Dr. Stefi Cohen — 25 World Records, Power Training, and More | The Tim Ferriss Show | Transcription
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Element will give you your money back no questions asked they have extremely low return rates element came up with a very special offer for you my dear listeners for a limited time you can claim a free element sample pack you only cover the cost of shipping. For us customers this means you can receive an eight count sample pack for just five dollars simply go to drink elements dot com slash tim that's drink element dot com slash tim to claim your free eight count sample pack one more time that's drink. Lm n t dot com slash tim for this exclusive offer drink elements dot com slash tim check it out. This altitude i can run flat out for a half mile before my hands start shaking. No. I'm a cybernetic organism living tissue over metal. Hello boys and girls ladies and germs this is tim ferris and welcome to another episode of the tim ferris show where it is my job to interview and attempt to deconstruct world class performers of all different types from all different fields my guest today. Steffi cohen stefi cohen on instagram at steffi con she is a twenty five time world record holding power lifter in the first woman in the history of the sport to deadlift four point four times her body weight we will. We will give some examples what that might mean i wear around a hundred seventy pounds that means i have to deadlift i think around seven hundred forty eight pounds i've got a ways to go but we're not gonna turn this into my therapy session just yet. Steffi is doctor of physical therapy author podcast host and business owner passionately educating people with her evidence based view on all things training and nutrition she's the co-owner of hybrid performance method. Where hundreds of thousands of strength seekers go monthly to find progressive strength training and nutrition programs plus tons of free articles and videos steffi is creative mind loves collaborating with the hybrid team and partners to develop powerful content inspired fashion. Fitness and nutrition tools for a stronger life her new book is back in motion which will certainly talk about at one point and. You can find all over the place website hybrid performance method dot com instagram if you want to. Be both impressed astonished maybe feel like you need to put in some more work you can go to instagram for slash steffi cohen again that's stefi you can find her on youtube easily she is podcast hybrid unlimited steffi welcome to the show.
Discussion On Various Aspects Of Training And Exercise
The personality of an abbreviated bear riding a tricycle. (07:55)
Thank you so much tim thank you for having me i'm super excited to be here. I'm excited to have you on i've been texting with some mutual friends of ours i want to give credit where credit is due to matt vincent for initially suggesting that this happened so for those who don't know matt incredible athlete highland games and beyond also. All around wacky hilarious character who despite being built like a grizzly bear can also out mountain bike me over many many hundreds of miles which which really broke my spirit but that's a separate story that is so i was like he's gonna look like a bear on a tricycle definitely i won't be in last place he just had knee surgery and then. Smoked completely smoke me kelly starrett also and i have an embarrassment of riches here in terms of questions for you because. I have done my homework i believe and there are an infinite number of directions we can go i thought we would start and i very rarely start by graphically but i think here could be interesting at least it's my curiosity.
Origin story (08:57)
Where were you born and what was your childhood like i was born in caracas venezuela south america i was born in venezuela and joe so i was born in a very traditional household. Most of my childhood i spent playing soccer i played soccer for the national venezuelan soccer team which sounds a lot more impressive than what it actually was like there was not a lot of funding. From the government for professional sports back home so we kinda played in dirt fields we played in a in a field that was located at the military base which was interesting. Traveling in the inner parts of the country was super eye opening for me given that i come from a more kind of like sheltered family environment. You know my dream with soccer was always to get into a d1 team or play professional soccer i really wanted to. Play professionally in any capacity for a long time ended up moving to the states looking for a soccer scholarship move to san diego. And i guess i don't know how far you want me to go there but i come from yeah we're gonna go pretty far with it for those who have never been to venezuela. You're actually the second venezuelan born guest i had on the show the first is jason silva who is definitely venezuela and i would love to just hear you describe. What your experience was like or rather the reasons for leaving venezuela and what age i don't have many memories of venezuela as a. You know peaceful tranquil friendly country when i was already growing up when i was ten twelve the country started getting. Pretty dangerous there was a lot of political and economical unrest there was a lot of divide between social classes there was a lot of corruption. Dictatorship disguised as a socialist government growing up there is very differently than anything in any other country really like talking about bulletproof cars i'm talking about bodyguards talking about you know the fear of constant fear anytime you get out of your house to either be kidnapped either be shot either be. I'm glad you're be i don't know take it into your house and getting everything stolen from you so. So very kind of high stress high alert way to live and i guess when you don't know anything better that just kind of becomes your norm right when you grow up in an environment. That's a certain way you just grow up to accept that that's just i guess how the world works so very sheltered you know you. You're always kind of spending time within the same groups with the same people going to win from the same places. I'm not really like socializing much outside of that you live in a in your little kind of crystal ball. Essentially and at the time i think this was nineteen ninety eight or two thousand and two i can't remember which one of those elections was. When there was a civil war chalice the president at that time didn't win the elections and there was this huge civil war. I don't know people died my my dad was in this in the protest i went to the protest it was very graphic it was very interesting time to live in very interesting experience. As well and i guess that's when when that all happen and i guess chalice got back into the into power somehow even though. She wasn't elected by the people at that time it was very clear to me and my family that there was just not gonna be anything that could save that country right like the wrong people are in power in the wrong people will. Seemingly continue to be in power and there's nothing that anybody can do. So i actually was one of the first of kind of my circle of friends to venture out of the country and make the decision to move out of the country. It was a time where you know people were still a little bit optimistic there were elections coming up again there were some things to look forward to but my mom didn't want to take the risk and she was actually the one that encouraged me to apply for a scholarship in the us and. End to make the decision to move which was very difficult especially given that. You know how i said that when you live in such a sheltered environment stepping outside of that kind of comfort zone is terrifying it makes you feel really vulnerable and afraid i guess so i was seventeen when i moved. I would have been as well and it was tough cuz at that time like i said we were still optimistic that things could get better. So it almost felt like i was giving up on my country i'm very patriotic about my country set you know i'm assuming like a lot of people are when you grow up in a country develop emotions and sentiment towards the place you grew up that gave you everything. I felt like i was giving up on my country and felt bad for a little bit but then the country just continue to trend downwards into what it is today which is absolutely awful and twenty times worse than what it was when i left ten years ago. Where did you land when you first moved to the us in Miami. Sexually a funny story i was so upset that my mom convinced me to move and we were in the shuttle at the airport at the miami international airport and i was just crying hysterically like if you. Didn't know what was happening you could have sworn that my mom was kidnapping me or something i was so mad. Maybe not mad at my mom but mad at the situation mad that i was forced to leave my country mad that i had it all i was up really good soccer player i was the team captain of the national team i had a name for myself there. And i just felt like i was forced out of my country and forced to start over and it wasn't my decision. It wasn't the route that i really wanted to take like i wanted to stay there with my friends with my family with my soccer team. Calm down and i am me and then i want to send you a that's where i wanted to our initially i got into school san diego beautiful place let's flash forward just to not continue sequentially so we're gonna bounce back and forth can you please describe for people some of your records and at what body weights. Those records were achieved so i guess i'll speak of the most monumental ones are the most historic ones. So i was the first woman to deadlift i guess four times my body weight first add up competition and that was i wait a hundred and twenty pounds and i did lifted i guess over or five hundred.
Nicoles monumental records (15:23)
Then i beat that record weighing again hundred and twenty hundred twenty three that lifted five hundred forty five pounds. You don't really know what your body is capable of until you actually do it and there's a lot of kind of limitations that are placed upon yourself based on what other people are doing. So i remember the first time i did the four hundred pounds when i said i was gonna deadlift five hundred pounds every one thought it was crazy. It was impossible that there's no way i could do it at that body weight and then look magical things happen and, i trained really hard obviously trained intelligently and was able to achieve things that no other woman had. Ever been capable of doing and what's interesting to me and i don't know if maybe there's a name for this phenomenon or something but, after i did that there were several girls that were able to achieve that five hundred pound deadlift mark. As soon as people see that there's something that is humanly possible it's almost like it gives them the strength or the it allows them to be able to chase those same goals. Yeah like roger bannister in the four minute mile same exactly same story exactly. And yeah outside of that i've broken i guess twenty five world records in powerlifting in three different weight classes i've cut down all the way from hundred and thirty five pounds all the way down to one fourteen. Broken squat deadlift and total world records there broken a few world records and one three three class and then some in the one thirty two class i have also that the highest that left in that class as well. What are your other lifts what are some of your other personal best personal records prs and say bench squat or any other left that you wanna mention. My best squad is five hundred and ten pounds at a hundred and twenty pounds body weight and bench two forty two hundred twenty as well. I've been having this year so i may turn this into like a pro bono. Consulting session i'm forty three i've been having this year like all of these injuries are cropping up and feeling like. I'm feeling like an older version of leonardo to caprio and the revenue like dragging one like behind me like some broken horse and i have listening to these numbers i'm like you know i'm sitting in a pretty tall building i should just throw myself off throw myself off the deck right now these are just. Insane numbers now let me tilt the microscope a bit because i want to ask you and this might be a way of exploring some of these lifts and explaining what they mean to people we know quite a few people in common one of them you're probably closer to him than i am but he was in my last book trevin mentors ed conan. So ed conan could you describe for people who ed conan is and what what is most impressive about him to you i think this will be a way of them coming back to some of your achievements and approaches.
Ed Coan is an alien. (18:24)
Man is known as the greatest power lifter of all time he he has that he's earned that title he's been given that title by pretty much everyone within the powerlifting community and i think. What separates him from everyone else is just how consistently he was able to show up and perform at his best throughout the years i don't know how many years he competed maybe twenty years which is crazy anyone who's ever attempted to get stronger anyone of any person who's listening to this. Just try training for more than two years when progress start slowing down when you start coming into the gym and feeling like crap and not able to perform your best you start accumulating injuries. You know it takes years for you to see even a five pound increment in any of the lives just the amount of mental fortitude mental strength that you have to have in order to just keep showing up and hoping that what you're doing is. Taking you closer to your goals are pushing you in the right direction is is unbelievable. You know i've spoken to add extensively about his mindset about what some of his training theories were in in his training methods and pretty much just said that he. I asked him if he ever stopped making progress and he said no he said anytime my progress would slow down i would go in and really. Take a look at what areas of weaknesses i had and i would tackle them with the same intensity that i tackle my own season. Like the seasons where you're preparing for a power lifting me and he would repeat that over and over and over again obviously look at is not from this world man like that guy. That is that is that is like the pot calling the kettle black a bit i should also just say real quickly no relation you are cohen cohen he is at cone coan but yes he is an alien for sure. The resiliency his body has in his ability to just tolerate beating his body down with weight is remarkable it really is so he's a specimen. I recall a few of the things he said to me when we were chatting and one was that he would. He would plan out his entire i wanna say season or year in advance knowing with absolute certainty that he would be able to make every. Attempt and i thought that was really. Thought provoking considering that the way a lot of people train is they may not even take notes at all but they go into the gym and decide what they're going to do maybe they have some rough outline but they don't have that type of programming. He had a top down approach to training he kind of like reverse engineer his program so he would say okay so if i wanna deadlift seven hundred pounds that means that i have to. Being able to deadlift seven or six fifty four three which means that i have to do six twenty five or five and then he would reverse engineer from there which i think it's really interesting. See you you and he seem to be how should i put this. Designed for obsessed with specialists in the deadlift i mean at ed is known for a camera with a lift was nine oh two at two hundred or one ninety or something something insane and you have these. Ant like. Multiples on your on your lifting or just a human little little human female venezuelan ant.
