It’s time to put an end to the controversy, confusion, suspicion, admiration, and speculation and come clean. The rumor-mongers who have been saying, “How can this guy jump that high, run that fast, be that ripped, talk that fast on his podcast, jump that high, and still be natural at the age of 57?”
Fair question, and I’ve mustered up the courage to answer with complete honesty and transparency: I am 100% natural, always have been, and always will…keep an open mind about the future (as detailed in my recent podcast episode.) I’m also pretty gullible as I strongly believed Lance Armstrong as well as Liver King—thinking their incredible athleticism and devotion to training made it theoretically possible…but not as possible as I thought. I also dislike making accusations without conclusive proof, so I feel like we are compelled to give people the benefit of the doubt…until the circumstantial evidence mounts and mounts. I also give credit to investigative journalists, those who speak their truth with an informed opinion, and those involved in the anti-doping movement in elite international sports.
In part one of this two part show, I’ll detail my history as an elite triathlete who competed under international anti-doping rules and was tested a ton of times; the influence of doping during my time as a racer and how it evolved to today’s dynamics; how I formulated my values and beliefs about operating from squeaky clean model to allow my body to naturally perform, develop, and recover, without inference from even stuff like caffeine nor NSAIDS; and how I continue to operate from this natural model today, until further notice. I also provide blood test results for numerous male hormone panels that I’ve run over the past seven years. Share questions and comments by emailing email@example.com and stay tuned for part 2, where I will detail a bunch of ways to optimize testosterone naturally!
Can you live “naturally” and still consider hormone replacement therapy? [01:15]
In both males and females, maintaining muscle tone and having energy, focus, motivation, sex drive, are highly dependent on optimizing one’s testosterone level. [03:34]
Liver King Johnson’s recent admissions of steroid use should not take away from the hard work he has done to promote his ancestral lifestyle. [06:40]
Some people have genetic attributes without doping. A good performance doesn’t necessarily mean that someone is doping. [09:25]
Wrongly accusing one person out of 50 is a disgrace. Wait for further notice. [13:20]
There is even talk about legalizing performance enhancing drugs under physician care. [14:36]
There is a morality issues involved in this use of performance-enhancing drugs of what kind of athlete you want to be. [16:18]
When Brad was a pro triathlete, he was of the belief that the best long-term results would come from being drug free. [23:42]
The only time Brad would rationalize drug intervention would be for extreme infection or pain. [28:43]
Every single prescription drug has certain side effects that will require you to have a less stressful training regimen in order to cope with the outside intervention. [30:39]
Brad explains what to look for when you get your blood tests. Tracking your serum T is the best way to monitor your hormone status. [32:06]
Prescription drugs treat the symptom rather than the cause. Look at other areas of your lifestyle that you could improve before you get the prescription. [38:43]
We appreciate all feedback, and questions for Q&A shows, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a moment, please share an episode you like with a quick text message, or leave a review on your podcast app. Thank you!
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I’m author and athlete, Brad Kearns. Welcome to the Be Rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue PE performance with passion throughout life. Visit brad kerns.com for great resources on healthy eating, exercise, and lifestyle. And here we go with the show.
It is time to put an end to all these crazy rumors. Is Brad Natty or not? The confusion, the suspicion, the admiration, the speculation. I am going to come clean and let you know that I am as natural as you will ever find, always have been, and always will maintain an open mind about the future and the hot topic of hormone replacement therapy, especially as we get into the older age groups. But I wanna detail, my rationale the benefits and the justification for remaining natural and also give you some tips how to optimize hormones naturally before we discuss that important separate topic of hormone replacement therapy that I did a whole show on. So I wanna focus on my story and give you that full background, that full disclosure, I’m gonna talk about some of my blood test results, which apparently will prove that I’m not taking outside hormones.
