(Breather) Sometimes, the best conversations happen when the “record” button is already off and the interview is technically “done.” I’ve promised since the beginning of this podcast to also do my best to capture the compelling stuff that goes on behind the scenes, usually once we’ve stopped recording…unfiltered, fun, and very real.
After finishing up an interview with Andre Obradovic (which you can listen to here), I decided to keep recording, and we ended up speaking about the life changes that have come out quarantining, how things are going down under in Australia for Andre, the many benefits we can gain from this experience, as well as progressive training strategies, like intentional breathing, and the importance of slowing down so you can go faster.
“I’m liking the isolation,” Andre says. Having to spend way less time driving and with clients has freed up more space for relaxing, calming activities, like gardening, cooking and cleaning, and indulging in heat therapy in his sauna. Cold therapy, however, is not for Andre (“I get too cold”) so he instead has been prioritizing his yoga practice and emphasizing “nasal breathing,” also while running, (using the MAF method, of course) to stimulate parasympathetic function and make workouts just less stressful overall.
This evolves into a conversation about how prioritizing slowing down and rest and recovery contradicts old methods of exercise ― methods that many of us have followed and implemented into our workouts our whole lives, which is why it is integral to unwind this disastrous, flawed advice, and adopt a much more sustainable method of maintaining fitness. We discuss how many Olympians are still behind the curve when it comes to following a healthy lifestyle, referencing Michael Phelps’ training diet and Usain Bolt eating 100 chicken McNuggets a day during the Beijing Olympics. We wrap up by discussing the fascinating notion that certain record-setting endurance outliers most likely had a few genetic attributes that served them very well as endurance competitors, and how those same genetic attributes also made them predisposed to diabetes! Enjoy picking up some practical tips from this fun show with Andre and be sure to check out his website here.
The current shift in how we live has changed the routines of all of us in many different ways. [03:39]
Nasal breathing makes the workout less stressful. [08:01]
Andre says MAF training is one of the most important things he’s ever done. [13:01]
Slow down, take care of your body and then you can build steadily over time. [16:29]
Are Olympic coaches and other elite coaches changing from old methods? [18:35]
There is some notion that some endurance outliers who have set records probably had some genetic attributes that make them predisposed to diabetes. [24:43]
- Brad’s Shopping Page
- Andre Obradovic
- Brian MacKenzie podcast
- What Doesn’t Kill Us
- Scott Carney podcast
- Eight Weeks Out
- Dr. Craig Marker
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Everybody get over yourself podcast listeners. I promised you from the very beginning didn’t I, that we would record stuff that happens when the button is usually off. Forget all that overly scripted posturing, airbrushed life that we live in on social media and mainstream media. We are getting to know these people, having some fun and getting real. So at the end of my lengthy interview with Andre Obradovic. We kept talking about this and that so I hit the record button. And in this breather we are going to talk about life changes that have occurred from the social distancing quarantine around the world, how things are going in Australia on that note, and also Andre being the ever positive enthusiastic guy talks about the many benefits that we can pull out of this and change in the future and adjust our behaviors and maybe even adjust, uh, how the economy works.
Uh, he’s uh, pointing out that his online business has been growing because he can’t engage with, uh, clients directly anymore or temporarily. So, uh, we also get into some, uh, progressive training strategies of great interest. Uh, one of them is the intentional breathing to perform great athletic feats like Wim Hof. So we talk a bit about, uh, this intentional breathing and how I can help you overcome, uh, cold and great things like that. We also talk about nose breathing to stimulate parasympathetic function and make workouts overall less stressful. And then the tremendous importance of the math heart rate training of keeping your heart rate in the aerobic zone. When you’re doing cardiovascular exercise, slowing down to go faster, a few more comments from Andre Obradovic down there in Aussie land. Enjoy.
We’re recording a breather show now, cause I know There’s going to be more fun coming out. This is the stuff, so,
Okay. I’m liking the isolation cause don’t drive as much, getting more gardening done. Um, getting more time to focus on cooking and cleaning the house and just the yard and, um, we planted heaps of broccoli and cauliflower and beetroot. And so I’m able to spend more time in the garden and I’m actually picking up more clients overseas, like from the U S for some reason, um, because I’m not wasting my time at gyms teaching classes. So I’m finding it a bit more calming and relaxing. Um, but I, and I think the feedback I’m getting from people is there are people that are really enjoying the isolation, but there’s also people with young kids who are stressing, cause they’re homeschooling their kids and now their kids are going back to school. They’re a lot more relaxed, but alcohol consumption has gone up heaps in Australia.
