Guest Post by Ben Greenfield
Well folks, this is it.
For the past three years, I've been tirelessly toiling behind the scenes to create the book I've personally always wished existed: a complete guide to optimizing the human body, mind, and spirit—written with no stone unturned, no fluff, no “watered down” drivel—just pure, hardcore, practical, from-the-trenches content.
I won't lie: nearly every big New York publishing house turned me down for this book.
It was too big. (The completed manuscript was over 1100 pages, and we trimmed it down to 608 pages for the final release.)
It was too comprehensive. (It wasn't a flash-in-the-pan, pop-culture, buy-it-at-your-airport-bookstore read that someone could get through in a few days then toss and move on.)
It was too edgy. (After all, I cover everything from the energy medicine to enemas to crazy sex tips to psychedelics and far beyond.)
But nonetheless, I decided to plow forward and write a book that I personally wanted to read and that I've always wanted to write: a big, beautiful, hardcover blueprint that anyone could rely on for years as a cookbook for all things performance, fat loss, digestion, brain, sleep, sex, spirit, happiness, anti-aging, longevity, and much more. (Heck, just the section on longevity covers every molecule in existence that can maximize your lifespan, and is over 173 pages alone!)
I call the final result “Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging,” and you can consider it to be the last book you'll ever need to unlock unparalleled breakthroughs in performance, recovery, sleep, gut health, hormone balance, and much more.
Why I Wrote Boundless
If I were to be able to give you the power to have optimal, boundless energy, all day, every day, until it was time to go to bed, that would be a pretty cool gift, wouldn’t it?
And that's exactly what Boundless is: your guide to having all the energy you want at your beck and call, whenever and wherever you need it.
After all, let's face it: the average human wanders through life with brain fog, bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation, crunching joints, insomnia, lost libido, droopy dicks, fibroids, cysts, acne, anger, fear, and a constant search for evasive meaning, elusive happiness, and piles upon piles of a lifetime of accumulated excess fats releasing inflammatory molecules and squeezing the lifeblood out of their organs. Look around you. We’re a step away from being the useless, soft-drink-sipping blobs that wheel their chairs through the hallways of the robot cartoon Wall-e.
This complete lack of realization of our full human potential begins when we’re babies, reflected by a host of health issues in our up-and-coming generation that includes lack of proper muscle and brain growth, immune system weakness, low IQ, stunted growth, obesity, depression, attention deficit disorder, social anxiety, and other frustrating problems that parents, teachers, and culture now accept as all-too-common.
But what if this didn’t have to be?
What if our kids were tiny, optimized human machines?
After all, Mozart learned to play the piano at the age of four, composed his first piece at age five and wrote his first symphony at age eight. Pablo Picasso, when he was just twelve, had an astonishing grasp of the fundamentals of art and was producing photo-realistic anatomical sketches. Giovanni Bernini was churning out intricate, life-like stone sculptures at only eight years old.
But these folks aren’t special childhood prodigies, idiot savants, or some kind of unique autistic geniuses. These are normal human beings. Sadly, in our modern era, we’ve forgotten how to nurture and grow an amazing human mind, body, and spirit—and instead settled for a generation of kids that wind up on PeopleOfWalmart.com, attached to leashes and chewing on Ritalin.
And what if we adults—you and I—could leap out of bed each morning and tackle the day with the extreme ferocity of an electrified tiger? What if our performance, fat loss, recovery, digestion, brain, sleep, hormones, and spirits were optimized and firing on all cylinders? What if we all walked around as superheroes with a body like Batman, a mind like the heroes of the smart drug movies “Limitless” and “Lucy,” and a spirit like an enlightened yogi? What if you could speed-read, memorize cards, remember the names of everyone at the cocktail party, wear any jeans you want, step onto a beach with your chest out and abs in, age gracefully with zero Botox or liposuction required, and have an intense feeling of inner peace, love, joy, happiness, and spiritual satisfaction?
What if this ability to look, feel, and perform at the human body’s full capacity wasn’t the stuff of lore, but was instead the status quo? Sure, there are UFC and NFL gladiators fighting for glory on television with optimized bodies, random monks and meditators wandering the planet with optimized spirits, and professional poker players, computer programmers, and race car drivers hunched over a card game, a keyboard, and a steering wheel with optimized minds. But in a perfect world—a world that is fully attainable—you would have it all: total optimization of mind, body, and spirit.
You would be, in a word, boundless.
What Does It Mean To Be Boundless?
So what does being boundless actually look like and feel like?
Owning a boundless mind means you have balanced and complete levels of important brain neurotransmitters so that your nervous system can flawlessly communicate. Your brain is free of inflammation and fog. You’ve developed potent stress-banishing and cortisol-decreasing strategies. Your IQ is elevated, along with your working memory and executive function. You understand how to effectively use nootropics, smart drugs, and brain-enhancing foods, biohacks, gear, and tools. Your sleep is pure, uninterrupted, and efficient. Ultimately, you feel as though you actually have power and control over your thoughts, feelings, interactions, and communication.
Owning a boundless body means you know how to rapidly get lean and burn fat. You know how to build muscle in the safest, cleanest, and fastest way possible. You’ve fixed your gut, eliminated digestive issues, and maximized nutrient absorption. You possess knowledge of the ideal movements, exercises, tools, foods, supplements, and workouts for strength, power, speed, balance, mobility, and endurance. You’ve cracked the code on maximizing recovery and recovery speed. You possess an unstoppable immune system. You have a potent arsenal of tools to increase your symmetry and beauty.
Owning a boundless spirit means that you can consciously control your thoughts and beliefs to positively affect your health. You have a thriving practice of gratitude, love, and joy. You understand how to use currently fringe methods such as sound healing and vibrational frequencies to enhance your physiology. You’ve optimized your social connections, friends, and relationships. Your daily habits and routines have allowed you to create your perfect day. You’ve maximized tantra, love, and sexual satisfaction. You’ve optimized the hidden variables that can make or break your mind, body, and spirit—including air, light, electricity, and water. Your life, happiness, and fulfillment emulates that of the world’s dominant Blue Zones and longevity hot spots.
This book is your blueprint to becoming boundless—to being able to defy the modern social norm of staggering through life with low energy, brain fog, a sluggish body, and untapped mind, body and spiritual potential, and to instead call upon every shred of energy you want whenever you need it so that you can achieve the most adventurous, joyful, and fulfilling life possible.
Who This Book Is For
So who is this book for, exactly?
Allow me to give you an example of the type of person who needs a guide for becoming boundless.
Imagine a man named Kevin. Kevin is poised in front of his bathroom mirror—frowning, concentrating, and flexing all at the same time as he stares at and analyzes his 32-year-old body. For the past five years, he’s lived as a self-described health seeker and even been accused of being a “woo-woo fitness geek,” but it’s certainly been an uphill, frustrating battle of perusing random recommended books, scrolling through fitness blogs, and experimenting with diets spanning low-carb, low-fat, low-gluten, low-dairy, low-lectin, and definitely low-taste. Yet his body still doesn’t feel “right.”
At his desk job as a materials engineer, he scrunches the glasses up his nose and squints at the computer monitor when his afternoon brain fog sets in, he’s never actually done that triathlon he keeps saying he’ll eventually do, and his gut rumbles with mild, distracting bloating all through the day. Despite some success at hacking and upgrading his body and brain, he still feels empty, and he’s considering signing up for his eighth Ayahuasca retreat so that he can keep working on finding his purpose. He's also considering opting instead for a 10-day vipassana meditation, which he just heard on a health podcast is a better way to discover how to live the adventurous, joyful, fulfilling life he craves and hasn’t found yet.
Deep inside, Kevin wishes that he had some kind of a blueprint for the human machine that he could use to cut through all confusion keeping him from getting what he wants—a blueprint he could understand without a doctorate degree in human science, but a blueprint also steeped in research, experience, and instructions that could finally allow him to look, feel, and perform the way he knows he can, without wasting his time or using old-school, inefficient techniques.
