In this installment of the Best of Muscle For Life, you’ll hear hand-picked clips from three popular MFL episodes: an interview with Nick, who used my coaching program to lose 19 pounds and 11% body fat in 90 days, a monologue on whether the benefits of deadlifting outweigh its risks, and a book club episode on Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose.
Some people—my favorite people—listen to most or even all of my podcasts, but my wizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life and thus miss out on insights that could help them do at least a little better inside and outside the gym.
That’s why I do “best of” episodes that contain a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from the more popular episodes I’ve published over the years. This way, you can learn interesting insights that you might have otherwise missed and find new episodes of the show to listen to.
So, in this installment of The Best of Muscle for Life, you’ll be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes:
And we’ll be starting with number one, How Legion Coaching Helped Nick Lose 19 Pounds and 11% Body Fat in Just 90 Days.
0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!
3:44 – How Legion Coaching Helped Nick Lose 19 Pounds & 11% Body Fat In Just 90 Days
13:57 – My free quiz to answer all your diet questions: www.muscleforlife.show/dietquiz
14:38 – Is Deadlifting Worth The Risk?
28:57 – Book Club: Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose
Mentioned on the Show:
Take this free quiz to get science-based answers to all of your diet questions: www.muscleforlife.show/dietquiz
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello, and welcome to the latest and greatest episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews, and thank you for joining me today. Now, I have recorded hundreds of episodes of Muscle for Life, and I’ve talked about a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, lifestyle, mindset, ranging from the basics of.
Diet and exercise like energy and macronutrient, balance and progressive overload, and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight, set point, and fasted. Cardio and some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from.
At least that’s what I tell myself. That’s what helps me sit down in the chair every day and do this, and as cool as that is, it poses a problem for you, my dear listener, especially if you are new here, and that is, Ain’t nobody got time for that. We’re talking about probably a thousand plus hours of content at this point.
And while some people actually do make the time to listen to most, or even all of my podcasts, my whizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment. Of Muscle for life. Thus, they miss out on insights that could help them get even just a little bit better inside and outside the gym.
Because if you just get a little bit better, consistently enough, that can add up to big results in the long run. And people have also been telling me that they would like me to do more shorter multi topic. Episodes like my q and A’s and says You episodes, and so I got an idea. How about a best of series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from my most popular episodes going all the way back to the beginning.
This way, people who are new in particular can quickly determine if this is the droid they’re looking for, if this podcast is for them or not. And then those who are regulars and enjoy what I’m doing, but just don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff. And I do understand that I don’t take it personally.
You can also then benefit from the discussions and the episodes that you are not listening to in full. You can also find new episodes to listen to without having to give an hour of your time. To determine whether it was worth it or not. So in this installment of the best of Muscle for Life, you are going to be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes.
The first is an interview I did with a coaching client named Nick, who lost 19 pounds and 11 pounds of body fat in just 90 days of my one-on-one coaching. The second is an episode that I recorded a monologue called Is Deadlifting Worth the Risk. And the third is a book club episode. An episode where I recommended a book that I liked and shared some of the key takeaways.
And the book was Band of Brothers by Stephen e Ambrose. So let’s start with the highlight reel from the interview I did with Nick, who lost 19 pounds and 11 pounds of body fat in 90 days of one-on-one coaching.
I’ve always, you know, worked out moderately, you know, I’ve run marathons and Ragnar relays and I’d done CrossFit in the past and things of that nature. And, and I’d been lifting for, you know, a few years before I started the 90 day cut. So yeah, I’d had a little bit of experience, but for me it was all about.
Macronutrients and body composition, to be honest with you. You wanna, you wanna talk about that more so just a matter of, I mean, it’s not rocket science, right? To eat healthy is not rocket science. It’s a matter of planning. And for me, just the way that I function, accountability’s really good. So being able to talk to a coach, you know, once a week as well as have email communications, you know, on a, not necessarily a daily basis, but I had accountability on a daily basis and, and that was helpful.
Doing a, an extended cut. I mean, let’s just be honest. It gets to a point where it sucks. You know? It just gets to a point where you’re like, man, chicken and rice again, or sweet potatoes, or, which I actually love all that stuff, but sometimes man, you just want to, you just wanna binge on on something else.
