This show is about rethinking the basic notions of athletic training, particularly the “no pain, no gain” model that’s been widely criticized but is still embedded into DNA of many competitive athletes.

This show was syndicated on the Primal Endurance podcast, so if you are an endurance athlete, definitely check out that show and learn how to pursue endurance goals in a healthy, balance banner. I was a pro athlete for nine years and been in the fitness business for 30 years, but in the last couple years I’ve met some people that have absolutely blown my mind with evolved insights and athletic training, performance, and recovery. In particular, we are experiencing an awakening in the fitness world as to the importance of recovery in the big picture of peak performance. For decades, we’ve been stuck in a narrow mentality focused on conducting a thoughtful and effective pattern of workouts as the end-all for fitness success. What a joke. It’s time to wake up and learn some insights that will transform your approach to fitness, and help you preserve your health as you pursue ambitious fitness goals.  

I compiled some brief insights from an assortment of fitness leaders, patching them together to an interesting and memorable. I know you may like to listen to podcasts on the go, but this show requires some note taking. Do what these folks say you will become a better athlete and healthier person. Here is the dream team for insights and a sound bite for the insights detailed on the show:  

Dr. Phil Maffetone: The godfather of aerobic training and fat-adapted eating has been preaching the same message for nearly 40 years. Finally, people are paying attention and the MAF training concepts are becoming highly respected and adopted by endurance athletes.  

  • MAF heart rate: The maximum aerobic heart rate is the upper limit for an effective aerobic workout. It’s 180-age in beats per minute. Go faster as a pattern (extremely common for endurance athletes of all levels) and you will dig yourself a grave of overtraining and overstress.  
  • Stressful workouts—return on investment: You need never exceed 90% of maximum heart rate when conducting high intensity intervals, time trials, tempo sessions, or group classes. Topping out at 90 percent of max is vastly less stressful that taking things up to true max. You get only moderately different training stimulation but vastly more stress and recovery time necessary. Oh mercy, I wish I knew and honored this in my triathlon career. Lots of effort and money was left in workouts that should have been saved carefully for race day! 

Brian McKenzie: The Power, Speed, Endurance guru and author of Unbreakable Runner is now obsessed with breathing and recovery as the primary focus for fitness enthusiasts. If you learn to breathe correctly, you minimize the stress impact of the workout and spend more time in healthy balance between sympathetic (fight or flight) and parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system function. Brian helped endurance athletes embrace the importance of intensity instead of just road slog; now he is poised to help all athletes embrace the importance of recovery—including cutting edge techniques for breathing and hot and cold therapy. Listen to his show on the Get Over Yourself podcast! 

Joel Jamieson: The guru of Recovery Based Training talks about Rebound workouts, where doing a focused protocol of movements in the gym can actually speed up recovery! I have only recently implemented Joel’s techniques, and with great success. Previously, I thought that sleeping more, napping, and relaxing on the couch were the ultimate recovery tools. Joel’s workout features breathing, stretching, mobility/range of motion exercise, doing positive lifts only (dropping the weight after lifting to avoid eccentric), and doing very short intervals with mindful heart rate lowering during long recovery periods.  

Craig Marker: Craig and Pavel Tsatsouline of StrongFirst are making some awesome breakthroughs in training theory that you absolutely must try. First, dig the concept of HIRT instead of HIIT. The latter, High Intensity Interval Training, is a term that’s been bantered about for years as the foundation of serious athletic training. High Intensity Repeat Training conveys a different concept where you focus on producing repeat efforts of explosive, intense effort without declining performance and getting tired with successive efforts. This is similar to Jacques Devore’s breakthrough method called Maximum Sustained Power (MSP) that is detailed in the book Primal Endurance.  

How to transition to HIRT and MSP? Freakin’ rest more between efforts man! And stop the workout when you notice performance declining! I have recently implemented the HIRT concept with fabulous success. I will be doing a whole show about it in the future, so stay tuned. HIIT workouts lead to exhaustion, extended recovery time and ultimately burnout. Why do almost all group exercise workouts, high school and college team workouts, and personal trainers believe that HIIT is the way? Dated and misinterpreted science, such as the “bastardization of the Tabata concept” as Craig says.  

If you are a serious fitness enthusiast, this show can transform your approach, make recovery better, and change your entire life in the process! 

TIMESTAMPS:
Some exercise programs are disastrously flawed and set you up for an overly stressful life. [03:51] 

Recovery is very important. [04:55]

The most enthusiastic athletes as well as the casual fitness person need to learn how to work-out in a way that doesn’t do damage. [08:24] 

The Maffetone method is: slow down and emphasize aerobic development. For heart rate, the formula is 180 minus your age. [12:11] 

You need not ever exceed 90% of your maximum heart rate, even during the most intense and explosive training sessions. [14:09] 

Brian MacKenzie,’s contribution to this is suggesting to endurance athletes to add Crossfit training into their routines. [18:30]

What’s the big deal about breathing? [21:32] 

Dial things down. [24:24] 

Rebound workouts are sessions you perform when you are trying to recover from high stress training sessions. [26:13] 

HIIT is high intensity interval training. [30:55] 

Sprinting is very important. [32:32] 

When lifting, pick a weight you could do eight times, make sure to do a succession of sets with a declining number of reps in order to make sure you are rested and explosive for each effort. [37:59] 

Brad summarizes the messages in this podcast. [41:59] 

LINKS: 

LISTEN:

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Get Over Yourself Podcast

Brad: 00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author, an athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high stress modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balance that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.

