You may or may not have heard of Brian Johnson. He’s a tech millionaire who is spending his fortune trying to turn back the clock and youth himself whilst giving all his findings away for free. So far his results are beyond impressive. He’s managed to reverse many of his key bio markers of age by 20+ years and looks amazing.
You can check out his work here >>
There is of course 1 small problem for the common man who wants to emulate Brian.
Brian sold his company for $800 million and so has effectively unlimited resources to achieve this.
I do not, yet I would love to replicate as much of Brians success as possible. So…
What I propose to do here is a version of The Blueprint for the common man.
Working within my (by comparison) meagre resources how much of Brians success can I replicate? And how much success can the common man expect in such a quest…is anti ageing a pursuit for the rich and famous only or do we all have a shot at greater health, at doing the things we love for longer, of not going gentle into that good night?
Now when you break down the Blueprint as done by Brian it’s not actually mind blowingly expensive, around 2k a month. However, and this is a BIG one, he spends an absolute fortune on measuring the effects of everything he does. This allows him to rapidly adjust course if something isn’t working and allows him to trial some much more aggressive and experimental ideas.
In effect this constant measurement acts as a safety net around everything he does and enables him to see very quickly what is working and what is not. I will not have access to anything like this level of monitoring. “So what? Just do what Brian does,” I hear you say.
On the surface this doesn’t seem like a bad idea and it’s one I considered but the first thing you learn as a health coach is the Law of Individual Differences. Every body is different and everyone will react differently to the same protocol.
This means that almost by default the exact blueprint Brian is using will not work for me, and long term may lead to some pretty serious complications. So without access to constant measurement and feedback I have to play it much safer if I am to avoid hurling myself down a pit from which I really cannot dig myself out of. For that reason I will be doing what I call…
The Blueprint on a Budget
Now a lot of this is stolen straight from Brian but I have made some adaptions. In making these adaptions I’m not trying to say that Brian is wrong.
Do I see potential problems with Brians Blueprint for someone without the resources and the constant measurement he has? Yes.
As a result I’ll take a much more cautious approach to this, in the knowledge that I will achieve worse results but which for me on my budget will hopefully be more sustainable long term (and when I say long term here I mean 5 – 10 years).
The first and most obvious of these potential problems is….
Brian Does Not Eat Meat
Now I completely understand why Brian doesn’t eat meat. Meat activates the mTor pathway which is a major player in cell cycle progression..ie growth, and whenever you see the word growth think ageing. So it makes sense.
Brian takes amino acids to counter act the major problem of a vegetarian diet (especially when combined with calorie restriction)…loss of muscle mass.
Brian takes a huge amount of supplements every day to counter act the second biggest problem of a vegetarian diet – it is very difficult to get certain vitamins and minerals following a vegetarian diet.
There are however some potential issues with this approach.
There are certain bacteria in our microbiome which only eat meat and I want to keep those guys happy. I don’t know of any way of doing this without eating meat and I’m not sure how Brian is counter acting these effects long term.
Meat and organ meat in particular also provide a huge repository of vitamins and minerals and so seem a sensible way to get many of these essential vitamins and minerals in a much cheaper delivery package than the hundreds Brian spends a month on supplements to recreate this effect.
I plan to eat meat 2 – 3 times a week and when I say meat I will mainly be eating fish, liver, kidneys, heart and sweetbread (whenever I can find it) with the occasional bit of muscle meat thrown in. It will all be high quality grass fed and grass finished.
On the days I am not eating meat I will take an amino acid supplement to prevent muscle loss.
I will cycle this in a pattern very similar to that proposed by Joel Greene in his book The Immunity Code, whereby on Day 1 I’ll eat mostly carbohydrates (this will be my Vegan day) and on Day 2 I’ll eat more fat and protein (this will be my meat day). This is a slight departure from Joels plan which advises to eat in a Keto pattern on Day 2, but I find I really do not do well on full Keto, so instead will just cut back on carbohydrates on these days.
Eating this way serves many purposes, not least of which is maintaining and sharpening insulin sensitivity another key hallmark of good ageing…but you’ll need to read the book to find out more about that! (which I highly advise you do, this book literally changed my life!).
The Problem of “Every Day”
Brian also does a lot of things every day. He fasts every day, he takes loads of supplements every day, he eats more or less the same thing every day.
Again for someone on a meagre budget I foresee a problem with this. The body adapts and some of those adaptions are not pleasant.
Adaptions to Fasting
Let’s look at how your body adapts to long term starvation or fasting as it’s currently called.
Brian eats 200 calories under his BMR every day so is constantly in a state of fasting. This is great from an anti ageing perspective as it means he’s slowing down cell cycle progress simple by providing less signal to the growth pathway and pretty much always in Autophagy.
However long term this can causes the body to lower your BMR as it believes an ice age is coming, it changes hormone expression to make you hungrier, it reduces testosterone (because if there’s not enough food for you, there’s no way it’s letting you bring a little nipper into the world to quite literally eat your lunch!), it makes you insulin resistant and causes all sorts of metabolic problems.
Looking at supplements, taking supplements every day can lead your body to down regulate it’s own production of whatever is in the supplement, or simply get used to the supplement and so it has reduced effect.
Now Brain has the resources to constantly monitor the state of his body and adjust his protocol as needed…I don’t.
These are all adaptions I desperately want to avoid and so will be changing things up a little, again probably meaning I get much less impressive short term results but hopefully meaning the plan is more sustainable for me long term.
Rather than fasting every day, I will fast and feast. I will intermittent fast for 16 – 18 hours, 3-4 days a week. On those days I will amplify the effects of the fast using supplements to simulate fasting for much longer periods.
2-3 days a week I will eat normal and 1 day a week I will absolutely stuff my face! This day of feasting is essential if I am to counteract the long term effects of calorie restriction.
I will be cycling supplements 1 day on 1 day off. This means my supplements will last twice as long, meaning half as much outlay and that my body will find it harder to adapt. I will also be mixing up the supplement stacks I take each month or so for the same reason.
Brian takes testosterone daily to counteract the effects of calorie restriction on this precious hormone. I don’t intend to do any such thing, mainly because I want my body to remember how to produce this on its own until I’m 60+.
I am hoping the 1 day a week of feasting combined with a few other strategies (icing your balls anyone!) and the occasional introduction of targeted supplement stacks will help my keep my levels high…time will tell!
See My Blueprint
You can download my entire blueprint as it stands today here:
Want to Follow Along
I’ll be talking about my journey on the blog but let’s face it who reads blogs anymore so if you want to know more you I’ll also be sending out email updates whenever I have something interesting to report..if you want to follow along just click here >>