Introduction: In this podcast, is the Paleo diet good for cross country runners, how to improve your bike times using cross fit endurance, how to address Severs disease, magnesium or Epsom salts which is better, which type of protein is best, should you only supplement with omega 3 or are 6 and 9 okay too, should you target parts of the body or do full body work outs, can and should you track your insulin levels, and does the Bite Tech mouth guard help you eliminate snoring?
Brock: Hey everybody welcome to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast. Here we go for another episode. How is it going Ben?
Ben: It’s going well Brock, welcome back by the way. I guess it’s a good sign that you're actually here for the second episode.
Brock: I’m proud to be back.
Ben: You didn't get canned.
Brock: I didn't get canned and we did get some really nice constructive feedback from the people too. It's nice.
Ben: We did and for those of you who may have been wondering, Brock is actually, and perhaps I wasn't clear about this in the first episode that we did with Brock but Brock isn't taking over the show from me. I will always be the Ben Greenfield of the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast but probably the best way to explain what Brock is doing here on the show is he is the announcer/sidekick. Oprah had a sidekick, Johnny Carson, Howard Stern, Conan O'Brien, Batman and now the Ben Greenfield show has a sidekick/announcer so that's what Brock's role is on this show and Brock is actually, for those of you who are interested during a lot of behind the scenes work now that's incredibly valuable when it comes to the production of this podcast on a weekly basis.
Brock: I'm actually just a huge nerd this whole talking in front of people kind of thing is a little unfamiliar to me so.
Ben: That's alright you'll get it down very quickly, throw by fire. So Brock last week you talked a little bit about some of your background primarily in the arts and also the geek work that you do but you actually have a little bit more going on in terms of your personal health background and we're gonna jump into the special announcements here in just a little bit but you know really quickly can you kind of go over what happened to you and what got you into what you're doing today in terms of your health history specifically because i think it's an interesting story.
Brock: I think what got me into endurance sports in the first place I have always been interested in sports, I always played hockey, I always loved running, interested in all that kind of stuff but what really got me into endurance sport was actually just a completely flippant glib remark that was made by my cardiologist a number of years ago. And the reason I was seeing a cardiologist was because I actually got a viral infection in the pericardium which is the sac that goes around your heart that basically holds it in place that stops it from colliding with your lungs and everything. So I had a viral infection that moved into there that is called pericarditis or myocarditis, the myocardium as well was inflamed so basically my heart was enlarged, it was very rigid, just not working correctly and I actually had went what do they call A-fib a few times which means I had heart failure and I spent a good year and a half in and out of the hospital. I had what is very textbook relapse, it's just exactly what normally happens is what happened to me where I was over it, feeling a little bit better, trying to make a recovery and then was hit with it again and I end up spending a much more time in the hospital. So once I finally got the okay and found out that there was no damage to my heart. I was very lucky that there was no damage to my heart. I kept having the symptoms, I kept feeling like there is still something wrong with my heart, I kept coming into the cardiologist and say no, no still no good and they wired me back up, I don't know if you've heard of the halter monitor system but they basically put up the heart monitor on you for 24 hours and you walk around and do everything you normally do, monitors everything your heart does, you push a little button every time you feel a symptom so it marks on the tape where you felt the symptom and then they download all that information. And after about the third time I went in and had one of those tests the doctor finally like cardiologist finally said “Look Brock you're fine it's over, you have to figure out a way to convince your head that your heart is okay.” And I was like “what am I gonna do” and he said “I don't know, why don't you run a marathon or something like that.” And I, looking back, I doubt he actually meant that I should go and run a marathon I think he was just like sort of grasping on straws being desperate but I took him on his word and a cousin of mine was a, he'd done Ironman a few times and he seems to know what he was talking about so I contacted him and he coached me for my first marathon and that all started it off and it actually blossomed into a much more in depth sort of liking for this entire sport. Not just running the races but actually getting certifications and learning more about nutrition and following people like you, yourself Ben and really getting into the whole health aspect of everything because really that's the most important thing we've got.
Ben: Well, kudos for you for taking charge of your health like that and you know folks if you're listening in, the pericarditis and myocarditis typically you know you're gonna see that stuff happened in somebody who has had maybe a heart attack or has like an autoimmune disorder like rheumatoid arthritis or something of that nature but it can actually happen. It did happen to one of my friends as well from just from getting the flu and having that infection, spread into the sac that surrounds the heart so it is a very interesting condition that I find it amazing that it come out of a blue like that and attack your cardio vascular system. So Brock thanks for sharing that with us and you know folks if you have questions about the percarditis and myocarditis feel free to leave it as a comment underneath the show notes for this podcast and with that being said, what do you think Brock should we jump in to this week's special announcements?
Brock: I think so!
Brock: Alright! Special announcements Ben. What's been going on at BenGreenfieldFitness?
Ben: Well, I run a website Brock. A couple of articles this week, one on chest muscles and specifically the title of the article were “Three Ways to Get a Better Chest That Looks and Performs Like an Olympic Athlete”. So, definitely go check that out that's again one of the articles I'm writing in the series of articles leading up to the release of the “Trireps Triathlon Training Plan” and then also I released a video that I shot shortly after I slipped and injured my knee last week about “Injury Recovery Tools” to get you bouncing back as quickly as possible and I went over the 10 things that I think are the most important when it comes to bouncing back quickly from an injury. So those are over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com.
Brock: So how are you bouncing back? Are you off to Thailand? What? Tomorrow?
Ben: Exactly! That was actually something else I wanted to announce on the special announcements for anybody who happens to just be in the Phuket, Thailand area this weekend. I'm on my way down there to race the Asia Pacific 70.3 World Championships in the attempts to qualify for cona down there so tomorrow morning at about 3:30 am I'll hop on a plane and head down to Thailand and the knee is feeling better and I should be ready to race when that race rolls around. So..
Brock: So that's what just a little slip on the ice that did that to your knee, wasn't it?
Ben: Exactly, just a run and the leg kind of went off from underneath me going around the corner and as much as I can tell I just kind of tweaked the IT band. So that’s the first for me to actually hurt the IT band doing anything else other than just running too much but apparently it can happen because it did. So the other quick thing I wanted to mention to you folks was that although my book that I put a lot of work into last year called “Weight Training for Triathlon” does not come out in a print format until February of next year. It actually is out as of this week in the Kindle version, the nook version and the Apple iTunes version are all available and I'll put a link to each of those versions in the show notes for people who actually wants to get into their weight training for triathlon early on here in the off season. Those are now available, the book is full of the science behind the weight training and why it works and dispelling a lot of the myths and a lot of the arguments that people bring up against people who are weight lifting to get better at endurance sports and then goes into everything you need to know about how to get started in weight training or how to get more bang for your buck out of weight training and finally, most importantly the part of the book that took me the longest period of time to write that goes into routines for every single part of your training year. And so in my opinion, in valuable tool for tri-athletes and endurance athletes and we'll put a link to that up at BenGreenfieldFitness.com. So it’s ready now, the publisher wrote me an e-mail, told me that they had it out in all those venues and I checked and sure enough its there so people can grab it.
Brock: Me too. I was very happy to see it on iTunes. Good price too. $9.99. Beautiful!
Ben: There you go.
News Flash Section:
Brock: Alright! Welcome to the brand new section, the News Flash Section. This is when Ben's going to talk about all the biggest advances in health and fitness and all that good stuff you tuned in to hear in this section. Hopefully, this will be ongoing things so we can keep everybody up to date on the newest and the greatest stuff. So what have you got for us Ben?
Ben: Absolutely that's why I want to start doing this typically and those of you who follow me on Twitter know that I am constantly tweeting the latest and greatest when it comes to what's going on in the world of health, fitness and nutrition and I wanna start making podcast listeners aware of these things as well. Everything that I bring up here I'll put a link to in the show notes and you can of course get this stuff fresh off the press if you follow me on Twitter. I'll put a link on the show notes but that's just Twitter.com/HYPERLINK “https://www.twitter.com/bengreenfield”BenGreenfield.
