101. Dr. Nathan Jenkins | CrossFit Health

101. Dr. Nathan Jenkins | CrossFit Health

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This is 36! Thank you to everyone who reached out with kind words on my birthday. It really meant a lot! ⁣ ⁣ At some point, we will all reach an age where we can no longer further increase our strength, speed, power, and overall work capacity any further, and it becomes a game of mitigating age-related decline. I don't know what that point is, maybe mid 40s? Maybe younger, maybe older. I don't really know. It's uncharted territory for science but an interesting and important question. ⁣ ⁣ I am a n = 1 experiment on myself basically for the rest of my life. I learn as much or more from these experiments than any research paper. I think I can continue to improve my physical capacity for about the next 5, optimistically maybe 10 years. We'll see. ⁣ ⁣ Thanks to @devfisch for the picture. After my Olympic lifting and back squat session today, I added on a finisher of some bodybuilding work, modified from the @rpstrength physique templates. I plan to progressively add more and more of this sort of work into my programming over the summer, hoping to add functional muscle mass for the purpose of increasing my work capacity and preventing chronic disease. ⁣ ⁣ #gainzbydrj #averageexerciser #professionalscientist #rpstrength #rplifestyle #willtrainforcarbs #crushingchronicdisease #science #nobroscience #crossfit #crossfittraining #crossfithealth #rewritethetextbooks #changethefield #doesyourprofessorevenlift

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In this episode, Fern sits down with Dr Nathan Jenkins. Dr Jenkins is a tenured professor of exercise physiology at the University of Georgia. He conducts research and teaches courses on exercise, obesity and cardiometabolic disease. He’s been researching for 10 years how to prevent and treatment pf Chronic Disease.; along with his training was in exercise physiology in vascular biology. With a  post-doc work in vascular cell biology. He began CrossFit in January 2015 and obtained a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer credential in 2017. So you can bet that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to complex issues. Along with he’s working Crossfit to push forward Crossfit Health and bridge the gaps between the two fields.

Time Stamp:

(5:56) The sticking point for people 

(11:56) Confusion over VO2 max and intensity

(18:73) What can both side of this debate learn from each other? 

(25:28) Dr Nathan Jenkin’s Type 2 Diabetes research 

(29:08) Teaching Crossfit and university Level.
(44:00) Consensus Science Vs Post Modern Science Vs Modern Science

Social Media: 

Instagram: @gainzbydrj

Gmail: Gainzbydrj@gmail.com

Crossfit Journal – Dr Nathan Jenkin’s: https://journal.crossfit.com/article/science-jenkins

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Dr. Nathan Jenkins.mp4 transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Dr. Nathan Jenkins.mp4 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

Fern:
Alright, everybody, welcome back to the best hour of their day Fern here I am here with the Profess, with Professor Nathan Jenkins. He’s been a contributor to the Journal. He’s doing some stuff for some of the course curriculum for the level one, level two, level three kind of pipeline that we have. And I think he’s just a really interesting guy with regard Mike G. Turned me on to him. You know, he’s lives in Athens, Georgia, where he’s a professor there and exercised his department. He’s a Great Dane owner, which I was for a long time. I lived in Athens. So lost lots and come here. So thanks for your time, brother.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Hey, man. Thanks for having me on.

Fern:
So real quick. So how? You’re you’re probably very much an outsider, an outsider when it comes to your professional and the exercise of his world, you teach exercises at the university level but are obviously an avid lover of Crossfit,. You’ve got to be like the black sheep.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yes, I have very. I have some things in common with my colleagues in terms of, you know, how we teach our classes and actually a lot of our fundamental approaches to physiology and how we do our research. But I am definitely not part of the mainstream when it comes to how I think about exercise and how I think exercise ought to be prescribed and how it is versus how it is currently prescribed and how like a lot of our messaging about exercise recommendations and guidelines and so forth. For the last 20 years. I’ve come to a very, very different place than, again, like the mainstream. I like ideology in our field and that is largely through Crossfit, and how that evolution happened. And I think that’s a real kind of long bug short was of saying. That’s how I end up here, I guess. A lot of people in the Crossfit, spaces through some of the ideas that I have about it and some of the stuff I put out there for meetings beforethe and just people I’ve got to meet and interact with. So. So, yeah, I’m very I’m very different from your average exercise physiology, professor.

Fern:
Is that is that a pretty contentious place to be? Like I like what is that like in the halls of university or are there do people just kind of give you the stink eye and they just go to the Crossfit, guy?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
If I get the stink guys like, oh, crap, that’s the guy that will not shut the fuck up about Crossfit. I’ve heard enough of your episodes now I can say that here.

Fern:
Yeah it’s fine.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
haha know. You know what? I think there is not quite sufficient awareness yet of the things that I’m doing it at least in the like amongst like my colleagues, for example. They know that I do Crossfit,. They now know in 19 what Crossfit, is, and I can have a conversation about it with me and like probably just in general, cause that’s that’s that’s a lot to do to the growth of Crossfit, as well. I think that evolution and expansion of understanding of what Crossfit, is. I’ve seen it change a lot and I have been doing Crossfit, all that long. I just started 2015.

Fern:
OK,.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
So pretty new Crossfit, are in the grand scheme of things. So.

Fern:
So were you were you teaching? Well, let me ask first, what have you done? Have you taken a Level 1 course?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I have. Yep. So.

Fern:
You can definitely see you. Definitely strike me. You definitely strike me as a person who sits in there and is listening to the what is a fitness lecture and is just like, this is it. This is what I’m looking for.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah, yeah, for sure. Actual definitely in the lecture. I was like, I’ll never forget it. You know, like especially like the part where you guys talk about like intensity is exactly equal to power. Right. That’s a concept that resonates very deeply with me on multiple levels and is at the heart of actually the research that we’re doing in my lab right now. It’s it’s. Yeah, absolutely for sure. The the the with the moment you’re talking about like this is it actually was before that when like in the first year or two I was doing Crossfit, and I just like immersed myself in all the stuff that. Gregg and others, but mainly Gregg has written in the Crossfit, Journal about basically what I think of as Crossfit, science and applying concepts of physics and kinematics to human human movement and presenting, for example, a scientifically useful definition of fitness. That was the time when you guys were my dogs crashing around in the background. I’m sorry. That was the time that I had that like, holy crap. This is actually what I’ve been looking for and been thinking things I’ve been thinking about but haven’t quite been able to crystallize conceptually until then. And so, yes, that that that moment has happened for me and it continues to actually happen.

