[1:56] Blue Apron
[3:45] Marc Pro
[7:27] Ben’s Digital Detox at Grand Canyon
[8:30] All about Joe DiStefano
[10:32] Upright Ski Ergonometer that Joe swears by using
[14:17] The best way to make coffee according to Joe
[18:09] Hand coffee grinder/Chemex Ottomatic coffee maker
[19:27] The Prague School method of training
[25:04] “True to Form” book by Dr. Eric Goodman
[27:20] Joe’s Ted Talk on Breathing
[32:18] Car Buffer that Ben uses
[34:22] Joe’s top tip for travel-proofing your immune system
[35:05] P73 Oregano Oil
[38:43] LivOn lypospheric vitamin C/Liposomal glutathione
[40:41] Ancestral Health Symposium in Boulder, Colorado
[41:54] Joe’s go-to body weight workout when traveling or in airports
[45:26] Joe’s Instagram account and the Best Gelato
[48:52] Joe’s method of making the gluten in bread less damaging
[49:59] An Olive Oil Club where Ben is a member
[51:13] The digital detox of Joe in Costa Rica
[57:17] Runga in Costa Rica event
[1:02:03] Dr. Jack Kruse’s website
[1:05:11] Joe’s Spartan SGX Certification
[1:06:43] End of Podcast
Ben: Hey folks, it’s Ben Greenfield. I think you’re really gonna dig today’s episode with Joe DiStefano. And by way, I wanted to apologize for Wednesday’s podcast where my voice sounded very echoey. I had my microphone settings way messed up. And now I have a giant piece of tape in front of my desk that says ‘microphone on’ it and black sharpee reminding me to ensure that the microphone settings are indeed set up to make this a good listening experience for you.
But before we jump in to the podcast with Joe, I want to tell you about pistachios. They actually did a study on pistachio consumption and its effect on the gut microbiota composition. In other words, can the consumption of pistachios specifically increase the number of beneficial butyrate producing bacteria? This is the kind of bacteria that would increase if you ate a lot of say like, dark leafy greens or grass fed butter, and it turns out that pistachios do indeed significantly increase the number of good bacteria in your gut. Just like a little probiotic.
So why am I telling you all these? Well, it’s because you can get pistachios from today’s sponsor nuts.com. You can get a really cool old fashioned burlap bag packed to the brim with their perfectly roasted and salted California pistachios, as well as any number of other things like chia seeds, and raw almonds and dark chocolate. You name it. Nuts.com. Now, you can actually get four free samples, that’s a $15 value. Along with, of course, your pistachio probiotics when you go to nuts.com/fitness. That’s nuts.com/fitness.
Now, this podcast is also brought to you by something else that you can eat. There is a recipe up in my refrigerator right now. At least what’s left over from the recipe card that was sent to me by this company. It’s a recipe for this stuff called Thai Chicken Meatballs. So, this is basically like a Thai version of Spaghetti and Meatballs but instead of spaghetti you use this wide flat rice noodles, and instead of using a tomato based red sauce you use coconut milk and red curry. And the meatballs are flavored with these classic Southeast Asian ingredients and you learn how to cook them to golden brown perfection before finishing them in the curry with this crunchy baby bokchoy. But all of the ingredients for this from the lemongrass to the bokchoy to the meatballs to the curry, everything was sent to my house in this cute little box with the recipe card that showed me exactly how to make it. And this was all brought to me by Blue Apron.
So Blue Apron is now sponsoring the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show, and they use these fresh high quality ingredients that gets shipped straight to your door. Their beef is raised humanely, their chickens are free range, their pork is raised naturally, they use regenerative farming practices for their produce, they source their seafood sustainably. It’s really, really good food. And more importantly, in my opinion it teaches you how to freakin’ cook. So you can actually get your first two meals free with free shipping when you go to blueapron.com/ben, that’s just what it sounds like b-l-u-e apron dot com slash Ben. And it will literally have all the ingredients right there for you. You’ll learn how to cook. It’s really, really good stuff. And yes, I do recommend that you try out the recipe I just described. Again that one is the Thai Chicken Meatballs.
And then finally, this episode is brought to you by Marc Pro. So you’ve probably heard of electro stimulation before, and different forms of electro stimulation are different. Like I was just at PaleoFX and was literally simulating a 600 pound squat with one form of electro stimulation there that was attached to my quads. And that’s good for training but it would’ve been bad if my quads were injured.
What Marc Pro is, is it’s an electro stimulation device that uses what’s called a Square Waveform Signal. And a Square Waveform Signal gradually recruits your little slow twitched muscle fibers, and then gradually increases the type of muscle fibers that it recruits up to your fast switched muscle fibers. So it’s perfect for blood flow and for injury regeneration, for recovery, for that type of thing. So anything that’s like a sore spot on your body, you slap these Marc Pro electrodes on. What my strategy is I just surround the injured area with the electrodes, and then you turn it on. You just sit back. Watch TV, there you go. Or better yet, read a book. Play a musical instrument. But you can be shocking yourself at the same time. You can use on an airplane. And it doesn’t really hurt it just brings a bunch of blood flow to the muscle. And of all forms of electro stimulation, Marc Pro is the one that actually produces the correct waveform for healing an injury.
So you can go to marcpro.com, that’s m-a-r-c pro dot com. And you use promo code ‘Ben’ to get 5% off any of their models. They’ve got a Marc Pro, they’ve got a very sexy Marc Pro plus which has just a lot more features on it, you can go read about. But you go to marcpro.com/ben, and use promo code ‘ben’ for a 5% discount.
Alright, let’s jump into digital detoxing, what else do we talk about? Coffee enemas, different forms of making coffee, special lights that you can put into your ears, travel proofing your immune system, exercises that you can do in an airport that won’t bug other people. Ton other stuff with my good buddy, Joe DiStefano. Here we go.
In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness show:
“When you put your body, no matter how injured or old you are into this correct position, your brain has the tendency to say, ‘Oh, I remember that.’ And more or less accelerate your strength, your rehab, your performance, your posture, your breathing. “If I’m in the airport, I’ll just drop down, put on a Rage Against the Machine song and hold the plank, a high plank, a high push up, an FLR whatever you want to call it. I’ll do 5 minute holds of that.” “When we take a real proper breath as an infant does, our kidneys, our organs are moving matters of centimeters with those proper breaths.”
He’s an expert in human performance and nutrition, voted America’s top personal trainer and one of the globe’s most influential people in health and fitness. His show provides you with everything you need to optimize physical and mental performance. He is Ben Greenfield. “Power, speed, mobility, balance – whatever it is for you that’s the natural movement, get out there! When you look at all the studies done… studies that have shown the greatest efficacy…” All the information you need in one place, right here, right now, on the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast.
Ben: Hey, folks, it’s Ben Greenfield, and last week I went totally off the grid, and went rafting in the Grand Canyon. And part of that, I didn’t really realize this until I got about a day in, involved a forced digital detox because the Grand Canyon doesn’t really have any cellphone reception, and there aren’t exactly computers, or internets or Starbucks at the beaches that you pull into.
So, I came out of that digital detox experience pretty nervous about like what my email inbox would look like, and how many voice mails and text messages I’d have, and what kinda fires that I need to put out on the business front. But amazingly, things were pretty good. It took me maybe two, two and a half hours to catch up on email. And none of my clients died, and most of them got through their workouts just fine without me. And the post office was still delivering mail to my home. And more importantly, my body and my brain felt very good. They felt clean, they felt detoxed.