So that extended period of a cut does, you know it, it’s not the funnest all the time, especially at the end. So, yeah, when you hit maintenance mode, I kind of live by the premise now that you know what, if I’m good 90% of the time, I’ve got a little bit of leeway. That other 10%. And then, you know, when I mentally have a lot of self-discipline, great, you know, I’m, I’m on a plan or a maintenance plan and I’m, I’m really strict in my diet and those times in which I don’t have a ton of, uh, self-discipline.
I’m okay to, to relax a little bit and knowing that. You know, self-discipline will come back tomorrow morning and we’ll be back on it for the next. Yeah, no, I agree. So you remember Simon Sinick talk about the infinite game versus the finite game. The premise is he, he’s talking about the finite game and the infant game and the finite game be basically being sure you’ve got a, an end destination.
Right. Whereas the infinite game, the whole goal is just stay in the game. And so when I look at it from a dieting perspective or a cutting perspective, oftentimes people want to lose weight for certain things. Maybe a wedding or a vacation or whatever the case may be. But the problem is, is when those are over.
Then they tend to gain all that weight back. And so I’m trying to look at it from an infinite game standpoint of I’m 40 years old right now. When I’m 60, I don’t wanna be 20 pounds overweight, I don’t wanna be 50 pounds overweight. I just wanna be kind of where I am right now. So what do I have to consistently do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to just kind of, yep, maintain where I am for the rest of my life.
Rather than go through these huge, I’m gonna gain 30 pounds and then I’m gonna spend, you know, three months trying to lose 30 pounds and then six months later I’m back up 30. Like that’s what I personally, I’m trying to avoid. And I think that that’s what you see in society today. And, and as you said, If you just look at it from, if I can be consistent most of the time, and I’m not super strict, but you know, I’m, I’m on a meal planner, I’m counting calories or however you want to do it, and you’re good, most of the time you’re gonna make progress.
Yeah. It may take you six or 10 weeks rather than eight weeks, but if you can continue to do that after the 10 weeks are over. Then that’s really the shift that you’re trying to make. Right? It’s, it’s a mindset shift. I really struggle with sore shoulders a lot. In fact, my bench press right now is at like 2 0 5.
Mm-hmm. Because I’m really struggling with some sore shoulders, and my overhead press, I think is at one 50. But my shoulders have just been really, really, really sore. And at the end of the day, it, yeah, it’s frustrating to be like, oh, I’m dropping from, you know, 2 30, 2 25 down to 2 0 5. But I’m also like, I’m not here to break any records.
I’m here to stay healthy and there’s no reason for me to continue to, to try to push it and maybe tear a shoulder up. So rather than do that, I’m just gonna drop weight and I’m going to, you know, do that for a few weeks and, and kind of see how I feel. And, and when they’re not as sore anymore or, or when I feel like they’re back to normal, then I’ll start to increase the weight again.
And everybody’s. Playing their own game. You know what I mean? Like the only real person you can judge yourself against is yourself, right? So for example, I’m squatting right now, I think 3 25 for sets of, of five. I’ve made a little bit of progress. I’m like, oh, that’s pretty good. That’s not too bad. And I walk into the gym the next day and some dude’s bench pressing what?
I’m squatting. So I’m like, it. It doesn’t matter what you do. Somebody’s always going, going to be doing. Heavier weight or, or more reps than you. And that doesn’t really, that doesn’t matter, right? Focus on yourself. There’s always somebody that’s probably pushing more somewhere. So yeah, just focus on your own progression and I think that’s what, uh, that’s really what helps you move forward.
What type of setup did you guys come up with for your diet, for your training? People always like to hear that. So the trading plan was a lot of similar stuff to what’s just built out in bigger lean or stronger, you know, compound lifts. I worked out five days a week, just my regular routine and kinda the way that, that I do things because I, I’m like, yeah, I’ve got four kids.
I don’t, you know, so my days between work and evenings between kids and work are just kind of jam packed. So I get up at four 30 every morning and that’s when I hit the gym. So I was there five days a week, five days lifting, and then two to three days worth of hit cardio after my lifts. Mondays were, you know, chess, Tuesdays were back in calves.
