Does Bryan Johnson’s $2m biohacking routine actually work? We tested it to see | Hard Reset

Does Bryan Johnson’s $2m biohacking routine actually work? We tested it to see | Hard Reset

Show Video

- This man is spending $2 million a year to reverse aging. I tried his plan for one month, and the results will blow your mind. Now, how many supplements do you take every day? - Over a hundred.

- Holy cats. So that's a lot of pills. - It's a lot of pills. - So is youth something we can recapture? That's the plan according to Bryan Johnson. He's taken every research study and scientific paper he can find on anti-aging and used it to create Blueprint, a plan for how to eat, exercise, and take supplements that will help you actually age backwards. - We took on the entirety of all the scientific literature, systematically putting a protocol together with 30 doctors.

My responsibility was maintaining perfect adherence to that protocol, zero infractions, and that's what I think we've done, is just a proof of concept that we can meaningfully control our aging. - Why do this? Because as we learn more about how our bodies age, our idea of aging gets more and more complicated. - 45 years ago, I left my mother's womb.

My diaphragm is 18, my left ear is 64, my heart is 37. Biologically, I am hundreds of different ages. I think we could be on the cusp of something more revolutionary than we can even comprehend. - So for the next month, I am going to be trying Bryan Johnson's Blueprint plan. I'm gonna be eating the way he eats, taking all the same supplements, which is a lot of supplements, and I'm gonna be exercising every day to see if I can actually reverse the clock on aging.

Stick around to find out if we can reverse our aging. I was worried at the end of 30 days, I would like not want to do this ever again. I'd be miserable and just like, "Take me to the nearest pizzeria," have some big bacchanal of carbs and meat. God, that does sound good though. Will I live forever or die trying? This is "Hard Reset," a series about rebuilding our world on scratch. Hard Reset is all about rethinking things from the ground up, and it's hard to think of a better example of that than this product from our sponsor for this video, Henson Shaving.

Henson is an aerospace manufacturer that has made parts for the ISS, Mars Rovers, satellites orbiting the Earth. We love the approach they took to rethink something really universal, shaving. When the machinist at Henson looked at existing razors, they realized that most razorblades are not supported as rigidly as you'd expect, so they designed the Henson around this idea.

They also found that microscopic variances can have a huge impact on the quality and consistency of a shave. The result is that their design only extends the blade out 0.0013 inches. That's less than the thickness of a human hair or a piece of paper.

No gimmicks or multiple blades or aloe strips. It's just a single quality blade gripped really precisely so that you're in control of your shave. This is an incredibly well-made, well-designed safety razor. It's the kind of product that'll last you the rest of your life. It uses standard blades, which are really affordable and totally recyclable, so there's no waste like disposable cartridges.

I mean, the whole thing is solid metal, so it's completely recyclable if you were so inclined. If you wanna elevate your shaving experience, we suggest you go to If you buy a razor and a pack of a hundred blades like this, just enter in the code 'reset,' and you'll get the blades for free. A hundred blades like this will last you a few years, so this is a great way to hard reset your shaving regimen.

Okay, the sponsored section is now over. Let's get back to reversing aging. This is Bryan.

He wants to be young again, and he is like really, really serious about it. Nice to meet you. I'm Nick. Thanks for taking the time to show us around today. I really appreciate it. - Welcome, glad you're here. Come on in. - Thanks.

Bryan has undertaken a massive research project to see if he can get back to being 18. That sounds crazier than it really is. - We wanted to pose the question, "Is the Fountain of Youth here right now?" It's just hiding in tens of thousands of scientific publications."

And so what you see here is basically the result of two years' effort. You like to think it's about health and wellness, but really is about something much bigger, and that's what I really want to try to communicate with Blueprint is after two years of doing this, it's here, meaningfully here. What's coming could dramatically extend our lifespans. I don't think that we can fully comprehend the potential that's coming our way, and I think the job all of us have is stay alive. - Blueprint is Bryan's open-source project to create a system for self-care that essentially runs itself for the rest of your life. It's a complete overhaul of his diet, his fitness activities, and how he measures the impacts on his body.

- What we do systematically is we measure every organ in my body. We look at all the scientific evidence, we implement the protocol, and then we do it again. Evidence, data, protocol, repeat, and so this diet in me has produced 50 perfect biomarkers. It slowed my speed of aging by the equivalent of 31 years. My body now accumulates aging damage slower than the average 10-year-old.

