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In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • How the world “programmed” you to become average. (1:40)
  • The biggest lie “experts” tell you about weightlifting (they don’t want you to know how easy fitness is). (7:36)
  • One hidden addiction that makes your workouts harder and your life miserable. (9:51)
  • How to get the healthy, fit and lean body you want without working harder. (16:45)
  • Learn this “language” and you’ll always know how hard to push on your workouts. (17:12)
  • Why “beast mode” is mostly hanging out (many would call this lazy, but you’ll see better results). (23:01)

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Get to the bottom of what's truly healthy in this crazy complex world so you can take back what is rightfully yours. Welcome to the health sovereign podcast. This is your host Logan Christopher.

(00:19): Welcome back. We continue our conversation with strong men, speaker and author David Whitley. In the first step of sewed, we talked about the strong men's journey and why that is important for health, how strength is tied into vitality, and also begin diving into the methods of Wim Hoff. From here we talk a lot about listening to the body and multiple facets around that. So let's rejoin the conversation now.

(00:45): So you brought up a subject I want to go into, but first I want to address that and it was good how you talked about seeing Dennis bend the wrench that extended your perceptions of what was even possible as far as strength. And then here with whom you saw him plunge under the ice and swim and that extended your perceptions of what was possible. How much for, I guess, I'm trying to think of how to word this question. The average person out there, we all can find in kind of an illusion of what reality actually is when as you and I will know, the limitations are less than we think. Yeah, there are some limitations, but we can be superhuman in the sense of going outside, just the average bubble. What do you think keeps people locked there? Because there are so many examples of this. If you just kind of go out there and look, but beyond just the perceptions, what keeps people kind of locked into just being average? I guess? I believe that

(01:44): From a very early age we are programmed to be afraid of things that really don't present any actual danger. I think that, and that's seeps so deeply into our subconscious from the time we're born until we're about seven years old, we are perpetually in fatal wave, which is an, as you know, far better than I do is how you download information without having to go through the steps of learning. It really, you know, you just absorb it. And since my son was born a year and a half ago, I have seen firsthand in a way that I had never anticipated how very, very true that is because he just absorbed everything like a sponge. I mean that's the way we all were. Just like we could all do a full perfect deep squat at one point in our lives, you know, so we all come through that. But what we wind up inheriting from people who mean very well for us, but they're missing both in terms of the actual danger of the world around us and misinformed in terms of what our actual potential is.

(02:49): We pick up missions that they've carried that they've no doubt inherited from their parents and so forth and certain, and not parents, but like from their environment. And it goes back generations to generations like I understand, but cold can kill you, right? It's absolutely possible to get so cold that you die. But the flip side of that is if you live in a house and it's 30 degrees Fahrenheit outside and you're going to go get in your car and drive to go see the movie, you don't really need to bundle up in a hat and boots and gloves and a scarf and another coat and a sweatshirt to walk 45 steps to your car to drive to the movie theater to get out to walk 45 steps into the movie theater. You know? But it's such a primal fear of the cold and you know, you go back for tunes, I would, I would say that there would be a whole lot more people that each one of us would know that died from cold exposure than there is now.

(03:55): I mean, I've never met anyone who knows anyone that died from cold exposure. I'm just using the cold as an example. I think that we are a social animal and so we don't want to Rupt the social expectation. And so over the generations of information being passed from one person to the next, what is actually possible has kind of gotten squelched or muted or tearing down and it takes a specific kind of inquisitive mind to think, wait a minute, in order to understand anything, I've got to start questioning everything. And so it's like, well, you know, they say this, well who the hell are they? And what they know about me is really the attitude that we wind up having to take in. And that winds up with us doing things like, you know, Ben and wrenches or pulling trucks with their hair or whatever. Right.

(04:44): And now when the major fruits I'm working on is hanging myself and I'm actually enjoying the fact that a lot of people do not like me even going for that one. Sure. Yeah. A few people, like you mentioned Mike machine, Bruce, he's done a few other strong men in the past. And so I was like, yeah, I think I can handle that one. Let's go after it in a smart way. Of course.

(05:06): Yeah. Well, absolutely. In an intelligent way. What does the body actually capable of? You don't really know until it's too late, but if you're smart going into it then, then you know, way before you get there, if you can keep everything as comfortable as possible. And I'm about to go on a tangent with that, but I do want to say something about Mike. The machine I helped Mike the machine set his world records when it was probably 2011 2012 something like that. Five eight inch diameter steel bars bent across his throat. I think we did seven of them in just under a minute. And there's video of that and yes, like in any other world except the one you and I open where we're talking about these stuff that's attempted murder, you know, but he called me up and I had done the feet with him sometimes.

