[1:42] Harry's Razor
[3:26] Four Sigmatic Chaga Elixir
[5:14] Introduction to this Episode
[6:47] Podcast Backround
[8:47] What Happened With The Mind Pump Guys Before They First Got To Ben's
[16:19] The Kuwait Phenomenon
[23:31] Lesser Known Things People Can Use To Add Muscle
[28:03] “Safer” Directions to Take
[34:43] Old School Bodybuilding Program Design
[0:41:05] A Typical Full Body Routine
[45:36] Heat and Recovery
[48:05] Hypoxic Breathing
[55:19] How They Adjust To Travelling
[58:50] On Protein Intake
[1:15:30] End Of Podcast
Ben: Hey, it's Ben Greenfield. I recently had a bunch of ripped meathead freaks over to my recording studio in my basement, and I'm about to reveal to you via audio the chaos that ensued. But should you actually want to listen to something slightly longer via audio, or perhaps even more engaging than what you're about to hear, not that what you're about to hear is bad. I'm making it sound bad. It's not. You should check out Audible. I don't know if you knew, this but I've got 19 hours and 48 minutes of my complete “Beyond Training” book on Audible. I think that would allow you to drive at least halfway across the United States of America listening to me and my annoying voice in your car, talking about everything, performance plateaus, and brain fog, and gas and bloating, and drive, and anti-aging, and biohacking. It's about 500 pages jam-packed with content that I read to you.
Well, you can get that over at Audible, because Audible, for everybody listening in to the show, has a 30 day trial that lets you get that book, or any other book that you want, your first audio book for free. You go to audible.com/fitness to get a free 30 day trial and audio book, and they have a huge selection. I mean literally like hundreds of thousands of books. Literally. See what I did there? ‘Cause it's lit? Anyways, you just download the books or your shows to your mobile device, and you listen while the car flies by, or wherever else you happen to be, on a gridlocked freeway. Audible audio books. You can get lost in them. So check it out, audible.com/fitness.
This podcast is also brought to you by Harry's, and Harry's has this cool new free kit that they'll send to your house. What is Harry's? Harry's creates these amazing razors. Like their five-blade razor has a soft flex hinge for a comfortable glide. Do you like how my voice gets soft when I start describing their features? A trimmer blade for hard to reach places, a lubricating strip, and a textured handle for more control when your razor handle is wet, if you're one of those people that shaves in the shower, like my wife who steals my Harry's razor and shaves her legs in the shower. Not that I care baby. I still love you. I'm just saying.
Anyways though, so here's the deal with Harry's. They have made it so you can get this stuff for free. It's a free trial is what they call it. You get the razor, you get what's called their five-blade cartridge, and their shaving gel, which is actually this really good foaming shave gel that is good for your skin. It's got aloe in it and cucumber. So rather than like chopping up cucumber and smearing it on your face like you were just about to do, you can instead use the Harry's foaming shave gel and save yourself a cucumber. So you get this free shaving trial when you sign up for any shaving plan on their website. You do pay shipping, but that's it. Nada. Zippo. Zilch. Aside from shipping. So you enter code Ben at Harrys.com. HARRYS.com and enter code Ben at checkout to get your free trial set and your post-shave balm which you're going to throw into. That's a new one. They're actually going to include, I guess, two things, and not only your cream that you could shave with your, or your gel rather, along with the razor and the five-blade cartridge, but then your post-shave balm. Everything you need for a sexy smooth face.
Finally, this podcast is brought to you by, well let me tell you this. My wife, I've mentioned her twice already. It's crazy. She's getting a lot of cameos in this podcast episode. She's gonna have to cut me a check. She got sick. I was gone and she got sick. And I got home and she had the stomach flu. And I'm about to go hunting up in Canada for a week, and I did not want to go hunting while I'm throwing up my insides. So not only did I not go in to my bedroom, I slipped into the guest room and I slept there. I dunno. It's bad. I should've gone in there and snuggled up to my wife, but I didn't 'cause I knew she was she was pukey. But I also slammed two of these chaga elixirs this morning.
So these chaga elixirs, I don't know if you know about chaga, but it's able to fight infections, and bacteria, and colds, and viruses, and things that might make you poo or throw up a little funny, and you just take these packets and you put them in coffee, or tea, or anything else that you want. And it's a dual-extract, meaning that they get the water soluble components and then also the fat soluble components squeezed into this tiny little green packet, and they throw like some eleuthero and rosehips in there for vitamin C, little field mint for some flavor. And it's really good stuff. So C-h-a-g-a. It's this big black mushroom that grows on birch trees. You get 15% off of that or any of the other mushrooms from Four Sigmatic Foods when you go to foursigmatic.com/Greenfield, that's FOURsigmatic.com/Greenfield, and use 15% code Greenfield. That'll get you everything you need to not be a sad-faced, pukey person. So, check it all out. The audible book, the razors, the chaga mushroom extracts, and also check this out. An amazing interview with the dudes from Mind Pump.
In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:
“One group of people, I had them do squats very heavily. And in the following days, I had them walk, and stretch, and do light bodyweight lunges. And the other group of people, they hammered their legs and they just bed rest for the rest of the week. Just lay in bed don't move. The people in bed rest would lose muscle. They'd lose muscle and strength within a five day, seven day period, even shorter.” “It just changed my relationship with carbohydrates and with fats who I've, for so many years as trainers that when we've demonized fat. I mean I remember telling clients ago, ‘Don't even try and get fat in your diet,' when I first started fifteen years ago.”
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. What's up? It's Ben Greenfield, and last night in the wee hours of the evening, four guys from San Jose descended upon my home for a homemade meal full of chicken, and organic wine, and tomatillos, and buckwheat pancakes, and a general good time all around. And then they came back this morning and we threw down a relatively epic podcast and a podcast that you're about to listen to. These are the guys from what is called the “Mind Pump Media Podcast” and the Mind Pump website, which we'll talk a little bit more about during the episode. It's not often that I have four people on the podcast simultaneously, so I may leave it up slightly to you to be able to differentiate between all the voices that you're gonna hear.
But either way, we're gonna talk about what they specialize in, which is pulling back the curtain on mythology, and snake oil, and pseudo-science that pervades the fitness industry. And instead, we delve into science-backed solutions that specifically focus on what these guys specialize in, which is muscle building and fat loss combined with health. So if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/mindpump, I've got these guys' full bios, what they look like, they are pretty impressive physical specimens, as well as more about how you can tap into the goodness that is Mind Pump. We talk about everything on the show from how to do anabolic triggering sessions, to why bodybuilders are disappearing to Kuwait and somehow coming back just a couple months later with 20 pounds of extra muscle, to underground muscle building and anabolic supplements like SARMs, and Clomid, and injectable testosterone, why you probably need far less protein than you think, the biggest myths in the fitness industry, and a lot more. So I think you're gonna dig this one.
Ben: Hey, folks. What's up? It's Ben from bengreenfieldfitness.com back once again in a very unique situation. My house has actually been taken over by a bunch of swole guys from San Jose, the dudes from the Mind Pump Podcast. We had dinner last night. First of all, you guys showed up and I put you right to work. Did you enjoy that?
Adam: Yeah. I noticed that.
Sal: I gotta tell your audience how this all went down. So we show up, and I'm sure you know this about you, but barefoot, outside, it's night time, and who has his bale hay with him.
Justin: The first time he's…
Doug: What's that all about?
Sal: “Hey, guys. Carry some hay with me.” I'm like, “He's testing us.”
Ben: Well, you guys were tardy.
Doug: Felt like it was a test.
Ben: You guys were tardy for dinner. So I started taking care of this. I had to finish off my honey-do-list and take care of the hay.
Sal: Oh, I see.
Ben: And if you're listening in and you haven't moved around hay before, I was actually telling you guys this story last night. So I got my (censored) kicked in the recent Train To Hunt Competition, which is basically like obstacle racing with weapons, and there's a lot of sandbag carries, and a lot of unwieldy 100, 150 pound backpacks that you're hoisting around. And I asked the guy who won it, who I'm actually trying to get on the podcast, like what his go-to work out was. And he's like, “I drive around to farmer's fields and bale hay.”
Justin: That's all he did?
Ben: Basically get paid to work out, doing clean and jerks for two hours, baling hay.
Adam: So you're just doing us a favor? That's what that was?
Ben: Just doing you guys a favor.
Sal: I appreciate the workout.
Ben: Getting you ready for dinner.
Doug: It was nice.
Adam: I feel like it was a test. I think he was like, “You know, I gotta see if these guys who are gonna come to my house, who are gonna have dinner with my family my wife, we're gonna do a podcast together, we're going to see if they have real world strength.”
Ben: That's right. Functional strength.
Sal: We're not just like balloons.
Ben: We could have done concentration curls.
Justin: I was just gonna say I was fatigued because I had done those earlier. I've done some donkey kickbacks too.
Adam: I was actually impressed with Sal's ability to carry the bale of hay there. I knew Justin would be fine. I did that for a good portion of my life.
Sal: Well, I mean considering I'm stronger than you guys…
Doug: Considering you don't do any manual labor. That's what we were considering.
