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I’ve had a few recent requests to provide details about my eating patterns, workout routine, and general daily behaviors. Hopefully it will be valuable to take a journey through an entire day as I present an honest and authentic accounting of the good, bad, and ugly of my typical day. 

Spoiler alert: My morning exercise routine is the thing I want to most promote and inspire you to adopt because it has been life changing over the past five years. In the extreme “needs to improve” category is my penchant for digital distraction and poor prioritization during the workday at my computer. This blockbuster two-part show is my effort to present the real me, enhance your perspective when I talk about all matters of health, fitness, positive habits, and peak performance, and strengthen our connection as we continue to strive together to be the best we can be. The details I provide in this show will hopefully get you thinking about your behavior patterns, blind spots, need to improve areas and things that are working well for you. Quarantine has caused a major upheaval in the way many people go about their day and job responsibilities, and we have a wonderful opportunity to capitalize on the opportunity to better custom-design a healthy, active, stress-balanced day. Both my career and life have been based at home for decades, so I could pose as an expert promoting a home-based workday! 

Here is what we will cover in part 1: Waking up in the morning, striving for consistent bedtime and wake up habits; my award-winning morning exercise routine, and the wide-ranging benefits of immediately starting your day with a devoted movement routine that gets you exposed to fresh air and direct light and keeps you away from the tailspin of distraction reaching for your phone. We also talk about how to start small and build winning behaviors into habit, and then I detail six different workouts that I might do on the heels of my morning routine: sprinting and/or jumping practice at the track, home-based strength sessions with the X3 bar, Stretch Cordz, hexagonal deadlift bar, and pull-up bar providing plenty of options; the Body By Science “Big-5” workout on machines at the gym (as detailed in the Dr. Doug McGuff podcast), plus some fun add-on pre-hab/re-hab stuff that I can only do with gym apparatus; a quick sprint workout on the high-tech CAROL stationary bike; or a Speedgolf outing where I jog a quick nine-holes before dark or do a modified “cart Speedgolf” session where I do wind sprints instead using the cart instead of running the whole way. 

Thanks for listening and stay tuned for part 2!

TIMESTAMPS:

The world has changed allowing people to be more flexible on their personal time for exercise. [01:20]

Brad is a sleep machine. Try to get back to your natural circadian rhythm. [05:27]

If you’ve had a high intensity workout during the day, it helps your sleep. [10:45]

It may be genetics, because some people really don’t seem to need as much sleep. [11:42]

The first thing upon awakening, Brad has a vigorous exercise routine. [18:14]

A recent survey contends that 84% of Americans reach for their phone upon awakening.

[20:54]

Brad’s morning routine is his number one health tip that he has to offer. [23:16]

Getting sunlight in your eyes first thing in the morning is important. [24:40]

It’s a good idea to do the exact same thing every day for your morning routine. [28:17]   

There are four facets required to be successful in habit change: make it obvious, make it attractive, make it easy, and make it satisfying. [35:21]

Attach the new habit you want to do, to a habit you already have. [38:46]

Occasionally, Brad will finish his morning routine and then go into a nice workout. [50:06]

Unfortunately, we have been socialized to think that fitness is achieved through struggle and suffering…no pain, no gain. [53:31]

A kinder, gentler approach to exercise is encouraged. [55:19]

Some of the workout options Brad chooses from are: cold exposure, sprinting or jumping at the track, and gym workout. [58:09]   

Sprinting is where you are going to get the best benefits for your physique. [01:06:30]

Brad describes his template for jumping workout. [01:14:55]

The big FIVE workout in the gym is described by Dr. McGuff. [01:15:57]

Brad has a nice setup at home. [01:20:27]

Speed golf is back on the plate for Brad after a 5-year hiatus where he focused on high-jumping. [01:34:32]   

LINKS:

QUOTES:

  • “Respect the sun, and when the sun sets, honor it.”
  • “Only the disciplined ones are free.” (Kipchoge)

LISTEN:

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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (00:01:20):
Greetings listener. Welcome to an entire podcast about my daily routine, getting in as deep as possible, definitely as honest, authentic, and unfiltered as possible, but I’ve received a few questions recently asking me for more details about what I’m doing for exercise, eating, work habits, all that kind of fun stuff. So I thought I’d create a full show and it was a wonderful experience to, uh, kind of reflect on what a typical day looks like. There’s some good. There’s some bad. There’s some ugly. And we are just gonna launch into this thing in chronological order, starting with the morning. I hope it will be of assistance and inspiration to you. I think it’s especially interesting. Now these days where the world has been blown up in the typical workplace parameters of getting in a car driving somewhere to be there at a certain time, have been recalibrated such that many, many people now enjoy much greater freedom and flexibility and can create this more optimal, more desirable work environment at home.

Brad (00:02:33):
Of course, there are challenges that go along with that and trying to draw boundaries between, personal space, personal private time and workplace. But it seems like a wonderful step forward for society. I mean, we have the ability to convene as often as necessary. In the future that will be in person without the limitations that we see now, but also digitally with the zoom meeting, the ubiquitous zoom meeting. But we also have this ability now to remain productive, uh, cut out the most ridiculous example of inefficiency, uh, in modern life, which is the rush hour commute, where it takes way longer to get somewhere because everybody seems so importantly have to get some place on the right time. And now that’s been now the water. Welcome to the home based work environment. I guess I should say I’m an expert on this because it’s always been that way for me.

Brad (00:03:27):
Let’s say for the past 20 years, I remember having to go get a small room and office, uh, near my house in town because the kids were so little that it was really difficult to concentrate and stay focused on work. Not because the kids were annoying me, but because the temptation to go and play with them was much stronger than, uh, sticking it out for a couple, few more hours and getting the work done. So, uh, besides that brief interlude where I had a, a remote workplace, uh, it’s been all about making things work at home and enjoying and leveraging that tremendous flexibility, especially with things like home meal preparation, rather than having to wander around and look for food. And also the ability to do microworkouts and take frequent breaks and optimize my variable workplace or variable workstation so that I could change position throughout the day.

Brad (00:04:24):
And that tees us up nicely for a show about Brad’s daily routine from start to finishL: food, fun, fitness focus, and many other topics. Spoiler alert the morning routine. My morning exercise routine, which I I’ve talked about frequently is probably the thing that I’m most excited to share with you and inspire you to pick up something similar in your own life. It’s been just so wonderful and life changing for me over the past five years that I’ve amassed this streak and the worst, the low light that you’re gonna hear about is I penchant for distraction in the digital environment. And it’s mainly the email inbox and also poor prioritization where I’m interfacing with the screen and all kinds of things are hitting me. And I’m getting off track from my highest priorities and highest expression of my talents. And instead I’m busy, but less productive than possible, right?

Brad (00:05:27):
I’m still staring at the screen doing something. So you could call me as busy I’m working. Uh, but what am I doing? Why am I shopping on Amazon in the morning when our peak mental focus and most energy is able to harness then? Why shouldn’t I do that do during the afternoon lull? And that part, uh, is a work in progress that we are gonna talk about. Maybe you’ll relate. I don’t know, but let’s start with the morning. And I will say never say never, but almost never will I awaken to an alarm. I am a sleep machine. That is the number one priority for me in my quest for healthy, long happy life. And so the only time that I set an alarm is for an important engagement, such as an airplane flight. I can’t think of anything else I did do one podcast….no.

Brad (00:06:17):
It was an appearance at a college class on the east coast last year where I had to set the alarm and get on the screen and be peppy at 6:00 AM my time. And that didn’t go well. I was kind of catching up the whole rest of the day. So I am sleeping until I awaken naturally, near sunrise year round because of my good evening habits. My sleep patterns occur in a pretty tight window. So it’s not often or not very possible that I’m sleeping in on the weekend or doing things that are extremely disparate from my daily routine. Usually I’m up around 7:00 AM. Let’s say the very earliest would be 6 45. And then if I have an unusual day where I’m needing more sleep, I will be up at the latest 8:00 AM. So let’s say between seven and eight AM and the reason this is so regular is because I completely cave in at around 10:30 PM.

Brad (00:07:24):
So, as Mia Moore will attest, she can see that I start to zone out and become nonfunctional as the clock ticks past 10 and by 10 30, I am on my back or on my side or on my stomach in bed. And that is the end of me. It’s very rare that I’ll stay up later than that, except for again, special occasions or something happening. And of course, if there’s something crazy going on, I’m alert and energized at 11 or 11:30, or what have you. But again, uh, that’s so rare that we can kind of just we’re rest on this, uh, this template and focus on that, but we’ll get to the evening later right now, what happens is for the most part, I awaken naturally somewhere in that early morning time window. And speaking of the variability, I love this book called Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Survival.

Brad (00:08:21):
It’s quite an old book, probably 20 years old now by Wiley and Formby. And it talks about seasonal variation in sleep needs. And it’s a really wonderful presentation. I dogeared this book, I think about it and talk about it a lot. But one of the arguments they presented was that in the summertime, we have a reduced need for sleep because of the longer periods of daylight giving us more energy and hormone optimization versus the wintertime when we are genetically optimized to be less active and sleep for significantly longer periods. The authors contend that most people will benefit from getting around eight hours of sleep in the summertime and up to nine and a half in the wintertime. And for many listeners, that’s way outside the bounds, because guess what we’ve done today in modern life, that’s right. We’ve kind of blended and deemphasized our circadian rhythms and the natural lengthening and compressing of the seasons by introducing floods of artificial light and especially digital stimulation after dark. Such that even if you’re up at the higher latitudes, Portland, Oregon, New York City, even Scandinavia going up up and you have greater seasonal variation, you’re still turning on those lights when it gets dark at 4:15 or 5:15 PM and staying awake until 10 or 11, whatever it is just like you do in the summer when it gets dark at eight or nine, or what have you.

Brad (00:09:48):
And so trying to get back to a more aligned circadian rhythm is by all accounts, uh, an excellent health practice. That means to kind of respect the winter season, tone things down in the evening, uh, slow down, even your exercise output, pick an opportunity to take an off season from your maximum exercise output. Doesn’t mean you have to sit on your butt and, cancel suspend your gym membership for three months. It just overall in a lot of cases, there’s fewer competitions or things for people to shoot for. And so they do kind of tone things down in the winter. But that general sense of sleeping more in the winter and less in the summer. I’m finding that to be very effective and automatically kind of in play in my lifestyle. So I’d say personally, uh, the variation in my sleeping time is somewhere around 30 to 45 minutes winter versus summer.

