The listeners weigh in with some interesting and diverse questions, including: is a high-intensity 45-minute boxing class too much? Are there ways to modify it? I talk about the extreme endurance hypothesis and why we need to pay more attention to the increasing incidence of heart problems among long-term hard core endurance enthusiasts. One listener, who went from 17% fat to 13%, but lost muscle mass also, asks: how does one correct this?
I go into detail about what makes refined industrial seed oils so unhealthy and discuss the one common dietary recommendation from Dr. Ted Naiman, Dr. Doug McGuff, and Robb Wolf, and explain why this one food is so important for overall health and even cancer prevention. I also talk about the tremendous benefits that come from sprinting and the importance of formulating your own specific, strategic blend of various kinds of workouts to support health and longevity I then compare and contrast the benefits of fasting after endurance exercise and strength sessions: should you replenish after high-intensity sessions to minimize the stress impact? Thanks for listening and please continue sending all your questions and comments to email@example.com
Dustin asks about his 45-minute rugged class in boxing at age 47. Is this going against the philosophy of HIRT vs. HIIT? [01:23]
Mario’s question is about there being a difference in your training regimen based on your fitness goals. [08:04]
Jeff “Iron” Montgomery reminds us to tone it down. The extreme endurance exercise hypothesis is real and it’s very, very dangerous to overdo it. [11:56]
Mark says in his attempt to lose body fat, he also lost some lean body mass. This concerns him. [15:45]
Scott Bellenger asks for an explanation of why refined industrial seed oils are bad for us. [20:21]
David is questioning the idea of pushing yourself to failure. Isn’t that risking injury? [27:52]
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Do you remember that it’s time for a Q and A show on the B.rad Podcast. Thank you for listening and especially thank you for writing in these extremely insightful questions. We have all kinds of fun stuff to cover today. The questions are backing up. I’m going to try to cover a bunch. Hey, if you want to participate email firstname.lastname@example.org and here we go, Dustin coming out of the gate. Thank you for your podcast. I just listened to your show on HIRT versus HIIT that’s high intensity repeat training versus high intensity interval training. That was a title of a transformative article by my former podcast guest, Dr. Craig Marker. It appeared on breaking muscle.com. Uh, we adapted that to a feature post on Mark’s Daily Apple titled HIRT versus HIIT. So you can go look at, uh, either of those resources. We’ll put it in the show notes and get all caught up on what I think is one of the great insights I’ve heard for many years in the fitness industry about essentially a kinder, gentler approach to explosive high intensity training, uh, contrasting the popular modality of HIIT, high intensity interval training, where by and large, from what I see from my perspective, a lot of the traditional fitness programming is abusing the concept and, uh, delivering, uh, workout templates that are, uh, too long in duration to exhausting, uh, not easy to adapt to for the average fitness enthusiast.
So we’d all be better off cutting the duration of our high intensity interval workouts back in favor of performing some brief explosive high-intensity efforts with long rest intervals, luxurious rest intervals, Dr. Maker calls them, and doing these workouts few and far between and having them be truly explosive with excellent form, feeling energetic, uh, consistent quality of effort throughout each, uh, sprint interval that you’re doing. So you don’t have a degradation of performance and technique as the workout continues due to accumulated fatigue, but you feel strong and explosive. And then the workout’s over before you’ve, uh, overstimulated the stress hormones, or become too tired and broken down and, uh, experiencing prolonged recovery time. So it’s go hit it hard and go home. That is the essence of the hit versus hurt. And back to Dustin’s question, uh, I’m learning how to box. I’m taking some group classes at age 47, just trying to stay in shape. The classes last 45 minutes.
And they’re pretty much pushing us hard for 35 minutes of the class. Uh, I’m worried about the risk of over-training and wondering how you might approach that class. They don’t give long breaks. But I was thinking if I could modify my effort to push hard for 10 to 20 seconds, uh, not do too many during the class. Um, just a little bit concerned. Uh, I want to learn how to box. I don’t want to quit the class, but I don’t want to harm my body either. What’s up from Northern California? This is a dilemma you’re facing Dennis, thank you for writing in. Um, yeah, that sounds like a typical, uh, potentially exhaustive HIIT class where they’re pushing you hard for 35 minutes of the class. And your idea of modifying your own personal effort inside the class template, uh, I think is on the right track.
