Podcast 24: Live Long and Stress Acutely
The Relentless Roger and the Caveman Doctor (RRCD) Podcast: Simplifying complex issues for healthy living
The podcast exists to take our daily efforts in the physical world and distill usable information for you, the listener.
In Episode #24 Roger and Dr. Champ Discuss:
- Dr. Champ’s recent encounter with fellow low-carb caveman Dr. Rainer Klement at a radiation oncology conference.
- The “natural” nitrates used in bacon
- Hormesis and how stressing your mitochondria may make you live longer
- Can low-carb dieting actually help prevent hearing loss?
- The island where people forget to die:
- How learning weight maintenance skills before dieting promotes long term success
Transcript (BIG shout out and thanks to Kaila!!!):
Relentless Roger and the Caveman Doctor Episode #24: Live Long and Stress Acutely
RR: Relentless Roger and the Caveman Doctor Episode #24. Today we ask: are you familiar with the term “hormesis?” Do you know how to live past 100? And how can you conquer eating and exercising on the road?
[Theme song plays.]
RR: Relentless Roger and the Caveman Doctor Episode 24. I am Relentless Roger here with Dr. Colin Champ, the Caveman Doctor. What’s up, man?
CD: Doing well, doing well. It is my birthday today, so…
RR: I’m not singing for you. I don’t have the voice for it.
CD: I don’t want that. I don’t think the listeners want that.
RR: Maybe Abel James could sing for you.
CD: No, everything’s good. We got pounded here with the hurricane. Luckily–well, not luckily–I was out of town. I was in Boston so we got it up there as well. I was at a conference, and I actually gave a talk. And I was mortified, but the talk went well. And then pretty much a half hour later they shut down the convention center and sent everyone home. So that was a little bit rough.
But it was a good time and, most importantly, at the conference, a fellow Paleo/ancestral health follower–advocate–Rainer, my buddy Rainer Klement, who we bumped into at Ancestral Health (Roger and I hung out with him a bunch), he had a presentation there about ketogenic diet for cancer. He has an awesome paper on it as well. And he has some other papers coming out. But I was checking my Facebook, and he was like, “Hey, man, I just presented the same time that you did. Let’s meet up.”
So we met up, and kind of shot it for a while, and had some pretty decent ideas. He just did a really cool study, which I don’t want to tell you what it is because he submitted it, but he has some good stuff coming out. It was really cool to see someone like that in this convention of pretty much all radiation oncology dorks. So it was cool. I just wanted to give him a shout out. Otherwise, just surviving Sandy, which I assume most of our listeners probably prepared for such things as modern cavemen…
CD: They were probably like, “Let’s rock.”
RR: Let’s rock and roll–and actually Sandy was a little scary. You know, I guess responsibilities nowadays, the business is here. We have big plate glass windows up front. And I’m thinking, “Oh man.” Initially Sandy was supposed to pass directly over Philly, and it veered course at the last minute. But it was supposed to pass right over us, and I’m thinking, “Oh no.” You know, that wouldn’t be good. But we lucked out.
CD: Jersey not so much.
RR: Jersey not so much. New York not so much. So if you’re a listener from there, and you’re just getting your power back, we’re thinking about you. ‘Cause we’re pretty close to the scene.
CD: Yep, yep. What’s up with you?
RR: First of all, I’m impressed that you’re recording a podcast on your birthday. That’s dedication right there. Everybody–listeners, that is dedication. This man has come to play tonight.
CD: I’m here for you. I’m here for the listeners. No time to stop and celebrate.
RR: Both transformation programs that I’m doing right now–both the physical one and also the pilot virtual one that I’m doing for a company–are both coming to a close! They’re staggered by a week. And this week sees out the live community, and next week sees out the virtual community. And they’ve both been pretty great. It’s been a load, it’s been a lot to take on. But you know me, I like a challenge. And it’s been nothing short of that. And as always there have been some pretty amazing results.
CD: Good stuff, man.
RR: And then–
CD: We go to an undisclosed location to finish the book.
RR: We need to insert that: if anyone out there knows the Family Guy clip where Brian and Stewie talk about the book that Brian had been writing for years and years. Hopefully that doesn’t become us–
CD: –That very much may–
RR: –Because we have accountability through you, so I’m thinking…You know, we’re not, we’re going to go, and we’re going to write the book and then we’re going to get it polished and finished. So it’s not like it’s going to come out right after we get back, but at the same time, if you haven’t received any word about this book by the New Year, you know something’s–
CD: It’s off.
RR: Yeah. The book didn’t go so well.
CD: We’re putting us in the position where we’re telling everyone so we kind of have to do it now.
CD: Or else we look like jerks.
RR: Exactly. I think that’s the first major takeaway of the show today: if you can hang with that kind of pressure…I think–I love it. I love it. Sometimes I think that kind of pressure makes the world go round. Where it doesn’t have to be a big group of people. Even just telling one person that means a lot to you that you’re going to do something, maybe even putting up some sillier, minor stakes–or maybe not-so-silly stakes–you know, maybe really lock yourself into accountability. That is huge. I’ve rarely, if ever, seen somebody fall flat on their face when they’ve built a substantial layer of accountability in.
