03 The Unknown Strength Podcast – PART 2 Luke Leaman and Zoe Knight

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Mac:
Welcome back to the Unknown Strength podcast where we aim to provide you with insights into the fight game and the strength and conditioning training that translates into optimal performance in the cage, ring and on the mat. I’m your host Macgregor McNair and joining me are my co-hosts Brenton McKiterick and Steven Phillips. This is part 2 of the Luke Leaman and Zoe Knight podcast who are the strength and health optimisation gurus behind Muscle Nerds.net.
Brenton:
So if you missed part 1 of the interview definately go back and listen to that from the start. Luke Leaman is one of the foremost experts of health, hormone and general performance and his partner Zoe is the managing director of the company and also a gold mine of information.

Mac:
And if you’re a fighter or in the fight sports what so ever definitely listen to this interview in its entirety because it’s so much valuable information that just about everyone in the fight game can benefit from so without further ado here is the interview.

Brenton:
The sport of jiu jitsu is incredibly grip orientated especially with the gi, even judo is something you have a lot of experience with and you know that the hands take an absolute beating so its a fairly accepted reality by the time you get the black belt you pretty much let go of any aspirations of being a hand model, I find sometimes my grip is the first thing they go on a strength session having being so heavily utilised in my jujitsu training I feel like my hands become the weak point, my hands are so burnt out that when it comes to doing the higher volume exercise like dead lift sometimes, I feel like my back, my hips, my legs my entire posterior chain can pull the serious weight but then I find my hand just gripping it is just a challenge. Do you have any suggestions or adaptations to the training to get value or get a result out of that?

Luke:
If you want to train your hands, you have to train your hands so some of the things we will typically use is like belt or gi pull ups and we also do www.ironmind.com has a ton of grip stuff and I used to be really big into the grip things and bending horseshoes and nails tearing phonebooks and all that type of stuff but if you want an adaptation to you had you really have to train your hands right and a lot of the guys will get pretty gnarly hands. Our friend Leo at Irish strength institute I rolled with him just a little bit last time we were in Ireland and I outweigh the guy by 30 kilos and he just completely fucking humiliated me, his hands when he grabbed me I thought I was going to shit my pants because I thought he was going to break my bones. You would grab him and he’s so explosive and so strong it’s like wrestling a piece of metal but doing specific hands things like actually working your finger grip so Iron Mind has a thing I think it’s called Eagle claw grip and you can hang that from a bar and you can pull ups with that and it causes you to actually work your fingers not just your crushing grip so that also keep in mind that you have muscles on the backside of your hand as well that never gets worked so what I used to do is I would go buy a package of rubber bands and I would put the rubber bands around my finger tips and then extend my hands and what that does is it saves a lot of trouble with getting things like golfers elbow.

Mac:
Kind of like and agonist antagonist type of movement?

Luke:
Exactly same thing we say with the boxers, if you don’t a really good upper back and really good external rotators and really good scapula, it’s going to inhibit your ability to throw a punch really hard so same thing with your hands you need to make sure your working that antagonist and you need to be working things for time like for the grip strength you need for dead lift or a bar hang is going to be different to actually use your fingers to hold onto a gi so doing hangs but hang on to your gi, or taking a belt and cutting it in half and wrapping it around a bar and doing your dead lifts by holding on to belt or straps instead of holding onto the actual bar.

Zoe:
Or rock climbing.

Luke:
Yeah or rock climbing.

Brenton:
I actually went rock climbing about a month ago and found that at the end of the week after doing jiu jitsu my fingers were so shot, I could definitely persevere through the pain but it’s something that require delicate balance.

Zoe:
If you don’t use it, it’s going to fatigue and get sore like the more you use it the more you become more accustomed to it.

Luke:
And how many people will work their fingers but they don’t stretch their fingers back out, if you look at them they look like they have little lobster hands because they are always flexed instead relaxed.

Mac:
You have to balance it out.

Luke:
We had this climbing experience in London where the guys at We Move magazine, man they guys are like monkeys doing ridiculous jumps from one platform to another and Zoe and I were just trying to manage the first fucking level.

Zoe:
Our fingers were just gone after that.

Brenton:
You see them pretty much launch or catapult themselves from one little grip to another just off their pinkie.

Zoe and Luke:
Yeah.

Mac:
Let me just change directions here for a minute, Luke last year I think both you and Zoe spent some time with Steven Howarth at Turning Point strength and conditioning in Albuquerque New Mexico. For those who don’t know Steven has been strength conditioning coach to UFC stars out of the Jackson wink camp including Jon Jones, Holly Holm and people like that can you just share some of your key takeaways from your time with Steven please.

