How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

How I Compared to Health Guru Ben Greenfield (And Why Everyone Needs to Visit the Human Garage)

I saw that Ben Greenfield (prominent health and fitness influencer and self-proclaimed biohacker) recently chanced upon a place I have been holding in my back pocket for several months, waiting for an opportune time to give it my full endorsement. The Human Garage, in beautiful Venice, California is the place of which I speak. Simply put, it’s the most holistic and bleeding-edge health center to improve your body alignment, biochemical wellbeing, energy, and mind. They have several modalities to accomplish this, along with the absolute best supplements one may find on earth. Basically, their standard for anything they do or sell to improve your health is an 11 out of 10.

I’ve gone through their full protocol of multiple sessions, along with a subclinical wellness test to better tailor their recommendations for me. My results are below, along with Ben Greenfield’s. The provider they use for the wellness analysis, QurEcology, is apparently one of the best, with extremely unforgiving and stringent gradings for the most relevant biomarkers ranging from digestion to inflammation to toxicity. If you’ve ever wondered if you have “adrenal fatigue,” this would be the best indication. Sure, you can just go off of how you feel, but why not get reliable data on your health. In God we trust, all else bring data.

Now, health is not a competition and this post title is admittedly a bit clickbaity, but I have very real lessons learned through comparing my results to someone like Ben Greenfield, such as:

  • Get tested. Get the data. Don’t assume anything.
  • Never give someone too much credit or worse, not give yourself enough credit.
  • Lifestyle takes its toll. Ben travels all over the world and has a packed schedule giving talks, training for long-distance endurance competitions, etc. That undoubtedly impacted his results.
  • Simple is better than complex. Ben has tried every biohacking tool under the sun, but that is majoring in minors. The majors being the basics of health (meditation, breathing, gratitude, love, nature, non-excessive exercise, and the rest of the stuff I beat you over the head with in this blog). I get caught up in the latest and greatest as is human nature to seek novelty, but discipline myself to execute on the 80/20 of health (and per below that has evidently paid off). Anything I do past that is whimsical and hopeful experimentation derived from my obsession with health.

If you have lingering back pain or neck pain, want to realign yourself to undo years of sitting and the 21st century sedentary lifestyle, or simply want to upgrade your mind and body through the most exquisite experience, I highly recommend you make the trip to Venice and visit Human Garage. They have a waiting list and all that jazz, so check in with them first.

Brian’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage (QurEcology Biochemical Wellness Analysis)

  • Green/good count: 8
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 6
  • Red/poor count: 0

Ben Greenfield’s biochemical lab results from the Human Garage

  • Green/good count: 1
  • Yellow/mediocre count: 7
  • Red/poor count: 6

If you’re reading this Ben, know that I would jump at the chance to learn from you, as I have done so in the past, along with your friend, old roommate and vacuum-vixen Brett.

The Total Cost Of Near-Perfect Health Without the Cooking, Shopping, and Work

The Total Cost Of Near-Perfect Health Without the Cooking, Shopping, and Work

How much does it really cost to eat as cleanly as possible without having to deal with extensive meal-prep, cooking, and shopping? If you could only pick the best, most impactful food choices and supplements, what would it run you? What’s the true cost of infinite laziness meeting perfect health? I was pleased to find that although it’s not a cheap date, it’s also not completely unrealistic. Like most things, there’s immense value in quantifying and defining exactly what you’re after – to live as healthfully as possible, on your terms, without exerting too many calories in the process (lame pun intended).

I’ve attached below the spreadsheet I encourage you to use and apply for yourself, along with a direct copy and paste of my inputs. To get the full measure of what your dream life costs, add in the rest of your living expenses (rent, travel, fun, etc.).

Plan instead of dream. Quantify don’t wonder. See it and achieve it.

Free Template/Download: Target Monthly Income

Website Item Monthly Consumption Quantity Unit Cost Total Cost
https://www.petespaleo.com Paleo Meal Delivery – 14 Meals 3.00 $249.00 $747.00
https://www.daily-harvest.com 6 smoothies a week 2.00 $48.00 $96.00
https://www.amplemeal.com 30 600 Calorie Bottles 0.17 $183.60 $30.60
https://thrivemarket.com/kettle-fire-beef-bone-broth Kettle & Fire Grass-Fed Beef Bone Broth 8.00 $8.99 $71.92
https://athleticgreens.com 30 servings 1.00 $87.00 $87.00
https://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Naturals-Ultimate-Omega-SoftGels/dp/B0739KKHWL/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1506282072&sr=1-1-spons&keywords=nordic%2Bnaturals&th=1 Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega SoftGels – 90 count 1.00 $31.50 $31.50
https://www.amazon.com/STRENGTH-TURMERIC-Bioperine-Anti-inflammatory-Anti-Aging/dp/B012OXMAMQ/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1506282478&sr=8-1&keywords=renew+actives+turmeric+curcumin DOUBLE STRENGTH TURMERIC + BLACK PEPPER Capsules! 2 Month Supply! 1300mg! Non-GMO Turmeric Curcumin w Bioperine. 0.50 $18.99 $9.50
https://www.amazon.com/Thorne-Research-Multi-Vitamin-M-High-Performance/dp/B01M5JLXQG/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1506282834&sr=1-2&keywords=thorne%2BMulti-Vitamin%2BElite&th=1 Multi-Vitamin Elite 0.50 $62.35 $31.18
https://cytodetox.com 180° Solution™ – CytoDetox® 0.08 $90.00 $7.50
Mixed Niacin Sauna Detox Supplement Package 0.08 $200.00 $16.67
Mixed Mixed 8 25 $200.00
Mixed Mixed 1 10 $10.00
https://www.amazon.com/Green-Blacks-Organic-Chocolate-Cacao/dp/B00GDIMCPY/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1506296246&sr=8-1&keywords=dark+chocolate+organic 85% Dark Chocolate 1 27.99 $27.99
Coffee, Tea, Kombucha 15 3 $45.00
Nutrition Subtotal $1,411.85
Mixed Mixed 1 30 $30.00
Membership 1.00 $220.00 $220.00
http://www.humangarage.net Tune Up 0.33 $300.00 $100.00
Cleaning 0.33 $180.00 $60.00
Premium 1.00 $480.00 $480.00
HEALTH TOTAL $2,301.85

