Great questions from listeners in this Q&A show, including the subtle and natural taste of B.rad Superfuel versus most ultra-sweet proteins, walking barefoot safely, if I can really “sprint” for 30,40,50 seconds? (no! that’s a HIIT session), are sleep requirements genetic? (yes—hear more in my show about sleep with RiseScience founder Jeff Kahn) and tips for custom designing a sensible cold therapy routine.

I also talk about how Australia boasts 10% of our audience (guessing it’s probably because they love outdoor, active lifestyles), recommend blood tests for peak performers to strive for way better than today’s pathetic “normal”, and talk about if competitive mindsets are genetic or trainable (both!) and how to cultivate pure motivation as a triathlete by referencing my book, How To Improve Your (Triathlon) Time.

Finally, I talk about the Blue Zones documentary—the inaccuracy of the cherry-picked and misrepresented “plant-based” attribute (Blue Zones eat well-sourced animal products), the real secret to Blue Zones longevity (such as extensive movement and strong social connections), whether or not I am completely honest about my own health and fitness journey, and if I’m willing to change my mind in regards to health information (if you’ve been listening to me for a while, you can guess this answer easily!). 


Kenny wants to share his enthusiasm for B.rad’s Whey Protein, even though at first, he thought the taste too bland. You want to be careful when reading labels. “natural flavoring” or “natural flavors” is code word for chemicals.  [00:48]

Are Peluvas superior to barefoot for making structural changes faster? [05:14]

Aberdeen Shire Guitar Teacher asks: How long should you sprint to achieve the health benefits? A true sprint is anything that’s eight seconds or less in duration. [08:56]

David Gifford works hard and really needs his sleep. How does that work with a spouse who is the opposite? [18:52]

On YouTube, Red Eye asks about cold therapy sessions and the Shiver Protocol. [21:44] 

Alan Placencia from Australia wants input on blood tests. Getting a fasting insulin number is very important. The triglycerides to HDL ratio is also important. [25:32]

Male hormone panels indicate how you compare for your age group. Unfortunately, there has been a steady decline in the average male testosterone level. {[31:30]

James Hall asks to what extent do you reckon that mindset and mentality is genetic versus what is learned and trainable? [34:07]

Alistair Henderson talks about Brad’s Triathlon book and about the Blue Zone, the long living peoples around the world that have an active, energetic lifestyle [36:31]

Free Speech Joe commented on Apple Podcasts that he appreciates Brad’s style of honesty and flexibility. [41:24]



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!

Check out each of these companies because they are absolutely awesome or they wouldn’t occupy this revered space. Seriously, I won’t promote anything that I don’t absolutely love and use in daily life:

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  • GAINSWave: Enhance sexual function with high-frequency shockwave therapy. Buy 6 and get one treatment free with code: BRAD
  • Schwank Grills: Portable gas infrared grills for the juiciest steak you’ve ever had! Cooks in minutes at 1500 degree heat. Save $150 with code BRAD150. 
  • Wild Health: Comprehensive online health consultation with blood and DNA testing, personal coaching and precision medicine. Get things dialed in! Use discount code BRAD20 for 20% off!
  • Plunge: Sensational custom-designed home cold plunge with filtered, circulating water, custom temperature setting, and sleek design. Save $150 with code BRAD. Also enroll in my Cold Plunge online course!
  • B.rad Whey + Creatine Superfuel: Premium quality, all-natural supplement for peak performance, recovery, and longevity. New Cocoa Bean flavor!
  • Online educational courses: Numerous great offerings for an immersive home-study educational experience
  • Primal Fitness Expert Certification: The most comprehensive online course on all aspects of traditional fitness programming and a total immersion fitness lifestyle. Save 25% on tuition with code BRAD!
  • Male Optimization Formula with Organs (MOFO): Optimize testosterone naturally with 100% grassfed animal organ supplement

Brad’s Favorites on Amazon

I have a newly organized shopping experience at BradKearns.com/Shop. Visit here and you can navigate to my B.rad Nutrition products (for direct order or Amazon order), my library of online multimedia educational courses, great discounts from my affiliate favorites, and my recommended health and fitness products on Amazon.

B.Rad Podcast:

Brad (00:00):
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 be B.rad

Brad (00:38):
If you try to demand that your body, uh, deliver an all-out effort for longer than 20 seconds, you are going to go.

