The human genetic requirement for health is to engage in near-constant, everyday movement—we are simply not built to sit around.
If you are walking around with good muscle mass and good muscle strength, you have asked your organs to perform every time you do any kind of exercise—as soon as you start lifting a weight or jogging down the street, your heart, your lungs, kidneys, liver, everything has to kick into gear in order to support that activity. So this concept of technical failure I will be discussing in today’s show really means becoming attuned to the point where you can instantly feel when your form is starting to break down, so that is when you stop, and not a moment later.
Even if you are not interested in enrolling in the Primal Fitness Coach Certification course, there will be tons of great takeaways in this episode for anyone who wants to learn more about fitness and health by hearing this comprehensive overview of the certification course.
Brad is reviewing Parts 1 and 2 of this Certification Course Overview. [02:17]
A lot of fitness enthusiasts err by focusing only on cardio. Doing something explosive is also very important [06:58]
Turn your attention to muscle mass rather than worrying about fat. [09:53]
You can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. [12:09]
Make sure your workouts aren’t too long. Better to go hard and then go home. [14:24]
Every set that you perform at every workout is best performed to technical failure. Experience a consistent quality of effort. [19:04]
Understand your physiology as you work your body. [26:38]
Micro workouts are the number one fitness breakthrough. [28:13]
Deadlifts and squats give you many fitness benefits. Get good at hip-hinging. [30:03]
Resistance exercises are in different modalities like free weights and kettlebells. [39:58]
There is a difference between upper body and lower body exercises. [42:46]
Chapter 11 is about sprinting and jumping. Those are two of the most beneficial and quintessential human movements. [45:38]
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Greetings listeners. It is time for part three of this comprehensive overview of the Primal Fitness Coach Certification Course learn all about it at primalhealthcoach.com. I promise you a special discount. If you tell him Brad Kearns sent you, and whether you’re interested in this course or not, these podcasts are great overall, uh, summary of some super important topics about a comprehensive understanding of what it means to lead a fitness oriented lifestyle. So I went into great detail on shows number one and two, we got through the first seven modules of the course. So this show will pick up on module eight and we will proceed and eventually finish with coverage of all 14 modules. I think you’re gonna get so excited and have so much knowledge just from listening to the podcast that you’ll be inclined to register for this wonderful online course, the most comprehensive of its kind ever seen on the planet.
Here we go. So a quick recap of what I covered in the first course, hopefully you’ll go back to, uh, listen to all that. But module number one was talking about this concept of fitness for health rather than fitness pursuits that compromise health and especially commentary on how many aspects of traditional fitness programming are inherently overly stressful. And I’m thinking of the group exercise programs that you see in the fitness facilities, uh, group training, and even individuals who are headed out there and performing workouts that are slightly too stressful and turning into a, a chronically stressful fitness experience. And we talk about, uh, strategies to age gracefully, uh, in that first module as well. The second module is about increasing all forms of general everyday movement as perhaps the primary objective fitness objective today, perhaps even more important than adhering to, uh, a devoted, disciplined workout regimen.
Because again, even if you’re a gym freak or a mileage machine, um, you’re only training for 5, 7, 10, 12 hours per week. There’s 168 total hours in a week. So what you’re doing in the other hours are extremely important and the human genetic requirement for health is to engage in near constant everyday movement. We are simply not built to sit around and when we can just sprinkle in assorted other opportunities to move every day, uh, we experience great benefits. Chapter number three was about human posture and movement fundamental. So you can see how the modules of the course, uh, build upon each other. And before we get into learning about squatting and dead lifting, we wanna learn simply how to, uh, position our skeleton, move our skeleton, do things like standing, sitting, lying down, bending and extending correctly. So we talk about the positioning of the spine, um, the critical objective to preserve a straight and elongated spine through all manner of fitness and everyday activity.
It’s a great chapter to give you a nice overview. Then we have an entire chapter dedicated to breathing. you probably heard my show that was dedicated to breathing and the quick sound bite from the author, Patrick McKeown of the book Oxygen Advantage, where he says,tthe objective is to breathe as minimally as possible through your nose only at all times for the rest of your life, and then extreme detail beyond that. But that’s the quick takeaway that this over breathing is overly stressful. And then we get into chapter five about stretching and talking about the, uh, some of the misunderstandings, the differences between static stretching and dynamic stretching, the proper application of each. Uh, then we got into chapter six, which is titled mobility, flexibility, balance, and injury prevention. And these are skills and, uh, exercises that are often overlooked in our fervent pursuit of our primary, uh, and most enjoyable fitness goal.