Wednesdays were shoulders and abs. Thursdays were legs. Fridays were upper body and abs. So from a meal standpoint, unlike you in the sense that you can eat the same thing every day, and it doesn’t matter to you, I can for short periods of time. So I’m good with the same meal plan for probably two weeks, and I needed a different meal plan for the weekends because that, and I don’t know if I’m unlike a lot of people, but Monday through Friday where I’m in a really set routine, up at four 30 at the gym, Off to work home.
Yeah. I mean every, everything is routine, right? Yeah. It’s super easy. Saturday comes around and it’s, okay, what am I gonna do today? That’s when, and especially Sunday, when it, when it’s a little bit more relaxed, uh, that’s when eating or or falling off the meal plan is super easy for me to do. So I had a different meal plan on the weekends just to change it up from my Monday through Friday, and then about every two to three weeks I would have to change up my meal plans just for a little bit of variety.
I’ll get into these mental. I guess funks, if you will, where I just start craving something. So for me, mixed nuts and trail mix are my nemesis along with peanut butter bars. So if any of those are within like a 20 mile radius, I will devour them and I’ll eat all of them. Like I fell off the rails, you know, I don’t wanna say several times, but a, but a few times.
And just by refocusing, like, I’m like, okay, that sucks. But by refocusing, and maybe I did an extra set of hit cardio and, and, uh, you know, two or three days later I was, I was. Right back where I needed to be. So, you know, it’s, it’s one of those things that you can recover from it if you have to. I don’t recommend it, like if you’ve got more self-control than I do, I would recommend just using self-control.
But you know, if you do fall off the rails, you can recover from it. It just takes longer. Yeah. Yeah. And, and I think the point is not beating yourself up over it and realizing that pretty much everybody deals with the same issues. You know, small and simple things over time are gonna get results. And it’s good to know that I like, I’m not the only.
Crazy person out there that can’t seem to, uh, be consistent a hundred percent of the time, but that’s just not me. The one thing that I would say that I thought was super interesting is being in a deficit for so long, my energy levels really never dropped. Probably the last week, maybe week and a half, like mentally and physically, I was done.
Like my energy was like super low mentally, like I was just. Like I was done in the sense that I just like, I just want to go back to normal for a while. And so that for me, kind of when I hit that point, luckily I was at the, I was really at the end of my cut. My goal was 8% body fat, and I think that my last percentage that I weighed in at was like eight and a half percent.
So I was. I was really close to being there and plus I would have some vacations coming up in the next couple weeks, and I’m like the effort to get to where I wanted to be. Yeah, so it’s time. It’s just like, all right, let’s call it here. Yeah, let’s call it here. And so I’m like, I’m gonna maintain through the summer after Labor Day, I’m gonna kind of see where I’m at, cuz my goal is just to hover around 10% kind of year round.
And so I’ll kind of see where I’m at, you know, labor Day-ish. And then maybe, you know, go into a cut if I need to, you know, in the early fall and, and just kind of keep, okay, keep going down that road. So it was good to get that lean because now you know what’s possible. Right. And to be quite frank with you, if I cut in the fall, I’m probably gonna try to get to, to 7% just so I can like really see the ab definition.
Cuz I probably, I had good ab definition, but you know, not like picturesque if you will. So I’d like to see if I could get to that, that point. And for me, A couple things have changed. So me and my wife, we’ve always been super active. So we mountain bike, we wakeboard, you know, we’ve run marathons and Ragnar relays and all that stuff.
But something’s changed for her as well in the sense that we’ve never focused on nutrition, but about the same time that I started focusing on it this last year. So did she, so now, That’s kind of our norm at this point in the sense that we both, you know, it’s not one of those deals that I might, I gotta eat healthy while she’s making, you know, fried chicken.
Like, it’s not that, and it, it’s never really been fried chicken, but for the most part, you know, when I’m making an egg omelet in the morning with some spinach and salsa, you know, so is she, you know, when I’m having chicken and broccoli at night, you know, she’s pretty much doing the same thing. And so, I think that’s making it easier from a long-term perspective, as well as, to be quite frank with you, and I don’t know if other people are this way, but when I go out to eat, so for one of the things I love in life is sushi.
