What if fitness was about more than just aesthetics?
What if we viewed sport not just as a game, but as a transformative power in society, and training as a tool for resilience and durability?
These are just a few of the themes and questions Kelly Starrett unpacks in this podcast.
In case you’re not familiar with Kelly, he’s a Doctor of Physical Therapy, renowned speaker, and a New York Times bestselling author, whose book Becoming a Supple Leopard made him into the biggest mobility guru in the world.
In our conversation, Kelly and I delve into . . .
- The essential role of training for more than just aesthetics and how personal experiences led him to emphasize resilience and durability
- The transformative power of sport in society and the dangers of early sports specialization in young athletes
- The often undervalued psychoemotional components of coaching and the surprising sleep disruption side-effects of COVID-19
- Debunking the sleep deprivation myth in successful people and advocating for a shift towards whole foods for improved performance and health
- The vital importance of communal eating in fostering unity and its profound influence on team culture
- The practicality and scalability of fitness practices, with a focus on creating daily routines that improve overall well-being
- The alarming decline in outdoor activities among children and the potential health hazards of this trend
- And more . . .
So, if you’re ready to elevate your health, durability, and longevity, don’t miss this conversation with Kelly Starrett!
0:00 – Please leave a review of the show wherever you listen to podcasts and make sure to subscribe!
10:07 – The role of sports in society and how to transform its perception
41:06 – The vital signs of health and the importance of benchmarks for progress
38:31 – Try Whey+ risk-free today! Go to buylegion.com/whey and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!
59:29 – The importance of small changes and consistency for long-term success
01:02:49 – Where to find Kelly Starrett’s work and more resources
Mentioned on the Show:
Try Whey+ risk-free today! Go to buylegion.com/whey and use coupon code MUSCLE to save 20% or get double reward points!
Kelly’s new book Built to Move
Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Mike: Hello, I am Mike Matthews and this is Muscle for Life. Thank you for joining me today for a new episode, which is an interview with Dr. Kelly Stare, who is a doctor of physical therapy, a renowned speaker, a New York Times bestselling author who has written several books. And I first encountered Kelly El Elisa, his work with his book Becoming a Supple Leopard, which made him into the biggest mobility guru in the world.
And as great as becoming a supple leopard is, many people have found it difficult to use or difficult to apply to their circumstances because it is encyclopedic. There’s so much in there, so much to choose from. I’ve heard from many people over the years who were looking for something a bit more prescriptive or who were asking me to help them understand for their shoulder issue, which of the 35 mobility drills or exercises are going to work best for them.
And so in Kelly’s newest book, born To Move, he has taken those questions to heart and produced something that allows you to assess your current ability to move your body. The ways that. It should be able to be moved and find where you have deficits, you’re gonna have strengths, you’re gonna have weaknesses.
And then figure out which exercises can help you shore up those weaknesses. And so in this episode, Kelly is going to talk a bit about this book, but he’s also going to talk about a topic that he’s very passionate about and that is sport, and particularly the transformative power of sport. How we can use it to not only train our body, but also train our mind.
And how powerful that can be with young people. In particular, how young people, how kids can learn very important life lessons and develop very important character qualities through sport. And that sport may be the most effective way to develop those qualities and to teach those lessons and to train their bodies.
Hey Kelly. It’s nice to see you again. It’s been a while.
Kelly: Always a pleasure, my friend. You have been busy.
Mike: Yeah, yeah. As you have been writing books and so forth, which, uh, I wanna get into in this interview.
Kelly: We are right in the middle of Junior Olympic Madness. We’re about to head south. Our kids play water polo.
I have a daughter at orientation at University of Michigan. We’re just trying to figure out how to throw all the balls in the air, like everyone else, catch most of ’em and not implode. So, you know, just like where an average busy working people we spend three hours a day on our gratitude journal and my red light therapy, and then I
Mike: don’t forget the cold plunge and
Kelly: oh.Right. I’m just trying to fold the laundry before my wife gets home. That’s my game.
Mike: If only we didn’t have to sleep or if we could just. Take small doses of methamphetamine without losing our teeth.
Kelly: You know what’s cool about that is that experiment’s been run for us already, and it always ends in disaster.
One of our friends, Alan Lim, who was worked in, he’s the founder of Scratch Labs Tour de France. He’s a genius sports performance maestro, but he always says, you cannot cheat your physiology. And I really always come back to that. I’m like, you know, what are you stealing from? What are you borrowing from?
And that, you know, that short-term gain, you’re like, this is working. This is working. And then you run out and you fall to your death. So, uh, you don’t get something for nothing.
Mike: That’s very true, very applicable to the body composition scene. Of course with steroid use. A lot more prevalent, I think than many people realize.
Even just among everyday gym goers who don’t even have a good reason, like millions of dollars on the line to, to use those drugs.
Kelly: Yeah, that’s an interesting piece without, you know, you like going down this rabbit hole really does speak to, I think some of the work that you and I are trying to, to do is give people a different rationale for why they’re training besides aesthetics and look, that’s always there and I, whatever gets you to the gym, I think that’s super cool.
Mike: At least 50% of the reason remains vanity. That’s, and that’s fine. There’s no shame in admitting that
Kelly: I wanna be less gross for my wife. I think that’s a reasonable thing. But, uh, you know, what you really are seeing is how this sort of battle for aesthetics I look a certain way, has no bearing on longevity.
Durability has no tangible relationship to performance. And you know, all show no go. We’ve been talking about that forever, but we’ve really lost the idea of why am I training and training and bodybuilders, don’t get me wrong, we have a bunch of bodybuilder friends and we have learned how to manipulate calories and have discipline and, you know, put on mass on people fast.
I mean, there’s a lot we’ve pulled out of those communities. But once again, that’s not a sport. I think when we try to really understand why we’re engaging on all of these seemingly very disparate behaviors, it’s so that we can go out into the world and be a different person. We can be more effective. We can show for our families, we can be more resilient.
What made me think of it actually was we were just running the South Fork this weekend. South Fork of the American Juliet is a three time world champion. My, my wife is a three time world champion. Whitewater. Paddler. I used to paddle professionally, canoe and kayak, but I went through this drop, this little class, three plus drop.
Called, uh, Satan Cesspool because they always have a name like that. But, uh, I’m in a new boat and it kept me completely dry. Shout out Nirvana Jackson Kayak, and it has this bow that really allows you to get up. And I came flying through there with more speed, dry face, and Juliet had parked herself on River right in the middle of the drop where she shouldn’t have been.
And I smashed into her boat going so fast, all of my 109 kilo self flying down smashed into her boat. And literally was like, was like a dynamic undercut, like my wife had created an undercut, I got pushed under the undercut off of rebounding, and I was, I rolled back up and I was like, wow, is my neck broken?
Like, what? Well, that was a lot. And Julia’s like, you hit us so hard. And that really is sort of, I’m like, okay, I guess my, my training is working, a, I got lucky, and B, there’s some things that I’m doing that’s allowing me to take the hits. And I think that’s, Where you and I love to, you know, some of our, our overlap is we don’t just think you can be better in your life, but we think that the, these behaviors allow you to take the hits which are coming out of left field.
You don’t know what’s popping up, and you can reduce the impact of those hits. Big job, interview, stress, sick, loved one. A move, a death, like an injury, like the hits are coming.
