Published on October 31, 2012
Podcast #215 from
Introduction: In today’s podcast, how fast can you lose fat and gain muscle at the same time? Also, good nutrition for morning workouts, the best way to do burst or tabata sets, how to choose a sports watch, the truth about green coffee beans, how to eat paleo for energy and endurance, the best way to approach your first Ironman, and low carb high fat with IBS and an uncooperative family member.
Welcome to the BenGreenfieldFitness.com podcast. We provide you with free exercise, nutrition, weight loss, triathlon and wellness advice from the top fitness experts in the nation. So whether you’re an Ironman triathlete or you’re just trying to shed a few pounds, get ready for non run of the mill cutting edge content from BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
Brock: Welcome everyone to another episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast. My name is Brock and I am your host or sidekick and of course, we’ve got Ben on the line. We couldn’t have the show without him. Ben, what’s happening?
Ben: Actually, you probably could have the show without me.
Brock: It would be really really short.
Ben: You’d be talking about like protein and hockey and anything else Canadian.
Brock: Yeah. I’m actually gonna start that podcast late right after we’re done. I’ve got a bowl of protein and my beaver is standing by. He’s my co-host.
Ben: Your beaver. What I’m actually doing right now is I’m eating green tea literally. Didn’t have time to hit up the coffee this morning and I literally have this dried up green tea leaves. Somebody sold them to me.
Brock: Oh…okay….you mean the beans.
Ben: No they’re green tea leaves and it’s got like 95 times the potency of brewing a cup of green tea. They have that slight kind of green tea slight bitterness to them but they’re kind a cool. It come as a little bag and just dip your hand and it’s almost like some dip or some chew, your put your fingers in there, put them in your mouth and yeah, it saved me from having a brewed cup of coffee.
Brock: So, this show is gonna be 95 times better.
Ben: With that around, I’m just gonna get all badie. I’ll put a link to my Eat Green Tea stuff in the show notes for people.
Brock: To get these and other interesting news flashes every week and everyday, actually, go to twitter.com/bengreenfield or to the Google + page or to facebook.com/bgfitness. You can get all of the awesome stuff and then you can listen to us talk about it.
Ben: There you go. Right now, hopefully, a few helpful things that I post this week, one of those I found a chart on supplement/drug interactions. We know how many drug users are listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast so, I thought I’d post a link to it just because it’s very very interesting how many of the different kinds of herbs and supplements and alternative medical treatments that we use actually do have mild to serious interactions with pharmaceutical drugs. And I put a link on the show notes that how things from bitter orange extracts to licorice to melatonin – how all of these different things that we use as alternative treatments actually interact with other compounds. And some of them are pretty straight forward. It’s like you generally are going to see a much greater sedative effect when you mix melatonin with something like ambient which I guess that might be a kind of a good tip before you hop on an airplane.
Brock: I guess so.
Ben: But I mean, you look at mixing like red yeast rice which a lot of people use for cholesterol statin drugs and that actually increases you risk of rhabdomyolysis which is severe muscle damage. There are some things that you should know if you’re on a pharmaceutical and you’re also taking some kind of a supplement. Probably the biggest supplement, the one that had literally almost 150 drug interactions from mild all the way up to serious was something called St. John’s Wort which is a mental type of supplement or stress control type of supplement that has a ton of different drug interactions, so that’s one to be pretty careful with. The other type of supplement that you really wanna be careful with is if you’re taking a blood thinner like warfarin or aspirin, ibuprofen to a certain extent, you wanna be careful with some of these more serious blood thinning type of compounds like high dose garlic or fish oil. Gingko Biloba is another one. It’s an interesting chart so we’ll link to it in the show notes if you are on a pharmaceutical drug and you’re also taking supplements, that’s probably worth checking out.
Brock: Yeah. It’s a good place to just double check before you start pounding some natural remedies.
Ben: That’s right. And then another interesting article from our friend Alex Hutchinson. Actually, he’s not really a friend, we just talk about him every now and then…
Brock: I met him once. I feel like I’m his friend because I met him once and I read his blogs so often.
Ben: Yeah. He’s got a good blog – the Sweat Science Blog-Runner’s’ World and he also writes for the Globe and Mail and he had a very interesting article on unconventional ways to boost testosterone. And he specifically went into three different studies and in one study, what they did was they had a dozen volunteers watch six 4-minute youtube clips and then hit the gym after viewing each film and the youtube clips showed sad, erotic, aggressive, humorous or neutral type of videos. And the aggressive video and also the motivational video actually caused testosterone levels to spike and cause an increase of about 5% in barbell squat performance whereas the sad video, which in this case was a video of starving children in Africa, actually lowered testosterone and workout performance than the erotic videos and the funny videos were kinda somewhere in between.
Brock: Thus far, I would’ve thought the erotic would have had the same effect as the aggressive one.
Ben: Well, it’s possible that somehow the effects of the erotic video interfered with the biomechanics of the barbell squat, so it’s a possibility.
Brock: I guess there’s always the eroticism is in the eye of the beholder as well. Maybe it was just not erotic to those folks.
Ben: Could’ve been monkeys and elephants, you’ll never know.
Brock: You’ll never know.
Ben: There is another experiment where they took some professional rugby players and before the match, showed them a 15-minute video in which they were getting video of great plays that they’ve made in the previous game and the coach was providing good feedback to them. And then they’re also shown clips of their opponents making great plays and their coach basically saying “don’t let that happen today” and what happened in these folks was that positive feedback increased testosterone and of course, the negative feedback actually increased cortisol. So, that was one. The last one that he mentioned was a basically a one-hour feedback session with the coach after a match again, showing footage of the players’ best moments from the previous night’s game or the players’ worst mistakes with the coach basically rather saying “great job, you did wonderful” or “look at your mistakes, why couldn’t you do that right?”. And the positive feedback group tested with dramatically higher testosterone levels a few days later. So, it’s pretty interesting what mental and emotional triggers, the effect of those have on hormonal levels.