Brad (00:48):
Hey, hey, Okie dokey. Let’s do some Q and A. Kenny Schlegel writes in, mentioning his previous message and the positive impact. I felt changing my diet to more meat-based as promoted on your podcast. As I went through unexpected ankle and knee surgery, I also decided to try your Super Fuel. And guess what? The first bag I thought the taste was very bland compared to the other proteins I’ve used like j Robb. It did mix well, and I also liked the concept of creatine.Now, as I continue to use it, I realize my taste buds are changing. And now I appreciate the mild flavor of your Whey Super Fuel, exactly what my taste buds crave. Thanks again for putting a winning product in the market. Thanks for teeing me up, Kenny, because yes, indeed, when we were doing the extensive research and development to get the very best protein. And I also want to deliver the cleanest protein on the market because the many that I had purchased over the years are typically containing ingredients that I don’t approve of, including the term quote, natural flavoring or natural flavors. This is code word for chemicals.

Brad (02:03):
The rules and guidelines for use of the term natural flavors allows for using agents that are 80 to 90% chemical, but contain a derivative of whatever natural flavor they’re talking about, like natural orange flavor or natural vanilla flavor. Um, this is really disappointing to me because it’s those chemicals, preservatives, additives, and things that mess with your metabolism. Listen to my shows with Jay Feldman, where he talks about the digestive tract releasing endotoxin into the bloodstream. Endotoxin is known as lipopolysaccharide, and this is an unwanted agent that can interfere with digestion and metabolism. So when you’re consuming a lot of heavily processed foods, including heavily processed and flavored and sweetened, uh, nutritional supplements, it can be an overall bad deal. So with this Whey Protein Super Fuel, I really want it to be naturally flavored and sweetened only.

Brad (03:09):
So you see a few grams of sugar, organic sugar and Madagascar vanilla, pure Madagascar Vanilla is the only way that we sweeten the vanilla. And with cocoa, we have a little bit of stevia and real cocoa from source to origin. So it’s, uh, the most minimal, uh, uh, offense possible when it comes to how to flavor and sweeten our products. So look on labels and when you see natural flavors run screaming because it’s a a chemical flavoring process. And, uh, I got one, uh, objection or concerned, uh, user said, Hey, Brad, why is there sugar in your product? Most proteins don’t have sugar. That’s right. ’cause they have things like artificial sweeteners and chemical flavorings. So a little bit of sugar ain’t gonna hurt anybody, and it’s vastly easier to digest and assimilate than the chemicals. So, secondly with Kenny’s comment that this is a comparatively bland taste compared to the caramel candy birthday cake and all the other crazy flavors that you see on protein jugs.

Brad (04:26):
And if that’s your game and you want something disgustingly sweet and artificial to choke down, or maybe it’s even palatable because it’s so sweet, but I’m going to, uh, take the highest standard possible when we’re talking about B.rad Super Fuel, as well as the other products that we’re rolling out shortly. Whether or not they align with the American taste buds, I’m hoping that there’ll be more people like Kenny who acclimate to the more mild taste in comparison to the over the top vanilla and chocolate products that are out there.

Brad (04:57):
The next question. And we are also now repurposing questions and comments from YouTube videos. So thank you so much for commenting on YouTube. It’s difficult to answer directly, but I’ll try to get to as many of these as possible on the q and a shows.

Brad (05:14):
And this is from Jay Fed, and he says, can Peluvas be superior to barefoot for making structural changes faster? If you’ve been living under a rock and you don’t realize that Peluva is the exciting new, minimalist five toe footwear company, launched by my man Mark Sisson and his son Kyle, and I’m so excited to be involved and a part owner and promote what’s the best piece of footwear that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Particularly because it has that individual articulation of the five toes to allow the foot for optimal functionality in a barefoot-like experience. Unlike any other minimalist shoe where the toes are encased into a single toe box, you inhibit the independent articulation of the toes, which is so important for them to be able to move freely and independently on multiple planes. So, the big toe rising off the ground, indirectly or in, not in sync with the other toes because it needs to do so.

Brad (06:17):
And same with pushing off and maybe, uh, the middle toe or the, the baby toe is gonna need to articulate differently when you’re stepping over an obstacle or an uneven surface. So we want all toes engaged. Uh, it’s the difference between a glove and a mitten. So imagine putting on snow chains in the snow, uh, through the use of gloves versus mittens. You’re much more dexterous with all your fingers separated. And the same is true for your feet and the articulated toe. So if you want the most authentic barefoot like experience, you are obligated to find footwear that has the articulated toes, and Peluvais, your best choice there. So, um, JFA is asking, are, are these gonna be better than bare feet to help me with my toe splay toe splay is the spreading of the toes at impact, the spreading of the toes wide to absorb impact and balance moving body weight optimally.

