From podcast: https://bengreenfieldlife.com/podcast/larry-north/
[00:00:40] Podcast Sponsors
[00:04:43] Guest Intro
[00:05:57] How Larry started his talk radio career
[00:13:03] Fitness trends that have come and gone in the 35 years Larry has been in the industry
[00:17:28] Remarkable and memorable stories from Larry’s show
[00:25:06] Larry’s struggles growing up and how he found God
[00:29:13] Larry and his wife Brenda’s relationship
[00:31:19] How did you get involved with investing while at the same time you were doing the talk radio show
[00:35:04] Hormone therapy and replacement
[00:37:42] Podcast Sponsors
[00:41:53] cont. Hormone therapy and replacement
[00:44:27] How do hormone pellets work?
[00:47:03] What Larry has learned in 35 years about weight loss trends and why people don’t lose weight
[00:50:36] How Larry and Brenda eat
[00:56:57] Larry and Brenda’s exercise
[01:01:54] More About Larry North
[01:10:44] End of Podcast
Ben: My name is Ben Greenfield. And, on this episode of the Ben Greenfield Life podcast.
Larry: I believe that you could eat correctly, you could exercise ideal routine, get all the sleep you want, but if your hormones are low or extremely low, you’re swimming upstream.
Ben: Faith, family, fitness, health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and a whole lot more. Welcome to the show.
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Hey, folks, you are about to hear a podcast. One of my world-famous walking podcast with a new friend of mine named Larry North. I met Larry at a private event in Dallas, Texas where I was speaking for an investment firm down there. Larry, it turns out, is an OG in fitness. The dude has 35 years on talk radio and is a big expert in health, fitness, nutrition, weight loss. He has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for these big weight loss programs that he’s run. He now is an investment advisor to a firm called Satori for many of their health and wellness initiatives. Both he and his wife, Brenda, who does some fantastic things like guided meditations and is very impressive in her own right, are just a fantastic couple. I’m blessed to know them. And, Larry and I wound up going on a walk and talking about everything from hormone optimization, to entrepreneurship, to Larry’s background in fitness, and how he’s seen fitness change in America over the past several decades and plenty more. So, you’re going to dig this one. Here we go.
Larry, I got to admit when I’m doing a podcast with a dude who’s got 35 years of talk radio experience, I get a little bit nervous because talk radio is that’s before podcasting, right?
Larry: Yeah, that was before podcasting. But, let me tell you this. When I first got the show, I was so excited. I get a call from the program director. I’d already been a guest on another guy’s show. That was sort of my interview, so to speak.
Ben: You mean when you got your talk radio?
Larry: Yeah. So, I got this show. I’m in my 20s, I just sort of manifested it. I didn’t even know what a program director was. I show up to this popular talk station, I ask, “Who’s in charge?” And, I end up going in. They say, “Okay, Dan Bennett,” this guy agrees to meet me. I tell him my idea because what are you going to do, exercise people over the radio is being sarcastic.
Ben: Correct, like the Richard Simmons talk radio.
Larry: I said, “No, I’m getting encouraged. I’m getting inspired. I’m going to give them tips, hints. I’m going to have great guests.” And so, he goes, “That was my idea.” I look at him like, “What is he talking about?” He goes, “I called Dr. Ken Cooper,” who’s pretty famous in these parts, “he turned me down.” So, he goes, “Okay, write your stuff down.” I end up being a guest on this guy’s show. So, listen to this.
Ben: You mean Ken Cooper like the aerobic guy?
Larry: Yeah, the aerobic guy. So, he turned it down. He didn’t want to have any interest in it. So, I’m a guest on the David Gold show, and then two weeks later, you had voice recorders back then, this guy Dan Bennett, he goes, “Larry, this is Dan Bennett from KLIF. I’ve got some good news and not-so-good news. The good news is you now have your own radio show called The Weekend Workout with Larry North.” I said, “Oh, my god,” and I’m literally shaking. I’m so freaking excited. He goes, “But, it starts at 7:00 a.m. on Sundays, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.” So, that’s the worst time slot in the history of talk radio.
Ben: See, I didn’t know that because podcasts, you just push them out and then there’s certain days that are optimal to release a podcast. People listen to when they want to listen to it.
Larry: So, here’s what happened, though, within three months. I was what you would call primetime weekend. It became The Real Weekend Workout with Larry North, 10:00 to 12:00 Saturday and Sundays and the rest is history. And, I found a great love for talk radio because you’re taking questions. These are real questions. Real people.
Ben: And, that was the format people would call in?
Larry: Yeah, they call in and I did my magic.
Ben: What kind of questions do people call in with? Is this like, “What should I eat?” Or, “What kind of workout should I do today?” That type of stuff.
Larry: Yeah. You know what’s interesting, there was always this surreal caller. Guy calls in, you could tell he’s nervous, I’m trying to, “Hey, Gary, everything’s fine, just be yourself. Just ask your question.” He goes, “Well, I’ve been listening for a while. It took a lot of courage for me to pick up the phone.” “Well, how can I help you?” “Well, Larry, I’m ashamed to say that I’m 450 pounds. I’m 200 pounds overweight. I lost my job. I lost my family. And, I just don’t even know where to start. I need guidance.” And, sometimes we get that call. And also, sometimes you get a call saying, “Hey, I’ve gotten lean, but I just can’t seem to lose that last 5 or 10 pounds.” Or, “Hey, I eat out all the time. What can I order when I eat out?” So, it’s just the caller dictated the topic.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. And, your experience at that point, like when you go and you pitch a show like this, what were you doing in the fitness world at that point? Were you like a trainer or —
Larry: Yeah. That’s a good question.
Ben: — like just a fitness enthusiast?
Larry: Well, no. Actually, at a very early age, I knew that I was unmanageable personality, so I knew that I had to work for myself.
Ben: An unmanageable person.
Larry: You can’t manage me. The only rules I follow are the ones I make, that kind of thing.
Ben: That’s code speak for an entrepreneur.
Larry: Yeah, absolutely. So, at age 21, I just decided to create it sort of like “Field of Dreams.” I just got a business card, a brochure, and I became a personal trainer. And, if I’m not one of the first trainers in North Texas, I’m in the conversation.
Ben: Now, 35 years ago, do you have to get a certification to be a trainer, you just have to be a gym junkie?
Larry: No, gym junkie. There were there were no certifications. Where were you going to go to get it? I guess you could get a four-year degree. But, even we know a lot of those four-year degrees in exercise science don’t always apply to real-world training scenarios.
Ben: Yeah, that was my experience. I learned a lot about science. But, when it came to actually motivating people, when it came to dealing with people’s daily schedules and their kids, when it came to like, “Oh, here’s the ideal diet” and then, “Oh, you’re eating out at the restaurant four days a week, and then you’re having breakfast during your 45-minute commute to work,” like there’s so many curveballs you don’t learn in exercise science degrees.
Larry: No. And so, here’s what’s interesting too. So, my mom was really a pioneer, an early stage founder of Overeaters Anonymous. So, my mom —
Ben: I didn’t even know it was a thing.
Larry: Yeah, my mom struggled with her weight tremendously. In fact, she was the youngest of five. She’s very healthy now. She’s going to be 89 next month. But, they called her Fat Bevy. It was really bad. And, I saw what it did to her just emotionally, just growing up as a child. So, the one thing I do really well, I believe, is I have what I would call strong sensitivity training.
Larry: For people that really struggle with weight, like really struggle, it’s painful and they need more nurturing. In our industry what I found up at that time is that a lot of trainers had what I would call “A holier than thou mentality.”
Larry: And so, I would say I was real approachable.
Ben: You mean they were judgmental? And, I’m fit, why aren’t you?
Larry: Yeah. I figured out how come you haven’t, you’re lazy. Quit being lazy. Shut your pie hole. That was what a lot of people had gotten that kind of energy where I’m saying, “Hey, think about this, that technology you were using, it just wasn’t the right technology. You were never going to lose the weight, but you had the spirit to try it. So, if you’re doing something good for yourself, at least that’s a start.” And, that’s where I would take it from there.
Ben: Yeah. And, you did this for 35 years every week?
Larry: 35 years, every weekend.