Luke:
Steven is a champ I’ve known Steven a long time, I was actually his coach for physique stuff and the guy is an actually really incredible physique once he polishes it down for a show. He’s a super positive guy, he’s created a really good culture at his gym and what I really like is that he treats all of his clients like they are pro athletes not that he trains them like that but they are all superstars, it doesn’t matter if it's Mary from next door or if its John Jones he treats everybody the same which is something you don’t normally find in facilities like that but the number 1 takeaway is he out us on his Wingate bike and number 1 takeaway is I don’t ever want to do another fucking Wingate sprint ever again in my life.

Mac:
I saw that video that was hilarious.

Luke:
I actually got off the machine and my legs were slapping together.

Zoe:
They burned for a 20 minutes afterwards and he was like why wouldn’t they stop burning?

Luke:
I can’t decide what worse the Wingate bike sprints or like aerodyne or air assault tabadas both are equally fucking awful.

Zoe:
What I liked about Steven is that he’s knowledge is undeniable and its like what Luke teaches in his courses is that you always have to have a why so whenever you write any program or you suggest any nutritional protocol or stop limitations or anything there needs to be a really clear definite why as to why you’re doing it and his why is there in every single aspect and everything he does.

Luke:
Yeah and he can tell you exactly every single dot of the I and cross of the T why it’s in their program and what it’s doing all the way from 16 weeks out to fight day so he has some really good protocols he’s using, I don’t really know them you’ll have to call him and interview him for this but he uses the Kaiser for how he produces power whether it’s getting better or not and stuff so it’s really good stuff.

Zoe:
And discrepancies left and right sides and all that sort of stuff.

Luke:
And making sure their balanced.

Zoe:
He’s very smart and he is a nice guy that’s my biggest takeaway I liked him.

Luke:
He’s got some real skill with some of the fighters and what they do in the gym.

Steven:
Speaking of fighters, we have seen Conor McGregor doing some movement work with Ado Portal in the last year or so and as I understand is that you have some experience with Christopher Summers from Gymnastics Bodies in the movement field so what are your thoughts on the movement culture and how that can apply to fight sports?

Luke:
I think it’s great I think the movement stuff is crazy good. Zoe and I did Gymnastics Bodies seminar it’s both awesome and completely exhausting and brutal but we learnt a lot and I have been a big fan of coach Summers since he first put out his building gymnastic body article on T Mag which had to be like 12 years ago or something and I also did a seminar with him when he came into the Poliquin group and coach Summers is just a really great guy and he has so much knowledge and his right hand man Aldrich and just the whole team is just really champs. We have done that and we use a lot of that stuff mixed in with our own traditional bar bell dumbbell work and my buddy Mick Fitch who owns Animal Flow and Global body weight training, I’ve done Animal flow 1 and 2 and that’s freaking incredible and I think a lot of this you have a lot of people that don’t have a problem going in a squatting and they go in and squat 250 kilos and they can’t go and crawl on the ground without getting winded and I think that’s pathetic and that’s where I found myself. I was actually at Zach Trowbridge’s place in Chicago All Strength Training I put on 365 pounds on the bar and was bench pressing and I said oh I’m going to see if I can do some push ups and I actually got on the ground did some push up and then got up and went fuck I would rather throw 3 or 4 plates on each side of the bench and bench press then actually do a push up and at that point I said this is ridiculous. Movement is one of the first things that goes when you get older like strength is fairly easy to gain, I’ve put 150 pounds on people’s major lifts in less than 9 months that’s fairly easy, what is goes is that mobility and that ability to…

Zoe:
Touch your toes.

Luke:
Touch your toes yeah and basically to master your vessel and that’s a thing doing a 250 kilo squat is fairly simple if you just follow the plan but it’s not that easy to get on the ground and get inverted in a hand stand or to crawl around and not be completely exhausted.

Mac:
It’s a very different skill set.

Zoe:
A lot of the movement that is done in the gym they are really structured so you limited in your movement that you're able to do within that movement I’ve said that so many times if that makes sense but I think one of the biggest takeaways from when we did the Gymnastics Bodies when we were in London I think.

Luke:
That was Animal flow level 1.

Zoe:
Yeah it was that you have a body it’s all you have and you cannot control it like you don’t have the strength in movements where you should, you were designed to be a little bit more fluid than aerial lifestyle and it’s so important to try and keep as much of it as you can because like Luke says it’s the first thing to do and what’s important being able to dead lift 100 pounds if you can’t even crawl around on the floor with your child what’s the point in that?

