Interview with Ben Greenfield
Biohacking for Peak Performance & Longevity with Ben Greenfield
Today, I’m super excited to be talking with Ben Greenfield. In case you’re unfamiliar, Ben is a human performance consultant, speaker, and 17-time New York Times bestselling author. He’s also a former collegiate tennis, water polo and volleyball player, bodybuilder, 13-time Ironman triathlete, and professional obstacle course racer. He has been voted by the NSCA as America’s top Personal Trainer and by Greatist as one of the top 100 Most Influential People In Health And Fitness.
Ben’s understanding of functional exercise, nutrition, and the delicate balance between performance and health has helped thousands of people around the world.
In this episode, we’re talking all about biohacking, longevity, and living an adventurous and fulfilling life.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
✅ The tools, gadgets, and strategies Ben uses to optimize his health – and his tips for eliminating the sneaky stressors in your bedroom and workplace that ruin your sleep, focus, and energy.
✅ How to sniff out signs of life-threatening illnesses before they strike – and where most biohacking facilities fall short.
✅ Alternative health hacks that will allow you to defy aging and live a healthy, limitless life.
Featured on This Episode: Ben Greenfield
✅ What he does: Ben Greenfield is a health consultant, speaker, and New York Times bestselling author of a wide variety of books, including the widely popular titles Beyond Training, Boundless, Fit Soul, Spiritual Disciplines Journal, the Boundless Cookbook, and Endure. A former collegiate tennis, water polo, and volleyball player, bodybuilder, 13-time Ironman triathlete, and professional obstacle course racer, the NSCA has voted Ben as America’s top Personal Trainer and by Greatist as one of the top 100 Most Influential People In Health And Fitness. Ben is an advisor, investor, and board member of multiple corporations in the health and fitness industry, and is also the co-founder of the nutritional supplements company KION, a nutritional supplements company that combines time-honored superfoods with modern science to allow human beings to achieve peak performance, defy aging, and live an adventurous, fulfilling, joyful and limitless life.
💬 Words of wisdom: “That’s the way I prioritize my own life, the powerful God, spouse, children. If you don’t have a spouse and children, then just consider that to be community and relationships, your health, and your business. You put things in that priority order, and everything seems to fall into place pretty well after that.” – Ben Greenfield
Key Takeaways with Ben Greenfield
- How to turn your bedroom into a biohacking paradise.
- Why you need to get yourself a manual treadmill.
- The surgery-free cure to lower back pain.
- What most biohacking companies FAIL to do.
- Trading the boardroom for a sauna? Why not!
- The annual check-up that could detect issues early.
- The secret health arsenal for any ambitious entrepreneur or athlete.
- Health trackers can be a blessing – but leave them out of the bedroom!
- The five principles for living a long, healthy, and fulfilling life.
Ben Greenfield on Biohacking and Regenerative Medicine
Free Strategy Session
The Lifestyle Investor Insider
Ben Greenfield Tweetables
- Ben Greenfield Life
- Ben Greenfield on Instagram | Facebook | YouTube | Twitter | LinkedIn | TikTok
- Ben Greenfield Coaching
- Ben Greenfield Speaking
- Boundless Parenting: Tools, Tactics, and Habits of Great Parents by Ben Greenfield
- Boundless Parenting Book Free Chapter
- Codie Sanchez
- Ben Patrick
- Bryan Johnson
- Kelly Starrett
- The Couch Stretch
- Joe Rogan
- Wired Fitness & Rehab
- Garrett Gunderson
- Michael Swail
- Alive and Well
- Regan Archibald
- East West Health
- Vasper Systems
- Fountain Life
- Peter Diamandis
- Genova Diagnostics
- Anatara Medicine
- Next Health
- Oura Ring
- Chad Johnson
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Read the Full Transcript with Ben Greenfield
Justin Donald: What’s up, Ben? Great to have you on the show.
Ben Greenfield: What’s up with you, Justin? It’s good to be on your show, I think.
Justin Donald: Yeah, This is fun.
Ben Greenfield: I don’t know. I’ve never been on your show before. I don’t know what I’m getting into here. Like, it’s swimming with the alligators.
Justin Donald: This is the first time. I promise I won’t feed you to the alligators but we want to know all this great content that you have in your head and the things you’ve been doing. And for those of you that are not watching this, you’re just listening, Ben is literally walking the talk because he’s on his treadmill right now, walking as he does his podcast, which I think he often does. So, I love that, Ben, that you’re living proof of, and I can see how fit you are. So, what you’re doing is working.
Ben Greenfield: I’m also not wearing pants, but you don’t know that. So, that…
Justin Donald: Hey, that’s a light pack right there.
Ben Greenfield: No, dude, this is crazy. Yeah. I’ve actually walked on a treadmill for like the past seven years, and I’ll literally take close to 20,000 steps a day by the end of the workday. And so, I kind of like to live life through this lens of a workout being an option, not a necessity. So, I’ve got like a kettlebell on the floor of my office and a pull-up bar installed on the door out there, and I’ll just constantly move and shake all day. But this treadmill I’m working on right now or walking on, it’s kind of interesting and it’s kind of like a new addition to my office because I’ve always been a fan of these manual treadmills if you have like a stand-up desk because this might be a little bit of a rabbit hole, but the electrical treadmills are a huge source of something that I think a lot of people who work around computers are increasingly concerned about, or at least interested in these days, which is dirty electricity, right?
We live in this constant soup of Wi-Fi routers, earbuds, and appliances and smart appliances and smart homes, and electric cars. And we’re kind of getting bombarded with what’s called non-native electricity all day long. These are like square waveforms that don’t really simulate the type of more sinusoidal, chaotic waveforms we’d find in nature. There’s all sorts of issues that causes like a calcium influx into the cells, and it kind of depolarizes the cell membrane and results in things like brain fog or poor sleep or some of these things people complain about but can’t quite put their finger on. I think some people like blow away out of proportion and literally live life in a Faraday cage, which I don’t think is necessary. But I do think like, for example, with the treadmill by the option of a manual versus an electrical treadmill in my office, I’ll choose the manual version because it’s just powered by me.
