Welcome to the final chapter Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health & Life.
It's been quite the ride, eh?
Over the past few hundred pages, you've learned training, nutrition and lifestyle concepts that are going to enable you to finally achieve that delicate balance of health and performance. We've delved into the nitty-gritty, the biohacks, the science, the sweat, the blood, the saliva – heck, even the poop.
But now it's time to step back, look at the forest of trees, and wax poetic with my closing thoughts…
…and in this article, I'm also going to share with you my “rebel yell”. After you read it, I'd be curious to hear what your rebel yell is. Feel free to leave it in the comments section of this post.
Whether due to our innate pursuit of perfection, our constant quest to achieve the next milestone or our lofty aspirations to ascend our own personal Mount Everest, it is incredibly easy to develop a passion for extreme exercise and endurance sports that keeps drawing us into training session after session, WOD after WOD, race after race, month after month and year after year.
That's part of the thrill of endurance competition – the chance to satisfy our thirst for battle, for conquest, for adventure and for the thrill of the chase. But at some point, every endurance athlete has a “come to Jesus” moment, when we realize that the sport we love is actually capable of harming our bodies.
When that moment happens, there are two choices – to either keep doing what you're doing until you completely explode in a burst of inflammatory flame, or to move on the next chapter in your life. Some very good endurance athletes, such as Mark Sisson, author of MarksDailyApple.com and a respected wealth of knowledge on health, fitness and nutrition, simply moved on to the next chapter, foregoing endurance sports altogether.
Other countless individuals – many named in the opening chapter of this book – have continued to push and punish forward until forced to quit at the mercy of heart attacks, hip replacements, or pure biological burnout.
But what if there was another choice – a third choice?
The choice to actually defy the status quo, commonly accepted, orthodox methods of endurance training?
The choice to stop throwing ourselves like an egg at a wall until we finally crack?
The choice to pursue the ultimate combination of health and performance while continuing to participate in the sport we love?
The existence of that third choice was my goal in writing this entire book – to show you how to intelligently make the right choice. To show you that you don't have to throw up your hands in despair at the newspaper headlines that tell you extreme exercise and endurance sports are bad for your heart or the blog posts that tell you triathlons, marathons and serial Crossfit sessions destroy your body. To show you that if you do things the right way, you can keep competing in the sport you love without completely destroying your body.
Now, take a deep breath before you keep reading.
Notice that I said without completely destroying your body. Deep down inside, I don't think that any of us would argue that a daily battle with the hot pavement, muggy gym, joint-crushing barbell or thrashing waves is truly healthy. I don't any of us would argue that puking into a garbage can bleary-eyed at 5am at the Crossfit box is truly healthy, or running from a bear for 12 hours during an Ironman triathlon is truly healthy.
But discomfort, aging, illness, injury and death are part of who we are. Life includes significant doses of sickness, sore joints, injury, suffering and pain. Our short existence on this planet is a package deal that includes both good times and bad times – and we must embrace that reality in it's entirety. You must accept the fact that you're not always going to feel good and you're not going to ever be perfectly healthy if you toss your hat into the ring of something like an Ironman triathlon.
However, while your goal should not be to fool yourself into thinking you can somehow neuorotically biohack and pill-pop your way to immortality, you can at least take small steps to mitigate the damage you're doing to your body. You can start by using this book. You can review the 10 Rules For Becoming An Ancestral Athlete, and implement those rules to find a sane balance between achieving lofty physical performance goals, being healthy, enjoying life, and accepting the reality that you'll never completely insulate yourself from damage.*
After all, life is short. Play hard. Use your body. But play smart too. Your heart, muscles, joints, skin, mind and grandkids will thank you.
So I want to thank you for joining me on this journey of discovery, and for taking the deep dive into finding out what your body is truly capable of when you care for it properly – all while pursuing goals that the average person might consider to be insane and masochistic.
After all, you and I share a secret – it's not the insanity or the masochism that draws us into this act of buffeting our bodies. It is the adventure. The escape. The chance to be a superhero, even if just for a fleeting day. And that's what keeps us coming back, workout after workout, race after race, month after month and year after year.
Let's just do it the right way, shall we? Let's think beyond training.
*The day that this post comes out, I am headed to the local heart clinic for a full cardiac stress test to see what 10 years of extreme exercise has done to my heart. Stay tuned for the results in the final printed version of the book.
Training Plans, Meal Plans & Additional Resources
I've given a plethora of practical examples throughout the past several hundred pages, such as the Tale Of Two Triathletes in Chapter 2, the 40 Easy Meals For Busy Athletes in Chapter 11, and the day of brain-hacking in Chapter 21.
But initially, I thought about also including an entire “in the life” style chapter or section at the end of this book – a chapter that writes out a day, week or year of doing things the right way – taking all the concepts in this book and rolling them all into one easy daily training plan that you could simply tear out and stick on your refrigerator.
But the fact is, that would be impossible.
A detailed daily training plan with workouts, recovery protocols, biohacks, meals, and supplements would require hundreds of additional pages. There's just not enough space (or trees). Furthermore, each of us has different goals, needs, fitness and accessibility to the many tools, resources, food, gear, supplements and activities I've highlighted in this book.
So I've instead opted to turn to technology to provide you with detailed, downloadable training plans, meal plans and additional resources to accompany this book. Between now and the time the book is released (more details on release date below), I am creating the following training and meal plans:
-24 Week Ancestral Athlete Ironman Triathlon Training Plan based on HIIT training and quality over quantity
-24 Week Polarized Ironman Triathlon Training Plan based on smart aerobic training and high volume
-20 Week Ancestral Athlete Marathon Training Plan based on HIIT training and quality over quantity
-20 Week Polarized Marathon Training Plan based on smart aerobic training and high volume
-12 Week Detox and Adrenal Reboot Plan based on the concepts discussed in Chapter 8
-12 Week “Beyond Training” Meal Plan that uses the fueling concepts discussed in the Nutrition section of the book
The plans will be available in both downloadable .pdf format and also available on a slick, dynamic online TrainingPeaks platform. This will allow your plans to sync to your phone, your computer, your calendar, your heart rate monitor, your power meter and anything else you use for making life easier. This is the same online platform I use to coach all my clients and athletes.