And my guest today, Joe DiStefano he’s all about the digital detox. And we’re gonna talk about digital detox and a whole lot more in today’s episode, but Joe is not, despite being someone who does certainly indoors having at least some point during the year where you step away from your cellphone, he’s not a hairy hippie living in the woods. As I’ve been accused of. Instead, Joe’s actually the co-founder of Spartan Coaching. And that’s the world’s first international obstacle race training certification program. Which by the way, I’m actually headed down to Dallas in two days or about a week to take myself that certification program.
Joe studied Sports Science at Fitchburg State University. He’s got a Master’s in Sports Psychology. He’s certified in a ton of things. This guy has more alphabet letters after his name than most folks I know in the industry. He’s a Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He’s trained at the Czech Institute in Holistic Nutrition. And he’s worked in everything from health and performance, to serial entrepreneurship. And he’s really known as the go to guy at Spartan Racing when it comes to coaching, learning how to do obstacle courses, learning holistic nutrition, etcetera. And I love talking to Joe. We’re friends, we geek out. Joe, welcome to the show, man.
Joe: Hey, Ben. What’s happening, man? Thank you for that intro. Very nice. Good job.
Ben: Yeah, well I try to make you sound good, when I can.
Ben: We’ll see how the rest of the podcast goes though. If I decide to throw you under the bus, it’ll happen. Anyways, though, the last time, let’s start in here. The last time I was over at your house was before I went into the Agoge. The Spartan Agoge I like 30 degrees below zero over in Burlington, Vermont. But you and I had a chance to hang out at your house for a little while. And you were bigtime into this concept of using a Ski Ergometer. Like this Stand-up Ski Ergometer device. You were swearing by it for like your go to fitness device. Is that still your weapon of choice for getting fit?
Joe: It is, man. It’s definitely my weapon of choice. I don’t plan on hanging it up anytime soon. I just think that Concept2 just really nailed it with this machine. And like you saw in my house, it fits right up against the wall and creates beasts. So anything that does that is good in my book. Ahhh, it’s…
Ben: Okay, so how does this thing like why would this be better than like an aerosol bike trainer or a Concept2 Rowing Machine or anything like that. Like why this Upright Ski Erg?
Joe: Well, yeah, you know, and I’m always looking at things through the lens of an obstacle racer, right? So right off the bat, you know, you’re upright, you’re not cramped into a rower, you’re not sitting on a bike. You’re upright, you’re on your two feet just like you’re gonna be during the races. So right away, you know, anytime a machine or quote, unquote machine kinda gets you up. I’m into that. You’re on the ground. You’re grounded. Second to that, right? It’s almost the opposite to me of everything else we do.
And when you think about what kinda my whole philosophy on fitness and training, and more important the kind of level setting people’s posture, diaphragm function etcetera. The SkiErg just ties so nicely into that because it is kind of countering almost everything else we do if you compare the SkiErg to a Kettlebell Swing. It’s almost the exact opposite. So instead of pushing the weight, you’re pulling yourself almost into that same hip hinge position. So from a sort of muscle balance perspective, we’ve got it nailed. And then, you know as an obstacle racer, you know what better machine something you’re standing on two feet building a ton of strength endurance. And really using the upper body in almost any way you want. You can do heavy stuff, you can do short sprints, you can do 2k, 5k. I just, man it’s a magical machine. I could probably talk all day about it.
Ben: (clears throat) Are they super expensive?
Joe: No, man I think ah was it 800 bucks something like that? It’s really inexpensive. I think it’s cheaper than almost any other…
Ben: Compared to like a home gym.
Joe: Compared to a home gym, compared to a treadmill, I think a treadmill is like thirty five hundred bucks.
Ben: Well, you know, my go to device for, my go to method for any of these fancy devices is I’ll go to Craigslist. Coz usually there’s some rich person who bought it, and it’s sitting in their garage and they like almost pay you to come get it from them.
Joe: Without a doubt. And actually since you brought it up, the Air Bikes, Craigslist. I picked up three AD4 Airdynes over the years. For between a hundred and hundred fifty bucks. So yes.
Ben: Yeah, Airdyne. Airdyne bikes are amazing. I was actually I was down at in Austin, Texas at Paleo f(x). And the guy I was staying with had an Airdyne Bike on the patio of his condo. And I went out there every morning and did a Tabata set on the Airdynes. Just 4 minutes of 20 seconds all out, 10 seconds off. And, I mean when it comes to getting a huge amount of non-impact bang for your buck, if you can grab an Airdyne Aero Soft Bike even off Craigslist. And again, like you said Joe, there’s people practically giving them away. Dude, awesome, awesome tool in the fitness arsenal.
Joe: Without a doubt. I mean, the two things that I currently have in my house are the AD4 Airdyne Bike and the SkiErg, so if that’s any testament.
Ben: Awesome. Now you also have over at your house this new coffee pot that you’re messing around with. Coz I know you’re big on the coffee and are trying all sorts of new methods at making coffee. And it was like a hand pump kinda like an espresso machine. Is that what you’re still using to make coffee?
Joe: Yeah, you know Ben, it’s that thing got a little laborious (laughs).
Ben: It seems kind of annoying.
Joe: Yeah, yeah. You know I’m all about espresso. I have, I really believe that you know caffeine is more or less like a, almost like a medication, right, that I like to pack a punch. I like espresso. I like the most benefit with the least amount of volume, right. So I’m super into espresso. That particular machine, the hand held pump thing, I don’t remember, I think it was called the Waca something rather. No it’s a little laborious. The shots are little bit, you know. I don’t know I hung it up, it’s on the shelf of forgotten coffee makers right now. Yeah!
Ben: So what are you using now as a coffee aficionado?
Joe: Alright. So this might be a little bit funny but ironically, over the years I. Well let me kinda rewind. I think that rituals are super important. I think that making coffee is you know, it’s like sitting around the fire. It’s just something you need to do. And I think that grinding the beans by hand is kind of the most important thing. No matter how you make ém. Take 5 minutes in the morning. Grind the beans by hand. Think about your day. It’s very cool. It’s ritualistic. It’s something we need to do to kinda slow down and start our day. And then however you make the coffee, I’ll mix it up. I’ll do an aeropress sometimes or I’ve got a few other types. But you know what’s hilarious is more often than not, and in a house with 10 different ways to make coffee and five different coffees to choose from typically, I go cowboy more often than not over the past couple of months, and I know you had some content that kinda went into how the filtration of coffee can rob some of those cognitive boosters and things like that. And I…
Ben: Especially paper filtrations specifically filters out the cafestol and the kahweol from the coffee which are two cholesterols that actually, they act similar to caffeine but differently in that you know, caffeine blocks the adenosine receptor that makes you sleepy. And these other two molecules enhance cognitive performance in different ways. Yeah, when you do like a paper filter method, any paper filter method, I think the aeropress actually has the option for metal filter. You get rid of these cafestols and kahweols. Yeah, cowboy coffee is what you’re doing now?
Joe: It’s what I do more often than not, and I’ll do one of two ways. You know, if I don’t feel like chomping on any grounds then I do have a tea bag filter. Like a little, it’s kinda like looks more like a coffee scoop but it’s got a filter on the end. And occasionally I’ll pour it through that. So no filter you still got that at the bottom of the mug, you’ll still get some sludge, but I’d stir it up and yeah, more often than not I go cowboy out from the home.