Fern:
So here’s what I don’t particularly understand. And you might be to help me just because you’re in that world, you know, I’m fortunate enough to to be obviously heavily immersed in the course curriculum. So I teach the level one and level two, of course. And I’ve I struggle to understand why people are so adverse to Crossfit, when the literature, at least in my mind, is so profound and and largely objective. Right. So it is it is. Everybody who’s ever heard Coach Glasssman speak knows how he feels about science and data and objective measure of measurable, observable, repeatable data not being said from. From your experience, what is the sticking point for people kind of buying in on it?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I guess we have to qualify that, like right now, 2019 or historically, because I think the answer that has evolved and is changing, I think.

Fern:
Feel free to talk about both.

Fern:
Yeah, I mean, I’ll I’ll start with what I understand and like I’ll start with. So when I start across in 2015, it was after a year of or maybe six months or so of contemplating before I even decided I was going to do it. The stimulus from that contemplation was I had students in actually physiology class, I was teaching at the university come up to me after class one day like, hey, what are you thinking about Crossfit,? And I was like, What? I had heard the term and was generally familiar with people like flipping tires and climbing ropes and stuff, but didn’t really know enough about it to give an intelligent answer. So I went back to my office or back home or whatever. Looked it up just like red, right? I went Crossfit.com. I don’t remember exactly what I saw, but just try to learn a little bit more about it. And I’ll tell you, my initial gut reaction to what I was understanding about Crossfit, at that time was wasn’t it a verse response like you’re describing, like skepticism, doubt, concern. And so the concern was, OK, that’s a good way to get injured really fast. And this is not for the average person. This is not something that anyone that’s just like off the street that we need to get more physically active and to get healthy or to prevent chronic disease, which, by the way, that is historically for the last 10 plus years, my main research interest this exercise for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
So at that time, it was like, no way, this would never work. However, for me, too, I’m also I’m a trained scientist, right, and part of like a learned reflex, it was not a natural reflex, but a learned reflex for me professionally is. Anytime that I’m presented with something that is runs counter to my my preconceived notions that runs different from like the hypothesis that I would naturally have. I need to like look into that a little bit more. Right. I need that. That is actually my scientific duty to examine it, because my natural inclination is to just dismiss it right away, like knee jerk reaction dismiss. So that was what I was doing with Crossfit, was like, wait a minute. But there was there’s there’s maybe something to it. Then. And then after thinking about it a bit more. There was also a lot to like about it from a science, like you said, objective scientific perspective, which is it’s there.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
It goes back 40, 50 years. And the research literature, the concept that an intensity is the most important element of the training stimulus. Like if you get intensity, frequency, duration, overall volume and the intensity is over is more important than all the other ones. You can train two days a week and get the same adaptation as if you train five days a week as long as the two days and where you’re going really really hard. That’s something that goes that concept goes back to this great classic studies of this in the 1960s that support that idea. And so it’s like, OK, well, this is really cool. There’s intensity there. And then the other part that was unique to me, a unique observation was like, wow, those movements they described as functional movements. And I can actually see that. I mean, you don’t have to be trained as they have had a p_h_d_ to appreciate the transfer of skill that I wouldn’t use this term at the time, but the transfer of skill from a deadlift to carrying groceries. Right. That’s obvious as well. OK. So that’s getting more and more people to do that stuff. So let me think about this. Anyway, long story short is that after contemplating it again, initiate the initial thing was from a student, a couple of students who were in my class, nothing after class asked me questions. I want to give them an answer. I looked into it for myself is like, this is really cool. I want to think about this. So then I committed to the year 2015 was my year of Crossfit,. I was going to try it and not just try it for a week because you can’t just try something as complex as this methodology and say it for like two days and say, Oh, I like it or I don’t. My minimum was gonna be three months. It’s like, you know, I’m really going to do this for a year. So that’s what I set out to do. And it took me here we are five years, five to be five years in January. Twenty, twenty.

Fern:
So you brought up a very, very good point, which is a and we talk about this at the seminars is the vast majority of these things are not new concepts. Right. Intensity is not a new concept. Functional movements are not a new concept compound yet irreducible. All the things that we talk about at the level one and the level two are not new concepts, at least in my experience. And think I’m going on 12 years is there’s a massive misunderstanding and disconnect is around the intensity portion.

Fern:
Like everybody is on board with a functional movements are good. You know, we need variance or Omaha to be well-rounded. But again, going back to nobody really defined things like at least in my opinion as well as Coach Glassman did. And it’s like it’s like they just heard it and then just skipped all of the important parts, like intensity is the independent variable most commonly associated with maximizing the rate of return on favorable adaptation? It’s like nobody knows that that that he wrote that or that he wrote what his fitness article. And that to me is like the real challenging part is like you’re not doing your due diligence. You just you just crafted opinion based on nothing.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yes. So the the huge problem in our field is lack of definition of terms that we just throw around and use all the time. That’s led to a lot of perpetuation of ideas that are better described as like confusion than actual ideas, like confusion that compounds on itself.

Fern:
And so like what? Like, is there something specific, sort of like the title of your article, you wrote in the Journal. The Journal is What Exercise Phis can learn from Crossfit,. So like talk about a little bit in there, but I don’t know if you going to talk about something more specific.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
It like to to your point a minute ago about intensity, for example, like what is intensity in our field has really my say. I feel like the academic exercise science has really doubled down on the V02 Max and everything as a as a if you’re going to quantify relative intensity that everything is expressed as a percentage of V02 Max. And from that concept then we we trend. So it turns out peaty, tell somebody, go exercise it. Fifty five percent their v02 max moderate intensity for 20 minutes. They don’t know what that means. So that was that. That’s right. So that was the how the ACA semmes guidelines were written in the 90s. As you know, this is what people need to do. And then they realized nobody understood.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
That’s a modified those guidelines. So once I got. Yeah, it was docs.

Fern:
No, no, you’re good.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Hey, Burtis, chill out. Hey,.

Fern:
Our listeners are dog lovers. That’s fine.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah. If you don’t like dogs. When I was on John Lewis podcast, the same thing was going on. I need to find a better podcast, I spot i guess.

Fern:
Well, listen, yours is better than Ackerman. In his closet, at least we have entertainment.

Fern:
Yes, but I thought I’d sell outs. I said that I said they’ll say to yours, if you don’t like dog lovers and stop listening to, you know, you don’t like dogs. You’re not welcome here.

