Get ready for a very interesting and dynamic guest, Dr. Erik Korem, the founder and CEO of AIM7 and host of The Blueprint.

I apologize for the somewhat abrupt start to the show—we were getting to know each other offline and started to get into some pretty serious and fun topics, so I began recording as our conversation was starting to take off. As you will hear, Dr. Erik is a man of many interests, with many different skills and areas of expertise, and in this episode, you will learn about his company AIM7, and the technology that helps guide you to smart lifestyle decisions by calculating where you stand in terms of stress levels, sleep quality, and workout performance and recovery. I am usually a skeptic/generally disinterested in wearable technology and biofeedback devices, but when you’re talking about technology that helps you tap into your intuition better, that’s an entirely different story, and one that I am very interested in.

You will also learn about the brain’s natural detoxification system, brain health and why we need to prioritize sleep to protect against the alarming rising rates of cognitive decline, and why social isolation poses equal, or perhaps even more severe risks to health than smoking.

Follow Dr. Erik on Instagram, Twitter, listen to his podcast, The BluePrint, and check out his website here.


New technology can help you better tap into your intuition and enhance your performance. [00:46]

Erik has pioneered technology used by the NFL and college football teams helping them adapt to physical and psychological stress.  [05:34]

This technology can measure biological states of readiness. [11:14]

There is no such thing as “muscle memory.” It is the essential nervous system that tells the muscles when to fire. [14:41]

When working with the world-class sprinters, what did Erik notice had been their shortcomings that needed correcting? [19:41]

This technology measures HRV and DC potential. With the new technology, they were able to change the way teams practice.   [25:39]

As you age, you have to change your whole fitness protocol. [31:27]

if you don’t move enough during the day, the cardiometabolic benefits of exercise aren’t the same. [38:51]

The glymphatic system enables the inflow of cerebral spinal fluid into your brain while you sleep. [44:21]

There is an increase in our society in mental health problems and it is mostly related to lack of healthy sleep patterns. [48:21]

Why wait to see what the next scientific discovery is?  Make healthy living decisions now. [51:21]

Social isolation has been driven by technology. Face-to-face communication is significantly more effective than electronic forms. [54:44]

AIM7 is an app that helps people pursue long term goals for their health. [01:02:27]



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

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B.Rad Podcast:

Erik (00:00:00):
Just ’cause something’s written down on paper or just ’cause you say on Wednesday I’m gonna go to the gym, doesn’t mean your body’s actually ready to adapt today.

Brad (00:00:08):
Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three world-ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype, hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad

Brad (00:00:46):
Hey, listeners, get ready for a very interesting and dynamic guest named Dr. Erik Korem. And I apologize for the abrupt start to the show. But what happened was I was getting to know my guest offline, and we started to get into some pretty serious, fun, interesting topics. So, boom, I said, man, I gotta record this. He is a man of varied interests and skills and areas of expertise, and he is the founder of a operation called Aim Seven. And you’re gonna learn about this technology that is applicable to today’s popular wearable devices like your Apple Watch or Garmin watch. But it helps guide you to good health, lifestyle, behavior decisions by calculating where you stand in terms of your stress levels, your sleep quality, your workout performance and recovery. So really interesting high tech stuff. Typically, I would say I am a skeptic or disinterested in the continued emergence of wearable technology and biofeedback devices.

Brad (00:01:50):
I think we can over tech ourselves and start to get distracted from what’s really important, like our intuition. But when you’re talking about technology that helps you tap in better to your intuition, that’s when I’m extremely interested. And it seems like he has put together an amazing body of life’s work with the very best athletes in the world and put it all into the technology that is bringing some of the insights and guidance you get when you’re an elite athlete from experts. He’s bringing that to the average user benefiting from his experience. And we talk about his work with the great sprinters to the greatest of all time, Tyson Gay and Veronica Campbell Brown. So he is working hand in hand with champions like that. He is working with N F L teams, collegiate teams, and so a lot of experience helping the very best in the world perform.

Brad (00:02:42):
We get into a little bit of that app technology. It’s not a show pitching his product, but also some really interesting other stuff that’s related. But he’s gonna talk to you about your brain’s natural detoxification system called the glymphatic system. I’m sure you’re familiar with the lymphatic system, your lymph nodes, the detoxifying effects that the lymph lymph nodes around the body and the lymph system has. But there’s also a similar, similarly named system in the brain, but the brain does not have that lymphatic function that the rest of the body has. So it needs its own system. And guess what? This stuff operates only when you’re asleep. And if you don’t already appreciate and respect the importance of sleep, you’re gonna enjoy this commentary, uh, that will inspire you to prioritize sleep as we all should because it is the key to protect against the alarming increase in rates of cognitive decline, uh, rates that are doubling every five years and are vastly different than the incidents of cognitive decline generations ago.

Brad (00:03:53):
Um, so we’re gonna get into brain health and sleep. And then also about the emerging concern with one of the major disease risk factors of modern time, which is social isolation. And it’s on the scoreboard. Now. I heard another podcast recently where the expert, it was on Huberman Lab. It was Dr. Chris Palmer talking about social isolation being a equal or perhaps more severe risk factor for disease than smoking. Ouch. Okay. So, we’re coming outta pandemic. We are kind of facing this momentum an ever increasing momentum toward more isolation, more engagement with technology and less interpersonal social interaction. So we’re all obligated, charged with making an extra effort to nurture friendships, nurture live social opportunities and so forth, especially as we spin out of pandemic and try to make up for lost time, all coming from the interesting and diverse Dr. Erik Korem. So enjoy the show

Brad (00:04:59):
Erik Korem. A first thing I have to say is welcome. And then second to my listeners, apologies because we just turned on the zoom and usually we do idle chitchat, but for some reason, you and I, man, we were, we were going for it. And we’re talking about like honesty and authenticity in the public arena and especially on podcasts. So I just wanna welcome you to the show and we’ll, we’ll go where it goes ’cause we have some super cool topics of your areas of expertise. But, tell us a little about yourself.

Erik (00:05:34):
Well, I appreciate it, Brad. Thank you so much for having me on. And I, I really did appreciate, we were getting into some good stuff. We’re getting into some liver king things. We’re getting into like some personal struggles and that, that, that’s what this is really all about. But, um, a little bit about me, I, I do live in Houston, Texas right now. Um,

Brad (00:05:50):
That’s Liver King country man. He’s off the road.

Erik (00:05:53):
Yeah, he’s north of here somewhere. Kind of in like the Woodlands area or something like that. But for about 16 years I worked in professional sports and college football as a sports scientist. And so if you’ve ever seen, um, an N F L game or college game and they’re like, oh, such and such players running down the field at 20 miles an hour. That’s the technology that I pioneered about 11 years ago and really introduced athlete wearables to N F L and college football. And, kind of really did some really awesome things in that space. Went on and got a PhD studying something we may talk about later, but how to, how to build this capacity to adapt to more stress. ’cause that’s what we noticed, like with the lead athletes, no matter what sport, they were phenomenal at adapting to physical and psychological stress. I also worked in pro track and field for about 14 years. Worked with a lot of a hundred, 200 meter sprinters. Um,

Brad (00:06:52):
Oh, my favorite man. Those are my favorites.

