Primal Health Coach

Welcome to part 2 of the Primal Fitness Coach Expert Certification course overview!

We went through the introduction and chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in part 1, and in this episode, you will learn all kinds of fantastic drills to improve balance, ranging from stuff you can do at your work desk during the day to some great challenges that you can do at the gym, as well as some useful mobility and flexibility drills (and skills) you will hear about, especially as I take you through my beloved morning routine, which includes all kinds of fun and challenging exercises. These kinds of drills are really important—as Kelly Starrett says, athletes should dedicate 20% of training time to drills and skills.

The Primal Fitness Coach Certification course has sections on everything from how to use the Bosu ball as well as a whole section on fascial restructuring and reawakening—one of the most interesting subjects I have had the opportunity to learn about as I researched this material. You’ll learn about the interconnectedness of how the whole fascial network operates, which actually encases all of our muscles—like a spiderweb that runs throughout our body. You will learn why fascial conditioning is more important (and safer) than fascial strengthening and why so many of the world’s leading athletes are second-guessing our obsession and frequent application of so-called therapeutic recovery modalities—things like stretching, massage, foam rolling, and jumping in the cold tub. As you will hear, the thinking behind this is when you unwind that muscular tension, you actually are unwinding some of the intended training effects—and the same applies to the inflammation that occurs after exercising—which can be counterproductive. We also discuss the GOATA method, why “the best ability for any athlete is availability,” and the exercises, skills and drills that play the biggest role in the process of aging gracefully, as well as the correct technique to use when performing them.


Brad reviews part 1 of this Primal Fitness Certification course. [01:06]
In questioning therapeutic recovery, Brad asserts that when you unwind that muscular tension, you are unwinding some of the intended training effects. [02:17]

Athletes should dedicate 20 percent of all training time to doing drills and skills. (Starrett)


The number one cause of demise for people over 65 is falling. [07:53]

Squatting technique skills are emphasized. It is, after all, a human default position. Single-leg drills, too, are included. [08:50]

Cardiovascular and endurance training are covered in Chapter 7. We learn how to design and structure a program appropriately. [14:08]

When you’re training for endurance, your body gets the genetic signaling going to preserve fat because that’s the energy that you need to perform long-distance exercise. [20:53]

Principles, benefits, and strategies for high-intensity exercise are covered in Chapter 8. [24:42]

You can’t out-exercise a bad diet. [28:47]

Micro workouts integrated into your day help much better than many people realize. [30:44]

You want to exhibit precise technique at all times during workouts. [31:56]

Brad points out how many activities people go to the gym for, can be enjoyed outside, not needing the equipment. [34:23]

Technical failure is when you can still perform the exercise, but notice your technique faltering. You want to deliver a consistent quality of explosive effort during every rep. [36:21]

The body moves in three planes of motion: the sagittal plane, the frontal plane, and the transverse plane. Understand, for example, what happens when you pick up a weight off the floor. [41:48]

Micro workouts are the biggest breakthrough in the fitness scene. [44:07]

Deadlifts and squats are covered in the next chapter.  These are fundamental to longevity. [48:34]

Machines are probably a good place to start for the novice. [51:03]

Chapter 11 presents comprehensive and precise instructions for how to perform a sprint workout properly. [53:27]



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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 (01:06):
Welcome to part two of the Primal Fitness Coach Expert Certification Course. We went through the introduction in chapters 1, 2, 3, and four on the first segment of the multi part presentation. And I hope you enjoyed that. We covered chapter one, which is talking about this distinction between fitness and health and how to age gracefully. We covered chapter two, which was about increasing all forms of general everyday movement as our number one health and fitness objective chapter three was about human posture and movement fundamentals. And chapter four was about breathing. Chapter five was about stretching and yes, we left off here at chapter six. You are going to learn all kinds of fantastic drills to improve balance ranging from stuff you can do at your work desk during the day to some great challenges that you can do in the gym with apparatus, same with mobility and flexibility, drills, and skills, uh, especially, uh, taking you through my beloved morning routine.

Brad (02:17):
That includes all kinds of fun and challenging exercises. We have a whole section on how to use that Bo suit ball for a variety of great drills. There’s a section on fascial, restructuring and reawakening. So opening up to another dimension besides just learning about the musculature, uh, but also learning about how the fascial network operates, which in cases, all of our muscles inside of fascia, and it’s all interconnected, it’s like a spider web that runs throughout your body. So this was really interesting for me as I was doing the research and, uh, preparation of the material, learning about the fascial system, how to condition it, how it’s different than, uh, working on your muscles and getting your muscles stronger, or stretching your muscles to improve their range of motion. Um, and when you bring in that other element and getting, uh, good at fascial conditioning, and that’s different than fascial strengthening, cuz the fascia is so sensitive, you can’t just go and strengthen it like a muscle, but you need to condition it properly.

Brad (03:17):
So we have all kinds of drills and things to learn there and ways that you can identify whether you’re competent or whether you need to work on things. There’s an interesting and compelling controversial section about therapeutic recovery, where some of the world’s leading athletes are second guessing our obsession and frequent application of so-called, uh, therapeutic recovery modalities, things like stretching, massage foam, rolling, jumping in the cold tub. And the thinking here Simon Whitfield during his career was practicing and, and, uh, testing out some of these things. The thinking here is when you unwind that muscular tension, you are, uh, unwinding some of the intended training effect. So think about, uh, getting out on your bike as a triathlete or a long distance cyclist and pedaling for 84 miles through the hills. And boy that lower back starts to tense up and tighten up, especially in the final hour.