Fern:
Exactly.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
But gosh, so confusion about where we go. Switch gears from like super surreal stuff to nonsense and confusion over intensity. V02 Max. Yeah. So basically the field has this concept of everything is related to V02 Max and that is your if you ask any person with a student with its major initial science that has an actual science degree, they’re gonna you ask him what fitness is in there. First thing is probably going to be something along the lines of the V02 Max, which is a potentially component of a fitness that the era, the capacity part of asprin dance is one of the components of fitness is as I currently understand it. But. That’s that’s a incomplete definition, first of all. So so what we then have is a whole system of guidelines in just general guidelines for actually prescription that’s based upon this idea of what is that exercise stimulus in relation to the V02 Max, though, coming back to the original versions of the guidelines actually said two fifty five to sixty five percent of the automatic, whatever it is, we don’t we don’t know what that means. So let’s let’s dumb it down a little or make a little more accessible to physicians and actual just people who might be prescribing these things or trying to follow them and say, OK, that’s where you get the 30 minute a day of moderate to vigorous intensity.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
So those terms moderate and vigorous that you see written in mainstream guidelines, they are anchored to ranges of percentages of someone’s V02 max. So that whole system is predicated on V02 Max being the be all and end all measurement of someone’s fitness and therefore health. And my my opinion is that the hold the that makes the whole system messed up because Vo2 Max is not actually is, first of all, a terrible predictor of performance when you talk about like overall work capacity, not honestly for performance, but an individual’s work capacity. Like how much? Wait, can you move over what distances? And over what time? That to me is a better measure of someone’s ability and fitness. Right. So that’s one problem. And then two, like you’re basing all your recommendations on a percentage of something that’s wrong in the first place. So it’s just it’s a mess. It’s a total mess.

Fern:
The other thing that the other thing that I find problematic about it from a training standpoint. So let’s say I have let’s say I do agree with this idea that that is that is the guiding tenant for how I prescribe fitness and exercise to people. How how do I, as a trainer, go about doing that with somebody? Hey, I want you to. Fifty five percent. I mean, I owning an affiliate for 10 years. I can’t even people to track get people to track their one RMs. Of weights. Right. So it’s just such a. Yes. So problematic. You know.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah. There’s there’s some tools that people have come up with for like guidance and this like heart rate, for example, is it seems like it has a place of effort. You talk about before and I think I mean, I use it probably similarly in my heart rate to guide percent of this field to my percent effort is problematic on many levels. Most of the people that we’re targeting with this these messages are not going to go about go out and buy a fricking heart rate monitor or a garment that can measure your heart rate on your wrist. So it’s jus. And then the other piece, too, that drives me a little bit crazy is the whole thing about pedometers and steps per day. And steps per day I’ve been corrected many times on this call. Steps per day are not officially part of any of the physical activity guidelines, but there’s still this whole notion out there that ten thousand deaths per day is all you need. And so it becomes a box that you check. And it turns out that the yes, that there’s some might argue with the data that says that that’s beneficial for mortality. That’s the other layer to this is like, what’s your what’s our outcome? Well, if you’re trying to add a number of years you’re gonna spend on earth, then the guidelines that we have that they’re fine. They’re actually they’re good. But like, what about quality of life and just like real life function and video? Yeah, but basically quality of life and enjoy the ability to enjoy your life and do normal activities and maybe sometimes abnormal activities without it just making you feel crushed or debilitated or whatever. Happens like. I don’t.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yes, we need to be able to put the suitcase in the overhead bin, but I don’t want that to be a maximum effort. Lift right on that. Those are the kind of. So, yes, I am.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
As you can tell, I am definitely. On a different wavelength, in a different place in the academic space than most people, but I’m also optimistic that things are slowly, slowly, slowly starting to see that the things change a little bit on this stuff too.

Fern:
I can tell that you’re you don’t fall in the typical camp because you gave a very, very brief version of what is Crossfit, lecture just now, like you’ve covered most of the things that we gave in. And then what is because then I know because I just gave it two days ago.

Fern:
And I love that lecture. But so on that. Note. What? What you call some of it, we were kind of going back and forth on e-mail and you had mentioned you’d asked me some questions, but you haven’t. You have. So what do you think? What do you think? But I guess what, you could because you kind of live in both in both camps. I do. So what do you think both sides could do better to get to that point? You know, so I’m I’m largely in the camp of it’s not either or it’s largely and. Right.

Fern:
So, I mean, I think I think that if you are ignoring everything, everything in the exercise this world, like that’s just stupid, but you are in that textbook and you’re not paying attention to Crossfit, is breaking down a lot of previous ideals based on the training methodology that you can’t just put your head in the sand on that either, which is everybody’s just like a high rep. Olympic weightlifting is just terrible, to which point, you know, the argument is like, well, if done horribly. Yes. Yeah. It’s been proven that it can be wildly beneficial as well.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah, sure, sure. I spend most my time thinking about what the academy could do in the academy better because of a lot of the stuff that I’ve learned from the Crossfit, methodology. But I did. I think it can go both ways. The I’ll start with something specific that we’re currently pursuing with my research team, so I have a team of four doctoral students and they each have an army of three to five undergraduate students who help them out with their research projects. And most of these projects are are centered around the idea of quantification of the exercise stimulus in terms of work and power, in terms of kinematics. So and then and then so if we can quantify the extra stimulus in those terms, what’s the metabolic response like? Let’s just give you a really practical example of something that we’re testing is like what’s the V02 response to kettlebell swings? Right. When we have a specified protocol, like is different across different projects, but to the V02 response, accountable Swain’s the V02 response to to Herbie’s to a to bota work out about a style interval workout that includes burpees and kettlebell swings and rowing and dumbbell thrusters.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
It’s really, really brutal work out actually. And and so as we said, we have a system that we can measure like oxygen of the indirect calorimeter that you put on somewhat like a backpack version of the V02 kind of Bain style massacre. Your listeners or viewers, if you haven’t seen this kind of equipment, it’s basically to measure the oxygen uptake response to exercise. And so what we’re doing is using that to look at the metabolic response to actions. But the other thing that we’re gonna try to do is get not only the oxidative response to V02 response, but the using these tools, you can actually get an estimate of the non oxidative response, which would be the anaerobic component. So I’m really interested in moving away from the fields obsession on all things V02 Max, et cetera, et cetera. And testing is a broad idea that I have, which is that anaerobic component of the exercise. Stimulus is directly proportional to its benefit, which is another way of saying intensity drives adaptation.