Explaining the deadlift (for the uninitiated). (22:12)
Now there are many people who we should also take a moment just to explain the deadlift for people so could you explain the deadlift what that actually means and then the competition that let's just say and then next could you tell me what are some of the things that distinguish. A person who trains and i'm just gonna leave weight classes out of this for a minute because it'll make it a little bit little complex but people who say train. Up to a deadlift of four five hundred pounds versus those people who get. We can look at it as a multiple body weight but like someone who gets up to two x body weight versus someone who gets to three or four times body weight like what are the differences and how they approach the deadlift. The deadlift there's not much to it there's a bar on the floor and the goal is to pick it up until your leg your knees and hips are locked out all the way. I think it's one of the most impressive feats of strength and i think universally speaking like a lot of people consider that the ultimate. Test of strength that's why it's so celebrated. There's two methods of deadlifting you can either have a conventional style of deadlift which is with your hands outside of your feet and then there's the opposite which is a sumo deadlift where your hands are inside or within your feet. And that's it as far as what the deadlift is yes for a visual for people if you imagine like you said there is a loaded bar. Resting on the ground so it has plates on either end you walk up to it if it's conventional stance then you're going to again this is oversimplified but have your feet just say roughly hip distance apart and you're going to. Almost squat down again this is very simplified and grab the bar with your arms on the outside of your knees in the sumo stance your feet are gonna be turned out slightly they'll be much further apart. And you almost look like you're doing a really wide plie from ballet when you go down to grab the bar between your legs hands under your shoulders roughly in both cases okay so then. We have all these folks doing god knows what and eventually they muscle their way to maybe maybe maybe a 2x deadlift right but perhaps they're they're not approaching in a very organized way and then then you have people who are able to do significantly more two and a half three times and then you get into the rarefied air of doing what you do how do people make that. Lead crossing the chasm to this higher weights what are the things that are different i think the main thing has to do with its physics with leverage you know if you see people some people are really gifted. When it comes to proportions i think i'm one of them i think that really. Makes a difference when it comes to being able to break that two three four five times body weight markets is your leverage is your your proportions there is a guy i believe it's in the usa pl. Who man he has a really odd in terms of proportions looking body has a very short extremely short torso and he has super long arms. And when you lock out the deadlift it just seems like the barbell moves just a few inches of off the ground and i'm sure that guys on five times body weight i'm pretty sure you would have to check me on that. Some people can train so hard if some people can train the exact same way as ed con maybe have him as a coach and never achieve half of what what he achieved or never never left. A quarter of how much ed lifted and i think a big part of it is is your proportions your leverage is and then when we get into genetics as well muscle fiber type composition your ability to learn new skills etc. Just to kind of draw circle around the genetics certainly you have genetics is huge component like you mentioned i mean you see a lot of. Championship bench pressers at least in the men's category with who have a lot of girth right and the distance the bar travels is real factor right so if you can put in a huge arch and also have. A gigantic belly on you then it can be very very helpful and lift like the bench press or you have someone like ed con who is five foot six. But i've seen photographs of him putting his hand against. The hands of NBA players and roughly the same size hands right so his ability to hold a standard size bar relative to his body weight is just going to give him incredible advantages.
Geneva's training for specific competitions. (26:42)
Yeah i was just gonna say well i want you to continue to add i've had too much caffeine but i'd love to i'd love to draw circle around the genetics and recognize those for being as important as they are but then to talk about. Not the attributes which people can't mimic like they're not gonna get a muscle fiber transplant but the some of the technologies and approaches and programming and. The methodologies that say you've used i'd love to talk about but what you gonna say. Yeah i think that the more specialized you know people what's that saying. Hard work beats down when telling doesn't work hard okay that's saying i'm really bad at memorizing saying in quotes but you know what i mean i do when it comes to powerlifting you can want it all you want. You can work as hard as you want but because it's such a specialized sport. Having the right attributes for the sport is even more important so for example so you wanna be a football player there's many positions within football. That might be in line with what your current skills and abilities are and you might actually be able to out work your way into a pro team by. Gaining more speed by being stronger by being able to cut sharper by i don't know you know you can gain an advantage in so many different areas are categories within the skills that you need to succeed in football where is. In powerlifting there's really not much you know you either have the capability to get stronger or you don't. You either have the proportions to be able to move the bar in the most efficient way or you don't. True fact is can i start with say but let's let me make is even more concrete so a few years ago i did a triple four seventy five or so on a trap bar. So i the hex bar depending on what term people want to apply that at time at least training over say a six month or year long period doing mostly just. Pulls to the knees based on a program popularized by a sprint coach named barry ross. That was basically my ceiling and i probably wait one eighty at the time so i'm not winning any any multiple awards but i very very small hands by proportions are not really built i wouldn't say terribly well for the deadlift but i also didn't have. A coach i didn't have any real i to the detail of training for the deadlift so if i came to you i show up. With like a hobo stick and a little satchel with my lunchbox at your gym and i'm just like please save me make me a better deadlifter. How would you start i would say that looking at your form looking at your technique and seeing if there's anything there that i can improve you know. Things like bringing your feet with and maybe changing your hand position improving the angle of your torso maybe looking at your starting position. I would start there and obviously like programming is. The biggest factor to look at as well just how whether or not you're implementing progressive overload into your training how hard are you training are you going to failure there's many many variables that we can look at. Just a quick thanks to one of our sponsors and will be right back to the show. This episode is brought to you by athletic greens i get asked all the time what i would take if i could only take one supplement the answer is invariably athletic greens i view it as all in one nutritional insurance i recommended it in fact in the four hour body this is more than ten years ago and i did not get paid to do so. With approximately seventy five vitamins minerals and whole foods source to ingredients you be very hard pressed to find a more nutrient dense and comprehensive formula on the market it has multi vitamins multi mineral greens complex. Probiotics and prebiotics for gut health and immunity formula digestive enzymes adaptogens and much more i usually take it once or twice a day just to make sure i've covered my bases if i miss anything i'm not aware of of course. I focus on nutrient dense meals to begin with that's the basis but athletic greens makes it easy to get a lot of nutrition when whole foods are readily available from travel packets i always have them in my bag when i'm sitting around and right now athletic greens is giving my audience that you guys a special offer on top of their all in one formula which is a free vitamin d supplement with your first subscription purchase many of us are deficient vitamin d. Which is usually produced in our bodies from sun exposure so particularly in the winter months adding a vitamin d supplement to your daily routine is a great option for additional immune support so make an investment in your health today and try the ultimate all in one wellness bundle support your immunity gut health and energy by visiting athletic greens dot com slash tim you receive up to a year supply of vitamin d for free with your first subscription purchase again that's athletic greens dot com slash tim. If you want to get into the training methodology portion of the of the question yes a little bit ago.
Is training to failure useful? (31:37)
Yeah let's let's get into it let's just start with one factory throughout there do you train to failure do you train to failure or do you train to failure often you do. Yes so i come from an olympic weightlifting background i trained most of my i guess i did a little bit lifting for about four years and it was mainly bulgarian style lifting. I don't know if you're familiar with that but that just involves daily max is what you call daily max is so obviously the amount you can lift in every session is gonna vary based on just your nervous system readiness how tired you are how well you recovered from the previous sessions but ultimately what you're trying to do is lift as much as you can in any one particular session. Was this started in venezuela or in the us it was here so my olympic weightlifting coaches cuban and their training philosophies come from eastern europe as well. Camilo camilo garcia. That was kind of my initial introduction into strength training i kinda like picked up certain things from that and also learned why they might not be the best essentially. People in bulgaria russia the system to find the best athletes is a little bit different than it is here basically you know they're they're putting a lot of people through extremely rigorous training and the people that you see succeed are very few you know i'm talking about zero point zero zero zero one percent of all the kids that they put through these training programs make it through so it's like you either thrive under those conditions or you break. How weak but straining maybe seals yes so it works but it's not it's not the best way and i don't think that i don't think that a lot of people are built to withstand that amount of beating. The way that i kind of modified that combine my experience with i guess my my academic training which is i have a background in exercise physiology and i have my doctorate in physical therapy. I've been able to implement a little bit from you know practical with what the science says so in terms of training to failure there's there's a lot of controversy when it comes to what the minimal effective dose of training is. There's pretty much two separate camps one that is all about accumulating volume just doing very low not very but low load high volume style training. In hopes of sparing your body your tissues and decreasing your injury risk. And then there's the other one that's the bulgarian russian that goes all the way to the other extreme which is if your goal is to get stronger than you have to. Train away that's conducive to the adaptation set your trying to elicit like if you're trying to get better at your one mile you're trying to beat your one mile run you're gonna. Run one mile often so same principle here if you're trying to get a better one red mac squat you gotta be. Squatting to a you know daily max or or a really high intensity often anywhere my training philosophy small is somewhere down the middle and it's the same way with pretty much. Everything in my life I try not to swing in one particular direction I try to stay unbiased and I try to kind of learn a little bit from everyone from every from every camp. And then apply it to myself and to the people that I coach so as far as the way that I train and coach other people.
Samantha's Training Split (35:12)
It's a mix could you give us an example of a competition training split for you and then we can just walk through some of the what some of the workouts look like. So in preparation for a competition you essentially breakdown your training into four blocks you have your general your GP your general physical preparedness face where you're essentially just accumulating volume in improving just your aerobic capacity your ability to. Do multiple reps so this is a high volume face. Then you move into a more specialized block where you start getting rid of all the fluff in your programs you start decreasing the amount of cardio do the amount of exercise variability and you start increasing the frequency of the main lifts so you start. Squatting benching and deadlifting more because those are the three lifts that are tested in competition. Then you go into the intensification face which is where you start increasing the intensity to start getting into the eighty five ninety ninety five a hundred percent. Of the three main lifts and do nothing else other than that maybe a little bit of core a little bit of back just because you have to start focusing in hyper specializing more into those three things that you're gonna be tested on. Can you go through a two week deal period where you pretty much cut everything that you've been doing in half by fifty percent and then you got your competition. And it's funny cuz when you get your competition it's like you're the strongest you've ever been you know after going through that process but you're also the least human. That you've ever been as well like going up a flight of stairs is excruciatingly tiring. Because you're so specialized at that point. Yeah you do condition in every other area like you move like you're made of tin foil like you're made of metal. Seriously awful. So there's that. Yeah my friend mark bell you may have met before he's hilarious talking about that you know going through his fat and skinny phases and when he's big having trouble tying his shoes and it's really a high degree of specialization and then if you look at. Let's just take you could pick any of those phases but let's just say maybe the intensification phase what is a week of training look like how are things spread out. Personally I like squatting two or three times per week. Deadlifting one time per week and benching three to four times per week so in the intensification phase you're basically staying within nothing more than five reps so I tend to when I'm squatting five reps. So okay let's make it easier to say Monday Wednesday Friday I'm squatting I'm doing five reps and three reps than two reps on those days. And so that reps go down but the intensity goes up as the week goes by. If I'm following that split then I'll likely deadlift closer to my least intense squat day so I'll likely deadlift within the beginning of the week if I'm going to split it that way so that I'm not so tired by the end of the week and can actually see what I'm capable of doing in the deadlift. And then bench I usually keep it a lot higher volume even during an intensification phase I think that. Especially for women because we I don't know what the phenomenon is I actually want to get into that because I don't have an answer but something about the bench press and women we just make progress a lot slower and I think in terms of absolute strength we. We rarely reach it so we can get away with pretty much anything with doing higher volume lower volume more sets more reps whatever it is and it doesn't seem to like impact the way that we recover from the sessions.