So if you’re, uh, a weekend, basketballer, you basically drive over to the park, the gym, you get out, you dribble the ball from the parking lot to the gym, or if you have a leather ball, you just carry it and you step onto the court, you begin playing, um, or the runner <laugh> Dr. Kelly Starret had a great line in the primal endurance online course and all the videos I did with him. And he says, you know, endurance athletes, especially all they seem to care about is time. And it’s like saying, Hey, I got to work. I commuted to work today, uh, in my fastest time ever. Okay. I side swiped a few parked cars and I got a speeding ticket, but still right. So we wanna learn how to do it right, and prevent injury and also improve our functionality, our technique, and our performance accordingly by being mobile flexible and having good balance and, uh, putting into action, all these things that prepare us, uh, optimally for peak performance, then chapter seven was a big, uh, beast about all manner of, uh, the correct approach to cardiovascular fitness and endurance training.
We talked about MAF training. MAF that stands for maximum aerobic function, a term coined by the great Dr. Phil Maffetone. And we talked about the importance of aerobic development, with a minimally stressful approach so that you continue to build, build, build rather than get tired and plunge into breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury prompted by an overly, a stressful approach to endurance training.
So that brings us to module number eight, chapter eight, the benefits and principles and strategies for high intensity exercise. So another beast of a section with a tremendous amount of content that will really give you, uh, a wonderful foundation to understand this incredibly beneficial, uh, segment of a, a fitness regimen, but one that’s often performed inappropriately and, uh, causing problems rather than allowing you to achieve wonderful fitness breakthroughs. So we talk about the mechanism by which brief explosive exercise delivers health and fitness benefits, because it stimulates a desirable fight or flight response.
And you get a spiking of flood of adaptive hormones, like testosterone and human growth hormone circulating in the bloodstream, acting upon target tissues and prompting you to come back stronger, more resilient, more explosive the next time. And if you kind of miss out or don’t emphasize brief explosive workouts in your fitness regimen, you are going to, uh, lose it, uh, at an accelerated rate over time. And I think a lot of fitness enthusiasts make the mistake of simply focusing on cardio. You go to a large gym, uh, and the half of this floor space is dedicated to, uh, banks of treadmills and stationary bikes and stair machines. And I’m wondering like, wait, um, you can go outside and do that stuff, right? <laugh> you can go a few laps around the park if you want to get a straight ahead, steady state cardio.
But the gym is the place where, you know, you can get some real work done with all the wonderful contraptions and, uh, fitness apparatus. So, even if you’re not terribly interested in this stuff, or perhaps you’re feeling a little intimidated, inexperienced, all of us can successfully drift over into that direction of doing something brief and explosive on a regular basis. It’s so important for overall fitness and especially longevity because it’s widely agreed now. And you hear more and more content about this, that one of the strongest drivers of longevity, perhaps the single best marker of longevity is maintaining an optimal level of functional muscle mass or more technically functional muscle strength throughout your life. And if you are walking around with good, uh, muscle muscular strength status, this suggests this proves by one look at you, <laugh> that you are leading a healthy, active, athletic lifestyle, and that you are robust and resilient.
You have good bone density and you have good organ function and you have good metabolic health. Uh, people like Dr. Layne Norton who’s on a lot of podcasts. Dr. Gabrielle Lyon are, going deep into this concept and suggesting that we’re so obsessed with tracking people’s body fat and worrying about how fat we’re getting, and we’re getting less healthy. They suggest that if we turn our attention to muscle mass, instead of worrying about fat, uh, that problem will take care of itself. But the real problem, the underlying problem is lack of muscle mass, lack of fitness, lack of muscle strength. So again, you can’t fake this, you can’t purchase muscles and walk around. Although Liver King has been getting accused seriously of having, uh, abdominal implants because his six pack is so impressive. But, besides that BS, it’s true that if you are walking around a strong, strong person, this, uh, proofs that you have excellent bone density, hormonal neurotransmitter, mitochondrial immune, and cardiovascular function, and especially this very important, uh, attribute of organ reserve. And organ reserve is defined as the functional capacity of your organs to operate above baseline level.