Brad (04:19):
And you’re wanting to get off the bike and stretch and then get back on and get to the finish line. And then you’re hoping through the house. My back, you’re gonna put some ice on it tomorrow. I’m gonna get a massage. And then the therapist is gonna go deep into those muscles and loose and then up again. Well, it can have a therapeutic effect. It can feel good, but what if the intended purpose of that 84 mile bike ride through the Hills was to condition your body to get better at it next time. And by virtue, part of that conditioning was to, uh, get those lower back muscles tightened up in order to fire the pedals correctly. And with maximum force, as you ask your body to perform in the latter stages of a challenging session, maybe you want to get those lower back muscles tight as part of the training effect, same with the inflammation response that occurs, uh, at all exercise, you wanna be inflamed.

Brad (05:17):
You want your muscles swollen and maybe that’s gonna come with some pain and discomfort in the connective tissue and the muscles after the fact, but as your body works to manage regulate that post exercise inflammation or that post exercise muscle tension, it will come back stronger and theoretically interfering with that by getting someone to dig deep into those lower back muscles and loosen them up, couldn’t be counterproductive, very interesting stuff and very cutting edge and against not a heavy handed position here where you have to do the primal fitness coach stretching protocol. It’s just, opening your mind to a lot of these concepts and broadening your fitness knowledge. I mentioned Dr. Kelly Starrett of the readystate.com. One of the leaders in mobility, flexibility, balance injury prevention. He contends that athletes should dedicate 20% of all training time to doing drills and skills in this area.

Brad (06:17):
So you think about like the classic endurance machine who’s out there putting in mileage and counting how many miles you’re running before your next marathon event, or ultra-marathon think about taking a chunk a and slashing that by 20% and instead doing things, uh, maybe more boring than flowing through a beautiful mountain trail, but you’re doing the calf raises and you’re doing the balance drills on the bow suit ball. It’s a very compelling, assertion and recommendation. And certainly makes a lot of sense if you wanna stay, on the course and the guys at Godta message G O D T A just recently had the good fortune of meeting them, going through their assessment, looking at all the great content on their website. So go hit that website. If you’re interested, it stands for the movement patterns of the go to greatest of all time athletes.

Brad (07:09):
And I’m working on a lot of their drills and skills that they taught me. Anyway, they came up with the great quote, the best for an athlete. The best ability is availability <laugh>. Yep. How can you argue with that? So, when we talk about these functional fitness skills and drills, there are particular importance to aging gracefully and enthusiast in the higher age groups where boy, um, first of all, you have much less leeway, uh, as a, than a younger athlete who can, you know, fall off the bike, dust themselves off and continue riding where an older athlete might be in severe pain or have a joint problem.

Brad (07:53):
And, uh, when you’re talking about the unfit or the moderately fit population, we know that the statistics of, uh, Americans over age 65, the number one cause of demise and number one morbidity risk factor is falling once you’re over 65, cuz by and large, um, we don’t, uh, fare well after a fall, even a routine fall in the house and it can lead to things like a broken hip, which leads to bedrest, which leads to an accelerated decline in fitness, muscle mass, and to the extreme, uh, when on a extremely elderly and unfit person that fall could represent the end, their bedridden and for the rest of their life. And they die from something like pneumonia because their lungs aren’t strong enough to cough out the waste product because they don’t exercise because they don’t move because they were bedridden for a month with a broken hip. Ouch. So, okay. So developing these skills, especially balanced something to really think about as you age.

Brad (08:50):
We have a whole section about squatting and technique skills striving to perform that so-called ass to grass full depth squat, which almost nobody can do naturally without working on it and trying, and when asked to, we don’t go anywhere near and we don’t think much of it, but remember it’s the default human resting position. And it’s so funny that it’s considered a quote exercise now instead of just a default human skill or ability to lower down into the deep squat. We wanna have feet facing forward and we have all these, uh, different checkpoints to teach you how to squat properly.

Brad (09:31):
We have a lot of emphasis on single leg drills and skills because after all, most things you do with your legs are using one leg at a time like walking, like running, like jumping, like playing a lot of sports and sport activities. So it’s interesting to note, uh, people can become highly competent in fitness. For example, loading up a squat bar bell with a ton of weight and performing squats on two legs. And then when you ask them to simply balance on one leg or do a simple squat without any weight, a one-legged squat, they have trouble keeping their balance. So we gotta work those single leg drills and skills along with our obsession, with getting overall stronger and doing things from the stable base of two legs. We talked about the fascia. We, we give you a complete education on, on what they’re all about, how they operate, how they become deformed, weak and dysfunctional from poor movement patterns over a lifetime, especially the use of constrictive shoes, because interestingly, the fascial network terminates in the feet. And feet, uh, foot health and foot functionality is extremely important for the functionality of all the muscle groups in your body because it’s all interconnected.

Brad (10:45):
So if you’re walking around in clunky shoes and you’re absorbing impact poorly, and your feet are tight and have poor, uh, mobility that is going to affect the knee joint and the hip joint and even the, the lower back and the upper body. So, working on fascia has been really fun and you’re gonna love this kind of new dimension to your fitness, education and programming. Um, one other fantastic highlighted this chapter is a series of functional movement assessments and corrective exercises. And a lot of this inspired by my friend, Tim De Francesco, the former strength and conditioning coach of the Los Angeles Lakers during those title years with Kobe. And, uh, now he has a wonderful online program called TD athletes edge.com where you can get remote support assessments, exercises, and programming there. So check out his website. But anyway, um, these are the very exercises that he used to evaluate draft prospects for the Lakers.

