Female Sex Hormones, Muscle Proteins, and Human Performance w/ Dr. Irene Tobias

Dr. Irene Tobias joins us this week to drop more science! She is a PhD Biochemist and an MIT alumna who is a part of Dr. Andy Galpin’s team and also a member of Invictus. In this episode, we dig into her speciality of research, which includes the study of a molecule called AMPK.

How does it relate to exercise and recovery? What are some of the challenges that scientists face when conducting research?

We also have some dialogue around female sex hormones and how it relates to performance and training. She shares a personal story about preserving fertility for those who are trying to pursue a career while balancing the idea of having kids. Her passion for science shines through in this conversation, which made this such an enjoyable conversation.

Also available here:

Show Notes:

(8:25): Studying high performers

(12:25): Challenges with funding for research

(16:54): Technology to measure protein in single muscle fibers

(24:41): Women in studies

(31:51): “Window of Gains”

(36:18): Female sex hormones and how it relates to training and performance

(41:27): Preserving your fertility

Resources we may have talked about:

AMPK: The Master Metabolic Regulator That’s Activated By Exercise
The Body Of Knowledge

Bite-sized action items to go from dreaming to streaming your podcast.

    Podcast Transcript:

    Irene  00:00

    Hi, this is Dr. Irene Tobias and you’re listening to the Airborne Mind Show.


    Misbah Haque  00:37

    Hello, everyone, this is Misbah Haque. Thank you so much for joining me today. And welcome back to the show. Whether this is your first second, 10th, or 30th episode, I appreciate you tuning in your time, your energy, your attention, and your ears mean the world to me. Without you listening, this show would not be where it is today. So once again, thank you. Before we get started, the biggest compliment that you can give is by leaving a review on iTunes, you have no idea how much that helps in terms of rankings, bringing more awareness to the show and bringing on more interesting guests. So if you could take two or three minutes, not while you’re driving, but take two or three minutes, go ahead, leave a review, it would be greatly appreciated. Also, be sure to head over to airbornemind.com, where you can check out some free resources and the full show notes there as well. today’s podcast episode is brought to you by audible.com. If you enjoy books, and you are looking for something new to read, something that is relevant to problems that you’re trying to solve, I made a list for you at the airborne mind.com/reading list. You can see a compilation, I say a compilation of all the books that previous guests have recommended on the show. And if you decide you want to go for it, you can grab a free audiobook and a 30-day free trial there as well. Once again, that is the airbornemind.com/readinglist

    So today, my guest is Dr. Irene Tobias. She is actually a part of Dr. Andy Galpin’s steam. So I’d like you to put your thinking caps on for this episode. Because we do dig into more science. We talk about muscle fibers and a special protein called ANP K that Dr. Tobias is studying. What I was more particularly excited to discuss was the politics behind getting research done in the first place. So some of the obstacles and challenges that come with funding, and how that greatly dictates what we are able to study in the first place. So to get a behind-the-scenes perspective, as to what that looks like and how it affects things, was really fascinating. Another area that was really fun for me to learn about was female sex hormones. Definitely, something that I haven’t really studied too much on my own. But this is an area that Dr. Tobias has been learning more about lately. And she’s continuing to research and uncover different things. But we started to have some dialogue around it. So we talk about female sex hormones and how it relates to training and performance. We also talk about something that technology has now allowed us to do, something that Apple and Facebook started offering benefits for and that is preserving your fertility by freezing down your eggs. So Apple and Facebook recently, offered benefits to their female employees to freeze their eggs. And this correlates to the modern-day trend of women getting married later. pursuing careers and balancing having kids with a career. Certainly a topic that you don’t really think too much about until maybe it’s time to get pregnant or you’re thinking about pregnancy. And then some of these things start to come up. So I was really excited to hear Dr. Tobias’ personal story and her perspective on that. So many exciting things that we chat about. But honestly what I loved the most in this episode is how excited Dr. Irene gets when she talks about science. It is so similar to how I get when I’m talking about podcasting. So to hear that her passion behind studying and researching these different elements. It really shows and it makes this such an enjoyable conversation. So I hope you enjoy this episode and more importantly, hope you do something with it. 

    Irene, welcome to the show. 


    Irene  04:54

    It’s great to be here. Thanks for having me!


    Misbah Haque  04:56

    You’re somebody who’s posts I read had quite a bit on. I think it was the Invictus blog. And then from that point, I hadn’t run into it for a while when I was here. And then you and Dr. Andy Galpin gave a talk. And I got to come to that talk. And it was absolutely fascinating. And then I was like, We got to get Irene on the show. So thank you for being here. Oh, no problem. Yeah. So I’d love to just kind of get into your background a little bit. And give some context to the audience as to what you do, what you’ve been involved in, and just kind of how you roll.


    Irene  05:31

    I guess I am a postdoctoral researcher. So that means that I completed my Ph.D. And this is sort of some people kind of consider it a little bit of limbo, traditionally, it was done before you go on to become a professor. But a lot of people will do it now and then go work for industry afterward, or they’ll use it to segue into something else. I mean, it and it’s becoming a lot more common to do it. People used to kind of go straight from a Ph.D. to become a professor. And that’s kind of rare now. But yeah, I’m working with Dr. Andy Galpin. Kind of interesting, like how I connected with him. But I had heard him interviewed on one of my favorite podcasts, Barbell Shrug, a lot of people know him from that. And it’s really fascinated by a lot of the things he had to say. And then when I got to become a little more familiar with that as research when they actually went to interview him at his lab, okay, I was sort of like, holy shit, like he studies actual muscle at the molecular protein level. And he uses a lot of the same biochemistry techniques I used in my Ph.D. This is really fascinating. This is really cool. And so I sort of was like, Alright, just finish my Ph.D. I’m gonna take some time off in the summer. And it’s like, my original plan was to go jump in working for the industry. And then I was sort of like, No, I don’t. I don’t know if I really want to go do that right now, I think I want to go work for this guy heard on the radio. Sounds like. So yeah, I happened to email him. And he actually got right back to me. And we worked out a situation where I jumped on to his team and happened to find a really great project that kind of fit with the themes of what the lab was interested in. And he was super interested in it. And we’ve kind of formed this really good team working together, us and then our other collaborator, Dr. Jimmy Bagley, up at San Francisco. And we all sort of come in with different expertise and different backgrounds. I mean, Andy is this expert in muscle physiology, exercise, and physiology, Jimmy, studies that as well. But he also has much more expertise at a muscle in the cellular level. So he does a lot of imaging experiments on muscle fibers and finds the myonuclei translate that into knowledge. And then my expertise is biochemistry. So the molecules, so even at a smaller level, the proteins that are going on that are their gene expression is changing based on training, you do epigenetics, that sort of thing. So combining all those aspects together forms just a really good perspective and studying what we want to go after, which is studying human performance.


    Studying high performers


    Misbah Haque  08:25

    That’s the cool thing, is that you guys are digging deep into human performance and training in a way that in the past, we really haven’t seen that type of research kind of done, right, like, we may have scratched the surface. But now we have a very interesting lens from you guys, to be able to view and research that stuff. 


