Season 2 is Now Live! Listen to the Fourth Episode Here

Season 2, Episode 6: The Not-So-Secret Power of Supplements in Aging Powerfully with JJ Virgin

Show Notes

As a triple-board certified nutrition expert and Fitness Hall of Famer, JJ is a passionate advocate of the healing power of nutrition and is mission-driven to change the way the world sees aging and longevity. She has launched 3 multimillion-dollar businesses, including a 7-figure personal brand, and founded the Mindshare Collaborative, the most influential professional community in health. JJ is a prominent TV and media personality, the author of four NY Times bestsellers, and the host of the Well Beyond 40 with JJ Virgin podcast, which has over 19 million downloads, and one of the original DFH reps.

Together JJ and I take a look at the realities of aging powerfully, especially for women over 40. With over 40 years of experience in the field, JJ is truly an expert at aging intentionally and in ways that will benefit the body over time.  She shares insights into diet, exercise, supplements, tocotrienols, Ozempic, and more. JJ also offers a variety of practical advice that practitioners can share with their patients to improve strength training, regardless of which decade of life they are in, so they can continue to reap its many benefits.

I’m your host, Evelyne Lambrecht, thank you for designing a well world with us.

Episode Resources:

JJ Virgin

JJ Virgin on Instagram

Mindshare Collaborative

Design for Health Resources:

Designs for Health

Blog: Creatine Monohydrate for Healthy Aging and Brain Function

Research & Education: Effects of High Protein Intake on Aging, Metabolic Health, and Weight

Research & Education: Vitamin E Tocotrienols, Metabolic Health, and Healthy Aging

Science Update: Long-term Study Explores Potential Influence of Collagen Supplementation on Bone Health in Postmenopausal Women

Research & Education: Intro to Geranylgeraniol

Webinar: Geranylgeraniol-A Groundbreaking Anti-Aging Solution from the Amazon

White Paper: Geranylgeraniol: A Novel Nutrient in Healthy Aging

Visit the Designs for Health Research and Education Library which houses medical journals, protocols, webinars, and our blog.


[4:04] What matters to JJ today versus what she thought was important at the beginning of her career.

[6:24] The science-backed importance of aging powerfully, not just gracefully.

[11:02] Tools that can help patients improve strength training in every decade of their lives.

[16:53] DEXA scans and alternative options for tracking bone density changes.

[18:58] JJ shares the additions she has made to her diet as she ages powerfully.

[25:30] Figuring out the protein piece of the puzzle in your daily diet.

[29:45] The immense value of creatine and other essential supplements for women over 40.

[37:34] JJ’s experience with tocotrienols and GG- what she calls the most amazing experience that no one is talking about.

[42:20] The role of protein quantities in extending a lifespan.

[47:12] Concerns of triggering autophagy through fasting and exercise and the importance of putting on muscle to avoid frailty in later years.

[49:19] JJ addresses the pros and cons of Ozempic and offers dietary recommendations to maintain quality muscle.

[54:15] Suggested steps to take to lose 10-15 pounds and increase muscle mass before turning to Ozempic.

[55:53] JJ shares one of her favorite success stories from the Mindshare community.

[1:00:29] JJ’s personal health practices that keep her healthy and balanced.


Voiceover: Conversations for Health, dedicated to engaging discussions with industry experts, exploring evidence-based, cutting-edge research and practical tips. Our mission is to empower you with knowledge, debunk myths, and provide you with clinical insights. This podcast is provided as an educational resource for healthcare practitioners only. This podcast represents the views and opinions of the host and their guests, and does not represent the views or opinions of Designs for Health, Inc. This podcast does not constitute medical advice. The statements contained in this podcast have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Now, let’s embark on a journey towards optimal well-being one conversation at a time. Here’s your host, Evelyne Lambrecht.

Evelyne: Welcome to Conversations for Health. I’m Evelyne, and I’m beyond excited today to welcome JJ Virgin to the show. Welcome, JJ.

JJ Virgin: Good to be here.

Evelyne: Today we’ll be talking about aging powerfully, especially in women over 40. I just want to share, I really feel like this is a full circle moment for me interviewing you on the DFH podcast. We first connected, it was either in 2010 or 2011. I interviewed you on the Underground Wellness podcast, and then you brought me into this world of the professional supplement industry, and my life honestly has never been the same. So thank you-

JJ Virgin: Are you thanking me or not thanking me? It’s interesting.

Evelyne: No, no, no. That is a huge thank you.

JJ Virgin: Some days you’re just like, “Yay!” Some days you’re like, “Damn, JJ.”

Evelyne: No, there’s more. I interviewed you twice on my own podcast, and so it’s just amazing to be here interviewing you on the DFH podcast. You actually were one of the original DFH reps a long, long time ago, which is amazing.

JJ Virgin: Long, long, long time ago. I was thrilled to see you were doing this podcast because I was like, “Boy, did they pick the perfect host,” because you’re such an amazing… It’s a huge skill to be able to interview well.

Evelyne: Thank you, JJ. I’m so grateful to you because you literally have changed my life. I love what I do. The people I have met through you, through the Mindshare community, through the functional and integrative medicine communities and the supplement world have made my life feel so purposeful and I genuinely feel so, so blessed to be here. I’m getting tears in my eyes, so thank you.

So JJ Virgin is a triple board certified nutrition expert and fitness Hall of Famer. She has launched over 10 businesses and is a three-time Inc 5000 Founder. She’s the founder of the Mindshare Collaborative, the most influential professional community in health. She’s known for coaching some of the biggest names in the health field to help them develop their brands. She’s also prominent TV and media personality whose previous features include co-host of TLC’s Freaky Eaters, two years as the on-camera and nutritionist for weight loss challenges on Dr. Phil, and numerous appearances on PBS, Dr. Oz, Rachel Ray, Access Hollywood and The Today Show. She’s the author of several New York Times bestsellers, including The Virgin Diet, The Virgin Diet Cookbook, JJ Virgin’s Sugar Impact Diet, The Sugar Impact Diet Cookbook, and Warrior Mom: 7 Secrets to Bold, Brave Resilience, which shows caregivers everywhere how to be strong, positive leaders for their families while exploring the inspirational lessons JJ learned as she fought for her own son’s life. She also hosts two popular podcasts. She’s had over 14 million downloads and her most-

JJ Virgin: 18.

Evelyne: Oh, got to update that bio. Over 18 million downloads.

JJ Virgin: Old bio, heading to 20.

Evelyne: That’s amazing, JJ. So you and I both started in fitness and then transitioned into supplements and nutrition. You’ve been doing this for a long time now. What would you say is important to you now versus when you first started 40 years ago or even 20 years ago?

JJ Virgin: Yeah, it was 40. Well, I started teaching calisthenics and dance class in high school. And then when I was in college, I started teaching aerobics and then someone called our studio and wanted someone to come to their house and so I started doing that and that was what… As far as I can tell, there were a couple of us that were at the start of personal training way back when.

