On this episode of the Circuit of Success, host Brett Gilliland interviews Kristen Holmes, the VP of Performance Science at Whoop. Kristen shares her impressive resume and discusses the importance of tracking and understanding stress levels, nasal breathing, and circadian alignment. She emphasizes the importance of taking control of our lives and making choices that will benefit our future selves. Lastly, Kristen talks about Legacy Expeditions, a company owned by former special operations members that attempts to skydive into all seven continents in seven days to raise money for Folds of Honor. Tune in for recommendations on stress management and different tips to improve your overall health!

Kristen Holmes // Circuit of Success Full Video


Speaker Brett Gilliland: Welcome to the Circuit of Success. I’m your host, Brett Gilliland today I’ve got Kristen Holmes with me, the VP of Performance Science at Woop. Whoop. It’s awesome to have you. How are you today? Speaker Kristen Holmes: I’m doing great. Thank you so much. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Sorry for the technical difficulties we had there, but, we’re we’re at, you know, Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. If that’s all we have to be challenged with today, we’re we’re doing alright. Speaker Brett Gilliland: That’s right. You’re exactly right. Well, you, have an amazing, resume, and, I’m gonna read just a little bit of this stuff just so our our listeners get a a little gist of who you are, but I think it’s really cool going back even to, even before this, what I have here in college, you were a three time all American, two time big ten athlete of the year at the University of Iowa. Makes my cousin Brad happy. He said, I finally I’d I sent him this this morning. He said, you finally got some talent on there, you know, humor soon. Speaker Kristen Holmes: The Speaker Brett Gilliland: competing in both Field Hockey and Basketball of two thousand twenty one University of Iowa Hall of Fame and Ducki, seven year member of the US National Field Hockey team, one of the most successful coaches in Ivy League history, twelve league titles in thirteen season in a national championship at Princeton, You have an MIT, sloan, artificial intelligence certificate in MA from psychology and sports performance, and bachelor’s of political science from Iowa, you are a PhD candidate, and you’re just serving the world. It’s amazing what you are doing. So thanks for being with us. My question for you, Kristen, if you can, we’re gonna start off kind of a big wide question is what has helped make you the woman you are today? Speaker Kristen Holmes: Oh, I think, probably being, really introspective about the things that I care about and and what I wanna think about, how I wanna apply my attention, and just ensuring that I’m creating outlets for those things. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Speaker Kristen Holmes: You know, so I think it’s and then, you know, from a micro perspective, just ensuring that those things that I say care about you know, my behaviors are laddering up to that. And I think that for me, that has just been a very simple framework I think from a very young age that I’ve just tried to apply consistently. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Speaker Kristen Holmes: And and I I think, you know, how you get to that is is definitely through awareness and introspection. And I just don’t know how we can as human beings, like, I I don’t know There there might be other paths, but I I think, you know, taking the time to really understand how we want to apply our effort and and the things that we wanna think about is is just, like, such a core stepping stone to, like, leading of flourishing kind of happy life. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. And and so, obviously, you don’t just show up to University of Iowa and do all the things you did. So your upbringing was a big part of Did do you think did your parents focus a lot on the outcome or more on the effort that you were putting in as an athlete? Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. I mean, I, you know, I think you’re losing some process versus outcome, and as a coach, this is something that I think, I, thought about a ton as a coach and as an athlete. And, you know, I would say that’s because there’s real nervous system implications, to each, which we can certainly talk about. But, I would say my my parents, were really just, like, let me my thing. I mean, my dad, my, my, my dad played football in Nebraska, you know, a, a big time athlete himself, and I think he really pushed my brother, to play football, and my brother ended up quitting in seventh grade. And my, you know, brother’s a few years older than I am, and and I think that, like, really crushed my dad’s soul And I I think, like, so when it came to me, he just kinda let me do my thing. And so but I was, I think, always I was just really a a driven kid. And I had, you know, a pretty tough household growing up. You know, my mom was, just she struggled with alcohol. Her whole life had a lot of mental health issues, so my dad traveled a lot. So, you know, I was I was pretty unsupervised, to be honest. And, you know, I just I found team sports as, just an unbelievable home, you know, where I could be with other folks and, you know, other other kids, you know, coaches. Yeah. It was really, like, my outlet. And So I was always, you know, honest many teams as I could, you know, that would take me and, that I could that I could, you know, walk to or, you know, find rides to. And, yeah, so I I think from for for me, you know, my I don’t know that my my parents really kind of, had a lot of influence in terms of process versus outcome. But I do know that, you know, regardless of how I played, you know, especially as I got older and it was really competing at higher levels, didn’t matter how many goals I scored, how many, you know, baskets I had. Like, you know, it’s it was, my dad always you know, love me unconditionally, and, you know, never seemed to place, you know, my my worth on on my performance that said, I did. And it took me a long time to understand that and unravel it and start to, not think about my self worth in the context of my performance levels. And this was probably one of the harder, you know, when I think about my early adulthood, this is probably one of the the hardest things I had to work through. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. It it’s it’s, but don’t you think that also that that hard being hard on ourselves that maybe there there was fear, maybe there was just that pressure, maybe it was just that desire to be great. Like, don’t you think that matters though too? I mean, you gotta want it. Right? You gotta wanna you gotta go take it to the next level. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. But I I think understanding our motivations though is really is important. You know, like, you know, what what is driving me? You know, am I running from something? Am I running to something? Am I motive by motivated by emotions of trust? Am I motivated by emotions of fear? Know, they have two very different, impacts on our physiology, on our, you know, on our brain. Of course, those are interrelated. So I think getting to a, a place where you’re you’re motivated by by trust and and you’ve got I think, and there’s, I think, some purity in in in those motivations. I I think that is kind of a sustainable framework, whereas I think operating out of fear, will come at a cost, eventually. And it’s gonna through your head in in a way that probably aren’t gonna be proud of. So I I think understanding the the root of emotions and and trying to and I guess a a very simple example, you know, in my motivated by motivated by, you know, a fear emotion, fear based motion would be, you know, jealousy, for Gilliland and, you know, kind of some of those social comparisons that can, that can come forwards, or am I motivated by you know, love of the sport and and just a a passion for the technical aspects of the sport or you know, trying to solve like a problem. You know, so I I think understanding those motivations, I think, are are really important, in terms of, just from a health, a mental health perspective. Speaker Brett Gilliland: So if if we can, let’s dive into your day. I mean, obviously, super busy the work that you were all doing at Woop, and and we’ll dive into Woop here in a second. But if we can talk to us about what’s a typical day, like, you. I know there’s no probably typical day, but the the no — Yeah. — the no mis habits that we’re seeing that Kristen’s doing day in and day out. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. So I guess I’ll talk about today. You know, I woke up at at 6AM. I’m really lucky I have a a track right by my house. Yeah. 6AM, crushed about, I don’t know, I guess, eight ounces of of element. Yeah. So it’ll salt my water. And then hit the track and and I ran, I don’t know, four or four hundreds, eight, two hundreds, and ten, one hundreds, and did, some core work, some mobility, jog back home, had a protein shake, showered, got in the car with my son, drove him to, the New England junior championships playing, in the p the the New England junior PGA championship — Much. Speaker Brett Gilliland: — Speaker Kristen Holmes: today at Stow acres. Yeah. So get some car time with my boy and, yeah, I dropped him off and then just headed into work. So I I work in Boston, and Yeah. I think one of the things that I’m I’m working on, you know, as we kind of are back in the office is just, thinking about my movement throughout the day. You know, I might have crushed a workout this morning, but, you know, that sedentary behavior is, like, crushing on on health, and there’s more research kinda coming around there. So, yeah, just making sure that I’m, you know, using my standing desk and moving around the office. Enough throughout the day. But, but, yeah, we’ll get to think about all sorts of cool problems today. Gonna give a little lecture to the data science steam on physiology. So I’m kind of pumped for that. Yeah. And then, Speaker Brett Gilliland: So what will be in that what’s in that lecture today? So what was so what are you talking about with this team. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. Yeah. So so just so basics of of physiology, so just kind of understanding, some of the core components. So, you know, what is homeostasis? You know, why is physiology research interesting? Gilliland, you know, why do we care about it at whoops or just kind of helping people understand the research aspect of of some of the things that we do here here at whoop And then really just kind of, using the the, obviously, we’re physiological monitoring device. Right? So, data science team is is building our algorithms so and a lot of those folks don’t have backgrounds necessarily in physiology. So what we’re trying to do is just, you know, give them a basic understanding so kind of a science of whoops, so really thinking about physiology through the lens of a boop, you know, across sleep, strain, recovery. So they can kind of understand, Alright. How do how do certain behaviors, drive, you know, your internal status? So your ability to kind of maintain homeostasis or adapt to stimulus. You know, there are definitely, you know, behaviors that we’re driving people towards that will help them, be able to adapt to stress in, a more functional way. And that’s really core to kind of what we’re we do at Woop. Right? We wanna give people information so they resurface data that helps them understand how they’re adapting to stimulus. And, you know, am I adapting in a functional way? So that is is, you know, the demands, of my of the body of the organism. You know, am I am I kind of, enabling, am I living in a way that allows me to kind of match my the demand of my environment. So kind of understanding that connection, or or their mismatches, you know, and what does non functional kind of adaptation look like? So, yeah, so that’s kind of Speaker Brett Gilliland: — Yeah. — Speaker Kristen Holmes: what the, yeah, the presentation was Speaker Brett Gilliland: So if you can, give us, give our listeners just the the whoop commercial if you of what is a whoop. Obviously, I wear it, it’s my sleep, my recovery, my strain, you know, stress. All those great things, but give us give us the whoop from the inside What’s that commercial and and what is a wheel? Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. Yeah. So it’s a twenty four seven physiological monitor device. We’re aiming to kind of coach you toward behaviors that will help you control the trajectory of your health. That’s really what we’re after. Like, we wanna help you, Brett, understand your physiology better so you can, make choices that will, allow you to be more present in, in your life and give you more energy, and, and ultimately, I think live your values kinda to go back to the very first thing that we talked about. Like, you know, it’s all about, like, do I have the energy and and the the presence and the attention, to be able to, do the things that I care about in my life. And really I think that’s that’s our kind of our core mission. It’s not a watch. So there’s no watch face. It’s, and as a result, we’re able to put all of our computational power into kind of, the fidelity of of collecting every single heartbeat you know, at a at a beautiful sampling rates, industry kind of standard. So as a result, our underlying data is really, really good and enables us to build features that help you understand, how your you know, how you’re sleeping, how you’re recovering, and the kind of, what type of load you’re putting on your body. We help you understand your stress so we have this really cool new feature, called the stress monitor that helps you understand your your stress throughout the day. So this is non activity stress, so not the stress from my track workout, but the stress that, I’m incurring in other aspects, parts of my day. And we have a strength trainer feature. So, where we can actually quantify the neuromuscular load, of your of your workout and feed that into our recovery and and also kind of help you get credit for those those strength training workouts, which is always kind of a pain point for our members because It’s very cardiovascular, you know, our strain score is very cardiovascular. And as a result, you know, I do a track workout. I get a twelve strain. But I go into the gym and I feel like I crush myself in, you know, a similar kind of way, but I only get a seven, and that has always been a little bit of a pain point But now that we can actually measure your neuromuscular kind of, load and and effort, we’re able to actually, quantify that and kind of give you, commensurate credit, for that. And and I think most importantly kind of help you understand how you’re recovering from that load. Speaker Brett Gilliland: And I I love the stress monitor. I just this on a podcast the other day I was talking about and actually pulled it up during a podcast where sometimes people are like, oh my gosh, I gotta be you know, this person was live in the studio with this and it’s, you know, I’m it’s it’s nerve wracking. It it could be all this stuff. Right? You could think that’s a high stress situation. But when I pulled it up to prove a point and when I’m doing this with clients as well, I was, like, at a point eight on the stress meter. Wow. Which is low. Right? Which for me and correct me if I’m wrong here, but that tells me that I’m doing something that I love to do. Right? I’m in line my values. I love sitting with my clients. I love sitting in the podcast learning. Like, that’s a big deal versus something else that could be super stressful. Then I can go back throughout my day and look, where was my stressful moments? Get more of that on my calendar or less of that on my calendar. Is that a fair way to be using that? Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. I think that’s a a beautiful story. And and yeah. I mean, I think if we how we perceive stress is really, really important. And it’s gonna impact our physiology. It’s gonna impact our heart. Right? If I perceive that stress to be good, you know, I am gonna that stress will maybe it could look the same on the graph. As if I perceive it bad, but my ability to recover from that stress is, likely gonna be better than if that if I perceive that stress to be bad. So there’s kind of that component that I think is interesting and important for people to understand lots of science behind that. But I think the other thing too, Brad, is like you it also might speak to just your fitness level too. So, you know, what might be kind of even if someone was doing exactly the same thing. Well, so let’s say you and I, we’re both, like, loving what we’re doing right now. Like, this conversation’s, like, super excited and it’s it’s aligned with, like, what we value. Yeah. Yeah. Speaker Brett Gilliland: I’m at a I’m at a point three right now. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. I mean, I think a lot of that is just, is your comfort level in the setting is, yeah, the alignment, right, like you’re just fully aligned. You have a really good baseline fitness you know, some people are gonna rev higher just because they’re not as fit. Right? So, so yeah, I think there’s like a lot of things kind of happening probably that, give you that low stress. But but, yeah, I mean, generally speaking, like, you know, and you have a green recovery today. So your body is, like, really primed to adapt to all sorts of different types of stimulus today, including kind of the cognitive, stimulus. And there is no question that, you know, if you’re living your values, you know, your behaviors are, you know, aligned with what you say you care about, and you’re incorporating you know, different modes of of exercise and you’re, you know, keeping your heart healthy. You are gonna have a lower stress score. And the other thing that we see correlate with kind of your daytime stress is, is how you sleep at night. So if you have really so if your perception and this is just like we need to do like a proper studies. So this is just anti data, but it seems that if you perceive stress bad and you’ve got really bouncy, high stress throughout the day, you know, unmanaged stress that will rear its head in sleep. So when you look at your stress monitor, you wanna have a really flat sleep. Like, you wanna have really low sleep. So that’s something to kinda keep an eye out for. And I noticed for me, when I am not incorporating my breath work. And when I talked about my day, movement’s important, and also kind of getting in just 05:30 seconds, five sets or reps, I guess, of of thirty seconds of of breathing. I try to do that throughout the day to kind of mitigate that negative stress accumulation. So I think if we’re if we’re not managing stress throughout the day proactively, it can rear its head in sleep, and that’s definitely you know, a relationship that we see on stress monitors Speaker Brett Gilliland: — Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. — is kind of unmanaged daytime stress, and and kind of how bouncy your sleep is. Speaker Brett Gilliland: K. That and that’s I love the awareness of that. So that that’s helpful. And and so maybe somebody that doesn’t wear a whoop yet, well, hopefully they’ll all go buy a whoop right now. Right? That’s right. You’ll buy this. It’s just a monthly fee and you get an unbelievable amount of data. And I what I love is I was just with a guy, golfing in a in a charity golf term on Monday, and he was wearing So, you know, we spent, you know, an hour probably throughout the day talking about whoop, which is great. Speaker Kristen Holmes: I mean, Speaker Brett Gilliland: he doesn’t do the journal. I’m like, dude, you gotta do the journal. I’m like, the the monthly stuff you get at the end of the month. Just tell me what what helps my sleep, what hurts it, what helps my recovery, what doesn’t. But for somebody that doesn’t listen, or doesn’t and I’m sorry, doesn’t wear a woot that talk about that breathing thing. Like, how important is that throughout your day? I can’t track it because I don’t wear one, but if I did, what’s that doing for me? Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. You know, it’s it’s it’s such a, I suppose simple intervention, and I and I think what’s really powerful about our breath is it’s always with us, you know, and and we can kind of be, you know, make conscious choices of around how we breathe for the most part. You know, I think we wanna try to nasal breathe as often as possible. So if you kinda notice yourself walking around with your mouth open in not talking or eating, close your mouth. And I think, you know, there are, like, it’s tape that you can wear over your mouth. Let me Speaker Brett Gilliland: give me one of my questions. Speaker Kristen Holmes: So, yeah, which can be super helpful when you’re trying to build a habit. You know, my son, and my daughter both you know, had to were kind of mouth breathers. And, and, yeah, so taping the mouth when they’re just watching a TV show or on, you know, or doing homework or whatever. But I think becoming an out of nasal breather is very, very important, and a very strong relationship between, cardiovascular health and, your ability to sleep at night. So managing kind of breath throughout the day is very, very important. So you wanna become a nasal beater. And then, I think on top of that, we wanna make sure that and and this is related, but, slightly different. We wanna make sure that we’re, I guess, with every bout of kind of stress that we incur over the course of the day. So let’s say, you know, even though we both perceive this as as good stress, we still need to recover from it. Right? So, you know, after the session doing, you know, thirty seconds of, you know, slow paced breathing, is a great way to, kind of deactivate the nervous system. Right? So even though your stress is really low right now, you’re still, like, slightly at more activated than you would, maybe, in another scenario, right, where you’re not engaged in, like, thinking and, so you wanna just make sure that over the course of the day, you’re having these activated moments, which is awesome and important. And then you’re mapping it with appropriate levels of deactivation. So we’re talking about it from an autonomic nervous system perspective. Right? So if you’re constantly activated, Right? And not mapping that activation with moments of deactivation, you end up building stress. And and these are just kind of acute moments, but they end up being kind of, they end up becoming kind of it becomes more chronic stress, right, if we’re not it. Right? We our body can only, manage activation for so long. So, you know, mapping that activation with moments of of deactivation, the thirty seconds of just, a shorter inhale extended exhale. You can do in through the nose, out through the mouth, or in through the nose, out through the nose, you know, for thirty seconds, you know, four or five times a day will actually go a long, long way to helping mitigate that negative stress accumulation, and most important help you fall asleep and stay asleep at night. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. See, I love this because, you know, I talk a lot about meditation. That that really helped me get through a I’m a very I was. Still am. Very anxious person. Lot of nerves. Right? But the, meditation changed my life. I mean, it literally changed my life of being able to look at anxiety as a ally as a friend, it’s probably never gonna go away, but now how to control it. But I’ve also learned, you know, when I’m in stressful situations, just may maybe you’re in a meeting. Is that breathing part is you can, quote, unquote, meditate or breathe, you know, and lower that heart rate in a meeting, right, without somebody even knowing. That you’re doing that. And I think it’s just so critically important. I love hearing you talk about it. And because we we take it for granted. Right? We wake up. We’re breathing. We go to sleep, we’re breathing. And middle of the night, we’re breathing. It’s like you just do it. But the more you consciously focus on it, the better it is and the better you can perform throughout your day. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. And and I think it’s just, under it’s, I think, underrated as, like, such an important, like, key to help. You know, it’s, like, it it’s the buried entry is actually really low. You know, like, we just literally is closing our mouth. Like Yeah. You know, I I I don’t, you know, have the the actual numbers of of how that actually helps our health span, but it it’s it’s pretty massive, especially given how much we breathe. Right? We wanna make sure that we’re breathing properly. Right? We we haven’t, you know, we’re not, you know, a lot of this mouth breathing is is just a function of modernity. Right? So, yeah, we just need to get get back to nasal breathing, and Yeah. And I and I think, you know, it it’s our our muscles will work more effectively. Our brain is gonna work more effectively. You know, every organ cell tissue in our body, is gonna, work more effectively. So, yeah, nasal breathing is is, I think, really important. And then, and then that breath work. Well, it’s Speaker Brett Gilliland: cool because I’ve seen more and more people, you know, tape their mouth and do all that stuff either while they’re sleeping or while they’re working out. Yep. And while I was, you know, Instagram talking you, getting my research for today. I, you know, I saw you did one, like, oh, three and a half years ago. You were Yeah. Speaker Kristen Holmes: The portal is both. Yeah. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I’m like, alright. There’s something to this. If she’s doing this three plus years ago, I’m like, alright. There’s something there. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. Yeah. And I, you know, I’ve totally Yeah. I mean, at this point, like, I I don’t have to tape my mouth anymore. But, yeah, I was trying to actually I was taping it during, wait session, so where I really struggle to kind of, keep my mouth closed. Yeah. But, yeah, I was just kind of, yeah, so that that was a a post run about to get into my weight session, and, yeah, I was just trying to kinda ramp up the I guess, difficulty, just by focusing on nasal breathing. Yeah. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Incredible. Let’s talk about synchronizing our circadian rhythm. What that means. Why is that so important? Let’s talk about it. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. Yeah. This is another one. I think, right, with breathing, that I think people don’t necessarily, maybe understand or think about or or realize, like, how powerful of a lever it is to improving really every aspect of of human health. So our bodies are naturally, want to naturally align to the light dark cycle. So, you know, right now, it’s day time. So the sun is out. And my body is taking in cues from the environment. It’s taking in cues from my behaviors as well. So when I eat, when I go to bed, when I wake up, when I exercise, you know, when is that mo those moments of stress, when is that the moments of relaxation? So all of these things are are really, are are the cues, the the most important cues that, are gonna tell my body my cells, my tissues, my organs, what it is they need to do. And when we are behaving out of sync, to the light dark cycle that has that puts enormous, stress on my system. So you can think about when I’m aligned, so that’s it’s, you know, it’s the daytime, and I’m getting lots of natural light my body is really happy and it feels safe because it’s it’s what it’s what is it being what my body is expecting indogenously is being kind of confirmed and validated with what’s happening externally. So there’s we call that circadian alignment. When I am awake, for example, when my body thinks it should be sleeping, that puts huge amounts of stress on my body. And as a result, my body feels unsafe. And when your body feels unsafe, it activates the sympathetic branch of the nervous system. So thank cortisol adrenaline. Right? Like, we we need that we need that activation in certain moments during the day, but we don’t want it during when during the night when we should be sleeping. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Speaker Kristen Holmes: So, so that’s just one example of kind of desynchronization and we know from the literature, the extensive literature, when we are when our circadian rhythms are desynchronized, that leads to all sorts of deleterious health outcomes. So we know that you know, I’ll I’ll save some of the really morbid, night shift worker, data because I know it’s like I’ve Speaker Brett Gilliland: read those studies that you guys put in the the in your deal. It’s terrible. Speaker Kristen Holmes: I it’s really tough and, you know, there’s other levers that I think that people can kind of pull to offset some of those negative effects of being awake during, you know, the biological night. But, but bottom line, folks want to try to, create as much synchronization, as much alignment with kind of, the natural light dark cycle. So that’s kind of number one. So, you know, morning, you wanna get as much natural light as humanly possible. You know, and it doesn’t take that much, but get yourself outside, you know, within an hour of waking up, you want, you know, five to twenty minutes, I, you know, an hour if you can swing and I, and I know that’s not practical for everyone, but, but do your best to get outside. That’s gonna set off a just a cascade of, I guess, information that that, you know, to your cells and your tissues and organs that are gonna tell them what it is that they need to do. That it’s time to be awake. This is really important information, to kind of keep you, healthy. The next piece, necessitating kind of lever is at when the sun goes down, you want to restrict light. I think it’s important for folks to note to on stand that we actually haven’t adapted as the species to, blue light after the sun goes down. Again, we think about it if our for anchor principle is about our make helping my body feel safe. This is a a core component when I am exposing myself to a lot of bright artificial light after the sun goes down. Again, my body doesn’t feel safe. I don’t end up producing melatonin, which is the the kind of hormone of darkness, and, melatonin only gets only gets released when, there is darkness. So if I am exposing myself to huge amounts of artificial light, it’s gonna be really hard to fall asleep. And melatonin isn’t just about making me fall asleep. It has neuroprotective, effects. It, melatonin, reduces cancer proneness. It it has just a, a wide ranging, impact on our on our kind of Gilliland and and when we’re depriving ourselves of of that, where, you know, that will come at a a huge cost. So light and managing light is kind of the number one, I think, circadian behavior. The second piece, of information that our body is trying to, to, align to is when you’re eating your meals. You wanna try to eat all your calories when the sun is up ideally. That is when our our body is most primed to metabolize food, and that is when it’s expecting to have to digest food. When you eat outside, of the, of of daylight hours. Again, that it it’s metabolically. It’s very expensive. Your body has to work you know, exponentially harder, to metabolize that food because it’s just it’s it’s not interested in digesting food. It’s interested in deactivating and resting. And we see at population levels data on whoop. And folks report that they’re eating, food within two hours of bed, we see huge negative impacts on sleep, So their ability to drop into deeper stages of sleep, we see negative impact on recovery, markers of recovery, so heart rate and and resting heart rate, respiratory rate. So Tim restricted eating is what we kind of call it. We call it consolidating, and time restricted eating is different than fasting. Fasting has a caloric restriction component. This is really just consolidating all of your calories within, a a window of time, 08:10, twelve hours, ideally when the sun is up. Yeah. So that’s like the second lever that’s, like, really critical. And then, the final lever that I’ll I’ll note is just you know, going to bed and waking up at consistent times. And what will enable you to do that is, restricting light after the sun goes down and seeing light first thing when you wake up. And when you do that, you will fall asleep and stay asleep generally. Have just this beautiful restorative sleep for the most part. So but sleeping stabilizing sleep wake time, and we see in our data, you know, for every minute after forty five minutes, of variability of when you go to bed and when you wake up. We see, decreases in, heart rate variability, which is negative, and increases in resting heart rate. So you wanna try to Yeah. So you wanna try to keep that window variability as narrow as possible in terms of when you wake up and when you go to bed. You don’t wanna have, like, you know, you don’t want it to be you know, an hour, two hours, three hours. Like, you wanna try to keep that band as as narrow as possible. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. It it’s, so I’m on the insights on the whoop tab or the whoop app and, it it’s funny. So a couple of them I wanna go through. So to to confirm what you’re saying there, obviously, you’re much smarter than I am, and you don’t need my confirmation, but My consistent wait time is eight percent added to my recovery, and my consistent bedtime is five percent. You know, so those may not sound like a big deal to be, but five to eighty percent is a big number. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Right? That’s that’s sign that’s clinically significant. Yes. Yeah. There are huge huge changes. Yeah. Speaker Brett Gilliland: And and so and then, the other one, and this is one of the biggest helpers for me. And you guys do that nice little push notification. Tell me, hey, Brett, you know, go to bed. You know? And so sometimes I’m like, shut up, whoop, you know, I don’t wanna hear you. I know. I need to go to bed. Right? Speaker Kristen Holmes: I know. I know. Speaker Brett Gilliland: But the sleep performance. Right? Speaker Kristen Holmes: One more show. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Seventy five percent plus sleep performance was seven percent. So that’s controllable. Control the controllables. Right? So now I know if I just put myself to bed like you would a child, I’m gonna be better off tomorrow, you know. And so the the one that I’m that I’m passing it by all the time is, a device in bed. I give myself some time, not every night, but sometimes ten to twenty percent or ten to twenty minutes of time with my phone, maybe just brainlessly scroll or whatever. I have a four percent more recovery better recovery when I get my device versus not having my device. That one’s weird to me. Now I’m usually wearing blue light blocking glasses, So I don’t know if that is offsetting it. I don’t know, but Speaker Kristen Holmes: it’s weird. For sure is. Yeah. So I think I think if we’re wearing blue light blocking glass, The lights generally are kind of dim, and we’ve got, you know, the on the phone, we’ve got the, you know, the filters on. That will definitely no question that that, I I I would say that I don’t know if it mitigates the the impact entirely, but as long as you’re falling asleep, not having a hard time falling asleep and you’re staying asleep, oftentimes we’ll fall asleep, but then we’ll end up with fragmented sleep. So I would look at your sleep quality, on the days where, Speaker Brett Gilliland: Okay. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Because sleep performance is more of just a function. You said that it it’s related. It says, it improves sleep performance. What was the metric that it improved? Speaker Brett Gilliland: It, let’s go back to it. Performed, positive impact, accounting of the four percent impact, on my recovery. Speaker Kristen Holmes: On recovery? Okay. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Alright. So Yeah. So it’d be interesting to see kinda how it might impact, the quality of your sleep because we know that But then these are correlations. Right? It’s not causation. So I just keep, you know, keep that in mind. And, you know, we’re not able to kind of perfectly constrain our models necessarily. So, you know, there’s gonna be some where you’re like, oh, wow. This is interesting. Yeah. But that said, like, you know what? Scrolling for you is relaxing. Like it’s — Yes. Speaker Brett Gilliland: — Speaker Kristen Holmes: you’re kinda checking, meant some sort of mental box that’s important. And as a result, like, you know, it doesn’t have a negative impact. So when you are able to kind of go through and then part of it too is routine. Like, I think it’s like we’ve got this stack of behaviors in the lead up to bed that are gonna either promote our our sleep and recovery or they’re they’re not gonna promote our sleep and recoveries. That is just a behavior that Yeah. That seems to not have a negative impact. I’d be interested on on how impact is further. Yeah. Speaker Brett Gilliland: As we’re thinking about it, talking about it, it’s it also makes me thing too is, like, that’s maybe the one time in my day where I’m not, you know, doing something for work or doing something that nobody needs me. It’s just, like, I I call it Brett Time. Right? It’s like this is I can just chill. Right? And just kinda brainlessly look at something. And it’s people I enjoy to follow. Right? I get I get inspired. So Yeah. It’s probably that. So that’s good stuff. Let’s dive into if we can a little bit about, cold plunge versus sauna we talked about, obviously, the importance of sleep, but I wrote down cold plunge, sauna, sleep, hydration, movement. Those are all, you know, critically important to anybody that wants to, you know, do anything in life, but Talk about the cold plunge versus the sauna. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Okay. So I this is yeah. This would be part of the physiology lectures talking about this, concept of Hormesis. And everyone should kind of understand that that concept is basically what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. And and that’s really what’s happening with Sauna, you know, these stream temperatures, you know, sauna and cold plunge are kind of creating, this phenomenon that’s called Corimesis. It’s it’s a stress. You’re you’re stressing the the body, in a in a functional way, that’s, that allows you to, basically, adapt to future stress in a more functional way. So it’s kind of like, you know, so you wanna for organisms, like, it’s really important that they undergo certain amounts of stress. And and frankly, modernity has, like, removed so much of that stress. And as a result, we have become, I think, a lot softer. The comfort crisis, Michael Easter. I actually just talked to him the other day. He’s, like, such a fascinating man, but, But I, you know, I think that we need to that’s why I think you see this emergence of, like, you know, people engaging in Gilliland cold plunge because, you know, we just don’t actually get enough stress, that type of stress throughout the day, like environmental stress. Right? And and what I’m talking about is, you know, kind of extreme heat and and stream Gilliland, like, our body having to kind of adapt and work through that is actually, is is important. And so, that said, there are there is a point of diminishing returns in both of these modalities. So, you know, Sauna, I think the recommendation is, you know, force for four by twenty minutes, at, I think, you know, one eighty degrees Fahrenheit, will elicit, you know, tons of positive effects on, on on the them. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Speaker Kristen Holmes: And cold plunge, I think very simply, you know, I think if you I think you it’s really not that cold. Like, you can do fifty nine degrees or less. You know, the the colder, probably the shorter amount of time. I think fifty nine degrees, you probably need to spend five or six minutes in a in temperature like that to kinda elicit the the effect. But from what we’ve seen, you know, twelve minutes per week, divided into kind of four sessions, where you’re you know, kind of shocking the system, cold shock heat shock, there’s lots of, you know, you release endorphins and, you know, so there’s like a cascade of of really positive, you know, neurobiological kind of components that, that I think p get people to come keep coming back to these modalities. It’s, like, painful as you’re doing it, especially the cold But, but afterwards, you know, you get this, like, you know, hit a dopamine and, yeah, and you feel really good. But but really what that what that does, and and I think when we talk think about this principally. You know, there’s just a bunch of behaviors that we can engage in that’s, kind of stress our our system and in a in a in a way that’s gonna allow us to adapt to future staff stress, more more functionally. So I think when we think about cold hot. Like that it there’s an immune, immuno protective, element to that as well. So we’re increasing our resilience, right, by undergoing this kind of short term intentional, temporary stress. Right? And it’s important to, like, be be getting thrown into a thirty two two degree a lake, off a boat without knowing I mean, and and not knowing if I can recover them, that that is not good stress. Right? Like that’s — Right. Right. Speaker Brett Gilliland: — Speaker Kristen Holmes: that’s So what I’m talking about is is really intentionally kind of, you know, choosing these modalities. So that intention I think is is is kind of part of the the package. But, But, yeah, really core. You mentioned hydration. We also see that really, really strongly to recovery when people are under under hydrated, we see, you know, that impact recovery really significantly. So just, yeah, getting, you know, just like an ounce for every, you know, pound of of, for, you know, you know, per pound is is per prescription. If you’re working out a lot Yes. Speaker Brett Gilliland: So if a hundred and seventy pounds, I gotta I gotta drink a hundred and seventy Speaker Kristen Holmes: dollars a lot. Yeah. And it’s probably, like, maybe point seven, point six. It just depends on your activity. Well, if you’re not, like, out and about a ton, and working out hard, Yeah. I I’d say point six point seven. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Got it. Yeah. Perfect. Let’s let’s talk about this new book you’ve got. Speaking of that, we’ll take a water break here. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. Yeah. Sorry. I know. Yeah. So I I actually I wrote, a poem for my daughter, for for, Christmas. And it was entitled yes, and it was just kind of all the lessons I had kind of learned in my life. But but we’re, not all of the lessons, but, just around, you know, how do we how do we think about, What what we what do we what do we what do we say yes to? And and and in a in and I kinda try to put a positive spin. We talk all about oh, what are we saying no to? And I just wanted, like, kind of a set of principles for her where she can kind of think about, alright, what are the things that we actually say yes to? And you know, you know, yes to the curves of the pedals, the great problems you wanna solve. Like, you know, so it was really around, like, you know, saying yes to the great problems you wanna solve, like, you know, saying, you know, and so it was like kind of an emotional, kind of journey, you know, for me to kind of, I think, write this, write this book. But it started out just as, you know, really a poem, and I I framed it for my daughter. And