Exercise / Fitness – Elite Tips

  • Do sprints and moderate cardio 4 mins on both for optimal mitochondria
  • Acyo yoga: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNH4S22Ijao
  • Workout training should prevent injuries not cause them. Avoid exercise that force you to roll and stretch and that damage you. Avoid explosive and do slow and controlled lifts for added safety.
  • Fitness motivation
    • Look at picture of body you want
    • Self affirmations: I got this
    • Partner, social accountability
  • https://www.gymnasticbodies.com for great stretching and gymnastics exercises to counteract sitting and normal life. Feel great.
  • Can decrease rest period and increase intensity for better hormonal response (not ideal for strength gains but efficient).
  • V02 max optimizing: 4 minute X 4 times once every week or two.
  • Get BDNF from aerobics which help grow new neurons.
  • Most efficient all around health workout protocol:
    • 5 4 min exertion with 4 min rest (v02 max) 1/week-2 weeks
    • Tabata 3x/week
    • 4 30 second sprints with full recovery (4 mins) 1/week-2 weeks
    • 15 mins of low intensity in morning (fasted) or at night. (Increase insulin sensitivity) every day
    • 7 mins of body weight exercises 1/week
    • 10-12 mins BBS (Body by Science)
  • Manual ergonomic treadmill to avoid EMFs. Trueform
  • High bar squat is safer long term.
  • Movement and fine-tuned motor skills are correlated with brain size. Juggling, for example, changes the white matter in your brain which helps different parts of the brain communicate with each other. 
  • According to Mercola, After an intense workout (lifting or sprints), wait an hour before you consume anything for the full HGH release. Play around with these and observe your energy levels a couple hours after the workout.
  • To improve/expedite recovery
    • Nasal breathing during workouts mitigates cortisol
    • Grounding/Earthing
    • Note: HRV is good way to know if you are overstrained / have excessive cortisol. Best to do in the morning, while fasted.
  • Kundalini yoga is best yoga (most benefits recorded/studied).
  • To target and grow the pecs/chest more:
    • Pre-exhaust the chest by doing pullovers or flys to activate the chest.
    • Fill chest with air to expand. Keep that expansion throughout the lift and don’t cave in.
    • Don’t lock out arms at the top. Keep it all in the chest contraction.
    • Dumbbell flys with full extension
  • Need to get full stretch and max flexion for optimal exercises (e.g. dumbbell flys, go all the way down, then pinch at the top with the hands together
Every Workout
Pre:
Ankle stretch with Weight
Glute Bridges (10 reps for double-leg, 15 reps for each single leg, 1 second pause at top)
Yoga Ball Straight Leg Glute Bridges
Dynamic warmup
Overhead Squat
Right Side Oblique Side Rolls
V-ups keeping lower back on ground
During:
45 Arm-Out Planks
TVA
Side Plank
Post:
Swiss Ball Exercises
1. Forward Ball Roll (keep TVA tight)
2. Twister – feet on ball
3. Swiss ball russian twist
TRX rows
Myotatic (bosu/yoga ball) Crunch
Swings
Back bridge (not After squats)
Hip Flexor Foot Up / Couch Stretch (arms up for psoas stretch)
Active hip stretch
Hamstring stretch
Hanging / traction

