Today’s show highlights a collection of some of the most memorable quotes and lessons from past podcast episodes, starting with the first B.Rad interview ever, Peter Attia, back in August 2018. To this day, that show with Peter remains one of the most-downloaded episodes in the history of this podcast!
You’ll learn how to avoid the most common disease conditions of modern life (heart disease, cancer, and neurodegenerative disease), what Peter’s favorite longevity marker is and why, plenty of tips on how to successfully achieve peak performance, and much more!
Dr. Attia talks about his particular medical practice where is not only seeing patients, but is very involved with research. [06:38]
When looking at the desire for health and longevity, the biggest impact would be nutrition, exercise and sleep. [09:30]
If you take all sugar, refined carbs, processed oils out of your system, you can vacillate on whether you want grass fed or organic or dairy etc. What about “everything in moderation?” [13:05]
No one depletes glycogen stores fully. That’s a misnomer. [17:01]
There’s a competition for energy where your muscles are going for energy as well as your brain. [21:09]
Peter talks about being in ketosis and then out, eating more vegetables and also intermittent fasting. [22:08]
When he was in ketosis for three years, was he looking for application for patients or performance edge? [28:06]
Early in the stages of ketosis, when a person is not in fat balance, when they are not weight stable, many people are losing weight. [31:11]
Peter is experimenting in 13-week periods, alternating between fasting and nutrition collecting data. [33:48]
Make sure that you have the good food you want to eat on hand. We tend to “eat what’s there” when we are hungry. [36:45]
It depends on the person and the psychological strategy of handling these periods of nutrition. [40:28]
It is interesting to monitor your emotions. Find out when you are angry and really why? [43:14]
Riding your bike on a road is one of the most dangerous things you can do. [46:57]
When training for a swim to Catalina, Peter would swim for 10-hour periods. [50:44]
Are the people who have these stunning performances especially genetically gifted? [54:58]
If you wanted to build a perfect runner, they would have enormous cardiovascular capacity, large quads, glutes and hands. [57:05]
The aerodynamics of swimming and running are very different. [59:47]
The arrow position on bikes is a compromised position for power output. [01:00:35]
Because the density of water is so much greater than the density of air, pretty much everything in swimming goes down to avoiding drag. [01:04:02]
Keeping your athletic prowess in an age-appropriate style is important for longevity. The journey of getting better at something is very important. [01:11:32]
- Brad Kearns.com
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- Keto Reset Diet
- Peter Attia MD.com/podcast
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Hey listeners, how about a re cast going back into the archives from some of the favorite and most popular shows, and I’d like to present to you my very first show on this channel interview with Dr. Peter Attia back in August of 2018. It is still one of the most downloaded shows of all time. I think it was right before he launched his very popular podcast called The Drive, which has become a major operation and, uh, subscription model with a lot of great followers, really great content, extensive interviews. I love listening to the, the depth and the, the scientific nature of many of his shows and his guests. He has nearly four hours of content with the sleep expert, Dr. Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep. If you wanna get into that subject, I think that’s the best place you could possibly go.
People ask me about the cholesterol story and how sometimes the ancestral health leaders are sending a different message than what you might hear from your mainstream family physician, the medical doctor, and he’s got a five part series on cholesterol and the cholesterol story with Dr. Thomas Dayspring. So you can’t get better content and more in depth than what Peter Attia is doing on the drive. And this is more of a free flowing conversation. We’re not getting too scientific. We’re talking about the person, his athletic exploits that really frame his research and his pursuit of health and longevity, which he brings to his career as a physician focused on longevity with his clients. I also like that athletic peak performance bent and some stuff he’s talked about recently on his show and his goal of participating in his very own personal centenarian Olympics.
So we don’t cover this on this interview but he’s talked about that on his podcast. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. But he has these goals of athletic events that he’d like to participate in accomplish when he is a hundred and there’s stuff like getting himself out of a swimming pool on his own, or squatting with a kettlebell of a similar weight to a grandchild, fun stuff like that. So that, my friends, is an intro to an intro, which comes before the proper interview. And then my 2018 interview with Dr. Peter Attia. I hope you enjoy it. And we’ll bring back some shows from the old days now, and then to keep it fresh. Here we go, Peter.
Thanks for having me.
You’re you’re prompted up. I can tell. And I, I like that about you, man. You gotta, you gotta go hard in life, huh?
So tell me about this Drive. It’s so exciting. You started a podcast.
Yep. Started it, as far as recording about two months ago and they started trick
One. Yeah. Summer of 18 here. Yeah. The year of the podcast.
Right, right. Yeah.
And the year of the new podcast.
Oh yeah. I’m sure the world means another one. I’m I’m guessing. Yeah, so it’ll be a six month experiment. So they’ll run for, from July to December and then we’ll make a decision about whether it’s worth doing
That’s what Tim Ferris said after his first five shows his famous, his famous experiment, right. Yeah.
That worked out well.
What’s your ambition for it? I mean, you’re, you got a story to tell, we know that.
Yeah. I mean, I think everybody has a story to tell. That’s probably not reason enough. I think for me it’s, I mean, it’s very clearly a number of things, but the most important is it’s gotta be able to generate revenue to offset the cost of some of the research we do, which is, you know, kind of the most interesting part of my job is trying to do this stuff. And, um, I, I think for the last three years we’ve been basically siphoning revenue off the patient side, which is like, sort of what you do for a living is, you know, take care of patients, but we keep siphoning revenue off that stream to fund knowledge. And I think the internal appetite for knowledge just keeps going up, but faster than I would want to be taking more patients in the practice. So, and also, I always think that taking from your left hand to give to your right hand is not a long term solution. So I’m trying to figure out how do you, could you, could you produce revenue out of a podcast that then is in service of kind of the knowledge we want to do?
Yes. If you want to donate to Peter’s podcast, go to Peter Attia, MD and you’re in,
No, we don’t, we don’t have anything set up the
The $10 a month. It’s a cup of coffee. Yeah, yeah,
Yeah. We haven’t, we haven’t figured out if that makes sense yet, actually. I mean, I think there’s that’s, and I’m not in a rush to figure that out because there are some people who have done it really well through Patreon or through other donation services. And obviously the tried and true way to do it is through ads, but each of those has huge issues. Right. And so, you know, we just don’t know which one’s gonna be right for us and for the people who listen to our podcast.
So tell me about this research team. You have quite a few people digging in and evaluating all the stuff that’s hitting him every day. How does that work?
Yeah. So, Bob Kaplan, who’s the head of that is the guy that I was just arguing with on the phone. But so you got a sense of like how passionate, like I mean, but that’s Bob, right.
I wasn’t sure I was at your house. And then I was on the road up 80 meters to out and I heard your voice. I was like, oh, okay. I’m
Here. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You’d hear me and, and Bob going at it, but that’s sort of like, that’s the way it is. Right. It’s like, you, you know, we’re arguing about something very passionately and it’s like, no, this is complete bullshit. And no, no, no, this is the way it’s gotta be blah blah. And we go back and forth. So, over time we’ve just been growing that analytical team and in part working on projects that we deem internally interesting and relevant for our own knowledge that eventually becomes relevant to the patients. And sometimes, probably a quarter or a third of the time it’s patients ask us questions that we don’t know the answers to. And we think, huh, we really should know that. Like, you know, you know, just yesterday a patient, I asked me about a supplement that apparently reduces homocysteine when methylated B vitamins don’t. And so I was like, great. I actually never even heard of this thing. So maybe it’s nonsense. It probably is nonsense, but we should know.
Right, right. So, uh, the, the practice, tell me about that. You’re, you’re like splitting your time to between here in San Diego and New York, and you’re taking care of, is this like, uh, concierge service for patients interested in your particular, your particular approach?
So it’s not a concierge practice, um, because concierge practice is focused on access and availability and stuff like that. So, you know, concierge is sort of a service that fits within primary care. This is not that at all. And I don’t, I’m not a primary care physician. I, um, I don’t displace the patient’s primary care physician it’s. Um, the practice is basically a way to help, um, implement a model that we have into a patients, own framework of, you know, their incoming, you know, health status, their genetic and epigenetic predispositions and their own appetite for risk or their desires for lifespan and health span.
So how does it differ from going to your primary care doctor or going to your GI specialist, if you have an issue or going through the traditional medical environment?
I mean, it differs so greatly that I don’t, we would take the next hour to try to explain that.
So you’re working with a small number of people.