Like I, aside from trail mix and peanut butter bars, I can devour sushi, but when I go out and eat, I can also feel just on the ride home, the bloating, like I can feel, like the bloating in my gut and my love handles a little bit. I don’t like the way that that feels. And so knowing what lean feels like compared to that feeling, I tend to, to move towards, okay, what do I gotta do to feel, to kind of make this bloating go away and feel more lean over the next day or two.
It worked out great. I really enjoyed it. I liked the relationship that I created with my coach, so it would be fun to, you know, touch base with him every once in a while and I probably will, but you know, at this point I’ve got the tools that I need to really move forward. And so again, for me, it worked out great and I’ll probably just continue to, to do it going forward.
All right. That’s it for the featured moments from my interview with Nick. And if you wanna listen to the entire interview, it was published back in July of 2018, and it is called How Legion Coaching helped Nick lose 19 pounds and 11% body fat in just 90 days. So you can go back and find it. Let’s move on now to some snippets from is Deadlifting worth the risk?
But first, how many calories should you eat to reach your fitness goals faster? What about your macros and how many meals should you eat every day? Well, I created a free 62nd diet quiz that’ll answer those questions for you and others, including how much alcohol you should drink, what supplements are worth taking, and why.
And more to take the quiz and get your free personalized diet plan. Go to Muscle for Life. Do show slash diet quiz muscle, f o r life show slash diet quiz now. Answer the questions and learn what you need to do in the kitchen to lose fat, build muscle, and get healthy. In a fairly recent interview, Robert did go on Joe Rogan, and he suggested that people should not do the deadlift unless they’re training to take part in some sort of strength sport, strong man power lifting and so forth.
Because of the risks posed by deadlifting, they’re just too great compared to the rewards and. I understand where Robert is coming from, but I think that that position is not applicable to your average gym goer and to your average maybe lifestyle bodybuilder, which would include me. I am. Maybe I. A bit fitter than the average gym goer, but I’m not a professional competitive bodybuilder physique athlete.
Strong man. I’m just a lifestyle bodybuilder who is strong ish for my, uh, for my build and for my body weight and pretty fit competitive strong men and competitive power lifters. They are working up to dead lifting weights that most of us couldn’t even imagine lifting. Like we wouldn’t even be able to budge that bar, let alone pick it up.
And these people also do a lot of volume because it takes a lot of volume to get that strong and that big, and they push themselves very hard to make progress, and they’re often deadlifting or doing different types of deadlift variations. Several times per week. So for example, Robert injured himself deadlifting a car that weighed over 800 pounds and he went for a second rep when he knew that he had expended almost all of his energy on his first rep, but he wanted to win the competition, and so he went for it and it didn’t work out.
And. So not only do any of us not lift anywhere near that amount of weight, we also use more balanced tools. We use a barbell, we use a trap bar, and we tend to not go for more reps or more sets when we are already exhausted. At least I don’t, and I talk about that every so often. I’ll bring it up in one tangent or another.
The importance of managing your reps in reserve, especially on the big exercises, the squat, the deadlift, the bench press to some degree, the overhead press, uh, to some degree, but more so the squat and deadlift, meaning never go to muscle failure on those exercises and all of your training sets with at least one good rep still left in the tank.
And why does that matter? Well, when you lift very heavy weights, when you push yourself close to failure or to failure regularly, your chance of injury does go way up, and that’s true of the deadlift and every other exercise. That said, many people are especially concerned about the deadlift, the injury risk that is generally associated with the.
Deadlift. Many people think that the deadlift, any type of deadlift, whether it’s a conventional deadlift, a trap bar deadlift, a suma deadlift, it’s bad for your back and it increases the risk of lower back injuries. Many people also think it’s bad for your biceps, and it increases the risk of tearing a bicep or injuring your bicep somehow.
And people also often believe that the deadlift is very taxing. On the body and it requires a lot of recovery. Even one hard set per week is hard to recover from four hard sets a week like you do on my Beyond bigger, leaner, stronger program, uh, is inconceivable to some people. But research shows. That concerns like those are mostly unfounded.
