Building a consistent movement practice is an essential component to our overall health. However, to have a complete fitness routine, it requires more than just moving throughout the day.
Brian Keane is on the show to teach us how to build an all-around fitness routine which incorporates habit changes around eating, stress management, and sleep quality.
Brian is another podcaster, so we had a phenomenal conversation together to chat all about leveling up your fitness routine.
What To Expect From This Episode
- What it was like to train for ultra endurance races in harsh conditions
- The main foundations of a top-level fitness regimine
- Ways to manage stress even when life is extremely stressful
- How to improve sleep quality
- [0:00] Welcome to the Summit For Wellness Podcast
- [2:30] What is one of Brian Keane's most memorable fitness achievements
- [11:00] How long did it take Brian to recover from his Achilles injury
- [12:00] How well did Brian adapt to the temperatures in the Sahara when he did his ultra endurance race
- [14:15] When Brian was a teacher, did it bother him seeing kids stuck in a chair all of the time
- [16:30] What are some of the main components that make up an all-around fitness routine
- [19:30] What are some good ways to manage your stress from work and find ways to relax when we live in a work-heavy culture
- [24:30] If you are using an 80/20 approach, is it better to do an 80/20 every single day, or 80/20 on a weekly basis
- [26:30] What are some early signs to pay attention to that are indicative of being overly stressed
- [30:00] Does Brian use any wearables to track different health metrics
- [32:30] How can people create better habits before bed to get adequate sleep
- [37:15] You do everything right for your sleep, but then your little kid walks in at midnight. What can you do to improve sleep during those situations
- [39:30] What is the optimal way to wake up in the morning
- [43:00] What does Brian Keane's daily routine look like
- [47:00] "I don't have time" should be switched with 'I can't prioritize that at this time"
Resources From This Episode
Some of these resources may contain affiliate links, which provides a small commission to me (at no extra expense to you).
Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
[00:00:14] Bryan Carroll: Are you ready to level up your fitness routine? If so you're in luck because today I have Brian Keane onto the show and we're going to be discussing a more effective approach to a fitness routine other than just working out.
[00:00:28] So when it comes to an effective fitness routine, you have to take into account nutrition, stress management, and sleep. And those are some of the stuff that we'll be discussing today. What's up everyone. I'm Brian Carroll and I'm here to help people move more, eat well and be admitted. And this was a really fun episode with Brian because he is also a podcaster he's had over 370 episodes.
[00:00:50] So we got into a really nice rhythm and routine that chatting with each other, all about fitness and how to. Change the way that you perceive stress and how to really enhance your body, to be able to better adapt to what life throws at us and all of that encompasses a better overall health and wellness approach for our assistance.
[00:01:12] So Brian over the last seven years has gone from working full-time as a school teacher to being one of Ireland's in the UK is leading thought leaders on all things, health, fitness, and nutrition. He is also the author of two best sellers, the fitness mindset and rewire your mind. And he also has some really neat accomplishments when it comes to different fitness achievements as well, such as competing in different endurance races, ultras, et cetera, in really tough environments.
[00:01:42] So like the Sahara desert, for example, this was a really fun one. So let's dive into my conversation with Brian. Thank you, Brian, for coming onto the show.
[00:01:52] Brian Keane: Bryan, I'm really looking forward to chatting. It's been going through a couple of your episodes on the podcast and we got to chat a bit before we went on air.
[00:01:58] So really looking forward to.
[00:02:01] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. And if anyone gets confused the one with the accent is Brian with an eye. The one without the accent is Bryan with a Y. So we'll just clarify that right here from the beginning. But Brian, I know that you do a lot of different fitness type of stuff, a lot of different exercise some stuff like fitness modeling, endurance training, all that type of stuff.
[00:02:19] So can you give us a little bit of your history and background and what is one of your most memorable fitness achievements?
[00:02:28] Brian Keane: To go through my backstory. I've got kind of a bit of a different. Area to most fitness people when it comes to how I kind of got into the fitness industry. So I used to be an elementary school teacher.
[00:02:39] So before I was doing any fitness modeling before I was competing in bodybuilding, before I was doing endurance events, before I was doing any social media or writing books, I was a teacher. So for four years I worked as an elementary school teacher. And to be honest, Brian had no. Aspirations to leave us apart from the fact that teaching felt like a job to me, that it was okay.
[00:03:00] It wasn't that I loved it, but I also didn't hate us. And we're not one of the jobs I went in. Thankfully, I got very lucky with this in hindsight, when I was teaching a what was a year three, so a third grade class in London, in the UK. I'm from Ireland in the west of Ireland, but I was teaching in London, in the UK.
[00:03:19] After coming back from California, I worked over there with Berkeley university, teaching soccer, moved back then and worked full time as a primary school teacher. And I went into a job that I felt very unprepared for. And I hated it. I absolutely would. Couldn't believe that I'd spent all this time, energy, money focused, studying to become a teacher.
[00:03:42] And this was going to be the next 40 years of my life. And I had a real pity party for myself. I remember telling my mom who is the closest person to me, how much I hated what I was doing. And she asked me something, a question that I've put to so many people since, and she asked, what would you do for free?
[00:04:02] And I had never thought about that question ever. My version of what success looked like was that you went to college, you got a good, safe and quote unquote safe and secure job. And you know, you got married, had 2.3 kids and retired and you die. Like subconsciously. That's what I thought success looked like.
[00:04:20] And she said, what would you do for free? And I thought I would work in a gym for free. I was like, I love working out. I love training. I love being in that environment. And she said, okay, why don't you go and try and do that. So for the next two years, I went and got all my certifications for fitness instructor, personal training, strength and conditioning.
[00:04:42] And I worked as a teacher during the day. And I worked as a personal trainer in a gym at nighttime. And every time I got paid. For half an hour or an hour of personal training in the gym. I couldn't believe people were paying me first. And it got to the point where I felt I had to make this jump. I had to try and make it work full time.
[00:05:01] So I moved out of London and moved back home to the west of Ireland. Basically starting from zero, you know what I call my ladder being up against the right wall with teaching, I felt like I had spent years climbing a ladder, got to the top and realized there was up against the wrong wall. And with personal training and fitness, it felt like my ladder was against the right wall.
