Rebel Friend - We Breathe with Warrior Woman Kristin Weitzel
Updated: Jul 4
Kristin Weitzel - Warrior Woman
A very special person joined the Rebel Scientist Pod today who is walking the walk. Kristin is the Warrior Woman and she lives up to her name, doing this every day.
Kristin took the long and winding road on her path to biohacking and in the health and fitness space. She started as a dancer and it gave her an immediate desire to figure out how her body moved in space. How she could feel and feed it, especially because back when she was a ballet dancer, there was so much stigma around your figure. She wanted to be able to stay lean and strong at the same time, throughout the years that led her trying all this food experimentation, from juicing to vegetarianism to the onset of sort of the paleo primal movement and diving into all that food and really self-experimenting that typical n equals one (n=1) thing we do in the biohacking world. She explored the Mark Sisson's and the Dave Asprey to understand what they were doing. That was the root of how she got started o leaning into lots of different modalities around fitness and getting curious. After 15 years in the alcohol industry, on the road, trying to stay healthy was challenging. Living in airports and on airplanes, running brands for North America she was always looking for the a the right food, the right class and then it became even more evident that she needed to be doing this for her friends and family and spend full-time as a coach specifically females around nutrition around fitness and around biohacking.
How did you stay healthy on the road?
Kristin: "Yeah. I mean back then there was definitely a heavier level of personal responsibility and dedication to finding the things. But people in the corporate world knew I would be leaving happy hour to go to a cardio class or strength training class in whatever market I was in or I was picking the hotels that the corporate travel agent would let me book base on proximity to the juice place. Because typically the juice place had the gluten free stuff and it didn’t matter where it was. It was like that extra five or 10 minutes of trying to plan so that I knew that I could get to an early morning yoga or somewhere that had greens or... It’s easier now right because you can get a lot of packaged food. I don’t necessarily mean process but like biltong or seaweed or things you can travel with. And so my suitcases usually half clothes and half healthy snacks."
How does a woman get started with your program?
Kristin: "For me the path to forge was with women being one and knowing that there needs to be more support out there for females. I think one gets started, the thing I always talk about with clients is it’s really cool to do the red light and I guess the high tech crazy stuff. But if you’re not baselining your nutrition correctly, and you’re not creating the fitness variants that you need contextually for whatever you’re wanting to do - I an endurance race or have more energy or whatever PTA meetings? Fine but that baseline has to happen first. And to me that’s around the two main things, which are how do you move your body and how do you fuel your body. "
“sometimes it’s something small and inexpensive that can really shift your state your being or just your health”
Biohacking in the media and at events tends to be very male centric. There is a focus on strength, peak performance, etc. Your program is turning that on its head, how are you doing it?
Kristin: "Let me be clear, I work out at a gym here in Venice, California, that makes me feel like I’m the weakest of the bunch. And that’s not always easy to walk into depending on your size, your shape, your strength, your background. It can be intimidating. It can feel like a challenge and many of the women who come to me, I will work and create some programming for them. And especially now in quarantine, find the right online programs that they feel comfortable and they feel safe because that’s the most important thing going in. But I also push females, males, whoever you might be, I think it’s important to push yourself a little bit or ride your edge of where you are comfortable and by that I don’t mean lifting 400 pounds. I mean showing up in a space where you can get better because the people around you are better than you. And it doesn’t mean like Okay fitter, like there’s 100 different things but it’s just where there’s a good base of knowledge and you can scale down as much as you need to be able to know that it’s all about this journey. And I think I see a lot of people doing cardio all day, people I mean I talk a lot about women so but women specifically. And I think it happens where we think we do a ton of cardio that we will be fine and healthy and all we sort of do is we kind of ride that burn outline. And so I talk women down a lot of times off of Lord Love a Peloton or I have a City Rowing machine, which is beautiful water rower.
"I think it’s super important for women to lift heavy things."
I love those devices, those that technology and thank God I have it. But it’s also like, how do I incorporate weight training into that? And the question, I want to read this to you because I just posted this, it is not mine. It’s from this guy, Coach Danny, I just posted on LinkedIn. And I think its like really summarizes what going on still in society, which is imagines a world where women are introduced to exercise as a means to build strength, muscle and confidence instead of a means to be thin and taught that nutrition is more about health, longevity and actually being nourished rather than just being skinny. How radical. And it just I loved it and I shared it on my LinkedIn page because I feel like that’s still going on. And maybe not verbally but society in the ways in images we see and the mindset of women because of the years of what we’ve been exposed to or how we’ve been showcased. I am not particularly a feminist or whatever but I do think that there is a case to be made for marginalization of females and shifting our psyche and our state around what we need to look like. And that’s a challenge that we have to... It’s a mindset challenge because then we’re chasing something that’s like all external. And I want different things like that’s part of why I think adding biohacking to the mix is like strong is important. And longevity is important."
How do you keep your Warriors motivated?
Kristin: "Yeah. I think I encourage it... I work one on one with women a lot. It’s a nine week program. That program unpacks a lot of the pieces of the things you’re talking about. I also think I tried to. Get the word try. There’s an example. I use words. Semantically, I use words that feel appropriate for that shift. And when people will call me and say, “What’s my weekly status?” Calls or things like that or people will check in or they’ll even DM me on Instagram about something and I will say that they are perceiving as a negative. I still haven’t done this. I haven’t gotten to this place. I hurt myself doing this. As long as it’s appropriate. My answer is typically good news. Good news you know. Now you know. Now we’ve got on that dexa scan and your body fat percentage came back 10 points higher. Good news. Now you know what’s gone on with the work you’ve done and it’s not working. Let’s go from here. It’s really like you put the work in and you put the deep work and everything in and all of the practice and all the commitment and everything that you have and then that moment in time where you get to be in your flow state and have that one moment where you’re like, “This is the moment.” It’s like is it really gonna serve you in the same way if you didn’t put all that work in and just magically happen sort of less fulfilling?"
