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Strong Medicine by Dr. Chris Hardy and Marty Gallagher
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Strong Medicine by Dr. Chris Hardy and Marty Gallagher
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Strong Medicine

How to Conquer Chronic Disease—And Achieve Your Full Genetic Potential

By Dr. Chris Hardy and Marty Gallagher

604 pages paperback

How to Win the War Against the Enemies of Optimal Health and High Performance—A Complete, Scientific Battle Plan for Reversing Disease, Restoring Vitality and Operating at Your Athletic Peak…

According to Strong Medicine, there are two main drivers causing almost all preventable diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and accelerated aging: chronic inflammation and chronic oxidative stress. High vitality, optimal health and sustainable strength can only be achieved by a properly-informed plan to understand, identify and conquer the enemies of our wellbeing.

The only way to sustain a healthy, vigorous life is to make long-term lifestyle changes—across the board, be it through nutrition, resistance training, cardio or stress management. Strong Medicine shows you how to achieve an utter and complete physical and physiological transformation in 3 months without any draconian training or concentration camp nutrition. Discover how to go from unhealthy and uncertain into ever-improving levels of health, wellness and fitness… Using the intersection of cutting-edge science and real-world medicine—melded with high-level athletics, results-producing coaching and elite military-preparedness training…

"Strong Medicine is flat-out amazing. If you ever wanted to take your training and your nutritional theory to an elite level—better than 99.9% of certified personal trainers—this is the book for you. It's all in here: genetics, gut bacteria, cutting-edge stress biology, molecular nutrition...even better, the ‘deep science’ is all explained so clearly (with charts, key points, photos and diagrams) that it's almost impossible not to understand and absorb it all fully. An automatic classic in the field, which will surely prove impossible to surpass. I bow down to the Doc and to Marty!"—Paul Wade, author, Convict Conditioning and Explosive Calisthenics

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Highlights of The Strong Medicine Program


  • How to become a chiseled and powerful war machine… P 3

Basic Training I Central Themes in Disease and Health… P 6

  • The 4 cardinal signs of inflammation… P 7
  • Why long-term inflammation and chronic stress oxidative stress are the underlying causes for chronic preventable diseases… P 14
  • How Strong Medicine is all about breaking the link between the enemy sources of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, thus preventing chronic disease… P 15

Strong Medicine Oxidative Stress

Central Themes Part II The Gene–Environment connection… P 16

  • Understanding epigenetics… P 18
  • A major way we adapt to environmental stresses… P 21

Central Themes Part III Hormesis… P 22

  • Why unfit people degrade rapidly as they age... P 22
  • The science and art of correct dosage in all lifestyle decisions… P 23
  • How consistent exercise overdose and inadequate recovery is poison to the body… P 24

Central Themes Part IV Stress and the Response to Threat… P 30

  • How stress can completely undermine your training and
    nutrition… P 31

Central Themes Part V Allostasis… P 39

  • The difference between allostasis and hormesis... P 40
  • The 4 key ways allostasis helps us adapt to challenge… P 40
  • The Stress Cup and our capacity for stress… P 41
  • Allostatic overload… P 41
Strong Medicine the Stress Cup
  • How regular exercise can increase the size of the stress cup… P 43
  • How to super-size your stress-cup… P 44

Basic Training II Nutrition and Metabolism 101… P 47

  • A strong foundation here will protect you from being led astray by the avalanche of misinformation in the media—and insulate you from fad diets/propaganda… P 47
  • What is good nutrition?... P 49
  • The 4 fatal flaws with modern nutrition research and practice… P 50
  • The Strong Medicine approach for healthy eating… P 53

"Strong Medicine by Chris Hardy, D.O. and Marty Gallagher is an exhaustively researched, clearly written, and practically useful guide to improving your health.

Improving health is fundamentally different than treating disease. This book represents the future of healthcare in our country. It requires the patient to assume responsibility, learn the basics, and then enhance their health through diet, exercise, sleep, and mindfulness.

If you are looking for a quick fix, this is not the book for you. If you understand that there is no quick fix, then read this book and trust what you read. The information is accurate and relevant, simple to understand, and actionable."—Patrick Roth, M.D., author of The End of Back Pain: Access Your Hidden Core to Heal Your Body, Chairman of Neurosurgery at Hackensack University Medical Center and the director of its neurosurgical residency training program.

Basic Training II Nutrition and Metabolism 101 Macronutrients… P 55

  • What makes for a fatty liver?... P 58
  • How protein needs change as you get older… P 65
  • What You Need to Know About Fats… P 67
  • The 5 major benefits of Butyrate—and the best source… P 70
  • The 6 major benefits of Lauric Acid—and the best source… P 71
  • The 5 major reasons to avoid Palmitate—and another reason to avoid grain-fed animals… P 73
  • The 4 major reasons to embrace Stearate—and the winning argument for grass-fed beef… P 75
  • Why saturated fats are NOT all bad… P 76
  • Why most saturated fat is a necessary and beneficial macronutrient for optimum health… P 77
  • The 2 most important benefits of Oleic Acid—and its best
    sources… P 78
  • Why you should NEVER cook with unsaturated fats… P 79
  • Importing oxidative stress into the body… P 79
  • The best fats to cook with… P 80
  • The 9 great benefits of Omega 3 PUFAs—and how to optimize the best sources… P 82
  • Why you do need to avoid fish-farm salmon… P 84
  • The 4 great benefits of Omega-6 PUFAs… P 85
  • The 3 most important Omega 6 PUFAs and where to source
    them… P 86