[00:05:21] And one of the ways that I try to establish myself as a trainer was these fitness modeling competition. So they were getting quite popular around 2014. And. I struggled for brand recognition. I had no social media. I had no podcast. I'd written no books. There was nothing like that. But I thought these shows might give me a jumping off point for people to get to know who I was.
[00:05:46] And I get more clients as a result and it worked 100%. Did I went and did very well in those shows, I got a pro card. My first year of competing, which basically just means you can compete for money for anyone unfamiliar with the world. And it's just competitive bodybuilding. If you think of it, you're, you're going in, you're stepping on stage and then you're traveling around doing photo shoots and getting paid for things like that.
[00:06:05] And a couple of years of doing that, I transitioned my business online and my daughter was born in 2015. And that. My kind of up call away from the world of bodybuilding and fitness model. And it was very all consuming for me at the time, because you were dieting and extremely in a very extreme caloric deficit state.
[00:06:24] So you were just walking around like a zombie while I was walking around like a zombie half the time and my daughter was born and I was struggling to even pay attention to what she was doing. Cause I was just so tired all the time. So I left. Bodybuilding fitness modeling and transitioned my business online.
[00:06:41] And over the space of several years, I transitioned into writing books. My first book, the fitness mindset was an international bestseller. It's been 16 weeks on the Amazon bestseller list. I did that book did better than I ever dreamed. W w like beyond my big dreams of how well it did. And then I brought a couple more rewire your mindset.
[00:07:01] Two years later in my most recent one, the age mastering the mindset for real lasting fat loss came out in January of this year. Again, hit the Irish bestseller list as well. And I moved out and started documenting more of my journey online. So my biggest fitness achievements to pull it back to your original question.
[00:07:18] It's a combination between two things in 2018, I ran, well, I used the term loosely. I hobbled and moved a race in the Sahara desert called marathon to sob, which for anyone I'm familiar with that world is six back to back marathons through the Sahara desert in Morocco self-sufficient so you carry all your food on your back.
[00:07:42] You carry everything on your back and you. Do six marathons back to back. When I say run, as I said after day one, after a single marathon, my legs were completely gone. So it was more of a shuffle and horrible for the next five marathons over the next five days. And that partly was one of my biggest achievements because I'm not built and have never been built like a runner.
[00:08:05] And I'm not a great runner. I have a bodybuilding background. Sports person before that I play a Gaelic football, which is like a combination between NFL and NBA basketball and football in the states. And so I, I'm quite a big build. I'm five foot, 8 85 kilos, which I'm not sure what the equivalent is in pounds, but, you know, I built like a Hubbard I'm not built to run, you know?
[00:08:28] And so I struggled so much, but running for that event. And then a year later, I wanted to set myself another challenge. So I ran 230 kilometers over five days to the Arctic, and that was completely of destroying for a completely different reason. 86 kilometers. From the end of that race, I tore my Achilles and every step.
[00:08:53] Your Achilles for anyone unfamiliar is at the back of your heel. And every step for 86 kilometers felt like someone was shooting me with a cattle prod. And I, I finished it. You know, it was probably my biggest physical achievement because I couldn't move for like, it was, it put me out of training for six months when I came home.
[00:09:12] But I finished it and I got to the end. I crossed the Arctic circle line 2019 in February, 2019. So those two would probably be my two biggest fitness achievements for different reasons. One with marathon Dessau, it felt like I had blown all those self limiting beliefs. Out of the water because I wasn't sure I was going to be able to do it until I finished this.
[00:09:34] And the Arctic changed my relationship with pain. It made me realize that we are so much stronger than we think we are mentally, physically, emotionally. If we can just get our head right. And get our mindset, right. We can do incredible things. And I came back with a completely different relationship to pain that I could push my body, push my mind, push my emotional state through things that.
[00:10:01] I never thought possible. Like one of the things Brian I was always afraid of was I've been very fortunate. Both of my parents are still alive and obviously my daughter's alive and well and happy and my partner, but I was always afraid of what would happen when my mom died. And I was always afraid of what might happen when someone close to me died.
[00:10:17] And would I be strong enough to not break when that happened? And when the air to came, it made be. Think about how strong I am and Jordan, the psychologist says, you know, be the strongest person at your parent's funeral. And that experience taught me that. I can be an Oak tree in a storm and I can survive and I can push through these things.
[00:10:39] And my message online generally to people now is you're a lot stronger than you think that yes, you don't have to run through the Arctic or run through the Sahara or any of these crazy things, but there's something in your life. Is uncomfortable for you to do that. If you consistently did, you would get mentally tougher, more mentally resilient, and you could push through things because you're a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for.
[00:11:00] So that's a long-winded way of my background and my greatest fitness achievements. So far.
[00:11:06] Bryan Carroll: How long was the recovery for the
[00:11:08] Brian Keane: Achilles, but six months. But I have to clarify, I probably. Could have recovered in three months, but I pushed try to get back training and I re-injured it, and it put me out for about six months, so I couldn't run, I could train.
[00:11:22] So I was able to do, like, I was walking around with a big chest and arms shoulders. Cause that's all I could do. So like every day was arm day. But for six months they put me out, I wasn't able to run and I was about a year before I was able to run quite comfortably.
[00:11:37] Bryan Carroll: No, I don't know if you're similar to me in this, but living in Washington, I'm very used to mild summers, some mild weather in the summers.
[00:11:45] And then in the winter time, it's usually cold and rainy. And so when it comes to hot temperatures, I struggled massively. So did you experience that when you did your the, the ultra down there in the Sahara.
[00:11:59] Brian Keane: It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. And I'm similar because Ireland is very similar to seminar climate to Washington in terms of lots of rain.
[00:12:09] It doesn't get that hot. It doesn't get that cold, but I did a lot of work in the sauna. To prepare for the Sahara. So I was doing 40 50 minute sessions in the sauna, just a climatize in my body to the heat. Now I got some great benefits off the back of that. Like I started to look into things like, you know, BDNF brain derived neurotropic factor that comes from the heat shock proteins, et cetera, from exposing yourself to heat.
[00:12:33] So I got these massive mental health benefits off the back of unintentionally trained them for the Sahara. So it's something that I still have in my routine. Bush. No. With the exception of maybe one period of about 10 miles where it felt very, very harsh. I didn't find it too bad. It, because there's a breeze weirdly enough in the Sahara.