It’s very difficult to do, to maintain that discipline, to say, Hey, I’m going to stay under control while I do these 20 body punches that they’ve just called for rather than, uh, go to maximum, uh, with the expectations of the instructor and then move right into something else that’s really difficult. Uh, but if you can succeed in just dialing everything back a bit, because a 35 minute duration of hard work is simply too long for the recreational person, especially if you do the class more than once in a blue moon. Now, if you do the class once a month or something, and you want to get good at boxing and you push yourself really hard, anything’s fine to do once in a while, right? And extreme effort will stimulate a profound fitness response if you do it once in a while. But if it’s your template, if it’s your go-to workout like the CrossFit session, that’s lasting for an hour and you go there four or five days a week, and you’re mixing in all this different forms of high intensity training with minimal rest and especially doing complex movements in a fatigue state, you’re elevating your injury risk and your burnout risk.
So if you can attend these classes and really back off to where you’re even punching or doing your drills in the aerobic heart rate zone, rather than anaerobic, you might be able to get through the class a, with more success and minimal downside risk. Otherwise, uh, I’m suggesting that maybe you don’t attend that frequently because it’s simply too much duration of really hard work. And so just kind of flying under the radar a little bit, really monitoring your energy. And once in a while you can, uh, you know, take one of the segments and punch really hard for 10 to 20 seconds, like you mentioned, and then really dog it through the next one. But with all that group energy, I’m saying that’s a difficult, difficult thing to do once you show up in class, generally you end up working really hard. But if you think about the real boxers who are out there preparing for the title fight, they are so well conditioned that they’re not really exhausting themselves during their daily training sessions.
They’re out there doing road work in the morning. They’re generally, uh, running at a comfortable pace at aerobic pace. And then they’re in the gym doing this, doing that, working on their technique, but they’re not laying in a pile of sweat. I promise you on a daily basis. And that goes the same for any elite athlete in any high intensity explosive sport that we’re trying to, uh, model their, uh, their training. Uh, these guys are so supremely conditioned guys and gals that they’re well within themselves perhaps to a greater degree than the average recreational fitness enthusiast that’s trying to get through a CrossFit session. So Matt Frazier, uh, Annie Goodman’s daughter, the great champions of the CrossFit games are so fit that they can go through their, whatever it is, their two hours of training every day, and feel better than the person who’s been at it for a few months and is trying to hang in the class.
So keep that in your mind that. Boy, it’s the idea of, you know, pushing yourself to the brink is something that really needs to be thrown out once and for all. Next great letter from Mario. There’s a dilemma that’s come up. This question’s come up frequently. And generally it’s the compare and contrast to the message, the strategy communicated in The Primal Endurance method or the Maffetone method. Uh, the training at the maximum aerobic heart rate versus The Primal Blueprint fitness template of saying that we want to move frequently at a slow pace. We want to do a couple of strength training sessions a week, and we want to do one sprint session a week. So if you have distinct endurance goals, then most of your training is going to go toward workouts that approximate the challenge of what you’re facing in the race, especially if you’re a triathlete where you have to become competent at swimming, biking, running.
So you’re going to putting in, be putting in a lot of time, uh, training at an aerobic pace, developing your skill in the three, uh, events of the triathlon. Or if you’re an ultra runner, you’re going to be putting a lot of time in on the trails and you’re going to be deemphasizing the energy output for strength training in the gym or sprinting. Uh, they definitely have a place, the strength training and the sprinting in the overall big picture. And so that’s where the concept of periodization comes in, where you’re going to dedicate certain periods of the year to strictly building an aerobic base and not putting any energy or very minimal energy into sprinting and strength training, because you want all that energy to go toward aerobic. And then you can transition into a different training phase where you back off from the volume and you start to pay more attention to getting stronger in the gym and even throwing in some sprints.