I don’t know what, look, what a dirty blood test looks like, but I’m gonna read some of my reports. I’ve been tested so many times. It’s my personal hobby to monitor my male hormone status, especially. So I go in and do a full blood test occasionally, once a year, right? Complete panel, or maybe more than that with my new relationship with Marek Health. You can learn more about that Marek Health.com/brad Kearns. And it shows the recommended profile that you can get followed by the consultation to get everything dialed in. So I’ll do that once a year, once every six months, maybe more frequently if I have some issues to take care of, and then I go on my own, uh, pay a, a nominal amount to go get my serum testosterone. Free testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin tested frequently because there’s so much ebb and flow to male hormone levels based on lifestyle circumstances and how well you’re taking care of your sleep, your training protocol, whether you’re overdoing it, whether you’re not doing enough exercise, and of course your diet and your overall stress levels.
A hugely important point to make outta the gate is that stress hormones antagonize testosterones. When you are in that chronically stressed state, which is so common to modern life, you are going to have trouble with your hormone status. And we’re gonna talk about testosterone so much. So I should also mention that for females, the estrogen dominant female still has a tremendous need to optimize testosterone levels for all the same reasons that it’s the most prominent adaptive hormone for the male. So for females to build and maintain muscle mass and maintain muscle tone and have energy, focus, motivation, sex drive, these are highly dependent on optimizing one’s testosterone level. Even though you might have more estrogen than testosterone, we have to keep this in the discussion. So it’s really relevant for everyone to optimize the sex hormones, let’s put it that way.
So, on I go with my own report and my background as a clean athlete, and now as a clean master’s athlete, uh, I also have to admit that I’m pretty gullible because I totally believed that Lance Armstrong was the greatest cyclist and was clean. When the rumors first started to appear in the early two thousands, behold, before the entire sport came crashing down like a house of cards, thanks to, there was police raids that happened. There was, uh, a doctor’s office in Spain that was raided, and it was discovered that almost all of the top 50 rank cyclists in the world were under his care and doping their asses off. And so all of a sudden, Lance’s fervent denials and lawsuits that complaining that people were, uh, you know, were, were slandering him by accusing him was all falling apart.
And then soon after, uh, the entire sport fell apart, uh, you know, brick by brick, as the revelation came out that it was completely dirty and has been for, uh, such a long time. And that’s happened in a lot of sports like Olympic track and field back in the eighties. Swimming as well, where the German, the East Germans, the, uh, the, the eastern block of countries were engaged in systemized doping practices, especially beneficial to the female to dose up with tons of anabolic hormones. And they were shattering the records in track and field and swimming, and it was obviously what was going on. The testing wasn’t that sophisticated. The penalties weren’t there in place. And so what happened was the Western athletes and the variety of nations that they came from were essentially compelled to join and, uh, start into the, uh, the, the dark fork in the road that is the, uh, doping and, um, in order to compete and stay on a level playing field, the phenomenon no more evident than in the sport of cycling.
And, uh, the great book, like The Secret Race by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle talking about how you essentially could not compete at the elite level without taking the blood product epo, which helps increase the red blood cell content in your body, delivering more oxygen to the muscles and allowing you a huge performance advantage compared to someone who is not taking EPO. So, all that said, I believed Lance Armstrong because he was the best cyclist, the hardest trained, the most focused, the most genetically gifted. I just didn’t know that the entire field was doping, otherwise, my perspective would’ve changed. And with Liver King, I know him personally, we’re business associates, we’re friends, and I see how that guy lives his life. And the huge irony here with the big bust and the revelation that he was lying about the use of performance enhancing drugs.
The huge irony is that this guy lives his life more tightly dialed in than anyone I have met in this ancestral, this progressive health space. There’s no one performing at his level, and now his reputation is being sullied as a guy who really is the Liver King, the ancestral living human, and also happened to be, uh, dosing with outside products. But his barbarian workout, his amazing training regimen where he’s pushing his body as hard as anyone I’ve seen, especially at his age, in the mid forties, jumping into his cold tub at 38 degrees for eight minutes, <laugh>, he asked me, what I, what I thought of that regimen when he first started going, cuz I was doing cold exposure and I was trying to encourage him to get into it. And he finally converted his spa with a chiller so that the circulating water in an actual in-ground spa could be kept really cold.