[00:12:55] Now the Arctic was cooler than I imagined. So it to play contrast on that the Sahara wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. I thought I was really going to struggle with that coming from Ireland over to an environment that. Very unfamiliar with, but it was fine. It never, it didn't really play a role.
[00:13:12] Other things were an issue in all their snow, our sand storms. And, you know, I lost the use of my left eye on the first day, because sand went into it and you can't fix it. So I was effectively like for the whole evening and night pouring water into my eye, trying to get the sand out now, it was fine by the second day.
[00:13:32] So they were kind of unexpected things that you couldn't control. These sorts of events and challenges. And I know there's a lot of people listening to this podcast who are kind of career-driven, you do things at the weekend. Challenges, claims, races, whatever it is, but there's certain things you can control controlling the controllable, then that's important to do, but there's also an element of just things can get thrown in your direction that you're not going to be prepared for.
[00:13:55] So I was prepared for the heat. I wasn't prepared for some of the other things in contrast with the Arctic, which as I said, was considerably cooler than I thought it was going to be.
[00:14:06] Bryan Carroll: No, I have to ask as someone who really appreciates the movement capabilities of the human body, when you were a teacher, did it bother seeing you seeing all these kids kind of stuck in a chair or at a desk for a such long periods of time?
[00:14:21] Without moment,
[00:14:23] Brian Keane: my kids were spoiled because they never missed. Physical education PE or anything that was active. So I think I have a bias because I would do a lot of lessons and classes that require them to move because I was, I was that boy, like I hated primary school in elementary school as a kid, because I had really bad ADHD.
[00:14:46] I just couldn't sit still. And that made me quite a good teacher, particularly with boy heavy classes, because I know what it felt like. So I would get them up and I would get the move in and I would do coordination games in between lessons. So they would have, you know, games where they would be catching a small ball with a single hand and one behind their back.
[00:15:03] And I would be doing coordination games with them, whether it be getting up and moving in between lessons and in between classes one, I thought it was better for the overall. Everything that I read. I was at the time doing a master's in pedagogy. So I was learning about learning styles. And I thought that this was something that would help with the retention of information that we were doing.
[00:15:24] So I, there was method to the madness as well, but no, I hate it. I hate the traditional setup. It was parallel. One of the reasons why I left teaching, but my kids always got active. They always, we didn't miss PE. So, but I think that was more bias off me based on my background and what I.
[00:15:42] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. Yeah, that's good to hear.
[00:15:44] I know I'm where I'm at. For a period of time there, they were trying to start reducing and even getting rid of PE classes and other stuff to add in more stem type of classes, which is a total bummer. Cause I mean, being third graders or just elementary school in general, we gotta move you. Can't just sit there and learn about technology all day long.
[00:16:06] Could not good.
[00:16:07] Brian Keane: Couldn't agree. More. Could not agree more with you, Brian.
[00:16:10] Bryan Carroll: Yeah, it's crazy. Now with your approach to fitness, it's a lot more than just, you know, exercising and adding in a training program. You have a lot of other components to it. So what are kind of the main components that you utilize to improve someone's fitness level?
[00:16:27] Brian Keane: I think a big misconception in the fitness industry in general is isolating parts and. Nutrition and training, although a huge component of a fitness regimen. Are just that there are components of an overall regimen. And when we think of fitness, most people will think of food and they'll think of nutrition and that is important.
[00:16:51] And they'll think of training. They'll think of movement moving, and that is important, but you also have to look at your recovery. You have to look at your sleep quality. If so, look at your mindset in general and your ability to manage your stress levels. All of these things contribute to whatever goal it is.
[00:17:05] You're trying to hit losing. Building muscle, getting fitter, getting healthier, improving vitality. You have to look at it as a whole. And I think when we break it into the component parrots we do with the service as personal trainers, as nutritionist, as professionals in the space by. Not tying it all together and people's lives.
[00:17:25] And some people will get a bigger bang from their book, fixing their sleep than they were looking at their nutrition by all means, look good at all. But if you're someone who struggles with sleep and you've really bad food cravings, Those two things can be, are heavily connected if you're looking at the scientific research.
[00:17:42] So you look at your sleep quality, you focus on that. You regulate those hormones, ghrelin and leptin, hunger, satiation hormones that become downregulated with lack of sleep, which struggle, which makes people struggle with dietary adherence and stick into a nutritional plan. And you look at the mindset.
[00:17:55] Managing stress is huge. If you're in a career and a job where you're working to deadlines and you're working to target. You need to have a stress management technique, whatever that looks like this falls on different examples. In my last book, I talk about the active versus the passive methods and the extreme versus the non extreme.
[00:18:14] So extreme versions of, of stress would be acute stressors, like short bursts of exercise. Exposure to cold exposure to heat. All of those short, acute stressors help you deal with chronic stress or chronic cortisol, elevation of stress hormone all the way down to, you know, meditation apps or journaling, or just having somebody that you can talk to that all helps reduce stress.
[00:18:36] So I think when you look at it as a whole, you end up getting better results and that's something in terms of conversations like this. And on my platforms that I try and bring a little bit more awareness to.
[00:18:48] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. From my understanding with Europe, you have a lot better stress management practices built into the workforce, like over here in the U S you're lucky to get two weeks of vacation time a year.
[00:19:00] And I think a lot of European countries, I started at like five weeks or something like that. So definitely over here in this. A lot of people are stuck in this rat race of having to work all the time. And then they don't really get that downtime to relax and de stress. So for people in those types of situations where it's really hard to break free of that work model and it's really hard to relax in any way.
[00:19:25] What can people do? Simple things to reduce stress in other ways.
[00:19:32] Brian Keane: It's a great question, Brian. And I think it comes back and ties in unintentionally to the ultras. We talked about earlier about controlling the controllables when you're in the U S and I lived in the U S. That imbalance is all, is going to be there for the foreseeable future and complaining about it and giving out about it for it.
[00:19:51] It's very easy to do. I've done it myself when I've been in those positions where I'm like, Aw, having a pity party for myself, but we can't control it and we can't change it, but we can change how we see us and we can choose to put in stress management techniques that support us. We're not going to get five weeks in the U S for the most part, unless you're in a very luxurious position where your company or your job offers that.
[00:20:15] But what you can do is look at things that will manage your stress day to day. So two that I've mentioned that are basic bedrocks outside of the tactics of, you know, he's called training journaling. Meditation is your nutrition and your sleep now. I never want to be to the mouth of the hammer, the hole where it looks like a nail.