Luke:
After being competitive power lifter for a long time and at one point I was dead lifting 340 or so and I was squatting over 300 that was all cool but I just felt like shit I couldn’t move and I know guys that can barely wipe their own ass but they are so bound up they literally can’t reach back, they have to wipe between their legs and you know they have to have doodoo up on their balls from that right? No man should be wiping from between his legs there’s something wrong with that. I see guys that strut around like a fucking peacock around the monolift like they are so fucking strong and they are so alpha macho bullshit and you can’t even wipe your own ass.

Brenton:
Like T-rex’s.

Luke:
They can’t even tie their fucking shoes so for me I finally got to a point where I was like ok I have been the biggest guy in the gym, I’ve been the strongest guy in some gyms I don’t need that shit anymore what I care about now is feeling amazing and I can do a fucking cartwheel and it looks awesome and I’m really proud of it because I worked really hard at it and that for a lot of people sounds so ridiculous but how many fucking gym meatheads that you know can’t do a god damn cartwheel?

Steven:
It’s so easy to get caught by our ability to move external objects and we just never really focus on internal objects moving ourselves.

Luke:
And when you look at Connor you look at his movements since he started doing that and I’m giving the majority of his success always has to go with his fight camp and has to go with John Connor and all those guys but it undeniable when you watch them fight the fight, the more he does the movement stuff, the more crisp he gets and now look at his last fight he barely gets touched, his ability to counter punch the guys barely miss him, his rhythm and timing is so good now when somebody swings they wif by millimetres and he’s on them.

Brenton:
He definitely flows seamlessly and that’s always something really important as a fighter you have to transition between various techniques and make them connect really well and gel and it’s all about the right technique at the right time and having that as your highlight and being able to have the movement capabilities to express that is absolutely paramount.

Luke:
Absolutely and to be able to do it and not waste any energy and to be able to last 5 rounds.

Steven:
As smooth as fast, just out of interest who are some of the other fighters that you have watched in the UFC these days?

Luke:
Honestly we don’t watch that much I really don’t know that many fighters.

Zoe:
There was this guy that just recently won he was a real show pony.

Luke:
I really liked him but I cannot remember his name.

Brenton:
I would have said Connor but…

Luke:
I’ve been a big fan of Connor’s for few years now, I remember seeing him fight in Boston I was living near Boston and John Connor got me a ticket and I was able to go and watch it and he just steamrolled past the guy he was fighting so used to be hard out in it back in the day. I still have VHS tapes when it first came out and there were no weight classes and I was trying to talk to Zoe about it because she got into this stuff recently and I’m like no it was mania back then because you would have a 185-pound guy fighting a 660-pound sumo wrestler.

Mac:
That’s right UFC 1

Luke:
UFC 1.

Mac:
Teila Tuli lost his teeth to Gerard Gordeau in UFC 1.

Brenton:
UFC was brutal in the early days far too brutal.

Luke:
Its like fucking Kumata blood sport shit.

Mac:
Exactly yeah it’s ridiculous.

Luke:
Was that the guy Garbrandt?

Mac:
Cody Garbrandt yeah.

Luke:
Yeah I fucking love that guy.

Mac:
Do you love his tatts?

Zoe:
We watched him fight Cruz I think it was.

Luke:
I don’t like the show boating but I do like the counter punching and rhythm and timing and the crispness and the power.

Zoe:
And the footwork, we were really impressed with the footwork.

Luke:
The footwork man, my buddy Rob Pilger in Ohio he was a golden gloves boxer and he owns a really nice training centre, he was telling I saw a post on Facebook once it was if you walk into a boxing place and they start teaching you how to punch before they teach you footwork leave so ever since he said that I’m always watching people’s footwork and his footwork and timing was just fucking ridiculous.

Brenton:
Absolutely that’s where the power is generated and that’s what transfers through the body.

Luke:
And that’s the thing I just a big fucking ogre when I get into fights I just grab them and put them on the ground and land on top of them so that’s my specialty.

Steven:
Nothing wrong with that strategy.

Luke:
It keeps you from getting punched in the face which I don’t really care for too much but to watch some of these guys and the complete power and control they have is phenomenal and I think a lot of the Joel Jamieson stuff is gold as well teaching people that some aerobics is necessary that the aerobic system buffers the anaerobic system and that the anaerobic system is really there to take over when the aerobics system cannot make energy fast enough, if you keep that perspective on things it gives you the knowledge of why it’s so important to make yourself a wide aerobic base and then build your anaerobic stuff on top and what you need to have some power and endurance because you need to be able to punch over and over and over without getting fatigued.