So if you’re sitting in a wheelchair or a hospital bed, and your heart is beating, and your lungs are breathing and your kidneys are filtering and your liver is dispensing nutrients into the bloodstream, and that’s all you got, um, you have, uh, you know, a reduced, uh, uh, propensity for longevity because when the organs are challenged to perform above baseline level, like get up out of your chair and walk down the street to the mailbox and you become winded and you become tired, that shows that these organs are, um, not very resilient, something like a fall or a surgery, the outcome is poor because you can’t handle that trauma, that stress to the system. Um, in, in contrast, if you’re walking around with good muscle mass, good muscle strength, you have asked your organs to perform every time you do exercise, as soon as you start lifting weight or jogging down the street, right?
Your heart, your lungs, your kidneys, your liver, everything has to kick into gear to support the activity. And so the organs become stronger in tandem with the muscles. That’s the essence of the message here, uh, hitting a few more bullets of the stuff that we’re covering in this module. Um, there’s some comments about how, um, you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. So yes, indeed it does help to burn up some glucose through strenuous exercise. And it mitigates some of the adverse effects of eating this high process carbohydrate, nutrient deficient, high insulin, stimulating diet, uh, but certainly not all of it. And it’s possible to be unhealthy, even if you have a sufficient baseline level of fitness. This is evident in the, uh, many tragic stories in the endurance community of fit endurance athletes, uh, dropping dead, or having heart problems, uh, indicating a poor baseline level of health, even though they’re very fit.
But by and large, again, if you’re walking around, strong, explosive, energetic, and able to perform ambitious workouts, you are highly predictive of excellent metabolic health. Um, now comes the, uh, the, the caveats, the warnings that these incredible benefits from performing high intensity exercise also come with an increased risk of breakdown, burnout, illness, and injury, because they are pretty stressful and challenging. So, it’s very important to create an optimal stress rest balance in your workout regimen and the good news, especially if you’re kind of on the sidelines. You’re a person who goes and climbs the stairs and watches CNN for 45 minutes a few times a week, but haven’t wandered over to the weight section of your gym yet. The good news is, is that very short duration workouts can deliver fantastic overall, uh, strength, fitness, hormonal benefits. So you don’t have to go over there for an hour and work through like the very serious performers are doing.
You can go over and do a 10 minute, uh, body weight, resistance exercise session and get fantastic benefits. We talk about the primal essential movements. You can see Mark Sisson on YouTube talking you through, uh, each of the four exercises and the progression exercises that you can do with each one, pushups pull up squats and planks to where, if you’re at a baseline level of fitness, you can’t do a regular pushup. You start with wall pushups. If you can’t do a regular pullup, you start with chair assisted pullups. And so you can get the, uh, the fitness stimulation at whatever fitness level you’re at. It can just be with your body at first. And of course, then you can, uh, tip toe into the realm of resistance training using safe, uh, implements, like, uh, stretch tubing, and then, uh, the weight machines, which of course are extremely safe, cuz largely they, uh, protect the torso in a, a combined position.
And then you start, working, uh, with your extremities. And so it’s within reach of everyone and going over there and dabbling for just a few minutes can be an excellent start. And then on the, on the other end of the spectrum, uh, make sure that your workouts don’t last too long because if they, uh, are, are difficult and challenging and they, uh, drag on for, uh, 40 minutes, 50 minutes, an hour, an hour and 10 minutes, um, they can easily become too stressful and you’re getting the stress hormones circulating in the bloodstream for too long of a duration. So it’s too lengthy of a fight or flight response and you do better to basically go hard and go home. There are all kinds of different exercises you can do. So some general recommendations like performing sweeping full body functional exercises are the best deliver the best fitness benefits.
So those are things that recruit a lot of joints and muscle groups. Things like the squat or the dead lift, uh, or the, uh, machine exercises that I’ve talked about. Like Doug McGuff big five workout, which entails, um, chest press, overhead press, seated row, lap pull down and leg press. And he contends that these, uh, touch all the major muscle groups of the upper body and lower body in a safe manner where the workout doesn’t even take that long. Same with OsteoStrong that my mother is involved in. It’s a, uh, great, um, uh, fitness, uh, programming targeting senior citizens and those wishing to preserve bone density. So they have centers opening up all over the country, the world, and you walk in there and there’s only four machines, these goofy looking contraptions that don’t even look like stuff in the gym. But when you proceed through these four exercises, you are getting a total body stimulation. You’re prompting, uh, preservation or improvement of bone density, and you’re working all the major muscle groups.