Brock: There's one thing that I, just before you get into, one thing I noticed on Twitter the other day you posted something about you playing guitar, playing a stained song. Now I've been listening to the podcast for a long time, I had no idea you played guitar.
Ben: I was in a band all through high school and was the lead singer in a rock band for 12 until three years ago when I had my kids and I quit but I still strum on my guitar.
Brock: Is this something you're going to put a link to in the show notes?
Ben: Absolutely not! No but there you go, that is a news flash. I guess for those of you who wanted to know about that.
Brock: Sorry to derail the thing there, I just had to bring that up.
Ben: No, that's okay. I'm one of the few members of my family now who's still not in the band in playing frequently. So that being said there are a few things that I found really interesting this week that came across my desk and I'll put a link to these in the show notes for those of you who want to learn more but the first is the idea that for a long time it's been floating around in sport performance arenas that there is a link between higher levels of testosterone and estrogen in individuals who have a longer or a ratio of the 2nd digit that's your 2nd finger, your index finger, the ratio of that to your ring finger is negatively correlated with sports performance basically meaning that the longer your index finger is, in relation to your ring finger, the better at sports you are supposedly supposed to be and there was actually a study that came out that look at this, and this was an addition to several studies that have come before that looked at performance in male surfers particularly and it did find as many other studies have found in the past that there is a significant correlation between the second digit to four digit ratio and sports performance and its very very interesting because you'll look at this from the very beginning when you're starting off as a baby and you do have higher levels of pre-natal testosterone and pre-natal estrogen when it comes to the ratio between your second digit and your fourth digit. So those of you who wants to look at your hands and also look at the research, I'll put a link to that in the show notes.
Brock: I'm screwed. I maybe just quit.
Ben: Well remember, you can always beat genetics with hard training.
Brock: I can wail on my finger too, just make it longer.
Ben: There you go. Another interesting study came across my radar about the Wii and then a lot of people are kind of using the Wii for fitness. This study, the three months of home Wii fit use and changes in physical activity. So how much you actually move around and exercise, and also how high your levels of fitness are when you are using the Wii on the three month basis. And fitness was measured with the treadmill test to push ups, flexibility test, balance test, and then body fat and it was actually found that there was no significant benefit of using the Wii vs just engaging in day to day physical activity. So, I do not doubt that the Wii is probably better than simply setting in playing Nintendo or PlayStation but at the same time do not, especially if you’re a parent, count on the Wii being the sole way to get your child fit or to get yourself fit. There's something to be said for but I don't think as much could be said for based on the results on the study that I'll put the link to as a lot of people would think.
Brock: That's kind of sad. I was really hoping I was getting some extra cross training in our house playing with my Wii.
Ben: It's not gonna make you fast your marathon on I'm sorry to say. Antioxidants supplementation during exercise training, this was a meta-study meaning it was a study of many other studies that came out this week and essentially it looked at whether antioxidant supplementation was beneficial or detrimental and this was one of the bigger looks at over 150 different articles that could have been published on this topic. And the main finding of this study was that loading your body with high doses of antioxidants actually blunts the positive effects of exercise training. It interferes with many of the things that happen as you get fitter specifically like facial dilation or growth of bigger blood vessels and your response to hormone, insulin. So while I thought that study was interesting at the same time if you go back and look at all of the studies that they referenced, there's been very little done in terms of looking at a full spectrum of antioxidant supplementation in elite athletes or in people who are simply exercising a lot more than the average individual and I would still like to see some studies come out that look at a full spectrum of antioxidant supplementation rather than just like high doses of vitamin C and high doses of vitamin E and also look at those in relation to people who are exercising a lot vs. people who are maybe not doing so much.
Brock: Ben you've been saying for a long time now that taking the antioxidants just purely in like a vitamin C or vitamin E form is not doing what the broad spectrum would be doing anyway, so the study needs to be done.
Ben: Exactly! Building a beverage for recovery from endurance activity. I saw this study that peaked my interest and I looked into it and basically it was reviewing all the previous studies that have been done on the use of recovery beveragesa and the research came with a conclusion about what you should be drinking after exercise is about 1.2 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight immediately after exercise and every hour thereafter for four to six hours post exercise and frankly I think that's just ridiculous. What it means is that you're sensually drinking a few hundred calories of pure sugar every hour after exercise for four to six hours post exercise and the fact is that all of the studies that they look at to build a case like this to do something like that were done on people who were completely starved when they exercised and they don't have taken into account the fact if you just kind of eat when you're hungry and you eat real food and you have a few meals after you workout then within eight hours after you've worked out, your storage carbohydrate levels are just as high as they would be following this protocol of taking in what amounts to a lot of sugar every hour for four to six hours post exercise. So what annoys me most about studies like this is that a lot of times kids are going to read this, high school athletes, junior high athletes, whatever, and you're basically just going to get people sucking down way too much Gatorade or Powerade or sugary drinks and sugary smoothies when really there is absolutely no difference in doing that and having some rice and broccoli and chicken and a few other types of real meals for a while after your work out.
Brock: Having all that sugar is going to wreak havoc on your immune system as well just pounding all that sugar bag constantly.
Ben: They don't look at that stuff in these studies. They don't look at the health of the teeth or the health of the immune system or the net acidic level within the body so it's very interesting. A few other studies that came across my desk time course for recovery of peak aerobic power after blood donation. This is interesting for people who are donating blood because what they found was that there is a significant decrease in your maximum oxygen consumption for two to three weeks after you donate blood. Before you take in that sharp breathe of air and never go donate blood again before you've got a race or a workout, you should know that although that happened there was absolutely no effect on performance. Meaning that its very rare that in any race or event or sport you're ever actually working out at your peak oxygen neurolization. So ultimately even though that peak oxygen neurolization decreases for two to three weeks after you donate blood it doesn't matter. You're still able to perform just as well and they actually looked at that mis-study was whether, what happened to the peak oxygen neurolization but also did it affect performance and the answer was no. The last thing I wanted to bring up was aging and factors related to running economy and this was a study that looked at aging athletes and ways that they could increase their running economy or things that would directly correlated to running economy and while there was a lot that came up in this study, I thought that the most interesting thing was that the variable most correlated to maintaining your running economy as you age if you're a runner was strength and specifically the type of strength you would develop with things like squats, lunges, leg extensions, leg curls and so there's quite a bit to be said there especially if you're an aging athlete and an aging runner for weight training. That was the variable most associated with maintaining your running economy and staying a better runner as you age.
Brock: You put that one in for me, didn't you?
Ben: No, no. I put that one in for all of the listeners including myself to encourage you to weight training. There you go, go pick up the book “Weight Training for Triathlon”. I didn't purposefully plan for that but then it ties in nicely and really folks you probably know that I'm a big fan of weight training but this once again solidifies the fact that it is very beneficial especially as you age if you're a runner especially. So those are the News Flashes for this week Brock.
Brock: Ben, why don't you tell us about the interview that we're going to be playing a little bit later on here?
Ben: After today's Q & A I am going to be putting on an interview that I did with a gentleman Eric from FoundationRoots.com and Eric co-wrote a book on Core Training with Lance Armstrong, strength conditioning coach and Eric has a very unique approach to core training. I'm not gonna give away the farm here in terms of what Eric describes as far as his core training protocol but all I can say is that its very important stuff that a lot of people don't take into consideration when they work in their course. So I would highly encourage you to listen in after this week's Q & A to that interview with Eric from Foundation Roots.
Brock: Sounds like some valuable stuff. Well let's get into the Q&A so we can get to the interview.
Brock: Alright! First question. Are you ready Ben?
Ben: Let's do this!
Shannon: Hello! My name is Shannon. I'm a freshman in high school and I run cross country competitively. I run anywhere from 240 to 380 minutes a week on average and I eat very healthy for the most part but lately I’ve been doing some research into the Paleo diet and I'm very interested. I've done quite a bit of research on it and I really want to give it a go but I just don't want it to affect my performance level of intensity or my goals. I feel sluggish at times with my regular diet and I have stomach-related problems such as Gastritis and duodenitis…
Brock: Is that how you pronounce it?
