Dr. Mike T Nelson

Dr. Mike T Nelson

PhD, MSME, CISSN, CSCS Carrick Institute Adjunct Professor Dr. Mike T. Nelson has spent 18 years of his life learning how the human body works, specifically focusing on how to properly condition it to burn fat and become stronger, more flexible, and healthier. He’s has a PhD in Exercise Physiology, a BA in Natural Science, and an MS in Biomechanics. He’s an adjunct professor and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine. He’s been called in to share his techniques with top government agencies. The techniques he’s developed and the results Mike gets for his clients have been featured in international magazines, in scientific publications, and on websites across the globe.

  • PhD in Exercise Physiology
  • BA in Natural Science
  • MS in Biomechanics
  • Adjunct Professor in Human
  • Performance for Carrick Institute for Functional Neurology
  • Adjunct Professor and Member of American College of Sports Medicine
  • Instructor at Broadview University
  • Professional Nutritional
  • Member of the American Society for Nutrition
  • Professional Sports Nutrition
  • Member of the International Society for Sports Nutrition
  • Professional NSCA Member


Shrugged family. This week on Barbell Shrugged we are talking about the coolest thing ever Me Kidding we brought my coach, dr Michael T Nelson, onto the show. Periodically on the show we’ve talked about my pursuit of running a six minute mile, and today we’re bringing on the guy that I hired to help me do it. If we could just figure out how to make it warm outside so that I could get to the track more often. Instead it’s like freezing and it feels like your lungs are going to close on you as soon as you start breathing heavy out in the what feels like frigid weather. I know all the people up in the Northeast or in the Northern states are going to be laughing at me, but it’s cold here in North Carolina right now and it makes me not want to go outside and run fast because it hurts my lungs. But we’re going to go through kind of like what I’ve been up to for the last six ish months working with Dr Mike the training program he has been on how we’re balancing strength conditioning, sprinting for high level output, the VO2 max training, how we’re doing zone two work to supplement and really just breaking into all things training on how you would want to kind of structure, a pursuit of running a six minute mile.


As always, friends, you can get over to rapidhealthreportcom. That’s where Dan Garner and Dr Andy Galpin are doing a free lab lifestyle and performance analysis that everybody inside rapid health optimization will receive. You can access that video and you can access that report over at rapidhealthreportcom. Friends, let’s get into the show. Welcome to Barbell. Shrug Over on the quick slide leave video.

01:59 – Speaker 2

let’s do it, john. Yeah, How’s it going?

02:07 – Speaker 1

Water has on the way up days and friday night question for you. So there’s all sorts of things that we’ve been trying to do.

02:20 – Speaker 2

So, min�okay, this backup to quality words toiss rebounds that we were able to afford, I just got kicked off the track of the high school, right, they’re like get out of here and you’re like fuck you guys. The same guy called the cops on me.

02:29 – Speaker 1

I had to talk to Mike. The same middle school athletic director called the cops on me again like two months ago and came out and took a picture of my license plate and was like I’m turning you in. And I was like why is it so illegal to run in ovals? Like why is it? I’m by myself, how in the world is this illegal?

02:53 – Speaker 2

He’s like you know. Trust me, the kids aren’t there.

02:56 – Speaker 4

You just. He was like booting kids off the tracks for you to run.

03:01 – Speaker 1

Even the time that he did it, the football team was there. They’re like in the middle of nothing else is going on, and he came over and I was like dude. He may not have liked the comment where I said I feel like we’re over exaggerating your powers here at the local track. They’re probably one of them. Like you should not be escorting me anywhere right now, but I left. He got a picture of my license plate.

03:26 – Speaker 4

Is it a?

03:26 – Speaker 1

public school.

03:28 – Speaker 3

Yeah, it’s a middle school, it works for you and he escorted you off the thing.

03:33 – Speaker 1

It’s a middle school the football team was out there like what are you going to do with the football team? Anyways, what I want to do today is walk through kind of like the high level when you hear some slightly above average athlete like myself wants to run a sub six minute mile, which he’s never done before. I believe the best I’ve ever done leading up to this was 630, which I did during COVID, and it was like 630 right on the button. But I had no. All I was doing was just go fast, go to the track, random intervals and get you up and go. There was no real rhyme or reason outside of like. I just needed to get out of my house and the track seemed like a really good place. But when a 40 year old with a decent athletic history and is in decent shape comes to you with a high goal of a 559 mile, where do you kind of start this process?

04:25 – Speaker 4

I mean I start with where they currently at. Which is? It sounds so simple, but I’ve gotten burned on this in the past where I took people at their word and you ask them how is your form? Oh, it’s great. And then you realize like if you use a simple one RM max, that they were off by 80 pounds and about six inches high on their squat. So I’ve always said just getting some not really proof, but just a current assessment of where they’re at, because if you don’t have that, then your programming is gonna be off to start.


So once you have that, then with something like your goal I divided into, is there kind of a conditioning aspect? And then what is the technical component? And then I’ll usually try to separate those as much as possible. Initially, because you can work on the technique stuff, but you’re probably not gonna run a mile in great technique. So lesser differences keeping good technique, doing things like people have classically trained sprinters for decades and longer, and the conditioning aspect. Of course, if you can run, that’s gonna be more specific, but, like we’ll get into, there’s gonna be some constraints. So maybe you could do a bike, you could do a rover, you could do other things, so that you’re still working within that person’s constraints of what they have to get them to their goal, because not everyone, like we said, is gonna have access to the track every single day and can spend hours doing their warmups and their perfect drills and everything else. Like, you have to operate within their real world constraints too.

05:58 – Speaker 2

Yeah, what was the testing that you ended up doing with Anders? Did you just say go around a mile and tell me your time and then we’ll take it from there, or yeah?