Yeah. I mean, I mean, maybe conceptually the biggest difference is that it’s, uh, it’s proactive, right? So it’s not, most of the medical system is kind of reactive. You, you know, you go to that GI person most of the time when something’s wrong, occasionally you go there for a reason that is proactive. Like if you’re having a screening colonoscopy or something, that would be you showing up for something proactive, but for the most part, people are going to their doctors to address issues. And, of course the question is twofold. What can you do if you don’t have to wait until there’s an issue there? Or if you can see earlier warning signs, uh, but more importantly, I think it’s, how do you take a strategy that we have a, a framework maybe is a better way to describe it for or longevity, and then apply that to an individual,
Right? So I love you talking about the, the big three, uh, diseases that you wanna avoid and how to do it. And, and you call it low hanging fruit or the non-sexy approach of just getting the crap out of your diet. Can we cover those for the, the basic listener? And I think the niche I’m going for here is like, you know, here’s my buddies that I grew up with. Right. We’re all over 50. Now. We still think we’re jocks. We’re trying to stay healthy and not just wind things down. But there’s that, there’s that super enthusiast that’s signed up with you or willing to do the implant into the abdomen and look at your glucose or, or go keto and, and strictly adhere to this crazy diet. But I think there’s a big group of people. That’ll, they’ll do what you say. They’ll do what you suggest. If it’s reasonable, they don’t need to know the intense scientific rationale. But how do we lay that out for what, what are we trying to avoid mostly and how, how to do it?
So I wanna make sure I understand your question. Are you saying, what are the disease states we’re trying to avoid? Or what are the things that one does to try to delay the onset of those diseases?
Yeah. You’re talking about heart disease, cancer and neurodegenerative disease, right?
Yeah. So, and I wouldn’t argue that those are low hanging fruit, but maybe I misunderstood what you were saying. Yeah.
The approach,. Those are the things that are killing most of, most of Western citizens. Right? What do we just what do we just grab their 75% or some crazy number? Okay.
So, I think there’s almost no way that you wouldn’t, as an individual, improve your health. If you, I mean, again, I’m gonna speak in very broad in general terms, if you didn’t sort of improve nutrition, exercise, sleep. Those three things would probably have the biggest impact on your physical health. And it’s, it’s hard to say that somebody who’s, you know, achieving 80% of their potential on each of those three, isn’t also achieving about, you know, 80% of their longevity potential. Now, you know, the difference between the 80% and the a hundred percent in terms of effort is significant. It is not a non-linear effort curve. Nor is it a linear curve of, of, um, you know, achieving a benefit. But, um, a lot of the stuff you don’t need a doctor for, I mean, sometimes a doctor is helpful to measure things, but for the most part, gf I think there’s enough information out there for people to, you know, have a sense of what should and shouldn’t eat.
And I think people tend to get confused about things that don’t matter. So there’s such an amazing, you know, you, I’m sure you’re more familiar with this than me, but I try to not think about this stuff, but, you know, endless confusion about, oh my God, should I be eating a plant-based diet? Or should I be eating a paleo diet, or should I be on a low carb diet, or should I be, or this diet or that diet. And I mean, we could talk about those things all day long, but it might be more interesting to look at what do all of those things have in common if they’re being done correctly. And that’s probably the element that one ought to think most about. So a as silly as it sounds, just to say, like, what if I had a zero junk for food diet or a diet of don’t eat anything that my great-grandmother couldn’t have eaten? I mean, something as simple as that,
Right. Which is number one best seller right there. Yeah.
Yeah. Not the book I’d write. But something as simple as that would basically take virtually all sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed hydrogenated oils, and all the other bullshit that’s, you know, highly permanent within our food system and just take it away done. And then, yeah, you could vacillate on whether you should have grass fed beef or non grass fed beef or no beef at all, or this type of egg or that type of egg or dairy or no dairy. I mean, those things are important to be sure, but they also probably on some level have different individual outcomes. But if you got rid of sugar, if you got rid of refined carbohydrates, if you got rid of hydrogenated oils and the products that they show up in, cuz you don’t buy those things off the shelf, right. It’s not like I want some sugar, let me go to the shelf and get it. No, it’s get rid of everything that things exist in. And again, like this has been codified for decades like this isn’t, this isn’t like some new insight. The insight is the importance of this. I think the insight is if you do this for long enough, it matters.
Yeah. I get the comment when I, when I’m going off and, and people are teeing me up, I at a, at a gathering or something and I’m, I’m, I’m giving my, my pitch about a healthy eating in the ancestral movement. You get to come back, Hey, everything in moderation. And what about that? And I kind of recoil with that because I feel like our offerings are so disastrously, you know, extremely unhealthy that that moderation approach is probably gonna get you into a hospital bracelet at some point.
Well, I mean, I think it depends on what we’re talking about. I, I I’m, you know, personally not a huge fan of moderation, but obviously there are some things where I think moderation matters. But, there is truth to it, but you have to put it in context, is smoking in moderation good or bad? Well, it depends what you’re comparing it to smoking in moderation is significantly better than smoking in excess. But smoking in moderation is not better than not smoking. Now with smoking. it’s probably more, um, direct the relationship between the behavior and the outcome, the disease. There are fewer buffers in the system. So I don’t know, I don’t, I don’t want to get too geeky on like the engineering description of capacitance, but with, with smoking, you know, probably even smoking five or 10 cigarettes a day can be quite harmful over a long enough period of time.
Whereas, you know, eating five to 10 grams of sugar a day is probably not particularly harmful over a long period of time. So you have dose compression on the cigarette and you don’t have that same dose compression in food. But I think the principle still applies. The only reason to embrace moderation within nutrition when it comes to the bad actors, is if it’s the only way that you can maintain sanity. But from a health perspective that doesn’t make any sense. In other words, from a purely biochemical perspective, it’s irrelevant to, or it’s illogical to say that, you know, an approach of moderation is the ideal approach. No, if you’re talking about this purely unemotionally and biochemically, it’s consume the absolute best nutrition every minute of every day that you can consume it. In other words, you don’t, there’s no benefit to diluting it. It’s like saying, you know, well, you know, having a couple drinks a day is okay, no, it’s, it’s important to say having a couple drinks a day for most people is probably not outright unbelievably harmful, but it’s by no means adding value physiologically. Right?
So I say oppose, if we just take that, that basic step and cut out the processed foods, we’re gonna hit that 80% figure that you’re talking about?
I think for most people, yes, it also depends on where you’re starting from. So that is not necessarily sufficient for somebody who’s already quite far down the, down the line. So, you know, people who for example, have type two diabetes or people who have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which are two conditions that are more prevalent than people realize, and even more prevalent than probably the CDC realizes. You know, for those people, I’m not convinced that an 80/20 approach is a great starting point. It might be a great long term point, but they probably need to be a little bit more dramatic, especially with type two diabetes with. With fat disease probably just a strict attention to fructose elimination, even without carbohydrate elimination is probably going to produce the best outcome. But with type two diabetes, you really do need to deplete the body of glycogen. You know, until until the body gets drained of, you know, 50% of its glycogen consistently, which is the easiest way to do that is, you know, through exercise and a significant restriction of carbohydrates. It’s very hard to begin to reverse the insulin resistance.
So depleting your, your full max out glycogen stores all the time. We athletes have been told in the endurance scene, you, you do your workout and you replenish glycogen, cuz you wanna have those tanks full at all times, especially before the race. So are you saying, I’ve always wondered this, like if you go keto and you lose 12 pounds in the first eight days, I that that’s water retention and, and depleting your glycogen and are you going to exist in a state where you’re not your, your stores are not full because you’ve restricted carbs so much or you’re on the other example, you’re training all the time?
Well, first of all, I don’t think anybody ever depletes glycogen stores fully, that’s a bit of a misnomer. So even,
Oh yeah, Tim Noakes said that. You think you hit the wall, but you didn’t hit the wall. You have whatever left over as the central governor theory when you’re running the marathon. Yeah. Yeah.
You, you can, you can take somebody who’s think that they’ve hit the wall and you can inject them with glycogen and you’ll get a huge spike of glucose. So you, you never run out of glucose. The question is really, I mean, when it comes to carbohydrate restriction on glycogen, it’s a question of how much do you need to dip into that? So as an overly crude example, it’s like, are you better off having a gas tank that has a hundred gallons in it, for which you need to draw two gallons per minute? Or are you better off having a gas tank that can only hold 50 gallons for which you draw, which you only need to draw for the same output 0.5 gallons per minute? I’ll do the math for the listener. You will get twice as far in the second scenario though, the tank is only half as full. And the reason that in the case of the second tank in this analogy, of course the gasoline or the fuel represents the glycogen. In the second case, it’s presumably because you’re able to access a different fuel store, fatty acid, at a much higher rate than you were in the first case. And so your energy needs are met using a fuel that you have a much larger storage capacity for.
So we’re walking around with half glycogen tank than if you’re a long term carbohydrate. Yeah. And it’s
Probably not even that. I mean, I think the, the research of Jeff Volek and Steve Phinney who did biopsies, muscle biopsies on, on carbohydrate restricted athletes, it’s probably about two thirds. Third depleted at steady state, all things equal. Um, again, I think the bigger issues that people have adapting to intense exercise during carbohydrate restriction during initial forays into carboration has less to do with glycogen and more to do with managing the water and the electrolytes.
Oh, wow. So you’re, you’re low sodium cuz you changed your diet.
Yeah. It’s the sodium, the magnesium and the plasma volume. That’s probably is the hardest part initially to adapt to.
