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Why Are Testosterone Levels Declining? (& What Should We Do About It) | Blake Bowman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 029

Why Are Testosterone Levels Declining? (& What Should We Do About It) | Blake Bowman | Better Man Podcast Ep. 029

After hitting 30, your testosterone levels drop by about 1% per year. This is a natural, but not optimal, process. But there’s a bigger problem when it comes to testosterone: 

Even young 20-year-olds have devastatingly low testosterone levels! 

Low testosterone tanks your energy levels, your confidence, and even your work ethic. It also makes it harder to burn fat and build muscle. And low testosterone even has adverse effects on your mental health. 

So, what’s causing this low testosterone epidemic? And what are some natural ways to optimize your testosterone—at any age? 

In this episode, Blake Bowman, owner of Guerrilla Zen Fitness, joins me to discuss simple strategies (and more advanced biohacks) to naturally boost your testosterone levels. 

Listen now.

The Better Man Podcast is an exploration of our health and well-being outside of our physical fitness, exploring and redefining what it means to be better as a man; being the best version of ourselves we can be, while adopting a more comprehensive understanding of our total health and wellness. I hope it inspires you to be better!

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Watch a Clip From Episode 029

Why Are Testosterone Levels Declining? (& What Should We Do About It) With Blake Bowman

Show Highlights with Blake Bowman

  • How foods packaged in plastic sabotage your endocrine system and testosterone levels (8:07) 
  • Why testosterone replacement therapy and testosterone-boosting supplements should be your last resort to restore you T levels (and what to focus on instead) (11:00) 
  • 5 common household items which can hurt your testosterone levels (12:04) 
  • 3 vitamins and minerals your body must have in order to make testosterone (and 2 food sources jam-packed with these nutrients) (16:03) 
  • Why your confidence and work ethic helps predict if you have healthy or unhealthy testosterone levels (21:14) 
  • 4 simple, yet powerful ways to improve your sleep quality, lower your stress, and boost your testosterone (31:23) 
  • The “cabin in the woods” method for lowering your stress levels by 80% overnight (52:12) 
  • Why spending 20 minutes in a sauna boosts your happiness and calmness more than anything else (and how to buy an affordable sauna for your home) (1:08:25)
Episode 029: Why Are Testosterone Levels Declining | Blake Bowman – Transcript

Dean Pohlman: Gentlemen, welcome to the Better Man podcast. Today I am joined by a repeat guest. This is Blake Bowman from Guerrilla Zen Fitness. Welcome back Blake.

Blake Bowman: Thanks for having me. Really enjoyed doing the last one. Happy to be on again.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, me too. So I actually listened to you, and, you know, one of my one of my top five episodes from from season one. I think it was just because we just we were able to dig really deep into, you know, the process of you losing your dad and and not being able to exercise during that time. And it just… the whole process of how people go through, you know, these tragic, life changing events or these, you know, these struggles and coming out for the better. I think that’s that’s just something that really intrigues me. So and you did a great job of, you know, being open and being vulnerable and having that conversation. So thanks again For doing that.

Blake Bowman: Yeah man, I don’t normally get asked those questions on a podcast, so thanks for asking. Yeah, I think that stuff is important for people to hear for sure.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I mean, I think we we all see I don’t know, at least me because I live in this world. But, you know, I all the time I’m seeing here’s a new exercise to work on your hip flexors. Here’s something that you should be doing to, you know, relieve back pain from sitting in a chair. I’m like, I see this over and over again, but I want to work more on you know, I want to work more on my mental health. I want to address some of these other aspects that people aren’t talking about. So, you know, that’s what I try to I try to do with this but we talked about a lot of stuff that last show, and I kind of wanted to go into some of the other habits and some of the other topics that I thought that you would be good for, for talking about.

So some things I want to touch here, a touch on in this episode. Let’s let’s talk about men and testosterone. That’s something we haven’t explored on this podcast yet. I also want to explore specifically with you what are some things that you do in your day to day lifestyle that differ from what I think most people do? And and what differences do you experience as a result of that? Or what are some things that you don’t have to struggle with as a result of that? And then I want to introduce the concept of biohacking, and we can we can we can delve into this a little bit more. But let’s just start off with, you know, let’s just start off with the big punchy topic, right? Testosterone, you know, I think we see a lot of there’s a lot of marketing that’s that’s aimed at, you know, addressing men’s general concerns of testosterone loss. I mean, I know that’s some of that’s just going to happen with age. You know, there’s a general decline of testosterone as you get older, but there’s also a quicker decline these days just because of the lifestyle that we’re living and other threats. So I’m just curious, like is is testosterone a big of as big of a threat as, you know, it’s made out to be? What do you think?

Blake Bowman: Yeah, more specifically, I would say low testosterone.

Dean Pohlman: Oh, yeah. I’m not. There’s, there’s too much higher testosterone levels. People are too healthy. It’s just it’s terrible towards testosterone.

Blake Bowman: Toxic out on the streets? No, man, no test, OK? I mean, first of all, if we’re going to even conversation about testosterone, we have to establish what that is. It’s the primary male sex hormone. Both men and women have testosterone. Men have more. What does it do? Well, it’s primarily responsible for what we consider generally to be male characteristics, body hair growth, facial hair, your physical strength ability to build muscle, your ability to have a confident demeanor, to have energy, the clarity of your thought. All of these things are actually correlated, influenced to agree by testosterone, more testosterone you have the more enhanced, all those things will become all right.

Higher testosterone individuals, typically, they’re more strong. They have more body hair. They have an easier time growing a beard. Their voice is lower. They’re able to build more muscle, more effectively, so on and so forth. And testosterone typically declines about like 1% per year on average from the age of 30 and beyond. So naturally our testosterone from the age of 30 onwards. Don’t quote me on that. There’s new research on this all the time, but basically somewhere around the age of 30, it starts to decline gradually until the end of your life. And that’s natural. However, we have a lot of people running around nowadays that are low in testosterone and they’re like 20 years old, OK, I have a lot of friends that are doctors that do things like regenerative medicine, and you’d be incredibly surprised how many 20 year olds have sexual dysfunction, low testosterone, so on, and so forth, because our bodies are under attack, frankly, from multiple angles and it affects our hormonal systems our endocrine system primarily the most, right? So when we eat, you know, foods that are packaged in plastic, we’re getting a lot of plastic in our diet. A lot of those are endocrine disrupting chemicals. When we put a cell phone in our pocket and it’s operating in our pocket, it’s blasting our our gonads with electromagnetic fields. There are a lot of things that we’re doing nowadays that are causing people to have low testosterone before they’re even 30.

So it is a big problem because with lower testosterone, you’re going to be physically weaker. You’re going to put on body fat more easily. You’re you know, you’re going to struggle with growing facial hair. Your confidence, your energy is all going to be impacted negatively, which is natural and low. Testosterone has a major like mental effect. And when it’s when you’re deficient in testosterone, all the things that testosterone is responsible for start to suffer. So, yeah, it is a big problem for sure.

Dean Pohlman: Got it. So what I was thinking of as you started talking about this was kind of the this works both ways as in as in testosterone levels. Maybe high when all of these things happen. But also testosterone is just a, it’s an indicator of how well you are, you know, of how healthy you’re being. And that’s kind of just how I think of it. I think of it as testosterone is you know, it’s it’s not something you know, we don’t look at low testosterone levels and think, OK, well, I just need to get like a testosterone shot or like, how do I what’s the testosterone supplement that I need? Right. Or like, what do I what’s that? Because that’s just going to make it all better when when really I think the approach and you can talk about this more should be what are the habits that I need to be doing on a regular basis that reflect overall health. And as a result of doing these my testosterone levels will go up because, you know, so I guess I’m kind of getting at is testosterone an indicator of overall wellness in men or is it is is it is it different than that?

