Based in Denver, Eric is an Endurance Athlete (5x Ironman), content creator and social media influencer, sponsored by dozens of consumer brands. Some of Eric’s partners include Vital Proteins, GNC, Ten Thousand, Beam, Lane Eight, Chipotle, and Whole Foods.
Eric is also a health + wellness, tech, and hospitality entrepreneur / angel investor. Eric is the co-founder of Original Grain, a multi-unit, healthy-fast-casual restaurant, and XO Taco, a trendy-Mexican restaurant in Syracuse, NY.
Championing innovative disruptors in the fitness/wellness space, Eric’s portfolio of angel investments include brands such as Ten Thousand, WellWell, and Swerve Fitness.
Follow Eric @erichinman on all social media platforms and www.erichinman.com
Key point topics and studies mentioned:
Eric's personal routines for exercise, diet and nutrition
The different training regimes for competition vs. maintenance
Recovery strategies and exercise protocols for health span and longevity
Benefits of heat (sauna) and cold (ice bath) exposures
Dr. Latt Mansor:Hi, this is your host, Dr. Latt Mansor, on HVMN podcast. In this episode, we interviewed Eric Hinman, multiple Ironmans brand builder, health and wellness, entrepreneur and investor. In this episode, he shared his training regime, his diet, different supplements that he used, as well as his recovery strategies from training. He also shared the benefits of sauna and cold lunch, as well as the rationale and science behind it. We also covered how resistance exercise can help with longevity and lifespan. So if you intrigued, please stay tuned and enjoy this episode. Hi, Eric. Welcome to HVMN podcast. It's so nice to meet you.
Eric Hinman:Likewise. How you doing today, Latt?
Dr. Latt Mansor:I'm very well, thank you. How's the weather over there?
Eric Hinman:The weather's nice today. It's going to be in the sixties. I'm actually going to go mountain biking after this. Colorado's kind of an anomaly where I could drive 90 minutes right now and probably go skiing in November or here in Denver, it's kind of an arid climate this time of year. It's going to start making the switch in a week or two. I see there's snow in the forecast, so We'll, we'll be Denver winter here pretty soon.
Dr. Latt Mansor:All right. It's very different from San Francisco here. It's a bit sort of shower and a bit gloomy today. But I mean, I like the weather here because it's not too cold all year round and it's not too hot either compared to where I'm from, [inaudible 00:01:32], which is very humid and hot and tropical. But well, we're excited to have you on the show. I'm excited to ask so many questions, what your practices are and how's your lifestyle and everything, because you look like it and you talk like it in terms of being a healthy human being. And I'm sure our listeners would be super interested to find out how you keep that lifestyle. So let's jump straight into it. Let's talk first about diets and health, fire, modern nutrition. We are all about living the healthy lifestyle, but a big part of it is what you eat and what you metabolize. So let's start with what is your current diet and do you change it every now and again based on your use cases and all that?
Eric Hinman:Yeah, definitely. So I've dabbled with different diets over the years. In my Ironman years, it was a higher fat diet, just I wanted to teach my body to burn fat for fuel. And now I've been doing a lot more strength training and anaerobic conditioning, trying to put on some weight and I've been having more carbs and more protein lately. But ultimately diet, I think the key is structure. Eliminating decisions around food is going to generally serve people best. And for me, I build my calories throughout the day. I'm exercising quite a bit throughout the day, I'm doing podcasts and I like to have high mental clarity, so I don't like to have high food value meals until later in the evening when I'm ready to check out. That works really well for me. So typically in the morning, I'm just doing coffee with some collagen powder and a little honey, maybe a banana before my first workout. First workout is around 90 minutes strength training, an aerobic conditioning, CrossFit type workouts. And then after that session I basically eat all of my meals here at the house. We go out maybe once or twice a week, but breakfast and lunch is always at the house. So that first meal is either going to be a smoothie and the smoothie is some kind of milk. We often make our own homemade nut milk or hemp milk. Lately, I've been back on the dairy train doing a two milk and I'll add protein powder, I'll add a banana, I'll add some frozen berries, some ginger powder, some turmeric powder, some spinach, maybe a little almond butter, some kind of nut butter and some beet powder. That is probably four days out of the week. What I'm having is my first meal, some days I'll do eggs and Turkey sausage, so that would look like four or five eggs and then some Turkey sausage. After that I generally have a podcast or some kind of meeting for about an hour to two hours. And then in the afternoon I do some kind of aerobic activity outside, hiking, rucking, mountain biking, road cycling. And generally, after that I will have something very similar, either eggs and Turkey sausage or I'll make another smoothie very similar to the smoothie I had in the morning. And then in the evening after I do my recovery session, which I know we'll talk about, that's generally when I have the biggest meal of the day. And that typically would be either a steak, burgers, chicken thighs, smoked chicken wings, salmon, pork, some kind of protein. And then for carbs it's usually either potatoes or rice. And then we do a salad alongside with that. And then in the evening I might snack on some kind of nut butter before bed and I have beam dream and milk as my sleep tonic at night. So 85% of the time that is the structure of my eating. And then 15% of the time I'm going out to restaurants and I'll get dessert and I'll definitely go off the plan. But very rarely am I eating processed foods, sugars, anything like that. So I think most know what to eat. I think the hard part is we often stock our pantries, fridges, and freezers with just too much stuff and too much junk. And if I have candy here, if I have junk here, ice cream, whatever, I'm going to eat it because it's at my disposal. So I think it's important understanding what you have in your kitchen and also building a routine around eating that you enjoy. I look forward to those meals every single day and it eliminates the decision making fatigue around food where I'm hangry and I'm like, all right, I'm just, I'm going to go get a pizza.