Energy Balance Stress Optimization Reflections

Welcome to Part 1 of a four-part presentation relating to the extremely compelling title.

Indeed, I have been reflecting upon some of the foundational elements of progressive/ancestral health—calling them into question since my first exposure to Jay Feldman of the Energy Balance Podcast and my recent interview with him for the B.rad podcast. One of Jay’s assertions has been haunting me for over a month since he said it to Ben Greenfield on their podcast interview: “Fasting turns on stress hormones.” This is such an obvious observation but I have failed to put it into proper context for reflection until recently. Could it be that our devotion to athletic performance, healthy eating, and anti-aging could easily drift overboard such that the vaunted “hormetic stressors” fail to deliver the adaptive benefits they promise?

On that topic, I brazenly question the extreme health practices of my main man Brian “Liver King” Johnson in a blatant attempt to draw in more listeners. Liver King is the king of ancestral living and doing a great job promoting the importance of hard work, sacrifice and challenging the body in order to regain the ancestral fighting spirit that’s been lost in modern life. Could his amazing training regimen, cold exposure, and quarterly 5-day fasting regimen be unnecessary from a physical fitness perspective alone? Perhaps, but he is diligent in emphasizing the psychological benefits of challenging the mind and body with peak performance endeavors. 

Here is a pretty heavy and potentially controversial quote from Jay Feldman to whet your appetite about what’s coming in the four-part presentation: “Low-carb, ketogenic, and carnivore diets, which mimic the fasted state (also called the starvation state), cause considerable amounts of stress…and are generally a terrible idea {holy crap Jay!}…. But, like fasting, the benefits from these diets can largely be attributed to reductions in gut irritation rather than stress, because many of the irritating, hard-to-digest foods that would lead to increased endotoxin production are carbohydrates, and these types of foods are avoided on these diets.”


We are calling into question some of the foundational elements of progressive and ancestral health movement. [01:05]

Are todays’ athletes, who are breaking records, compromising their health and longevity? [03:15]

Fasting promotes stress hormones. [04:18]

Adaptations to stress and damage don’t actually improve our health. [07:44]

You have to be really careful in managing your hermetic stress levels, especially as you are getting older. [16:57]

We would all benefit from a more varied temperature experience. [19:12]

When you participate in an extended fast, in many ways, it is equivalent to an intense workout. [24:14]

Brad talks about realizing that his recent workout combining a cold plunge with an intense workout caused him a problem. [27:19]



We appreciate all feedback, and questions for Q&A shows emailed to podcast@bradventures.com. If you have a moment, please share an episode you like with a quick text message, or leave a review on your podcast app. Thank you!

Check out each of these companies because they are absolutely awesome or they wouldn’t occupy this revered space. Seriously, Brad won’t promote anything he doesn’t absolutely love and use in daily life.


B.Rad Podcast

Brad (00:00):
I’m author and athlete Brad Kearns. Welcome to the be rad podcast where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life. Visit BradKearns.com for great resources on healthy eating exercise and lifestyle. And here we go with the show, it was so far beyond a comprehension for me that I I’m still shaking my head is like, how can somebody train that hard and do a succession of five very impressive workouts in a single day. Considering that adaptations to stress and damage don’t actually improve our health, stress and damage are also, we should know that they’re cumulative and that the benefits of environmental stimuli are due to their specific effects rather than the stress they cause. Right. I’m not gonna go to the track, do a sprinting jumping workout, come home, have a, have an egg, work on the computer and then head back to the track, uh, two and a half hours later for another track workout. That’s ridiculous.

Brad (01:05):
Okay. I hope you enjoyed the compelling title of what I think is going to be a very interesting and thought provoking show, particularly because particularly because we call in to question some of the foundational elements of the progressive health, the ancestral health movement. The quote that’s been haunting me since I heard it from Jay Feldman of the Energy Balance Podcast, what maybe a month ago by now, I first heard him on the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast. I encourage you to listen to that, encourage you to listen to our interview. And this is just some further reflections on the important topic of optimizing diet and life stress factors for improvement, for resiliency, as opposed to knocking us down. And I’m certainly familiar with that as I relate often my stint as a professional triathlete, that ten-year block of time in my life can easily be categorized as overly stressful and not contributing to health nor longevity.