Brad: 03:51 Hey listeners an introduction to a show by Brad Kearns. Kind of weird, but I wanted to tee this up by inspiring you to listen carefully, even if you’re not a super duper hardcore competitive athlete like the folks that I talk to on the Primal Endurance podcast. I actually simulcasting this addition over to that channel as well. And it’s about rethinking our basic notions of fitness and athletic training. So yeah, if you’re a super competitor, you want to get deep into this, and this show might be a bit of a challenge if we get a little scientific, might have to work hard, slow it down to regular speed instead of listening in at 1.5 to 1.7 speed like I do on most of my podcasts. But it will greatly benefit you even if you have just a casual approach to fitness because the basic approach, the mainstream approach to exercise classes, group exercise, putting the DVDs in your home player and doing p 90 x or joining a well meaning well intentioned, training group that raises money for charity.

Brad: 04:55 Most of these operations are disastrously flawed and setting you up for an overly stressful life where your exercise adds to your stress component rather than balances your life and build your fitness and supports your health. So I’m going to share insights from four of these thought leaders, these progressive minds that have looked at the question of training and fitness and peak performance and balancing stress and rest. And it seems like the focus is ever more being directed toward the big, R recovery, the importance of balancing all forms of stress in everyday life with sufficient rest and recovery in downtime. And Oh my gosh, this guy Craig Marker talks about the very popular concept of high intensity interval training. You might’ve heard people bantered these words about in your local gym. Yeah, I’m doing a hit class. It stands for HIIT and it’s like the end all of the ultimate height intense workout to get you fit really quick and get you lean and toned and all that kind of stuff.

Brad: 06:00 But it’s generally speaking too stressful and contributes to breakdown burnout, illness and injury rather than toning you up and getting you energized and fitter and fitter over time. So he has a different twist on that. Joel Jamieson, the guru of recovery based training. He trains world champion, mixed martial arts fighters, talks about these rebound workouts where you go into the gym and you’re trying to recover from let’s say a hard workout that you’ve done earlier and you can actually do a workout, a rebound workout that will speed up recovery, even know you’re burning energy and burning calories in the gym. If you follow this distinct protocol, it will help you stimulate parasympathetic nervous system activity that is known as the rest and digest functioning. Usually we’re in sympathetic dominance, the fight or flight dominant way of being throughout life. And so going into the gym, doing breathing, stretching and the specific protocols will kind of chill you out and help you recover faster than

Brad: 06:58 We talk about Brian Mackenzie’s insights. I did an entire show with him, so please listen to that. It was early in the lineup and he represents the absolute cutting edge of fitness training, peak performance and he is really obsessed with breathing as the next breakthrough in athletic training. Finally, Dr Phil Maffetone, my old friend who inspired me when I was a professional triathlete, he’s been saying the same stuff for 40 years and finally people are waking up and embracing the importance of aerobics based exercise where you’re exercising. A comfortable heart rate rather than in that in between zone where you’re going kind of hard, you feel like you’re getting a good workout but you are burning too much sugar, producing too many stress hormones and contributing again toward illness, injury breakdown, and burnout rather than feeling refreshed and energized after workouts. So these are insights from four thought leaders in the fitness community at any fitness level, any level of interest. This will be a great show to listen to over and over. As they say, enjoy and it goes a little something like this. Here we go.

Brad: 08:24 Welcome to a Breather show this one. This one is going to be about the very important concept of pursuing achieving peak performance without the necessary suffering that we have come conditioned to believe is part of the fitness process. This program goes out to fitness enthusiasts of all levels. So if you’re a hardcore, extreme competitor, great stuff you think you know everything. Just like many multi sport athletes that I’ve been around and been accused of being myself, uh, all the way down to the casual fitness enthusiasts who is trying to do right head over to the gym, attend a class, be a regular attendee of your spinning class, bootcamp class, personal training session, whatever it is, and we know that we go in there and we’re going to perform some work, pushed ourselves, maybe suffer a little bit, maybe feel at the end like we got a great workout and were accelerated and we’re flooding our system with stress hormones, feeling that endorphin buzz right away, but over time due to the nature of the workout containing too much suffering, too much hard work for too long of a duration, not well formulated.

