Every human has the capacity to achieve great things. That’s undeniable. But what makes the difference between those who step into that greatness, and those who let their potential dwindle and die? I think the answer to that question can be summed up in one word: will.
When the inevitable challenges arrive in the pursuit of your goals, you need the will to push through. When things don’t go your way, how’s that willpower looking then? When simply giving yourself permission to want what you really want, you have to have the will to claim it. Willpower is not a motivational idea, it’s a necessity for anything of great success.
My guest today won a Super Bowl championship in the NFL, he was voted the NFL’s fittest man, and he’s currently one of the most influential figures in the world in fitness. He will tell you that it was not his connections, it was not his natural physical attributes, it was, in fact, his will that was his superpower to help him achieve all that he has. Can you develop and flex your muscles of willpower to help you achieve your own big goals and dreams? You bet you can. And the one and only Steve Weatherford is here to help you do it.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Why being alive in 2018 provides an extraordinary opportunity for education and connection.
- How Steve plays the role of Yoda for his 10-year-old son.
- Why it’s important to have people in your life who challenge you.
- What Steve’s #1 asset was in getting him to the NFL.
- How changing your perspective changes your entire world.
- Why we should all be proactively studying the personality traits of great people.
- How the way you treat people you can’t gain anything from says a lot about your character.
- How a certain degree of selfishness required in order for you to achieve your health goals.
- Why comparison is a significant problem today.
- Why we need to be mindful to not exchange our integrity for popularity.
- The difference between spending your time and investing your time.
- What it means to “self-scout” and why Steve does this on a regular basis.
- How becoming self-aware puts you in a better position to be successful.
- The 4 phases you go through when building a new habit.
- Why fear is valuable emotion.
- What makes the difference between good and great (this is powerful!).
- Why it’s important to know what your own personal agenda is when you exercise.
- Why consistency is the #1 key to your fitness success (no matter what approach you use!).
- How to recognize if you are holding back or truly going all in.
- The benefits of eccentric training (this is valuable!).
- Why the uncomfortable moments in life provide huge opportunities.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Onnit.com/Model <== Get your optimal health & performance supplements at 10% off
- Organifi.com ⇐ Use the coupon code model for 20% off
- How Your Level Of Self-Love Impacts Your Health, Happiness, And Success
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcasts by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
Listen, our guest today will tell you that everything, all the results in our life when it comes to transforming our body, transforming our health, transforming the overall success that we're seeing, it starts with mindset.
And he has literally willed his way into some of the most incredible things that you can even comprehend.
We're talking about Superbowl championship, we're talking about being the NFL's most fittest man, we're talking about having an incredible family life to bear all along the way, and he's going to share with us today how he made some of this stuff happen, plus some incredibly valuable insights that you can add to your life starting today to get better results, and I guarantee you that.
First I want to give a quick shout-out to our show sponsor, www.Onnit.com. As you can see here, I'm rocking the swag, this was not even on purpose. Alright?
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Alright and of course again, they've got some incredible swag, so check out their gear, and the tee-shirts, and good stuff like that.
And on that note, let's get to the iTunes review of the week.
ITunes Review: Another five star review titled, 'Loving it,' by NumberOneRedBird.
'Shawn's show is awesome. He has the best people on. They are experts in their field and full of information that is easy to understand and to put into practice to help live a better, healthier life. Love it, keep up the great work.'
Shawn Stevenson: Thank you so much for leaving me that review over in iTunes, I truly, truly do appreciate it, and please keep them coming. Everybody, if you've yet to leave a review, pop over to iTunes and leave me a review. Let everybody know that you're enjoying the show, it really means the world to me. Again keep them coming, I appreciate it immensely.
And now onto our special guest and our topic of the day. Our guest today is Mr. Steve Weatherford. Alright? Superbowl champion, NFL's voted most fittest man in the NFL, alright? Also- and by the way, which surprise to me today, we're going to talk about this, he's just an overall incredible athlete, alright?
We played basketball today, just a random pickup game, and of course he's only got a dunk. Alright? And he's a father of five out there dunking on people. It's amazing.
And he's also in my opinion, I'm going to call him a health and wellness thought leader for this generation, and somebody who's really making a powerful impact. He's parlayed and kind of pivoted his career, and he's really looking at service, and he's a guy of really high integrity.
He's a giving individual. When I first met him, he was just like, 'How can I help you, Shawn? What can I do for you?' And not somebody who's a taker, he really cares about people, he cares about family, and he's also- again, let me say this one more time, voted the most fittest man in the NFL. Alright? So he knows a thing or three about transforming his body.
And I'd like to welcome to The Model Health Show, my friend, Mr. Steve Weatherford. What's up, man? How are you doing today?
Steve Weatherford: Living the dream, you know? For me it's an honor, it's a privilege, because you're like reading off all those athletic accolades, and the family man, and philanthropy, and all those things. I'm not that far removed from being like fourteen years old and like dreaming about one day wearing an NFL helmet, or an NBA jersey.
And to be able to have done that, and then do it for ten years, and be able to come onto shows that I benefit from, the shows that I love, it's a blessing, you know?
Because I'm able to kind of take my story from where I was to where I am now, and I think it really relates to a lot of people because like you said, I am a dad, and I pretty much for the most part do every single thing that my dad did now, but I've got my ten year NFL career to look back on and tell stories, but it was never playing the game of football that really kind of gave me identity. It was just kind of a conduit for me to be able to build a brand, and get a couple accolades.
It gave me some recognition and a little bit of credibility, and once I achieved my goals in ten years, I went on to win a Superbowl, and get to the point where I had some financial freedom, I knew I was never going to play football until my body gave out because it was never my true passion in life.
It was always health and wellness, and fitness, and really just trying to find different ways to unlock my own genetic potential. And then as I've grown older, now I want to share what I've learned along that road with everybody else.
And just to be able to connect with people on social media and to see them benefit from my journey and my failures and my successes, it's just super special to me.
So we're both very fortunate, and the listeners are very fortunate to live in the era that we live right now because when we were kids and we wanted to learn how to get bigger, faster, stronger, or healthy, or better memory, or more clarity, we had to go to the library.
You know? You couldn't just pull out your phone and listen to podcasts with people that are literally changing other people's lives by having different guests on, or with their own insight, and so I'm super thankful to be on the show.
I'm super thankful that I live in 2018. I'm super thankful that people care what I have to say, and that was a really long-winded way of saying thank you.
Shawn Stevenson: Oh man, my man, it's my pleasure. You know, everything that I said definitely rings true, and I want to unpack this because you mentioned your dad, and how you're basically doing a lot that you learned from him and picked up.
So let's talk about your superhero origin story, man. How did you- number one, you were sharing with me when we were playing basketball- first of all, let's talk about this basketball game. Alright?
So I'm throwing the ball at the rim, I don't know really what I'm doing, you know? And he comes in and he's like, 'We're thinking the same thing, we're on the same page.' And then some guys asked to play a pickup game. It was like cool, full warmup, let's do it.
And you know, you got out there man, like you're a competitor, you know? And your son, you brought your son along too, he's ten years old, and this was the first time like playing with grown men like this in this kind of construct, and he was nervous at first.
So let's talk about that, because you saw like he had a little nerves, he was like, 'I don't know.' What did you say to him to reassure him?
Steve Weatherford: I feel like I'm my son's Yoda, but I've hammered into his head from the time that he could understand what I'm saying to be confident. So we walk out onto the court and he was like, 'No, I don't want to play. It looks like they have enough people.'
But I know my son has the skill level to play with the grown men, he's not as big or strong as the men he's playing with, but I told him, I said, 'Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, either way you're right. So let's get out here and let's run.'
And he scored more points than I did. But he's a good boy, man. It's been a learning process for me to become a father, you know? I mean at first I thought I was just a dad. You know, I loved him to death but I didn't know what I was doing. I still don't know exactly what I'm doing.