(05:52): We had done two shows on the same day and I'd done it twice in one day. And he's like, listen, I want give to this world record thing is shot. And you're the one that I trust the most to bend these bars. Will you do it with me? And I of course, absolutely agreed. And I still to this day chastise him and said, I don't know why you got the world record. I bent seven bars. All you did was not the videos on YouTube. It's not on YouTube. But if you search for Mike Bruce world record, you'll see and it's hard to watch. Yeah, they'll try to find the link to that and put it in the show notes though. People listening can go down silvern.com and check that out. But as far as the idea of what's actually possible and limitations and stuff like that, one of the biggest, and if what I said earlier about you, sometimes you don't know until you've crossed the line whether you should have done something or not.

(06:39): Right. And I almost never go that far into, into any feed or any physical expression of power on particularly the cold because you know, the gold can kill it. And I know that both of us have an influence and have Frankie Ferriss we're with. And I'm Adam Glass of course being one of the guys who is a phenomenal coach and example of how that kind of training works. And you know, there's this pervasive thing that, and I think that the RKC was a huge proponent of this back in the days that you and I met. And then I believe CrossFit has a huge component of this. And I believe that the whole like tough Mudders, Spartan race kind of thing, appeals and all of those things, this aspect of humans wanting to test what they can actually do. But the operative word there is testing it because sometimes you take a test and you fail.

(07:35): And so I believe there's this in the fitness world that you really have to go all out, balls the wall and kill yourself and not be able to walk and throw up and all that kind of stuff in order to be able to make any meaningful progress or to achieve these superhuman level of anything. And the fact is that is absolutely not true. And I know you know it and, and I know it too that the best way to ex your current limits is to never go near them. It's to keep everything and make everything as easy as you can. Qual. It still provides a dose of whatever stimulus you need that moves you in the direction that you want to go. When that clicked for me, that was huge. A big concept and you brought it up but I was definitely going to go there cause this is something a wanted to discuss and it is, I'd say it's like 99% of the fitness world is all about this give 110% all about the physical and mental toughness and there is a time and a place for those.

(08:33): But your standard workout should not really be that place in my picture. Sure. I mean if you're trying to, you know, get a little bit stronger, move a little bit better and maybe a few pounds of, why are you pretending that you're a Navy seal? You know, it doesn't make sense to train with that method or to approach it with that attitude. I believe the attitude is more important than the method because once you get the attitude figured out that like, Hey, I can work up to being able to, I use myself as an example. I can work up to being able to pull a note in one hand, hit it with the other hand and break it open without ever putting myself in any physical harm without ever getting injured, without any jeopardy to them. If I approach it intelligently. Same thing as you with the hanging yourself, right? I know that you know your body and you understand how progression works and how overload works and how adaptation works and I have no doubt that you're going to safely hang yourself and then get down and then 10 minutes later you're going to be, you know, sipping a cup of coffee and having a conversation.

(09:36): Yeah. I like to say if you're going to be stupid, be smart and the reason you'll do that is because, exactly, yeah. Absolutely. One of the, I've been thinking about this for a number of years. So many people as you were saying, there is an idea people want to push themselves, but it also seems like there is an addiction to pain or something. They deserve to be into the ground, but really it goes kind of like treating the body like an enemy versus what I like to go for is treating the body as an ally. Once you understand like yeah, you need to, everyone should get to a point where they realize their mind can override something. You can just by will alone push yourself to thing. But that comes with the downside is that you can do that and end up hurting yourself because you've overwritten those signals of the body so much more. So if we can use the body as an ally, it's sending signals, it's biofeedback all the time. If we can only learn to learn the language, which unfortunately almost no one out there knows how to interpret these signals, but they're there and then we can really treat the body like an ally. And in that way, progress forward, move forward. Whether it is in cold exposure or strength training or a variety of other things as well.

(10:52): Yeah, yeah, definitely. And to go back to Neville again, there's a quote from him to attempt to change circumstances before we change our internal conversations is to struggle against the very nature of things. Right. And so when you said what you just said there about people being addicted to, I don't want to say they're addicted to pain, I think they avoid pain, but I think they're addicted to punishment. And so that sets up a conflict within themselves, which is evidenced by the way some, you know, some of the phrases, I only compete against myself, you know, that kind of thing. Well, if you think about that, someone has to lose. If you're, you are competing against you 100% of the time, you're going to lose even if you win. You know, that kind of internal conversation, I believe, has ramifications that most of us don't think about because we just, it just doesn't occur to us.

