[00:06] Joovv Light/GAINSWave
[10:09] About Jay Ferruggia
[12:16] Without Weights & Just Body Weight Training for 12 Weeks, How Was it for Jay?
[16:13] Jay’s Current Personal Longevity Tactics & Strategies for Maintaining His Body as He Ages
[26:27] Jay’s Minimalist Workouts
[35:55] Birdwell Beach Britches/HealthIQ
[46:42] How Jay Monitors His Bloodwork and the Diet and Supplements He Takes
[55:53] The Fastest Way to Lose Fat and the Best Substitute for Uphill Sprints
[1:00:23] How to Use Single Sets to Failure for Massive Fitness Response
[1:10:52] End of Podcast
Ben: Oh, hello I didn’t see you there. [laughs] That joke never gets old. No, it actually does. I should probably stop and find something new to make you laugh. This is Ben Greenfield and today’s show is pretty cool because it is with a guy who I was able to spend some time with in Santa Monica recently and I was on his show there. We recorded in his giant skyscraper apartment that’s like blue and white and made me feel like I was in a fish aquarium but we made this amazing CBD mushroom tea and then I sat next to his 200 pound-ish kettlebell and podcasted with him but that episode was on his podcast. The episode you’re about to hear was when he came on my on my podcast where he talked about how to strip fat fast and single sets to failure, CBD dosing, boxing for fitness a whole lot more. His name is Jay Ferruggia. Jay Ferrugia of Renegade Radio. So cool, cool show. Man after my own heart, if I don’t say so myself. I don’t know why I just said that, but I did.
This podcast is brought to you by Joovv. Can’t say that without saying it like that. Joovv J-o-o-v-v is how you spell that which is why I pronounce it like that. You guys already know, guys and girls hopefully, already know that I use this thing called a Joovv light literally, every day in my office. I pull down my pants and I shine this infrared light on my balls to increase my testosterone. Balls isn’t a bad word if you say it like you’re from the Bronx.
So anyways, there’s some fascinating studies on infrared light and specifically red and near infrared light and activation of Leydig cells in the testes for increased testosterone production but they’ve also found more than a 50% increase in the European Journal of Applied Physiology on muscle thickness and peak exercised work when using this concept of photobiomodulation as well as a significant delay in onset of muscle fatigue, less lactic acid build-up. There’s been some very interesting studies on collagen and skin health. The list goes on and on, both men and women alike. Women, yes even if you don’t have a, earmuffs kids, ball sac you can also use this on your own nether regions or anywhere else on your body including scars, stretch marks et cetera. These lights are amazing. And I have an offer for you. You can use the code Ben25 to get a nice little discount on your purchase over at Joovv. That’s 25% discount. Ben25. How? Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/j-o-o-v-v, that’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/j-o-o-v-v and code Ben25 gets you that sweet discount.
This podcast is also brought to you, not that I want to kick this horse to death. It’s a horrible analogy, but another way that you can improve your sexual health dramatically GAINSWave. This is a new way for men and women to optimize their sexual performance. I am actually on my way to Florida at the time that you are listening to this episode for my third GAINSWave treatment where they’re going to do what’s called a platelet-rich plasma injection into my, again earmuffs kids, quit putting the earmuffs on your kids, they’re going to know these words anyways eventually, in my penis and they’re also going to blast it with acoustic soundwaves and that allows for the growth of new blood vessels and it basically repairs a lot of the old blood vessels. Which is one of the reasons that you lose orgasm qualities as you age or lose blood flow. You get better orgasms. You get better erections. You get better sex. All around for both men and women. Except that erection part for women. You don’t get that, but you get better orgasms and better sex. So anyways, how can you get involved with this wonderful treatment? Go to gainswave.com/ben to find a provider near you and if you mention Ben Greenfield you get 30% off your first treatment gainswave.com/ben. For women, may I recommend to you just like I’m a sommelier for your nether regions. May I recommend to you the O-Shot combined with the acoustic soundwave therapy. And for men, may I recommend to you the P-Shot combined with acoustic soundwave therapy. It’s going to blow your mind.
In this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“If that’s all you’re doing is straining and you’re going to make those goals, it’s awesome but after about three or four weeks if you also want to be playing pick-up sports and boxing and do martial arts and stuff, those doesn’t really work that way. The fatigue just builds up.” “I got on it and honestly, I think it works better than turmeric or anything else I’ve tried. When I take CBD for inflammation I wake up the next day feeling great. I sleep better and my whole body feels great.” “I was 217 at the start of that summer, I was 217 at the end of that summer. I felt so much better. My conditioning was better. Moving better.”
Ben: It’s not often that I open the kimono and let you hear what happens when I actually call a guest up on Skype and launch into the interview, but I’m going to do just that right now. So, this guy has no clue he’s being recorded from the get go. It’s Jay Ferruggia, so honestly, what could he care? He’s a killer. I don’t really mean he’s a killer, I mean he’s a killer like he’s a cool guy who can take being recorded without knowing it. He does know I’m calling for an episode he just doesn’t know.
Let me hit the call button here. [Ringing sound] Um, uhm, uhm. Pick up, pick, Jay. Come on. Come on, Jay. Don’t run from me. You can’t hide.
Ben: Oh, hey. What’s up man?
Jay: Hey, Ben can you hear me?
Ben: Yeah, I can hear you.
Jay: So what’s up, man? How are you doing?
Ben: I’m doing well. I was actually just recording for the people listening in. I figured I’d make this fun and actually tell them I was recording as I called you up, so I just totally opened the kimono on us and let people hear the ringing [laughs] and can you hear me, I can hear you part of things. So, we’re actually recording right now.
Ben: Just a warning. Put your pants on and do your make-up, bro.
Jay: Awesome. Well, I’ve already done that so. We’ll not the pants so.
Ben: Okay. Alright cool. [Skype call hanging up] Okay, goodbye. Okay, let’s try him on Skype again. Here we go. [Phone ringing] Come on, baby. Dude.
Jay: Yo. What happened?
Ben: That was crazy. The power to my whole house shut off.
Jay: That’s crazy.
Ben: And I figured out why. I walked out of my office and we’re recording again, by the way. I walked out of my office and into my gym and my wife was in, speaking of not having your pants on, she was in the sauna like doing push-ups in her panties and I had the sauna like blasted full blast with the music turned and everything and I think she threw the breakers
Jay: Oh, wow.
Ben: With like this, I think it’s a 225 watt pole infrared sauna and like she doesn’t use it very much but I think because it’s the New Year she’s been running and she’s been cranking out these calisthenic body weight workouts, so she’s caught up in the whole New Year’s [08:50] ______, I think.
Jay: I got you.
Ben: We just learned that you can’t run all my mixing equipment in an infrared sauna simultaneously without stuff exploding.
Jay: Ah, okay. And don’t you have…
Ben: We’re off to a great start.
Jay: [chuckles] Yeah. Tony Jeffries was telling me about your place. Don’t you have like some crazy power system that you built yourself or something?
Ben: You now what? I do. [laughs] So, don’t throw my power system under the bus, bro. I’m sure it’s just perfect. Well, I’ve got solar and theoretically the battery storage that I’ve built in the garage to switch to solar when the power goes out on the main inverter is supposed to work just fine but for some reason it didn’t kick in just now. And it might be because it’s the middle of the winter and we’re on like a North-facing slope where we only get sun, I mean, honestly I haven’t seen the sun in several days so it’s possible that my batteries are drained or something but either way, the funny thing is it’s pretty rare that I’ll record the process of me calling somebody up and beginning the recording so again, speaking of opening the kimono our entire audience got to hear everything that we just went through.
Ben: So anyways, what an intro, dude. Welcome to the show.
Jay: Thanks Ben, I really appreciate you having me.
Ben: Yeah. Our mutual friend Craig Ballantyne, for those of you listening in are familiar with Craig Ballantyne, I’ll put a link to the episode I did with Craig on Building Your Perfect Day in the show notes. But he introduced Jason and I. Jay, you pronounce your last name Ferruggia, right?
Jay: Yes, sir.
Ben: Yes. I got it. And do you like to be called Jay or Jason?
Jay: It tends to be pretty much just my mom and a few other people call me Jason. Everyone also always call me Jay but it doesn’t matter.
Ben: Oh, that kind of sucks because the pretty link that I’ve created for today’s show is actually bengreenfieldfitness.com/jason.
Jay: Oh, good.
Ben: So if any of you listening in want to go stalk Jay or go to his website or listen to his podcast. What’s the name of your podcast?
Jay: Renegade Radio.
Ben: Renegade Radio, you can go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/jason and I’ll put links to that and all the other goodness that Jason and I cover. I mean, Jay and I cover in today’s show since I’m not Jay’s father.
Anyways though, Jay’s been in the industry since 1994 which basically means he predates yours truly, which I’m finding tougher and tougher to find these days unless you’re freaking like Mark Sisson or Arthur De Vany.
Ben: But you may have seen Jay’s work pretty much everywhere; Men’s Health, Muscle and Fitness, Men’s Fitness, Fast Company, Huffpost, Shape Entrepreneur, ESPN, CBS, he was doing group training back in the ‘90’s. The hardcore underground warehouse gyms that are so popular nowadays, he had one of those I believe, back in 1996. He was doing like the whole strongman tire-flipping, sled-dragging, log-pressing, using rings literally for the past couple of decades. He’s been in this industry for a long time. He has been to hell and back, so to speak. So, I’m actually pretty stoked to have you on the show, Jay.
Jay: Thanks again.
Ben: Yeah. And you actually wrote the foreword to this book that randomly showed up at my doorstep. I don’t even think the folks at Dragon Door knew that I was interviewing you but this bodyweight workout book which showed up on my doorstep called “Pushing the Limits” and it turns out yeah, I’m flipping through it and lo and behold you wrote the foreword to it and you know, it turns out that I’m interviewing you right now. And you talk a little bit about your experience back in the day with bodyweight training which is actually something I’m kind of a big fan of in trying to do once a week. I do some kind of weight training on Mondays and Fridays but then Wednesdays are kind of like my body weight calisthenics day right now. And you tell kind of an entertaining story about what happened when you didn’t touch a weight for I believe, something like 12 weeks and you just did bodyweights. So, what happened? What got you into this bodyweight training thing and what happened when you didn’t touch the weights for 12 weeks?
Jay: Yeah, so well, first of all, a shout out to Al and Danny Kavadlo.
Ben: Yeah, those are the guys those are like the tattooed little ripped guys who wrote this book?
Jay: Yeah. Great dudes. I had my own hardcore gym for ever and it was the first time I hadn’t trained in my own gym. I moved in New York City for a year because it was what I always wanted to do so I didn’t have access to my gym, my own music and whatnot. The first time in over a decade and I decided, you know what, I’m going to go outside ‘cause I hardly cross the street from our Tompkin Square Park which is where those guys train and all the guys you see on Youtube just doing crazy stuff. Before there was Youtube, those guys were out there every day like the Barbarian Brothers and the Barr brothers and all those guys. I was like, well it’s right here, I hate training in public gyms. I couldn’t find a gym in the city that was kind of my style and my vibe, so I went out there and just did that walked across the street. I did it every day and it was the craziest thing. I probably hadn’t gone a week without doing heavy squats and deadlifts. I was largely influenced by power lifting and westsides. I was going heavy 52 weeks a year pretty much. Not a lot of deloading and that summer…
Ben: Not a lot of air squats, in other words.
Jay: No. A lot of one rep max squats but I could not believe halfway through that summer how much faster I was running. How much higher I was jumping. And I was in my early 30’s at that time and I mean, it was just crazy to be like my hips are all so much better, my knees, my lower back. And it kind of was a thing where I just assumed that that’s how it would always feel, you know I just kind of I was always like, oh, it’s always kind of hard to get up now and my hips and lower back will always be tight. My knees will always be a little creaky but taking that 90 days off and doing that and I don’t necessarily know that I gained any size but I was 217 at the start of that summer, I was 217 at the end of that summer. I felt so much better. My conditioning was better. Moving better.
Ben: The funny thing is, Jay in hearing your story about how you switched from or actually didn’t switch from but experienced bodyweight training after in the Ironheart for so long, I had the same thing happen when I was a bodybuilder. I body builded for a couple of years and then one summer decided, screw it. I’m sick of the gym. I’m sick of the barbells. I’m sick of that leg extension machine I’ve been doing for my quad toning every freaking Monday and Friday. I’m just going to work out in the park across the street form my house for the next 12 weeks. And that’s actually what I did. I even invited my mom up to follow me around the park and take photographs and videos of me so I could create my first ever book on…
Ben: Basically, like training with just your body weight and then I had one set, they’re still actually in my garage, one set of old rusty 40 pound dumbbells and the entire program was based around body weight and a couple sets of dumbbells. So, and I similar to you, felt fantastic afterwards.
Jay: Yeah. Definitely. So it’s funny because I did the same thing when I moved here because you know, after that you were in the city moved back to Jersey and I had my gym and I was back in the gym training hard as normal then I moved to Santa Monica. And again, it was just that thing where I wasn’t used to training in public gyms couldn’t find a kind of small hardcore gym that I like. So I just went outside to the rings at Muscle Beach for probably six months and I had the same experience again. So finally, you learn, right? And I was just like, okay I’m not going back to training the way I used to anymore. So kind of was just the evolution of to now I’m 43 and I want to feel good as much as I want to look good so I do bodyweight dumbbells, kettlebells. I may do some barbell stuff here and there but a lot different than I used to train.
Ben: Being a guy who is as immersed as you are in the health and fitness industry and is also 43 years old and staying in good shape, what are your thoughts on kind of like the emerging anti-aging and longevity industry? There’s people like popping NAD plus pills, there’s biohackers injecting stem cells. There are people banking stem cells as all sorts of fringe things that the folks are doing from teas to enemas to infrareds to everything else that really, I would classify as like something that falls under the anti-aging bucket. Are you personally immersed in any of that? Are you using any fancy biohacks or strategies when it comes to your own longevity to stay in the game?
Jay: Yeah, I mean I don’t get over the top with it. Some of the things I do on a regular basis are, that I didn’t do years ago, I meditate. I, you know obviously I sleep a little more. I take CBD. I go to cryo quite a bit. I go to an infrared sauna at least three times a week for 30 minutes. I go to a float tank at least once a week for two hours. That’s about all I do and obviously pay more attention to my nutrition and whatnot, but I just think that if you look at people, cultures that live the longest like blue zones and stuff like that, it really comes down to happiness and connection and less stress in your life. And that’s the thing that’s been the biggest difference-maker for me like I’ve always been just the type A East Coast guy that go super hard all the time and so now for you to be able to get in the float tank and meditate and then do yoga and stuff like normally I would have just trained super hard now for me to go do yoga, I think those things are making a big difference and hopefully going to help me out long term.
Ben: I don’t know, man there’s folks like Jocko Willink and The Rock posting photos of themselves in the gym at 4am.
Ben: And I talked to some people who are super inspired by that, but these are the same people who are just burned to a crisp after like three or four months and…
Ben: What do you think about that? That whole just like set-your-jaw, nose-to-the-grindstone, get-up-at-4am type of philosophy when it comes to fitness. Do you think that flies in the face of longevity or do you think that these guys are basically going to live longer than the rest of us because of that philosophy they live by?
Jay: I think it’s a little of both. I think there’s a balance and I think those guys are outliers, right, like The Rock is an outlier. Arnold certainly an outlier. I do believe that fitness is.
Ben: No. They’re built just like any of the rest of us walking through the mall, obviously. [laughs]
Jay: [Laughs] Yeah, I do believe that having that mindset and that relentless kind of attack mode definitely helps you achieve things but like you said, you’re going to burn out, like it’s physiologically impossible for most people. I have a good friend who is like, he can sleep four hours a night and train three hours a day and never gets sick, never got burnt out, read three books a week. I tried to do that, and I have the flu in like two weeks. It just doesn’t work for me. So, it depends you know, who you are. Who your parents were but I can’t imagine that that good long term for longevity.
Ben: Yeah, but I think part of it is the way you’re wired. I think part of it is genes. I think it’s the GeneDeck 2 is the one they found on mice that actually allows mice and certain people with this rare genetic mutation not that [0:20:40.2] ______ I think it’s 0.04% of the population or something like that, can actually truly get by on less sleep. On the flipside, these people like I know a few people who are like that they’re like…
Jay: Yeah, they’re fine.
Ben: Three or four hours of sleep, boom! I’m ready to go. They have night terrors ‘cause you go through your dream cycles more quickly. They also suspect that a lot of these people wind up with nervous systems that are little bit more fried as they age because you miss out on a lot of the repair and the recovery that occurs during this longer sleep stages. So I think it’ll come back to bite a lot of folks and for me personally, like the way I raise my little boys is I want them to get used to doing hard things to kind of like eating the frog in the mornings but then allow them to strike a balance between that. Like getting eight to nine hours of sleep in a 24-hour sleep cycle even if that means a nap like you can’t just be in hyper drive 24/7.
Jay: Yeah, I agree 100%. You know, I think everyone tends to glorify the hustle and that mentality too much and I used to train like that. Super hard with excessive volume and intensity and I always kind of felt just like you know, over stimulated and over fatigued then I was super tired half the day, but I couldn’t sleep all night and all that stuff. So I knew for a fact that changing all that about the way I train and live has made a huge difference and hopefully will add some years in my life.
Ben: Yeah. How did you wind up in Santa Monica? You have kind of an interesting story.
Jay: I was just kind of getting burnt out. I couldn’t take the winters anymore and I was always just that angry, kind of East Coast kind of guy, fired up, intense all the time and then I just kind of was wanting to get away from that and I knew that environment triggers behaviors so I kind of just want to get away from a lot of the things that I was around for the previous 36 years. And again, the weather and new opportunity. A chance to reinvent yourself. So that was how I ended up out here. I was actually going to come out sooner because I had some really cool opportunities for work that’s when I met my wife and we stayed a few more years in Jersey but moved out here.
Ben: Interesting. So, you’re out there basically running gyms now?
Jay: No, I kept my gym in Jersey for the first couple of years. We were here and my brother was running it and you know how business and family doesn’t always go so well so I just sold it to him. He took over and did his own thing with it and so I haven’t had a gym now. I guess it’s been three or four years. So, it’s mainly just more online and podcast and events and all that kind of stuff.
Ben: Yeah, that’s pretty similar to that switch that I made. Basically, the year my kids were born I switched more into writing and authoring and I don’t know how you feel about this. There’s a lot of Instagram buddies out there folks who are running online personal training programs who really have maybe trained clients in a gym you know, one or two years max or never and really haven’t actually operated a brick and mortar facility. I don’t know. Do you feel strongly about that?
Jay: No, definitely. I think it’s a shame for so many of the people who are kind of buying into that and buying their programs. I remember, Alwyn Cosgrove and I had been both training people for at least 10 years at the time we collaborated on an article together and we’re… saying it was kind of criminal to be putting out programs if you haven’t trained people for years maybe even 10. And I don’t even think I wrote an article about training if I haven’t been in the gym 12 hours a day for at least eight years and I don’t think I should be selling any training programs as I was doing it for 10 years. It’s really hard like if you have great genetics or you’re using drugs you’re just in great shape, that does not qualify you to write programs for other people.
Ben: Yeah, I completely agree. I personally spent seven or eight years in the brick and mortar fitness industry working my butt off, I mean literally, like 4am up ‘til about 9 or 10pm, speaking of hustle and you know, granted not a super healthy approach but when you’re around people seeing them move doing biomechanical analysis, doing functional movement screens, learning how people actually respond to specific loads and how they move in certain ways under certain loads. You learn a heck of a lot that you can intake into the online fitness industry, but I think a lot of people, a lot of kids these days they see guys like let’s say you or me online doing well. Whatever writing books or doing training programs. I think you even have like a Renegade what’s it called your Renegade Membership Program?
Jay: Strength Club. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah, Renegade Strength Club and people like, oh I just want to go online and make money. That looks great, you know, sit at home in my underwear. Well, my wife’s doing push-ups in the sauna and ruining the power to our house.
Ben: And that sounds like a pretty good life but I mean, the fact is, you have to be able to see how people move. And even when I, I don’t know if you do this Jay, but when I go to a lot of these conferences like I jump in to movement sessions. I lead movement sessions. I still try to scratch that itch of getting around people and teaching certain things that you simply can’t replicate online.
Jay: The same thing. I love teaching. I’m sure you’d agree it’s one of the best ways of learning is to teach something. That’s part of what I live by like as soon as I learn something, in order to retain it I teach it to people or after I would experiment it with it myself but you know, more to your point or two in addition to how people move it’s also different personality types and how they respond to different training like if you’re working with a type a guy versus a guy who’s kind of fearful. You can look at science all day but if you’re not in the gym working with people, certain things that look right you know, from a scientific approach they’re boring as hell or people just hate doing them. So, you have to take into account all that kind of stuff too.
Ben: Yeah, absolutely. You know, one of the things that you talk about on your website is this idea of minimalist workouts. You even have some writings that you’ve done on getting in shape, getting in good shape and I believe just like three to four hours a week. What would a program like that look like where you’re going to get in shape in three to four hours a week like what are some of the biggest tools in your tool box or tricks of your trade?
Jay: Yeah, I would say for most people full body workouts would be the best way to go. And do an upper body push, an upper body pull. A hinge movement, a squat movement and some kind of a loaded carry. That’s enough for a great workout. You don’t do excessive with volume maybe three to five sets of six to ten reps. And progressive overload I think is always important so make sure you’re tracking your workouts. Make sure you’re getting stronger. If you do this going in there and it’s kind of vague and you just do randomly mixing it up and you’re not keeping track of [0:26:27.7] ______ and not adding weight or adding reps it’s hard to get anywhere and it’s hard to go in just focusing on physique changes that’s why I always like to focus on performance changes so get stronger, add weight, do things in less time. There’s a lot of ways you could focus on performance gains.
Then I also recommend for most people to do, to train in a way and I’m sure your training is designed for this too, where you kind of minimize excessive soreness and fatigue and excess of spinal compression and joint dagger considering that you feel good. I mean if you’re just going in and doing super heavy powerlifting or Olympic lifting with questionable form you’ll never going to feel your back hurting not that it does not carry [0:28:04.8] ______ where you always feel good, you’re always kind of ready. You can always jump into a pick-up game or go for a hike without saying, oh, I was leg day yesterday, so I can’t move. I’ve got to wait three days before I can come play volleyball with you.
Ben: Yeah, but does it look like if you we’re just going to do like three or four hours a week or in terms of… well, let me give you a for example, right like I personally try to do at least once a week I’ll do a mitochondrial set where I’ll go 30 seconds extremely hard about three to four minutes of recovery based on the research that shows that that’s the best way to increase mitochondrial density, right? So, I want to knock down that pin and have that be a part of my fitness routine each week. Same thing for VO2max where like once a week unlike I used to do back in my triathlon days which had been like every day, I’ll do a short series of like four to six-minute efforts to focus on VO2max and then that’s it. That’s the only really intense cardio session for that week. Or twice a week I do like I mentioned, some relatively intense weight training that’s heavy and very slow and then once a week I’ll do more body weight style calisthenics that are very explosive.
Like when you sit down and you structure a program that really is designed to be a minimalist program, what kind of strategies are you using? I mean are you looking at isometrics, eccentrics, plyometrics certain periods of time for the cardiovascular work like kind of blue print it for me.
Jay: Yeah, cool. So there’s so many different ways to set it up but one of the most basic ways that I always go back to because I’m old school and I like old school basic simplicity is kind of what Mark Berry started in 1930 and Bill Starr popularized more that ‘only the strong shall survive’ when he was the strength coach of the Baltimore Colts at around the time of the Super Bowl 5 I believe. So basic, heavy, medium, light. So, the way I would set that out would be let’s say on Monday you go in and do some kind of heavy pressing exercise. Let’s say dumbbell press, a deadlift and a chin up and do five sets of fives. That’s your heavy day. Then you could finish with a couple of accessory movements. And then Wednesday, you go in that’s going to be your light day. So maybe you would do inverted rows, push-ups and reverse lunges let’s say, and that would be let’s say three sets of [0:30:15.2] ______ Friday’s a medium rep say, four sets of eight something like that. And again, we could play with it in so many different ways.
Sometimes what I’ll do is some days it will be max effort, some days dynamic effort, some days it will be repetitive effort. So, if it’s a dynamic effort day we might just do an Olympic lifting variation, a jump, a medicine ball slam, things like that. So, I change it over time. Each day’s got a different focus and to your point with the isometrics stuff. Some days we’ll have a maximum strength day, a rep day and isometric day. Lots of different ways to set it up but that’s basically your strength workouts and I keep those 30-45 minutes max. Again, not a ton of volume.
Jay: I’m still pushing up progressive overload and then I believe I’m a huge proponent of hill sprints. Walter Payton was my favorite athlete growing up. I started doing hill sprints.
Jay: Yeah, in the late 80’s I started doing hill sprints probably like well, probably ‘85 1985, that was the year the Bears won the Super Bowl and I was just obsessed with Walter Payton so ever since 1985 I’ve run hill sprints and I honestly believe it’s the best thing for conditioning and fat loss so I always stick with hill sprints. So once a week hill sprints and then once a week, for me I do kind of low intensity stuff like go for a hike with a group or something like that or a lone bike ride. That’s basically a three-strength workout. One by intensity sprint session and one lower intensity sessions. On top of that, me personally and then mostly by who I work with you know, we’ll play ourselves into shape too. So, I’m always kind of playing some kind of sport going swimming, surfing, yoga, boxing. I box with Tony now. Tony Jeffries our mutual buddy.
Ben: Yeah, with Tony Jeffries a box and burn. He was on the podcast. I love those workouts because it allows you to get a full boxing workout without actually getting hit in the face which I, I don’t know about you.
Ben: I tried to get into the ring. I was training for the cage a couple of years ago and I got an orbital eye fracture during one of my sparring sessions and it took me two weeks to be able to see straight. To be able to think straight. To be able to write. To be able to provide for my family. At that point I was like, okay I’m going to do heavy bag workouts if I want to scratch that itch of hitting stuff or when I happen to be in Santa Monica I actually swing by Tony Jeffries’ gym and I’ll do like a boxing session over there where you’re literally, not only does he kind of like pre-fatigue you so you’re not hitting that hard but then when you’re doing the workout that’s just sparring on his mitts as he calls out combos. So, I do that now and then I play tennis which kind of involves…
Jay: But so, wait, Tony doesn’t actually hit you?
Ben: Hmmm, you know what yeah, I mean for Tony it’s hard for me to say. It’s like it sounds like narcissistic for me to say, yeah, step into the gym with the UK eight-time boxing champion and he hits me. Probably for him it’s like toying with me. For me it’s like, oh crap Tony just scraped me with his fist and my entire abs just felt like they you know, hit by a freight truck. So, it kind of depends on your definition of hit but yeah, I play tennis now which is kind of like the same thing. It’s mental chess without having to get hit but you’re still kind of getting that feeling of striking something.
When you describe your routine to me it actually sounds similar to a lot of things I kind of try and do short very effective strength training sessions. The hill sprints I absolutely agree with you on. As a matter fact, the best shape I was ever in which was when I won gold medal for the USA in the 2013 Long Course Triathlon Championships. That involved the 20-mile run which is basically where I won the race and passed most people and all I was doing was three-times thirty minutes a week, then that’s a warm up and everything, very intense hill sprints.
Ben: And that was two of them were on the treadmill. I was doing like a 30, or I’m sorry, 10 x 30 seconds at max incline and max speed on the treadmill. And even though they’re painful, I completely agree, man, low impact, extremely higher heart rate, short period of time. I’m on the same page as you with the hill sprints. And also, with the stamina work. That’s something that’s neglected. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this in kind of like the CrossFit circles especially but there’s almost like a fear of going long. Like it’s too catabolic or it’s too fasted or we hear this message about chronic cardio decreasing testosterone so we just don’t do it at all. Do you think that endurances is not emphasized enough in some cases?
Jay: I would say so. I mean, I was definitely guilty of that myself years ago because of the meathead in me I was kind of the mindset of what you just said, right? That it would just make you small and weak and decrease your testosterone but I think that’s been disproven by guys like you and Alex Viada and numerous other people over the last few years.
Ben: Yeah, I’ve never had Alex Viada on the podcast but for those of you who haven’t heard of Alex I’ll link to his website over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/jason but Alex Viada is the guy who like, what is he like deadlift 600 pounds and he runs ultra-marathons and he’s kind of like got the whole strength…
Ben: Endurance thing to the extreme. Very much figured out.
Ben: I think his program is called The Hybrid Athlete, right?
Jay: Okay, yeah. Yup, I was trying to think of it. That’s what it is.
Ben: Yeah. Got it. Okay. Cool.
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Ben: Yeah, I mean with the stamina stuff one other thing that I notice happens you know, a lot of these Spartan races and these obstacle course races a lot of the people aren’t maybe going out for once a week. Training their bodies how to be fat-burning machines. Maybe even doing like a fasted longer cardio session like a two-hour hike with their kids in the morning on a Saturday without having had breakfast. They just coop out after whatever, a half hour 45 minutes. And I guess I live life by the rule that if you had to you should be able to like head out your door and hunt for a day or two without having to have a bunch of trail mix, have an energy bar and just be able to move. Low level movement for long periods of time.
Jay: Right. Yeah, I love that. And it was four years ago when I was in that mindset of just power and strength, power and strength I remember I really respected saying, you know even football you really got to focus on conditioning more so and I was not my mind set at all. And we used to use, I don’t know if you remember Earl Campbell. There was a lot of guys but Earl Campbell was one of the examples where he would always fail his team’s conditioning test yet, he was one of the greatest running backs of all time. Though, years ago I downplayed it and plenty of people downplayed it but I’m much more on the same page as you now, and I think it’s super important that I think people don’t do enough.
Ben: Yeah, I absolutely agree. Now when it comes to diet obviously a lot of approaches out there. We just mentioned ketosis briefly and how that kind of like the darling of it seems, the nutrition industry right now but what’s your dietary philosophy? What’s your approach with your clients or with yourself when it comes to macros or micros or your dietary philosophies?
Jay: So, I’ve pretty done all. I started in the 80’s doing bodybuilding diets you know, low fat, high carb, high protein. Then I did keto and cyclic keto, I think. I don’t know. I don’t remember exactly when Dan Duchaine and Mauro Di Pasquale. I had those books I think it was ‘95, ‘96. So I did keto and cyclic keto diets for a few years. I was vegetarian for two years. I was vegan for a year. I got hardcore into paleo for a long time. So, I’ve been doing pretty much everything and I really at the end of all that have come back to just kind of a moderate kind of sane approach. I call on a plant-based diet with the side of meats. So, I’ll have more seafood than meat. I’ll usually have mainly would be fruits, vegetables, yams, white rice. That probably makes up the bulk of it and then I’ll have eggs. I’ll have a plant-based shake during the day. I’ll have oysters. My biggest meal is like where I’ll have basically, whatever my wife is cooking which will be some kind of meat, fish you know, wild game, something like that, veggies and a pretty good amount of either white rice or sweet potatoes. I don’t believe in high anything. I’ve done high fat. I didn’t feel that great. I’ve done herbs I didn’t feel that great with super high protein I think there’s kind of negatives to anything excessive. So as unexciting as it is I kind of just follow kind of a balanced approach. But I do feel better when I’m conscious about lowering my protein intake.
Ben: Yeah, it’s kind of weird how it seems like a lot of folks who I talk to in the industry once they’ve gone full circle, once they’ve gone high protein, low carb which I did for a while and then I’d gone a super high fat and done the whole ketosis thing. And you know, I even experimented with veganism for a little while and a raw plant-based diet where I lost a good 10 pounds of muscle. You know, and the ketotic diet, thyroid and testosterone issues. You know, just getting dogmatic about any diet seems to cause some amount of damage but when I talk to guys like you or a lot of people in this industry who have gotten it figured out, a lot of people really have returned to most likely what our earliest human ancestors would have consumed. High amounts of DHA, honestly from sources like algae in fish more than supplements or even more than grass-fed beef or animal, land-based animals. A huge emphasis is placed on something that pairs quite well with DHA from a mitochondrial standpoint, like beginning to emphasize the things that you mentioned when we were talking about longevity, like good clean air and sleep and even some of the things in my own life which is why my power imploded this morning, right like mitigation of a lot of electrical signals and making sure that the lighting is taken cared of properly. And when you pair a good DHA intake and then the other thing you mentioned high plant intake which is again something I run into over and over again in this industry. Guys who have it figured out have returned to DHA, high plants. Not necessarily drooling over the steak every single night or doing 10 eggs in a blender in the morning combining that with proper light.
Ben: Water and electricity, I mean like Jack Kruse who I’ve had in the podcast before he gets into this concept where he describes the human body as a battery. The idea that light and nitrogen interactions determine how carbon is assimilated in your body and a big, big part of that is freaking DHA, chlorella and plant-based matter, light, good air, good electricity and good water.
Jay: Yeah, I love it. It’s funny I noticed too when I do more of the plant-based diet, I seem to recover a lot better. For so many years, I was like oh, just eating more protein will help me recover faster. But actually, recover faster seems to have less inflammation. I have far less inflammation and recovery issues now at 43 than I did 10 years ago or even 15 years ago. But obviously, a lot of that is based on how I train but I think it’s my nutrition too.
Ben: Yeah, but at the same time, I was talking with my wife about this actually, the other day, and I find this happened about the time I turned 35 or so, stuff just stays sore for a longer period. Like you you’ve got to do more. You’ve got to do electrostim and infrared or massage therapy all these things you just didn’t even pay attention to when you were younger because it seem that everything from satellite self-proliferation to DNA repair and recovery to post-workout protein synthesis, all of that seems to happen at such a more rapid rate when you’re young. Even with the properly base training program, I find it’ll take me sometimes two to three days longer than it used to be to recover from just the same workout.
Jay: I agree. It definitely does but I’ll be honest, I thought it would be worst. I remember in my 20’s training guys who were my age and they would say, wait ‘til you get to my age. And I was thinking, oh no. But honestly, just thought it would be worst. I take longer to recover but I don’t get as banged up as I used to be. Or as if I you know, [0:46:14.9] ______ you’re training hard you’re going to tweak your knee here and there, you’re going to tweak your shoulder. Those things actually don’t last as long for me as they used to. And I feel that because in my 20’s and 30’s I was eating 5,000 calories of most it was junk every day. Maybe 7,000 calories most of which was junk and I wasn’t doing a lot of the things you mentioned that I’m doing now. So hard to say 100% but I really feel great. I’m not just saying that but I honestly, feel better than I ever have my entire life.
Ben: Yeah, now what about supplements? You mentioned CBD for example, which is actually something I take every single night. Are there other supplements that you use pretty frequently, or you can even talk about CBD if you want to and why you use that but I’m just curious what kind of pills you’re popping?
Jay: So, I get blood work done regularly and whatever it shows I’m deficient in, I’ll take that. I take magnesium, Vitamin D. I take a plant-based protein powder. I take turmeric, a mix green and CBD and that’s about it. You hear that I might mess with something you know, experiment with something new once in a while, but I find those to be the most effective and…
Ben: If I could interrupt you real quick?
Ben: When you say you get regular bloodwork, you know, a lot of people are doing like freaking micronutrient analysis and spectra cell and urinary organic amino acids and all sorts of stuff. Are you monitoring anything specifically or are you doing a basic blood panel or what does your bloodwork actually look like?
Jay: I do a basic blood panel and then I do micronutrient analysis and I think that’s it. Yeah. Nothing like too crazy. Yeah.
Ben: What about genetics? Have you gotten genetics measured?
Jay: I have not. No.
Ben: That’d be an interesting one I mean, just in terms of finding out whatever. Genetic predispositions like I have a higher than normal risk of prostate cancer, so I go out of my way to get lycopene into my diet. Same thing with Type 2 diabetes, right? I’m like very cognizant of controlling my glycemic variability throughout the day. You know, coffee metabolism rates. Whether you’re a power or an endurance responder which can dictate set-rep-weight ratio. There’s a lot of interesting things I mean considering it’s like I think it’s less than a hundred dollars sometimes when 23andMe does specials for example. I think it’s a good test to kind of have to toss into your lab results folder.
Jay: I am writing that down right now. I’m going to do a 23andMe the one you go with? Is that what you recommend?
Ben: Well, 23andMe is restricted from releasing certain health data and so because of that you get kind of like this basic six-grader overview of your ancestry and your genetics and your health parameters, but you also get your data.
Jay: Well, that’s my reading level anyway, so.
Ben: Yeah, okay. There you go. With lots of pictures. But you get your raw data and you can download that raw data and then there’s a website, one really good one is 23andyou.com. And 23andYou has a whole list of like free and low-cost websites like Genetic Genie or Promethease or Strategene allow you to then export those DNA results and then, I mean the freaking world is your oyster, you can find out the nitty-gritty details on genetic predispositions for any different disease markers. Your endogenous antioxidant production which could influence like whether or not you needed to like take a bunch of glutathione, which I personally do. My body doesn’t make a lot of super oxide dismutase or glutathione so I have to supplement with that or I get to supplement with that. When you take those results as raw results from 23andMe, download them so that you have them and then export them to one of these other websites on 23andyou.com, dude, you can find out a lot.
Jay: Awesome. Thank you for that recommendation. I’m going to do that for sure.
Ben: Yeah, but you were talking about CBD.
Jay: I started using CBD, I think I heard you recommend CBD actually, maybe. I don’t know. I remember, it seemed like there were very few people speaking about it so I think when I first heard of it, your stuff came up and I got on it and honestly, I think it works better than turmeric or anything else I’ve tried. When I take CBD for inflammation, I wake up the next day feeling great. I sleep better and my whole body feels great. Again, I’m talking about at 43 I feel so great I attribute some of it to that. The regular use of CBD.
Ben: Yeah, it’s interesting with CBD as an anti-inflammatory drug, I mean even GlaxoSmithKline for example, is trying to patent the use of CBD you know, trying to put a lot of these CBD supplement companies out of business by patenting the use of CBD as a very potent anti-inflammatory in terms of down regulation of cytokines and I mean, it acts on a lot of different receptors. I mean, there are glycine receptors that it acts on to modulate pain and it can reduce intestinal inflammation via interacting with the neuro-immune system and it acts on what’s called glucose induced endothelial cell inflammatory responses. Meaning that, in can basically shutdown inflammation on more levels than just about any other compound that exists out there. Which is probably why GlaxoSmith is trying to downregulate it. The only thing I’ve noticed with CBD, which is why I’m careful not to use it excessively like high, high dose appears to in men. Slightly downregulate the activity of leydig cells in the testes but I mean, you’ve got to do a lot of CBD every day. You know, kind of like what do they call them functional potheads? Functional weed users? You know, guys who just like to sleep all day.
Jay: [Laughs] Yeah.
Ben: These guys are pretty hypogonadal in a lot of cases unless they’re taking testosterone injections or creams or lotions or a pill.
Jay: How much CBD do you use?
Ben: So, what I do is I use that CBD that currently at the time that we’re recording this my company makes, but I don’t know if I’m going to. Honestly, I don’t know if I’m going to stay in the CBD business because payment processors and the Federal government and regulators make it so difficult. It’s almost not even worth a pill battle for me but currently what I do is I pop two to three of those capsules before bed at night which equates to 20-30 milligrams of CBD but because it’s water soluble it’s extremely absorbable. So you’ve got to take about anywhere from four to eight times less than you do from a normal CBD supplement. So I’m in about 20-30 milligrams each evening of CBD and then occasionally, like on the weekends I’ll crawl into the infrared sauna with a good book and vape for a little while and use something that that’s both a THC and CBD blend like an indica or something like that but that’s about the extent of my usage.
Jay: Do you ever use indica to get focused for work?
Ben: I don’t. I get a little bit loopy. There’s actually one podcast episode where I smoked beforehand, and I think we published it ‘cause it was so funny but I’ll find it somewhere in our archives. It was when I was recording a Q&A episode with Brock, I just quit the podcast halfway through. I was like, dude, I just died. Done.
Ben: Can’t find my words. So yeah, I don’t really use it for focus. I’ll use a microdose with LSD occasionally if I’ve got a you know, usually like on a sleep-deprived day or a day when I need a lot of focus. Aside from that, man I use some lion’s mane mushroom sometimes from the Four Sigmatic guys.
Ben: A cup of coffee.
Jay: Yeah, I’m a big fan of that.
Ben: I’m a coffee man. You know, this Qualia stuff. I call it the god-pill. I’m still taking that two or three times a week. It’s kind of like my go-to nootropic just because it cuts straight to the chase, right? It’s got like everything in the kitchen sink in it. So it just kind of hits everything without causing you to crash because it also repletes everything at the same time that you take it.
Jay: Got you.
Ben: What about you? Are you using anything for as like a smart drug or a nootropic?
Jay: Not really. I’ve experimented with so many of them. I do use the Four Sigmatic. I’m a big fan of theirs but I experimented with so many different ones. Sometimes I thought it was doing something and I was like, ah, what if this is just in my head? And none of them really seem to make a difference for me. So not so much. I mean I know a lot of guys who are. That’s why I asked you about it. I think I said Indica, I meant Sativa. A lot of guys are using a little bit of sativa with.
Ben: Okay, yeah.
Jay: Like microdosing LSD and stuff like that and I haven’t gotten into that all soon.
Ben: Yeah, the only thing I found with sativa is if you can, I learned this from Paul Chek. You can actually blend it with a little bit of organic tobacco and then you can put a really uplifting oil in there like a cinnamon or a mint or like a rosemary oil. The same type of essential oil you diffuse for enhancing memory or cognition or focus and you can actually, you can vape that. And that actually gives you a real, real uplift in mood. With my only complaint being, this sounds silly, but I’m always like typing, talking on the phone, moving, shaking like I just don’t have time to have a vaporizer going on all the time and you know, be…
Jay: [Laughs] Right.
Ben: Honestly, it’s just like clunky. So that’s something again, I’ll do that on like the weekends for example.
Jay: Yeah, got you.
Ben: So, you’ve also got quite a bit on your website when it comes to fat loss, which I get a lot of questions about. And I know it’s something you delved into. Everything from reasons people don’t lose fat to fast ways to lose fat safely. And if I could put this in context for you, when people ask me I’m like, one of the best ways I find to strip fat off your body, is you wake up in a fasted state, you do some aerobic cardio and preferably you have some caffeine in your system beforehand so you mobilize fatty acids and you finish up with a cold shower so you convert some adipose tissue into brown fat. And like that’s the top tip I give to people when they tell me what can I do to burn fat? Do you have something in like in a similar category like there would be kind of like your go-to program for fat loss when nothing else seem to be working?
Jay: It’s funny. I would say pretty much that exact. I don’t normally add the cold shower to it but I think that’s awesome. I agree with you there. A hundred percent. I think it’s great and in addition to what I mentioned before is hill sprints. I mean, if you’re doing hill sprints you are going to get ripped.
Ben: What about if you’re overweight? Like do you have substitutes for hill sprints like do you like the bicycle or something else?
Jay: Yeah, I like the Airdyne of the Air Assault Biker. That was great so I’m doing sprints on there. So, I think when anybody starts sprinting usually having sprinted in high school and they always get hurt. You’ve got to be smart about it and really underdo it even if you’re doing it in a hill. So, if you are super overweight, I would say just walk fast up the hill and then walk down and then overtime you just start losing weight. And of course, the steeper the hill the less impact. I’m lucky enough here that in addition to running up grass hills and trails and mountains we have sand dunes which is amazing. If you’re talking about low impact just thinking of the sand dunes there’s no impact at all. If you have that nearby certainly do that.
Anytime you start doing sprints you have to ease into it like literally do a 15-minute warm up and do three sprints. You know, do a few warm-up sprints at 50% and maybe three hard ones short distance too at first ‘cause you’re more likely to have your form break down and get injured if you go more than 20 yards or so. So, it’s way less than you would expect and it’s not really even a workout. You’re going to walk away and say, well that was a waste of time. But the next day, your Achilles, your feet, your calves, everything’s going to be sore. So, you really got to ease into it slowly. I like pushing a sled or dragging a sled if you can’t sprint anymore no matter what you already, you can push or drag your sled and then just walk with it. Walk fast with it and then eventually you’ll work up to running with it. And the cool thing is if you don’t live near any hills or sled kind of, does the same thing where it reduces the impact. So it slows you down and it’s just way more joint-friendly.
And even if you don’t have a sled you can always tie a tire up behind you. There’s ways you can rig something up. You can push your car. There’s all kinds of ways. So just push or drag some kind of loaded object if you don’t have a hill and that’s old school and it works every time.
Ben: Yeah, I actually have this exercise strategy I want to ask you about in a second but ever related to isometrics but there’s actually a host of really fantastic fitness devices out there that I think, fly under the radar. You mentioned the Airdyne. Perfect substitute for sprints. Jacob’s Ladder. Jacob’s Ladder is another one.
Ben: You’re literally just like crawling. I mean, people sell those on Craigslist for nothing because they buy ‘em and they hate ‘em so they want to get rid of ‘em because they’re just so freaking effective and they give you this full-body bear crawling-style workout. Even the full-body like elliptical trainers with the arms and the legs moving you can get a very cardiovascular high-calorie-metabolic-boosting type of workout on one of those. Rowing machine would be another one and then actually, Jay you’ll be interested in this. Some of the best Spartan athletes that I’ve talked to are doing a lot of like running up and down slopes and doing a lot of high VO2max work, they use the SkiErg. Have you seen that one before? The one where you’ll just stand and you’re like kind of skiing in place?
Jay: Yeah. Well, that’s interesting. I’ve never used that.
Ben: Yeah, that’s crazy. That one surprised me. It’s kind of boring but you’ll understand why cross-country skiers and skate skiers are endurance athletes that happen to possess some of the biggest VO2maxes on the face of the planet ‘cause you work up your heart rate very quickly on one of those SkiErgs.
This other thing I was going to ask you about was kind of this emerging concepts of one single set to failure, right? Either isometric training using like this Airrex fit machines are very popular. I have a new isometric training machine I’m working with called a PeakFitPro where basically, once a week for one of my heavy lifts I go in and I do one single set to failure. I tie it to my phone app the app beeps when I reach 60% of my original force that I was trying to produce at the beginning and you’re just all out like you’re trying to rip a car like a burning car off of a baby. Which is a horrible analogy. It just came to mind.
Ben: But you’re trying like rip a car of a baby you’re generating thousands of pounds. It tells you how many pounds per second that you’re lifting. It tells you the total force generated during like. The longest I’ve ever gone is about 75 seconds for a single lift before I can’t maintain 60% anymore. But then that’s it. You’re done. One deadlift set, one squat set, one shoulder press set. Joints aren’t moving at all. It’s all isometric. One lap pull-down set. One bench press set. And I think, that’s it. Yeah, it’s single set to failure. You know, Art Devany talks about this. You know, Doug McGuff has a book “Body By Science” about this. What are your thoughts in this concept of just do like one single set to failure and then full recovery?
Jay: Yes, so certainly not a new concept. Arthur Jones popularized that years ago. And then Mike Mentzer really brought to the forefront ‘93 during [1:01:59.7] ______ won Mr. Olympian and that was his whole thing. And I experimented with it for years. When I started lifting in ’85 or ’86 I was doing high volume bodybuilding and I got introduced to Mentzer stuff, it was the first time ever made progress. And then I strayed away from it then Yates won Mr. Olympian in ’93 and then I went back. I started making progress again. I love it. If you give me somebody for anything, getting ready for a season, getting ready to play a superhero and I only have six to eight weeks, that’s going to be my go-to. Low volume, super hard to failure, high intensity, however what happens is after about six to eight weeks you tend to be pretty fried like you just, you know, you just have that kind of residual CNS fatigue all the time. You’re tired. You start to get moody. You just feel all the symptoms of over training and you’ve got to shift to something else. At first it works so well, your likelihood of saying, this is the only way I’m training ever, is pretty high. But then you always get fried at then about six to eight weeks.
And I remember, even Yates said when we were around him back in the ‘90’s he said, I can only train this way for six to eight weeks and then I take a two-week deload. And then there’s a really popular training system, for years on the internet called Doggcrapp and it’s based around the same concept and Dante Trudel is the guy who started that and he’s you know, a 300 pounds jack that was mine but he always said the same thing. You can only do this for six to eight weeks then you’ve got to take two-weeks either off or were you just training super easy and then ramp back up again over time. I think anyone that’s done it for a very long time religiously kind of comes to that same conclusion. And even Justin Harris was a pro body builder and he followed those concepts and he said after years of doing it six weeks and even the first two to three weeks after that kind of deload or cruise period you’re still easing into it. Especially, when you get really strong. You know, for me I was never really strong but I was able to [1:04:02.0] ______ to 15 for 20 doing that. Then it’s 315 for 11 doing that, 405 on the trap or deadlift for 20 like that adds up.
Ken Leistner was another guy. Dr. Ken Leistner who was a big fan of that stuff. And I always get my best progress. I always got my client’s best progress but again you just get fried. You’ve got to be smart about it. You’ve got to cycle it. Here’s the other caveat too like, if that’s all you’re doing is training and looking to make those goals, it’s awesome but after about three or four weeks if you also want to be playing pickup sports and boxing and doing martial arts and stuff, those aren’t really work that great with that ‘cause you’re kind of… the fatigue just builds up, so I become a bigger fan of more submaximum training maybe Pavel would recommend or someone like that but a little further away from failure. Throughout most of the year and then when you have something you really, you want to set a PR, you want to get ready for something, I love that low volume, high-intensity stuff.
Ben: Yeah, that’s where HRV monitoring comes into play, dude. Like monitoring neuromuscular fatigue which is something that I do. So those type of sessions, single sets to failure plummet my heart rate variability. But then if you look at like a super compensatory response, if you actually allow for adequate repair and recovery. And I’ve found I can only do one per week, right? Like this is not a Monday, Wednesday, Friday kind of thing.
Jay: Right. Yeah. Okay. So that’s exactly. Yeah, certainly I was talking about that if you do it three or four days a week you don’t have long on that kind of program.
Ben: Exactly. Yeah, so I’m under HRV for neuromuscular fatigue specifically because that seems to really allow me to not overtrain with that type of workout and it does seem to produce some pretty significant fitness responses though. However, I’ve got to say at this point in the winter my favorite routine, that really does make me feel like a bad [beep] to just tackle the kettlebell for 30-45 minutes and then traipse out through the snow and jump into a cold pool because I feel like a bad [beep] Russian soldier. And so that’s my go-to these days in the winter in Spokane, Washington.
Jay: What does that kettlebell workout usually look like?
Ben: Right now, I’m training for the RKC, and so.
Ben: It is a bottoms-up presses. It’s swings, snatches, cling and jerk and get-ups and goblet squats and I’m hitting, depending on my time availability three to five sets of each heavy, explosive with… to mention him again, what Paul Chek would call working in in-between each of those sets. Like you know, very slow moving nasal breathing, isometric squats or opposite arm, opposite leg extensions or mobility work or you know like side lunges or hip openers and then I’ll go back to the kettlebell and I’ll just weave through a workout like that. Yeah, I learned a little bit from Paul and a little bit from another guy having a podcast about kettlebell training, Mike Salemi and then Chris Holder who combines. He’s a fascinating guy, combines like chi gong and tai chi and breath work and reiki with kettlebell training. He’s got a pretty good episode on our archive somewhere back there. But yeah, that’s what my kettlebell routine looks like.
Jay: My friend, Ben do you know Dr. Mark Cheng?
Ben: I know that name, but I don’t think I’ve actually ever hang out with him.
Jay: ‘Cause he does a lot of what you just described. He was one of the original RKC guys and he’s a really brilliant guy. I think you guys would hit it off. He was always Pavel’s second in-charge of the RKC and now he’s that at StrongFirst and he was Great Cooks’ number one guy would be, I can’t remember the cooks thing. The functional movement stuff?
Ben: Ahuh, functional movement screen. Yeah, interesting Mike Cheng. Introduce us, dude. Introduce us.
Jay: Yeah, I will.
Ben: Okay. Sweet. Perfect. Well, for those of you listening in, Jay’s got a podcast, Renegade Radio. He’s also got some of those like body weight books that he was behind as well as some other materials on his website, his Renegade Strength Club and a lot of really good articles along with like I mentioned some fantastic audio episodes on his weekly podcast. So I’ll put a link to all that stuff in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/jason just as Jay’s mother would call him and I’ll also link to all those podcasts I mentioned like with Chris Holder and Mike Salemi and Craig Ballantyne who introduced Jason and I, the Tony Jeffries Box and Burn podcast. I’ll link to some of the lab tests that I recommend that we mentioned and then, what else do we bring up? Alex Viada and his juggernaut training and hybrid athlete’s systems, CBD. I’ll try and get everything in the show notes for you guys and it’s over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/jason and thank you everybody also for putting up with the slippery audio connection we had today but hopefully you got something out of this episode.
So Jay, thanks for coming on the show, man and sharing all this stuff with us your wealth and knowledge.
Jay: Ben, thank you so much. I really appreciate it, Ben.
Ben: Awesome. Alright folks, well I’m Ben Greenfield along with Jay Ferrugia. Is it jasonferruggia.com?
Jay Ferruggia has been helping people become the strongest version of themselves since 1994.
You may have seen his work in Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Men’s Fitness, Fast Company, Huffington Post, LiveStrong, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Shape, Entrepreneur, Details or on ESPN or CBS.
You know how group training is the big thing these days? He was doing that in the mid 90’s.
The hardcore, underground warehouse gyms that are so popular nowadays? He had one of those back in ’96.
Training like an athlete? Flipping tires, dragging sleds, pressing logs, using rings? He has been doing that for 20+ years with his clients, long before it was popular or on TV commercials.
What you may not know is that over the course of his life he's been physically and mentally weak, skinny, fat, sad, depressed, insecure, painfully shy, socially awkward, crippled with anxiety and indecision, struggled with addiction, and have gone broke on more than one occasion.
During my discussion with Jay in today's podcast, you'll discover:
-What happened to Jay when he didn't touch a weight for 12 weeks in a row and switched to body weight training only…[12:47]
-Jay's current strategies for maintaining his body as he ages, and his personal longevity tactics…[16:50]
-Jay's top tips for getting in great shape, in just 3-4 hours a week…[28:17]
-How Jay monitors his bloodwork, and the diet and supplements he takes…[46:45]
-The fastest way to lose fat safely and the best substitute for uphill sprints…[55:55]
-How to use single sets to failure for massive fitness responses…[60:27]
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
–Books by Jason Ferruggia (including “Pushing The Limits”, which Ben discusses in this episode as a very good body weight training book)
–The PeakFitPro isometric machine Ben talks about – use code greenfield to get $200 off
-Joov – Visit BenGreenfieldFitness.com/joovv and use the code BEN25 to get a nice little discount off your purchase.
-GAINSWave – To learn more go to GAINSWave.com/Ben and find a provider near you. Don’t forget to mention you heard about GAINSWave through Ben Greenfield and you can save 30% off your FIRST treatment.
-Birdwell Beach Britches – To get 10% off your first Birdwell purchase, with Lifetime Guarantee and free shipping over $99, go to – Birdwell.com and use discount code BEN at checkout.
-HealthIQ – The “Ben Greenfield Fitness” podcast is sponsored by Health IQ, an insurance company that helps health conscious people like runners, cyclist, weightlifters and vegetarians get lower rates on their life insurance. Go to healthiq.com/BEN to support the show and see if you qualify.
Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Jason or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!