06:06 – Speaker 1

What was the initial time you were? We did the Cooper test, and that was actually what inspired it. Go ahead, I’ll let you go.

06:14 – Speaker 4

Yeah, I was gonna say so. We would do a specific test which would be like a one mile, like where are you at right now? And then for conditioning, I’ll tend to do a VO2 max test. So you can either do a 2K on the Concept2 rover or, in this case, running is gonna be more specific. So you can do a 12 minute Cooper run test.


Take 12 minutes, run as far as you can within those 12 minutes, loop up, type it in online and it’ll give you what your VO2 max is, so your volume of oxygen, kind of a marker for how big is your aerobic engine. Then you can look at those two and see, okay, which of those two needs more work. If your technique looks good and your time isn’t super far off, but your VO2 max is like the status of a field mouse and you’re in the 20s and like, wow, you’re some sort of weird genetic freak where we just get your aerobic base a little bit better, you’re probably gonna be fine. Or most people are a mix Like the aerobic system is probably pretty good, but they probably need a combination of some specific technique work also.

07:13 – Speaker 3

What about, like the lactate threshold, or just the anaerobic system, because with the mile that’s gonna come into play.

07:20 – Speaker 4

Yeah, then the next. I would say that would be the next level down so you can do things on the road or you can do them on the bike. You can do running and just see kind of, what are your split times, what are your pace, and then, if you don’t have a fancy way of pricking your finger to get a lactate reading, I just kind of do RPE and see where you’re at. For people listening, like the 400 meter is probably like the worst possible race to do Because your lactate levels are so high, but it’s just long enough to start accumulating a lot of lactate. But it’s not long enough where you still have to run pretty darn fast.


So you can break it up into just kind of 200 meter components and see where they kind of fall off or where they just report that, yeah, that was good, that was good. Oh my God, that was, like you know, horrible. So if they report like the 400 meter was like the worst possible thing ever, okay, maybe we’ll do a little bit more lactate. You know specific work and like you know you can get hyper specific and plot out. You know different types of you know lactate testing and get really granular from there.

08:23 – Speaker 3

Yeah, Someone like Anders probably. I think what you did was be perfect, like you don’t need to do the finger pricking you know no for especially so we all know he came from CrossFit, so probably pretty good lactate threshold, I bet.

08:41 – Speaker 4

Yeah, and you can do. I use the rower as a surrogate because, especially if some athletes not Anders I don’t really trust them to run real fast, you know in terms of mechanics. So I’ll be like, hey, get on the rower, do 30 seconds all out as hard as you can. Do 60 seconds all out, and if I want to be really torturous, do 180. So you’re basically doing short, medium and long. You know that three minute all as hard as you can. So as soon as you start, you’re going as hard as you can for those three minutes. It’s what.

09:09 – Speaker 3

I’ve been doing a lot of is killing.

09:12 – Speaker 4

And you can look at those three differences by pace, because the rower is going to give you all that information. It’s also non-impact, so that’s kind of an easy way back of the envelope. You can kind of get at it.

09:23 – Speaker 3

Another way, another reason why I chose the rower just in my hit, and so the rower is a great way to get in conditioning if you have hit issues.

09:31 – Speaker 4

Yeah, yeah, a lot of people just can’t take that impact and I don’t want them blown a hamstring on day one doing a 60 second wind gate or something crazy.

09:42 – Speaker 3

You’re asking a femur neck like me.

09:45 – Speaker 1

Yeah, the Cooper test that we did really was, uh, my, my, my main goal was to get on like a conditioning program, because lifting at the time had been had gotten kind of like stale, like it does over time. Um, and when we did the Cooper test it’s 12 minutes max distance and I didn’t get kicked off the track that day but I went and I time the mile and, knowing that I still had to get to 12 minutes, I hit the mile at like seven, 10 or something like that, knowing I still had five minutes to go and I went.


I bet if I crushed this thing I could go six 30 today without even thinking about it. And then what I got to do is knock off six, 30 to six minutes by actually training and that set. That was when I was like this is, this is now the goal. Can I run a? Can I run a 559 at 40? It was. It was during that Cooper test when I, when I went, basically ran a seven minute mile knowing I still had five minutes left, with like tons left in the tank, and I was like I bet I could get there. Yeah, and that’s a good part is.

10:52 – Speaker 4

you want goals that the person for them personally are going to want to do, regardless of what anyone else thinks, because that is going to be their biggest intrinsic motivator. And what is one of the reasons I do a fair amount of testing and assessments is many times, like you said they’ll come up with oh wow, my two K in the row really sucks. I want to hit this number now, or I want to hit this for 12 minutes, or I want to run a mile in this. Like they’ll come back to me with a specific goal that they want to hit, which is a lot better than me saying, wow, I think you should do this or that number. There’ll be a lot more motivated to actually do it, yeah.

11:27 – Speaker 1

Why do you prefer the rower over the bike? Shrug family. I want to take a quick break. If you are enjoying today’s conversation, I want to invite you to come over to rapid health reportcom. When you get to rapid health reportcom, you will see an area for you to opt in in which you can see Dan Garner read through my lab work. Now you know that we’ve been working at rapid health optimization, on programs for optimizing health.


Now what does that actually mean? It means in three parts, we’re going to be doing a ton of deep dive into your labs. That means the inside out approach. So we’re not going to be guessing your macros. We’re not going to be guessing the total calories that you need. We’re actually going to be doing all the work to uncover everything that you have going on inside you Nutrition, supplementation, sleep. Then we’re going to go through and analyze your lifestyle. Dr Andy Galpin is going to build out a lifestyle protocol based on the severity of your concerns, and then we’re going to also build out all the programs that go into that, based on the most severe things.