I think it’s ridiculous that, you know, they go to what people go to it for stress and they go to what, um, to relax. Um, but we’re, you know, one of the things I’m really interested in your opinion about saying we’re still talking is I’ve been doing nasal breathing while I’ve been running. So I did this run the other day for an hour, all in MAF. And I ran for 15 minutes with my mouth closed at five minutes, probably five minutes, 10 kilometer pace comfortable. And I’m thinking of extending that. What do you think about that?
Oh my gosh, I read this book. Uh, I think it was like.
Oxygen Advantage or.
New Speaker (07:09):
19 something, you know, 1994, some long time ago. And it was called, um, Mind, Body and Sport by John Douillard. And he talked about this nasal breathing concept during exercise and explaining that when you are taking those deep diaphragmatic breasts that you’re forced to, because you can only use your nose, you can’t breathe shallowly anymore. The deep diaphragmatic breasts are associated with parasympathetic function. So you’re literally making the workout less stressful by doing nose breathing. And guess what? It’s kinda difficult to breathe through your nose and exceed your aerobic pace. So it’s sort of like a checkpoint that the workout is not too stressful based on the pace. And then when you add that breathing element in, Oh my gosh, you know, it was eyeopener back then and now we’re finally bringing it into heightened focus.
You know, Brian MacKenzie, the power speed endurance guy that the founder of CrossFit endurance. And, um, I did a show with him where he was saying that one of his centerpieces of his training, uh, philosophy, his training approach, his breathing, he mentioned breathing cold exposure, uh, recovery. So those are like his three triangles rather than swimming, biking, running, or strength, endurance, and flexibility. These things are now at center stage for the leading athletes in the world and the most sophisticated trainers. And so, you know, it’s pretty, it’s pretty awesome. I’m not a, a huge, um, devotee. I’m not into the Wim Hof thing too much. I’ve tried it a little bit. And so, you know, to imagine these miraculous breakthroughs that you can get just from breathing takes a little bit of a leap of faith, but then if you just read a little bit about Wim Hof and that whole movement, uh, there’s a book called, um, What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney.
He was a guest on my podcast.
Yeah. I listened to that.
New Speaker (09:05):
Yeah. He’s an investigative journalist specialty, of course, debunking bullshit myths and cults and gurus and things. So he flew to Poland to interview Wim Hof and licking his chops, going this ridiculous Dutchman. I’m going to expose him as, as a joke. And we’re going to see how, you know, he’s out in the cold snow to take the picture and then goes back into his log cabin. And when he got to training camp, a Wim Hof said, you’re welcome to have full access. You know, I’ll talk to you about anything he goes, but you have to participate in my, in my deal here. If you’re going to write about me, like, all right, all right. A week later, Scott Carney average Joe from Boulder, Colorado climbed. to a top of a snowy peak in the middle of winter in Poland wearing shorts and running shoes.
And so he went from the debunker to, uh, you know, deep into the science and presenting this great book that like, if you can regulate your, uh, your breathing patterns, you can override this, uh, fight or flight response that we get, uh, under stress, such as exercise, stress or argument at home or in the workplace. It’s pretty, pretty fantastic.
Wow. Yeah. That’s that? I listened to that. That was a really good podcast. That one, but yeah. That’s so that’s the sort of summer stuff I’ve been doing during isolation is trying to learn more about, cause I’ve got the food nail. I think I’ve got the exercise and MAF training nailed and now trying to add extra things. So I’ve got the sauna. I don’t particularly like the ice bath like you, cause I get very, very cold. So now I’m trying to bring this nasal breathing and more yoga in to sort of optimize further, to be calmer and less stressed.
Yeah. That’s nice. I think the stuff we talked about in the show about flying under the radar with a lot of your workout efforts has been a huge one for me because like I said, man, I get pumped up. I’m competitive. I want to go there and set a new PR at my next workout. And I was unfortunately like that when I was, uh, on the triathlon circuit, like I always wanted to just break through to the next level without putting in the necessary work and patience cause I didn’t love training all day. I kind of had, you know, my mind would go in different directions and I wanted to pursue other hobbies and things like that. But, um, that was a mistake to try to short circuit the process of developing fitness gradually and protecting against over-training burnout, things that happen when you get too excited, too ambitious, too competitive.