Blake Bowman: Yeah, I mean, it absolutely is. It’s not like the only factor that you want to consider if you’re doing like blood work. All right. There’s obviously many other things your, you know, glucose levels and anything else in blood work, your inflammation levels. Those are all equal indicators of your general state of health. But yeah, this is absolutely one of those metrics that should be considered. And unfortunately, a lot of people, once they discover they have low testosterone, their solution is just to do whatever it takes to get testosterone back in quote unquote, optimal range. And a lot of people that’s using exogenous hormones like testosterone replacement therapy or herbs or a supplement and oftentimes people jump to that, never having asked themselves why their testosterone is naturally, you know, not optimal in the first place. Like what is the root cause behind testosterone being lower than optimal? That’s a real question that we should be asking, and especially when we’re young. Right, if we’re 30, This is a good question To ask, right? Why is my testosterone lower than it should be lower than optimal if I’m young and you know, everything else seems healthy in My body. If you’re 65, Yeah we know why you make you know, you have lower testosterone because you’re 65 the age thing but for young people in particular, there’s a couple of things to consider. A lot of things that are bad for our hormonal system we ingest and we’re we’re exposed to plastics should really be medicated mitigated as much as possible bottled water, food that’s processed in plastic try to remove those things from your lifestyle, try to remove synthetic fragrances and common cleaners that you might have in your house from your lifestyle as well and opt for the more, quote unquote natural ones. All right.

Dean Pohlman: So they don’t work very well. Well, I clean the counters a lot and man the that is true.

Blake Bowman: Like natural deodorants, natural shampoos that are kind of like known for this. Some are way better than others. All right. I’ll give a couple of options for everything, so. Oh, good. In terms of like packaging for foods, glass is always best, right. Glass. I mean, it’s not always feasible to have things in glass and the reality is you’re still going to be consuming things that come in plastic. We just want to be mitigating that in lowering our exposure to plastics as much as possible. So switching a glass in stainless steel like drink wear, that’s a major upgrade, cleaning up the consumer products that you use in your body, like your deodorant, the soaps that you use. So on and so forth, that makes a huge difference to your skin is your largest organ. Whatever you put on your skin, it goes inside of your body, OK? Your skin is one thing to know. You so the barrier between you and the outside world, it is a pathway between the outside world and yourself. And you put something on your skin that goes right into your body.

So you want to be thinking about the lotions the deodorants, anything that you put on your skin, you get ones that are food quality, buddah butter. It’s the brand of the deodorant that I use. It’s like baking soda, coconut, oil, and some other things. That’s a good deodorant. With regards to soaps that I use on my body, I pretty much use just Castile soap. Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap, it’s scented with essential oils.

Dean Pohlman: I used to. I used to use that. I used to have it because they had a peppermint one. I was like, This smells delicious.

Blake Bowman: Yeah, it’s a little drying, but there’s nothing in there that it’s going to do, you know, that you’re going to want to be concerned with. As it pertains to testosterone, natural shampoos are important to Omica Organics has an amazing shampoo that is like all freeze dried fruits and vegetables and other things like that. Wow. It’s you can basically eat it. I mean, I wouldn’t recommend that, but it’s all like food grade, except for one ingredient in it, which is like soap nut. But those are things that you want. You want to be mitigating plastic. You want to be using more glass, stainless steel. You want to be cleaning up the products that you put on your body and also cleaning up the products you use around the house. OK, so instead of commercial cleaners and things like that, what I like to use vinegar and water vinegar and baking soda I’ll even use an ozoznatoer to ozone a water which infuses the water with ozone gas, which is O3, three oxygen molecules bonded together that is it’s actually a potent cleaner. It’s used a lot industrially in hotels, in water treatment. Plants, things like that. You can actually make you can infuse water with that and use that as a cleaner on all of your services. OK, things like that. Very important. Cleaning up the products that you use in the food that you consume preferrably to you be eating again or in, you know, a diet that’s organic, right? When you’re not eating organic food, there’s a very high likelihood you’re getting residue of agricultural processes on the food and you’re ingesting it. Right. You don’t want that on your food, organic food better. All right. So those are some things that you can do for your lifestyle, right? We want to think about what we’re putting into our body that’s not good for us and figure out those things, swap those items out for healthier options.

The other thing we want to consider is what are we supposed to be putting into our bodies that are not. And those are the nutritional precursors that your body needs to make testosterone in the first place. Your body is not just going to make testosterone for you if it’s deficient in the vitamins and minerals that it is that are needed to make this item in the first place. All right. So a lot of some of these are like vitamin D magnesium, zinc. You can get these in supplemental form. You can get them from foods as well. Mm hmm. All right. Generally speaking, there are two kind of super foods that are animal based, quote, unquote, that are loaded with a lot of these nutrients that your body needs to make testosterone in the first place. They are oysters and beef liver Right. Very, very nutritionally packed. Both of these things are. And you can there’s a long list of nutritional precursors that your body requires to make testosterone. A good percentage of those, The majority of it, is covered just by you know, incorporating into your diet, oysters and liver. All right. So how do you think, I presume is out there talking so much about liver? Right. It it really is a nutritional powerhouse. So we’re going to. Those are. Yeah, those are things that you can incorporate in.

The other thing and this one’s really important so I want to talk about this. Go for it. Stress management. Yeah. Yeah. Yes. Stress and testosterone are not mutually exclusive to one another. Right. The primary stress hormone cortisol has an inverse relationship to testosterone, meaning that the more stressed you are, the more suppressed your testosterone is. Therefore, by lowering stress, you facilitate your body’s natural ability to up regulate testosterone production. All right. So. Calmness is the cradle of power. I always tell my clients that we got to be calm. It’s when our bodies calm and we’re in that feed or breed mode. That’s when our body makes things like testosterone. That’s when it repairs and regenerates its cells. All these, like, subtle little processes that our body goes through to maintain our wellness happens when we’re in parasympathetic nervous system activation, which is feed or breed mode that’s mutually exclusive to fight or flight mode, the sympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system. Long story short, the more stressed out you are, the lower your testosterone may become. And conversely, the more calm you are on a nervous system level, the more easy of a time your body has to manufacture things like testosterone to do a bunch of other things for you as well.

A lot of people are stuck in fight or flight mode. They’re not able to truly relax on a nervous system level, but it’s imperative that you do that, OK? And there’s a lot of things that you can do for that. We could talk about stress mitigation if you want to go deeper into that because I can list a whole bunch of stuff. But the long story short is if you’re young, you have lower testosterone. Stop using products that are potentially damaging it. All right. Swap them out for healthier options. Make sure that you’re eating the nutritional precursors that your body needs to make testosterone in the first place. Make sure you’re sleeping enough. And lastly, drop your stress. Do whatever you have to do to effectively lower the amount of stress that you feel on a day to day basis. If you just did those things, you’d be taking several very powerful steps to help facilitate your body’s own natural, optimal production of testosterone.

