The High Performance Journal

3 Things I'm Training To Live A Longer Life

get lean Jul 11, 2023

The High Performance Journal​ - July 11th 2023

At the time of writing this, I'm 43 years old.

Most would consider this to be mid-age but I don't feel like it is. I feel like I'm just getting started.

The reason I'm so optimistic is because it's in my nature. I feel like anything is possible when I put my mind to it. I also have advancing science & technology on my side.

I don't care to live forever but I do have a lot of goals and things I want to experience before it all fades to black.

I want to see my daughters get married. I want to have the chance to be a grandfather one day. I want to help millions of people transform their lives. There are so many things I've yet to learn and I need time on my side to make them happen.

This is why I'm becoming more interested in longevity.

There are 2 factors to living a long quality life:

  1. Lifespan - How long you live.
  2. Healthspan - How well you live.

Due to the rapid evolution of technology and artificial intelligence, experts are saying that if we can live through the next 20 years there may be a chance to live to 150.

So today we're going to be talking about how I would train myself or a client to have the opportunity to live longer.

The 3 Pillars of Longevity

In this article we're going to be focused on 3 pillars of living a long quality life:

  1. Cardiovascular exercise
  2. Strength Training
  3. Mobility

We want to balance all 3 of these in a way that fits our lifestyle.

Cardiovascular Exercise

There are two types of exercise to consider when living a longer life:

  1. Zone 2 cardio
  2. High-Intensity Interval Training aka. HIIT training

Over the past 10 years, several scientific studies have shown that an indicator of cardio fitness, or VO2 max, is a key predictor of longevity. The higher the VO2 Max number – the higher our chances to live longer.

Zone 2 cardio is the lowest zone used for training. Think of it like going for a walk or a jog while you can barely hold a conversation. This is typically somewhere between 60-70% of your max heart rate. You would usually keep this pace for around 30-40 minutes.

HIIT training is at a level 4 or 5 of intensity. HIIT forces your heart to work at maximum effort for short bursts followed by periods of recovery. Working your heart rate at intense levels has a direct effect on increasing your VO2 max.

It's recommended to get 150 minutes of zone 2 cardio a week and one 5-12 minute session of HIIT training a week to have the best effect at raising your VO2 Max.

If you want a way to test your current VO2 max go to this blog here and scroll down to #3.

Strength Training

If cardio is for a longer life, strength training is for a better life.

Muscle mass decreases approximately 3–8% per decade starting as early as age 30, but more typically in our 40s. The rate of decline is even higher after the age of 60 with up to 50% of muscle loss by age 70.

This is what happens to someone who lives a sedentary lifestyle:

Lifting weights with proper form using progressive overload will be the difference between independence and the nursing home.

There are 3 specific areas that I'm strengthening, which are:

  1. The shoulders
  2. The knees
  3. The hips

These are the 3 main areas that hold the body together and they're usually the main sources of pain when people get older.

When we think about weight lifting we usually think about which exercises to do but I prefer to think about movements.

Here are the 8 main movements that I would get stronger in:

  1. Squat (Ie. barbell squats, Bulgarian split squats)
  2. Hinge (ie. Deadlifts, hip thrusts)
  3. Horizontal press (ie. bench press, incline bench press)
  4. Vertical press (ie. military press, standing overhead press)
  5. Lunge (ie. reverse lunge, lateral lunge)
  6. Carry or Hold (ie. farmer carries, bar hangs)
  7. Vertical Pull (ie. chin-ups, lat pulldowns)
  8. Horizontal pull (ie. back rows, cable rows)

The good thing is you don't have to live in the gym to get results. All you need is about 3 thirty-minute sessions a week, which is why I created the Lean Body 90 program.


Mobility is one of the keys to a life well lived. Having mobility allows you to have the range of motion to get up, move around, and do everything you want without pain.

Unfortunately, people lose mobility due to sitting for long periods & overall sedentary lifestyles.

There's also this misconception that mobility is flexibility when they are quite different from one another.

Flexibility is how long you can lengthen a muscle by holding it. Mobility is your ability to move while a muscle is in a lengthened position. This is why I recommend dynamic stretching as a part of your warm-up or daily routine.

Dynamic stretches have been shown to improve speed, strength, agility, and acceleration.

They are dynamic because you’ll be moving in and out of the stretch while going a bit deeper to increase flexibility. The goal is to move your muscles and joints through a full range of motion.

I have an entire sequence on how to improve your mobility and performance in 6 minutes that you can access here.

This is my blueprint for living a long quality life

Part of living longer is having a bit of luck on your side.

But the misconception about luck is that it's something that falls on your lap.

I prefer to think of luck as a surface area: There are things I do that increase my ability to attract "more luck" into my life.

Focusing on these pillars will not guarantee that I will live to be 150. What they will do is increase my surface area of opportunity so I can have the best chance to get there.

You now have my blueprint for improving my longevity.

Hope this brought some value in your journey to living a long quality life.

- Dan

Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

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