Ben: You’ll laugh at why I became such an expert at making cowboy coffee and not getting grounds in the actual vessel that I pour the cowboy coffee into. It’s because of the article that I wrote a couple a years ago about how to give yourself a coffee enema. I don’t know if you saw this but there’s an article called “How to Give Yourself a Bulletproof Coffee Enema.” On the website, yeah. And coffee enemas by the way, just full disclosure, twice a month I do a coffee enema. It’s great for your liver, your gallbladder, cleaning out your colon, blah, blah, blah. And I know some of you probably are about to quit listening because of what I just said.
But either way, the go-to method for making your coffee is 13 minutes of cowboy coffee style where you put a bunch of grounds on like a cast iron skillet, and you pour a bunch of water over that and you just let it simmer for about 13 minutes. And then you pour that ever so carefully in the case of an enema into an enema bucket or in the case of normal consumption into a mug. And if you do it right you actually don’t get a lot of the grounds and you get all of the bioactive components of the coffee. Plus you feel like a (beep) coz you’re making cowboy coffee. Until you put it up your (cash register) and feel like woo woo hippie.
Ben: Anyways though, so a hand coffee grinder plus aeropress or cowboy coffee. I like it. One other question and while were geeking out on coffee, have you seen the Chemex? The Ottomatic Coffee Maker?
Ben: Beautiful, beautiful machine. That’s on my list of machines that I wanna get. Although, I believe that that still has a little bit of like a paper filtration option to it. I think you can do like a slow drip method with that one as well. Or they have like a stainless steel type of filter you can use. But it’s beautiful, beautiful coffee maker. I’ll put a link in the show notes, if people wanna see what it looks like. But it’s called the Chemex C-H-E-M-E-X Ottomatic. Because my, I had a Wilfa Coffee Maker. That one kicked the can so, now I’m just french press or cowboy coffee.
Ben: Alright, I didn’t know we were going to talk so much about coffee. Anyways though, let’s get back into fitness. So you, the other thing you were talking about. The last I was at your house was this Praque Method of Training. And there was this guy named Raj. Dr. Raj from London who I interviewed a few weeks ago. And he also bought up this Prague method of training. And I’m not too familiar with it, but can you describe it and why it’s something that you’re interested in as a training method right now?
Joe: Yeah, you know, The Prague School is, they are just brilliant people. I’ve had the opportunity to take 2, 3 maybe 4 of their classes. I’ve done a few PRI classes as well. If folks are familiar with PRI here in the States, it’s a similar methodology. It’s not exactly the same. But DNS is, you know, in a nutshell it sort of this theory that’s based on what we can call kind of positional mimics of developmental milestones that babies go through, right? So when you are an infant you are, you’re going through this developmental milestones when you’re 3 months old, you can pick your head up a little bit, right and maybe look around. When you’re nine months old you can begin kind of getting into a three quarter squat. When you’re twelve months old or more you can kind of get upright.
So what they’ve done is kind of created positional mimics of these that are kind of their whole premise is essentially based on two things. Let me kinda rewind. The premise behind the DNS and the Prague School method is maximizing the efficiency of intra- abdominal pressure, and more or less maximizing as best we possibly can in a sedentary culture proper joint centration. Namely in the hips and shoulders. So, and then the underlying theory, like I said it’s based in these different positions that you would breath in and create intra-abdominal pressure that are based in these developmental idea that your nervous system controls everything no matter how old you are. And that nervous system, the development of that nervous system in the first year or so of life is so profound that when you put your body no matter how injured or old you are into this correct position, your brain has a tendency to say, “Oh I remember that.” And more or less accelerate your strength, your rehab, you performance, your posture, you breathing exponentially.
Ben: Yeah, the website’s weird. The website’s almost humorous for like if you go to rehabps.com, there’s like posters of babies at like 3 months old doing like well, what would appear to be like the happy baby posing yoga or these different lunge positions that their doing is they’re crawling and developing learning to stand. And then it’s showing a human like a human woman mimicking each position that the baby is in. So is that more or less what you’re doing is getting into all these different developmental positions and learning how to breathe or train in those positions?
Joe: That’s exactly it, Ben. So ahh…
Ben: Super interesting.
Joe: When you go to the workshops, when you go through their education, you know, you spend a lot of time looking at babies and understanding how they move, and how they progress through different movements. And you know what’s funny is, so, I was a client of people on the show prior to I heard about Eric Cressey. Eric Cressey was my coach.
Joe: Maybe 7, 8 nine years ago. And I was actually coming out of like a serious problem. I had fractured my skull, I had some residual kinda dystonia in my right side. So my right side wasn’t really moving all that well. And you know, my issue was I want to walk in a really straight line, and I couldn’t do that. We went to the mall together we’d be like, ‘dude, get off me!’
Ben: How did you fracture your skull?
Joe: Kind of a long story. I was playing a sport that I should never play at my height and weight, and it was basketball and randomly the hoop decided to fall down. No, I wasn’t dunking. I’m 5’6. The hoop fell down and landed on top of me and basically crushed my head.
Ben: Holy cow!
Joe: Yeah, it was looking pretty grim for a while. I don’t tell the story very often but now it’s out there. So yeah, like the right side of my head has a big plate in it that might explain a lot, right? But kind of rewinding a little bit. So I went into some rehab and started trying to work on this because my issue was right left. My right was very hypertonic. And after that, I progressed and I decided to go you know, hey, what better guy than Cressey. He’s kind of a rehab guy. Works a lot of football players and played baseball growing up. So I went to him. He was up the street from me. And he had me doing, he was my first touch with the DNS and PRI because obviously baseball guys have a lot of this pathology that really ties in nicely to this. Whether it’s posture or whatever, but I just decided at that time I’m gonna do whatever this guy says. And the DNS stuff he was putting me through was way over my head. I just decided to shut up and do it. And what I noticed was it was accelerating my progress faster than anything I had done. And I had done a lot of stuff when I was trying to get my brain to fire. I was taking whiffs of peppermint. I was dripping coffee in my ears. Like not coffee but I was dripping hot water in my ears. Like all these wild stuff. I was, I would listen to anybody that say they could fix my right side. So this breathing stuff, so I would go like heavy set of trap bar deadlifts. I would come right of and go into one of these developmental positions. Breathe for 7 or 8, 9, 10 cycles. Go back into the deadlift and have exponentially more strength because you’re maximizing joint centration intra-abdominal pressure.
And honestly, the DNS is what catapulted me. So I started to dabble and then, I don’t know three and a half years ago I started going through their education myself. And yeah, I’m using it now, I mean, it has transformed how I look at everything. I mean, I have athletes that I don’t even stretch anymore. Because their tightened this or that is only because they’re not pressurizing well in their abs. In their…
Ben: Wow amazing.
Joe: [0:24:48.4] ______
Ben: And so, when you say DNS by, it stands for Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization?
Joe: Yeah, exactly that’s The Prague School system.
Ben: Interesting. Well, I’ll link to this Prague School in the show notes but it sounds very much like this guy Dr. Eric Goodman. Who I’ve had in the podcast before and I recently read his new book which is called “True To Form”. And it’s comprised of somewhere between 15 and 20 different exercises you can use to decompress the spine. Typically, you’re doing like a deep, what he calls a decompression style breathing.
Ben: From deep within the navel as you perform these specific movements. Like he has one called The Woodpecker and another one called The Core Foundation Exercise. And typically, they’re either lying in your stomach on the ground, they’re lying on your back on the ground or their standing in like a squat position or standing with either your right leg or your left leg forward in a lunge position. When I look at these posters on this Prague School website some of his exercises actually look very familiar. Have you tried these core foundation programs at all?