Erik (00:06:55):
Yeah, so Veronica

Brad (00:06:57):
.Oh yeah. Worked

Erik (00:06:59):
With her, worked with Tyson Gay. Um,

Brad (00:07:02):
These are some of the best sprinters of all times. People of all times. I believe Tyson Gay is still number three of all time in the hundred meters fastest humans of all time.

Erik (00:07:11):
Yeah, I was with him part of that group that was helping support him the year he broke the American a hundred meter record. Um, I was at the University of Arkansas, that’s where I did my grad work. And they were all there at that time and it was just kind of this serendipitous opportunity. They had turned pro after the Athens games and specifically Veronica, had an immediate opportunity to start working with her going into the 20, oh my gosh, oh, five World Championships in Helsinki. And that’s when it all started. And, yeah, so that was an amazing journey. And then in 20, I’d say almost 2021, I left all of that to start a company called Aim seven. And, uh, we turned wearable technology data like from your Apple Watch or Garmin device into personalized, actionable recommendations for your mind, body, and recovery. So we moved past insights and data to like, what, what do I do today, you know, to look, feel, and perform better. So that’s what I’m doing now.

Brad (00:08:16):
That sounds promising. Unlike, uh, some of the technology I feel like is just fun and games and glitz. But if you can make some informed predictions and if some watch was telling me, Hey, dummy, um, your, your hormone levels are still elevated, uh, you need a break or something like that, that would be, uh, that would be superior.

Erik (00:08:38):
Brad, I think you’ll find this hilarious. I follow this girl on Twitter and I can’t even remember her name right now. I’m blanking. But she is just run like 115 consecutive ultra marathons

Brad (00:08:50):
Oh fo

Erik (00:08:51):
Insane, right? And she wears a Garmin device. And the Garmin after like 109 finally said, your body needs recovery. And the point of it was like, these devices, it’s just data and they have no, they’re really not in tune with what’s going on. And that’s the nut that we cracked in pro sports was like, we had these, you’ll find this funny. So I went to Australia and was learning about what they were doing in, uh, Australian rules football. They were tracking players in games with GPS satellites and they had accelerometers and all this crazy stuff. So I brought this back when I was at Florida State and we’re like, there was no playbook. We’re duct taping this to the pads of the players. I hired a former NASA propulsion engineer ’cause it was just like raw telemetry data. And after about a week, we’ve got so much data, like you could stack a room full of all this stuff.

Erik (00:09:44):
And our head coach was like, Hey Erik, what are we gonna do with this? And I had no clue. And that didn’t work out well. You know, that was not a good thing. But that’s kind of where the consumers are with all these Apple watches and OA rings. It’s like, great, I slept seven hours or I ran this far, my heart rate was this. Like what do I do with it? So, um, you’re exactly right. It can be just, it can be a waste of, it can be a waste of real estate on your body if it’s not used correctly.

Brad (00:10:11):
So AIM seven is something that can adapt to the various brands that are providing the data now, the leaders of whatever, Apple Watch, Garmin and so forth.

Erik (00:10:23):
Yeah. So we’re end to end with Apple Watch, where we have Garmin or, uh, and a few other devices in it about a month. But, um, one of the things when I, in 2015 when I was at the University of Kentucky, my graduate assistant who, who’s now the director of performance science there, Dr. Chris Morris, we did some very interesting research where we were able to demonstrate the technologist called fluid periodization. So whenever you have an athlete, which you create what’s called a periodized or structured plan for performance, which basically means that over time the volume of work, the intensity of work, the frequency changes and is manipulated so you can reach a performance outcome, the problem you

Brad (00:11:03):
Make up that term.

Erik (00:11:04):
No, that’s

Brad (00:11:05):
A fantastic term. I love it. fluid prioritization. ’cause Ralph,

Erik (00:11:09):
Oh, fluidization. Yes, that is our term. Made that up. Yeah. Oh my god, Chris coined that.

Brad (00:11:13):
That’s brilliant.

Erik (00:11:14):
Yeah. So what the problem with that is, and you know, as a former elite athlete, is that just ’cause something’s written down on paper or just ’cause you say on Wednesday I’m gonna go to the gym, doesn’t mean your body’s actually ready to adapt to that. ‘Cause you could have had a great night or a terrible night of sleep. You could have gotten an awful argument with somebody. You had a crazy work thing that happened, and so your gas tank could be full or empty. What we found was, is that if you could measure what we called biological states of readiness, and we could use some really sophisticated lab equipment to do this, if you adjusted somebody’s workout and we were using elite college football players,

Brad (00:11:54):

Erik (00:11:55):
On the day we would change their training program. The guys that use this model versus the guys that didn’t had anywhere between 150 and 500% more improvement than the people training right next to them using the same program. So one of the things that we are delivering to the consumer population now is, and this is not for elite athletes, this is for anybody that exercises, we can tell you the exact type, intensity and duration of exercise that your body is ready to adapt to based off of the habits that you already have. So if you track it, we’ll categorize it and we’re like, oh, you like to do yoga? You lift weights, you like to run, you lift weights. This will be like, today your body is ready for, let’s just say the you like to the elliptical. You should do the elliptical. You should do it for 35 minutes and stay in this specific heart rate zone. So we’re getting like very granular with what your body is ready to do based off of your habits.

Brad (00:12:49):
Kind of reminds me of my Carol Fit bike. Have you heard of the Carol Bike where it’s, it’s called Cardiovascular Optimized Logic. It’s like a Peloton bike with the screen and the guided workout, but um, it applies resistance, remembering how many watts you pushed at your last workout. So it’s pretty fun. ’cause during the eight second sprints I did this morning, I was getting, uh, up to, uh, what was it, 511 or something, you know, five, I’m pushing 500 watts. It knows I can push that much. And so it, it gives me that much resistance. And then my wife lowers the seat and does her workout. And so they’re challenging her to apply 200 watts during the same eight second sprint. And um,

Erik (00:13:33):
That’s pretty cool. That’s a really intelligent piece of equipment.

Brad (00:13:35):
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s, um, it’s been around for just a few years and it’s getting more popular. But um, that kind of stuff, you know, is really appealing, especially being able to transcend that fixed mindset that we often apply to periodization. If the listeners aren’t familiar with that term, like you described it, you know, designing a year’s training schedule, but then we rigidly adhere to it to our detriment when, you know, we need fluid periodization.

Erik (00:14:05):
That’s exactly right. That is, I’m gonna have to look up this Carol bike. But for most people, you know, if you’re not doing anything scientific literature’s pretty clear anything’s gonna work up to some point. So if you’re not exercising at all,

Brad (00:14:19):
Yeah, that’s called spaghetti theory. Erik, you know, that

Erik (00:14:23):

Brad (00:14:24):
The spaghetti theory, I named this where, um, you, you throw spaghetti up onto the refrigerator and the, the wet noodle will stick on the refrigerator. And so anything you do is gonna give a fitness boost for a while. Sorry to interrupt, but we have to do some scientific terminology here. So I love it. Throw mine in. Yeah. <laugh>.