Brad (02:14):
In fact, directly compromising both of those important goals. It seems like today the athletes are more sophisticated and more intelligent about their training, especially in the endurance sports. And I think what we’ve seen there is more people performing at the elite level standard and records being broken, especially in a younger sport like triathlon where these records of the old times of my era are being shattered by today’s athletes. They’re just performing in mind blowing, going seven hours and 30 minutes, or, or even below that for Ironman distance triathlon. It’s just unfathomable that someone could swim bike and run that fast all day long. When we had the great athletes of our time and training as hard as we possibly could spending a lot of our lives out there, swimming, biking, and running. And now the modern athlete is basically shattering the elite performance standards of the previous era.

Brad (03:15):
Are they compromising their health and their longevity in the process? Most likely so, but in some ways maybe they’re mitigating some of that damage with more intelligent training patterns. I’m watching a video of a day in the life of training of the great Ironman and Olympic champion, Jan Frodeno, the German. The, the workouts he accumulated. I’m sure he picked his very best day, right? When the camera crew’s coming to follow you around, you’re not gonna take an easy day. You’re gonna throw down and let everybody be wowed on YouTube. Uh, but still even if he was manufacturing an ideal training day or embellishing what might happen in his typical program, it was so far beyond a comprehension for me that I I’m still shaking my head. It’s like, how can somebody train that hard and do a succession of five very impressive workouts and a single day where he is going to the track in the morning, going back to the track in the evening, prior to that doing hill repeats and getting a nice bike ride in there and an extremely long, long swim at sunrise.

Brad (04:18):
Oh my goodness. Anyway, as we fast forward to present day where that stint of my life, that overly stressful period, uh, in pursuit of elite athletic performance is gone. And now I’m trying to balance peak performance goals with goals for health and longevity. I am haunted by this quote from Jay Feldman, fasting prompts, stress hormones. We know this to be true. I just haven’t reflected on it sufficiently and discarded it in the pile. But it’s extremely important, especially talking to a certain population who are striving for peak performance, anti-aging recovery vitality, and I’ll discuss shortly how someone in a different category, the opposite category with metabolic damage, metabolic dysfunction, obesity, high-risk factors for disease in blood work. Uh, maybe the message might be received differently. But when I hear someone telling me that my health practices are turning on stress hormones, I am going to snap to attention and try to figure out if this is indeed a wise strategy.

Brad (05:26):
So we know that the stress response is part of the process of unlocking energy from storage. So when we’re fasting, when we are restricting carbs, when we’re eating in a ketogenic pattern, when we are doing time restricted feeding all these wonderful attributes that are the centerpiece of progressive health, we are activating the stress response to release stored fuel into the bloodstream to burn for energy. If you want to drop excess body fat, this is gonna be part of the process is activating that those fight or flight mechanisms to unlock store body fat and burn it same with the widely touted benefits of autophagy and apoptosis. Autophagy is the natural internal cellular detoxification process. So, we recycle and clean up or dispose of damaged cellular material before it can cause further damage in the body. Apoptosis is the programmed death of dysfunctional cells, such as precancer cells.

Brad (06:32):
And these mechanisms are up-regulated when you are in a fasted state or calorie restriction state, or a low carbohydrate ketogenic state. We know that ketones burn very cleanly in the body. They are known by many experts to be the preferred fuel source in the brain, because they enhance oxygen delivery and blood circulation to the brain. They burn more cleanly than glucose, which is the typically preferred fuel for the brain, but it must be recognized and acknowledged that these are all stress responses. So autophagy and apoptosis are ways that your body works more efficiently and more thriftily in a fasted state, as opposed to let’s say an overfed state or a chronically overfed straight, which is believed to drive all manner of metabolic disease, cancer, heart disease, all that where the body instead of being efficient, is engaging in accelerated cell division to the detriment and the potential increased disease risk from things like cancer, which is marked by right unwanted and accelerated cell division.

Brad (07:44):
The tumors are growing. So when we fast, when we starve ourselves, when we time restricted feeding, we kick into gear, these wonderful mechanisms. Now it’s time to sit back for a second and reflect. We have a very stressful, hectic high stress, modern life, as a baseline for most of us, right? And then we are piling on top of that things like training for crazy endurance goals or heading to the local fitness facility to participate in group exercise, which are by and large, I tend to be slightly or to significantly overly stressful workouts for most of the participants. Same with the home-based exercise programs, where we wanna push ourselves and feel a little bit of strain and suffering to balance all the comforts of modern life and the sedentary patterns that we engage in. But it might be a valuable question to ask, do I need to introduce more stress into my life? Is the best pathway to health, this hormetic stressor approach?

