also, uh, competitive at golf and, and really still being physical and everything and walking a half a mile around the park, uh, in his final years of life. But he also was very, very good at taking it easy. So he’d go down for a nap every afternoon, and it might extend, uh, two hours or longer, uh, but he wasn’t sleeping the whole time. So he was sleeping for whatever time he wanted. And then he would spend some time, uh, in the dark, still in bed reading with a, uh, overhead light, uh, reading his medical journals or whatever he was interested in, but just chilling and keeping that day and the proper pace and the proper rhythm, rather than running around, uh, in a hectic manner.
Uh, that’s not a great way to make it to 97 gracefully. Okay. So that’s the lifestyle I wanted to emphasize that rest, relaxation and downtime along with sleep, and then get to the juicy stuff of getting this fitness protocol dialed in. So the first show was essentially, uh, about getting yourself set up with age and lifestyle appropriate goals that really turn you on and really get you excited and lit up and focused and motivated. Uh, that is the essence of a rich and deep and meaningful life. So, uh, if you’re inclined to be, uh, watching the NFL on TV on Sunday and college football on Saturday and watching golf on golf channel on Thursday and Friday, get your butt off the couch and continue to participate in life. It’s much more rich and rewarding than just being a spectator at age is no excuse. And that’s my strongest message I can possibly deliver.
And that’s why it’s on the front page of my website. Next again, mentioned it briefly in the other show, uh, talking about the extreme, uh, excessive approach to endurance, but let’s generally reconsider the relative importance of cardio vis-a-vis intense strength training, sprinting, and explosive efforts. Now, the thing I want to convey here is that we obtain a cardiovascular training effect from virtually any workout that we do even a stop and start workout on the basketball court or the tennis court, even when we’re going through a weight training circuit where we’re taking a minute between sets and the heart rate’s dropping. And then we get onto the machine and we do some pullovers and the heart rate goes up and the heart rate goes down. The heart rate goes up. And for some reason we’ve been brainwashed into thinking that steady state cardio is an absolute essential for fitness development.
And now what’s come along to be evident as Mark Sisson first spilled the beans back in 2006 in his epic post. Uh, the case against cardio is that the, the only justification for doing extensive cardio is that you really love it. You’re training for a competitive event of that nature. You’re training for a 13.1 or a 26.2 or a triathlon where you have to prepare for the event, but if you’re going for longevity and you think the path to longevity is maintaining your output at 30 miles a week running, or 40 miles a week running, or 200 miles a week biking, and being consistent, elevating your heart rate into that cardiovascular training zone, oops, or maybe a little higher now. And then that is absolutely not correlated with longevity. Um, Dr. Doug McGuff has a great YouTube presentation. That’s three minutes long, uh, called cardio doesn’t exist, or no such thing as cardio.
And then there’s a longer presentation, uh, from another gentleman, uh, I think is about an hour long discussion of why cardio is sort of a myth. In other words, you can’t, uh, segment the cardiovascular system from the rest of the body when you’re talking about exercise and athletic training adaptations. So knowing that you get a cardiovascular training effect across the board, including walking as the great message of Dr. Phil Maffetone talking about that low intensity work, or even if you get up off a chair and walk down your driveway to the mailbox, your heart rate is most likely double the resting heart rate. So you’re getting a cardiovascular training effect, an excellent training effect, even at really, really low intensity. And you’re also getting an excellent cardiovascular training effect from your strength training session or from your tennis match. And of course, when you’re sprinting and challenging the cardiovascular system to maximum output, even for brief periods, the return on investment, as far as health benefits, metabolic benefits, mitochondrial biogenesis, all this great stuff is arguably and scientifically validated to be superior to workouts lasting 10 times as long, where you don’t hit that maximum effort.
Uh, Dr. Doug, McGuff his book Body by Science, uh, conveys this point really well, where most of the training adaptations occur when you temporarily exhaust the muscle completely. So if you do a single set of, let’s say, uh, pull-ups to failure, you are getting this amazing training effect. That’s superior to let’s say doing dabbling things and doing arm curls with 10 pound weights. That, uh, is a little bit challenging. It’s better than sitting on the couch, don’t get me wrong, but challenging the muscles to maximum output challenge, the heart and lungs to maximum output is where you get the most awesome and fantastic benefits. So I’ll direct you to my YouTube video called jogging 2.0, where I talk about how I’ve transitioned by lifelong habit of an easy morning jog, getting the dogs out for exercise and getting my heart rate into comfortable aerobic pace, and going straight ahead, steady state for 20, 30 or 40 minutes.