Ben: Jeez. And so, you’ve no doubt seen a lot of trends come and go in the fitness industry. Like yesterday, the reason that you and I are together here in Dallas today is yesterday we had an event, a private event, and it was me and a couple other guys lecturing and we were doing infrared light, and hyperbaric, and pulsed electromagnetic fueled therapy and the Vasper machine, and vibration platforms, and BFR training, all this crazy stuff that I’m sure really wasn’t that available or that popular 35 years ago.
Is this just how fitness has gone for the past 35 years, like all these technologies come and go with people looking for a shortcut? Or, what’s your experience? I know it’s a big question, but I just love to hear from somebody who’s been in this for that long.
Larry: Well, thank you. One the core issue that most people struggle with is still the same. You’re trying to gather all the information they can to be able to lose weight and more importantly keep it off. So, that’s still the same. General population, it’s just that we have better science now, we have better knowledge. What has changed dramatically honestly or people like yourself, just the level of intellectual people that have chosen to break into this field has changed the whole field completely. So, it’s like you just have so many higher sources to go. And, back then, think about it, it was talk radio only, was there no podcast, there was no Internet, there was no YouTube, there was nothing. Books, which was great, but that was about it.
Ben: Yeah. And, I might be totally wrong here, but sometimes if you put me in a room, like a blank room with let’s say a kettlebell and an exercise bike, there’s no other choice. I just know what to do, I’ll do some swings, I’ll do tabatas, I’ll do some push-ups, et cetera. Now, in the information overload era or walking into a gym like Gold’s or whatever where there’s 800 different pieces of fitness equipment, it’s almost like there’s a paralysis by analysis. There’s so many choices. There’s so many experts. There’s so many voices. There’s so many options. There’s so many diets from keto to vegan, the carnivore. I mean, it seems like the complexity is almost in some ways potentially doing people a disservice or confusing people when all they need is the simplicity of just moving their body.
Larry: You know what I say sometimes, I’m so confused that you’re so confused. Meaning the end user, there is a lot but at the same time, you could take that to your advantage is first thing, what’s the goal? What does one want to actually accomplish? When I think of Ben Greenfield, I think of being able to no matter where you’re at to being able to go to a higher level. I know people that listen to your podcast and others like you that they become pretty knowledgeable. They just study it enough that they become pretty knowledgeable that if there’s a trickle-down effect to people they live with, people they work with, I think having access to more knowledge is only a good thing at the end of the day. I don’t think that there’s that much confusion because at the end of the day, it’s not so much what works, it’s what works best, but also what is the person wanting to accomplish. And, I still believe that most people still want to be able to lose fat and lose weight as a starting point. And, it’s real interesting, we talked about talk radio. In the early days, they used to call it dancing on air if nobody called into your show.
Ben: Dancing on air.
Larry: Yeah, because no one’s calling in. I’m almost begging for callers.
Larry: So, I would say, “Hey, everyone, this is Larry North. It’s the weekend workout. Give me a call, 214-787-1570. Today, I’m going to help you get healthier.” You hear that? You hear nothing.
Ben: What do you do?
Larry: Nobody calls. Then, next break I say, “Hey, everybody, we’re going to jam the phone lines because I’m going to teach you how to lose a pants or a dress size in less than one week. I’m going to teach you how to look good in that bikini this summer.” Now, all of a sudden, the phones light up.
Larry: So, here’s what’s changed. People do want to look good, but 35 years later, they do want to be healthier.
Larry: That’s the biggest difference. It was all about vanity. Now, it’s a combination, people —
Ben: Which we now know aesthetics is not synonymous with health.
Larry: Correct. And so, I think people want to be healthier. So, if they could just learn — like yesterday I walked away with at least three or four good nuggets that I really wasn’t totally aware of or didn’t have an understanding when you spoke, and that’s all you need. Just get started with a few nuggets and makes a big difference.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Obviously, when you’re doing something like talk radio, I would imagine, especially in the spaces of dead air or silence, you got to tell stories as well. And, one thing I’ve noticed about you is you seem to do a good job telling stories. Are there any that were stories that you felt were particularly remarkable or memorable that you found yourself using on your show?
Larry: Well, I believe everybody has a story. And, there’s nothing like a story that happens to be the truth. And so, I have so many when I did go into the radio show, I always had a full outline of material that I could cover if someone didn’t actually call in. But yeah, I mean, really there’s so many —
Ben: What was the Coach Wheeler one you were telling me about?
Larry: Okay, so this is a good place to start. So, I moved to Dallas. I’ve been in grade school in the ’60s in Las Vegas, Junior High part of high school in New York. Ended up coming to Texas at age 15, but not under the best of circumstances. My father was a real degenerate, abusive, compulsive gambler. Grew up in Brooklyn, 7th-grade education. My mom’s nothing but a sweet, pure love space human being. But, seeing her abuse the way it was and this lifestyle that we were living, couldn’t do it anymore. Dad in and out of jail, in and out of prison. So, we made a move, big move, and we had the courage to finally do it and break away from his chains. Guess where we went? Las Vegas, Nevada, because my dad was banned from Vegas at that time. This is the late ’70s.
Larry: So, we get there. My mom says no, not raising my kids in their children’s temple. “Mom, where are we going to go?” We just drove across the country in a beat-up old car. She says “Houston, Texas.” “Houston? We’re from New York. Texas, we don’t know anybody.” She says, “That’s the point. We’re going to start a brand-new life, Larry. And, that’s where we’re headed.” Well, if you are an I-75 to Houston from Dallas, that’s how you get there.
Larry: Our car imploded. And, we got stuck at a motel and we never left.
Ben: And, that’s how you wound up in Dallas?
Ben: And, you’re still here.
Larry: I’m still here. So, I had to go to high school. And, it was rough for me at first, just carrying the burden of what’s going on in our personal life. And, there was a redneck guy, I mean he’s Coach Wheeler, is mean, as the day is long, and —
Ben: He was the coach of the high school?
Larry: Head football coach at the high school. And, you understand they have a lot of power in Texas, a 5A coach.
Ben: Yeah. Well, football is the thing in Texas.
Larry: The thing. And, for whatever reason, he just had a bullseye on me. This guy was brutal to me. I mean, he really was, to the point where my mom even complained to the school board and he would have been absolutely outed if he did the stuff today that he did to me back then. But, there it is, I couldn’t wait to get out of high school, can’t wait to get out away from him. Fast forward 10, 12 years, I’m doing my radio show live from Minyard supermarket.
Larry: And, I used to love live remotes because you got to really see people like yesterday. And so, I’ve got a pretty good crowd. They pumped my radio show into the speakers of the supermarket. And, I’m like, “Hey everyone, this is Larry North Weekend Workout. We’re at Minyard,” blah, blah, blah. Who do you think I see out of the corner of my eye?
Ben: Coach Wheeler.
Larry: Coach Wheeler. He looked the same, a little different, a little thinner, but I recognized him immediately. And, my palms immediately got clammy. My leg started shaking. I had to go in the break.
Ben: You had that subconscious stress response, even though you didn’t need to be afraid of him anymore.
Larry: No, it was a fight or flight. And, I went into a commercial break. And, I’ll be honest with you, I was a lot bigger. I wanted revenge.
Larry: And, I thought I could whoop his ass now. But then, that’s stupid, that’s not me. But, I thought of it. But then, I hoped he would just disappear. Maybe just came in from milk and cookies. I come back and on radio live remote, there’s no delay, there’s no dump button. Who do you think is holding that microphone?
Ben: Oh, my gosh.
Larry: “Larry North, remember me?” I said, “Yeah, you’re Coach Wheeler.” “Made your life a little miserable, didn’t I?” “You want to know the truth? You did.” You could hear a pin drop.
Ben: This is all live in the grocery store.
Larry: This is live in the grocery. You can hear a pin drop in that grocery store. And, he said, “Well, do you know why I’m here today, Larry North?” I said, “No. No, Mr. Wheeler, I do not.” “Let me tell you. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with cancer. I had all that chemotherapy, that radiation. Not too long ago, my doctor said Larry, there’s nothing” that was Coach Wheeler, “there’s nothing more we could do for you. But, here’s a show that you ought to listen to. He wrote your showdown with your name. And, I’m not telling you, did I miss it? Because I never missed it? But, when I missed it, I taped it and I listened to it all week. And, I’m not here asking for your forgiveness, Larry North, I’m here today and I’m begging for your forgiveness. I’m so sorry.”
