It’s time for another rebroadcast episode as we head back into the archives for this early episode with the amazing Ben Greenfield.
Ben is a human information machine, biohacking wiz extraordinaire, and just an extremely healthy, fit guy going on all kinds of channels with his expanded consciousness and his endless gratitude, and all his various interests, which you will hear about in this show: from spirituality to his great website and podcast to the books he has written (Boundless and Beyond Training), which are virtually encyclopedias with the kind of content you will not find in any other healthy living book, I truly don’t know how he does so much while producing so much content! But Ben really walks his walk; he lives and breathes what he talks about every day, so he is a great resource to listen to, as he has this unique ability to blend a scientific mindset with being a deep thinker and researcher (just read his blog on his website to see what an incredible writer he is). While Ben may not be for everyone because he is pretty hard-core, I think it’s important to reflect on the fact that most of us are very used to living a life of ease and convenience, and Ben challenges this common desire most people have to continue doing that by being the physical embodiment of this alternative way of living.
In this episode, you will hear Ben share how he is able to read one book a day (as well as tons of great quotes from various books that are peppered throughout the episode), what he considers as important to our lifespan as sunshine and water, how he developed such a robust attitude towards productivity, as well as the one thing he does not consume that helps free up a lot of his time and energy. Enjoy this episode and the rare treat of hearing from a human existing on the absolute edge of peak performance, Ben Greenfield!
Ben Greenfield details his unbelievably active life. [09:01]
After a bike accident, Ben took his harvested stem cells and expedited his recovery. [17:33]
Ketosis element was included in the healing regimen that helped Ben as well. [19:13]
Diet, fasting, being in ketosis has much to do with balancing your life of intense workouts and busy lifestyle. [22:34]
The family gathering for the evening meal is incredibly important. [26:15]
Ben does not consume modern culture and uses his time toward health and fitness and family time. Micro workouts are a big part of his routine. [30:23]
Is there a way to accelerate recovery after exercise? [40:41]
Stem cell injections gave Ben a full body makeover. Ben would love to live to 170 years if it gave him time to fulfill his purpose in life. [45:41]
Eating plants, controlling your blood sugar, not smoking, spending time with your friends and your family, moving around during the day and knowing what your purpose in life Is, is the road to longevity. [51:58]
What are some basic items an enthusiast could invest in? Hydrogen-rich water, heat therapy are examples. [53:33]
Ben’s daily routine involves first thing in the morning 10 to 15 minutes of mobility work and breath work. Every day he writes down what he is grateful for and also naps. [01:03:14]
The relationship with the children and the evening meal fills the late afternoon hours. [01:06:42]
How did Ben’s path to medicine change? Now he’s created a power bar and other supplements. [01:10:47]
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- The Concussion Repair Manual
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Hey listeners, it’s time for another rebroadcast going back into the wonderful archives. And of course we have to bring more attention to the amazing Ben Greenfield and replay. One of our early shows. This guy is a human information machine biohacking whiz extraordinaire, extremely healthy fit guy, going on all kinds of channels with his expanded consciousness and his gratitude and his various interests, his spirituality. He has a great website, great podcast. His books Boundless and Beyond Training are virtually encyclopedias on the shelf. They’re physically massive books with tons of pages and a very thorough and breadth of content like you won’t find in any other healthy living book. And this guy, I do not know how he does it. I asked him off, uh, off the recording, like, come on, man, give me your secret. How do you produce so much content and, and accomplish so much in a day he gets more done.
He reads more, he cooks more. And I think he vibrates at the very highest frequency of the human experience. Very interesting guy. Some people are kind of blown away at all the products he touts and the things that he’s pushing and recommending, but I assure you, he is walking his talk. So that puts him in a distinct category from other people who you might question, uh, whether they’re just a hustler. He is living this and breathing this every single day. So when he talks about his vibrating energy pad and his red light panel and his metronomic musical tone putting his brain into the Bal brainwave, everything is happening every day, all his fitness experience, all his, uh, eating and cooking and research. So a very good resource. He’s got a wonderful company called get kion.com with some great products and his popular podcast, Ben Greenfield fitness, and here he goes with his first appearance on B.rad.
Hi and listeners. It’s Brad introducing the one and only Ben Greenfield. You know how we use that, that term one and only indiscriminately about anything and everything this time. I really mean it. This guy is one of a kind on the planet earth. He is an extremely high volume, high intensity, high performing human. I do not know how he does all that he does. I asked him that question right out of the gate. It’s absolutely an amazing journey. So your responsibility in this podcast is to strap in and hold on tight and take notes and push the back play button and get a load of all the stuff that this guy’s into. Oh my goodness. And he gave a beautiful answer out of the gate when I asked him how the heck do you do it? And one of the things he mentioned was that he doesn’t consume pop culture.
So he has more time, more energy to go deep into the aspects of human peak performance, especially diet, exercise, longevity, enhanced cognitive performance, enhanced sexual performance, protection against the assorted environmental offenders in modern times like electromagnetic fields and blue light. Oh my goodness. And he’s, he’s an expert in all these fields. He reads a book every day. You’ll hear him quote, just breezily quote, numerous books. And man, what an amazing resource I’ve known him for several years hung out in person. He was a presenter at our Primalcon event. And we hung out down at paleo FX. And Ben is a unique guy that blends the scientific mindset and the deep thinking and the deep researcher, uh, also an accomplished writer. He has a very prolific blog at Ben Greenfield, fitness.com. A great book called Beyond Training, an absolute encyclopedic volume of anything related to peak performance.
And he’s also an accomplished athlete. So he’s putting his assorted George Plimpton-like immersive journalism experiences to the test when he goes out there and competes. And he talks about a recent world championship that he won. So fun times from Ben. I think it’s important to reflect too. He might not be for everyone cuz he’s pretty hardcore. But we’re so used to living a life of ease and luxury and convenience like never before in human history, we can go through life without ever having to get cold or warm because we have air conditioning. And he’s talking about the very cutting edge of cold therapy and heat therapy and mixing ’em every single day to deliver all these hormonal cognitive immune function benefits. And I gotta say, my mind’s spinning right now after hanging up the Skype call, but the guy pumps me up. He makes you wanna be the best you can be.
You feel maybe a little inadequate when you realize just how deep he’s into this human peak performance scene and that you may never be able to measure up. And the show does get in little sciencey at times, but it’s well explained. I think you’ll grasp it. I think you’ll be in the groove and you’ll pick some wonderful insights to do regardless of your budget or time level of commitment. Obviously you’re not gonna be following his footsteps, buying these super expensive machinery to stick up your nose or expose your balls to while you’re working at your standup desk. In any case, here is a rare treat to here from a human on the absolute cutting edge of peak performance and health and longevity. And when we got talking on the subject of longevity, his answer, his perspective will absolutely touch your heart. Here goes Ben Greenfield, all around good guy, family man and peak performer recently crowned world champion in the Spartan race, executive division
N G Hey man, what’s shaking.
Uh, just having fun in LA hanging with my son at UCLA, just started and hanging with my dad. Who’s 96 and finishing up an awesome run in life.
Totally sick. How about you?
Uh, I, uh, just got back from, from the Spartan world championships. And was
That in Tahoe?
Yeah, I was yeah. Nose bleeders. How it good? Maybe. Good, good. I, I
Want let’s get right into it with that, man. Yeah, yeah. Let’s get right into that. Let’s do it. I’ll I’ll introduce you with the, the craziest bio ever. I’m just gonna have to read this thing, but we’ll go to town. Uh, hopeful. You should
Just tell people that. I just tell people I’m a badass speed golfer and I can bowl 300.
Uh, if you need, if you have enough frames, right? 30 frames times. Yeah. Hey,
Come on now.
My bowling, my bowling story is, um, you know, a decent, I used to go at lunchtime when I, when I worked, uh, 20 years ago in corporate setting and I roll up a hundred thirty, a hundred forty, a hundred and eighty, a hundred twenty, a hundred eight. And then one day I rolled like an 86 and then the second game was like a 93 or something. And the next game was strike, strike, strike, strike, strike, spare, strike, strike, spare strike nine for a 2 31. And I printed the thing out. This was like 1997, never bowled again. It was like, it was like the stars aligned. And then I, I just dropped the mic and left the bowling alley.
That was either traumatic or incredibly exhilarating experience for you to be able to remember those details from 21 years ago.