Brad (08:48):
And in that category, of course falls high intensity workouts, fasting, calorie restriction, carb restriction, uh, cold plunging, sauna, and assorted other, what we call hormetic stressors. Right? So if the answer is, Maybe not, I’d like to know further and investigate this issue further. It is time to challenge some of the basic and widely touted notions of the progressive health movement, the ancestral health movement. We compare and contrast to our ancestors and we need to regain a lot of those lifestyle circumstances that made us strong, resilient, good fat burning human beings, uh, rather than modern day, uh, swabs and gluts, but we have some complexity to discuss here. And that brings up a quote on the matter from Jay Feldman energy balance podcast, quote, in fact, considering that adaptations to stress and damage don’t actually improve our health. Stress and damage are also, we should know, that they’re cumulative and that the benefits of environmental stimuli are due to their specific effects rather than the stress they cause. Hormesis would be best characterized as an extreme misrepresentation of the interaction between the organism and the environment.

Brad (10:11):
Ouch, end quote. So what he’s saying there that the, uh, the benefits of environmental stimuli are due to their specific effects rather than the stress they cause. When you’re talking about picking up a weight and lifting it off the ground, doing a set of dead lifts, you are activating the muscles, you are moving them through a range of motion. You are challenging the bones and joints to become more resilient, increase bone density, increase muscle strength. But we also know that doing a set of dead lifts causes a certain element of damage or doing a whole workout that features deadlifts and a bunch of other stuff. You are inflicting cellular damage upon the relevant muscles. And when you wake up the next day sore, like I do often when I’m going, doing an ambitious workout in the gym, that’s an indication of very likely, uh, excessive, uh, stress to the organism causing unwanted cellular damage and requiring extensive recovery time and rebuilding time and protein synthesis to repair the damage muscle fibers rather than specifically to grow them stronger.

Brad (11:22):
So we have to separate those two, um, those two ideas where the specific effects of the stress of running 10 miles. Again, your heart and lungs are working. You’re pumping blood to the working muscles. You’re teaching your lungs to process oxygen efficiently. You’re improving your running economy, How much energy is required, uh, to run at an eight minute per mile pace or a 10 minute per mile pace, right? So all those things are having an adaptive effect to the body, but you’re also inflicting cellular damage. You’re developing you’re prompting free radical production. Anytime you do any kind of workout. And especially the extreme workouts, you’re inflicting a ton of damage onto the organism. And we have to consider that the stress and the damage don’t actually improve our health. So in other words, when we’re, when we’re pursuing fitness goals and, and getting fit, we’re getting fit despite the damage that the fitness stimulation causes to the body.

Brad (12:24):
And so when we throw this term around: hormesis, which has widely been characterized as, uh, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? That’s one of the, the fundamental quotes of the fitness industry, the biohacking world, and so forth. It’s very interesting that Feldman points out that the origination of this concept came from this is nasty, people. You’re gonna, it’s gonna turn your stomach, but it came from the nuclear and chemical industries back decades ago, they were trying to pass off the terrible things that they were doing to humans and to the environment such as exposure to radiation or exposure to poisons, like routine pesticides and things that were making their way into modern times. They’re trying to pass those off as beneficial hormetic stressors. That is where the concept of hormesis originated. Don’t worry about those. X-rays, you’re blasting your cells with radiation, but your cells will come back stronger, due to the hormetic effects.

Brad (13:22):
So is it complete misinterpretation ,or as Jay says, an extreme misrepresentation of the interaction between the organism and the environment. What about cold plunging, which I’m so fond of? It has become so popular. Again, you’re getting a variety of physical and importantly psychological benefits, right? But we do not want to stay in there too long, or it’s an absolute disaster, same with the sauna. And believe me, I’ve teetered on the outer edges here a couple times. So I’ll relate how that feels. One of ’em was way back when I was, uh, just a teenager and doing one of my earliest triathlons. This was way back in the day before wetsuits, if you’re familiar with the sport, now you can look at the, the pack jumping into the, the ocean or the lake. And if it’s cold, everyone’s wearing a head to toe.