Ben: Probably duodenitis, that's an inflammation of the duodenum part of the small intestine.
Brock: There you go.
Shannon: And I’m also hypothyroid. I know that the Paleo diet might have to alter some things like you and Rob Wolf discussed in episode 120 but I’m still not really sure where you stand on it. I talked about one of my teammates has made some really big, impressive changes by going Paleo and I’m really tempted to try the same thing especially since eating certain foods messes up my stomach sometimes but I’m scared of jeopardizing my season, so I’m looking for feedback on that.
Ben: Yeah! You know, don't get me wrong. The Paleo diet of many of the diets that are out there is a very healthy diet. If you were eating a typical American Diet, the Standard American Diet which is abbreviated SAD, then you were to switch to the Paleo diet you would immediately see changes in your body. However, there are aspects of the Paleo diet that I disagree with and probably the biggest aspect of the Paleo diet that I disagree with is the idea that you need to cut-out all grains. There's a lot of kind of anti-grain talk, and kind of grain-bashing activity that goes on in Paleo circles that I think is unfounded and you'll see many arguments out there as far as Paleo goes but ultimately, before I go in to my thoughts on this whole grains thing, I would tell you that if you switch to the Paleo diet and you are an endurance athlete, probably your biggest risk is not getting enough carbohydrates to support the high amount of calories that you're burning and the massive amount of glycogen, storage glycogen, or storage carbohydrate that you're going through so I would tweak the diet. If you need to, you can up the carbs that are allowed in something like the Paleo diet and that would be things like sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, beets, a lot of these root vegetables, pars nips things of that nature, or consider including grains but doing so in an intelligent manner in which you prepare grains the right way. You soak them, you sprout them, you do things to them that removes a lot of the effect that they can have on the digestive system and for you, it may be a matter of experimenting because, especially with something like duodenitis, you may find that the certain grains, especially wheat in particular, may still cause formation in your gut but what you usually see when it comes to grains is there are several arguments made in the Paleo community. The first is that grains are to be blamed for all of the obese in society right now. They kind of try to draw that parallel between growth and obesity and the growth in grain intake and there really are no epidemiological studies that correlate grain intake with obesity or with a gain in body fat percentage and if that were true, if grains really were fattening, then probably some of the more obese people on the planet would be vegetarians because they're actually eating a lot more grains than their meat eating or Paleo counterparts and that's actually the opposite as what you see vegetarians who generally have a lower body mass, index or body fat or body weight compared to non-vegetarians. So as far as the link between grains and obesity it’s really not there, you'll also hear a lot about grains containing what are called phytates and oxolates and those are essentially anti-nutrients and they exist in, they do exist in grains, they can reduce the availability of a lot of different minerals in the foods that you're eating but the issue is that phytates and oxolates and all of these basically anti-nutrients, they're not just in grains. They're in a ton of different plant foods including foods that are “allowed in the Paleo diet”. Green leafy vegetables have a lot of these phytates and oxolates as well, spinach is one example. So if you claim that certain plants such as grains shouldn't be eaten because they have the ability to resist consumption or to say cause damage if they aren’t prepared properly, then that makes about as much sense as saying that you shouldn't eat a lobster because it has claws or pretty much anything with scales or shells or teeth or the ability to bite that you shouldn't eat it because it can do harm to you but the fact is that if you prepare it properly, if you go out and you hunt an animal and you skin it and you cook it and you avoid it doing damage to you in the process, then it certainly can fall into the diet and I think its silly to say that you shouldn't eat grains because they have the ability to do damage to the human body when in fact, if they are prepared properly such as soak and sprouted, many of them don't really have these adverse health effects. Another thing that you hear is that grain is to be kind of blamed for vitamin D deficiency and this is based off of a study that happened way back in the 80s when they found that people who were eating a higher fiber or a higher grain diet that vitamin D was eliminated from their blood stream a lot more quickly and really, if you look at the actual total vitamin D levels in both groups its very insignificant in terms of the actual vitamin D3 levels, the type of vitamin D that we're concerned about in both groups. And so first of all, there's not much to be said for that study that a lot of Paleo proponents kind of claim when they say that grain decreases vitamin D or causes vitamin D deficiency and the fact is there's a lot of different variables when you look in vitamin D3 deficiency that goes beyond simply granious and that could be everything from the penetration of UV rays from less direct sunlight, use of sun screen, population shifting the higher latitudes, a lot of different issues as well as simply when you get older you decrease your ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun, and interestingly as you gain weight you also decrease your ability to absorb vitamin D. So it simply can't be definitely said that grains cause a decrease in vitamin D. There's an argument that grains cause inflammation and again, if grains are prepared properly you can really decrease inflammation and what's most interesting is that refine grains, grains that are say like white flower that is possibly correlated with inflammation but in just about every study out there, grains that are more of a whole grain are inversely correlated with inflammation, they’re considered to be things that can actually decrease inflammation and if the grain is prepared properly, again there is not much evidence out there at all that its actually going to cause any amount of inflammation. And i think that the whole idea behind inflammation is kind of blown out of proportion, especially on people in healthy populations, people who don't have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity or something of that nature. And then probably the last thing here is that grains have lectins in them and lectins are these carbahydrade-binding proteins that you find again in all plants not just grains but the concern is that lectins can be like this defense mechanism that plants have and that they could potentionally cause again inflammation in the gut, binding of insulin receptors or leptin receptors which could potentionally cause weight gain but again there's very little data that actually supports this and most of the data is kind of speculative. You take something like kimwa which I require regularly and it has something very similar to lectins and its got these what are called supponens in it which basically act as almost like a detergent in your gut and if you soak kimwa, it gets rid of the supponens. People have been doing that for thousand of years. So ultimately, I think that there is a way to eat foods that your grandparents would have recognized or that humans have been eating for a long period of time and also not do damage to your body by including grains as well. You just have to choose them properly and know that you need to have a raised the eyebrow, any diet that just crossed the boards that you can't eat a certain a food group especially if that food group is found in nature.
Brock: There you go Shay-mo, so I guess go Paleo but don’t skip the grains.
Ben: Yeah! Which technically wouldn't be Paleo and ultimately if Shannon does have gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease though, that's some totally different. That's a health condition and there maybe an issue there with eating grains. It's the same as me, I'm lactose intolerant so I stay away from milk. So you do need to take into account those factors as well.
Brock: Absolutely! Okay, our next question comes from Ken.
Ken: Hi Ben! I train a cross fit endurance from my first Ironman and finished in 14 hours with a smile on my face. Since I was beyond the beginner, I spend extra time working on my swim. My question is for my New York City Ironman, how can I turn my bike from a seven hour ride to a six hour? I'll be training cross fit endurance again but I'm considering doing traditional longer hour bike training to cut down on my time. What do you think of this approach?