And so this is why, in transformation programs, for those who are up for it, we’ll do live measurements. You know what I mean? Stuff that’s out there. It’s in the public eye. Most importantly it’s there for their family and friends. But it’s people who know what you’re up to and can hold you to it. Sometimes an all-too-human quality is to procrastinate or to put things off, and when you do that, it doesn’t allow you to. So there it is, man: dropping a takeaway before the takeaways.
CD: Dropping knowledge on the listeners. So what’ve you got for us? Start us off strong here. For number 24.
RR: Yeah, we’re gonna start strong. We’re not gonna start ultra-science-y. We’re gonna get to that, ‘cause I know you’ve got–
CD: Oh, don’t worry, I’ll be boring the listeners very soon.
RR: So what I want to talk about is the New York Times article that came out recently. A couple clients sent it to me. I had a blast reading the article. It’s called, “The Island Where People Forget to Die.” It was written by Dan Buettner, who’s worked on–if anyone’s familiar out there with the Blue Zone work, and the Blue Zones–they were trying to identify portions of the world where the oldest people live or where people are more disposed to, you know, anti-aging. So this is an article, Icaria (hopefully pronounced that one right), it’s a Greek island, and it begins with the story of this guy. A 60-something year old guy who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. And the doctor said, “You have nine months to live.”
And what he decided to do was get closer to his roots, get closer to his family. And he was from Icaria, and he just jumped ship and moved out there. He said, “Well, screw it. If I have nine months, that’s where I’m going to do it.” And so he kind of holed up there and expected to die. But on that island you have lots of amazing stuff going on: you have sun, you have ocean air. They have vegetable gardens, they had a family vineyard, played lots of games, drank lots of wine, just had generally a good time. Those nine months passed, and then another nine, and then another nine. And the dude’s 97 years old today.
RR: And I know–so, before we get too skeptical with it, there are probably reasons for it. You know, I don’t know how much we want to buy into the “terminal cancer suddenly disappears” kind of thing, but I think it’s a great story. And when you dig into this article, the biggest thing for me is that, I think sometimes we get so caught up in the food, or in the movement, that sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture. And I think this article is a great reminder of that. That, yes, what we talk about, the food that we eat, is extremely important. Yes, what we talk about, the way we move our bodies, the exercise that we do, yes, it’s extremely important. But there’s so much more to it. And this article really touched on some of those categories.
One: community. Right? Community is so huge. It’s your social circle, it’s your family, it’s your friends. It’s those people that you’re playing games with, hanging out with, that you can kind of take a load off and feel comfortable in their company. It’s amazing sleep habits. On this island, to a head, these people are not waking up with alarm clocks, they’re sleeping–they’re staying up ‘til whenever they want, they’re sleeping in, they’re taking naps whenever they want. They’re just kind of going with the flow. And there’s no stress there. There’s no jolt in the morning.
CD: I think that’s probably the most important one.
RR: Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.
CD: That, and they probably just drink barrels of wine.
RR: They drink lots of wine. They have a couple cups of coffee a day. They’re hug on mountain tea. They have mountain tea every day.
CD: I thought you were going to say “Mountain Dew.”
RR: No, no, no, no, no. Oh man.
CD: Tons of Mountain Dew.
RR: Mountain Dew will make it there eventually, I’m sure, but mountain tea for now. Sage, mint, rosemary, dandelion, those kinds of things. Now, the other thing is, and Gary Taubes was quoted in this article, which is what I thought was interesting, so they’re not eating the food that you and I would be all in favor of. They have a hefty portion of goat’s milk, not the worst thing in the world, right?
CD: It’s probably unpasteurized.
RR: Exactly, it’s unpasteurized.
CD: Probably fermented a little bit.
RR: But then, it’s also, they’re not eating tons of meat. They’re having lots of beans, lots of baked bread–fresh baked bread, potatoes, greens. They save the meat for, it’s like a couple times a month, celebratory occasions. They do eat fish a couple times a week. Again, it’s not necessarily what we would say is, if you want to live–in America right now–or if we were consulting with someone in Philadelphia: hey, eat this live long. This isn’t what we would have pulled out and written down on a piece of paper. But, you know, what Gary Taubes was saying the article when he was quoted is, is it that they’re doing something good or is how much bad they’re not doing? And so that’s an interesting thing to think about, but again, big takeaway for me today is: take a step back. What we do, what we talk about is extremely important, but there’s so many additional layers to this equation.
CD: Yeah, and it’s easy just to fall on nutrition as the only. But eat well and then not sleep and work out terribly, overtrain…
RR: Perfect segue. And I want to bring in a quote from this article. And they spoke to one of the residents of the article–of the island, sorry. She formerly lived in America and then had moved out there and has been out there for decades. And the article goes like this: quote, “I asked her if she thought her simple diet was going to make her family live longer. ‘Yes,’ she said, ‘but we don’t think about it that way. It’s bigger than that.’” And so it was clear, and she goes on to flesh that statement out. They’re not thinking about, you know, every morsel that they put in their mouths. Again, these people are chilling. They are not stressing; they are relaxing; and they’re doing things right.
