Published March 2022 on YouTube

Dr. Andy Galpin: How to Build Strength, Muscle Size & Endurance | Huberman Lab Podcast #65

1. Mastering Fitness

Dr. Andy Galpin shares his expertise on building fitness, including how to build endurance and strength, and the growth of muscle fibers. He also covers flexibility, hydration, nutrition, and supplementation. Dr. Galpin is a trusted voice in exercise science and provides actionable information for recreational exercisers and professional athletes alike.

2. The Brain-Body Contract

Andrew announces two live events in Seattle and Portland, where he will discuss science-based tools for mental and physical health, and performance. The events will cover distinct information from the podcast and social media posts. Tickets are available on Huberman Lab Tour.

3. AG1 (Athletic Greens), Thesis, InsideTracker

Nutrition and Brain Health:Andrew shares his personal experience with Athletic Greens and how it helps him cover his nutritional needs and support his microbiome. He also highlights the importance of vitamin D3 and K2 for brain and body health.
Personalized Nootropics:Andrew discusses the benefits of using Thesis' personalized nootropics to enhance different brain processes and genetics. He also shares his experience with using their products for over six months.

4. Exercise Principles

Principles of Exercise:Professor Andy Galpin discusses the key concepts of strength training and endurance training, emphasizing that while there are few concepts, there are many methods to achieve them. He categorizes the adaptations of exercise into nine areas, including skill, speed, and hypertrophy power.
Building Physical Performance:Andy and Andrew discuss the different components of physical performance, including power, strength, and endurance. They explain how these components are interrelated and the importance of progressive overload in improving performance.

5. Exercise Variables

Overload Principles:Andrew and Andy discuss the modifiable variables for strength and hypertrophy, including exercise choice and execution. They emphasize that the exercise selection itself does not determine the outcome adaptation, but rather the correct execution of the exercise.
Exercise Prescription:Andy explains how exercise selection and intensity are important variables in exercise prescription. The choice of exercise determines the muscle groups used and the likelihood of success, while intensity refers to a percentage of one's maximum weight or heart rate.
Determining Repetition Range:Andy Galpin explains that determining a repetition range for squats is a more intuitive way than assessing one's one repetition maximum. This can be done through conversion charts or by feel, and is safer for the general public without coaching. The intensity and volume of the exercise also play a role in determining the repetition range.
Manipulating Exercise Variables:Andy Galpin discusses the four manipulable variables in exercise: choice, intensity, volume, and rest intervals. He also emphasizes the importance of progressive overload and proper movement patterns for beginners.
Training Sore Muscles:Andy and Andrew discuss whether it's okay to train sore muscles and the importance of finding a balance between pushing yourself and avoiding injury. They also touch on the importance of frequency in training and how to manipulate variables to achieve specific goals like strength without muscle size.

6. Modifying Strength Variables

Modifiable Strength Variables:Andrew explains the importance of modifying variables to get stronger and how to ensure all joints go through full range of motion in workouts. He also emphasizes the importance of good exercise technique.
Exercise Selection:Andy emphasizes the importance of exercise selection to prevent injury and enhance strength development. He suggests choosing exercises with a full range of motion that don't compromise back position. He also recommends balancing between movement areas and selecting exercises that make you feel stable and safe.
Exercise Selection:Andy and Andrew discuss how all exercises are essentially pulls because muscles can only contract and pull on themselves. They also suggest exercise selection for a well-rounded workout and emphasize the importance of variety in muscle contractions for strength development.
Muscle Fiber Recruitment:Andy explains the importance of muscle fiber recruitment and how it affects aging. He discusses the activation of slow and fast twitch muscle fibers and how challenging the muscle to produce more force is necessary to develop strength.
Strength Training Basics:Andy explains the importance of high intensity and low repetition range for true strength training, and emphasizes the need for proper warm-up and rest intervals to maintain the primary driver of strength.
Efficient Strength Training:Andy and Andrew discuss how to make strength training more efficient by supersetting exercises and keeping workout duration to no more than 60-75 minutes. They also touch on the potential benefits of supersetting for cardiovascular work.
Maximizing Physiological Adaptations:Andy and Andrew discuss how to maximize physiological adaptations through exercise. They present a matrix that shows the different physiological potential adaptations one can achieve through various exercises. They also emphasize the importance of choosing the right adaptations to achieve the desired physiological changes.