I will tell you now, I am more excited about what’s going on in the health field than I’ve ever been and I feel like there were years… I was all the way up finishing a PhD in exercise science, and I actually ran out of classes to take and I thought, “Why am I spending all money to take classes in the dental school at USC?” But there was no conversation back then about hormones and exercise. I mean, it feels like exercise science has become vindicated because it is so clear now. If you had to pick a lever to really make a difference, holy smokes, look what exercise does. So I’m a very proud exercise physiologist now. It’s not in the background anymore. So that’s what I would say is really the coolest thing. Now I’m actually even contemplating going back to… I’ve been listening to exercise fizz lectures in my spare time.

Evelyne: I love it. I remember learning about leptin and ghrelin in my kinesiology program, but maybe that was a nutrition class, but I wonder now if things have changed.

JJ Virgin: But you’re way younger than me.

Evelyne: I mean, there’s probably still no talk of sex hormones, right? So I don’t know. I wonder if things have changed now.

JJ Virgin: Oh yeah, they here are now. Now cortisol is a thing. Now testosterone is a thing. Now we know what role estrogen plays, but way back then, I didn’t hear about it till I was working with Dr. Diana Swartz when I actually had her teaching a workshop for Designs for Health way back when, and that was the first I started to hear about it, so like adrenal exhaustion and exercise and all of that. So it’s a fun time for our world, I think.

Evelyne: Absolutely. Absolutely. Why are you focused on aging powerfully now versus, say, aging gracefully?

JJ Virgin: Well, I started unpacking the literature and first I thought, “Am I missing something here? This seems pretty obvious to me.” We’re all talking about muscle and protein, which I’m really excited about. I’m so excited that my buddy Dr. Gabrielle Lyon’s book just crushed it, coming out, Forever Strong. But when I look at all of this, if you look at what’s really happening to your body, you lose muscle starting at age 30. You start to lose three to 8% a decade, but you lose muscle up to 1%, two to 4% strength, six to 8% power and if you think about it… I was just listening to someone’s podcast where they were talking about the fact that after the age 30, there was some high percentage of people that will never sprint again.

What really falls off the cliff as we age is that speed, is that agility, is the power output, and that is why people will break a hip because they can’t get out of the way. They can’t catch themselves. You need that reflex. So as I started to look at this, I went, “Once you get trained to a certain level, it’s a different style of training to train for hypertrophy versus strength versus power.” Then nutrition’s basically the same, although you’re going to definitely want to make sure you’ve got creatine on board for your phosphocreatine system, but it’s a different energy system. It’s a different training modality, right? With exercise specificity, specific… You know the word I’m trying to say. You got to be specific.

Evelyne: Specificity. Yeah.

JJ Virgin: You got to be specific. So I started to look at this and I went, “What we really need to focus on is power because we’re not doing any of those things.” We’re not sprinting. We’re not jumping. In fact, as we start to age, we start to avoid those things because we think we’ll get hurt. But you go into a gym to train, not to be better at training at the gym. You go into a gym to train so you can be better at life. So you’ve got to do in a controlled environment these things so that out in the wild you’ll be okay, right? So that’s where aging powerfully came from.

And then I started to think about it and for the women listening, they’ll totally get this, and I’m still seeing it all over social media because I’ve been talking a lot about muscle and creatine, and women won’t take creatine because they’re afraid they’re going to bloat. Women don’t want to lift weights because they’re afraid they’re going to get bulky, which you and I know that… In 30 years of doing resistance training work with men and women, I’ve never once had a woman get bigger lifting weights. I’ve had women get bigger blowing their diet and sitting on the couch. That’s easy. I can totally tell you how to get bigger and it is not going into the weight room lifting weights because muscles metabolic Spanx, it holds everything in tighter, supports a better metabolism, improves insulin sensitivity and is a sponge for sugar to have a place to go rather than your belly fat and your butt. But still, women are so afraid of putting on this muscle.

I realized when you really look at this, women their whole life they’re trying to be smaller, right? Smaller. I went, “Wow, what about if all of a sudden 40-plus, this is your time to just show up bigger, be powerful?” So it’s gotten to be a bigger real metaphor for showing up in life because I feel like in the United States, not so much like you look at what’s going on in the blue zones. The blue zones revere the elders. In the United States, we revere the youth. So what if this is a time to be revered, to show up strong, to realize, to really… It sounds so trite to step into your power, but what if you did? So that’s what it’s really taken on is beyond the physical. I believe that as you start to train and as you start to feel stronger and more powerful, it starts to translate into every area of your life.

Evelyne: I love that. I’ve also noticed just in the general conversation among healthcare practitioners and among the general public that we are talking about menopause more now, and I find that very encouraging because I feel like more of the general public is now going to functional medicine and integrative medicine practitioners to seek help. So because this podcast is geared to practitioners, I hope to leave our practitioners with some helpful tools of how they can encourage their patients to get into this. The best time to start strength training is in our 20s and 30s or teens, right? But if we haven’t done that, what are the things that we can do in each decade to still reap those benefits of power, of bone mineral density, et cetera?

JJ Virgin: Okay. Yeah, I joke that I started lifting weights when I was 16 with the high school football team because we didn’t have gyms back then. The bros lifted weights and the girls danced or ran track or played volleyball. So I literally was in there with the football team lifting weights. So I joke that I started preparing for my centenary decathlon that Dr. Peter Attia talks about at 16. I said, “And if you can’t start at 16, now’s the best time to start.” What’s interesting and when I was at USC in my doctoral program, we had 80s and 90-year-old master athletes who were it. I remember just even taking people to Gold’s Gym in Venice for field trips, and there were like seven-year-olds that had killer physiques and they were so strong.

So the deal is, first of all, when we look at body composition, bone mineral density is a lagging indicator. It’s kind of like blood sugar. If you just looked upstream and you went and started optimizing insulin first, your blood sugar wouldn’t be the issue. If you’re optimizing for muscle, you’re not going to have a bone mineral density problem. That’s the lagging indicator and that’s the slower thing to change. We got to focus on the muscle because the muscle’s going to exert the force on the bone that’s going to help with the bone mineral density. What’s really cool is let’s say you’re 70 or you’ve got a patient coming in at 70 and they have been a walker or maybe they’ve just done all steady state long slow distance cardio. What’s interesting is as we age, we’re born with whatever fast twitch, slow twitch fiber percentages we have, and then we have the hybrid fibers that can flip to either slow or fast, right? Our body will get more of whichever one we use more of.

So if you are doing more endurance training, you will be more of a slow twitch person. If you’re doing more power types of training, you’ll have more fast twitch muscles. As we age, it’s the fast twitch we lose, which means we got to prioritize exercise that really improves the fast twitch, which is why it sounds crazy to think about, but we should be jumping on a box. We should be doing kettlebell swings and snatches. We need to do things that cause us to move, force over time fast, do explosive speed stuff. What’s super cool is the less conditioned you are, like if I took someone who was 70 walking in who’d been a walker this whole time, in eight weeks, we can see a dramatic shift in their strength. I wouldn’t start them right away in focusing on strength or power. I’d focus them on more of a hypertrophy type of exercise program, like first focusing on form because form is everything. It’s always the limiter.