Mike: That’s exactly what I was gonna say. For many of us, myself included, physical hits like that are less likely because I have no hobbies and, uh, I just lift weights a few days a
Uh, however, however, the emotional and the psychological hits even in the most charmed of lives, it is inevitable. And there’s no question that there’s overlap between physical resilience or that physical resilience improves our psychological and emotional resilience, although I think it, it can reach levels of cringe on, like, on social media where you see guys, it’s usually guys talking about training as if it’s hand-to-hand.
Mortal Ko, like as if they’re like Roman Legionnaires in Julius Caesar’s army or something. It, it can get a little bit like overly alpha and cheesy. But there’s, there’s at least a kernel of truth there.
Kelly: I’m doing this bench press at 2 25 to inspire the world. That’s obviously,
Mike: or or going to battle. I’m going to battle with, uh, the bench press.
Kelly: That’s right. That’s right. You know, you’re, you’re hitting up, I think is, there is some innate need to do difficult things and. More and more. I have some, sometimes a complicated relationship with sport. Sport is commoditized. It is fetishized. It is monetized in a way that is really gross in a turnoff sometimes.
And we take athletes and we sell them this lie that, you know, get to college, get to pros, everything will be good. You’ll make billions of dollars and someone’s making billions of dollars. But athletes have paid a lot, a heavy price, heavy blood price for that access. And, and if you’re talking to young, you know, teenagers whose parents have said, you know, you’re gonna be the chosen one, and then that either turns out or doesn’t turn out, or it doesn’t, you know, you, you got there for one, did got to the dance or a dance for one one year.
Certainly that is not the promise of sport. And yet, right now I’ve seen sport unite. Cities in such a profound way when we’re our most divided selves in this country, where it doesn’t matter what your affiliation or cultural background or religious identity, we are cheering for the Warriors. We are cheering for the Niners, and that is really, really powerful.
And the Olympics comes around, I’m like, oh, this is what it felt like to be an American after nine 11 again, where we, you know, and I know Sebastian Young has written about that, but suddenly my, I start to think, well, how else are modern kids? Going to come to have a model to understand themselves. And sport really gives us a way to understand how we work with other people and how we can engage with self-soothing techniques.
And how do I handle stress and then be goofy the next second. And what does it mean to delay gratification? Suddenly you’re like, oh, there’s training, there’s nutrition, there’s mindset, there’s recovery, there’s sleep. And if we reframe this for everyone, suddenly we have, I think, the greatest tool to make a better society.
And I don’t feel like I’m just being, you know, Pollyannish. I really am like, that is the promise of sport, not the promise of that. I’ll get to, you know, I heard about a, a university that just won a national championship in a sport, and they’re dominating. A really well known university you’ve heard of, and the culture on the team is toxic.
The people competing on that team aren’t stoked to be there and yet they’ve done the thing, they’ve won the national championship, they’re the best. You know, what you see is the experience is teaching me that this thing can’t be all things. And I feel like that’s really, if we can reframe sport, maybe get away, you know, some of the, the shininess, look at the guy’s big pecs, that’s the goal.
Then suddenly we have a really do have a way to transform families and transform our communities. I think that’s what we’re gonna have to do a better job of.
Mike: And in the, in the case of kids and sport, if you could press the button, how would that relationship change or how would the focus change, or how would the representation of sport change to young kids?
Kelly: Oh, it’s such a great question. I think there are a lot of really smart people working on, I. Sort of the, the scope of that. Because suddenly what we see is we have an amateur system of play, theoretically, right? Which suddenly becomes not very playful, it’s very intense, very early. But you know, I’m talking about your 10 year old’s elite pitching experience.
I’m like, eh, he’s 10. He hasn’t grown yet. You know, we’ll see. But a lot of the coaches, volunteer coaches are parents. I think this is the one errors we have in the whole system, is that it’s all volunteer based in the beginning. And those volunteers default to their own experience and to their own training, which means I had a football coach yell at me.
So that’s obviously how I motivate kids. Where in there now are we going to talk about all of the things required to be successful at sport? Why do we eat the way we eat? Why do we have to get enough sleep? So suddenly we’re at this another. Type one error where if kids aren’t playing sports regularly, aren’t active and outside, then they’re not prepared to go learn a new skill.
So ultimately, where am I developing G P P general physical preparedness functionality where my loading tends to ligaments and teaching movement skills. So then, then the kid can then go transfer those to soccer. And so suddenly the soccer coach now is responsible for a c l prevention. They’re talking about warmup and cool down.
They’re teaching kids to run, like, you know, their task isn’t just to organize kids to be effective in a soccer match. They’re suddenly having to take on a whole different level of responsibility to get that child and support that child, which may mean. Man, Hey, what did you have for breakfast? Johnny? Can I see your snack?
At? Suddenly you were like, you know, hey, a Gatorade is not a great thing to drink in the middle of a, of a practice. You know, you may really only need an orange slice and some water, but you actually didn’t eat breakfast and you had pizza. Like you can suddenly see the the run-on. So suddenly we ask, well, who’s responsible for the G P P?
Where is that being taught? And it’s not being taught? And subsequently now we add in this sports specialization model and kids are playing one, they’re only playing baseball and they’re, and the message they’re getting is, if you’re not only playing baseball, you’ll never start. So suddenly we’ve taken this beautiful possibility and we’ve certainly tweaked it in a way where it’s not serving us the way we we know.
And the research around kids dropping out by the time they’re 18 is pretty high. And so one of the, let me give you an example. I have this 15 year old daughter who’s five 10. She likes to play goalie. She self-identifies as a goalie. She’s very motivated. She plays water polo and. She had an opportunity because of her birthday, wheeled birthday works.
She is gonna be a sophomore, but she has the opportunity to play at Junior Olympics with seventh and eighth graders, even though she’s a rising sophomore. She’s already played varsity, but her birthday, she’s still 14 until August 2nd. So her birthday is the day of the cutoff where she can play down and one of the.
One of the well-meaning coaches said to her, you should play 14 because you’ll be scouted and you’ll dominate those 14 year olds. Caroline has no relationship, doesn’t go to school with those kids, doesn’t practice with those kids, doesn’t psycho identify with those kids. She’s in high school and she plays with all these high school kids and her older sister is best friends with all these kids.
So the reason she should be playing 18 U where she’s playing right now as a fluke of not having enough goalies or whatever, and she’s got some talent. She also is with her cohort of friends, and so it’s that cycle of motion. She goes to practice and comes home giggling and. Buzzing and talking about practice, not, I dominated the crap outta these 14 year olds with the rationale of understanding why we’re doing sport so that we can come to know ourselves.
That is the thing we’re gonna have to do a better job of teaching parents. And I think what that does mean is that we can do a better job as parents to bring kids in if parents have the right tools and say, this is what athletes do to sleep, to grow. This is what athletes eat to, to perform, and why?
Because we’re actually gonna take all of the lessons that we’re learning in high performance environments and transmute them to our kids so our kids can actually benefit from what we’re learning in the N F L N H L M L B, premier soccer, et cetera, et cetera.
Mike: I’ve seen some of this firsthand with my son who’s 10 and wanted to play flag football.