7. Muscle Training Insights

Muscle Training Frequency:Andrew shares his experience with muscle training frequency and high-intensity workouts. He emphasizes the importance of recovery and explains how to know if a muscle is recovered locally and if the nervous system is recovered systemically.
Muscle Training Principles:Andy explains that soreness is not a good indicator of exercise quality and that muscle training principles vary depending on the goal. For hypertrophy, we need to focus on recovery, while for strength, we need to focus on intensity. The primary driver of hypertrophy is not the same as strength, and therefore frequency can be as high as you want for strength training.
Immediate Muscle Adaptations:Andrew and Andy discuss the immediate adaptations that occur in the nervous system after strength training, which allow for increased strength within a few days. Sustained hypertrophy takes around four weeks to become visible.
Muscle Fibers and Human Movement:Andy explains how muscle fibers don't cause movements but simply contract, and how connective tissue plays a crucial role in human movement. He also discusses how changes in muscle size don't guarantee more force production, and how manipulating biomechanical considerations and the nervous system can lead to improvements in total force production.
Optimal Hypertrophy Window:Andy and Andrew discuss the optimal window for hypertrophy, which is around 48 to 72 hours. They explain how the gene cascade and protein synthesis process work, and emphasize the importance of recovery before hitting the same muscle group again. Waiting longer than the optimal window doesn't mean losing progress, but missing an opportunity to induce further hypertrophy.
High Intensity Training:Andrew and Mike discuss the benefits of high intensity training and the importance of avoiding the health hazards of exogenous hormones in bodybuilding. They also touch on the trade-offs of running and weight training, and the frequency of muscle group training.
Hypertrophy Training:Andy explains the importance of volume in hypertrophy training and the minimum threshold of working sets per muscle group per week. He also discusses the challenges of splitting up training sessions for hypertrophy into smaller numbers and the importance of frequency in achieving the desired volume.

8. Hypertrophy Insights

Hypertrophy Training:Andy and Andrew discuss the repetition ranges and frequency for hypertrophy training. They suggest that anywhere between five to 30 reps per set is effective for hypertrophy gains, and taking it to muscular failure is necessary. They also mention that training a muscle twice a week is a good number to get most people really strong.
Rep Schemes:Andy Galpin recommends changing repetition ranges to make workouts more fun. The three most likely drivers of muscle hypertrophy are metabolic stress, mechanical tension, and muscular damage. While the mechanisms inducing hypertrophy are different, there is only a maximum amount of growth one can get.
Hypertrophy Training:Andy and Andrew discuss the benefits of blood flow restriction training and the importance of using proper cuffs. They also explain that training to failure is important for hypertrophy, but extreme failure is not necessary. The key is to drive heavy stress damage or pump in your workout.
Building Muscle:Andy Galpin and Andrew Huberman discuss the importance of feeling a muscle group contract and getting a pump during exercises to promote growth. They recommend feeling a burn of at least three on a scale of one to ten and suggest experimenting with different sets and reps, including sets of 30 for hypertrophy.

9. Tools: Protocols for Strength Training, the 3 by 5 Concept

Andy shares a simple three to five concept for strength and power training. The only difference between the two is intensity. For strength, focus on 85%+ of your max, while for power, stay in the 40% to 70% range. Both concepts are broad enough to fit any lifestyle and allow for variation in exercises, reps, and frequency.