I remember bombing out my first foray into ketosis after three weeks and I blamed it on the, the extreme nature of the diet. And now, I’m coming to learn. And my second successful route where I was pretty strict for five months, it was no problem, but um, getting those electrolytes and those background things handled is deal. And I suppose there is that competition for energy at the start that Phinney and Volek talk about where you need to ramp up your fat adaptation and your muscles are going for energy and your brain, and then you’re gonna have afternoon blues and a subpar workout.
Yeah. And for me also just difficult sleep initially. Really? Yeah. Yeah. It’s not, I mean, if anything, it’s motivation to not go in and out of it too much because the coming back into it like this week is my first week back in ketosis for years actually. And I’ve had some really pretty, not impressive workouts.
So, you did that three year stint. That crazy strict stint where you had the glucose meter and were monitoring all the blood levels without, without interruption for a long period of time, then you kind of transitioned outta that. I heard you say that your, your life got too busy was one of the main factors you just kind of got, got sick of the regimentation or it wasn’t sustainable cuz of all your travel or something.
Well, and also, I think just, you know, I wanted to, it, it start it’s a slippery slope, right? Mostly when I left keto, it was that I wanted to eat more stir fry and more vegetables and things like that. It wasn’t that I was sort of wanting to go back to bread and rice and potatoes or, or sugary stuff.
Are you saying that it necessitates you, you’re watching your vegetable portions as well, due to your blood values? Are you, are you asserting
That? Yeah, certainly I could not eat my sort of favorite curry stir fry and stay in keto there, but again, you have to understand, I eat silly amounts of food, so, um, yeah, I would it easily eat. I could easily eat 200 grams worth of carbohydrate in a big stir fry. And, certainly a lot of that is soluble and insoluble fiber, which probably doesn’t negatively impact, but there there’s enough glucose in the volumes that I was wanting to eat. That, that was that, that was gonna take me outta keto. But, and then of course, once I started intermittent fasting, that became a way to more easily allow me to tolerate other, you know, straight up carbohydrate, starchy carbohydrates quite easily because at least for me eating them in a very narrow window and being thoughtful about when I ate them seem to not have terrible effects on me.
Is this a once a day window where you’re waiting to eat any measurable carbs until dinner or something?
Well, it depends. It can be at once a day or twice a day. Yeah. Yeah.
But that those fasting periods help adapt you to bigger doses of carbs?
It would seem so. Yeah. Yeah.
Okay. So you spun out that after three years concluded got a lot of data and then went into what more, what would you call it, an ancestral aligned dietary pattern where your carbon intake is still comparatively low to the average Joe?
Again, I don’t really know about the average Joe. I sort of always benchmark back to what I would’ve been doing 10 years ago, but so yeah, I’ve never returned to those levels of carbohydrate consumption, nor those types of carbohydrates. Right. So I don’t, you know, there are no liquid carbohydrates in my world, so I’m not drinking Gatorade and things like that. So regardless of what kind of exercise I’d be doing, it would be, you know, branch chain amino acids or water, but I really, you know, and if I needed glucose in liquid form, it would be superstarch or something, which is, you know, much more of a complicated molecule. So yeah, there was, I was never back to that, that sort of way that I used to do things. But, I would say that, uh, and, and there was also certainly much more frequent.
you know, I hate the term, but, but call it cheat day, cheat meal, whatever. I mean, I was much more liberal with, you know, when I, you know, it used to be that maybe once a year I would deviate and then it became, you know, once a month and once a week. And, again, that’s, for some people that’s a valuable tool to have in a toolkit cuz it just makes it more tolerable for others. It, I think for me, it’s not such a helpful tool cuz it I’m pretty, I work well in absolutes. I mean, one thing this week that’s actually been really fun is as much as it’s tough re adapting to ketosis, I actually quite appreciate the rigor and just the binary nature of it. You know, it’s, it’s very clear what I can and can’t eat. And I opened the fridge, you know, I don’t know, half an hour before you got here and like pretty much I wanted to make some eggs.
I just wanted to, you know, I finished a workout and I wanted to make some eggs and there were no eggs and there was pretty much nothing in the fridge I could eat. You know, I wasn’t gonna eat all my kids’ leftover macaroni and cheese and their apple sauce and all of the other things in the fridge that I pretty much, you know,
otherwise would enjoy I guess.
Yeah. And if I wasn’t in ketosis, I think I would’ve convinced myself, Hey, you just did a two hour workout. You certainly could easily eat this macaroni and cheese and not have a blood glucose. It would go straight into your liver and your muscles. Um, so go for it cuz you know, whatever. But, but when I’m in ketosis that that’s a bridge too far. And so the net effect is just so in many ways, keto becomes indirectly valuable. So I think directly it’s valuable for a number of reasons, but I think indirectly it’s valuable just for this sort of psychological and behavioral component for some individuals,
Probably a large percentage of people have those temptations and that, uh, declining willpower because you’re exerting it too much on all kinds of different things. Like don’t, don’t get sidetracked on YouTube when you have to finish your emails. And now the absolute part is I think you’re onto something. [inaudible] said the same thing. He said, people that are struggling to start out are, are struggling to adhere to ketosis. He tells ’em to eat the same exact thing every day for as long as it takes until you’re in that rhythm. And so, you know, you have your two eggs with avocado and a dollop of mayonnaise, and then you go onto your, uh, your next or, you know, completely laid out and you know exactly what your macros are. So it’s kind of a yep. A de-stress type of operation.
And when I was in ketotosis for those three years, the consistency amongst what I, I mean, I had a spreadsheet that listed everything I would eat. So I would just, every day was basically some combination or permutation of something I had already eaten. And, you know, I knew exactly what the macros were of everything I was going to consume. So it was modular and it was, you know, basically to thinking out of it.
And were you doing that mainly for exploration, possible application to patients or seeing if you could get a performance edge?
You know, I think there were a number of reasons over those three years. Certainly within a few months, I once I’d really, it took about three months, the first time for me to really adapt aerobically. I mean, to have absolutely no deficits on, um, exercise, even intense exercise. And then probably it took a year or a little over a year, maybe even a year and a half, if I stopped to think about it, to get even that anaerobic kick back that I’d kind of given up a bit. I mean, I, I think, for me it was a great state, you know, I just mentally felt great and you know, you didn’t really have this dysregulation of appetite. Yeah. Just, it just, you know, it was worth the pain, the inconvenience maybe is a better
Word inconvenience. Yeah. Yeah. So did you get up and over your previous fitness level by virtue of having a better fat burning engine or anything of that nature? I mean, you said you struggled for the first month, you struggled for a year with the high power
I did, but there is a confounder, which is the training had also changed. So
Dang then we can’t use your thing for an exact experimental.
Nope, definitely not. Um, as any athlete knows your training is constantly evolving. So I think it’s hard to, it would be odd if my training wasn’t evolving over a three year period of time and it was evolving and I’d like to believe it was getting better. And so it could be that my performance was getting better because my training was getting better and my nutrition was getting better. Hmm. But I don’t know how to, how much to attribute to each.
Sure. Okay. Well, one thing that’s been, uh, sort of on my mind is this, this seemingly, um, juxtaposition of the message that metabolic flexibility and, and getting that efficiency to survive and thrive on as few calories as necessary. And, and you talked about this insulin area under the curve concept where the optimally minimal minimal amount of insulin you produce over a lifetime is gonna be predictive of longevity. That was one of your favorite, favorite markers if it were theoretically able to measure. And then on the other side, um, and this is,, Dr. Tommy Wood Nourish Balance Thrive. I’m doing his program and he looks at my thing and he is like, okay, here’s a guy who’s over 50. He’s still trying to do crazy magnificent athletic feats, break the world, record sprint, lift, heavy weights, do all that stuff. My blood looks good. My body fat looks good. And he advocated for consuming like the maximum amount of nutritious calories in order to fuel my body with more, more nutrient dense foods and more, more levels of all the great stuff that’s in the good food. And so those seem to be at opposites, but maybe you can help explain the,
Remind me what the first one is again. I mean,
So the insulin area under the curve, right? The, you know, the idea that when you’re, you’re, you know, metabolically flexible, you’re fat and keto adapted, you can thrive on fewer calories over the rest of your lifetime. You can produce less insulin to get the
Job done well, but that’s, that’s sort of only finite, right? I mean, at some point, assuming both people have the same degree of energy expenditure, both deliberate and non deliberate, then they’re both gonna need the same number of calories the question is: How many are coming from inside the body versus outside the body. So early in the stages of ketosis, when a person is not in fat balance, when they are not weight stable, many people are losing weight. And I don’t just mean the water weight. Um, yeah, they can eat a lot less cuz they’re eating themselves. So their exogenous requirement of calories goes down as, or endogenous requirement goes up. But once they reach a steady state, either their metabolic rate must slow to accommodate that. Or they’re going to have to start eating more if they’re no longer eating themselves as much. But remember the AUC of insulin is not proportionate to the total calories you’re consuming, it’s more a function of the type of calories you’re consuming. So you could have a higher AUC on a high carbohydrate diet than you would more calories on a low carbohydrate diet. So in other words, I guess I don’t see the equivalence between those, those, those ideas.