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, absolutely. I mean your point of not stocking up your fridge and your house with junk food is definitely a good point. Out of sight, out of mind. You don't think about it. And if it's there, chances are we will eat it, you know what I mean? We pay for it, we don't want to waste food, yada yada da. So what I'm interested in, I'm curious if you do count your calories because it sounds like you have a very active lifestyle and do you count your calories? And if you do, under what circumstance? Is it just during when you want to achieve a certain goal or when you want to go for a competition? What are your thoughts around counting calories?
Eric Hinman:Yeah, so I'm very feel based. I've never been in the body building world. Ironman is my background and more recently it's CrossFit training and high rocks racing. And so for me, it's more performance based than any kind of aesthetic based. I always say the aesthetics are a byproduct of my performance. So I've never counted calories. I have a decent understanding of each meal, approximately what I'm consuming. And I'm trying to get in about a gram per pound of body weight in protein each day. But I'm not tracking it. I've never used a tracking device. I like having flexibility around it. And again, I like being able to go out to eat here and there and not beat myself up about it. And I'm exercising three ish hours a day. So my exercise volume is really high and to some degree it's calories in, calories out from an aesthetic standpoint. But from a performance standpoint, I really want high quality foods. So I feel good mentally and physically.
Dr. Latt Mansor:I like that you mentioned your aesthetic is a byproduct of your performance because a lot of people, especially I think in big cities is that yeah, I'm just going to work out for to look good. Don't ask me to do this functional stuff because it's not for functions, it's just to look good. I mean whatever goal that drives people to work out and whether the aesthetic is being the byproduct of the performance or the health being the byproduct of them going aesthetically pleasing sort of direction, it works either way. That's the best thing about exercise and being active is that you get multiple rewards at the same time. You get health, you get aesthetics, you get performance, you get speed, strength and all of that. And what about supplements? What sort of supplements do you take? Because it sounds like you are very big on the whole foods, on getting your sources from the raw materials themselves, the raw resources. What about supplements? Do you ever supplement with anything else?
Eric Hinman:Yeah, definitely. I mean I've dabbled with lots of different supplements over the years, but the things for me that I always fall back to that I think are absolute staples are caffeine. I have coffee pretty much every single morning. I generally cut it off by noon, so I might have two espressos, one before my morning workout and then one before my afternoon workout if it's an earlier afternoon workout. But again, I cut that off by 12, 1:00, 2:00 PM at the latest. And creatine, I think creatine is absolutely foundational for anyone looking to build strength and gain muscle mass. Anytime I'm on creatine, I've always been able to put on some muscle mass as well as add strength. I like beets a lot, so I do a beet powder, nitric oxide, incredible for endurance. So that's something that has always been a staple in my routine. Lately, I've been taking NAD or NMN as a supplement, which there's been a lot of studies about it helping with cellular aging. So that has been in the routine now for about a year and a half. I've taken fish oil in the past. Right now I'm not taking fish oil only because I don't burping up that fishy taste. I think there is a place for that in people's routines, but I just don't like having that. It kind of gives me a little heartburn whenever I have it, especially if I do it in the morning before I'm exercising. What else do I have in the kitchen? Colostrum is something I've been taking now for about a year. I've seen incredible results with colostrum from an immune standpoint of just building a robust immune system. And then in the evening I take beam Dream, which is magnesium, altheine, nano CBD, melatonin might be missing one or two other ingredients in it, but I've been taking that for probably two and a half years now for just deep sleep at night. And it gets me to sleep fast and I sleep completely through the night with that. Magnesium is another really good one if you know, just want one out of that list of things to have in the evening to calm your mind before going to sleep. And then this isn't a supplement but this is kind of a little hack. I like doing a teaspoon of honey before bed. I found that that keeps me any hunger pain away. And also it keeps my mind from racing in the evening. I don't wake up thinking about a to-do list.