Brad (00:10:45):
And the other major variable that prompts me to sleep more is in the aftermath of a high intensity sprinting or jumping workout. And I can reliably state from lots of tracking that I need around one hour of extra sleep that evening following a challenging workout. So if I’m on average sleeping from 10:30 to 7 AM that’s eight and a half, uh, let’s say that I’m going to sleep from 10:38 PM. That’s nine and a half in the aftermath of those high intensity workouts, same with things like recovering from a jet lag and traveling. If I’m going from west coast USA over to Hawaii, my new favorite travel destination. My sister moved there. It’s a great place. They got the island spirit, wonderful food, appreciation and respect for the outdoors. Yeah. So if I’m going over to Hawaii, that’s a three hour time change.

Brad (00:11:42):
And then returning to the west coast of USA, there’s gonna be some days in there where I sleep longer and adjust and recalibrate to the circadian rhythm dysfunction that is jet travel. Okay. So generally speaking, you have a feel for my sleep habits and okay. Is there some genetic variation there? I believe that there is because Mia Moore does really well on generally less sleep than I do. She sleeps like a rock. Maybe that’s contributing factor to her ability to get by with less sleep, and also throw days in there with much less sleep and seemingly be no worse for the wear. So I gotta think something genetically is going on there because if I have as little as one super disrupted night of sleep, for whatever reason, again, a very rare occasion, uh, oh my gosh, I am paying for it.

Brad (00:12:34):
for the next day or two or three, is this a the wimpy gene coming into play? Maybe. So I often wonder about that myself. Because back when I was a triathlete, I had that luxury of taking a decade of my life and absolutely prioritizing peak performance, recovery, adaptability to hard training. And as I say to the delight of live lecture audiences, many times I was asleep for half of my life when I was a professional triathlete. So I slept on average 10 hours every single night. And most of the time took a two hour nap in the afternoon, probably five days a week. And so that adds up to about half my life over that time, where I was trying to extract every ounce of energy out of my body to go and swim and bike and run. So if I’m spinning off of that template, gee, uh, maybe anything under 12 hours is gonna tweak me more than the next person who never had that luxury.

Brad (00:13:36):
But I, I do feel like it’s an area where many of us might have a needs to improve score. And so I’m striving for that A plus at all times in sleep. And I think it pays off with, uh, greater focus, uh, better mood, all those wonderful hormone optimizations that occur when you get sufficient sleep. And I think the main area that a lot of us have to look at and gain that improvement is in our evening habits, specifically minimizing artificial light and digital stimulation after it gets dark in your environment after the sun sets. So instead of whenever we make it dark in quotes being the time when we want to facilitate the natural hormone flow that makes us sleepy and gives us a good night’s sleep. Instead we respect the sun, take that as a pull quote, respect the sun, and when the sun sets honor it, maybe you can go check it out on a little walk outside, especially if you’re in Hawaii or somewhere where you can find a beautiful sunset, but even, uh, failing that, just take note when the sun sets and make an effort to tone down your light sources, your energy output and your peak cognitive tasks.

Brad (00:14:48):
Let’s get all that stuff done before sunset, and then have those evening times to unwind and relax and enjoy all that fun stuff. Okay. I mentioned how I notice I need an extra hour of sleep after high intensity sprint workout, but one thing I don’t do is obsessively track my sleep or use any quantification device such as the ring that you wear around your finger or the apps that, give you a sleep score. And that’s because it kind of freaks me out to be worrying or thinking about that or tracking it. I feel like I would have trouble falling asleep if I had some quantification to adhere to, uh, with my sleep. And I think for a lot of reasons that set me up for success. I sleep really well every night. And I’d say maybe one out of 150 or 200 nights.

Brad (00:15:42):
So let’s say a couple times a year I’ll have a fitful night of sleep for whatever reason, almost always relating to being in a different area. So my first night in the hotel or in the vacation destination or whatever it is. Matthew Walker, author of the bestselling book, Why We Sleep, he’s a prominent podcast guest getting around. I think he has his own podcast now. He cites research that the reason we might have a fitful night of sleep when we’re away from our home environment, is this increased vigilance sort of a genetic predisposition, genetic wiring to be a little more vigilant in a foreign environment. In other words, we’re paying attention to potential dangers when we’re out in the Savannah getting some sleep in our ancestral example. And so just because it’s the Bellagio in Vegas doesn’t mean that our genes can turn that off and say, relax, enjoy the dead bolt’s on we’re out of danger.

Brad (00:16:41):
We’re gonna be in a new place and we’re gonna be, uh, tossing and turning a little extra, uh, especially on that first night. So when I wake up in the morning, I can tell right away if my eyes are right in a, if I got enough sleep. And if I didn’t, for some reason there will be occasions where I will be awake. Uh, but I’ll lay around for another 15 or 20 minutes, possibly fall into a light state of REM sleep. And just kind of top off the tank. Again, this might be the wuss gene being expressed. I know a lot of people have to a jump up because the dog is jumping on the edge of the bed, or the kids are stirring in the house. And so I guess I will call this a luxury where I can decide to get a little extra sleep and not pay the price in a major way.

Brad (00:17:27):
I remember the old days when I was commuting to my first job in downtown Los Angeles, and then later, when I was commuting from from the Sacramento area over to the Bay Area. And if I left like 15 minutes after my appointed time, I had to leave at 4:00 AM to get to the Bay Area by 6:00 AM. And if I left at four 15 or four 30, because I was slow to wake up, the drive would take 30, 45 or 60 minutes longer because all the traffic would flood into each distinct geographic area such that I’d fall behind and have more traffic eventually heading the Bay Area traffic at, you know, 6:30 AM rather than 5:45 AM. And it was a massive different, so that was motivation to get my ass outta bed, jump in the car and go, I don’t have that anymore.

Brad (00:18:14):
So sometimes I’ll linger for 15 minutes. I don’t really like it. I wish I would pop up full of energy and enthusiasm and jump immediately into my morning routine, which is my first act upon awakening. But maybe just, maybe I know what’s ahead of me when I get outta bed, which is a pretty vigorous exercise routine. So maybe that’s one of the reasons that I’m lingering around in there, because I know I’m not headed to a pot of coffee and a crossword puzzle. I’m headed into the hamstring leg raises and kick outs followed by the frog legs, followed by the bicycle, followed by the yoga wheel. And it gets pretty legit right away. So, okay. Whatever it takes, I’m finally outta bed. And, uh, almost always, I go immediately outdoors, hit the deck with my exercise mat and commence the ultimate Brad Kearns morning exercise routine.

Brad (00:19:11):
Now I said, almost always, I’m trying to be completely honest and transparent here. So there are times when I feel a bit less energized, maybe I’m stiff and sore from a session at the gym the day before, or a sprinting jumping workout. And so instead of going straight outside and hitting the deck, I’ll do some tiny meaningless errand to kind of kill time and allow myself to, you know, clear the cobwebs, take a few strides up and down the hall or up and down stairs, and then go outside and hit the deck. So this might be stuff like, oh, gee, look at all those wires, uh, going into the surge protector, maybe I should rubber band them and fasten them them up so they look better or oh, gee, the garbage needs to be emptied. And so I’ll just putz around for five or 10 minutes.

Brad (00:19:57):
It’s nothing that really gets too daunting or time consuming. But I’ll putz, putz, putz, and then I’ll be on the mat within five or 10 or 15 minutes of waking up. One thing that never ever happens is grabbing the phone and diving into the digital world when I first awaken. And there’s great research on this, we cite this in the book Two Meals a Day and other books where if you are reaching for your phone and engaging with that intermittent variable rewards, that digital stimulation that is novel and ex citing and triggers the dopamine pathways in the brain. It’s very difficult to extricate yourself and go back into the Zen mode of opening up your gratitude journal and writing a few notes or going out onto your meditation cushion and exercising, or getting into your exercise program without getting sidetracked about all the novel stimulation that could be text messages.

Brad (00:20:54):
It could be your social media stream, or it could be, of course, the salacious news headlines that hit us every single morning. So reaching for that phone, by many accounts could be a real detractors from an enjoyable, calming, energizing focusing morning routine. And I really believe that to be true. We notice how easy it is to get sidetracked that way. And it’s a habit for so many people, a recent survey by Ad Week, uh, contends that 84% of Americans have this as their first act upon awakening is reaching for the mobile device and whatever 70% of that group. So almost all the people that are doing this are doing it while still in bed, meaning the device is within arms reach of your bed. And that is how we greet the world. I would much rather argue for doing something that’s proactive and that keeps you in that high level, strategic planning, reasoning thinking state of mind, where if you’re gonna go and write your to-do list, write in your gratitude journal, or at least just greet the day with a calm mindset and an appreciation of the present.

Brad (00:22:09):
I think you’re going to benefit greatly from that. And so one of the top attributes of my morning exercise routine is that it has a number of meditative qualities because what I’m doing when I’m on the mat is I’m simply focusing on the count of each exercise, because I know I have to do 40 hamstring and kick outs. I have to do 20 frog legs in each direction. I have to do 20 mountain climbers in each direction. Then I do the yoga wheel for holding the, the position for a count of 60 and so on and so on. And so I can’t really be multitasking in my head, thinking about the stresses and worries of the day ahead. I’m just in the mix. I’m in the moment and I’m completing the routine. And so it’s a really nice calming way to start the day.

Brad (00:22:59):
I counted as a meditative experience. Dave Rossi, my frequent podcast guest and extreme enthusiasts of meditation says, no, no, no, that’s not meditation. Meditation is sitting there and I’m allowing your mind to be quiet and not thinking about anything. So if I’m counting one through 40, he’s gonna gimme a lower score, but.