Brock: That’s interesting that it was a few days later that they were noticing the testosterone was increased. Very cool!
Ben: Yeah. It’s kind of a long term effect which is great and a good reason to focus on the positive. Speaking of focusing on the positive, will you think special announcements?
Brock: Okay. This podcast is brought to you by Pacific Elite Fitness, a great place to get high quality nutrition supplements. They’re handpicked by you, Ben.
Ben: That’s right. Fine purveyor of the highest quality stuff on the planet so, if I endorse it, you’re gonna really find it over there, so you can check that out.
Brock: The big stamp of approval.
Ben: It’s pacificfit.net. In terms of other special announcements today, for those of you who are in Spokane Coeur D’Alene area, tomorrow night, 6:30 PM, I’ll be presenting on the Top Exercise Strategies for Fat Loss. And if you are a dear podcast listener and you don’t wanna come to Coeur D’Alene, it will be recorded and I’ll put the video out at bengreenfieldfitess.com as soon as it’s available.
Brock: Awesome! And tomorrow, being November 1.
Ben: Tomorrow, being November 1 means today is Halloween.
Brock: Hey! I almost forgot.
Ben: Cool opportunity for you to win a free bottle of a candy craving/ sugar-burner nuke type of supplements called ThermoFactor which is basically just a mix of traditional insulin stabilizing compounds like chromium and vanadium. I’ll get a free bottle of that out to you if you post a picture of yourself in your Halloween costume to the facebook.com/bgfitness page best costume. I’ll post a bottle and few other bonuses in the mail to you.
Brock: While you’re at it, make sure to go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and check out the post that goes along with that contest where Ben gives some really good tips on how to sort of either get rid of the candy or make the candy last or just minimize the damage that all that Halloween candy will do to you and perhaps your children.
Ben: That’s right. My kids and I are gonna be driving to the local dentist office on November 1 and trading in much of their candy for cold hard cash. That’s a good tip for you. I’ll tell you how to find out if there’s a candy buy back in your area in that article. One other thing I wanted to mention is superhumanencoder.com. Many of you know that I now wear one of these performance wrist bands, never ever thought I would have ever endorse or worn something like this but this thing is actually working out for me and I basically put up a page where I try and go pass all the science pick and just go into the straight talk about why I wear this and the way it is designed in easy to understand terms rather than scientific geek speak. So, you check that out at superhumanencoder.com .
Brock: Speaking of being super human…
Ben: That’s right. One more special announcement and we’ll jump in to the Q & A.
Wanna get personal access to all of Ben Greenfield’s secret life? This March in Spokane, Washington. Ben is bringing the world’s best speakers straight to you. You’re gonna get step by step blueprints for performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep and hormone optimization and get inside or access to private parties, special sessions for podcast listeners only. And of course, delicious locally grown organic meals. The conference is called Become Superhuman and it’s already filling up fast. But you can get it now at bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman. You come away from this live 2 day event completely set for life to achieve everything you want for your body, mind, and performance. Whether do you want to maximize fat loss, achieve an ironman triathlon or push you body and mind to the absolutely limits of human performance. So visit bengreenfieldfitness.com/superhuman and will see you live and in person March 8 and 9th, 2013.Listener Q & A:
Craig: Hey Ben and Brock! This is Craig from Burmingham. Just a quick comment after a lot of self experimentation based on what I heard on the podcast, I think I have figured out what I need to do for morning nutrition. So, what I do if I’m gonna get in a morning workout is I get up and shortly after getting up, I go ahead and eat a banana and take 5 NatureAminos then I go into my workout. And then post workout, come back and fry up some pemmican and eggs in coconut oil. I’m a middle-aged man, about 5’11”, weigh about 145 lbs. and that works for me. So, maybe that’ll work for some of your listeners out there. Thanks. Bye.
Brock: Well, Craig, I think that sounds like an awesome approach. The only thing that I am wondering about, Ben is taking the MAP with a banana. Would he probably do better if he was taking it on an empty stomach?
Ben: Well, for those of you who are scratching your head about why Craig would be doing what he’s doing. What he’s attempting do is sounds like it’s boost his amino acids by taking this Master Amino Acid capsules along with a little bit of sugar before morning workout. Now, this would be a strategy for somebody who maybe is trying to hold on to every last shred of lean muscle and doesn’t wanna cannibalize lean tissue. Maybe they already reached the body composition that they wanna be at and so body fat loss is not really a goal and you just wanna feel pretty good during a hard morning workout, for example, an interval-based swim workout or hard weight training session without actually taking the time or putting the stress on your stomach of eating a full on breakfast. So this would be a case where you’ve reached your body composition goals, you’re not trying to do a fasted workout, you wanna feel the benefit of both carbs and amino acids in your blood stream during the workout. That’s a good way to do it.
Brock: Okay. I get it. So, if he actually did wanna do some body fat, he just skip the banana, go straight for the MAP, do the workout, and then ….
Ben: Exactly. ‘Cause the amino acids are relatively nil in terms of calories but still keep your muscles from cannibalizing themselves. And then the breakfast is all good – pemmican, coconut oil, eggs. That’s a kick butt breakfast for those of you who want (I’ll put a link in the show notes to the pemmican) the grass-fed, hormone-free pemmican from US Wellness Meats that I always keep a freezer-full of. You take it out, it takes about 2 hours or so to thaw or you can just keep one in your refrigerator the night before and I’d like to choc that up with eggs and coconut oil myself. And that’s a pretty good stuff.
Brock: Sadly, it’s not available outside of the US and I’m having a heck of a time finding some decent pemmican in Canada, so if anybody has any suggestions, stick them in the comment section and let me know ‘cause I’m desperate for some.