CD: There’s substantial data that if you don’t sleep well, if you get over eight or nine hours of sleep versus less than six, if you work the night shift, you have increased risk of death, increased risk of cancer, breast cancer, all these things. So we know. There hasn’t been a randomized study looking at it, but let’s be honest. We know that it’s the case.
RR: But it’s amazing to think, you know, you read this article–it’s got a nice picture to lead off the article, and you kind of develop this mental image of this nice, remote Greek island with lots of nature around, and the ocean around, and all this. And then you pull it back. And I personally pulled it back to my everyday visual, Philadelphia. Hey, you know, I love this city. This city has its charm. But at the same time, it’s a city. And there’ s a lot of hustle and bustle. And there’s a lot of noise. And there’s a lot of people. And there’s a lot of people that are stressed out. And there’s a lot of weird stuff that you see and run into. And so we don’t have that opportunity here in Philadelphia to experience that same way of life. But for a moment I just thought, what if for a moment I wasn’t tied to a cell phone or tied to a business. Or maybe not removing myself from those things, but changing my relationship with those things. And I think that’s a journey that maybe will never be completely fulfilled, but at the same time, if you work on it a little bit, I think it could pay huge dividends.
CD: No, I’m with you. That and drinking a lot of Mountain Dew.
RR: Yes. Or in lieu of Mountain Dew, just lots of red wine. It’s clear that the Icarians know how to have a good time.
RR: So anyway, that’s the–little lighthearted, but I think it does offer some perspective on what we do. And I do think perspective is important.
CD: Yeah, at the end of these–we’ve had a rough month, rough two months, I think we’re kind of getting to a generally more chill mode, so I think it’s a good reminder.
RR: Yeah, the trip’s the cut off.
CD: Yeah, absolutely. So I’ll–
RR: Alright man, so change gears. Let’s slow things down a little bit.
CD: This will be brief, but for those of you who listened to Livin’ La V–no, not Livin’ La Vida Low Carb, the Ask the Low Carb Experts when Jimmy Moore had me on to talk about the ketogenic diet…the big pathways are basically glucose that’s lowered, and insulin pathway, insulin receptors, these are things that can increase cancer. And then other one that I talk about a lot is AMP-kinase, and that’s a pathway that’s very important to us. And Robb Wolf brought this up at Ancestral Health. That’s a pathway that can be up-regulated by working out hard and by eating low carb, which is what most of us are doing.
But what I presented in Boston this past week was the data, the hospital that I work at, the largest report on patients that are treated for these things called “acoustic schwannomas” or “acoustic neuromas,” depending on how you define them. And they’re these lesions that grow down your ear canal, and they’re benign. But when they get treated, whether surgery or radiation, it usually decreases your hearing, because your cochleas sits right by there. So my thing is, per the neurosurgeon that I work with, is to try to decrease hearing loss. And, low and behold, I never thought a low carbohydrate diet would connect to this, but there’s actually a study here, which I will post, and it shows that up-regulation of this AMP-kinase protein protects against hearing loss following acoustic overstimulation.
So I showed this to everyone at my work, who is just–everyone at work is just always sick of me talking about the ketogenic diet and low carb, and I’m just like, even the most esoteric thing, freaking acoustic schwannomas, can be helped with a low carbohydrate diet. So, it’s just amazing. And this is cherry-picking data, so, Dean Ornish, you can eat your heart out, etc. But it really is interesting how many parts of our body, whether it’s our pancreas and diabetes, onto cancer, onto even these benign, probably just hereditary, growths that happen in your ear.
RR: It’s truly head to toe.
CD: It truly is. That’s really the point of this. We tlak so much about people with esoteric issues, saying, “Does it help this? Does it help that? Does it help this, that or the next?” Probably does. ‘Cause it helps even random things like your hearing.
RR: Sure. It kind of helps everything. Or almost everything.
CD: So that’s the first of my rather dorky articles.
RR: No, I like it. That one’s nice. When you brought it up to me earlier, I was like, that’s where I’m getting my “Icarian island nap” in. But that wasn’t so bad. No, I like that one. But I–actually, the next one I’m really looking forward to.
CD: So the next article I have, this is on the geekier side as well. This is by Michael Ristau, and, Rainer, we’re shouting out to you over in Germany, Michael Risdau is from Germany as well, and he is just an awesome guy. I’ve talked about him on the podcast before. And he just does some out there stuff, which I think is amazing. I would not be surprised if this guy gets a Nobel Prize on his belt at some point.
RR: When are you getting yours? Time’s ticking, man. You just turned another year older.
CD: Yeah. The Nobel Prize for our podcast. Anyway, he wrote this review article, which is based on a lot of his research: “How Increased Oxidative Stress Promotes Longevity and Metabolic Health: the Concept of Mitochondrial Hormesis.” Or “Mito-Hormesis.” So this is interesting: it kind of goes against your island business, where the guys are chilling out, drinking wine. This is kind of the opposite. Basically what he has shown through several studies is that low-level stress on the body actually promotes health. Metabolic health and longevity. And we’ve discussed this, that, you know, acute stresses can decrease your cancer risk. (There’s an article on my website about that.) You know, intense exercise–intense exercise is a stress on the body. And basically he’s shown that there’s a couple ways to do it.