Brad (11:51):
So imagine bringing in a college player and the organization is going to decide, should we invest 56 million on this athlete for their contract, their lottery pick contract, or can we predict that this athlete has a high propensity, high injury risk because they’ve been trained in condition poorly in their formative years, which is so common, especially with the extreme advancement of youth sports and the specialization in one sport and the lack of overall development. Lack of knowledge among, you know, widespread, uh, skill in the, uh, community of strength, trainers and team conditioning coaches that aren’t putting the athletes through a well-balanced program. And so what Tim would do with these athletes would ask them to perform the move like, okay, we’re gonna do some lunges as you hold a medicine ball over your head, but he wasn’t tell them telling them the functionality that he was looking for.

Brad (12:46):
He would just watch them do it naturally and see whether their lower back became, uh, arched, overly arched. Uh, every time they took a stride forward in a lung position due to weak abdominal muscles, whereby what you really want is that stability in the spine, preserving that straight and elongated spine, because your core fires appropriately, every time you lower down for a lunge with your hands over your head holding weight. And so that was something that’s really fun that you can do, uh, in a, uh, coach client relationship where ask your client to simply stand in front of a bench, put one foot on the elevated surface bench or step, and then step up with the other foot and what you wanna see I’m giving away the secrets. Can you believe it? What you wanna see is the ability to rise vertically without having to sway back gain momentum, and then step up to the elevated surface.

Brad (13:39):
And the inclination to sway back is due to weak quads and tight hip flexors, uh, weak gluteal muscles. All those things I mentioned are consequences of prolonged sitting. And so you get the assessment, then you get the corrective exercises, if the performance on the assessment isn’t great. And boy, it starts with squatting. So we spend a lot of time teaching the connect, the attributes of correct squatting and how to correct that.

Brad (14:08):
And then we go to chapter sevens, time to go long cardiovascular fitness and endurance training. And there’s a lot of time focusing on this concept of chronic endurance exercise, which is so prevalent. It seems to be the default approach to endurance training. And that is characterized by workouts that are slightly too significantly too stressful, exceeding that maximum aerobic heart rate that I talked about before in chapter one. And now we’re gonna go deep into this chapter of how to assess aerobic conditioning, how to design a and structure a program appropriately so that the stress is minimized and the ability to become fat adapted and aerobically conditioned without interruption from breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury can be a dream come true.

Brad (14:57):
But before that, we give you some scare tactics here, uh, talking in detail about the disease risk factors associated with chronic cardio, that atrial fibrillation that is becoming very common among extreme endurance athletes that perform for a long time. And it’s caused by repeated scarring and inflammation of the heart. Just like when you do too many bicep curls and you torture your bicep muscle and you walk around and it feels sore. The same thing is happening to your heart when you’re training in an overly stressful manner. So that repeated scarring and inflammation eventually compromises the electrical signaling of the heart and can lead to major problems. Like we’re talking about dropping dead on the spot or requiring surgery to install a pacemaker for the rest of your life. So some scary stuff. There are also associated problems with, um, compromised or, or mitochondrial dysfunction caused by excessive training and actually the leaking of mitochondrial DNA into the bloodstream.

Brad (15:53):
There are autoimmune and gut permeability issues caused by excessive endurance training. And so, yeah, well, uh, well versed and well warned on overdoing it and then how to do it right, working on that math heart rate. We also have a nice section that gets a little scientific. So it’s a really nice blend if you do have experience and you’re afraid that you’re gonna get bored with a lot of review material, you’re gonna appreciate the many occasions during this course where we go deep into important subjects. And one of ’em is the substrate utilization at various exercise intensity. So depending on what you’re asking of the body, you’re going to choose a different fuel source. And we’re talking about the spectrum between extreme endurance performance, which is gonna be predominantly fat because that’s how the body works most efficiently to sustain output for a long time.

Brad (16:49):
And then when we’re talking about an all-out explosive effort, like a sprint lasting between zero and eight seconds, you are using pure ATP in the muscle cell, it’s called the creatine phosphate system. And so learning, uh, how these energy systems, uh, integrate, uh, as you go up through duration of effort. So from 30 seconds to two, eight to 30 seconds, you have a different system. 30 seconds to two minutes is called the glycolytic system. So it’s pure glucose. And then anything over two minutes, we’re talking about all out effort here. As we talk about exercise physiology, anything over two minutes is a increasing or a constantly, uh, varying ratio of glucose to fat, really fascinating stuff. And I think important to learn and understand. So we talked about that 180 minus age formula, which is so important to ensure optimal aerobic development with a minimal amount of anaerobic stimulation, the ability to sustain your performance and your fitness development over time.

Brad (17:50):
There’s a section about reevaluating, the importance of steady state cardio in the big picture of developing lifelong functional fitness. And it’s a really interesting revelation that I’ve been focusing on more and more lately as I come out of my long period of time, where I was an exclusive endurance athlete in my youth. And now my goals tend more toward explosive efforts like sprinting and high jumping, and the realization that you can obtain a fantastic cardiovascular training effect in a variety of ways. You don’t have this critical obligation to Mount the bicycle or trudge away on the stair climber or jog down the path in a straight ahead manner performing a, an honorable fitness activity, but we kind of put this at the centerpiece of fitness and it’s important to rethink it. And what I’m talking about here is that merely walking will deliver a nice aerobic training effect.

Brad (18:55):
You don’t have to worry about the risks of exceeding that maximum aerobic heart rate. So every time you walk or do anything that represents something besides sitting in a chair, you’re stimulating the aerobic system, and you’re working on those aerobic energy producing enzymes and muscle fibers. So that slow walking that people discount is not even a workout is an important part of your fitness experience. Now, interestingly, when you’re performing high intensity exercise, you are also giving a great fitness stimulation to the aerobic system. And so you can’t look at fitness in isolation. There’s a couple of cool videos on YouTube. One of ’em is called cardio doesn’t exist. And I think it’s Dr. Doug McGuff and that’s like a two or three minute clip. And then there’s another hour long video on the same topic where the expert is talking in detail about how the cardiovascular system is stimulated at all levels of exercise intensity.