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah. Wow. So Ben Greenfield, we caught up and you’ve just returned from the Spartan world championships. What happened out there, man?
Well, Spartan world championships as they have been for the past four years, took place in nosebleed country, The bastards that put together those races, the race directors like to play the earth to their advantage and do things like put races on its ski resorts where you just gotta go like up and down the slopes. Not, not on a gondola or on skis, but by foot. So they’re, they’re painful races. Um, and cold they’re very cold. Like your hands are like swollen and cold for a long time afterwards. So it’s not a sport for anyone with, uh, with, uh, Raynauds or, or any other blood flow issue. But it went well. I, uh, I competed in the, in the executive division this year and I, I won. So I can now call myself the world’s fittest CEO, if you gauge the world’s fittest person based on how well they can carry a sandbag or crawl underneath barbed wire,
I love that the executive division throw down man would, did you have any, uh, worthy competition or was it a bunch of pasty soft guys that take undress out of their three piece suit into their bike shorts?
You know what? It was kind of the latter. It was, it, it wasn’t an incredibly competitive field. In my opinion, I, I probably just offended a bunch of people. I just realized by saying that. But, yeah, I mean, I still had to push myself, but it was not quite as deep afield as the actual, uh, the, the pro field I typically compete in. But at the same time, considering I’m working like 10 to 12 hours a day right now, running a corporation and being a CEO, I figured, uh, what the heck I should compete in the executive division since I, I do own a suit. I mean, I’ve got one up in the closet somewhere,
Bring it to the award ceremony at least. So you could show your, your legit executive
<laugh> right, exactly. I’ve got wing tips. See,
You know what, this tees up the ultimate Ben Greenfield question that I’ve been wanting to ask since I’ve, uh, studied your game for many years. And that is,
Yes, I did a coffee enema this morning. Oh, sorry.
<laugh> How do you do it, man? I mean, you’re everywhere. You’re all over the place. I want to get, I want to get down and understand what your operations, like, I know you started this new Kion thing. That’s sort of become the centerpiece of, of what you’re all about and, uh, your brand and what you stand for, but it’s mind blowing. Uh, how many pies you have your fingers in? Well,
First of all, I’m a little jaded because I didn’t really grow up knowing what it was like to be normal in terms of either work hours or school hours or, or anything like that. I was homeschooled K through 12. And so, developed, uh, during that time, I guess, uh, a pretty robust attitude towards productivity. I always liked to do a lot of different things, whether that would by writing fiction or reading fiction or playing my violin or, you know, I was present of the chess club and, and in a band and, you know, played for the tennis team and just loved to do a wide variety of activities, you know, cooking and watercolor painting, and babysitting. And you, you name it. And so when I got to college and actually had my first taste of the, of the real world, so to speak, I kind of just continued on that path.
You know, I would take anywhere from 25 to 30 credits a semester. And, uh, you know, I moonlit as a personal trainer and as a bartender and a barista and worked at a little French bakery. So I had four to five jobs in college and a full course load and, you know, went, went full on premed and wanted to be a doctor. So I spent a lot of time in the emergency room and, you know, shadowing surgeons and, you know, and spending time in sports medicine facilities. I think part of it was, I just never actually did a lot of, I guess, downtime activities that I didn’t find productive, like video gaming or, you know, still to this day, I might go see a movie like once a year. I don’t really watch TV. I’m a complete idiot when it comes to politics actually.
So I guess that’s where I fall short of the whole Renaissance man piece. And I would probably do a really, really crappy job explaining the blockchain to you. So I’ve, I’ve, I’ve kind of, kind of wedged my way into more like health and fitness and nutrition and longevity and biohacking a little bit more than a lot of other, uh, things in life. But I still, you know, I’m, I’m, uh, two books into my first fiction book series right now. So I still like to write fiction. I still think around on my ukulele and go play open mic nights. And so I still love to love to spend time with music. But I would say aside from like music and fiction and hanging out with my family and also cooking, I just got back from Japan or took a whole bunch of Japanese cooking classes.
So I still, I like to cook too. I was actually just whipping up a brew up in the kitchen earlier this morning. We could talk about this later if you want, but this is a liver cleanse week for me. So I’m doing a lot of recipes based on cleansing my liver. And, um, and so, uh, so yeah, I’ve just always been kind of, kind of all over the map. And I, I do like to do things like that, like after world championships, like how like scheduling a week where I’m just doing like TLC for my body. So this week I’m doing a lot of sauna and a lot of massages and you know, taking milk this whole extract and I’m making, I’ve got a big vat of Kitchari upstairs, which is like split mung beans cleansing stew. And so, you know, I’ll be my vitals for the next week will basically be celery juice, minerals, that’s stew and, lots of teas and, you know, no coffee, no alcohol, no red meat.
Actually I will have coffee, but it’s only up my butt every morning. And then a lot of, a lot of sauna, a lot of dry skin brushing, you know, so, so I’m spending the next week. Um, just detoxing my, my body,, my liver, not because I live a, an unhealthy lifestyle, but I think after, you know, months and months of, of training and, you know, you gotta eat 3,500, 4,000 calories a day minimum to support, you know, intense physical activity. I just, I want to, uh, to go through a little bit of a detox. So I try and throw those in a few times a year. And, uh, and then this Saturday I’ll venture down into the den of Satan and go, go watch the, the UFC match. So I’ll probably have a, a drink or two down there in Vegas.
Oh, so you’re a UFC fan.
Oh yeah. Yeah. I like the UFC actually. I work with a few, uh, a few execs in, in UFC, like some of the guys that, that, uh, that own the UFC. So I can always jet down there and jump into a, jump into a fight with good seats. If I want to go watch in this case, Connor McGregor, I love to watch him fight, so I’ll go down and, and, uh, watch him fight in the, uh, in the lightweight division.
Well, you’ve tackled every other challenge, man. I think it, maybe it’s a matter of time before you, um, you jump into the cage or what do you think?
I trained for about seven months and got my eye broken in a sparring match about three months out for my first fight. And the, the break, you know, was an orbital fracture, which is not an uncommon injury in MMA or fighting, but my, my eye would swell, shut and stay swollen, shut every time I’d blow my nose or sneeze. And I had a great deal of cognitive fatigue and brain fog for about three months, you know, and TBI concussion. And as I dwelled upon that injury and healed myself, I realized that my nogging in terms of being a father and a provider for my family is just too important to me to put it out on the line like that. And so, uh, I instead kind of scratched that itch of hitting someone by doing it, uh, across the net with a tennis ball on a racket, uh, which I consider to be kind of, sort of the cognitive equivalent of boxing or striking without actually having to get hit in the face. If you get hit in the face during a tennis match, something went horribly wrong. So I like tennis a little bit more these days than striking sports.
Yeah. I have to put triathlon in the same category. You know, I stopped so long ago and my reflection getting off the bike, looking at my training logs, having completed a hundred thousand miles, I feel like I’m lucky to be here alive talking to you. And the, the danger factor of riding your bicycle out on the road is probably the most dangerous thing we do by a factor of 10 to the second place.
Oh yeah, I got, I got pinged, just like five months ago, riding my bike in Austin, Austin, Austin, Texas during rush hour. Got a concussion. Yeah. Um, I actually wound up, I, I have all of my stem cells harvested and stored on ice down in Florida. So I had them ship my stem cells up to me, and I actually injected myself with manitol, which increases the permeability of the blood-brain barrier. And then I, I mainline the stem cells into my arm via an IV.s I, I did that and hyperbaric oxygen therapy, pretty strict ketosis and a few other kind of neuro anti-inflammatories for several weeks following that accident. And, I think that’s, that’s key really. I mean, anytime that, that you get injured, whether it’s boxing or bicycling, I mean, pulling out all the stops to take care of what could arguably be one of the most important delicate organs of your body is a pretty good idea. Um, but yeah, there, there’s actually a really good book called The Concussion Repair Manual by Dr. Dan Engle. I think anybody that that’s, you know, out cycling or competing in, in MMA or anything like that should own a book like that, just to be able to do a little bit of TLC, you know, if it should hit the fan
Well with the ketosis element of your healing regimen there, would you also, uh, jump onto that if you had an adverse health diagnosis, a cancer or something like that?
