Published January 2023 on YouTube

Dr. Andy Galpin: How to Assess & Improve All Aspects of Your Fitness | Huberman Lab Guest Series

1. Dr. Andy Galpin

Andy Galpin teaches us how to assess our level of fitness and how to think about fitness to achieve our exercise and performance goals. The episode covers different levels of fitness, overtraining, and recovery.+

2. Assessing Fitness

Andy Galpin discusses the two major goals of exercise - appearance and functionality - and how to assess one's level of fitness to achieve these goals. He explains the major components of physical fitness and the infinite methods to achieve them, while Andrew Huberman emphasizes the incredible ability of the body's organ systems to adapt through physical exercise.+

3. 9 Exercise-Induced Adaptations

Fitness Adaptations:Andy Galpin explains the nine major types of physiological adaptations that can be achieved through exercise, including skill development, speed, power, strength, muscular endurance, and muscle hypertrophy. He clarifies the difference between strength and muscular endurance and emphasizes that the latter is specific to localized muscle groups.+
Athletic Performance:Andy and Andrew discuss the different types of athletic performance and how they are measured. They cover muscle endurance, anaerobic capacity, and aerobic capacity, and explain the differences between each type.+

4. Exercise Science

Andy Galpin walks Andrew through the nine different adaptations to exercise and the various tests that can be done to determine one's level of fitness in each category. He explains that fat loss and general health are byproducts of these nine adaptations and that training for health is determined by one's current status in physical fitness among these nine areas. Galpin also covers the history of exercise science and provides specific directions for achieving optimal results in each category.+

5. Momentous, LMNT, Eight Sleep

Andrew discusses the importance of using high-quality, single-ingredient supplements for optimal results and introduces Momentous as a sponsor. Title: Optimize Cellular Functioning Topics: Electrolytes, Performance Summary: Andrew introduces Element as a sponsor and emphasizes the importance of proper electrolyte balance for mental and physical performance. Title: Transform Your Sleep Topics: Sleep, Temperature Summary: Andrew shares his personal experience with Eight Sleep's mattress cover and explains how adjusting your sleeping environment's temperature can improve the quality of your sleep.+

6. Lifetime Endurance Training: VO2 Max & Other Health Metrics

Exercise Science Insights:Andy Galpin discusses the history of exercise science and the importance of combination training for maximizing health and overall functionality throughout time. He highlights a study done with cross country skiers in their 80s and 90s who had been competing for 50-60 consecutive years and compares them to a group of non-exercising individuals of the same age.+
Elderly Fitness:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of VO2 max in determining fitness levels in the elderly. They conducted tests on 92-year-olds in both Sweden and America, and found that those with a VO2 max below 18 may require assisted living. The American group had an average VO2 max just above this threshold.+
Fit 90-Year-Olds:Andy and Andrew discuss the impressive fitness levels of 80-90 year old Swedish cross country skiers, whose VO2 max levels were comparable to those of college-aged men. They also mention the importance of a low resting heart rate and regular exercise in maintaining fitness as we age.+
Consistency and Cardiovascular Exercise:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of consistency in cardiovascular exercise and how it can lead to better cardiovascular function. However, they also note that this type of exercise is not sufficient for overall global health and that other markers of health, such as leg strength, need to be considered as well.+

7. Twin Exercise Experiment

Identical Twin Study:Andy discusses a study on monozygous twins, who have the same DNA, and how it's the perfect exercise experiment to determine the impact of genetics versus lifestyle on physiology. One twin is a lifelong endurance athlete while the other is not, allowing for a comparison of the effects of exercise on their physiology.+
Exercise Experiment:Andy Galpin shares the story of an experiment he conducted on twins to examine human performance through a holistic lens. They took stool samples, blood, did vertical jump tests, genetic testing, and psychological battery to figure out what differed between the twins and by how much. They also compared an endurance-only training paradigm to a non-endurance athlete.+
Exercise and Strength:Andy and Andrew discuss the results of a study on identical twins, one who exercised and one who did not. While the exercising twin had better markers for health, the non-exercising twin was stronger in functional tests like grip strength and vertical jump. The study highlights the importance of incorporating different types of exercise for optimal health and functionality.+

8. Aging, Muscle Fibers & Exercise

Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of maintaining fast twitch muscle fibers as we age, and how exercise can help change muscle fiber type. They also explore the differences in muscle fiber distribution in various muscles of the body.+

9. Exercise Physiology History

Andy Galpin explains how the history of exercise science has led to false assumptions about exercise and training. Many common questions about exercise are based on these false assumptions, and the answer to these questions depends on the goal of the training.+