Basic Training II Nutrition and Metabolism 101
Metabolism Basics
… P 98

  • How to raise your metabolic thermostat… P 99
  • How to go from a snail-paced metabolism to blast furnace… P 99
  • How to use intense exercise to create a large glucose "sink" in the muscle… P 101
  • How to sleep your way thin… P 116
  • The truth about growth hormone and ketones… P 116
  • The nefarious Pentaverate of Pestilence… P 122

"Strong Medicine by Dr. Chris Hardy and the legendary Marty Gallagher is a declaration of unconventional and asymmetrical war against mortality. The authors' weapon of choice is information, relayed masterfully in the form of an easy-to-understand and richly illustrated owner’s manual of sorts. This is an owner’s manual that is chock full of insights for every level, from the seasoned physician to the absolute layman who is new to fitness.

For the grizzled coach who doesn't have medical training, Strong Medicine lays out crucial performance concepts like ‘hormetic dose’ in ways that are easy to understand regardless of your background. Dr. Hardy continues with insights into diet, nutrition myths, biochemistry demystified, intestinal fine-tuning, the chronic stress connection with disease, and then passes the baton to Marty Gallagher, who unleashes a plethora of exercise and training tips that are centered around five basic exercise categories. With well-shot photographs and clear diagrams to illustrate the important points of each posture, Gallagher lays out a beautiful plan of attack to combat weakness and mechanical decay, including easy-to-follow training programs.

This is a book I plan to read & re-read a number of times as both a licensed medical professional and a strength & conditioning coach."—Dr. MARK CHENG, L.Ac., Ph.D., contributing editor, Black Belt Magazine

Knowing Your Enemy I The Gut: Guardian at the Gate… P 122

  • Why a basic understanding of how your gut works and what happens when its function is disrupted is extremely important to your
    health… P 123
  • The gut—first line of defense against outside "invaders" such as pathogenic bacteria and from our modern diet… P 123
  • The gut-brain connection… P 125
  • How inflammation in the gut is communicated to the brain, creating a body-wide stress response that can wreak havoc on our
    metabolism… P 125

Guardian of the Gate: Triggers of Intestinal Inflammation… P 133

  • The 3 principal triggers for chronic inflammation in the gut… P 133
  • Exploring our addiction to gluten—and the consequences… P 140
  • Stress and Intestinal Permeability… P 141
  • The 7 steps to disease-causing inflammation in the gut… P 144
  • Dysbiosis—Chaos in the Gut…P 145
  • The 6 major health benefits of beneficial bacteria… P 148
  • The 9 major diseases and disorders associated with Dysbiosis… P 151
  • The worst dietary sin for promoting dysbiosis… P 152
  • The double-edged sword of antibiotic use… P 155
  • The 5 major benefits of lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables… P 160
  • How bacteria can influence our moods, anxiety, response to
    stress… P 161
  • How bacteria influence our behavior… P 163
  • How to break the link to chronic inflammation and the conditions resulting from it in the gut… P 165
  • Why there are no benefits to including gluten in a child’s diet—and the many risks… P 166

Obesity—single biggest threat to 21st Century public health… P 170

  • How obesity transforms our fat cells into an "enemy within"… P 170
  • How to fight your own battle with obesity—and win… P 172
  • How the Fat Cell Dr. Jekyll Becomes Mr. Hyde… P 174
  • Overeating: the metamorphosis from benefactors of health into aggressive, bloated monsters spewing inflammation and oxidative stress— a "prison riot" of swollen fat cells … P 175
  • The plague of diabesity… P 180
  • How increased oxidative stress in the mitochondria elevates stress levels in cell energy factories… P183
  • How obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes create a perfect storm for muscle wasting… P 190
  • 3 ways high levels of Palmitate can wreak metabolic havoc… P192
  • How low carb foods may help battle cancer… 194
  • The difference between biological and chronological age… P 198
  • Telomere length—and the definition of aging… P 199
  • Mitohormesis—extending lifespan with oxidative stress… P 200
  • The 3 warning signs for diabetes… P 203-204
  • Why counting calories is a waste of time… P 207

How We Get Fat: The Brain, Hormones and Appetite… P 208

  • How we are hard-wired to prefer high-energy foods… P 208
  • Why we have to understand our drive to eat before we can exert control… P 209
  • How the fat hormone adiponectin keeps inflammation down and insulin sensitivity high… P 209
  • How to recruit fat to fight fat… P 210
  • The role of leptin in regulating hunger and fat… P 210—211
  • Leptin resistance—why fat people don’t get the "stop eating signal" and still feel hungry… P 212
  • Why it’s not just gluttony or lack of willpower… P 213
  • How to eat protein and naturally eat less—without discipline… P 214
  • How the reward system has changed in obese people… P 217

