Meet Ben Greenfield.
Raised in rural North Idaho, he was homeschooled K-12.
He was a complete nerd. President of the chess club, played violin for 13 years, wrote fantasy fiction and spent most of his childhood years with his nose in a book.
Ben graduated at 15.
He began college at 16, playing singles and doubles for the men’s tennis team.
For four years, Ben studied anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pharmaceuticals, microbiology, biochemistry and nutrition, eventually rising to the top of his class, completing an internship at Duke University and the National Football League, then graduating in 2004 at 20 years old as the top senior in his class at University of Idaho – all while working as a bartender, personal trainer, lab assistant, nutritionist, spinning instructor, athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach. While attaining a 4.0 GPA in his advanced science courses, he competed as president of the triathlon club, middle for the men’s volleyball team, holeset for the water polo team and was a muscle-bound bodybuilder at 215 pounds and 3% body fat.
Ben was then accepted into six medical schools, but opted to instead attain a master’s degree in exercise physiology and biomechanics, after which, in 2005, he leapt hardcore into the fitness world, partnering with physicians and opening a series of personal training studios, gyms and physiology and biomechanics labs across North Idaho and Eastern Washington, and eventually being voted as America’s top personal trainer in 2008.
While building his empire in the brick-and-mortar fitness industry, Ben competed as one of the top ranked amateur triathletes in the world, completing over 120 races and 12 Ironman triathlons while racing for the elite Team Timex multisport team, winning gold medal for the USA in long course triathlon, and leading squads of swim, bike and run enthusiasts in guided adventures through Hawaii, Thailand, Japan and beyond.
Eventually, Ben became the father of twin sons and pivoted into media, writing, speaking and consulting, launching one of the world’s first fitness podcasts, becoming a New York Times bestselling author of “Beyond Training” and 13 books, designing and creating the Christian Gratitude Journal , and starting a blog that now reaches over a million rabid fans each month. During this time, while making a name for himself as a relentless self-experimenter and biohacker, Ben became a professional obstacle course racer, completing the coveted Spartan Delta, training with the Navy SEALs, competing across the globe in open water swims, mountain runs and adventure races, winning multiple USA bowhunting competitions, and appearing on the planet's toughest reality TV shows.
In 2013 and 2014, Ben was named as one of the world’s top 100 most influential people in health and fitness, and by 2015, Ben was coaching the world’s top CEO’s, chefs, biohackers, poker players, tennis, motocross and endurance competitors, and professional athletes from the UFC, the NHL, the NBA, the NFL and beyond – all while advising and investing in top companies in the health, fitness and nutrition industry. In 2016, he joined Spartan SGX as one of its certified coaches.
As founder and CEO of Kion, Ben now creates step-by-step solutions – from supplements and fitness gear, to coaching and consulting, to education and media – for the world’s hard-charging, high-achievers to live a truly limitless life with fully optimized minds, bodies and spirits – all from his quiet home on 10 acres in the forested wilderness of Washington state. Whether you want to become the complete mental athlete with a flawless brain and nervous system, attain an ideal human body that fires on all cylinders from performance to beauty to hormones and beyond, or achieve true and lasting health, happiness, and longevity, Ben combines intense time-in-the-trenches with ancestral wisdom and modern science to make your dreams a reality. Get everything you need now at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
“Ben…last year I pretty seriously injured my right leg during plebe summer at the US Naval Academy. The diet here is one of high carbs because we are constantly going and training and also to feed 4000 midshipmen at once it’s somewhat easier apparently for the Academy. Because of this, the same diet continues into the Academic year and having an injured leg and not having been able to participate in the constant activity I gained a good 15 pounds (I guess equivalent to the freshmen 15). Fast forward to this summer I bought a road bike while I was on leave and started riding a lot and then I found your site and ended up buying your triathlon dominator and I am training to do the Columbia tri in May next year. Also I am now on the cycling team for the Academy. What I have learned from you is that with all of the stress of life here (having to fit in and manage the academic aspect- I am a dual major in astro and particle physics, the military requirements, and the physical/ emotional) there are effective yet simple tricks to keep me on my path to finishing my first in I hope to be many triathlons as well as to lose weight and gain muscle efficiently but healthily. All of the blogs especially on nutrition tricks and how to avoid over eating and choosing the right choices in food have been an amazing help and has really transformed my approach to how I eat- especially when I have such limited options! Also your triathlon dominator which I had to tweak slightly to coincide with all of the cycling I have to do for the team here has been awesome! I have already seen my body begin to transform and change and I would like to continue that process and then maintain this lifestyle for my entire life!”
