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TMHS 224: Unconventional Exercise And Creating An Alpha Brain
There are many paths to our fitness goals. Some will get you there faster than others. And some will get you there so overly yolked that you look like crossfitting, keto eating Hulk Hogan.
Having 24 inch pythons like Hulk Hogan probably isn’t the goal for everyone. But getting to our body composition and fitness goals injury-free is. We’ve become strangely trapped in our linear movements in exercise today. Press with both arms in one direction with equal weight (i.e. bench press), squat up and down with both legs with equal weight (i.e. barbell squats), pull yourself straight up with total symmetry (i.e. strict pull ups), and these are the basics of our exercise programs today.
Don’t get me wrong, those movements are all valuable and popular for a reason. But, we may have gotten so set in those movements that they may have put us at a disadvantage when it comes to moving in the real world.
In reality… in life, and in competition, very rarely are you facing resistance that’s perfectly balanced on both sides of your body. That said, a healthy, almost necessary adjunct to training for life is to have unconventional resistance, unbalanced stressors that our body’s have to adapt to, and tools that make it easier (and safer) than that nutty buddy who has the picture of himself doing barbell squats while standing on top a swiss ball on social media.
For unconventional training, there’s one person who jumps right in my mind. He’s the man behind one of the biggest brands in the world in natural nutrition and unconventional training. He didn’t just create a company, he created a movement. And this movement has athletes the likes of All-Pro safety Earl Thomas from the Seattle Seahawks, UFC champion Tyron Woodley, and hundreds of thousands of everyday people from all around the world getting Onnit and transforming their bodies and their lives. Aubrey Marcus is in the house and he’s dropping some serious knowledge bombs! Click play, focus in, and enjoy!
In this episode you'll discover:
- What growing up around athletes can instill in a child’s mindset.
- Why having a coach that makes you feel bad can be counterproductive.
- How to find more balance in helping our kids to decide their path in life.
- What unconventional exercise means.
- Why today’s typical training methods do not mimic reality.
- How unconventional exercises can help to injury-proof your body.
- Where the kettlebell originated and what its best applications are.
- What some of the biggest mistakes with the kettlebell swing are.
- Why steel clubs and steel maces were developed for warriors.
- The #1 exercise someone with muscle imbalances from their sport (like swinging a baseball bat or golf club from the same side for years) needs to be doing.
- Why battle rope exercises meet a need that no other conventional HIIT method can deliver.
- Why battle ropes are great tools for people who are just beginning to get in shape and for experienced exercisers as well.
- What it means to become physically literate.
- What some of the greatest athletes on the planet carry in their mindset (this is valuable!).
- How Aubrey was able to bypass “parasitic capitalism” and create a real movement.
- What rigorous, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies were able to reveal about the Alpha Brain supplement.
- The truth about caffeine and why it’s not an ideal long-term solution for focus and energy.
- Why feeling that you’re not enough is one of the biggest hindrances of success.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Onnit.com/Model – Get optimized with Onnit supplements (including Alpha Brain!) at 10% off
- Change Your Brain And Change Your Life with Dr. Daniel Amen – Episode 165
- Turkish Get Up Tutorial
- Onnit Turkish Get Up For Jiu Jitsu
- Step Into Your Power with Bo Eason – Episode 173
- Connect with Aubrey Podcast / Instagram / Twitter
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 Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show, this is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson and I am flying solo today, but I do have a very special guest on the episode. I actually just returned from Austin and what an amazing time, we had a meet and greet and book signing, I am so grateful for everybody who came out to Onnit headquarters to hang out with me, the stories were amazing, the hugs, and just thank you everybody who came out. And we also did a Q&A before we got to signing some books and pictures, and things like that. So it was so amazing to see the variation in questions, and the variation in people there, you know we had people who were in their seventies and we had young people there, you know there's even like some babies, the babies didn't drive but they came with their parents, you know, and to see that this community is so far reaching and I just appreciate you so much for being a part of The Model Health Show community.
So this interview is with my really good friend Aubrey Marcus, he is truly one of the best human beings that I know. And we did the interview right after, he took me to this amazing farm to table Thai restaurant, Thai food, and I realized I had not had Thai food since my engagement to my wife which was over ten years ago, we all went out and we had Thai, that was the last time I had some bamboo shoots, you know some noodles I think, I don't know, it was some random thing, but because the quality matters a lot to me and the sourcing for the food and you know to have a farm to table restaurant with authentic Thai food, oh my goodness, my belly is feeling warm right now just thinking about it, the curry, the red curry, oh so good. But I had this nice warmth when we sat down to do the interview, and just had an amazing time. His insights are just paradigm shifting, and this is an individual who set out to create something that has really not been seen before, when we get into the world of supplements and foods, you know, snacks and things of that nature, and training, training equipment, it really helped to change the paradigm with that.
And just to give you a little bit of his background, Aubrey graduated from the university of Richmond in 2004 with a degree in philosophy and classical civilization, what is that? He was planning on not having a job, probably, but no disrespect to anybody who has a classical civilization degree, shot out to you, I hope you're doing amazing things with civilization. But he also founded a boutique marketing firm after graduation and focused on brand development and things that he wasn't necessarily passionate about, but he just kind of figured that these were the things he was supposed to do. During that experiences where he conceived of Onnit, and he was also inspired by being a multi sport athlete, you know his whole life as well as background in ancient philosophy, and his goal was to create a company that empowered people to achieve their fullest human potential. And the launch of his flagship product, this alpha brain which we'll talk about today with him, and that was back in 2011, that's when Onnit was born.
And in addition to the wide range of incredible products that they offer, they also have black swan yoga which has been voted four time winner of the best yoga in Austin, which is a big deal, because in Austin, yoga goes down, yoga goes down in Austin. And Austin is also the home of the Onnit Academy Gym, which I got the opportunity to work out there as I usually do when I'm in town, just such a cool place, they've got everything that your crazy mind can conceive of to train your body, and they train several professional athletes there. Actually I just saw Tyron Woodley who is the UFC champion was just training there today or yesterday, and they just got so many incredible high calibre athletes training there and people just getting started and people who were just getting started with their health and fitness, they're seeing so many transformations, people losing you know 50 pounds, a 100 pounds, they are training at the gym and utilizing the nutrition there as well.
And I also did a talk for them and this was at their jujitsu facility, they've got it's called Tenth Planet Jujitsu at Onnit Academy for the team there at Onnit, and this was probably the fittest staff I've ever seen. It was just so many fit people, it was kind of annoying right, I was like- why are you, this is your job, right and it's just amazing to see that because they are walking their talk, you know, they are really living it, the culture there is phenomenal and that really just speaks to the quality of person that's behind it all.
And Aubrey is also the host of two celebrated podcasts, Aubrey Marcus podcast and Total Human Optimization podcast, he regularly makes appearances on a variety of media, shows from Dr Oz, the doctors, entrepreneur, Joe Rogan, all kinds of major media outlets have embraced on it, and the their training methodologies, the nutrition. And the reason that I wanted to bring him on the show, and he's been featured on the show before, is it takes a
really strong character, courage, heart and just a very strong audacity to create something that hasn't existed before, we are talking about supplements, this is a multi billion dollar industry, and to do things right, to actually focus on quality, to actually focus on using real food, earth grown nutrients, it's just kind of this radical idea in a way, but it's changing the game. And that's why I was so excited to bring him on.