- For Bryan, or anyone else who thinks about it for more than a few seconds, the idea that a single number defines our age is absurd. Our bodies are super complex and the different components of this massively complex system don't all age in perfect synchronization. Your skin might age much differently than your organs, or your muscles, or your bones. Your brain might be aging faster than your immune system or slower than your heart.

And now to a certain extent, we can measure how these different systems are breaking down over time. For each of these aspects of his age, Bryan has taken on the latest techniques to measure and restore his optimal health. It starts with an intense workout every morning. Also enough supplements to stock a GNC, and a strict diet that I got to sample.

- So I'll wake up in the morning and I'll drink this 'Green Giant,' and it has amino acids, spermidine in the form of chlorella powder, collagen peptides, cinnamon, creatine, take 60 pills. I'll work out for an hour. A pro move would be for you to drink the whole thing, however, that comes with some risks that you may find yourself in the restroom. - Like immediately? - There's like some variance, sometimes, not a bad thing, but just so you know, like if you wanna have a full like choose your own adventure. It may be fine, you may find some time in the bathroom.

- You should know, like now I'm terrified, but I mean I'll eat anything at least once, so- it's really good. Yeah, kinda just like apple juice with a little bit of, like a shot of wheat grass at a cafe or something, but yeah, I don't hate this at all. This is quite good.

- Yeah, it's very good. - If I'm being honest. . All right, so this one you wanna drizzle the olive oil. - and then- - I am a founding member of the clean plate club, I just wanna say - I have to say I'm impressed. That's courageous. That's pro right out of the gate. - I'm about to go stand in a field this afternoon for another shoot, so I hope there's a bathroom there.

Laura's having a panic attack. This is a lot of fun. - This will be exciting to see. All right, next is what I call 'Super Veggie,' and it's broccoli, cauliflower, shiitake or maitake mushrooms, black lentils, hemp seeds, garlic, and ginger. Take your olive oil, and go ahead and drizzle it, and then this is an exciting thing is I add the 100% dark chocolate, and I pair it with the vegetables. - Yep, I've got it actually, yeah.

- Pair it with the vegetables, okay. - So chocolate with vegetables is not something that many people do; however it's bitter because it's 100% dark, right, and so the bitterness paired with this and the olive oil I find to be delicious, so why don't you try that? - I'll try that. - That's really interesting. I never would've thought to pair the chocolate with it, and it does add a lot. Tell me about this dish.

- So an hour later, this will 'be Nutty Pudding.' - And you said macadamia nuts, what were the others? - Walnuts. - Walnuts? Flax seed, some pea protein, berries and two ounces of freshly squeezed pomegranate juice. - Oh, that's really good. Now you eat basically all of your meals before 8:00 AM, is that correct? - I eat them before 11:00 AM or so.

It's in a six-hour window, so by noon every day I'm finished eating. - Wow. - So then I fast for 18 hours. - How does that feel? - I love it.

This is the thing. I love this protocol more than any other version of a previous life I've lived. - One other important aspect to this, beyond just how it affects our aging, is that Bryan is trying to simplify the choices in his life, so he doesn't need to invest energy in them anymore, kinda like how Steve Jobs only wore black turtlenecks and jeans. If you can codify these healthy choices and make it a thought-free set of habits, that could set you up for a better life. - When I wake up in the morning, I walk through a process of going left to right. I'll start here, I'll grab this guy here, then this guy, then this guy, and then so on, so I basically never have to remember anything.

I just walk through a process and muscle memory takes over. Before I was committing these acts of self-destructive behavior of violence: eating too much food, not sleeping properly, skipping exercise, that was causing decay and aging. I had to say, "All right, organs, you are now in charge. Now what do you need to be your best selves?" But importantly, what I did say is: "My mind, it no longer has authority to make any decisions." I had to destroy my mind before my mind could destroy me.

- If you think this sounds like comic book stuff, you're not wrong, because it does require a superpower. Like Batman, Bryan's superpower is that he is rich. He spends roughly $2 million a year on this project, and even has his own fully equipped medical clinic in his house.

- So this is a high-frequency electromagnetic stimulation; it makes muscles contract. So if you wanna sit here, and if you have a cell phone, you'll wanna take it out of your pocket. We'll count down: three, two, one. - Oh, okay, that's not bad.

Okay, yeah, I'd have to, I'm getting flashbacks from like Burning Man getting a cattle prod. But this is not nearly as bad as, I was worried for a minute there. Oh, yep, there it is. - You have pants on, normally it's done in different underwear.