I did this talking about recovery. I did this great run the other day. It’s called I’m sure you know about it. It’s called a run of thirds. So I was like started at 20 minutes, 20 minutes, 20 minutes in each 20 minutes, you increase your pace. Right? So I was doing a 26, 26, 26 and then five minutes all out. So it was like a, but I was in MAF the whole time, except for the last three minutes of the five minutes. So it was like 26 minutes at about five minute 20 kilometer pace, just nice and comfortable. 26 minutes at like 04:44, 04:30 pace, 26 minutes at 04:18 pace and all was all in MAF. I was like 125, 130 beats. And then I did the five minutes at sub four minute pace. Then I got up to 140 beats a minute, right. For like maybe two minutes if that or a minute. But it was like really, it was a hard run, not from heart rate, but just to be running 26, 26, 26 and five on the treadmill increasing the whole time with no rest, no slow down. But the next day I sort of thought, I wonder how I’m going to feel in the morning. And I felt really good. I felt invigorated. Like I didn’t feel sore or tired and I really believe that’s all about keeping that heart rate below. You know, I think math training has been one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life. And it’s just such a amazing thing to be able to run at those paces at those low heart rates. I mean, how, how, how, what are you, how important do you think having this patienceto do MAF training is?
It’s night and day difference from the high stress approach. And this stuff was first exposed to me halfway through my triathlon career. So I went out there for nine years and that was maybe four years into it and training so hard with the group in Los Angeles before I moved to the rural environment and did a lot of my training solo and more focused. Uh, but it was like, you know, going to the wolves every single day at the swimming pool, uh, these group bike rides with like 60 to 80 riders and crazy bike racers that would take chances around the corners and everything was super intense and super sympathetic high stress mode. And I was putting, you know, every ounce of energy I had into the sport and doing pretty well. And I was, uh, eighth in the world. And then I was, uh, you know, had a great race and got third in the big race.
And then I got six in the other race. Uh, but I got to this point where guys were still way ahead of me, Mike Pigg, Mark Allen. Um, there was, there was no comparison and I knew I was a very talented athlete. I had high level and running before triathlon and all that stuff. And I remember feeling so frustrated after one of the races. And um, I just basically went over to Mark Allen and cornered his ass. And I said, dude, you know, what’s going on? And luckily this was before the, the era of doping because of this story were transposed into the cycling pack in 1995 with Greg Lamond. Um, what’s going on is people are dropping their asses off, but this was back in the eighties. And so, you know, I had an authentic conversation with Mark Allen. He said, look, here’s the thing you got to slow down.
This training is too stressful. It breaks your body down over and over. You get sore muscles, you, you fry your adrenal glands, all these terms that we didn’t even use back then, you know, cortisol, no one knew what that said. When you get poison Oak. I know I put cortisone on, but he had a short conversation with me and he just said, you know, slow down, take care of your body. And then you can build and build and build steadily over time without the interruptions that happen from injuries and, uh, you know, hormonal imbalances and all the crazy stuff that I thought was part of the sport of triathlon. I thought you had to suffer like that to get better. And so, uh, you know, going in a different direction, they’re getting the heart watch on. That was 1987. I got the first heart rate monitor.
It was rectangular shape. And it was like the size of a big thing. Yeah, yeah. And, um, you know, to have that courage and that confidence to, you know, buy into something that the greatest triathlete of all time told me, and then listen to other experts, uh, that was kind of the, you know, the breakthrough for me and Maffetone was pounding that drum. He’s now been talking about the same stuff for over 30 years, maybe 40 years. Uh, but what’s interesting is like, people don’t want to hear that message because they’d rather burn off excess energy from stressful life and have that unregulated competitive intensity to just go kick ass on the guy that just passed you on the bike trail on what’s supposed to be a recovery ride. And so I think we all have to like face look in the mirror and ask ourselves what we’re all about with our fitness goals and then, you know, answer to those and behave in a congruent manner to your stated goals and dreams. And so in my case, I was, you know, I was willing to do whatever it took to be the best. And my, I finally realized that meant that I had to go to the video store more often and sit on the couch more frequently and sleep more and do all these things that were against my natural, competitive instincts, but were going to serve me in the long term.
You, um, do you think, um, uh, Olympic coaches and elite coaches are starting to change the way they coach or do they, what do you think that area is doing about MAF training or low heart rate training and changing some of the ways they build training for people at the elite level? What’s your thoughts on that?
New Speaker (17:34):
But yeah, good question, man. We should be like cohost of the Muppet middle aged man podcast or something. Cause I liked the, the interplay back and forth. And I just talked to Tim de Francesco, my good friend who was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Los Angeles Lakers for six years, looking after Kobe Bryant, when they won the title and the other great athletes that came through his shop. And, um, there’s a lot of cutting edge stuff that’s going on when some really great, uh, amazing, uh, leaders, Joel firstname.lastname@example.org. He’s a MMA trainer. Um, Dr. Craig Marker. You can find his stuff at, breaking muscle.com. And so these thought leaders are putting it out there and, you know, showing us the future of fitness and helping us unwind this disastrous flawed advice that we’ve been following for decades.