So it’s not that complex people. You don’t have to learn 17 different exercises. Um, if your trainer wants to take you through fun and challenging variations, that’s great, keep things, uh, fun. And, and if you like variety, but you can also go to the fricking gym and do the same thing. <laugh> every time, twice a week for 15 minutes total and get tremendous fitness benefits once a week for 12 minutes is the protocol that Doug McGuff research suggests is the optimal, uh, frequency, which is such an amazing mindblower. Same with Osteostrong and Dr. John Jake wish the inventor of Osteostrong and is the inventor of the X three bar, uh, puts up a lot of research on his Instagram account, uh, suggesting that just a minimal commitment to fitness delivers the most benefits. In fact, his X three bar workout protocol that, you know, the tagline is 10 minutes a day.
Um, and he wants you to do it, um, six days a week. And so that’s an hour total. That’s not a big commitment to fitness. And the only thing I have to say about that is that they work out is so hard as directed where you go to total muscular failure on this variable range of motion, straps that are, are aligned with force production by the joints. It’s a great invention. Um, it’s so difficult that that might even be too much. I was not able to do it six days a week for 10 minutes. I would only do it a couple, few days a week anyway. A little goes a long way is the point. Okay. Um, here’s another tidbit that you wanna remember again, I’m giving you all these great takeaway tidbits, even if you don’t enroll in the course, but if you have any interest in getting more sophisticated with your fitness knowledge, you will love this course.
Every set that you perform at every workout, uh, are best performed to technical failure.Technical failure is different than total failure. Technical failure is the point at which your form becomes compromised even slightly due to fatigue in the primary muscles. If you try to perform exercises to absolute muscular failure, a lot of times what happens on those last few reps is your form becomes compromised and you start recruiting unintended muscle groups and putting joints in compromising stressful positions to get the work done. Uh, my favorite simple example is you’re standing up straight. You grab a dumbbell and you perform a set of 20 bicep curls, and you’re taking good care to keep your core, stabilized, your posture nice and tall, a straight and elongated spine. But once you get to 17, 18, wherever it is that you start to feel that bicep start to go, what often happens and you see people in the gym is they start rocking and rolling.
And so you can see they’re recruiting some momentum by, uh, moving the spine and taking it out of that straight and elongated position and kind of leaning into their lower back while enduring spinal flexion, the compression of the spinal disc in order to hoist the weight. That’s how we get injured, uh, lifting up boxes in the warehouse or what have you. And so this concept of technical failure, where instead of just working until your muscles, can’t lift the weight anymore, you become highly attuned to that point where you realize that your form is breaking and that’s when you stop the set. Similarly, uh, when you’re doing something like a sprint workout, you wanna honor this concept of delivering a consistent quality of explosive effort during each repetition. And when I talk about sprinting, consistent quality of effort means that each sprint down the running track or down the field, let’s say you’re running the length of a football field.
Uh, consistent quality means that your time is similar as well as your degree of difficulty of the rep. And so this is a perceived, let’s say on a scale of one to a hundred, you’re gonna deliver an 87 in honor of Jakob Ingebrigtsen. So you’re gonna go at what seems like an 87 out of a hundred effort, and you’re gonna look at your watch and it says, 18 seconds. And so your second rep, your third rep, your fourth rep, all want to feel like an 87% effort. In other words, you don’t want to have to go to the well and kick it up to 95% where you’re really breathing harder after, or you’re feeling that effort and more strain and taking much longer to recover. Um, and nor do you wanna see your times getting slower in other, in order to preserve that 87% commitment, right?
So if you’re hitting 18 seconds, 18, 18, a little bit of attrition is acceptable, right? 19, whatever. And then you come in at 21 seconds. This is the point where you can curtail the set, curtail the workout because you’re experiencing cumulative fatigue and the quality of your effort as represented by the time is starting to diminish. Similarly, if you experience any imperfection in technique or new, uh, strain or, um, uh, loading of muscles that feels inappropriate, that’s another time to cut the workout. And what I often feel, uh, on my seventh or eighth sprint for example, is a little bit of tightness accumulating in the lower back and the latter stages of my eighth sprint. And so that’s my signal, boom, I’m done because that’s different and new compared to what I experienced during the fifth, sixth, and seventh, even if I hit the same time and so forth.