10. Mind-Muscle Connection

Mind-Muscle Connection:Andrew and Andy discuss the importance of intentionality during workouts for both strength and hypertrophy. The intent to move is more important than the actual movement velocity for power and speed development. The mind-muscle connection is crucial for hypertrophy, with recent studies showing the benefits of imagining contracting muscles harder during exercises.
Mind-Body Connection:Andy and Andrew discuss the mind-body connection and how being intentional and present during workouts can lead to more muscle growth. They also touch on the benefits of looking at and flexing specific muscles during workouts.

11. Mental Awareness

Muscle Engagement:Andrew and Andy discuss the importance of engaging specific muscle groups for hypertrophy and strength. Andy shares his struggle with activating his lats and rhomboids and how it took him a decade to figure out how to engage them properly.
Maximizing Exercise Results:Andy explains how proper execution and technique are crucial for muscle activation and development during exercise. He provides examples of how compensating movements can hinder progress and offers tips for improving technique to maximize results.
Core Activation:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of proprioceptive feedback in activating core muscles during exercise. They explain how using a belt or consensual tapping can help increase muscle activation and awareness. They also provide simple exercises to improve core activation.
Muscle Activation Strategies:Andy discusses the importance of stabilizing the spine and how to do it effectively through muscle activation strategies such as proprioceptive feedback and eccentric overload. He emphasizes the need for flexing the musculature in a cylindric fashion for better control and separation of breath from brace.
Eccentric Movements:Andy and Andrew discuss the benefits of eccentric movements for strength development and hypertrophy, but caution that they can lead to more soreness than concentric movements. They also explain that muscle soreness is often caused by disruption of calcium, rather than microtrauma.

12. Breathing for Resistance

Breathing for Resistance Training:Andy Galpin suggests that maintaining intramuscular, intra-abdominal pressure while breathing is the best way to breathe during resistance training. A decent strategy is to maintain a breath hold during the lowering or eccentric portion of the movement and then exhale on the concentric portion.
Breathing Strategies:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of breathing strategies during workouts and in between sets for optimal recovery. They emphasize the benefits of intentional breathing routines for athletes and the potential consequences of ignoring it.
Breathing Strategies:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of breathing strategies post-exercise for recovery and neuroplasticity. They recommend a down regulation strategy involving breath control and light control. Andy suggests a double exhale length relative to inhale, and Andrew shares his personal experience with implementing this strategy for quicker recovery and sustained energy levels.
Endurance Strategies:Andrew and Andy discuss the importance of down-regulation after interval activities and how it can improve endurance. They suggest taking a minute to reset after every high-intensity activity, even work or social engagements, to save energy and improve performance.

13. Endurance Exercise Tips

Endurance Exercise Tips:Andrew and Andy discuss the importance of exercise choice for endurance training. They recommend starting with activities that are mostly concentric-based to avoid muscle soreness and damage caused by eccentric landing. Cycling and swimming are good options for low-impact endurance workouts.
Endurance Training:Andy Galpin advises listeners to progress their volume for endurance slowly, especially when it involves eccentric landing. He suggests picking an exercise that you are most technically proficient in and enjoy doing. Galpin recommends doing a 30-minute circuit with weights, such as a farmers carry, plank, and bodyweight squats, or a simple 30-minute workout on the treadmill, bike, and rower.
Cardio and Hypertrophy:Andrew and Andy discuss the benefits of zone two cardio for hypertrophy and how it can be incorporated into a strength training routine without interfering with gains. They also touch on the importance of frequency and exercise choice for long duration endurance.
Concurrent Training Insights:Andy and Hickman's experiment on concurrent training showed that combining strength training and endurance training did not compromise endurance adaptations. This insight challenged the traditional exercise physiology approach and paved the way for concurrent training as a viable option for athletes.
Endurance and Strength:Andy Galpin discusses the interference effect between endurance and strength training, and how it affects muscle growth. He explains that while it is a real phenomenon, it is often overblown and can be managed with proper nutrition and exercise programming. The discussion also covers the mechanisms behind the interference effect and how it relates to cell signaling pathways.
Strength and Endurance:Andy and Andrew discuss the interference effect of endurance training on strength gains and hypertrophy. They explore protocols for continuous endurance training and the importance of strength work for endurance athletes to maintain total physiological health.