Dr. Latt Mansor:That's very interesting because from a metabolism, a science point of view, we have been establishing that you know, do not want to spite your insulin before you go to bed. So with your sort of practice you have milk and you have honey which both would despite insulin a little bit. So that'll be interesting to see if you measure your sleep quality and your sleep parameters if it gets affected without and with sugar intake.
Eric Hinman:Yeah, definitely. I mean not a lot, it's a teaspoon, but I have found that that helps me sleep better at night. And I've read various studies around having a bit of glycogen that will help. So you don't wake up in the middle of the night hungry.
Dr. Latt Mansor:And this goes to show how you know are the best judge of your body. What works for you may not work for another person and you just have to try out different practices, different lifestyles that works for you. And it's really interesting that you mentioned NAD precursors as well. I've been sort of looking into NAD because it's just out of personal interest really. As you said on the aging side, on maintaining the energy as we age, it's really important. I've heard however, the IV NAD seems to work much better because it's a five day drip an hour each day and it's quite expensive as well versus the oral consumption. So I think more research is going to come out in terms of which one is the best delivery method of NAD into our bodies so that we can age better.
Dr. Latt Mansor:So that's super interesting. So it sounds like you have been dabbling in a lot of very sort outdoor activities, outdoor sports while CrossFit as well nowadays. So what is your training regime generally right now? And is there a different regime when you do for maintenance versus competition? And tell us more about that.
Eric Hinman:Sure. So I mean the last five years I haven't really been competing in anything other than high rocks occasionally. So it's been very much just lifestyle based, what makes me feel good day in and day out. And for me this is overkill for most. I mean my days are built around health and wellness and my business is based around health and wellness. So it's a big component of my day. So I'll talk about what I do, but I'll also talk about what I think is probably best practice for someone who has 60 minutes five days a week to train. So for me, my morning sessions, I'm going to a CrossFit gym five days per week and I loosely follow Matt Frazier's HWPO programming. So it's going to be about a 10 to 15 minute warmup activating the muscle groups that you'll be doing. So for example, on a Monday it's generally a squat day, back squats, front squats, maybe some type of an Olympic lifting like squat cleans. And I'm following the percentages on the app. So it's very much structure based. I'm not going in not knowing what I'm doing. I literally am following a plan to a T and understanding what the benefit is from following those sets, reps and percentages. And after the strength training, Olympic lifting, there's generally some kind of anaerobic conditioning, so that would be high intensity intervals on an assault bike, a rower or a CrossFit met con, that's generally about 10 to 20 minutes of the training. The strength training component is probably about 30 to 40 minutes of it. And then there's generally accessory work at the end, so working smaller muscles, tendons and ligaments. And that probably is another 15 minutes. So that session is about 90 minutes in duration. And then in the afternoon, seven days per week, I'm doing aerobic conditioning ranging from 45 to 90 minutes. And I vary that between mountain biking, trail running, hiking, and rucking, just kind of what I'm craving that day and what the weather will allow. In the wintertime, I can't mountain bike nearly as much, so I kind of up the trail running and then in the summertime I'm mountain biking and road cycling a lot more than I'm running. So that's my routine. Again, it's a lot. But what I would recommend for someone who wants to be fit and feel really good is going in between strength training and an anaerobic conditioning on day one, and then the next day doing 45 to 60 minutes of aerobic conditioning. So day one would be that strength training. One day would be squats, one day would be pulling movements, one day would be pushing movements and then maybe another leg day with some lunges or Bulgarian split squats. And then on the alternate days, 45 minutes, whatever you enjoy, zone two cardio, could be tennis, could be pickle ball, swimming, biking, running, ideally outside. I like to be outside every single day soaking up the sun's ray. So that's what I would recommend for the five to six day per week person that only has 60 minutes a day is going strength training and aerobic conditioning, day one, aerobic conditioning day two back and forth.
Dr. Latt Mansor:That sounds pretty intense as well. I mean for a normal person office job and nine to five, that's already quite tiring. And what you doing, it's amazing. So you're doing strength exercises, you're doing high intensity strength based conditioning exercises, on top of that aerobic conditioning exercises for about 45 minutes to 90 minutes, which is very long. But we see the results, you see the performance increase, you see the body fat, the composition change. So that's great advice. What about those people who literally don't even have five to six days, if they have three days a week, if they're just starting out just working out, they heard this podcast and they feel inspired, they haven't really worked out before, they just want to have a start where to begin. So what would you advise them?