Uh, yes, sprint will have a definitely beneficial fitness impact even for an ultra marathon athlete because when you sprint and gain competency, uh, performing at maximum intensity, you also get better at all lower levels of intensity by logical conclusion, right? And so your jogging gets easier because your bones joints, connective tissue, heart and lungs, oxygen delivery, fat metabolism, everything is upregulated by your sprint workouts, but they take a lot of energy. They take a lot of recovery. And so the strategy is really important. The more distinct and narrow and specific your goals are. So the endurance athletes are generally going to be found doing a lot of endurance training, but if you’re going for total body fitness, anti-aging, uh, disease prevention, injury prevention, longevity promoting, uh, that’s when you want to open up the lens wider and strive for this strategic blend of low level cardiovascular exercise.
And we’re going to throw into that category, all forms of general, everyday movement, walking, jogging, if you’re really fit, doing the morning, stretching, exercise mobility routine that I talk about,.everything counts in the category of movement. And then you’re going to, uh, have a strategic placement of resistance exercise, where you do a full body functional compound movements, the good stuff in the gym, like squats and deadlifts, or you can use the resistance tubing like the X three bar or the stretch cords or any form of resistance training that you prefer, uh, the exercise and machine circuit in the gym. And then you’re also going to have that critical obligation to sprint once in a while and put your body, uh, into a maximum energy expenditure for very brief explosive efforts, sprinting being the best sprinting on flat ground and getting that impact, uh, trauma and the bone density benefits accordingly.
So there is a difference based on your fitness goals. Um, that was Mario’s question. He says, he’s, I’m a big fan of X3 and Osteostrong from Dr. John Jaquish, my former podcast guest,. Listen to that show to learn all about the wonders, the benefits of variable resistance training. Good stuff. Thanks a lot for, for writing in. “Iron” a long time listener, old friend of mine and extreme endurance athlete from the old days who has successfully recovered from a heart transplant a few years ago, after being on his death bed for many months at Stanford hospital. What an amazing story of recovery and bounce back, and also a cautionary tale, because this is a guy who put it out there and trained to the extreme for many, many years, dating back to high school and was out there on the triathlon scene for a long time.
A marketing expert .worked for a lot of major brands like Muscle Milk, CytoSport. And he writes in just to remind us the amount, the number of men over age 50, who are lifelong diehard endurance heads, who suddenly develop cardiac arrhythmias is getting bigger by the week. There is some very compelling articles on this in the past few years. Especially, uh, when you’re doing the, uh, the non-impact sports like cycling, and you’re going out there with the ability to go for four hours a day, right? Unlike a runner, who’s constrained by the impact trauma. And even the extreme runners are getting up to a hundred miles a week, which really only represents, uh, you know, 10, 15 hours a week where the cyclist can go for 20 or 30 hours a week, pegging their heart rate up there at the high aerobic, or even beyond day after day after day, year after year. The constant enlargement and inflammation to heart walls and cardiomyocytes has been very closely examined for the past six or seven years.
Um, you can read about this further in the book, Primal Endurance, but this is a major problem, uh, that deserves more attention. Uh, I just read a recent article. You can Google we’ll have the link in the show notes, Elite American triathlete by the name of Tim O’Donnell, who was second place in the Hawaii Ironman world championships in 2019. So the cream of the crop, one of the finest ultra distance athletes on the planet today had a fricking heart attack during a race in Florida in 2021 and was sent to the hospital. It was a pretty severe one. They call it the widow maker because of the nearly complete blockage of the important artery and best wishes to his recovery. Uh, but we all need to sit back and reflect further and look at some of the articles that have come about, uh, one is called One Running Shoe in the Grave.