14. Endurance Training Tips

Endurance Training:Andrew and Andy discuss the importance of endurance training for overall health and provide tips on how to incorporate it into your daily routine. They emphasize the need for consistent movement and suggest efficient ways to achieve it, such as taking phone calls while walking or pacing during work. They also outline a weekly schedule for building endurance.
Max Heart Rate:Andy explains that maximum heart rate is not a good proxy for physical fitness and suggests doing something once a week that gets you to a maximum heart rate, regardless of the time domain. He also gives an easy way to calculate maximum heart rate and provides examples of activities that can help achieve it.
Max Heart Rate:Andrew and Andy discuss the importance of reaching maximum heart rate during cardiovascular training for specific adaptations such as increased stroke volume and cardiac output. They explain how even short bursts of high-intensity exercise can provide these benefits.
Maximizing Physiological Failure:Andy explains the importance of challenging the body to its maximum to cause adaptation. He also highlights the difference between physiological failure and the time one lasts during exercise, emphasizing the importance of understanding one's point of physiological failure.
Training Failure:Andy explains how different athletes fail in different ways, and how training protocols can be adapted to improve those weaknesses. By focusing on the point of failure, athletes can see greater improvements in the areas they need it most.
Endurance Training Tips:Andy Galpin shares tips on endurance training, including the ideal number of sessions per week and the complementary effect of high interval training on hypertrophy training. He also discusses the benefits of muscular endurance exercises like planks and wall sits.
Efficient Workouts:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of finding motivation to do workouts that are challenging but efficient. They suggest doing a thorough warm-up and then giving four minutes of hard work, followed by breathing down regulation. They also emphasize that if you can't do it frequently, doing it every other week is still beneficial.
Breathing and Endurance:Andy Galpin discusses the benefits of nasal breathing during endurance training and recommends a middle ground of sustained hard work for 2-6 minutes with equivalent rest periods. He also emphasizes the importance of muscular endurance for joint health.

15. Muscle and Strength

Muscle Fibers:Andy explains the two types of muscle fibers in the human body, fast twitch and slow twitch. He discusses their differences in size, velocity, and fuel usage. He also explains how muscle fiber composition differs from muscle to muscle and person to person.
Muscular Endurance:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of muscular endurance in maintaining joint integrity and preventing injury. Slow twitch muscle fibers play a crucial role in postural integrity and need to be trained to prevent fast twitch fibers from taking over and causing injury. Building muscular endurance through exercises like wall sits and planks can prepare the body for more intense work and prevent fatigue-related injuries.
Strength Laws:Andy Galpin explains his final laws of strength and conditioning. He emphasizes that there are no good or bad exercises, only good or bad application. Injuries occur due to bad positioning, too much volume, intensity or complexity. To avoid these injuries, reduce the complexity, give yourself more stability, less moving parts, do less volume, and do less intensity.