So I see the groundswell happening and of course it’s reached the elite levels and the guys who are breaking records in the various sports are doing a lot of things, right. But I also think there’s still a whole ton of nonsense going on where these heroes, these greatest athletes in the world and these Olympians are still not, not buying into the whole picture. Usain Bolt remember?They, he ate 2000 chicken McNuggets at the Olympic training, the Olympic village over the, over the duration of the Olympics. It was a funny article, Michael Phelps. You can Google that famous article that he ate 12,000 calories a day of garbage, and that came into the lexicon. And actually, um, he, uh, he corrected, he set the record straight years later, uh, when he was asked about that article and he says, you know, I, I only, I only really ate nine or 10,000 calories a day.
It was like embellished on this thing. But I think a lot of them are pathetically behind the curve. And I think, uh, of the NBA, these guys that are making millions and millions of dollars, they’re so naturally talented. And then they turn up in the news for, uh, crashing their car at 2:30 in the morning, leaving a club, uh, drunk. And it’s like, Oh man, it’s kinda heartbreaking for people like us in the endurance sports where, you know, the, the leaders in these sports are living like monks. Like you go into bed at 9:15 and putting in, you know, the massive hours of training every week. So I think we have a long way to go. It doesn’t necessarily mean that all these world records are going to be shattered because you know, Usain Bolt is, I think he’s the greatest athlete or maybe tied with tiger woods as the greatest athlete that’s ever lived on the planet.
And he worked very, very hard. He wasn’t just a gifted tall guy that was taller than the other sprinters. Those guys train hard and, no, he didn’t have the diet thing down at all. It probably cost them some recovery time and had that marginal thing. But I don’t know if he would have gone a lot faster, uh, having, you know, Dr. Dre plan his meals for him because he’s going a hundred meters. Right. And you know, same with some of these Ironman guys. Uh, Mike Pigg had the biggest motor and the most incredible mindset that was just 100% gas on every single day, starting at 6:00 AM with no, you know, no sense of declining motivation or wavering focus. It never entered into his mind to have a down day or a, you know, a second guessing of his purpose as a human. He just went at it and floored that gas pedal every day.
And he, you know, was one of the greatest of all time, probably the greatest short course athlete of all time. And he did that with pure, uh, you know, desire, an insatiable desire to, uh, to achieve great things. And he wasn’t the most talented guy. His form was kind of crappy and swimming kind of crappy and running, but he worked so hard on improving his running form. He would drive six or seven hours to go see his coach who subsequently moved out of his town to have regular checkups, to see how his running form was doing. And I referenced myself where I’m thinking, did I have that level of commitment where I would drive seven hours to go run a few laps and have some guy watch me? I didn’t care that much. I didn’t have that total devotion and focus. And that’s why, you know, certain people just like a, a CEO is going to sacrifice his family, his health, everything. So he can be one of the bad, bad asses of the world and fly on his private jet. So I think we all have to come to terms with what level of commitment we want and then let things play out accordingly.
Yeah, absolutely. And, and, you know, I reckon even if some of the world’s elites were doing all of this new style of training, they wouldn’t be telling people. So like, you know, Mark Allen, wasn’t telling people all about MAF when he started it. I’m sure he told you, cause you asked him, but people won’t tell people as secrets. And I think the other thing is, you know, you talked about Phelps and eating all those calories. I reckon it’d be interesting to do a show between us on looking at elite sports stars and how they’re now got diabetes. So in Australia as a marathon runner call Robert De Costella.
New Speaker (22:45):
Amazing guy. I ran with him in New York for the New York marathon when I did it for my third time raising money for a soldier’s charity. And we met with them and we had talks with them and the indigenous natural peoples foundation and he’s fat. He’s got, he would have diabetes. And why is that? Because of all the flipping sugar and carbs he ate from Gatorade. And when he, cause I sponsored the AIS and all of that stuff. We are, there’s a show in that maybe
New Speaker (23:12):
Oh my gosh, Sisson and I had talked about this a lot and there’s some, uh, notion that these endurance outliers who set the records and won great titles, probably had some genetic attributes that served them very, very well when they were endurance competitors and were also the same attributes that make them predisposed to getting fat and diabetic, uh, in the aftermath. Eddy Merckx and Greg Lamond, two of the greatest cyclist ever, especially winning the tour for three weeks, you have to be able to ingest calories, store them, replenish energy, train, again, stuff your face again. And some people, you know, are better at that than others. It’s called the thrifty gene. That’s why some people, or some families have fat in their family and some don’t. And so, you know, maybe Eddie Merckx uh, you know, had this ability to process massive loads of carbohydrates store, more glycogen, do all these great things that are work really well on the tour, but not when you’re 50 and announcing all day on your butt and then getting on a bus to the next day.
