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How Low-Effort Exercise Enhances Your Health More Than High-Intensity Workouts | Brian Mackenzie | Better Man Podcast Ep. 083

How Low-Effort Exercise Enhances Your Health More Than High-Intensity Workouts | Brian Mackenzie | Better Man Podcast Ep. 083

Men today live in a constant state of stress. Despite never being safer from external threats, modern society presents us with more stress than any other generation before us—and it’s killing us. 

In fact, when you live in a constant state of stress, things that are considered healthy—like weight lifting, cardio workouts, and cold & hot therapy—actually become unhealthy. They deplete your energy savings, swirling your cortisol levels to unmanageable heights, and create a vicious cycle of even more stress. 

That’s the bad news. 

The worse news is that the solution is so simple, most men will ignore it. 

That’s why I invited human performance specialist, Brian Mackenzie, back onto the Better Man Podcast to prove to you—beyond a shadow of a doubt—that doing less is more effective than tacking on more to your already busy schedule. 

For example, if you can go on a 45-minute walk per day without breathing through your mouth or bringing your phone, you will be healthier and have greater longevity than 90% of the world. 

In this episode, Brian and I discuss: 

  • The two easiest (and most effective) ways to improve your health, happiness, and longevity 
  • How doing high-intensity workouts backfires when you don’t do the simple, foundational exercises 
  • Why a positive mind (and a dog) are the two best “investments” you can make into your health and longevity 

And so much more that flips the “more, more, more!” mentality most of us have on its head with unconventional wisdom.

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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Use the RSS link to find the Better Man Podcast on other apps: http://feeds.libsyn.com/404744/rss

Show Highlights with Brian MacKenzie

  • The single best modality, according to scientific research, to slow down the aging process and combat diseases (4:57) 
  • Why movement is the most effective way to delay your death (6:58) 
  • What’s the main difference between people living in “blue zones,” where they live well over 100 years old? Brian explains the difference here… (14:52) 
  • Why walking is more important to your longevity than strength training, cardio, and even yoga (16:14) 
  • Do you walk with your mouth open? Here’s what this habit reveals about your health… (17:47) 
  • Why Brian recommends avoiding higher intensity exercise if you’re a high-stress individual (26:19) 
  • How low level forms of exercise actually help your body adapt to higher intensity workouts (26:57) 
  • Why a positive mind is the best health and wellness “hack” you can have (37:09) 
  • The simple, yet wildly effective “Embrace Change” mindset shift for exponentially increasing your longevity (57:59) 
  • Best practices for mixing in saunas and cold plunges into your cardio or strength training workouts (1:04:06) 
  • Why simply buying a dog might be the best investment you can make for your health (1:23:46) 
  • How removing phrases like “I need to…” from your vocabulary instantly makes your happier and healthier (1:26:29)
Episode 083 – How Low-Effort Exercise Enhances Your Health More Than High-Intensity Workouts | Brian Mackenzie – Transcript

Dean Pohlman: Hey, guys. Welcome back to the Better Man Podcast. Today I am once again joined by Brian McKenzie, human performance specialist, author and one of the most popular guests we’ve ever had on this show. So, Brian, welcome back.

Brian Mackenzie: Thanks for having me. Pleasure to be here.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. So, I mean, I’m excited whenever I have questions about human performance. For me, that could be, you know, talking about ice bath or talking about sauna or just talking about recovery. This is Brian is the guy today that I think of when I have these questions. And so I wanted to bring Brian back on today. So, Brian, I wanted to bring you on today because I wanted to talk about recovery for the recreational athlete or for somebody who is not interested in doing Ironman competitions but works out because they know it’s it’s good for them.

Dean Pohlman: They want to enjoy their workouts. They’re interested in longevity. They want to live a long, high quality life, to be able to maintain their independence as they get older. And so for them, they might be looking at things like, you know, recovery work or sauna or ice bath or even just foam rolling and and breathwork and looking at that and thinking, why do I need to do that?

Dean Pohlman: Or why should I even think of doing that? So I want to touch on that. I think it would also be helpful to to talk about what happens as you get older and what do you need to do differently. So I think I think that might be a great place to start. So, you know, I think most of the guys listening to this are going to be forties, 5060s, probably some seventies and thirties too.

Dean Pohlman: So for those guys who are no longer high school athletes, which is, you know, pretty much all of us, what considerations do we need to keep in mind when approaching our workouts?

Brian Mackenzie: I think, you know, in my experience, I mean, most of the people that I work with or what you’ve explained, I although I work with some females, I have a professional soccer player right now. But she’s I think she’s really the only one on my roster outside of her. And the three professional athletes. I have a cohort of men that you just explained that I work in and around with most of these individuals, and I’ve got one as young as 24.

Brian Mackenzie: They are really trying to do the thing that we’re all trying to do is stay healthy. And what what we know factually is that exercise is easily the most or best prescribed lived modality for the aging process and disease and to combat disease. Now, the term anti aging is false. There is no such thing as anti aging. You don’t anti age.

Brian Mackenzie: And in fact, what’s what’s really sad about this is that there’s actually doctors who actually have it in their title. They’re anti-aging doctors. There’s no such thing as this. We all age. We all die. So far, nobody’s made it out alive. And the aging process has to do with a multitude of factors. One of the primary factors is how well we are using oxygen.

Brian Mackenzie: And in that process, well, so if you think about it, you know, oxygen is probably one of, if not the most destructive molecules in the universe if we have it. So things get oxidized, right? You look at a car, if you don’t take care of the paint, you don’t take care of all that. We’ve all seen cars that all the paint oxidizes, you see metal that oxidizes, everything is oxidizing because there’s oxygen in the atmosphere.

Brian Mackenzie: And in fact, one of the compensatory mechanisms back when life began to explode and we saw dinosaurs and very large insects, things that were much larger was was due to the fact that oxygen levels were actually higher. So things had to be larger in order to compensate in this capacity. So without getting too far into that there, the reality is, is that we can’t like we can only stave off this process for so long and how we use energy or how we transfer energy is in the most more efficient process is by coercing some enzymes to use oxygen to break down substrates like carbohydrates and fats, sometimes proteins.

Brian Mackenzie: Right. So that process is how we’ve created the complexity of how we stay alive. We stay alive by transferring energy. If we stop doing that, we begin to die very quickly. So movement things like yoga and what you’re doing becomes very important for the individual so that things remain mobile and can actually we can get blood flow to the tissue and we can continue to keep up this process.

Brian Mackenzie: But so is so are things like quote unquote, aerobic exercise and even strength training to keep tissue robust and healthy. So this big overarching theme that I started with is that we understand that exercise is in our modern day life, the number one prescription for health as we know it right now. What we start to hear in the world is things that become hot like soreness or cold plunges or whatever new fad pops up and can be like CrossFit, you know, or, you know, hit high intensity training.

Dean Pohlman: And now high rocks.

Brian Mackenzie: I don’t even know what that is, but I’m glad I don’t.

Dean Pohlman: I didn’t know either until like a week ago. It’s a it’s like, it’s like CrossFit, but now there’s endurance training with it. So you go like, run a run a lap around the track and then you do burpees and then another lap and then you do like deadlifts and I don’t know, but yeah, there’s new stuff.

Brian Mackenzie: Wow. All right. So yeah, I mean, these are just hybrid versions of things like CrossFit. I mean, like Jim Jones basically. Did, you know, I don’t know if you knew about that one, but Jim Jones became the hero ward CrossFit that like basically it was just these massive CrossFit workouts that took 30 minutes to 90 minutes to do, right?

Brian Mackenzie: I mean, just enormous. Anyway, so we’ve got all these things that are out there. And when you think about things like Breathwork, easiest thing to understand is that, I’m going to use that to kind of calm down or recover or restore. And first we need to understand that recovery, restoration, all of that, that is not switching off.

Brian Mackenzie: That is even though it’s kind of an off switch, the what it’s doing is is driving more parasympathetic tone. So our nervous system now kind of moves its its workload over to a side that innovates into other things like digestion, like Ana being anabolic. So anabolic cannibalism is me going into a growth phase, right? Like this growth sort of opportunity.

Brian Mackenzie: We all understand that if we were to go do some weightlifting and you know, then you take a couple of days off and you get sore and all this this process starts of rebuilding and growing, right? Everybody is capable of stimulating things like this. This is where cold and heat start to come in as they we think of them as things that are going to like help with recovery.

Brian Mackenzie: And yes, we know factually the cold helps with recovery, helps with soreness, and it can help change mood. There’s a there’s a myriad of other things that come with cold intervention. But to be clear, this is another stressor or that we are implementing in order to kick into a process of this animal ism, sort of this growth, sort of this this way of getting the body to respond in a more parasympathetic process because you can’t just the.

Dean Pohlman: Recovery work isn’t just a it’s not like you do the recovery work and they’re like, I’m all better. Like now I can go work out again. You actually have to use that as a transition to, okay, now I can really rest. And now I give my body the time it needs to carry me in the state that I need to be, to digest, to rest, to, like, actually recover.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah. You’re not going to do you know, if you’re first introduced to a cold plunge, you know, less than 40 degrees and you just ate, you’re not going to do a lot of digesting by jumping in that fucking excuse. By jumping in that cold plunged. However, we do have, you know, a lot of people who’ve learned to get cold adapted.