Fern:
Got it. OK, so that was going to ask you is like what? What’s the overall hypothesis?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yep. That’s the big that’s the big idea. So. I’m really excited about this work because. For a couple reasons, one is already know what’s gonna happen.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Which is a really good place to be when you’re going to research public. You know that you’re gonna. You already know what’s gonna happen two. It will be.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
At the same time, it’s going to be, I think if it’s for the always make this joke to my students, the 10 people who’ve actually read the paper, it’s gonna be absolutely mind-blowing for them. It’s just something I’m really excited to put out there in the literature once we finally get to that to that point. And I mean, I see this as an opportunity to just shift the fields. The fundamental framework, again, everything is all about the V02, the V02 max. Well, what we’re going to establish is like what’s a V02 max for something like Kettle Swings What’s a V02 max for a burpees as opposed to always, always, always the V02 Max is like the response to maximal effort treadle running or cycling stationary cycle. That’s like how it’s always done in a laboratory. The concept that I have based on, again, exposure to all these different modalities through Crossfit, is that there’s actually probably a maximum work capacity for each individual modality. And of course, through industry through that, too, to just trying different things in the in the gym setting. Coach Glassman is the first to do this. And now all of you guys and ladies, you’re doing Crossfit, programming and coaching and so forth are seeing this every day in your business. The magic comes when you combine these different elements in and as many ways as whatever it is, this creativity will allow us as I think the quote says. So what we can do is take a step back from all that is in the lab. We can start kind of taking a systematic approach, breaking things down sort of piece by piece, characterizing the response, documenting it, writing it up and putting it out there in the scientific literature. And then just that’s that’s where I’m at right now. That’s kind of what I just said in a few minutes, just like a five year plan kind of up process. And.

Fern:
Is that your timeline? is five years?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Well, my timeline, I’m thirty six and I’m eligible , for retirement at 60.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
My timeline is in. And I just got I just got. If you’re familiar with. Yeah. You’re in the univerity since you’ve probably got ten year about a year ago.

Fern:
Oh congrats.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Thank you man. And so it’s it’s actually a really cool career. It’s kind of face for me is that I can kind of think really, really long range about our research direct direction and the conversation about tenure and with all involved with preparing for that is too out of the scope of this conversation, I think. But just briefly, for the first five, six years of my academic career, there’s just a lot of pressure to publish really, really quickly and get some research funding and and and show that basically prove your worth to the university. And that promotes a lot of kind of short term thinking like one to two year, 3 year max timeline. And I’m just really enjoying the opportunity to think really long range and like have a kind of a big vision. And what I’m describing right now for you is that it’s a lot of that vision.

Fern:
That’s really cool. And you’ve done some other stuff with regard to type 2 diabetes research as well, haven’t you?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah. As I mentioned while ago, my my main interest is in exercise and more and more also nutrition. But I’m a trained is actually a physiologist in the role of exercise in the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, particularly cardio metabolic disease. Type 2 diabetes falls under that in the vascular complications of chronic disease. So my training as far as some stuff I should talk about the very beginning background stuff, but my training is an exercise physiology in vascular biology. So I did my post-doc work in vascular cell biology. So.

Fern:
Okay.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah. Yep.

Fern:
And then so we’re when you were doing some of that stuff How were how were. As far as like when you’re looking at type 2 diabetes and the effects, are you looking at the effect of exercise on type 2 diabetics? Is that just exercise related? Is exercise and nutrition related or what was your research book?

My work. I have not done the nutrition piece in that setting. In setting,of type 2diabetes, what we are doing for us, some funding for a series of projects looking at actually the combination of exercise and metformin FirstLine pharmacologic therapy for diabetes on postprandial glucose regulation. So the regulation of the glucose blood glucose response to a high carbohydrate meal. So was it some experiments that we did in a lab doctoral student named Melissa Erickson? Did that work for her dissertation? And yes, that was it was really cool. She did two studies. One was nuts. One was with metformin, one. The other was with the second tier diabetes, drugs, things that like when metformin is no longer effective, the physician will prescribe on top of metformin, so called metformin plus. So I guess there’s like this whole list of drugs that physicians will kind of pull out of the plot of the pharmacologic hopper when it doesn’t work.

Fern:
Do you listen to Joe Rogan at all by chance?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I have done some of those. Some of those episodes are a little too long for me, but yet when he eats a lot of them. So I have a friend like Simeus. Hey, man, you got to check out this episode.

Fern:
Do you by chance? Listen, I got to go back and pull the guy’s name up. I want to say it was either Nick something, but he was like a specializes in aging and he was talking about the effects of metformin on aging. Like he like he prescribes himself metformin. It basically was his. His contention is that it reduces the effects of aging. Yeah.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
That there’s this whole thought out there that metformin can be used for. That’s one of the off target effects of this one is for weight loss. And the other, like the big idea is like you’re talking about that kind of an anti-aging thing and. Yeah, I got it, I got to look at it more carefully, but my quick kind of this is me being skeptical again. I have a faith it’s got to be really just minuscule, like really minor because it I mean, just like what we know about the biological mechanism that form and it suppresses hepatic because output a little bit is mildly will promote a little bit of weight loss. I think that’s mainly because of the negative effects reduces appetite. Yeah. There might be some other effects for that. But anyway. I mean, I would want to see that in comparison to like what lifestyle does for for the same thing for aging. Right. And if you look at the magnitude of the two effects, it’s gonna be just no question that lifestyle is more effective.

Fern:
The other thing I wanted to ask you is like, so you you teach Crossfit, in your classes, right?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I do. I do. I borrow some concepts. I would say from what you all teach at a level one and then. Yeah. So like for example, I do teach fitness. The definition of fitness had done it. I had this whole list of learning objectives. The first learning objective on my syllabus for my access physiology courses was fitness. And I teach. I even simplify a little bit from the Crossfit, definition. I just think just think of fitness as a work capacity. I don’t really get into the broad time little domains because I’m not going to be coaching people in specific movements and all the work capacity. And I do get into definitely, definitely getting the time domains because I mean if you couple different classes, but especially like in the graduate metabolism course that I teach the first, we just finished the first part of the course, which was like six or eight, eight weeks or so. That’s all about the metabolic energy systems. And from a coaching like transfer the the the science stuff to the coaching room, metabolic energy systems is equal to time domains like. Just conceptually. So in most of those students, you’re going to go on to careers in to strength and conditioning. Like their goal. So we really spend a lot of time on that. And I borrow, borrow, slash, modified, adapted a lot of things from Crossfit.

Fern:
So for those people who maybe are not have taken a level one, what he’s referring to is that is the third model that we were for that we use in the what is fitness lecture, which is the metabolic pathways. So there’s phosphor general like a lyric and then a roback or oxidative however you want to reference it. But but then when we were those models match up in the definition of fitness is the definition of fitness is work varsity across broad time. That’s where the bio energetics comes in. So that’s where that’s where that happens. So that’s really cool that you use that. And obviously we do a very dumbed down version of that because it’s so time constrained. But.

Fern:
It’s time constraint but it’s good, But let me ask you ask you the same question that I just asked on an essay for my students. Okay. I’m really curious what you would you do here? One metabolic pathway you had to pick, one metabolic pathway to live with and only that one for the rest. Your life, which one would you use?