Eric Hinman:Yeah, I mean, so I've been habit stacking now for 15 ish years. That's been my journey and each year I pick something new to focus on. So this didn't happen overnight by any means. And so backtracking to my mid 20s, I was driving 50,000 miles a year sitting in a car eating subway because I thought that was healthy. I had gotten pretty out of shape in my mid twenties. I was very focused on just building my first business and I hired a personal trainer and saw him five days per week for 30 minutes. And that was my start to getting back into shape. So I think the keys are having knowledge, having accountability, having some kind of structure. And for me that training looked like strength training and anaerobic conditioning. I think that's where you're going to get the most bang for your books. So doing complex lifts like squats, dead lifts, pressing movements, shoulder to overhead, bench press, and again doing those highly anaerobic conditioning intervals, that's where you're going to maximize your time and get the biggest bang for your buck. So that's what I would recommend. If you have three days per week, 30 minutes each day is doing that. And if you're looking to get into shape, I think it's important to have someone who is telling you what to do because you may not have the knowledge, you might not have the form, you don't know the sets and reps, the percentages to do, you may not understand what high intensity training is. And it's nice to have someone guiding you with all of that. And also if you're paying for it, you're going to be accountable to yourself to show up for that training session each day.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, that's great advice. And I think people should just even start by brisk walking, right? Even just being active, it will definitely change that mindset and really put you in a mood where, all right, you know that you can walk for 20 minutes today, tomorrow let's walk for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, an hour. And then get knowledge around, like you said, get knowledge around training. And things are so accessible these days, including person trainers, including people who are into health and nutrition and dieticians that you can actually gain access to. You can easily pay them and advise you on this knowledge and know that it's not a subscription based. I mean some of them are, but most of them are just one off knowledge. What works for you? These are these exercises and it accumulates, it compounds out and then you can just work on your own and then when you hit a plateau and then you can hire them again. And this past weekend I was at a Halloween event organized by levels and Professor Robert Lustig was there and he was talking about his book Metabolical and he said, either way, you are going to pay, either you pay the doctor or you pay the farmer i.e getting a better food and not processed food. And in this sense as we're talking, either way, you're going to pay, either you pay the doctor or you pay the personal trainer or you pay the nutritionist. So your choice. I think that's really powerful. It's about what do we invest our time and money in and nothing will be better investment than your own body and health.
Eric Hinman:I can't agree more. And also the same is true with discomfort. A lot of this is discomfort, but if you don't do it, you're going to have tremendous discomfort with the opening yourself up to various diseases. So I mean for me, this goes back to my Iron Man years. So 2011, 2012 is when I really started to shift my life around one based around these protocols. And initially, it was very extrinsically motivated. I wanted to do well in Iron Ironman. I wanted the results, I wanted to beat people, I wanted to win races. And it changed though to being so much more intrinsically motivated because I started to realize that I had this tremendous mental clarity and tremendous energy throughout the day. I didn't have a lull in the afternoon anymore. I felt like the best version of myself, and I felt like I could be me, I could be super vulnerable. And some of these things that in my 20s were fueled by alcohol, all of a sudden were being fueled by exercise in a healthy way of life. So I mean that was kind of the aha moment for me of why I wanted to restructure my life to be based around this is because I just felt so good. So again, I always preach that the aesthetics are a byproduct. The feeling is why I do it. I want to be the best version of myself.
Dr. Latt Mansor:And the best thing is that feeling. It also acts as a motivator, as a cycle, to let you get going and get continuous with your effort and make it more persist. Because at the end of the day, what I usually tell people when they want to go through transformation journeys or weight loss journeys is the consistency is key. And always enjoy the journey and celebrate those little goals. Because if you are too set on the final goal, you will think that it's just so much and you just eventually burn yourself out before you even reach a small goal. But if you enjoy the journey, as you said, enjoy that feeling of being healthy and being fast of not panting while running for the bus, this is the feeling that you should hold onto and give yourself the motivation that you deserve in order to push yourself further. So we talked a bit on nutrition, we talked a bit on exercise. What are your recovery strategies? Because most people, they don't think much about recovery strategies. They think that I'm eating healthy, I'm going exercise, but I'm not getting enough sleep, I'm not really eating enough to fuel my recovery, which is as important if not more, because it compounds over time. So what is your recovery strategy and what advice you have for people around?