Brad (07:18):
I can walk miles and miles barefoot without pain, but I can’t consciously, I’m still working on my toes play, or a perva is going to force this happening in a good way. I would say the answer is no. I mean, your, your bare feet are going to be the most unencumbered of anything. And so the purpose of wearing the Peluvas instead of bare feet is simply for protection. But if you have a safe venue to walk for miles and miles as you report, such as let’s say, uh, a a a beach environment, you’re walking on sand or you’re walking on hard pack sand, uh, of course the ideal is gonna be barefoot. Same with in the home or on in an AstroTurf field or something where you’re certain that there’s not gonna be a a stray bottle cap or strand of glass.

Brad (08:06):
But the Peluvas are there for the wide variety of modern surfaces where you’re gonna want some protection. And one of them might be the extremely hard artificial surfaces such as concrete pavement and indoor surfaces, as Mark Sisson makes the point. You know, our ancestors were barefoot all the time, but guess what? They weren’t walking on sidewalks or marble floors. They were walking on packed Savannah, uh, packed grass in the African Savannah. They were walking on the beaches. They were walking on soft, forgiving surfaces more so than a bunch of hard stuff. So, the padding in the Peluvas, the ideal nine millimeter padding in the strand model is what gives you that protection that you need if you’re gonna walk miles for mile miles and miles on something like, a sidewalk.

Brad (08:56):
Aberdeen Shire guitar teacher is the screen name, and he or she commented on my video about sprinting. How long should you sprint to achieve the health benefits? What happens if you sprint for 30, 40 or 50 seconds? Does it turn more into running than sprinting and do you lose benefits? So when I use the term sprint, I’m trying to adhere to a narrow definition of near all-out effort for a very short duration. And I’ve talked a lot on shows dedicated to sprinting, where I recommend this sweet spot of between 10 and 20 seconds to perform true all-out sprints. And that’s not even accurate because, actually the human can only sprint at maximum intensity for around seven to eight seconds. That’s how much energy we have contained already in the cell in the form of pure ATP. So it’s called the ATP creatine phosphate system where we can explode for around seven seconds, maximum effort. And at that point, the cellular energy becomes exhausted, and then we have to go intogttg . deriving ATP from glucose metabolism, glycolytic exercise, and then over into fat-burning when we’re going for longer than just a few minutes.

Brad (10:18):
So a true sprint is anything that’s eight seconds or less in duration. For example, picking up a bar off the ground for a single rep would be a quote unquote sprint effort or doing three to four kettlebell swings with as maximum explosiveness. These are pure sprint efforts or running whatever that might mean for you. 30 meters, 40 meters, 50 meters, that’s a sprint. Now, when I say 10 to 20 seconds for a sprint workout, this is allowing you to get some conditioning effects and go near all out for 10 to 20 seconds, but not, literally all out at the biochemical level. But when you’re doing 10 or 10 to 20 second range of sprints, and I’m gonna say, on the low end for running sprints on flat ground, and on the high end, you can do 20 second sprints, for example, on low or no impact, such as sprinting upstairs, sprinting up a hill, or sprinting on a stationary bike, or an elliptical or rowing machine where it takes a little time to get going.

Brad (11:24):
And also the impact trauma is minimized. So you can extend out to a 20 second really hard effort, quote unquote, really hard effort, rather than a literal sprint. But I’m gonna use the term sprinting on up to about 20 seconds. Now, when you try to sprint for longer than 20 seconds as detailed by the wonderful article called HIIT versus HIRT by Dr. Craig Marker, and he discussed in detail on our podcast interview. So please search for that show with Dr. Craig Marker. If you try to demand that your body deliver an all-out effort for longer than 20 seconds, you are going to go into cellular combustion mode because of the demand is so great, you’re gonna feel the lactic acid accumulate in your muscles. And the extreme burn in the extreme pain for anyone who’s raced the 400 meters on the track knows what that feels like.

Brad (12:19):
They call it a piano climbing on your back or a bear jumping on your back in that final home straightaway. But what’s happening internally is a disassembling and deamination of cellular proteins. You are literally burning down the, a-frames the cellular structure in your muscle cells to fuel the demand for this maximum effort. So in plain speak, if you try to go all out for longer than 20 seconds, you are going to suffer a lot of cellular breakdown and cellular fatigue and exhaustion requiring extended recovering time, and also putting you at increased risk of injury because of the extreme nature of the effort. That’s why we want to limit our true sprint efforts to a maximum of 20 seconds and also engage or indulge luxurious rest intervals. That’s a quote from Dr. Marker, such that if you’re doing a workout that entails six times, 20 seconds of all out sprints or six times 10 seconds, uh, all out running sprints, you’re gonna wanna rest for at least a six to one rest to work ratio.

