The flashback series continues as we turn the clock back to November of 2020 with Dr. Mike T. Nelson and Dr. Tommy Wood. Mike T. Nelson, CSCS, CISSN, MSME, PhD is a fitness consultant with a passion for biomechanics, exercise physiology, and neurology. Dr. Tommy Wood is a Research assistant professor at the University of Washington in the Department of Pediatrics.
This episode is centered around one of my absolute favorite topics, the physiological reserve (also known as the bioenergetic reserve). The main theme we tackle is that you have to stress the organism, not just for performance, but also for health, longevity and healthy aging. This episode was made for thinking athletes, and you will not walk away disappointed.
Listen in as Mike and Tommy discuss the concept of the physiologic headroom, applying stress to improve an athlete’s level of antifragility, and increasing cognitive control over your breathing.
What You’ll Learn in This Episode:
- [02:25] A primer on the concept of the bioenergetic reserve
- [14:42] Increasing your physiologic flexibility
- [20:55] How the brain factors into improving physiologic reserve
- [27:06] Exercise versus recreation
- [33:16] What people get wrong regarding breathing
- [42:28] A primer on nasal breathing
- [51:24] Nasal breathing versus mouth breathing
- [58:14] Mike and Tommy’s parting advice
James Cerbie: Let’s jump into the episode today with Dr. Mike Nelson and Dr. Tommy Wood, Dr. Tommy Wood, Dr. Michael Nelson on board today.
So, the origin of this episode sparked, I think, because Tommy and I had a very short conversation on your podcast about the physiology preserve. And then once we enter, like we should have a whole podcast talking about this concept and we should invite Mike because why not? He’s a super smart guy who’s going to provide a lot of good info and conversation. So that’s what we’re here to do today.
We’re going to talk about the physiologic reserve. And based on our off air conversations, I’m imagining we may talk about some breathing things as well, because those seem to be a hot topic.
But as a quick back story, I think I’ll probably introduce the topic first and then I’ll hand it off and we can just round table it as best we can. So I first stumbled on this concept and you’ll hear a phrase a lot of different ways. So I first found it referred to as a bio energetic reserve when I was really interested and was still interested in. I just can’t spend as much time on it right now. Mitochondrial function, mitochondrial capacity.
So the way the bio energetic reserve concept works is that you can actually test it so you can take a blood draw on somebody, you can isolate monocytes, lymphocytes, cetera, from the blood. They go into a machine called a seahorse. You take them through different respiration protocols. And what you’re essentially trying to determine is what is the current baseline energy consumption and output of the mitochondria and then what is the ceiling that they are capable of?
Like, if we were to uncouple it and say, OK, give me the max that you can kick out in terms of aerobic generation of ATP, what’s the max amount of oxygen you consume at a rate? We’re trying to determine what the difference is between these two. Where are you walking around day to day? What is your total max capacity ceiling? And then the hypothesis goes, the larger that gap, the larger that window, the larger your ceiling, the better.
Because when you have to encounter and deal with an insult, you have the capacity then to up regulate, to deal with a new insult. What you see and there is Daerden, that’s what you see in aging and disease populations, is that that ceiling and that kind of range shrinks significantly.
And so they lose the capacity to up regulate when they have to deal with a new insult. And that’s when you start having problems, when you’re overwhelming the energetic capacity of the organism to up regulate, to meet some new demand. So that’s kind of a quick back story about how I got into it. How many do you want to go first? Kind of on your side, and then we’ll pass it to Mike T. and then we can just go from there.
A Primer on the Concept of the Bioenergetic Reserve
Dr. Tommy Wood: So I actually came to this idea from exactly the opposite direction, which is the organism as a whole. And I first heard the term physiologic headroom by someone who’s like an ancestral health O.G. He’s well into his 80s. He was around like the dawn of bodybuilding, you know, and part of that movement, he’s an economist. He is a minor league baseball player like all this amazing stuff. Stuff. Yeah.
Oh, I mean, that’s still a stud if you see him. And he wrote a lot of great blogs back in the day about how basically marathon running will kill you, which I enjoyed a lot, I think I’d get along with this guy. Yes.
And so here’s the way that at least I remember hearing it was physiologic headroom is the difference between what you are physically capable of and what you have to be able to do from day to day. And so the way that I always think about it is like, what’s the difference between your max back squat and what you need to do from day to day? So. Some people, as they age, become frail, squatting down to sit on the toilet.
That’s a max squat. And when that is like the top of your physiological muscular capacity, then you basically get to a point where you can’t even do the basic daily functions. And so, yes, you need to have a 700-pound back squat to have maximum headroom there. Absolutely not. But squatting down, getting in and out of chairs, getting up and down stairs should be like well below your maximum capacity. So I think of it from a frailty standpoint, particularly, you know, I used to work in elderly care when I was a doctor.
And if you get into your 70s and 80s, if you fall and break a hip, you have a 50 percent chance of dying in the next year. So, like, that is almost death. And it’s usually because you get pneumonia while you’re in bed with your hip recovering or, you know, after you’ve had surgery, if you’re well enough to get surgery. And so, like, that’s where I really think the rubber hits the road.
Everybody’s worried about heart disease and things. But if you get to the 70s and 80s, you’re much more likely to break your hip, probably because everything else is in reasonable shape. So it’s that muscular capacity, like what’s the difference between what you have to do and what you can do? And obviously the same is for the cardiovascular system and the brain and all those things are the same. But I came from it first from that kind of muscular strength standpoint.
James Cerbie: Yeah I would imagine that you could take this concept and apply it to every organ system. We have to some degree, always liked the energetic approach just because of what I was looking at with the NRF2 pathway, trying to manage and deal with RIDOC stress in the cell. Like if you start having that stress, then the pathways you have to write, like her quote, turn on to a greater degree are energy consuming. And so if you can’t ramp up production to help turn those pathways on, then you’re going to be kind of shit out of luck.
Right. And I think this topic and we don’t need to talk about covid, but I think this topic is incredibly important right now with everything going on in the world, because you’re seeing a firsthand example of two different populations. You have a very at-risk population who I think would fall into the low physiologic headroom category and then you have the rest of the population. That seems to be OK, I’ll get it. Maybe I’ll get sick, but I’m going to be fine because I have a large enough physiologic room to deal with an insult potentially.
But anyhow, yeah, that’s really interesting. You came at that from a very different direction. Let’s pass it to Mike T. And have him kind of bring it in.