    Irene  08:47

    There’s certainly been lots of research on more traditional sports science. So where people will study, and how many reps of this particular lift? Or what sort of training adaptations does that get,   more on a physiological level, but actually going in and taking muscle samples out of people and studying, breaking down the cells and looking at the proteins, which generally takes more money to study, that type of thing is more fun. That type of research has been done much more on the clinical side. So typically, those subjects are diabetic or have some type of metabolic disorder or if they’re the controls, they’re recreationally active. What exactly does that mean? that’s kind of like a catch-all. But we haven’t really used that type of technique or research to study people that are at the opposite end of the spectrum. People like these CrossFit athletes, MMA athletes, and people that are kind of pushing the boundaries of human performance. And there’s just so much knowledge to be gained from that at this point, we don’t know what it could lead to. But I mean, that’s the way science works, what you’re studying now? What that might translate into 1020 years from now. But I think there’s certain things we can learn from studying the physiology of people that are doing really, really well. I mean, in any health aspect, whether it’s physical performance, whether it’s people that are aging really well, are there people that have really, really excellent mental acuity or just ability to deal with stress, or don’t get PTSD coming back? I mean, those are the people we want to understand better. And then maybe there’s stuff we can learn out of that, that could help other people.


    Misbah Haque  10:34

    So I’m just curious, some of the stuff that we talked about, or you guys talked about? Sure talk you gave a lot of that was kind of that’s not like out to the public and mainstream yet, right. Like, a lot of that is maybe kind of a preview as to what might unravel in the next several months, or even years, actually.


    Irene  10:53

    Andy is very open about that. Another thing that I really like about working with him is that he is really, really skilled at communicating his science or his interpretations of science and understanding things to the general public. That’s a huge problem in academic science these days that I definitely encountered in grad school. And I think a big, the problem is that a lot of these brilliant scientists out there cannot communicate to the general public layman’s terms, yeah, they can’t break it down, it’s actually really good exercise and how well you understand what you’re actually doing, if you can avoid using the jargon because the concepts certainly in biology, when you really, really break them down there, you can understand them, like people with just educational background in any area could get what’s going on. But once you start covering lots of jargon out there, people just get turned off. So yeah, I think I mean, it’s a huge problem, like the public connecting with what science is actually doing with what we’re funding,   the whole field of cancer research is kind of a mess because a lot of what gets done actually, is incorrect. There are so many biochemistry studies out there that are actually wrong. And it gets us going down the paths of studying the wrong proteins, the wrong connection, it’s just, there’s a reason that advances in terms of treating cancer have not really kept up with all the money that we’ve been throwing at it.


    Challenges with funding for research


    Misbah Haque  12:25

    That’s the next thing that I want to highlight. Because I think most of us, when we think of researching something, we’re like, oh, well why don’t you just research it. But it’s way more complicated. It takes money to do that, and the money doesn’t really grow on trees, you have to be able to get funding technology is super expensive as well. Right? So could you tell me a little bit about maybe a behind-the-scenes look at that process of what maybe it looks like to get funding? How difficult is it to kind of get your research even in the door and start it? Oh, for sure.


    Irene  12:57

    Yeah, it’s, it’s a huge challenge. As a scientist, you are up against challenges coming at you from every aspect. I mean, certainly the funding is a big one getting it. So you have to be able to produce some preliminary studies to get funding, but then you need money for the preliminary studies too. And then you have to wait for these specific times of year that funding grants get put out there. That’s why it takes so long, yeah, larger agencies. And then often there’s like such a bureaucracy in the process, that it’ll take a while for the money to actually, like get contributed to you, if you get it. It’s very rare, actually, that most of these days you submit a grant and you basically expect not to get it, okay? For the bigger ones, like when you submit for like NIH, or NSF, the National Science Foundation, or even DOD, a lot of investigators these days are having to resubmit. So it’s like you don’t get it the first time. You get reviews. And then you have to rewrite things submitted in the next round. Maybe it gets accepted in the third round. It’s such a long, frustrating process. And then I mean, there’s also the nature of what you’re studying. Biology doesn’t cooperate. It really does it. I mean, you think you controlled all the factors, but there are a lot of things that are often out of your control. Yeah. And so you’re constantly troubleshooting, retooling your methods combating all the proteins that I hate, the classified spaces and the proteases. If anybody knows anything about them, they would just wreck your experiments. Because it’s like after you break up and open the cell, they’ll go and eat the proteins you’re interested in, or like take the phosphates off the ones you want to study. Yeah, they’re


    Misbah Haque  14:47

    there. So what happens when like you can’t get a grant right? Does that kill your study completely? How are you?


    Irene  14:53

    It depends. So maybe it depends on how interesting the study you’re, how crucial this study is, how much you believe in it, and how much you really think it’s, it’s gonna go forward and get you future funding. So me right now we have a study going on that we’re super pumped about, we’ve gotten some really interesting seminary data out of one subject,yours truly, that’s a pretty cool thing. That’s another reason I jumped into science is the ability to study real-life humans, yeah, at the molecular cellular level out of muscle cells, so different from the standard things of what I did in grad school for my Ph.D., we’re all in cell cultures. So these mutant cells that have grown in culture for decades, human cells that have 82 chromosomes, I mean, how human is that, I really have to ask yourself, what is that relevant? And it’s, those are the models we’re often stuck with or brain cells and the dish or mice and rats. And you get information out of that, but to actually study things that are going on in real humans, and in response to exercise and training, that to me was just super cool. So you kind of geek out on the aspect of like, this is my favorite scene out of my muscles. But, ya know, we ultimately want to take these preliminary results, we’ll get one paper out of them, like a really solid kind of methods oriented paper, because we’re using entirely new techniques to study the proteins, new technology that’s really improving what we can actually figure out, yeah, but eventually, we want to expand to studying more subjects, multiple subjects, so you can infer a lot more information about like the training they’re doing. And that would be like, more subjects, you need more money?  


    Technology to measure protein in single muscle fibers


    Misbah Haque  16:54

    I think that brings up an interesting point that Dr. Andy Galpin made during his talk that our comprehension of maybe what is possible, and what is impossible is greatly limited by the technology that we have available. So like, one of the concepts, I think it was a hyperplasia that for years and years and decades, was considered a myth. And it was impossible, until recently, now that we have the technology to measure it. Sure. It’s proving to be possible. And how many other things are there out there that we kind of right off as impossible? Yeah, that,   we just have not reached the point where that technology is available yet to measure that type of stuff. Right?

