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I’ve recorded hundreds of episodes of Muscle for Life on a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, and lifestyle, 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.

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 (that’s what I tell myself at least).

And as cool as that is, it poses a problem for you, my dear listener:

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Well okay, some people do make the time to 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 get a little better inside and outside the gym.

People have also been saying they’d like me to do more shorter, multi-topic episodes, like my Q&As.

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?

This way, people who are new to the show can quickly determine if it’s for them or not, and those who enjoy what I’m doing but don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff can still benefit from the discussions and find new episodes to listen to.

So, in this installment of The Best of Muscle for Life, you’ll be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes:

Kurtis Frank on the Best Pre-Workout Supplements

(Originally published 4/10/2019)

Research Review: What’s the Best Rep Range for Building Muscle?

(Originally published 6/27/2018)

Book Club: My Top 5 Takeaways from Good to Great by Jim Collins

(Originally published 11/12/2018)

And we’ll be starting with number one, Kurtis Frank on the Best Pre-Workout Supplements.


5:48 – Kurtis Frank on the Best Pre-Workout Supplements

13:25 – Research Review: What’s the Best Rep Range for Building Muscle?

26:05 – Book Club: My Top 5 Takeaways from Good to Great by Jim Collins

Mentioned on The Show:

Kurtis Frank on the Best Pre-Workout Supplements

(Published 4/10/2019)

Research Review: What’s the Best Rep Range for Building Muscle?

(Published 6/27/2018)

Book Club: My Top 5 Takeaways from Good to Great by Jim Collins

(Published 11/12/2018)

Shop Legion Supplements Here

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Hello and welcome to the latest and greatest episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews and thank you for joining me today. Now, I have recorded hundreds of episodes of Muscle for Life and I’ve. Talked about a huge variety of things related to health, fitness, lifestyle, mindset, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise, like energy and macronutrient, balance and progressive overload, and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight, set point, and fasted.

Cardio and some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from. At least that’s what I tell myself. That’s what helps me sit down in the chair every day and do this, and as cool as that is. It poses a problem for you, my dear listener, especially if you are new here, and that is, ain’t nobody got time for that.

We’re talking about probably a thousand plus hours of content at this point. And while some people actually do make the time to listen to most or even. All of my podcasts, my Whizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life.

Thus, they miss out on insights that could help them get even just a little bit better inside and outside the gym. Because if you just get a little bit better, consistently enough, that can add up to big results in the long run. And people have also been telling me that they would like me to do more shorter multi topic episodes like my q and As and says You episodes.

And so I got an idea. How about a best of series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from. My most popular episodes going all the way back to the beginning. This way, people who are new in particular can quickly determine if this is the droid they’re looking for, if this podcast is for them or not, and then those who are regulars and enjoy what I’m doing, but just don’t have the time or inclination to listen to.

All of my stuff, and I do understand that I don’t take it personally. You can also then benefit from the discussions and the episodes that you are not listening to in full. And 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 here we are with the best of Muscle for Life, and in this episode you’ll be hearing handpicked morsels from three episodes. The first one is an interview I did with the director of research and development for my sports nutrition company Legion, and his name is Curtis Frank. He’s also the co-founder and former lead researcher and writer of

So if you’ve ever poked around on, Curtis is the guy who research and wrote the majority of the technical. Content on that site. And anyways, in this interview with Curtis, we talk about pre-workout supplements, how to find the best pre-workout supplement for you, and then you’re gonna hear highlights from an interview I did with another Legion alumni in this case, James Krieger, who is on Legion’s Scientific advisory board.

And in this interview we talk about the best rep range for building muscle. And finally I’m gonna share highlights from a popular book club episode. This one was for the book, good to Great by Jim Collins. Also, if you like what I am doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports Nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world.

And we’re on top. Because every ingredient and dose in every product is backed by peer-reviewed scientific research. Every formulation is 100% transparent. There are no proprietary blends, for example, and everything is naturally sweetened and flavored. So that means no artificial sweeteners, no artificial food dyes, which may not be as dangerous as some people would have you believe.

But there is good evidence to suggest that having. Many servings of artificial sweeteners in particular every day for long periods of time may not be the best for your health. So while you don’t need pills, powders, and potions to get into great shape, and frankly, most of them are virtually useless, there are natural ingredients.

That can help you lose fat, build muscle, and get healthy faster, and you will find the best of them in legions products to check out everything we have to offer, including protein powders and protein bars, pre-workout, post-workout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more. Head over to Legion.