Intervention: the 8-Step Program for Obesity and Diabetes… P 221

  • Step 1 Determine your tolerance for starch and sugar… P 222
  • How to use a blood sugar monitor… P 223
  • Appropriate blood glucose levels… P 225
  • Individual Glucose Tolerance (IGT)… P 226
  • Step 2 Stop eating foods that contain gluten… P 229
  • Step 3 Eliminate processed seed oils from your diet—some of the largest contributors to inflammation and oxidative stress… P 229
  • Why you should use coconut oil for cooking… P 232
  • Step 4 Eat at least 20-30 grams of protein at every meal… P 232
  • The Easy Protein Estimator… P 233
  • Step 5 Increase plant-based foods… P 234
  • The benefits of Butyrate… P 234
  • Good sources of fermentable fiber… P 236
  • Sulforaphane—Broccoli’s bounty… P 237
  • The extreme anti-cancer benefits of broccoli sprouts, #1 source, 20 times the sulforaphane content… P 241
  • Step 6 Cut out high fructose corn syrup and sugar…P 242
  • Why corn syrup is bad…P 243
  • How advance glycation end products (AGE) contribute to aging—and what to do about it… P 244
  • How deep frying can elevate AGE formation by up to 100x… P 245
  • How to reduce AGE production in cooking… P 245
  • Low-AGE cooking methods… P 246
  • How to accelerate disease and aging: the nuclear option… P 246
  • Why fried chicken and French fries are inflammation/oxidative stress nuclear weapons in your body… P 246
  • Tastes great—deadly to your health… P 246
  • Why soft drinks, energy drinks and fruit drinks are health-killing smart bombs… P 247
  • Step 7 Increase insulin sensitivity with exercise… P 249
  • Formulas for determining your HR max… P 251
  • Investing in the right heart monitor… P 252
  • The High Intensity Interval Training protocol… P 252—253
  • How you lose fat with HIIT… P 257
  • Step 8 Fix your sleep and use stress reduction techniques… P 258
  • Recommended amount of sleep per night… P 259
  • The effects of 1-2 nights of poor sleep… P 259

"Strong Medicine demonstrates the paradigm shift that we currently have in the world of physical development. We cannot put our fitness goals above our health goals. Health provides the foundation for fitness to start the process. Fitness in turn pays back health through maintenance and sustainability. The takeaway for this book: learn as much about your health as you do about your fitness and you'll do just fine."—GRAY COOK, author, Movement, co-creator, FMS

Knowing Your Enemy III Chronic Stress, The Silent Killer…P 265

  • The 8 major diseases associated with chronic stress… P 266
  • The 5 obstacles to chronic stress being addressed between patient and physician… P 266
  • Brain neuroplasticity—the hard evidence… P 268
  • How short-term, low-intensity stress builds resilience… P 271
  • Chronic stress and high-intensity stress… P 272
  • What determines if the HPA axis activates to produce the threat response?... P 275
  • The difference between internal and external threats… P 275
  • How chronic stress rewires "threat-stress circuitry"… P 278
  • The shrinking of the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex and the enlarging of the amygdala… P 280
  • Stress and Health… P 282
  • Chronic stress linked to these 7 major diseases… P 285
  • Cortisol receptor resistance… P 287-288
  • Don’t feed the beast—eating when a threat has passed… P 287
  • Chronic stress and premature aging… P 288
  • Why rumination and worry are so health damaging and age-accelerating … P 289
  • Stress from "nothing"… P 289
  • How rumination and worry amplify the negativity bias… P 289
  • The anticipatory threat response… P 291

Chronic Stress II Mind Intervention… P 293

  • A mental strategy/approach to relieve stress, minimize projection, reflection, rumination and worry… P 293
  • How to transform your mind from your worst enemy into your best friend… P 294
  • How to intervene on your mind… P 294
  • The dangers of chest breathing… P 295
  • The 3 benefits of rebuilding the brain with mindful breathing… P 297
  • Stop the stress response better… P 298
  • Why low heart variability is a marker of poor health—and what to do about it… P 302
  • HRV biofeedback machine… P 303
  • How exercise stimulates Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor—and why that is a very good thing… P 303
  • How to regrow the stress-shrunken brain structures such as the hippocampus… P 303
  • Why not all exercise is optimal when targeting brain training—and what kind is best, hands down… P 304

"In the last 40-50 years we have experienced a huge rise in the chronic diseases affecting affluent societies across the world. We are generally fatter and less healthy than we were in the past.

In this impressive new book Chris Hardy and Marty Gallagher take the roles of doctor and fitness coach to provide us with in-depth understanding about why this is happening and the steps we need to take to turn this around. This includes a comprehensive review of the latest scientific research—which is presented in an easy to understand format. The solution is presented as an integrated ‘Battle Plan’ which includes a detailed and well-explained training regime along with excellent nutritional advice, which will combine to provide a transformation to a fitter, stronger, and healthier body. Most importantly they show us the best way to measure the progress we are making towards this goal.

I would consider this as the most comprehensive and readable book I have seen on this large topic, and it provides a thorough discussion of evidence to support the nutritional and exercise advice. Some of the research is very new, and may be considered controversial. However, this is all presented for the reader to evaluate. What we have been doing as a society has not been working and this book—with its many exciting new ideas—may provide the plan to reduce the problems created by these chronic diseases."—Dr. Peter Gootjes, Public Health Medicine Specialist, New Zealand

Knowing Your Enemy IV Circadian Disruption:
Thief in the Night
… P 312

  • How failure to follow the circadian rhythms creates dissonance and disruption in the internal workings of our body with profound consequences to our health… P 312
  • Our internal timekeeper… P 313
Strong Medicine Melatonin
  • Distinguishing between activity and regeneration modes… P316
  • How dysfunctional clocks lead to chronic disease… P 316
  • The 9 main clocks… P 316—317
  • Why light is the most important environmental clue to reset the master clock… P 319
  • The 5 main benefits of melatonin… P 321