First. This truly is a world-class program and we invite you to see step one of this process by going over to rapidhealthreportcom, you can see Dan reading my labs, the nutrition and supplementation that he has recommended. That has radically shifted the way that I sleep, the energy that I have during the day, my total testosterone level and my ability to trust and have confidence in my health going forward. I really, really hope that you’re able to go over to rapidhealthreportcom, watch the video of my labs and see what is possible and if it is something that you are interested in, please schedule a call with me on that page. Once again, it’s rapidhealthreportcom and let’s get back to the show. Why do you prefer the rower over the bike?

13:13 – Speaker 4

I can’t find a good maybe Travis knows this a good, validated, legitimate test on the bike. Like everyone has their own protocols and there’s some debate. A good buddy of mine, kenneth J, did some assessments off of the assault bike and mechanical efficiency and maybe it’s off a little bit. But we know that the Concept 2 did one. That’s pretty close. I measured it with my own metabolic card here. It’s relatively close. So I know that one’s been validated by a study. We know the Cooper Run test has been validated.


I’ve used other bike tests. I know we had to do some of them, but I can’t say that this is compared to a population status where I can look at those two tests and we can have tons of data on the population status for VO2 Max and I can say, hey, you’re at the 50% of a population or you’re at the 90th percentile, or with Concept 2, because they have the whole entire logbook of a bunch of crazy people logging all their stuff I can show you that out of all the people who are rowing, you’re at the 50th percentile. Here’s what it would like to be. Hit the 75th percentile. I can give them very specific numbers and tell them how they rate to different populations.

14:22 – Speaker 3

And the bike is so variable when it comes to resistance, even though the rower is kind of two, but it doesn’t seem to affect people as much as on the rower as it does on the bike.

14:34 – Speaker 4

Yeah, and the tip for the rower too, is most people you’re going to probably want to set your drag factor at 120 to 130. You go into it and if you just don’t, this makes no sense to you. Just Google it, because the damper you set on the side will be very different depending upon the condition and the rower et cetera. All your numbers will still work out Like it’ll still account for it. But if you’ve ever got on a rower and you’re like man, this rower pulls really hard, you’re like woo, this one’s like way too easy. If you set that drag factor to the same, every rower you’re on now will be feeling the same each time you pull on it.

15:08 – Speaker 3

Same way.

15:08 – Speaker 1

Yeah right, so for short conditioning efforts, I’ve actually always wondered this Because there is like a short or like a very small like interval piece to or like an anaerobic piece almost to the rower, because there’s a rest after you pull, does that change kind of the stimulus that you are looking for, where when you’re on the bike there’s no, there’s no breathing whatsoever, Like there’s no rest. Your arms have to be moving, legs have to be moving, there’s no pull and then recover?

15:42 – Speaker 3

Well, the air dye. Make sure that you clarify you’re talking about an air dye.

15:46 – Speaker 4

Air dye right, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, there’s a big difference in a bike and an air dye, yeah.

15:50 – Speaker 1

Yeah, the rogue assault bike that feels like a German tank is sitting in my garage things like giant monstrosity, but when?

16:00 – Speaker 3

you say the dock that, like on the on the rower, done properly, there’s always, like you know, after you extend, you should be pulling, it should be some hip flexion going on. So there shouldn’t be that rest unless you’re chilling out, I mean, which you could do that on the bike too if you wanted to, I guess.

16:18 – Speaker 4

Yeah, the assault bike is a weird thing, right. It’s like we think of running, right, so you have your arm motions going to be tapped with your leg motion growing. We kind of get that. Okay, your legs and arms work together. And then the assault bike you’re pedaling but you’re also moving your arms back and forth, so it’s kind of a weird motion but you are stimulating a lot of muscle groups.


So I think on that, just from a skill level, there’s nowhere to hold. And quote relax With the rower you can kind of a little bit, if we just use common parlance of like, when the handle gets to you you do have that kind of split second where it is going to be a little bit weightless and you can get super far down that rabbit hole. Like I’ll stick moxies on some on their quads, look at how much oxygen is being used by the muscle and then, if I can get them to relax for even a split second to get those vascular beds to open more, get more oxygen. You can do efficiency stuff like that. But on the bike you’re just kind of not efficient by the virtue of the thing, no matter how good you ever get at it.

17:21 – Speaker 1

Well, I love it. Now I think we did like a 20 minute test and I want to say the first half of it you wanted me doing pure nasal breathing and then it was just open the floodgates and get after it, when I would love to know just kind of the reasoning behind something. A test like that, like one where you’re controlling the method at which you’re breathing and then from trying to run a six minute mile, like 20 minutes, is two, three times that that length.

17:57 – Speaker 4

Yeah, it’s because most of I would say a capacity test, like if I use a rower, we’ll do like a 20 minute or for people who are rower, as you can use a 5k, and so I just adapted it to the bike, where I want a long enough period of time where we do want a fair amount of aerobic fatigue to see how much you’re, how much you’re going to go off that cliff, like, do you start great for five to seven minutes and then you’re tanked or you, can you hold a relatively high wattage for that period of time? You know biking, you get into, you know functional power and all this other kind of crazy stuff. But you probably want a fair amount of time to see what happens there. And then I’ll limit it by nasal breathing at first, to see what is the difference between nasal breathing and if we don’t limit you by airflow. If there’s a massive difference between those two, then I’m thinking, okay, maybe your efficiency of breathing is going to be a little bit better.