Ben: I think functionally, one of the strongest times I've ever had my life in terms of my own strength was in college when I was painting, and baling hay, and playing water polo.
Justin: Of course.
Ben: Those three things all put together…
Adam: Oh, god. Imagine that.
Ben: Someone should create a DVD, “The Water Polo, Hay Baling, Painting DVD.”
Adam: We might have our next program.
Sal: That's how we'll get people to fix up our new studio and paint stuff. We'll just tell 'em it's part of the workout. It's because of the long-term frequent use of your body. I mean when you're working, you are working for hours during the day. When we workout, it's an hour. That's the difference. It's kind of this moderate intensity activity that people just don't consider a workout, but they don't realize how effective it can be.
Adam: Well this is some strong something that we talk a lot about is frequency over intensity and how important that is. When you do something like that day in day out, I mean Sal talks about like, “Look at a mailman's calves,” things like that. It's not like the guys are there doing calf reasons every day. He's in there stimulating his calves all day long, walking around. The same thing goes for someone who's doing water polo, talk about a sport where you gotta have some serious strength to keep yourself above water…
Justin: Constant resistance.
Ben: That's one of the things that I tell people with water polo is it keeps you fit because if you don't stop moving, you die. It's one of the sports where if you don't stop that eggbeater kick, I still do that like if I'm at a hotel with a crappy pool, I'll use my old school tricks from water polo where I'll do the eggbeater kick hardcore for like a minute, then you get out and do push-ups, jump back in, do a sprint. There's all sorts of cool things you can do without necessarily having to, like Laird Hamilton, throw dumbbells into a pool and walk back and forth underwater.
Sal: That's gotta be some incredible hip mobility. I didn't even think of that. Eggbeater movements in the pool is a fantastic hip mobility movement.
Ben: Yeah. Well if your lateral or medial meniscus are f-ed up, it's also a great way to destroy your knees. But it is good fitness. Now one of the things that you guys brought up as we were punishing chicken and buckwheat wraps last night, my wife provided us with.
Doug: I was hungry. Sorry about that.
Ben: It was a good meal. We had some wine.
Adam: Phenomenal meal.
Sal: I had a cheeseburger afterwards.
Ben: Yeah. Exactly. I'm like, “I hope these guys don't leave and have to go to McDonald's.” And tomatillos.
Justin: Oh, yeah. It was excellent.
Adam: That was a treat.
Sal: The next superfood.
Ben: If you guys are listening in, yes. We are going to create a gently dried green superfood powder made of tomatillos, but we sprinkled tomatillos with like an Aztec salt. And if you haven't had tomatillos before, this is a new addition to my wife's garden that she's growing. Just hunt 'em down ,find one, and eat it. It's like, I mean what you guys think? It's like a sweet tomato.
Adam: Yeah. It doesn't even taste good tomato to me. It actually had, it almost taste like an apple.
Doug: It's got a crisp taste of an apple.
Adam: I thought it tasted like a green apple. Like a really sweet tasting…
Sal: Tell me about this Aztec salt.
Ben: One of those hybrid, genetically modified foods that's gonna get us cancer.
Sal: Yes. Tell me about the Aztec salt. I've never had Aztec salt before.
Ben: Aztec salt is harvested sustainably on the Mexican coast, and by sustainably, I'm guessing that means it's not 8 year old Mexican children harvesting it, but actual full-grown Mexican adults getting paid some kind of a wage. That's just the picture I create in my own head.
Justin: It makes you feel better when you sprinkle it on your…
Ben: As you guy know, sodium chloride, and I don't have to tell most of our listeners this, it's not doing your body the most favors. It's usually aluminum cake, the extraction methods are harsh, the solvent methods are harsh, and all you get usually is sodium unopposed with many of the other 72 plus minerals that you typically get from a good salt, like a Himalayan salt, or one of my other favorites, the black salt that you get from the Kona coast. That's another really good one.
Sal: I just bought some of that. My favorite salt is the salt harvested from the tears of Tibetan monks who've meditated for years. It's very pure…
Justin: You let it dry out for two days.
Sal: It's very anabolic.
Ben: Preferably alternative lifestyle, one-armed Tibetan monks, so that you just fire on [0:14:54] ______ . And the Aztec salt is, it's very clumpy. You guys probably noticed this. Some people even put it in like a salt grinder to grind it. But I like it clumpy. I like to be able to chew my salt.
Sal: I'm the same way.
Ben: And what I do is I travel with this everywhere. I get strange looks at restaurants, but I'll pull it out and just sprinkle it on anything. And it enhances the flavor profile of just about anything that you put it on, but it also provides you with minerals, and for a guy like me who's working out a lot with the adrenal glands being a storehouse of minerals, and needing to retain water well, and eating all the other things that minerals do for me, that's one of my go-to sources and it's a heck of a lot more tasty than like one of these trace liquid mineral dropper bottles.
Justin: Where do find it?
Ben: I order it.
Adam: It's not something you can pick up at Safeway?
Ben: I don't think you can find it at Safeway. No.
Sal: It's not as harsh as regular salt. It was very tasty. It didn't have that bite that regular salt does, probably because it's lower in sodium.
Ben: Yeah. Exactly. But it's a really great flavor profile. Plus it's Aztec. You can't go wrong with something that has the bad-ass (cash register sound effect) title. Anything. We could do Aztec tomatillos, you could have Aztec milk, Aztec ketchup. Anything that's Aztec automatically sounds bad-ass.
Doug: This is brilliant.
Sal: I think we should collaborate and make an Aztec warrior workout.
Ben: Yup. Exactly.
Sal: If you don't do the work out, then you get sacrificed.
Adam: Run some pyramids or die.
Ben: I would like to ask you guys about something that came up during dinner last night. And honestly, I know for those you listening in when there's four people talking, it's hard to tell who's who, but Adam here is the house bodybuilder.
Doug: He's the husky voice.
Ben: Knows a lot about getting swole. Yes, the husky voice. And Adam, we were talking a little bit about things, like underground things that are coming up now that I get a lot of questions about, like HGH frags, and peptides, and SARMs, and a lot of these newer muscle gains/fat loss/growth hormone increasing type of compounds that people are now turning to as an alternative to amino acids, and creatine, and fish oil, and all the old boring proven stuff. And you mentioned that guys are now going to Kuwait and coming back swole. Tell me about this.
Adam: And this is completely speculation on our part because I have no proof but it's pretty crazy when you see, and there's been a handful, I'd say about five or seven professional bodybuilders that I know that have gone over there, and these are guys that have been competing for 10, 15 years their life at that point, and you know that every one pound of muscle you add's a victory at that point. There taking already tons of gear and they're…
Ben: ‘Cause you've put on so much muscle by that point that even just getting tiny, tiny increases in muscle is considered a win?
Adam: Yeah. Exactly. Not only have you reached your genetic potential, but you've also done everything that you can, almost chemically, to enhance that when you see guys at even the smallest amount of muscle at that level, you're extremely impressed. And we're seeing these guys right now that are going over there and they're coming back, and they're not spending more than a couple months there. I mean, I'm talking 60 to 90 days and they're back, and they look like they've added 20, 30 pounds of the lean mass to their bodies.
Ben: Something crazy's going on in Kuwait.
Sal: I don't think, I mean, again it's pure speculation, but I highly doubt that it's having anything to do with hormones 'cause they maxed out. These guys at this level are using testosterone…
Sal: Grams a week of growth hormone. They're using insulin, they're using IGF1 and all these different compounds that they've been using now since the 90's at high doses. And these guys are already walking around 280 pounds, I mean shredded massive guys. They haven't added muscle in the last five years 'cause they've hit that limit right, then they go over there and two three months later, they come back and like, “What just happened?” I don't think it's…
Ben: What do you guys think?
Sal: My money is on, 'cause we know the science on myostatin inhibition is developing. You start to…
Adam: He thinks that. I don't know if we're there yet. I'm not sure if we're there to…
Justin: I've seen pictures of the cows that surfaced…
Ben: Yeah. So, myostatin, backing this up a little bit, myostatin would be a specific gene. Is it a gene or an enzyme?
Sal: Myostatin is a protein that, when it's elevated, it inhibits muscle growth. It's a muscle growth controller. And when they do studies on animals where they'll genetically modify the animal so that it has…
Adam: It works like a safety mechanism for us as humans. Stops us from continuing to build, and build, and build, and build.
Sal: There's actually an animal that naturally has very low, or defunct myostatin. It's the Belgian Blue bull, and it's been bred this way. They bred it this way and have this extremely muscular bulls. And if you look them up online, they look freaky. They look crazy.
Ben: And it's a myostatin knock-out bull.
Adam: People can literally Google “myostatin dog,” “myostatin bull,” and you'll just see…
Ben: I'll find a picture. By the way, if you guys are listening in, I'll put that the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/mindpump. That's bengreenfieldfitness.com/mindpump, and I'll be sure to put a swole bull in there for you to look at.
Sal: When they do these studies on animals, they'll take mice and they'll take one and switch off their myostatin gene and leave the other one normal or whatever. Here's the crazy thing. They don't exercise anymore, they don't feed them any differently, and they just build muscle. Like ridiculous amounts of muscle. The kind of muscle that you would expect on an animal that was given high doses of androgens, and put through exercise, and fed differently. Very crazy stuff. That's like the next generation.