So, for back to that longevity goal, we’re gonna stand by that concept of producing a minimal amount of insulin to maintain a stable body weight recover from exercise. Right. Um, and is there any uncertainty there? Are we just kind of, it’s cool.
There’s there’s uncertainty in everything. Yeah.
I like that about you, man. You Dom D’Agostino said the same thing when I talked to him., He said, watch out for scientists who speak in absolutes cuz they’re probably crappy. But those are the ones that get on TV. Yeah. That was his quote.
Yeah, this is, this is a model that for which we can’t actually test it in humans. So instead we rely on a lot of proxies, which are, what can, you know, how much of this can be tested in animals? How much of this can be tested in softer outcomes in humans, meaning not the ultimate outcome, which is lifespan, but disease based outcomes. And, and then of course mechanistic doesn’t make sense. And I think that, you know, it might be the case that you could still minimize lifetime AUC while still cycling periods of metabolism and catabolism. And that is kind of my latest thinking on this topic is that you might to actually, um, produce the best outcome if you’re cycling periods of growth and atophogy,
Would you apply that to say your daily eating patterns?
Like not daily, but rather to, for me, the experiment I’m doing now is it’s a quarterly. So 13 week program, times four, so four, the four, 13 week quarters in a year. And it’s a week of nutritional ketosis a week of fasting like water only, and then a week of nutritional keto and then 10 weeks of time restricted feeding and then you repeat it. So that’s my current hypothesis and the time restricted feeding for me again, this is not a program I’m advocating for any other person on the planet, but this is just the way I’m going to do this until I get some data back and I can adjust it. But, um, the time restricted feeding will then also be a function of the type of exercise I’m doing. So on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, when I’m lifting weights, the feeding window wider to accommodate a more anabolic need on those days. So I would probably do a 14 hour, uh, pardon me, a 10 hour feeding window on Monday, Wednesday, Friday versus an eight or six hour feeding window, Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, which are days when I’m doing aerobic and anaerobic, uh, non strength training.
So you feel you have less need for, uh, fuel when you’re doing the aerobic stuff?
No, I don’t feel like I have less need for fuel. I feel like I have less potential to tear down muscle and, and, and so on the Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I want to keep the caloric into take closer to, um, the destruction of the muscle, which is happening earlier in the day. For me in an ideal world, I would look, I would exercise before opening the feeding window, but from a practical standpoint, that’s not possible, meaning I can’t work out at 4:00 PM and then eat dinner .
Just cuz of your schedule.
Yeah, I have a job. Yeah.
So, so the ideal, why is that the ideal?
Because, I would like to be most insulin sensitive going into the largest meal and we are naturally most insulin sensitive in the morning. And so to exercise in the morning and then eat right after is theoretically great. If you could trail off your calories by the end of the day, but socially and practically, that’s very hard to do. We as a culture for most of us, dinner is the important meal. And also just the way we’ve structured our days. For most people, it’s, it’s difficult to work out at four or 5:00 PM, you know, especially if you have responsibilities beyond yourself.
So back to that refrigerator sample of the kids’ apple sauce and the mac and cheese, um, and, but you just finished a two hour workout. So that’s gonna go right into Dr. Cate. Shahan says that the glycogen suitcases are open. They’re gonna accept the, the cargo and clothes and not gonna bother that precious, uh, moderation of insulin.
Right. And, and again, not if not for the fact that I was in ketosis, I would’ve certainly bent. Um, I still would prefer to have something that’s not macaroni and cheese cuz that’s just categorically shit. So I mean, you, you know, carbs, come in all different shapes and sizes and we ought optimize around the better ones. But that again speaks to the psychology of the default food environment we eat what’s there. So rule number one is make sure you’ve always got good food around so that when you are hungry, when you finish that workout, you’re not having to do what I did today, which was I have nothing cuz the thing I, I want in this case, the thing I wanted to eat, which was eggs, wasn’t there
Now what’s gonna happen when you ate nothing. You’re jumping back into ketosis. You’re a metabolically fit individual to begin with. So what’s your body doing now when you, when you pass?
Yeah, I’m probably just breaking down muscle right now as we sit here a little quicker than I would like to be and you know, I’ll go and find something to eat after. Again from an energy requirement standpoint, I can certainly subside. I mean, I’ve got enough glucose and ketone floating around. But it’s just the nature of this type of workout that I did today is one where all things equal. If I’m trying to minimize how much muscle mass I’m losing,
Maximize the benefits of the workout, I suppose?
I mean, I guess it depends on some, there are so many benefits you get from a workout. There are some that are probably independent of what you eat after. Um, and there are some that are dependent on what you eat after.
So well now you’re getting the autophagy benefits, right? If you deplete the cells during the workout and don’t consume him food after you’re right. Yeah.
You’re probably seeing more autophagy than had I had I not.
So you’re, you’re kind of making a trade for, if you go get the fuel after,
Right. And so next week to not eat for a whole week, that’s hugely optimized around autophagy. Everything else pays a price. I will, I will shed, I don’t know. We’re gonna find out. I’ve been weighing myself every day since I’ve been back in ketosis. I’m probably four and a half pounds lighter than I was a week ago. Again, a lot of that’s gonna be water, weight
Well, yeah, But, but glycogen is every gram of glycogen has four grams of water.
So you’re calling it water weight,
I’m calling it mostly water weight. So yeah, I’ve lost a little bit of glycogen.
You’re half tank, half tank status.
Yeah. Maybe I’m half to two thirds tank and, but it’s the water that left. That is the bigger issue. Plus the plasma volume independent of the intramuscular and is intra intra hepatic water in the glycogen. So, um, but you know, next week I’ll probably lose six, seven pounds. I wouldn’t be surprised. And, and, and some of that will certainly be lean tissue, so,
And fat, I suppose. Yeah. And then you’re gonna ramp it, but back up the next week and probably put some of that weight back on just from consuming more food and
It’s suspect. Yeah, yeah, yeah. With back in and, and that’s why I kind of wanted to sandwich the fast around two keto weeks. The first one makes it easier to get in the second one makes it easier to not go off the rails when you come out.
Really? Why is that?
Well, because I think truthfully, like I’m gonna be breaking the fast. Oh, because you on Saturday
You’re making you, you know, this is a keto week. It’s a crazy pizza cake.
Yeah, exactly. It’s I see like, cuz I know that the first meal I’m gonna have is gonna be at the airport at JFK. Yeah.
Sabar or what’s a place called?
Well, no. So what I’m if, if I, yeah, if, if that were an all bets are off, you just fast it for a week, you can do anything you want. I’m pretty sure I would eat more food in that, you know, two hours then you can imagine, and it would be pretty bad food, but by knowing that I’m back into keto, I’m gonna be, you know, I’m gonna have very limited options for what I can have.
So you’re speaking to this, um, this, this, this psychological strategy of putting these, uh, barriers and expectations up for yourself. Otherwise you’re gonna go, you’re gonna go off the rails. Do you think that’s a common theme among modern citizens here and we, we could benefit from throwing more regimentation into it? Is there, is there a downside to that? Does it depend on the person?
I think it depends on the person. I don’t know. And so you’re
This like extreme character who likes to swim to Catalina, I, and, and so forth. And also maybe go off the rails more so than the next person who might have a nice salad after a week of fasting or something.
Yeah. I’m definitely not that guy. I’m my, my, everything I do I do in excess. Like the phone call.
Yeah. We should, we should recorded that. It was, it was, it was top notch, man.
Yeah. How many times do you think? I said “fuck” on that call?
Huh? Uh, well, not as more than the podcast right now, but we still got a while. So yeah, no, I
Don’t. If, if I didn’t stop swearing for the rest of the podcast, I wouldn’t be able to catch up with that. I was super fired up. Not at Bob. It wasn’t, I wasn’t mad at Bob. I was mad at something else, but I was venting to Bob and Bob’s amazing cuz he lets me vent.
Now you do you let that flow? Do you have any sort of sensitivity to regulating that? You’re directing itI, imagine, in certain compartments in your life with no, no problem?
Yeah. I do regulate it and I realize like there are, I’m getting better at it, but I’m so far from perfect. But there are places where like, I wouldn’t want my kids to see me doing that, um,
or receive that, of course.
Well, certainly not receive that. Um, but I don’t even want them to see that actually.
Because they’re not probably old enough yet to understand the difference between someone who’s angry at something and angry at someone.
Yeah. Or, or whether you were losing it, which you most clearly were not, you were very forming a very logical and passionate argument in a, in a, you know, a regimented and focused manner. And, and I mean, you can’t call that going off literally.