Ben: Oh, wow.
Larry: “You didn’t deserve it. You’re a good person. You’re a good man. And, I don’t know why I did it, but I’m sorry. Please forgive me.” And, all of a sudden, he puts the mic down and he walks off. Now, I have the mic, “Coach Wheeler, please come back here.” Keeps walking. “Coach Wheeler!” I talk louder and I have a loud voice. And, he gets to the doors that open, instead of going out of him, he comes back. I said, “Coach, you didn’t even let me respond. Yeah, you were pretty miserable to me. And yes, I didn’t deserve it, but I’ll tell you right now,” and I carried him, I know I carried this Coach Wheeler ghost in my back. I said, “I forgive you. I do forgive you. My heart forgives you. But, I’m going to tell you one thing. I don’t know if you came here seeking my forgiveness. My advice is look in the mirror. Look in the mirror and forgive that person you see. Forgive yourself, Coach Wheeler.” He did say one word. He left. Never heard from him again, but I heard that he passed away six months, probably from the time of that show.
Larry: And, that’s powerful. But then, I get in the car, my mom happened to be there that day, and my mom gets in the car with me. We’re just sort of numb. You’re numb when your nemesis has come and basically on a knee begging for forgiveness.
Larry: And, I said, “Mom, you’re a little bit like that coach.” She goes, “How could you say such a mean thing? I’m nothing like him.” I said, “In a way, yes,” I said, “Mom, you have blamed yourself for all of my father’s misdeeds. You’ve punished yourself for all these on again, start again, stop again diets that you’ve been on. It’s time, mom. We’ve reached that level of let’s forgive.” And, I can tell you this. That was such a big day in my life that I remember it so vividly. But, what I got out of that Coach Wheeler with all the so-called abuse that he gave me, the gift of forgiveness far surpassed anything that he ever did to me badly.
Ben: Yeah. That’s crazy. I mean, especially that random encounter in the grocery store.
And then, I mean, like the advice that you gave him, it was profound. And, I know that you’re now a man of faith. At that point, were you connected to God anywhere or when did God entered the picture for you?
Larry: Well, that’s a good question. And, God entered the picture when I was old enough to understand and say the word. But, I wasn’t real happy at the time. So, I knew I believed in God because I was talking to him all the time saying, “Why? How could you do this to my family? How could you create this abuse for my mom? How come my dad’s in jail? How come we got evicted from an apartment? How come” —
Ben: Right, the classic why does God let evil happen question.
Larry: Yes, exactly. And, I’m a young man. I’m a boy. I don’t know the difference. So, yeah, we had a lot of conversations, but they weren’t positive. But then, like I told you, I end up in Dallas. No one knew where we were, but I had to let our neighbors know we’re safe. I call my mom all day long, Jewish Family Services. She goes to Salvation Army. She goes to First People’s Baptist Church. We needed help. We needed money. She needed gas in the car. She needed food. And, I call and I find out through a friend that a neighbor from mine down the street in New York moved to Texas. I said, “Get me the number.” Goes and gets the number. Later I called. A few hours later, I call the number. Guy answers, “Hello.” I said, “Joey.” He goes, “How’d you get this number? Who is this?” I said, “It’s Larry.” He goes, “Larry? Larry North from West Hempstead?” I said yes. I said, “Joey, this is a 214 number. Did you move to Dallas?” He goes no. When some town called Richardson. Well, that’s where the hotel was that our car broke down in Richardson.
Ben: Oh, my gosh. Yeah.
Larry: It’s a suburb of Dallas. His mother picks up the phone. Very Italian, Maria. She goes, “How’d you get this number?” I told her. She said, “Larry North from the neighborhood?” I said, “Yes, ma’am.” “You’re coming to our house for a home-cooked meal.” Now, we had been eating such junk and she’s an Italian cook. I couldn’t wait. I told my mom. I said, “Mom, she comes back.” I said, “Mom, don’t be mad at me, but I had to let someone know where we are. And, you’re not going to believe this, the [Murrow] family from New York is living in Dallas. They’ve invited us over for dinner.” So, she gathers us up. We go into the house.
My mom, “Mom, are you okay?” She looks like she’s going to pass out. She looked just white, bleach, bleach white. She looks at the sofa. She points to this woman. She goes, “What are you doing here?” The woman looks back at my mom goes, “What are you doing here?” She goes, “We know this family from New York.” The woman on the Suffolk goes, “My brother is his partner in the swimming pool business.” My mom held my hand, she said, “Larry, that’s the woman that’s been helping me all day.”
Ben: Oh, my god.
Larry: Sitting in the living room with the Murrow’s. She said, “Son, there is a God and God wants us here.” And, that was such a profound moment because everything started making sense to me. And, ever since then, it makes sense to me because the hardships that have been put in front of me, that helped shape my life today, were all purposeful. I wouldn’t be who I am.
Ben: That’s what coincidence manifest is providence.
Larry: 100%, but that was it. For my mom to have said that and clinched my hand as tightly as she could. And so, that was really a very profound day in my life. And, yeah, so that’s one of my many God moments.
Ben: Yeah. Does faith still play a pretty large role in your life now?
Larry: It has to because I feel I would be empty without that. Believe in something, believe in whatever it is you choose to believe in but believe in something that there’s some sort of a higher source. And so, yes, more than ever, I think as you get older, you get grandbabies and you look at your life from the distance you realize there are no coincidence at all.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
And, you’re your wife, Brenda. She seems a pretty magical person. I met her yesterday. She was at this event doing guided meditations all day in this little private room. And, I never actually got a chance to do one of the meditations with her. Being my brief interaction with her, she just seemed like a super, super cool person. Tell me about Brenda and how you guys came to meet and be together.
Larry: Well, we had a mutual friend named Yvonne. This is about 18 years ago. For a year Yvonne said, “You’ve got to meet Brenda. I just think you guys are going to just hit it off.” She was telling Brenda the same thing, but we sort of never got together. Until a year later, and I remember everything she was wearing that day that I laid eyes on her. Everything I could describe. If there was a little thread hanging off her shirt, I could point to it.
Ben: That’s funny because I remember when my wife and I were best friends for two years, but the day I actually became physically attracted to her and fell in love with her, I remember exactly what she was wearing when I took her and some of her friends out to a play, it was hot little red skirt and a white top and her hair all back in a ponytail. I remember that exact moment.
Ben: So you remember what Brenda was wearing?
Larry: Oh, I remember it. Looked in her eyes and I said, “Oh, my god, I can’t believe I’m feeling this. I just looked at this woman one time and I’m feeling something unique and special I’ve never felt in my life.” In fact, I even said to myself lately, I thought I’d go my whole life without finding that person. But, I found her, and I’m a good salesman too, so I had to chase her around Dallas for a little while. But, she would say I was pretty persistent, which is one of my characteristics.
Larry: And, we now have a beautiful family. And, we’re there to help each other too.
Ben: How many kids?
Larry: Two step-kids for me and two kids for her adult Lauren, who actually is a huge fan of Ben Greenfield, listens to your podcast all the time. And, I’m so proud. How many 31-year-old female that study biohacking and which is pretty cool. And then, Landon, my son, is 30.
Ben: Shoutout to Lauren.
So, speaking of persistence and being a good salesman, you’re working with the Satori Capital firm, one of our Ben Greenfield Life corporate, wellness clients, which is how I originally met you, had an event several months ago that I did down here at the offices. But, how did you get involved with investing? Was that the same time you’re doing the talk radio show or how’d that happen?
Larry: No, see, Ben, I’ve been in this business 42 years. I worked at my first gym at Doug’s gym downtown. I was 16. I took a bus from Richardson to downtown, which was a hassle back then. So, I’ve been in the business so long, basically felt like I was born in the gym, but I knew that when I turned 60, I was going to hand over the reins to the rest of the amazing experts in the field. It was time for me to go. And, that’s what I did. So, in May of this year, I fully retired from that world. And, luckily —
Ben: From the gym world.
Larry: Yeah. And then, just organically went from fitness to finance. So, I’ve had a wonderful career in fitness. And, so far, I’m having a really nice career in finance as well.