And he goes, yeah, I go in for about eight minutes. Is that good at 38 degrees? I’m like, yeah, that’s pretty fantastic, man. So those nine ancestral tenants that he promotes and is now being ridiculed for promoting that while using drugs, look, it doesn’t take away from any of those extreme lifestyle, peak performance focus, hard working behaviors, and people are talking about his blown up physique. You don’t get that from taking performance, enhancing drugs and sitting around and dabbling in training. So he earned those muscles and they were enhanced and he lied about it. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that the way that he eats the precision and the focus and the intensity with which he trains and eats and sleeps and protects his room from, protects his house and his, his bedroom from wifi, all those things contributed to his peak performance goals as well as the doping.
And so I believed him on the surface because I see all those lifestyle factors in play to such a level that it’s incomparable to anyone else. I make the comparison to the great CrossFit champion Matthew Frazier talking about eating snicker bars, uh, during his workouts to keep his energy up. And that compared to Liver King fasting for five days every quarter top of the extreme training regimen that he’s following, that’s a person that’s going to get extremely low batty fat and big muscles and look superior to 99.9% of the population. Is it possible to do natural even Derek More Plates, more dates on his, uh, confession, his revelation video said that 0.1%, 99.9%, right? There’s a 0.1 that has those genetic attributes to look like a blown up freak all natural. And I strongly support that it’s obvious that there are these genetic freaks, that that’s what the doping is trying to do, is trying to get you up to that level that certain complete athletic freaks have naturally.
Bo Jackson, Herschel Walker was known not even to lift weights back in his day, and he just was super strong from doing pushups and sit-ups and maximizing his genetic gifts, go to a locker room of a high school football team like Mater Dei in Southern California and one of the great national dynasties, just don’t try not to get beat up in the locker room. Thanks for that scandal being exposed, and congratulations to the disgraced head coach who recently retired and presided over what apparently was some really destructive hazing. And there were some court cases going on now, a big coverup, uh, on the whole scene. And, so I get to, I get to trash Mater Dei a little bit, but they do have outstanding athletes that go off to college glory and NFL glory. And if you go through that locker room, you’re gonna see some big strong kids.
And three out of the 72 players on the football team are gonna be veined up and muscled out just from their genetics, even at the age of 15 and a half or whatever. And so that’s why I believed that these great athletes could be natural in the absence of conclusive proof. And I know that all the cool fitness bros, uh, are now coming out and saying, only an idiot would’ve believed that Liver King could do this naturally. Well, back at it in your face because your, uh, evidence and your arguments prior to the truth unfolding in Liver King making his admission and Derek showing his conclusive proof from stolen documents or leak documents, I might add, uh, their arguments really were as flimsy, uh, as an accusation as you can get. Look how big those muscles are. Uh, it’s impossible to do that naturally.
I don’t like to traffic in that type of accusation. Major elite sports have long had this sort of aura of breakthrough performances immediately arousing suspicion because, and specifically because the performance was so awesome, that in itself is not enough evidence to go around leveling accusations unless you have conclusive proof. It’s just a bad deal. It doesn’t make anybody look good, it doesn’t serve anybody. But if you have your suspicions and you’re part of the US Anti-Doping Agency or you can do something about it, then maybe you can do something about it. But to level accusations and engage in this type of gossip, I think it’s really harmful and it does a disservice to all the athletes who work hard, play by the rules, have breakthrough performances that are awe inspiring and superhuman. Some of ’em are doing it the right way.
