Transformation 5.0

Vitamin D, Heat, and Hormesis


A new post-workout equation: Vitamin D + heat = ?

Pictured above is the post-workout scene at the apartment building, as well as the new laboratory for testing this proposed equation.  I’ll use the laboratory after each and every strength workout, spending 30-minutes in the sun and summer heat.

Now what’s the equation all about?

For starters you’re likely familiar with Vitamin D, aka the sunshine vitamin.  Bone, skin, heart, and immune health are all conditions for which Vitamin D is administered.  Relevant to the Transformation at hand, I’m most concerned with its muscle promoting properties.  This study supports a link.  So does this one.  And this one.

But why heat?  What does that have to do with anything?

Heat is the impetus for the post.

I recently ran into this Dr. Rhonda Patrick video espousing the benefits of heat.  She’s a smart, smart lady, and so the video is quite intriguing:

(Sidenote: Dr. Patrick is also a huge Vitamin D proponent) 

Let’s make the word of the day hormesis.  Basic definition: a stressor resulting in positive adaptation.

Dr. Patrick proposes heat as a hormetic stressor.  It causes the body to adapt and make advances in areas like muscle growth and brain function.

Certainly worth a try.

Slowing Down the Hormesis Train

Slow down folks!

Here’s a prediction.  As the media is wont to do, this heat thing is going to blow up.  It will probably make a major news headline soon.

You may or may not remember the same thing happening a year or so ago with cold thermogenesis (the application of extreme cold for recovery benefit).

I worry.  I worry because these things are often taken at face value and applied the way almost everything is applied now-a-days: more is better.

All of these things – heat, cold, exercise, etc. – are stressors.  “Hormetic” or not, when you stack stressor after stressor on top of each other – what happens?  The system eventually breaks.

Don’t break.  Consider all of these awesome body hacks, but don’t go stacking up too many of them.  End rant.

Back to the Experiment

The proposed experiment is zero risk.  I’m not using extreme temperature.  Instead, it will be whatever a Philadelphia summer day provides me with.

At worst, I’ll have some stress management time on my hands to relax, meditate, and listen to music.  And I’ll have a tan.

At best, I’ll turn into The Incredible Hulk.

Which will it be?


Day 21 Recap

21 days?  I feel like I’ve been at this for 5-6 weeks easy.  That’s not a bad thing.  It’s more about feeling as though I’m in a long-standing groove.

Monday’s exercise is my longest workout of the week.  I upped volume again (via weight increases on 2nd and 3rd sets), and I felt it.  Tough, but good.

The protocol:

3x through, no rest between exercises, 1:00 rest between rounds:

  • Alternating grip pull-up
  • Leg press
  • Dumbbell chest press

3x through, no rest between exercises, 1:00 rest between rounds:

  • Dumbbell single arm row
  • Dumbbell walking lunge
  • Dumbbell seated overhead press
  • Dumbbell reverse fly

3x through, no rest between exercises, 1:00 rest between rounds:

  • Dumbbell pullover
  • Standing dumbbell bicep curls
  • Triceps rope press
  • Dumbbell single leg calf raises
  • Cable side-to-side chop
  • Cable slow press

Finisher: 1x heavy dumbbell farmer’s walk, grip work hanging from pull-up bar, lower back bird dogs on mat.

Steps and miles for the day checked in at 13,162 and 7.18 (add 20%).

Sleep checked in at 8 hours and 16 minutes (7 restless minutes).

The nutrition

Breakfast: Grass-fed yogurt, (28g) whey protein isolate, (5g) creatine, raw cacao nibs, chia seeds, coconut flakes, organic blueberries, banana, cinnamon.  Black gold.

Day 15 Breakfast

Pre-Workout: Raw Tea.


Post-Workout: Grass-fed whole milk.

Day 14 Post Workout

Lunch: Leftover free range chicken, brown rice pasta, green peas, mache greens, fresh avocado, Sea King sauerkraut, fish oil, probiotic.


Afternoon Snack: Rise Bar.


Dinner: Grass-fed tri-tip steak, purple and yellow potatoes, asparagus.


Daily Fuel

Did you like the Dr. Rhonda Patrick video above?  Want more?

Here’s your full 3-hour fix of conversation on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast:

Get outside and catch some sun today.  Happy Transforming!

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