Episode 131: Dr. John Jaquish - Heavy Band Resistance Training
Welcome to the Human Performance Outliers Podcast with hosts Dr. Shawn Baker and Zach Bitter. For this episode, Dr. John Jaquish joined the show. John is an inventor, author, and scientist. John invented a device to place axial loading to help reverse osteoporosis. Since, he has invented the X3 Bar, which is designed to lift heavy with less risk of joint damage.
Zach Bitter: Welcome to the Human Performance Outliers Podcast with your hosts Dr. Shawn Baker and Zach Bitter. At Human Performance Outliers Podcast, we dive into a wide range of topics revolving around health, nutrition, and physical fitness. If you enjoy the show and wish to support us, please visit patreon.com/HPOpodcast. If you do not use Patreon but still wish to support us, please also consider checking out our PayPal page at PayPal.me/HPOpod. The link to both of those can also be found in the show notes. Finally, please consider subscribing to us on your favorite podcast listening platform. Now, on to the next topic. We are up and rolling cool.
Dr. Shawn Baker: All right. Cool. So, John. Thank you for coming on. You’re pointing out that the little green screen Zach and I, or at least I always try to put a green screen that goes with our guests. So, we’ve got X3 and that’s one of your inventions. So, we’ll talk about that for sure. Like I said, I just got done working out. I wanted to do a workout with it this morning before I got on with you so I could have it fresh in my mind when I talked to you.
Dr. John Jaquish: Nice!
Dr. Shawn Baker: But, John, tell us just a little bit about your background for those folks that aren’t familiar with you or your work.
Dr. John Jaquish: So, I started developing a medical device about 10 years ago that I call the OsteoStrong. So, my mother was diagnosed with osteoporosis. So, I started just generally looking at what that dysfunction was. It’s a dysfunction of disuse. So, when you don’t work out and you’re weak, we don’t call that a disease. Maybe we should because then maybe people would pay more attention to it. So, my mother had weak bone density. She was worried about all the challenges that go along with that and fragility fracture. She knew that there were the likelihood of an early death as a result of an osteoporotic fracture is similar to that of breast cancer. So, what I did was I said, “Okay. I’m going to see if I can figure out who the people on Earth are who have the highest bone density and how they did it.” I found those people. It’s very easy. There are a lot of clinical data on gymnasts. It’s the rate at which they contact the ground that gives them this force through bone that triggers bone growth. So, what I developed was an impact emulation device. So, that’s at OsteoStrong locations. Now, there’s 70 clinics around the world in seven different countries. They’re expensive and robotic and they’re $100,000. But what I learned from that process, by the way, fixed my mother’s osteoporosis in 18 months. She now has a bone density of a 30-year-old woman and she’s in her 80s. Still doesn’t eat the way I’d like her to, but definitely address the bone density problem. But one of the most interesting things about the whole research project was how, when we did a small trial at a London-based hospital in East London and worked with some of the staff at the University of East London, I wrote the protocol of the study but then, when I got the data back, I’m looking at some of the data. We have postmenopausal deconditioned population. These are not high-performance athletes. These are quite the opposite. They were using six, seven, eight times their body weight through their hip joint, self-created force through the hip joint. So, we see that the human body is able of absorbing absolutely incredible forces. The same thing on a chest press. If I put my hands out here, I can either produce or receive the greatest amount of force in sort of this position is 120 degree angle of inclusion from my upper arm to lower arm and the back in the hand in line with the clavicle. That’s the position you would normally assume if you were to receive high-impact force if you were to trip and fall. So, I took all these biomechanics and then looked at the loading that was happening in these impact graded ranges of motion. I thought, “Wow! From a muscular perspective, if I were to come up with something similar from a muscular perspective. We want full range not partial range and we’d want to be able to use a lighter load where you’re weakest. A normal load where you’re in the middle and then where the musculature is in the shortest position and you have an axial alignment, a bone, then we want a hyper load. So, the force curve kind of looks like this, for somebody’s who’s listening to audio, you can’t see that at all but it’s like a hockey stick. So, basically, everyone knows what they are in their weak range. Then, in the mid range, you might go from X in X weight, 1X weight in the weak range. You might go to 2.5X and then you’re at 7X capability at the top. This is how all lifts go, like the top of a deadlift, everybody’s powerful on the top of deadlift, hence people do rack pulls, things like that. So, I thought, “Okay. What if I can … " We’ve always had bands, banded training. I thought, “Okay. Well, the problem with bands is, we typically add them to weights. What if we just double down on the variance and kind of forgot about static weight because, based on what I saw and I compared the data that I had to … And, by the way, I did my PhD dissertation on the bone density stuff. That was going sort of well on its way. This was like a hobby, this strength training project. So because I was just curious. I had worked out for 20 years and I didn’t get a whole lot out of it. I mean, if I took my shirt off at the beach, nobody would have said, “Hey. Do you work out?” I looked like a regular guy. So, what ended up happening is when I embrace this, like really going into the variance and the variance in capability and loading the body in accordance to that. I realize we couldn’t use bands alone because the problem is if I try and do a push-up with one of the bands that you guys are using with X3, your hands would be twisted. You could injure yourself. So, the force that I was using and I started using like pull-up assist bands to try and come up with some way to do a chest press and some way to do a curl. Ultimately, the band by itself, if you’re going super light, like rehab weight, it’s fine but you’re not going to get a workout out of that. Heavy equals growth. If you can’t go heavy, you’re not going to grow. So, we’re trying to get the body, we’re trying to game the system so that we can get even heavier loads through the musculature, especially in the ranges of motion where we can handle it. So, then I decided, “Okay, like band training, there’s a reason it never took off because you just can’t get heavy enough but if I have an Olympic bar that I can attach to and then I have a second ground, a ground plate that the bands can move freely underneath and you can stand on top of, now we can do anything we can do with barbell but we can do it with this strongest level of variable resistance.” So, that was the invention of X3.
Zach Bitter: Yeah. It makes a lot of sense, John. I think for folks listening and not watching, think of a linear line graph versus an exponential line graph or an exponential curve. That’s kind of what John’s referring to, where when you’re going through that full range of motion, it’s not that even, distributed force throughout. It’s that increase as you get higher. So, the other way to think about it I guess would be like you go to the gym, sometimes you’ll see these guys doing deadlifts or bench press and they’re have chains hanging on the side of their stuff because they’re trying to make it heavier near the top of the lift. That makes sense as well but from a logistical standpoint, a little harder to have that setup at your home or you can [crosstalk 00:08:40].
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. And then, the level of variance, also, because I see some of these protocols where somebody might have X weights sitting on their chest and when they go to extension, they might have 1.2X, whereas to stay underneath the force curve, I want X on my chest and maybe 5X at the top, not quite 7, because then you get kind of lost in the middle because there’s an S-curve. It’s not linear with the way latex stretches, but the S-curve is not exactly matched to the biomechanics curve and different movements are different. There’s a different strength curve for the chest press that there is for the squat that there is for the bent-over row, the actual strong position is in the middle of the movement, not at the top of the movement. So, there’s a little bit different biomechanics but we apply the same principles to all these movements and really powerful results.
Dr. Shawn Baker: I’m looking at the [strength literature 00:09:40] as it’s coming out recently. They talk about for muscle growth you have to sort of maximally recruit or try to or maximally, intensively recruit these muscle fibers for growth. They talk about you can do it lighter weights anything above 40% but the problem with that is that you got to do so many damn reps. I mean, you’re sitting there. I might be up near 60, 70, 80, 100 reps before I get to that point. I find that something where, if you’re super heavy weights, maybe five reps or something like that. If you’re at 30, 40 reps, you’re still at a pretty decent place.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Yeah, I do definitely recommend a higher rep count because of that force curve. The more I understand that and the more I study that and there’s big portions of my book which is called Osteogenic Loading. I really covered how absolutely powerful we are in that stronger range of motion. It’s just, there’s a lot of different strategies to get that in there. I just created a sort of package around it. But now, you two have been using X3. So, tell me about your experiences.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean and I’ve trained. I think bands, I don’t know when I was doing powerlifting 15, 20 years ago, I mean, bands were starting to come in vogue. Then, of course it changed. Many people using reverse bands and also but I used bands for my deadlift. I would put 400 pounds of the bar and I’d jack it up with some bands and do some reps or sometimes I might go a little heavier than that. That worked effectively for me. I felt there was some value in that and the variable loading we got way back when, and I think it still is effective even as an adjunct to standard deadlift training or you might do deficit deadlift. So, I would combine deficits and bands and the kind of [mixed lot 00:11:49]. So, I’ve had a lot of experience with that. The one thing I would say that I found with this is you’ve got to be motivated to do this the right way. I think that’s because and I think the value-
Dr. John Jaquish: I know that. I was hanging out with Chris Bell last week.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean, I think the value is, with 500 pounds on your back, you’re going to get squished if you don’t do it. With this, I mean, I think you have to switch on mentally and realize is you’re going to have to go to failure and it’s going to hurt and you’re going to have to continue going when it hurts and you’re going to have to go and then you’re going to do those. I think there’s value in, we talked about on the phone early, this shorted range of motion as you progressively fatigue and you keep hitting that until you basically fail.