Brad (14:15):
These really slick, expensive racing wetsuits. But before those were invented, I had to swim 1.2 miles in Lake Ming in Bakersfield on a crisp April day where the snow melt was still you know, putting the, the water temperature down at 64 degrees Fahrenheit. And after nearly a half an hour, maybe longer, I started to become significantly hypothermic while I was trying to finish this swim. And, you know, when you get hypothermic, guess what happens first? That’s right, your body starts to preserve the internal organs to save your life. And so the blood leaves your extremities. So all of a sudden your swim stroke that used to be reaching out and extending six feet between strokes. Then it goes to five, then it goes to four, and then you’re basically dog paddling out there, which is really bad because that means you’re in the lake longer than you hoped for or planned for.

Brad (15:05):
And that was not a healthy endeavor. I barely made it to shore. I tried to get my bike shoes on, but I couldn’t work my hands. I couldn’t work the brakes on the bicycle. And so there’s my hypothermic story. And in the sauna, I’ve, teetered around on the edges where I spent a little bit too long in there and got out and felt lightheaded. Like I wanted to pass out and kind of felt beat up for hours after afterward. So this is just a simple example. When we talk about hot and cold therapy, that you want to be an appropriate level to stimulate these wonderful adaptations and minimize the stress to the organisms. So we talk about heat shock proteins being produced when you expose yourself to sauna the cold shock proteins being produced when you expose yourself to cold, and those are highly beneficial in appropriately minimal amounts. And imagine just taking it to the extreme, and then you get massive damage and destruction from overheating, right?

Brad (16:03):
People die from overheating and people die from hypothermia. Okay. So, when we’re looking for that sweet spot of how much stress is appropriate and how much to accept in pursuit of fitness, right? So I mentioned my triathlon experience was I was piling on way more stress than was appropriate because I had to get onto a jet airplane, fly across the world, and then go pedal my brains out to try to win a prize check, right? So that was all acknowledged. But today, when we have an ability to make decisions about what’s appropriate, I felt like this energy balance message was talking directly to guys like me, who are trying to get maximum energy to perform through daily life and assorted areas, particularly, fitness athletics, and as well as the cognitive challenges and being the best I can be in every way as a career person, family person.

Brad (16:57):
Right? So if I put everything into a scoreboard or a basket, all the stress factors, cold plunging fasting, playing around with car restriction and ketogenic diets, especially in research for doing one of the first books written, uh, one of the first mass market books written on the keto diet, The Keto Reset diet. I went deep, deep into keto because I was obligated to as Mark Sisson and I were studying the concept for the first time. And let me tell you, it was a, a challenge and possibly inappropriately paired with the challenge of doing extreme workouts. And I had a lot of crash and burn experiences that I thought were just, Hey, if I can just adapt further, this thing’s gonna be great. And I’m gonna be able to be a low carb athlete and all that stuff. So today, as I’m trying to optimize the, the stress level in my life, I realized the first stress factor is being 57 years old and still wanting to head out to the track and jump over a bar or sprint in a circle.

Brad (18:00):
Okay. So, um, that going into the game, I gotta be really, really careful, much more careful than the dude on the high school track team who was going out there, the college track team slamming themselves on day one, coming back, slamming themselves on another day and living to tell about it, and actually, perhaps thriving from a, a very high stress approach to training because they have, uh, optimal recovery, thanks to being younger. So this is a delicate subject, especially if you’re in the older age groups. Now, lest you get confused and think that I’m slamming all these health practices that I’ve been promoting for a long time, like jumping in the cold water, going into the sauna, performing high intensity workouts, we gotta keep the context right here. The psychological benefits of taking on challenges of a physical and or cognitive nature are profound because we do live in this indulgent era of comfort, convenience, and nonstop ability to just obtain instant gratification, participate in the consumerism society, watch others push and challenge themselves with those crazy television shows.