Erik (00:14:41):
No, you’re exactly right. But eventually that spaghetti’s gonna fall off and usually that’s around nine to 12 weeks. ’cause it’s early neurological adaptations, which most, so like if you were to take a teenager or an early, you know, somebody in their twenties, it’s never exercised, let’s say never lifted weights before the first about nine weeks. Most of the adaptations are neurological and you may not even see a structural change. And then after that, you’re gonna start seeing more of these, what we would call like morphological adaptations to the muscle. So you’re gonna start seeing like, hypertrophy of the muscle tissue, but the nervous system is the first thing that adapts. And that’s why people are like, oh, muscle memory. There’s no such thing as muscle memory. The muscle’s just a dumb piece of meat. Whereas the, it’s the essential nervous system that’s to drive it. It’s telling that muscle and through the afferent nerves, like when to fire. And so these nerves start, you start creating more different pathways. You change motor unit synchronization, but it’s really all neurological to begin with. And so, like you said, just throw, if you’re not exercising right now, just get out and do something. Your body’s gonna adapt and respond really quickly.

Brad (00:15:51):
But the, the first in order of the student in the front row is the central nervous system. So you’re not even gonna pack on muscle until your brain starts learning how to lift weights for, for many weeks.

Erik (00:16:05):
Yeah. It’s kinda like a baby, you know, like the baby. Um, like, uh, I have three boys, right? When they first start walking, is it that they need more muscle to walk? No, their nervous system is coordinating itself and there’s these feedback loops. The brain comes up with a process, it tries to execute it, the body falls down. Oh, that didn’t work. It’s called, it’s basically a neural network. This is how AI works. So the feedback loop back to the brain is that wouldn’t work. Coordinate yourself this way, coordinate yourself this way. And then eventually, um, the brain and the, and the central nervous system along with the peripheral nervous system, creates the right program to get the baby moving. Same thing if you haven’t really, let’s say lifted weights before you gotta coordinate yourself. Then you start creating these adaptations where the body’s like, oh, I can now coordinate. There’s called intra and intermuscular coordination. So multiple muscle groups working together. So it’s like, oh, these things need to fire at this sequence to be able to bench press a weight. And then the muscle itself can coordinate itself. And then it’s like, oh, now I’ve created some early wins by coordinating the nervous system to do this. Now I need more muscle. And then you start seeing these more hypertrophy responses. But, man, we just went down a rabbit hole. I wasn’t expecting to go out. That’s great. That’s how it works.

Brad (00:17:26):
And I, I would assume also when we hear this street banter that your central nervous system, uh, gets really fatigued from deadlifts. So you don’t do that so much. And I never knew if that was scientifically and legitimate or not. But it sounds like indeed.

Erik (00:17:42):
Um, yes,

Brad (00:17:44):
The central governor, as Timothy Noakes calls it, is the thing we really have to be sensitive to. Not overstimulating, just like doing too many bicep curls and getting sore.

Erik (00:17:56):
You, you nailed it. So if we go back to that research that we did a while ago, we would actually measure something called DCed potential or direct current potential of the brain, which is a slow cortical potential. And it could basically tell us how the central nervous system was adapting to stress. So what we did was we would use that measure to regulate intensity or how, let’s just say how heavy the weight is, right? Then we would regulate volume or number of sets and reps, like using heart rate variability. So you’re exactly right, it’s often not intensity, that’s the problem. It’s volume. So even if you’re in a fatigue state, you could still maybe do one heavy set of a few reps to stimulate, but not annihilate the system <laugh>.

Erik (00:18:41):
So like, you know, in track, let’s say we’re working with a short distance sprinter and maybe they’re not in the optimal state of adaptation, we may go, you know what, instead of doing four 60 meter sprints today, we’re gonna have a really long warmup. We’re gonna do some extensive drills, and then we’ll do one 60 meter sprint to stimulate the nervous system and then shut it off. Hmm. And the interesting thing about that paper that Chris did, Dr. Morris, is the commonality between the athletes that had these significant training improvements is they did less work, 10% less volume than the person next to ’em. So yes, really heavy deadlifts do tax the central nervous system. If you’re not feeling great one day, but you’re like, man, I really still want to go touch a little heavy weight, just warm up a lot, do one heavy set for very minimal volume, be okay. If you were to do repetitive sets of high intensity, that’s when you’re gonna just bury yourself.

Brad (00:19:41):
Yeah, It makes sense. So when you were working with these legends like Veronica Campbell Brown, the great Jamaican who, uh, notably one of the fastest females of all time, but also had an incredibly long career for a sprinter, and Tyson was out there for quite a long time as well, not as long as Justin Gatlin, but you know, some of the very best, what was the what was the intervention and the results were, were these folks, um, training, uh, in a indiscriminate manner or they needed to pay more attention to recovery? Or what did you notice with the elites?

Erik (00:20:17):
You pointed out something very interesting. So Veronica, I was with her for a very long arc of her career. So let me speak to her as she got older. And I’m not saying anything that would be compromising to her or anything like that, but, and this is true in general, working with, let’s say N F L athletes, guys that were in their mid thirties, right? Still playing in the league, they didn’t need very much volume of training

Brad (00:20:44):
As they got older,

Erik (00:20:45):
As they got older because there’s orthopedic intolerance. And they couldn’t handle as many of these very high intensity days. So like with Veronica, maybe one to two high intensity sprint days per week is all she needed. Everything else was like, like what we would do is like xten or like tempo runs on grass that was very aerobic in nature, but maybe one to two really high intensity because the, like when she goes fast, it’s really fast. Most of us, when we think we’re going hard, we’re really not even getting close. The output that’s generated is off the charts. And so it would cost her a bit more in adaptation time. And as she got older, we had to shrink the volume of high, what we call high C N S volume. This doesn’t really translate to like the general population except for, I would say this, as you get older, it’s very important to maintain strength. And if you’ve been training for a very long time, you’re not gonna need to do quite as much volume to maintain that. Now when it comes to muscle hypertrophy, you can, you can maintain muscle mass a lot easier. There’s gonna be a decrement over time, but you can maintain that much easier without frying your central nervous system.

Brad (00:22:13):
How’s that?

Erik (00:22:14):
You can exercise in the seven to 12 rep range. Mm, even three to four reps in the tank. You can do tempo work. You can do like more eccentric loading con like two second, uh, concentric, two second eccentric. Um, there is a, have you heard of Stato dynamic exercise? This is something we would use with, um, you could use this with, uh, people that were in endurance athletes and we used it with field sport athletes. You would take 30% roughly of their one rep max for squat. So let’s say you squatted a hundred pounds, you’d use 30 pounds, right? <laugh>. And we would do 20 to like a, um, a three second lower, three second up, never locking out the joint. And you do this for 30 to 40 seconds and you would rest, you know, I think it was 30 to 40 seconds and repeat. It’s not fun. It’s very, very difficult. There is not a big orthopedic stress, but because of time under tension, you would get a tremendous hypertrophy effect, specifically type one muscle fiber. So we could hypertrophy these type one fibers, uh, with minimal central nervous system fatigue. There was a big metabolic demand. Hmm. But I wasn’t crushing their C N S.