Ben: There has to be a biological trade off to that though.
Sal: I would imagine…
Ben: Like do these animals get cancer?
Sal: I haven't read anything about that yet. I don't think they quite understand the other functions of myostatin besides, like you're saying, I mean turn that off. What could it possibly…
Adam: I think anything I've read is it's more like their heart giving out to be able to handle all that, to be able to move that. You weren't made to have…
Ben: Does the heart give out or does it get hypertrophy?
Adam: I don't know.
Sal: That's a great question.
Adam: It is a great question. There's not a lot of studies on it, and that's why I don't know. Sal says that was his theory on that's what they're doing over there. I don't know for sure if that's it.
Sal: Pure speculation.
Ben: You mean in Kuwait?
Adam: Yes. I'll tell you what, and you know this, you were in bodybuilding, that if there is anybody that's doing the crazy shit and that's really going after the way-out-there, I mean, bodybuilders, they've been doing it forever. They pioneered a lot of stuff that we have now. A lot of people are afraid to take that next step and that's one of the things that we do appreciate about them. A lot of people talk trash, “Oh, they're a bunch of steroids freaks,” and this and that, but a lot of these guys are, kinda like bro-scientists a little bit. They go in and they're playing with these things…
Ben: Some of the most intelligent writings on the entire internet are on bodybuilding forums. Proceed with caution.
Sal: I would say, for knowledge on using hormones, they're right up there with the Soviet coaches that coached athletes. I mean, the timing, and the doses, and what to use when, and how to use this to prevent your estrogen levels from going too high, and all this other stuff.
Ben: I wanted to ask you a little bit about some of these lesser known techniques for muscle gain. By the way, that the photograph behind me that you guys can see here in my office, that's me body building, and I was completely natural.
Justin: Extremely impressive.
Ben: By natural, I mean, and I was telling you guys this last night, literally tuna fish cans and with ketchup and relish.
Doug: That actually doesn't count 'cause tuna fish is extremely anabolic, they found.
Ben: It's the mercury.
Ben: The mercury just pumps you up.
Ben: But, yeah. I mean, I eventually got a sponsorship with ABB. I don't even know if they're around anymore…
Doug: They are.
Ben: They made these protein cans. Like their protein would come to you in like a soda can. You just pop it open and drink it.
Adam: I remember.
Sal: Super high quality, it’s thermostat.
Adam: Tasted awful too.
Ben: Full of BPA and other you're-going-to-(censored)-out-straw components that Lord knows what. The ingredient label takes up half the can, which is always a warning sign.
Adam: Yeah. Right?
Ben: But that was my go-to was ABB bodybuilding shakes and tuna with ketchup.
Adam: I was right with you, man.
Ben: It was horrible.
Sal: You guys remember Blue Thunder?
Adam: I do.
Sal: It was literally a bottle of everything. If you looked at the ingredients, “Oh, it's got smilax!” “Oh, it's got saw palmetto!”
Adam: ABB had one too, and I forgot the name of it, but it had, it was the everything…
Sal: Did they make the Speed Stack? Was that ABB?
Justin: Yeah. That was ABB.
Sal: ‘Cause that's my favorite thing of all time.
Ben: I just remember the chocolate protein shakes. That, and then my other go-to was Redline.
Ben: Which was like the pre-workout.
Sal: You ever inject that?
Doug: The one that makes you sweat.
Ben: Uh, no. No. But actually, the only thing that I have much experience injecting that I'm using now, like I have a bum ankle right now from my last Spartan Race…
Doug: I saw. You had a little bit of swelling there.
Ben: Yeah. And I was actually running it when you guys showed up this morning, I was running the Marc Pro electro stim on it just to pump out some of the inflammation, but I've been injecting a fragment called, or a peptide, called BPC-157 into it, which is just basically like a healing peptide that initiates that inflammatory cascade. They isolate it from gastric juices because that's where you'll find it in humans where it can be used to heal gastric mucosa, for example. You can take an insulin syringe, and you can draw BPC-157 back into it, and spray into your mouth to help with healing gastric mucosa.
But there are a lot of these things now that I'm seeing pop up on the internets that might be old news in the bodybuilding world, but that I'd like to get kinda your guys' opinion on as far as like, obviously there are things, like I mentioned, creatine, and fish oil, and a good high quality protein that can help people with something like putting on muscle. But as far as these more underground things, like SARMs, for example, is something I recently touched on on a blog post, and peptides, or growth hormone fragments, are there things that you think folks could be using, should be using, don't know about, or that would be extremely efficacious for the people listening in that may wanna put on muscle and add things into the creatine?
Adam: We talk down a lot about SARMs just because there's just not a lot of good studies yet. It's kind of like buyer beware. If you're gonna go, and when you've seen stuff, I mean, people are, what is the latest one? We just talked about one recently.
Sal: Well, here's the thing with a lot of these. So, yes. Bodybuilders have been messing with SARMs now for at least maybe five years, and they're all available as research chemicals, by the way. They're not legal to human consumption.
Ben: Right. You have to buy them from like Peptide Warehouse, or Blue Sky Peptides, or one of these other Web sites.
Ben: So SARMs, for example, explain what it is, and what it would do for someone, and why you do or you do not like it?
Sal: Well, SARM stands for selective androgen receptor modulator. So it attaches to the androgen receptor, and the goal of a SARM is to elicit the positive effects from those receptors and not so many of the negative effects. So some of the problems with taking testosterone, for example, as you get anabolic effects, but you also get androgenic effects, which are the masculinizing effects. So acne, or the hair loss, and those kinds of things, the undesirable effects of anabolic steroids.
SARMs are supposed to kind of mitigate that a little bit. You're not gonna get some of the negative effects. It supposedly, at the right doses, won't affect your own hormone levels, although they're finding at high doses, or at least a doses that people are using on the gray market, that they are getting some shut down of testosterone.
But the drugs themselves are being studied for osteoporosis, for male andropause, just as an alternative to testosterone and testosterone derivatives. The problem that we have, and we've talked about SARMs a few times now in the show, the problem that we have is with testosterone, we have a really good idea…
Adam: We know so much more about that.
Sal: We know what it does and what it doesn't do, we know what your side effects are going to be, we know what the doses you can take, we know where you can get it from, especially if you get a prescription. With SARMs, we don't quite know all of the effects it has and if there's any long term effects, and it's still undergoing testing at the moment. But if you go on the forums, you can read about some weird side effects like, I think it's called S4. People are complaining about like vision changes. There'll be a yellow tint to everything that they look at, or it'll change their ability to see at night, which is a little weird. It's a little, I mean it's like take some steroids.
Ben: That sounds kinda cool.
Adam: It turns you into a cat.
Ben: Save money on blue light blocking glasses.
Adam: I just feel like if you're somebody who's considering going that direction, and I'm not one to advocate taking steroids, but if you're going to go mess with some of that, I feel like you're safer going in a direction where we know more. It's kinda that gray area right now, we're still learning so much about it.
Ben: What would be a direction where we know more? What do you mean?
Adam: Well like Sal was saying like testosterone, we know more about testosterone, how that affects you. I mean, there's hormones that you can go see a doctor now and actually get it prescribed to you if your levels are lower than normal. They can monitor your blood and see that. SARMs, I've always been afraid to mess with something like that. I'm afraid to mess with something that just hasn't been studied for a very long time. I'm not quite with that risk, I don't care that much about getting the extra edge or performance from that when I still feel like there are so many other things that we can be getting better at.
You're a perfect example of somebody who I think is neat to see mess with all the different little tiny things to just get better performance, better sleep, but that's because you're doing all the big pieces first. You've got people that are taking SARMs, or taking steroids, or taking…
Ben: You mean the goat milk and tomatillos.
Adam: Yeah. Even the way you treat your sleep and the lights in your house. And there's so many other things that are natural, that are safe, that are gonna help you first, and I feel like that's the order of operation that we should all strive for first before we add this next bit of performance…
Ben: Yeah. But that's not sexy.
Adam: You're right!
Sal: But you're also you're also, a biohacker, right? This is something you really enjoy. I think experimenting on yourself is excellent. Look. I believe everybody should be able to do what they want to their body. They own it. You're also very educated, and so this is something you do for yourself to see what the effects are so you can report on them which, I think is actually quite responsible.
You have an audience that's gonna listen to you more than they're gonna listen to some other person. But to the average person, average listener that, like on our show and stuff, I mean we're always like, “Look, if you're gonna do anything that's out, that's fringe, that's different, that has nothing to do with food, or exercise, or water, or sleep, and you wanna inject yourself with something, go to the doctor, get prescription testosterone, we know what it does. It'll definitely build muscle. You'll eventually have increased drive. You'll get maybe some negatives too, but we know what they are.” But some of these like research chemicals, it's crazy. You can go on these sites, these research chemical sites, and you can get your hands on all kinds of stuff. You can get your hands on Nolvadex, and Clomid, and all these estrogen blockers, and you can get Arimidex, and all these drugs that are normally scheduled substances.