Brad (00:23:16):
Hey, I love it. I love starting the day getting moving and getting energized right away. Okay. So we are making progress people we’re getting on with it. And I’m gonna spend a little time on morning exercise routine because I, I do believe that right now, anyway, it’s my number one health tip that I have to offer. If you saw me in an elevator and said, Hey, gimme one thing to change my life. This would be it. And maybe this is my greatest legacy that I’ll leave to the planet one day.

Brad (00:23:44):
It is that this guy woke up and at least for the past five years, without missing a single day, I have hit the deck and gotten into this wonderful routine with so many wide ranging benefits. So if it’s not your thing to go crazy and whip your legs all around, as you see on the YouTube link that we will put into the show notes, at least resolve to build a habit. First thing in the morning that is proactive in the name of your mental and or physical health. So if it’s something like getting up, leashing the dog, and walking around the block, that will be a wonderful life changing event, where you are expressing your humanity to get outdoors into fresh air and open space, and also your commitment and honor as a dog owner to do the same for the animal. So I can’t think of a better motivation than a dog’s face looking at you saying, Hey, are we gonna get out today or are you gonna be too busy again?

Brad (00:24:40):
So, oh my gosh, the, it, it is really great to honor something bigger than yourself, especially if it’s a pet and, . at least get that dog out there and go for a nice outdoor experience. And the importance of getting outdoors cannot be understated if you listen to the wonderful recent addition to the podcast scene, the Huberman Lab podcast with Dr. Andrew Huberman, Stanford neuroscientist. He does a lot about circadian rhythm and talking about the tremendous importance of exposing your eyeballs to natural light, first thing in the morning, to optimize all manner of hormonal neuroendocrine and metabolic functions. And so I’m talking about your eyes not going and staring at the sun in the early morning sun in Phoenix, Arizona, but wherever you are, even if it’s overcast, even if you’re in Seattle in November, there’s plenty of outdoor light, even if it’s cloudy, uh, to give you all these wonderful circadian hormonal benefits, but you have to get the retina direct exposure.

Brad (00:25:47):
So it’s not through a glass window and it’s not wearing sunglasses. You should not be wearing sunglasses in the morning unless the sunlight is so intense that it makes you squint. So maybe if you’re in Maui or in the summertime in the desert, you’re gonna have some powerful light, even at 7:00 AM, but for the most part, your eyes can do just fine. Even light-eyed people like myself with the blue eyes, I have pretty sensitive eyes and I can do just fine until 10:00 AM, year round, wherever I am and getting that direct outdoor light exposure. Guess what? If you have to wear a cap because your eyes are really sensitive, or you’re building up this skill, because you’ve been obsessively wearing sunglasses your whole life, let’s get some outdoor light first thing in the morning, and this is vastly more powerful than indoor light bulbs.

Brad (00:26:36):
So this is key. I don’t care what the weather is. If the weather is increment, then guess what? You’re gonna go out there with your dog and get a therapeutic cold exposure session. So you’re gonna get more for the price of one. And for me, I will get outdoors on the mat, regardless, almost regardless of the weather About 32 Fahrenheit would be my cutoff. And if it’s colder than that Tahoe, uh, I will open the sliding door and perform the routine on the kitchen floor with complete outdoor exposure. So it’s getting darn cold in the house. Maybe you’re gonna have some negative votes for that from other people that are still in the warm bed, but you do the best you can to get outdoor air exposure. Maybe there’s a covered area that you can do it.

Brad (00:27:23):
And even when I’m outside, if it’s not snowing and I’m, I’m down on the ground in 32 degrees Fahrenheit with no shirt on, because I’m just wearing my shorts and purposely, uh, engaging in cold exposure. If that be the case, I will get warm immediately as I launch into this pretty ambitious routine. Okay. And so if it’s snowing, raining, whatever, that’s when you can open up the slider and be indoors, but do the best you can to get that fresh air and also direct light exposure, not through a glass window. And forget the sunglasses until you absolutely need them because your eyes are uncomfortable and squinting is the litmus test. So sunglasses are for when the sun’s rays are so powerful that it’s causing you discomfort and squinting, or when you need them for a safety reason, such as riding your bike, skiing, whatever.

Brad (00:28:17):
So they’re really could be considered eye protection rather than eye shades or a darkening until you absolutely need ’em get it? Okay. Okay. So the other key attribute about the morning routine is that you do the exact same thing every single day. When you create a template and repeat it exactly every single day, that’s when you have the best chance to integrate it into a powerful habit. I gave the example of leashing up the dog and walking the dog. Hey, could you take it on the exact same route every single day? Sure. Uh, but I’m gonna give you some leeway where if you know that you get out the door every single day and you have four favorite routes, I’m gonna call that the exact same thing. Okay. Now, when it comes to my morning exercise routine, I have created this template where I’m doing 40 of these, 20 of those, 20 of those, 20 reverse, 20 in the other direction, 20 leg swings and so forth.

Brad (00:29:18):
And so that part, I do not want to engage my creative brain or conjure up the motivation to do the dumbbell raises because those are so hard. Maybe I’ll do ’em today. Maybe I won’t. No, I have a template that is the exact degree of difficulty that it flies right under the radar to the extent that I know I can do it every day, even if I’m not at my a a hundred percent best, even if I’m recovering from an intense workout the day before. So the degree of difficulty is right in that medium zone, which for me, makes it doable, sustainable. I don’t have to apply willpower. I don’t have to check in on my mood and the whims of my mood and my passions and I, as the great marathoner, Eluid Kipchoge says, “Only the disciplined ones are free.”

Brad (00:30:06):
Otherwise, you become a slave to your passions and desires. So I’m not a slave to my passions and desires that I wanna reach for my phone instead and read about the important sporting event that happened the previous night. No, I’m down on the mat and I’m just counting through the sequences without judgment. And without a second thought. In other words, I’m not judging it to be too hard or too easy, or should I add some more today? Cuz I feel better. I can, uh, certainly have that opportunity to do it later after I complete the template sequence robotically. So again, I mentioned the weather and the commitment as a dog owner, whatever the weather is, your commitment stays in place. The dog doesn’t care about the pouring rain or the snow. The dog can handle it. I know that for a fact. I have pictures of my dog, Stu, charging into the snow drifts like it’s nothing.

Brad (00:30:58):
and that kind of recalibrates your own mindset when you were hemming and hawing at the door. Wondering if you should head out in the snowstorm. So keep that commitment no matter what and make it an automatic behavior that said, I’m not talking about all of a sudden heading outta the gate and saying, yeah, I saw this Brad Kearn’s routine online. It’s 40 minutes. It’s really difficult. And I’m gonna jump right in and do it. This has been a five year journey with a very graceful and steady and methodical increase in degree of difficulty over time. So the first thing I did was why are this into habit with a mild commitment to do a few leg stretches every morning. And I started in bed with the routine. You can see there’s actually two videos on YouTube. If you search for Brad Kearn’s morning routine. We’ll have those in the show notes as well.

Brad (00:31:52):
And my mom, the show note link designer and time stamper has found these many, many times. So anyway, the first one was published in 2007. Soon after I started the routine. Many of the exercises were still in bed and they were so easy. I didn’t realize because when you’re doing core work in bed and you sink into the mattress, oh my gosh. It’s a huge wake up call to go onto the to the ground onto a mat and do the same thing. Yeah. Your stomach lights up, uh, really quickly it’s. So now the 2020 version that you’re gonna see on YouTube, I have, pretty significantly increased the degree of difficulty of what you saw there by adding some really challenging stuff at the end. And you’re gonna learn all about that when we launch our online course taking you through everything you need to design your own winning morning routine. But when you’re just getting into it, do something that’s easy and sustainable and so that you will build it into habit.

Brad (00:32:50):
And then over time decide to add in one of these or add two of those. And that’s exactly what’s happened for me is I’ve kind of auditioned a new exercise. Like, Hey, the drinking birds that I learned from Steven Raider’s website are really great for hamstring mobility and resiliency. And let me test those out, see how they feel. I love ’em. And so they officially got indoctrinated into the routine and that meant that I’m now making a commitment to do the drinking birds every single day. But it’s no small commitment. So we have to proceed in a tiptoe fashion to make sure that we’re gonna have no problem sticking to the habit. And if right now you only have five minutes to spare. That is absolutely fantastic to slam your hand down on the table and say, I’m gonna do it every single day. I believe leave in the process.

Brad (00:33:40):
And all it takes is five minutes. So there’s absolutely no excuse not to do it. Uh, James Clear the author of fantastic book called Atomic Habits, has this thing called the two minute rule. And the two minute rule the beautiful takeaway quote is that a habit must be established before it can be improved. And so if you’re trying to build a new habit, do something that requires only two minutes of your time so that you can make that commitment, keep that commitment and then over time, build it into a more ambitious, more impressive habit. And so if it’s a two minute morning routine such as one pass through the sequence of exercises known as the yoga sun salute, that’s a fantastic way to start your day, get outta bed, open the sliding door, step outside, step onto the deck. Do the sun salute.

Brad (00:34:39):
It’s raising the arms, the arms down to touch your toes, sweeping up to a tabletop position, sweeping back down, sweeping back up, lowering the right arm and reaching the left arm left arm over your head, doing the opposite. Boom, boom, boom. You’re done takes about two minutes for one pass through the sun salute, but if you can do that every single day, oh my gosh. It really and could be life changing. So that’s the James Clear Atomic Habits. Tons of research supporting this. I know it sounds ridiculous to think that you’re gonna go and do something for two minutes and have it be a big deal in your life. But it’s a big deal. And there’s other content there that’s really memorable. I’m gonna share a little bit.

Brad (00:35:21):
Here’s four facets required to succeed with habit change. And number one is make it obvious. Number two, make it attractive. Number three, make it easy and number four, make it satisfying. So let’s take my morning routine as an example. Make it obvious. Guess what? It’s the first thing I do. I don’t reach for my phone, so I’m not wandering around wondering how I should start my day. I know exactly how I start my day every single day. It’s very attractive because I know when I finish this thing, I always, always, always feel better than when I started. I’m more awake. I’m more energized. I’m more clearheaded. Even if I’m dragging, my muscles are sore. Whatever’s going on. The yoga wheel, which comes somewhere midway or early in the process, I feel like that’s my morning cup of coffee, cuz it’s a really challenging pose. It’s when you’re making arch with your body.

