In this episode of the Super Strength Show, Adam Bornstein takes us on his journey to becoming “One of the Most Influential People in Health”, an Award-Winning Fitness and Nutrition Journalist and Editor, a New York Times Best-Selling Author, and Founder of Born Fitness.
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[0:00:19.0] RT: What’s up Strength Maniacs? And thanks for tuning in. I’m pleased to welcome today’s guest Adam Bornstein. Adam is a New York Times bestselling author and an award winning fitness and nutrition journalist and editor. Named one of the most influential people in health, Bornstein is the CEO and founder of Born Fitness, which has helped over 50 million people with their health and fitness goals.
Previously he was the editorial director for livestrong.com and the fitness editor for men’s health magazine. His first book, The Impact Body Plan was a fitness best seller and that was followed by The Men’s Health Diet, The Women’s Health Big Book of Abs and The Men’s Health Big Book Getting Abs. Bornstein’s articles are featured in publications such as the New York times, ESPN the magazine, Forbes and fast company. He also has a monthly column in men’s fitness called Learn It. Born has appeared on Good morning America, the early show and E news.
You can connect with him by visiting his blog at bornfitness.com, it’s a great blog guys, not only does it look beautiful but he’s got an awesome mission and you guys should go seriously check that out. He actually discusses all topics related to health and fitness, he’s got basically a mission very similar to ours which is cut through the crap, we’ve got a lot of information out there and he’s delivering you all the good stuff, it’s a really good website. Just to be clear guys, it’s Born, not like the Bourne identity so people don’t get confused here. bornfitness.com.
Adam, welcome to the show, it’s an absolute pleasure to have you here, I’m looking forward to getting in this.
[0:01:59.2] AB: Thank, it’s a pleasure to be here, thanks for that. That is an all too kind intro right there and now you make me regret once again that my last name doesn’t have the U in it so that I can capitalize on all the Bourne Identity hype.
[0:02:13.6] RT: Well, at first I was thinking to myself, is that what he is doing? Then I went and I looked and I was like, “No, no his last name’s Bornstein so we’re good to go.”
[0:02:19.1] AB: Yeah.
[0:02:20.6] RT: No, we’re good, don’t worry. Although I appreciate the Bourne Identity and all that stuff, we’re definitely good to go here. You’re doing a great thing, website you got is fantastic, the mission is great, the content’s amazing and I’m looking forward to getting into it and sharing some pearls of wisdom that you’ve picked up over the years.
How about we delve into a little bit more about yourself? Give us just a quick recap, probably could fill in some of the gaps that was obviously the highlight reel that I read off and what can you tell us here?
[0:02:46.6] AB: I mean that was a beautiful highlight reel, I really don’t have much more to say beyond that. I guess the circuitous route to where I am now is you take a guy who didn’t know what he really want to do with his life. My background was in psychology and research so I was a university researcher at work, university of Colorado, I worked at the University of Florida, I did a lot of research. I was a research junkie, love science and eventually had an “ah-ha” moment thanks to a mentor of mine that is able to fuse my background in training and nutrition with my love of writing and science.
Just basically decided to get into the editorial world where I was fitness editor for Men’s Health, as you said, then became editorial director of bestrong.com while we’re there, we made that the largest health site in the internet, more than 40 million people per month going to that site and the award for the best health site in the Internet. And then eventually I left to do my own thing, write books, ghost write, really started to specialize in online marketing, conversion optimization, helping small businesses in the fitness space grow and reach more people.
Because we can talk about my mission, became a wild back understanding that in order to have the biggest impact in this field, it wasn’t — I didn’t have to all be about me, they did ask me about making the skills and the assets that I have and finding the best people in the industry to shine light on them. Sometimes it might be taking those people and getting them and the magazines that I write or advise for. Sometimes I might be working with businesses to help them reach more people.
I’m an adviser for examine.com which is the largest supplement database and I worked with their founder Sol Orwell to help and reach more people, it could be building out websites for other people so that they can take their subject area expertise to help more people and then it was focusing on what I do with Born Fitness and Born Fitness Coaching to help more people directly. Between writing books and building other businesses and creating content or stuff that people like to read or whatever it might be, I think that I understood what I was good at, I understood what I wasn’t good at.
My job has been to reach and help as many people possible and I absolutely love what I get to do, it’s fun, I get to work with a lot of great companies. From Microsoft and Equinox and Beachbody to even non-fitness companies like Dollar Shave Club. The consulting side of things to working with my individual clients that you would know none of their names, but they’re my favorite people in the world. I say that Born Fitness is all about family, I call my coaching clients the Born Fitness family and it’s something that I don’t take lightly.
When you become a part of the family, I treat you like family. I protect you, I take care of you, look out for you and even when you’re no longer a paying client, that allegiance, that bond, it doesn’t go anywhere, it’s great, it’s allowed me to meet people all over the world, help people on the world, travel all over the world and now I get to talk about all that fun on shows like this.
[0:05:34.7] RT: It’s a beautiful thing.
[0:05:36.6] AB: Yeah.
[0:05:37.6] RT: All right, let’s keep the gravy train rolling here and let’s jump into the first question of the show, first main one and that is, sharing one of your favorite success quotes or a motto and how you apply it to your training in life?
[0:05:50.0] AB: It’s not really a success quote, it’s more of my own motto and it’s that I don’t believe there are any wrong steps just no movement and what I mean by that is a lot of people get this paralysis by analysis where we’re so fearful of making the wrong decision, taking the wrong step, instead of just acting. Every time you make a decision, there is a series of follow up reactions and those follow up reactions you can always pivot, you can always adjust. There shouldn’t be this fear that if I make one decision or another, I have gone down some road, do eternal damnation and there’s no turning back.
The only thing you should be fearful is just not taking action. With fitness, you see it all the time where people are like, “It’s the wrong time for me to begin a program or it’s not the right time for me to get a diet, it’s the end of the year, it’s beginning of the year, it’s end quarter, I’ve got a big work project coming up. I need to lose 20 pounds first before I hire a trainer.” We give ourselves all these excuses that stand in the way or the same thing that might happen to a lot of business consulting, trying to map the road of the business. And sometimes you just have to make a decision, get focused, make a decision and then move forward.
The motto for me is not fearing, necessarily, failure or things not going the way that I plan, it should be fearing the fact of not living, not making decisions, being stuck in a position because ultimately when you don’t act. That’s the only time when things don’t happen. As long as you are making some decisions, as long as you are moving forward, you’re moving forward. That’s the way you should look at it, no one should fear failure to the point of inaction.
[0:07:26.8] RT: Yeah, agreed, a momentum is a pretty powerful force, sometimes it’s called “Big Mo” and while the last thing you want to do is walk off a cliff and do something that basically wrecks you, that’s fairly unlikely if you’re using your brain and really paying attention to what you’re doing. Take that action, build some momentum, it gives you some feedback and then you could take that information, that data and you can make another decision and kind of course correct and keep moving along. I agree with you, the worst thing ever is just freezing and not doing anything, that’s terrible.
[0:07:59.1] AB: Right, especially because failure can be such a great lesson. So I think all the greatest success is often times start with some sort of failure. You need those lessons, you know, those aha moments and it doesn’t always work out this way, it’s great if we could avoid failure, you shouldn’t fear it, you should embrace it because failure doesn’t mean that you weren’t meant to do something or that you’re not good enough.
Failure is just showing you that what you did was not good enough and sometimes it provides this path to success. If you fail at a workout, if you fail at a diet, the best thing you can do is go back and not be like, “Oh well, my body can’t change, I suck.” It should be like, “What did I do wrong? Or what did not work out for me?” Then you audit, what happened and then you can pivot in, you can improve.