16. Hydration Hormesis

Hydration Hormesis:Andrew and Andy discuss the importance of hydration and how it follows the hormetic curve. They explain how dehydration and overhydration can have negative consequences, and emphasize the need for finding the right balance.
Hydration Guidelines:Andy Galpin explains the importance of staying hydrated and provides guidelines for daily water consumption and post-workout fluid replacement. He also discusses the role of electrolytes in hydration and how caffeine can affect water excretion.
Hydration and Diet:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of hydration and diet quality. They explain how caffeine affects fluid intake and the impact of highly processed, low quality diets on hydration levels. They also emphasize the importance of considering fluid intake from whole foods.
Sodium Intake:Andy Galpin discusses the importance of monitoring sodium intake for overall health, especially for those with comorbidities. He suggests categorizing oneself as a low or high sodium sweater and adjusting electrolyte supplements accordingly. Galpin also mentions the hazards of both high and low sodium intake and how to determine one's sweat type.
Sweat Testing Options:Andy and Andrew discuss different options for sweat testing, including a $150 patch and a more consumer-friendly $25 patch from Gatorade. They also touch on the importance of sodium intake, particularly for athletes, but warn those with pre-hypertension or obesity to be cautious.
Hydration and Salt Intake:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of hydration and salt intake during exercise. They provide tips on how to monitor salt levels and suggest a simple rule for pre and post-workout salt intake. They also emphasize the importance of starting a workout well hydrated.
Hydration Tips:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of hydration and electrolytes during exercise. They provide tips on how to calculate the amount of fluids needed and how to train your gut to handle it. They also mention the importance of staying hydrated during golf games.
Optimal Recovery Strategies:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of recovery and hydration strategies for athletes. They emphasize the need to start recovery immediately after exercise and to consume enough fluids and salt to replenish the body. They also touch on the benefits of training fasted and the use of cold immersion for recovery.

17. Cold Exposure & Training

Cold Exposure and Exercise:Andrew discusses the effects of cold exposure on strength and hypertrophy training. He suggests doing cold exposure training away from strength and hypertrophy training but mentions that doing it right afterward probably won't prevent improvement. He also advises against getting into an ice bath immediately after a Hip Perry session as it may be detrimental.
Cold Therapy Timing:Andy Galpin explains the importance of timing when it comes to cold therapy and working out. Waiting at least four hours after a workout before getting into an ice bath is recommended to avoid disrupting the signaling cascade and gene expression that occurs after a workout. Cold showers are not as effective as true cold water immersion and should not be done immediately after a workout.
Ice for Recovery:Andy Galpin discusses the use of ice baths and cold water immersion for recovery. He explains the difference between pushing for optimization and adaptation, and how ice can be used to optimize recovery in athletes. While there is some data to suggest that cold water immersion can enhance endurance adaptations, Galpin recommends avoiding it immediately after a workout to maximize hypertrophy and strength.

18. Heat Exposure & Training

Benefits of Heat:Andy and Andrew discuss the benefits of heat for fitness and health, including increased growth hormone, vasodilation, and improved sweating. They also touch on the use of saunas and hot baths for post-hypertrophy training.
Hot Bath Caution:Andy Galpin cautions listeners about misapplying mechanisms and overestimating the benefits of hot baths. While hot baths aid in blood flow and metabolic stress, people should be careful not to move percentages from molecular to outcome.
Sauna for Health:Andy and Andrew discuss the benefits of sauna for general health outcomes and stress that it is not a substitute for exercise. They recommend using sauna as a supplement to exercise and caution against working out in the sauna. Andrew shares his personal routine for heat exposure and emphasizes the importance of hydration.
Cold Water Immersion:Andy discusses the benefits of cold water immersion on athlete performance, including improved HRV scores and reduced fatigue. He recommends moving around in the water to break up the thermal layer and increase the effectiveness of the therapy.
Cold Water Immersion:Andy and Andrew discuss the benefits of cold water immersion for recovery. They compare different methods of cold exposure, from ice baths to cold showers, and explain how immersion in cool to cold water can still provide benefits. They also mention the increase in dopamine and epinephrine that occurs during cold water exposure.