Brad (19:52):
So if you go out there and do a sprint workout, you are getting a fantastic fitness benefit to your cardiovascular system and your aerobic system. So when you get good at performing at high intensity, you get good at performing at all lower levels of exercise, intensity, including steady state, right? So really the only reason to perform steady state cardio in a certain activity is to prepare for similar competitive circumstances. So you’re not gonna become a good marathon runner by doing a bunch of sprint workouts or walking around the block frequently, but you’ll become cardiovascularly healthy from all forms of exercise, from tennis, from basketball, from yoga, from going in the sauna, right? Sauna, uh, spikes, the heart rate and challenges the cardiovascular system, but your sauna efforts, even though your heart, rate’s up up at 1 43, according to your nice little device, that’s not gonna help you run a marathon at 143 beats per minute.

Brad (20:53):
And I think people get confused on that note. But when you look at cardiovascular exercise and fitness stimulation at all types of exercises, you can kind of put steady state in the appropriate box in your overall, uh, fitness regimen and emphasize that if you enjoy it, and if you’re preparing for competitive events and competitive goals. But otherwise, uh, loosen up a little bit. And that’s where my jogging 2.0 video comes in. We’ll have that link in the show notes. I have it up on YouTube and I talk about how I’ve altered my lifelong habit or decades long habit of going out and trudging along for a morning, jog to get the dog out mostly. And of course, I’m working at a comfortable heart rate all the time. So it’s not like a, a really a challenging, formal training session.

Brad (21:44):
It’s just a way to get out and start the day. But now I’ve integrated a variety of different fun skills and drills and activities to broaden the fitness experience. So I’m talking about performing sprinting technique drills that last for 10 or 20 seconds, and then walking for recovery and then resuming jogging, and then going over to a bench and doing a bunch of vertical jumps up and down the bench, and then walking for recovery. And that turns into, uh, the 30 minute, uh, cardiovascular session, which I contend is developing many more fitness benefits than just going out there and strolling for whatever you’re designated route of a mile or two miles. So that’s something to, uh, hopefully get inspired to, uh, loosen up and broaden your, your cardiovascular experience, whether it’s walking, jogging, pedaling, the bicycle, whatever. There’s also a section talking about the somewhat controversial premise that cardiovascular exercise in particular does not help with your fat reduction efforts and that high intensity strength training in sprinting helps tremendously with your fat reduction efforts.

Brad (22:49):
You can look at Dr. John Jaquishe’, Instagram account, where he publishes research references and makes a lot of these contentions. He’s the inventor of the X three bar, and obviously a big proponent of high intensity strength training. And he talks about how, when you’re training for endurance, your body gets the genetic signaling going to preserve fat because that’s the energy that you need to perform long distance exercise. And when you’re performing for strength and power, you are prompting the genetic signaling to build and maintain lean muscle mass and shed excess body fat, especially sprinting and weight bearing activities. The genetic signaling is very powerful to reduce excess body fat because the penalty for carrying excess body fat while sprinting is severe, that’s why you don’t see any fat sprinters of any note. And when it comes to endurance, you see droves of recreational participants carrying a lot of excess body fat through these extreme events, like long distance bike rides, marathons ultra-marathon runs.

Brad (23:52):
Of course, when you look at an elite athlete in any sport, they are physically primed to perform at the highest level of human experience. And so you’re gonna see lean fit specimens in the marathon as well as in the a hundred meter sprint. But when we’re talking about the recreational enthusiasts, it’s an important concept to ponder for a bit. There <laugh> that your miles that you’re trudging on the road are telling your body preserve fat preserve fat, and at the same time to reduce muscle mass and even reduce bone density as compensations, because your body does not need muscle mass nor heavy bones to proceed for an endurance effort. And that closes chapter number seven, cardiovascular fitness and endurance training.

Brad (24:42):
And then we start hitting it hard chapter eight, principles, benefits and strategies for high intensity exercise. So we take a whole chapter just to talk about some philosophy, the rationale, the physiological, the mental, psychological benefits of pushing the body, challenging the body with brief explosive efforts. This is what we are doing to stimulate a desirable fight or flight response. So a temporary, uh, increase in overall human function prompted by the workout stimulus, but not a prolonged fight or flight response. As we see with the many forms of chronic stress and modern life like arguing, traffic, stressful jobs, and so forth. So when you challenge your body with a brief explosive effort, such as a resistance training workout, or a sprint workout, you prompt a flood of adaptive hormones into the bloodstream, adaptive hormones, meaning a hormonal signaling that makes you fitter stronger, more resilient for future efforts. These are things like testosterone and human growth hormone. So as you perform these workouts correctly, the body grows stronger. You build and maintain functional muscle mass and functional muscle muscle strength throughout life. And you honor the most profound law of human existence, which is use it or lose it.

Brad (26:06):
Now I’m enjoying how many experts, including my previous podcast guest, Dr. Howard Luks, talk about the critical importance of maintaining functional muscle mass. That is to say muscle strength, functional muscle strength throughout life as the most prominent indicator of health span and predictor of health span. So if you are walking around with good functioning muscle mass, I’m not talking about being a big bodybuilder where we have the development of largely nonfunctional muscle mass, except for those specific exercises that the athletes are using that extra muscle for. I’m talking about someone who is lean fit, strong, capable, functional, able to perform a variety of important fitness activities, and especially every day activities that a proxy for excellent metabolic health and protection from disease, risk factors. People like Layne Norton, people like Dr. Gabrielle Lyon are explaining the details here where the presence of functional muscle mass indicates that you have, uh, good fat-burning capabilities, um, good blood work and things like that because when you are, uh, doing the hard work necessary to build that muscle mass, you’re also engaging the various organs and systems throughout the body and making them strong and resilient, excellent bone density, hormonal neurotransmitter, mitochondrial immune, and cardiovascular function, especially this concept of organ reserve, which is the functional capacity of your organs to operate beyond baseline level.

