[Transcript] – Women’s Weightlifting 101, How To Avoid Getting Too Bulky, Hormone Imbalances In Fit Females & More.

Affiliate Disclosure

Transcripts

Podcast from:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/2015/09/womens-weightlifting-101/

[00:00] Introduction/Kimera Koffee & Natural Force

[04:09] About the Stephanie Gaudreau

[13:34] Crossfit & Weightlifting

[22:11] Cardio in Weightlifting

[26:37] Stephanie’s Program

[36:40] Meditation with Headspace

Get The Low Carb Athlete - 100% Free!Eliminate fatigue and unlock the secrets of low-carb success. Sign up now for instant access to the book!

[42:51] Human Body According to Women

[57:18] Foods That You’ve Been Eating Wrong

[1:05:10] Origin of “Harder To Kill”

[1:10:40] End of the Podcast

Ben:  Hey, it’s Ben Greenfield.  Welcome to this podcast episode with Stephanie Gaudreau of Harder to Kill Radio.  Before we jump into this episode, I want to tell you a couple of things.  First of all, I just posted up to Instagram a photo of me doing something that you’ll find me doing quite often these days, and that is carrying a big ass bucket full of sand up and down my driveway, a hundred and twenty five yards down, a hundred and twenty five yards back.  And I roll out of bed to do the workout like that.

I need something to get my eyeballs popping out my head.  What I use is this stuff called Kimera Koffee.  You can check them out at kimerakoffee.com.  That’s KIMERAKOFFEE.com.  This is not just any old coffee.  Sure it’s grown at a high altitude.  It’s got a good content of complex deep, flavorful beans, but more importantly, it has a blend of herbs and nootropics in it like Alpha GPC, L-Theanine, DMAE and Taurine which you know all about if you like to biohack cognitive performance.  If you’ve never done that before, then you need to see what it feels like to blend coffee with those compounds, so check it out, kimerakoffee.com.  This stuff is unlike any coffee you’ve ever tasted before, and you can use code “Ben 10”.  That’s “Ben 10” at kimerakoffee.com.

This podcast is also brought to you by Natural Force.  Natural Force is a supplements company.  They make a bunch of pre and post-workout blends along with the same blend that I used last year when I raised the Hawaii Ironman.  Their Iskiate blend which is based on chia seeds and the original recipe used by the Tama Mohare Indian tribe which you may have read about in the book “Born to Run”.  Anyways, they’ve got this new stuff too, and I’ve been putting it in my smoothies.  It’s called Primal Peptides.  It’s a Collagen protein booster that has really high bioavailability in terms of the amino acids that it delivers to your body.  It can help out with joint pain and joint function.  It’s a good boost of proteins without getting a ton of calories.  Ten grams of protein per serving, and you can drop it into smoothies, coffee, tea, pretty much any beverage that you want for an added protein boost.  So that one’s called Primal Peptides.  You can check out Natural Force at bengreenfieldfitness.com/naturalforce.  That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/naturalforce, code “Ben 10”, the same one as you can use in kimerakoffee.com.  Gets you 10% off all supplements.  Alright I’ll shut up now, and let you listen in to Stephanie.  Let’s rock.

In this episode of The Ben Greenfield Fitness Show:

“It’s a testament to the training.  You don’t always have to max out to see improvements and to increase your strength or your skill, and I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong, especially folks that try to program for themselves.”  “How do we get women to embrace other ways of training that are actually, scientifically, physiologically better for them, and how do we do that despite the preponderance of messages from the media.” “Are there ways to build people that are more resilient, and I think the answer is yes.”

Ben:  Alright, ladies and I guess gentlemen who have a lady in your life, today’s podcast is pretty much all catered and customized to you.  If you’ve ever wondered what kind of weight training program you should be doing to do anything from get stronger, to get a sexy body, to look better in your clothing of choice then we’re going to be talking about that in today’s episode.  We’re going to talk about how women can avoid bulking up, common hormone imbalances in fit females, why so many crossfitting ladies can eventually get such funky looking abs, a lot of little crucial elements of women’s weightlifting 101, and pretty much everything that you need to know when it comes to being a lady, getting strong, weight training, and don’t worry guys, we’ve got plenty in today’s episode for you as well.

My guest is Stephanie, and Stephanie, I do not want to butcher your last name, so I’m going to let you jump in right now after I give an attempt.  I’m going to throw out a guess here, and say it’s Gaudreau.

Steph:  Yup, there you go.  You win.

Ben:  Did I nail it?

Steph:  You nailed it.

Ben:  Sweet.  Stephanie Gaudreau.  So let me tell you all a little bit about Stephanie.  She’s got an education in Biology and Human Physiology, she’s got twelve years of science-teaching experience.  That means that she doesn’t just hang out at a gym as a gym rat.  She’s actually spent some time in the textbooks too.  Holistic Nutrition Training, she has a certification in that.  She’s got a blog that you may have seen before called Stupid Easy Paleo, I love the name, at, and you guessed it, stupideasypaleo.com.  She’s competed in everything from endurance mountain biking to crossfitting to weightlifting.  She actually coaches weightlifting at Crossfit Box in San Diego, and she’s actually coached crossfitting in gyms all over the place from Scotland to Southern California.

Stephanie has a couple of books, one of which I own with is her “Performance Paleo Cookbook”.  The subtitle of that is “Recipes for Eating Better, Getting Stronger & Gaining the Competitive Edge”, she’s also got the book “The Paleo Athlete: A Beginners Guide to Real Food for Performance”.  I’m not paleo as many of you know, but I still enjoyed her books and we’re going to talk a little bit about her cooking and meal planning philosophy as well.  And she has a podcast, her podcast title is awesome.  It’s called “Harder to Kill”, “Harder to Kill Radio”, and over on that podcast, she basically talks about how to build unbreakable humans.  So Stephanie, first of all, thanks for coming on the show.  Or should I call you Steph?

Steph:  The only person that calls me Stephanie is my mom, so Steph is great.

Ben:  That’s kind of like me with Benjamin and Ben.

Steph:  You only get called your full name when you’re in trouble.  Thanks so much for having me on, I’m really excited.

Ben:  Yeah, I’m stoked to have you on the show.  And obviously you’re ripped, and you know what you’re talking about.  I’ll put a photo of you on the show notes for this episode.  If any of you are listening in and you want to go get the show notes and delve into any of the resources that Steph and I wound up talking about etcetera, you can find all the show notes for this episode over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/hardertokill.  So Steph, I was going through your Amazon bio and some information about you, and I was able to dig up the deep, dark and dirty secret that you used to be called Sea Elephant back in, I believe in elementary school.  Can you explain why you used to be called the Sea Elephant?

