Here is the ‘one pager’ about how to increase your bone density. Not a guess; derived from real people in the real world measured and verified with the most precise scientific instrumentation. Following this outline resulted in an average annual increase of over 10% in bone mineral density across several hundred people.
First measure your bones by a reliable technique. Spine most of all and then hip; heel or wrist or such will not do. Preferably 3D QCT or DEXA; ultrasound or other techniques are not as reliable; at least for now.
Get some blood tests; at a minimum you need to know your HDL, your HDL 2b or other maturation assessment of HDL, testosterone, estradiol, AM fasting insulin, hs-CRP, AM cortisol, triglycerides and Celiac disease markers. Celiac disease is so strong a driver/cause of osteoporosis that it should be checked anytime weak bones are found.
Buy a recording heart rate monitor; be prepared to understand it and use it.
You are now ready to start. You are going to be eating, sleeping, training and relaxing in such a way to drive each of the above variables into a more positive range; no matter what the starting values were all of the above getting better, this includes the markers revealed by the heart rate monitor, all of the above getting better is the only adequate global assessment associated with a measurable increase in bone density.
In no case take any supplements. If you are taking calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamin D, whatever; stop them! They will only screw up the exquisite balance of nutrients that proper diet provides. Remember I am not guessing or opining; I’ve got the data.
Celiac or not, eliminate all grains, starches and sugars; we need to see that insulin and those triglycerides are going down; unless your beginning fasting insulin was less than 2 and your initial triglycerides were less than 90 in which case you may have a yam 3-6 times a week. hs-CRP should follow the decline in insulin and triglycerides; be sure that it does. Full-fat dairy is one of the most important dietary elements of success; and not because ‘it is a good source of calcium.’ Aarrrggg!
Start your heart rate monitor baseline by assessing your functional peak heart rate. Do not use the old 220 minus your age as a functional peak. Once you have this value make sure your workouts, constructed entirely of dynamic, heart rate variable exercises has spikes- transients- such that 15% of your workout time is above the 85th percentile of your functional maximal heart rate. And PLEASE -do I have to say this? – please make sure it is safe for you to train in this range. If you are not seeing an increase in your work product with stable to increasing heart rate peak, recovery, and resting heart rates then you are either over or under training (or have heart disease). This has to get better if you want to make bones.
Workouts need to be 3 times a week and days between workouts have to be true down time days; rest, recreation, no intense exercise of any kind. This is a hard one for the driven; still, doing more will only inhibit the positive adaptive changes that increase your bone density. Look, I’ve seen osteoporosis in really big, scary-looking dudes; because they over-train for crying out loud. Rest time is key.
Workout structure must be focused on intensity. Just to get some people off the ground you may need to go through a mass building phase but in all cases make sure you lay down a good connective tissue baseline by low intensity training of appropriate exercises; the same and related ones to those you will be using in your intensity phase. Ligaments, tendons and bones are very function specific; training to pull sleds won’t make you bullet proof for cross body snatches. The ones that work, the ones that build bones are big ones: clean and jerk, snatch, pushing your car up and down the driveway, hill sprints, cross body kettle-bell snatch. You get the idea. INTENSE for 45 minutes or less; even for Godzilla. If you can do more you aren’t trying hard enough.
High-fat, wild-feeding, wild-living animal meats; grass fed beef and lamb functionally fit into this catagory, oddly enough, are a must. The fats from these animals are very anti-inflammatory and increase insulin sensitivity. Eat across a broad range of cruciform vegetables, dark leafy greens and fall and winter berries. Eat some nuts. Forget toxic this, toxic that, depleted soil and conspiracy theories and all of your ‘allergies.’ Absent true nut allergies and the like of course. Eat, for crying out loud. Do not drink alcohol.
Now periodically retest the above blood and heart rate variables; I recommend every 3 months. If they are not better, and I mean clearly better, you are either over or under training or not eating in the very precise way I’ve described. Reading the matrix of variables in such a way as to evaluate over/under training, the precision of your dietary discipline, the role of alcohol compliance and the like is more than I can address here. More often that not you will know when you see the numbers if you are on track for the level of discipline needed for your personal metabolism. Insulin is not coming down; well then, sir or madam, don’t kid yourself you are either slipping in the occasional tiramisu or eating way too much at dinner and not enough at breakfast. Testosterone is stuck; how is your sleep, and your intensity, and your protein type and amount?
This outline is for little old ladies and great big, hairy, young-gun goons. It works. Now I realize you may or may not be able to follow this outline due to blood tests or whatever but this is the straight scoop. I know how to do this and, as Dave Draper says: “The secret is there is no secret.”
Done right this creates beauty. Through the miracle of the piezoelectric effect driven by whole-body, dynamic exercises, proper diet, sleep and relaxation you will become a straighter, truer arrow in the hand of God!
Smile, Have Fun, God Speed,