Dot com, B U Y And just to show how much I appreciate my podcast peeps, use the coupon code M F L at checkout and you will save 20% on your entire first order. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you wanna see more of it, and if you also want. All natural evidence-based supplements that work.

Please do consider supporting Legion so I can keep doing what I love, like producing more podcasts like this. Alright, let’s start with the highlights from the interview I did with Curtis Frank on how to find the best pre-workout supplement for you. Let’s get to some specifics. So for the power, what are some ingredients that help with that?

What are some ones that maybe are commonly promoted to help that don’t? The main three for power-based would be caffeine, which I’ll have to go through some nuance for creatine and alpha GC creatine. I just want to like, Talk about it and get it out there quickly. It’s also good for anaerobic training, but creatine can just help with power.

You don’t need to take a pre-workout, just have some in your system, bing, bang, boom, done. That’s it. For caffeine, it’s much more nuanced because caffeine, if you’re not used to it, it can act as a dopaminergic agonist. It can actually be a very potent stimulant as well as having anti-slip effects. If you become tolerant to caffeine, you no longer feel the stimulant effects, but you still get the anti-slip effects.

Yep. The ability for caffeine to increase power is due to the stimulatory effects, and it is very powerful as a power increase. Something like 15% increase on your dead lifter squat for one rep. Like that’s huge. How much caffeine though? That’s the thing. First of all, you need to take like once every two weeks.

That’s it. Even just a couple days a week? Nope. You’re gonna, you’re gonna become something. Yeah. Like you can’t even have tea at this point. Oh, wow. Or if you do have tea, like. 30 milligrams or less, like one cup of green tea in the morning. That’s it. And then when you’re heading into your workout, like, I don’t know the exact milligram per kilogram measurement, but last time I checked, I think a 150 pound adult male needs to take at least 400 milligrams acutely.

Well, the number that pops in my mind is somewhere around 0.6 milligrams per kilogram. That’s the upper end of the range, right? For power? I think so. But the numbers that are like in my head right now was, uh, 400 milligrams acutely. Beta alanine. I will be honest. A lot of people say that it’s creatine 2.0 and I don’t understand what they’re smoking.

Like Have you heard about that? People just hyping up beta? No, I haven’t. Ok. Cause like, is that a more recent thing that’s more old than anything? It’s been around for like five years. People hyping up beta alanine more than it should be. It’s entire purposes. If you’ve heard of the amino acid L alanine or just alanine.

You just twist one little thing round into a beta configuration. Now it’s beta alanine. That’s quite literally it. Nothing special. When it combines with histidine, it turns into carine. And Carine is something that’s in your muscles, floats around. It just sort of scavenges stuff that could make your muscle inefficient.

You always have carine in your muscles. It’s always working. Sometimes you don’t have enough and your muscles fatigue because you’re lacking in Es scene. Beta alanine supplementation is a good way to get it into your muscles because if you take keine by itself, it needs to break down to beta alanine histamine anyways before you take it into the muscle.

And so by increasing stores of keine, it doesn’t provide energy, but can help with cleanup. And unlike the things that we mentioned previously that help in the five to 10 rep range, beta alanine is very strong in increasing endurance. And the two to three minute rep range. So any sort of cardiovascular stuff that takes multiple minutes to do Beit Alanine could help you with when it comes to standard, you know, workouts where you just do 10 reps and then you rest for a minute.

Beit Alley’s probably not gonna do much. And just as a side note, I actually do German volume training a lot, which is you do 10 reps. You wait for 20 seconds, you do 10 more reps. You wait for 20 seconds. You do this until two 10 sets. It’s quite literally a 10 reps of 10 sets with 20 seconds, rest in between or you die whichever one comes first.

Yeah, either or. Germany has no place for the inefficient, but um, or the week, we already know that. But Beta Aine seems to work for that in my experience. So it seems to be the whole, if you are doing a lot of work and you’re not giving your muscles time to relax and get blood flowing back to them, you want beta alanine.

But if you’re doing a standard workout, then despite Beta alanine being in a lot of pre-workouts, May not help you if you take sufficient rest between sets. And there’s also the potential muscle building effects, right? There’s evidence, but it’s not quite understood why that would be, or, yeah. We don’t even have any leads on that.

We’ve just found that there’s some studies where you have group given placebo, group given beta alanine, and these groups do the exact same amount of workload, have the exact same amount of food, and the beta alanine group has a bit more muscle. Nobody knows why this is the case, but it could theoretically help build muscle even if it doesn’t help you in your workouts.