Prehab and rehab as training (38:58)
If we're looking at the whole picture you've mentioned longevity in sport in the context of edcon competing for some ungodly number of years twenty years. And how you contend with plateaus or very slow progress injuries and certainly he's no stranger to injuries and when you have a leg buckle under. Nine hundred pounds thousand pounds of things don't always you know always just jog away from one of those how has rehab or prehab. Been included or thought of as a component of your training and your athletic life in general. I'm a little bit adverse to those terms because I think they're they're oftentimes used out of context and for their wrong purposes especially by medical professionals physical therapist chiropractors. But I think it's look rehab prehab are essentially training so it falls into pure realization falls into how you organizing your training to make sure you're actually going through the appropriate faces to set you up to be able to withstand. So that your tissues essentially can tolerate the amount of load that you're placing on them this is something that I actually love talking about is why do injuries happen you know most people. Think that they can prevent injuries through stretching or they can prevent injuries through doing prehab or corrective exercises and that's nothing. More than someone trying to position themselves in a way that makes them seem like they know something that you don't. Positioning themselves as if you know there some sort of like I always say this the Sherlock Holmes of injuries like they can pinpoint the exact area of weakness that you have that will lead to an injury. And that type of thinking is overly simplistic and it's outdated. You know we like to think that we have the answers for everything and maybe that happens because humans want to know the exact cause of things and then maybe healthcare practitioners feel pressured to have to give this very specific and concrete answers when in reality injuries are multifactorial. And more often than not identifying the exact source of an injury or why it happened or what tissue is injured is very very difficult. The best way that I can explain this is injuries. Not most times always happen when the load that you're imparting on tissues exceed their tolerance so it's a the way I visualize it it's a two part equation. We have load in one side you have tolerance in one side so it becomes about managing external forces and building internal tolerance to those forces so when I talk about load. It's everything I spoke about how you organize your training you know whether you're going through the right faces. And you're aggressively increasing the amount of weight that you're lifting to allow your tissues to be able to withstand those forces then on the same topic of load. Say that you start having an area or a tissue that's that's starting to get irritated how well you have to think about how are these forces being dispersed within your body you know maybe the way that you're lifting. Save up people have SI joint pain SI joint can you just that sacroiliac joint right so if could you just tell people where that is if they were to locate it on their own bodies. So your sacroiliac joint is pretty much on your hips if you if you were to put your hands on your hip with your thumbs facing backwards it's like essentially where your thumb. Ends up naturally when you put your hands on your waist it's a common area that gets hurt when you're lifting weights. But anyway so what I'm saying is sometimes when that happens is also a matter of you know where are those forces being dispersed within your body and why is that one area taking up most of that load. So a corrective exercise is essentially figuring out what exercises you can do that would spare the irritated tissue. That's what a corrective exercise is and then as far as increasing the tolerance then again that just goes you gotta reduce workload. Or modify workload so that your tissues can actually have time to repair from your previous training days and be able to continue repairing healing and then doing it all over again. That is the essence of injuries and anyone that tells you anything more complex or that tries to tell you that. Your multifidus is irritated or is inflamed or that you're whatever like people just get so so caught up on just these details that matter very little when it comes to creating a plan of care for a patient.
Working with a low back injury. (43:50)
Let's use a real or hypothetical example but have you battled with say low back injury or other injuries that we can use as a case study. Yeah oh my God that is that's the that was my inspiration for writing my book. If you could talk to what you have done following an injury and how it differs from what might be common approaches. I think that would be very helpful for people. So I'll give you guys a little background on the type of injury I had and then I'll get into some of the things that I did to get out of it essentially. I was in my first year of physical therapy school the first time that I had a seemingly career ending injury for some reason you know we attach so much emotion to a low back injury. I'm assuming it's mostly cultural and societally based it's just the fear surrounding back injuries that's been perpetuated by healthcare professionals and doctors based on many many things that I actually talk about in my book. The first time I remember it was chronic in nature in the sense that it was just getting increasingly worse every training session. And I guess any high level performer athlete would relate to this in the sense that you at the beginning when you start experiencing aches and pains you try to ignore them try to convince yourself that it's not as bad as it seems. And you just try to look for ways to continue training. You think it's part of the game. You know you think that no pain no gain. These are all things that are so deeply ingrained in our beliefs as athletes that we have a hard time taking a step back because we are afraid of exposing our weaknesses or we're afraid of quitting or we afraid of our coach thinking that we don't want it enough. And so we just tend to ignore the signals that our body is sending us. So that's exactly what I did even and what's funny is that even you know I had a pretty solid understanding about the human body and injuries and how this all works and even then I was just so it wasn't such denial of what I was experiencing that I just essentially kept increasing the amount of painkillers that I was taking and didn't change anything else. Kept showing up to training kept training as hard as I was before just started maybe tying my belt a little bit tighter. You wearing my belt a little bit sooner and like I said increasing the amount of painkillers I was taking and it was a recipe for disaster. I spent several months training in excruciating pain to the point where it started affecting my activities of daily living. You know I was having a hard time putting my socks on or putting my shoes on remember waking up in the morning just so stiff like I looked like I was a hundred and twenty years old. I could barely move I needed to have assistance doing many things and what's crazy is that I still thought that it was normal and like I'm a power lifter I'm expected to feel this way. And that just led to this one. Lift. One time I remember I unwrapped the bar I was going for a three rep max personal best and I unwrapped the bar I felt kind of more wobbly than normal in my low back I lowered the bar down and at the bottom of the lift I just felt kind of like a. Like a snap on my back or kind of just something really wrong so I tossed the bar onto the pins fell down onto the floor and laid there for forty five minutes without being able to move without being able to take my belt off nothing. Just completely just paralyzed by pain. And obviously you know at that point was actually no you would think that I would take a step back then I actually took I think I took a week off and then went to San Diego to compete in the biggest powerlifting competition of the year. I got you a call the stubborn I know I called Ed when that happened and I called Mark Bell called both of them and I asked him what they would do and I asked him if they have competed injured. And they both said yes so I was like man you know if they can do it I can do it like there's I'm a week out of a competition yeah I got really hurt but whatever you know just. I'll suck it up and then I'll rest afterwards kind of thing so I did it I competed was the worst competition of my life I bummed out in an international stage is pretty embarrassing. Bombed out means you did you didn't make your attempts exactly. And that was that was my wake up call that that was the moment when I was like okay like I actually have to do something I have to do something to to fix this or to get out of pain and that's when my. Quest for figuring out low back injuries came in I had obviously had access to a lot of seemingly great physical therapist given that I was in a top ten nationwide program of for physical therapy. And I was able to ask for different opinions from a lot of people. And what was surprising to me was that I was constantly getting different answers they didn't seem to have. Really anything in common and it was just so evident to me that no one really know what they were talking about really like I would just get a different diagnosis. Every time I would go to talk to a different person I got no consistency in terms of their responses. So imagine that right like I'm the patient in this case and I'm going to what I would consider kind of the most powerful figures of authority that I had access to professors that I look up to professors that are PhDs that are doing research maybe some that were by the mechanism that are spine specialist. And still I was not getting one I wasn't getting any relief and two I wasn't again I wasn't getting any consistency in their answers. So that's when I started reading a ton about it and obsessing about it to the point where I thought I should write a book to help clear up some of the confusion that not only clinicians are experiencing but obviously patients. And I think part of that problem lies in I'm lucky in the sense that I practice physical therapy in the non-traditional sense because I don't see patients. I spend most of my time reading research which again is one part of evidence based practice. I guess I practice on myself and on people that are around me. Most clinicians between patients and paperwork and all the things that they have to do in a day they don't really have time to dive into the research like I did. You know this book took two years to write and we pretty much go back 5000 years to understand where our beliefs come from and how science has evolved. And how pain science has impacted some of the recommendations and how it's changed over the years. So that hopefully we can have a more unified approach when it comes to back rehab essentially. Well I have a million questions and I want to make sure we offer some specifics to folks who may want to get some some tactical advice realizing that you don't see patients. But I want to take this in a few different directions. So the first is your experience with this injury. Paralytic on the ground in pain. You compete, bomb out. Certainly I would say didn't do yourself any favors with the back by doing that. What were some of the things insights or training approaches that ended up really making a difference for you especially with the lack of diagnosis because I think a lot of people listening or lack of consensus and diagnosis right so I'm looking at some notes from your book. I don't think are verbatim but they're really important. I think just to underscore for folks so there's there's one paragraph that really jumped out at me and I'm just going to read this here. Medicine is a science of uncertainty in an art of probability in other words you know the Ostermax and 3000 years into an effort to unlock the mystery of pain continues to produce more noise and signal there's still no discernible cause for back pain in 95 to 99% of cases yet it continues to be the leading cause of disability worldwide. So this is a very depressing paragraph for a lot of people but I want to break it into two pieces number one is that. When people say science proves or studies show you should always look at the source material because science or I should say more accurately really good research and studies.
Why good research doesn't provide all the answers. (52:30)
Really just indicate the probability of something being true and see you have to really understand that you cannot say definitively. Or you should be very cautious of saying definitively this proves this you have a an inflamed sartorius muscle and that's referring to your left shoulder which is causing your right testicle to swell which is causing your right eye to hurt right but you hear that kind of shit all the time and it's like. Wow okay I had no idea that that that cascade was so powerful and there are good petes and very good doctors out there. But you should be aware of complicating to profit right or if a medical professional is aware that you are shopping for a certain diagnosis eventually you will find someone who is willing to give you the diagnosis that you think you have. Safe to be very cautious but breaking it into this that's just overview comment on the limitations of what people consider science even when it comes to scientific research. There's actually studies and I don't have the name of it here but there's actually studies that prove that more often than not the results of a study. Are likely incorrect or non generalizable so yeah that's the replication crisis it's the ability to replicate studies in the outcomes of studies is abysmally difficult exactly exactly. That's a whole separate thing like it's such a bummer we need more money in funding replication studies but there's so little career and status incentive for academics to. Focus their own personal resources on replication that we end up in this really gnarly situation but let's jump to the second part which is more personalized for a lot of people listening that is. There's no discernible cause for back pain in ninety five to ninety nine percent of cases so a lot of people listening to what you said and hearing that will say well fuck.