And, accusing, uh, wrongly accusing one person out of 50 still is a disgrace, right? So let’s just calm our jets until further notice. It’s sadly, my former podcast guest, Shelby Houlihan, American record-holding female middle distance runner, uh, had a positive doping violation. She’s currently serving a four year ban, and the circumstances around the case were very fishy. I believe she did not have a proper chance at justice. Her story is very compelling, very believable, but there’s a certain segment of the track and field fan base that immediately cast judgment upon her and calling her a disgraceful cheater without knowing the facts and getting into it more just because she had a positive test. So even testing positive is not entirely 100% conclusive proof that we’re talking about a cheater. And if you wanna learn more, please listen to my show with Shelby Houlihan. She’s a really honorable competitor. Her case is very compelling. It’s really sad how she did not get due process and is gonna miss, uh, the big meets in the coming years.
And again, the whole anti-doping movement is super important to keep sports clean and believable. But if a single clean athlete is tested positive and serves a doping band in the name of trying to catch the cheating athletes, but you have to sacrifice a clean athlete, boy, that’s a tough one for me too. Mark Sisson has talked at times about legalizing performance-enhancing drugs in the sports that they’re relevant in, but just keeping it under physician control, testing the athlete’s blood regularly to make sure they are safe. They even succumb to this in professional cycling because the widespread use of EPO was so difficult to detect because EPO is a natural protein produced by the body.
The drug kind of just kickstarts your red blood cell manufacturing process. So it’s not an outside agent like an anabolic steroid. And so they made a rule <laugh> that you couldn’t have a hematocrit over 50.0. And all that was, was an admission that these athletes are doping strategically and trying to stay right under that 50.0. Exceeding 50 was a clear case of an athlete altering their physiology, but up at 48, 49 and staying there throughout the Tour de France, for example, is absolutely preposterous to be able to do that naturally. But they were fighting the battle as best they could. And so they just established a cutoff number to put people into violation, uh, because they were unable to, uh, reliably track them from not using it on a regular basis. More details in books like the Secret Race, but it’s kind of a funny anecdote.
So back to my story. I raced as a triathlete on the professional circuit from 1986 through 1995. And so we were subject to the International Triathlon Union Doping Law. So I was tested a ton of times, usually after, always after races. It was never the random unannounced outta competition testing that’s recently been implemented in the major Olympic sports, which is a great thing because a lot of athletes historically have gone on to all their products in their training camp over the winter, gotten big and strong and fast, gotten off the drugs and go compete in the Olympics, leveraging that advantage even though they were clean at the time, they’re delivering samples in the major championship meets. So we had what was would now be considered a rooted rudimentary doping enforcement program where you would be tested if you placed highly in certain major races, or sometimes you’d be randomly selected if you placed seventh or 12th or whatever.
So on all those occasions, I got to, uh, experience what it was like to be an athlete, uh, subject to testing. And back in my time period, this was before the rise and the advent of EPO, the prominence in the major endurance sports and the performance advantage conferred by EPO was so huge that it basically blew these sports wide open. When you get a 6% advantage from doping, it pretty much destroys any chance at level playing field unless everyone is doing it or no one is doing it, which of course, that hasn’t happened since the advent of EPO. the popularity of EPO in the 1990s. But my racing time period was before. And so the drug available to endurance athletes at the time were the anabolic steroids. They certainly do confer an advantage even to a skinny geek endurance athlete because they allow you to recover more quickly and maintain an optimal level of testosterone even amidst the high stress training.
That’s, uh, that’s going to tank your hormones, in naturally speaking when you’re, when you’re training that hard as a triathlete. And of course, I can also validate that because my brother who worked in the laboratory, I could go in and get my blood tested all the time. So I tested my blood frequently when I was a triathlete, and my testosterone levels were amazingly low for a fit young man in his twenties. They were usually, or almost always, between 200 and 300. So this is the absolute bottom of the normal range. I would be called hypogonadal or actually clinically diagnosed as someone who was a candidate for hormone replacement therapy, even as a 24 year old fast guy who could swim and bike and run amongst the best in the world. But the training regimen was so stressful to the body, so chronically stressful, as well as the travel schedule and the competitive intensity.