Ben: Clomid is another one that you hear a lot about. Can you explain what Clomid is? Because wasn't there a UFC fighter that recently got banned for using this Clomid?
Sal: Jon Jones.
Doug: Jon Jones, yeah.
Ben: Why would he have been using that and what is it about Clomid that would allow you to have some kind of a performance enhancing effect?
Sal: So Clomid and Nolvadex are both SERMs. So we just talked about SARMs, right? Selective androgen receptor modulators. A SERM is an estrogen receptor modulator. So very similar, it attaches to the estrogen receptor, and the goal of SERMs is to block the estrogen receptor. Just block it and try not to activate it.
Adam: So more than likely, he wasn't taking…
Ben: To keep me from getting man boobs and weepy during chick flicks?
Sal: Exactly. To prevent the negative effects of all this excess testosterone that might be building up. However, the way that I would speculate that he used it, because they're tested for steroids in the UFC. However, if you take testosterone and you get off in time, by the time the test you, you'll show up okay. Your testosterone levels were back to normal.
However, to get your testosterone levels back to normal can take some time after going off large doses of testosterone. And so one of the ways you can speed up the process is by using a SERM like Clomid, which tricks the body into producing more testosterone quicker. Now a healthy man taking Clomid won't get a boost in testosterone. But if it's low, it does, it can accelerate that revamp of testosterone…
Adam: Typically, that's actually the direction that most doctors, like a hormone therapist. If you were, like let's say your free test is like 200 range or whatever, they typically will…
Ben: Which would be low.
Adam: Yes. It would be low. Like your free range is 300 to 1200 range is kind of what they would say is…
Adam: Normal, yeah. Which is obviously, there's a large range there, but typically people fall in there. And if you're down below that, that's actually the first place they'll go. A hormone therapist will first go…
Sal: And then number two…
Ben: They'll first go to something like Clomid before giving you testosterone?
Adam: They'll try to do it that way.
Sal: Jumpstart your body's system.
Adam: They'll try and do it that way first. And then if it's not bumping you into the normal range, and it depends. Like I've had different hormone therapists that I've met and talked with and because it's kind of a newer industry, really, it hasn't been around that long, so different doctors are more stringent than others as far as how they'll dose, or what they will offer, or what they'll tell you you should take.
But it really doesn't take that much synthetic testosterone to get you into that normal, I mean most bodybuilders, were taking cycles that are much larger than that. But that's a lot of, when I got into it and started competing, that's kind of like most of the bodybuilders. That's what they typically just focus on. That's one other thing, I talked about what I enjoy…
Ben: They typically just focus on…
Adam: The hormones and how much more of this can I take.
Justin: Chemically enhancing themselves.
Adam: Yeah. And so we talk a lot about program design, and nutrition, and the importance of all that where a lot of the locker room talk is “what do you want,” and “how many grams of this are you taking,” and “what do you take after this,” is cycles…
Ben: What do they call it? Gear?
Adam: Yeah. Gear.
Ben: How much gear, what gear are you on?
Adam: Yeah. “What gear are you on,” “what are you taking,” and…
Sal: This is why you look at their routines and they look the same. I mean you look at bodybuilding routines and their workouts are almost identical. It's the same body part split. You start with the compound movement, move to your finishers, get a pump. Nothing really ground breaking with program design.
If you wanna see good program design, you gotta go strength athletes, Olympic lifters, powerlifters, or old time bodybuilders. If you go back before the introduction of steroids, bodybuilders work out very different.
Ben: The guys at the back of MAD Magazine. Those guys?
Sal: Yeah. I mean, you look at like the old routine…
Ben: What are those kinda dumbbells where they're round? They look like balloons on either end of the…
Sal: Oh! Yeah, yeah, yeah. The old school…
Ben: Hoisting those behind the head.
Sal: Oh, man. They had some incredible feats of strength. [0:34:30] ______ . Twist your mustache on the side and you're good to go.
Ben: Exactly. They come up on to the circus and stage right at the girl who rides with one foot on a horse, two horses.
Ben: Yeah. So program design, these old school guys, what were they doing?
Sal: So this is interesting.
Ben: The old timey.
Sal: Old timey bodybuilders. So a while back, so I developed a program and then we worked on some subsequent ones called MAPS, and MAPS stands for muscular adaptation programming system, and some of the basis of that was studying the old time strongman and bodybuilder routines 'cause I found, that I saw that they were very different. The old time strongmen and bodybuilders trained full-body, three days a week. They trained movement much more than muscles.
So it wasn't like they were like, “I'm hammering my bicep,” or “my tricep.” It was like, “I'm pulling in this direction,” or “I'm pushing in that direction.” And these guys, this was before creatine and protein powders, were incredible. They looked incredible, but their feats of strength were mind blowing. I mean you're talking about like Eugen Sandow bent pressing. I don't know if you know what a bent press is. It's a one-arm, kinda side, almost looks like a windmill.
Ben: Not a bench press, a bent press?
Sal: Bent press. This is a one-arm technical press. It's almost like a windmill movement with 300 pounds on one arm. And this is a barbell! It's a long barbell. So these feats…
Ben: So you're like pressing the weight overhead and kinda bending your body to get under the…
Doug: With rotation.
Ben: Yeah. I think I've seen this picture.
Sal: The feat of strength are incredible. The muscle that they built, especially for the time, was incredible. And the workouts were very different. They did full body workouts…
Ben: How do you know?
Sal: Because they had them all written down. Some of them even sold workout plans. So you could buy them and see these old time barbell, dumbbell workout, or whatever. And there were some muscle magazines back then that would publish some of the workouts, and now I'm talking a little later, the 1920's, 30's, 40's. But they didn't train to failure. They did train intensely, but they did a lot of frequency.
So whereas a bodybuilder today may hit chest once a week really hard and hammer the hell out of it, they would do have some kind of a chest movement three or four days a week. They wouldn't go completely to failure and they got great results. And so I played with this type of programming on myself and on clients, and I was blown away, blown away by the results.
Ben: Did you wear the leopard skin?
Sal: I did. That was part of the…
Adam: The Tarzan?
Sal: Absolutely. Yeah. But I was blown away by it.
Adam: The is also the evolution of the trigger sessions too, which is a concept that Sal came up with with the original MAPS, which is instead of just hammering the body every single time, is getting these low doses of frequency of just sending that anabolic signal to the muscles.
Ben: How were they getting a good anabolic muscle growth signal without training to failure?
Sal: So this is an interesting, and this is a very good question. It's interesting because the muscle building community has hammered home the fact that you need to go to failure in order to send a muscle building signal, but there's lots of factors that you wanna consider when you're trying to build muscle.
One of them is “are you sending the signal,” and then number two, “are you teaching your body to adapt or are you simply wanting your body to recover each time,” because recovery and adaptation can be two different things. Your body can simply want to heal from damage, and you see a lot of people like this. They go to the gym and they get really sore, they beat themselves up, but there's no progress. They're not adapting. All their body's doing is healing. Heal, beat down, heal, beat down.
What you want is you want adaptation, and for anybody who wants evidence of muscle building without failure, go look at a plumber's forearms, or a mechanics forearms, or go look at somebody who does hard labor. They don't train extremely intense at all. They've been doing it for years, and yet their muscles start to develop from the low levels of frequent stimulation.
Ben: Yeah. But I mean like when I'm working on a, I'll admit I work on a bicycle more than I work on a car, or when I'm screwing something to a wall here in my house, I'll screw, and screw, and screw the screw driver, for example, and my forearms get to the point where they just can't go anymore.
Ben: And then I have to stop and then start up again, or yell at my wife about where the automatic screwdriver is, the drill, but that's not considered to be failure?
Sal: That's different. That's fatigue. I don't know if it necessary, you would call that failure.
Sal: But I think, and what I found with training, 'cause between the three of us, we've probably trained on thousands of clients, going to failure for most people is more intensity than is necessary. And the thing with getting the body to adapt is you wanna send the signal, but you don't want to go beyond what is necessary because now you're tapping into the body's ability to recover. And studies will show that muscle building signal lasts for about 40 to 72 hours.
So if I hit my legs super hard to failure, hammer the crap out of 'em on Monday, by Wednesday even though I'm still sore and I'm still recovering that protein synthesis signal, that muscle building signal fades quite a bit, and so it makes sense to hit it again to send that signal again. And rather than sending one super loud muscle building signal and then let it dampen until the next time you work out, send one that's intense. Don't get me wrong, it's a hard workout, but not quite to that point, but you hit these peaks more often throughout the week and you build more muscle. And it's pretty crazy at how effective that simple philosophy is.
Ben: So you go full body. Let's say, for example, if you were gonna do like kinda like old timey, I-wanna-build-strength routine without spending copious amounts of time in the gym doing eight different types of exercises for my biceps, I'm gonna do a full body three days a week, but I'm not gonna to fail. I'm gonna push hard but not go to complete failure?
Sal: We always say stop about two rep short of failure.
Ben: Would that be like what if you just decide, “Okay, I'm gonna do,” and I wanna ask you like an example of what a full body workout would be here in a second, but would that mean maybe you're going to do your workout without a spotter or somebody to help you out and just basically decide, “Okay, once my own body isn't able to do it anymore, that's when I stop.”