That’s the exact blueprint you'll find in this book: a complete prescription for becoming boundless. In this three-part book, you’re going to discover exactly how to connect with, nourish, feel, taste, and see what it is to be boundless for the remainder of your long and fulfilled life. You can consider this book to be your step-by-step guide for optimizing life force, achieving a plane of higher existence, and realizing the full potential of the human machine in a way that becomes almost effortless—including increasing your intelligence, decoding sleep and sleep cycles, maximizing symmetry and beauty, building muscle, burning fat, having mind-blowing sex, defying aging, and acquiring deep and lasting love, longevity, and happiness.
You will learn the fine pursuit of not just being a good exerciser or a really fit person but, instead, a completely optimized human being who is able to “crush it” in all aspects of life, from body to mind to spirit and beyond—a human being who, in the words of science fiction novelist Robert Heinlein, can…
“…change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly.”
In other words, all the push-ups and pull-ups and squats in the world don’t matter unless you are able to live an adventurous, fulfilling, joyful, and limitless life with distinct purpose and meaning. To die having left your distinct mark on the world and having encountered everything our grand universe has to offer. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a pretty cool way to experience life and, frankly, if you (like me) have been nagged by a restless feeling that there must be more to life than mere day-to-day existence, then this book is for you.
Upon diving in the first several chapters of Boundless, you will discover that you actually can look, feel, and perform the way you’ve always sensed that remarkable and complex human beings should be able to. You’ll find that your willpower, cognition, decision-making, lack of procrastination, and focus can all be biologically enhanced without the need for thousands of dollars of biohacks or an advanced mind-training vacation. With a new, sharpened mind, you’ll then go on to see how simple it is to look good naked while enhancing power, speed, mobility, balance, and stamina. You’ll crack the code on optimizing hormones, fixing digestion, easily determining the perfect diet, and never wasting a second in the gym again.
Finally, in the latter third of the book, you will receive the icing on the cake: the elusive and meaningful happiness the world’s Blue Zones and longevity hotspots have discovered, along with exactly how to foster that same happy life for yourself with simple spiritual tactics such as gratitude, love, relationships, purpose, and meaning.
Upon turning over the final page in the book, you will have transformed yourself, your body and your brain into a living being capable of stepping out the door and into the sunshine to enjoy the ultimate joyful, adventurous, and fulfilling life.
Why You Should Listen To Me
By now you may be wondering why you should listen to me: a messy-haired, biohacking, self-experimenting immersive journalist who lives his life off-grid in the backwoods of Washington state on a goat and chicken farm with his wife and twin boys.
Allow me to give you a bit of a background.
I was raised in rural North Idaho, home-schooled K-12, president of the chess club, a 13-year violin veteran, a fantasy fiction author and a boy who spent most of my childhood years with my nose in a book or traipsing through the countryside with a handmade bow and spear.
I graduated high school at age 15 and, after receiving an offer to play varsity tennis, began college at 16. For four years, I studied anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, pharmaceuticals, microbiology, biochemistry and nutrition, eventually completing a rigorous series of strength and conditioning certifications and an internship at Duke University and the NFL, before graduating at age 20 as the top senior in my class at University of Idaho – while working as a bartender, personal trainer, lab assistant, nutritionist, spinning instructor, athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach. During this rigorous course of study, I competed as president of the triathlon club, middle for the volleyball team, hole set for the water polo team and on-stage as a muscle-bound bodybuilder at 215 pounds and 3% body fat, drenched in glitter and tanning cream with a hefty dose of red wine and dark chocolate to make my veins “pop”.
After completing my bachelors degree in exercise science and getting married to a Montana farm-girl, I was then accepted into six medical schools but quickly became disillusioned with the failures of modern medicine and opted instead to attain a master’s degree in exercise physiology and biomechanics, after which I leaped hardcore into the fitness world, partnering with physicians and opening a series of personal training studios, gyms and physiology and biomechanics labs across Idaho and Washington – eventually being voted as America’s top personal trainer in 2008.