Lower Pain: Symptom Misattribution, Sensitization & the Case for Diagnostic Agnosticism (54:19)
If you can't figure out what's causing it how can you possibly fix it. Yes so then let's use that as a leaping point to. What did you do that helped what are the things that you ended up finding really had a valuable bang for the buck so let's go back just briefly on our terminology awards that we're using so when you say let's do it. What can we do to fix it I don't like when people even when people say that because that implies that something's broken yeah no with my ass into shape I want you to tell me better words to use cause like the words you know the limits of our words limits of our world right so like. Strike that from the record yeah I would just say how can we decrease your symptoms or how can we decrease your discomfort there's nothing to fix especially when it comes to like I said ninety five percent of those cases. You know we're moving further away from the mechanistic views of the sources of back pain so all this means is we come from a background where. When it comes to the neurophysiology of pain we used to tie the severity of the same time to the amount of damage in our body. And with the evolution of pain science especially now that it's that it's kind of permeating more into the physical therapy around and then and fitness sports. Now we understand that pain isn't directly tied to tissue damage so we essentially we're overly relying on diagnostic tests like the MRI or the x-rays. Because it's essentially it gives you a really good picture of what's inside but it completely takes out of the equation the subjectivity of pain. So we know just based on research that are based on studies that thirty seven percent of twenty year olds have asymptomatic degenerative disc disease and disc herniations those numbers bump all the way up to eighty four ninety four percent. For people over eighty years old so it's just that what you see on the inside is a better way to look at it is as just wrinkles on the inside things that happen naturally from aging and we need to stop to detach the emotions that we have with. I guess those images because they don't really tell you much about what the person is experiencing. I was another line from the notes on your book that I highlighted which is pain isn't a reliable sign of damage exactly I was just very counterintuitive right because you cut your finger when you're cutting carrots with a knife and you're like cut her pain cause. Effect and end of story right but it's just not that simple no of course and like I said look there's there's two views there's a mechanistic and then there's the pain science so again I fall somewhere in the middle. I would never say that there's no way that that nothing's going on underneath your skin you know I'm sure that there's there's some cases where there is an actual structure that's getting irritated that somehow got. Hurt and that is the source of pain but in ninety five percent of cases we really don't know what the sources and I don't think that should be discouraging I think that should be encouraging because. You know now you can relate your pain experience to most cases it's always good when you fall within the lines of the probability and not when you're outside. That's when you're in trouble cause you're a special case you don't want to be a special case.
Pain Management And Individualized Training Approach
How can you decrease pain symptoms With direction (57:45)
Well you're right you said you're in the middle you're like the goldilocks of powerlifting and pain science always in the middle so let's get into some specifics I think this is this is super. Fastenings we're not going to use fix we're going to talk about decreasing symptoms of pain right I think what you also said is that like hey with if you're within one standard deviation of the middle that's actually really good news if it's if you're in the group that is. Ninety to ninety nine percent of cases having noticeable cause that's actually not necessarily a bad thing if you're like three five Sigma out and you're missing ten vertebra then you really have a major issue going on exactly let's talk about. Some of the actions you took or things you stopped that made a real difference for you in terms of this is something an assessment it's something that you can do on your own is instead of focusing on. What needs fixing or what is the failing structure you can focus on things that are a lot more actionable in your assessment or your therapist or whoever's doing it for your yourself. And the things that I look at our first directional preference so essentially what that means is are you flexion or extension intolerance so does it hurt when you bend forward or does it hurt when you bend backwards. That's the first thing that you need to figure out and you'll know. And this is for overall back pain or lower back pain what type of pain are we talking about how does it present this is more specific to low back pain but it okay directional preference it would literally apply to any injury does it hurt when you bend your knee or when you extend your knee. Does it hurt when you rotate your neck to the right or when you rotate your neck to the left so it's just kind of like you're checking in with yourself to see what are the positions that increase your symptoms and what are the positions that decrease your symptoms that's essentially all that it is. Then within direction there's also compression versus sheer especially when it comes to the low back. So compression you can do an easy test just by sitting on a chair and you put your hands underneath the chair and you push yourself your buttocks towards the chair creating compression. So are you intolerant to compression or is it more sheer so bending forward say with a with a light object on your hands farther away from your body does that increase your pain more. So just checking in with yourself to gain more understanding about the things that improve your pain or decrease your pain. Then what are some of the postures that increase the painful sensations is it sitting down is it standing up is it walking a lot is it not walking a lot is it running is it lifting is it you know what what are you doing in the day to day that exacerbates your symptoms. And finally figuring out what your current load tolerance is especially if you're a lifter I guess this doesn't apply if you're not a lifter but if you are a lifter you have to figure out what your margin of error is when it comes to your injury. You know when are when do your symptoms start appearing is it at 50% is it at 60% 70% 80% 90% when do they start appearing and during the time where your symptoms seem to be heightened. Then that's a good time for you to stay underneath that margin of error and stay underneath that pain threshold so you can essentially teach your body how to get out of pain. Do you have an opinion of. As another point of reference healing back pain the mind body connection by John Sarno do you have any opinion of that book comes up a lot in conversations about back pain do you have any commentary. I'll have to get back to you at okay no problem so the TBD I just want to add sort of a. Small bit of commentary about pain because I like a lot of people was very mechanistic for the majority of my life something hurts something must be broken or torn or strained let me find that problem and fix that problem and pain will disappear. And I had chronic chronic severe pain in my left mid back for many years and I think it was initially.
A wild case of how to reset 1.5 years of chronic pain (01:01:43)
Caused by you know an acute incident specifically a closet fell off a moving truck and I caught the closet which was like I don't know hundred plus pounds really large and it twisted my torso to one side it was a bad bad injury but that pain then recurred for many many years and I didn't experiment with. And I'm not advising this to people listening but so that I could speak to the experience intelligently from first and experience did a series of five ketamine infusions intravenously that one point and the intention was not. At all to look at chronic pain but it is used for in some cases chronic pain that didn't mean anything to me at the time to end on the reading. And I came away from my experience past that week overall not feeling like I could recommend ketamine therapy outside of someone was acute suicidal ideation where I think it does have real applications but about a week later I realized that my mid back pain. Had completely vanished and it did not come back this is like a year and a half now and counting any just their theories around ketamine effects on an MDA receptors and so on that account for this but it's thought to almost provide a like a hard reset for some of these pain pathways and again I'm using terminology that I perhaps shouldn't but. Like that you can in some way paste over these ruts that have been created in terms of repetitive circuits that cause these experiences subjectively of pain but the idea that I could have an infusion a couple of days and then walk away and have this pain just vanish. Even though it is in the short term an anesthetic was so mind blowing to me that there would be durability to that effect so it's caused me to think about pain completely. Differently yeah that is super interesting I've actually would love to read more about ketamine specifically for persistent pain but it just goes to show just. How powerful our brains are right like if you're experiencing persistent pain our bodies adapt to literally anything so it would make no sense that you have something broken or something that needs fixing for for two plus years even for more than six months it's already a stretch. So it just goes to show how and you know in your case was the ketamine infusion but anything that breaks the pain cycle is positive in terms of. Delivering a more positive response to to pain because essentially you start forming these habits that are tied to your experience with pain it's not. More of a sensation anymore is about the perception we have in the experiences that we have that literally alter the way that we feel and think and sense threat from the environment.
Building your bodys daily durasteel come endurance (01:04:44)
So we're talking about your assessment the general parameters for doing an assessment and sitting here with a couple of injuries right now thinking about this wrist in my left hip all this you know sort of like an orange and went to bed and woke up with like a neck injury kind of thing I don't know what the hell's going on but the point is we're talking about an assessment after an injury. For people who are thinking to themselves you know I would like to make an investment in making my body more resilient so that the likelihood of having a back injury is lower are there any recommendations that you would have. For those people in the often collected. Types of strengthening or anything really that come to mind I mean according to the literature it's not so much strengthening it's not either stability thing that's another hole that we can get into. But I mean the best way I guess to prevent any injury back injuries is endurance so there's a bunch of studies done on construction workers and another form form of labor workers. And they determined essentially that the ones with the most back endurance and they measured this via doing hold back extensions so how long can you hold a back extension so it's not necessarily for strength but more so how long can you hold us a certain posture. And they just ration for duration yeah so they determined that those with the most back endurance where the most worth the most resilient to back injuries and then it goes back to.
Why a one-size-fits-all approach doesn't work. (01:06:17)
Positions postures and movements that you practice so a lot of people for example when people want to get into running. Running is accessible to everyone right you just put a pair of sneakers on you go out and run. The thing that happens with that is that you didn't appropriately expose yourself to the mileage that you're gonna do or the terrain and so. Making sure that there's an appropriate again an appropriate progression in what you're doing and you're practicing those specific movements those are gonna be the movements that are safe for you so there's also research studies done where. You change the way that people lift things so again this was think it was construction workers again where. Have you seen how they left like they have like their background and they're picking up super heavy stuff in their form quote unquote looks bad because we have this idea of what good for miss versus what bad for miss that is. Totally arbitrary based on i don't know what who said they say people love to say they say that's bad for him i don't know who they is but. Essentially you know these people have trained those positions those postures those movements that way for their entire life therefore those are the positions that they are the strongest in. So when it comes to modifying the way that you left or the way that you pick up things are the way that you pick up your baby or the way you don't need to. Move like anyone else you need to move like yourself whatever you've been doing for a long time that hasn't given you problems then that's the way that you should continue moving. Yeah just a quick side note on the form and you know the they the illuminati of the internet who are like that's bad for i remember and again i'm talking out my ass cuz i'm such a junior varsity tourist when it comes to any type of strength training but. I'm a fan of strength training i try not to have too strong an opinion about anything so not qualified but i remember the first time i saw and maybe pronounce his name incorrectly but constantine's constantino. Deadlifting raw with. A rounded back setup how crazy and right any has a rounded back set up for anybody everybody should look this guy up he is fucking. I mean is a superhero no belt belt no belt. No belt and he's just complete beast and i don't know how much you can deadlift is just like four hundred and twenty plus kilos i mean it which is raw without a belt but he sets up any rounds is back and so. You see that and you see him clearly as this like master technician of the deadlift in there all these millions of variations that he also uses in training and you like okay. Who's gonna tell this guy that is lifting incorrectly yeah yeah we have this this obsession with not rounding when we bend forward again one of those. Beliefs that have been perpetuated over the years coming from probably someone interpreting a research paper incorrectly that is a very advanced deadlifting technique that he developed. Keep skillfully developed throughout the years in order to make that position his strongest position and the least likely position for him to get hurt. Now the obsession of like keeping your back straight when you deadlift is kinda silly because even when you can't observe that there's rounding in the lower back your spinal segments are at about sixty to seventy percent inflection. Even. When you're not seeing any flexion happening when your back is in quote unquote neutral your back is bent your spinal segments are already. They've changed in the the angles that they're in there they're already flexing. So there's nothing necessarily inherently wrong with that there's no instability going on you because essentially what is stability that was that's funny that is what got me into this whole topic people talking about low back stability you gotta improve stability stability stability of the segments. That was something that was so hammered in our brains and physical therapy school that I had to go back and see what the whole what the first was about when it came to that but essentially. We need to understand the differences in concepts between stability and robustness when it comes to back pain so that we can understand essentially what their recommendations would be in terms of definitions. Robustness and and I like to bring the analogy of comparing oak tree to a willow tree so in terms of robustness is your ability to cope with disturbances in your environment so. An oak tree will be a lot more robust than a willow tree when wind blows onto it versus stability is just the ability of a system to return to normal after a disturbance so. The notion that back pain or people who get hurt that lifting or doing anything like stability is is unfounded because as biological beings we have the capability to either up. Regulate or down regulate the amount of tension that is in our muscles at any given time in proportion to the task that we're doing so the amount of stability that you need to. Lay on your couch is different than the amount of stability that you need when you're lifting something up. Not to mention it's difficult to measure like no one knows how much stability you need or anything like that so we are capable of strengthening and stabilizing any position as long as is the position that we're training if that makes sense. Yeah. Let me ask a question I think you're going to hate if you don't mind. So.