Eric Hinman:Sure. So yeah, I'm 42 and the only way I'm able to train, the way I still train is by being religious about self-care protocols. So for me, what that looks like is five days per week. We've designed our house around these wellness practices. We turf 1200 square feet of our backyard. We have a full CrossFit rig, we have assault bikes and rowers and ski yards and barbells and plates. And I mean literally it's like a commercial gym in our backyard. And we also have an infrared sauna in our basement. We have a traditional sauna in our outdoor area and we have cold plunges. So I'm typically doing two to three rounds of 20 minutes in a 200 degree sauna and then five minutes in an ice barrel around 45 degrees. And that is how I feel my best doing that protocol. I've been doing it now for five plus years, I have noticed it's similar to exercise and that some of the benefits you don't feel as much as you once did. So I'm starting to vary that a little bit more now. So I might do a [inaudible 00:24:49] salt bath, I might do infrared sauna session, red light therapy, a deep tissue massage. I'll try and vary it a bit so that I get that same feeling that I always got doing the hot and the cold contrast therapy. And again, my business is built around this and I combine those sessions with meetings oftentimes, I combine it with listening to a podcast and learning. I combined it with a time when I'm answering messages on social media. So it also is multitasking without multitasking for me. It's where I can connect with people, it's where I can have meetings, it's where I can an answer messages, it's where I can learn. So with all of these things, I'm also able to build my business around them as well.
Dr. Latt Mansor:That's great. It's amazing hearing how big your house and your backyard is. And I'm here living in San Francisco where everything is super expensive and you can afford a shoebox for the same price. I really envy you, but also, I'm happy that you are so in tune with your body that what exactly you need in order to recover well because a lot of people do neglect that aspect of training and that really takes a toll over time. You may not feel it the next day or you can push through a week a month, but then eventually you will feel that fatigue building up. And some mitochondrial damage may also be irreversible as well because you're just overworking all your cells and your organs. Now, you know mentioned sauna and cold plungers. And I have to admit, I haven't tried cold plungers before, not yet. It's one of the things that I would love to try it soon actually. But for our listeners here, what is the rationale and the science behind the cold and hot treatment?
Eric Hinman:Yeah, I mean there's so many benefits from it. One of the benefits is it's improving blood flow, so it's going to help with inflammation so you don't feel achy or as sore the next day. That's one of the physical components of it. You're going to burn body fat by doing it. It's taxing your nervous system in the sauna, so you're burning calories while you're in there. My heart rate is generally in the 100 to 110 beats per minute range. My resting heart rate is around 45 and my max heart rate is around 165. So I'm burning calories while I'm in there. For me though, the mental benefits and emotional benefits have probably been the most significant. And what I mean by that is it takes something absolutely monumental now to stress me out. As soon as you get into a cold plunge, I like to explain it as you could have just the worst day ever, you just feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Then you go hop in 40 degree water for three minutes, all of a sudden that weight of the world is lifted off of you and your to-do list that feels like it's just stacked vertically on your head is all of a sudden just right out in front of you and you feel like you can just tiptoe over it. So I mean the mental benefits of it are just tremendous. The stress resilience that it builds, the grit that it builds. Knock on wood, I never get sick anymore. I haven't been sick in 10 years. So the immune system boost of doing it is absolutely incredible. I mean, there's a lot of studies showing that it's decreasing all cause mortality by up to 60%. Cardiovascular, Alzheimer's disease, all of these cardiovascular and neurological diseases. They've done a lot of studies in Finland specifically where there's a sauna for just about every household in Finland. And it's just showing incredible benefits over time. But again, for me, I'm very feeling based, how do I feel afterwards? How do I feel after doing it consistently for a month? How do I feel consistently doing it for five years? And that for me is the telltale sign of this is something that is super important to me.
Dr. Latt Mansor:And this is me coming in as a science nerd. You talked about the studies and are these studies based on just the cold plunges itself or is it the just sauna or is it combination?
Eric Hinman:Yeah, the cardiovascular benefits, the all cause mortality are specifically sauna and that is doing it, I believe it, the study for the all cause mortality decreasing it by 60% was if you're sauna ing five times per week and 185 plus degrees 20 minute sauna session is what the study was based on. So there is some data showing that consistent sauna use is what is giving the benefit. And then for the cold exposure, I don't know the studies around not getting sick and the studies around why mentally you just feel so incredible. Obviously, it's boosting your serotonin levels and boosting adrenaline when you're in there. Actually, one of the interesting things I just heard on Andrew Huberman podcast was the correlation of adrenaline and focus. And for me, I always time either sauna cold exposure right before doing something where I need to be really, really on and really focused or time exercise. And both of those things obviously are releasing adrenaline. So it makes sense why after you would be so focused. So that's one of the mental hacks with doing it. But you have to try cold exposure. It's incredible. I always tell people, if you only have one thing that you're going to do, you're going to get the most bang for your buck five minutes, three minutes in cold water and you will feel those same effects that I'm telling you about.
Dr. Latt Mansor:I am looking forward to it. And it seems like people listening to this episode, they're going to start building a sauna in the house and they're going to have a cold plunge. I think there are a couple of places here in San Francisco that I can go to, actually. I might actually look into it right after this.