Dr. John Jaquish: Until you just can’t move. Yeah.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah, and that’s what I found that that’s where it’s very effective. Now, I think, again, you got to be motivated. You just can’t get in there and half-ass it and think you’re going to get anything out of it. So I go in there. Then, the other thing I found for me with the deadlifts is when I first did it because there’s such … That orange band, that thing that’s got, I don’t know, you said, “640 pounds at the top,” when I’m [crosstalk 00:12:56].
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s 640 pound top of the deadlift for me but I’m six feet tall and you’re …
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. 6’5”, so I might … Maybe it’s even more. I don’t know.
Dr. John Jaquish: Oh, it’s well over seven, I think.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah, so I’m in there banging it out. What I found is I quickly realized I had to put a hook grip in because I was like holding it double overhand normal, I found out. I was like, “Whoa. I can’t hang on to this thing.”
Dr. John Jaquish: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. So, I put a hook grip on there and then it’s fine. Then, I can hang on to this thing but yeah, I mean, I find that as I’ve just got to be motivated and I’ve got to be willing to hurt. Then, it works. It’s kind of my heart rate gets jacked up even doing … I was doing biceps curls, which is not something you think of as a … You don’t use a lot of musculature on the bicep, normally. Normally, if you’re doing high rep squats then your heart’s beating like a freight train but I was in there doing biceps curls. I was like, “Wait a minute. I got a high heart rate after doing biceps curls,” which is pretty interesting because I was doing the … I get to 15, 20 reps and then start cranking out those partial reps. Then, I felt that pretty good, but I was, I guess, just kind of figuring out which bands are appropriate for each exercise takes a little [crosstalk 00:14:02]-
Dr. John Jaquish: A little trial and error there.
Dr. Shawn Baker: … play it, because I started out doing chest press. I was like, “This one’s too light for me, so I got to switch the heavy one.” But yeah, no. I’ve enjoyed it. I mean, I give you some feedback of things that I think that would be maybe a potentially but it’d be neat, like if, I think you can make some handles, you know like on a cable crossover bar?
Dr. John Jaquish: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dr. Shawn Baker: You know how the handles are. I mean, I think that you could make those and hook it on there as well, so you could have a little bit … Because I’m a pretty big guy. I’m pretty wide. So, I find that my natural grip for the chest press would be a little wider than what I’ve got with the bar there. So, I would you, again, I don’t know if there’s …
Dr. John Jaquish: Sure. Well, two things that is interesting. When you have … The strongest people in the world, are they using barbells or dumbbells? They’re using barbells. When you choose to move something functionally with your upper body … Now, your lower body is pretty much one limb at a time. We walk on one leg at a time, unless you’re a kangaroo, one leg at a time. But when you need to pick up something heavy, you’re using both hands. The problem is, I think, with the single side or bilateral versus unilateral. It’s like functionally, if we had something to pick up, we wouldn’t pick up two heavy things at once. So, I believe there’s neural inhibition that, which is why you can see somebody who does a 400-pound bench press but that doesn’t mean they can bench press 200-pound dumbbells. It’s not just the stabilization and firing that’s going on. There’s an inhibitory process. So, I really stuck to just barbell because it’s superior but also funny thing you mention, a wide grip chest press is great when you’re in a contest. It’s not great to grow your pectorals because the pectoral is shorter if my arms are right in front of me, whereas when I take a wide grip, I’m not able to really fully engage my pectorals. So, I designed the bar for maximum muscle growth not like if somebody’s a weightlifter like Chris and Mark Bell, for example. They kind of said, “How do I … I’m not going to stop lifting.” And I’m like, “No, no, no, no, no. In fact, if you stopped, you would screw that up,” because that’s a skill. A golfer will become a better golfer if they do strength training, but if they quit golfing and do strength training for a year and go back and try and play a round of golf, they’re going to suck. So, it’s like you have one firing pattern but then the way you look at X3 is this is for the maximum fatigue to trigger the maximum growth. Like I told you, use it as your last set. Use it as you’re finishing set. That way, you stimulate absolutely the most. And you’re right. It’s not a shortcut. It’s hard exercise. You exhaust pretty quick. So, the workout’s quick but man, you’re leveled when you’re done with it.
Zach Bitter: Yeah and, I mean, that’s kind of how I would describe my experience, too, would be if I’m just pulling weight off the ground at the gym, I’m going to fail at the pull-off point, not at the top point. So, like with this, I can get another couple reps in before I hit that fail point because I’m not trying to kind of push through the weakness to get to the strength. The way I kind of explained it to a couple people who were more endurance-based like myself so they would understand it is think of it like if I were to go out and do a speed workout, it would be a lot more difficult for me to get a quality speed workout in if I just went right into the workout and had the hardest part as my first couple steps. Think of it like you do a little bit of a warm-up and then you get into the sprint intervals or the whatever type of speed workout you’re doing. So, you kind of give yourself a chance to get kind of going before you hit the hard part, so to speak and kind of close that gap. That’s kind of the thing I first noticed with it was that variance from the floor part in being able to get those last couple reps out.
Dr. John Jaquish: Nice. Probably, the most interesting part of this whole adventure, I mean, other than just like as soon as I have the thing developed. This is really what I wanted to talk to you guys, was the nutritional recommendations that had to come along with it. See, from the medical device perspective and bone density, I had already picked up on the whole idea that … Is it okay if I switch gears and go with the new-
Zach Bitter: Sure.
Dr. John Jaquish: I know you guys are not bored of that subject. So, I had been reading these two meta-analyses on veganism, vegetarianism and how damaging it is to bone density. So, now I didn’t have a horse in the nutrition race and as soon as I prototyped the X3 and started using it and building the protocols like we’ve been discussing, going failing with diminishing range, fatiguing with diminishing range. I like the word fatigue better. Failing makes it sound like you broke your arm. People who don’t work out don’t understand that word. So, as I was doing this, I thought, “Okay. I need to recommend sort of the better nutrition program.” I had been ketogenic for 13 years because I read Bodyopus years ago, which was a crazy book written by a crazy person. I don’t know. It was like, “Get 50 different things you can do to optimize performance.” Pretty much 49 of those 50 things involved breaking the law and totally forgetting about your health. It was one of the worst books I’ve ever written but kind of interesting at the same time but the only thing that was in there was ketogenic nutrition. I was like, “I could do that. That sounds interesting.” It worked and it worked really well for me. Then, as I was developing the medical device, I learned so much about how you want to avoid vegan vegetarian nutrition if you want to optimize bone density. So, telling basically the postmenopausal population, “Vegetables aren’t so great”. There’s oxalates in there that are actually performance robbing elements. So, I was telling, it’s very, very contradictory information especially with that population. These are women 50 plus. They’ve heard their whole lives that they need to have as many vegetables as they can possibly choke down. I’m saying, “Yeah. I don’t think that’s quite right.” Then, when launching the X3, I came across, I really started doing it. It wasn’t just ketogenic. It was like, “All right. How deep can I go? How much can I learn here?” So, I came from a researcher’s perspective with a pretty clean slate other than what I knew about bone density in nutrition. I landed on carnivore. It was awesome. And another thing, you guys had Professor Jose Antonio on your show not that long ago. One of the best podcasts of any podcast ever. That guy is awesome. He’s the most researched guy in high protein nutrition. Once you understand how much protein your body can absorb and turn into muscle protein synthesis, there’s not a lot of room in your intestines for anything else. That’s why the way I presented to people was people say, “Well, don’t tell me carbs are bad because like energy,” whatever. If you understand muscle protein synthesis and maximizing it, you don’t have enough intestines to digest more than the protein you need and the fat that comes along with it, provided you’re not supplementing or something like that.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah, I mean that podcast with Jose was pretty enlightening.