I believe that was published by Outside magazine. In recent years, there was another article called Running on Empty, uh, published by the Wall Street Journal. And you can find this stuff and read these tales of real life athletes who were kicking butt, uh, especially in the ultra scene. There’s been, uh, an alarming drop-off of guys who were running at world-class level breaking records on the important courses and races, and then disappeared from the scene entirely and reporting these strange symptoms of chronic fatigue and heart problems. And boy, it’s a, it’s something really to reflect upon, uh, Leonard Zinn. Who’s been a long time leader in the cycling community, uh, author, uh, ha makes his own bike frames and a long time competitor in masters bicycle racing, uh, had a severe heart incident and recovering from that in recent years. So, um, tone it down. The extreme endurance exercise hypothesis is real and it’s very, very dangerous to overdo it.
If you’re in that category, um, fantastic recovery from Jeff “Iron “Montgomery, and continued best wishes to him as he continues with his new life, his new lease on life with a new heart. Okay. Uh, here comes Mark. Hey Brad, I love your podcast so much. I spent the last six months doing a lot of things you recommend. Two Meals, a Day, lower intake of refined carbohydrates, lots of walking and easy biking, high intensity repeat training, nice job mate, and doing the proper resistance training. I went from 16.9% body fat down to 13, looking good. He lost 6.5 pounds of fat. I also lost 2.1 pounds of lean body mass. Now question, I was eating in a compressed time window of about six hours. So that would be an 18 hour fast on a daily basis with the six hour eating window. I thought I was getting adequate protein and doing the adequate resistance training.
Uh, but he is concerned about losing that 2.1 pounds of lean body mass. Now, when you’re on the plan stan man, and you’re trying to lose a lot of body fat and go from 17% down to 13, that is some major progress by the body. And it takes a lot of hard work and dedication and devotion, and obviously, uh, eating in calorie deficit for a bit to make that happen. And as a consequence dropping some of that lean body mass happened, uh, I wouldn’t say that’s the end of the world. I think you’re in superior metabolic condition than you were before you started your journey when you were up at 17% body fat, oh, excuse me, 16.9. But we do not want to continue this as a pattern. The goal is to maintain or regain lean body mass. If you want to put that mass back on without adding excess body fat.
So I’m going to say, don’t worry about it too much. 2.1 pounds of lean muscle mass is not a disaster. Uh, when it come with the baby in the bath water with the 6.5 pounds of fat. Uh, but we definitely want to make sure that you prioritize protein in the diet. You write that you have been doing a good job there, but as I listened to, um, some more experts, Dr. Ted Naiman gave a great show and a great argument for prioritizing protein. Dr. Paul Saladino often says the same thing. Uh, Robb Wolf might as well be a doctor because he’s one of the great minds and leaders in the paleo ancestral movement and his epic quote that I repeat all the time and think about all the time. He says, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein.
And that quote came in the context of, uh, some reflection by many of the leaders that are concerned about excess protein consumption that had been voiced over the years seem to be largely unfounded when we’re talking about a healthy fit population. So there was this idea that, uh, eating a lot of protein, eating too much protein could overstimulate growth factors in the bloodstream like mTOR and IGF one. And this would lead to increase risk of unregulated cell division, which is the essence of cancer. But we’re now seeing that, especially if you exist in a feast or famine pattern, like Mark is relating with his compressed eating window. But for all of this, if we’re not snacking on protein every hour, having a, a sardine or whatever you’re doing, if you’re having nice big, robust meals that emphasize protein and then banking a lot of hours in the fasted state and allowing yourselves to engage in autophagy, that’s the cell repair process that best occurs when we’re fasted, oh boy, you don’t have to be concerned, but you could point your, uh, main concern over to maintaining lean body mass, especially as you age.
So, uh, keep hitting the protein hard, Mark. Maybe, uh, consider adding a supplement to your regimen to make sure that and an easy to digest protein supplements, something I’ve been doing. Uh, I’d say, let’s say 2021. I’ve been really, uh, turning the corner here and emphasizing this morning smoothie. Uh, that’s been really wonderful because I put all kinds of concoctions in there and supplements, and it’s really covering my bases to make sure that I have this massively high nutrient density in the diet. You can look on my Instagram. I had a, a lineup of everything that I’m throwing in there, including chunks of frozen raw liver and, uh, raw eggs along with all the other, uh, powders and potions. And guess what? I’m making a product that contains all the stuff that I throw into my super nutrition smoothie. So stay tuned for that in 2022.