The limiter is not like you just couldn’t get the weight up. The limiter is you couldn’t get it up in good form. I’d be doing compound functional full body movements like squats and deadlifts and pull ups and push ups, even if I have to do a push up against a wall to start and whatever we have to do, but I’d be doing those types of things. In eight weeks, they’d see a dramatic shift and within three to six months now we could add some jumping, some medicine ball throws. We can add in at the front end some heavier strength types of things, like moving in the three to five rep range to see what they can do because strength is what’s the heaviest thing you can lift one time. Hypertrophy is a volume play, so it’s usually anywhere from six to 30 reps done multiple sets because only are going to… Your body’s not going to recruit all the fibers unless you’ve got that adrenaline burst and you’re picking the car up.

And then there’s the power, which is the explosive stuff. So there’s an opportunity once you get semi something under your belt like three to six months to start doing all of it. But you will get strong and you’ll have muscle growth in the first 8 to 12 weeks just purely by starting to do simple things that a lot of it could be body weight, could be air squats to start, right? So that’s the really fun thing. It’s fun too because if you’re tracking correctly, like using a DEXA scale and then correlating it with, say, a bio impedance scale and doing your waist measurement, the biggest way to impact your waist measurement… I was just looking at a study that contrasted cardiovascular training, more like zone two steady state versus resistance training and resistance training trumped it for helping you lose that visceral adipose tissue and so does high-intensity interval training.

So that’s the cool thing is the less you’ve done, the bigger results you’ll see quickly. It’s when you are really fit that you really got to figure it out and figure out how to shift volume, load, tempo, all the different things you can do, but you can still do that. I mean, I did a DEXA at 39 and a DEXA at 59 and my weight and body composition were exactly the same, which is wild. But then I went, “All right. I want to go back to where I was in my early 20s before I went on a vegan diet.” It was either before or after. It was not during because when I was on a vegan diet, I was the same weight, but 25% body fat and then non-vegan diet, 10 to 12% body fat.

Evelyne: Big difference.

JJ Virgin: Big difference, same training.

Evelyne: Wow. Wow.

JJ Virgin: Yeah, it was pretty crazy.

Evelyne: Talk to me about tracking specifically in regards to DEXA scans. Should practitioners be doing those in office? I don’t know what’s typical and when doctors start testing that.

JJ Virgin: I don’t think most people would want to because it’s a big room. You’d have to have a room. I mean not a big room, but you’d have to have a room for this machine. I don’t know that that would make sense and then have a technician for it. But what I think would be great is to get one of the professional brand, I know TANITA has them and InBody has them, bio impedance scanners that’s segmental. Now here’s the thing, it’s based on total body water. Ideally, with those you’re doing, and same with DEXA, you keep all of the parameters the same. So if you went in to do a DEXA at 8:00 AM in the morning and you hadn’t eaten, you just went to the bathroom and you didn’t rehydrate and you just went in, that’s how you keep your conditions the same.

So the challenge with the doctor’s office is that’s generally not going to happen, but it’s going to give you a decent indicator, especially if you put that together with a waist, that you did a waist to height correlation to. Especially if they would go out, I think people should be getting a DEXA twice a year. They’re under 100 bucks now. You can get insurance for bone density, but they’re not going to do it every six months because it wouldn’t make any sense to do that, but that’s where you’re going to start to get that breakdown. And then you can correlate it to the in-office one, but at least the in-office one is going to give you the trend.

And then I would also have you get one for home. You can spend 20 bucks to 400 bucks for a home unit, but the important thing is to watch the trend of it. Is your total body water going up? Are you holding onto or building skeletal muscle? Is your body fat going down? If it will look at visceral, is that going down? Once a week measurement for your waist, is that going down? If you’re losing weight but not losing your waist, you make yourself worse, not better, right? So you can at least get the relative changes and you look at that week by week, not day by day because our body weight fluctuates so you’d make yourself nuts trying to do that, right?

Evelyne: Right. I know you’re also a big fan of tracking your food, so I want to get into diet a little bit. Well, I feel like your diet philosophy hasn’t really changed much, but is there anything that you’ve added recently as you’re in this new aging powerfully era?

JJ Virgin: There’s something that I’ve added that I’m like, “How did I not do this before?” I played around with it before, but I think… I don’t know. I’m looking at it going, “Phew.” You do interviews and they go, “If you could go back and tell your younger self one thing,” I’d be like, “Get on creatine and stay on creatine for the rest of your life.” As a female where we have 70 to 80% less tissue stores of this, get on it. So that is the big one that I’ve done. Now, other than that, it’s interesting, I’ve always prioritized… I’ve always been a big protein fan, but in the past I was like, “I’m probably overeating on protein.” I’m like, “Now I’m fine.”

But the dietary shifts, I would say I still want people to find their hidden food and tolerances. One of the things with eating protein first, which is what I’m focused on because I hear from so many people they can’t get their protein in and I want them to eat 0.7 to one gram per pound of target body weight and divide it into their two to four meals. So depending on how much protein they need to eat will then depend on how many meals, which means for a lot of people, the idea of intermittent fasting… If you really want to build muscle, intermittent fasting and putting a muscle, they don’t work well together because generally if you need to eat 150 grams of protein, you’re not going to be able to do that in a small fashion window. You don’t want to eat that in one meal. Your body won’t be able to really do much with that.

So number one, figure out your hidden food intolerances because I love dairy and egg protein. Greek style yogurt and whey protein can be amazing because they’ve got great leucine content and we need that 2.5 to three grams of leucine to trigger mTOR, to trigger muscle protein synthesis. But looking at food sensitivity testing, so many people react to dairy and eggs, and the last thing you want to do is eat something that creates low-grade inflammation that then could impair muscle protein synthesis. So we always have to look at the things we’re going to incorporate into our diet on a regular basis. So I still follow the figure out your hidden food intolerances, which is what the Virgin Diet was about, lower your sugar impact. I think we need to earn our carbs.

What I like to start people with is auditing their food. So in a perfect world, we would do this. First thing we would do is use a food tracking app. I like the Chronometer app, it’s free, and I would just have them just record what you eat for a week, and I’m looking for a couple things. Number one, just the mere fact of writing down what you eat of recording it on these apps generally improves your behavior, and we know that. The studies have shown that. But what I’m also looking for is where your maintenance calories at. We can go find your resting metabolic rate by doing a breath test. You can get a predicted one from the DEXA, but what do we really know? Then we’ve got to add in there your non-exercise activity thermogenesis, thermic effect food, and your exercise throughout the day. So if you do an average over a week, you get clear on, “Oh, this is where I need to be.”

