The Misconceptions of the
I have spent years playing sports and all of the various typical training regimens associated with them. Soccer, my first love, I played since age 5 all the way through travel and high school varsity, attending the University of Indiana Soccer Camp, one of the most storied programs in the nation.
In the winters it was ice hockey and indoor soccer. Both line-changing sports required bursts of exertion followed by rests on the bench. This involved training to increase coordination, speed, acceleration, and agility along with interval conditioning.
In middle school, I began distance running and as such was exposed to methods to increase my endurance. I went on to eventually anchor our high school 4x400m relay as well as compete individually at every distance up to the 2 mile. My favorite was the 800m run. It required the perfect balance of guts, endurance, and speed: long enough to demand a keen sense of strategy in timing your kicks, but also short enough to require sprinting ability as well. The 800 got to the point faster than other races. By contrast, the 400 was too short to be a real mental battle, especially if one was in peak shape, and the 1600 was too long to demand much of a sprint – although an event more dreaded due to having to endure pain and a mental battle for 4 laps instead of 2. The 800 dared you to try an earlier strike than your opponent, and the stakes of every decision of pace were doubled since you effectively had half the time to compensate.
In high school, I took up pole-vaulting which put a new premium on upper body strength and jumping ability as well as required acrobatic coordination and the guts to launch inverted on a coiled fiberglass pole over basketball-rim-heights.
In college at the University of Michigan, I decided to try out for the boxing team. It consisted of several grueling workouts and a final spar during which I learned a new level and type of endurance, muscular instead of aerobic. I was fairly fit aerobically for the tests, and thanks to a successful first round I was awarded as the top recruit of the class. My hard work in the fitness and skills over the next two seasons would earn me a promotion to Captain at the end of my sophomore year.
I say all this not to brag, but to inform you of the diversity of the sports I’ve had experience with and training I’ve undergone so that my following comments will be given all the much more weight.
Until I decided to begin researching the best ways to obtain my objectives in the areas of health, fitness, and productivity, I had practically no knowledge of the human body, nutrition, enzymes, or the effects of various forms of exercise. This being the case despite of all of the exposure and coaching I’d received in sports over the years. I had even run from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean and back during the semester I studied abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
Throughout all that time no one ever told me about the link between diet and mood or diet and energy, and if they mentioned it, it went in one ear and out the other because their argument wasn’t factual enough.
“Yeah right… I can eat whatever I want and still be healthy because I have good genes and I’m active and thin.”
Sorry, even though you are thin you aren’t in your peak performance state until you master nutrition, sleep, exercise, and positive thinking.
For me, diet and exercise are the easier ones to control because – I can’t just will myself to sleep… (yet). But I can will myself to eat right, and work out for 10 minutes a day – and so can you, so can anyone, because everyone has 10 minutes a day they are spending on something less important:
TV and email, need I say more?
Now, my point is that unless you’ve read a few books on health and fitness, you really don’t know jack. I didn’t, and I’d had some of the most versatile training any kid could hope for. If you want to be great at something, you have to read up on it with an open mind, taking nothing anyone has ever told you as fact or gospel. You need to read books and fact check endnotes to back up someone’s claims.
Searching for the ANSWER?
What most people want is an ANSWER: “Tell me what to do and I’ll do it,” they say. At least that’s what I wanted. I wanted the answer. Here is my goal. What do I need to do to accomplish it??
Just tell me exact steps, and I’ll follow it!
But the answers weren’t just given to me on a silver platter, and although I’m trying to hand them over to you, undoubtedly you will need other answers as well. So, you have to do the searching. It’s part of the quest that is life. You’re on a quest for the right information, for the answers that you need.
Find your Archetype
My advice to you is this:
Find the best exemplar of who you want to be and learn from them. Read what they write. Read what they read. Watch interviews of them. Do what they do. Think how they think. Say everything they say.
Copy them like a good and trusted shadow.
Andrew Carnegie and
Napoleon Hill’s “Power Cabinet”
Napoleon Hill, the writer commissioned by Andrew Carnegie to conduct a 25-year study of millionaires and the one who coined the phrase “All we have to fear is fear itself” discovered a method he credits as giving him massive gains in personal growth, development, inspiration, and creativity.
Seen Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure?
If not, it’s pretty cool, they go back in time and gather up some of the most influential people throughout history and bring them back into the present for a school history project. San Dimas High School Football Rules!! Lol.
The Invisible Counselor Technique is much the same.
Here is how it works:
You decide what qualities and insights you would most want to acquire and add the person who exhibits that quality or possesses that knowledge to your Power Cabinet, a group of advisors that come to you in your dreams (night and day) and teach you the things you most want to know.
Sound like a load of bull?
It might be…
But Napoleon Hill was a pretty smart dude, and it sounds cool, and since the cost of trying is zero, it’s worth checking out. Plus, I think whether it works as Hill says or not, it is a beneficial exercise to nail down what exactly you want to improve at and finding a person who is an archetype of that quality. By giving yourself time each day to imagine and visualize these characters come to life you undoubtedly will improve at acquiring and integrating their qualities.
My Power Cabinet
Napoleon Hill – Author
Andrew Carnegie – Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, Author
Brian Johnson – Entrepreneur, Philosopher, Author
Tim Ferriss – Entrepreneur, Author
Warren Buffett – Investor, Philanthropist
Josh Albert – Entrepreneur, Researcher, Author
Carl Drew – Salesman, Speaker, Author
Biranchi Das – Coach
Steve Prefontaine – Front Runner
Leonardo da Vinci – Inventor, Artist, Author, Designer
Pablo Picasso – Artist
Thomas Edison – Inventor
Mahatma Gandhi – Leader
Michael Jordan – Athlete, Author
David Blaine – Endurance Artist, Magician
Harry Houdini – Athlete, Magician
Ralph Waldo Emerson – Author
Ayn Rand – Author, Philosopher
Frank Lloyd Wright – Designer
Jeff Bry – Manager
My Uncle, John Coopes – Father
My Uncle, Dave Springgate – Businessman
My Grandma Coopes – Willpower
Lauren Baldauf – Interviewer
Brian Johnson, Philosophers Notes
As a 24-year-old law school dropout turned Founder/CEO, Brian Johnson, led the creation of eteamz – the world’s largest amateur league sports website provider. Eteamz won UCLA’s Business Plan competition, raised over $5 million of capital, grew from 3 to 45 employees in less than a year (including the CEO of Adidas and the eventual winner of Apprentice II).
Brian decided to sell the business for over $13 million of stock and cash in 2000, and give himself a Ph.D. in Optimal Living.
He couldn’t find a program that integrated everything he wanted to study—from old school philosophy, positive psychology and spirituality to nutrition, health & fitness, creativity, business and modern self-development. So, he decided to create his own doctoral program.
He read hundreds of books and traveled a bit studying Jesus in Jerusalem, Marcus Aurelius in the Danube of Hungary, Rumi in Konya, Turkey, and Socrates in Greece. On his return, he created A Philosopher’s Notes and the Entheos Academy where he began distilling “More Wisdom in Less Time.”
Tim Ferriss: 4-Hour Work Week and the 4-Hour Body
I knew Tim Ferriss was one of my archetypes when I stumbled upon his first book the 4-Hour Work Week while perusing Barnes & Noble one day in July of 2009. His intro hooked me. Among many accomplishments, Tim founded BrainQUICKEN, a drink sold on the internet, outsourced his company and then his life to go on to become the National Kickboxing Champion of China and win a world title in Tango in Brazil. He speaks several languages and travels the world, now a best-selling author and blogger.
He had achieved what I had wanted and the book gave me all the tools I’d need to follow in his footsteps. Later I’ll talk more on his next book about fitness and diet called the 4 Hour Body…
Josh Albert: Potentialism.com
Founder of Potentialism.com, Josh Albert, told me he had lost 60lbs by following Tim’s simple plan in 4HB, but since I wasn’t looking to lose weight I put off looking at the book for a long time.
I felt I had to get other things done first – a mistake I can see now is a classic barrier to success. I feel another lesson coming on…
The Urgency of Energy!!
This reminds me of a story about two lumber jacks. They were both told to chop through a certain amount of the forest as part of a race. No this is not like the tortoise and the hare, lol. The one lumber jack took off chopping with a fury, continued throughout the day without taking a lunch break and into the night. The second lumber jack worked at a steady pace and after each tree would sit down to rest.
By the afternoon he had caught and passed the first guy. When the first finished, the second was done and waiting for him. Upon his arrival the first lumber jack asked the second how he had beat him when he had started first and taken no breaks. The second smiled and said, “Every time I sat down I was sharpening my axe.”
Never postpone learning about things you do every day for finishing a big project. The energy exercise, diet, and sleep impacts every day of your life starting tomorrow. Your body is your axe and these things are what sharpen you.
The knowledge you learn reading about nutrition and fitness innovations will transform your energy and life instantly. This makes it URGENT info. Get it ASAP, even if it’s only 10 min a day. Download Tim’s audiobook and listen to 10 min a day. Buy his book and use it as a buffet, he’s even set it up that way.
Gain Muscle? → Geek to Freak
Rapid Fat Loss? → Slow Carb Diet
Stronger but not Bigger? → Become Superhuman
Long Distance Running Endurance? → 5k to 50k in 12 weeks
Each goal has its own recipe set up with a list of chapters he tells you to read for each.
I Don’t Need to Read about Health, I’m Healthy.
I eat Healthy! I Exercise!
If you just bought a new dishwasher with hundreds of buttons that you didn’t understand but you knew it was some new updated technological wonder of a dishwasher, would you check out the manual or just throw any old soap in there and hit some buttons hoping the light would turn green and clean dishes would come out?
What if this dishwasher cost you $100,000?
How much is your body worth?
How many years has it been since you checked out updates and guidance about how it works?
Remember that cool phone Zack Morris used to use that was the size of his head? That cool new thing called a cell phone? Yeah that’s a little outdated now, just like a lot of classic health knowledge! For instance, have you heard of the GLUT4 protein?
A Fat-to-Muscle Switch
It is essentially a switch that tells the body to turn food into fat or muscle. Activate or deactivate the GLUT4 and you will make muscle not fat. It’s that simple. How do you switch the GLUT4 in your favor you ask??
You can do as little as 40 air squats or 50 wall presses right before you eat, and bam: food turns to muscle not fat. You also should do the same or another exercise for approximately the same duration 90 minutes after you eat as well to keep the GLUT4 activated.
So if you keep thinking that’s all there is to the human body, you might want to take a look at Tim’s 600-page masterpiece called 4 Hour Body.
From reading Tim’s book I found dozens of new phrases I didn’t even know I needed: Paleo Diet, Pose Method of Running, and Occam’s Protocol.
Become NEO from the Matrix
So now I had new power phrases to Google and download to my brain. I swear, every time I download something, especially an audiobook, I feel like Neo in the Matrix when he turns to Morpheus and says “I know Kung Fu.” Yes, god bless the internet.
“How’s he doing?”
“8 hours of combat training, he’s a Machine.”
Born to Run
So a friend recommended I read Born to Run a while back and until I finally downloaded it on audio I couldn’t get to reading it. The subtitle is so awesome I knew I’d like it. “A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen,” by Christopher McDougall.
McDougall gave me another key phrase: the name Emil Zatopek.
à Read p. 95 of Born to Run
It outlines a fitness regime that allowed Zatopek to go undefeated in 64 straight races, setting world records and winning gold medals in the process. Think you are in shape? Try it.
Think you couldn’t be a champion? Try it.
I challenge you to see how good of shape your body is capable of getting into. Are you really genetically inferior to Zatopek (hard to believe if you read up on him) or are you just not following through?
… OR how many medals did you win?? :)
If there is a limiting factor, I’ll bet it is your mind, NEO, not your body.
You think that’s air you’re breathing? Hmm… <Raises eyebrows>
Born to Run (BTR) outlines a documentary of the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico. The tribe runs for hundreds of miles at a time. The entire tribe – 60 year old men all the way down to 5 year olds. They exist for the most part on a seed they boil to make tea and their own home-brewed beer.
This diet allows them to sufficiently run hundreds of miles and in nothing but thin sandals.
There had to be a way to change my body into that.
So I began reading, and discovered my answers:
Emil Zatopek: 400m repeats
Dr. Nicholas Romanov: Pose Method of Running
Brian MacKenzie: Crossfit Endurance
Robb Wolf: The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet
Ken Mierke: Evolution Running
Ok enough of my rant.
Let me now give you the best formula I can for effecting the change you seek.
Good, check it out yo!