But before we get to the interview, I just want to thank you so much for being a part of The Model Health Show community, and to just remind you to make sure that you're subscribed to the show over on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, we're on Spotify now, so you can check us out there as well with your cool music playlist that you have, and we're on these various platforms, also you can check out the video podcast as well, we have video for this episode over a YouTube and you can get all of that, access to all those things over at themodelhealthshow.com. And I also want to let you know that we have transcripts of all of the episodes that we're doing right now, so you can grab that over at
themodelhealthshow.com and just do a quick search for the episode that you want to grab the transcript for, and we're making that available because of the demand for it, and so now you have access to that as well, so definitely grab the resources over at themodelhealthshow.com. I appreciate you so much, now let's talk to Aubrey Marcus.
Our guest today is the one and only Aubrey Marcus, great friend of mine and somebody who I truly, truly admire and he's just killing it. I'm actually here at Onnit hq where he's the CEO and I remember coming here the first time, many years ago, and to see the growth in the team, the growth in their production the, growth in the community here is just remarkable.
And I actually just did a talk, and we talked about some sleep related things and also opened up for Q&A from the team and this is like the fittest staff I've ever seen, as well. Aubrey himself, he is been able to build this platform and this company to be one of the fastest growing companies, supplement companies in America. And it's just truly remarcable what he has been able to accomplish, and I'd like to welcome him back to the Model health Show, my man, Aubrey Marcus. How are you doing?
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah, it's great to be back, brother. I'm doing well, life is good.
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. You just took me to a fantastic Thai restaurant, amazing farm to table ingredients, I'm feeling really good right now, I got that Thai warmth in my belly.
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah that curry spice, but with all those healthy ingredients, you usually get one or the other, either you get the curry spice or the healthy ingredients.
Shawn Stevenson: But we say it's the both and work [08:00 inaudible]
Aubrey Marcus: That's right, that's where we're living.
Shawn Stevenson: So man, I wanted to talk to you about training, this is something that people still today, you know, there's a lot of options, there's a lot of different formats, there's a lot of different activities people can use, but you really ushered in this concept of unconventional training. But before we get to that, I want to talk about what got you interested in athletics and health, and kind of fitness aspect in the first place?
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah, competition was just in our family, my mother was a professional tennis player, she went to the semi finals of Wimbledon, so she was a top athlete; my dad always wished he was a top athlete. So she was Kathy Harder when she was playing tennis, I think 1969 was her peak when she was fifth in the world, lost to Billie Jean King in the semi finals at Wimbledon, that was her best finish. But yes, so she was an athlete, great tennis player, and so we would play tennis and those sports, and my dad loved sports, he wasn't nearly as talented as my mom, which I think we know bothered him a little bit at the time when they were still together, but it was just around us and it wasn't anything that anybody pushed on me, I just saw how much my parents and the people around me loved playing these sports. My dad would play pickup basketball games, and I would just be looking out there at them laughing and hooting and yelling, and you know, talking crap to each other and the whole gamut of things going on just waiting for my time, where I could get good enough to get out there and play those games.
And so just shooting in the driveway, you know classic just getting ready and then at a certain point, it starts to get a little bit serious, and that's the way sports are even probably more so now than even when I was growing up. You start to go to like you know year round sports, where you're playing you and your plan, these youth leagues and these other leagues outside of your school, so it's instead of going from a short season you're really playing all the time and really trying to specialize.
But I was still playing a lot of different sports then, from martial arts to tennis, to basketball, to volleyball, and probably one of the things that prevented me from being truly great at anything, was that I was so eager to try all of the different activities, because I could see the fun and the value that came from something novel and new.
And looking back, I took that, ended up focusing on basketball for high school, because in Texas, high school sports you really have to choose and at least where I was, you know basketball is kind of in the middle of football and baseball, the other two major sports, and the season extended into both sides so I just went ahead and went straight into basketball, and you know it was really successful, I had all region preseason, I had some honors, but it was run like a college program with an old school yell at you every day type of coach, and it really kind of sucked a lot of the fun out of it. When I look at what a good coach can do, someone like Pete Carroll is a great model of that, you know no matter what they what his players do, they're going to get a hand clap a smile and a pat on the butt, like alright, we're going to do it better next time. And that that kind of positive framework keeps the activity engaging and fun, and the other is really tacking into our own internal self critic and our own internal self judge, I mean, the idea that a coach is going to have to make you feel bad for performing bad is crazy, because you're going to already make yourself feel bad, you know, right from the start, you don't need somebody else to make you feel worse.
So that kind of burned me out in basketball, but not in athletics, and I just continued, I loved just getting better at something, looking at the puzzle sports are like a big puzzle and figuring out how to apply myself as a tool to solve that puzzle in the best way possible, and I've kept that going all the way through now, where you know a couple of years ago as you know, I picked up kendo, so sword fight with people, whatever it is I just love looking at the puzzle and then trying to solve it.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, that's awesome, you're bringing up the kendo, basically hitting me with a wooden sword, is what the story actually is.
Aubrey Marcus: Hitting my friends with sticks.
Shawn Stevenson: That's really awesome and the thing is and I experienced this as well, and even in that instance you know, giving yourself this new stimuli and it just feels so good it wakes up parts of your brain that have been on sleep mode basically, you know, it was so invigorating and I was just like for sure when I get home, I am going to get some gear, to give my sons going, you know but then life just kind of happens and we get comfortable, we get comfortable doing the same things. So I have to consciously choose or somebody like you, you are you more acclimated right but I got to consciously choosing I want to throw something in here, because I love doing the same things, but progressing at them for sure. There is a piece of that that you do as well.
I'm curious, you mentioned this specialization with kids today, you know as far as, they're going to be In the nfl so they play football, training year around; what do you think about that, do you think that's the ideal way to go about it personally, or do you think having the variants is something that we need to pay more attention to?
Aubrey Marcus: It depends on what your end goal is if you want, you know, if the kid and you as a parent, I really think this should be determined largely by the kid, I think parents meddle way too much in this effect, but if the kid wants to be one of those few thousand people that are playing professionally at an elite level, sometimes it's only a few hundred depending on the sport, then you really have to specialize, we're in a world where now there is no other room, the competition is too good, I mean people are playing at such a high level that if that's the path great. But I think so many people pretend like that might be a viable option, and that's really what they're going for, but really what they want is to have a great time and develop themselves personally, put themselves in challenging situations, see how they respond, build teamwork, you know build all of the different things, leadership qualities all of the different things that sports can give you- you know that's really what most of us are taking out of it, it's not going to be a professional career. And so I think shifting gears in understanding really what that endpoint is like play this game to the fullest, and play all the games of the fullest, I think is the healthier approach for the human being, but man if you want to put yourself in the lotto to be one of those diamonds that makes it all the way through injury free, with all the skills all the breaks, everything you need, you have to play that way and it's I think it's just really being honest with what the end goals are is something going to benefit your life or is this your career, are you going to be one of the very few.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, and I can personally attest to this, and it's tough, because we all have our ideas about what we want for our kids, you know and my son Jordan he's very very passionate about football, his world kind of revolves around this. I just posted a video which you saw of him in his final track me, he won the one hundred, he won the two hundred, he won the four hundred, I think they even set a record on the four by four, and he went [14:58 inaudible] and really of course he felt great about it, but he was so glad the season was over so he could start training football again.
And, but I personally you know, knowing especially about brain science and having people like Dr Daniel Amen on the show and he's just like can't let your babies hit the soccerball with their her head, are you crazy what's wrong with you? You know but and of course the kid comes back with well you did it, you know because I was a running back returning kicks the whole thing, and had my little legend and so he's just like this is what you did. But it's part that you know allowing them to express themselves and do what makes him passionate but what I love about it, why I support him is that he practices after practice, like he makes this a part of his life, and actually I picked him up the other day, it was like dad I just got my first client. In my head I was like what is he talking about, I was like, really what are you talking about, what is it, what is this client business? So he's going to start training some of his friends you know, football drills, things like that because they see him yeah, you know and so it's like he's following in my footsteps in a different way but creating his own version of it, and I think that's really what's important for us as parents, to give him that template, like you had a great model, you know just being able to witness that.
Actually I wanted to share this something that I picked up from you, but also, let me say this- I did have, he's been playing baseball for eight years, it was like this been his sport, but he made the decision my he didn't want to play baseball anymore, and inside I'm like crumbling, of course I'm just like are you sure. I was like so what are you going to do, you want to try something else and you know of course when we track, which he debated about even doing that, but if we can have the wherewithal to control our own ideas for what we want for our kids and allow them to self express I think it's just a healthier situation, but I wanted to share this is that I picked up something for you with basketball which is you mentioned, this might have been on my show, but every time you touch a basketball you have to hit three pointers is that right?
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah before I leave.
Shawn Stevenson: Guess what I do now. Every time I pick of a basketball, I have to hit those three, it might take three shots, it might take twelve, you know but I always do that man, so those are the small things we could pick up from sports and from play, you know that focus, that guideline, that consistency. But I'm curious when did you shift gears and started to pay attention to what you call this unconventional training, but first of all, what is that?
Aubrey Marcus: Unconventional training is really taking a fresh look at how to adapt the body you know to the conditions of real world, real world utilization, so durability, longevity, performance all of these things, and I think at a certain point we got away from those fundamental principles and started going straight for aesthetics, like how can I build these muscles really strong by contracting them in really linear patterns on these fancy machines with weight stacks and all of these different ways that we've started to do it with Arnold Schwarzenegger being our model, let's get big or let's lose weight, and we're not really looking at are we doing something that's healthy for the body, is this actually helping performance, and I think unconventional training really was something I learned from all the pro athletes that I started to come in contact with, like the ones who were performing at a peak level realized that you can't get stronger just pushing a bench press, you know, like you have to adjust and you have to make adaptations even if you're a football player, there's never going to be a time where you have equal weight on your left hand and your right hand.
A lot of us think we're pretty strong and if you have a good bench, all right put a 45 pound plate on one side and nothing on the other side and then try to press it, and then see how strong you are, see how strong your core is at adapting to different weight conditions, which exactly mimic life, and I think knowing the MMA fighters who are in a constantly evolving environment, they couldn't train with these linear weight systems and these linear patterns, they had to go back in some cases to some of the older methodologies that used to train warriors and soldiers of the past, like the steel mace, the steel club, the kettle bells which used to be dock weights in Russia that they would throw around, that allow you to move the body in kind of complex movement patterns with offset weight which mimics, reality mimics life, and it also mimics how the body was trained to adapt. If you're doing real world things and the body is making adaptations, that's really what were designed to do, and these unconventional training methodologies more mimic a real world condition, and so assist with longevity, prevents muscle imbalances from developing that can really you know short your circuit your athletic abilities and career.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, just what you said even healing muscle imbalances like I really feel that the cattle bell swing just a basic movement, I had an issue with si joint dysfunction right, and I just feel that I could really sorted my hips out. Let's dive in and talk a little bit deeper because I'm sure a lot of people listening, they definitely know about kettlebells by now it's kind of become something in popular culture, but you've been having this as a part of your organization and I see celebrities out there using your kettle bells, and your primal bells, and the zombie bells.
Aubrey Marcus: Shout out to the rock.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah man, it's so amazing you know, but the kettle bell, talk a little bit more about that story, so you mentioned something about Russia-
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah so the kettlebell was used as a dock weight, back when in the shipyards in Russia, it had a big handle and then a weight on the bottom and then, Russians begin the burly, manly men that they are, especially when they're working on the docks, they would start to have competitions about who could lift them the most, and who could lift the heaviest ones of these dock weights, and then really started as this became kind of this social competitive element, people started to get stronger, their body started to feel good and it started to evolve organically into a training methodology and become one of the kettlebell sport actually has become one of the top sports in Russia. And the kettlebell, and then it's been adapted worldwide since, because the kettlebell really offers an opportunity to do a massive volume of weight, like in ten minute long cycle where you're basically going from swing to a clean, to a press or sometimes straight into a snatch, I mean you'll be lifting thousands and thousands and thousands of pounds of weight in a short compressed amount of time, all with like multi system complexes where the swing which is hinging at the hips is focusing on your hamstrings and your low back and areas that if you're doing a lot of forward pressing motion you are really developing your quads, so you might have an imbalance in your hamstrings and your low back, in your upper but and all of those areas, so the swing and then to that clean motion, and then the press developing your shoulders, and the shoulder mobility of getting that, getting your arm up above your head; and that's just one of the many movements that the kettlebells provide, but one of the strengths of that is just the ability to get really high work volume, and really work the body and develop the muscular strength and endurance.
These kettlebell sport guys are just on another level of strength from course stability and they're the ones that you're typically seeing doing this movement called the Turkish get up where they can like hold a person above their head, and go from lying on their back to standing up holding a person, because they're training all of their core and their stability and all of these muscles, in a really really intelligent way.
And MMA fighters really just adapted to that immediately, because you know that muscular endurance and that ability for these muscles to fire over and over again, is absolutely necessary in competition; and also, men a great way to get strong look ripped, and lose weight too, so it's just really blown through the world really fast.
Shawn Stevenson: The Turkish get up is one of my favorite moves, period. So we're going to put a video in the show notes for the Turkish get up on instructional for you guys if you don't know what that movement is, but so the kettlebell itself, the kettlebell swings kind of one of the base movements, can you share like what are some of the things people tend to do wrong when they're using the kettlebell swing?
Aubrey Marcus: Well, one of the things they do wrong is they hunch their back forward, so they allow the kettlebelt to pull their arms out of their sockets, so that their chest gets hunched instead of proud chest, you want to have a nice proud chest with your shoulders back, not like straining back and a nice proud chest when you do it.
And the other thing you do is, a lot of people adapt like a squatting motion, which can be a variation on the kettlebell swing, but really what you're trying to do is hinge at the hips, and you're trying to keep your hamstrings, your butt and your core tight, and you want to tuck your pelvis forward instead of like that sway back, like you're trying to you know stick a booty out, you want to tuck your pelvis forward into the least attractive booty position you can get, where everything is tucked in and realign that way, and then corti hamstrings, butt and then the motion doesn't have to be that big and you also don't need to bring it way above your head, I know crossfitters like to do, it's like the American style swing they call it, and they bring it all the way above their head, that can be really tough on the front delts.
Really what you're trying to pattern is that swing motion, and so right between your legs hinge then pop back up, pop back up with your core and your back and your butt and your hamstrings and pop that thing back up and the momentum of your movement should really move the kettlebell without your arms doing it, this isn't a shoulder exercise, this is a core and posterior chain exercise.