So, Did one season. Then the next season I chipped in to help coach and it was interesting. So as a kid I played baseball and then I got into hockey first roller hockey, then ice hockey, and then really liked ice hockey and just stuck with it for a number of years and did a lot of it between that and roller hockey.
That was like a lot of my time. So I’m coaching my son’s helping assistant coaching my son’s flag football team. And it was interesting. I, I remember one kid actually had some athletic ability, but spent most of his time as parents, just let him sit on the. Screens. Basically that’s all he did outside of school.
And so like, if he dropped the ball, he would start crying. Like he, he didn’t know how to deal with even a minor setback because he didn’t really have as much of a social, maybe out. Maybe he had his little friends at school, but otherwise like would just go home and sit on TikTok and sit on video games.
And then if he dropped another ball, then there were times he would pretend like he would have a leg cramp and he’d have to sit out. But it was totally not, he was just, he didn’t know how to cope with this feeling of, wait a minute, I didn’t, it didn’t go the way I wanted it to. There were other kids, nutrition, you know, they hadn’t, hadn’t eaten in six hours and it’s like 6:00 PM and it’s practice time.
And I would ask them, and the last thing they did eat was like a Lunchables and there were these mini bites or something like little, little muffins. And they ate it six hours ago. And I. So I’ve seen that firsthand.
Kelly: And one of our friends recently had this idea for a sports drink for middle-aged people, and it’s hose flavored water.
So you just like, you just pour little hose,
Mike: but it has, it has to have a bunch of sodium and a couple of other minerals, so then you can mark it up like 15 times and sell it as.
Kelly: A hundred percent so hose flavored water, everyone. And because, you know, really that’s the allegory for all of the dysfunction that we fought through to create these calluses that allowed us to go out and take chance and risk as escaped from, you know, uncertainty as an escape like this.
I was like, okay, there’s an adult who’s here who wants to like guide me universe, like don’t come home adults. You know, it’s dark. What I think we’re, we’re realizing here is the sport is almost the canary in the coal mine where we really, you do see, you know, the downstream effects. You’re at the pointy end of the spear of the stick as a coach.
And where are we going to begin? ’cause now we have the perfect opportunity for a short series, a short season. Everyone knows what the outcome is, which is to feel good and be on a team and, and you’ve seen. All the, the great work that in all the, the sporting groups do that. I’m blanking on the name. I apologize for everyone.
But, um, you know, we’re trying to get parents through to learn what it means to be a good parent about coaching. But one of the drills that we do with this group is you write your F five favorite characteristics of a good coach, and then you put ’em up on a wall. And some of ’em were physical, like tactical, excellent technical knowledge.
And then you have all these psychoemotional components. And when you put everyone’s on the wall, there’s like 50 on this side about psycho emotion, how they made you feel communication, right. Belonged to a team, felt love, felt seen. And then there’s like three, like technically great coach, what we see in.
The work of people like Brett Bartholomew, who’s talking art of coaching about communication is that, wow, we really don’t value some of the other aspects of sport we value. I need another drill, not how am I going to get buy-in, manage all of these different relationships and, and we see it, the mal expression in so many different ways.
One of the teams that I am associated with that get to get to spend time with, they had a bad loss to another college this year, and then that affected them in the next game that they should have won. It was a bad loss, lost their confidence. What we saw was potentially had a generation of athletes who’ve been the best put through the junior national team system, promoted along the way, always selected for the a team, never always been successful.
And then the first time they actually competed against people who had been the same thing. And lost. They didn’t have a schema. This is division one superstars having a leg cramp. ’cause they dropped the ball. And so what you really do see is you’re like, oh, I see how this is. And sometimes when you come in you say, well, what can we control for on our site right now, on our Instagram, we have pinned of video.
I put up, I was on a friend’s show talking about sleep. And I said on this Instagram post, and if you can go there to the ready state, you can see it. I said, Hey, really? We want seven hours is our minimum sleep. If you are trying to grow a body, get out of pain, get muscle, get lean, heal an injury, right?
Learn a skill.
Mike: And that’s probably not enough for most people in reality. Like that’s a, that’s, that’s table stakes.
Kelly: Table stakes. And I said rule magic starts to happen if those are your goals towards eight hours.
Mike: And sometimes I also follow that up with, just so people understand, that doesn’t mean seven hours or eight hours in bed either.
It, it means in this case seven or eight or even maybe even nine hours of actual sleep because if you’re, uh, blessed to get into bed, Blackout unconscious within five minutes, and then just be in a coma all night long. And then,
Kelly: right. You have any caffeine, alcohol, T h c, stress, blue light, whatever it is.
Mike: Yeah. Seven or eight hours later you just pop out of bed. Bright-eyed and bushy tilled. Well, yeah. Yeah. One, you’re probably like 25 years old. I remember those days. I’ve, I’ve emotionally accepted. I may never sleep the entire night through ever again.
Kelly: No, you won’t. And uh, you at some point you’re gonna be, I’m 50 this year and I, every once in a while I have to pee in the night too.
And I’m like, okay, well that’s over.
Mike: I’m dealing with not to not, I don’t wanna hijack the conversation with just, uh, me babbling. But I was exposed to Covid again recently, which is not a big deal. It’s gonna happen. My wife got it traveling fine, and I’ve had it several times and it’s, it’s always been a mild illness.
I almost didn’t even notice, it just felt like congested. Am I sick? I don’t know. But I know that we had a nurse come over and just check her out ’cause she had a bit of a fever and then they did a test and she was positive. And then I did a test positive. Okay, fine. And so the illness itself was mild.
However, I’ve now dealt with this twice the after effect that. Two things that I notice. One is it messes my sleep up and I’ve now done some reading, and this is a common side effect. It even has a, an informal term, covid insomnia. And I’ve had it before and it was pretty bad. It was like an actual insomnia.
I’d have trouble falling asleep and then I might wake up every hour or every two hours. I might wake up.
Kelly: This is good to know. I actually haven’t, believe it or not, I have not heard of this. I’ve heard of all so many other things.
Mike: Oh, this is a thing. There’s now research on it. It is a thing. It is one of the most common side effects is sleep disruption following covid, and it can happen to anyone.
I. Again, the illness for me is very mild. I’m a pretty healthy guy. I, I don’t really even have any unhealthy habits to speak of. Not to say I’m perfect, but like I don’t drink alcohol. I don’t smoke. I, I eat well, I sleep, I exercise, I do all the things and it’s still, it really screwed up my sleep many months ago.
And then this second time around I’ve been dealing with a bit of sleep disruption. Again, not as bad, but in addition to that, so like last night I woke up every couple of probably every two, two and a half hours ’cause I had to pee like I actually pee pretty badly. And that is also a fairly common side effect or it is a known side effect that you get an overactive bladder that covid can, the long covid mysterious phenomenon can include an overactive bladder.
Kelly: well you, what’s great about your story and thank you for sharing that ’cause those are two things I don’t think people are aware of. But the hits are gonna come and your sleep is gonna be disrupted. That’s okay. You’re gonna have a baby, you’ll have a deadline, you’ll have to jump on a red eye. You’ll travel, you’ll sleep on a weird bed.