I'm just doing what I think is right for him, and doing it with all my heart, you know? Because to me, looking back on my life, if I help to build my son into a man, a hard worker, a provider, kind, generous, thoughtful, I've done my job. You know?
Superbowl rings and all the other accolades that you work so hard for in your life that are so important, but to be able to give a piece of yourself but upgrade it and give it to your son, it's special.
Shawn Stevenson: It's beautiful, man.
Steve Weatherford: And I get to do that five times.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, exactly. And by the way, that's four daughters as well, just for those who are wondering. So yeah, man.
Steve Weatherford: I'm not going to stop lifting weights anytime soon.
Shawn Stevenson: Right, you've got to be ready. Stay ready.
Steve Weatherford: Yeah, you don't have to get ready if you stay ready.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes man, and your son was out there crossing people up. It was really amazing, man. And you know, I did hit the game winning shot, but we're just going to toss that out.
Steve Weatherford: Yeah he did, because literally I asked, I'm like, 'What's the count?' And the guys were like, 'It's 4-3.' And I'm like, 'Who's winning?' He's like, 'We are.' I'm like, 'Oh crap, we've got to tighten up.'
And literally three seconds later he pulled a thirteen footer right in my face, and congratulations. Let's go lift weights because now welcome to my world.
Shawn Stevenson: Your kingdom, yes your kingdom, man. It was such a great time and great workout, man. And I was talking about this with my wife when we left, man. It just feels so good to have somebody who pushes you, you know?
Because I'm usually that person for other people, you know? And how we all do that in each other's lives, you know?
Like you listening to the podcast, and me being able to pour into your life, and you pouring into my life.
Steve Weatherford: I mean that's how I get challenged for sure, you know? Like the different things that you share on your show about your own life, or about something that somebody else experienced and shared on your show, I'm constantly challenging myself with different content that I consume; podcasts, books, articles, live broadcasts.
You know like I said earlier in the show man, 2018, I am incredibly thankful because it's all there for you. And if you want to learn how to shoot like Stephen Curry, you can go get a master class, and I know because I bought it for my son.
If you want to learn how to get in shape, you can do face-to-face, one-on-one consultations with industry leaders and it doesn't matter what you're trying to accomplish, it's at your fingertips.
And so we're just so fortunate and so blessed to live in the time that we live right now. Are there some drawbacks? Sure there are some draw backs, but there are so many positives that outweigh any other time on planet Earth that every day that we wake up, it's the greatest day ever to be alive.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, absolutely. So let's talk about that. Let's talk about prethis, and how you were able to- being a smaller guy, which people wouldn't even believe when they see you today, and having a lot of will but not necessarily having the physical assets.
How did you translate that? Let's go back to the beginning into finding yourself in the NFL.
Steve Weatherford: Yeah, if I ever felt like when I was born, if I was given a gift, it wasn't athleticism, it wasn't kindness, it wasn't generosity, it was willpower, you know?
So for me, and it doesn't matter what age you're referring to, and it doesn't matter what the goal was, and it sounds crazy to say but literally every long-term goal that I've ever had in my life, I've achieved.
So I have to be very careful with the goals that I set forth for myself because I want to continue to push the envelope, and set goals higher than what I think is feasible, because I think that's the way you push yourself.
But I mean, I go back to being fourteen years old and talking about what I think my gift is, it was never athleticism, it was just the ability to tunnel vision and completely block everything else out in my life, and only be able to focus on what the goal is.
And I had four goals when I was fourteen years old. I wanted to become an Olympic champion. I didn't do that, however I was a world champion, so I can kind of check that one off.
I wanted to become a professional athlete, I wanted to become a father, and one day I wanted to be on the cover of the magazine that started like my infatuation or obsession with health and wellness and fitness, and that was 'Muscle & Fitness.'
I remember stealing the magazine- the first magazine I ever stole from the dentist's office when I was fourteen years old, I remember taking home. I was like, 'I've got to read this, and I've got to learn everything about everything.'
And that's how you and I learned how to train, you know? How to eat, and how to improve range of motion and flexibility. And listening to your show just reinforces that I'm in the right place because the way that you serve other people, it just aligns so well with what I hope my legacy is one day.
You know I want it to be impact. You know I'm very fortunate financially to play professional sports. We used to get paid millions of dollars for playing a child's game. I mean I feel like that's stealing, you know? And to be able to leverage that, because I really didn't feel like I was giving anything to anyone aside from entertainment.
And I knew that that was never going to be something that I wanted to do until my body gave out. I wanted to do it long enough to where I had the financial freedom of knowing that my family is taken care of within reason. You know, I was a punter, I wasn't a quarterback.
And we saved our money well, but to be able to know that they're secure and now I
can go out and I can pursue my true passion in life, and that is impacting other people. And whether that's health and wellness, or simply just helping someone shift their perspective or their point of view on what they see as adversity in their life, or maybe they see it as an obligation in their life.
And really you know, if you just change somebody's perspective or vantage point of how they use something, suddenly that obligation becomes an opportunity, and no longer are people like, 'Oh I've got to go pick the kids up.'
No you don't have to go pick the kids up, you get to go pick the kids up. And once you make that decision in your life to change your perspective, your entire world changes because it goes from something that you have to do to something that you get to do, and nothing changed except for the way that you're looking at it.
You know it's not adversity, it's an opportunity for you to grow, you know? Because nobody will ever become better at anything, and nobody will become the best in the world at anything unless they become comfortable being uncomfortable.
You know because pain- it sounds so cliché to say pain is gain, but I've been fortunate enough to be surrounded by some of the highest achievers in pro sports, and then very fortunate enough to have won a Superbowl in New York where that is the epicenter pretty much for everything.
You know for fashion, for finances, you name it, you know? New York is the spot, and I've been very fortunate to develop relationships with people that are so far out of sports, but to me it's not the accolade of being a Hall of Fame in the NFL, or a billionaire entrepreneur, it's the reason I want to hang out with those different people is because there's character traits that that person has that has earned them the right to have made a billion dollars.
You know, there's character traits that this person's developed, or disciplines that this person has developed, or routines that this person has developed that has allowed them to become the greatest defense of all time, or whatever the case may be.
I want to be around people that are the best, not because I want to learn how to be the best at what they're the best at, because I want to know what character traits, what routines, what mindset that they have utilized that have helped them to become the best, but more importantly one day saying, 'I was the best.' How do you maintain that?
How do you go from having an idea for a podcast where you're sitting on the couch, to having one of the most influential podcasts out there? You're passionate about it, because if you're not passionate about something, there's no way that you can manufacture the energy to chase it.
Shawn Stevenson: Right, let's talk about that a little bit, specifically any of the great people that you're around, something that you picked up as far as their routine, or their dedication to becoming the greatest.
Because you know, like you've got teammates like Michael Strahan for example. So anybody that jumps out for you and something that you picked up from them?
Steve Weatherford: I'll try to pick one athlete and one entrepreneur business man, and the athlete that comes to mind- you and I had conversations about him earlier was Michael Strahan, and his ability to take himself from a very small town in Alabama to earning a college scholarship, and going from a small town in Alabama to New York, and becoming one of the greatest defensive ends to ever play the game. Hall of Famer, fifteen year career, Superbowl champion.
Oh yeah, by the way, I'm going to retire and now I'm going to go host The Kelly and
Michael Show. And then after you do Kelly and Michael and you take over for Regis Philbin, now let's go over to Good Morning America and let's also do Sunday Night Football at the same time I'm doing the $250,000 pyramid.
You know, so it's just he's systematically reinventing himself, and he's become a really good friend of mine, and we've actually become closer friends post-football career because when I was playing and he had retired, I was constantly getting advice from him because I wanted to develop my brand, and I wanted to develop the skillset that prepared me to be able to walk away from professional sports when I wanted to.
You know, not have somebody wheel me out in a wheelchair. I love the game, I love competing, but I love being able to change the way somebody views their life, or change the way that somebody views relationships, or the way that somebody views goal setting, or goal pursuit, and any of these other things.
And so for Michael, it was the character trait that he possesses that I admire the most is the way he treats people that he can gain nothing from.
So the way he would help our janitor pick up other people's clothes in the locker room. I thought that was the most kind humble thing that I had ever seen anybody do.
I mean this guys a fourteen year- at the time, fourteen NFL pro, one of the greatest defensive ends to ever touch a football field, and you've got these rookies that are like leaving their jockstrap on the floor, and then we've got our janitor walking around and picking things up and putting them where they're supposed to go- where we're supposed to put them, and Michael's doing that with him.
I thought that was the coolest act of kindness ever, you know? So for Michael it was the way he treats people he can gain nothing from.
And the other mentor that I've had that really developed a character trait that I admired and I still try to apply into my own life, and that's his selflessness, and his willingness to help other people that he can gain nothing from.
So Michael was providing kindness and support to someone who he gained nothing from, and with Michael Cohen- Michael Cohen has been kind of my entrepreneurial mentor and he is pretty much the right hand man for Donald Trump. Michael started out, went to law school, graduated law school, started out with $0 and now he's 46 years old, he's the President of Trump International, and I think he has a net worth of pretty close to $900 million, and you would never know it.
I mean you could call this guy at midnight and tell him, 'Hey do you mind watching my kids? I've got to go to the hospital because I've got a kid that's sick.' He would do that for you. And this guy's a billionaire. He could pay anybody to do anything he wanted for you, but it was the fact that he was willing to do that for me, and he could gain nothing from that.
You know, it was just that kindness that he shows, and the humility that Michael shows, that I try to model after myself because there's another character trait that I'm not real proud of that I see almost every single high achiever possess, and that's selfishness.
But I do believe that there does need to be a degree of selfishness in order for your goal pursuit and personal development to occur. And that's kind of the crusade that I'm on right now on social media, is just letting mothers know, 'You're not selfish if you take sixty minutes out of your 24 hours, one hour out of your day every single day does not make you selfish. You actually are doing your family a favor by missing one hour away from them because when you come back, you're going to be a better version of yourself every single time you come back.'
So you're teaching your kids, you're showing your husband that they're important by taking that time for yourself to go to the gym to invest in your future, invest in your health because when you come back, you're going to be thankful that you took the time to go do that.
And your health will improve, your mood will improve, everything. So to me, that's my crusade right now, is letting parents know they're not selfish for taking that time to invest into the gym, because the return on that investment is much greater than the cost of the time.
Shawn Stevenson: I love it, man. I didn't know you were going to parlay your way to that. It's such a great message.
Steve Weatherford: I didn't know I was either.
Shawn Stevenson: We actually just did a show on self-love, when this is being published, and it's just like a very strange topic that we even have to talk about this concept of caring about yourself, but at the end of the day, it's so that you can serve at a higher level and so that you can show up better.
Steve Weatherford: It's easy to forget about yourself when you love your kids so much.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, absolutely.
Steve Weatherford: You know, and moms are most guilty of that because they're the caring nurturers. They're the ones that are going to be there when our kids fall.
They're the ones that are going to be there at 3:00 in the morning when the baby is crying, you know? They're our backbone. You know that, I know that, but the reason we feel so confident in saying they're the backbone of our family is because when things go down, Mom's always going to be there.
Shawn Stevenson: This is actually bringing up something else that I want to ask you about, which is this ties into family, this ties into community. You know, you playing on an NFL team and being in that locker room, and having such a diverse experience with culture, with people, with family really.
Our climate today is different, you know? It's pretty challenging. There's a lot of divisive rederick that's happening right now, and people are- there's a lot of stuff that's kind of coming up to the surface.
So I want to ask you about this, because you having such a unique experience of like growing up in Nowheresville kind of Indiana.
Steve Weatherford: You can say that, it was.
Shawn Stevenson: But same thing here. And then playing in like the Big Apple, you know what I'm saying? And having that kind of translation into different cultures.
So what are some of the things that we can look at from- I mean this is a tough question, but from your perspective about bringing us together and eliminating some of this divisive rederick.
Steve Weatherford: For me, I think so many problems today with depression, with weight problems, with just overall mental illnesses, I think a lot of it comes from comparison, you know?
Because it's so easy to compare your life to somebody else's life based upon social media, you know? And the sad part about it is, is it's not real, you know? Because I will know what my life is, and I'm hard on myself, and so I don't acknowledge the greatness that's inside of me enough. I know that.
You know, so when I tell people, 'It's okay, love yourself. Love every bit of yourself.' I
mean, I'm talking to myself. You know, I'm a very confident person, but there's things about myself just like everybody else that I'm not embarrassed about, but I'm not proud of either.
And so I think today, right now with how much great can happen with the utilization of social media, it can do so many great things.
I mean you've seen utilizing social media has allowed your show to gain more popularity, which increases your impact, which it impacts other people's lives in a positive way.
That's awesome, but then on the flipside of it, then you've got the Kim Kardashians, and the other people who are building their brand in a different way, but not that it's wrong but I've got four daughters, you know?
And my daughters are going to see probably a whole lot more of that than what's out there today because people like that are making a lot of money and building massive brands because they're exchanging their integrity for popularity.
And I think there's a very- there's a very fine line in between doing it for the gram and doing it on the gram for a reason. You know?
And so it's a line that I have to toe as well, because there's times where I'm about to post a picture and I've got to second guess my intentions for sharing this picture, you know?
Do I want to put a picture of the magazine article or the magazine cover that I was on when I looked all ripped up, and I'm in the greatest shape of my life? And do I want to put that out there with the caption that kind of glorifies my hard work or my sacrifice or my story?
Or do I want to share this picture of myself, tell my story, but also let people know, 'Hey guys, guess what? I don't look like this every day. I did cardio every single morning for 45 minutes for two months to get ready for this photoshoot. I'm spray tanned, I'm sure they did a little bit of Photoshop, and this is the best I'll probably ever look.'
And I think that relates to people a whole lot more, and people will remember that, and people will realize, 'He's not that much better than me.' You know what? At the end of the day, if they trust me, I'm okay with that.
But like I said, there's a fine line in between doing it for the gram and doing it on the gram for a reason, and I try to make sure that everything that I share on social media is going to positively impact other people's lives.
And you can't please everybody, but at the end of the day, I want to stay true to myself and I don't want to start replicating what somebody else is doing because that's helping their social media following go up if that's exchanging my integrity.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, and I love that you brought this up. I didn't know- of course I didn't know what your answer was going to be, but I'm hearing that if we can really utilize, we're more connected than ever, and this idea that we're divided.
Steve Weatherford: That's why you and I are sitting here together.
Shawn Stevenson: You know, it's so powerful, right? But at the same time it's consciously utilizing the tool in an advantageous way for us, and being mindful of- like some of the things you brought up when I first asked you the question, you know?
A lot of people are in suffering and when they see somebody who's doing well because they're putting their highlight reel on social media, it can only create more of that kind of schism between people.
And so consciously bringing us together, you know utilizing social media as a tool, and also acknowledging- and this is what I talked about on that episode, which we'll put in the show notes, that having the audacity to have some self-love, to take good care of your health, your wellbeing, your mental health, it creates a situation where it's a lot more easy to be accepting of another human being.
You know, when you don't feel well, we're going to have a natural tendency to see the flaws. We're going to have a natural tendency to see what I don't like in you. You know?
And it's just the nature of the beast, you know? If you don't feel well, we tend not to do well. And I'm not saying that in all cases, of course there are very compassionate people who are eating Twinkies right now. Like they're eating a Twinkie listening to this like, 'This is a pretty good show.'
You know, but at the same time the better that we can feel-
Steve Weatherford: That's my wife, by the way. She can eat Twinkies and still do well because she's still like 110 pounds.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, the better that we can feel, the better that we can tend to do. You know?
And so man, I want to ask you about- well actually I want to take a step back. And I don't know if your son has heard this who's also in the room as well, he probably has, but I'm just curious and maybe you can add a little note in here.
How did you end up being a punter? Alright? Where did the kicking thing come into play?
Steve Weatherford: It's a good question, it's a question I've been asked quite a few times, especially like now because I'm getting more involved in the fitness industry, and the health and wellness industry, and doing more muscle and fitness type of stuff, www.BodyBuilding.com type of stuff.
And people are like, 'You used to be a punter? Why didn't you play linebacker?' Like you know, just because I look like a linebacker doesn't mean I have what it takes between the ears.
But I became a punter because I was skinny and small my entire life, so I started kicking a soccer ball when I was four years old, and that was my passion up through high school, and football was really just kind of like a side gig I did.
I mean, I spent fifteen minutes kicking footballs on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and then we'd have a game on Friday. So I played soccer and football at the same time.
So I would go to football practice and do fifteen minutes of special teams, and then after special teams was over, then I got kicked off the field, they told me to go to soccer practice, and so I played soccer games on Tuesday and Saturday, at football games on Friday.
And that kind of- that vibe or that wavelength of activity for me maintained my whole life, even now, because I have extreme ADHD and that's what I was talking about what I thought my gift was, it's not athleticism, it's my will.
And that can be a good and a bad thing because when I achieve that hyper focus, I'm able to do that because I have ADHD.
Shawn Stevenson: Exactly, it's an advantage.
Steve Weatherford: But you know, it robs from other things though, because I'll completely block everything out that's here, but I know I'm going to achieve my goal. But it's always going to come at a cost.
And so I've had to manipulate my goal pursuit since retiring from the NFL because I need to make sure that my goal pursuit doesn't rob my children from the father that I
should be, or doesn't rob my wife from the husband that I should be, or it doesn't rob my family from me being present when I'm there.
You know, there's a difference between being with your family and being present with your family. You know, and I know every single person listening to this knows the difference between being somewhere and actually being present while you're there.
You know, if you're with your girlfriend, or you're with your boyfriend, or your husband, or your wife, and you're in love, you're present because you just think about them all day.
And you wake up, they're the first person you think of. You go to bed, they're the last person you think of, and when you're with that person, they're the only person that exists. You're present.
But when you're with someone that you don't necessarily care to be with, or maybe you're distracted and you're on your phone, you're not present.
So there's an opportunity cost that comes with everything in life, and I constantly evaluate my life the same way a financial advisor would review his portfolio. You know?
There's checks and balances, there's profits and losses, but really I keep it really basic and I want to know am I spending my time or am I investing my time? And there's nothing wrong with spending your time, because we do need time during the day to not accomplish anything. You know? And that's Netflix. That's Netflix and chill.
That's surfing the web, that's Facebook, that's Instagram. It's not your podcast, because that's an investment.
But any of the things that you like to do that don't necessarily benefit your life, and it's just decompression time, that's spending time. But during the day I look at my time as currency. That's the most valuable thing that I have on this planet.
I can always make more money, you know? I hope my wife doesn't listen to this, but if my wife leaves me, I could get another wife. I'll never get my time back. You'll never be able to get your time back once it's gone, and so every moment during the day is the last time we're going to have that moment.
And so for me, you look at your life and you want to make sure that during the day you're doing a whole lot more investing than you are spending. Because if you invest, there's a return on that investment.
And so when I take my currency, my time, I have four components of passion in my life; my faith, my family, my fitness, and philanthropy. I call it my Four F's, and I'm aware that philanthropy is with a P, but those are my four components of passion.
And so I know if my time is being allocated to any of those four things, I know that I'm investing, because when I invest time in my faith, that nurtures my spiritual growth.
When I invest time into my family, that nurtures that relationship.
When I invest time into my fitness, and health and wellness, that nurtures my overall health and vitality.
And when I invest my time and my finances into philanthropy, the return on that investment is enriching someone else's life and possibly changing somebody else's life, and so I know black and white, if I'm allocating my time to those four things, I know the return on that investment is much greater than the cost.
When you're spending your time, you're never going to get it back.
Shawn Stevenson: Man, that is so deep. That's powerful. That's powerful. And speaking of which, that's a lot of things that you just said. Like there's a lot to fit into a day, or a week, or a lifetime.
How do you do it, man? How do you actually put those things in place? Let's talk a little bit about routine and how much that matters for you.
Steve Weatherford: Yeah during my professional career, my routine was so incredibly dialed in, that like right now I could tell you exactly what my routine was my third year, and every year it changed just a little bit because my body will change, you know?
Things on your body that bother you will come up, and your rehab will be a little bit different, your preparation will be a little bit different. Personal development occurs during the career, and so there's different things that I necessarily don't need anymore, and there's additional routines, like mental routines that I would go through.
So routine in general I think is incredibly important as far as you being able to predict success. And so when you're talking about the investment of time, spending it or investing it, you have to know that the juice is going to be worth the squeeze. You know?
And so there's a lot of things in life that will distract us. Social media can be a weapon, but it can also be a distraction. Podcasts can be a weapon but they can be a distraction, and so I think it's very important to plan.
And so without planning there can be no routine, and without routine there can be no habits.
You know, they say, 'I'm sure you're going to have some statistics to support how many days it takes to make or break a habit.' Well let's just go with the generic.
Thirty days to make or break a habit, that's hard. You know? You've got to get way outside of your comfort zone and really flip your life on its head if you're going to make drastic changes in your life, and it's never comfortable but in order for you to create the best version of yourself, planning has to come first. You know?
Planning for your goals should be first. Planning for the week should come second. Planning for the day should come third.
And so my routine now is different than what it was when I was playing football, but I think something- a really actionable takeaway for the people listening is to be able to take thirty minutes- and it might take you an hour the first time you do it, but thirty minutes is what I take every Sunday night, and during that thirty minutes I'll look at my life as a whole, and where I'm at, and what areas of my life need to be addressed.
You know, is it being on time? I did a poor job of being on time this week. I need to correct that. Maybe the reason that I've been late a few times, is it because I'm overscheduling myself? Is it because I'm not being efficient enough with my time? Am I investing too much time into Snap Chat?
Like whatever the case may be, I want to be able to identify the variable in my life that has changed that has started to let a bad habit creep in.
Because I know by showing up five minutes late, I am without saying it, telling that person that my time is more valuable than your time, and I don't ever want anybody to think that.
And so I take that thirty minutes to review my life, and review where I'm at, and review my habits, and my routines, and then I will plan that entire week as far as what day, and what time am I going to time block to work on this in my life?
So they change every week, but I take that thirty minutes on Sunday, and then I also take another ten minutes every night before I go to sleep to self-scout.
You know, the same way a football coach would- you know, let's say we're playing the Patriots in the Superbowl. The same way Tom Coughlin would go watch hours and hours of the New England Patriots to see their strengths, their weaknesses, how we can exploit those, is the same way I view my life.
You know, I'm self-scouting myself because if I can identify my weaknesses, nobody else can exploit them.
So every week that goes by, my aim is not necessarily to eliminate my weaknesses, but I want to reduce them, because the chinks in my armor are what's going to stop me from becoming my best self.
It's not the level of my strengths, it's my weaknesses that will stop me, and the bad habits, the routines of staying up too late, going down the rabbit hole of Facebook. All those different things can tribute to your effectiveness during the day.
And so that thirty minutes of planning that I spend on Sunday, and the ten minutes every night, allow me to eliminate problems and bad habits before they really become habits.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah I love that, man. And if- I really want people to really let that sink in because it's something so simple that it can get looked past. Just doing these personal assessments and then some planning. How often do we just let our life be willy nilly- and that's the first time I've ever said 'willy nilly' in my life, by the way.
Steve Weatherford: It was applicable, it was good timing to use 'willy nilly.'
Shawn Stevenson: It's going to be random, you're going to get a lot of randomness in your life and wonder why. Like, 'Why can't I achieve this goal?'
Did you plan for it? Did you actually take some time and assess yourself? Are you the type of person that can have this? And if not, let's put a plan in place so that you can become the type of person that can have it.
Steve Weatherford: I think one thing that people have a difficulty with, or they're scared of, is exploring the possibility of becoming truly self-aware. Because it's uncomfortable, you know?
When you become self-aware, that means you are unbiasedly looking at yourself and being real. You know? For lack of a better word, it's figuratively derobing yourself, and it's taking all the masks off.
You know, we talked about our mutual friend Lewis Howes and 'The Mask of Masculinity,' and how everybody has these different masks that we all wear, but it's being real, and it's figuratively taking everything off, and looking in the mirror for what you are, and not beating yourself up, but acknowledging your strengths, and patting yourself on the back, but also acknowledging your weaknesses, and not necessarily allocating all of your time to eliminating your weaknesses, but you want to reduce your weaknesses and go all in on your strengths.
Like I know, and you know because I keep sliding around on this chair, I don't do well sitting still. I talk with my hands, I constantly have to move, I know that about myself. At no time in my life will you ever see me committing to something that is going to require me to sit still for long periods of time.
And school was really difficult for me, but my son's got the same thing, and if they give him a stand-up desk, it's all A's, and if he's got to sit in the chair like everybody else, he struggles because his brain is wired differently.
And so I think becoming self-aware will allow you to manipulate your life to the point where it puts you in the best position to be successful.
For me, if I'm doing emails, or if I'm trying to eloquently tell a story in a caption on Instagram, I know that I need to go for a walk in order for me to fully be my best, because it's that binary stimulation in my brain that almost like hypnotically puts me into the zone of just of free-flowing thoughts.
Going from my brain, going straight into the document that I'm creating, but I know that about myself, and I've learned that about myself, and the way that I'm able to do that consistently is taking time every- taking thirty minutes once a week to dive in and actually really figuratively get naked, look at yourself, and identify, 'This is what I'm doing really, really well right now. Let me continue this. This is what I'm really struggling with. Let me minimize this.'
And you do that every single week, and you take time and a little bit of maintenance every single night to review that, you're constantly- every single day that you're waking up, if you're consistent with this, every day you wake up, you are the best version that anybody has ever seen of yourself.
That's exciting, but it all starts with the commitment of, 'You know what? I'm going to do this,' and it's the consistency that pays the long-term dividend.
It's not going to the gym and doing 100 sets of squats and expecting that to give you the results that you're after. It takes consistency, it takes sacrifice, it takes discipline, and it's the same thing with mental exercises.
People spend so much time on supplements, and trainers, and gyms, and programs, and those things are really important to have guidance and a baseline for where you're going, and how to get there, but people don't spend one tenth of the time on their mind that they do on their body.
You know, and everybody always says your brain is your strongest muscle, but why don't we spend any time training that? You know? It's almost kind of like, 'Well this brain is going to get me to where I need to go, let me sharpen my body.'
No, it's the other way around. You know? Bruce Lee had it right. He was like, 'You master your mind, you master your thoughts, your body will master itself.'
Shawn Stevenson: Man, you know what? I'm just going to actually formally issue this challenge for everybody to- let's go ahead and employ this. Let's do this together for the next month, alright? Every Sunday, let's do that assessment and let's do the planning for your week.
Now this is a true story from my life personally. When I was doing this, and having the nightly ritual of looking at my day, the things that were successful, the things that I need to improve on, over- this was about 100-day process, I accomplished more in that 100 days than I have in like two years.
Steve Weatherford: But how hard was it for you to stay disciplined and committed to that? Because it's new, it's uncomfortable, and it's adding another thing to your plate. You know? It's a new routine. Taking on a new routine is really, really difficult.
Shawn Stevenson: I totally agree.
Steve Weatherford: That's why like so many people with New Years' resolutions, they end up worse off than they were before they set these goals, because their goals are so big, and so overwhelming that the hint of the first mistake, they feel like they've completely failed.
But I think if you take time once a week to recalibrate and look at how you're doing- not like, 'Oh this is day 32, this is day 13, this is day 90.' Don't look at it like that. Today is today.
Let me do the best that I can do today, let me review it tonight, and identify the variable that led to not being successful today, or you know what? I killed it today. What was my routine like?
Was it the amount of hours of sleep that I got last night? Was it the amount of water that I had last night? Or was it when I woke up this morning, and I looked in the mirror, and I positive self-talked myself into being bulletproof?
You know, because we have that ability. As strong as our minds are, we have the ability to convince ourselves of anything. You know?
You could wake me up in the middle of the night at 2:00, and you could tell me, 'I need you to be ready for the greatest workout of your life.'
If you gave me ten minutes, I could get my energy level and my focus to that point. But the reason I can do that is because I exercise that. You know?
I exercise that ability of overcoming the current state of where my body and my mind are at. You know? You can go through mental exercises of envisioning yourself doing or being what you want to, in ten minutes I could have my energy level so high through the roof, and my focus so razor sharp, but it's because I've gone through years and years and years of consistent, consistent discipline mental exercises.
And the same way that an elite achiever in any sport has the ability to go out onto the field of competition and it doesn't matter if it's an audience of one or 100 million, to replicate the same skill with the same consistency time after time after time, it's not because they've practiced with their body a million times, it's because they've practiced with their body a million times, and they've practiced with their mind ten million times.
Because your body can only go through so many repetitions before ligaments start to break down, tendons start to rip, muscles fatigue, you get older.
But you know what? If you minimize the amount of repetitions that you do, and you maximize the amount of mental repetitions that you do, it's the same difference. Your body has the ability to replicate muscle memory with far less repetitions than what's required mentally.
But mentally, it's hard. It's hard to sit still and close your eyes and envision yourself going into the Superbowl 47 miles from your hometown with 72 million people watching, and having the greatest game of your life.
But I've been there, and I've done that, and it's not because God gave me some incredible physical gifts. God gave me the willpower, I educated myself, I identified what could make me better.
I took my gift, which was my willpower, I created a plan, and then with my gift of willpower I remained disciplined and consistent to what the game plan was to get me to the place mentally where I had the ability to do whatever I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it within reason.
I have bad days just like everybody else, but I have the ability to get in front of that many people, and the biggest game of my life, and be able to replicate the same thing I did on that high school field twelve years earlier when nobody was around.
So it's the mentality and the mindset and the exercising of that ability that allows me to be able to do that.
Shawn Stevenson: I love it, man. That's so powerful. And I want to share this with everybody. There's four basic phases you go through when building a new habit.
It starts with, number one, this new energy. Alright? There's a new energy phase of creating a new habit. Like, 'I'm going to start doing this thing, I'm going to start getting to bed, I'm going to start exercising,' and it's a vibe. You know?
It's an energy and that is helping to propel you in trying to build a little bit of momentum. But we know for most of us, a lot of times it's kind of short-lived because from there, that new energy phase, we move into the discomfort phase where it's just like, 'I've been doing this for awhile, it's kind of inconvenient or doesn't necessarily feel the best compared to Netflix and chill,' or whatever the case might be.
And you have to go through some discomfort as - and here's why - your brain is literally changing. Alright? So I want you to keep that in mind. Your brain is changing when you're creating these new habits. Alright?
So there's a physical structure change in your brain because there's a hardwiring for you to continue doing the old things. Alright?
So from the discomfort phase, we move into eventually- and Steve mentioned this could be 30 days, it could be 21, it could be 100 days. It really depends on the particular change that we're making, alright?
So there is no cookie cutter thing for that, but from there we move into the comfort phase where you've been working on this thing for awhile, and you've gotten in a pretty good flow.
And now it's not necessarily that difficult to make it a part of your life, but you still have to think about it.
And finally, you actually move into the need phase, alright? This is where your habit becomes need, alright? The chains are so strong that they're very difficult to break. And this is a place where it's just like, 'If I don't exercise, I don't feel right.' Right?
Or, 'If I'm not eating these great foods, or if I'm not getting this great sleep I'm accustomed to, I don't like it.' Right? So it's the need phase.
So again, we go through all of those, and maybe can acknowledge now where are you at in that process? And kind of be more aware of it.
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Alright Steve, I want to ask you about fear. I want to ask you about fear. This is something even today with your son, like he had- what created that hesitation was fear. And I know that you've had spots of course along your way of dealing with fear.
So I'm curious of your process of how do you address that? You know, like those big games, you know? That moment, playing in the Superbowl.
Steve Weatherford: Man, that's the first thing you think of, but I mean for somebody to say that they don't get- 'I don't get scared.' Let's be real.
I don't get nervous, I get anxious, but I'm scared every single day. Ten minutes before they said, 'Alright we're live, we're rolling.' Like I'm scared before I come on this show.
I played in front of 72 million people, but the reason I get scared is because it's important to me. So I wanted to make sure that the time that you've invested in me, and the time that I'm investing in this show is going to benefit other people.
And so there's a way to be able to take that fear of failure, or that scared sensation, and take a deep breath, and acknowledge that it's okay to be scared. You know?
You're not wrong for feeling that way. It's a normal healthy human emotion, but how do you use that? You know? Do you use the anxiety of performance anxiety before a football game? Are you able to utilize that to optimize your performance?
Because that's the difference between good and great, and great and the best of all time, is how people handle emotions. It's not how good do you throw a spiral, or what is your three point shooting percentage, how fast can you throw a fastball?
Those aren't nearly as important as how somebody handles mental adversity, because we all have dialogues inside of our brains during uncomfortable times.
Like you're never going to have an uncomfortable dialogue with yourself when you're watching TV because you're comfortable. You're on a couch, you're watching TV, you're being stimulated, you're being entertained.
But what about when you're in the gym and you've got that bar on your back, and you're on the seventh rep of your last set, and you've got three more to go, and you don't think you can make it? What do you do?
Do you get scared and rack the bar, or do you take a deep breath, you plant your heels in the ground, and believe that you can make it happen?
It's the same thing for anything else in life. You know? We get scared, and fear arises when something is important to us.
You walk to the edge of a cliff, you get scared. Why do you get scared? Because you don't want to fall. So there's always a cause and effect, and if you're not prepared enough for that feeling to arise, and you haven't mentally conditioned yourself for that, that's the difference between somebody who's good enough to be a pro, and somebody who's good enough to thrive as a pro.
Because everybody's going to get into an uncomfortable situation. You know, you were talking about earlier, my son was playing basketball with grown men today, and he was nervous about it. But when I told him- and then the guy comes up to me and says, 'Well we need two more.' I go, 'Well I'm going to play. I'd like him to play.'
He was like, 'Well you guys are going to be on different teams.' I was like, 'Well I'd like to be on his team.' And you know what? I guarantee you he'll remember that forever because I wanted him on my team.
Obviously I know he's not going to be as good as a grown man, but the fact that I wanted him on my team, he's going to remember that, and that's an ego boost for him, and that's a confidence boost for him.
I didn't tell him I wanted him on my team so I could help him, I told him I wanted him to be on my team because he's a great shooter. He'll remember that forever, and I know that because I remember interactions and experiences when that happened with my dad or with my grandpa, and today was an opportunity for me to be that for my son.
Because I can tell him at home all the time, 'I love you buddy, I love you so much. You're such a good kid, you're such a good shooter.' But until you're put into a situation where my son is experiencing fear, and I give him the confidence that I hope one day perpetuates itself inside of him, and so when he does encounter fear or fear arises in his life, he's going to know that he can acknowledge that fear, that's okay.
Have the confidence to go out there and do the best of your ability, and don't let any emotional fear, anxiety, any of the other things that can arise deter you from being the best that you can be.
Because at the end of the day, you can go out there and perform to the best of your ability, and if you're on the court with people that are just more talented or harder working than you, you're going to lose but that's okay. You can leave the field of battle knowing that you put your best out there.
And I think that's really what gave me my confidence as an athlete starting at a very young age, is I loved to play the game, and so working at my skills was not difficult, and so I manufactured a lot of my confidence from knowing when I walk onto a soccer field, or onto the track, football, basketball- it didn't matter, I knew nobody else on that court was more physically or mentally prepared than I was because I overtrained every single day of my life.
I still over-train, and that may negatively affect me physically, but I'm not nearly as concerned with my physical prowess as I am my mental prowess, because I know my mental prowess is going to take me so much farther than any physical capabilities that I'm able to develop.
Because I developed some elite physical capabilities, and I saw how far that could take me, but that wasn't far enough for me. You know, I don't want to be remembered as somebody who played football. You know?
I don't want to meet somebody and say, 'I'm Steve Weatherford. I'm a football player.' You know? I want to introduce myself and say, 'Hi my name is Steve Weatherford, and I'm going to dent the universe.' Or, 'I dented the universe.' You know?
I want to have such an impact that when people hear my name, they don't even remember that I played professional sports, and I think in order for me to impact and reach people on such a deep level, I'm going to have to share more of my life than I'm comfortable with.
I'm going to have to share more of my failures, I'm going to have to share less of my successes, and really grow the relationship that I have with the people that are following me on social media because I don't need three million followers.
Give me 300,000 followers that I have an incredibly deep relationship with, that's more than enough for me.
Shawn Stevenson: You know what? This is- first of all, thank you for sharing that. There are so many valuable insights, and you mentioned something towards the end which is a great segue.
You mentioned physical prowess, you know? And this is something that is apparent when people see you, you know? Like this guy trains, this guy lifts, this guy takes care of himself.
And so I want to ask you a little bit about this because it is a complicated thing, especially when you're overtraining. When you're going 120 like you do, and I want to talk about some of your strategies.
Because we've got people at all levels that listen to this show, and I want to talk about number one, just what do you feel- and just a couple minutes I want to spend on this.
What do you feel are the basics- like the 80/20? What's the 20% of things you do that gets you 80% of the results? That's number one.
And number two, as you've developed, now you're looking- we mentioned this at the gym, you said you're training for example. To take some of that wear and tear off in a way, and start to slow down that process.
So let's talk about those two things. First, 80/20.
Steve Weatherford: Right now in my life, my- I don't want to say my motivation for health and wellness is different, but my goals are different.
So I don't walk into a gym with the priority on how can I become a greater athlete? I go into the gym with a motivation to maintain and increase my mobility.
My motivation is to shape and mold muscles to where they look how I want them to look, and they perform how I want them to perform, but I don't ever want my training in a gym to negatively impact my life outside of the gym.
Because my life outside of the gym, that's my highest priority because that's when I'm a father, that's when I'm a husband, that's when I'm a leader within the team that I've built for my business.
And I don't want that to have anything but my best in it, and so when I train in the gym, I always have a game plan to completely exhaust the muscle, but don't go to the point of where I am going to negatively affect the integrity of the tendons, the ligaments, the synovial fluid, the connective tissue.
Why, you know? I'm 35 years old, I feel fantastic, I can still dunk a basketball, I'm 240 pounds, I can still do the splits, I can still do a backflip, I can still run a seven minute mile, I feel good.
I go to the gym because I love it and that's my anchor in life. So I know if I can get into the gym first thing in the morning, I know I'm going to have a good day because I'm doing the hardest part of my day first, and when I leave that gym, I'm feeling pretty close to bulletproof. You know?
Because I know I've paid the price to be my greatest that day because I took the first step.
Shawn Stevenson: Oh man. I'm wrapped up like the guys here at the studio. Powerful, man. You know what? So with the 80/20, and I just want to dip back into this really quickly.
For folks listening, again who are at various levels, what do you feel are kind of like- what is the heart?
Steve Weatherford: It's consistency is king for anything, for any goal. So I think it's very, very important for anybody when they are going to a yoga studio, or they're going to a weight training gym, or they're going to Pilates, to not go through the motions.
When you walk through the door, there needs to be a shift in your mind of turning off all of the noise from the outside world and making the training that you do, and getting outside of your comfort zone physically, make that a mental game as well because you're talking about 80/20 and what can people from any level of fitness do to improve their life.
I think they need to do as much mental training as they do physical training, and that happens- every single time we go into a gym, we're also mentally training ourselves because you can see the people that have the juice, and you can see the people that are pretenders.
You know, when you see the people that really, really want change, they make the ugliest faces at the gym. You know?
Those are the people I want to train with.
Shawn Stevenson: It's my wife, sitting right over there.
Steve Weatherford: She should be the one that's on screen. But you can see the people, you can look at their face and you can look at their shirt. If they've got some sweat equity going on, you know that they're not there to punch the clock.
If you punch the clock, your consistency may give you a progression of a little bit better, a little bit better. But if you consistently get outside of your comfort zone, and you go into that gym or that studio with a plan, and you are deciding when you walk in, 'It doesn't matter where I go mentally or physically, I'm going to win today.'
So if you say, 'I've got five sets of ten,' don't you dare skip out at four because you're cheating yourself. You know? Go all in.
If you're going to do something, if you're going to show up, get the most out of that sixty minutes. That's what I say. I mean it doesn't matter if you're compound training, it doesn't matter if it's athletic performance, if it's body building, if it's yoga, I'm all in because I know if I'm going to make an investment, I'm not going to invest half the money.
I'm going to invest all of it because if I believe what I'm doing is an investment, I'm betting the farm everywhere I go. If I'm going to the library and I need sixty minutes to read because my house is so loud with all the kids running around, if I'm going to take sixty minutes away from my family, I'm going all in.
All of my focus is right there on that book that I'm reading. It's not checking my phone a little bit, and- oh my Apple Watch went off. No, I'm putting that on 'Do Not Disturb,' I'm putting my phone on 'Do Not Disturb,' and I'm going all in on this book.
And then when I go home, I'm going all in on my family. And then I go to the gym, I'm going all in on the gym because if I don't go all in, I'm going to get a reduced return on that investment. You know?
So if you truly believe what you're doing is important, bet the farm every time.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Man, this is the best answer I've ever heard as far as what's the 80/20, which is it doesn't matter what it is- the activity. It's going in. It's going in full, and also the consistency. I love that answer, man. It's so powerful.
Steve Weatherford: Consistently going all in, and that's hard, man. Because it's not like- you can't fake all in, because when you get done with the workout, you know whether or not you went to the wall. And it doesn't matter- some people are sweaters, some people don't sweat at all.
As heavy as I am, I'm not much of a sweater. I'll do the same exact workout with somebody who's stronger than I am, and I'll use the same exact weight, we'll walk out- he'll be soaked and I'll have a couple pit stains, and that's it.
But I know- I know I took it to the wall. So I don't need anybody else's validation but my own, because I know later that night when I figuratively stand naked in front of my self-awareness mirror, and I look at myself, I'm going to know that sixty minutes that I was in the gym, I went all in.
I'm also going to- conversely I'm going to know, 'You know what? I wasted time in between this, and I took a ten minute break to take a picture with that person. Or if my wife called me, or this distraction, or that distraction.'
I'm going to know, and I'm going to be real with myself. So then the next time I go to the gym, I don't want to feel that way when I self-reflect at the end of the day.
So then that's why when you catch me working out, nine times out of ten I'm going to have the headphones on that say, 'Don't talk to me!'
But when I get done, dude I will hug everybody in that gym. But when it's go time, it's go time for me, because that's my sixty minutes.
The majority of the rest of my 24 hours is typically for other people. That sixty minutes, that's mine. Don't approach the bear, do you know what I mean?
So that's my mindset, and I think that's the takeaway that anyone can apply to any journey that they're on. If it's a journey to repair a relationship, if it's a journey to get in shape, if it's a journey to achieve a degree, or an athletic accolade.
If you're going to do it, go all in. It's just why do it any other way?
Shawn Stevenson: Exactly. Exactly. So let's take one quick minute here and talk a little bit about what is eccentric training?
Steve Weatherford: This is something that I've actually learned a ton about in the last- call it two years. You know, I retired at the end of the 2016 season, and I've always been infatuated with different training modalities.
So every single off season, I would go train with a different expert. You know, one off season it might be a tae kwon do expert. The next off season, it might be the Olympic training sprinting coach. You know, the next off season, who knows.
So I've spent time with different elite trainers every off season during my ten year career, because I wanted to be the most well-rounded athlete in pro sports. But I also- like I want to look a certain way, too. You know? Because I love being able to walk into a room regardless if that's a boardroom, or a gym, or a church, I love walking into a room, and I love the fact that people can look at me and know several things about my character traits.
'He's hardworking, he's consistent, he's goal oriented,' and I think all of those different things go into making who I am now.
But now I've taken that pursuit and I've gone and trained with the best body builders to ever touch weights, whether that's Arnold Schwarzenegger, or it's Flex Lewis, or it's Phil Heath.
I go train with these guys, and the same way with you, I just want to provide them value. Like, 'How can I help you? How can I help you?' When selfishly, I just want to learn. I want to go- I want to help them promote their brand, but I want to learn because every bit and piece that I can borrow from every person really goes into what I am and who I am today.
You know, I try to take the positive character traits that I admire and replicate them into my own life, and so when somebody pays me a compliment, they're really just paying a compliment to the people that invested into me in my life, and been kind enough to give me their time and generous with their advice that I've applied into my own life.
So it's great to accept the compliment, but really the compliment should go to my mom, and my dad, and my grandma, my grandpa, and you, and Pedros, and all the other people out there that some of them I haven't even met.
But I take pieces of people, and I put it in the centrifuge, and I inject it into myself, and that's what I hope to continue to do until I die, is continue evolving and learning different ways to be a better dad, a better husband, better in the gym, better motivational speaker, just a better person.
You know, when I'm dead and gone and people hear my name, it's only good, it's only positive, it's only impact.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes and recently you picked up the eccentric training.
Steve Weatherford: Eccentric training, yes! So if you guys couldn't tell, I've got
ADHD and he's keeping me on track. And so I train with guys like Ben Pakulski, and Phil Heath, the guys that have just reached the pinnacle of physical development.
And there's a totally different training style that those guys use, and I've fallen in love with it because trying to stimulate your central nervous system requires heavier weights, it requires more explosive movements, which there's no way around it.
It's going to wear out your tendons, your ligaments, your joints, it's just going to wear down the tires on your car. But hypertrophy training, eccentric training has allowed me to use literally like half of the weight and get almost twice the results.
And I've been able to fall in love with training all over again.
Shawn Stevenson: So how do you do it?
Steve Weatherford: So if you're doing bench press, instead of getting under the bench press and doing five sets of ten, or three sets of ten, I'll go do four sets of five.
Which you're like, 'How is that going to make your muscles grow?' But it might take me thirty seconds to do a set of five reps because eccentric training is controlling the amount of time that your body is under tension.
So the key to bodybuilding is time under tension, and so studies have shown that the way that you train your body, or the way that you're weight training, the duration of time that your muscles are actually under tension predicts whether your muscle grows stronger, or your muscle grows larger.
And so I've fallen in love with hypertrophy training, which is maximizing the time under tension, and so in order for you to be in a hypertrophic stage, your sets need to last 45 to 75 seconds, which sounds like a long time.
But really if you're doing a five second rep on the way down, and then a one second pause at the top, and then exploding up, you're getting stronger and your muscles are under tension for 45 seconds, 50 seconds.
And I wake up the next morning, and my muscles are incredibly sore, and the heaviest dumbbell I might have touched on chest day was like 70 pounds. Where normally I'd have to pick up 120-pound dumbbells, and I wake up the next day, and my chest is sore, but guess what? My shoulders and my elbows are more sore than my muscle.
I want to get away from that. I want to get more out of the time I'm putting into the gym, and hypertrophy training has been- I've fallen in love with training all over again because it's something I knew nothing about.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, man. First of all, listening to somebody who's experienced so many different modalities, and hearing that this is something of value to consider.
So again, this is something- all the superheroes listening can add to their superhero utility belt. And just to recap, so this is maybe five or even ten seconds on the way down- so we'll say with the bench press, the lowering portion.
Steve Weatherford: Right so like a negative. A negative would be from lockout to the bottom of the repetition, and so eccentric training is anything where you're manipulating the time of your negative.
Shawn Stevenson: Exactly, yes. So we've got the concentric portion and the eccentric portion. The concentric is where the muscle is 'contracting,' and you're doing work. Right?
The eccentric portion is the lowering part of the exercise. So spending more time on that is really, really powerful.
Steve Weatherford: I didn't even know what that was two years ago, like eccentric training. I was premed in college, I am a health and wellness- I'm infatuated with it. I absolutely love it.
Shawn Stevenson: It's so cool there are so many different things.
Steve Weatherford: It's crazy to me! I've been in the gym for 21 years and it wasn't until my nineteenth year that I actually discovered how to implement eccentric time under tension training, and it's opened up so many doors for me, because now I can actually identify a muscle, and I know exactly how to increase that muscular size.
Obviously nutrition and supplementation play a role as well, but the actual training modality itself, I feel like I'm limitless from a standpoint of identifying a muscle and being able to change it.
Shawn Stevenson: I love it, man. This has been incredibly enlightening, and valuable, and there are so many nuggets and insights that I'm looking forward to employing in my own life, and that you've rekindled, and I know that a lot of people are feeling the same way.
And I've got one final question for you. What is the model that you're here to set with the way that you're living your life personally?
Steve Weatherford: I think it's about grasping the opportunity that every moment presents in our life, and it's about viewing life, and the adversity, and the struggle, and the uncomfortable moments. I think it's about embracing those, and not viewing them as, 'Life happens.'
That is life! Like those are opportunities. Every time something in your life happens that's difficult or uncomfortable, that's an opportunity for you to step up and not just show everybody else what you're made of, but prove it to yourself.
Because at the end of the day, we're living this life, and we shouldn't be living this life for the approval or the validation of others. We should be living this life for an audience of one.
And if you're truly invested into leaving this world a better place, and having people think of you in the way that you dream of at night, then I don't think that's difficult to live that life for an audience of one.
And there's a quote that my coach shared with our team in 2011, and I just happened to be taking notes that day, and it's something that I took- I took that note, and I tape it on my mirror, and it's something that I read every single morning out loud before I brush my teeth.
It's probably one of my oldest habits, aside from taking time for myself in the gym, but that's my oldest habit is reading this quote that Tom Coughlin read to us about four months before our team won the Superbowl, and it goes a little something like this.
'This is the beginning of a new day. God has given me this day to use as I will. I can waste it, or I can use it for good. What I do today is important, because I'm exchanging a day of my life. For when tomorrow comes, and this day is gone forever, leaving in its place something I have traded for.
I want it to be gain, not loss. Good, not evil. Success, not failure in order that I shall not regret the price that I paid for it.'
That's what life is. Every single day that we wake up, we're exchanging a day of our life for what happens, or what we create, or what we love, or what we nurture in that single day.
And so that's- to me that's what the model life is. It's about waking up every single day and embracing the struggles, embracing the grind, embracing the opportunity for what it is.
It's an opportunity. Life is not an obligation. Like we really don't know how lucky we are to be alive today. If your parents didn't get together when they got together, and they didn't have that alone time, the moment that they had their alone time, you wouldn't be here if it happened two minutes later.
And I'm the same way. Like it's a ten billion to one chance that you're even alive. So you take that opportunity, and every single day that you wake up, your motivation is to change other people's lives. How cool is that? You know?
And you make money and support your family doing things for other people. To me, that's the best job in the world. Not kicking a football, not throwing touchdowns, not winning the Olympic gold medals, it's improving other people's mentality, their health, their wellness, their relationships, the way that they live their life.
To me, that's model. So every day is an opportunity to do that man, and nobody does it better than you.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes sir. Yes sir. Thank you, brother.
Listen, can you let everybody know, number one, where they can find you online? Social media? Please follow- I'll tell you right now, you need to follow Steve.
Steve Weatherford: You might get offended because I share- actually the picture that I put on Instagram two days ago, I had my butt crack hanging out. I did a naked photoshoot for www.BodyBuilding.com so don't judge me, but you shall be entertained and possibly inspired.
I'm on Instagram, @Weatherford5. Snap Chat is my favorite, @Weatherford5. Twitter is the same, @Weatherford5. Facebook, YouTube. I spend a lot of my life documenting my life, and creating content that I wish I had.
You know it's not just the, 'Hey look at my six-pack abs, or arms.' It's I share more pictures of my family and what we're doing day-to-day than I do nutritional content. But I think there's a careful balance that I have in between all of that, that represents me well, because that's truly who I am.
So if my family comprises the majority of my passion, it's probably what you're going to be seeing the most of. But I'm very passionate about health and wellness, I'm very passionate about nutrition, supplementation, mentality. Just life, man.
So my social media is essentially- it's my life wrapped up in a burrito. So you guys enjoy.
Shawn Stevenson: Love it, man. Bro, listen- you know every so often you meet somebody, and you just know like they're the real deal, and you are one of those people. And I know that we're going to be friends for a long time.
Steve Weatherford: I take pride in that, man.
Shawn Stevenson: And I just appreciate your spirit, and the way that you conduct yourself, and just look forward to seeing much more from you, man.
Steve Weatherford: There's a lot of reciprocity there, man. Appreciate it.
Shawn Stevenson: No doubt.
Steve Weatherford: And Anne, I love you, too.
Shawn Stevenson: Alright everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today. I hope you got a lot of value out of this. I know that one of the biggest takeaways for me today was when he talked about making a dent in the universe. That really struck me because that's really what drives me, you know?
Like I had no idea what my legacy was going to look like. I wasn't concerned with legacy, you know? But I truly want to make sure that the planet is better having had me on it, and I want you to feel the same way because you are special, you're unique, and you have gifts, and talents, and capacities that you need to share.
You need to make your own personal dent in the universe, alright? That's what it's all about.
And also, go all in. We have to stop- if you're going to do it, do it! If you're going to do it, do it well. Put your best into it, you know? Why go with the lukewarm, putting your toe in.
You know this is an opportunity to truly do something great, and to do that I love the statement that how you do anything is how you do everything.
If you're going to choose to do it, put your all into it. You know? And that's a big takeaway today from the man himself, Steve Weatherford.
Listen guys, we've got some amazing, amazing episodes coming up for you, some life-changing show topics, so make sure to stay tuned. Alright?
Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.
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