It depends. I mean, you know, there’s, there’s always considerations, you know, such as the fact that, you know, people with, with an a E four, four gene, or even, you know, like myself with an AE three, four high intake of coconut oil and, and butter and saturated fats can actually, cause not only, a pretty high increase of storage fat, but also an inflammatory response. And so in a scenario like that, I would say choosing more of the mono unsaturated Mediterranean fats type of root would be a little bit more prudent and be a better way to get into ketosis than say, like, you know, putting a stick of butter in your coffee. You know, we also, of course, with better living through science, have access as you know, to things like, you know, beta hydroxybutyrate salts or, you know, uh, for a really potent source keto esters.
So you can amplify keto availability even when blood glucose levels are low without necessarily a high intake of saturated fat. So I would say even if you have some like cancer, you know, you, you need to take into consideration the fact that, you know, the diet that you choose might be, you know, causing cardiovascular risk potential. Well at the same time, shutting off available glucose to a tumor. So you’d even wanna choose your, your fats wisely and how you get into ketosis a little bit more intelligently, um, people without that genetic issue. Um, you know, people who have a, a liver and a gallbladder that seems to be able to, to produce and store and release enough bile to be able to break down those fats. People without any genetic issues that would cause a high inflammatory response to saturated fats. Those folks could probably do a little bit, you know, they could do okay, managing cancer on a ketogenic diet, but for the most part, you know, and I would imagine folks listening in are probably somewhat familiar with what you’ve alluded to, you know, this, this whole idea of managing cancer with the ketogenic diet based on the metabolic theory of cancer.
You know, the idea that that cancer to a certain extent can be aggravated or, you know, um, angiogenesis to a tumor. Those type of things could be aggravated by availability of glucose and the ability of cancer cells to go into kind of rampant production of lactic acid. So you have a net acidotic state at a whole bunch of glycolysis happening. And the idea of being that if you cut off glucose to those areas, then you could potentially halt tumor growth or, or even, even, you know, kill cancer to a certain extent. And, you know, there’s, there’s some very good books about this. I think it’s Nasha Winters who has one on ketosis and cancer. That’s kind of a multimodal approach to cancer in the same way that, Dale Bredesen’s book The End of Alzheimer’s as a multimodal approach to Alzheimer’s. I forget the name of Dr. Winter’s book, but ultimately if I had cancer, um, I’d do a lot of things, but I, I would certainly limit my carbohydrate intake and glycemic variability. I would just, for me personally, uh, get into ketosis using more carbohydrate restriction, Kion salts, keto, esters, and monounsaturated fats versus saturated fats, just based on my own genetics,
Speaking of diet, man, you made an offhanded comment on some podcast a long time ago, and I kind of glommed onto it as a possible strategy. And I absolutely love it. And you were talking about how you spend a lot of time fasting or in ketosis, including doing intense workouts, and then come evening time. You’re enjoying life with your family and all the great things that your wife’s making. And that might include a good dose of carbohydrates, of course, healthy, nutritious carbohydrates, but kind of letting things, uh, loose in the evening, is your way of ensuring that you’re restocking glycogen for your intense workouts the next day or whatever falls ahead. But I thought that was maybe getting the best of both worlds, where you spend a lot of time and those wonderful vaunted benefits of being fasted or being ketogenic. And then also getting those nutritious carbs, maybe supporting gut health and definitely supporting athletic recovery. So thanks man, cuz that kicked me into gear and I I’ve been experimenting with that type of approach.
There are, there are reasons that go beyond that actually that I would choose a dietary strategy like that. Although I thought you were gonna talk about my collection of frozen Snickers bars and the Fraser and my habit of sprinkling those on top of ice cream at night. No, I’m just kidding. I don’t, I, I do actually eat ice cream sometimes. I’ve I recently discovered this Halo Top ice cream. I dunno if you’ve had this before, there’s like 300 calories in a pint it’s like, and Stevia and you know, still not the healthiest thing on the face of the planet, but man, when you can punish a whole pint of ice cream with a, with a 300 calorie, punishment and you know, I’ll sprinkle like cacao nibs and even a shameless plug. I actually design an energy bar and I keep that in the freezer too.
And sometimes sprinkle that on top of ice cream at night. You can have your cake and eat it too to a certain extent, but you, you touched on the fact that glycogen replenishment with a post, uh, uh, kind of, kind of an end of the day feeding can be a good strategy for cyclic ketosis, right? Training your body, how to access primarily fatty acids as a fuel during the day, and then topping off the energy stores at the end of the day, so that you have adequate glycogen availability for the next day’s workout, which is important, especially if you’re a strength or a power athlete or even a hybrid, you know, endurance speed athlete, which is what I would consider myself to be, right. Like I’m dipping into the glycolytic tank far more regularly now than in the days when I was doing say Ironman triathlon just based on the fact that that Spartan has a lot more heavy carries and a lot more uphill sprints and things along those lines.
But I would say there are, there are two additional reasons that, uh, an evening feed, especially for an active person. Um, and to a certain extent from a social standpoint is important. A, you’ll find a lot of people who follow strict ketosis or who limit carbohydrates in the evening experience a little bit of a serotonin deficit at night, which decreases your melatonin availability. And so you see a lot of people not sleeping well on a strict ketogenic diet versus, folks who do an evening. Carbohydrate feed often have great sleep because of the serotonin availability. So that’s one reason that I like the carbohydrates in the evening. And then the other reason would be for me and, and for a lot of people living in a Western society where we’re not say following some principle of, you know, uh, uh, decent breakfast, uh, lunching kind of like a king, like a great big lunch, you know, followed by a siesta usually, and then like a pretty poultry dinner, you know, and in a lot of westernized, society’s, dinner’s kind of the prime meal of the day.
And it sucks to go out to a restaurant or to sit down with your family and have to be incredibly restrictive, right? Like I like going to a restaurant when they bring that wonderful warm plate of bread out to the table, you know, some heirloom local sourdough or something like that with big pads of butter, you know, I’d, I’ll, I’ll indulge all night long on that type of thing. And, uh, you know, so from a social standpoint, allowing yourself to, to, to refeed a little bit more in the evening, especially from a, from a carbohydrate perspective is important. And then the other thing is that for my family, I think family dinners are incredibly important. It’s a way for our own family to gather at the end of the day in the morning, the kids are off getting ready for school and everybody’s rushing around.
It’s just way too busy to sit down for a family, you know, as a family for an hour. So, and, and then lunch, you know, the kids aren’t around and my wife’s often out, you know, gardening or farming or, you know, taking care of the chickens or the goats, or she’s off playing tennis, or, you know, lunch is just kind of an afterthought for us, but then dinner, our entire family comes together at the end of the day and we’ll play table topics and we’ll play, you know, Pictionary, which I hate cuz I gotta stop eating, uh, every two minutes to draw some picture. But we’ll, you know, we’ll play Texas hold him we’ll we will talk about the day. And so it it’s a time for our family to bond. And I actually, because of that, like we eat dinner actually later than what I consider to be healthy, right.
Like I think at an ideal scenario, you’d have dinner just for digestion and everything done with before you kind of go horizontal for the night, you’d have dinner over with two or three hours before bed, but our family gatherers at about 8, 8 30 at night and you know, we’ll finish dinner around nine or nine 30 and we’re, we’re usually in bed by 10, but we have these amazing evening family dinners that are just like those, those are a crucial part of our family dynamics. And when the kids are off doing jujitsu and tennis and soccer and piano and all these things at the end of the day, we can’t have a 6:00 PM dinner. So we have dinner at like eight or eight 30 and, and yeah, that, that’s another scenario in which, you know, whatever we’ve decided to eat, I eat and my kids love to cook too. And they’ll often make risottos and you know, and, and cookies and desserts and, you know like, you know, rice cakes with fish and all and all sorts of things that would cause dad to be kind of a bore. If I had to sit there with a, like a, a spoon and a stick of butter
And a, and an app typing in your right number of grams of carbs, right,
The family dinner, man, you’re on it. I remember reading that great, uh, book, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, been out for a while documentary also. And he talked about how the rise of the fast food culture basically destroyed the fabric, the centerpiece of the American family, which was the family home cooked meal and the shared experience. And now you could outsource that by going through a drive through line and handing your kids what they wanted and carrying on with your busy day and watching more TV. So it was kind of a turning point in culture that we’re still struggling to recover from, unless you take this action and make this the centerpiece. So good, good job by the Greenfields.