(11:48): Right. I remember a few years ago I was having a Facebook messenger conversation with the girl who had reached out to me to potentially talk about online coaching and you know, was asking her what she had been doing and she had been doing, she had gone to someone like generic personal trainer kind of thing and in the conversation she said how much I really, really hated her arms over and over again. Like like probably five or six times in this conversation. She said that she hated her arms and she wanted them to be different. I guess she had like, you know, the just the look of them was something that wasn't pleasing to her and she wound up not signing on as a client with me. But I did check back in with her to kind of follow up and see how she was doing about a week later and she had gone to a workout after she had gone on a, to use her words, a bad eating day cause she be to her food, which is a hour long conversation.

(12:45): We could have some of my opinions, but she had gone basically to have this trainer, a Terry transplants. That's what it involves, sprinting and a tire. And she had no business doing it because she was probably close to a hundred pounds overweight and she fell and broke her arm. And I'm like, couple of weeks ago you were telling me how much you hate your arms and now you've literally broken one of them. And I could not get to her that she had brought that about herself, you know? And they got me thinking about how, how we talk to ourselves and how we will say things about ourselves to ourselves that we would never say to another person ever. And that for a lot of us it is minute by minute conversations about how we're attempting to shame ourselves into getting better and focusing only on the things about ourselves that we do not like rather than being grateful. And I don't know why I wound up going off on this tangent.

(13:42): No, it's interesting because there's a strong parallel. You were saying, and I think you did choose the better word, that people are addicted to punishment, right? So if you hit your arms or you hate that you're fat, then often you're going to not just have issues with working out, but with eating, right. It's so many people are emotionally eating. They're doing it to numb the pain or the punishment, but it may be feeding into that loops. Like, I hate myself, so you know, I don't even deserve to look good or feel good or have energy or any of these things. I think, yeah, it is a deep psychological hole, we can go down, but I'm really looking at that self-talk of the beliefs people have for good or ill. Right? Like you believe I'm a flat slab and I can't do anything or I believe I can bend a wrench and hang myself and do it unscathed. And the results by this.

(14:32): Yeah. And either way, you're right. Yeah. Paraphrase Henry Ford on that one. You know, I had a thought and it just escaped me. Oh, I know what it was. The whole idea that you somehow have to go out and beat yourself into submission physically is just ridiculous. If you logically stop and think about, and again is ideas that I picked up from Adnan and Frankie. If we take someone who has been sedentary all their lives and there's, let's say they're in their fifties and they've worked a desk job for 20 years or 30 years and they've never done any sort of physical training and they've gotten a little overweight or they are in some pain or they don't feel like they move as well as they want to and they come to a fitness professional to get that sorted out in the way that they want it to be.

(15:19): If you're in the fitness world, you can identify the desk jockeys the moment they walk in the door because they had this kind of rounded back kyphotic posture and shoulders story internally rotated forward. And what we're looking at here is someone who's been sitting at a desk in this slumped over posture for eight to 10 hours a day for years and they sit that way in their car. They sit that way. When they eat, they sit that way when they are hanging out, relaxing, watching TV or whatever, and then I lay down and go to sleep, they most likely wind up in some semblance of a fetal position. Right? So they've been perpetually in this forward flexed curve, their spine. So much so that their spine takes on that shape. Question there, we're talking about literally changing how bone structure is. It went from a normal spine to this kyphotic curve in the spine.

(16:07): In this example. The question there is how much actual hard effort did this person put into that? And the answer is none. They just did it consistently for decades. Right. Because adaptation is something that occurs whether we want to or not. You know, you hear some of the hardcore guys talking about I'm going to do this program and force my body to adapt. Well you don't have to force your body to adapt. You can't stop it from adapt. You know, it's like you're not going to walk out into the bright sunshine and be like tan dammit.

(16:40): I like to use the word Cokes for that. Right? Cause it's, you can intentionally coax adaption in a certain direction you want. So we don't have to wait decades for our body to adapt to just posture. Right. So having a little bit more effort because it's not that you have to do no effort, but you also don't have to do 110% effort. Somewhere in that middle range is actually like perfectly fine for coaxing your body to adapt in ways you may choose to want it to.

(17:07): Absolutely. And you said something earlier that sparked that whole thought in my mind and you were talking about speaking the language, the body speaks that to interpret those signals and the idea that if you learn to listen to your body Swisspers, you never have to hear it extreme.

(17:27): Ooh, I like that.

(17:29): That's one of the few original soundbites that I've come up with, but I'm proud of it, you know?

(17:34): Yeah, I'm definitely writing that one down and I'll give you credit. Sure.

(17:41): I appreciate that. And that goes back to the whole no pain, no gain. Right. And that phrase is correct, but it's spelled wrong most of the time. Usually it's an O pain, K, N O w game.

(17:53): Yup, so one of the things, and this is kind of dialing down into the techniques there, I haven't trained with Adam and Frankie. I no longer do the range of motion testing that they advocate, but I've found that it really didn't even take more than a year or so, but the signals that you could get from that method of testing, of course there are other methods became internalized and now I can't do any sort of movement without knowing whether it's a good movement for me to be doing at that time in place. I'm curious if you have had a similar sort of experience.

(18:24): Yes. Yeah. There's certain, it's sort of intangible to be able to describe it. There's a certain physical slash emotional response that I'll have that if I get my conscious mind to just be quiet and observe and go into what is known it in term is in Japanese is motion. No mind if I can go into no mind and then do the movement. Then without having to test range of motion, like you say, I get a message back and the important thing then becomes not allowing my conscious mind to rationalize one way or the other. Whether that message is true, it is a matter of just like the window is the sunshine. No question. Oh well it's cloudy. So it's not as broad. It was last Tuesday, but you know, it's not getting as dark as early now because it's Springs shut the hell up with all that stuff.

(19:17): It's the sunshine, is it? Is it daylight or not? You know? Then once we establish that we can move on to whatever other thing. But to give you the short answer your question, yes, I've had that same experience. I will still do range of motion testing, but I also honor the fact that if I roll out of bed and I was planning on doing say double underhand steel banding today, and I start thinking about kind of picture in my mind what that would be like and kind of have a response of like, eh, that feels kind of icky, what would feel kind of good? Hmm. Oh yeah, the idea of deadlift in something that feels good to me, you know? And then I go that test and use range of motion testing to see if those things line up the same way with an actual physical response to the body. Then I've never had it be different.

(20:06): Yeah, no, that's good feedback. Like I've dialed in on like the physical sensations, like does it feel fast versus slow or fluid versus clunky? You can kind of look at the qualities of the movement within itself to do it. I never really thought about, I mean there's feels good versus feels bad, but I haven't really kind of gone deeper into the emotional response, so I'm gonna reflect on that a bit. But I like that. That's really good. Yeah, don't feel there's definitely not enough people doing it in this way and many people that have been in fitness in one fashion or another over time, they build some sort of intuition about it. But the problem with intuition, when it's just years and years of collective experiences, most people have not determined how to actually teach that in a quick manner. To other people. And I feel we definitely need more of this along the game. These internal signals, the whispers, as you said, in our body that can help people to not getting pain in the first place, get out of pain, and to really get the body they want to have and hopefully love.

(21:05): And the hardest sell on that is getting past, being addicted to the effort and the punishment. If I go do a training session and I feel better after I finished and I did when I started, then I must not have pushed myself hard enough. Right. But the fact is that's exactly what I needed. Right, right. One of the funniest things that I ever saw in relation to that was someone who had taken on a Facebook, a bunch of like fitness mains like that about what does it passing out susceptible throwing up susceptible falling down, susceptible, but quitting is not acceptable. That kind of stuff. And they replaced the photos of people lifting with photos of people drinking alcohol.

(21:47): That's great. Yeah. Yeah. That just kind of clearly points that it's a little odd way of thinking about things. It really is. Yeah. And once again there is a time and place to be able to push yourself to those limits, but that place is far less than just the average fitness person is led to believe. We'll leave it out there.

(22:08): Okay. I was talking about this very subject at a strength matters summit a few years ago and it was San Diego and here like February or March. And it was, we were riding on the the wave of new year's resolutions and the memes and the soundbites that accompany that and everyone was in beast mode. And I'm like, I'm not going to the gym as for like lions and tigers and bears and stuff, you know, but I got to thinking about that and I knew my subject matter for the presentation I was going to do and I started looking up these different means. And it was like overwhelmingly the mains were some big Jack Dorian, the AIX looking guy with a dumbbell that had been Photoshopped to be 300 pounds with like a lion's head on, right. And you know, beast mode initiated and all that kind of stuff. And I'm like, well, let's think about this for a second. Since it was in San Diego and the zoo was there, I was actually able to go to the zoo and see this firsthand. If we're going to go into beast mode, who is the King of beast? It's always the lion, right? Well, what does a lion actually do on the day to day

(23:08): Lay down for 23 hours or so? Yep.

