Did you know that many exercise and health experts say that increasing all forms of everyday movement is actually far more important than adhering to a devoted fitness regimen?

In this episode, you’ll learn why as we continue discussing the latest emerging trends, revisions, and hot topics in health and ancestral living. You’ll learn effective strategies for recovery, how to work around injuries to stimulate the area in a manner that doesn’t cause additional pain, and how to take a kinder and gentler approach to high-intensity training. You’ll also hear the reason why you should never workout to the point of soreness and the importance of de-emphasizing steady-state cardio. I also share the most important things I have learned from my personal experience with injury recovery over the years (as well as certain setbacks!) that have had the most profound effect on the way I approach training and recovery: you’ll learn all the tips and tricks I learned from suffering from (and finally eradicating!) plantar fasciitis after 15 years (click here to watch my YouTube video explaining how I did this in just 3 short weeks!), why my 6-month “knee” was a total joke and the people who helped and/or hindered my recovery process, and much more!


What makes it impossible to gain excess body fat [1:59].

How to take a kinder, gentler approach to high-intensity training [5:52].

How to know when you have pushed your body too far in training [10:25].

The best ways to break up long periods of stillness [15:05].

What more than 20 minutes of sitting does to your body, why it makes you crave carbs, and how it affects fat metabolism [20:30].

How to design formal high-intensity workouts so they are not too depleting [26:35].

Incorporating time for recovery into your reps and the concept of “walking it off” [31:05].

How to expand your definition of what it means to be “fit” and the danger of being narrowly focused on steady-state cardio [38:22].

My personal experience with injuries and effective recovery strategies [40:58].



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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (00:00):
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Speaker 2 (00:40):
A lot of, uh, exercise experts are contending that increasing all forms of regular everyday movement is more important to your health and longevity than adhering to a devoted fitness regimen. We could stand with a little bit of contention to people who think that they have a badge of honor and a badge of protection against disease and decline because they are chalking up the 30, 40 miles a week, uh, weekend week out. Um, that’s a small sliver of what it means to be a complete fit human when you’re trying to work around injuries. That means, uh, doing things that, uh, stem the area in a manner that does not cause additional pain

Brad (01:28):
Welcome listeners. Let’s continue to talk about emerging trends, revisions, hot topics in health, fitness, and ancestral living on part one. I covered a few important categories. Hope you listen to that show or we’ll go back and listen to it. Uh, but let’s just, uh, recap really quickly. Uh, I talked about, um, some evolving thought and strategy on the topic of diet. It seems like we are finally, uh, heading away from the obsess, the hair splitting scrutiny, the intense debate, and the, uh, shouting down of anyone who wasn’t, uh, exactly on point with, uh, whatever the latest greatest trend was. And instead, we’re looking at that big picture of eliminating processed food from the diet. I loved my interview with Dr. Robert leig, uh, perhaps the world’s leading anti sugar Crusader and his new book called metabolical where he contended that if you just get rid of processed foods, you’re gonna be doing so well, you’re gonna go great strides toward a lifelong health, and it’s gonna be impossible to add excess body fat.

Brad (02:40):
If you eat a diet consisting of wholesome foods, uh, the, uh, trend or topic we discussed in part one of the show was, uh, the topic of, uh, losing excess body fat and how we’re kind of coming full circle to the realization that, uh, it sorta is all about how many calories you consume and the tricks and tips and ways that we try to, uh, get around, uh, the laws of nature and, uh, biology, uh, are now getting exposed as really, um, off the mark. And so if you find a way to enjoy a nutritious diet and eat fewer calories than, uh, was necessary to add excess body fat, you’re gonna be doing pretty well. Um, we also talked about, um, the, uh, concerns of going into the extreme with practices such as fasting carbohydrate restriction and protein restriction, especially in the healthy, active fit population.

Brad (03:43):
You can do, uh, so many cool health practices that they add up to, uh, too many stress factors in your life and be counterproductive to the intended benefit of, for example, uh, doing an extended fast. And I use myself was the example where I referenced many times in recent years when I was experimenting with keto and fasting and trying to go out there and perform some really impressive high intensity workout, sprinting and high jumping, uh, in here being in the advanced age groups. And if you’re counting at home, uh, we’re talking about, uh, the difficult challenging workouts being in the older age groups. That’s the second stress factor, uh, fasting and restricting carbohydrates. That’s 1, 2, 3, 4, and that might be too much to pile on whereby if I was, uh, wanting to be more optimized, I would, first of all, uh, scale back the, uh, extreme degree of di difficulty at my workout so that they would be a little more under the radar and allow me to progress.

Brad (04:44):
And we’re gonna talk about that in, uh, this version of the show. Uh, so I would be, uh, backing off a little bit on the, uh, difficulty of the workouts, uh, respectful of my age and respectful of the best way to improve as an athlete. And then also, uh, instead of pairing an intense workout with a long fasting period or carb restriction, I could go home and prepare a super nutrition smoothie with everything I need to recover and not worry about, uh, the, the timing and banking more fast hours when I’ve just depleted a lot of energy at the workout. So that was number three, diet obsessions, number one, fat loss CA topic, number two, backing off from the extreme practices. Number three, and then the topic of digital minimalism, uh, regaining our ability to focus on peak cognitive tasks, making sure that we carve out downtime every day and time for self reflection.