In late 2008, I became the father of twin sons, sold all my studios and gyms, and pivoted into homeschooling my boys, writing, speaking and consulting, launching one of the world’s first fitness podcasts, becoming a New York Times bestselling author of 13 books, and starting a blog that now reaches over two million rabid fans each month. During this time, while making a name for myself as a relentless self-experimenter and biohacker, I became a pro obstacle course racer, completing the coveted Spartan Delta (a collection of nine of the most brutal obstacle course racing events on the planet), training with the Navy SEALs, competing across the globe in open water swims, mountain runs and adventure races, winning multiple USA bow-hunting competitions, and appearing on the planet's toughest reality TV shows.
While building an empire in the fitness industry, I competed as one of the top-ranked amateur triathletes in the world, completing over 120 races spanning over 6,200 miles and 13 Ironman triathlons, winning gold medal for the USA in long course triathlon, and leading swim, bike and run enthusiasts in guided adventures through Hawaii, Thailand, Japan and beyond. In 2013 and 2014, I was named as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in health and fitness and began to coach the world’s top CEOs, chefs, biohackers, poker players, tennis, motocross and endurance competitors, and professional athletes from the UFC, the NHL, the NBA, the NFL and beyond – along with advising and investing in a multitude of companies in the health, fitness and nutrition industry.
Along the way, I’ve had the privilege to travel the world to hunt down fringe superfoods and supplements, biohacks and blood tests, centenarians and scientists, and all manner of the least-known but most highly effective solutions to optimize life. Within the pages of this book, you’ll find plenty of the wisdom and practical tips I’ve discovered from those experts, along with what I’ve learned “in the trenches” traveling across the globe and subjecting my body to the brutality of being bloodied, frozen, dehydrated, drained and pushed to the absolute limits of human physical and mental performance.
Today, from my quiet home on ten acres in the forested wilderness of Washington, I grow all my own food, hunt all my own meat, and combined my experience of intense time-in-the-trenches with a dose of ancestral wisdom and modern science to co-found Kion.
I read a book every day, spend most of my mornings immersed in health and fitness research, still toe the starting line of ruthless endurance and strength competitions and self-experiment with every biohack, fitness tool, and supplement on the face of the planet, figuring out via a process of immersion in research and self-experimentation what works, what doesn’t and what threatens to give you hair loss, insomnia or explosive diarrhea.
So that’s me. But despite being richly enhanced with stories from my own time in the trenches and deep, meaningful conversations I’ve had with the world’s leading experts on the topic of becoming boundless, this book isn’t about me. It’s about you.
How To Read Boundless
As you read, don’t feel the pressure to digest this entire book cover-to-cover.
Instead, think of Boundless as a cookbook for any element of your mind, body or spirit that you want to target with laser-like precision. Are you trying to heal an injury fast, recover from surgery, or simply banish your ever-expanding morning soreness? Flip to Chapter 14. Are you sick of afternoon brain fog, curious about the emerging world of smart drugs, or want an extra edge for cognition? Read Chapter 5. Are you lonely, depressed, feeling unfulfilled in life and addicted to your smartphone and social media? Then Chapter 22 is for you.
Sure, each chapter builds upon the next in terms of developing your knowledge and understanding and allowing you to become an expert in all things related to what makes your brain tick, your body work, and your spirit happy, but please don’t feel the pressure to take this entire book on at once if that’s not your desired approach. I’ve created this entire experience so that a professional athlete, coach, physician, medical researcher, physical therapist, personal trainer, nutritionist or other health professionals can take their game to the next level with the information they discover. But I have also written the book in an easy-to-understand manner that allows an average person to flip open to any chapter and discover every research-proven, trench-tested technique to build muscle, burn fat, live longer, have mind-blowing sex, raise healthy, robust children and much, much more.
I’ve also spent countless hours creating resource webpages for each and every chapter of this book, weaving in the best-of-the-best books, podcasts, videos, documentaries, articles, websites and biohacks I’ve discovered. You can use these resource webpages to take an extremely deep dive into any topic you discover within the pages of Boundless, and I include a link to each webpage at the end of every chapter, where I’ll also include a quick list of the most relevant podcasts and books you’ll find helpful, along with a ton of bonus material, including every single word I wrote that doesn't appear in the printed version of the book (over 500 extra pages!).
You ready for this?