One is calorie restriction. But more specifically, he’s shown that it’s not just calorie restriction. It’s actually glucose and carbohydrate restriction. And what it does is it basically induces mitochondrial metabolism. So these are the powerhouses of our cells. So when you eat a lot of fat, mitochondria turn fat, protein, and even carbohydrates (depending on how they’re broken down) into energy. So basically, when you restrict glucose, you are up-regulating your mitochondria. The other pathway is when you decrease the insulin IGF pathway, which we all know about that. And then the final thing that’s very important for all the listeners out there: physical exercise, and specifically glucose restriction and intense physical exercise actually show–he’s shown that it up-regulates our mitochondria. And, interestingly, when we have free-radicals, and everyone knows about free-radicals, or oxidative damage, our body makes these antioxidants–glutathione’s a big one–and this happens through the mitochondria.
And that’s his whole theory here, that when you stress the mitochondria by decreasing glucose, so if you don’t have glucose, you have only fats in the diet, you really have to crank up your mitochondria to produce energy. This stresses the mitochondria. As a result, antioxidants are produced as well to help off-set the stress. What he did now is he showed this in humans. )So this is not an animal study.) And then he showed that if you give antioxidants before exercise and then exercise these guys–I don’t know what they do. Your leg extensions or whatever.
RR: Real quick interlude: I was out there, and I was thinking about what articles I was going to bring up today on the podcast. And I found an article that the title piqued my interest, but then, as with some of the other studies we’ve discussed on the podcast, I just didn’t like the way it was put together. It was so out there that I just decided not to use it. But the funniest part of the study is–again–these subjects, it was an exercise study, guess what they did? Sets of leg extensions.
CD: You gotta do it.
RR: What is the deal?
CD: It is the proverbial workout. Ahem. Anyway, before I was rudely interrupted by Roger–
RR: My bad, man.
CD: I’m just kidding. So he actually gave them antioxidants prior to exercise, and it actually prevented the adaptive response. So his whole theory is this hormesis. You have to stress your body. And you have to do it kind of on a daily basis. And he has a great quote, he says, you know, he suggests that calorie restriction, glucose restriction, and physical exercise share at least in part a common metabolic denominator, i.e. increased mitochondrial metabolism and auto-s (that’s “reactive oxidative substrate” or “species,” excuse me) formation inducing an adaptive response that culminates in increased stress resistance, antioxidant defense, and extended lifespan. So, basically, the more you stress your mitochondria, you get increased resistance to stress–it makes sense, your body ramps up the defense–you get antioxidant defense, and you get an extended lifespan.
And you know, he’s doing a lot of studies where he’s showing this in worms–and you can show whatever in worms–and now he’s showing it in humans. And it’s extremely interesting, and it kind of does, it caters to this whole not-chronic stress, this whole, like, intense stress, up-regulate your AMP-kinase, you know, glucose–obviously glucose restriction–with lesser-so carbohydrate restriction, and it’s just a very interesting scientific…Once again, it’s one of these things where, I don’t know about Risdau, I don’t know if he even eats low carb, I assume he does. He’s probably not Paleo. But it’s another one of these scientific things that just fits right in with what we’re doing. And if you want to look at it evolutionarily, it makes sense. But this is a very, very interesting article. I’ll post it. I hope you guys can access it. But yeah, super-interesting.
RR: I think there’s a necessary fine-line somewhere in there, right? It’s that acute stress beats chronic stress, right? We never want to be chronically stressed. But at the same time, intense acute stress to a point, right, benefits. I think past that–I think there is a point where, if you have one intense workout a week, I think clearly that’s a benefit. If you have two, it’s most likely a benefit. Right, but at somewhere along the way–
CD: It’s turning chronic.
RR: It’s turning–right, exactly, it’s turning chronic.
CD: And you need that intense to up-regulate the AMP-kinase. That’s why this low-level stress doesn’t work so well. So yeah, so it’s an interesting take on things. Hormesis is clearly his theory, and he’s, by study, proving it.
RR: I think I heard it first from Dr. Doug McGuff, but I really like the simplification, you know. You want to spend more days above baseline than below baseline. And I think that’s a great way to tell where you fall on that acute stress meter, is that if you feel like you’re constantly worn down, you know, if you’re trying–hey, I’m getting in there, I’m intensely exercising, I’m eating the right way, but yet you’re dragging for four or five more days a week, you’ve probably crossed that line a little bit. Right? I love the article. Obviously, you know I’m on board with intense bouts of exercise, and I’m board with the benefits there. I’m on board with relatively low carb eating, you know, I’m on board with the benefits there as well. Just find your line, and stay true to your line.
CD: Absolutely. What’ve you got?