Brad (05:36):
These are all, uh, lost arts in this hectic high stress modern life. And that bring us to part two and a great favorite topic that I have to discuss. And that is a kinder, gentler approach to high intensity training, as well as aerobic or endurance training. And I’ve talked about this on so many shows. I had a great interview with Dr. Craig marker, where he detailed his wonderful concept of high intensity repeat training and the way that it contrasts with the popular terminology of high intensity interval training and those hit workouts. H I T that can easily overly stressful, exhausting, and depleting and counterproductive, especially to your fat reduction goals. So this overall kinder, gentler approach to high intensity training suggests that we’ve leave a little bit in the tank when we push our bodies. And we talk about pushing hard and going to complete muscular failure, but I’m talking about more of a bigger where you don’t get into, uh, exercises or protocols that are above your current, uh, ability level.

Brad (06:45):
And so if you’re a novice or an unfit person, and you hear a podcast from Brad Kerns about how sprinting is so great, well guess what, um, one expert contends that learning how to March correctly is the first stage of building competency as a sprinter, because the act of marching where you’re forming those 90 degree angles and, and, and, uh, shoving the arm forward at the same time that you’re, uh, driving the opposite leg high is the exact form that you execute when you’re sprinting down the track in the Olympics. So if you just were to March down the street, as your phase, one of becoming one day, a competent sprinter, that would be a great workout for many people, same with ascending stairs at a higher rate of speed than normal, and going up three or four or five flights and, uh, making those your efforts rather than going out.

Brad (07:37):
And I see four people, uh, at the gym where their, their faces are turning red and they’re, they appear to be exhausted. And they’re just, um, trying, because they’ve been told and they’re well-meaning, they have good fitness goals and ambitions, and they’re trying to push themselves really hard. Uh, but they’re not really at that fitness level where it’s gonna have the desired effects. So we wanna focus on this high intensity repeat training concept, and that’s where you deliver a consistent quality of effort with each, uh, explosive sprint or whatever you’re doing could be ketlebell swings could be jumping, uh, but you preserve that consistent quality of effort throughout the workout. To the extent that if you notice your degrading even slightly, or your performance degrading even slightly, it’s time to pack it in and call it a workout. So I often reference my favorite template, sprint workout for most everybody, which would be four to eight times 80 meters on flat ground.

Brad (08:38):
Uh, those should take between in 20 seconds for most people. And if you get somewhere in that sequence where you’re doing number four, number five, number six, and then on number six, you feel some low back tightness. You feel your hamstrings give a little bit, your stride shortens, and you’re a little more winded than you were on the first five that marks the end of your workout. So you do not wanna have this mentality. That’s so prevalent and been programmed into so many people’s brains that the workouts should be a suffer Fest. And we take inspiration from the elite athletes of the world and go look, get some amazing YouTube videos of guys winning the Olympic gold medal or gals. They cross the finish line, they raise their arms and they’re catching their breath for about eight seconds. And then they, uh, jump up and start high fiving and grabbing the flag and taking a victory lap.

Brad (09:30):
And I’m myself astonished, cuz when I’m out there pushing myself and doing a 400 meter time to trial, it takes me a couple minutes with my hands on my knees, uh, sometimes moaning and groaning and making really loud breathing noises to recalibrate and uh, see straight and continue to jog down the track to complete my workout or whatever. And so the, the, the top athletes, even at their very highest level of peak performance are so welled that they can recover in a sense, uh, in seconds from the most extreme efforts, uh, that required to win the Olympic gold. So if you are someone who has been pushing yourself in the gym, going to that CrossFit workout, going to that bootcamp class and coming home and collapsing on the couch, uh, for an hour before you can get up and do anything or feeling later that evening, uh, eight hours, 10 hours later, that you can’t lift a finger, uh, to, to reach the remote control you, my friend have overdone it, and that is not what the fitness experience should be all about.

Brad (10:30):
Uh, in this category probably, uh, first and foremost is the emerging concept of micro work. And it’s so awesome to see this become a popular fitness trend, especially since I believe I’m one of the people who’s promoting it more than anyone. So I’m gonna take credit to say, Hey, micro workouts are super awesome. They’re emerging as a fitness centerpiece, they’re making the experience of fitness, more accessible to everyone, to many more people that are, uh, kind of on the sidelines intimidated about joining the gym, heading over there, amidst all the fit people and jumping into these extreme, challenging hour long workouts. Instead, you too can purchase a kettle bell or purchase a pair of stretch cords or install a pullup bar in your doorframe and do all kinds of fun stuff where the effort might only take 20 seconds or 30 seconds or a minute.

Brad (11:21):
And it can be a fantastic fitness stimulus, especially when these micro workouts are accumulated over time. Uh, another simple example is dropping for a set of 20 deep squats where you’re at your standup desk. And you wanna take a quick break from your cognitive tasks if there are stairs in your world and your environment, uh, hustle up a flight of stairs or two or three, and then return to your work desk renewed and refreshed, but not fatigued due to, uh, the tendency to overdo it in a traditional workout. And so many people are talking about this. I gave Craig marker plug Dr. Phil Maton, uh, past guest on the podcast has this concept called slow weight, where he describes, you know, leaving a kettlebell or a hex bar around the house and, uh, heading over to do one set with really slow pace. And maybe he’s doing six reps putting it down and going about his day, um, on a recent, uh, Q and a breather show.