Enhancing movement variability. (01:12:11)
I recall this person around 2008 2009 I was probably. The sake of simplicity say the fittest and the certainly the strongest that I've been in the last 10 years or so and I felt very resilient very robust in terms of injury prevention I just did not get injured a lot despite doing a lot of training at the time. It's so difficult maybe impossible to say or identify single causes and effects but nonetheless I had at the time I had quite a bit interaction with gray cook who has the functional movement screen and so on and I was using Turkish get up single leg deadlift and chop and lift quite a bit and so he uses the Turkish get up as a diagnostic tool he also uses it as a. Corrective tool maybe that's the right way to phrase it but I found that I found these exercises to be extremely helpful for kind of checking a lot of boxes at once and in terms of like time invested and benefits are there any exercises or types of training that you would put in that bucket for yourself. I think for the reason why you experienced a positive what you had a positive experience with those movements. By implementing them into your existing training has to do with movement variability so what happens when we look at people who are hurt. One of the things that jumps out the most is the lack of movement options that they have lack of movement variability so they're more hurt that you are the less movement options you have so essentially you're expanding your movement vocabulary by incorporating movements that challenge you in different planes. You know your ability to resist forces are coming different ways you know by holding a kettlebell in the overhead position the chop this working on the transfers plane you're working on your rotators your spinal stabilizers so I think the reason why that work for you is essentially because you increase your movement vocabulary you were giving your body. More options for movement where it felt non threatened and it felt safe so.
The importance of general physical preparedness. (01:14:26)
Almost any movement has the capability to do that and that's why I emphasize the importance of having a GP a general physical preparedness face to any program and that's something that. Really gets lost in over specialized sports like powerlifting and Olympic weightlifting is that people think they have to be doing squat bench and deadlift all the time and don't find. Time or don't find or ignore the fact that they have to include. Other movements in order to maintain their longevity and in order to kind of boost their own tissue tolerance and their ability to remain injury free. What's true outside of powerlifting to write me if you take someone who has any type of repetitive movement could be tennis if you're just a recreational tennis player and sort of amateur. Which almost everyone is going to be and you're like hitting in a very comfortable plane of motion with your forehand and back and then you're you're limiting your exercise to that and then one day of this. Heated scrimmage with a friend and you get thrown out of that normal plane of motion if you're not supplementing that with additional. Colors on the palette in the form of some type of general physical preparedness then there's a decent chance you're gonna get injured beautiful. Right exactly and I say that with confidence because that's I think what just happened to me. But then that goes to show that that no one you know that there's no magic exercise. You know I love talking about the McGill big three. So for anyone who doesn't know George McGill is one of the most well-known authors when it comes to low back pain and research and a lot of people kind of put this three exercises on a pedestal and view him as this guru because.
Case Studies And Book Recommendations
The McGills Big Three. (01:15:59)
Somehow the bird dog the dead bug and the side plank became the best way to cure all back pain but in another thing. The bird dog I know people can look it up we're not gonna get into it side plank I know what is the what is the dead bug sounds like something I'd be really good at. So literally how you encounter a dead bug when they're on their back and they're like flailing their arms in the air that's what doing that bug looks like. You just like stick your arms and legs straight up in the air while you're on your back yeah and so you alternate you know right arm back left leg out and then alternate back and forth. Okay okay yeah and that's the thing right I like I always like to understand why so when I first learn about those movements I'm like okay I mean. These provide me with relief but why is it because these are some magical movements or know what is going on here. And that I think the assumption a lot of people make is that that improves core stability because they assume that that's the missing link. And that's again that's dangerous because it goes back to perpetuating that fear that people have about their spines and it leads to. People being extremely overprotective in their strategy so what actually happens with the three exercises the dead bug the bird dog and the side plank is that the reason why they decrease pain symptoms is twofold the first thing is you're essentially. Providing a positive movement experience again if you're having a cute bout of back pain or if you've been in pain for a while it's about finding a position that doesn't increase your pain symptoms. And the other one is a very well documented phenomenon called exercise induced analgesia. Which is basically you know when you're contracting a muscle isometrically there is muscle spindles and chemo receptors in within your muscle that send signals to the brain to down regulate the pain signal so it provides you with a temporary reduction in pain symptoms. So it's not that they're magical it's just that they work based on these two mechanisms not because they're improving stability not because you're unstable and now you're stable not because it's magical but because of these reasons. So same same with with those three movements that you were doing by great cook. Any really good doctor I respect in the large group of doctors I've met most of which I think are way over their skis in terms of confidence the best doctors and the best scientists also will say something along the lines of 50% of what we know is wrong we just don't know which 50%. And that's especially true when trying to identify mechanisms right most of the things including many pharmaceuticals work. Not because we understand how they work but despite the fact that we don't really know how they work that's also true with a lot of these exercises in terms of the effects that they seem to impart let me let me let me ask you totally different question and this is about. Visualization or motor imagery so I read in a muscle fitness piece your description of visualization a lot of people will have heard this term. Before right but let me let me just read this paragraph because I want to zoom in on the second part of this and feel free to fact check this if it isn't accurate but here's what it says I'm pretty sure this is attributed to you. Visualization or what's called motor imagery is crucial so when you're under the bar you know exactly what to do the more detail you go into the better walking or driving to the gym putting your shoes on the sounds putting chalk on your hands grabbing the bar the smell the iron the feeling in your hands and the successful execution of lift in detail. Now this will sound familiar to a lot of folks right if they've ever watched the aerial skiers the acrobats. In the winter olympics preparing before run or divers are really any high level athlete they will recognize visualization of that type and so on some level then we continue to the second part of. The quote from you which is the second part which I believe to be even more important is visualizing a negative outcome. We don't want to plan for it but we need to prepare for it so we know how to react can you keep it together and try again or will you crumble under pressure I've never read anything like this before could you please elaborate. And give an example of that second part yeah realizing a negative outcome and how you use that yeah absolutely you know I think part of the way that we react to certain situations is related to how prepared we are for that situation.
Visualizing a negative outcome. (01:20:47)
And when it comes to negative outcomes you know especially as athletes we're told to always keep a positive attitude we're always taught to think positively to not think about anything going wrong and I think that does. Add this service because. Things are gonna go wrong at one point or the other it doesn't matter what your winning streak is with where you're a boxer and mma fighter powerlifter there's gonna be a point where it's not gonna go your way and how you react to that is dependent on how prepared you were to deal with that situation so. I actually started working with a sports psychologist after I bombed out of that meet that we were talking about because. You start doubting yourself you start doubting your ability to make lifts on a platform pressure start sending you you have this always expectations by other people by yourself and it really terrified me to go back on the platform after that happened i was embarrassed. Was really embarrassed and instead of avoiding those thoughts you know that the thought of things going wrong was was what was in my mind. Every single day after that what if that happens to me again. And then i ask myself the question what if that happens to me again like how am i gonna respond like i should probably have a plan of what i'm gonna do if that ever happens again. So i started visualizing like i said negative outcome so i go i go through the same beginning of the visual imagery starting from putting my singlet on putting my shoes on they call my name. The bars loaded go on to the platform i say it's a squat i squat and i miss okay what am i gonna do and i just played with different scenarios of how i was gonna react to situation like that.
Personal examples. (01:22:49)
And what's interesting is that would be some examples of how you might respond. Visualize so how i responded in the past was i cried hysterically terrified that i wasn't gonna make my next attempt i've been really angry assign the blame to someone else it's my coaches fault for picking the wrong way or it's the judges fault it was actually a good lift it's their fault for not seeing it they don't like me. The person who wrapped my knees they don't know what they're doing my left part of my knee was hurting me i would just assign a blame to something external to someone else and subsequently just have you know be upset or sad or angry or whatever it might be. And so when you're visualizing these negative outcomes are you visualizing those responses are different responses so i would practice i would practice going through different scenarios and and when i arrived at one that i thought would be the best course of action. That's why stick to and what's interesting is that the next time i compete it was the same competition just the following year.
Current examples. (01:23:50)
And i got up there i was more prepared than i had ever been i had been doing sports psychology for an entire year i took time off after my injury i was feeling strong i was making a ton of progress feeling confident. And i got up to platform and i missed my first squad attempt which is something that i could have done that i had done in training for five reps. So it's relatively light like something that you can do for five reps is like your eighty eighty five percent. And i missed it on depth so the judges from the side didn't think that my hip crease was below my knee that's how they determine depth and they gave me red lights. You know previously i would have reacted to that very upset i would have you know blame them for not seeing the right thing or whatever and i mean i just totally brushed it off like i was i felt like i had been there a million times. And you know when my my fiance was there he's like all worried about how i'm gonna react because in previous situations i would have been very upset and it would have thrown me completely off my game.
Alexa's story of bouncing back from a meet that didnt go as planned. (01:24:56)
Instead i just kinda laughed it off and was like i've been here before i know exactly what to do don't worry what had you rehearsed for that situation that you landed on. As is your choice exactly that that i know what to do that i trusted my capabilities that i was prepared that i had. Trained really well i was feeling strong i just kept repeating that to myself that was just a fluke. You know that i'm gonna go back in there a backup there and i'm gonna crush the second attempt was funny as i went up for the second attempt and got red lighted again. So that time i mean i was pretty much reliving my experience from the previous year that us open and you get three shots three shots yet. But same thing i was totally calm collected i just didn't again i didn't my perception of that failure was completely different i just thought. Of it as part of the game as something that happens that doesn't mean anything about my strength levels it doesn't mean anything about my abilities as an athlete. What does determine what my abilities as an athlete are how can i respond to unfortunate situations during training how fast can i pivot right how fast can i adapt to the competition standards. You know because judges are different every time bars are different platforms are different so the better athlete is the one that can adjust to those changes in competition standards the fastest. So that's what i did see left us with a cliffhanger see red lights for two attempts what happened for. Your third attempt on the squat and what happened for the lift excuse me for the meat yeah so i actually ended up going up in wait even though i had missed my first two attempts just because i was that sure that i have that i could do it like i just i knew it. I been there before in my mind so i went up in wait and i ended up making it. Where there any other particular tools or benefits maybe tools that you. Brought with you after doing a year roughly working a year with sports psychologist we worked a lot on especially being someone that so open on social media if i felt like. A lot of the pressure that i was feeling was important on me by just. Externally it's made up in my mind right it's like i felt like everyone was expecting something from me so i guess it was just circling back at what my why is why am i doing what i'm doing what am i trying to prove is it for myself is it for other people. And just always trying to circle back. And remember why i started this journey and what does it mean to me yeah and another thing i guess was working on staying positive when. You encounter bad training days cuz you know a lot of people see your instagram or youtube videos your training and they think that you never have bad days that you have some superhuman will power and motivation. The reality is that it's we all experience the same things you know we all go through days or weeks or months or years. Where we are completely unmotivated and we don't wanna do a certain thing so. Working on how to stay positive when things don't go your way when training sucks when you don't make progress when you fail reps every session when you feel like absolute crap when fifty percent feels like a hundred and ten percent. How do you stay positive and how do you. Are you able to show up to the gym the next day without you know without bringing that baggage from the previous session on to your next session and a story that really resonated with me was and i forgot where i read this web book it was but. It was about a professional golfer that he would literally not admit to himself or the media or anyone that he had lost a game. He would just totally erase that fact from his memory and just continue on as if nothing happened. And i started doing that and honestly my my training started going so much better once i was able to let go of. My disappointment on a particular session in once i stopped generalizing about outcome in a session to you know my entire block or i stopped thinking overly thinking about what that meant in terms of. Who i am as an athlete as a person you mentioned books so i'm gonna grab that particular books that you've gifted the most to other people or recommended the obstacles away.
Book recommendations. (01:29:19)
I ryan holiday yeah he's my neighbor minutes where i'm sitting sitting right now that i love that book so much man. Yeah excellent any others that come to mind yeah then i have with winning in mind i pretty much gifted that one to any high level athlete that i've been able to be friend. I think it's just such a powerful lesson i read it a long time ago but it's a really amazing read and then extreme ownership by jocko. Jacko willinkin extreme ownership we go back to the second one just because i didn't recognize it what was the second title again with winning in mind by carol black. I believe or not it's not girl like don't quote me i like i said i don't memorize things so with winning with winning in mind. Mental management system lanny basham lanny basham sense yes yeah what do you like about that book carol duke is the one from mindset. Yeah what's my guess the premise of the whole story is is about how you manage your mind. Within your training within your journey to. Stay positive and to continue doing what you love doing despite obstacles. That's the premise of the book i wouldn't be able to tell you details but it really changed the way that i approach my training in the way i perceived. Ups and downs cool yeah i'm looking at it here it's short hundred sixty two pages and give a brief description for folks. In the olympic sport that is most dependent upon effective and precise mental management in parentheses rifle shooting olympic gold meds lenny bass him bss ham. Proved he was the master and then it goes on and on that sounds like one to pick up and it's short so you're so most people will read it now you said you don't memorize stuff and yet. You have a doctor and physical therapy now that which you know one hand i think is you believe to have been a great investment of time but my understanding is that you did not.
Stefani'S Career Choices And Lessons Learned
Why Stefani chose to not take the physical therapy licensing exam. (01:31:29)
Take the licensing exam you didn't do it was expected of you afterwards so why did you do it why do you go through it and how did you do it without memorizing you must memorize the hell of a lot. And i forgot it immediately after i serve my brain is wired a little bit different man it really is. I'm a lot better at like critical thinking i'm a lot better at just like understanding a concept as a whole and then giving it my own twist and applying it to like real life situations so when it comes to like hardcore memorization like for example. Memorizing except ranges of motion of each joint or developmental stages and children i'm not good at that like i couldn't tell you a single thing about any of that. Make me think of this could be an apocryphal story but henry ford i think it was and someone asked him. If you knew the vice president of blah blah blah or something like that he couldn't name the person and this this this other. Guess who had made fun of them was getting up on his high horse and ford is like that's why i have a library i don't have to clutter my head with those details. Yes so why did why did you. Why did you pursue your dbt so initially you know i come from a family that values high level education a lot you know family of like lawyers and doctors and. I think that from a very early age i guess i started associating the word success with a high degree like a high level education either going to medical school or at least the very least getting a doctorate or a masters or something like that. So part of it i think was just pressure from my family initially. And i guess personally it's something that i also value like the prestige of being able to say that you're a graduate from a top school and that you were able to complete a program that. Only you know one percent or less of the population gets into that to me what all sounded amazing and i love a challenge so. That was part of the reason the next part was anything that i get into i wanna make sure that i'm giving it you know my best effort so if being in fitness is being in strength and conditioning was my goal if i wanted to be a trainer or whatever it was. The highest kind of degree or highest level of learning that i could do was. What's the doctor level degree physical therapy seemed like it would give me the tools to be the best trainer the best coach the best athlete that i could be so i was part of the reason now. When i was in my first year of grad school i started my own business but the whole on before i go there so. First year of grad school i had already gone through one of my clinical rotations and honestly like i just was having such a i had a. Not a great experience in grad school mainly because of how. Mainly because of the system right like i felt like. Are not i felt i knew because i was able to prove it that most of the information that was being thrown at us was extremely outdated. And pretty much the purpose of all of it was one to test to test your your commitment to the profession like to test how bad you wanted it you know you're taking. Something ridiculous like six to eight classes a semester and there's just so much information that. I didn't find applicable at all and was just so outdated and professors were so resistant to challenges you know i'd be that person sitting in the back row. Raising my hand and challenging you know something that the professors said actually with a lot of confidence and they wouldn't like that they don't like. When they're being questioned they don't like when there's a student that doesn't believe what they're saying and and asks. Things that they don't know how to answer so there was a lot of a lot of resistance there like with in school with my professors and then when it came to practice when i went on to my first clinical rotation. It was an experience a little bit of what the general field of physical therapy is like. It just wasn't what i thought it was gonna be you know when you're in a big clinic you're expected to see at least two patients at a time i didn't feel like patients were receiving. The best service for the best care at all cuz you're so all over the place having to do your notes and all of this. Remember this one experience i had with my first evaluation that i ever did i was in the room. My patient and i do everything by the book right so you have this steps abcde steps that you have to do when you're taking a history. I need to take doing your exam you're doing your evaluation you're doing your follow up questions then you do your doing your special tests and then you give a diagnosis so i went through all of it perfectly. Did my special tests and got something that made no sense you know like i got all positive tests or like three positive one negative that didn't make sense with any diagnosis that i had studied in my book. Excuse myself for a second for the patient i say help you right back go outside i talk to my instructor supervisor and i say hey man you know i did all the special tests nothing make sense i don't know what's wrong with this person shoulder. And he just says well make something up just give me a diagnosis any. I was just so shocked i was so shocked cuz i used to look up to him right as he was a mentor he was a supervisor was an instructor and the fact that that was his answer. Coupled with just the experience i had with my back pain and the lack of consistency and responses just made it so evident that. That's cool wasn't doing what i was supposed to do for people that we were going into a practical field with no practical knowledge. Essentially where we have a bunch of knowledge that is only useful for one thing and that's the past the licensure test.
Health professionals Stefani seeks out for their work. (01:37:38)
So that's why i didn't go that route who are some of the people out there if any come to mind who have doctor and physical therapy. Who's insights or work you track or admire who you think do good practical. Work greg leeman is the first one that comes to mind how do you spell out greg leeman leh. And he said that so he's a yet he's i think the first degree he got was in chiropractic so he went to school study get his car back to gree. Then he went on to studying getting a doctorate in biomechanics and then he went back to physical therapy school. So he's done in terms of breath of experience and knowledge and different camps of thought he has it all right he has the perspective as a car he has a perspective as a scientist conducts research and biomechanics and understands. The physics of the body and then physical therapy which is more of a science of movement so. I mean his lectures are absolutely amazing he's able to incorporate a little bit of everything into the way that he treats and has a really interesting perspective i've actually had a few sessions with him they're all. What they're all done over zoom i think you very rarely practices in person very rarely puts his hands on anyone because he's been his whole thing is how can you deliver or how can you. Place the power on the patient instead of positioning yourself as a guru as like some someone that people savior savior right so it's it's about giving the power to the patient and. This should be about patient self-reliance about them building a sense of autonomy and self-efficacy. Early as possible instead of having them be overly reliant on you as a therapist so most of my sessions you know where an hour an hour and a half long and they were long discussions about a lot of things because there's a lot of things that affect your perception of pain like we're saying. So stress my environment my coping strategies perceptions on movements and all of these things like a great example is. For example if you have a paper cut on your finger like how much importance are you gonna place on that you personally but you probably put a band aid on and move on and not think about it until it heals and then the bandage falls off and then you're fine. But a violin player gets a paper cut on the finger that they use to press on those strings and. Their response to pain and their association with that injury is going to be completely different to yours because within the context and within his profession that means a lot more to that person so it's important. Going back to greg you please a lot of importance on those conversations like what does an injury mean to you in the context of your life. And keep that smart yeah and it's just it's it's super super interesting the way that he treats.