Uh, that’s been a habit for decades, uh, but I finally had an epiphany and realized, geez, um, it could be way more fun to mix this up a little bit and shake it up to where instead of just jogging along, I throw in some pretty challenging, uh, running technique, drills, balancing drills, uh, strength, training, jumping up and down off a rock, for example, doing some lunges, doing some kick outs. And then in between all of these little drills and challenges, I’ll walk to recover so that the workout is not overly strenuous, just like the original jogging session. It’s not meant to be a strenuous workout. That’s a whole different category when I’m heading over to the running track to do my high jump or sprinting practice. Uh, but let’s say this basic morning outing, uh, transitioning from just straight ahead, steady state cardio into a more varied and interesting and fun workout has been a great breakthrough for me.
And I strongly recommend that you expand your perspective about the relative importance of cardio to, uh, building things like, uh, balance and, uh, explosiveness. So that brings us to, uh, the category of high intensity workouts. Uh, this, uh, by many accounts is the essence of aging gracefully, maximizing your potential health span. Your life span, your longevity potential is to preserve your muscle mass throughout life. So as we get older, it’s the most critical, uh, health and fitness objective is to maintain muscle mass. When you maintain muscle mass, it correlates directly with maintaining healthy organ function. This is called organ reserve. That’s the functional capacity of your organs to perform beyond baseline level when challenged, when asked for, or when, uh, in, during chronological aging. So if you can preserve that muscle mass that is proxy for living a long, healthy, happy life. And of course, the best way to do that is a brief explosive efforts where you don’t overdo it.
Uh, but you also put yourself under challenge. Unlike many people who are in the gym, climbing up the StairMaster at a comfortable pace or dabbling over there in the weights and doing, uh, sequences of the machines where they don’t really exhaust the muscle, and they never really tap into that explosive side. So as you know, I’m a huge fan of brief explosive all out sprints, the best, uh, the best benefits come from high impact running sprints on the ground, because then you get benefits for bone density and balance, and a stronger signal for fat reduction, which is of interest to many people. But if you’re not quite adapted right now, you can also do sprints on a stationary bicycle. You can do them with kettlebell swings, you can do them running upstairs or running up Hills to minimize the impact trauma, uh, with the goal of one day, working toward the capability, the functionality of doing sprints on flat ground.
And we talked about the parameters in the previous show where you’re going at your sprints lasts between 10 and 20 seconds. You have a six to one rest ratio. So you’re resting for a minute. If you’re sprinting for 10 seconds resting for two minutes, if you’re sprinting for 20 seconds, and for most people, unless you’re training for the Olympics, you might have a different outlook for you, but for most people, a four to eight reps of 10 to 20 second sprints with long recovery intervals is absolutely solid gold. And we’ll give you a greater return on investment for your fitness goals than hours of workouts at lower intensity. Now, I’m talking about sprints, I’m talking about pushing it and going hard and sprinting, but we do have to, uh, honor this idea that we want to have a kinder, gentler approach to explosive peak performance workouts, where we want to leave a little bit in the tank.
Every time we go out there, because it’s really, really easy to overdo it, especially if you’re in the older age groups. So we’re going to have some checkpoints in place where I want you walking away from the track or the gym or wherever your venue is, uh, feeling still a little bit of bounce in your step and a smile on your face. And you’re not exhausted. You’re not craving sugar. You’re not desperate to, uh, collapse on the couch or inhale a bunch of sugar when you get home. Uh, same with the following day. This idea that next day muscle soreness is a necessary component of building fitness, uh, is turning out to be completely false. I love how Dr. John Jjaquish, inventor of the X three bar, you can see him on Instagram with very popular posts, always with scientific references below where he talks about muscle soreness being a detour, a setback in your pursuit of muscle strength and muscle growth.