Brad (13:34):
So if you sprint for 10 seconds, you’re gonna rest for a minute. If you sprint for 20 seconds, you’re gonna rest for two minutes. And that allows you to deliver a consistent quality of effort on every rep whereby you’re turning in a similar performance standard. If you’re timing yourself running across the field, or you are looking at calibrated exercise machines that tell you how far you’ve rode in 20 seconds, you want to hit a similar performance standard and a similar perceived degree of difficulty. So you don’t want to be suffering and struggling at the latter stages of your set of sprints. That’s not the point of a true sprint session. You wanna be explosive, you wanna be powerful, you want to have precise technique, and you want to cut the session short if you notice that decline in performance and also take enough rest where you can come and, uh, throw down again.

Brad (14:30):
And as I got into in detail with Lion Martinez during our podcast interview, truly competitive sprinters such as he, the world record holder in the masters track and field, a hundred meters are actually going to rest for significantly longer than even the luxurious six to one ratio. So if you are a true sprinter working in a track and field practice, Lion suggests sprinting a minute for every 10 meter sprinted. So if you’re doing just short sprints of 50 meters, half a straightaway, you are chartered to rest for five minutes if you’re really turning out explosive performance. And that gives you a chance for the cellular ATP creatine phosphate system to rejuvenate. It takes quite some time, but then you can be truly explosive and powerful if you indulge in really long rest periods. But for the general audience that wants to integrate sprint sprinting into an overall fitness program, not super serious and competitive, and trying to beat their race times a six to one ratio is suitable to deliver a near maximum effort for between 10 to 20 seconds.

Brad (15:38):
And as a guitar teacher asks, what happens when you, quote unquote sprint for 30, 40, 50 seconds, do you lose the benefits? You’re just kind of bringing in the training of different energy systems. So you’re training the glycolytic system, uh, when you’re trying to go hard for 30, 40 or 50 seconds. And of course, you can derive tremendous fitness benefits from doing any sort of high intensity exercise, even if you have a haphazard approach. But you are going to want to allow for longer recovery period, and perhaps consider segmenting your high intensity workouts, sensibly so you don’t fall into that pattern of doing overly stressful HIIT workouts. That stands for high intensity interval training. And this is the very popular protocol that you see in the fitness clubs and the organized coached workouts where people are doing, uh, repeat efforts, perhaps lasting 30, 40, 50 seconds or a minute, resting for a shorter period, uh, maybe doing a 30 second sprint, 30 secondrest, 30 second sprint, 30 second rest.

Brad (16:44):
So I would object to using sprint in that terminology. And that’s simply a high intensity interval training session. So just be wary and err on the conservative side, because often those HIIT sessions can be too stressful, especially for people that aren’t, uh, really elite performers. A little goes a long way, and you’ve probably heard of the Tabata workout protocol, which is a 20 second hard effort, followed by ten second recovery, followed by another 20 secondhard effort, followed by 10 second recovery. And a lot of the group exercise classes, the boot camps, the step classes, the things you see at the gym are patterned after Tabata. You might see the word Tabata written on the whiteboard for the nine o’clock class. But the true intent of the creators of this protocol in Japan, Dr. Tabata, namely and others involved in creating the protocol that was delivered with great success to speed skaters.

Brad (17:42):
And that’s why it gained global prominence for athletic training. Uh, the intent was the Tabata is only supposed to last for four minutes. So if you’re heading into the classroom at gym and doing a Tabata class for an hour where you’re doing repeat 20 second work effort, ten second rest, 20 second work effort, ten second rest, and then you switch from steps to doing the dumbbells back and forth, and you’re going on and on for a long duration class, this is sort of a bastardization of the Tabata protocol. So what Tabata asks for is a true maximum effort of 20 seconds, very little rest, another maximum effort of 20 seconds to the extent that you can only last for four minutes. And this was for elite athletes to do a four minute Tabata session and generate massive fitness benefits from such a short duration workout. So be careful when you’re extending out with hard efforts going 30, 40, 50 seconds. Make sure you rest a lot or do the workouts infrequently, and they don’t last, uh, very long overall.

Brad (18:52):
David Gifford writes in he’s talking about my comments about needing a lot of sleep that I shared in one of the episodes, and David says, I feel you, man. I’m either full on or full off, and that doesn’t jive with most of the world. And I work on a pipeline, and after four hours of hard work on the pipeline, I desperately need a nap, but I can’t take one. I’d be fired if I got caught. Now, around 8:30 PM guess what happens? Um, I am, uh, starting to feel the need, uh, to go to bed and I’m out for whatever’s going on. And without fail, my wife exclaims with some version of, “you’re going to bed?”