Sometimes you just have to be wrong before you can be right and there’s nothing wrong with being wrong if the end result is still good. You shouldn’t necessarily worry about what happens between the weeds, you should always focus more on the end result and sometimes it’s just how you get there can be a little bit more entertaining and it’s not quite as linear, not quite as direct but that’s part of the fun, they say that the joy is in the journey and I truly believe that.
[0:09:05.7] RT: Yeah well I mean, don’t get me wrong, arriving at the destination is pretty damn nice but ultimately, is it ever a straight line? Maybe like get up to the bathroom might be a straight line in the morning just because you’ve done it so many times and it’s right there. Other than that, when you’re going after things in life, it’s pretty much a zig-zag pattern and that’s natural, this whole concerned fear of failure has been something that’s conditioned into us.
Because if you look at a child, they’ll mess up all the time, they just get right back up and keep doing it. They’ll even fall down when they’re learning to walk, they’ll cry, they’re obviously disturbed by it and they’re distraught, but yet they’ll still get back up and keep walking. Meanwhile, as we get older, we kind of get trained to condition to not even try. You hear this story, would you actually tell a kid, “Don’t bother, because you’re going to fall,” when you’re trying to learn how to walk, would you tell a baby that? No, nobody would ever say that to a baby.
Yet, that’s exactly what we do to others and many of the people do to others and it could be even said possibly society at large to a degree but definitely many of us do that to ourselves in one degree or another. I would agree with you in that failure is definitely something we tend to have to go through and learn how to do something correctly because rarely do you ever do it right the first time and we’ve had a guest on the show who all say that sure, some of them may have gotten injured doing things and they kind of wished they didn’t have this lingering injury.
But even some will say, “No,” because ultimately, I am where I am now because if all of these. They are all very grateful for the mistakes that they’ve made and the failures that they’ve had. They were ultimately the greatest learning lessons. I would agree with you, just takes a level of courage to make that first step, have that failure and then realize, “Well this isn’t really all that bad actually after all.” Then you kind of get used to just making mistakes and learning and course correcting.
[0:10:48.3] AB: Yeah, part of it is courage and part of it is almost like a realization that his is just part of life. We go through life thinking that we have to be perfect or we can’t make mistakes and it goes back to the whole idea of inaction whereas every single person fails just as every single person has a bad day on a diet or workout. Every single person has a day where they don’t like their body or don’t like how they feel or they can get negative.
We are human, we are people, I think the biggest problem is that we create this air or this illusion of perfection that if you break it down and realize that there’s so many things that you go through are natural, you don’t have to create that guilt that almost prevents you from doing certain things or creates that fear of failure that stands in the way. Listen, it’s a part of life, we’re human, that’s the joy, we are fallible and that should not be a bad thing.
[0:11:37.8] RT: No, it’s not at all and like you said, you get to a point once you start stepping forward you realize, “Oh this is just part of the process, okay. A big deal.” Any achiever knows that, every high performer realizes that and unfortunately many of us are not, we’re not exposed to enough people like that to truly understand that that’s the way it is and it’s okay if that happens and it’s part of the process, no big deal.
Actually, it’s kind of like in sales right? At some point you get a yes. Every no you should be happy because it’s getting you closer to the yes and to a degree, every failure kind of gets you closer to a success as long as you’re, like you said, pivoting and changing your approach, it’s like the Thomas Edison example. 10,000 failures and eventually you got the light bulb, I’ve heard that numbers in question but his response I’ve heard.
I don’t know if this is true or not but attributed to him which is, “No, I just spent 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb, it doesn’t mean I failed.” Anyway, how about we jump in to sharing a story of a time in your training when you encountered a major challenge and if you can kind of take us back there, explain it to us, paint a picture for us and share with us the lessons that you learned from it?
[0:12:38.6] AB: It’s thought because I can always take it from a life perspective or I can take it from kind of a training and injury perspective. The life perspective might have greater benefit for everyone, I can get a quick story on the training. I am someone that a lot of people think I should be put in a bubble. I get hurt quite a bit and my focus on injuries has always been that there’s going to be roadblocks in life.
You can allow those roadblocks to crush you, to depress you, to deter you or you can view those roadblocks as ways that you are just constantly — you got hurt if something happened, it’s pointing one way or another, even if it’s a freak accident, a weakness you can approve. When I go through my list of injuries, they’re pretty crazy; I have broken my back twice, I have in my left leg, I have torn my ACL, MCL, Lateral meniscus, medial meniscus, fractured my femur, broken my kneecap. You name it.
A couple of weeks ago I broke my right ankle and tore ligaments in my left in a freak skiing accident. These injuries pile up and it almost becomes somewhat comical but at the same time, I know that when these things happen, I look on things, there’s always just like well, this could be coming back bigger, better, stronger, faster than before and I always do, I don’t believe that setbacks are really setbacks. I never have and it’s a very self-protective mindset but it’s a one that does allow me to deal with the bad things and never happen in life.
Me, I’ve lived a very fortunate life, never had anything that has catastrophically happened to me. All the injuries to me are all put in context. It’s always about focusing on, while one capacity is down, how can I build up another when I broke my back the first time, it was in high school and it happened during a high school basketball game. Cut me, went up in the air and it landed on my bad and gym floors are hard man, those gym floors, they will break your back if you give it the opportunity and for me, I always define myself as someone who is very active and loved playing sports and that was taken away from me.
I could have allowed that to define me or I could have reinvented myself and at that point, that became extremely studious. Academically speaking, everything to me. I’m highly competitive and I just wanted to be great in everything that I did but I never realized that there were things outside, say athletics. Academics became my thing when I broke my back the second time, it’s what sparked my interest in fitness and nutrition because I had doctors telling me that I have to stop being active.
My life should look one way and it wasn’t the way I wanted it to look. So I’m like, “All right, here’s what the doctors are telling me. I’m not willing to settle for that. I want to understand the human body, I want to build myself up better than what even the doctors say is possible. Because I’m not just going to settle for solution just because that’ one avenue. I’m always willing to look for other roads and it faced me and the biggest career decision I had to make when I decided to leave my job, decided to work for livestrong.com, it’s a wonderful job, it was a huge company, we were having massive success.
But I had a disagreement with the philosophy of where the business was going. I believe in a huge social responsibility of health information, I didn’t feel the best health information was going to be produced in terms of the content strategy moving forward. I could have looked at it as to settle for this situation with a great salary and a known brand or I could go and start my own thing and invest in myself and build up those capabilities the same way that I would recover from a broken back or torn knee ligaments or another broken back or whatever it might be.
For me, I love challenges because they almost put that chip on my shoulder and I get that edge, I’m not competitive with anyone else, I love other people’s success and I talk about this a lot of times in business especially in the fitness and nutrition space. There’s more than enough bread for everyone. Listen, everyone in society has needs, health or fitness at some point in their life for some different reasons, you don’t have to dominate the space, you just have to provide a good service and it’s one of those things. I’m competitive with myself but what am I putting forward, how am I taking advantage every single day that I have on Earth with my family, with my friends, with my business and it’s that internal competitiveness that pushes me no matter what barrier is in my way, whether something physical or whether it’s something social or emotional or whatever it might be.
I think the joy of life is that you can keep on reinventing yourself. You can keep on evolving, you can keep on looking at a situation to find out, “All right, this path is blocked, what else can I focus on now? What else can I build now? How can I get better in some way until this barrier is removed or until the way that I view the barrier changes and maybe I don’t even want to focus on that anymore,” which is the case when I left my job at Live Strong. Challenges to me are a beautiful thing and they just make you stronger.