Dean Pohlman: Got it. So most of the people who who who do man for yoga and like to listen to this podcast are guys in their fifties, sixties, forties, seventies, So testosterone depletion or decline is normal. But to I guess I don’t know if the right question is what is considered normal in terms of testosterone decline for those ages. But maybe what are some, what are some indicators that, what are some indicators in terms of what people would notice in their day to day life? That their testosterone levels shouldn’t be as as high as they should be if they’re, you know, midlife or or beyond.

Blake Bowman: Yeah. So I’m not a doctor. Remember that? And anybody listening is not medical advice. Always talk with your physician about this kind of stuff. But there are definitely some subjective signs that you can look for and kind of use them to help discern whether or not you might have lower testosterone. One is, you know, erectile dysfunction. All right. And that’s a very basic one that is correlated with low testosterone. If you wake up in the morning, you don’t have an erection. That’s also a sign. I mean, testosterone supposed to be peaking in the morning hours, right. So if we don’t have enough testosterone, then we might not get an erection. That’s a sign that we might have known testosterone we might find that we’re putting on body fat over the years. And the proportion of body fat to lean body mass muscle is starting to shift in an unfavorable ratio. You’re starting to lose muscle at the same time while you’re putting on fat, you might notice that you have lower energy, less confidence and work ethic. A lot of your confidence in your work ethic is correlated almost exactly due to your testosterone levels. So these are things that if you notice them going on in yourself, if you found that they are getting worse, you might suspect you have low testosterone.

And then the gold standard way to really quantify that and figure out if you do, if you really want to be precise with things is to get bloodwork done. Look at your total testosterone, your free testosterone. Have your doctor interpret that for you. Right?

Dean Pohlman: What are normal what are some normal testosterone levels like if you’ve already done your test and you know what your number is, what are like normal ranges?

Blake Bowman: Well, with regards to specific ranges, I can actually think of those off the top of my head. However, one thing you were saying earlier, you’re using that word normal like it’s normal to decline. Normal is one thing optimal is another thing, right? It might be normal for testosterone to decline. It’s not optimal for that to happen. In an optimal world we maintain testosterone that, you know, the same testosterone levels that we have all the way through our lives. All right. That’s my opinion. It might be normal that it declines, but it’s certainly not like the best case scenario, you know what I’m saying? Yeah, but when it comes to testosterone, too, there are actually two things you want to consider your total testosterone and your free testosterone. For all intents and purposes, your free testosterone is effectively what matters to you. That’s the testosterone that’s available to your body. So a lot of people look at their total testosterone and say, I’m fine, but that, your total testosterone is not as good of a factor to look at as your free testosterone is. So I just wanted to at least tell the audience that it’s free testosterone that you want to be paying attention to because the free testosterone is what’s actually available to your body. And depending on who’s doing your blood work, you might only be told what your total testosterone is. But what you really want to know is what your free testosterone is. With regards to the ranges there, what is the optimal range? Like I said, I don’t I don’t know the numbers specifically. A functional medicine doctor should be able to supply that optimal reference range too, though.

Dean Pohlman: So one of the things I was thinking about is, does having more testosterone or just having more muscle mean you have more testosterone? Do you know if there’s a correlation? I mean, I assume there’s a correlation, but I’m just wondering, like, does it work both ways? So if you have low testosterone, could you work on building more muscle? And then would your testosterone go up or how does it do you know?

Blake Bowman: Yeah. So exercise stimulates testosterone. I just actually heard a guy named Brett Contreras talking about this yesterday. There’s some new side glute guy. Yeah. The glue guy is out. He’s awesome. Yeah. There’s some new science that came out around that recently. And we used to think that basically compounds strength training stimulates testosterone release. And I believe it’s still proven to do that, but it’s kind of complicated. I think I didn’t actually complete the video from him from what I was hearing him say, but it’s not as black and white as lifting weights raises testosterone Right. If that’s what you’re asking. It’s more subtle than that. And it’s also possible to have testosterone at one point in time, optimal levels of it be able to build muscle that have lower testosterone later in life. You still have the muscle, but you have less. You have low testosterone. I have a buddy who lives in Alaska. Is a physical therapist. He’s Jack dude that kills bears in Alaska. He’s crazy. But you would never look at this guy and say he has low testosterone he did a blood test after weeks and weeks of like lethargy and tiredness. And he had the testosterone levels of like a seventy year old man. And there was no way you’d be able to tell this by looking at it. Yeah. So paying attention to those other factors, the quality of your erections, your energy, your confidence, those are important subjective factors to look into. It’s not always visible and obvious in your physique. If you have low testosterone, the gold standard way to quantify this is with blood work.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I mean, you can look at people who, you know, it sounds like your friend is was probably he had probably just overtrained, right. And he was in a state of overtraining. He was doing all these exercise, but he wasn’t doing enough recovery. So, you know, I mean, and that’s how exercise works, right? You exercise because you want to you want a certain stimulus on your body. But in order for that stimulus to do what you intend for it to do, you also have to to recover from it. You have to sleep well. You have to eat. You have to, you know, down regulate. So, you know, something that that I that I find interesting is, you know, you think about like a super you think about like a super macho guy who who works out a lot who, you know, who’s who’s at the bar drinking a lot, who’s like slammin cheeseburgers, who’s, like, talking shit to everybody. And like, you look at that and you’re like, you know what I bet you actually don’t have very high testosterone levels because of all the all these all these athletes, you know.

Blake Bowman: Believe me man it’s not just black and white. Like, you can’t just look at somebody and tell if they have high testosterone or not. It’s such a contentious subject that there are entire YouTube channels out there of people trying to figure out whether somebody is quote unquote, natty or not or supporting their hormones artificially or are they natural because it you know, obviously, if they are supporting their hormones unnaturally by using steroids or something like that, that raises their overall levels but there are entire channels that do this because it’s not so black and white. You can’t really tell just by looking at somebody. Right. You could see somebody in a bar like that. They might you might think that they have high disaster and they might not. You could also see somebody like my buddy who’s really jacked you for sure would think that he has higher testosterone and he doesn’t. It also changes. It’s not something that just stays static.

Dean Pohlman: What if you have a like if you have a bad night of sleep, that could affect it.

Blake Bowman: What he went through, my friend in Alaska, he, like, fell off a glacier. I’m not even not even making this up.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I mean, of course he did. Right after he finished wrestling the bear.

Blake Bowman: He fell off the glacier. He was actually at PaleoFX when I met you. But he fell off a glacier, broke like vertebrae in his back and damaged a disc. He also, like, was in a breakup at that point in time with his girlfriend of a several years. And it was like one of the most stressful periods of his life within the last five years. And that’s exactly why I said, you know, stress management is so important. When you get that stressed out and your body’s in flight fight or flight mode, it’s it. Your nervous system perceives an immediate threat in your environment and it prioritizes increasing your heart rate, getting your muscles contract, releasing things like adrenaline and it’s trying to get you to be able to run away from that danger for your immediate survival and safety. It does not prioritize in that context when you’re in fighter flight mode and very stressed out doing these more subtle processes, making hormones, digesting food, and a lot of those little subtle processes get shut down and down regulated when we’re in a state of stress and life comes at you in seasons, some seasons are way more stressful than others. And during those really stressful seasons, you can expect there to be a subsequent decline in your testosterone. Right? So testosterone changes a lot, too. And there’s cycles and patterns to it.