Workout 1
Bench
Yates Rows
Single leg deadlifts
Workout 2
Pull ups
Military press
Yoga Ball Hamstring Extensions
Workout 3
Deadlift
Get ups
—-
Workout 1
Getups
Bench
Rows
Ab roller
TVA
Arm out planks
Air squats
Reverse hyper extension
Workout 2
Deadlift
Dips
Pullovers
Cable fly cross-overs
Reverse flys
Weighted crunches
TVA
Arm out planks
Air squats
Reverse hyper extension
Workout 3
Pull-Ups (thumbs off)
Pushups
Bulgarian Split Squats
Squat (high bar for back)
Goblet squat
Yoga ball hamstring extensions:
Hanging Leg Raises
Bar holds
TVA
Arm out planks
Air squats
Reverse hyper extension
  • Form / Technique
    • Pinch shoulders back and down at top of deadlift
    • Internally rotate arms during cable flys for greater pec contraction.
    • Feet up against wall to make planks harder
    • Screw in feet by pushing knees out when doing any form of squat down motion.
  • Bamboo bench for more range of motion for chest pressing exercises ( Charles poliquin has video).
  • Functional Movement Self-Screen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8G6jkEf1uI
  • Don’t eat lots of carbs post workout until you are under 10% body fat. Then you are more insulin sensitive and can eat carbs post workout to mitigate cortisol post workout (fast recovery).
  • Swimming
    • 1. To propel yourself forward with the least effort, focus on shoulder roll and keeping your body horizontal (least resistance), not pulling with your arms or kicking with your legs.
    • 2. Keep yourself horizontal by keeping your head in line with your spine—you should be looking straight down. Use the same head position that you maintain while walking, and drive your arm underwater vs. attempting to swim on the surface.
    • 3. In line with the aforementioned video of Shinji, think of swimming freestyle as swimming on alternating sides, not on your stomach.
    • 4. Penetrate the water with your fingers angled down and fully extend your arm well beneath your head. Extend it lower and farther than you think you should. This downward water pressure on the arms will bring your legs up and decrease drag. It will almost feel like you’re swimming downhill. The first photo below illustrates the typical inefficient “reach,” and the second illustrates the proper point of entrance, much closer to the head.
    • 5. Focus on increasing stroke length (SL) instead of stroke rate (SR). Attempt to glide farther on each downstroke and decrease the number of strokes per lap.
    • 6. Stretch your extended underwater arm and turn your body (not just your head) to breathe. For each breath, you should feel the stretch in your lats (back) on your lower side, as if you were reaching for a cookie jar high on a shelf a few inches out of reach. This will bring your head closer to the surface and make it easier to breathe.
    • 7. Remember to exhale fully and slowly while your face is underwater. If you don’t, you’ll need to exhale and inhale when you bring your head out, which will mean feeling rushed, swallowing water, and exhausting yourself.
  • SWITCH EXERCISES: Science and empirical data have shown that the body needs 4–6 weeks to reset and regain its physiological bearings. The hypothalamus gland controls bodyweight, body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, and circadian cycles. The interim phase allows the hypothalamus gland to recalibrate and readjust. It is equally important to “get away” from the three bench-press versions used in phase I. We also kick the reps upward. The ideal interim phase retains bench power by substituting heavy dumbbell pressing for barbell bench pressing. Allowing the body to “forget” the three exercises (competitive grip bench, wide grip bench, and narrow grip bench) makes these movements feel fresh and new when they are reinstituted in phase III, and the training effect is profound. The paused flat dumbbell bench press and the paused incline dumbbell bench press are the phase II workhorses and are performed together in each workout, once per week. Maintain tension for a one-second pause at the chest; do not relax and rest the weight on the chest.
  • “How to Add 100 Pounds to Your Squat in 13 Weeks with the Smolov Cycle” (www.fourhourbody.com/smolov) This cycle, though complex and very brutal, can easily add 60–100 pounds to your squat. You can also download an Excel spreadsheet that’s designed to help you keep track of your progress during the Smolov program (www.fourhourbody.com/smolov-excel).
  • ASRspeed (www.fourhourbody.com/asr) The actual sprinting program that Barry Ross discussed in this chapter. Any athlete who plays a sport requiring sudden bursts of forward speed (sprints, basketball, baseball, football, soccer, etc.) can benefit tremendously by using this program. It will largely eliminate the need for hill runs, sled towing, parachutes, and all the other tricks and toys people use to get faster.
  • WORKOUT TIMING: Muscle strength and short-term power output peak in the early evening (4:00–6:00 P.M.), which coincides with daily maximum body temperature.15 Pain tolerance, at least for arthritis and fibromyalgia, is also highest between 4:00 and 5:00 P.M. But 4:00–6:00 P.M. workouts never produced the best results for me. I believe this is because the ideal window depends on circadian rhythm and therefore wake time. These variables are almost never accounted for in studies. If we assume an average wake time of 8:00 A.M. for most subjects who have work or classes beginning at 9:00 A.M., and if peak power output and pain tolerance is between 4:00 and 6:00 P.M. in their studies, this corresponds to 8–10 hours after waking.
  • MAXIMAL STRENGTH