Ben: There are a lot of different things you can do to get faster on the bike and certainly cross fit endurance kind of that minimal training maximum results type of approach is great if you press for time. I have some other issues with it that I actually talked about in my recent article that I wrote in Lava Magazine and you can go check that out, the name of the article is “Unconventional Triathlon Training” and it just talks about how I trained for Ironman this past Ironman Hawaii with minimal training time. But ultimately, the idea is that you want to get faster on the bike and you’re thinking about doing it by doing longer hour bike training. And I really don't know your fitness levels, the amount of particularly aerobic fitness that you have. So if you have never ever in your life really spent a lot of time doing long bike rides, you may want to work a few into your protocol like in the triathlon dominator plan that I wrote. There are several times during the year where you find yourself on an indoor trainer or outdoors riding at a constant power or pace for three to four hours and those kinds of sessions really are very good in improving your aerobic fitness. I personally do not I don’t think that anyone really needs to ride over four hours unless you're planning on going pro to be ready for an Ironman triathlon. There's really not a ton of benefit that or anything magical that happens in going from four to five or six or seven hour bike rides. If I were you, I would focus on few other things. The first is think about bike racing, think about hopping into some local criterium races, or local cyclocross races or local group riding races or even local time trial races because hanging out in the bike racing community will teach you a great deal about handling your bike better, making better decisions on your bike and ultimately getting faster on your bike so I would look in to doing that. I would look into, if you've got a little bit of money to burn getting a copy trainer and the copy trainer is simply a kind of like the Cadillac of indoor training devices and it allows you to, and this is something I use quite frequently when I train a copy trainer, kind of plug in the power you want to ride at and simply have the copy trainer keep you at that power no matter how hard or how slow or how fast you pedal for x period of time. So for example there were sessions where I put that copy trainer on 225 watts and I would simply tell myself “okay, I got to maintain that wattage, I'm gonna stick in this movie, and I got to maintain my wattage until the end of this movie” and then just stick in about 2 to 3 hours of television and just sit there and work at that power. So copy trainer kind of keeps you more honest, compared to a lot of other indoor trainers out there and there are a few other trainers that can be something similar but copy trainers the one that I know the most. Getting a power meter if you don't have a power meter, already can help you a lot because it really helps you to quantify how hard you're pushing against the pedals. It allows you to do your intervals a little bit more precisely, more accurately and it teaches you a lot about how you ride. For example you may find that you go a lot easier on the down hills than the flats and you thought that you were doing and then you go way too hard on the up hills when in reality, you should be kind of maintaining a constant power throughout. As far as a few other things to do consider aerodynamic equipment, aerodynamic helmet, aerodynamic wheels, aerodynamic shoes, wearing tire clothing there you can just save a ton of time by making aerodynamic changes to your bike and don't leave that off the table. I mean you can literally for an Ironman triathlon just by making equipment changes, you can shave anywhere from 10 up to almost 20 minutes depending on how on aerodynamic you were before. And then finally, look at your nutrition. In most cases, I see that people will have slower Ironman bike splits tended to not eat enough throughout the bike splits so that they're really burning or running on fumes towards the end. So in most cases you can get away with eating a lot more than you think that you should be eating especially on the bike portion of an Ironman triathlon and a lot of folks I'm working with are doing upwards especially guys upwards to 400 to 500 calories an hour on the bike during Ironman and feeling really good towards the end because they're energy levels are staying up.
Brock: I think I'm gonna shave my beard off before the next marathon because it's not very aerodynamic.
Ben: I would do that and I would also kind of put tape on your face to make sure that its super dooper smooth.
Brock: Really tape?
Ben: People tape their shoes so I would imagine taping your chins. That’s probably just as good.
Brock: Alright! Next question.
John: Hi Ben! Do you know you have some devoted fans in New Zealand?
John: Love you Steph. Have any clue how do you fit all of this into your life mate? You never stop huh? You know, I can attest that Ben does not ever stop.
Ben: I don’t even want to hear any Canadian groups with their accent.
John: I have a question on behalf of my 11-year old son. He has pain in the bottom of both feet around the heel and raiding up his Achilles tendon. To try and massage around the bottom rear of his heels has him much pain. I've researched and found that Severs disease seems to be of closest to his symptoms. He has been to see a pediatrics friend and she's given him some heel wedge type elevators which have taken some of the pressure off his heel area and this has been going on for about three years now. He loves to run but he has brought his running style onto the front or the balls of his feet which I fear is going to give him more problems. How can I train him to correct the toe gate when he still has the pain in his heels? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Ben: Now Severs disease is interesting. You're gonna see it in a lot of kids who are doing endurance sports and running and I imagine with the advent of Ironkids and triathlon getting more popular among the young population that this could turn into a bigger issue and basically what it is is it’s an overused injury but its specifically related to growth plates. You got growth plates all over your body as you're growing, as you're an adolescent and a child and what can happen is that if you are working you're growth plates over and over again or working the bones where those growth plates are over and over again, you get this micro-trauma that develops and its essentially like an inflammation in a lot of these tendons where a lot of these tendons are attaching to the bone and in this case, its an inflammation down in the cukcalcanus or the ankle bone. It can be caused from actually too much weight bearing on your heel, too much heel striking which is why the physician would have actually used heel wedges or heel lifts in this case to keep too much weight bearing from occuring on the heel. So shifting to running more in the front of the foot or the mid foot is actually kind of better than a heel strike in this situation. You're going to find something like this to be more common in kids who tend to be over pronators. So I would focus more on the actual shoe that's being worn here than I would on the running gate which I would actually say is taking a direction that could help rather than harm this issue more. Meaning that you'd want to look into maybe a custom orthotics, you can get your foot casted. Anybody can do this at a physical therapist and get custom orthotics so that you could put into you shoes and also look into a very stable shoe that's designed for over pronation. Rest is really the best thing to do when it comes to this type of situation something like Severs disease, inflammation in the tendon related to overuse, inflammation on the growth plates and rest period of at least a few weeks. I'd prefer to see like six to eight weeks if there were my kid. I know its kind of hard in somebody who's already in running, maybe already successful, maybe you're already participating in a lot of different sports or runs or cross country but ultimately, what’s going to make this go away the fastest is shifting to non-weight bearing and maybe use this as an opportunity to introduce them to something like a weight training surf in the weight room, come out for a little bit of swimming, maybe a little bit of aqua jogging or some elastic band work as long as you’re not going too heavy, that’s just fine for an 11 year old. And combine that with just avoiding running completely. The other thing that can really be an issue here is actual flexibility in the heel and flexibility down in the lower calf muscles. Stretching is going tohelp with that obviously and I would also look into a lot of the measures that you would use for something like plantarfaciatis and that would be doing things like working on your toe flexibility. One interesting drill that you could do for this is to pick up marbles with your foot and place them into a cup and then pick up more marbles with your foot and place them into a cup using your toes and this actually works. The little ligaments and tendons that run on the underside of your foot are now related to your heel flexibility. I will be sure to put a link in the show notes to this but I would also recommend you look into an ice splint and an ice splint is something you wear in the foot to improve heel and ankle flexibility while you’re sleeping, especially if for something like a tight plantarfascia or plantar fasciitis as well as tight heel and lower calf muscles so I would put that into the protocol especially in combination with rest. I really do not want you to miscontrued this as medical advice, I have to put that disclaimer in there. A pediatrist is definitely someone that would be able to help you out a little bit as well but if this were m kid, I would be working on the flexibility. I would be incorporating a great deal of rest here and recovery and then focusing more on the orthotic and the type of shoe that’s being used in the world of running gate which seems to be actually progressing in the direction you wanted to progress.
Brock: Now there’s so many awesome things for 11 year olds to do out there, just letting him take some time off his feet and do some swimming, do some stretching, do some cycling, anything like that will probaby help him mentally as well as physically.
Ben: Anything but Wii.
Brock: Anything but Wii. Alright, next question comes from Will Run for Food. I like that.
Brock: I don’t know if the person’s name is Will or they’re just declaring that they will run for food.
Ben: I think that’s probably their e-mail address is will run for food because I’ve seen somebody by that e-mail address e-mailing me before and I don’t remember what their name was but I don’t think their actual given name is Will Run for Food.
Brock: Yeah! That’s disappointing.
Will: Hi Ben, I’m a big fan of yours. Thanks for doing what you do. My question is my husband is considering using magnesium however, he has also checked out Epsom salts and the price is much cheaper. What more benefits would he get from magnesium versus Epsom salts?
Brock: That’s the first part of the question so why don’t we dive into that first?