[0:17:40.0] RT: Completely. If you take them off and add to what you just said for sure. Damn man, you broke your back twice?
[0:17:46.6] AB: Twice, second time was tough. Second time me down for almost two years, I had two fractures, I had two bulging disks and the ripe old age of 16, 17 years old, I already had arthritis in my back and it was not an easy thing to deal with at the time. I won’t look back with rose colored glasses and say, “Oh yeah, it was wonderful,” it was tough but like I said, that literally was the starting point of my extreme interest in health and fitness and that changed my entire life moving forward. Hindsight’s always 20/20 but life works in funny ways.
Sometimes the worse situations can sometimes turn out in a weird way to be a blessing in disguise, I wouldn’t go back and break my back all over again, of course not. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through it but it’s less about what happens and more about how you react to certain things that when you look back, you could still be like, “”God, that sucked,” cause it sucked. Let’s be honest, that was no fun but the way I reacted to sit set me up for kind of this domino effect of events that led me to where I am today.
[0:18:51.6] RT: Okay, you’re saying, not that I want to get into too deep on this here but you had said that you broke your back the second time at 16?
[0:18:59.8] AB: Yeah, I broke my back the first time when I was 14.
[0:19:03.7] RT: Yeah, that’s what I was going to get to.
[0:19:04.6] AB: Second time was 16. The first time it was a high school basketball, I was a freshman in high school and the second time it was over use. I played multiple sports, I was very active and I tried to rush my way back, I came back from my first broken back within six months because I was also a tennis player and I wanted to — I injured my back in the fall and I wanted to play for the spring season.
My rehab at the time, this is going back many years where going back, like 20 plus years now. My rehab for the first time was literally massage therapy three times a week. Not exactly the most difficult way to go about it. Not comfortable but you’d roll up at 14 years old and you’re like, “Alright, I’m getting a massage, sweet, let’s get me healthy,” but the way we view recovery rehab, all this stuff is so different. I’d literally go get massage, I get the steam machine put on my back and the pain would eventually go away and they’re like, “Alright, you’re good to go,” and I would have a lot of pain.
I’m talking 14, 15 years old, I had doctors given me muscle relaxants like they were pieces of candy and I took a lot of muscle relaxants so I could play all the sports that I wanted to play. One day I woke up and I could not feel my legs, it was the scariest thing ever and I had two fractures, one of them in the static nerve which is why I couldn’t feel my legs.
My rehab round two was definitely different. I found the doctor at the time, I grew up in Chicago was the doctor for the Bulls and the black hawks and the bears, Dr. Schafer. He was like, “We’re going to put you through intense physical therapy, you’re going to do exercises and I’m going to show you right now, you’ve got six exercises right now that I’m going to give you a battery of test and until you can complete all six of these test and there are things like holding in one legged glute bridge for a minute and a half because you need that lumbar stabilization.
You need that lower back strength to hold your body up. And he’s like, “If you can’t pass this test, all six of them, you’re not cleared for activity,” and it took me forever to get back to this strength that I would be durable enough. Because I was essentially building up all the structures around my pillar or around my core, my lower back, my abs, everything. That would allow me to go and be active. It was honestly the best thing that have ever happened but have time like I said, it was terrible, it was no fun.
[0:21:18.5] RT: Damn, talk about not the greatest timing. I mean, that it would be ever great time to break your back but man, 14.
[0:21:24.6] AB: It’s not really how you draw spending high school. It presented some interesting challenges in and of itself. Like I said, there was a happy ending to it all was said and done.
[0:21:37.9] RT: Okay, it sounds like what you did is you just basically said, “I’m going to look for the best of the best,” and essentially just in a nutshell, is that essentially what you did to ultimately get on the path to recovery?
[0:21:48.5] AB: Yeah, and I mean my parents played a big role with that, it was just like obviously if you’ve had three broken backs by the time you’re 16 years old. Something isn’t working and you don’t want to have a life that’s just a shell of what it could be and that kind of dedication to hunting out a different approach, we left the doctor that I worked with the first time. That didn’t just accept his path, I wanted something different, I wanted something more active,
And I took it and ran with it, that mentality of searching for the best and surrounding yourself with smart people is something that I still do till today. Your environment is so important and I think everyone should be kind of a lifelong learner. In this industry, especially there’s so many brilliant people that a big part of my job is just hunting them down, surrounding myself with them so I can learn and get better or allow those people to help more people, to the different outlets where I work.
[0:22:38.1] RT: Yup, even though it’s the age of the internet and I always say it’s a beautiful thing because more of these people are out there and you can actually get a hold of them now. A, there’s just more people in this industry and I have enough social media and just email and stuff like that, websites, you can tend to find more of this guys and gals but the truth is, there’s still a lot that are not really — they don’t have the biggest presence whether it’s because they don’t do a lot online or maybe they’re just not online.
Having somebody like yourself who is looking for them and kind of getting the exposure so people know who to go to. It’s an important thing because you go to the wrong person, you don’t necessarily get the — I mean listen to your story, you don’t necessarily get the best advice, not that anybody’s looking to give you terrible advice, it’s what they think is correct. But it may not be what’s best for you. If you can make the difference between recovering fully and not so much.
Definitely something that is required for sure. A trusted source that can point people into the direction of other reliable and quality top notch experts. Adam, how about we share a story of a time in your training when you had a breakthrough moment? Again, take us back and tell us the steps that you took to turn that light bulb moment into success?
[0:23:50.8] AB: It’s tough, there’s been a lot of breakthroughs but the breakthrough moment for me from a training standpoint, from nutrition standpoint happened when I was an editor at Men’s Health. I got to work with you name it, anyone that I wanted to talk to, interview, I had access to them and a lot of times I would be doing all of this celeb stories with athletes and actors, you interview a lot of very interesting people and the breakthrough there was the learning, which I did not know at the time.
A lot of things work and I mean a lot of things work, both training and nutrition. We have science on one end who supports some of these things but a lot of the stuff that we know works or that can work for something isn’t necessarily going to be something that you can prove and elaborate, having been on the research side of things, I can tell you, it’s a publisher parish society where it means, you need to get funding, you need to get grant money to run these studies, it’s not like scientist, researchers can test out whatever they want.
A lot of people ask, “Well why are you doing this study?” Well it’s because I could get money to actually test this which means someone has to be willing to give me money. A lot of cool studies that I would love to run but realistically, you just can’t do it because no one’s going to grant that study, which means that there is definitely anecdotal stuff that happens on the training room floor that maybe it doesn’t apply to everyone or that it’s not supported scientifically but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work. Working with all these top experts, they were all very smart in their own right but they had different ways of going about training clients. Or different ways of going about creating diet plans. What you learned is that there’s such an important variable of individuals that plays into the success of any type of physical transformation. ‘
Those changes and those variables can be on it from a physiological level, it could be your body, your genetic work can be on the psychological and emotional level. I talk about this with diet all the time. A lot of different diets work. Everyone wants the magic bullet diet, it does not exist, please. We have studied this, we have compared the Dash diet to the Mediterranean diet, to the Atkins diet and you know which diet wins? It’s the one that people follow consistently.
[0:26:05.7] RT: Yup.
[0:26:05.9] AB: Consistency of behavior. Now obviously there are certain things that we have to factor in of food quality and energy balance and all that stuff. But if we’ve learned anything from experiments like the Twinkie where Professor Mark Hob ate Twinkies every day and lost nearly 30 pounds. It’s that energy, balance, whether you believe in the calories in, calories out model or not, it’s undeniable that our energy balance plays a role in weight loss.