Dr. John Jaquish: [inaudible 00:22:28].
Dr. Shawn Baker: We’ve got this sort of dichotomy. There’s people out there saying, “Protein is evil and we should minimize it and just kind of improving our longevity,” and all this stuff. I think it’s just so much more nuanced than that. We’ve got a guy, interesting, is coming on, Keith Baar, who will go into some of that nuance on things around mTor and how you want to differentially express it for muscle but there’s other times you don’t do it, so you couple high-protein diets with exercise, particularly resistance training. Then, I think that’s where the magic starts to happen. But I do want to continue to talk a little bit about muscle growth because I think it’s an important topic and we can get back to nutrition and obviously … I think carnivore diet is a wonderful tool. I think we’re learning more and we’re seeing that all these people are getting healthy doing it that we’ve kind of misguided ourselves with nutrition for years. But one of the things because I’ve heard you talk about absence of soreness because most of us think this is a process of muscle building. You get in there. You tear yourself up. You’re sore for a day or two and that means that, now we’re going to rebuild. I’ve heard you kind of have a different take on that. So, I’d like to hear a little bit more about that particular thought and how this sort of style of training, how supposedly does it build muscle more efficiently than the more traditional tear it down, build it back up type of thought?
Dr. John Jaquish: Sure. So, when you do a set with X3 and you first fatigue the strong range, which is something you typically cannot do with a weight. Then, you diminish the range and the reps get short, you’re fatiguing the mid range with a lighter weight, which is something, again, you can’t really do with a weight. Then, finally you get to the fatigue in the weaker range using a lighter weight but so much of the tissue has already been shut off because of exhaustion. It’s a much deeper level of stimulus but people notice, “I don’t get sore. I thought the soreness had to do with growth.” Well, a lot of soreness that people sense is like microtearing. Really there’s three ways we increase strength. There’s the myofibril-type growth, which is the aggressive protein synthesis, the actin, myosin coming together to make new myofibrils. That is from a structural fatigue of muscle, so this is very explosive powerlifting can get this. Gymnastics can get this with high-impact absorption, myofibril growth. Typically, bodybuilders, they don’t get a lot of this. They get more sarcoplasmic growth. So, they’re exhausting the tissue. They’re wiping out the ATP, look like it’s doing the creatine phosphate as fast as possible or as fast as they can possibly do it. By doing that, they’re showing the central nervous system, “Okay, we used all the fuel in this cell. Now, we got to add the fuel back and as adaptation goes, we’re going to put some more fuel in that cell.” So, sorry, the third type of strength adaptation is neurological. So, and this is another thing like when you did the Highland Games, things like that. Once you get that technique, all of a sudden, your output is double what it was a couple months before, because you trained your body how to fire as many cells as possible to get that job done. That’s a skill so somebody who’s built a lot of raw output with X3, it doesn’t mean they’re going to go and win the CrossFit Games if they’re not also participating in those other events in practice because they got to train the neurology. So that’s really one of three places that strength is coming from. It’s been, I believe, kind of a distraction that these microtears are really the answer when you look at … There’s more microtears with marathon runners than there are weightlifters. They’re not bad, they’re not good. They’re a consequence of exercise but they don’t lead to growth necessarily. So, when you don’t get sore from X3 but I still see people swapping 20 pounds of body fat for muscle in a couple months. They’re certainly growing but they never got sore. That’s part of the reason why there’s none of the tearing. I think that has to do with these heavy loads being used in the weaker range of motion. I think it’s pretty hard on the joints and it’s hard on the musculature too. So, the recovery time is pretty quick.
Zach Bitter: That makes a lot of sense, John, when I think about it, too, because within my sport of kind of trail running at the ultramarathon distance, the running kind of joke or comment that we always say is, “You finish a race. The next day, your quads are just thrashed.” Everyone thinks it’s the uphills that did it. No, it’s the downhills that [crosstalk 00:27:54].
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. It’s strike. Yeah. The deceleration that you must embrace as you’re contacting the ground plus the velocity of basically a fall. Yeah. That’s a gymnast-type stimulus in massive repetition that’s very hard on the muscle.
Zach Bitter: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. It’s the same reason why, if I went out and did a training block that was just on flat ground and then decided after that … I mean, I could get really fit doing that at that environment and then I switched to environment that had a lot of downhill running in it, I would have to do a fraction of the percentage of that downhill running based on the volume I was doing before. I would be way more sore the next day just because I hadn’t exposed was my body that sort of eccentric contraction. So, it’s really interesting to kind of think about it from that angle.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah, I want to talk a little bit about the [C.L.S. 00:28:48] because we talk about this thing I call Young’s modulus, where we look at the elasticity of different compounds and we have something for bone and in orthopedic implants, we try to match bone to things like titanium and stainless steel and cobalt chromium alloys and stuff like that so they match a little bit but because I think it’s … I see these different bands in here. I’ve got the orange one, which I guess you have for the people that have a little stronger in certain ranges, but do you find that … What’s been your experience with different … I’ve got my girlfriend. She’s tiny. I mean, she’s 110 pounds, 115 pounds. So, she struggles with the white one, I mean, just because she’s little and depending on the exercise but I mean, are you finding that different people of different strength levels have different … Do these bands accommodate that for everybody, because I know what it does for me and I’ve got to stick to the three heaviest ones for the most part.
Dr. John Jaquish: So, when I tested X3 because I wanted to make sure that it was good enough for the strongest people out there, so the individual I felt like I was addressing was somebody like me, like an executive. I was traveling all over the world for this medical [vice 00:30:08] project. I liked to exercise, so I thought, “I can bring it with me wherever I go.” I got my whole gym with me and it weighs 12 pounds, like I put it in my check bag. So, that was awesome but also, when I’m at home, I can have it in my office. So, middle of the day I can just bang on a workout. Then, head to lunch. So, it was that. That’s who I designed it for but I wanted to take the regular guy and give him the type of stimulus that will turn them into a person who feels like a high-performance athlete, dramatic strength increases, dramatic body composition improvements. If you’re not already male and maybe a little bit stronger, yeah. Shit’s heavy. So, my girlfriend struggles with … Well, she struggled with the white band in the beginning but now she almost never uses the white band. In fact, she deadlifts with the dark gray, which is the third heaviest one. She’s about the same size as your girlfriend. So, yeah. I mean, they build the strength but yeah, it’s … I think sometimes somebody sees X3 and goes, “It’s a rubber band trainer.” Yeah. It’s a rubber band trainer where you can do six, 700-pound deadlift, 500 pound chest press. It’s no joke. It’s going to put massive force to your muscle, which is going to trigger some serious growth. So, it’s not easy. It’s not like she’s going to chat with her girlfriends while she’s lifting.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Hey, John. We talked about this on the phone a little bit. There’s a lot of people that are proponents of what’s called HIT style training. It’s basically kind of … This would certainly, at least in my understanding, fit that bill to some degree, where it’s just go to failure as hard as you can. I don’t like throwing failure but go to full fatigue.
Dr. John Jaquish: I know what you’re talking about.
Dr. Shawn Baker: But I mean, what is the deal with frequency here and timing, because it seems like I walk around the house, it’s in my horse … My gym is basically a frigging horse stable. We don’t have horses, so I’ve got my gym equipment in there. I’ll walk down there and I’ll go in there and I’ll just jump in there and do a set of something just periodically throughout the day. Is there any, and I know you’ve got a little sort of suggested workout routine where you do three or four of these exercise one day and three or four days of these the other days. Can they be spaced out like that because these things only take a minute? I mean, you get in there. You bang out a set and you’re done in a minute. I mean is it something you could do throughout the day, or I mean … And I do appreciate the travel aspect of it because when you go to a typical hotel, they got a few dumbbells, a treadmill and maybe a freaking 1990s BOSU ball or some garbage in there that you can’t-
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. It’s garbage.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean, it’s not-
Dr. John Jaquish: If you’re interested in running at all, the treadmill is a complete just letdown. It’s a total piece of garbage, yeah.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah, but I’m just wondering about the frequency, because a lot of the HIT proponents are, some of them are like, “I workout once a week.” What are your thoughts on that sort of stuff?