Dr. Mike Nelson: So I kind of got into this from more of the engineering side. So I did a masters in mechanical engineering at the same time. I was just taking physiology classes for fun, sort of my undergrad. I did anatomy and physiology for fun and got to work on cadavers and eventually literally weaseled my way into a 400-level exercise class just because I wanted to take it, because I thought it was cool. No other apparent reason. And so an engineering like a really simple concept of something called the safety factor.
And literally what you do is you’re like, OK, we figured out all these stress equations, how much maybe this structure can handle. We think these are all correct. But just to make sure we’re going to have a safety factor, say, of two, which in plain English just means you just multiply everything by two. Right. Because you’re you know, there’s some unknowns you didn’t account for. And if it can handle, say, 100 pounds and we’re not sure, let’s design it for two hundred pounds just to make sure or a safety factor of three.
Right. So the opposite end of that, too, is that you can then run into systems that are way too over designed. Right. There’s some famous bridge structures. The one of the bridges in Holland, Michigan Tech, is supposedly one of the most over design bridges in the US. When you look at the thing and the amount of metal that goes into it is just insane. Right. So now you’ve got all these construction costs, you’ve got all these other issues.
So there are a lot of people in the automotive industry. So the automotive industry is always trying to figure out, OK, we can build a huge physical tank, but your MPG is going to suck. You’re probably not going to get hurt in an accident by the amount of material, the cost, everything else gets to be much higher. So what is kind of that happy medium of, yep, you definitely have enough safety. You’re going to be safe, you’re going to be good, but you’re not really over designed.
And if you look at physiology, I’ve always been fascinated by that. It’s for the most part, probably as close as we can get is towards the mythical optimal design. Right, because physiology is paradoxically running on an efficiency principle in the background all the time. And with training, we can then kind of change that headroom or that kind of safety factor to different levels. And we see once the stresses start bumping into worry or actual headroom if you run into all different sorts of issues.
So I think of training, even energetics or max strength, you know, whatever your max volume is, everything else is going to be kind of sub max. So if that’s higher up to a point, everything else is going to be. Easier, right, if you’re Max, strength is super high, like if you’re going to do the NFL combine test, I’d much rather bet on a guy who can bench 400 for a single than a guy who can bench to thirty five for a single right. That’s a lot more potential to do more there.
James Cerbie: Yeah. In total agreement. And I think another topic that’s interesting here that we’ve talked about very briefly, Mike, is the concept of entropy and how entropy is playing a role in our progression as an organism as we age. And one of my just background hypotheses in the back of my head that I think about sometimes is that training and exercise and the things that we do is the input, the energy input required, because if you want to try to slow down entropy, you have to have an energy input that’s just basic one on one.
There’s no way around it. Entropy will always win, but I can potentially slow it down. And I view this physiologic headroom and the effects of training and the energy input on putting in there as a way of trying to buffer and delay the effects that entropy will have over time. And my system, let me know where you’re at on that. And I am totally kind of out of my mind. Does that sound reasonable?
Dr. Tommy Wood: I think that that sounds great. And I have a good friend, the neurologist, Dr Josh, who talks about entropy in the brain, particularly in your generation. And I think it’s very relevant to below the neck as well, because basically, any time your body is actively trying to become more disordered and as you become disordered, then things become dysfunctional and you could measure it as like protein aggregation or, you know, inflammation or whatever, like whatever sexy thing you want to think about.
And so when you’re trying to create or maintain physical structure, it requires energy input, requires energy demand. And one of the things about. So let’s talk about neurodegeneration, basically dementia, Age-Related, cognitive decline. If you look at ways that we can model it, we can model it in multiple different ways, but all of them end up in reduced energy demand of the cell. So it could be that you reduce oxygen or blood flow delivery.
You create some kind of metabolic poison which reduces flux to the mitochondria, or you just ask for less actual physical requirements. So if you’re not using your brain, just like if you’re not using your muscles, it will atrophy over time. So you have to create some kind of demand. So you create the demand, the energy comes in that creates structure, organization. You’re physically fighting against entropy. I think that makes perfect sense.
Dr. Mike Nelson: Yeah, I agree. I was going to make a little T-shirt that says, like, you know, testers of gravity warriors against entropy or something like that.
James Cerbie: Right. No one else would be like, what the hell are you talking about? They’ll be a very small group of people who see that t-shirt and just like walk up and give you a high five because they would get it now.
So I think that people really like this type of conversation because it’s incredibly fascinating when you start to try to peel back the layers of this onion. But what becomes less fascinating is that people then want to like, OK, well, what is my application?
We know this is important. I want a large physiologic head room. I want a large bio energetic reserve. What is my application? And this is where the answer is just not very sexy.
Because it’s doing the things we already know that you should be doing and research, they understand that. And so researchers are trying to figure out what to do, is trying to figure out what input can give the system so that you don’t have to exercise or like the bedrest example. We’re trying to figure out how we can protect somebody while they’re having to be in bed rest post surgery. But if you talk to people who do this research, they’ll be the first to tell you, yeah, if you exercise, you do this, this and this.
The things that we already know are important, then, yeah, you’re probably going to crush it. So researchers are interested in figuring out how I can use a drug or some other input to try to protect the system from an application standpoint. And Tommy started talking about this with the brain a little bit. We think of applications, if people want to take this to say, OK, I want to try to make myself a resilient antifragile buzz word of choice, what are our applications?
What are those protocols looking like? And again, it’s going to be very underwhelming because it’s not new.
Dr. Tommy Wood: Mike’s just like a whole course on this thing because it might go, oh, I would love to hear you take it perfectly.
Increasing Your Physiologic Flexibility
Dr. Mike Nelson: Yeah. So I spent a whole bunch of time thinking about this, probably too much. So I was very interested in metabolic flexibility. So I’m like, well, what if we take that up and we scale that up into physiologic flexibility? Right. And Tommy can talk about this whole, you know, mental flexibility, everything else. I’m like, OK, that’s kind of cool. So what are the systems that you’re that we want to try to target within the body?
Right. There could be bazillions of different ones, but just to kind of put it in a framework. So in my biased opinion, these would be like your homeostatic regulators. So what the hell does that even mean? So things that your body absolutely 100 percent has to hold within a very, very tight range or you’re dead.