RR: Interesting one. So, it was in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, and it was “Mastering Weight Maintenance Skills Before Embarking On a Diet Helps Women Avoid Backsliding.” So they took 267 overweight and obese women, and they randomized them into two groups. And one group just got kind of tossed into a weight loss program. Right? Kind of run-of-the-mill diet. I think it was 20 weeks. And then the other group, before they went into that exact same weight loss program, they talked about sustainability skills–so weight loss maintenance. What would happen after they lost this weight? Right? And they found that, a year later, the group that had gone through the weight sustainability skill set beforehand, they put back on three pounds. The other group put back on seven pounds.
So a year’s a pretty significant period of time. We’re talking about a couple hundred individuals. We’re about, you know, a four pound difference. Some of you might scoff at that. Some of you might think that’s significant. But it’s a pretty clear difference in my mind. And from what I do on an everyday basis with the transformation programs that I run, there’s no doubt that, you know, if I rewind the tape all the way back, I think the first transformation I ever ran was almost three and half years ago. And there’s no question about it, that I treated that program–I can admit it now–I treated that program like, you know, “get everything you possibly can out of these weeks,” but I didn’t even think about what came afterwards. It was “get in, get after it, and then what?” Right? And then you feel great, and life goes on, you know? There’s nothing that addressed that.
Progressively, over time, I’ve turned more and more and more of an eye to what happens afterwards. And there’s no doubt in my mind that even though you see shocking results across the board–I saw shocking results three and a half years ago, I see shocking results today. But there’s no doubt in my mind that the people I’m sending out after the program today are better equipped, and I would say the same thing about this study. Right? Those women are better quipped to deal with their weight loss. The other interesting thing was, now, some of the quote-unquote “sustainability skills” that they equipped these women with, we may agree–or most likely disagree–with some of them, but they did help. And one thing they did was they established a range of fluctuation for women.
I think this is important because a lot of women–a lot of men and women, I should say–are very tied to the scale. We’ve talked about this before. Tied to the scale number. They created a fluctuation range to quote-unquote “expect.” Right? So let’s say it’s that time of the month, let’s say they were going on vacation–any stressor that was coming into their lives that would fluctuate their lives one way or the other. They established a range. So it’s okay if I go up five pounds. Or it’s okay if I drop down rapidly five pounds. As long as I stay within that range. Right? If they blew out 11 pounds the next day, they would know they were doing something wrong. Right? But they gave them that range. And even those women who gained the weight stayed within the range. So there’s something to be said for that.
CD: Sometimes worrying about the fluctuation is very detrimental to at least your psyche.
RR: Absolutely. So this gave them that safe zone.
RR: Don’t worry about it. If you’re two pounds up, that’s okay. That can be a daily fluctuation. And that can be just something that happens. So I think there’s something here. You know? Maybe we would teach different techniques, but there’s something about addressing the aftermath before it even happens that I think is beneficial in the long run.
CD: Figuring out ways to get people to change their behaviors in general is a whole world in itself. There’s a good–a decent book called Change, and it’s about how to get people to change. I read it prior to starting my website, and it was just too much, so…
RR: You scrapped it?
CD: I threw it out.
RR: I really think, what I personally do on a daily basis, it’s a lot. I think, give a shout out back to Keith Norris in Austin, I think he would agree with me on this: our job as a trainer is a lot about psychology–
RR: –And just kind of being there for the person. I’ve said of r along time, I think you can take the best technical trainer on this planet–I am not that guy. I’m not the single best technical trainer on this planet, and I’m okay with that. You know? You can take that person, and if they don’t know how to reach somebody, if they don’t know how to dig into the psychology even a little bit, then what good is that?
CD: It don’t matter.
RR: It don’t matter, right? You need both. And so…
CD: You’ve got that going for you, buddy. Let me tell you that much.
RR: If nothing else. Maybe a little bit of that.
CD: Alright, we ready for some tangible takeaways?
RR: Absolutely. Go ahead man.
CD: Exercise. So yeah, I’ve been traveling a lot lately, and I was in Boston for about five days in the middle of a hurricane.
RR: Did you get rain up there, by the way?
CD: We got rain, not too bad. We got a lot of wind. But the night of the hurricane a bunch of us went out. And we were walking around the city so it wasn’t too bad. They cancelled some parts of the conference. I guess if anyone got hurt the would have been in trouble. But anyway, I was out of my mind because I couldn’t work out. My hotel–the gym was closed, so they had a local Y that we could go to, which was also closed. So you know, it was kind of like the what we just said: the balances. You don’t want to drive yourself nuts. But, basically just, the conference was in the convention center so I just walked laps. I had a briefcase with a laptop in it, so I did suitcase carries, which we discussed last week and posted on. And there was a bus to and from the conference. It was a ten minute bus ride or a half hour. So I just walked it. And it really made me take what would have been a stressful situation for me, because I love to be active, I love to be working out, and, you know, I made it it pretty decent. We get so many emails about what to do when we’re traveling, what to do here and there. It’s like, hit the steps, don’t take any elevators. If you can walk somewhere, walk somewhere, if you have enough time. You know, if you have, like I had a meeting one morning, I had an interview one morning at eight ‘o’ clock. So instead of getting up at six thirty, I got up at six. And I walked there. It took a half hour. And it was just interesting because there’s so many easy ways to fit in exercise. And you know, I wasn’t throwing up crazy weight on the bench press, but, nonetheless it was a way to get some activity in, so…
CD: There is a way; you’ve just gotta make a concerted effort.