Right. Right. But for kids that’s harder. And, and again, I think, um, and then also I think there are times when I’m really angry when I realized that. So, so I think I was complete, like everything that I said in that outburst was I stand, I stand behind completely. Like I am, I am absolutely adamant that, you know, what we just talked about was you relevant and important. And that, that was a discussion that had to be had. And the, the work that will come out of this is going to be important. But there are times when you can see you’re going to get angry at something that’s not relevant and doesn’t matter. So those are areas where I’m more interested in regulating. So for example,
Highway five, coming down here, trying to be on time for my date with Peter, there you go. What the F is?
This that’s right. So yesterday I drove up to Malibu and back and I mean, I don’t know. I mean, I don’t even know how many hours I was in the car and it’s always dumb. Like when you get, you know, when the, when the traffic stops in the 4 0 5 and you realize why, which is like somebody in the other lane stopped and everybody had to stop and look. That’s infuriating. Yeah. But that to me is not the stuff you want to go off on. Right. That’s the Mo that’s when you wanna be reflective, that’s when you wanna meditate. That’s when you sort of want to think back about David Foster Wallace, This is Water. This is the experience. So again, I don’t claim to be like a master of any of this stuff. I’m still experimenting with all of these things and realizing the joy of getting incredibly pissed off and then taking a step back and looking at why. And some, sometimes I can’t do it, right. So sometimes I just get really pissed off and that’s the end of it. But, but half the time I can get really pissed off and go, oh, why are you really pissed off? This is all in your mind. This is just an emotion that you’re experiencing that’s negatively valenced. And it has to do with some perceived threat that, you know, now you should start to question those assumptions. Does this really matter? Will this matter in five minutes, right. Will this matter tomorrow?
So is it worth the, uh, you know, the cost of let’s say having an altercation or what have you, oh.
Or never mind that, I mean that, luckily for just most of us, that’s so such a rare occurrence, but yeah. It’s just like, is this worth the hypercholesterolemia that I’ll transiently develop? And look, maybe by the end of this discussion, I’ll be like, ah, you know, what, why did I get so pissed when I was talking to Bob? I should have just called him and said all of that stuff without like venting to him about how pissed I was.
No, that’s kind of the, the, maybe the, the, the beauty of your connection with a close coworker is that you can unload because if the subject matter that you were complaining about called on the next line, you probably wouldn’t, you’d save the F word and you’d have a more reasonable discussion. Yeah. Yeah. I recall being out there on the bike and, uh, you know, doing the road bike thing, and I didn’t realize, you know, I’d be chit chatting and spinning along. And then if a car cut me off, I’d scream at them for years. I was, I was in that hyper or alert state where, you know, I was infuriated that anyone dare risk my life. How dare they use their 2000 pound vehicle to try to, you know, knock me off my little 18 millimeter wheels. But you don’t realize until it comes out of you, I guess.
Yeah. It’s and I share that when I used to be a quasi serious cyclist, um, that was spending so much time on there. And, and then once I had a friend that died, who was killed by a motorist, I took it to a new level. It actually got to the point where my friends thought I was going crazy. But I wanted to carry a rifle in my back pocket. Like, you know how we have those pockets in the back of our jerseys. Yeah. I wanted a rifle in one of those that, like, I strapped around my, put on the
Top two, maybe a little mountain
Yeah. And I was like, trying to figure out if that’s legal in California. Can you actually walk, can you have a sawed off shotgun on your bike? And I was like, the next driver that mindlessly cuts me off is going to lose his rear tire. End of story. Yeah. Don’t care. I don’t care if they veer off the road and die. Good, get ’em outta the gene pool. They’re done. You know what I mean? I was so pissed and, one of my friends was so funny. I forget, I won’t even remember what he actually said when he was mocking me, but he basically came up with this character of me being Wolverine and like how I was just gonna like slash any car that came.
grip the handle bars with your claw.
And I don’t have a good answer for that. I mean, I still, I still think cyclists are justified to get pissed off. I mean, I, if I were out there on a bike today frequently, I’d probably carry a bunch of rocks in my pocket and make sure I pinged every car that drove by with a rock. I don’t know. That’s probably not the answer. I mean, the answer, I don’t know what answer is, but it’s definitely scary. I might go out on my bike once a week and just last week, uh, I was out with a buddy and, um, I mean, and the thing that really pisses. it’s one thing when they aren’t paying attention and, you know, anybody can make that mistake. It’s another thing when they’re very deliberate and they’re trying to scare you. And this complete knucklehead in a pickup truck, just, he had it out for us.
He, we were descending on a hill where we had to make a left hand turn. So now we’re, we’re going about 50, 55 miles an hour down this hill, but we are back off our saddles, screeching on our brakes to try to get down to about 20 miles an hour so we can make this turn. And he is behind us and he is speeding up. I can tell he is speeding up and getting closer and closer and closer into us with absolutely no effort. And by the way, he wasn’t turning. So we’re already veered off to the left to make the turn he’s coming over behind us, not plan. I know he’s not planning to turn because I can, I, I found out after he just, he just wanted to scare us and then go straight. And, um, my buddy and I, who were out there, and he’s a, he’s a, he’s a very experienced cyclist. So, you know, he did Ram twice. So this is a guy who he’s been
On a bikes, Race Across America, 3000 mile nonstop bike race.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Require some experience.
Yeah. And, but unlike previous, we just, I didn’t, neither of us said a word after, until we got through the turn and then we looked at each other and we just kind of went what a Dick, like at about that decibel level, and then just kept riding. Yeah. Where, so, so, you know, I don’t know, some days you get pissed. Some days you just shake your head. But, but that stuff, if that, if that dude in the pickup, dude, if you’re listening to this right now, I wanna tell you something, you’re a F*ng A hole.
Yeah, man. you.
I mean, I, I know you’re having a bad day out there, obviously. No, you’re a Dick. Anyone
Doing that? No, no. You’re a total Dick. And you know what it is, you’re just jealous that you’re F**ng piece of sh** in your pickup truck. And these two guys are out in spandex. And if that hurts your feelings too bad, go to therapy, Get it check. But don’t ever come after us again. You piece of shit. Yeah.
Yeah. I mean my solution is I, I basically stopped riding. Just because I’m, you know, if I’m, if I’m making a, a spreadsheet of the top 20 most dangerous things I do in my life, number one is road cycling. I don’t know anything that’s close. I agree to say number 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or seven, driving a car. I mean, that’s, you know, we all accept that risk of getting in an airplane.
They had a, yeah, the, the margin of safety on the bike is so low. And my brother who’s also transit. He had a very bad accident on his road bike. That was the fault of a runner. So he was going 25 miles an hour, zipping down a road. I mean, if he could be faulted for anything it’s that, he was probably only two feet off the parked cars that lined the road, but, okay. So meaning he should have been thinking, Hey, some idiot could open their door here or whatever, but a runner decided somehow to just run across the street and didn’t look, and they hit each other head to head, literally his head and her head hit,. She fractured her skull. His helmet, he was by far got the better end of it. She was in much worse shape, but I mean, he still, this is three years ago. He’s still not back to normal completely. He still has concussive symptoms. But now he mostly just rides a mountain bike every day because his view is, look, yeah, you fall more on a mountain bike for sure. But any mistake, any accident is your fault.
Oh, and it’s, you’re not gonna die most likely. I mean, my, my, yeah, you’ll
Break a wrist. You’ll break a collarbone. These things are horrible. You’ll will get bruised one. It’s your fault. And two, it’s not fatal. But yeah, I’ve known I had a very close friend who died on a bike. But then I’ve known of cyclists, you know, guys that were in your group that you might not have known well, and you know. In San Diego there’s like one a month. It seems. Um, that’s in. So, so I agree. I, when I used to ride my bike down to La Jolla Cove, when I was a swimmer and do my long swims and everybody would, Hey, geez, you must be so afraid of the sharks. And I was like, actually not at all. I’m afraid of the GD bike ride to La Jolla Cove. That is way scarier than the four hours I’ll spend, you know, in the shark-infested Pacific ocean.
So you’re doing a four hour swim and La Jolla Cove?
Oh, not now. This is back when I was,
when you were training for Catalina?
Yeah. Five hour was sort of my go to swim down there, which would be it’s a 10 mile swim. You could, there’s a nice 10 mile route you could do in the Cove.
Are you hitting the shore? Every two and a half miles?
You go Cove to shore back Cove to pier back Cove to shore back Cove to pier back is 10 miles
And are you getting water? When you get off you getting up to get a drink? Do you need some nutrition after 10 mile? I mean, that’s, that’s
Maybe so back in the day when I was doing that before, I was obviously as you know, knowing what I know today about nutrition, my main source of nutrition was something called hammer strength. You where Hammer Perpetuum you?
I used the stuff too. Oh yeah. I used to sell it. Yeah. Yeah.
So I was a Hammer Perpetuum guy was my go to, and I still think of all the high carb stuff out there. It’s probably the least bad. It comes with so much protein and fat that it actually has a nice absorption pattern, but, um, for a 10 miler, what I would do is I would have two bottles of Perpetuum on the shore. And I would
Would hopefully, when you get there,
Well, I sort of, I had, I was lucky I never lost a bottle. I would kind of bury them in a place that I knew where I could get to ’em high enough back on the beach. And then I would carry one. I’d wear a, like, I’ve got a Speedo on, and then you wear a, you know, what a drag suit is.