Dr. John Jaquish: So, when we look at … There’s a muscle biopsy study, which I believe was done in 2012, which looked at when protein synthesis is done after a strength training session. I know Arthur Jones theorized it took a week and Dorian Yates and Mike Mentzer, two bodybuilders. Arthur Jones, by the way, for those listening, he’s the inventor of Nautilus. So, then two bodybuilders really focused on what Jones was talking about. They would say somewhere between four and five days and two weeks depending on what it was. So, I think there was a period of time where Mike Mentzer was squatting like once every other week with one set. So, I thought, “Okay. I’m looking at these different recommendations.” I really wanted to find something that was a little more than just someone’s opinion and trial and error. So, when I found the muscle biopsy study, protein synthesis is done in 36 hours, so you can hit a muscle … We wait 48. It fits a lot better on your calendar to hit the same muscle every 48 hours so there’s workout A and workout B. You do workout A Monday and then B Tuesday and just repeat and take Sunday off so you hit every muscle three times in a week. I go up in reps either full or partial reps just about every workout and I have for two years. I put on 45 pounds of lean mass and lost 16 pounds of fat in that period of time. So, I believe in that study. It’s a great study. Biopsy study’s pretty conclusive. So, it’s not like epidemiology, so yeah. Yeah, so that’s really what built the protocol. One set is what’s recommended because ultimately when we look at stimulus and adaptation. When somebody says to me, “Well, why only one set?” I said, “Okay. Well …” If I’m looking at a person and they have a suntan. “Okay. You have a tan. How many sets did you do in the sunlight to get that tan?” They look at me like, “What?” Right. You stimulate once and there’s a response. So, bone density, the minimum dose response. This is a great piece of cocktail party conversation you can dazzle your friends with this. 4.2 multiples of body weight is required to trigger bone growth in the hip. If you do not meet or exceed 4.2 multiples of body weight, you trigger nothing. So, you can have 3.5 multiples of body weight loaded to your hip and a hundred loading cycles. You get nothing. You exceed 4.2 multiples of body weight one time. We see with bone turnover markers, with blood tests, you can see the bone metabolic rate changes past that level of one experience, which, by the way, could last a hundredth of a second. So, for a gymnast, is when they absorb high impact. So, the way we adapt, we really need one stimulus that’s of the minimum dose response. So, when it comes to the X3 sets, we’re going to such a deeper level of fatigue than we are with regular lifting, you only need to do one set. So, if you wanted to do … Now, if you spaced your sets out. If did chest press and then took five minutes off and took a phone call or something like that and then went back to it, that’s not a problem if I don’t immediately do triceps after my chest press but I’m only going to do one set of chest press.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah, I mean, and that’s the way I’ve been playing with this. Like I said, I think the key, though, is just you’d have to really just, you got to go until you can’t go. I think that has to be-
Dr. John Jaquish: [crosstalk 00:37:51]. Yeah.
Dr. Shawn Baker: … very important part to this. When I asked about traveling, I mean, you ever think about making a bag for this thing, because it looks like you could have a little X3 bag or something like that.
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s in the process.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Oh, it is? Yeah. I was going to say.
Dr. John Jaquish: [crosstalk 00:38:05] a nice travel case for it, yeah.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I was going to say that would be … I’m just thinking about things I would say because I fully intend on bringing it with me when I travel just because, for me and I agree with you for some of these but I’ve been lifting for years. I like going to the gym and I like doing the deadlifts and I like doing the high poles and the snatches and jumping and all that stuff so I’m not going to continue to stop doing those things just because. I can say there’s skills and I think there’s benefits for doing that but again, I think the confusion comes in where people talk about bodybuilding, putting on muscle, and then actually the display of that muscle. You have to do the skills to do that efficiently. Like I said, any sport you’re going to be in. Like you said, you use the golfer analogy but, like I said, I still like to be able to sprint fast and jump high and do all those things so I got to do those things but I mean the strength and the muscle growth is going to be a tool to get me there, because a lot of people, they want to frame everything through bodybuilding as the pinnacle of all athleticism and health. I’m like, “No. That’s not it.” I mean, that’s muscle growth but-
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s a plus.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean and there’s a lot of unhealthy bodybuilders. I mean, there was, unfortunately, a guy just passed away recently. I can’t remember the guy’s name but of course, the vegans are saying, “Good job. Glad you’re dead because you ate meat.” I mean it’s just the craziness that comes out of various people.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Everybody that has a heart attack, it’s because they had like a burger once.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah or they happen to breathe air, too. I mean, goodness, we should all stop breathing air, perhaps. But yeah, I mean, that’s the interesting thing and I do like the way that you frame it, is to do it as like a finishing set for a lot of things. Honestly, I haven’t tried that yet. I’m going to get in there, because I’ve got a home gym. I maybe get in there and do a regular deadlift workout and then go in there and throw this in as a last set. I’m sure I’ll be completely satisfied.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. It’s also a tool. I recommend everybody who’s already got a training program, who’s already conditioning for something. Shawn and Zach, you guys are conditioning for a couple of things that you’re doing. You got to blend that in and figure out how to dovetail it right into what exactly your protocol and your goals are. For most people to get the product down, it’s all they do. That’s all I do. I do nothing other than X3. I continue to put it on mass but I’m also trying to prove a point. I would like to get back to sprinting at some point. I was a great downhill skier for years. I kind of stopped doing that just because I don’t want any distraction from what my mission is at the moment. So, I’m just pure X3, not because that’s what everybody needs to do but I’m really trying to show everybody what I can do when I just take this simple elegant little tool and massively change my body with it.
Zach Bitter: Yeah. I had one question kind of follow up with what Shawn was asking, too, before about kind of using it like a setup where you kind of have a busy schedule for the day but you know you’re going to have a couple minute breaks here and there. You just quick hop in and do a set and then bounce back to what you’re doing and just break it up throughout the course of the day. I was listening to a podcast with Dr. Andy Galpin. He was talking about kind of this idea where a lot of times people, they’ll go into the weight room. They will kind of interchangeably think about strength versus kind of explosive power. The reason they were kind of talking about it was because they were discussing this situation where they had this guy who is just a monster on weights. I think he was like a mixed martial artist of some form, but when it came to, they were analyzing his punching power and they noticed that it was really lacking compared to how strong he actually was. There are guys who were much weaker than him punching way harder. They said it was because he didn’t have a whole lot of explosive power through his punch. What they did is they kind of switched him from doing his more traditional three by five sets or something in the weight room to doing more sets with lower reps to take advantage of this kind of first rep phenomenon where you’re going to get the most explosive part of your lift out of those first one or two sets. So, trying to leverage the amount of volume he was spending on those first reps in order to improve his power. That really helped that explosive part of it. Is that kind of something that you look at with X3 or training as another kind of angle to what is your goal here versus kind of how someone is going to implement that?
Dr. John Jaquish: So, from a raw output standpoint, we’re engaging more of the musculature because we’re changing the weight as we get into a more capable range of motion. So, X3 would have helped that or would help that guy in switching on more musculature but there’s also, like I mentioned with the golf swing or with a powerlifting movement, there’s a neurological process. There’s a firing pattern. You have to do both of those things but yeah. You would also and there’s a couple of different philosophies when it comes to lifting and long-term potentiation. First, you get a short term potentiation, meaning you train the body how to fire it, and then firing in that pattern becoming almost automatic. That’s a long-term potentiation kind of thing. When you look at that, it’s different strategies to get more tissue to fire in a shorter period of time in that the two different sort of philosophies I’ve heard, one has to do with if you can draw a straight line on a piece of paper real fast, sort of like you can jerk a weight and make it move through space really quickly. But if you draw a straight line really slowly, it’s a lot harder and a lot more stabilization has to take place to keep that line on that piece of paper straight. So, when you lift slower, stabilizers have to fire, which makes you more balanced. The more balanced you are, the less neural inhibition you have. So, if you lose your balance during lift or something like that, you just lose your strength like your muscles start to shut off. So, I’ve always been a big fan of that philosophy. It’s very difficult to do like a randomized control trial on two different protocols because there’s so many different biomechanics issues with anybody who has athletic or you test this on. So, I wouldn’t say there’s anything inclusive but I would have somebody try and get the heaviest loads of their body with moving slow and control, so they can get the stabilizers active. That may be part of that guy’s problem. I’d love to see what his lifts look like.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Hey, John. Speaking of stabilize, there’s one thing that you kind of see with this is because when you’re used to using machines or weights, they’re very well-balanced. I find with the X3, there’s just a little bit of, you get a little of that going in there. I know a lot of people have used bamboo bars and different things to sort of force that to happen and you have to stabilize it. It’s not as sort of because that tension on the band is pushing you down. Like I said, it’s not controlled by a cam on a machine. It’s just kind of you fighting against this sort of resistance. It’s almost and I don’t know. Can you speak to whether advantages of disadvantage of that particular phenomenon?