Joe: Not his. But I’ve done all the Prague School stuff and they sound like they’re awfully similar.
Ben: They sound very similar. As a matter of fact, I’m working on a blog post right now about how I’ve changed up my morning routine. I used to do like a bunch of like down dog yoga and sun salutations, and these just basic stretches for my morning routine. And I’ve begun using the program and the back of Dr. Eric Goodman’s new book, this “True To Form” book for my morning routine. And so they’re more like these isometric positions that you hold as you do these deep decompression style breathing, and the goal is to decompress the spine, open up the organs and blood flow throughout the body, and then finally to, for lack of a better phrase, ‘turn on the butt’ right, and get the glut firing for the day. And it’s changed my posture throughout the day. So it’s really interesting isn’t it? It sounds very similar.
Joe: Yeah, yeah without a doubt. And what you’ll find, Ben too is that what I’ve noticed with the DNS stuff is that certain people do better in different positions. So there might be 10 exercises that you know, are good for this person. And you might get 80% of the benefit from two of them. And so, those are the two that you tell somebody, hey, if you’ve got 1 second at the airport this is the movement you do or this is the position you get yourself into.
Joe: And to your point that, whole breathing. I’m obsessed with breathing, I mean, it was the focus of the, The TED Talk I did recently. It’s everything. It’s replaced stretching, it’s replaced meditation not entirely, but there is so much we can learn from breath, and understanding that when we breathe there’s a lot of theories out there, right? Like draw your belly button in, push your belly button out, belly breathe, just don’t chest breathe. You know do this or do that. To your point about the organs and everything else, when we take a real proper breathe as an infant does, our kidneys, our organs are moving matters of centimeters with those proper breathes the way that things…
Joe: … more or less get of the way. When we fill that entire cavity with air. And that what keeps them vital, and that’s what keeps things moving, and that’s what keeps them healthy. I’ve had you know in the past, I’ve had like visceral manipulation done in my stomach. I’ve actually got it done down in Central America which sounds crazy but it’s not. But people’s organs literally adhere to each other internally because they’re not getting that daily massage from this proper breathe cycle. So there is, I mean the benefits of…
Ben: Super interesting. So you’ve actually have visceral manipulation done to assist with organ function?
Ben: And you can do this same thing with proper breathing techniques?
Joe: Yes. There are people that are gonna be so locked up viscerally from you know, 30 years of dysfunctional breathing and having that lack of what I can call massage, in a nose folks, just like I did you just gotta get someone to dig in there whether it’s a role for someone that’s really trained in visceral stuff. And then the stuff will take on. But most folks they start doing this stuff religiously. It took me 3 or 4 months to breathe and do a certain place. So some of my DNS friends will be like you know, breathe into this place and maybe they’ll put their finger you know, way down like in your pubis. And you’ll have to breathe right into that position, right into that spot. And when you start getting to point where you can breathe exactly where people are putting their fingers, that’s when you’ve really got it. That’s when you’re really dialed in.
Ben: Interesting. So okay. Can you give an example of how you would actually breathe the into a spot, like what exactly are you doing, is it like through your nose, deep breathing, are you like drawing in sharp breathes to target a specific spot? Are you jumping in an ice bath and doing Wim Hof style breathing? I mean like what exactly is the breath protocol?
Joe: Yes! So well, the underlying theory is that when you take a proper breath you should really get kind of 360 degree expansion of the entire torso. So if we want to say that the kidney should move a centimeter through the proper breath, that means if I put my hand on my back then I should be able to feel that breath, right?
Ben: That’s interesting coz usually you hear that it’s just your sides that are supposed to expand.
Joe: I say, if you, I say the goal is 360 degree expansion…
Joe: Sides, you should be able to breathe into your back. You should be able to breathe into your stomach, And most importantly you should be able to breathe into your almost your genitals. You should be able to get the air so down there, and kind of up to your point, right? There are things that we can do. If we think about different ways to activate pelvic floor and things like that. So I’ll have people actually get into a developmental position. Maybe it’s a kind of a supine legs up hips centrated position. Have them curl their toes. And this is another kinda developmental pack, right? A baby is laying there, their knees are kinda bowed out a little bit. Their toes are curled. That’s kinda activating pelvic floor because a baby from an inter-abdominal pressure standpoint, how long can you lie on your back with your knees and feet in the air? Probably a minute. I know I get tired quick. But a baby can sit like that for 10 hours, right?
Joe: So the baby has just perfect joint centration, perfect inter-abdominal pressure, and so we cannot take an adult, we can have them kinda lie on their backs, supine, knees up, feet up. We can have them curl their toes. That’s gonna help them kinda activate some of their pelvic floor. And then, I’ll have them also purse their lips and breathe in through pursed lips. And typically, between the toes and pursed lips, that’ll help get the air to the deepest areas of the torso. But …
Ben: Did you show any of these in your Ted Talk, by the way?
Joe: I don’t get to into it but I do. I don’t jump on stage and curl my toes or anything like that but I speak to it. And we can link to that if you guys want.
Ben: Yeah. I know and I already found the Ted Talk, and I’ll definitely link to it in the show notes. And by the way, for those of you listening in, I’ll take copious notes here and put them at bengreenfieldfitness.com/joed, bengreenfieldfitness.com/joe, the letter D in DiStefano. Anyways though, so the one thing that comes to mind when you talk about visceral manipulation, and this breath work is fascinating, and I think that everybody should watch this talk. Looks like it’s about 16 minutes long. I had forgotten that you were gonna give a Ted Talk. So I haven’t even myself seen it. So I’m going to be watching that later on today on the plane.
But anyways, what I’ve been using and don’t laugh especially after my mention of enemas is a car buffer. So, I got a car buffer on Amazon. You can get the, I know they’re, I’ve seen them being sold at Spartan Races for ungodly amounts of money. But you can just purchase them or like a hand held vibrator devise on Amazon. And I’ve done car buffering on my abdominals, alright, like complete relaxation and literally just gone in there the same way as a massage therapist might. And I’ve gone a left to right like basically follow the entire large intestine. Left to right and then back over the lower abdomen to the right at the very bottom. So just basically this giant left to right, this giant like clockwise circles of the abdomen. I’ve been doing this for about a week. And frankly, I’ve been pooping like a baby. Have you had any experience with visceral breath work or the use of a car buffer to enhance digestive function?
Joe: (laughs) My experience with car buffers isn’t limited. However, I’d exactly what you’re saying I have done on a lot of people. So just recently, that works even without the car buffer if you just somebody lay down and take their shirt off or lift their shirt. And you just massage in the exact same way that you just said. Just with your hands, it works similarly. I would imagine you’re doing the car buffer on yourself, I assume?
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Just like standing there relaxing. You know, I haven’t tried it lying on my back. That’s even better idea.
Joe: Yeah, so I do have experienced with that but I don’t have a car buffer but man, I’m gonna have to jump on Amazon and get a…
Ben: Why it’s the car buffer or the little uh, if you will, coz I know you travel a lot. The little hand held massage devices you know, like they have 3 little balls coming out of them, that you’d use on your back or your traps.
Ben: You see them at the stores that sell the giant fancy massage chairs that you could go sit in at the mall while your wife is shopping. Not that I’ve ever done that. But those tiny little hand held vibrators.
Joe: Right, right.