Ben: So, what’s it look like for you just finding deals for Satori?
Larry: Yeah. To go back, so one of the cofounders who you’re very close with, I’ve known him since his 20s. I don’t know if you knew that. And, when I first met him, he said, “Larry, you’re the reason for my first entrepreneurial business.” I said, “How so?” “Because I used to listen to your show on the weekends.”
Ben: Oh, wow.
Larry: I talked my parents into allowing me to convert the garage into a gym, and I started training people in the neighborhood. So, we had an instant connection. And then, Randy, the cofounder asked for Brenda and I to jump-start their optimal living program almost eight years ago in February.
Larry: And then, he asked us if we could come to each office once a month. Well, I’m a good listener. I observe, I watch, I pay attention. Started making some introductions. Some of those introductions were hugely impactful that Randy one day sits down with me and says —
Ben: You mean introductions to other companies in the fitness sector?
Larry: No, introductories to people who I thought would benefit from their platform.
Larry: And, long story short, I ended up having to become a license FINRA rep basically. So, I’m fully licensed broker. I had to take these three not-so-easy FINRA exams, but I passed them, so I was thrilled about that.
Ben: What’s FINRA stand for?
Larry: FINRA, well, it’s where the SEC governs everything.
Larry: So, you have to have —
Ben: It’s basically be a registered broker.
Larry: Yeah, yeah. And, it’s pretty thorough. I mean, you have to go through quite a bit, but then I source companies to buy. And, I’ve sourced some amazing companies too, and its relationships. My relationship portfolio is so valuable to me and so meaningful that if I connect the right dots with the right people, it’s the easiest thing I’ve ever done in my life.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. Are you allowed to, because I know Satori does a lot of like better for you type of brands and then I’m just curious if you’re able to name any of the deals or any of the companies that you think are super cool that you guys are working with right now?
Larry: I think all of them. The one that I brought was, you’ll love this, a vitamin supplement manufacturer, so FormuLife.
Ben: Oh, FormuLife. Okay.
Larry: Yes. So, FormuLife was one of the companies I brought to Satori which has been just a wonderful outcome. And, you have to understand my values align with these guys, they’re all about that conscious capitalism. And, just really at the end of the day, just doing the right thing, which is very uncommon in the finance world.
Larry: I always say they’ll throw their babies to alligators if it means making more money.
Now, I know that fitness enthusiasts, 61 years old, you’re remarkably well put together.
Larry: Thank you.
Ben: And, I know you’ve looked into hormone optimization quite a bit. I think both you and Brenda have messed around with some of that stuff. Tell me about what you know about hormone optimization and how you keep yourself put together in the way that you do. I’ll put a photo of you along with the shownotes, which will be a BenGreenfieldLife.com/LarryNorth. If anyone wants to go visit the shownotes, it’s BenGreenfieldLife.com/LarryNorth. But, I mean, you cut an impressive figure. Your wife as well looks young and put together. So, what do you guys do from a hormone optimization standpoint?
Larry: Well, thank you for saying that, number one. And, I appreciate that, especially coming from you. I was a flatliner. So, what that means is in my early 30s, I flatlined. I had no testosterone in my body with no explanation. I wasn’t an abuser of steroids. I took them, but that wasn’t the reason.
Ben: So, it’s some like pituitary-based or genetic?
Larry: Yeah. And so, how I found out is I used to go to Houston every two months to have my measurements done. And, I worked with the nutritionist that I loved in Houston. And, I’m going backwards and he’s saying, “Let’s stop eating this.” I said, “I’m so strict.” He says, “You need to go to endocrinologist.” I did. And, she had quite a sense of —
Ben: You were how old you said?
Ben: 31. That’s pretty young.
Larry: Yeah. So, she had a good sense of humor, though. She said, “Your testosterone is 100.” I didn’t know anything about testosterone numbers. I said, “That’s an A, right?” She goes, “No.”
Ben: Not 100%.
Larry: She goes, “In fact, you’re low enough that if you hurry, you can make the third-grade women’s volleyball team.”
Larry: I had no testosterone. And, that was 100, so after using testosterone therapy, of course, I flatlined. But, I worked with a company called Biote Medical.
Larry: Yeah, Biote Medical.
Larry: They didn’t invent the pellets, but they are pioneers with the pellets. And, I believe that you could eat correctly, you could exercise ideal routine, get all the sleep you want, but if your hormones are low or extremely low, you’re swimming upstream.
Larry: I mean, I almost could walk into any gym and look at people and almost know if they’re hormonally low. And, it’s such a huge game-changer. And, often people will ask me, “Well, what are the long-term studies and side effects if you’re on testosterone?” I said, “There’s a few side effects, but I could give you a big list of awful side effects if you’re low in hormones.”
Ben: So, back in 2016, I was backstage speaking at a conference. I had this exhausting 24-hour schedule ahead of me, and one of my friends came up to me and held his hand, and offered me this so-called smart drug like that movie “Limitless.” It was like this nootropic blend of a whole bunch of different ingredients. I’m not that smart, so I swallowed them all. I probably should have asked more questions, but fortunately, things turned out pretty well. As a matter of fact, over the next 24 hours, I felt I had taken Modafinil or something like that, but with none of the edgy, jittery side effects and I slept just fine. So, task crushing, mind sharpening. It just fueled my brain. It felt like for the next 48 hours, again, even though it wasn’t up all night. It wasn’t like a central nervous system stimulant. It turns out they brought this stuff to market about a year later and it’s called Qualia Mind, Qualia Mind. It’s 28 different high purity, vegan, non-GMO ingredients that provide you with some of the best mental performance fuel on the planet: clarity, focus, willpower, mood. Very, very good stuff. It’s like brain food.
So, you get 50% off of this stuff right now, and if you use my code, an extra 15% on top of that. So, you go to neurohacker.com/Ben, N-E-U-R-O-hacker.com/Ben, and use code BGF, it’ll get you an extra 15% off, so you can start experiencing what the best brain fuel on Earth can do for you.
Well, today, I want to talk about organ meats. Most of you know I’m a huge advocate of eating what I call nature’s multivitamin on a daily basis. Yes, organ meats. You don’t have to put raw liver in your smoothie like I do though, or heart, or kidney, or spleen to access the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet. Because organ meats, especially those from grass-fed, grass-finished cows, you can actually take in a capsule. Problem is a lot of capsules aren’t sourced well or they’re simply too difficult to get your hands on when it comes to grass-fed, grass-finished sources.
Now, one of my friends you might know, his name is Paul Saladino, also known as Carnivore MD on Instagram. He’s been on my podcast many times. He founded a company called Heart & Soil. These are grass-fed, grass-finished, were generally farmed beef organs in supplement form. You can take them on the go, sprinkle them on food. I’ll break open the capsule sometimes. I chew the capsules. It’s like nature’s multivitamin but on steroids, without actual steroids, don’t worry.
So, you’re going to get 10% off of these fine, fine organ meat-based supplements. Go to heartandsoil.co, heartandsoil.co and use code BEN10. That’s BEN 1-0 for 10% off, heartandsoil.co and use code BEN10 for 10% off of anything from Heart & Soil.
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So, a lot of the deleterious effects of testosterone therapy typically come when the values are getting high. I mean, 1,200 plus, and that’s when you start to see PSA rise and risk for cardiovascular disease arise. But then, when you wash out those numbers in many cases you see better brain function, better bone density, obviously staving off sarcopenia. Yeah, better drive, better sleep.
Larry: It’s a beautiful long list of good things that happen. And so, here’s what’s interesting though. If Biote was started by OBGYN, he knew that his female patients were aging out on him going through menopause. So, he really created the company more for women because women rarely check their testosterone levels.
Larry: And, my belief is you don’t want just one partner to be hormonally optimal, you want to be a hormonally optimal couple. And, as you talked about going over 1,200, I think most doctors that are knowledgeable about hormone replacement, I think the new norm is 800 to maybe 1,100. I find that I feel better a little under 1,000. And, Brenda —
Ben: And, we should mention it’s highly variable. I’ve seen people do just fine at 400, right?
Larry: Right, right. And, it’s a personal decision, but for me, it worked out really well. Plus, as you know, that’s just one hormone. There’s lots of other ones.