Okay. So Mark says, should I extend my eating window? Sure. I would extend your eating window. And let’s say instead of that 18 hour fast to your afternoon meal, why don’t you throw in a protein smoothie in the morning and report back? It’s very, very difficult to add body fat when you throw in some extra grams of protein in the diet and simply, and not going to be converted into fat. And it could do you a solid if you’re, uh, in the, on that borderline of potentially losing muscle mass, Hey, Brad says Scott Bellenger long time listener and frequent writer. Uh, I agree with you eliminating all the seed oils from the diet, but if someone’s listening for the first time, it would be advantageous for you to explain in detail why these oils are not good for us. Most podcasters, simply state, Hey, stop consuming the oils, but they don’t go far enough to explain why they’re not nutritious.
Uh, okay. And nice one, Scott, I appreciate the, the opening. So the deal is with these category of oils, uh, correctly referred to as refined industrial seed oils. A lot of times they’re called vegetable oils, but these oils are derived from an assortment of seeds. So that would be the correct definition that I try to convey. But we’re also talking about quote, unquote, vegetable oils, and these products are formed with offensive processing methods. They use chemical solvents and high temperature processing methods because the raw material does not naturally yield oil. Look at the types of oils that are prevalent soybean oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, which is derived from the rapeseed plant. In contrast, when you think about olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, these are the high mano unsaturated or in coconut oils case high in saturated, but a healthy saturated fat. These oils, uh, gracefully yield the, uh, the, the end product, uh, the liquid oil, because they are high fat naturally to begin with.
So if you’re trying to, uh, process the soybean, corn, sunflower, safflower, or canola oil, rapeseed, um, you’re talking about a larger project. And in the case of canola oil, there’s a difference of opinion where some people are going to tout this as healthy because of its high omega-3 content, because the rapeseed plant is naturally high in omega threes. But when you take that raw material and mix it with chemical solvents and crush it and produce it at high temperatures in the, in the factory. So you can getting liquid final product, it undergoes oxidative damage. And so what you’re talking about that final product in the bottle as Dr. Cate Shanahan calls it, uh, it’s radiation in a bottle, and when you consume it or when you heat it up to cook, which is a lot of times what we use, what we do with the bottled, uh, industrial seed oils, bottled vegetable oils is we pour them in a pan and we cook with it.
It sustains further oxidative damage, so that it literally becomes toxic immediately upon ingestion. Uh, this is because the raw material, uh, classified as poly unsaturated oils. Uh, so you know, the term saturated, and you’ve probably heard the term polyunsaturated as well. When the hydrogen sites are unsaturated, that leaves them more vulnerable to damage from heat, light, and oxygen. For example, when they’re being processed in an offensive manner, right, or when they’re sitting on the counter, uh, in the sun, or, you know, getting aged in your cupboard. Because a lot of people open up their cupboard and they have these, uh, nasty vegetable oils that have been in there for a year. So this is literally a toxic product, uh, and getting further toxic when you heat it up. In contrast, when you consider the saturated fat molecule, this means the hydrogen sites are saturated and therefore it is vastly more temperature, stable, and able to endure high temperature cooking.
So we’ve been told for decades to transition away from saturated fat to poly unsaturated oils. This started with the great switch from butter to margarine back in the sixties and seventies. And this is now all been exposed by emerging science, highly respected resources. Virtually without dispute that this was a massive mistake that has cost, uh, hundreds of thousands of human lives every year are directly associated with the consumption of refined industrial seed oils, trans fats, poly, uh, high, uh, partially hydrogenated fats. And so now everything’s unwinding, but we want you to be ahead of the curve and especially reject, uh, this disputed opinion where they’re touting canola oil is healthy, and that’s kind of doing some Google searches is canola oil healthy, and you’ll have some nutritionists writing in an article, uh, but missing that part about the damage sustained during the processing methods.