Brad (00:36:18):
So only your hands and your feet are touching the ground and you’re making a beautiful half circle with tremendous back extension exercise. That’s pretty advanced, but you can do the yoga bridge where you’re just raising your butt off the ground and your shoulders are on the mat. Your knees are high and your shoulders and knees have a 45 degree angle. That’s a good glute exercise, good and lower back exercise, not as challenging. But when I finish my yoga wheel and I lower down to the mat, I get a head rush and I feel a burst of energy every time. So my morning routine is an obvious, first thing to do. That’s why it’s so important to do it. First thing in the morning as well. Second it’s attractive cuz I know I’m gonna feel better after. Third it’s easy because I started slowly.

Brad (00:37:05):
So if it’s leashing up your dog and walking around the block, that’s an easy commitment to make. And then finally satisfying. You feel better. The dog feels better in all accounts, doing something like this, rather than reaching for your phone, you you’re going to feel better after, and guess what? The mobile device will still be there to indulge in whenever you want, after you finish doing your work on the mat. Okay. I also feel like when I talked about all the peripheral benefits, the meditative experience, the big one is it raises the fitness platform from which I launch all of my formal workouts. So I have much better injury prevention, much better recovery and more resiliency when I’m going into the workouts, because every single day I’m now doing something that by all accounts is a pretty legit workout.

Brad (00:37:55):
If you, uh, watch it, you’re gonna be like, gee. Yeah, that is a pretty good amount. Even if I don’t get a time or the inclination to do a proper workout the rest of the day, at least I did something pretty good to keep me up on the high platform. I believe also very strongly that my ability to conduct this routine every single day builds my focus and discipline against all other forms of distraction throughout the rest of the day. So I become a more focused and disciplined person because I am putting in a vote every single day. And I believe James Clear uses this language. He did a great podcast with The Drive, Peter Attia, where he talked about just accumulating votes in favor of how you want to be and how you wanna live your life.

Brad (00:38:46):
And so not getting discouraged by a bad day where you reach for the ice cream tub and there goes your whole diet and it’s blown out. So what’s the point anyway? No, it’s waking up the next day and putting in more votes, accumulating more votes in favor of you being a healthy person with a healthy diet by making good choices. So if you can put in a cast of vote every single morning for you as a fit healthy individual, that starts to accumulate, and that’s how you can kind of leverage positive habits in your life to build more and more positive habits in all kinds of different directions. I don’t know if it was clear or someone else talking about the, um, attaching of an existing habit to a habit that you desire. So let’s say your current habit is that you wake up and then in the morning you get in the car and drive to the coffee shop to get a coffee.

Brad (00:39:37):
So let’s keep that habit in place. It maybe gives you pleasure enjoyment. It’s a social experience. The morning ritual, obviously very popular cuz there’s a Starbucks on every corner, but how about putting into place a commitment that you will go to the coffee shop at the conclusion of your morning exercise routine? Here’s the little game that I play with myself. I do not drink a sip of water until I’m finished with the routine. Lots of peak performers and health experts are saying the first thing that you should do when you get up is hydrate, get your liter glass bottle of fantastic, mineral water from the pure mountains and sprinkle in some ancient mineral, sea salt, as well as a freshed squeeze lemon for all those health benefits. And yeah, isn’t that great, but I will do that after I’m done with the routine.

Brad (00:40:31):
In fact, mine’s homemade kombucha with the sparkling mineral water and the sea salt. So it’s sort of a reward for finishing the routine. Hey, it’s not a huge, fantastic reward. I’m not taking myself out to breakfast, but little rewards matter and they count. And it also adds to the significance of the ritual that I finish the routine. And then I almost always immediately head straight into the kitchen to make this wonderful concoction with my homemade kombucha, mineral water, and LMT electrolytes go in there, the unflavored and the ancient sea salt, whatever I’m doing and taste great. And by that time I need it cuz I’ve been working pretty hard for 40 minutes. Okay. So we’re talking about all these peripheral benefits of doing the morning exercise routine. We got the meditative aspect, we got the ability to build focus and discipline and resilience against all other forms of stress and distraction in daily life.

Brad (00:41:28):
And we got the wonderful ability to elevate the fitness platform from which you launch all formal workouts. We’ll also put it in the category of contributing to your daily movement objectives because we tend to have prolonged periods of stillness. We sit around a lot, uh, we get on the subway or get in our cars and, and sit. And then we sit at a desk and then we sit and engage in screen entertainment during our off time. So at least we’re moving as soon as we get up in the morning. And I think it’s a great time to condition the body to movement. And I’ve also noticed over time that the routine aches and pains that I’ve experienced my entire life, going back to teenage years when I was running a lot of miles and pounding my body, I always have awakened with stiffness soreness, whatever muscles, not really working, right, whatever joints needing some time to warm up.

Brad (00:42:22):
And then of course everything feels fine after 20 minutes of putzing around the house or whatever, but now I really do on most occasions get outta bed and I’m dancing down the hall with a bounce in my step, thanks to the accumulated benefits of this morning routine. And yes, I really do since we’re being this open, honest, transparent show, I really do have a five year streak going. So now, because of that, I place great importance on that. I have the accountability of mentioning it as often as possible in public. Are you getting sick of me saying it yet? But it’s something that I’m proud of because I don’t have too many other areas in my life where I can proclaim to be consistent and reliable. And part of that is personality attribute where I’ve answered mainly only to myself in my career path.

Brad (00:43:12):
And I don’t have a lot of accountability built in like some people might, if they’re expected, uh, to punch in and work with a team of 15 or 150 people in the workplace environment. So I can skate and skirt around, uh, the, uh, the, the parameters of life very easily in many other ways. But making this commitment to myself has been really powerful. And if I miss the opportunity immediately upon awakening, which happens, oh, let’s say, a handful of times a year due to an early morning flight or an early morning filming schedule because that’s the best light to film in on a couple occasions. The filming of the morning routine caused me to depart from completing the entire routine. So I worked through it. I counted some of the stuff I did on film and then went back in and filled in the pieces.

Brad (00:44:05):
So yes, I will get to it later in the morning, ideally, you might see me at an airplane gate contributing and chipping away at completing the entire template. When I did that wonderful Cactus to Clouds, hike that I posted on Instagram in October, it was an amazing 22 mile hike on the single most difficult hiking trail in the United States rated by elevation gain because in the first nine and a half miles, we climbed 8,400 feet in 9.5 miles. That’s not a misprint or a misspeak. It’s in Palm Springs and you climb from the desert floor right in downtown Palm Springs on the skyline trail up to where the Palm Springs aerial tramway lets out that’s the first segment of the hike nine and a half miles. And it’s straight up the side of a mountain. You can barely find the trail.

Brad (00:44:58):
Uh, we left on this hike at 3:30 AM and finished just before dark at around 4:30 PM. And at three in the morning I was there in my hotel room flying my legs through the sky because I wanted to keep my streak alive and also what a great way to be warmed up when we start the hike. So my commitment is pretty strong, but I also have this, I guess, disparate goal in life to not be unhealthily addicted to anything even in the orthorexia realm, uh, the addiction to a correct approach to eating because I feel like it can really get out of hand. And I see it so frequently in the, uh, health and fitness scene, the extreme endurance training scene and the healthy eating scene. And orthorexia is now a real thing. It’s talked about a lot, fortunately, and this is a, you know, it’s, it’s an illness relating to an unhealthy fixation with eating correctly.

Brad (00:45:53):
And the same could be said for, uh, people who are in a way addicted to extreme exercise to the extent that it creates a bit of pain and suffering along with all the other positive benefits. This is talked about a lot in the triathlon community and the CrossFit community where you have people going and performing a workout. The fact that they know deep down or on the surface or both that they are compromising their fitness progress, but they can’t stand to miss a day and they feel annoyed, irritated, experience negative energy from departing, from their rigid approach to life. So I don’t want you to get the wrong idea, or put an idea into your head that you have to be obsessed with performing a morning routine every day and add that to the potential for an unhealthy addiction to anything.

Brad (00:46:44):
So I should observe that if I do get sick beyond a slight cold, which is all I’ve had over the past five years, thankfully, or if some other circumstance gets in the way, I’m sure my streak will end someday. And I can recall, numerous days where I didn’t do the exact template, but I did some makeup exercises in the days following. And the reason I wouldn’t do the entire template is for example, a grueling filming day, or we’re doing hours and hours of repeat filming or you know, the cactus to clouds. I skipped out on the stuff that requires implements at the end, the barbell raises. And so in the ensuing days, I would throw in an extra set or two. So, so overall I’d say I’m back to even with the idea that I do the entire sequence every single day.

Brad (00:47:37):
Uh, but I’m not unhealthily attached to that. And I’m open to the idea that if my body’s not ready, then that day’s gonna come where, or that week’s gonna come where I’m toning things down and, and missing out. Okay. So we’re making progress through the day, although we’re still stuck in the morning hours. And as I continue to add exercises to the template, I’m not sure I will add anything else because right now the sequence takes right, exactly 40 minutes. Yeah. I thought it was a around 40 minutes thought it was around 40 minutes and then one day I decided to time it. And so I put my watch on timer and went back to stop the watch after doing my last exercise. And it said 39 minutes, 54 seconds. So that was a pretty good guess. And 40 minutes is a pretty long commitment.

Brad (00:48:24):
And now I don’t wanna play with fire and add 10 more minutes because I think that would kind of hit a roadblock, the point of diminishing returns where it’s not something that would be as sustainable. So I’m right there in my own personal sweet spot, after five years of devoted effort, and maybe just maybe 12 minutes is going to be your sweet spot for the first three months, six months, one year, two years, whatever. But I want you to get that point clearly that you find that sweet spot where it’s doable and sustainable every single day. And speaking of that, no individual effort, no individual exercise out of the 35 that I do is too extreme that it causes me tremendous trouble. So some of the tough stuff like the mini bands, I don’t know if you’ve ever worked with mini bands, the number one glute isolation exercise you can think of you, you strap the the tiny bands around your ankle and you, uh, tap dance or do monster walks or do something to stretch the band and then recoil the band.