Dr. John Jaquish: Yes. In summer of 2016, I published a meta-analysis on stabilization firing and how it connects with upregulation pulses of growth hormone. So, there is one of the references in that meta-analysis. It wasn’t included in the meta-analysis but it was a reference that I use. When you compare free weight squats and the growth hormone effect we see somebody who does a, I think it was a 12 rep to fatigue set. They can increase their growth hormone levels by 600%. You take somebody on a leg press who’s using almost double the amount of weight. You know how much growth hormone they got out of that? None. No change over baseline. It’s because the stabilizers are there to switch the musculature on. That’s how we’re wired. That’s how we are. So, I like anything that challenges the stabilization. What I ended up finding in that meta-analysis was I found 23 different published datasets that showed that stabilization firing in rapid succession increases growth hormone. If you add load to the stabilization as in, like you can stand on one foot and there’s some stabilization firing but if you stand on one foot and you’re holding something heavy, like a 100-pound bag of sand. Well, now, all of a sudden, your obliques, your quadratus, your spinal erectors, your traps. There’s stabilization firing going on all over your body to keep you from tipping over. That’s a much more upregulatory experience for GH, and we saw that as upwards of 2,000%. Now, one thing that’s a principle of X3 is, like in overhead press, your core is firing in an overhead press of any type, but when you’re using X3, you’re holding a low weight when you’re at the bottom when the bar’s close to your face but then, as you get into a stronger range of motion, you’re holding a weight you might not even be able to get there, might not even be able to unrack because the weight goes up as you go into the more contracted position. Then, you can look at the core of somebody. It’s just jackhammering. Your core is just vibrating because there’s so much stabilization firing going on. Then, we get that growth hormone benefit, which is why some of these people who use the product, they lose body fat a lot quicker.
Zach Bitter: Now for a word from our sponsors.
Dr. Shawn Baker: What you doing with that X3 bar? What’s your experience been so far?
Zach Bitter: Yeah. It’s been great so far. I’ve been using it quite a bit at home. It saved me a couple trips to the gym. I’ve been mostly doing deadlifts with it. I’ve actually brought it on a couple trips with me, too, because it’s pretty easy to throw into a rolling duffel and kind of bring with you on the road.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean, I found particularly the deadlift I’ve been a pretty decent deadlifter and I pulled over 700 pounds and I know when I use this big orange band that it’s pretty tough. It actually, for a band workout, it definitely simulates the heavy lifting. I think you’re right. It’s very nicely suited for travel for sure. It’s a good, certainly accessory exercise for many people. I think a lot of people can use it as a primary training tool depending upon what the goals are but I think the key I found is you’ve got to use it as designed and that includes really pushing to failure. When you get there, you really know it. It definitely gets your heart rate up, even things like biceps curl, I find my heart rate jacked up after doing that. So, I think I’ve been pretty impressed with the product overall in certain situations for sure.
Zach Bitter: Awesome and Dr. Jaquish has a poster that comes with it that gives you a kind of a breakdown on kind of the moves and different lifts that he addresses with the two … And over to X3bar.com for products, videos, and training programs. Now, back to the show.
Dr. Shawn Baker: I mean, because obviously there’s no cardiovascular … Well, I shouldn’t say that. I should say there’s no traditional cardio in this sort of thing. I mean, talk about the cardiovascular effects because, like I said, I was in there doing biceps curling and my heart rate was up, which was a little surprising me. I mean, like I said, I’ve done 20 reps squat routines for years and you get done with a set of 20 rep squats with 300 pounds or something and your heart rate’s jacked up and I mean-
Dr. John Jaquish: I’m with you for sure.
Dr. Shawn Baker: But I’m seeing that on just on biceps curls, so let’s talk a little bit about cardiovascular benefits of weight training in general or you can sort of specify to the X3.
Dr. John Jaquish: Sure. There is a few meta-analyses that look at strength training versus endurance training. Now, again, there’s a neurological firing pattern mid-foot strike that Zach knows, that when you get your foot strike right when you’re a runner. All of a sudden, a lot becomes easier, you become a much more efficient machine. So, there are those elements of what happens when you do cardiovascular exercise. However, just from a cardiac perspective, the research pretty clear that strength training and endurance training can both give you a really healthy cardiovascular system. So, brief episodes of very high intensity work really have the same impact on cardiac health as the longer sustained-type activity. So, I don’t do any cardio nor will I. I’m just going to keep doing X3. Now, like you said, Shawn, I am leveled when I do a set of X3. I got to sit down. I’m just totally gassed and I’m waiting for my heart rate to go back down before I do my next set. Each workout’s only four sets. So, don’t really have to worry about but then, after all, I can go about my day but it is a devastating experience because you’re taking the muscle to a deeper level of fatigue. You’re calling for more blood flow. You’re using more oxygen and blood. So, it forces your heart to pump blood hard.
Zach Bitter: Yeah and I think sometimes too, when people look at, it really depends on what your goal is. If your goal is just cardiac health, then if you’re time crunched, you’re probably better off ripping off a few sets on the X3 or doing some sort of HIT workout than you are to spend 60 plus minutes doing something really slow for those benefits, unless your goal is to be able to run slow for a long period of time, in which case, then it’s specificity-type mind-set.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. Ultimately, somebody who’s running for distance, your goal is to fire the least amount of tissue over the longest period of time. You want to be efficient. So, firing a lot of tissue is not what you want to do. You want it to be the least amount that can carry your body forward. So, it’s certainly a very different goal but from a cardiac perspective pretty much the same. There’s a great article that references a number of meta-analyses. I don’t remember who the author of this particular paper is but it’s called There’s No Such Thing As Cardio. It really describes cardio as just a different type of strength training, like everything. It’s just strength training. You’re contracting a muscle. You’re trying to get more performance out of the muscle. It’s referenced all the way through really well. It wasn’t academically published. It was just somebody who made a bunch of observations and was trying to talk about the same thing we’re trying to talk about how strength training, cardiovascular training. They’re both great, but from a cardiac health perspective, if you’re doing one or the other, you’re going to have a healthy heart.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean do you find that … I mean, how do you do with, because you’re training I guess every day except you take one day off a week, I guess. Is that how that works?
Zach Bitter: Yeah.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Do you find that you play with nutrition around training time or what are your thoughts on … I know because we’ve had a lot of protein researchers on talking about nutrient timing and getting protein in around workouts. Are you finding that that has an effect on what you do?
Dr. John Jaquish: I mean, short answer is no. I try and workout with no food in my system, just to get the maximum blood flow out of musculature. So, then that’s for performance. I usually eat afterward. Now, there’s also no such thing as the anabolic window. That’s pretty well-understood. The whole idea that you need to get your protein in, like whatever 20 minutes after you eat, or my favorite is you need a carbohydrate drink, you need some sugar crap before and after you workout. None of that shit’s true. So, I typically workout and then I’ll have either one or two meals in a day but just as long as I get my 300 grams of protein in in a day. It’s usually at the end of the day because that’s when I’m hungry. That’s it. It doesn’t matter. I don’t know. I don’t try and time it at all. I’m growing faster than I grew when I was 16 years old. So, I know it’s working. I know the recommendations that Professor Antonio and all the higher protein research. That works.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. It seems like any effect of eating within an hour is minimal at best. I mean, I think some of the studies show even 48 hours or something like that. So that window is really a barn door. Do you know because I’ve got your little cheat sheet on the workout you do. I saw you’ve got a couple bonus workouts with split squats and the kind of cable crossover type. Are there any other exercises out there that you’re doing besides those that you can use the X3 for that haven’t been described already?
