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In this installment of the Best of Muscle For Life, you’ll hear hand-picked clips from three popular MFL episodes: an interview with “Knees-Over-Toes-Guy” Ben Patrick on fixing painful and dysfunctional knees, a monologue and practical guide to muscle protein synthesis, and a motivational episode on the Law of Large Numbers and its relation to luck.

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:

“Knees-Over-Toes-Guy” Ben Patrick on Fixing Painful and Dysfunctional Knees

(Originally published 7/7/2021)

The Definitive (And Practical) Guide to Muscle Protein Synthesis

(Originally published 8/3/2020)

Motivation Monday: Why the Law of Large Numbers > Luck

(Originally published 5/28/2018)

And we’ll be starting with number one, “Knees-Over-Toes-Guy” Ben Patrick on Fixing Painful and Dysfunctional Knees.


0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!

3:24 – “Knees-Over-Toes-Guy” Ben Patrick on Fixing Painful and Dysfunctional Knees

15:49 – Find the Perfect Strength Training Program for You

16:37 – The Definitive (And Practical) Guide to Muscle Protein Synthesis

26:53 – Motivation Monday: Why the Law of Large Numbers > Luck

Mentioned on the Show:

Find the Perfect Strength Training Program for You in Just 60 Seconds

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. Mindsets 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 whizzbang 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 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 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 handpicked morsels from three episodes.

The first is an interview I did with. Knees over toes guide Ben Patrick on fixing painful and dysfunctional knees. The second is a monologue I recorded called The Definitive and Practical Guide to Muscle Protein Synthesis. And finally, we have another monologue I recorded called Why the Law of Large Numbers Is Greater Than Little Symbol Is Greater Than Luck.

And let’s start with number one, which is my interview with Ben Patrick on fixing painful and dysfunctional knees. I was basically a like the worst knee guy and one of my knees was like a surgical mess that has partially artificial kneecap meniscus transplant, quad tendon repair. So the stiffness was like unimaginable.

And then the other knee now that I blew out the other knee had torn ligaments, but I didn’t have surgery on that. So like that was like my starting point of my knees over toes. Journey one knee crazy stiff, the other knee crazy loose from torn ligaments that I never ended up having surgery on. And throughout that entire process, I had never trained knees over toes.

So you could see, because of all that shit, I kind of had to start from ground zero. So the first thing that started changing that for me, because I knew my knees really well, I was had quote unquote, you know, tried everything. And by everything that usually means massages, foam rollers, stretching, painkillers, those kind of things is what people are normally thinking of.

Well, the first thing actually started changing it for me was putting my car in neutral. And putting my ass against the bumper and pushing it backwards every fucking day to the point that my quads actually got like, you know, a little bit of a pump into that lower quad for like the first time ever. Now the thing about walking backwards and.

If we look at walking backwards, whether you’re towing a sled backwards or just walking backwards, if you stand there, like if anyone listening to this stands sideways in a mirror and goes to take their first step backwards, you realize that your knee is over your toes. Walking backwards is just a very rudimentary test of knees over toes, and when tested in elderly, it’s actually been proven to be an effective screening process for fallen alone.

Just by testing old people, walking backwards, better they can walk backwards, less chance they have of falling, which is actually one of the leading causes of. Death and hospitalization in elderly. It’s not like falling is not a joke, like it’s a big deal. We don’t think about that every day, but falling is a huge deal.

So if that same concept is preventing elderly from falling, maybe it could help me land from a fricking jump or something like that. And so in my system, that is the first step. Walk backwards for 10 minutes. Now as things go, we wanna start towing a sled continuously for five minutes, which is. I think still, you know, underrated.

This is why I work hard on social media. You know, I should at least work until this stuff’s overrated. Rather than leave some of this stuff underrated because of the amount of people who have gotten out of pain just from going backwards. So that’s knees over toes, and that’s like, that’s why I’m knees over toes guy, because I’m not trying to make it something extreme.

I also figured out that on a treadmill, like most basic treadmills you can get on it. And turn around and stick your butt against the handles and not turn it on, and actually just spin the wheel backwards. That actually supplies some resistance to that motion. A lot of people swear by that. They go into LA Fitness first five minutes, they just, they just spin.