So that’s what consistent quality of effort means. Um, so with this chapter being devoted to, uh, high intensity, brief explosive workouts, um, one thing we want to consider is the widespread fascination with what I call blended workouts and blended workouts are where you are striving to obtain a cardiovascular, uh, slash endurance training effect, as well as a, uh, power explosive training effect. And this is a, uh, a tall order. It’s really a lot to ask of the body. And by and large, these workouts can easily become too stressful. So instead of performing, um, a frequent, uh, blended workout, it might be better and less stressful to, uh, dedicate a training session or even a period of time during the year to building your endurance where you’re working at a comfortable pace or building your power, your speed, and your explosiveness by workouts, that don’t last too long, that don’t necessarily have that endurance training component to it because you’re not going out there for an hour and hour and a half.
You’re just working on your speed. And furthermore, you’re taking extensive rest between hard efforts so that you can meet this objective of delivering a consistent quality of effort for the duration of the session. So when I’m talking about my sprints, I’m gonna do even as short as a ten second sprint and rest for up to a minute after that, which is a long time to rest after a ten second sprint, it’s certainly luxurious as Dr. Craig Marker calls it my former podcast guest, and that is by design so that the overall stress impact of the workout is minimized. And that you can focus on those nice quality efforts each time on the third, the fourth, the fifth, the sixth and the seventh. Unfortunately, what we see with mainstream fitness programming is this fascination with HIIT, high intensity interval training and what I’m observing with the running groups out on the road, or the stationary bicycling class at the typical gym or the bootcamp or the other workouts that are guided by an instructor or the home based training systems, like the Peloton where they’re putting you through a series of intervals.
A lot of times this high intensity interval training protocol calls for too many hard efforts with insufficient rest between them. And then the person is performing the workouts too frequently. And the workouts aren’t lasting for two long of a duration. So you’re trying to hit all these checkpoints of cardiovascular fitness. Also put out a little power and a little sprint effort during an interval session and it just gets to be too much. And so, um, exhausting depleting workout patterns are not the path to a fitness, happiness, enjoyment sustainability. So again, when you’re going hard, try to keep these workouts shorter and duration, take luxurious rest intervals between hard efforts and then go home. You’re done. And if you want to build your endurance, you’re training for a wonderful summer hike to climb up a high mountain, guess what? You can go out there and take your time, put some time in on your feet, but keep that heart rate in the aerobic zone all the time.
Also in this chapter, we get into some technical aspects where you’re learning about, uh, physiology, learning about the planes of motion, uh, the body moving in the sagittal plane, the frontal plane, the transverse plane, how resistance exercises are are applicable. We also talk about the kinetic chain. This is the way that the body transfers energy and force from one part to another. So when you talk about activating the entire kinetic chain, that means that from head to toe, especially the central nervous system is learning to execute these complex movements in an efficient manner by recruiting the entire kinetic chain. We talk about force production, uh, some physics where, uh, force production is mass times acceleration. We talk about the attributes that can build hypertrophy as opposed to, uh, trying to strengthen existing muscle fibers versus trying to build bigger muscle fibers and how workouts differ depending on your goals. And then we talk about the technique fundamentals that apply to all types of resistance exercises. Things like preserving a straight and elongated spine, uh, inflating the diaphragm to, uh, build a pocket of air that has protective properties to your spine when you’re putting your, uh, body under resistance load, especially your spine, like you’re putting a weight on your back, right? So, uh, these kind of things that you can transfer to many different exercises,
Then we talk about what I consider to be the number one fitness breakthrough in decades. And that is the concept of micro workouts, demystifying reducing the complexity of the fitness experience for all, to realize that a miniature, short duration burst of physical effort can be a great way to break up all the stillness aspects of your day and over time, add up to deliver a wonderful fitness benefit and the cumulative fitness benefits that you get from adding up that one set of pull ups that you do once in a while when you walk under the door of your closet, or as I show on my YouTube videos, lifting the deadlift bar for a single set after I throw the garbage out, walking through the side yard where the deadlift bar is dropping for a set of deep squats, when you’re at your work desk at your cubicle, even if you don’t have any room or any time in one minute, you can get a fantastic workouts.