Fern:
And I really have to chew on that because of my limited standing. I have my limited understanding of metabolic pathways is. I guess you’d really struggle to live your daily life without the oxidative pathway, because I’m just kind of sitting in that all the time. But I guess I would I would have to choose know the political pathway for the same reasons that I that we talk about in the course. It’s just because of the it has the most carry over between the three.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yes.

Fern:
It allows me to go short, medium and long. I don’t know if that’s a sufficient answer because I it’s probably one of those things where. You know, you do you need all three. But if I if I if I was forced to choose and pick one, I would try to take that mental one with it with the broadest carry over between the three.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Well, that’s it. Your answer is is awesome. So you thought you passed the test.

Fern:
OK. Perfect.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Actually, what I tell the students, I don’t tell them this at the time. I don’t know. I came here when I get present this part too. But there’s no wrong answer or right answer is just like, tell me what you think and then and then talk. Basically, it’s a prompt. Get him to talk through what they know about metabolism. It’s also turns out to be such a hard question. I gave it I gave it as an essay in class once and I said never again because it just stressed them out too much, not give it as a gift. I think I give him three or four weeks as a take home exam is one or two questions on a big take home exam for the day. Yeah. And it’s so fun to read the responses and the rationale. So it turns out and every year actually I change my answer. This year, my answer is that it’s actually exactly the same one that you just gave. Is that.

Fern:
OK?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
To enter a book like a lit pathway does have the most has a great sort of breadth of it covers like if you think of it like as a bell curve. And most of my activities are going to fall into that time window. Like what? Or anywhere from one to three minutes. And yeah, I had to like I’m thinking about walk to the airport. It would be like an interval style walk through the airport. Let’s start. Go, go, go and stop and recover. Go, go soft and recover. The anaerobic system is the only one that produces the byproducts that feedback on on it, the whole metabolism to stop. So that’s why it hurts. But then the other question to kind of do that is like, right. Well, without the without the passage, it’s system, for example, how you can get out a bit. Right.

Fern:
Yeah. Can’t do anything that requires me to. Just really quickly do something. Either way, how do you like how you go?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
You go. Do you go to the bathroom? How do you get off the toilet? You’re stuck.

Fern:
I’m definitely not going to get myself out of any sort of dangerous scenario.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
No, no, no. I wanted to read about that. Shakespeare. Anyway, it’s probably longer than you can talk about this particular thing, but.

Fern:
I love it. I like way.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
We’ve lost some listeners, but the cool thing is like you can’t reduce it, though. That’s the point of the assignment to actually derive this conclusion. Impossible question. And you cannot reduce the human metabolic engine to. It is like sub compartments like that. And that’s the screwed up thing about how we teach it is that we teach it in compartments like one pathway at a time. And we have students memorize every frickin step of the pathway, all the different enzymes in their reactants and products and all that stuff. And you got to regurgitate on the exam. And that does nothing to teach you about how useful. The information is in a coaching setting, in an educational setting, where it comes back to the like, OK, your power output at this particular time point, that’s going to kind of be where you’ve got all three. Like, say, six ministers and you’re gonna get all three systems interacting together to produce a power output.

Fern:
So what you’re what you’re talking about is. Yeah, what you’re talking about, it is kind of my I want to say my beef because I really have a beef butt, but kind of a counterpoint against when people. Kind of bash Crossfit, when, when, when compared to something like the CSA, yes, so the CSA. Yes. I mean, I’ve taken that test like I I I don’t know that anybody is qualified to do anything by passing that test and I’m not. Yeah. I’m not to. And that’s not to bash the tests. Right. So like there’s a ton of information on there. But I don’t know that simply going in there, taking that test and leaving there would.

Fern:
Would would suggest that you are prepared to walk, at least not when compared to the level one. I think you were at least for the least, given some some practical skills. And we would even say that when you leave the level one, that’s not the end. Obviously, you’re obviously still not prepared like you’re constantly going. But it just I guess it just probably bugs me a little bit that that CSU is kind of used as the standard and they really kind of poo poo on the Crossfit,.

Fern:
I think it’s because there’s not enough people that know enough about each. Yeah, I’ve I’ve taken both and I’m like I would I would take the level one if you’re like a in a in a week. You have to work with athletes. And I’ll just take that one.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
So I’ve never taken this CSC But I get a lot of questions from students like actually just this past week I had a former student come to me after my classes. We can pass each other going different directions. If she knows, I’ll have to ask you, do you have any advice for me? I’m taking the c.s.i.. Yes. I’ve never taken a hit from what I know. Just start training your memorization muscles.

Fern:
That’s all it is.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Right to laugh. Really just double down on the facts and their lists of facts. And I guess they’re in different sections by topic.

Fern:
In my struggle, because I like a lot of it, is just I’m reading the questions and I know from my experience and from training and from researching stuff like that, I know how I want to answer. But I also know that that’s not the answer they’re looking for. Like, I know I’m like, you want something very specific to which I disagree with vehemently. But again, this is a test, so I’ll play the game type deal.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah, I don’t like to do that.

Fern:
It’s really kind of annoying. Yeah, but yeah. But that being said, I do think that this is something we do recommend and encourage at the end of every seminar is that people should seek out those types of credentials, like whether you think they’re useful or not, kind of going back to where you started before, which is kind of like questioning your own thoughts, questioning your theories about the whole thing.

Fern:
I don’t I don’t think you should kind of. And again, to use the same term, I don’t think you should be like pooh poohing on something that you really don’t have any any experience with, Joe. Don’t don’t say that his credentials garbage if you haven’t sat by and taken a test or done that, you know, and and I try not to do that. So I try not to speak to things that I don’t have any experience with. Yeah.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Well that’s that’s good practice isn’t it. Yeah.

Fern:
I’m a little older these days and I’ve done that in the past. I’ve exceeded my knowledge base and I’m like, okay.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I mean I made that mistake was made the same mistake with like using my p_h_d_. For example, when I was a newly minted p_h_d_, I thought that meant that I knew about what it meant to be fit. I can tell you that it does not. It doesn’t. Yeah. You can actually, in hindsight, actually describe those. There was this time period where I thought it was actually one thing. I followed the guidelines. I just followed the 30 to 60 minutes of moderate intensity, physical activity per day, kind of check the box. Really, really boring stuff like I’ll get in the beginning of the 4:00 a.m. to go to ride the stationary bike for 45 minutes before I had a really busy day like in a lab or something. As about six years of that and I got fat cat people out of shape and I thought both I was fit. I thought it was like, you know, I was doing what the guys say, I’m going to be fine. But I know that I was like, I want to say that a DEXA scan that put me at over 30 percent body fat one point. And now while I walk around like twelve percent or something, you know, 10 to 12 percent,.