[00:20:33] So as a nutritionist, as someone who specializes in this, I never wanted to be like nutrition, fixes everything, but nutrition does play a big role in how you feel. And if you're eating poor quality food. And when I say poor food choices, I'm talking too many low nutrient foods, something I've tried to change the conversation around, particularly with people I work with.
[00:20:54] Separating food into good and bad categories. I don't necessarily think that's a great idea that eater either food has no morals. You know, a piece of broccoli is not going to save you from a burning building and, you know, chocolate bars not gonna stab you down a back alley. Like there's no good or bad food.
[00:21:07] It has no morals, but there are low nutrient foods and there are low calorie foods and there's high nutrient food and there's high calorie foods. And there's a combination of everything in between. But if you can eat mostly nutrient foods, nutrient dense foods, lots of plans. Completely assuming you're not following a plant-based diet, complete proteins or.
[00:21:27] Healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and that 80% of your nutrition. And then you've got your 20% with the foods that you love, chocolate cookies, beer, wine, whatever it is you're going to do quite well. When it comes to output your energy levels, you'll feel better. And as a result, and it was a result, you have a reduction in stress.
[00:21:45] And what that will do is it will support and enhance your sleep quality generally. So if you're. Consuming too much sugar. If you're not consuming too much caffeine or stimulants, you're probably going to enhance your level of sleep quality. And as a result of that, it will come back to what I said earlier.
[00:22:00] You have those regulation of those hormones that keep you satiated that tell you and keep you full when you're feeling full, those hormones, ghrelin and leptin in particular, those two. Get down regulated with poor sleep. So it makes it very difficult to stick to any nutritional strategy because you're hungry all the time because your leptin is downregulated and your, or your gremlins down down-regulated and your, your satiation.
[00:22:21] You're not feeling satiated when you do eat because of your Grella mean down regulators, you can balance those off. So look at your nutrition, look at your sleep. Look at your exercise as an area that you'll know, Brian, that hopefully a lot of people listening will know based off the great content you're putting out on the podcast.
[00:22:38] Training is a stressor, but it's an acute stressor. It's a short term stressor. Can be really beneficial to managing long-term stress. But also if you're someone who loves working out and training, you will need to understand that it's stress and cortisol in particular is communitive, which means that it doesn't necessarily matter where it's coming from.
[00:22:59] It all adds up. So if you're really stressed at work and then you go and start smashing workouts, 5, 6, 7 days a week, you're going to. That negative impact. That's, you know, central nervous system fatigue that excess of cortisol where you're feeling sick all the time or your sex drive is low or you're fatigued and lethargic and walking around, feeling tired all the time.
[00:23:22] So you need to get the balance, right. And that balance. And I hate saying this as someone that would love to say, do X and you get why that balance is subjective to the person based on. How you're eating, how you're sleeping, how stressed you are currently and what you can handle. So what I'd say is a best practice is look at your food.
[00:23:40] Nutrient intake choices, as much as possible, that 80 20 rule look at your sleep quality, getting good quality sleep. 7, 8, 9 hours every night, whatever you need. It's it's individual to the person. And then look at your training load. Do you need three workouts a week? Do you need four workouts a week, five workouts a week?
[00:23:56] Where's your sweet spot for where you feel less stressed and you feel your best. And then it's just a rinse and repeat.
[00:24:04] Bryan Carroll: What is a more effective 80 20 model? Would it be 80, 20 every single day or 80, 20 week by week. So for instance, like a week by week situation, if you eat healthy or really well Monday through Friday, and then you just eat all your beer and chocolate on all that stuff Saturday and Sunday, is that less beneficial than having that dripped in a little bit?
[00:24:27] Every single. Well, taking
[00:24:29] Brian Keane: away the metabolic function, the physiological function, I would approach that from a behavioral standpoint and what works better for the individual. What you can stick to and sustain over time is always going to be the best approach. So if you're somebody that has that nearly all or nothing, Monday or Friday, but I like to relax at the weekend that 80 20 for you is probably going to look like that where you're a lot more regimented with your food choices Monday, Friday, and then you enjoy your weekends.
[00:24:57] You take, I do it in programs. I call it a flexible weekend approach that works great for some people where there's others who are much better with the moderation approach, where they. 80% of their daily nutrition was really good. And then they have their, you know, couple of glasses of wine or a couple of beers or their chocolate bars or cookies at nighttime.
[00:25:15] And they do that every single day. And it's just, it's very much down to personality type on what connects with you. The funny thing about that, I talk about this in the last book I've got two male characters. One is Carolyn. Carol cold Turkey and Mary moderation, where you tend to have people that have fallen on two sides of the coin, where they, the thought of going the entire week and wait until the weekend to have their beer and have their cookies.
[00:25:39] They're like, oh my God, I couldn't do that. I need something every day. But there's other people who are like, I can't do it that way. I would prefer it to be super strict Monday to Friday, and then have leniency at the weekend. And the people who are on one side tend to not be able to see how the other people do.
[00:25:56] It's so funny because I always meet the Carolyn Cole turkeys and the Mary moderations, and then they can't figure out how the other person does it their way. But the answer is, it depends on what works best for you. So based on your personality type, you'll probably connect with one and mess one. Tactic more than the other.
[00:26:12] So my suggestion would be that that's the route you go.
[00:26:15] Bryan Carroll: Are there any specific warning signs that can let you know if your stress level is getting too high? Like do people become snappier and do they become hangry? Do they start snacking more? Do they start gaining weight? Any of those types of things?
[00:26:30] Brian Keane: It's a belter of a question because what happens with a lot of people, Brian, is they confused? Too much stress in, in the fitness world. It's under training versus are over-training versus under recovery. I get asked that question at least once a week where people are like, am I over-training? And my answer for 95% of people is no you're under.
[00:26:54] And over-training is if an insurance that somebody who's doing 5, 6, 7 hours a day, six, seven days a week. Yeah, they're going to be over-training but the majority of people are under recovering and those who are training four or five days a week with stressful life. I can get the symptoms of what's overtraining, it's basically just too much stress.
[00:27:14] It actually doesn't matter where it comes from, whether it's from training, as I said, stresses community. So it doesn't matter whether you get it from too much training or a combination of issues at home mixed with stress work stressors mixed with too much training, it all adds up. Cortisol is your body at the end of the day, in terms of the amount that builds up in the system and what can happen with those is there's yellow flags.