Brad: 09:49 What happens is we drift into these chronic patterns which are so dangerous and destructive. One simple sign or symptom is that you feel lazy or and more sluggish throughout the day because you did some impressive workout in the morning. Believe it or not, you’re not supposed to feel like a slug the rest of the day because you did something in the gym or out on the roads in the morning. So this show is about rethinking some of the basic notions of athletic training, getting rid of this no pain, no gain mentality for once. And of course I’m not the first person to criticize this and we all not our head and realize that overtraining is bad and injury and illness and burnout, but unfortunately the notion that exercise or that fitness pursuits equal suffering, I believe is still deeply embedded into the DNA of many competitive athletes and also many fitness novices who don’t know any better and think that this is part of the game that they have to get up there and suffer in the name of fitness.

Brad: 10:57 That’s why we have a lot of attrition and inconsistency in the fitness scene. People paying their monthly membership but rarely going to the venue because they associated subconsciously with too much pain and suffering for good reason. They’re avoiding their workouts because they’re not conducted in a responsible manner and they’re not generating a fitness response. They’re only generating more fatigue and more stress in are already stressful everyday life. So let’s write this ship right now and get things straight. So I want to give you four quick insights that have really helped me recently. This is recent information. Even though I’ve been a fitness enthusiast my whole life and knowing the dangers of overtraining, illness and injury, I’ve tightened things up even more after some great interviews and recordings, including on the get over yourself podcast. So, uh, what a wonderful opportunity to engage with these people, especially going back with my, uh, great discussions with Dr Phil Maffetone, one of the legends of the endurance training world for several decades, having coached some of the greatest triathletes of all time, Mike Pigg, Mark Allen, Tim Deboom.

Brad: 12:11 And his influence is now finally getting its due in the mainstream endurance circles. He’s been saying the same stuff for 30, maybe even 40 years, slowdown, emphasize aerobic development cut out of all that sugar and grain consumption, eat more healthy, nutritious fats. And so now the world is waking up, catching up to what Maffetone has been saying forever. So emphasizing that maximum aerobic heart rate of one 80 minus your age in beats per minute, that’s the Maffetone formula to calculate a heart rate, a training heart rate that represents the maximum fat oxidation, that’s your maximum fat burning point and where you have a minimal amount of anaerobic stimulation or glucose burning. So it’s a very comfortable heart rate. If you think about it. Uh, 180 minus age, let’s say I’m 50, I’m not, I’m close enough, but one 80 minus 50 is 130.

Brad: 13:07 So a training heart rate of 130 beats per minute represents a pretty slow jog. For someone like me, maybe an elite athlete is running along at a decent brisk but comfortable pace and a novice fitness enthusiasts. Remember the heart rate is all relative. So whatever this represents to you, when you calculate 180 minus age and put on a heart rate monitor and notice what your heartbeat is, that is your maximum training heart rate to deliver the fat burning aerobic benefits to make the workout refreshing. And energizing rather than fatiguing. This causes many people, both elites and recreational exercisers alike to have to slow down or slow way down from what they’re used to doing because we’re used to getting this stress response activated. We feel like we’re performing work, accomplishing something important, doing a workout, but we’re exercising at far too high of a heart rate to deliver these aerobic benefits and minimize the stress impact.

Brad: 14:09 So that was Maffetone’s first insight that your cardiovascular workouts, the vast majority of them should be performed at maximum aerobic heart rate or below one 80 minus age. The second mind blowing insight that I got from Maffetone during interview, this is back a couple of years ago now, about 25 years too late to help me when I was racing on the professional circuit, was his contention that you need not ever exceed 90% of your maximum heart rate, even during the most intense and explosive, uh, training sessions. Wow. So if you think of, most people can get their heart rate up somewhere around 200, young people, maybe older, we’ll go to a maximum of one 91 80. So you’re talking about 10% off. That is nearly 20 beats. So the difference for me, I can promise you from doing an interval workout where I’m hitting a the half mile repeats like we used to do in the old days on the track and getting that heart rate up to 185, 190, 190 plus.

Brad: 15:14 Imagine taking 10% off that and just doing a much less stressful but still very impressive workout and building off that foundation where I never slammed myself and training, but I just build, build, build my fitness in training without that huge risk and high energy cost of a maximum heart rate workout, the return on investment simply is not there. When you compare a workout at 90% of maximum heart rate, and this is a very explosive high intensity session, getting your heart rate almost up to max, but the difference between a 100% and 90% and the overall stress impact, let’s say from a big picture annually, if you’re backing off 10% on your hardest workouts, you’re going to benefit more than you’re going to lose any fitness adaptation for sure. And guess what? If you’re in a, uh, a big race, your peak performance effort and it comes down to a sprint finish and you’ve got to go 100% to beat the guy out to take 17th place instead of 18th hey, that’s a great time to bring your heart rate up to 100% and if you take care of your body and you eat right and you sleep well and you train sensibly, the big engine is going to be able to rev up and you’re going to have something left in the tank.

Brad: 16:30 So there’s the secret right there, training at aerobic heart rate and never exceeding 90% of maximum heart rate. Interestingly, Dr Maffetone is got a book out called 159 Marathon, talking about the magical barrier, uh, in the, in the event marathon, the 26.2 mile run where the world record is now two hours and two minutes. It’s been steadily lowered over the past 30 years down from 208 to 207 to 205. And now people are getting excited, wondering if the human can run a marathon in under two hours. You know what this represents? It’s like an average mile pace of four minutes and 40 seconds or 42 seconds or something. Absolutely insane. If you don’t have a reference point, go to your local high school running track, 400 meter track and run a single lap and try to do it in about 71 seconds.