Brad (00:23:36):
30%. One rep max seems ridiculously light to me. It sounds like what I do in my morning exercise, where I’m just lifting a pretty light deadlift bar and doing 30, uh, 30 squat positions and 15 with the straight leg deadlift, and I’m breathing hard by the end, but it’s so light. But again, the time under tension, that probably takes me two minutes total of, you know, holding, holding onto the thing and moving it around. But, um, I’m, I’m not expert in this, so I’m just challenging that like you’re working with a, a very lightweight, but you can still get these huge boosts in hypertrophy?

Erik (00:24:12):
Yeah. There’s some really good research on it. Um, go try it out. Hold abell. So go stand up on two boxes or use a belt squat. Or you could use a, you could do any upper body press, do pushup. Pushup will, it’s probably a little more than 30%. You have to do it from your knees, but you would go .

Brad (00:24:31):
Oh, right. Do pushup where you just don’t go all the way down. Don’t go all the way up. Yeah. You would keep working that range. It’s gonna be tough, man. Yeah.

Erik (00:24:38):
So squat, we would have people hold a, a kettlebell that’s about, or a heavy dumbbell. So it could be a hundred pounds for somebody that squats quite a bit more or as light as, you know, 30 to 80 pounds, three seconds down, three seconds up, three seconds down. Do that for 30 to 40 seconds. Rest 30 to 40 seconds. Repeat that four to five times. Tremendous. I mean, it’s not gonna feel good. Trust me. You’re gonna be in a lot of pain from meta. It’s more metabolic accumulation of, you’re gonna have a huge amount of lactic acid. Blood flow gets occluded, but there’s some solid research. What happens is you get this nice hypertrophy of type one muscle fiber

Brad (00:25:21):
Type one can be the most explosive fast twitch.

Erik (00:25:25):
No, that’s slow twitch muscle fiber

Brad (00:25:26):
Type one is the slow twitch. And then type two A and two B are the, the fast twitch and the oxidative fast twitch. Okay, so type one is the you’re gonna grow in size, uh, or endurance or both.

Erik (00:25:39):
Yeah. Well, what’s gonna happen is when you hypertrophy that fiber, the more surface area you have, guess what happens? You get more to mitochondria now you can have more oxidation. Now you have, then you also get more capillary density. So these type, these type one fibers become even more fatigue resistant. So you could do like Nordic skiers do this type of stuff. People that are middle distance runners, people that are, uh, doing um, cross country, yeah, cross country skiing, any type of like endurance, but hikers. Um, I’ll usually do

Brad (00:26:12):
Professional hikers. Yeah,

Erik (00:26:14):
I mean like if you’re a backpacker, I’ll do this before I go backpacking. I’ll probably like eight weeks out I’ll start doing this type of stuff. Uh, ’cause of also the eccentric load of coming down. Um, when you go up a mountain, it’s one thing. Coming back down that’s really when you get really, really sore. But, we would do this type of stuff for, for those type of athletes, but it does lead to a pretty good hypertrophy effect.

Brad (00:26:39):
So you were doing this type of protocol with the sprinters and you working hand in hand with their formerly designated coach. Or how did your technology come into like a program like an N F L team or an elite group of, athletes being coached by, a sprint coach?

Erik (00:27:00):
Right. So let’s look at the, if you just take track, we had this thing called the coach athlete therapist triad. So it was the <laugh>. So you had the strength coach, the performance coach, the track coach, and then you’d have a therapist. And that triad was really, really important. ’cause you know, sprinters and track athletes, um, are very sensitive. Their bodies are highly tuned. So oftentimes we would do like therapy on the track, but like, let’s say we would have a plan, right? We write out an eight week plan. Couple things that we would do is we would measure on a daily basis and we’d be like, all right, if they’re in this acceptable threshold, we’ll just stick with the plan. If they’re compromised, we may lower the volume. Let’s say their HRVs down, we go, okay, we’re gonna lower the volume today. If we see a big drop in C N S, we may be like, today’s gonna be an extensive day. We’re not gonna do high c n s work. Um,

Brad (00:27:55):
What are you measuring? You’re measuring H R V and anything else?

Erik (00:27:58):
Yeah, like I said, we, before we would measure H R V and DC potential, uh, at that time we were using a device called Omega Wave. It’s, um, DC potential was used, started DC potential. And, and H R V started in their cosmonaut program for the Soviets. ’cause they wanted to understand long haul space flight using indirect measure or direct measurements, but something that was like not penetrating the skin. That’s where H R V came from. If you actually Google Besky Stress Index, that was one of the original measures of sympathetic nervous system adapt, like how sympathetic dominant the nervous system was. And you’ll see it show up on NASA’s website if you start Googling this stuff. So, we would measure remotely in the morning. I would have a dashboard. I would see it, me and the coach would talk about what was gonna happen.

Erik (00:28:51):
They got really good over time. So we’d have like some basic heuristics or rules of thumb. As we were getting closer to peaking an athlete, that’s when we would make major considerations. Also, you’d start learning how the body’s adapting over a week. So maybe you start changing the way that you schedule your exercise. In team sport, that’s when it gets a little bit more complicated because you have a lot of different people with a lot of different stressors, but they’re also having to practice together. So what you’d wanna do is, is create an environment where, for instance, like in football, one of the big thing, one of the big adjustments over the years was teams used to do this: play on Saturday. Sunday was off. Monday was a light practice. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday was hard. Friday was off. And then they play on Saturday.

Erik (00:29:46):
What we started finding was these athletes had a hard time, especially you played a night game on Saturday, it’s been almost 48 hours since you’ve really kind of turned it on. And so they would come into the game kind of sluggish. Hmm. Well, in track and field, I’ll never forget this, but my first world championships the day before, what do we do? We do a shakeout, we go warm up, we get a couple easy block starts. I’m like, whoa, whoa, whoa. Why are we doing this? Like, well, you, you gotta keep some tone in the body. So we’re like, oh. So we started doing with football teams is we go, okay, Saturday we play Sunday, we do some active recovery. Monday we’d get moving. Tuesday was off. Wednesday, Thursday was hard. Mm-hmm. Like really, really hard. Uh, sorry, sorry. Monday was a light day. Tuesday, Wednesday was really hard.

Erik (00:30:38):
Thursday was off. Friday we’d go out and have a quick 45 to 60 minute practice the day before a game. Full warmup, we’ll go sprinting. And so now we’ve, we’ve learned how the body’s reacting. And so we were peaking athletes and then they would go into Saturday feeling really fresh. And then you would use this type of technology for like one-off adjustments with key players. ’cause most teams, there’s about 10 to 15 players that if they’re good to go, everything’s gonna be all right. So you would really pay attention to them, be like, Hey coach, they got a lot of volume in the game. Ah, just a little bit tired today. Let’s make sure we don’t overcook ’em on Wednesday. Let you know, let’s put a, like at this point we’re gonna pull ’em off the field. Okay. That makes sense. Does that, does that help?