    Irene  17:41

    Yeah, totally. I mean, yeah, for sure. On our project, that’s something that we definitely took advantage of, a unique, rare opportunity that I ran into last fall, a friend of mine, who’s an entrepreneur in the biotech world, right, let me know about this. Well, this company that her startup got sold to, and they were basically pioneering this new technology for studying proteins out of cells that is replacing this decades-old technique that every biochemist around the world does western blotting to measure proteins, and we’ve been really limited in how we can study them, how quantifiable it can be, how reliable you actually have much better techniques for studying RNA and DNA molecules because we can actually amplify those molecules to like so that the one we’re looking at isn’t such a big percentage. Yeah, then we can detect it. But proteins, we can’t amplify it, we’re stuck with what we got out of the cell. So we came into contact with this company, and we got them to do a demo on our muscle fiber cells. Yeah. And what we were really interested in was being able to study proteins out of a single fiber. Okay, so this is a big deal because typically in our field muscle biopsy studies have been done at the whole muscle level. So the mixture of fiber types, if you listen to any of the Andy Galpin talks, he will go into great detail about fast-twitch versus slow-twitch fibers. And the how they adapt and change with training really isn’t your genetics that’s defining what. 


    Misbah Haque  19:22

    Which is another crazy concept?


    Irene  19:25

    That people kind of overturned more recently, but also that you’re not entirely all one fiber or the other your human muscle is actually a mixture. Ultimately, you’ll have a fast-twitch fiber right next to a slow-twitch fiber. And the composition is what can vary. You can be like 70% fast-twitch or maybe you’re only 30% fast-twitch 50% slow twitch and then 10% like some of the hybrid varieties and that can be like that can change what you do that changes between training types of training. But so people were kind of oblivious to whether they were just looking at the whole mixed population, and they weren’t seeing the differences between the different fiber types. So we were like if we could actually study proteins out of a single fiber, because we can identify the fiber types, like, very precisely very rigorously with the methods his lab has used for, like the past five years. But then if we can then go back to that sample, and like the single cell sample, and like, now we’re going to look at the protein we’re interested in, and how it differs in one type versus another. So that’s huge. And that’s kind of changing the paradigm of how we study muscle that’s a bit like, okay, is that we need to look through this fiber type specific lens, because definitely, for example, the protein we’re studying is a major metabolic regulator, like it turns on all sorts of processes of your metabolism, like how you adapt to training, gene expression, all sorts of cool shit. It’s a very hotly studied enzyme to like, it has an interest in terms of like, clinical side of things, it gets turned on by exercise, and PK. So this is a protein. But if, if you’re studying a regulator of metabolism, and that fast twitch and slow twitch fibers have very, very different metabolic properties, you want to study it, and how it differs between the two fibers, because there’s going to be a lot of information you’d miss out as to studying a whole muscle sample.


    Misbah Haque  21:34

    So we’re able to isolate it a little bit better,


    Irene  21:37

    You can isolate the fibers and we can like, essentially lower the limit of our detection, with a new technology that allows us to actually measure that protein data in a single fiber.


    Misbah Haque  21:50

    So that’s a huge part of I guess what you guys are also digging into something that we’ve we’ve seen, that can be done when we look at CrossFit athletes, right, they can be super well-conditioned, and super strong at the same time. And when we go back to the textbooks, and maybe research a lot of it kind of conflicts, right. So that’s an area where you guys are starting to shift that paradigm a little bit as you search more, what are some other areas? Or what are some bigger picture things for you guys that you would like to see in the next several years?  


    Irene  22:24

    I mean, so that’s a huge one. Again, we’re studying something that very few other people are,   human performance, but at the elite athlete and things like so if you do look at the literature, pretty much if you see athletes use and studies, they’re prominently, pretty much all.


    Misbah Haque  22:44

    Durance athletes, which is also like a bias. 


    Irene  22:47

    That’s a bias. That’s definitely seen in more mainstream perceptions. And also in science, that fitness is endurance all of us who have sort of learned on the CrossFit end of things is that it encompasses so much more and people are starting to learn that now. And then also if your fiber type is very reflective of like, do you do strict endurance? Are you more but we don’t know as much about the fiber types in strength and power athletes. And then, as we call concurrently trained athletes, so CrossFitters, MMA athletes, fighters, people that have to be really well-conditioned, but also really strong at the same time. So that’s kind of a whole new population of athletes that nobody’s ever looked at. And then yeah, so we know that fast-twitch fibers are typically more in sprinters on most likely more an Olympic weightlifter’s people that have to exert a lot of force and a small amount of time, because the fat fast-twitch fibers, they’re called fast because they have a faster contractile speed got it that you can measure. So you can see how that’s directly advantageous to that type of training. But whereas slow-twitch fiber typically has more mitochondria, it is going to be able to fuel a longer period of time. There’s a lot of interesting things to be found there. But yeah, eventually translating what we’re doing when we get the funding that’s a major roadblock to studying these athletes that we would learn a lot from for sure. And another paradigm we want to change again like we haven’t studied these athlete populations, but there are very little studies done on women.


    Women in studies


    Misbah Haque  24:41

    That’s so that was the thing I found fascinating as well. So why is that right? Why is it that, I haven’t studied women, it’s been kind of biased towards males?


    Irene  24:52

    So it’s actually a bigger problem not just in human subjects but in biomedical science. As a whole, typically, we’ve studied more male subjects with rats or rats or mice than female subjects. And it’s not like it’s a sexism type of thing going on there, it’s actually more the perception that women are more complicated. Got it, they’re more variable potentially with their hormones. And there are more unknowns. And I guess, as I like to say it scientists like to go after the lower hanging fruit, the things that we can study with less control and variable, and then men are the lower hanging, right? That’s literally reality. But yeah, that’s, that’s more of the reason, I mean, and it people will tend to go after, okay, these are the standard types of subjects you’ll use. And not only is it, men, typically, they’re like around college age, or Eazy, e recruitable, or something like that, or, again, the clinical populations, people with diabetes, you do see some studies with older women, like postmenopausal women, but again, that’s sort of like the hormone issue, right? Sso at that point, there was just the perception that hormones aren’t gonna be contributing things, but there are so many other factors to control. And I mean, the other thing is like men’s testosterone levels, they can be wildly different to, they can fluctuate throughout the day, right. So it’s kind of just the way things are done. But we want to change that. And we want to start to innovate around that because I think there are a lot of interesting things to learn about female physiology. from a performance standpoint, that might be very different from male physiology, especially in this day and age where we have so many more women going after strength, going after high intensity competing in very intense sports.


    Misbah Haque  27:00

    which I think we should take a second to really let that sink in. Because, yeah, it’s kind of normal to us now, especially if you are in the CrossFit gym, or you do weightlifting, like everybody around you, is involved in that kind of culture. But in the grand scheme of things when we look at like 20 years ago, right, what was what training looked like, in general, but then also what it looked like typically, maybe for women, what they were gravitating towards, are very, vastly different. For sure. For


    Irene  27:30

    I mean, now it’s cool to lift a heavyweight. Now it’s cool to have muscle mass movement or pursuing muscle where before it was like, oh, I don’t know if bulky or something like that. It’s more like, No, I don’t actually care how much I weigh. I just care about having lean body mass right now. And it’s allowing me to do so many other things. It’s just setting up my health, like, so much better in a lot of aspects. And, yeah, so. But again, like also on the, like, professional athlete side of things, like it’s pretty cool. I think about the two sports, CrossFit and then MMA UFC fighters, where the women are actually generating the same amount of fan interest. Oh, yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah. And then they’re getting paid as much as the men in very few other sports. I can think about where that’s the case. 