Brad: 17:22 That’s a four 44 mile pace and you’ll see that for almost all of us that represents a full sprint. Uh, most of us can’t come anywhere near that time, but even the fittest among us out here in the community running one lap at a pace of world record marathon was enough to put us on the sideline. And so imagining these great runners going 26.2 miles holding that sizzling pace, and we’re right there knocking on the door, but Maffetone his contention interestingly is that the record will be broken by an athlete who is doing less mileage and less intensity than today’s marathon champions. He believes that we’re, uh, generally speaking, the elite athletes of the planet, the Olympic medalist, the people we see on TV are training too hard and have not sufficiently optimized their stress and rest patterns so that further breakthroughs are availed. But it’s not from running longer because these guys are already out there running 130, 140, 150 miles per week training for the Olympics and training for these grand marathons, the big city marathons where you see these guys running at the front of the pack.

Brad: 18:30 Okay. So those were Maffetone insight. Second, the great show that I did with Brian Mackenzie of power speed endurance, one of the early shows on the get over yourself podcast. So what an honor to be able to sit with the guy who represents the absolute cutting edge of fitness philosophy training methods. And Brian’s been around for awhile. Uh, he’s been a controversial figure at times because he was upsetting the status quo, especially in the endurance community where they had a narrow focus on accumulating a lot of volume to predict peak performance. And instead he brought in a more broad based approach, uh, the founder of the crossfit endurance movements where he was convincing these endurance athletes that if they did some stuff in the gym, like climbing a rope or doing a vertical jumps on the box, or putting heavy weight on their back and going down and doing some squats, this would actually translate directly into peak performance and great success with that approach.

Brad: 19:30 Also misunderstood by a lot of people. That’s how he got the controversy, uh, based on, uh, silly headlines like his feature story in Outside Magazine that was titled Brian MacKenzie’s controversial new approach to marathon training. The mastermind behind Crossfit endurance says the best way to train for a marathon is to run less and torture yourself more in the gym. Well, not really as I detail in my intro to that show. Uh, but here’s what Brian’s operation, his website, his consulting business is all about check this out. Breathing, recovery, training, strength and conditioning, endurance, programming, sports specific programming, mechanics, injuries, nutrition and sleep analysis. Does that sound like a guy that wants to torture you in the gym in favor of having you run more miles? No. It’s a very sophisticated and nuanced approach that puts all the pieces together and avoids these disastrous chronic patterns that we’ve been engaging in for so long.

Brad: 20:32 Uh, as you’ll hear in the lengthy show, of course, he supports the importance and the necessity for the endurance athlete of putting a time, in putting time out on the road. And not to forget that it’s pretty easy to get to A plus conditioning level with your endurance. But then the shortfall for many endurance athletes, not enough power and speed in there seemed to do some explosive training. Uh, we need to have some more attention to flexibility, mobility and functionality. Brian’s close associate Kelly Starrett advocates strongly for endurance athletes and athletes in other sports to dedicate 15 minutes of every training hour to flexibility, mobility and functionality. These would be drills, stretches, exercises that support proper technique, preserving proper technique, well fatigued and all that fun stuff. And lately, as you’ll hear in the show with Brian, he’s big on the breathing side. Wow.

Brad: 21:32 What’s the big deal about breathing? My first reaction is like, Huh, I’ve always had plenty of air to breathe when I was performing my endurance sports and when I was sprinting, I think the, the burning in my legs was the limiting factor rather than not getting enough air into my lungs. But this is turning into be a huge deal and a huge breakthrough in the fitness scene. The attention to proper breathing, breathing drills and exercises. Some of them designed to stimulate parasympathetic nervous system activity, which is a huge component of recovery and promoting and stimulating proper recovery from stressful exercise. Because when we’re training, we’re in that fight or flight state, we’re in that sympathetic nervous system dominance and we need to bring that down and learn how to chill out and calm down and facilitate the recovery process, uh, effectively an on demand really.

Brad: 22:25 So when we get good at breathing, we’re able to kind of hijack the autonomic nervous system, which is usually involuntary and take some involuntary, uh, activities, mechanisms into voluntary. We can take control of the recovery process and teach ourselves to calm down through breathing exercises. Wow. That was a ramble, but that came out okay. Actually, that’s exactly what I’m trying to get across. Look no further than the incredible phenomenon, uh, started by this character named the Iceman, Wim Hoff, W I m h o f is an internet sensation. His breathing protocols have a spread like wildfire in the progressive health fitness community. And I was telling some friends about this guy and I said, yeah, this guy using breathing drills, teaches people to overcome, uh, the usual problem, the resistance to exposure to cold and perform amazing feats, like climbing a snowy mountain in the winter, wearing just running shorts.