Ben: That would also work. Now speaking of travel, Joe. I know you travel a lot, and I’m wanting to ask you coz I know you have all these little like sleep hacks and everything for travel. And we’ve talked about sleep quite a bit on the show but immune system, do you do anything special to ensure that you don’t get sick when you’re travelling all over the world for all these Spartan events that you’re helping to put on?
Joe: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. And to be honest, Ben a lot of the stuff that I do currently have ripped off for use. So, this might be a repeat for some of your listeners. But generally speaking, you know, I do and this actually ties in to Paul Chek. Paul Chek always said, “You know Oregano Oil is the key to immune health on the road when you’re travelling”. And so, I load up on the oregano oil. I got Oreganol P73 super strength. I’ll take that before…
Ben: What d’you call that P73?
Joe: Yeah, it’s called P73.
Ben: Huh? What’s the P73 refer to?
Joe: Uhh, that’s a good question. I just buy it.
Ben: Interesting. You just buy it, you don’t ask questions.
Ben: The Oreganol, yeah, I see it on Amazon Oreganol P73. Interesting. Coz I sell like a wild Mediterranean Oil of Oregano at Greenfield Fitness Systems that frankly, my aunt is my oil go to. She does like our skin serum and our oregano and stuff like that. But I’ve never seen this P73. So do you go like straight sublingual here? Do you mix it in a glass of water? What do you do with it?
Joe: Yes. So I definitely go super strength. Well I guess, if you’re just starting out maybe you don’t. But I’ll do it all sorts of different ways. Typically, I will drip it. It’s an eye dropper which I recently, it really sucks but the third time that a bottle of oregano oil explodes in your bag is when you say, I’m gonna switch to pills. Even though I don’t think that the pills are as good because I think that 4, 5, 6, 7 drops of oreganol into a, an ounce or two of water and then just shoot that swirl around your mouth for a minute, let it kinda trickle down your throat and then swallow. I think that that you’re kind of covering all your bases. So I really dislike the pills…
Ben: Well the other thing with the oil is that I found that some residue of it remains in your… And yeah, it’s annoying by the way, when it spills in your bag. That’s happened to me many a time. But when you get it in your mouth whether you’re doing like a sublingual drop or under your tongue and swishing it around or in a glass of water, and then you’re in a crowded space, like an airplane or a subway or whatever, any airborne contaminants are hitting that oil of oregano in your mouth as your breathing in, whereas with the capsule you’re actually not filtering quite as readily through the oregano.
Joe: That’s a great point. And yeah, I mean I’ve spilled so much of this stuff that I smell like a pizza no matter where I go anyway so it doesn’t really matter. But yeah, and to your point you know, I started just chewing the capsules, are gel caps. So I just chew ém now.
Ben: So there you go.
Joe: And then you get a similar effect. But yeah, so best way to go just couple drops in amounts of water and you’re good to go. So that’s kinda my big thing that I’ve been doing for years. But I also take a lot of liposomal glutathione and vitamin C when I’m on the road which I think I took from you. And then when you get off the plane, you do the activated charcoal that I know I ripped off of you. And yeah.
Ben: Although the activated charcoal, the one thing you have to be careful of is if you’re taking supplements or you’re doing something like, going out and this is nothing I recommend. Like a really sulfur-rich meal that has like garlic and broccoli and cauliflower, and any sulfur-based glutathione precursors in it to fight the type of oxidation that builds up during airline travel. You wanna separate your activated charcoal from any of your meals or your other supplements coz it’ll tend to absorb not just the bad stuff from the bloodstream but also the good stuff. So the timing is important with the charcoal. You’re preferably doing it in a fasted state on an empty stomach or separate from any other supplements that you take.
Joe: Yeah. And so, I’ve been doing at least you know, 5 or 10 minutes, but what do you recommend in terms of when I’m getting off the plane dropping some charcoal?
Ben: Yeah, at least 60 minutes.
Joe: 60? Alright so.
Ben: Yeah, exactly. So that’s why I’m kinda careful. A lot of times when I’m on a plane and I’m eating a ton anyway, so if I do the charcoal I [0:38:31.5] ______. When I get off the plane, it will be a good hour before I’m say at the local Whole Foods making myself a big ass salad with a bunch of garlic and broccoli on it. So I’ve got some time, but yeah the separation. What about Vitamin C? What are you using for Vitamin C?
Joe: I do LivOn which I’m not endorsed by LivOn, but will pack a lot of LivOn Labs Vitamin C. There are these little packets that travel really well, it’s almost like a gel. And you just kind of, I just eat basically. I just put the wrapper in my mouth, pull it out, leave the Vitamin C in there and tip it back with a little bit of water. It does not dissolve or mix in water well at all. You end up wasting half your packet and they’re a dollar or two each. So just kinda eat it and then just switch that back. I take that. I’ll take a month off of the Vitamin C every couple of months. But generally I’m taking that throughout the year.
Ben: And similar to the glutathione that’s lypospheric. So it’s fat soluble and it actually absorbs.
Joe: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean unlike a lot of the Vitamin C’s. The emergent C’s, whatever else is out there. The lyposomal stuff, you’ll feel, you can feel the difference. You take it for a week or two, it’s like you know the stuff is…
Ben: Lyposomal or lypospheric they’re kinda doing the same thing, and anything like that is gonna be a little bit more fat soluble for things that would normally be water soluble. Like Vitamin C or glutathione. So, yes solubility is definitely important for sure. That’s why the Cannabidiol for example that I use. Cannabidiol is actually very fat soluble. Unlike Vitamin C or glutathione it’s got the opposite issue, right? It’s not very soluble in water so it’ll get in to the fat based tissues in your body but not into the water based tissues. That’s why I do like the nano particle based CBD because it’s actually water soluble, so it gets into the sections of our body other forms of Cannabidiol normally wouldn’t. so.
Joe: Right, Right. Have to give that a shot.
Ben: Yeah. so anyways, another thing that of course, I know that you do quite a bit of, I think you and I hung out for the first time at the Ancestral Health Symposium a couple of years ago in Berkeley, California. And by the way, there’s another Ancestral Health Symposium coming up in Boulder, Colorado that I’ll be at. Those are very cool, those of you listening in at the Ancestral Health Symposium is like a very didactic based lecture and poster immersed conference basically. But it’s a little bit geekier than say like a Paleo f(x) or fitness expo or fitness expo or anything like that. It’s very steeped in research and poster presentations and I don’t know. Am I describing that in the right way, Joe?
Joe: No you’re right on. I mean it’s a deep dive. There’s some very heavy hitters there and the audience are ready, you know. They’re ready for the next big thing that you know, won’t really hit the news channels and the mainstream for another year or 2, 3, 4, 5 years.
Ben: Right. Right. And then the AHS 2016 is in Boulder. And so, that’ll be a good event but anyways when I met you at the one in Berkeley. I remembered, everybody was basically like staying in the dorms in Berkeley and when you got there I think you were like running up and down the stairs doing burpees at each landing or something like that. Some body weight workout. And I know that you have methods to keep yourself in shape when you don’t have your SkiErgs. So what’s your go to body weight workout that you do when you’re travelling or when you’re in an airport or when you’re somewhere where you don’t have access to a good gym?