Brad (27:56):
For example, when they are stressed by a traumatic incident, like a surgery or an accident, and you have to go to the hospital and if your heart and lungs or kidneys or liver are weak, you’re going to fare poorly. If you do have a, health challenge in your life. Now, if you have good functional muscle mass muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness, then you’re going to sail through these bouts of challenging, uh, health circumstances, such as global pandemic virus contracting that. But you’re in good shape when you go down for the count and then you come back strong without the adverse long-term consequences of getting hit by an infection, and then not being strong enough to ward it off. Okay. So as we talk about the rationale and benefits of doing brief, intense high intensity exercise.

Brad (28:47):
We also have to paint the right picture that you can’t out exercise a bad diet. Okay. So when you’re burning calories through these intense exercises, it’s somewhat mitigating the potential adverse consequences of, uh, consuming a lot of, uh, high insulin and producing diet, or a lot of nutrient deficient processed foods, cuz you’re, you’re putting them into the furnace and you’re burning them, but they’re still going to come back and bite you particularly because a hard exercising athlete has an increased need for nutritional density in the diet. So although we often give ourselves hall passes to go and enjoy the hot fudge sundae, we are the least, uh, likely person to need to consume that because we have these elevated nutritional needs for performance and recovery. So, you’re really doing yourself a disservice as a fit person. When you throw processed foods into your body using that haul pass to say, Hey, I burn a lot of calories, so I deserve to eat whatever I want.

Brad (29:52):
So I’d love for, uh, the fit population to think of this differently, to say I have to pay even more special attention to my diet because I’m asking much more from my body than my banana split, eating next door neighbor, who all they have to do is walk out to the end of the driveway, grab the newspaper, go back in and sit at their screen or their couch for a lifetime, right? So you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. And also, uh, the profound benefits that you get from high intensity exercise also come with increased risk of breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury. So you have to manage this high intensity exercise output very carefully and make sure in particular that these workouts are short in duration. And if you’re a novice, I’m talking about even a session that lasts for one or two minutes of explosive high intensity effort is a fantastic way to start.

Brad (30:44):
And that could be pulling the stretch cords hanging from your doorknob or from a pull-up bar and doing a single set of something that’s working in major muscle group and then going about your busy day. So micro workouts are addressed in this chapter and some other ones too, as a wonderful opportunity for everyone busy or disinterested in fitness or whatever, to integrate these, uh, brief bouts of explosive effort into their daily life and obtain a variety of benefits, especially the cumulative fitness benefits of dabbling in this and that over the course of your busy day. As far as the formal workouts, yeah. We want to keep them in that sweet spot where, uh, the entire duration is under 30 minutes for the most part. I don’t know about categorizing your warmup and cool down time, whatever, maybe you’re in the gym for 45 minutes or an hour, but when you’re talking about the sets of exercise, as you proceed through the machines, or you’re doing an actual sprint workout, where outside the warmup and cool down and the dynamic stretching that takes time, your session, where you’re doing the hard intervals and recovering might even last only a total duration of 15 minutes or so.

Brad (31:56):
So the other important component of these exercises of high intensity training is that you want to exhibit precise technique at all times and remain explosive for the duration of the workout. That means every rep and every set in contrast what we typically see as I talked about earlier with the fascination with high intensity interval training in the wide misappropriation of that exercise strategy is we see these workouts that last for too long call for too much repeated effort with not enough rest. And thereby technique starts to falter. Explosiveness starts to diminish and depletion and exhaustion sets in as the exerciser tries valiantly to do 10 sets of three minute hard efforts on the bicycle or whatever you’re doing. And the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth ones are pretty crappy in comparison to the first view. So really a properly organized high intensity training session. Mark Bell says this to the power lifters.

Brad (33:00):
You want your last set before the workout’s over to be just as good, just as impressive, just as explosive, just as good technique as the first set when you came in there fresh. And that is going to dictate the duration of your session. There’s all kinds of different ways to perform high intensity exercise. So, uh, we talk about different ones in this chapter, in the chapter ahead, but those common denominators are that the movements are brief explosive, and they involve ideally optimally full body functional movements. So that’s why we have a whole chapter coming up after this, uh, dedicated to the deadlift in the squat, which are probably, uh, widely regarded as the superior full body functional weightlifting exercises that you can do in the gym. I’d argue too, that sprinting and jumping are two fabulous, full body functional movements that represent two of the most quintessential homo sapiens activities that, uh, our species performs jumping up in the air and landing back on the ground and running fast. So those are the go-to for high intensity endurance exercise. And of course we have sports specific exercises that might interest you. And so you’re doing, um, hitting 10 tennis balls for the machine at quick pace and then taking a break. And so all that stuff counts as high intensity exercise.

Brad (34:23):
Unfortunately, a huge number of fitness enthusiasts focus narrowly on steady state cardiovascular exercise and fail to perform sufficient, explosive exercise nor ever load the muscles with sufficient resistance. And it’s kind of weird to walk into a public fitness facility and see how much real estate is devoted to the banks and rows of treadmills and stationary bikes and stair climbing and elliptical. And then there’s a nice presence for the weights and the machines, but they’re by and large taking up less space than the cardio machines. And to me, it’s like, wait, you can do all this shit outdoors on beautiful trail trails in nature and fresh air and open space and sunlight <laugh> for the most part, right?