And the cool part about that is if you’re on a manual treadmill, it forces your butt to contract with each step. And that’s one of the failures of an electrical treadmill is your butt doesn’t have to work, and so you don’t strengthen or tone or use arguably one of the most important muscles in the body when it comes to reducing low back pain for say, you know, being a little better on the pickleball court later on. And then the other thing is that I interviewed on my podcast, I think like ten years ago, this dude who was a Swiss inventor and he lived in Korea for a while and he used to walk out in the Korean rice paddy fields. And whenever he got back from his walk, he found that his feet just felt like open and supple and almost like massaged. So, when I interviewed him, he had a line of shoes and then mats that you stand on when you’re working at your desk. And he sent me a pair of shoes and he sent me a mat and it was kind of like standing on air or walking on air.
And I’m like, “Oh, this is cool.” And so, I’ve kind of dabbled with his products. I think his company is called Kybun, K-Y-B-U-N. And a few months ago they emailed me and they’re like, “We just made a treadmill with the same like rice paddy, like soft walk-on air padding on the treadmill.” And so, I got back from work trip a few weeks ago, and my house assistant had installed this walking treadmill in my office. And, dude, it literally feels like I’m walking on kind of like a foam mat right now. It’s kind of weird but I’m not wearing shoes. I’m walking on this soft surface and it’s really cool because like my feet, I wish you could feel it right now. My feet feel like they’re getting massaged with each step, and it’s also hyper quiet so I can be on meetings and talking to you without a bunch of squeaking and motors whirring in the background. So, yeah, I think everybody should have a walking treadmill in their office if they like to move and kind of want to stay metabolically healthy and not feel like they’ve been sitting in a box all day after work.
Justin Donald: I love it. And by the way, just the amount of wealth in terms of like content here that you’re able to drop just on a walking treadmill, not just on having a walking treadmill, but the specifics of what one to get would be great. You know, I have a trainer and he says most people don’t activate their glutes or aren’t only partially activated, which like basically exacerbates all kinds of problems in the body. So, yeah, I just did this new class at Studio 3 with my friend, Codie Sanchez, because we’re friends with the trainer. She’s friends with the trainer and the trainer does a lot of stuff at the gym I go to. And so, they had these like you can put it in manual mode where you have to run the treadmill. And like for us, we were doing some incline work and it was, I mean, it really worked the glutes. It was great.
Ben Greenfield: Yeah. There’s this one really popular guy in the whole athletic training injury prevention field right now named Ben Patrick. He’s known as KneesOverToesGuy. And one of the things he recommends in his protocols, which I think lately have been made the most popular by this longevity enthusiast named Bryan Johnson, who’s all over the Internet right now. The guy’s going to live until he’s 200 years old or whatever. But one of the parts of the program is sled pulls where you’re like leaning forward and dragging a sled behind you. And that’s a huge activation of the glutes, which is one of the reasons why it’s so important for knee prevention and low back pain prevention. But a manual treadmill kind of sort of gives you a mini version of that all day long when you’re on it. And I mean, for people who get low back pain, I am shocked at the number of, well, particularly surgeons because when you hold a knife, all the world looks like a surgery, I guess, but they’ll recommend low back surgery.
And if someone does a glute strengthening program combined with a hip flexor stretching program, perfect example of a hip flexor stretching program would be like a few times a week, some kind of a yoga session, and then stopping and doing what I think is one of the best stretches on the face of the planet for people who do sit, which is called the couch stretch. You can look it up on YouTube. I think Kelly started out as a physical therapist who made that one pretty popular. But basically, if you’re stretching your hip flexors and then in the gym, you’re strengthening your glutes, right? So, things like reverse lunges, kick-outs, and different glute strengthening strategies, that one-two combo alone is something that can get rid of like 90% of low back pain without surgery. It’s shockingly effective, but it’s kind of like pushing yourself away from the table when you’re 80% full versus getting a gastric bypass surgery. A lot of people want to pop the pill or get the surgery but, man, like I used to get low back pain up until I kind of really tapped into this probably about ten years ago.
And I can’t think of a single day in the past decade that I’ve had low back pain. And I lift the weights off the ground. I still sit in a car, sit on airplanes for a long time, travel overseas and low back is not an issue for me because I stretch my hip flexors daily. I walk on a manual treadmill. I strength my glutes daily. And then the other thing you should know about because I love to geek up on this stuff, another training modality that’s really popular right now amongst Biohackers but that I think more people should know about is electrical muscle stimulation training. And this is where you either pull on a suit that more or less like shocks the body, shocks the muscles. So, it bypasses your brain’s, your body’s central governor, your brain, and instead produces an electrical contraction that will strengthen your biceps, your triceps, your low back, or whatever. And you can use this in areas that you’ve kind of forgotten how to use. Like, you can literally use it on the glutes, strengthen glutes using electrical muscle stimulation training during a training session, or even just while you’re sitting around your house.
And it is, I guess, pardon the pun, shockingly effective at strengthening a lot of these muscles that you’ve forgotten how to use, including your glutes. So, there are others. There’s one company called Katalyst spelled with K. They have a full-like pull-on electrical muscle stimulation suit. That’s amazing. You asked about brands, this treadmill and I’m not invested in any of these companies, by the way. This treadmill is I think it’s called Walkolution, just like it sounds like, Walkolution. And then the other thing I’d throw in there is that if you do have a need to have a chair in your office, there is one other new company that just developed what I think is like the Cadillac of chairs for literally improving your posture while you sit in it. It’s got four different knobs that are all adjusted really easily for lower back support, for upper back stretching for the right type of hip alignment, for keeping the glutes from turning off, for keeping the hip flexors from being excessively shortened. And that chair is called the Anthros.