Brian Mackenzie: So this is part of that adaptation phase where they don’t get as stressed out getting in there, right? So the stress or even though we all get a stimulus when we go in there, it’s how we inevitably respond to that. And that’s what, you know, in the acute process. We all have a very we all have a very similar acute response.

Brian Mackenzie: But chronic or long term, that adaptive adaptation phase is what separates, let’s just call it the men from the boys, right? That process, that adaptive process helps kick start how well I’m going to respond to things now. The heat does the same. It’s not the same thing, but it does the same thing. If I go into a 180 degree sauna, that’s a stressor.

Brian Mackenzie: It’s my body’s response. And so I’ll just explain a little bit about, you know, this kind of happens with the cold, but on the opposite end. But when I go into the heat, it first it feels great. But then as I sit in there longer or whatever I’m doing in that sauna, as I sit in there long or longer, my heart rate starts to go up, my blood pressure starts to increase.

Brian Mackenzie: This is a stressor. This is all stress like, to be clear, there is no life without stress. So what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to get to a point to where it’s enough, right. Of this stressor and then get out and allow my body to or allow my system to drop back out. That is the process of this.

Brian Mackenzie: If I stay in too long, it’ll take longer for me to drop out, right? It will take longer for my parasympathetic response to come back online. Right. And so it’s not an on switch off switch. It’s a how how if think of it as a toggle switch. Right. Like I’m I’m moving the toggle a bit and it’s starting to creep up creep up and then that’s enough you know and the what I’m laying a foundation for here, for understanding is everything is about stress.

Brian Mackenzie: And unfortunately, our modern way of living isn’t working out for us at all. Yeah, it’s a proven fact. Like there is no amount. The only thing we really have going for us is how comfortable and safe we we actually are in a larger scheme, right? That has not provided us with better health. And if it did, we wouldn’t be as sick or ill as we are, which I’m under the impression on it, based on what I’ve been able to gather work on or go through with myself and with my clients.

Brian Mackenzie: This is a mental thing. This is not a physical thing. We don’t do enough physical training. We don’t even come close to it. The commonality between blue zones is the fact that all of these people are moving more than all of us are, and they’re over 81.

Dean Pohlman: What are blue zones for people who don’t.

Brian Mackenzie: Know, people who live basically over to over 100 years, Very healthy. They’re not. They don’t these are the these are the places around the world that where we see the ultimate health, Right. Living into your hundreds and the centenarians. Right. Or even over 80. But you’re living in a way that you don’t need aid, you don’t need help.

Brian Mackenzie: You’re very healthy. You’re still moving around on your own, taking care of yourself. And and the reality is, is there’s been numerous books and documentaries done on these things. Unfortunately, this is where the mind tends to go and why This is basically I look at this as a mental issue. Basically, the content of our container is a little strict and extrude is that we focus, we hyper focus on things like what they’re how what they’re eating when they’re eating like that.

Brian Mackenzie: And it’s like, yeah, that’s great. Except they all differentiate on that. You know, they’re all eating real food, so there’s a common denominator. So let’s just leave it at that versus the type of diet that they’re eating. But the common thing they actually all have is they all move and most of them are moving in ways that many of us are not, meaning they’re going up steep hills, coming down steep hills, going in, growing their own food, taking care of their own food.

Brian Mackenzie: Right. This is you know, it’s not hard labor, but it’s laborers work each day and it’s done with a smile because that’s just how life is, right. Nonetheless, you know, moving out of the blue zones and into the reality of our modern life. The problem exists in the fact that we get glued to particular ways of doing things.

Brian Mackenzie: Cold fits into that heat, fits into that particular exercise. Routines fit into that, and there’s nothing wrong with sticking to some of these things. However, what I think the Foundation for movement actually is involves a lot more walking than you actually do, and it involves being aware of that and your behavior patterns around that. If you can move or walk for more than 45 minutes a day without a phone, without without distraction.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah, you have anything else on top of that becomes the icing for your life, Right. And that’s where it starts to really creep in. So that’s so most of what I do with the individuals that come to me is I will literally be like, Hey, so we’re going to start with walking. Then we’re going to start with some breath work on both ends of the day.

Brian Mackenzie: But the breath work may be involved in the walking with people. So you typically it’s like you’re just if you’re walking your mouth should not be open fan like that. We know damn well that a mouth open if you’re walking is a problem, that means you’re in over a breather. That means there’s something else probably going on stress wise that we would need to address.

Brian Mackenzie: And that’s usually a container problem or mine problem.

Dean Pohlman: Officer When you mention that it brings it brings me back to what you were talking about with oxygen. And before that, oxygen sustains us. But it ultimately, like you were saying, oxidation eventually kills all things. So when we breathe through the nose, when we have control over our breathing, then that means that we use less oxygen and therefore there’s less overall stress on the body.

Dean Pohlman: Is that.

Brian Mackenzie: No.

Dean Pohlman: Fair? No. God. All right.

Brian Mackenzie: Close your close your close. Okay. Low. So moderate to low effort work. If we’re nose nasal breathing, we we are most likely using more oxygen. Okay. Because we are now not over breathing. When we are over breathing, even at rest. So as I’m talking, I over breathe. Right. That doesn’t mean you can’t talk. However, if most of your day is talking, I can tell you right now your your your stress levels are higher than what would be deemed healthy.

Brian Mackenzie: There’s there’s really no amount of work you can do to combat that. You’re going to be what you’re doing. What we’re doing is we’re setting in motion what’s called a dissociative curve. Right. And how this works is just think of it like a yin yang symbol, and you’ve got to have enough CO2 in the body in order to make oxygen available.

Brian Mackenzie: So think acid alkaline. If I have too little alkaline, I don’t have balance. If I have too much acid, which would be the same case for that. Too little alkaline I have. I have mixed mismatched. Right. We have a very tightly monitored for a very good reason. It makes everything work in homeostasis and the body is all will always.

Brian Mackenzie: There’s nothing you can do about this, but the body will always try and find that space. But if I over breathe. So if I just take, you know, and anybody can do this where they take a number of big deep breaths through their mouth until you start to feel a change, that change that you’re feeling is your lack of use of oxygen and your vasculature constricting because your brain and nervous system are more intelligent than your mind is and it constricts and restricts blood flow to your brain because you are limiting oxygen use so that you don’t retain or how the nervous system and brain are working.

Brian Mackenzie: Right. So so that little high feeling you start to get is that constriction of those blood vessels that are occurring. That is a feeling that should in most cases say, I should probably start to stop doing this because I don’t really minds.

Dean Pohlman: So that reminds me of like, I can’t remember which yoga instructor. It was one of the, you know, one of the one of the becomes or one of the. Yeah, you know what they’re like. And if your head just starts to feel a little funny, that’s okay. It’s your body getting used to all the oxygen.

Brian Mackenzie: Which is if you’re hyperventilating, that is not what that is.

Dean Pohlman: An almost total, total nonsense. Yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: So that’s that’s the so this is just one of those instances where what we think is going on an an actually happening and you could put a pulse oximeter and hyperventilate and what you’re going to see is it’s going to rise from somewhere between 96 and 98 to 100% SPO2 What that means is you no longer have biologically available oxygen.

Brian Mackenzie: You’re not using the oxygen. So it’s sticking in the red blood cells. So that’s what a pulse ox does, is it measures what in the red blood cell, not what the system tissue is using. And Yeah, go ahead.

Dean Pohlman: So I was going to so I want to ask the question. So so we want to be losing we want to be using less oxygen. Is that correct or is that not correct?

Brian Mackenzie: You want to be using oxygen? Well.

Dean Pohlman: Using it. Well, what is that?

Brian Mackenzie: I mean, efficient oxygen efficiency is when I am at rest. So here’s what oxygen efficiency is. Yeah. When I’m at rest, my tissue is use utilizing fat as an energy source. I’m I’m utilizing the oxidative phosphorylation. This is basically your aerobics. This is high aerobics. However, we’re also using glucose at that point, you’re always using glucose. You’re all with your brain and your nervous system.

Brian Mackenzie: Only function really only function off of glucose. It can function off ketones, but that’s not really a long term thing that’s occurring. You are using glucose like your liver will convert fat and even protein into sugars to be used for glucose because the nervous system needs to use it because the nervous system, when I’m thinking, when I’m talking, when I’m doing things, it’s a quick it’s it’s something that needs a fat a little bit of fast food resource that’s still we’re still in this oxidative pathway.

Brian Mackenzie: But once I start talking more, getting more emotional, thinking more that response becomes a little bit more exciting. And so I start pulling, I need to start pulling from a faster process right? So the cells start to get a little excited and start moving more. That starts to pull from more carbohydrate stores. So we’re starting to move, even though we can still be in this oxidative place, we’re starting to move into more glycogen or faster energy sources.

Brian Mackenzie: Right? Think of working out. If I go stand up, I’m immediately using up all the oxygen available to the tissue that was there. However, I might be moving fast enough to where I use it. There’s not enough coming in. So I start to there’s a there’s a transcending effect that happens with energy, right? Think of it as buckets.