Joe: Yes. So I’ve got a few kinda go to’s. Number one, just like you know what kindá ties in to what we were saying earlier. I am big on kinda isometric stuff so, if I’m in the airport, I mean I’ll just drop down, put on a Rage Against the Machine song and hold the plank, a high plank, a high push up, an FLR whatever you wanna call it. I’ll do five minute holds of that. That’s kind of a go to like, I said if I’m waiting on my plane, I also do a lot of whatever position I can get myself into whether it’s a tripod, headstand or whether it’s, I do a lot of planches now. And I’ll do like a reverse tabata planche.
Ben: What’s a planche?
Joe: So planche is when you’re kind of in a cannon ball position with your hands on the ground, so your supporting your entire body with just your hands and your knees are tucked to your chest like a cannon ball and your facing the floor, if that makes sense.
Ben: Okay. Yeah. Yeah. You see this in yoga sometimes like people do a planche. I know like a gymnast who’ll do a planche look like their legs straight up behind them, right?
Joe: Yeah, exactly. That’s way too advanced for me.
Ben: Okay. I’ll put some images of planching in the show notes so they’ll gonna know what it looks like. But you’ll do this in the airport and you’ll just hold this planche position?
Joe: Oh yeah. That’s all the time. And I’ll do reverse tabatas. So I’ll do 10 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest because that’s a seriously after 3, 4 minutes of 10, 20 planching you’re pretty smoked.
Ben: So that’s an intense isometric hold, but I like this concept. I haven’t thought about doing this too much. I don’t know why. But this concept is doing isometric holds because frankly, you know, like I just posted a video to my Facebook page of me doing like sprints and skips and burpees in the airport with my kids. But sometimes that annoys people. Whereas holding isometric positions seems like something that you could do without bugging too many of the other folks around you waiting at the gate.
Joe: Yeah. Well that’s the thing, right? I, you know I get the random security screening often enough so I try (laughs) to stick with isometric stuff when I’m in the airport. But you know, that doesn’t mean I won’t do, I’ll do pushups. I do a lot of [0:44:09.8] ______ and stuff too. So I’ll do like if I’ve got 20 minutes, I’ll do 10 pushups on the minute for 20 minutes or 7 burpees on the minute for 20 minutes. I did that one recently at the Vatican actually there was like 200,000 person line, and I did an [0:44:24.5] _______ standing right there coz we weren’t gonna move for a couple hours. Yeah. So, and then 30/30 is my big favorite. So if you’ve got you know, maybe you’ve got maybe you’re out in the field, wherever you might be probably not in the airport, but if you really want to get after it and you have absolutely no equipment. You know, pick 5, 6, 7 bodyweight exercise. So you’ve got pushups, you’ve got lunges, you’ve got squats, you’ve got squat jumps, you’ve got lunge hops, you’ve got burpees, you’ve got hand release burpees, you’ve got isometric holds you can mix in like a tripod headstand. And I’ll just go 30/30. I’ll typically do 2 or 3, 4 rounds of each movement before I switch. So it might be like a three 30/30’s of squat. And I’ll say that I have to get at least 22 reps each set of 30, right? And I’ll do 3 of those then switch exercises, and you can just repeat that all day if you want. So that’s kinda my, if I really want to get after it’s gonna be a 30/30 kinda chipper with 5 or 6 exercises.
Ben: Nice. I like it. You publish a lot of your workouts online, don’t you? Somewhere?
Joe: Yeah. Yeah, I do. So, Instagram and stuff. I’d usually host the entire workout because I wondered if people care but I typically post the highlight.
Ben: And you do that to your Instagram page primarily for your workouts?
Joe: Yeah, primarily Instagram.
Ben: What’s your handle on Instagram?
Joe: Which is @jdispartan.
Ben: jdispartan. Okay got it. I’ll link to that in the show notes. By the way, speaking of doing burpees at the Vatican. Did you know that the best gelato in the entire world is in the shop right outside the walls of the Vatican? Did you have a chance to go try it?
Joe: I should’ve assumed that. But I did not.
Ben: Okay so, for anybody listening in. Old Bridge Gelato is the name of the shop. And my wife and I researched this heavily prior to going to Rome because we’re both gelato aficionados. And I do indeed actually travel if I’m in Italy with lactase digesting enzyme pills because I’m not that great at digesting lactase, but I will not forego a good cone or cup of gelato. But it’s called Gelato Old Bridge outside the Vatican for anybody who happens to be visiting the Vatican anytime soon and wants a little cheat meal, so.
Joe: I did have a cheat meal over there. And I read reviews. I said you know what I’m in Italy, I’m going bread, I’m going big, so I decided after reading you know, countless reports that Rome has the best pizza on the planet.
Joe: I decided that I would find the best pizza in Rome because that means you’re eating the best pizza in the world. And so, I decided to go for that and I did have that with a nice half liter of wine. And so…
Ben: The carafe of wine which is actually, there are house carafes of wine over there better than much of the very, very good wine in the States. You know the thing about Italy and wheat and celiac diseases. Celiac is actually a growing issue in Italy but it’s because they’ve changed up their wheat production techniques to be very similar to what we’re doing in the US now, where we’re for example genetically modifying these door stocks that can hold copious amounts of the actual wheat berry. And extremely concentrated amounts of gluten. You know, whereas like old world schools are growing wheat you tend to give little bit more natural amounts of gluten. You know you tend to see like slow fermentation processes being used in the pastas and the breads, and stuff like that. A lot of places aren’t doing so much of that anymore. And I think that’s why celiac disease and pasta in general is becoming a bigger health issue in Italy. So and you’re Italian right, Joe.
Joe: I am. I am, and I definitely will report though. I can get away with eating more bread over there. So, I’m a big believer in olive oil. I think olive oil, maybe it’s because I’m Italian and I was raised drinking it, but I do believe that olive is, if there was a magic olive oil, right? And now obviously coconut’s great and butter’s great, and but I think if we wanted to choose a, oil that we could recommend to the absolute most people in high quantities, as you know like all the APOE stuff and just the modern convention, the beliefs about saturated fat, I wonder if olive oil is sort of that kind of middle ground. I think it’s very, very good for you. And I think that I suspect that using even if you’re, I don’t wanna sound crazy but if you are eating bread, my thing is I’m gonna drown that slice of bread in olive oil. Like it’s gonna be sopping. And I think that that you get enough, you get more benefit than harm if you’re in Italy eating nice bread that was prepared well and it is absolutely soaked in olive oil. I think uh…
Ben: Yeah. I’m a huge, huge fan of olive oil for the reasons that you’ve described. The problem is real olive oil only gets into the US like it trickles in an extremely small amounts. Like I don’t know if you knew this but olive oil is extremely adulterated in the US. So you get olive oil that’s mixed with other vegetable oils. You get rancid olive oils, you get olive oil that has way fewer like the polyphenols, and flavonols and a lot of these content that we don’t know that much about gluten digestion for example but it could be some these stuff is protecting you against you know, some of the potential deleterious effects and certainly it’s the blood sugar spiking effect and something like wheat. But I’m a member of this Olive Oil Club. So have you heard of this before, Joe? This Olive Oil Club?
Joe: I have. Although I’m not a member I got a guy that holds the job.
Ben: Okay so you got a guy. I don’t have a guy. But I’m a member of this club and for any of you listening in, I’ll put a link on the show notes but it’s like magic. Every three months I get 3 enormous bottles of olive oil in this glass like non-transparent containers that show up at my house. And they are always from some different region of the world like Chile or Argentina or Italy or Spain, and it come with this booklet that walks you through the actual farm and the person who made the oil. And you dump it into like a shot glass and it’s always like green or has like stuff floating in it. And it’s like the real deal olive oil. And you know, it tells you like the tasting notes and everything like that. So it’s uh, for people who geek out on olive oil, it’s a pretty cool club to be a member of. So it’s called the Olive Oil Club.