Brad (19:12):
What’s the show. I haven’t watched it yet, where they drop the person into the frozen Tundra with only a couple tools and they have to survive for a month or something. Wow, sounds exciting. But don’t forget that participation is essential to experience the maximum benefits and live a rich, meaningful, satisfying contributory life. You don’t wanna just be somewhat on the sideline, obsessed with comfort and convenience. And I do feel like temperature is a big issue here because we spend almost all of our time in comfortable temperature controlled environments. Some research I believe from great Britain, suggested that I, I thought it was 86% of the time we spend indoors and another six we spend, uh, behind the wheel of a vehicle. So that’s 92. So even when we have the temperature extremes that humans live in, in population centers across the world, whether hot, cold, whatever, or, or, you know, varied, we’re only talking about 8% of our total time being outdoors anyway.

Brad (20:15):
So why complain about the humidity in New Orleans in the summer, if your indoors looking out a glass window, 92% of the time, same for the, the cold rainy, uh, winters that we endure in the Pacific Northwest. Come on now, people, uh, let’s talk when you are on the chain gang, putting on chains for the cars heading up to the snow, and that’s your job all winter. Then I want to hear about how that winter is tough. So for most of us, we would greatly benefit from a little more temperature, uh, therapy temperature experience, because we’ve gone so far overboard, Dr. Jack Kruse, I did a summary highlight show of his, around the clock insights about the hormonal processes that happen over the 24 hour day. And he makes a particularly important point about post-menopausal females, the benefits of becoming cold adapted.

Brad (21:08):
So that change in hormones that occurs, uh, for females after menopause can be largely mitigated in some of the increased risks of cancers and demise can be mitigated by doing a bit of cold therapy. That’s probably a, a category of humans that might be least interested in cold therapy. I’m thinking more of the 19 to 34 aged male. That’s gonna be more receptive to my, uh, wonderful YouTube videos about jumping in late Tahoe in the winter, running through the snow or jumping into the chest freezer. However, it stands that becoming more cold adapted, enduring some, some heat while we’re out there exercising, gardening, or hiking, an appropriate amount,will have all kinds of hormonal benefits and fine tune our stress response. So when our stress response is dulled by the modern comforts, that’s when we’re looking at accelerated demise and becoming weak creatures who does better promoting this message than main man, Brian Liver, King Johnson.

Brad (22:11):
If you haven’t seen him on social media, go join the pack of over a million people following him when he came outta nowhere. And he is all about living the ancestral lifestyle and putting the body under discomfort in order to experience that flip side, uh, Dr. Anna, Lembke, my recent show with her. She calls up the opponent process reaction, where if you induce an appropriate amount of pain discomfort challenge, you will get a rebound effect of a sustained sensation of pleasure, contentment, satisfaction, appreciation. So, jumping in the cold water will elevate your mood for hours afterward. Liver King also performs a five day fast every quarter. He brings his wife Barbara along on the fasting journey, and the fast is preceded by what they call a failed hunt workout. So it’s not preceded by an indulgent feast where you’re, you’re good to go for the first 18 hours anyway, cuz you just went to the buffet.

Brad (23:16):
No, you’re doing an extremely grueling workout to deplete glycogen, and then they kick off a five day fast. Now is that a stressor? It’s a massive stressor. Hmm. Does someone like Liver King who’s already an extreme fitness specimen really need that physically speaking or could it be too much? It possibly be possibly, it could be too much. However, the psychological resilience, the increased appreciation for the comforts and conveniences of modern life, especially prepared meals and being able to satisfy your hunger anytime you want with a click of a button or the opening of a refrigerator door, when you, when you tune up that stuff, that is a great argument for leading a more happy content, satisfying life. I don’t think it’s easy to go on a five day fast every quarter. I’ve never tried it and probably will never try it unless Liver King ropes me into it after I’m calling him out here, maybe he’ll call me out for having never tried it.

Brad (24:14):
Hnowever, the thing I’m reflecting upon is that an extended fast, maybe it’s 24 hour, maybe it’s 18 hour, whatever. This kind of act will in many ways, be rendered equivalent to an intense workout. You’re starving your cells of energy to prompt a what they often call a hormetic response. We might have to choose a different term, but you are starving your cells of energy so that your body systems work more efficiently and you kick into apoptosis, autophagy and so forth. But the same thing happens when you deplete your glycogen during a tough workout, Brian’s just stacking the tough workout with a five day fast to go all the way overboard into what could be, uh, described as an extreme stressor. However, his adaptation has been profound since he’s been doing it frequently for years, right? So maybe that five day fast is no big deal to him.