Brian Mackenzie: At the bottom is ATP. That’s our currency for energy. Above that is your creating your phosphates and creatine. So it’s your power energy source, right? So if I explode or do a push up or stand up really quick right. I’m using this real quick turnover. It happens in milliseconds. Right. What replenishes that is this glycolic system which sits above that, which is really happening in milliseconds too.

Brian Mackenzie: But that is where glycogen that is where I turnover glycogen. Right. But what’s replenishing that glycogen is my lactate, my oxidative lactate system. Right. So now we’re starting to move into the oxygen. So this is why lactate will build up when we do higher intense things, Right. Well just so happens you can do that sort of intense stuff with your brain and your overthinking and our stressful lives and we will see.

Brian Mackenzie: I will see people who wake up in the morning with higher than normal lactate levels or even higher than very normal cortisol levels, because there is a direct correlation between lactate and cortisol. High intensity exercise can can raise cortisol levels 500%. Okay. Now, but why is high, high intensity exercise so effective for people? Well, because it’s a stressor that goes up and it should come back down.

Brian Mackenzie: But if I’m somebody who’s a high stress individual, I can only do so much of that before my long term adaptation to that starts to get retarded right? It just starts to get eroded in a lot of ways. And I’m no longer hitting that recovery cycle. So from here I’ve got this transcending bucket effect. There’s so much oxygen in the area and it starts up top to kind of fill that process of how how I’m using energy.

Brian Mackenzie: But if I’m not, if I don’t have enough mitochondria or if I don’t have a density of mitochondria and my energy’s way of using energy isn’t there, which just so happens to fit right along the lines of doing a lot of walking. You develop a massive robust way of burning fat and mitochondrial biogenesis by doing lots of low level walking effort stuff.

Brian Mackenzie: So this creates the buffer for much of the more intense or hard work we’re going to do. But we can help with that stuff with things like cold and heat, where these are now showing efficacy, much like exercise, because they’re stressors in a regard that helps stress us, bring us back down so we can kind of add these into my weekly schema of how I’m going about my lifestyle to make my lifestyle a bit more healthy.

Dean Pohlman:

Dean Pohlman: Okay. So I’m trying to that’s a lot of excellent information. I think you did a really good job, by the way, of making it, making it easier to understand. So. Okay, first off, thank you. I appreciate that. So I like the idea that there are the more stressed you are, the more you go to these different tiers or I like the way that you described it.

Dean Pohlman: It makes sense that the more stressed you are, the more you’re going to these higher tiers of energy. So you start off using fat as an energy source, then you go into glucose, then you can go into creatine and you go to lactate. And each one of these is basically successively more and more stress on your body. And yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: I would look at it. So there’s an even simpler way of looking at this is it all works. Everything’s for ATP. So ATP is our currency for energy. So think of it like this. ATP is our money, our currency. All right. You are going to spend ATP regardless if you do nothing or everything, it’s just how much ATP, right?

Brian Mackenzie: So so think of it like this. You have a you have two accounts and that’s it. You got a checking account, you’ve got a savings account and you get deposits of money in. Right? Food, nutrition, right. You automatically are putting things into the checking account, but you’re dispersing things over into the savings account as you consume more and more and more.

Brian Mackenzie: However, here’s the trick. You can not just fill your bank accounts without spending money. You have to spend money. Now, you everybody would want to pay their daily bills and their burn rate with their checking account, not with their savings account. Savings account is for those big robust purchases. Right. Like I’m going to go work out really hard or I’ve got a really stressful day.

Brian Mackenzie: Right? That’s a savings account. Spend or a marathon. You sign up for an event, right? That’s a big spend. Okay. Now most of us are spending our savings account money without realizing we’ve got this checking account and we need to do this low level thing in order to build a robust savings account. But we can then go hit whenever we want.

Brian Mackenzie: Right? So a cold plunge, like a really cold, cold plunge is a quick spend on my savings account. However, it drops back really quick and allows me to get back to my checking account. Going for a walk is simply spending money with your checking account and making it big, robust. It’s allowing more robustness to happen in the savings account, CrossFit savings account.

Brian Mackenzie: Right. So earn going into the savings. Right. So if I can get my walking in, if I can do my the stuff that’s really helping, I’ve eaten well I’ve hydrated. Well this is helping build those accounts in a way that allows me to spend money really effectively. Now looking at those buckets, how stressed out I get if I’m talking all day, burning through, use it.

Brian Mackenzie: I’m using I’m blowing through ATP all day. We know facts. Only high stress individuals spend excessive amounts of ATP, then go and physically tax themselves in ways like high intensity workouts thinking because it feels good, because you get a big dump of all these great feeling chemicals like adrenaline and dopamine, Right? That’s a feel good right there. And that comes endorphins.

Brian Mackenzie: Dopamine and adrenaline come with these things, but so does cortisol.

Dean Pohlman:

Brian Mackenzie: Right. Yeah. And if I don’t learn to get really good at clearing lactate, my cortisol levels stay pretty high for a pretty long time and that messes with my sleep. You will not sleep real well of cortisol levels are high.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: That’s what wakes you up in the morning.

Dean Pohlman:

Dean Pohlman: So I’m trying to so I’m trying to put together this. So if you, you know, knowing, considering all this information you’ve just given us that, you know, these a lot of the things that we do for our fitness are actually taxing the body. We’re doing them in the hopes of provoking a stimulus, provoking response that ultimately makes us more capable.

Dean Pohlman: But then if we’re doing too much, it’s actually making us less capable. So someone who’s, you know, working all day, talking a lot, very stressed job, coming home, working out and then coming to someone like you and saying, I want to start doing cold Plunge, I want to start doing sauna. We’re like, No, no, no, no, no. You need a nap.

Brian Mackenzie: Or check this out. There’s no amount of walking that can mess you up.

Dean Pohlman: Okay. Now, so that’s what I mean.

Brian Mackenzie: That’s probably not true. That’s probably not true for the guy who’s not doing any walking. But the reality is, you go spend two weeks doing some 45 minutes or so of walking every day. There is no amount of walking that’s going to do damage. That’s not going to enhance your physiology. So this is where it comes down to.

Brian Mackenzie: Or check this out, breath work. Now, unless it’s hyperventilation, breath work that can have a compounding problem if it’s done in excess, right? So if I hyperventilate for too long, I’m a high stress individual. I’m I’m ripping through ATP because I’m getting the cells in these excited states. There’s a far more to that. However, I’m just simplifying. If I do some slow controlled breathwork or I go and do like lift, there’s really not a lot no amount of yoga unless it’s really intense yoga that I can do that’s going to be bad for me as long as I’m eating when I’m hungry and hydrating.

Brian Mackenzie: Dude, you can have at it for hours. I go for it, man. Like this isn’t going to ruin you. What will end up ruining people is going into these high stress environments, right? Like overdoing the cold can be a overdone high stressor. However, it can be a really good enhancement if it’s if you know how much stimulus you can handle.

Brian Mackenzie: So this is why I will range my clients from anywhere from 30 under 30 seconds to up under 5 minutes. Right. And it just depends on how adapted they are and how well they’re responding to the cold, which an easy way to understand that is I get in a cold plunge, I get out in 30 seconds. If my body can warm up naturally, I’m I’m good to go.

Brian Mackenzie: That’s a good thing. However, if I’m doing a lot of lifting and I’m trying to build muscle, it’s probably not the best thing to do. Over 30 seconds, keep it under 30. So I’m not actually retarding that process. The heat and the heat is actually much simpler and it is actually an enhanced more of an enhancement than anything with things I’m doing, whether it be yoga, whether it be strength and conditioning work, whether it be in dance work, it’s only going to enhance it.

Brian Mackenzie: You can always get into a sauna and just get out. Once that first sign of kind of uncomfortable, claustrophobic feeling starts to show up, that’s roughly around a 130 heart rate. If you’re sitting in there, your heart rate will increase to roughly around 130. But if you get uncomfortable for that, it is best to get out. It’s it’s a minor, claustrophobic feeling.

Brian Mackenzie: This is where we know a lot of the heat shock protein stuff is happening. However, this is where the blood pressure is reaching its height of comfortability, of efficacy for blood pressure. And it’s a good time to get out and then just let your body naturally cool down and you’re getting a lot of the benefits that we’re looking at in terms of heat training, but we’re complementing any sort of training that we were doing.

Dean Pohlman:

Dean Pohlman: That’s really good information. So I want to come back and I want to specifically ask you questions on those because I’m just curious for myself, honestly, like guidance on that stuff. Yeah, but I want to go back to I want to go back to the the discussion we were having about energy and breathing. And if you can, you know, I would love it if you could give me like the takeaway phase in terms of action, considering all these things, what are the, what are the actions and the habits and kind of like the guidelines that we should be making more of an effort to adopt into our lives on a regular basis?

Brian Mackenzie: Okay. Before I do that. Okay, here’s here’s the best piece of advice I’ve got. We want we all seem to gravitate towards this advice in the form of action. And this is one of our downfalls because we’re consistently looking how to improve something. And I’ll steal something from Alan Watts right now when we’re trying to be better or we’re trying to improve ourselves, we’re not looking at the fact that, well, who’s the one doing the improving then?