Brad (00:31:27):
Yeah, for sure. I think this is, um, you know, the cutting edge of tapering and peaking, which is so, um, it’s, it’s, it’s difficult to nail. I, I had a hard time with it when I was a triathlete trying to figure out that lead into the race and I would do some of these things were, were pretty effective that I learned over the years. One of ’em was, I’d pretend that a big race was a week prior to what it was. And so the Boston marathon’s April 17th, Mark Bell’s running and I said, pretend it’s April 10th, man, in your brain and in your training and in your mind, um, you just keep thinking of a week early and then you’re ready a week early. ’cause a lot of times what we would do is we train, train, train, train, train, and then taper the last two weeks. And you’re exhausted for the final two weeks because you’re finally, you know, bottoming out from all that chronic fight or flight stimulation, especially an endurance athlete. And it was just hell. And then you’re flying on an airplane, you’re getting jet lagged and you get to race it.

Erik (00:32:25):

Brad (00:32:27):
And you’re beat up. Yeah. Travel. We, we learned we had to taper for the airplane flights just like we had to taper for a difficult workout or a race.

Erik (00:32:36):
Are you still competing in these long endurance events?

Brad (00:32:40):
No, now I’m completely flipped the script and I’m a sprinter, a high jumper. My event what used to be two hours long, the Olympic distance triathlon, and now the high jump’s about a three second approach and one second in the air, if I’m lucky. So it’s really fascinating for me, just with the long time interest in sports, but now all my parameters have changed and one of ’em, oh my goodness. Yeah. I

Erik (00:33:03):
Think it’s smart too, because as you age, power drops off so much. Yeah. And so you’re stimulating all of the things that you’re gonna be losing the fastest. You must be a heck of an athlete to be able to, to traverse the spectrum of, of

Brad (00:33:19):

Erik (00:33:19):
The physiological requirements like this. I mean, you must be pretty special <laugh>.

Brad (00:33:23):
Well, I claim to be the, have have been the highest off the ground of any ex elite professional triathlete. Uh, which is not saying a lot, but <laugh> it is a fun challenge. Of course, I’m genetically more adapted to, uh, endurance. And that’s what I did in my youth. But now, you know, as I, as I face this challenge and try to compete in the, the 55 and over high jump division, the competition of attrition is wonderful. ’cause there’s no one, no one there anymore. There’s not many old guys that can bend over the bar. And so, you know, these different disparate skills that have served me, like my continued interest in just general fitness, now I can, you know, learn the technique. I’m obsessed with HighJump technique. I love it. I want to have the best technique. I might not be able to go and dunk a basketball like a, like a gifted high jumper can.

Brad (00:34:12):
But it’s my own personal challenge. Same with running the, the 200 or the 400 meters. I have no business doing that against, you know, an old Tyson gay or Willie Gay in my case is the world record holder in all the sprints. And he’s an old time for you listeners. He was a Olympic gold medal on the track and a long time player for the Chicago Bears. And he is like a fitness machine at age 60, still as fast as a great high school sprinter as an old man. But, uh, you know, it’s, you have to shift gears. And my mentality had to change from this endurance mindset of struggling and suffering and enduring to focusing on precision explosiveness and particularly getting extensive rest in between your hard efforts. And that was so hard for my, my mind to embrace because it’s like, Hey, I’m ready to go after a quick 20 second rest because I have so much endurance and I’m so tough. But it’s like, no, that’s not how you perform a sprint workout. You have to let the creatine phosphate system rebuild where for a five minute rest period between a sprint that’s as short as a hundred meter. So that part’s kind of fun to embrace a whole different fitness protocol.

Erik (00:35:22):
And I think if most people adopted some type of agile training, meaning they did something explosive, they did something for strength, they did something for hypertrophy, and they did something for, you know, these various energy systems mm-hmm.

Erik (00:35:39):
It would serve them very, very well. Because as we age, we lose power, we lose strength, and all of these things are related to longevity. And so, me personally, I’m 42 and that’s what I do. I do something explosive. Mm-hmm. Something for strength, one exercise for strength, maybe a few exercises for hypertrophy, and then three to four times a week I’m doing aerobic work, right? Mm-hmm. And I’ve noticed that I’m still, I don’t have to do as much strength where I’m just touching it. Right? And I’m not trying to put my body in a position orthopedically where I’m gonna mess up my shoulder. ’cause now I played college football. These things are creeping up. Oh boy. And, as you understand, but I think that most people will kind of lose touch on touching some of these things like you just talked about. Like, you can do some jump on a box, step down, do five really explosive repetitions, minimize landing stress, and really work on being explosive. Rest a couple minutes. Most people don’t do this. Like you talked about the creed and phosphate system. We train, we go from training. High intensity doesn’t exist anymore. It’s medium. You’re living in the land of medium. And if we touch those things, those qualities are gonna serve us well as we age.

Brad (00:36:57):
And I’ve also surmised that this obsession with, uh, cardio is deserving of more reflection. And in my case, I realized, you know, I’ve jogged with my dogs every morning, dating back decades when I was, you know, training as an elite endurance athlete. But I kept that as part of my life. And I figured this is keeping me fit in my thirties and my forties and my fifties. And then after a while, you realize like just the ability to go and do a steady state aerobic activity for a half an hour, it’s better than sitting on the couch. But it’s a really small sliver of the pie that represents total fitness, aging gracefully, warding off disease and so forth. And I think there’s a huge segment of the healthy fit population that simply parks their car, goes in, checks it at the front desk, gets a towel, and then goes on the stair machine for 45 minutes watching TV or, you know, hoofs it with the dog around the block every day.

Brad (00:37:57):
And that’s their, that’s their fitness mindset. And to me, I realized how deficient I was, even as a, uh, a retired professional athlete competing at the highest level. You know, I thought a strength training session was 12 pull-ups on the pull-up bar. And that, that was it for the day. <laugh> like, you know, I had no concept that there was potential for mobility, flexibility, balance, explosiveness, sprinting, you know, and lifting a heavy weight and, you know, combining everything to achieve total fitness. And then I also realized that in the process of doing those other types of fitness, like explosive activity, whether it’s sprinting or, or sprinting on a bicycle, if you can’t sprint on the ground or lifting a heavy weight or going through the circuit at the gym, you’re getting a fantastic cardiovascular training effect from that similar or perhaps superior to trotting around the block for 30 minutes.

Erik (00:38:51):
You know, I was googling something while you’re talking here. There was a paper, there’s a couple papers that have come out recently on what one of the terms, this is actually the title of the paper that was published in Exercise and Sports Science Reviews, exercise Snacks, the Novel strategy to Improve Cardiometabolic Health. There’s some papers out of a lab at the University of Texas. You just articulated something that I think is a serious problem. And that is that people all day sit down, they don’t move, then they go to the gym, they get their one hour, and they’re done. With some very interesting research going on that’s showing right now that if you don’t move enough during the day, the cardiometabolic benefits of exercise aren’t the same. So for instance, they found a threshold of, it was like 8,500 steps a day. So you could do like, I think it was a 45, I could, I don’t want to really screw up this paper, but it was, I think it was around a 45 minute run.