MIDN 3/C Kathleen, US Naval Academy
“Ben’s podcasts and website have been a huge asset to my health and wellness. Every week I listen to his podcasts and I refer to his website several times a week. I not only use his information to transform my life, but to also help benefit my clients. He provides information that is easily implemented into your lifestyle as well as information that challenges you to think about your health and to move beyond your current level of health, fitness and beliefs. I have implemented several changes to my diet, supplementation, workout routines and tried new things based on Ben’s guidance, and all have had great results. I purchased Ben’s “Run With No Pain” book after experiencing lower back pain that would reappear even after repeated chiropractic adjustments. After implementing his exercises and switching to barefoot running (after listening to an interview Ben did with Tellman Knudson) I no longer have any lower back pain. This is so important to me as I realized that chronic back pain could have limited me severely in my profession and in my active lifestyle. Although I was fit and active before discovering Ben, I now feel more healthy on many more levels than just fitness. He has helped me put the pieces together to make me a more well-rounded, holistically healthy person. Thanks Ben!”
Christine Buckley, President, Washington Chapter of the Barefoot Runners Society
“Dear Ben, after our first meeting for a Vo2 Max test to the present time, I can state you have done more to help me achieve a consistent winning attitude toward fitness from a holistic point of view. My eating habits are far better than in the past and much more consistent. From the initial triathlon training where I accomplished the Olympic distance, something that seemed impossible. To a well structured and fun maintenance routine, Ben Greenfield has put me on track and kept me on track. Thank you, Ben.”
David Morgan, WA
“Dear Ben, hi! My name is Jennie Davies. I’m a 58-year old woman. I have never been the sporty type. Spent most of my life hating my shape. Don’t want to have a typical 50 something shape so started going to a gym. Once started I really loved the buzz, but a lack of knowledge on how to get the best from my workout held me back. Now that’s where you come in. I found your podcast. You answered all my questions without me having to ask. Put me straight about what would work best for me, and to be realistic about the results. I work hard and have fun at the same time. Even if I don’t ever get the shape that I dream of I feel fitter and heather …and that’s all down to you my friend. With best wishes.”
“Dear Ben, I came across your website when Google mining for information on Triathlons, as I’d committed to my 1st Sprint Triathlon. I gravitated to your website because of the quality of information, the amount of information for free & your own inspiring stories. Then after a family holiday road-trip with too much McDonalds eating, (gasp, I know, and I’m the organic, crunchy granola mom!), I was shocked to realized I’d gained 8 pounds in one week! So I bought & immediately began the Shape21 plan. I lost 5lbs, in the 1st week & 3 the next! Cool! My husband (& I), were a little dubious about some of the meals, but we were always amazed how nice they were & how easy. For example, the curry chicken & almond, and the Asparagus & tomato on pasta. We seriously thought we wouldn’t be able to eat them, now they’re a staple. So I continue to check out your website & toy with the idea of doing some training with you but will see how I go on my own for a while. As for the Sprint Tri, I stuck to my training & was feeling very ready for it when I broke my hand windsurfing. I was very upset but had fun supporting my friend while she did it. Now we’re signing up for a few short races & another sprint, we’ve got the bug! Best regards. “
J.B., 39yo Mom of 4yo & 2yo
“Hi Ben, I’ve been following your podcasts for the last 2 years and love them. I’ve changed my diet tremendously and learned more recovery techniques along the way. I’m also a PE teacher and I’ve been able to incorporate many fitness variables into my class curriculum. I’ve seen my classes get into better shape and learn to appreciate physical fitness more. Kids these days do NOT want to run, and I’ve been able use different ways to help them condition. I’m also an avid Triathlete. I complete 3 70.3s this year and 2 Olympics. I took off over 24 minutes at the Pacific Crest Half-Iron and 45 minutes at Troika. I broke 5 hours at troika and almost equaled my open half-marathon PR along the way. I’ve signed up for IM CDA in 2011 with a goal of 10:30 and any help I can get is going to help me along the way. Thanks for your advice and guidance!”
“Hi Ben, I found out about you through the Get Fit Guy Podcast. I have since run a 5K and I am training for a 10K. My current challenge is my breathing so your podcast on “Big Lungs” was great timing. Here is a picture of me at the Race for the Cure in St Petersburg, FL earlier this month. Thanks for all the advice and thanks for sharing. I never thought I would be able to call myself “A Runner”.”