I think they just launched a couple of months ago but, I mean, if you have something like a stand-up desk that can go up and down, something like a walking manual treadmill, something like an Anthros chair and maybe a mat you can stay on if you’re going to be standing and not walking and then you’re stretching your hip flexors and strengthen your glutes, your lower back is going to be like bulletproof your entire entrepreneurial career. So, it’s pretty amazing.
Justin Donald: Well, this is powerful. I’m going to look into this because I’ve had, you know, ever since a surfing accident back in ’04, I have had some lower back issues. So, I am going to take this seriously and see what I can do with some glute strengthening and even some I’m actually going to this physical therapy place that does some of the electric shock that you’re talking about. And we’ve started doing this and it’s amazing how well this is working. In fact, Joe Rogan just mentioned this place, Wired. I’m afraid to say it because I don’t want too many people to go quite yet. It’s an awesome place here in Austin that, I mean, it’s some game-changing technology, that’s for sure.
Ben Greenfield: Yeah. A lot of physical therapy clinics now have these new chairs and let you sit in that do an electrical pulse to kind of like strengthen the pelvic floor. And they have another one that’s full body. I forget what it’s called. It’s super popular right now. It’s called like EMP pulse or something like that. Anyway, so my only beef with those, you got to like get in the car and drive to a clinic to use them. So, I think it’s just as easy like if you have something like a Katalyst suit or there’s even like a really, really small portable version you can use even on airplanes. I think that one’s called the Mdot device that’s like a portable electro-muscle stimulator. And I live by the spirit of the more I can do at home and the less that I’m required to drive to a physical therapist or a chiropractor’s office to do the better. So, I try to do as much as I can at home but some of those units are super handy for just turning back on all these muscles that you haven’t used in a long time.
Justin Donald: Well, I feel like I now had to put my standing desk up because I feel like talking to you like I got to up the game. I actually have a walking treadmill. I don’t think it’s going to… My setup is not right for this but at least I can stand up and not be seated the whole time. I feel like if I’m doing that, I’m doing the opposite of what we’re talking about here, so.
Ben Greenfield: Yeah. Well, it’s kind of like my mom used to say, any meal that you eat standing up is calorie-free. I know if that’s true but it sounds reasonable to me.
Justin Donald: I like it. So, you and I originally met through we’ve got a ton of mutual friends but we met through Garrett Gunderson, who has just become a really dear friend of mine. We’ve partnered up on a whole bunch of different stuff, and I just flew out to see him in Salt Lake City and we spent some time in Park City and I think the world of him. And you two, while he was doing a stand-up comedy set and I think you were trying to get out of your comfort zone and do your first-ever comedy set. So, I got to be a fly on the wall a live participant and I thought you crushed it. I was blown away at how well you did your first time out ever. So, kudos to you, and way to have the courage to get up in front of people having never done that before.
Ben Greenfield: Thanks, man. Yeah, kudos to Garrett, too, for grabbing the tiger by the tail and literally launching his own standup comedy tour, which is amazing. He took it to the next level. But, yeah, he asked me to open for him so I opened for him and it was a ton of fun and a lot of people have asked me since, “Oh, do you want to start doing standup?” The answer is no because I speak already. I speak on a lot of stages to like health and wellness groups. Sometimes I’ll speak to private groups. You know, I’m going to be speaking to like a financial banking group in a couple of weeks. I was in New Orleans a couple of months ago speaking at like a hair salon and beauty group of all things. But I’m on stage enough to where I decided, you know what, I just want to weave comedy and humor into what I’m already on stage doing. So, I can only do so much. So, I don’t have any plans to pursue much standup as much as kind of use some of the things I learned from that experience to just do a better job on my health and wellness and longevity type of stages that I’m on.
But man, it’s a great way to learn how to hone that craft of self-deprecation, of word selection and word recall of the use of proper tonal languages and audience participation. And I think it actually did make me a better speaker just doing it. So, I think anybody who speaks, even if you’re not going to do a full-on standup career like getting out there and doing it a few times I think is amazing for honing your chops as a speaker in general.
Justin Donald: Yeah. Just incredible watching, you know, you pivot and Garrett pivot and really just pursuing, A, a passion and, B, something that causes you to grow and get better. You know, I just think it’s incredible and I hope more people take the opportunity to do that. Earlier off-air, we were talking about some of the clinics, some of the like wellness and biohacking and regenerative-type medicine clinics that you have been consulting and advising. And I’d love to talk about this because I’m such a huge fan of this space. You know, we’ve got a mutual friend in Michael Swail who has Alive and Well here in Austin and I think that facility is incredible. I’m looking at an investment in them and a few others. You know, I’m impressed with Regan Archibald’s facility, East West Health. I’ve had him on the podcast. And so, I’m really curious to learn some of what you’re doing because I think you had just like four or five consulting gigs where you basically looked at their products, help build some menus, looked at the supplements, looked at the type of therapies that they were providing. So, can you weigh in on some of that, Ben?
Ben Greenfield: Yeah. I’ve found that the lion’s share of my boots on the ground consulting and advising these days when it comes to the brick and mortar sectors has been with professional teams and squads who want to get advice on the setup of their strength conditioning, their training, and the recovery facilities. With facilities like this that are biohacking facilities that kind of want to expand the range of services or equipment. And then finally, corporate wellness facilities where people want me to come in and analyze like their workplace ergonomics, things like the treadmills and the desks that we’re talking about, the air, the light, the water, the electricity, etcetera. And it is kind of cool when you look at this from what would be called a building biology standpoint because and this is pretty relevant to me because I’m building a new home in Idaho right now.
