264: TZ Discussion – Jason 2.0

Justin and Jason discuss Jason’s ambitious health and fitness plan, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s six rules of success, why Jason has decided to pursue his two long-time athletic goals of bench pressing 315 lbs and of dunking a basketball, Karch Kiraly’s athletic transformation at the age of 44, a few of the top vertical jump programsthe 42-year who added 9 inches to his vertical, the before and after videos of the kid who transformed himself into a dunking machine, Jason’s “before” video of his vertical jump, the vertical jump calculation, Justin’s exercise and diet plan and why he wants a picture of Elon Musk next to his bed, how 40’s can be the new 20’s, the TechZing Summit, the latest on Disco and why ownership is split equally among the founders, Jason’s life hack for learning electrical engineering and the progress he’s made so far, why your perceived limitations are almost all just in your mind, why Elon Musk is so successfulthe girl who made it to the finals of America Ninja Warrior, how Colby learned to program in RobotC in his summer school class, the latest on Jason’s angel investment in the Mill Valley Code Club, the awesome job that Phillip Monet has done with the TechZing Wiki, Jason’s idea for doing a monthly TZ meetup in San Francisco, developing content for Empath, why God’s Tweets got rejected from the App Store and whether your life really changes that much after having a baby.

  1. Clyde says:

    @Jason You should watch this. It’s a 5’5″ guy who trained himself to dunk.

  2. Clyde says:

    Oops, forgot to link it. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhAP7qWCBAg&index=86&list=WL 🙂

  3. Jason says:

    @Clyde – Yeah, that’s … pretty damn impressive.

  4. Helmut says:

    Thanks guys for sharing your healthcare ambitions, altho it is not “tech” related I think it is still applicable to listeners (myself included) and it serves as inspiration.

  5. Doug says:

    Found this episode to be very inspirational. I have a bunch of things on my list of things I want to do but would’ve considered impossible but now I’m inspired to chase my dreams. This quote from Jason is what pushed me over the edge: “I’m not going to sit on the sidelines like, ‘I always wanted to do this and I always wanted to do that but I can’t.’ No, you know what you can do whatever the hell you want to do. Do the research, find a way, come up with a plan, and execute. Don’t ask permission. Don’t worry about what anyone else says, just start doing it.”

    Thanks so much for the inspiration and I hope to see you both at the summit!

  6. Doug says:

    Also that intro had me laughing so hard! Hahaha

  7. The exercise thing is an interesting topic, and timely for me. I’ve been working on it for 10 months or so now. I wasn’t particularly overweight, but was very unfit. Last August when I started running (or trying to at least) I couldn’t run a single mile. That was my first goal – how fast can I run a single mile. After a few weeks I did get a bit bored of that and upped the challenge to running a 5km race, which I entered and completed (just about) in November. In the spring, after a winter hiatus I decided to aim for <25minutes for my next race in June. I actually came 9th in <24 minutes. If I hadn't had the 25 minute goal I wouldn't have pushed myself so hard. Realising this was a lightbulb moment for me, reinforcing the importance of having goals.

    When I saw the results of the race I noticed that the winner did it in <19 minutes. Now there's a challenge. I want to win the same race again next year, which in relative terms is a 25% increase in pace.

    This will be harder work than what I've done so far, and I'm wrapping it up into "Project Six Pack". It's not that I particularly feel a need to have a six pack, but I think it's a good visual goal of building muscle mass and reducing body fat. So I'm currently focusing on strength training like you guys, whilst keeping the running at a reasonable level.

    I'm 38, 6 foot tall, and weigh 67kg (148lbs), with around 13.5% body fat. I've got a body-composition monitor like Jason was talking about – I've just started taking the key measurements every day, but tracking them on a 5-day rolling average to even out the daily fluctuations.

    Good luck to you both, and everyone else taking on similar challenges. It's good to get away from the desk every now and again 🙂

  8. nethy says:

    Dunking a ball is fun and all and it’s an interesting fitness goal, but it hardy fits with the project superhero project.

    Here’s one you can all aim for:

    There will be blood and sweat and tears. There will be crying mothers, orange masks and morbidly embarrassed children. There will be glory and there will be flying scissor body slams in this one day only event. The date is set and there is no turning back. Jason “Captain America” Roberts takes on The Wild Wolverine (with guest appearance by Justin ‘The Terror’ Vincent) for the coveted techzing belt in a in a one day only extravaganza.

    Lucha Libre!!

  9. nethy says:

    BTW, we will need before and after shots in lucha libre outfits

  10. Jason says:

    @Helmut – Yeah, I realize we strayed pretty far from tech, but I just couldn’t help myself from talking about it. Also, I was sort of hoping that we could pull out the larger lessons from it. Whether or not we succeeded I don’t know, but as they say, the show is in the can! 😉

  11. Jason says:

    @Doug – You just made my week! Do something for yourself is great, but discovery that you’re in any way serving to inspire other people, well that’s the ultimate.

  12. Jason says:

    @Simon Holmes – That’s awesome! Congratulations on making so much progress.

    It’s interesting how powerful having specific goals can be. I remember we talked a while back about Derek Sivers’ claim that not openly stating your goals makes them more potent or something:

    * Derek Sivers: Keep your goals to yourself

    But honestly I think that’s just plain wrong. I can’t find it now, but I remember reading an article that did a good job of poking holes in the research he cites and why it may not be that generally applicable, so I’m not really buying it. At the very least, stating goals opening and often seems to make me push harder towards them because now I have my ego and reputation on the line. 😉

  13. Jason says:

    @nethy – It’s on! That is, … except for the part about the lucha libre outfits. 😉

  14. Joe says:

    It’s awesome that you guys are eating better and hitting the gym so hard! I appreciate the example, and the fact that you guys always have such a positive attitude about always improving.

    315 is an ambitious goal. I’d be interested to know what you currently bench, and the timeline you’ve set to reach 315 lbs. My all-time max bench is 2 plates (225 lb), and I currently regularly bench slightly less than that. If I were to reach 315 lb on the bench, I think I’d have to build up my bone density, tendons, and ligaments quite a bit more, which (in my experience) takes longer than building the actual muscle required to bench that much. If you record your progress I’d be interested to see the graph of your power over time.

    My current “impossible” goal is a true one-handed pull-up from a dead hang. I don’t personally know anyone that can do it, but it can be done.

    Also, I want to mention that eating less calories while keeping up nutrient consumption has been shown to delay the onset of aging and increase lifespan in numerous animals ( example source). This is some nice additional motivation that I use to keep up a vegetable-and-protein-rich diet, low on carbs.

    Finally, I’d highly recommend watching american ninja warrior for some great motivation. I know some of the guys who compete (they go to my climbing gym in Colorado) and I’m strongly considering competing myself next year. Those obstacles look like too much fun to resist 🙂

  15. Justin says:

    @Joe – When you can do THIS – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NwEe8wT82g – I’ll be impressed 😉

  16. Joe says:

    @Justin — that guy has some incredible body control. That’s still a few steps down the road for me 🙂

  17. Jason says:

    @Joe – Well, I’m just getting back into doing free weights (7 weeks in at this point), so I’m sort of just climbing back up the ladder. This past Friday I did 2 sets of 225 for 5 reps, but I decided not to do a third set since I’ve got 5-3-1 today (Monday) and didn’t want to burn myself out. My all time best bench was 275 for 6 (which was kind of a freak lift), but I was in the 245 x 5 and 265 x 3 range for a while back in 1999. I’m guessing I should be back in that ballpark in another 6 – 8 weeks or so. Given that, I’m hoping to be able to reach 315 maybe in other 4 – 6 months at the the outside. But really I’m more interested in getting my max squat up, since it’s comparatively weak (205 x 5 last week) and it’s really the lift that matters when it comes to explosiveness in sports and most importantly for the vertical leap, which is what I’m going to need if I’m going to ever dunk a basketball. 😉

  18. Jason says:

    @Justin – That’s nothin’. Check out this guy!


  19. Joe says:

    @Jason — sounds like you’ve already developed the frame to bench 315! And I’m sure you’ll see rapid progress on those squats.

    Watching Frank Medrano definitely makes me want to step up my game. He’s at the level that makes people stare in disbelief

  20. Justin says:

    @Jason – You know that guy Frank Medrano is a vegan, right? I TOLD you vegan was the way to go 😉

  21. Justin says:

    Where does Frank Medrano get his protein… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQ9sfVsBbS8

  22. Jason says:

    @Justin – Just because it’s “possible” to be athletic while being vegan doesn’t prove by any stretch that it’s healthier than not being vegan, but if you want to live off of vegetables then go for it.

  23. Justin says:

    @Jason – It’s hard to prove anything, but there are some studies that indicate eating plant based diets can be quite healthy.

    The Effect of a Plant-Based Diet on Plasma Lipids

    After 4 weeks, the participants eating the plant-based diet, rich in nutrients and phytochemicals, reduced their total and LDL cholesterol significantly more than the participants consuming a standard low-fat diet.

    Glycemic and cardiovascular parameters improved in Type 2 Diabetes with the high nutrient density (HND) diet

    Diets low in animal protein and saturated fat and high in complex carbohydrates, fiber and micronutrients improve glucose tolerance, postprandial glucose and overall glycemic control, as well as decrease insulin resistance.


    One of the most robust genetic associations for cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the Chromosome 9p21 region. However, the interaction of this locus with environmental factors has not been extensively explored. We investigated the association of 9p21 with myocardial infarction (MI) in individuals of different ethnicities, and tested for an interaction with environmental factors.

    The risk of MI and CVD conferred by Chromosome 9p21 SNPs appears to be modified by a prudent diet high in raw vegetables and fruits.


    Red and processed meat intake and risk of colorectal adenomas: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies.


    Consumption of red meat and processed meat, ethanol from alcoholic drinks (by men and probably by women), as well as body fatness and abdominal fatness and the factors that lead to greater adult-attained height or its consequences are convincing causes of colorectal cancer.


    Nonlinear reduction in risk for colorectal cancer by fruit and vegetable intake based on meta-analysis of prospective studies.

    Based on meta-analysis of prospective studies, there is a weak but statistically significant nonlinear inverse association between fruit and vegetable intake and colorectal cancer risk.


    Red and processed meat and colorectal cancer incidence: meta-analysis of prospective studies.

    High intake of red and processed meat is associated with significant increased risk of colorectal, colon and rectal cancers. The overall evidence of prospective studies supports limiting red and processed meat consumption as one of the dietary recommendations for the prevention of colorectal cancer.


  24. Jason says:

    @Justin – Confirmation bias much? Yes, much too much. 😉 But like I said, go for it.

  25. Joe says:

    @Justin — I’m not vegan, but I’ve seen many scientific literature reviews that link high levels of animal protein intake to chronic degenerative diseases (especially cancer and heart disease). Dr. Joel Fuhrman seems to have the most well-researched diet when it comes to long-term health (this is not necessarily the same as the ideal diet to become a huge muscle-bound monster).

    I tend to avoid this topic because people have such strong opinions about it. It’s usually counterproductive to discuss it. You brought it up, though, so I thought I’d add my two cents 🙂 I eat meat, but I try to keep my meat consumption pretty low as an overall percentage of my diet. I think there is enough accumulated evidence to suggest that people should be cautious about extremely high animal protein intake. Plus, there’s significant evidence that high vegetable intake is is correlated to low incidences of chronic disease, so I figure that’s the way to go until science can create me an ideal diet based on my genome 🙂

  26. Botj says:

    @Jason. Have you thought about live-blogging your progress on the electronics learning? I think keeping track of the topics would prove useful for others trying to find the path. Hell, I’d pay $40 for the outline alone!

  27. Jason says:

    @Botj – Yeah, that woud be a good idea. I’m just worried about the time required, which is something I’m severely lacking at the moment. But I’ll think about it.

  28. Sandy says:

    Hey, a few episodes ago you mentioned something like Bitcoin has a bug, in which if some person or group has > 50% they can own the rest (or something similar). Do you have a link to more info on that?

  29. Jason says:
  30. Jon says:

    >this is not necessarily the same as the ideal diet to become a huge muscle-bound monster

    This is a point often lost — the best diet for athletic performance and the best diet for health or longevity have a lot of overlap (neither would have much sugar etc.) but at the margins they diverge somewhat. Essentially some of the things that stimulate growth are counter productive to slowing the aging process.

    That said, most any diet is going to be a lot healthier than a standard American diet of whatever.