Brad (00:49:27):
Those are pretty tough, but my count goes to the point where, or I feel a slight burn in my glutes and then it’s over before it gets too difficult. And that goes for every single one, same with the dumbbell raises. I don’t think I can do many more reps than 25 raises at 45 degrees and then 15 lateral raises. And when I’m done with those I’m huffing and puffing, but not a torture session like you might experience when you’re immersed into an extremely difficult group workout or a race or something that’s really meant to take you to the limit. So it’s right under the radar, nice sweet style.

Brad (00:50:06):
Now, uh, frequently I will finish the morning routine and right into a nice workout. And I’d say that’s a few days a week maybe two to three days a week. One of those days will be at the running track where I do a significantly challenging set of sprints and running technique drills that are strenuous or jumping drills that are strenuous and high jump practice no more than once a week for something that’s really strenuous. And so overall, I might sound like I’m a big extreme fitness guy and your life is too busy to follow along, but I’m not spending that much time with my devotion and dedication to fitness. These workouts are not time consuming nowhere near the amount of time that even the average recreational triathlete spends going around and doing all those different sessions, including the long stuff on the bicycle and the long trail runs the long duration swim workouts. So it’s much more enjoyable, much less time consuming and much less stressful to the endocrine system and the immune system than the extreme endurance training.

Brad (00:51:19):
So by many accounts, I feel like a fitter, more energetic human here at the age of 56 than I did when I was in my twenties, racing on the professional triathlon circuit where I was falling apart at times over the year from too much travel and too much racing crashed out on the couch for long periods of time. Now I have a pretty nice sustainable lifestyle where yes, there is a dedication and devotion to fitness because 40 minutes, every single day is a big deal. But the workouts themselves two to three times a week, I don’t think that’s a huge deal. And then the workouts themselves don’t last that long. Okay. So I’m gonna talk about an assortment of different workouts that represent my choices. And this is pretty much all I do. It’s not a lot of options, so, they’re pretty diverse and varied in challenging workouts, but I’m not doing a hundred different things.

Brad (00:52:14):
My fitness goals are pretty narrow, especially at this age, I wanna prioritize high jumping sprinting and speed golf. So I’m not playing basketball on Tuesdays and flag football on Thursdays. Maybe, younger listeners can aspire to have even broader fitness goals. It’s whatever turns you on. But the key element, I think the evolution of my fitness experience has been that these individual workouts are not as strenuous as the crazy stuff that I did before that would put me out for a while. And there’s a great movement taking place in fitness believe. And many of the thought leaders are echoing this idea that we need a kinder, gentler approach to fitness in general. And a lot of the mainstream programming, the Peloton, the CrossFit, the classes that are offered at your local fitness facility are by and large, too stressful and difficult for the average enthusiasts and everyone from the beginner to elite athletes make mistakes and suffer from breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury that is easily prevented and totally unnecessary for lifelong fitness progress and a healthy, energetic life.

Brad (00:53:31):
And I think for some reason we’ve been socialized culturally to think that fitness is achieved through a, uh, struggle and suffer approach, no pain, no gain, all that nonsense that you see on programming advertising. And I think it appeals to the instant gratification element that we’re all looking for, where you, too, can get on the bicycle, sweat like crazy, uh, high five, the, the neighbor over there on the other bicycle and feel like you just accomplished this killer workout, head over to Jamba Juice to get the medium breakfast scone and the medium smoothie to celebrate your great effort in the gym. And guess what? What I just mentioned has more calories than you burned during a grueling 45 to 60 minute bicycle workout. So in case you’re interested, but overall, I see this attrition rate that’s too high. In other words, people that get deep into fitness, they’re going to the CrossFit.

Brad (00:54:23):
They love it. They’re reporting back. They feel. And then two years later they’re gone. Same with the endurance scene where people get deep into triathlons and they progress from the local sprint race up to the half Ironman and eventually go and travel somewhere and do a full distance Ironman. And then four years later, the bike is gathering dust in the garage. So if we wanna advocate for a more sustainable long term lifelong approach to fitness, let’s put a huge vote in for a kinder, gentler approach to all of your workouts where yes, when it’s time to go hard, you can have fun. You can push yourself hard, but if you’re going for high intensity explosive exercise, the workouts are shorter in duration. And if you’re going for endurance goals, you slow down a bit and honor the aerobic training principles so that the workout is not overly stressful and emphasizing glucose burning rather than fat burning that occurs when your pace is comfortable.

Brad (00:55:19):
I’ve had so many great guests talking about this concept of a kinder, gentler approach to exercise Dr. Doug McGuff with his advocating the big five workouts where you go to the gym once a week and perform five simple compound body exercises, functional movements, like the chest press the lap, pull down the overhead, press the seated row and the leg press. Yes, I am on the big five. I this concept and you go to complete failure with a nice, slow pace on machines. So it’s super safe for anyone. You can go and perform this big five. The workout’s gonna take about 12 minutes because you’re not resting that much between sets you’re using different muscles. You move over to the next machine when you’re ready and work to total muscular failure to extent that you only need to go once a week and you will get stronger over time, going more frequently than once a week to do this, uh, very brief session, but to total muscular failure and all the big muscle groups,

Brad (00:56:21):
Dr. McGuff in his research, John Little, the co-author are suggesting that this is going to retard your progress and optimal frequency is once a week. Wow. That’s a heavy insight for people that are going to gym three, four days a week, trying to get stronger. Joel Jamieson, my guest early on couple years ago, you can search for that show on the podcast landing page at Brad Kearns dot has every show published with easy access, easy searchability. He talks about these rebound workouts that he puts to his, uh, MMA world champion level fighters, where you’re going into the gym and you’re just regenerating and nourishing your energy and speeding up recovery by doing these gentle workouts that consist of breathing eyes as in foam rolling and dynamic stretching, and very brief high intensity efforts followed by a lot of recovery. And boy, what a wonderful inclusion into your workout regimen are workouts, where you are devotedly trying to facilitate recovery rather than go and pound yourself and burn more calories.

Brad (00:57:21):
Craig Marker with his transformative article HIIT versus HIRT, and the show that we covered his wonderful concept of high intensity repeat training as an healthy and appealing alternative to the prevailing approach of high intensity interval training workouts, which by definition are exhausting and depleting rather than a high intensity repeat session where you’re capable of producing an equally explosive and powerful effort with impeccable form every time because you’re taking a lot of rest because you’re not performing for that long duration. Your sprints are taking only 10 to 20 seconds. And boy, then we’re in a good groove when we honor this wonderful new direction and fitness of a kinder, gentle or approach.

Brad (00:58:09):
So I’ll give you a brief overview of six possible workout options that I will choose to flow into right after my morning exercise session to give you an idea of what the options are available. But I should also mention my for cold exposure. I’m sure you’re familiar with that. I have an entire show on the benefits of therapeutic cold exposure. So I have my fondest for year round plunges into lake Tahoe in the summertime. It turns into a 10 or 15 minute swim with the water up and over 60 and nearing 70 degrees. And in the winter with the water getting as low as 42, it’s a two to three minute session. Same with my chest freezer where I keep the water around 38 degrees Fahrenheit and go in for a brief dip. Also enjoying when I’m traveling or other opportunities. Sometimes it’ll just be a cold shower or plunging into a cold swimming pool during the winter months when cold exposure is possible. Anything under 60 degrees Fahrenheit by some research is kind of the cutoff to where you’re getting a cold exposure session.

Brad (00:59:14):
If the water temperature is above that, we’re gonna have to call it something different. Cuz again, the key factor here of this cold thermogenesis is a brief exposure to very cold water, such that it prompts a fight or flight reaction. And then in the recovery period, you get all these wonderful hormonal anti-inflammatory mood elevating benefits and that’s how the fight or flight response is supposed to. Work’s supposed to do a brief high intensity workout and then complete the workout before you get a chronic overproduction of fight or fight hormones and all the breakdown that it sues accordingly. So when you’re going into the gym and working hard at different sets and different machines or free weights or whatever you’re doing and asking for explosive over and over and the workout lasts for longer than an hour, you’ve officially transgressed into something that is very unlikely to give a fitness benefit and more likely to break you down.

Brad (01:00:11):
Same with cold exposure. Obviously you’re not gonna be staying in for too long and I’ve even backed off from a daily adherence to jumping in the tub. And in, I make it more of an optional. One of the main reasons is because my morning exercise routine takes so long that I oftentimes am compelled to get on with my day after spending 40 minutes moving my body. So I feel a time pressure to get on with it and I just don’t feel like doing it. And I’ve also noticed that when I pair a cold hub experience or a cold plunge with a high intensity workout on the same morning that sometimes I feel like it’s, uh, an accumulation of too many stress factors. So the combined stress of going and doing sprints and then going into the cold tub and then being 56 years old, if you add those all up, it’s too much, same with fasting after an explosive high intensity workout.I’ve experimented with that in the past trying to maximize the hormonal benefits and the spike of adaptive hormones in the bloodstream after high intensity session. But fasting and sprinting and being in the 55 plus age division, I think too many stress factors at once. So now I make a devoted practice of coming home. And soon after the workout, after my body temperature is low and I’m, I’m, I’m recalibrated a little bit. I’m not walking in the door and slamming calories down my throat. But soon after I will prepare this wonderful super nutrition smoothie with all kinds of performance agents, whey protein, liver, egg, raw eggs, raw liver, and I get the great nutrients into my body as soon as possible after, uh, an explosive exercise session. So the cold plunge is more likely to occur on a day where I’m not pushing my body hard with a high intensity workout.

Brad (01:02:02):
And secondly, I was building up the tolerance, the ability to spend five to six minutes in the chest freezer with temperature at 38 Fahrenheit. That’s a pretty long time, but I would breathe through it and get better and better at it over time. I could spend less time in 42 degree lake Tahoe because I think a large body of water is vastly more difficult to stay in comparing temperatures because the water’s moving around you. And when you’re in a chest freezer, your body is actually doing a good job, warming the water around you very quickly. As soon as you plunge in Dude Spellings is done experiments with this. I believe he mentioned it during our most recent podcast where he had five buddies over to do cold plunge in his chest freezer. And the morning started, it was at 40 Fahrenheit, but after five guys went in there for a few minutes at a time, an hour later, the water’s heated up to 50 just from body heat.