Ben: Well, there are pemmican recipes out there. My wife and I are in the process of putting together some how to make your own bone broth, how to make your own pemmican videos for the inner circle.
Brock: It’s another good reason to join the inner circle.
Ben: There you go.
30 seconds: Hi Ben and Brock! I have a question. Last week on the podcast, Ben mentioned 30 seconds of exercise with a 4-minute rest done 5 times and I was wondering what exercises he recommends for those 30 seconds that would be easy to do during the work day without any special equipment. I was thinking something along the lines of Burpees but I didn’t know if there’s anything else. Thanks guys. Great podcast.
Ben: Well, the cool thing about this kind of interval training is you can pretty much use anything. I mean, even push-ups can be used for a good cardiovascular stimulus when it comes to 30 seconds of very very hard exercise. The research studies that typically do this type of thing are having someone do a 3o-second burst on usually a treadmill or a bicycle and then, rather than just sitting on your butt in between each burst, you’re doing very very easy pedaling or easy walking/jogging. As you can imagine, that type of session would be a little bit more conducive to a fall on workout at the gym or your home gym or even outside compared to, for example, just dropping into 30-second bursts of as many push-ups as you can do and then chill on for the next 4 minutes. What I personally do is for high intensity interval training that I’m gonna be doing using strength training sets like push-ups, overhead press, pull-ups, I typically use what are called tabata sets for those which is a single 4-minute sets of 20 seconds of as many reps as you can followed by 10 seconds of recovery. And that is not a pleasant scenario for those of you who have actually done a full on tabata set. But it works really well for a traditional exercise for this type of 30-second burst followed by 4 minutes of recovery, it does work better to do a chronic repetitive motion type or movement like a treadmill or a bicycle vs. doing say Burpees. But really, anything that gets your heart rate super high would work. The only reason I’m not a huge fan of doing Burpees or push-ups or something like that for this type of thing is what are you gonna do for those 4 minutes that you’re recovering for each set. And I suppose that something like this would work maybe if you’re doing like this fitness trails where you’re running and it comes to a certain station and you can do a bunch of exercises on that station and move on to the next station. You can almost have your own fitness walk or you’re going on a 30-minute walk and every 4 minutes, you’re doing some kind of 30-second burst of hard effort like Burpees or jump squats or something like that.
Brock: You know, I’ve done this kind of workout in my office before and I’ll just sort of do something like Burpees or jumping jacks or something and then just basically like walk the perimeter of the office at as quick of a pace as I can safely without crashing into the photocopier or in stuff like that. It’s not ideal but it certainly works and the worst part of it is that you sweat up your work clothes a little bit ‘cause if you’re doing it as intense as you should be, it does get you sweaty.
Ben: Yeah. A cool little thing this company sent me a cup and I was experimenting with in the past couple of weeks but it’s called the Set Starter. It’s just like this little device that you can put on your finger and it will vibrate at specific intervals so you can set it to like vibrate every 30 seconds or every 2 minutes or every 4 minutes or whatever. And that was kind of a cool way to get an interval-based workout and without having to be tied to a watch. They didn’t give a discount code. I asked someone to get a discount code to podcast listeners so they’re giving us the 10% discount code. The code is fittingly enough – “10percent” at setstarter.com. So, I’ll link to that in the show notes.
Dan: Ben, this is Dan from Massachusetts. I want to thank you for all your great triathlon and training advice. I just finished my first Ironman distance triathlon. I only was able to train in the bike and swimming performance but I survived it anyways. My question actually has to do with GPS watches. I’m looking to get a GPS watch for some of my endurance races and I wanna know what the best or best value GPS watch is that comes with a heart rate monitor and how accurate are altimeters and do I need one? So, any information you’d give me there would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Ben: You know, full disclosure on this. I race for team Timex and so most 0f the GPS devices that I currently have are of the Timex variety and specifically I’ve got the Timex speed and distance model, the Timex run trainer. And compared to like a garment type of device, the Timex don’t tend to have an altimeter on them so you can’t see, you get real time data of your elevation, etc. If we’re talking about like a watch that’s going to be used for running. But the thing is, that when you use an online piece of software like Training Peaks is the one that I highly highly recommend for keeping track of your workout and for literally playing your watch in after workout and within a few seconds getting all the data there sitting in front of you. Training Peaks will spit all your altitude data, your anyways. So you don’t really have to get a watch with an altimeter on it if you’re gonna be downloading your workout information to a computer or a system like a Training Peaks but if you’re gonna get something with an altimeter the garmin models are pretty decent. There’s a really really good website though for reading reviews of most of the technology out there, a guy that I mentioned saying out with the bad news who’s a pretty cool dude, Ray from Washington DC. He’s got a website called dcrainmaker.com. Dcrainmaker.com you can read a ton of his articles on how you gonna choose the best GPS device/heart rate monitor, etc. so that’s a really really good resource for this kind of stuff. Probably for people who live in the U.S. best deals that you can on heart rate monitors or watches with altimeters on them is heart rate monitors USA. I think it’s like heartratemonitorsusa.com something like that. But these watches are so fancy these days, like you know I can take my timex run trainer and set it and we talk about kinda setting like a little vibration to your finger for going off a certain intervals. You can do that with your watch now for beeping a certain intervals, you can have it beep at set you at running at a pace of 8 mins per mile for 2 mins and 6 mins per mile for 3 mins or whatever you wanna do. I actually shot a few videos for timex where I show you how you kinda use a watch that can give you speed and distance as effectively as possible. So I make sure that I’ll put a link to those videos in the show notes as well as to the training peaks in the dcrainmaker site.