Ben: Okay! So the benefits of magnesium I’ve talked about before in the show, it can massively decrease soreness, relax the muscle, help you to recover more quickly and its something that I incorporate on at least a weekly basis. Some type of magnesium soak or magnesium bath or even like a spray on magnesium oil. The issue is that the type of magnesium that I use is a magnesium chloride and it’s very well-absorbed compared to other forms of magnesium. Magnesium sulphate is what you’re going to find in epsom salts and that’s a combination of magnesium and sulphate and it is decent, it wil decrease soreness but the issue is that you don’t get a lot of the benefits of magnesium actually comepting with calcium quite as well because the magnesium sulphate isn’t as well assimilated or metabolized in the body so what happens is you get a lot of calcium kind of collecting in a muscle area and that’s what can contribute quite a bit to muscle soreness. Magnesium chloride, because it’s better absorbed, is going to be better able to displace some of that calcium and decrease the soreness compared to a magnesium sulphate. However magnesium chloride is more expensive. I’ll put a link to the magnesium flakes that I personally use in the show notes and you’ll see they’re more spendy than the epsom salts, I think they’re like $40 or $50 for a big canister or maybe a little less than that, might be 30 but afterwards, epsom salts are going to be closer like $10 to $15 for an equivalent supply but you’re not going to get quite the benefit of the epsom salts versus just kind of the gold standard magnesium chloride flakes and the other issue is that after a magnesium chloride bath, you’re going to find that your skin is super smooth and its still moist and after an epsom salts bath, your skin tends to be dryer. So those would be the issues to not use Epsom salts compared to a magnesium chloride but if Epsom salts are all you have around then they’d work.
Brock: Interesting! I was a bit curious to know the difference there too. I use magnesium a lot myself but I’ve been tempted to use the Epsom salts for the same reason there. There quite a bit cheaper but I have noticed the skin drying is more considerable.
Ben: It’s kind of like fish oil. You’re still going to get some benefits out of like a fish oil that’s, I’ve talked about this before in the show, like a fish oil that’s in it what’s called “ethyl-ester form” however, if you spend a little bit more money, you can get a fish oil in a triglyceride form. The absorption is far better and you’re doing a lot more for your body.
Brock: Well for the second part of the question and you’ve covered this in other episodes as well but maybe you can just quickly answer. What type of magnesium do you suggest? A lotion spray oral? He’s a road cyclist rides hard, rides long and has some calf cramps and some tight IT band issues.
Ben: I would recommend both topical and oral. So topical through the use of a bath as well as a spray and then oral through the use of something like a natural calm like you can take at night before you go to bed.
Brock: For sure. Okay! So next question is from John.
John: Getting protein through healthy food is best but sometimes that is not possible and I have to use powder. I’m looking at ordering a custom-mixed of protein powder to use before or after workouts and as an occassional snack. There are a lot of different kinds of protein powder that are available such as whey, soy, egg, beef, hemp, calcium, casein, pea, rice, isolates, concentrates, hydrolites etc. I can also add different kinds of carbs and supplements. You want to know what kind of mixture would you recommend.
Ben: Yeah, there are a lot of different ones out there. Whey is the most popular, it’s the one that you’re going to see the most and whey is very well-absorbed. It has what’s called a high biological value and you’re going to find a whey concentrate or what’s called a whey isolate to both have a really high biological value. Meaning that the proteins that are in it are very well-absorbed and utilized by your body. A lot of people are allergic to whey though, a lot of the same people who would be allergic to dairy are also be allergic to whey and the issue is not like lactose intolerance because you really don’t find that in whey. It’s more on the actual protein fractions that are in whey so you have these proteins are called “beta lactoglobulins” there’s another one called “alpha lactoglobulin” and “bovine serum albumin” and you can mount an inflammatory or an allergenic reaction to these proteins. Interestingly I interviewed Joe Stout who is the scientist and formulator behind the Mount Capra products and those are goat-based proteins. The protein you find in goat milk and goat-based whey is smaller and better absorbed by the body so a lot of people who have allergic issues or just don’t feel that hot after they’ve used regular whey protein from a cow, do just fine with a goat-based whey protein and so that leads me into the first type of protein that I take and I use that one for mount capra, the goat-based protein, it’s just called “Mount Capra Double Bonded Whey” and I put some here on my desk. The ingredients are goat milk protein, organic coco powder, xanthan gum, that’s just a little bit of a thickener and then stevia is what they use for a sweetener. So whey protein, if you’re going to use whey and you don’t do well with a cow’s whey, I would sya use a goat-based protein and make sure it doesn’t have artificial sweeteners or a lot of additives in it. Egg-based protein is another one that you’ll find and egg also has a really high bioogical value. It can actually be more allergenic than whey protein, more people are allergic to eggs than they are to whey so again, if you don’t do well with eggs then you probably won’t do well with an egg protein. You also get a lot more gas with an egg-based protein powder because of the sulfur content in eggs. So as long as you’re willing to put up with that, maybe carry some air freshener around with you, an egg-based protein would work as well if you’re just looking at pure biological value. Soy actually, in terms of biological value, is not too bad but I’m really not a fan of soy. It’s got a lot of phytates in it and I know I just got done talking about grains but the issue with soy is the way that it’s prepared, you have to prepare it properly so I need it to be fermented. So tempe, miso, nato, those would all be example of fermented soy sources. Tofu or soy beans or soy protein powder, that’s not, fermented soy. So unless it’s fermented, soy protein is not really good for your body. It has a lot of enzyme inhibitors in it. It can actually cause a lot of gas as well because a lot of these enzyme issues and I really do not recommend use of soy proteins, that won’t be out in my book. And then you kind of get a lot of these plant-based proteins that you find in many of vegan protein powder sources, so spiralina is one that you find. Spiralina is great. I’m a huge fan of Spiralina. It’s very digestible. Its biological value isn’t as high as like a whey or an egg-based protein but Spiralina is expensive. Any protein powder you take without Spiralina in it, you’re going to pay more for it. That’s why for example, one meal replacement you’ve heard me recommend before is the living fuel super greens. It’s not the cheapest new replacement source on the planet and that’s because of the Spiralina in it and chlorella, kind of the same issue. You don’t usually find either or both in a vegan protein powder, chlorella or spiralina. If you can afford them, they’re really good sources but they are more expensive. Then you have hemp and pea-based protein ad hemp comes from hemp seed, it’s really easily digested and absorbed and utilized. It is not quite as high in terms of its biological value or how much of the protein actually gets digested but I am a fan of hemp-based protein especially if you mix it with some other proteins to get a little bit more complete amino acid intake like a rice-based protein or a pea-based protein. So pea-based protein, I like that as well if it’s mixed like I mentioned, with some other proteins but it doesn’t taste all that good, that’s another reason I need to mix it with some other stuff, it’s kind of chalky, kind of blaw and its tough to find a good-tasting pea protein that’s just pea protein but if its mixed with rice, then a mix of pea protein and rice protein actually tastes pretty good and when you combine those two, you do get a good biological value and a good absorption rate and amino acids. So I do use a vegan-based protein. I use the living fuel living protein. I’ve got that sitting right here too and its got a lot more ingredients than the mount capra that listed off but the major protein sources in it are the brown rice and the yellow pea protein and then they add fiber, prebiotics, probiotics and then they help you digest the proteins a little bit better a digestive enzyme and I’ll be sure to link to both of those types of proteins in the show notes but that’s what I take is usually I do the mount capra in the morning with breakfast and then living protein I’ll do later on in the afternoon or the evening and living protein is also the one that I tend to travel with like a put a ziplock bag and take with me while I’m travelling.
Brock: So the vegan-protein that you were just talking about, the vegetarian protein you were talking about certainly leads into another question that we got from James.
James: I know you prefer real foods but what are your thoughts on corn and microprotein? An example of that is a naked chicken cutlet as a vegetarian source of protein.