Dr. John Jaquish: Great question. The answer is no. I’m doing exactly what is on the training website on jaquishbiomedical.com, or the x3bar.com training program website. That’s exactly what I do but I’ve seen people, I hesitate to say some of the smarter exercise science fans out there can come up with some different variations because I’ve said that in the past. Then, I’ve seen people do not so smart things with it. That may increase chances of injury or just like you can see all kinds of fitness products used in really not so clever ways. In fact, you go on YouTube and it’s-
Zach Bitter: There’s full Instagram accounts dedicated to that.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, yeah. It’s like, yeah, just injuries everywhere, anything. So, I hesitate saying, “Go ahead and invent your own way to use it.” You can do that if you really know what you’re doing. The problem is, a lot of people think they know what they’re doing and they don’t. So, yeah. I just stick to what’s out there. If somebody could show me like a different protocol and something that might be helpful, I’ll definitely try and make a training video so people do that right. Then, of course the paperwork that comes with the X3, I say like, “Don’t deviate from the program.” I mean, part of that is just the liability. Somebody does something stupid with it. It’s like, “Okay. Well, nobody told you to do that.” But ultimately, it’s a tool. You can put it to work in different ways. Now, like hook grip. You just mentioned hook grip with your deadlifts. Most people don’t know what a hook grip is. I mean that’s a serious deadlift term. Also, I don’t think most people can handle a hook grip because it’s pretty hard on the thumb against this. There’s some discomfort there. So, yeah. I don’t use a hook grip because I don’t tell anybody to use a hook grip, but if you want to do that, you’re going to do great.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I found for me, I had to use a hook grip because the bands were heavy enough that if I didn’t, it was pulling out of my hands particularly as I got to lockout with that dead orange thing, because the first day I did, I wasn’t thinking about it. I normally hook grip anyway. I’ve been doing it for years. I’ve pulled over 700 pounds with a hook grip on a conventional bar. So, I found that and you’re right. It’s absolutely, it can be very painful on the thumbs and it takes a while to build up to that but I think for me to get the benefit of not my hands grip failing before my back does. I’ve got to have something to hold on and to hook. I guess you could potentially use straps like you could on a regular bar as well if you wanted to do that but I don’t see any shame in using straps. If your grip’s failing, you want to work on your back. I mean if you’re going to compete, then you need to develop that but we’re talking about a different situation. We’re speaking about sport. Powerlifting, you got to be able to hang on at the bar, so that’s an important [crosstalk 01:00:32].
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. Although building your grip strength, that’s really important.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Well, yeah. I mean, I would argue it is, but I mean, like I said, at the same time, it may take a while for your grips strength to catch up to your back. I mean, it just makes sense. I mean our backs are huge. Our forearms are relatively small and having big hands helps a lot for that sort of thing, so that’s another advantage there. And speaking of safety, because I mean, I’m sitting there. You thinking because there’s so much force on the thing, if you somehow lost the bar, would it smack you or something like … I mean, is there … Talk about potential of misuses for this, because I don’t want anybody in there to kind of get hurt. So, what sort of potential silly things-
Dr. John Jaquish: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Shawn Baker: … have you heard of people doing in potential [crosstalk 01:01:14].
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s serious strength training. So, you got to hang onto the bar just like other serious strength trainings. So, if you’re benching and you have a heavy load up above your body, most people realize if they let go of that, it could hurt them or maybe even kill them. Now, the good news is there have been people who have let go of the bar. Coincidentally they were, I believe, doing something reckless, of maybe handling the orange band, For a six foot tall person, it’s a 500-pound chest press at the top, I see some people who are trying to use that band who really should not. They haven’t graduated to that band yet but trying anyway. The good news is, it’s not like 500 pounds is going to come crashing down on you. The bar, which weighs eight pounds, will catapult towards you at speed but ultimately, it doesn’t have the kind of mass that’s going to crush bone. It’ll smack you. It’ll hurt. Could knock the wind out of you but probably the worst thing that’s going to happen. One thing, when you do have somebody who’s doing a tricep-type press so that the band comes around your deltoid and goes in the bar and so you’re pushing out with your triceps, you got to wrap your thumbs. Not a suicide grip. So, they call it the suicide grip for a reason. So, we make sure to instruct people to use it correctly. It’s just the same kind of warnings like you can’t not pay attention because it’s not weights, because it’s still giving you incredible amounts of force but I’m glad you brought that up because yes, that is a thing. We do definitely try and educate people on that.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean, I think anybody, that if you use one of those heavy bands, you feel pretty quickly that there’s a lot of force out here and it can kind of move you around, that sort of thing. The other things like don’t step off the platform while you’re engaged with pulling. That would be another potential I think issue for people. I don’t know if you have people that have done that sort of thing but …
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. Or ride off of it.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah, right. Exactly, so that’s … Because when I used to do Highland Games, we would throw a 56-pound weight. You get spinning with that thing. That thing would knock people over, I mean. You need to see how much force it develop when you’re doing these sorts of things. So, I mean, the potential there is certainly there, so you can’t … Like I said, I think if you get the usual fitness bands, they’re so weak that you’re not going to anything with this, but these are definitely … Let me ask you, how long are these bands projected to last, because I had some bands I used for years. They were decent bands. They eventually kind of dried out and they lost their elasticity. I just threw them out, but I mean, what is the projected half-life on these things?
Dr. John Jaquish: So, what the factory tells me … Now, I had the … So, there’s a width to the band and there’s a depth. So, what X3 has going for it is our bands are a lot deeper than any that have been produced to date. So, they have a lot more power in them than what other latex bands are. Now, when you’re talking about bands that are drying out, those are petroleum-based, whereas the X3 bands come from trees, so it’s tree rubber, tree latex and much more powerful and it’s layers. So, the bands don’t snap. They fray like a rope. So, a band will … If you cut one by accident or some people, they take their X3 camping and they make the mistake of doing it on gravel. So, the gravel can cut into a band and the band just starts coming unraveled but it’s not going to destroy itself to the point where you’re going to end up smacking yourself because the bars, I mean the band snaps. It’ll just sort of unravel. So, each one of them is 30 layers of latex. I’m told by the factory that they should last to nine years, provided they’re not like intentionally damaged or just with neglect or something like that. But the ones that I started testing with two years ago, I’m still using. Those weren’t custom-made for me. They’re a little weaker than the actual official X3 ones, but I have those in my place in San Francisco and whenever I’m there and I use that, they’re fine. No sign of wear or anything.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Can you combine two bands as one like an in-between, like add that little white one to get-
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. For sure.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Okay. Cool.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I haven’t done much experimentation with that. Now, sometimes when I travel and I want to travel a little lighter, I’ll leave one band out or something like that and just stack a couple bands up but the gradients of those things are … There’s a pretty strong difference between each one. So, throwing in the white band on top of whatever other band you’re using can be very productive. Also gives you the chance of a more progressive resistance, though I think that term gets sort of overused and people get, for some strange reason, way too excited about what progressive resistance really means. I don’t know why.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean, I guess that’s the difference in the mind-set because you don’t really know how much weight you’re using. You’re just kind of like … I think there’s an advantage of that because when I train with weights, I’m like I’m going to get X amount of weights for X amount of reps. Then, that’s in my mind but with this, it’s just go until you fail, and I think, you don’t know what the load is, I mean, at any given time particularly with … You might know because you’ve tested it and stuff again.
Dr. John Jaquish: Of course.
Dr. Shawn Baker: But I don’t. I’m just like I’m going to pick something I think … Like I said, and we talk about band selection, because I think that’s an important concept of where you want to be.
Dr. John Jaquish: So, we have an app coming out where you enter your height. You then go and that’s part of your account. Then, you pick what band you’re using, what exercise. It tells you what your peak force is, and then it records your peak forces in it for each full rep. Then, how many partial reps, so you count both full and partial. Then, it tracks your progress week by week. So, we’re in prototype. I’ve been testing it every day. It’ll help.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Speak about because I saw in one of your training videos, you talk about not going into full lockout. You stop a smidgen before you lockout completely. What’s the thought behind that?
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. So, constant tension, one of the … And this is like the difference between how a lot of power lifters will view the way they want to move and a bodybuilder. This is something that a lot of funny things have come out of bodybuilding but I think this constant tension concept is something that, from a muscular growth perspective, is pretty brilliant, in that we don’t want to shut the muscle off ever when we’re taking it through that experience. So, when you lockout, like when you’re the top of a bench press and you lock your elbows, you’re disengaging a lot of the musculature and loading the bone, but the problem is you try to get the central nervous system to say, “Okay. We don’t have enough muscle here and we need to grow more.” So, showing the central nervous system that there’s a deficit of tissue and you do that by turning the muscle on and then turning it off, turning it on, turning it off is that as intense an experience is keeping it on the whole time and not locking out. So, I’ve been just short of lockout because you’re in maximum efficiency. Ultimately, if you look at electromyography in the tricep, for example. So, just a single joint movement for simplicity sake. That’s a good one to look at. So, your tricep has a curve. Then, it drops off right at the very end, when the arm gets straight. That’s to keep you from being able to break your own elbow, so you don’t have the power in your triceps when your elbow is locked because, otherwise, you just destroy your own joint. So, it’s neural inhibitory processes start shutting the musculature off. So, those ranges of motion, from a stimulus standpoint, you don’t need them. You don’t want them. Now, again, if somebody’s trained to be competitive at the squat, they probably don’t ever want to squat where they don’t lockout at the top because that’s just what they do. So slightly different approach but that’s why, when I instruct people, because the objective behind the product is to be as strong as possible. That’s really the top track and there’s just other ways to apply it but the way the product is, where I positioned it and the programming around it is just to absolutely maximize strength and mass.