And there’s so many benefits. One of them is breaking up those periods of stillness. One of them is getting those, significant boost in fitness without the energy cost and the potential recovery time from performing a full duration workout. So you’re flying under the radar. Um, you’re also gonna help with fat metabolism and cognitive function. When you take little breaks from sitting and staring at a screen for long periods of time, and I’ve found these to also elevate the platform from which I launch all types of formal workouts. When I do sprinkle in a set here and a set there rather than do nothing, do nothing, do nothing, go to the gym and throw down for an hour. You get the difference? Okay, micro workouts.
And that brings us to chapter nine, and we have an entire chapter module dedicated to the, the quintessential functional human strength training movements of the deadlift and the squat. And when you are able to learn these correctly and get a baseline level of competency, you experience a whole bunch of fitness benefits, anti-aging benefits. You’re showing that you have preserved some, uh, mobility, flexibility, and good comprehensive strength through the major muscle groups of both the upper and the lower body. So, so the chapter goes through the assorted benefits of throwing these great exercises into your program. You can achieve rapid improvements in total body, muscular strength without the risk of injury and exhaustion that comes from performing less difficult exercises for longer periods of time or exercises that have more impact trauma such as sprinting. The deadlift is lauded for three major attributes: the capacity to load more weight than any other exercise, the high and level of explosiveness and force production and the numerous upper and lower body muscle groups involved, dead lifting involves that key human skill that we all want to have, which is the hip hinge.
And that just means bending at the hips and keeping your straight and elongated spine like we’ve talked about. Like an oil derrick or something, rather than the tendency of many humans. When they bend over to curve the spine to engage in spinal flexion, to lower their head or their hands closer to the ground. And when you do that under resistance load, that’s when you tweak something. So if you can get good at hip hinging, and of course that’s how to deadlift correctly, then you can carry that over. And those behavior patterns into all manner of everyday movement and be safer and more competent. So again, the deadlift starts with hinging at the hips to be able to grab the bar. Then you brace the core, you engage the glutes, the lower back, you tense the lap muscle. So you form this wonderful, uh, solid foundation.
And then when you lift, it’s the most simple act when you look at someone who’s doing it well, and of course we have all the written material, as well as follow along videos in the course material so that you can see what you’re learning as well. So you simply, uh, stand up with the bar. The hip hinge goes in the reverse direction from the start, and you stand up to a standing position preserving that straight and elongated spine, and especially, uh, trying to keep your shoulders in that safe and retracted position rather than leave that position. For example, uh, lurching forward off of the line of your spine in order to get more power to lift the bar. And, oh my gosh, there’s nothing more annoying, frustrating, and cringeworthy than seeing the many, many examples of poor deadlifting technique that you can find on YouTube on social media, because it’s such a simple exercise and it appears that a lot of people are going for numbers and trying to set a PR or do those crazy challenges.
Like can you deadlift 500 pounds and then go run a mile. And under five minutes, I shouldn’t say crazy. Like that’s pretty badass. If you can do, uh, a disparate fitness skill at the same time, like, uh, show your incredible strength and then the speed and endurance required to run a fast mile. Uh, but not when you <laugh> flex your spine in order to lift that bar. Not that I’m a certified strength training, deadlift expert master. However, what I am is 57 years old, so I can point my finger and tell you young folks, guess what? Go ahead and do that stupid stuff. Now you will pay the price later. So, uh, the cumulative effects of stress over the course of your lifetime from doing stupid shit like strength training, and trying to get really strong while exhibiting poor form will have a cumulative effect and you will pay the price later.
So take off a few of those plates. Don’t worry about your numbers or your PR. Worry about exhibiting superior technique. And you will see a section on the videos when you take the course where we had a bystander, he was our production expert, uh, Hollywood professional that helped us get the highest quality video production throughout the course. And we said, Hey, we need a regular person, not a strength training expert, or a super fit person. And we want film you being taught how to deadlift, and it was really, really difficult for him to exhibit these technique attributes while lifting up just a PVC pipe that weighs a couple pounds, uh, because he’d never done it before. And it shows you how we all will benefit from backing up, slowing down a bit, taking some weight off and just honing excellent technique.