    • 1. Next, Barry gets his athletes strong. Really, really strong. His current protocol is similar to what Allyson used in 2003, but the exercises have been further refined and limited. Notice that “2–3 sets of 2–3” has been replaced with “1 set of 2–3 @ 95% 1RM, followed by 1 set of 5 @ 85% 1RM” for both the bench press and deadlift. Reminder: take five-minute rest periods between sets, and the countdown starts after completion of plyometrics. The following general workout template would be performed three times per week for most athletes (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday): 1. Dynamic stretch before each session: over-and-unders × 6–7 reps, no more than 5 minutes. No static stretching. 2. One of the following at each session (time under tension should be less than 15 seconds per set): Bench press: 1 set of 2–3 @ 95% 1RM, followed by 1 set of 5 @ 85% 1RM or Push-ups: 10–12 reps (same as in earlier program) If you choose bench press and if equipment permits, perform plyometrics (four to five reps) immediately after bench-press sets. Place two 6–12-inch-high boxes just outside of shoulder width. From the fully lowered position between the boxes (chest on the floor), jump up onto the boxes by fully extending your arms as quickly as possible, extend your arms fully again on top of the boxes, then drop back down inside the boxes into the fully down position. Just as with box jumps, it is critical to keep ground contact as short as possible. If the plyometrics hurt your shoulders (as they did mine) or are too inconvenient, the program still works well without them. 3. Deadlift,10 1 set of 2–3 @ 95% 1RM, followed by 1 set of 5 @ 85% 1RM. Same rules as before: lift to the knees and then drop. If you’re not practicing high-speed running, lowering is fine. Plyometrics are performed within one minute after each set of deadlifts: box jumps of varying heights, jumping rope, or even a few short, fast 10-meter runs if space is available. First choice is two to four 10–15-meter sprints. This provides at least two times bodyweight borne by each leg upon impact. Second choice is five to seven 12–18-inch box jumps. 4. Core exercise: the Torture Twist, 3–5 sets of 3–5 reps (30 seconds between sets).
    • 2. The crucial principle is to lift heavy but not hard. This is where the “rule of 10 reps” can be applied: 1. Use two to three “global” compound exercises (e.g., the deadlift and the bench press). 2. Lift three times a week (e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday).12 Do your conditioning and supplementary work on separate days, practice your sport skills six days a week, and take one day off completely. 3. Focus on sets of two or three reps. Two reps is the most preferred rep choice of the Russian National Weight Lifting Team. 4. In all cases, complete approximately 10 reps per lift per workout (e.g., three sets of three, five sets of two, etc.). 5. Never train to failure, and always leave at least one to two reps “in the bank.” 6. Rest for five minutes between sets. 7. Finish your workout feeling stronger than when you started. The goal is to build as much strength as possible while staying as fresh as possible for your sport.
    • 3. Less frequent training than Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (i.e., once a week) is not ideal for an athlete, even if it builds strength and consumes less time. U.S. powerlifting records in the 1980s and 1990s leave no doubt that you can achieve a world-class squat by trashing yourself once a week. But you will not walk well afterward. Every time you lift, you will get as sore as a newbie. This isn’t a big deal for a powerlifter, but it’s very bad news for a boxer or someone who needs to train in the subsequent 48 hours.
  • To estimate your 1-rep max (1RM) in a given exercise, just multiply your 5-rep max weight x 1.2.
  • Long Distance Running Without Injury (“Pose Method of Running” by Dr. Nicholas Romanov (www.fourhourbody.com/pose-method) This book teaches running as a skill with its own theory, concepts, and exercises.)
    • 1. Use gravity (via forward lean) for forward motion instead of push-off and muscular effort.
    • 2. Land on the balls of the feet and aim to have the feet land under your center of gravity instead of in front of you.
    • 3. Never fully straighten your legs. Keep a slight bend in your legs at all times to prevent push-off.
    • 4. Pull each foot off the ground and towards your buttocks (rather than pushing off) using the hamstrings as soon as it passes under your center of gravity.
    • 5. Maintain at least a 180 step per minute rate, which means at least 90 steps per minute with each leg. This will use muscle elasticity to your advantage.
    • 6. Shoes
    • 1. I suggest the Inov-8 X-Talon 212 or Inov-8 F-Lite 230 for trail running.
    • 2. For asphalt and other hard surfaces, I suggest the Inov-8 F-Lite 220, but the F-Lite 230 can be used as well.
  • PRE-WORKOUT (WEIGHTS AND OTHERWISE) GLUTE ACTIVATION Start with ten repetitions of the double-leg glute activation seen in “Perfect Posterior.” Be sure your feet are approximately 12″ forward of your glutes, and make a note of how high you’re able to lift your hips. Then perform 15 repetitions of the single-leg variation (shown below) on each side, pausing for one second at the top of each rep. It’s important to hold your non-support thigh as close to your chest as possible with laced fingers, while pushing hard into your hands with your shin. This non-lifting leg should be under a hard isometric (non-moving) contraction for the entire set. Be sure to keep the toes of the support foot up in the air, and drive from the heels. Once finished, test the double-leg lift again. There should be a clear gain in hip height. If not, repeat the single-leg variety but contract harder at the top of the movement.
  • If you’ll injure your shoulders on any exercise, it will be the flat bench press. For this reason, I suggest a slight (less than 20-degree) incline or decline when possible.
  • Occam’s Protocol (Slow Reps for Biggest 80/20 Musle Gain)
    • 1. PERFORM ONE-SET-TO-FAILURE FOR EACH EXERCISE. Follow Arthur Jones’s general recommendation of one-set-to-failure (i.e., reaching the point where you can no longer move the weight) for 80–120 seconds of total time under tension per exercise. Take at least three minutes of rest between exercises.
    • 2. USE A 5/5 REP CADENCE. Perform every repetition with a 5/5 cadence (five seconds up, five seconds down) to eliminate momentum and ensure constant load. 7+ Reps.
    • 3. FOCUS ON 2–10 EXERCISES PER WORKOUT, NO MORE. Focus on 2–10 exercises per workout (including at least one multi-joint exercise for pressing, pulling, and leg movements). I chose to exercise my entire body each workout to elicit a heightened hormonal response (testosterone, growth hormone, IGF-1, etc.).
    • 4. STOP AND HOLD AT FAILURE: Do not just drop the weight when you hit failure. Attempt to move it, millimeter by millimeter, and then hold it at the limit for five seconds. Only after that should you slowly (take five to ten seconds) lower the weight. The biggest mistake novice trainees make is underestimating the severity of complete failure. “Failure” is not dropping the weight after your last moderately strenuous rep. It is pushing like you have a gun to your head. If you feel like you could do another set of the same exercise a minute later, you didn’t reach failure as we are defining it. Remember that the last repetition, the point of failure, is the rep that matters. The rest of the repetitions are just a warm-up for that moment.
    • 5. NO PAUSE: Do not pause at the top or bottom of any movements (except the bench press, as noted), and take three minutes of rest between all exercises. Time three minutes exactly with a wall clock or a stopwatch. Keep rest periods standardized so you don’t mistake rest changes for strength changes.
    • 6. INCREASE OFF-DAYS: Occam workouts is based on a simple premise: you must increase recovery time along with size. You will exercise less frequently as you increase strength and size, as you can often increase muscle mass well over 100% before reaching a genetic ceiling, but your recovery abilities might only improve 20–30% through enzymatic and immune system upregulation (increased plasma glutamine production, etc.).
    • 7. MUSCLE GAIN: If the preceding diet and high-protein snacks don’t elicit at least two and a half pounds per week of gain, add in one liter of 2% organic milk between meals, up to four liters per day. Four liters = roughly one gallon.
    • 8. TAKE A DAY OFF IF FAILED: If you miss your target by more than one repetition on the first exercise of a given workout, go home, take the next day off, then repeat the workout. Let’s say you’re scheduled for workout A on a Monday. The first exercise is close-grip pull-downs, and your target number of repetitions is a minimum of seven. If you complete six good repetitions or more, complete the entire workout. If you don’t complete six repetitions for pull-downs, do NOT proceed to the shoulder press. Instead, pick up your gym bag and go home. Rest Tuesday, ensure proper nutrient intake by eating a ton, and come in Wednesday prepared to crush both exercises and proceed as planned. If you abandon a workout because you miss a set, add another recovery day between all workouts moving forward. In effect, you’re just accelerating the planned decrease in frequency. There is very little downside to doing this. Twenty-four hours of additional time cannot hurt you, but underrecovering will screw up the entire process.
    • 9. WHAT ABOUT WARM-UPS? Take 60% of your work weight for each exercise in a given workout and perform three reps at a 1/2 cadence (1 second up, 2 seconds down). This is done to spot joint problems that could cause injuries at higher weights, not to “warm up” per se. Prep sets for all exercises should be performed prior to your first real set at 5/5.
  • Myostatic Crunch
    • 1. Using a BOSU or Swiss ball, ensure your ass is close to the floor, usually no more than 6″ off the ground. Then follow these steps: Start with arms stretched overhead as high as possible. Keep your arms behind or next to your ears for the entire exercise.
    • 2. Lower under control for 4 seconds until your fingers touch the floor, the entire time attempting to extend your hands further away from the ball.
    • 3. Pause at the bottom for 2 seconds, aiming for maximum elongation.
    • 4. Rise under control and pause in the upper, fully contracted position for 2 seconds. The arms should not pass perpendicular with the ground.
    • 5. Repeat for a total of 10 repetitions. Once you can complete 10 repetitions, add weight to your hands. I tend to use books of different sizes.
  • 75 Kettlebell swings x2/week to shred down.
  • Punch hands forward when you row.
  • Couple static stretching with contraction during the stretch.
  • Heavy deadlifts exhaust your CNS more than any lift. Only go super heavy once every 2 weeks. Squat more often for more transferable movement patterns.
  • Ankle mobility
    • Kneel over ankle with weight on knee.
    • Stretch lower calf on curb. 5 seconds up 5 seconds down.
  • Testosterone spikes immediately after heavy lifts, so do squats and deadlifts early in workout to get benefit of testosterone spike for other exercises later in workout.
  • Autoregulation outperforms timed rest periods. Do the next set when you feel ready. Applies to weight too: max out on 3rd set and the do 4th set weight and reps accordingly.
  • Single joint/muscle exercises have no additional size or strength benefit when done with complex movement workouts. Ditch the curls.
  • Natural performance enhancement: coffee + carbs + baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) prior to event. All three individually help as well.
  • Post workout recovery
    • 1. Hydrate right after. Protein synthesis cannot occur if you are slightly dehydrated. Water with sea sap for electrolytes.
    • 2. Eat 20-40 mins afterwards.
    • 3. Cool down by moving after the workout. Don’t just sit.
  • CrossFit baseline (PR: 6: 05)
  • 500m row
  • 40 air squats
  • 30 sits ups hands touching toes
  • 20 push-ups
  • 10 pull-ups
  • Fix duck feet by doing corrective stretch:
    • 1. Find upright and hold with hand
    • 2. Stand tall and turn fit inwards
    • 3. Place other heel on inward toes to lock foot into the ground
    • 4. Lock knee
    • 5. Rotate outwards against the inwards foot
    • 6. Maintain tight and upright posture
  • It turns out that the 3 exercises that maximally stimulate your stomach are hanging leg raises, weighted crunches, and ab wheel rollouts.
  • Thumbs off grip for pull-ups and chin ups for more back activation.
  • Glute activation
    • Reverse hyper extension
    • Monster crawl for glute activation (side to side with band)
  • Shake out limbs between sets.
  • Call workouts training sessions or practice. Don’t go past 2/3rds of max reps for any set. You don’t ever have to go to failure to get stronger.
  • For strength, abs are no exception. Keep reps to 5 and under.
  • To get extra reps when fatigued, squeeze grip and flex abs and glutes. Best practice is to do this for all reps due to radiation effect.
  • Yates Bent Over Row
    • Palms-up bent row performed with a slight 20–30-degree bend at the waist from standing. The bar will generally be at the top of the kneecaps in the bottom hang position. To minimize wrist pain, perform with an EZ bar if possible (here demonstrated with a standard Olympic barbell) and pause for a second at your hip crease, where the bar should make contact.
  • Barbell Overhead Press