How much you choose to factor that in, people try and make it calories in, calories out versus hormones, they all play a role in the same system. Trying to separate the two and put them against one another, it’s going to make you bash your head into a wall because your hormones affect things like hunger and satiety and the amount you eat and the food that you eat, whether it’s highly palatable, it might trigger brain chemicals to make you want more food. You have this gigantic feedback, it’s all involved.
We know in general in weight loss but how we go about that, you have to factor in personalities. If you’re someone who loves carbohydrates, you love pasta, you could go on the paleo diet and see tremendous success but my bet is it’s going to fail because at some point, you’re going to miss pasta and behaviorally, emotionally, you’re going to snap and then you’re going to be like, “Oh this diet didn’t work for me. Well, it didn’t work for you not because it didn’t work. It didn’t work for you because it wasn’t a good fit for you.”
[0:27:26.2] RT: Yeah, you could say that about training too.
[0:27:28.2] AB: Completely. It’s why you see everything from a five by five, do it 10 by 10 volume training to a five, three, one type approach to an eight by two, you name it, there are so many different methods. We know when it comes to the muscle growth, we know the variables that involves that, you have the mechanical tension, you have the metabolic stress, you have muscular damage, you have all these factors that play in but how you manipulate those variables. What you do to cause that? There’s so many different ways to do it. I talked about my background in science.
Everyone always loves reading abstract at the study. Me, I loved looking at the results for one very simple reason, you could look at muscle gaining research and you might find that they put a bunch of beginners on this muscle building protocol and the average muscle gain was like six pounds.
That wasn’t what fascinated me. I would go and I’d want to know the range of muscle gain. You would look at it and you would see that that was the average. That was the mean. You would see that some people would gain maybe two pounds and some would gain 13. A lot of people would say, the person who gained two pounds, they weren’t compliant.
Didn’t follow the plan. The person who did 13, they did extra and maybe that’s true but often times it’s not. It goes to show you that you put 10 people on the same plan and they all follow completely the same way. You could end up with that same variation, that’s why so often, two friends who are on the same workout plan, one guy blows up and it’s just like, gets all jacked and he’s looking great, the other friend is like, “What the hell is wrong with me and he gets kind of better?”
He thinks something’s wrong with his body, it’s not that something’s wrong, it’s just that you have a different body and those are the variables. My big breakthrough was understanding that so many different things work and that my job wasn’t to be dogmatic about it. It wasn’t to sit in one corner and say this is the only way, it was just try and understand of this different methods that work, how can we help people find the right option for them with less trial and error.
Because trial and error is inevitable, you’re going to have to try some things that don’t work again to figure out what it does but we want to shorten that trial and error period so that burn out and frustration doesn’t arrive before you can get to your results.
[0:29:35.6] RT: Yeah, a real easy example is long, low intensity cardio. Long jog or run versus high intensity integral cardio or on the strength training side of things, it’s the volume approach versus the “intensity approach”. Like the Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer high intensity training which is one set to absolute failure where you go like a maniac and kill yourself on it versus more sets in volumes like traditional body building.
Set aside the arguments of what’s more effective than the other, to set all that stuff aside, at the very basic level, it’s psychologically, which one are you more adept to follow than others. Which one kind of relates better with your personal makeup and your characteristics and whatnot because I’ve read stories of people who would try to follow one method and they would say. I think it was Lee La Broad, That famous bodybuilder, he had said that he wasn’t able to do the one set to failure.
He just didn’t put enough into the one set, he would train very hard but he just wasn’t wired that way. So he would do like two sets I think it was to failure. It’s the way that he would do it to accumulate I guess in a fatigue or whatnot. But yeah, what you’re saying is really important because there’s a lot of people like you said, will follow a program and it just doesn’t work the same as others and then you start questioning, “Either the program is junk or there’s something wrong with me?”
That’s like no, it’s not that at all, it’s kind of like the whole round peg, square hole kind of idea. Sure, there are times where you may have to force yourself if let’s just say, let’s say you decide to go on a some type of competition like powerlifting for example and you need to prep for a contest. Well you’re probably have to train a certain way to be able to perform a certain way and especially on a certain date. You’re going to have to suck it up buttercup to make it happen.
For the average every day person who is doing this as a hobby especially. You don’t have to do things a certain way per se, you can follow the method that kind of fits you better, would you agree with that?
[0:31:26.2] AB: Yeah, I think that’s kind of the method to the madness. Part of it is you don’t want to completely disregard what works.
[0:31:33.8] RT: Exactly, yeah. Obviously within the realm of what works.
[0:31:36.4] AB: The beginners come in and like, “Hey, can I just do a bodybuilder split, five days a week?” And I’m like, “You could and it might get you results but the majority of scientifically literature will show you that frequency is such an important variable and it’s frequency for body parts. So if you want the most sufficient way to gain muscle or build strength, you should be training each body part two to three times for weeks.
So if you’re doing one day per week, spared over five days, it might not work for you. Now, that said, if someone isn’t going to even do that, if I prescribe that, I might need to have like this gateway program which starts with something more familiar and then transition them. If I really don’t want to give up on them. That’s the part where I’ll let someone know why I feel the way I do and ask them to trust in me.
But if someone is going to be resistant, I’m going to try and build that trust and get their foot in the door and then progress them. All too often I think there are people who have their preconceived notions and they give resistance and as trainers we kind of throw up our hands and be like, “I can’t work with you,” as opposed to, “All right, I know where I need to get them, how can I meet them where they’re at and then progress them along?”
[0:32:38.4] RT: Agreed. There’s a psychological aspect that we definitely need to take into account within the realm of what is known to be effective otherwise you’re just going to be shooting in the dark and that’s no good either, you don’t want to be really doing that. I think again, I think that’s something that quite a few people forget. They just try to follow what everybody else is following or just maybe what they assume is the right thing to do. It’s not a good fit.
And then in the world of physical culture, there are so many ways to train. So many ways to exercise, there is definitely something that’s going to fit your personality that is an effective way to train, will make you happy, will make your body happy, will make your mind happy and you could keep up with it for the long term.
When I hear people that say, “I absolutely hate exercise,” it’s like, “Yeah, well maybe you just hate this specific type of exercise.” It’s like, “I hate food.” It’s like, “Really?” I’ve never heard anybody say that. No, because there’s a zillion different ways of eating and types of food out there. If you don’t like super spicy stuff then you avoid that. It’s the same thing with training to a degree.
[0:33:38.6] AB: Right, definitely.
[0:33:40.0] RT: Anyway, okay, Adam, we’re going to go to a break, we’ll be right back with more good info. Sounds good to you?
[0:33:45.1] AB: Sounds great.
[0:33:46.2] RT: All right guys, Adam Bornstein is the man right now, our guest expert and go check out the website, bornfitness.com. Fantastic resource, we’ll be right back after this break.
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[0:35:02.2] RT: Hey guys, it’s the Super Strength Show and you’re back and we got our guest, Adam Bornstein, author and CEO of Born Fitness, make sure you go check him out. Adam, if you could recommend one training resource for our listeners? What would it be? It could be anything, a book, an app, a course, a piece of equipment, what would you recommend?
[0:35:20.0] AB: All right, I’m going to be a little counterintuitive here because everyone goes always with the very specific thing. The resource I’m going to recommend for everyone is find yourself a mentor. It’s going to be invaluable because it’s a relationship that keeps on paying off dividends. You read a book, it gives you knowledge, you might build on that and you might grow from that. You download an app, it’s going to eventually kind of run its course.
A mentor. A human resource, someone you can build a relationship with is valuable. All my greatest lessons have come, mentors. I could list off — from training resources, I can’t tell you how many people that I have invested time, money to learn from. From Eric Cressey, Dean Somerset. Smitty at Diesel Crew, Jason Ferruggia who used to be my training partner when I lived in LA. Allan Cosgrove, Bill Hartman and Mike Robertson.
Dos — Robert Dos Remedios, Alan Aragon, the Nutrition Thing. Brad Schoenfeld, Mike Roussell on nutrition. Made Miyaki, John Berardi, Martin Rooney. God, I can go on forever. These are people that I just — I value people’s expertise and their knowledge so much. We’ve almost lost touch with that human contact and interacting with people that I love the fact that I can build relationships and people ask some questions.
We talked earlier about the power of the Internet and giving access to people and some of the brightest minds don’t have a huge social platforms, it doesn’t mean they’re any less intelligent or valuable than anyone else and I love that when I have questions about things, I can not only read about them but I could reach out and call someone, text them and send an email and get their thoughts on it. It is a resource that pays off infinitely.
That’s what I love about it. It can be a local trainer at the gym that you find that you trust or you think is really smart, it can be someone that you blindly reach out to in the Internet. It’s a great story about me an Alan Aragon that, if you don’t know Alan, he’s one of the leaders and kind of evidence based nutrition. He produced the research review, he’s a gigantic science nerd but I was a graduate student and it was before I even worked at Men’s Health and I was doing this project, I was doing my graduate thesis and I reached out to Alan before he was even a name.
Before he was even a contributor for Men’s health. I ended up bringing Alan on as a contributor in Men’s Health because of my interaction with him when I was a grad student and I just found him so wise, so intelligent, it’s been really enjoyable for me to watch his career grow and it’s something that to this day, when I have questions about things, I reach out and I talk to him just as all those other people that are just rattled off. Find yourself a mentor or mentors and that’s a resource that doesn’t really have a shelf life.
[0:37:49.9] RT: Okay guys, everybody who listens to this show and knows that I’m grinning ear to ear right now. That’s the number one thing I always say, it’s the closest thing to getting a shortcut is doing it right the first time and the reality is, unless you have somebody who is experienced, it’s very unlikely that’s going to happen and even then, you may have some hiccups along the way but ultimately, that’s the closest thing you’re going to get to be able to get it right the first time is having a mentor.
I will add this, when you do go find a mentor and many people are willing to be mentors. I think a lot of people don’t realize this. A lot of people are flattered because they want to help people, they want to reach out and help those and benefit others from their mistakes that they’ve made themselves. They want to make sure others learn from them so they don’t have to do it themselves. Big, big important thing is, show up and be the best student that you can be. What I mean by that is, show up ready, willing and able to learn and do what they say.
It’s very frustrating for a mentor when they recommend something and week after week, you just don’t do what they’re telling you. That’s very frustrating. It doesn’t mean follow it blindly by any means but ask questions if you have to but definitely showing up and remember, it’s a relationship here, the mentors, and you’re the mentee, it’s like a teacher and student basically type of relationship. Excellent resource, excellent recommendation. How would you recommend people actually find a mentor?
[0:39:09.8] AB: It’s a matter of, I think people resonate with something that speaks to them. Sometimes you could go pie in the sky and shoot for the biggest name in fitness and they may or may not get back to you, it really depends on how you choose to reach out to them. Find someone who speaks to you, find someone that you find interesting or you’ve read their stuff for years. I’ve had plenty of people reached out to me and meet them for coffee or we talk or we jump in a Skype call. It’s one of those things that you kind of know who you look up to.
Who you trust, who you respect and that trust or respect could be change or be reshaped over time. That’s where you should start. Mentors come in so many different shapes and sizes that I think you don’t try and find the person that everyone thinks should be your mentor, you try and find the person who speaks most to you who’s value or approach to life you want to learn more about, not so that you can clone it but so you can kind of understand the anatomy of how they think or how they live, and then applied it in your own way to your own life.
That’s really what a mentor is all about, it’s not about becoming a clone or a lemming, it’s about learning, it’s about understanding, it’s about seeing the thought process or the DNA of what makes them and who they are and deciding, “Wow, I really like that, I never looked at things that way. What if I started viewing everything in my life that way?” Then suddenly you have a whole new mindset, you have whole new thoughts. Don’t view a mentorship as necessarily having to become a clone or shadow someone but more understanding their makeup, getting those small insights can make such a huge impact on how you view things.
With that in mind, start with someone who speaks to you. Because if you just find someone that you think is a big name or you think is smart, but you don’t like them or you don’t even know anything about them. You go and take one of those names that I just listed off and you have no idea who they are and you reach out, “I want you to be my mentor.” Well, why? There always has to be a reason, the reason shouldn’t be because someone else is telling you, it should be because that’s what you want, that’s what you seek out. My first mentor was a guy by the name of Ted Spiker. Ted Spiker is now the head of journalism program at the University of Florida, he is Men’s editor, he has written more books than I can possibly even count. Wildly talented, wildly giving, such a good human being.
I went to him in the first place because his career path married to what I wanted. I knew I wanted to teach in some capacity, I knew I wanted to work for magazines, I knew I wanted to write books and there he was, this guy who didn’t really have the spotlight on him but was so incredibly accomplished that I went to him, literally sat down in his office and I’m like, “Can you just tell me how you did what you did because that’s what I want. I don’t’ want to follow the same path but the things you are doing, that’s exactly what I want to be doing. I want to be teaching, I want to be writing, I want to be creating books, I want to be helping people. Share your path.”
And it was that same mentor, Ted Spiker who gave me my aha moment that helped me find my way into journalism, find my way into writing and it was accidental but it wasn’t an accident. Because we were able to build that relationship and he got to know me as well to the point that he could not only share insights form his own life, but he was able to give advice that would help me because I opened up, I shred my strengths and my weaknesses, I shared where I was and where I wanted to go and what I didn’t know. There was so much I didn’t know. I’m forever indebted to Ted Spiker, he knows this.
I love that man, he’s a tremendous human being and it’s why I’m such a huge advocate of mentors because there’s no shame in saying you need a little help, you need a little bit of guidance going where you want to go. The great quote is that, “We stand on the shoulders of giants.” That’s a great thing to be connected to other people who can be a part of your success because one, they get to enjoy that success, don’t ever under estimate how much people take pride in helping others. Then you get to pass that on someone else. I truly believe in this whole pay it forward mentality that if each person just tried to help one person every single day, just one. Think about the impact and think about how different things would be.
I had a guy literally who came to my house yesterday, door to door salesman, he wants to own a barber shop but in order to do this, he’s going through a work program through city of Denver and it’s like you see in the movies. The guy was literally trying to sell magazines, had all these paperwork — I’ve got no desire to buy a magazine but he was out there. If you ever try to go door to door, like hustle like this. He’s like, “It’s so hard, I’m just trying to live my dream,” and I was like, “Well, I don’t want a magazine for myself but I donate to someone?”
He’s like, “Yes. Here are three charities that you could donate to,” and the cause that we see supports his growth and try to raise money and I gave the guy money to go buy magazines and put crossword puzzles in senior living homes. One, I got to give back by giving to a senior home, two I get to give this guy who is literally going door to door trying to make his dream happen. Clearly doing something that he doesn’t want to do but it’s going to help him get there and as I’m sitting there, I’m looking at this guy, I’m just like, it’s that little bit, for me it was just a nominal amount that I’m giving this guy.