Ben: Yeah. I mean, a lot of the high-functioning couples who I talked to, who I’ve worked with, the guy is typically on testosterone, not so much DHEA because that’ll over aromatize. And, in many cases, they are not over-aromatized but convert into DHT and cause male pattern baldness and increased aggressiveness and ball shrinkage and stuff like that. Typically, guys don’t do so much DHEA, but a lot of times the guys are on testosterone and a healthy higher fat, good calorie-dense, or nutrient-dense diet. But then, the women a lot of times, like women aren’t aware of this like how good they can feel but they’re on typically testosterone, progesterone, and DHEA at a minimum. And, there are women who are just feel amazing. Yeah, sometimes estrogen depending on the progesterone, estrogen ratios.
My wife, for example, she tests, we use the DUTCH test for hormones, which is a dried urine test, her testosterone levels are fine but she has somewhat low progesterone and low DHEA. She’s 41. And so, she supplements with transdermal progesterone and then oral DHEA, but she doesn’t need testosterone. She was on it. She’d probably have levels that were too high or I don’t know, get some hair on her face or whatever. So, it is truly dependent.
But, one thing you mentioned was the pellets. Tell people who aren’t familiar with pellets how those work.
Larry: So, basically, you have creams and gels, which I’m not a huge fan of because what is the skin, the skin is designed to protect. So, putting something on your skin and could rub off on your clothes, your dog, your kids. And also, it’s hard to really stay consistent with the cream or gel, but it is an option. Then, there’s injectables, which a lot of people do prefer, and pellets. It’s sort of a set it and forget it for anywhere from 46 —
Ben: And, they’re literally embedded under your skin.
Larry: Yeah, they look like little rice pellets. They aren’t time released, but it works as if they are time released. So, you could get them your testosterone pellets. If your testosterone, let’s say you’re a male and it’s 250, they know how many pellets to get you to 900.
Larry: And, you don’t have to do anything, you have to think about it.
Ben: So, a lot of times with the testosterone injections, you get this big bolus once or two times a week big surge in testosterone that in my opinion, no way matches like the natural diurnal morning and evening surge in testosterone that naturally occurs, for example, in a man. And so, you get this big surge and you get a little bit of over aromatization to estrogen, you get aggressiveness, you get that up/down, almost like a hyperglycemic/hypoglycemic type of response. And, I’ve advised most people either do the pellet or else with the cream, I think that if you use cream and use a very small amount, like a microdose, and you apply it scrotal morning and evening, again the upkeep is little more difficult and be careful not to get on people or babies or clothes or things like that. But, the pellets are pretty good option.
Larry: What you described with the injections is it has a short life. So, you’ve got your shot on Monday really by probably peak on Wednesday. It’s already coming back down by Thursday, Friday. So, when people say, “Yeah, go get shots,” I get a shot one CC every three weeks. I’m like, “Huh,” because now he’s on a rollercoaster. So, one of the things is that you do want to maintain consistency within your hormone levels. But, I’ll say this, and I could be wrong, I think most men that are over 45 if they don’t know their testosterone number, I’m going to guess that it’s low or low normal.
Larry: So, get a blood test. That’s the first —
Ben: Alright, in my opinion, salivary or urine test is even better because that’ll give you a 24-hour value.
Larry: Yeah, absolutely. And, it’s a game changer for some people.
Larry: Complete game changer and it saves marriages, in fact.
Ben: It’s a good point, yeah.
In addition to testosterone being something that can impede or accelerate weight loss depending what your levels are, I mean you mentioned that in these 35 years of talk radio, a lot of people were interested in losing weight, burning fat, accelerating metabolism, et cetera. Did you discover that there were patterns or trends that you would see that would either be the reasons people wouldn’t lose weight or the things that you felt move the dial the most for folks, whether emotionally or intellectually or physically or anything else?
Larry: Well, we know that nutrition has got to be at the top of the list. And, as you alluded to earlier, there’s so many different ways. A lot of things work to lose weight. I imagine sticking your finger down your throat might work to lose weight, but obviously, we would recommend that. And, we also know that you could follow sort of a traditional bodybuilding diet, five, six meals a day, low fat, high protein.
Ben: Break in lean chicken rice and hate yourself for 20 years.
Larry: Yeah. And, if you want to eat like that and have your life disrupted and think about food every two hours, that would work to get you lean. But, there’s better ways and there’s more efficient ways. But, at the end of the day, if someone’s goal is to lose weight and they say they’re not, let’s narrow it down. We’ve already talked about most of it. Exercise. We can go right there. So, if they’re not exercising, that’ll accelerate some weight loss. What type of exercising? Change the type could accelerate weight loss, fat loss, nutrition. We know that calories do matter. We know that protein matters. We know that quality of food matters. So, we can just start pinpointing where they might be failing. Hormones. You could do all that good nutrition and exercise, and that’s good. Nothing wrong with that. But, if you’ve hit the brick wall, get the hormones checked also too. We know that a lot of people are on medications. A lot of medications have just awful side effects from bloating to increased appetite.
Ben: Yeah, micronutrient depletion, which is a huge one.
Larry: Absolutely. So, find out. I’m not saying to get off the meds that your doctor’s having you use it. Maybe there’s alternatives, or maybe if you get healthier, you may not need them. And, I would say there’s another component, the fifth is the mind; learn behavior, attitude. So many people still to this day because you’re surrounded by all these sort of information seekers, but if you cast a little beyond them, it’s still USA, people that are somewhat clueless, but they think that something that’s good for them tastes bad, and something that tastes good must be bad for them.
Larry: And/or just the whole, they push back right away. “I don’t want to change my eating habits.” Or, maybe they grew up in the South and they’re used to eating certain types of cuisines. So, mentally —
Ben: Or, they’re self-conscious around their friends and their family turning down certain foods.
Larry: Absolutely. Or, just like my mom, she’d go on a diet and my dad would say, “Ah, you’re on another diet. That won’t work.” So, there’s a lot of emotional baggage that comes with a lot of people that have struggled with weight control too. So, if they change their mind, they move their body, they make better for you food choices, they stay hormonally optimal. And, assuming they’re not on any medications, it’s impossible for them not to get results.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
How do you and Brenda eat?
Larry: That’s a great question. I’m going to be honest with you. I fought it for a long time. I’m an old-school guy, Ben. So, what worked for me was no longer starting to work. And, I was starting to resent having to cook food, have food, special order food. It’s just got tiresome after a while. And, the guy that I go to get my blood work, which I do every three months, he kept pushing me. “Go lower carb. I’m telling you.” He could look at my blood work, my triglycerides were never like Brenda’s. Hers are always 50 or 60 and mine could never break 100. And, I finally did it. I switched to three meals when I’m wanting to get lean. No snacking.
Ben: So, you got out of that six meals a day to keep your metabolism elevated type of mentality.
Larry: And, I learned so much. One, three meals and it’s quality protein, good fats, and good fibrous vegetables and very little carb for me. Brenda can take in a little bit more carbs with her body type. And, I thought, “There’s no way this is going to work. I’m not getting enough protein.”
Larry: I can eat out without even having to drive the server crazy and upset the kitchen. And, it just over time, I’m like, “Oh, my god, I’m going on my in body and I’m getting rapid results.”
Ben: Right. Primarily by cutting meal frequency down to three times per day and then cutting carbs.
Larry: Cutting carbs and not snacking.
Larry: Now, that’s –
Ben: Which is huge. I tell a lot of people cut down to three meals a day and then you actually look at their diet and they grab a handful of almonds, walking through the office, or finish their kid’s meal after they’ve finished their meal.
Larry: They don’t count calories.
Ben: And, by the end of the day, you got 600 extra calories, yeah.
Larry: They don’t count the calories they eat when they’re standing up.
Ben: Right, exactly.
Larry: Looking into the refrigerator.
Ben: Yeah. My mom said if you eat standing up, it’s all calorie-free.
Larry: Yeah. So now, I’m like, okay. And then, there’s other things. When you’re 31 years old or 35 or even 40, are you that concerned about inflammation? Well, get to 60, you start to get concerned about inflammation. And so, all these —
Ben: Right, right, completely blunts fat oxidation.