For example, studies show that the deadlift is the best exercise that you can do to train the paraspinal muscles, which are the muscles that run down both sides of your spine, and that play a major role in the prevention of back. Injuries. So if you want to have a strong resilient back, you want strong paraspinal muscles, and the deadlift is fantastic for that.
And that may be why one study found that the deadlift can be effective at treating lower back pain. So people who have lower back. Pain can improve it by deadlifting. Now that said, in some people who have a, a history of lower back issues or very specific lower back problems, the conventional deadlift may not work.
They may need to do a variation that places less stress on the lower back, like sumo deadlifts or trap bar deadlifts using the high handles as opposed to flipping the bar upside down and grabbing it a bit lower where you’re not grabbing on the. The handles you’re grabbing on the actual, uh, chassis of the, of the bar, and a high handle though hex bar, trap bar deadlift easier on the lower back.
Now as far as the concerns over the biceps go tearing the biceps or otherwise injuring the biceps. Anecdotally speaking, the biceps tears that immediately come to mind that I know of, that I’ve seen were in guys on drugs, deadlifting large amounts of weight with a mixed grip, and the palm up hand is the hand that almost always, all the instances that I can immediately remember.
That’s the, the biceps that. That tears. And if you are not that though, if you are not a very big, very strong guy on drugs, pushing yourself, harden your in your deadlifting, you are probably not going to tear your biceps. That said, mixed gripping, if you don’t. Alternate. If you do it the same way over long periods of time, you may not acutely injure your biceps, but you can aggravate your biceps.
And I experienced that firsthand. And I wouldn’t alternate because I didn’t know that I was supposed to. And that was years and years ago. So that’s what I’d recommend for protecting your biceps. If you’re going to mixed grip, make sure you alternate either. Each set or just session to session Minimally, I would say month to month, one month with maybe the right palm up the next month with the left palm up.
But my preference is double overhand if you can do it. But once you get to a certain amount of strength, you are not going to be able to, uh, hold onto the bar with a double. Overhand grip, at least not, uh, for your heavy sets and not for the entire sets. Maybe half of them you’d be able to hold onto it, and then it’s going to start slipping.
Hook grip is an option. It’s going to hurt your thumbs, I’m warning you, but if you can get over that, it does work. And then you have. Straps when I did learn that you’re supposed to alternate and I didn’t want to go through the learning phase and reacquainting my myself to pulling with my left palm up.
So instead, I just double overhand when I’m warming up and maybe my first heavy set, if I can hold onto the bar. Well, and then I use straps or I’ll just use straps. From the first heavy set, if I already know that my grip is going to fail, like if I’m doing a set of sixes, eights, or tens, and the weight is gonna be pretty heavy, I’m not gonna be able to grip it throughout.
I’m not gonna be able to hold onto the bar for the whole set, or I’m not gonna be able to hold onto it securely enough to not lose power. Because once your grip starts to fail on the deadlift, You just shut down. Okay. Now let’s talk about the claim that the deadlift is very, very difficult to recover from that it produces a lot of central nervous system fatigue.
C n s fatigue, that is a common claim and it is sometimes used as a reason to not deadlift at all or to do very little deadlifting. Again, maybe one set per week or one set every other week, and. Let’s start with what is CN S fatigue? Well, it is a thing. It does occur in the central nervous system, which would be the brain and the spinal cord.
And if your CNS is fatigued, it has trouble activating your muscles, firing your muscles. So even though your muscles might be capable of producing a lot of force, let’s say, they won’t be able to because your c n s is not able to give the orders effectively. So yes, that is a thing. But check this out. In one study conducted by scientists at Massey University, researchers had trained men do eight sets of two reps of deadlifts at 95% of one rep max with five minutes of rest in between the sets.
That’s hard, eight sets of two at 95%. Uh, I’ve done four sets of two at 95%, and uh, that is not exhausting, but it’s difficult. Eight sets would be quite difficult. So that’s what the participants did. And then the scientists. Running the study, they looked at various factors relating to c n s output, and they concluded that there was only about a five to 10% reduction in c n s output after doing that workout.
And so what that tells us is as long as you follow a workout program that manages volume, intensity, and frequency, Properly, semi intelligently, at least you are probably not going to have any issues with CNS fatigue, with deadlifting and C N s, fatigue, squatting, and C N s fatigue or any other exercise and CN s fatigue.