possibly my diet didn’t help either because it was that grain-based high carbohydrate diet, which can also interfere with optimal testosterone levels. But it was a consequence of training and racing at that high level. So if had I been able to, for example, pay my testosterone up at the top of the normal range up at a thousand instead of 200 to 300, it would’ve delivered a fantastic performance advantage because my training basically, instead of riding those ebbs and flows of being tired and burnt out and having to rest and recover, and then starting to feel better and build back and put up some great workouts and go travel to some big races and then come back and feel tired and broken down and needing to rest and recover and eat hamburgers, I had a lot of low iron occasions too. And so I’d have to sit home for a couple weeks when my hematacrite dropped below 40 and my testosterone was tanked and my iron levels were tanked, and I’d literally have to sit home and eat a lot of red meat and wait it out and look at the calendar, cross off another day, and then slowly come back to training when my blood chemistry naturally righted itself thanks to the rest.
So the idea of taking performance-enhancing drugs and, and pegging all these things that were, were such the, uh, disaster and such an ordeal and such a source of physical and psychological pain and suffering is mind blowing. I would’ve been like the terminator. And speaking of EPO, as someone who is taking that while the other athletes aren’t getting that 6% advantage and my two hour race, that’s six minutes, right? Uh, that would be a, a joke. It would be every race on the circuit would’ve been a walk in the park for me. I’d take a shower, I come back, I shake hands with second place. So at that time, I formed the belief that I was racing in a completely clean sport. And so the idea of the temptation of trying performance enhancing drugs didn’t even enter my mind because I wanted to compete on a level playing field.
I didn’t wanna have a walk in the park <laugh> go, going around the pro circuit and destroying everyone and coming home with a smile and a bigger check thanks to all the needles I was sticking in my arm. There is a morality question here, which we often cast out at the athletes, especially when they’re busted. But what we don’t understand that public perception is if you’re competing in a dirty sport, the morality aspect is really kind of irrelevant. It’s just a practical decision really, of whether you want to be a competitor, whether you wanna race at the Olympic or professional level, or whether you wanna go home and watch on tv, because you don’t wanna put that stuff in your body. And another quip I might add on this topic is if I were doing that triathlon career all over again with the performance enhancing drugs causing through my veins at all time, the EPO and the testosterone, it would’ve been vastly less stressful and destructive to my body.
So people talk about the dangers of doing performance enhancing drugs, you’re gonna destroy your health, get cancer and die when you’re 50. That’s because the bodybuilders and other, uh, extreme athletes are abusing these drugs and indeed taking their important blood values like their inflammatory markers or their liver enzymes, but a responsible therapeutic use of performance-enhancing drugs, especially for an elite athlete who is ostensibly being guided by experts and pegging their physiology at the appropriate levels, all that’s going to do is make them get stronger, go faster, recover faster, have better immune function, better hormonal function, rather than the breakdown and the burnout that I experienced throughout my nine-year journey as a professional triathlete. So really, uh, the health consequences were not really on the table. It was irrelevant. It was just the morality of wanting to compete fairly. And nowadays, oh my gosh, I mean, the popularity of hormone replacement therapy is it’s inescapable, right?
And the purported downsides, like if you start taking testosterone, you’re gonna get prostate cancer, uh, you’re gonna get this, you’re gonna get that, uh, it’s so bad for you. That’s kind of been disproven. Um, if you’re not in an Olympic sport or a sport subject to the anti-doping laws, there’s no morality question here that you’re cheating anybody out of a a gold medal. And so then it lends itself to, Hey, how can I optimize my life using all the tools at my disposal with modern technology as part of that picture, as well as all the lifestyle behaviors that we can engage in to optimize. So, as I said on the previous show, I have formed this rigid belief perhaps, that I wanna do everything I possibly can to be a natural human because I believe anyway, that that will give me the best long-term results as well as increased appreciation for the process.