Dean Pohlman: So one thing we didn’t touch on that I think we we should mention is sleep and testosterone I think we can group sleep into you know, we talked about a lot of the other things. We talked about the stress or the stress mitigation aspect. We talked about exercise. Well, if you’re not sleeping well, you’re not going to be able to exercise with the energy that you want to. You’re not you’re going to have higher stress levels. You’re going to be making poorer decisions in terms of your nutrition. So, you know, how important is sleep and what are like, what’s the optimal amount of sleep and what are the you know, what are some aspects.

Blake Bowman: You nailed it there. Even mild sleep deprivation can create cognitive impairment equal to that of a drunk person. I remember reading that in a study not too long ago.

Dean Pohlman: Have you read why we sleep?

Blake Bowman: No.

Dean Pohlman: It’s an awesome book. It’s by a guy. I can’t remember his name right now. Matt. Matt. Oh, God. I’m just going to look it up. The book is called Why We Sleep. And it is Matthew. It’s Matthew Walker. And it’s just a whole book on like how incredibly impactful sleep is. And he does mention that. Yeah, if you haven’t had sleep for a while, you are like comparably you are like comparatively functional to a drunk person.

Blake Bowman: Yeah. Yeah. I saw this study on PubMed for that, but he probably referenced that same study in his book, it sounds like. So yeah. I mean, sleep honestly should be on that list alongside all those other foundational things that I mentioned at the beginning. The stress management eating, the nutritional precursor that your body needs to make testosterone and cleaning up the products that you use around your house. You know, when you’re when you’re not sleeping well, it impairs your cognitive function. It also raises cortisol the next day, your stress hormone. And remember, that has an inverse relationship to testosterone. So you’re not sleeping. That raises your stress. The subsequent raise and stress lowers testosterone. So sleep: critical, right? It’s so foundational that oftentimes it’s overlooked. Even I overlooked it. Here today in the initial half of this conversation, and yeah, it’s very important.

Some heavy hitting things. I think people know that they need to be sleeping, right? Some heavy hitting things that people can do to improve their sleep quality. There’s a couple really simple things that you can do. First of all, wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day. All right. Stay consistent. Even on weekends, people throw off their bodies internal clock tremendously on the weekends. I have a bunch of health trackers and things like that. That allow you to see your own health data, but also compare it to the user base of everybody else that has the same health tracker and see what happens. And almost all of these health triggers people’s waking and going to bed time changes dramatically on the weekends, right? They might go to bed at ten in their wake up at 6 p.m. every day, consistently Monday through Friday. But then as soon as the weekend rolls around, they scroll that up and that’s majorly disruptive to your body. Circadian rhythm. So one simple thing you do make sure that you’re going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

Another very powerful thing that you can do and I know you know about this being in the biohacking world, is using blue blocking glasses at night. I’ve been using UV X safety glasses, which are blue blocking glasses for like ten years now. Basically understand this light from our screens, light from our homes. I’m talking about all screens, by the way, cell phones, tablets, TVs, computers, pretty much all of these emit blue light. It’s within the visible wavelengths of light coming from these devices. When your body perceives blue light, it’s effectively being told from the environment that it’s noon out, 12PM. All right. Those wavelengths of light are only naturally present outside in nature when the sun’s up. So it makes your body think that it’s nighttime, daytime. When you’re exposed to blue light, it suppresses the release of melatonin for several hours and causes you to not feel sleepy. And even if you are able to force yourself to sleep, having suppressed melatonin, your sleep quality suffers majorly one easy way around this that does not involve you. Living like an Amish person with only candle light at night is to wear blue blacking glasses. OK, that affords you some capacity to still be able to use these devices while mitigating the damaging effects of them by a ton. So blue blocking glasses put on your face somewhere between six and 7 p.m. at night on average, and keep them on all the way until midnight. That shield your eyes from the blue light and prevents that melatonin suppression. And as a result of that, you’re going to be able to sleep easier, sooner, and the quality of your sleep improve as well.

There’s a lot of things that you could do to ensure that your sleep quality is optimized you can make your bedroom cool. 67 degrees. You can put blackout curtains all over the place, make sure it’s pitch black in there. Yeah, but and those are important, too. But honestly, the blue block and glasses are such a simple thing, and so many people would benefit from them that that definitely makes a list of things that can be done to improve sleep quality for sure.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I had a really good streak where I was using them, like all the time. I had them by the couch where we watch TV and so I would sit down if we were going to watch TV that night I put them on. And you, you notice the difference because when you put them on and you and you could still be watching TV with them on or doing something but you just get tired more quickly, you’re like, Oh, wow, I actually feel tired. Instead of when you’re watching TV, you’re like, it’s like this weird buzz of I’m still awake, but I’m extremely tired yet kind of like I’m kind of just existing here right now. But I’m I don’t feel, I don’t feel, I don’t feel great. But yeah, the I’ve definitely noticed the blue light thing. So I actually had the the red ones like the one true, true dark because and then you look like Blade, you know, the vampire hunter, which is pretty cool. Yeah. But yeah, I mean, you put those on at night and you’re just like, you just start to like, melt into the couch. You’re like, OK, I think I’m done now.

Blake Bowman: The red ones are even more hardcore than the amber orange lens. They block out more wavelengths of light and yeah, those ones are even more hardcore. When I put those on, I literally cannot stay up for like as soon as they put those on. I know that I’m going to be like in like 30 minutes.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. They also make like the TV, so unattractive to look at that. You’re just like, This is dumb and I’m not going to do this.

Blake Bowman: That’s also true. It makes, it makes screens less appealing and less exciting because it’s frankly hard to see.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I actually so so I met, I met Kelly started the conference a few years ago and I was talking with him and I looked at his, you know, his phone was whatever. Yeah, I was, I was, I was spying on his phone. Anyways, I noticed this phone. He is, he sets his phone on like a handicap mode so that it only shows grayscale.

Blake Bowman: I did that on the iphone too, so it only shows red.

Dean Pohlman: Oh, nice. Yeah, I should I should do that. I’ve I’ve uninstalled, like, most of the fun apps from my phone, so I don’t have social media on my phone. But instead of opening up social media, I end up just like, oh, what’s my email doing right now? Or like, you know what? Let me check my wish list on Amazon. I bet it’s different than it was two years ago or two, 2 hours ago. When I opened it last time. Instead of opening Instagram.

Blake Bowman: I do want to touch on the apps and the changing the settings on your phone, and there’s like a lot of blue blocking apps and things that you can get like that. Night mode on your phone.

Dean Pohlman: Before we before we do that, I want to, I want to like because we talked about biohacking. We mentioned biohacking and I know like 95% of the world is like biohacking. What is biohacking? Yeah. And there is this whole culture behind biohacking. How would you, how would you explain it?

Blake Bowman: That’s a good question. A lot of people use the term biohacking differently from one another. Oxford defines biohacking as the active. You’ve got to be kidding me. It has an actual definition. Yes, it’s in the Oxford Dictionary and it’s defined as the activity of exploiting genetic material experimentally without regard to accepted ethical standards or for criminal purposes. That’s how Oxford defines it.

Dean Pohlman: You memorized that. That’s impressive.

Blake Bowman: I didn’t memorize it. I’m looking at it right now.

Dean Pohlman: [Dean Laughs] Yes. I thought you knew it so well that you remembered it.

Blake Bowman: I don’t you know, I don’t really define it that way. I define it as using technology that is helpful for our health.

Dean Pohlman: OK, that’s a great explanation.

Blake Bowman: Yeah. I mean, I’m you could just call it like a healthy, you know, healthy lifestyle using technology. All right. Not all technology is bad for us. Some can be used to directly improve our health. Red lights, a device like this thing, which I told you about at the beginning, my call makes, like, special gas. I breathe. And when I’m at my desk, stuff like that. Is any of that critical for the average person? No, that’s optimizing for the top ten to like, you know, one percent. It’s definitely not something that you should even consider either until these more foundational aspects of the health pyramid are effectively addressed for you. Your strength, your nutrition, your exercise, your sleep quality, your relationships. There are things on the health pyramid that are more foundational, and that whole health pyramid is hierarchical as well. And the things near the top: advanced supplementation, biohacking; most people should not be focused on those things. They should be focused on these foundational things first, and only if they’re looking to optimize things further should they start getting into those higher tiers in the hierarchy.

Dean Pohlman: I’ve also seen a lot of people in the biohacking world who are who have autoimmune disorders, so they need like they need that extra, that extra boost.

Blake Bowman: Yeah. So some people need to optimize for certain things because they’re battling some sort of illness other people, they’re just like obsessive about health and they want to achieve optimal health. Most camps, regardless of which one that they’re in, they have those foundational things covered, or at least they should before they start experimenting with these less critical things.

Dean Pohlman: So, you know, one question that I was thinking of. Oh, wait. We were going to talk about you were talking about something before the bio hacking.

Blake Bowman: Oh yeah there’s a lot of stuff that you could do to block blue light. You can swap out all the LEDs, CFL light bulbs in your house, put incandescent bulbs in there. Instead, you can get crystal rock salt lamps, put those all over the place. You can download all the apps for all your devices that block blue light. It’s somewhat cumbersome to do all that. I’ve taken those steps in my life here because I’m really anal about this stuff, but that’s very work intensive, and it’s a lot more for most people to chew on that simple act of putting glasses on your face is way easier to comprehend and implement as a recurring habit. Therefore, I recommend people start with just a blue block and glasses if they’re concerned about blue light.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, and make sure you buy it for everyone in the house so everyone can wear them and feel equally silly, Initially.

Blake Bowman: There are a lot of blue blocking glasses that have really nice glass lenses and designer frames. You have some of those yourself thing. Mm hmm. I’ve had all of them. I’ve had the really cheap safety glasses, like a UV x blue block here, ones that are like $15 a piece. I’ve had like designer frame, ones that are several hundred dollars. And frankly, I prefer the cheap UV x blue blocking safety glasses that you can get on Amazon. They’re durable. They block the sides too. So no debris comes in because they’re safety glasses, but shield drives from the sides, they fit great. They’re orange, which is the color that you need the lens to be to block the light. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on. Good know. Yeah, I recommend those to most my clients.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I got a, it’s a good reminder for me to put put them back by put them back by the couch because makes a difference, man. It makes a difference for sure. Yeah. So you know what, We talked a lot about testosterone and you know, you’re just I think you’re you definitely are you’re more knowledgeable than I am about this, and you’re in these circles. Why do you think people are why do you think men are so concerned with testosterone? Because it’s just it’s just one indicator of our overall health. You know, there’s so many other things that we can we can look at, but it’s I know for me, like when I got my testosterone level checked a couple of years ago, I was and I think my son was like my son was like six. I can’t remember how old he was, but he was definitely less than six months old. So we were both we were still getting up at night. We were getting up multiple times at night and like, you know, doing all that. And the day before I got my testosterone test, I was like, Marissa, you got to let me sleep tonight because I want to have like the best sleep I can before I go in and get my testosterone levels checked. So why do you think it is that, you know, I cared about it so much even then, even knowing, you know, even with my my understanding of testosterone being just a general indicator of overall health. But why do you think men are so concerned with their testosterone level?

Blake Bowman: Yeah, that’s a really good question. I think there’s like probably multiple answers to that. One is just the awareness that has been raised in recent years, largely attributable attributable to the Internet around how important testosterone actually is. People are now starting to understand that more, and they understand how their lower energy, their weight gain, their lack of strength in the in the gym and all these other things are possibly correlated with testosterone so I think that there’s a broadening awareness of the importance of testosterone coupled with and married with the fact that people also are learning and hearing that lots of people have low testosterone. It’s a problem for many people. Therefore, they ask themselves, is this a problem for me? How can I fix this? It gets into our awareness that in that way. That’s probably the main reason.

The second thing that I would say is probably responsible for that is fitness is hot again. Fitness moves in cycles, the demand for it in the marketplace. And we’re in a point in time now where fitness is in high demand. Again, you’ve got Instagram influencers, everybody out there showing off their body and their the your physique is very very much so influenced by your hormonal levels, right? If you’re a man and you want to have, you know, six pack abs, you want to be shredded, you want to be rip, you want to be vascular, you want your muscles to be full and you want to look pumped. Having more testosterone really helps with that. So I think the other side of the spectrum is people desire to appear a certain way. Esthetics are important to them, and they understand that testosterone largely influences that and they want to improve their own physique. So they look to testosterone as the answer for that.

Dean Pohlman: OK, I’m just, you know, I’m just I have such a different understanding of of of fitness and of health. And, you know, most people which, you know, because this is what I do. So I’m just, you know, I’m having I’m having difficulty understanding why someone would lead to the like, I need it. I need to know that my testosterone levels are high so that I’m healthy. Whereas, like, it seems like it should be the other way around. Like, yeah, you’re testosterone. Like, if you work out if you do all these things then, yeah, you’re going to have high to high testosterone levels. So I’m just like my missing something or am I like, what do you what do you think? I was able to convey what I’m thinking?

Blake Bowman: You don’t understand why there is so much interest in testosterone?

Dean Pohlman: I don’t understand why it’s looking why people are looking at the other way around from what it should be, because people are looking at it like, I want to get my testosterone levels higher so that I can do all of these things and be healthy and look healthy and look good. Whereas in reality, I feel like it should be. If you work out, if you have achieved a certain level of fitness, if you’re managing your stress, if you’re eating well, if you’re doing, you know, if you’re sleeping well, if you’re doing all these other little habits that are going to help with with mitigating your, you know, your things that disrupt your health, then you’re going to have high testosterone levels. It’s not like people are looking at this backwards.

Blake Bowman: Yeah. I think a lot of that’s just human nature going real deep. Humans like to find the one thing, the one factor that they can fix, and then that fixes all their problems. Right? What’s the one pill I can take? What’s the one exercise I can do? For this? What’s the one thing I could say to the girl at the bar to make her fall in love with me? Right, It’s like, none of these things exist. There’s no one silver bullet. But I think a lot of people think that silver bullet is for then testosterone for one reason or another. What they’ve been told online or their doctor told them they latch onto it and they become obsessive over it. Hmm. All right. Okay. It is important But to your point, too, there are many other things that are important, and you don’t want to put the what is that thing? The carrot before the stick. That’s not right. Something like the horse.

Dean Pohlman: The horse before the Carriage. Before the horse, though. I don’t know. I don’t have a horse or a carriage. I have no idea.

Blake Bowman: Since people are putting the end result on a pedestal instead of the things that would bring about the end result.

Dean Pohlman: Oh, you’re you’re thinking Miley Cyrus. You’re focusing on that. You’re focusing on the mountain peak instead of the journey.

Blake Bowman: Yeah. I think that’s what a lot of people are doing. Yeah. Okay. But I don’t know. That’s just my. Yeah, guess.