Brad: 23:27 After one week of training and Wim himself, I said, this guy climbed mount Everest in running shorts. And two of my friends called alarm complete bullshit on me. So I went and searched for the Internet articles and sure enough, he attempted a Mount Everest Summit and made it to 24,500 feet in elevation wearing nothing but running shorts all through his breathing drills. This guy’s the real deal. I did a podcast with a guy named Scott Carney, author of a book called What Doesn’t Kill Us. He’s an investigative journalists who, uh, has made a career of debunking guys who are BSRs and Gurus that are dispensing flawed information. He couldn’t wait to do the same to Wim Hoff, but instead he became a devotee and perform some magnificent feats of his own with very brief exposure to Wim Hoff’s training methods. So there’s a little plug for breathing and Brian Mckinsey and working through the show.

Brad: 24:24 Um, yeah, I actually have notes and trying to keep it on thread here, man. So first we talked about Maffetone, uh, monitoring that maximum aerobic heart rate, knowing that you’d never really have to go over 90% of maximum heart rate when you’re doing workouts. And if you’re listening now going, why do I care? I just a person that goes to spinning class a couple times a week and works as my trainer and wants to keep fit. Guess what? You do some of those gnarly gym workouts, group training sessions. You’re going to bust that heart rate right up and over 90 and close to 100 and you’re going to feel great when you make it to the 22nd countdown. And the loud music is boom and through the gym. Uh, but guess what? We’re talking about return on investment and we’re talking about the stress impact of the workout thrown into your busy, stressful life, not necessary.

Brad: 25:16 So dial things down. Dial that handle down on your spinner bike. That’s what it’s there for. Reduce the resistance. And make the workout and little tiny bit easier and you’ll be better off for it. So that was Maffetone. Then we got Brian MacKenzie advocating for that broad based approach rather than the narrow focus. And this is even if you have distinct goals, like you’re just a trail runner or you’re just a tennis player, you want to have that broad based approach, especially bringing in the important concepts like breathing. Uh, he’s also big on heat therapy, cold therapy. You can find him on the Internet. Uh, look at both of our videos about cold exposure and uh, you’ll be dialed in with the latest, greatest recovering techniques. So that’s Maffetone. Brian Mackenzie. Then I did a fabulous show with Joel Jamieson, the expert in fitness, who’s known in the MMA community for training world champions.

Brad: 26:13 He’s been around forever offering groundbreaking insights every time. And at my podcast interview with him, he blew my mind when we got further into his recovery based training methods, especially the concept of rebound workouts. What are rebound workouts? Those are the sessions you perform when you’re trying to recover from high stress training sessions. So the day before you did a big one, you did your uh, your intensity, uh, you, your long duration workout and then you’re trying to recover. And for my whole entire athletic career, I considered myself a pro at recovery. And guess what I did? I sat on the couch. I had made myself sleep more. I went to the video store and rented VHS tapes. That shows you how dated my career is now going back to the ancient concept of VHS videos. But generally speaking, I tried to sit around as much as possible and reduce my overall activity in the name of recovering from my super important high stress training sessions.

Brad: 27:18 Whether they were intensity stuff, whether it was a race or whether it was a long duration, long ride, long runs, something like that. Then this guy flipped that concept on it’s ear. Joel did. By advocating for a distinct training protocol that can actually help speed up recovery time. So what do you do? You show up at the gym and you do these distinct exercises, protocols to stimulate parasympathetic activity again. Also getting the blood flowing, getting the oxygen going through your system will also contribute to enhance recovery. Obviously we’re not doing anything strenuous or stressful. If we have sore stiff muscles are generally feeling fatigued from hard workouts, but you go in there, you do a series of breathing and stretching exercises, mobility work, a range of motion exercises, and then some interesting techniques such as doing an interval, a sprint interval for a very short duration, let’s say seven to 10 seconds.

Brad: 28:18 And then taking the next minute to recover. And during that recovery time, making a concerted effort through devoted breathing exercises to try to lower that heart rate down into recovery zone. So the act of intently focusing on lowering your heart rate is a way to engage the parasympathetic response. And it’s something that you can do in daily life to reduce the overall stress impact of your work day, your hectic commute, uh, in your hectic pace. Going the store dealing with family, friends, interactions, nonstop stimulation of the digital nature and the human nature. It can get a little stressful, not to say negative, but stressful is all forms of stimulus accumulating and making life a little tough. And when you can get good at lowering your heart rate on demand and practicing this in the gym, for example, sitting on an exercise bike pedaling quickly for seven to 10 seconds, and then cruising for the next 60 seconds and watching that heart rate lower, lower, lower.