Brad (12:20):
Uh, we had a great, uh, comment come in from a listener saying, Hey, uh, be sure to mention how important it is to be properly adapted, to be able to perform a micro workout, uh, from scratch. So if you’ve been sitting on your butt for four hours, oh no standup desk, sorry, just a comfortable chair and typing away. And you’re not that fit to begin with. And then Brad Kern said, you can hang on the pull up bar and, and bang out a set of pull ups during the middle of your busy day, that could be too extreme. And you might need to be, um, re your idea of what a micro workout is. If you are not capable of going from zero to 60, like a lion, like the famous quote from Dr. Art Devaney, um, who said, uh, a lion doesn’t need to stretch before chasing after its prey?

Brad (13:06):
Well, good for the lion. Uh, but for humans, who’ve been, uh, stuck in these sedentary patterns for years and decades. Um, the example of rushing up a flight of stairs, which is my rule throughout the day. Anytime I have to ascend a staircase, I sprint it. Hey, good for me, but guess what if you’re, uh, not that highly, uh, competent, you’re going to ascend a flight of stairs, perhaps at normal speed descend, go up a little bit faster and then maybe do three or four. Ascensions where the, the fourth one could be characterized as a sprint. And the other ones were sort of a, uh, warm up sequence. Uh, same with the example of the pull bar. Let’s say you’re pretty fit. You installed the pull bar. Maybe your first act is to go and hang on it for 15, 20 seconds and do a couple sets of those and then try to progress, uh, perform a few reps as your micro workout.

Brad (13:58):
Oh, I also talk about how my hexagonal deadlift bar is situated in the side yard on the way to the garbage barrel. So when it’s time to throw the garbage out from the kitchen out to the garbage barrel, guess what I have to pass by that’s right. The hex bar loaded with, uh, let’s see, uh, hundred and 85 pounds, which, uh, to any listener who’s a gym goer. Uh, that’s a very modest amount of weight that I can easily, uh, step aside, put the, put the garbage in the barrel and then go do a set or two. Now, if you’re not, uh, competent with, uh, lifting heavy weights, maybe you’re gonna have a hex bar that’s loaded with, uh, six, five pounds or, uh, a bar bill that’s empty. And you’re just going to grab and perform a few reps. And over time work up to be able to walk by a, a bar loaded with weight and be able to do a set.

Brad (14:48):
So whatever a micro workout looks like for you, uh, go with it and make it a fitness centerpiece. So just to review my entire show on microworks, uh, all the benefits, uh, the first one is that it breaks up these prolonged periods of stillness, which are so unhealthy and makes it great contribution to that all daily movement objectives. So a lot of health, uh, exercise experts are contending that increasing all forms of regular everyday movement is more important to your health and longevity than adhering to a devoted fitness regimen. This is known as the active couch potato syndrome, where fit subjects were studied. People who adhered to a very impressive fitness, uh, program. Let’s say they ran 30 miles a week. If they were endurance runners, or they were, uh, known to go to the gym several days a week and put in an hour workout, but had otherwise extremely sedentary patterns, uh, were subject to the same disease, risk factors as sedentary folks.

Brad (15:50):
And if you think about it, it makes sense, even though it’s a shocking headline, um, you can look at, um, uh, a time magazine, famous time magazine cover from years ago called the myth of exercise. Uh, but when we’re talking about, uh, a week with 168 hours, that’s how many hours are in a week. And you have someone who works out for four or five hours. That’s such a tiny liver of the overall experience that you can compare that to someone who’s busy and active throughout the day, maybe with an active job, uh, maybe someone who likes to garden or lives in a, uh, a different setting than the typical, uh, westerner urban or suburban setting where the car, the centerpiece. So maybe they’re walking to and from, uh, wherever they need to go. And you add that all up. And it contributes to many, many, uh, point plus points in the health category versus banging out a workout in the morning, and then riding the subway, sitting in an office and sitting on the couch for your evening entertainment.

Brad (16:49):
So micro workouts break up prolong periods of stillness, contribute to that all important daily movement objective. Uh, the second benefit of microworks is they have an excellent fitness stimulation, especially when you add ’em up, but they come without the risk of fatigue and burnout from prolonged, overly stressful workouts, which are so easy to fall into that pattern, especially when you buy into the mainstream, this programming, like joining a CrossFit box or showing up to the gym for those hour long bootcamp or step or spin workouts that can easily be too stressful for many of the subjects. And so you get number three, this cumulative training effect, let’s add up over years time. Uh, the, the, my P he for doing one set of dead lifts with 185 pounds on the bar, uh, six reps, right? That’s not, that’s, uh, 800 something pounds total lifted when I threw out the garbage.

Brad (17:46):
And if I do that, uh, several days a week, times 52 weeks in a year, oh my goodness, I’m lifting tens of thousands of additional pounds contributing to that training effect versus a, a zero, if you don’t do any such thing. Um, so all this, uh, a cumulative fitness occurs outside of formal workouts. That means that I elevate the fitness platform from which all formal workouts are launched. That’s number four, elevating your fitness platform. This is in stark contrast to being an inactive human or an active couch potato, where you’re coming from, uh, you know, a sorry, uh, modern life, where you’re not even asked to lift anything heavier than a brief case, and then stepping into the gym, uh, for an hour a day and expecting to be a badass. So we want to kind of, uh, mix in more opportunities for basic activity, such that you become a better athlete at your formal workouts, uh, Havel SU Celine, uh, fitness expert, and known for, uh, popularizing the ke bell in the west.

Brad (18:50):
He calls this greasing, the groove such that your formal workouts are less stressful and better absorbed and assimilated. Got it. Okay. Number five, micro workouts, improve fat metabolism and cognitive function, and also help regulate appetite. What happens when you give a, a short burst of intense fitness stimulation to your body, as you get an immediate boost in energy. And that means that you’re going to sort of depart from this slippery slope downhill that happens when you engage in prolonged periods of stillness, because after about as little as 20 minutes, you will experience a noticeable, uh, decrease in glucose tolerance. When you’re sitting still, the human is simply not designed to sit still and research with our hunter gatherer, uh, lifestyles that we can still study like the ho zone. Tanzania heard a lot of research from there. I had Dr. Herman PON on the show a couple times.

Brad (19:50):
Uh, one of the, the leading researchers of the ha and these folks are on the move, uh, in some way, shape or form, uh, throughout the day, much more so than a westerner. And even when they’re resting, they’re in a squat position. So they’re engaging in these, uh, ancestral or archetypal resting positions and still getting, um, some muscular stimulation, some weight support. And so, uh, a huge difference from being a slug, uh, locked to a chair for hours a day. And so what happens when you’re still for as little as 20 minutes, and you have that decrease in glucose tolerance is you’re going to start to feel tired and eventually hungry. So when you sit, it contributes to cravings, especially for quick energy carbohydrates, and it also hampers fat metabolism. So it’s a great way to, uh, have less energy and add excess body fat over the course of your life.

Brad (20:47):
That can be easily corrected by just bursting up and going up one flight of stairs quickly, or doing a set of deep squats, and then returning to your, uh, engagements where you’re compelled to, uh, be at a desk, working for hours and hours. And so we’re not gonna try to change modern life and say, Hey, everyone who works with a screen should quit their job and dig ditches. Instead, that’s not what I’m talking about here, but I’m talking about breaking up these prolonged periods of stillness with a micro workout. Uh, you can break ’em up with anything, right? You can go outside and, and look at the birds with your binoculars and get a, a cognitive refreshment. Uh, but the best results will come from, uh, a brief burst of intense physical activity. Uh, you can also do light physical activity like strolling around, uh, the office courtyard, but when you hit it hard with something, boy, that’s when you really get the magic of that, uh, invigorated invigoration really quickly.

Brad (21:38):
All right, then number six. So number five was improving fat metabolism and cognitive function. Number six, microworks take little time and recall require very little motivation to conduct, making them appealing to even those with pack schedules and or shaky fitness commitments. And I can’t speak highly enough of this one, because I know how difficult it can be to motivate yourself to adhere to a devoted fitness regimen day after day after day. Uh, I’m so happy and enthusiastic to talk about my morning routine, which has been locked into habit, and I have no problem doing it. Uh, but really, um, it’s, it’s no picnic to get up every single day and launch into a pretty difficult 40 minute exercise regimen. Hey, this stuff is my life. It’s been my life for decades. And so it’s something that I wanna be really sensitive to where the next person just might have trouble even, uh, doing the prescribed 10 minute workout or 20 minute workout or 30 minute workout.

Brad (22:42):
Uh, there’s a lot of Peloton bikes sitting in the corner where all you have to do is turn it on and go hammer the pedals for an and your life will change, but it’s not that easy in real life. Um, there’s busyness, there’s hectic schedules, there’s, um, uh, hyper connectivity, all these things that are throwing us off track and are best intended plans to be, uh, active fit, healthy humans. But if you compress it down and you make the ask so minimal that it really doesn’t require, uh, any willpower or any devotion boy, oh boy, then you can kind of break through and realize that these things are fun. Uh, they give you a burst of energy and that’s where the magic can come. And so if that’s 30 seconds, because a set of deep squats until you, you start feeling the burn might only take 30 seconds.

Brad (23:32):
Oh my gosh, please prioritize that and say, of course, no, your head right now, of course I can do a 32nd workout. Brad. That’s nothing, that’s all you’re asking for. And then you’ll find yourself doing it a couple, few times a day. Um, how about my rule of, uh, going upstairs quickly instead of normally, so maybe, uh, set a goal for the next 30 days. Every time you see a staircase, you are gonna bust it out rather than just ascend normally. And see if you can integrate a rule like that, a commitment like that into your lifestyle in the most baby step, the most Babys that manner possible. Okay. So that’s a great, uh, number six benefit of microworks and number seven is they’re appealing for novices because they can happen anywhere. Anytime they require minimal energy, they require minimal equipment or no equipment in the example of a deep squat or, uh, climbing a staircase, the pull up bar, what is $25 on on.

Brad (24:25):
So that’s not a huge barrier for someone to invest in and have some contraptions available to try some microworks. Um, and this is another important factor because when you’re trying to welcome more people to the fitness lifestyle, you have to be respectful of these intimidation factors. And I know the health clubs have done a great job trying to welcome, uh, all styles of people and all interest levels and all ability levels, but even still, I mean, I walk into the, the, the free weight area and I’m intimidated because I’m not as competent as the guys who are, uh, out there huffing and puffing and know their way around, uh, better than I. And so boy, you know what, if you’re at a fitness facility and you see someone who’s, uh, walking in, uh, smile at, ’em not at, ’em tell ’em hi. If you see someone working hard, tell ’em a great job.

Brad (25:16):
I try to do that once in a while, when I’m in the, the bigger clubs with a lot of people around, and the person is usually surprised, like if you look around, most people are of course working hard and they have intense face is on and they’re concentrating, but there’s also not a lot of camaraderie in many cases, unless it’s a formal class. And so just walking on the gym floor and seeing someone complete a good set, you give ’em a thumbs up. Wow. That looks good. What kind of workout is that? It really goes a long way to, um, having everyone feel like it’s a community experience and enjoy the entire or thing. Uh, but for the true novice who is, is actually intimidated about setting foot inside the, uh, the fitness club, uh, putting the home environment into the mix. Boy, that can be, that can be wonderful.

Brad (26:00):
Okay. So, um, we’re still on, uh, uh, category number one of a kinder to approach to high intensity training and micro workouts coming to the forefront as a great way to do that. And then when we talk about our formal high intensity workouts, we wanna design those correctly so that they are kinder and gentler too. And I mentioned hit versus hurt at the outset of the discussion here, and the difference between, uh, an exhausting depleting workout and a workout where you are delivering a consistent quality of effort throughout every explosive rep. Um, go look at the video of Wade van Niki, winning the Olympic games 2016 and the 400 meters, uh, running that 43.03 for one lap around the track, or you’re sane bolt setting the world record in the 200 meters in Beijing. And he crosses the finish line and barely stops. He, he doesn’t even take a, uh, before he is into his victory lap, uh, going at a pretty high speed around the other curve and waving at the crowd.

Brad (27:09):
And so, um, just kind of keeping that in the back of your mind, that even the very best athletes in the world are not collapsing at the side of the track and puking, like you see in the dramatized movie, they’re always under control. And so try to keep that idea when you’re in the, uh, the spinning class and the instructor’s shouting, and everyone’s going for their, uh, their last sequence of sprints, just keep a little bit in the tank so that you’re not, uh, splayed out, uh, collapsing onto the bicycle or onto the step or whatever, uh, workout you’re doing, uh, because that will help you live to see another day. And who am I talking to mostly right now, I’m talking to myself, cuz guess what? I go out to the track, I get into my high jump practice and I’m so, uh, uh, enthusiastic and enjoying the experience and wanting to, uh, optimize my technique that I very frequently overdo it to take too many jumps and then pay the price the next day with a sore knee or sore glute muscle requiring more recovery time, or just too much fatigue for, uh, the energy output that was, you know, beyond what, uh, what would be sensible.

Brad (28:18):
And so even with the elite high jumpers, I know this information that they know that a dozen jumps is makes for, or, uh, a maximum ability to try in a single workout because the effort is so explosive and I’m taking more jumps than the elite jumper. And there’s something ridiculous there where, uh, I need to, uh, recalibrate and, you know, set a good example that I’m can live to see another day and feel good when I leave rather than, uh, dragging my body away from the track because I work so hard. Okay. Now, uh, that’s a lot of caution. That’s a lot of restraint. That’s a lot of slamming on the brakes. So I will put a plug in here once in a while to push yourself really, really hard with a breakthrough effort. A lot of times this could mean a formal competition. So if you and your buddies, uh, decided on a, win him to enter the adventure race or the mud run, or the obstacle course challenge, Hey, guess what, when that day comes, you might be pushing yourself to the limits of your ability, uh, when you have to climb under the, the Barb wire cage or jump over the wall, and you’re gonna feel like, um, you’re gonna feel like, uh, you went through heck, uh, the next morning when you wake up and that’s okay once in a while.

Brad (29:28):
So that’s kind of the competitive experience. It’s gonna stimulate a fitness breakthrough, but few and far between you don’t need to adhere to a consistent pattern of extremely high stress workouts. And that pretty much covers it for, uh, the category number one of the kinder, gentler approach to high intensity training. The next category I’d like to talk about here is de-emphasizing steady state cardiovascular exercise as a fitness centerpiece of talked about my YouTube video jogging 2.0, you can go look at that, uh, fun experience where I film myself doing the revised version of something. That’s been a daily habit for decades, where I get up in the morning, I leash up the dog and we head out for what always has been a steady state cardiovascular workout, uh, jogging down the trail, or what have you. So, uh, um, you know, a sensible athlete training at my maximum aerobic function, pace or below.

Brad (30:33):
So it’s never a overly stressful experience. That’s at that 180 minus age or below heart rate. So I’m plotting along in a straight line. And then I had this, uh, awakening of a lifetime back in 2020 where I said, what am I doing out here? There’s so many other things I have interest in, in the fitness realm that I can integrate into this workout to make it less boring, more effective, and still minimally stressful and more fun. And so I started to, uh, integrate things like running technique drills that I do for sprint workouts, uh, the balance and jumping and agility drills that I do in the course of my, uh, practice for high jump. And as a consequence of doing these things that are, uh, can be quite challenging, even though they’re very short in duration. Like if I do a set of high knees or a set of skipping drills, uh, might take me 10 or 15 or 20 seconds.

Brad (31:24):
And then I walk to recover same with, if I see a tree Stu, uh, that I want to jump up onto that’s two, three feet off the ground, and I’ll do a set of 10 reps jumping up onto the tree stump or onto the, uh, cement picnic bench at the park. And then as a consequence, I will walk it off for however law long it takes to recover and then resume that slow, steady state jog that used to be all that I did. So when I get home from whatever it is, a 40 minute experience, I will have completed, uh, some balance, some technique drills, some jumping drills, some explosive stuff that was under the radar, not super challenging, uh, but again, the cumulative effect of having a more varied workout rather than just plugging into a steady state cardio, uh, is phenomenal. And especially I would argue that it’s more fun, more interesting, and develops more diverse fitness skills.

Brad (32:17):
Oh, what about your, um, absolute necessity of doing steady state cardiovascular exercise is to check that box, uh, in the realm of being a fit human well, uh, here’s the thing, and here’s the emerging research and commentary that really, uh, I’ve embraced and ma makes a lot of sense. Um, you can find a quick burst of this from Dr. Doug McGuff YouTube video. I think it’s only three minutes long and it’s called, uh, cardio doesn’t exist. And there’s another video. That’s an hour long presentation. I forget the gentleman’s name from the UK and it’s called cardio is a myth or something like that. We’ll find those videos in the show notes. Uh, but the takeaway point is that a cardiovascular training effect occurs at all workouts, even a very high intensity strength training session with heavy weights. And so if you think about this for a moment, organs and systems of the human body are entirely integrated.

Brad (33:22):
So the cardiovascular system is, uh, chartered with performing work, no matter what you do, even if it’s brief, explosive high intensity, uh, work with the muscles. And it’s the magic of steady state is only because it applies to very popular competitive goals, like someone who wants to run a marathon or ride their bicycle for 50 miles or a hundred miles, of course, you have to practice and simulate those activities and training in order to succeed on the day of the competitive event. Uh, but there’s no magic to steady state. And in fact, it can be counterproductive and increase disease risk factor. If you do it to the extreme, which I’ve talked about so much on other shows this whole phenomenon of extreme endurance exercise, uh, there’s actually a name for it. Now, the extreme endurance exercise hypothesis, where, uh, we are seeing an alarming increase in incidences of heart problems in highly trained long-term endurance athletes and tragically.

Brad (34:22):
Uh, many of my peers who competed as professional triathletes in decades past have come up with, uh, very serious heart problems, including the, uh, occasional, uh, story that you might have heard of, uh, super fit supremely fit, world class athletes, uh, dropping dead in the act of running Ryan Shay, uh, us Olympic marathon hopeful drop dead, uh, during the us Olympic trials marathon, uh, my friend Steve Larson, one of the old time triathletes, one of the greatest and most versatile endurance athletes in the history of United States, uh, dropped dead at the age of 39 while doing a track workout in bend Oregon. And this, uh, condition of atrial fibrillation caused by the overstressing repeat overstressing, inflaming, and scarring of the heart muscle from this, uh, extreme devotion to steady state cardiovascular exercise. So it’s not just these elite athletes that are coming down, uh, but a lot of recreational athletes who have pushed themselves pretty high, hard, and enjoy competing in these challenging events like the iron man or the ultra trail runs, uh, the marathon runs all that.

Brad (35:29):
Stuff’s great, but it can be easily, uh, easily become too stressful. So if you think about a more varied workout where you’re in the gym and you’re taking rest periods, and then you’re stepping up to the bar and you’re doing a set that only lasts for a minute, well, your heart rate is going to, uh, be a little more varied. It might spike up to, uh, over and above the aerobic limit when you’re in the middle of the set, or if I’m doing a sprint workout, there’s a lot of downtime. There’s a lot of walking recovery. And then there’s brief bursts of extreme action where I’m sprinting for 10 seconds. And then I, uh, get on my bike and, and ride home. And so let’s say I’ve been gone an hour. Um, I was, uh, sitting or not moving for 12 minutes. I was moving very slowly for another 12 minutes.

Brad (36:15):
I was sprinting or doing things that were, are very strenuous for a cumulative total of six or eight or 10 minutes. And you’re adding up this big pie chart, guess what? That all adds up to a fantastic cardiovascular training effect. So now we put the spotlight on, well, what is the point of doing these steady state cardio vascular workouts? And I’m gonna say there’s a lot of points. And one of them is that, uh, people have tremendous enjoyment and the meditative effect of going out there and doing a steady state jog and, uh, letting your, your problems and your, your hectic hyper connected modern life, uh, go on hold for a moment as you jog in nature, that’s a fantastic reason to do it. Um, it’s also the appropriate way to condition your body for competitive experience of a similar manner, as I said. Uh, but outside of that, and I’m talking to a lot of people who I see in the gym who are going in there and climbing the StairMaster for 45 minutes, watching TV thinking, that’s checking an extremely important boss in the objective of becoming a fit person.

Brad (37:21):
Uh, we can rethink that and I will, uh, argue that perhaps trading that steady state experience for, for example, uh, going in there, climbing on the stairs for 10 minutes, getting off and doing a set of pushups, getting back on the stairs at a, a lower speed for five minutes, getting off, doing some upper body work, uh, pulling some stretch cords, uh, doing some jumping or some hopping or something challenging, uh, swinging some Ketle bells, getting back on the stairs, going, uh, easier than you usually do. So it’s down from level eight to level four, and then taking it back up to, uh, level 10 for a minute or two. And then back down to level three, that’s gonna come out to be a superior, uh, training program and a superior individual workout from just going and plugging away and putting in those miles. And so this is where, uh, we could stand with a little bit of contention to people who think that they have a badge of honor and a badge of protection against disease and decline because they are chalking up the 30, 40 miles a week, uh, week in, week out.