Then the next thing I have people do is optimize their protein, eat it first and make sure they’re getting that 0.7 to one gram per pound of target body weight with a minimum of 30 grams at that breakfast and dinner. I call those the bumper meals because I want to make sure in the morning we’re getting muscle protein breakdown turned off and muscle protein synthesis turned on. At night, I want to delay muscle protein breakdown because you want to be breakdown, build up, breakdown, build up, but if you’re breaking down more than you’re building up, you’re losing muscle. So that’s how I have that done. And then what I find is in this really interesting research on if you increased protein, if you were isocaloric, so you did not change your calories but all you did was increase your protein and pulled it from somewhere else, you actually will lose weight because of the thermic effect of protein, because of the fact that about 25% of the calories of protein are utilized in the digestion, assimilation, absorption versus basically nothing for fat and about 5% for carbs.

The other cool thing with protein is because it’s so satiating, if you eat it first, you tend to eat less. There’s even a hypothesis that these researchers out of Australia found, and now they’ve proven it in animals too. I don’t think it’s really a hypothesis at this point, but it’s called the protein leverage hypothesis. They found that in the absence of enough essential amino acids, of enough protein that these animals would continue to eat until they got what they needed. So if they were eating a low protein, higher carb, high fat diet, they overeat, which is problematic. So I have that piece. And then we start to play around after that with non-starchy vegetables, a little bit of fruit, and seeing if you think of protein as your repair, rebuilding macronutrient and energy and fat both as your fuels, then you play around to see where you feel best there. Are you better lower carb? Are you better higher carb? Because they’ll actually all work. Some might be better for you at certain times in your life or when you’re dealing with health, right?

Diets are tools. They’re not religions and they’re not absolutes either. So often I feel like someone writes a diet book because they write it for what works for them, and then all of a sudden everyone’s supposed to follow it. I think of diets, both Virgin Diet and Sugar Impact Diet were written as tools to help you figure something else out about yourself, which foods work were you and which foods don’t. What’s working for you with carbohydrates and how many should you have? I think we should probably be eating about 100 grams of carbs a day, mainly from non-starchy vegetables, a little bit of fruit, and then beyond that we earn it with exercise.

Evelyne: Yeah. So JJ, tell me what the protein part looks like in practice for you. How do you figure it out? What’s your amount? And then what does it look like for, say, breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

JJ Virgin: So I created a protein calculator that does this, but basically it’s somewhere between 0.7 to one gram per pound of target body weight. If you are plant-based, go to the higher. If you are training hard, go to the higher. If you’re 40-plus, you probably want to go to the higher. So that could be simple one gram per pound of target body weight. Target body weight is that weight you feel great at. I really hope that we can get past the discussion of weight and move into always talking about body composition, but I know we’re not there yet. And then depends on what it is. I am 140 pounds and I eat somewhere between 120 and 160 in terms of grams of protein. I generally eat more around 160 grams of protein because I just feel better when I do. So I’m getting 50 grams of protein generally at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and so that could be a real loaded smoothie. So you could do a smoothie.

Now here’s the thing, collagen bone broth proteins, 80% collagen. It’s not going to be complete with all the essential amino acids. So that is an issue to deal with. I will do bone broth protein. I will use flax milk and sometimes what I like to do is a blend of that and pea protein, so I’m getting a little bit different. I’m getting more of the essential amino acids. And then I’ll also use a flax milk that’s got protein added to it. So that’s one way to do it. If you can do yogurts, a Greek style yogurt stirred in. I’ll rotate in dairy so that I don’t get my intolerance back, but I’ll do Greek style yogurt and then I will stir in bone broth protein powder because I get the best of both worlds and I get that collagen in for my joint health and my skin.

So breakfasts tend to be some kind of a smoothie, some kind of protein powder. I go to the gym with our Electrolyte Synergy and our essential amino acid powder. So I go to the gym with that. I go to the gym with two scoops of Electrolyte Synergy and then one scoop of amino acid, essential amino acid powder. The thing I keep intending to do, but I forget to do every night is I’m like, “I really want to do a little trial to see what would happen.” I don’t think it’s going to make a difference because I think I’m fine. There’s this muscle full philosophy out there that says probably this won’t make any difference, but I love being an N of one. So I do want to test the what would happen if I took some essential amino acids before bed, but I haven’t gotten to it yet.

Lunch for me is always some protein and vegetables, or if I’m really lazy I just do protein and some blueberries. And then dinner is always vegetables and protein. It’s like we have a freezer full of butcher box, pastured pork and grass-fed and finished beef and then a Vital Choice salmon and sea bass. Tonight for dinner we are doing cauliflower rice. We’re doing shiitake mushrooms and green beans and we’re doing sea bass.

Evelyne: Sounds amazing.

JJ Virgin: So it was great. And then lunch I had coconut soup that I’d ordered extra Thai yesterday and I’d made all this extra chicken and it was had jumbo shrimp and I just threw it all together and had that and had some blueberries. So, easy.

Evelyne: Sounds great. Yeah, not complicated meals and I think as practitioners we can share that with our patients. It doesn’t need to be this big thing, even though it still takes time to do some prep and get into it.

JJ Virgin: We literally make dinner when we’re home. Now we travel 80% of the time, but when we are home, every night Tim’s in charge of the protein and I’m in charge of the vegetables. We’re doing steaks. I do sauteed mushrooms and onions and then I’ll do something else like broccoli. It takes me five, 10 minutes. Tim will be like, “Go throw steaks on the grill.” This is not hard. I mean, literally, my side of dinner is 15 minutes or less.

Evelyne: Yeah, I love that. I want to go back to creatine and also ask you about what other supplements you think are essential for women over 40, maybe even men too. I’ve been reading more about creatine and the importance in women, but also for brain health.

JJ Virgin: Yeah.

Evelyne: Can you talk more about that?

JJ Virgin: You know what, it’s so cool to find something that our body makes, that’s in our diet, but we don’t have enough of it. Possibly, a thousand years ago we were doing way better because we were eating more carnivore style stuff, right? What did they always say? Snout to hoof or whatever. Anyway, I can’t do the snout-

Evelyne: Nose to tail?

JJ Virgin: … and I can’t do the hoof. Nose to tail.

Evelyne: Nose to tail?

JJ Virgin: So the nose and the tail, neither of those inspire me, so… But fish also has a good amount of creatine, but when you really look at what we need to maintain tissue saturation, depending on your size, it’s probably three to five grams and especially start to hear that women are lower in this. It’s like yikes for us. When you look at your energy systems, you have your first really fast explosive energy actually happens outside of the mitochondria, in the cytoplasm and it’s this phosphocreatine push and so creatine is needed for that to create that ATP. So that’s the first one. But what’s cool about creatine is it helps you. You’re going to recover easier. You’re going to be able to have more fluid drawn into the muscle, which is critical. No, that’s not going to make you bloated. It’s the carbs that are making you feel bloated, not having creatine in your muscle. That’s what bodybuilders strive for to make them look like they have great full muscles.