Let's talk about breathing!
Kristin: "Yeah. I’m always a big part of the nine week program. I do audio recordings for the clients. Specifically, I have some online on my website, it’s like warriorwomanmode.com/breathworkmode. To free downloads, totally rights royalty free music. You can put them on your phone and you can just listen to me to your heart’s content, one will put you to sleep, one will wake you up. But the interesting thing about breathing is that people are like “We’re really going to do a focus week on nasal breathing, Kristin.” And they kind of look at me on this the update homework call like I’m an idiot. And then this just happened with client recently where she said, “We came back the next week. We check it every day. How’s the homework? How’s the breathing?” I’m spot checking them and she was like, “I can’t believe that nasal breathing has shifted my sleep. I’m so confused how this is working.” And so that close your mouth, shut your mouth to save your life thing."
“how do we bring awareness and attention to the fact that we should be nasal breathing 90% of our day”.
Do you feel half asleep? When I first read about it. I read it in one of Patrick McKeown’s books and I was like, “Okay, this is crazy.” And now I do it all the time. And I read on my Oura ring. I reads better rem, better deep sleep. I always sleep better if I get... It’s a little hack if I’m only knowing I’m going to get like five hours sleep, which is not really optimal for me, I make sure it’s a night I tape. And I cycle I based on if my mouth is wet in the morning and I know I’ve slept with it closed or not. But it’s just like a little piece of tape and you wake up different. "
What about mouth taping?
Kristin: "I gotta tell you. Look, if you keep using this word, I want to change it. But maybe that’s not what you mean. But if you really mean that then it’s like... Patrick just had a launched a new book. It’s an out in Europe. It’s not out yet here. It’s called the breathing cure, Patrick McKeown. He’s the one who wrote oxygen advantage. Oxygen advantage awesome book, super dense, hard to get through, not in a bad way unless you really nerdy about breathe work. So I can read it, awesome. But I work with people sometimes who exclusively come to me for asthma and apnea issues (sleep apnea) and the breathing techniques that are in his book and the way that you can work on your breath. It sounds like its just breathing. And it’s kind of be annoying, sure. Because its work in a direction you’re not going. You can get. Now, I’m not trying to make wild claims but you can get off machine. I get people off machines. They stop. They do let slower breathing during the course of a day. And it’s like you radically can shift so much that’s going on. So I’m not your doctor, Russ. But I’m telling you 80 plus improvement if you’ve learned how to breathe and your wife will thank me.1. The Oxygen Advantage 2. The Breathing Cure. And I super, super, super love it because it has two chapters on women in breathing and sex and breathing. “Have the best orgasm of your life”. Thanks, Patrick.. And then the female one is like talks about how PMS symptoms that we get. "
“What we call PMS are a very large part a byproduct of hyperventilation, meaning we’re over breathing with our mouth”
Because women at the end of their period, the last week or so in the cycle, we have 25% less capacity. And so because of that we get less oxygenation. And it sounds like a rabbit hole of science but the reality is just like we’re over breathing because our bodies feel like they need more air the last week of our cycle and because we’re over breathing, we’re more pain sensitive, we have a lower pain threat, and we have a lower pain threshold. Then all these other things are happening in our bodies. And so it just like it exacerbates those PMS symptoms. Think about it, if I have 25% on average less ability to uptake oxygen because CO2 is an issue due to lowering of estrogen and the progesterone shift, then what’s it going to feel like that week when I’m trying to go to the gym and train really hard? It’s going to feel totally different for my body. I’m going to feel winded. I’m going to feel different than I felt two weeks prior when my estrogen is an all-time high and I have the capability when your estrogen is that high from like day six to day 20. I’m talking about this at the time of your cycle that you can build more muscle. There are hundreds of studies that no one told me about until a few years ago. And I was like, 'Why am I learning this now?' So that training breathing correlation. That estrogen superpower making us more muscle correlation. Those things are why women need to really look into. We’ve vilified the period and really, there’s so many beautiful things that are happening during the course of the month."
For more listen to the podcast
🚨7 Day Challenge of the week – Mouth taping! 🚨
The most interesting thing about this 7 day challenge was going down the rabbit hole of nasal breathing vs mouth breathing. The mouth taping was interesting – (Russ and Paul were too scared to pull out their beards – and they were right – it is a bit harsh on the ole face fuzz), the alternative nasal breathing was more of a game changer. I discovered there is a 'nasal cycle'. We might not realize it, but our bodies deliberately direct the airflow more through one nostril than the other, switching between nostrils every few hours. The right nostril breathing leads to increased sympathetic activity while left nostril breathing decreases sympathetic activity and increases parasympathetic tone. So this very simple technique can have a huge effect on your stress levels and state of mind.
The challenge totally builds on the challenge from last week – improving quality of sleep. I found that alternative nasal breathing for 5 minutes prior to sleep had a positive effect on both my sleep latency and amount of deep sleep (as shown in my Oura ring data). Also I have been more aware of my breathing – and have been breathing deeply and slowly - through my nose- whenever I have bought my awareness to my breath. I really think this has made me more calm and centered this last week.
The whole team agreed that Kristin bought huge value - we will continue the breathing exercises and hopefully Kristin will come back on another show an get us all lifting weights with our new found breath control. Top marks to Kristin - a true Warrior Woman.