Sleep Architecture: Building a Good Night’s Sleep… P 322

  • Most of daily growth hormone released during slow wave sleep—DNA and cellular repair happens here… P 323
  • Sleep Drive #1 The Chemical System, clearing the credit debt… P 325
  • Sleep Drive #2 The Circadian System… P 326
  • Sleep system Synergy… P 328
  • Before we can fix anything, we have to know the cause of the problem… P 328

Circadian Disruption, The Consequences of a Broken Clock… P 329

  • Blue light: primary stimulator of the circadian cycle… P 331
  • How high intensity natural light is the best way to reset the circadian system and enter into activity mode… P 333
  • How caffeine works—and its potential drawbacks… P 333
  • Longterm inadequate sleep is strongly associated with the following 9 conditions… P 334
  • Why exercising while the organ clocks are in regeneration mode or sleeping during activity may place harmful stress on the body… P 335
  • The massive benefits of melatonin… P 338
  • Metabolic derangement and physiologic stress… P 339
  • How poor sleep wreaks metabolic havoc on the obese… P 340
  • How circadian disruption tears away the carefully structured sleep architecture—resulting in light, non-regenerative, non-recuperative restless sleep… P 340
  • Reduced slow wave sleep—your one-way ticket to body fat gain and muscle wasting… P 341
  • Why you will not meet your body composition goals unless you fix your sleep… P 341
  • The impact on depression… P 341
Strong Medicine Circadian Clock
  • How circadian disruption and sleep loss stimulate the drive to eat—and puts the food reward system into overdrive… P 341
  • Fix: THIS will put the reins on food cravings… P 341
  • Modern solutions to a modern problem… P. 344
  • Fixing Your Clock… P 345
  • Light as a "circadian trainer"… P 345
  • Light as the Master Trainer… P346
  • Use of high CCT bulbs—for activity… P 347
  • "Bug" lights for regeneration… P 348
  • Blue light filters for television and computer screens… 349
  • 3 top tactics for the bedroom to ensure good sleep… P 351
  • Exercise and the circadian rhythm… P 351
  • Why muscle is able to generate the most force at the end of activity mode… P 352
  • Why late afternoon/early evening exercise works very well… P 352

"Given the sad state of our society's health and wellness literacy, Strong Medicine is just what the doctor should order. Chris and Marty come together to provide the reader with sound information addressing health and wellness from all angles. Whether it's the impact of genetics, the use of biomarkers, proper physical training, the importance of sleep, and/or nutritional information, Strong Medicine has it covered.

It is time that we restore and strengthen the fabric of our society by arming its citizens with the understanding of ‘why, instead of allowing them to meander around in ignorance from one fad to the next. Strong Medicine should be on the bookshelf of anyone serious about their health and wellness. Gratitude, Chris and Marty for such a fine reference." —Dr. Mike Davis, DPT

Part III Battle Plan Physical Training: Unlocking Your Body’s Potential… P 361

  • Optimum feeding of the flesh machine… P 361
  • How regular, mindful, intense physical training is central to the Strong Medicine transformational plan… P 361
  • How the absence of exercise leads to physical and mental deterioration over time… P 361
  • The 9 primal benefits of exercise… P 361
  • How Strong Medicine does not require gym membership, huge time investment, or fancy equipment… P 362
  • Strong Medicine: a scientifically-based training program… P 362
Strong Medicine Exercise Dose
  • Strong Medicine Resistance Training Intro… P 364
  • How to be muscular, ripped and functional… P 364
  • How to retain a magnificent readiness to lift, run, carry, jump and hunt… P 364
  • Understanding Sarcopenia… P 365
  • How maintaining muscle mass is the best defense against insulin resistance and diabetes… P 365
  • Understanding Osteoporosis… P 366
  • Why resistance training is not optional… P 366
  • How Strong Medicine techniques use relatively light weights to maximum benefit, by making light weights heavy… P 367
  • Why Strong Medicine is a strength program for everyone… P 367

Physical Training II King Squat… P 368

  • Why the squat the king of all progressive resistance exercises... P 368
  • Why Olympic lifters have one of the lowest rates of knee injuries in any sport… P 369
  • How the Squat triggers the most primal "fight or flight" response of any exercise… P 369
  • How to get the most potent neurological stimulus… P 370
  • How to take away the turbo-boost effect of the SSC reflex… P 370
  • The 14 keys to mastering the bodyweight squat… P 373
  • The 13 keys to mastering the Goblet Squat… P 375
  • The 13 keys to mastering the Front Squat… P 375
  • How to help beginners whose knees shoot forward… P 378
  • How to avoid knee collapse… P 380

Physical Training III The Deadlift, Healthful Crown Prince of the Posterior… P 383

  • Why, from a medical perspective, no other exercise translates better to protecting the back and preventing injury in everyday life… P 384
  • Why the Sumo Deadlift is all we need for this program… P 384
  • Drawbacks of the conventional deadlift over the Sumo… P 385
  • The 10 keys to mastering the Sumo Deadlift… P 386
Strong Medicine Barbell Sumo Deadlift
  • Strong Medicine Deadlift Tactics—a signature technique rooted in structural architecture, physics and safety… P 388
  • Breaking the "negative"… P 388
  • Why those who think the hip hinge trumps the legs are missing the point… P 388
  • Why you must embrace the sticking point… P 389
  • The dangers of abusing the hip hinge… P 393
  • Common flaws in deadlift form… P 393

Physical Training IV Bench Press and Overhead Press… P 396

  • When it comes to building front torso muscles no other progressive resistance exercise even comes close to flat bench pressing… P 396
  • Avoid these ego-inflating techniques that degrade strength and hinder results… P 397
  • Dumbbell Bench Press Technique—Relax, Pause, Grind… P 398
  • The most difficult bench press technique you’ll ever encounter… P 398
  • The 11 keys to mastering the Dumbbell Bench Press… P 398
  • Dumbbell Bench Press Phase II Beyond Pause, relax, Grind… P 401
  • Master the theme first… P 401
  • The Overhead Dumbbell Press… P 402
  • How and why overhead pressing translates better into real-life applied strength… P 402
  • Coiled energy from bottom to top… P 402
  • The perfect press starts with the lower not the upper body… P 402
  • The pinnacle of upper body pushing movements… P 404

Physical Training V… P 405

  • Making light weights heavier.
  • Chin ups and pull ups the very best but best replacement is the "frozen statue" Row… P 405
  • 8 steps to master the single supported row… P 407
  • Build incredibly strong and dense lats, rhomboids, lower traps, posterior deltoids—with minimal weight… P 408
  • The 4 main reasons why most free-weight rows are worthless… P 409
  • 8 keys to mastering the Fozen Statue Row… P 410

Physical Training VI Strong Medicine Abs… P 412

  • The truth about what will give you 6-pack abs… P 412
  • Why sit ups are low back poison… P 413
  • Abs Training Phase I The Basic Plank… P 414
  • 6 keys to mastery… P 414
  • Abs Training Phase II The High Plank… P 415
  • Abs Training Phase III The One-Hand Plank—extra layer of challenging instability… P 416
  • "Anti-rotation"—extremely important function… P 416
  • Abs Training Phase IV The Plank Row… P 417—418
  • Build an iron core and prevent back injuries… P 418
  • 6 sections. Primer on SM resistance training, foundation for weight training… P 419

Physical Training VII Strong Medicine Basic Cardio… P 420

  • Why HIIT is the preferred way to maximize the adaptive response and lose fat in the shortest amount of time when exercising… P 420
  • But not everyone is immediately ready for HIIT from both a fitness and psychological basis… P 420
Strong Medicine High Intensity Exercise
  • The Basic Cardio ramp up for the deconditioned… P 420
  • Preparation—all you need to start: basic heart rate monitor and your HR Max… P 420
  • Benefits of power walking… P 421
  • Sample 10-week basic cardio ramp up… P 422

Physical Training VIII Strong Medicine High Intensity Cardio… P 424

  • Why 50% of people who start an exercise program quit within the first 6 months…
  • How HIIT addresses time and boredom issues … P 424
  • Why modern medicine approves HIIT as appropriate for people with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity… P 425
  • How one session of HIIT improves blood glucose in diabetics 1-3 days after the session… P 425
  • The 5 main benefits of HIIT-based cardio… P 425
  • The 7-Step HIIT protocol… P 426

Burst Cardio Individualized HIIT—that ensures you get the right dose every time, whoever you are… P 428

  • Why Burst Cardio is great for people of different fitness levels training together… P 430
  • Training the Recovery, Balancing Your Fitness… P 433
  • How to use the recovery period as a trainable event… P 433
  • How to recover faster using these techniques… P 433
  • How to balance the Yang by enhancing the Yin… P 433
  • Most injuries happen when the nervous system is fatigued and exercise form breaks down. How this protocol will help prevent injury from poor form… P 434

"Strong Medicine is one of the most informative books recently published in the area of human health and fitness. The book not only explains bare-bone principles of human biology and wellness, it actually translates this knowledge into a practical strategy—hence ‘The Strong Medicine Lifestyle.’ Well written and backed by science, Strong Medicine presents important yet controversial and perhaps arguable concepts in the area of stress response, nutrition and mental/physical conditioning. Highly recommended to anyone interested in ‘better survival in today’s world’." —Ori Hofmekler, author, The Warrior Diet

Physical Training IX Exercise Programming… P 431

  • Transformational Fitness… P 432
  • The 6-Week Tactical template… P 437—441
  • What is a superset? … P 438
  • Advanced Programing: Seasonal Primordial Cycling… P 442
  • Why the optimal time to peak the human body for athletic competition is 12 weeks… P 442
  • The perils of fundamentalist thinking and the "reverse engineering" of training methods… P 442
  • Seasonal Training Cycles… P 443-444

Battle Plan II Strong Medicine Nutrition: Individualized Strategies Food Sources and Quality… P 447

  • Why the Strong Medicine trainee must insist on more potency… P 449
  • Why local is best… P 449
  • Why animal-based foods are the best bet… P 449
  • The template for an optimum, high-quality omnivorous diet… P 450
  • Why wild caught oily fish are your DHA superstars… P 451
  • Is the fat in animal-based foods cause for concern?... P 455
  • Food quality guidelines for the vegetarian… P 457
  • How B12 is crucial to health and hard to find in vegetarian diets. Deficiency causes neurological problems, anemia and higher risk of heart disease… P 457
  • The dangers of lectin poisoning from beans… P 458
  • 4 main (potentially dangerous) deficiencies and inadequacies in vegetarian diet… P 457—459
  • The most important variable to monitor for nutritional value… P 461
  • The top 5 Strong Medicine herbs and spices for maximum health-power… P 462—463