“Dear Ben, Your podcasts have been extremely useful, as they often include topics and ideas that are of interest to me but rarely get discussed in a constructive manner…I particularly loved the one about sugars. I am a big advocate around my office, pulling splenda out of people’s hands and forcing my raw honey on them at every opportunity. I have been working out for ages, and my key problem now has not been getting to the gym, but rather finding new ways to work out and challenge my body. Your site has provided some juicy morsels of useful ways to change and enhance my workouts. For example, I particularly appreciated you bringing attention to how laterally-weak we tend to be. I proceeded to go to the gym that day and create a completely laterally focused workout for arms, legs and core :) mixed with high-intensity short running intervals. Thanks for all of the useful information, and staying on top of bringing up new and interesting topics. All the best.”
“Ben has been pivotal in changing my lifestyle and helping me achieve my fitness goals as well as improve my overall health. I recently moved from Seattle, WA, to Salt Lake City, UT, and at the time I moved, I had significant lower back/hip pain on my right side that prevented me from running or completing any continuous movement for over 10 minutes. Since ordering the Running with No Pain book, and following Ben’s exercises (including health and nutrition tips that I obtained via my boyfriend completing the Triathlon Dominator package) I have reduced my hip pain, I am now working up to interval fast walking/jogging increments, and I was able to complete the Echo Triathlon at the sprint distance this summer, where I came out of the water 3rd and finished 12th overall in my age division, and I have attached my race picture from that! Currently, I am doing the 26 day hcg diet, and have lost 4 pounds. I am hoping that I will continue to progress on that and I continue to use Ben as my motivator and guide in eating properly. Thanks Ben!”
“Ben has made this 71 year old pass for a 50 year old.”
“Hi Ben, I was the typical corporate burnout story. Working extreme hours, constant travel, adrenal exhaustion, forgetting to eat or making bad food choices, and generally not listening to my body when it sent me warning messages. Work governed my life. I finally listened to my body after it fell in a heap. I’ve since completely re-engineered my life around a new set of priorities. Food as nutrients is on the top of the list, followed by training (body sculpting) to create a physique that I can be proud of. Reconnecting with inner-self and formal education about my body (wellness consultant) fall into third and fourth spot. Work is fifth; a necessity but not a focus for my energy. I have never felt more alive, and feel like I can continue to orchestrate the life that I truly desire.”
Tania Donohue, Melbourne, Australia
“From August to September this year I was involved in a theatre production called Information For Foreigners. It was highly demanding physical theatre, which demanded athletic ability among us actors in terms of focus and extending our voices and bodies, stamina, not to include dance numbers and repetitions. The director frequently commented that I needed to lose weight for the show and I turned to Ben Greenfield Fitness primarily for abdominal exercises. These exercises trimmed my waistline in no time, increased my vitality and stamina. I got great reviews for the play. Now that the production’s over, I haven’t stopped doing the ab exercises Ben has prescribed, and every day I feel better and better.”
Rico del Rosario, Philippines
“I’ve checked out a lot of health and fitness coaches over the years, and with every one I found the Goldilocks Syndrome — info and ideas that were either too hard or too soft. What I love most about Ben Greenfield is that he hits that sweet spot in between. I’m not an endurance athlete but I’m also not a couch potato. I seriously care about my health. So even though it doesn’t dominate every aspect of my day, I’m willing to do some work and make some changes to get it right — even changes that aren’t always convenient. As one example, I’ve never done meals and snacks in a way that really works with my exercise schedule. Ben Greenfield’s advice finally drove it home for me how much I’d been shortchanging my workout by not eating right before, during and after. Not only did he make that clear, he gave specific advice about what, when and how much to eat — both the ideal plan and the “in a pinch” solution. Did it already fit the rhythm of my day? Nope. It took actually scheduling my food down to the hour until it became a habit and making sure I had certain foods on hand at certain times in certain amounts. It wasn’t rocket science, but it wasn’t like breathing, either. Instead, it was exactly what I needed — that place between too complicated and useless — and it’s made a big difference in how I look and feel. As long as Ben keeps hitting that middle ground for people who are willing to make some real changes for real results, I’ll keep coming back for more. Cheers!”
Eric Van Meter
“What I appreciate about Ben is his accessibility and transparency through podcasts, Twitter, email and through local events. Seven months pregnant and 43 years old, I still dream of completing an Ironman Triathlon someday, but it seems a long way from here to there. With Ben as a local resource however, I can still believe anything is possible!”
“Hi Ben! Just like to send you a quick paragraph to let you know that you inspire me to powerwalk back and forth to the gym (total 60 min) and work out at 4.20 AM every morning before I am off to school! Could not do it without your awesome podcast keeping me company! Many greetings!”