Fern:
I’m going to say you’re you’re pretty lean.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Well it’s creating a Crossfit,. Yeah. Yeah. That’s wild.

Fern:
So if if you were gonna recommend some of that literature or, you know, kind of getting into the academia, what do you think would be most beneficial for the average Crossfit, coach mush?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I son’t think theres a good single good resource. And I have to I like that’s a great question and I’m somewhat unprepared, I guess I mean,.

Fern:
I guess like I ask because there’s there’s so many different realms there. So, I mean, you could go kind of just straight stick, you know, physiology, which is uber nerdy, which largely is kind of useless like on the coaching floor. I guess it’s information we need to know, but I don’t know that it helps me and from a practical standpoint.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Right.

Fern:
And then there’s the more strength and conditioning stuff, which is a lot of, you know, learning the technical complexities or the anatomy of movements, the anatomy of the body, the the programming aspect. Like if you were to like again. So to throw the question back on you, if you only had to pick one out of all of that. What do you think would be something that would really add the most to a coach’s knowledge base and allow them to help us up?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
It’s a total copout because I can’t think of anything that wouldn’t find the answer that I was looking for. And that just Crossfit, journal. Right.

Fern:
Like that’s super interesting. ‘

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Those are the best is for for that. The blending of the two kind of sides, we’re talking delicate. Something that is practical for coaches and useful for coaches, but also has a theoretical and scientific basis like those early Crossfit, journal articles. That plus there’s a. I don’t have like any on my shelf in my office, but there are some really good books, good resources from some of the sort of sub communities of Crossfit,. So for example, like there’s some good books and like Olympic weightlifting, like some of the stuff you’re talking about, like. Fundamentals of anatomy and functional anatomy as it relates to sport performance and Olympic lifting and gymnastics, my understanding is that there’s some I’ve heard better answers to your question for those specific rounds. And again, I don’t have like a list of them handy, but but for like physio, we don’t have that equivalent to that. That’s useful in any way really for anybody that I would recommend. We don’t have that and I feel like it’s just a glaring hole that you don’t really have much that’s useful.

Fern:
Do you struggle knowing that as a as a teacher for like you’re putting people through their doctorate and they’re in their masters degree?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Well, we we do. Yes, definitely. And that’s, you know, the some of the research direction that I’m talking about, like moving forward that that. There’s multiple things that influence, like when a professor decides what the direction of their lab is going to go. One of them is look at the problems that currently exist, like where’s our knowledge and like and also what are the flaws in our pre-existing approaches and when we can identify those and we can identify the appropriate next steps for moving things forward. So, yeah, that part of the reason for like pursuing Crossfit, informed hypothesis driven research where I already know what the answer is going to be is because of you, because of what you did. The answer to your question, does it bother me? Sure. Absolutely. So I can. So I can. I can sit around, complain about it, which I do. Or I can. And also I can actually do something right. So that’s what that’s that’s what we’re doing. Then there’s other like segments, though, for like the students that we have in our various specific aspects of our program. So far, most of our undergraduate students, they’re not going on to careers in coaching. My undergraduate students who are getting degrees in exercise and sports science, probably 90, 95 percent of them are going on to school. We set our goal and our placement rate is pretty good.

Fern:
So we have a lot of athletes here because we’re we’re kind of like at the doorstep of Old Dominion University. And Phil Sabattini, use our weightlifting coach, our lecture and the exercise science department and I his department. So but but you’re right, a lot of them, probably eight out of 10 that come in here are our PT students.

Fern:
We’re trying to go to school. That is that’s like so typical. Yeah. And then we have like I mentioned, we have a strength conditioning coach small a very small training conditioning program that we’re working at. There’s a lot of room for growth and improvement in that department, in that group. And I’m working really hard, at least in the class. I teach to classes for that. And I’m working hard to shore up my instruction in that regard to make sure that these people know at least at least leave my class knowing the definition of fitness, like knowing. That well, what I do is they come in with a degree in exercise science in my class and they don’t they can’t actually define fitness, right? And it shows like how you have the science degrees you can do. And the other thing I ask him and I don’t have a good room for this is define exercise. Right. That’s a term that I’ve got, if you like, kind of candidate definitions that I’m. You know, kind of brainstorming about it. Yeah. Anyway, like, it just just to show like we have is not a concrete, like, really established science. It’s it’s it’s we’re we’ve we’ve got a lot of room for growth. And yeah, and actually, you know who I look to for a lot of this stuff. It’s in this I’m gonna sound like I’m like a fanboy or whatever, but don’t care. This is like a scientist. Respecting another scientist is Gregs stuff that he’s talking about, like when he’s gives talks at the level once the MDL1 wants and what he’s putting out a lot on the dot.coms, so forth about consensus science versus real science or postmodern science versus modern science that has significantly impacted my whole framework. Everything I like, my whole approach to sciences is evolving in large part because of that influence.