It’s good to slip into something and the tingles are great. I like them. I’m weird though. The tingles are so good. What about Betaine? Is, was that on your list? Did you wanna talk about that? Yeah, that’s one of those ones that I’m not sure how to pronounce. Like that’s the downside of being mostly trained online.

I dunno whether it’s. BT or Bean? Yeah, it might go, I’m trying to remember cuz when I was rewriting my books for men and women, I was hitting a bunch of pronunciation websites and I, I think BT is at least generally accepted as not well. At the very least I’ve learned that like. People don’t judge you too bad for it.

Pet peeves that people have. Like if you mis, if you mispronounce hypertrophy, people are gonna flame you for it. So when it comes to, uh, bean, it’s kind of like es scene in the sense that its entire duty is to mop stuff up and, but instead of the case of mopping up stuff within a muscle cell, it tends to mop stuff up more in the blood.

Methyl groups is tend to what happens, like just mops up a few methyl groups here and there. And it’s really boring, but it seems to work fairly well in the same time range that beta alanine works. In the two minutes or longer of endurance, you have about three grams of bean at minimum. For more endurance stuff, you may need to go up to five to six grams, and it just seems to be a very light increase in endurance.

Does really seem to increase the uh, Sorry, influence the rate of perceived exertion, so you’re probably gonna feel just as bad, maybe a little bit more exhausted, but you just do a bit more work. It’s just one of the more boring supplements, but it’s solid. Reliable and it kind of works. And touring is similar actually.

If there was a point when you wanted to add touring to Pulse and then, uh, you changed your mind, well, if they both do the same thing, then why have both? Sure. True. Yeah. The main issue is that they don’t, like technically do the same thing. They just have the same results. Like one goes down road A, one goes down road B, but they still go to the same store and we only need one thing bought at the store, so let’s go for the one that’s cheaper and more reliable.

Makes sense.

All righty. That is it for Curtis Frank on the best pre-workout supplements. That’s the name of the episode if you want to go back and find it. It was originally published in April of 2019. So let’s move on now to a research review with James Krieger on the best rep range for building muscle. Here are the key takeaways.

Just recently, uh, my friend Brad Schoenfeld, he’s the lead author on this paper, but I was one of the authors on this paper as well. Um, we did a big meta-analysis basically comparing strengths and hypertrophy adaptations between low and high load resistance training. So what a meta-analysis is, and, and I know I explained this in the, in the last interview, but I’ll explain it again.

A meta-analysis refers to where, um, you take a group of studies and you statistically analyze them as a group to kind of get an idea, okay, well what’s the overall trend among this body of literature that we have? And meta-analysis can be pretty useful because. One study can’t necessarily tell you anything, and even two studies can’t necessarily tell you a lot, especially in, in the field of exercise science cause sample.

The sample sizes of studies are so small. We’re talking, you know, 10, 20 people in each study. That’s not a whole lot, but when you start having, you know, let’s say eight or 10 or 15 studies, Then you can kind of get an idea, okay, well what’s the overall trend here? What are most of these studies showing?

And that’s what a meta-analysis can do. And so that’s what we did. And what we did is we took this group of studies. We actually found 21 studies that we put in the analysis and then, or basically in these studies, they had to compare Lolo training and high low training. So the Lolo training, in this example, we defined as less than or equal to 60%.

One rep max. So for most people, that’s gonna be, if you were to do a set to failure, that’s gonna be probably at least 20 reps to failure or more. So you can probably think of it as maybe anywhere from 20 to 40 reps to failure. That’s a fairly high rep set, fairly light load. The other group was, you know, more than 60% when rep max and, and you know, that’s gonna be usually anything less than 20 repetitions.

So, you know, eight to 12, you know, things like that. 12 to 15 are, you know, it’s gonna vary from one exercise to the next. Uh, but that’s just kind of gives you a rough idea of what are we talking about when we, when we’re comparing to say, heavy to light loads. And how high did the load go in terms of percentage of on rep max?

I’d have to go back and actually look at, I don’t remember off the top of my head. Okay. I’d have to go back and look. Like was most of, was most of the data in certain rep ranges or? Most of the studies didn’t go above, you know, six to eight reps per set. I don’t think anything went heavier than that. Okay, so, so a little bit, a little bit higher than the more traditional, like most strength training programs are more in the, you know, four to six, five to seven, sometimes three to five if it’s a bit more advanced.