Brad: 29:20 It’s a wonderfully meditative and nurturing activity that is going to boost your recovery. No, the seven to ten second sprints, not gonna set you back. It’s not gonna make you tired. You could do six of them, probably especially no impact. I mean, I don’t know about sprinting and doing a seven second sprint the day after a tough workout, but just getting that heart rate up spike really quick and then bringing it back down methodically. Wonderful activity. Another example that Joel brings from his rebound workout concept is, let’s say doing a dead lift, but doing the positive lift only. So that’s the lifting off the ground, getting it up to height and then dropping it on the ground so that you do not have to engage the muscles for the negative contraction because that’s where the muscle soreness is generated. That’s where the uh, the muscle damage occurs when you’re lowering the weight, the ecentric contraction, so you’re doing positives, you’re doing breathing, stretching, mobility, range of motion, some quick sprints, heart rate lowering stuff, and you go out of the gym feeling better than when you came in, rebound workouts. So I am integrating those into my situation lately. It feels great to stay active and move every single day instead of having those days where I called them rest days, recovery days, and I’m not doing much. And accordingly, I’m feeling tired, I’m feeling sluggish, feeling lazy, blaming it on the workout from the previous day. But I would be very well served to go do something like a rebound session.

Brad: 30:55 Finally, an awesome conversation that I had with Craig Marker of Strongfirst.com. He’s an associate of Pavel sit saline, one of the most prominent fitness experts in the country. He’s been credited with popularizing kettle bell training in America and Craig and Pavel, these guys are definitely on the cutting edge. So much so that I want to do an entire program on the concepts of HIIT versus hurt, high intensity interval training versus high intensity repeat training. I have changed this myself in recent months and it’s been an absolutely fantastic improvement in my training methods. So you’re familiar with the term HIIT, they throw it around all the time in the gym. It means high intensity interval training. So any type of workout where you’re having work intervals and rest intervals, you probably also heard of Tabata where the interval is a two to one ratio. So you go hard for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds or go hard for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds. Uh, we’ll get into that further in the dedicated show. Uh, but for now I want to describe that the high intensity interval training, a lot of these workouts go for a sustained duration of time. So you’re doing a, a spinning class where you’re doing intervals for 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes, uh, your basic bootcamp workout or your step class, or your Zoomba class is looking like a HIIT session where you’re working, working, working, and then you get a little break and then you’re working again.

Brad: 32:32 Um, in contrast, high intensity repeat training, what means is you do a high intensity effort and then you rest for a sufficient duration so that you can repeat in terms of the quality of the effort. So for me, I talk about my sprint workouts all the time on the primal endurance podcast for years and in the books, how important sprinting is for hormonal benefit, anti-aging, a burst of antiaging hormones to complete your fitness protocol and not just be a cardiovascular athlete or a, uh, a muscle person, but getting out there and doing explosive sprints. The ultimate primal genetic ancestor workout that keeps us sharp and delays the aging process. So I’ve been sprinting devotedly for uh, chase now. It’s been 12 years since I switched over to Primal Blueprint lifestyle and a kind of rejected the endurance focused training protocol that I’d followed for many years before that.

Brad: 33:33 But my sprint workouts have always been really tough and grueling because after all, they’re a sprint workout. I’m a guy who’s got that endurance mindset. I know how to suffer, I know how to push through the pain and the fatigue. I also recover really quickly unlike a true sprinter because I have that endurance background. I don’t have a high explosiveness on the spectrum from a Usain Bolt to uh, uh, Galen Rupp, the marathon runner. I’m more toward the endurance seen having been, uh, on the triathlon, uh, background for so long. So my work has have always looked like a sprint, pretty much all out, only doing a hundred meters, maybe working up to 200 meters and then a very short rest period where I just catch my breath and then I hit it again and I feel just fine. And the quality of sprint is pretty close to the previous one.

Brad: 34:22 And I can do four or five or six times, 100 meters, or oftentimes I would do two times 200 meters, followed by four to six times a hundred meters. So not much rest. Get the session done, get out of there. I’m feeling pumped up. I’m ready to suffer and have the, have a knock off a sprint workout. I’m doing a couple of few times a month, only two to three times a month because afterward I feel pretty trashed, man. Not right away. Right away. I feel great. I’m buzzed on endorphins, stress hormones. I’m going through my day. Uh, glad to do that sprint workout. And then the next morning or even the next afternoon, there’s a real low that I’ve experienced 36 hours after a sprint workout. So I sprinted at 8:00 AM Tuesday morning, Wednesday afternoon you’re going to find me under my desk. Crashed out with a big nap and just feeling. Uh, the, the tightness and the soreness and the aching come in. And this has been happening this way for many, many years. Even though I’ve been building and trying to gain my competency and sprinting, the workouts are really tough. I have a long recovery time after where I have to work through the soreness over and over. What the heck was I thinking? Honestly, I was applying the endurance athletes mentality to my sprint workouts rather than a total focus on quality. I was also going for that workout effect, that cardiovascular training effect, which was completely unnecessary. I didn’t need to get good at returning to sprint after a shorter rest period and endure the, uh, the suffering and the long recovery time accordingly. So after having the discussion with Craig Marker and also Joel Jamieson influenced my decision at around the exact same time, just putting all the pieces together.