Brad (19:34):
And if I could bet on that exclamation coming from her, I’d be a wealthy man. So he’s just sharing that, the same sentiment I said that, you know, when the clock strikes 10, I turn into the pumpkin like Cinderella, and I’m just done for the world. My eyes glaze over and I need to get down for my optimal sleeping duration is around nine hours. I would say at least nine hours, sometimes more around hard training sessions. And very infrequently do I feel fantastic on the highly prescribed and recommended eight hours of sleep. So it’s clear that this is highly genetic. And that’s the next comment from David. He says, my wife is the exact opposite. She’s the Energizer bunny all day long, even if she’s in pain with an illness or a physical malady, whatever it is. I just don’t understand, but we’re totally different.

Brad (20:28):
And I said the same about my wife Mia Moore. She can get by on extremely minimal sleep in comparison to me. And that’s just the way it is. I’ve been sort of been frustrated about it in the background my whole life, wondering why I needed so much sleep, especially when I was an athlete. I was just sleepy and tired all the time. I slept for 10 hours every night and two hour nap every day when I was a pro triathlete. So for that decade of my life, I was literally asleep for half of the time that I was a triathlete, and that’s what worked for me. I don’t think it’s pure wimp factor. I think it’s just, uh, that’s, that’s how it goes. And there’s all that genetic variation. I was just having a conversation with my son in grad school who had some prolonged illnesses and some fallout from COVID and having a recurrence and just couldn’t get his health together.

Brad (21:19):
He had digestive problems. And now thankfully, he’s reporting that he feels great, and he says, you know, I think it really comes down to sleep for me and that I need nine hours a night. So here’s a youth at age, 26 in his prime, and he’s figured out that he needs a ton of sleep. And I said, okay, man, welcome to the club. And another, validation that there’s a lot of genetic influence here.

Brad (21:44):
Here comes a commenter on YouTube called Red Eye and he’s talking about his cold therapy session where he goes in for five minutes, gets out and stands next to the plunge outdoors, and, just dripping wet, not drying off. Uh, and then until he, uh, starts shivering and then he gets back in for five minutes, gets back out, and this is known as the Shiver Protocol, promoted by Dr. Suzanne Shoberg. I believe she came up with the shiver protocol as a way to stimulate brown fat activation. And that’s all fine and dandy. But one thing I wanna comment in general on therapeutic cold exposure is like anything that gets super popular, I feel some sense that insights are being taken outta context. And I’m very careful to not want to turn this into a macho contest. So I want everyone to figure out a cold protocol that feels comfortable for them. And that might be something as simple as turning the shower handle to cold for the final 30 seconds of your shower and maybe working up to a minute or two of cold shower. And if you super get super enthusiastic about it and want to acquire a unit someday, or find a health club facility where you can get into some real fun cold plunging that’s wonderful.

Brad (23:09):
But, uh, a little bit of discomfort is what delivers the hormonal and, um, cognitive boost. And so you don’t have to suffer and struggle and feel like you have to hit these arbitrary standards. And even the highly respected experts like Dr. Huberman saying 12 minutes a week is the optimal protocol as referenced by scientific research. That’s all fine and dandy, but if that doesn’t feel right to you or you’re not there at that point, uh, yet, maybe it’s something you can strive for if you’re interested. But I’m in favor of personalizing all these things and not feeling the pressure and the intimidation of having to line up to a quantifiable benefits from hitting certain standards. Same with training for running. And everyone has talked for decades about, uh, you need to get your mileage up to 50 miles a week if you wanna have a good marathon.

Brad (24:05):
And it’s utter nonsense because there’s so many other important variables. And yes, you want to prepare for your goal, uh, aspirations, whether it’s the long hike this summer, or an actual marathon, or any other type of endurance event or any other type of explosive power speed performance event, like a CrossFit type of experience. But you wanna do it in a manner that feels intuitively comfortable to you, rather than doggedly pursuing some regimented protocol because you heard about it in a book podcast, YouTube or some expert recommended it. And speaking of, uh, doing cold therapy the right way, I would love for you to enroll in my comprehensive course. I believe it’s the most extensive course of its kind available in the world. It’s called Take the Cold Plunge, and it’s right there on the homepage@bradkearns.com. You can email podcast@bradventures.com and we’ll give you a discount code ’cause you listened and ’cause you’re interested, and you’ll access the learning portal with a fantastic ebook with all the benefits and step-by-step instructions for how to get started in cold therapy, as well as, uh, dozens of videos helping you with all the different, uh, open water using a cold unit like my wonderful cold plunge tub, or using cold shower, all the different protocols.