There’s so much that you can do to optimize your personal environment, right, instead of having Wi-Fi, having CAT7 metal shielded Ethernet cables, putting cut-off or kill switches in each bedroom, making sure the magnetic field doesn’t pass too close to the head in the wiring behind the walls on the bed, making sure there’s a good like double carbon block, reverse osmosis water setup and the piping is set up in a good way that the HVAC system is set up to be mold-free and a general reduction of dirty electricity and high amounts of electromagnetic fields throughout along with circadian friendly lighting. Like, lighting that doesn’t flicker, reduction of dimmer switches, and a use of circadian-friendly lighting like OLED or fluorescent or, I’m sorry, non-fluorescent incandescent or halogen-based lighting. These are all the little things that when someone is setting a facility or medical office or corporate wellness space or a home or whatnot, they just don’t think about it. So, that’s the first thing that I look at is what’s the air like? What’s the light like? What’s the water like? What’s the electricity look like? What’s the overall environment, and does it optimize someone? Because it just doesn’t make sense.
Like, if you’re going to pay high-end box for some concierge physician and you go to them and you’re laying there getting examined, staring up at fluorescent lighting in a room that hasn’t been tested for mold, and there’s 20 Wi-Fi signals and no dirty electricity filters in the room, and you have no clue what their water filtration strategy is. And yet you’re getting treated for medical conditions that can often be environmentally induced. So, the first thing I look at is, what’s the actual space look like from an environmental standpoint, air, light, water, electricity, etcetera? How can we make this as primal and natural to the biological system as possible? And then I think the error that a lot of so-called biohacking facilities or upgraded wellness spaces make that I see repeatedly in the industry is they’ll buy a bunch of cool, just cool sh*t, like HBOT and cryotherapy and red light therapy and a CVAC unit and maybe like a minimal effective dose single set of failure, you know, ARX machine or Normatec boots or just litter some office with like three quarter million dollars’ worth of biohacking equipment and then hire a nurse and have a bunch of IVs and peptides available.
The problem is that the consumer doesn’t know what the hell to do when they walk in there and they will purchase a visit. They don’t know, “When do I do the cryotherapy? And at what point in this experience do I do the red light? And what kind of IV do I get today? And will the hyperbaric therapy that I’m doing after this mess up or help what I’m getting into my body from the IV?” And so, the secret sauce in terms of companies that are doing it well is they’re producing almost like a customized menu. So, when you go to a facility like that, the first thing is you should undergo a battery of tests. Like, I work with a lot of high-end clientele, VIPs, and execs who want me to write out their whole nutrition plan, their fitness plan, what kind of biohacks they do, what supplements that they take, etcetera. I don’t work with anybody until I’ve gotten a full genetic panel, stool screening, blood testing, micronutrient testing, urine testing, food allergy testing, and wearable devices like heart rate variability and sleep that allow me to use a very data-driven approach for someone.
So, the first thing that should be done in a lot of these facilities is an intake where there’s extensive testing performed. Then you steer the IV protocol, the peptide protocol, the stem cell protocol, etcetera, to set it up in a way that’s customized to that person. And you’re also giving them the diet and exercise plan that they follow, whether or not they’re in the facility. And then the range of services, people shouldn’t just be able to walk in there and say, “Hey, I’m going to do cryo today. I’m going to red light today.” They actually have a package that’s set up for them where it literally is almost like a SaaS service, a subscription-based service for biohacking. You’re paying this monthly fee or this weekly fee or maybe you have a VIP package that upgrades you to extra IVs or peptides or access to certain machines that other non-VIP members don’t get. And then someone actually knows when they walk in, what they do Monday, what they do Wednesday, what they do Friday because the novelty of having access to all this equipment will wear off after a few months when someone has joined and then they’re gone because they don’t know what to do. It’s like someone joining a fancy gym and this is the secret sauce for gyms because they get a little bit less wear and tear on their equipment.
They’ll get members, but the members will eventually stop coming because they just don’t know what to do when they walk in the gym. They don’t have a plan. I don’t agree with that. Ethically, that idea of just basically, you know, planned obsolescence of a customer because they don’t know what to do. But if these biohacking facilities want repeated customers, repeated experience, good word of mouth and growth, and the ability to be able to franchise or open up new facilities domestically or internationally, they need a set menu for each person. And almost like a system that they plug you into based on your profile. And then you know exactly what to do when you’re visiting, what time, who you’re going to be working with when you’re there, when your next test is coming up. And that’s the type of slick approach that the people who are doing it right are doing. But I see these companies come and go now like every few weeks.
And the mistake most of them make is put a bunch of cool stuff in a room and you’re going to make a bunch of money off of people paying to come into the facility, but they don’t optimize the environment like I was talking about earlier and they don’t optimize the experience to be customized, personalized, and not create confusion for someone in terms of where they’re supposed to use and when. Does that make sense?
Justin Donald: Yeah. That’s an incredible walkthrough. And by the way, I think that the future is in this like holistic outlook with you taking health first, right? Like you stepping in proactively looking to solve things versus waiting for things to get bad. But what you talked about being so important on the medical facility front or on the med spa front or the wellness facility, I think it’s just as important and you’ll probably agree with us to have this on your home. Like, when you were talking about all these things, like for our home, we have a water purifier for the whole home because your skin is susceptible to whatever is in the shower water. And to washing your hands, I mean, we’ve got reverse osmosis in the sink and then we’ve got non-fluorescents as every light bulb in the house and we’ve got no Wi-Fi and we’ve got that Cat7 to make sure we can hardwire anywhere and really kind of paying attention to these little things because you’re going to spend more time in your home than anywhere else. You’re going to spend more time in your bedroom than anywhere else. And so, I don’t know if you do this for your home. I have to imagine you do but for us, like this is such an important part of our life.
