The Ohio State University Alumni Spotlight


Well, I think I finally made my mother-in-law proud. I was featured in an alumni spotlight as a Chemistry graduate of the Ohio State University. I’ve always been proud to come from my alma mater, so it goes without saying that I am honored to featured in such a way. Thanks to Caitlin Golec who interviewed me and Brittani Rable for writing the Article.

Go Bucks!

Alumni Spotlight: Brandon Henderson (click link to read the article)

One of my ‘brief’ Research Talks is on Youtube

A while ago (over a year) I gave a talk Charles Drew University, a medical school in Los Angeles. Most of the data has now been published in the Journal of Neuroscience (link here). The quick summary of my findings are that menthol, the most common flavor additive in tobacco products (e.g., cigarettes) by itself causes changes in regions of the brain that effect reward-related behavior (i.e., addiction). More to come, my research group is moving on to studying menthol’s effect on nicotine actions in the brain. By the way, nicotine is the primary addictive component in tobacco products (this includes e-cigarettes).

Even after 30, you can beat the best times you posted in your 20s


This coming weekend I head to Sarasota, Florida to race in the 2016 Olympic Rowing Trials. I figured that this was my last chance to post a good 2k on the Erg. Going into this week I felt really good physically, with the Seattle camp and the Casitas Camp under my belt, I felt that the high volume training was really starting to provide some significant physiological benefits. With that in mind, I felt if ever I were to post a PR, this would be the week. My previous PR was a 6:26.2 (1:36.5 / 500 m average split), so I figured I could realistically shoot for ~6:24. I decided to follow the Caviston method for pacing:

800 meters: +1 // 600 meters: at goal split // 400 meters: -1 goal split //200 meters: -2 goal split

So, shooting for a 6:24, I had in mind I needed to hold a 1:37, 1:36, 1:35, and 1:34 respectively. Typically, I’ve rowed my 2k races with a drag of 120; but after some nudging from my teammates, I dropped it to ~110.

In reality, I ended up holding – 1:37.1 / 1:35.6 / 1:34.8 / 1:32.0 for 800, 600, 400, and 200 meters, respectively. Thus, I ended up with a 6:22.9 total time. 3.3 second PR at 32 years of age is something that I am definitely happy about. Of course, this isn’t very impressive compared to some of the guys I will be racing in 2 weeks (<6:12.0) but I’m on the lighter side (did this at ~153 pounds).

Regardless, this goes to show you can continue to improve after you are north of 30 years of age.

2015 Hollywood Half Marathon



Sadly, I won’t be able to make this years race due to my attempt to make the Olympic Team in men’s lightweight rowing (Trials are in Sarasota, FL this month!). The Hollywood Half Marathon is by far my favorite half-marathon. Its a great course, great location, great pre- and post-race activities, and the people who run it are the best!

Last year I hit a huge PR but never ended up posting it on my blog (epic fail!). My final time ended up being 1:21:02 for the half and that ended up being a 6:11 min/mile average pace. The was overall 20th. I was extremely happy since I was battling some injuries that kept me from doing what I considered a suitable amount of running as prep for a half marathon. At the time I was following my ‘go-to’ hybrid, The Asylum 1/2 Hybrid. Of course this was also in addition to a lot of rowing. I still believe the lower body workouts in Asylum are some of the best training you can do for these long running races, especially if they involve hills.

Hopefully, I’ll get back into this favorite race of mine next year! Happy Running.

A year and no updates…..

So it has been roughly a year and I haven’t updated my blog. Epic fail on my part. Not that a lot has not happened…A LOT has happened in the past year in my career and within my fitness-related extracurricular activities.

In the past year I have hit some major PRs in both running and rowing: I finally hit 1:20:00 on a half marathon at the 2015 Hollywood Half. In reality, it was a little north of 1:20:00 but close enough that I can now seriously shoot for a sub 1:20:00 half. That was a major success in my mind. Weirdly, as soon as I hit that, I started having some huge success in rowing. In the past fall season, I won USRowing’s West Coast Speed Order in the lightweight men’s single (LM1X) and hit a huge PR on the 6K portion. I also ended up beating one of the guys who medaled at last year’s World Rowing Championships in the lightweight men’s 8+. Since then, I’ve been hitting the rowing hard and will be competing at the 2016 Rio Olympic Trials in the lightweight men’s double (LM2X). I plan to catch up with all these things and more! Wish me luck!

P90 Reboot is Here!

With all the excitement over the past few years with the ‘extreme’ workout programs such as P90X (1, 2, and 3) and The Asylum, Beachbody (and I) want to remind you all that you do not have to do ‘extreme’ workouts to get in great shape. With that said, I want to re-introduce a simple, fun, and effective workout program brought to you by Tony Horton. P90 is similar to  the precursor to P90X, Power 90. Through October, Beachbody is offering a deal on the P90 program.

If you are interested, check out the new P90 page on this site

If you are interested in the challenge pack, click here.

2014 USRowing Club Nationals

Once again, I competed with my team (Southern California Scullers) at the USRowing Club

One of my coaches, Dan McGill (center), my Int. Lwt 2X partner, Derrick, and Me. Proudly wearing my medals (2 x silver, 1 x gold)

One of my coaches, Dan McGill (center), my Int. Lwt 2X partner, Derrick, and Me. Proudly wearing my medals (2 x silver, 1 x gold)

Nationals. This year, the competition was being held in Oak Ridge, TN at Melton Lake Park. I intended on entering in just four events; but our ad-hoc team manager saw fit to enter me in six events total: Men’s senior quad, Men’s intermediate quad, Men’s senior lightweight double, Men’s intermediate lightweight double, Men’s senior lightweight quad, and Men’s intermediate lightweight quad. So four lightweight events and two open-weight events.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with lightweights versus open-weights, lightweights need to weigh less than 160 pounds. Open-weights, as the name suggests, have no limit. Racing took place from a Wednesday through Sunday (5 days) with Finals occurring on Friday and Sunday. For the Wed-Fri Heats, semi, and final racing I had four events to contest: Men’s senior quad, both of the lightweight quads, and the senior lightweight single. The good news was that we were in Friday’s finals for all four events. The bad news was that we had four finals…


Me and Will Young racing to the finish in the Senior LWT 2X

Senior Lightweight Double (2X) – The most important race (at least to me) was the Men’s Senior Lightweight Double. My partner (Will Young) and I were planning to race the national selection regatta #2 this year; but missed out due to work/family related conflicts. So this was a major race for us to see how fast we could make a boat move together. We raced this event almost immediately after the final for the Men’s senior quad, so we were a little tuckered out (we placed third in that event). Regardless we started the Lwt double fast and had the lead for the 1st half of the race with Undine’s A boat right with us. 1000 meters in, we were tied with Undine and we both maintained that spacing all the way up to the finish line. Undine edged us out of 1st by <0.7 seconds. It was a good race. Would have loved to win; but Undine put up an excellent race. Good work guys.


Men’s Int. 4X. Myself, Eric Blood, Jacob Bledsoe, Jeff Latham

Intermediate Men’s Quad – I entered into a few ‘open weight’ events. Last year I was entered into this event and my boat got 2nd behind Potomac Boat Club’s entry. This year we were looking to win the event with a completely new lineup. Two new guys came to join my friend Eric and I. We had heats for this event on Saturday, and easily won our heat with what felt like a 50% effort. So we felt good for the final that took place on Sunday. In the final, our boat executed a really good start and first 500 and was looking to take 1st over Vesper. Sadly, we caught a boat stopping crab (that is someone lost their oar, and it starts to drag in the water). We dropped to 3rd; but hit it hard to get back into 2nd and eventually back into 1st at 1000 meters in. Then…..the same person who caught the crab, caught a second, and third. We dropped back again to 2nd and with only ~500 meters almost managed to climb to 1st; but were 0.6 seconds behind Vesper..

Without those boat-stoppers, what would have happened? I guess we will never know.

Men’s Intermediate Lightweight 2X – My last event of the week (out of 6!) was the intermediate lightweight men’ts 2X. Like the Men’s open 4X, the heats for this were on Saturday, the day before the final. My partner, Derrick, and I won our heat; but by only a sliver. Times in the 3 heats for the top 2 boats were all within ~2 seconds. So we went into this race not knowing what was going to happen. Also, this being the 6th final (not including heats/semis) of the week. We were both pretty tired. Honestly I did not have high hopes for this race on our way to the start (especially since someone else took my oars that I typically race in!!!)


Winning the Int. Lwt 2X. It was really a close margin so this image does not show how close the race between 1st, 2nd ,and 3rd was.

Anyways, by the time we were at the stared, we both had the mentality: “screw it, I don’t care if I am tired, these other boats are going to have to kill themselves to pass us!” Despite thinking this, we had a sub-par start and ended up last of the line. About 500 meters in we started to climb up. First to

 4th, then to 3rd. By 1000 meters in we, along with the other two boats in the top 3 were tied and trading placement every few strokes. Eventually, I just yelled out to Derrick ‘Gold’ and then we just hit it all the way to the finish. With only about 10 strokes to go we rowed to 1st and ended the week as the national champions of the event!

2014 Hollywood Half Marathon…A new PR!


~4 miles into the race and questioning if I can keep up with my split through the hills

So once again it came time for my favorite Half marathon event of all time, the Hollywood Half marathon! Before I forget, I followed my Asylum vol 1 & 2 hybrid during most of the training period with my typical rowing workouts mixed in.

This will be my last half marathon for this season since the sprint season has already kicked off for rowing. This race had an interesting race course. Since Hollywood is so busy, they couldn’t get as much space as they have in the past so we were forced to do these loops on side streets every few miles which increased the number of hills on the course (if you don’t live around here you wouldn’t know how many hills there are in Hollywood).

I changed my pre-race regiment to include ~10 ounces of cold coffee an hour before the race and a few servings of Shakeology 4 hours before the race. I’ve always done the Shakeology pre-race and that always makes me feel well stocked up on protein, carbs, and nutrients by race time. I was amazed by the coffee, I felt like I had some extra ‘pep’ to my step.

My goal was to hit a 6:20 min/mile split and hold that for the entire race (at least as best as I can up/down the hills). I listed my splits below and I did a great job sticking to my goals. I ended up running into a guy I knew from a local running club (A Snail’s Pace – Monrovia) and he really helped me kick it harder in the second half. If it wasn’t for him I probably would have stayed with the 6:20; but I ended up with a negative split. Which is always Awesome! Nice way to end the running season for me.

13.1 miles @ 6:16 min/mile pace and 1:22:10.6 total time. New PR!!!

Mile 1 – 6:18.03 min/mile
Mile 2 – 6:22.00 min/mile
Mile 3 – 6:21.00 min/mile
Mile 4 – 6:24.00 min/mile
Mile 5 – 6:17.00 min/mile
Mile 6 – 6:09.00 min/mile
Mile 7 – 6:16.00 min/mile
Mile 8 – 6:22.00 min/mile
Mile 9 – 6:09.00 min/mile
Mile 10 – 6:04.00 min/mile
Mile 11 – 6:04.00 min/mile
Mile 12 – 6:06.00 min/miles
Mile 13 – 6:07.57 min/mile