Steph:  Yeah, so Sea Elephant is another name for an elephant seal, and these are giant creatures, not so lean if you will. (laughs)  Protected well against the cold of the ocean, but there was a group of three of us.  We were pretty close friends, and this is around the time where having nicknames after animals is kind of a cool thing.  So the two of my friends and I kind of came up of nicknames, then they nicknamed me that.  And they were named after pandas and all sorts of other cute and fuzzy things. And I think it was just kind of an ode to the fact that I was not the most light of individuals when I was a kid, and I did struggle with my weight quite a bit as I was growing up, and that really influenced a lot of what I do and how I see myself in fitness and what it means to be healthy now.  So Sea Elephant made me no longer, but I mean at the time, I did take it poorly.  It was all kind of a nice pet nickname amongst very good friends, but certainly contextual if somebody else called me that, I probably would have gotten pretty upset.

Ben:  So what you’re saying is you didn’t necessarily start of genetically gifted, so to speak, with the nickname like Sea Elephant? But at some point obviously along the road, you got pretty interested in either getting a better body or getting stronger or both.  What exactly happened?

Steph:  Sports were always really important to me growing up, and one of my sisters, she’s really close in age to me.  When we were younger we used to take dance classes and do soccer practice and all that stuff.  After a while, I think I was probably about fifth grade maybe a little bit younger.  My mom kind of gave us an ultimatum and said alright, you either need to pick dance or soccer.  You do both, it’s at the time, I come from a very kind of lower middle class family.  There wasn’t a lot of extra money, and they’re just running the kids around, four kids in the family.

Ben:  Incidentally by the way, that happened to me too.  My parents made me choose between tennis, basketball, baseball, soccer, etcetera in ninth grade.  They put their foot down, and said hey, you got to pick one, so I picked tennis.

Steph:  Yeah, cool, and so that’s what I did.  I picked soccer, and my sister picked dance, and it was interesting to see how we diverged throughout high school.  She became a cheerleader and did that sort of took that path, and I took the path of more traditional sports.  So played soccer, ran track and eventually got into martial arts and then ended up becoming a mountain biker later on, but throughout all that, sports was a way for me to have some control over the way I looked and control over my body.  And then when I’d finished high school, I had to get a job and went to college, all these things.  You go from playing high school sports to not being good enough to be a walk-on and make a team in college and what not, and so I kind of stopped exercising.

And I remember going through pictures of myself for my graduation party at my mom’s house, and I found this picture of me and I thought oh my gosh, what have I become?  You know I was really overweight, and I just said then and there, there’s a gym down the street from my mom’s house.  I had never gone to a gym before aside from doing maybe some random bench presses during gym class in one semester in high school, and I rode my bike down to the gym and I said I’m going to figure this stuff out, and that kind of lead me in a way down this path, but I did some kind of gym racks, straight chaining were bodybuilding type stuff.  I was never very serious into it, but it did help me to get my fitness and myself back on track, and then soon after that, I started mountain biking, and so my pursuit really left the gym and went outdoors.

Ben:  So at some point, where did you discover crossfit because obviously, you’ve gotten into that pretty hardcore?

Stephanie:  So it was 2010, I had just finished a season of XTERRA Triathlon, so offroad tri, and I was still doing endurance mountain biking at the time, and a friend of mine basically dared me to try a crossfit.  I said fine, so I did a workout in my garage and thought this hurts in a much different way than going out and doing a 12-hour solo race does, but there’s something strangely fond about it.  So I walked into my local crossfit gym and asked them a bunch of questions, then I started, and that kind of precipitated this path that I’ve been on now.  Ironically I don’t actually crossfit anymore, I’m strictly on the weightlifting side of things, but I did for three and a half years.  I did compete, and it put my focus and energy into that.  But when I left my teaching job to start my own business, doing the competitive level of crossfit that I needed to stay in the mix was just way to much stimulus for me.  I’m thirty competing with twenty year-olds.  So the training was too much, the stress was too much for me, and so I just decided to back off and do strength training and weightlifting, and frankly that’s the part that I always like the best about crossfit anyway.

Ben:  Well for people who don’t really understand, what’s the difference between crossfit and weightlifting?

Steph:  Yeah, so crossfit is really the merging of a few different types of athletics.  So you have stuff like endurance training so you might grow out, and one day he might run a 5K, or you might do a 2K row or something like that.  It’s mixed with high-intensity type of interval training, so you might do everything from box jumps to shooting a wall ball at a 10-foot target to pull ups, and then there is an aspect of strength training that’s also mixed into it, so you’ll learn how to squat and deadlift and do Olympic weightlifting, power cleans, and power snatches, and then there’s also some gymnastics added in there, I mention pull ups and muscle ups and that sort of stuff.  So it’s really a very diverse type of training where you’re doing a little bit of everything.  Weightlifting.

Ben:  No, go ahead.  Yes, proceed with your explanation of weightlifting.  Sorry.

Steph:  Right, so weightlifting is based on the sport of Olympic-style weightlifting which is where you learn how to do two main lifts.  One called the snatch, which is where you take a barbell from the floor to overhead in one movement, very explosive, very powerful, very fast.  And then the other being the clean-and-jerk which is where you take a barbell from the floor to your shoulder, and then in a second movement from shoulder to overhead.  Again you have to be very, very powerful, very strong but very explosive as well, so it’s a much more specific discipline than just crossfit.  Olympic weightlifting is a component of crossfit, but weightlifting in itself is its own sport.

Ben:  Now, I don’t know how much of like a geek you are when it comes to things like self-quantification, but I’m curious because I work for WellnessFX.  What that means is every Thursday is my consul day, so I sit down and I go through bloodwork of a handful of individuals who have done WellnessFX blood panels, and they frankly send me a lot of their crossfitters and their triathletes and stuff like that, and I do tend to see hormonal dysregulation, high levels of inflammatory CRP and some internal biomarker dysregulation in people who are doing a lot of metcon combined with weightlifting like crossfit.  I’m curious, have you noticed anything, either qualitatively or quantitatively in making a transition from something like crossfit to weightlifting?

Steph:  Yeah, so in terms of the self-quantification stuff, I haven’t done a lot of my own biomarker studies and stuff like that.  Actually I recently had a DEXA scan done, so I thought it was pretty interesting information for me, but in terms of really super specific drilling down blood work, I haven’t done anything in recent memory.  But I did recently have the DEXA.  It’s interesting, so I used to race endurance mountain bikes, and I’d be out in the road doing hours and hours of writing a day and what not, but I used to use heart rate stuff quite a bit back then, and I’m getting a little bit more interested in weaving that HRV stuff back into my training now.  It’s interesting I’ve been doing weightlifting for so long, and I’m pretty [17:00] ______ to know when I’m not recovered ’cause the first thing that tends to go for me is my speed under the bar, and so I’ve just come to know that, but I think for a novice, it’s a really powerful tool.  The hormonal stuff and what I’ve noticed of my own body qualitatively is my muscle mass has shifted.  I used to be, this term but jacked.  I used to be a lot more jacked especially in my upper body because the training, some sets of crossfit is much higher.  So you’re doing a lot more volume at a lighter to a more moderate weight.  If my mass, I don’t know shoulder to overhead, is 65 kilos, I can’t do that for 40 reps, but I could probably do 45 kilos for that many reps.