Anyways though, let’s get back to what I actually wanted to talk you about, Joe before we got side tracked by coffee and enemas and the Prague Method and breathing like a baby and car buffers on your abs and everything else. And that is detoxing. Digital detox. So, I know that you recently did some kind of a digital detox in Costa Rica. And you came back and seems to be very excited about that. I think you were at my house like a week or two later. Can you go into what exactly that was all about this digital detox that you did?
Joe: Yeah, you know, so there’s this thing has just, I’ve always kinda believed in this you know throughout the course of our life is that when you reach a point as and we reach that point faster and faster in a kinda modern world. When you reach a point where you’re just losing productivity because you are either tired or stressed or over stimulated. You gotta take a break, you gotta reset.
And so kinda serendipitously about 3 years ago which was kind of the what I call the hockey stick of Spartan race. It’s when we went from like 16 races to 80. You know, I think I was on 70 somewhat flights or it was high 60’s whatever the number was globally, right? So Spain, Australia all these different places that were just really burning the candle lit at not just both hands but there was wicks coming out of every which way. And I was definitely just really burnt out. So long story short, is I got signed on to speak at an event in Costa Rica which was super random for me. I wasn’t doing a lot of speaking at that point. Someone was just like, “hey, we want you to come speak on this topic”. And so, I said, “sure that’s great, book my travel”.
Well, about 6 weeks out from that event I get an email that the event, it was a small intimate thing. The host was extremely ill and she decided to postpone a few months. But I already had the time off. I had everyone squared away, I had my itinerary, I had my travel and I needed the break. So I went down by myself and ended up because the event was cancelled. I basically had this entire center to myself. Well, I ended up meeting one other person her name is Jules. Maybe I’ll get to her later. And so what I did was I said I’m gonna go down, I already have the time off. I’m going to charge my phone but I’m not gonna bring the charger because I wanna use this thing so little on this week. That I’m not even gonna need another charge. I’m gonna save it for an emergency. I’m not even gonna bring my computer. We’re just gonna detox this thing. I need a break. Coz I identified that my phone and computer were sources of stress. I was super burnt out and I identified that I was at times checking my email just to elicit a stress response. I was like this is just madness!
Ben: Today I think people do it now every 4 minutes. That’s actually how often most folks are now checking their phones every 4 minutes. That’s the entire day.
Joe: It’s crazy, right? So I go down there and it was just magic. So I go down I’m like this is gonna happen, I’m gonna detox digitally here. I go down I meet a woman named Jules who is probably one of the best yoga instructors on the planet. Best yoga instructor I have ever met. She will teach an entire class in Sanskrit. Her energy is just palpable. She…
Ben: What kind of yoga?
Joe: She does kind of almost like a proprietary style that’s a combination of a lot of different types but it’s primarily a hot vinyasa flow.
Joe: With sort of notes of Bikram and notes of Baptiste and notes of other things. So it’s just a magical experience. So I meet with her. She’s down there much for the same reasons as me. And we have this retreat center together. So basically what we ended up doing was we did yoga every morning and every afternoon. So we roll out a bed, different rooms just don’t want any rumors. Roll out a bed, you go have some tea or something. Watch the sunrise. Go do a 90 sometimes, we would go up to 2 hour flow yoga session. Then I would leave and I would go zip lining, I would go paragliding, I would go hiking, I would go waterfall rappelling, I would get some insane spa treatment that you can’t even find in the US, maybe like visceral manipulation or there’s a few others I can speak to. Then I’d come back to another yoga session with Jules. All the while were eating just the most amazing organic foods professionally prepared by ridiculously talented chefs. It was just an amazing week and I did it for 8 days. And honestly it was funny because…
Ben: Eight days.
Joe: Eight days of that. No phone, no computer.
Ben: How many hours a day were you actually doing the yoga part?
Joe: There were days that we would do 5 hours. There were days that we would do 2 hours. There were days…
Ben: I’ve actually, I’ve always wanted to do something like that where you’re just doing, I mean this sounds like you know some couple of, I guess you might say like metro sexual pampered men talking to each other. I’ve always wanted to do 5 hours of yoga. Like just day after and just see what happens to my body. That’s really interesting. So what happened?
Joe: It’s seriously amazing. But and also keep in mind that two more days that we would do 5 or 6 hours of yoga which is a lot for some people. There might be a 2 hour block where just worked on hand stand patterning. We just worked on kind of drills and skills to improve our yoga practice. It’s not like you’re flowing for 6 straight hours, but the effects on your body was just unbelievable.
But so anyways, if you imagine this you go from like this high strung, I’m travelling too much, I’m not sleeping enough, I’m burnt out, I’m tired, I’m stressed, I’m aggravated all the time. Whatever the problem is and then you just jump yourself into the jungle for 8 days, I came back just what I, the only word to describe it is RESET. And it was in December so it was right before 2014 or whatever it was. And I decided about a week after I got back which was probably around the time I saw you. Like the world needs this. Oh you know what? So you were actually a year after this. But I said the world needs this. So I said, I’m gonna go back. I called up that same place and I said I wanna go back next year, and I’m gonna bring 20 or 30 friends.
Ben: And what was the name of this place?
Joe: Well, my event is called Runga.
Ben: But it takes place at this center in Costa Rica that you were at doing all this yoga and stuff.
Joe: Exactly. It takes place at a place called Pura Vida which is in Alajuela, Costa Rica.
Ben: Pura Vida, okay.
Joe: And so, I went back the following year brought 30 people with me. And we did the exact, we mimicked exactly what I had done with Jules organically and of course Jules came back. I invited a couple other rock stars like Kettle Bell gurus from the RKC and SFG. Brought some running coaches that worked with really high-end athletes all the way down to average folks and rehab people, so people could just get remarkable treatments. White water raft guides from the States that just are rock stars, and so we ended up having about 22 guests and about 8 staff members. Every single one of them was just a rock star and we just did it again. We did it for 8 days, and we’re actually I think, you might be coming. I’m going back this year and we’re gonna bring 30 people.
Ben: Oh I, I mean, when you told me about it, I really, really wanted to come. I guess the clincher for me was I have to talk my wife into it. And I’m pretty sure she’d be up for doing 5 to 6 hours of yoga a day, along with these other, so you’re doing a bunch of these other things that you talked about like the ziplining and the white water, and stuff like that?
Joe: Yeah. Yeah. And so, and the thing about Runga the way that it’s evolved, is it is a digital detox but it’s designed to give people, it’s like a choose your own adventure. So were gonna put all of these stuff; we have twice daily yogas, ziplining, waterfall rappelling, hiking, white water rafting. We have all these stuff but one important thing that I kinda tell people the day they arrive is that; you need to do whatever you wanna do. So if wanna do once a day yoga, you go ahead and do that. If you wanna go ziplining but you don’t wanna go white water rafting, I need you to finish this week reset. I don’t want you to feel. I want you to do everything that you need to do.
Ben: Yeah. That’s important. Coz that’s one thing that annoys me sometimes when I go to these conferences is you’re obligated to join in to this strict schedule when half the time I would imagine after doing 4 hours of yoga or whatever, you just wanna go curl up in your hotel room for a 2 hour nap because you don’t have your cellphone and no one’s there to bother you.