Eric Hinman:You should. I'm sure you do.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, yeah, for sure. And I'm really glad that you mentioned the role of adrenaline as well. And it makes sense because when you have adrenaline, it kicks off the fight or flight sort reaction where you need to be focused if you are in danger in a historic evolutionarily, if you're in danger, you need to be focused to be able to be alert of your surroundings, to be really go either fight or flight. So that makes sense. And if we can manipulate bio hacking sense, manipulate that secretion and therefore really maximize the effect of it, then why not? Well I'm going to switch gear a little bit to go back to a little bit on the training. I know throughout your 15 years you've gone through all these different training, different model, multi-modal training sessions. All these trainings are very different between CrossFit to endurance to Ironman. What are the differences and what should people pay attention to if they want to get into a specific area?
Eric Hinman:So I mean endurance sports, the key is lots of zone two intensity. So for me that means heart rate around 130 to 135, running, biking, swimming, I would be doing some higher intensity sessions. But marathon Ultra running 100 mile bike rides, all of that stuff is so much more dictated by your aerobic engine and your durability. And in order to build those things up, you need volume. And so my training back then looked very different than it does now and that call it three hours a day that I was working out, the majority of it was spent in that zone two cardio. And now much more of it is based in strength training where there's lots of rest, anaerobic conditioning again where there's quite a bit of rest, you're going really, really hard for 15 to 90 seconds. And then generally the rest time equals work time. So you're basically resting half of the time you're doing the anaerobic conditioning. And then I've really limited my aerobic sessions to 90 minutes or less now. I very rarely do anything over 90 minutes. And the reason is I feel my best when I'm strong I feel anaerobically fit, I feel powerful, I still have endurance. I mean 90 minutes is by no means a slouch, but I'm not doing five hour bike rides anymore. I certainly would not perform as well now in an Ironman as 2010 to 2014 when I was doing a lot of that zone two cardio. But I feel like the endurance sports are very one dimensional in nature and I'm so glad that I wrote that chapter of my life. I'm so glad that I did all of those half Ironmans and full Iron Mans, but I'm also glad that I was able to shift out of it and not make it a lifestyle and start starting to incorporate more strength training, more anaerobic conditioning. There's plenty of studies around VO two max and muscle mass for longevity and you might have a pretty high VO two max doing Ironman, but generally you're not going to have the same kind of muscle mass that you would have if you're strength training or doing CrossFit type workouts. So I just blending the two now, that's how I feel my best. I feel energized. Testosterone levels are much higher, cortisol levels are lower and with endurance sports oftentimes it's the inverse where your cortisol is pretty high and your testosterone levels really sync with all of the high zone two cardio value.
Dr. Latt Mansor:And about three episodes ago I interviewed Louis Nikola neuro physiologist and she talked about study that showed at least three times a week of a block of 50 minutes of zone two cardio actually increased mitochondrial biogenesis. So it really helps, you build that sort of powerhouse of the cell if you would, to create more energy for usage, either muscles, brain, heart or whatever. But definitely at the end of the day, I like what you mentioned about longevity and muscle mass and the balance between aerobic and anaerobic and strength training, right. Because I think when we are younger, it's much easier for us to push our bodies to do one dimensional spot, either endurance exercise or just one area of sports. But as we grow older, I think we need to balance out because there is always wear and tear with our bodies, either the joints, the muscles, the neurological like circuitry, there will always be wear and tear. And if you keep doing that day after day, month after Monday after year, you will face a moment where things will start breaking down and things can't keep up whereas the way you approach it is when you've done enough of the endurance and you go towards strength training and more an aerobic and still maintaining and I'm not saying not to do the endurance, but still maintaining the endurance exercise is really a good approach as we are aging, as we are trying to improve our muscle mass to aid with aging in general, but also neurodegenerative diseases. So we talked about neurodegenerative diseases on our podcast as well, how muscle mass or strength training, at least 75%, one rep max sort of training you have to push yourself, that actually increases the size of the hippocampus significantly. And hippocampus is the region of the brain that dictates learning and memory. So you can imagine how that has such an advantage battling against neurodegenerative diseases risks.
Eric Hinman:Fascinating. And I like what you said too about the 75%. So when I'm saying strength training, I'm not going in there and maxing out every single day. It's very similar to the endurance training where I'm doing it at a percentage of max all the time, not all the time, but the majority of the time. I might have call it an eight week block of training and only one of those weeks out of those eight weeks are at a percentage higher than 90%. The majority of them are done at a percentage somewhere between 60 and 80%. And if you can do 10 pull ups, you don't do 10 pull ups every day, you do five pull ups three days a week and then over time you're going to be able to do 14 pull ups for your max set. So I think that's important for people to take away is that all of this is based on percentages of a max generally. You're not going in and maxing out every day. The anaerobic sessions are very short windows. If I'm doing assault like intervals, that's typically 15 seconds of work and 45 to 60 seconds of rest before I back that up effort up again. And the CrossFit metcons, maybe once or twice a week unless I'm doing some kind of qualifier workouts. But I really don't like doing those CrossFit metcons much more than one or two times per week where let's call it a 10 to 15 minute time domain at a very high heart rate.