Right. So things like P.H. has to be held within a very tight range. If that doesn’t happen, you go to the hospital, you get just scepters, whatever, you’re going to be dead. You’re not going to be doing a good temperature right up to ninety eight point six degrees Fahrenheit. You can go into cold water immersion, you can go into a sauna, you can take the organism and put them into more extreme environments. But it still has to maintain within a couple degrees, ninety eight point six or again, you’re dead.
Right? Blood glucose would probably be the other one like what you’ve talked about, Cerbie, like oxygen. CO2 is probably the other one. So you have these kinds of these. I just bucket them into like four main areas of these things. Your body absolutely has to regulate and it’s going to do everything humanly possible to try to regulate them because your physiology is wired to survive. The cool part is just like training. If you want to train your bench press, you can get a better bench press.
Right. So my bias is that if you can handle these higher swings acutely, then you’re probably going to be a more robust organism. Can you do sixty seconds of Windgate testing with massive amounts of lactate and hydrogen ions? And can you buffer that to a higher degree and be OK? Right. Could you do some crazy breathing and maybe try to go the other way, you know, playing around with these systems? Can you go from cold water to hot water back and forth?
I think that if you can build in the capacity to be more adaptable within those ranges, you’re going to be a more robust and therefore healthy individual.
James Cerbie: So if we were going to think about I think that we do have a slight potential diversion here, if we’re thinking performance versus trying to make the most, let’s say, antifragile, a resilient person we can write, I feel like we have there’s a small divide in the road, because if you want to have maximal performance and some smaller domain, then you have to get more specific with the stressors that you’re consistently seeing and seeing over and over again with what you’re describing, which is kind of building the most resilient organism we can think of.
You’re trying to give them a lot of inputs that they’re having to deal with. So they may not be as good at a particular task, but they’ll be better suited to handle many tasks. Is that an appropriate summation, do you think?
Dr. Mike Nelson: Yeah, and we’re talking about just as much as I hate the word overall health robustness, right? Yeah. And you can take this in any direction you want to go for ultimate high-level performance. Right. And I don’t know exactly what this is. I think having some based on each one of those areas is going to be helpful. How far do you have to go? And I don’t know. And like you said, there’s definitely a tradeoff here, too, right.
You may not want to do a lot of cold water exposure immediately after some extreme hypertrophy training routine. Adding the last bit of ounce of muscle is your ultimate goal. So, again, there’s going to be, I think, you know, some trade offs with that. My biases do some of this stuff in addition to. So keep like the base of the pyramid strong and healthy and then. Yeah, you know, go chase your performance goals as long as you can.
And then I view performance and health, trying to track as close to each other as possible until they have to diverge. Right. I mean, if you’re going to be an elite level athlete, then you’re probably not going to be the healthiest person on the planet. Right. But I think if you can keep those tracking as close as possible for as long as possible, that’s going to be better because I see the opposite case of that. Like, well, I just want to be an elite level athlete.
So screw health. It doesn’t matter. It’s like, oh, that’s not going to end well. Yeah.
James Cerbie: I like to describe those people as having an inverted pyramid, an inverted pyramid. Also, it’s like you have this really tiny little point of a foundation that you’ve built up off of which you can get away with for some period of time. But I guarantee it will come back and bite you in the ass at some point. I don’t know when that’s going to be, but it will happen. So that’s how I like to describe it to some of our athletes and people, especially ones that have issues constantly getting beat up, tweaking this and during that, not feeling good.
And it’s like, OK, well, you don’t sleep well, you eat crappy food, your resting heart rate. Seventy seven. And it’s like you move like a dump truck. So yes, that’s a beautiful deadlift you have and I think that’s amazing. But let’s see if we can hold that deadlift and kind of take this pyramid and flip it upside down. So we actually give you a foundation you can pick off of.
Dr. Tommy Wood: Wasn’t the rule on the West Side that you didn’t have to do cardio unless you went out of breath walking from the car to the gym?
James Cerbie: I think so. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s hilarious.
OK, so Tom, I would love to hear because you mentioned it briefly, if we think about this in the domain of the brain, and this could obviously be an entire podcast on its own, but when we think about the brain and the fact that you’re seeing things like dementia and Alzheimer’s just continue to increase at a pretty alarming rate. And you mentioned the fact that the brain, like most other organ systems, if you can’t stress it with some type of demand, it will up, regulate, adapt, change in some way.
So what does that look like from maybe more of a brain centric standpoint for trying to improve this reserve?
How the Brain Factors into Improving Physiologic Reserve
Dr. Tommy Wood: When I talk about this, I try to separate out age related cognitive decline and dementia from Alzheimer’s disease, because Alzheimer’s disease, as it was originally described, is actually what we would now call early onset Alzheimer’s. It probably has a very dominant genetic portion. And that’s not what I’m talking about. When an average brain starts to decline over time, we’ll call that Age-Related cognitive decline or dementia. So just separate those out just because it’s a technical neuroscientist thing, at least for me.
And so whenever I try and think specifically about the brain, whenever I try and think about what it takes to maintain or create a healthy brain, I think about what it takes to build a brain in the first place. And so, again, that’s my personal bias because I am technically a neuroscientist. The developing brain is how I make a living, essentially. And so when you think about what it requires to create a brain and not think about all the building materials, although that is interesting, it requires a lot of really difficult tasks to be learned.
Right. And so how hard is it to learn how to wire and move a body with the, like, incredible finesse that humans have that is really, really hard?
How hard is it to learn a language like just create these words that you can communicate with people? That is really hard, right? How hard is it to do Sudoku after you’ve retired and you just sat there not doing anything?
It’s not hard. It’s not hard. It’s not requiring any demand of the brain whatsoever. And so equally like we start, we build this brain and we require so much of it to wire itself. Right. The difficulty of the tasks is what is the input that creates, you know, the wiring that we have? And then we start by learning to move, learning to talk, learning social cues. And then it’s basically just downhill from there. It’s like you want one, maybe get a Ph.D., you know, and then you just do the same task again and again and again and again in your career every day for 50 years.
And then you retire and you think that brain training and Sudoku is going to keep your brain healthy. Like, that’s just insane. So when we look at the things associated with slower brain aging and or reduced risk of cognitive decline, they tend to be things that create ongoing cognitive demands. So people who play an instrument, but they’re not professional. If you’re a professional musician, everything’s on autopilot. But if you’re an amateur musician, it’s probably quite hard to be good.