Erik (00:39:52):
And during the day they had people either walk below 8,500 steps, they had like different like bands of movement, and they found that post prenatal triglyceride levels the next day were not lowered if they didn’t move enough the day before. The point of it is this is like overall health and longevity comes down to not just like its resistance training, like continuing the liftings heavy so that you maintain strength, maintain cardiovascular health through aerobic exercise or high intensity work, but you also have to keep moving. So going out and there’s a certain amount that we need to keep moving throughout the day. Our bodies weren’t meant to be parked in front of the TV all day or sitting at our desk working on the computer. And I think that there’s more and more of these studies and also from the pandemic where people were isolated, there’s some really cool papers are starting to coming outta that period too, to show what happens when you’re in social isolation or you’re in confined spaces for long period of times and what happens to your health. But yeah, this, this, it’s not just, I need to do this 45 minutes a day and I’m done. It’s a, it’s movement, it’s aerobic capacity, it’s strength, it’s all of these things blended together.

Brad (00:41:10):
Yeah. And one thing that is relevant, especially as I get into the older age groups, is I realize my capacity for those badass workouts that give you the free pass to lay around the rest of the day. I can’t even do those anymore without repercussions. You, what did you call it? Orthopedic stress or some, yeah, that’s the fancy term for like, I keep getting too beat up when I do my, my track session. So I gotta, I have to fly under the radar more. And I contend this is probably something that would benefit athletes in every age group where you don’t have to beat yourself up with these grueling, exhausting workouts, which I contend a lot of the fitness industry is doling out as inherently a very stressful workout protocol. And instead, if we just close the laptop lid and went and rushed up the staircase four times in the middle of the day, these things start to add up tremendously. I call ’em micro workouts where you can actually get really fit without never signing in at the gym for an hour of pain and suffering.

Erik (00:42:13):
You’re exactly right. I mean, I totally agree. The the term we would use sometimes is minimal effective dose, maximal orthopedic soundness.

Brad (00:42:22):
Oh, nice. So, so as You get MOS man,

Erik (00:42:26):
There you go. Like, yeah, what is it that you have to do so that you’re not suffering from the thing that you love to do? And that’s the exercise snacks. Like every hour you should get up and do something. You should do 15 squat, you should go walk around the block. You should go up and down your stairs four times. I’ll have to send you these papers offline. You can probably put ’em in the show notes. But that’s what they’re finding with these simple things that you’re articulating. Usually practice is ahead, like practical application is ahead of research.

Brad (00:42:56):
Isn’t that funny? Yeah.

Erik (00:42:58):
But it’s people, you know, these scientists are now like, Hey, I wanna, let’s test and see if we do something every hour, if that changes things. And yeah, just get, get up and move frequently.

Brad (00:43:07):
Well also, evolutionary anthropology is very strong on this insight that the homo sapiens evolved in a pattern of near constant movement throughout the day. So that’s how we lived until the industrial revolution. Uh, then we were maybe, uh, you know, sitting around and, you know, still doing something hard in the factory. But, you know, we’ve, we’ve accelerated this, this sedentary pattern in recent generations. And previously, man, we had to walk down to the, to the corner to get some more milk at the corner store or tend to our grounds. And, you know, we were moving throughout the day, even our immediate ancestors, but definitely the hunter gatherer lifestyle. And so if this is our genetic programming, we can easily regain that without this injury barrier that I see in the fitness space where, oh, I hate going to the gym and I don’t like lifting weights and I don’t like jogging. So you’re on the sidelines, whereas what, what about going up the stairs four times instead of one? And all these ideas and things that we can put in our, in our personal space to, to challenge the body.

Erik (00:44:19):
I love it. It makes so much sense.

Brad (00:44:21):
So you have all these disparate aspects to your career and your areas of interest and expertise. So I think I’d love to, uh, kind of change course a little bit and get into some of your insights about the glymphatic system in the brain. We might have heard the term bantered about here and there when we’re talking about health, but it’s really fascinating to me what happens when you sleep and how this glymphatic system will, will clean you up and keep you sharp and try to ward off that tremendous concern and fear we have about cognitive decline as we age.

Erik (00:44:54):
Yeah. The glymphatic system, it’s been in the past 10 to 15 years that neuroscientists actually found this. ’cause your body has something called a lymphatic system, right? It’s kind of this metabolic waste removal system. Okay, well, the brain doesn’t have that. What it does is it has these paravascular pathways that at nighttime. So what happens is, is the glymphatic system enables the inflow of cerebral spinal fluid into your brain and it mixes with interstitial fluid in the brain and eventually it’s transported out by the central nervous system using these traditional lymphatic vessels that kind of surround theses what are called meninges. Long story short, the system is only active when you sleep. And so what happens is when you go to, when you go to bed at night, particularly during slow wave sleep or deep sleep, the glymphatic system is active and it’s flushing out all this metabolic waste products.

Erik (00:45:54):
One of the things that’s coming out is something called amyloid beta, which you kind of hinted at, which is associated with neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive declines such as Alzheimer’s disease. What’s really interesting is the National Sleep Foundation says that the average adult gets about 35% of adults are getting more than seven hours of sleep at night. So we need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. That’s kind of where the research is pointing to that that’s what the average person needs. If you think you’re the person that can go on five hours, you’re most likely not, you probably do not have that genetic polymorphism.

Brad (00:46:35):
Right? I love that research where there’s somewhere around 1% or an extremely, maybe less than 1% have this, um, have this snip that really designates them as a short sleeper. I contend my wife, my wife might be one of those people ’cause she seems to be, uh, robotically able to go anywhere between, you know, five and, and nine hours of sleep. But, um, it’s like only 1% or less have it. And then 15% believe that they are an adaptive short sleeper <laugh>, which

Erik (00:47:04):
Is a little, and they’re

Brad (00:47:05):
Not gap there. They’re Yeah.

Erik (00:47:06):
Yeah. It’s just like a lot of people say that they’re, um, that they’re a night owl and genetically only 9% of people really are. You’re <crosstalk>

Brad (00:47:14):
How many would

Erik (00:47:14):
You say? Only about 9%. Oh,

Brad (00:47:16):
Okay. So there is a 9% night owl scoreboard. Okay. Yeah.

Erik (00:47:20):
There was a paper, um, that was done by the Broad Institute at m i T and Harvard, and they looked at around 800,000 people in the UK Biobank. And then they used 23 ME data and all this kind of stuff. And one of the things that, that kind of tumbled out of this paper was, um, some research on how going to bed later impacts your risk for major depression. And they found that, let’s say you go to bed past like midnight, you really want to be asleep before midnight. If you just rolled your sleep back one hour, there was a 23% reduction in major depression, you rolled it back another hour, it was almost a 40% decrease. Now this is for people that are going to bed really, really late at night or really in the morning, one or 2:00 AM. Um, and out of all of this amazing, this amazing data set that they collected, which also included activity tracking and all this stuff, they were actually genetically able to parse out that only about 9% of people are really night owls.