On quitting quickly and with purpose. (01:40:42)
What have you changed your mind on in the last handful of years anything stand out. Yeah I love telling this story when I was in college and I stopped playing soccer. I was kind of like on this quest to rediscovering myself and finding what the next thing was going to be same same as far as my what what profession I wanted to get into you know you're throwing in college and you're expected to know what you want to study that's crazy I think there's only a handful of people. That know with absolute certainty what they want to be when they grow up you know it's like your plastic surgeons like those kids were playing with. Surgical kits when they were three and just know that that's what they love and that's what they're passionate about or have been conditioned to think that that's what they want. Either way that wasn't my case I had a very vague idea of where I wanted to be. I know I wanted to be you know a public figure I knew I wanted to lecture I want I know I wanted to write a book I knew I wanted to be a professional athlete but I wasn't necessarily attached to anyone. Route or anyone path. So for the longest time I spent a long time in this discovery period or sampling period where I would get into something I would try it for sometimes for a long time sometimes for a short time and then I would quit and move on to the next thing. But it was strategic quitting just I didn't know it at the time and the person I was dating at the time I my ex boyfriend. He one time he's a I remember I got a specialized bike because I wanted to get into triathlons and he criticized that a lot he said Steph why are you investing so much money into a bike when everything you try you quit almost immediately your quitter. And that was that was shocking to me especially coming from someone's you know so close to me that he was calling me a quitter and I just didn't I didn't identify myself as a quitter I would feel like it was a complete opposite. I am resilient and persistent and consistent now I'm not a quitter but I was right like within the classical definition of quitting yeah it was I was trying a bunch of different things and quitting a bunch of things but. Like I said it was more strategic than anything I was just trying to trying to discover myself and what I'm good at and the way I think about it is. There's kind of like in my head how I separated is there's three kind of components to finding something that you get out you have your your skills your talents and your passions and what you're essentially trying to do is find the best balance of the three you shouldn't hope to put. Again you all of your eggs in one basket it's not only about what you're passionate about which is is part of the worst advice that people can can give you is do what you love. I couldn't disagree with that more because it's about finding that balance between your skills so it's their skills or something that you can work at that you can you see progress when you practice it. Your talents is an inherent ability so something that you're born with like for example I was born like physiologically to. Have the capability to get stronger so that's a talent I have that something that you can't really teach and then a passion is something that you're interested in the funny thing is that when your skills and talents match up. You can start developing a passion for that because everyone likes to be successful so you can start developing. A passion or a love for something that you didn't know your passion about just because you are you're you're standing out from the crowd so. From that sampling period was so important because I was able to find stuff that I was really really good at sports that I was really really good at. I'm in a profession that I was really really good at because I was curious because the way that I think about things was scientific and I was able to excel in those things because because I sampled. So the notion that winners never quit is just so flawed is such a fallacy and it does such a disservice to people because it. Discourages people from trying new things because they're afraid that they're. They're not gonna like it or they're gonna be bad at it or they're afraid to fail and. The reality is that it's a good thing it's a good thing especially when you quit for the right reasons so what are the right reasons to quitting is when you identify that there's like an upper limit for where you can get. You know you identify maybe something within yourself that you that you won't be able to overcome that you just won't be able to be better than your competition. Versus quitting for the wrong reasons which is quitting when you first encounter resistance you know that's cowardly because things are gonna get tough at some point you just gotta know. You just gotta be very strategic again like I said of when you're quitting and not being afraid to quit for those reasons and I think I read this on. I believe it's the dip by Seth Godin the sunk cost fallacy so it's basically when you've invested some time or money into something. It kind of tricks you into not wanting to leave it because respectfully you're like oh every spent all this time it's it's what happened to me in PT school. I think that's one of the reasons why I didn't quit was because I had already invested a year of my life and a year of tuition into that and I was like you know I might as well stay. Obviously there were other reasons for me to stay in it and up ended up being really positive for me but that's what keeps people in jobs they hate. That's what keeps people from not taking a risk and starting their own business or not switching sports or careers or friendships or partners. So winners never quit and quitters never win false in the life experience of Steffi Koehn and by the way yeah she's broken 25 world records so. Most of you all can just shut the fuck up. Although it does take a certain sensitivity and degree of. Refined. Perception and self-awareness to identify what you are good at and not trick yourself into thinking that you are just sampling when in fact you are. Stopping due to pain or discomfort or setbacks or plateaus right so it does require a certain amount of reflection. To go through that sampling period and then. Double down and triple down on a few areas or one area where you truly have an advantage that you can learn to love yeah it does it does take some awareness absolutely and you make. That poor decision sometimes for example I think I made the wrong decision when it came to soccer the reason why I stopped playing soccer I think wasn't the right one if there's one thing I could change about my password have been to try harder. In soccer yeah let's talk about something that popped up when I was texting with a few people who know you a decaj you prompted me to ask about time management whether. It was all time well invested or not you completed your doctorate while training to break 25 world records and simultaneously creating a successful business which I think we haven't spent a whole lot of time on but you have you have built and scaled. Business very successfully so you're doing all of those things simultaneously at least at one point in time. How do you think about time management or what are some of the key components to. Doing that much simultaneously what sacrifices are made or how would you encourage people to think about it because that does seem. To be unusual capacity to do that I actually I love this question because I have a very non traditional answer think a lot of quote unquote high achievers or high performers. Have this seemingly very well constructed and organized weekly monthly yearly schedules where there were everything's plan they have like. Times where they do certain things and times where they don't times where they whatever like they're very seem to be very organized and for a long time. I tried to be that way no red things like the 7 habits of highly effective people and the 4 hour work week and I was always. Burn that second one terrible advice and I just felt so frustrated because I didn't feel like I was like everyone else so to a certain extent I felt. Like I was an imposter I'm a lazy successful person that's that's how I would feel I'm pretending that I have all the habits of all these successful people when in reality I'm not like them I do things very differently. You know I don't do well with inflexible schedules I don't have an agenda that's all color coded and highlighted I don't have morning ritual I really don't I'm more of like a free spirit I'm a procrastinator I am organized my mind is over the place.
Getting through physio school, (01:49:40)
Hold on I read that having been said it's not like you're just eating cheetos and watching reruns of Seinfeld and smoking smoking out of a bong all day to when you're getting a dpt and the training and this successful business done at the same time so as a free spirit how the hell does that. How does how does that get done right so I mean for a long time I tried to be like other people and I just found that it's just not it wasn't gonna work for me so. The way I do things is I focus on the task at hand so what do I need to do right now to either finish a project or to move in the right direction and I do that and I used to cycle it based on prioritizing. So for example when while I was in physical therapy school I knew that there would come weeks of increased workload. When I was doing practicals or when I was doing or there was a thesis or there were midterms or final exams I knew those times were high stress and I knew that whether I liked it or not I was gonna have to spend extra time. Inside study which is why I actually built a home gym in my living room when I was in a second floor apartment. Probably not the smartest thing to do but your neighbors downstairs love you hate it. But yeah you know that's that's what I had to do so when those times would come in pressure was on was time to study. I would just come to terms with except that training was gonna take the backseat in hybrid my business with gonna take the backseat for those two weeks while I focus on this one very important thing which is staying in school. Which was more difficult than it sounds because they had a very strict policy where if you got anything less than a 75% on any test you would get kicked out which I did. But we're gonna cut we're gonna have to come back to that so okay continue so so yeah I just focused on the task at hand if there were tests coming up I would focus all my energy on that and I would train as much as I could whether it was a 10 minute workout or a 20 minute workout it didn't matter. And I didn't feel pressure to spend any more time at the gym 'cause I knew that once you know once the midterms or finals were done I was gonna have more time and then when that was done I would double down on on my training and on my business I would skip class. I would spend 4 or 5 hours at the gym I would do double sessions when I had the time. So I just basically played it by ear I did what I had to do when I had to do it and somehow everything got done. It sounds like me correct me if I'm wrong but you are very good at single tasking right you're not multitasking you're not doing 17 different things in a given day you are identifying for the next 2 or 4 weeks or 2 months or 4 months whatever it might be. What the most important thing is to move forward and then you just basically drop everything else and maybe not drop but you you focus almost all of your energy on that one thing exactly. You get kicked out of school this is for getting less than 75 on a test that was a horrific experience let me tell you so I have never I've never failed a test in my life even though you know in college I wasn't that applied in high school I was I wasn't that applied I somehow always pass my test you know I'm like a B plus student. And somehow I failed this test of the silliest class ever you know that class that you think to yourself is such an easy test I don't even have to study that was that was a type of class. And I took my test I disconnected completely I went to Canada for Christmas with with Hayden with my fiance didn't think about school at all. Then all of a sudden I get back home you know 2 or 3 weeks later and there's a pile a pile of letters from the head of the school and head administrator of the school and I'm like oh my God is not good I open them up and. Basically it was the first one that said hi you have 7 days to submit an appeal you failed. I think it was evaluation treatments and evaluation class with a 74 you have to submit an appeal in 7 days otherwise you're going to be dismissed from the program and then there was letters like every day after that day saying you know we haven't heard from you were. Taking you out of the roster with taking you out of the class we're kicking you out of the program because we didn't hear from you essentially. And that was the most terrifying moment of my life I just felt like such a loser I felt like I was you know getting kicked out of school that's big anyway you know I. made an appointment to speak with the head of admissions and to speak with the entire committee of academic review and they ended up giving me an appointment giving me an opportunity to appeal. Given the circumstances I didn't really know that they were trying to contact me I just kind of disconnected I didn't expect to fail a test I guess. And I sat down in a room with with I guess there were 15 or 20 professors it was a round table huge round table and I'm in the middle. And pretty much you know I'm just being asked why do I deserve a second chance why they should let me back in why do I think I failed why am I going to do different. But the question or the statement I guess that stood out to me the most was this one professor his name's Dr. Fybert which by the way I love him now and I think I love him more because he challenged me. I guess that's how I that's how I perform my best when there's a challenge when people don't believe in me so he stared at me right in the eye and he goes. Steph I just think the problem here is that you're not as strong as a student as you think you are and I think you're going to have to make the decision between. Becoming a professional athlete or becoming a professional student but I don't think you're capable of doing both. And I just looked at him in the eyes and I said Professor Fybert you know with all due respect I appreciate your your criticism but I just I have to disagree with that statement I think what happened was a fluke. I think I'm more than capable as a student I think I'm more than capable to do both things I just. Wasn't focused on on the right thing I was something happened with that test I didn't focus enough didn't study enough but I think I'm capable of doing it and they ended up granting me a second chance but from there on that was my first second semester of grad school. And from there on I just my professors were all up in my ass basically for the. Until until I graduated because they just thought I was this rebel I would I would get to school more often than not late probably from training with a barbell in my hand because I would train at noon as well so I would take the lunch break the train. You carried your barbell with you. My barbell. Don't call me a meathead I'm just carrying my barbell around the class. There's nothing to see. And meanwhile my spine professor would be like you're gonna break your back doing all those set lives you know people thought I was crazy but yeah I made it I didn't fail a single more tests. For the entire three years was the most honestly the most stressful three years of my life just because I felt like getting kicked out was so eminent you know I just felt like I was one slip away from being picked up. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. But I made. You made it you made it and and much more so let's let's do a few more questions and then we can we can bring around round one to close I know we didn't get a chance to talk about diet you are exceptionally expert in diet so we have another chance to discuss that we have a nice chest talk about boxing there's a lot there's a lot we could explore we're not gonna have a chance to explore today but let me ask you.
Favorite failures/moments of adversity, (01:57:01)
Two things aside from school and the failing of that tested do you have any favorite failures that you learned a lot from or that set you up for in some way later success could be also a dark period but just any anything particularly challenging that comes to mind that in some way ended up helping you. Yes so actually my favorite quote and this is the only quote I have memories is each fresh crisis is an opportunity in disguise. I can remember where I first read it but it resonated with me so much because honestly every single time I've failed at something it's been the best worst thing that has ever happened to me it's opened so many doors and so many. New opportunities when you look for them there there so I think every single time I've experienced any sort of failure I've been able to get out of it better than ever. I guess one of the most biggest ones was getting out kicked out of school and just having to like reframe how I thought about school and how I studied and my habits and how I organized my study my training but I said from that I mean. There's many moving to the us on my own you know starting with like a 2.5 GPA not knowing if I was going to be able to stay in school not understanding the language having to take multiple steps back in several classes retake classes that let me to discover other passions. Well you're bombing out in that competition probably in some way yeah failed relationships infidelity issues. With partners that let me to kind of rediscover myself.
