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Training for the extreme sport of aging

Jonathon Sullivan: Greysteel Strength and Conditioning


Dr. Jonathon Sullivan has spent much of his professional life treating patients on the brink of death. Working at a Level I trauma center he became familiar with medical conditions that claim lives far too early. But emergency medicine also helped the former US marine develop a deeper understanding of the human body and the reasons people get sick as they grow older. Now, as the owner, head coach and clinical director of Greysteel Strength and Conditioning, Dr. Sullivan focusses on extending heathy life. Based in Farmington Hills, Michigan, Sully, as he is known, practices a unique form of medicine. He calls it the Barbell Prescription – weight lifting, for longevity. In this LLAMA podcast interview he explains why dumbbells, not drugs, are the best tools to fend off disease and frailty. 

Recorded: Sept 7, 2021 | Read a transcript

Connect with Jonathon Sullivan: Website: Greysteel | Facebook | You Tube |Instagram | Book: The Barbell Prescription

Listening options: Apple PodcastsAudibleStitcherTuneinSpotifyPandora PodcastsGoogle Podcasts

Also listen to Sully contributing to a recent LLAMA LIVE! episode, discussing the meaning of ‘healthspan.’

“As a medicine, barbell training is just about as safe as it gets.”

Dr. Jonathon Sullivan


Transcribed using AI. Please check against audio recording for absolute accuracy.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:00:00] I want to be as alive and vigorous and vital and helpful, and to make as much contribution to my community as I can, and then I want to just drop dead suddenly at a hundred and five.

Peter Bowes: [00:00:21] Hello again and welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast. I’m Peter Bowes. This is where we explore the science and stories behind human longevity. Now, one of the easiest and most effective things that we can do to nurture our healthy longevity is to focus on our physical strength as we grow older. Aging in itself isn’t the issue. It’s frailty and the gradual loss of muscle mass, something that creeps upon us, many of us over the passing years, all too quickly. And for all of the new technologies and interventions to slow the pace of aging, there is one, dare I say, quite old fashioned way to maintain muscle strength. You could call it the barbell prescription if that is the title of a book coauthored by my guest today, Dr. Jonathan Sullivan, who puts the case very strongly that strength training lifting weights is one of the best ways to maintain a youthful body and avoid the sick aging phenotype. We’ll explain what that is in a second. Jonathan is the owner, head coach and clinical director of Greysteel Strength and Conditioning in the US town of Farmington Hills in Michigan. Jonathan, in fact, I’m going to call you Sully because I know that’s what everyone else calls you. Welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:01:42] I’m very pleased to be here, Peter. Thank you so much for having me. Sully’s fine.

Why barbell prescription?

Peter Bowes: [00:01:46] Excellent. Good to hear that. It’s very good to talk to you. And there’s a lot to dove into: Barbell Prescription. Your use of the word prescription, I guess, is very deliberate. It’s a word that a lot of people associate with taking drugs, and that’s not what you’re talking about.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:02:00] No, not exactly. But I am talking about taking medicine, and The Barbell Prescription is a very explicit exploration of the whole idea of exercise, medicine and in particular, exercise medicine for the degenerative diseases of aging and the underlying philosophy of the entire book. And my entire practice is that if exercise is a medicine and it is, then we should prescribe it like a medicine. And that’s what the book is all about. And that’s what I’m all about.

Peter Bowes: [00:02:30] And it’s interesting that a lot of people clearly don’t associate the word medicine with exercise or with going to the gym.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:02:36] No, they tend to associate it more and more with pharmaceuticals and procedures. I’d take a rather more expansive view of medicine. Medicine is something that we do to improve our lives, to make us healthier, to improve our physical performance and to also just to improve ourselves as human beings. In its broadest application. I suppose medicine is a way of life. And if you look at more primitive societies, that’s how they viewed medicine too. So food would be medicine. Prayer would be medicine. A dance would be medicine. The way you interact with your fellows is medicine. It’s a lifestyle medicine. And as I hope we’re able to discuss later on, I think it’s a very holistic medicine. It brings everything to the table. It’s not just going to the gym and lifting weights a couple of times a week. It’s far more holistic and all inclusive than that. And that’s an that’s an issue that I that I hope we get to explore in a little bit more detail. It brings in everything.

Peter Bowes: [00:03:41] Yeah, we will explore that. Just before we do. Let’s just talk a little bit about your background. You’re a doctor, you’re a medical doctor, and you’ve spent a lot of time working in the emergency room.

Sully’s medical career

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:03:52] Not just any emergency room. I spent my career working at Detroit Receiving Hospital, which is a level one trauma center in Southeast Michigan. I began my training there in 1992 after I graduated from med school and in 1992  inner city Detroit was basically a demilitarized zone. And it was kind of urban warfare. Absolutely fantastic place to train in emergency medicine. And it was also there that I began a research career and got a PhD in physiology and started doing science on brain damage after cardiac arrest and stroke. And I related this story elsewhere. But ultimately, that’s part of what led me to the sick aging phenotype and barbell training over the long term.

Peter Bowes: [00:04:43] It must really focus the mind when you’re dealing with people who are on the brink of life and death and your struggle to to try, I guess in many cases, to bring them back from that point to continue to live their lives. It must focus the mind in terms of the bigger picture and what we do to ourselves in life that can jeopardize our health.

Developing a model of unhealthy aging

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:05:05] It really does. I was confronted on a daily basis with unhealthy aging and its consequences. And over the course of two decades, two and a half decades as a rapidly aging dude myself, I began to think very deeply about aging processes and how people got to the point that I could see before me and I began to see common features in unhealthy aging common features in the patients that I saw every day. And that coupled with the way that I was thinking about injured and dying brain in the research lab. There were correspondences there that I found fascinating and very compelling. And over the course of a couple of decades, I developed a model of unhealthy aging that I call the the sick aging phenotype, basically from having my nose rubbed in it every day. And it became increasingly personal to me, both because I was deeply affected, not just professionally but emotionally by what I saw in the emergency department this incredible suffering associated with unhealthy aging. But because I could see the beginnings of it in myself. And so it became it became very, very important to me. And that led to the sick aging phenotype and ultimately to The Barbell Prescription and this interview.

Peter Bowes: [00:06:34] Can we break down that phrase? Sick aging phenotype? What exactly do you mean by it?

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:06:40] Sick aging phenotype is my name for a conceptualization of sick aging. Its underlying processes and causes and timeline. I describe it as a meta syndrome of unhealthy aging. It’s a it’s a syndrome of syndromes, if you will. And in a nutshell, it describes how a variety of genetic and environmental and behavioral factors, coupled with the passage of time itself and the implacable progress of entropy, conspired to slowly rob us of muscle mass and exercise tolerance as we get older. Now there are things that we can do about that, but if we don’t, we find that we slip into a situation of what’s generally called the metabolic syndrome characterized by insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, hypertension, increased serum lipids increase visceral fat. And although it’s not part of the classical definition, chronic systemic inflammation, which is always a co traveler with metabolic syndrome. And this leads to further decreases in muscle mass and exercise tolerance. And so this metabolic syndrome can be driven to the early sick aging phenotype with the onset of early frailty and increasing polypharmacy, medical dependance, more loss of muscle mass sarcopenia, high blood pressure, type two diabetes and so on, which again, if not checked, will progress to an advanced sick aging phenotype with stroke and heart attack and advanced vascular disease, possibly the loss of limbs, very advanced sarcopenia, very advanced osteoporosis and pathological fractures and vertebral compression fractures and increased polypharmacy and ultimately loss of independence and dignity and hope. And that is a process of a collection of processes that over time, Peter. This is the problem. Over time, these processes become progressively more interconnected and interdependent, and they they enter a sort of positive feedback loop with each other and with themselves. And so pretty soon you’re in a situation that you’re in a hole that it’s pretty hard to dig yourself out of. And so once you get into the sick aging phenotype, it’s going to take a pretty strong medicine to get you out to to retard or abort that progress. And it even takes because of the passage of time and because of just the nature of flesh. It takes pretty strong medicine to prevent it in the first place. So that’s the sick aging phenotype, and the prescription for it is strong medicine.

Peter Bowes: [00:09:46] And your point is clearly that it is not an inevitable process. And I think a lot of people, as they grow older, actually think it is inevitable that they are going to become frail. They’re going to suffer from some of the sicknesses that you mention. Perhaps inevitably, therefore, it leads to loneliness, it leads to home confinement, and it leads to the kind of decline in some cases, the rapid decline into senility and the whole raft of problems that people experience when they are old. I think there is still a common belief that that inevitably is going to be the lifetime curve.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:10:23] It’s very prevalent, and that’s unfortunate because it’s entirely incorrect. It’s not at all inevitable. Of course, some of us are born with a better genetic endowment for general health than others, but we can all retard this sick aging phenotype and keep it at bay. And you and your guests talk very frequently on this program about the compression of morbidity. I know that. There’s a lot of talk, Peter, on this program about extension of the natural human lifespan, and I’m all in favor of that. As far as I’m aware, nothing’s been shown to do that in populations yet. So I’m very interested in compression of morbidity. And you and your guests talk about that a lot too, and that’s where I come in. I can’t guarantee that any sort of exercise or nutritional or lifestyle medicine is going to prolong the normal, healthy lifespan. But I can say that we can compress morbidity with the right lifestyle medicine, a strong lifestyle medicine that can get to the roots of the sick aging phenotype.

Peter Bowes: [00:11:23] Yeah, I think radical life extension is interesting. I love reading about it very much about it, but in practical terms, I’m totally with you that it is really all about the extension of a healthy life or healthspan healthspan we often talk about. And it’s a very simple concept. It’s a number of years that you live and you are healthy and able to live your life at maybe 60, 70 or 80, as you did when you were 20, 30 or 40. It is just to expand those healthy years. Yes, if there’s a day when we can live in a healthy way to be 120 or 130. Well, that’s fascinating.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:11:58] Sign me up.

Peter Bowes: [00:11:59] Be nice if it happens in our lifetime. But let’s walk before we can run. And I think getting to 100 and being healthy would be a fantastic achievement for most of us. So let’s delve into your style of of medicine, and it’s very clear and I’ve got your book. It’s a huge volume, delves into a lot of the detail in terms of lifting and physical exercise for someone who has never approached this. Where do they start?

Prescribing exercise as a medicine

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:12:25] Well, you start with movement, if I may. Our entire philosophy is built around the idea that strength training is the fundamental prescription for an aging adult, and I know that some people find that a contentious assertion. But I think I’ve backed it up in the book. And that’s because the physical attributes, the physical performance and health attributes that we lose as we age are precisely those that are addressed by strength training. And again, going back to this sort of exercise is medicine model. I believe very strongly that if we’re going to prescribe exercise as a medicine to promote healthy aging and fight unhealthy aging, then we should prescribe it as a medicine. We should specify the the actual formulation of the medicine, its route of administration, its dose, its frequency and its therapeutic targets, and to make a long story short, I don’t think anything fits the bill like barbell training for strength for this. So how do we do it? Well, let’s say that you come to the Greysteel Clinic or to the clinic of one of my colleagues who practices the same kind of strength training medicine that I do. We’re going to start with movement. You come to the clinic and let’s say you’re seventy five years old and you’re arthritic and you’re diabetic and you’re very out of shape and deconditioned condition, you have poor exercise capacity. What I’m going to do is I’m going to evaluate you for movement patterns. Can you stand up out of a chair under your own power? Or perhaps you need some assistance? Are you able to hold your hands up over your head in a manner reminiscent of an overhead press? Or are you able to curl to perform a curl type movement? Are you able to bend over and pick up a light kettlebell? Right? And are you able to lay on a bench and push something away from you? So we’re going to evaluate these movements, which taken together are really the building blocks of the repertoire of human movement. They are the building blocks of our physical lives, the ability to sit down, stand up, lift your arms up over your head, push something away from you, bend over and pick something up. That’s a huge repertoire of human movement, and that repertoire of human movement captures of almost all of the muscle mass of the human body. I may not get some of the muscles in your nose or eyebrows, but the big muscles are all included in that. And then what people like me are very good at doing is figuring out the safest and most ergonomic way to load those movement patterns. So the barbell prescription doesn’t always start with a barbell. If you’re very weak or deconditioned, your squat may be an assisted sit to stand, just sitting down and standing up out of a chair with me, assisting you, helping you up by the hands. And you may not be able to overhead press a barbell, but you may be able to overhead, press a very light dumbbell, or you may be able to do like curls. Either way, we like a standing upper body movement in our prescription, and we find that just about everybody can deadlift and bench press and with light barbells to start or making full size barbells to start depends on the individual. And so what we do is we figure out what the exact movement prescription is for that individual. We find out how much weight they can load that movement pattern with, and then we proceed to progressively load that movement pattern over time, we use the principle of progressive overload and the stress recovery adaptation syndrome principle to make that individual progressively stronger, adding just a little bit of weight to that movement pattern every time they come in and, you know, people get stronger and they get stronger fast and they add muscle tissue and they feel better and they move better and they look better and it works every single time.

Peter Bowes: [00:16:13] In fact, you’ve had some extraordinary success stories at your facility, or almost unbelievable when you consider the the physical state of the individual coming to you for the first time to what they managed to achieve.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:16:25] It really is extraordinary. What I what I tell people sometimes is I’ve never, ever in my career worked with a medicine that had a number needed to treat of one. Until now, this is this is the strongest and most versatile, safest, most extraordinary medicine I’ve ever worked with, and I’ve worked with a lot of different kinds of medicines, so there’s really nothing quite like it. I have, you know, my oldest client is 94 years old going on ninety five. He was kept out of the gym for over a year because of the COVID lockdown. He returned to the gym in, I believe, late April, early May of this year. Yesterday, he came into the gym and he dead lifted 170 pounds for a triple, and that’s not even the heaviest weight that he’s ever lifted, and he’s just working his way back up from a one year long COVID lockdown. So pretty extraordinary. Yeah.

Peter Bowes: [00:17:26] One of the things that people often ask me about the podcast, they say, Well, what sort of information, what advice are you getting from your guests about living a long, healthy life? What’s the thing that most people say is that maybe the best two or three things? And I say, Well, you might be surprised that we could probably stop all of the science right now. And we still have the knowledge as we understand exercise and nutrition as well to make very significant inroads with the overwhelming majority of people who are interested in doing something about their well-being and longevity. But you could make significant changes to people’s lives by applying the science and the knowledge, the kind of knowledge that you have right now. And that means starting exercise, doing at least 30 minutes a day and incorporating strength training, as you say, and then eating a healthy diet, we will not go into the details of diet right now, but eating a healthy diet. People would already extend their lives by a number of years by just applying those very basic principles.

Living longer and better

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:18:27] That’s absolutely true. And not only would they extend their lives by years, those years would be better. They would be more vibrant. They would be more alive. They would be more fun. They would be more quality life if they would just do that. And. I’m always at pains to point out to people, Peter, that any form of vigorous exercise is better than no exercise. I prescribe a barbell prescription for unhealthy aging. It’s the strongest and most effective medicine that I can come up with, but anything’s better than nothing. And you’re absolutely right. We know, and we have known for millennia that this is the way to do it. This is the way to live, to be vigorous and active and to move. And there has to be some intensity in your movement and to eat a varied, healthy diet to not freak out over small things, to have good active rest and stress reduction and good sleep. If you do those things for yourself, you’re doing more for yourself than any doctor can ever do for you, except in the, you know, greatest extremis. So yes, there’s actually nothing really new here. You, you pointed out, and I loved it, that, you know, this is a pretty old fashioned approach, exercise and in particular strength training. And this is a pretty old fashioned approach to strength training. The barbell is a pretty venerable implement, and it works like a charm.

Peter Bowes: [00:20:01] What do you say to people who might acknowledge what you’re saying, but then say, I don’t have time, I just can’t fit this into my busy, busy schedule?

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:20:10] Well, you’re going to have more time in the long run. You know, if you’re worried about time. Think about the years of your life that you’re going to lose outright or that you’re not going to be able to be productive in because you no longer have the physical capacity to be a useful human being. So to them, I would say, first of all, you can make time. And the second thing I would say is, how much time do you think it takes? Peter, the people who work with me at Greysteel, they spend a total of three hours a week in the gym. That’s it. And they get remarkable results from those three hours. That’s a pretty good return on your temporal investment. So to those people, I would say next excuse?

Peter Bowes: [00:21:01] You write in your book, you say a quiet revolution is transforming the way that we think about fitness and health in the aging adults. Is that revolution to be seen, and I take it and understand it from a lot of what you said already. But is that revolution across the board, especially in healthcare services? And I’m wondering about when people go to the to their doctor or maybe a visit to their local hospital? Do you hear tones of that revolution coming from other healthcare practitioners?

A quiet revolution

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:21:33] I do more and more. Do we still see resistance? Do we still have doctors who say to a, you know, a client who I send to their doctor because they’re having joint pains or something like that, and we will still occasionally encounter our doctor says, Well, here’s all your problem. You know, you’re lifting weights when you should just be a cardio bunny or whatever. Increasingly, we see doctors embracing what we’re doing, applauding what we’re doing. They’re very pleased with what they see happening to their clients. And the day I really knew that we were winning was when somebody came to me with a prescription from their doctor for barbell training written out on a like a prescription pad. I was like, yes, we are, we’re starting to win the battle here. Doctors can be remarkably resistant to their own literature, and we’re a conservative bunch at heart. But, you know, slowly we we come around, nobody wants to be the early adopter, but nobody wants to be the late adopter either. So I think we’re seeing a sea change in the way medical professionals think about exercise medicine in general and resistance training in particular.

Peter Bowes: [00:22:52] And I think there is still some concern. Some adherence to that phrase do no harm, which is a very important phrase do no harm in the medical profession. But as you imply, I think there is a belief among some that, as you say, lifting weights at 130, 150 pounds that you wouldn’t traditionally expect a 75 year old woman to be lifting that. That could potentially do harm.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:23:16] Yes, but her chances of being injured in the gym are orders of magnitude smaller than her chances of being injured in an automobile accident on the way to the gym or falling down in her bathtub. Life carries hazards, and nothing can be completely safe. As a medicine, barbell training is just about as safe as it gets. It’s even. Just about as safe as it gets, as exercise medicine, why? Well, because it meets our exercise medicine prescription criteria, the first of which is safety itself, but also because it meets the criteria of dosing. Strength training medicine has an extremely wide therapeutic window. Therapeutic window is the is the span of doses between the minimum effective dose and the minimum toxic dose. Barbell training has a huge range of safe and effective doses. It’s conducted by loading normal human movement patterns to a normal range of motion in an indoor environment on stable surfaces. The exercise is performed the same way each time the weight is added very, very slowly and systematically. There are no unpredictable impacts or joint forces, so people don’t get hurt. So I would answer, yeah, you’re talking about a medicine where the number needed to treat is one. And the number needed to harm. We don’t know exactly what that is, but we know that it’s very, very large. So the risk benefit ratio with strength training makes it an extraordinary medicine.