So back when I was a professional triathlete, I took this belief to such an extreme that I even refused caffeine and I refused all anti-inflammatories, NSAIDs, right, like Advil or things that people might take for a sore back or sore legs or whatever. The caffeine. I did not want to take an artificial central nervous system stimulant that would transcend my current state of fatigue readiness, recovery or lack thereof. So even though I could possibly have taken two cups of caffeine, cranked up the heavy metal music in the garage, as I got my bike together to head out for a five hour ride, I wanted to feel the full impact of my, my readiness status every single day. So if I was dragging and didn’t feel like working out, I wanted to own that sensation rather than override it with any outside substance.
And I believe that worked effectively for me to be the best that I could be and not dig those holes that oftimes happen when you try to override the natural signaling of the body. Another example is, um, taking a prescription or non-prescription anti-inflammatories, the inflammatory process in the body is hugely important for healing, uh, injuries and disfunction. And if you shut it down in order to feel better temporarily, you’re going to pay that price over the long term. Any sort of painkillers in that category, the cortisone shots that are so popular for plantar fasciitis. I instead dealt with an annoying and moderate to severe case of plantar fasciitis for 15 years. And I’d talked to people where they got a shot and they felt better in two days and they were sailing off into their next marathon. But I also know people who have gotten a few cortisone shots in certain joints that led to hip replacement, knee replacement, or ruptured achilles tendon because the weakness of the area exacerbated by the shot and the breaking down that occurs in the aftermath.
So again, I wanted to stick to that natural and clean path in order to be the best that I could be overall. Um, even, uh, today, I still live by that, right? So if I have a headache, I used to get migraine headaches frequently. My strategy is not to go looking for the nearest bottle of Advil. It’s to go into a dark room, turn off the lights, get a blindfold, and sleep it off. Same with a tight or painful lower back or calves or hamstrings, whatever’s going on, I’m gonna sit and wait it out. And the most powerful intervention drug that I would use would be cold water exposure or sauna therapy. Now, uh, taking this to the extreme can be a mistake in certain times, and I’ve learned that lesson as well, because when I went into my surgeries several years ago, I had emergency appendectomy and I had follow-up kidney surgeries for complications.
And each time I decided to refuse the pain killers because I wanted to heal as naturally and quickly as possible and the pain in the aftermath of these procedures, including putting a stent into my ureter after the utero scope surgery so that every time I urinated, I suffered the most extreme pain you could imagine, 11 on the scale of 1outta 10, like someone was grabbing me from behind and squeezing my kidney. I should have taken pain killers under those circumstances because it interfered with my ability to rest and recover and rejuvenate from the trauma of the surgery. Same with the appendectomy. I thought I was gonna be a badass in the hospital. I lasted until late into the night after the final anesthetic ward off, and I could realize just how much pain I was in. And that’s when I started pushing that button.
And Nurse Rudy came and took care of me and gave me plenty of morphine or whatever they put into my IV as I was moaning and groaning and crying after being the tough guy previous hours saying, no, I refuse this. I refuse that. I don’t want this prescription. And so I guess the only time that I would rationalize drug intervention is when you really need it to save your life. You need those antibiotics or you’re gonna get an extreme infection, uh, you need those painkillers or you’re not going to be able to get the rest you need to recover. And the rest of the time, I mean, this is where, you know, the pharmaceutical industry, we’re talking about, a massive percentage of the dispensation of medication, uh, are for conditions that can be, let’s say, very strongly mitigated by lifestyle change.
Right? What are the top, uh, selling, uh, prescriptions? There’s Nexium, the, uh, the purple pill for indigestion, which of course is diet related. We have the cholesterol drugs, we have the sexual function drugs, all these things that downstream we can see, uh, lifestyle related causes and potential lifestyle related alleviations of the conditions so that you can get off medication. I’m also interested in the research that the antidepressants have an effectiveness rate that is lower than exercise. I don’t know the numbers exactly, but it’s like, 38% of depression conditions are improved by exercise, and 34% are improved by antidepressants. Now, responsibly, we want to talk to the experts, not some guy on a podcast, but the role of prescription drugs in your life can be, I think, reflected upon better than going and reaching for something when you have a lifestyle condition.