So it’s actually better to do something. It’s hard to become an expert at it. And as soon as you’re expert at something difficult, you have to do something else. You have to learn a new task. So teaching is another one because it’s hard to teach others, you know, actually take what’s in your brain and turn it into something that others can make sense of. And so learning a language any time, these are the difficult things that were associated with improved performance.
And actually, in general, it seems like people who retire early, even after you adjust for other reasons that might cause you to retire early like medical conditions, they seem to get Alzheimer’s disease or dementia earlier. So basically doing hard things with your brain as often as possible, particularly once you get good at something, do something else, because it’s the learning. It’s those impulses that, you know, requiring a lot of your brain is what tells it.
You know, I need to still be functioning. It’s the same like if you want to have a good school or a deadlift, you have to tell the body that it needs to be able to do this stuff. And if you stop deadlifting, you’re going to atrophy. You’re going to lose muscle tissue. You’re going to lose your dental capacity. And it seems like and it makes sense that the brain is exactly the same.
James Cerbie: Yeah the big three that I’ve always thought of in that realm, and I am by no means well read in brain neuroscience literature. But the big three I’ve always thought of. But I tell my dad it’s OK that you played the guitar before, like, why not go pick it up and buy a totally new book of music and try new songs, try playing the piano. So I think three big ones are instruments: trying to learn a new language and dancing.
And those are three big ones that I’ve seen referenced in the little that I’ve read, the ones I see referenced a lot in terms of like they’re really powerful inputs to get the brain to have to work hard on some new demand to, you know, stop this decline and cognitive function.
Dr. Tommy Wood: Any increase in physical movement seems to do it. And that’s, you know, there’s two reasons for it. But this is how we essentially saw that we used to think I remember. Used to be told that. You basically just kill brain cells your entire life, and that’s the finite resource that they just disappear over time. But, you know, the first evidence to suggest that wasn’t the case in the adult brain was with exercise and first in rodents and then in elderly people.
I think the best known study, they just had to walk for 45 minutes, three times a week, and they saw that brains grow particularly the hippocampus, which is associated with memory. And so just adding back physical movement and definitely the more complex that is as you develop over time, the better that’s going to be. Dancing is a great example. But even if you’re a body that hasn’t moved much, just not moving back in is going to be a stimulus.
And then there’s other reasons why, you know, maybe an increase in BNF reduces inflammation, although the good stuff the exercise can do. So there’s multiple reasons why movement is a good one. But yeah, languages and music are both great.
James Cerbie: Two really good if we want to call it like pop science books on those topics. Spark was quite good, just exercising the brain and then I’m totally blanking on it.
Even though it’s one of my favorite books by Norman Dodge or Doidge, The Brain that changes itself.
And I have yet to read the brain that heals itself, which is the second book. But both of those I thought were fantastic kinds of entry level pop science. Super easy to get into big picture concepts, right? You don’t need to go by like a neuromedical biology book I have sitting around somewhere. I’m going to read it at some point.
Exercise Versus Recreation
Dr. Mike Nelson: I just think recreation is just a huge thing that we get lost even with lions. I’m like, I always disassociate, OK, exercise versus recreation, right? Yeah. If you want to get better, you’re like Tommy, you said this exercise will have parameters, will improve it all that kind of stuff. That’s awesome. Recreation is like just going to learn a new sport and have fun, like doing something you really, really suck at because one you’re probably going to get better with very little practice too.
Like Tommy was saying, the amount of just things you have to coordinate, like obviously I’m biased towards kiteboarding and surfing and that kind of stuff. I can make any conversation, go that direction and figure it out. But for me, like even trying to skateboard on a surfboard now, because now I have to move my feet around, I’ve got a lot more balance that feels completely different. You just think about the amount of inputs and stuff that your brain has to learn and process.
And you like the story of the sea slug, right? The sea slug floats around and when it finds a rock, it attaches itself to it. In the first thing it does it as it eats its own brain. It’s like, screw it. I don’t ever have to move again. My own brain doesn’t need to move. I’m good for the rest of my life. Right. Some other t-shirt idea was to put a sea slug on it and just put like an X through it, because I just think we’re all becoming closer to sea slugs.
James Cerbie: Mike you need to open an e-commerce T-shirt shop.
Dr. Mike Nelson: Yeah, T-shirts coming out.
James Cerbie: I just need t-shirts for nerds, t-shirts for educated meatheads. Yeah. Yeah. Oh man.
Yeah. Actually I’ve considered buying a skateboard simply for having something new to go mess around on bike. I won’t do it now because it’s really cold outside, but I go out in the middle of the day and just rip around and be a total idiot. I’m going to be terrible at it, especially if I ride with my right foot forward. It’s going to be awful, but it’s just like something fun to try and do. I think that’s one of the biggest things that change.
Obviously, as we kind of progressed from childhood into young adulthood and then being an adult, the amount of just recreation and play that we get, it’s just off a cliff. People stare at you weird if you’re an adult and you’re just playing, you sure you get a really weird look. If you’re out in public and you just start playing like a kid, would everyone look at you like, OK, this guy needs help?
Dr. Tommy Wood: I’ve got a good friend and I’ve heard of dialogue. Edwards, he’s British. I mean, he used to be a software engineer, but now his whole thing is called primal play. And basically he and his courses are great. And it’s all you know, you just think about bear crawls and all these different things and you’re out messing around. And he’ll do group classes where people are wrestling and chasing each other. And, you know, the dude is super strong, but literally has never touched a barbell ever.
I don’t think or at least haven’t for several decades before that left as much as I do. I mean, there’s multiple there’s the most Parsons is the play. It’s like spending time laughing and enjoying yourself with others. Like, you know, this kind of stuff has huge benefits, even though we’re kind of discouraged in adults. But I think more and more people are starting to, you know, bring that back in, you know, the benefits of play and laughter and all that kind of stuff.
James Cerbie: When we are able to have workshops, seminars, gatherings where we can get people in our community together because it’s very rare to get everyone in one place. It has a very similar mindset around it.
It’s just a ton of people who are cool. Let’s go learn, let’s go live some stuff and then let’s just go play. Right. Let’s just go have fun. We don’t really care what it is, as long as it’s just something. I like to joke that whenever it ends we can start running some training camps because we have a great spot here in Salt Lake up a little bit. There’s a really awesome facility as far as indoor and outdoor that we can use.
But I joke with people. I’ve told them like, yeah, I want it to be part pumping iron, part animal house, minus the alcohol.