Individualized Strategies II "Carbohydrate Tolerance"… P 465

  • The case for "low carb" eating… P 466
  • Why a low starch/sugar (LSS) eating pattern can be amazingly effective for the obese/diabetic/insulin resistant population to restore metabolism health, increase fat loss and in some cases put type 2 diabetes into remission… P 466
  • The 7 key principles for a successful LSS diet… P 467
  • Nutrient timing around exercise that will keep your body fat low, performance levels high and stoke your metabolic furnace to white-hot levels… P 468

Individualized Strategies III Feed Your Activity… P 469

  • How to optimize your metabolic blast furnace and prevent muscle wasting… P 469
  • How eating too little glucose can result in muscle wasting… P 469
  • Problem: How does the Strong Medicine trainee get enough glucose to the brain to avoid a stress response without consistently eating too much glucose and increasing their body fat? … P 470
  • Solution: "Feed your activity" correctly… P 470
  • I Non-Training Days (Recovery)… P 470
  • 4 general rules for optimizing nutritional intake… P 470-471
  • II Training Days… P 471
  • Post-workout: why, to prevent the stress-threat system from inducing a catabolic state, we need to feed the flesh machine… P 471
  • How the higher the intensity of the exercise, the more glucose for muscle will be used… P 472
  • How HIIT exercise turns muscles into "glucose sponges"… P 473
  • The 4-point training day strategy for optimal eating… P 473

Caloric Restriction and "Low Carb" Diets… P 474

  • Why caloric restriction has no place in a wellness plan that involves regular, intense exercise… P 474
  • Why long-term diets that are very low in starchy carbs do not mix well with HIIT… P 475

Individualized Strategies IV One Week of Food… P 477-491

  • Examples of easy to prepare meals, which emphasize food quality
  • Putting it all together into a cohesive strategy…

"Strong Medicine is a rare gem that is a must-have for anyone who wants to take control of their health. Chris and Marty have organized an extremely thorough yet easy to understand encyclopedia on how to maximize your health, fitness and genetic potential. In a day and age where we have never been more confused about how to eat, when to eat, how to exercise and what is right vs wrong, as well as more unfit than ever before, this is the new Bible for taking control of your life.

Why do I say controlling your life? Because this book is about your health, from the inside out. No fads, no gimmicks, no "diets" to follow, just the truth about what you need to do to truly be healthy and fit. Without your health, you have nothing to enjoy in life. This book is an essential resource for any fitness enthusiast, health practitioner or coach."—Zach Even-Esh, author, The Encyclopedia of Underground Strength and Conditioning

Battle Plan III Putting It All Together Lifestyle Change—"The neck of Roy Buchanan’s guitar"… P 493

  • Why virtuosity comes with a price, and lifestyle change doesn’t happen overnight… P 495
  • How physiological quantum leaps happen in direct proportion to the amount of quality time invested in lifestyle change… P 495
  • Why the Strong Medicine system relies on the expert use of basic tools with simplistic methods—with periods of enforced rest and the support of nutritionally dense and seasonally appropriate food… P 495

Putting It All Together II Strong Medicine Lifestyle Change
Strategic Planning
… P 496

  • How to pummel the "Pentaverate" of circadian disruption, chronic stress, obesity, gut inflammation and inactivity… P 496
  • How any of the 5 sources left unchecked will overflow your stress cup (allostatic overload) and over time result in destruction of your health… P 496
  • How to strategically plan your own assault on chronic disease, achieving victory with optimal health… P 497
  • Step 1: Self Assessment… P 498
  • Step 2: Targeted Assault… P 498
  • Step 3: Reassess the Battlefield… P 499
  • How assaulting one member of the Pentaverate often causes collateral damage to the others… P 500
  • How to become a Strong Medicine Warrior—ready to recruit new trainees for the war against chronic disease… P 501
  • The Strong Medicine Ranking: Gold Silver and Bronze… P 500—502
  • The 4 biomarkers most useful and meaningful for tracking physical improvement during lifestyle change… P 502

Battle Plan IV Analytics "Stuff You Can Measure"… P 503

  • Biomechanics and the "Holy Grail" of Correlation and
    Causation… P 504
  • Why biomarker correlation does not necessarily cause health and disease, but is associated with it… P 505
  • Understanding biomarkers as "engine warning lights"—indicating that you may be going in the wrong direction with your choices… P 506
  • The best way to make use of biomarkers for your health and strength program… P 508

Stuff You Can Measure I Cholesterol: What Are We Measuring?... P 509

  • The truth about cholesterol… P 510
  • The 6 huge health benefits of cholesterol… P 510-512
  • Why you can’t significantly alter cholesterol levels by changing dietary intake… P512
  • How artificially lowering cholesterol with drugs can result in memory loss, muscle damage and erectile dysfunction… P 513
  • Lipoproteins 101… P 514
Strong Medicine Cholesterol
  • The nature and role of chylomicrons… P 514-515
  • The nature and role of VLDL… P 516
  • The truth about LDL… P 516
  • The truth about HDL… P 516
  • The role of Small-Dense LDL and Large-Buoyant LDL… P 517
  • The mechanics of cholesterol transportation… P 517-523
  • Why it is not cholesterol that leads to the build up of plaques and narrowing of the arteries—and the real culprit… P 523
  • Testing cholesterol… P 524
  • What test results you really need to get to truly predict your risk of developing heart and vascular disease… P 525
  • What affects your LDL particle size?... P 527
  • The real villains that are responsible for the formation of small-dense LDL… P 528
  • The beneficial actions you can take to generate healthy amounts of large-buoyant LDL… P 528-529
  • Is standard cholesterol testing useless?... P 529
  • Why the HLD/triglyceride ratio is a better predictor of heart disease and diabetes than standard LDL cholesterol levels… P 530
  • What numbers are "good" on the standard lipid panel?... P 530
  • Digging deeper into the topic of cholesterol and lipoproteins—5 key findings for a more complete picture… P 532-533
  • Summary: the 7 top take-home messages and considerations for an effective approach to cholesterol… P 534

"I have had the pleasure of being with Marty Gallagher when he delivered the ‘Beta’ version of this book—and I flew home and realized that I needed to start from zero with my coaching of the basic movements. Combine Marty's great insights with the clearest explanation I have ever read that ‘Food is Medicine’ and you have a one-two punch that changes lives. An amazing book and well worth the time to read it and digest it (pun intended)."—Dan John, author, Never Let Go

Stuff You Can Measure II Physical Measurements… P 534

  • Why focusing on "weight loss" can be an unhealthy obsession… P 535
  • The new, unfortunate phenomenon of "normal weight obesity"… P 536
  • Why you need to toss your scale… P 536
  • Why the Waist to Height Ratio (WHR) is your single best physical measurement for managing your health… P 537

Stuff You Can Measure III Markers of Inflammation… P 541

  • Why C-Reactive Protein (CRP) is the best current marker to use for chronic inflammation… P 541
  • Why CPR is the single best predictor for heart disease… P 542
  • Why testing for high-sensitivity CPR is so valuable… P543
  • What is a good level of hsCPR?... P 544
  • The 5 major ways to lower your hsCPR… P545

Stuff You Can Measure IV Heart Rate Variability (HRV)… P 541

  • Why HRV is your "desert island" biomarker for health… P 546
  • HRV as a window into your stress cup… P 548
  • How measuring HRV lets us see the current state of our autonomic nervous system—and what we want to see… P 548
  • How HRV levels can predict high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and longevity… P 549
  • 8 major (and dangerous) triggers of low HRV… P 550
  • When and how to best measure your HRV… P 551-552
Read Reviews For: Strong Medicine (paperback)
9.62 out of 10 (29 reviews)
Rated 10/10 Get this today
By Paul Britt / Rockwall, Texas, USA

Where to start? This is a book that everyone should have in their collection. But more importantly, should be using to improve their life.
Dr. Hardy has written the best and most understandable book on how to take control of your health and epigenetics that I have read. It is a book that can be used by Average Joe to improve his life as well as well as by medical professionals to help their patients.
Need to decrease stress? It is effectively taught in the book.
Need to improve, get more, sleep? It is in the book and it works.
Need more energy? Read the section on mitochondria.
I think that this is the only book you need to improve your health, because it starts from the inside out.
This is an awesome 600 page "bible" to maximizing your potential. I believe that this book is so important to improving people's health and life that I am donating a copy to Parker University Library, where I am a Doctor of Chiropractic Student.
I will be teaching the principles to my patients and to my current clients.
Buy it today, add a copy for your loved ones.

Rated 10/10 The single best Nutrition and Exercise Book
By Michael Croy / Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

I am a clinical health professional with a masters in nutrition, as well as being a certified personal athletic trainer. I have had many years of professional experience in both disciplines. I have also been using resources from Dragondoor since the days when Pavel Tsatsouline had written only his first 3 books on strength, flexibility and ab training. I have witnessed the growth and development of the RKC programs, FMS, PCC, etc. I consider Strong Medicine to be one of the finest publications in the history of Dragondoor's existence. The combination of the two authors' knowledge and expertise is not only first rate but they have also given detailed plans to apply their theoretical rationale to your personal diet and exercise regimens. Anyone could benefit from the advice and instruction contained in Strong Medicince. If I had to limit my library of nutrition and exercise resources to a single book, this would likely be the one.

Rated 10/10 Seize Control Over Your Health
By Paul Doetsch / Lakemoor, Illinois, USA

This book is a truly delightful read that provides the ammunition one needs to seize control over one's health.

Comprehensive in scope, this book identifies the chronic diseases that are killing us prematurely and makes the bold claim that these diseases are primarily environmental in nature rather than genetic and therefore are primarily within our personal control!

The physiology of the body is explained in laymen terms using a military theme that is entirely appropriate given the seriousness of the issues.

For each identified health roadblock, strategies and tactics are provided to combat the root of the problem and restore optimum health.

The truly motivated reader will realize the vast treasure store of information that lies within this book and not only assimilate the material but also implement it.

Once again, Dragon Door publishes thought provoking cutting edge material.

Well worth reading, get reading and get going!

