Sooo, after a little inspiration from Mr Tim Ferris, I thought it was an idea to give a weekly overview as to what bio hacks, supplements and optimisation ideas I’m playing with, cooking, listening to, experimenting and using. I’ll give a summary as to what are my results, thoughts, tips and what the experts are saying. If you’ve got any feedback on anything I’ve described, or ideas of something to try, please drop me a message!
What am I reading?
A Complaint Free World by: The 21-day challenge that will change your life by Will Bowen
Change your life you say? In 21 days no less? Quite a bold statement, as well as one that has been reeled off more than a few times by would be..life changers. So, the basic premis here is to wear a band on your wrist for 21 straight days without complaining. Each time a complaint comes out, switch wrists and reset the 21 days. Why 21 days you may ask. Well apparently it takes 21 days to change a behaviour..
This book is actually quite an insight. I didn’t think I was much of a complainer, well, 12 wrist swaps in the first 2 hours put pay to that thought. This is an easy book to read in both it’s language and size, and really has been quite a learning curve for me! It without doubt develops insight and makes you question your atomatic conditioned responses. Bowen does come from a religious background (which is fine of course!) and although it can sometimes seems a little preachy, its really a good read and worth a butchers. This especially in light of you can get it for less than half the price of its postage on Amazon!
What am I taking?
L – theanine
L – theanine is an amino acid naturally found in tea but also primarily found in plant and fungal species. Nootropics, as most will know, are taken for memory, clarity, creativity and focus purposes. I was excited however about L – theanine as. in terms of brain-hacks, it has been seen to give something a little different from the others.
L-theanine has been shown in studies to increase alpha brain waves on an EEG . The studies show supplemental L-theanine’s effect on the brain. The brain waves have been seen to actually get smoothed out but not flatten out, (meaning a calmer but still fully functioning state of mind). There are also credible links to it helping with depression and supporting the liver whilst also being a powerful antidote to the effects of alcohol! L-theanine has further been shown to mitigate negative effects from caffeine, including damaged sleep quality and anxiety, while boosting the positive effects such as the mind-energizing, fat-burning features of caffeine.
My experiences were good! It has defiantly helped to focus but but not feel to stimulated.I’ve tried it this week mainly in the late afternoon with a coffee and replaced the green coffee extract I was previously experimenting with. I’ve really seen it calm me down noticeably whilst also staying productive. It’s defiantly worth a look and is a pretty inexpensive supplement to boot!
What am I using?
Heart rate monitor
Now this will blow no minds as it’s hardly a piece of cutting edge technology, but what is pretty ‘cutting edge’ (well, relatively) is the primal approach to increasing aerobic capacity through slowing down the pace. I first read about this in John Douillard’s book; Mind, Body, & Sport. You can buy this on Amazon for literally pennies and it really is a great read regarding breathing, Indian medicine’s approach to health and development; and John’s own research into discovering the famed athlete’s ‘zone’. Anyway’s, Marc Sisson, the big dog from the paleo/primal movement echoes Douillard’s thinking but takes it on a notch in his incredible book; Primal Endurance.
The technique to help slowing down aerobic activity most is to use your nose to breath through whilst, for example, running. Sisson advocates further that the heart rate needs to be monitored using Dr Maffetone’s 180 method minus your age, (as opposed to the more universally recognized 220 minus your age). Note – you can subtract 10 if recovering from serious illness and/or aliment or subtract 5 for recent injury or regression in training. Make no adjustments if training consistently (4x/week) for two years or add 5 if you’ve successfully trained consistently for two or over years and/or had success in competition.
Having started monitoring my heart rate the last week, (even though I’ve been nose breathing whilst running for around the last 6 months), the 145 – 50 I’d set was blooming difficult to maintain! Think stopping on hills and completely letting go of ego when pretty much any and every other runner cruises by.
So, the big one is of course why?! Well, nutshell terms are that when training outside of this aerobic max, you are serving no purpose to the aerobic system and causing stress. This is whilst also not benefiting the anaerobic system, as you can’t maintain an anaerobic state for those lengths of time. Essentially as you improve you will be able to increase output whilst maintaining lower heart rate. Research is also suggesting that the better trained the aerobic system, the less you’ll need to enter the anaerobic state due to lower heart rate. This has clear positive crossovers for combat sports for example. Im pushing on with this, even though I have hard Thai Boxing sessions currently due to an upcoming fight. Sisson is the man, so we’ll see what we see. Fingers crossed for results!