Like if I want you to leave the training camps and workshops, just feeling like you had a great lift, you learned a bunch and you just had a great time. You laughed your ass off while you’re there. That would be a huge win for me.
Dr. Mike Nelson: And we had some of that experience at Ben’s house.
James Cerbie: And it’s a perfect example.
Dr. Mike Nelson: Just stay away from the snakes, we’re good.
James Cerbie: You gotta watch out for those water vipers.
Yeah. Too bad life isn’t as simple as a lot of the superhero comics, because if that was the case, then I would just need to go find myself some type of radioactive exposure in some way.
And then I could just be the Hulk or Spiderman or the best alternative and that would be if you’re just Tony Stark and just build yourself an Iron Man suit.
I have a hypothesis that Elon Musk already has one. He’s just not telling anybody about it. Those are my true feelings. Beautiful. So let’s transition here and talk about some breathing stuff, because I think that’s also a really interesting topic to get into. It’s incredibly popular on social media and online right now. And I think that as a topic well, I won’t say that because a lot of topics get this problem.
But from my vantage point, with what I see, it is very bastardized. So I would love to kind of get into and talk about breathing and maybe some of the breathing stuff that you guys have gotten into that you’ve liked. What are some of the concepts that people should have in mind when they’re trying to audit what people are saying online to have a better B.S. detector? Because, Tommy, like you said, we are off air. People start throwing around like, oh, well, it’s hyper and it’s hypo and it’s all this and all that.
And it’s just such fluff. They’re using big words, trying to get people to be like, oh, this person smart in this thing doesn’t really work when in reality the vast majority, the time is not the case. So trying to be the best way that we could kick this conversation off
What people get wrong regarding breathing
Dr. Tommy Wood: Maybe I can just start with some gripes and then Mike can jump in and like help us actually make sense of it. And so I have a Ph.D. in physiology as well as a medical degree. I spent a lot of time thinking about oxygen, carbon dioxide regulation. It’s like physiology one on one. Right. And so one of the things that I see a lot is the idea that people breathe too much, everybody hyperventilates.
And so what happens when you hyperventilate? Ventilation is a word for the regulation of CO2 specifically, right? So when you hyperventilate, you blow off a lot of CO2. And CO2 is one of your main ways in which a healthy person is the main regulator of when you take a breath, CO2 goes up and that creates respiratory drive, we call it, and then you take a breath. And so in the acute setting, if you hyperventilate, then you blow off a load of CO2.
And then you can leverage that like you do in Wim Hof, breathing you off a load of CO2, then you can hold your breath for longer because you have less CO2, less a respiratory drive. And then while that happens, your body can use up more of its oxygen and you can create hypoxia more easily because you’ve blown off that CO2. So we know that you can blow off CO2 and then when that happens, you become relatively alcoholic. So the blood goes up.
And when the blood goes up or, you know, protons circulating, profiles go down, then that changes how hemoglobin releases oxygen to the tissues. When tissues become acidotic, like during exercise, you get better shifting of oxygen out because you’re trying to deliver more oxygen. It makes sense. And so this is all very acute physiology, which in my mind has been completely misinterpreted when we think about the chronic state. So if I were to hyperventilate chronically, I would not be alkalotic.
My kidneys would regulate the amount of blood competent, my blood, so that my heart goes back to normal. So when people say everybody hyperventilates, therefore the CO2 goes down. Therefore, they’re not delivering oxygen tissues. Yes, in the acute state, that might be true, but critically, that does not happen. The body is incredibly good at regulating. It doesn’t just sit there with a pH of seven point five and be like oh yeah, no problem. I mean, this is great.
This is great. Perfect. And so, yes, these things can be manipulated acutely and he could do some cool stuff with it. And that’s what women of breathing leverages and some other stuff. But this just cannot be happening to everybody all the time. Like the whole world is walking around hyperventilating with a seven point five, just like it’s not true. So I believe that there is benefit to regulating breathing, training the diaphragm, CO2 tolerance, all of that stuff.
Absolutely. But we have to get some sanity in terms of how we talk about physiology. So, Mike, take it away and give us how it actually works. Yeah, no, I agree with that.
Dr. Mike Nelson: So I think exactly what you said is the missing component is people are forgetting acute versus chronic. So if you go back to its homeostatic regulator, right. Your body is going to do everything possible chronically to keep it in a very, very tight range. It takes too many enzymes, changes a whole bunch of stuff, just gets completely screwed. So like Tommy was saying, your jaw isn’t going to change. However, what could change then is other things going on in the body.
Right? So we’re talking about off air if you look at a COPD patient. Right. So now we’re getting into pathology, something that’s not normal physiology. What happens with them? My biased opinion, I like your guy’s opinion, too, is that because it has to regulate CO2, these systems, it’s starting to physically and structurally change the body in order to hold those systems constant. So, again, this is a pathology that we know about.
It’s not normal physiology. So you see the shape of the ribcage actually change to get more flared. You have all these pathological changes that happen. So to me, does that happen? Yeah, but if like what Tommy was saying, if the acute things were going on all the time and it was that bad, we would see COPD looking patients walking around, like, everywhere. Right. We would start to see structural changes because the brain goes.
I have to figure out how to solve this problem. I can’t have super high levels and changes in P.H. are. So I’ll start literally changing some of the structures and things of that nature.
James Cerbie: I totally agree there. I think the distinction between acute and chronic is incredibly important because acutely I can push the body in pretty extreme directions.
But chronically the body will adjust, especially to something as important as P.H. We have lots of mechanisms and back up mechanisms and regulatory processes in place to defend to make sure that it stays within some realm. I know that I mentioned this and we are off air, but it would drive me so crazy listening to these people on social media.
I think we would have people come into the lab and we’re fortunate enough to do pretty invasive stuff in the lab. And we could get blood draws and we could put the blood directly into a blood gas analyzer so I could literally see on the spot. Right. And so I’m coming in the door and really intrigued to see this, because this is the conversation that’s going on online from certain populations of people. And we have people come in the lab who are if we were going to describe what the skeleton of a hyperventilated human looks like, it is them.
Right? Like they essentially have a COPD presentation without being COPD. Right. Massive barrel chest poking you in the face. And it’s just these are the people that would be classified as, oh, you are massively hyperventilated, you’re going to have all these things, you’re blowing off all the CO2, you’re going to be alkalotic, etc., etc.