Ben Greenfield: And, look, it can be a good business model, too, because I know a lot of your few listeners are probably involved in businesses that are investing in health, whether their own health or these type of facilities that you’re talking about. And look, in my home, I have a cold tub, I’ve got an infrared sauna, I have a big PMF unit, I have a sound healing table, I have hyperbaric oxygen. I have a bunch of different light sound machines for meditation and for brain optimization. My bedroom or my bed specifically is enclosed in a Faraday cage. I have one of those ARX machines. I have a Vasper machine. I could never leave my home and I’ve got access right here in my personal environment to like the best biohacking facility imaginable. And a lot of people who might hear that may think that, well, if all whatever, you know, wealthy entrepreneurs or driven individuals want to optimize their bodies and brains are doing the same. These biohacking facilities aren’t even going to be necessary. But, look, first, people still like to get out. People still travel. I hit up these facilities all the time when I travel because I’m not at home and a lot of other entrepreneurs do the same.
And then in addition to that, there’s actually a pretty good affiliate play here for a lot of facilities because if you have a partnership relationship for your biohacking facility, the same folks who do your sauna and your facility, your cryotherapy unit, your hyperbaric unit, your red light table or red light panel, so on and so forth then what’s going to happen is you can do referral sales for the people who visit, who want a similar setup at home, and then you’ve still got some things that they’ll be visiting for their membership that they aren’t able to do in their own home, or at least most people aren’t able to do, which would be like the IVs, the peptides, the facial stem cell treatments, things like that. And so, I think that people should have access to be educated by these kind of facilities on how to put a lot of this stuff in their own home. Back to our discussion about electroshock therapy, right, like I would be more likely to do it if I don’t have to get in my car and drive for a half hour but they can arrange that all through affiliate plays.
And I mean, if they really want to set it up, they can. I mean, I’ve done this before with companies is you just basically get a lifetime cookie where once you refer that customer, any upgrades, any equipment, replacements, anything they do in the future is tracked back to you. So, I don’t really think there’s going to be a put yourself out of business problem for any biohacking facilities who also engage in customer empowerment so people are able to set this same kind of stuff up in their homes. And honestly, most of my clients have access to a ton of these tools in their homes, yet they still go out and visit their concierge doc for the injections, for the peptides, for use of equipment they might not have, and then also to work with a trainer or someone who can actually push them during a workout. Because a lot of people like that component as well as the community aspect of sitting in the infrared sauna with, you know, four of your mates rather than at home by yourself lonely, huddled up, reading Wired magazine while sweating profusely or whatever.
Justin Donald: Totally. And by the way, this isn’t just a fun exercise that you can do for like quality time. So, it’s funny that you’re talking about this because yesterday we went into Alive and Well here in Austin, and my wife and I booked like our date day session where we’re going to do massage, facial, ozone, red light therapy, IV, peptides, the whole nine yards like a full day of services. And so, it’s a great way to like get quality time together while doing like healthy activities for your body. And I hope those of you watching and those of you listening that you consider this as just a fun activity that you can do.
Ben Greenfield: Yeah. It’s like couples massage on steroids. When people reach out to me like business contacts to have a coffee, I turn it down 99% of the time. I don’t want to sit and have a coffee. I tell them, “Hey, I’ll play Frisbee golf, I’ll play pickleball. Let’s go on a walk in the sunshine or,” and especially when I’m traveling because there’s all sorts of cool facilities in nearly every major city in Austin or L.A. or New York or whatever, to these spas where they’ve got typically at least a really good infrared sauna or sauna experience and a cold pool and all have like an hour-long business meeting where we’re doing like 15 minutes in the sauna, 2 minutes in the cold pool, back and forth, three or four times. And it’s a great way to set up business meetings as well. And you feel great afterwards.
Justin Donald: Yeah, I love that. I do a lot of walking meetings. I think that’s fantastic. Walking and biking are kind of two of the things that I do. And then just like sweating in the infrared sauna. You know, I just think it’s wonderful to get some quality time doing some healthy activities. Now, something I’ve recently done and I’m sure that you’re all over this, but I worked with this company called Fountain Life that Peter Diamandis recommended. I had a chance to spend some time with him, and so I ended up doing like the full body executive scan, where it’s like full body MRI and CAT scan and arteries and the whole nine yards, your metals testing and all your blood work, all your markers. I mean, it was like a whole day experience. I’m sure you’ve done this before. I’m curious if this is something that you think is important to do is maybe like a one-time thing and every year thing, a certain age thing, just to get ahead and kind of work in this world of preventative as opposed to reactionary medicine.
Ben Greenfield: Yeah. A lot to unpack there. I have gone through the Fountain Life experience and similar experiences with several other organizations that offer this concierge wham, bam, thank you, ma’am come in for one or two days and do every battery of tests imaginable, including blood and biomarker evaluations. Then you get a report and either a telemedicine consult or a sit down with a doc afterwards. And you’re usually paying a membership fee to do repeated visits and follow-ups throughout the year. I like it. It’s a great business model for people with deep pockets who want it all kind of done for you in one fell swoop. There are a lot of panels that you’ll get in an experience like that that arguably you can do in the comfort of your own home for a fraction of the price, you know, like InsideTracker, WellnessFX, Genova Diagnostics. Most of the blood and biomarker testing, even a lot of the genome analysis, if you wanted to save a little bit of money, you could do a lot of that stuff yourself. And even a lot of these testing companies, they come with PDFs and reports that get emailed to you that walk you through most of the data.
And so, that is, in my opinion, the less impressive piece of what they do. I think a few of the really great tools that you will get access to that I wish more people would consider, one would be something like the full body MRI to get that peace of mind, for example, on a yearly basis that you’re catching things like tumors before they present or areas of inflammation, etcetera. Arguably nowadays with liquid cancer biopsies and free screenings, you can catch that stuff before it’ll even show up on a full body MRI. And there are companies now they’re developing liquid cancer biopsies and preventive tools that even without a full body diagnostic imaging, you can get access to in the comfort of your own home like a Preventio for predicting your plaque accumulation and cardiac abnormalities. Or there’s a company called Anatara Medicine in the Bay Area that’s doing a lot of these liquid cancer biopsies and catching things before they even show up on a full-body MRI. But I do think the full-body MRI is a pretty cool tool to get a full-body imaging of what’s going on.