[00:27:36] Before those red flags red flag of too much stress looks like complete, full blown burnout, where you feel like you've been hit by a bus every single morning, and you have no get up and go like you're you're, you're, you're not depressed cause you don't feel mentally off, but you have the symptoms of that physically.
[00:27:55] You just, you have to pull yourself out of bed. Thanks. There's yellow flags before that. And I know there's a lot of high-achievers listening to this podcast and it's very important to, particularly as someone who identifies as a type a personality, I have that default go, go, go, go, go. So I run the risk of burnout and I run the risk of that as much as anybody, because that's my default personality type, but looking for those yellow flags, because you can override them, someone's that come up and they come up in different shapes and forms.
[00:28:26] One is low sex drive. So sex drive, just no interest in us. You probably can do it male or female, but you don't really want it that. And another is your hunger levels. Either this installed paradoxical, but either you keep eating and can't get full or you have no appetite at all, that it tends to show up in one of those two sites that the dependent on how somebody, how stress and cortisol affects them.
[00:28:53] So you'll see that the third, that is the immune function. You're getting sick all the time. So you're picking up every cold that's going and you've got the flu multiple times a year. So what you'll generally see. You'll find it in those systems. You can start to have those, those, those breakdown in the, in the systems and the physiology and the hormonal system, sex drive, immune function, et cetera.
[00:29:14] So you're looking for those yellow flags and it's not a day-to-day thing. It's not that you wake up today and you're like, oh, I'm not really in the mood. You know, I'm not really in the mood for. Females. This is more so because that goes up and down based on the menstrual cycle, but I'm talking 28 days out of 30 where you don't want to, or you're sick for 15 out of 30 days of the month.
[00:29:34] And that happens three months in a row or. R 28 days where you just keep eating and can't get full or 28 of 30 days where you're just, you're not hungry, you're eating because you know, you have to, they're yellow signals, they're yellow flags that cortisol and stress is too high. And if you keep going the way you're going, you're going to burn out and you need to put a plan in place around us.
[00:29:59] Bryan Carroll: I like that. Do you ever use other data like from watches or anything like that
[00:30:05] Brian Keane: personally? No. And. I have a very love, hate relationship with fitness watches, particularly like I love I've got a Garmin and I love it for a track in my rest periods for swims things along those lines, big fan. But when it comes to things like particularly calories burnt and sleep quality, they're very inactive.
[00:30:25] As of now, like they're slightly better than randomly throwing darts against the dartboard and picking a number, but just to just, just slightly. So until that technology catches up and it will, I'm sure it will put for now at the time of this recording, April 20, 22, they're not crazily accurate. So I generally don't use them for them.
[00:30:45] Bryan Carroll: Yeah, I'm always curious about that. Cause you hear about like the aura rings and all that stuff. I also have a Garmin watch and I use it for a lot of different activities, especially in the mountains, but a lot of the other data is just kind of. I look at it, but I don't put a whole lot of faith in it.
[00:31:01] Cause I know there's a lot of room for error. Yep. But it's kind of interesting to see and hopefully in the future, you know, all that information will get better and more accurate.
[00:31:10] Brian Keane: I think it will. I think it's a matter of time. I put a section in the last book cause I try and make my books evergreen, meaning that.
[00:31:17] Th you could read it in 10 years and it will make as much sense then as it does now. But I have a caveat in the section on fitness watches, and I put this as the only part of the book that if you're reading this at the time of writing, this is inaccurate. These sources of trackers Bush in the next few years, I reckon they will be considerably more accurate.
[00:31:37] Bryan Carroll: Yup. Yup. For sure. One thing that a lot of people struggle with is getting. Good restful sleep. And I know there's a lot of factors, nutrition, stress, all that type of stuff that can impact sleep. But what are some other things that people tend to do that limits their sleep that they probably shouldn't do such as, you know, like sitting on their phones and watching YouTube videos right before bed.
[00:32:01] That's something that I do. And I know that interrupts my sleep. So are there other things like that that people should know. Do less of if they want high quality
[00:32:10] Brian Keane: sleep, I'm curious. And I will answer that directly, Brian, but do you know why that impacts your sleep in a negative way?
[00:32:18] Bryan Carroll: Because it makes me stay up later because I fall down the YouTube rabbit hole and I go from video to video to video, and then I'm like, I just lost an hour and a half.
[00:32:25] Cool. Okay.
[00:32:26] Brian Keane: So that's
[00:32:28] Bryan Carroll: the there's actually then also the blue screen.
[00:32:30] Brian Keane: There's also the physiological aspects, which is, I think, slightly misunderstood. Melatonin, is it not? Is it is the hormone that'll help you fall asleep to keep it very simple? Like if you think of cortisol and melatonin and they're kind of opposite sides of the spectrum, cortisol is your stress hormone.
[00:32:48] It's what wakes you up in the morning. Melatonin's on the opposite side and it's, it tends to go up as the day goes on and as the sun goes down and it helps you feel sleepy, that gets blocked out when you. Blue screen or on a screen with blue lights. So your phone, et cetera. So like a blue light blocking app or blue light blocking glasses can, can help that quite a lot.
[00:33:07] But what I'd say with sleep and I'm in a touristy, poor sleep or somebody that spent years reading books, researching interviewing some of the leading experts in the world that I could get my hands on for my podcast for sleep all, to get my own sleep dialed in. And the biggest thing. Was having a routine.
[00:33:31] So having a sleep routine that you stick to 99 out of a hundred times, and I went through a phase, I still get up pretty early. I got up about 6:00 AM, but I went through a phase of getting up the 5:00 AM club for a couple of years, particularly when I was doing longer training session for races, et cetera, because I want it to be up before the rest of my family and have a Dawn before anyone else was up and.
[00:33:56] I would have that set get up time every day, which actually is straight, straight forward. You set an alarm and you get up, but going to bed, as you've mentioned, when you go down the YouTube rabbit hole, amongst other things that can pull your attention is actually very hurt and having a set bedtime, something that I have a set near my daughter's nearly seven, having a seven year old.