    Misbah Haque  28:25

    And what’s kind of the limiting factor is does it kind of come down to funding.


    Irene  28:31

    it does come down to funding it comes down to, again, the controls. The study we’re foreseeing doing, we would love to do a population of trained men and a population of trained women, interval training, that type of stuff. We probably to take a conservative approach on our first study, would have the women specifically come on like day one through six of the start of their menstrual cycle, to try and normalize, because those are the factors that people often like shy away from, if you do see a study that has female subjects, there’s often like a clause you read in the methods that say, the women came in on these specific days. And you can imagine as a researcher, how that gets very difficult with scheduling God subjects, but we have I mean, I have a grad student working with me, who is an MMA fighter herself, okay, credibly charged up about what we’re doing, and he’s already like, started recruiting people she trains with and a lot of girls like come up to us all the time. Like, why does Dr. Galpin gonna study women, like if we have enough interested parties and people that can comply with like, the protocols and the controls we set? I mean, we can do it right, or there’s a will there’s a way but eventually, getting an idea of how much variability we get right out of the enzyme we’re studying. How much is it affected by something like estradiol? That still remains to be a question. And I have seen some papers where the men’s error bar is much tighter, and then the women’s error bar if they didn’t control for things like birth control or menstrual cycle, the arrow sometimes looks higher. So that is again, the challenge to get around. And it again, it depends on what you’re studying, I mean, something like fiber type, I don’t think that’s likely to change based on you’d have to study it specifically. But then like the enzyme we’re studying, which is a metabolic regulator, it gets activated by exercise. But I’ve seen other studies where they’ve treated mice with estradiol, or even cell cultures, and they’ve shown activation of NPK, as well, like, what does that mean? So turning on the enzyme activity, it actually goes and does its work like phosphorylates things, things that you would do in response to exercise. So you’re, you’re drastically lowering your ATP. And you’re making these degradation products of ATP, the ANP, and apps are the single phosphate and the diphosphate brands, they bind to the enzyme gets turned on. And then it goes to signal to turn on processes that generate more ATP, and turn off processes that consume ATP. Got it? So that’s kind of like what it does. It’s like it is acutely responding to the situation at hand. So really important obviously, if you’re going to be able to keep living your life.


    “Window of Gains”


    Misbah Haque  31:51

    So, I know, Dr. Andy Galpin mentioned this is relevant to the window of gains. So like, how do we say that protein or whatever has to be consumed within 30 minutes, right? Or some people say an hour, but it could be shorter or longer based on some of the things you guys are studying. The other thing is recovery. Well, you just kind of said, does that impact recovery?  


    Irene  32:15

    So I don’t know as much on that end. Again, the enzyme has tons of different targets. Tons of cool shit, really. But some of the more specific substrates that I do know about are ones that,  it actually turns off proteins that are responsible for synthesizing your fatty acid chains, your glycogen, so where we store energy, by turning off those proteins, it actually turns on processes that allow us to break it down. It’s kind of like, a lot of things in biology can sometimes work that way. Kind of like, a different way of linking it. Yeah. However, I came up with it. But yeah, and then another target of amtk is, has a terrible name. I can’t even say the whole thing. TVC, one Done and TVC. One D board. Yeah, no, I was what those acronyms actually stand for is something ridiculous. Sometimes you get these crazy names and biology and people can’t even agree on a name like, and they’ll fight over it. And I think we should change it to the window of gains. who GZ. But yeah, they actually do some really cool stuff, they feed amtk into the insulin signaling pathway. So that’s responsible for taking up glucose out of the bloodstream. So again, the theme is you’re turning on processes that give you more ATP, more energy. And so what’s what’s happened, why it relates to the window gains, a lot of people like think of that and they’re like, Oh, the best time for me to ingest proteins and carbs is right after I work out what the reason is, that they NPK has been turned on specifically in your muscle cells. So the cells where you’re drastically lowering your ATP, you’re doing a lot of work you’re exerting yourself. And so those cells are then primed by a MP que specifically to take up more glucose, so in that period of time, then you can maximize your nutrition intake and more to your muscle cells versus your fat cells. So then it not just for performance people that are trying to lose weight, right, that’s like a more advantageous time for them to be ingesting carbs. Got it, got it. So that’s kind of the mechanism behind that. But again, people think about it for roughly an hour or so after you train and oh, if you miss the window gains, while you’re done for a bit, you even don’t really know that as much and how could it be different in a different fiber type, like in a slow-twitch versus a fast twitch? Is it more prolonged in one versus the other? And maybe That has implications for the type of athlete or the type of training you do.  If you do more endurance training, what’s your window gaze look like? Or does it even matter? 


    Misbah Haque  35:09

    You got it?


    Irene  35:10

    If you do more concurrent, or if you do just more strictly strength training, so there’s interesting stuff to find out their terms of performance questions, but I also just think it’s really super fucking cool.


    Misbah Haque  35:23

    And I think, beyond the window of gains, this also affects maybe how we view nutrition in general. Overall. That’s something I think Dr. Galpin mentioned towards the end, he’s like, this is maybe years from now, but all of this could kind of lead into Yeah, how is nutrition playing a role? When we kind of combine it with performance, taking a more objective approach? Look at that, maybe?



    Irene  35:47

    I’m certainly not an expert. On the traditional side, that’s definitely his area of expertise, certainly making your nutrient intake more valuable, or for people that are competing at a very high level, and just have to, like, keep all of these factors very tightly controlled. Any information they can get? I think they’re always looking for that.


    Female sex hormones and how it relates to training and performance


    Misbah Haque  36:17

    So an area that you’ve been interested in, and that you are currently studying and researching more about is female sex hormones. Yeah. How that kind of relates to training and performance.   Sure. So maybe, like, where did that interest kind of STEM? And what kind of give us a little bit of context. 