We call it reverse dead mill, like the treadmill’s off, and you just spin it backwards. What I really wanted, Because I could see that like, okay, the opposite of like what I had been brought up and done is when you see like one of these gold medal Olympic weightlifters and you look at them in like the bottom of like a squat or something and it’s just like unbelievable.

You know what I mean? Their knee is like way over their toes. Full bend. Crazy mobility. Right? And these guys are doing it all the time, so they’re obviously not like in extreme pain doing it. Not to mention they’re doing it for blood, if they’re okay doing that. Those are some pretty bulletproof knees.

Those are true 10 r p e all out max effort lifts that you’re seeing. Right. They’re not trying to even do it for health. And even them, if you look at the sport, they actually have one of the lowest knee injury rates compared to like a sport. Like I play like basketball, right. So, and like no one in basketball can do that shit.

So it’s got, so to me it was like if I can’t play basketball because I’m so jacked up, but even all my friends playing basketball have like some degree of knee pain. Like the opposite of us is like the Chinese Olympic weightlifting team who I’ve spent considerable time studying, for example. That’s like the opposite of us.

So, My whole mission became like, what if I could do that shit? Pain free basketball would probably become easy and, and sure enough, that’s exactly what’s occurred. I’ve been able to compete now over a thousand times without knee playing, playing basketball. My vertical jump has continued to skyrocket, which to put it really simply, I.

If your knees never hurt and you just practice jumping, you’re on a good track to jump higher. Jumping high is actually a simpler subject than people realize, like you have the relative strength involved. If your knee hurts, you’re not gonna be able to even like go express your force anyways. So if we look at walking backwards, that is nice, but that sure as hell is not that, you know.

Perfect. Unbelievable deep knee bend spot. Yeah. It’s not gonna get you to a promised lane, right? So this is what my career has been devoted to, is actually turning that into a step-by-step process. So the next thing, if we look at backward walking, and if we look at that positioning, the next thing up from there would basically be doing reverse step ups.

So step ups are a well-known strength exercise. Yeah. Yeah. A good kind of beginner body weight type of deal. That’s how it’s usually used. Yeah. And, and then people load. Yep. Step ups. Yep. The nature of a normal step up, I don’t think there’s that much good like eccentric component. So it’s not like bodybuilders have found that like step ups are like, you know, the holy grail of like mass.

They’re not, they’re still not a common one. But I mean, most people would be familiar with step up and so a reverse step up is almost like if you just imagine like going downstairs only like having to control that motion and go back up. And so in my system, like I want people just as, I want people to be able to walk backwards, pain free.

I would like people to be able to do reverse step-ups on a six inch box, like that’s not asking for too much. And even some physiotherapy studies have proven that to help regenerate the patellar tendon. So it’s a very simple exercise, but I had to realize that even that quality scales, like you could take the best athlete in the world and if you challenge them with enough weight and make them go fast enough backwards for five minutes.

They probably will have like the burn of a lifetime. Now, it’s not much for muscle growth because there’s no eccentric component, but the point is just that the same exercise that. A grandma could do, could make Usain Bolt wanna vomit. You know, that’s the idea is it’s just a category of exercise. So going backwards is a category of exercise, and then reverse step ups is a category of exercise, and we do them with the foot flat, which kind of works on that ankle mobility.

We do them with a SL board, which is then actually much tougher on the quads. Like that one might be it. It’s sad that SL boards aren’t more common, but if you look at the logistics of it, a slam board is a very affordable thing to make. That would be a nice one to see. In more gyms, it would be a very simple accessory exercise, kind of in the family of leg extensions, but you get to work one side, you know, each time you get really nice eccentric load, and it’s actually proven for the patellar tendons, particularly if we add that slant board.

So we like to work. With a flat foot first just to like get the balance down. It’s not a tough exercise. Now when you are on the slam board, it actually becomes a much, you really feel the quads recruiting, and then the last step of that. Is actually to remove the slam board. So that means like you’re actually trying to lift your heel and balanced on the ball of your foot when you do the reverse step up.

So if you progress from backward walking to a flat footed step up to a slam board, step up to then removing the slam board and having to go onto the ball of your foot, you can, you know, someone who maybe thinks, well, I’m just doomed to weak knees and not being able to go down steps without pain. Well, this is why these like rave successes come in is not from something wild.