Dr. Shawn Baker: How are you, because I’m curious about this, because when you say, “Actually maximize strength,” how do you assess that, I mean, because normally I would maximize [inaudible 01:11:07], is I would say, “How much weight can I pick up on a barbell,” but if I’m never doing that, then I don’t … Where do you get the feedback that strength is being maximized?
Dr. John Jaquish: That’s why I need to do the app. Yeah. It’s absolutely required. You’re right because people are … There’s a user’s group, X3 bar users group. There’s, I think 6,500 people in it, where they’re talking about how they’re using their X3 and they’re counting their repetitions. They say, “Okay. My chest press is 15 repetitions with a black band and then I do five partial repetitions after that.” Then, the next day or two days later, they might do 15 and then seven partial repetitions. So that was that was a better score. Ultimately, also I don’t want people to get too wrapped up in weight because, when Tony Robbins uses it or when you use it, you’re stretching the band further, so it’s heavier for you than it is for me, a six-foot-tall guy or some of you is shorter than that. So, what the app will do is the reason it asks everyone’s height is it’s going to calculate the exact weight for each movement with each band. Then, they can track it that way.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean, I’ve got particularly long monkey arms. I’ve got 39-inch sleeves. So, I mean, I suck at bench press. I mean, I got to a 400-pound bench press when I was powerlifting, but I mean, even then, I was just like I was one of the … For a heavyweight powerlifter, I was like … Most of those guys had a 500-pound press. I mean, I could always deadlift close to 800, so I could catch them on the deadlift but my bench was always awful for me. But look, talk about this-
Dr. John Jaquish: And you’re at a massive genetic disadvantage for bench press.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Well, yeah, for bench press, sure. So, but anyway that’s just the way it is. You’re good at some things, bad at others. Talk about speed or repetition because there’s some people that talk about acceleration momentum, not being as effective. Do you talk to people about the speed of the repetitions or does it matter? I mean I see with some of the lighter weights, it’s easier to go lighter bands. You can go a little faster. Is there a band where you have to kind of go slower or what’s your thought on that?
Dr. John Jaquish: Slow and controlled. I tell everybody, “Slow and controlled at everything.” It goes back to the neurological … Well, when I was doing my dissertation, I noticed … I pulled a lot of information out of some of the neurology research. In fact, I consulted with Dr. Raj Singh, who’s Director of Rehabilitation at Barrow Neurological, which is one of the best neural rehab places in the world. So, he was talking to me and he said, “Do you really need to look at the H-wave reflexes, what is initiating more tissue to be turned on. So, in neural rehab, they’re looking at individuals like, “How do we get them to fire more tissue,” because some of these people are heavily damaged and they don’t have a lot of signaling. So, the slow and controlled movements, remember that analogy I gave you about drawing a straight line where the slow versus fast, you draw it slow, you got to fire a lot more musculature. So, it’s the same philosophy with these, you’re kind of like one or two seconds, like the kind of cadence where the chest press is like one, two, like that. Nothing jerky at all.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. Well, I thought if the band is-
Dr. John Jaquish: Another thing, momentum matters when you’re moving iron, when you’re contracting against something that’s pulling back against you with variants, momentum doesn’t matter. Momentum’s not even a thing. You’re punished for trying to use momentum, because there isn’t any.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I find, particularly, if you select the band correctly, then you have to … I mean, you’re basically going slow. I mean, you can’t go very fast. It’s just basically impossible.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right.
Zach Bitter: And that answered a question I was going to ask. So, I was thinking if the lower part of the rep is going to be the easier part, then if you get up to speed, you could maybe carry momentum in, but if it, like what you said with the iron versus the rubber band thing, I guess that would become a non-issue at that point.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. It just doesn’t make a difference.
Dr. Shawn Baker: The other thing I’ve seen you talk about is not letting slack get into the system, into the man’s, the range. If I were to do a deadlift and I were to let the bar go all the way to the ground at my toes, there’d be basically almost essentially no resistance. So, you want to make sure you maintain some level of resistance. Talk a little about that.
Zach Bitter: Its intention.
Dr. John Jaquish: Right. So, like we don’t lockout at the top, we don’t want to let the muscle relax at the bottom. So, it is constant tension. So, the bottom of the chest press, the bar is actually not laying right against my chest. It might be hovering an inch or two above my sternum. Then, I’ve go to push away because I want to keep tension through that muscle the entire time. That’s back to that bodybuilding philosophy of constant tension. You want to fatigue the muscle as much as possible. You don’t want to turn it on and then turn if off or turn it on and then turn it off. It’s on. It’s firing. Its contracting until you just cannot move anymore.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I want to go back to the bone mineral density thing because I know you … Tell me, remind me the name of the big system you have, the $100,000 system.
Dr. John Jaquish: OsteoStrong.
Dr. Shawn Baker: OsteoStrong. So, do you feel that this thing has a potential to do similar, that the OsteoStrong does, I mean, for the most part or what are your thoughts on the bone density?
Dr. John Jaquish: They’re pretty different.
Dr. Shawn Baker: They’re pretty different? Okay.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. OsteoStrong is really targeted at bone. So, we’re emulating high impact and we load the bone on its axis, so that the range of motion of movement at an OsteoStrong movement may be a millimeter. That movement comes from the compression of the kinetic chain. So, you’re compressing the small joints. You’re compressing, when you’re doing upper body-type presses, there’s upper extremities, the lower extremities but compressing the radius, the ulna, compressing the hip joint. So, that axial compression shows there is a range of motion but it’s tiny. It’s just to get incredible forces through the bone mass to trigger an adaptation there. So, I would say somebody who wants to be explosive, OsteoStrong is going to give them an athletic benefit from a speed perspective. So, we’ve seen people cut like their 40 times from OsteoStrong because you’re really that most explosive moment is, like I said, the impact ready range of motion. So, the impact ready range of motion, you are able to fire the most amount of tissue, either in absorption of force, deceleration, like Zach, when you run downhill, or from an explosive perspective, a fighter wants to hit somebody when they’ve got the 120 degree angle of inclusion between the upper arm and the lower arm. They don’t want to have their hands close to their face. So, same kind of thing. So, OsteoStrong just looks at that. Then, it allows people to self expose the loads. Also with OsteoStrong, the stimulus is five seconds, so five seconds of compression. The software kind of forces you to load slowly and then you discharge very slowly, too, so it’s almost like a kind of yoga experience. There’s nothing abrupt. The software encourage you to go very slow and controlled because you want the benefit of the neural inhibitory process. If something’s not feeling right, you don’t want somebody to fracture because you have neural inhibitory process and the computer screen for biofeedback monitoring you while you’re going through these different loading events. So, it’s very safe and very effective. What I tell, sometimes I’ll speak to an elderly population is going to be coming into an OsteoStrong and they’re worried. They hear, “Oh, wow. I hear women put a thousand pounds through their legs. Is that possible? Can I get hurt? Will I break anything?” They don’t want to get hurt. I say, “Okay. Everybody do this.” I tell them to put their fist up in the air. I say, “Now, think about this. Can you squeeze your fist hard enough to break your own finger?” They usually look at their own hand and they go, “No. I don’t think I can.” Right, because of neural inhibition. Your body is going to shut your musculature off before you’re going to self-create an injury when you’re being controlled about it, when they’re … But now it’s an out-of-control event like a high impact, like you fell down a flight of stairs or something like that. That’s an out-of-control event. So, that’s different but as long as we keep it in control and slow, which is with the software and the robotics inside the device are designed to do, you’re kept safe and you can load bone and grow bone very quickly.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Hey, John. How would you recommend somebody that maybe they’re training for a sport and they have other workouts to do? They’re still going to continue doing that. I mean what would the workout frequency look like for this, the X3, if they wanted to add that in?