Brian Mackenzie: The one who needs to be improving. So it just doesn’t make sense, right? Like I am. There’s something flawed or there’s something I shouldn’t be doing, but I’m not doing it. Well, look at the reason. So I’m going to take this. I’m going to lay a foundation here. It’s much like the walking right. Look at why you feel like you need to improve first.

Brian Mackenzie: There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing to improve. Okay. However, we will continue to drift towards this improvement thing, and all’s we’re looking to do is expressed things in a certain way and experience them in a way that allows us to kind of look or feel like we’re we’re healthy. Right? But the the healthiest thing we’ve got is how positive and how healthy my mind is are by ology, knows what to do with everything we give it.

Brian Mackenzie: So if I go lift weights, if I do yoga, if I do all that, it’s going to respond without me intervening in any way, shape or form. So long as I eat whole real foods, I take care. I drink enough fluids right. Anyway, the the the part of this that’s important to understand is that I am moving into something that I want to develop, something that gives brings me a feeling of joy and purpose.

Brian Mackenzie: There’s nothing wrong with me. Right. But if I don’t want to walk but I have to force myself or discipline myself to walk. But the very reason why I’m not walking is now being inserted into disciplining myself to do so. I have a very big problem there. That means I’m working off of a reward system that is going to fail at some point, Right.

Brian Mackenzie: Versus unlocking because I get to or I’m this is part of my thing. And if you don’t like walking, don’t go walk, get a beach cruiser and go write a beach cruiser around town like like but do a breach cruiser. There’s no race involved. Just cruise. Right. Anyway, that out of the way. The action plans of this have some sort of breathing practice that brings calm to you and allows you to fall into more of a creative space with your mind, with your brain, with your thinking walk, laying a foundation walk more than you want, right?

Brian Mackenzie: But walk without a phone, without any intention. Just go for a walk. Come back, go then. Now start to layer in the action, the stuff that you really like doing. If you enjoy doing yoga, that is what you should be doing. You enjoy lifting weights, you should be doing that. When’s the best time to do it? Probably not all in the same day.

Brian Mackenzie: So certain days I add in the lifting, certain days I make sure I’m doing the yoga right if I want to start adding in cold and heat. OC How much of I done today? Can I add these things in and still function well? Or are the wheels starting to come off right? Largely the biggest problem that we have is that we add more to our lives in terms of the modern lifestyle of work, errands, all this stuff versus we don’t do enough physical.

Brian Mackenzie: There’s no amount like the physical isn’t what’s going to really make it so that you’re not recovering. It’s your actual life lifestyle outside of the physical stuff that will so always be looking back at am I making enough time for myself to do the physical stuff that I that are that is important to me?

Dean Pohlman:

Brian Mackenzie: And then I can go about my day with everything that I need I feel like I need to do. And if you have some sort of excuse, how am I supposed to my bills? Well, you’re probably in the wrong thing mindset, if that’s your mindset. Just to be clear.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Yeah. And you know that that I think what you said. That was awesome. By the way I like I love that you say like bye bye trying to be better. We’re acknowledging that a problem exists. So we’re, you know, we’re like we’re creating the problem for ourselves. Like I was saying, there’s a, there’s a book that I, I read the guy guy came on the podcast.

Dean Pohlman: It’s called it’s called Awaken to Your True Self. And one of his one of the core things in there is by working on a problem, you’re admitting the problems exist. Like one example for me was I just kind of redid my backyard like I got, you know, it’s beautiful. There’s, there’s turf, there’s there’s, there’s plants, there’s a playground, there’s the cold plunge.

Dean Pohlman: There’s like, you know, it’s so great to go out there and sit out at night. And then I looked over at the corner and I realized, I don’t like that tree. And so I created a problem, like there wasn’t a problem. But then I looked at it. So now I’ve got this problem in my head like, this is going to be great until I fix the tree.

Dean Pohlman: So like, you are only, you know, you’re creating the, the problem would exist if you create it. So and the other thing I wanted to ask was, so, you know, most of us are likely stimulating ourselves too much. What are the signs to be on the lookout for when we’re overdoing it? What are some physical symptoms? What are some maybe some mental symptoms or or what can we be on the lookout for when it comes to doing too much?

Brian Mackenzie: Go into the settings on your phone and look at how much time you spend on your phone per day on average. If that number doesn’t give you a feeling of like, whoa, or wow, that’s a lot of time, right? You’re probably pretty good If you’re perfectly fine with spending 6 hours a day on your phone, like there’s there’s an issue.

Dean Pohlman: I’m going to I’m going to look because I’m curious. I want to see what my Do you know what your time is? Do you want to share?

Brian Mackenzie: I think it’s around four screen time.

Dean Pohlman: So much screen time. Screen time. I’m at three 1905. You okay with this.

Brian Mackenzie: Right? Yeah, I’m at 3 a.m.. 314.

Dean Pohlman: so great minds.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Mine’s user like.

Brian Mackenzie: So the reality here is that most of what we do at this point is here. Yeah. You know, I’m not telling people what they should or shouldn’t do and I know I got clients that literally are on their phone all day long. I got two clients that work out with their phones. Like it’s just like, Hey, that’s not changing.

Brian Mackenzie: Great. Okay, fine. Like, this is like, okay, here’s how we work from here.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, I started. I started scribbling my workouts. I realized I was doing that, too. So I started scribbling my work out on my whiteboard, and then I put my phone. I still have my music coming from my phone, but I put my phone, like, really high up or I can’t it now so that I feel stupid when I try to go get my phone and remind myself.

Dean Pohlman: No, no, no.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah, that’s awesome.

Dean Pohlman: Leave it up there, dude.

Brian Mackenzie: Yes. This is all stuff that people can do just to like, create reminders, right? You know, I had this one guy, I have a friend who he’s gone through one of our programs and he, you know, he hit me up and he’s like, look, I’m getting all these he runs a pretty big nonprofit and, you know, it’s for vets.

Brian Mackenzie: And he sent us over an email, You guys look, hey, guys, get this. I get these emails all the time from people that, like, are inquiring. They’re like these meditation people or people who are doing breathwork and they want to kind of come work with us and help us out and help people out and do that. And I’m just confused as to how to respond because we work with you guys and it’s like, I’m not going to change that.

Brian Mackenzie: Like, I just feel compelled to figure out a path for these people who continue to paying us. And I’m I’m super grateful there’s people out there who are looking to do things that I gave him this analogy. I said, you know, most of us aren’t really aware of our current mailbox, like a real mail, right? But we all do understand that we have to get the mail right.

Brian Mackenzie: So, yes, 90% of your mail is probably garbage, right? It’s just it’s all marketing scam stuff, right? Yeah, I said. So I explained to him I was like, look, you have an incredibly big heart and it shows, but I want to point something out. Your heart is also getting in the way of how you’re spending time because you feel like you need to respond to every single email that comes into your mailbox.

Brian Mackenzie: And 90% of the stuff that comes into your email is junk.

Dean Pohlman:

Brian Mackenzie: And until you can come to the reality of that and how you filter that, that’s everything going on with technology at this point. 90% of the stuff you’re looking at on social media is junk, and it doesn’t serve you in any capacity. However, there’s a 10% that’s great to connect with certain people or put some information out or whatever.

Brian Mackenzie: Right. That said, your our involvement in the junk is what’s killing us. Yeah. And so stop. You don’t need to respond to everybody who sends you an email. And I learn this, not the hard way, a great way because I was like, All right, I’m just going to stop responding to all the emails that come in. And I did that.

Brian Mackenzie: And you want to know what happen. This radical thing happened?

Dean Pohlman: Nothing.

Brian Mackenzie: People stopped fucking emailing me their junk. Yeah, literally, when people communicate with me now, it’s stuff that’s important for me to look at. So I look at it. Yeah. And so my inbox is totally changed. My messages are totally changed because I don’t respond to everybody’s response. Yeah, it’s just I don’t I’m not actually on Instagram anymore. I got off of Instagram.

Brian Mackenzie: It’s just too junky for me. I’ve got a business. I got a business that does all that. We have somebody who posts and I send them videos and they post that stuff for me, Right? Right. Like my life changed.

Dean Pohlman: And I’m totally comfortable with admitting that as well. Like, I every now and then I’ll go look at social media. But as far as feeling an obligation to respond to people anymore, I do not feel the obligation to respond anymore. I also recently I also stopped because I don’t get as many emails, you know, I get like tons of comments.

Dean Pohlman: Tons of messages. Yeah. And but I don’t get as many emails. But I recently started like looking at emails and I’m like, you know, like, so I don’t respond to emails now either. And, you know, I like saying this because most of the people who are sending me messages on social media, they’re not listening to me go in depth on the podcast, they’re not interacting with me.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, the man for yoga app and numbers area, you know, so like those are I don’t need to have those.

Brian Mackenzie: So I stopped. That’s why I really stopped responding to questions that people wanted actionable advice to fix a complex. I don’t respond to those.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, it’s too hard to explain. It’s like it’s like having a hitting or softball debate on Facebook.

Brian Mackenzie: Dude, that’s a premium product, my friend. You exist in a place right now where you think you should get a premium product for free. Sorry, I don’t play that anymore. No more, No more. You you need to hire somebody for your complex problem. And it’s like there’s a process to go through that. And the problem with social media is that everybody has everybody thinks all this information that I’ve or you have organized and made a career out of should be free.

Brian Mackenzie: That’s how they’re behaving. It’s not and it’s not going to be. Now, bring this over a little bit more. Some people, especially your crowd, especially if they’re in their sixties and seventies, they’re mostly most likely not on a whole lot of social media. However, what I’ve started to find out with this group of with these with this group of boomers, right, is that they are still on their phones entirely and technology is too much.

Brian Mackenzie: Their communicate with their families and stuff on these things versus actually being with real people enough. Yeah, And that’s where a lot of this happens is where there’s a disconnect is we’re not we don’t have this real connection to human beings as much anymore. And that’s part of the process is anything yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Like we were talking about blue zones before and we talked about the importance of walking where you go. But the other part of that is all of these people who are.

Brian Mackenzie: Living, every one of them, they.

Dean Pohlman: Have communities.

Brian Mackenzie: Every one of them there, everywhere.

Dean Pohlman: Or with groups have got it. They’re hanging out with people during the day. They’re there exercising and going on walks with people.

Brian Mackenzie: And I was going to come here our yeah.

Dean Pohlman: I’m looking at my I don’t know about you, but like I’m looking at my life and I’m realizing I’m mostly working by myself during the day. I’m working out by myself. I’m going on walks by myself. I hang out with my children and my wife and that’s it, you know? And that’s that’s not that’s not a community. That’s not that’s not the sociability that we need to be getting in to the same effect that those people in blue zones are getting.

Dean Pohlman: So I’m curious for you, like, what are some what are the strategies? Have you implemented strategies or have you started doing things to like create more community in your life?

Brian Mackenzie: yeah, 100%. Like what? It’s tight. It’s tight. Well, I mean, one thing that I think about right now is so we got this. We got a puppy about a month ago who is a handful and it’s wonderful from but every day at the end of the day, we go to the park where he wins at playing with all the other dogs and all.

Brian Mackenzie: And we have this park that all these people bring their come together and bring their dogs together. And so there’s this, this.

Dean Pohlman: And you’re still are you in Colorado?

Brian Mackenzie: No, no, I’m in Huntington Beach, California. okay. Yeah, Yeah. I moved I moved back to Southern California. Gotcha. I realize and this is part this is also part of where I was going is I although I had this connection to the mountains and I love being in the mountains up where I was. It’s a wonderful place. It was not my place.

Brian Mackenzie: The ocean is where I’m is, is my place. I am good to die here if it should need be. But we typically image just kind of come to a halt because the weather changed. But we’re typically in the water in the ocean every day and there are always people there. There’s always something going on. I hang out with my family.

Brian Mackenzie: I’m close to my family. We see my family every week. My brother’s my closest friend. He’s got two kids. I’m around them. We spend time with like so I have people that I meet every week. I go to lunch with or just meet in general. You know, it’s I have clients that I’m around that I’m very close with, that I spend time with multiple times a week.

Brian Mackenzie: So I’m interacting with inside of a scheme of where I’m with people, but I’m also like, I earn all of that every day no matter what. I get up in the morning, my morning, my day starts with me doing a minimum of 45. I’ve already done 45 minutes on on my bike in the sauna, just cruising. Not hard, just really slow and low cooking in the sauna.

Brian Mackenzie: I get out. I did. I did some yoga this morning. Unfortunately, I did it with. I think he’s your buddy, Sean Vig. So I did a little I did a little bit of Sean’s stuff.

Dean Pohlman: That’s awesome. I’m going to. Yeah. Does he know now?

Brian Mackenzie: I’ve never even met him. He’s.

Dean Pohlman: How do you love it? He’s a nice guy.

Brian Mackenzie: Either follow your stuff or his stuff. He’s. He’s just. He’s hysterical. Yes. He’s funny.

Dean Pohlman: Fun to watch, dude. He’s. Yeah, he actually has an opera background, so that’s why his voice is so, like, project so much.

Brian Mackenzie: That’s great. So anyway, I did that before I did this, and I will lift after this for my hard work. My, my, my, my icing on the cake today.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s awesome. Those are some fantastic changes. I also the question that you asked yourself and I think this is a great question to ask everyone to ask themselves, are you okay? Diane, where you are? Yeah. Like, are you, are you okay? Diane That’s a great way to ask, are.

Brian Mackenzie: You here going to die? And where do you want to do it? Is this where you want? Like, I, like I grew up in Southern California at the beach. Yeah, I there is. And every single time my feet hit that sand or I get to the beach. It has been the same feeling since since I can remember when I was four or five.

Brian Mackenzie: That’s awesome, right? It’s this just glorious feeling of like, this is where I belong. Like, this is where I want to be. Yeah. And, you know, my.

Dean Pohlman: I’m thinking of.

Brian Mackenzie: And I basically, you know, like, I go into the water and I become mermen. Yeah, Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Fantastic. Yeah, yeah. I’m thinking of, you know, I was thinking of that question, and I don’t know if you can see behind me. Yeah, there’s a picture of that. So it’s really cool. It’s a it’s a wood framing carving of the Great Lakes. Yeah, I was born in Cleveland. I’ve got family in Wisconsin. I went to school in Wisconsin, and, you know, thinking about me being in Texas and thinking, you know, there’s no snow here.

Dean Pohlman: And if there is, it’s catastrophic. And the entire world, the entire city shuts down for now. But man, yeah. So I want to ask we talked about talking about changes as we get older, what gets harder, what requires more time? How do we need to change our approach to our workouts? Do you want to touch on that?

Brian Mackenzie: Sure. I something pops up because a good friend of mine who I consider probably one of the most artistic human beings I know. Yeah, his name’s Pat Nori. He started Ruka RV. Okay. The brand.

Dean Pohlman: wow.

Brian Mackenzie: And he he’s of everybody I work with and I work with some very famous people. I work with some very high level people. There is nobody I have ever come across where before. People want his attention. Then Pat Pat’s going through some changes from Ruka to a new brand or, you know, whatever he’s going to be doing. We were discussing this the other day because it’s tough going through this process.

Brian Mackenzie: And, you know, it just came to me. It’s just like, look, change is inevitable. Change is going to happen no matter what. What do you know what embraced change is? I was like, what? And I was like, Art, that’s what embrace change is. I go and embrace the change and work with it and I can create something out of it.

Brian Mackenzie: So if I embrace the fact that my body is changing and I’m getting older and I drive towards something like walking more, moving more, doing other things right, like I’m doing all this stuff, I’m embracing the change and I’m creating something out of that so that my body, so that my physiology, so that everything starts to change, right?

Brian Mackenzie: I’m working with that change to embrace it and become a part of it versus how we fight change. And that’s why we’re stressed out. Yeah. Is we don’t like the choices that we’ve made. So we look for excuses or we tend to victimize ourselves in the in a way that allows us to be angry or upset about where we’re at and what’s happening to us when the fact is, as we all know, we’re going to die.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah, we’re not getting out alive. How do you want to die? Because you’re dying every day. Cells are turning over your the aging process is happening. Like, how do you want to go about that? I’m dude I’m I’m want full embrace artistic just splatter like what is this going to be like. I just want to have fun doing it and I don’t I can’t do things as some of the things I can’t do as well other things I can do much with better grace now, with more control, with more like I am way more precise with what I do because I’m so I can slow down enough to know when I want to go hard

Brian Mackenzie: enough and hit it well, all right. That took time. That took a lot, right? But you know, it’s I do a lot of new things, which is embracing change as well. I’m going to step into this new thing. I’m going to go take a class on painting or whatever I or, you know, like I’m into guns. I like to shoot guns.

Brian Mackenzie: I’ve taught as a firearms instructor with a friend of mine for a number of years. But I like to go to the range. I like to throw knives, I like to throw axes at, you know, targets. It’s fun. It’s precision work, right? Like it’s working things and being anything. I don’t want to hurt anybody, but I also want to be skilled in something that it maybe, I don’t know, might be some sort of tool that I might need to use, but I want to use it well, yeah, I don’t want to be some Joe Schmo on the street who thinks because he watched the UFC that he knows how to fight.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: I want to participate in jujitsu and striking and understand that and work with fighters and be a part of those things. And I enjoy that. I don’t run around.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, yeah. It helps that you train fight UFC fighters to.

Brian Mackenzie: Correct right And I do and that’s so in it. Yeah but it’s like you know I wouldn’t have gotten that opportunity. I don’t think I would have ever crossed that path had I not taken the step to get into some sort of martial art and taken that approach. And I think what’s lost in, you know, I mean, here’s the reality of yoga at this point.

Brian Mackenzie: Currently in the Western world, there is no real version of what yoga was that has been a changed thing. When BKS and Tommy Joyce came over because they realized people couldn’t handle here due to the level of comfort that we have the realities of what yoga was, which was basically a martial art in that. But it was for constructing your body, right?