And that takes us right to hormone replacement therapy as well. So again, um, reiterating my position that we want to optimize all manner of lifestyle behaviors before considering an outside intervention. What was the person’s name? Had a great quote. Um, Ari Whitten. He had a great show with Melanie Avalon biohacking podcast. I believe it was he that said, anytime you do an outside intervention, you are bringing in a ton of complexity and potential complications, side effects into your physiology. We know this of course, with prescription drugs. Dr. Phil Maffetone, the leading endurance coach instructs, uh, his followers to reduce your training heart rate by 10 beats if you are taking any prescription medication, he doesn’t even care. Doesn’t even ask, doesn’t even wanna know. Anyone who’s got a prescription in their medicine cabinet needs to lower their training heart rate by an incredible 10 beats. That’s a lot, that’s a lot slower running or biking, because as Maffetone contends, every single prescription drug has certain side effects that will require you to have a less stressful training regimen in order to cope with the outside intervention provided by the prescription drugs. That’s, that’s some crazy stuff.
Okay, so is Brad Natty or not Brad is, is so natty, it’s off the charts and will continue to be so until further notice. And so now I want to, I’m gonna post these graphics directly from my blood results, but I have some testosterone results going back to, uh, 2015 all the way up to, uh, present day. So I’ve tested it oh, over 20 times. I’m gonna read through these really quickly. But I mostly track my serum T. There’s also free testosterone and there’s also sex hormone binding globulin, and those are, uh, kind of antagonize each other.
So if your sex hormone binding globulin is lower, less is going to be bound, and you’re gonna have more free testosterone available to act on target organs. But there’s also some good research and people like Dr. Tommy Wood, who I respect highly, suggests that tracking serum t is your best way to, uh, uh, monitor your hormone status. Because free T is such a small amount, the measurements are in pictograms or something really, really small, so the accuracy can be questionable. But if you have a healthy, robust serum t it is very predictive of healthy hormone status. And you’re probably gonna see, uh, a correlation between free t and sex hormone binding globulin. But people who are obsessed with lowering S H B G to raise free testosterone, it’s an oversimplified view of optimal hormone status. Over time, I’ve noticed that my free testosterone is in the lower, area of the normal range.
And that’s likely because my S H B G is high due to a low insulin producing diet and low insulin status. My fasting insulin is very low, and so that’s gonna, uh, lower S H B G. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing when I’m reporting, uh, good performance recovery and especially high serum testosterone. So again, back to the rumors and suspicions, you can see me smiling if you’re listening, if you’re watching the video. Um, I guess if a, uh, an athlete using performance enhancing drugs would have certain, uh, red flags on their profile that this was not natural physiology. But what I’ve noticed over the last seven years with my total testosterone is a somewhat, uh, significant variation. And I’m gonna blame this or place this on the variations in my lifestyle, especially my training load and how well I’m recovering from it.
So when I see those lower numbers on the free testosterone range versus the higher numbers, I believe those are times when I’m pushing it a little too hard, maybe have been a stressed in other ways. And so my stress scoreboard is a little higher, whether that’s travel or working hard or whatever’s not perfect, optimal as I would dream. And so, starting back in April, 2015, here’s a quick bomb of my total testosterone numbers, followed by gonna give you some information about the ranges in the percentile based on age group, uh, 682, 1012, 993, 751. And this is 1517 in 2019. So quickly, I didn’t test that often back then. So now we’re in 2019, 706, 454, I believe that’s the lowest I’ve seen in seven years. 625, 528, 851. Now we’re in 2020. 772, 723, 859, 672, 775, 577. Now we’re in the year 2021, 611, 751, 659, 1008 in September of 2021.