And you think about it, uh, if you damage the muscle to that extent where you induce a delayed onset muscle soreness, you are directing those resources for protein synthesis during the recovery period to repairing the damage muscle tissue. When ideally you want to direct those resources to making the muscle stronger or larger, depending on your goals and the workout stimulus. And I love this idea. Uh, it’s been conveyed by, uh, many other people, Dr. Phil Maffetone has talked about this for years, where he thinks that, uh, inducing soreness is absolutely unnecessary and counterproductive. Uh, the trainer Firas Zahabi who appeared on Joe Rogan and has a great, uh, nine minute YouTube clip, uh, of his highlights of him talking to Rogan about avoiding muscle soreness in his elite MMA fighters. So there’s a lot of support for just toning it back, dialing things back a little bit, but still being explosive and putting out maximum output.
And when you can do things to failure, such as a strength training set, that’s a little safer than sprinting to failure and collapsing on the track because you can’t run another step. So when I talk about a temporary muscular failure, we’re constraining that to workouts in the gym, uh, with resistance. Okay. And then, uh, I think finally, uh, one more thing to cap this fitness, uh, discussion here are to introduce the concept of micro workouts, which I believe has been a fantastic revolution and breakthrough in fitness. One of the most exciting concepts I’ve seen in years or decades is broadening our concept of what constitutes a workout to also include, uh, just a brief burst of explosive effort in the course of your busy day, as a break from, uh, long periods of time in stillness at your work desk. And boy, what a fantastic concept.
So if you can sprinkle these micro workouts into your lifestyle, I talk a lot about the environment that I’ve set up to facilitate this there’s YouTube videos. You can search for a micro workouts for a busy day. And I talk about how I have the, uh, the hexagon deadlift bar positioned on route to the garbage can. So whenever I get up and throw the garbage away, I do at least one set of deadlifts. That’s neither here nor there. It doesn’t have to be entered into my training journal. It doesn’t affect my recovery. It doesn’t affect my performance for the big workout tomorrow, but I just sprinkle it in there just as when I walk under the, uh, the, the pull up bar going into the closet to get another stack of post-it notes, I’ll haul off one set of pull-ups, or if you’re sitting in a cubicle and you have no apparatus, you can drop and do a set of 20 deep squats.
And that constitutes a micro workout. I have another rule in the house where, um, I sprint up the stairs almost every time. Okay. Not every time sometimes, uh, we’re going to walk up the stairs at 10 o’clock at night, or right after I get home for my sprint workout, and I want to go get a towel. Okay. But for the most part, when I see a staircase, it means sprint up the staircase. And so if you can put these little blips, uh, under the radar, in other words, under the radar, meaning they don’t fatigue, you, they don’t count against your, uh, your, you know, your overall energy available for the formal workouts that you do and take more seriously. But if you can sprinkle these into your busy day, oh my gosh, it elevates the fitness platform from which you launch all formal workouts. So that is a really great package.
If you can focus on intensity, maintaining muscle mass, uh, keeping a little bit in the tank, so you don’t overdo it. And of course getting plenty of regular movement. I didn’t talk about that, but I kinda want you to rethink cardio, uh, but realizing that those walks and any form of physical movement contributes towards your cardiovascular development, then you’re going to be locked in with a great fitness approach. Okay. How’s that? Sound doable? I think so. In summary, remember diet, we just want to clean up the diet and get rid of those processed foods and emphasize the nutrient dense foods of the earth. Uh, we want to think about supplementation, especially with MOFO and then some other specialized agents that I mentioned, like collagen and creatine, glutamine, vitamin D. With lifestyle we want to prioritize sleep with the optimal environment, calm, quiet, cool, dark, and then, uh, minimizing artificial light, digital stimulation after dark.
And we also want to put into that equation, rest, relaxation, and downtime, especially downtime from our mobile devices. And then when we get into, uh, our workout parameters, we want to look for those goals that get excited and motivated that are age and lifestyle appropriate. We want to reconsider the importance of steady state cardio and realize that cardio comes with anything that you do, therefore, in terms of longevity, uh, we want to prioritize the goal of maintaining muscle mass throughout life. And this means brief explosive workouts where you deliver consistent quality impeccable form. You quit before you get tired, fatigued, exhausted, burnt out injured or compromised form, uh, by honoring those protocols that I mentioned, uh, but also leaving a little bit in the tank. So you’re not killing yourself and you can bounce back the next day and feel pretty good. And then, uh, adding into that mix, the micro workouts.
There you go. Good luck. And we’ll see you out there for years to come, right. Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support please. Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad 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 and remember B.rad.