Larry: Yeah, all these good things started happening as I got out of my stubborn mindset. So, my advice to people is be open-minded, be open to trying new things. And, I think that’s where food science and gurus like yourself have really changed the food narrative.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. For you, when you say low carb, do you keep track of actual grams? Because for some people, that’s 20 grams, like the keto people are 20 to 40 grams, others low carb, it’s like 100, 250. Or, do you just average?
Larry: I’m average. I’d say on a get lean cycle right now where I’m wanting to get leaner, probably 50 to 80.
Ben: Yeah. I’m pretty physically active. I typically am close to 100 to 200 grams of carbs a day. Most of them in the evening with dinner. So, I’m in fat-burning mode all day long. I’ll typically have some low glycemic index blueberries with my smoothie in the morning, during the summer, in the spring, and in the warmer months where there’s exposure to the sun because the sun can actually increase your insulin sensitivity. So, my glycemic variability is fine just with berries and not just go into fat-burning mode all day long, protein, and vegetables like you described in good fatty acids.
And then, I’ll do anywhere from 100 to 200 carbs with dinner, 200 grams of carbs with dinner like sweet potatoes, red wine, chuck a dark chocolate or whatever. And, I think the two keys that I have and obviously, I’ve still got the high metabolism, I’m 21 years younger than you are, but between that and then every single day, I do 20 to 45 minutes of exercise fasted when I get up in the morning. And, I always finish with two to five minutes of cold. And, I’m convinced that cold is that variable that pushes people over to the edge because that’s what I discussed in my talk yesterday. It’s like that’s that hormetic stress, that discomfort scenario from a thermoregulatory standpoint and a blood glucose control standpoint. I’ve seen nothing come close to just getting into shiver mode when you’re fasted, preferably with some kind of caffeine or something in your system which accelerates it even more.
But consistently every day, I never have to worry about my lean body mass or my fat percentage if I’m doing those two things consistently. Cutting carbs and saving them for the end of the day and then the aerobic facet exercise with the cold in the morning. And, it just works like gangbusters.
Larry: And, you do it wherever you are, even if you’re traveling, you travel a lot. I’ll tell you something interesting. So, going back to no access to technology, do you know when they used to tell you to eat your carbs?
Ben: Probably all with breakfast, oatmeal and cereal.
Larry: In the morning.
Larry: So, there’s an example of they were wrong. It’s better to eat them in the evening.
Ben: I don’t know that they were wrong as much as that the argument was, well, you’re more insulin sensitive in the morning, do that cortisol awakening response, which is true. But, by not giving your body carbohydrates, you’re not giving your body a lot of carbohydrates at least because your fat oxidation doesn’t need a little bit of glucose in order to occur. But basically, by limiting carbohydrates in the morning, you’re forcing your body to burn an alternative fuel, typically fats or ketones or some proteins, the rest of the day. And then, people like, “Why would you eat carbs in the evening when you’re less insulin sensitive in the evening?”
And, the reason is because it’s very easy to induce the state of insulin sensitivity by doing an evening exercise session, by having a shot of apple cider vinegar before you have dinner or some kind of blood glucose disposal agent by doing a cold shower in the later afternoon or the early evening. So, it’s kind of like you can have your cake and eat it too, but the key is to realize that even though you’re more insulin sensitive in the morning, that doesn’t mean it’s the best time of day to eat carbs. Probably the only exception being if you’re like an athlete who’s exercising all day long, like you got to keep the glycogen coming in. But, if we’re talking about fat loss —
Larry: You bring up a great point just there. Let’s take the diet of people that play professional football, that receiver has to be single-digit body fat. The running back needs to have more body fat. The lineman have to have that extra body weight. So, all three diets are going to be different because they’re very specific. And so, how do we get specific with the average person that’s listening just to lose weight? You just pretty much nailed it.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
And, obviously, the physical activity component is a part of this yesterday like I started my talk talking about walking and how most people, very first thing they need to do is just get 10,000 steps a day. And, I don’t care how it’s done. In the evening after dinner, taking your phone calls or walking, some people ask me, why do you do your podcast when you guys are walking? And, I said, “Well, because I practice what I preach.” Why would we sit down in chairs to walk? And, I know you got a little bit of a bum hip going on right now, Larry, but you’re graciously out on a stroll in the sunshine. Anyways, we’re getting vitamin D and the fresh air. And so, I talked a lot about that minimum goal of 10,000 steps a day, but I’m curious for you or for Brenda, do you guys have other things that over the years you’ve just found a freaking work when it comes to exercise?
Larry: Yeah, weight. I always say the fountain of youth is that water fountain in the weight room usually. So, weights. And, there’s so many different ways —
Ben: Happy actual water fountain, though, folks. That’s drinking the pharmaceuticals.
Larry: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, she is a yoga fanatic, certified —
Ben: Yoga. Like hot yoga or just yoga?
Larry: She likes every kind of yoga. She’s certified in kundalini yoga. So, when you were talking about breath, I looked at Brenda because she does an hour of breathwork every day. And so, that’s her form of release and exercise. But, I always say this, no matter how fast you can run, you cannot run a donut. It’s going to catch you. You ain’t going to outrun that donut. And, I used to say maybe —
Ben: Well, you actually can from a body fat stand because when I was an Ironman triathlete, I used to pull it for cinnamon rolls and cookies all the time. But, even though I was lean, I was hyper-inflamed.
Ben: And, the gut was horrific.
Larry: Yeah. And, you were an elite athlete too. But, most runners will someday say the same thing, “I used to be a runner.”
Ben: Yeah, I say that.
Larry: It’s just heavy duty on your body, man.
Ben: It is. And, I tell people now I’ve run to the mailbox. Like I was saying I run to play a little bit of pickleball and tennis and everything else. I just walk. And, I feel so much better considering running to be a sprinting activity or occasionally if I just got to hook it to a meeting, I walk a lot when I travel, and sometimes I’m late for a meeting, so I’ll run. It’s pretty rare though that I just go for a run because it’s great if you want to go do a triathlon or marathon or something, but I mean, it’s not going to make you healthy and it’s not the best way to lose weight.
Larry: Do you realize when you said that yesterday in your presentation? That was the most beautiful orchestra to my ears because Ben Greenfield, the super intense athlete is saying, “Hey, walk, move your body.” That’s all I’ve been ever saying is you walk. And, I’m a walker. I’ve been a walker my whole life. And, I’m like, “Alright, I’m spot on, I’m doing the walk.” And, if people would just do that, it’s such a great way to just biohack in a sense.
Ben: You’re pretty muscular. What kind of weightlifting do you do at your age?
Larry: I do old school.
Ben: Like bodybuilding style? Just tell me about it.
Larry: Yeah. So, I lift weights probably five, six times a week. I set my clock for 60 minutes because no matter where I am in the workout, I will not be in that gym more than 60 minutes.
Ben: Yeah, that’s funny. I go to the gym, I set the clock for 60 minutes, and that might not include like jumping in the pool afterwards or whatever. I tell myself if I got to be doing this longer than 60 minutes, I’m probably doing something wrong.
Larry: If I can’t get it done in 60, and usually I get it done in 45, but I do like to split the body parts up. And, I’m an intuitive trainer, I just sort of train based on what I feel. The gym is my meditation. That’s where I’ve been since I’m a teenager. And, I love that place.
Ben: Yeah, yeah.
Larry: Simple routine, but I still do excellent form, good technique. I’m isolating my muscles when I workout. I’ve been doing this so long that it’s just second nature to be able to get the most out of my workouts.
Ben: Yeah. A lot of older people who I talked to say that as they get older, they really struggle with sleep. Have you found that to be the case with you, with Brenda? What do you guys do about that?
Larry: She can sleep, boy. I’m that guy —
Ben: Sounds like my wife, she sleeps like a log.
Larry: Yeah. I mean, sleeps an issue. If I remember correctly at the Biote clinic, the number one prescribed medication are sleeping aids and it’s a problem. I’ve had a bit of a problem over the years sleeping and a lot of it like now have a bad hip that needs replaced, so it’s hard to get comfortable. But, Brenda is a great sleeper. And, sleep is a big deal to us, but it’s funny. We go to bed pretty early like 8:30, 8:39, 9:30, 10:00. We’re in the bed —
Ben: My wife and I go to bed 9:30. So, yeah.
Ben: Yeah. Have you tried the Kion Sleep? Not to toot my own horn.