Yeah. And I mean like now in the era of fricking, you know, not, not this, the, the healthiest food on the planet, but it’s something, you know, in the era of, of things like Blue Apron, you know, and these other meal delivery services that will bring, you know, like recipe kits to your home, it’s pretty easy, you know, and that that’s, to a certain extent, you know, between lessons from Jessa and they take some local cooking classes and then we get you, you know, boxes sometimes delivered to the house, you know, with ingredients and recipe cards. That’s how my kids learned to cook to a certain extent. And, you know, even if you don’t have time to, to make a big complex dinner, even something like some of these meal delivery services and some really are like paleo ish or primal ish or a little bit more healthy. You know, I think Freshly is one of the ones that’s a little bit better, uh, Blue Apron is okay. Kind of depends on what they’re delivering, but yeah, even something like that is kinda like a hybrid way to, to, to kind of, sort of be at home and have, you know, what you could argue is almost a version of fast food, but I think is, is just a convenient way to get your hands on recipes and ingredients. That’s, that’s always another option.
Hey, changing, changing gears a little bit and going back to that, that big picture, and I think you delivered an interesting insight where you said that you grew jaded as a homeschool student and jaded to what is normal. And you also told Joe Rogan that you don’t consume modern culture, and that gives you the time and energy to pursue the ultimate highest level of sophistication of health and fitness. I think that’s really interesting because we find ourselves today completely maxed out on stimulation. That’s you know, entertainment or just obligations with email and texting and staying connected in a digital manner. And it leaves precious little time to work on ourselves or pursue those hobbies that you mention. And it’s something that’s really concerning to me because I find myself slipping away from, Hey, I, once upon a time I was a writer, but I can’t even find the time now because my, my email inbox is so filled and any kind of departure into an entertainment zone can turn into a black hole when you’re talking about all the, all the stuff that we’re compelled to consume now with the binge watching of shows and, and who knows what else is distracting us and pulling us away from potential human peak performance endeavors that you stand for.
Yeah. I mean, I, I think you could, to a certain extent say the same thing about God-forbid exercise, right? Like, I think that’s a waste of time for a lot of people who don’t consider the fact that when you look at the blue zones, right, these areas where people are living a disproportionately long period of time, they’re not taking like an hour at the beginning of the day or an hour at the end of the day to do an exercise session. And that’s time that adds up too. I mean, you and I are talking right now, and I don’t know if this is a video podcast or not, but as you can see, like I’m walking on a treadmill and I’ll walk a good six to eight miles each day while I’m at work. And you know, it’s different than my wife who’s out.
I mean, my wife is outside right now. She’s pushing a wheelbarrow. She’s hauling alfalfa down to the goats. She’s pushing around our little mobile chicken coop. She’s moving rocks, she’s gardening, she’s pulling weeds. I mean, that really is more of an, an ancestral example of low level physical activity all day long. But, you know, as an author and a podcaster and someone who is relegated to spending a lot of time in front of the computer, for me I’ve just had to learn how to kind of hack my personal environment in my office to allow me to engage in that same type of low level physical activity that we see prevalent in a lot of these blue zones. You know, there’s a kettlebell by the door in my office. There’s a, there’s a hex bar. And then the room next door, that’s always loaded up with a few plates.
There’s a pull-up bar right below the stairs going upstairs. Uh, there’s there’s like a mini trampoline outside the door of my office. And so I’ve always got these little movements, snacks, and work breaks, and even brief bursts have explosive activity during the day. So that by the end of the day, my exercise sessions are relatively brief. Like, you know, tonight I know what my workout’s gonna be. I’ve got three Tabata sets. Each one separated by 30 kettlebell swings. The Tabata sets are on an aerosol bike. The kettlebell swings are on a little mat right beside that I’ll drop down and do planks for my recovery. And that’ll be about a 20 minute workout session. If I have low level physical activity all day long, and I’m making a point to take the stairs, to lift heavy stuff, to hang, to move during the day, it frees up a ton of time for me to not have to feel like I gotta, you know, get in the car, drive to the gym, spend an hour at the gym, get back in the car, drive home, et cetera, et cetera. So, you know, I, I think that, that even though it tends to be glorified and respected a lot more than say, like time spent on Facebook, even time spent exercising is something that, that I think, uh, sometimes uses up valuable hours that someone could spend being more productive.
Well, the other part of that for me, Ben, since I’m 53 years old, I’m noticing that it’s difficult to recover, especially from an enthusiastic exercise session that lasts a while, whether it’s at the gym or going for a, you know, a endurance training session. And it’s troubling to me because I don’t want to be tired in the days following my workouts. I’m trying to be a good guy and, and stay fit and delay aging. So I’ve kind of transitioned into more of a routine like you described where the hex bars waiting there. I might pull some stretch cords, which is an extremely challenging workout that if it only lasts for five minutes, you’re working hard. And then you’re accumulating this body of work, even in brief interspersed manner, which can help you be more productive cognitively. But you also avoid kind of that, uh, that trashed existence where you went over the edge and had a workout that takes too long to recover from to really be considered healthy.
Yeah, absolutely. That, I mean, another thing I’m a fan of is this single set to failure training, right? Like you need about two, two and a half minutes of time under tension for the muscle to be able to respond in terms of satellite cell proliferation, mitochondrial density, you know, formation fast, which muscle fiber, et cetera, and that can be achieved pretty easily and conveniently via, you know, incredibly slow training. And granted you miss out on some of the explosive aspects and all fiber composition usage via this method, but I kind of have changed a little bit to where I’ll finish up each single, super slow set to failure with a few explosive reps at the end of the set. And, you know, for example, like I mentioned, I’m traveling to Vegas this weekend, you know, we’ll land, we’ll go get ready for the fight.
I’ll slip down to the gym for 20 minutes. It only takes me 15 to 20 minutes to do single set chest press to failure, pull down to failure, shoulder press to failure, seated row to failure, leg pressed to failure, right, two to two and a half minutes. You finish up with as many explosive partial range of motion sets or reps as you can bang out. And you’re just done. I mean, it’s easy. You’re not sore for days and days afterwards. I’ve monitored my heart rate variability during a workout like that. And it drops extremely low, which is a very good sign actually that you’re activating the sympathetic nervous system. You know, it’s like, barbell back squats, right? Like those are a very good way to drive your heart rate variability very low during the training session. And we all hear that high HRV is a good thing, but actually during a workout, you know, your HRV, if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck to be really low during the workout so that, you know, you’ve just drained your nervous system, but it’s only for a brief period of time.
And then you’re, and then you’re up and out and done. And that’s actually how I maintain my strength and my muscle when I travel, because there’s not a lot of cognitive fatigue either, right? Like I can be tired. I can, whatever land in. And I just got back from Tokyo, you know, I can, I can land in Tokyo. I can duck into the hotel gym, do that, be done, walk out and know I’ve got my strength training in for the week. And I try and do that two times a week, especially when I’m, when I’m on heavy bouts of travel and I can piece together workout like that. Just about anywhere on the face of the planet, even the absence of machines, you know, you can use resistance bands, you can use body weight, you can use dumbbells, you can use kettlebells, but that’s another really effective and efficient way to get the minimum effective dose of exercise.
So you’re talking a 20 minute session twice a week, can be the centerpiece of you maintaining strength and training for all manner of these, uh, endeavors peak performance competitions,
Right? Yeah. I mean, those kind of little things that add up that that’s not gonna turn you into, like, uh, you know, a, a great, let’s say, you know, in my case, like, like a triathlete or a Spartan athlete, but when you combine something like that with the low level physical activity during the day, um, I do a Tabata set usually three times a week. Those quick four minute Tabata sets. I do every single morning when the coffee is heating up or the water is heating up for coffee or for tea. I do about 10 minutes of mobility work and breath work, meaning I’m kind of getting, getting the equivalent of 60 to 90 minutes worth of massage therapy each week. Just kind of like self inflicted as a little morning habit. And then, um, the only other two key workouts that I do during the week, um, actually there’s three, the three key workouts I do during the week one is for mitochondria.