Erik (00:48:21):
And one of the interesting things was like, okay, why is it that people that go to bed earlier and wake up earlier, have this lower risk of depression? And they traced it all back to, if you understand anything about circadian biology, the primary anchor for your circadian clock or what’s called the primary zeit giver or time giver is light. And people that wake up earlier are, and they go outside and get more natural exposure to light versus people that sleep in longer. And that kicks off a cascade of hormonal and neurological events that dramatically impacts your mood. So anyways, we kind of got off course there, but, um, I was trying to draw this line though. It’s really interesting that we’re seeing this decline in how much sleep people are getting and we’re seeing this increase in the dementia cases and it’s doubling every five years.

Erik (00:49:22):
And they expect by 2060 that 14 million people are gonna have this disease. Well, if we now understand that the glymphatic system is operating its sleep during, when you sleep at night, and this is when all this metabolic junk is getting flushed out. If you occlude this process by not getting enough sleep, what are you doing? You’re packing in this amyloid beta. Hmm. And so if we’re chronically getting less and less and less sleep as a society, and we’re seeing more and more and more of these neurodegenerative diseases, I’m not saying it’s causation, but there’s some interesting data there to start pointing to the fact that our lack of sleep is impacting our brain health. So I, I just, I just started doing, digging a lot on this subject and I was like, wait a second. People were sleeping this much in the, in the early 19 hundreds and there were lower, you know, and then it started, you know, went, oh my gosh, this is, this is kind of an interesting trend we’re seeing.

Brad (00:50:18):
Is there any, um, contention on the stats where, because our life expectancy is we’re living longer and is that part of the reason for the increase? Or is this a straight up age adjusted,

Erik (00:50:32):
Age adjusted people older than 65?

Brad (00:50:35):
Right? So that’s highly disturbing that we’re, we’re seeing the graph spike up and, uh, double every five years, you said.

Erik (00:50:43):
Yeah, that’s what’s going on right now. I we’re also seeing, you know, an alarming increase in mental health issues, which can be, there’s a a number of factors that could be leading to that, but I think it’s something for us to pay attention to. Definitely want to be doing the things that are within our control exercise. We know now how aerobic exercise impacts brain health with BD and F and different things like that. Getting enough sleep. Um, but I’m interested to see where the, the research goes, but they’re just like, why wait on the papers? Do the things that are healthy for you. Right?

Brad (00:51:21):
Yeah. I think, um, Dr. Doug McGuff, author of Body by Science, former podcast guest, he says, look, um, in 20 years the science will all come around to reveal this. I think we were talking about the, you know, the need to ditch processed foods and embrace the ancestral eating pattern of, um, you know, wholesome healthy, nutritious foods and, and a, you know, broad spectrum of including animal foods that sometimes are maligned. And, he said, in 20 years it’s all gonna be proven, but I don’t, I don’t wanna wait that long. I don’t know about you. And it’s a pretty powerful insight because a lot of people seem to become entrenched in whatever it is, their, their camps, their belief systems, and the dogma and the clock is ticking meanwhile. So, you know, I’m in favor of experimenting and putting into action, um, you know, testing things out and seeing if you might be able to sleep better tonight by eliminating alcohol from your diet or whatever it is, and then make your own conclusion, regardless of what the science says. And we also know we have a lot of flawed science to navigate.

Erik (00:52:26):
A hundred percent. I couldn’t be in more agreeance with you and we and that fudge papers too.

Brad (00:52:33):
Yeah. to pile on one more, I think you’ll appreciate this referencing Tyson Gay and Veronica Campbell Brown. You know, I highly respect science and the people that are devoting their life’s work to the fields of exercise physiology and so forth. But I want to go knock on Tyson Gay’s door and find out what he’s doing when he runs the a hundred meters and 9.69. And that is going to not all, I would say trump or at least be on equal legitimacy to whatever scientific discovery we have we can find about training the, the human to run at high speed. And I think we kind of, you know, we, we discount that a lot. I remember some, uh, article about Usain Bolt where they referenced the number of times that he called himself lazy, or his coach called him lazy, uh, over his career.

Brad (00:53:25):
And then, uh, the, the, the person digging into this realizing that perhaps the average or the majority of sprinters have been extremely overtrained dating back to the sixties. And here’s a guy who knew how to take an off season and go out to the discos and, and be guest DJ and then come back and peak for these major events over and over, perhaps because he was inclined to not overdo it, but perhaps underdo it and need a little bit of goading from the coach. So maybe one of his success formulas was being quote unquote lazy, where it’s always seen as a denigration.

Erik (00:54:03):
I couldn’t agree more, especially in a sport like that where it’s very much a linear process. Uh, it’s not like a field-based sport or tennis or something where the repetition of reacting to an opponent, it’s pure output, right? Mixed with, with mixed with some technique. And if you’re trying to push the limits of a pure like shot putter, right? It’s a pure output. Once you kind of have the technique refined, it’s output output, output output. You don’t, like, if you’re constantly over volumizing somebody, you’re limiting their capacity to achieve new limits. And so yeah, it’s very, that’s a very wise perception on that.

Brad (00:54:44):
You also talked before I let you go, uh, one of the most important concerns about, um, preventing disease and aging gracefully is this concept of social isolation that we’re hearing more and more especially put into focus by the quarantine. But, um, I wonder how that fits into where we have a lot of people trying to, um, you know, hit the, hit the checkpoints with buying the right food and getting out there and exercising, but we’re becoming more and more isolated, driven by technology among other things.

Erik (00:55:19):
Yeah. There was actually a paper published by the British Psychological Society that was done. It was looking at people during pandemic lockdown periods, and they found that greater social connectedness during these periods, it was associated with less worry and fatigue, lower perceived levels of stress. Basically, it created a buffer by staying connected to humans created a buffer against poor, physical and mental health outcomes. And there was a paper I, we were talking about right before we got on here that just came outta the University of Kansas. And I want to, I wanna read this ’cause I don’t wanna screw this up. And it demonstrated that one meaningful conversation a day, boosts mood, lowers stress, and enhances social connectedness. So what’s a meaningful conversation? Simply, this is what the author said, simply catching up, joking around, listening to someone offering a sincere compliment, showing care, valuing someone’s opinion.

Erik (00:56:21):
Now here’s the interesting caveat. Face-to-face communication was significantly more effective than electronic forms. So DMs and texts just don’t count. We are designed for this human to human interaction, and when we don’t have it, we lose that buffer. And I would also say a caveat there is like actually listening to somebody, you know, and like, it’s a like offering a sincere compliment. When something is sincere, it means you’ve thought about it, right? Mm-hmm. It’s pure in attention showing care, like to show somebody care means that you’re thoughtfully thinking about somebody else. And I would add a personal flavor into this is like when you connect with somebody, try to take the spotlight off yourself and shine it on them and really try to do it from a standpoint of like love and tenderness and care. But yeah, this is, there’s, we have five pillars in AIM seven, sleep, exercise, mental fitness, nutrition and community.