[00:34:17] It shows me how important it is for her quality of life to have a set bedtime. And as soon as we become adults, we remove that, you know, it's one of those things that when I was seven or eight, I was like, I can't wait, like eat as many sweets as I wanted to go to bed as late as I want. You know? And now in my thirties, I'm like the sweets make me feel sick if I have too many and I needed a bedtime to have a good night's sleep.
[00:34:38] So it comes full circle or half circle or whatever you want to label it. But having a routine. Now another thing to focus on is individual sleep requirements, vary greatly person to person. They're not always stagnant and stable, and some people need seven hours. Some people need eight and some people need nine hours plus, and that varies depending on what you've been doing generally during the day and how your life is at the diminish.
[00:35:03] So if you are training quite intensely, your sleep requirements are probably going to go up. You can listen to your body with that. But contrary to that, somebody who's not that active. Although most of the people listening to this podcast air, but in periods of your life, when you're not that active, you might find that actually you don't need eight hours.
[00:35:22] You're fine on seven or you're fine on seven and a half. And that extra is actually making you groggier and it's making you feel more tired when you wake up. People have this eight hour rule in their head and yes, that's a good, best practice and targets to aim for Bush. Your requirements might fall shorter than that or below that.
[00:35:41] And they might fall higher than that. So you need to experiment with it. And the last thing, when it comes to. And this is, I'm probably biased here on my own experiments experience based on somebody that is a self-proclaimed over-thinker and like can struggle with anxiety and just thoughts rushing through my head.
[00:35:57] I think it's a very typical type a thing, journaling and getting all the thoughts in my head out before I put my head in the pillow, the simple. And most effective thing that I would have said no chance of journaling. I'm like, give me a drug, like give me some melatonin or give me like asleep and tablets.
[00:36:18] That that would have been 10 years ago. My goal too, I'm like, give me something stronger. I'm not going to journal. Like that's not going to help, but. It just that cathartic release of getting all the tasks out of my head. I'll normally write down everything I have to do the following day before I go to bed.
[00:36:33] And then any other thoughts that are racing through my head and as a result, it helps me sleep better. Now that one's a bit more personal to me, there are other things that people can potentially experiment with, but they're ones that I tend to find have a very good return on investment for not a lot of money, time or energy.
[00:36:50] Bryan Carroll: So you do everything right? You journal, you set your bedtime and your wake up time. You're very consistent. You're a little kid comes in at midnight, interrupts your asleep and they do that, you know, three or four times a week. What can you do for that?
[00:37:06] Brian Keane: It's an interesting one. I've been very fortunate with my circumstance.
[00:37:11] Now I have an incredibly supportive network around me. So thankfully I've never experienced that firsthand Bush. I have worked with a lot of parents, moms, dads who have had that happen, what I tend to recommend to them. And this isn't to send them in a completely different direction. But for those who have a temporary issue with Steve, because what it's temporary, if you have a six year old seven year old, eight year old, they're not going to be that age forever.
[00:37:40] They're eventually going to be 12, 13, 14. And the last thing you want to do is come into your room. So firstly, realize this thing will end. This is not going to be consistent for the next 40 years, hopefully, but there's a book I read and I had him on my podcast. His name is Nick little Hills. He used to be Christiana, Renaldo sleep.
[00:37:57] Who plays professional football. And he came on, he wrote a book about sleep, the myth of eight hours, and it's effectively breaking down 90 minute REM cycles and using strategic napping for times in your life. When you're struggling to get consistent sleep together. And for someone who has that 12 o'clock one o'clock in the morning where your kid is coming in for whatever reason, or there's something else going on, where there's just broken sleep strategically napping for 90 minute period, where you can care about that time can be a useful tool.
[00:38:33] Minimize the negative effects of poor sleep quality. So I would recommend people check out his content, check out his book and check out that tactic and strategy. That's something I used when Holly was really young because it, it helped me a lot with sleepless nights, et cetera, and my work schedule. And when I used to compete, it was something I used because I struggled with sleep for similar reasons, just based on the time in my life.
[00:38:54] And I found it really useful. So I recommend people maybe check that out and consider that.
[00:39:00] Bryan Carroll: What's the optimal way to wake up. Do you let your body wake yourself up? Do you use an alarm clock? Do you use some sort of artificial sun rise type of situation to help you wake up?
[00:39:13] Brian Keane: Are you asking what I recommend or what I do
[00:39:17] Bryan Carroll: both.
[00:39:18] Brian Keane: So I have to clarify this, cause this is definitely the part of the conversation where don't do as I do probably. They be considered do what I say because everything else I've talked about are all things that I do and apply. I know, based on research and based on my studies, that the best way to wake up as is naturally, it's going to be mimicking something that's daylight based and let your body wake up.
[00:39:41] Naturally. I still don't do that at some point in my life. I might. But for now, I don't, I set an alarm and I set one alarm now because I was very bad. I was the eight alarmer like I would sleep just so that I could press news seven times, which is the worst thing you could do for your body. Like if you think of a Jewish.
[00:40:03] Basic standpoint of stress in your body. You're getting cortisol spike to wake up and then snooze, I know the cortisol spike to wake up snooze, and you're doing that seven or eight times. They get you're literally, you've set yourself on this cortisol stress rollercoaster before six o'clock or quarter past six in the morning.
[00:40:20] It's a disaster in terms of how to start your day. I did that for years when I was teaching and now I set one alarm and I literally rolled straight out of bed and I just get up now. It still takes me Brian, about 40 minutes before. W fully with it. Like I I'm, I'm not a morning person by nature. Like, I'd be a lot more of a natural night owl.
[00:40:40] And I tend to fight against my own chronotype there just because of family commitments, training commitments, work commitments. So I tend to read, it took me a long time to get to the point where I was able to get up at 5:00 AM. 6:00 AM, just because it's so against my natural instinct as someone that would go to bed a lot later, if I was left to my own devices, It serves my life in other ways, like I would prefer to have my training done so that I can play with my daughter or meet my partner.
[00:41:08] If she's got a break at work or you'll meet my mum for coffee, I have priorities that for me are more important than sleep as much as I said, as it is important to me. And I do focus on the quality I have other priorities. Are higher on that value ladder for me at the ministry. So I tend to do that. What I recommend in an ideal scenario is that you go to bed, you wake up when you feel arrested and you wake up when you feel recovered and you do it the way you're a hunter gatherers, we're supposed to 10,000 years ago.
[00:41:34] That's probably the ideal setup. But again, I don't know how many of these podcasts have that luxury or would choose to do so if they could. I know it's something I'm not willing to do now, but that's probably what I'd recommend.
[00:41:46] Bryan Carroll: Yup. Yeah. When we're out backpacking, the second, the sun goes down where asleep and the second the sun rises, we wake up with it.
[00:41:54] And so I think hunter gatherers back in the day, they probably did that throughout the year. So summer times their sleep cycles were probably a lot less. And then winter times they were a lot more. They were downregulated at that point, but, you know, with artificial light and everything else and commitments and everything, it's really hard to follow the actual, a circadian rhythm of the sun.
[00:42:14] Unfortunately it is, it'd be kind of fun to try for a year. It would be amazing to try and do that
[00:42:18] Brian Keane: though. We could experiment. Let me know if you do that cause, but it's just that it comes at such a cost. In modern life. That as much as I love the ancestry of wisdom and listen to our bodies in terms of what we're biologically designed to do, you also kind of have to make it fit and adapt to, you know, 20, 22 and beyond.
[00:42:38] Bryan Carroll: Yeah, because winter time we didn't have like six hours of. Being up and then 18 hours of sleeping,
[00:42:45] Brian Keane: which sounds nice though. Don't get me wrong. I'd be
[00:42:47] Bryan Carroll: all for that.
[00:42:52] Well, let's pull all of this together. How do you apply all of this into your daily routine? And what does your daily routine look like? My
[00:42:59] Brian Keane: daily routine is quite similar week to week. For the most part, I tend to. Block off most things that don't align with whatever goals I've set for myself in different areas.
[00:43:12] So like I break my life into four quadrants. So I speak about this in my second book where your mindset, so health, wealth, love and fulfillment. So that's my four quadrant that I break my life into my health, my physical health, mental wealth wealth, my bank account. My love of my relationships and my fulfillment.
[00:43:28] So my work effectively, what I do. So my daily routine stays quite similar trying to fill all those cops up regularly. So I wake up about 6:00 AM, 5:00 AM. Sometimes if I'm having an extra long training session, if I'm training for a race and I'll train in the morning, I train for. Empty stomach. I work out and then I normally do some heat work after, so normally saw now.
[00:43:50] So that kind of sets up my day when it comes to I've done my workout before 8:00 AM. I've been in the sauna, got a little bit of that BDNF brain derived neurotropic factor, get my brain switched on. And then I do my creative work in the morning. So normally when I'm writing, so I'm in the process now of writing, what will be my next book will be out next year or the year after.
[00:44:08] So I'll write for blocks in the morning or I record podcasts while I do my creative work. And then I normally spend. The middle part of the day is off. So it's either, you know, meeting my partner. If she's off doing something with my daughter, if she's around meeting my mum for coffee, meeting a best friend, it's a block of time during the day.
[00:44:28] Where I'm actually not that creative. I struggled with that 12 to 4:00 PM window where tasks that would normally take me 20 minutes could take me an hour. So I tend to focus my attention elsewhere on the relationship part of my life. Just again, I'm fortunate, but the way I have it set up in terms of everyone being around me.
[00:44:46] So I do that. And then from four to six, I'll do another batch of either creative work when it comes to podcasts or client check-ins or program check-ins, et cetera. And I'll switch off normally from six to eight or 9:00 PM is off time. So it's either watching a movie, you know, with someone close or family stuff or recovery, where I'm just doing some vibration therapy or foam rolling or whatever it is, if I'm particularly high.
[00:45:12] And then I try to get to bed by 10 o'clock. So I have that eight hour window. Try to be asleep by around 10:00 PM. And I'm up for 6:00 PM or 6:00 PM. 6:00 AM. That'd be a great sleep. There's a hyphenation for winter for 6:00 AM. And I, and I rinse and repeat that for the most parish Monday to Friday, and then weekends, they're family time, like it's priority for family.
[00:45:32] You know, I've got a weekly daddy daughter day, right. It's just me and my daughter. That's our thing. So we'll go swimming or we'll go to the movies or we'll do something together. And that's what I tend to focus my attention on. It took me a while to get to that point. I'm in my mid thirties now. And I've been doing this for quite a while, and I know not everybody listening has the control of their day like that.
[00:45:54] But what I'd say is you need to carve out windows of time to focus on your highest values and priorities, whether that's your physical health or fitness, or whether that's your family, whether it's a combination, whether it's a side hustle or something else carving out those times will make you feel better about everything it is.
[00:46:11] You're doing. So. Although it might not be that helpful for people because not everybody can replicate it or might not even want to replicate it. That's what my date has to look like. We tweak.
[00:46:23] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. Whenever people will say they don't have time to work on their health. I'm always, I want them to just sit down and write down everything that they do in a single day, including I looked at Facebook, but for 10 minutes here and here and here in here, that type of stuff so that they can visually see it and go, yeah.
[00:46:43] If I got rid of this, listen, this, this isn't, you know, high priority stuff. I'd have plenty of time to get a workout in or to make a healthy meal or to sleep a little bit more. So. You can, there's always ways to prioritize health. You just have to, you know, make a little sacrifice, look at what's taking up other parts of your time and then making those changes.
[00:47:06] Brian Keane: great thing just to build on that, Brian, cause that's such a fantastic point. The language we use to ourselves and the dialogue that we use as important. And the one word phrase that can support people is switching the language that I don't have time to. I can't prioritize that, that wouldn't shift makes you realize that.
[00:47:25] You actually do have the time, but you're not prioritizing it, which is fine. I actually have no problem. If someone decides, you know what, I can't prioritize my health, I would argue that you showed it will spill over into other areas of your life in a positive way, but at least you're not fooling yourself.
[00:47:40] And I think for everybody listening as a call to action as one way to have a massive positive benefit in your life without actually having to do anything too much is changed that language from, I don't have time to, I can't prioritize that and start to see that.
[00:47:55] Bryan Carroll: That's pretty powerful too, because it's.
[00:47:59] It would be very tough to tell someone I can't prioritize my health. Cause everyone will look at you and go really one of the most important things of living is your health. And you're saying that that's not a priority and you're willing to admit. It's interesting.
[00:48:14] Brian Keane: There's a, I had a Robin Sharma on my podcast who wrote the monk who sold his Ferrari and a multitude of other great books.