Brock: I was with the vibration and beeping alerts. I actually have the Garmin 910XT and I find that the vibration on it is really cool if I’m doing an open water swim, I could actually tell it to alert me every time I do say, 500 meters or 100 meters or something so, when I’m swimming in a pool, it’s easy to know how far you’ve gone but when you’re out in the middle of a lake, it’s nice to just get an alert that says “okay you’ve gone 200 meters” and consider it judge where you’re going and what you’re doing.
Ben: And I’ve heard really good stuff about the 910XT. I don’t personally use it ‘cause Timex will shoot me but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Timex comes with a version of that as well. So, lot of options out there. Check out dcrainmaker.com. That’s a really good website for you. Have you been to that website, Brock?
Brock: I haven’t. I’m gonna check it out for sure though ‘cause my 910 barometric pressure altimeter has died – end of the fancy function I was just talking about with the vibration also, it has become incredibly sporadic and erratic. So, I’m either going to get it fixed or in the market for a new watch.
Ben: Yeah. And it’s pretty unbiased, the advice that he gives out on that site. He pretty much covers every single watch out there that you could get in terms of like a GPS or a speed or distance watch but they’ll send him some tour view and he sends it back. He doesn’t keep it. So, it’s fairly unbiased advice. I was actually talking to him about this. We won on a run together and that was down in Galveston earlier this year. Yeah. Check that out and there we go.
Donna: Hey Ben! This is Donna calling and wanted to find out there’s lots of talk about the green coffee bean being some sort of attitude now for burning calories and fat and what’s your take on that? Just kinda curious. It’s just always something out there and last thing was I think raspberry ketones and so now the latest and greatest is the green coffee bean. Anyway, I drink regular coffee organic espresso and I love that, not sure about the green one though. So, what’s your take on that? Thanks Ben and love the podcast. You and Brock are doing a great job. Talk to you later. Bye
Ben: Yeah. The idea behind the green coffee extract, which I know Starbucks is pushing big time, it’s like the raspberry ketones, both of those came out at a similar time, (I think we can blame Dr. Oz for that one, if I remember correctly) but it’s chlorogenic acid that’s an antioxidant but that affects how your body responds to sugar and it may improve your insulin sensitivity. It may also be the fact that’s responsible for coffee drinkers having reduced risk of diabetes because it can really have some positive effects on blood sugar. Most of the supplements containing this green coffee extract that are being pushed, they’re being marketed based off of really the results of one study which was funded by a company that markets green coffee extract and that study found that overweight people lost weight when they took a high dose green coffee supplement. The thing is that the amount of chlorogenic acid in the green tea extract supplement really isn’t that much different than what you’re gonna get from drinking a cup of coffee. I have nothing against coffee in terms of its ability to help you feel more alert and to even be used as and ergogenic aid to enhance athletic performance and everything else but I see no need to be paying extra money for the chlorogenic acid from a green coffee drink vs. just having yourself a nice cup of coffee.
Brock: Most especially when the Starbucks green coffee drinks are all laden with artificial sweeteners.
Ben: Yeah. The interesting thing is there’s this drug called metformin that has some really really nice effect on diabetes, blood sugar control and potentially fat loss. And here we’re talking about drug-supplement interactions and there is one type of supplement that recently came to my attention that is basically an extract from bitter melon and it has very very similar effects to metformin in clinical studies in terms of promoting better blood sugar control with less insulin, control in release of insulin, control in release of insulin-like growth factor. That’s a pretty interesting stuff. I’ve actually got a couple of bottles of this stuff in my pantry but it’s basically just like a bitter melon extract mixed with another extract called rock lotus. There’re so many different things out there. Earlier I mentioned this Thermofactor fat burner and now we’ve got this mix of rock lotus and bitter melon and we got our green coffee extract. I wrote an article for this over at quickanddirtytips.com but for any of this stuff, we were talking about very very slight effects compared to lifestyle and exercise and dietary modifications. We’re talking about getting an extra to maximum maybe 5% of slight increase in metabolism or fat burning but I don’t wanna give anybody the impression that I’m a proponent of sitting around and popping pills to get effects. Sometimes, it may sound like this on the show ‘cause we end up talking about lots of supplements ‘cause we get lots of questions about supplements. But ultimately, any of these stuff doesn’t hold a candle to good exercise like using really a lot of the stuff I’m gonna be talking about in tomorrow night’s seminar about how to exercise appropriately for fat loss – how to find your fat burning zone and the type of weight training sessions to use and to pair cardio burst with weight training sets. I definitely will put the video of that out for podcast as soon as when it comes out. You could use green coffee extract, you could just drink coffee, you could use a mix of chromium and vanadium, I like that as a fat burner, there’s rock lotus/bitter melon extract, it’s looking like a good option as well. But again, take priority with the nutrition and the exercise and lifestyle modifications first.
Brock: Yeah. Like we said last week, do some burst training or high intensity stuff like we were talking about earlier in the show and that can burn 200 calories for the rest of the day.
Ben: Yeah. Which basically, just like blows any fat burn out of the ball park.
Jane: Hi Ben! My name is Jane. I’m 45 years old and I’ve been doing Paleo 18 plan program 2 months now. My problem is I’d like to train for a half marathon and run that next year but I have no idea how to go about that or how I should adapt or modify my eating for energy and endurance. So if you could help me with that, that would be great. Keep up the great work. Thanks.