Fern:
Can you elaborate on that a little? We touched on it briefly when I talk to Shock and Awe husband Scott about that. But can you and they were that was a little bit more like mainstream medicine as where they were taught about it. But can you talk about that a little bit from the kind of exercise science side of house?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah, well, what it is, is like a philosophy of science that cuts across all disciplines. So absolutely, one day he talks about it primarily in the broad in the broad health sciences and how it totally corrupts medicine. And that’s why we have this massive chronic disease. But the concept applies to really anything. So and he’s been critical of exercise science in this regard, too. So. Modern science versus postmodern science will start there. So what we have now is postmodern science. And what postmodern science does is say, hey, what’s. Let’s all get together. We have so worked. Sit around. We need to come up with fundamentals like fundamental ideas and make recommendations about our practice that are that are maybe practical for the rest of the world or things that we all can agree to be true. And that word agree is the key. The key word there. So it’s like we sit around and talk about stuff that we can all agree on. We call that science. And so we have consensus statements that emerge. And these are these are the things that become best practices, how we should do things in our field, how like, for example, these are how people should exercise. We have the mainstream physical activity guidelines. New. New edition just released in 2018. That’s the 30 minutes a day. Five days a week. A hundred and fifty minutes of modern testing, physical activity per week. And that’s a consensus statement based on the totality of the evidence. Well, what that becomes, though, the problem with that is it becomes dogma. Right.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
And dogma is the antithesis of science. Right. So consensus science actually leads to the opposite. Functionality of what science is supposed to be in the first place. Which is actually discovering new things. Discovering new truths and challenging ideas. And so, yeah. You asked me, like, are you. Yes. If I was in a rough spot or do I like to have any push? Well, you know what? If I do, that’s actually probably a bad sign. I’m in a rough position. That’s a good sign that I’m doing it right. Because it’s like challenging dogma and challenging the consensus view, which is that 30 minutes a day of a robotic exercise is fine. Right. Basically, that is if I summarize what my field view is, 30 minutes of low to moderate intensity, steady state cardio is really all you need to do and you’re gonna be OK, right? That’s the view of my field. I say, no, I don’t think that’s sufficient as a as at least as a message. Yes, it can help you to not die too early, but your life still might. So anyway, come back to the little thing of. The different types of science. So real science or modern science is something more like. Physics or math? And this is where you really see this played out as an industry where you have a problem to solve, otherwise you, for example, your business may not be successful. Greg was not handcuffed by the constraints of modern science when he was developing his fitness methodology that we now know is Crossfit, what he was what he needed to do is find something that worked.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
And what he did was a hole from all these different disciplines gymnastics monitor, SRL, conditioning, a weightlifting, combine them and a bunch of different ways and found it like actually it doesn’t really matter how many. Weigh in. The sky’s the limit as far as my creativity, how many ways I combine these things, you’re going to produce this powerful stimulus. But this is there’s some key things. You’ve got to go fast and hard. high-intensity and the movement should be made primarily the big move, right? The functional movements. Well, that’s what he doesn’t want from his view. I think you don’t necessarily need a research site to to to support that when it’s been borne out in industry. Right. Because industry support. So his his his takeaway is that industry really supports the real’s, quote unquote, real science of mass discovery, of solutions to problems that have the meaning of practical demand. He’ll help. I’ve heard him say that this is the process that developed the TV in your house, the flat screen TV, that these computers that we’re talking are using to communicate right now from Athens, Georgia to Virginia. Put man on the moon. Right. Like those are. That is modern science. That’s real science as opposed to consensus science where like we sit around and argue about stuff and then we come out with something that we can all agree on. And it doesn’t actually promote discovery. Actually, if you take it to its to its full end, it will actually suppress discovery.

Fern:
And not only does it not only promote discovery. The thing that I struggle with and I’m not I’m not a super sharp guy, but the thing that I struggle with is it’s not producing results either. So if this is if this is consensus and this is what everybody agrees upon, then I’m still struggling, struggling to understand why.

Fern:
If this is effective, by that definition, why chronic disease rates continue to skyrocket. And there’s a whole other thing about like, OK, well, people have bad discipline and they’re eating poorly. I can agree on that, too. However, shit, we’re going to the same discussion about dietary guidelines as well. So yeah, that’s not always what I struggle with is like what you’re doing me is not matching the result that we’re seeing in society.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Well, I went through my evolution of my like training years for my academic training years for my undergraduate degree and the science master’s DHT and post-doc.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
We kept saying the same stuff over and over again. We kept doing studies that supported the same freaking consensus conclusions over and over and over again. And then the next iteration was to get a bigger study and a more a better statistically powered study and a more expensive study that said the same that gave the same conclusions that this amount of probing, primarily aerobic activity. Maybe look at some weights once in a while, but don’t do too much weight training. Right. That’s basically the ego a little bit, but. We just kind of is just like this on on repeats, this message, this on repeat and it’s not as producing the opposite. It was. Things are getting worse. And so that’s dare’s my frustration with the feel. Exactly what you just said is this. We’re just like running ourselves into the same brick wall over and over and over again. And no one’s looking around saying, hey, we should maybe change something. All right.

Fern:
Is there. Do you see any sort of light at the end of the tunnel there? I mean, I know you said earlier that you you feel that things are starting to turn a little bit, but at what point do you think this this shift begins to course, correct?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
It’s a generational shift. Right now, a lot of our leadership is kind of the old guard, and that’s not to get them. And that’s where I could get offensive to people. And I don’t mean to be, but. I think, you know, you’ve got a kind of a younger group of of thought leaders kind of finding their career. There’s their strides in their careers. And I think there’s a lot less opposition to new ideas. Just like anything else. Right. So I think that. And and I think as we’ve talked about over email and we change the messages, I’m seeing this play out in the even younger generation than like us, like my students, for example. High in the five years I’ve been in Crossfit,, just in at the societal level, there’s been a dramatic in my mind shift in the acceptance of Crossfit,. It’s not as controversial, controversial as it even was in 2015, for example, when my one of the first things I did in the academic space with Crossfit, at all was I created a first year freshman seminar at the University on Controversy’s and Trends and Fitness and Health. The title of the seminar. And the idea was to sit around. We could like talk about Crossfit,, how controversial it is with the students. And that was basically kind of how it was for maybe the first year. But even then there wasn’t as much like vigorous debate as I maybe anticipated. And even now, it’s like everyone all the students are just we just had our last day of class today. I would say that this group, they no one’s really like arguing about Crossfit,. They’re 18, right? They’ve never done it. If you think about that the whole whole time they’ve been alive, Crossfit, has been a thing, right? Retire.

Fern:
Think about that as funny. And some people bring it up because we have some kind of anecdotes in the in the in the lecture for specifically for the Crossfit, for the what is Crossfit, lecture about the traditional gym setting. And there are people coming into Crossfit, seminars now who don’t know anything other than Crossfit, don’t they.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Right. They don’t know like that. Exactly. I had that same kind of dissonance with them is that like I I grew up in the in the global jam doing you know, buys and tries on Tuesdays Mondays, whereas Justin back. Right. Like that’s that’s what I think of is the Jesmond. And for them that’s like one of 17 different flavors of exercise. The others out Crossfit,, Crossfit, and all the other boutique bidniss things that’s I just know we talk about and of course now is like boutique fitness and like what the next trend is gonna be, how they kind of come and go and that’s gonna be destiny. But that’s that’s an evolution in the conversation with my students. It’s happened over the last couple years. So going back to your original question, like what do I see? Is it getting better? I think it’s gonna get in the future. I’m optimistic that things will get better because. Thoughts and ideas and practices in the whole industry is evolving so fast. Science is this always the slowest to catch onto anything? Everything. But I think that’s starting to happen. I’m not the I’m not the only. Professor of Exercise Science Doing Research around Crossfit,. By any stretch, in fact, I’m one of the later ones to the game. There’s a guy named Yuri Fito just down the street at Kansas State University is probably the I would view him as the thought leader in this space. He’s got probably 20 some publications on Crossfit,. Yeah, he’s he’s a he’s a good dude, smart guy.