So in crossfit you’re seeing lighter to more moderate weight, but lifted at a much heavier volume than what we do in weightlifting.  So you tend to get a little bit more of the testosterone response in something like crossfit, high intensity type stuff compared to something that’s more like weightlifting.  I get up, and I do one to three reps or something, and I sit down and rest.  More ATP-dependent that something like crossfit where you’re going for anywhere from, I don’t know, 3 to 20 minutes just kind of depending on what kind of workout you’re doing.  So you’re definitely having a much more glycolytic demand there.  So I’ve noticed for myself, and again this is just kind of qualitative but, I know that my cortisol that I feel less stressed, and I’m actually leaner around my belly button area than I was when I was stepping away from crossfit.  So I know it’s definitely a high-cortisol environment and then just kind of on the hypertrophy side, there is much more hypertrophy for me in crossfit compared to weightlifting.

Ben:  Yeah, I think that’s what a lot of, especially women, have a hard time wrapping their heads around is this concept of protein breakdown and protein synthesis, right? When you do something very catabolic, when you damage muscle fibers and you send them into basically a World War II state following something like a wod, the response to that as most people know is protein synthesis, right?  You rest and recover from that kind of catabolic activity, and you get satellite-cell proliferation and you get a bunch of new muscle fibers in either their size or their number being laid down, and you get hypertrophy, and you get, in many cases assuming you’ve got enough calories present, you get bulking.  And even though it seems counterintuitive when you shift from that to something more like what you’re doing like very, very low rep, higher weight, less catabolic, more power-based, you can get a response that isn’t quite as much of a hypertrophy, anabolic, muscle-building response, and you almost get more of a toning effect, counterintuitively to what you’d think would cause the toning which would be like Gwyneth Paltrow-esque, like 20 to 25 reps.  I think it’s really interesting, and it’s interesting that your personal experience with that because I’ve said that before in a podcast and when we were just like no, no I will bulk up.  I got to do the metcon stuff, and It’s like metcon stuff, unless you’re literally starving yourself and at a pre-severe protein deficit, you’re going to bulk up.

Steph:  And I think that’s such a common thing too.  I mean there are so many higher-level athletes.  Just watch the crossfit games, and first of all, these people are in competitive season.  They’re absolutely shredded because they’re depleted in a lot of cases.  Their nutrition isn’t quite where it needs to be in terms of choleric intake and or macronutrients.  Put it like you said, getting enough protein, getting enough carbohydrate to get decent glycogen replenishment.  All of this stuff is so important, and when you asked that question about why do crossfit women have abs that look like that?  And it’s because it’s purely a function of their training when you really break it down.  They’re doing essentially almost bodybuilding type protocols, like they’re doing those moderate to higher rep types of ranges, then somebody is just going to go do a starting strength program, a Wendler 5/3/1.  They’re just going to do some Olympic weightlifting and maybe work up where you’re doing a set of 5 or 6 of your warm-up weight.  We always joke that’s our cardio because we do sets of five, and make the weight moderate enough.  You’re going to actually get a pretty good cardio beginning to your workout, but yeah, it’s really interesting we still have that fear of bulking up, and it’s really just not understanding.  You know, even when I tell people I’m a weightlifter, they’re like oh, so you compete in bodybuilding?  And I’m like totally different.

Ben:  Way, way different.  Now what about cardio like in terms of both looking after things like your cardiovascular fitness or your heart health and also looking at things like calorie-burning and things of that nature? Where does cardio fit in for you in the type of weightlifting protocol you’re doing now?

Steph:  I don’t do any extra cardio on top of what I’m doing now, simply because I’m really after making sure that I’m maintaining my muscle mass.

Ben:  Now when you say extra cardio, you mean anything in addition to just the cardiovascular response you’re getting from weight training and the warm-up and cool-down therein?

Steph:  Correct.  Yeah, I mean some people will do some rowing or they’ll do some steady stay, stuff like that.  I just don’t right now ’cause my schedule’s pretty packed as it is, but it’s interesting.  I’ve had some times where I’ve had to, I don’t know.  You’re out playing around and you’re running or doing whatever, and as a weightlifter you kind of think wow, I mean I probably couldn’t go out and run a half-marathon right now without being pretty messed up, but I can run.  I can do those types of cardio things even though I don’t specifically train for that sort of stuff.  So I don’t do anything above and beyond whatever I get from weightlifting, and like I said, sometimes that’s working up to sets of 10 or whatever it is, and you start to sweat and get out of breath pretty quickly doing that sort of stuff.  And so there is, I think, a lot of overlap.  Certainly as I mentioned if you’re going to try to go out and run PR half marathon time, it would seem a little ridiculous to not do any training for that, but hey, if I’m going to try to run away from something, I think I’m going to be okay.

Ben:  Or if you just want to maintain a decent body and appropriate body fat percentages and things of that nature.

Steph:  Yeah, well it’s really interesting.  So a lot of people think well, okay you need to try to lean out, and so a lot of weightlifters when they’re getting close to competition season, and let’s say they’re hovering right around where their weight class is, they may decide to weave in some steady stay cardio stuff a couple times a week, simply to just get a little edge there and reducing body fat a little bit, but I think it’s really interesting what a lot of folks consider ultra-lean to be ultra-healthy, and for a lot of people, that’s not actually the case.  Especially for women, so we’re bombarded with these images of women with 10% body fat or they’re in their figure competition season, and they’re not going to stay that way forever, but for some reason, we’re lead to believe that this is the optimal body composition for a female, and it’s pretty interesting the type of training that I do and my diet and making sure my other life factors are in order.  My sleep, stress levels, meditation all that stuff.  I’m probably leaner than I was 10 years ago, and that’s not with actually doing any more extended endurance or steady stay cardio stuff.

So you will see in weightlifters do that when they’re getting especially close to competition if they need to get down a little bit, and you know, you don’t want to cut too much water weight especially in the sport of weightlifting because we only have an hour between the time we weigh in and when we start to compete, two hours.  It’s not like MMA where they get a 24-hour replan, so they’re cutting down 20, 30 pounds, and then they’re stepping on the scale and then they’ve got 24 hours to try to re-hydrate and get a little bit of nutrition on board.  For weightlifters and power lifters in that sort of competition type of stuff that we do, we don’t have that time, so it’s a very delicate balance between if you’re going to do a cut, trying to reduce maybe a little bit of body fat leading up and going a little bit easy on the water cut, but that was a really long-winded way of saying that I don’t really do much cardio unless it’s getting close to the time of competition, and I’m like yeah, I could stand to maybe get down a kilo and be a little bit more comfortable.  But right now, I mean I compete at 69 kilos, and today when I weighed myself, I was 69.4.

Ben:  So odd for an American to talk in kilos, only the weightlifters.  Let’s delve into specifics because a lot of women may be listening in wondering, okay well for someone to stay lean, maintain good cardiovascular fitness etcetera with a weightlifting protocol, are they weightlifting two hours, three hours, four hours a day? Are they living in the gym? What’s the warm-up, what’s the cool-down look like?  So can you kind of delve into specifics and walk us through what kind of like a typical training block, like a week’s training block would look like for you?

Steph:  Yeah, absolutely.  So at most I train four days a week.  That’s a function of a couple of different things, and I’ve been weightlifting for five years, so again I know myself better than I used to, but I work with a really great coach, and we train in the same gym.  So he sees me train, and he can adjust my programming as necessary, but at this point, I know even from my days of doing endurance stuff, running, mountain biking, whatever.  I don’t do super well with volume.  I don’t do well with high-volume weeks, especially stacked back to back with one another.  I’m pretty cognizant of my nutrition, my sleep, and all these other factors.  So it’s not like I’m sleeping four hours a night and eating like crap and then wondering wow, why am I not recovering?

So all things considered, all that stuff’s pretty great, but even when I was doing other types of training, high volume stuff didn’t work for me.  So at this point, I know I can get a pretty good response out of three to four days a week, so what that looks like for me is  generally, and it can vary, but generally Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday in the gym so I’ll go in.  I’ll do some foam rolling, I’ll do some dynamic warm-up stuff, kind of moving through different ranges of motion.  I’ll grab up an empty barbell, do some more specific type of movements to just get loose and kind of drill those movement patterns, and then it’s straight into the workout.  That could look like on an average day, we generally do higher skill stuff at the beginning of the workout, simply because we’re fresher, and we’re going to actually be a bit more coordinated.  We haven’t fatigued ourselves, and in the snatch and the clean and jerk, it’s a strength exercise, but it has a high scope component to it.

So we do those types of specific skill things at the beginning, and then the end of the workout is generally strength-based, so some type of squatting, whether it’s front squats or back squats, some RDL work, so Romanian deadlifts.  We don’t do a lot of traditional, standard deadlifting simply because that stimulus is so potent because if you’re going to lift pretty heavy with a conventional deadlift, you know you could be…  My max deadlift is a hundred and forty five kilos, so if I was training I might be lifting anywhere from 120 to 130, and that’s a significant neuroendocrine response and it’s a significant CNS demand, and the recovery time from that is quite high.  So we do other things to strengthen posterior chain like RDLs because you just can’t move as much weight, and then some stretching at the end.  So on average, it probably takes me an hour and a half between the warm-up and the cool-down and what not, but that’s three or four times a week.

Ben:  Right, so an hour and a half.  Around four days per week of relatively neuroendocrine and central nervous system demanding type of activity, right?  Again not anything like elastic bands and pink covered concrete dumbbells.

Steph:  No, and you know, it’s depending what I’m doing, I’m night do some other accessory stuff, some strict pull-ups or strict dips, just working some extra strength stuff, but generally yeah.  It’s not swinging the 2-pound kettle bell and doing a bunch of that kind of training, and for me, it looks like one to five reps, and depending on the movement I don’t know, 7 to 10 sets perhaps, but that includes all the warm-up sets that go along with it.  So I might be doing two sets, like last week I back squatted two sets at my 90%, so those were my work sets.  So that was a hundred and twelve kilos, it’s pretty heavy, and I definitely felt it.  Four or five days later, I could tell I was still a bit fatigued from that sort of thing, so it’s really interesting.  We don’t really go to max all that often especially on our accessory movements like our squatting, our strength stuff.  About once a year, I’ll test my max to see where I’m at, and after a full year of not going to max and working probably anywhere between 70 to 85% for those different sets like say back squatting.  Every year, I’ve PR, so it’s a testament to the training.  You don’t always have to max out to see improvements and to increase your strength or your skill, and I think that’s where a lot of people go wrong, especially folks that try to program for themselves.  Or they’re new, and they’re just like I need to go to the gym five days a week or six days a week and lift heavy all of those days.  I mean it’s a fast train to burnout and over-training and injury.

Ben:  Now what about in the times that you are not engaged in the hour and a half long weight training routine? Are you metabolically active, and the reason that I ask that is twofold.  I’m curious what kind of natural physical activity and how you’re implementing that into your day to day life actually is.  I’m also curious because we’ve had guys like Dan John on the show before who’s like basically, lift hard and then sit on the couch and watch college football games and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in between because anything extra you do outside of that weight training session is potentially going to inhibit the amount of say like Type-2 muscle fibers that you have for power and explosive activity.  You don’t want to be walking around all the time.  You don’t want to park far away from the grocery store and walk in ’cause you might develop some low twitch muscle fiber.  What is your take on the type of activity that you engage in apart from the actual training session?

Steph:   Well, you know the way I look at it is this.  Athletic training and competition is a really important part of my life and how I identify myself, and it’s a culture I belong to, and I care a lot about it, but I know I’m not a professional athlete.  I’m not making any money doing what I’m doing nor have I ever, so I have that in the back of my mind like sports matter to me.  My training matters to me.  At this point it also matters to me that I have a life outside the gym.  It matters to me that I have a good relationship with my husband and my family and my friends.  It matters to me that I’m a self-employed, solo business owner.  So there are all these other things that I know hey, I actually have to get work done, and I know.  So here’s one example, I have a standing desk at home because when I first started working for myself, I was sitting all the time, and I felt like crap.  And it actually made my lifting worse because of sitting down, my hamstrings were super tight.

Ben:  Right, your butts turned off.

Steph: Yeah, so I’m slouching, all that stuff that we try to avoid, but I did a lot of sitting, so I decided I was going to get a standing desk, so now what that looks like is I get up, and I stand up my standing desk, and I do work in the morning, and then I go to the gym at around midday around noon, and I do stuff there, and then I come home, and I do some chores around the house and grocery shopping.  I coach a couple of nights a week, so I might be at the gym coaching, so I’m moving around, walking around demonstrating lifting.  I’m in motion quite a bit, and so like I said for me, if I knew I was going be a potential Olympic trials athlete or on the path to world domination with what I’m doing.  I might consider otherwise, but at this point in my life, I just want to be a good master’s athlete, a good solid weightlifter.  I want to keep getting stronger little by little and definitely past the point of novice gains.  So it’s just kind of keeping that ever upward, slow progression.  It’s just some walking, some foam rolling.  I try to do yoga at home, but the cat is always on top of me when I do, so it’s not quite so easy.  We live in a pretty tiny house, but yeah.  Walking to the grocery store, we live in an awesome neighborhood in San Diego.  I can walk to virtually anything that I need.  So trying to get out and walk when I can unless I’m going to run an errand on the way to somewhere, but yeah.  I mean, trying to incorporate movement opt back into a lot of the movement that people have.

