Dr. Kelly Starrett — The Magic of Movement and Mobility | The Tim Ferriss Show | Transcription
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And let's face it, being an entrepreneur can be lonely, but you have support. You have resources. You don't need to feel alone in this case. More than a store, Shopify grows with you, and they never stop innovating, providing more and more tools to make your business better and your life easier. Go to Shopify.com/Tim to sign up for a $1 per month trial period. It is a great deal for a great service. So I encourage you to check it out. Take your business to the next level today and learn more by visiting Shopify.com/Tim. One more time, Shopify.com/Tim all lowercase. This episode is brought to you by 8 Sleep. Temperature is one of the main causes of poor sleep and heat is my personal nemesis. I've suffered for decades tossing and turning, throwing blankets off, pulling the back on, putting one leg on top and repeating all of that ad nauseam. But now I am falling asleep in record time. Why? Because I'm using a device that was recommended to me by friends called the Pod Cover by 8 Sleep. 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That's 8sleep.com/tim. 8sleep currently ships within the US, Canada and the UK, select countries in the EU and Australia. Again, that's 8sleep.com/tim to save $250 on the 8sleep.pod cover. Optimal minimal. I did this altitude. I can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. Can I answer your question? Now I just see my book at the time. I'm a cybernetic organism. Living tissue over metal and discovered. # Me to the Paris show # Hello boys and girls, ladies and germs. This is Tim Ferriss. Welcome to another episode of the Tim Ferriss Show. I'm going to keep this intro short because I am in Windy Wellington, New Zealand and it is howling outside. You might hear that in the background and this is audio verite for this introduction. Dr. Kelly Starrett. Who is he? He's one of my favorite performance coaches. I've spent a lot of time with him. When I have problems, other people cannot solve. If I have aches and pains, injuries, performance goals, perhaps, that people can't spec out for me. He makes sense of, "I call Kelly." He's also a treasure trove of one-liners and is hilarious. I think he'll enjoy our conversation. He has been on the podcast before. He is very popular. Kelly Starrett. DPT, you can find him on Twitter and Instagram @thereadystate is. Along with his wife Juliet, co-founder of the Ready State. The Ready State began as mobility wad in 2008. Just a side note. Kelly is 230 pounds of pure muscle with quads bigger than my chest and he is more mobile and flexible than I am. Full lotus, no problem. Couch stretch until you think your hips would explode, no problem. He really walks the talk and squats the talk as it were. The Ready State began as mobility wad in 2008 and is gone on to transform the field of performance therapy and self-care. I'm going to keep adding in little tangents. I think it was for Kelly's 40th birthday he decided and he'll have to correct me if I get this wrong. He wanted to do a few things to celebrate his 40th birthday and market as a milestone. If my memory serves me, it was a standing backflip. Remember the dimensions that I mentioned? It was running an ultramarathon, the quad dipsy. Look at that up. It is no joke. Remember his physical dimensions and power cleaning something like 300 pounds, 350 pounds, something outrageous. That is Kelly Starrett. He is the decathlete of power and mobility. Let's get back to the bio. His clients include professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB. It's major league baseball for folks outside. He also works with Olympic gold medalists, Tour de France cyclists, World and National Record Holding Olympic lifting and power athletes, CrossFit Games medalists, professional ballet dancers, elite military personnel and much more. Kelly is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers, becoming a supple leopard and ready to run. His new book is built to move. Subtitled The Ten Essential Habits to Help You Move Freely and Live Fully, co-written with Juliet Starrett. Her name has come up a few times now. I've known Juliet for a long time. Who is Juliet? I just have to mention a few things before we move on. Juliet trained as an attorney. She's done a million different things. Bad ass in business, incredible operator. But also, she was the US national champion in extreme whitewater racing from 1997 to 2000. World champion from 97 to 98. She returned to the sport in 2018 to become world champion in the master's division. So she is also very smart, very capable, very fit and both of them as a team have really thought through what it takes to build yourself to move. So you can find all things related to them at thereadystate.com, all one word. And without further ado, please enjoy this wide-ranging conversation with Dr. Kelly Starrett. Kelly, it's my bud, my friend. We are sitting, we're sitting, emphasis on sitting. Yeah, we're very low to the ground. We have a table in front of us that is about 12 inches, 14 inches off of the ground, which means we're seated on the floor.
Exploring Health, Mobility And Movement
Where in the world are Kelly and Tim? (08:05)
And under some very thin mats, we have Tommy mats. And that is because we are in Japan. Not only in Japan, we are in Northern Ireland, Hokkaido of Japan. Looking outside, we have snow-covered mountains and we are in a Japanese style room. What else would you like to say about this particular trip to Japan? An experience in Japan? Well, I have this friend named Tim who sometimes drags me on wild goose chases. And it's become a feature of my life where I have to ask myself, am I capable enough to go have fun on an adventure with Tim? So here we are after a week of, I've done a lot of intense things. This is very intense. We were skiing in steep snow. It's backcountry skiing where you're climbing mountains and skiing down. It's very cold and very vigorous. And I've also found myself in the first time ever, I'm the oldest person on the trip. And I have all these young friends who are cut off your arm and regrows the next day. Now, I should use that as a segue yesterday when we're climbing this mountain. And I guess with windshows, probably, what does he say, probably negative 10 Fahrenheit? Something like that easily. It was very, very, very, very cold. Maybe the coldest day of skiing I've ever had. Extremely cold. And we are skinning up the mountain, which means for those people who don't know, because I said, I'm not going to say that. I certainly didn't know a few years ago. You have your skis. They're slick on the bottom. That's what helps you go down the mountain. But if you try to put on your skis and go up the mountain, you don't get anywhere because you slide backwards. Well, back in the day, believe it was seal skin, hence the name skins, were used on the bottom of skis by indigenous populations to go uphill. Because the hair is matted down in one direction, kind of like blades of grass that have been heavily blown in one direction, which means if they're placed correctly on the bottom of the ski, you can catch. And you wouldn't imagine this would work that the physics of this would work on the snow. Actually, yeah. But it does. And so you can basically slide one ski next to the other and use special touring boots and bindings that allow your heel to come up so that you can slide your way up the mountain. And the ratio for those wondering is what would you say? Six hours up to every six turns down. I'm exaggerating, but it's a lot of work. Is the juice worth the squeeze? And I would say in this particular case, since we were all completely buried in unearthly light powder. And when I say buried, I mean, friends, we're over their heads in powder, just plowing through. Yeah. When the ski guides say powder of the year, yeah, best run of the year. I've never experienced anything like it. Yeah. And so if you're going at reasonably high speed through waist deep powder, it is going to go over your head in your face. You're going to get face shots, which is a good thing in this case. And the reason I bring it up is number one, just to paint a picture for folks with respect to why we're here in northern Japan. Why would you fly all the way across any pond because it's an island? So you're going to be flying here over some form of water to ski. And the answer is the pattern is unlike anything anyone on this trip has ever seen. It's unbelievable. However, on the way up, you're exerting a lot and you're exposed to the elements. And I was thinking yesterday, like, wow, I'm 45. And if I had posed the question of my 20 year old self, do you think at age 45 that you would ever be able to do this? I think the answer would have been no. Probably. I think the 20 year old self would have had very, very low confidence. And that made me happy to think about. I was like, yeah, I got some aches and pains. And as you know, I have some pain in the right lower back. And when you're on steep inclines, really working all of that hip musculature and so as and everything else is like, oh, I'm really feeling it. But nonetheless, was able to do it. And we're having onsen, meaning hot springs and cold baths and the contrast of hot, cold, hot, cold. And the food is pretty like if you're going to do this thing day after day, look, I'm going to say that getting hot, getting cold, eating like rice and meat. Yeah. And then going to bed very early, we're all sick, deprived. It's worked. Every day I think to myself, well, that was it. And the next morning I am resurrected and I'm like, okay, well, let's go see how we feel. And it's been really just remarkable. How much time have you spent in Japan overall? And this is going to tie into the broader conversation we're going to have, folks. So just so I'm laying the table a bit. I want to tell you what I'm doing. But how much time have you spent in Japan?
A lesson in how our environment shapes us. (13:34)
That's 100% zero. So let's call it roughly a week. What are some of the things you've observed in terms of Japan, in terms of, let's just say this hotel, which is a reasonably, especially with your particular room that we're sitting in, very traditional hotel? What have you noticed in the lounge area? What's different about the lounge area, keeping in mind also that at least half of the people here, maybe 70, 80% are probably 70 years. Old or older? Yes. So imagine a world around you where you come into a really fancy, well, come out in the lounge. And it's not fancy. This is like a mountain lodge where people are coming on vacation. And you take your shoes off at the door and you walk around slippery wood floors and socks. And they're everyone serving staff, wait staff, front staff, doesn't matter your age, you're cruising on slippery floors in socks. So already it's remarkable to see sort of the balance required, your foot is contacted at the ground. People are really uncomfortable barefoot. And the first thing you notice when you come in is everyone is barefoot, serving barefoot, acting barefoot. And it changes how you move, how quickly you move. It's very interesting to just perceive that. And that's just at the door. What's interesting is it reminds me how much we cueing we take from our environment. And really, honestly, how quickly I've adapted to, I talk about this a lot, but the environment shapes us in subtle and un-subtle ways. And quickly, within a week, I have been shaped again by my environment in a whole 180. Yeah. And if you go to the lounge on the second floor, which is the main hang area for the entire building, which at full capacity probably holds at least a few hundred people, I would think, maybe 300 people. And it's an active area. The vast majority of tables are just like this. And if you want to sit down, there's a stack of mats. And you get your mat, which is maybe half inch to an inch thick, and you sit on the floor. And that is just how it works. And nobody complains because they're accustomed to it. And I remember everyone can do it. Everyone can do it. And I remember when I was 15, first in Japan as an exchange student, my first trip out of the US, really of any type, was a year as an exchange student. And I went to a baseball game with a high school friend, and all of the toilets were squat toilets. So for people who haven't used these, I mean, there's basically a hole in the ground. It's clean. I mean, it's porcelain, but you squat down and your ass is basically on your heels. And that is how you do your business. And I remember asking him, "How do old people do this?" "Don't they fall over?" And he laughed and he just said, "They're used to it. They've done it their entire lives." So I would imagine net net that there are more people in the US who can clean and jerk and snatch and press heavyweight overhead, but that if a facet of functional fitness is sitting on the ground for a half hour without having to fidget nonstop because there's some issue biomechanically that is making you uncomfortable that Japan wins, hands down, over the US. It should be noted just the body is so simple, use it or lose it. And I think imagine all the complexity that we have to program and come to this functional fitness class to solve the issues of you not sitting on the ground and pooping ground or sleeping on the ground. We've created a whole construct to remedy the fact that you're not doing things that people have been doing all the time. I'm not painting for our Paleolithic selves. I don't need a fermented whale carcass. I don't need that. I'm stoked that we've moved beyond. But it is interesting that built into the environment here are some truths around your body. There's a great writer named Philip Beach who wrote a book called "Muscles and Meridian's." Really wonderful book. But he thinks that one of the ways the body tunes itself is actually sitting on the ground. Hips get reset because you're kneeling, you're putting fashion in certain positions, you're maintaining key ranges of motion. And all you have to do is sit on the ground. And we used to sit, toilet, eat, hang out, celebrate, sleep. We were just interacting on the ground and all of a sudden that's gone. And so it really begets the central question of how much more complexity are we having to always add in when there's a mismatch or not even mismatch, but we've made certain choices about the way our environment shapes us. Yeah. And we were chatting earlier today and I just said, I've been to Japan as an adult, not that many times with groups of non-Japanese, but maybe two, three times. I've been, yeah, let's call it three times. Maybe four. In any case, the number doesn't really matter. What matters is in every single trip, if we walked into a Japanese restaurant, the chorus of the group would say, "Oh God, I hope there are chairs." Because in each group, even if these people are overall very, very athletic, I would say 70 to 80% would not be able to sit on the ground for more than five minutes without getting very uncomfortable. Fidgety. Yeah. Or finding something to lean back against. As we talk about this, and this is where I thought we would be led in the conversation, is singing about environmental modification or what your shape diet might be.