Brad (25:12):
And he’s strong and resilient where he doesn’t complain about it much. Might be tough getting out of the gate, right. Might be tough to fast for 24 hours for many people out of the gate. But this concept that those have a similar or a comparable response in the body, is called redundant pathways. And Dr. Casey Means talked about that at length in our interview. And it was very interesting where it’s also relevant or applicable, uh, with some of the content that Paul Saladino talks about where this plant hormesis getting a health benefit or an antioxidant response from consuming plant toxins can be equated with environmental hormesis and environmental hormesis does not have the adverse side effects of plant hormesis. So when you jump into the cold tub, you get this profound anti-inflammatory antioxidant response to the fight or flight stimulation of jumping into very cold water and staying in there for a minute or two or three.

Brad (26:11):
And when you consume a blueberry or broccoli or a kale salad, you are also getting, you’re literally getting poisoned by the plant toxins and your liver is kicking into gear and producing the master internal antioxidant called glutathione in response to the blueberries, the broccoli and the kale. And so that’s widely regarded as a health benefit of consuming these quote unquote high antioxidant foods. So go listen to my shows with Dr. Saladino to get your head straight, because I didn’t realize that intermediate step where you have to a consume poison B Mount, an antioxidant defense response, and then C experience the intended benefits. But, uh, when you think about the potential negative aspects that go hand in hand with the benefits of consuming plant toxins, the concept of redundant pathways becomes very interesting. So if someone says to me, Hey, Brad, speaking of redundant pathways, would you choose a high jump workout or an extended fast where you starve yourselves of energy?

Brad (27:19):
They’re both gonna give you a very similar health benefit and the high jump workout is probably gonna make you a better high jumper and have a bigger fitness benefit than the fast, which one you’re gonna choose. Remember there even it’s an even deal. Okay, I’m gonna choose the workout, right? Uh, whew. I think you, if you’re raising your hand right now and you’re following me, this is a real eye opener, because for a long time, I thought maybe stacking disparate types of hormetic stress could be a benefit. And I will relate. I’ve never said this before. I don’t think, I didn’t want to damage my brand, my reputation, just kidding. No, I’ve really relate that. Um, I had an awakening recently, I think this in the past six months or whatever, where I had three separate occasions of stacking a morning sprint workout with my typical cold plunge regimen.

Brad (28:22):
It was not back to back or any of those things where they talk about don’t jump in the cold, right after workout. You’ll blunt, the inflammatory response I’m talking about, let’s say I waited a couple hours, whatever, but I had on a particular morning, a cold plunge as well as a appropriately spaced, uh, sprinting jumping workout. And on three separate occasions, I had this very disturbing and unusual afternoon crash and burn where I felt tired, achy muscles. Um, I didn’t know what was going on on one of the occasions I thought, oh my gosh, is this is this COVID hitting me finally. I had to lay down for a very deep and extended nap, uh, waking up, uh, feeling okay afterward, but on the third time that it happened, that’s when I put the, um, the pieces together. And I concluded that maybe the extreme stress, again, we’re talking about a 57 year old wannabe athlete, who’s going over there and doing a practice that’s more appropriate for high schoolers in their in their peak, hormonal years and conditioning.

Brad (29:26):
And then coming and then jumping in the cold water, maybe it was too much. And the cumulative effects of the fight or fight stimulation that both of those prompt caused that crash and burn in the ensuing hours. Um, so I, you know, noted duly noted to self and realized the benefits of spacing those things out just as if the cold plunge represented on the scoreboard, um, a redundant pathway of another, uh, sprint workout, right? I’m not gonna go to the track, do a sprinting jumping workout, come home, have a, have an egg, work on the computer and then head back to the track, uh, two and a half hours later for another track workout. That’s ridiculous. But in many ways, the cold plunge represented a second fight or flight stimulation into too narrow of a time frame.

Brad (30:21):
Okay. This is a pretty heavy premise that, uh, requires deep reflection. So I think I’m gonna wrap up the show here before jumping into the next phase of the discussion, where we talk about diet and the desire to reduce excess body fat and to optimize energy intake, energy production, and energy storage. That’s a whole nother can of worms. But out of the gate. And I think this is a major theme that you’ll hear in a lot of the energy balanced podcasts is this idea of a hormesis, hormesis 2.0, right. And so just to summarize, um, we’re talking about life stressors, all going on the same side of the, the scales of justice, right? The blind statue, the lady on the statue blindfolded, and then the two little trays where you weigh things and, and try to keep them in balance.