Efficiency of breathing isn’t so good, so we may do a lot of nasal work to try to get that closer to your max, even though it’s never going to be your max, because you’re limiting airflow through your nose versus your mouth. It just gives me an idea of kind of what their breathing patterns are. Because I’ve had some people where, like nasal breathing, you know their max heart rate was 120. And then you tell them, just breathe however you can and they’ll hit like 175, you know, versus someone else is like 155. They’re trying hard but they can still nasal breathe. You know that’s a pretty big difference between those two athletes. You know, at that lower end, that nasal breathing where you’re purposely capping them, yeah, I also, when we’re doing like shorter, high intensity efforts.

19:30 – Speaker 1

I’ve kind of like found call it, a hundred meters, maybe a little bit longer outside my house where I could just rolling, start into wind sprints, five to six, seven reps. Somewhere in there my body feels phenomenal. If you’re not, if you are not sprinting in your training, you are missing out on just the amazing feeling that goes along with just being able to feel like you’re flying, even though I’m Mesh. How bad did I get beat by Johan?

19:57 – Speaker 3

I was just looking at it the other day. Real bad, real bad.

20:01 – Speaker 1

There’s nothing better than feeling like you’re flying and then knowing what it was like as a second fastest human of all time.

20:07 – Speaker 2


20:07 – Speaker 1


20:09 – Speaker 3

It was quite amazing.

20:12 – Speaker 1

He got me good.

20:13 – Speaker 3

It looked like. It looked like a cheetah chasing down a deer with a broken leg.

20:20 – Speaker 1

Tap, tap, tap dead. I’m done, yes, and then and then, at the end of every week, you make me feel like I’m going to want to die. And it’s the exact opposite feeling when I’m on an air nine and you say go 30 seconds as hard as you possibly can. Why are those? The intervals are, call it, roughly the same. I mean it could be 15 seconds versus 30, but inside 30 seconds, the intervals being the same, the intensity of my output by myself being the same, one of them makes me feel amazing and fast and the other one makes me feel like I’m going to throw up immediately being on an air nine, going that hard.

20:59 – Speaker 4

Yeah, the reason for that is we’re trying to get some basically sprinting mechanics and efficiency. So if you take someone who has it like the same level of conditioning but you can increase their mechanics and they can become more efficient, they’ll obviously run faster, right, because their efficiency is better, it’s. You know, if you don’t always have track access, it’s a little bit hard to do that. So when we’re doing those short intervals running, the goal is it. It should feel like you’re going fast, but it also should feel like it’s relatively my little air quotes here easy Like if you watch a hundred meter sprinters in slow motion, like their lips are moving all over the place, like they are there’s nothing that is excess tension that doesn’t need to be tense, like everything is perfectly timed and it just looks like it. You can watch them finish. You’re like, wow, they look like it was pretty easy. Oh yeah, they’re trained for that.

21:53 – Speaker 3

They’re not even breathing hard, they’re just not even breathing hard Ready to talk to the cameras. I’m like, yeah, I’d be thrown up, yeah.

22:00 – Speaker 4

Yeah, and so that’s what we want for that efficiency, right, Because that is that’s the goal of that session. It’s not necessary to add a bunch of fatigue on it. If we had a bunch of fatigue to that, your performance is going to drop and your form’s probably going to go to hell. Now you’re just doing a bunch of bad reps and you’re just run around all conditioned. However, if we remove that and we use, like the bike, where it’s not necessarily running on purpose, we can try to develop some of those. You know that systems that max out around 30 seconds. We’re trying to make it more mechanically inefficient. We’re actually trying to do it in something that hopefully won’t transfer to sprinting Meaning. We’re trying to give you a bigger aerobic engine without disturbing and messing up the sprinting mechanics. So we’re going to use a different modality on purpose to do that.

22:44 – Speaker 2

So after you get the initial testing done with Anders and you kind of figure out what your baselines are and how you want to, how you want to approach his first mesocycle. What does that first week look like? How do you? How do you structure intervals versus longer duration, cardio versus keeping some strength training in there, et cetera?

23:03 – Speaker 4

I would say the routine, the split that I use probably had 80, 90% of the time, just to start with people is some lifting Monday, wednesday, friday Again, in this case it was a little bit different Some type of conditioning. Tuesday, thursday, saturday, sunday or at least one day a week is completely off, like just max unload the system as best you can go for a walk, lock yourself in a float tank, do some breath work, whatever, and then within that the lifting is geared more towards what’s missing lower body. He had some upper body goals also. The conditioning then is the higher priority stuff that we think will have the most transfer will then be loaded towards the beginning of the week. In his case you’ll have Saturday and Sunday off, so the technique stuff would be then we move to Monday in this case because we want to do it ideally when his nervous system and everything else is as fresh as possible, and then the things you know from there got pushed out.


If we’re looking at, you know, conditioning stuff on a bike and it can be later in the week if you have a little bit of fatigue on board, we’re not looking for anything technical. You’re probably going to be fine. It probably sucks more, but I’m not as concerned about the outputs from those particular sessions. So I usually will do it in terms of a priority arrangement. And then also, you know my background. I did masters in mechanical engineering. So I always think of, like, what are the constraints on the system? Oh, I can only get to the track this day, or I can only get to a bigger gym this day. I can use the stuff in my garage this time. I only have this amount of time. So those things you have to operate within, whatever their constraints are, and then just you know, rearrange stuff and do the best you can.

24:41 – Speaker 2

Then and from your perspective, after having done this for a number of weeks, like, what do you feel like has has moved the needle the most out of all the training you’ve done with Mike today?

24:53 – Speaker 1

The. I feel like People maybe not people, meet heads in general neglect movement and think that we’re doing a lot of moving. When we sit down and stand up with a bar on our back and we’re like, yeah, like I’m athletic, I’m standing in place and squatting, you don’t realize how much your body genuinely wants to get up and go, move and breathe. And like the, it’s easy to stay in shape. Lifting weights, you can do it a little bit faster. You can do a little lighter, heavier there’s variants in there and like you can do a zillion different exercises to kind of get to change things up, keep it interesting. But there really is something to getting out and moving and running and and I also think that Maybe even like during my CrossFit career, whatever that, whatever that means, I don’t know if I ever intentionally trained like VO2 max or like did really sustained efforts at high intensity, like on the bike or things like that.