Larry: I need to do. I haven’t.
Ben: I got to get you a bottle. That stuff works like gangbusters.
You were also telling me about this idea of, I think what you described as a lack of story. I wasn’t sure you meant by that, but get into that because it’s obvious it’s something you want to share.
Larry: Let me give you the Reader’s Digest version. I was 27 years old. My brother was 17. He lived with me. I had power of attorney. He’s a twin. My other brother went with my mother who had cancer surgery. She went to California to recuperate with her sister. And, yeah, we lived in a pretty dumpy apartment and I had to take care of him. And, I’m bouncing in bars and I’m training people, and I’m just getting by. And, a very prominent, wealthy man in Dallas requested me to meet with him. He wanted me to train him.
Larry: He lived all across town, in the nicest neighborhood, maybe in the southwest called Highland Park. I said, “Henry, I can’t do this, man. It’s not worth it just to come all the way here to train you.” He says, “Have you ever thought about having your own gym?” I said, “Thought? It’s all I ever think about. People get nauseated me talking about my own gym so much.”
Larry: So, he shows —
Ben: And, by the way, that’s funny because when I was a personal trainer like a fledgling beginning personal trainer, that was top of the totem pole someday, open your own too, which I wound up opening two of them. But, yeah, it’s totally a personal trainer thing.
Larry: Yeah, it is. Well, like a server —
Ben: That’s the finish line.
Larry: The server wants a restaurant, or chef. So, they put a lease in front of me. I was smart enough to have a broker look at it. It was a great deal it looked like, and I signed it. And, I get home. My brother’s sleeping, I said, “Adam, wake up. Look at this, baby. I just signed a lease to the Highland Park Village.” And, I’m so pumped up because he literally to this day calls me big bro, he goes, “Big bro, how are you going to do that you don’t have any money?” I said, “Hey, don’t worry about that. Come down three flights of stairs. Help me with this new piece of furniture for our apartment.” It was a treadmill.
Larry: So, we lugged the treadmill up. And, I said, “Adam, I’ve got a lot to do. I’ll be back in a few hours.” So, you know what he does? He puts the treadmill where he could see himself in his bathroom mirror. I come back, he’s jogging in tighty whities and white sneakers. I said, “What are you doing?” He says, “Big Brother, if you’re going to open up a gym, I got to get in shape.” I shut the treadmill off. I said, “Sit down, we’re going to have a talk.” I said, “Adam, this is my dream. This is my dream. I know it’s not your dream. What’s your dream? Because I’m going to need your help. If you help me live my dream, I will do everything in my power to help you live your dream.” He said, “Well, I want to retire when I’m 35. I want to travel around the world and I want to live the good life.” I said, “Could you repeat that?” He repeats it like it was a real spinning in his head, and he repeats it. And, I said, “Adam, alright, that’s an ambitious goal.”
And, all of a sudden, he goes, “Well, how are you going to do this gym with no money?” I said, “Adam, from this point forward, I’m not going to let that lack of money, lack of family support, lack of believers, lack of friends, lack of schooling, lack of education stop me, prevent me from achieving everything I want. Because if I do, if I allow those roadblocks, I’m be stuck in this junkie apartment the rest of my life. And, you can’t do the same either. You’ve got to push back that. You’ve got to figure out how you can get beyond those objections.”
And so, Ben, I got that gym open and the rest is history. My brother, he didn’t retire when he was 35. He was 36. He didn’t go around the world once, he did it twice on that American Airlines Flight.
Ben: He retired when he was 36?
Ben: How did he make his money?
Larry: He was in the restaurant business. He had stock in a publicly traded company when they sold it, he said, “I’m checking out.” He lives the good life in Tulum where he has a place and he just built a place in Thailand.
Ben: Holy cow.
Larry: Living the good life.
Ben: Wow. Wow. It’s pretty impressive for a 36 years old.
Larry: He’s 52 now.
Larry: And, just a beautiful heart space human being. But, we went through a lot and we talked about earlier in this podcast, everybody goes through a lot. If they don’t give it some time, it’ll catch up with you, I promise. But, it’s all part of our personal story in our personal road map. So, yeah, it all worked out well taking a few risks.
Ben: So, what do you envision for you? I mean, now that you’re working with Satori, now that you’re a registered broker, where do you see the next 5, 10 years going for you?
Larry: That’s a great question. I’m going to do extremely well in this field, which is so — I hate to say easy because I think often at times we can make things look easy when they’re a lot harder than they really are. But, it’s such a pleasurable job for me that I could probably do anything I want. But, I don’t know what 70 has in store for me, but just really probably live that good life like my brother, just enjoy life and be my best self. I want to always be an ambassador to the field that gave me a good life. So, I just want to represent well.
Ben: Yeah. And, of all the stuff, you said you picked up a few things yesterday and all the newfangled stuff. I imagine when I’m 61 and I go to some exercise conference or something like that, I’m going to see stuff that I’m just like, “Holy cow, I didn’t know about that.” Anything yesterday you think it’s really going to stick with you as far as just things are getting incorporated?
Larry: I have a feeling 20 years from now you’ll be the one speaking on stage. But, yeah, I mean, really some of the simple things that I was not doing like getting sunlight, staying grounded by just taking my shoes off and just letting the earth fill up my toes, just things like not understanding how the various light you have could be damaging.
Ben: Right. Like LAG versus halogen versus incandescent.
Larry: And, I thought I was doing something good drinking out of a plastic water bottle because I’m drinking filtered water. But, I guess there’s just so much that you can add to your repertoire and your goal to be your best.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, what I have noticed about you and a lot of people who stay remarkably well put together as they age is they stay constantly curious. They’re always adjusting, always adding, always humble enough to make changes even when they hear from the young whipper snappers or whatever, what they should be doing rather than staying stuck in their ways. And, I mean, I see a guy like you just continues to evolve to some of these and beyond. It’s actually been pretty cool to get to know you because I find you and Brenda pretty inspiring. I was telling I got to get Branda to meet my wife now.
Larry: Well, no question and it’s mutual. I think God put us in our lives for a very specific reason. And, it’s like a black belt. A lot of people don’t know the history of black belt. Might be a great place to sort of end.
Larry: If there was only two colors basically, and it was white, it got black through experience, through dirt. It got dirty. That’s how it got black. But then, over time, your black belt wore off again and it got white. So, in essence, I’m a white belt. I’ve done all my teaching, now I want to learn now, now I want to be in the audience. I want to be a student. I want to raise my hand and say, “Ben, what about this?”
Ben: That’s what I’m going to have to title this podcast, Larry. How to be a forever white belt.
Larry: Yeah, I like that.
Ben: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’m going to put all the shownotes for people along with links to everything you sent over because you sent over some fantastic PowerPoint presentations from talks that you’ve given on things we didn’t get a chance to delve into that much; relationships, networking, inspiration, et cetera. So, I’m going to put all that at BenGreenfieldLife.com/LarryNorth. Those you listening, BenGreenfieldLife.com/LarryNorth. If you want to learn more about Larry, go to the shownotes. I’ll link to what he does. If you want to learn more about Satori and their efforts and conscious capitalism, I’ll link to them as well. And, if you want to leave questions or comments or feedback from me or for Larry, there’s always an ongoing conversation, go to BenGreenfieldLife.com/LarryNorth. Larry, thanks for coming on the show, man.
Larry: My pleasure. This has been a pure joy.
Ben: That’s right.
Larry: Thank you.
Ben: That’s right. Pure joy along with 5,000 steps and some sunshine, baby. Alright, later everybody.
More than ever these days, people like you and me need a fresh entertaining, well-informed, and often outside-the-box approach to discovering the health, and happiness, and hope that we all crave. So, I hope I’ve been able to do that for you on this episode today. And, if you liked it or if you love what I’m up to, then please leave me a review on your preferred podcast listening channel wherever that might be and just find the Ben Greenfield Life episode. Say something nice. Thanks so much. It means a lot.
I don’t normally get worried or feel like I need to overthink things when I’m about to interview a podcast guest. After all, I’ve been recording a podcast twice a week for almost 18 years now.
But I have to admit, before my podcast chat with fitness and nutrition (and now finance) master Larry North, a 35-year talk radio veteran, I was a *little* nervous.