Brenton:
Interesting I’ve just got a question about that, I hear all the time from a lot of people I have a lot of friends that say I really want to do jujitsu but I think I need to get fit first I just need to do few things I don’t want to come out of shape and I always say well it doesn’t matter how fit you are, when you start jiu jitsu everyone is going to maul you and everyone is going to take away your energy reserve so something you touched on there does that actually apply to weight lifting do you think in terms of anaerobic exercise as you said you have to build that aerobic foundation.

Luke:
Yeah it can there are techniques you can do and if somebody thinks that they are going to be able to prepare themselves for jujitsu they are out of their mind. I’ve the whole wrestling thing and within the first 45 seconds I was in the bathroom puking my guts out, there’s nothing you can do to prepare but there’s things you can do once you get used to it that can make you a better fighter and some of the things like Joel Jameson says HICT training which you can do in a localised manner so say like an upper body ergometer where you would crank the intensity up so high where you have to really grind it against it and the machine is only moving at say 20/25 RPMs.

Mac:
Or single strokes right?

Luke:
Or single strokes, right! And you do that straight for 10 minutes and what it does is it teaches your fast twitch fibres to be more oxidated so that you can have repeated bouts of punching or repeated bouts of grappling without building too much lactate without losing fatigue so…

Brenton:
And it simulates the fight more in that respect as well, more bursts of energy as opposed to sustained application or force.

Luke:
Exactly and you know when you look at conditioning you have to look at systemic conditioning which would be your cardiovascular system so what adaptations are you trying to create in heart so what’s the number one thing you need to create more fuel is you need oxygen, what do you run out of when you fight you start running out of oxygen so building things like left ventricular size, better vascular networks, increasing nitric oxide things like that you do systemically with generalised conditioning then you also have local conditioning which you can target train those specific muscle fibres in your extremities by doing upper or lower body ergometer and certain strength training movements but you really need something to in my opinion that very concentric versus eccentric oriented so making sure that don’t want a lot of eccentric work when you doing your conditioning because eccentric work is what causes a lot of the muscle break down all you really want is that concentric work mainly. Doing things like hitting the bag but doing it in specific intervals.

Mac:
Since we are talking about some of Joel Jameson’s methods I’ve noticed that you are a big component of Joel’s bio force HRV system recently can we just go into a little bit more detail about autonomic nervous system function and how you guys monitor and optimise your training and your nutrition protocols based on things like heart rate variability.

Luke:
Like we discussed before we do a waking heart rate variability so that’s for me the best time to take it because you’re not effected yet by getting out of bed and doing things so a lot of the guys that we get because they only do anaerobic training because they are all scared shitless of aerobics, they are all scared shitless of carbs so we have to completely reprogram their thinking. I’ve had guys that have been strength coaches for 5 years they come to me and their heart rate so 85 when they wake up that’s ridiculous, that’s very high even resting heart rate is like 65, your waking heart rate really should be in the low to mid 50s in my opinion if you’re really balanced so when we look at that we say ok your heart rate is too high that shows that you are epinephrine and norepinephrine dominate [22:00] your sympathetic dominate you need to be parasympathetic dominate again that sympathetic system is primary there to get you out of danger so if its keyed up all the time, your body thinks your jacked up all the time you’re not going to get the benefits of the parasympathetic system which is rest and digest so a lot of these guys complain about gut issues diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, they can’t eat anything because they have food intolerances. All of this stuff is related to stress and what gnarly is the brain has that direct link to the gut and it can stimulate permeability in the gut because of stress, you don’t really need cortisol to make that happen your brain can make that happen.

Brenton:
I was going to say about the food intolerance part there’s a strong correlation between stress and have a predisposition to food tolerance or even exacerbating them.