So all of that summarizes why I don’t think the deadlift is as dangerous or is as costly as some people do. But there still is a question. Of benefit. Let’s say you accept my premise, which is that the deadlift, the risks posed by the deadlift are relatively small. If you do it properly, if you know proper form and if you program it correctly.
But why should you do it? What’s in it for you? Because even if it only entails a, a small amount of risk, if it doesn’t also provide a fair amount of benefit, then it’s not worth doing, right. You might as well just do other exercises well. The deadlift is a great strength and muscle builder. It involves a tremendous amount of muscle mass, and that’s why studies show that it helps develop your lats, your traps, your paraspinal muscles, like I mentioned, your.
Glutes, your hip flexors, calves, quadriceps, forearms, the core as well. Research shows that the deadlift is a great core exercise. So much so that if you are doing at least a few sets of heavy deadlifts and certainly heavy deadlifts and heavy squats per week, you almost certainly don’t need to do any core.
Training, quote unquote core exercises, ab exercises, uh, deadlifts are also great for progressive overload. They are great for increasing strength, for being able to add weight to the bar over time, which is the most effective type of progressive overload that we can achieve. So really what we’re left with then is, The deadlift is dangerous when it’s done with poor form, when it is programmed poorly, when you are doing too much of it.
When you’re doing it too close to failure, when you are not deloading as often as you should be and racking up too much stress, that can eventually too much physical stress on your tissues, on everything that gets stressed when when you’re training and not enough. Rest and recovery. So to minimize your chances of getting hurt when you deadlift.
Make sure that you’ve practiced and you’ve ingrained proper form before you start going heavy. Uh, put yourself on camera if you need to, to check your form. When you do start getting heavy, especially later in those sets, when they start to get hard. And make sure that you have the flexibility. To perform the deadlift with proper forms.
So sometimes form issues like rounding the lower back come from a, a lack of flexibility. So make sure that you can set up for the deadlift properly. Make sure that your hamstrings aren’t too tight, for example, to allow you to get into that flat back with your butt back, your chest up that position where you’re getting ready to pull.
Because if you can get into that position and hold it without pain or discomfort, if you can feel solid before you pull, then you are. Ready to go. Uh, as I mentioned earlier, I would also recommend to not take this exercise, not take the deadlift to failure, and all of your, your hard sets, one or two reps shy of that.
And if you are an intermediate or an advanced weightlifter, if you’re somebody who’s pulling fairly heavy weights and you’re doing it consistently, spinal decompression. Exercises can help like the dead hang for example. And that can help relax your spine. It can help relax your biceps. Many people swear by it for shoulders where you just hang on a pull-up bar for 30 to 60 seconds and you do that uh, once or twice a day if you have, if you have access to a pull-up bar.
Many people have said that that has worked wonders for their back, for their. Shoulders. It’s interesting. And lastly I’ll say that you don’t have to do the deadlift. It’s a great exercise. It’s in all of my programs and I love it myself. It’s my favorite exercise personally, but it is not. Necessary. Some people will say that the deadlift is the nucleus of a good weightlifting program, and if you take that out, then the whole thing gets a lot less effective and they’ll joke that you’re not even lifting at that point.
Or do you even deadlift? If you’re not deadlifting, you might as well not even train, and I totally disagree. There are plenty of exercises that train your back muscles that train your posterior chain muscles, the muscles on the backside of your. Body, and I mentioned a couple of them, deadlift alternatives like the rack pull, for example.
Fantastic posterior chain exercise that you can do if you can’t deadlift or you don’t want to deadlift. Or you can look at the muscles on the backside of the of the body and look at the different types of exercises you can do to train those muscles and you can do those exercises. Now the deadlift is very efficient in that it trains a lot of muscles at the same time, but of course you can.
Use other exercises to train all of those muscles. Okay, that’s it for the clips from Is Deadlifting Worth the Risk? And if you want to listen to the entire episode, then you can find it in October of 2021, and it’s called Is Deadlifting Worth the Risk? Okay, finally, I have some takeaways from my book club episode for Band of Brothers by Stephen e Ambrose.