Same thing with the DEXA scan for bone density and lean muscle and fat deposition. But here’s what I think is the coolest thing that you’re going to find at Fountain Life and just a few other facilities around the US, and that would be the Cleerly heart scan. So, the reason this is important is that a lot of people or you’ll hear about a lot of so-called healthy people, uber athletes, you know, the CEO who runs every day and does a triathlon once a month and plays tennis or golf every night or whatever, dropping dead of an unexpected heart attack, a widowmaker, so to speak, in many cases, which is typically the disruption of plaque on an arterial vascular wall. And the odd thing is they will have had great cholesterol scores, low triglycerides, high HDL, moderate levels of LDL cholesterol, and no presentation on the lipid panel of any issues. And they might have even done something like an ultrasound echocardiogram or a stress EKG or some of these other diagnostic workups of the heart.
And what’s scary is that you can get significant plaque accumulation that often if you’ve been engaged in excessive exercise for some time, can be much higher than what you’d think, because in a lot of the triathletes, marathoners, hard-charging people who are simultaneously also under mental or psychological stress, you’ll see plaque accumulation that you could not predict without something like that AI diagnostic imaging called the Cleerly scan, which does involve the injection of a little bit of a radioactive substance so you don’t want to do it too frequently. But basically, what you’ll find in terms of your heart and your true risk for the potential for plaque accumulation is profoundly beneficial. And I think we could potentially, predictably stop a lot of unexpected heart attacks in their track, get someone on something like, an example of medication will be like a low dose statin. And low doses and when used wisely I don’t have anything against statins or nature’s version of a statin like reduced rice extract or something like there’s even a new drug that’s just twice a year injection of what’s called a PCSK9 inhibitor and you can literally melt away this plaque using strategies like that.
And I think there’s a lot of people who are on the cusp of a cardiovascular event who don’t know it. And if you can’t get in to do one of these tests, you can at least go to a website like Preventio or have your doctor do it and order one of these blood tests that give you a decent idea of whether or not a scan like that would be a good idea or what your risk is based on four or five different proteins that a blood test for, I think $175, $200 or something like that, will actually test. But back to the big picture overview of your question, yeah, I think these facilities that just do it all in that one weekend for people who want full VIP executive management and imaging of every single thing and for all the data to live in one place, especially for people that just don’t have the time to do it, the only trade-off is, of course, the dent in your pocketbook from paying for it all to be done at once versus going off and doing like one-off tests based on what you need. But ultimately, I do like what Fountain Life is doing and there’s not a lot of companies like them. Next Health is similar. You know, Alive and Well, Michael’s company, I don’t think they do a whole lot of the diagnostic imaging and then there’s a few like independent doctors clinics that do some of the stuff. But I think Fountain Life is doing a really good job.
Justin Donald: Yeah, there’s no doubt. And I just think this is the wave of the future where you’re getting ahead of the problem and recognizing it before it is actually a problem or while it’s really small, very minor. So, one of the big things that we’re seeing right now, Ben, is this, I guess, craze when it comes to like peptides and how maybe we should be doing and we just did this really cool Lifestyle Investor event at East West Health with Regan Archibald and we did all kinds of cool regenerative therapies and dug into these new modalities and did some stem cell and did some red light therapy and ozone and just the whole nine yards. And so, I’m curious to get your thoughts and your feelings on peptides and how you use them, Like what do you think are the no-brainer ones and what are the ones that maybe we need a little more research on?
Ben Greenfield: Yeah. Well, I mean, there’s a reason the FDA is heavily regulating the peptide industry right now because these peptides, which are very small amino acid chains, can be targeted with somewhat laser-like precision for a variety of effects, such as in Russia, they’ve done research on decreased risk of all-cause mortality in humans, which basically translate to decreased death of anything from two separate ten-day doses of what are called peptide bioregulators, which are like peptides but even shorter when taken orally or injected for two different ten-day stints during the year. And each of these bioregulators will travel to the organ that they’re intended to help to heal or support, the thymus gland, the thyroid, the liver, the testicles, the spleen, the kidney, the pancreas, etcetera. Other peptides have been shown to be massively beneficial for, let’s say, for example, eradication of parasites with something like the peptide LL-37.
They all sound like Star Wars R2-D2 robots or something but the name you don’t have to know but your doctor, if you have a peptide doctor, can help you out with this stuff. I got a lot of podcasts about peptides as well. BPC-157 for inflammation, TB-500 for healing ligaments and injuries like five times faster than they normally heal when injected near a site of injury or sometimes when you’ve been injected systemically, like around the abdominal tissue. Peptides for things like jetlag like I just got back from Italy a few days ago. I’ve been doing an injectable and intranasal peptide called Selank, another one called Semax, which is fantastic for restoration of brain function and support of mitochondrial activity in the brain. Even these new fat loss drugs that completely shut down appetite that have been getting a bad rap because they also seem to cause a little bit of lean muscle loss. But if you’re eating of protein and lift weights while you take them, that’s a non-issue.
However, a lot of these newer weight loss peptides, glucagon agonist, for example, or antagonist, they can actually be extremely beneficial. I think there’s one called a Retuapro or something like that. That’s a new one that targets three different pathways of appetite and weight management. And the studies on that are blowing away any other fat loss drug that’s ever been studied. There are peptides that when taken in the morning and the evening, can rapidly accelerate fat loss and lean muscle gain, such as taking a peptide called Ipamorelin CJC 1295 in the morning, followed by one called Tesamorelin in the evening. And that’s also a stack that a lot of athletes, weightlifters, and longevity enthusiasts like to use. Others seem to support the mitochondria very, very well. There are a bunch of different mitochondrial-based peptide stacks, and companies like one I’ve been impressed with lately. It’s called Limitless Longevity. They literally have a bunch of them mixed together in one vial that you draw back into a needle and inject like five days on and two days off.