It was always just like I just went and trained with my friends and did workouts. So like being on a structured conditioning program makes your body feel amazing and I don’t like I can go. I would say all of the the like talk about like zone two stuff. Obviously like zone two.


Training is very important, but I feel like I get all of that running around and playing with my kids at night Like that’s that’s where I do this like elevated heart rate, low intensity thing, like I’m playing street hockey and trying to play kickball and like just normal life, like it’s just live an active life and you don’t really have to work, you don’t need to hop on a bike and like make sure your heart rate’s at 120 to 130 and live in this like rigid, rigid thing, go out and play sitting on a bike at maximum intensity for five minutes and trying to hit numbers really makes your body feel amazing.


It’s really hard to to hit numbers day in and day out, but there’s there really is something to the cumulative effect of putting a really structured conditioning program together that your body really, really likes being able to pump blood, move oxygen to your muscles, like in a very easy way and the more you’re able to do it and different, like we I don’t want to take the words out of your mouth, but we kind of structure like short, high intensity, longer duration, like one, two to four mile run a week, and then in there is like the BO2 max training of like five minutes all out effort.


Can you hit numbers? Can you sustain higher level intensities like RPA nine, nine plus, and be able to do that and over time your body starts to adapt in a very different way than it does when you’re just trying to get jacked and I think it feels significantly healthier. For let’s just call it this stage of life that I’m in, where I want to just feel healthy and I’m not going to like lose a lot of muscle mass and not to worry about getting weak. But there, if you can get on a structured conditioning program where you’re consistently doing it, I think that you’ll, like many people from the meathead background would one benefit and two, understand how much better they feel when their body is able to just transport oxygen significantly easier on a day to day basis.

28:33 – Speaker 3

I think it’s mentally healthy too just to have more measurables other than just force production, like at least for a powerlifter. For me it’s exciting to have multiple variables to watch and prove. It’s like every day. It’s like is it anaerobic or is it aerobic? Is it strength, is it speed, is it power? Like having all these measurables makes the workout so much fun because each day is a little different. It’s mentally much healthier.

29:02 – Speaker 1

Yeah, there’s kind of like a letting go of that, the meathead ego side to it and just ish, ish, not all the way, not all the way, your boy got the hundreds for six last week Two sets of six.

29:19 – Speaker 4

That’s awesome.

29:20 – Speaker 1

I’m going three sets of six this week. Dumbbell bench press mash. I got him.

29:24 – Speaker 3

For everyone listening. You don’t have to become a weakling to do this.

29:27 – Speaker 1

Yes, I’m still struggling with my views.


Bottom row all the way to the right is where you should hang out on those dumbbells when you go to the lifetime fitness, don’t hang out in the top row. But that’s really been the biggest benefit, doug, is I really enjoy moving fast and sprint. There’s just no opportunities unless you force the issue in life to need to go sprint and there’s no opportunities just built into normal life where you got to just giddy up and go. So you need a coach and you need a goal and you got to have somebody that’s going to structure it for you and you really do start to feel significantly better. Just, I don’t know what exact physiological changes happen when the blood just pumps better, but you can feel it Absolutely.

30:23 – Speaker 3

Last time in my life where someone actually was trying to beat me with a conditioning test. That’s never happened. I didn’t succeed and I was like who am I Anyway? It was exciting.

30:38 – Speaker 2

You know, regarding the goal of the six minute mile, are there any milestones or benchmarks along the way that you’re looking to achieve? And then that’s when you say, okay, now’s the time to go test and go see if we can do it.

30:49 – Speaker 1

Yeah, 75 degree weather.

30:53 – Speaker 2

That’s when you feel like.

30:54 – Speaker 1

I really feel like if I were to get to the track right now for consistent months, I would be very, very close Again. Anytime you say like this is the healthiest I’ve ever felt, or whatever that means, you always go back to like a 27 year old version peak testosterone, peak whatever that growling noise is. When you’re about to like gnaw on a barbell for an afternoon, that’s always there If you’re like am I in better shape? But I feel better, Me too, and I feel like I can go run sprints on flat ground and not get injured. I can go run a half marathon tomorrow if I needed to. All of those things are like very not intimidating to me at all. And if it was 75 degrees and I wouldn’t go to jail right now trying to run around the track, I feel like I would get really close. And we haven’t put any track work in at all in the last two, three months as the weather’s kind of changed.

32:01 – Speaker 2

Mike, what about from your perspective, like what are you looking for, where you look at my Anderson go like? Based on these numbers, you can probably do this now, even though we haven’t tested it like, I feel very confident that you’d be able to hit it. And where is he at in comparison to whatever those goals might be?

32:16 – Speaker 4

Yeah, and that’s, I would say, most of that is going to be basically on his feedback. So, basically what he just said, because, again, you’re, you’re constraint, limited, you can’t go out and do any type of testing. That would be the one mile, but once the weather is better, one of the things I’ll have people do if we’re not sure. So we’re, you know, once the weather is available, you can go run a mile and do it at an RP of maybe a seven or an eight.


You know you’re not going to go all out. You’re going to give pretty hard but you’re not going to. You know, go, go balls out on it, and even that will give you a pretty good idea. You know, if you go out and you just say it’s an RP of an eight, you’re just going to test it and you’re at seven, 30. Ooh, yikes, maybe you’re a little farther off than you thought. Or if you’re, you know, at six, 30, six, 20, you’re like, okay, yeah, that’s now you’re probably with within, you know, striking distance of where you need to be.