Ben: Well, when you’re eating Paleo and you wanna switch to chronic repetitive motion exercise which technically is gonna burn more calories and a higher metabolic cost for your body. The only real thing that you have to change potentially is occasionally having a few days where you shift some of your eating towards a slightly higher carbohydrate intake than you might get if you are just eating meat and nuts and seeds and non-starchy vegetables. What I mean by that is for example, if you’re training for a half marathon and you’re following a Paleo diet, needing relatively few amounts of carbohydrates, you just have one day (say your big run day), say Saturdays is gonna be your long run day and on that day, you almost have a little bit of a carb re-loading type of protocol where you’re getting your hands on some safe starches, parsnips, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, stuff like that. And you’re giving yourself anywhere from 40-60% carbohydrate intake on those days vs. 10-30% on your other days of the week. It’s pretty simple to do. I’ve talked about carb re-loading on the show before and how that’s gonna do things like save yourself from metabolic damage, save yourself from potentially suppressing thyroid production, save yourself from some of the immune system deficits that can come up long-term carbohydrate depletion, and basically give you that little extra step of performance enhancement that comes with slightly a higher sugar intake. That’s the way that I would do it. You just have that one day where you’ve got a little bit higher intake of safe starches.
Brock: Like you could sneak in some kinwa or some beans or something like that as well or is that just to anti Paleo?
Ben: Technically, both of those would be forbidden on a Paleo diet. Those are not considered part of the “safe starches” that the Paleo diet would incorporate. I personally do some kinwa. It’s usually soaked for a good period of time – 12 to 24 hours to rinse off the saponins and make it a little bit more digestible and you can also variously sprout kinwa. You could use new chef google and just type in the word “sprout kinwa”. You can buy kinwa ______[0:33:03.4] and stuff like that and sprout it and that really inactivates most of the enzyme inhibitors or digestive irritants and something like that. Beans, legumes, stuff like that, again, soaking preferably in acidic medium, it’s got some vinegar and stuff in it, allowing it to ferment a little bit is going to improve digestibility and again, decrease or inhibit a lot of these lactins that are in those compounds and causing issues in your digestive tract, again, not technically allowed on the Paleo diet but foods, if treated properly, can be (in my opinion) just fine. When you look a lot of these studies that show beans and legumes and kinwa or any sort of items to be digestive irritants, in many cases, they’re not cooked or soaked or sprouted properly.
Brock: I’ll chef google that he’s a friend of Dr. Google, right?
Ben: That’s right. Chef google and Dr. Google make people’s lives a lot easier or make our lives a lot harder depending on the way you look at it. Speaking of chef, my wife is going on to LA this weekend to audition for Master Chef. I actually think she’s doing all just like locals low cook stuff. She’s just bringing it all literally in one big messy suitcase down to LA and it’s gonna be interesting. She does have some lentils as part of her meal specifically ‘cause she’s choosing a lot of stuff that’s original to us here on the Pacific Northwest.
Keerthi: Hi Ben! This is Keerthi from San Diego. I was looking for ways to bulk up, that is, put on a lot of lean body mass without adding any extra body fat percentage. I do eat pretty healthy and I’m trying to eat extra calories whenever I can. My training program is also pretty done in as in I lift heavy and do HIITs once or twice a week but it’s been 2 months now and I’m really not gaining any weight at all. Do you have any suggestions in terms of matching nutrient and ratio and timing and how many extra calories to eat in order to put on at least 10 lbs. of lean body mass? Thanks.
Brock: It’s the good old question. You wanna put on some lean body mass. Who doesn’t wanna put on some lean body mass and not add some fat?
Ben: Professional marathoner? Maybe?
Brock: Yeah, I guess.
Ben: Actually, I’m working on an article right now about how to boost testosterone with the type of weight training that you do and I’ve come across some really really interesting research on how endurance exercise depresses testosterone, one of the reasons being that your body probably just does not wanna hold on to that extra muscle mass that testosterone allows you to do just because it flies in the face if you moving your body over long distances efficiently or economically. Anyways though, one thing that you don’t wanna do is avoid too much chronic cardio. But as far as how fast you can build muscle, it really depends on your category whether you’re beginner or intermediate or advance, there’s really 2 primary exercise physiologists or fitness “experts” who have really looked into this hard core and come up with charts on how fast you can gain muscle. One guy is Lyle McDonald and he’s got this chart that bases your potential rate of muscle gain per year on how many years you spent training – how experienced you are, for example, if you’ve just trained for one year, you could add 20-25 lbs. of muscle potentially or about 2 lbs. per month. If you train for 2 years, you’ll be closer to one lb. per month. If you’ve trained for 3 years, you’ll be closer to a half pound per month. And really, if you have 4 plus years of good solid weight training and you’ve got a lot of muscle, a lot of times, you top how to run 2-3 lbs of muscle that you can add per year. That’s one chart. Another chart is Alan Aragon who I think I’ve had on this podcast before. He talked about his top 10 myths of some…Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and do search for “Alan Aragon”. It was good interview with him. But he has 3 categories – beginner, intermediate, and advance. He says beginners can put on about 1-1.5% total body weight per month. Intermediate, you can put on 0.5-1% total body weight per month and advance could put on 0.25-0.5% total body weight per month. Stepping back, I’m looking at that. Let’s say you weigh 200lbs, 1% total body weight per month means you can put on 2 lbs if you’re intermediate exerciser. If you’re an advance exerciser, 0.5% total body weight per month means if you weigh 200 lbs you can put in potentially put up 1lb of muscle per month. Ultimately, all of these scenarios are much much less muscle per month than what you see a lot of muscle magazines or body building supplement websites promising you. To put on 10 lbs of lean body mass, let’s say that you’re just in average shape, I don’t know Keerthi’s exercise history, we’d be looking at anywhere from between 5 and 10 months to do that effectively without putting on a bunch of fat simultaneously. Because you could eat like crazy and potentially accelerate this rate of muscle gain a little bit. But if we’re talking about lean mass gain, 10 lbs of lean body mass, the quickest you’re probably gonna put that on in a healthy way is gonna be at about 2 lbs per month. That’s what I’d look at as realistic.
Brock: I’m really curious why Keerthi wants to put on 10 lbs of lean body mass instead of increasing strength by 25% or increasing the explosiveness of his jumping ability or something that’s a little more practical. Do you have any ideas?
Ben: For me, if I was gonna be to reason to look good naked or a little bit on the beach, or to look good in a T-shirt or suit, there’s definitely some aesthetic advantages to putting on muscle on many cases.
Brock: Yeah. It’s just that I’m thinking specifically putting on 10 lbs rather than a couple of inches round the bicep or around the chest or something like that. It’s just seems like a rather arbitrary way to look at muscle gain.
Ben: Yeah. Well, it’s something that a lot of times, it’s just nice to think about having an extra 10, 20 lbs of muscle. Come on, Brock, let’s not beat them up too much. I wrote an article on how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time over at the Quick and Dirty Tips website. And for those of you who don’t know, I write articles every week over there. Some people wonder why I don’t write articles more often for bengreenfieldfitness.com, it’s because I literally am spending time churning out some of the best articles I can write for quickanddirtytips.com so, I’ll put a link in the show notes to this one I did on How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle at the Same Time.
But one really really interesting thing is that you can build muscle even when you’re at a caloric deficit. They’ve had studies where people were on as low as 800 calories per day, not that I’m condoning that type of stress on your body, but they were able to, over the course of several weeks, increase their lean muscle mass by 6% while also losing a significant amount of fat on that 800 calorie and this happen to be a high protein diet. I recommend that you go closer to eating a slightly higher amount of calories than you’re actually burning if you wanna put on muscle around 500 calories than you’re actually burning and go with that on a weekly basis rather than going with 800 calorie high protein diet. But it’s interesting how in the presence of weight training especially, even if caloric deficit can result in some significant lean muscle gain.
Brock: The reason I was asking those questions was I always like to sort of be the guy who chooses a realistic reason and method to reach that sort of body improvement or self improvement that you wanna achieve and sometimes when it seems like it’s just arbitrary number, you might be setting yourself up for failure which really isn’t a failure if you don’t hit that 10 lbs. Was it important to hit the 10 lbs or was it better like Ben said to look good in a T-shirt or in a suit? That’s what I was getting at.
Ben: Well, as an ex-body builder, I’m just shallow and vain so I accept stuff like that. I’m actually flexing in my office window reflection right now while you’re talking do my double biceps.
Brock: I’m gonna try that too. Oh…that’s depressing.
Rob: Hey Ben and Brock! This is Rob. I’m an avid listener of podcast and I really enjoy appreciating the cool new things you guys talk about on the podcast so, keep it up. I plan on trying out for my very first endurance which is called the Ironman. I’ve never done any kind of endurance sport. In fact, the longest I’ve ever ran up until this point is 26 miles, the most I’ve ever swam was probably 3 laps of an Olympic size pool, and the longest distance I’ve ever rode on a bike was probably about 10 miles. I’m pretty in shape. I weigh about 200 lbs, 12-13, some body fats so, pretty strong guy. I get a lot of cardio out of playing basketball and I’m doing the high intensity training. I’m also a vegetarian and so I’m pretty aware on what goes and my body get it back. I planned on using the Tri Dominator program to get myself in shape for the Ironman. My question was do you think the Tri Dominator is a good program to start off with in training for my first Ironman. I just wanna know ______[0:43:30.1]. I’m a pretty competitive guy. I just don’t wanna race, I wanna compete, I wanna do very well in this race so, ______[0:43:38.5] Tri Dominator be a good bet. My second question actually, ‘cause I’m pretty new to the endurance sport or the sporting world. I have no training gear at all. So, you guys have any suggestions how I could get some really affordable training gear. I’m pretty broke so, the cheaper the better. I look forward to hearing what you guys have to say. Take care. Bye.
Ben: Well, there’s a lot of different ways that we should go with this but I guess I’ll throw some of my best resources out to those of you who are training for your first Ironman and some ways that you can take this in terms of getting over the learning curve and getting access to some affordable training gear and stuff like that. First of all, you can get really really good deals on gear especially at the end of a triathlon season, really close to the time that this podcast is being recorded like around September, October, November, on classifieds websites. If you go to e-bay, if you go to your local Craig’s list, one thing that I really really like to do is find your local triathlon clubs and a lot of times, they’ve got classified sections on the triathlon clubs website where people local in your area are selling stuff. One good website that I like (it’s not used stuff, it’s new stuff), is wiggle.co.uk – free shipping anywhere in the world on a lot of really good deals on triathlon or cycling gear.
That’s a really good website. Another really good website that I like for picking up gear is the trishop.com. The cool thing about them is they let you try stuff on and send it back if you don’t like it; they can have free shipping; they’ve got this membership where you can join as a member. I think it’s like 20 bucks and you get 10% discount on all your orders. At one time, they were offering a discount to all of our listeners. The code was “ben10”. I haven’t gone over there lately and tried out the discount code but it’s 10% discount code “ben10”. So, I like the trishop.com and I like wiggle.co.uk. It’s probably two of my favorite sources for new triathlon gear. And then for the used stuff, Craig’s list, e-bay, classified section of your local triathlon club works really really well. As far as figuring out what to get and how to use it, many of you who are listening to this podcast know that I run what’s called the Rockstar Triathlete Academy and we offer anything from customized basically more personal work with myself and the other coach over there and that’s $37 a month all the way down to basically what we call our bronze module. And this is a good idea if you’re wanting to get a new triathlon and get to that learning curve or want to do your first time. It’s 7 bucks a month and what it is it’s 42 modules and starting from number 1 all the way up to number 42. You get to walk through basically everything you need to know to go from knowing absolutely nothing about triathlon and doing your first triathlon to literally getting your pro card if you wanted to. And we spent a good year designing that entire series – its videos, its audios, its articles. I’ll put a link in the show notes. You can check that out at RockStarTriathlete.com. You don’t have to do the fancy on 17 or 37 dollar a month deal. It’s just like 7 bucks a month, super useful for anybody of you who just likes to geek out. Our last one that we did was on proper pacing for your race and how to respond to pace changes and we’ve done how to choose a wet suit and how to choose your running shoes and how to choose your cycling shoes. That’s a really really good one to check out. And of course, total bias response here but absolutely, my TriathlonDominator.com Program will work just fine for you if you’re trying for Ironman so, I’d absolutely do that. I think we do have a question coming up about being a vegetarian and so I do have some thoughts on vegetarianism and how it jives with Ironman training so maybe we’ll address that in our next question.