It’s from people actually following strength training over. A considerable amount of time to actually get good at these motions. Not working through pain, but, but assessing their level of range and how much load they can handle now. From a muscle perspective, I think only that slam board one would relate the flat footed.

One is more ankle mobility, and then the one when you remove the slam board is definitely more in the athletic kind of department balance foot strength, like it’s not. You know, I’m at least just trying to put the context because I know a lot of your listeners wanna know, like maybe how they would apply this in their routine, you know what I mean?

So I’m, I’m not trying to make someone think they have to do like every one of these. So what’s the bridge between the reverse step up and the full Bend squat is a full bend squat one side at a time. Now, okay, does that mean pistol squats or this or that? And, and what I’ve found, Is that it’s an asto grass style split squat.

So that means you’re in a split squat position, but then you’re lowering the front hamstring all the way down. Like if you took a screenshot from the side, it would look identical to that Olympic gold medalist weightlifter in the bottom position. And most people will have to elevate the front foot because it takes a lot of mobility to do that.

Like that’s a little unclear cause I was like testing, testing, but I, I always kept track of things and it does seem like it took me about about two years. To have the mobility to do that on flat ground. Again, someone seeing that and just trying that, like that’s not where the gains come from. Again, there’s range of motion and there’s load.

Where I started really making gains was by elevating the front foot and by using assistance. So again, like negative of my own weight, but getting that full hamstring over the calf. So I try to have people do this three times a week for 12 weeks. So three times a week for 12 weeks at your level, getting that full knee bend, letting your heel come up.

Then after that, Now we start thinking about whether to add load and try to work that heel towards flat because to get to that ankle mobility, so for some people, my mom can do it flat ground without weight. Now what I find is the stronger someone is, the more likely it is that they would actually have to add weight to get to that mobility.

Like most strong guys would never get to a flat ground. Split squat. If they think they can just do it with their body weight alone, like it’s probably not enough load to even like signal to their body to pull into that kind of a a depth. So again, it’s not like there’s any pressure on it, but we’re trying to use the deepest range of motion that we can without pain and we’re trying to use the weight that gives us the best range of motion.

If you go too heavy, you’ll shorten up. Like you won’t go all the way down. If you go too light, it won’t pull you that far down. So there’s my system in a nutshell, and people start to find as they get better and better into that asto grass split squat position, which not surprisingly comes from Olympic weightlifting.

In the sixties, there was lifters who would actually catch their Olympic lifts in that asto grass split squat, which is just remarkable. And well, you know, you gradually put those legs together and it’s like, oh shit. Squatting felt like crap for the last 10 years of my life now it actually feels great.

So the final stage of my system is where I do let people, you know, squat and deadlift with a bar, and we use that as a finisher, one to three sets. We still use that dumbbell dumbbell squat as a finisher, one to three sets of 20 reps. So there’s probably some research out there of another that would show that maybe a, a back off like higher rep finisher set.

And in this case, it would allow you to kind of, I think it could provide a little fun for someone, rather than saying, okay, now do a set of 20 barbell back squats. You know, it could maybe give them a little bit of a different stimulus, elevate the heels a little bit more, and you know, hold the dumbbell and pump out 20 reps.

I made sure to say like how to regress every quality we’ve talked about so far, right? And so it’s the same with this heels elevated squat, like someone with knee pain. The idea of elevating their heels and going all the way down would probably hurt them to think about. But we do this in five levels, and the lowest level is when you have a high amount of, of assistance.

Meaning like if you imagine that if you had two basic chairs and you actually held the backs of those chairs, one on each side, you’d be able to assist yourself like almost through the whole range. Now, imagine. Turning the chairs around so that you only get to use the seat of the chair. Does that make sense?

Yeah. To push off now, you have to handle your weight most of the way down, and then you just get a boost in the bottom position, which then level three would be not touching the chairs with your hands. Level four would then actually be holding the dumbbell in front. And again, since I’m just trying to stay in my.

Lane, like I’m not trying to teach someone how to build a muscle. I’m not trying to teach someone how to drive up a squatter. If I only live this shit, that’s gonna force me to be really good at this shit. So level five is actually holding with straight arms, which holds some strictness, holding the weight behind your back.

