The 2017 Bulletproof Biohacking Conference is finished for another year. The free cups of bulletproof coffee have dried up, the amazing biohacking machines have been turned off, and the smart drug samples are all cleared out (a long with the few thousand attendees!)
It's probably a good thing, my body can slow down and process all the stimulants, conversations, presentations and workouts it has been exposed to over the past 72 hours!
While I am decompressing I thought I would put together this review sharing my favourite things about the 2017 Bulletproof Conference!
Below I will share with you my highlights from the 3 days in Pasadena, and showcase a few standout products that impressed me. If you couldn't attend the event, then hopefully this review will bring you up to speed on what you may have missed out on.
So here goes!
There were red light devices glowing all over the tech hall floor. And no, this isn't a result of biohackers getting ideas from Amsterdams red light district... this is all about health.
For those of you who read my recent article - The Fascinating Healing Properties of Red Light Therapy: Rapid Healing, Reduce Wrinkles & Rejuvenate Health you will know exactly why Red Light was a common sight at this conference (and for those that didn't read the article, I recommend you go and check it out to get a run down of this revolutionary technology).
I counted at least 3 booths focusing on Red Light Therapy.
Joovv was by far the most popular stand, and I spent a few hours there over the 3 days being exposed to high quality 660nm and 850nm light while asking the vendors some technical questions about their product.
The Joovv Red Light Booth at the 2017 Bulletproof Conference
And I must admit, I was very impressed with the knowledge of their staff - answering some rather difficult questions I threw at them - and the quality of their product. They had light meters and all the technical information on hand to prove the effectiveness of their bodylight panels.
There was another booth 2 over from Joovv that also had a few handheld light therapy devices and even a full body bed. The handheld devices were around $200 and the bed was around $50,000! But I struggled to get much technical information about their products.
Anyway, I firmly believe that light therapy, and red light therapy is going to explode in the health and fitness industry in the next few years. The science is solid, the costs are finally within most peoples reach (for example a Joovv mini panel can be picked up for under $500) and more and more health clinics are starting to offer this technology to their patients (including the Bulletproof labs in Santa Monica, which I'll cover later in this piece).
In my 2016 Paleo Fx conference review I mentioned how infrared light saunas were quite popular at the event. In particular the low cost, portable offering by SaunaSpace. SaunaSpace and Sunlighten Saunas both had booths at the Bulletproof event.
Despite the massive benefits from Saunas (read more here) the focus from the crowd was more on the red light technology than the infrared sauna technology. I guess people like new and upcoming things!! Though my perfect setup will still utilise a sauna and a redlight panel!
The Bulletproof conference is all about Biohacks. And biohacks combined with exercise creates some interesting products!
If you are into heavy deadlifts and gymnasium rings, this probably wasn't the place for you. But if you're into maximising performance using advanced technology and minimal time, then this was the place to be!
Here are my 3 highlights:
NeuFit's tag line goes 'Reprogramming the Nervous System to Help You Heal Faster, Get Fitter, and Perform Better'. And this sums up what they do perfectly.
I was drawn to their booth as the guys working there were JACKED. I figured there had to be something with this machine if guys this powerful were using it.
The technology is rather simple - you place electrodes on the body, and using current you can stimulate a muscle to contract, bypassing the brains own signal.
In turn, you can help:
And many other things.
Unfortunatley it's not available here in New Zealand so it's not something I could use myself, but it is rather neat biohacking tech.
OMG, so this happened at the #BPCON2017 Bulletproof conference. I stripped down on the showroom floor to my underwear and got zapped in the name of science. Garrett with @neufitrfp hooked me up to heal my legs after an ARX, Vasper and liveO2 session. Felt so good! Glad I was wearing underwear. Had on @meundies thankfully @arxfit @vasper_systems #biohacking #cooltech #recovery.
My good pal Thaddeus from PrimalHacker.com using the NeuFit device
Still the ultimate training machine in my eyes. This technology is going to change the way people exercise.
I won't go into too much detail around ARX as I have covered it in this video and this article. But the more I use this machine, the more I contemplate how I can get one in my own home!
As there was no RealFit competition at the Bulletproof conference, I decided to do a SuperSlow - Body By Science style workout using the ARX. It only took 10 minutes to complete 4 exercises, but a good 45minutes to recover.
It was brutal, and as one of the ARX boys told me afterwards 'I got owned!' If you ever get an opportunity to test out one of these devices, make sure you try it!
Man vs machine 💪🏽 and the machine smoked my ass 🤕😵😳 Hadn't trained for over 10 days... so what better way to break the training fast than with a Doug McGuff body by style H.I.T workout on the revolutionary ARX machine 👌🏼 4 exercises, each 1:30min constant TUT, workout all over in less than 10mins... but it took me 45min to recover 🤢 and I'm still twitching 3 hours later. #brutal #outofshape I need one of these machines 🤔🤑
Man vs Machine! Machine won :(
Vasper Systems is a rehab and fitness technology that amplifies exercise benefits at low levels of excertion. You get more bang for your buck.
Biohacking is all about getting more from the body, ideally by using less or taking a supplement. The Vasper system (like the ARX machine) effectively stimulates the body to change (causes a training affect) without the high volume or time that is traditionally used to create the same stimulus.
If ARX us the ultimate biohacking device for strength and muscle gain, then Vasper may be the ultimate biohacking device for cardiovascular fitness.
It combines high intensity interval training, cold therapy, compression therapy and low impact exercise to stimulate extremely high levels of anabolic hormones (such as testosterone and growth hormone).
I didn't personally try it (I wanted to save myself for the ARX!) but I had a few friends that gave it a go. They said it was tough, very painful, but surprisingly enjoyable.
Anyway, the science is solid and I know devices such as the Vasper are going to revolutionise athletic training.
#Repost @bulletprooflabs (@get_repost) ・・・ 21 Minutes on Cold HIIT Earns YOU: 👉🏻 Increased energy and endurance 👉🏻 Enhanced muscle mass and strength 👉🏻 Improved sleep 👉🏻 optimized hormone balance 👉🏻 Reduced inflammation and pain 👉🏻 Minimized joint loading and muscle tissue damage 👉🏻 Increased lactate threshold and VO2 Max
Biohacking rest, recovery and repair was just as big as the exercise technology.
Attendees were spoilt for choice on this front, with various mediation apps and devices, cold laser therapy, 40 years of zen training, virtual float tanks, supplements, foods and all sorts of other gadgets.
I'm going to cover two of my standouts:
I have experienced a float tank before, it was interesting but not life changing. Anyway when I saw a 'virtual float tank' on display at the conference I knew I had to give it a go (especially as I didn't have to get changed or have a shower!)
Turns out it's not meant to simulate sensory deprivation like most float tanks do, instead you are flooded with signals - sound, light and movement - that fast tracks the brain into a theta brainwave state.
Here you will reach a deep start of creative and restful thought. Almost like that state of waking just before you fall asleep. You're balancing between awake and sleep, your mind is starting to dream but you still have some control.
Due to time limitations I could only do a 10 minute session. It was very interesting! It definitely created some interesting images to appear in my mind (my eyes were shut the whole time). Looking back I really think you need a good 30minutes in there, it took me 5 minutes or so to adapt to what was going on.
You lay in a pod that is rotated around it's centre, while you have noise cancelling binaural beats playing in your ear, and an eye mask embedded with flashing white leds. All of this works together to help change your brain state.
The Virtual Float Tank at Bulletproof Labs
NuCalm is a system designed to help your mind and body relax naturally within a few minutes - there are no drugs used but the relaxation benefits are profound.
Some people use it for unwinding at the end of the day, for micro rest periods during work times or even as a recovery tool for athletes.
It uses four components. The first is a supplement that counteracts adrenaline. The second is a micro-stimulation patch that goes between the ear. The third is a noise-cancelling headset that helps entrain your brain to pre-sleep states. And finally you use an eye mask to reduce visual stimuli.
Personally, I'm drawn to biohacking to improve physical performance - hence my attraction to red light devices, exercise machines and recovery gadgets.
But for many biohackers, their cognitive performance is more important than physical. And this was apparent at the Bulletproof conference.
There were all sorts of pills and potions designed to help your brain run faster, smarter and more efficient.
It is an area of biohacking that I don't have a lot of experience with. I have experimented with a few things over the years. Results have varied some positive, some negative. So at this event I decided to take a deeper dive into brain stimulants and neural enhancers.