If you like war memoirs and World War II memoirs in particular, then you have to read Band of Brothers, and then you also have to watch the H B O series because it is equally fantastic, if not even better if I’m being totally honest. And even if you don’t like war stories or don’t know if you like them, but do like stories of ordinary people finding the courage and capability to do extraordinary things, then Band of Brothers is for you because it’s.
So much more than just a clinical recounting of battles or analysis of soldiering. It’s an inspiring story of how a motley crew of freewheeling young bucks became one of the most elite and effective light infantry units to fight in the European Theater and World War ii, and it follows them from beginning to end, from their grueling basic training to jumping into Normandy on D-Day, and finally celebrating victory in Europe.
With drinking Hitler’s champagne in the Bavarian Alps. And one of the things that I really like about reading stories like these is they just lend a bit of perspective to the struggles that we face in our own lives. If I myself, am ever feeling harried or afraid, it helps to remember stories like these because they remind me what real stressful situations look like.
Such as jumping out of a burning and bullet riddled plane deep in enemy territory into a. Hail of gunfire to wage gorilla war against one of the deadliest militaries in modern history. That’s a real predicament. Anything that I have to face in my day-to-day life is a cakewalk in comparison. That type of viewpoint also helps cultivate a better response to stress because a lot of what we experience as stress is what we make of it.
So here’s my first key takeaway from Band of Brothers. We can’t make you do anything, but we can make you wish you. Had, and my note on this is that this was an army saying, but I think it’s how life seems to work as well. No person event or circumstance can make us do anything, but we do have to live with the consequences of our actions and inactions, and those consequences may in the end, make us wish that we had chosen otherwise.
When we transgress against ourselves and others, the penalties accrue whether we like it or not. Until one day they’re visited upon us. And if we’ve been particularly dishonest and deviant, they may just lay us flat. All right, here’s the third takeaway in Combat Your award for a good job done is that you get.
The next tough mission and my note here is that in sports, nobody cares what numbers you put up last season or the one before that you’re really only as good as your last at bat. And I believe in approaching my work with the same attitude. Having done things just isn’t enough. We all must continue. To do, continue to put points up on the board.
This is how to avoid one of the most insidious pitfalls in business, and that is complacency. It’s just very easy to lose our appetite for more. When things are going well. Self-satisfaction is. Kind of like emotional junk food. It tastes great, but too much of it makes us soft, flabby and lethargic. I think we have to guard against this by just putting in the work every day.
Alright, take away number four, quote. They’ve got us surrounded the poor bastards. And my note here is I just think this is a perfect encapsulation of the right mindset for facing all difficulties in life, both large and small. Because how you frame them is everything. No matter what gets in your way, nobody can force you to become a victim.
Only you can do that, and so long as you’re unwilling to give in, there’s. Always hope. And if you want a couple extreme examples of this far more extreme than anything you and I are likely to experience in our lifetimes, then I recommend you check out the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl and the Gulag Archipelago by Alexander.
Soldier, Nissen. Now, all of what I just said also extends to how we view stress in general because research shows that those of us who view it as a productive challenge rather than a destructive threat experience, fewer negative emotions like fear and anxiety, and can quite counterintuitively actually learn to.
Thrive under stressful conditions. This one was referring to Dick Winters and it is, he was an officer who got them men to perform because he expected nothing but the best. And quote, you liked him so much, you just hated to let him down. And my note here is you can lead by. Fear or by example. And the latter is far more powerful of a motivator than the former.
Charisma and caring is how you create true comradeship, and that’s what you need to create a group that can really pull together when the times get hard and pull through. And furthermore, anyone in a position of leadership has to constantly reflect on a tough question, and that is why would anyone want to be led by me?
And they’d better have really good reasons if they want to remain in charge. All right. That’s it for the notable moments of my book club episode for Band of Brothers by Stephen e Ambros. And if you wanna listen to the entire episode, it was published in August of 2017, so you can just go back into the feed and find it.
Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful. And if you did subscribe to the show because. It makes sure that you don’t miss new episodes, and it also helps me because it increases the rankings of the show a little bit, which of course then makes it a little bit more easily found by other people who may like it just as much as you.
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