So I do once a week, usually on Tuesday, five to six 30 second efforts all out with full recovery periods. The recovery periods usually take about three to four minutes, so really long recovery periods, but that’s it that hits my mitochondrial density. Um, I’m already hitting lactate tolerance with the Tabata sets that I just kind of throw in wherever they seem to fit. They only take four minutes. You can just do ’em wherever. Like I mentioned, I just sprinkle about three of those throughout the week. Uh, and then VO2 max. I usually do that on Thursdays, and that’s also very simple. We know the body will build maximum oxygen utilization with about a four minute effort. So I do four, four minute efforts with four minute recovery periods. Those four formative efforts suck they’re at maximum sustainable pace, but I only need to do that once a week to maintain VO2 max.
So I have one mitochondrial set, one VO2 max set, and then finally on the weekend, at some point I do some sort of physical activity. That’s slightly more intense than the low level physical activity of me say, walking on the treadmill while I’m talking to you, sometimes it’s a, you know, like our mutual friend Mark Sisson-esque paddle board session. Sometimes it is a hike. Sometimes it’s a bike ride where I’ll just go run all my errands on a Saturday morning, but I try and move for about one and a half to two hours. It’s always fasted, right? So I’m enhancing my fat burning capacity. I call this stamina or endurance or whatever you wanna call it. But I remember when I was an Ironman, you know, that you’d do that, you know, three to five days a week, right? You’d have a long session once a week, fasted hour and a half to two hour session, or I’m out just doing something that’s slightly more intensive than my low level physical activity that I’m doing during a typical weekday. That’s another kind of key session for me. And sometimes that’s a race, right? Like a race counts too. So,
I spoke with Joel Jameson recently. You probably know him from a prominent MMA trainer and, uh, recovery based training concepts. And he told me something interesting, and I’m still thinking about it. And I wonder what your opinion is that when it comes to recovery, where you have to recover from the Spartan race or whatever you did and we have, uh, one choice of sitting on the couch and watching Netflix and eating popcorn versus some carefully considered types of efforts, workouts, all the things you mention, a mobility stretching session or brief intervals with long recovery. Do you think there is a way to be to accelerate recovery from the baseline example of sitting on the couch for a day or two days?
Oh, absolutely. So some of the better things, uh, one would be hot, cold contrast. I’m a huge fan of, let’s say sacrificing the day after the workout, that was very hard for you or a day after a race with, for example, 15 minutes in the sauna, five minutes, cold shower, three times through that that’s an hour recovery. That’s a time when I’ll put on, you know, a, a heat resistant or an underwater MP3 player and just go back and forth with hot, cold contrast. I actually like infrared for that because the infrared penetrates a little bit more deeply into the tissue. You get a little bit better, cardiovascular response, a little bit better, heat shock protein increase. And I have a cold pool outside. I actually have one of those endless swimming pools, but I keep it super cold. That’s out in the forest behind the house.
The sauna is in my basement. So I’ll do 50 minutes of sauna head to the cold pool, just tread water, hang around in the cold pool for five minutes and go back and forth that that’s a, that’s, that’s one perfect way to recover and put, uh, put work into your body without necessarily sitting around. Another one that would be considered a form of cellular exercise because of its ability to open and close. Some of the channels on cell membranes would be this thing called pulse electromagnetic field therapy, P E M F there are full body mats that they sell. And so that I can get more bang for my book. If I’m getting a massage, if I’m taking a nap, whatever the case may be, all, I own a couple of these mats and I’ll lay on them and you can, you can feel your body vibrating as you lay on them, but you are getting a really good removal of inflammation and a similar effect to this more ancestral practice of earthing or grounding as you do, if you were outside on the planet, but in a more concentrated manner.
That’s another very good way to enhance recovery, to enhance blood flow and to decrease inflammation. Um, I’m also a fan of, you know, low level physical activity like swimming or walking or whatever, but, uh, gradated compression would be another, I’ve got a pair of these Norma tech compression boots that, that kind of milk, the metabolic byproducts like calcium or any residual lactate out of the muscle and back up towards the heart. And that’s, again, something, even if you are sitting around on the couch, you can, you can put on your legs, they make it for the arms. They make it for the low back and the torso. And it, you know, gradated means that very similar, like gradated compression types, which cost more, but are a better form of compression. They’re tight towards the extremities and then get looser as they come up towards the heart.
So you’re, you’re really getting a good milking action. That that’s another one that I like. And then there’s even this concept of what’s called photo biomodulation, which I’ve caught flack for just based on the fact that Dr. Bahai pulled down my pants for like 20 minutes during the day, while I’m standing at my standing desk and, and bathe my balls in infrared light, uh, based on the idea that about a 600 to an 800 nanometer, wavelength of light has been shown to increase mitrochondrial activity, the late excels and the testes. So you get an increase in testosterone. I do this every day. I do, you know, there, there are other things that I do, uh, but you know, since, since I quit doing Ironman triathlon, my testosterone’s gone from 300 and currently it’s at 900 and that’s a daily practice of mine is I do this photo biomodulation, but it’s also great for blood flow.
It’s great for collagen and also assists with recovery. They even make one for the head called a Vielight. The one that I use in my desk is called a ju the one for the head is called a Vielight. And it actually causes in addition to mitochondrial activity of neural tissue, a production of nitric oxide, which is kind of like Viagra for the whole body enhances blood flow. And there was actually recent article. I forget the journal it was in, but it talked about how the effects of this were similar to using like in illegal performance enhancing aid when you use photo biomodulation. So they might be someday, you know, stripping red lights outta the buses of Tour de France cyclists. You never know, but this near and far infrared therapy via photo, biomodulation very similar to sunlight, but in a more kind of concentrated format with the ability to be able to do it say indoors while you’re, you know, while you’re working, getting things done.
That’s another pretty good one. There, there are a lot of other, I mean, we, we could talk about recovery all day long. But for me, probably the most profound thing I ever did and I realized this is a little bit more elitist and may not be available to everyone, but I, I went to Park City, Utah, and I, I was sedated for four hours and I had all my joints up and down my spine, knees ankles, face wrists, elbows, shoulders, everything, injected with bone marrow aspirate that was taken out of my hips. And so I literally refilled every single joint in my body with stem cells. And when you look at the stem cell theory of aging or joint breakdown, it’s based on this idea that in bad, a stem cell availability, uh, and, and the, um, the availability of work called PLU potent stem cells that can differentiate into other tissue where that can enhance repair and recovery tends to decrease with age.
So essentially, you know, at the age of 37, just refilled everything. And so I have all these new stem cells available, and it takes about two to three months to kick in, but I can, I have to be careful. Like I can work out every day now, pretty hard if I want to and bounce back the next day and feel a profound difference in soreness and, and workout efficacy after doing this stem cell procedure. It’s called, uh, uh, they’re one of the few places in the world that does it, this, this clinic in Park City, Utah, but it’s called a full body stem cell makeover. And then I actually tacked on what they call the cosmetic and sexual enhancement piece of that, to where they inject your face. They inject your dick in three different locations, and then they do the hairline as well. So sky’s the limit as far as what you can do with stem cells, but that’s kind of like the, the top of the totem pole for me when it comes to enhancing recovery.
So we’re gonna check in with you like 12 years from now, and you’re still gonna be 37 is what you’re saying?
That or my, my dick will have turned gray and fallen off and I will have lost all my hair. We’ll see. Oh,
I guess we could put it a little e-sign on this episode now. Thank you, Ben. That was great. Yeah. Uh, so are you gonna
Live, that’s why God made like bird sounds and, and honky honky sounds, and you can edit it out for all the kids.
Are you gonna live to 170, like Dave Asprey and the others that are, uh, pursuing this goal? Well,
Look, my, my take on longevity, Brad, is if you’re just living a long time so that you can be that person who lives a long time, sees all your friends die and, you know, think, haha, I’m not dead yet, so that you can be that person who whatever, um, has the most years makes the most money, has the most sex, you know, whatever it is, the reason that you’re living a long period of time. I think that’s all just grasping its straws and is a relatively selfish pursuit. But if you are living a long time so that you can better fulfill your purpose in life, because everybody was born with a unique skillset, everybody was born with the ability to be able to change the world and to make it a better place. And I think that, and this is one thing that kind of irks me about, say for example, many elements of modern Christianity, right?
We have people who are talking about, you know, saving souls and positivity and peace and love and joy and spreading salvation. Yet you go to a church potluck and it’s all Doritos in Twinkies and obesity and cardiovascular disease because these people aren’t actually caring for their temples so that they can be around for a longer period of time to truly make the world a better place. And so I think if you’ve identified your purpose in life, which we know is actually very important for longevity, this concept of Chichigai, being able to get out of bed in the morning and have a reason for living, we could. I mean that, that’s an important as sunshine and fresh water and physical activity and wild plant intake and not smoking and all these other things we know help people to live a long period of time. But if you can clearly identify that purpose, you know, and I can clearly identify mine.