Erik (00:57:27):
And the scientific literature’s becoming more and more clear that those five things are not only what lead to improved longevity, but they increase your capacity to adapt to stress. So you’re not always operating at this like burnout stage, right? Mm-hmm. You have more gas in the tank for the journey of life. And so a hundred percent I’m excited to see more scientific literature come out, but again, we don’t need that. There was actually, I will say this one, there was a paper that was really interesting. Have you heard of Bruce McKeown? Mm-hmm. You would love this guy. So Bruce McKeown really changed our perception in the world of science on stress and adaptation. He’s the one that came up with the terms allostasis and allostatic load. So allostasis is the, is the body trying to achieve stability through change or achieve homeostasis? Allostatic load is whenever you encounter a stressor or there is a cost to adaptation.

Erik (00:58:25):
Okay? So physical stress, relational stress, uh, get sick, whatever. There’s a, whenever you experience a stress, or it could be financial stress, there’s a cost of adaptation. There was a wonderful paper that was looking at the things that you can do to improve your ability to adapt to allostatic load. Going back to this community thing, I was just looking at my notes. It was 5,400 people over 18 years regularly attending different faith communities. So they didn’t say it was a certain faith, it was just faith communities, lowered allostatic load that a 55% reduction in all cause mortality, controlling for sociodemographic clinical and laboratory factors, the commonality between faith communities that people are usually kind of in close connectivity they’re meeting on a regular basis, right? So whatever your faith belief is, doesn’t matter. The point is, is like, it’s a pretty interesting study of like, like you talked about coming together on Thursday night to watch the show. Going back to our earliest part of the conversation that’s living in community.

Brad (00:59:35):
Like yeah, I was talking about the old days, people before the streaming entertainment and being, you know, isolated that, uh, we would have these social gatherings and we’d have to watch the show live on, on Thursday night. LA Law was a favorite one back LA Law in La <laugh>. And like, you know, there was no, there was no streaming back to the, the previous episode. If you missed Thursday night at 9:00 PM you were host. And so it was, um, you know, just a, a reflection of how different things are now where you can, uh, you know, sit in your bed with your mobile device and, and catch up on the, the previous four streaming episodes that you missed. And as you mentioned, pushing that bedtime back by an hour or two and screwing everything up the next day. But we’re, we’re inundated with, you know, the potential for distraction and isolation. I guess we should, we should admit

Erik (01:00:24):
No question. And I think it’s wonderful that people, you know, these different mediums like your podcast, right? Like you, people are coming together to listen to what you’re having to say. It’d also be great if people in your podcast community would connect with each other, you know, which makes

Brad (01:00:40):
Yeah. One of those conventions. Yeah,

Erik (01:00:41):
Yeah. Or just to, it just creates some, some type of connectivity around the message that you’re spreading, which is wonderful. And we have more ways to do this now with technology, but I think we need to take these digital relationships and turning them to IRL in real life, right? <laugh>, as long as it’s safe. You know, I’m not trying to say go meet people in these weird chat rooms, but you know what I’m talking about, like take digital from people in your community and if you or you’re in a community of people online that loves to go do Frisbee golf, why don’t you go do Frisbee golf together? Hmm.

Brad (01:01:13):
I mean that’s the original dream I think for the, the well-meaning scientist that invented this stuff is to create this tremendous source of connection. And, um, you know, I I love watching HighJump videos, but I even more enjoyed going to a meet and meeting another old man high jumper, uh, my man Eben, who, uh, is number one in the world right now in the 60 plus division. That’s, oh, eb, you know, that’s, yeah, it’s, um, it, it’s really cool to, to mix and match and use the power of technology to, I guess, you know, the, the, the dating apps and the online dating is a huge industry and it’s wonderful in so many ways to make these connections, but, um, I think the whole point is like to have a physical experience once you sort through the swiping and the prospects, it’s like, Hey, let’s meet at Starbucks. Let’s quit chatting back and forth and get it over with, you know? Yeah,

Erik (01:02:05):
Absolutely. Absolutely.

Brad (01:02:07):
So, uh, all these areas that we discussed are rolled into AIM seven. Maybe you should, um, plug this, this technology and how, how people can learn more and especially if they’re already in the wearable scene, how to optimize the use of such, uh, such data that they’re getting already.

Erik (01:02:27):
Well, I appreciate that. Yeah, if you have an Apple watch or a garment or anything like that ordering, we’re, we’re taking that data and we just make it useful and actionable for, like I said before, your mind, body and recovery. So your body, we talked about that fluid periodization stuff earlier. We make that very accessible. We built this app for busy people that don’t have time for downloading spreadsheets and going through the data. It’s like, what do I do today for my body? For your mind it could be like, oh, we noticed that your stress is high. Maybe your mood’s off will push you the type of breath work tool that you need in the moment or that gratitude thing that you need right now. T`he average person in their first 30 days using AIM seven has about a 31% reduction in perceived stress.

Erik (01:03:10):
They do 38% more workouts. They’re 19% less sore, they sleep better, their motivation’s better. There’s a lot of things that we’ve built in this app. We went out and got some of the best performance psychologists in the world to help us. We use this medium to help people pursue very long-term goals for their health. And we have a really cool process that we take people through. So the first month you’ll get four zoom calls with me and my team. This doesn’t cost much. It’s $15 a month. And so there’s a real, we’re not in the app store, it’s private beta, which means you have to sign up online, we’ll put you into a cohort, we start ’em every few weeks and, um, and then you’ll come in with a group of 50, a hundred, 200 people and then we’ll have these Zoom calls.

Erik (01:03:56):
We’ll take you through this process. And right now a top tier app in the app store, you get about a 30% daily active user rate. That means somebody’s gonna use your app. 30, 30% of a hundred people will use it every day. Over 75% of people using the app are using it every single day because it’s adding that much value. So it’s kind of a culmination of the work of a lot of people that are like, you know what, let’s take this stuff for that elite athletes we’re using and let’s make it accessible to anybody with a wearable device.

Brad (01:04:30):
Fantastic. What, what a pitch, man. I’m <laugh>, I’m in. Well, thanks. I love it. I’m gonna have to dust off my Garmin golf watch, which I only wear for golf, but I gotta, I gotta bring it into my life a little more. Uh, thanks. Well, you got

Erik (01:04:42):
Free membership, you got a free membership <laugh>, you

Brad (01:04:45):
Know, I appreciate you and, uh, your amazing work, especially, you know, bringing that experience with the, the elite performers of the world and then creating some way to share it with the masses. I think that’s what, uh, one of the best, you know, um, contributions that the top athletes have is they’re showing us what’s possible and then somehow we have to adapt that into our experience. So Aim7, having, having that aim is wonderful. And, uh, maybe we’ll get you on the show sometime in the future. We’ll have fresh topics to discuss ’cause um, very, very interesting insights.

Erik (01:05:18):
Well, thank you so much. I appreciate it and I would love to come back.

Brad (01:05:21):
Alright, Dr. Erik Korem, people go look at aim seven. We’ll have a bunch of links in the show notes. Thank you for listening.

Brad (01:05:30):
Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad Podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email podcast@bradventures.com and visit brad kearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to, to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.




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