Brian Mackenzie: Like in this hardcore sense. And that reality is like, but that doesn’t mean you can’t participate in something and transform yourself in today’s version of that. You certainly can. Yeah. And will. But take the mindset of a martial art into it where you are a white belt earning your way through to a black belt. Ultimately, when you get that black belt, you keep the white belt mentality.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, yeah. Cool. There you go.

Dean Pohlman: So that’s the I think that’s I think that’s really important. you know, I love that and I love the description of embraced Change is art with working with it to create something out of it. I mean, that’s a, that’s a, that’s a total I mean, that’s a fantastic way of looking at it.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah. I mean, you’re, you’re expression. It’s your art. It’s you. What do you want to do? This is your canvas, man. Like. Like I like. I mean, I can see you’re, you’re a pretty happy guy. You have a pretty good life. I can see that without actually being in Austin, in your home with you or things I can walk in, but.

Brian Mackenzie: But you can. We have that ability to see with anybody. Yeah, I can see people who are struggling immediately, you know, And it’s just like, it’s tough, man. It’s a tough place to be, you know? And we don’t need to be there. There is no need. The only thing you need to do is die and that’s it.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s that, that’s a that’s a weight off your shoulders when.

Brian Mackenzie: The right the.

Dean Pohlman: Bar is set that low.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah. Go paint your canvas man. Go embrace and change and make some choices like that. That’s what power is. That’s the only real power. You got this choice.

Dean Pohlman: So I also I also want to ask kind of specific questions about maybe coming back to the hot cold therapy. So you gave some really good tips there. So the the sauna, when you reach 130 heart rate or when you feel uncomfortable and based on your understanding of the different science that comes out, how often would you say per week and like how many how many minutes in a session?

Brian Mackenzie: You can do the sauna every day if you have time for it. However, I would say 3 to 4 days a week, and it all depends on what you want to accomplish. There are two ways of going about this. I just wrote a big article for the Plunge on the Sauna stuff.

Dean Pohlman: Do you have cold ones?

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cold plunge. And I think a connection you to the midnight.

Dean Pohlman: I think maybe. Yeah, I have that. Yeah, that’s the one I have. That’s the one. Yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: So I’ve got their sauna, their new sauna.

Dean Pohlman: nice. That’s that. They think it’s a work of art. It’s been. It is.

Brian Mackenzie: It is. And I can fit my bike, my, my old school air dying, which could go through a nuclear war in there, and I can just ride it. And so anyway, I wrote this article for him because so I’ve been screwing around with heat for close to 20 years. So when I first got involved in trail running, etc., I started doing stuff out in the heat in Death Valley, in the desert, and realized I needed to understand a very different environment very quickly in order to make it through there.

Brian Mackenzie: And so he became part of that process. Anyway. You got a few ways, you got a couple of ways of going about this. One, you can just be a traditionalist, really just go and get in a sauna and sit in the sauna until it’s time, right? Which is roughly around 15 to 20 minutes.

Dean Pohlman: And you and this you will in this traditional.

Brian Mackenzie: Sauna.

Dean Pohlman: Traditional sign. Okay.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah, you can do infrared, too. However, you know, you’re going to be in the infrared much longer than you would for a traditional.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, that’s all I have. I have the because I can’t fit the traditional sauna anywhere. So the it’s infrared for me.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah. So at any rate you would go in and you would just sit right in a sauna. This is the traditional sense of sitting in a sauna. You’d go in there, you’d work up to a certain time to where it gets uncomfortable, get out within, I would say 2 to 3 weeks, your body will have adapted in some capacity to that heat structure and you’d be able to take the heat up higher and higher.

Brian Mackenzie: If you should so choose. You will remain heat adapted As long as you’re doing that a couple times a week, you will not lose that over time. If as long as you are consistently doing it at least a couple of times a week or once or twice a week, once once adapted. The other way of doing this is getting bigger.

Brian Mackenzie: Bang out of your workouts etc. and or trying to make a bigger heat adaptations because what you’re not doing when you sit in a sauna is you’re not actually getting your core to the places that it could could actually get through actual work. Right? So that’s part of why we shut down is we shut down because of heat, right?

Brian Mackenzie: So 80% of work when we’re working out is lost to heat.

Dean Pohlman: Okay.

Brian Mackenzie: That’s a lot of energy that goes to heat. So that’s called that’s what’s called joules, right, Instead of calories. Okay That’s joules. So at any rate. So to make this a little bit of a bigger play as you go work out, then go jumping, make sure your song is on. As soon as you’re done working out, you go get in your sauna.

Dean Pohlman:

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, it does that.

Brian Mackenzie: That will shorten the time that you are in that song. Okay. That will definitely shorten it because your core temperature has gotten up, right. So now you’re getting in the heat. Now, after a couple of weeks of this, you will notice that you are now in for much longer period of time because you’ve made the adaptation and you’re actually getting your skin temperature, which a different sense versus core temperature raising, Right.

Brian Mackenzie: So what are the other.

Dean Pohlman: no. Go ahead. Keep going.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah. The last version of this is if you’ve got a big enough sauna, you can you can either exercise on a bike or be doing squats or push ups every couple of minutes or 3 minutes, just a few of them. And you will start to ramp up the internal, see your core temperature will start to ramp up. Right.

Brian Mackenzie: So what I do is I go get on my my air time and I just start around 80 to 100 watts and I just it’s really it’s like walking pace, right? Yeah. But my my son is at like 100 and 4050 degrees. It starts at It works its way up towards 190. So at 45 minutes I’m at about 190 and I’m still the same wattage, but my heart rate is like 130 to 140 and I’m at that point where I’m starting to, you know, I’ve had enough, right?

Brian Mackenzie: So then I hop out. It’s just a very different heat adaptation. I’m able to handle much heat than the other two, but that one is more towards performance so that when I’m training, I can actually push further.

Dean Pohlman:

Brian Mackenzie:

Dean Pohlman: Okay. That makes sense. Yep. So for me, what I’ve noticed when I do so I have an infrared just because that’s what I have that works with my space. Yeah, it’s all right. So when I notice that I’m doing it, I do notice that it helps with certain aches, pains, stiffness. Like my low back just gets really stiff.

Dean Pohlman: And if I spend some time, I find for me, my my it’s time moment is about 25 to 30 minutes and that’s when on my okay, I think I’m good. And if I do that my low back like it releases it’s awesome. It feels great. I also notice my, you know from a vanity perspective, my skin just looks better.

Dean Pohlman: I’m like, you know, my skin looks like it’s glowing today because I.

Brian Mackenzie: Infrared will do that.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: And then I think the after I get out, I feel like I’ve gone on a hike, like I have that same sense of euphoria and like clearing my head that I get after getting out of a hike. The one thing that I can’t track is one reason that asanas are beneficial. So they say, is the the increased circulation that happens from them and from a recovery aspect.

Dean Pohlman: Is there is there or what is the what does the science say on in terms of does this help with making me feel less sore the next day or does this help me get stronger more quickly?

Brian Mackenzie: Less sore isn’t something that I’ve seen from it. However, what you’re getting with that low back feeling better. So it’s obviously tissue type tissue because what the heat isn’t necessarily going to change. However it will. Well, so I shouldn’t say that you’re going to move. You’re going to get more blood flow in the heat. So think of it like this.

Brian Mackenzie: I go into the heat. What happens? Things. So you see so your blood pressure goes up because your your your vasculature is starting to dilate more. So you’re getting more blood flow a result. Pressure has to go up. If my capillaries open up more, my heart rate has to go up and the pressure has to be more because as I’ve got more open piping, right?

Brian Mackenzie: Versus when we start to get more sympathetically charge, that starts to clamp down. And so then the pressure goes up because it clamps down, right? So when we go into the heat, things start to open up, right? So I’ve got more blood flow, so I’m getting opened up so I’m looser. So it’d be a lot easier to stretch after you got out of a sore, right?

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: Cool. So that’s an optimal thing. As you heard, I went into the sun. Then when we did some yoga.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: That was that. That was the mechanism for doing that. Was I definitely looser because I’ve got way more blood flow going, right? I’m warmed up, I’m primed.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. That’s a, that’s a great way to do it. What I also like about the sauna is it trick you into it doesn’t trick you, but it makes you start sweating. And I feel like as soon as you start to sweat, that’s when you’re like, okay, now I’m in my workout, you know? So if you don’t want to work out, go in the sauna, start sweating, and then you’re like, I’m already sweating.

Dean Pohlman: Now I can. And yeah, that’s easy. Starting sauna and then going into stretching and going, Yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: And that’s something you can do if you’ve got, if you’re, if you’re perfectly fine with doing it is turning your song on, you know, before you work out. Go and get in it, Get a little heated up then, go start your warm up process, whatever, and then come back after you’ve worked out and go sit in that song I want it’s really cooking.

Brian Mackenzie: And yeah. Then cool down.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: So. All right, so, so let’s move on to the cold plunge. QUESTION So you mentioned 30 seconds. Don’t go above 30 seconds. If you’re trying to build muscle or keep it relatively low, if you’re trying to build muscle and I’ve heard a lot of different things in terms of, you know, make sure that you do it, don’t do it 8 hours within 8 hours of lifting or don’t do it after you work out, because then you’re killing the inflammation process that helps with growing.