Ben:  Natural movement though, so you’re not doing those four-weight training sessions, and then also say like whatever.  Riding your bicycle thirty miles while commuting or squeezing in a couple of extra epic hikes and mountain bike rides on the weekends and stuff like that.

Steph:  Generally not, I actually sold all my bikes which is kind of sad when I think about it, but I moved house and ran out of space to store everything, so with that being said, we’re actually going to New Zealand in a couple of months, and I know that we’re going to be doing a lot of hiking, so I’m actually interested in getting back out there and doing a little bit of training for that.  But other than that, no, nothing above and beyond.

Ben:  Gotcha, okay.  So you mentioned at one point a little while ago, meditation.  Do you meditate, and if so, what type of meditation do you do? What is your practice?

Steph:  Yeah, I do meditate, and you know, it’s one of those things where I always knew meditations supposedly really good for you, but finding the type of meditation.

Ben:  That’s what all the hippies say.

Steph:  (laughs) Finding the type of meditation that resonated with me and that I would stick to was really, it became a problem.  To find something that I liked, and to make it a routine, right? To actually do it every single day, and a friend of mine is a meditation expert and a yogi, and she does wonderful meditations, and she recorded some for me, and I love her to pieces, and I hope she’s not listening, but I was just like it just wasn’t the type of thing that I would necessarily sit down and do ’cause I had to have my computer open and a bunch of other stuff.  So I had heard through the grapevine about an app called Headspace, and I decided to check it out.  Turns out for me, that was the one that made me do.  I stick to it every day, and there’s some interesting little things in the app.  I don’t know if you’re familiar with it, but there is some gamification to the app where it’s like hey, and you don’t know this stuff upfront but sooner than later, you’re like I got an e-mail because I meditated 15 days in a row and I got a coupon or whatever it is, and so there’s some incentivizing of that app which I think is huge because as we know, we’re so bombarded.  There’s so much information out there.  Everybody wants our attention, and so that for me was a little bit.  I was like I can do this.

Ben:  And the Headspace app, I have it on my phone.  I’ve experimented with it a little bit, I did about five sessions, and then, well I’ll be straight forward with you, I decided it wasn’t for me because I do so much meditation and box breathing and focus.  I do a lot of sauna, and I do a lot of cold thermogenesis.  Both require me to do everything from holotropic, hyper-oxygenation breathing to breath holds to staring at a wall with steam coming out my ears ’cause I’m still freaking hot, so you box breathe to maintain your focus during that.  But when I experimented with it, I believe what I recall, this is a couple of months ago, it’s 10-minute sessions.  Is that?

Steph:  The free trial is if you decide to go beyond that, they have a huge variety of different time sessions, anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.  They’ve got different applications, so you could do a meditation for sleep, there’s one for preparing food, for walking.  Right so there’s, and I wish they would convey that a little bit more because I could definitely see where you would try it out and think if it’s going to be 10 minutes of this every single time I do it, I’m not really into it, but it gets way more varied, and there are definitely a lot of other time domains and stuff like that.  But for me, it ended up working.  I mean, I’m not a religious person.  I think I’m getting a little bit more spiritual as I get older.

Ben:  The closer that you get to death.

Steph: (laughs) I guess you can say it that way, I don’t know if it’s just me ’cause I’m trying to be more connected to other people and more connected to the natural world and that sort of stuff, but I like the pragmatic nature of Headspace though, and I do often times go into those other meditations that my friend recorded for me because it’s much more heart-centered and it’s just different in how it’s delivered.  So I think ultimately, folks have to find what resonates for them and not to give up, but to know that taking that time ’cause a lot of people think meditation is where you have to try to lie still and clear your mind and not think of anything, and the goal is to think of nothing, and that’s not actually the case.  And so I know a lot of especially Type-A people.  One of my friend was like I can’t sit still for 5 minutes, this is going to be impossible, and I said will you just try it?  Just try it, please.  And so it ends up that she really likes it, but I think a lot of people think meditation means you have to try to think of nothing, and it’s really intimidating to think of it that way.  For me, it’s been great, and I really found it very valuable not only in all aspects of my life, but also in weightlifting.

Ben:  Do you start of each day or implement that at some point each day?

Steph:  I usually do it before I go to sleep.  It just works for me better, I’m a morning person like I get up and get out of bed, and I’m wide awake and do my thing.  But I remember hearing you talk at Paleo f(x) about how you do your journaling and stuff in the morning, and I’ve wanted to try to shift stuff that way, so we’ll see.

Ben:  Yeah, it can come back to bite you.  The longer that you stay in bed, you shift your sleep clock forward.  Like this morning, I woke up at 7:30, and for me that’s a little bit late.  It means that some of the day has gone away from you in terms of morning productivity.  So yeah, you have to strike this fine balance between waking up each day with the perspective that you have the affluence of time and forcing yourself to stay in bed and relax a little bit and also not hitting snooze or occasionally what happens to me is I’ll fall asleep, and go back and kind of like have an extra dream cycle which is great until you actually get out of bed and realize oh crap, I’ve got like 15 minutes now to do coffee, a poo, podcast prep, and get on the show.

Now, in terms of your interaction with other women in the fitness community or in the weightlifting community, do you do much in the way of consulting and personal training?

Steph:  Right now, we’re in the last week of the registration for a program that I just launched which is combining nutrition, weightlifting, or I should say strength training ’cause it’s not weightlifting-based but jut general strength training and mindset work.  So it’s as somebody who has a blog and is on social media a lot, it’s hard to have the time to sometimes sit down and work with people one-on-one.  I do have a one-on-one option for that though, of one-on-one coaching, but where eye contact a lot of people right now is though coaching at the gym.  So that’s been really fun and really interesting for me, and I’m just on staff at the gym.  It’s not my own personal business, although I don’t walk in and go I’m stupid easy paleo guys, like this is awesome and actually is kind of.  I’d still find it, I’m a little sheepish about that sort of stuff, and people will come up and ask me, and we’ll have a conversation about it, and I guess I’m still like oh my gosh, people read my blog.  It still kind of blows my mind, but at the gym, I’m on staff for the gym, but it’s interesting.  I’ve had folks that’ll come in and visit, and say oh, I saw that you post about this on your Instagram or I read about this gym, so I thought I’d come in, and oh you’re here.  So it’s been really fun because I do get to work with a lot of women at the gym.  Yesterday or Saturday, I was coaching.  Saturday morning and we had a bunch of female athletes in which is really awesome because we don’t have any other female weightlifting coaches at the moment.  So I know that they appreciate it.