[00:48:21] And he's got a great line that if you don't prioritize your health, you're going to have to prioritize illness. And I love that it's at it's so true. It's so true. And I think it's, it works as a wake-up call for a lot of people. If they have that mindset.
[00:48:37] Bryan Carroll: Yeah, that's a fantastic quote. I'm going to have to remember that.
[00:48:40] Well, Brian, is there any final things you want to make sure we touch on before we fully wrap up
[00:48:44] Brian Keane: and no, I've had a blast on this, Brian. Like I really, really enjoy some great questions on here. I know you're doing fantastic work with the summit for wellness podcast. So make, keep doing what you're doing and thank you so much again.
[00:48:56] Bryan Carroll: Of course, and people can find [email protected]. You're on Instagram. You have a YouTube channel, you got your podcast with 370 plus episodes. So especially at podcasters, listening to this, you know, jump on over, look up Brian's podcast, right in your podcast app of choice. And he can listen to a bunch of his episodes as well.
[00:49:15] So thank you, Brian, for coming on. I hope you were able to take away some different ways to really enhance in level your fitness routines. And especially when it comes down to the sleep and the stress components there. I know a lot of people have a really hard time getting adequate sleep at night. And a lot of people are very high stressed, high strung as well.
[00:49:37] So it takes some of this information that we shared and be able to apply it to your own life. And you should see some pretty neat changes happening in your own. You want to learn more about Brian Head on over to Brian Keane fitness.com. He's also on Instagram and he has his podcast as well. So if you already have your podcast app opened up, just look for the Brian King fitness podcasts and you'll find them right there.
[00:50:01] Okay. In the next episode, I have Spencer Feldman on the show. Let's go learn who he is and what we'll be talking about. Hey Spencer, what is one unique thing about you that most people know.
[00:50:12] Spencer Feldman: Okay. So I was a mid forceps delivery, which means I was coming in feet first and got pulled out with forceps to my head was crushed.
[00:50:19] And as a result, I ended up with no oxytocin, which a lot of, you know, keep kids with birth trauma get which low men, they never really developed emotional intelligence, you know? So. Very socially awkward for a long time. And then I realized that oxytocin was the reason for that. Cause I never got an oxytocin hit from a normal birth.
[00:50:38] So I started taking oxytocin and I think I have the distinction of having taken more oxytocin than anyone in human history in a nasal spray, hang on. I keep some by my to ask them anyway. So yes, I think I could be in the Guinness book of world records for that. And. That was definitely a transformative experience to have the emotional centers of my brain mature finally, but so late in my life.
[00:51:06] And then to be able to go back and be, and understand in retrospect, you know, why my life played out the way it did, based on the fact that I just didn't understand, I didn't have the, the brain development for those social centers.
[00:51:22] Bryan Carroll: I didn't even know you could get oxytocin in a nasal spray like that.
[00:51:26] Can you overdo it?
[00:51:29] Spencer Feldman: Yes and no. If I overdo it I'll I can maybe get a little nauseous or got a bit of a headache. The main thing is now I don't notice much from it. Like the first six months I took it. It was each time I took it, it was incredibly blissful physically and And now it's just kind of pleasant and that's because I've initialized my own oxytocin production and receptors.
[00:51:52] So oxytocin is the only thing I know of that. Won't, downregulate meaning the more you take it'll get you to the point where you have optimal oxytocin and then hold you there, as opposed to, for instance, if someone were to take. And they take too much, then they're going to downregulate serotonin production and OD Dodgers Lilly and serotonin receptors.
[00:52:11] And then when they stop, they go into depression or other things. So oxytocin is not like that, which is very nice,
[00:52:16] Bryan Carroll: fascinating. Well, what will we be learning about in our interview together?
[00:52:23] Spencer Feldman: So I would like to give you the kind of clinical pearls on 20 plus years of. Formulating detox products based on what seems to work in what's going on with the toxins.
[00:52:38] We've been exposed to the things that you can do. The work there are pitfalls to avoid lessons learned.
[00:52:45] Bryan Carroll: And what are your favorite foods or nutrients that you think everyone should get more of in their diet?
[00:52:51] Spencer Feldman: Oh boy. That everyone should get more of. I don't know that. I would say that there is something everyone should get.
[00:52:58] You know, if you compare our diet to that of primitive man we are getting seven times less fiber than they do. And that tends to shift us from a bacteria IDs to a firmus cuties bacterial components in our gut. And when that leads to all sorts of things like obesity and such But I think it's a very individual thing.
[00:53:19] I think, you know, you have to know your own genetics. I would say as a general rule, you want more diversity in your diet. So for instance, you know, I have a greenhouse and high grow lettuces and Bazell, and and I, and boy, it tastes so much more intense and delicious. And when it's you pull it right out of your, you know, hydroponic bucket and the, you.
[00:53:43] And then you eat it. So, you know I would say that's more, the more the variety of the foods you eat the freshness of the foods you eat, avoiding foods that you're allergic to. So we don't end up with a high globulin ratio and dumping your albumin crashing or albumin down. And you know, understanding that there's some things that we are not really not supposed to eat, like, you know, things with enormous amounts of Nutrient blocking agents.
[00:54:10] So there are some plants that don't want to be eaten and they make it very clear. So you know, soy definitely doesn't want to be eaten. There's all sorts of things. Bay's, it'll screw you up between the thyroid and mineral inhibitors and protein issues. So and then you've got things like spices that don't want to be eaten by.
[00:54:29] Aren't so intense that they'll kill you so you can actually use them medicinally. Right? So oregano doesn't want to be eaten. So it makes the oil, the oregano oil, but Henlo levels. Not only is it tasty, but it kills fungus and Rosemary doesn't want. Which it makes, you know, it was moronic acid, but you can use that to preserve your food.
[00:54:51] So, you know, the whole food topic is a very deep one. And I would say, you know, go take a look at the work of price Pottenger foundation and nourishing traditions and things like that.
[00:55:01] Bryan Carroll: What are your top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness?
[00:55:08] Spencer Feldman: Okay. You need to be sleeping well,
[00:55:12] And then how you do that.
[00:55:17] You need to improve your gut biome and a fast once a year of water past.
[00:55:24] Bryan Carroll: It was a great conversation with Spencer. It was basically like having a master class on detoxification on the show. So make sure you tune into the next episode when it goes live, and until then keep climbing to the peak of your health.
Learn More About Brian Keane