Maria Poka from Sweden
“Ben, I was introduced to your site by Kevin Koskella several months ago. I have gotten a lot of great ideas about varying my workout routines. Your suggestions help keep my workouts fresh – very important for a triathlete who works out nearly every day (without overtraining, of course!). I write the routines (like the side strengthening exercises and ripped body workout) on 3×5 cards, laminate them, and carry them in my gym bag. I’ve got a collection of body weight exercise cards to complement weight training, so I never get bored or stuck in a rut. I’m fitter at 51 than I’ve been since my early 20′s. Thanks! Best regards.”
“I might not have the biggest weight loss story or even an astonishing PR time, but I have had a profound impact made on my life by Ben Greenfield Fitness that I want to attempt to put into words. I’ve always had an interest in fitness and nutrition and always been a recreational runner (recreational after those memories of intense high school cross country competition faded). This year, in honor of my dad’s birthday on 10.10 my brother and I decided to run the Chicago Marathon for World Vision. I’d never taken on anything like it in all my years of running; and, after choosing a random free online training program started pounding away at the pavement day-after-day. To no one’s surprise but mine I developed excruciating plantar fascitis around the end of July. I was convinced I’d blown it, my personal marathon goal, my intent to do my dad proud and to honor those who donated, thinking I probably wouldn’t even be showing up at the starting line. Desperate for help I did what any normal 20-something would do, I hit the web (ha). Via i-tunes I discovered all the BG podcasts and from there the Marathon Dominator ideologies of how to train through an injury and how to avoid overtraining in general, and yet still kick ass (a-mazing). The holistic approach to fitness and nutrition opened my eyes and rocked my world. I’d heard all about gu and recovery drinks and realized that they were a bit too hard on my body, so I just wrote to Ben and wound up blown away by a thoughtful personal response that led me to natural products that worked for me. This incredibly busy personal trainer and rockstar triathlete took the time to address listeners personally and discuss with honesty, and sometimes blunt hilarity, all the issues we face with training, food and supplements. So, on that too-warm morning of 10.10.10 I was able to stand at the marathon starting line ready to go. Why? Ben Greenfield. Simply put I now felt like I KNEW my body like never before. And someone else who can teach you to know yourself, is priceless.”
“Hi Ben, You are an inspiration to the rest of us lesser beings. Your podcasts have helped me immensely to achieve a higher level of fitness and return to locally competitive volleyball, after a 10 year hiatus. I am a 45 year old husband, father of twin preschool daughters, work a job that has demanded, at times, 150% of me and generally a product of Western Society. Until my early 30s I worked out 4-6 times a week and played at least 2 team sports at any point in the year. I am 6’1″ and I never weighed more than 185lbs and had solid physique. I ate what I wanted when I wanted. In Feb 2010 peaked at 215lbs and I couldn’t run a quarter mile at any pace without being winded. A worrisome roll around my midriff made it hard to fit into my clothes. I was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea in Sept 2009, partially attributed to lack of muscle tone and partially alleviated with a mouth piece. Since I was travel ling for 3 weeks every 2 months, I took the opportunity to start an exercise routine… Simple cardio, as much as I could handle, and breaking some of my worst eating habits, healthier snacks, and focus on content and timing.Then I found your podcasts, starting with Get-Fit Guy, and soon after BenGreenfieldFitness. The information on interval and cardio training helped me design a training plan that did not require me to find 2 hour blocks every day and still get results. Taking advantage of inefficient exercise to drive better gains was eye opening. Your balanced approach to diet, especially the use of “real” food, is most important, and is something that really rings true. When you expose the fallacies of the one line snippets of common wisdom that media heaps on us, I am empowered to use healthy (and guilt free) foods such as eggs and understand the real trade-offs of components like sweeteners. I have introduced quinoa into my weekly diet, and am eating more raw nuts and proteins to get the best benefit of the training I am doing. Your advice on timing of various nutrients has been invaluable. Your podcasts are clear, to me at least, on when supplements will help “average joes” like me, or if they are aimed at more high performance athletes. The most interesting aspects are the interviews and your dissection and simplification of clinical studies. Both add yet another facet of valuable information for my use. I am overwhelmed by how much you publish free of charge, considering how much time it must take to compile. You are sparing with product endorsements, or at least you go to the trouble of making them a lot less obvious than other experts. With your help, I have been training seriously since August and have got down to 198lbs and am again playing competitive volleyball (granted, a local league). I am coaching soccer and floor hockey for our kids. My goal is to be able to maintain 180-185lbs with regular activity. I want to show my girls by example, what a healthy lifestyle is and to be a good resource and partner in my wife’s journey into a better level of fitness.”