That’s off the charts and a nice bump from the previous test results. And then, uh, 584. Now we’re in 2022. 696, 640, and I believe the last one, I didn’t write down 710 or something like that. So I’m in the 600 to 750 average. If I could do that quickly in my head with some outliers, like the ones over 1000 and then a couple around 500, which would be some, uh, low points. And so that is a pretty significant variation when you’re looking at my lowest to highest. And I think testosterone is highly transient. So it’s nothing to worry about. It’s something to be expected. And I’m glad I have such a nice robust database of test results because you don’t want to go in there once a year on a good day, nor on a bad day. And, have that be the snapshot that we’re, uh, we’re dealing with.
Now. This is why the continuous glucose monitors are so popular. I’m so happy to partner with Nutrisense whose product I’ve been using for a long time, because if you go and get your fasting blood glucose done once a year or even have the home machine, which I’ve also used for many years, where you’re pricking your finger, you’re doing that once a day, if you’re awesome or a few times a week versus a continuous reading that you can look on your smartphone and track yourself 24 hours a day, that’s gonna give you so much more important result than the snapshot type. So, overall, my male hormone status is healthy and no complaints. Therefore, I’m not really a candidate for hormone replacement anyway. Even if I was interested and begged for it, I’m sure someone would give it to me and say, yeah, we’ll bump you up a little bit.
But until I see that downward trend really accelerating or just chipping away, I’m, I’m in the 700 s now I’m in the sixties and fives, then I’m in the fours and the threes, that’s when I’m going to be alarmed and double down on my sleep habits, optimize my workout protocol, try as hard as I can to optimize and then start looking at different options. And Marek Health is so awesome for this. So I strongly encourage you to at least visit my landing page and learn what they’re all about, M A R E K health.com/brad Kearns, or maybe it’s just slash Brad. If you get the error message, we’ll have the link in the show notes, but they will give you a personal consultation and strategize ways that you can naturally optimize your hormones and then give you sort of a envisioned plan B if you want to go into the prescription realm and try some other things.
And their focus, their specialty is on male hormone optimization. And so the expertise level is off the charts. It’s not anything like you would get from a mainstream physician who may or may not have any interest or knowledge or, or sensibility on what to recommend. And I know that, uh, testosterone is being widely prescribed in gel form or in injection form by family physicians all over the place that aren’t necessarily expertise in it. And again, they’re treating the symptom. So you come in with a low number, Hey, you’re low, let’s give you a shot, you’re gonna feel better and we’re gonna send you on your way. That’s in the same category as any other prescription drug that’s treating the symptom rather than the cause. So if you can have a responsible consultation with an expert, I got James, I got Angela in my corner and I talked to them.
And uh, what they can do is evaluate your overall lifestyle, your diet, your training protocol, look for things that might be interfering with your hormone optimization as well as the comprehensive blood report. And it’s a tremendous amount of data on this blood report that will generate their recommendations as built up from a long time consulting with athletic type people. So I am currently, uh, dropping in a bunch of supplements that I’ve never tried before just to try for further optimization, uh, on those male hormone number numbers. Things like boron, things like, uh, vitamin b6, what else do I have here at magnesium? D H E A a little bit here and there. And we will track this over time and see where we go. Oh yeah, speaking of natural, D H E A Is a testosterone precursor. So that could be on the borderline. I’m not sure if that’s a bannedd substance or not. It’s an over the counter supplement. And, anyway, I’m taking a little bit of that and we’ll see what happens.
Okay, that should do it for part one. And now the truth has been revealed. The rumors have been put to rest once and for all. I can’t wait to get into it with part two where I will detail a bunch of ways to optimize testosterone naturally through diet, through sleep, rest, recovery, and downtime, through increasing all forms of general everyday movement from doing the proper protocol for regular resistance, exercise brief, explosive movements, full body functional movements with major muscle groups, and conducting sprint workouts in the proper format that I talk about frequently. That’ll have a phenomenal benefit to your adaptive hormones like testosterone. So thank you so much for listening. I am pleased to be honest, forthright and transparent with you at all times with my commentary on the B.rad Podcast and look forward to sharing and connecting with you. So I can’t wait to hear your thoughts, read your thoughts when you email email@example.com. And until then, get ready for part two. Thanks for listening to part one.
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