I spent most of my time picking the brain of the NeuroHacker team - they are the people who came up with Qualia. Perhaps the most popular of all 'brain supplements'.
Anyway, I picked up some of their product and will report back with my personal findings. But I must admit, the ingredient list is scientifically sound and I was extremely impressed with the knowledge the Qualia team had around supplementation, brain function, learning and memory patterns and all things mental performance. So I am excited to give this product a crack!
I found it! The perfect, healthy, chemical free bed. For those that have been following me for a while, you may have read my detailed article titled How To Choose A Toxin Free Healthy Mattress.
In this article I shared all the things you need to look for when bed shopping. Unfortunatley however, I didn't have a perfect product to recommend. A lot of the products where good, but not great.
So I was left searching. But finally, this search is over.
Samina Systems are the solution. Their beds are not only extremely comfortable, but they are free of all metal, all chemicals, all glues and only use premium natural organic materials.
I will explore this bed in more detail in the future, but in the meantime read my facebook post blow for more info or head to https://saminasleep.com to learn more about this bed.
Some time ago I wrote an article titled How Technology & Blue Light Is Ruining Sleep & Making You Sick Fat & Tired (And How To Fix It).
In this article I explained how blue light was impacting our sleep and health and recommended readers purchase Blue Light Blocker glasses .
As more an more people become aware of this issue, more and more brands are coming out selling Blue Light Blockers , and not just with run of the mill orange lenses, but yellow (for day time use) and red (for extremely serious biohackers) lens as well.
Their popularity has exploded over the past 2 years and a large portion of the crowd at the Bulletproof expo (and the surrounding bars and restaurants in the evening!) where wearing blue Light blocker glasses.
I think it's great that people are moving beyond diet and activity to optimise health, instead understanding how technology can be both beneficial and harmful when it comes to our health and body.
Spot the bio hacker 😝 Rocking the Blue Light Blocker glasses on my 11 hour overnight flight 😎😴 If you're wondering why I'm wearing orange glasses in the plane, it goes like this: ➖artificial light (in particular blue light) suppresses melatonin and raises cortisol. ➖The eye is the most sensitive to this light. ➖If you filter the blue light from reaching your eye you can assist with sleep 👍🏼 So yes, I'm the weirdo wearing orange glasses on the plane ✈️ 🤓 At least I'll sleep well 😋
Ok so this isn't exactly part of the Bulletproof Conference, but has just officially opened, and they did have a a lot of their tech at the conference, plus I spent 1/2 a day at the lab on the monday after the expo. So I figured it was worthy of a mention!
Bulletproof Labs is located in Santa Monica (right next door to the Bulletproof Cafe) and is a biohackers dream. Seriously. It is that cool!
Most of the gear I have mentioned in this article is available for us at the lab. If you are looking for a place to recover faster, train, optimise health and wellness, or just feel better after 3 days intense conference life, then this is the place to be!
Me at the Bulletproof Labs
I will do a detailed review in the near future (edit - Review is now complete, you can view it here - Bulletproof Labs Review: A First Look) , but heres a quick run down of some of the technology they have on hand:
And more! See why it's the ultimate spot for a biohacker! They even have a registered nurse on hand for IV drinks and vitamin shots.
If you are in LA it's worth a trip to this centre to have a play around. It is a great concept and I think as more people learn about these new technologies, it will only become busier and busier.
Some of the 'toys' at Bulletproof Labs in LA
For my full review of Bulletproof Labs click HERE.
I have only touched on very small portion of the exhibitors at the Bulletproof expo, but there were a few special mentions I wanted to include:
This is an organic mushroom company with roots in Australia. When I found out these boys were from my neck of the woods I had to reach out. It was clear that the founders are extremely passionate about their mushrooms - going to extreme lengths to ensure they are only using the highest quality mushrooms in their products.
I have been using medicinal mushrooms for a few years now - mixing between TianChi & Four Sigmatic products, so I picked up a few sample packets of the Alpha Dynamics mushrooms to try out. On paper their products look great - quality ingredients, well sourced, great blends - and they are certified organic as well.