“I trained with Ben for over a year. In that time I learned and developed a lifetime of healthy behaviors. Short-term, Ben guided and motivated me to have the best Bloomsday performance thus far in my life! Long-term he helped me get off the weight roller coaster I have ridden since I had my children! . You really have helped me make permanent changes. Thank you Ben!”
Stephanie P., Spokane, WA
“Ben’s commitment to his clients is apparent. In the immediate, I have lost weight and fat, but more importantly gained a new perspective on my nutrition and training habits. The healthy choices I make when I eat out, and grocery shop, are now second nature. The entire shape of my body has changed. I especially love my “gravity defying” glutes! My friends and family are constantly commenting on my new body and positive attitude since starting my training with Ben. Thank you for pushing me past what I think is possible!”
Maisha T., Portland OR
“After the birth of my first child I struggled to return to my normal weight. I tried various forms of self directed exercise programs and diets but never seemed to make any progress. Frustrated with no results for what seemed like too much effort over two years, I turned to Ben Greenfield. Ben assessed my situation and developed a personalized training routine to target my problem areas. Within weeks I noticed visible signs of progress. Over the next few months working with Ben, my endurance improved, I grew stronger, and I reached my weight and body fat goals. Now for the first time that I can remember I am not exercising or dieting to lose weight but because I enjoy it. With Ben’s encouragement and guidance I am now training for triathlons with the confidence that I am in the best shape of my life.”
Leanna O., Seattle, WA
“I was referred to Ben at Champions for a series of metabolic tests to help understand why I was not able to lose weight. I had been working out faithfully for months, including running 3x week. Although my stamina had improved and there was muscle toning, I stayed the same weight & size. Working with Ben was great. To have the metabolic tests to see what my resting metabolic rate was an eye opening experience. I had not been eating enough calories and my diet had to be tweaked to eliminate a couple of things. Testing to see where my body burned the most calories helped fine tune my workouts. Each time I came in to check my metabolism, nutrition and weight, I saw results. I have lost 15lbs and dropped 3 dress sizes. My son is getting married in August, I wanted to look and feel my best, Ben helped me achieve my goal.”
Shelli T., Spokane, WA
“When I was younger, I took my health for granted and going to a gym never really appealed to me. I am approaching 60 and now I don’t take anything for granted! Although I don’t have any competitive athletic aspirations, I decided to find a top trainer who is an elite athlete. I have been working with Ben Greenfield for about a year. I have never met anyone so enthusiastic about health and fitness. I actually look forward to going to the gym and training with him. He has a joy about fitness that is contagious. All my friends have noticed that I look better, and ask if I am working out. I love having more energy and just being able to do every activity better. With Ben’s help I know that I am going to live longer and live well – thank you, Ben!”
Dave J., Liberty Lake, WA
“Ben takes a very focused personal interest in his client’s fitness goals. Every workout is different and each set addresses a weakness to improve. He encourages varied sports and helps you develop the skills to succeed. My exercise had become routine and I thought I was lucky to maintain my fitness. Ben encouraged me set new goals and try harder. His coaching and training helped me to eat and exercise smarter. In 2 months I lost 12 pounds, lowered body fat 4 percentage points, strengthened an injured knee to avoid surgery and lowered my blood pressure. Thanks, Ben!”
Carolyn F., Liberty Lake, WA
“After completing two marathons, I decided to commit myself to improving my performance on the next. On a physician’s advice, I went to Ben, first for metabolic testing and then for his online training program. I have been very impressed with his depth of knowledge; he has applied intelligence and structure to my training with good effect on my overall fitness and my running. His responses to my questions are prompt and useful, yet he never makes me feel like I am a nuisance – I feel supported in all my efforts. I consider Ben a valuable resource for all levels of athletes.”
Marji B., Chelan, WA
“Working with Ben on my nutritional plan for training and racing triathlons has not only made a significant difference in my performance, but also noticeable changes in my day to day energy levels. I have also had very valuable information come from the lactate threshold tests at Champions Sports Medicine as well. The benefits have been exponential (via daniel at dh online). Ben is extremely knowledgeable, helpful, and resourceful. I would highly recommend him!”
Jessi T., Spokane, WA
“This last winter I made a decision to compete in triathlon. I bought a book, set a schedule, and got to work. The only problem was I just kept getting more and more run down. No matter how I thought I was taking care of my body, I just couldn’t keep up with the energy demands of my training schedule. The only area that I could think of I hadn’t changed was my diet. Finally, I asked a friend who is training for Ironman who was working with them on their nutrition, and she said Ben Greenfield. I contacted him immediately and he agreed that I probably wasn’t fueling by body correctly. He set me up on a meal plan, gave me a shopping list, and checked in with me weekly as to my progress and make suggestions for change. He also walked me step by step through pre-race and during race nutrition, which made my first race a big success. Ben is a gifted individual in his ability to make a person understand the intricacies of fueling your body correctly. The amazing part is, these are lifelong choices as well, not just for training times. Thank you Ben for helping get my energy back and making my first triathlon a great experience.”