Ben:  One of the reasons that I asked you this question is because I, in many cases will do consults or will speak with the female athletes or simply female exercise enthusiasts who really care about their bodies, and especially in the aging female population.  One of the things that I run up against is women who are concerned about increasing levels of body fat as they age, or women who are concerned about natural fat deposits on the hips, the butt, etcetera.  And I even ran into this, back when I was a personal trainer, right? People would come in, they’d be like forty, and the classic, forty year old soccer mom wants to look good in her bikini, and I always had a little bit of a hard time striking a balance between trying to help them lose weight but not doing so while producing biological stress or hormonal burnout, and also expressing the fact that it’s okay and natural not only to be a little bit more fat when you’re female, but also get a little bit more fat as you age.  That’s natural, but I’m curious how you approach that or how you express that when you’re talking, especially to females who are…  Well really, a big part of this is Hollywood, right? And magazines and all the impressions that we get from pop culture that you’re supposed to stay extremely lean as you’re a female and especially as you’re an aging female.  What’s your take on that, and I know it’s a loaded question?

Steph:  Yeah, the first thing that comes to mind is that if I have someone come to me who’s fearful of some of the recommendations I might make.  For example, a gal e-mailed me, and I mentioned her yesterday on Periscope, so I won’t say her name, but a gal came to me via email and was expressing a lot of concerns about exactly what you’re mentioning.  Starting to have more body fat and flat towing with her efforts, etcetera.  Right, a very, very common story, and my answer to her was, and it’s sometimes easy to become a blunt via e-mail because you’re just like this is the way it is, but I said to her I think you’re exercising too much, and she was describing to me what she was doing.  She was working out five or six days a week, multiple times a day, and I just thought holy crap.  Can you back off a little bit and see what happens?  It’s really hard, that’s a scary proposition for somebody who has bought into or has only been told, or has only gleamed from media, popular culture that we need to exercise more, more, more, more, more, and eat less, less, less, less, less before going to have control over our bodies.  And because so many women and guys come from a background of disordered thinking about their own bodies or disordered relationships with food and exercise, and it’s interesting because with exercise, it seems as such a positive thing, and so especially for folks who are over doing it, they often times get positive feedback from those around them.  Look at how dedicated you are, look at how amazing you look when inside they’re dying, or the wagon wheels start to fall off the wagon hormonally and then you end up in this cascade of things that you have such a hard time, not just reversing but you have a hard time slowing it down.

Ben:  Right, healthy on the outside, sick on the inside.

Steph:  Absolutely, so it’s really scary to talk to women in that way, and say hey, actually I think you need to cut down the number of days you’re lifting, sorry, the number of days you’re exercising and or take down the intensity and or step back from the type of training that you’re doing.  It’s really, really scary ’cause in a lot of cases, people really like it, or they get a great stress response from it, and they’re like but it feels great when I do it afterward.  So it’s really complicated and I think what helps a lot of women is finding someone they can trust whether it’s a coach, it’s a blogger, it’s a trainer, it’s a health practitioner of some sort.  It’s finding someone you can really trust, and know that that person knows what they’re talking about.  The other thing that can really help is community, and this is actually a really strong interest of mine in October in AHS in New Zealand.  I’m going to be talking about moving beyond the fit bit and toning, and it’s exactly this topic.  It’s how do we get women to embrace other ways of training that are actually, scientifically, physiologically better for them in the long run, and how do we do that despite the preponderance of messages from the media that we’re supposed to be incredibly lean throughout our whole entire life, and that different but we just had a baby, but we need to get back in shape four weeks later.  We need to look like a model, or we need to look like a celebrity does.  Can you believe she’s only had a baby six weeks ago, or four weeks ago?

And we’re all different, so the interesting factor that seems to be a true, or I should say a common, and these women feeling supported and staying with it long enough to feel like it’s working is community, and the support of other life-minded people who are there for them.  Whether it’s sitting down and talking with them or just going through the experience at the same time, so that community aspect’s so, so critical, and you’re right.  It’s hard to get women to back away from the 2-pound kettlebells and all this other stuff, and I always joke that, my mother-in-law is 71, and she can lift more weight than that, so there’s no excuse for doing a 2-pound kettlebell.  But it’s really hard.

Ben:  It’s interesting too, and it’s just something I’ve always struggled with because what I want to say is it’s okay for you to be fat, or your body looks just fine.  You don’t need to be leaner, or even this one right? You’re going to get fat, wrinkled, and what some people in society might call ugly as you get older, and you know what? That’s okay.  But obviously, you can’t just say that because that’s not what people really want to hear, and sounds rude.  And so, it’s just something I’ve always kind of struggled with.  It’s like my wife for example.  I know when she’s 80, she’s not going to be by all societal standards, hot, whatever, lean and hot, but that shouldn’t matter.  That’s kind of like my conundrum that I run into.  It’s okay to not have this perfect body, and your body’s going to change as you get older.

Steph:  There’s some really interesting folks out there who are being quite vocal about their pursuits in say, for example, the figure, competitive world or whatever sport it is and this idea of you’re at the pinnacle of whatever it is you’re doing.  Your body looks amazing, it’s on-point, it’s perfect, whatever, and their lives are a wreck.  And I think it’s becoming less tabooed to talk about that sort of stuff, but we need more people to speak up.  I think to talk about that sort of thing to normalize it and say actually sometimes, you can have the most perfect body, and you’re life is in shambles, your health is in shambles, and there’s a really interesting distinction between health and fitness in a lot of cases.  You can have an incredibly fit body, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re healthy.  And the other thing I think that is very telling and sort of resonates in my brain as you’re talking is how we value our elders, especially in this country.

You think about other cultures where elders who are older are revered.  They’re respected, they’re cherished for their wisdom and their life experience and that sort of thing, and I feel like sometimes here in Western society, we don’t do that.  So getting old is not seen as earning.  You know, you’ve earned your scars and your wrinkles, and they’re badges of honor in a way, and it’s a testament to maybe how you look on the outside isn’t reflective of who you are on the inside, but I think we struggle a lot of times to value our elders in this country, and getting old is seen as like, ugh.  You know, that’s horrible. I wouldn’t want to do that.

Ben:  And it’s also a very profitable business, everything from hospice to elderly care to nursing homes.  I mean, there is a monetary incentive in many cases for us to shove our elders into nursing home as well, which is sad, but that’s the reality.