Sal: No. So it takes, when someone starts training this way, it usually takes a few weeks for them to get in tune with what that means for their body but…
Adam: It's really the breaking down of the form. At that moment when you…
Sal: Once you start to know…
Ben: Once biomechanics starts to suffer.
Sal: Yeah. Once it starts to really suffer and you think to yourself like, “I could squeeze out maybe two more reps, and then collapse,” you should stop before. So you stop one or two reps short of that. And then you're able to hit the body more frequently as a result.
Ben: Okay. So walk me through what a typical routine would look like. If I were gonna go into the gym and use one of these old timey routines, or like you, what'd you say MAPS stands for?
Sal: Muscular adaptation programming system.
Ben: And that's kinda like your adaptation of some of these things that you found when studying…
Sal: Yes! And there's a lot to the program. But if you were to do a very basic rundown of a full body routine, very, very simple, first off, you'd wanna, if you were looking for maximum muscle gain and strength, you'd wanna focus on the big compound movements. Your squats, your rows, your pull-ups, your dead-lifts, your overhead press, that kinda stuff. You wanna do maybe one or two exercises per body part, maybe three sets each, and start with the big body parts and go to the small ones.
A typical workout would be like barbell squat, and then a bench press, and then either a pull up or a row, an overhead press, maybe a bicep or tricep exercise, something for your core, and something for your calves if you want to. And that's it. And then you're done. And then you rest on Tuesday or whatever, and you go Wednesday, and you do something very similar, maybe change it up. So rather than doing a back squat, you might do a front squat, or you may do a deadlift or some other hip movements.
Ben: You forgot the part about the old timey putting in the vinyl record. (makes an old parlophone sound effect)
Sal: That's true.
Ben: So on the in-between days, were these guys really just sitting around? ‘Cause we were talking last night about like Dan John.
Sal: Great question.
Ben: I interviewed Dan John, and he's like, “Dude, watch college football games and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in between three days a week, full body workout, and you're gonna get swole.” But in my opinion, for cardiovascular health, and perhaps even boosting recovery, and lymph flow, and blood flow, and everything else, I'm a bigger fan of like sauna, yoga, and walks in the sunshine, and stuff like that on the off days.
Adam: Active recovery.
Ben: What do you do on the off days?
Sal: So couple of things to consider too. When you look at guys that are just, guys and girls that are just big muscular people, many times the information they're gonna give you is probably not going to work for you or for most people because these people tend to be genetically gifted. Their bodies respond very, very, very well to resistance training. So they can hammer their bodies, relax, hammer their bodies, relax, eat peanut butter jelly sandwiches like you said, and they'll build muscle, whereas a lot of us may not build as much muscle or we may gain body fat as a result of resting and eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So that's one thing to consider.
But active recovery is superior to just resting. Now just resting is important too, but if you're just run of the mill sore, if I worked out my legs yesterday and they're little bit sore today, one of the best things I could do is move them again with some low level intensity the following day. It facilitates recovery. It actually sends a very small muscle-building signal, or at least it keeps the one that you sent the day before elevated, and so this active recovery is extremely important when it comes to…
Ben: What do you mean it sends a muscle-building signal?
Sal: Like again, like you worked out yesterday very, very hard, you sent this loud signal to your body to build muscle…
Ben: I did one of these like full body routines you described.
Sal: Yes. The following day, that signal will start to drop a little bit. And they find, they show, again like I said, 72 hours usually, it's down to almost baseline. If the next day, I do some low level activity, and this is the concept of trigger sessions that we put in the MAPS program, if I do some low level activity the next day, target those muscles, hit them with low intensity, get a little bit of a pump, a little bit of a burn, it facilitates recovery, but it also keep that muscle-building signal loud and clear versus resting and letting that signal start to dampen.
And again, here's a great example, if I took two people, or two groups of people, and one group of people I had them do squats very heavily, and then the following days I had them walk, and stretch and do light body weight lunges, and the other group of people they hammered their legs, and then they just bed rest for the rest the week, just lay in bed and don't move, the people on bed rest would lose muscle. They'd lose muscle and strength within a five day, seven day period, even shorter. I mean all of us have experienced that where we had to lay down and not move, or had a cast on for a short period of time. You lose muscle very, very quickly. So that activity the following days, even though it's not the same high intensity, tear-up-your-muscles type activity, definitely contributes to adaptation. It's important.
Adam: What did they say? I think the studies say that it's after 3 days or so of recovery from training atrophy already begins.
Sal: Yeah. I mean the body wants to recover, but it doesn't always wanna build. It's not hard to damage muscle. That's easy. Any idiot can do that.
Ben: Yeah. What about the use of, this is something I've heard, for example, Dr. Rhonda Patrick talk about, the muscle maintenance effect of something like heat. Like the heat shocked protein response and some of the other, I guess like muscle maintenance effects of doing something like sauna and heat on the off days.
Sal: Excellent question. So with heat shocked proteins, to elevate those, you actually need a lot. You need a lot of heat, you need a lot of exposure, but there are some theories out there saying that it could help with building muscle, with recovery. My theory on it is this: when it comes to things like extreme temperatures, cold, and heat, and hot, it's a stress on the body. And if there's one thing that I've learned over the years, it's that stress applied to the body appropriately will elicit an adaptation response, and the body is basically trying to get stronger or tougher, if you will.
Ben: Hormesis, right?
Sal: Exactly. So if I go out and if I go in a sauna too long, I'll exhaust my body's ability to adapt and to recover, and I can damage myself.
Ben: You run out of magazines too.
Sal: Exactly. But if I use heat appropriately and elicit that adaptation response, and over time work my way up, just like you do with exercise, you'll get some adaptations that are favorable to making you stronger and healthier. And there's cultures that have used heat and cold for thousands of years.
I know for myself, I've recently been using sauna and steam room regularly, and I never have before, and evidence of the adaptation is my heat tolerance is dramatically better. Like I can go out in the sun, we live in California. It's pretty hot there. I can handle the sun way better than I could before. I mean, that's a form of adaptation. Something happened.
Ben: Yeah. I do it almost every day now.
Sal: Do you?
Ben: Well, I sweat more, I'm able to handle the heat more, and vascularity goes up too. So you get an increase in nitric oxide.
Sal: You get that vasodilation.
Ben: Yup. There's a few crossover benefits…
Sal: Do you ever alternate with cold.
Ben: What I do with my sauna practice is I'll do the infrared sauna, because the infrared sauna takes a really long time to kinda like heat the sauna up, and then I'll finish up 30 to 40 minutes of that with, I dunno if you guys were running around outside earlier and you saw, but did you guys see the pool house?
Sal: Yeah, we did.
Ben: Yeah. So that pool was at 55 degrees.
Sal: Oh, nice.
Ben: So I'll go out there and jump in that, and do like hypoxic underwater swimming responsibly. No shallow water blackout.
Sal: Can you explain hypoxic breathing for to us?
Ben: So normally, like really good hypoxic training to allow for that big increase in nitric oxide sythase and also an activation of what's called your mammalian dive reflex. So you get a little bit a vagal nerve tone. Normally, you'd be looking at holding your breath until it's pretty uncomfortable. You getting some diaphragmatic contractions like the (makes a breathing sound effect) .
Sal: And you wanna swallow water.
Ben: Right. Exactly. And then you come up for breath, and you recover, and you do it again, and you'd preferably want to do that with a partner just in case you did have shallow water blackout. What I do is kinda like the baby version of that.
So I actually swim back and forth under the water until I feel like I probably should come up for a breath, but before those diaphragmatic contractions begin. And I just go back and forth about 5 to 10 minutes, coming out for a breath when I need to. It's very therapeutic.
Adam: You do this post-sauna? You do the sauna and then head over there?
Ben: Yeah. You feel like you're in mommy's womb, like a little baby. And there's something very therapeutic about water. It's really interesting. And then I get out and I don't get back in the heat, I just allow myself to air dry so my body has to generate some heat. Get some of that brown fat conversion, the adipose tissue to brown fat conversion to activate the metabolically active fat and heat up. But when I am doing a normal dry sauna protocol, because the dry sauna heats you up faster than the infrared sauna does, I'll go dry sauna, the cold shower or cold plunge, back to dry sauna, to cold.
And that's one of the best ways, in my opinion, to get over jet lag. Like when you're travelling a lot, is I'll Google name of the city that I'm in or name of the hotel that I'm staying at, plus the word sauna, or use like the Google Maps “find near here,” and I'll find a sauna and just go do sauna to cold plunge, sauna to cold plunge. Japanese saunas, Turkish saunas, and Russian saunas all typically tend to have a cold pool or one of those little cold showers where, like the old school cold showers where you pull the handle and the water comes out, which is like this big…
Sal: That's ball-shrinkingly cold.
Ben: Yeah. But that's the way that I do the hot-cold.
Justin: Have you messed with cryo at all? Have you done cryotherapy at all?
Ben: Yeah. There's one down the street from my house, and I like it, but I like water. I mean cryotherapy is nice 'cause you don't have to get wet.