Dean Pohlman: That’s what we’re pondering here. So let’s talk a little bit more about I guess I’m kind of curious now about exercise and testosterone, because to me, it seems like there has to be a balance of exercise like you have to do. You have to do things that challenge you, that build muscle, that help with reducing stress, that help with, you know, improving body composition. But on the other hand, you probably also have to do things. If you just do that all the time, you’re going to end up burnt out and you know, it’s not going to be. So on the other end, I guess I’m wonder, do you have to do do you have to do strength training in order to improve testosterone?

Blake Bowman: I wouldn’t say that you have to. Definitely helps though. Doing heavy compound exercises, exercises that recruit multiple muscles and joints to work at once. Right. Big movement patterns like pushing exercises, pushups, bench press and so forth. Squatting exercises, hitting, pulling exercises, dumbbell rows, things like that. These exercises that recruit and move multiple joints at once are the most conducive to stimulating testosterone. And it’s important, especially if you’re on a journey to optimize it naturally. I don’t think it’s actually required for you to be doing that to have optimal testosterone, though. Not 100% sure on that. That’s actually a good question.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, we’ll have to we’ll have to look into that.

Blake Bowman: Yeah. I’m curious what hormone levels would look like if you addressed everything else that we talked about here today, yet you failed to exercise. I’m not frankly sure how important it is in the equation. Yeah. Obviously, I train, I lift weights about five or six days a week. I have ever since I was 16, I have very high sutra levels. So but I also do a lot of other things that optimize for testosterone. But that’s a good question. I really don’t know.

Dean Pohlman: Well, let’s talk about that since we’re on it. You know, I’m I’ve told you this before, but I, you know, you’re sitting in your cozy cabin wearing your wear in your extremely cozy looking cardigan. I don’t have a cardigan because it’s too damn hot here. It’s it’s 95 degrees all the time in Austin, Texas. I mean, it’s honest, quite honestly. It’s about about 3:00 right now. It’s probably 92 degrees.

Blake Bowman: Wow. Yeah. Thought it would have cooled off by this time of the year.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. No, it’s. I don’t know, man. I don’t know. I, I, I don’t know why I’m here, but this is where I live. I Grew up in Cleveland, went to school in Wisconsin, and now I’m just sweating all the time. So you live in, you know, you live a kind of a relatively remote lifestyle, and I’m just kind of curious, and you do all these things for your health, and you you also are, you know, you’re removed from a lot of the stresses that I think a lot of other people have. And I’m just kind of curious, you know, what are some things that you do that are pretty different from, I think what most people do on a day to day basis, let’s just think of like the average office worker, you know, nine to five driving in somewhere, maybe working from home, but generally inactive, maybe working out once per day and, you know, just trying to figure out how to create this fitness equation. What are some things that that you do that you know, are pretty different from that? And what are some of the results of that? What are some big differences that that that that you experience as a result of these different areas?

Blake Bowman: That’s a good question, man. And it’s also very broad. Broad.

Dean Pohlman: Yes. Let me ask you a broad vague question and see what you say.

Blake Bowman: I also don’t really like comparing myself to other people. I just don’t like playing that game. However, I understand, like, what you’re asking me here, and I think I can at least say a couple of things and describe the benefits that I received from.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I guess the way that I do things so what I’m asking is what are what are the struggles that you hear about from other people that you don’t experience as a result of what you know?

Blake Bowman: The first one is stress. Right. I think a lot of people in the world experience way more stress than I do. And there’s a couple of reasons for that. The one of the biggest things is, like you said, I live in the woods in, in in a cabin. And it wasn’t always like this for me. I grew up in Detroit and I spent the first 28 years of my life there. I’m 32 now, so I have contrast. I know exactly what it’s like to live in the woods versus living in the city. And I’ll tell you one thing, my stress dropped by like 80% the very same day I moved from Detroit out into the woods. I feel like my soul can actually breathe here. I’m in nature. I’m surrounded by trees. There are tons of studies on what the Japanese called nature bathing, which is just spending time in nature, immersing yourself and immersing yourself in it. It could be the beach, it could be the woods, mountains, whatever. People ruminate less on their life problems when they’re in nature, when they’re in urban and some suburbs, they tend to dwell more and more on their life problems.

There’s a lot of things that happen environmentally that contribute to stress and by me moving out of a major city into a more rural area, that right there is a lot different where I live is a tourist destination. Our population here grows a ton throughout the summer because people have lake houses here and stuff. Kind of like northern Wisconsin. And then in the winter, it drops down a lot. There’s not a lot of industry here. There’s no jobs. So people that don’t make their living online, they don’t stay here year long. They can’t, they’ve got to go into a job somewhere. Um, however, things have changed quite a bit since I moved here four years ago. Ever since 2020. Many people are working remotely now, and they have the increased capacity to live in a place like where I live. And that is one thing that I am doing different. The population density here is low most people in the world are packed into major super cities Austin, L.A., Chicago and so forth. Right. I live far away from those.

OK, and that right there, major stress reliever for me. Yeah. The amount of stress that I felt when living in Detroit doing the same stuff that I’m doing now, ah, is completely different.

Dean Pohlman: And just for reference, did you live in like were you in a safe area in Detroit?

Blake Bowman: Yeah, I wasn’t actually in Detroit. I was in a suburb like 15 minutes outside of Detroit. Yeah, very close to Detroit. But yeah, it was safe. I wasn’t like in the ghetto or anything like that. Yet there are still so many stressors there. I was not inspired in any way whatsoever driving around Metro Detroit. All you see concrete traffic, pollution, cell towers, graffiti burned down buildings. This is what Detroit is like, man. And it’s not inspiring there. I would say that it’s actually, you know, in my opinion, very depressing. And I believe I could see that because I spent most of my life there and moved out and I got contrast and yeah, living here a lot better. I think another way that my lifestyle is different from a lot of other people is I actually specifically by design, mitigate stress even beyond living here. I take it that the Adaptogenic supplements in the morning to calm me down and mitigate the release of cortisol. I have a weird biohacking device on my ankle right now called an Apollo neuro, which basically vibrates at certain frequencies, helps keep my, you know, my stress response low. It basically helps to shut off fight or flight mode. I use brainwave changing apps like Brain F.M. to keep myself calm. There’s a lot of things I do to mitigate for stress on a day to day basis in tandem with just living here where I live, because I understand how bad chronic stress is for us. And we talked about one of the ways it impacts us negatively is when stress is high testosterone is low.

So I’m always mitigating my stress with like everything that I do. I’m trying to live the the I’m trying to live a life with the least amount of stress possible, OK? And I’m in a position where I have a lot of stress. Mm hmm. Right. I have a whole team of people now that work with me. I’m responsible for myself and them and my clients and other things. There’s a lot of stressors that are on me, but I’m resilient to those things. So that’s one thing that I do differently from a lot of people. I will say. The other one is I just train consistently no matter what, really. I have ever since I was 16. I just work out. Yeah, it really some things happen when other stressors are high. I’m sick. There’s a death in the family, an injury, something like that that makes it so that it’s not advantageous for me to work out. And I’ll take rest when I need to. And those things come up in life, but it’s never more than like a week to two ever at any period of time. I’ve trained consistently from the age of 15 all the way up to 32 that I which I am now.

Dean Pohlman: So did you get have, you had COVID yet? Yes, you have. How was your did you were you able to work out through that or what is due? I

Blake Bowman: I was out it was like two weeks after our podcast. It knocked me out hard, dude.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I was gone. I was out like a week. And then it took me like a month and a half after that that I was messed up for that long too.