19. Recovery

Recovery Methods:Andrew and Andy discuss the effectiveness of grip strength and carbon dioxide tolerance tests in gauging recovery of the nervous system. While there is less published data on CO2 tolerance, Andy's lab is currently studying its association with anxiety.
Stress and Recovery:Andy Galpin explains the importance of balancing stress and recovery in order to optimize physical ability and adaptability. By analyzing visible and hidden stressors and recovery capacity, athletes can reduce stress intake or increase recovery capacity to achieve the most adaptation possible.
Recovery and Optimization:Andy Galpin discusses the importance of identifying performance anchors and removing them to optimize recovery and improve adaptation. He explains the use of biomarkers and performance metrics to track recovery markers and upper motor neuron capacity. A combination of subjective and objective measures is ideal for tracking recovery.
Recovery Metrics:Andrew and Andy discuss the use of devices in tracking sleep and recovery. They explore the limitations of these devices and the importance of consistent metrics. They also touch on the carbon dioxide tolerance test and the effectiveness of baking soda as a training tool.

20. Tool: Sodium Bicarbonate

Enhancing Performance:Andy explains how sodium bicarbonate can enhance training output by regulating pH levels in the body, which is crucial for muscle contraction. By using this supplement, athletes can delay the onset of fatigue and improve their performance during training.
Carbon and Energy:Andy explains the process of breaking down carbon to create energy in the body, and how it is converted into ATP for muscle contraction. He also discusses how plants use carbon to create glucose and starch.
Energy Production:Andy and Thorne discuss the two primary categories of energy production, anaerobic and aerobic, and how acid buildup can be a problem in anaerobic glycolysis. They explore ways to reduce acid buildup to prolong and sustain energy in an effective pace.
Muscle Fuel:Andy explains the difference between using carbohydrates and fat as fuel during exercise. While fat is a slow but steady source of energy, carbohydrates stored in the muscles are quickly broken down for immediate use.
Lactic Acid and Delaying Fatigue:Andy explains how lactate is not causing fatigue but actually preventing it. He also discusses how sodium bicarbonate can delay the progression of fatigue and how it can be taken before a workout.
Sodium Bicarb Benefits:Andrew and Andy discuss the benefits of using sodium bicarb as a supplement for exercise. They share tips on how to make the solution and when to drink it, as well as its effects on reducing fatigue and lactate burn.

21. Tool: Creatine Monohydrate

Andrew and Andy discuss the effectiveness of supplements, particularly creatine, in enhancing physical health and performance. Creatine monohydrate is considered the "Michael Jordan of all supplementation" due to its wide-ranging benefits, including effects on the neurological system and mental health.

22. Absolute Rest

Absolute Rest Project:Andy and Cody discuss the Absolute Rest Project, a cutting-edge sleep technology that aims to provide solutions for high-quality sleep by identifying the reasons why people are sleeping the way they are. They used first principle thinking to solve the problems related to sleep and worked with computer science folks and tech experts to develop this project.
Achieving High Quality Sleep:Andy Galpin discusses the three nodes that go into high effective, high quality sleep: psychology, physiology, and pathology. He explains how to diagnose and correct issues in each area, including measuring dopamine, serotonin, melatonin, adrenaline, and cortisol levels, and running a full diagnostic for sleep disorders.
Better Sleep Solutions:Andy Galpin discusses how technology can help improve sleep quality by identifying the root cause of sleep issues and making small adjustments to the sleep environment. By using a device that scans the temperature and humidity of the room, they were able to identify that a professional athlete's sleep issues were caused by sleeping on his back. Simply by moving him onto his side, they saw an 85% reduction in sleep awakeness issues the very first night.
Sleep Diagnostics:Andy discusses how sleep diagnostics can help identify environmental or pathological factors that affect sleep. He introduces a new technology that measures CO2 levels, volatile organic acids, and allergens in the air to optimize sleep conditions.
Valuable Insights:Andrew and Andy discuss the importance of being data-driven and the value of distilling information into protocols that work for most people. They also express gratitude for the wealth of information shared during the podcast.

23. Supplements Quality

Andrew and Andy discuss the importance of considering the quality of supplement ingredients and recommend Thorn supplements for their high standards. Listeners can get 20% off any supplements through the Thorn website.