You, you won’t want to go to sleep ’cause you’re so freaked out or sketched out. But then you’ve gotta come back down and try to get back to baseline. It’s like saying, well, if my blood pressure decent blood pressure’s one 20 over 80 and that’s a benchmark or a vital sign. If I’m running, you know, really high blood pressure for a while, you can probably tolerate that, but then you need to bring it back down because N one 20 or eight isn’t great blood pressure by the way.
That’s just the benchmark for, we’re like, Hey, what’s going on with you? And that. Post we put up three or 4 million views and now what we’re seeing, we left the comments open because we’re so interested in seeing people’s reactions to this that people can’t sleep seven hours. It’s bullshit. No one sleeps that much.
No one who’s successful sleeps that much, that everyone knows that in order to hustle and get by, it’s four hours. If you read the comments, some of ’em are very personal. My new favorite self moniker is Dr. Flat Bill. ’cause I was wearing a hat in there. So I’m Dr. Flat Bill and people are like, well, look at you.
You look terrible. You, and you’re sleeping that way and you look like an ass. But what’s really interesting is that outside this vertical where I. The W H O world sleep foundation like any person is like seven to eight. And for children it’s actually more. And then the research around getting less sleep is pretty gnarly in terms of injury prevention
Mike: and then performance as well, especially in in athletics, I mean
Kelly: a hundred percent.
And you know, suddenly we are at this interface where, We’ve told this lie that you know, you don’t need sleep. That’s a badge of honor. And I thought we were post that. But outside our vertical, we haven’t told that story very well and made the case for it. And now we have this opportunity, it’s called youth sports and that we’re really having to say, Hey, parents and kids, if you’re serious about making the roster, I need you to see your sleep scores.
You know, and that means you need to be in, have no phone. So it really gives us this organizing schema to talk about these things and talk about the things that we’re seeing that we’re getting wrong in our own generation, right? Because that’s really what we should theoretically be doing is course correcting back and forth, back and forth until we, we start to see fewer perturbations in the global system because we’ve run an experiment.
And now because of the internet, we can aggregate and understand all of the experts.
Mike: And I agree with putting a lot of emphasis on. Children and on parents and raising children because that is the future of our species. And there are situations that can get so bad that there’s always something that can be done about it.
But if we’re talking about individual health, whether it’s physical health, mental health, physical ability, mental ability, let’s just say that you, you can dig a hole that’s so deep that it’s, it, it can be very, very difficult to ever climb out of. However, if we would’ve taken that same person and rewind when they were a child and raised them or helped them become raised, get helped them get raised differently and maybe not.
Develop certain issues at an early age that then become very hard to correct as time goes on. You could have a very different person.
Kelly: Yeah, and the real question is where’s that vehicle? And that since we mandate that kids go to school, for me it seems like that’s the place to be able to have this kind of level of conversation and then appreciate that.
I think, you know, and I know you know this mo we’ve developed where the glacial pace is, the breakneck pace that if we’re going to see change in society, it takes a long time. Where we are as a strength conditioning community now versus where we were 10 years ago is pretty phenomenal in the view of, wow, we’ve gotten a lot more sophisticated and complex in 10 years, and some of that complexity has blinded us.
You know, we’re you, there’s a, there’s a lot of end no explode and pre-workout and silliness as we had talked about when we started. And yet simultaneously, you know, Juliet and I, you know, we describe ourselves and we describe ourselves on podcasts as diet survivors. You know, we like low fat zone paleo ke like all in the, in the name of performance.
But really I keep coming back that we see the big trends. Even kind of be pushed backwards in society, really have started in the strength and conditioning. I think we’re seeing a revolution in, in whole food nutrition to fuel sport that is backing its way out. We’re seeing, you know, fewer protein shakes, maybe it’s ’cause magazines don’t exist anymore.
Fewer protein shakes, more whole food. And people have been talking about that forever. But because it’s this top down approach, you know, tour de France, I would say, you know, and, and some of the professionals, you know, soccer and rugby has been the, the leaders of saying, Hey, when we feed our athletes actual food and they sit together, we tend to do better.
Mike: Hmm. Oh, I don’t know. That sounds pretty, uh, pretty extreme, pretty fringe.
Kelly: Uh, yeah. The whole food agenda. Yeah. Kelly is star at, is selling the idea that we should have dinner together.
Mike: Big Ag is, uh, trying to convince you to eat more of their toxic plants full of antinutrients.
Kelly: You know, uh, I heard a story, I have a relationship with the 49 ERs and two seasons ago they made the commitment to put a chef on site year round for their players.
And what they recognized was, Athletes from a performance perspective that if athletes could get fed and hold foods and didn’t have to cook and clean, they would come do it. So it gave reason for people to stick around, which changed culture, which gave them a reason to be in the building and then to go to the weight room and go out, you know, and all they needed to do was feed and it was part of their contract, and it was not an insignificant amount of money investment, basically the cost of a, of a rookie player to have a great chef to run that thing.
And simultaneously we have young athletes who have maybe come out of high school and college who didn’t learn the skills of how to cook, didn’t learn the skills of how to nurture themselves with food or, or create culture or identity around it because of their, the lack of that in their families, or lack of emphasis for whatever reason.
Suddenly being able to get those needs met instead of defaulting to their training, which could have been. You know, I’m eating fast food. We saw the same thing happen with Arsenal. Arsenal suddenly had meals delivered by from Herod’s to the players. And some of the people were like, wait, we’re we’re sending dinner to 22 year old millionaires?
And they were like, yes, because they’ll default to chips and curry and you know, they won’t eat good food. And yet when someone delivers you vegetables, you know, great carbohydrate sources, lean proteins, you’ll eat them a hundred percent of the time. Like, if I bring you a bespoke meal, you’re like, thanks.
I mean, that’s my life ambition is to be able to have an in-house chef that will, I don’t know how much money my fam Julie and I have to make, I, I
Mike: suspect it could be more affordable than you might think. If you actually, we could turn this into a semi meal prep thing now if you want a live-in chef to make you whatever, want, whatever you want.
Okay. Now, now you need to write more books,
Kelly: a lot, a lot, a lot more stretching videos. And what we’re we’re finding is, you know, I’ve, some of the work I’ve seen in the Navy and some of the, the Army upper tier units, they found that their war fighters were eating one or two meals together a day. And that they, when they did that, they found better unit cohesion.
And turns out, guess what? People who eat together, you know, Juliette says, you know, should probably crib this from you. Human beings only really do two things. We move together and we eat together. So where are you doing that? And suddenly you start to see that there are these overarching patterns that are emerging through the data set, which is, by the way, the definition of the scientific method, right?
So Francis Bacon is like induction through large pattern, like understanding the principles driven by looking at large data sets. That is the scientific method. When we then can be clever enough to say, okay, what does that look like? How can I make that work in my family unit? You know, that’s really, really powerful and that’s how I think we’re gonna transform society and give ourselves common cause because our children are gonna go to school together and play sports together.
And now we can all at least unify around what’s best for our kids.
Mike: It’s a great message and a great vision. One that I also believe strongly in, even though most of my work I’d say is, is more geared toward young adults to middle age adults and beyond, and is skewed toward body composition. But I also do work in a, a, a lot about overall health, overall performance, longevity, and again, openly acknowledging that 50% of the reason that.
That I am still in the gym, uh, three days a week currently. I do cardio on my other days, but is to look a certain way. I don’t think there’s any shame in that. But there is another 50% that doesn’t involve like abs and biceps.