But if you look at the research behind creatine, it’s great for skin aging and wrinkles. It’s great for mood and depression. I wish I had this study on hand. I know we wrote a blog about this and in fact doing a YouTube video about creatine with collagen, but there was a creatine and depression one where they gave it to women going through menopause and it lowered all of their depression markers. So you look at it and go, “Okay. It’s helping with muscle. It’s helping with recovery, potentially with bone. It’s helping with mood. It’s helping with memory and focus. It’s helping with skin health and it’s inexpensive and it’s been the most studied supplement of all time. It’s one that we already get in our food supply just not enough.” It’s kind of a no-brainer, and yet it is the supplement I’ve met with the most resistance with in social media. Women are so afraid to take it. It’s crazy.

Evelyne: Because they think it’ll be bloating?

JJ Virgin: They think it’s going to be bloating. They think they’re going to lose their hair because it might raise DHT. They think that they’re going to gain weight. I go, “First of all, if you gain weight from creatine, which women, it don’t tend to have any of these things happen.” Men there’s some… Even that I’ve seen that it doesn’t really affect hair. If it did, if someone started to notice this, they could just stop, but that’s on the male side. But on the female side, it doesn’t tend to cause any of the weight gain, but you would actually want to have the weight gain because the weight gain would show that you are bringing more water. How do our muscles get bigger? Hypertrophy and then increase in water and that is not bloated fluid retention. That is what makes your muscles look good. You don’t want dehydrated muscles. You want well-hydrated muscles. So this is your muscles being well hydrated. The bloated fluid retention is your fingers feeling swollen. That’s like, “Eh, what happened there?”

Evelyne: It’s different.

JJ Virgin: Right. So this is not that.

Evelyne: And then what amount of creatine are we talking about? Do we do it in divided doses? Do we do it before exercise? During exercise?

JJ Virgin: So when you look at it, once you’re at tissue stores, it shouldn’t matter, which can take… You can either do loading for a week, but I just tell people use three to five grams. This is for women, three to five grams every day for a month. You’ll get to your tissue saturation. If you want to speed it up, you can go and do that four times a day for five days. The challenge is for some people that can cause a little GI distress. So I personally think just start taking it. If you are 120 pounds or less, do three grams. If you’re more than that, do five grams. My husband takes, I think, more like 10 grams at 175, 180.

As you’re just start taking it before your tissue stores are up, then I’d be concerned about taking it before you go work out because I’d want to make sure I have it on board. Once you’re tissue stores are up, I don’t really see what difference it’s going to make timing wise because it’s in your tissues. It’s never made sense to me to dose it specifically because it should just be in your tissues. It’s kind of like taking vitamin D right? Should be in your tissues.

Evelyne: Right. Right. JJ, I think you’ve finally inspired me to order it. I’ve been meaning to order it and I just haven’t been taking it, so got to add that to the list. What do you think are some other supplements that are critical for women over 40?

JJ Virgin: So I think that are a not OGG product is definitely one. Holy smokes, that is one of those unsung heroes that no one talks about, but it’s a whammy to have the both of those. I mean, for anyone worrying about bone density or hot flashes or cardiovascular health, like “Hello?” Both these nutrients and tocotrienols and then GG are going to help there. So that’s the first one that I think is important. So I kind of cheated and got two in there. Fish oil has got some interesting stuff now coming out about showing it’s possibly anabolic and helping with muscle mass. I don’t know if some of that could be because it’s helping reduce inflammation, so that would help support good muscle protein synthesis, but obviously fish oil is an important one. Vitamin D with K, of course, because you got to have optimal vitamin D levels for making all your hormones, so that’s important.

I think protein digestive enzymes are super important because as we age, and especially if you’re someone who’s transitioning from, say, a vegan diet and you’re starting to increase your protein and maybe become an omnivore, your body adapts to wherever you are. So if you have not been giving it animal protein, it won’t be producing the enzymes necessarily as you get started. So I think enzymes are super important. And then DIM, definitely. I like the FemGuard + Balance product. I think DIM-Evail is a super important one. Magnesium for everybody, just magnesium for the win.

And then either bone broth protein, and I like that because it’s got the collagen in it, but it’s not going to necessarily have all the peptides you can get when you get the collagen peptides where you’re getting the different types. I was talking to Mark Sisson about this because I’m like, “Do you take collagen? “He goes, “Every day, I’m just hedging my bets.” You look at what it does for connective tissue because everyone goes, “It’s not a complete protein.” I go, “That’s not why you’re taking it. You’re taking it for your skin benefits, your hair benefits, your nails, taking it for your joint health.” So it’s definitely, definitely one to include.

Evelyne: I’m curious-

JJ Virgin: I was like, “What else is in my packs?” Because you have a whole area. I’m sure everyone listening is the same too. It’s like there’s a pantry and somehow your pantry, one quarter of your pantry is supplements.

Evelyne: Right. I’m curious. I’ve interviewed Barrie Tan on the podcast actually. We had a two-part episode and we talked about both the tocotrienols and the geranylgeraniol or the GG. I’m just curious what you personally have noticed, especially with the GG because it’s not as commonly talked about. It’s still kind of newer.

JJ Virgin: Yes, I was hopeful. So I’ll tell you what my husband has noticed because there’s some question marks of what can this do for testosterone, although I have noticed… I’m very regular taking it and I was able to lower… I do bioidentical hormones and I was able to lower my testosterone dose, so that is cool. But with Tim, Tim totally noticed as he started to take testosterone or GG, his libido, his performance at the gym. So he’s a big, big fan of GG. In fact, he was getting all his friends on it and they were all like, “Holy smokes.” I do 300. He does 600. I think it is one of the most amazing things that no one is talking about.

Evelyne: I love that.

JJ Virgin: Crazy.

Evelyne: Interesting.

JJ Virgin: I wish I’d had it as I was going through all the hot flashy parts of things, but…

Evelyne: Are you past that now?

JJ Virgin: Oh yeah.

Evelyne: Do you feel like all of the things that you did helped you get through menopause easier? Is there anything you would’ve changed about it?

JJ Virgin: Yeah, not having my son get hit by a car, talk about a… I mean, I would’ve changed that anyway, but at 49 when your 16-year-old nearly dies in a car accident pretty well throws everything into crazy. I’ll tell you, I was very fortunate with this is I used to teach this course for design trials called Overcoming Weight Loss Resistance. One of the things I would talk about that was could get in the way of you losing weight and cause you to gain weight is obviously sex hormone imbalances, estrogen to testosterone, progesterone. And then the other one was thyroid. So I was very clear on all of the symptoms. So I could tell immediately when my thyroid shifted and fixed that. And then estrogen, I could tell when that started to shift. So for me, I feel like I went through menopause fairly easily. I should have responded even quicker, but mainly because I knew the symptoms and all my friends are hormone docs.

So I was on bioidenticals from the very beginning of things starting to shift. So I was managing it all the way through. So I never went through all the and all of the pain that you can go through the suffering. I think that’s the biggest lesson I keep trying to push out on my podcast is you do not have to suffer. Find a great functional medicine doctor. This is a great time to be working in hormones as a functional medicine doctor because enough stuff now has come out to show how stupid the women’s health initiative, how far it set us back and what you can do.

I also feel like I went into it… Even though I was under tremendous stress, I have so many important great lifestyle habits in place and you really want to… In my opinion, you lose your margin for error as you’re going through menopause. Your adrenal health is your single most important thing to focus on. If I had it to do over again, I would’ve found Dr. Joe Dispenza before, but I didn’t find him until after. But at least having a lot of really good lifestyle habits on board helps a ton. And then you can use the least amount of bioidenticals that you need because you’re not having to overcome bad lifestyle and bad diet.

Evelyne: Yeah. I remember knowing you during that time when you were going through that. I was just impressed by just how you kept it together, but also how you didn’t change your habits. It was still important for you to eat well every day and do all the things you needed to do. I don’t know if I would handle it the same way, so I definitely admire that.

JJ Virgin: I bet you would have. It’s interesting, you got to have those habits in place before you go into those things so that you have them to fall back on and you’re not trying to fix that while you’re fixing everything else. But man, if I hadn’t had those, I don’t know what I would’ve done. They kept me sane. Literally, I would go leave my son’s room and run up and down the hospital stairs and then I started watching all the people starting to run up and down the hospital stairs, which I just thought was fantastic. It was like, “We’re starting something. Now if I could just fix the hospital food.” But it’s like how I managed to navigate that. If I hadn’t had that, I don’t know how I would’ve gotten through it.

Evelyne: Yeah. I want to switch gears again and go back to the protein thing and I want to talk about… So I feel like in our field there’s this idea that protein is… that we absolutely need. It’s the most important nutrient which I’m on board with and I think that’s more accepted now, but then there’s the Valter Longo less protein is better and extends lifespan. What are your thoughts on that?

JJ Virgin: So I’m no expert in that at all, however… And I’d say Gabrielle Lyon’s the one to interview on this, but there’s no human research from what I’ve seen. It’s all animal data, so that’s my concern. Here’s what I would say that I can contribute to the conversation. Sarcopenia is a real problem. Frailty is a real problem. I don’t know how you build muscle after the age of 40 when you start to become anabolic resistance, which is in order for you to build muscle once it’s hormonally mediated, so starting in your 30s, you need protein and you need that leucine trigger of 2.5 to three grams a couple times during the day and you need optimal protein so that you have the amino acid pool. Remember, your body, you store amino acids in your muscles. You don’t want to be depleting all that and using up your muscle tissue. So you don’t want to be breaking down more than you’re building up.

If you look at the stats now on aging, just even grip strength, low grip strength, the lowest quartile of that is associated with the highest all-cause mortality. You can just go through study after study after study looking at muscle strength, sarcopenia and all-cause mortality. You look at the fact that if you’re 60-plus and you break a hip, a third of those people die within a year. It is just frightening to see what’s going on. If we become insulin-sensitive in our muscles… And we have a metabolic health crisis where there’s less than 7% of the population right now considered to be healthy and I think for those practitioners listening that they would probably disagree that those norms are even ideal because you look at them and go, “It’s triglycerides of 150 or less are considered to be metabolically healthy? I think it needs to be 75.”

It would be blood sugar, I think, is 100 or more. Waist circumference was 36 for a woman and 40 for a man. I look at those numbers and I go, “These numbers are not ideal. They’re not okay.” So I’d say if we really started to look at those norms, we probably have maybe 4% of the population falling into the metabolically healthy and insulin resistance being at the root of that. The fastest way to fix insulin resistance is get people to sleep and get people to lift weights. If you eat protein first, you’ll be more satiate, you’ll make better food choices. The studies are showing this, number one. Number two, if you do resistance training, that’s the first and fastest place you can start improve that insulin sensitivity. Plus, you give carbs a place to go that’s not in your visceral adipose tissue because now they can be stored as glycogen.

And then if you sleep well to recover, to build the muscle, because we build muscle and recovery, not when we’re breaking it down, you’re also going to become more insulin-sensitive. So you’ve got two factors at play. You’ve got the sarcopenia. There was an interesting researcher out of London who was looking at normal weight people. I remember he was finding that half of these normal weight people, the people who were trying to control their weight by diet alone were what he called… It’s now called normal weight obesity. They had sarcopenic obesity. I have a feeling after the pandemic, it’s way worse. So we have a frailty issue. We have a low muscle issue. We’re not doing anything to monitor or measure it. So how would you know? You wouldn’t.

And then you go and do a one meal a day fasting regimen or an every other day fasting regimen or a week long water fast, or you do the fasting mimicking diet and I think you’re at massive risk. You put someone on bed rest for a couple weeks. Once they’re 50-plus, they may never get that muscle back. So we are in a fight, to me, 40-plus to build as much muscle as we possibly can because we know we’re going to be losing it. So your whole job is to hold on or build muscle, and I don’t know how you do that by restricting protein in that way. Also, A, mTOR tissue specific, number one. Number two, you want it up, you want it down. You build up, you break down. What that diet would have you doing is breaking down all the time and it’s doing it to trigger autophagy. But the other side of it is you look at the studies about people who are avid exercisers, they’re the lowest cancer rates. I think it’s because they’re doing autophagy. There’s many different ways to trigger autophagy. One of the big ones, exercise.

Evelyne: Not just fasting.

JJ Virgin: Not just fasting. So again, diets are tools. What are you using it for and what are your goals? Go get a DEXA scan, see what your appendicular lean mass index is. If you are not in the upper 25% for your age, your priority better be putting on muscle, right? So can you put on muscle and follow a low protein diet? Nope, not at 30-plus, it’s not going to happen. So, what’s going to get you then? The frailty is going to get you.

Evelyne: Yeah, I feel like this is a great call to action for practitioners to start focusing on muscle in their patients.

JJ Virgin: I sure hope so. Again, I’m going to shout out to Gabrielle who’s really written a book that I think is perfect for practitioners to really understand this. I mean, literally, I’ve been living this since grad school when I… Everything in grad school was geared towards doing studies on cardio. I was paying my way through grad school as a personal trainer. What I saw very quickly was I wasn’t getting results with clients doing that, and so I started doing resistance training instead. I did my grad research on resistance training and lifting biomechanics and I was like the black sheep. I hardly found the advisor who would actually do this with me because Precor was funding things and we were supposed to do everything around cardio and I’m like, “Cardio will burn calories. It’ll improve your VO2 max. That’s important.” We know VO2 max is really important for successful powerful aging, but if I had to choose, I’d pick resistance training because I know I’m still going to improve my VO2 max. Even with the resistance training, improves your cardiovascular system. So if I had to prioritize, I’d prioritize resistance training.

Evelyne: Yeah. JJ, I want to ask you, because I’ve seen you talking about it, it was epic. So what are your thoughts on the GLP-1 agonists and then Mounjaro as well, which is… What’s the-

JJ Virgin: Tirzepatide.

Evelyne: Oh, but is it not GLP-1 and something else?

JJ Virgin: It’s a GIP and GLP-1.

Evelyne: That’s right. Okay.

JJ Virgin: I think these things are fantastic and whenever I say… People always expect me to say… Here’s what I see. I see that our obesity crisis continues to get worse. Despite all of these things that we have out there as tools, it continues to get worse. Now we have a thing that could give people the edge to help them get through the first part of it, because when you get very insulin resistant where it’s so hard for you to use fat for fuel and so you’ve really trained your body to have those incoming carbs and you’re so used to eating those ultra-processed carbs with that satiety in them. Maybe you’ve got some food intolerances, so you’re triggering even more cravings, and now you’re going to try to get out of that, right? Now you have something that could be a crutch to help you get out of it, but not only that, it’s going to improve your insulin sensitivity. It’s actually going to improve your cardiovascular markers.

The big argument about it is it caused thyroid cancer in animals at high doses. Okay. Not relevant, I don’t think here. I wouldn’t use it with someone with a known history of thyroid cancer if I was a doctor. But the big argument is that you lose lean body mass. Well, guess what, if you’re not doing a diet correctly, you lose lean body mass. You’re always going to lose a little bit. But a poorly designed diet, you’ll lose 35% of your lean body mass. If a poorly designed diet using ozempic, you’ll lose 35% of your lean body mass. Don’t do it incorrectly. I started to Google online diets for ozempic, and I was horrified with it because it kind of reminds me of bariatric surgery where they’ll be giving them, “Hey, do Flintstones chewables and just eat less of what you normally do.” No, if you’re going to eat less, then you have to make sure that you’re eating that protein first and getting optimum protein amount.

So if it was a requirement, and I know Dr. Peter Attia does, so he has them do a DEXA and my girlfriend who’s doing it here in Tampa, Dr. Lisa Koche, everyone has to do an InBody and track that InBody. I’ve seen it now enough times that you can do this and not lose lean tissue or minimize your lean tissue loss to, say, 10%. If you’ve got a lot of weight to lose, you’re going to lose some lean tissue. 3% of that lean tissue supporting the fat anyway, so you’ve got excess. What you’re trying to get down to is quality muscle, get your muscles to stop being like rib-eyes and start being like filets, right? So we’ve still got some fat there to lose too. But if we were to make sure we’re eating protein first, optimizing for that, and then doing resistance training, then we’ll be able to hold onto that muscle mass as we lose, because that’s really the argument with it, but it’s the same argument for anything.

And then as far as staying on it, I’m really excited about some of the studies coming out showing the different things that it does. I’ve got my son, Grant, on it for the neuro stuff because there’s some neuroregenetives stuff on it. It’s early, but you know what, anything that I can do possibly that’s going to help him, I’m doing. So he’s on it for that, but he’s on it every other week. Now what you can do is use it and then use it weekly, get to where you want to be. As you’re getting close, start to taper it to every other week. Then you can start to taper it, taper the dose down, taper to every other week, and you can even taper it down to once a month or go back on it short term if you need to.

So you can play around with this thing so that you get into a point where you don’t need it anymore and you don’t have the weight regain, but gosh, we need some help. This is not working. This is ridiculous. I remember hearing that 100% of us were going to be diabetic by the year 2030. I heard it 20 years ago and I thought, “That is the most outrageous statement.” All of a sudden you’re looking going, “Oh, wait a minute, wait, what’s happening?”

Evelyne: That’s crazy.

JJ Virgin: If we really were testing everyone’s fasting insulins and HOMA-IR, we’d probably be seeing way worse things than we are, but we’re waiting until we get the lagging indicator of blood sugar. So, I’m a big fan. How’s that?

Evelyne: What do you think of it for people who have, say, 10 to 15 pounds to lose? Because I see clinics using it for that, and I wonder, is that the best idea? Is it dangerous to do that?

JJ Virgin: I don’t think it’s dangerous. Here’s what I would say with it. Number one, get a DEXA. Make sure you’re monitoring your lean mass. Before you bother with that, why not first check in and just see what’s going on with… First, do an audit. First, do a food tracking audit and see what you’re actually doing because maybe you’re overeating and you just don’t even realize it. The Siete chips, sure, they’re healthy, but the bag of Siete chips? No, maybe five. And who’s eating five?

Evelyne: Who can eat five? Come on, those churro chips?

JJ Virgin: Who can eat that? I can’t. I don’t touch them. Yeah, olive oil’s great. A cup of olive oil? Too much, a little too much. So if you first started with just that macro audit and you made sure you were doing your resistance training the way you need to be doing and adding in some high intensity interval training, and you made sure that you weren’t relying on that 30 to 45 minutes of exercise of data and sat on your butt the rest of the time, you actually got up and moved around because that neat, the non-exercise activity thermogenesis is like 15% or more of your daily calories if you’re actually moving and then you start to do some walks after your meals to lower that blood sugar response and improve digestion, and then you made sure you were sleeping, well, maybe you wouldn’t have that 10 pounds. So I think we can start with the easy low-hanging fruit stuff first, but if it’s just stuck, likely you could be on this for three months and be done with it.

Evelyne: Yeah. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on that. Now I’m going to do a total 180. I do, before we wrap up, want to talk about Mindshare a little bit. I’ve met so many amazing practitioners through the Mindshare community. One thing that you are in my opinion the best at is just seeing the possibilities in people and encouraging them to just go for it and get out there and launch their brand. I’m curious, what’s been one of your favorite success stories from Mindshare over the years?

JJ Virgin: Oh my gosh, there are so many favorites success stories. I met Dr. Tom O’Bryan years and years and years ago, and he would come and speak about gluten. Then he had, and I was finally… And I kept pushing him. I was like, “Come on, this is time to build a program, a product, a book, a blah, blah,” and he just wouldn’t get off of it. He just was just continuing to go around and speak. And then Wheat Belly came out and I was like, “Tom, this should have been you.” I remember he launched his first summit at Mindshare. He got everyone to agree that they would support and promote it. I think he had 117,000 people who watched that summit. It was a six-figure success, and it was his first thing that he then did another docuseries off of. He got book deals off of. That was super fun and exciting.

I mean, the latest one is watching Dr. Gabrielle Lyon, who when I met her basically had this beautiful office in New York City, but she was working to pay the rent. She was making no money. She had this whole vision around muscle-centric medicine. I go, “This is crazy. Let’s revamp the entire way you do this.” Now she’s got this amazing podcast. She’s got a New York Times bestselling book. Dr. Sara Gottfried’s, another one. I mean, Dr. Alan Christensen. It’s Dr. Kellyanne Petrucci. But I think with all of them, what they have in common is they had a very cool idea and a process. We all have them, we just don’t realize we do because everyone thinks they don’t have one.