Ben: The naked chicken cutlet in my opinion is not all that healthy. Basically corn is just a brand name of a microprotein food that you’ll usually find in like the UK or in Ireland and it comes from fungi, microprotein does. It’s really cheap to make, its not quite as healthy as the type of protein that comes from like a spiralina or a chlorella which probably from a biological standpoint are the closest to the fungus that they use to make the microprotein but they just grow this fungus in big bats and they use glucose to feed the fungus and then they add some vitamins and some minerals and some nitrogen like amonia and you basically get these spores growing and you draw off the spores and separate them and purify them and you get this microprotein that’s a super cheap way to make protein for the food industry. In this case like the chicken cutlets that were mentioned, they put microprotein, they put basically rehydrated egg white protein in it. Egg white protein is nutrient void, it’s protein but it’s not nothing going for it other than just protein and I have some concerns about any rehydrated type of products just like that just because they have a lot of potential to be really highly oxidized, I mean they have a lot of free radicals in it. And then they put some wheat protein in that and some whea starch which of all the grains that I mentioned earlier, is the one that if not treated properly soaked and sprouted, is the one most likely to do some damage to your body, cause you to gain weight or cause that inflammation. They put some whey protein in there but its really low down the less and then they add canola oil which is a vegetable-based oil, really chalk-full of warm natural forms of omega6 fattyacids and I personally wouldn’t go, let’s put it this way, if I had to choose between a naked chicken cutlet and some o the other things I’ve seen out there in terms of tv meals, this would be the worst thing on the planet to eat but I certainly would not go out of our way to eat it if yo got other choices.
Brock: So it’s no tofurkey?
Ben: It’s no tofurkey, no.
Brock: I looked at the ingredients list of a tofurkey this thanksgiving and it just blew my mind. I didn’t recognize hardly any of the ingredients.
Ben: Yeah, I know. I’m a fan of the real thing.
Brock: Awesome! Okay, so our next question comes from Michael Harris.
Michael: You stated in an earlier podcast that we should avoid omega6 because we have plenty of it in our diet via veggie oils and because it is pro-inflammatory. Unfortunately, I recently bought a bottle of Nordic natural’s complete omega 369. Did I waste my money? Should I have just bought the omega3? I did the same thing, I rushed out and I bought the Udo’s oil the 369 blend and have the same thought like “oh no, did I totally screw up here?”
Ben: No, you didn’t. The concern with omega6 is really first of all, getting them from a lot of really oxidized sources where the omega has been heated or exposed to really high temperatures so like a soy bean oil or a canola oil or the type of oil where the omega6 really gets put through the grinder, extracting it from the plant or the seed-based source that its coming from. So that’s one issue and you’re not going to get that in the nordic naturals or like in the Udo’s oil and I’ll be sure to put a link in the show notes so you can go back and listen to the interview with Udo Erasmus but essentially, omega6 is naturally found in things like seeds and nuts and they actually can have a very important effect in your body, they’re used for a lot of reactions within your body nd in some cases can be kind of anti-inflammatory but the issue here is that when they are oxidized, they’re pro-inflammatory, they’re more prone to contribute to things like atherosclerosis and that would be when they’re consumed from things like vegetable oils. And the interesting thing here is that there’s really not a lot of proof that a high amount of omega6 is really bad for you as much as there is lot of proof that a low amount of the omega3 fatty acids, the anti-inflammatory fatty acids is really bad for you. So I wouldn’t be focusing as much on decreasing your intake of omega6 fatty acids especially if you’re intake of omega6 fatty acids is from seeds and nuts s I would be focusing on making sure that you’re getting a lot of the omega3 fatty acids. The reason for that is you’re going to find a lot of really healthy omega6 fatty acids in nature and for example, there’s one study that they did on omens and they found that an omen-rich diet actually really lowered the tissue levels of a marker that’s related to heart disease and also see reactive protein which is really related to inflammation and they found that omens, even compared to wallnuts and olive oil which are lower in omega6, omens have the greatest cardio-protective effect and they lowered that LDL cholesterol the most and the omen ratio, the omega6 to omega3 ratio in omens is really high, it’s like 2000 plus to 1 and you look at some other healthy fats out there like coconut oil, that’s like over 3000 parts omega6 fatty acids to 1 part omega3 fatty acids and olive oil is 20 parts omega6 to 1 part omega3 and avocadoes are 15 parts omega6 to 1 part omega3 but you really can’t say that omega6 is across the board or bad but again, this comes down to what I started off with in this podcast in my response to the grains question, depends on where you’re getting them from and what they’ve been exposed to and eating an avocado is a lot different than eating a few table spoons of canola oil. The avocado omega6 have not been exposed to the same type of harsh treatments is what you get in a canola oil so they’re not oxidized to the same extent. So the issue here is not watching omega6 fatty acid intake as much as making sure that you’re getting lots of healthy omega3 fatty acids. Cold water fish is a perfect example, the Nordic naturals or fish oil or the Udo’s oil is another good way to bump up your omega3 fatty acid intake. I personally focus on that and I enjoy my omen butter, my seeds, my nuts things of that nature, my olive oil, my coconut oil, all of these other things that are a chalkful of omega6 and I’m not concerned as long as I’m getting enough omega3 fatty acids which are anti-inflammatory to balance out any of the pro-inflamamtory effect of the omega6 fatty acids, I’m good to go and if I were Michael, that’s what I would focus on.
Brock: Yeah! So the omega6 isn’t the evil villain that we were thinking it was.
Ben: In most cases, it’s really not wearing that black hat.
Brock: That’s great. Okay, so let’s move on to the next question here from Jenny.
Jenny: Hello Ben! I do strength training three to four times per week. I like to burn my routines and I was wondering, is it better to do overall body workouts or to cover specific body parts separately with more exercises such as chest and triceps for 1 session? I do triathlons but I’m currently in my off season, thanks.
Ben: Yeah, this is a good question. The idea of splitting body parts into specific workouts and working specific body parts on specific days comes from body building. So you would for example, you do a chest and shoulders workout on 1 day, you do an arms like a biceps and triceps workout another day. You do a back work on another day, you do a quad workout on one day, a hamstrings workout another day and maybe an abs workout on a few of those days. That type of training works really well if you have a lot of time to devote to those specific body parts but if you are pressed for time or you want to get as much bang for your buck out of your weight training routine, you’re going to get a lot more benefit out of doing full-body exercises every time that you go in and lift or splitting it into something like upper body, lower body. So in my case, for example rightn now, I do about anywhere from 30-50 minutes of upper body training on Monday and about 30-50 minutes of lower body training on Wednesday or Friday and then I also include in those sessions core training in both sessions about 10-15 minutes ofcore training. If I were to try and squeeze like body part specific workouts into that amount of time, it simply wouldn’t work to really benefit and say get a nice body or get realy good results from body part specific training. You got to be able to devote a lot of time to those specific body parts and you can generally get a lot more bang for your buck out of doing squats, deadlifts, bench presses, cleans, overhead presses things of that nature.
Brock: Right! I certainly don’t want to turn this into a commercial or sound like I’m blowing a smoker or anything but when I first got your Shape 21 book, I started doing the exercises that are in there which are very much a full-body workout. I have to say that’s the quickest improvement I’ve ever seen in my physical, in the look of my body anyway like as far as the strength and stuff I do is it wasn’t that surprising but actually like seeing the fat loss and the muscle tone that happens like you were saying the bang for the buck was really, it was over the top.
Ben: Yeah and interesting thing about that book is I wrote it after I finished body building and I was sick of the gym and didn’t want to step in the gym for the entire summer. All I had at home was a set of dumbbells and so I wrote Shape 21 as a way to keep me in shape without stepping foot on the gym.
Brock: Nice, it worked. Okay, so let’s move on to the next question which comes from Raminta.
Raminta: I’ve heard many times from various sources that carbs cause an insulin spike and if the spike is too much, your body stores the carbs as fat. I’ve also heard that really most foods like protein cause some sort of insulin spike but the carbs, and especially processed carbs, cause a much faster insulin spike but I’ve not seen many people quantify how much of an insulin spike is undesirable. So the question is, is there a way to determine if and when I have had an undesirable or fat-storing insulin spike? Could I use a blood glucose meter the diabetics use to see how my body responds to certain foods and meals?