Funny, you put their blood to a blood gas analyzer and it is no different than the other people who come in because the body has figured out a way to keep you within the bumper rails bowling analogy of P.H. and a bunch of other factors. So, yeah, I think the acute to chronic distinction there is incredible. Important and then the COPD thing is actually interesting because we mentioned this a little bit off air, like the pursed mouth exhale, right, that the person out exhale, I think is something you actually intentionally teach a COPD based population, because if we’re going to classify them, they’re really good at inhaling.
They’re really bad at exhaling like stuck in a massive inhale. Yeah. So like the mouth actually helps them with the exhalation process, but something that people don’t appreciate and exhalation is that you get a phenomenon known as dynamic compression. And I don’t care how slow you go, I don’t care how fast you go. At some point in time, your expiratory flow stops because the pressure outside the tube gets greater than the pressure inside the tube. And so you literally get no more air flow.
There’s no way around it. There’s nothing you can do. Right. You get someone in the lab, it’s just it’s a wall. Like I’ve tried it myself. I go slow, I go fast, I go hard, I go. So it’s just another thing to keep in mind. I get breathing because it seems simple because we do it automatically. But there’s a lot going on underneath the hood from a regulatory standpoint to tie it together.
Dr. Mike Nelson: And I do think there’s a lot of compensation in breathing. One hundred because people have to breathe. Right. So, you know, how long can you hold your breath for? It’s probably a minute. Like a world record breath hold. Even oxygen assisted is still ten minutes. Right. So your brain probably has a lot of compensations and your body does to breathe because it absolutely has to figure out a way to solve that problem. So I think there are definitely changes in efficiency and breathing, but it just gets so convoluted and all these other things just get tossed in there that I think probably drive all of us crazy.
A Primer on Nasal Breathing
Dr. Tommy Wood: I’m still interested to hear more about where this is useful. And so the reason I say that is so Mike is my coach, which means that I have to agree with everything that he says will also make me do more sprints on the road. So there’s a lot of interesting stuff to do with breathing. So all of my aerobics sessions are done with nasal breathing, which actually I’ve figured out that I can work really hard. Right. And still have a nasal breath because I have a big fat nose.
I could move a load of air through that. So I have to find other ways to regulate myself or else I still push too hot but my nose is breathing for a rub at work, which I found to be very beneficial. And then also, you know, you think about Brian Mackenzie. There’s a lot of important stuff going on, people talking about breathing that, you know, and it does help regulate the brain, regulate stress, anxiety.
So there’s a lot of benefit. There is just making sure that you’re applying the right science at the right time and actually giving people stuff that’s useful. So I’d be interested to hear my thoughts on this because, you know, I’m actually doing it. I feel like I benefit from it. I did a CO2 tolerance test and we started working together. You know, I think there’s some good stuff that we just have to try and figure out what’s actually useful.
Dr. Mike Nelson: To me how I got into nasal breathing was years ago I did some of the Buteyko stuff, to be honest. And I found when people needed to do some of the drills, like for 30 minutes a day before they would see any change in breathing deficiency. So I was like, no one’s really going to do that per say. And how I got into the nasal breathing was I was trying to find a way to limit CrossFit people from Metcon’ing themselves to death.
And what I realized was I could put a heart rate limit on it, but all of a sudden the dog ate their heart rate, strep or like something had happened, the battery died. Oh, my God. It just doesn’t work. I don’t know what happened. I lost it again. I check your couch cushions. I don’t know where it went. So I sent them another one.
They lose that one. Right. So I’m like, OK. So I’m like, oh, how could I kind of make it suck more for them and still limit their kind of upper end? I’m like, oh, if you start nasal breathing. For most people that feels really hard and at some point you’re going to cap your higher end. That’s what I started doing and started doing it myself. And then I think over time I think one of the benefits which is still theoretical, is that we can get an output, but can we kind of lower the cost of it?
Right. Because we know that if you all of a sudden start, inhale and exhale and out of your mouth, you start driving musculature in your neck, everything else that you’re stressed is going to go up. So it’s an efficient thing. If this is what I’m trying to target, can I get a set workload? But could I get it at a lower cost? Right. Could I train my brain that if I can breathe in and out, maybe this isn’t as hard as what I think it is.
And doing it also, I found I think there’s a psychological benefit to doing something that feels hard, but it’s not really all the way true. True to my max. I get it in cold water. Right. No one wants to do it. It sucks every time you get in it. The first couple of minutes are pretty horrible. The first couple of seconds really suck. But is there any real risk to your physiology? Not much, unless you’re a complete idiot.
But I think there’s more of a psychological value of. Can I train my prefrontal cortex to override my limbic system? Can I use the newer part of my brain to override my lizard brain, to do something that I know chronically long term will be beneficial? Because, again, you’re kind of more wired for short term survival. So back to the nasal breathing. Can I do something where I get an X output? But it’s probably at a little bit of a lower cost, especially when I work with online people.
I need a way to try to limit that. Could I put you in cold water and just have you start controlling your breathing as soon as possible? Can you take an outside stressor and can you literally train your brain to not be as stressed by that? And cold water, as fascinating as I looked and I’m like, God, why do 20 or 30 percent of people, like, drown within minutes? Like no matter how cold the water is, you’re not becoming not hypothermic.
It’s because they feel water hit their face, they freak out and their head goes face down and they literally inhale water like, holy crap, that’s bad, right? So I think there’s some leverage there. And my bias is probably more on the psychological side than even the true physiology side, because I’ve been trying to get metrics on, you know, nasal breathing. I mean, I friggin bought a whole metabolic card.
Like I’ve got things to measure to everything else in train people like Tommy do. I really think there’s a massive physiologic difference. I don’t know, to be honest. I’m kind of on the fence on that. But I think from some of the psychological benefits, I think there’s probably more there.
Dr. Tommy Wood: Yeah, I think the control of breathing and creating like cognitive control and the ability to control is probably a great benefit for people. Yes, because when people get anxious, right. They do hyperventilate. And then, yes, in that short period of time, it does cause physiologic changes. And so being able to regulate emotion and physiology, you know, actively and training that, you know, making sure that your your diaphragm and everything like functions well and your brain can actually say, oh, hang on a second, I can actually control these things rather than just sort of going out and causing problems.
I think there is definite benefit there. There’s also some interesting stuff on if you’re moving through the nose of the mouth, you might get an increase in nitric oxide production. So maybe you get some better vasodilation, you know, certainly possible. You know, I’m definitely willing to consider that, too. But I think that’s you know, I definitely feel like Mike’s on the right track. You know, I definitely agree with you. Like you’re 100 percent right.