Joe: Yeah, yeah. Well that’s the thing, man. You really start to gain perspective. So having brought 22 people last year that were just you know, not really understanding maybe what they’re getting themselves into. Here’s how it goes; it’s like Day 1, they’re shocked because you really are gonna take their cellphone and put it in a safe deposit box for the week. Yes okay. So they’re a little bit shocked. Day 2, they kinda get that anxiety. They’re reaching for their pocket. They kind of, they’re stir crazy. I’m telling you on the 8th day they do not want their phone back.
Ben: So you actually take the phone when people come in.
Joe: We actually take the phone. It’s safe. There’s a thousand phones around if there was ever an emergency. We’ve got all the phones we need on staff. And I did do it willingly. I let people last year like if you’re really not comfortable with it. You know I know and understand some people have kids and all that. Like I’m not gonna force you but I urge you to put your phone in the box. And almost everybody did.
Joe: But you start to realize the effects, the preoccupations. The amount of time that you spend thinking instead of searching for something to think about, if that makes sense. Or the time that you allow your brain to calm. And honestly like you said, sometime you do a 2 hour yoga class you feel tired. More often than not at Runga, because of the environment you sometimes you might, but honestly, the energy is so different. You have by the third or fourth day, it’s a completely new you.
It’s a completely new mind set. You’re in a new place. It’s, I can’t even explain it but the last thing I’ll say to kinda tie this all up, is that we want you to get you in touch with your primal side, right? So we’ll split a couple of bottles of wine at dinner among the crowd or whatever, but then we will get at night when it’s dark. We would get an absolute raging bonfire going, and we’ll bang drums. Couple of people would dance around the fire. It’s an amazing primal experience that all I can say is that it resets you and when you come back, you’re looking at things a lot differently.
Ben: Nice. Nice. I like it. Now I have it blocked out in my calendar to be there. I personally plan on going. I also plan on bringing Jessa possibly bringing the boys. But yeah man, I mean what bluetooth does to your blood brain barrier, what wifi can do to your cells electro chemical signaling. I mean, there’s more and more research coming out about this. One of the best guys to follow in my opinion to get the most cutting edge information in terms of what electro magnetic radiation can do to your body is Dr. Jack Kruze who’s constantly putting out blogposts that dig in to European research that frankly we don’t even see in the US when it comes to what this stuff can actually do to your body.
And so this concept of a digital detox, you know the reason I felt so good when I came out of the Grand Canyon, the reason I wanna rinse wash and repeat the experience down in this Costa Rica location that Joe went to is because we really, really need to do this for our bodies and for our brains.
Joe is there, to finish up here a website, anything like that that you wanna share our folks to allow them to get in on this thing. Is there like a limited number of people? When the people need to register by. Just give us the details on this.
Joe: Yeah. So well the dates are December 3rd through the 10th. The website is Runga r-u-n-g-a 2016 dot com. All the information is there. One thing I didn’t mention is last year you know, we had a lot of support from really cool sponsors like Bulletproof Coffee and Epic Bar. And this year I haven’t announced all of our sponsors yet but this is actually the first sponsor I’ll announce is just for your guests, Ben. Human Charger which is a product…
Ben: Oh yeah.
Joe: You actually introduced me to them. And…
Ben: It’s the In Ear Light Therapy for resetting your Circadian rhythm.
Joe: You got it. So they are coming onboard this year and actually everybody that registers before July 15th is gonna get a Human Charger, and you don’t even have to use a code. Just starting today everyone’s gonna get a Human Charger. The bad news is that there’s actually already about 23 people registered. So, I’m capping it at 30 because I don’t think many more than that. I don’t wanna change the experience. So there aren’t a ton of spots left. So folks that wanna get in should register soon. Just read up on the websites, send us an email if you have questions. And yeah, the perk is you’re gonna get a Human Charger which is a super cool device that we’ll actually kinda talk about at Runga.
Ben: Awesome. Cool man. I love it. I love it. I will put a link to the Runga Retreat in the show notes. I have also been taking a ton of notes on everything we talked about. The planching position, Gelato Old Bridge, the Vitamin C, your Ted Talk, the coffee makers, everything. So, if you’re listening first of all, block out December 3rd through to 10th. Sounds like you might be one of, I guess, 7 lucky people who are gonna get in. Considering 90,000 people who listen to this episode. We’ll see if you make it in. If so I’ll see you in Costa Rica in December. But everything go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/joed, to get access to, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/joe, the letter D. And Joe, it’s always awesome geeking out with you, man.
Joe: Hey, right back at you, Ben. Always a pleasure, man.
Ben: Alright folks we’re cool. By the way for those of you listening in who are also interested in Joe’s coaching certification program for Spartan etcetera. Consider joining me in Dallas. I’ll be down in Dallas literally the week after this podcast comes out. They’re doing Joe’s SGX Coaching Certification. I’ll put a link to that in show notes as well. There’s a few more going on around the globe. If you wanna become like an obstacle course racing specialist. So check those out. Everything else, bengreenfieldfitness.com/joed. Joe, I’ll catch you later, man.
Joe: Take it easy, Ben.
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com, for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
Last week, I went rafting in the Grand Canyon, and I completely unplugged with zero cell phone or internet for five days.
I came out of this “digital detox” extremely nervous about what my e-mail inbox would look like, how many voicemails and text messages I’d have, and what kind of fires I’d need to put out on the business front.
But amazingly, things were just fine.
It took me two hours to catch-up on e-mail.
None of my clients died, and most got through their pre-written workouts just fine without me.
The post office was still delivering mail to my home.
And life, my body, and my brain felt very, very good. Detoxed. Clean.
My guest today, Joe DiStefano, is all about the digital detox. But he’s no hairy hippie living in the woods.
Instead, Joe is the co-founder of Spartan Coaching, the world’s first international obstacle race training certification program. He has a B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science from Fitchburg State University, and he is pursuing a master’s degree in Sports Psychology. Certified through the NASM as a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Corrective Exercise Specialist, he is also a Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA and has been trained at the C.H.E.K Institute as a Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach.
Over the past decade, DiStafano has worked as a health and performance coach and a serial entrepreneur. Prior to joining Spartan Race, he oversaw the development of more than 100 women-only personal training studios across the U.S. His specialties include corrective exercise, nutrition, stress management, human psychology and business development.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-Why Joe swears by using an “upright ski ergometer” as the #1 tool for total body fitness…
-The best way to make coffee if you want to retain all the bioactive, cognitive-performance enhancing components…
-Joe’s top tip for travel-proofing your immune system…
-How to enhance the absorption of any supplement you take…
-The best body-weight-only travel workout you can do anytime, anyplace without anybody noticing…
-How your organs stick to one another, and the kind of breathing technique that can “unstick” these organs…
-Joe’s underground method of making the gluten in bread less damaging…
-What happened to Joe’s body when he experimented with doing 5-6 hours of yoga per day during a digital detox in Costa Rica…
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
–Joe’s TED Talk on Breathing
–Instagram.com/jdispartan (where Joe posts many of his workouts)
–Dec 3-10, 2016: Runga in Costa Rica: 8 days, epic food, twice daily yoga, salt water pool and manual therapy and spa services galore, experts from around the world teaching running clinics, kettlebell seminars, lecturing on nutrition, etc. Also daily adventures ranging from zip lining to white water, along with a full digital detox. Code “BEN” gets you a free gift with your RUNGA registration valued at $75! Click here to get in now.
-Get a SpartanX and a SpartanSGX certification (click here and use discount code BEN10)