Dr. John Jaquish: So, it depends on really like the sport that they’re doing. It was very surprising to me. So, the Miami Heat uses X3. The way they pretty much do exactly what I do because … Well, for a couple of reasons. One is when you’re shooting a basketball you need to be accurate. You don’t want to be sore. So, they really like the X3 because they can do a heavy workout and trigger some muscular growth but there’s no soreness so their shot doesn’t get screwed up. So, it was like the strength coaches there, Eric Foran, what a stud. He just immediately saw the product and is like, “It’s perfect, perfect for the players.” So, they do it pretty much how I do it. They’ll even do it before they go and do the practice. So, it’s not really something that’s going to get in the way of the other things that you’re doing. It’s just something that’s going to be very effective and amplify the effectiveness of what you are doing. I would caution someone who doesn’t want to put on mass. It might not be your product if you don’t want to put on some size because you’re going to grow. That’s probably one thing. Every once in a while, I come across somebody who really they want to stay in a weight class or something like that. You got to be careful because you’re going to go through some serious muscular protein synthesis. So, if that’s not what you want to do, then that may not be a good fit.
Dr. Shawn Baker: John, are you guys looking at any kind of, I mean, and it may be too early on. I mean, is there anybody looking at any research on this particular product out there? I mean, are you guys doing any kind of biopsies or anything like that at this point or is that something in the works?
Dr. John Jaquish: It’s in the works. Yeah. There’s two universities that are just starting some analysis. I think they’re both really going to get going on the research when school gets back in in the fall. But two universities have reached out to me and said they’re highly interested in doing some research. There’s research on variable resistance but not variable resistance is this strong. So, I’m excited to see how that goes. I know it’s going to be smashing.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Well, awesome. How long has the X3 been out now? It’s been about a year or something like that.
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah, like 18 months. I’ve been testing it for a little over two years because the first year, I developed the thing. I spent $2,000 building the first bar and I had a ground plate out of stamped steel, which cut every hard hardwood floor I used it on. So, I apologize for all the people whose floors I ruined. A couple hotels, too, but oops. But, when I first developed it, I was busy with the bone density medical device stuff. I wasn’t planning on starting another company. So, I just was planning on using it for myself. So, I got halfway through the first year and put on 30 pounds of muscle in my first year. I’m over 40 years old. I thought like, “Nobody does that. I have to launch this. This thing’s awesome.” So, it was first theory. Then, as I got it into practice, I had to launch it. And the funny thing, I brought it to a couple different fitness companies because I thought, “Okay. I’m busy. I’ve got a great business already. I don’t really have time for this.” So, I brought it to a couple of different fitness companies that I won’t mention, because they said some pretty dumb stuff to me, but basically, they were afraid of science. They said, “You got a scientific argument. That doesn’t work in fitness. Nobody cares about science. No one understands it.” I said, “Are you kidding me?” I would imagine … They all said the same thing. “No one cares about science. There’s nothing scientific at all in fitness. Everyone’s just doing the same stuff. We’d rather have shinier dumbbells than come out with something that has a scientific argument because nobody will get it.” I thought, “Okay. I don’t believe that the whole world is that stupid.” So, I’m going to launch it myself. That’s why I ended up doing it. Now, I do think a large percentage of the world is pretty stupid because of what they’re eating, right?
Zach Bitter: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean, we definitely eat whatever. It’s just, it’s pretty bad. John, tell us what you have coming up. I mean, it sounds like you’re traveling quite a bit. Do you have any kind of stuff that we need to know about in the near future?
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. There’s all kinds of projects that are going on. I’m working on a big project with UFC, so sort of the strength and mass programming for the UFC. I’ve been working with Forrest Griffin on that. By the way, you should probably get him on your show. Really interesting guy. Man! He’s got some stories about MMA joint injuries. He and a guy named Duncan French head up the Human Performance Institute at the UFC in Vegas. What a training facility. Awesome! They’re just cutting edge everything. So, I worked on a lot of the X3 programming there and did a lot of video. I’m going to launch a big video program for the UFC using X3 in just a couple of weeks. Really excited about that. Some other things that are really, really preliminary, some other sort of influential people that we’re working with, but ultimately all I want to do is get the product in the hands of the people who are really just going to use it and enjoy it and talk about it like you guys. So, and also the sort of breadth of different types of athletes are figuring out ways to apply because I’m not going to think of every way to use it. There’s a gold medalist swimmer who’s been using it. Shawn, I think he lives near you. He applies it in sort of a slightly different way with his swim coach and her name is Wilma Wong. She’s brilliant woman who’s trying to do all kind of … You’ve probably heard of her. Yes. You’re nodding. She’s trained a bunch of pro swimmers. She’s got a slightly different protocol, kind of higher reps type thing. She’s mixing some sort of extreme flexibility in between sets, which I think is an interesting approach. I got to learn more about what can come out of that but it’s a bright future because there’s all kinds of ways that people can apply the product. It’s so simple and elegant and easy to use, easy to put away, easy to store, easy to carry with you.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I mean, the one thing I’ve seen people say, because it takes you a few seconds to kind of get things set up in position, but then I think about if you go to the gym, it takes you a long time to set that stuff up, too. I mean, for me to load a barbell up to five, 600 pounds, it takes five minutes to do that. I mean, I got to carry the weights back and forth and then I’m just thinking with the bar, I have to kind of make sure the band is even on both sides but I mean because there’s criticism about well, you got to play with it and get it right but, I mean, I’m just thinking about anything you train, you got to do some of that. It’s really that.
Dr. John Jaquish: Oh, you mean taking the time to do it right? That’s the problem?
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. Exactly. Yeah.
Dr. John Jaquish: I mean, you can grab a pencil and use the wrong end of it.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Sure.
Dr. John Jaquish: Go write and it won’t write. So, I’m going to go, “Pencils suck.” Like, “Okay.”
Zach Bitter: It is funny what people will choose to complain about with that type of stuff, too, because just to get to the gym is going to be longer than it would take to even come close to adjusting the bands properly on something like this.
Dr. John Jaquish: Or doing your whole workout and taking a shower, brushing, probably have a mistake. Yeah. You got to go through all that in the time it takes to drive to the gym. Yeah. It’s so convenient.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Well, Joe. Thanks for coming on. I’m looking forward to continuing to use the product and see what it does because, like I said, I’m open-minded but at the same time, I’m all about results. So, I’ll be happy to see. I’m in my 50s now.
Dr. John Jaquish: Awesome.
Dr. Shawn Baker: It gets harder when you get older, for sure. It does, but I mean, if you keep plugging, you can continue to do stuff. So, this is kind of a cool tool to add to the tool bag, I suppose.
Zach Bitter: I think so.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Zach, got anything else?
Dr. John Jaquish: Well, I’m also using it with so many guys that you’re connected with Max Schweitzer, a friend of yours. He got in great shape. Now, he’s doing it like you’re going to be doing it. Like you’ve been doing it, finishing set kind of thing. But he’s just become incredibly conditioned. Just an absolutely shredded individual. Then, of course, Chris Bell is using it. I’m going to make sure that we also share stories to make sure that we’re exchanging best practices and so everybody can optimize what they’re doing.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. I would say, Max’s also doing a carnivore diet and so is Chris.
Dr. John Jaquish: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Put all that dead meat plus training is a good mixture, for sure.
Dr. John Jaquish: Sure is.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Awesome, guys.
Zach Bitter: Awesome. Yeah, thanks for taking some time, John, to come on the show. If there’s any other … Cameron, did we ask you if you had any spots to find you like social media or anything like that that you want us to share?
Dr. John Jaquish: Yeah. It’s @drjaquish on Instagram or Facebook.
Dr. Shawn Baker: Yeah. Then, the X3 bar has its own-
Zach Bitter: Own website.
Dr. Shawn Baker: … [crosstalk 01:32:10].
Zach Bitter: We’ll link all that to show notes, too.
Dr. John Jaquish: X3bar.com. Yeah. Thanks, guys.
Zach Bitter: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks again for coming on and have a good rest of the day.
Dr. John Jaquish: Awesome, guys. Thanks.
Zach Bitter: Hey, folks. Human Performance Outliers Podcast is growing and due to the growth, we are looking to take on some new sponsors. So, if you feel like your company or organization would be a good fit for our audience, please do not hesitate to reach out to [email protected]. Thank you. Thank you for listening to this episode of the Human Performance Outliers Podcast with hosts Dr. Shawn Baker and Zach Bitter. If you enjoyed the show, please consider following us on social media and checking out our websites. Links to those can be found in the show notes. Also, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to shoot us an email at [email protected]. Thanks again for tuning into the show.