Yeah. Yeah. So we grouped these studies together. We analyzed ’em, and basically what we found is for, for hypertrophy, there was basically, there was no difference in hypertrophy between the two different loading schemes. As long as you did your sets to near failure or failure, it didn’t really matter. It didn’t matter whether you were doing.

Eight to 12 reps to failure, or 15 to 18 reps to failure, or 20 to 25 reps to failure. It didn’t matter. Your muscle gains were the same. Now for strength, definitely training with the higher loads was better and, and that makes sense from a, if you think in terms of specificity. So specificity is. Something that basically refers to if you wanna get good at something, you have to do that thing.

You know, in this study, you know, we’re looking at changes in one Rat Max. Well, if you wanna get stronger at a one Rat Max, you’re gonna have an easier time doing that if you’re training at or near a one rat Max, which would mean fairly heavy loads. Um, the further away you get from a one rep max. The less strength effect you’re gonna get.

Um, you’ll still get a hypertrophy benefit and you’ll get the same hypertrophy benefit, but the strength benefit isn’t there. Cuz I think a lot of people don’t understand that strength and size are, are while they’re related, they’re not exactly the same. You can get stronger without getting bigger and you can also get bigger without necessarily getting stronger.

At least I would say in terms of a brute force, one rep max type thing. Changes in performance in probably isolation movements are probably gonna correlate a little bit better with changes in muscle size than changes in compound movements. And that’s because you, you think about it, there’s a lot of skill involved in compound movements and you can get better at a compound movement just by improving your technique and things like that.

You know, and that’s especially true with newbies. Yeah. Where, where you’re, it’s not, it’s not so much like your body actually isn’t having, from a, the standpoint of, of its musculature, it’s, there’s not that much adaptation needs to occur because, I mean, look at when, when new people start squatting and understandably so, they start out carefully.

So it’s usually very lightweight for not anywhere near close to failure. And then, Okay, so they work their way into heavier weights and, and then they have that skill component, which is at probably, at least for the first few months, you are getting significantly better at the movement. And so you’re able to progress, but not so much because, uh, for any other reason other than you’re just starting, it’s like learning to throw a football.

You’re, you’re okay. You’re, you’re, you’re grooving in this motor pattern and you’re getting better at it. Yeah, that makes sense. Yeah. So to, but to add on to the caveat, I guess I would say to what Greg said, it, it definitely is true. The more trained someone becomes, the tighter the relationship between strength gains and muscle gains become the, the one caveat I will add to that is that you wanna see performance increases in the referee that you typically train in.

And the reason I say that is there was one study that was published where they had one group train the typical eight to 12 rep range. Another group trained, you know, 20 to 30 rep range to failure. And they compared muscle size gains. Muscle size gains were the same. The group that trained eight to 12 reps, they saw significant improvement in their one rep max performance.

The group that trained 20 to 30 reps to fire saw no improvement at all in their one rep max performance, even though they got just as big. So there’s a certain specificity there. Now, I guarantee you. If you had, did, you know, let’s say there 20 rep max performance, you would’ve seen a bigger increase in 20 ret max performance for the 20 to 30 rep group versus the eight to 12 group.

So, so there’s definitely a, a specificity. So I guess the thing I would add onto what Greg had said is there definitely is a, a much tighter relationship between performance gains and size gains. The more well trained you become, but that’s also specific to the rep range you train in. So if you typically train in the 20 to 30 rep range, Well, I wouldn’t worry about whether your one rep max is improving, cuz that’s not gonna be indicative of your, your size gains.

But you do wanna worry about is your 20 to 30 rep max improving. That should be improving. Okay. So what are the practical takeaways here? Huh? Yeah. Yeah, so it actually I that was good that you mentioned that cuz I was just gonna mention like there is a certain practical thing that you have to be aware of when it comes to this.

So number one, this is great because it means that rep range doesn’t really matter all that much. You know, whether you’re training eight to 12 reps, 12 to 15, 20 to 25, as long as you’re training to fail, and the caveat to that is as long as you’re training to failure or near failure, if you’re training well short of failure, then especially with the higher reps, then it’s not gonna work.

It’s especially important with the lighter weights because of the way muscle fiber recruitment works and everything. The only way lighter weights are gonna work for muscle size is you gotta, you gotta get, you know, close to failure or, or, or to failure. There’s, I, I’m sure you’re familiar with this research and we’ve all, and you’ve, I’ve experienced, you’ve probably experienced it, people listening, probably experienced it, that when you train in higher rep ranges, it gets harder.