And one of the things that we pattern we'd have great courses through on Onnit academy and online training and actual certifications too, but one of the things that we always do with people is instead of having them swing, we just have them hold the horns of the kettlebell and push it into their stomach and then hinge over that way, so it's like a more controlled motion so they get the idea of pulling up from their hamstrings and their butt rather than hunching over and trying to rip it up with their arms and swing that way.
Shawn Stevenson: Got it, yeah, because you would have to use your arms more if you're doing the squatting motion for example.
Aubrey Marcus: Exactly, yeah, because you don't have the natural momentum, you're going up and down, whereas this one is swinging back and forward.
Shawn Stevenson: Right, exactly. So again, we'll put a tutorial to that and we'll actually link up the Onnit online coaching as well in the show notes for you guys, too. So it's really great you know, the thing is that we see this stuff everywhere, like gyms all over the place, I've been to gyms all over the world, and you see kettlebells even at random hotel gyms now, it's so crazy and it's just happened over the last couple of years, but to get these basic motions, these basic movements locked in for yourself, it can be really beneficial, because you can build off of them as well like the other kind of complex movements, the flows that can come off of that, so definitely guys if you haven't properly learned how to do a kettlebell swing or some of these basic movements, the Turkish get up is another one, definitely look into that, it's a great new stimuli to add to the mix, and personally I love it is like a finisher, you know and kind of doing some high intensity interval training too, you know, this is something where can get on, grab a heavy kettlebell and do maybe 50 swings and then sit it down, rest for 20 seconds, pick it up again, whatever the case might be, there is lots of ways to mix it up to get that different stimulus.
And also because it's so- there's so much variety you can work your different muscle fibers, you can do things that kind of tax you, those slow twitch fiber, a little bit more, you can do some like some heavy work as well to work to your fast twitch fiber, so a lot of variation and make sure again, this is the least attractive butt position.
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah, that's where the money is. Money in the gym is in the least attractive butt position.
Shawn Stevenson: If you see somebody in the least attractive butt position, they're not doing kettlebell swings, just ask him are you tucked? So let's talk about something that the first time I had the opportunity to use this tool was here at one Onnit HQ a couple of years ago which is the steel club, right, so what's the story behind that?
Aubrey Marcus: The steel club and steel mace were adapted from ancient Persia actually, and they mimicked- originally they were designed to mimic some of the weaponry that the Persian warrior elite were using, because they were using a mace in battle, and using swords and things single handedly like these clubs, and what they realized was that to train to be able to swing their lighter weapons faster, if they trained with heavier weapons and heavier tools, in the similar movement patterns, then of course they would perform better when they add the lighter weapons to move.
So they developed these training methodologies to strengthen the shoulder girdle, and these areas where imagine yourself swinging a mace or swinging I guess the closest thing we have is a baseball, but that's a very singular motion, right, like if you are a warrior and all you had was a baseball swing, you'd be really predictable; so you have to swing from all angles, upper cuts, back cuts, you know straight up and down, you know all over the place and really moving these tools in an intelligent way and that's really where the mace and the club training developed is, how to get your shoulder and all of the finite muscles in your armpit and all of these things that you don't do with macro movements, and get to really strengthen those.
And so, obviously we don't have warriors swinging swords and stuff anymore, but we all do these different types of movements, imagine a golf swing, you know like if you're taking a golf swing you're only really swinging from one side to the other, and of course you're going to develop muscle and bounce, same with baseball unless you're a great switch hitter, or the forehand to backhand in tennis, you want to pattern different movements and practice those, then the club is a great way to get these multidirectional reprogramming, you know of the other side of your body, and strengthen things in ways that you normally wouldn't be able to do.
So they look kind of like giant juggling pins, and they are heavy and you know I really, really highly recommend especially anybody who's a golfer out there, you know, get one of these steel clubs and do the swing the other way of your golf swing, you know and start working that side of your core muscles and not side of your hip snap and your legs, so that your body doesn't over time get so imbalanced that ultimately it breaks down, you know this is trying to restore muscular endurance, balance, longevity, durability.
As for most of us, the amount of pleasure we get out of our bodies is going to be a factor of the amount of time we're able to use it with the amount of fun we have while it's going, and so we got to stay durable, we don't want to give this up, we don't want to be one of those people that used to be able to do the fun things, and used to be able to play games with our kids or whatever, but we can't anymore because our body won't let us, and the corrective steps can start now in training. And the great thing too is these tools are fun to use, because you're learning new skills, like the mace 360 is a really challenging skill where you swing the mace back and forth and then you pattern the mace 360 and then we get what's called the infinity flow, which is back behind your head, out down in front of your body, back behind your head down in front of your body. And it's winging in the seemingly effortless motion, but then, you get one of your friends to try and it's like how the heck did you do that, and also it's really fun to learn these new skills, and test your body to adapt to these different changing conditions.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I mean the first it was so humbling, the first time I did the mace, the 360, I was blown away because I saw it and I 'm like okay, piece of cake; no, no it was definitely humbling and it's something it's a skill, you know, you actually learn a skill and plus, there are muscles firing that have had no experience at anything.
Aubrey Marcus: They've been hibernating like a bear and all of a sudden they are like ooh you are using me now, there you are.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah but it's, having these tools and today, and also they look cool, you know, it's part of it too, they're pretty fun, and this is just another tool that you guys have but so you got the steel clubs, steel maces, what's the mace, tell everybody.
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah, the mace is a traditionally called a gada, and it's from the same kind of origin, but it's a long shaft, long steel shaft with a heavy weighted ball, so it's naturally one of the most offset levers that you have. So by sheer nature, remember what I was saying about the bench press with a 45 pound plate on side and nothing on the other, it's like that, but in a smaller, more portable version you can't exactly swing around a barbell unless you're a Hulk.
But this allows you to utilize your core and almost every movement, and with all of these tools, you can get a complete body workout depending on the movement patterns that you do, but you're always working that compensation to deal with the fact that the weight is going to be on one side and there's going to be lightness on the other, so even holding it straight, even just pressing it out in front of your body, you're adapting the heavy side is trying to keep you, keep pushing forward and holding it up, and then the other side is trying to keep your body stable and trying to keep yourself in line, so a very simple movement becomes a complex pattern where your appropriate receptors are firing the things that keep your balance and everything is working, at the same time the small muscles in your feet are adapting and figuring out how to keep you in line. And so your whole body just gets lit up, whereas if you're doing something simpler, you know maybe you're just isolating and go back to one of those machines with the weight stack, you know they'll show you exactly the muscles that it's working, there will be a little diagram it'll be like this one is peck and tricep, you know, you're like okay great.
That's not like that with unconventional training, your whole body would be lit up from you know the top of your head if you're holding the right head position and tucking your chin to the pelvis that you're keeping in the right spot, all the way down to the small muscles in your feet that are grabbing onto the ground to keep you balanced, and so it's really lighting up your whole body, and strengthening all of these fibers that keep our discs in line, and keep our joints loose and mobile. I really can't more highly at least recommend supplementing unconventional training in there, you know, if nothing else for the durability, longevity, balance, effective it and think you'll find too that some days you know, that's really what your body wants, it's just to get in there and swing some of these ancient tools around and get back to your more primal roots.
Shawn Stevenson: I love it man. And that's the perfect thing, it's supplemental, at least supplemental having these tools around and sometimes it's really an art to listen to your body, this is something that it doesn't come natural to us in today's modern society, we're so outside of our bodies, and it's great to have a strategy, it's great to have a plan, but sometimes it's ideal to go off of the map, you know to take an alternative route and you get so much more benefit if you can listen to your body to do that, and funny thing was, not too long ago I did that, you know, I just felt like I just want to swing this club around, so I grab my family, got my sons, we all to went out to the garage because I have these tools, and we just did a workout, you know some kettlebells and the steel club. I still haven't opened the mace yet. I've got it like two years ago, and just kind of getting masterful for with these tools, you know and it is fun because you know, you got the different size kettlebells, and the little primal bells sure goes down- what's the smallest one called?
Aubrey Marcus: The howler monkey.
Shawn Stevenson: The howler monkey. So my five year old he does his little dead lifts with that, you know is so cute.
Audrey Marcus: That's awesome.
Shawn Stevenson: So, one of my favorite things today, and this probably is my wife's favorite tool to exercise with, is a battle rope. I've been utilizing battle rope for a long time, for several years, but I just love it for HIIT training, I love it for the versatility, you know we think about HIIT doing high intensity interval training generally is going to be something that is like doing this on a treadmill, right or a stationary bike, something involving your legs. But this is like more geared toward the upper body, so what made you decide to bring that into the repertoire as well?
Aubrey Marcus: Again, it's just following the people who need to do this to get an edge, you know, to perform their best, I mean this is another one of those things where if you're trying to train your cardio to be able to go at full speed bursts, you know as hard as you can, there's only so much you can do by wearing out your legs doing that; if that's the only way that you're getting able to do that, like take Bode Miller for example, world class gold medal skier, in a race like Kitzbuhel where you're going 85 miles an hour down a sheet of ice and taking like six Gs on each of these turns, which is like the equivalent of squatting five hundred pounds on every turn, right, the amount of G force is that they are pressing in the core and the movement, I mean, that kind of anaerobic conditioning of really these bursts of everything you got squeezing that last bit of juice from the liver til you're just gassed at the bottom, if he's only training his legs, he's not going to be able to fully train his cardiovascular system to be able to extend the aerobic period for as long as he can, and train the anaerobic period and his heart rate, there's a rate limiting factor.
Same for an MMA fighter, but they're using their upper body even more, so they adapted you know things like these rope training where you are able to move these ropes in a full dead upper body sprint where you're going up and down or sometimes at the same time and gas yourself out quick you know to the max capacity, full red line, and well under a minute. I mean, if you can do a minute of full intensity battle ropes you're in great shape already, I mean a lot of times these sets are ten seconds or twenty seconds, and then a rest period like in the Tabata protocol.
But, yeah, so it was just something that I saw these great athletes doing and then, that adapts and works for all of us for our own goals and for own ability to reach that maximum level, where you spike everything in your body, but you're not having the join impact that you would have for sprinting, you know, and it's hard for people who haven't been training that much to go into a dead sprint, you know, you're likely to pull a hamstring or something might get tweaked out, but you can really push the pace on these ropes with low impact and just get everything, all the rpms, all the way to your max red line and do it in a really safe and effective way, that tones your upper body and that musculature. But mixes things up a bit.
Shawn Stevenson: Definitely, definitely. So the battle ropes, and there's different weights as well, so these are heavy-
Aubrey Marcus: Weights and lengths, because you've got to move the whole length of the rope, so a 50 foot rope is going to be a lot harder to move, and get the wave in the rope than a 40 foot rope, and also the girth of the rope is going to make it more difficult, or less difficult.
Shawn Stevenson: I have big red big.
Aubrey Marcus: Big red is the beast.
Shawn Stevenson: So my wife is using that one, it's tough, it's really tough for her, and it's tough for me but you know, my oldest son is well, but my youngest son, he'll just grab one side and do his thing as well, you know it's, these tools also like you said earlier, you know it just really makes it fun, to have things and you can gain so much physical benefit from it, I think that a really important term for everybody today is becoming more physically literate, right, becoming more aware and more educated within movement itself. There's a lot of education about how this external thinking about the body, but you can't gain a true educate like the word education derived from educo which means to learn from within, right and so becoming more educated from within by doing these movements. I'm telling you man, it's like something your genes kind of expect you to do, and it just like thanks you for it. So it's just great having these all under one hub, but you mentioned earlier Bode Miller, so you've got you got a bunch of athletes who are Onnit athletes; so let's talk about who are some of the notable people?
Aubrey Marcus: Oh man, so many, on the football field we just had Earl Thomas the safety for the Seattle Seahawks and a lot of people know he was just in here doing his rehab preparing for his comeback; we have an MMA side all kinds of different MMA champions from Cody Garbrandt, current champ at 135, Tyron Woodley current champ at 170, huge notable fighters like Cowboy Cerone, the list continues on down to the whole ranks of MMA, of course Bode Miller was one of kind of the founding members of Onniit here; Lance Armstrong is training in our gym now, just randomly, and you know obviously we know the saga with him, but he's still I don't care what he took, a lot of people were taking a lot of stuff and he still pushed himself harder and farther than anybody. And it's cool to not only see these guys what they've done physically- and in hockey too, I can't forget hockey, we have a lot of the best hockey players in the world, Jonathan Taves, Duncan Keith, Colin Wilson is still in the Stanley cup playoffs, or the Predators, Brent Burns, Andrew Ladd, like a lot of different people who have taken are supplements and adapting our training methodologies and using some element of this kind of unconventional approach to either supplementation, fitness or the just health in general, in biohacking in general, to benefit their career and performance. But the cool thing for me is, of course I love being at service to these guys, but figuring out a little bit of that special sauce, that little thing that has made them great, you know, these little habits and these little attitudes that make someone who they are, and just picking up these little tips; and I always dig for it, you know, like even with somebody like Lens like I didn't really understand it, like what is it that made you Lens Armstrong what is it that, and then finally in one conversation it clicked and he realized he was talking he was talking about racing currently, and saying my mentality is I'm Lens Armstrong and I'm in the front.
And that's something that seems kind of innocuous, but then you realize that he's made the fact that he's in the front of any race like a core piece of his identity, like that's who he is, he's Lens Armstrong and he's in the front, and in something where it's an endurance part, where you're really pushing yourself through how much pain you can endure, if you have no other option but to know that that's who you are, oh that's me, that's who I am, I'm the guy that's in the front, you know and that attitude is something that all of us can pick up on, like who are we, we're you know, oh I'm Aubrey Marcus, the guy who's killing it, or I'm Shawn Stevenson, the guy who's doing this and adapting a little piece of that identity, you know, is a little lesson that you can learn from someone who is great and at the same time getting to teach him, you know the club or teach him the mace, or teach him ways to counteract and balances that come from cycling from his hips, you know his hips are always locked in a very similar position, so doing those kettlebell swings and working with master trainer John Wolf. So it's always been this beautiful kind of back and forth communication where we offer up our tool set, and they show us theirs, from a mental and physical side.
Shawn Stevenson: Oh man, I am so glad that you shared that, because I was going to ask you immediately like what are some of those attitudes.
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah, you find it with all of them, you know and like it's so cool to just mine in and dig and see like where these little niches are, where these little things are that made somebody really great, like what makes Jonathan Toews like one of the best captains in all of sports, you know when people talk about the great captains of all time, it's not because he's scoring as many goals as Patrick Kane or some of these other great players, but it's when you look at him, there is not a single moment that he will not fight for his team, like every puck that's in a corner, every single face off, you can take a face off in the middle of the season after a five day road trip, and compare that amount of energy output he puts into that little small minute play, with the play in the Stanley Cup finals, and usually like people are kind of coasting in the regular season and in the Stanley Cup they're trying really hard, and not the case for him, he'll take these little moments and he'll like push everything he has into every little moment, and the team sees that and it's like damn, like thanks you got our back, like you're fighting for us, everybody from across the board, and that's what makes a leader, you know someone who's willing to fight for his team always. So you just get that and you are like alright, I can be a little bit more like that guy, just a little bit you know, and it is great.
Shawn Stevenson: I love that man, that reminds me of a story about Jerry Rice that past guest Bo Eason, do you know Bo?
Aubrey Marcus: No.
Shawn Stevenson: I've got to hook you guys up, so he played in NFL for a while, he was like that scary safety, just back there tearing people's heads off, and just kind of having this very strange mentality about how he goes about his work, and he had a one man show on Broadway after he got retired, you know by his fourth knee blow out and ended up having like the top one man show on Broadway, like in history or some crazy thing, and to shift gears but he brings that same mindset to it, and for him it's the best. Whatever it is that I'm doing, if I'm focusing on being a state performer, I am the best, my goal is to be number one in the world, there is no such thing as second, you know and having that mentality, even if you don't happen to become the best, I promise you are going to get light years further than you would have if you take on that mentality, and I think that's just so valuable. So, and by the way, I'll put that in the show notes as well, that past episode for everybody so definitely check that one out, it was super enlightening. But I want to shift gears now, and talk about supplements. So, first of all, Onnit as a company, I remember the first time that we talked, and the conversation even came about because I was thinking about, because there's so much garbage in the industry, like we're talking about a billion dollar business, so much garbage, very unregulated. Now I'm just like I'm going to have to step up and do this. And then I came across you, and I was just like I'm not going to have to do this, I don't want to do this because I know it's an insane amount of work, but if you could- what makes Onnit different from company x supplements that are out there?
Aubrey Marcus: I think what makes Onnit different is that we're about a movement, we're not about just selling as many supplements as we can, I mean, the movement is far greater than any single one of the tools that we have available. There's no other supplement company that's selling maces and monkey headed kettlebells and toothpaste made of clay, and you know, these other things that really create this total human optimization picture, which is really about a movement, it's about saying that all of us have an opportunity to be a better version of ourselves, to be someone that enjoys more life and lives a happier existence and is able to share more light, and more fun, and more love, and more of their gift with the world and so the movement comes first, and if you have the movement as your mission which comes first, then everything else has to fall in line, and part of that is just how you treat people and basic laws, like reciprocity.
I don't ever want to create a situation where people are giving us their energy sometimes in the form of money or sometimes in the form of time, and not receiving something equal or greater to what they've given us. That's a really kind of parasitic form of capitalism, where you're taking more from people than you're giving, and you are maybe doing that with fear or maybe doing that with a slight of hands, making people feel like they're getting something and they're not really getting that. However it is, or maybe just not paying attention to that aspect, we really pay attention to that and so that guides the kind of quality principles and the idea behind everything that we do, and supplements are just one of the different tools in the toolbox that can really help people and it's been one of the primary focuses for us, because there's certain things that- diet is incredibly important but then if you target some nutrients that frankly they come from food but they aren't delicious, in the case of alpha brain you're not going to eat club moss soup, you know, which is where one of the key ingredients that enhances- nobody would eat that, you know, it is just not a nutrient that would make sense to have in your diet.
But it has a very specific compound that can enhance acetylcholine in the brain, which is one of the key neurotransmitters that's responsible for memory, focus, processing speed, and so creating a supplement that gives you access to these exotic plant nutrients that come from all over the world, we have in that same formula we have cats claw from Brazil, and club moss from China, and bacopa from India, and all of these different places all over the world, that it's an opportunity unlike anything that we've seen except in the last few decades, where we're able to source ingredients with scientific testing from different locations of the globe, put them together in formulas that synergistically work together, package them, and then in the case of again like alpha brain, retest those in the most rigorous double blind clinical trial research, which is another thing that Onnit does that a lot of companies don't do, is test their finished formulas with labs that are holding the highest standards of scientific research, double blind, randomized peer review.
Shawn Stevenson: Why don't companies do that?
Aubrey Marcus: Well, because you're putting your money on the line there, this was a move that not a lot of people if I were to ask taking a poll of the industry, like don't do that, don't test your alpha brain with an organization, we tested with the Boston center for memory, who not only had eleven studies in a row that showed no results with other supplements and other pharmaceuticals, they reported all of them, like that's what they do, so when they took on alpha brain they were thinking, alright, here we go, here's number twelve in a row, another supplement that just sucks and doesn't really work. But it didn't turn out that way, but we really had to put our money where our mouth was, and just say we really believe this works, we feel it, the people who take it feel it, the scientific reasoning and rationale behind the ingredients, the study of the each individual ingredient is there, and we believe that this formula is going to perform in a unique way and in two double blind studies, we duplicated similar results and showed that it does, and so it's a really risky move, and I think that's one of the reasons. The other reason is it's expensive, it takes a lot of money to do these things, I mean we're probably half a million dollars into alpha brain research alone. And that's big money, that's money that's usually pharmaceutical type of money. But we've been fortunate and interested enough to put that money back into to show that what we're creating really is in our mind the best, and that the science backs it up.
Shawn Stevenson: Yes, so let's talk a little bit about what was found in the study. So in this category of nootropicks, depending on how people want to say it, but this is like a really fast growing area, but there's also, I really want people to understand we have to be careful when we're talking about manipulating these pathways with things that are synthetic or even dangerous in a way, and for you guys, again sourcing these earth grown nutrients, being the kind of foundational piece here is so admirable, but I know it takes a lot of work and it paid off when you actually did this study; so tell everybody what they discovered with the research?
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah, so what they found was the most significant result that really just jumped off a page was for a study called the CVLT which is the California Verbal Learning Test, and it basically gave people a long list of words and then asked them to recall those words, so having symbols and ideas in your brain in the form of words, and then being able to recall those a while later, and the people who took alpha brain showed significant improvement in their ability to do that. And that was one of the main tasks, so what does that mean- that's memory access, short term memory access, so those names and places that you're thinking about, oh what was that actor's name, or oh what was that fact that I remembered, or where was I when I was doing that, what was the name of that restaurant, where did I put my keys, all of these things that constantly can be a pain point in every day's life and really lubricate conversation and social interaction, alpha brain showed the ability to do that. And that was one of the four main things that we showed.
Another thing we showed was the ability to enhance peak alpha brain wave state, and I know you've talked a bit about brain wave state, you were talking about it today, and traditionally we're in operating and kind of a beta brain wave state, but when we're really focused or in flow, or in the zone, or if you're a writer maybe it's the muses with you, where things are flowing smooth you see a tendency towards alpha brain wave state and those people who get there more frequently, have a higher peak alpha, and so alpha brain was shown to significantly improve the peak alpha brain wave state.
Processing speed, the ability for the brain to react to an external stimulus and then register it throughout the synapses and neurons in the brain, we measure that with an EEG, and I think that's one of the reasons why our athletes love this, it's because sports are about reacting to external stimulus, how fast you can adapt to something, a sound, a movement, a pitch of the ball, or head movement of your opponent, the snap of the football, whatever it is, being able to react quicker. And I think that's the mechanism of the action behind that is probably due to an ingredient I haven't talked about yet, which is phosphatidylserine, which is in there, which has shown to enhance synaptic plasticity, so that really means the ability for these synapses to communicate well together, it's like upgrading your frayed wire cable with a good nice tight copper monster wire, you know what I mean, like the ability for them to conduct the information back and forth, will increase your speed, the ability for that to fire through your brain, that's one of them.
And then the other one was in executive function which is basically tracking yourself through like a maze, it was one of the tests, it was basically like a maze, we have to follow from beginning to end, and show that it significantly improved that. And that's just problem solving, so, so many elements involving, like focus and problem solving, and verbal memory, really the things that you want your brain to do when your brain is on, when your brain is really switched on, and you're switched on, that's what you wanted to do, but doing that without stimulants, because you can definitely argue that caffeine is the original nootropic, but it's doing it in a much different way, it's stimulating some of your other hormones, like adrenaline, cortisol, norepinephrine, where is this the mechanism of action is actually enhancing your neurotransmitters, increasing blood flow to the brain, enhancing synaptic plasticity, the ability for your brain to communicate, so it's really just a different whole way to approach this, and again, using these earth grown nutrients to enhance brain activity without taxing the same system that we're always hitting which is that adrenal button, over and over again.
Shawn Stevenson: Man, that's so fascinating, that alpha state, a lot of people predominantly today, with the busy society they only touch that when they're in the process of sleep, but this is also when you're in flow, right when you're in like a really powerful focused creative state, you can shift like you've got something that is clinically proven to encourage your brain to switch gears, and to get more into the alpha state, that's fascinating man. And also, you said lubricate conversation, it's first time I've heard those two things together, in one sentence. But having access to this, it brings to mind like if we can start to kind of step back and understand, we are really just scratching the surface on what are brains are capable of, and that nutrition component and I know this is another big reason that I love you guys is still food first format, like we just went in the amazing farm to table Thai food and having that as a cornerstone, but having that smart supplementation can be like hit those extra one two five percent and change the game for somebody, because especially in life it's like that small edge is what it takes between you being the champion and you being the runner up.
Aubrey Marcus: It can be the whole difference, and I don't think that's something that people don't understand, like the tipping point we're often really close to it, like what's the difference between you going to the gym and not going to the gym, and a lot of times maybe that's like two percent, you're like should I go or should I not go, you're wavering back and forth. If your body had just a little bit more energy, and you felt just a little bit less inflammation and brain fog in these things, then maybe you make the decision to go to the gym, and then when you go to the gym, and actually get to work out, that creates an even more positive cycle.
So what began is like a two percent, and this way or that way, then became this positive cascade versus the negative cascade, and then going in and not working out, and not exercising, and maybe not choosing the right meal, so you can't underestimate what just a few percent will do, because a lot of times we're riding that line of should I, shouldn't I, should I get the healthy meal, should I not get the healthy meal, and depending on what factors are going on in our body, just a few percent change might be enough to turn the tide and then create dynamic bigger responses down the road.
Shawn Stevenson: So in application, where is a good spot for people to utilize alpha brain, like when do you bring it into the table, like athletes, today it's the job, the work force is very different, today we're far less physical labor, more mental labor, right, we're mental workers, so where would somebody employ that and they're just in a job where they have to be creative, they have get work done, and also let's talk about athletes.
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah, I think you look at something like alpha brain, or a good earth grown nootrophic, because there's other ones, it's not alpha brain is not the only one, I think we have the best science and really the most innovative formula of ingredients, but there's other ones out there, but what you're looking at is two different categories: one is going to be kind of a maintenance level for just general brain health, these things that are healthy for keeping your brain young and agile and adaptable, and flexible, and keeping your plasticity high, and keeping your neurotransmitters firing in the right way; and that's kind of more like a less acute dose, and more of like a smaller dose of like alright let's just get it some nutrients, that'll be helpful for it long term. And it's almost like micro dosing of these different ingredients.
And then there's the really active dose, so the difference would be taking one alpha brain pill which will kind of work behind the surface, your brain will feel good, and you can kind of maintain that for a long time, really like supplementing exotic foods into your diet is basically what you're doing, at that point, that'll help your brain. But then, if you want to really feel it, upping that dose to two or three pills, any time you need like really heightened focus, you're playing a sport where you need really good reactivity, there's actually a study on golf accuracy from the tea with just one of our ingredients phosphatidylserine, showing that people were more accurate from the golf tea one of these supplements. So any time you're performing in that way, both either physically or mentally, like I take them always before a podcast, before I have a long riding stretch, you now I have my alpha brain, we have a power and I'll have that in my drink and I'll be just sipping on that the whole time. And then, not doing that all the time, maybe just falling back to this kind of lower maintenance dose or just taking entire breaks, I think that's also good for the body too. So I think the dual approach of just knowing that you're supporting your brain with good healthy nutrients, and then when you need to really turn it on a little bit more, you have access to something that will fire up your brain in a different way than caffeine or really anything that you've encountered and lest your experience with nootropics. I just think like as we look forward in the world, having only one option to fire up your brain which is get another cup of coffee, is just, we're in a different time, this is a different age, and the people who have more of these viable options are just going to continue to outperform those who don't. And so being able to just have that, take that off the shelf and say oh now this is the time to press that button, and then you have that available.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, love that man. I was just talking today when I was speaking to your team about caffeine, I didn't go in deep on this one, but so caffeine is a very powerful nervous system stimulant and like you said, it's just kind of pushing the same button, it's like on Guardians of the Galaxy, you just said you just saw it too right, it's like don't push that button, it's like this one. So it's like if you keep pushing that button, you're going to blow the system up, right but the big thing to take away is that it desensitizes you, and desensitizes your receptor sites for caffeine, which basically as we get tired throughout the day, we build up this what was once thought just this throwaway byproduct called adenosine, right so we build up this adenosine in our tissues. But recently, scientists discovered that this adenosine has a very important process, as it fits into the receptor sites it nudges your body to shut down, to go to sleep, to recharge.
And so it's kind of like a built in system to get your body, get you to a place where you lay your butt down and you get recovered, because you need that, we're talking about evolutionary biology, we would have evolved out of sleep a long time ago if it wasn't something we could have get somewhere else, right, and so caffeine has this interesting ability to basically fit inside of those receptor sites for adenosine, so your body can just continue to build up these adenosine byproducts as you're going through your day, y it's kind of like you don't realize that you're tired, that's one of caffeine's tricks, you don't realize how tired you are, and you can keep going. Plus we have the stimulant portion of that as well, right that flirts with your adrenal glands, and I've seen people go heavy, you know with caffeine, with coffee and end up taxing their adrenals, and they have adrenal issues. And being able to help people to reverse that, it takes a lot of care and patience, and we don't even want to get to that place, and this is definitely not a bash against caffeine, I personally love caffeine, this is I have a deep respect and love for caffeine, humans have been utilizing this for as long as we can track, but today, again we don't want to keep pushing that button, we want to support our system in various ways and plus the benefit is that when you do have the caffeine now, you actually feel it, like you actually get what you're going to for, because you're not desensitized.
Aubrey Marcus: I remember a commodities trader friend of mine, who has like a ten billion dollar hedge fund, I don't think you'd mind mentioning names, his name is Paul Tudor Jones and my family was friends with his family, and I used to go over and I would watch him and he would drink a glass, I mean a tall bottle of coca -cola before bed, every day, because caffeine had worn off to such a point that it actually became relaxing in some way, like it had the antithetical effect of what it was because he took the tolerance to such a degree that instead of caffeine actually giving him energy, it just made him feel normal enough that he could actually get his four hours of sleep that he was used to getting, and obviously he has one of the most high stress jobs in the world, where you're losing or making millions or a hundred million dollars in a day, but so he relied on caffeine over and over. But you keep pressing that and then you lose the effect of that button, you wear it out, and so by varying the buttons that you have and humans are always going to press buttons, we love altering our consciousness, but as long as we're moving it around and varying in a little bit, and taxing different systems and different receptor sites, and keeping this thing in a nice flow the body is great at recovering, it's just when we really overdo it in one thing, that we run into trouble. Really one of the big messages of Onnit is just get more buttons, figure out what more of these buttons do, what's this going to do, what's this going to do; that way you don't have to press the same one over and over again, you can start mixing it all up, and getting different effects and then overall, the effect is going to keep your system a lot healthier.
Shawn Stevenson: Wow, that's a great story man. He's definitely what we call, "a negative responder", at that point is pushing that button down so long you get the opposite effect, it's crazy. But again, it's just really about having more tools and I'm just grateful for you to have the audacity to put these tools together, and to make them available. I know what it's taking, an insane amount of work and I'm curious, I've got a question for you man, I love to hear what you have to say about this- with what you've created, and this is something that's never been seen before in human history, you really created a new paradigm, what has been the most challenging thing mentally for you to get past, like what was that thing that has kind of haunted you, or troubled you, or was a big barrier that you had to mentally get over to create something like this?
Aubrey Marcus: I think the battle is ongoing, and I think it's really a matter of being able to apply yourself in a way that you're really doing your best and letting that be enough, and not allowing the stress to supersede that, because really we're only responsible for doing our best, that's all we can do. It's just show up and do our best. But I think the challenge of a CEO or a founder is being able to allow that to be enough, to not beat yourself up for mistakes that you've made in the past, things that you didn't know that are coming back to haunt you, you can spend so much time stressing about those in the past or even looking forward stressed about what's next, when really, you do the best you can, you do as much homework as you can, you apply yourself in the best way, understanding that you're not going to be perfect and then allowing yourself to live in a way that's not just constantly at eleven all the time. People meet me and they say, oh you have such a chill vibe, and I'm like yeah I do, but that's also to counteract another natural state of mind, which is intense stress load, really worrying about the 140 employees that I have in the several different business verticals, and the people here, and the supplements, and the customers, and the people we're reaching, and the influencers I'm serving, and did I give these hockey players the right protocol of supplements to go into their game, and all of these things that I can torture myself with, and just allowing myself to fall back on that very simple principle, just do your best, and let the rest go.
And another thing which I mentioned to you, today at lunch is, I can look back in hindsight and say I've learned from all of my mistakes, all of the things that I thought were disasters or calamities, I've harnessed some other wisdom, some other strength, some other temperance of my spirit, or my will has come from everything bad that's happened in the past. So with hindsight, I can have gratitude, I have perfect gratitude in hindsight, but with foresight, when I'm looking forward into the future, it's still looking forward with fear. But if I can switch that, if I can have foresight the same way that I have hindsight with gratitude, then that's when really this thing's going to become fun, and that's something I'm constantly reminding myself, like no matter what happens Aubrey, in hindsight you're going to say man I'm grateful for that; so when I look forward at all of these potential things that could happen, just have gratitude now. All right if it's more stress and more challenge not like internal stress but more resistance from the world, and more things that I have to overcome, at some point I'll be grateful for that, so why not be grateful now. And then if I live like that, then I'm a happy bear.
Shawn Stevenson: Perfect, oh man I love it, I love it man, you're one of my favorite humans.
Aubrey Marcus: Thanks brother, you are too.
Shawn Stevenson: And thank you so much for sharing your gift and for again creating such a movement man, this is really powerful, and to see this grow and to be affiliated with this myself and to know you, it's just been a great gift, so thank you so much for sharing your gift. Everybody you can make sure to head over, everything we talked about onnit.com.model and you are going to get ten percent off all of the goodness that we talked about here today, the alpha brain, also the mct oil, the hemp force protein, just amazing stuff, and things that I always have on hand in my cabinets, that I use and that I give to my family as well. Aubrey, can you let everybody know where they can connect with you online, what good stuff they can find from you out there on the interwebs?
Aubrey Marcus: Yeah, I have a podcast, and I'm putting a lot of love and effort into it, and that's the Aubrey Marcus Podcast, and it's not going to be the same type of show as The Model Health Show, it's really more about philosophy and mindset and some of the things that I'm really passionate about along those lines, we'll touch on some health stuff, we're going to drop a podcast together and go there, but for your listeners, you know jump around and check out some of those shows that really focus on some of these mindset and philosophy pieces, I interview some of these peak performers and get their stories where I
dive in and figure out what their secret sauce is, and I think that's really valuable. So definitely check that out, Aubrey Marcus Podcast on iTunes everywhere. And I'm at @aubreymarcus everywhere on social, so Instagram always putting out a lot of different stuff, anything I find inspirational, motivational, twitter too, so just give it a look.
Shawn Stevenson: Excellent, my man thank you so much for coming on show today.
Aubrey Marcus: Oh yeah, it's been a pleasure brother.
Shawn Stevenson: Everybody thank you so much for tuning in to the show, I hope you got a lot of value out of this. I think it is kind of best summed up with Aubrey, with what he shared towards the end which is just do your best and let the rest go; how often are we pining away and beating ourselves down for not accomplishing the goal. The reality is most of the time you're not going to hit the goal, but it's having the audacity and the self care and passion, consistency, to show up and keep trying, because eventually, you will get there and he is a testament to that for sure, I've seen this firsthand in my life, it's the ability to keep going, it's not the ability to be- and we talked about this a little bit the champion versus the runner up, but it's the ability, a real champion is somebody who tries again, and to just keep moving forward to do your best. And your best looking back on things chances are you're going to see like that might not have been my best, you know, because you're looking back with a
more evolved perspective and you're looking back with more experience, both whatever you feel is your best right now, put that into your work, put that into your relationships, put that into your self care, and you're going to see the fruits of that, I promise you. And it's not going to be easy all of the time, but that's why we do this, is to have a community, is to have empowering information, new strategies, new insights, new tools to keep this fresh, to keep it fun, really keeping that fire burning within you. And you need to stay connected to that kind of information, especially when the world can be a little bit more resistant and tough when you're trying to do something exceptional. But we are making it change with that as well, because it's that tipping point, right when more people are implementing and talking about these things, we're going to see a big shift in our society. Right now we've got a lot of work to do, but that doesn't mean we can't have a good time in the process. I appreciate you so much for tuning into the show today, we've got some amazing episodes coming up, so stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day, and I'll talk with you soon.
And make sure for more after the show you head over to themodelhealthshow.com that's where you can find the show notes, and if you got any questions or comments, make sure to let me know; and please head over to iTunes and give us a five star rating, and let everybody know that our show is awesome and you're loving it, and I read all the comments, so please leave me comment there, and take care everybody, promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering great content to help transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.
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