Brock: Are you sure it’s trishop.com? I just want there and that’s somewhere in Texas.
Ben: In Texas. I don’t know where it is but it’s thetrishop.com.
Brock: Ah…thetrishop. Okay.
Ben: And I’m pretty sure the discount code is “ben10” and it should work along with other discount codes over there so you could save some big bucks.
Tony: Hi Ben! Hi Brock! Tony in Glasgow Scotland just like to thank you for what you do and all the information you give. I have a complicated question on diet. I’m a lacto-ovo pescatarian. I’m trying to do low carb, I have IBS. I can do 2 low carb meals a day because I can look after myself for the breakfast and lunch but my wife is a major cook in the household so she does the dinners and that tends to be relatively high in carb with rice or sweet potato and the like. Am I doing myself more damage by doing just 2 out of 3 meals low carb and then high carb evening meal? Should I just modify my diet in some way and I’m aware of the oxidation of fats which is a problem so always I thought to be high in fat for breakfast and lunch so it’s not gonna cause me a problem having carbs in the dinner. The other issue with the IBS is I can’t do coconut really causes issues so I’m limited with the breakfast options. I’ve got your Low Carb for the Triathlete book and that has quite a bit of coconut in it which I can’t really take. Also eggs really bind me so I’m really kinda limited the only thing I end up having for breakfast is generally yogurt and butter which gets to be old after a while. Any suggestions you’ve got whether I’m doing myself more harm doing 2 out of 3 meals as a low carb and I high carb meal or whether do you think that’s okay better than nothing? Thanks again.
Ben: For those of you not familiar with the term lacto-ovo pescatarian, that is a vegetarian who also will eat fish or like mollusks, scallops or oysters or crustaceans like lobsters, shrimp, stuff like that.
Brock: Is the pescatarian bird?
Ben: That’s the pescatarian part so, basically seafoods, shellfish, etc. And then also eggs.
Brock: That’s the ovo part.
Ben: That’s the ovo part, exactly. I’m a big fan of the ovo pescatarian approach because the biggest thing that you’re missing out on when you’re vegetarian in my opinion is high quality DHA which has some potential down the road implications for your central nervous system health, for your brain health, for your neuron health just because it’s such an important part of your nervous system that specific fatty acid and conversion from ALA to DHA from vegetable sources is pretty low, even when you’re looking at stuff like kemp and flaxseed and chia seed and things of that nature. If you’re not a pescatarian and if you’re a vegetarian or vegan who’s not including fish in your diet, one of the best things you can do for yourself is at least include a bunch of spirulina and chlorella which is gonna give you some decent sources of decently bio available DHA. But I’m a big fan of the pescatarian. As far as adding the lacto ovo in there (the milk and the eggs), I’m hit or miss on that. I personally really don’t do that much in terms of milk or eggs anymore myself just because I did an immunoglobulin test and it turns out that I’m fairly sensitive to that kind of stuff. It is though if you’re not sensitive to a decent source of getting extra protein that might be more difficult for you to get if you’re not eating meat. Addressing Tony’s digestive issues though, one of the things I tend to notice there’s more in the vegan/vegetarian population is probably due to the slightly higher intake of fermentable carbohydrates even though Tony is eating low carb for 2 meals a day or eating high carb later on the day, you tend to see a little bit more of the H. pylori issues, some of the candida yeast fungus issues, a lot of the stuff that can contribute to irritable bowel syndrome. So I would recommend Tony that you look into getting a parasitology test. It sounds like you might be across the pond probably, I was thinking maybe UK.
Brock: Yeah. I think he’s at Scotland.