Brad (25:32):
Okay, next. Alan Placencia from Aussie Land says, good day, Brad. I love your work. I’m a long time follower. I’m one of the 10% of your listeners that are Australian. Not sure why you have so many followers from Australia. We just love getting out and about outdoors and being active. So your message really does speak to me, at least Australia punches well above its weight in many sports on the world stage. Need I remind you about the Aussies that were in your days dominating professional triathlon, but I digress as the Aussie. What he really wants is some input on blood tests, in particular, the most important things to test for. I’m a senior citizen, midway through my sixth decade, had a prostatectomy, 16 years ago, so he gets regular blood tests. Maybe you could throw out some suggestions. And also p ps what about the rapping mate?

Brad (26:25):
What happened to the rapping? I used to love it. You know how people dance as if no one’s watching. Well, I reckon that you rap like no one’s listening. And I, he’s referring particularly to my penchant on the early Primal Endurance podcast episodes to start out with a little rap music. And so, with that inspiration, I might have to get right back into it, Alan, it’s been a while. His souls escape and through this hole that is gaping, the world is mine for the taken make me king as we move toward a new world order. A normal life is born, but [inaudible] coast to postmortem as some M and M and them wants recommendations on blood tests. So of course, you wanna start out with what we call in America, the complete blood count. And not that I’m an expert, but when I review my test results and other people’s, clearly you wanna look for things that are outside of the normal range and do some further investigation.

Brad (27:24):
Now there’s important metabolic factors that are tracking for the most prominent, uh, diseases of modern times, which is hyperinsulinemia insulin resistance metabolic syndrome. So you wanna be checking for your fasting blood glucose, your hemoglobin A1C always, otherwise written as HB A1C, and that’s your estimated average blood glucose levels over a longer time period since, again, your fasting glucose is only a snapshot in time. Also, very important to request and go out of your way to add to the blood tests. The unusual and rarely ordered fasting insulin levels. Dr. Paul Saladino exclaims that this is the single most important factor to track metabolic disease risk factors, but it’s rarely ordered on standard tests. The fasting insulin, you want to be desperately under 15 right away, otherwise you’re a big metabolic problem. Ideal would be under five, and, you know, under under five would be excellent or ideal.

Brad (28:27):
So get that fasting insulin number. And then also as recommended by many experts, including my podcast guests like Dr. Ron Sinha, Dr. Cate Shanahan, and Dr. Saladino, they contend that the most valuable heart disease, risk factor to track is triglycerides to HDL ratio, triglycerides to HDL ratio, ideally or urgently, you want to be under 3.5 to one. Ideally, you want to be one to one or better. You also want to see your HDL at least over 40. And, uh, Dr. Sinha urges us to strive for triglyceride level under 100. Mainstream medical practitioners will wanna see you under one 50 with your triglycerides, but remember, we’re talking about norms and comparisons to the fattest sickest population in the history of the human race. So we don’t want to be anywhere congratulating ourselves for being in the normal range. So if your triglycerides are 137 and your doctor comes back into the room and says, well, I got your, your blood results, everything’s fine, everything’s normal.

Brad (29:43):
We wanna strive for very, very much beyond normal and into the superior category, especially for the hormone panels like testosterone that I talk about so much. So with triglycerides, strive to get under a hundred and strive to get that HDL up and well over 40, and then that one-to-one goal. So perhaps you can get your HDL up to 75 and get your triglycerides down to 75. That’s looking really good. There’s a prominent inflammatory marker, a way to, to look for systemic inflammation in the body, which is a sign of chronic disease or dysfunction, and that’s high sensitivity. C-reactive protein, also known as c-reactive protein, or written as H-S-C-R-P. And you want that c-reactive protein to be very low, under one or under under one or under two. And if it’s coming in at a six or a 16 or a 36 or something like that, that’s when you gotta go looking further for what’s going on in your body to make up a state of system-wide inflammation.

Brad (30:52):
If you wanna get thyroid panels of your complaining of fatigue or poor recovery or cold extremities, symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, um, you can get into those. But these numbers are very nuanced and often poorly interpreted by mainstream physicians. So I direct you over to my interview with l Russ and the content that she puts out on the Elle Russ Show and in her bestselling book, the Paleo Thyroid Solution, where she talks about going deep into, um, the many thyroid numbers that are on your blood report and making sure that they are optimized rather than just normal.

Brad (31:30):
I’m a huge fan of tracking your male hormone panels, which would be serum testosterone or total testosterone, free testosterone, and also sex hormone binding globulin. And again, we wanna strive to be way high up above the normal range for our age group. And the general range for a total testosterone for males is 200 to 900, something like that. It used to be 300 to 1200, and they get this in 2017. They, the powers that be, lowered the healthy normal range due to widespread and decades long steady decline in the average male testosterone level on the planet. And it’s believed to be strongly driven by the global obesity epidemic. So dudes that have bigger spare tires, in recent decades are gonna have that be directly compromising their testosterone levels. And, uh, why is testosterone important? It’s the essential male hormone. It’s for motivation, drive, social, social status hormone, a Ashley Merriman calls it, um, performance recovery. Um, and it’s also super important for females to have an optimal level of testosterone. It’s just that their testosterone levels are about 20 to one lower than males, but if they are low in this essential performance hormone, they’re gonna have some concerns and problems too.

