Let’s start with a story.
When I was younger, I never let a lack of knowledge prevent me from confidently sharing my theories about anything (this remains a weakness, BTW).
One day, I was holding forth and my buddy Jeff (board-certified orthopedic surgeon) chuckled and said, “I would call what you just said G-medicine.”
Later on, he took me aside and said, “Buddy, you know there’s a reason we go to med-school.”
He left it at that, which was a wise way to deal with an over-confident guy, who’s outside his field of competence.
I had some follow up questions about fasting and optimizing for one-rep max.
To address tactics, I need to step back and explain strategy.
Body, mind and spirit => What are you trying to achieve?
You need to know because attention, effort, willpower and thought are expensive.
So fasting, one-rep max, wherever you are focusing…
What is your payoff from your protocol?
Effort is expensive. Spend it wisely.
My philosophy is:
- Know your goal
- Keep the protocol simple
- Access believable people to tell you what’s required
- Use simple benchmarks
- Use habit energy to make life flow on autopilot
- No Zeros => remove days where I don’t train
- Get Outside the box and into nature => even if the box is a Gulfstream, or a boardroom, it remains a cubicle
- Seek Mastery => surfing, moguls, powder, swimming, sailing => moments of flow await!
Be honest with yourself. Is your physical life where you want it to be?
- Work before work rate => Develop work-capacity before you do work-rate training. One-rep max is a “work-rate” benchmark that is certain to decline over time.
- Don’t fool yourself => nobody fasts for health & longevity => we are either looking for an easy way to lose weight, or creating caloric “space” for binges.
Simple metrics let you create the habits that enable larger projects. Looking backwards over the last year:
- < 10 zeros (days without exercise)
- 15th year of stable body weight
- 200+ days on trails or snow
- 350+ days awake before 5am
I know I could be more, too much time is wasted on my smartphone.
I must remember that life is empty without connection. So be open to change based on painful feedback from my closest relationships => my wife and kids are brutally honest with me!
Higher Order Effects
I have empty space in my life so I can reflect on where my actions are likely to take me.
- I have an addictive personality in a family tree with mental illness, addicts and eating disorders. Kinda indicates caution with self-starvation! Respect your history.
- Be cautious with putting pressure on your spinal column, heavy lifts and explosive movements. Powerlifting injures can be for life. Respect reality.
Where are you likely to go with your protocol? You OK with that?
What’s the worst that can happen? You OK with that?
What is going to derail you?
My depression triggers are: poor nutrition, irregular sleep, alcohol, missed endorphins and excessive fatigue.
My entire life is a positive-feedback loop designed to keep me rolling.
Much of my “not do” advice is related to the risk of ruin. My depression triggers are defined as fun by my peers.
I need to be OK with saying “no” because… Depression isn’t fun.
Nature Has Useful Information, even if unpleasant
As you age it will be tempting to access Big Pharma to fool yourself, particularly if your self image is wrapped up in physical performance.
Before you act, consider…
What’s your competitive advantage? I think better, and choose slower, at 50 than 28. Taking myself to 11 with testosterone would GREATLY increase my error rate, across all domains. Not worth it.
My competitive advantage is taking the best ideas and integrating them via new habit creation. I can do this until I die.
Fatigue is information that guides me away from physical ruin => my mojo feels like it’s a tenth of where I was at 40, but my life is better because I am a better person.
Once again, overriding nature greatly increases my risk of injury. Injury can be the first step on a downward spiral towards depression/ruin. Not worth it.
Surprisingly, getting physically worse isn’t worse.
Anyhow, lots here.
When it comes to positive change: set a low bar, and do it daily.
I live near a cemetery, which helps me remember my expected value is negative infinity.
Death is an outstanding reason to be true to yourself.