    Irene  36:39

    So definitely, I think hormones are super cool. Like, they’re really interesting, very tightly controlled regulators in your body. And like, they’re almost wet, because they’re designed by biology, they’re so much more precise and almost more predictable than a drug that man designs. There’s a reason that birth control when you use it as prescribed, or hormonal birth control works almost 98 99% of the time. But there’s a lot less known about the female hormone, certainly in response to performance or training than testosterone. So there’s all sorts of experts, you’ll hear I’ve heard on one, lots of podcasts that will talk about testosterone and optimizing that sleep deprivation and how that hits it. And it’s a really interesting thing. It’s a super cool hormone sexy hormone. But I’ve never heard an expert talk about the female hormone, right? And it’s like, gotten me or we’re interested, like a lot of things. It’s like you want something done, go out and learn it yourself. Right? I’m starting to delve into that. I mean, that women, I guess, are more complicated in the end, that they have two hormones that are principally contributing, namely estradiol, and progesterone. And you can roughly I mean, can kind of think about it in realms of like, estrogen is like the sexy one, like, makes tips. Everybody likes that And increases libido and all sorts of other sex-related things, right. Progesterone, on the other hand, is more like maintaining pregnancy, God, and it’s kind of the one people also think or in relation to the ratio of progesterone to estrogen can often contribute to PMS. So it’s kind of a sucky, downer mood. Sure. So yeah, that kind of sucks. But the thing is, like, what estrogen Well, estrogen, specifically, because it’s a little bit more analogous to testosterone in terms of like what it does on that sort of hormonal axis, what are some of the performance implications of it, I think, are a really interesting question One thing that really differs between men and women that I didn’t realize at first, is that, yes, men have more testosterone, but they actually have, if you actually look, break down the unit’s of how we measure those hormones on a blood test. Testosterone is measured with different units and grams per deciliter. So that’s actually tenfold higher than estrogen measurement units. So estrogen is measured as pika grams per mil. Your metric system. Well, some of those are more odd units, but there’s a temporal difference between them. So you look at the numbers and you actually have to multiply things and women have like, way lower estrogen than men do testosterone. If you actually look at like the mass for sure, concentrate on the concentration measurements and Women’s testosterone levels are actually more in a similar range to their estrogen. which is actually I found that and then men have really, really low estrogen. Got it. So that’s the big difference there. But it almost makes me wonder what if women had estrogen at the same level that men had testosterone? What happened? Yeah. Be interested. Go. Thanks, sir. Again, that’s kind of a no, but there have been some studies I’ve seen done with animal models that have shown like, estrogen promotes fat loss and there can be potential performance benefits out of that. And it’s been looked at for like a treatment for postmenopausal women trying to lose weight trying to improve their bone density, things like that. So yeah, that’s, that’s definitely an interesting realm. And, and also, again, the question of how that relates to what we’re studying and wanting to study, female athletes should control for those hormonal variations. And then another question. I mean, I think it is certainly interesting to a lot of women these days, in terms of how our society has changed a lot. Is the notion of fertility.


    Misbah Haque  41:15

    I‘m glad you touched on that because I totally would have overlooked it. But you’re right, it is something that is definitely a fascinating topic to dig into. Get into it.


    Preserving your fertility


    Irene  41:27

    We’re living in an age where women are generally as a trend, getting married later, and having kids later or delaying childbirth, a lot of times for professional reasons, they’re becoming more involved in their careers. And the thing is, it’s a great change of society, but biology doesn’t keep up with changes in society. And again it’s often more on the axis that women that are more educated are going after these high-powered careers. So the ones that are delaying childbirth, right? And again, having trouble having kids in your 40s, you can, that’s a big, I think, the divergence between genders is that pretty much most all men in their 40s can have children, right? It’s kind of expected even in their 50s or 60s, but most women in their 40s And listen, maybe it’s their early 40s can’t write and it’s it’s a huge, question I think a lot of women grapple within their 30s sort of, like, when do I have kids? How do I balance it with my career? How do I make this work, and are any options that there are to preserve your fertility or make it as good as long as you can, as hormonally responsive, as healthy? That any, anything you can do to do after that, and I mean, I think it’s interesting, strength training, for one thing, I think it’s often overlooked and that aspect, but one of the biggest, like causes of infertility out there is a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome. Okay, so it involves like, your ovaries have all these cysts in them, you’re actually making, I think, way more estrogen than then you should be. And it’s also tied to insulin resistance. So typically, patients with that condition will have metabolic disorders as well. And so people have been looking into treating it by improving the overall insulin hormonal access. So doing strength training, getting more muscle mass, doing high intensity interval training are things we do all the time. And that improving the better getting better insulin sensitivity could also lead to better hormonal sensitivity or better hormonal regulation. So you can actually induce ovulation and get pregnant. So things like that. So that’s definitely an interesting thing. But still, there’s a lot that’s out of your control, you can’t actually control your eggs, the age of your eggs,  that’s something that is ultimately often the limiting factor for a lot of women. Actually, their uterus is still healthy and functional, typically in their 40s. But if their eggs just you get more genetic abnormalities, the older they get, I mean, as a woman, you’re born with all your eggs, whereas men, like continuously, are making more sperm all the time. So that’s a big difference there. But yeah, so it’s like an interesting question. And now like, again, technology, as we get better at it, allows us to solve these problems in some way, shape, or form and imperfect way. But moving in certain directions. And so I guess on a more personal side of things, I actually in the past year, I went through the process of freezing down my eggs. More from this perspective of like, even if I never used them, yeah, it’s like having that peace of mind like that you had some control over some aspect of your life that a lot of it is out of your control. But if there’s one thing that you can do, it just changes how you think. Sure, and a lot of ways, so I read about, like a year ago, how Apple and Facebook were finally starting to offer benefits to their female employees to freeze their eggs based on this new ability of the technology. To solve the problem. One of the biggest problems in the process was the actual freezing of the eggs. So the idea is like, the egg is one of the largest cells in your body, behind muscle fibers, I guess. But the egg has a lot of water in it. So like anything when you think of ice cubes, you get crackling, all sorts of things like that. So when you would find Excel, the water would call his ice crystals, and it would die. Okay, and so they discovered a way to freeze the eggs that was almost like more dry freezing like they call it a vitrification process, and it would get rid of the water. And then they would actually be more viable, like 80% After, after the bat. Um, so that was a huge advance. It’s still like, you definitely have to say every time you cover this, but it is no guarantee, right? And no doctor will ever tell you that the more eggs you can get, the better your chances are because again, everything is like probability. But like, some of them sit and survive this stage. And then a certain percentage of those survived the next stage through the whole, it’s essentially an impeachment fertilization process. I think it was super interesting. I actually totally geeked out on the whole, like, on my own being like a biochemist and interested in hormones and learning through that going through that experience, because you’re essentially doping yourself with a ton of different hormones. And so like going through that firsthand and experiencing it, you learn a lot about the hormones and the process. I think it ties into like the bodybuilders or the athletes that dope or that do it really well are actually really good biochemists. They actually are,  they understand a lot about it. And they read up on little things because they’re always trying to optimize it. So yeah, rogue endocrinology, I think it’s an interesting topic as well. Yeah. But yeah, yeah, and going through that process, you also learn about just some baseline of what your fertility is, which a lot of women don’t know about until the point that they’re trying to get pregnant or having trouble getting pregnant. And there’s like estradiol blood tests that you do, it’s like standardized on day two or day three of your menstrual cycle, again, it has to be at a specific time. And you want to see that the levels are low, so that they can be responsive later on. And then also, another marker is like the follicle count. So your eggs, when they’re about ready to mature and ovulate, they there’s like about, hopefully about 20 of them or so in each ovary that are starting to be in these follicles are maturing, and the counts of those are another good indication of like, your chances of conceiving and that sort of thing. So I mean, it was super interesting stuff to learn, I ultimately learned that I have really, really good fertility. They sign that what I’ve been doing in the gym has really paid off. And hopefully,I won’t even need to use the frozen eggs you could still try and get pregnant in your late 30s, or early 40s. I mean, but yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s still an imperfect process, but it’s something we’re starting to change. And I think I want to see where technology goes, certainly in the next 10 years. Because like, you look at society ultimately. And you’re like, well, if it’s the women that are highly educated and going after their careers, are those the ones we want selectively eliminating the population is another way of looking at it. But yeah, that was certainly it. And actually, this was kind of crazy. I even got a muscle biopsy sample out of the point that I was because you get on really high you make a ton of estrogen in the process of going through because you’re doping with hormones that induce the production of estrogen got it and your ovaries in they’re experiencing, like, tenfold higher estrogen levels than at the peak of your menstrual cycle. So, yeah, yeah, you’re pretty hot, you actually get kind of high from it. It has some dopaminergic effects as well. But we’re like, Hey, we’re interested in this question of whether estradiol activates AMPK and muscle cells. Let’s take a biopsy, and see it at this really high level. And if there are there any effects? So it was kind of like one rare opportunity in science because you like, I gotta go do that.


    Misbah Haque  50:37

    All those markers that you just mentioned, right? Are these all things that people can go like? Test?


    Irene  50:42

    I think the way we’re starting to adapt to people wanting to know more about their own health, to take control of their own health and get blood tests that aren’t necessarily prescribed by the doctor, I think it’s kind of silly, though, why you have to get a prescription for a blood test, it’s just like it. I think people like some people are concerned about, oh, like, is the patient able to interpret the results or not. There’s Google, you don’t need to really interpret where you are in the range of whatever, right? You’re not, I think people can certainly there’s that test,  for the follicle count, like you need an ultrasound and stuff to do that. But I think it’s certainly an area society does because fertility is a problem ultimately, for everyone for couples trying to conceive it’s, it’s really, really sad. definitely, what does that cause later on?  


    Misbah Haque  51:52

    If we were to think you remember how you mentioned, like, if estrogen levels were tenfold higher, right? What happens when estrogen levels are either too high or too low? In terms of maybe how you kind of feel right throughout today? Is there? Side effects?



    Irene  52:12

    It’s complicated, a lot of it is more I think, the ratio of estrogen to progesterone, okay. Which fluctuates throughout your period of the month. And that can contribute to things like PMS, that women experience and mood effects, certainly mood effects from birth control that is wildly different for so many different women. One type of birth control will work for one and not for the other, they’ll just have really, really awful mood side effects. And they have to change and stuff like that, it’s kind of funny when they started testing. Was it the male hormonal birth control recently? And the male subjects had to stop the study because they had too many mood effects.  


    Misbah Haque  53:07

    So I mean, I guess that brings up a relevant question, which is, how do we optimize and make sure that we’re those ratios? The estrogen to progesterone ratio is kept at a healthy level, which in turn, will help with the whole for fertility thing that we were just


    Irene  53:25

    I think it’s not so much those ratios and fertility again, it’s a complicated process. And I’m still learning more about it myself. But it’s almost more than responsiveness. Like, if on day two or day three, your estrogen is too high, then it’s not kind of quite, it’s the fluctuations in these hormones that will produce the signals that trigger ovulation got it ultimately, where it’s like hormones like hormonal birth control works in a way where they kind of stay more constant, or progesterone stays more constant like some people think it’s almost like tricking your body into thinking you’re pregnant, like all the time.  But it’s the fluctuations you experience when you’re not on birth control that ultimately leads to getting pregnant.


    Misbah Haque  54:16

    If we kind of look outside of even fertility, how when we’re talking about testosterone, and you hear the buzzword like adrenal fatigue, right, there’s things that we’re trying to do to make sure that your testosterone levels aren’t, like super low and things like that. Is there something like that? Is there something similar for females? 


    Irene  54:39

    You haven’t studied women as much as subjects. But yeah, I think there’s definitely a lot that I really want to look into more in the literature. I’m kind of just getting started on this process, but I’ve even seen some studies that have suggested differences and training adaptation. When’s one phase of the cycle versus a different one? So like you kind of break up the menstrual cycle into two phases, the follicular phase going between, like the start of your period to when you ovulate, okay. And then after that, it’s a different type of phase when progesterone goes really high called the luteal phase. And so there’s kind of like, How could your training be different in those two, two phases of a cycle? And how could it be different between a woman on birth control or not on birth control?  I think it’s very interesting, certainly, because that’s the age of women that are probably going to be professional athletes and that sort of thing. And I think also like, on the level for a while now, or not so much in our sport, but in other sports, there’s been a problem for women, female athletes called the female triad, they call it okay, but it’s when women start to get so skinny, and they lose their periods. And then that contributes to, they lose bone mass, they’re anorexic, all these awful things going on. Because that happened in a lot of sports, where sometimes like gymnastics, where like, the women wanted to be so low in body mass to be able to compete effectively. And then they’d go on this horrible side effects of things, and they would lose their periods. And then a lot of times the treatment for that would sometimes be forms of birth control, got to get the hormones back, and,   interesting back to levels. So I think I don’t think that’s is I haven’t seen as much of that effects in like, now our sports, CrossFit. And now that women are getting more interested in having muscle mass, where it’s not like, No, I have to be super low weight. It’s more like,  I want to mass that. And so I don’t think you see as much of that female triad thing and right, in these types of athletes.


    Misbah Haque  57:01

    But on the other end, like, does this somehow tie into this? That myth, right, that oh, my gosh, strength training is going to make you super bulky, right. It’s gonna make you huge, like a bodybuilder? Yeah. And you mentioned how, in males, testosterone is, you know, tenfold higher, and then females still have testosterone, but it’s very low.  


    Irene  57:23

    It’s lower levels, but they also say they’re somewhat more sensitive to it. Got it. So yeah, I think testosterone in women is another really interesting, you know, topic to look into and how that affects her training. I mean, certainly, you know, when women go on anabolic, you know, testosterone, analog steroids, you see, you know, it becomes a lot more obvious, because they’ll have a lowering of their boys, they might get facial hair, you know, that sort of thing. But their natural levels, like what do those two and, you know, and how it’s like a woman with higher natural testosterone, like, got performance advantages, I think it’s an interesting question as well.


    Misbah Haque  58:08

    So what do we know, at the moment, maybe about, like, these natural levels of testosterone in women, and how that kind of, I guess, affects training and a sense.


    Irene  58:21

    Pretty minimal.


    Misbah Haque  58:23

    Because  I don’t know where I heard this. I’m probably butchering it. But like the level, you know, how you mentioned that metric for the level of testosterone that males typically have. And if we were to use that same metric for the level that women have, it’s so drastically different. 




    Irene  58:41

    The women’s testosterone is actually measured in the same unit, Guyana, gram per deciliter, but it’s like way lower.


    Misbah Haque  58:50

    It’s way, way lower. Right. So does that impact, like, you would really have to try to get huge if that was something that you were going after, right? Like, that doesn’t just happen from you three by five, it’s not physiological.


    Irene  59:09

    Possible. Unless you start doping. 


    Misbah Haque  59:13

    So that’s another interesting thing to kind of dig into.


    Irene  59:16

    I think that perception is changing, you’re not gonna look like a super bulky bodybuilder, but you are gonna get shoulders you’re gonna, you have a bigger build. And I think more women are starting to want that. It’s pretty awesome  It’s not just oh, I want to be toned. It’s like, no, I actually want to have muscle mass.  


    Misbah Haque  59:44

    Cool. So is there anything that from your perspective, right that I’m missing, and I should be asking that maybe listeners would want to know a little bit more about based on what we kind of touched on?


    Irene  59:56

    We went through a lot. I always get lost in some of the stuff. So always think about something later down the line.  


    Misbah Haque  1:00:07

    About that.  


    Irene  1:00:09

    Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Just how much is out there? Yeah, yeah, I mean, I think I touched on most.


    Misbah Haque  1:00:18

    We’ll keep an eye out for questions and things like that. I know we have life turned on. I can’t really see if there are any questions or whatever. But yeah, maybe we can continue the conversation and other like another time, but for sure, I would love to dig into some of my rapid fires to kind of conclude here. So okay, let’s see, let’s go with you and have a couple billion dollars. Right. And you had a staff of 40 people? 40. People are top performers, elite thinkers in whatever it is that you are recruiting them for? And you want to make some type of impact or some type of change with those resources? What would you do with it?


    Irene  1:00:58

    Well certainly, as a scientist, very frustrated with  the methods that we get funding or the sources that we get funding, we really want to set up some sort of research center that is oriented around the questions I’m interested in. Yeah, that’s kind of selfish, but yeah, to go after those types of knowledge that traditionally the NIH doesn’t see, or doesn’t have the vision to see what we’re going after it isn’t as much in the interests of companies that are trying to market a type of drug or a type of product. but I really feel like what we’re doing people aren’t there are other people are interested? Oh, absolutely. I think it’s a type of research that people can immediately relate to. Yeah. And they can realize the need for it. And so it’s interesting, Andy had this idea last fall, which we explored, ultimately ended up being a lot more work than we anticipated. We learned a lot from the process, but we did a crowdfunding grant. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And we got it. In the end, we were able to use it to fund some of Jimmy’s work to buy this last part for this confocal microscope that he needed to construct that,  would finally let them do a lot of the cool things he wanted to do. So it was like, it was like, really well-spent funding science, like it wasn’t going to be wasted on stuff. It wasn’t working, it was actually used for a piece of equipment. So that was another realm we looked at, but again, in this day and age, like, there are other ways of getting to people in alternative types of media. And when people get interested in this stuff, like if they hear about it on some podcasts then have millions of listeners who are interested in the same topics and are interested in human performance, some of the most popular podcasts out there are really interested in that. So, yeah, if you get the right message across to people, and you get the right audience, and you get people interested, I mean, that would be a super cool way. If you had it set up in the right way, and you market it in the right way to solve the problem of like, the government’s not interested. Goes companies aren’t interested in funding us. Your hashtag finds a way. 


    Misbah Haque  1:03:37

    Isn’t that interesting? I mean, just the change in technology and change in culture with social media and things like that. And, and this medium that we’re kind of a community right now. How much that impact everything else as well Like you said, Nothing is black and white. That’s a squeaking sound in the background. But nothing is black and white. And everything, like in biology, like you said, is kind of connected. And it’s and so it’s, it’s funny, to me, it’s similar to Joe Rogan, for example, I think he has like, what, 90 million downloads per month or something like that. And in the US, there’s like, what, 330 million-plus people that’s like a third of the nation, right? And like, if you were able to get something like that across, I’m not sure just to that audience size, but it’s like, yeah, like you said, the MMA fighter who was super interested and wants Dr. Galpin to do more research on females like when you start to get that kind of buzz going and there’s just around it. Yeah, you never know what can kind of come about.


    Irene  1:04:35

    And that’s what I mean. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing like I’ve never felt in my life, this sense of that I’m running down a dream, that I’m fully exploring my own potential. That was definitely something I learned throughout the past five years that I’ve been here or seven years that I’ve been here in San Diego but like six five or six of them and Invictus? Yeah. And just doing that whole process through grad school as I’ve actually I told people straight up like, I don’t think I would have finished my Ph.D. had I not found it MC does, yeah, there’s something that it really gave me in terms of fostering mental toughness, yeah, talk about and like how CJ, like wants to relate people’s mindsets that they developed in the gym to apply to other parts of their life. And again, science is this incredibly frustrating process that doesn’t cooperate a lot of the time. And you’ll get stuck working on a project that your advisors are interested in, that isn’t going anywhere. And dealing like I’ve always been kind of a goal-oriented person. Dealing with that failure for multiple years was just like having a place like Invictus to come and throw around some weight and meet some of my best friends here,  ultimately, like, I’d say Invictus has given me kind of connected me to all of the most important things in my life right now in San Diego my research, like I found all of this through getting connected into training, then starting to listen to podcasts that related to training, and then figuring out a way that what I learned in my PhD could contribute to my personal interests is a really unique opportunity. But then I’ve met like, again, a lot of my best friends here, I’ve met my boyfriend here, obviously, I’ve got great personal health benefits from it. And just but again, the mindset, that, that change in the sort of like, okay, like, I really can go after this, I can kind of want to explore my full potential. And so it’s, it’s cool to be able to do that, and in the medium that I am now, and to work with somebody like Andy, who is very open-minded, it’s very different than any other academic Professor out there that I’ve met is very skilled at communicating to the public, trust my expertise being that I come from a different field, and we’re doing a lot of biochemistry stuff, like, I don’t feel like I’m working. For him. I feel like I’m working with him. Like, it’s a true team collaboration, which is a really great feeling. And especially considering, like most postdoc experiences out there, like, it’s terrible. It’s like your slave or your professor, you to whatever like awful projects they have as part of their grant and that they have funding for and you’re miserable sort of thing. Like, if you’d asked me like, I don’t know, your two years ago, maybe? Or like when I was finishing up my PhD is like, Are you gonna do a postdoc be like, Hell, no.


    Misbah Haque  1:07:56

    Yeah. It’s fascinating how, like, we just said everything is connected, right? You being able to come to Invictus leads so many other things. And yeah, I’m excited to see what else you guys uncover.


    Irene  1:08:09

    It’s a longer there’s still a lot of challenges thrown at us from the nitty gritty like shipping mishaps things right? You deal with, like, the larger scale like funding? Challenges. But we were determined we really believe in what we’re doing.  


    Misbah Haque  1:08:30

    Let’s say that you still had a couple billion dollars, you’re still a billionaire, right?


    Irene  1:08:34

    Oh, yeah. We’re going back to that. Escape.


    Misbah Haque  1:08:39

    And you could give two to three books to every person in the world.


    Irene  1:08:44

    Oh, this is how we’re going? 


    Misbah Haque  1:08:47

    What would they be? And they don’t have to be trained in anything related to science. Just what comes to mind for you?

    Irene  1:08:54

    That’s a tough one. So I will, I will go out there and say, like, straight off, I am a terrible leader. Okay. There’s a reason I went to study math and science in college and university. I was like, I don’t want to read it. Right. Of course, I have to read a science paper. But it’s a little different. Yeah, I don’t know. I’m a very slow reader. And I actually, like I have a short attention span. So it’s rare that I find a book that I like, and finish all the way through.


