Published October 2022 on YouTube

Fitness Toolkit: Protocol & Tools to Optimize Physical Health | Huberman Lab Podcast #94

1. Foundational Protocol for Fitness

Andrew provides a general fitness protocol that can be customized to individual needs, covering endurance, strength, flexibility, hypertrophy, and aesthetic changes. He also discusses real-life issues such as sleep deprivation and nutrition. This foundational template has been used by Andrew for over three decades and is based on science and expert advice.

2. Huberman Lab Premium

Andrew announces the launch of the Huberman Lab Premium channel, which offers subscribers access to exclusive content such as transcripts and short videos. The subscription costs $10 a month or $100 per year, with a portion of the proceeds going to support scientific research.

3. Micro Exercise Benefits

Micro Exercise Benefits:Andrew shares a study about a micro exercise that involves a small movement of just 1% of your musculature. This movement, when performed continuously while seated, has positive changes in blood sugar utilization and metabolism. The study focuses on how people who sit a lot can improve their metabolism and glucose utilization.
Blood Glucose Regulation:Andrew explains the importance of regulating blood glucose levels and the dangers of having levels that are too high or too low. He discusses how people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes have issues with insulin regulation. He also shares a study that shows how a simple exercise can help with glucose clearance from the bloodstream.
Soleus Pushups Study:Andrew discusses a study that found doing soleus pushups for a prolonged period of time can improve blood sugar regulation and metabolism, despite the soleus muscle being only 1% of total musculature. The study used a diverse group of subjects and found that the soleus has a unique property of needing to keep the body moving all day.
Soleus Pushups Benefits:Andrew discusses a study on the benefits of soleus pushups, a low investment exercise that can improve metabolic health. The study showed a significant decrease in blood glucose and insulin levels, making it a useful tool for those who are immobile or want to add more fitness to their regimen.

4. Health and Sleep

Science and Health:Andrew Huberman talks about the importance of regular blood work and how InsideTracker can help you understand your body better. He also discusses the challenges the visual system faces and how ROKA sunglasses and eyeglasses were designed for performance.
Sleep Essentials:Andrew emphasizes the importance of sleep and how it affects our mental and physical health. He recommends Helix Sleep mattresses, which are customized to your sleep needs and can significantly improve the quality of your sleep.

5. Fitness Foundations

Fitness Protocols:Andrew discusses the basic concepts of fitness protocols and the different forms of endurance exercises that can be incorporated into a fitness routine. He emphasizes the importance of understanding the principles of muscle physiology and cardiovascular function to develop an optimal fitness protocol.
Fitness Foundations:Andrew explains that the key to improving fitness is to identify modifiable variables and use progressive overload to improve skill, speed, power, strength, hypertrophy, endurance, etc. He provides a foundational template that can be modified to achieve a combination of strength and endurance, flexibility, and hypertrophy.

6. Day 1: Long Endurance Workout

Fitness Protocol:Andrew shares his foundational fitness protocol that focuses on one aspect of fitness per day, with endurance being the focus on Sundays. He aims for 60-75 minutes of jogging as part of his endurance workout.
Zone Two Cardio:Andrew discusses the benefits of zone two cardio, a type of cardiovascular exercise that improves endurance and can be done through activities such as jogging, rowing, cycling, or swimming. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining a sustainable pace and building up capacity for long-distance exercise.
Weight Vest Benefits:Andrew shares how using a weight vest during long endurance training can increase effort and provide additional benefits such as accommodating a partner's fitness level during hikes or walks.
Endurance Foundation:Andrew shares how doing a long Sunday jog or hike provides a fundamental foundation for cardiovascular fitness and endurance that he can rely on for the rest of the week. He explains the benefits of doing endurance type workouts in zone two cardio and how it builds up muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
Endurance Training Tips:Andrew shares tips on how to build endurance through zone two cardio workouts. He emphasizes the importance of gradually building up fitness and suggests different ways to add weight and speed to the workout.

7. Leg Day Benefits

Andrew explains the benefits of training legs on Monday, including elevating metabolism and amplifying hormonal events in the body. He also emphasizes the importance of legs as the foundation of the body and suggests making leg day the first day of strength and hypertrophy training.

8. Resistance Training Principles

Resistance Training Principles:Andrew discusses the key principles of resistance training, including sets and reps, and the importance of periodizing workouts. He shares his personal leg workout routine, which consists of about 10 minutes of warming up and 50-60 minutes of real work. Andrew emphasizes the importance of not exceeding 60 minutes to prevent increases in cortisol that impede recovery.
Muscle Training Frequency:Andrew shares his personal experience with muscle training frequency and explains how he benefits from working the same muscle group twice per week with longer rest periods in between. He emphasizes the importance of exercise selection and suggests picking exercises that work for you and that you can perform safely.
Building Muscle:Andrew shares his key principles for building muscle, which include finding exercises that put each muscle group into a weighted stretch position and a contraction in the shortened position of the muscle. He recommends doing at least two exercises per muscle group, with a maximum of three, and emphasizes the importance of safety and finding exercises that work for you.
Weight Training Protocols:Andrew discusses his weight training protocols, emphasizing the importance of changing repetition ranges every month to avoid boredom and facilitate continuous progress. He also shares his preferred rep ranges and sets for hypertrophy and strength training.

9. Recovery Routine Benefits

Tuesday Recovery Routine:Andrew discusses his Tuesday recovery routine, which involves heat and cold contrast therapy instead of endurance or resistance training. He explains the benefits of this routine for overall health and fitness.
Recovery and Stimulus:Andrew discusses his recovery routine after a leg workout, including the benefits of heat and cold exposure. He provides tips for accessing heat and cold stimuli, and emphasizes the importance of finding the right temperature for cold exposure.
Hot and Cold Contrast:Andrew talks about his recovery day routine which involves hot and cold contrast to improve cardiovascular function and brain health. He emphasizes the importance of building up slowly and being careful while doing it. He also mentions the benefits of hot and cold contrast and provides a link to the Huberman Lab newsletter for more information.
Recovery Benefits:Andrew explains how doing a lot of heat and cold on one day can be more convenient and provide additional cardiovascular benefits. By doing sauna once a week with multiple sessions on the same day, you can get massive increases in growth hormone, which are extremely beneficial for metabolism and recovery. Deliberate cold exposure on Tuesday will not impede the benefits of strength and hypertrophy and endurance workouts.

10. Torso Resistance Training

Torso Resistance Training:Andrew emphasizes the importance of training the torso on Wednesdays, which includes strengthening the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and back. This type of resistance training is time-efficient and leads to systemic effects that improve overall health and balance.
Torso Training:Andrew explains the benefits of training multiple muscle groups together for the health and integrity of joints, and the systemic hormonal and metabolic effects. He shares his torso training routine, which includes two exercises per muscle group, and emphasizes the importance of balancing strength.
Torso Workout Tips:Andrew shares tips for torso workouts, including exercise choices for peak contraction and stretching movements, as well as sets and repetitions for strength and hypertrophy. He also emphasizes the importance of training the neck for total body stability and safety.
Neck Training Benefits:Andrew explains the benefits of training your neck, including injury prevention and improved posture. He also emphasizes the importance of proper technique and provides resources for safe neck training.

11. Cardiovascular Endurance

Cardiovascular Endurance:Andrew discusses his Thursday cardiovascular exercise routine, which is focused on tapping into a range of endurance where heart rate is elevated significantly but not at an all-out sprint. He shares his warm-up routine and the goal of the workout, which is to improve cardiovascular endurance.
Optimal Fitness Protocol:Andrew discusses the importance of a foundational fitness protocol that improves multiple aspects of endurance and leaves you in a state where you can perform various physical activities. He explains how a 35-minute cardiovascular session can tap into multiple fuel systems for the muscle and shares alternative exercises for those who don't have access to equipment.
Skipping for Cardio:Andrew shares his experience with using a jump rope for cardiovascular training while traveling. He explains the benefits and limitations of skipping rope and recommends a great Instagram channel for inspiration.

12. Cardiovascular Training

Cardiovascular Training:Andrew explains the importance of cardiovascular training and how it can stimulate strength and hypertrophy increases for the legs. He shares his personal high intensity interval training routine and emphasizes the need to consistently do certain workouts on certain days to avoid disrupting the program.
Maximum Heart Rate:Andrew discusses how to determine your maximum heart rate and the importance of getting your heart rate up towards maximum at least once a week for good cardiovascular health. He shares his personal workout routine and emphasizes the importance of not pushing yourself too hard if you're not in good cardiovascular health.
Safe and Effective HIIT:Andrew Huberman discusses the importance of being careful with all-out sprints and recommends safer options like the Airdyne or assault bike for high-intensity interval training. He emphasizes the need to avoid overextension and not go all-out to prevent injuries.

13. Saturday Arm Day

Andrew explains the importance of training arms, calves, and neck on Saturdays, and how it indirectly trains the torso muscles as well. He suggests doing dip movements and pulling movements for biceps, along with triceps isolation and peak contraction movements. The workout should be around 50-60 minutes with a focus on activating arms directly and torso muscles indirectly.

14. Flexible Fitness Schedule

Andrew emphasizes the flexibility of his fitness schedule, stating that workouts can be shifted one day forward or back to accommodate for travel, work, or illness. The focus is on optimizing the overall program rather than any specific aspect of training or adaptation.

15. Muscle Mind Connection

Andrew discusses the importance of the mind muscle link in generating hypertrophy and strength gains during weight training. He shares tips on how to isolate muscles and focus on performance during sets, as well as a tool to calm the nervous system in between sets.

16. Safe Cardio Training

Andrew emphasizes the importance of completing repetitive movements safely in any kind of cardiovascular training. He advises against compromising the integrity of joints and musculature and connective tissue while training.

17. Training After Poor Sleep

Andrew discusses the impact of poor sleep on training and shares his personal preference to skip training after a bad night's sleep to focus on recovery. He also introduces the concept of non-sleep deep rest as an alternative for those who still want to workout after a poor night's sleep.

18. Should You Train Fasted or Fed?

Andrew shares his personal preference for training fasted and how he optimizes his nutrition to support his training goals. He emphasizes the importance of finding what works best for each individual's body and goals.

19. Flexibility and Nervous System Tips

Flexibility Techniques:Andrew discusses the most effective flexibility techniques based on research. He recommends static stretching, holding a stretch and relaxing into it, and repeating the process for multiple muscle groups throughout the week. Andrew also shares his personal routine and tips for incorporating stretching into daily life.
Nervous System Tips:Andrew shares two nervous system related tips for fitness: relaxing into the stretch and irradiation. These tips can help with muscle contraction and relaxation, and can be applied to your overall foundational fitness protocol.

20. Bar Hanging Benefits

Dr. Peter Attia shares insights on how bar hanging can be a metric for health and longevity. Gripping the bar tightly can help improve fitness and lifespan. Check out his podcast and social media for more information.

21. Training and Illness

Andrew discusses whether or not to train when feeling sick and shares his personal approach. He advises caution when experiencing minor symptoms and to avoid training altogether when feeling unwell. Additionally, he suggests gradually ramping up training after a layoff due to illness or other obligations.

22. Recovery Breathing

Andrew emphasizes the importance of doing three to five minutes of deliberately slowed breathing after every training session to downshift the nervous system and allow for maximal recovery.

23. Fitness Protocol

Optimal Fitness Protocol:Andrew shares his foundational fitness protocol that covers strength, endurance, hypertrophy, speed, power, and flexibility. He emphasizes that it's a starting point that can be tailored to individual needs. He also mentions the importance of regulating the nervous system and suggests leaving comments and checking out the podcast's sponsors.
Premium Channel:Andrew Huberman has launched a premium channel that features monthly AMAs and other premium resources. The proceeds from the premium channel go to support the standard Huberman Lab podcast and various research projects done on humans to create tools for mental health, physical health, and performance.