Peter Bowes: [00:24:59] And as we come out of the pandemic, or at least hopefully eventually completely come away from the pandemic, there is probably no better time to talk about this because one of the benefits of the kind of training that you’re talking about is a strengthened immune system as well. And I think we’re all acutely aware of the benefits of being generally in good health. We fully understand the the problem of obesity as it relates to COVID 19 that those people who were overweight generally fared much worse than the later stages of of COVID. And clearly, there is a potential for another virus to come along in a year’s time, a decade’s time. So focusing on our everyday health with a view to the future can never be more important than that.

Staying healthy through strength

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:25:45] Yes, people, my friend and mentor Mark Rippetoe has said that strong people are more useful in general and harder to break, and being harder to break is an important thing as we grow older, not just avoiding, you know, the hip fracture trauma, things like that, but it also makes us more resistant to infection and to other types of illnesses as well. There’s a phrase that we used to use in the intensive care unit, and it’s not a very nice thing to say, but doctors in private company don’t always say very nice things. We’d say, yes, that patient has piss poor protoplasm. And what that meant was that an illness or injury that another person, a healthy person might survive was simply going to overwhelm them. It was going to shatter them. Peter, you and I, if we got pneumonia like your basic run of the mill pneumonia, we’d shake it off. But a person with a sick aging phenotype? Our same age with our same genetic background, that person is going to be shattered by a low bar pneumonia. And they might die from it. So there’s something to be said for the resilience that comes with increased strength and conditioning and good health and a healthy lifestyle. People who aren’t healthy are just easier to break. There’s no disease that I can think of in which having co-morbidities makes you more likely to survive.

Peter Bowes: [00:27:10] Let me ask you a bigger picture this podcast we discuss – I’m delighted that you’ve listened to some episodes – we talk about longevity in all of its forms and the aspirations of individuals, individuals like you and I to live a long, healthy life. And it always strikes me that everyone seems to have a slightly different reason for wanting to live very long and be healthy. It seems to be very obvious at its most basic level, but I’m curious in terms of your own life and everything that you’ve learned in this sphere as a doctor, as a strength trainer, as you look ahead for the next few decades, what are your aspirations?

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:27:46] Well, my philosophy is that aging is an extreme sport, and you have to train for it. And we’re all in the arena of time and growing older just willy nilly. But. It’s as it should be that people have different aspirations as they get older. Mine are to get strong and stay strong for as long as I can to meet sort of these basic physical goals and aspirations that I have. But I also have ongoing intellectual and you might even say spiritual goals. I’m interested in deeply interested in philosophy. I’m interested in history and foreign languages. I had, I think I have another three or four or five books in me somewhere, and I want to travel and I want to be as alive and vigorous and vital and helpful, and to make as much contribution to my community as I can. And then I want to just drop dead suddenly at 105, and that’s my aspiration for the future. I want to continue to actualize myself as a human being and as an athlete and as a coach. I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing what I’m doing at Greysteel. It’s not a job to me. It’s a calling and it’s tremendous fun. So, yeah, I want to live as long as possible. I want to be as vital as possible during that time, and I want to contribute as much as possible during that time to my community and my fellow man. That, to me, would be a life well-lived, but I have to train for it. At the most fundamental level. Those aspirations assume that I have the strength and the capacity and the health to get all that stuff done. So, you know, every now and then we get taken to task for saying, Hey, the most important thing is your physical being, well, that’s because without it, there’s nothing else to do. The game is over. Stephen Hawking notwithstanding, imagine what he could have done if he hadn’t been confined to a wheelchair all his life. So who are the most productive and and vibrant members of our society, the people who can do it? And I would maintain that you can do more if you’re strong and healthy than if you’re not.

