The Weekly Rapport #20: Alpha Brain, Workout Recovery, and Jack Reacher

Hi All,

Here is your weekly guide of things I’m experimenting with. Enjoy.

Also, if you haven’t already, please follow me on my Instagram page! @observeandrapport

Void I Need to Fill

Jack Reacher Books

8584fe8bcf7c061cc27cc821670c72c2

There are 29 books in the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child and I finally finished them all – which means I have a large void in my future booklist. I typically only read non-fiction books (“not fake,” got it) but the Jack Reacher books have been always been my go-to escape when I get too deep in the factual stuff. I’ve tried a bunch of do-good military/CIA type books like the Tom Clancy series but I usually burn out – especially when they get too deep in the D.C. politics.

But Jack Reacher is a former major in the U.S. Army Military Police who is basically homeless, but not in a creepy or bad way – as weird as that sounds. He hitchhikes through small towns in the U.S. acting as a vigilante, investigating crimes, and stopping crooks along the way. The best part about the books is he’s so badass that he literally has no flaws. Nothing ever goes wrong.

There’s no rising action where the hero attempts to solve the problem and fails, and then triumphantly comes back to save the day. He just always wins. He always beats the shit out of the bad guy, and he always gets the girl. I guess that makes him sound like James Bond, but he’s nothing like that. He’s a vagabond brute, who only travels with a toothbrush. And he’s fucking huge.

Although the Jack Reacher movies with Tom Cruise may be very sub-par, the books are incredibly entertaining. And Tom Cruise is in no way the best depiction of the character. Jack Reacher in the books is 6’5, 240 lbs of pure muscle, with a body built like a “zip-lock bag full of almonds” as Lee Child writes.

If you want an easy read and to get lost in an highly enjoyable series. Pick up any Lee Child book. The series does not go in order in any way so you can literally read them at random. I’m gonna miss reading these.

Article That Has Me Rethinking My Ways

What Actually Helps You Recover From a Workout? Very Little:  “The heuristic that I took away from ‘Good to Go’ is that any recovery method that requires doing something is inferior to one that requires doing nothing.”

8258-recovery_exercise_training-1296x728-header

Foam rolling, cryotherapy, massage therapy, stretching, chocolate milk, compression tights, and supplements. With the amount of weight lifting, running, swimming, cycling, yoga, and other sports in my life, I do most of these on a regular basis to ensure I’m always ready to go the next day… especially because that’s  all I hear about in the books, podcasts, and articles I digest from the top experts in exercise medicine on a daily basis. But according to the most recent research by Christie Aschwanden in her new book Good to Go, these workout recovery methods actually don’t do much in terms of performance improvement.

In her conclusion, it really comes down to just sleep and rest. You really can’t beat it. So basically just sleep all the time and when you wake up you’ll be doing 360 between-the-legs slams on an 11 foot hoop…

Also, check out Tim Ferriss’ podcast with Lebron James. Lebron emphasizes how critical sleep is to his performance.

From Lebron:I could do all the ice bags and the NormaTecs and everything that we do, that we have as far as our recovery package, while I’m up. But when you get in that good sleep, you just wake up, and you feel fresh. You don’t need an alarm clock. You just feel like, ‘Okay. I can tackle this day at the highest level.‘”

New Product I’m Trying 

Alpha Brain

71h7fxpgful._sy606_

If you listen to Joe Rogan, Aubrey Marcus, or any of the guys from Onnit – you’ve probably been beat over the head with ads and promos for their infamous product, “Alpha Brain.” It boasts the ability to think sharper, recall words easier, and speak more fluidly – think of it as a memory enhancer, or the latest new bio-hacking buzzword “nootropic.”

I finally made the purchase on Amazon to see what all the fuss is about. It’s only been a few days, but I’ve noticed a little bit of a kick start. It’s been hard to tell since I do drink a good amount of caffeine in the morning, but there is definitely a good hour or two where I feel my brain pick up speed by maybe 10% or so. I don’t know if I’ll continue to use it as it’s just not effective enough that I find it totally necessary to spend $35 on a bottle of only 30 capsules. Again, it’s only been a few days so I’ll see if it kicks it up a notch.

Great Reads Across the Internet

  • In the Future, Everything Will be Made of Chickpeas:  “ For vegetarians, vegans, or omnivores who want to eat less meat, the bean is handy and transmutable. “It’s available across cuisines, so it’s a pretty easy thing to adapt to people’s diets,” says Alicia Kennedy, a vegan food writer and the host of the Meatless podcast. “It takes on so many flavors on its own, so it’s kind of the chicken of the bean world.” Chickpeas are common in Indian, Turkish, Ethiopian, Middle Eastern, Greek, Italian, and Spanish food, just to name a few, so they’re an easy starting point for American cooks. “Chickpeas just aren’t an intimidating bean,” Kennedy says. “
  • How Podcasts Learned to Speak – the once useless-seeming medium that became essential: It’s so true. I distinctly remember four or five years ago, my reaction to someone telling me to listen to a podcast was like “You want me to just listen to someone speak for three hours? Ha, no thanks.” But it’s become such a huge part of my life. The passive education I’ve received from countless hours of podcasts on long walks, car rides, runs, commutes, and other mindless activities has been remarkable.
  • Dominic Smith the Mets’ Sleeper at First Base:  This is a cool story about a star baseball player in the Mets organization who suffers from sleep apnea. His stats when he sleeps with his mask on are extraordinary, but when he forgets, he becomes a shell of himself. Interesting article about a side of sleep apnea I haven’t heard. Another reason to show how important sleep is.

Products I’m Interested In Trying Out

ShoeCue
dsc_1343_dccc6913-9b93-4101-a948-6cd636eb9226

I got an ad for ShoeCue on Instagram and thought it looked pretty cool (btw, Instagram ads are spot on. Why do they know so much about me?). I’ve been looking into minimalist shoes like Vivo Barefoot but 1) they’re ugly and 2) it’s hard to go all-in on the whole minimal shoe thing without first properly training gradually into it. ShoeCue is an orthodic insole that forces you to run with proper form. Less heel-striking, and more running on your toes like you do when you’re sprinting. Ultimately that leads to less knee injuries,

Athletic Greens Supplement
71jiggf9n6l._sy355_With all of the health and fitness podcasts I listen to (Tim Ferriss, Renegade Radio, Onnit, Aubrey Marcus), Athletic Greens is a frequent sponsor across all of them all. I haven’t tried it yet, since I usually am able to get vegetables and greens into my normal diet. But I may give it a go sometime soon. It’s a powder that you can mix into water or a shake and get your daily fix of greens and vitamins in one quick drink.

Liquid IV
61go4qhri2l._sy355_I’ve actually never tried Pedialyte as a hangover cure, which is kinda crazy. I usually just try to drink a SHIT TON of water when I get back home before I go to bed. This past weekend (post St. Patrick’s Day…) a group of my friends was telling me about a powder drink mixer called Liquid IV that supposedly works wonder. Interested to try it out.

Finally, my buddy Remy, a singer/songwriter,  just wrote this song for the up-and-coming teen heartthrob AJ Mitchell called All My Friends. Really good stuff. Check it out and blow him up!

-KB

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s