Brad (35:18):
If you’re in Manitoba, Canada in the middle of winter, yes. We wanna reserve a treadmill from five to 6:00 PM, for sure. But I’m talking about wide swaths of people that can enjoy these activities outdoors. Don’t desperately need a venue to, for example climb upstairs, right. And go, go to an office building for that <laugh> or whatever stadium stairs, and then you know, less, less, uh, space devoted to probably the workouts that give you the greatest return on investment, which are the resistance training activities. So this chapter spends a lot of time harping on performing these exercises correctly, designing your schedule in a sensible manner, understanding that crossover point where you start to have diminished technique, diminish power output. There’s a term called technical failure. You know, when you’re doing bench presses, number of reps until failure, which means you can’t lift the weight again and you need help re racking it, right?

Brad (36:21):
That’s, that’s muscular, total muscular failure, but there’s also this concept of technical failure, which is when you start to notice your technique falter, even though you are capable of performing a few more reps by squirming, a little bit, and tensing the lower back muscles a little more, or recruiting peripheral muscle groups that weren’t really intended to be, uh, recruited in a somewhat risky manner at times when you’re trying to, uh, perform a certain number of arbitrary number of reps, because you think that’s what you should do. I reference my 45 degree dumbbell raises that I do at the end of my morning exercise routine, where if I, was getting tired toward the end of the set and I kind of arched my shoulders forward, I could do a few more because now I’m recruiting different muscle groups. But the goal here when you’re doing 45 degree dumbbell raises, and I’m talking about my arms extended forward at a 45 degree angle from my body, the goal was to keep your shoulder blades pinched at all times.

Brad (37:20):
And this is good for developing posture and to perform the exercise correctly. And so I’ll notice when I get to my usual number of reps that my shoulder blades want to unpinch to help lift the weight when the core muscle groups are getting too tired to do it with perfect precise technique. So perform your exercises to technical failure at all times. And what we’re looking for, especially when we’re talking about a sprint workout is a quote. This is a very important term to memorize. You wanna deliver a quote consistent quality of explosive effort during every repetition. And so when we define consistent quality of effort, that means that you are finishing your 200 meter sprints or your 80 meter sprints at a similar time on the clock. And also experiencing a similar degree of perceived exertion degree of difficulty. So if you’re giving it 85 out of a hundred effort on each one, and you’re coming through in 32 seconds for each 200 meter sprint, that’s great.

Brad (38:28):
You do one, you do three, two, you do three, you do four. I did four today at exactly that time. And then I realized that if I were to attempt another one, I would predict that either my time would get slower or I would have to deliver more effort, higher rate of perceived exertion to meet my desired time. This is where a lot of athletes make a huge mistake, especially in coached workouts or a team or a group training environment where the coach is asking you to deliver the same finishing time for each rep. Now that’s fine. And I know we’re training for competition and the bris and brothers that run on the reality show that I love called teamings and on YouTube. Um, they are going for Olympic medals and world championship medals. And so maybe their workout protocol is to deliver that, uh, same finishing time for each rep.

Brad (39:26):
But by and large, you’ll also notice during this show that has a beautiful backstage look at some of the world’s most elite runners. These three brothers from Norway who have been fantastic for over a decade, uh, they’re pricking their fingers with a blood lactate meter right at the finish line. And the reason they’re doing that is to ensure that their blood lactate accumulation after their hard efforts are at a consistent number. And so if they come in with another 40 second time for a 300 meter repeat and their blood lactate values exceed, uh, the desired maximum that they set for the workout, they know that they’ve gone too fast, or maybe I’ve seen some occasions on the show where one of the brothers has to drop off of the workout because he is now extending himself too hard as evidence by a higher blood lactate level at the finish line of delivering the desired time.

Brad (40:18):
So for us recreational enthusiasts that don’t want to invest in a blood lactate meter, although it might be a fun thing to integrate if you have any sort of competitive aspirations. Anyway, for most of us, what we wanna do is take a look at the clock when you’re performing your sprints, uh, but also take note of your technique, your muscle firing whether you have tightness or new signs or areas of fatigue, or, uh, dysfunction, maybe your hip flexors, your lower back is tightening up on your fifth sprint. Those are great signals that is time to wrap it up and go for that consistent quality of effort at all times, both in finishing time and in degree of perceived exertion. Now we’re not gonna be perfect here. And so what I would encourage is if you slow down a bit on your fourth and fifth and sixth effort, that’s okay.

Brad (41:13):
You know, you do a bunch of 16 second repeats for your 80 meter sprint, and then you’re at 17, then you’re at 18, you’re still showing a good technique. You feel great, but that attrition in time is another graceful way of saying, Hey, it’s about time to wrap it up. Now, that’s some good suggestions for how to conduct an explosive workout. And I’m jumping into the sprint chapter where we cover that stuff in detail back here to the chapter in question chapter eight, we’re trying to build this philosophical foundation before we get into the, uh, nitty gritty.

Brad (41:48):
So we talk about the different categories of resistance exercise is big picture perspective. There’s 12 basic movement patterns that you’re working in the gym. Probably most people don’t care to learn the terminology and all that. But if you can grasp some of these basics, for example, the body moves in three planes of motion, the sagittal plane, the frontal plane, and the transverse plane. I wrote this stuff. So I have, um, some awareness of it. And then I forget, or I mix ’em up <laugh> but Hey, you’re gonna be tested on this stuff. And if you can just graph some of these basic concepts, they will stick with you gracefully over time, especially if you’re exposed to them, further. So, um, we’re talking also about the kinetic chain, and this is how describing how the body transfers energy and force from one part to another, creating an interconnected system that works in tandem to efficiently and safely allow the body to move through space. And you can define exercises as either open chain or closed chain. And this just implies, for example, lifting a weight off the ground is different than for example, performing a bicep curl, where you’re holding the weight in space. At all times, we talk about force production which is learning what mass times acceleration means.