- Yeah, that's for the subscribers only. - Of course, not everyone can afford their own medical clinic, and Bryan isn't saying you should. He's trying the most extreme version of this so that others can take that information and build something that fits into their life. - I took it all the way to the outer edges, the frontier, and somebody of course can piece together what they can in their life, which is great.

I wanted to give an example if someone really wanted to go all in, what could they imagine they could achieve? And if you look at my data on what we've done, I mean, it's meaningfully changed my speed of aging and my biological processes. - So to see how easy it Is for people to do this, at Hard Reset, we decided to take Bryan's example and do our own version of the Blueprint plan based on the starter guide on his site for 30 days. The only question is: Will I survive it? We wanted to see what it was like to use Bryan's plan.

So Rob, Freethink's, Editor-in-Chief, and I both adopted a simplified version of the Blueprint plan for 30 days. - All right, today's your first day, right? - Yes, technically. So, one of the things I thought was important when we did this was that we don't just do qualitative measurements.

Like I don't think it's super helpful to be like, "I feel better" or "I feel slimmer in my pants." I feel like there needs to be some quantifiable data to this. So at the beginning and end, I took several measurements to see what happened to my body. To begin with, I took a biological age test. Now, I know how old I am. I'm currently 43 years old.

The question that this answers though is: How do your cells behave? How old is your body behaving based on all the different genetic or lifestyle choices that have influenced that? So you take a small saliva sample, you send it in, and they analyze that to look for epigenetic markers that might show what your biological age is like. Well, if we assume this test is accurate, my real age is actually several numbers, but they combine to show a biological age of roughly 36, which is far better than I expected frankly. It's not all good news though. My brain and my liver are actually aging a little faster than the rest of my body. I also took a DEXA scan and a VO2 max test to get a sense of my body's composition and overall fitness levels. - VAT stands for visceral adipose tissue.

In my opinion, this is the most important metric outta this whole process. There's a lot of data and statistics out there that correlate high levels of visceral tissue with an increased likelihood of diabetes, heart disease, that sort of stuff. So you've gotta score a 205. The high risk range is above 160.

Anything you can do, especially as you get past the age of 50, to get that number closer to 100, I would definitely recommend. - Like, obviously I'm not gonna drop this 205 to zero, but what is the sort of things you would hope to see after a month of fairly intense lifestyle change? - If weight loss is your goal and you really dial in the nutrition, I think somewhere, anywhere between two to eight pounds a month. I know it's a wide range, but that's what I would say. - Okay, that's fair. This waist brand strap mark is disturbing.

It's a lot to take in. AlL right, we're ready to go. - You excited? - No. - All right, let's go ahead and have you step on the treadmill here. You're doing awesome. Excellent.

- I got a VO2 score of 34.6. I'm on the lower end of average, which is probably fine for someone who barely does any exercise, but there's lots of room for improvement. We also tracked weight and sleep. Then it was time to start the plan. Okay, so today is day one of the Bryan Johnson Blueprint plan for me.

- So this is day two of doing Bryan Johnson's Blueprint. - We started with the supplements. Bryan takes a lot of supplements, so many so, so many. We use the recommended list from his Blueprint Starter Guide, but omitted anything that required a prescription. Buying a month's worth of these supplements cost over $1,000 by itself. - It's closer to what you would see an elite athlete try to do in terms of optimizing their body, but also just like what it would be like for people who aren't eccentric billionaires to do this stuff with the attitude that he has, 'cause I walked into the grocery store to try to find just the ground macadamia nuts.

- I couldn't find ground macadamia nuts. I'm gonna have to grind it myself. One of the items that struck me today was fresh-squeezed pomegranate juice.

- Bro, I was looking all over for that! - It's not that attainable for everybody, unless you have a staff who can squeeze pomegranates for you every morning, right? For the diet portion, we followed Bryan's recipes for his daily meals, the Green Giant, the Super Veggie, and the Nutty Pudding. We were also allowed a third meal each day that we left open to interpretation as long as it was 500 calories or less. Bryan is vegan, but Rob and I are not, so we allowed ourselves to have meat three times a week as long as it was one serving or less, and accompanied by vegetables and no processed foods. We also didn't allow ourselves caffeine, alcohol, or THC.

Then there was exercise. This is exercise. It's just like normal things you might do, except it's not fun, and I don't enjoy it. We did an hour of exercise every day with roughly 10 minutes of each workout dedicated to high-intensity training. Rob did weight training.