Ben: You in most cases, really can’t measure insulin and ultimately, it doesn’t matter too much and I’ll tell you why here in a little bit but just recently, just this year, they didn’t come out with a whole urine test that you could use to measure your insulin levels and it was specifically designed for diabetics to monitor their insulin levels through people who are having to do insulin injections. Ultimately though, the rate of blood glucose rising after you eat a meal or the extent to which blood glucose rises after you eat a meal is a better variable to look at and you can do that very easily with a home blood glucose monitor and you can get those, I’ll put a link in the show notes to a bunch of them on amazon where you can find them. You can also get them at your local wall greens. It’s very easy to use a blood glucose monitor and for anybody who wonders whether or not a food or a meal is actually spiking your blood glucose levels or how long your blood glucose levels are staying spiked after a meal, you can get a little book or a little chart and simply log your blood glucose levels after you eat certain meals butthis question is more about insulin levels and the fact is that a lot of people don’t know that insulin doesn’t just go up when you eat sugar. So you eat a sugary or carbohydrate late meal and your blood glucose levels go up and then your pancreas releases insulin so that that blood sugar can preferably be shuttled into muscles to be stored away as energy or possibly brought into the liver to convert into other types of storage fuel. When you eat protein and when you eat fat like meat or like eggs, you can still get a spike in insulin even when there isn’t a spike in blood glucose and the reason for that is that insulin, its completely necessary to life. It helps you store your nutrients and that’s an essential process, so what the insulin does when you say an omlet, is it helps to bring amino acids into your muscle cells but in order for it to actually do that properly, in order for insulin to do that properly, it needs carbohydrates to assist in the transport of amino acids into your muscle and the way that insulin does that is it causes a rise in another component that doesn’t really cause a rise in another component but when you eat a protein-rich food, you get a rise in this component along with insulin, it’s called “glucagon”. So when you eat protein or fat, you get a rise in glucagon and you don’t get that with carbs because glucagon is just basically a hormone that’s going to take the storage carbohydrate within your body and cause some of it to be released so that you get a rise in blood sugar that can allow insulin to drive proteins into muscles for repair or recovery or for storage. So you get this gluagon release and this insulin release that comes along with a higher protein, higher fat meal and that’s completely normal, it’s to be expected. If this didn’t happen, then the protein or the fats that you would be eating would be totally useless and really I don’t think that its necessary to track insulin levels from that standpoint because it’s going to happen anyways and you don’t have to be tracking insulin to know that it’s going to spike in correlation with the spike in blood glucose. So rather than using one of these brand new urine insulin measurement tests which isn’t going to tell you much because it’s just going to be hard for you to go pee 30 minutes after a meal and pee 60 minutes after a meal and pee 90 minutes after a meal. You’re going to get a lot more benefit out of just by looking at your blood glucose levels. That being said, you an get your hand on an insulin index and there was an article way back in 1997, that was in the American Journal clinical nutrition in which they looked at what type of foods or they looked at about 40 different foods and the effect that they had on insuin release then they called this the insulin index of foods. So if you’re really interested in how much insulin is actually rising after certain foods that you eat, go check out that index. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes for you and most of it’s not going to surprise you, you’ll see that in most foods that are super sweet and higher in carbohydrate, you’re going to see a spike in insulin. You’ll also see a fairly decent rise in insulin and some of the proteins are fat-based meals but that’s completely natural and you don’t really have to worry about it.
Brock: Now if anybody’s completely confused about this question and doesn’t really understand how the body reacts to it, there’s an awesome, in the movie “Fat Head” there’s an awesome little animation section in the middle of that movie that explains exactly this process. I thought it exlained it really well.
Ben: Yeah and Fat Head, the guy who made that was Tom Norton and I interviewed him on the show, you can go to a search on Fat Head at BenGreenfiedFitness.com and you’ll find that.
Brock: Yeah! Okay, so that’s our last question. There was a little exchange between William, one of the listeners and Mark Master from Bike Tech I just wanted to throw in here.
William: After listening to your podcast 169, I was wondering if the mouthpiece for athletes could be used to help with snoring because of the increased oxygen and better air flow? A natural assumption on my part but I would appreciate just a quick e-mail. Thanks for listening.
Brock: So I should have explained Mark Master from Bike Tech, he was the fellow who came on the show and he was talking about an actual mouthpiece like a mouthguard that you wear during exercise and not just for impact but actually to increase the VO2 max, wasn’t it?
Ben: Yup! Decrease lactic acid levels.
Brock: Yes, very interesting stuff. So go back to podcast 169 if you didn’t listen to it but the response from Mark was even though the mouthpiece is not a medical device, I wear mine when I sleep and my wife has reported that I don’t snore but as a said, it’s not apporved by the FDA for that use but it’s certainly worht a try. So there you go and it could help you in so many different ways apparaently.
Ben: Yeah and it wasn’t designed to help with snoring but it certainly something to look into and you can get mouthpieces that are custom diesigned and designed as medical devices to help with sleep apnea or snoring. I have 1 client that uses one very successfully and he’s completely eliminated his sleep apnea after doing that.
Brock: Great! Okay, before we jump in to the big interview, we got a little audio testimonial from a listener named Chad.
Chad: Hello Ben, this is Chad Sato calling you from Toledo, Ohio. Just wanted to take a minute to personally thank you for your amazing Marathon Dominator program which really helped me to dominate my recent New York City Marathon performance with a PR time of three hours, 19 minutes and 40 seconds. Compared to my performance at last year’s Columbus Marathon where I ran a 3-hour, 56-minute, race, this was an improvement of 36 minutes and 20 seconds. Everything that you have included in the design of the program, I mean the focus on quality over quantity, strength training, nutrition strategies and rest, they’re just all perfectly timed out to ensure that I was ready to go for race day. It helped set my new PR and I also integrated the extreme endurance protocol in my training which you have recommended from time to time on the podcast. I firmly believe that this supplement allowed me to race stronger and faster and be more consistent at hitting my splits especially during the lighter miles of the race. It also significantly helped me with the recovery after the race. Again, thank you for designing such a fabulous program that has really changed my running and for anyone out there planning to run a marathon, please make sure to get the Marathon Dominator Program. I promise you, you won’t regret it. Thanks again Ben and I hope you have a great thanksgiving.
Ben: Hey folks, its Ben Greenfield and I’ve got Eric Goodman on the call. Eric actually isa doctor of chiropractic and he also has done quite a bit of study in physiology and in nutrition, he has a pretty cool approach to human performance and movement and specifically the core that we’ll be talking about today. He’s worked with elite athletes. He actually co-wrote the book “Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain and Move With Confidence”. He co-wrote that with Lance Armstrong’s strength and conditioning coach Peter Park and so he’s actually got a lot of experience when it comes to core training, what he calls foundation training and he’s going to be sharing some of his thoughts on core training today with us so Eric, thanks for coming on the call.
Eric: My pleasure, thanks for having me.
Ben: Well, let’s jump right in. I’ve heard you say that sitting at desks, working on computers, waiting in traffic, that you’re continually contracting your abs when you’re doing those type of things which I guess at first thought a lot of people would think that’s kind of a good thing if you’re continually contracting your abs but you say that it throws your shoulders forward and it shuts down the back of the body and I’m kind of curious if you can expound on that and what you actually mean by that?
Eric: I’m very happy to. So, it’s not that the muscles of the abdomen are contracting and supporting you in the way that you would’ve think that you were thinking of a plane or something like that. Well you know, your ab muscles are very important, no question about it but they’re actually not supposed to shorten nearly as often they allow them to. In fact, what I talk about when I say that people are sitting to often and kind of what I call complacently adapting to their convenience that we have in our daily life. Sitting on a chair, sitting at the computer, sitting in a car, sitting in a couch, we really sit far more than we’re supposed to and in that sitting posture, our body is literally adapting to folding in on themselves and its less about the contraction of the abdomen than it is a passive shortenty of the abdomen which is really the concern that I approach the most and when the front of your body is constantly short like that, when the front of your body is not really in a position that it’s designed to be in the back of your body is literally shutdown the spinal erector muscles, the muscles, the gluten muscles, the hamstring and some of the most important muscles in the body are not able to function as they are designed to function and that front of your body remains short, so that’s more of what I’m talking about with that and I understand the idea that when somebody says well the abs are strong that way and that’s good for you and it is but unfortunately, they’re strong in a way that’s so out of balance with the back of the body that it’s literally throwing us out of our everyday movement patterns. We are not moving as our bodies are designed to.