    • The elbows are kept in front of the shoulders and do not flare outward. The bar travels in front of the face, but the head and upper torso move forward to be under the bar once it passes the head. The split stance prevents excessive arching of the back, but a shoulder-width parallel stance can also be used.
  • Overhead Squat
    • 1. Grip Bar pulling bar apart, palms faced towards ceiling, and elbows pointing forward a bit.
    • 2. Don’t push hips back like in a normal squat. Go straight down and break at knees instead of hips.
  • Kettlebells for best of all fitness.
    • Two-Arm Swing
      • 1. Stand with your feet 6–12 inches outside of shoulder width on either side, each foot pointed outward about 30 degrees. If toes pointed straight ahead were 12:00 on a clock face, your left foot would point at 10:00 or 11:00, and your right would point at 1:00 or 2:00.
      • 2. Keep your shoulders pulled back (retracted) and down to avoid rounding your back. • The lowering movement (backswing) is a sitting-back-on-a-chair movement, not a squatting-down movement.
      • 3. Do not let your shoulders go in front of your knees at any point.
      • 4. Imagine pinching a penny between your butt cheeks when you pop your hips forward. This should be a forceful pop, and it should be impossible to contract your ass more.
    • One Arm Swing
      • 1. Start with kettlebell a couple feet in front of you so you can gain momentum on first swing towards crotch.
      • 2. One descent, turn thumbs towards crotch, then rotate out on swing out.
      • 3. Have elbow, not hand, hit crotch; go deep.
      • 4. Don’t swing arm too far above parallel for risk of hyperextending back.
      • 5. Keep shoulder in locked position. Don’t overextend arm out.
      • 6. Keep neck locked, so you are face down on descent.
    • Get Ups
      • 1. Get maximal hip extension, not back extension.
        • 2. Always keep shoulder packed and core tight and straight.
        • 3. Get good glute and hip stretch from plank to kick-back position, rotating weight-side for to align straight ahead for lunge.
    • Goblet Squat
      • 1. Hold kettlebell touching chest.
      • 2. Push knees out on descent and touch elbows to knees.
      • 3. Drive through heals on way up.
  • Chin-up
    • Finish by pulling shoulder blades back and down.
  • Push-up:
    • 1. Activate more chest: Bring elbows out slightly as you go down, and rotate elbows in as you push up
    • 2. Activate TVA by squeezing belly button towards your spine
    • 3. Activate Pelvic muscles by holding a Kegel
    • 4. Advanced push-ups
    • 1. Hands on medicine balls
    • 2. Feet up on bench / elevated
    • 3. Push-to-DB-Row
    • 4. Plyometric Pushup
    • 5. 3-minute pushup challenge: Do as many as you can with proper form
  • Deadlift:
    • Engage lats / pull shoulders down before lifting up. Think of pulling the bar into your shins.
    • Drive from your heels
    • Start lower with your hips.
    • Eye positioning. Start your deadlift movement with your eyes fixated on a point 3 feet higher.
    • Sit back and pull back as much as possible.
    • Hands slightly outside shoulder length.
    • Bar should start and finish right next to your shins (touching practically).
    • Deadholds are helpful for finishing movement: Hold bar with both hands palms away and pinch shoulders in standing position (is exaggeration of finish as you don’t pull  up and back with your shoulders in a real DL).
    • Start with back not quite parallel to the floor. Dropping the butt down will use more quads than back, gluteals, and hamstring.
    • Maintain straight back for entire movement, including right before you lift up.; Don’t round back to grab the bar then straighten.
    • Don’t overarch back on way up.
    • Maintain nose nod position to keep spine in alignment, which allows for more glute activation. Look slightly forward to allow your butt to sink a little lower and take the lift off your lower back.
    • Don’t pinch shoulder for finish, just hold the bar in a shoulder relaxed lock. Pop your hips to finish instead of tugging with your shoulders.
    • Use lats to pull bar as close to your shins/body as possible.
    • Performance
    • Pull back with lats immediately as you raise the bar
    • Finish with hips and glutes squeezing
  • Fasting:
    • Training in a fasted state gives you energy because you are catabolic, which is useful for cutting.
    • Evidence to show fasted training improves your adaptation to exercise.
  • Cardio
    • Low intensity cardio (120-150 beats/min) is crucial as it expands the size of the heart and shifts you towards a more parasympathetic general state (relaxed, sleep better). High intensity cardio merely thickens your heart and moves you to a more sympathetic state (reduces stress, improve sleep, etc.)
    • Goal is to be under 60 beats/min resting heart rate.
    • Strategic Cardio: Effective way to lose fat: 10-15 minutes of HIIT cardio  followed by 15-30 minutes of steady state cardio
    • Resistance cardio can be very effective and time efficient (ex: squat push-press)
  • Squatting
    • Squat over the mid of the foot, not toes and not heel. Balance in middle for perfect vertical bar path.
    • BREATHING: breath in DEEPLY before descent/eccentic and brace stomach hard to protect lumbar from curving and protecting back.
    • Fixing the butt wink
      • 1. www.fourhourbody.com/squat
      • 2. Grab vertical bar and start in low stance (below parallel) and pull yourself upright, feeling stretch in groin
      • 3. Open chest as much as possible and keep neck back. Don’t let neck fall forward and rib cage collapse.
      • 4. Stand next to wall and squat, ensuring your face, chest, or knees do not hit the wall.
      • 5. Overhead squat with barbell, trying to pull the bar apart.
      • 6. Front squat.
      • 7. Wall walk (back bridge moving hands down, keeping glutes flexed to protect lower back)
      • 8. Stretch hamstrings.
      • 9. Hurdle stretch to hamstring stretch.
      • 10. Hip circles – good dynamic warmup.
      • 11. Leg cross over standing hamstring stretch moving torso angled away from leg over to stretch IT.
      • 12. Get on all fours and rock side to side to stretch glutes.
      • 4. Low bar: Have the bar as low as comfortably possible on your back as this enables better leverage and is safer for your back
      • 5. Narrow grip: have your hands as close together as comfortably possible and squeeze the bar to enable further upper back tightness, locking the bar in place.