Brad (01:02:55):
So that was an interesting insight that I discovered that I have less time tolerance for the same level of hormetic stress in the lake versus in the cold tub. And so now I’m not so worried about pushing the limits of my abilities, but I’m just going for that sweet spot. And I’m spending only, probably around three minutes in there rather than five to six. And there’s plenty of research showing that even much shorter duration, cold exposure will give you that desirable spike in norepinephrine, uh, of 200 to 300% above baseline values of norepinephrine lasting for up to an hour after exposure into 40 degree Fahrenheit water for only 20 seconds. That’s a prominent Finnish study that’s cited by a lot of people, including the great research from Dr. Rhonda Patrick. And boy, if you can just plunge in for 20 seconds at 40 degree Fahrenheit, I think that’s well within the reach of almost everyone and get all these wonderful benefits.

Brad (01:03:55):
That’s a big vote, thumbs up for adding some form of cold exposure into your life. And you can start easy, with just a cold shower taking your regular shower and then cranking that handle to total cold at the end, for 30 seconds would be your foray into this game. And then you can escalate from there. Maybe you’ll love it so much. That one day you’ll invest in a chest freezer. Okay. So that’s the, the morning excerise routine, possible cold exposure session. And then we go into the possible piggybacking of a workout onto the morning routine. And I almost always try to flow right into a workout. Why not? Cause I’m already warmed up. Uh, my muscles, my joints, my brain is ready to go. And so I will head, uh, straight over, over to the track on my bicycle, having finished the morning routine, I will go and commence my sprinting jumping workout, uh, or rather than the track.

Brad (01:04:50):
I’ll have a home, uh, strength training session with the apparatus, the equipment I have at home, or I’ll get over to the gym. And boy, I don’t go to the gym much. Obviously none of us, uh, did a good job there during the quarantine when the gyms were closed. But I really love putting myself in an environment to succeed and not being a frequent gym goer over the years. It is such an awesome feeling to pull into the parking lot. If I’m driving or pull into the bike racks, if I’m riding my bike over there and all of a sudden, once you enter the door and give them your little card for them to beep at the front desk, you’ve set yourself up for tremendous success, cuz what the heck you gonna do there? Watch TV? They do have a TV in the lobby, but I feel like I don’t have to self motivate when I head over to the gym.

Brad (01:05:38):
So boy, if you’re having trouble getting motivated, join a nice fitness facility, join it with a friend, meet the friend there, make new friends at the gym and, boy, to just look around and see all these people working hard and going after it, it’s really cool being a person who has spent most of his, his athletic life outdoors, pedaling the bike running, doing speed golf, and things that are not related to the gym. So I’m trying to become more and more frequent of a gym goer and just put my fitness obligation into the hands of the energy field circulating around at your friendly neighborhood fitness facility. So I mentioned six different workout options and here they are first is the track workout. And I’ve done entire shows talking about the template for a proper sprint workout.

Brad (01:06:30):
And so I’ll just briefly summarize what to do if you want to add sprinting to your fitness objectives. And I think it’s the number one return on investment by far of any exercise is learning to become competent at flat ground high impact sprinting. Obviously for a lot of people, it’s gonna be a progression starting with low or no impact sprinting and getting the wonderful benefits of sprinting on a stationary bike, sprinting with the rowing machine or even doing sets of kettlebell swings where you’re swinging for 10 seconds at a time. And then recovering that can be called a sprint workout, then going into, for example, running stairs, sprinting up the stairs as a sprint workout or sprint pill, and then eventually working your way toward being able to support that body weight. Support that impact load running down on flat ground down the field football field or running track.

Brad (01:07:30):
And this is one of the most quintessential human athletic competencies. It’s been the essence of our evolution and the fight or flight response was running for our lives away from a predator or perhaps to get dinner if we’re hungry and making the most of our human athletic abilities. Bringing sprinting into the forefront I think is gonna be wonderful. It also has definitely the most metabolic benefits. So if you’re trying to lose excess body fat sprinting is going to be the number one choice for getting that excess fat off your body. As far as the profound genetic signaling that occurs when you ask your body to get competent at sprinting. There’s a giant massive penalty for carrying excess body fat. When you’re trying to perform at maximum intensity, much different than let’s say, carrying excess body fat along the road or trail for 26 miles, there’s very little penalty.

Brad (01:08:30):
And that’s why you see many endurance athletes carrying excess body fat because of their nature of their training, especially if their training is slightly too stressful. As John Jaquish described in detail in our show and on his material that he puts out himself. Endurance training itself is predicated on the preservation of body fats. You’re gonna hold onto fat and you’re going to shed lean muscle because that is the adaptability that you’re going for. You’re trying to lighten your frame if you’re asking it to run for 26 miles. And for the most part, you’re going to be using fat as your fuel source for those long duration exercises, along with glucose, especially if you’re going too fast, but again, it’s mainly a fat burning exercise. And so the genetic signaling is going to be against reducing fat, and it’s going to be, uh, shedding muscle mass, which is exactly what you don’t want.

Brad (01:09:25):
If you’re trying to get leaner and look better in all those things. So sprinting is where you’re gonna get the the best benefits for your physique, your fat reduction, and the genetic signaling for anti-aging lung vitality. And that’s enough of a vote for sprinting. How can you turn it down? Okay. So what I do is I, I bike there and so that would serve as my cardio warmup. If I’m having to drive there, of course, I’ll just jog very slowly get the body warm, get the muscles and joints moving, even though they were moving during the morning routine. And then I’ll do two laps of very challenging skipping drills. And you can find an assortment of drills on YouTube. These great videos where I have basic drills and then I have more advanced drills. And so I mix in an assortment of different ones.

Brad (01:10:12):
I kind of just might mix up the template a little bit but there’s, you know, five or six that I do every time. And I don’t rest much between the little stints lasting probably around 20 seconds. And so it’s a pretty strenuous two laps of drills, and I’m feeling really warmed up and ready to hit it hard for the main session. And so the main session as I recommend highly to just about everyone would be something as simple as four to eight times, 80 meters of full sprinting. That 80 meters is gonna take most people between 10 and 20 seconds. And that is the magic time window to obtain the optimal benefits of sprinting. You do not wanna sprint for longer than 20 seconds. Otherwise it’s no longer considered a sprint. It’s considered a glycolytic anaerobic effort.

Brad (01:11:06):
And that’s really great to do if you’re preparing for athletic competition or have that distinct need to become competent at running fast for 30 seconds a minute, or what have you. But for most of us that are just looking for the optimal hormonal and overall fitness benefits, the window of time there is gonna be sprinting between 10 and 20 seconds and doing somewhere between four and 10 reps. So if I recommend six to eight times 80 meters, and the rest to work ratio is six to one. So if you’re taking 10 seconds to perform your sprint, you’re going to rest at least one minute in between sprints. And that’s plenty of time to recalibrate, catch your breath, give your muscles and your energy systems a bit of recovery, and then go blast another sprint. So that would be my template workout, but because I have distinct athletic goals and I wanna be competent in track and field and running racing at 400 meters and 200 meters, I will occasionally perform what you might call a track session, a track workout, where I’m going and running for longer period of time.

Brad (01:12:13):
Then the short duration, 10 to 20 second sprint. So I might do a session where I do one or two times 400 meters, two or three times, 300 meters, four times, 200 meters, and then finishing with four times 80 meters, obviously not as fast and explosive as if I was just doing a high intensity sprint workout. But these sessions are for the distinct athletic goal of putting in a fast time in a track meet. And that is of interest to very few people. And so you can probably just disregard that. It’s certainly not a suggestion. And I think it takes a long time to build the competency to where you can actually benefit from doing a crazy track session like that. I think there are people out there that are part of a jogging or running clubs that are thrown onto the track, and they’re doing things like six times, 800 meters.

Brad (01:13:01):
It was a really hard track session. And I think there’s minimal benefit to be had and a lot of stress in these long duration track sessions for everyone, but an elite athlete. And when we model our training patterns after the elite athletes, when we read about them in the magazine or watch ’em on YouTube, we’re forgetting all these different parameters. One of them being that they are genetically gifted. They’re on top of the world for a reason. And a lot of it is they have the gifts and the adaptability to absorb more exercise stress, and the average person absorb and benefit from it and bounce back the next day feeling. And secondly, they’ve directed their entire lives toward these athletic goals, such that they can have much greater opportunity for recovery and rehab and all the things that athletes need to perform at their best, where the busy person watching the YouTube video has none of those sort of luxuries.

Brad (01:13:53):
And so they should dramatically down scale their ambitions and their training patterns rather than try to model something after what you see the great athletes are doing. And so generally speaking, I’m gonna do, uh, the technique drills, uh, the six to eight times 80 meters of explosive peak performance sprints, where each one is of, additional quality, consistent quality of effort. So the degree of difficulty and the performance and the time that I’m finishing the 80 meters is consistent. I don’t have a regression in performance, like would happen in a high intensity interval training session. The thing that exhausts you and fatigues you. So I’m doing these great sprints, boom, boom, boom. They all feel great. And then I wrap the workout up and pedal home slowly and I’m done, and I have another great session, and that is the key to constant progress, maximum hormonal benefits and avoiding those risks of injury breakdown, burn out illness and injury, and I’m still in the learning process.

Brad (01:14:55):
So I also have a template jumping session, which is very difficult. I have the jumping drills on YouTube as well, where I’m doing one-legged hops, I’m doing explosive bounding bunny hops, three step into explosive, jump up high and all these great little strings of effort. I go practice my high jump form. And on numerous occasions I’ve been so enthusiastic that I’ve taken too many full length high jumps to the extent that the next day. Yep. Something is tweaked and I can feel my glute or my hamstring has become dysfunctional, mild injury, uh, requiring time off. And that’s really frustrating for, or me because when you take yourself over the edge and you have long recovery time, it implies that your training program is less than fully effective. Um, so we were striving for more consistency, more of an under the radar approach where everything is enjoyable and well within your your capacity such that you can show up the next week and build and build and build without interruption.

