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Bulletproof Exercise

Dave Asprey has based his vision of Bulletproof exercise on the scientific insights by Doug McGuff, author of Body by Science. He defines physical exercise as "a specific activity that stimulates a positive physiological adaptation that serves to enhance fitness and health. It does not undermine the latter in the process of enhancing the former."

Weight Training

Weight training, according to Dave Asprey, is the most Bulletproof way of working out because it fulfills all requirements for proper physical exercise, it increases muscle mass, it increases your sensitivity to insulin and your metabolic values for days, and it increases your testosterone and growth hormone levels.

If you’re an amateur athlete, you should exercise once every two weeks. If you want to work out more, Dave Asprey advises a maximum of three sessions of strength training a week. Strength training should take no longer than 20 minutes. Often 10 to 15 minutes will suffice.

It is essential that your workout is of extremely high intensity. Each movement should take you to the edge of your muscles' ability. You know you have reached that point when you are no longer able to do a repetition no matter how much you encourage yourself. If you are new to weight training, it is best to exercise using appropriate machines. This will prevent injuries. If you are more advanced, then you can train using loose weights.

Adjust the weight on the machine so that your muscles will give in after a minute to a minute and a half. A good guideline for determining the weight is 80% of the highest weight you can take once. The time between exercises may not exceed two minutes. Shorter is better!

According to Dave Asprey, you will benefit most from the five sets of strength training outlined below. The total duration of your exercise should be a maximum of 20 minutes if you perform 5 exercises for about a minute and a half to 2 minutes, with a maximum of 2 minutes between exercises.

1. Leg Press

Train your gluteus and leg muscles with this exercise. It is important to assume the correct position when doing the leg press. If you don't execute this exercise, correctly it can cause pain in your lower back.

  • Press your back firmly into the backrest and place your feet slightly apart on the platform. If you want greater emphasis on the gluteal muscles and hamstrings, you can place your feet a bit higher. If you want greater emphasis on the thigh muscles, place your feet slightly lower.
  • Release the safety bar. Press the platform away from your body until your legs are nearly fully extended. Note: do not fully extend your legs, this can damage your joints.
  • Slowly lower the platform until your upper, and lower legs make a 90-degree angle. Make sure your back remains firmly on the backrest.
  • Repeat this every 1-2 minutes until you are unable to continue.
  • Reapply the safety latch and remove your feet from the platform.

2. Seated Row

Train your back muscles and biceps with this exercise.

  • Sit down on the bench and place your feet on the footrests. Make sure that your knees are slightly bent as shown in the example.
  • Grab the v-bar handles and return to your position as shown in the first image.
  • Pull the weight towards you, in the direction of your abdominals. Make sure your torso does not swing back and forth so that the movement comes only from your arms and back. Keep your back straight and your shoulders slightly back.
  • Slowly lower the weight.
  • Repeat this for 1-2 minutes until you are unable to continue. Replace the v-bar carefully to its starting position.

3. Chest Press

Train your chest, shoulders, and triceps with this exercise.

  • Sit down and adjust your seat so that the handlebars are level with your chest.
  • Place your hands on the handlebars and make sure your elbows are aligned with your hands.
  • Press the weight away from your body. Make sure you do not fully extend your arms. This may harm your joints, so keep your arms slightly bent.
  • Slowly lower the weight to its starting position.

4. Lat Pull Down

Train your latissimus dorsi (also known as lats) with this exercise. Other muscles trained with this exercise are shoulders, middle back and biceps.

  • Grab the barbell (bar) with a wide grip.
  • Holding the barbell, sit down on the machine and keep your back straight.
  • Pull the barbell down until it reaches your upper chest without touching. Make sure your back does not move backward but remains in the same position as when you started.
  • Slowly raise the bar back to the starting position
  • Remain seated and repeat for 1-2 minutes until you are unable to continue.

5. Military Press

Train your shoulders and biceps with this exercise.

  • Sit down on the seat and keep your back in contact with the backrest.
  • Grab the handles and keep them at neck height, with your thumbs next to each other. Keep your arms parallel to the rest of your body. The degree to which your elbows are bent can be slightly less than 90 degrees (as shown in the photo).
  • Press the weight up until your elbows are still slightly bent. Do not stretch them fully to avoid injuries.
  • Slowly lower the weight to its starting position.
  • Repeat this for 1-2 minutes until you are unable to continue.

High-Intensity Interval Training

In addition to weight training, Dave Asprey recommends high-intensity interval training. This is a biohacking method for a strong heart and strong lungs with minimal time investment. For an amateur athlete once every two weeks will suffice. Do this no more than once a week.

This is how it is done: run as hard as you can for 30 seconds, rest for 90 seconds and repeat this for 15 minutes. You will not make the full 15 minutes the first time. No problem, you can build up to this. You can do this exercise outside, or on a cross-trainer or spinning bike. The goal is to raise your heart rate to the maximum and recover (increasingly better) during the resting time.


Amateur athlete
Are you an amateur athlete? In that case, a workout schedule with strength training one week and high-intensity interval training the next week will suffice. That amounts to an investment in physical exercise of four times a month.

Would you like to work out maximally? Then your schedule could look like this: Day 1 strength training, day 2 rest, day 3 strength training, day 4 rest, day 5 rest, day 6 high intensity, day 7 rest, day 8 rest, day 9 strength training.

The Bulletproof exercise is 1 of the pillars of the Bulletproof Lifestyle. The other two pillars are nutrition and sleep.