Dean Pohlman: So what are some guidelines in terms of if I go for a run or if I lift weights, how long should I wait to go in the cold plunge or should I do them beforehand?

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah. So unless you’re like a bodybuilder competing or somebody who is competing for being strong, really, really, really, really strong, I don’t think it’s necessary to avoid the cold. My experience says not okay. Meaning you don’t need to avoid it. However you go in too long, you’re going to retard things like this is why we moved away from the rice model.

Brian Mackenzie: Rest ice compression. Yeah. Elevation of the ice part icing. A wound stops it from healing. It just stops the process. What it’s really doing is blunting the pain. Which, yeah, sure, we can take somebody out of pain, Right? So just kind of think of that for a second, okay? Anything over really 30 seconds on the on a day, your lifting is probably not the best option.

Brian Mackenzie: However, you can repeat that several times, right? Meaning cold. Get out, warm up, get in the sauna. Cold if you want to. Now just remember, if I go in the cold and I go in the heat, this is another stressor these are other stressors. I’m just ramping more stress in, right? Am I responding to that or am I overdoing it?

Brian Mackenzie: So start low. Maybe one round days I do cardio. You can do as much cold as you want. However, I don’t think there’s really any in anything over 5 minutes. In fact, I keep most people under 3 minutes.

Dean Pohlman:

Brian Mackenzie: Unless you really want to get your ego, like, going, you know, which is perfectly fine. Go for it. Go do a 6 to 10 minute cold plunge like. Whoever just did a video, I mean, that’s great. However, you know, I think there’s. I just feel like there’s better things with my that I want to do. And the people who I’m working with, we’re just trying to get an aid.

Brian Mackenzie: So what I’ll do is if depending on people’s how much time they have, the clients I work with, it’s like and here’s the other thing is like days people are lifting and they want to do the cold and heat. I don’t start them on cold, I start them on heat. So they go heat. Then cold cardio days. I have people go start on cold and secondarily do heat.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. That’s cool.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah. And I mean there’s a lot of nuance in there that I, you know, I’m not going to get into here just because it’s like everybody’s individual and I have protocols that I actually work on designing for these people depending on how they respond and seeing how their physiology responds based on a consistency of understanding, how their how their daily stress works.

Brian Mackenzie: Like I’m looking at HIV, a lot of different things so that I understand somebody’s baseline. Then as I integrate some of the exercise and some of these protocols, how that’s affecting things, and then I can make adjustments based on that. But you’re roughly getting kind of a, you know, a screenshot of like how you can learn to manipulate these things.

Dean Pohlman: Got it. Cool. So and the one thing to keep in mind with these hot and cold therapies is your body should be able to return to homeostasis correct. So you shouldn’t be.

Brian Mackenzie: What’s the easy and what’s the easiest thing to know in a 24 hour period? What’s the first thing that you would be able to understand without a technology if it’s affecting you or not?

Dean Pohlman: Just how you feel.

Brian Mackenzie: Sleep.

Dean Pohlman: Sleep. Okay.

Brian Mackenzie: Sleep is about what you did for the other 16 hours.

Dean Pohlman:

Dean Pohlman: Okay. So you can use sleep as an indicator of.

Brian Mackenzie: Correct. Did I sleep well or was it hard to go to sleep? Was I up throughout the night? Okay. Did I did in my life outside of physical activity, did I do anything differently? Did I do anything more? If you didn’t and you added in these other mediums, then it’s like, okay, if I’m going to consistently hold on to this daily stress that I have in my daily life, then I need to alter the heat and cold a little bit in a different way, right?

Dean Pohlman: So that’s important to know, not just because of being able to tell what you should and should not add on to your existing schedule, but also because it’s just really to completely overhaul lifestyle and light up one day and think, I’m going to live a healthy life now and do five.

Brian Mackenzie: And I am basically an overhaul remover like I literally because people have taken on the all of this stuff. So I’ve got people so most of the clients I work with are high performers in their industries. They’re still working, right? Yeah, they’re doing well. They how they work a lot. And they’re working out. They’re doing cold plunges, they’re doing heat, They’re doing hyperbaric chambers, they’re doing all of these things right.

Brian Mackenzie: So I come in and I usually have to clean this stuff up because they’re doing it in a way where, I mean, they’re even doing the breathing. Like, I can’t tell you how many. Like, there is probably at least 20 people I’ve come across where I’ve to explain to them that the whole Atrophic or Wim Hof breathing that they’re doing is not helping them anymore.

Brian Mackenzie: It’s actually setting them off if they’re not willing to change their lifestyle in what they’re doing. Right, because they’re stressing themselves. They’re putting themselves in a terrible, mild respiratory alkalosis. They’re setting off their sympathetic nervous system. They’re putting their cells into an excitatory state in the morning. Then they’re going and doing a cold plunge. Then they’re going to work and cranking out work.

Brian Mackenzie: Then they want to go and do yeah, they want to work out in the afternoon. They don’t want to kill the workout. They don’t want to do that. And it’s like, okay, well, so here’s how your works. Like, so we remove it and then all of a sudden everything changes.

Dean Pohlman:

Brian Mackenzie: It’s like, Yeah, you know what? Let’s do this maybe once or twice a week. Let’s not do it every day. And all of a sudden physiology starts to make these adjustments and we start to see big changes with them, right? Same happens with people who are doing cold, like they’re doing all these cold plunging, but they’re not willing to change anything else.

Brian Mackenzie: And it’s like, okay, I hate to break it to you, but you’re cold plunges basically screwing you.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah, Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: I mean, less truly is more.

Brian Mackenzie: But walking isn’t so that. Yeah, but, but, but there’s the thing, right. Like or slow controlled breathing is an either way. Yeah. So I hate to break it to you, but your foundation you can continue to add to. And if you add more of that, guess what’s going to happen? You’re then going to be able to add back in the cold plunge.

Brian Mackenzie: You’re then going to be able to add back in some of the hyperventilation techniques. Right. But if you start, you know, this is where people just start to kind of shift the bed. Unfortunately, they just want to tack on all this high intensity stuff that’s burning up ATP, just spending savings, more savings, not realizing their spending savings.

Dean Pohlman: Well, I’m also curious, like so something that I’ve realized is with the different demographics that I work with, you can tell there’s a big difference between guys in their thirties, forties, 50, 60. It’s not just because of, you know, physical differences, but the guys who are in their fifties, they’ve started to move away from middle doing this to satisfy me.

Dean Pohlman: They started to realize like, I’m doing this to satisfy my ego. So you can have conversations with guys in there in the thirties and and even in their forties, and they’re still, you know, they’re still doing things for their ego or they’re trying to, you know, you’re asking the questions and they’re there, you know, their voice is getting deeper and they’re defending their you know, they’re like they’re they’re they’re still trying to protect their egos.

Dean Pohlman: And the guys who are older, they’ve started to realize like, like, am I doing this because really want to do it? Or is my ego involved? Like, are you if you look at your if you look at one one way that I like to determine whether or not I’m going to start doing something new, if I ask myself what I do this, if I couldn’t post about it that I wouldn’t, that I’m not going to do it.

Dean Pohlman: Because if I go, what’s the and, you know, cold punch knows this because they have the damn tablet slash phone holder built into the cold punch. It’s not like an add on. You don’t say, I’d like to add that on. They give it to you. It’s part of it.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: So all right, my last is my last big question for you is your strategies for walking more. How have you consciously added more walking to your day?

Brian Mackenzie: Well, I’ve got a dog. So that dog. Yes. Getting a dog strategy and like, I mean, here’s one. Go adopt a fucking dog if you’ve got the capacity to do it, like go save some dog’s fucking life and literally have a best friend, have a connection to another, to an animal and go walk and go make it your, your thing or so a client last night.

Brian Mackenzie: Right. Like we’ve been working together for over a month at this point and he, this guy works hard also has triplets brand new. Ooh. yeah. So he’s in it, right? This guy crushes work two is on the East Coast and it’s real hard. We’ve been real hard to get him going into building a program. And last night it was like, all right, so let’s let’s, let’s do this.

Brian Mackenzie: How about you earn getting to your phone to check your email in the morning because he has to put out fires and here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to do some breathing and then you are going to get your coffee. You’re going to make your coffee after you’ve done your breathing or so now is breathing that he’s doing a max rep ups, just one set to get himself up and motivated.

Brian Mackenzie: Then he gets to make his coffee and check his phone as he has his coffee. The moment his coffee is done, he must go walk or run until his kids are up at 615, which it’s mandatory. He has to earn getting to his kids by walking or running. So all of that has to happen in order for him to get to his kids.

Brian Mackenzie: And him structuring it like that really helped him. Now we’ll see if that works. But he he he seemed to he was elated about this whole process of earning his time with his kids that he wants to spend with them. Right. And He’s not going to get it done in the evening because the guys at work all day crushes, work all day already checking stuff.

Brian Mackenzie: And then he comes home and it’s like he’s got triplets. His wife wants time off, like, fuck, yeah, triplets. Yeah. So at any rate, that’s part of the process. So. So figuring out ways to earn this, the things that you think you need to do, which you don’t like, like I hate to be the bearer of bad notes, right?

Brian Mackenzie: But even though he believes he needs to see his kids, he does not need to do that.

Dean Pohlman:

Brian Mackenzie: He doesn’t need. There are parents who do not do that, and we can all agree on that. Now, he wants to do that and wants to be a part of that. So let’s start wrapping our head around the fact that what you need to do, what you want to do that starts to change the structure of how you’re actually getting towards things.

Brian Mackenzie: I’m going to do this, this and this because I want to be with my kids instead of need to change the language. That’s that’s how the containers work. And you’ve got a language that you’re speaking to yourself. And part of that process is that right there?

Dean Pohlman: Yeah. Cool.

Dean Pohlman: Any other any other for you’re walking more in your own life. Have you made it Have you made it so that I just.

Brian Mackenzie: Love I love it. I love the fact that I get to move when I do. The more I move, the better everything is with my relationships with everybody around me, including who I work with.

Dean Pohlman: So you just you’re able to you consciously create the connection between walking and how much better your life is.

Brian Mackenzie: As we have come to find out, I move in excess of 3 hours day.

Dean Pohlman: Okay.

Brian Mackenzie: So, you know, there are some days that’s close to five.

Dean Pohlman: Wow. Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: That’s awesome.

Brian Mackenzie: Cool. It’s just getting out. I mean, I get up at 430, 5:00 in the morning.

Dean Pohlman: What time you go to bed?

Brian Mackenzie: I love it. I go to bed somewhere between eight and 9 p.m.. I’m so awesome. I love I love that as much as I love waking up early in the morning, as much as I love going through all the things that I get to do and do the time with the dog, the time with my fiance, all the time with everybody around, like every moment I am like, Yes, I get to go do that.

Brian Mackenzie: Yes, I’m going to go do this podcast. I’m going to go talk with theme. Like I get like I’m excited about it. I want to do it. Yeah. I don’t I’m at a point where I am no longer like I’ve literally set up. I understand where my attention is and how I want to spend my time. And I have people I’ll have people pay me about new things they want to do on my bandwidth.

Brian Mackenzie: Right now, I’m good, man. I really appreciate your reaching out. I realize this could be an awesome project to do. I I’m in. I am in a very good place with as much as I can handle. I’m good.

Dean Pohlman: You know, I think I can’t remember the exact time that that I interview. You do? The first time. But there’s a there’s a there’s a noticeable difference in your demeanor. Thank you. Yeah. Like you it’s it’s noticeable. Is palpable. Thanks. Thank you. It’s pretty cool. That’s and congrats on getting in and congrats on getting engaged.

Brian Mackenzie: That’s also an Thank you. Thank you. It is. Yeah. I’m very happy about that. Very happy about life. Very happy about where things are at. It took some work, but, you know, look, we all get to places where it’s like we’re taking every opportunity we can get in order to make it happen. And what I found out about that was that saying yes to everything.

Brian Mackenzie: And I said no to men. I didn’t value my time.

Dean Pohlman: Right.

Brian Mackenzie: I did not value myself. And I, I was taking anything and everything, trying to make something happen out of a turd sandwich in some place. Right. But there were beautiful opportunities in there as well. Right? And it’s just like, Yeah, but the more I started to understand myself and look at my own behavior, I stopped trying to improve anything and I just started blockading my time like it was the most important thing I’ve got because I truly do believe that like it is.

Brian Mackenzie: And who I spend it with is a part of that, Right? So that means there is important to me is my own time.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: We’re going to have another conversation and go into just how of how of how you went about doing this over the last few years.

Brian Mackenzie: Well, I mean, it’s actually pretty simple that the easy version of it is, is it’s like, you know, we’re all playing this kind of game out here in the world right now. We’re we’re trying to pay the bills and earn money right. Well, you know, I mean, I’ve been all over the world. I was just down in Costa Rica, and it reminded me, you know, this reminded me when we went out that when we went down to Costa Rica, as we stayed this property on the beach, in the jungle, and there was this couple that was taking care of the property.

Brian Mackenzie: They weren’t the owner of the house. They on the property and took care of things. They were obviously kind of made a little bit of money, but they were allowed to live on the highway. They had nothing. They just had their little dogs. They had very little they they fished every night for their food. They grew their own food.

Brian Mackenzie: Right. And I was like and these two people were so friggin happy, like, so happy. And it reminded me again of the fact that if is it making money that’s going to make you happy. Because I know I know a number of billionaires and they’re miserable. I know one that’s not I know a lot of people who make an absolute metric ton of money, maybe not billions, but are absolutely miserable.

Brian Mackenzie: I know people who are make that are middle class, that are absolutely miserable chasing this thing. They think they need to be doing. Can I live within the means of what it is I’m doing? Can I be happy within that? And that was what I came to the conclusion of. I don’t need to being make more, do more, be more.

Brian Mackenzie: And yet every instant I like every day I’m shocked at how much money people want to pay me to do the things I’m doing.

Dean Pohlman:

Brian Mackenzie: I’m fine. I’m content. I don’t need more.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: I have the people in my life I want. I don’t need to do what society’s doing and chasing all this stuff anymore. I don’t need to do it. I’m content.

Dean Pohlman: Yeah.

Brian Mackenzie: And yet I still make money. Weird.

Dean Pohlman: I know.

Brian Mackenzie: Now I’m like. Like, it’s just. It’s the oddest thing. I’m not chasing that thing, that carrot, and yet I’m putting carrots in the basket every day.

Dean Pohlman: That’s awesome.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah.

Dean Pohlman: Cool. Well, it was an awesome conversation, as always. And I’m truly happy for you. I’m excited that you’re back where were you? Plan on plan on dying. And obviously don’t want that to happen anytime soon, but it sounds like you’re doing really well. Breathing, walking, not getting too into the weeds with fitness fads, By the way, I think everyone can benefit Breathwork.

Dean Pohlman: And I’ve got a couple programs that do a really good job of that called a series called the Breath Series. But we don’t truly go into only focusing on the breath. So that is what Brian does with Shift Adapt. So we’ll put the we’ll put the we’ll put the link for that in in the show notes here so people can check that out.

Dean Pohlman: Do you have anything specific? Do you have like a beginners course with that or, or.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah, there’s an entry into breath work if they just go to shift adapt dot com forward slash breathwork, they will get a taste of kind of just doing some breathing exercises, connecting that to an assessment so that they can understand where they’re at. Secondarily to that is our membership, which is like it’s, I mean it’s 30 bucks a month, you’ll give it a shot for 30 bucks and you’ve got an entry.

Brian Mackenzie: You’ve got entry with breathing and moving. So just understanding that, then you’ve got entry into how we play with strength and conditioning and how we integrate, integrate breathing into that.

Dean Pohlman: You mentioned breathing. You mentioned focusing on nose breathing between sets the last time yet.

Brian Mackenzie: Yeah. So, you know, getting your breathing back down to calm, nasal breathing like that is a very good indicator that you are recovered from things that more so than most other things time, whatever that said, we integrate all of that into it. We’re about to go into a cycle and the next two weeks where we’re going to be using heart rate zone and training and connecting that up to the breathing gears and how somebody actually can develop very, very robust fitness per se or high level aerobic efficiency see through this mechanism.

Dean Pohlman: Cool. Now.

Dean Pohlman: All right. So guys that for go take out a go check out shift adapt Brian thanks much for joining me for the conversation is a pleasure.

Brian Mackenzie: Thanks for having.

Dean Pohlman: Me. Yeah I hope to have you on again soon, guys. Hope you enjoyed this episode. I’ll see you on the next one.


Your breath is the best indicator of how well you handle stress. By handling your stress better, everything becomes easier and conquerable. If you want to improve your breathing, go to Brian’s website here: https://shiftadapt.com/breathwork/

Want to unlock more flexibility and strength, reduce your risk of injury, and feel your absolute best over the next 7 days? Then join the FREE 7-Day Beginner’s Yoga for Men Challenge here: https://ManFlowYoga.com/7dc

Tired of doing a form of yoga that causes more injuries than it helps prevent? The cold, hard truth is men need yoga specifically designed for them. Well, here’s some good news: You can start your 7-day free trial to Man Flow Yoga by visiting https://ManFlowYoga.com/join.

Resources mentioned on this episode: 

  1. Receive a free daily breathing plan based on your Breathing Calculator results: Your breath gives you important insights into your overall health. Take Brian’s Breathing Calculator test here and receive a free daily breathing plan when you finish: https://shiftadapt.com/breath-calculator/ 
  2. Go to Brian’s website, Shift Adapt: If you’d like to learn more about Brian’s company, Shift Adapt, and how he can help you boost your health and longevity, visit his website here: https://shiftadapt.com 
  3. Sign up for the MFY Breath Series: If you want to work on your breath and yoga practice at the same time, I invite you to sign up for the MFY Breath Series here: https://manflowyoga.tv/programs/collection-breath-series-challenge

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