For him it’s a huge thing or it’s a boost of confidence. It’s a belief that, “Hey, I got this one person to believe in me even if the next 10 houses I go to reject me, I can keep going, I can keep pushing forward.” So I think we only give off in times when we’re aware of it. People give during the holiday season but if we give at all times, someone’s going to get you… the more you give, the more you receive. I truly believe that but I mean it pays off in so many different ways and that mentality, I think, starts the mentor.
[0:44:34.6] RT: Definitely, I agree with you and the funny thing is that not that long ago, that’s what societies were built off of or built on, were mentorships, that’s essentially how things work, they were called apprenticeships, which is basically you’re being mentored by somebody who is more experienced than you and where you want to be.
This isn’t something that all of a sudden people invented just in the last little bit here and it’s weird and you don’t hear about it because it’s not something that really works that well or just not that many — no, no, this is the way it used to be and it wasn’t even that long ago. In certain pockets of the world, even the country, it’s still like this. I can’t agree with you more. Definitely good advice there.
All right, let’s lighten it up a little bit, move on to the next question and this one here is one that obviously a little goofy at times but when you do answer it, if you don’t mind, we can drill down a couple of specifics. We have something we could take away as soon as we hear them and actually apply it.
Essentially, you’re getting a workout in, you’re doing your thing, you catch a whiff of something and I come around the corner. You kind of take a look at me and you’re like, “Jeez, really Ray? You’re just kind of, “Hey buddy,” and through your mind, two things are racing, “A, would I be able to raise enough money to research whatever that funk is because that is just not even right. B, is there any medical doctors I know that could help this guy because this guy needs all the attention in the world because that smell is just not right?”
I’m looking at you, I could read your mind, I know what’s going on, mainly because it looks like you’re ready to pass and throw up all over yourself. Then I hand you over the keys and I say, “The ride’s outside man, it’s the hot garbage, just baking away in the sun. Full tank, just make it happen, just hit 88, just make sure you do that for your ride off the mountains in Denver.”
That was a pretty weird one guys. Anyway, popping back in time, knowing what you now know, how would you setup your training to get the best results in the shortest period of time and also set you up for long term success?
[0:46:25.0] AB: I would learn how to establish tension in my muscles. I still think to this day it’s something that I can because lifting is lifting and we could talk about form. We could talk about nailing this down. Let me tell you, most people focus on the weight that’s on the bar and moving that weight through the full range of motion, partial range of motion or adding more plates, becoming stronger. But it when I trained with Jason Ferruggia who kind of runs Renegade, Strength and Conditioning. If you’re familiar with Jay.
[0:46:55.2] RT: Yeah, we had him on the show, great guy.
[0:46:57.1] AB: Yeah, I love Jay — love him! He was telling me, “Adam, you just got to learn how to create more tension throughout the entire range of motion so that you feel it in the belly of the muscle.” Most people lift, they feel it in their joints and ligaments. This is why you get sore shoulders or sore knees. He’s like, “This is tension to tension. You want to create maximum tension in your muscles, throughout your entire range of motion, with every exercise that you do.”
And it’s literally, it’s a mental exercise to think about squeezing and stretching a muscle. Actually feeling whether you’re doing a bench-press or a row or a squat or a deadlift or a hip raise or whatever it might be, a bicep curl. People have a lot of easy time with biceps because they can easily visualize that making a muscle, flexing their bicep.
[0:47:45.4] RT: Yeah. It’s a….
[0:47:46.2] AB: But imagine — yeah, go on?
[0:47:47.8] RT: I was just going to say, it’s a relatively simple movement and it’s a movement we practice all the time, flexing the bicep, and I don’t mean just in the mirror, just picking things up, moving them around.
[0:47:59.8] AB: Mainly in the mirror though.
[0:48:01.4] RT: I wasn’t going to say that but yes, it’s true.
[0:48:03.7] AB: If you’re not flexing in the mirror, you’re not having fun.
[0:48:05.2] RT: That’s true.
[0:48:06.6] AB: But imagine doing that with every single muscle and then imagine doing that with every single rep of every single exercise, never taking a break, not having that when you were just like, you do a squat and you drop your ass down and you pop back up. You were able to move the weight but you didn’t feel the weight shift in the hips and then when you stand back up and the quad is shaking, not even wanting to go down for the rep because you’re squeezing so hard.
The biggest thing and it’s literally, if I could go back, that would be the only thing I would focus on because the moment I started doing this is the moment where like, nothing really changed that much at that point in my life in terms of workouts or how I designed them. I learned workout design really well. It was more about what I was doing. People are always wording, are you working hard enough? I’m like asking, “Are you squeezing hard enough? Are you creating enough tension?”
The next time you go to the gym with every single exercise, literally think, “Can I feel the muscle that I’m trying to work stretch? Can I feel it squeeze? If I’m doing a pull up or a lat pull down. When my arms are straight, do I feel my lats just stretching like they’re on fire. When I pull it down, are the muscles contracting so tight that they’re hugging around my spine and just bracing it? When I’m doing a bench press, am I lowering it till my chest opens up, my shoulder blades contract back like I’m doing a row?”
Not that I’m rowing the weight but I feel the stretch in chest and I press up, even before lock on, I’m squeezing my pecs together so that there’s just full tension every single rep, every single set, over and over. Again, it should be as mentally exhausting as it is physically and honestly, that’s how you get an unbelievable workout. It changes everything, when you go from focusing on — and again, progressive overload is important. Gaining strength is important, building the stake, any of those important principles but I’m saying, even if you have to take a step back and lower the weight to create more tension before you are able to add it back. It will change everything.
It’s amazing, it’s also — it makes it more fun, you see more bang for your bucks. Tension, feel it in the belly of the muscle, full range of motion. Yeah, that is the one I would, in a heartbeat, I wish I could go back and change that because I’m talking years of just like yeah I gained strength but it was just wasted because it could have been better and injuries could have been prevented, there’s just so much goodness that comes out of understanding that weight training, lifting weights is a matter of creating tension on your muscles. That’s the way you should look at it and think about it.
[0:50:36.8] RT: Yeah, I think what happens is obviously ego comes into play, we want to lift more but I think people get bodybuilding, muscle building — because that’s what bodybuilding is, it’s technically muscle building, it’s all about hypotrophy. Obviously within a certain proportion ideal, especially classic bodybuilding. Anyway, it can fuse bodybuilding with powerlifting. But even powerlifting, you’re supposed to do it a certain way, you don’t just go stupid and wreck yourself but there’s a complete difference.
Bodybuilding like you’re saying, it’s all squeeze, feel every single degree of motion in that exercise. That’s muscle building. Whereas powerlifting is more explosion, accelerate as quickly as you can and it’s very different. What you’re describing, man, you said something very important. I say often times that learning proper form is key, learning the difference between bodybuilding and powerlifting, muscle building and basically performance I guess is one way to put it. Proper form and proper workout is a design.
At some point, the beginner type workouts you see all over the place, they’re eventually going to run out and you may have certain specific goals you want to go after, maybe you want to perform a certain way or focus on a certain muscle group. It’s important to know how to design a program so you can continue on with your progress if that’s what you’re into. What you’re saying, knowing how to design a program properly is great, it’s like having a better designed race car.
You constantly get a better designed race car and you have a better plan. How we’re going to shave off seconds or time off the clock. That’s great but if you as a driver do not become a better driver, you’re not going to be able to maximize the potential of that vehicle. It’s the same thing with the workout routine, you can have the greatest workout routine in the world and you can sleep properly and rest properly and eat and all that stuff that’s important but if you get in the gym and you are not training correctly, your form may be perfect in the sense that you’re not all over the place and jerking the weight around and whatnot.