Kelly: I don’t mind looking jacked as a, you know, I don’t mind being the jacked dad at the sideline, but you can have multiple bottom lines.
I think that’s really where we’re, we’re going. The problem is you don’t win fitness. You don’t win health. I mean, are you gonna be a hundred years old and you’re only a success when you rip up your shirt on your deathbed and you’re like, jacked abs fools. You know what I mean? Like, is that, is that when it is, like
Mike: what do they say?
Uh, as long as you leave a big coffin. Right? That’s how you know you’ve won.
Kelly: Oh, I haven’t heard that, but, uh, I want a wide coffin, like, you know, like, we can’t fit this guy’s lats in here. What’s going on?
Mike: Yeah, yeah. You wanna be, you bury me. Massive. You know,
Kelly: I guess we did have a high school football coach said, let’s get bigger than a house every day.
Be like, let’s block the sun. Let’s get bigger than a house. I, I appreciate that. You know, it, it’s interesting then to say we’re starting to get a lot of overwhelm because we’re seeing so many tools and tactics, I think, and then people have, you know, created listicles out of those things and they’re, and they’re very much dilettantes in all of those fields.
Mike: I’m thinking of all the Twitter thread boys that just regurgitate people’s list listicles.
Kelly: That’s so cool. It’s listicle. And, um, and when we, when we I think can do a better job of giving framework to that, what’s most essential? What is fun and entertaining? Look, I’m, I like getting in cold water. I like getting in the heat.
I find that very, it breaks me like, it doesn’t matter how stressed I’m I’m, I get hot and cold. It like, there’s no reset, uh, necessary. I’m just like, well, I got hot and cold and now I need to go to bed ’cause I’m knackered. But I also see those things as I. Not practical, not scalable, you know what I mean?
And very much entertainment. Like, this is entertaining. I really like this, and I’m sure there’s another way where I can take a shower. Most people are taking showers or, or getting hot and cold every day when we can do a better job. And I, I just shine the light back on our cohort of, of coaches and friends.
Are we making it better and easier for people to understand this? Or are we adding to the bullshit noise and let’s figure out which one of these problems I’ve contributed to and let me try to solve it. You know, you don’t need an hour of rolling around on a foam roller and hooking yourself to a band.
That was never our intention. And yet people went crazy. They stopped lifting, stopped, started running, and started mobilizing. And I’m like, hold up.
Mike: Or, or doing like 45 minute prehab sessions before they go and squat 135 or something, you know?
Kelly: That’s right. Yeah, that’s right. Hey, that’s really heavy these days, so you’re really on it.
And uh, I think when. It’s sometimes a degree that we overran our coverage a little bit. We got a little over our skis and I think we’re seeing a little bit of correction because when we ask and you know, I really appreciate that we kind of started talking about kids. I just saw some statistics about, and an article about this epidemic of a c l injury rates in kids right now that it’s insane.
And when we started even doing a straw poll in our house of kids, people who are in their forties and fifties, I’m like, how many of your classmates had a c l tears? And it was like one, but the kid got tackled, slide tackled and it was really a fluke thing. And now we’re seeing that there’s two per team per season and that like it’s really, it was an ER here at U C S F that does 24 hour rotations of a C l repairs and kids and the research of you.
I was just over at Cal Berkeley talking to their sports med department and they said, now they have enough data that if you’ve injured your a C L in high school, we can guarantee you another lower extremity injury in college. Like it’s a hundred percent correlation between having another one. So suddenly you’re like, whoa, is this incomplete?
Rehab after surgery is this underlying situations that we haven’t ever addressed. You know, sleep, nutrition, bone density, movement control, all the things that go into it, and, and suddenly you’re like, third party validation is the only way we can understand our work. And if our work is this trillion dollar industry of fitness, then third party validation should be, we should be less gross, less fat, less diabetic, less dependent on substance abuse, less depressed.
I mean, choose something. You know, you and your family care about ’cause you’re battling that and ask, have we been served by the Internet of fitness? And I don’t think we have. So walk around any middle school high school sport event, especially these club activities. So you go to club volleyball and look what the parents have put out.
They’ve gone to Costco and they’ve done the minimalist they can and they put out 20,000 calories of croissants and everyone gets a Jamba juice after playing volleyball for 20 minutes. And, and suddenly you’re like, hold up. Like this is not the zombie apocalypse. One year I was so fed up with our daughter’s club and the, the nutrition that was happening where I was, we were having a lot of conversations and Julie and I were, you know, saying, Hey, here’s how we fuel so we don’t see these crashes.
There was a girl there who had this breathing disorder. She would get super panicky and she had really hard parents on her, and she would start to, you know, go numb and her hands would get all tingly and she’d breathe into a bag and she would eat like a trash can. And then, Crash. And then her parents would give her cliff blocks, they’d give her gummy bears, these sugar blocks, and then she’d be back up and then she’d crash again.
And you know, when we said, Hey, here’s what we know. And again, not us, but here’s what we know from the All Blacks and from the people we’re working with around fueling. So we don’t have this. And what I did instead was I was like, let me take over the table. So for far westerns, I went up there and I had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and all the cold cuts and 10 different fruits and ways that, and when the kids were presented with all of these options, there was something for everyone.
And it was a little bit more difficult for me to have to plan and to put these things out and make it beautiful. But what we gave was we still honored the choice. We had kids who were vegans and they had choices and kids who, you know, had really narrow palettes and they had choices. Any choice they made was still a better choice than the crappy quick bar.
The Gatorade, the thing. And I think what we have to do is start to say, if I get. 15 years of that, 20 years of that. And that’s what I’ve learned. You know, like we had this project for a while called Death to the Juice Box because we’d see kids come into these birthday parties and they’d be like, where’s that juice box?
Where’s that juice box? Like little crack heads. And we’re like, no juice boxes here, but here’s some, here’s some water out of a cup, you know, that you can get. And we put some lemon water in here, you know, suddenly, you know, it really was a little bit of a paradigm shift and. That’s why I think we have this real opportunity to bring everyone else along and, and the book that we just wrote really is about establishing some benchmarks.
Here’s some vital signs that the research supports that there is good data on, and let’s go ahead and create a leveling effect. And then if you find yourself having a blind spot or you didn’t know, let’s become curious about that and bring you along. And it turns out I think the body is so resilient that it’s never too late.
But you know, we’re seeing the epidemic of, you know, this weight loss drug ozempic that’s going around. We’re seeing people in hospital. We have two friends who are, you know, working er, they’ve seen people hospitalized on Ozempic, they’ve seen people hospitalized on off-brand ozempic they bought in Mexico, which is super sketchy.
And what we, we have to understand is that for people who are so conditioned down the line, that may be a tool temporarily until we can get them to. Walking until we get them sunshine, until we can show them that apples aren’t too much sugar. Right. And I think it’s gonna take us a second and as you and I have highlighted already, boy, it sure is easier to catch kids than to, you know, catch someone who’s 30 or 40.
Mike: One of the easiest ways to increase muscle and strength gain is to eat enough protein and to eat enough high quality protein. Now, you can do that with food, of course, you can get all of the protein you need from food, but many people supplement with whey protein because it is convenient and it’s tasty, and that makes it easier to just eat enough protein, and it’s also rich in essential amino acids, which are crucial for muscle building.