No more sprints on the road, but it’s creating active control of your physiology and your body and your reactions to things that help you control the emotions, which can sort of prevent people, you know, maybe improve mental health if you want to use a very broad sweeping.
Dr. Mike Nelson: A second point on that, too, I think that, you know, at any point you can breathe in and out through your mouth. Right. You’re right in the line where at any point I can make this stop, at any point I could stop exercising, I can change my breathing. It would probably make me feel acutely, a little bit better. But I’m actively choosing not to do that. I’m going to do this other thing right. So I think there’s a benefit in that.
Even though you’re far away from the red line, you’re not in an area where you’re going to damage your physiology, but you’re actively picking and doing something else that’s still hard.
James Cerbie: Mike, two follow up questions on that, the first is. And nasal breathing room, and I’ve ended up using it the same way you do in terms of it’s a really nice way to cap people and make sure they don’t work too hard. Do you also view it as a way in which you’re trying to hypothetically potentially manipulate CO2 tolerance of some kind in the brain?
Because if I’m exercising and I breathe, I can’t move as much air flow. I’m not going to be able to blow off as much CO2. CO2 builds up that hits the brain.
Like you’re going to have that drive to say, breathe through your mouth. Right. Because the CO2 is building up. And so the brain is trying to say, breathe your mouth, breathe through your mouth, breathe through your mouth. So if you kind of hold off on that, then I could totally by potentially see that we’re changing your CO2 tolerance in terms of the respiratory centers in the brain. So those are kind of two quick follow up questions on that.
Dr. Mike Nelson: Yeah, I think you are.
I mean, that’s kind of a back door to what I’m trying to do. Right. So one thing I measure is, OK, do 20 minutes on the road, give me your wattage and give me nasal breathing only and tell me what your heart rate is. Right. So for a lot of people, it’s like one hundred and ten beats per minute. It’s pretty friggin low over time, you know, six, eight weeks later, they can hit one hundred and forty three hundred and fifty.
I mean, when I first started doing it, I was getting like 110, 115 thought I was going to die. You know, now I can hit when I’m training 150, I’m OK. Like I’ve hit the low one 60s for a few seconds here, there and I’m OK. Unfortunately, I’ve looked at how do you actually measure CO2 in different ways? Yeah, you can get it from a metabolic card.
It’s debatable. Is that useful? Is it telling you the same thing? You can get it indirectly from Moxy by looking at oxygen. Is that the same thing? Different things. Again, debatable. I use Brian McKenzie’s, their max exhale through your nose as a CO2 tolerance marker. What I have seen is doing nasal breathing stuff. Like you’re saying, James, I think we know that those centers in the brain for everything I’ve seen, that they are probably plastic, that they can be changed.
And what I’ve seen over time as people there exhale, the test goes up, the amount of work they can do, nasal intranasal out goes up and they can do it at a higher heart rate. And they normally feel like it’s not as hard. Right. So if they drop down to, again, you know, some stuff before that felt hard, it doesn’t feel nearly as hard now, which again, my guess is that if you have a better CO2 tolerance and I think more of this has to do with the tolerance than possibly the level of CO2, which is debatable.
It’s like taking the gain on your system and changing the game. Right. We didn’t really change the input. The output gets changed a little bit, but we’re messing with the game. I think both those are changing. That’s the hard part of physiology is could I tell you it’s the gain or it’s the actual CO2 levels or.
I have no idea.
James Cerbie: Yeah, sensitivity is a good word there. Sensitivity because you see a similar thing in the periphery in terms of crew three and four appearances. Yeah. The role that they’re playing in fatigue generation and with Central Command and Central Motor Drive, you see a sensitive conversation come up in that loop as well. That’s, I think, critically important. But we don’t need to get in the fatigue room because that is like dark magic, voodoo science, and it is really complex.
Oh, yeah. One other follow up question.
So you kept saying cost and are you thinking oxygen cost or are you thinking the ATP cost?
Dr. Mike Nelson: Probably both or even a better word, maybe just overall stress on the system. Right. Because it’s the fine line of yeah, we absolutely need to stress your system. No question. If you don’t stress to yourself at all that stuff happens, it puts you in the space station without countermeasures. You’re going to suck really bad. Earthly stuff. However, if we do too much stress, you’re going to start going down the other direction. So we kind of want enough stress.
So for me, if I think the body is based on efficiency, I’m going to try to load a lot of stress into the system. So what is the output I can get if I can get a little bit higher output at a lower cost or a lower stress? My bias with my background is I’m going to push that all the time. And when it’s competition day or it’s go time and it’s test day and it’s, you know, drop the hammer, by all means, do whatever distresses you.
I don’t care about how much stress is accumulated because that’s a very short, condensed thing. But I want you to be able to go back into the gym and see progress and do just a little bit more of the next day, just a little bit more on the next day. Right. So I’m trying to place more of a premium on efficiency and quality than necessarily effort or stress at all cost.
James Cerbie: Yeah, so this is a thought based off of where you’re going. And I don’t know if I’ve ever seen this. I haven’t looked into it at all.
Do you know from a muscle activation standpoint, nasal breathing versus mouth breathing if you see different amounts of muscle recruitment. Because that would tie into the cost concept because like, let’s say, if I just tested myself, I’m like breathing through my nose or like it’s a very different sensation, like from my own perception.
If I’m breathing, I feel like I’m activating far more musculature and my thorax, ribcage, neck, face, et cetera, as opposed to quiet nasal breathing, is a much easier task to perform. And so then you can get into the concept of the respiratory style of, OK, if I am having to kick in and mouth breathe, I’m turning on more muscle, more respiratory musculature, that preparatory muscular needs oxygen like all other muscles. Right. And we know we have really good data to support this, that the respiratory steel is a very real thing.
It’s trainable, right? Like if I go at high intensity, I’m going to shunt some blood. Her respiratory musculature away from active muscle, you see, like active vasoconstriction to working muscles so you can get more blood to muscles of respiration, which makes sense because I’m going to prioritize breathing over my quad performance. Right. So just a thought on that nasal versus mouth concept.