Luke:
Absolutely and the majority of food intolerance, if you look at a food allergy versus a food intolerance. Food allergy is like somebody has a peanut allergy and they eat a peanut and they go into anaphylactic shock, when you look at food intolerance the majority of those are temporary that have happened because you’re not mitigating your stress so when you're stressed out you have tight junctions in the cells of your gut lining and they start to get loose those tight junctions are only supposed to let certain size particles into your blood stream, when they get loose and you get food that’s only partially digested is not completely broken down, that will make its way into your hepatic portal you have bacteria and viruses that permeate through so if you think of that lining that you have the gi tract, that the skin for the inside of your body and what does skin do? It keeps things out that’s not supposed to be in there so when you start allowing that stuff in there around 80% of your immune system that is located in around your gut so that creates a hypersensitive immune system and you basically get what I call an autoimmune disease towards food. Let’s say you had a stressful event and you’re eating a lot of chicken and now you’re getting reactions to chicken, you’re going to have to get of the chicken for a while and switch to something else and do an elimination diet but you’re never going to get better if you don’t calm that stress response down. For most people that means not training as much and working on your least mode, glutamines are important but you can take all the glutamine you want if you don’t take care of your head and your stress management, you’re never going to fix your stomach.

Steven:
One of the things we see fight athletes go through its incredibly stress is weight cut so whether people are participating or competing in an event where there’s a same day weigh in let’s say 5 minutes before your event or first fight, you weigh in you go to the bull pen weight or a 24-hour weigh in you go through that process of cutting down and building back up in time for fight time. Do you have any comments or any observations around mistakes that people make going through that cutting process?

Luke:
For one thing don’t get fat in your off season that’s part of it is just the simple fact that fighters left themselves go and they think that if they are heavier they are going to train better but that simply not the case if your fighting at 155 there’s no reason for you to be 178 leading into 4 months out from your show or your fight and if you are then you need to start cutting that down especially if you have a same day weigh in. you simply don’t have enough time to put water back into your body and that’s super important where does that weight come from? They are cutting shit tons of water, why you get dehydrated your performance goes down, you gas out much faster, you need water to make more energy so it's asinine for them to think that they need to be 15/16 kilos heavier when they are entering that prep and that simply not the case they would be better off if they slowly lean themselves out and stay a few kilos above their fighting weight.

Brenton:
So then there’s a really minimal water loss for the actual competition to performance.

Luke:
If it’s a 24-hour weigh in that’s pretty easy I like Mike Dolce, when I was powerlifting it was nothing for me to do 12/13 kilos in 24 hours on a weight cut and then blow back up the next day for my powerlifting but that a whole different thing that’s an all-day event. I’m basically doing 9 reps total all fucking day, I’m not going in there and trying to fight somebody for 5 minutes so it’s a bit different ordeal. I would cut carbs out at about 5 days out I would cut my water down a little bit, I would sit in a sauna or take a laxative and take a massive shit so I know fighters do it but it’s not the right thing to do because you end up not being as crisp, you end up getting hurt, your timing is off, you can’t think you have no energy so it’s much better for them to do it more slowly. With Mike he has that hot tub step protocol, I have actually tried it a bit in the last couple of weeks just to see how well it works and I’ve got my own protocol because I don’t have a hot tub basically what I do in a bathtub and I can pull of about 2/3 kilos in about 45 minutes just sitting in a hit bathtub.

Mac:
What does that entail?

Luke:
With his step one you basically get in a hot tub up to your neck and you spend some time in there let’s say 5/6 minutes then you go up to chest height for 5/6 minutes then you go up to waist height and then you sit on the edge with your feet in the water and then you can repeat that as much as you can but with mine since we have a fairly decent size tub, I would go down to my neck basically Netflix and chill and I’ll stay there for 5/6 minutes and then I’ll go up to where I’m just sitting in the water its nothing for me to pull of 3 kilos in 30/40 minutes sometimes 4 or 4 and half.

Mac:
And you follow that with wrapping yourself with towels or lots of hoodies?

Luke:
I haven’t yet because I’m just doing I basically to experiment because now that I’m in Brisbane I have a lot of friends that power lift and they are always asking for advice and so I never do anything with anybody that I haven’t done myself so now I’m actually just playing with stuff. It’s a bit silly but on Saturday is my birthday and i want to hit a double body weight head lift and so I’m trying to get my body weight down to 100 kilos and pull like 210 or something so I’m practising this because the night before the morning of I’m going to get in the bathtub and try to shed some water off and try to cheat the system a little bit.

Mac:
What body weight are you sitting at the moment?

Luke:
Around 104-106 and I haven’t really trained I think right now it’s been my longest training program I’ve had in 4 years.

Zoe:
And you’ve been running.

Luke:
Phil Learny challenged me to dead lifting so I have to pull 200 and then Troy challenged me to run a 5K so I’m trying to run a 75 minute 5K while I’m also trying to do a 200/210 kilo dead lift so I’m training for both of these at the same time while trying to diet so it’s pretty rough.