you know, and she was like, mom, she’s like, I really think other girls would really benefit from these messages. And Speaker Brett Gilliland: — Wow. — Speaker Kristen Holmes: and, yeah, which is, like, so sweet of her to say. And And she’s like, you should put this into a little book. And so, I started working on the illustrations, and, Yeah. And and just, yeah, it just published it a month ago. Speaker Brett Gilliland: I love it. I love it. I know it’s on your Instagram bio that you can find a link there and buy that on Amazon. So we’ll put that in the show notes and how cool. I mean, think about even the mindset there. Like, I mean, you just kinda set it and Like, it’s just normal in your household. Your daughter’s, like, put that into a book. Speaker Kristen Holmes: When you Speaker Brett Gilliland: think about that, right? Like Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Not everybody just thinks about, hey, let’s take a poem and turn into a book. Like, anything is possible. Right? I mean, that’s a big deal. That’s a Speaker Kristen Holmes: really big deal. Yeah. It it was it was really a really sweet moment. I yeah. And I and I don’t know. I never really asked her, like, kind of why she said that. But I I think she was just you know, I I I feel like it resonated with her and and I think she was like, yeah, other other girls could really benefit from this message. But, yeah, it was it’s it’s neat that she kind of, like, put an action to it, you know? Speaker Brett Gilliland: Yeah. It’s kinda Awesome. Awesome. I got a thousand more questions that I could ask, but I know you’ve you’re a busy person. So let’s, do one more question here. I got your Instagram up. I’m gonna have you we we call this the Instagram So you’re gonna pick a number between one and ten. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Okay. Seven. Speaker Brett Gilliland: K. Six oops. K. Now between one and Speaker Kristen Holmes: three. Two. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Alright. Number two is, right here. If you remember this legacy expeditions says, this is legacy expeditions team consisting mainly of former US special operation services members will attempt to skydive into all seven continents in seven days. We’ll try to raise seven million dollars, folds of honor. So talk to us about the importance of that post, and, and talk about that. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. So legacy expeditions is just this incredible, I suppose this company, owned by, former special operators, and the the whole goal is to kind of create these expeditions where they can, you know, shine a light on, in this case, folds are armor. You know, kind of create these really grueling expeditions that kind of give those former special operators, you know, a sense of purpose, admission. So kind of doing hard things is kind of what they are are kind of trained to do. And when they separate from, from, you know, their, you know, whatever Arm force they were kind of serving, sometimes that could be really hard. So there’s kind of a component of, you know, kinda doing something hard with a team So there’s there’s that fulfillment. And then, and then secondly, you know, because it’s like a grueling mission, it gets lots of press and, they’re able to leverage that press to raise money for, in this case, Volkswagen Barnner, which is, incredible organization that raises, money, gives money to, families who, have had a, a, it’s they’ve now extended to tactical athletes too. So firefighter police women, men, you know, armed armed forces. So if they had a, you know, a death, of of a parent that child can, be the benefit of of the educational of Speaker Brett Gilliland: the master. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. That’s right. So I did for this team, I did, I did the physiology. So I kind of helped them understand, you know, how to prepare for this mission, just using the data. And then, we did a whole analysis of the data over the course of their mission to kind of just see happening physiologically in terms of strain and recovery and sleep. So it was, yeah, seven seven days, seven continents, seven jumps. So it’s it’s pretty amazing. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Awesome. Well, I lied, and so I got one more question. You can see it here in my microphone, f greater than p. Your future is greater than your pass. That’s our mission statement, our firm. So when you hear that, I’m helping people achieve a future greater than their past. I believe that’s exactly what Woop is doing. It’s exactly what you were doing. So what comes to mind when you hear that? Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. I mean, I I guess I go back to, like, one of the reasons why I joined Loop is I wanted to impact health at scale. And and I think a lot of what we actually what I do today, the choices I make today are going to position me and my future self either in a positive way or or a negative way. And and I think just the relationship between, you know, it’s like, what happened yesterday doesn’t, you know, It’s just there’s not a whole lot of need about it, but but be it but today, I have a ton of control, over the things that I I do, and I understand that that’s, you know, there’s a lot of privilege that comes with that. But I I think I’ve organized my life, and I’ve worked hard, and I’ve basically kind of created a scenario where I have a lot of choice and what I do, and, and how I live, and how I treat other people. And, I can make, you know, choices that are going to help my future self or or not. And, and I I so I suppose that’s kind of what I think about when. Speaker Brett Gilliland: I love it. Speaker Kristen Holmes: Yeah. I love it. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Awesome. Well, Kristen, thanks so much for being on the circuit of success. I mean, amazing takeaways for me today. I took a couple pages of notes, and, hopefully, people run out and get a whoop, and they’ll understand that. I get paid nothing for that. I just I think it’s an amazing thing to do, and, it’s it’s just it’s really helped change my life and make my choices, to be better every single day. What you want. Speaker Kristen Holmes: I love it. Speaker Brett Gilliland: Well, so much for being with us.