Are You Healthy Enough To SURVIVE?

find this podcast on SportsDocDC or BeAwesome365 if you want to take it with you!

Recently I took a self-defense / handgun training Workshop from one of my favorite groups, APT (available everywhere AND in Corpus Christi.)   

These guys spend a lot of time getting me up to speed and better at working guns, self defense and just all-around being better in scenarios. One of the things they press the most however is not the use of guns but rather knowing the situation and never needing to actually use your gun. To be aware and smart and make better decisions.

Leading up to this class I was listening to some of my favorite podcasts and they had a guest, similar in training and profession talking about his ideas. I was interested in hearing a different point of view.  

You’ve got to search out other angles in life to gain perspective so I do. I was quite happy that this expert expressed many of the same ideas I have gained from the guys I love but just expressed them differently.   

Even if you don’t make it through this article – get this one point and you’ll be better off in life.

The overlying principal from the best instructors is always this:

Do everything you can to never be in a fight in the first place.

By the time you’re exchanging punches or knife slashes or bullets it’s already got to the extreme and you are in a world of hurt.

Not always, but often, there are a million things you can do to keep it from getting to the “fight for your life” stage. Despite making their money by teaching fighting skills, here’s how you come out alive – the main point expressed is you prep yourself to not let it get to that point.

Many of these experts (or the good ones at least) will tell you the best things that you can do to avoid emergency or survive in a situations actually have to do with things well outside of typical survival scenario.    

For instance:  Are you in shape enough to run away? Are you healthy enough to not die from a heart attack when your adrenaline spikes? Can you lift something, drag something or get somebody else to safety if you needed to? Can you look up from your phone for a minute when you are walking out a back alley at 2 am after 5 drinks?

This was a topic of conversation with my doctors and staff in my clinic this morning because I found it quite interesting and very much along the lines of what I try to push on Drchadpeters.

So with no further ado -today’s column will be called Are You Healthy Enough to Survive?

This is serious business and should be ingrained as scary and intense, but that’s not really the style of this website so plan on some over the top scenarios, where things like the Vegas shooting and carjacking will be substituted for Space Aliens and Volcanoes. I still try keep it humorous and light as that’s just my style but these are real issues that measure a baseline of health and should be eye opening. You need to put yourself into real situations from time to time, as your brain see’s this as role playing and practice.  You never want a scenario to be “the first time” -even if the other times were visualization only. Prep your body, prep your brain to minimize “the freeze!” when the real deal deep stuff goes down.

Now look, I’m all for learning how to survive and run guns and tactical training. Its fun, its intense and its something new – I find it exhilarating, engaging and I seriously enjoy it – it makes me manly  – but any instructor worth their salt stresses the MO (main objective) of any mission (my life) is to make it home to my wife and kids. To survive and live. – so listen up –

You are a million times more likely to die from a heart attack then from a terrorist attack!

In fact, there are more Bicycling deaths and significantly more auto accident deaths than mass shootings.

as in…You are going to be in crazy traffic way more often than in cross hairs!

If you die from a heart condition and leave the kids and spouse at home – you failed the mission buddy.  Run the odd’s – play the odd’s. This isn’t Vegas and you can win.

Prepping for the least likely scenario is smart.

Failing to prep for the more likely scenarios is careless.

The guys I go-to to learn to fight continue ALWAYS stress the importance of “the most likely.” The biggest impact on your survival.

1) be in shape  (this will kill you first – more people die of heart attacks than bullets)

2) learn how to drive a car better. Practice real world defensive driving and anticipating issues (more people die of auto accidents than knife wounds)

3) avoid crappy situations and pay attention  (more people get mugged because they have their hands full of groceries and have a PTA meeting in 10 minutes and have 3 kids at home that need to do homework and need to get dinner on the table and are walking out to a dark parking lot where a white van has pulled up along their car and they are staring into their Iphone and not seeing any of this, than are looking around and seeing the situation.

4) 5) 6) 7)  – i can go on and on – finally around number…

17) fight back – God forbid you ever have to – but it just got real and your switch went to go at “g…” a mindset you have to be ready for and practice.

This article covers #1 only – be healthy enough to get away and LIVE!

To Live you should be able to:

  1. Run around the block – a city block – as in X marks the spot.  Get off the damn X! You need to be able to get yourself away from danger- any active shooter scenario shows this over and over again – this is real and many out there in the “survival game” just don’t have it.  They can run their $3000 guns like John Wick on acid but couldn’t run away from the neighbors shitzu if attacked when taking out the garbage.

I think it is overestimated for a lot of people as we all kind of have a mental image of ourselves in our peak shape –  If you want a true test of overestimation, my favorite self test is to run 1 lap at the track – 1 lap! Time yourself – and guys, that’s only a ¼ mile – probably not even far enough to avoid the bombing planes or tanks rolling in.    I’m in pretty good shape – and I’m slower on the ¼ mile than I was in high school. Significantly slower – it’s just not something we practice.

So be able to run a ways or plan on being captured and traded as slaves to the intergalactic warlords or Siberian mining camps

2. Lift ½ your body weight

This should really be lift all of your own body weight – actual poundage or kilos.  In a number of emergencies you may have to move something out of the way, move cover and concealment over you if you need to hide or throw a desk over – any number of reasons you should be strong enough. Just 3 seconds ago I had a patient say to me, “as long as I don’t lift my own suitcases on this vacation I’ll be fine.” hmmmm. I don’t think you really will.

3. Quickly get in the backseat and out the other side.    

Move dammit! Everywhere emergency situations don’t happen in spaces the size of airport terminal hallways.  Chucky, the 80’s horror movie doll is coming at you with a knife and you need to escape, NOW! – get your body moving in new positions

4. Sprint 60 feet

60 feet is pathetic, I don’t think it will save you but it’s a bare bones minimum because that’s across the street of a typical downtown. It doesn’t even come close to you avoiding a falling jet but the amount of danger you can avoid by simply crossing the street is amazing and if you can do it super fast you are probably 95% safer.   The street thug isn’t wasting his effort cutting across traffic to follow you

5. Crawl

that’s right, it’s down there next to the ground. Your kids love it down there, lots of interesting stuff.  You should join them…often.

How on earth you just got onto the set of the new Star Wars movie is unknown to me- but buddy, there are blue and red laser beams flying everywhere at chest level and the smoke from the fire of the crashed spaceships is starting to fill the studio.  Get low and get moving!

6. Jump a 4 to 6 foot fence

Every fence is 6 feet minimum – but I’ll give you 4 for starters only because my staff thought that was unfair.   Every movie that takes place in the big apple has a scene where a guy is trapped in an alley with a fence being chased by dogs, thugs, ghosts – whatever… Getting your butt over a fence is real life, age extending emergency necessity. You have got to have this in your arsenal

7. Pickup hoops/soccer 20 min.

I’ve got back into this after a long time off.  The rapid change of direction was something I just haven’t practiced and in any scenario I can dream up would most likely save your life.  I preach sports science to my athletes often, “a tenth of a second equals 2 feet on a court or field.” 2 feet. If it take you ½ a second to turn around and change direction that’s 10 feet!    It makes an incredible impact in sports and a life saving impact in an emergency. If you can react you most likely can act.

8. Get away – walk or jog one mile/2 kilometers.  

Obvious, and this is prep, not the actual emergency. If this just left you exhausted you’re in trouble. The Zombie Horde never tires and they are on your trail. The first mile just gave you breathing room and time to think. Honestly, survival end of the world type deal you should be able to pack 10-20 miles a day if necessary.  

In one of my classes, an instructor told a story about a partner of his in the earthquake in Haiti.  Total chaos and hell on earth. It took him nearly 7 hours to get back to the hotel just 1 mile away!  No water, office shoes. He had no choice though. What if you just physically couldn’t do it? There is no ambulance, Nat’l Guard or police coming to help you G. You’re on your own!

9. Do A Pull up 

Again, 1 is pretty low – not even standard physical fitness here. There are only a million scenarios I can think of where you would have to pull your own body weight up. Getting back into a raft after falling out is just an easy first. I’ve been there and seen an adrenaline racked, scared out of her wits, mom of kids not physically able to pull herself into the safety of a raft.  It’s scary! What happens when you have to scale the outside of a Vegas Hotel.

10. Swim across the pool

Swimming is an HUGE equalizer for even some of the most fit. Did Anybody else tune into the Cross fit championships a few years ago when the 50 most jacked, most fit people on planet earth got thrown into a swim?  2 of them quit on the spot from shear panic. And these are the most fit. Believe it or not your caveman and native ancestors didn’t have bridges. They got across the damn river or became a Sabre Tooth Tiger’s snack box. You can do this

11. Skip 2 meals

Or 2 days worth of meals. You’re not going to die. Heck if you read some of my other articles you’ll see that depending on how you eat daily, you may not even be hungry.   You may have to hide out in a barn or in a cave somewhere for a day or so at sometime. You’ll be OK.

12. Be, NOT the slowest of all your friends and those around you.

You know what they say about being chased by a hungry bear in Alaska right?  You don’t have to be the fastest, just make damn sure you’re not the slowest.

Last ditch Quick tip from my special forces amigos – “IF you find that you are actually in a run for your life AND your life actually does depend on speed  AND you are indeed the slowest – kick your buddy in the kneecap and keep running.

OK well there we go. 12 objectives that I feel are pretty much a bare bones minimum to being healthy to survive. It was probably my favorite article to write and discuss and heck, maybe I’ll pursue a book about this – its fun to think about but more importantly it should be eye opening and real. It’s important by God! It’s important for you and your family and should be both a goal and a severe wake up call for some.

Tier it out:

I can do 1-3

Just lay down and give up. You’re no help.

I can do 4-6

You are probably in the way and are making it harder for the pro’s to do their job.

I can do 7-10

If you are absolutely diligent about spacial awareness and always on alert for danger and anticipate scenarios and act on your gut instinct and spidey sense – if all that works out just perfectly AND you kind of get to direct your own script here – well then I’d say there’s a 50/50 chance you survive.  But…the idea was to avoid a fight – you are going to have to fight..I hope you’ve trained. If you haven’t, send me an email, I’ll get you in touch with some of the best!

I can do 11-12

You nailed it!

Great – that’s a minimum –  Keep living buddy! See you in TEOTWASKI aftermath!


ep #16 on SportsDocDC wherever you podcast!

Another classic in the “how do I hack my eating” – the term Macros is getting a lot of play in the diet world again so I wanted a record of it on my site.

Perhaps you have heard of Macros and are interested or perhaps you’re confused or maybe you’re just looking to get more information of what’s out there so you can make better decisions.

Well…It’s not new. It’s basically been around since the very first dieting or changes in diet – like 100 years or so.

So why now? Didn’t macros just die like a decade ago with all the new stuff: the keto’s, the intermittent fastings and the reactive foods stuff?  

The short answer is they never went anywhere. Macros are science. It’s the definition of your food.

“Macros” stands for macro nutrients.

Macro nutrients are Carbs, Fats and Protein. Sometimes water will be grouped up in there. That’s it.

See you already know this stuff.

Micro nutrients are vitamins and co enzymes and BCAAS and many of the extras in supplements etc. They are not a part of this. This is macros baby.

Macros work differently depending on the ratio you organize them in your daily diet.  No matter what diet you do you are jacking with macros. You like keto? That’s a high fat, low carb diet Holmes. Keto is macros. They all are.

Are you fat? Well I’m guessing your macro ratio is pretty high fat and high carbs.  That’s the combo that creates that.

Want to get jacked?  PROTEIN (monster voice) More PROTEIN.

It’s this easy- Change your ratio, change your body or performance or brain chemistry or life.

“Macros” as the term, is all about nailing your ratios of how much of each category leads you to your results.

So you track them. You measure and calculate and plan and dial in your exact levels to get the results you want. Maybe you need more carbs because you work out like a beast and have been really low because you’re following a keto plan. Maybe your protein is way lower than it should be and you can’t put on the muscle you are working so hard for.

Maybe all your carbs come from sugar and your turning into a type 2 diabetic.

So what is it and why does it seem so difficult. Because it’s not hard. It’s not – there’s an ap, My Fitness Plan, for one – that makes it so simple it even becomes fun.  A little fun. OK, not fun but doable.

Track it, plan it and change it. Get what you want. Science. Energy. Science energy. Proteins, carbohydrates fats, more energy than your body has room for  Run faster, lift more, impress your friends!

Does it work?

Yes, it works.  That being said – damn near EVERY diet plan and program work. The problem isn’t finding a plan that works. The problem is time.   

Jeff Olsen from the greatest book of all time “the Slight Edge” explains it best…time is the missing ingredient.  Everything in life is based about the decisions you make each and every day and compounded over time-

weeks, months and years – doing anything, over time, gives you incredible results.

So yes, it works over time.  

Eating better foods over time makes you lose fat.     

Eating more food combined with increased activity, especially muscles, gets you jacked and tan.

Eating precisely to maximize performance works to increase your productivity and ability.

It’s a good plan.

Every bodybuilder on the planet becomes an absolute expert on manipulating and controlling macros – they have to, because that’s the ONLY way to become shredded!

Oh wow, Chad, so you love this style of eating? You love “macros?”

Not so fast….

Here’s my take. Love me or hate me for it, please start a debate in the comments section, I could use the traffic.   

Me?  I don’t like Macros  And I’ll say it in the exact voice and hand gesture as Sam I Am up there in the picture. I DO NOT LIKE Macros. I would not eat them with a fox, I will not eat them in a box.

My problem?

It’s just so…so Bro.

Recall I’m a cross fitter. I love the whole cornucopia of workouts and experiments and plans that accompanies cross fit.  I like the fast forward evolution. I love the silliness of it all too. The silly socks and crazy patterned shorts and yelling out a scream like I’m at a college football game just to be funny. Most gyms frown on that type of behavior and my gym giggles like the rest of us.

Cross fit has a very distinct “lifestyle.” Much like other high school style “cliques” such as Goth, rockers, and Jocks you can sense a cross fitter from a mile away.   

My point is, cross fitters stole and 100% adopted “macros” from bodybuilders as an eating plan of choice about 5 years ago and well…collectively they got RIPPED. A no brainier..the eating plan of bodybuilders made cross fitters look more like bodybuilders. Yep, science. It works.

But I wanted to puke every time I heard my fellow cross fitter buddies talking about their macros and how the hit their mark and were on point today.  And when I had an off workout or a slight headache immediately asked me, “Where you at?” as in “where are you currently sitting on your macro ratios today?”

I HATED it. OK not hated but just got sick of it.

Macros is an eye rolling, meh, birthday gift of socks type of excitement for me. It’s boring.

But…it works.

But it’s vanilla. It takes a conscientious effort and you have to pay attention.  

IT SHOULD BE MY DREAM LIFESTYLE OF EATING… I constantly harp on this page about paying better attention to yourself, to make yourself better.  Awareness, track it, pay attention, experiment… And Personally, I do. In almost every category in life…Except food.

MY Problem with Macros…I just want someone to do it all for me. Just get it all together and I’ll eat whatever when you tell me to. It just seems so cyborg and disconnected. For me personally, It’s just such a disconnect from food. I want my food to be more than just the components of nutrition. I want more than the macros.

So…as I’ll preach with workouts, lifestyle, clothing, music, life…food included.

Heck, what this entire website is built to personify:

Whatever you’re looking into – It has to work for YOU or it just doesn’t work.

This style of eating takes work and takes a conscious effort, something we, as Americans, typically lack the patience for. It might be YOUR absolute BEST plan and it is well worth the time and effort to play with.

I have played with it. I have the AP and have tracked my calories of each macro and see results.

It should be my dream system, it’s just not. but…Now you know what it’s all about, so you can make an educated decision and hey man, if it fits for you, I’ll be seeing you and those rock chiseled abs at a beach sometime soon!