Brad (31:20):
So all those stressors go on the same side of the scale and need to be, uh, reflected upon when we’re trying to optimize, uh, adaptation versus, uh, all forms of life stress. And in many ways, the starving, the cells of energy have a bunch of redundant pathways. So fasting and high intensity exercise do the same thing. They prompt the same adaptations. And, as far as cellular energy production, and then the fitness adaptations are gonna be higher when you’re doing a workout rather than fasting. So stacking cold exposure, fasting, high intensity exercise, and a lot of birthdays is going to be an overload in my opinion, and also in my personal experience. So that’s the thing I want you to reflect on is how is your stress bucket doing and how can we optimize? And this goes to that concept. I don’t really like the term people are, uh, talking about minimal effective dose all the time.

Brad (32:20):
I’m not a big fan because I think, um, a lot of people have misappropriated that to be the biohacker mentality where, how can I sleep for only five hours if I put these wires on my head and, and get this kind of mattress and be just as rested. I don’t think that’s the point and, um, same with, you know, how can I do as good exercise as possible and get super fit. A lot of us enjoy exercise and enjoy our time out there on the trails, uh, in the mountains, hiking or running around the track and, and practicing the high jump. So, I wanna stay away from that minimal effective dose camp. But at the same time, the term is appropriate here because we want to get the maximum fitness, hormonal, psychological health and longevity benefits from what we’re doing and find that sweet spot with caloric intake, which we’ll talk about on the next show with our training patterns and exercise workout choices, which is a constant battle, and I’m still fighting that one.

Brad (33:22):
And my main mistake being I go and do a great workout. I think it’s a fantastic fitness adaptation. And then I realize in the ensuing days that it was probably a bit too much because I’m having difficulty recovering and having to wait longer than desired or longer than optimal for my muscles to return to a peak function and arrested state, uh, the soreness gone and all that kind of thing. So we have redundant pathways and we have to consider stress in context, especially this idea of hormesis where, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is a extreme misrepresentation of the interaction between the organism and its environment. And there you have it part one in a multipart series on reflections about stress, energy, balance, many other topics coming up. Thanks for listening.

Brad (34:18):
Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please. Email podcast@Bradventures.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list at bradkearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list. And if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with apple podcasts or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called Overcast allows you to actually record a sound bite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember B.rad.




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The MOFO Mission (you should choose to accept it!) is off and running and lives are changing.

TJ Quillin
Success Stories

MOFO has been nothing short of an incredible addition to my daily life. After a few days of taking this stuff, I started noticing higher energy levels throughout the day (and focus), increased libido (no joke!!), and better sleep (didn’t expect this at all!), not to mention better performance in the gym. I was finally able to break through a deadlift plateau and pull a 605lb deadlift, more than triple my body weight of 198 pounds! I was astonished because other than the MOFO supplement (and it’s positive, accompanying side effects) nothing else had changed in my daily routine in order to merit this accomplishment. I’m a big believer in MOFO and personally, I like to double dose this stuff at 12 capsules per day. The more the merrier!”


28, Union Grove, AL. Marketing director and powerlifter.

Success Stories

“I’ve been taking MOFO for several months and I can really tell a
difference in my stamina, strength, and body composition. When I
started working out of my home in 2020, I devised a unique strategy
to stay fit and break up prolonged periods of stillness. On the hour
alarm, I do 35 pushups, 15 pullups, and 30 squats. I also walk around
my neighborhood in direct sunlight with my shirt off at midday. My
fitness has actually skyrockted since the closing of my gym!
However, this daily routine (in addition to many other regular
workouts as well as occasional extreme endurance feats, like a
Grand Canyon double crossing that takes all day) is no joke. I need
to optimize my sleep habits with evenings of minimal screen use
and dim light, and eat an exceptionally nutrient-dense diet, and
finally take the highest quality and most effective and appropriate
supplements I can find.”


50, Austin, TX. Peak performance expert, certified
health coach, and extreme endurance athlete.

Boosting Testosterone Naturally
Brad Kearns
Brad Kearns
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