      • 6. Open chest as much as possible and keep neck back. Don’t let neck fall forward and rib cage collapse.
      • 7. Use 2.5 weights or olympic lifting shoes to raise your heel which brings the bar farther back for more glute activation.
      • 8. Ankle flexibility: when you max out hip mobility, your lumbar spine will curve to get the full range of motion
      • 1. Pistol squat is the test if it is your ankle flexibility
      • 2. SMR your feet and calves (including sides)
      • 3. Raised dorsiflexion: feet up on ball/step and dorsiflex with both feet
      • 4. Dorsiflexion with band pulling against ankle with knee moving outside the stick
      • 5. feet together knee circles
      • 6. http://www.mobilitywod.com/2013/03/ankle-positional-fault-fix-jill-miller-style/
      • 1. Get more pliable lacrosse size ball and push against ankle bone while doing dorsiflexion
      • 9. Have elbows be as pointed to the ground as possible to allow for tight upper back and more vertical positioning
  • Front Squat
    • Elbows must be up for proper back muscle activation and vertical positioning
    • Have band be pulling your arms back in super front rack position to attain the flexibility
  • Dips
    • Too isolate chest: wide grip, don’t contact arms all the way, lean forward
  • Miscellaneous
    • Take every fourth week to Deload at 80% normal weight.
    • Change workouts and excerises more frequently than not to keep the body adapting.
    • Superset with lower body and upper body to get a cardio too as it stresses the heart to pump blood to all muscles.
    • Time under tension is a huge component for hypertrophy.  That is why BBS is so effective. Control each rep and minimize momentum used.
    • Dips are too strenuous on your shoulder’s. Instead, so a Plank-to-Tricep Extension
    • Start to get into a pushup position, but bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms instead of on your hands. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Without allowing your lower back posture to change, contract your triceps, press your palms into the floor, and lift your elbows off the floor until your arms are completely straight. You should now be in a pushup position. Slowly lower to the start position. Do 15 to 20 repetitions with perfect form.
    • Static stretching is better when coupled with a stability exercise. Example: One leg glute bridge while pulling other knee for hip stretch.
    • 9. Post-workout recovery expediting
      • 1. Cold water immersion (cold shower, ocean, pool, etc.)
      • 2. Post-workout cool down
      • 3. Frequent walking and mobility
    • Endurance training (12-50 repetitions) to master range of motion and ameliorate any trigger points/muscle knots
    • Reverse pyramid training is effective, especially when recovery is compromised by diet. Do heaviest set first (after warmup) then have following sets be lighter but with more reps.
    • Even out glute strength by siting up and down with my left leg rather than right.
    • Strength gains occur in 4-8 rep range. Higher reps are good for hypertrophy/increasing fluid in muscles to enlarge the muscles, but this is quickly lost after you stop training that way (if you take a break/ get sick/ etc.)
    • Method to Simultaneously build muscle and lose fat:
      • 1. Intermittent fasting
      • 20% higher calories on workout days: high carb, moderate protein, low fat
      •  20% lower calories on rest days (cardio optional): high protein, moderate fat, low carb
    • Fix buttwink
      • 1. Increase flexibility of hips
      • 2. Increase stiffness of core/torso
    • 16. Pre-workout: Consuming 20 grams of whey protein 30 mins before resistance training will boost your body’s metabolism up to 24 hours after your workout. For post-workout, consuming carbs within 2 hours of your high intensity will reduce your insulin sensitivity and HGH production.
  • From Exercise Biology class:
    • Aerobic fitness and intelligence are directly positively correlated
    • 1. But, chronic/excessive cardio puts too much demand on our heart and bodies and is actually unhealthy
    • -300mg of caffeine (works for about 5 hours, does not matter if you are caffeine adapted or not) and swishing gatorade/sugary fluid in your mouth improves endurance performance
    • -Forced rep’s (someone helping you) improve GH levels more than max reps, which strengthens connective tissue, allowing for quicker recovery
    • -Number of sets does not matter, only progressive overload (sets, reps, weights, intensity)
    • -Don’t use momentum when lifting weights as it is harder on your connective tissue, but maintain muscular tension during sets
    • • Sodium Nitrate’s (beetroot juice, leafy greens) improve energy efficiency, therefore endurance. Take up to three days before the event and right before the event. Nitrates are not bad for you.
    • • Low glycogen training improves fat oxidation. So when you carb up for event, your glycogen is not used as quickly at the event, which improves your performance.
    • • 20g of whey protein (can be just milk) immediately after workout is ideal for strength gains
    • • retrogression (dip in strength/performance) occurs if you over train/overload too much
    • • Do endurance first then strength exercise, because AMPK lasts for about 3 hours after endurance, and then you can do you strength without it inhibiting your mTORC1 (which lasts 24hrs)
    • • niacin/curcumin right before/after strength training helps inhibit SIRT1 (inhibits muscle growth)
    • • 5 sources of dairy a day is ideal to maintain strength while losing weight, because dairy is high in leucine
    • • The both high intensity and low intensity aerobic training can result in the same endurance adaptation; so do high intensity to save time
    • -Pinch shoulder blades for pull ups
    • -Torso not vertical for dips, too much stress on shoulders
    • -If you work out to a certain point, your natural caloric intake will go down (overtrained probably though)
    • -Do no more than 20 sets per workout, otherwise it’s too much volume
    • -Overtraining test: hold barbell with X weight for as long as you can. Then do this X time later with same weight to see if you can hold it longer. If not, you are overtraining.
    • ⁃ Opening chest up and doing deep breathing between sets can improve your energy levels