You know I also think that it’s important for us to note here that when we say that like whatever.  It’s okay to be fat.  Fat is not synonymous with being unhealthy.  You can have, whatever, a body fat percentage of twenty-five which a lot of women who are striving to look good in a swimsuit for example with and have a sharp intake of breath and think 25% is really high, but you can have amazing biological parameters and basically be clean as a whistle biologically at a body fat percentage of that, but the only problem is that you may not look like the cover of Cosmo.  And so there’s that too, being fat is not.  We’re not saying like be unhealthy.

Steph:  No, no.  People want to be so reductionist, and think there’s only one way to look, right?  There’s only one perfect standard, there’s only one way by which to measure ourselves, and it’s such BS.  It always reminds me of that graphic of Olympic athletes in different sports.  And to some degree, I mean, they are the pinnacle of their physical capability.  You’re at the Olympic, and in some way the reason why certain body types are favored is because it’s just works better with that sport.  I guess I’ll say, so you wouldn’t necessarily be a 48-kilo female weightlifter if you’re five-foot-ten.  And so we have these typical body types.  People that row or tend to be tall and lean or marathoners, and so in some ways, it’s which came first, the chicken or the egg, but you take a look at the range of human bodies, and ESPN just had it’ annual body edition, whatever it was.  The gal who’s, I think she’s a hammer thrower, and I just thought her message was just incredible, and it was like, my body, I’m incredibly good at what I do.

Ben:  Those ESPN body issues are amazing, I actually have forgotten about those.  It’s been a couple of years since I read the ESPN body issue.  I need to go check that one out because I used to enjoy looking through those all the different athletes’ bodies.  You know at first it felt for a second I was reading Swimsuit Illustrated or Porn or something, and then you realize no, this is just like the amazing human body.  So it’s nothing sexual at all, it’s just these amazing displays of, like you said, all the different ways that the human body can be, and look, absolutely amazing.

I want to ask you, in the little bit of time that we have left, a really interesting article that you have on your website, Stupid Easy Paleo, about four real foods that you may be overeating.  I thought this was interesting and thought-provoking.  Can you delve into what those four foods are that people are overeating?

Steph:  Yeah, so it was hard for me to narrow down the list, but the reason I wrote the article was that we tend to understand and transmit information as human beings through heuristics.  These general ideas, these kind of big picture ideas, and so when we say for example nuts are full of healthy fat.  It’s so much more nuanced than that, and nutrition and everything were talking about is so nuanced and so contextual, but if we’re going to sit here and try to talk about nutrition, we tend to break it down in to really general heuristic terms.  So when people are trying to approach eating healthier, first of all they tend to hear a lot of sound bites sore or they get a lot of little bits and pieces from the media, so they might hear, okay, in a Paleo-diet, you’re really encouraged to eat a lot of healthy fats.  Okay nuts are healthy fats, so that means I should eat a lot of nuts and that’s one of the four foods.

So the four foods that I had on that list were natural sweeteners, kombutcha, dried fruit and nuts.  And so the whole point of the article was even though these foods are “healthy”, they may not be healthy for your body.  First of all, because you might have an intolerance to almonds, or you might, like my husband, have a histamine intolerance where eating a lot of probiotic rich food actually flares up your eczema.

Ben:  Or migranes.

Steph:  Yeah, exactly.  A lady just commented to me last week.  She gets headaches from kombutcha, so it’s like just because you read that something is healthy and a good idea doesn’t mean it’ a good idea for you.  The dried fruit I threw in there because for me, pretty much throughout my whole life, I’ve always had an insatiable sweet tooth.  Once I started addressing my nutrition and eating more nutrient-dense foods along the lines of a Paleo-type diet, and I don’t eat strict Paleo I just wanted to throw it out there, but along the lines of a Paleo-type diet, right? Meat, seafood, eggs, veggies to fruits, healthy fats.  Once I start eating that way, and I was still eating a lot of dried fruit.  I was still having this problem where I just want to eat sugar all day long, and for me it was that dried fruit is a really concentrated source of sugar.  So I think it’s really interesting that a lot of times that people are starting out, they kind of go by this yes-no list, whatever diet it is you’re going to follow.  You’re a vegetarian, you’re vegan, you’re Paleo, you’re primal, and whatever it is.  You’re a real foodist, you’re raw, any dietary paradigm.  It’s really easy to abide by that yes-no list because it’s a way for your brain to wrap itself around.  The ways in which you have to change what you’re eating, but you still have to know yourself and what works for you, and at the end of the day, just going ahead and blindly eating something you read is a good idea may not actually be working for you.  So I guess the point of the article was to know thyself, to do the work and understand what foods are working well for your body and which foods aren’t, and then just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean, “Healthy”, in a lot of cases it’s like an unlimited food.  So kombutcha for example is kind of just meant to be a tonic, a probiotic supplement if you will.  I know so many people that drink kombutcha like soda, and it’s like they just replace soda-intake with kombutcha-intake.

Ben:  It can be extremely tempting to because we make kombutcha.  We make it in batches, my wife now.  I can tell you right now, upstairs, in my refrigerators, there are 20 bottles of amazing kombutcha, and it is extremely tempting for me to drink a bottle of day.  But you know, like you say in the article, even something flashed on the radar, right? It’s extremely acidic, or can be very acidic, and that can wear out the enamel in your teeth, and so even though yes, it’s full of lactobacillus and all sorts of good probiotics and actually the specific strains in there can break down a lot of candida and fungus.  It’s not necessarily something that you can’t overdo, or you get into nuts.  And I like what you say about walnuts.  Walnuts, which are like the perfect nut.  The fact is that as you elude to, they’re structurally unstable.  They’re prone to going rancid, so if you have just like a big glass jar of walnuts in your pantry, you may actually be eating oxidized fats after a while, even though you’re getting off the walnut benefits.  You’re getting some of the harm along with them.  They’re like the dried fruit that you go into right?  I think you mentioned the Trader Joe’s Dried Mango slices.  Yeah, those are like unsulfured, they’re unsweetened, they are I believe just mango, but they’re also a crap load of just mango, right?  There’s like four or five entire mangoes in a bag?  Which if you mow through a bag, just think about trying to eat four or five mangoes.  You can’t do it ’cause they have little fiber and the water content, everything in them.  Oh yeah, and you go into the natural sweeteners too, right, like honey and coconut sugar and maple syrup and agave is one of my favorites of course.  Yeah, I mean, those along with the healthy greens uses at Whole Foods.

In many cases they’re just main-lining sugar into your bloodstream, and our community where we’ve got lots of people doing everything from bulletproof coffee to coconut oil to all of this stuff.  Every time you’re doing that, you’re oxidizing all those cholesterols.  So you’re creating this atherosclerotic firestorm, and that’s one thing that really gets to me.  People will be like, oh I did my bulletproof coffee, and then I had some coconut sugar, and then I had my five-egg omelette and half of that omelette goes gluconeogenic, and so you get this spike of glucose and cholesterol, and causes all these issues even though everything useless is technically healthy, and it is a real food.  It’s like once you put it inside the factory that is the human body, some different things can happen, no matter what’s on the label.