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And I’m glad you brought up your new book, which is Built to Move. Now, you mentioned these vital signs. Can you tell us a bit more about these? What do you, what do you mean by that?
Kelly: Yeah. Well, first of all is that Julian and I felt that we hadn’t. Invited or create fitness is real. If you, I mean, you’re in our fitness cult, and I don’t mean CrossFit, I mean fitness.
Like you walk around the neighborhood in a weight vest and you like you’re a freak. That’s right. I mean, I see it. I mean, you, you know, you have, you have a concept two bike in your house. So one of the things that I. We recognizes that people have gotten the message about diet and exercise, but stats doesn’t seem to be sufficient given these third party validation.
And one of the things that we have always tried to do is say, let’s look at sport as a laboratory where we can understand good practices under the microscope of real pressure. One of my favorite coaches is Franz Bosch. He’s this Dutch mad scientist, and his writing, he says, there’s more variation in waltzing than there is in sprinting, which means that at low load, low speed, low stress, you can do you, you can do whatever you want with that foot.
You can do whatever you want with that knee. You can do whatever you want with that back. But at high load, high speed, high intensity, we start to see best practices and expressions of the body really start to look similar. And the differences are really strategy or the length of my limb. Not what is really going on the best bench pressers in the world.
All bench press the same way. Look at how tennis players serve. There’s some variation, but not a lot of variation. You know, you’ll start to see that when sprinters are sprinting, they all very much sprint alike and they start alike and they use, they use different strategies to get there, but the homogenization of the expression of highest sort of output really starts to look alike.
So if we can take those lessons, Then we can transmute them into our lessons for our families and our communities that we shouldn’t just make sports circus, that we could actually derive some lessons there. So this is based on all our work there and simultaneously recognizing that we, when we say get sleep, everyone’s like, I sleep great.
I’m like, can I see how much sleep you’re getting? Oh, you don’t sleep great. You know? So when we started giving people a clear benchmark, and especially the athletes we were working with, can I see everything that you ate today? Can I see how much sleep you actually got written down? Can I kind of talk about all of these other things?
We suddenly realized that we had a sort of a two bucket category. The first bucket was what are the, the behaviors that allow us to create durability? Nutrition for me was always about fueling. I didn’t ever wanna talk about nutrition for body composition. I was like, boring.
Mike: And, and it actually can be at odds with performance.
I mean, I, I recently recorded a, a podcast on energy availability and some research about 40 to 45 calories per kilogram of lean mass per day is gonna be much better for longevity and particularly for performance than say, 30 or even 25. But the 30 and 25 might be great for getting shredded and maybe, maybe staying shredded because you just, you just don’t move around as much when you’re shredded and you don’t feel very good generally, but you’re shredded.
You can, you can be athletic and look great, but you know, I thought of this when you were talking about bodybuilding earlier, that it encourages a look that is not healthy for most people and certainly not good for people who wanna perform at their best.
Kelly: One of the two time world champions that I am supporting right now was talking about losing some weight in the middle of the season for a specific event.
And I said, that’s a horrible idea. Let’s not have you have low energy availability and expose you to this. Theoretical change where maybe one or two kilos comes off you and yet simultaneously you, you know, I’m like, it’s a lot easier for us to keep you fed and sleeping and feeling good and tweaking your training a little bit during this next six weeks, right?
That, or even three weeks, we can kind of touch a couple energy systems and just get things back on board. And you’re absolutely right. So I think when I had to talk about nutrition, I was like, well, if you wanna have healthy tendons, you’ve gotta have all the building blocks for the tendons. So suddenly I, I realized, you know, that one gram of protein per pound body weight for injuries for healing, that’s the benchmark that we give out because that’s what the science supports.
And suddenly I was like, well, I have to suddenly become kind of competent in this domain. The other handful of our range of motion domains, because what we hadn’t done is Juliet and our, our failure through the ready state is to make stretching or range of motion, make people care about it because we know that you can buffer some really ineffective positions and not have access to your range of motion and still be good.
Juliet’s a three-time world champion has terrible ankle dorsiflexion. She’ll tell you that rowing in college and paddling whitewater class five did not require Olympic lifting level dorsiflexion. So she was able to, you know, go around and still be exceptional. So it’s not about being exceptional, it’s about saying how can we start to give people.
Benchmarks around maintaining their movement windows so that they can age well, pick up skills well, right? And potentially stave off movement dysfunction in terms of pain, et cetera, et cetera. So that’s what we tried to do and I think we did a better job this time with some of the movement assessments by helping people understand, oh, I can’t do this thing.
I should be able to do this very normative baseline thing. And when we finally said, Hey, don’t look at range of motion, out of context, let’s give it context for a skill. I think we made them more of a case for it.
Mike: And that in my experience is exactly what many people have reached out to me have needed is what’s a simple self-assessment that you can go through that actually puts.
The, the emphasis on the things that warrant the emphasis as opposed to maybe on things that just sound kind of exotic, make for good marketing. Okay, so I’ve done my little self-assessment here and my results, and now what can I do? So there seems to be a deficit in these areas. What do I do about it?
Kelly: And in my home, right?
Mike: Yes. Well, I was just gonna say, what, what do I do about it and how can I do it at home in probably no more than 15 minutes a day? Because if you ask me to do stretches and mobility drills for 30 minutes a day, it’s much less likely to happen, especially if I’m also doing some workouts and have a life to live.
Kelly: Especially because I want you to have a life. That’s exactly right. And it’s taken us a minute to sort of gather that up to say we actually think you can make yourself feel better and keep an eye on your range of motion in 10 minutes in home and you don’t need very many tools. And when we give start to give people consistency, right?
Our friend, you know, lay Norton, you know, to quote Lane, you know, what you don’t need is consistency for three months or six months or a year, you need bone crushing consistency for years. And boy, it’s really hard for me to wrap my head around that. And I know that that’s the rule. But you know, this 21 day reset, this seven day toxic, uh, you know, thing or blast my abs in 14 days, that sold me that I could get everything I wanted very quickly versus the bone crushing consistency of, you know, one of my friends, uh, is Matt Vincent, who is a two time Highland Games world champion.
Someone said, Hey Matt, how do you get strong? He was like, why don’t you lift something heavy once a week for 10 years? Lemme know how that goes and let me know if you end up getting strong and someone’s like 10 years and you’re like, yes. That’s the timescale we’re working on. That’s why it’s easier to start as a kid ’cause you’re like,
Mike: the only thing I’ve done for 10 years consistently masturbate. So, uh, um, alright. This is not for me.
Kelly: You know, I think when we then take the lens of, okay, these small behaviors that I can fit in, it doesn’t have to be an hour long class. It does. I don’t have to commit my, you know, my soul to the void in order to do these things. I can actually have much greater interventions if I start to look at a movement practice as extending from when I wake up to when I go to bed.
And, you know, even restoration, for example, one of our first things that we give people is to sit on the ground in the evening. So what we want you to do tonight, if you’re listening to this, is to watch the first 30 minutes of television sitting on the floor in front of the couch. We know you’re watching tv ’cause the research says one to three hours.