Mac:
Hybrid athlete.

Luke:
I really like Alex Viada’s hybrid athlete stuff and really that’s the way the future man could point; the strength conditioning industry is going to point where we know how to do all of it at the same time if you’re patient.

Mac:
It’s just putting all the pieces together the right way right?

Luke:
Exactly and understanding you can get really strong doing 10 sets in a workout but you don’t have to do 30, I’ve literally put on 60 kilos from my deadlift in the last 4 weeks.

Brenton:
Wow that’s like half of what I lift.

Luke:
I hadn’t been training in a long time and when I pulled 150 it was kind of a struggle I had some injuries in my upper back where I’m kind of gun shy and I’m pulling around 200-205 now so.

Mac:
That’s huge well good luck for your birthday that double body weight pull.

Luke:
Hopefully I don’t snap something in my back again.

Mac:
Let’s change directions for a moment, since was of your strong suits is picking the right supplementation protocols, have you got any hacks or supplement stacks that may benefit fighters with performance, recovery or cognitive function?

Luke:
Like I stated earlier lactate is a big deal so some of the things that we give we find that guys will be over producing lactate or deficient in vitamin B1 and thiamine so typically give them a bit of Bimphothymine which is a fat solve or B1 which is something I got from Mackle Mackavoy for antibolic healing it works really well around 500 milligrams twice a day. We also use a lot of things like Beta Alanine, Creatine for the mental game and also for energy production something else that’s of interest and this is not something I recommend people do you really need to know about methylation but in order to make the backbone for ATP which is the body’s energy currency you have to have good methylation pathways so adding in a little bit of methylate and or making sure eating a lot of good leafy greens so a lot of cooked spinach kale stuff like that and we try to as much of food nutrition as we can and then we utilise supplementation on top of that so we look at energy production and we look at dampening inflammation so what we use for that is Berberine we also use Bergamot extract, we use a lot of Curcumin and a lot of Boswellia.

Mac:
Love the approach to try and address all the needs with good quality whole foods first and then supplementation as needed I think that fantastic but tell us what are your thoughts on nootropics?

Luke:
I like nootropics it just depends which ones you are talking about and which country you are in because the legality of those is starting to get shifty like in America they are pretty open, I know the UK just passed some legislator a while ago regarding the importation and selling of nootropics so I think they are banned there now so I don’t typically use them with people a lot deepening like if you talking about the Rasatams and things like that we don’t really use those a lot with people just because you never know how they are going to react with them so we will use a lot of Acetyl L Carnitine, Acetyl L Tyrosine. We use a lot of Choline, Alpha GPC, Huperzine stuff like that so I like to use things that are complementary to each other, we are really big on Thorn Research we like their supplements [34:00] I use a lot of Neurochondria so the brain stack I came up with is Neurochondria, memoractive and resverocell which basically takes care of energy production in the brain and blood flow to the brain and memory so when I’m taking that stack I swear to god I can hear people thinking.

Brenton:
I’m going to need to re-listen to this podcast just to write down all those names and most those words were new to me.

Luke:
I’m really big into the energy creation and things like that and antiaging so when you look at energy creation in the brain, your brain will chew up at minimum…if your dumb your brain will chew up about 25% of your resting metabolic rate, if studying like Zoe and I do we are always studying, writing and coming up with things your brain is going to chew through energy a lot faster so it makes sense to give your body nutrients so that’s going to force your brain cells to make energy faster. That’s the basis of the Leaman brain stack.

Mac:
That’s fantastic thank you for sharing that.

Luke:
You bet.

Steven:
Over the time we have spent together there’s been a lot of information that we have covered so have you got any recommendations around books or further reading for us or for any of our listeners who want to dove into some more detail about any of the stuff that we have talked about?

Luke:
Joel Jameson site is always a good one, he’s at www.8weekout.com for people who want to start learning about training ‘Super training’ by Mel Siff that’s a classic that you have to read and its one of those books that you have to read 800 times before you figure it out also ‘Cracking the metabolic code’ by James Lavell.

Zoe:
That’s huge.
Luke:
That’s huge and you’ve got to read that like 10 times before you understand that the first book of training I ever had was ‘Poliquin principles’ by Charles Poliquin so that was the one that started it all for me that and his ‘Modern methods of strength training’ is also excellent and then one that’ve gotten into lately by James Smith is called ‘ the governing dynamics of coaching’ and that right along there with Super training its highly technical and its one of those you read a page 50 times before you finally figure out what he’s trying to say and obviously there’s our seminars which is always good.