Tia R., Spokane, WA
“After a month of nutritional training with Ben, my body fat is down to 13.6% (105lbs lean muscle & 16.6lbs fat). That is down from 16.3% (102 lbs lean muscle & 20lbs fat). Last time I was at this body fat I had very low energy and was grumpy, grumpy, but that’s no longer the case. My energy has been very good during training also! Since meeting with Ben I have also changed my Ironman training performance. I am now eating better prior to and during races/training events and have seen a more significant amount of energy and endurance! Ironman race day is all about nutrition and if you’re low in the tank your performance takes a dive. I feel that I am now much more educated as to how much and how often I need to fuel my body.”
Vicki S., Otis Orchards, WA
“Ben Greenfield has turned my life around. I thought I was in good shape, I looked to Ben to help me get into better shape. Wow, was I wrong before. I am now in the best shape I have ever been in after 5 months of training. I have never been this strong in my life; at 39 years old I feel alive and like I can actually take on the world! His guidance and training is priceless. Ben Greenfield has made my dream a reality.”
Jim H., Seattle, WA
“Thanks to Pacific Elite Fitness, we are in the best physical shape of our lives! We have achieved a total body fitness and a nutitional lifestyle that we not only can live with but excel and thrive on! Ben truly cares about his clients and gives all he can to help them excel and meet their goals! He is more than just a “trainer” – we have gained a mentor, a teacher, and a guidance counselor to help us achieve a total body fitness level beyond what we thought was possible!”
Mary H., Spokane, WA
“After I sabotaged my first Half Ironman by improper fueling I knew I had to revise it, but I wasn’t sure where to start. I decided to call Ben Greenfield, who I’ve been following through his websites and local radio syndications for about a year. His approach to fueling and nutrition is scientific, but he makes it easy to understand. For my next century ride, I tested his fueling recommendations for my race and they were right on! I had plenty of energy after the bike to continue onto my run without any GI distress. Ben is always eager to answer any and all of my questions. He went even further to help me with supplementation, recovery, and race pace strategy. Now that I am confident that my fueling will work for my Ironman, I can concentrate on my workouts. Thanks again, Ben, and I’m looking forward to working with you in my off-season for core and strength training.”
Stephen F., Philadelphia, PN
“As my alarm went off at 7am Saturday morning so I could make my regular “Saturday morning mini triathlon” (1 hour master swim group, followed by 50 minute spin class then 15 to 20 minutes on the treadmill at my club)… I looked at the counter in my kitchen at the almond butter, next to the coconut manna, the nuts, avocado, fresh coconuts in the fruit bowl, coconut water in the fridge next to my “post workout” smoothie prepared the night before …
I realised the evidence of listening to the Ben Greenfield podcast – “the Ben Greenfield effect” – was all around me. Now a year into a sustained physical (and therefore mental) overhaul, I’m about 30 pounds lighter than a year ago, much leaner, started doing triathlons last summer and am champing at the bit for the tri season to begin again (signed up for four thus far). My eating, sleeping and exercise habits have changed dramatically and best of all, SUSTAINED. But it’s not just me … as a result of my example, the long time smoker in my office has given up the cigs and now regularly runs at lunchtime, the girl who snacked on a steady diet of chips and chocolate is now eating fruit, veg and going to the gym (and still eating a bit of chocolate), the other active guy in the office may start swim classes to do a full tri …. the Ben Greenfield effect extends even to non listeners. Downloading and listening to your podcast is now a regular Wednesday evening activity. Thanks and best regards!”
“I do not have many “before ” pictures because I was ashamed at how fat I was. My before story was that of an overweight father of 3 working shift work and hunting and fishing. My activities began to be constrained by my weight in that walking 15 or more miles was very hard and taxing. I had dome some mountain climbing and had made it to the summit of Boundary peak in Nevada (over 13,000 feet with about 7,000 feet of accent in a day. I then set out to exercise and diet my way to better health, but I just was not getting anywhere, so I worked harder and harder and was not getting anywhere. AT my most I weighed #340, I am 5’10″.
I first met Ben in my quest to find answers why I was not making headway, he was working as a clinician and coach associated with a sports medicine practice. He performed a basal metabolic test on me and guess what? a suppressed metabolic system. After that he consulted with me about what avenues I should look at. Ben will lay it out very straight when he has to but in my case he did not have to. His method was to educate me and I will make the correct decisions. Ben supplied me studies and literature that supported courses of action, and some courses needed physician assistance, what he provided me was instrumental in getting a solution in place, he also referred me to a naturepath physician.
