Episode 024: Streamlining Healthcare, Overcoming Adversity & Managing the Four Pillars featuring Brendon Rearick

How to improve the current healthcare model, overcoming a life threatening illness and managing the four pillars of health are among the topics Jon discusses with Brendon Rearick on this episode. Brendon is a San Francisco based strength coach who owns Movement as Medicine with Kevin Carr. He is also part of Certified Functional Strength Coach and has also worked at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning in Boston. Brendon has recently taken on an exciting new role with a company called Crossover to streamline the healthcare model in the United States. Other topics discussed in this episode include:

  • The front end health care approach
  • Creating an enjoyable coaching environment
  • Brendon’s training philosophy
  • The stress scale and why you need to score low
  • Why client education is critical
  • Starting a business
  • Overcoming adversity and dealing with aplastic anemia
  • Managing the four pillars

Episode Notes:

Kevin Carr: “The Number One Prescribed Medicine in the World”

Precision Nutrition: The Cost of Getting Lean


E-mail & Social Media Links:

E-mail Brendon: brendon@rearickstrength.com

Brendon on Instagram: @collectmomentsnothtingz

Movement as Medicine website: movement-as-medicine.com

Movement as Medicine on Facebook: @movementasmed

Movement as Medicine on Twitter: @movementasmed

E-mail the show: thepillarsofhealthpod@gmail.com

The Pillars of Health Podcast on Instagram & Facebook: @thepillarsofhealthpod

The Coaches Series

Coaches Series – Part 8 – Brendon Rearick


This weeks episode is really awesome.  Strength coach Brendon Rearick from Movement as Medicine took the time to tell me how his life philosophy has changed since being diagnosed with  Aplastic Anemia a year ago. Continue reading


How to Pass a Medical

Tevez takes his fifteenth medical in 10 years


With the January transfer window upcoming for the English Premier League, many players will undergo a medical to prove they are in good condition physically. What exactly does a player go through in attempting to pass the medical? Four Four Two magazine recently ran an article as to what exactly the typical medical is made up of and Millwall FC physio Bobby Bacic also weighs in with Readings Head of Sports Medicine Luke Anthony. The full article can be found here http://performance.fourfourtwo.com/health/injuries/how-to-pass-a-medical

Test 1: Musculoskeletal stability

“We look in depth at the lower lumbar [back] and pelvic region – as these are areas where hamstring and adductor problems can originate from,” says Millwall physio Bobby Bacic.
Score yourself Check for defects in function or muscle tightness when performing simple football moves. “We’ll get players to do leg squats, hop tests and lunges to spot weaknesses,” says Luke Anthony, head of sports medicine at Reading.

Test 2: Heart and health

“A club medical includes cardiac screening with ECG, echo monitor and history questionnaire,” says Dr Ian Beasley, FA’s head of medical services. “There would also be blood tests and a physical examination.”
Score yourself “Players have the same regular bloods as a GP would test for during a check-up, along with urine tests that can detect proteins or acids in the urine, giving an indication of issues such as diabetes,” says Anthony.

Test 3: Isokinetic assessment

“We can calculate the output of the quads and hamstrings,” says Bacic. “They work together and identify weaknesses which may predispose injury.”
Score yourself Do knee flexion and extension drills at different speeds to determine the strength of your most vulnerable joint. An expected range for flexion would be 130 degrees – touch calf to hamstring. An extension: 15 degrees – straighten out knee as much as possible.

Test 4: Deep scanning

“A club will send a player with an injury history to hospital for a magnetic resonance scan. The MRI will look at back, hip/pelvis, knees, ankles and also neck and shoulders for keepers,” says Dr Beasley.
Score yourself If you have private health care, get your heart checked. “Sometimes the transfer fee will also dictate the extent to which a player will have scans. They will have a heart ultrasound if there is a medical history that’s of concern,” says Anthony.

Test 5: Body fat score

“This is something the club dietician would have to look at,” says Bacic. “We would be concerned if a player was over 12 per cent.”
Score yourself Use a body fat monitor to send an electrical signal through your body. The signal travels quickly through lean tissue, which has a high percentage of water and is therefore a good conductor of electricity, and more slowly through fat, to record your percentage.

Test 6: Range of movement

“We look at hip extension range and quad muscle length,” says Bacic. “An unrestricted natural movement through the limb’s full range of motion is what we want to see.”
Score yourself “In the gym use the crossover cable,” says Bacic. “Attach the lower cable around the ankle and the opposite cable at shoulder height and then kick across the body to the opposite hand.”

Self Improvement

What Grain Is Doing to Your Brain

Think that a wheat heavy diet is safe? You may be forced to think again. According to Gary Drevitch on forbes.com, grain and GMO produced grains are increasing Alzheimer’s and Dementia rates across the world.

It’s tempting to call David Perlmutter’s dietary advice radical. The neurologist and president of the Perlmutter Health Center in Naples, Fla., believes all carbs, including highly touted whole grains, are devastating to our brains. He claims we must make major changes in our eating habits as a society to ward off terrifying increases in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia rates.

And yet Perlmutter argues that his recommendations are not radical at all. In fact, he says, his suggested menu adheres more closely to the way mankind has eaten for most of human history.

What’s deviant, he insists, is our modern diet. Dementia, chronic headaches, depression, epilepsy and other contemporary scourges are not in our genes, he claims. “It’s in the food you eat,” Perlmutter writes in his bestselling new book, Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth About Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar – Your Brain’s Silent Killers. “The origin of brain disease is in many cases predominantly dietary.”

How We Got Here

Perlmutter’s book is propelled by a growing body of research indicating that Alzheimer’s disease may really be a third type of diabetes, a discovery that highlights the close relationship between lifestyle and dementia. It also reveals a potential opening to successfully warding off debilitating brain disease through dietary changes.

Perlmutter says we need to return to the eating habits of early man, a diet generally thought to be about 75% fat and 5% carbs. The average U.S. diet today features about 60% carbs and 20% fat. (A 20% share of dietary protein has remained fairly consistent, experts believe.)

Some in the nutrition and medical communities take issue with Perlmutter’s premise and prescription. Several critics, while not questioning the neurological risks of a high-carb diet, have pointed out that readers may interpret his book as a green light to load up on meat and dairy instead, a choice that has its own well-documented cardiovascular heart risks.

“Perlmutter uses bits and pieces of the effects of diet on cognitive outcomes — that obese people have a higher risk of cognitive impairment, for example — to construct an ultimately misleading picture of what people should eat for optimal cognitive and overall health,” St. Catherine University professor emerita Julie Miller Jones, Ph. D., told the website FoodNavigator-USA.

Grain Brain does delve deeply into the negative neurological effects of dietary sugar. “The food we eat goes beyond its macronutrients of carbohydrates, fat and protein,” Perlmutter said in a recent interview with Next Avenue. “It’s information. It interacts with and instructs our genome with every mouthful, changing genetic expression.”

Human genes, he says, have evolved over thousands of years to accommodate a high-fat, low-carb diet. But today we feed our bodies almost the opposite, with seemingly major effects on our brains. A Mayo Clinic study published earlier this year in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that people 70 and older with a high-carbohydrate diet face a risk of developing mild cognitive impairment 3.6 times higher than those who follow low-carb regimens. Those with the diets highest in sugar did not fare much better. However, subjects with the diets highest in fat were 42% less likely to face cognitive impairment than the participants whose diets were lowest in fat.

Further research published in the New England Journal of Medicine in August showed that people with even mildly elevated levels of blood sugar — too low to register as a Type 2 diabetes risk — still had a significantly higher risk of developing dementia.

“This low-fat idea that’s been drummed into our heads and bellies,” Perlmutter says, “is completely off-base and deeply responsible for most of our modern ills.”

Turning to Nutrition, Not Pills

This fall, the federal government committed $33.2 million to testing a drug designed to prevent Alzheimer’s in healthy people with elevated risk factors for the disease, but “the idea of lifestyle modification for Alzheimer’s has been with us for years,” Perlmutter says, and it’s cost-free.

The author hopes his book and other related media on the diet-dementia connection will inspire more people to change the way they eat. “Dementia is our most-feared illness, more than heart disease or cancer,” Perlmutter says. “When you let Type 2 diabetics know they’re doubling their risk for Alzheimer’s disease, they suddenly open their eyes and take notice.

“People are getting to this place of understanding that their lifestyle choices actually do matter a whole lot,” he says, “as opposed to this notion that you live your life come what may and hope for a pill.”

As we learn more about the brain’s ability to maintain or even gain strength as we age, Perlmutter believes, diet overhauls could become all the more valuable.

“Lifestyle changes can have profound effects later in life,” he says. “I’m watching people who’d already started to forget why they walked into a room change and reverse this. We have this incredible ability to grow back new brain cells. The brain can regenerate itself, if we give it what it needs.”

What it needs most of all, Perlmutter says, is “wonderful fat.” There’s no room in anyone’s diet for modified fats or trans fats, he says, but a diet rich in extra-virgin olive oil, grass-fed beef and wild fish provides “life-sustaining fat that modern American diets are so desperate for.”

Too few of us understand there’s “a big difference between eating fat and being fat,” he says. People who eat more fat tend to consume fewer carbs. As a result, they produce less insulin and store less fat in their bodies.

Change We Ought to Believe In

Changing minds, however, is an uphill climb. “The idea that grains are good for you seems to get so much play,” he says. “But grains are categorically not good for you,” not even whole grains.

“We like to think a whole-grain bagel and orange juice makes for the perfect breakfast,” Perlmutter continues. “But that bagel has 400 calories, almost completely carbohydrates with gluten. And the hidden source of carbs in this picture is that 12-ounce glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice. It has nine full teaspoons of pure sugar, the same as a can of Coke. It’s doing a service with Vitamin C, but you’ve already gotten 72 grams of carbs.

“It’s time to relearn,” he says. “You can have vegetables at breakfast – the world won’t come to an end. You can have smoked salmon, free-range eggs with olive oil and organic goat cheese and you’re ready for the day. And you’re not having a high-carb breakfast that can cause you to bang on a vending machine at 10 a.m. because your blood sugar is plummeting and your brain isn’t working.”

Changing one’s diet is a challenge, he acknowledges. Giving up the gluten found in most carbs makes it even tougher. “The exact parts of the brain that allow people to become addicted to narcotics are stimulated by gluten,” Perlmutter points out. “People absolutely go through withdrawal from gluten. It takes a couple of weeks.”

But the change is worth making, he says, at any age.

“Nutrition matters,” Perlmutter says. “The brain is more responsive to diet and lifestyle than any other part of the body and until now it’s been virtually ignored. We load up on medications when our mood is off, we hope for an Alzheimer’s disease pill when we get older. I submit that we need to take a step back and ask, ‘Is this really how we want to treat ourselves?’”

The original article can be found here: