Silicon Valley entrepreneur Brian Johnson has an ambitious goal - to live forever. With estimated investments of over $2 million per year in his health, Johnson follows an intensive “blueprint” designed to halt and reverse aging. His protocol involves fancy tracking devices, prescription drugs, extreme diets, and far more.
While we may not have millions to spend, there are aspects of Johnson’s plan we can adapt. As an integrative health coach, I teach clients to optimize health span and reduce biological age through a framework called the 7 Pillars of Youth. These pillars represent key lifestyle areas proven by epigenetics, that affect longevity and vitality.
Bryan Johnson's commitment to longevity is evident in his detailed protocol. He views certain behaviors, like indulging in unhealthy foods or skimping on sleep, as acts of violence against oneself. It's a perspective that underscores the importance of self-care and conscious decision-making. But while his methods are undoubtedly effective, they might not be feasible for everyone.
Johnson’s intensive longevity protocol involves fancy wearable devices to track biomarkers, daily ice baths and sauna sessions, ketogenic diets and intermittent fasting, cognitive enhancement drugs and supplements (over 100 pills a day!), and high-intensity exercise with personal trainers.
The 7 Pillars of Youth: A Realistic Approach
Drawing from my coaching practice, I've developed the 7 Pillars of Youth framework. It's a holistic approach to health and longevity, focusing on sleep, nutrition, mindset, exercise, joy/purpose, environmental exposures, and stress/emotions. Let’s explore how Johnson’s blueprint overlaps with the 7 Pillars, and simple steps you can take in each area to support whole-body rejuvenation.
Johnson is obsessive about his sleep, using biometrics from Oura ring and WHOOP strap to ensure he gets 8 hours of quality sleep each night. He goes to bed early, keeps his bedroom ice-cold (60-68F), and uses blackout shades and a specific mattress that allows him to maintain an ideal temperature. While most of us may not go to those extremes, monitoring sleep via affordable fitness trackers can provide insight into your own sleep cycles. Aim for 7-9 hours per night, limit blue light exposure before bed, and consider aids like eye masks or earplugs if you have trouble sleeping soundly. Protecting your bedtime is essential.
Johnson meditates daily and uses neurofeedback devices to train his brainwaves into “optimized” patterns. While neurofeedback can be costly, anyone can tap into meditation’s anti-aging benefits. Simply focus on your breath or a mindfulness practice where you explore different sensory experiences for 2-5 minutes whenever you remember during the day. Find a technique for stress reduction that works for you and increase practice progressively.
Food makes up a major part of Johnson’s longevity plan. He follows a ketogenic, low-carb diet with an eating window that is restricted through daily 16-8 intermittent fasting. While keto is controversial and tough for many to stick to long-term, periodic fasting of 12-16 hours can be realistic. Work up slowly from 12 hours overnight, to 14 (finish dinner by 6pm), and finally 16 hours fasted if desired. However, fasting, or intermittent fasting is not recommendable for everyone. Consult with your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
Johnson works out 1-2 hours daily in the zone between aerobic and anaerobic training, incorporating HIIT and weight training. He tracks VO2 max, heart rate recovery and other markers. While most of us aren’t training for Ironman triathlons, incorporating even short bursts of high intensity movement into daily activities can boost fitness. Try fast walking for 30 seconds between lampposts, or adding stair runs to your usual exercise routine. Monitor your heart rate trends over time. Movement is medicine!
Positivity and continuous learning are part of Johnson’s framework. He actively avoids negativity, and reads books across diverse topics to keep mentally sharp. To stimulate your own neural pathways, pick one new subject to learn about that’s unrelated to your usual interests. Whether that’s astronomy, economics, or wilderness survival skills, keep your brain active by challenging it!
Johnson is vigilant about minimizing toxic exposures - filtering water, air purifiers, using EMF-reducing bed canopies, and detoxing daily in his infrared sauna. We can’t always control our external environment but at home we can use an HEPA air purifier, pay attention to cleaning and personal care products that can be toxic, we can reduce sources of bodily inflammation like tobacco, excessive alcohol, or chronic stress that compound cellular damage. Try ending your shower with 30 seconds of cold water to boost circulation.
Joy and Purpose
Johnson sets aside time for enjoyable hobbies daily, claiming happiness boosts his longevity. What activities light you up? Schedule at least 30-60 minutes to immerse yourself in a hobby like gardening, playing chess or Frisbee with friends. Do things that make you smile, reduce stress, and connect you to something greater.
Tracking and Supplements
Bryan's extensive tracking of biomarkers is impressive. But for most, basic trackers monitoring steps, heart rate, and other vital signs will suffice. And while Bryan takes an astonishing 111 pills daily, I advise caution. Supplements can be beneficial, but moderation is key.
Longevity and optimal health are within reach for everyone. While Bryan Johnson's blueprint is a testament to his dedication, my 7 Pillars of Youth offers a more realistic approach. Interested in a personalized longevity plan? Reach out, and let's craft your path to rejuvenation. Stay tuned for our next discussion on anti-aging approaches!
Stay connected with news and updates!
Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. Don't worry, your information will not be shared.
We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.