From there I started cycling and decided to buy a commuter bike and I contacted Ben to coach me in that regard in October of 2009, well the weight started falling off and at the end of the year I had decided to try a triathlon sue we selected a Tri-it (500m swim, 12 mile bike, and 5K run) in June and by June I was #100 lighter I had trained to swim which I took 2 lessons from Ben, The Bike- by now I bought an Aero Carbon Bike, I did not win, not even the fat old man category but I was hooked, and big reason I was hooked was the fun I had training to Ben’s direction. I used both Ben’s workouts and his nutritional advice. About 8 weeks later I completed an Olympic Distance triathlon, and then later another olympic and then my first season ended with a 1.2 mile swim and a 56 mile bike, Ben did not want me to injure myself in the run.
The next year my body had started to adapt and the training level came up. Ben was very diligent in explaining what and why he was prescribing workouts. His guidance from planning races while fitting in a family life was a virtue highly valued by myself and my family. I actually won my age division at both a sprint and Olympic distance triathlon’s. I actually saw #208 which was #132 loss.
You know you folks are probably after a more quick hit story here it is:
I was sitting in a Doctors office 51 years old and #340 this Whitecoat told be there was no doubt that we should set up Bariatric Bypass Surgery that I was grossly Morbidly Obese. A year later I had lost over #100, Identified 2 major health issues, cured 3 others (GERD, IBS, Acid Reflux) yes cured (I got rid of the root cause) AND completed a triathlon. 2 1/2 years later I completed Ironman Canada (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile Bike, 26.2 mile Run) in 14:35. Today Ben continues to coach me with the goal of Kona in 2013 and to be competitive within my age group and with Ben’s guidance it will happen, it has to.”
Jim McIntosh – http://www.aintdoneyet.net
“I had an athletic child hood, not sure where it all got lost, but at around my 30th birthday in Hawaii, I looked at my pictures after the trip and decided this is it and embarked a journey not knowing any direction, nor goal, but I took a deep dive of faith. This was the time around when I came across Ben’s great work and contribution to the world of fitness, I incoporated every single bit and piece I could in my podcast, maticulously translated some food and lifestyle recommendations to fit my own and without knowing, it became a part of life, the 1 hour podcast was somtimes 2 hours, rewind and grasp, rewind and grasp, how can a voice inspire someone so much was beyond me.
Then came a stage where unknowingly some food habits and lifestyle became a part of my day to day life. It started positively impacting my near and dear ones and right after 3 months when I thought I am nearing the end of my journey, I came to realize, I had just begun. I can’t thank Ben enough.
Today, I am into competitive marathons and racing, and day by day I incorporate Ben’s coaching into refining what I do. I am training for my first traiathlon, learning to swim a stroke in order to do so, hadn’t thought I’d ever be motivated so much…for life it seems.
Now that its becoming part of my triathlete life, today, sometimes you can’t measure how much you gained from being in Ben’s world, but it surely is difficult and scary to measure how much you would have lost without.
Some key milestones:
WEIGHT: 174.3lbs (July)…Today –> 149lbs
BODY FAT: 20% (June 2010)…Today –> 11.2% (August 2011) (athelets have 8%)
WAIST: 34″ (july)…Today –> 29″
CHOLESTEROL: LDL 128 mg/DL (April)…Today –> LDL 69mg/DL (doc said this is best she’s seen for Indian male in 30s among her patients, normal range is 100 – 159mg/DL)
REST HEART BEAT: 64 bpm (July)…Today –> 59bpm (athletes are below 50bpm, Lance Armstrong is 32bpm)
Ninad (before/after pictures below)
“How much is a good coach worth? Is a good coach worth $197 for an hour of his time? I say, “Yes,” and here is my story.
I started running in February 2011 because as a firefighter, I was looking to regain my fitness and health after putting on a few pounds. As a new runner, I of course encountered the new runner problems, but it was not a big deal. I quickly completed several 5ks. Then in September 2011, I raced my first 10k in which I took 3rd place. Inspired, I set goals to complete the Space Coast Half Marathon and Disney World Half Marathon. As I was getting close to the Space Coast Half, I started having some knee problems. I sought out to find a coach, and found someone who seemed to have great credentials and reputation. Unfortunately, under this coach’s guidance, I suffered three major running injuries. The first was IT band syndrome that caused me to DNS the Space Coast Half Marathon. The second was a stress fracture in my left foot that caused me to DNS the Disney World Half Marathon. The third was a Grade 2 Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis with a Grade 2 ATFL Sprain and Partial Arch Collapse that caused me to DNS the Race for Research Half Marathon.