10. AG1 (Athletic Greens)

Andrew discusses the importance of meeting foundational nutritional needs and how Athletic Greens helps him achieve that goal. He highlights the vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and adaptogens in Athletic Greens and offers a special offer for listeners to try it out.+

11. Evolution of Exercise

Evolution of Exercise:Andy and Andrew discuss the evolution of exercise science, from the first endurance feats to the formation of the American College of Sports Medicine. They also touch on the fear of strength training due to a physician's death in the late 1800s.+
Strength Training Myths:Andy Galpin shares the story of Peter Karpovich, a scientist who was anti-strength training and launched the idea that strength training would make you lose flexibility and be bad for kids. Galpin debunks these myths and shares how Karpovich was stunned by the physical feats of bodybuilders and weightlifters.+
The Rise of Strength Training:Andy and Andrew discuss how strength training went from being an obscure practice to a popular one, largely thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger's influence through his movies like Pumping Iron and Conan. They also talk about how science started to show that strength training was not only safe, but also beneficial for overall health.+
Evolution of Strength Training:Andrew and Andy discuss the evolution of strength training from the late 70s to the mid-90s, including the cultural shift towards weightlifting and the formation of the National Strength Conditioning Association. They also touch on the scientific field of exercise physiology and its focus on endurance training.+

12. Bodybuilding Insights

Bodybuilding Myths:Andy and Andrew discuss common misconceptions about bodybuilding, such as the idea that you can't train a muscle group on back-to-back days. They also explore the time commitment required for traditional bodybuilding workouts and offer insights on how to achieve hypertrophy without spending hours in the gym.+
Efficient Exercise:Andy explains how the paradigm of exercise has shifted from movement-based training to muscle group-based training, leading to a lack of cardiovascular fitness. He suggests efficient exercise routines that can provide the same or better results in under 30 minutes.Show transcript +
Bodybuilding vs CrossFit:Andy Galpin explains how bodybuilders focus on exercise quality and muscle activation, while CrossFit prioritizes explosive movements and speed. While CrossFit may be a more efficient workout, it can lead to safety concerns and burnout if technique is not prioritized.+

13. Women & Weight Training

Women in Strength:Andy Galpin discusses the rise of female athletes in strength training and the increasing number of women in exercise science and strength conditioning coaching. The conversation touches on the benefits of weight training for women, including offsetting bone density loss.+
Inclusive Science:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of including women in scientific research and how it's now a requirement to study both male and female rodents and humans in a given study. They also touch upon the increasing number of female sports scientists being hired in the NBA.+
Female Athlete Research:Andy and Andrew discuss the lack of funding for high-performance research specifically for female athletes, and the gender bias in sports science. They highlight the need for normative data and performance testing for women, especially in areas like birth control and exercise management.+

14. Optimizing Exercise Protocols

Andy and Andy discuss how exercise protocols can be optimized to achieve specific adaptations such as muscle strength, power, endurance, and well-roundedness. By looking at different styles of training, protocols can be generated to get the exact adaptations needed without unwanted ones.+

15. InsideTracker

Andrew takes a brief break to acknowledge their sponsor, Inside Tracker, a personalized nutrition platform that analyzes data from your blood and DNA to help you better understand your body and reach your health goals. Inside Tracker's personalized platform lets you see your specific numbers and what sorts of behavioral do's and don'ts, nutritional changes, and supplementation would allow you to bring those levels into the ranges that are optimal for you.+

16. Movement/Skill Test

Movement Assessment:Andy Galpin discusses a four-step solution for assessing movement patterns to stay injury-free and continue training for as long as possible. The assessment focuses on symmetry, range of motion, stability, and control of each joint during representative movements.+
Movement Technique:Andy Galpin explains the importance of movement technique and how to identify asymmetries or instabilities in movements. He emphasizes the need for awareness and full range of motion through each joint.+

17. Speed Test, Power Test

Testing Power:Andy Galpin explains why testing power is more important than testing speed for most people. He shares a simple and cost-free way to test power: the broad jump. The goal is to jump the same distance as your height, and if you can do that, you're in good shape.+
Measuring Athletic Ability:Andy and Andrew discuss two simple ways to measure athletic ability: measuring the distance of a standing jump and measuring the height difference between a standing reach and a two-handed jump. They provide tips on how to get accurate measurements and why a two-handed approach is preferred.+
Power Training:Andy Galpin explains how to optimize power training by using technology to determine where you're flawed in the force velocity curve. By doing tests such as the broad jump test or using devices like velocity transducers, you can get more insight and information to train in the most optimal range.+