RR: It all counts. And some of that stuff–that’s not the sexy stuff.
CD: Dude, the suitcase carries around the conference were pretty damn sexy.
RR: With your laptop and brief–absolutely, man.
CD: And a suit.
RR: I guess what I’m saying is, you’re not throwing a couple hundred pounds up on a bar and lifting it, and it’s not sexy in that regard. But it does make an impact. It really does.
CD: And when you get back, you don’t feel terrible about yourself. Like, I still got my workouts in. So that’s my big one, man. What have you got for the listeners?
RR: So I’m reading Arnold Schwarzenegger’s biography right now: Total Recall. And it’s fabulous. I’m a–you know, granted, the guy maybe made some–not maybe–made some poor decisions in life. But he also made some great ones. And he also–he’s got a pretty great journey. You know, so if I, so if you’ll allow me to separate the two. Right now when I’m reading this–
CD: I’ve separated them as well in my head, man.
RR: Exactly. It was funny, I had on the wall of Relentless Fitness when we opened, what I thought was a pretty amazing picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger working out, and I was actually forced to take that picture down when this happened. And it was crushing–oh, not only that: so it was above a TRX band, I had a picture of Arnold. And below it on the wall was a quote, actually my favorite quote by Arnold. And I had it done up by a local company that did a print that you could stick on the wall. I had to take it down.
CD: Yeah, people are not–I quoted him in one of my presentations in the hospital about the ketogenic diet, and like, yeah, the one guy afterwards was like, “You shouldn’t have done that. It’s not really good…” And I just forgot. I like forgot it even–it’s been in a part of my mind that I just totally blanked–
RR: And it’s such a shame, because it’s clear that as I read this book, I’m loving it. He has such great stories. He is a great story. At multiple stages of his life he did things that people didn’t think were possible. And that’s pretty cool. But anyway, back to the task at hand: to give you an exercise takeaway from the Schwarzenegger book. He talks a lot about his bodybuilding days. And one exercise that he used, he actually talked about maybe developing or whatever, the strategy was the teardown. And if you want maybe a change-up workout, you’re not hitting the muscles too hard, and one day you just want to give something a blast, maybe it’s a muscle that’s lagging a little bit and you want to shock it into action, I like the teardown. It’s a simple structure that goes like this: let’s say you were operating with the overhead press. You pick up two dumbbells and you press them overhead. Right? The shoulder press. Let’s say your shoulder press weight is about 50 pounds in each hand about six times, okay? You pick up your 50s, and you would do six reps. You would immediately put them down and move to the 40s and do six reps. You move to, let’s say, your 35s. Six reps. Your 30s six reps, yours 25s 6 reps. All the way down to the very small weights. And by the end, those very small weights feel like cannonballs.
CD: I don’t get it. [pause.] I’m just kidding.
RR: Oh, come on, man. Again, it’s kind of reverse to what some of you may be doing now. Some of you may be starting with smaller weights and building up. This is adopting the reverse mentality, where you start with the heaviest weight that you can handle with good form for at least a few reps. You knock those reps out and you progressively move down, all the while doing that same number of reps. By the end, whatever body part you’re working is cooked.
CD: Nice. Yeah, mix it up.
RR: So, there you go.
CD: Good stuff. So, yeah, now that you’re done worshiping adulterers, I’m gonna move onto the diet section.
RR: Oh man. Somehow I knew that one…I’ll probably get emails.
CD: You’ll get some angry emails. It’s guaranteed.
RR: Yeah, I get it. I know what the guy did.
CD: I got a couple because we said “Paleo Nazi.” People didn’t like that we used “Nazi.”
RR: Really? I didn’t get one of those.
CD: So I apologize if it offended. I assumed, in Seinfeld, when they called the guy the “Soup Nazi” it was okay, but anyway…
RR: It wasn’t. They probably got emails too.
CD: Yeah, right? So, moving on.
RR: And since we have as many listeners as Seinfeld had viewers…
CD: Exactly. I mean, same type of deal. So for diet, you know, we’ve been talking a lot about bacon, nitrates, and Lindsay, who’s awesome, and, you know, I hope you guys learn from us, but we definitely learn from you, she responded to the “natural source” of nitrites and nitrates that we discussed last time, for bacon, sausage, jerky, etc. is saltpeter. Which I’ve never heard of in my life. And so I looked it up. She told me a little bit about it. It’s a remedy for asthma and hypertension (that’s high blood pressure). Interestingly, it’s also used in gunpowder and rocket fuel, so I don’t know if that makes me happy or not. But, yeah, saltpeter, and it’s basically niter, nitre…they call it all these things. It’s a mineral form of potassium nitrate. And it’s basically mined. It’s mined in Chile–Chee-lay–in the Atacama desert. So I don’t know if that makes me feel better or worse about it. I’m not really sure. I mean, I guess it’s natural. I guess you could call them like a salt crystal. I don’t know. I don’t know if that provides any comfort for you guys. It does not necessarily for me.
RR: If they’re using it in gunpowder, it’s okay by me, man.
CD: Rocket fuel. Take it before a workout, before running sprints or something. But it’s also used in fertilizer, so that’s a little bit scary. So, yeah, there you have it. Have at it.
RR: It’s like one of those local news report digging behind the scenes: you cracked the code.
CD: Exactly. Speaking of that–
RR: Lindsay. Lindsay cracked the code.
CD: Speaking of that, I think I ate 50 pounds of bacon this past week, and I’m sure it was all full of nitrates because it was–
RR: –on the road?
CD: Yeah, and that’s just my side note for you guys that are traveling: I’m sorry, but going into ketosis on the road is by far the easiest, most cost-effective way to stay nutritionally intact without going nuts. Because it’s just, there’s always very fatty foods. Breakfast foods, etc. Lunch you can just get a salad. And when you’re in ketosis, you’re never hungry. And it’s the worst thing to be traveling, to be on an airplane, and to be hungry. And it is just so easy, and I’ve been traveling so much this year. Every time I travel I do it. It’s just a very easy thing to do. And all I’ll bring with me is macadamia nuts. So worst come to worst, I’ll pound some of those.
RR: Yeah, so let’s dig into that a little bit. When you have the strategy of dropping into ketosis on travel, and I think it makes all the sense in the world, because you know, carbohydrates are so readily available, and, kind of thrown in–I find anyway–kind of thrown in your face on the road, at airports and restaurants, and whatnot. So when you’re gearing up for a couple day business trip, let’s say, do you do anything differently the night before or morning of?
CD: The day before, and usually maybe two days before, I’ll definitely taper my carbs down. I’ll drop the sweet potato or berries before and after a workout. I’ll still eat my vegetables, etc. But, yeah, I’ll definitely start to taper them down. And I’ll definitely start to increase the amount of salt that I’m eating.
RR: So: up salt, down carbs. And do you increase at all, or choose different fats? Or do you look to anything in particular to get that in?
CD: I go back and forth. Sometimes I do a higher protein amount, so I don’t know if I actually hit ketosis. And sometimes I’m like, “Screw it, I’ll just go very high fat” to be sure that I get into ketosis.
RR: Alright, so then you fly out. Let’s say you’re gone for two days. What do you–so, you settle down for breakfast, and you’re having a lot of bacon…?
CD: Bacon and eggs.
RR: Bacon and eggs.
CD: Tomatoes, a couple vegetables, whatever. Lunch: a Cobb-type salad. Bacon, cheese…you know, I get ticked about salads because I know they put, you know, crappy vegetable oil dressings on it. So I try to minimize that. You know, if worst comes to absolute worst, and they buy food for me, and there’s something like a hamburger, just pop the bun off. And that’s the other thing, I don’t feel as bad about eating less quality food when I’m in ketosis, because I feel like everything I’m eating, I’m like a furnace and just burning it.
CD: So yeah, I don’t feel as bad that way. And dinner’s always like an easy one. I just get some meat dish and vegetables.
RR: Sounds good.
CD: Yeah. And then, you know, I bring macadamia nuts if I need to get my fat intake up. And I’ll even bring protein shakes sometimes, so I don’t have too much of that. It’ just kind of–it’s a real easy way to do it. And I’m never hungry.
RR: I can really see that depressing, in a good way, cravings.
RR: You know, that way you’re not tempted by that stuff that you’re seeing. You’re body is not necessarily crying out for that stuff.
CD: Yeah. Wonder when they bring in the continental breakfast, and tons of muffins and everyone eats it and feels like garbage afterward. Not me.
RR: You’re walking tall with your suitcase, man.
CD: What do you got for us?
RR: Just very simple today. One of the things I’m focusing on this week and moving forward is: when I’m having a big meal, trying to ingest some sort of kimchi, sauerkraut, digestive enzyme. Anything to aid the digestion of that big meal. And it’s something that I’m giving a whirl. It’s not that I hadn’t done that before, or include those kinds of things, it’s just that I didn’t pay any attention to meal size, or what I was eating, or what was actually happening. And now I’m thinking, “Alright, well let me get some of that stuff in before, during, the larger meals I eat, and see if I can tear those meals down a little bit better. Or get more out of them.”
CD: When you do a probiotic, do you do it after you eat?
RR: Right now, before.
CD: Because there’s conflicting–a lot of people say you need to do it after you eat to get your stomach pH down, so it doesn’t kill all the bacteria. Some people you do it on an empty stomach with water. There’s not great data on it either way, so it’s one of those.
RR: I guess, yeah, what I’m trying now is before, so, we’ll see if that works. We’ll see if I notice anything appreciable. Who knows? Right now, I picked up a couple jars of kimchi from Whole Foods. Looked like a pretty decent brand. I was reading over a couple different ones. But it looked like a pretty decent brand, so I’m gonna roll with that and see what happens. I’m a fan of all that stuff: that sharp, bitter, vinegar-y stuff. I can hang with that.
