In this episode of Your Adrenal Fix, I interview renegade fitness warrior and expert Jay Ferruggia, about exercise hacks for those that are dealing with burnout, exhaustion, and fatigue.
Jay has been helping guys become the strongest version of themselves since 1994. You may have seen my work in Men’s Health, Muscle & Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Men’s Fitness, Fast Company, Huffington Post, LiveStrong, Muscle & Fitness Hers, Shape, Entrepreneur, Details or on ESPN or CBS.
Jay has always been ahead of the curve, with group training in the ’90s, underground gyms since ’96, and training like athletes for over 20+ years.
However, Jay admits that he himself has had his own set of health challenges. He admits to have felt physically and mentally weak, skinny, fat, sad, depressed, insecure, painfully shy, socially awkward, crippled with anxiety and indecision. As well, he proclaims he has had struggles with addiction, and have gone broke on more than one occasion.
According to Jay, overcoming those obstacles took many years and a lot of hard work.
That is why I was so exhausted to get his take on the relationship between exercise, over-exercising, burnout, and the impact that has on the Adrenal/HPA axis.
The Role of Exercise and Exercise Hacks:
I, along with Jay (and many of the clients I work) have had a problem with overtraining. That is, not listening to your body, coupled with performing too much work, whether it be training frequency, load, during, etc.
Jay agreed by saying “everybody thinks that you have to do super intensity, super hard, all the time”. Rather, Jay suggests that we should take a more realistic approach.
The first exercise hack that Jay mentioned which I think anyone who suffers from burnout should know: “Training hard is fun, but it’s what your doing the other 23 hours of the day is what is going to burn you out more so then the work out itself” to which I couldn’t agree more.
We both agreed that it’s all about balance. Jay suggested that if you are feeling burnt out, “look at what you’re doing across the week”. Perhaps “Lifting sessions should be lower sessions, longer volume” or what he called “active recovery”.
This can be breathing exercises, sauna’s, going for a walk, yoga, or being with friends.
The next exercise hack that I thought was just brilliant is what Jay points out as “Information Overload”.
According to Jay, Information overload is “Prioritizing what’s in your consciousness, curate who you are getting your information from time blocking, create rules for yourself”.
In other words, being vigilant to how much stimuli (information) that you have to process daily.
Other Exercise Biohacks:
Next, we talked about exercise hack and the Oura ring (for another podcast where I talk about the oura ring go here or here.
Sine if the points Jay and I talked about are:
- HRV and sleep, look at that and can determine, forces you to be more vigilant and what you are doing,
- Time of day, how I train, how does it impact my sleep. How sauna impacting it, how is light impacting makes you more aware.
- To track is to know.
- What’s happening with mood, strength, libido, recovery signs. Learning how to listen to your body,
- You have to get better at listening to your body.
- Dietary advice, metabolic flexibility, you’re going to be human, you want to bounce back quicker,
- Beginner: try to make huge massive changes at first, it doesn’t really stick, what did your parents /grandparents, hunt, pick, grow, it’s probably pretty good. (JAMES CLEAR ATOMIC HABITS)
I asked Jay’s take on nutrition. He told me he has gone a lot lower carbs so that he can have less inflammation, improved cognitive function, and Alzheimer’s minimization,
That you should make small changes over time, and agrees that somewhere in the range of .8-1.2g grams of protein for each pound of body weight is the ideal.
The Last Of the Hacks:
One of the best quotes Jay gave during our interview: “Sometimes health and fitness are not the same, or physique transformation, is not about health and longevity”
Which is a great reminder: that exercise is the means to a healthier lifestyle, not the ends.
Jay also mentioned that with working out, timing and frequency doesn’t matter until how you execute the movement, push, pull, squat, hinge, that ab movement/carry. How multi purposed weight training, build strength, is by building muscle fastest way to lose fast, lifting properly, limit rest period,
For recovery, Jay suggests: Deep breathing, sauna, massages, sitting out home, turning off phone at 7pm orthe 8, getting outside, and controlling your light exposure.
Lastly, when I asked Jay, what he wish he could have told the younger version of himself if he knew then what he knows now, Jay succinctly said “Slow down, listen to your body” because he never did that.