Brad (43:08):
And that would, again with these simple terminology of like lifting a weight off the ground, when you’re performing a deadlift, um, you have to understand that the most difficult part of the deadlift is lifting the weight, the first six inches off the floor. And then, um, that’s when maximum force production occurs and then you’re using momentum and angular, angular leverage from different positioning of your joints. So, yeah, we’re getting a little tiny bit scientific. I don’t think there’s anything too boring or difficult to wade through, but we want to set you up with this good overall big picture knowledge of high intensity exercise and what’s happening during resistance training, how to develop hypertrophy versus in contrast, developing a strengthening the existing number of muscle cells, hypertrophy means getting bigger muscles and then strengthening means just getting more powerful, more explosive with the muscle fibers that you have, and the difference there.

Brad (44:07):
And then having a beautiful section about micro workouts, which I personally contend represents the biggest breakthrough in the fitness scene in decades because it demystifies and makes much for much less complexity, to become a fitness person and get your gold star in fitness. Previously, we had to schlep over to a fitness facility or invest in expensive fitness equipment in the home. A lot of times there’s an intimidation factor. There’s a time management factor where people just aren’t getting it done because it’s too complex. And the most prominent recent example is the period of quarantine where the gyms had to close down and droves of people all over the place are saying, yeah, I kind of gained weight and got outta shape. I just heard a stat recently on a podcast that said the average person gained 28 pounds during quarantine.

Brad (45:00):
That sounds totally ridiculous to me. Maybe it’s not an accurate stat, but who knows? I mean when you’re thrown off of your regular routine and you lose that camaraderie that, uh, motivation that comes with the social experience of attending the gym. And I, I strongly value that I love, uh, heading over to my local fitness facility. I don’t go that much, cuz I do so many things outdoors or in my well-adapted home here. But I know walking through that door, it’s such a great feeling because you are there to do some business and you’re gonna get work done and you no longer need to summon that same force of motivation that you do at home when there are all sorts of distractions or other ways that you can use your time. So I feel for all of us that were pushed out of our fitness experience during quarantine, but really when you kind of bring into the mix, the ability to perform micro workouts anytime, anywhere, and what I’m talking about is for example, rushing, hustling up the stairs every time you encounter stairs during your general every day life, whether you’re at the home or the workplace, I’m talking about dropping for a set of squats, as you’re working at your cubicle, even if you have no space to exercise, you can still perform an assortment of different micro workouts.

Brad (46:17):
So we talk about that, the philosophy and the many benefits, the cumulative fitness benefits, the way that they serve as the great opportunity to break up prolonged periods of stillness in daily life. And I’m thinking of a wonderful anecdote here. I don’t think I put it into the course material, but you can, uh, Google, uh, the name Walter George, one of the greatest middle distance runners in the history of the earth. This guy was so far ahead of his time. He was just an absolute phenomen and he operated, I believe in the 1880s when he set a world record for the mile run with a time of 04;12. 04 :12 in the mile, which today in 2022 is an outstanding, like a national caliber time for a high school varsity athlete or a decent college, highly trained distance runner. Four 12 is no joke. I mean go try to run even a hundred meters at that speed.

Brad (47:17):
This is really flying around the track and this guy did it in ancient times with his cute little outfit in the strange little brown shoes. But his record held, I believe for 37 years or something, which is just so far off the charts of, you know, setting a standard out there for other people. But anyway, Walter George worked in a print shop. He had a full-time job and he had a little opportunity to train properly outdoors. So what he did was invent this workout that he called the step-ups and he would just run in place, making a concerted effort to pick one foot up off the ground and rise it powerfully over the opposite knee, over the height of the opposite knee. So he’d jump one at a time. Like he’d do a stride jumping up in the air and then landing in place, not moving forward at all.

Brad (48:05):
He’s working at a freaking print shop and he’s got a five minute break before they refill the ink or whatever they did in 1880. And he’s doing these workouts that he called step up and then going out and setting one of the most extraordinary world records that we’ve seen, okay, Walter George, now, you know who he is. Uh, so that was micro workouts. So we can put step up into the list of great micro workouts and that concludes a wonderful, highly educational chapter eight.

Brad (48:34):
And then we jump right into the deadlift and the squat with a dedicated chapter to discussing all manner of technique fundamentals, as well as a bunch of different variations, cuz there’s so many different kinds of squats and deadlifts that you can do. We talk about the benefits and how achieving competency in things like the deadlift and squat represent a fundamental element of aging gracefully and sting off these all two common age related declines and strength, mobility, muscle mass that dramatically increase your morbidity risk factors and shorten lifespan.

Brad (49:09):
And there’s great re research, uh, on squat competency in particular, having a direct correlation with your healthspan. They also have similar research for push up competency competency in the mile, run and competency with grip strength. And this research comes from Honolulu. Comes from Brazil,.comes from American studies where they isolate these variables and someone who can bust out a bunch of deep squats or hoist a barbell on their back with some weight and perform some wonderful squats, has a nice predictive factor for hell span and longevity and escaping disease, risk factors. So, of course, this is a great chapter to have the complimentary videos showing these technique attributes for the deadlift. And, oh my gosh, this is so important because I’m very amused looking at YouTube and social media and seeing all these hot shots filming their deadlift and showing how much weight they can lift with absolutely horrible technique.