Optimizing vital signs and range of motion as we age. (19:12)
That's really good. Right? Yeah. And it's like, okay, if you do intermittent fasting, X number of times per week, like maybe you spend one day per week sitting on the ground, you somehow modify your environment or your behavior just to incorporate some of these older, more common shapes. The broader question, I suppose, could be, and I know this is something you've thought a lot about, are how we might think of vital signs. Right? So if anybody goes into see their general practitioner for an annual checkup, or they go into the ER, first thing they're going to do is, you know, they're going to do something like that. They're going to do, just take a couple of measurements, and it's standardized for a lot of good reasons. So they're going to check your blood pressure. They're going to check your heart rate. Maybe they'll check your blood oxygen saturation with pulse ox. They're a handful of things that they will check. How do you think about vital signs as it pertains to your areas of expertise now? And part of the reason I enjoy hanging out with you and chatting is that you do not have a static repertoire or model for thinking about these things. As we've talked over the years, I've seen it evolve and change and be informed by new experiences and new observations. So how do you think about vital signs? I'll keep it broad. If we take the allegories for where we are right now, we're sitting, getting up and down off the ground without using your hand, just being able to sit crisscross applesauce and lower yourself and stand up without having to put your hands down or knee down. Turns out, is a really excellent predictor of morbidity and mortality. So you can do this wherever you are. So no knees, no hands means getting into a squatting position. No. Cross legged. Okay. So you don't even have to have full hip flexion. You don't have to squat. You can be on the outside of your feet. How strong you need to be able to do this? I don't know. Children can do it. I've seen some elderly Japanese people do this pretty effortlessly. They're not that jacked. You know, they're not on the Gail Hatch Squat program. So there's something that this with your knee out to the side and crisscross, it's a real mid-range position. But if you can't flex forward in this position to shift your weight and push up on that, you'll discover really quickly. You're like, wow, I'm having a hard time getting off the ground. Does that mean that you're not an elite athlete? No. Does that mean you're, you know, you can't live in your society? No, but it means that, hey, there's something going on with your ability to move freely that may be reducing your likelihood of having movement, choice or feeling better. And now what we've done is begin to have a greater conversation about if we can help you restore or you can restore in your own home how your hips move and how easily you can move, you might feel better and be less likely to fall and be more independent. The number one reason people end up in nursing homes can't get a buff grab by themselves. Hmm. I fall and I can't get up. That's right. You know, this, I'm just thinking, so folks can envision this, right? You're sitting cross-legged on the ground. Can you get up without using a hand on the ground? We're not posting and it gave me a flashback because Coach Christopher Summer used to be the US national gymnastics team coach had me at one point, training quite intensely. This is probably five years ago and one of the key exercises that he used for his athletes to not just work on broader mobility, let's just say, but specifically on lateral knee strength and I suppose lateral leg strength would be more accurate. He would have people do basically this exactly so they would be in a cross-legged position, they'd come down, then they would lift themselves back up, rotate 180 degrees so the legs are in the opposite position, let's just say, in terms of stacking, lower down, get up and then rinse and repeat just as repetitions in a controlled fashion. So you're not just dropping your ass to the ground. It's not for time. Move from the time. Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I hadn't connected these two even at home in, you know, Austin. It's not like I sit on the ground cross like that often. I mean, I do, but not as much as I have on this trip in Japan, certainly. And how much that helped, not just durability, but also performance. I suppose what comes to mind, I'd be curious to hear your thoughts is that if you aim for a certain degree of durability and you're getting your ABCs in terms of shape vitamins and you're ensuring that you can do things like you just describe getting off the ground with your legs crossed like that leads into performance, those things will almost certainly all aid performance in some capacity or make it more sustainable, but not necessarily the other way around. Like you can be a one trick pony for a performance standpoint, but it will not necessarily contribute. Let's just say in one movement pattern, you're spectacularly good. I'm interested in archery right now. It's like, OK, you're really good at archery asymmetrically on one side, but that does not mean when you are 70 that you are going to have full health span and be able to do the things you want to do. But if you focus on the durability, those should, I would imagine, contribute to a lot of different performance goals. You're bringing up a really good point is that we have come to appreciate, because again, we have really smart friends. We're in really interesting communities trying to solve some of these problems of the human condition. If you look at our first book, "The Covering Us Up a Leopard," there's really two key objective, measurable, repeatable, explainable ideas there. One is range of motion, native range of motion. This is what every physician, every surgeon, every physical therapist, agrees you should show you should be able to do. It's not going to be a gymnast, but there's some basic ranges that's endemic to every human. So let's just get back to that. Second is biomotor output, which is a fancy way of saying wattage, what we have pounded. Like what we saw was that if we could restore your range of motion and teach towards the highest expression of our form of movements, we saw that you could go faster and win world championships. Now, all the behaviors that we got interested in around supporting those two things meant we had to sort of start to care about sleep. We had to start to care about micronutrients and our getting enough protein. Are you decongesting your body through walking? So in service of high performance, we have what we've come to call base camp behaviors and it's shocking how many world class athletes we come in contact with who are really good. Let's say the best in the world, and this is not hyperbole, really extraordinary mutants who are very thoughtful, but have big holes in their understanding of their process. They can go do that thing, but their sleep isn't great, or they don't eat enough carbohydrate, or like you can just, whatever, just for the any bigger person. But it turns out, I like this analogy of the spinning coin. I think it's an Edelportol. He, last time I heard him talk about it, is that the other side of that coin is these are the behaviors that make a durable person independent of performance. And so you get to care about being 100 years old and moving the way you want to be. Juliet has this great idea. She's like, look, you probably do some goal setting as a human. If you're a business, like you're like, we're going to, there's our first quarter goal. Here's what we're doing. When have you done that for your life? What does it look like? What do you imagine your life looked like to be 70 people like financial security? I'm like, OK, but what does it look like in your environment? Peter Tia had this set in area in games concept, which I think is really elegant. But let me go a step further, because a lot of those things were metrics around. Like I want to be able to put a kettlebell out in front of me and squat. It was like one of an old or like lift a grandchild. Right. At at at 100. Therefore, I need to work backwards. What should my so let's just take that and then let's go ahead and expand on that idea and start to say, well, what are the key vital signs that illuminate what behaviors create that reality? So instead of just saying, well, I'm just going to go around and lift children. Excuse me, I'm going to pick up your child, which can get you there. We can start to say, do you have the components and what are those components? And more importantly, how do I fit them into my crazy schedule? Because that is the thing. So what are some base camp behaviors? What are some important base camp behaviors? You know, none of them end up being very sexy. Here's the caveat. So it's hard to commoditize these things, hard to charge for these things. And more importantly, and I'm being facetious, but these are things that are easily done in your home by you, control control. You don't need a physical therapist or a physician or anyone else to come in and give you these things. That's, I think, really important. We see that the functional unit of getting anything done in your family, in your life, in your health is in your house, you. So we could start by took some behavioral ones. We might say, like sleep is a good one. I think this is good because one of the things that I think is hidden from a lot of people is how tightly coupled or connected our behaviors are. So let's take sleeping and walking, for example. Does everyone agree you should sleep more? Sure. Okay. Sounds good. Good. Carry on. What's going on? We see that the sleep data is that people don't sleep and that they need a lot of help and it's a big business to help people to sleep more. So what we've tried to do is say things like, Hey, look, seven hours of sleep is very reasonable for survival. And if you're trying to change your body composition, I want to get skinnier, leaner. I'm trying to grow muscles. I'm trying to learn a skill of a growing body or I'm trying to heal. I need to get eight plus hours of sleep in order to facilitate the maximum adaptation and to really make it easier for my body to do that. And I started really becoming obsessed about this. One is that we started to learn in high performance that if you can't sleep, you can't perform. I don't want to talk about one bad night of sleep before the big game. I'm not talking about it. But we started to see that when we improved sleep and more importantly, started tracking sleep and really putting that as something we cared about, we started seeing improvement into performance and then swung around to my work in persistent pain and chronic pain. That one of the big holes when people had persistent pain and chronic pain was their sleep and you might not be able to sleep for whole host of reasons, relatively persistent pain and chronic pain. But when we were able to improve your sleep density, your brain stopped to be less sensitive about and you had more desire to move and maybe had less pain sensitivity. So everyone was like growing kids and sleep and put adults we don't. So if we take that sleep idea now, we have, we have a benchmark, seven hours for survival, eight hours for doing something that is important to me. That means that I need to start thinking about some of the behaviors in the day to make that happen. So we come back into walking. I think it was debunked the 10,000 steps as the magic number.