Peter Bowes: [00:30:26] That’s interesting. One thing I often hear is an accusation allegation that focusing on your personal longevity is something of a selfish pursuit, and that’s absolutely not what I hear from people like yourself. In fact, the most common answer I receive is I want to be around to help and to be with my children and especially my grandchildren, and to share the wisdom of my years with younger generations. It’s very rarely about the individual. It’s what they can share and what they can give back.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:30:58] Absolutely. And what they can share and what they can give back is culturally different for us than it was for more traditional societies. I think what you’re hearing when you hear something like that is sort of this perversion of the idea of what aging is and what it should be. And unfortunately, in North America and in industrialized societies, what aging is is to progressively become more and more of a burden. That’s not just a perception, it’s a reality because people get into the sick aging phenotype and they become increasingly dependent upon their community and their family and their fellows to live their lives. But that’s not what it was in traditional societies and traditional societies. If you had the physical and genetic luck to make it into your 50s and 60s or 70s and you were an old man, you were a person of respect in the community. If you were an old matron, you were a person of respect in the community. You were somebody that people went to for advice. You were somebody that people went to for your experience and your wisdom, and often for your strength. So that kind of comment just reflects what has happened. To the way society views its oldest members, when society’s oldest members are able to maintain their strength and their vitality well into the second half of life, they become not burdens on the community, but treasures to the community. And that’s what I want to be. I want to be one hundred years old and a community treasure. That’s what I want to be.

Peter Bowes: [00:32:46] I think some would say you’re probably a community treasure already.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:32:49] That’s very kind.  

A rapidly oncoming asteroid

Peter Bowes: [00:32:49] One final point.  From what I’ve heard about you and what I’ve read in your book, one final point quite a serious point in terms of pursuing healthy longevity. Of course, another massive benefit is the global financial impact it would have in terms of health care, the amount the trillions of dollars it would save societies around the world. 

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:33:11] A rapidly oncoming asteroid, right? That’s going to it’s going to cripple us, it’s going to cripple Europe, it’s going to cripple China. It is a huge socioeconomic burden. It’s incredibly destabilizing in a lot of ways. The sick aging phenotype and related conditions, even in younger populations, represents a fundamental national security risk. So yes, we have a big, big problem there, and it’s going to take generations to sort out. You know, one guy, one book even, you know, a sort of cultural movement in fitness after 50. It’s going to take time to turn this around. We’ve created a perfect storm for ourselves, and we’re just going to have to live through it and change the way that we live.

Peter Bowes: [00:34:01] Sully this has been a fascinating conversation. Very grateful for your time and all the best with what you’re doing.

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:34:07] Thank you so much for having me, Peter. It’s been a lot of fun.

Peter Bowes: [00:34:10] Dr. Jonathan Sullivan And if you’d like to delve deeper into Sully’s work, his book is The Barbell Prescription – Strength Training for Life After 40. If you pick up the book, you can use it as a weight as part of your training. It really is quite a hefty manual. It takes a bit of time to read it, but there’s a tremendous amount of beautiful detail in there. And talking of detail about these details into the show notes for this LLAMA podcast episode, you’ll find them at the Live Long and Master Aging website, And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, you may also like my interview with Fred Bartlit. The episode is Get Strong and live like crazy… 

Jonathan Sullivan: [00:34:53] Peter. I’ve got to back you up on that Fred Bartlit amazing interview. That guy has come independently to the same conclusions as me. Phenomenal. Sorry to interrupt. Stay strong and stay healthy.

Peter Bowes: [00:35:04] I’m glad you did, because I think a lot of listeners to this podcast agree with you. It’s one of the most popular episodes that we’ve done so far and one of my reasons why I want to keep pursuing and talking about this subject. The Live Long and Master Aging podcast is a Healthspan Media production. Don’t forget your workout. Take care and thank you very much for listening.

The Live Long and Master Aging podcast shares ideas but does not offer medical advice.  If you have health concerns of any kind you should consult your own doctor or professional health adviser. 

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