I met my new friend Larry at a private event in Dallas, Texas, when I was there speaking to an investment firm. Recently, Larry made a fascinating organic shift from the field of fitness to the field of finance. I asked Larry if he’d participate in one of my famous “walking podcasts,” so I could learn more, and although I knew I’d be chatting with a real talk radio veteran, my nerves instantly vanished when we started talking.
For more than three decades, Larry has been a leading expert in the health, fitness, nutrition, and weight loss sector. He is the author of three best-selling books: Larry North’s Slimdown For Life: 21 Days to a Lean and Healthy You, Living Lean, and Get Fit!: The Last Fitness Book You Will Ever Need. “The Great North American Slimdown,” Larry’s globally successful weight-loss program, has reached more than $150 million in revenue. Larry has also operated cutting-edge health clubs and appeared on numerous radio and television programs.
After advising team members at the capital investment firm Satori, regarding health and wellness initiatives through the firm’s “Optimal Living” initiative, Larry found himself inspired by the principles of conscious capitalism and began to see his relationship with Satori as a continuation of his lifelong focus on impacting and enriching the lives of others.
Larry’s orientation toward others and his gift for selflessly connecting values-aligned people have resulted in the development of countless valuable personal and professional relationships throughout the Satori ecosystem.
Larry lives in Dallas with his wife, Brenda, their dog, Bliss, and their cat, Buda. Larry and Brenda are a fantastic couple, with an inspiring love story and an admirable health routine that, I have to say, has made them the hottest physical specimens of grandparents I’ve ever met.
During our discussion, you’ll discover:
-How Larry started his talk radio career…05:57
- Fitness trainer at age 21
- Dr. Ken Cooper
- His own radio show – “The Weekend Workout with Larry North”
- Turned down initially, and then got offered a position in the worst possible time slot
- Ended up with the best time slot after 3 months
- Describes himself as having an unmanageable personality
- Exercise science doesn’t always apply to real-world training scenarios
- Larry’s mom struggled with her weight and was an early-stage founder of Overeaters Anonymous
- Strong sensitivity training
- At the private event Ben and Larry attended in Dallas, they did:
-Fitness trends that have come and gone in the 35 years Larry has been in the industry…13:04
- Core issues that most people struggled with then are still the same today
- Science is now better, and we also have better knowledge
- Back then, it was all talk radio; no internet, no podcasts, no YouTube
- It’s not so much what works, it’s what works best
- Back then, people wanted to look good; 35 years later, they want to be healthier – that’s the biggest difference
- Back then, it was all about vanity, now, it’s a combination
-Remarkable and memorable stories from Larry’s show…17:27
- Back story – Larry’s experiences growing up
- Coach Wheeler from high school constantly picked on Larry to the point that his mom complained to the school
- Fast forward more than a decade, while he was recording, he saw this coach
- He was in fight-or-flight mode
- Larry approached Coach Wheeler to confront him
- Coach Wheeler ended up sharing his story – diagnosed with cancer, living on borrowed time, doctor told him to listen to this radio show, it was Larry’s show
- Coach Wheeler never missed an episode, if he did, he made sure to tape it
- They had an emotional exchange and, eventually forgiveness
- The gift of forgiveness surpassed any abuse the coach had given him
-Larry’s struggles growing up and how he found God…25:03
- God entered the picture when Larry was old enough to understand and say the word
- His mom had to seek help from religious groups Salvation Army, First People’s Baptist Church
- They’d often ask their former neighbors for help
- The hardships that have been put in front of him and helped shape his life today were all purposeful – one of many God moments
- Larry believes that without faith, he would feel empty
- Believe in something, believe in whatever you choose to believe but believe that there is a higher source
- As you get older, looking at your life from a distance, you realize that there are no coincidences at all
-Larry and his wife Brenda’s relationship…29:14
- They met through a common friend, Yvonne, 18 years ago
- Still very much in love and Larry could still remember everything she wore that day
- Larry is a great salesman and had to chase Brenda for a while
-How did you get involved with investing while at the same time you were doing the talk radio show…31:32
- Last May, Larry retired from his gym business, organically went from fitness to finance
- One of the co-founders of Satori Capital was a long-time listener of Larry’s show
- Initially, he was only introducing people to the founders
- Ended up becoming a licensed FINRA rep – a fully licensed broker
- Source companies to buy, connecting the right dots with the right people
- It’s as if it was the easiest thing Larry had done in his life
- FormuLife is one of the companies Larry brought to Satori
- Larry’s values align with Satori’s founders – conscious capitalism
-Hormone therapy and replacement…35:05
- In his early thirties, Larry had no testosterone, so he had to opt for testosterone therapy
- Biote did not invent the pellets but pioneers with the pellets
- Even if you eat correctly, exercise, do your ideal routine, sleep all you want, if your hormones are low, or extremely low, you’re swimming upstream
- There are side effects, but there are more side effects if you’re low on hormones
- A lot of the deleterious effects of testosterone therapy come when values are high, around 1,200+ where PSA starts to rise and risk for cardiovascular disease increase
- When those numbers are cleared, in many cases, there is improved brain function, better bone density, energy saving sarcopenia…
- Biote was started by an OBGYN; he founded the company more for women because women rarely check their testosterone levels
- You don’t want only one partner to be hormonally optimal; you want to be a hormonally optimal couple
- With many of the high-functioning couples, Ben has worked with, the guy is typically on testosterone, not so much DHEA because that’ll over aromatize or convert to DHT, which causes male pattern baldness, an increased aggressiveness, and ball shrinkage
- DUTCH test
– How do hormone pellets work?…44:28
- Types of hormone therapy applications
- Creams and gels, which Larry is not a fan of because the skin is designed to protect
- Injectables, preferred by a lot of people
- Pellets are embedded into the skin, “set it, forget it,” looks like rice pellets, not time released but acts like it is
- With testosterone injections once or two times a week, there is a surge in testosterone that, in Ben’s opinion, no way matches the natural kind of diurnal morning and evening surge in testosterone
- Injections have a short life – inject on Monday, peak on Wednesday; dude is on a rollercoaster
- You do want to maintain consistency within your hormone levels
- Larry thinks that most men above 45 years of age if they do not know their testosterone number, have low or below-normal levels
- Get a blood test or salivary urine test
- It’s a complete game changer, and it’s it saves marriages
- The importance of being hormonally optimal and the importance for women to understand the benefits of testosterone
-What Larry has learned in 35 years about weight loss trends and why people don’t lose weight…47:04
- Nutrition is top of the list
- There are better and more efficient ways than following a traditional bodybuilding diet – five, six meals a day, low fat, high protein
- If your goal is to lose weight:
- Exercise – changing the type of exercise can accelerate weight loss or fat loss
- Nutrition – calories, protein, and quality of food matters
- Hormones – need to be in balance
- Medications – a lot of meds have awful side effects, from bloating to increased appetite and micronutrient depletion; work to become healthier, so you do not need them
- Mind – learned behavior and attitude
-How Larry and Brenda eat…50:36
- What worked for Larry before was no longer working
- Started to resent having to cook food, have food, special order food
- Advised by the doc to go lower carb; triglycerides could never break 100
- Finally switched to three meals – quality protein, good fats, good fibrous vegetables, very little carbs
- Cutting carbs and not snacking
- Larry’s advice to people is to be open-minded and open to trying new things
- That’s where food science and gurus like Ben have changed the food narrative
- Limiting carbohydrates in the morning, you’re forcing your body to burn an alternative fuel, typically fats or ketones or some proteins the rest of the day
- Sunlight increases insulin sensitivity
-Larry and Brenda’s exercise…56:58
- The fountain of youth is that water fountain in the weight room
- Brenda is certified in Kundalini Yoga, she does an hour of breathwork
- Larry is a walker
- No matter how fast you run, you cannot outrun a donut
- Weightlifting five or six times a week
- Stay at the gym max 60 mins
- Sleep is a big deal
- Kion Sleep
- How Larry got his first gym
- 3 Ps of Success
- The story of the black belt
- Meet Larry North – article from Voyage Dallas
- Brenda, Larry’s wife – These two images are of Brenda, who is in her 50s, and a grandmother of a one- and four-year-old.
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
– Larry North:
– Other Resources:
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