I’ve been struggling to find a way to train at the level I want without setting myself up for burn out.
Well I just got into Ben Greenfield, who puts Tim Ferris to shame for his biohacking (and his use of the term biohacking). I’ve read the first few chapters of Beyond Training and listened to him on a few podcasts and he’s the first person to address so many practical things I was looking for.
For example he was the first person to differentiate between professional endurance athletes and those with jobs. All training advice is based on mimicking the best, and sure – the best train two 3-hour sessions a day and shit like that but they also don’t do anything else. They get massages, take naps, and measure biometrics constantly. They have one job – train. If you mimic that you have two jobs because you have your actually bill-paying employment. You’re doing twice the work and half the recovery and not tracking anything.
Now if a fitness guru does take it into consideration that you have a job it’s usually the judgey assumption that it’s a desk job and you have short hip flexors and too much internal rotation in your shoulders.
Ben talks directly to people who are on their feet all day and how they should train. So I’m switching out long race-pace runs for hard intervals because I’m already warmed up and loose from work and I’ve got 7 hours of low level cardio so it’s time to just take the medicine and go home.
He also talks about black hole training and junk miles. Most people train too hard for the positive effects of low level training and too soft for the positive effects of hard training, we coast in the easiest feel good zone. Luckily I wasn’t quite that bad because I was – and am – trying to get faster and get my race times down not just my races over-with.
The chapter on gut health I think would be beneficial to everyone. He talks about gluten sensitivity and all the things that can be mistaken for gluten sensitivity. Which is helpful in this culture where we randomly vilify or exalt particular foods.
There are also times I suspect he’s a nut job, like his focus on electrical pollution and the body needing the magnetic field of the earth and blah blah blah he literally has a crystal in his bracelet but what do I know – he’s a world class triathlete and I’ve got my laptop hovering over my balls so what do I know…
Incidentally I had already stopped carrying my cellphone in my pocket thanks to Tim Ferris – who did it thanks to Pavel Tsatsouline – because it lowers your testosterone which is important for muscle building. And other things too but who cares?
So all in all I recommend this book and it’s author (who has a podcast of his own and has been a guest on several good ones and who has the dryest, most joyless demeanor I’ve encountered in someone so into fitness). Beyond Training is dense and unforgiving with the science but the advice within is strong. You can build yourself an amazing bi-weekly work out routine with this.
One long run (90 minutes) every two weeks sounds crazily low volume to a runner (and 90 minutes sounds crazy no matter what to a non-runner) but Tabata’s and intervals are where most of the benefit is and they maximize your time for recovery.
On the other hand his normal person layout has you lifting weights once a week and doing body weight once a week for strength training while his personal triathlete training has him on the barbell twice a week. I’m keeping the weights at three times a week while incorporating plyometrics 4 Hour Body style.
I should lay out my work out plan but this is already long and all over the place so I’ll make it a post of it’s own.