Adam: And it's quick.
Ben: You can just put your clothes back on. Always back to back, right. So you do the 3 minutes that they'll let you do, and then you have them measure your skin temperature, and you want the skin temp to get back up to, I think it's 170, and then they'll let you back in. If you do back to back 3 minute sessions, you get a way better cold thermal response.
Adam: That's good to know.
Ben: Like 10 minutes later, I'll be driving down the street just shivering. But I still like water because water, like I mentioned that dive reflex, it activates that. You get the actual compression of the water, the cold against the skin, and from what I understand, that actually deactivates some of the lymph fluid backflow that can occur when you are doing cold without compression. So cold for recovery should be accompanied by compression in an ideal scenario.
Sal: So like massage? What'd you say?
Ben: What do you mean?
Sal: For compression?
Ben: No. What you would do, for example, is you would get compression gear and put ice packs underneath the compression gear. Or you would use water, and you would get in the water and the pressure from the actual water, the hydrostatic pressure from the water, forces the cold up against the muscle.
Sal: Now I would imagine the cold water would probably stimulate that wanting to breathe effect even more. ‘Cause I get that from a cold shower.
Ben: Yeah. That's what you're looking for for vagal nerve tone, which you can increase through freaking like chanting, signing, gargling. There's all sorts of weird things.
Sal: Justin gargles.
Justin: I do that. It's my favorite thing.
Ben: So I wanted to ask you guys, since you are into the whole muscle building thing and we kinda went down that avenue a little bit, you mentioned the word “triggering,” and I wanted to actually ask you what you meant by that. What do you mean when you say “triggering”?
Sal: So triggering, the term triggering in the context that we use it is basically you're triggering a signal to tell the body to adapt in some way. So in this particular case, we're talking about building muscle. So lifting heavy weights intensely triggers a muscle building adaptation, or strength building adaptation. Running long distances would trigger adaptation, improve endurance. So that's the term triggering. But trigger sessions are something that is very unique to some of the programs that we've created, and the concept behind trigger sessions is on the off days, and I'm doing the air quotes here. On the days that you're not in the gym, lifting heavy weight, you are doing short 5 to 10 minute trigger sessions throughout the day, up to three a day, of targeted exercises.
So if you have a particular area that you wanna work on, let's say you want to work on your mid-back or your shoulders, you could target those a little more specifically. What I like to do and what I tend to advocate is a whole body trigger session 'cause I'm trying to, again, facilitate recovery and maintain that muscle-building signal or keep it elevated from the workout that I did the day before. It's very low intensity. All you're aiming for is a little bit of a burn, a little bit of a pump in the muscles.
I recommend using bands 'cause bands cause less damage typically than free weights would. Body weight is okay, but you have to be careful. Some people don't have the ability to recover from body weight trigger sessions. You definitely would. I use them all the time, but beginners I always recommend bands. And so you do this several times a day. So what you're doing essentially is you're getting a little pump in the morning, in the afternoon, and in the evening.
Adam: Real short too.
Ben: So I can keep like a band next to my desk for the days that I'm not doing this full body, three-day-a-week routine, and I could do like some presses, some twists, squats?
Ben: Just basic full body movements, but not to failure. Just like light stuff…
Sal: Just get a little bit of a burn, a little bit of pump. Exactly. And what you notice is you recover faster, you build muscle faster, you burn fat faster…
Adam: Your energy too. You made a comment about the way you feel when you'd come out of the sauna. That's how I feel after a trigger session. Right after you get a little 5, 10 minute, just that light pump…
Justin: Charges you up.
Adam: It is. It's a nice little charge and surge of energy.
Sal: Think of also, obviously you're at a very advanced level. Think about how you can train recruitment patterns. Think about how you can train, like if you're trying to get a very efficient recruitment pattern for a particular movement like a press, like you have an issue packing your shoulder or elevating your press to lockout, what a great way to use a trigger session.
Justin: This is typically how I use 'em because I'm working more on skills, like say I'm working on my overhead press, or I'm working like specifically just on improving my squat depth, or something like that, I could actually focus on that more in those days with light weight, but really work on enhancing that technique.
Ben: Got it. Cool. By the way, I think that's one of the first times that you've talked so far.
Justin: You guys ran the show.
Ben: That's hard when we've got four guys podcasting, so Sal and Adam have talking a lot. Justin, not so much.
Justin: You guys are talking about like hormones and all that. You can have that. I'm not into that.
Ben: You guys are visiting from San Jose. You came up here to Spokane, you'll be here a few days, we'll hopefully go and see the proving ground fights tonight maybe and go have a good time, but when you are on the road like this, how do things change for you? Like as far as your workouts go, are you all bodyweight, hotel room style workouts? Or do you guys have any unique little twist that you do when travel that you think folks should know about?
Adam: Sal’s probably the most anal, wouldn't you say, Justin?
Justin: For sure. Yeah.
Ben: Was Sal the only guy who actually worked out?
Justin: He is. He is the only guy.
Adam: I worked out right before I got on the plane. So that was like, I had to make sure I established that, but yeah. If it's only a couple of days, typically I don't sweat it too hard.
Justin: I feel like when we get a chance to do this, this is just fun for me. We're up somewhere where I've never been before, you get a chance to hang out with you, and even though my workouts and fitness is a priority, that's why we have a program that's called “MAPS Anywhere” where I could do it with my bands inside a hotel room, and I have them with me. I brought 'em. But it becomes less of a priority for me when it's a short trip like this. If we were here for four or five days, I'm not gonna take…
Adam: I definitely have a plan…
Sal: So I drove up, right? So I've made this kinda part of a little vacation. This is kind of the end of it.
Ben: Oh, you drove here?
Sal: I drove, yeah. So I did some kayaking in Lake Tahoe, went to Crater Lake, stopped in Portland, Seattle, now here, and I brought kettlebells with me and about a 5 foot long stick. So I can do tension movements with the stick, do kettlebell movements, and then at the hotels that I'm at, if they have a gym, I'll do workouts.
Ben: What do you mean a stick?
Sal: Literally [0:56:50] ______ . So are familiar with like stick mobility and tension…
Ben: Oh. You mean like a broom stick?
Sal: Yes. Yes.
Ben: Not like a Johnny Appleseed walking stick…
Sal: No, no. Not that.
Doug: You should use it.
Sal: You could use that.
Adam: The old timey training.
Sal: But I'll do like tension movements on it, kettlebell exercises. And I try and do 30 to 45 minutes every single day. And when I go back to my regular workouts, many times, not only have I not lost any performance, many times I've gained performance just 'cause it's different.
Ben: Yeah. And you're probably a little bit rested and recovered.
Sal: Yeah. I mean, I think that's part of it. Maybe even more on the road.
Justin: Well, I find, and I'm curious if you're like this, typically when I find guys like us that are so passionate about what we do, that if I ever do anything, it's normally overtraining. It's normally not letting my body rest, not letting myself recover. So I kind of use these type of trips is that excuse to like, “Hey. You know what? Let's focus on business. Let's enjoy company. Let's kinda rest a little bit.” ‘Cause when I'm home, not to your extent and level, but I'm constantly experimenting with my body, and hammering it on this, and trying that all the time that…
Ben: Yeah. You make me sound like a freak, dude. There's nothing shoved up my ass or in my, I was showing you guy my little nose dildo earlier, my little laser light for my nose. Yeah. What I'd tend to find myself doing when I'm travelling, especially when I know I'm gonna be at like a conference where you wake up in the morning, you wanna to work out, but it doesn't happen 'cause somebody invited you to breakfast, and then the conference goes all day, and then you're planning on working on the evening, but it turns out there's a cocktail hour so you don't make it to that.
My strategy is I just smash it before I go. So then you use that for your recovery. So I'll take one day before I'll go to like a conference, and that'll be a double day where I'll do like a two-a-day, hard morning, hard evening workout. You show up, you recover, and then when you come back, you're fitter a lot of times 'cause you're super compensated.
Justin: And that's exactly how I think I, I mean had a heavy deadlifting and squatting day right before I get up here and I'm still sore from it. So that's the way I look at it.
Ben: Four big muscular guys in my house last night, and my wife had a tiny bowl of chicken. I think I told her either two or three of you, but either way, the chicken actually didn't disappear that quickly. You guys were pretty responsible. You did manage to polish off a couple bottles of organic wine.
Doug: We try to be respectful.
Ben: But, dude, usually I'll see guys like you just like, honestly, last time I was in Dubai, for example, I went out with a couple of Crossfitters over there, and literally I think they ordered all the beef tartar, and everybody had a whole chicken. Like the whole freaking chicken. You know what I'm talking about.
Sal: I do.
Adam: ‘Cause protein's the holy grail, right?
Ben: Yeah. What is it with you guys and protein? ‘Cause I didn't get the impression that you were protein-a-holics like a lot of the bigger guys I've seen.
Sal: Now like anything in bodybuilding, they'll take something that's got some merit and then they apply the whole, “if this much is good, more is that much better,” which is not true with anything. I don't care what it is, and it's not true with protein either. Protein intake, the best studies that we have will show an upper limit of benefit from about 0.7, 0.8 grams per pound of body weight. The guys now…
Ben: 0.7, 0.8 grams per pound?