There’s one other. I’ll give you one other example. It’s called 5-Amino-1MQ. It’s an oral peptide and you take a capsule before you go work out and you literally feel I would estimate a good 15% to 20% increase in strength and power while you’re working out with zero of the like jittery pre-exercise drink-esque type of side effects. So, yeah, there are some peptides, as you alluded to, that have yet to be studied long-term in human clinical trials. But the long story short is that these are just amino acid chains that insulin is a perfect example of one that diabetics have been using for a really long time and they’re relatively safe, very effective. And again, my only beef with peptides is you need to be careful of the purity and the sourcing and the only dent is again going to be in your pocketbook, and if you don’t like needles, perhaps a limited number of peptides that you can use efficaciously. But yeah, dude, I think a well-set up peptide protocol that uses the right type of cycles and dosing is a huge secret weapon for any hard-charging person, athlete, CEO, exec, anybody who wants to function and get an extra edge that goes way beyond just like taking fish oil and vitamin D.
Justin Donald: Oh, I love it. I mean, what a great dive into peptides and the value that they bring. And so, these are interesting because we’re at a day and age where I mean pharma is kind of controlled most of the substances, most of the medicines that are out there, your FDA and all that. But what ends up happening with these peptides is they’re just basic amino chains, amino acid chains, right? So, some of these have been around forever. You’ve just never heard of it because the pharma companies can’t actually patent anything because it’s already forming naturally in your body. So, it is fascinating taking a look at that and seeing what’s happening and seeing the difference that it makes. And earlier you had talked about tracking and the importance of having biomarkers and knowing the numbers, having data-driven like a data-driven approach to health and wellness. And so, I love my Oura Ring. I’m an early investor, got in when they were about 100 million. Now, they’re worth over a billion, maybe 1.4 billion.
Ben Greenfield: I did too. Unfortunately, I sold after three years but yeah.
Justin Donald: Oh, did you? That’s awesome. Well, hey, you made some money. Nice job. Did you get out on a secondary?
Ben Greenfield: Yeah. Yeah, I didn’t make that much. I think I walked away with, like, maybe $20,000 or something, but they’re a fantastic company. Yeah.
Justin Donald: Yeah. I mean, that’s totally changed my game from the standpoint of the last meal that I eat. Not drinking alcohol in the evening, actually just lowering alcohol consumption in general, you know, just like even tracking you said that you’re doing. You’re consistently walking 20,000 steps. It’s so funny hearing you say that because I’m feeling so good here at 15,000 steps. You say that I’m like, “Gosh, why am I limiting what I’m doing? Like, I should just up the ante.” So, I appreciate the inspiration that I got today where it’s like, “Well, why not just go for 20 steps a day?”
Ben Greenfield: Yeah, I am a huge fan of the tracking component. I think that if you have a good wearable like a WHOOP or an Oura, for example, and you’re tracking sleep readiness and activity and body temp on the regular, that’s a great step. I would throw into that that if you’re able to track HRV as well, it’s one of the best measurements of the nervous system, repair and recovery and readiness. And the Oura or the WHOOP or most of these other wearables will also do that. I would consider and I’m very careful about my selection, as you probably guess, of wearables that don’t act like a giant radiating computer on your wrist. So, you know, things like the Apple Watch that have that in airplane mode whenever you can. My Oura ring’s always in airplane mode. You know, there are certain mattress companies and things like that that I just don’t use in the bedroom because they do produce a lot of dirty EMF and Wi-Fi.
And so, my metric whenever I’m trying or testing a new wearable or appliance or body improvement device or anything like that is how much radio frequency and electromagnetic fields am I getting exposed to and can I turn the Wi-Fi off of this, say, I don’t know, air purifier or mattress topper or whatever. So, I’m careful about that but then, yeah, from a data standpoint, I mean, like I mentioned, all of my clients, when they come in, they do a full blood test, they do a stool test for yeast, parasites, fungus, and gastric inflammation. They do a salivary full genome workup. They do a 24-hour urine test for every single hormone, testosterone, estrogen, cortisol, melatonin, everything. They do a full food allergy analysis, a full mold analysis, a micronutrient analysis for all the things the basic blood tests won’t catch, like amino acids, fatty acids, etcetera. And then I just keep a folder on file with all that information. I set up their nutrition and their supplement plan accordingly. They fill out a massive questionnaire about their exercise, body fat, what kind of equipment they have access to.
And then what I do is every Saturday I ride out their exercise program, keep track of their nutrition, keep track of their HRV, keep track of their sleep. And that allows me to just manage all of this in the cloud. And that’s exactly what I do for myself.
Justin Donald: Oh, that’s awesome. So, talk a little bit more about your programs and working with you because you’re a wealth of knowledge here. And I feel like the more people can know and learn here in this space, the better they’re going to be. And my goal is to help people buy their time back. And part of buying their time back is so that they can actually live longer doing things that are, you know, they fill them up more, that brings them more passion. And I think that when you’re on the health trajectory that is a positive one, not only are you elongating life but you’re creating a vibrancy to those years. So, I’d love to learn more about you and how people can find you.