Brad (33:09):
And females can test for their corresponding estrogen estradiol would be the, uh, the blood result and making sure that their female hormones are optimal. But that’s a quick look at some of the important blood panels. And once I see that my overall values are looking good, um, the thing that I focus on and test repeatedly over time are the male hormones, because those are very sensitive to your stress, rest balance in life. It is known that cortisol, the preeminent stress hormone directly antagonizes testosterone. So if you are under chronic stress, perhaps from a little bit overdoing it in training as I’ve been known to do, maybe your, um, uh, your sleep is not optimal or something’s missing from, you know, a complete report of health and vitality, it’s gonna be reflected in your serum testosterone level.

Brad (34:07):
Okay, James Hall, frequent commenter, has put up some great stuff for Q and A shows, and he asks what extent do you reckon that mindset and mentality is genetic versus what is learned and trainable? And he’s definitely referring to the application to the athletic realm. And it’s a really interesting question. I’d like all of us to reflect on that a bit. What percent of your competitive mindset and your mentality is genetic and what’s learned and trainable? Probably like many things. It’s not, uh, nature versus nurture, but it’s the harmonious balance between the two and how your, your general, uh, baseline disposition is brought into your environment. Um, so as I wrote on the lengthy, um, biography that you can read on brad kearns.com, I called it my Life story. And I talked about my competitive background going back to when I was just a little kid, and I decided to train for the Olympics at age seven.

Brad (35:09):
And I could tell I was, you know, extremely competitive and extremely serious about my athletic pursuits, more so than my academic ones. <laugh> as it turned out. Um, and that I believe was strongly innate because I grew up in an athletic family and had, uh, athletic peers. But this was a deep inner drive that I could clearly contend was a part of my basic genetic nature. Now, being thrust into highly competitive athletic environments allowed me to express this competitive nature and build upon it and hone it and embrace it, to the extent that might not have happened if I had grown up out on a cattle ranch in rural Wyoming. And my job at 5:30 AM was to milk 17 cows and then stack the hay bales, that might’ve dissipated, or that competitive intensity might’ve been directed to, uh, something entirely different than athletics. So certainly, when we study the great performers, uh, the, the great athletic legends, um, they always have, you know, a great peer influence and mentors and guides and opportunities to compete that allowed them to maximize the extent of their, uh, genetic attributes.

Brad (36:31):
Okay. Alistair Henderson writes in and says, guess what, Brad? I read your book Breakthrough Triathlon Training way back in 2006. I read it a few times. In subsequent years, I’ve now finished 112 triathlons and probably fitter than ever in my life. I still go back to your concept of cultivating a pure motivation when I need a reset. And that book has been comprehensively revised and updated and renamed and republished, on the title, How to Improve Your Triathlon Time. Get It, I have triathlon in parentheses on the cover. So it’s how to improve your time, how to improve your Triathlon Time, and that means enjoy yourself more and also go faster.

Brad (37:13):
And you can find that book on Amazon. I think you’ll really get a kick out of it, especially if you’re a triathlete, or endurance athlete, uh, of any kind. So, uh, James also wanted to ask me if I saw the documentary about the Secrets of the Blue Zones: Live to 100. Uh, he says, nothing revolutionary, but the activities of daily life, uh, is pretty much a compilation of micro workouts where they’re very busy throughout the day. The Blue Zones themselves cultivated this list of the Power Nine, and that was nine of their most favorite common attributes among the various populations that I identify, that they identified. And number one on the list was Move naturally. So, um, there’s a lot of critique and objections that I and others have with the Blue Zones data, but there’s also a lot of super awesome stuff.

Brad (38:03):
And at the top of the list is that the long living peoples around the world have a active, energetic lifestyle. So they’re not desk workers, and they are mainly a lot of identified in rural areas, living simple lives and the activity along with strong social connections. So they interact with one another. They have a true sense of community, and they’re on the move tending to their animals or walking to the central square to go have a cup of tea with their friends and then walk back home. And all that simplified stuff is really strongly predictive of longevity in contrast to our strongly sedentary, dominant modern lifestyles of the Western world and the processed foods and the lack of activity and the other matters that cause for an overly stressful and accelerated aging process.