So I think a lot of sub max tests that are specific to the goal I think are highly underrated. And because it’s a sub max, there isn’t nearly as much of a risk involved with it either as opposed to hey, bro, I think you’re ready and just, you know, ignore how your body feels, just go balls out and see what happens. And there’s a time and a place you know to do that type of distress training. But I wouldn’t do that as, like the first thing, I would do a couple of warmups. Or, if they are going to do that type of thing, I’m going to do a progressive warmup where just run a short distance, just go out 50%.


Walk back give me 60%. Walk back, give me 70. Walk back, give me 80. Walk back, give me 90. And if you feel good and everything is operating well and you can slowly scale up to you know a max sprint, yeah, rest completely. Maybe give the one mile a shot on that day, right, because in his case we have the luxury of time in that he doesn’t have to go out and perform this on Saturday at 10 am and a meet or something like that. So there’s no reason to force something when it’s not there. I think of a lot of people when it’s test day, you know if they’re not competing, they get stuck in their head that they have to go that day and reality, most people probably don’t. If it’s not there, it’s not there. Pick another day and then, if you’re not sure, just run a sub max test and see where you’re at.

34:36 – Speaker 3

I think a sub max test will also make sure that you don’t mentally discourage the 100 percent. Because Anders is motivated intrinsically, but, like, if you have that person who is just like easily discouraged, that’s the last thing you want to do is go out and run the test and they fail and they’re going to be like quit.

34:53 – Speaker 1

Yeah, to put some numbers to that Doug, we, before the weather turned, we did four quarter mile repeats and I want to say that my slowest one was like one. Everything was between 120 and 123. So you run those numbers out and that gets you to like a 520. Um, and now you’ve got roughly 40 seconds of slowing down, slash, trying to stay below like anaerobic threshold. Bonking on lap three really is the last one you can.


You can die on the last one, but uh lap three is the one that you gotta kind of watch out for um and then make sure you’re going slower than anticipated.

35:41 – Speaker 3

How much rest? Do you get between those quarter miles.

35:44 – Speaker 4

I think we’re just doing complete rest, if I remember right. So one of the things I’ll do is this is back when we had access to a track and it wasn’t getting booted out in weird weather. You can take, take your goal and be like okay, if you can’t do the full mile at that time, could you do a half a mile? Could you do a quarter mile? Could you do an eighth of a mile? Could you give me something that is at that pace or close to? Again, we ran a little bit of a buffer because we’re going to have them do repeats and he said it felt good. How I know I’m developing those qualities specifically.


And then if you go complete rest, go back again. So you’re trying to hit a certain pace and you’re accumulating volume at that pace and then, once you can do that, your options are lengthen it and see if you can still hit the same pace. Or now you can do the density method, where you’re starting to condense them. So now, instead of having three to five minutes between okay, give me a three minute rest, go back, hit that same pace. Okay, give me a two and a half minute rest, hit that same pace. So you’re trying to compress it back together, but you don’t want the output to actually suffer. I think that’s the mistake people make, is they go make it hard but their output is getting worse, and so what they’re training is they’re literally training to run slower than what they needed to run, which is fine if you’re going to do conditioning. But make that a conditioning thing and make it separate. Don’t make it as specific to the goal at that point.

37:05 – Speaker 1

Yeah, I’d love to talk a little bit about the VO2 max training and how people can kind of structure that into their own training, like does it need to be five minutes, does it need to be seven, ten? Where is kind of like a sweet spot on those intervals for kind of like higher intensity sustained outputs?

37:29 – Speaker 4

Yeah, so most of literature for my interpretation would say that intervals at a pretty high output. You want probably two to six minutes somewhere in there where, if we just look at, I put up a post about why people should not only do zone two training and, like everyone got super pissed at me and put up things of like well, I had this guy who was doing 13 hours, his own two, and it improved his VO2 max, and all these weird cases where I was just saying like, doing two to three hours, his own two, stuff has its benefit. It’s good for aerobic base building, but you’re probably not going to see a massive increase in VO2 max again no way in a place to do it.


It’s useful. So to me I classify them as zone two, almost recovery, very bottom of you know aerobic base building. Then the next level up you have what I call. It’s a cardiac development, something you can hold at a pretty decent pace for 10, 20, maybe 30 minutes, a little bit higher heart rate, not super max, but it’s definitely higher. After that you’re getting into some type of interval, the VO2 max thing, pretty high output, two to six minutes somewhere in there. Beyond that you’re kind of getting into the, the wind gates in the short 30, 60 seconds you know, repeats and that kind of stuff.


So most people I think would do better if they’re already, you know, pretty decently fit, do more cardiac development stuff and then add just like one session of intervals, the caveat being start with a shorter interval, have it be relatively hard, then repeat that interval. But I will only let them drop the output by maybe five to maybe 10 at the absolute max. So you’re going to rest as long as you can to hit that, say, two minutes again at a very similar output. Again, rest completely and hit another one so you don’t again similar. You don’t want the quality to just drop off so hard because you’re not training at then a high enough output to get the adaptation it. It’ll feel hard when you’re doing it, but when you’re resting it almost feels too easy. And so people like to mash everything together and have the whole thing feel difficult. But if you look at their output over the intervals you’ll see interval one, interval three, interval three was like 40 of interval one. It’s like, bro, just just rest longer, like we. We want to train the body. You need to hit these outputs and are just like lifting.


At some point. If you want to get stronger, you have to hit close to your top end weights in order to kind of move that needle. Yes, there’s transfer. Yes, some other stuff works, but same thing with intervals. If you’ve got this huge difference between them, then that’s probably a little bit too much. And again, over time, in an advanced athlete, yeah, maybe you hit a two-minute interval and you’re you’re doing incomplete rest or you’re resting for 30 seconds and then you go again. Great, if you can hold that output, awesome. But that’s an extremely advanced thing that most people even getting to a one-to-one work to rest ratio, in my opinion is is quite advanced mash.