And then if you really start to unpack it and you go, “If you could only talk about one thing, what would it be? What do you find people come to you for the most? How do you walk them through that?” You find that people have a problem they love to solve, a transformation that they know they can create, a process that they have to take people through. Once you have that, you can show so easily how to create a leveraged high value income stream from that. And then from that, you’d always do that first. You create that core foundational training and you can do all sorts of fun stuff. You can create the books and the podcasts and also the speaking and the docuseries and summits. So it is so fun. I love this side of it so much because there’s so many people suffering. There’s so many people suffering and there’s so much crazy information out there.

We have the most talented people, the most talented practitioners out there. You didn’t go to school to learn how to get your message out into the world. You didn’t go to school and learn how to monetize your message. You went to school and then you were taught you just go into an office and start fee-for-service and then you can’t ever… I’ve talked to so many practitioners and helped so many over the years that just they were barely making ends meet. If they were making a lot of money, they were what I call successfully stuck. They couldn’t ever do anything because if they left their office, they didn’t make the money. Of course, we adjust our lifestyle up to whatever we’re making.

What’s fantastic is there’s a process to free you where you can then have that life you want to have where you can actually do the self-care you tell your patients about, imagine that, and make the money that you want to make but affect even more people doing it and really get those committed patients. Because the minute someone invests with you and you want them to invest in a program, not that visit, because you can’t get someone better in a visit, you need the commitment of time and money and the minute someone does that, the healing journey begins. They’re now in it with you. So, that’s what Mindshare is.

Evelyne: Thank you. I love it. I’m grateful to have been a part of it since the beginning, so thank you. I’ve met some-

JJ Virgin: I know, since the very beginning.

Evelyne: … just amazing people. Yeah. JJ, just before we wrap up, usually I ask three questions, but two of them we already covered, which was your favorite supplements or something you changed your mind about. The final question that I want to ask you is what are your favorite health practices right now that keep you healthy and resilient and balanced aside from what we’ve covered?

JJ Virgin: Well, and I have some coming on board too, and I try to focus on one thing at a time because otherwise I don’t get anything accomplished. So the big one that I took on over the last year and a half, two years now has been meditation and that has just become a thing. I gave myself six months to get my nervous system up and running and really working out. It’s like I felt like instead of taking my muscles to the gym, I was taking my nervous system. So I really focused on meditation. So that’s now locked and loaded. We have a sauna and a cold plunge and red light, but we were redoing our rooms because we built out a whole gym, so I kind of got off that. So that’s the next thing to get back into is we’re now going to do a whole red light cold plunge sauna, like little protocol.

Evelyne: Nice.

JJ Virgin: We’re putting that together. We’re just starting it tonight. Yeah. So I’m very excited about that because I’ve been very good about the sauna and cold plunge, but I was doing them apart from each other, so now I’m going to focus on putting them together. We also just built out a whole gym here. One of the things that I’m going to work on is upping my HIIT and sprint training game. I just got a sprint self-propelled treadmill. I’m very excited about this.

Evelyne: Nice.

JJ Virgin: So yes, that’s the next thing because I’ve got a Peloton and a StairMaster, and then I had battle ropes and a step bench, so I have the stuff and then exerciser. So that’s the next level is I’m going to start focusing on VO2 max too. My default will be strength training and power training, but I do want to start getting into some of the sprint style training too.

Evelyne: I loved those treadmills. I don’t think I’ve been on one since I stopped being a personal trainer, so it’s been like 10 years, but those are really fun.

JJ Virgin: Oh my gosh. I had never been on one. We went to take a HIIT class in Tampa. It was funny, we walk into the HIIT class and they’re like, “You’re the yoga couple,” which I find so hilarious that I’m called the yoga couple because yoga is like-

Evelyne: That is hilarious.

JJ Virgin: We do our yoga at least once a week. We’re trying to do it twice a week. But I go in there and they’re like, “You sure you want to take this? This is intimidating.” The minute they said that, Tim and I are like, “Open the door.

Evelyne: It’s on.

JJ Virgin: It’s on. Now, we go in and we look around, we’re like, “Oh my gosh. We are like could be everyone’s parents and possibly grandparents in this class. Okay.” They had sprint treadmills down one side of it and I’d never been on one of these self-propelled treadmills. I really hadn’t run for years because of my knee and hip stuff. You went back and forth between the treadmill and the other side. The other side were these stations that had kettlebells and a step bench and bands and TRX and dumbbells. The guy is like, “All right, it’s power day.” On the sprint side, Tim’s on the treadmill and they’re sprinting. I can see him and I know how competitive he is, and he’s now sprinting next to this little girl who looks like she weighs 100 pounds and she’s flying. Poor guy. I’m on my side doing kettlebell swings and snatches and burpees, and I’m like, “I’m totally fine on that side, but I’m going to have to go over there and sprint.” I was sore for a week. Immediately, I’m getting one of these because clearly I need to do that. I think-

Evelyne: That’s awesome.

JJ Virgin: … that’s what we really have to do. It is so easy to get into a rut. A rut’s kind of cool because it’s habits, but realize with exercise… My first company was called Progressive Exercise way back when. In order for you to improve, you have to do more than what your body is used to and then your body gets stronger. So if you’re doing the same old thing, that’s not happening. So you have to look at ways to shake things up. So that might be going to that local class and being the oldest person in the class.

Evelyne: I love it.

JJ Virgin: But you got to do that.

Evelyne: JJ, I love that, all of these kind of “biohacking” things. You have your foundations in place, so I feel like so many people now they’re like, “How can I add sauna, cold plunge, red light?” But not sleeping well, not prioritizing protein. Got to have the basics in place.

JJ Virgin: I always go, “Go, if you’re going to buy a car, you want to know what…” I just got a new car. It was like, “What’s the battery like? What are the safety features?” Then you can go with, “Cute interior, and what are the wheels?” That’s how I look at here. It’s like if you think of three so simple things, eat protein first. I was talking so much about lift heavy things, but it’s really like do hard stuff because the HIIT training factors in there. And then the sleep through the night, recover well, which that’s both stress and sleep. If you focus on getting those dialed in, those have to be… If you go, “You know what, I’m just going to ignore all that stuff and do some red light,” come on.

Evelyne: Yeah.

JJ Virgin: Yeah.

Evelyne: Well, JJ, thank you so much. This was amazing. Thank you for sharing all your knowledge and just everything that you’ve done for this community for so many years, and thank you for what you’ve done for me personally too. Again, I just so appreciate you.

JJ Virgin: Ah, you are so welcome.

Evelyne: Thank you for tuning into Conversations for Health today. Check out the show notes for any resources from our conversation. Please share this podcast with your colleagues. Follow rate or leave a review wherever you listen, and thank you for designing a well world with us.

Voiceover: This is Conversations for Health with Evelyne Lambrecht, dedicated to engaging discussions with industry experts, exploring evidence-based, cutting-edge research and practical tips.

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