Brad: 36:10 That’s what I’m doing for you on the podcast, man. The final piece, of course, running everything by the great wizard of Oz. Andrew McNaughton, my long time training partner racing partner on the pro circuit, possibly the most knowledgeable endurance coach on the planet who no one’s heard of because he doesn’t care about promoting himself. He cares about helping people. But I said, check this out, dude. Look what these guys threw at me. They said, just rest for a long time and then do another sprint. And don’t worry about the, you know, the, the pattern and the, uh, the, the quick recovery. He’s like, absolutely. In fact, you should only do three, three sprints of a hundred meters. That’s it representing a super high quality workout. So armed with that support and knowledge from the great leaders of the planet, yes, I am now doing, I’m doing four, sorry, Andrew, four seems good to me.

Brad: 36:59 Uh, but I’m resting as long as I need to in between efforts so that I feel really strong and focused and the quality of each sprint is just as good as the previous one. After four, I can notice a tiny bit of unraveling there in the last third of the fourth, uh, effort. You know what I mean? The last 30 yards or the football field. And that’s when I know I’ve reached my limit and done an excellent session. That by the way, is much, much easier to recover from because I didn’t slam myself with the, uh, grueling aspect of short rest and going back and doing another sprint. So I’m focused on quality. You can do the same thing and apply this same mentality to whatever kind of workout you’re doing in the gym, uh, of whatever sport, whether you’re in a water sport or your cycling, uh, doing your kettlebells, uh, your maximum sustained power training, which we talk about so much in the Primal Endurance book.

Brad: 37:59 This is Jacques Devore’s method of preserving a certain percentage of maximum power throughout the workout. And a really great example of visual that you’ll take with you if you’re getting lost. I hope not. But he talks about, uh, let’s say picking a, uh, a difficult wait for a dead lift or a session of squats. Uh, maybe your, um, eight rep max or something. So you pick a weight that you could do eight times. If you were asked to do it all out, let’s say it’s 200 pounds on the dead lift and in a maximum sustained power session, you’re to do a succession of sets with a declining number of reps in order to make sure that you’re rested and explosive for each effort. So whereby a normal person doing a deadlift workout would go up to that bar and do eight reps the first time because it’s their eight mep Max weight as I described, and then they rest a minute and then they go back and do eight more reps and boy the sixth and the seventh and the eighth rep, uh, on that second set, we’re tough. And so they did eight and eight. This is a very simplified example to make the point. So in contrast, if you’re doing a maximum sustained power set, you might do six nice powerful ones on your first set. Then you might come back with sufficient rest and do four super awesome, powerful ones with peripheral perfect form. Then you might rest, come back, do three, then another set of three, then another set of two, then another set of two. Then another set of two. Then another set of two get what I’m doing here. We’re doing these sets that are super easy because there’s only two or three as you’re getting a little bit tired but you’re accumulating a body of work that is fabulous because every time you lifted that weight you were powerful and you are explosive and yes, after you do several sets of just two reps, they’re all adding up, even know you’re resting a minute or whatever between sets and then you’re done because you start to notice your form waiver and the fatigue accumulate.

Brad: 40:07 But when you add up, let’s say a sequence of reps where you went six, four, three, three, two, two, two, two I think that adds up to 24 where the original example of eight and then another eight, that represents 33% less weight lifted and also more soreness and fatigue because you busted out 8 and 8 and you really got a fatigue there at the end. So you get that contrast between the maximum sustained power session which was clean and explosive and then the fatiguing session where you did maximum effort set, maximum effort set and then you’re kind of blown out. Or the Brad example where I’m doing my sprint. If it’s six times a hundred meters, I blast one. I jog only across the width of the football field. Blast another one jogged the width of the football field, blast another one and pretty soon it’s getting tough.

Brad: 41:07 I can make it through the session. My form’s not cracking. I’m not looking like a jerk on the sixth one, but boy did. I just put out a ton of effort that’s going to have a lot of recovery time where the most prominent goal of the session was to generate maximum explosive force and have a peak performance, high intensity effort, much better achieved by resting more in between the sets and when I do the full length show, a contrasting high intensity repeat training with high intensity interval training, we will get into the science, we’ll wait in there with my help as a guide. The layman trying to translate this stuff and simplify it. I’m particularly qualified to do that. So I think you’re going to enjoy the followups, a show, a peak performance without suffering and contrasting high intensity repeat training with high intensity interval training.

Brad: 41:59 But for this show, I think that will awaken you to new possibilities and optimizations for your workout patterns regardless of your fitness level. So if your eyes are glossing over thinking that you’re just a casual exerciser, I will strongly argue that this stuff is extremely relevant to you and maybe even more relevant than to, uh, the high performing athlete who has a little bit more cushion and a little bit more margin of error to open up the throttle and bounce back quickly as opposed to someone who can go into a tailspin just because of ill informed, uh, approaches that are too strenuous and stressful. So again, Phil Maffetone keeping that aerobic heart rate at 180 minus your age and beats per minute, never exceeding 90% of your maximum heart rate, even on the explosive efforts. And Oh, as a little aside there, when I’m sprinting for 10 seconds or 15 seconds maximum, I’m not really worried about heart rate. That’s not an operating variable there because the effort is so short that heart rate is sort of insignificant. So even if I do hear the beep beep beep meant that my heart rate exceeded uh, 90%, uh, in the aftermath of one of those sprints. What we’re more concerned about are those sustained efforts where you’re doing a a time trial, uh, a series of longer intervals preparing for specific competition. And again, those are a high risk long recovery time and minimal return on investment compared to shortening the duration of your peak performance, high intensity efforts, and just going for the top end.