Blake Bowman: However, in terms of my absence from training, it was probably about two weeks. Yeah. And then I slowly started returning back, like yoga flows in my house, body weight training, started using some resistance bands and then eventually I worked up the strength and vitality to get back in the gym. So yeah, that knocked me out real hard. Yeah, I won’t lie. I was right over staying in trend with the consistency. After about two weeks, I was back at it, moving around and training again in some form that with the same intensity I had before but in some form, you know, consistency is is much better than intensity. Most people have too much intensity, not enough, you know, consistency

Dean Pohlman: Total totally agree with that.

Blake Bowman: The intensity at the beginning makes it such that they can’t sustain that and it suffers. The consistency does, right? So they get better off things slowly. Whether that’s a new yoga practice, strength training protocol, anything, it’s better to start off slowly with manageable actions. That you can do repeatedly than it is to bite off way more that you can chew right off the bat, become overwhelmed, and then have that affect your consistency ongoing.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, no, I totally agree. Were you going to say anything else in terms of the terms of differences in your life. I think you had did it two great ones.

Blake Bowman: Yeah. I mean, it’s so broad. I’m a weirdo, man. I live in the woods cabin. I got a machine that makes gas. Like I do a lot of things.

Dean Pohlman: What’s like what’s one of those weird things that you think is, like, not so weird that somebody could try it and they would notice its impact? Or do you think it’s like it’s the aggregation of all of these things that you do together that provides?

Blake Bowman: It’s definitely the aggregation of all these things. Some have a very instantaneous benefit, like wearing a blue like and glasses at night. So when I’m talking to an audience of people that doesn’t know about all these things, I like to just talk about the things that are very effective and they can feel, Hmm, you mitigating blue light exposure at night. Very powerful thing. Managing systemic inflammation levels is important do a lot of people are inflamed to the gills in the incorporation of, like, anti-inflammatory herbs? Can make a huge difference with that. Mm hmm. But, yeah, I don’t want to go all over the place too much because there’s a lot of things that I could talk about. Like, I literally have, like, copper rods next to me, filled with shungite. I got this, like, glass crystal glass bowl that I play sometimes.

Dean Pohlman: I thought you were going to put it on your head.

Blake Bowman: I mean, I guess I could do that, but, yeah, I mean, obviously.

Dean Pohlman: It’s awesome. Um, so. So actually, so this, the time this podcast is released, I will have released a solo podcast on injuries and, and, you know, talking just about how injuries are just a common part of exercise and how frequently do you get, like, minor injuries, you know, and you just, I’m assuming you work out just for, for training and for general health purposes, but you still get do you still get injured? Do you still get like little injuries from time to time?

Blake Bowman: Well, what I my main forte now an area of Expertize is enhancing human movement, biomechanics. Mm hmm. Mobility, flexibility, posture, muscular imbalances that we have and in my opinion, 90% of injuries that just come about over chronic overuse. 90% of injuries that you cannot correlate with blunt force trauma. Car accident, fell off a glacier, something like that. 90% of those injuries are due to one of those other factors. Poor biomechanics, poor posture, muscle imbalances. So I optimize for that. That’s what I teach mainly. And these are things that I’m doing on my body. All the time. So the amount that I get injured is very infrequent. Now, I might, you know, I might strain a muscle, right? If I do something weird once every like two months. However, I’m a huge believer in corrective exercise. I used to be injured all over the place. I had injuries all over. I had a surgery on my right shoulder, multiple joint injections. And I basically fixed myself with corrective exercise and made it such that my body is way more resilient to injury. Do injuries still happen? Yes, but rarely. Now, I might, like I say, get a muscle strain that would heal on its own in a couple of days, once every month or two, but nothing major beyond that.

However, muscle imbalances, postural misalignments, mobility, flexibility issues, super common in the general population. So my, you know, injury rate is a lot different than the clients that I work with and the general population at large because a lot of them are sitting for hours on end, have poor posture, a handful of mobility and flexibility issues in key joints. We talked about like the ankles at the beginning of this. Yeah, that leads to injuries. If you can’t move well and you are still asking your body to move, something’s going to break down as a result of that.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, so we did a good job talking about that in the in the first episode we did. So if you’re curious about that, go back and listen. So much of what you’re saying just goes like belongs on my, my home page, you know, like improve, enjoy playing, fixing mobility, correcting muscular imbalances, all that stuff.

Blake Bowman: So we’re on the same page with that. There’s a lot of people that don’t necessarily understand how important those things are. Oh, yeah. All right. A lot of people are concerned about their form during an execution of an exercise. And arguably, that’s for good reason. It’s very important. However, your execution in your quote unquote form on the exercise is one half of the equation. Your body’s capacity to move and move well, your mobility, your muscular balance, your posture, your body’s alignment before you even do the exercise. That’s also very important. Yeah, right. You can be executing exercises with perfect form, textbook technique. But if your body is riddled with mobility issues, you have muscle imbaalnces, you have poor posture. Even doing exercises with perfect form can result in injury. So I think that form is very important. But it’s overemphasized. And the way that the body actually moves is underemphasized.

Dean Pohlman: Well, you could look like you’re doing it properly, but, you know, if you’re good, certain firing or if you just you don’t have enough transverse abdominal strength.

Blake Bowman: That’s exactly right. You can’t really tell by assessing someone’s form what musculature being recruited and firing a lot of. There’s a lot of things there.

Dean Pohlman: What are you, what do your warm ups look like? Because something that I talk about with like I mean, something that I promote super hard with people who do Man Flow Yoga and are using it with other, you know, like with other resistance training or with running. Man, you got to just just do some Man Flow yoga warmups just do some of these like these runner or these weight training, warm ups that I’ve designed. And I swear your workout is going to be ten times better. Your joints are going to feel better. What are you like to do for your warm ups?

Blake Bowman: Yeah, I think that’s a good question. By the way, everybody knows warming up is important. Most people use warm up processes that are not effective.

Dean Pohlman: Right, they just do like they just do lighter. They just, oh, I’m going to warm up for bench press by doing lighter bench press and like, oh, well, maybe we can do somethign else.

Blake Bowman: Even that, I think it’s better than what a lot of people do. A lot of people don’t even do that. You know, a lot of people do. They go to the gym and they get on this stationary bicycle for 5 minutes or they walk on the treadmill for 5 minutes and then they go right in to their workout. Right? So all that’s doing is elevating your heart rate. Increasing internal circulation, it is not preparing your neuromuscular system specifically the muscles that you’re training, nor is it preparing those joints for the workload that you’re about to put them under. So my own warm, warm ups are contingent on what I really train that day. I work out like a bro, kind of like a bodybuilder. I isolate my body. I’ll do like a pushing day and then a lower body day, like a back day. I segment the body in this way, and my warm up is contingent upon what I’m doing. If I’m doing anything involving the upper body, my warmups will include more motion of the shoulders and activation of the shoulder musculature. So my warmups usually start with some foam rolling in the muscles that I know I typically hold a lot of tension in, or hypertonic, after I’ve done some foam rolling, I’ll do a lot of different, like joint mobilizations from my thoracic spine, whatever joints I might be training that day, I’ll do some rotator cuff warm ups and some controlled articular rotations of my joints, joint CARS is what they’re called like moving my shoulder back, really making sure I’m controlling the entire range of motion with my musculature and building that mind muscle connection as I’m making these really slow joint movements. Basically, you want your warm up to be sort of like a miniature workout with something that is going to take place over to straight training, right? If you warm up like a runner, but you’re about to go straight train, there’s not a lot of correlation there.