And this particularly true in new people, right? It’s harder to predict how many reps you really have left because, There, there’s so much burning and you’re just in pain. You’re like, do I wanna stop because I’m just on fire? Or, or is it, am I actually getting to the point where, where it’s failure and Yeah.

So anyways, I just wanted to throw that out there just for people to, to keep that in mind. Yeah, and it’s good that you bring that up because it does mean that while higher reps are great, and it’s especially great for, let’s say, older guys like me who are having joint issues or things like that, the lighter weights are much easier on your joints.

You know, it’s funny, in my own training now, I’m. I typically don’t do anything less than 12 reps per set. It’s just way easier on my joints. I have some stuff where I’ll do, you know, 20 maybe in the 20 to 25 rep range. So, um, but the problem with the 20 to 25 rep range to failure, it’s not really necessarily conducive to all exercises.

So good luck. 25 rep squat. Yeah. Yeah. 25 rep squat to failure, or 25 rep deadlift of failure, and that’s not even necessarily safe. Um, so there’s some exercises you just. Either you, you can’t do it cuz it’s not safe. Or as you mentioned, it’s so painful that it’s too hard for someone even to push themselves hard enough.

Like, you know, 20 to keep, to keep showing up every week to want to keep doing it. I mean, if you, if you hate your workouts, that’s not a good place to be. Well, yeah. Yeah. And that’s the thing like, You know, 20 rep bicep coast affair, that’s not a big deal. I mean, I can do those, you know, I mean, you have burns and stuff, but it’s like, it’s not something that I dread doing, you know?

But definitely if I had to come to the gym and do a 25 rep squat to failure every time I came into the, every time I was training legs, I’d probably start dreading my leg workouts after a period of time. Do you think that there’s a potential benefit over the long term to at least including, uh, some heavier because of the potential?

More importance or correlation between strength and size that, um, if you, you’re gonna gain strength faster. Obviously with heavier weights, at least in my experience, it’s been easier for whatever reason, it’s been easier for me to progress just in the sense of gaining reps over time and being able to turn that over into weight on the bar.

It’s been easier for me to do that. With heavier weightlifting, and I’m thinking more with my compound movements. I mean, I think where your, yeah, your curls and your raises and stuff, and triceps push downs less important. But, but with the, with the compound lifts in particular, it’s been easier for me to progress in the four to six or five to seven.

Rep range than higher rep ranges, which is what I was doing previously. Do you have any thoughts on that? Yeah, so if you look at the research on varying rep ranges, um, actually in my research review, I have an entire evidence-based guide on varying rep ranges. You know, so if you just think of it in terms of, uh, theoretically you would think, okay, there, there might be a possible benefit to varying rep ranges because you train in a lower rep range, it enhances strength gains.

Which should then when you switch to a higher rep range kind of upgrade, right? Yeah. Like upgrade your, your, you can then perform even better in your higher rep range is the idea. At least theoretically that should be true. And then also vice versa. If you train in the higher rep ranges, um, that should improve your recovery ability.

And so you can handle more volume, let’s say, when you train in lower rep ranges. So theoretically there’s a hypothetical benefit to it. I will say it hasn’t necessarily panned out in the research. But you know, one limitation of research studies is they typically only last eight to 12 weeks. So actually, I’ll go back to that study I mentioned earlier where they had, they actually had three groups of people in that study.

They had one group that trained, I think eight to 12 reps, another group that trained 20 to 30 reps, and then they had a third group that alternated every two weeks. They did eight to 12 reps for two weeks, 20 to 30 reps for two weeks and, and alternated. And what they found is there wasn’t really, there wasn’t any difference between the groups.

I think it was only an eight week. Study. There was a study that I ran the stats for, for Brad, that Brad published. Um, a addressed the, the similar question. So we had two groups. We had one group that just did straight eight to 12 reps the entire study. Um, and I think, I think it was eight or 10 week study.

I don’t remember. Another group varied the repetition ranges over the week. So, um, it was a whole body program. But Monday they did, you know, three to five reps. Wednesday they did eight to 12 reps. Friday they did like 20 to 30 reps. So they vary the repetition range. Statistically there was no difference in the gains between the groups.

Some of the effect sizes favored the vary group. But I, I talked about this in my research review, but if you looked at the individual data plots, it’s really just because there were a few outliers in that group. So not really all that convincing. Um, so I’d say the data doesn’t necessarily support it, but unlimited that data is.

And you’re talking, you know, three month studies here, uh, it’s very possible that over a much longer period of time, perhaps it’ll make a difference.