Brad (01:15:57):
Okay. So that’s the track workout next? I hinted at the Dr. Doug McGuff, big five workout in the gym, and this is the shoulder press with a machine, the seated row in a machine, the chest press with the machine, the lap pull down with the machine and the seated leg press, horizontal leg press where you’re pushing against a plate that’s right in front of your legs, kind of like in the position of a recumbent bicycle. And we want to slow down the count to where we’re counting to. I count to seven lifting the weight and then seven lowering the weight. So everything’s really slow and under control, completely safe, even for a novice. And then I’m writing down the weights that I use and the number of reps that it takes me to achieve total muscular failure in those five core exercises of Doug McGuff and John Little’s big five from the fantastic book Body by Science.

Brad (01:16:57):
So please listen to my show with Doug McGuff, where he gets into detail about this. But when you’re talking about purely getting stronger in muscles throughout your body. This is his magic formula: once a week one set total muscular failure where you can no longer lift the weight or you end halfway between a rep and you’re pushing, pushing, pushing, and then you’re finally done. And that’s all you need for the specific goal of getting stronger. So obviously I have athletic goals that extend, uh, well beyond just getting stronger. I also wanna play well in the speed golf tournament and jump over a high jump bar and get a good time in the 200 or the 400 meters. And so there are many other exercises that appeal to me, and more things that I’m going to do throughout a week of my fitness experience.

Brad (01:17:49):
Just go to the week for one 15 minute workout doing the big five. But the great argument presented by McGuff is that you can use this big five as your core, building a stronger body and then go and do whatever sports specific training that you enjoy. Cool people are into Brazilian jujitsu these days. So they’re gonna go roll around on the mat and practice their moves or basketball player’s gonna go and do dribbling drills and shoot three pointers and, practice free throws and jumping up and dunking. But all those workout efforts are going to be launched again, as I mentioned with my morning routine. Launched from a higher fit as platform than otherwise, because your body is actually getting stronger in a very precise and methodical way. So I’m a big fan, and I’ve just integrated this recently in recent months, this big five workout session.

Brad (01:18:45):
And again, not too much trouble, not too much to ask to go to the gym and be in and out in 12 to 15 minutes. I’m also, when I’m at the gym, I’m adding in a bunch of other stuff, a lot of it’s for prehab or rehab. So I have discovered deficiencies in my hamstring strength. Thank you, knees over toes guy on Instagram. Definitely follow him. His name is Ben Patrick. He’s got a lot of novel and progressive thoughts about fitness, talking about doing things a different way than we’ve thought about or advocated for a long time with great success behind him. And so I’m doing things like specific hamstring strengthening exercises. The epic Nordic hamstring curl or the leg curl machine with lightweights and just trying to regain more functionality in my hamstrings injury prevention.

Brad (01:19:38):
I also like the TRX straps to do things like pistol squats, and then I’ll go and do box jumps, Bulgarian, split squats, lateral squats, with a Ketlebell where I’m kind of leaning sideways onto one leg, holding a Ketlebell at my chest. Doing some posture work with the TRX to work on my shoulder blades, just like the 45 degree dumbbell raises that I do during my morning routine. And then I’ll walk around and look for other fun stuff, cuz I’m at the gym and, willing to try out interesting new exercises, but not to an extreme extent, right? I just want to get good at the things that are important and not go in risk injury, doing crazy stuff. So that’s the gym session there emphasizing the big five and some other prehab rehab at home.

Brad (01:20:27):
I have a pretty good setup. Yes, you’re gonna be investing a few bucks here and there, but it’s ridiculously easy to set up your home environment to be a fantastic fitness experience for total body workouts. The X three bar, I’m really a big fan of. You can listen to my show with Dr. John Jaquish. He’s become him a sensation in the fitness industry with his radical thoughts and ideas. He wrote a book called Weight Training as a Waste of Time. And he’s a strong advocate of this variable resistance training that the stretchy bands avail. And so variable resistance training is where the amount of resistance in accordance with how well your body is able to apply force. So if you’re imagining the simple idea of a chest press, we call it the bench press at the gym but a seated chest press.

Brad (01:21:23):
And he has his X three bar and your’re expanding the, you’re stretching the band further and further away from the body. Well guess what? The more you stretch the band, the harder it gets, right? The more you extend a rubber band. But also the further arms are away from your body. The stronger you are too. So the most difficult part of the move is when you are the strongest, in contrast, when you are at the gym with a barbell on your chest, and you’re trying to lift the bar off your chest to do a bench press, you are the weakest in the first few inches of the mov., Same with lifting a bar off the ground when you’re doing a dead lift. The hardest six inches of the move is at the start. Therefore your effort is constrained by the amount of weight that you can lift off your chest or lift off the ground, even though it gets much easier as you get into a position with better leverage, better forced production for your muscles and joints.

Brad (01:22:27):
And so this really compelling argument that working with stretchy cords, stretchy bands is going to give you a, a more challenging and more effective and safer workout overall, makes a lot of sense. I’ve just been using the X three bar for a couple years. But I’ve been using a product called stretch cords, stretch cords, C O R D Z. That just hang from a pull up bar or lock into a doorknob. You know, you close the door on the strap and then pull out the other side of the door. So you have a stable base, and these are just simple surgical tubing, rubber tubing with handles on the end where you can do all manner of upper body and core exercise just by pulling the cords to being longer and longer and making it more and more difficult. So you have this variable resistance training, which is super safe.

Brad (01:23:16):
It doesn’t promote muscle soreness in the same manner that lifting and lowering a heavy weight does. So the soreness is caused by the eccentric muscle contraction, the lowering of a heavy weight, whether it’s a machine or whether it’s a free weight. That’s how you get sore. It’s not from taking the bar, doing a squat, having a bar on your shoulders and standing up it’s from lowering the bar back down to the starting position. Same with the dead lift. It’s not from lifting the weight to off the ground, it is from lowering the weight back down onto the ground. So I’m a huge fan of not getting sore. It frustrates the crap outta me, and it happens to me frequently because maybe I’m not super consistent in the gym. Then I go in there, I’m pretty ambitious. I’ll go do a bunch of dead lifts and be sore.

Brad (01:24:02):
And that’ll interfere with my running and sprinting and jumping workout for several days afterward. So now I’m doing things like positive-only hex bar deadlifts, where I’ll lift out in my backyard on a nice soft surface. I’ll just lift the bar off the ground, stand up and then drop the bar and then do however many, eight or 12 reps, knowing that I’m not gonna be sore the next day. So that’s been a nice inclusion revision. And when you’re doing dead lifts or squats with the X three bar, same thing, you’re not gonna get sore in the same manner as lowering a weight and enduring a lot of eccentric contractions. So at home, quick overview. I have the X three bar at my disposal. I have a set of upper body exercises I do with the stretch cords. I have a pull up bar. A lot of times I’ll binge on that and do a bunch of sets to failure to the point where I’ll get up to a hundred pull ups.

Brad (01:24:55):
And that might be in sets of like 18, 15, 13, 13, 8, 12, 14, whatever it is. And that might occur over a span of a couple hours rather than12 minutes. So I’m not just torching myself, but I’m setting a goal I can. I’m gonna do a hundred and that might be all I do. So I’m mentioning these things, but if I do like a pull up binge, that might be my entire charted workout for the day. And then the hexagonal deadlift bar, which a lot of strength training experts contend is the single number one greatest piece of a equipment, because you can do so many things. It’s a total body exercise when you’re doing the deadlift and the hexagonal shape of the deadlift bar is much safer than just using a bar bell where you are emphasizing the back of your body, the posterior chain, the hamstrings, whereas with the hex bar, you can kind of vary the muscle load between more of a traditional squat position and the traditional straight leg deadlift position.

Brad (01:25:57):
And one of the new things I’m doing besides the positive-only hexagonal lifts is this drill that’s especially good for jumpers where I pick up the deadlift bar all the way. So I’m standing holding onto this hexagonal deadlift bar. I’m standing inside the hexagon and then a lower only about 20 degree bend in my knees and explode all the way up onto my tiptoe. So this is similar to what happens when you’re jumping off the ground. You’re not bending your knees all the way, you know, in a squat position. You’re only jumping using the final 20 degrees or so of knee power. And so it’s sort of simulating a jump. And again, it’s very safe because the eccentric load is minimized because I’m only going down about 20 degrees and then exploding just as if I’m jumping.

Brad (01:26:48):
I love that one. And then over there in the corner, one of the funnest and most doable, remember those four tips for building a habit, easy, attractive, obvious. And this is the Caro. Bike, C A R O L. It stands for cardiovascular optimized logic. And look at their website. You’ll see a guy doing the workout wearing a suit and tie implying that the workout is so short in duration that you won’t even sweat. And I think the workout protocol, and it’s all digitized. You have the screen taking you through their protocol is a really wonderful inclusion into the fitness world where what I’ve seen for many years are indoor cycling workouts that are by and large too stressful. Like I discussed earlier, the high intensity interval training protocol, where you’re going again and again, whether it’s the instructor on the TV, on the Peloton bike or in a live Spinning class where they’re asking you to do high power output, a series of climbs.

Brad (01:27:50):
They’re gonna last 30 seconds. Each let’s pretend we’re in the tour de Frances, and then we’re gonna rest for just a bit, maybe only 20 or 30 seconds, and then do another and another and another. And by the end of the 45 or 60 minute session, you’ve put out a lot of great energy. You feel good because your body is bathed in stress hormones. But the workout was slightly too significantly too stressful to prompt an optimal fitness response and fitness progression over time. You don’t need to do that much hard work. And if your energy output declines over the course of the workout, you can be sure that you are doing an exhausting and depleting hit session rather than the more appealing high intensity repeat training session. So the Carol workout, literally the template workout only takes eight minutes. And let me tell you, you think you could do it every day.