Fern:
Where where were most of those published? You know?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
There’s several journals did go to journal for him, seems to be one that’s just called sports and relatively easy to find. He’s got a cool name. And yeah, he’s got in his actually his biggest contribution. I would say I think he has gotten some attention, but I think needs more is on the engine on the injuries thing. He’s got a paper that shows with four thousand respondents to a survey that he put out injury rates in Crossfit,. And it’s it’s really like it’s unimpressive. It’s just not that much injury that happens. I can’t put specific numbers cause in front of me. But actually, I made an Instagram post on that study when it came out. So I should I should remember better. But yeah, they did. And he also was able to track like there’s a certain time window in the athlete’s journey when they’re most prone to injuries and stuff like early on if you go. Basically, what I took away from it was this the guy who was probably in his 40s or 50s who was fit and strong in the 1990s that comes in and does too much Crossfit, too fast. He’s the one that’s most likely to get injured. That was like that’s a that’s a that’s a broscience interpretation of his data.

Fern:
Yeah. And that’s. And if and if you haven’t done any sort of you understand that basic you had somebody you had a little bit more mature training age took that time off which basically brings them back to 0 8.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yes.

Fern:
Training and they’re just get it. But I can still do it. And this is what we talk about this, because that is one of the factors we have to take into account when we’re discussing intensity, because psychologically, he still lives in that state. Where is he a fit? Yes. Yeah. He’s like, I can still do it. But but physically. Yeah. This is a terrible idea at this point. And that’s just something we need to understand from a training standpoint is we need to identify that person, that guy or that girl and say, listen, I understand we’ll get there, but I need you to pump the brakes. Let me do it.

Fern:
Yeah. Well, listen, man, I could do this all day, but we might be loading some people to sleep.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
So we’ve been talking for a while, man. I’m sorry.

Fern:
Yeah, that’s no good. I love it. This is a perfect is exactly what this is for. And I hope I really hope people the big takeaway from this is, you know, the idea here is to marry both the academia and the practical portion of this. And then let things play out, because the reality is like Crossfit, is is unmatched in its ability to produce, you know, fitness on a scale that we’ve never seen before, both in an individual and at mass. But but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be exploring other ideas right now. So and I think people like you are really bring that to the forefront because you do have a lot to offer the Crossfit, community. And I really do think people should be seeking out people like you and people like Lorne Killgore and reading more of the general, you know, and just stuff like that in order. Because I I I think the demise of the Crossfit, community, in my opinion, would lie in the fact that we failed to continue to educate ourselves and we just rely on that Crossfit, is effective. And I don’t think that is a good enough stance to combat the people who want to come in and bash Crossfit,.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah, the concern I would have with that and I’m not I’m not I do have my level one, but I only have like maybe I think was like six months of volunteer coaching experience. So I can’t speak to like your expertise or virtuosity in coaching with any authority. But I would say what you just said is is a recipe for stagnation and staleness. And I mean I’d be doubly funds if I were to ever have my own podcast and ask you a bunch of questions I would ask like.

Fern:
We can set it up,.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Like, what do you like? Do you see a lot of that? And and why do you think that is kind of seems like a lot of coaches can maybe just fall into the same pattern of doing the same old, same old and not really innovating. I think there’s also some burnout coaching sometimes.

Fern:
I think it’s a lot of that. And I think largely what has made the Philly community very strong is simultaneously its greatest weakness, which is like the freedom to do whatever you want, which largely leads people to rest on their laurels and sets them up for a massive amount of potential failure down the road, but just makes them very vulnerable to things going on, which is like they’re not paying attention to how to execute the program better. You know, Greg and Greg talked about this at the at the summit when somebody was talking, they used the term functional fitness. And basically his basic his response was, hey, it’s not not Crossfit, just because you decided to do it smarter. And that and that would be that would be my pitch to everybody is just like, listen, the level one the level to the level 3, which you’re doing some work for the level 4. Like that’s not the end. This is not over. You know, it’s it’s forever, like you said earlier, like, hey, I’m I’m done when I retire when I’m 60. And I’m like, that’s. I think coaches should live.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah, I have I probably won’t retire. I don’t I don’t see that in my career in my card.

Fern:
Yeah, I probably won’t either.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
You like it? It’s constantly evolving, right?

Fern:
Yes,.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I’m trying to get better, so.

Fern:
I’m constantly figuring out different ways to explain it or understand it better. And when people ask about the level one or the level two or taking a level three, I just tell them it’s very basic. Reread and read the level one train or guide until you feel like you thoroughly understand those concepts and then read it again.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
And then start over.

Fern:
Yeah.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Start over.

Fern:
I mean, I’ve been. I don’t know how many seminars I’ve taught, but every time I see it, I watch somebody else give a lecture. I understand it a little bit better. And I’ve given those lectures hundreds of times.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Well, you know, I think actually that’s one of the cool things when I hear you and the other Jason talk on this show. It’s one of the cool things that I get from pretty much every episode is you guys you guys actually bring a lot to the table and a lot of the community through the conversations you’re having with each other and with your guests, because there’s a lot of wealth of knowledge and good stuff in all your experience with with coaching. And yeah, I’m I’m a fan, dude. You guys are pumping out recip episodes every day and I’m like, refreshing my Spotify, like, getting excited. I just love listening to what you guys have to talk about. I got a fifteen minute commute to work every day. So like the drive time is won’t be for this episode. This the drive time between now and my trip to the gym, I can usually get an episode a day.

Fern:
S o that’s cool.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I appreciate that. And like like it’s like I’m saying all this stuff that you guys like, those kinds of insights about like virtuosity and excellence and coaching. As a fan, I appreciate that because it does it does kind of carry over to other parts of life and my work and everything. So I appreciate yeah.

Fern:
I’ve I’ve I’ve failed to find many things that I can’t take the concepts from Crossfit, and just lead them into business or life or anything else. It’s pretty cool stuff.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I’ll focus on the fundamentals and pursue excellence. And that’s kind of the bottom line.

Fern:
Well, listen, brother, this has been awesome. I actually have to go coach class right now. Okay. Yeah. No, no, no, no, no. You’re good. I got this long enough. I could just run out there and do it real quick. I think where can people work and people find you on social media?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
I’m on Instagram at gainst by Dr. J. Gaines with a Z.

Fern:
Of course . What else would it be with?

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
And then that’s probably the best way. And I also have an email. Gaines by Dr. J. G-mail Holderness where I used to like my non-university stuff. Yeah.

Fern:
Yeah. So if you guys want to reach out to him and nerd out about extra or any of that other stuff, please get him up. And if you got questions about the concepts we talked about in this because some of this stuff was pretty deep. But again, man, thanks. This was super cool. And I just appreciate what guys like you and the academia and the academic world and academia in general are doing to kind of push this message forward. Thank you.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah. Yeah, thanks for having me. It’s a lot of fun.

Fern:
Awesome, brother. Appreciate it.

Dr. Nathan Jenkins:
Yeah Take Care.

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