All righty. That is it for the snippets, the featured snippets from the Best Rep Range for Building Muscle with James Krieger, and that was originally published in June of 2018. In case you want to go back and listen to the whole thing and the title, the full title is Research Review. What’s the Best Rep Range for Building Muscle?

If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my sports nutrition company Legion, which thanks to the support of many people like you, is the leading brand of all natural sports supplements in the world. Let’s move on now to our final featured episode in this installment of Best of Muscle for Life, and that is a book club episode that I published back in November of 2018, and it is called My Top Five Takeaways From Good to Great by Jim Collins.

Now, one of the reasons I recommend this book so highly is it deals with the strategic level of business and work where decisions carry far more weight and influence. Then the decisions made in the trenches on the tactical level. In fact, I believe that sound strategic thinking is probably the ultimate success hack out there, because no amount of hard work can transform a lousy strategy into a screaming success, and nothing succeeds like a brilliant strategy executed competently.

I also believe that applies. Not just a business, but to all areas of life. Assuming that you can do work and you can do the the hard work, you know the things that most people don’t want to do, the more bright ideas you can generate and then implement, the better you are at generating bright ideas. And the better you are at executing them, the better your life is going to be.

The more your life is going to be filled with. Hope, excitement, and reward. And I think that this book can help because it shows you how to make more good strategic decisions than bad ones. And that’s the key. No one’s ever perfect. We’re all gonna make mistakes, we’re all gonna make bad decisions. We just have to make more good decisions than bad decisions.

Much of the answer to the question of good to great. Lies in the discipline to do whatever it takes to become the best within carefully selected arenas, and then to seek continual improvement from there. So my note here is that this is a central tenant of the book. If you are going to be great, you must find what you can be the best in the world at, not just good, at the best in the world at, and then you have to do as much of that and as little.

Of everything else as you possibly can, because that’s what it takes to become the best in the world at, takes a tremendous amount of work and time. Now, this is also a vital part of the hedgehog concept that I mentioned earlier, which is something that Colins coined to describe an essential strategic framework present in all of the top performing companies that he and his team analyzed.

And I’m just gonna quote from the book here to explain what it is. So quote, A hedgehog concept is a simple crystalline concept that flows from a deep understanding about the intersection of the following three circles. One, what? You can be the best in the world at. And equally important, what you cannot be the best in the world at this discerning standard goes far beyond core competence.

Just because you possess a core competence doesn’t necessarily mean you can be the best in the world at it. Conversely, what you can be the best at might not even be something in which you are currently engaged. Two, this is the second circle of the three what drives your economic engine. All the good to greate companies attained.

Piercing insight into how to most effectively generate sustained and robust cash flow and profitability. In particular, they discovered the single denominator profit per X that had the greatest impact on their economics. It would be cash flow per X in the social sector. And three third, circle what you are deeply passionate about.

The good to great companies focused on those activities that ignited their passion. The idea here is not to stimulate passion, but to discover what makes you passionate. A hedgehog concept is not a goal to be the best, a strategy to be the best, an intention to be the best. A plan to be the best. It is an understanding of what you can be the best at.

The distinction is absolutely crucial. Quote, herring understood that the way to get people lined up behind a bold new vision is to turn the flywheel consistent with that vision from two turns to four, then four to eight, then eight to 16, and then to say, See what we’re doing and how well it’s working.

Extrapolate from that, and that’s where we are going. The good to great companies tended not to publicly proclaim big goals at the outset. Rather, they began to spin the flywheel understanding to action step after step turn after turn, after the flywheel built up momentum, they’d look up and say, Hey, if we just keep pushing on this thing, there’s no reason we can’t accomplish x.

So my note here is this. In other words, what Collins is saying is big talk is like caffeine. It’s a cheap stimulant that becomes less and less effective the more it’s used. Now, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having and communicating big goals, but in the end, nobody cares about what we say we want to do or even what we actually are spending our time doing.

In the end, they only care about what. Comes of it, they only care about the results. And ironically, the people and groups and companies who are most solidly on the path to greatness can and often do care the least about reminding everyone where they’re going. It’s self-evident by the results they are currently getting.

Okey dokey. That’s it for the highlight reel from my top five takeaways from Good Great by Jim Collins. And if you want to go listen to the whole thing again, it was published in November of 2018, and that’s it for this episode of Muscle Life. Thanks again for joining me, and make sure to tune in tomorrow for another q and a episode where I’m gonna be talking about the lying versus the seated hamstring curl machine, which one is better weight loss medications and isometric training.

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