Steph:  Yeah, and I think it’s just the idea of, I mean, I approach nutrition from very pragmatic point of view, a very physiological point of view, and for me, a Paleo framework is not historical reenactment.  I actually really don’t care what Paleolithic man eat.  I’m more interested in what works most often for our bodies.  So I think that’s a really interesting way to frame things because it doesn’t just become some ambiguous, or it’s not like there’s just a list for the list’s sake, right? It’s like the foods on this list are there for a reason, but always, always, always be a good consumer.  Always, like there’s no ignorance, there’s no defense of the law right, so there’s no excuse for ignorance when it comes to how you’re going to take this, whatever framework it is dietarily that you ascribe to and start applying it to your own life.

Ben:  Yeah, I agree.  Yeah, so I’ve got one last question for you.  What in your opinion does it mean to be harder to kill?

Steph:  (laughs) Yeah, so I’ve decided to call the podcast “Harder to Kill”, a little bit of an homage to Margaret Gitau in there because she’s famously quoted as saying something like, it’s like, “Strong people are harder to kill, we’re useful in general.”  I think it was the quote, so it came from a nutrition seminar that I did, so a lot of the people that I talked to about nutrition.  They don’t even consider themselves athletes, yet they’re in the gym five or six days a week, and they’re dedicated to what they do, and they spend money on it, and they spend a lot of time doing it, so the word athlete is kind of hard for people to identify with sometimes.  So I was at this seminar trying to talk to folks about nutrition, and I said well, okay let’s just say what do people want? They want to be healthy, they want to be happy, and wouldn’t it be nice to be harder to kill? And everybody just kind of went crazy, and was like that’s so awesome.  But really what I mean by that is you have the resilience and the robustness, both physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, to withstand some of the crappy things that take people down too soon in life or are, by some stretch of the imagination, avoidable.  We can necessarily out, we can’t change our genetics.  We can in some cases change how those genes are turned on and off right as we not, but we still have a genetic template.  So there’s only so much we can do, but a lot of the choices that we make can influence the expression of our genetics.

So are there ways to build people that are more resilient and more robust? And as I mentioned, that can cover every aspect of health wellness lifestyle, the whole shebang, and I think the answer is yes.  And you know, I know you and that there are a lot of people that do a lot of biohacking stuff which is super interesting and super nerdy and super cool, and a lot of people are like that sounds awesome, but I don’t know if I can do that sort of thing.  So what are some of the, I guess, gateways that we could give people to start working closer toward that optimization that are a bit more approachable or are more within their grasp? Because for so many people just starting is a big deal.  They’re not at the level that other people are at, so what are some of the things that we can get people to do? We can get them to move their bodies more, we can get them to make better food choices.  A majority of the time, we can get them to start addressing the ways in which their stress is taking over their life.  It’s those little changes that add up over time.  So building in the resiliency, building in the robustness so that when stuff goes wrong for real, you’ve got some resources there.  You’ve got some savings, if you will, to not be totally disarrayed by that sort of stuff.

Ben:  Yeah, I mean for me, big, big part of it is A) being able to lift heavy stuff, B) being able to step into a cold shower or jump into something cold without a sharp intake of breath, meaning you’ve got like nervous system resilience, and C) being able to do something like sit in something hot, that is uncomfortable hot, for a long period of time.  For some reason, when I can do those three things when my body’s able to handle those, I’m pretty dang resilient, and I do quantify that.  I admit that I do HRV measurements, and my HRV is through the roof when I keep up those three practices, so that’s the way I do it.

Anyways though, we have obviously gone for a little while here, and I know that people may want to learn more about you, follow what you’re doing like I mentioned in the intro.  I have your “Performance Paleo Cookbook”.  I like how it’s just simple and easy, and we didn’t talk about it a whole lot, but I think if anybody out there’s listening in, you want some of Stephanie’s cool recipes and also a little bit of her philosophy, check out “Performance Paleo Cookbook”.  She’ got a podcast, I’ll link to that in the show notes, “Harder to Kill Radio”.  Her website, stupideasypaleo.com, and if you have questions for me or if you have questions for Steph, you can go to the post, the show notes for this particular episode, and you can leave your comments there.  One of us will check them out and reply, and all of that is over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/hardertokill.  So bengreenfieldfitness.com/hardertokill is where you can grab all that stuff.  Steph, thanks for your time today and for sharing all this with us.

Steph:  Sure, it’s fun.  It’s always great to nerd out with like-minded individuals, so I was happy to do it.

Ben:  Sweet, alright cool.  Well folks, this is Ben Greenfield and Stephanie, let me give this one more time, Gaudreau signing out of bengreenfieldfitness.com.  Have a wonderful week, and go do something that makes you harder to kill.  Later.

 

 

Ladies (and any of you gentleman who have a lady in your life) today’s podcast is for you.

If you’ve ever wondered exactly what kind of weight training program a woman should be doing to get a sexy body…

…how women can avoid bulking up…

…common hormone imbalances in fit females…

…why so many Crossfitting ladies have such funky-looking abs…

…and the crucial elements of women’s weightlifting 101…

…then you’ll love my guest Stephani Gaudreau.

Steph has a formal education in biology and human physiology, 12 years of science teaching experience, holistic nutrition training, and an unabashed love of tasty Paleo food, which she writes about on her blog, Stupid Easy Paleo. She has competed in everything from endurance mountain biking to CrossFit to weightlifting. She coaches weightlifting at CrossFit Fortius in San Diego and has coached CrossFit in gyms reaching from Scotland to SoCal.

Steph wrote the best-seller The Paleo Athlete: A Beginner’s Guide to Real Food for Performance in 2014, and recently published the award-winning book, The Performance Paleo Cookbook: Recipes for Eating Better, Getting Stronger & Gaining the Competitive Edge.

Steph’s also recently taken to the airwaves with her chart-topping podcast, Harder to Kill Radio, where she interviews experts in fitness, nutrition and mindset about how to build unbreakable humans.

During our episode, you’ll discover:

-Even though it’s counterintuitive, why Crossfitting women tend to be bulkier than “high-weight, low-rep” weightlifting women…

-Why women don’t necessarily need to do cardio exercise to lose weight, stay lean or stay toned

-How much fat women should actually “gain” as they age…

-Stephanie’s #1 recommendation for achieving a daily meditation practice, and why she does it…

-Four real “healthy” foods you may be overeating…

-What it means to truly be harder to kill…

-And much more…

Resources from this episode:

Performance Paleo Cookbook

The Paleo Athlete

the Headspace app for meditation

Harder to Kill Radio

 

Ask Ben a Podcast Question


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *