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    How to Learn Skills Faster

    Practitioners can improve their skills by using a metronome to extend and improve the range of central pattern generators in animal movements. By practicing elongated muscle stretches, they can also signal the cerebellum to release inhibitory pathways, improving physical performance.

    enMay 17, 2021

    About this Episode

    This episode I discuss the science and practice of learning physical skills: what it involves at a biological level, and what to focus on during skill learning at each stage to maximize learning speed and depth. I also describe what to do immediately after a training session (note: this is different than the optimal protocol for cognitive skill training) and as you progress to more advanced levels of performance. I also cover the science of skill-based visualization which does have benefits, but only if done correctly and at the correct times. I discuss auto-replay of skill learning in the brain during sleep and the value of adding in post-training ‘deliberately idle’ sessions. I cover how to immediately improve limb-range-of-motion by leveraging cerebellum function, error generation, optimal repetition numbers for learning and more. As always, scientific mechanism, peer-reviewed studies and science-based protocols are discussed.  Access the full show notes, including referenced articles, resources and more at hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1 (Athletic Greens): https://athleticgreens.com/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman Waking Up: https://www.wakingup.com/huberman Momentous: https://www.livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Introduction (00:00:31) Sponsors: AG1, LMNT & Waking Up (00:06:28) Skill Acquisition: Mental & Physical (00:08:40) Clarification About Cold, Heat & Caffeine (00:12:45) Tool: How To Quickly Eliminate the Side-Stitch ‘Cramp’ & BoostHRV Entrainment (00:16:08) Physical Skills: Open-Loop Versus Closed-Loop (00:18:50) Three Key Components To Any Skill (00:21:00) Sources of Control for Movement: 1) CPGs Govern Rhythmic Learned Behavior (00:23:30) Upper Motor Neurons for Deliberate Movement & Learning (00:25:00) Lower Motor Neurons Control Action Execution (00:25:26) What To Focus On While Learning (00:27:10) The Reality of Skill Learning & the 10,000 Hours Myth (00:28:30) Repetitions & The Super Mario Effect: Error Signals vs. Error Signals + Punishment (00:34:00) Learning To Win, Every Time (00:39:26) Errors Solve the Problem of What Focus On While Trying to Learn Skills (00:43:00) Why Increasing Baseline Levels of Dopamine Prior To Learning Is Bad (00:44:40) The Framing Effect (& Protocol Defined) (00:46:10) A Note & Warning To Coaches (00:48:30) What To Do Immediately After Your Physical Skill Learning Practice (00:53:48) Leveraging Uncertainty (00:56:59) What to Pay Attention To While Striving To Improve (01:04:45) Protocol Synthesis Part One (01:07:10) Super-Slow-Motion Learning Training: Only Useful After Some Proficiency Is Attained (01:11:06) How To Move From Intermediate To Advanced Skill Execution faster: Metronomes (01:16:44) Increasing Speed Even If It Means More Errors: Training Central Pattern Generators (01:19:12) Integrated Learning: Leveraging Your Cerebellum (“Mini-Brain”) (01:22:02) Protocol For Increasing Limb Range of Motion, Immediately (01:28:30) Visualization/Mental Rehearsal: How To Do It Correctly (01:33:50) Results From 15 Minutes Per Day, 5 Days Per Week Visualization (vs. Actual Training) (01:35:34) Imagining Something Is Very Different Than Actually Experiencing It (01:37:58) Cadence Training & Learning “Carryover” (01:39:00) Ingestible Compounds That Support Skill Learning: Motivation, Repetitions, Alpha-GPC (01:43:39) Summary & Sequencing Tools: Reps, Fails, Idle Time, Sleep, Metronome, Visualization (01:46:20) Density Training: Comparing Ultradian- & Non-Ultradian Training Sessions (01:49:24) Cost-Free Ways to Support Us, Sponsors & Alternate Channels, Closing Remarks Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Disclaimer

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Using protocols such as cooling the palms and heating up the body via exercise or sauna can aid in the formation and consolidation of different types of skills. Caffeine can either help or hinder performance, depending on adaptation.
    • Caffeine may help some, but not all athletes. Side stitch is not a cramp but can be eased with double inhale and long exhale. Learn whether athletic skills are open or closed loop for effective training.
    • It's important to understand the differences between open and closed loop learning, focus on sensory perception, movements, and proprioception, and recognize the role of central pattern generators in generating movement to effectively learn a new skill.
    • Learning a skill takes deliberate practice, attention allocation, and realistic expectations. Central pattern generators control rhythmic movements, while upper motor neurons control deliberate unlearned movements and movements in the process of learning. Allocating attention is crucial. Instant skill acquisition is a myth, and learning takes time and effort.
    • Encouraging repetition rather than punishing mistakes can greatly enhance learning. People work harder when encouraged to keep trying, contradicting beliefs that people work harder to avoid losing rather than gaining something. Creating a learning environment that fosters repetition and perseverance can accelerate skill acquisition.
    • Our brains are wired to repeat successful behaviors, but also require making mistakes to improve. Stimulating the prefrontal cortex can increase effort and chances of success, making repetition and error important for learning new skills.
    • Making mistakes can actually help us learn better. When we make an error, our brain creates new neural connections to correct it and improve performance. Continuing to try and learn from mistakes is key for skill learning and growth.
    • Designate a specific time for repetitions, increase gradually, and pay attention to errors for better learning. Take breaks after learning sessions; let the brain replay motor sequence backward to consolidate skill learning.
    • After a skill learning session, take 1 to 10 minutes to sit quietly with eyes closed and mentally rehearse the sequence. This can lead to deeper learning and more rapid progress, regardless of skill level. Avoid distractions during this idle time.
    • Introducing training sessions and redirecting attention during practice can significantly improve skill learning, regardless of whether feedback is provided. Focusing on specific aspects of motor behavior and consistent instruction also contribute to accelerated learning.
    • When learning a new skill, focus on motor execution and generating motor commands first. Allow yourself to make errors and let the reward process influence plasticity. Prioritize sleep after learning sessions. Parameterize skill learning to focus on specific aspects of movement. Mastering core motor movements is essential for successful learning.
    • Practicing movements in slow motion after achieving proficiency level can aid in skill learning by allowing for error generation, which is necessary for plasticity and the ability for the brain to make adjustments. Using a metronome can be helpful for advanced levels of proficiency.
    • Using a metronome slightly faster than your current rate can generate more errors and successes, increase movements per unit time, and promote neuroplasticity. This inexpensive tool can be used for speed work in various sports and improve performance in various skills.
    • Practitioners can improve their skills by using a metronome to extend and improve the range of central pattern generators in animal movements. By practicing elongated muscle stretches, they can also signal the cerebellum to release inhibitory pathways, improving physical performance.
    • Your visual motion and range of vision affect your limb extension, and moving your eyes from side to side can increase your range of motion by 5 to 15 degrees. However, be careful not to do any experiments that may harm you.
    • Mental rehearsal can enhance physical training and improve strength and skill acquisition. While not a total replacement for physical training, visualizing and mentally rehearsing movements can activate upper motor neurons and lead to significant improvement in performance.
    • Visualization training can increase performance by 35% or 13.5%, but actual physical training is still necessary. Proprioceptive feedback is crucial for learning and creating conditions for more repetitions is essential for skill improvement.
    • Alpha GPC can enhance physical performance and cognitive function, with recommended dosages for each benefit. Combining it with caffeine can boost fat oxidation and skill learning, but individual differences and sleep quality should be considered. Repetition and idle time can optimize skill learning.
    • To improve skills, increase repetition and incorporate external cues like a metronome. Design customized training protocols and prioritize density of training within each session. Focused short-term practice with maximal repetitions is key to accelerating skill learning.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Optimizing Athletic and Physical Performance through Specific Protocols and Mental Visualization.

    Learning motor skills can be facilitated by using specific protocols and mental visualization. These protocols can also aid in the formation and consolidation of other types of skills. Cooling the palms can improve performance during exercise, while heating up the body via exercise or sauna can aid growth hormone release. It's important to do these protocols separately and at different times. Additionally, caffeine can either help or hinder performance depending on whether or not the user is caffeine adapted. It's important to understand these different protocols in order to optimize overall athletic and physical performance.

    Tips for Improving Athletic Performance

    Consuming caffeine before training can be beneficial for those who are accustomed to it, but it may decrease performance for others. The side stitch, often felt while running or swimming, is not a cramp but rather a referred pain due to breathing patterns. Relief can be achieved through a double inhale and long exhale. When acquiring new athletic skills, it's important to understand whether they are open loop or closed loop. Open loop skills provide immediate feedback, while closed loop skills are more continuous and may require coaching or self-evaluation.

    The Importance of Open and Closed Loop Learning, Sensory Perception, Proprioception, and Central Pattern Generators in Skill Learning

    To effectively learn a skill, it's important to understand whether it's open loop or closed loop, focus on sensory perception, movements, and proprioception, and recognize the role of central pattern generators in generating movement. Closed loop learning allows for adjustments in real-time, while open loop learning involves a target and feedback. Proprioception is the sixth sense of body awareness that helps with skill learning. Central pattern generators control repetitive movements like walking and cycling, and can even function in the absence of a cerebral cortex as seen in animal experiments. Understanding these concepts can lead to more effective skill learning.

    The Science of Learning a Skill

    Learning a skill requires deliberate practice, attention allocation, and realistic expectations. Central pattern generators (CPGs) control rhythmic movements, while upper motor neurons control deliberate unlearned movements and movements in the process of learning. Lower motor neurons send signals to our muscles to cause muscle fiber firing. Allocating attention to auditory, visual, or proprioception is critical in learning a skill. Instant skill acquisition is a myth, and the 10,000 hours rule overlooks the importance of deliberate practice and attention allocation. Learning takes time, effort, and patience.

    The Super Mario Effect: Encouraging Repetition and Perseverance for Faster Skill Acquisition.

    Adjusting your focus and motivation can vastly accelerate learning. The Super Mario Effect shows that by giving feedback that encourages repetition rather than punishing mistakes, learners are more likely to persevere and succeed. People will work harder when they are encouraged to keep trying rather than being punished for mistakes. These findings contradict popular beliefs that people work harder to avoid losing something than to gain something, and highlight the importance of creating a learning environment that encourages repetition and perseverance. By applying this learning protocol, learners can willingly participate in more repetitions and ultimately learn new skills faster.

    Winning begets winning: The neuro-biological explanation for success

    The tube test experiment done on mice and rats showed that winning before leads to winning again, and the opposite is true for losers. A brain area in the prefrontal cortex controls this behavior, and stimulating this area led to more forward steps, more repetitions, and more effort, thus increasing the chances of winning. Performing as many repetitions per unit time is the neuro-biological explanation for learning a skill. Making error repetitions is also important for faster learning. Errors give a clear idea of what to focus on to improve performance.

    The Importance of Learning from Errors for Neuroplasticity and Skill Acquisition

    Learning from errors is crucial for skill acquisition and neuroplasticity. Errors cue the nervous system to error correction and open the doors to neuroplasticity, which enables the brain and the nervous system to modify itself for better performance. When errors are made, it cues the frontal cortex networks that anchor your attention and increases the release of neuromodulators such as dopamine, acetylcholine, and epinephrine, which are essential for plasticity. Engaging in high repetition rates, continuing to try after making errors, and learning from those mistakes is crucial for skill learning. Increasing dopamine levels before learning is not advised as it hinders the plasticity process, but getting it right after making errors is crucial for motor skill learning.

    Efficient Learning Through Repetition, Error Recognition, and Breaks

    To learn efficiently, designate a specific block of time to perform repetitions, slowly increasing the number of repetitions per unit time while paying attention to your errors. This is distinct from the growth mindset theory and is solely focused on the process of learning. During each training session, there needs to be a period of time where the person pays attention to their errors, allowing for the opening up of the possibility for plasticity. This error recognition signal is essential for learning and will help individuals to retain skill learning. After each learning session, take a break, and do nothing. During this time, the brain starts to replay the motor sequence backward, which is crucial for the consolidation of skill learning.

    The Importance of Mental Rehearsal in Skill Learning

    After a skill learning session, it is important to sit quietly with eyes closed for 1 to 10 minutes as it allows the brain to replay the sequence, leading to faster consolidation of the motor pattern and accelerated learning. Mental rehearsal after training is equally important as rehearsing before or instead of training. Research has shown that when the brain rehearses what it did after the learning session, it can lead to deeper learning and more rapid progress. It is important to note that this idle time for the brain shouldn't be filled with distraction or other activities, as it can hinder the consolidation process. This principle of errors, queuing attention, and opening the opportunity for plasticity is always true regardless of the skill level - from beginner to mastery. In fact, uncertainty should be welcomed by virtuosos, as it brings an opportunity to showcase their full range of abilities.

    Effective Training Techniques for Skill Learning

    Introducing training sessions can significantly improve skill learning. Subsequent sessions allow for expressing gains and performing better. Cueing attention in deliberate ways can accelerate learning further. It doesn't matter what is paid attention to during the learning sequence, as long as it relates to the motor behavior being performed. Redirecting focus on one specific thing throughout the session facilitates accelerated learning. The experiment by Claudia Clopay and colleagues showed that correct sequence instruction matters more than the sound feedback received. The motor sequence being the same is what's important. Introducing training sessions supplemented by attention redirection can hugely improve skill learning in both professional and non-professional realms.

    Effective Strategies for Learning a New Skill

    Learning a new skill involves focusing on motor execution and generating motor commands in the initial stages, not paying attention to feedback. As you progress, you can start to focus on different features of the movement. Making errors and letting the reward process govern the plasticity is key to effective learning. After learning sessions, it is important to let the brain go idle and prioritize sleep. Parameterizing skill learning allows for a focus on specific aspects of the movement. Breaking the learning process into component parts helps to tackle specific neural connections, and mastering core motor movements is essential for successful learning.

    The Benefits of Ultra Slow Movements in Skill Learning.

    Ultra slow movements can aid in skill learning once the individual has achieved a certain level of proficiency; practicing movements in slow motion at the beginning does not lead to faster learning because it does not allow for error generation. Errors are necessary for plasticity and the ability for the brain to make adjustments. Super slow movements can be introduced once the individual has reached a success rate of about 25-30%. Using a metronome can aid in generating repetitions and increasing output for advanced levels of proficiency in a given practice or sport.

    How Metronomes Can Boost Your Training Performance

    Using metronomes in training can increase movements per unit time, generate more errors and successes, and promote neuroplasticity. By setting a metronome slightly faster than your current rate, you can create outside pressure and cues that accelerate the acquisition of skills beyond what normal repetitions would achieve. Metronomes are an inexpensive tool that can be used for speed work in various sports, and for training upper and lower motor neurons and central pattern generators to operate at a higher speed. By harnessing your attention to an external force or contingency, you can increase the number of repetitions, errors and successes and improve your performance in various sports and skills.

    Understanding Central Pattern Generators and the Role of the Cerebellum in Improving Physical Performance.

    Understanding the central pattern generators in animals' movements can help practitioners improve their own skills. Use of a metronome can bring the activity of these generators into their upper range and extend that range. The cerebellum, or mini brain, is responsible for integrating information from our senses, especially our eyes, and plays a vital role in motor sequencing and skill learning. Practitioners can use their cerebellum to increase range of motion and flexibility by performing elongated muscle stretches to the point of neural inhibition, which signals the cerebellum to release inhibitory pathways. This can improve overall physical performance.

    How Your Range of Vision Affects Your Limb Extension

    Your range of visual motion and your range of vision impacts how far you can extend your limbs. By moving your eyes from side to side, you can extend your range of motion by sending a signal to your cerebellum that your field of view is bigger. This is because the proprioceptive visual and limb movement feedback converge in the cerebellum, allowing you to control your muscle spindles, muscle fibers, and tendons. Moving your eyes can increase your range of motion by 5 to 15 degrees and can help you warm up before exercise or skill learning if range of motion is a goal. However, do not do experiments like spinning in a chair with your eyes closed.

    The Power of Visualization and Mental Rehearsal in Skill Acquisition

    Visualization and mental rehearsal can supplement physical training and skill learning in powerful ways but are not a total replacement. Studies have shown increases in strength and skill acquisition ranging from 13.5% to 35% through mental rehearsal alone, but the actual physical training group had improvements of about 53%. Mental rehearsal engages upper motor neurons that generate the command for movement, making it a powerful tool in skill acquisition. Andrew Huberman suggests using visualization before or after skill learning and expanding range of motion through visual practice.

    How Visualization Training can Improve Physical Performance

    Visualization training can be used to accelerate performance of physical training, but it doesn't work as well as actual physical training. However, visualization training can lead to considerable increases in performance by 35% or 13.5%. Proprioceptive feedback is critically involved in generating our sense of experience and in learning. For skill learning, motivation is key, and creating conditions for generating more repetitions per unit time is important. There is no pill to extract more learning out of fewer repetitions, it's a question of creating the right conditions.

    Alpha GPC for Physical and Cognitive Enhancement.

    Alpha GPC is a compound that has been shown to improve physical performance and cognitive function, especially in older populations. It can enhance power output and offset cognitive decline. The recommended dosage for physical performance is 300-600 milligrams and for cognitive benefits, it is up to 1200 milligrams divided into three doses of 400 milligrams. Combining alpha GPC with caffeine can also improve fat oxidation, growth hormone release, and skill learning. However, it's important to consider individual differences and avoid compromising sleep when taking caffeine. To optimize skill learning, focus on increasing repetitions and embracing failures at the beginning of training and incorporating idle time for the brain to replay motor sequences.

    Tips for Accelerating Skill Learning

    To improve skills, it is important to focus on motor sequences and generate more repetitions per unit time. External cues like a metronome can help, and visualization training can be a good replacement under certain conditions. To optimize learning, design protocols that are optimized for you or your trainees. The ultradian cycle may not always be a good constraint for skill learning, as it depends on the type of physical practice. Density of training inside a session is more important than session length. Short but focused skill learning work is beneficial, while long periods of haphazard practice are not. Maximal density of repetitions and failures is necessary for accelerating skill learning.

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    Dr. Casey Means: Transform Your Health by Improving Metabolism, Hormone & Blood Sugar Regulation

    Dr. Casey Means: Transform Your Health by Improving Metabolism, Hormone & Blood Sugar Regulation
    In this episode, my guest is Dr. Casey Means, M.D., a physician trained at Stanford University School of Medicine, an expert on metabolic health and the author of the book, "Good Energy." We discuss how to leverage nutrition, exercise and environmental factors to enhance your metabolic health by improving mitochondrial function, hormone and blood sugar regulation.  We also explore how fasting, deliberate cold exposure and spending time in nature can impact metabolic health, how to control food cravings and how to assess your metabolic health using blood testing, continuous glucose monitors and other tools.  Metabolic dysfunction is a leading cause of chronic disease, obesity and reduced lifespan around the world. Conversely, improving your mitochondrial and metabolic health can positively affect your health span and longevity. Listeners of this episode will learn low- and zero-cost tools to improve their metabolic health, physical and mental well-being, body composition and target the root cause of various common diseases. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Maui Nui Venison: https://mauinuivenison.com/huberman  Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman  AeroPress: https://aeropress.com/huberman  InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/huberman  Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps 00:00:00 Dr. Casey Means 00:02:18 Sponsors: Maui Nui, Eight Sleep & AeroPress 00:06:32 Metabolism, Metabolic Dysfunction, Medicinal Blindspot 00:14:17 Trifecta of Bad Energy 00:24:02 Western Living, United States, Specialization & Medicine 00:27:57 Insulin Resistance, Tool: Mitochondrial Capacity & Exercise 00:33:33 Sponsor: AG1 00:35:03 Tools: Walking & Glucose; Frequent Movement 00:44:25 Tools: Exercises to Improve Mitochondrial Capacity; Desk Treadmill 00:51:18 Soleus Push-Ups & Fidgeting, Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) 00:57:14 Sponsor: InsideTracker 00:58:21 Tool: Blood Test Biomarkers, Vital Signs & Mitochondrial Function 01:11:16 Navigate Medical System & Blood Tests, Consumer Lab Testing 01:16:46 Tool: Environmental Factors; Food, Life as a Process 01:21:58 Tool: Ultra-Processed vs. Real Food, Obesity, Soil & Micronutrients 01:32:03 Ultra-Processed Foods: Brain & Cellular Confusion 01:39:10 Tools: Control Cravings, GLP-1 Production, Microbiome Support 01:51:42 Ozempic, GLP-1 Analogs; Root Cause & Medicine 02:00:54 Tool: Deliberate Cold & Heat Exposure, Brown Fat 02:07:27 Tool: Intermittent Fasting & Metabolic Flexibility; Insulin Sensitivity 02:17:03 Tool: Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) & Awareness, Glucose Spikes 02:24:34 Tool: CGMs, Glycemic Variability, Dawn Effect, Individuality 02:33:10 Sleep; Continuous Monitoring & Biomarkers 02:37:39 Mindset & Safety, Stress & Cell Danger Response 02:44:04 Tool: Being in Nature, Sunlight, Fear 02:54:44 Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: Improve Sleep to Boost Mood & Emotional Regulation

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: Improve Sleep to Boost Mood & Emotional Regulation
    This is episode 5 of our 6-part special series on sleep with Dr. Matthew Walker, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and the host of The Matt Walker Podcast. In this episode, we explain the connection between sleep and mood, emotional regulation and mental well-being.  We explain the role of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep in processing emotions and emotional memories and why sleep deprivation causes agitation, impulsivity and emotional reactivity.  We also discuss why sleep disruption is a hallmark feature of PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicidality, and other psychiatric conditions.  We explain protocols for improving REM sleep and other sleep phases in order to harness the therapeutic power of quality sleep to feel calmer and emotionally restored. This episode describes various actionable tools to improve sleep for those struggling with mental health or mood and those wanting to bolster their overall state and well-being.  The next episode in this special series explores dreams, including lucid dreaming, nightmares and dream interpretation. For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman BetterHelp: https://betterhelp.com/huberman InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/huberman  Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Sleep & Mental Health (00:01:09) Sponsors: Eight Sleep, LMNT & BetterHelp (00:05:14) Emotions & Sleep, Amygdala (00:17:27) Emotional Memory & Sleep (00:25:48) “Overnight Therapy” & REM Sleep, Noradrenaline (00:29:13) Sponsor: AG1 (00:30:27) Sleep to “Remember & Forget”, Trauma; REM Sleep (00:38:27) Hinge Analogy; Motivation, Impulsivity & Addiction (00:47:08) Tool: Improve REM Sleep, Social Jet Lag, Alcohol & THC, Addiction (00:56:18) Sponsor: InsideTracker (00:57:23) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & REM Sleep (01:06:53) Noradrenaline & REM Sleep, PTSD & Prazosin (01:09:40) Addiction, Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR); Liminal States (01:16:46) Anxiety & Sleep, Mood vs. Emotions (01:23:50) Deep Non-REM Sleep & Anxiety, Sleep Quality (01:28:51) Tool: Improve Deep Non-REM Sleep, Temperature; Alcohol (01:34:56) Suicidality & Sleep, Pattern Recognition; Nightmares (01:46:21) Depression, Anxiety & Time Context (01:51:24) Depression, Too Much Sleep?; REM Changes & Antidepressants (01:57:37) Sleep Deprivation & Depression (02:01:34) Tool: Circadian Misalignment & Mental Health, Chronotype (02:04:05) Tools: Daytime Light & Nighttime Darkness; “Junk Light” (02:13:04) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

    AMA #17: Making Time for Fitness, Top Sleep Tools & Best Learning Strategies

    AMA #17: Making Time for Fitness, Top Sleep Tools & Best Learning Strategies
    Welcome to a preview of the 17th Ask Me Anything (AMA) episode, part of Huberman Lab Premium. Huberman Lab Premium was launched for two main reasons. First, it was launched in order to raise support for the main Huberman Lab podcast — which will continue to come out every Monday at zero-cost. Second, it was launched as a means to raise funds for important scientific research. A significant portion of proceeds from the Huberman Lab Premium subscription will fund human research (not animal models) selected by Dr. Huberman, with a dollar-for-dollar match from the Tiny Foundation. Read our Annual Letter 2023. If you're an existing Premium member, you can login to access the full episode. If you're not a member, you can join Huberman Lab Premium to enjoy exclusive content, including monthly Ask Me Anything (AMA) episodes, AMA transcripts, podcast episode transcripts, early access to live events and help advance human scientific research. Resources Foundational Fitness Protocol Timestamps (00:00:00) Introduction to AMA #17 (00:00:14) Exciting Announcement (00:02:16) Diving Into the Foundational Fitness Protocol (00:09:37) Flexibility in Your Fitness Routine (00:17:12) Optimizing Workout Times & Prioritizing Health (00:23:31) Closing Thoughts & Huberman Lab Premium Benefits In the full AMA episode, we discuss: Periodization & the Philosophy of Fitness Unlocking the Secrets of Sleep: Insights & Tools Chronotypes and Personalized Sleep Strategies The QQRT Formula: Quantity, Quality, Regularity & Timing of Sleep Exploring Naps & Non-Sleep Deep Rest (NSDR) Effective Learning & Note-Taking Strategies The Power of Teaching & Self-Testing in Learning Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac Disclaimer

    Protocols to Strengthen & Pain Proof Your Back

    Protocols to Strengthen & Pain Proof Your Back
    In this episode, I explain how to strengthen and build a stable, pain-free back and how to reduce or eliminate existing back pain. I explain the anatomy and physiology of the spinal cord and vertebrae, intervertebral disks and nerve pathways, and the abdominal and back muscles that together can be leveraged to stabilize the back.  Then, I describe protocols: “McGill’s Big 3” exercises, a highly effective psoas stretch, abdominal stabilization, breathing techniques, and protocols to reinforce essential supports for the back, including the neck, pelvis, feet, and toes.  I also explain how you can reduce and potentially eliminate back pain and sciatica using a specific type of bar hang, “cobra push-ups,” medial-glute strengthening exercises, and more.  Back pain greatly impedes one’s ability to enjoy daily activities; this episode provides zero-cost, minimal time-investment protocols to improve your back strength and stability and allow you to move through life pain-free and with ease and mobility.  For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman AeroPress: https://aeropress.com/huberman Joovv: https://joovv.com/huberman Waking Up: https://wakingup.com/huberman Plunge: https://plunge.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Back Health (00:03:47) Sponsors: AeroPress, Joovv & Waking Up (00:07:57) Back Anatomy: Spine, Vertebrae, Spinal Cord (00:12:07) Spinal Cord & Nerves; Herniated Discs (00:19:50) Build Strong Pain-Free Back; Bulging Discs (00:24:26) Back Pain & Professional Evaluation; Tool: Spine Self-Assessment  (00:34:58) Sponsor: AG1 (00:36:29) Tool: McGill Big 3 Exercises, Curl-Up (00:44:40) Tool: McGill Big 3 Exercises, Side Plank (00:53:13) Tool: McGill Big 3 Exercises, Bird Dog; Back Pain (01:04:10) Sponsor: Plunge (01:05:37) Tool: Back Pain & Oreo Analogy, Bar Hang (01:10:34) Time & Back Pain; Tool: Reversing Disc Herniation, Cobra Push-Ups  (01:21:28) Sciatica, Referred Pain, Herniated Disc (01:24:21) Tool: Improve Spine Stability, Strengthen Neck (01:29:23) Tools: Strengthen Feet, Toe Spreading (01:34:35) Tools: Belly Breathing; Stagger Stance (01:42:03) Tools: Relieve Low Back Pain, Medial Glute Activation; Rolled Towel (01:50:59) Tool: Psoas Stretching (01:57:00) Tool: Back Awareness; Strengthen & Pain-Proof Back (02:05:49) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: Using Sleep to Improve Learning, Creativity & Memory

    GUEST SERIES | Dr. Matt Walker: Using Sleep to Improve Learning, Creativity & Memory
    This is episode 4 of a 6-part special series on sleep with Dr. Matthew Walker, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, and author of the best-selling book "Why We Sleep." In this episode, we discuss the relationship between sleep, learning and creativity.  We explain why and how sleep before and after a learning bout can improve memory and performance for both cognitive tasks and physical skills. We also discuss how to use time learning and sleep, how to use naps, non-sleep deep rest states, and caffeine to optimize learning, and the mechanisms for sleep and memory consolidation.  We also explain the critical role that sleep plays in creativity and one's ability to discover novel solutions to challenges and problems.  This episode is filled with actionable information on using sleep to enhance skill learning and improve memory and creativity.  The next episode in this guest series explains how sleep benefits emotional regulation and mental health.  For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Helix Sleep: https://helixsleep.com/huberman  WHOOP: https://join.whoop.com/huberman  Waking Up: https://wakingup.com/huberman  InsideTracker: https://insidetracker.com/huberman  Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Sleep & Learning (00:00:59) Sponsors: Helix Sleep, Whoop & Waking Up (00:05:48) Learning, Memory & Sleep (00:09:32) Memory & Sleep, “All-Nighters”, Hippocampus (00:13:46) Naps & Learning Capacity (00:16:59) Early School Start Times, Performance & Accidents (00:26:38) Medical Residency & Sleep Deprivation (00:29:35) Sponsor: AG1 (00:30:49) Tool: Sleep Before Learning; Cramming Effect (00:35:09) Tools: Caffeine; Timing Peak Learning; “Second Wind” (00:44:25) Memory Consolidation in Sleep (00:55:07) Sleepwalking & Talking; REM-Sleep Behavioral Disorder (01:00:16) REM Sleep Paralysis, Alcohol, Stress (01:07:41) Sponsor: InsideTracker (01:08:46) Skills, Motor Learning & Sleep (01:17:03) Tool: Timing Sleep & Learning, Skill Enhancement (01:20:00) Naps; Specificity & Memory Consolidation, Sleep Spindles (01:27:21) Sleep, Motor Learning & Athletes; Automaticity (01:34:10) Can Learning Improve Sleep? (01:39:13) Tool: Exercise to Improve Sleep; Performance, Injury & Motivation (01:44:38) Pillars of Health; Dieting & Sleep Deprivation (01:49:35) Performance & Poor Sleep, Belief Effects, “Orthosomnia” (01:57:03) “Overnight Alchemy”, Sleep & Novel Memory Linking (02:05:58) Sleep & Creativity (02:11:09) Tools: Waking & Technology; Naps; “Sleep on a Problem” (02:20:51) Creative Insight & Sleep (02:26:18) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer

    Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher: Vaping, Alcohol Use & Other Risky Youth Behaviors

    Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher: Vaping, Alcohol Use & Other Risky Youth Behaviors
    In this episode, my guest is Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, PhD, FSAHM. She is a professor of pediatrics and adolescent medicine and a developmental psychologist at Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. Halpern-Felsher is a world expert in adolescent decision-making and risk-taking behaviors. She explains the huge increase in vaping (e-cigarettes) by young people. She explains why vaping nicotine and cannabis is particularly dangerous to the developing brain. We discuss the rise in vaping addiction, the unique social pressures and social media influences faced by youth that make quitting challenging, and interventions to aid them in quitting or reducing use. We also discuss the role of technology and social media. And, the use of alcohol, nicotine pouches, fentanyl, and other risky behaviors that adolescents face now. This episode should interest parents, teachers, coaches, teens, and families. It covers the current youth substance use landscape and also covers resources and ways to quit these addictive behaviors.  For show notes, including referenced articles and additional resources, please visit hubermanlab.com. Use Ask Huberman Lab, our new AI-powered platform, for a summary, clips, and insights from this episode. Thank you to our sponsors AG1: https://drinkag1.com/huberman Eight Sleep: https://eightsleep.com/huberman  Mateina: https://drinkmateina.com/huberman  LMNT: https://drinklmnt.com/huberman  Waking Up: https://wakingup.com/huberman Momentous: https://livemomentous.com/huberman Timestamps (00:00:00) Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher (00:01:40) Sponsors: Eight Sleep, Mateina & LMNT  (00:05:38) Adolescence (00:09:19) Household Conflict, Parents; Smart Phones (00:12:35) Smart Phones & Social Media (00:18:25) Vaping, E-Cigarettes, Nicotine & Cannabis (00:23:46) Adolescent Nicotine Use: Marketing, Flavors (00:30:41) Sponsor: AG1 (00:32:13) Nicotine Initiation, Freebase vs. Salt-Based Nicotine, Concentration (00:41:35) Addiction & Withdrawal; E-Cigarette Access (00:48:48) Vaping Health Hazards, Aldehydes, Flavors (00:56:32) Sponsor: Waking Up (00:57:48) “Just Say No”, Adolescent Defiance (01:04:21) Cannabis & Potency, Blunts, E-Cigarette Combinations (01:10:30) Psychosis, THC & Adolescence (01:14:11) Quitting Nicotine & Cannabis; Physical & Social Withdrawal Symptoms (01:23:05) Social Pressures, Quitting Vaping, Environment Concerns (01:30:08) Teen Activities, Social Media, Autonomy (01:36:28) Risky Behaviors, Alcohol, Driving, Sexual Behavior (01:43:27) International E-Cigarette Use, Regulation (01:46:10) Nicotine Pouches, Health Risks; Tolerance (01:53:25) Tools: Vaping Interventions, Decision Making, Harm Reduction (02:02:37) Fentanyl, Drug Testing, Recreational Drug Use (02:13:45) Tool: Organic Conversations & Risky Behavior (02:17:20) Long-Term Goals & Teens; Vaping, Pornography & Teens (02:24:08) Mental Health Crisis & Substance Use (02:29:11) Zero-Cost Support, Spotify & Apple Reviews, Sponsors, YouTube Feedback, Momentous, Social Media, Neural Network Newsletter Disclaimer