Dr. Latt Mansor:And in terms of your experience, because you have such a huge encyclopedia around training around nutrition and regimen, have you found out if for our listeners here for a certain age range, say 20-30, they should train differently, 30 to 40 should train differently, 40 to 50 should train differently. Have you found any insight around that, if there's any advice for our listeners?
Eric Hinman:Yeah, I mean I think a lot of it is listening to your body. I think at any age strength training is an important component of it. You want to retain as much muscle mass as possible as you age. So I really think strength training is a super crucial component that a lot of people may not think is as important as it is. And then aerobic conditioning, again, this is zone two cardio, we're talking. For some people that may be a brisk walk. It doesn't mean a fast run, it doesn't mean a fast bike ride. This is conversational pace type cardio. So each person, the intensity of that zone two cardio is going to be different. But again, based on your max heart rate, we're talking somewhere in the range of 70 ish percent of your max heart rate. So I think that doing that is super important. I just don't think it's healthy to get addicted to the five hour sessions. Most listening to this probably won't, but there are a lot of people that do get addicted to that lifestyle and I don't think it's a healthy lifestyle just doing endurance sports or looking to qualify for Kona year after, year after year because you just have to neglect strength training in order to get that far within endurance sports. Same with the ultra running. If you want to win an ultra race, great, but I would write that chapter for maybe five years and then switch to doing some more strength training and some anaerobic conditioning mixed in.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, that's a great point as well. And I did a little research thesis during my masters as well on resistance exercise being an intervention against sarcopenia and sarcopenia means it's a muscle loss as we age, and that's what we know. It's a fact that if we do not do resistance exercise as we age past 30, we should lose around 1% every year of muscle mass. Now what happens is that when you reach an age old enough, without those muscles supporting your structure, supporting your bones, supporting your movements, you have a much higher risk of falling. And a lot of these death or mortality cases amongst elderly is just because they just fall because they will fall, they break their bones or worse of all the bones may actually puncture their organs and then they'll have internal bleeding and then they'll die. So it's as simple as that. It's just having the support for movement flexibility as well as just structural support is so important. But what's even more interesting is that when they found 80 year old, 90 year old elderly patients who are experiencing sarcopenia and put them on resistance training and strength training, they actually manage to increase muscle mass significantly, even at that age. So know that our bodies are so good at adapting to these stimulus especially. So our bodies always strive for survivability, right. So if at that point to grow muscle is to survive, then having that resistance training really helps. But why wait until when you're 80, 90 to do that? So I think consistency, again throughout your life, having that strength training, having some form of a significant amount of lean muscle mass is definitely good for you. I mean, it increases baso metabolic rate, it definitely helps with strength. And then on top of that, the side effect, you look good.
Eric Hinman:Exactly. Yeah. And there's something to be said for health span too. I want to be mountain biking in my 60s, 70s, hopefully. So I mean health span is super important. Not just how long are you going to live, but in your later years are you still able to have a really high quality of life moving the way you want to? And moving is so important for me.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, no, that's exactly the point. I remember when I was younger, I thought about when I grow old, I don't want to be a burden to other people around me. And meaning that I can help myself, I can go to the store, I can cook, I can go up and downstairs. But now I think it's slowly evolving into what you just said. I want to be more than that. I want to be able to go to the gym, I want to be able to have a good run with my friends, I want to run along the beach, whatever. And that is just pushing to another level and seeing a lot more people being able to achieve that in their 50s, 60s, 70s now, give me hope that our bodies can actually achieve that as long as we know we have the right knowledge, we have the right training, we have the right diet and investment in our bodies earlier on, and when we reach those ages, we are able to achieve those. But obviously, diet and training is not just the only answer to this. And being such a strong person you are, Eric, I know that it takes tremendous mental and emotional strength as well. And I would love for you to share your journey around building that mental and emotional strength as you build your physical strength to our listeners so that they can integrate both of them, the physical and mental aspect of training and exercise so that they can achieve even greater heights.
Eric Hinman:I mean anything, it's reps and sets. So the more risks I've taken investing in companies starting businesses, the more risk adverse I've become, the more willing I am to take risk. And the more CrossFit workouts I do, the more cold plunge sessions I do, the more mental grit and resilience I build around those things. And going back to my point about not being stressed out, these are preparing you for something bad in life so it doesn't just completely knock you off your chair. So I think that the cold exposure, the sauna sessions, the CrossFit workouts, they're preparing your nervous system for life. Life just a series of ups and downs. And the more you can regulate those ups and downs, the more even keeled and the better off you're going to be. So it's really reps and sets and for me, I've found that the CrossFit workouts, the cold exposure, the sauna sessions, all of those things have built mental resilience for business, for just being a good partner to my girlfriend and just being the best version of myself.
Dr. Latt Mansor:So what you're saying is that the more pain you experience, then the rest of the pain becomes less painful?
Eric Hinman:Yeah, I call it type two fun. Some of these things in the moment might not feel all that great, but you feel amazing afterwards and it's just going to make your life better. I mean, to be honest with you, most of the things I do enjoy. I don't dread my sauna and cold plunge sessions, I don't dread my CrossFit workouts. I look forward to them. Are they uncomfortable sometimes in the moment? Sure. But I still look forward to it. So I think you develop a tolerance to it and once you've done it once, twice, five times for a year, I mean all of a sudden you don't have this mental barrier around it, you know how it's going to feel. It's not going to kill you. There might be some discomfort in the beginning when you dunk your head in that cold water. There might be some discomfort when you initially start a CrossFit met con. But I mean with most of these things I kind of settle into it and it just kind of becomes the new norm. And in a weird way I start to enjoy it.
Dr. Latt Mansor:That's the key, becoming the new norm. When we define a new norm, which is a harder further goal to achieve, then the old goal that we struggled with became the normal and became something that we can easily overcome and then we move on. And that's how we are as humans, as we adapt the best adaptive machine that we are. But there's one thing I also saw on your Instagram where you have a gratitude jar. And I think gratitude in and of itself is such a powerful tool to be able to really push us to not just push us to reach greater heights, but also push us to be grateful in the process of doing that. And definitely because of that, you create this positive cycle of emotions and release all these positive hormones in order to be more consistent.
Eric Hinman:Can't agree more. We have a gratitude jar in our kitchen and every night, myself, my girlfriend, Sarah, anyone who's over, we write what we were grateful for that day. And at the end of the year we read all of those notes and I agree. I like building my day around tiny wins is what I call these things and gratitude is one of them, but each of these things that I'm doing throughout my day are kind of pushing the ball forward just a little bit. I think Tony Robbins said progress is happiness and that certainly is the case for me. And I try to build my day around these things that bring me a sense of progress and bring a sense of happiness and the more you can structure your day around those things and then at the end of the day reflect on it and be like, that was a perfect day. That's going to lead to an incredible life, an incredibly rewarding life.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Absolutely. And just to close it up as well, I want to ask you a question that I usually ask all my guest, what is health and modern nutrition? What does that mean to you?
Eric Hinman:I think it means being the best version of yourself. Understanding how to structure your day around various wellness practices, which are going to improve everything else in your life. I feel like a better entrepreneur, I feel like a better boyfriend, I feel just a better all around human by building my day around movement, eating healthy, my recovery routines. And it just becomes a snowball effect. And again, it's easy to overwhelm yourself with this. So I always say tackle one thing each year. Make exercise a complete routine for yourself, year one, year two, tinker with different diets, see what works for you, when you eat, how much you eat, tinker with sleep in year three, tinker with recovery routines in year four, tinker with gratitude and stillness and meditation in year five. It's a long journey, but it's fun. Every single year you can pick something new to tackle. And again, progress equals happiness.
Dr. Latt Mansor:That sounds amazing and clearly, you have such a wealth of knowledge and experience around all of this. And how can our listeners and audience find you get inspired by you and it's all around like connect with you.
Eric Hinman:Yeah, best place is Instagram, just my name, Eric Hinman, my website, erichinman.com. I have my diet and routine listed out on my website, so you can find that there. And message me on Instagram with any questions. I love talking about this stuff and all of this really changed my life for the better. So the message I like to get out there is just sharing things that helped me. And I hope that people can take some things away that ultimately helps them.
Dr. Latt Mansor:And I love how down to earth you are that you said you've done this for so many years, more than a decade, and you reach where you are today. And it's not what everyone thinks of Instagram, where people see six pack, where people see a tremendous, amazing bodies and they're just being transformed overnight, they don't. It's just that they're seeing it now because of how accessible and how digestible social media are these days. Well again, thank you so much Eric for being on HVMM podcast and it has been a pleasure chatting with you and thank you so much for sharing your knowledge as well.
Eric Hinman:Thank you so much, Latt.
Dr. Latt Mansor:If you have enjoyed the episode, please like, share and subscribe, and if you have any comments or feedback, please leave it in the comments section. You can find us at HVMM on all social media platform and myself at Latt Mansor on all social media platform as well. The HVMM podcast and myself are powered by Ketone-IQ. The most effective way for you to elevate your blood keto levels for optimal cognitive and physical performance as well as metabolic health. Thanks again for listening. Until next time.
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