Zoe:
Or consultations.

Mac:
Shameless plug.

Luke:
Wim Hoff too. We’ve gotten big into the breathing so I got into Wim Hoff stuff which was awesome for resetting autonomic tone and then we started modifying some of his stuff and adding other stuff from yoga and I’m working on free diving breathing. What I found is that all of my friends that free dive they are all shredded all the time doesn’t matter what they eat they are all shredded and you need oxygen to create energy, you need oxygen to keep your acid base balance correct so your body is not constantly fighting acid and most of these guys are always super chill, calm and shredded so we got into that so what I find is that the more you learn how to breathe and utilise oxygen the easier it is to stay lean and easier it is to be able to eat your lollies or TimTims without getting fat so that’s a bonus for me.

Brenton:
That’s a bonus for me. I was going to say Rickson Gracie one of the OG legends of jiu jitsu scene he says if you can control your breath then you can control your life.

Luke:
100% I’ve got a book that’s called ‘Breathology’ that I’m starting to read and it’s by a really famous free diver and it’s got a lot of philosophical stuff in there about how breathing can completely transform your life when people get stressed out they stop breathing normally they start breathing with their chest and they don’t use all of their lungs.

Zoe:
I think it’s also worth noting in that regard that we actually have a lot more control over ourselves then we think we do not just in regards to breathing but also in regards to a lifestyle like the epigenetics so like your DNA and all that sort of stuff. We have a lot more say in how our body responds to stuff than most people realise.

Luke:
And that’s something that Wim Hoff is doing, they are doing research on him on how he’s able to control his immune system, how he’s able to keep his core body temperature elevated even though he’s submerged in ice of over and hour, how he can run a marathon without drinking any water.

Brenton:
Its mind blowing.

Mac:
It’s so strange because there’s no scientific explanation to what’s going on it seems like he’s willing it to be so.

Luke:
Exactly and it’s all part of that breathing and he may not be right about all the stuff and that’s typically how it works, we find method that works now we have to figure out why it works and that’s the goal is science it’s to prove of disprove stuff or figure out the why something works and its pretty amazing that for a long time we didn’t think that we had any control over our autonomic nervous system but what he’s showing us is that you absolutely have control but just like anything else you have to practise and work on it. I can tell you right now as I’m trying to develop new breathing techniques that we use in our practise, you put on a heart rate monitor like a bio force or polar H7 or what have you that measure your heart variability put it on the bio force app or put it on polar HRV or whatever app you use practise your breathing and watch what happens to your heart rate variability. What I typically do to teach somebody is I will start doing some hyperventilation training and I can completely crash their HRV so the sympathetic system is getting ramped all crazy and then I have techniques to bring them out of that and actually jump their HRV 10 or 15 points when they first started the practise.

Brenton:
So you’re saying the heart data is terms of your own personal experience from implementing Wim Hoff method have you noticed that you have been able to consistently drop your HRV or your HR?

Luke:
100% when I first started messing around with it my heart rate was in the mid-70s after I left Poliquin group that’s was a very stressful time for me the year after that and I was having a hard time controlling my stress so is started measuring my HRV was around 48-52, my rest and my waking heart rate would be anywhere between 75-80. I started using Joel Jamieson stuff and doing different types of techniques for aerobic work, I cut my training down a little but as started doing stretching and aerobics it helped a lot because I started doing the Wim Hoff breathing with in a week my HRV was 81 and my heart rate was 52.

Zoe:
And Luke is super analytical like he gets obsessed about stuff so when he’s learning about something or looking into something for instance if he’s tracking his blood sugar or ketones or anything like that, he will do something and then he will retest and then hell do something and retest and he’s literally just spending the day just testing how things change and how he responds to different things and he just gets this massive amount of information just from all the testing he’s doing on himself and me and others.

Luke:
You guys should see my fingertips right now because I draw blood from my fingertips probably 15 times a day, I can barely get blood out of my fingers now I have to start stabbing my toes.

Mac:
You guys I’m looking at the time we are at a 90-minute interview so far.

Luke:
That went by quick.

Mac:
It did it was so much fun we could sit here talking all night I reckon but we probably should start to wrap things up so for Luke and Zoe Muscle Nerds what do you guys have planned for 2017?

Luke:
Learn how to run a business.