Walk and fidget more for better sleep and body maintenance. (30:31)
Well, the research now, the people who say these things are saying somewhere between six and eight thousand steps is like really good for your health. But one of the things we learned from some of our friends in these tier one military groups who have really struggled with sleep, think of the ninjas in the army, for example, one of the first things that was being prescribed when trying to untangle this Gordian knot was they would increase the step count of the people walking or people that they're working with. So pushing to 10,000, pushing 12,000, pushing to 15,000 steps. And those people were exercising, but they weren't getting enough non- exercise activity. So suddenly here we have this society who's queued not to walk where my shape, my work, where I park, the whole thing is that I just maybe get two or three thousand steps a day. Your iPhone actually has a step counter and you probably have your phone with you open up your health and will tell you what your trends is. This is in the background watching how much you're walking. You're welcome. You have a step counter, probably you're carrying with you. You didn't know you had. But one of the things we know is that if we can get people to improve their step count, we also start to see that they accumulate enough sleep, stress, sleep, pressure is the technical term, or then they want to fall asleep. And again, there are experts here on sleep. I'm not trying to be. I'm just saying we need to change how you're thinking about your movement in the day so that you can actually fall asleep. And it turns out when you get a good night's sleep, you wake up and you, what happens, you feel a little more like moving. And those behaviors suddenly become tightly coupled or tightly linked. And I don't think sometimes we can appreciate how these seemingly pin, she silly, non-technical things can really make a big change. And if we start to put those in play, if you just committed to walking more every day, say, just say minimum threshold, let's say eight thousand steps, right? I just want to get eight thousand, whatever that means. That means you need to get 10 minute walks after every meal. However you're going to do it, just get more steps in your doing. And you start doing that, run that for a week and let me know what happens to your skin and how your consciousness and do you need that four o'clock coffee month. And it's shocking when we start to help people do these base camp behaviors. Again, why do I care about this? Because I want you to win a world championship. Also, I want you to be 100 years old and enjoy it. Yeah. The sleep conundrum, right? For me, which has also been a Gordian nut, but it turns out that a lot of the, for me, biggest levers are so fucking simple. I love to solve complex problems because I think I have some predisposition to being good at it. So I tend to insert complexity sometimes where it's not needed. And right? Like people raise my hand. I'm raising my hand. I totally agree. It's much cooler to be on the secret score sleep program. If you can problem solve, you get rewarded and you get positive reinforcement. So you look for problems to solve. Sometimes the problem is actually just tic-tac-toe. It's not three dimensional chess and with it's like on this trip, has anyone on this trip had trouble falling asleep doing? Has everyone in the state of past nine thirty? Yeah. No, no. And it's like, yeah, I just go climb mountain for five hours a day and you will fall asleep. And now it doesn't need to be that extreme though. At home, I noticed, for instance, in Austin, I was having trouble sleeping for a week or so. And I was like, you know what? Trying all the supplements and trying all the cues and doing all the things. And it seems like 17 disparate elements. Why don't I just disallow myself from sitting down and working at a computer? I will only use my laptop if I'm on a treadmill desk and got a relatively cheap treadmill desk, nothing fancy, pretty easy to stow away. And lo and behold, it's like you're standing and walking for almost every minute that you are on your laptop. You fall asleep really easily. I became a hyper-obsessed with walking because it's elite. No, because one of the things we found is knowledge and improved the sleep of the people we were working with. But we also found that we had healthier tissue quality. So everyone, we're going back to anatomy. You were going back to early physiology in high school. You have a circulatory system and you have this lymphatic system. So if you ever had a blister, that's lymph. Your lymphatic system is the sewage system of your body. And this doesn't just there when you have injuries and you're something swells. And by the way, your joints are drained by the deep lymphatic system. But you can think of them as highways that carry the normal sewage and waste products of your body, the cells turning over, proteins breaking down, things that are too big to go through your bloodstream, go through your lymphatic system. Those lymphatic vessels are buried into your musculature and they're one way valves and it's a passive system. So how do you move your sewage through your body? It turns out it's muscle contraction. Like that's a really clever system. It's almost like when we came to be someone's like, you know what? These people move a lot. Let's just put the sewer system in the movement system. And so suddenly if you're doing the walking, you are decongesting and you're bringing the garbage out and bringing the groceries in. And if you've seen a drain, this is from one of our friends, Perry Nicholson, if you've seen a drain in a bathtub, it doesn't drain, it gets backed up and it's kind of gross. That's your body. If you don't move, you can elevate. Sure, that feels good. You can compress. You can get into the compression boots. You can do all the lymphatic massage you can or wait for it. You can walk around a little bit more. So one of the things we found was that our athletes were having better recovery scores because they were able to move the serious waste products of exercise. We're doing a lot of adaptation stress when we train and we found they had healthier tissues. And more importantly, when tissues were injured, because remember sometimes I get that lens, right? I see everyone's broken parts and bits through sport. How do we manage a swollen ankle? Well, we can compress it. We can elevate it and we can move it. So I'm just smirking because the number of times you've been like, Kelly doctor, Kelly, fix me on this trip. I'm like, ah, man, didn't know Kelly was coming on a work trip. Anyway, that's all I think about. And I'm going to need you to dig me out of that snow pit. So suddenly all of, if you, we want to say, hey, I want to have joints that are normal. And again, not normal, it's good or bad, but just typical, trying not to get that language. Then decongestion is a way that you can actually adapt to exercise more effectively. So if you are smashing yourself on the peloton, because that's what your life demands, you are such a crazy working parent, busy business owner, you're getting it in high five yourself. But then you figured out, well, wait a minute, maybe I can actually adapt to the stress a little bit more by walking, perching, which is leaning up against the stool, valid working, fidget move, stand, you don't have to stand like a robot. Sit a little bit, stand a little bit fidget. But one of the things we know is that if you're smashing yourself and then not continuing to move, you're going to see congestion. If you've ever flown on an airplane, which I did, and I got off the airplane in Japan, I was like, look, I have kenkels. This is not a good look. I, I have gigantic kenkels. And that kangolage is you not contracting your calf to move the congestion. So your tissues are being congested because you're, you've been inactive so long. And then you're like, Oh, is that the source of DVTs? Yes, it is. Right. Deep vein thrombosis. Yes. Well, so suddenly you're like, Oh, for some population, we can see that this could be really dangerous. Dangerous. You've ever been in the hospital. They're like, put on these boots, they're squeeze your calves. And then, Oh, yeah, ankle pumps. You got to do all the ankle pumps. Everyone who has ever had any surgery injuries, like ankle pumps, ankle pumps, ankle pumps. Well, what is that about? It's about pumping out the garbage. So now we have another reason to move around a little bit more. And more importantly, if you're a busy person, I can tell you, yeah, you can work this intense training because we're training like maniacs. I think the training that people are doing today is gnarlier. More people are doing harder training than they were 10 years ago, more than they're 20 years ago. And we may not have set up our lives or have the capacity in our lives to manage those training stressors as effective as we could. If you can just kind of keep the engine idling a little bit, standing desk, fidgeting, perching, moving around a little more, movement choice, you will adapt and have healthier tissues that can take more load more often. Just a quick thanks to one of our sponsors and we'll be right back to the show. This episode is brought to you by AG1 by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time what I would take if I could only take one supplement. The answer is invariably AG1. I view it as my all in one nutritional insurance. I recommended it long ago in my 2010 number one New York Times best seller the four hour body and I did not get paid to do so. 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Balance training: not just for “old” people. (40:37)
So we talked about one, which is the cross legged on the floor. Can you get up and can you get down for that matter? Right? Yeah. Into that position. I, everyone can get down usually to the ground. One top. Yeah. Yeah. And so that's one. What are some others? Here's one that I think we're really interested in and it's balance. We like to talk about balance because any young person, I'm like, here's what you're going to do on Tuesday. You're going to go to a balance class. You're not going to lift weights. You're not going to do a sport. You're going to a balance class. You're like, the hell, I'm going to a balance class. That's for old people. So one of the things that we have come to appreciate even more is that this balance system, it's crucial to humans moving. Can I pause for a second? We learned this. Yesterday, the scariest part for me of the entire program, which was pretty fucking gnarly. I mean, when we got up there, Hey, your words, not mine, but yeah. But the scariest part for me was there were multiple stream slash river crossings where there was like a pirate plank. That's about that's generous. Yeah, generous, like 12 inches across, maybe 10 inches covered in snow and ice. And into a snow bank that you climb up and you have to write exactly. And you have to get across that in your ski boots without falling several feet into the freezer. But all these sensory deprivation coffins. Yeah, come to yeah, come to day. And I realized, wow, I really have fear around my lateral balance. Even though oddly enough, maybe you can tell me why this is the case. I'm much more comfortable on a slackline than I am on say a bounce beam. I have a lot of trouble with bounce. I've torn a lot of stuff in my lower legs and ankles, but I have thought quite a bit around where this telescope's to launch to leave. If I don't deal with it, yeah, I'm like, okay, this is already fear-inducing. Jullette's mother is a good example who is so active and you've been on the Grand Canyon with Jullette's father. He's very active, but about 10 or 15 years ago, Jullette's mom just said, I'm not ready to bike anymore. I don't feel safe. And guess what? I trust her that she suddenly is that this is outside my scope of experience where I feel like I can recover. That's a balanced task. So we can either do what we've always done is wait until someone falls and then be like, Oh, we should work on your balance, which works. We're going to now go to physical therapy and do balance training. We started to really focus on and performance side, bear with me, everyone, this intrinsic feeling of your foot pressure during these complex moments, kettlebell swings, air squats, backs about power, whatever. We really realized that if we could get people feeling what was going on in their feet, we corrected a whole bunch of downstream movement perturbation, things that we would used to have a whole bunch of corrections for. Right. Oh, the bar path is going here or this is happening or now you need to shove your knee out. But if I just said, Hey, here's where your ball of your foot is and here's your heel and keep your ankle in the middle best you can just in this organized foot. Let's see if we can challenge that with all the things we're already doing, exercise. And it means that translates to like real world balance. I'm a stand on this beam. I want to pick up, stand up paddling. I, I need to be better on my feet. And really the interesting question then comes to when and where do you do this? It turns out that we saw the balance was a performance hack. And in fact, my favorite thing in balance training, I discovered in your garage. And one of the things I discovered there was this really cool thing called a slack block and it was like a portable slack line. And immediately I was like, Tim is a genius. He's figured this thing out where I don't have to have a slack line, but I can play with my balance. I can challenge my balance in my kitchen. It's a size of like a large brick. Yeah, it looks like a brick. Yeah. But it's squishy. And I was just like, Oh, Tim Ferris, you I'm like bummed out that I didn't know about this. And you've like brought this thing to my life because what I found out was I could stack, give those to my assets like candy and be like, when you're making coffee, stand on this. OK, when I'm on zoom calls, I am working my foot strength and balance. So here's another vital sign, please, where you can say, Hey, maybe I need to work on this. Maybe I need to brush my teeth and my eyes closed or stand on one leg. You should be able to stand on one foot easily for 20 seconds without putting your foot down. And if there's a difference left to right, maybe because you got injured on that side or you do a certain thing on that side, that's OK. You know where you can figure this out very quickly. So this year, ski boot slack line. Yes. Ski boot slack line, Frank and slack skiing. So this year I have skied and this is, I mean, it's taken some planning and a lot of commitment and moving things around. But to really say, OK, I want to do a really proper ski season for the first time in my life. And that was this year has been, I mean, it's still going. And when you start trying to move around on skis, not just going downhill, but skating, say on flat ground or even uphill, Holy cow, do you realize what asymmetries you may have or turning one direction versus the other and what you end up doing with your upper body? It's been an incredible diagnostic tool for me. And I'm not saying I'm not saying everyone should use skiing this way because I realize skiing is not the cheapest sport to deal with, but becoming more familiar with like foot pressure has real ramifications in skiing. Relatively not falling down and boot pressure, right? At least like if you're leaning back, if you're wearing your heels versus weight on the toes versus weight on the midfoot versus weight on the inside of the midfoot, say for edging, it's been really, really eye opening for me. And while trying to skate, which for people who are trying to envision this, I mean, just imagine that you're ice skating, but you have skis on, which means it's a lot easier to trip over yourself. And it's a lot easier to fall over an outside edge. You just have kind of different lever arms and so on. And no ankle range of motion. Yeah. And no ankle range of motion. I was like, wow, I'm really, really a symmetrically cover must. And that's okay. Yeah. That we have one side that's more dominant. You professional skateboarder, you drive a car with your right foot. It doesn't matter what the mechanism is. You tore your ACL in high school. It doesn't matter. But matters is that you can become conscious of it and then think, well, what are the things that are in my control? And so you turn skating into a diagnostic tool into a vital sign. As soon as you're aware, then you can start to connect the dots all these other places. Can I tell you? Yeah. What ended up happening? So what ended up happening, which I was only able to spot with video review, which is not that hard folks. It's like everybody has a video recorder called a phone now. So I had someone record me from downhill. We looked at it together and what came of it was very simple. It's like, oh, you're really kind of winging one of your poles up when you take this weaker turn. And so I try to keep the pole down, meaning keep the basket, the bottom of the pole dragging on the ground. And as soon as I did that, I was like, oh, that's a lot easier. And now I can actually work on that week side without as much fear involved. So for this type of vital sign, 20 seconds on each foot, is that the it's called the so like that's the one 20 already. Yep. The the so like it's standing one leg eyes closed. So the eyes closes that add something. That adds something. And what we find is that when people are over reliant on their vision and not their sort of intrinsic other vestibular system to other sort of input systems, then when you start to lose that, this is why falling in the evening is a big problem for people. Nice. They're over dependent on their, their like the fixation point with vision. So it turns out, wait for it, improving your ankle range of motion means you have better reaction when you get outside of your base of support. Yeah. And suddenly you're you're like, oh, that foot strength and ankle range of motion means that I can write myself more quickly. The brain is very clear about you can do this. You can't do this. You have access to this position. I can open up and unlock the next level for you. If you don't, your movement solutions start to be diminished and pruned in your brain. So when we start to give people inputs and improve their inputs, the brain starts to say, oh, when you're falling or you're outside of this basis port, we can start to give you movement solutions and movement options to this perturbation in the system. I want you to correct me if I'm wrong. And also, I'll also name the auditory pink elephant in the room. So we have, we've decided to take today as a rest day prior to extremely long international travel. What that means is we are one of the few people in our rooms while the wonderful house cleaning crew is going to town. So if you hear anything, it's not ghosts, no polterguys. It's just cleaning going on. There's a lot of cleaning that happens in Japan. It is immaculate. It is a chance. Are the public bathroom at the bus stop, not kidding, is cleaner than your bathroom at home. Very, very high probability. 100%. In fact, there's been several times you're like, Kelly, you need to come check out this bus. Oh, yeah, I've said it multiple. I'm like, Kelly, it's your first time here. Go to this public bathroom. Tell me that. Look, I trust you on so many levels. You haven't been wrong. This bathroom is amazing. So just mentioning that.
Extending the end range of motion. (50:51)
But what I was going to say is, and I haven't looked at the literature for this, but just from observation, I would say your body will not allow you to operate right up to the edge of your established comfort zone, whether that's vestibular on the balance side or on, say, the flexibility slash strength side. And we have a friend on this trip. I'm not going to mention him by name, because I don't want to incriminate him, but he is extremely athletic, taller and likeier. I'll just say that. And very successful former competitive athlete and incredibly inflexible. And it's become more and more of a problem as he has gotten older. And the recommendation that he typically gets, and this is not to paint with too broad a brush because I know there are many different types of yoga, but the recommendation that he gets most is you need to stretch more. And I did one and I'm going to get ridiculed by some people for this, but I'll tell you before you ridicule it. Try it, which is going to a very, very, very technical, hard ass Pilates instructor for love. Great of us. Personal instruction is. It's, I find it just incredibly impactful. Joseph Pilates was not messing about. Yeah. Yeah, he was not messing around. And so I took this friend to that class and what we both noticed, and this is not a miracle, I think it's just the way that things work is as he became more comfortable at his end range of motion. And as he started to gain strength in that end range of motion, voila. Suddenly the body's like, okay, now I'm not afraid of you breaking us. Therefore I will allow you an additional, say two inches of hang in the yoga class, but it came from strengthening at the end range as a movement, not just stretching more passively. Right. And so I have to imagine balance works that way too. Very much the brain is looking for inputs to perceive the world is safe or unsafe. That's a really simple way of looking at it. The first thing we can think about as where we want is we talked about sleep. We want to add in these complex solutions. The first order of business is to spend time in the positions you're trying to improve and not do an end range like things, spend time in the end range. So if you're sitting on the ground and it's uncomfortable, the first thing we should do is start to get you to start sitting on the ground more and set simple. So tonight, just get off the couch. We love TB in our house. We love it. Love his things so clever. It's a way that we'd like chill in the evening. We sit on the floor in front of the couch. The English as many times as I've recommended, you go check out a Japanese bathroom. You've recommended that I watch the English. I've not seen it, folks. However, Emily Blunt in it. So automatic. It's excellent. Recommend. I'm not being paid by a blink, blunt to say this. Everyone is excellent. So if you just sit on the floor, you're going to take some of your tissues to end range and you're long sitting. It's just sitting out with your legs in front of you. Do you remember the sit and reach test in middle school? Yeah, that's long sitting. So we're actually going to train for the test. We're going to train by the test just by making sure that you're exposed there. Monomai, I think you've maybe even you know who he is. Great cook. FMS has this old saying, I'm sure he cribbed for my anger. If you can't breathe in a position, you don't own that position. So the first order of business is getting you to the end range shape. Are you best of your ability today? Because remember, your range of motion and capacity moves a moving target. Just run a marathon, jump on an airplane, have a newborn. And then let's just test your hamstring range of motion. It's going to be awful. And so what we want to do is we want to more tightly conjoin our day to day processes with understanding who we are. You don't have to go skate on your skis every day, but you're sitting on the ground every day and be like, whoa, this side sitting is tough today. I'll just do here and I'll spend enough time here that takes some breaths here. So when we come back to balance, one of the easiest things to do is figure out ways where we can begin to expose it in a native way that you don't have to do another thing.
The old man shoe-on game. (54:58)
Everyone is listening to this. You have some go getters, my friends listen, they are killing their lives. But I'm like, here's a list of 10 more things to add on. They're like, thank you. No, thank you. So for example, we have this friend in Chris Headshaw, who's a great coach. And he discovered this thing called putting your shoes on. And he wanted to create a test that he could beat his kids at. So he called it the old man test and all you have to do is stand on one leg, use your hands, bend over, pick up your sock without putting other foot down, put on your sock on one leg and then put on your shoe, all standing on leg. That's all you have to do. So it's like a, it's like a drinking single leg deadlift, old man shoe on. You want to solve it that way. You can. I don't really care how you want to solve it. You want to come into a pistol. You want to hinge. You want to do some kind of weird side caustic squat like it does matter. But stand on one leg, put your sock on and then reach down to your hand, pick up your shoe, put your shoe on and you can cross your legs to do it. You can put your knee to your chest, but you'll be shocked. And really what's amazing there is instead of just static balance, you're being moving and having to control it and you're going to make mistakes. And some days, guess what? You're going to be terrible at it because you're burnt, you're over trained, you're fried, you're stressed. So with balance specifically, I've always wondered this, like, what is the minimum effective dose for improving balance? Because testing balance is one thing. Improving it may be another. I don't know enough about it. There's a neural component. There is a vestibular component. So if the hardware in your inner ear and so on is damaged, then you're probably going to be compromised. Or just age, or just age. Then there are the sort of musculocordination pieces. A lot of components to this. There are lots. There's a lot. So if I just want to go in and I've got, I want bigger lats. I want it. Then I know how to do that. Right. Like go in and there are a million in one ways to do it. But if you have a, let's just take a very, very simple example. If you wanted to do one set to failure, it's like, okay, let me try to get. I'm not saying this is perfect. Like 100 seconds under tension to failure. Okay, great. And you do that, you wait a week. Chances are your lats are going to get bigger, especially if you're sedentary and you just don't have a lot of lifting experience. What does that look like for improving balance? I'd say, and I guess it depends on your weaknesses, like which link in that chain is weakest, but I wouldn't even know how to dissect that necessarily. And maybe we don't. Maybe we could start by saying, is there any time in your day to day life regularly where you're challenging your balance? So you're like, I work in a slackline factory. You probably said, you have a job. Come back to the mini trampoline. Oh, wow. That maybe has some real validity to it, like just bouncing and suddenly you can start to understand. You mean like the one person. Yeah. All of a sudden you're like, okay, how do I begin to challenge this vestibular system where I am in space? How do I begin to challenge? And what does that look like? Well, for most of us, for a middle aged dad, I can stand on one leg and put on my socks and work that. What we found is that if we got put in some of this more balanced play, that slack device, the balanced play was enough if we like worked it in to their the kitchen. And what we saw was that we had athletes who had strong feet and better reaction times hard to quantify it. So how much is the right amount of dose? Is the second question. The first question is, how do we get you started on the dose? And I think if you're out on one ski, you're mountain biking, you're walking on unstable surfaces, you're probably getting a lot of it. But I think what ends up happening for a lot of us is that we don't get a lot of it. And we think we're experts at it and tell us we see the internet and we watch ourselves slip on icy surfaces till we try to do parkour. And then you're like, oh, actually wait a minute, a minute here. Or you go to a yoga class, like go to a yoga class and look at how much programming is done on a single leg. And I'll tell you how effective your programming is. If you think you've got the best secret school program on the planet, great. Let's go apply that. We're going to jump into a plies class. We're going to jump into yoga class. It's a secret squirrel. Secret squirrel. Yeah, squirrel. I wanted to bring up some notes of other vital signs because we've we think we've we've covered getting up off the floor. We've covered some we're starting to get in some physical vital signs. Yeah, physical vital signs. So I'm going to give you a cue and you can tell me where we go with this shoulder airport scanner.
The airport scanner shoulder test. (59:50)
Mm. That's right. So the first time I became the shoulder airport scanner, the first time I became aware of this, a very clever coach named Mike Boyle was talking to me. He's like, you know that. Yeah, he's a G. He's been holding the door up for a lot of us for a long time. And he said, Oh, do I think the average working adult show Olympic lift? Just watch them put their arms up over their head in the airport scanner and you can answer that question. Thank you, coach Mike Boyle. And I suddenly was like, Oh my God, you know, when there you are in the airport scanner and you have to put your arms up over your head, it's shocking to see how people solve that little thing. So we see crazy banana backs and feeder turned out and bellies out and elbows flared and it looks kind of ugly. And that's a pretty mid range position. So the airport scanner test is really how well can you put your arms over your head? Do you have to tuck your chin like you're in the you don't have to do anything to solve the portrait tower that's going to put in a in a vice to get your hands by. Well, one of the things that I'll have you know is that if you go to yoga class, what is the main of every yoga class? Downward dog rest and downward dog. We're talking about with our mutual friend. So down those downward dog looks more like a plank. Let me tell you this is not restful. Downward dog is two things, putting your arms over your head. That's it. And being in a long set position, sitting with your legs out in front of you. So it's almost like the yogis were looking around and they're like, what are how many equipment? But there's two positions we've found to be very valuable for people having the leg out in front of you sitting to 90 degrees, which is an actual vital sign for or test for physical therapists and putting your arms over your head. And if you go to a yoga class, you'll be like, why are we spending so much time with my arms over my head? And it turns out, not only do we have a healthier shoulder, but we start to untangle seemingly complex problems around neck pain because your neck, your shoulder and your back are a trifecta, they're a system. And if one aspect of the system isn't working or less effective or doesn't have access to its range for whatever reasons. And one of the things that happens as being modern people is that we just tend to be a little stiffer than that for back. You may not actually put your arms over your head ever until you're asked to even putting your shirt on. You figure out all these ways to bend your arms and not put your arms through over your head like a little kid, but the arms up. You may not be hanging from a pull-up bar. If we come back to Edo Portol, he prescribed hanging, simple hanging for people to improve their shoulder. What elegant programming? If you suddenly are in an old gymnastics room, they're like, why are these stall bars here? There's stall bars everywhere. Hanging is a thing that really worked and came out of all of our movement traditions. And if it wasn't hanging, it was downward dog like things. The gymnast friends I have are obsessed with walking on their hands. You are obsessed. Like you like to be upside down, walking on your hands, balancing on your hands. So what we found was this was a way of getting people to move their upper backs and take a breath there was restoring this full range of shoulder flexion. And again, you don't even have to be perfect. You just have to have more than you had yesterday. And it's a really important way to improve the functionality of the neck body system by honoring and looking at the relationship between the shoulders and the body. And it's really simple. So we have you laid down on your stomach, grab a broom, put your arms over your head with holding the broom so the broom's out like you're like presenting the broom. Light contact with your head just like contact. Just don't cheat. It's like you're superman, but you're flying with a broom. Yeah, that's right. And all you need to do is lift that broom up off the ground, keeping your arms parallel. And guess what? It's shocking when you can't. And that's really generous because we're allowing you to use your upper back and we're allowing you to show and I don't care if you're a physical therapist and you're documenting again, vital signs. This is mid-range. And what we find is if you're not exposed to that on the regular, it can be shocking when you're and then let's go into Amazon and look at all the marketplaces, all the thoracic wheels and thoracic mobility and let's beat the crap out of your upper back with a lacrosse ball and all of the things you're a partially Oh, man. You're not you're not wrong. It's like when I can plan, I'm like, I got Austin's always all these Bitcoin CrossFit iOS capacitors. I'm so sick of it. And people are like, you made that out. I'm like, no, no, no, no. I can't take full credit. I own that. Take partial. Look, it's very valid that what I saw was that you were having a hard time cleaning and jerking and walking on your hands or snatching. And what we saw was that we improved people's thoracic spines and overhead. If you have shoulder pain and you know someone in your family, a shoulder pain, one of the things that you can do is to begin to just return your body to what its native ranges are. So I can't say definitively that your shoulder pain will go away if you restore your ability, put your arms over your head. But there's a whole lot of things that get better and it may be that your brain starts to think differently about or perceive what's going on when it has more movement choice, when you're able to recruit more musculature, when your connective tissue is working better, et cetera, et cetera. And so again, we aren't saying you have to do this, but we've come to understand that if you're going to swim, that's a great activity we should do in our older, right? Low weight bearing and super cool. But if you can't put your arms over your head, that's going to sort of curtail your swim. Not only will it curtail your swimming, but if you don't have that range of motion and you swim regardless, you can also create all sorts of orthopedic issues. Well, it's called work around. So your body's going to solve this problem for you, no matter what.
Simple corrective exercises. (01:05:55)
A couple of things come to mind as I'm listening to this. The first is a question, which we'll come back to, which is for people who get faced down with the broom hand on, they're like, my hands are glued to the floor, or maybe they can't even get their arms over their head. What are some building blocks, maybe some corrective exercises? My thought here, because I remember when I was working with Jersey Gregorick, amazing coach, who's in Northern California, has several world records and Olympic weightlifting. And I've had one shoulder reconstructed and also just haven't at that point had not prioritized straight arm overhead positions. So that long lever, that's right. Right. So the idea of doing, say, an Olympic snatch, which is to add up the question. I mean, I would have killed myself or it really required surgery and getting stronger in the mid back and at those end ranges, which would be, I suppose, exemplified in the example you gave, of something laying on their stomach with the arms overhead, holding the broom handle and then lifting off the ground. That is strengthening that last few degrees. What I found is once I strengthened those last few degrees for me, right? Whatever those last few degrees were, Bob is like, oh, okay. We're not going to break automatically. We're going to give you a few more degrees. And maybe it's not even strengthening. It's just accessing and using. Okay. That's interesting. We put that software back into play. So I'll answer your question. When we're working with people who have pain or incomplete range of motion or after surgery, we regress a lot of movements and regression means. And here's a spoiler for everyone. Any rehab program, corrective exercise program, anything you're seeing on the, on the web comes down to two things. It's a version of these two things. You're going to either go slower. That's called tempo. That's what we do for people when we want them to feel time under tension. We just slow down, gives your brain a chance to understand where you are. You can signal that this is a safe position. We can move slowly. We just move slower or we stop. Those are called isometrics. So putting your arm over your head and taking a breath there is a fancy way of doing an isometric, which means you're moving your creating tension without moving the joint or moving the tissue, Bruce Lee style. Yeah. And so notice that what we're testing you here is your ability to have some in range isometric control. So very fancy. All you need to figure out is going to take a breath, actually five breaths, because I'm interested in you being able to breathe in that position and hold that position because you can do a one rep max breath. But I actually, you're a human being. I need you to be able to breathe there. Right. So what we can come back to is, well, what's the first thing I need to do? Go get a lat pull down machine for my living room. Probably not. Even pull a pull up bar in my living room. No, probably not. Let's keep Japanese table on a tree. Go ahead. Let's get you to grab your sink, walk your body back into an L so you're hinged over and just start to put your hands again, parallel, close to each other and just start taking some breaths there. And that's a, you could do that wall hanging, put your hands on the wall. I don't have a sink. Okay. You live in a sink society, sinkless society. So if you put your hands up on the wall, walk down, walk back until you feel you can't go anymore, then just take five breaths there. The first thing that you're doing is exposing yourself to the positions you want to improve. If we are trying to teach a complex skill, we don't just lecture about the skill. The thing we do is say, let's start the skill. Let's make the skill slower so you can feel what's going on, but we need to start to expose you to the thing. We're going to talk about skate skiing.
Tower of London. (01:09:44)
That's super cool, but let's go skate ski a little bit and see what happens first. And could we then say, well, I'm one of your lats are tight or might be useful to see if we could get some sneaky ways into mobilizing specific aspects of the movement system, get your thoracic spine to move more effectively. And this is why we actually have breathing as one of the practices here, because if you start to tap into this idea of breath, you can use your lungs to get motion in your upper back. That's so weird. I do that a lot. You showed this to me. I thought you had almost killed yourself because we were in a sonna together because we're doing a lot of hot cold and you took a huge breath and then bent down over your quadzilla's for those people who don't know is quadzilla the size of my torso and hug your own legs and popped your thoracic. Yeah. And I was like, holy shit, what'd you just do there? Yeah, I call it the tower of London. The tower of London. You let me where traveling. We saw that in the tower of London, there was a torture device where you were kneeling in that basic, that position, you put your chest on your legs and then someone would screw a vice over your back, basically like a wishbone and compress your back. Tell you couldn't breathe anymore. And I was like, that's a good Christmas. But I was like, that's a clever way to get into that for back. I'm going to try that. Inspiration strikes all over the place, right? Always be mobilizing. And I discovered that that was a really wonderful way to help get this global flexion of my back. Instead of having my neck just hinging down, I wanted to get more total rounding of the back and you've heard you started a little internet fire with coach summer when you were like, Jefferson curls are necessary. And everyone was like, bro, you can't round your back. You'll die. You know, I'm like, okay, maybe, but we do seem to round our backs a lot and maybe something you want to do. And that Jefferson curl turns out to be a really simple isometric that anyone can do. Right. If you go to a yoga class, the amount of bending over, you're going to do a rounding and then come back to flat, show me your control and then round again. Then let's see if you're going to extend your back upward, now downward dog. That's going from extension to flexion. So we can again come back out of that and say, well, what in your exercise program that you're doing for fitness and really it's not for fitness. It's usually for body composition, let's be honest. Are you touching these shapes that your body should do? And if they're not, you're going to have to come up with a solution for putting it back into your diet. Yeah. You know, the number of times in any yoga class that there is the slow return to standing vertebra by vertebra long before Thomas Jefferson ever came up with Jefferson girls long before there was a little kid in India. It was like, this really makes people better. Yeah. I want to give a mention to something that was introduced to me by boss, written famous fighter, which is the O2 trainer, which is a resistance device that allows you to have progressive resistance by breathing through mouthpiece with different types of breathing exercises.
Breath as a mobilization device. (01:12:41)
And I don't want to speak for boss, but I think it's fair to say, and I've continued to use this device, I'm super impressed by it. And using respiratory resistance has a number of sets of clinical data to support that it reduces lower back pain. And I was like, that's interesting. Found these studies on PubMed. And I was like, that's very interesting. Let me take a look at this. And what boss these are all tying together, boss would indicate sort of frontal breathing. There's a particular exercise for, let's just call it frontal breathing, where you feel what you would normally feel, which is like, if you're meditating, focusing on your breath, chances are it's your chest or your abdomen. But then he would round over and focus on back breathing. And he said to me, be really careful at this. He said, do not do 30 repetitions off the body. He's like, do 15 repetitions. 15 breaths. Doesn't sound like very much. And he's like, you will feel like you've done a thousand lap hold-downs the next day. Your back will be incredibly sore. And it's my soft shirt. That's strange. Yes. That doesn't make any sense. And then I did it and lo and behold, incredibly sore on the back, but becoming more familiar with the anatomy of breathing outside of the most obvious that has been highlighted for us, which is the abdominal or chest breathing. I found to be incredibly helpful for all sorts of things. Pavley used to talk about breathing behind the shield. Yeah. So if you're an oil cookie, you should breathe into the cream filling when you're under load. Yeah. We want you to have as much movement choice and options. If you're carrying something or holding something, where are you going to pick up that breathing? If you're compressed or you're like, it can't just be diaphragmatic breathing. You can't just be. And if you're running away from bears, can you breathe up in your neck? I sure hope so. Yes. So one of the things that I went back and found the original notes from the original course we did back in like 2008, and I have a section on breathing mechanics there. And I didn't realize now that I was just laying on gold. And then of course we have through our friend, Laird, Brian, Mackenzie, and definitely Wim, Hoth, homage. I start to become more breath interested. And now if you come work with me or do some of our stuff, we talk like the first intervention for back pain is breathing. It's diaphragmatic breathing to get that diaphragm dissociated from the so as to get input into the movement system. Because when you breathe, you extend, when you have exhale, you flex. And if you're in bad back pain, I can get you to do a ton of small motions attached to your breathing that your brain thinks is non-threat. And guess what? It turns out also that if we do breath holds isometrics that can help attenuate pain. And if we do long exhales after an isometric, well, that can also signal less threat to the brain. And so we can suddenly tap in and use this breath as a mobilization device, as a diagnostic tool. We mean, you can't breathe in that position as a way of self-soothing, as a way of control when I'm stressed. Whoa, look at this crazy thing. And that's why, look, James Nestor wrote a great book on it. If you look at Lauren Chaitau, if you look at all the masters, so it means, "Butreco, shout out, oxygen, advanced, people have been beating this drum." And the yogis figured this out very early. But because it was sort of wrapped in the language of spiritualism, I think a lot of the athletes forgot. And we found that if we thought about the mechanics, which is what you and I are talking about here, the mechanics of breath, not the CO2 tolerance or the breath control or down regulation, we're just talking about mechanics. We were able to improve people's VO2 max. I think that's important to a world-class biker. Being able to pressurize more meant that my Olympians lifted more at the Olympics because they could pressurize more effectively. So we started in my thinking, I started reorganizing how I was teaching, and I put the breath volume as the core belief, core foundation, because suddenly it was a way of people understanding. So you can do this. If you're just sitting here, take the biggest breath and you can. Just go ahead. Breathe your nose and we can actually measure that volume. Don't change your position. Now watch this. You're doing this at home. Get into a position where you think you can get more air in. So Tim and I just both sat up. We just pulled our heads down. We kind of organized our shoulders. And I didn't say to do any of that. I didn't say, "Play rib cage down," or "Change your pelvic position." I didn't say, "Get into shavas," "Let your shoulder," or tuck your chin. I just said, "Can you breathe more effectively in that position?" And you did. You got into position and you could tell better, same, worse. We improved biomotor output by organizing your body slightly differently. So now you have a powerful tool to bring attention to your shape. So I don't think there are good shapes and bad shapes. I'm just like, "Well, you can't really breathe in that shape." Or that shape doesn't pressurize very well. Or that shape doesn't transfer. So if you're on your Peloton bike and you think you're killing it, ask yourself, "Is there a position on this Peloton bike where I can take a bigger breath?" And you'll start to organize your body. And guess what? You'll power more effectively. And because we see better function of the body, we see better output of the body. And I think that's how we can begin to have people feel these things which seem like esoteric, but all of a sudden you're in a position where you could take some breaths. So now arms over your head take a breath. In that bottom position of the squat, take a breath. We suddenly have ways to begin to pressurize and to begin to restore, just based on that feeling I have of being able to take a bigger breath or take a bigger breath, or a better breath. So if I'm shrimping at my desk, good, that probably feels good sometimes. Shrimp at your desk. Then every once in a while you're like, "Why don't I have a neckache?" And then ask yourself, "Can I take a breath, a bigger breath in a different position?" And that position tends to transfer a little bit better. 800g, I assume that doesn't mean 800,000 800 grams.
A reasonable amount of daily protein. (01:19:13)
They're grams. So food can be a little sensitive for people. When we talk about food with people and diets, 5% per performance, I'm a cyclist runner. I want to build muscle. And the rest of it tends to be around how do I change my body composition? So we'll start with that assumption. Now here is the non-churted trigger warning. If you're a vegan, carnivore, paleo, vegetarian, I'm still talking to you. It doesn't matter what you eat. We found that when I back up didn't want to ever get near nutrition for all the reasons that it's complicated, it's highly individualized, it's cultural, people have strong ideologies around it, and real personal identities around it. Super cool. I think nutrition for a lot of people has become almost like entertainment. It's like a hobby. Or religion. Oh sure. But if we get down to, you're working with me and I'm worried about your tissue recovery or tissue health or your injured because again, a lot of times it comes through or we're trying to keep lean body mass on you because you're aging and it turns out maybe fat is a problem, but keeping your lean body mass is a bigger problem. When we actually get into how much protein are you eating, people oftentimes do not get enough protein. And so notice that I'm like, oh, you want to eat raw bear steak, you knock yourself out, you want to do plant P cricket protein, you knock yourself out. I don't care. But let's see if we can establish what a reasonable amount of that is. And again, what I really like in my life is getting something for nothing. And something for nothing in this situation is that we found that when people start eating more protein, guess what happened? They got fuller. So 800 grams per team today? No. Yes. That would be great. For the low, low price of 16 95 per month with a free dialysis machine for the first year. That's right. So we found that a reasonable amount of protein was somewhere between 0.7 and 0.8 and one gram per pound body weight. That's a reasonable amount. That's not crazy or not going to shockload you. That's and remember, a lot of times if you're trying to change your body composition or heal or grow, you need to make sure you have enough protein aboard. And so one of the things that we found was this was an easy way of controlling satiety and actually making sure that people had on board what they needed to recover and to heal. And what I'll ask you is if you count the protein that you're growing children eating, you might be shocked to discover they're actually in some pretty low to moderate protein diets because it's hard to get kids to eat those things. Okay, protein aside. Again, however you want to do that is fine with me. If vegetarian, it may be harder to hit your protein minimums. But one of the things that we saw a lot was our vegetarian friends would come in with these little tenant opathies and some of these issues. And when we asked them about the whole sort of pantheon of potential behaviors that went along with that, we found that they were really under protein. And the international track and field folks, everyone sports, they really have this one gram and it hovers around one gram per pound body weight. It really ends up being a very reasonable number that a lot of people agree on. Okay, which is still a lot more than most people can say. Great. So guess what? Now you have a vibe sign. Yeah. Okay. And if you didn't nail it today, you'll nail it tomorrow. So where's the 800 coming?
Nutrition And Cross-Cultural Perspectives
grams of fruits and vegetables. (01:23:09)
Okay. So this is the magic. We have seen a dearth of fruits and vegetables eating. And this 800 grams comes from our friend, E. C. Sinkowski. And E. C. came up with this idea that, hey, what if instead of taking things out of your diet, we expanded your diet? What if I said, Tim, you want to change your body composition, I'm going to have to have you eat a lot more. You'd be like, well, some, yeah. So 800 grams is 800 grams of fruits and vegetables. And it can be they can be frozen. They can be fresh. They can be cooked. It doesn't matter. So four big apples is 800 grams, right? So it's not as crazy as it says. It's not as crazy as bananas about 100 grams. You can think of it that way. So what I'm asking you to do is eat fruits and vegetables. And what we find is people don't really eat fruits and vegetables. They talk about it a lot. And they have a little iceberg and let us salad. We've struggled to eat vegetables here and to him. Actually, not only we struggled, but we went to a sushi restaurant where one of our guides, who is fantastic, native Japanese. And I was overhearing and someone's like, why are you laughing so hard, Tim? And I was like, well, and then the guide explained, she said, well, I just asked, where can we get some vegetables? What are your vegetable options? Do you have vegetables? And they're like, no. It says sushi on the door. Yeah, what's the question? It's not a vegetable restaurant. This is a sushi restaurant. So we're agnostic about how you do that. You're like, I'm a rutabaga guy. Cool. You want to get 800 grams of rutabaga? But buried in there are these things called micronutrients, vitamins and minerals. And what also bade in there is crucial is this thing called fiber, which most people don't get a lot of. And one of the things we've seen when we have gone into this diet culture where we restrict and take out, it's really not very sustainable. And I have two daughters, full disclosure, one who aren't, haven't always been the best eaters. But if I pack them full of strawberries and apples and whatever they want to eat, fruits and vegetables wise, again, fruits or vegetables, if you're like, I don't eat vegetables, I'm like, down, cool, just you do you, you do fruits. That's fun. We found that there's a lot less room for crap in our diet. And all of the research is that 800 grams is about this magic number where a lot of really good things happen to you from a health perspective, fiber, micronutrients, should you eat the rainbow sounds great. Let's eat the rainbow. I try to get six to eight kinds of fruits and vegetables every day. It's kind of a game. And guess what? Tomorrow six to eight servings, six to eight different types. Oh, types. Yeah. So a grape is one, then I had some spinach and trying to eat this diversity. I think it was Kate Shanahan of deep nutrition who wrote that we used to eat roughly somewhere between 40 and 50 different kinds of fruits and vegetables every year, typical person in America. Now it's like three or four, but we just don't eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. And those two things, we find that we have people focus on getting more protein, getting more fruits and vegetables. There's just not a lot of extra room for keto donuts. You know what I mean? Like you're like, holy crap, I'm really like, guess what? Everyone white potatoes? It's a vegetable to fried potato, not a vegetable. Right. We should probably do it. You have been advocating for these very dangerous things called beans for a long time. Oh boy. Internet, you're gonna give me a Brian McKenzie to talk beans? No beans count towards your grams. I'm like, how cool redemption. You're eating a thing that's a plan full of plant matter and fiber. That's so great. Let's eat more beans, right? And like, I think, yes, of course, if you're a person who like beans, cause me anxiety, I'm not trying to be beanest here. But if that's you, you're excused from eating beans. And that's what I want to give people permission is saying, hey, I understand you don't like these things. Let's what else can we open up to? 800 grams of kiwi fruit. Do it. Do it. And you know what we found is that if you are like, I'm only going to do this with apples. You'll do that for four or five days and you're like, what else? Kiwis are super cool. Kiwi every day is a little bit much. And again, we're looking at through this lens, this built to move lens of durability. If we keep lean muscle mass on you and get fiber and micronutrients in you, you're probably going to feel better and do better long haul. And maybe we have all the things your tissues are going to need to repair and heal. And sometimes that is one of our friends described as supply chain economics of your tissues. There's a reason here in Japan they eat everything, all the collagen, all the skin, all the bones, everything, bra, those things have been part of our diet for a long time. Yeah, totally. So a few thoughts for folks also on top of that. So with getting an increased volume of vegetables, fruits, it may make sense. If you have the savings to do so in the cash flow, look at a list called dirty dozen. There are certain plants that have more pesticide exposure in the United States. Totally. And so you can use that to selectively either avoid certain things or consider selectively buying certified organic so that you're not dealing with it. Like a strawberry is my understanding is like a sponge. So maybe spend your money on better strawberries. Yeah, or like stick with bananas. But you don't need the skin. That's right. Less skin. The skin's not great. But you'll notice there, it's easy to demonize meat, for example. And I didn't even say you don't organic man. It just said, whatever you can afford, whatever works in your socioeconomic system is going to be a better health outcome than not getting enough protein and fruits and vegetables. Yep. So on the vegetable side of things, most people in the US don't think in grams. And I recognize this is an international audience, but a lot of US listeners, what's the easiest way to figure that out? Here's the caveat, of course, is that if you have control issues, right, and this has been a problem for you in the past, don't weigh and measure everything. Kind of get a rough idea of what it is, right? Like, hey, look it up. You can see like, what is a grapefruit way? What is this bag of spinach? This is 12 ounces. Great. I think this bag of spinach, I mean 12 ounces, right? It's in grams there too. And if you want to have a sort of a rough idea, or wait for it, did I eat a banana this morning for breakfast plus pineapple, plus a salad plus tomatoes? That was all the fruits and vegetables I consumed this morning. And what I do to myself is I hate weighing things. Juliet loves to track it. I don't. We're different. So I obsess on, I should probably eat more fruits and vegetables every meal. Like, it's that simple for me. And I end up when I do track it, usually right around there above. And this is not that big a deal. What I'm saying is add some beans back to your chipotle bowl. That's what I'm asking you to do. And you can get a really cheap scale on Amazon. Or again, you can just look up the reference. Because what we're trying to do is make this sustainable. And what's sustainable is gamifying you. Tomorrow I'm going to, I was on the airplane. I did terrible. I reached for donuts. Great. Tomorrow you get to play again and again and again and again. And Julie and I really have found that. For example, for us, I don't know if you know this Tim about me, but I love sweets. On this trip, I have noticed. Yes. I have granted Japan. Deep in the paint has exceptional sweets. Can I shout out my daughter? Yes. Georgia Star at Texted Meins and you need to go to 7-Eleven and get a strawberry and cream sandwich. We went to 7-Eleven until I found that. And Georgia, that's just one square block in Japan. Georgia Star at You Are Correct. And I've used this opportunity of burning lots of calories to eat all of those strange and wonderful Japanese sweets. So for me, I have a penchant for eating sweets. I love it. But this morning, there was no freeliness. Like we're not outputting today. I didn't have any carbohydrate. The carbohydrate I had today was in fruits and vegetables on my plate. And what this does is it expands what I'm eating every day and it leaves me less room for toast. It leaves me less room because I'm full and I'm trying to play this health game. And I am obsessed. The thing I fear the most for my own body right now at age 50 is tweaks of soft tissue. That's the thing I fear the most. Tweaks of sauce. Like pull a muscle, tweak a tendon, like a little hotspot, tenonopathy, plantar fasciitis. Like I do a lot of things to keep any of that at bay. That's how I'm viewing my tissue health. If I have tissues that are more robust and are loaded, regulated, decongested, I'm less likely to be taken out from a sore shoulder. So you're about five years ahead of me, I guess.
Never do nothing. But my something doesn’t have to be your something. (01:32:27)
I'm 45. You mentioned Great Cook and the functional movement screen, FMS, and he has certain movements that are used to diagnose. What would you have me do? It doesn't have to be, I mean, we're not necessarily going to go through it physically right now. But if if I were to say, all right, Kelly, I want to be hard charging thing crazy, but like still have the capacity to go out with my most athletic friends around the same age and have physical adventures. I want to do that multiple times a year. What are some of the screens that you would put me through? The most important thing would be, show me how you're loading your tissues. That's the first thing. I don't start with an assessment. The assessment is the thing. So we're going to press today, no matter what, but we're just going to limit your range of motion overhead. And we may slow down, we may not snatch, but we're going to go overhead in some way or another. People who can't go overhead often can hang from a pull bar. A way I assess programming because people ask me to look over their programming a lot is I look at key positions. What are we call them archetypal shapes? They're sort of the bookends or reference positions for your body. And the shoulder is actually not that complex. It only does like four really things. They're variations and moves between those things, but it goes over your head, goes out in front of you, goes out to the side, wait for it, goes behind you. That explains all complex movement of the shoulder, some combination. You may not actually touch some of those end range positions, but you should have access to them. And what's cool about range of motion is it's actually one of the few attributes of your physicality that doesn't have to change when you age. It doesn't mean that you have to lose your ability to flex your hip, bring your knee to your chest. Who cares about that? Lower yourself to the ground to poop in the toilet. Get up and down off the ground. So this is a highly trainable aspect. So one of the things we want to do inside your resistance training, your loaded movement training, which is unfortunately you're going to have to do. You know, we have the very end of the chapter of the book. We have a little chapter called Never Do Nothing. So Dave Spitz of Cal Strength is like, never do nothing. He's old like me. He's really busy, has a family. And he's like, well, some days I just did like some pull-ups in the garage. That's what I got today. Never do nothing. And ultimately, if you want to then say, okay, I want to be durable, Cal, and I want to have the opportunity, then some of these behavior range of motion things you could do if you didn't have access to exercise. They can help you create a foundation. Then we are all at base camp. And that's why we call them base camp behaviors. Then you and I are saying, well, hey, I want to go up Everest. And now we're, our Everest is, can we ski six days in Japan and not implode and come out intact? Then we can work backwards and say, well, what exposure is going to be in that? And by skiing, I think you mean it mostly in the way that Laird Hamilton, Tim's big wave surfer said, they should call surfing paddling because it's 90% paddling by skiing. We mean mostly sliding up mountains. I don't know if you noticed this. Not only the oldest, but I'm also the largest. One of our guides is akin to legolas. Like, she doesn't even deform the snow when she stands on it. She can run across the snow. Yeah. And I'm like, hey, we're not the same animal. I am a snow plow. You are an arctic hair. So ultimately, if we start with this root pattern shape, this idea of this, I call it the archetype, then you have a master key of understanding any movement structure, any physicality, any system. Because what you're ultimately seeing is different tools to challenge fundamental position shapes. If you're a gymnast, you may be walking in your hands and swinging from a bar overhead. If you're Olympic left, you're you're lifting overhead. Maybe you're in the gym doing lap pull downs. You're going to yoga. You're doing downward dog. You're on the reformer. Some of you are like, oh, okay, there's everyone says being overhead is important. And here are all the different ways to train that. And I'm probably going to need to do some resistance around that, some kind of progressive loading. And again, we can have now nuanced conversations, how strong you need to be to do what we did. I don't know how durable that I want to be. I want to be all the durable. So I think one of the things that it's a fair criticism of fitness is that we have convinced everyone to basically become doomsday preppers, where you're never strong enough, strength is never a weakness, you're never fit enough. Ra, that is crazy. One of my good friends has this idea now is like, maybe we should not call it functional fitness, which is sort of a scarcity mindset. We should call it practical fitness. Can you do what you need to do? And if you're saying I need to skip a mountain for two hours and descend in minus 10 degrees, that's a different set of circumstances than I want to walk around the block of my baby. But the kinds of training ultimately, we're going to need to put you under some load. How to do that? Simple loading for someone who's listening doesn't like to exercise could be jumping. There's an old Russian saying, when you stop jumping, you start dying. This Chinese say, you're as old as your spine or as old as your feet. And again, if I got those wrong, please, you can correct me, you can correct him. But the idea here is there are fundamental truths about how we load. Do you remember in the 90s, every woman suddenly was osteoporotic. They all everyone had osteoporosis. And they're like, you need this calcium chew. And we sold calcium shoes to everyone in America. And it didn't change the bone density of everyone because we didn't change the loading of anyone. So ultimately, for you as a middle-aged person, I need to make sure that you have control through these things. So we would do more strict kinds of movements. And suddenly you're like, oh, wait a minute. That looks like classic strict gymnastics training. That looks like classic barbell training. That looks like simple kettlebell training. Like some of these strict push-up. I have taught on every continent in South Antarctica. And everyone knows what a push-up is and what the bench press is everywhere. So it's like training and movement is the fundamental common movement language. So now we can say, well, what tools do you have? What's your training experience? But ultimately, we need to do something that goes up and down and runs with a squat. How you want to do that? You want a goblet squat, you want a back squat, you want a full snatch, you want a squat to a chair. There's a really famous test in physical therapy called the timed up and go. And it's you stand up out of a chair, you walk 10 meters, you turn around, you sit back in the chair. We can time you. That's a power. They're measuring wattage because you can put a clock on that. And it's a really good indicator of fall risk. Litvinov, one of the most famous hammer throwers in all time, used to front squat 200 kilos for seven and then run 400 meters. That's the same test. So you can see fun. Same test. Those are very different extremes, but that's the same thing. So you and I can have a polite disagreement about how big and strong you need to have, how much we fetishize and need to be in the gym develop the capacity and how much we need to spend other time becoming more skillful or more springy or playing. And I think we have, and as I said, it's a fair criticism of strength and addition, gym culture that we have obsessed on these gigantic, huge bodies, big-prench presses. It's easy to quantify that. There's a famous coach named Bonderchuk, who is one of the greatest throws coach in the history of the world. And he's like, you're probably strong enough. I know you can add another kilo to the bench, but what you need to do is go throw more. It's more fun for a thrower to add a kilo to their bench than to go throw some implements more times. So one of the things that has worked well for me and some of the older people is that we're always challenging position. Remember that root idea of the gym is that we're challenging positions and shapes. In fact, your brain isn't wired for musculature. It's wired for movement. So a shape is really just a snapshot of a movement. So squatting up and down is a movement that we need to challenge. And we can change the variables. Where are you holding that? Halp-Riser torso? How fast are you going? But can also not just make it heavier. I can also say, well, like what we did, I need you to walk up this hill for two hours and blur yourself out, and then I need you to squat out of the way down. How well you can handle that squat under some metabolic demand. There are some times where I post-hold up to my waist and I do a deep one-leg squat and my heart rate is in 190 already. I was like, whoa, how do I train for this? Right? Or you go really fast in chest-deep powder and then you stop in chest-deep powder and you're like, my legs are stuck. My legs. I need camel hip flexors to get this out. So it turns out just being stronger though in that moment doesn't actually solve the movement problem. You need to be competent with the skilled movement under cardi-respiratory demand, breathing heart, under metabolic demand, a little fatigue. There are real loads out there, real loads we're fighting. Like I was like, wow, I'm really glad I'm a big butt doing this, right? There was a skilled component to it. And so suddenly we can, what's really great about viewing the training of shapes is that it allows you to have permission to do what you like to do. And so instead of saying, my hard style, your non-hard style, we're not fighting that, you think that this is the kind of training that really speaks to you, that puts you in a community, that hits these things. We can test the veracity of your training by dropping in over here and seeing how well you do. You should be able to jump into Pilates class. You should be able to handle that. If I had to use some dumbbells, you're like, okay, I can do that. I don't care if it doesn't matter if you're the strongest at dumbbells or Pilates class, but you should be able to transfer those skills back and forth. And now, Rinse Wash Repeat for a few decades. And what you'll find, we have a simple test in the book. We talk about squatting, of course, because I love squatting. But turns out squatting is one of the ways to restore your back and to get flexion in your spine. This big butt, as to grass squat. It's a nice test of hip range emotion, ankle range emotion, balance. But for those people who can't, we say, hey, let's squat to the chair. And then today, if you've never squat it before, you can do one squat. And tomorrow, you can do two squats. And the next day, you're going to do three squats in a row. And you're just going to build up for a month. And guess what's going to happen after 30 days of doing 30 squats in a row? Your life is going to change. But we just have to begin some progressive overload for some of these things.