Ben: Oh Scotland. Okay, yeah. In that case, you’re gonna have to check because here in the US, you can do that through a company called Genova. You’re gonna have to look for a good source for a parasitology test over where you’re at. But I will be looking just things like H. Pylori fungus yeasts, things of that nature in your digestive tract. The fact that you’re having issues with a lot of these fat-based foods like coconut, eggs, stuff like that suggests that there may be some digestive enzyme issues going on. In this case, that would be lipase – the enzyme that’s responsible for digesting fats. If a lot of these fatty based foods aren’t agreeing with you, and they’re foods that are completely dissimilar – coconut and eggs, then it’s likely a kind of a digestive enzyme issue so I’d look into that as well popping a couple of digestive enzymes, NOW Foods Super Enzymes or capsozymes or anything like that before you actually eat a meal, literally like 5 minutes before and see if that addresses an issue if you’re eating a meal that has the coconut or the eggs in it or that type of thing. As far as some other recommendations for your gut and your IBS, I’ve got this page that I maintain at bengreenfieldfitness.com which is just basically a list of all my different recommendations. I also recently put out a free book on Amazon that’s just kind of same stuff and Kindle book format but some things that I also recommend that you throw in (if you’re trying to heal your gut), one would be to address any of the yeast, candida, fungus overgrowth type of issues by getting your hands on a good high quality oil of oregano and getting a few drops of that one to three times per day. You can literally put it into a glass of water. That’s something that I travel with for immune system benefit as well. That’s one thing that you can add in. A lot of times when you’ve got irritable bowel syndrome or you’ve got digestive issues it can indicate that you’re low on hydrochloric acid which is the acid in your stomach that’s responsible for activating pepsin which digests protein so you can use a hydrochloric acid supplement before you eat and you can get your hands on a capsule like NowFoods makes a good hydrochloric acid supplement that you should be able to get just about anywhere. If you end up testing and you end up testing during like a parasitology and finding that you’ve got parasites things like that which are actually fairly common in a lot of folks in the digestive tract. There’s a good supplement called the Paraguard out there that can really help kill off parasites in your digestive tract. And then the last thing that I’d recommend would just be using some bitters just before you eat – herbal bitters are really good digestive. They can help out a ton. There’s a good one made back they called Floradix. That’s a decent supplement. And then finally, from a dietary standpoint, we had him on the podcast a few weeks ago but the guy who wrote this specific carbohydrate diet book and he has a diet there that does a really really good job in terms of healing the gut. Now, if you simply cannot get your wife to go lower carb, especially eliminate a lot of defermentable carbohydrates like pasta grains, fructose, stuff like that from dinner, what you may wanna consider is this approach of just getting yourself super insulin sensitive before that evening meal by shifting your workout to be like afternoon/early evening or even after dinner so that at least you can ensure that a high carbohydrates at dinner are not doing you damage as far as your body composition. That’s kind of a whole carb back loading approach and we have talked about a few weeks ago where you give yourself a ton of carbohydrates in the evening but you also have a really really hard workout in the afternoon or early evening. So that’s a strategy that you could use. I think we’ve mentioned before in the show that the Pacific Elite Fitness mental coach, the mental performance coach and myself are launching a program that helps you stick to a diet and helps you eat whatever diet that you’re eating without the social pressures or peer pressures or family situations. We’re getting ready to launch that. You can check it out – thedietdominator.com. That’s gonna be called The Diet Dominator. That’s a good resource for you but if your wife is just simply gonna insist on having lots of carbs at dinner, you can at least get yourself into an insulin sensitive state and then stay fairly low carbohydrate for your other meals.
Brock: How can we picture in a bit of a fast after that? So we have all the carbs for dinner but then…do you need anything else for the rest of the night and wait quite a while after waking up to before having breakfast? Would that help?
Ben: Yeah. I’ll tell you what. After a binge or a party or a bunch of food that I hadn’t planned on eating in the evening that I know isn’t healthy for me, that one to combo of fasting plus cold exposure can really help to maintain body composition. In a situation like that some may slowly get up, you don’t eat much and you get yourself a cold shower and some cold exposure like a cold soak or wear that cool fat burner vest or anything of that nature and that’s a really nice one to combo for something like that.
Ben: Also, I wrote a pesca-ovo vegetarian plan for Training Peaks. So, if anybody uses Training Peaks and wants to just download my version of how to do a fish-egg vegetarian plan, I do have a fall on plan available for physically active people who wanna go that route. You can check that out. We’ll put a link to it in the show notes as well as a link to everything else that we talked about ‘cause I think that was the last question, right?
Brock: That is the last question for Episode 215.
Ben: Cool. I know we’ve got one quick audio call in. That’s gonna be a good one for you guys to listen to at the end here if you wanna get an idea of how using this podcast can help you and it’s just a nice little note from a guy named Jim. We’re gonna put that in for you to listen to as we end here. But remember for resources, for everything that we talked about in today’s episode, go to bengreenfieldfitness.com and check out the show notes for Episode #215 or alternatively, we always keep a running list of all of our recommendations over at the Ben Greenfield Fitness facebook page at facebook.com/bgfitness and there’s something called MyList there and it’s just basically a list that we generate from each podcast that kinda gives you all the helpful tips that we talk about in one easy-to-grab list. I think that about wraps it up.
Brock: Yeah. I just wanted to remind everybody to make sure to go over to iTunes and leave us a ranking and even put a comment if you’ve got the time, it would really help so to create a community and keeps everything just chugging along really nicely for the podcast. And especially, you, Canadians, there hasn’t been a review for months and months and months on a Canadian iTunes so get to it.
Ben: That’s right. You Canadians, what was that like a big hockey tournament or something up there that kept people off iTunes?
Brock: Oh don’t start with the hockey dockey.
Ben: All right. Well, Brock and I are gonna go ahead and get into a political argument here about Canada vs. the US. Well, you all get to listen in to this audio from Jim.
Jim: Hey Ben and Brock! This is Jim calling from London. I really started my process a little over a year ago just feeling very unfit up and down, weight-wise and exercise-wise and started to get serious about it and started doing more exercise, started to watch my diet and came across you, Ben and podcasts somewhere along the way, which really very very heavily influenced my exercise routines and diet and so forth. I’ve gone to high fat low carb diet and the results have been pretty unbelievable. Just in the last 7 months when I relay started measuring it, I’ve lost 18 lbs. I’ve gained 2 lbs of muscle. I’ve gone from about 18% body fat to about 8 so I’ve gone from almost 200 lbs. to about 165 feeling incredibly fit and strong. I’m 49 years old so, I think this message is really relevant given your podcast about the girl over 40’s last year ‘cause I did my first triathlon a year ago as part of a relay team and the Big Lemon Triathlon. This year I was placed top 10 in my age group and this really got me focused for next year. So, I’d like to really try and place well within my age group and I’m also looking to do a 70.3 next year for which I’ve dutifully purchased the Triathlon Dominator course. So I just wanna say thanks ‘cause you’ve been incredibly influential to me. It’s been a fantastic journey in addition to just helping me feel better. Obviously, the mental benefits of building confidence and strength and so forth have been enormous. Thanks, guys! Great job and I look forward to…I’ll continue to be a listener. Bye.
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please visit Pacific Elite Fitness at http://www.pacificfit.net