Essential Oils – Elite Tips

  •  Vendors
    • Plant Therapy – best choice, only one that is independently certified.
    • Be Young essential oils
    • Mountain Rose Herbs
    • Edan’s Garden.
    • Solution Benefits
  • General
    • Essential oils damage your esophagus undiluted, don’t drink undiluted.
    • Mint (peppermint oils) has to be organic (high use of Roundup Ready)
    • Forest bathing hack. Cypress oils (eucalyptus, peppermint, etc.) smell and diffuse.
  • Lemon balm
    • As tea, nootropic enhances memory, alleviates anxiety
  • Peppermint Oil
    • Increases your oxygen capabilities with just 1 drop before working out.
  • Thieves essential oil blend is great to fight off infection, mosquitoes, etc. mosquitoes hate cinnamon.
  • Oregano Oil
    • Oregano oil drink diluted to kill bad bacteria (candida) and help heal gut. Honey and oregano oil only kill bad bacteria.
    • Antibacterial and anti-fungal
  • Eucalyptus Oil
    • You can use eucalyptus oil for season allergy relief in a variety of ways. You can put several drops into your Neti pot, inhale it via a diffuser or use it in your laundry detergent as an antimicrobial agent.
    • An interesting study out of Egypt evaluated the effect that various essential oils had in killing the highly allergic house mites and found that eucalyptus oil ranked amongst some of the most potent.
    • For an eco-friendly, biodegradable addition to your natural detergents add 25 drops of eucalyptus oil to each load of wash during allergy season, especially if you or the kids are running around outside.
    • Also, if your allergy symptoms are going strong, mix eucalyptus oil with coconut oil and rub it on your chest and behind your ears and diffuse it in the air during the day and while sleeping.
  • Frankincense Essential Oil
    • The almost unbelievable cancer-killing capacity of Indian frankincense has been well established in scientific literature for several years, but its life-giving power doesn’t end there.
    • In a study published by Phytotherapy Research, for instance, when mice took 1-10 mg of frankincense orally it was discovered that multiple levels of their immune systems were stimulated including IgG, IgM, and interferon.
    • In layman’s terms, frankincense can boost the immune system like no other and if you suffer from seasonal allergies, make sure you implement it into your natural health regimen.
    • I simply rub frankincense behind my ears and on my chest or diffuse frankincense essential oil in my home and office three hours daily.