My purpose in life is to empower people to live a more adventurous and joyful and fulfilling life. To empower people to live a more adventurous and joyful and fulfilling life. Now, if I can, if I can be alive for as long, a period of time to do that, then I think that I am doing my duty as a human being to make this world a better place. And so, yeah, I would be overjoyed to live to 170 years old, provided that during all of those years, I’m able to really truly help people and fulfill my purpose in life. But if I’m just living a long time to feel good and sit in my basement in infrared sauna with a clay mask on with coffee up my butt, that’s, you know, that that’s kind of a selfish pursuit,
Or if you’re in a bunker without any interaction with other humans, cuz the, the world’s in that state. Yeah, yeah. Not a big goal anymore,
Right. Or, or if you’re cold and hungry and libido list, cuz you know, all you’re doing is, is fasting and taking cold showers.
Oh boy, I like that take man. Very, very fresh. That’s that’s the defining, uh, path of longevity. That’s gonna gonna predict longevity at the same time when you have the right goal in place.
Yeah. The right goal. And you know, again, not to kick this horse to death, but the, you know, that concept of family dinners, when we look at a lot of those things that rattled off like, you know, things that fit into that Venn diagram of longevity, we have all these areas where people are living a disproportionately long period of time from Okinawa or Deia to the COIA long Melinda. We see things that aren’t that surprising or like no smoking, wild plant intake, probably because of the mild hormetic stressors that eating wild plants actually inflicts upon the human body, which is why I think the paleo diet is stupid because it, it restricts the intake of certain things that they say are assai to the human gut or, you know, don’t fall into the path of natural human ancestral eating patterns. But I think you can eat just about anything on this planet provided that you ferment and you soak it and you sprout it and you treat it properly and you’ve eaten moderation.
So wild plant intake, legume intake would be another, which is definitely not, not paleo, but uh, I don’t think there’s anything magic about legumes, even though I have a bunch of wonderful split mung beans, uh, in a stew upstairs. I think that really, it is the absence of the processed and packaged carbohydrate, starches and sugars, and the fact that legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, et cetera, are replacing those as more stable forms of glucose. Right? I think that low inflammation and low glycemic variability are two of the most profound things that you can track and manage when it comes to living a long time. So no smoking wild plant intake, legume intake one, we already talked about low level physical activity, usually outdoors, right? Not exercise, but just moving outdoors. And then finally, the last one is just relationships love, social life, time with the family time with friends, laughter often over a glass of 10 rich alcohol at the end of the day. That is as important as many of these other variables. And furthermore, we don’t see a lot of these blue zones doing a lot of the biohacking. I certainly think there’s something to be said for better living through science, but ultimately, you know, I, I think it’s important to really dial in the low hanging fruit. And I would put purpose in life, right in there with those other variables, like, you know, eating plants, controlling your blood sugar, not smoking, spending time with your friends and your family, uh, and you know, moving around during the day and knowing what your purpose in life is
Well said, Peter Attia, talks about this low hanging fruit too, as he’s pursuing the cutting edge of longevity medicine and so forth. But he said that you could get 80% of the way there, 80% of your longevity potential just by doing the basic stuff that you, uh, just enumerated. He said eating stuff that your great-grandmother could have eaten and not eating stuff that wasn’t around. So, you’re kind of on the, on the far end here. And if we had to drop in or sprinkle in a few cutting edge practices, could you go with some top three or top five, or someone’s enthusiastic, maybe not ready to invest in a juve light, although it was pretty cool. I, uh, saw the booth at paleo FX and I’ve seen your video and I have the little handheld red light at, at six 60 or whatever the proper wavelength is. So I use that on, uh, certain, certain occasions and hopefully it’s working, but I know some of this stuff is difficult to discern the return on investment, but if you can drop in some that are of, of great appeal to a peak performance enthusiast that’s busy in trying to, trying to squeeze in some, some fun stuff.
Sure. I’ll try to avoid talking about things. I already mentioned like PMF or photo biomodulation, or you know, cold thermogenesis or something like that, because I would consider all of those to, in many ways, be you know, an example of better living through science. So we might not see our, our ancestors doing in many cases, but or these areas of the blue zones, but that kind of, you know, when you think about it, photobiomodulation kind of simulates sunlight, cryotherapy, chambers, or cold pools, kind of simulate, you know, not having air conditioning, getting out the cold and working sometimes. PMF kind of simulates being outside on the earth in the ground. So we can draw ancestral or natural corollaries to many of these modern biohacking spender pieces of equipment that simply concentrate those practices into a shorter period of time, or allow people to do them when they’re living a post-industrial lifestyle indoors, because that’s how you pay the bills.
You gotta be in front of a computer. You can’t be outside in the sunlight. So you have a photo biomodulation panel at your desk, and you can’t work outside day and be a little bit chilly, but you can like maybe step into a cryo therapy chamber at the little health center next door to your office for three minutes. And maybe you can’t sleep outdoors and camp and walk around barefoot, but you can sleep at night on a PMF mat. Right? So, so these are all kind of examples of being able to tap into a more natural way of living and using better living through science to do so. And I’m certainly open-minded to a lot of those principles. To apply to your question, if I could throw a few more in there that I’m interested in right now and have been experimenting with for kind of like the longevity or just the better living through science component, uh, one would be hydrogen-rich water.
There are a lot of these machines now, or tablets that will dissolve H two gas into water. That seems to very significantly influence the NF CAPA B pathway, which is an inflammatory pathway. We named already that inflammation is something that’s, that’s correlated with decreased lifespan, just due to everything from cholesterol oxidation to cellular damage, to skin damage, to vascular damage. And so what I like about hydrogen rich water, you can, you can buy a spender like five to $6,000 hydrogen rich water generator machine, or you can simply buy tablets and put them into a normal glass of water, is that they blunt the inflammatory response without blunting the hormetic response to exercise, uh, green tea polyphenols actually act similarly. Uh, those are, those are two examples of just a few of the, the very rare antioxidants that are something you could even take in the presence of exercise without making exercise, not as beneficial or as effective.
So I start off every day, I’ve got one of these hydrogen water generators. I have a big glass Mason jar full of hydrogen rich water. When I travel, I take these tablets with me. So that’s, that’s one example. Another example, let’s see, I talked about infrared, but just this concept generally of hyperthermia heat exposure and heat treatments that in addition to cold is something I do quite frequently. I kind have this rule every day. I there’s something that gets me really hot and something that gets me really cold. The heat components sometimes with a sauna, but then there’s this other thing that I use kind of like that I’m trying to name the things I would use daily. You know, I have that hydrogen rich water daily. Now another thing I do daily when I’m at home is I have this thing called a BioMAT. BioMAT and it generates a whole bunch of heat.
It’s not so uncomfortably hot that you can’t nap on it. And I like to take a post lunch siesta. So I go up and I lay on this BioMAT. It is just basically infrared therapy generated by a mat. And, it’s very warm. Sometimes you get a little bit of a sweat. If I’m sick, I can literally wrap myself in that thing and sweat it out. Or if I’m detoxing, you can wrap yourself in like these, you know, silver Mylar space, blankets, and land top of your BioMAT and just sweat things out and lay there. It’s kind of a cool tool to have around, you know, my kids even have a BioMAT mini <laugh>. They’ve got, they’ve got similar to you. They have, they have a mini red light that they use called a ju of mini. My kids have a lot of this stuff up in their bedroom, you know, anything, I found it profoundly impacts my own health. I try to expose my kids to, they have a big glass of hydrogen-rich water before they go to school each morning. So they kind of do their own mini version of a lot of this stuff. Um, and
Then they have play dates. The kid comes over and then it goes back and his parents say, what’d you do over there? Oh, we did some red light exposure. We did some hot and cold therapy. Oh, how fun?