You can learn more about them at https://alphadynamicshealth.com/
I spent a bit of time hanging out with the Oura ring team. I have had my ring for nearly two years now and always send them feedback (good and bad) from my own experiences with the ring and that of my readers (I have a rather comprehensive review on the Oura Ring HERE).
As I have covered the Oura Ring in the past I won't go into too much detail about the ring itself, but given the attention their booth had over the 3 days I had to include Oura in this review.
Not only does Dave Asprey himself use the ring, but many of the speakers at the event were praising the Oura ring. Dr Mercola spoke highly of it in his presentation for example.
This created enormous interest in the ring and I noticed A LOT of people walking around with this accurate wearable on their finger.
Dave Asprey with his Oura Ring
Also, the Oura Ring team had me take over their Instagram for an hour at the expo. So you can see some of my posts here - https://www.instagram.com/ouraring/
Another popular stand was Viome. Viome is a new technology that analyzes your microbiome and metabolism - in turn, giving you information to you you and your body to achieve the results you desire.
It's a new company, only founded last year, but there is a lot of hype around the company and its product. Somehow I had missed any news on this company so seeing it at the expo was my first encounter.
I wanted to pick up one of the test kits but I couldn't post it from New Zealand. So I will have to wait until international return shipping is an option. But it does look like it's on to something promising.
Fonterra is a New Zealand company specialising in dairy products. I was excited to see the small booth offering 'Anchor butter' - Grassfed butter all the way from New Zealand. The packaging even has a picture of my local mountain.
This was my everyday butter, the butter I used at home. So I had to go and say hi!
Turns out that was the butter used in the Bulletproof coffees that were free for all conference attendees. Pretty cool I thought!
New Zealand Butter - the best in the world!
Hopefully my review has given you a brief insight as to what was on show at the 2017 Bulletproof conference.
But I need to point out that it's not all about the toys, the new supplements and the health hacks, there was a lot of other reasons why people come to this event.
For example, the presentations - many world leader experts were sharing their knowledge to the attendees. I decided to forgo these presentations and instead make the most of the networking opportunities on hand (plus the presentations are recorded for later viewing).
But I heard many positive reviews from those who did attend these talks.
The Evening Events
Every evening was spent with like minded health conscious people over dinner or organic wine. For me this is a huge appeal to these sorts of events (no not the wine, the networking!).
A world event - End of Bulletproof conference celebrations with german mattress guru @justhealthysleep 🇩🇪 professional biohacker @biohackers.lab from South Africa 🇿🇦 and some random tag along by the name of Alex all the way from New Zealand 🇳🇿 😝 all hanging out in California America 🇺🇸 drinking Argentinian red wine 🍷 🇦🇷 and Belgium beer 🍻 🇧🇪
As I work from home in little New Zealand, it can be hard to have interactions like this. Every night is another event, new people to meet and ideas to throw around.
Everyone here is into the same thing. My weird, whacky habits & diet choices are the 'norm' in a place like this. Everyone is drinking filtered water, going outside for sun, walking barefoot through the park, going to healthy restaurants etc.
Resetting my circadian clock - Outside grounding and getting AM sun at BP expo
You're with your 'tribe'. It's powerful and it's great being with people who 'get you'.
The Dry Farms Wine Party
When the people who source the healthiest wine throw a party at the end of the 3 day event, it's always going to be fun!
First Time Experiences
I met Dave Asprey for the first time, I met Dr Mercola for the first time, I was interviewed on the Wellness Force podcast, I rode in a brand new Tesla for the first time... None of this would have happened if I stayed home and viewed the event online!
I hope my review gave you a bit of an insight as to what went down at the 2017 Bulletproof expo. If you have any questions about any of the products feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer them.
If you were at the event, what was your favourite product?
Thanks To: Hope Rosemary for supplying the photo for this blog article. IG @hoperosemary
This blog post was written by Alex Fergus. Alex is an ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialist, Fitness Professional and certified Superhuman Coach who continues to expand his knowledge base and help people across the world with their health and wellness. Alex is recognized as the National Record Holder in Powerlifting and Indoor Rowing and has earned the title of the Australian National Natural Bodybuilding Champion. Having worked as a health coach and personal trainer for over a decade, Alex now researches all things health and wellness and shares his findings on this blog. Learn more about Alex's Credentials HERE.
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