Turn It Off to Turn It On

Turn It Off to Turn It On
 Bio-hack Meets Performance Physiology

As I sit writing this blog in my home the most current state-of- the-art biohacking equipment surrounds me.  What is biohacking, you may ask?  As technology and lifestyle entrepreneur, Mark Moschel, puts it, “biohacking is a crazy-sounding name for something not crazy at all – the desire to be the absolute best version of ourselves.  The main thing that separates a bio hacker from the rest of the self-improvement world is a systems-thinking approach to our own biology.”
In my home, we have installed several devices that block EMF (electromagnetic fields), which are a form of radiation emitted in the form of waves.  Some of the waves are natural, but most of them are artificial and can disrupt human hormones quite a bit.  When hormones are disrupted, the body cannot function optimally.
You can probably tell, I’m a geek, and I love trying to figure out what improves performance on the most microscopic level.  Sometimes a very small, microscopic change makes a big, giant difference in our ability to perform at our best.  Minor tweaks in environment, nutrition, or training, can make a huge impact on performance.
Installing EMF blockers may sound crazy, but I’m testing the impact of such a minor change on myself before I encourage the athletes I train (professional and recreational) to do it.  My journey started with trying to solve some specific problems our professional athletes were encountering around sleep and hormone optimization.  I discovered that a lot of the professionals would watch television before bed, and some even fell asleep while watching television.  Well, TV is a huge source of artificial EMF and bad blue light, both of which disrupt the hormones that govern sleep.
Melatonin, human growth hormone, and insulin-like growth factor are just some of the hormones disrupted by EMF.  All these are not only important for increased performance and recovery, but they also play a huge role in our overall wellness and metabolism.  Incidentally, these hormones also promote healthy skin and hair.  If all you had to do to have healthy, glowing skin and hair is turn off the TV, you would do it, right? 
Simultaneous with my study of the impact of EMF and blue light, I’m also studying something called the “Inverted U Theory”, which basically states that there is a direct, but subtle, relationship between arousal and performance.  It’s also known as the “Yerkes-Dodson Law”, and it asserts that when someone experiences the right amount of pressure (arousal), they do their best work.  But when they experience too much arousal or pressure, their performance can suffer.
A study was released last year that tested 5k runners’ ability to focus while performing a time trial run.  Comparing two focus groups, the first group ran the time trial on the treadmill while watching TV.  The second group ran on a treadmill with no television.  Guess what?  The second group by far out-performed the first group.  Not only did they have better times, but they also had more participants set 5k personal records.  Runners in group two probably didn’t wipe out on the treadmill either!
The study showed that without distractions like TV, participants spent more time in what we call “flow state”, the state in which we can manage more high-level tasks, and performance increases.  The second group also reached flow state much faster than Group One.  The pressure of having to run the time trial was enough, and the added arousal of the TV was too much. 
What does this have to do with you?  Well, because I want to give you every opportunity to perform your absolute best, I thought it might be a good idea to try an entire week of training with no televisions on in the studio.  Those nasty EMF and blue light emitters will be turned off.  I’m betting we’ll all be more peaceful and focused and we’ll see a lot of PR’s next week.
See you in the gym!