Upside down from a yoga trapes in the living room and did probiotic enemas it was a great time at the green belt house. <laugh> No, I’m kidding. My kids’ friends. Don’t don’t do that yet. Uh, okay. So we’ve got hydro rich water, um, heat therapy. And I guess if I could finish with a third, I’m like looking around my office. Um, oh, here’s something interesting. Um, again, I mean, you asked, so I’m gonna, I’m gonna give you something that would be kind of more technology based and maybe not something everyone would own, but something I think is cool to own for people who like to own nice things. Let me explain to you first, why I have this. We know that cells can communicate via a variety of different communication mechanisms, right? Uh, most people know that that nerve signals will travel using primarily neurotransmitters that cross synaptic CLEs and carry messages, uh, from one nerve to another.
So neurotransmitters would be one form of communication. Hormones would be another form of communication. We know that based on more recent research that, uh, cells can communicate with light as well via what are called bio photons. We know that cells can communicate via tiny little vesicles called exosomes, which actually when I did my stem cell injections, I had a bunch of exosomes inject stem cells to help to carry the stem cells to different areas of the body. But one way that cells communicate. And in particular, one way with which mitochondria communicate is via free radicals. And we all think free radicals are bad, but what happens is, as, as you, uh, shuttle electrons down the electron transport chain in the mitochondria, uh, they should be used to generate ATP, but when too much ATP is available, such as you’ve been, you know, stuffing your face with too many Twinkies, the electrons tend to back up.
And when the electrons back up, you get free, radical spillage out into the mitochondrial matrix and into the rest of the cell. And it can cause membrane damage and it can cause, uh, uh, reduction in mitochondrial activity. And so one of the ways with which mitochondria regulate the actual activity of the mitochondrial, uh, electron transport chain is by sensing the free, radical availability within a cell, and then altering the production of ATP accordingly. So it’s a very robust way to control mitochondria activity and keeps mitochondria healthy via free, radical signaling. Well, you can simulate the same type of free radical signaling without necessarily introducing more free radicals into the body by actually breathing air that is infused with the same signals as these free radicals carry. And this is a device on my desk all day, you know, you probably can’t see it.
I could kind of drag the, the nasal can, but sometimes when I’m writing, I’ll put this nasal cannula on, it looks like this, and you can’t see the machine that it’s connected to, but it’s called a nano V a nano V and you fill with water and it actually exposes the water to the same segments of the free radicals. And then you breathe this in. And I did a stent where I tested my telomere length, uh, when, when I was using this, I used it for about three months and tested my telomere length. And it knocked about three years off my biological age on my chronological age. Well, my biological age when I use this thing. And, and apparently it’s because it can also do a good job at DNA repair via that enhanced mitochondrial activity. So that one’s called the nano V. It’s made by a company in Seattle. And again, for like the desk bound person who wants to make their body better, just while they’re getting things done during the day or that, you know, athlete who wants to add a little bit of extra recovery in, you know, it’s a few thousand bucks, but that’s another one, you know, probably just because it’s right here under my nose. And I thought of it that that’s another thing that I use that I think is quite interesting and I’ve found to be pretty efficacious. So hopefully I wasn’t too far off the deep end.
Well, you also mentioned the nap, so I’d love to know your daily routine in, in complete detail. You talk about the family dinner a little late, trying to get to bed by 10, and then talk us through when you wake up and what you’re doing, you already mentioned the exercise protocols that drop into certain days of the week.
Yeah. A few of the things that I do that are like daily must staples formula would be that 10 maximum 15 minutes of mobility work and breath work and mobility, you know, dynamic, stretching, foam, rolling, stuff like that in the morning. Uh, daily must for me is like gratitude journal. Every single day. I write down what I’m grateful for, what I learn that morning, because I read for a little bit each morning while I’m laying in bed and then who I can pray for or help or serve that day. So I try and start every day with gratefulness, and with kind of an attitude of helping others. I, what else? Our daily must a little physical activity during the day. Typically I’ll have lunch. And then after lunch, I drink a little bit of Rishi tea, which kind of settles me down.
It’s a wonderful mushroom tea that kind of relaxes you. And then I go and I, I lay on that BioMAT and I often will pull on those, those great aid compressions at the same time. So anytime I can double up on something like that, I’ll do it kind lay there and I sleep. And usually I put it in my headphones, cuz sometimes other things are happening around the house or people are over. And so I’ll listen to usually I’ll use either an app called sleep stream or there’s another app called Brain FM sleep stream. And brain FM are two apps that I find help me relax. When I play them through headphones, Brain FM is more like music, but it’s, they call it artificial intelligence music that they’ve programmed for either focus or for sleep or for like a power app or whatever, you know, you pick your poison on the app and then the sleep stream.
That’s also kinda like a DJ for sleep, right? You can play Boral beats that lull you into alpha or Delta or gamma frequencies. You can play piano, you can play white noise, pink noise, brown noise. I forget all the colors of noise, whatever purple noise, violent noise, Crimson noise. Anyways, you could play all these noises that, that kind of kind of cover up other external noises and help you to sleep. So I lay on that, um, wake up, get a little bit more work done, hang out with the kids for a while when they get home from school. We outsource their education by sending them to a private school, but I’m a firm believer that the moment your kids walk in the door from school, your role as a parent educator begins. And that’s when I try to teach my kids.
All the things are not learning at school. So we do everything from meditation and manifestation practice to shooting the bow, to doing plant foraging, to cooking, to playing instruments, to just basically doing all the things that help them to become more well rounded, you know, little Renaissance men, and to learn the things that they’re not getting, in their academic institution where admittedly, I like the fact they’re learning how to be good little factory workers, how to play well with others, how to cooperate, how to engage in team tasks. They’re also learning from people who are better able to teach them the things I would probably suck at teaching them like, uh, you know, for example, uh, you know, they’ve got Lego programming, uh, for, for making Lego robots right now. And they’ve got a really good Spanish teacher and I kind of suck at Spanish.
And so there are things that, that just, you know, really I think are, are smart and good time management to outsource to others. So anyways, though, I try to be done with a lion share of the hard work for the day. By the time my kids get home from school around four. So hang out with the kids, you know, throw down a, like a late afternoon or an early evening workout, which is when I’ll do something like I described to you earlier, you know, one of those quick intense sessions I described to you earlier. And then after that workout, I will typically disappear down into my office to kind of put out for around 45 minutes to an hour all the last minute things I don’t wanna be thinking about during our family dinner. And then I come upstairs, I lend a hand to Jess and the boys.
Sometimes we prepare a meal together. Um, sometimes Jess is cooking something and the, the boys in our are helping out, you know, making a dessert or, you know, open up a bottle of red wine and decanting that, or whatever the case may be. And we gather around, we have a family dinner, we, we finish up, I play the kids a little guitar or ukulele. And, then we all, we’re all in bed by about nine 30 or 10. I try and read a book every day. So I’ll usually lay in bed and read. I read very quickly. I have a pen, underline. I, I go through the book, you know, table of contents, skim, go through each chapter, fold over pages. Write, underline a lot of times it’s for my podcast. So I’m thinking of all the cool questions. I wanna ask that person on my podcast after I’ve read the book.
And then I, I turn on something called a Chili Pad, which cools the sheets underneath me. So I can sleep at a low body temperature. I turn on this thing called a Body Balance Mat, which produces those same P MF signals I was talking about, but it doesn’t while I’m sleeping. So I sleep all, all night long, same as if I were sleeping outdoors. I, put on a sleep mask and I get a little lavender oil diffuser. And I put, I put all this stuff on that just helps me just crush every single night of sleep. I love to sleep just amazingly. So I’ll sleep, uh, anywhere from, from seven and a half to nine hours. I never set the alarm. I just wake up when I wake up, usually it’s around usually 6:30 or so right around in there on average. And then I, I get up and have another amazing day.
Sounds dialed, man. We should have a giveaway for, uh, spend the 24 hour day with Ben Greenfield in Spokane and, and get involved in all these little fun toys and contraptions and practices that we have emanating from your headquarters out there.
I’ve got a couple of, I coach nine people, uh, basically, you know, executives and I help ’em with their sleep and their HRV and their nutrition and their food. And couple of guys have come up and spent the weekend with me. And, uh, yeah, it’s always interesting for folks to kind of see that blend of ancestral living and hanging out with the chickens and goats outside and then the modern biohacking indoors. So it’s a unique environment, but I, I like it out here. We live on 10 acres out in Spokane, Washington, and it’s my little Oasis. I can come home too and kind of detox in and relax in before the next foray of speaking and traveling and flying begins.
I like that dream team nine people nine and only nine. So boy, yeah. What a, what a plum ticket to get to join that squad.