Ben: So when you say that that continual contraction of the abs kind of shuts down the back of the body. Why would that even really matter, I mean, what’s the implication about it?
Eric: In order for us to move properly and this is for everybody jockey to the professional athletes I’ve been working with and some of the athletes are new to it all. They’re professional triathletes, professional runners and they really do not fit at all but they have the same issue that a lot of these people sitting on desks all day have and sitting on chairs all day have which is ending at the spine allowing the spine to be focus of their movement, shortening the front of their body kind of lengthening the back of their body, the back of their spine as oppose to hinging of the hips which is basically an adaption that we have. Our body’s adapted to bending of the spine which is what we’re not supposed to do, shortening the front of the body, strengthening the abs enitrely too much, not properly utilizing the back of the body and the back of they body is decored. If you look how we are really designed to move anatomically, we have this injunction at our lower spine. It was a very nice and natural curve of our lower spine which we’re literally pulling ourselves out of knees all day and without that lower spine curves able to function properly and remain strong, our butt muscles and hamstrings are not able to do what they’re supposed to do which is to be our primary moving muscles. Over the past 20 to 30 years, we really pushed out of that typical human primitive loop that had them which allows the gluten hamstring to be our primary movers and one of the reasons that we have the success that we have with people and against it, its every different kind of person that work with, from really severe chronic pain to people that are needing to retire from professional sports because of injury especially chronic injury. The reason we have the results we do is we simply bring them back to our premises.
Ben: Gotcha, okay. So this kind of seems like when you’re describing the relationship between the back of the body and the rest of the body, like you may be hinting at what I’ve seen on your website is what you described as the “Spider Web Theory of the Core” and by the way for you folks listening in, I’ll put a link to Eric’s website in the show notes but, what do you mean the Spider Web Theory of the Core? What is that theory?
Eric: Well the spider web, and this would apply if you were defining the front, if you were finding the core as the abdomen or if you were defining the core as the abdomen plus lower back muscles, gluten muscles, hamstrings and a few other muscles as we can describe it but basically if you picture a spider web, you have this ring of concentric circles and there’s this center circle where the spider tends to go and everytime there’s a movement on that center circle, in our case the core, they are in real case the back of the body in addition to the front of the body. If it’s done properly, that force that you’ve exerted the center is going to affect everything, all the way down to the toes, nose, finger tips and they’re going to affect every aspect of that spider web. That’s really all we’re talking about with that is that if you’re doing it properly, when you strengthen the core the right way, it makes every single part of your body stronger. It’s not about strengthening the abdomen, its about strengthening the center of the body so that when you make a powerful movement, it affects every part of the body including the far out extremities.
Ben: Okay, gotcha! So you wrote this book, you co-authored this book with Lance Armstrong’s strength and conditioning coach, the name of the book is “Foundation”. I’ve seen them before at the book store, it’s the one with kind of the back of the body, if like this, the shirtless back of the body on it. So in that book, can you describe or in your practice, can you describe some of the exercises that would be kind of different than what people might traditionally imagine as a way to strengthen their core that you’ve got people doing to kind of get the back active and take advantage of this whole spider web theory.
Eric: Absolutely! Everyone of our exercise is a unique exercise that is actually a body weight resistance exercise so you have to have literally. Nearly a hundred different exercises have been utilized for movement. If I get it to integrated movement, integrating change of musle as oppose to compartmentalizing indiviual muscles into individual groups of muscles is much more effect. So all of our exercises are based at integrating an entire chain of muscles, often the post to your chain of muscle which is, if you wanted to really the anatomical weapon that’s everything from the lateral band of the arts to the post of your kidney alis to the interior to the alis to the hamstring to the glutes to the muscle. This whole chain of muscles are going to the back of the neck but for lay in terms, for easy understanding, I want you to think of the post that your chain has, especially the hamstring where I can insert under the butt muscles. The glutes and then the all-important lower back muscles and what we teach is how to get these isometric and also repetitive movement postures that integrate those muscle chains especially starting with that posterior chain. It really can’t be properly strong and propoerly powerful without the posterior chain of muscles being one of the driving forces of your movement. So the exercises are based solely in the postures that allow those muscles to be tangent properly.
Ben: Gotcha! What would be an example of some of these exercises?
Eric: An example of it, the one we teach just about everybody. Everybody has to learn this first before they really do answers otherwise, called Founder and the Founder is that it is very similar to a chair post in yoga but the subtle differences that we make are a bit different to what we’ll be doing it right and wrong and I thought a number of very high level yoga practitioners that they wholeheartedly agree, once they do this, they start changing whatever they teach. They fold and fold the chair post and they’re practicing what it does. If it teaches you to very powerfully hinge at the hip jack keeping your spine braced as oppose to letting your spine bend and while you bend forward and it bends, reporduces that tensioning of the muscles and during the entire thing you’re holding, isometric hold, you’re bending another further forward, holding that isometric hold, bending a little bit further and then really teaching stuff to get up from a bended posture whether your body is designed to which is again, strengthen the spine, strong spine, braced lower back, glute contraction, hamstring contraction lifting the entire upper body up instead of just hinging at that one spine joint, that L4L5 that area whre most people have aniations than most people have back pain because long and proper repetitive use.
Ben: Right! Okay, cool. So these are not exercises where you’re like necessarily down in a mat doing variations of the crunch. You’re talking about like stand-an-hour exercises.
Eric: Stand-an-hour exercises, like what we have an example of a very common exercise that we just mutilated just a little bit. It is the back extensions we have people laying flat on their stomach and we teach them how to extend their spine properly without going into hyperextension using the light muscles. The proper speed to do it, the way that those muscles are designed to be utilized even though the back extensions most people have done that they’re much safer, much more expected version of it and I say we’ve moved on for a lot of exercises. We see what’s out there and we made them much more efficient.
Brock: Okay, that’s awesome stuff. The core is so important. It’s always great to hear different ways to work it.
Ben: Yeah, it was a good twist on the core. I would highly recommend folks, check out Eric’s book. I’ll put a link to it in the show notes for this episode, episode number 172 over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com and as you know Brock, and I’m sure most people listening in know by now, if you’re a long-time listener, we try and put everything for you in the show notes in terms of resources and materials for you that go into what we’ve talked about in the show so eerything I went over in the Q&A, from the ice splint to the plantar fascia to the proteins that I used to the magnetic flakes or the magnesium flakes, I’ll put a link to all of that in the show notes as well as a link to the weight training for triathlon book that I’d highly recommend that you check out.
Brock: By all means, if we do miss something in the show notes or if you’re curious about anything else that was mentioned, leave a comment or leave a note on Facebook or just get in touch with us any way. We’re always happy to respond and of course when it’s something that requires some real knowledge, it’ll be Ben and if its something flipped in it’ll be me.
Ben: That’s right and if you do want to get those news flashes half the press, just follow me on Twitter, Twitter.com/BenGreenfield. So that’s about it. Brock, do you have any plans in this holiday hiatus between Thanksgiving and Christmas?
Brock: No, I’m just training away. I’m actually getting really excited about my new coach giving me my new training plan when he gets back from Thailand.
Ben: That’s right. I’ll be working with Brock, getting him ready for the Disney Marathon and beyond, some triathlons next year. So folks, if you got a triathlon goal, a marathon goal, a fitness goal, a weight loss goal, it doesn’t matter. Our goal is to help you with that here on the show so be sure to tune in next week where hopefull there is a podcast episode awaiting you as long as I’m able to record it as I airport hop back from Thailand and our desire is to keep you motivated over this holiday season to arrive at the New Year, ready to rumble and ready to hopefully set a goal or other than weight loss so that’s the ideal way to start the New Year is to feel really good about your body, about your belly and to basically be ready to jump into the New Year fit as a fittle and ready to rumble and that’s what we’re here to help you do.
Ben: So until next time, this is Ben Greenfield from BenGreenfieldFitness.com, signing out.
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