Rated 10/10 One of the most important books you will ever read
By Michael Krivka / Gaithersburg, Maryland, United States

I like to read. It's what I do to relax as well as educate myself. As a matter of fact I've been reading several books a week for the majority of my adult life; if you do the math you'll figure out that it's a lot of books. I can even tell you the five books I've read that have had the greatest influence on me. Here they are:

1. The Bible
2. The Tao of Jeet Kune Do, Bruce Lee
3. The Filipino Martial Arts, Dan Inosanto
4. On Combat, Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
5. The Gift of Fear, Gavin De Becker

It's a pretty eclectic list but I have to add a new book to the top five: Strong Medicine by Dr. Chris Hardy and Marty Gallagher. Any book that gets added to the above list has to have a lot to offer and Strong Medicine fits the bill. Coming in at a massive 575 pages it will fill in the blanks in your understanding of how your body works right down to a molecular level. Through illustrations and easy to manage terminology you will be able to grasp the complex mechanisms that cause obesity, contribute to diabetes, accelerate heart disease, and exacerbates chronic inflammation. Not content with just giving you the knowledge on how these life threatening, and potentially life ending conditions are developed, it also gives you a step by step plan to reverse their progress and set you on the path to health.

The information contained in this book is life changing and paradigm shifting. If you take the time to read and digest the information that the authors have painstakingly assembled you will be blessed with the greatest gift of all: health. I challenge you to read this book and not have your understanding of food and its impact on your health and lifestyle changed.

Rated 10/10 Do not read unless...
By Tom Freel / Louisville, Kentucky, United States

Do not read this book if you wish to be entertained. Do not read this book if you don't want to be responsible for your own health. But, if you are serious about taking control of your health, this is your bible to read. To the point, plenty of graphics, very well organized. Reading this book will give you the WHAT and WHY. Now I know how to make my own decisions about my health. Dragon Door keeps upping the their high standards of giving the reader the best.

Rated 10/10 Saving a spot on my shelf for this one
By Max Shank / Encinitas, California, USA

One thing that really grinds my gears is that most fitness professionals seem to miss the fact that health should always come before performance. In my book Ultimate Athleticism, I make this point very clear (that one should never sacrifice health for more performance) and I offer some ideas on how to make sure you are as healthy as possible while still performing at superhuman levels. What you have to realize is that one must be in good health for the body to allow itself to safely operate at a higher level. Better health=improved performance.

As an author I get a lot of books that slide across my desk, well they come in the mail and then I read them outside, I guess that saying is a bit outdated, but you get the idea. 9 times out of 10 I read the book (or watch the video), find a couple things I like about it, some things I didn't and ultimately decide that I don't want to attach my name to it--for an endorsement or otherwise. If you go and tell everyone that every book you read was a combination of mermaids riding unicorns on a rainbow, your word might not mean as much.

Strong Medicine came in the mail and I was surprised to find something I really like. A logical, and more importantly easy-to-follow guide for improving health and performance as one collective unit rather than separating the two.

It's well organized, easy to follow, and overflowing with tons of fantastic information about overall health and wellness.

On my very lonely top shelf, I'll save a spot for this one.

Rated 10/10 Brilliant book!
By Monika Steinbauer / Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada

I've bought the kindle version, but since then also ordered the paperback version. I think every household should have this book, and it should be read by everybody for common knowledge.

I also wish my GP would be like Dr. Chris Hardy!
I've already done many things recommended in this book, and can't wait to add all the new Strong Medicine strategies as well!

I really like the training part of the book as well. Thanks for this wonderful book!

Rated 10/10 Reduce Stress = Get more out of yourself
By David Baker / San Luis Obispo, CA, USA

This book is perfect for my new goals moving into the new year: specifically, how to get more out of myself by being easier on myself. Strong Medicine is less how to become mechanically strong and more how to maximize everything you do (with an emphasis on physical health/well-being and performance) through the reduction of anti-productive stress from diet, exercise, schedule, etc.

Out of any book I have come across on the subject, this one has been giving me the most physiologically, biochemically detailed descriptions of how the inclusion of unintentional stress wages a silent war on the body (detailed yet concise considering most of this information is spread across the dark corners of textbooks of many disciplines). It makes me consider how subversive personal/cultural habits have been to my goals in fitness, body composition, mental health, athletic performance.

My interest in the subject has been ignited by a series of highly preventable back injuries. This book has been providing me with information that has been invaluable to my own healing and strengthening in this area, in particular. The nuts and bolts of chronic injuries' persistence in the body has never been well-laid-out for me, but this book is making me consider the full spectrum of decisions I make in the face of my goals, and showing me how holistic one must think and prepare when pursuing goals and dreams.

If you're thinking about it, buy this book. It's like buying a kettlebell or a jump rope, it's a solid investment in yourself, your goals, and it's a rugged vehicle for exploring and tapping hidden potential. Highly Recommend.

By Georg P / Vienna, Austria, Austria

you want to keep, if you sell everything else :)

huge charge of valuable knowledge in one book.

if you read this one, you build a solid foundation for further research and details in the fields of health, nutrition, training, etc.

Thank you Chris & Marty!

Rated 10/10 The master plan for vibrant health
By Steve Justus / Westminster, CO, USA

Strong Medicine provides a master plan for reaching vibrant health. It clearly explains the underlying five causes of our major health issues (circadian disruption, chronic stress, insulin resistance/obesity, gut inflammation, and inactive) and provides solid, easy to understand ways to address all these issues. The book is long but easy to read and filled with graphics that add to the text. After reading it, you'll not only understand the root causes of chronic illness, you'll understand how they fit together - and how you can deal with them. This is leading edge information - don't miss out!

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