Yeah. Yeah. I, you know, I used to be a personal trainer for a long time and I ran all these gyms and personal training studios. And I still like to scratch that itch of getting out there and working with folks and putting ’em through workouts and stuff. So typically when I go to speak at a conference I’ll, I’ll like lead morning workouts or do like evening Q and A sessions. And, you know, I, I still like to get out there and, and train people, but honestly, most of my work done with just those nine people, it’s all the an app called boxer, which is like their walkie talkie communication with me, uh, you know, Skype calls, emails, and, and all, you know, kind of online consulting, not a lot of, of, uh, of like, uh, you know, brick and mortar one-on-one work anymore. So,
So you were on the, the doctor path as we learned early in your story, just like Mark Sisson, and Mar kSisson was diverted because someone knocked on his dorm room and alumni wanted to see his old place. And he walked in and Mark had like completely retrofitted and rebuilt the dorm with all this advanced construction skills. And, the alum said, why, why are you gonna be, why are you going to med school? You should be doing this stuff. And that got him thinking and diverted. What about you? You were on that med school track and then something happened and here we are today.
Yeah. Uh, you know, I was actually telling you and Mark about that, like, it’s kind of funny, cuz like Mark was a triathlete who got sick of it and realized he was just destroying his body and quit. And I kinda had the same thing. I got accepted to a bunch of medical schools and opted not to go into medicine, uh, because I became pretty disillusioned with modern medicine and uh, um, got offered more money in surgical hip and knee sales and decided to go into that instead. And then didn’t like that and went back into fitness. I was a painter all through college, kinda like mark was. And um, unfortunately though I, I’ve not developed my paddle board and, and uh, ultimate Frisbee game, uh, with the, with the same amount of finesses he has. But yeah, it is kind of funny how we overlap a little bit, but yeah, I mean, like I’ve always had a, a voracious interest in the human body and brain ever since I was a, you know, tennis player in high school and wanted to learn how to run and fuel my body and lift weights to become a better tennis player to, you know, my foray into body building in college, where I really delved into the bro science and learned how to, you know, eat six cans of tuna fish for dinner mixed with a little bit of relish and ketchup up to make it taste good and, you know, strip as much fat off the human body as possible and get as swollen as I could.
I used to be, well, 175 now I weighed two 15 when I was a competitive body builder, 215 and 3% body fat. And, uh, then I, then I went into the next healthiest sport on the face of the planet, Ironman triathlon, after that, and spent, you know, eight or nine years doing Ironman. And then, you know, now do a relatively more sane sport, the Spartan racing and obstacle course racing, which is shorter, more intense, a little more functional in my opinion. But yeah, the medicine thing, you know, just because I was so interested in physiology and nutrition and I got my Master’s degree in biomechanics and exercise physiology, I really saw myself delving into sports medicine, orthopedic surgery, but unfortunately, and especially more so during the hip and knee surgical sales job that I had after completing my master’s degree, I just did not run into any doctors who seemed happy with their job, who encouraged me to go to medical school, who weren’t overloaded with cranky patients and a broken medical system and overpriced insurance and all these issues.
And I just, every single time it was a negative experience. I’d walked into a doctor’s office or a hospital or a surgical ward. And so I just, you know, I loved fitness and fiscal culture a lot more. So that’s, that’s what I wound up, going into and doing, you know, I, I remember I wandered into the gym across the street from the apartment I was living in and asked for a job. And at that point I had a, a really good resume. You know, I was a certified strength conditioning coach, a personal trainer, a certified nutritionist. I’d spent five years training people all through college. And so they offered me a job. And within two years, I’d, I’d partnered up with a local physician and, uh, we launched a series of sports medicine clinics in which I was the director of sports performance, but I was this really like geeky propeller hat wearing kind of nerded out version of a personal trainer where we had, you know, EKG machines and direct and indirect telemetry for metabolic rate assessments and high speed video cameras and functional training centers and, and, you know, a whole host of medical professionals on staff like physical therapists and chiropractic docs and sports medicine physicians and massage therapists.
And so I, you know, we really established ourselves as the people you come to and nothing else is working for say performance or for body composition. And several years into that, one of the docs nominated me with the NSCA to be America’s, uh, top personal trainer. And I got voted as America’s top personal trainer and everything just kinda sped up from there in terms of speaking and writing and advising and even investing in health and fitness and nutrition companies. And that’s kind of how I spent the past decade of my life is, is kind of this new chapter of, you know, media and speaking and advising and investing and writing and consulting. And, um, that’s what I do now, but that’s, that’s kind of long story short of how I, I came to do what I do now.
And this Kion thing is a recent adventure. Let’s, finish with a little little plug for how you’ve pulled everything together into this operation.
Yeah. I mean, look, my passion, you know, and even in college, you know, I studied a lot of pharmaceuticals, a lot of nutrition, a lot of biochemistry, a lot of microbiology, a lot of organic chemistry. I love to study ingredients and formulations. And, you know, I’m currently geeking out on everything. One can do to enhance the health of the mitochondria from P Q Q to coenzyme Q 10, to SQS, to DRI to ATP. You know, and so, uh, you know, case in point I’m developing right now, a longevity formula. And before that I developed, I wanted a really clean energy bar that wasn’t like a greasy ketosis bar that, you know, crumbles and falls apart when you open the package. And, uh, it stays stable, you know, under heat. And also doesn’t turn into a brick, like a power bar does in the cold.
And so I developed a bar and before that, I developed a really clean organic antioxidant, rich coffee. You know, I’ve got a few formulas for the gut, kind of a complete joint formula with Turmeric and seedle mirror Olia and glucosamine, chondroitin, and black pepper and all these things that, that help the joints. And so I’ll consider Kion to be kind of like my playground for creating new and novel formulations that are just basically supplements that, uh, really are things I develop to scratch my own itch. Just, just like, you know, like gratitude journal I wrote, you know, it scratches my own itch of the gratitude practice I’m doing every morning. Anyways, I take all the supplements I develop, you know, every morning or every evening, or, you know, during the day with a coffee and a bar. And, um, so Kion is, it’s basically a, you know, first and foremost, a supplements company, I might eventually begin to develop fitness gear. And, you know, I have some books there, we do some coaching and consulting. We have a, like a university where we train personal trainers and nutritionists and, you know, some of my methods and more advanced tactics from, you know, biohacking to, to ancestor living. But ultimately it’s, it’s just, you know, supplements and healthy living company that, uh, is kind of my playground for every new idea. I get to be able to, to develop some formulation that I hope will help a lot of people out.
That’s K I O N so we can go check that out. And should we go find you at other websites, podcasts, you wanna plug a few things? Yeah.
Let’s just get kion.com and then, um, yeah, I mean, what I tell people, anytime you’re wondering about something that I, that I, my opinion on whatever LSD and CIL Ibin, or, uh, you know, or minimal effective dose of training or whatever, just Google my name, plus whatever you’re curious about. And usually you’ll find something I’ve written on the topic or some podcast I’ve recorded on the topic. So that’s, that’s usually, the best way to do it. But my actual website with my podcast on my blog and everything, where I do a weekly article and a, a twice weekly podcast is Ben Greenfieldfitness.com.
Oh my gosh, man. Will you do me a favor? Don’t ever change cuz you are, you are one of a kind, I appreciate you taking the time to talk and look forward to catching up with you. Hopefully next time I see you, you won’t be an accident victim cuz you, you rallied a paleo FX. You went on the panel and did your talks and your appearances, but it was right after that, that bike accident. So stay healthy, keep doing what you’re doing. Ben Greenfield from Spokane, finishing his treadmill. How many miles did you walk during the show here? Do you have a little meter there
Dude? I’m so over self quantification. I like, I, I look at my, I look at my sleep when I wake up, I pay attention to my heart rate variability. That’s about it. I don’t track anything else. You know, I, I do look at my steps at the end of the day. Usually I try to make sure I’ve taken about 15,000 steps at the end of the day. But I’m, I’m at the point now where I kind of know most days I’m doing that, but I have no clue. I’ve got no meters or anything on this treadmill. It’s just a stripped down, no frills manual treadmill. So, I don’t know, but I’ve calculated just a few times and it usually comes out to about six to eight miles in any given day, so.
Okay. Keep going, Ben. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for listening everybody.
All right. Thanks man.
Speaker 5 (01:19:49):
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