Dr. Cate Shanahan, probably the world’s leading crusader against the consumption of industrial seed oils. You can see a nice video with her. And I, uh, talking about that with her husband, Luke, uh, giving some amazing sound bites and very disturbing one study that she cites, uh, showed that in healthy subjects, the ingestion of a single dose of French fries. So probably what a small bowl of French fries, uh, resulted in a disturbance to healthy cardiovascular and arterial function reduction in nitric oxide. The substance that makes arteries run smoothly and subtly. The disturbance lasted for 24 hours of acute disturbance to the cardiovascular system versus smoking a cigarette. The damage is observed to be, uh, lasting for around eight hours. So I don’t acute level French fries are arguably worse in some ways to the cardiovascular system than smoking. Ah, need we say more? How about this?
Um, the, uh, the refined industrial seed oil closely resembles the, uh, saturated fat molecule, natural molecule that’s part of, uh, every cell membrane in the body or most cell membranes in the body. So what happens when you consume these toxic agents is the body is confused and the agent is integrated into healthy fat cells because of its molecular similarity. The body can’t tell the difference. Um, guess what? Once it gets integrated into healthy fat cells, it’s very difficult to burn off. And so you start to accumulate these poisons in your fat cells and they stay there and they’re stubborn. Uh, this is one reason why, uh, cellulite exists. And also another reason why people on extreme calorie restriction, crash, weight loss diets, where they lose a ton of body fat in a short time. For example, the television program or anybody you might’ve heard about a lot of times, they have kind of a, uh, uh, a toxic reaction where, uh, these agents are being dumped into the bloodstream at a high rate, and they feel nauseous.
They feel sick, they feel terrible, uh, in the process of doing something that, uh, is supposed to be a health pursuit. So sometimes you have to, uh, reduce the rate of fat reduction when you have been packing all these toxic agents and storing them aside. Whewf! I hope that’s, uh, a nice glimpse at the argument against consuming refined industrial seed oils. Please watch the YouTube video for further details. It’s only about 15 minutes long, and you can also go and look at some Cate Shanahan shows that we’ve done, where she gets into it. Ah, okay. Here comes David. I like the show, uh, with Dr. Ted Naiman, and I understand the value of intensity, but it seems like the one thing that was not discussed was injury risk. It seems like it’s a high risk strategy to go to a hundred percent intensity to total muscular failure in a single set as.
Dr. Ted recommends. And so to recap that show, uh, he was arguing that unless you challenge the muscles to total failure, you’re not going to get a, uh, significant fitness response. So his prescription for exercise is to go out there and do a few different exercises, a single set to total failure. Of course, this is only going to take what a minute or two, depending on what you’re doing. And he does those most every day, or he does a little bit every day. Maybe he’ll stack like four or five things in a row. And that’ll be a pretty fantastic workout if he’s doing pushups to failure, resting a bit, doing a pull up to failure, resting a bit, sprinting up the top of a nearby hill to failure for one maximum all out sprint, and then walking home and going about his busy day. And it’s a really compelling argument that he makes.
Uh, it’s very similar to, uh, what Dr. Doug McGuff talks about in his book Body by Science,. please listen to that show. It might be upcoming if it hasn’t published, but it’s going to be near, uh, the broad, the publication of this show. And he talks about going to the gym once a week to do what he calls the big five. These are five different compound movements, full body functional movements, things like leg press, uh, overhead press, uh, lat pull down, seated row. Things that are really simple and easy to focus on, just producing a lot of power and, uh, exhausting fatiguing the muscles completely with a single set to total failure. And so when you do this, it is known that you’re going to get a profound fitness response. It’s going to probably entail, um, some significant recovery time afterward because you exhaust the muscles, but isn’t it a high risk strategy.
And could you overdo it if you’re trying to do this every day? Well, I guess it’s going to be, uh, involving some personal experimentation. Like if you did a single set of pull-ups to failure every single day, to me, I think that would be too difficult for me to do. And I’d prefer to do it once or twice a week, let’s say. And maybe focus on a different muscle group to mix it up a little bit and probably not necessarily do a single set to failure every single day, because it starts to get pretty challenging. I know this from the X three bar protocol, Dr. Jaquish recommends his workout that lasts only 10 minutes, and he wants you to do 10 minutes a day, six days a week. So you’re doing a certain group of muscles every other day, and then differing methods, muscle groups every other day.