Yeah. And your insulin receptors have gone, you know, they’ve doubled, they’ve doubled over that time as well. But I reckon that’d be something to look at. Maybe I might do some research and put together some thoughts for next time we talk, maybe.
New Speaker (24:34):
Yeah. You know, another aspect of that could be this, um, you know, this natural human need to achieve homeostasis, both in the short term and over the lifespan and someone who’s had that, uh, ridiculously incredible of a life and put in that much work, maybe they deserve three decades off or they’re going to be the slowest walking person in the airport terminal and, you know, have only a moderate commitment to exercise because they overdid it for so long. And just, you know, the intensity of that life experience, same with the professional football player, basketball player, the guys in America who retire with, you know, millions and millions of dollars and they’re going fishing and, uh, you know, hanging around and not doing much with their life because Hey man, they already, they already went to the highest peak of, you know, focus, concentration, dedication, commitment. And now they’re, now they’re getting some time off. They don’t have the incentive anymore because they have all the money. And so it’s interesting psychological observation of, um, you know, maybe, maybe it’s okay. Probably, probably not the healthiest thing to just retire and sit on your ass, but you know, sort of, uh, deservedly. So I guess in a certain way.
Yeah. Let’s see. Yeah. It’s interesting to think about why it affects different people in different ways. Yeah.
Yeah. And I think it’s good to look for role models, uh, in that sense where you see the, uh, the, the great athlete of the past is now, uh, turning their attention to a different sport or they’re coaching, or they, they stay in shape or they’re still competing in the masters division or doing something, right.
Like you try and like you,
New Speaker (26:22):
I can’t rest on my laurels as high as the next guy, but I had a conversation with Mark Allen down at his home in Santa Cruz, a few blocks from the beach and he gets up every morning and he goes and surfs, and he’s a pretty serious, you know, uh, accomplished surfer. It’s a pretty darn good workout to be out there for a few hours catching waves. And then he said.
that was in shed talk. I, it.
New Speaker (26:43):
Shed talk. Yeah. And he jogs around his neighborhood at a steady, uh, MAF pace. He looks great. It looks like he, you know, it looks like he did when he crossed the Ironman finish line, but he’s not out there, uh, going for the podium in the 60 plus, uh, at Olympic distance because there’s no reason to, I mean, it’s probably not healthy for an individual like that who suffered so much on the lava fields. And I remember one, uh, exercise physiologists or somebody, uh, contended that today’s extreme endurance athlete, like a tour de France person or an iron man triathlete, or an ultra distance runner, uh, has performed more physical work than any human who’s ever lived. Vastly more than our hunter gatherer ancestors who had a rough life. And they had to carry heavy stones and, uh, walk 12 miles a day, but no one’s ever challenged the heart and put the body into that mode of training for hours and hours a day, because there was no call to do it in, uh, you know, survival, uh, you know, evolutionary selection.
It was just, you know, the, the, the African Kalahari, uh, hunter gatherer that chased down the antelope and that documentary, the great dance it’s, it’s a great show. You can see it on YouTube. Um, they chased this antelope for four hours in 110 degree heat. Uh, and the antelope, they finally caught up to the antelope and it tipped over and collapsed and exhaustion and died. And then they had to stab it with a spear for the ceremonial aspect, but it shows like humans are great runners. They’re, you know, we’re, we’re the top of the food chain because of our ability to have an amazing endurance. No, it’s that we can do that once, carry that antelope back to camp, and eat it for the next few weeks and then go around and pick berries. So, you know, this idea of training for a marathon, and I know there was a bestselling book about this, but I’m going to challenge that a little bit, that we’re not built to go run a hundred miles a week.
This is against our genetics. And really, it’s more about having that capacity to once in a while, push the body, but then live a more reasonable existence where we’re not in that chronic training pattern for, to bring it back to present time.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So that’s a good chat.
Right on man. We’re we’re grooving and we got more topics set up for next time. So Andre, thanks again. We’ll catch back to you, man
Thanks to you, man. Great.
New Speaker (29:11):
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