Yeah. So I put a drag suit on top and then you stick a bottle in the crack of your ass between.
that’s gonna slow you down.
It does, but
That’s big time.
That’s part of the, that’s part of the drill. Yeah. Cause you, you you’re getting the resistance.
Oh, so you don’t, you don’t mind the resistance?
Well, it’s a training swim. You want the resistance? Yeah. That’s why you’re running the drag suit. And then yeah, by putting the, what we called it, the asscrack drink in there, you know, that would just generate like a parachute off your, uh, bathing
For sure. I guess you needed it. It wasn’t just for kicks to slow down, but you needed that drink each hour of your
Swim. Yeah. So basically two on the beach and one in your butt was sort of the, the routine.
That’s a quote for the show right there, two on the beach and one in your butt.
That was my nutritional advice for swimming La Jolla Cove.
And if you see a floating little container of a Perpetuum out there, you know, return it please.
Or if all you see is the floating, Perpetuum, there might be a swimmer attached to it that you just can’t see. Cuz you know, now they have,
Now they have shark sightings out there. They do there.
There’s no question. There are great whites out there. Um, there are tons of great whites in Coronado. I mean I talked, I used to talk to the fishermen all the time because those guys are the ones out there seeing it. And they were like, oh yeah, like once a week we see at least a 12 footer out here. And I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days when that got in your head and you were like, you know, especially like, you know, I remember when that swimmer got killed in Solana beach. Yeah. Um, which is a beach I used to always swim at and yeah, you, I mean, I guess you sort of think, look is this the day? And I think the scariest part with the great whites is the attacks are so often fatal, you know, and again, not to lay blame or no blame, but you know, the sharks aren’t trying to attack a human. They think we’re prey. And, and so it’s sort of the whole, thing’s a bit tragic cuz they’re not even getting the meal that they set at for and
Oh no, they’re not happy with that meal.
No, not at all.
They need something else? They need a seal? Need more.?
Yeah. Yeah. They need much more fat.
Oh, okay. Unless you got a really fat swimmer, I guess, which is can happen when you’re addicted to carbs. Right. You told that’s right. Where did you lose? Like 40 pounds yeah. From your, from your peak. But when you were, when you were 40 pounds more, you were a high forming endurance athlete, right?
Yes. Although I think it’s very important to put that in context, you know, to be a high performance. First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever been a high performance athlete in anything in my life. When you think,
If you made it to shore from Catalina to San Pedro, that’s a high perform. I would say that’s a high five. It’s it’s a minimum. Yeah.
Know, it’s, it’s all relative. I mean, I think it’s, uh, that’s more a feat of sort of stamina and mental toughness than it is. I mean, to me, the you know, the people who are setting the records, doing that, who are, you know, crossing the Catalina channel in eight hours, you know, these are people who are that’s super high, perform
Three miles an hour or something.
Uh, yeah, it’s a little less, it’s about 2.6, 2.7 miles an hour. Yeah. And, and, and again, generally speaking to people who are setting, you know, these eight hour times are both the best swimmers and they get the right day. And the right day means you generally get a little push off the island. So you got a little bit of a, a tail current. But your ground speed would still be about two and a half knots. Maybe, maybe 2.3, 2.4 knots, which is staggering. Yeah.
Go try that in one length of the pool, if you’re a competent swimmer and see how fast that is, it’s like the marathon guys going, oh, 02:02 new record. Wow. That sounds fast. And then you go to
The, you realize that you have to run a four 40 or something. Yeah.
You run a 71 on a 400 meter track and see how that feels. And then imagine doing that from here to downtown San Diego or whatever your reference point is. It’s stunning.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
What is that, Peter? Is that like the genetics for the marathon runners ? And the person who, you know, who was at Susie Moroni that swam to Cubain record time? Are these people that go off the charts with, you know, unheard of performances?
You know, I think, I mean, yeah, that’s a whole interesting and separate discussion. I, I think there are people who are it’s, it’s a right combination. It’s everything has to line up. So if you talk about the marathon runners, um, I’m sure, I dunno if you’ve ever seen the documentary Breaking Two. So it’s a documentary about this. It’s kind of a Nike stunt actually it’s but it’s, it’s basically Nike propaganda, but, um, which is fine, cuz I like Nike and I see
Nike, they orchestrated the.
yeah, yeah, yeah.
Sub two hour marathon attempt on the car racing track
Conditions. That’s right. But what I found interesting about it is it also is a great way for people who aren’t interested in marathon to at least, you know, like if you’re willing to spend 90 minutes watching this documentary, you’ll also get a sense of how special these guys are. The athletes and how built for purpose they are. Because if you really wanted to build the perfect runner, what would they look like? They would have an enormous cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary and cardio respiratory capacity. So they’d have these relatively large thoraxes. They’d have relatively large quads, glutes and hands, and then nothing else, right? Tiny little cast from the knee down, they should be as small as possible because you don’t want to have to carry that weight, swinging back and forth like a pendulum. And obviously the arms should be as small as possible.
The waist hips should be as small as possible and so their power to weight ratio should be very high. And, then you want to introduce form. You want to know the people that can transmit the most of their weight, the most of their force directly into an upward motion, because speed is by how high you go. Not how, I mean, how far you go is a function of how high you go, right? Like, so when you’re a running long jumper, it’s, you’re when you’re running down the thing you’re trying to optimize, how high you jump, because the goal, the high, the higher you get a longer hang time, you get to allow your translational horizontal velocity to get you far. Right?
It’s the force into the ground. Like Usain Bolt generates 1000 pounds of force with each stride. And that’s why you go eight feet
Usain Bolt generates more downward force than any sprinter ever recorded. Right? So it’s people say he is able to, um, run so fast because his legs are longer than everybody else. That’s not true. It’s because of what you said, it’s because he hits the ground so hard that he can, he gets more air time to make the leap between each step.
Yeah. Also interesting about the turnover concept. There’s a big article in Sports Illustrated years ago where even the average casual middle school soccer player has the same turnover rate. Like they turn their legs over at 0.17, just like a world class sprinter. So it’s all about the, the force off the ground.
It’s total force turnover. It’s total force to mass. Absolutely Ryan Flaherty, who I’ve talked about many times on different podcasts and is a good friend, actually up works at Nike now. I mean he and a couple of other really interesting guys, a guy that I don’t know, but his name, I believe his name is Owen Anderson. Who’s actually probably, you know, the godfather of all this stuff. I mean, these guys have really kind of codified the science of speed. And, and again, that doesn’t just mean sprinting that applies to the marathoner as well. It’s the same concept.
So with the swimming,
The swimming a bit harder, so swimming, I, I think swimming is different. I think swimming, I think the best swimmers are not the ones that are doing the best force to mass cuz water and air obviously have this one subtle difference, which is density. So in running the speed is not really fast enough that aerodynamics matters that much. Now that said at the world’s elite level, it does. And that’s why in Breaking Two, they had pacers. So you absolutely want to have, in fact they actually, I think they had like a car in front of them with a windshield. So they were sort of going out of their way, but even a pacer will make a difference both.
From the, a pacer breaking the wind,
The key guy who’s trying to win is, is not fighting
Is never facing the wind. Yeah. The faster you go, the more relevant that becomes. So in if you, the next level up is cycling. How much does it matter? It matters a whole heck lot the whole sport. And it certainly matters once you’re above 25 miles an hour. That seems to be mathematically about the cutoff in cycling. So if you’re, if you’re an athlete listening to this, who’s training for an Ironman, and you really believe that you’re gonna be able to average 21 or 22 miles an hour, which is a risk totally respectable speed for 112 miles. Save yourself the money and don’t get a disc wheel cuz the disc wheel doesn’t, it comes with at a higher cost than benefit at a speed of 22 miles an hour because the cost, cuz it does cost you weight and crosswind. It’s helping you when the wind is straight in front of you or straight behind you. But at 22 miles an hour, you’re not quite fast enough to get the, um, arrow savings front to back at the cost of the weight, which will punish you on every hill and the crosswind where it’ll punish you.
And so you’re not gonna get like a sailboat effect from a, a crosswind hitting your disc wheel? We always thought that where we wondered that, I guess
I probably not. Right? Because like how are you? Unlike the sailboat, you don’t have a rudder, right? So it’s the sailboats actually going and the sail boat and this exactly the sailboat doesn’t jib like the sailboat gys, the, the cyclist doesn’t so no, I think the crosswind is hurting you. Oh. Um, but at a certain speed. So when you look at the world’s best, you know, these are guys who are gonna hold 20 or 25, 26 miles an hour, maybe even more at 112 miles. Yeah. They’re getting the benefit of the disc wheel. Um, and then of course, once you get into like time trialing for shorter distances, where guys are going 30 miles an hour or faster, then you you’re gonna always make a trade off in favor of arrow. In fact, the arrow position itself is a compromised position for power output. You’re occluding your femoral vessels. You are impeding venus return to the heart. My power output in an arrow position was consistently 30 Watts lower than when I sitting up meaning like,
Oh, in, in a stationary setting,
You can measure your watts for those not super familiar with cycling, you can measure how much power you’re putting into the pedals. And so when you sit up, you put out more power.
That’s absolutely. So when we would do an FTP test sitting up, meaning climbing is the easiest way to do a power test. So if you find a hill that’s relatively, you know, you find a 6% grade hill for a few miles and do 20 minutes, you know, sitting up cranking for 20 minutes, you take that average wattage you multiply it by about 0.9, that’s called your functional threshold power directionally. You do the same test on a flat with yourself in an arrow position. You’ll be lucky if you could be. And 30 Watts of that because of this compromise. So the question is, if you’re doing a time trial, why would you still go into arrow position? Because despite the fact that you put out less power, the benefit on aerodynamics is so great. And then you go even further, once you get into formula one, aerodynamics is everything. It’s one of the single most important pieces of what enables those cars to go so fast. And why, for example, you’ll see so much slingshotting where, you know, a guy comes behind another guy and he can just generate so much more speed to go past that guy because he’s been in the slip stream of the car in front of him. Okay. So why did I go off on that long thing?
Because you like race driving, I guess.
That’s probably why,
Tell me about that. You’re racing.
Well, I wanna go back to answer your swimming question. So, so the swimming question is in swimming now it’s a totally different equation. So in swimming density of the fluid, in this case, water, not air, air is a fluid, but in this case, uh, the density of water is so much greater than the density of air. Pretty much everything in swimming comes down to avoiding drag. Swimmers in the world are not the, you know, not necessarily the longest or the least fat or the most muscular or whatever, are not probably the lowest correlation with VO two max in swimming versus running in cycling. And even there, the correlation is not as high as people think by the way. VO two max is not as highly correlated as PVO two max or V V O two max. Those are where that’s what really predicts the winners, but aside from swimming, none of that stuff matters nearly as much as can you put your body in the shape of a vessel that minimizes drag.
And I think some of those people have those physical attributes that kick them over the top, like Michael Phelps with his double jointed size 14 flipper feet and the shoulders that were hyper flexible. But I, I, I feel like
In general and in those, those are two examples of things that both, that both minimize drag, but also maximize thrust. Right? So with, to be able to put your, for a swimmer that can straighten their ankles completely, yes, you, you, you basically have a kick that’s going to lead to a much more forward propulsive behavior. Like if you did an experiment, put yourself on a flutter board and put your ankles at 90 degrees. So put no door inflection into it and, or no plant reflection, sorry. And then you kicked you’d actually go backwards. So like you have negative thrust at that point.
So backward paddle wheel or something.
Exactly. So the difference between being at 90 degrees and 180 degrees is everything. And obviously nobody’s gonna be kicking at 90, but let’s say the average person’s kicking at 160 degrees and there’s somebody that can kick at 175 degrees. That’s an enormous advantage. And then the elbow and shoulder flexibility, and it’s really not shoulder it’s to actually scapular flexibility that allows you to keep the elbow as high as possible in the catch so that you can hold the maximum amount of water on the vertical part of your arm. But again, thrust and drag avoidance are everything in swimming.
And then the other component, which I sometimes feel is undervalued is the smart training and not over training and getting the mind right so you can handle the pressure. And I think these, in general, like let’s say the NCAA athletic arena where they take these distance runners that are great champions in high school or the age group swimming ranks are filled with kids that burnt out when they were 14 instead of 23 with gold medals around their neck. And so that part’s a little disturbing, cuz it’s sort of a survival of the fittest in of the, how much work you can survive without falling apart.
Even if you did have the great scapula and the, even the work ethic is sort of irrelevant. If you keep getting, uh, sore throats cuz something something’s going wrong.
And I almost separate those two. And I agree they’re both as important. I mean, you, you can’t get to the level of being the best if you don’t have, independently, I think this mental toughness and then also the work ethic to sort of, you know, get it, get it done when you know, you don’t always want to. So the mental toughness amazes me. I mean, that’s, I’ve, I’ve seen Phelps race so many times. And I think for those of us who like swimming, the fact that we could have been around during the Phelps era to have watched him, you know, I used to go and like watch his practices in person.
Many times. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Many times. Um, but you know, there was, there was just an amazing generation of swimmers too. I mean, you know, Lochte is a guy who I think would be much more, were well known. I mean, he’s pretty well known both for his swimming exploits and non swimming exploits, but I think most people don’t realize how good a swimmer Lochte was. It’s just, he was per, you know, in the shadow of the greatest swimmer of all time. It’s sort of like, you probably, would’ve never heard of Affirmed if he was around when Secretariat was around
Phil Michelson, your neighbor would be, you know, one of the greatest of all time. But he had a lot of, he has a lot of second places and, Tiger took that over, but yeah, I think Phelps and then seeing Usain Bolt do what he did and that consistency of coming back year after year is something that’s once in a lifetime, same with Tiger Woods and that’s something to be appreciated. I think those are the greatest examples that we’ll see for for many, many years that performing at that highest level.
I think it’s incredible. And again, because I don’t play golf, I probably have less of an appreciation for the greatness of, you know, Michelson or one of these guys. But yeah, as a swimmer, I could go and watch Phelps do something and, and look at the met, like you can geek out on the metrics, right? Like look at the stroke rate, look at the distance per stroke, look at the turnover, look at X, look at Y at Z. And it’s like,
Wow. Yeah. I swam with a guy in Sacramento named Jeff Float and he was the Olympic gold medalist in 1984, probably the most apt-named swimmer of all time. And also the first hearing impaired gold medalist in the, in the proper Olympics. He would get into the practice pool, 25 yard pool and his stroke, his stroke, count was nine strokes. Yeah. And so for reference like a really good swim or is getting to that wall in what, 14, 15, something like that, you know, I was trying to go down from 18 to 17 and really work hard on extending.
And most people who don’t know how to swim would be 25 strokes.
Yeah. So he’s across the pool in nine strokes. And so if you watch from the deck, it looks like he’s cruising. I remember my first workout with him. I was kind of nervous how I am slipping with the old medals. Hey man, can I jump in on your workout? Sure, sure. I’m gonna warm up a little and then we’ll do some hundreds. And so I looked over in his lane and he was just warming up and we, he kept warming up, usually warm up what 500, 700 at the most, he kept warming up. Kept warming up and I’m finally like stopped. Like when are we gonna start the bloody set? And he was, he was halfway through his hundreds, but his, his swim is so gentle.
He’s not splashing water. And he’s going at this, this relaxed stroke rate. And, you know, he was running, he was hitting double O like a very fast hundred pace just with it’s seemingly a warm up swim
Very often. The best at these things are also the most beautiful to watch. It’s not always the case. In so cycling, I mean, I’ve always found Chris Fromme a little awkward to look at. Like, I don’t, he doesn’t look graceful, but he’s, you know, head and shoulders above everybody else. So, you know, when it comes to putting out, you know, watts per kilo fr is gonna do it better than anybody else. And, uh, even if it doesn’t look great. Um, but in swimming, the only example I can think of, of someone who really looked like they were struggling, but was still going faster than everybody else was Dolan, who was the.
He won… Tom Dolan. He was like a 50 guy.
No, he was, well, his real claim to fame was the 400 IM. He won two consecutive gold medals in the 400 IM. So he won 96 and 2,400 IM. He was a Michigan guy. And, I never knew him. I’ve never seen him swim except on video, but it’s like, oh my God, he just didn’t look like a fraction of, you know, the grace. But I mean, he, he was a killer
Doing something right under the water, for sure. So I’m big on this kick of keeping athletic goals going throughout life and making them age appropriate and lifestyle appropriate. You had your, you had your day for doing your five hour training swims and your, uh, attempts to cross the channel. What do you doing these days or what do you envision a as future goals to keep it, keep it balanced with all the busy work you’re doing?
I gotta tell you, I don’t really have many performance goals. I mean, my first goal is always to show up and do the workout. So I, my first goal is completion. You know, is the, what do you call the attendance goal? Yeah. So don’t miss a workout ever really ever. Huh? I mean, I’m going to but that’s the goal, like that’s the, that’s the first order term is make sure you hit every workout, even if you don’t feel like it. Even if you have to modify it a little bit. Like this week I got on my trainer to ride on Tuesday and I couldn’t believe how bad I felt. And I was like, okay, well, you got two choices is you can just stop five minutes in or you can do it, but lower the like lower the power targets that you cuz you know, I’m doing this thing on trainer road.
So it’s, you know, it’s sort of spitting out numbers in you’re on that’s that’s generating the telling you, forcing you to generate a certain amount of power. So I just lowered it, but I, you know, still got through the workout and, and uh, today been today, like it would’ve been incredibly convenient to have skipped the workout cause there was just too many things that had to get done. And I got home so late yesterday and I didn’t get up as early as I wanted to this morning. And I was, you know, 47 emails that needed to be responded to in 10 minutes and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So I was like, and also I didn’t feel great. You know, this, the keto thing still feels really, I don’t feel great. So, but I was like, look, you gotta go and you gotta do it.