40:21 – Speaker 1

Here’s your test. Buddy, you ready? Yes, three five-minute intervals on the air-dine and you got to hit two miles on each five minutes. See how you can hold up, buddy, anybody that’s listening to the show, that’s. That’s where I’m at every every two or every, uh, wednesday of my life that sounds terrible like what’s the worst terrible huh, is it?

40:45 – Speaker 3

is it complete rest in between, or what?

40:48 – Speaker 1

uh, that would be, that would be nice. But you know we have kids coming home off the bus and I got daycare pick up at five. So if you start at four you run wind, sprints, start, uh, and then you got three, three intervals coming your way. Uh, it’s probably like a one-to-one like five on, five off, somewhere around there it’s. It’s not, it’s not all the way back down to like a resting heart rate, but you’re, you’re sub 100, yeah three hundred minute intervals with a girl of two miles two miles.


We did that, we did the test. I, I, I, I can. I get very close to it every time. Uh, we did the test the other day and it was 2.07 miles in five minutes. I was stoked on that.


That’s good you’re a bad man that’s good, you’re a bad man now the uh going back, the, the things that I uh at the very beginning, when I knew that this, that there was some like real changes happening in inside me, was when we were doing the like nasal breathing only stuff, and I was I was able through um, I’m trying to read whatever my polar heart rate monitor maintaining 160 to 170 beats a minute, nasal breathing for five minutes is getting after it.


That was when I was like damn, this thing really is different. Like I’ve I’ve never trained in that way. And then being roughly what 85 of max heart rate, um, and just breathing through your nose and be able to sustain that at that high intensity was like I knew things were. We’re moving in the right.

42:28 – Speaker 3

I’ve learned so much in this podcast, I’ve got so many notes and I can’t believe I’m taking notes about aerobic training. What is your dream right now?

42:40 – Speaker 1

mass is going to sign up for a marathon.

42:44 – Speaker 2

Hold on no chill out now at best at best mike, can you, can you dig into kind of the science and rationale behind nasal breathing during cardio, like why, why is that a thing? Why, why not just?

42:57 – Speaker 4

breathe, however however you need to breathe yeah, I mean I’m a huge fan of the, basically the gear system from brian mckenzie. You know, at a low intensity you should be nasal breathing. The next level up would be you can still nasal breathe, but it’s gonna. You’re putting a fair amount of effort in order to nasal breathe. Then can you breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth and then at the very end, can you breathe in through your mouth and out through your mouth. If we think about how a lot of athletes I see initially they’re low intensity stuff they’re breathing in and out of their mouth all the time and I’m like this is low to moderate intensity, like you should not be limited by your airflow. So if you can breathe in through your nose it’s going to be better. You get some filtration, you get a little bit of resistance which may help with, you know, some respiratory muscle training, some other stuff, who knows? But it’s as simple as like use it or lose it, like I’ve done nasal training, just load a moderate intensity with athletes and then maybe have them tape their mouth at night and, shocker, all of a sudden, now during the night they can start breathing through their nose or they’ll notice the rest of the day. Ah, they can start breathing through their nose. So to me it’s a way to bring some level of awareness and to train them at a little bit higher stress level and then hopefully that’ll transfer to the rest of the day and the rest of their sleep. Well, they will automatically try to switch to more nasal breathing.


The caveat is I’ve seen some max VO2 tests from people and just I’m like hey, just send me your raw data Like this looks weird. And I’m looking at like their you know volumes of air and stuff and their heart rate and I’m like what were you like trying to do any breathing technique during this? Like oh yeah, man, it was a max test. So I was told to nasal breathe the whole time. And I’m like your max test is limited by your airflow. Like you, you were the one who limited your own airflow Right. So if it’s an all out max, by all means like get, you can get more air in, you know, through your mouth. So you don’t want to be limited by airflow per se on a max test.


Where it’s, you know 100% about performance. So it’s being able to to grade those. There was a time and a place for for everything and I think just being intentional about those transitions, and so, like some of the stuff we did with Anders, like we may purposely push him really hard and restrict him to nasal breathing only for a period of time. If that was a performance test, though, we probably wouldn’t have that restriction on there.


Again, you’re trying to train these specific things and then, if it’s a performance, like, okay, kind of remove some of some of the limiters at that point, but everyone wants to get into, it’s either 100% nasal breathing or all that’s just you know bull crap, you don’t need to do it, just breathe however you want. And, shocker, like the answer is, both of them can be useful. What are you trying to do? And then I find, like doing a max test, like a 2k on the roller, if I can start out nasal breathing, that gives me something to think about. Okay, how long can I do that?


Okay, now, nasal breathe to mouth breathing. And I also know that if I start shifting to that earlier, oh, this test is really gonna suck Right. And so, over time, you can use this as even a mental strategy to know okay, you know, to the halfway point I should be able to easily nasal breathe, but by the end of it. Yeah, I’m going to be breathing it out of my mouth 100% just because of the level of fatigue. So I do think it just gives people something to focus on and also a way of moderating things like if you’re running, where you may not be constantly looking at a GPS or having the feedback of where you’re at either, that becomes kind of your your feedback, independent of heart rate too.

46:22 – Speaker 1

Yeah, one of the one of the kind of kind of things that I started to notice is you almost expect, when your output gets higher, that you’re just going to start panting, like you’ve been doing it your whole life, that you’re just like you’re just if you run, you just like it’s out of your mouth and you’re just used to this like panting thing, that like kind of feels like that. But when you force yourself to do it through your nose, you almost it requires your nervous system to be calmer and not feel like you’re going to like like you need to just gasp for air, and there’s definitely a learning curve to it. But once you become okay with that feeling, I don’t think it changed much on the performance side at all. It was just now I’m just moving, I’m just on the bike faster, just I, just I’m just breathing through my nose. It doesn’t. It didn’t change the performance. It changes just the method at which the you know the directions are telling me to do it.

47:24 – Speaker 4

Yeah, and I have noticed that higher outputs, like on the road and I’ve done this a couple people that if you get to kind of right where your limit is, like you’re trying pretty hard and you’re still nasal breathing in and out. So I did this a while ago. My heart rate was like 165 and that was like that was definitely the limit. It was pretty hard to stay there and I would switch to mouth breathing. My heart rate would instantly go up to like 160 a 169. My output was the same. I fixed my output the same. So I think there is something where maybe it’s a little bit more Paris and pathetic tone, maybe it’s an efficiency, I’m not sure, but it seems like you do get a little bit lower heart rate for that same output. Again, the caveat being these are all still sub max. This is not an absolute max test and during a max test you don’t want that to be the limiter.

48:09 – Speaker 1

And structuring the strike training side of things. We’ve been very consistent and I’ve enjoyed all the kind of the strength stuff that we’re doing. Is there a? Is there a like the, the push and pull, kind of like balancing the overall fatigue on lifting and how that then carries over into just like the, the full recovery and into the next training, when really the goal is increasing cardiovascular fitness, health, whatever?

48:40 – Speaker 4

Yeah, the two things I look at there are just overall sort of systemic fatigue and then the transfer also of motor patterns. So if, for example, you said, man, all my sprints lately are just feeling like dog crap, the first thing I would look at is, oh, what are we doing with lower body loading? Like, are we gonna move some of this stuff up? Are we gonna go to more of split stand stuff? You know, safety bar front.


You know, I would probably look at changing up those types of movements, the thought being maybe that movement pattern is interfering with sprinting and sprinting is feeling great. You’re like man, everything’s feeling good, it’s great. Cool, I’m not gonna worry about it, it’s probably gonna be okay. And then also just the overall fatigue because, yeah, if you can get stronger and you can get more power output, that should transfer to sprinting. That makes sense. But if we bury you in the weight room and it’s like Wednesday before you’re recovered again and you had to do technique work on Monday now, we’re just impairing the thing that we know is the primary driver to improve the thing that you stated was your number one goal.


Sometimes, the lifters. That’s hard right. It’s the old question of at one point, do the lifts still transfer or do they stop transferring? And I’ve talked to Caldeeds about this endless amounts of times of, as he said, like some of his back when he was doing back squats years ago. He’s like, yeah, we could get a guy or gal especially a guy in this case when their shop put throwers to go from back squat of 315 to 405 to maybe 455. He’s like at some point they just got worse, right, because the rate at which they’re moving that load is now slower. They’re an athlete doing an explosive sport. You know going from 405 to say 455 wasn’t beneficial. It’s not worth the time. They could take 315 and move it incredibly fast. That’s more useful to their sport. Again, if you know that athlete can’t back squat more than 95 pounds, they’re just weak and they need to get stronger. We’re trying to find that happy medium there too.

50:45 – Speaker 1

Yeah, doug, you know, as he didn’t say anything about doing split squats. If you tell Mike Nelson that you want to go run a mile, you don’t have to do split squats anymore. That’s the best You’re on mute.

50:58 – Speaker 2

I see you agreeing with me on this. The real rationale for creating a mic has surfaced here.

51:07 – Speaker 1

Yeah, you don’t have to be insanely sore doing the trust fall onto the toilet in the morning, because the goal is to get faster, not be sore. Fantastic man, this has been my favorite show ever. We talked about me being athletic. Yeah, the whole time Incredible. Good guess that we could do that for a whole hour when can people work with you, which I also highly recommend. You set a call up with Mike and go over some goals and get a training program built and it’s not just training.


That’s just the piece that I’m doing, but, yeah, working people find you.

51:42 – Speaker 4

Yeah, this place is mikedenelsoncom and, yeah, the contact place there, most of the writing everything I do goes out to the newsletter. Just go to mikedenelsoncom. There’ll be a place you can hop onto the newsletter tab right on the top and it’s free and, yeah, probably 90% of the writing I go is through that. They can just hit reply once around the newsletter and ask any questions. They have more than willing to help anyone out there.

52:05 – Speaker 1

You go, Coach Travis Mash. You can find him at Mash Elite. He had to go try and get in better shape so he could hang out with me. Doug Larson.

52:14 – Speaker 2

Man, I was sick of talking about Andrew. He was like I’ve had enough.

52:16 – Speaker 1

I’m out. I’m out. We’re going to see a video on him on Instagram and about an hour front squatting like 500 and just like screw that. Screw that guy.

52:26 – Speaker 2

Through the bike. I thought he was doing cardio. Now I’m still front squatting 500 pounds, 5 years old.

52:33 – Speaker 4

Right on.

52:34 – Speaker 2

You can find me on Instagram at Douglisi Larson. Mr Mike Denelson, always wonderful to have you on the show, my friend. Thank you.

52:40 – Speaker 4

Thanks guys, I appreciate it. This was super fun, absolutely, man.

52:43 – Speaker 1

I’m Andrew’s partner at Andrew’s partner and we are Barbell Strug at Barbell underscore Strug. Make sure you get over to rapidhealthreportcom. That is where Dr Andy Galpin and Dan Garner are doing a free lab lifestyle and performance analysis that everybody inside rapid health optimization will receive. You can access that free report at rapidhealthreportcom. Friends, we’ll see you guys next week.