Nasal Breathing Versus Mouth Breathing
Dr. Mike Nelson: I haven’t seen any literature on that. It’d be interesting to look at what I have tried to look at, which again, with the covid trying to get more people to test has been almost impossible. But just on myself and a couple of other people, it does appear, for I tried to clamp the output on a rower at the same wattage and when I would nasal breather, when I would mouth breathe, which were done on two different occasions, but nasal breathing and when I would mouth breathe, mouth breathing, I would see a higher O2 consumption.
I would see my heart rate actually go up a little bit also. Now, again, you could argue, is that being confused? Because maybe I’m actually hyperventilating and so the numbers I’m getting are not super accurate anymore. Possibly when doing an experiment, people can do without it. Much of the equipment is pretty high, but they feel like, is there Max, nasal in, nasal out and then try to hold that wattage and then just allow yourself to breathe in and out through your mouth.
Well, I typically see that my heart rate will actually jump up like five to eight beats per minute. I don’t know if that’s just because of the sensory thing if I’m breathing through my mouth or if it’s an inefficiency or what. But I’ve seen a fair amount in people. Again, you’re using heart rate as a surrogate marker here.
Dr. Mike Nelson: I can definitely give an anecdote based on myself having done a bit of this recently. And I mean, obviously, we know that we can train the respiratory musculature and that does seem to improve, you know, endurance and potentially sprint performance as well. You know, it might improve 2k times. So definitely training that system and, you know, making it more efficient or, you know, reducing the steel certainly would make sense to me. But another thing that I think is important is positional.
And so, I like towards the end of my rowing career. I got to a point where I had so many shoulder and back injuries and stuff that when I was on the rubber, so efficient power transfer on the right machine is the most important thing. And one of the reasons why most people suck at rowing is because they cannot efficiently transfer the power from their quads and their glutes to the handle. And so creating a stable and strong connection through the shoulders and the arms to the handle to efficiently transfer power, you know, is incredibly important.
Like on the row machine. You can get away with it, but you cannot get away with it in the boat. And so I found that I just couldn’t get to the point where I could, like every stroke, create very efficient power transfer because, like, my shoulders were kind of out of whack and stuff, like I’d had snowboarding injuries and stuff. And it just didn’t work for me anymore. However, now, having gone back on the road for like the first regularly for the first time in like a decade, essentially he’s getting funding.
And so if I’m doing a sprint or if I’m doing 500 meters, I could just outmuscle it. It’s not a problem. I can create tension in my arms to create that power transfer. It’s not a problem. But if I’m going to sit down and do 5k, 10k, right, you just can’t do it that way. I find that when I breathe nasal-y, my ribcage feels like it’s in a more it’s in a stronger position that allows me to create but power transfer.
And so this may be it may not be true. It might just be something that I’ve made up and it makes me feel better. And I think that it’s making me feel better. And therefore I can do it and that’s fine. But I do think there’s something about the position of the rib cage that you create when you breathe through the nose versus breathing through the mouth. At least for me, it feels like that creates a more stable structure through which to transfer power.
James Cerbie: A lot of it. That’s fantastic. But we should start doing this podcast. I should just start entering like I should be the intermediary and just bring on a coach and a client and just let them have a conversation about how training is going. And I’ll just kind of be like the person on the celebrity deathmatch to point out, guys.
So we just had an hour. So let’s wrap this up, because I know we all have things to go kind of tackle for the rest of the day. I think the best way to wrap this up is we’ve had a lot. If you wanted the listener to walk away with one big takeaway, what do you want that one big takeaway for them to be today? Tommy, do you want to go first?
Mike and Tommy’s Parting Advice
Dr. Tommy Wood: Sure. I think that the main takeaway and I nowadays increasingly think about the average person trying to be as healthy and functional for as long as possible. And so in order to do that, you need to stress the system enough so that there’s a big gap between what you have to do every day and what you’re capable of. And that’s the same physically as well as cognitively, and that doesn’t actually require that much. So when you think about the amount of exercise that people need to do to, like, maximize their longevity, it’s like forty five minutes of brisk walking a day, right.
It’s not that much, but it’s also a lot more than most people do. So I think just creating enough stress regularly, like Mike talks about, is going to create that headroom. And so that’s where I think, you know, people need to focus and that’s for the brain, for the body and that small amount of stress or input or excess and increase energy requirement, you know, fighting against entropy. Just a bit of that every day is going to give you decades of a long and healthy life.
Dr. Mike Nelson: Yeah, I agree with that. And I would say once, you know, your nutrition is good and you’re doing some exercise, like Tommy said, in your sleep is fine. The next level will be to look at what are kind of the four homeostatic regulators, maybe doing something to challenge a little bit of temperature, let’s say blood glucose and probably O2 CO2. And again, that doesn’t look like anything that crazy either. It could be, you know, take a 30 second cold shower and try not to lose your shit, you know, do thirty seconds in a row or maybe you breathe through your nose again.
You’re just looking more, I think, for the psychological and the physiologic benefit. And I think that’s going to increase your headroom a little bit. And I think overall, especially now, life is almost becoming too easy for our physiology. And just to challenge it a little bit more from both the physiology and the psychology side is going to have a lot of benefits that’ll transfer to the rest of your life, too.
Dr. Tommy Wood: So if I’m going to challenge my glucose system, that’s Pop Tarts, right? Yeah.
Dr. Mike Nelson: So do either fasting or two Pop Tarts and make sure you don’t hit three hundred.
Cerbie’s the winner of that, he can crush rice cakes like there’s no tomorrow. Yeah. We have pretty strong data support. I’m a very resilient glucose organism.
James Cerbie: Maybe too much. So yeah I can shovel down. I remember Ben had me do this. There’s a couple of years ago. I did like white rice challenge. It was I think 90 grams of just plain cooked white rice in a bowl by itself, and then you glucometer yourself like every 10 minutes essentially. I didn’t go above 100.
Yeah, it was just like, OK, and 90 back down. So, yeah, Ben’s like, yo, just eat as many carbs as you can, like 500, 600 grams, all the carbs.
Yeah. So I think for me the big takeaway and this is one that I’ve said before, is that there is a need for stress. The organism has to be stressed. If you don’t stress the organism, then you will just slowly decline via different mechanisms of entropy. But there is an inherent need to stress the organism, not just to perform well, but just to be a healthy, functioning human over the course of a lifespan. So, yeah, I think that we may just be tired of this whole episode, the need for stress that could potentially work well.
But Tommy, Mike, thank you so much for coming on, you guys. This is great. I’m really glad we got to get this together. Yeah. Thank you guys so much. So super fun. Yes. Awesome. Thank you.
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