Ben Greenfield: Yeah, I started coaching tennis when I was 14 and have pretty much been coaching people in some capacity ever since. I got a college degree in physiology and biomechanics with an emphasis in human nutrition and took that to the master’s level and had personal training and nutrition coaching all through college. After college, I partnered up with a physician and we opened up a series of training studios, gyms, and medical facilities across Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, where we worked with a lot of physicians in the local community and created these high-end concierge programs for a lot of local executives that did a lot of the blood testing. This is early on in the day, back before a lot of it was available, which is good because I was partnered up with a doctor who could take a lot of these tests for me. And so, we did high-speed video camera analysis and calorimetry analysis and all sorts of tests on the treadmill, on the bike, and very, very high-end personal training. In 2008, I was voted as America’s top personal trainer based on a lot of these forward-thinking initiatives. And that thrust me into the limelight of doing a lot more speaking and consulting and advising for other trainers and gyms and medical facilities, etcetera.
So, I made the decision to because that was about the time my sons, who are 15 years old now, twins, were born that I wanted to move into the house, homeschool, be a fully present father, help out my wife on the home front and do more work from home. So, I took everything that I was doing at that point and took it online, set up a system for online coaching, online consulting, keeping track of all my clients via phone calls and text messages and emails, and have enjoyed it quite a bit. I mean, I’ve been doing that now for 15 years.
Justin Donald: Wow.
Ben Greenfield: And of course, technology has helped that out a ton. Now, I’ve got a lot better way to seamlessly track people and keep track of everything in one place and deliver things like nutrition plans and exercise plans and very slick calendars and have a lot of seamless communication, kind of 24/7 with all my clients. And I’ve trained up a team of coaches and basically certified them to use a lot of my methods, my biohacking tools, how to read the type of tests that I order, how to set up programs for their clients. So, now I think we’ve got about a little over 30 coaches that work in the program and then I work with an average of about 12 people on a monthly basis and then do one-off phone calls with folks just about every day for consultations. And so, people can find out at BenGreenfieldCoaching.com. And then I spend the rest of my time speaking which is all at BenGreenfeldSpeaking.com and then producing content, articles, books, podcasts, etcetera, and that’s all at BenGreenfieldLife.com.
My last book was a 700-page tome on parenting, in which I interviewed some of the most successful entrepreneurs on the face of the planet who have really thriving healthy children and families and just delved into all their parenting wisdom and tips and tools, and tactics. And I put that all together in a book, and I believe that we even set things up so that if anybody wants to see the way that I’ve unschooled my children and the way that we’ve built up our legacy, the way we’ve structured our family trust, built the family bank, engage in generational passing out of wealth, etcetera, that’s all at BoundlessParentingBook.com/Freechapter. If people want a free chapter of that book, they can check it out and kind of get a flavor of the type of way that we raise our kids and try to teach the next generation a lot of these same concepts.
Justin Donald: Well, that’s incredible. You know, I think for a lot of people, they focus on figuring out for themselves and it takes a while for a lot of people to do that. But we also need to be cognizant of the fact that we need to be helping our children figure it out. And the better we can be a role model by actually living and modeling that life, the easier it is for them to step into it in their own lives. And so, I love seeing what you’re doing on the health side, on the wealth side, on the legacy side. I mean, you’re just really a walking billboard for how to live life with just a vibrant passion and full health and playing all out. And so, I want to thank you for taking the time to be here today.
Ben Greenfield: Yeah.
Justin Donald: And I’m curious if there’s any last thing you want to share with our audience before we wrap.
Ben Greenfield: Sure. I’ll leave you with this. When I was writing that book, I was out to dinner with Chad Johnson, one of the parents featured in the book, the father of 11 children, Ironman, triathlete, very successful entrepreneur and very present father, and very impressive man of God, very self-fulfilled, self-actualized, and a very ethical and morally upright man, wonderful husband and father. And he told me, “Ben, your business will eat you alive. It will always be there. Always. It will call you coming back for more, more emails, more building, $100 million to $1 billion to $5 billion. Doesn’t matter. Like, that road never ends. Your business will eat you alive so you set up your life with these five priorities. Number one, God and your spiritual walk and your spiritual care. Put on that oxygen mask first. Two, spouse. If you and your spouse aren’t connected and intertwined and in a very powerful, intimate relationship, then your kids are going to know that. You got to have your spouse onboard as well. Number third or number three, your kids.
So, you have God, spouse, kids. Number four, and so this means before you’re working out and doing all the other stuff, you make sure your connection to God, your connection to your wife, and your connection to your kids is taken care of. Then comes your health, and then finally comes your business.” And that’s the way I prioritize my own life, the powerful God, spouse, children. If you don’t have spouse and children, then just consider that to be community and relationships and then your health, then your business. You put things in that priority order and everything seems to fall into place pretty well after that. So, that’s what I leave you with.
Justin Donald: Ben, I love that. And what a great concept to leave with. And it’s funny that you say this because I literally have modeled this out in my own life and I have written down those five exact things in that exact order.
Ben Greenfield: Amazing.
Justin Donald: And I’m wondering now where I learn this from or if there’s some crossover with your friend, Chad, who talked about this because this was taught to me by someone that you really need to put your priorities and values in order. And so, that was the order that I felt like I needed to live my life. So, thank you for sharing that. That is amazing.
Ben Greenfield: That’s awesome. And, as you know, everything on the Internet is plagiarized, but doesn’t matter if it helps you out.
Justin Donald: Yeah. It’s fantastic. That’s awesome.
Ben Greenfield: All right. Cool, man.
Justin Donald: Well, I love wrapping every episode, asking my audience one simple question. We’ve just gotten a ton of wisdom from Ben but my question to my audience is this and ask yourself this question: What’s one step that you can take today towards financial freedom, and in this case, it might be towards personal freedom, health freedom, but really living a life that you truly desire that’s on your terms, no one else’s terms so not a life by default, but a life by design? And when you figure out one thing that you can do, email us. Let us know what it is that you’re doing so we can help support you. Thanks for tuning in and we’ll check in next week. And, Ben, thank you for being here.
Ben Greenfield: Cool, man. Thanks for having me.