(23:12): And stuff. So I'm like, he sleeps 22 hours a day and he wakes up and he's hungry and someone actually interrupted me. He says, no, he doesn't go hunt. He sends the females out to do that. And I'm like, I'm not going down that road. So the King of beast wakes up and he goes out because he's hungry and there's this herd of Willdabeast and he's like, okay, where's the biggest, baddest, sharpest horn, strongest, just most bad-ass Willdabeast in this entire herd. He's over there. Okay. I'm going exactly the opposite direction over here to where this broke leg, old

(23:46): One. It's already kinda elderly because I am a lion. I'm the King of beast and I have no, none of my self worth is tied up in setting a PR in Willdabeast. I just don't want to eat this so I can go back to my nap. Oh, that's wonderful. What is the natural order of things? Yeah, yeah. Definitely puts a new spin on beast mode. Yeah. More an accurate one. Yeah. And Paul McElroy actually coined the term leased mode. Lease mode. Yeah. What's the little, the least amount of stuff I can get away with. It's still gonna make me be the best that I can be. Yeah. Well, maybe we can get Facebook to stop spreading that misinformation about what beast mode, but we won't go there right now. This has been a absolute pleasure tell people where they can go to find out more from you and a bit more about your book.

(24:35): Okay. My main website is iron tamar.com but it is geared toward the public speaking and performance aspect of my stuff. So there's not like a whole lot of informative content there, but there are some cool videos and if you're looking for someone that will be offering you a gone corporate public speaking, go to iron tango.com and check it out. I have a few different sites that I can send you links to. The main one that I want to tell everybody about today is I wrote this book superhuman you, which sort of Chronicles my journey as a strong man and adding those similarities between what I was learning as a strong man versus what I'm learning from personal development like Napoleon Hill and Bob Proctor and Joe Vitale and all those guys and the books called superhuman new and is available or free as superhuman, you book.com you go there and all I ask you to do is pay for shipping and handling and I will send that book out to anyone who wants it for free just so I can get this message out because it is, I realized recently that this is actually the legacy to create for myself of being helping everyday people realize that they're not everyday people, that they have inherent superhuman talents and abilities that are just waiting to be discovered and developed an unleashed on the world.

(25:53): So superhuman, you book.com I'll send you a free book. All I'm asking you to do is pay for shipping.

(25:58): Excellent. Well thank you so much Dave and everyone listening. Understand the, we kind of talked about a bunch of different subjects here, but super strength really for me, for Dave, for many other people, even if you don't want to be a strong minute and completely get that. But it is a great crucible for testing these things out. And strength is at the base of vitality. So you want to be a healthy, sovereign human being. Like you gotta be strong and really important that this strength is also not just about the physical strength, but the emotional strength, the mental strength, the strength of character, all that can be built from these steps, these ideas, and using them in, you said you didn't want to use the word holistic, but I like that word. It really is a holistic sense we're going for. So it was in the context. I didn't want

(26:44): To use all of that. And as far as, as far, yeah, I get it. Everybody doesn't want to be in steel or be a strong man. Never like that. But I guarantee you, I have never heard anyone in my life come up and say, you know what? I'm pretty normal. But God, I wish I was weak. Yeah. So even if you don't want to, you know, hang yourself or bend ranches or break coconuts or whatever, everyone could benefit from improving their strength, not just physically, but in all the areas that you just mentioned. So yeah, be strong.

(27:12): Yes. Now our McFadden, the father of physical culture, said weakness is a crime. Don't be a naturalistic, still lose. Thanks everyone. Thank you. Thank you for listening. As always, your reviews are much appreciated and telling your friends about this podcast. If you enjoy it, spread it around. And you can also go to health sovereign.com leave me a comment. Let me know how you're liking these episodes. Any episode in particular or just in general. Do you want to take this mind and apply it to your health one-on-one? Learn how to activate your super power level of health with a systems approach. And finally understand why your health may not be where you want it to be despite, or perhaps because of living in the information age. I've got limited spots available in my coaching program. Find out more and apply@virtuousvitality.com

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