Brad (50:13):
And it makes me cringe every time to see the spine compress and flex under the load of the bar, which is absolutely not what’s intended when you’re performing a deadlift. So the deadlift is the greatest exercise, but it has to be, be performed properly. And in many cases, it’s really a great idea to work with a PVC pipe that weighs one pound before you even head over to loading up the plates. So it’s so important to get precise technique, uh, but then when you’re off often running, especially the deadlift, when you use the hexagonal deadlift bar, uh, a lot of people think it’s the number one piece of fitness equipment in the gym. The most versatile you can do so many things with it. It’s much safer than deadlift a barbill due to the ability to distribute weight and not put so much stress on the spine and not exact, such precise technique.

Brad (51:03):
And so you’ll be watching videos, you’ll be reading precise technique instruction for both events and learning about the many physiological and anti-aging benefits that’s chapter nine and then chapter 10 picks up a whole bunch of other resistance exercise modalities such as working with free weights, body weight exercises, like the four primal essential movements that we talk about. So much pushups, pull ups, squats, and planks. How to use, uh, the machine exercises at the gym and how to use the very versatile kettlebells. Important points made here is that, uh, how, how, um, again, we’re missing a large swath of the fitness community who seem to be intimidated to delving into the world of free weights, machines and kettlebells. So machines is probably a good place to start for the novice because they do anchor your body into safe positions, especially, uh, preserving that spinal integrity when you’re leaning up against the bench or lying down on the bench.

Brad (52:12):
But I think it’s something that is super important for every fitness enthusiast to integrate into their exercise schedule and going through a, a cycle of machines would be a great place to start. And then if you want to go into the way more advanced stuff, this chapter touches on things like the Olympic lifts, the snatch, the clean and jerk, and these are probably the most advanced strength training exercises you can do. They’re mostly of interest to the extreme enthusiast, people that are training for the CrossFit games and things like that. But again, the course material covers a wide range of, uh, educational opportunities to have some competency, at least having an awareness of what the Olympic lifts are. Then you’re gonna learn all the, the primal essential movements and especially the progression exercises that allow people of varied fitness competencies, especially novices to engage in things like pushups. And pullups even if they don’t have the sufficient strength starting out to perform a proper traditional pushup where your legs are on the ground. So you can do like wall pushups popular with the senior citizens, chair pushups, and continue to progress and move up the ladder of progression exercises.

Brad (53:27):
That takes us to the fabulous chapter 11, where you are going to get presented with what I believe is the most comprehensive and precise instruction for how to perform a sprint workout properly. I believe it’s an 11 step process where we cover everything, uh, with extreme precision and detail starting with, uh, oh, that’s right. Starts with lifestyle behaviors that you can do to support your sprint workout competency. So we’re talking about doing a morning exercise routine and doing drills on the course of everyday cardiovascular training sessions that jogging 2.0 that I mentioned, and then getting into dynamic warmup, getting into technique drills, getting into wind sprints, performing the correct main set.

Brad (54:15):
And there’s a lot of content devoted to this idea of high intensity repeat training that was presented in a wonderful article by my former podcast guest, Dr. Craig Marker. And the article draws a stark contrast between the destructive effects of a misappropriated high intensity interval training session and the concept of high intensity repeat training, where you’re striving for that consistent quality of effort. And so you’re getting instruction on how to perform the sprint workout properly, different ideas for drills, tons of video instruction, where you can learn some of these things and integrate them into, for example, a one on one personal training session where you’re taking a novice through their first sprint workout, or you’re getting a fit person to up their game a little bit and learn different, uh, sprint options like doing low or no impact sprints such as on exercise equipment or sprinting upstairs or up hills.

Brad (55:18):
And so you’re learning how to do the workout correctly and you’re learning, in great detail correct sprinting technique. So we’re talking about how to position the body, how to land under a balance center of gravity with every stride, the concept of strong foot that I detail in my viral YouTube video called Brad Kearn’s running technique. Instruction will put that link in here too, but everything’s organized really beautifully in this course. And so you’re gonna read about it. You’re gonna watch the videos and you’re gonna become quickly an expert in sprinting and jumping. We gotta put a plug in for jumping, cuz we talk about the benefits of sprinting. So commonly, but we also have to recognize that just as powerful of genetic signaling comes, when you get competent jumping, so that signaling to drop excess body fat and the severe penalty that comes when you try to sprint or jump with excess body fat, you get good at these activities.

Brad (56:16):
You drop excess body fat as Mark Sisson says, nothing cuts you up like sprinting. And I will add and jumping so great stuff to learn a whole chapter dedicated to it. I think you’re gonna love it. Even if you aren’t very interested in sprinting before starting this educational experience, you’re gonna be like, yeah, this sounds good. This sounds fun. Now I know how to do it. I’m gonna give it a shot. So that takes us through 11 of the 16 chapters and is a good place to pause and conclude part two of what’s looking like it’s looking like a three part series from this point. And again, I hope you got great value from this recording as a standalone experience, but the main intention here is to entice you to sign up in this comprehensive educational course. And I can’t say enough about the organization and the tremendous support that they offer to every student in the primal health coach Institute, various educational opportunities. So it’s great people they’re totally passionate and devoted to fitness and they will help you every step of the way as will the online learning experience, where everything is presented for you in a nice, organized manner. So go check it out at primalhealthcoach.com, the primal fitness coach expert certification. Thanks for listening.

Speaker 3 (57:38):
Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please. Email podcast@Brad ventures.com with feedback, suggestions and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list 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 podcast or wherever else, you listen to the shows that would be super, incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad podcast and attract new listeners. And did you 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 soundbite 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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