Zoe:
Yeah it’s on our back end but on our front end…

Luke:
We’ve got refining level 1 and 2 a little bit more started to write up level 3 and a test because you have to come to level 1 and 2 and then test to be able to go to level 3 and that’s where things are going to get really serious. We’ve got a lot of methods and techniques were we hired on Isaac to start growing that online business, we do online training, group training and one on one stuff.

Zoe:
We have a few seminars planned as well so next month we will be in Singapore and Hong Kong and then we’ve got Perth in April which is our last level 1 and 2 that we are holding in Australia this year and then we are doing a joint seminar with Eugene Teo the body mechanic so we doing body building and physique seminar with him Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane.

Brenton:
When’s that?

Zoe:
There’s one in June, one in July and one in May. We are doing one in New Zealand which is a really interesting one it’s called ‘When its not about the food’ that’s addressing the whole mental and physiological around why people self-sabotage so you could right the perfect plan exercise and nutrition for you client but as soon as they start getting results they just self-sabotage and go back to where they were usually there’s an underlying issue with that so we are teaming up with the counsellor in New Zealand and we are holding a 2 day seminar there in May.

Luke:
So she’s going to teach trainers what to look for and in their pay grade to talk to their clients about and when to refer out and what it all means and how to get them over these mental blocks and get them moving again.

Zoe:
So that’s going to be a really good one and then in august we are back over in the northern hemisphere so we do Montreal, Texas, London.

Luke:
And then I’ve got that’s coming up I’ve had a lot of people ask how it is that we can absorb and recall and remember so much information and so I think we are going to write a seminar on learning how to learn and talk about the bio chemistry of learning stuff and retrieval and teach people how to actually learn because that’s part of the problem with people going to seminars our seminar is extremely heavy with information, its super intense and I’ve dialled it back a little because people just couldn’t absorb all of it so what we want to do it teach people how to actually learn and then how to not memorise things but how to do active recall and how to apply it to their clients and to their lives which is vastly different than going to a seminar and writing notes.

Zoe:
And it’s funny because when you actually start to learn stuff and understand it, it’s not so much about memory as it is understanding so us don’t have to just remember all these random facts you actually start to have links and actually understand so it’s easy to be able to recall information.

Luke:
You have to know how to apply it that’s the thing.

Brenton:
It's more about internalising the concept as opposed to memorising all the finer details that comprise the greater concept that you can recall and execute as it applies to a specific situation.

Luke:
Absolutely and the industry already has enough ‘know it alls’ that they repeat things they hear and they have absolutely no idea what the fuck they are talking about.

Brenton:
Yeah brainless mantras.

Luke:
Right we need more people that actually talk about things that they know about and how to use instead of just throwing out big words to try to sound smart.

Zoe:
It’s another think I said to Luke when he was writing level 1 is because I remember when I walked away from bio signature I felt more dumb then when I did when I went in I was like I don’t understand this near enough to be comfortable to use it so there’s no point in me telling someone you’ve got oestrogen dominance when I can’t even explain what oestrogen dominance is or how it happens or how supplements are actually going to help correct that and all that sort of stuff so I said we need to give stuff that applicable instantly so they understand and they can go away the next day they can use it because that’s where the value is.

Mac:
Absolutely and that a common complaint about a lot of the early bio signature courses that they were just too overwhelming.

Luke:
Yeah and they are teaching a lot of stuff that has absolutely no relevance on what trainers do.

Zoe:
And you can’t learn hormones in 3 days.

Luke:
What we teach in our seminars is you don’t really have a lot of control over that stuff anyway especially not as a trainer but what you have a lot of control over is teaching people how to reduce and manage stress which is why hormones are fucked anyways.

Mac:
All right you guys we better leave it there, of course we are going to post some links on how listeners can get in touch with you guys but why don’t you just give us the run down right now on how people can reach out.

Luke:
You can get us online at musclenerds.net, you can get us email is info@musclenerds.net, we are also on Facebook.

Zoe:
Which is just Muscle Nerds.

Luke:
And then if you want to give us a phone call its 0402792864.

Mac:
Wow mobile number I love that.

Zoe:
Don’t call in the middle of the night.

Luke:
Don’t call me in the middle of the night asshole but you can call if you ever want to say nothings in my ear that type of thing.

Mac:
Luke you know I will.

Brenton:
I promise that I won’t.

Mac:
That great thank you so much for sharing with us such a huge amount of valuable information that our listeners will no doubt take heaps from Brenton, Steve, myself thank you so much for joining us on the Unknown Strength podcast.

Luke:
Thanks for having us really appreciate it.

Brenton:
Thank you guys.

Mac:
All right see ya!

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