But if you’re not doing what you’re saying, that intentionally squeezing every single bit and really putting the tension where it’s supposed to be, the muscles you’re trying to train are working, well then you’re just going to get a fraction of the results and when you do what you’re saying, that speeds up the results because now instead of getting — I’m just going to make up, I don’t even know if this is really a good way of saying it. But instead of only getting 10% effectiveness out of an exercise because of the way you’re doing it and it’s only filling the tension at a very small range of motion.
If instead you do in a way where the muscle’s working like you said entirely, the entire way through, you’re squeezing the heck of it, all the tensions in the muscle, not the joints. Now you’re effectiveness is up to whatever, 80%, 90% and you don’t need as much volume, you don’t’ need as much weight. Because when you do it correctly, one plate can potentially feel like three plates and actually a lot of the old school guys, that’s what they say, Frank Zane has been on the show, he said that. Steve Davis, I’d love to get on the show who has got a physique very similar to Frank Zane, from the same era, he says it in one of his books, you essentially want to make the light weights feel like heavy weights.
And the way you do that is by making sure that that muscle you’re trying to train is the one that’s actually lifting the weight as supposed to all the other musculature in your body, kicking it and trying to help. You see a lot of the times in bench pressing with guys who say, “I’m not really feeling much of my chest, it’s all in my shoulders and triceps.” Well, in all likelihood, your form is not correct, it’s not necessarily that bench pressing is not good for you, I mean that is possible depending on your leverage is. It’s a very good chance that you’re not doing it correctly, you’re doing it in a way that’s putting the tension and the stress along the shoulders and triceps and very little on the pecs.
If you just make some slight adjustments with your form and everything, not only will your body be happier because you’re not wearing the heck out of it, the exercise is going to be much more effective and you’re going to start to feel it now in the proper musculature. Ben Pekalski is really big on this, I’ve been to one of his training camps, it’s all about learning how to properly train the muscles so that, even on — he says even on machines, he was showing some things on machines and I mean, that’s a really good piece of advice that you just shared, that is so important, it’s so important in so many ways. Not only will you get better results but you’re not going to beat yourself up in the process either. It’s just a much better way to train.
[0:54:48.8] AB: I couldn’t agree more.
[0:54:50.9] RT: All right. With that being said, we’re pretty much at the end here but before we wrap it up, I want to thank you on behalf of myself and the audience. What we need to know is where can we find more about you? Where do we go?
[0:55:02.2] AB: Two places, if you want all training, fitness, nutrition advice or even interested in online coaching, go to BornFitness.com, everything is there, I don’t’ get the E, I don’t’ get the Jason Bourne effect.
[0:55:15.5] RT: Or the U.
[0:55:16.4] AB: Or if you’re interested in the business side of things, we have bornfitnessconsulting.com and that is where we share everything that we do with businesses to help them grow whether it is creating content, making something viral, building out systems. You name it. So bornfitness.com or bornfitnessconsulting.com and then on social media, everything is just Born Fitness. Born Fitness on Facebook, twitter, Instagram, you name it.
[0:55:40.0] RT: All right, pretty easy, we’re going to have all that stuff in the show notes page in all the links. Adam, thank you very much man, this is a great interview. A lot of good advice guys, you hear me say that a lot but the reality is, when you have a fantastic guest, not only do they give you a ton of great training advice but a ton of great life advice.
So the mentor advice that he gave, that doesn’t just apply to the gym. That applies to life. As you heard, he went to Ted Spiker, which by the name pretty bad ass sounding name.
[0:56:05.2] AB: It’s kind of an awesome name.
[0:56:07.2] RT: That was somebody that was in the professional realm but if you really want to make some progress, you get your crap together, you show up and you show up with the intention to perform and people will pick that up in you and you take their advice. I’m not telling you to blindly follow people, obviously I don’t want people doing that but you listen to what they got to say, if it resonates, if you feel like yes, this is the stuff that I want to do, obviously after researching the person, just like Adam recommended, to make sure it’s a good fit and there’s a reason why you’re going to this person.
Implement, don’t waste time, don’t screw around, it’s very frustrating for a mentor when you do that because they want to help you. It’s more about them wanting to help you and you not allowing them to help you. That frustrates them as supposed to the time wasting which is frustrating too because obviously they could maybe help somebody else. Spend more time maybe with their family or something, but yeah really good advice man. Thank you Adam so much, I really enjoyed this interview with you.
[0:57:00.8] AB: Thank you, I appreciate being here and thank you for having me on the show.
[0:57:03.5] RT: No problem at all. Guys, superstrengthshow.com. You put in Adam’s name, it’s pretty easy — Adam Bornstein, very easy. You’ll get the show notes page, you’ll be able to listen to the interview there, download, there’s social media links, if you share, we really appreciate it when you guys do that. There’s links to the various podcasting platforms we’re on where you could listen to it there or actually even better is to subscribe that whether they come directly to you, it’s a much better way of doing it.
There’s an option to leave a review on the show notes page and you can also do the same thing on your various devices. If you’re using for example like iTunes on your Apple phone, there’s a method there where you could leave a review. So if what we’re doing here resonates with you and you think we deserve a five star review, we truly appreciate that because not only does it take the show up higher in the rankings, which is great because it exposes it to more people, it’s better for the show, all that good stuff.
But what it really does in addition to all of that is, it shows potential experts really good guys, for example, like Adam here who has got a lot on the go, very busy but he is just a tremendous wealth of knowledge and wisdom. Shows them that, you know what? This show is worth coming on and there’s an engaged audience, it’s a good platform, it’s good production. Yes, I’m willing to come on here and carve out an hour a couple of hours of my life to be a part of this. Ultimately, we benefit because they’re coming on and sharing that information with all of us.
So we really appreciate that and again, five star reviews on iTunes and obviously you can leave reviews on stitcher as well, we really appreciate those. We will have as I mentioned, links to all the goodies that Adam mentioned all the different ways you can get a hold of them, links to the resources, he mentioned a lot of people by the way in that list that we’re going to try to stick them all in the show notes page with links to their actual home pages and even to some of the interviews.
Because actually, I think 70% , 75% of the people he mentioned, we’ve interviewed before. Check all of those people out, and if what Adam is saying to you resonates with you in one way or the other, even if it’s just simply his personality, he’s really resonating with you. Highly recommend you guys reach out to him, right? Go to his site, check it out, see what he’s got on the go, he’s got a lot of really good things on the go, it’s a beautiful website with awesome content which isn’t a surprise considering his background. Again, all the more reason to go take a look and see what he’s got on the go.
Feedback, good bad or fugly guys, let us know. Feedback@superstrengthshow.com, don’t’ hold anything back. Good bad or fugly as we say is we love taking it all into consideration and our goal is to create the best show possible for you guys. Training, photos, before and afters, maybe of your home gym setups, even a video let’s say that you got maybe posted on YouTube, send a link with the actual photo itself over to us, firstname.lastname@example.org and we love sharing that with our audience and finally, when you’re on the website, don’t forget to sign up for the tips and that’s just simply the newsletter signup and you will also get the free report, it shows you how to maximize your strength while minimizing your risk for injury. Very important, that’s all available on the website.
bornfitness.com. Make sure you guys check it out, thank you one last time Adam, guys, put this stuff to use, I can’t recommend enough with the advice that he made, especially about the mentor and even the squeezing the muscle. Guys, try dropping the weight, try dropping it to half of what you normally use and try making it harder in other words, by the end of the workout, feel more fatigued than when you use the weight that you normally use which is double the weight.