Brad (39:02):
Now you might be, uh, coming across Blue Zone’s quotes and interviews and see this, uh, attention to what the, uh, researchers call a plant-based diet. And I appreciate how this has been strongly and aggressively refuted by Dr. Paul Saladino. He even went so far as to play a clip on one of his podcasts where he talked, uh, he, we listened to Blue Zone’s author Dan Butner, essentially admit that he kind of cherry picked the attribute of plant-based diet to focus on and promote to followers as a positive attribute. So that’s a really egregious, uh, misappropriation of the actual data. And the truth as Dr. Saladino cites with plenty of reference and study, is that well sourced animal foods are a centerpiece of virtually all the Blue Zone’scommunities. Um, and so it’s not anything, uh, that’s been, uh, spun into propaganda as you’ve seen, uh, with other, uh, documentaries with, I’ll put documentaries in quotes where, um, they’re brazenly breaking the rules of what a documentary is, which is to document, um, the truth and the facts and putting their own spin on it.

Brad (40:21):
Game Changers was also strongly, uh, torn apart by, uh, respected experts like Chris Kresser. You can watch him on Joe Rogan with his 78 page PowerPoint presentation, just torching just about everything that was spit out in that, unfortunately popular documentary. So we gotta zero in on the important takeaways from the Blue Zones and discard some of the quotes. Like, uh, one of ’em is adding a cup or two of beans to your diet each day can add years to your life. And another quote that I’m especially, um, annoyed by is Dan Butner saying, uh, it’s clear that the more meat you eat, the sooner you will die. Highly, highly irresponsible for a public figure with that level of following and popularity to talk like that without, um, substance or validation. So, Blue Zone folks move around a lot all day, and they have strong social connections, and that’s what helps you live a long time and long, healthy, happy life.

Brad (41:24):
Here’s a review from Free Speech Joe on YouTube. I follow lots of podcasts. Oh, no, this is from an actual review published to Apple Podcasts. So Free Speech. Joe, thank you so much. If you email us, we’ll send you a free gift of the new Macadamia magic product the new Nut butter fabulous re-release of, uh, one of the most healthy, nutritious, delicious snacks you’ll ever find in your life. But we really, really appreciate people who take the time to actually leave a review on Apple Podcasts or any other podcast player that you use, like Spotify, or I use Overcast, and it helps the show so much, gain the attention of other listeners. So I know it’s a hassle, but if you’re listening to Apple Podcasts, you can hit a couple buttons now. It’s easier than it used to be to write a review.

Brad (42:17):
Basically, you navigate to where you see the other reviews and you can punch the five stars up and then write a few comments and will be eternally grateful here. So Joe says, I follow a lot of podcasts. If I had to choose only one, it would be B.rad. He has a unique ability to gather information and summarize the key points with almost encyclopedic recall <laugh>. Well, okay, I also have notes in front of me, but hey, man, I’ll take the compliment. That’s super awesome. I love, he’s super honest. I will attest to that and direct you to my show about the Liver King steroid scandal, where I did a, uh, a recap of the 500 shows that I’ve published and, uh, admit that I have not embellished or misled, uh, the listening public in any way and I think it’s pretty ridiculous for anyone to say something that they don’t actually do in real life.

Brad (43:11):
So I’m not sitting here saying that I’m perfect and that I do this every single day without fail. And I never eat, uh, ice cream, uh, <laugh> or, or anything of the sort. So I’m trying to be as real and authentic as possible and also share with you my you know, thought recalibrations, the mistakes that I’ve made, and, uh, that includes, uh, what I often mention my injuries from training because I do feel like, um, it’s an indication that there’s a flaw with my approach and I need to go and dig deeper and restrain my competitive intensity further and get better and smarter about how I train my body, especially if I’m dispensing advice to other people about training. So, it’s do as I say, and do mostly as I do, but not always. ’cause sometimes I make mistakes and I definitely reserve the right to change my mind.

Brad (44:04):
So that’s really nice free speech, Joe, to say that I’m super honest and also that I stay flexible in what I’m learning. Finishing the review, for example, Brad hasn’t been afraid to share that he’s, uh, learning about learning that car restriction, fasting and so forth may not be as important as he once believed. And that openness and new viewpoint really helped me. He also brings on amazing guests like Jay Feldman and John Gray. Thanks for pointing out those two guys. Two of my favorites of all time Brad’s podcast have been very important in my physical and overall health. Oh man, people. Let’s end on a high note from Free Speech Joe exercising his right to free speech. I encourage you to do the same, leaving a review would be such a big help. And also, if you want to connect with us, uh, send your questions, comments, feedback. Send me an email to podcast@bradventures.com. Thank you so much for listening and watching to another edition of the B.rad Q and A show. 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 a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.



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