Lesson's she's learned (01:59:04)
And change my perceptions on relationships and what kind of things I can do better to be a better partner friendships ending failed friendships failed relationships with my family with my dad. That all ended up teaching me a ton you know I think that society glorifies happiness society glorifies you know being in a good mood and being happy and being positive and fails to acknowledge the important lessons that happen when you're. Going through dark periods of time when you're going through tough times and so I mean those are so important look at the beginning of this year when the pandemic first started. I did my last part of the competition of this year in February and my back pain got exacerbated a lot I did a massive weight cut cut like 20 pounds in a period of like 2 weeks. I broke some world records and then my back was flared up worse than ever and. It's upsetting it's frustrating especially after you know I wrote a book about back pain and I'm having a hard time managing it. So I fell into this really deep depression cuz I felt like my identity was being stripped out of me my identity as an athlete my identity as a high level top performer my identity as an authority in academia when it comes to back pain when it comes to injuries when it comes to strength training I felt like I didn't know what I was talking about anymore cuz I couldn't even figure it out for myself. And you know that couple that with with a pandemic everything closing off I felt like my life was just kind of spiraling downwards out of control I spent a couple weeks like that just being feeling pity for myself feeling really bad about the situation about the cards that I was dealt about my back about. Potentially not being able to lift again I didn't know about the livelihood of my business how is how is the pandemic gonna impact my my income and all of these other things that just you know created an unsurmountable amount of anxiety for me. And I think when that passes I think it's like just it's part of the process to go through those. A couple weeks or a month it I do believe it's important to give yourself a time cap for how long you're gonna feel bad for yourself cuz otherwise she just end up stuck in that face for way too long. So I remember just making the conscious decision to stop feeling bad about myself and about my situation and trying to. To see the positive and the opportunities that lied within that so when it came to sports I bought a heavy bag and I put it in my garage and that led to kareem my new coach reaching out to me and wanting to make me a pro fighter. That opened you know the possibility for me to get into a new sport. End up and make close the door for networking for example that was a big part of how I gained exposure travel for podcast i lectured i am appeared on youtube videos that was a big competitions were cancelled so i. Initially was really worried about how that was gonna impact my my ability to continue growing my business and growing my my social platform and i guess my personal brand. So i double down on other things like we created a whole series of master classes that we're starting to offer created like five courses we finished our coaches certification for hybrid writing a manuscript a full text book. We invested in our team we found new software developers we know we did so many good things for the business that i guess we wouldn't have done if everything stayed the same. End it ended up being everything was okay you know and i think it's that change of mindset that change of trying to find the opportunities within. What seems like the worst thing that could have ever happened to you and they're always there is just a matter of changing your attitude your perception of what failure is and finding ways to see the beauty in that failure and what kind of opportunities present on the other side. Each fresh crisis is an opportunity in disguise good advice good maximum.
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The Four Hour Workweek (02:03:02)
For life in general and fingers crossed for twenty twenty one but no matter what transpires always always looking for the opportunity hidden in the crisis excellent advice this has been so much fun people can find. You all over the place hybrid performance method dot com instagram at stephie cohen on youtube. Your podcast hybrid unlimited is there anything else you would like to say or ask of the audience any closing comments anything at all they like to share before we. Bring this first conversation to a close i think the only thing that i wasn't able to address cuz we kept getting sidetracked on, on site stories was the summary of recommendations that you're asking me like what do you do when you have an injury like step by step. Yeah quickly yeah i'll do just one two three four five six like the bullet points. Lightning yes so when you're hurt these are the six things that you should be doing any injury this applies to any injury the first thing is stop doing what hurts it seems like common sensical but at the same time is something that a lot of people trick themselves into thinking they don't need. That's definitely always the first step so take a step back and don't be afraid of taking some time off you know you take one step back two steps forward kinda thing. Don't underestimate isometric exercises or or seemingly simple exercises cuz it's all about delivering positive movement experiences when you're in pain. So it's about finding movements that feel good to you and that don't exacerbate your pain increasing the amount of aerobic activity that you do so walking more. Moving more in general there's a saying in p.t. that's overstated but motion is lotion and that is true you know the more that you move more blood flow goes into your joints the better it is and the more you avoid that deconditioning loop because what are people tend to do when they're in pain is they stop moving. Altogether cuz they think that that's what they need but bed rest and immobilization is all outdated you wanna move as much as as you can essentially using pain to optimize your movement so. Knowing so the way that I think about it is kind of like a stoplight. 3 out of 10 of pain means go 3 to 6 means warning and over 6 means definitely don't do that so use pain to inform your training decisions and the movements that you do once you've done all of that. You gotta turn off the pain alarm so for a period of time it's okay to avoid certain movements but then you know you shouldn't be avoiding movements forever so starting to expose yourself to tolerable. Ranges of motion intolerable movements that don't make your pain worse so that you can get back to the movements that you used to do that bring joy to your life and then understanding the final one is understanding that tissue adaptation takes time so. Sometimes we're married to this very rigid healing times that we see on the internet. We like okay how long does it take for an elbow injury to heal okay 2 to 4 weeks and then 4 weeks go by and you're still in pain and you think something's wrong with you but oftentimes nothing's wrong with you just have different sensitivities to pain and different ways that we deal with it. And different healing times and so just don't rush the process and understand that everyone experiences pain and injuries at a different speed. That's it and that's it the new book is back in motion in motion I have been very impressed with a lot of the writing and can't wait to see what you do next. Especially with boxing looking forward to seeing the in front of it and I would not want to get punched by you so I will remain on the sidelines clapping like a fan fanboy. We've mentioned a couple of different options for people to find you are there any other places or resources you'd like to mention that's all covered in all. Alright well stuff thank you so much for taking the time today to be on the show. And to everyone listening we will have links to all the topics all the people all the books all the exercises and so on that came up today you will find those as usual i turned up log forward slash podcast. And until next time each fresh crisis is an opportunity in disguise keep it in mind. Enjoy variability pay attention to your GPP and thanks for tuning in. Hey guys this is Tim again just a few more things before you take off number one this is five bullet Friday do you want to get a short email from me. Would you enjoy getting a short email from me every Friday that provides a little more soul of fun for the weekend and five bullet Friday is a very short email. Right share the coolest things I found or that I've been pondering over the week that could include favorite new albums that I've discovered it could include gizmos and gadgets and all sorts of weird shit that I've somehow dug up. In the other world of the esoteric as I do it could include favorite articles that I've read and that I've shared with my close friends for instance and it's very short it's just a little tiny bite. Of goodness before you head off for the weekend so if you want to receive that check it out just go to four hour workweek.com that's four hour workweek.com all spelled out and just drop in your email and you will get the very next one and if you sign up I hope you enjoy.
What is Belcampo. (02:08:35)
This episode is brought to you by element spelled L M N T what on earth is element it is a delicious sugar free electrolyte drink mix I've stocked up on boxes and boxes of this was one of the first things that I bought. When I saw covid coming down the pike and I usually use one to two per day element is formulated to help anyone with their electrolyte needs and perfectly suited to folks following a keto low carb or paleo diet or if you drink a ton of water and you might not have the right balance. That's often when I drink it or if you're doing any type of endurance exercise mountain biking etc another application if you've ever struggled to feel good on keto low carb or paleo. It's most likely because even if you're consciously consuming electrolytes you're just not getting enough and relates to a bunch of stuff like a hormone called a dosteron blah blah blah when insulin is low but suffice to say this is where element again spelled L M N T can help.
How to spell "lmnt?" (02:09:29)
My favorite flavor by far is citrus salt which is a side note you can also use to make a kick ass no sugar margarita but for special occasions obviously you're probably already familiar with one of the names behind it. Rob Wolf R O B B Rob Wolf who is a former research biochemist and two time New York Times bestselling author of the paleo solution and wired to eat Rob created element by scratching his own itch. That's how it got started. His Brazilian jujitsu coaches turned him on to electrolytes as a performance enhancer. Things clicked and bam company was born. So if you're on a low carb diet or fasting electrolytes play a key role in relieving hunger cramps headaches tiredness and dizziness sugar artificial ingredients coloring. All that's garbage unneeded. There's none of that in element and a lot of names you might recognize are already using element is recommended to be by one of my favorite athlete friends. Three Navy SEAL teams as prescribed by their master chief marine units FBI sniper teams at least five NFL teams who have subscriptions. They are the exclusive hydration partner to Team USA weightlifting and on and on. You can try it risk free if you don't like it. Element will give you your money back. No questions asked. They have extremely low return rates. Element came up with a very special offer for you my dear listeners for a limited time you can claim a free element sample pack. You only cover the cost of shipping for US customers. This means you can receive an eight count sample pack for just five dollars. Simply go to drink elements dot com slash Tim. That's drink element dot com slash Tim to claim your free eight count sample pack. One more time that's drink L M N T dot com slash Tim for this exclusive offer drink elements dot com slash Tim. Check it out.
Sponsored by Tonal (02:11:13)
This episode is brought to you by tonal T O N A L. I'm super excited about this one and I was skeptical of it in the beginning. Tonal quote Tonal is the world's most intelligent home gym and personal trainer end quote. That's the tagline from their website folks to give you the one sentence summary. And this device it's really a system is perfect for anyone looking to take their home workouts to the next level or someone who just wants to get maximum bang for the buck in a tiny tiny footprint of space. Tonal is precision engineered to be the world's most advanced strength studio and personal trainer. Uses breakthrough technology of all different types to help get you stronger faster. I was introduced to total by three different friends. All of them are tech savvy. One of them is a former competitive skier who's doubled his strength and a number of limits using total even though he has a long athletic background.
What are some experiences that helped him to see invisible systems at play? (02:12:06)
And I'll paint a picture for you by eliminating traditional metal weights dumbbells and barbells. Tonal can deliver 200 pounds of resistance which doesn't sound like a lot but it's actually it feels like a lot more at the high end. In a device smaller than a flat screen TV and you can perform at least 150 different exercises and these different technologies are exclusive to total. You can dial weights up and down with the touch of a button in one pound increments using magnets and electricity so the movement is extremely smooth. And even though I have a home gym already in my garage I'm still getting a total installed. I've used total for multiple workouts now to do things I just cannot do in my home gym such as the chop and lift exercises from our body all sorts of cable exercises that would usually involve much much bigger piece of equipment. Decentric training for instance you can do to give a simple example bicep curls where you are lifting let's just say 20 pounds in each hand up and then total automatically increase the weight because you can lower more than you can lift to say 25 or 30 pounds on the way down. And I do kettlebell swings. I do all sorts of deadlifts this that and other thing. And after one workout on total focusing on pulling I was blasted for a full week. It's really incredible what you can do with centrics. They also have all sorts of other really really cool advantages that you can apply to any of your favorite movements total learns from your strength and provides suggested weight recommendations for every move.
Focus On Privacy Issues
What are Evan and Ryan focusing on in the privacy space right now? (02:13:38)
Detailed progress reports to help you see your strengths grow total also has a growing library of expert led workouts by motivating coaches from strength training to cardio so you can do really just about everything. Every program is personalized to your body using artificial intelligence and other aspects of the engineering and smart features. Check your form in real time just like a personal trainer. So try it out. Try tonal at least check it out. Watch the videos on YouTube and see if you can pick out a familiar voice. It's not me. I'll say that. But try tonal the world's smartest home gym for 30 days in your home. And if you don't love it you can return it for a full refund. So visit www.tonal.com for $100 off of smart accessories when you use promo code TIM at checkout. That's www.tonal.com promo code TIM. Tonal. Be your strongest.