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If you (k)need help with your knees (har har), this podcast is for you. 

That’s because I’m having a chat with Ben Patrick, also known as the Knees Over Toes Guy, and we’re talking all about improving knee function and pain. 

In case you’re not familiar with Ben, he’s taken the fitness world by storm with a seemingly controversial and contrarian stance on the old adage of never pushing your knees past your toes. So much so that he’s gained over 1 million followers across social media fast, and been featured on the Joe Rogan podcast.

Ben gave up a career in college basketball to help people build strong, healthy knees, reduce knee pain, avoid surgery, and unlock their athletic potential.

We’ll get more into his background in the interview, but after spending his teenage years riddled with chronic knee pain and getting knee surgery, he developed his own system to build bulletproof knees. Now he can perform impressive feats of lower body mobility and knee strength, and coaches everyone from to newbies dealing with knee issues to elite athletes wanting to perform their absolute best.

In this interview, Ben and I talk about how he rehabilitated two dysfunctional knees, the benefits of walking backwards and reverse step-ups, supplements that can help with joint pain, and a whole lot more.

So if you want to learn how Ben beat chronic knee pain, and how certain simple exercises can unlock your true athletic potential, listen to this interview! 

Lastly, if you want to support the show, please drop a quick review of it over on iTunes. It really helps!


6:49 – Why knees over toes? What is the significance of that?

17:24 – How did you start healing your knees to play professional basketball?

23:11 – Where did it go from there?

57:31 – What are some supplements that people should take for knee pain?

Mentioned on the Show:

Ben Patrick’s Instagram

Ben Patrick’s YouTube

Ben Patrick’s Program

Shop Legion Supplements Here

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


Mike: Hey, I’m Mike Matthews and this is Most For Life. Welcome to a new episode, and thank you for joining me today, and this one is gonna be great for you if you need. Help with your knees. 

Oh, I cracked myself up. No, seriously though, because in this podcast I chat with Ben Patrick, also known as the knees over toes guy, and we talk about improving knee function and eliminating knee pain.

And in case you’re not familiar with Ben, he has taken the fitness world by storm, I suppose you could say with a seeming. Controversial and contrarian stance on the old adage that you should never allow your knees to go past your toes when you squat or lunge, or do anything really that knees over toes equals injury.

And as an aside, Ben is also a personal friend. I’ve known Ben for a long time. I knew him before he was the knees over toes guy. And his journey resonates with me because in some ways it’s similar to mine. I published, I self-published Bigger Lean, or Stronger back in 2012. I had no connections in the industry and I had no idea if anyone would even buy it.

As I’ve said, when I published that book, I thought it was a coin flip. I thought it was 50-50 between selling zero copies. And not zero copies. And 20 people bought my book in the first month and I was excited that 20 was not zero. And similarly, Ben has a personal story of all the problems he used to have with his knees.

And he finally figured out some simple and effective ways to overcome those issues and to go from having very dysfunctional needs to very functional needs and to not have to take drugs anymore and no more surgeries. And now he has over a million followers and he has tens of thousands of success stories of people who have used his methods, which.

Very straightforward and very safe, as you will learn on this podcast, and really something that you might as well try if you are having knee problems, because again, you’re not gonna hurt yourself with any of this, and you might just completely resolve the issue, which many people have done who have taken Ben’s advice, and there is almost certainly preventative value to his methods as well.

If you want to take a little bit of time to do what he’s gonna talk about on this podcast, you can probably reduce your chances of having knee problems in the future if you don’t currently have any now. 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 leg lesions. Products to check out everything we have to offer, including protein powders and bars, pre-workout and postworkout supplements, fat burners, multivitamins, joint support, and more.

Head over to bi That’s B Y L E G I And just to show you how much I appreciate my podcast peeps, use the coupon code M ffl checkout and you will save 20% on your entire first. Hey Ben, welcome to my podcast. Thanks for making the time to do this. 

Ben: Thanks so much. I’m stoked. 

Mike: Yeah, same. This is one I’ve been looking forward to for a few reasons, but one of them is just because I’ve known you for a while, I would consider you a friend, not just an acquaintance, and I’ve seen you fairly quickly go from, I guess you could say obscurity to I don’t wanna, I know you wouldn’t like the term celebrity, but to at least to you have, I don’t know, a million followers across these social networks now.

But more importantly, it’s just, it’s cool to see because before you became knees over Toes guy, I remember in Florida and you had a gym and you were working with athletes and helping a lot of high school kids be better football players and you had a lot of passion for fitness and just helping people, your.

Focus has been athleticism, always over just aesthetics. You weren’t training bodybuilder, you’re training people who wanna perform better. And now just a couple of years later, you’ve really built a brand and you’re reaching millions of people and helping tens of thousands of people. And it’s just cool to see.

I can relate to it a little bit cuz my story is semis similar, right? In 2012, I published a book. I had no connections, I had no brand, I had no name. I just put good information out there and enough people found it and told others about it and that became something. So it’s cool. It’s cool to see. 

Ben: No, it’s a super similar story. I remember watching you work out in LA Fitness. I thought you looked like Hugh Jackman. I was very jealous and , it was cool. I got to see you do it and I mean it definitely, I think it makes a difference for someone when they’ve seen someone else succeed at their goals that they actually observed and it’s shit, that could actually happen to a regular person, totally. 

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. I totally understand. So again, it’s very cool. And then also I’m excited to. Talk to you about the content we’re gonna get into, because it’s something that obviously is resonating with a lot of people, and it’s not an area that I have written or spoken much about. I’ve produced a little bit of content on helping resolve pain, but not anything like what you’ve done.

I’ve stuck mostly to my lane, so to speak, which is just body comp stuff, right? And I would also include health in that, but how to build muscle, how to lose fat, how to get healthy, how to stay that way in a sustainable and enjoyable way. So that’s obviously the majority of my work just focused on those things.

Whereas I think where we should start is why knees over toes Guy . What’s the significance of that? How has that led to, I think if I under, you can correct me if I’m wrong, but your first big kind of splash or big win has been helping people improve their knee function, get rid of pain and improve performance.


Ben: Yeah. I try to work on the whole body like anyone would in their training, but I’m very okay with just, being considered an e specialist cuz that was what really was ruining my life and I tried. Save us some time here. So I tried to identify how the heck did I become like knees over toes guy, right?

Like why would that matter to me so much? So number one, I remember by age 12, like I was already dreading going downstairs. I remember a pretty horrifying moment where I was realizing that there was a fire alarm and I was like, if this was a real fire, I’d probably be the first one to die because I couldn’t get warmed up quickly the way others could.

My knees were already that bad by age 12, and it’s only because I’m extremely obsessive and I wanted to make the NBA and was like way over doing it on plyometric, starting at 9, 10, 11. I was just destroying my knees, that’s all. It’s nothing crazy and I hadn’t hit puberty yet. Then I hit puberty. If you go through your entire pub, With like nasty chronic knee pain, your muscles aren’t gonna form, right?

Like I was avoiding putting pressures on the right areas. Then now I wind up in my teens really bad knee pain trying to go to different trainers and I was like strictly coached like, do not let your knees over your toes. You know what I mean? That was the position that hurt, right? It was like anything knees over toes hurt like crazy.

So we just avoided that so well, whatever would get developed from that didn’t develop. So then I had a full blood injury surgery. Try to come back from that. Still following like strictly no knees over toes, try to get back playing basketball. Boom. Now I blow out the other knee that is the foundation that set me up for extreme success with knees because I was basically a like the worst knee guy.

And one of my knees was like a surgical mess that has partially artificial kneecap meniscus transplant quad 10 in repair. So the stiffness was like unimaginable. And then the other knee now that I blew out the other knee had torn ligaments. But I didn’t have surgery on that. So that was like my starting point of my knees over to journey one knee crazy stiff, the other knee crazy loose from torn ligaments that I never ended up having surgery on.

And throughout that entire process, I had never trained knees over toes. So you could see, because of all that shit, I had to start from ground zero. Yeah. Or even worse. . Yeah. Ground to negative zero. I still thought I was gonna somehow be a basketball player. After all that with zero recruitment out of high school, like no one ever was like, Yeah, like we want you to look at coming to our school for basketball.

I, so all that occurred and I was still delusional enough to think I was gonna get like a college basketball scholarship. 

Mike: So that was I couldn’t just so that, that was driving you, you were like, I can’t give up. I got, I have to figure out some way to make these knees knee again. 

Ben: Exactly. So things never would’ve been as bad if I wasn’t driving myself into the ground trying to play basketball.

If I was just a more conservative person, things never could have been that bad that soon, now for other people, things do get that bad. They’re usually in their forties, fifties, sixties, by the time things are as bad as they were for me when I was 19, so it took all those factors, , and still being, delusional enough to think that I was gonna be a basketball player, which means I have to go out and do things then like dunk, which I had never even at this point.

I was, had never grabbed a rim, which is a lot easier than Dunking . You have to jump. 

Mike: I can even grab the rim. I’m sure you, I’ve never tried to jump. You were warmed up.

Ben: I promise you could grab the rim. So I had never grabbed the rim zero recruitment, all this knee stuff and thought I was gonna play.

So that means I had to like, as I say, like either I was gonna fail miserably or I was gonna figure some shit out. And lucky enough, I figured some shit out. And believe it or not, a couple years later I was getting full ride college basketball scholarships. Played two years at a school, then actually got offered a full ride division one scholarship at age 23, which you’re not supposed to get one that late.

The NCAA actually flagged it for being, for me, being too old, believe it or not. 

Mike: So you were gonna pursue it and then it got taken away because of age. 

Ben: That’s right. Yeah. I was too many years removed from high school. And it’s not a common occurrence. No one usually either you’re good enough to get some recruitment or not.

Usually someone doesn’t just make that change at such a late age, so my options were continue staying at smaller. Collegiate schools where they don’t have such strict rules or get a lawyer and try to fight the NCAA’s decision, which the school at Boston University they thought I could fight it and still play, but everything I had been through to that point, I was like, honestly, I am 23.

I need to get the show on the road professionally. And I just, I started training people right then and there, and I’m turning 30 next month, and that’s all I’ve done really since the day that, I took it as a sign, like I have something that can help people. I need to start helping people.

So I’m thrilled that it didn’t work out and have me keep playing and who knows, maybe I would’ve just been playing professionally somewhere, maybe in Europe or something like that. Right now I’ve even been offered contracts to play in Europe, but I took those signs as yeah I’m a lot more valuable to people.

Being a trainer then by, pursuing my own 

Mike: career. Yeah. It’s funny, it sounds silly considering the amount of success that you’ve had and that you will continue to have that it was quote unquote selfless. But I’m sure at the time there was a little bit of that in it because a part of you, I’m sure was thinking, Hey, it would be fun to go over and play basketball in Europe.

Oh yeah. And Oh yeah. Versus doing what you were doing in the beginning, which, like anything you started, or like most people in most things, you start at the bottom and you have to work your way up. And in the beginning, nobody cares what you’re doing and nobody cares what you say, what you want to do or can do.

You have to prove it and what you have done Now, obviously there’s a lot of reasons now, personal reasons to, to continue what you’re doing, but it was different in the beginning, I’m sure. 

Ben: Oh, yeah, very. I didn’t, being a trainer who wanted to help people with their needs, like it was never part of the thought process that I would wind up with a lot of followers or anything like that, it was, I don’t think it ever occurred to me realistically that could be a big thing. But as I’m sure you can relate, like you hit a certain point where you’re like, Shit, I need to get this, when you started publishing your books or wherever, for me there was a point where it was.

I actually really have a responsibility to get this data out there. And so that’s when it was time for me to like really try to like use, realize like I actually need to go on social media and try to get more data out there. And that was about three years ago. And so as crazy to sound at the time, my goal was to just bust the myth of no knees over toes.

And so I was like, I’m gonna be the knees over toes guy. My wife thought it was like pretty lame, but I think only recently does she not think it’s la Actually she’s, Is it still lame? Now she’s starting to finally get over it. She says, Okay. She still laughs at my knee over toes guy name. But that was the thing I can be happy and go to sleep well at night if I know that I’m trying to at least educate people on that myth.

So that was it. Knee over toes guy. I thought 

Mike: it was good marketing. I think a lot of what you’ve done is good marketing. Even if you haven’t realized, even if you couldn’t say, Oh, it was because of this principle that I read in this book. And again, I’m not, you may have read a lot of marketing books and a lot of the things, a lot of the decisions you may, you’ve made may have been deliberate.

But take that point in particular, I liked it from a branding perspective because it’s one clear concept and it’s controversial. It’s contrarian too, because a lot of it’s not just athletes, but also weightlifters have been hearing for a long time that your knees cannot go past your toes when you’re doing any sort of lower body training whatsoever.

And if they do, you’re gonna mess your knees up. And so it gets people’s attention. If we liken it to, in the diet space, I’m not a proponent of the corvo diet, like if you need to do an elimination diet because you have a lot of, let’s say, GI issues and you don’t know what the problem is, that makes sense to me.

Start with something that is well tolerated by most people, meat, and then start reintroducing foods to find out, what’s causing the problem. But as far as. That’s all you do is eat meat for the rest of your life. , I don’t think it’s a very smart decision, but it’s a good marketing play though.

It’d be like, carnivore guy. Again, it’s something that is very unusual and it’s controversial because wait a minute, you’re saying I shouldn’t eat vegetables? Not only that I don’t have to, but I shouldn’t. So anyway, again I think that you’ve made a lot of smart marketing decisions, maybe just following your intuition, but I think the knees over toes guy thing was one of them.

Ben: I think that there’s no way that my pages would be, This big, this fast if it wasn’t for this knees over toes guy name. 

Mike: And also the focus though, because you made it clear okay, that’s your name and that’s what you’re gonna focus on. And then it’s not just focusing on knee over toes, but it’s gonna be knee related things.

And there is this kind of interesting entry point of training knees 

Ben: over toes. For me, I really was passionate that I had a lot of know. To offer there. So I figured I was looking at it like if I’m taking a gamble at just trying to make a difference, I should at least tackle the most important issue to me.

So I think for a lot of sports training you get into these kind of generic names. Elite strength and condition. Nothing against that, but if I was just elite strength and conditioning or something like that or whatever, or just 

Mike: it’s just, yeah. Elite knee guy doesn’t work. Yeah. 

Ben: But like knees over toes guy, it’s like, what the fuck is that?

And it’s because it’s the 

Mike: knees over toes. So let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about, it’s your personal rehabilitation of your knees I’m sure has informed a lot of the programs that you’ve put together and how you’ve helped other people. So we can probably talk. 

Ben: We can take it really step by step.

Mike: Yeah. Yeah. It’s gonna go to this knees over toes point as well. 

Ben: We’re gonna go over the nitty gritty of knees, over toes, Like everything you need to know about knees over toes. So your knees 

Mike: are all screwed up and you’re like, I still wanna play professional basketball. I need to fix my 

Ben: knees. Exactly. So the first thing that started changing that for me, because I knew my knees really well, I was had quote unquote, tried everything.

And by everything that usually means massages, foam rollers, stretching, painkillers, those kind of things is what people are normally thinking of. The first thing I actually started changing it for me was putting my car in neutral and putting my ass against the bumper and pushing it backwards every fucking day.

So the point that my quads actually got like you. A little bit of a pump into that lower quad for the first time ever. Now the thing about walking backwards, and if we look at walking backwards, whether you’re towing a sled backwards or just walking backwards, if you stand there, like if anyone listening to this stands sideways in a mirror and goes to take their first step backwards, you realize that your knee is over your toes.

Walking backwards is just a very rudimentary test of knees over toes. And when tested in elderly, it’s actually been proven to be an effective screening process for falling alone. Just by testing old people, walking backwards better, they can walk backwards, less chance they have a falling, which is actually one of the leading causes of death in hospitalization and elderly.

It’s not like following’s not a joke, like it’s a big deal. We don’t think about that every day, but falling is a huge deal. So if that same concept is preventing elderly from falling, maybe it could help me land from a fricking jump or something like that. And so in my system, that is the first step. Walk backwards for 10 minutes.

Now as things go, we wanna start towing a sled continuously for five minutes, which is, I think still, underrated. This is why I work hard on social media. I should at least work until this stuff’s overrated. Rather than leave some of this stuff underrated because of the amount of people who have gotten out of pain just from going backwards.

So that’s knees over toes. And that’s that’s why I’m knees over toes guy because I’m not trying to make it something extreme. And if we look at the, at like the other end of the pole, maybe the most famous other knees over toes guy was Tom Platz. And the stuff he did really was. Unbelievably extreme.

He started an Olympic weightlifting gym in his teens and kept building on these qualities and was, in a, an air of body building where drugs were part of the competition at that point. That’s not exactly accessible for people if that is what they see with knees over toes, where yes, the majority of people trying any of those movements probably would, get some degree of injury from trying them.

You see what I mean? Knees over toes got this just extremist thing. And my thing is look, if all you ever learned from me was walking backward with a sled for five minutes and getting a nice quad pump before, you started your leg session. If you’re somebody who’s joints usually, prevent them from getting good, mind muscle connection, Like I’m literally okay if that was my career I had, at times I was like, had even thought.

Simplifying even more. But as it turns out, people are willing to spend some time learning it. But that’s the foundation, just the concept of going backwards, that’s the foundation. And a lot of people interested in building muscle and stuff have definitely commented that, getting that in regularly helped them get over some of that tendonitis and stuff like that.

So that was the first thing I did that really changed things, not extreme at all. Interesting. And 

Mike: I like how accessible it is. The simpler, the better, and the less stuff it requires, the better. Because of course that means that it’s something that most people can actually do and will actually 

Ben: do. Exactly.

And so if we think about that as a style of exercise, just the concept of going backwards, obviously just walking backwards, alone. Might not get it done for someone who needs to play basketball, but maybe that could give excellent wins for your grandmother or, I have a lot of, elderly clients for this reason and walking backwards alone is solid.

But if you could walk backwards, you could drag like one pound, two pound, like it’s still the same cons. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s no such thing as someone who just, Oh, I can’t get stronger. It’s not how the human body works. Like it’s capable of adapting. Yeah, 

Mike: absolutely. There are quite a few case studies out there.

Of people 70, 80 years old even, who were able to gain quite a bit of muscle and strength considering their age and that they had just started at that age. That’s not, they had never touched a waiter machine in their entire lives. Oh, a newbie gains . Yeah. Still, Yeah. Still the newbie gains at 70 years old.

Of course it’s not the same, but the numbers, the exact numbers don’t come back to me, but I just remember that it was considerable. It wasn’t, Oh, they worked three months to gain two pounds of muscle and increase their strength by 5%. No, it’s pretty 

Ben: considerable. And even any degree, at a time when for most athletes, we actually have an interesting aging process just because of our sport beating us down.

It’s almost like our sport is mimicking the aging process on whatever those joints are that we overu. And so then same with elderly, It’s, so at a time when most people are going down with their knees, like it’s pretty cool to be able to do something, to go in the other direction. But the ultimate for me is if people just realize.

Knees over toes is not something that like, Oh, this works for me. Or this doesn’t work. It’s just an area of movement in our body. There’s no such thing as someone who like, Oh I’m, unless there’s a structural defect, which is a totally different thing, which is less than 1%. You know what I mean?

That’s a totally different subject and not something I specialize in. But everyone can get a stronger bench. Everyone can get more protected knees. It’s not like it’s just physics and just laws of how strength develops. That’s all. Yeah, makes 

Mike: sense. And so where did it go from 

Ben: there? Putting my car in neutral.

You need a partner, not you need somewhere flat, the sled. So I quickly got like when that was working, I quickly got a sled. They’re more obtainable. You can get a drag sled for 50 bucks on Amazon, though you do need some weather outside. So I also figured out that on a treadmill, like most basic treadmills you can get on it.

And turn around and stick your butt against the handles and not turn it on and actually just spin the wheel backwards. That actually supplies some resistance to that motion. A lot of people swear by that. They go into LA finish first five minutes. They just spin. We call it reverse dead mill, like the treadmill’s off, and you just spin it back.

So it also builds mental toughness. I think I need to have a study done on the mental toughness side of going in and everyone’s walking forwards and you’re and Yeah. And just 

Mike: looking like a fool. . Exactly. I actually think there’s something to be said for that, for just doing something that makes you stand out for not conforming in some kind of 

Ben: weird way.