Uh, so for someone who’s pretty fit, it seems like, uh, you know, a minimal challenge when you compare it to going to the gym and doing an hour long workout a few days a week. Uh, but the workout is so difficult that I found, I couldn’t sustain that recommendation of doing 10 minutes a day. It was just too, too tiring. So I do the X three bar less frequently than that. And it works for me. Uh, but I, I want you to take away kind of the, um, the beneficial, positive insight that you can apply. And that is to bring those muscles to total failure with a single set to total failure, at least once in a while. And if you’re missing, if that’s deficient in your current fitness program, you stand to benefit tremendously from going to the maximum and doing something that is safe and effective.
So when Dr. McGuff talks about sitting yourself into position on a machine with your body weight balance, rather than hoisting around a freeweight doing some Olympic lifting, but instead of doing a leg press, uh, that’s going to greatly reduce the injury risk and Dr. Ted’s stuff where he’s doing body weight exercises. Um, you can get injured doing pull-ups believe me, uh, Dave Kobrine has. And so if I tweak those elbows a little bit, especially if you’re not warmed up, but the injury risk is pretty low. I’m sprinting up a hill at full coming out of your, uh, your home office that would probably increase the injury risk. And I think anytime you do a sprint, you’re going to have an extensive warmup and preparatory period. So I don’t think Dr. Ted would recommend a sprinting out of the gate either. Uh, but that takeaway that you can do something that’s very short duration with tremendous fitness benefits, I think is the thing to focus on.
And David makes a nice, uh, uh, food for thought here where he says, um, since I’m an ultra runner, I’m also asking, Hey, if it only takes me five minutes a day to get really fit, where’s the fun in that? And that’s an important point. So if you have a disparate fitness goals, one of them being enjoying your time out there on the road to unwind and unplug. And I talk about this with, uh, Dr. Steve Kobrine, another listener, and, um, he loves to go for long runs. That’s part of his life. And, uh, he can look at the research and realize that, um, you know, doing a single set to failure in the gym, uh, stimulates more muscle growth, whatever, whatever, but the, the long distance run has so many forms of beauty. And when you do it at a comfortable pace, rather than exceeding that aerobic limit, it’s going to be 100% healthy as opposed to being risky.
Uh, as we talk about so much with the, uh, chronic overly stressful training patterns that are seen so frequently in the endurance scene. So, uh, enjoy your long runs. Enjoy all that submaximal exercise that you might do at the gym or wherever you’re going, but know that there are some benefits to be had from hitting it hard as described by Dr. Ted Naiman and Dr. Doug McGuff.
Here comes Leah. I’m hoping you can clarify some confusion I have about fasting when lifting weights. I once heard Mark Sisson talk about how fasting after workout promotes the release of growth hormone and testosterone, and that eating a post-workout snack or meal can inhibit the flow of adaptive hormones into the bloodstream because they spur insulin production and insulin will remove these agents from the bloodstream, insulin, being the storage hormone, that’s taking the calories and the things out of the bloodstream and putting them into storage.
So I came across advice asserting that intermittent fasting and cardio work well together, but that one should either lift during an eating window or eat right after a lifting session. Uh, I really appreciate the question, Leah, and there could be some interesting insights to consider here. Where cardio, because you’re emphasizing fat burning, you can probably get away with, uh, doing the workout in a fasted state and also fasting afterward. And in fact, perhaps benefit from that strategy, especially if you’re trying to drop excess body fat, because you are really up regulating fat burning when you do a properly conducted fat burning workout and, uh, do it in a fasted state. It’s like pairing two challenges to, uh, the cells to spur mitochondrial biogenesis, the making of new and more efficient mitochondria and becoming a better and better fat burner by training your body to burn fat through dietary restriction and through the exercise.