Inside the pages of both the print and Kindle version of the book, you'll find full instructions for accessing the plans listed above for free. In addition, we'll have the BeyondTrainingBook.com website done and chock full of links, references and more resources.
In the meantime, if you do want to see a “Day In The Life” of yours truly, I'd recommend you go watch my Lean Lifestyle Insider video series, in which I take you on a detailed walkthrough of my morning, lunch, afternoon, dinner, pre and post-workout routines and habits (it's like MTV's Cribs, but for healthy people).
Q. When is the Beyond Training book going to be released?
First week of March. We may try to push it out even earlier in the winter (especially the Kindle version) but by the first week of March I guarantee you can be holding and caressing the beautiful, hard cover version in your hands.
Q. What is included with the book ?
In addition to hundreds of pages jam-packed with tips, tricks, secrets and all the training plans and meal plans listed above? Getting a bit greedy, aren't we? Let's just say I have literally thousands of dollars worth of bonuses, giveaways and prizes for anyone who gets in early on the pre-order or orders multiple copies of this book for friends, family and co-workers. Dozens of training, nutrition, biohacking and lifestyle sponsors are already contributing some pretty huge prizes, from bikes to race entries to expensive wearable technology. You're going to dig it.
Q. When will I be able to order?
The party kicks off on October 8, on the Big Island of Kona in Hawaii during Ironman World Championships week. Beginning then, you'll be able to get in on the book pre-orders on Amazon, along with the raffles, the prizes and more. You don't need to be in Kona to get in on the action, but there will be an insider book launch party there.
Let me share with you what I call my “rebel yell”. Ready? Here we go.
My name is Ben Greenfield.
I love getting fit, feeling good about the way my body looks, and fulfilling my deep-seeded drive to live life to the fullest by achieving difficult feats of physical performance. But I was fed up with feeling like crap from all the extreme exercising, strange foods, feeling of constant stress and soreness, and worry about the toll my hectic lifestyle was taking on my body. So I created a way of training, eating and living that is perfectly healthy and natural, but still allows me to look, feel and perform at my peak capabilities.
And then I wrote this book to share it with you.
But now that the book is written, what's next? What's Ben Greenfield going to be when he finally grows up?
I've had some people ask me if I'm going to continue to pursue this whole Superhuman brand I've been building. This makes sense, considering I've had a “Become Superhuman” live event, created Superhuman training manuals, designed Superhuman gear, and even have a Superhuman Coach mastermind for personal trainers, nutritionists, physicians and other health care professionals who want to learn my methods.
You could perhaps even define that new way of training, eating and living I mentioned earlier as “becoming superhuman” – a term I use to define complete optimization of performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep and hormones.
And while the idea of becoming superhuman certainly isn't going to go away anytime soon, the actual branding of the word superhuman is pretty darn difficult. Some people think the word it is arrogant and intimidating. Some think it is cheesy or silly. Some think they actually own the word and have tried to sue me.
So while I'll keep building Superhuman materials, keep my Superhuman mentorship program open, and hopefully even have more Superhuman live events, I don't necessarily see the Superhuman concept as a full-time business model upon which one could live, thrive and retire (do you?).
Instead – in my wildest dreams (on a perfect average day) what I ultimately want to do is provide you with one single, convenient portal that gives you all the lifestyle solutions, coaching, consulting, foods, supplements, gear, technology, biohacks, knowledge and education that you need to live life to the fullest while pursuing the ultimate combination of health and performance.
I want you to be able to live life at whatever screaming fast pace makes you happy and fulfilled, and I want you to feel good the whole time you're doing it.
What is this feeling?
It's called getting Revved. And that's what's next. Stay tuned.
What's Your Rebel Yell?
And by the way…what's your rebel yell? Here's a quick formula for you (with more details here):
My name is ___________, I love ____________ but was fed up with ____________. So I created _____________ that _________________.
Leave your rebel yell in the comments section below.
LINKS TO PREVIOUS CHAPTERS OF “BEYOND TRAINING: MASTERING ENDURANCE, HEALTH & LIFE”
Part 1 – The Beginning
-Preface: Are Endurance Sports Unhealthy?
Part 2 – Training
–Chapter 4: Underground Training Tactics For Enhancing Endurance – Part 1
–Chapter 4: Underground Training Tactics For Enhancing Endurance – Part 2
–Chapter 5: The 5 Essential Elements of An Endurance Training Program That Most Athletes Neglect – Part 1: Strength
–Chapter 5: The 5 Essential Elements of An Endurance Training Program That Most Athletes Neglect – Part 2: Power & Speed
–Chapter 5: The 5 Essential Elements of An Endurance Training Program That Most Athletes Neglect – Part 3: Mobility
–Chapter 5: The 5 Essential Elements of An Endurance Training Program That Most Athletes Neglect – Part 4: Balance
Part 3 – Recovery
Part 4 – Nutrition
Part 5 – Lifestyle
Part 6 – The Brain
-Chapter 21: Two Ways Your Brain Breaks And Exactly What You Can Do About It – Part 1
-Chapter 22: Two Ways Your Brain Breaks And Exactly What You Can Do About It – Part 2
-Chapter 24 – 10 Rules For Becoming An Ancestral Athlete
-Chapter 25 – Closing Thoughts