I say the same thing about running .sprinting, jogging, and I have that, uh, viral video on YouTube, Brad, Kern’s running technique instruction where I break it down and tell you the basic fundamentals of how to run with efficient technique and minimal impact trauma and things that so many everyday recreational people just have never learned or disregard. And they go plodding and shuffling down the path. You can hear them coming from too far away because there’s too much slapping of the feet and that’s lost energy potential because they’re not running in a balanced and light manner, like a deer or like another graceful animal. And so please watch the video if you spend time running jogging sprinting, okay. Then we talk about the squat in the same reframe where we are giving all the benefits, the technique attributes, uh, this is so good for balance and stability and those major lower body muscle groups that are strongly correlated with longevity and poor squat competency is strongly correlated with an increased risk of the number one cause of morbidity and demise in Americans over age 65, which is falling.
And so if you can keep those balance attributes, keep that muscular strength and that bone density in your lower extremities, you’re going to fare much better when it comes to your potential for falling. And if you do happen to fall, you’re gonna heal rather than break a bone. It doesn’t mean that you have to, uh, load up a heavy bar. And I know a lot of gym goers and fitness enthusiasts will walk right by the muscle heads, clanking and grunting to head to their stair climbing machine. But if you can just get good at body weight squads, this is a wonderful attribute to carry into lifelong health and functionality, especially when you, uh, develop the competency to do a deep squat. So we oftentimes consider the squat to be the move where you lower down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
And then you stand up and simply being able to do that is wonderful. But if you wanna work, uh, slowly and carefully over time to increase your range of motion, to what we call the gold standard of ass to grass squatting where your butt is all the way down, uh, hopefully really close to the bottom. Your knee joint is completely, uh, closed, and then be able to stand up from there. And of course, if you have poor muscular strength or poor knee health at this point, um, that’s gonna be really difficult. And you’re gonna find that natural limitation point somewhere down as you’re lowering, perhaps in your parallel. Same thing If you have tight and or weak hip flexers and weak glutes, you’re not gonna be able to lower into those positions without falling down. So there are progression exercises. There are drills, uh, the Instagram sensation, Ben Patrick, on his channel knees over toes guy on Instagram talks about how he’s healed from severe knee problems and multiple surgeries by working these advanced positions, or he is trying to lower all the way down, or he’s doing a lunge and bringing his knees, uh, far beyond the placement of his foot, his toe.
That’s why he calls himself knees over toes guy because he’s showing drills and exercises and a complete fitness protocol that runs counter to the oftentimes advice that we’ve heard about, uh, lower down in the lunge, but keep your knee, do not extend it beyond your toes. And so challenging these joints, uh, beyond your comfortable range of motion over time, very carefully, uh, can deliver great fitness benefits for more joint resiliency. And you can see me on Instagram doing things like the, uh, reverse Nordic curls, where I, uh, lower down backward onto the mat with my knee, still touching the mat, uh, and the Nordic curls where I’m going the other direction, working on the hamstrings. And I believe these are important elements to, uh, throw in to your fitness programming or whatever level you’re at, but of course there’s safe progression. So we don’t wanna misunderstand by watching these hot shots and then trying to do it the next day.
And I’ve definitely, uh, been too ambitious and you know, tried to, to jump into something like Nordic curls and tweak something a little bit. And then, you know, it takes two weeks for that thing to resolve because it just had no business doing that until I was a little better, little better.
And that brings us to module 10 chapter. 10 resistance exercise, where we talk about the various modalities, free weights, body weights, machine, and kettlebell exercises. So first we hit the squat and the deadlift, and now we get into, uh, more details about the best ways to use these different attributes. Free weights are often intimidating to most fitness enthusiast, but in many ways they can deliver the most comprehensive fitness benefits because you’re obligated to balance the weight in space. And so you’re recruiting stabilizer, muscles, and other attributes that aren’t necessary.