And we know that Silo is an amazing television show. So, and the Witcher is back on and all the other fun shows. So just sit on the ground. What you’ll see is that, yeah, that long sitting is uncomfortable. Then you sit side saddle and then you’re long, you know, then you’re 90 90, and then you’re kneeling.
And then if you look around the ground, you’re like, oh, there’s my roller. And so you can just, oh, I just did 10 minutes or whatever was hurting in that moment. And then if we rinse, wash, repeat that for seven, five to seven days a week, you can get massive amounts of input in and you’ve created context for that behavior.
And now we’re actually really finely helping people versus go down to your local stretch lab, get a membership, you know, add another complex intervention. Don’t get me wrong, those things are awesome, but going to the sauna every three weeks is not the intervention we’re looking for. I’m like, what can we do day to after day after day in a really repetitive way to keep an eye on these minimums.
Mike: That little habit stack is nice. I’m glad you mentioned that. That’s what I do. I don’t watch much tv. It’s certainly not three hours, probably not even an hour. Some days it’s nothing. Other days, maybe it’s 30 minutes. Watch something with my wife, but start almost always with, there are a handful of stretches that I’ve been doing over the years and internal rotation stretch for the left side of my, my hips in particular, just because it was quite bad years ago and it’s improved and just a few things open up my shoulders and whatever, and it gets done probably on average five days per week.
Some days I’m perfect and it’s seven days. Some days at six, we, on average it’s probably five days and often it’s at night. Okay, we’re gonna watch some tv. I’m gonna start with, it’s no more than 10 minutes. It’s probably even, it’s probably closer to six, seven minutes and I’ll go through my little stretching routine.
And it’s not physically demanding. I, I wouldn’t want to do something that starts to feel like a workout at 9:00 PM or whatever, but it’s just, I’ve gotten used to, whether I’m watching TV or not, at night, I’m done with everything. My kids are in bed, okay. My wife and I are gonna spend a little bit of time together, sit down, do my little stretches, and it’s been very easy to maintain by just combining it with something else I’m gonna do anyway.
Kelly: You said something that I really like there, I wanna double click on, which is you have your routine, which is your body, and what’s really fun is when when people start to explore this, they suddenly realize that there’s a collection of positions or shapes that they spend time in, or they put the ball here for two minutes because that’s their sort of unique thing based on their body.
Their, you know, anthropometry and their environment and their history, and suddenly, you know, the three or four things you just gotta keep an eye on. And if you do that, you end up feeling better. And so it’s a lot easier just to, if you’re gonna take and break a credit card, we just wanna fold the credit card thousands of times, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, and then eventually gets a crease and you can access those positions and your brain is saying, man, you spent a lot of time here.
Let’s make sure we value that and let’s support you continuing to value that. Or, you know, you engage in a sport like cycling, which. Takes away your hip extension. So suddenly you’re like, I gotta keep an eye on my hip extension, my ability to extend my hip, not like in a pedal stroke, but actually get my knee behind my butt, hashtag knees behind Buckeye.
And, uh, what we’re trying to get everyone on the board of the hip extension train. But what what’s really great though, is that you suddenly have your secret compendium, but that secret compendium also can serve you as a template for something that hurts. You know that when something pops up, ’cause you tried something new or you got behind, or you overdid it or whatever, you’re a human being and suddenly your knee hurts a little bit.
You’re like, oh, I have a template and a schema to self-soothe as the first order of operation. And I think that’s what’s really powerful here is suddenly we’re not just reaching for bourbon or ibuprofen. In, I think it was 2008, I wrote an article on our blog, which already makes me sound old. Let’s get off the ibuprofen.
People like peoples, let’s get off the ibuprofen. And the pushback on that was profound. That was the first time I was like, oh, there’s a third rail. Like, you know, you can have my ibuprofen and you, you pry it from my cold dead hands. People were like, no, ibuprofen is life. And yet we see now that this whole peace in love acronym that helps us, but that A in peace and love, which is like protect, elevate, et cetera, et cetera, is avoid anti-inflammatories because we saw that they delayed healing and led for less effective healing of the tissues because they interrupted our healing response, even though they took my pain away.
And so I’m like, I’d rather you, you know what I mean? Are you reaching for bourbon? Are you reaching for like, unless we give you some, some strategies for this, you’re gonna go to your training or your experience and if it’s ibuprofen or bourbon, you know your liver’s gonna hate you, but you, your knee won’t hurt for a while.
So I think
Mike: until one day your knee probably won’t knee anymore. But.
Kelly: That’s right. It won’t knee anymore. Like, dude, that’s so great. So it takes a while for us to evolve our positions and certainly I came out of, you know, a PT school where it was 800 milligrams of ibuprofen three times a day. You know, that was what we, we knew that that could make anyone feel better.
But boy, that ankle instability that you still have as a bitch, I don’t know why that you sprained your ankle now it’s. Chronically unstable. Well, it turns out that 2,400 milligrams ibuprofen really did a number on breaking that connection between your body and its healing response. So again, we’re getting wiser and smarter, but now we, you and I are thinking always critically, when and where are mortals who have busy jobs, who are worried about their day-to-day, are just trying to keep their lights on in their house and their kids fed, where are they gonna begin this conversation?
Mike: I mean, something that, uh, I, I try to keep in mind just for general messaging and in my work, is that there are many people out there who won’t even consistently take a medication that they need to save their life. So, and then that’s not a, a judgment on those people. It’s just understanding where a lot of people are at Now, maybe those types of people don’t generally find their way into our orbit, but.
The number is not zero. And when they do, at least I, you know, I, I think we’re on the, we’re saying the same thing here, that we wanna make sure that we’re meeting them where they are at. And you know, in my case, for example, put out this message many different ways where, and I’ve, I’ve even given to people personally, like via email and so forth.
I’m speaking to somebody who’s in that kind of condition. I would love for them just to go out for a walk every day. Let’s start there on the exercise. Uh, because they’re not moving around much. They get 2000 steps per day. Okay. Can we increase that? Just increase the activity? And if they’re up for a change in their diet, can we go with less soda?
Can we replace some of the sugar sweeten maybe with, uh, diet soda? Just let’s just start there and let’s see if we can ingrain those habits until they’re frictionless. And then maybe we’ll add a little bit more walking, and then maybe we will. Try to add a little bit of protein or add one serving of vegetables and just work incrementally until we have a whole new person and it really can work like that.
So, you know, it’s just something that I try to keep in mind when giving a. General advice that it doesn’t matter that three to five hours of strength training per week, plus three to five hours of cardiovascular exercise per week, plus 100% of calories coming from whole relatively unprocessed foods that say, yeah, yeah, fine, this, this is what people have been hearing for a long time, but it doesn’t cause.
Them to change their behaviors. And so then what does, and the tiny habit approach I’ve found resonates with people,
Kelly: Julie, and I believe that everyone who’s in the strength and conditioning or fitness, which is not even a word I really like, but we’re here to. We’re doing it. If this is us, we’re sort of obsessed with this.
It’s part of our identity. We, we really enjoy it. I really enjoy training. You know, I’m gonna train until I can’t train, you know, what am I training for to be the best middle aged mountain biker in the neighborhood. Like, you know what I mean? Like, which is a terrible biker. But if you’re listening to this, we are counting on you to become a node in your community.
And one of the thing reasons we wrote this book was we recognized that a lot of people don’t know where to start. And what you just heard was a treatise on the small behaviors. And that’s when someone in your family is interested. That’s the approach to take because you, what you’re doing and the way you live your life, you might as well be an alien from another planet you’d like to do what you haven’t even suffered.
I mean, you experienced this Michael, that when you put people in an ice bath for the first time, they freak out. And that’s because they don’t know the feeling. Of suffering and of pain. And when I put my elite cyclists in a nice bath for the first time, they’re like, oh, this just feels like Tuesday when during the middle of my intervals where I’m on fire and it’s different kind of fire and this is better, I like this easier because I don’t have to, I’m not even bleeding through my eyes.
So, When you start with this small approach, that’s how we do it. And what we try to do with this book is create a resource for all the coaches who now are having to have this conversation with so many of their athletes who are saying, Hey, I really wanna respect the time we have together where we can actually train and I can load and we can work on these things, but I need you to get ready for that.
So read this. Or I have this uncle who’s overweight and doesn’t know where to start. This is the book. To invite them on the journey that you take for granted. ’cause you are already a black belt. And people are like, wait, how do I tie the belt? I mean, they don’t even, they’re afraid to tie the belt. You’re already a black belt.
So, I mean, I just, we can’t say that enough. And by the way, all of the things you suggested are all the things that I do. You know, I don’t drink sugar sodas, you know, I don’t drink drinks with calories. I really do try to walk more. I try to, you know, get some more protein. I mean, what I love, I. About first principles is that they scale up and scale down.
What I am less a fan of are interventions and strategies that are cul-de-sacs. I do this for a while and I can’t get better. You know, I don’t remember who described it, heard recently, someone talking about like, you don’t get better than the guitar, right? You just keep playing and playing and playing and playing, movement, nutrition.
All of these things are open-ended and can be regressed and progressed as needed. And once we start to view those habits and that lens, then it’s just an issue of, you know, applying the rubber to the road for enough time. ’cause it always works. It 100% works.
Mike: I love it. Well, this was, uh, a great interview as expected, and again, the book is built to move.
Uh, I want to thank you again for taking the time, Kelly. And before we wrap up here, is there anything else that you wanted to share? Anything that I should have asked that I didn’t ask?
Kelly: It’s never too late. Bring your friends along. I think the next sort of barriers, we’ve gotta get people back outside.
Mike: I mean, I second that.
I, it’s, that’s another thing that, uh, is just as when I was mentioning my flag football coaching experience versus my experience as a, as a kid playing sports going, I don’t remember it being exactly like this. So I’m, I’m in this, uh, neighborhood here in Florida. And so when I was a kid, I was always outside and there were always kids in the neighborhood and all we did was play one sport or do one athletic sporty type thing after another.
It was skateboarding, then it was inline rollerblading, then it was B M X, uh, biking, and then it was roller hockey and blah, blah, blah. And so I’m in this neighborhood with, I don’t know, a couple hundred houses, probably some pretty big neighborhood. And there was one boy who he left. And I’ve not seen another boy.
I never see kids. And I’ve taken my son like, okay, let’s get in the car. There gotta be some kids outside playing. It’s, you know, Saturday and it’s 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM or whatever. Let’s go drive around trying to find him like some kids to play with. And we’ve done it a couple times, nothing. And I’ve asked now other, other parents like, are there kids here?
Oh yeah, there are some kids. Why do I never see them? They’re just inside all day. Then there’s one kid that he meets and the mom does not allow the kid to go outside, like she didn’t openly say that, but it’s clear at this point this kid is not allowed to go outside and play. For my son to be able to play with him, he has to go over to their house.
She doesn’t even allow him to come over here. My son has to go to their house and they are inside. That’s it.
Kelly: In San Francisco, we’ve seen a, a rise of what we call subclinical rickets, where kids are falling off a bunk bed like two feet and breaking forearms and smashing collarbone. And, and you’re like, what’s that about?
You know, when they sent my daughter home and I know were going on and on, they sent, Caroline was a preemie and spent three weeks in the nicu. Um, when they sent her home, this is my five 10 Hulk by the way. They were like, you have to give her these vitamins. And I was like, she’s breastfeeding. I don’t need to give her vitamins.
And they were like, no, you gotta give her these vitamins. And I was like, look me in the eye and tell me the breast milk is not the perfect food for my child. I’m like, go ahead. I’m a doctor, just tell me your rationale and you could, they got so uncomfortable and I was like, go ahead, I’m just waiting. And they were like, I was like, what’s the problem with their breast milk?
And they’re like, there’s no vitamin D in it because the mothers in San Francisco don’t go outside and they don’t create any vitamin D in their skin to pass on their kids. So I was like, oh, so if I take my kid and put her in the sun, I don’t have to give her this complex solution to a problem that rhymes with the sun.
And they were like, that’s correct. So I mean, we’re seeing this up and down and you can, I mean, there’s 10,000 analogies of that. You’re right. Like here’s a kid who doesn’t go outside, isn’t allowed to for whatever reason. And suddenly we just tumble on into all the original conversations, which is how are we going to create and use sport?
’cause now sport gives us a reason to go outside, to transform our communities. And again, training, which is lovely and so important and saves lives. Theoretically we learned to train because we were doing a sport,
Mike: especially as a kid. It was fun to play the sport. Training for the sport could be fun, but it was in service of what was act what was really fun.
Well, this was great, Kelly, and uh, quickly, why don’t you just let people know where they can find you and find your work so they can check out everything else you’re up to.
Kelly: Yes, we are at the Ready state, and that’s all across the socials at the Ready State. If you are interested, we have, I think, the world’s greatest self-assessment mobility test on our app.
There’s a free trial over there. We have daily follow on mobility drills. It’s super, super simple to get involved and we, what we try to do is actually democratize this thing. We really believe that we appreciate. That people are struggling. Not everyone has infinite money to, you know, dump onto their health.
But here is something that we know that if we can get enough people on, it becomes to scale and we can put more resources into it. And, and, uh, we really think that the Ready State app is the place where you can begin a conversation with getting to know yourself a little bit better, especially if you’re in pain.
Mike: I love it. I’ve been a, a fan of your work since I came across Supple Leopard many years ago, and I, I’ve enjoyed to see how it has evolved in this direction of just making it more accessible and meeting people where they’re at, giving them simple things that they can do. The 20% that gives you the 80%.
If we can just focus on doing those things just well enough. I’ll agree with Lane that, that you need the bone crushing consistency. If you wanna be a world champion powerlifter, I’ll give him that. But if you don’t, maybe just like slightly uncomfortable amount of consistency, just enough of the right things is enough.
Is enough to to be in outstanding shape, outstanding health, and to avoid so many of the, of the issues that, um, plague so many people in our society.
Kelly: Yeah, and I’ll just sum up by saying, you know that your work is always about playing offense, not playing defense. You’re not saying do these things otherwise, x you’re saying if you do these things, you’ll show up for your family more intact, you’ll have more energy on the weekend, you’ll be a more effective lover.
And uh, but I think when we help realize that people probably can get even more outta their lives and feel better and have more fun, then it’s sticky. And that really is what we’re trying to do here. We’re trying to point positive.
Mike: Absolutely. Thank you Kelly. I really appreciate, uh, your work and I appreciate your time.
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