Walk backwards is the foundation. Reverse step ups is the second point, which is harder than walking backwards. The ATG split squat is harder than the step up, but again, it still regresses cuz you can use assistance, elevate your front foot and then it heels up all the way down. Squat is like our king exercise, but for my intents and purposes, I’m still just talking about like, about the posture and how pain free you can do it and not actually speaking of that, everything I do would still be considered accessory work for an actual, you know, Olympic weightlifter or, or powerlifter.

All right. Well, I hope you liked a few of the highlights from my interview with Ben Patrick, and if you want to listen to that full interview, you can find it back in July of 2021. And so now let’s move on to the highlight reel from the definitive and practical guide to Muscle Protein Synthesis. But first, have you ever wondered what strength training split you should follow?

What rep ranges you should work in, how many sets you should do per workout or per week? Well, I created a free 62nd training quiz that will answer those questions for you and others, including how frequently you should train each major muscle group, which exercises you should do, what supplements you should consider, uh, which ones are at least worth taking and more.

To take this quiz and to get your free personalized training plan, go to Muscle for Life, show Muscle quiz, answer the questions, and learn exactly what to do in the gym to gain more muscle and strength. What is muscle protein synthesis? The simple explanation is this is the process your body uses to repair, grow, and strengthen muscle fibers.

And it occurs when your body takes amino acids that it gets from the food you eat, or at least it gets some of them. It gets the essential amino acids from the food that you eat, and it combines them with others that it. Produces and then it creates new proteins. And these new proteins are used to repair and to build new muscle tissue.

The body has an opposite mechanism as well called muscle protein breakdown, whereby it breaks muscle tissue down into amino acids that it can then use for. It’s various needs, and when you look at muscle growth through this lens, it’s actually very simple. What it is, is it is muscle protein synthesis rates, outpacing muscle protein breakdown rates for extended periods of time.

So you could look at that in terms of weeks or months or years, regardless if you’re going to gain. Muscle. Your muscle protein synthesis rates are going to have to exceeded your muscle protein breakdown rates over that period of time. So to build muscle, then what you want to do is you want to increase your muscle protein, synthes synthesis rates as much as you can, as often as you can, and for as long as you can in each individual instance of increasing them, right?

And you also want to reduce muscle protein breakdown. Rates as much as you can, you know, in terms of frequency and intensity and duration. Now, when you lift weights, when you train, you are damaging cells in your muscle fibers, and this tells the body that it’s time to increase muscle protein synthesis rates because it needs to repair the damage.

So in that way, training is anabolic. It leads to the creation of more complex tissues from simpler substances, right? It takes these simpler amino acids and it turns them into the more complex proteins. And after you do a workout, there is a rapid and a prolonged. Increase in muscle protein synthesis that lasts anywhere from a couple of days, three days or so to less than 24 hours, depending on what you did in the workout.

If you did a couple of sets, that’s not gonna be as anabolic as, let’s say, nine sets. Right. And also how trained you are, how close you are to your genetic potential for muscle and strength. Because as you get more jacked, your body becomes more resistant to the training stimulus, and it takes a lot more to get a lot less muscle protein.

Synthesis. Now as far as the relationship between the amount of training you are doing in an individual workout and the amount of muscle protein synthesis that occurs because of it, a good rule of thumb is something between probably three and nine. Maybe as many as 12 hard sets, which would be sets taken close to technical failure with heavy weights for an individual muscle group in a session is the effective range.

So if you want to get the maximum training stimulus for an individual muscle group, In an individual session, somewhere between nine and 12 sets for that muscle group is the most that I would recommend. Okay, let’s flip this coin over now and talk about something related to nutrition, to how you eat, and that is simply calories because we’ll get to protein of course, and eating protein is important, and anybody into building muscle has heard that and probably at least tried a high protein diet.

But many people don’t understand how important calories alone are because a calorie deficit is great and needed to lose fat, but it also impairs your body’s ability to create new muscle proteins. It impairs muscle protein synthesis, and that then slows down or can even halt. Muscle growth. Now again, in newbies, the effect is not great enough to stop muscle gain, and that’s why newbies can recomp.

That’s why newbies can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. But as you become more experienced and as your body becomes more resistant to the training stimulus, and as muscle protein synthesis rates do not rise as high as they once. Did after you work out for as long as they once did. The hindrance of the calorie deficit becomes great enough to more or less eliminate the possibility of gaining muscle.

Another related downside to. Restricting calories is when you are in a calorie deficit, and especially as time goes on, anabolic hormone levels like testosterone go down and catabolic hormone levels like cortisol go up. And that of course is not conducive to muscle gain. And so really the key takeaway here then is when you want to maximize muscle and strength gain, you have to make sure you are not in a calorie deficit.

Okay, now let’s talk about protein. Why is eating protein so important to muscle protein synthesis? Well, it directly stimulates it. There is an amino acid in protein called leucine that is most responsible. That is the amino acid is most responsible for this mechanism. So you eat protein, muscle protein, synthesis rates go up and muscle protein breakdown rates go down.

And then of course, protein gives your body the raw materials, the building blocks. It needs the amino acids to then build the new muscle tissue to create the new muscle tissue. Now, you should also know that. Eating enough protein every day is far more important than when you eat it. So if for whatever reason you can’t or don’t want to have protein before or after your workouts, that’s totally fine.

Just make sure that you eat enough protein every day. Something around one gram per pound of body weight per day. Now as far as optimizing your protein intake goes, the timing is one tool you can use. And research shows that eating more frequently, eating protein more frequently is probably superior for muscle gain over time than eating protein.

Infrequently. So for example, having one or two large meals with a lot of protein is probably inferior for muscle gain, and especially if we’re talking experienced like intermediate or advanced weightlifters, then eating four to six servings of protein. Per day, which of course would be smaller. Another component of the muscle protein response to eating protein is duration.

How long do muscle protein synthesis rates rise when we eat protein? Well, we do have some insight here. Research shows that muscle protein synthesis rates remain elevated for no longer than th. Three hours. And here’s the interesting part, regardless of how long amino acids remain in your bloodstream, so let’s put these parts together.

We have the body that can only process about seven grams of protein per hour for muscle protein synthesis, and we have something around 30 grams maximally stimulating. Muscle protein synthesis rates, and we have that stimulation occurring, that elevation occurring for no more than three hours. Then we can see why eating 30 ish grams of protein every three, four hours or so makes a lot of sense.

And why that. Can result in more muscle gain over time than eating fewer larger servings. Now, one final component I should actually talk about in terms of muscle protein synthesis, it has occurred to me is sleep. We’ll end on this one, and this is extremely important because if you want to immediately make every aspect of your physiology better, just get better sleep.

If you are not getting enough high quality sleep, start doing that and. Everything gets better. Now as far as muscle building goes, not getting enough sleep is associated with a decrease in anabolic hormones like testosterone, growth hormone, and IGF one. And these are hormones that play a key role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis and reducing muscle protein breakdown.

So by not getting enough sleep, you are basically producing an environment in the body that is much less conducive to muscle gain. It is a systemic. Effect. And the only way to prevent that or to fix that if you are experiencing it, and to create the opposite, to create a hormonal environment that is maximally conducive to muscle gain, the only way to do it is to get enough sleep.

Let’s quickly summarize here. Let’s quickly wrap up. Elevating muscle protein synthesis rates enough to gain muscle effectively, mostly comes down to providing the proper stimulus in the gym. So you gotta do effective strength training really, and you gotta do enough of it in each session and each week.

In each major muscle group that you want to develop to get the response that you want, and then you have to eat enough calories. You have to make sure you are not consistently in a calorie deficit. And the easiest way to do that is to consistently be in a calorie surplus. And then of course, you wanna make sure you’re eating enough protein every day.

And protein timing is worth considering. It’s worth paying attention to, I think. And the best way to go about that. Is to eat around 30 grams of protein several times per day. Separate those meals by several hours and make sure you get enough sleep. And that’s really most of the recipe for maximum muscle growth.

It really is that simple. Okay, that’s it for the featured snippets from the Definitive and Practical Guide to Muscle Protein Synthesis. And if you want to listen to that full episode, it was published in August of 2020, so you can go back into the feed and find it. And last, we have a few moments from why the law of large numbers is greater than luck.

The law of large numbers is a phem that states that the average of a large number of trials should be close to the expected value in a case. You’re not familiar with the term expected value. It means more or less what you would guess it is the return that you can expect for some kind of action. For example, if you were to take a, a 20 question, multiple choice test with four options, a, B, C, D, as the answers, and if you were to guess A on all of them, you could expect to get 25% right?

You could expect to get five out of 20 of those questions right. Now. This is why, for example, if a casino loses money on a single spin of a roulette wheel, They’re not concerned. They can rest easy knowing that the law of large numbers guarantees them a profit over time because of course, the game is rigged in such a way that they make a slight mathematical profit every spin, regardless of the actual outcome.

All they need then is enough money to float, enough spins to realize that mathematical edge, this fundamental mathematical truth isn’t just for casinos and insurance companies. It actually has a very profound relevance to all of our lives because success in any field or endeavor is, in my opinion, little more than a function of the law of large numbers.

In other words, in the game of life, you’re the house and all you have to do is keep spinning the ball however you spin. It doesn’t matter whether you spin it fast, slow, clockwise, counterclockwise, it’s all the same. The advantage is yours and every spin racks up a small profit in your favor. Regardless of whether it pays out immediately or not, and in my experience, one of the things that really sets successful people apart from unsuccessful people isn’t luck or the brilliance of their ideas, the people they know.

Or anything other than the will to keep the wheel spinning. You see these people treat their businesses and their work like a numbers game, and they focus on what they can control, which is of course their actions. So, you know, the secret to making a bunch of sales engage a lot of prospects, right? That’s one of those sales management cliches is work out exactly how many calls you have to make.

To get into conversation with how many prospects and how many prospects you have to engage in conversation to make a sale, and then you go, cool. On average, I know that I will get one sale per X number of calls, and if I look at my time, I think I can make y number of calls per day and therefore expect Z sales per day from my current system.

I think this also applies to more creative type of endeavors, like building an app or writing a book. Create a lot of versions. Start with a minimum viable product, which is a very important concept. If you don’t know what that is, read the book Leans startup right now and iterate. Add one feature at a time.

Fix one bug at a time. Write one word at a time, one page at a time. Every day, and you know the quality of this work almost doesn’t matter if you are relentless enough. The total spins is ultimately what counts. Quality is of secondary importance. Yes, you would rather have high quality spins, but you can make up for a lack of quality in quantity, and you can also rest easy knowing that your technique will inevitably improve with repetition, whether you like it or not.

Now, I like this framework because it also teaches us to focus on the process, not the goals or dreams which are necessary. But in the scheme of things not nearly as important as the system for achieving those goals and dreams. I also like this metaphor because it helps me discount luck and windfalls. I sit down every day and do the work that I know I need to do to keep the ball moving, and I do that confident in the knowledge that over time I’m going to win.

How big I’m going to win. Not sure. And that’s where luck, I think, comes into play truly. So anyway, my point here is that I reject the idea that you can chalk most of an entrepreneur’s success up to luck. In some cases that’s true for sure. Some people that produce, let’s say, an app that just goes absolutely ape shit and they’re just like, well, fuck, I win, I guess.

Yeah, that’s pretty lucky. But in most cases, that’s just not how it goes. Now, I know you can argue that there are two forms of luck, right? So you can have positive things happen to you, which I would say in my own personal story, I’ve had a lot of small positive things happen. I wouldn’t necessarily say that those were due to luck, though.

I mean, there was a lot of. Work that was being, that has been done to generate a lot of these positive small things to happen. But I can’t think of any major defining like, oh yeah, Tom Brady started tweeting about my stuff and that was, that was the beginning. Um, nothing like that. But there’s also the type of luck, which manifests in not having bad things happen.

Here’s what I wanna leave you with. Don’t put too much stock in immediate, tangible. Success or failure because often these things feel kind of random and out of our control, even if they are directly caused by things that we have done in the past. Whether good or bad, when it lands on your plate, it can often be quite mysterious and leave you wondering how the hell that possibly happened, and that’s why I like to look more into the future than worry about the present.

I like to play the long game and place my. Faith in what I can control and know that the law of large numbers says that if I continue to do the right things every day, it will pay out. Eventually. There are gonna be good days or are gonna be bad days. Sometimes it feels like you’re making progress.

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like you’re making progress, and all of that stuff is. Fine, but don’t get lost in the subjective. Try to remain focused on the objective. Are you doing the right things every day? Do you have a system that is likely to produce the outcomes that you want? If you do, then you just work the system and pay attention to the trends over time more than the day-to-day fluctuations.

All righty. Well, that’s it for the featured Moments from Why the Law of Large Numbers is Greater than Luck, and if you want to listen to that, you can find it in May of 2018. 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.

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