And then even my first exercise after my, I have a very long warmup actually on a day like today I spend once a week I do a very long, like I do an hour to 90 minute warmup. It’s much more about like it’s sort of a physical therapy type warmup before I get into the heavy stuff. And today’s first thing outta the gate was back squats. And I just knew it just wasn’t feeling right. You know, somehow the drive back and forth yesterday up to LA on my all day yesterday, even while I’m up there, I’m sitting, I just felt my QLS were very tight. And so, you know, I warm up with the bar. 95 pounds, 135 pounds, a hundred seventy five, a hundred eighty five pounds or whatever didn’t feel good. I was like, that’s it we’re done. So, so, but I didn’t can the workout, I just called an audible.
I said, okay, we’re gonna do split squats. Courtesy squats a whole bunch of much lighter things, um, to do it. So, so really that’s my most important goal is just show up. Don’t get hurt.
It’s okay. To call audibles.
Yep. Right. Um, as far as performance goes, I’m, I’m actually pretty happy being a little bit back on the bike. I’m a little bummed at how unfit I am. I think it speaks to the specificity of what I used to do and what people used to, or, but people do who take sport seriously. I’m amazed at how slowly I’m adding Watts to my FTP, which cycling is kind of the only thing you are really metric, you know, it’s your, it’s your metric and I’m blown away. I mean, I think even since this, from the spring until now, I mean, maybe I’m 10 Watts higher.
That’s pathetic. Like that’s, you know, I should be like 30 Watts higher given how far I am below. Cuz remember it’s easy to gain fitness you once had versus building off being at your best, which I know where near. Um, I mean I have some strength goals, you know, there’s certain, there’s certain lifts. I wanna be able to hit on my deadlift. I think there are certain silly things that I want to be able to do again, that I’ve done historically. But through injuries have had a hard time. I can’t tear phone books anymore,
Which you could at one point? When they had phone books now they don’t have any
Yeah. I wish that was the only reason I couldn’t no. My grip strength has declined after an elbow injury. And the last time I tried the hear phone book, I couldn’t do it.
And I was, you know, I mean, since college I’ve been tearing phone books.
So that really bums me out. Not because I care about tearing phone books, but because it makes me realize, wow, I’ve lost that much grip strength. And then I, you know, my goals in a race car, I have goals in archery. And while those are probably less physically demanding than kind of the cycling, swimming type of goals I had, they’re still very technical and, um, equally enjoyable for me as far as pursuing.
So what’s the race car all about?
You mean meaning like what, what are the goals or why do I care?
What kind of, what kind of racing do you do?
Um, I do, I mean, most of the work that we do is actually in a simulator just based on cost and time. So the simulators in the next room.
And then when it comes to cars, I mean any, I, I like all cars. I, I like anything. That’s a built for purpose, race cars. Those are the most fun cars. So street cars are not that much fun to drive on race tracks, cuz they’re not really built for purpose. But you know, even like a little tiny Miata, that’s all specked out for racing, even though it’s, you know, a very low powered car. I mean, they’re still incredibly fun to drive on race tracks. You know, the, the spec class of BMWs, the E 30 S the E 46., Um, I love the formula cars because just of performance is outstanding. You now generate this down force through the aerodynamics of the car and you can go through corners at speeds. You’ve never imagined possible. So yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s what that’s all about.
Well, man, you’re, you’re living a fast life. You always got something going on. I appreciate that about you. I think it kind of blends together like these, these hobbies and passions, you know, they say that you need to nurture those to maximize your ability in your career and to have those outlets, you feel like that’s a good, a good plan for you that you’re always finding something archery. What have you?
I think so. I mean, I think I just, people have different needs, right? You know, there’s like a hierarchy of needs, but I think that for many people and certainly for me, mastery is a need the journey. Like the journey of getting better at something is very important. And that’s probably why when I stopped competitively doing anything, athletically swimming or cycling or even boxing. It was very hard to find pleasure out of those activities recreationally because there’s nothing, I’m not, I’m so far below where I was like, so when, when, you know, when I was time trialing or, swimming and doing so, and as competitively every month, you’re trying to get a little bit better each season, you’re trying to get a little bit better. You’ve got goals and you’re working towards them. But now for me to get on my bike, it’s ho I mean, it’s a joke, right?
I’m so bad. Like, there’s, it’s hard for me to find the mastery in it. There’s still joy in it at some level, but there’s no mastery. So that’s why turning to other things like driving a race car or archery where you’re starting at ground zero, there’s incredible pleasure in getting better at something and learning a skill that you don’t monotonically improve in, but you, you know, you’ll take some steps forward. You’ll take some, some steps backwards, you know what good it looks like because you can see it modeled in others. And, you know, you look back over the course of a year and you realize, wow, I’ve made progress. And I, I don’t know, for some reason, I just think that’s important.
Yeah. I feel the same. And keep it, keeping it fresh. It might be a personality attribute, cuz I know buddies of mine that I raced with on the pro circuit starting 30 years ago and they’re still going into the amateur ranks and now they’re winning the 50 plus division and you know, people ask me all the time. It’s like the first question I get, oh you, raced pro for nine years. That’s great. Do you, do you still do the races for fun? And I go, no, that’s it. Why, why would I, I can’t even imagine wanting to at, you know, going, going all out in something, do you wanna back to, to medical school just for fun. I mean,
Well, but you know your guys who are still racing the over 50, I think in many ways that’s still another form of mastery. They’re in an absolute sense. They’re not getting better, but on an age adjusted basis per potentially, they’re still seeing those, those gains and, and maybe for them, that’s scratching image. Yeah.
The podium’s there for everybody, right? There’s a there’s age divisions for a reason. So, and keep up the good work with your career, man. We appreciate you so much. I know Mark Sisson and I drove down here, what was it now, a year and a half ago, cuz we had this assignment to write the Keto Reset Diet and we knew a little bit about keto and we said, what should we do now we have to turn this book in. And we had a great time with you there and at the whiteboard and you explained everything to us. It was a huge a huge part of the, uh, the operation. So that was, that was good to meet you there and now catch up and find out that you’re in the podcast game. So how do we how do we subscribe? What’s the show gonna be about what’s your tone and so forth?
So it’s kind of, um, so the name of the, the podcast is called The Drive. And so you can find it.
Do you have like graph you know, background, uh, you know, show tunes where you have the, motor reving up.
We don’t, we don’t have driving music which maybe we should, should, um, and you can find it in all the usual spots on, on iTunes and such. But the thing that we’re doing as an experiment is putting a stupid amount of work into the show notes. Now that again, that may turn out to be not a good use of resources,
Rhonda Patrick’s style,
She on screen. Yeah. Rhonda’s are amazing. Cuz she’s doing this killer job of the video. We’re not even going down that path yet, but if you look at the website, if you look at petertiamd.com slash podcast, you’ll see all the podcasts and you’ll see 10 pages worth of like every detail on everything that we talk about with a hyperlink to this and a description of this and all those things. So the feedback so far has been that people have never seen show notes like them and they really love them. And again, if it makes sense, we’ll continue to do that. Cuz I, I think it makes it, um, it allows people to get more out of it. Hoping to probably just post, put one up every single Monday and um, you know, we’ve got enough in the pipeline that’ll that we, we have our six months basically worth, so we’ll get to the end of the year and then decide if we’re gonna continue it. Um, and the format seems to be kind of long form, you know, podcast. It’s sort of like, you know, I like what Tim does. I like what Joe Rogan does. I like what people I like when people just say, you know, we’re gonna go where we, we go
Off the road or I’ll, I’ll kill you next time. Oh, oh sorry. Yeah.
Yeah. I like saying that too.
We’re gonna, we’re gonna do extensive show notes, then, to honor you. I mean, I have that same vision of really providing a helpful written content cuz I’m a writer and you used to see the descriptions of my shows go on and ONM. I’m like, well I gotta stop. I gotta go do my other, you know, finishing a book. But it, um, we’ll, we’ll do kick as show notes and I’m gonna find the driver, that pickup truck that was going down that hill and call him out. We’ll we’ll find him.
I wish I could remember his, uh, his, his, the color of his truck and his license plate.
You talked about the desire to have a rifle straped to your bike. Did we talk about it on the air, off the air? I can’t remember, but, you should get like, I mean, you could get a body cam, right? Like what, what do you call the thing on top of your head? The GoPro. It just, any car cuts you off, you get their license plate and we go to town. We go straight to the police station
Olivia, what are you doing here?
I love it. If you listen to the first show.
we’re we’re on the air here.
The first show on The Drive podcast, this young lady who just walked in, would you say hello to our, our fans out there?
And can you tell ’em the name of this podcast?
Get Over yourself.
Thank you for listening to the, Get Over Yourself podcast for Olivia and Peter Attia. This is Brad Kearns Have a nice day.
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