I mainly walked. I walked a lot. In fact, I walked over 100 miles over the course of the experiment. So what's it like to live on the Blueprint plan? Well, once you get used to taking massive amounts of supplements, that's not really something that impacts your day-to-day life. One weird side note, I noticed that the supplements had a substantial impact on my body odor.

I think it was the iron supplements, because I noticed I had a metallic smell after working out. Also, more than once I had coworkers tell me that my skin was glowing, which was super, super weird. The diet was mainly boring.

There's nothing unpleasant about the food with the possible exception of the spermidine in the Green Giant, which does take some getting used to. It's just boring eating the same thing every day. With a little preparation, it's not too hard to pack all the ingredients you need to do Blueprint while you travel, but you will need to get used to the idea of watching your family eat food at restaurants that you can't, just like at work when all your colleagues can eat things you can't. The thing that I think makes it mostly boring is that it's the same thing over and over again every day, which is probably kind of the point that Bryan's trying to take all the choice out of this situation. You're just always sort of forced to make the right choice. My only concern is, is a month long enough to have a measurable impact on my health or my biological age? Probably not, but I have to say, having done it now, it's not unpleasant.

It's just boring. - It's Thursday, June 22nd. This is my fourth day.

I measured myself before doing this weight-wise, and I was about 232. I stepped on the scale this morning and I am 222. I've only rarely been able to get to two meals, but the food man, food, the food is rough. I need some flavor, like just basic flavors. - Also, it's a lot of food. You are not hungry on this diet.

Honestly. I was often so full that I didn't even want to eat a third meal. To break up the monotony, I would change up the recipes a little bit without deviating from the diet. Well, I'm 11 days in to the Blueprint Diet by Bryan Johnson.

So far, I have lost a fair amount of weight, something like 8 to 10 pounds depending on when I weigh myself. Definitely lost a lot of fat on my face, not sure I've lost it in my belly. Finding an hour of time every day for working out was a challenge, but I found that if I listened to a good audio book, it passed the time a lot more quickly.

Frankly, I was hoping that after doing this for a month every day, I'd finally have the experience of having some sort of endorphin rush associated with exercise, but I never did. I am apparently just not wired that way. So the last six days have not been fun. I realized this morning that I had not been putting one of my regular prescription medications in to my nightly supplement regime for the last six days, so that probably contributed a great deal to my overall feeling of malaise, brain fog, fatigue, and just general confusion and vertigo. Definitely hoping that that improves things because I was very much on the verge of quitting last night. - Yeah, feeling good, feeling strong.

I'm gonna take these pills, take the Green Giant. - When I started this experiment, my main concern was that it would work, but that it would make me miserable. I mean, what's the point in living forever if you just wanna die right now. Okay, so today is day 24 of the Bryan Johnson Blueprint plan. I have to say, I don't think I'm gonna continue this afterwards as is.

I'll probably do something similar, but I probably won't do the exact same diet, and I'll probably try and keep up as much of the exercise as I can, 'cause I feel like it has been good for me overall, but we'll see what the next six days bring. But at the end of 30 days, I didn't have the urge to jump into a deep dish pizza and never look back. Oddly enough, I felt like I only wanted to change a few things about the Blueprint plan to make it accommodate my lifestyle a little better. Okay, so this is my last day of the Bryan Johnson Blueprint plan. I have been doing this for 29, this will be 30 days, and this is my last green Super Veggie lunch.

Had my last Green Giant, and I gotta say, I do feel better. I do feel like I just feel better, overall. I don't feel perfect. I don't feel necessarily younger, but I do feel like I have more energy.

I've lost a lot of weight. I feel like my energy throughout the day is a lot more even. I just generally feel better. - So yeah, I think that's the biggest hack or adjustment to this is that you do have control over your body and how it feels and whatnot to some extent, to the extent that we have free will in the first place, but you can take agency over that stuff and you might as well while you're young, 'cause by the time you're old, it's too late.

- So the Blueprint plan wasn't hell, it was just boring. The real question was: Did it work? To find out, I took a few more measurements, another DEXA scan, another VO2 max, a blood test, and another biological aging test. Let's look at the data. I definitely saw a steady decline in my weight.

I lost about 20 pounds over the course of the 30 days, which was more than I expected, but maybe less than I'd hoped. Still, it was a clear win. My sleep data wasn't as clear. I don't think I saw huge improvement in my sleep quality or quantity, which is a shame because it's one of the most important things for your overall health.