Brad (38:29):
Um, that’s a small sliver of what it means to be a complete fit human. And I was definitely in that category in the years after I retired from competing on the professional triathlon circuit. So what I did was I went on with my life. I had to get a job, started raising a family, um, didn’t have all day to train anymore. So I kind of marked my fitness capability by, uh, being able to hang on to, uh, be able to run for an hour at a decent pace or ride my bike two and a half hours on the weekend. And so of course I was still fit if I could do that. But if I looked closely, um, I was pretty pathetic because my, my fitness capabilities were so narrow. They were even narrow when I was, uh, a pro-athlete and, and racing in the sport of swimming, biking, and running.

Brad (39:17):
I was really good at that. And I could go really fast to swim a mile bike 25 and run six, but those are all three straightforward activities where I’m moving in a straight line and my heart speeding, uh, really strongly, and my muscles are pumping, but that doesn’t mean I’m any good at lifting the sandbags when there’s a rainstorm or E even doing more than one set of pull ups without getting tired or sore the next day. And so I had to expand my concept of what it meant to be fit when I started going in and, uh, coaching the little kids at soccer, basketball, and track, and trying to dominate them for a decade straight, uh, as my son and daughter went from, you know, age five to age 15 and the, the golden years of being able to coach youth sports. But boy, you head out there with just, uh, endurance experience under your belt and a routine youth soccer practice is gonna wear you out.

Brad (40:07):
And I would often encourage the parents to participate in practice, and you could see they were cooked after, you know, 12 minutes of action and it made for less yelling on the weekend. So there’s a coaching tip for, uh, you guys who are involved with, um, overly enthusiastic parents, get ’em out there at practice and notice how hard it is, um, to, you know, stop and start and sprint after the ball for more than a couple minutes. Anyway. Um, so those who are narrowly focused on steady state cardio I’m urging, you span your perspective about what it means to be fit and realize that you will get a fantastic cardiovascular training effect from doing all kinds of things, including stop and start sports and other activities. Okay. The last category of emerging trends, revisions progressions, and thinking I wanna mention is our approach to a injuries and the idea of working around them and continuing to be active and aggressively trying to heal and correct the cause of athletic related injuries, rather than getting a ticket to the sideline and waiting it out patiently.

Brad (41:16):
And, oh my gosh, if I’d known, uh, or had these emerging trends, uh, back in decades past things would’ve been so wonderfully different. Uh, my biggest example of a complete joke was my, uh, suffering with plantar fasciitis for over 15 years on and off. And it went from moderate to extremely severe, the worst, uh, the worst time being where I could not put any weight on the foot when I woke up in the morning. And so I would actually hop out to my backyard on one leg hop, hop, hop, maybe crash land into the wall, and then get my foot into, uh, the jacuzzi, uh, push the jets and run the jets on the foot and go through range of motion exercises to where I could finally put weight on the foot. And then I’d lace it up a pair of running shoes and I’d go run six miles or 12 miles.

Brad (42:03):
But that was my existence every day, uh, when it was at its worst. And so this nagging condition of plantar fasciitis, um, my main strategy, uh, was to, or to go get orthotics or to get, uh, fancy shoes that were, you know, touted as possibly relieving it or doing a special taping job. And it was just ongoing, unnecessary pain and suffering. When you realize, especially with plantar fasciitis in particular, that total rest can actually make it worse because what’s happening when you, uh, do complete rest is you are atrophying the muscles and you making things more tight than when you are, uh, challenging, uh, the muscles and connective tissue every day with exercise. So you have atrophy, you have reduced blood flow, and then you try to lace up your shoes after a six week break and things are worth than ever. And so, as you can see on my YouTube video, if you search Brad Kerns planter fasciitis, I show you these stretches that I performed with great devotion and pretty much cured the thing this 15 year condition in a few weeks of devoted stretching exercises.

Brad (43:12):
And so when you have an injury, like, uh, same with, uh, weak hamstrings that keep coming up stiff or sore, or you, you, you mess it up when you’re playing team sports or whatever you’re doing. Um, you wanna stretch and strengthen and work really hard to make the muscle more resilient. Um, this is a place where you definitely can benefit from expert care to get the proper exercises for what to do. I was lucky in that, uh, the random offhanded comment from a podiatrist I met at a race expo, uh, was just the ticket for me. And all he did was urge me to engage in prolong stretching of the calf muscles so that I would take this stress off of my arch. Uh, but I’ve since learned that not only do you have to stretch E calf muscles, but you also wanna strengthen, uh, the calfs, the Achilles tendon, the entire, uh, kinetic chain down in the lower body to avoid and prevent injuries like planter fasciitis.

Brad (44:07):
So, um, same with the knee injury that I’ve mentioned on the show a few times where I was on the sideline for six months, I couldn’t sprint or jump my favorite activities. Uh, because every time I tried, I experienced a pain in my knee and it was just below the joint line. I knew it wasn’t, uh, a serious injury requiring surgery, but it was sore and inflamed. And, you know, I’d been limping the next day, even if I went and made an attempt, a brief attempt at sprinting, um, it got so bad that I finally realized look, six months, there’s gotta be something serious here. So I went into, uh, a top surgical center, uh, that takes care of all the, uh, us Olympic ski team members. Uh, I had an exam am. I was scheduled for an MRI. I was gonna get on the surgical calendar.

Brad (44:54):
They said they would go in there and quote, look around, maybe clean out a bit of, I guess there was some arthritic, uh, uh, signs on the x-ray. Okay, okay. Whatever, I’m just following along. And then I, uh, went to see my old friend, Dr. Rod Shorey wood Hills, physical therapy. He examined me for about five minutes and he said, there’s nothing wrong with your knee man. but your muscles are all screwed up and overly tight. So with his help and also PT revolution and lake Tahoe, giving me these corrective exercises, strengthening, stretching, rehab, pre rehabing. In a very short time, I went from a guy who was on the schedule for knee surgery to completely pain free. Of course, this is just an individual anecdote, and there’s a lot of times when you really need those expert doctors to go in there and do surgical intervention if it’s come to that.

Brad (45:48):
But I think in so many cases, we tend, uh, looking for, uh, devices, uh, pain relief, uh, you know, straps, braces, orthotics, arch supports, um, new shoes, uh, uh, pain, killing medications, anti-inflammatory medications. When actually, um, you might have better results from someone looking you in the eye and saying, Hey, you’re a sorry. You’re weak. Your, uh, your core is weak. Your lower back is weak. Your hamstrings are dysfunctional. So get your button shape by doing these exercises, and then your knee pain, your leg pain, your foot pain might just go away. So that’s a trend number three of, um, looking at injuries in a different way, rather than saying, oops, I’m injured. I’m completely on the sideline. Uh, and instead looking for ways to work around them. So a general, um, uh, suggestion that I’m sure I won’t get into trouble for is to what, when you’re trying to work around injuries, that means, uh, doing things that, uh, stimulate the, in a manner that does not increase, uh, does not cause additional pain.

Brad (46:58):
So if you do have a, a tough hamstring or you do, uh, have plantar fasciitis or strains or, uh, injuries, um, you can do exercises that will help support that help bring blood flow to the area, but of course don’t make the condition worse. And that’s where you can get some good help, but, you know, just doing, uh, let’s say CALS, if you are someone who’s had occasional foot pain, you’re gonna strengthen those calf muscles. And that is going to be, uh, a big help. I also should give a shout out to the, um, Ben Patrick on Instagram has become a sensation, very popular in the fitness community in a very short time. And he’s known as knees over to guy. He was just on Joe Rogan. So I’m sure his popularity will explode even further, uh, besides his 850,000 followers on Instagram. But he tells a story of being a young man with, uh, chronic and knee pain, numerous surgeries, and really looking in a, a very disastrous future where he was unable to play basketball, the sport he loved, and he took matters into his own hands, started doing some research and, and deep dives into how to strengthen the muscles and the connective tissue relating to knee pain, but also branching out into all men manner of, uh, improved functionality, improved resilience to injury.

Brad (48:13):
And now he does these crazy moves and these crazy exercises. And, um, you can just, you know, flick on any video on his channel and be wowed by his, uh, flexibility mobility, but it’s all about progressing, uh, gradually and gracefully toward improved function in the joints and in the muscles. And it’s just so refreshing to realize that you can do something about it. You could become a stronger, more resilient person by doing corrective exercises, stretching, strengthening, and what have you. And in my case, my knee pain was generated by having really tight piriform muscle. That’s the muscle, a deep inside, uh, the, the, the, the butt and also, um, dysfunctional quad muscles that had gotten all tight and noded up from, uh, overly aggressive jumping workouts. So I had to stretch devotedly and strengthen and bring in things like the Bulgarian split squats and the drinking bird eyes is that you can see on my morning routine video and get stronger and stronger over time, and then go out there and, uh, exercise sensibly and say goodbye forever to, uh, the, the, the pain and suffering of being on the sideline from being injured.

Brad (49:25):
Okay. So boy, when we talk about part one and part two, we are now up to SN with all the latest, greatest, really quick recap. Remember part one was the emerging trends, uh, such as, uh, less obsession with dietary particulars. Number two was, uh, looking at fat loss with, you know, clear a clear eyes, a clear perspective. Number three was backing off the extreme practices relating to fasting car of restriction, protein restriction. Number four was embracing the importance of digital minimalism and improving, uh, our focus taking down time, taking time for self-reflection. And then on this program, uh, the first category we talked about was a kinder, gentler approach to high intensity training highlighted by a lot of commentary out micro workouts, and also talking about taking our formal high intensity workouts down a notch honoring that concept of high intensity repeat training, as opposed to the exhaustive depleting high intensity interval training.

Brad (50:26):
Then we talked about de-emphasizing the importance of steady state cardiovascular workouts. Instead understanding, embracing the concept that a cardiovascular training effect can occur with any kind of workout that you do. And then number three, category was looking at injuries in a different way, and being really enthusiastic and devoted to things like prehab rehab, working around injuries, rather than just sitting and waiting for them to magically go away and then returning to your same behavior patterns that cause the injury in the first place. And, oh boy, thank you so much. That was fun. And I’m sure more trends and rethinking and recalibrations will emerge in the future. I’d love for you to share your experience with, especially some of the topics that we discussed in this two part show. So send an email over to podcast, Brad ventures.com. And thanks for spreading the word about the show, leaving a review.

Brad (51:20):
We appreciate you so much. Have a great day. Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please. Email podcast, Brad ventures.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and a shows. Subscribe to our email list to Brad kerns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful 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 we incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the B a podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called overcast allows you to actually record a sound bite excerpt from the told you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember be rad.




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