Now with lifting, especially if you’re doing kind of an involved workout, that’s lasting longer than, uh, 10 or 15 minutes, and you’re getting into the, uh, glycolytic burning state. That means a high glucose burning workout. So that would be a strength training session that lasts 45 or 60 minutes where you’re definitely tapping into your glucose reserves. So now you are stressing the body through the high intensity exercise, and you’re also stressing the body by starving the cells of energy when you deplete glycogen, and don’t immediately consume calories after the workout. Um, there are those benefits that, uh, Mark Sisson and others described about letting the adaptive hormones circulate in the bloodstream. And then you have sort of a cost benefit to consider because you are further stressing the body from doing the intense workout and then not refueliing afterward. It’s an ongoing, uh, nuance battle that we’re all trying to figure out.
There’s no black and white answer here. I think it’s very individual and I personally have experimented with a variety of different strategies, and I’ve found that in my age group, which I’m going to throw in there too, as a stress factor, trying to perform these explosive high intensity workouts, and then going and fasting afterward sometimes puts me over the edge where the entire experience is a bit too stressful. And what I find is, even though I feel great after a sprint workout, I don’t need to eat. I’m not starving because I’m still kind of, uh, rebalancing and getting back to homeostasis. My body temperature is elevated. My appetite is muted. However, 24 hours later, maybe 36 hours later, I kind of have a lull or a crash and burn experience. And I speculate that it could be have, uh, driven by the various stress factors in the checkbox from the previous day. Did a hard workout.
Didn’t eat too much. Waited awhile after eating. And so, uh, in the interest of recovering, uh, more efficiently, I’m going to, uh, go home and prepare that wonderful smoothie that I mentioned earlier in the show as a routine, even though I’m not hungry, I’m going to get those amino acids back into the body, immediately get some carbs back in there and begin the recovery process. Even at the potential expense of taking some of the adaptive hormones out of my bloodstream earlier than might otherwise happen. Uh, how’s that, uh, remember the quote from Robb Wolf earlier in the show, um, remember the crash burn stories from Brad, where you can definitely overdo it with the stress factors of a dietary restriction combined with exercise. And Leah’s, uh, mentioning that, um, she fasts between 8:00 PM and 12 noon. So sit on the 16 hour fasting period, and I do work out at 5:00 AM and then go, uh, for many more hours without eating.
And so I would also put females in this extra stress category, just like the older age group, people like myself. Uh, but when you’re talking about the female hormonal system, very, uh, apparent that there’s much more sensitivity to, um, hormonal balance when you are fasting and performing high intensity exercise. Uh, we’ve heard so many people talk about the, uh, the thyroid and adrenals being dysregulated due to overly stressful exercise slash eating patterns. So in Leah’s case, waking up at 5:00 AM and, and hitting it hard and not eating until noon, that could be tempting the balance point there into an overly stressful exercise slash uh, dietary pattern. So it might be something worth experimenting with, for example, getting home from that super early workout and, uh, preparing a high protein smoothie or something to the effect there, and also sleeping in on some of those days, instead of going that early, unless you’re going to bed at eight, 8:00 PM or something like that.
Interestingly I’ve found, um, in tracking my sleep that the, uh, the night after a high intensity sprint workout, I need a good, solid extra hour of sleep, maybe an hour and a half, and I already sleep a ton anyway. So I’m already sleeping, uh, average, probably eight and a half hours. Maybe even more than that in the winter may be a little less in the summer. And so that means, and this just happened this week had a really great sprint workout. One of my best in years in terms of, uh, the volume of work that I performed and the quality, and I slept a 100% solid 10 hours that night. Couldn’t believe how late it was when I woke up. And it was definitely attributed to the hard work done earlier in the day. So on that note, not that it’s getting later, anything, that would be funny if I said it’s time for bed. Uh, but I want you to think about all those things and feel free to, um, test and experiment, especially with refueling in conduction with high intensity workouts. Thank you so much for listening and I look forward to doing more questions later. Have a great day, everybody
Speaker 2 (41:14):
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