Doesn’t have to be knees over to, but I feel like in some way whether you write something that then people have to read, you created some write, like I feel like we need something in our life where we’re doing something that’s not conforming, anyways, you’re very onto something that could probably be a whole other creativity podcast, cuz I actually think that this backward walking concept is actually what made my marketing creativity light.

Like I, every day I’m just like having to put something out there that’s not what is told of me, anyways, so then I was trying stuff that was too hard, what I really wanted. Is I could see that okay, the opposite of what I had been brought up and done is when you see one of these gold medal Olympic weightlifters and you look at them in like the bottom of a squat or something and it’s just like unbelievable.

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

Those are true 

Mike: 10 RPE all out max effort lifts that you’re seeing, 

Ben: right? They’re not trying to even do it for health. And even them, if you look at the sport, they actually have one of the lowest knee injury rates compared to a sport. Like I play like basketball, right? And no one in basketball can do that shit.

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

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

If your knees never hurt and you just practice jumping, you’re on a good track to jump higher. Jumping high is actually a simpler subject than people realize, like you have the relative strength involved. If your knee hurts, you’re not gonna be able to even go express your force and you don’t get good at jumping from one fancy workout.

The best jumpers in the world have jumped thousands and thousands of times. So my jump transformation simply came from building knees that never heard, and then studying at the art of jumping and practicing jumping. It wasn’t from any fancy jumping drills anyways. So if we look at walking backwards, that is nice, but that sure as hell is not that, Perfect, Unbelievable deep knee bend.

Yeah it’s not gonna get you 

Mike: to the promised land, 

Ben: so this is what my career’s been devoted to, is actually turning that into a step by step process. The next thing, if we look at backward walking, and if we look at that positioning, the next thing up from there would basically be doing reverse step up.

So step up are a well known strength exercise. Yeah. A good kind 

Mike: of beginner body weight type of deal. That’s how it’s usually 

Ben: used. Yeah. And then people load. Yep. Step up. Yep. The nature of a normal step up. I don’t think there’s that much good like eccentric component. So it’s not like bodybuilders have found that like Step Up are like, the holy grail of like mask.

They’re not, they’re still not a common one. But most people would be familiar with Step Up. So 

Mike: again, you would commonly find them for talking resistance or strength training. You’d probably mostly find them in beginner programs just for people who need to build a basic foundation of strength so they can start loading other exercises, 

Ben: That’s exactly right. And so a reverse step up is almost like if you just imagine like going downstairs only like having to control that motion and go back up. And so in my system, like I want people just as, I want people to be able to walk backwards, pain free. I would like people to be able to do reverse step up on a six inch box, like that’s not asking for too much.

And even some physiotherapy studies have proven that to help regenerate the patella tendon. So it’s a very simple exercise, but I had to realize that even that quality scales, So if I want to get grandma able to go down steps without pain, right? I was in pain at 12 for people with knee pain. That could happen at any time in their lives.

But if you can’t go downstairs without pain, that’s not a good sign. In any exercise you have range of motion and you have the amount of resistance. So if you hold onto something, you can actually reduce the amount of resistance on a reverse step up from less than your own weight. It’s still resistance, it’s just less resistance than your own weight.

And you could even shorten the step from six inches and six inches is not that high. If you’re in a common gym and you see those aerobic steppers, the little squares. Add about two inches, and then the top box adds about four inches. So like we’re only talking about a square on each side and then put the stacker on top.

So that’s obviously an, that’s an ability we wanna have for sport and for life. Again, the difference is like my mom does them and I’m happy with her doing them with her own body weight. For me, I actually turn this into a strength exercise and it helps me jump higher. It’s approximating those exact angles.

Every 40 inch vertical jump in NFL combine history, had knees over toes. The powers from the hips, you watch the person go down, the majority of the power is coming from that posterior chain, but then the knee dips over the toe to be able to make that force go up Again, like with the backward walking and comparing that to pulling a sled, like you could take the best athlete in the world and if you challenge them with enough weight and make them go fast enough backwards for five minutes, they probably will have the burn of a lifetime.

Now it’s not much for muscle growth because there’s no eccentric component, but the point is just that the same exercise that. Grandma could do, could make you sane, bolt one of vomit. Like that’s the idea is it’s just a category of exercise. So going backwards is a category of exercise and then reverse step up is a category of exercise and we do them with the foot flat, which kind of works on that ankle mobility.

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

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

I know we’re on the apo, is that yeah. I, of course, 

Mike: yeah. I see in my minds eye exactly what you’re talking about. You’re just reproducing the foot position, but now you have to, with isometric tension, 

Ben: produce it. Yeah. So if you progress from backward walking to a flat footed step up to a slam or step up to then removing the SL board and having to go onto the ball of your foot, you can, someone who maybe thinks I’m just doomed to weak knees and not being able to go down steps without pain.

This is why these, like rave successes come in is not from something wild. It’s from people actually following strength training over a considerable amount of time to actually get good at these motions. Not working through pain but assessing their level of range and how much load they can handle Now, From a muscle perspective, I think only that slam board one would relate the flat footed One is more ankle mobility, and then the one when you remove the slam board is definitely more in the athletic kind of department balance foot strength.

Like it’s not, I’m at least just trying to put the context because I know a lot of your listeners wanna know, like maybe how they would apply this in their routine. You know what I mean? So I’m not trying to make someone think they have to do every one of these, but just like you actually put what’s in your products, I have the same concept.

I’d rather just explain. Exactly how the system works. So that’s where we’re at so far. Now you could imagine someone who could do that would definitely have a better chance of being more stable and pain free on the full squat. But it’s not like you can just go from like reverse step up to now full squat.

There could be a disconnect there for a lot of people. And again, there’s a big difference between someone who’s like already generally healthy and that’s why I don’t even, when I count my success stories, I’m not counting the guy. I was like, damn, tried that exercise and then I hit a new PR after I feel great.

Like no, because that means you were actually like pretty damn healthy and you just had a very niggling little tendon thing that just needed some blood flow. Yeah. And it finally 

Mike: felt good and then your body allowed you to push a bit 

Ben: harder. , I used that then I would actually be a hypocrite of my own system.

Cuz the whole idea is that it’s not from something mythical going on, it’s actually from just following strength training, which does not. Occur instantly. It occurs over time of tear down muscle, just to a degree, that you can recover from and come back stronger. And some of these motions, there is load on the tendon, which the tendon has anabolic properties.

Not like a, not to the degree of muscle does, but I think that’s where some of the, I think that’s where some of the confusion can come in is that we can’t see it working. Like you can’t see your patella tendons, you can see a pump. You know what I mean? And if we had. Maybe some way of measuring that.

Everyone might have a lot, better tendon health if they knew like what their tendons looked like or something. I don’t, it’s not practical. So I had to live this with myself in coaching, just bazillions of people. Dude, I didn’t make any money as a trainer when I was training people in person.

I didn’t make money because I just wanted to train everyone. I charged like 15 bucks a session. , you can’t make any money as a personal trainer if you charge like $15 an hour . Anyways, business tip for personal trainers charge more than $15 an hour. But for me, the people who, like if someone walked in my gym and had knee pain, like I just wasn’t gonna turn ’em down anyways, it’s another story for another day.

The bridge. So what’s the bridge between the reverse step up and the full bend? Is a full bend squat one side at a time now. Okay, Does that mean pistol squats or this or that? And what I’ve found is that it’s an asto grass style split squat. So that means you’re in a split squat position, but then you’re lowering the front hamstring all the way down.

If you took a screenshot from the side, it would look identical to that Olympic gold medalist weightlifter in the bottom position. And most people will have to elevate the front foot because it takes a lot of mobility to do that. That’s a little unclear cause I was like testing, but I always kept track of things and it does seem like it took me about two years.

To have the mobility to do that on flat ground. Again, someone’s seeing that and just trying that, like that’s not where the gains come from. Again, there’s range of motion and there’s load. Where I started really making gains was by elevating the front foot and by using assistance. So again, like negative of my own weight, but getting that full hamstring over the calf 

Mike: weightlifting shoes would be good for that.

Just throwing that out there. Cause you have that elevated heel and you have that 

Ben: absolutely wide stable base. That’s a hundred percent right to the point that I actually started coaching it, that we actually don’t even try to get the heel down at first. So if you’re trying to do a split squat with your heel down, you might not ever really get.

Your leg through a full range of motion because the ankle mobility is in the way. So an Olympic wave shoe would help someone towards that purpose. So we actually first coach it that you just let your heel up and if you look back through the history books, they used to do squats like that. And that’s super impressive that guys used to do squats and just let their heels off the ground.

You know what I’m talking about? Where they like balance on the balls of their feet. So I never try to get to that. We find that like on a split squat, it’s a lot easier to balance letting your heel come up on a, than like on a double leg squat with weight or something like that. So when we train this with just body weight or negative body weight, we let the heel come up cuz we’re just trying to get that full leg range of motion and now you put in, my style.

Someone could progress as fast as they want, but again, I say exactly what I do. So I try to have people do this three times a week for 12 weeks. So three times a week for 12 weeks at your level, getting that full knee bend, letting your heel come up. Then after that, Now we start thinking about whether to add load and try to work that heel towards flat because to get to that ankle mobility, so for some people, my mom can do it flat ground without weight.

Now what I find is the stronger someone is, the more likely it is that they would actually have to add weight to get to that mobility. Like most strong guys would never get to a flat ground split squat if they think they can just do it with their body weight alone. Like it’s probably not enough load to even like signal to their body to pull into that kind of a depth.

So again, it’s not like there’s any pressure on it, but we’re trying to use the deepest range of motion that we can without pain and we’re trying to use the weight that gives us the best range of motion. If you go too heavy, you’ll shorten up. Like you won’t go all the way down. If you go too light, it won’t pull you that far.

So there’s my system in a nutshell, and people start to find as they get better and better into that. As to grass split squat position, which not surprisingly comes from Olympic weightlifting in the sixties, there was lifters who would actually catch their Olympic lifts in that as to grass split squat, which is just remarkable.

And you gradually put those legs together and it’s Oh. Squatting felt like crap for the last 10 years of my life. Now it actually feels great. Everyone is gonna start out somewhere different. There’s no pressure. And even once we do double legged squats, we actually still elevate our heels just because it keeps it simple for everyone.

It allows people generally, like if you look at the mechanics of strength training, if you elevate your heels on a squat, you’re going to get. Posterior chain development more. It’s harder on the 

Mike: lakes. Yeah, it’s harder on the quads in particular, but the squad is primarily a quad’s exercise anyway.

Yeah. I don’t think you’re gonna be losing much. And again, there’s a reason why so many successful weightlifters and that ranges from just every day lifestyle body builders like me who have done good things with their physiques too, to high level weight lifters all say that a good pair of squat shoes is a worthwhile investment.

It just makes your squatting more stable and more comfortable and more productive. Yep. 

Ben: And so now my specialty is the ultra week need. So we actually. Do that exact same concept of the Olympic wave shoe only. We use a SL board, so the balls of the feet are on the floor and then the heels are up.

Like maybe double what an Olympic wave shoe would lift your heel, right? So it’s the same concept, and instead of jumping into a bar, we do it. Golet style, like with the dumbbell in front. And the dumbbell in front allows me to look at someone and see if the legs are really handling it right. Cause if you go down, so if you elevate your heels on a SL board balls, the feet on the floor you could stand all the way on the board.

I, for most of us, we’d like to have our toes, like something feels right about having the toes still on the floor. But if you drop down to the bottom of a squat, like I can look at your elbows. Are you having to flare them straight out to the side? Are they going down in between your legs? Which a, any of those things are fine, but it definitely would mean I’m not gonna increase the weight because, so I’m gonna have someone increase the load of the dump bell when they can go to rock bottom of that squat with the elbows still above the thigh, which would bring the torso more vertical and would push the knees farther over the toes.

So it’s not about putting someone into a riskier position. It’s more like having them start over with whatever weight they can truly handle, with their legs. So it’s not a sexy process. And again, if someone was wanting to immediately apply some of this stuff, You would think of this perhaps as a finisher after for someone who barbell squats.


Mike: You wouldn’t think to include that as a part of your lower body workout, so to speak. 

Ben: This would be a fi if you do a good set of one to three sets when we do start barbell squatting, which is optional in my system, but like for athletes, like that’s a very proven exercise. So the final stage of my system is where I do let people, squat and deadlift with a bar, and we use that as a finisher, one to three sets.

We still use that dumbbell at dumbbell squat as a finisher, one to three sets of 20 reps. So there’s probably some research out there of another that would show that maybe a back off like higher rep finisher. And in this case, it would allow you to I think it could provide a little fun for someone rather than saying, Okay, now do a set of 20 barbell back squats.

It could maybe give them a little bit of a different stimulus, elevate the heels a little bit more, and, hold the dumbbell and pump out 20 reps. I don’t know what you would think about that. Yeah, given the nature of the 

Mike: exercise in what you’re going for, I don’t think that’s inappropriate at all.

Technically speaking, you could say the muscle hypertrophy, which is the more of what you’re going for here, that range is anywhere from probably six reps to 20 or maybe even more. You get beyond that and becomes a bit impractical. Yeah. Particularly with any exercise that you’re gonna do as part of a strength workout.

Strictly strength or body building. You mean even sets of 20, try to do a set of 20 with really any exercise. That you find in just a traditional strength training. Yeah, go do a set of 20 barbell squats and close to muscle failure and see how you feel. 

Ben: See if you wanna do that again.

Not to mention I’ve seen that can actually be unsafe sometimes, but Oh, I agree. I agree. Like 

Mike: sets of 20 on the squat are on the deadlift in particular. I just wouldn’t do that. There 

Ben: most reward blow out a lot of need. A lot of things occur when you, unless 

Mike: the weight was like really sub max, right?

If it’s, 40% of my one RM and I’m just doing it to get a feel for the, maybe to groove in good movement patterns and just get a feel for the weight moving quickly and just add a little bit of extra, I could see 

Ben: that, but you could, but that wouldn’t get much. I still don’t think that would give much stimulus.

And that’s where say for use, say you did this after a squat workout is just like a 20 rep pump finisher. What occurs is that it doesn’t require a ton of weight to hold, but because of that upright torso nature, as the set goes, you can actually like force harder loading of the quads, if that makes sense.

Like maybe, so like for weaker need people at first, what do we wanna do? Like we wanna hunch over and not let our knees go that far forward, right? So as the set of 20 goes, as that pump comes in, depending on like how erect you hold yourself, you can actually get a really crush yourself.

And some people will actually have like soreness in their VMO for the first time. That can be like a tougher area to get soreness into in my own, what have I observed? I’ve noticed that I’ve started to get some, like some VMO veins popping out when I lift, which is something that. With the power lifting mentality, which is how you, that’s how you get stronger.

That’s how we move the needle. So again I’m only talking here about primarily helping the weak need. You ever see someone squat and you can tell, like they just don’t trust their needs at all? That’s what I’m here for, is the weak need. And so using that slam board and really working on being able to get that positioning that these strong need dudes can, and now these Olympic waves, they’re doing it with a ton of weight for a week.

Need basketball player though? Shit, 25% of your body weight for 20 reps for a week need basketball player can change their fricking life. So it’s not like this end all be all, it’s used to build, to being able to trust your knees, to perhaps getting, some stimulation that you might not get from, if you’ve never really gotten that kind of a torso angle.

But that’s not like how you jack up your squat. But for someone who struggles with their knees, I kid you not, I had a guy. Squat a thousand pounds this weekend. So he’s a power lifter, but the knee pain’s always there, right? He uses that ATG split squat as accessory to his power lifting squat. He just squatted a thousand and when I say a thousand, I’m not saying like he DMed it to me.

I’m saying like, it’s on the internet. If anyone knows of someone who squatted a thousand, then you know who I’m talking about. He just squatted a thousand pounds at 23 years old. He’s, he could become the top power lift during the world. Who is it? People wanna know now. I might as well just say his name.

He’s a nice guy. And fuck it. Now you can follow him. It gets weird when talking about clients, right? Because as the coach. So let’s say I’m 1% of this guy, but if Knee pain was there, his name’s Andrew House. He has the greatest power lifting name. I think having the last name House, , come on. That’s and so his social media is at Da Powerhouse, D A S P O W E R H A U S E, Andrew House, h a u e.

Anyways, yeah, so you can see his foreign, like it’s two posts to go. If you look on Instagram and you can see he actually hit power lifting depth with 1006 pounds. And if someone wants, I recommend any other coaches. So this guy is a power lifting coach that I love, recommending good people who take their coaching seriously and.

He says, Without those ATG split squats wouldn’t be able to do this shit pain 

Mike: free. That’s great. I’m pulling it up. I’m listening. I wanna see this. So what I’m hearing, correct me if I’m wrong, is it seems like one of the key, if not the key principle that you’re applying here is specificity. Okay? We want to make this certain part of the body stronger and more resistant to injury.

And so how do I. Target that area with exercises and the barbell back squad is not good for targeting it. Your knees or strengthening the tendons, the patella tendon. And it’s great for blowing up your quads and you know your glutes and then that of course, I mean that just makes sense. You don’t need to be a scientist or even a fitness expert to understand why that makes sense.

It’s just common sense school you wanna get good at really anything. Then you wanna train that very specifically. You don’t want to train more generally and then try to transfer that over to, that’s a basic principle of training for sports too, right? Is you have to practice in as specifically as you can for what you’re trying to do.

Ben: If you want a better jump shot or if you wanna, dude, if you wanna hit a golf ball I’m sorry. You can’t just think that you can do a general work. Like you’re gonna have to go figure that sport out. Yeah. And so for someone struggling with their knees, like there is a technology of like how your knees work and what muscles and tendons are involved and how to actually get some stimulus into those without killing yourself off.

So I actually, before I forget, cuz. I made sure to say like how to regress every quality we’ve talked about so far, right? And so it’s the same with this heels elevated squat, like someone with knee pain. The idea of elevating their heels and going all the way down would probably hurt them to think about.

But we do this in five levels, and the lowest level is when you have a high amount of assistance. Meaning if you imagine that if you had two basic chairs and you actually held the backs of those chairs, one on each side, you’d be able to assist yourself like almost through the whole range. Now imagine turning the chairs around so that you only get to use the seat of the chair.

Does that make sense? To push off? So now you have to handle your weight most of the way down, and then you just get a boost in the bottom position, which then level three would. Not touching the chairs with your hands. Level four would then actually be holding the dumbbell in front. And again, since I’m just trying to stay in my lane, like I’m not trying to teach someone how to build a metal and I’m trying to teach someone how to drive up a squat, or if I only live this shit, that’s gonna force me to be really good at this shit.

So level five is actually holding with straight arms, which holds some strictness holding the weight behind your back. Now we’re talking like most people would be like in extreme knee pain, elevating their heels. Holding a weight behind their back and then trying to drop rock bottom. Fuck, I was Mr.

Weak knee guy and now that shit feels like butter and I have over a 40 inch vertical. Like it’s not rocket science. I put in the damn work. But if you look at me like, Yeah, that’s great, it doesn’t mean I’m gonna go win a power lifting competition or be able to compete at all with an Olympic way. It just means I’ve used strength principles applied to what.

The most bulletproof knees can do. And I’ve gotten partially the way there and I happen to have played basketball my whole life. So I have very good body awareness for jumping. So now that gives me a really good marketing tool because when you see someone dunk on a 10 foot rim, it’s shit, this six foot tall dude dunking, that’s some decent athleticism.

You know what I mean? I don’t have decent power lifting or Olympic way lifting numbers. Yeah. And I’m sure 

Mike: it has sex appeal too. I’m sure. I never played basketball, but for people who do play basketball who can’t dunk, there’s probably, again, a bit of that flashiness to it that makes them pay attention 

Ben: to what you’re doing.

Cause you can’t go out and dunk every day and. Like you can’t fake that. You can see the person’s knees, you can see that jump, you can see the landing. And I’ve made it a point to get statements from past coaches because like it would be hard for someone to believe what a shitty athlete I was before, And it was only cuz I was held back with my knees. So now when people see damn, this dude like was nowhere near dunking naturally, now he’s like puling the rim with dunks. It gives people hope you. But within that hope, there you go. There’s a route, like you have to now it’s just gonna be up to you of where you’re at now, how much you put in the work.

Do you actually follow the work? Precisely. This is like a holy thing, like your form, your focused, like the things you think about. It’s the same thing with these exercises. These aren’t things you just go fr with and try to get like a one day result. These are tools in your toolbox. If you’re somewhat with bad knees and it’s totally up to you, like how sharp do you wanna make?

Like this is a. Personal thing of like how serious are you about it? How sharp are you gonna make those tools? How honestly are you gonna train with yourself and the loads that you’re using? And then that’s my system. And then everything else is actually just to support that. Meaning like we can’t work only the quad and not the hamstring.

We can’t work only the knees and not the hips or, so everything else is support to what I just said. Walk backwards is the foundation. Reverse step up is the second point, which is harder than walking backwards. The ATG split squat is harder than the step up, but again, it still regresses cuz you can use assistance, elevate your front foot and then it heals up all the way down.

Squat is like our king exercise, but for my intents and purposes, I’m still just talking about. About the posture and how pain free you can do it, and not actually speaking of that, everything I do would still be considered accessory work for an actual, Olympic weightlifter or powerlifter. No, it makes 

Mike: sense.

There’s certainly a method to the madness, so to speak. And it’s interesting because we come back to just thinking about it from a marketing perspective, where I see videos of you doing unconventional things, and that’s great marketing because it catches, it stops people from scrolling and it, and they are like, What is this guy doing?

But then when you can explain, this is. Why I’m doing this and this is what we’re looking to achieve. And of course then you have a ton of social proof now and you can say, Look, this is how it has helped all of these other people. It’s just a really good marketing package, and it sounds like it didn’t come together with that in mind, but it is certainly one of the reasons why you’re doing as well as you are.

It would be different if the movements were more familiar. If it was like, Oh yeah, okay. What you do is you take the barbell back squat and you make this slight little tweak to it. It wouldn’t have the same stickiness. The fact that, again, it’s very unusual, the types of things that you’re recommending for your average fitness person or average athlete who’s very used to just doing certain types of exercises or certain type of way.

That is, again it’s just very good marketing and it’s great that it also is, it’s good training and it actually gets real results. It’s not just a gimmick that you can use. Get people’s money until they realize that it’s just a gimmick and then they move on. When I see stuff that is contrary, especially in fitness, I mentioned the carnivore diet, for example.

Yeah, good marketing, but mostly 

Ben: just bullshit. Don’t even gimme Started on proprietary blend . Yeah. We’re gonna 

Mike: go there in a minute, but it’s just, again, like for anybody listening, I think it’s a good rule of thumb to put your guard up when somebody comes along with, Very unconventional, contrarian advice about in fitness for sure.

Whether it’s diet, whether it’s training, whether it’s supplementation, doesn’t mean that they’re full of shit. But you should be wary because that’s a tried and true marketing tactic. It’s just an easy way to get people to pay attention to what you have to say. And if you also then are a decent salesperson, you can get them to give you money.

Ben: Yeah. And you have to grab attention one way or another. Yeah. But that’s, and that’s where my marketing is evolving, is if someone actually takes a look at my Instagram where my YouTube over the last few months, they’re just gonna see endless posts where I quite literally show exactly what I’ve talked about today and I show how here’s the lowest.

But that’s the trick of it. It’s if I only did that, it would be crickets. So the video might start with a slam dunk or something, like it’s very tricky, like, How do you get people, like on TikTok, I’ll post something like, catchy YouTube at least gives me a little bit more time to explain something.

 TikTok, you must 

Mike: have 

Ben: what, two seconds. TikTok is fast, right? And what’s funny is that I’ll post something which just me landing into some crazy position or whatever and it’ll get a million views or whatever. Like I went and checked the temperature of the pool just by reaching my knees into the, like doing like a full sissy squat.

Yeah. Yeah. 2.7 million views. But then if a bunch of people come and say, why don’t you show us how to improve? It’s yeah, I did that my last 10 posts and you didn’t fucking click on I’m not getting you’ll get 5,000 views on the most helpful thing you ever took the time to work to and.

And then you’ll get a million views on something, which is just, yeah, it’s 

Mike: trying to strike that balance and that’s something that you have to get good at if you’re gonna do well on social media. And it’s something I’m not good at and I probably could be good at it. I think I have enough marketing knowledge.

Ben: I used to succeeded in it, so I don’t know if I would put it that way. You’re a writer too, so there’s a bunch of different ways to reach people. You have to be, the pressure is on writing skill, not to mention you look fantastic year round. I’m trying to catch someone’s attention who maybe might never come across the idea that they can do something other than take anti-inflammatories for their knee pain.

But I would just say that, have I always been a perfect marketer? Absolutely not. But I would bet money that I have more hours of watch time of regressions and such than any other person talking about needs. It’s not like I’m doing that and then saying, I’m not gonna tell you what I did. I’m doing that. I used to do that to try to get people to sign up.

You see what I mean? Like I used to do that. And then it’s how did I get to this? No. Now, I may still do that, probably using it at the end of the video, not the start or whate, but I may still do that. And then I’m gonna show you exactly what I fricking did. I’m not gonna have secrets. I’m not, and it’s just, it’s a much better way to live when you’re not letting the marketing games change who you are.


Mike: also good marketing. Like I again there who did I first, who first said this? It might have been Frank Kern. I may have picked it up in a book somewhere. But a little, a good piece of marketing advice is when you’re selling information, give your best stuff away free, because the psychology is, hopefully the stuff people are paying for is just as good or is very good.

But again, your best, the stuff that most resonates with people, that gets you the most positive feedback, the best techniques that you have, especially the quote unquote magic bullet techniques, meaning stuff that people can do to get a result right away. Doesn’t have to get them to their goal right away, but give that stuff away for free because the psychology is people will.

A lot of people are gonna like it again, if there’s a practical element to it, they’re gonna do something with it and they’re gonna see an immediate result. And then they’re gonna think even maybe they don’t even think it consciously, but it will be in the back of their mind that, wow, if the free stuff is this good, then how good is the paid stuff?

So that’s just another example of good marketing instincts. Even though you may not have picked that up studying from a master marketer, you just figured it out by trying things and you notice 

Ben: that worked better. Yeah, I appreciate that. And yeah, I haven’t read any marketing books or anything like that.

And what I do is I actually just make sure, here and there, I’ll just chat with my dad who I would consider, more of a business expert than me and honestly, just make sure I’m doing things the right way. Make sure I’m, that I’m doing things the most ethically I possibly can. He’s like the most ethical guy I know.

You know what I mean? But I think because of that, like you said, that is marketing itself now, part of it too. I think that like-minded people will resonate. People who. Aren’t bullshitter types trying to swindle people themselves, I think will want to buy, I already explained my system, now I need you to help me and all my people listening to this out so that I can send them to this point of the podcast.

And now we need to learn about supplements relating to our needs. And on that note, what I was gonna say is, the only supplements I have taken in the last five years, and I even have evidence in past pictures, videos to prove it is legit supplements. And when I saw your supplement, you showed, you know what was in it.

And what’s interesting is that made me wanna buy it, even though you would think that hiding the amounts or whatever would make someone wanna buy it. And obviously that works for a lot of people, right? But for me, being someone who believes in a more honest approach, seeing that you said, and so I remember the thing that caught me was how much freaking CI you put in your pre-workout.

And I’m like, I guarantee Nolan is putting, that shit is not cheap. Cuz I used to try to buy these amino acid individually and I went with that and I never looked back and I’ve taken many tubs of pulse. And even though you wouldn’t think of that as a joint supplement, I actually think that it helped my whole process because if you have a pre-workout that works, it actually is gonna be a lot easier.

If you look at my approach to joints, my approach to joints is not avoiding them, but how much can they tolerate? You see what I mean? Training them really. Exactly. Like I’m actually trying to train my joints through full range of motion. Shit, anything that would actually. Work as a pre-workout actually, I think would help someone with their knees.

So we had tubs of this stuff in my gym and it wasn’t, The idea wasn’t too, like for example, we would be like, Okay, this athlete, like you should take this when you do your jump session. You know what I mean? So that you know you’re able to get into those positions more comfortably, or you should take it on your leg days and not on your upper body.

It’s still that specialist approach. But, so we actually used legion supplements for a long time to finish my long spiel here. I intentionally went the last year without taking any supplement of any kind. So I just finished one year of no supplements of any kind. I did this simply just to observe what it’s like now.

I’ve felt fine and training has been good, and I think that if diet and training are good, you shouldn’t rely on supplements. However, I wanna be the best I can be, the fact that I’ve got these basics in, I have training and diet that works for me I wanna gain a little bit more lean mass and I wanna do what’s right for my joints.

Like that’s why, not, like, why not invest in that? I spent $10,000 on, that’s how much one of my a nasty knee operation cost me. And we didn’t have any insurance that was out of pocket, $10,000. I could take a joint supplement the rest of my life and not spend $10,000. So anyways, hopefully that kind of makes the backstory clear that I’m simply coming to the guy that I’ve trusted, that it’s already worked for me.

And now in the present and going forward, I wanna get on a supplement stack to help me, even an extra percent, extra 2%, extra 3%. That matters a big deal to me. I’m running the fastest of my life, jumping the highest in my life. Never been more mobile, stronger joints have never felt better, but 1% more is actually a big deal in that universe of sport.

Mike: Yeah. And I would think you can probably get a little bit more than 1% if you’re taking the right supplements.

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. So let’s talk specifically for not just knees, but joints in general.

My number one recommendation would be fish oil an omega-3 fatty acid supplement because when you take enough of it, so if you get up to anywhere probably between three and six grams combined a VPA and DHA per day, then research shows that can lower inflammation levels in the joints in particular.

And then there’s also, there are a lot of other health benefits associated with maintaining omega-3. Sufficiency, you are gonna be at a reduced risk of heart disease. You are going to gain muscle faster. That’s been shown. You’re gonna have better cognitive performance. You’re gonna lose fat faster. You’re gonna have lower levels of inflammation throughout the body to improve mood.

It can improve post-workout recovery, specifically reduce muscle soreness after training. And again, to be clear, that’s going from not getting enough EPA and dha, which is most people, if they’re not supplementing omega three s and they’re not also eating like several servings of fatty fish per week, they’re almost certainly not getting enough EPA and DHA or enough omega three fatty acids in their diet.

And fish oil supplement is just the easiest way to do it. You could take a cruel oil supplement, but those are generally more expensive and there are no added benefits. So I just, that’s why I don’t sell one. I just don’t really see the reason to. If you’re vegan, you could take an ala. But something like a flax, that’s common and that’s fine for maintaining basic efficiency.

But the problem is, whereas fish oil contains EPA and dha, those are really the molecules we want. ALA does not, or a vegan supplement does not. Your body has to convert what’s in there into, I believe it’s DHA first, and then convert DHA into epa, and that’s an inefficient process. And so fish oil would 

Ben: be number one.

Good. just to cap that off, Yep. I will say for anyone, listen, I took fish oil through like my journey, like from the muck, to now go ahead and look at it. Like I jump off ladders every fucking day. Like I took fish oil on that journey and in the last year that I haven’t had a supplement, I’ve intentionally been eating more salmon.

Am able for the first time in my life to have a little extra money to pay for wild. Salmon. So I don’t think most people are eating wild caught salmon, which is gonna have more of that epa, dha and eating enough. 

Mike: You have to like 

Ben: fish. A lot of people don’t like fish. I don’t even love salmon, to be honest with you.

I don’t really fish that much. So putting that number one, and I just wanted anyone listening to know I can’t rewind time. The best thing I can do is honestly say exactly what I did. That’s what I do with my train. I don’t try something new and be like, Try this. It’s here’s exactly what I did.

I took fish oil. And then as far 

Mike: as allegion’s stuff goes, obviously it would be fortify, which is specifically a joint supplement. But let’s talk about some of the ingredients because it contains ingredients that are commonly. As standalones. And that’s a theme for a lot of my products. And something I’ve tried to do like with our multivitamin, for example, is take a good base of a multivitamin, all the essential vitamins and minerals, the things that you need, But then let’s add in goodies that people usually buy separately and that have good scientific backing so then they don’t 

Ben: have to buy six.

Then most length will not put in because it actually, it’s just too much money. 

Mike: Or they’ll have tiny amounts. The Citra lane and the pre-work workout. Yeah. It’s a good example, right? Pulses having eight grams. That’s what you 

Ben: want. That’s so hype to get back on this. Yeah. That’s what you want.

My Instagram pictures are gonna be, are gonna be popping, I think just because it increased productivity. I think just because of how happy I’m gonna be to be back on pulse anyways, . Yeah, this is, 

Mike: And what’s cool about Fortify, and this is also cool about fish oil I mean I mentioned quite a few of the additional benefits that you get by maintaining omega-3 sufficiency, but what’s cool about Fortify in particular is it’s not just for people who have joint problems, it’s also for people who have healthy joints and want to keep them that way.

And that’s also unusual be, and that’s where I’m exactly investment. And that’s unusual because most joint supplements are glucosamine, conjoin. And that is really actually the base of most, and those are inexpensive ingredients that they, Let’s just say that the evidence is. The effects are small enough to where I don’t even bother including them in fortify, even though they are very cheap.

It’s not a budget problem per se. I just don’t, they’re just not up to this. Those ingredients are not up to the standards that I like 

Ben: to, I did not take glucose meaning right when I was having success, I did take it when my knees stayed sucking. Again, It doesn’t mean that one supplements the difference.

I’m just saying I have taken that, I didn’t notice anything, to be honest. Yeah. Yeah. The 

Mike: research says that it may be able to reduce pain a little bit in some 

Ben: people. I still wouldn’t stop someone from adding that extra. So if any of my listeners, I wouldn’t stop you from taking extra. I didn’t take that and I actually did take fish oil and ironically, 

Mike: I take a glucosamine and I believe it’s MSM conjoin the supplement because it may do a little bit of something to I don’t have knee pain, so that’s not why.

But there is some research that shows that it may help preserve joint cartilage and it’s a small effect, but it’s inexpensive. So I’m like, Yeah, I’ll throw it in. It’s not something I’d put in my own product, but I’ll take it because I don’t mind spending a little bit of extra money. 

Ben: On it seeing it very affordable.


Mike: Exactly. Yeah. So coming to Fortify, so we have under natured type two collagen. That’s an ingredient that is, it’s very expensive. And again, it’s often sold as a standalone product. You can go search around online, you’ll see anywhere from probably 30 to $40 a month is what it would cost you if you just wanted to get a uc two, that’s the patented form that you want under natured type two collagen.

And I don’t want to go on a long tangent of exactly okay, under natured means it’s in its natural state. It hasn’t been changed through heat or chemical processing. Type two collagen is the type of collagen that is in our joints that the cartilage is made up of. And what’s cool is it works almost like a natural vaccine.

What I mean is, The body as we get older, there’s an autoimmune response that happens to some degree in everybody, but in other, in some people it’s pretty pronounced where the body attacks joint cartilage, the immune system sees it as something that needs to be destroyed. And this leads to arthritis over time.

And by supplementing with this type two, this under natured type two collagen, it needs to be this specific type. Just taking like a collagen protein, for example, won’t do it, just eating. Jello won’t do it. But if you get this under natured type two, it actually research shows that it teaches. The immune system to chill out, basically to stop attacking the cartilage in your joints.

So the effects that people report and that have been seen in the literature are reduced inflammation, reduced pain, and even can help with repairing cartilage. So that’s one ingredient that is in fortify in another one that a lot of people buy as a standalone is curcumin. And we use a patented form of curcumin that you don’t have to combine with black pepper extract because curcumin is not well absorbed, and this is the pigment in curry.

It’s the stuff that makes it. Orange and it’s not well absorbed though in the intestines. So you have two options. You combine it with black pepper extract, which is okay, it’s okay to do, it’s just, it can have negative interactions with certain drugs. And so we went with a more expensive patented form that’s a phospholipid complex.

It’s called Marva Mer Iva. And there’s good research on that ingredient in particular. And what’s neat about it is it makes it absorbable and you don’t need the black pepper extract. And this, and Percumin reduces inflammation in the joints. It can relieve joint pain, it can relieve joint stiffness, it can improve joint mobility.

So a no brainer for everything that we’ve been talking 

Ben: about. I have quite a few good joint mentors. That was one of the smartest things I did is I just got like incredible joint mentors and one of them absolutely swears by curcumin. And again, I know that he understood what you did. Like you couldn’t, It does.

It’s not you have to get some pretty specific sources. I wouldn’t be surprised if he used the same thing. Charles Paul was wondering who I’m talking, he’s one of my just awesome joint mentors and he swore by that. Yeah, a 

Mike: lot of people experienced great results with curcumin and the black pepper extract.

 That’s what we had in four to five previously and it works. We just upgraded to the more expensive as the company has grown and through economies of scale, I’ve been able to bring cost of goods down, at least generally trend it down with some products and so that opens up more money basically, where I’m like, Oh, okay, now I can switch from the black pepper extract combo, which again works, but I just like that now there are no possible negative drug interactions and I can’t say.

I don’t know if we ever heard from a customer who ever had an issue, because people who are on medications that can interact negatively with black pepper extract often know that. But anyway, that’s why we went to the patented form. And then there are a few other ingredients that I don’t know if we wanna run through all of them one 

Ben: by one by, I mean, I, that’s enough for me.

And I’m gonna look into each, product I’m taking more as well, just so I understand if, when people reach out to me for questions, just so anyone knows, I’m not getting anything out of this other than getting more gains myself and being able to refer people to good products. I specifically told your guy who makes like the, Mr.

Miles basically Yeah I said, look. I want the best first purchase discount, however it’s done. This is just standard, supple and stuff, but I don’t want a kickback. So just gimme the best you can do with whatever that would’ve been that I would’ve been getting in a kickback. So I think I may have made the first supplement influencer deal of all time where I don’t get a kickback.

That way I can just, Yeah the most interesting 

Mike: deal for sure. 

Ben: The most interesting influence. No, but it’s this matters to me because if the person gets better results, like I’m just trying to do my fucking job the best I can, and if the person is taking the right things, they’re gonna get better results out of it.

So it’s still self-centered, but my goal is helping people with their needs like that. My philosophy in life is always set yourself up with a goal where the better you do, the more people you help, Like that way you can go hard and you can push hard and you can, you can let your competitive passion go for it.

I just don’t want someone to think this is like a freaking like, Advertisement because I’m not seeing a penny of this, if that makes sense. Totally, 

Mike: totally. And if you ask me, it wouldn’t be inappropriate at all for you to make money from it. Now, I think it is noble the way that you’ve negotiated it and people will appreciate that.

But I never, I don’t agree with some of the 

Ben: criticism people are too sensitive and they’re not seeing the big picture that the world is built on exchange. Just today, someone like, I would never, 

Mike: I would never ask for someone to promote Legion for free because I think it’s inappropriate.

Ben: You would never ask for that. And for me, I just understand the world that we’re in and I get attacked for just about anything I do that doesn’t seem like on social media, a guy with a lot of follow. Was trying to do one of my exercises, which relies on like this loaded TBIs bar, right?

And so I made a public, like I reposted his thing and I was, and he was like trying to strap it up with a band. And I was like, Dude, send me your shipping address. Like I need to get you a bar. This guy is like over a hundred thousand followers. Of course someone comes slamming me in the dms.

You should give it to someone who can’t afford it. I get what you’re saying. But that guy, his post that he has over a hundred thousand followers shouting me out, he just did something for me. I’m just trying to return the favor for him, right? I don’t have enough money to give everyone a tbi, Alice Bar, who can’t afford it.

Like he’s trying to help me on my goal of making people aware of solutions. He did something for me. I’m trying to do something back for him. So in my case, it’s like I just want honest, workable supplements for my people, not to mention again. This is the only brand of supplements I’ve taken through all my success with my knees.

So it, it’s a no brainer for me, but I understand that I’ll be attacked for almost anything. So I’m just trying to Yeah, And so you 

Mike: just go, Okay, you who cares then? So long as I know that I’m acting according to my principles, acting ethically, having integrity, I really don’t care if people are going to misconstrue that or misinterpret my actions as unethical.

And I may defend myself, but I’m not gonna get defensive about it because my estimation of what I’m doing and not doing matters a lot more to me than random people on the internet. 

Ben: Really, you’re 100% right. I think with. The sheer because of like how often I post and stuff, it’s just a very high volume of my day can be consumed.

So like all the products that I help, the lamp boards, the tbi Alice bars, these monkey feet that I use to load into the hamstrings and hip flight, all like accessory stuff to the main knee stuff. I don’t make any kickbacks off that either. Simply so that I just don’t have to waste the time. I think I just hate wasting time on explaining to those people.

And then they come around and they understand, but it’s I don’t have time to educate every single person on like how exchange works anyways. But 

Mike: so we have those two, and so I’d say if we’re just looking at improving joint function and reducing pain and really just directly supporting what 

Ben: people and improving strength gains.


Mike: exactly. And now we go to the second order we’re, 

Ben: because that’s the style, right? Totally. Totally because the stronger I get the ham, so it’s unorthodox movements, but it’s still the same, like my tbi s we don’t do it as something for. I’m trying to get people to where they can tibia raise 20% of their body weight for 20 reps.

It takes time. It takes most people months, if not years, to get to that. It’s strength training. So like the final factor would be how to maximize the gains from strength training. Yep. Know it’s small muscles that, 

Mike: Exactly. So now we’re talking more about the performance and body comp stuff. So we now need to at least mention that a high protein diet is better than a low protein diet for everything we’ve been talking about.

And that a protein powder is convenient. I’m not saying it’s necessary, It’s just convenient. If you need to eat 180 grams of protein per day, can you do that with food alone? Absolutely. 

Ben: I actually already bought your way myself before you even asked me onto the podcast because I was, I knew I was gonna start trying to put on some muscle mass.

I eat three high protein. I, I. Work too much and eat too. So I’m making myself like, I’m not just using the protein powder as a crutch. I’m actually trying to make myself get three solid meals a day. And I’m, I actually already have the protein powder on my desk. , it’s convenient. 

Mike: You mix it, you throw in a couple, throw a couple scoops, mix some water, drink it, and you just 

Ben: move on with your day.

I do it a couple blueberries, two scoops of it, and two cups of water. And it tastes delicious and that’ll just a little extra spill, a little extra protein, little extra calories compared to again, just like my norm, like if I’m trying to gain a very, like reasonable five, 10 pounds over the next, and again, as someone who hasn’t necessarily been, like focusing on that, just like maybe over the next year, like should I, That sounds doable.

10 might be a little bit for someone who hasn’t been working on it. 10 would be the high end just because I don’t know the ramifications of me working too much and not stopping to eat. Like obviously if you’re like someone’s body weight can flow, like the weight doesn’t necessarily mean like basically I’d like to still be really lean.

And gain five, 10 pounds. That’s different than saying 10 pounds of lean muscle tissue. Yeah. Yeah. Pulse 

Mike: is obviously something to consider for talking about getting more from our workouts, and again, even if the workouts or talking about the portions of the workouts that are targeting these joint tissues, that you want to progressively overload in the same way that fundamentally, that you wanna progressively overload your biceps.

It’s just you have to start with lower loads and you use different exercises, but like you’ve said, the training principles are the same. They’re just applied in a slightly 

Ben: different way. Bicep, hamstring, tricep quad. Form flexor extensors. Calib, like we’re just talking about. Exactly. They may be on orthodox exercises, but we’re trying to get stronger.

And so 

Mike: impulse. You have citraline, you’ve mentioned that improves blood flow. I know you’re mentioning that specifically in the context of joints. A lot 

Ben: of citraline No. Compared to other products like. Way more than other products. 

Mike: Yeah, that’s the high end of the clinically effective dose. Again, eight grams per serving and that also has been shown to improve muscle endurance.

And you would experience that in being able to get a couple more reps with your normal working weight is a reasonable expectation. And then there’s beta alanine, which also can improve work capacity, improved muscle endurance, and also appears to improve muscle gain separate from improving performance.

Similar to creatine, not mechanistically, but just that it seems to have an additive effect. So that’s useful. If you 

Ben: train a little harder, and I think that may be why I gravitated towards this as well, because with the joints here, you can see I’m trying to get stronger, but sometimes on a 20 rep max or something like, 

Mike: and that rep range, that higher rep range in particular is where beta alanine shines actually.

Ben: Yeah. And even getting a little more pump can give you like a mental boost to a lot of these exercises are about, It has to feel. Good. You know what I mean? Guess to feel good. And then we’re trying to get stronger on like your 18th, 19th, 20th rep. So that also may have been a big part because you put a lot of Be Allen in as well, which those are, they’re not cheap.

And again, you’ve listed all the ingredients, so if someone wants to like get one specific effect, they totally could. I’m at a point where I, looking back, I spent over $10,000 just on different rollers and different things that actually aren’t like causing internal, changes for my workouts, rollers, anti-inflammatory drugs.

I was hooked on for a long time taking way, way too much. Even stuff like years after surgery, like taking Advils, like no one knew I was just taking a dozen a day. It was nuts. I’m glad that’s a lot. Yeah. And even research shows that might actually wear down your cartilage. So it’s Hey, running out of cartilage, knee hurts.

Let’s destroy 

Mike: what’s left. Yeah. Don’t fix the underlying 

Ben: cause. And that’s why I’ve always told people about Citraline. But I think what you’re saying now, I think the Betaine and Citraline combined might have been, there might have been more to it than just the Citraline. Very possible. 

Mike: And also there’s bte, and that also enhances strength in muscle endurance and alpha GPCs in it, which increases power.

So it’s just a, it’s a very well rounded pre-workout supplement that doesn’t have too many ingredients, but has the right ingredients at the right 

Ben: doses. Alpha GPC is also expensive as fuck. If you, It’s so expensive. , Yeah. Trust. I know from trying to research all these ingredients myself. And that’s why, again, for me, it.

The amount of cost per day is like less than my lunch, like to be taking even all this stuff combined anyways. And 

Mike: then one other supplement I should probably mention is Recharge. Postworkout. Creatine, L Carnitine, that can improve muscle repair, reduce soreness, and then corsol acid, which is more if you’re eating a Postworkout meal and it can enhance glucose and amino acid absorption so you can get a bit more of the nutritional benefit from the Postworkout meal.

But that’s also worth mentioning, right? Because again, particularly the creatine, if you’re doing any sort of resistance training whatsoever you really should be taking. Creatine because it’s completely safe. It’s the most researched molecule in all of sports nutrition, and it works well in most people.

You do have non-responders, as with any natural supplement, but in most people, they are going to gain muscle faster. They’re going to gain strength faster. They’re going to recover from their workouts faster. They’re going to experience less post workout soreness, which encourages them to continue training harder.

I think it’s well worth the expense and it’s relatively inexpensive, although the price of it has gone up over the last five years probably because of its popularity, but it’s still very affordable. 

Ben: Yeah and again, I’m not trying to judge everyone has, is in a different financial circumstance in the scheme of things when we’re talking about joints and we’re talking about the things that people spend on everything supplement wise.

There’s supplementary by 

Mike: definition is what I say, 

Ben: right? Mean these are something’s on the low end of, like I used to spend is $75 just for one massage. You know what I mean? Boom. Oh man. Like in the scheme of what athletes spend on their bodies supplements, and that’s why I’m taking that cause this like foundational stuff, buying a $20,000 like hyperbaric chamber.

I have athletes doing that too. You know what I mean? Like I’ve never done any of that stuff. I’ve never been in that kind of price range, but imagine making millions of dollars on your body. So supplements I feel like is something that almost all of us could take to some degree. So I’m gonna be taking the fish oil and the fortify, and then I’m gonna take pulse before workouts.

I just work out once a day, Monday through Friday. And then just because I’m like an addict, I’ll usually do some of my mobility stuff or like something on the weekend cause I can’t help it. But like for my actual, like the workouts I’m trying to get stronger on, I’ll take pulse before the workout, recharge after the workout, and then I’m gonna add one shake just because I’m already eating a diet that works for me.

But if I add that shake Just means I’m gonna be getting more calories, and more of the fuel that I need to grow. And just 

Mike: making sure you get enough protein. That’s the key, right? Calories if we’re talking now we’re talking more body comp stuff. Controlling your calories and controlling your protein are the two most important nutritional factors.

Yeah, carbohydrate and fat doesn’t matter as much. Most people are gonna do better with a high carb rather than a low carb if they’re using their body a lot. And then the nutritional component of the diet, the micronutrients matters. But more over the long run, you’re not gonna notice acute benefits from going from a relatively poor diet.

Nutritionally speaking to a diet rich in micronutrients, you may notice some minor things, but not body comp. I, 

Ben: I’ve gone extended periods of time, even eating fast foods now, like still eating like similar total calories and stuff like that. And again I think that’s something that it would be smart of us to eat, the most natural sources that we can over the long term.

It’s not like I couldn’t dunk or something, and some of the best dunkers I’ve seen eat the most fast. But we used to joke , this one guy lost, like he lost five pounds and we asked why. And he switched from McDonald’s to Checkers, he was looking 

Mike: like shredded. And we’re like, What dude?

What did you 

Ben: What did you do? Like he, he changed up his, so like your genetics and the time you spend training and as you said, the calories and the protein in the short term. But I am one of those people that I’m just like, I wanna be healthy and fit when I’m 70, 80, 90. And I’m not saying I couldn’t do that eating.

Fast food, but why not get the most natural food sources I can. Yeah. You’re gonna have a better 


Mike: of life eating yeah. If we’re talking now again about the decades you are through exercise and maintaining a healthy body composition and through maintaining good sleep hygiene and managing your stress and Right, having good relationships and all that stuff all adds up.

You can still be in a, yeah, in a pretty good place, but if you don’t have that nutritional component, you will be missing a bit of quality of life that you would have if you would’ve consistently eaten relatively unprocessed stuff. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes. 

Ben: Honestly, if I had anything to share, cause a lot of people ask what my diet is and stuff, and it’s very basic and honestly the best thing I do is I’ve just over the years, and it didn’t always work for me like this, but like in the year 2021 so far, so like it’s made 25th, I haven’t put.

A single piece of junk in my body. That doesn’t mean that’s even the best for some people having popcorn on movie night or whatever at the movie. Like for some people they’ll be happier with that. And actually where it gets into that line of if you’re too strict, for some people it doesn’t work.

You don’t need 

Mike: to be that strict is the point. You can, if it works for you don’t, But you 

Ben: don’t need to. Don’t to. Exactly. And that’s why I’m just saying for people to know that is what I do. And I think that for me, I’m one of those people that I’m like I pride myself, like my number one, I’ve always been an underdog.

I’ve always been the short guy. I’ve always been the slowest guy, the guy who can’t jump. So like just mentally for me, like my thing is always I can at least be mentally tougher than someone else. So for me, going this entire year without having a single cheat item, even. That will boost me in my own way and with whatever hormones and you know what I’m talking about, that might give me the same rush that someone else gets from actually having like their favorite ice cream.

And I used to have one day a week where I actually would just forget that I was on a diet and I would intentionally allow myself to do whatever I wanted. And what’s funny is I didn’t get to this place now by withholding anything in my allowance all year. I can, on Sunday, I can live like a normal person.

I get whatever I want, I just haven’t chosen it. So I would actually, if someone, that’s how I coach people is to have one day a week that you can literally just not even it’s not even, you don’t even call it a cheat meal. You just like you just get to be a regular fucking person once a week.

Like modern society has filled us with all kinds of numby manmade snacks over the years, So and that’s part of our childhood and it’s part, . But again, for me, like this is my business. Like people happen to click more if my shirt’s off, and they’re more likely to think about their knees.

If my six pack looks good, like I didn’t make the game, I’m not the one clicking on it. For me, I actually get that mental boost from doing this, and my kid, by the way, is eight months old. He hasn’t had a cheat meal either. He’s only had breast milk. Like it’s not like I’m missing a bunch with my family as he grows up.

I’m gonna wanna have a hot dog at the bowl. That’s my style. I’m not like a diet stickler, but at the moment it is working for me that I just never, put any of these kind of manmade things in my body. Yeah. No I totally 

Mike: understand. My diet is similar. I don’t know. You would consider.

So like for example, have you had any ice cream? So for me, what I’m doing is I eat on the, I eat the same stuff every meal, every day, just because I don’t care to think about food. I have too many other things to think about. Too many other decisions, too much other stuff to do. So I wanna know exactly what I’m eating and when I’m eating it.

And for whatever reason, I don’t need variety in my diet. I like it every single time. When we finish here, I’m gonna go make my salad for lunch and it’s gonna be exactly the same salad I’ve been eating for probably two years straight. And I’m already salivating. Think about it, I like it every 

Ben: day. . Actually, that’s part of it right there, is that consistency I think for, I don’t know about for women, but for guys, I find that a lot of guys like myself who are just in good shape all the time.

For whatever reason, like we’re not forcing ourself that consistency. Like we actually like it. And I think that’s one of the things that works for our body composition. Yeah, completely. 

Mike: It definitely makes it very easy, right? To control your calories, control your protein, get in enough nutrients.

Where I do, diverge from your monk-like existence is I usually will have one pint of ice cream per week, and that’ll usually be on the weekend. And it’s either that or I’ll have no, it’s just been that actually. Cause I just like the ice cream. I like this Jenny’s brand of ice cream. They’re Bramble berry.

Bramble berry, Yeah. Crisp and chocolate. No. It’s like peanut butter with chocolate flex or 

Ben: something. I think less details if I’m gonna actually stick. 

Mike: So I, I include a little bit in the day to day, maybe some dark chocolate. I know that’s not much of a quote unquote cheat 

Ben: food. All very, yeah, that’s all very normal stuff.

That’s exactly. How I was for a long time. It’s also very different than my kids eight months old. Like we don’t have any like family shit that it’s from Corona. Like we had Thanksgiving dinner on the sitting on the floor because we just moved and and everything was so slow to deliver during Corona that the first few months we literally are just had nothing.

Anyways, it’ll be very different when I have kids. This is just one phase of my life. I just get asked all the time and I understand. 

Mike: I get asked too. And often I have to preface my diet with, You don’t have to do this. And yours isn’t even more extreme version of mine, right? And I’m just like, this is what works for me.

Let me explain some context of why it works for me. But if you are listening to me explaining my diet and how I’m eating the same dinner that I’ve been eating for probably two years, Monday through Friday, don’t 

Ben: think you have to do that. If anything, the ice cream is gonna get you more shred. Like I mentioned Charles Pollak when earlier with the curcumin, he actually believed in like intentionally.

Having a cheap meal actually for your body composition, because it would shake things up and like it would do, for your mood. Yeah. Yeah. 

Mike: Minimally, yes. If it helps you just stick to your diet in general better if you just enjoy your experience of eating and following.

I would call it a regimen, then I think there’s definitely value in that. Many people have reported to me that, again, whether you want to call it a free meal, normal meal, cheat meal, whatever, or multiple meals, but the concept is where you’re gonna eat stuff that you just don’t eat regularly.

You’re not eating this stuff every day, you’re having it a couple times per week, one, maybe three times per week. And that people will find that they just get into a nice rhythm where the enjoyment they get from the cheat meal cheat days can get out of hand. But if you know what you’re doing, it’s not a big deal.

You just have to make sure your calories don’t like, double or triple over the course 

Ben: of one day. You act like you’re like preparing for an eating contest. Yes, 

Mike: that would be a problem, but they look forward to it. Exactly. That’s where you’re gonna, You’re gonna go to the restaurant that you like, and you’re gonna eat an appetizer.

You’re gonna eat an entree, you’re gonna eat a dessert, and you’re not gonna quote, unquote worry about it. You’re just gonna enjoy yourself. And so people will find that’s enough satisfaction for them to make it very easy for them to. Follow their meal plan throughout the week. And that’s how it normally is.

It’s usually through the week they’re following their meal plan. And of course you don’t have to be perfect and they do slip up here and there, but they just generally find it pretty easy to follow their meal plan throughout the week. And then maybe it’s Friday evening they go to that restaurant, or maybe it’s Saturday, they start the day with some pancakes and then maybe for dinner they have some pasta.


Ben: how they would normally eat. Yeah, exactly. I’m totally tracking And that’s, I just wanted to be clear, like it’s not like I, while I made, all I’m trying to, all I sell is just like what I did for my knees, so it’s not like I ate this weight to get my knee changes.

I ate more like what you’re talking about, still pretty regimented, eating the same things during the week, trying to be sensible. And then I would definitely have, I was like, you, like a pin of ice cream was definitely my thing, but. For this year? Yeah. I haven’t, I liked baked goods too.

I like any chocolate chip cookies like that. 

Mike: Any sort of cookie. I like bread. I like croissants. Oh yeah. You can buy frozen croissants and then haw them and bake them. Super good there. 

Ben: There’s a lot of good stuff out there and it doesn’t mean that has to interfere with someone’s goals.


Mike: Hey man, this was, A great conversation. Really enjoyed it. Let’s wrap up with where people can find you and your work. If they want to learn more about your methods or maybe they want to buy something from 

Ben: you, like how, where do they go, what do they do? I would definitely say so, like you can for sure follow me on Instagram, knees over toes guy, but I would recommend YouTube because you have a search feature there and you can see I have three videos on ankles, shin splints, ankle mobility, like just so many different hamstrings.

But like I have a lot of educational content. My philosophy is that my YouTube is like a library, right? So like you go in and you like can study things for free and then it’s very simple because someone can look there, you can see exactly what I do. That way you can decide for yourself, okay, do I wanna do that?

If you wanna do that, I deliver 30 minute sessions Monday through Friday. It’s delivered through an app. You get to see exactly what to do and. Over half of people actually then film themselves on their last set, so that not just on like your warmup, set your last set so that we can observe and based on the exercise, I know which angle is best to see the form or whatever, and then we can observe and help you along these progressions.

So it’s very simple. There’s not a long term contract. That way you could use it for whatever you need. I always have the first month as of this year, I, the first month is always half off, so it’s $24 and 75 cents if you’d like to do my system, be able to learn every program, every exercise on the site, and then through an app completely at your own pace.

Do any of those programs, they’re like in a step by step order, but you could do ’em at any order and literally be coached and have your questions answered every single day. It took a while to build, kinda like how you talk about your supplement costs. It’s not like that style made money at first because it’s like a low price.

As it goes, like I said, a little over half of people actually do it and send in the form. That means some people are doing it more for the knowledge or they like to follow along themselves. So obviously if a certain amount of people are doing it, it’s really just the way the numbers worked out. If every person sent in their form, the price might have to be a little higher, whatever.

You see what I mean? So it’s It is what it is. Those are the numbers that have worked out 24 75 for the first month without long term contract. 49 50 a month in general. And anyone can do my exact programs. I live them year round, so I have four programs and I just cycle my year, summer, spring, fall, winter, and I actually just, I live them continually, fine tuning the form videos here and there, fine tuning sets and reps here and there, fine tuning, the order of the exercise or whatever because I’m still.

Living it. Hopefully that kind of explains what I do. That’s all I do, and anyone can go learn a ton about it without any secrets on YouTube to determine if that’s something they’d like to try. Awesome, man. 

Mike: I love it. I love it. Thanks again for taking the time to do this, and I’m excited for our budding partnership, the very unusual partnership like , the reverse influencer deal.

I like it. But it’s just a win-win. Yeah. No I think it’s great and I’m happy to give your people the best possible deal they can get because it just Sure. Sounds good to me. Yeah. 

Ben: And most importantly, supplements that work, which allows my program to work better. I agree. 

Mike: I agree. And again I really appreciate what you’re doing.

I know you’re doing it for the right reasons and you’re helping a lot of people it’s admirable. Thanks.

All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or. Wherever you’re listening to me from, in whichever app you’re listening to me in, because that not only convinces people that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility.

And thus it helps more people find their way to me and learn how to get fitter, leaner, stronger, healthier, and happier as well. And of course, if you want to be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and you won’t miss out on any new stuff. And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email at mike muscle for

Just muscle r and share your thoughts on how I can do this better. I read everything myself, and I’m always looking or constructive feedback, even if it is criticism, I’m open. And of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email.

That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at multiple And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.

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