    Misbah Haque  1:09:23

    So let’s do this.  It could be books, Any other medium? It could be because people consume things differently. Some people prefer to watch videos for gaining their information. Some like to listen to podcasts. What three resources are right, that you would love to send out to every person in the world? What would they be?


    Irene  1:09:45

    That’s a tough one, like because people need different things, or in different parts of the world. I mean, certainly the gift of coming to a gym like this, like I mean outside of like looking at it as a book or video or something like that there’s just so much to get out of being in a community of people that are all oriented around the same value. And, like, having the courage to come into this place, like I think is some, what limits some people in some of the times where they’re like,   I’m not good enough, or  I don’t know if I’d fit in there. But like, when they actually do step out of that, then they get so much out of the experience. So, like, I don’t know, yeah, if everyone could have a place like this, and maybe it doesn’t need to be a gym? I mean, I think I understand. I’ve never been religious, but I understand now why people like going to church, right? It’s kind of valid. And yeah, and it has to be like the right number of people. Like, I think they say they’ve even looked at this, like, relative to what our ancestors had for their tribes, it’s like I forget what number it is, but it’s something like 200 to 300. Okay, it’s like enough people that you are meeting new people. But you also know, most everybody sure is like, where you really connect with people.


    Misbah Haque  1:11:09

    Very fascinating. So, is there something that you feel like you don’t get asked to get asked enough about and something you wish maybe people would ask you more?


    Irene  1:11:18

    So that’s a tough one. I mean, sometimes it depends on what mood I’m in. like people would think, Oh, you want to be asked about your research?  that’s a great question. It’s sometimes when it’s going badly, I’m like, I want to talk. But, yeah, I mean, I definitely love what I’m doing more now, certainly way more than I did in grad school. I do like talking about what we’re doing, what we’re exploring, the types of paradigms we want to change. For sure. That’s a great thing. Just want to spread the word about that, in all sense.  


    Misbah Haque  1:11:57

    Is there something as we were kind of talking today that came across as kind of new to something you may have kind of uncovered or learned about yourself as you were kind of going through it?


    Irene  1:12:08

    I think I went better overall than I thought it could have gotten. Good to hear. At some point, this is again, my first podcast. Yeah, I definitely want to do more of those. Because, yeah, I think it’s a really good exercise, again, communicating science to the public. Learning from how you are as a speaker and  that’s ultimate, like, what you have to do you have to go out and speak about your research, or if you’re going to get it funded if you’re going to make collaborations happen, that sort of thing. And again, like one skill, talking to your peers, which actually, there are a lot of scientists that can’t really do that, either right or terrible desires. And even if you’re in the same field, you’re just like, so turned off or they just like, when you hear them talk about it, they’re not like engaged or sounding excited about it. Sure. But then it’s another skill to be able to communicate to the public. And that’s, again, something I really want to keep learning from Andy. And in that sense. 


    Misbah Haque  1:13:17

    I know, we touched on a lot throughout this. So we always do. Is there something that a coach or athlete or listener can kind of take away from this podcast, and kind of use it to make themselves better? What would you like to leave with?


    Irene  1:13:32

    The results of what we’re finding in science right now, take a while to actually become translatable, especially for what we’re doing where it’s going to study these molecules, these properties of muscle cells, which there’s still so much unknown and a long, long process that will be a while before we’re directly able to relate that to training applications or health application, right. But I think just in general, like just thinking about science differently, like and being more like having more receptiveness towards like, okay, maybe I don’t understand these words, but I can actually get the concepts there  I think people again, as scientists, you want to try and avoid jargon, as best you can. And I really try to do that when I’m talking to the general public, it’s kind of easier to rely on the jargon, but that’s what turns people off. But if you can engage them more in that sense, and I think with coaches and athletes, like, I think a lot of people wonder about the same things that I have, like there’s like superheroes walking around, right? Like, what’s going on with them or why does this guy recover way faster than I do? maybe he has really high testosterone or something or, or what’s going on with his muscles. fiber type that’s different from mine.  or allows him or her to grow more muscle faster or something like that.  


    Misbah Haque  1:15:09

    Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on. Where can we support you? Where can we find you? Where can we kind of, you know, follow along with your journey?


    Irene  1:15:17

    Yeah. So I would say, definitely, following Andy will probably like it, I don’t have many Instagram followers. And it’s mostly just like, you know, pictures of things that I’m doing right. I don’t post as much as he does about the actual science that we’re doing. But he definitely, Dr. Andy Galpin on Instagram or Twitter will post a lot of, you know, not just studies we are doing but a lot of like breaking down other studies related to training in a way that people can get something out of it. He’s also been working on a website. I mean, he does so much stuff. I don’t know what projects he does, like, he’s like a full time professor who has to teach who also has to do like the academic bureaucracies stuff, right? None of them like and then research, like getting grants funded. And then he does all these podcasts, like books, everything seminars outside of that. It’s just it’s not super. Yeah, sure. But yeah, so he’s been working on a website, where he’s been posting a lot of videos that we’ve done on talks or things that he’s done in the past. And those are really great to check out. I’d even watched some of them before I jumped on board. Certainly following him on Barbell Shrugged. This is a more regular guest on that podcast now. But yeah, I hope to be on more podcasts in the future and continue talking about this stuff and, you know, hopefully translate some of these ideas to get a better platform in the future. Yeah,


    Misbah Haque  1:16:52

    definitely. What was the name of the site that documents that we can point people to for Oh, Goblin.


    Irene  1:16:58

    Oh, yeah. It’s like Andy galpin.com. Okay, it’s pretty easy to run that


    Misbah Haque  1:17:01

    if people have any questions for you. Is there a place where they can connect with you? Or would you like them to send them? Sure?


    Irene  1:17:08

    I mean, I’ve got an open profile on Instagram. You know, send me a message there.


    Misbah Haque  1:17:13

    What’s your handle there?


    Irene  1:17:15

    Oh, I’m Dr. Irene. So Tobias got it. Cool.


    Misbah Haque  1:17:18

    I’ll link that up in the show notes. Awesome. Well, once again, thank you so much for doing this. It was a blast chatting with you. I feel like I learned a ton. This is one of those episodes, you’re going to, like want to go back to and like re-listen, because there’s definitely yeah,  

    Irene  1:17:31

    I hope you didn’t speak too fast now.


    Misbah Haque  1:17:35

    Thank you so much. And maybe we can do this again sometime, for sure. Thank you so much for listening, guys. Once again, I highly appreciate the time, energy, attention, and support that you give each and every week listening to these episodes. I hope you were able to walk away with something useful from this one, or at least entertained by it. One request I have for you is to head over to airborne mind.com and take a couple of minutes just leave a review with your thoughts you have no idea how much that would mean to me. Next, please head over to airborne mind.com Check out the three-day sample programs. You can use this stuff as accessory work to supplement your existing training. Of course, each individual is a little bit different. And so we have ones that are specific to pull-ups if that’s something you’re working on, one that’s specific to handstand push-ups, one that’s specific to pistols, shoulder stability, so go see if that is relevant to you. Once again, that is airborne mind.com If you ever have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. I love hearing from you guys. But thank you so much for joining me once again. Until next time


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