18. Strength Test

Strength Measurement:Andy Galpin discusses the importance of measuring strength and how to do so using a hand grip dynamometer. He provides minimum and ideal scores for both males and females, as well as tips for testing both dominant and non-dominant hands.+
Strength Testing:Andy Galpin discusses two simple strength tests that can be done at home - grip strength and leg extension. For grip strength, a minimum of 30 seconds is ideal, while for leg extension, being able to lift your body weight is the standard.+
Strength Tests:Andy and Andrew discuss various strength tests that can be done to determine one's strength level, including the leg extension test and the front squat hold. They also provide tips on how to estimate your one rep max without actually doing a true one rep max.+
Strength and Warm-Up:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of proper technique and warm-up protocols when testing maximum strength, and provide resources for warm-up guidelines.+

19. Hypertrophy Test

Andy Galpin explains the importance of having sufficient muscle mass for overall health and how to measure it using the FFMI score. He also provides target numbers for men and women and warns of the dangers of having insufficient muscle mass.+

20. Muscular Endurance Test, Push-Up

Push-up Form and Endurance:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of proper push-up form and how it relates to muscular endurance. They recommend a full range of motion for push-ups and provide a standard of 25 consecutive push-ups for males as a measure of upper body muscular endurance.+
Push-up Standards:Andy Galpin explains the push-up standards for men and women in this episode. For men, the minimum is ten to 25 push-ups, while women can start with zero. Galpin also explains how to standardize testing to prevent cheating.+
Muscular Endurance Assessment:Andy Galpin explains how to assess muscular endurance and differentiate it from strength. He suggests using a specific maximal strength protocol and a barometer of muscular endurance by doing the exact strength test at 75% of the one repetition maximum. The number of repetitions is a good indicator of muscular endurance.+

21. Anaerobic Capacity Testing

Andy Galpin explains how to test your anaerobic capacity through a wind gate or Bosco protocol, or by exerting maximal effort for up to a minute. He emphasizes the importance of reaching close to your predicted maximum heart rate and testing your heart rate recovery, aiming for a half-beat recovery per second.+

22. Maximal Heart Rate Test, VO2 Max

Andy Galpin explains how to measure your Vo2 max, the gold standard being a laboratory test. However, he also mentions a 12-minute Cooper's test and a 1-mile walk test as submaximal tests to estimate your Vo2 max. These tests are important to understand your maximal heart rate and aerobic capacity.+

23. Endurance Exercise

Andy Galpin explains that endurance exercise involves maintaining consistent work output for over 20 plus minutes. He recommends doing this with nasal breathing only, and challenging yourself to move at a non-walking pace.+

24. Fitness Testing Tips

Fitness Testing Frequency:Andy Galpin suggests that the frequency of fitness testing should be based on the areas that need the most improvement. He recommends doing a full battery of tests once a year, with a three-day split being the best option.+
Fitness Testing Strategy:Andy shares his strategy for fitness testing, including the order in which to perform tests and the importance of scheduling them at the right time to avoid fatigue and acute exercise influences. He suggests starting with non-fatiguing tests like body composition scans and doing skill or maximum strength tests first, followed by fatiguing tests at the end.+
Fitness Testing Tips:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of fitness testing, how to properly schedule testing days, and the benefits of separating testing into multiple days. They also emphasize the importance of being rational and consistent in testing to track improvement over time.+
Optimal Health:Andy and Andrew discuss the importance of maintaining optimal health through fitness and exercise. They emphasize the need to avoid severe constraints and focus on sufficient performance anchors. They also stress the importance of pursuing optimization in areas of specific passion while not neglecting other areas that contribute to overall health and well-being.+

25. VO2 Max Measurements

Understanding Vo2 Max:Andy Galpin explains the metrics for Vo2 max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen a person can consume during exercise. He discusses the formula for calculating Vo2 max and the minimum numbers for men and women. He also shares his goal of seeing men above 50 and shares a story about a legendary figure in exercise physiology who believed there was no excuse for being below 60.+
Exercise and Longevity:Andy and Andrew discuss the relationship between exercise and longevity, sharing anecdotes and research about individuals who have maintained high levels of fitness well into their 50s, 60s, and beyond. They emphasize the importance of objective metrics for measuring progress and consistency in exercise routines.+

26. Protocols for the 9 Adaptations

Andy Galpin and Andrew Huberman discuss specific protocols for identifying and solving areas of weakness in fitness training through adaptation. Galpin provides evidence-based and effective protocols for improving cardiovascular fitness, strength, and movement quality.+

27. Support, Newsletter

Andrew shares ways to support the podcast, including subscribing to their YouTube channel and leaving reviews on Spotify and Apple. He also introduces the Neural Network newsletter, which provides concise summaries of podcast episodes and protocols discussed on the show.+