Cultivating cross-cultural, timeless movement in a busy world. (01:43:23)
Yeah, totally. So if I were thinking about the last couple of groups of foreigners I've come with to Japan, and I'm painting along national lines, let's just say, and this will tie then into the question of age groups, I could look at just let's limit it to this group and how people look trying to sit the way we are sitting right now. There are plenty of things that other people in this group, plenty of things they can do that I cannot just to be very clear, I have to be good at sitting on Japanese floors. There's some incredible athletes on this trip, but they're bad at sitting on the floor. Right. So I could think, all right, maybe that like external rotation of the femur is something as a group. They might want to pay more attention to just as an example, sitting in a cross legged or one leg on top of the other position, which they can't currently do. If we were to take a pan a very specific picture, so let's just say former athletes, not high level athletes, I mean, I'm basically talking about myself, right? So I was like competed at a decent level through high school and college in various things, was never world champion was never Olympian, anything like that, but was very movement immersed and then trained very, very seriously. And then let's just say between, who knows, 35 and 45, maybe the training got a little lighter, maybe you got a little more sporadic. And this is the group we're dealing with, right? So let's just say, these are my people. Yeah, so let's just say we have 145 year olds who kind of mirror that like me. They got some aches and pains, they've had a couple of fractures, maybe one or two surgeries. That's the group. Much like looking at this group that came to Japan and saying, huh, it seems like a lot of these guys have trouble sitting with their legs sort of split open in any way. In that type of kind of post competitive athletic group that I described with some aches and pains and some injuries, are there any particular types of movements? I know this is kind of question that you may hate, but I'm just curious if there are any particular types of movement training that come to mind, where you're like, you know, I think that group should overall be doing more of A/B and C. I think we sold hard cardio respiratory fitness that is you had lungs like Lance Armstrong, all things would be solved. And it's easier to quantify that because you can go wattage, you can count and look at heart rate and power. This is a the biking and again, Julie and I are huge cyclists. We love to ride and riding is great for these reasons. Very time efficient. And it's what we call high physiology low skill. Put your feet here, put your butt here, grab the hands here. You have five points of contact, very safe, mid range, not full leg flexion, not full knee flexion, not full hip flexion. You're just going to move around and we can die. You can die. I can kill you on that thing. I like, pour hate on you and you can suffer and vomit on the bike. And what you think is, wow, that was really hard. I'm fit. Until you need to move yourself through the environment a little differently. And I think we've confused work output. We've confused some of the cardio respiratory capacity. If I took the criticisms from some of the big thinkers who were reacted to CrossFit on it, strength, conditioning, bros, they have some valid ideas here. How well are you actually challenging this and using this in the world? And now the question is, how much fitness is the right amount of hard fitness and shouldn't I play? And is there anything wrong with going to the gym every day for an hour and smash yourself? No. But if you're all you're doing, again, having some vital signs, one of our my favorite vital signs in the book is called the couch stretch. And here's why you should care about the couch stretch. One is you're going to find out that you suck at it. You're welcome. And all you do is put your knee into the corner of the wall. You're on your hands and knees kind of facing up in the wall. And you put your knee into the corner where the wall meets the floor. And then you spring your leg up into a lunge. Squeeze your butt. Your back leg is bent. And you're in a lunge position using the wall to support that. That is a shock to people because their quads are stiff or their brains protecting whatever the mechanism is. They can't access that position. They can't squeeze your button up position. They can't take a breath in that position. They can't even hang out in that position. And that is a easy position to be in. But if your environment doesn't cue you in to also being a diagnostic tool regularly, because your body is so robust and so badass and so good at working around these things for so long. It's designed for survival. Your brain doesn't care if you're missing hip extension. But that hip extension is you walking up a hill, having that knee behind you when you walk or run or lunge that shape. What goes away faster than anything with movement quality and capacity is compromised in this society more than any other movement is that hip extension. Why? Well, we do a lot of cardio on the bike. The elliptical machine was genius because it just removed hip extension entirely. You could stand up but you don't have to take your hip extension. Congratulations. And all the sitting we do is modern workers and the commuting. And we're sort of queued in so we just don't get a lot of exposure here. And again, if you dropped into Pilates, you're like, whoa, a lot of hip extension. And if you yoga, like there's a lot of warrior one, like why are we doing this long lunge in a chaturanga? It's because they recognize this position we wanted to nurture. And if I could say wave my magic wand and say, I would like you to spend more time in this position, suddenly you could still squat, but you just do Bulgarian squat or split squat, right? You instead of pressing a barbell over your head, just want to put your front foot up on something and press. I want you to push a sled. Oh, that sounds familiar. We've seen that. That's not in culture. And when we again, stop talking about the capacities, but look at the shapes first, then it's all like, well, tools to have available to me. How can I do this? Throwing your foot up on the edge of a couch and jumping out into a big lunch. Now that, and let me give you an example, we regularly work with really good athletes and teams who have these deficiencies. I've worked with several Olympic lifting Olympian groups who don't do enough hip extension. And when all we did was start programming in hip extension for them, these shapes of being like a lunch, lo and behold, everyone's back pain got better and their lifts went up so weird. And so again, what I want to do is say, let's make sure that we're not confusing capacity with movement choice. Because I think that goes away really fast. What we've said, we can have really strong, very, a pun quotation marks fit people who aren't very skilled at moving. So how was my fitness? I don't know. I just had to balance on one leg and put my ski on and the binding I didn't love on the side of a mountain right after being smoked. Let me tell you how my fitness is. That's the test. Yeah, totally. And for people who want to get a visual on the couch stretch, you can certainly just give it a search on Google. But if you imagine the capital letter N, and then put like a little circle in the very middle of that, the left side of that would be your front leg. And the right side of that would be the rear leg with the knee in that corner. And it's also in four hour body. Yeah, it is. It is indeed. That's how long I've been saying you should be doing the couch stretch. It is. It isn't. And we're, I think, I think you're demoing on an actual couch. I am demoing on our couch and our old couch. Back when we both had a little more hair. Oh, I don't even know how much hair I had done. You know, one of the things that I just want people to hear is that we're trying to build an extra capacity to the system. And oftentimes, the initiation for a lot of the reasons why people are interested in this is paint. Or I can't do something I don't want to do. My friends are going to Japan and I can't ski. Not from a skill, but my knee hurts. That's a problem. So where do we begin to tug? Do I have to go hire an expert and go seek this thing and go away from my family and take time off from my job? That's a yes. Great. Cool. You can afford that and fly in your private physical therapist to work with you. That's doesn't seem that scales very well. Right. And what we instead can do is say, hey, look, here's things that you can do in the course of your day. And this really right or wrong, you know, Juliet, who is our CEO, my partner, world champon superstar, she really felt attacked a little bit sometimes when people talked about their morning routines and all of the things they did to optimize their day and biohack their day. And she's like, I am so swamped. And this really feels inaccessible to me. It feels like a bunch of single people with a bunch of free time. Right. And interestingly enough, the thing that I ended up kind of getting out of PT school by looking at was barriers to adherence. What keeps people from doing what they want to do. And one of the things that we started to recognize as we work with some of these groups is that we couldn't just say, do this. We had to say, when are you going to do it? How do you fit it in? So all the things we've talked about are wonderful. But if you're a person who has a life, you have to ask, where are these moments where I'm going to be able to fit these key behaviors? And I think that's one of the things that we've really started to appreciate and say that, you know, we need to do a better job of showing people where they're going to have some agency and control. The karate kid approach. That's right. Wax on wax off. Filting in. Put on your shoe standing on one foot. You've never been trending. Yes, you have. You just don't know that you have. Show me. Oh, man. Why don't you tell people a bit more about the book and who it's for?
Who is Built To Move for? (01:53:43)
Who is it who is it's written for? Who's the best suited to? Imagine that one of the things that we drew that I felt like was that we as fitness, and again, part of the fitness machine, and where's a cog in the machine, is that if we ask ourselves, how are we doing? If fitness is the promises to transform society and make people healthier, are we living up to that? And what we really feel like is, well, the objective measurements are, well, look at obesity or diabetes or chronic pain or persistent pain or injuries or surgery or depression. And what we see is that I think 100% of those things are trending in negative ways. So if fitness is a trillion dollar industry and we're not making people fitter in whatever, expanding their fitness besides, I look great on Instagram with my abs, right, just expanding that definition a little bit, then we have to start asking sort of a different set of questions around this. So this book is for whom potentially fitness is left behind. Hey, I don't identify with exercising. Cool. That has nothing to do with being durable. Think about how many people in there, when we heard some of those towns, we saw some elderly people here. How fit were some of those elderly Japanese people? They didn't bench press a lot. I don't think her deadlift was very strong. That 90 year old we saw, right? But there's some thing about being durable and being useful. However, we're defining that, that there are just a set of things you have to keep doing that your body just requires. And then we can layer on exercises if that feels good. So imagine the first thing order of business is saying, Hey, look, let's get everyone to base camp. And then we can argue what color rope you should take up the Everest route. Because that's a feel like that's the conversation on the internet. And people are like, wait, wait, what's base camp? What's Everest? The number of people that stop us in our community, remember, Jill and I are just parents in our street. And they're like, Hey, do you think I should do this keto shred? And what do you, there's a lot of questions we get where people are don't know how to be sustainable. They don't know how to exercise because we've overwhelmed them with options and choices and data and flashy science. So if we can get built to move into those hands first, or how about this? You love fitness, you're into this stuff, I'm into this stuff. And I have always wanted a reference going to be like, start here, it's not done exercise. Well, just have a go at this. And then let's talk, some up when you're ready to have learn how to swim a kettlebell or your physician who says, Hey, I know you're on this blood pressure medicine. And this isn't the place to have these complex psycho emotional behavioral conversations in this eight minutes. But here's something you can do. We know that it's going to make a healthier, more robust platform. And we gave this book to our world champion friends who were like, how do we do? And they were like, this really helped me because I had some holes here that I wasn't thinking about. I wasn't walking enough. And I was wondering, well, I'm in he was hurting. And it's tried to say, who's this for? I want Julie and I really want to make sure that we've reached out to people who haven't been served well by the fitness community. Because what we see is that those people who are in, it looks like a class society in terms of fitness and health now people are measuring and monitoring and tracking and like getting fitter. Meanwhile, everyone else is saying, Hey, I'm even nowhere to start. I would also say, tell me if you disagree with this, but a lot of folks probably who think they're being served by whatever form of fitness they're soothing when they get taken out of a very narrow band of film, the blank cycling, film, the blank powerlifting, fill in the blank, some form of body building. Once they're thrown into an environment that is a little more stochastic requires movement patterns that are a little more varied. They're like, Oh, shit. Our friend Mark Bell couldn't put a shoe on without sitting down and using a shoe horn when I first met him. Yeah, there you go. He was a champion. Yeah, but couldn't put a shoe on. Yeah. Yeah. We were like his shoes were always tied. Now look what happened to Mark. Yeah. You know, as an idea of, I think that's really a great and we might even say we have some vital signs to help you identify your blind spots. And I think if we have always right or wrong, we've always said if we can give people the tools, the right people, the right tools, they know how to incorporate in their lives and make the change. You have seen that. I have seen people come up to you in 100 times and say that you change our life and you're like, I never met you. You know, sir, this is a Wendy's. You know, but given the tool, people are smart enough to have figured that out. And that's what we want to do. You don't know what you don't know. This is a really simple way. And I want everyone to understand this is what Julie and I do. And this is what we have been sort of winnowing out of our elite performance conversations with all the crazy teams that we work with. Kelly, we've covered a lot of ground.
Parting thoughts. (01:58:54)
Built to move is the book. Thanks to just everybody. Check it out because we are built to move. Turns out that this fancy brain of ours is scaffolded around this machine that is intended to move through space. And I think the diversity of our movement diet, much like the vegetables, it's gone from dozens down to just a handful. And there's no way that doesn't end in tears, right? Individually and collectively. So I'm really excited to have a set of vital signs, the descriptions, the means of self assessing to identify blind spots. Areas of opportunity growth opportunities growth opportunities, which I'm very excited about, because this trip for me has been decades in the making in a sense. And I've always wanted to bring some of my closest friends to Japan and to train. I mean, I really train my ass off for the last six weeks, more than six weeks, but especially in the last six weeks to make sure that I wouldn't be a total embarrassment. And it was still hard. I mean, it was still hard. And I was like, okay, 45. It doesn't seem impossible to me. I'm not going to be layered Hamilton, but it doesn't even possible to me that if I approach training in an increasingly intelligent surgical way with regular self assessments, that I could be doing this stuff. 10 years from now, if I play the cards, right? But like to play the cards, right, you got to know what the game is, what's in your hand. And I think built to move will help people to do all those things. Any other closing comments, requests of the audience, anything you want to point people to anything at all they'd like to say before we go have a gigantic Japanese lunch. Three, thanks. One, be consistent for your heroic. Excellent advice. Two, wait for it. The glacial price is the breakneck pace. It takes time to make change. Your body is there for you. It just may be that you have to put the burning tractor trailer out of fire first before you back it down the blind alley. Like it takes a second, but it always works. And three, you're not alone. Bring someone with you on this adventure. If that means just you walked out after dinner, and that was what you started for this week, grab one of your family members. We think that the living unit is the functional unit of change. That's where you begin. So bring some along with you. Roger that. Thanks for bringing me along with you. I'm going to have to go into some counseling for a for around you. You ragged up this health. There you have folks. Kelly always a pleasure. Thank you, Tim. And to everybody listening, we'll have links to everything in the show notes as per usual. Tind up blog slash podcast. Just search Kelly Star at S D R R E T T. There are many episodes. This will be the most recent, of course, and built to move is the book. Check it out until next time. Be just a little kinder than is necessary. That includes to yourself. Remember, be consistent before heroic. Good advice for a lot of things, whether that's writing, walking, hanging, squatting down to take a heroic poo in a Japanese bathroom. You never know when you're in need that skill. Facts facts. And thanks so much for tuning in. Talk to you next time. Hey guys, this is Tim again. Just one more thing before you take off. And that is five bullet Friday. Would you enjoy getting a short email from me every Friday that provides a little fun before the weekend between one and a half and two million people subscribe to my free newsletter, my super short newsletter called five bullet Friday. Easy to sign up, easy to cancel. It is basically a half page that I send out every Friday to share the coolest things I've found or discovered or have started exploring over that week. It's kind of like my diary of cool things. 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