Bulletproof Diet: How To Get A Bulletproof Body

How much time have you spent being too tired even though you work out, or struggling to find a way to lose fat?

If you’re like most people, the answer is too much.

Being healthy is just as important for entrepreneurs, college students, and soccer moms as it is for elite athletes.  It gives you more confidence, authority, and stamina.  It helps you to live longer and healthier. Plus, it just feels good to know your body looks good.

More importantly, having a Bulletproof Body is the foundation for your resilience and energy levels.  When your body is working right, you can get everything done at work and come home with energy to spend on what’s important to you, whether it’s playing with your kids, studying, or even biohacking.

Flying around the world frequently, attending board meetings, creating corporate strategy, presenting to thousands of people, and running an awesome blog (shameless plug), then coming home to spend quality time with my young kids takes its toll.  In order to manage all this without destroying my health, I’ve hacked my body and mind to let me do more than most people think is possible.

Imagine if you could stay lean and muscular without spending much time on exercise.  Imagine being able to eat 4000 calories a day without having to “burn it off.”  Imagine having hours of extra time that would normally be wasted being sick or just not at full performance.

Now you can. If a typical dietitian or doctor were to look at my diet and (non) exercise regimen, they’d say I must be obese because I went two years eating over 4,000 calories a day, and I stopped exercising entirely during that time.

But if those exact same medical professionals examined me in person at the end of those two years without knowing my exercise or diet, and they saw my shockingly low triglyceride levels (47) and high HDL (87), they would probably say I worked out several times a week and ate a low-fat, low-calorie diet. They would be dead wrong, because their assumptions about what makes people fat – and what makes people muscular – are simply incorrect.

According to one of the world-class anti-aging physicians I’ve worked with, I’m in the lowest percentile for diabetes risk, heart disease, and cancer, despite being a high risk for all of those when I was 10 years younger. I have lower triglyceride levels than most anyone I know.  How can I do it?

The methods are simple, effective, and easy.  This plan is not meant to turn you into a bodybuilder (though I start to look like one after a couple workouts), triathlete, or Crossfit competitor.  You’ll need a lot more training – and more carbs – to become an elite athlete. But unless you’re a paid athlete, you might want to consider the fact that you can look and feel great without needing to train like an elite athlete.  By using this protocol, you can free up hours of time every week, which lets you be a professional father, student, or friend.

The Bulletproof Body plan is meant to provide you with the bare minimum to look awesome and stay healthy for life.  This is the foundation for fitness and health.  Even if you’re not a hardcore athlete, this can serve as your default program for feeling and looking like you mean business.

Step 1: Eat A Bulletproof Diet For A Bulletproof Body

The Bulletproof Diet is the foundation for health and fitness.  It allows you to maintain muscle mass, lose fat, avoid disease, and delay aging.  Depending on how well you choose to adhere to the diet, it can be all you need to maintain a Bulletproof Body.  Most of your body composition is determined by what you eat (and what you don’t eat!).  Exercise can make up for a poor diet to some degree, but you’ll be fighting yourself the entire way.  Which would you rather do: overstress you body by running marathons as a way to counter your bad diet, or eat more butter?

Exercise can be used to fill the gaps in an *almost* Bulletproof Diet.  Maybe you can’t find grass-fed meat or you cheat every now and then.  Exercise can make up for a small level of toxin exposure or bad fats. Before getting into the exercise portion of the plan, there are three points that must be understood about the Bulletproof Diet.

1. Eat Lots

Long term calorie restriction is not an effective weight loss method and it has disastrous effects on your health and your brain.  When I was 300 pounds, I ate 1500-1800 calories a day and worked out 9 hours a week.  I didn’t lose a pound – if anything, I was gaining.  Here’s why:

a) Calorie Cutting

Restricting calories is a stressor.  When your body is stressed and believes it is starving, it wants to hold on to fat.  By eating more of the right foods, you tell your body it’s okay to burn fat.

b) Nutrient Deficiencies

Nutrient dense foods are often sacrificed when people restrict calories.  Things like grass-fed butter, fatty pasture raised meat, and organs have highest nutrient content of any food.  They’re also high in calories, which is why misinformed calorie-fearing people avoid them.  Without proper nutrients, your body won’t efficiently burn fat or build muscle.  Eat nutrient dense foods like those on the Bulletproof Diet and ignore the calories. It’s food quality and composition that matter, not volume.

c) Low-Calorie Junk Food

In order to cut calories, many people resort to things (I’m not going to call them foods) like 100 calorie snack packs, diet soda, and fat free yogurt.  Big mistake.  These foods might be lower in calories, but they make you crave more food.  They don’t satisfy your appetite or provide nutrition.  They contain toxins that will impede your fat loss goals and make you sick.  Refined and packed “food products” make you fat. You’re better off to go hungry – seriously – than to eat these junk foods.

2. Maintain High Healthy Saturated Fat Intake

Eating a high fat diet teaches your body to burn fat instead of sugar.  It also keeps you satisfied which prevents cravings.  Make sure you’re eating high quality fats – not vegetable oils or peanut butter.  Saturated fat like coconut oil and grass-fed butter will not cause hardened arteries; they help your brain and body perform and look better.  Fats are needed for the formation of sex hormones like testosterone and human growth hormone.  A high fat diet prevents blood sugar swings and low energy.  When in doubt – eat more fat. I eat 60% of my calories from fat, and often have a meal that is only fat, which keeps my metabolism ready to burn fat for fuel.

3. Avoid Toxins

One of the reasons the Bulletproof Diet is different from a regular paleo diet is the special attention to toxins.  Xenoestrogens, mycotoxins, and other substances can act as “obesigens” (compounds that make you fat).  Plastics can leach BPA into your water which disrupts hormone production.  Molds and fungi produce mycotoxins that can be in your food, your house, or your gut.  Watch this video to learn how to avoid mycotoxins.

Step 2: Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a Bulletproof Body.  Without proper sleep, your body won’t repair muscle tissue, burn fat, or recover for the next day.

Poor quality sleep  = hungry, distracted, weak, sick, and fat.

Through various techniques, I’ve been able to hack my sleep to the bare minimum.  This is after wrecking my adrenals by doing it wrong.  One of the reasons I can sleep so little it because I’m healthy.  If you’re currently obese or struggling with body fat issues, you can’t afford to limit sleep.  Don’t try to sleep five hours a night and lose 100 pounds at the same time – it won’t work. And don’t try to start a weight training program while cutting sleep either.

Athletics & Sleep Hacking Don’t Mix

If you’re exercising, you need to sleep much more than a sedentary individual.  Muscle tissue doesn’t repair unless you get adequate Delta (deep) sleep.  Aside from my two-year long no-exercise experiment, one of the reasons I don’t exercise regularly is that I would have to sleep a lot more.  A 20 minute workout can increase your sleep needs by over three hours.  Sleep as long as you need if you’re exercising more than two times per week. If you want to hack your sleep, do it right – read our articles on sleep hacking.  This is not an area where you can afford to be reckless.  Sleep deprivation can cause severe adrenal fatigue, cortisol imbalance, and long term neurological/endocrine damage. But having an extra 4 hours a day is priceless.

Step 3: The Bulletproof Body Exercise Guide

Exercise isn’t the most important part of achieving your desired body.  If done improperly – as in marathons – it will cause more harm than good.  However, exercise does offer a number of advantages.  Exercise improves bone density, mood, blood lipids, and increases insulin sensitivity and lean muscle.  It can also decrease inflammation and help you sleep.

Exercise is simply not a way to burn calories directly; that faddish way of thinking makes no sense if you pay attention to your body.  Your body composition is not determined by the amount of calories you eat; it is determined by hormones.  Therefore, exercise should be viewed as a way to influence hormones, not as a method for burning calories. You are not a gasoline engine and you do not burn anything for energy. If we actually did burn things, we’d all be eating coal, which burns well and is high-calorie.

Proper Exercise? Correct Hormone Balance? Burn Fat & Gain Muscle

  • There is a point of diminishing return with exercise.  More exercise will not always lead to more benefits. Most people over-exercise.
  • Exercise sessions should generally be no more than 20 minutes, and they should be VERY high intensity.
  • Perform no more than one exercise session per week if you’re sleep hacking.
  • Workout up to three times per week otherwise.
  • If you aren’t getting high quality sleep, don’t even consider exercise.

Bulletproof Exercise

It is possible for you to stay lean with any combination of nutrition or exercise when they are done properly, but combining the two creates the best overall health. From a Bulletproof perspective, that means you use the most efficient techniques that get the job done in the smallest amount of time and effort.

You’ve probably seen how we do that with the Bulletproof Diet. Here is its’ companion – the Bulletproof Exercise Guide.

This isn’t an all encompassing fitness manual.  It gives you a basic framework which you can use to stay fit in the least possible amount of time, far less than even “The 4-Hour Body,” Tim Ferriss’ most awesome guide, which you should own for sure if you have enough interest to read this post this far. By comparison, Bulletproof Exercise would be “The Forty Minute Body.” But read Tim’s book. It’s good.

There are two parts of the Bulletproof Exercise guide:

Exercise & Activity.

Part 1: Exercise

Exercise has a specific definition.  To quote Dr. Doug McGuff, a gifted biohacker, friend, and author of Body by Science:

“Exercise is a specific activity that stimulates a positive physiological adaption that serves to enhance fitness and health.  It does not undermine the latter in the process of enhancing the former.”

There are five keys to Bulletproof exercise. Make it:

  1. Brief
  2. Intense
  3. Infrequent
  4. Safe
  5. Purposeful

Anything that does not meet these criteria is not exercise.  Marathons, Ironmans, ultra endurance events, and even bodybuilding are not exercise based on these criteria for the simple fact that they do not optimize health while creating fitness.  They are immensely challenging and require great physical and mental strength, but they are their own separate entities – not to be confused with exercise.  Being fit or being able to compete in a specific sport does not mean you are healthy.

No matter how fit you are, you won’t achieve Bulletproof resilience and power unless you’re healthy.

Sure, you may become healthier by doing some sort of intense exercise, and you’ll certainly become more fit, but it simply isn’t the best way to do so.  There are better methods.

The most effective and efficient form of exercise is outlined in the book Body By Science.  It is a weight training protocol which fatigues muscle fibers in sequence to produce the best adaptions in the least amount of time – about 40 minutes per month.

This page outlines the basic concepts.  For a detailed description of this method, please read Body By Science. It belongs on the shelf of any self-respecting biohacker (or athlete).

Here’s what a workout looks like

  1. Each workout uses only 3-5 compound movements (listed below).
  2. You perform only 1 set of each movement per workout.
  3. You take each set to the point of positive muscular failure.  This is the point where the weight won’t move anymore no matter how much effort you apply.   Each set will last 90-120 seconds.
  4. The weight should be heavy enough (usually 75-85% of your 1 rep max) that you will reach muscular failure somewhere between 1.5 and 2 minutes.
  5. The weight is moved at a slow tempo for the duration of each set.  This should be 6-10 seconds concentric (raising), and 6-10 seconds eccentric (lowering).  The movement should be as slow as possible without becoming a series of starts and stops.
  6. The next movement should be performed as soon as possible after the completion of the previous one.  The time between movements should not exceed 2 minutes.
  7. Each workout should not exceed 20 minutes.
  8. This workout is performed every 7-14 days.  Volume should be reduced if training stalls – not increased.

Key Points

  • Breathe through your mouth throughout each exercise without holding your breath.
  • “Cardio” is not necessary for improving cardiovascular function.  In most cases, it is detrimental to health and practiced for the wrong reasons (to “burn” calories).  It is impossible to isolate one aspect of fitness (cardiovascular system, muscular system, aerobic system, etc.).  Even if it was, it would not be beneficial.  The goal is “global metabolic conditioning” as Dr. McGuff says.
  • There is nothing wrong with using a different program, but this is the most efficient method for most people.
  • This program will benefit everyone from stay at home moms, to elite athletes, to entrepreneurs.  Stronger is better.
  • This program (or any program) will not substitute for sport specific goals like running, cycling, swimming, hockey, etc.  In order to become better at a given sport you must perform that exact sport.
  • Seriously, don’t hack your sleep for the next 3 nights after you exercise. It’s not safe.

Why Weight Training Is The Best Form of Exercise

  1. It meets all the requirements outlined above for proper exercise.
  2. It increases lean muscle mass which is going to make you healthier in almost every way.
  3. Strength training boosts insulin sensitivity and metabolic rate for days and increases your testosterone and growth hormone levels (including healthy amounts for women).
  4. Having more muscle allows you to perform with more confidence and pride.
  5. Resistance training decreases your risk of injury and facilitates healthy aging.
  6. It makes you more resilient to fatigue, disease, pathogens, and toxins.
  7. It’s fun.

The Big 5 Movements

The following movements are the only ones necessary for most people.  They should be performed using machines since reaching muscular failure under free weights is dangerous.  There are free weight variations which can be found in the book.  (I’m a fan of using kettle bells sometimes too.) Watch the video for  demonstrations of proper technique on each movement.

  1. Seated Row
  2. Chest Press
  3. Pull Down
  4. Overhead Press
  5. Leg Press

The Body by Science “Big Five” Overview Part 1

The Body by Science “Big Five” Overview Part 2

Common Thinking Errors About Fitness & Health

This is a great video for anyone interested in the best ways to perform better in any way.

This workout program is not the be all and end all of exercise.  It is simply the most effective form that works for the most people in the least amount of time.  Here are two more methods which fit the definition of exercise:

Enter The Kettlebell! Strength Secret of The Soviet Supermen by Pavel Tsatsouline

Starting Strength, 3rd Edition by Mark Rippetoe

Part 2: Activity (MOVE!)

Walking, hiking, surfing, and carrying groceries are purposeful and safe activites, but they are not brief, infrequent, or intense.  They are not exercise – they are physical activities.  Exercise makes you better at moving.  Low level physical activity has numerous health benefits.  It decreases your risk of metabolic syndrome, breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and vascular dementia.  It also decreases overall systemic inflammation, which contributes to almost all known diseases.  Moderate physical activity also decreases the incidence of colds and improves mood in people who are depressed.  In healthy people, easy movement can improve mood for 2 hours afterwards.  It also improves mitochondrial function.

Most people don’t know about one of the most important health reasons to move frequently, which is lymphatic circulation. Lymph is the fluid that your body collects from interstitial fluid, the fluid that lies between cells. You have an entire lymphatic circulation system designed to return dead cells, proteins, and excess interstitial fluid back to the circulation system for removal. Lymph helps to remove some bacteria, cancer cells, and toxic metabolites, and also transports fats from the digestive system.

Unlike your cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system has no central pump, so lymph moves only from alternate contraction and relaxation of muscle, valves, and compression when you flex nearby muscles. So you need to move to help your body carry off excess toxins and fluid. After all, excess interstitial fluid will give you “muffin top” long before abdominal fat will.

Even if you exercise, people who sit more than 6 hours a day are 40 percent more likely to die in the next 15 years.  The fact that sitting burns only one calorie per minute isn’t why it’s bad for you.  Sitting decreases HDL cholesterol and blood flow.  It decreases electrical signaling in your leg muscles and causes functional shortening of tendons and ligaments.

Low level aerobic activity has been shown to improve insulin signaling, reduce stress, inflammation, and boost longevity.  It reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia, and even the common cold.  Move at a slow pace as much as possible.

4 Ways To Move More

  1. The most Bulletproof (maximum benefit, minimum time) way to get in a day’s worth of moving is to use Whole Body Vibration. Standing on a rapidly vibrating plate for 15 minutes every day or two will cause massive lymph circulation throughout your body and move oxygen to tissues that may not get very much of it, even  areas you’re unlikely to reach while walking around. It has other benefits that simple movement doesn’t have, like stimulating bone strength and firming muscles and skin.
  2. Work at a standing desk or (my favorite) sit on an inflatable ball. Only use a standing desk if your body can comfortably stand all day first. Most people need to see a functional movement specialist (or a biohacker who uses measurement technology) to correct their posture. Standing with poor posture all day is bad for you because it raises stress levels.
  3. Take every opportunity to move (lift things for people, walk instead of driving, take the stairs, etc).
  4. Do fun things that involve moving: hiking, gardening, playing with your kids, etc.

Step 4: Supplement Smart

There are numerous supplements that can improve fat loss, muscle gain, immune function, and performance.  Here are several that almost anyone can benefit from.

Vitamin D

1000 IU / 25 pounds (~11kg) of bodyweight.

  • Supports immune function.
  • Allows proper tissue formation.
  • Improves exercise performance.
  • Acts as a pro-hormone in the body.

Magnesium Citrate

400-800mg / day.

  • Needed for bone formation.
  • Relaxes blood flow and reduces stress.
  • Improves cardiac function.
  • Enhances mitochondria activity.

Glutathione Force

  • (I manufacture this supplement with a new technology for maximum absorbption)
  • Protects your body from free radicals and helps maintain healthy toxin levels.
  • Mitigates much of the negative effects of air pollution, over-exercise, and lack of sleep.
  • Supports healthy liver function.

Brain Octane Oil or XCT Oil

One or more tablespoons per day.

  • Promotes fat loss.
  • Enhances insulin sensitivity.
  • Increases metabolism.

The Bulletproof Diet may be all you need to maintain muscle mass and look good naked.  Sleep should be your next priority, and then a moderate level of movement and exercise.  Supplementation is a good idea for almost everyone.

If you enjoyed this article and are thinking about purchasing one of the supplements, please consider supporting the blog by buying from the Bulletproof store.

46 thoughts on “Bulletproof Diet: How To Get A Bulletproof Body”

  1. After several months of experimenting, I can say these are great general tips for feeling better. I have one condition that I could use some specific advice with: I have had small osteocytes (bone spurs) growing on a couple of joints of one hand for the past two years. There is no pain from these. After a blood tests to rule out other conditions my doctor diagnosed me with osteoarthritis. This was a surprising diagnosis for me, as I am fairly young (early 30’s). For the past couple of months I have been compliant with the bulletproof diet about 90% of the time, and take all of the supplements that you guys commonly mention as important daily supplements in your posts. Given this condition, is there anything else I should be doing in terms of supplements? Any foods I should absolutely avoid, even if i am just having a few “cheating” bites of it a week? Any exercise tips given that I understand exercise can have positive impacts on bones?

  2. Great blog post, have been following your advice for a few weeks now and feel better than ever!

    Do you mind if I tap into your knowledge though? Do you know if it’s possible to grow taller in adulthood, after your growth plates have fused?

    Conventional wisdom says no, but after following a nutritional paleo diet for quite some time, I’ve blown conventional wisdom out of the water, including but not limited to completely reversing tooth decay to the point of filling up small cavities and fasting for 13 days without losing muscle mass or feeling too bad.

    Do you think growing taller in adulthood is in anyway possible Dave?

    • Going to failure while doing squats and deadlifts is not safe. Those are great movements, but not safe for this program.

      I don’t train with the BBS approach because I have more time than many of the readers of this blog. Thus, I do use large leg movements such as squats and deadlifts.

      This program is designed for people with very little time, not those seeking the absolute best results possible.

  3. I have a question:

    If a person was living the same life in a parallel universe and had the same ‘not very good’ diet (i.e. ok basics with lower carbs, protein, veg etc, but drinking beer and eating chocolate regularly thus getting the ‘bad’ fats) but had one distinct difference: …. Intermittent fasting and bulletproof coffee.

    What would happen?

    a) The BulletProof guy would gain weight slower?
    b) The BP guy would actually gain weight faster because the bad fats are somehow negating the positive good fats?
    c) ??


    • Niall, chocolate fat is one of the good fats!

      BP coffee + Intermittent Fasting will help someone by themselves for sure. If that was all you did, you’d be way ahead of the guy who didn’t do anything.

    • Can someone please opine on this, I am at the outset of the diet and not losing weight. Think I fall into this category, am mostly very good – but drink and sometimes fall off the wagon. Am solid on the IF eating window (2-8pm) and do the coffee in the morning correctly!

    • This is the perfect time to carb load. You need to do it once a week anyway for best fat loss results. Sweet potatoes are a great post-workout meal. See

      Podcast #30: Sweet Potato Power with Ashley Tudor

      Also, 5-20g of glutamine powder will aid in recovery post-workout. Interestingly, glutamine will also curb any carb or sugar cravings you might have when starting the bulletproof diet. (See Sugar Addiction: Defeating the Greatest Dietary Crisis of All Time by Julia Ross–>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LLsVBqrq8c)

      Hope this helps. Good luck!

  4. I drive a truck for 10 hrs a day… I really want to do this… What can i do to incorporate this in my lifestyle ? please help.

    • It’s easy! Exercise is not required, but you can do 10 minutes of Body by Science style workout once a week even with your schedule. Crank up the bulletproof coffee and crank down the carbs.

    • T tap on a vibrating plate wouldn’t work well. T tap does neat muscle activating things and is amazingly slimming. WBV makes stronger bones and triggers muscles and lymph.

  5. Love Bulletproof Exec but this post is just plain wrong. You can’t teach 30 years of strength and conditioning in a 1,200 word article and it be safe for the general public. Do not think compound strength lifts without proper technique is safe. Go to a CrossFit gym for a month and get instruction – they have the best trainers in general. Most personal trainers at large gyms are terrible and doing on your own is just as bad. Ashamed of this post and the misinformation.

    • James,
      Well, we did say “read Body by Science,” we’ve had Dr. McGuff on the podcast (publishing shortly), and we linked to videos of the movements. That’s a bit more than 1200 words. ?
      Yes, proper technique matters, and yes Crossfit trainers are great, as long as you see them for a little while or once a week. The idea of Crossfit 5 days per week is not sustainable or healthy for most people; intense workouts like Crossfit require more recovery time. And yes there are quality problems at big gyms.
      But misinformation? Sounds like you’re looking for more information rather than a correction of what we said.

    • Wow, that is a terrible idea. Sure, most trainers suck, but that includes most Crossfit trainers (Although probably not as bad – the main problem is they are teaching olympic lifts, while regular trainer do not). Hell, even the some of the worst certifications typically require more time and effort spent to obtain than a Crossfit certification. Crossfit is notorious for teaching bad form and its lack of safety, programming etc. Now, that doesn’t apply to all Crossift coaches, but that is the norm from what I have seen. I know there are great, even amazing Crossfit coaches out there, but that is not the standard. It is so bad that I would NEVER recommend Crossfit to someone without personally knowing the staff of the specific gym. I am not trying to shit on Crossfit or anything, I just don’t like people getting injured and I’ve known far too many people who have been injured doing Crossfit.

      I do certainly agree with your sentiment that most people need a good coach, rather than a book or videos. Like Dave mentions (although not in relation to exercise), most people have poor posture. Doing a lot of these movements with postural deficiencies that most people have can easily lead to injury. You need a proper coach or practitioner to look at people and correct these problems before they start doing many exercises (especially overhead pressing).

      Dave, I also strongly agree that most people overestimate the amount of exercise they need to be healthy. I also agree that strength training is leagues ahead of cardio for health. The great thing about strength training is once you build up your muscles, bones, and joints, they aren’t going anywhere unless your diet sucks or are in a coma. Cardio comes as quickly as it goes. Of course one of the problems is that people simply don’t move (or even stand) like they should which is problematic itself – I’m quite happy that I now have a job that requires me to stand.

  6. I love your wisdom, so thank you for giving it away so freely. I have been practicing applying your bulletproofing techniques to my life. I got the coffee part down quick with no problem. I LOVE Coffee! I am practicing the diet but am having some difficulty with fruit which is some of my favorite food. I was eating 3 to 5 a day! I eat nothing in a box can or jar, no white sugar or flour, no grains. I am still looking for the sweetener so I can make the Ice Cream, another of my favorite foods.I am intermittent fasting and I have not lost any weight yet but I have not added the exercise yet and that may be the problem. I will start that this week and see how it goes. I am saving my dollars to get your gadgets which sound sooooo exciting!!!! I have been using a light and sound machine on and off for more than 30 years so I am going to pull that out again and start using it again. You are the first person that has ever mentioned using one and that went a long way in giving your methods an open mind. Nobody who uses a light/sound machine can be all bad! I have listened to your podcasts and am making my way slowly thru your website. There is a LOT of info here and I remind myself daily I only have to practice I don’t have to be perfect. I have fibromyalgia and have to sleep a lot but am finding that my sleep is better and I need less too! So that is where I am at so far. I do believe this is going to be a game changer for me and I will let you know my progress. Thanks again for sharing the gift of your knowledge with all of us. You are amazing! and you too, Armi. Sorry its so long I’m a motor mouth!

  7. Excellent post!

    Do you have any thoughts on the use of rebounding (bouncing on a mini trampoline) as a form of movement that is reputed to offer the benefits of lymph circulation and bone health? My understanding is that even a low bounce (rather than more strenuous cardio jogging and dancing) can offer benefits, while being low-impact on the knees.

    • I do Body By Science squats using a Smith Machine I set up at home. My machine has a barbell running up and down on vertical rails on the front, with adjustable stoppers below. Also has “hooks” on the barbell that let you latch the barbell to holes in the front posts at any height. So you can do a squat to muscle failure in perfect safety, because as your leg muscles fail you descend slowly until the barbell encounters the stoppers, which take the weight off you and allow you to step (or fall!) away. Same thing for bench press and overhead press as well.

  8. I live in the sticks and I don’t have any access to gyms or weights right now. I was thinking of using a bodyweight version of the big three. Weighted pullups (rocks in an old back pack), pushups with feet progressively elevated, and front squats with progressively heavier rocks as I get stronger. Do you think this could keep me going until I manage to get a weight set later this summer?

  9. I’ve been collecting BBS info steadily over the past several weeks and want to get started on the workouts. (No, I haven’t yet gotten the book–it’s in the mail.) Meanwhile, how does one begin the exercise protocol? How do I know what weights to start with? Do I begin at once a week? I’ve seen recommendations to begin by working out once every 3 days, then extend to 7…

    • Not to speak for Dave but, if you’ve never worked out. Start with a couple of 25s on the bar. See where you are. When you can do it 10x without a tremendous effort, add on the weight. Go up 10 lbs at a time until you are at the goal of 90-120 seconds to do set.

  10. I am very interested in becoming Bulletproof, I am wondering though if this diet will help you gain weight in a healthy way??? I have been underweight my whole life 🙁 I have had a very hard time in my life gaining weight, you talk a lot about people losing weight, but I am wondering if this diet is also good for gaining, I know you probably don’t get this question a lot, but I really need to start putting on some weight and in a healthy way.

  11. Dave I just wanted to say you have the absolute best blog for all of the overachievers out there. I have experimented a lot with diets, sleep, meditation and nootropics but coming to your blog just confirms everything and since I started utilizing the bulletproof diet I seen results right away. I could never figure out why I couldn’t sleep less but your explanation of exercise and sleep hacking being a bad combo fixed the problem. When I don’t exercise I can sleep 5 to 6 hours and be great but when I exercise I feel horrible with that amount of sleep, to a point where my work suffers. I look forward to your book.

  12. Dave – fairly new to all of this and just got my first bag of coffee in the mail from upgraded self (thanks!). I’m wondering about your other mentions of chocolate and cacoa butter (sp?), but don’t understand what they are, how they help, and why they aren’t mentioned above or in your book (I haven’t finished it yet). Can you direct me to some other posts on the chocolate or cacoa and why I need that? Thanks, your stuff rocks!

  13. I want to know more about drinking beer, alcohol, and the histamines it has, and the effects, and all. I drink alot, I can stay at my current weight easily, although it fluctuates back and forth 2-3 pounds, I like to drink, is there a way I can fit that in while getting in better shape

  14. Dave,
    I agree that compound exercises are all that are needed to gain strength and fitness. However, free weights are safer than machines no matter who is using them. In the long run free weights produce better real world results for your health because they allow natural and full movement, leading to balanced joints and better strength. Even someone who does not have much time or experience can learn and utilize the proper way to build strength. Hope this helps.


  15. Hi Dave, in the workout protocol above you say that each set should last 90-120 seconds. In “Body by Science,” Doug sets the optimal time for muscle failure at 45-90 seconds. Hope this helps. We’re all on the same team. Keep up the great work.


    Here is the quote:

    “…the fatigue rate should fall anywhere between forty seconds and two and a half minutes. Optimally, we’re looking at forty-five to ninety seconds for a particular set of exercise as the desired time frame for reaching a maximum level of fatigue. This will ensure an orderly recruitment of all the different muscle fibers and also ensure that you will be tapping the fast-twitch motor units that possess the most glycogen.

    -Little, John R.; McGuff, Doug (2008-12-17). Body by Science : A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week (p. 56). McGraw-Hill. Kindle Edition.

  16. So low calorie diets do not lead to weight loss… I guess that explains all those obese people in sub-Saharan Africa and nazi concentration camps…

  17. Hi Dave,

    Can I ask how many grams of protein you consume daily per pound or kilo?

    Thank you!

    Edit: Sorry this should probably have been posted under The Bulletproof Diet instead. I hope it’s OK.

    Best regards,


  18. The Bulletproof Diet has benefited me so much. I’m a grad student in finance and the semesters are very demanding. I like to consider myself a triathlete, even though I haven’t trained on a consistent training program for about four months. When I wanted to keep my abs and realized that exercise was not nearly as feasible, I began my search. I came across Upgraded Self Radio, then made my way to the Bulletproof exec website. Thanks a bunch Dave (and Armi). By the way, JB Glossinger says hello.


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