CD: Absolutely, good stuff. ‘Bout to do it?
RR: Cave. Man. Corner.
CD: So my big thing today, my big takeaway, is: be realistic. Especially this traveling. You know, I could have driven myself nuts. And frankly, I kind of did. But, you know, with the working out thing, it was fairly obvious these last couple days that I was not gonna work out. And it was just like, “Deal with it.” I did some stuff in my hotel room. The walking stuff, which I already talked about. And, interestingly, you know, with the conference, my sleep wasn’t great. And I was sleeping in a hotel, which is never fun. But it was really interesting, where, you know, the last night, I was going to go to bed early, and this was a big conference. And I just thought, you gotta kind of cut your losses, and I went out to this party that someone was throwing. And all the bigwigs were there, so I got to schmooze with all of them. I got a couple of job interviews because of it. And it really made me think, like, wow, I could have easily have been, like, you know, “I’m Paleo. I have to sleep eight plus hours a night, and I have to exercise this, and eat exactly this. You know, you gotta be realistic at some point. And I’m not saying go out and get wasted every night, in that regard. I’m saying when things hit, there are times you just gotta say, “You know what? This is just gonna be one of those nights.” Or, “I’m not going to get exactly eight hours of sleep.” Or, you know, kind of like your article with the diet. You gotta have a realistic flexibility. Like we say with protein shakes, with some ofter things. The point of this is to be healthier overall. With diet or sleep, if some of these things don’t always make it, you gotta keep your mindset without totally stressing the heck outta yourself. So.
RR: So you’re saying, “Let your hair down.” You gotta do it now and then.
CD: As long as it’s not gonna cause you a huge fallout, of course. I’m not saying stay up all night before work and then be terrible the next day. But, you know, you gotta be flexible.
RR: Where these things make sense.
CD: Absolutely. The number one person I’m telling this to is myself. Because I’ve, you know, definitely plagued with being rigid at times to the point where it causes anxiety and stress over it, so…
CD: That is it. Be realistic. Be flexible.
RR: I like it. I’m going to be realistic. I’ll give you an example. I’m going to be realistic and flexible tomorrow. Tomorrow is the Top Dog Challenge. And we’re going to have a blast in here. Have a good time declaring the fittest Relentless Fitness member, and then we’re all, everyone’s invited, for that matter everyone else is invited to roll out on the town.
RR: And we’re gonna, you know, grab some food, and I’ll toast a drink, and feel good about it.
CD: Good stuff, man.
RR: So what’d you say, flexible and what else?
RR: Realistic. I like it. Realistic, flexible. Cool. Alright, Relentless Report time. So I am going back to that article again, that island where people forget to die. And they go over a concept that those islanders practice that some other people in different places, in different Blue Zone locations practice. So, in Okinawa, they call it “ikigai,” and it’s the reason for which you wake up in the morning. And in Costa Rica, they call it, “plan de vida.” Lifelong sense of purpose.
And the idea that I want to talk about today is just waking up in the morning and going about your day with something in mind. You know? Being here for a reason. You know, not letting life kind of rock you on the waves and push you here, and push you there, and push you everywhere. And you’re just going with the flow. You wake up with that sense of purpose. And so, I think, myself included, we all can get lost in the shuffle here and there. It’s necessary sometimes to pull back and say, “Why am I doing this? What is my ultimate goal? What do I want to give back? What are the kinds of things I want to inspire?” And just making sure that you wake up most days–not all days, because some days will be like that–but most days with that in mind.
And I think that’s another one of those longevity factors. Actually that’s what they were talking about, when they were mentioning those things, are longevity factors. That the people that wake up in the morning with a purpose will live longer. Like the data on the people retiring and then being more likely to die close to their retirement. You know, when they kind of lose that sense of purpose and maybe don’t find hobbies, or don’t find other things to focus on, that they kind of waste away.
CD: It’s all back to that “training for life.”
RR: Training for life, man!
CD: Gotta do it.
RR: That’s why we’re here.
CD: Good stuff, man. Good show today. I hope you all liked it.
RR: Absolutely. And we have one more regular show next week.
CD: And we’re gonna have us several bonus shows on the road.
RR: Yeah, we’re gonna figure out what we’re doing with that. But we’re cooking through some ideas and trying to figure that one out.
CD: We should do one on the beach for sure.
CD: Stay tuned: it’s gonna be crazy. Crazy.
RR: I think we said that about Episode 20.
CD: And it was not crazy at all.
RR: It was not crazy. And then I said that about Episode 22, because that was my favorite number, and that wasn’t crazy at all.
CD: We’re just letting everyone down. Left and right.
CD: Anyway, hope you all enjoyed it. Have a good week everyone. Take care.
RR: I am Relentless Roger. Find me on relentlesroger.com. You can pick up the episode there. This man is Dr. Colin Champ. You can find him on cavemandoctor.com. You can listen to the episode there, drop him a comment. And as always, we are on iTunes. See you next week.