Brad (01:28:41):
It’s only eight minutes. It’s so difficult, that I actually don’t do it that frequently. And so I have to mix it in with my running workouts and it’s a great low impact sprint that compliments my sprint workouts on the track, which are my, my favorite, my priority. But what a wonderful tool you get on the bike, you warm up for a few minutes, you do an all out sprint for 20 seconds. You recover for a few minutes, you do another all out sprint of 20 seconds. You cool down for three minutes and you’re done. And they have great research behind this product, dating back for years, very prominent and highly respected research that these short duration sprints will prompt a superior fitness response to lower intensity workouts lasting many times longer. And this is because the way the genetics of the body work is that you have to explore your maximum energy output in order to prompt a fitness response.

Brad (01:29:38):
Dr. Doug, McGuff talked about this on his show that we have to completely exhaust the muscle in order to signal, more growth and more strength to come back and the same for the cardiovascular system. If you can sprint, you become more competent at performing at all lower levels of energy expenditure. So if you sprint just once in a while, and you do these eight minute workouts on the Carol bike, and let’s say you enjoy going out there on the weekend and riding your bike for 20 miles, your performance is going to improve significantly just by getting good at doing these very short sprints. They also have a few other workout options. They’re all very short in duration, unlike the other popular indoor cycling programming. One of the toughest ones, it’s a 10 minute session where you sprint for eight seconds, recover for 12 seconds. Sprint for eight seconds, recover for 12 seconds.

Brad (01:30:31):
So a little bit off the template that I described because the recovery is so short, but again, the entire workout only lasts for 10 minutes. And by the end, man, you feel like you’ve done yourself a great session with a great prompting for fitness improvement, just by punching it over and over and over, and keeping the energy output high. But again, the key factor here is an optimal stimulation of the fight or flight response with a very short duration session. Okay, so we have the gym session featuring the big five, the home strength training session with all the options. Again, I’m not asking you to go blow the bank, but look, a hex bar is160, 180 bucks online. A pullup bar is 25. I just bought a second one, cuz I’m gonna install a low bar to do my Nordic squats, a bar, you know, six inches off the, off the ground in the doorframe don’t trip over it, please.

Brad (01:31:29):
The stretch cords are 45 bucks, I think. And of course the X three bar is a major commitment here. And it’s pretty sophisticated device with all the straps that you need. And I think the X three is going for 500 bucks or so, uh, but definitely a great investment when you compare it to you know, buying the giant cage in your garage. The Carol bike, obviously another significant investment for a high tech computerized machine, couple thousand bucks. Again, those were all in the optional category and if you’re on a really tight budget, I’d go get a pair of stretch cords. I’d get some mini bands for a few bucks and POOF! You are well on your way to having a fantastic home fitness environment. Let’s throw in the pull up bar and then were looking really good.

Brad (01:32:19):
Okay. So I mentioned the, the gym, the home strength training session, the Carol bike workout, and then my jogging 2.0 session. And you can find my YouTube video of the same name and this describes how I’ve replaced my lifelong morning habit of going out and jogging slowly with the dog with a more varied workout with more fitness challenges. So I’ll still go out there and do some jogging with the dog, but I will intersperse the steady state, slow jogging aerobic all the way. So very slow, comfortably paced jogging. I will intersperse that with assorted fitness challenges of balance agility, uh, running drills, even jumping in the lake for most of the season but not when it’s 32 degrees outside and 44 in the lake. This was a late November attempt. I made a couple years ago and jogging back. I definitely got cold and was in the shower for a long time.

Brad (01:33:18):
So I will go and jump up in the lake midway through my jogging session when the weather is decent. Okay. But still, you can warm up pretty well and get that therapeutic cold exposure, but not excessive cold exposure. And so this is just ways to increase creativity and make for a broader fitness experience rather than just plodding along for 30 minutes of steady state jogging. So when I launch into a technique drill like the kick outs, the B skips or the high skips, whatever I’m showing on the video, I will end it with a walking recovery so that the workout’s not too strenuous. So again, instead of jogging, jogging straight up with a heart rate of one 30 for 30, 45 minutes, I will instead jog for five or 10 minutes launch into a set of drills walk for however long it takes to recover, go back into a slow jog and then go into a sequence of deep lunges, lunge walks, continue those for two 20 or 30 seconds, walk again for recovery for however longer it takes. Jog a little bit, head over to a bench or some kind of elevated surface where I can do a, a set of jumps.

Brad (01:34:32):
Maybe I’ll do 10 of those walk to recover. And then I’m back at the car or back at home in 30 or 45 minutes. The workout hasn’t been too overly strenuous so they can fit into whatever day around the, the truly hard workouts. But I’ve developed an assortment of fitness skills rather than just beating my heart and plotting along straightforward. Much more fun and exciting to try to get good at all these different things like the lunges, the vertical jumping, things like that. The only other workout on my list I can think of is going out and playing speed golf. And that typically occurs in the evening. Speed golf is wonderfully nonsocial sport because you are playing so quickly that you can’t disturb other players on the course. So you have two choices. You go there at sunrise and be the first player off in front of everyone.

Brad (01:35:29):
Or you go right before dark, like 30 minutes before dark. And you can just start out on the first few holes where, there’s no more players left and get your nice speed golf workout in. So I’m getting back into that after being completely obsessed for a period of five years straight, where I was playing several days a week. You can play a lot of speed golf because it doesn’t take much time. Right? That’s, what’s so great about it. I’ll go out there right before dark get a thirty minute session in for nine holes and be home in time for dinner. And so what happened was I became obsessed with high jumping and sprinting and quit speed golf, cold turkey. Couldn’t believe it for a year and a half. That’s just how I roll. I can’t explain why. But I devoted all my fitness efforts to sprinting and high jumping and just, I put the sport on the sideline.

Brad (01:36:18):
I’d actually had sort of a culmination where I had some great performances. I really worked hard at the game. I tried to compete with the very best guys in the world. I’ve had a top 20 ranking for that five year stint. And I had a great tournament that I put on myself in November of 2019 in Sacramento. Some of the top guy eyes in the world came number one, two, and four ranked in the world. And I finished right behind these guys with a great score for me of 78 in 49 minutes. So that’s a total of 127 in speed golf scoring. I’m adding my strokes 78 to my minutes on the course 49. So I took a fourth place in this tournament. I funded the purse so I could attract all these great players to come from all over the country.

Brad (01:37:08):
And I gleefully paid myself a hundred bucks of fourth place money. And that was a, a great highlight moment in my speed golf career. But after that, I realized, you know, I’d worked so hard. It’s about as good as I could expect to play running around the course at breakneck speed with only five clubs and shooting, you know, in the seventies on a legitimate 6,000 yard championship course. And it was such a satisfying journey where I, you know, pretty much binged on the sport for several years, uh, that somehow I took a break and the break lasted a long time. As I, soon after that, became captivated by high jumping and sprinting. And that coincided with my participation in a track meet in Los Angeles, California, Santa Monica High School. Boy, was that exciting. My friend’s kids go there. And they told me about this all comers meet, where anyone could participate even old guys.

Brad (01:38:01):
And I went up to that high jump bar. I hadn’t jumped for a long time. Luckily cleared it at five feet, which was okay back in the old days, but I realized, you know, being five years older than when I used to do it for a little more intensely, it was pretty good to hang on without too much attrition. That turned out to be the number one rank jump in the 55 to 59 division for USA Masters athletes in 2020. So that was kind of exciting and got me interested in going out and participating in more Masters track meets. Of course, those have been put on hold for quite a long time, but I’ve been training so devotedly and so excited about building the comprehensive fitness attributes necessary to be good at high jumping. I mean, you have to be strong.

Brad (01:38:49):
You have to be explosive. You have to be resilient to jump up in the air, especially running at a curved angle, transferring all that energy from the horizontal plane to the vertical plane and then bending like a Gumby over the bar. So a lot of things I do in my morning routine are predicated on building high jump competency. And to me, I think it’s the most beautiful and graceful event and track and field because you see these guys getting up and jumping up to of the height of a roof in a typical home, eight feet is the world record for men and almost seven feet for women. These are amazing athletes. And I direct you to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 2020 Olympics in 2021. The men’s high jump where the two great athletes, Mutaz Essa Barshim from Qatar and Gianmarco Tamberi from Italy had a dead tie after the entire competition was over.

Brad (01:39:42):
They all cleared. They each cleared every bar on their first try and then each missed three times on the highest bar. And so they actually tied for the gold medal the first time in the history of the Olympics. And I think it was one of the great moments of sportsmanship and celebration that you’ll ever see in sports. One of the highlights of all time in the Olympic games, when these two guys came to the end and then celebrated like crazy. They happened to be good friends, both of ’em were coming back from serious career threatening injuries to come back all the way to the top to excel, like they never had before at the highest and greatest stage. And then to both be awarded gold medals. Super fantastic and inspiring if you’re not a high jump fan fan after watching their video, I think you’ll get interested.

Brad (01:40:28):
And so, uh, that has occupied all my time and energy, uh, with my fitness pursuits. But now, because I’ve been injured a couple times from overdoing it on the jumping, I have strategically and purposefully reintegrated speed golf into my athletic scene so that I could have a little diversion from going out and potentially doing too much high jumping and jumping and sprinting in general. So speed golf, as you might imagine, since you’re running the golf course, is basically an endurance competition, not withstanding my Single Hole Guinness world record, which is kind of an offshoot of the proper tournament sport of speed golf, where you’re playing the whole course. And so an entire course, if you run, it is somewhere around five miles, maybe up to six on a more windy course. But because of that endurance load, I invented a new sport called cart speed golf, where I actually order up a cart rather than just go out there and run and, um, I’ll drive to my shots and then sprint out of the cart, go over and hit the ball, sprint back to the cart and get more of a wind sprint workout rather than a challenging aerobic session.

Brad (01:41:41):
I can play a few more holes since I’m chasing the dark anyway. Okay. So that is a nice long commentary on mostly related to fitness and gee, I don’t know about you, but it’s probably time to get to work. So in part two of this show, we will talk about my workday habits, eating habits and,, leisure habits in the evening. Thank you so much for listening. I hope it’s been helpful. I look forward to interacting with you and getting your podcast@Brad ventures.com and stay tuned for part two, cuz geez, we’re still only in the morning hours.

Speaker 3 (01:42:25):
Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support please email podcast@bradventures.com with feedback, suggestions and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list to Brad kearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bi-monthly 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 podcast 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 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 sound bite 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.

 

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