The DEXA scan was another clear win. Looking at my body composition, you could see I hadn't just lost weight, but I'd lost fat where it mattered most. - Your visceral fat area is at about 165 right now.

Your last scan was coming in at about 210, so you've been able to drop that by yeah, 40, 50 points, so I'd say you can't really do much better than that. - The VO2 max test was a miserable slog still, but I saw a clear improvement in my overall score, going from a 34.6 to a 36.8. My blood test results were also great. My cholesterol and triglycerides were dramatically lower than my previous blood test.

My triglycerides went from over 300 to just over 70, which is incredible, and my LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, has gone way down. It went down from 126 to 92. So overall, I had lost weight, and was in better shape, but had I really slowed or reversed my aging? For that, we looked at the results of the biological age test, and yes, it appears that Blueprint did work, in fact, much more effectively than I had expected. My biological age went from 36 to 33, and I saw improvements in almost every category. Although we couldn't afford another DEXA scan or VO2 max test for Rob, he saw dramatic improvements as well.

He dropped 25 pounds in weight, lost six inches off his waist, and he saw 40% to 70% improvement in his weightlifting performance. Now, we fully admit that there's a lot of debate around the accuracy of biological aging tests, but if you accept them as a reasonable measure of our body's overall age, then yes, we reversed aging by adopting Bryan's Blueprint plan. So having seen these numbers, having seen this dramatic improvement in my health, it makes me reticent to go back to living my life the way I was before. It makes me feel like I probably need to at least keep most of the things from the Blueprint plan. I'm definitely gonna make a few changes, but I'm probably gonna make them very slowly and be very careful to watch how they impact my body and how my body performs. - Bryan Johnson's Blueprint, there's a cadre of people that when they interface with this and they see it, they see the food that he eats and they think of it's a miserable way to live.

I think when you just like look at it from a macro level, it's not crazy. It's actually just like pretty simple, sound advice. Eat whole foods, take supplements, and exercise. - It's been several months since we filmed this experiment and I've kept my regular, miserable exercise schedule. My diet isn't anything crazy and I'm taking fewer supplements. I've kept the weight off, and I'm actually still losing a little bit of weight.

My wife says I'm still 43 though. - And the hard reset on aging, I guess it's like sort of TBD, right? You have to see what the results are and all that. I didn't feel like I am like getting younger in any real sense, but Bryan's been doing this for two years and we've been doing it for a few weeks, right? - I think for me it's more of a hard reset on the idea of wellness. Should you think of your health only when it's a problem? Maybe you should start thinking about it every day, and what you can do to improve it every day as opposed to just thinking about it when it's become an issue already. So what will it mean as we learn more about how to optimize our diet and our lifestyles to extend our lives? So, picture a scenario where we had a good sense of what foods and activities would extend our healthy lifespans. You don't need to close your eyes to imagine that.

Just look around you, because we already live in that world. Doctors have been telling people to eat better and exercise regularly for decades, and for just as long we've been ignoring them- you can call that human nature. - This is a hard reset on how we understand being human. It's a genuine attempt at trying to say, "Given the circumstance, what is the most practical thing we could contemplate in doing that would increase our chance of shared survival?" - So the future scenario here isn't a leap forward in technology, but in philosophy.

For Bryan, this all comes down to free will. - In the same way that an algorithm can get me to my destination more efficiently with a digital map, the technology's to a point now where it does all these primary functions for me, which goes to your question of: what is my role of decision-making? And I've chosen to opt in and say, "I say yes to an algorithm that can give me near-perfect health, dramatically slow my speed of aging, and keep me going into the future because I wanna play new games." - What does the world look like when we make the best choices for ourselves? What does it mean for our health and our happiness when we're not making choices out of desperation, or on impulse? - I no longer pantry graze.

I don't order from a menu. I don't do a spontaneous pizza party. I don't do drinks with friends late night.

I don't miss it. I don't want it. They make me feel awful. I think they're bad, and hopefully soon society will shift and we'll see that it does not make any sense for us to be doing things that increase the risk of death and disease. - A lot of this comes down to how you define free will. Is it still free will if you make your choices in advance, like Odysseus lashing himself to the mast of his ship so he won't succumb to the song of the sirens? Or does the impulsive version of you need to have some say in how you live your life for it to be fully free? As always, it's a trade-off, and what you lose and what you gain are pretty clear.

The only real question is what choices will you allow yourself to make?

2023-12-08 22:32

Show Video

Other news