Brad: 43:40 Next we have Brian MacKenzie advocating for the comprehensive approach where you respect flexibility, mobility, functionality. Spend 15 minutes of every workout hour doing accord drills. You talk about things like breathing, putting recovery at center stage, adding the power and the speed. If you’re an endurance athlete, uh, doing the opposite. If you’re a power and speed athlete, working on a little bit of endurance, investigating how breathing practice can help minimize the stress impact and stimulate recovery.

Brad: 44:12 And then we go to Joel Jameson and his recovery based training protocols, including the fascinating concept of rebound workouts where you get up, you get moving, get the blood flowing, doing some gentle stretches, breathing exercises, mobility work, range of motion, work in the gym, doing those short sprints and focusing on lowering that heart rate, getting good at that, doing the positive, a dead lift or squat exercises where you get a little bit of hard work done. Uh, you send a message to the nervous system to perform and then recover quickly. And that’s what you’ll get good at doing offline when you’re out of the gym going through your busy day.

Brad: 44:51 A, then finally the, uh, concept of high intensity repeat training versus the more strenuous and fatiguing high intensity interval training, based on my conversation with Craig Marker of strong first, you can listen to that show on the primal endurance podcast and my everyday example of going out there and doing my sprints, but taking more rest time in between efforts so they can really be a quality and explosive and not have that prolonged recovery time that comes with a more strenuous workout. Similarly, with the maximum sustained power example where you’re doing high quality, uh, sets that might not be as accumulating as many reps, but you’re feeling strong all the way through and you’re doing a sequence like six, four, three, three, two, two, two, two rather than eight and eight and you’re lifting more total weight anyway. You’re getting more work done anyway with less stress, less recovery time. That’s some good stuff right there. Go out there and try it out.

Brad: 45:56 Oh, and speaking of a natural, authentic plug at this point, go check out DNA fit.com. We’ll run the spot right after this, but right now I’m going to tell you to go take 30% off anything, all their products with the code, the unforgettable code, g o why 30 get over yourself, 30 joy 30 enter that into the field. You’re going to get 30% off all their products. They actually now have an integration service with 23 and me and ancestry.com. If you’ve done those tests, you can combine the results. They are using the same database. Fascinating breakthrough. Uh, but the reason I’m bringing that up now is because of the fascinating insight I obtained from them that I was 56% strength and power and 44% endurance, uh, with my genetic profile of my musculature. And this is an insight that occurred, uh, in recent years. I had no idea back when I was an endurance athlete and I believed it would have been fabulous to understand that I was more weighted towards strength, power, explosiveness than I thought and I could have changed my training accordingly.

Brad: 47:05 In the example I just discussed in the show where I took more rest periods and enabled a more quality sprint effort with less breakdown and recovery time. That suggests that I was honoring my genetics that weren’t pure endurance. Like if I came out 93% endurance and 7% strength and power, I would be considered a mule, a pack animal that can load up the bags and walk up the Grand Canyon and five hours in the hot weather without drinking any water or complaining. But that’s a whole different beast than someone who has those genes signaling for power and explosiveness and accordingly benefits from more recovery time, not just between a hundred meter sprints during a workout, but also more recovery time in general between strenuous efforts. And that’s the part I missed as an athlete. I was trying to get up everyday and go forward again because that’s what all my peers were doing on the triathlon circuit because these were endurance machines and I was trying to be something that maybe wasn’t totally aligned with my genetics. So when you get the DNA fit test, you can make better decisions about the exact nature of your workouts. There’s a lot of supporting material and counseling. Yeah. How about that? All right guys, go to it.

Brad: 48:20 Thanks for listening and I’d love it if you went on iTunes and left a review or wherever you listen to podcasts. I listened on Pod Bean, it’s a really cool app and it has some good functionalities. Uh, like the variable speed that you can set 1.1 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.8. If it’s really boring, you can turn up to 2.0 and it go through really quickly and you can listen to another show. And if it’s really important or something that’s confusing, you can slow it down to 0.8 and take notes. So go leave a review. I know it takes time, it’s a hassle. But again, remember my promise. If I see you in person real life and you say, Hey, are you Brad from the get over yourself podcast? I’ll say, yeah, that’s me. Maybe you can tell by my yellow glasses that I’m wearing in the airport or what have you. I promise if I see you in person, I will give you a dollar for leaving a review and I am ready. I got a stack of 100 $1.00 bills here because I would definitely trade 1000 $1.00 bills for a thousand positive reviews on iTunes because it’s so important to elevate the profile and the interest of the show so more people can find it. Oh yeah, so do it. Thanks a lot. Not The good times. Roll.

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