Sal: Per pound of body weight.
Adam: So less than a 1:1 ratio.
Sal: Less than a 1:1 ratio.
Adam: So if you're a 150 pound female, you don't need a 150 grams of protein.
Sal: And what happens, I mean any more, of course, you can eat 1 gram per pound of body weight. You can eat a little bit more. Is it good for you? Maybe not in the long term as it can give you lots of negative side effects, maybe not. Probably not. Is it gonna give any benefit? No. I think you're missing out on a lot of the benefits of fats, healthy fats, and maybe even carbohydrates for carbohydrate consuming?
Ben: What about like the aging effect of protein, like ammonia build-up, that kinda stuff? Do you guys focus on that at all or?
Sal: When looking at protein, the thing that worries me is this: very, very high protein diets have been losely connected to increased risks of cancer. It does stimulate the mTOR gene at a very high level, which as we know, helps build muscle but also can cause cancer growth. So that's the big one for me. Eating tons and tons of protein all the time consistently, you're probably not doing yourself any benefit. On top of that, these bodybuilders would advocate 2 grams per pound of body weight. Or 2 and a half!
Adam: Some of my peers are doing 3.
Ben: That's like almost three times as much as what you guys would recommend?
Sal: Let's say you're a 200 pound male, that would be eating 400 to 500 grams of protein every single day.
Adam: Many of them eat like this, and you have to, it's hard to get that with whole foods. So then you end up going over to the processed, right? You're eating bars, and you're getting shakes, and this artificial stuff…
Sal: Well, that's why it's been pushed. It's been pushed as truth because the business and companies that run the fitness industry are supplement companies. And they know if they tell you to eat, if you're 150 pound female and they're telling you to eat 300 grams of protein a day, there's no way in hell that you're gonna eat 300 grams of food.
Adam: Yeah. It's like 8 to 10 chicken breasts for a girl.
Sal: Yeah. You're gonna be taking four shakes a day. It just benefits them to promote this myth. A relatively high protein diet, probably safe for the kidneys which filter protein. A super high protein diet? There's no science. There's no studies showing 2 and a half, 3 grams of protein per pound of body weight over the course of 5 to 10 years is safe. And it's probably not. It's probably not good for you.
Ben: There's the idea about aging too, right. Like a protein-restricted modified fasting diet appears to, from what I understand, decrease the…
Sal: Increase longevity.
Ben: Yeah. Decrease the telomere shortening.
Sal: I know intermittent fasting, protein restriction, definitely. Calorie restriction in general. Intermittent fasting gives you a lot of those benefits as well. So if you're an athlete that likes to consume the amount of protein to maximize performance, which again is probably around 0.7, 0.8 grams per pound, still high protein but nowhere near what we've just talked about, you can get a lot of the longevity benefits from some of these studies by simply incorporating fasting, even when you're trying to bulk.
And I even say especially when you're trying to bulk or eating excess calories. It's a good idea to throw that fasting day in there. A matter of fact, we sell a fasting guide. I think we're the only three bodybuilder-type dudes…
Adam: We'd had guys that talk about, “Don't eat.”
Sal: Yeah. That will promote that…
Ben: Fasting. That must've been easy to write. “Don't eat that.”
Adam: I had a commercial for it. It's like all you gotta do is not eat.
Justin: It's crazy.
Sal: But you would be surprised. People I think think that fasting means “don't eat, and then he garbage,” or “don't eat for,” there's different methods of using fasting.
Ben: Wear a toga. Go to the desert. Meditate.
Sal: That's the real way to do it.
Ben: Chase a scorpion.
Sal: That's the legit way to do it. But, yeah. If you fast properly, it'll also improve your sensitivity to protein. So you may not need as much protein as you think. Your body just maybe become inefficient at using 'cause you eat so much of it all the time. Reducing it sometimes might be good.
Adam: Well I really notice this a lot when I switched over. So I went ketogenic about six months for the first time ever, and the biggest takeaway that I had from it, 'cause I still enjoy my carbs, I don't eat a full-blown ketogenic diet now, was it just changed my relationship with carbohydrates and with fats. For so many years as trainers, I mean we've demonized fat. I mean I remember telling clients, “Oh, don't even try and get fat in your diet,” when I first started 15 years again.
Justin: Especially saturated fat. Watch out.
Ben: Broccoli, chicken, and rice.
Ben: Not very much of the rice.
Justin: 6 times a day, by the way.
Adam: Yeah. That was the prescription, and I remember when we first talked about it and I was like, “Why would I ever wanna do that? I eat 4 to 600 grams of carbs and I can still stay lean. I love that,” which allows me all this flexibility and freedom. But when I started to replace all the carbohydrates with fat and reduce, I could feel my skin, my hair, my sleep, I didn't lose strength, I didn't lose energy like I thought. I noticed too that now when I would reintroduce carbohydrates, the responsiveness of my body, now when I would have 50 grams of carbs, I would feel those surges. Where before, I was eating 75 to 100 in almost every meal, and that was just the norm. I really started to notice a difference. I could feel it when I went.
So even though I'm not a full-blown ketogenic person right now and I still incorporate carbohydrates in my diet, I see the huge benefits behind that. This is the type of stuff that we talk about and it's just, we knew that we would be outside the norm being these meathead guys. Normally when guys look at us right away, they just…
Justin: How dare you label us like that.
Adam: But most people do. When they see us, they…
Ben: You're pretty meathead-y. Like half facial hair, little bit of facial hair, little bit of a neckbeard going on over there, we got the traps, sleeve tattoos.
Justin: It’s my best quality.
Sal: So you're a relatively muscular guy, especially for being an endurance, “endurance athlete”. How was your protein intake? If anybody needs to eat higher protein, believe or not, it's probably endurance athletes, I would say.
Ben: Yeah. That's interesting you should ask. I'm actually at about 0.7 grams per pound. Around that range.
Sal: Now do you keep it consistent?
Ben: Around 20 to 30%. But here's the deal. Like I don't freaking count, and everybody thinks that about me, being like the self-quantification biohacking guy that I'm using like cronometer.com or some special app to count everything. Like aside from taking my heart rate variability every morning, I don't quantify that much at all. You guys were at dinner last night, my wife puts out the chicken and the buckwheat wraps, and the vegetables from the garden, and I eat that.
Lord knows I'm not fessed this morning 'cause I just went out to the garden and threw a crap ton of vegetables in the smoothie, and some coconut oil, and made myself a smoothie, and I have no clue how many carbs were in that, or not or how much fat in the coconut oil. Literally, don't tell my wife I told you this, but I just stick my fingers in there, and grab a gob of it, and throw it in the blender. I don't count.
Adam: It's amazing though when you eat like that though, intuitively, when you're just making good, healthy choices. You don't really have to. People are blown away with me 'cause I don't pay attention. When I'm getting ready for a show, totally different. When I have to take myself to an unhealthy place and get to 2, 3% body fat, and it takes, which I'm sure you did the same thing too when you competed. You probably did track and count. But the rest of the year, like who wants to live like that. I wanna be able to have a dinner with you and not be like, “Hold on. Let me pull out my app real quickly.”
Ben: “What are the macros?” Don't be that guy. So I wanna ask you guys, I wanna do the whole cheesy, round table, ask-a-cool-question-towards-the-end-of-the-podcast thing. So make it good, guys.
Adam: No pressure.
Ben: I know this might be tough to be relatively Spartan-esque on, but what's the biggest lie, the biggest myth, or the biggest mystery in the fitness industry that you want to debunk right here, right now that maybe you think flies under the radar.
So, not something like not eating for four weeks is gonna put you into starvation mode, but I dunno. Something maybe folks haven't heard of or something that's really near and dear to your heart.
Adam: Well I think going kinda in that direction of that, there's this big fear of if we don't get food for a certain amount of time that our body…
Justin: You're gonna lose gains.
Adam: Our body's just gonna start metabolizing muscle. And I don't think a lot of people realize that the body does not wanna do that.
Ben: Start peeing out your biceps.
Adam: Yes. People really feel this fear of “as soon as I get done with my workout, I gotta get within 20 minute anabolic window…”
Justin: You gotta get your shake in.
Adam: You gotta get the shake in.
Ben: That's why God made Jamba Juice in health clubs.
Adam: Right? So I think that's probably the biggest one, because maybe this is where I deal a lot with this with bodybuilding, competing, and the 6-Pack bags everyone's carrying around their food in, it's so crucial to get it in when they don't realize how…
Ben: 6-Pack bags tried to sponsor my show, and I told them that they…
Sal: 6-Pack, have you listened to my show?
Ben: I told them I'm like, “I don't carry food barely ever.” Because I eat when it comes in handy, and otherwise I'm just going a long period of time between meals, including my workout.
Adam: Well, I think you, and I dunno if it was dinner you mentioned this, or maybe it was one of the interviews I was listening to you do, but you did. You mentioned. Like an example, like when we travel, a lot of times, I'll just not eat. I just won't eat for a while.
Ben: And we're like okay with that.
Adam: And I don't come back home with 10 pounds less muscle on me. And in fact, I feel great. And I think that's the big thing that we like to really debunk is that you can be very muscular, you can be strong, and you don't have to be stuffing your face with food all the time.
Doug: And everybody wants flexibility. Talk about the ultimate flexibility when you can just say, “Well, I don't have to eat right now.” It's not like I have to venture out and find this very specific restaurant right now to fit my needs. Like I can actually go without.
Ben: Honestly, dude, like going ketogenic on international flights. That's one of the…
Sal: Good luck.
Ben: ‘Cause you just don't eat. You just sit there, you watch your movie, you drink some water. It simplifies life too.
Justin: It does! There's so much less stress when you, if I ever hear anybody complain like in the competing world, or there are people that are so focused on their aesthetics is, “Oh my God. We have go pull over and go get this.” Like why? You know how much more benefit you get actually for just not doing that? You'll get more benefits if you actually probably skip this meal.
Ben: The gas station stop for the beef jerky and macadamia nuts so you can stay swole?
Adam: You're sedentary anyways. Your body is not needing very much fuel right now. There's no need to go fuel it. And so I think that's something that we try to press, and I try to talk a lot about that you can be buff and you don't gotta eat all the time. In fact, I think that's gotten us, as a population in general, in a lot of trouble. I think that's, we're just a bunch of carb addicts, man. We're just addicted to the sugar and that instant rush of carbohydrates. It's not essential. Carbs aren't. We don't necessarily need them.
Ben: That wasn't very Spartan-esque. Okay, Sal. Biggest myth?
Sal: Biggest myth? We covered protein intake, we covered frequent eating being a myth. I think in the muscle building world, one of the biggest myths is that in order to build particular body parts, especially the arms and the legs, that single joint exercises do them great, when in fact you probably never need to do a curl again if you do you really good pull-ups and rows.
Ben: I just sold my preacher curl bench on Craig's List now.
Sal: Waste your time. Yeah. That would be the biggest one. Focus on movement and skill, and then focus on muscle. Not the other way around. Learn how to get good at movements, and you'll build all the muscle you want.
Ben: It's like my underground go to exercise for bigger biceps. I dunno if you guys saw the keg in my garage. One of go-to workouts, I carry that around my house 10 times.
Adam: Do you really?
Ben: You just set it down in between, do some mobility exercises, pick it back up, carry it around.
Sal: Well, here's something I've noticed, not to go off topic, but you have a very muscular forearms and hands. And this, aside from being very attractive [1:11:53] ______ . I'm not saying you switch hands.
Justin: Wow. Double pumper, huh?
Sal: But when you look at people who have what I like to call real world strength, that's what you always notice is their hands and their forearms 'cause that's what connects you to the world. There's a lot of guys and girls who are very muscular, weak hands, weak forearms, not very good carry over to the real world. They can't grab anything.
Justin: You're not using wrist wraps, right?
Ben: Can't milk a goat for longer than a minute. Seriously.
Sal: Is that what you call it?
Ben: Yeah. Exactly.
Adam: That's what you call it?
Ben: No. I actually have goats and I do milk, but I mean that too. Justin?
Justin: Yeah. So I think for me it's really just the over intensity factor. Being an athlete and the coming from that background, just always wanting to exceed and get to that max exertion, that was always just my focus, whereas maybe doing that in spurts and planning it out better where I do that, maybe three times a week. But I'm doing a low to moderate day in between. That was like earth shattering for me.
Ben: You don't have to crawl out of the gym out…
Justin: You don't have to beat yourself up so hard to get what you want. Like there's a way to adapt and train your body to get better results without having to hammer yourself.
Ben: You're destroying everybody's Pukey The Clown murals.
Justin: I will take a dump on Pukey The Clown.
Ben: And that will be the title of today's podcast.
Adam: I love it.
Ben: How to take a dump on Pukey The Clown. Hey, thanks guys! Thanks for coming up.
Sal: Appreciate having us.
Ben: I'm looking forward to getting to know you more, to give in a few listens to the Mind Pump Podcast.
Ben: Is it mindpump.com?
Ben: What'll happen if you go to mindpump.com?
Adam: If you literally Google Mind Pump…
Justin: The internet'll explode, probably.
Ben: ‘Cause if you, bengreenfield.com used to be, literally some guy, I'm totally not kidding, bent over, wearing a pair of shortie shorts, and up right above him it said, “Enter bengreenfield.com.” Like it was that bad. I think it's changed since then, but it was my bane for a while. That's why I have bengreenfieldfitness.
Justin: That's amazing.
Sal: Mindpumpmedia is similar. You just go, it's got all of our programs on there, and it breaks down the show, talks a little bit about us. Our show, very informative. It's also comedy, we're also in the comedy category. It's very raw. It's a very…
Ben: Old timey!
Sal: Don't listen to what gets around 'cause it's a little explicit.
Adam: Yeah. We've been coined as the Howard Stern of fitness. But don't worry. We're gonna get you on there real soon here.
Justin: I think so.
Doug: Grill you a little bit there, buddy.
Ben: Okay. I'm game. I'll bring my Howard Stern wig. [1:14:25] ______ with you guys. Hey, thanks for coming on, you guys.
Sal: Thanks, Ben.
Adam: It was fun, man.
Sal: Appreciate it.
You’ve been listening to the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast. Go to bengreenfieldfitness.com for even more cutting edge fitness and performance advice.
Meet the guys from MindPump podcast.
The hosts – who traveled all the way up from San Jose to descend upon my my house in Spokane, Washington to record this podcast – claim to “pull back the curtain on the mythology, snake oil and pseudo-science that pervades the fitness industry and present science-backed solutions that result in increased muscular development and performance while simultaneously emphasizing health.”
Take a gander at these fellas…as they seem to have the body composition and transformation equation pretty well figured out. They include…
Sal was 14 years old when he touched his first weight and from that moment he was hooked. Growing up asthmatic, frequently sick and painfully skinny, Sal saw weightlifting as a way to change his body and his self-image. In the beginning, Sal’s body responded quickly to his training but then his gains slowed and then stopped altogether. Not one to give up easily, he began reading every muscle building publication he could get his hands on to find ways to bust through his plateau. He read Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, Mentzer’s Heavy Duty, Kubrick’s Dinosaur Training, and every muscle magazine he could find; Weider’s Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Iron Man and even Muscle Media 2000. Each time he read about a new technique or methodology he would test it out in the gym. At age 18 his passion for the art and science of resistance training was so consuming that he decided to make it his profession and become a personal trainer. By 19 he was managing health clubs and by 22 he owned his own gym. After 17 years as a personal trainer he has dedicated himself to bringing science and TRUTH to the fitness industry.
Adam Schafer is a IFBB men’s physique Pro and fitness expert. Adam made his entrance into the fitness world 14 years ago and has continued to send shock waves throughout the community ever since. He is a man of many talents who wears many hats. He is first and foremost a certified fitness expert who has an insatiable desire to help people in need of major lifestyle changes and daily accountable motivation. He is also incredibly driven entrepreneur and business minded individual with a vision that continually challenges his colleagues and peers to think bigger and achieve more.
Justin has an incredible passion to disrupt the personal training industry and create ground breaking programs and tools that fitness professionals and clients alike can benefit from. The fitness industry in general needs a massive face lift to speak more to the generation growing up with a more advanced technology tool kit. Justin’s approach is to create programs that utilize technology as it advances and cut through the millions of options people face everyday when seeking specific information relating to their fitness needs. The great thing about where we are today is how easy it is to access information, the bad part about accessing all this information is how much misinformation is out there to weed through. As a health and fitness professional with a proven track record here in the heart of the Silicon Valley, Justin Andrews will keep working tirelessly to keep people educated and connected to quality personal trainers long into the future.
Doug received his first gym membership as a gift from his dad when he was 16 years old. Rocky III had just come out and he was determined to build a body like Stallone. It never happened. Despite following the advice of muscle magazines and busting his butt in the gym, Doug saw minimal gains over the next 30 years. Then he was introduced to Sal Di Stefano by his chiropractor who recommended he work with Sal to eliminate muscle imbalances that were causing lower back issues. Sal’s unique approach, often 180 degrees different from what Doug had read in books and magazines, produced more results in a matter of months than he had experienced in the 30 years prior. Doug with an extensive marketing and media production background, recognized Sal’s unique gift and perspective was missing from the fitness world and suggested that they should join forces. Doug and Sal have since produced life-altering programs such as the No BS 6-Pack Formula and MAPS Anabolic. Doug is very pleased to have the opportunity to work with Adam and Justin as Producer of MindPump.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-Why bodybuilders are traveling to Kuwait and mysteriously coming back with 20+ pounds of extra muscle…[17:00]
-The truth about underground muscle building supplements like SARMS, Clomid, injectable testosterone and more…[23:20 & 30:10]
-Why old-timey strength training protocols could be the best way to build strength compared to new-school bodybuilding protocols…[34:00 & 41:00]
-How to do an “anabolic triggering session”…[52:00]
-Why you need far less protein than you think…[59:30]
-The biggest myths in the fitness industry…[67:40]
-And much more…