So yeah, it’s different for you know, depending on what I’m training that day, but it involves joint mobility work, foam rolling muscle activation and oftentimes like corrective exercise to like if I’m going to be doing bench press, I know that that’s really going to develop my pecs, contribute to a lot of tension there, and that might create a propensity for my shoulders to run forwards so prior to even doing bench press, especially multiple sets of it, I’ll work my upper back muscles by doing scapular retraction, squeezing my shoulder blades together with like a resistance band. I’ll do a couple of sets that as a part of my warm up before I do like bench press so that I maintain muscular balance in my shoulders. So I don’t leave the gym after doing eight sets of bench press and pec flies with super tight pecs and my shoulder posture being all distorted, I’ll counterbalance that with corrective exercise and strength training using resistance bands usually so that I have muscular balance and I’m training things in a balanced way.

Dean Pohlman: OK, that makes sense. Yeah, I like that. Well, we’ve already we’ve already done part two of the podcast the first time into this episode, but I wanted to ask you one more question to kind of cap this off, maybe give people some something to try out, some sort of inspiration. What’s, what’s, what’s a bio hack other than we talked about the, you know, we talked about the glasses, but what’s a bio hack that’s helped you the most in terms of your overall health, something that you think could be.

Blake Bowman: That’s a really good question. The answer for that I already know exactly what I’ll tell you. I have a lot of things. I have tons of stuff, man. All right. I got red light therapy devices, lasers, pulsed electro magnetic field machines, all sorts of things. Hands down, and I was actually going to make a video on this, like my number one bio hack: the sauna.

Dean Pohlman: The people love the sauna, man.

Blake Bowman: Yeah. I mean, it doesn’t matter if it’s like a Finnish sauna, a traditional sauna with like an oven in it, a heater or an infrared sign on there, all very beneficial for multiple reasons. They do so many things. They’re such a panacea that people out there like what we were talking about, the beginning, people are looking for like a silver bullet. The one thing that they can do, if everybody just did sauna several times a week, I honestly believe that the world would be a better place. Sauna is amazing for stress mitigation. Mm. Right. When you’re really stressed out and you do a good song, a session, you can literally, like, feel it, like, melting off of your body. It’s crazy. Yeah. You just de-stress rapidly in a sauna. It increases circulation, right? Has some hormonal effects it’s detoxifying, it helps with recovery. It’s a panacea. It’s like one thing that you can do that has 500 different benefits all right. And I, you know, a lot of people can’t afford a sauna, a lot of gyms, l.a. Fitness. It’s like standard in there. Yeah, so end your workout with a sauna. You get so much benefit from it. It’s also something that you can do on your off days when you’re not training to help accelerate recovery. It’s a form of active recovery, right? Your heart rate up, get you sweating, put your body under a little bit of a stress, but not so much so that it’s going to overwhelm your physiology like another strength training workout might if you had trained for six days in a row.

It’s a very light stressor for the body and one that helps you recover. It’s very good for stress. It’s very good for building muscle. It’s good for everything. And that’s why the number one thing.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, great answer. It’s something that comes up a lot. We’ve had this I think we’ve had like five people answer sauna. What I’ve, what I’ve asked in that question.

Blake Bowman: I first started using it like religiously in 2013 when I still belong to Le Fitness before I even started doing anything online and I used it every day and then in 2018 or 17 I bought an infrared sauna for my house and I use that thing almost every day in the winter first thing in the morning. It’s such a powerful thing for me that before I even started accumulating any of these other health technology gadgets that I have around me, the first thing that I got was that sun clear light is a good brand. They also sell these saunas that they’re like tent saunas. You put like a lawn chair in them and then you zip in. Yeah, I mean, I’m not going to lie. You look, they look ridiculous, but they look ridiculous. Your head is popping out. You’re like heads just popping out of like, this little box. It looks silly. Yeah, but those have the same benefits as other saunas do. All right, it looks a little silly, but these are way more affordable. And you can put it in your house. You don’t have to. You just take it right out of the package and open it up. Allows you to get all the same benefits from us. On it. So if you live in an area where you don’t have access to it’s honor and you don’t think you have the budget, the time or the resources to install a full blown sauna in your house, or the space for it, those are really good option. If I didn’t have the Sauna that I have, I would have one of those.

Dean Pohlman:Yeah, I will say it’s I, I went to a sauna studio a few times over the past year. I thought about getting a sauna and I just, I don’t, I don’t know, I just, for some reason I just decided not to do it.

Blake Bowman: Well You also live in Texas.

Dean Pohlman: I know. I can just go outside.

Blake Bowman: I mean, I live in northern Michigan. I’m, I’m like a hundred miles north of the 45 parallel line, which puts me closer to the North Pole than the equator. So it gets real cold here. Right. You know, the heat is very, very nice and relaxing. Deep in the winter months here in Austin, it feels 95 degrees. Is that are you going to want to go sweat more inside of a box inside of your house?

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. I mean, still I was going to say I’ve been to a Sauna studio in Austin. I think I went I don’t know. I don’t think I think I went in the summer. I think it was the spring, but I could definitely tell like I felt a lot, you know, the stress relief benefits were there in terms of just sweating and just getting it just felt great. I will say that I think it’s like other workouts and that you have to like build yourself up to it because I would go in and I would stay in for like the full 40 minutes and I would turn it up all the way and I would just be like, Nah, I’m a bad ass. I’m going to do this. I’m just going to tough it out and then I’d like have a headache all night because I was dehydrated. Yeah.

Blake Bowman: You definitely need to build up a tolerance to it, no doubt. And yeah, I think I remember you posted some content of you in one of those, like, bags.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, yeah. So those are pretty cool. So those are just like a sleeping bag that heats up and you have to you got to wear, like, a hoodie and, like, pants and stuff and like, you know, because otherwise it’ll burn your skin. Those are those are I mean, those are those are a great alternative. Well, I think that was an awesome episode. Thanks again for, for coming on the show. Do you have anything you want to tell people or anything to direct people to?

Blake Bowman: Really man, I appreciate you having me on again. I always enjoy our chats. I guess, you know, people are looking to see more of my stuff, what I put out there, I can be reached on mainly YouTube and Instagram. My handle there is Guerrilla Zen Fitness that’s felt like Guerrilla Fighter. That’s where you can find me. I talk mostly about corrective exercise, but also holistic health protocols like this and principles, stress mitigation, stuff like that. My main focus though, is corrective exercise. So helping people fix their posture, their muscle imbalances, their mobility and flexibility issues, pretty much anybody that’s active and has like joint issues most of them can benefit from the kind of content that I put out there, the videos and other stuff.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So I can confirm there’s a lot of really helpful. There’s a lot of really helpful pieces of content that is put together. I mean, I’m just thinking of your Instagram right now, but, you know, there’s lots of just little cool exercises that you put on that people can do, you know, in like a minute and you know, and just help with those common problems that most of us face in terms of lack of spine mobility, bad posture, or bad hip mobility, just aches and pains. So definitely good stuff. You guys go check it out.

Blake Bowman: Thanks Man.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, of course. All right, guys. Well, thanks for joining me on the Better Man podcast. Blake, thanks again for joining me for a second time. And I will see you guys on another episode soon. Take care.


If you want to learn more about Blake, you can follow him on Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/guerrillazen/. Or visit his website at https://guerrillazen.com/.


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