While undergoing rehab with a sports chiropractor, I contacted Ben Greenfield for some coaching assistance. Not only had my previous coach left me injured, but with the classic thin upper body frame and chubby mid-section. Ben covered some running training points, provided guidance on proper weight lifting routines, and even provided some dietary advice. I utilized both the Weight Lifting for Triathlon and Marathon Dominator to help get me to Key Biscayne Half Marathon. Prior to my last injury, I was looking at completing a half marathon between the 2:00 to 2:05 mark. I adjusted my time goal to 2:10, and then up to 2:15 after finding out the bridge that was labeled as a small hill was 80 feet high, which needed to be run not once but twice.
Race day arrived, and I was ready. Conditions were less than perfect with rain the entire time, 15+ MPH winds, and the bridge requiring 108 foot climb, not 80 feet. I looked down after the first mile, shocked at my time. I continued to turn out fast (for me) laps, with the first time over the bridge being one of my fastest laps. The last two miles, I was deep in the pain cave as Ben would say, but I knew it was only a mental game at that point. I finished my first half marathon with a time of 2:03:13. I could not believe it, especially since 6 weeks prior I had to stop running completely for 2 weeks because of the last injury.
I have no doubt that Ben’s assistance got me to the finish line of my first half marathon. I am not a rich man, and the money paid to consult with Ben has hit my training budget hard. However, I would have no problems consulting with Ben again, so if you thinking if it is worth it, I would give a resounding, “YES!”
“My name is Nick Burgraff and I live in Suamico, Wisconsin. I have been listening to your all of your podcasts and following all of your postings for a while now and I recently joined your inner circle recently, as well. Everything that you have created is amazing and thank you for providing us with all of this information. I wanted to share with you my testimonial.
When I was a senior in high school (18years old) I weighed 310lbs! Now I am 21 years old and weigh 160lbs. And I’m not going to lie; it feels amazing to have lost 150lbs. I lost the weight because my uncle was going to do a triathlon near my house the day after my graduation and he had jokingly made fun of me saying “hey Nick, you should sign up to do the tri with me” as he was laughing. And after that I took a look at myself in the mirror and was utterly disgusted. Then long story short, I lost the weight, did the triathlon with him and then started competing in triathlons and cycling races. I now like to think that I am competitive in triathlons and I have a couple sponsors for running shoes, biking shoes, and helmets.
I am now 21 years old, still 160lbs and I am a senior at the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. In my sophomore year of college I decided to try Nordic skiing and I ended up trying out and walking on to the Nordic Skiing team at the university (a division 1 ski team). I also received and am still receiving a full tuition scholarship for skiing which is nice too. I am graduating next fall and I am majoring in exercise science.
Like I said, I love self-experimentation when it comes to health and fitness and all of that kind of stuff. I have tried almost all of the ratios when it comes to diet (high carb/low fat, high protein/low fat, high fat/low carb, etc.) and the one that works the best by far is your approach of high fat/low carb. It has made a huge improvement on my performance and body composition. I am at a 4% body fat right now and stay around 4-6% all year. I can do 5hr workouts on nothing but water and some eggs or something before I go and be just fine, and I can also race competitively at the national level in Nordic skiing races eating some coconut butter and heavy cream before my race. I have read your “low carbohydrate guide for athletes” book and also all of the things that Peter Attia has talked about. The science behind the low carb/ high fat approach is really cool. And I have to thank you sooo much for opening my eyes to this concept!
You are the first person that I am sharing part of my weight loss story with (other than people that know me personally of course). This is because I never knew who I should tell or if I should tell anyone about my weight loss success, probably because I am not one to gloat much about my success and try to be as humble as possible. I lost 150lbs and I have kept it off for three years now; I also did all of this between the ages of 18-21. Oh yeah, and all in this process I also quit smoking, chewing (tobacco), drinking and all of that kind of bad stuff as well. I also had asthma since I was 5years old (I was taking advair) and since losing the weight I am completely free of all of my medications and my asthma is gone.
I’m sorry this turned into somewhat of a mini-novel about me, but I just feel so amazing following all of your ideas with the health and nutrition and fitness that I needed to tell you.”
Nick Burgraff, Wisconsin
For more information on coaching and training with Greenfield Fitness Systems, or to hire Ben as your coach or personal trainer, simply click here, or send Ben an e-mail at [email protected], or call toll-free to 1-877-209-9439.
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