For example, when you’re working in a machine setting where you’re sitting down and anchoring your body, uh, and not having to move or balance it through space. That said, um, I think a lot of people get confused with all the debating and the recommending and someone asserting that this is the best, and these are the, these aren’t as good. Anything you do in the form of resistance exercise is gonna be a fantastic health and fitness benefit. So it’s your personal preference. It’s your comfortable starting point where you don’t have to feel intimidated and maybe you never touch a free weight where you don’t consider it for three years where you’ve become super competent working your way through the machines. But at some point, as we discuss in the course, it is a nice idea to aspire, to go over there and learn how to do, uh, something such as a weighted squat, where you’re holding the barbell on your back and you’re lowering down and you’re sensing, experiencing the difference between having that barbell running through a track, a vertical track like you see on what’s called the Smith machine, um, much, much safer, right?
And much easier, uh, but a slightly, uh, better functional fitness stimulation from doing things free weights. We also talk about the Olympic lifts, which are the super advanced moves that you see in the Olympic games, the snatch, the clean and jerk. These are compound full body functional movements, very high degree of difficulty. They’re a centerpiece of the CrossFit experience. And in many cases can become ill-advised or dangerous, especially if you’re fatigued, sort of at the end of the workout. And someone’s asking you to perform a set of 10 snatches or something. Uh, but again, they have so many fitness benefits. That’s why the elite athletes use them in a variety of sports, not just, uh, actual lifters. And so once you climb up those steps to get better and better at an assortment of strength training exercises, these are some things that you can consider, uh, throwing in and trying to become competent in perhaps starting with the PVC pipe like I discussed and another option for fun and interest and getting better and getting more benefits.
We talk about isolation exercises like calf raises, tibialis anterior raises, farmers walks, walking lunches. These are sort of throw-in attributes that can compliment your performance and your competency in the full body functional movements. So again, we’re just putting all the pieces together. Yes, it’s great to learn how to deadlift with the hex bar, which is really simple and safe. And then we can throw in these other ones and, uh, have you with a complete education of all the great things that you can do in the gym. We talk about the difference between upper body and lower body exercises and the difference in muscle fiber makeup, where a lot of times the upper body is more percentage of slow twitch in comparison to the lower body, which is often, uh, more percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers. And these are across all humans, even if you happen to be a high percentage, fast, fast twitch person in general, like a sprinter strength performer, uh, versus an endurance athlete who might be a greater percentage of slow twitch in general, across all the muscle groups, but that disparity between the upper body and lower body is one reason why it’s a lot easier to become sore with your legs than it is, uh, with the major muscle groups or the upper body.
I didn’t even know that until recently. And it makes so much sense and other things that it might connote that you can perform difficult, challenging upper body exercises more frequently perhaps than, uh, the heavy duty, lower body exercises like the squat and the deadlift, because it’s more difficult from, uh, not only the potential muscle soreness perspective, but also, uh, the, uh, central nervous system fatigue from firing so many large muscle groups. When you’re asked to perform deadlift and squat. Then we talk about the primal essential movements, and these are four different full body functional exercises that collectively represent a lot of the base human movements throughout evolution, right? The way we moved our bodies. Pushups pull up squats and planks are the four primal essential movements. And what’s great about those are they’re safe. They’re easy to learn. And there are progression exercises for each one, uh, based on your current level of fitness competency. So you can do a chair assisted pullup or a wall pushup, or a bench pushup, and then improve do the sufficient number of reps to load those muscle groups. And then over time work toward competency in the, the baseline movement of a proper pushup off the ground or a pullup up to the bar. All right, guess what?
That brings us to chapter 11, uh, sprinting and jumping one of my favorite chapters cuz those are two of the most beneficial and quintessential human movements and the best way to quickly achieve fantastic fitness benefits, especially dropping excess body fat because these are so explosive and the demand placed on the body to do something like sprint or jump in the air causes all manner of genetic and hormonal signaling to become lean and strong and reduce excess body fat. So I think we’ll leave off here and we’ll jump into the final chapters on the next segment of the show.
You can absorb the great material that you learned here covering chapter eight, about high intensity exercise, chapter nine, about the deadlift in the squat and chapter 10 about the many other forms of resistance exercise. Thank you so much for listening to this series. And again, go over to primal health coach.com and look at all the educational opportunities they have, but especially the primal fitness coach certification that we just launched and are super excited about. We’re getting great feedback already from students. You’ll learn about the educational experience and the certification that you get. And it’s been really fun to be part of this. And now finally, after two years of hard work behind the scenes, launch it to the world. So thanks for listening. Do do, do do
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