Obviously, make sure that it’s the muscle that you’re targeting is the muscle that’s getting fatigued. Take the weight that you normally train with, cut it in half and then really focus on your form like what Adam was saying, squeezing that muscle, making that muscle work every single bit of that range of motion, not momentum, target the muscle that you’re trying to train and have the goal at the end of the set you’re going to be more fatigued than if you would have used the normal weight that you normally use which is twice as much.
And just see what happens, just do a workout like that or two or maybe even a week and just see how you feel. I’d be interested. When you do that, give us a shootout on social media, same with Adam and just let us all know all right? Put this stuff to use and until next time, train smart, train hard, talk to you then.
More Specifically in this Episode You’ll Learn About
- Adam explains his love for writing, science, health and fitness
- The only thing you should be afraid of is not taking action
- Sometimes you have to be wrong before you can be right
- Setbacks are not really setbacks
- You can keep on reinventing yourself or evolve
- Challenges should make you stronger
- A lot of things can work in your training and diet
- The diet that works is the one that people follow consistently
- Energy Balance
- Finding what works for you
- Learn how to establish tension in your muscles
About Adam Bornstein
Adam Bornstein is a New York Times best-selling author, and an award-winning fitness and nutrition journalist and editor. Named “one of the most influential people in health”, Bornstein is the CEO and founder of Born Fitness, which has helped over 50 million people with their health and fitness goals.
Previously, he was the editorial director for LIVESTRONG.COM and the fitness editor for Men’s Health magazine. His first book, The Impact! Body Plan was a fitness bestseller, and that was followed by The Men’s Health Diet, The Women’s Health Big Book of Abs, and The Men’s Health Big Book: Getting Abs.
Bornstein has articles featured in publications such as The New York Times, ESPN the Magazine, Forbes, and Fast Company. He also has a monthly column in Men’s Fitness magazine called “Learn It.” Bornstein has appeared on Good Morning America, The Early Show, and E! News.
You can connect with him by visiting his blog at BornFitness.com where he discusses all topics related to health, fitness, and nutrition.
FREE Report – Instant Strength: The one little trick that will instantly boost your strength by 10 lbs or more in your main lifts.
Training Resources Mentioned in this Episode
Adam also recommends that you find a mentor
Eggsperiment: The Born Scramble
Born Fitness Coaching Testimonial
Connect With Adam Bornstein
Check Out What Others Are Saying on iTunes!
- Awesome PodcastApril 21, 2017 by Brooke Craven from United States
Ray, host of Super Strength Show, highlights all aspects of fitness and nutrition in this can't miss podcast. Ray and his expert guests offer insightful and inspirational advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle!
- Un canal de lo mejorcito en la materiaJuly 17, 2016 by Pipiripiii from Spain
Un canal con contenido muy completo e interesante. Gracias ppr toda la info!
- Informative, deep and instructionalJuly 9, 2016 by Charles M R from United States
That Frank Zane interview!
- awesome fitness podcast and great varietyJuly 7, 2016 by jskoosh71 from United States
Really glad I found this. Lots of care into each podcast, Ray walks the walk and really understands what is being discussed. I really just have one request- stop the Delorean story.
- 51 and going strongJune 22, 2016 by Canvas back from Canada
I used to lift heavy in my late teens and into my 30s and then other thinks like kids,job, house etc took over and I lost motivation. I'm 52 now and starting to show the signs of aging so I thought I better get back at it. It was real tough. Slower gains, easy injuries, slower recovery. Tough to get back into the grove. While searching for some motivating pod casts I came across the SSS pod casts. I listen daily and I can honestly say that it has changed my life. It's more motivating that a gym full of people. I have learned more in 2 months than I learned in 20 years. The host is great to listen to, is very knowledgeable and keeps me wanting more. The guests are great. I look forward to listening. We have a wellness committee at my work and I think I have the entire group as fans of the SSS. Please don't ever stop!
- Physical Autonomy = Personal LibertyJune 18, 2016 by Mrsborch from United States
Ryan inspires me to change my fitness mindset from just doing more reps to creating a body to live the life I want.
- Lucky findMay 16, 2016 by Keith3187 from United States
Stumbled upon this podcast and very glad I did, fantastic guests with tons of evidence based information, highly recommended.
- Tier 1May 14, 2016 by Dragon 1-5 from United States
Truly a great pod cast very informative and 100% applicable.
- Great interviewsMay 5, 2016 by Adamdv18 from United States
Ray has some very interesting guests on here and does a good job of getting some useful information out of them.
- Intelligent, interesting interviewsMarch 25, 2016 by Clown puncher 5000 from United States
Really. Smart guys.
- Killer PodcastFebruary 26, 2016 by RidgeWC from United States
Ray puts out a really great show—every episode is top quality!
- Great work!January 14, 2016 by NotMattDamon from Canada
Impressed by the content and guest - keep up the great work!
- THE Super Strength ShowDecember 14, 2015 by Oastorga from United States
I came across this podcast through another great podcast (the RDella Podcast) and I must say I'm hooked. I like the action items that are revealed for us to do rather than just taking in more info. I especially like that is simple but not simplistic. I'm 58 years young and shows like this reafirm that I'm doing the right thing. I use Kettlebells, Sandbags, Barbells, Indian Clubs and body weight in my training. I don't look like a fitness model but I feel pretty good. Knowing more and refining techinque has been very important for me. The idea is not to just listen but to do something with the information. The format allows that. Thanks for your hard work.
- BOOM!December 1, 2015 by Getusomemore from United States
I listened to the entire interview with Danny Kavadlo while I was cooking dinner. VERY good podcast! I give it a ?!!
- Highly recommend this showNovember 30, 2015 by Altruistic? from United States
I love this show. Thoughtful host. Interesting guests. Since listening it, I have been giving more consideration to the mental side of training. It's a very encouraging show.
- Great show!November 14, 2015 by Rmolson from United States
I started training at the age of 41 obese and intimidated. The guests are an inspiration and encouragement toto keep moving forward on this journey.
- Amazing ContentNovember 13, 2015 by MattTucker93 from Canada
Love listening to this podcast. Amazing information and I always learn something from all the great guests. Thank you!
- Great showSeptember 15, 2015 by unadjective from United States
Some really cool guests that I wouldn't otherwise come across and Ray does a great job getting into their expertise. Almost always wish the show was longer.
- I love thisSeptember 12, 2015 by Mvecdi from Canada
Please don’t ever stop,i really enjoy it. Wish i found it before. I listen to it while working out or driving etc. Just wanted to tell you to keep doing what you are doing. And would love to see more of people like Mike Israetel etc. Such as Brad Schoenfeld. Anyways love the show, thanks for making it.
- Very professionalSeptember 7, 2015 by Ayrshire Lad from United Kingdom
Always learning something new from Ray and his well selected line up of guests. Sometimes feels a little repetitive as Ray asks all the tried and tested questions to ensure the listener always has a takeaway..its laid back but focused and very professional !!
- I love thisSeptember 3, 2015 by Mvecdi from Canada
Please don’t ever stop,i really enjoy it. Wish i found it before
- The best podcast in the strength/ fitness industry!August 28, 2015 by Powerlifting101 from Canada
I recommend this podcast to anyone that trying to physically and mental better them self in every aspect.
- Excellent ResourceJuly 25, 2015 by J. Steinmann from United States
Some great interviews with a wide variety of people. I've listened to a number of episodes, and there's always some great information in every interview. If you're serious about strength training, health and fitness, or just want some good life philosophy, this podcast is worth a listen.
- Must subscribe!July 9, 2015 by Roddygo from United States
This is one of the best fitness podcasts. A lot of big names from various backgrounds and Ray asks good questions. He also knows when to ask follow up questions without getting too out of subject and having the guests share some more secrets
- Great Show!July 8, 2015 by Wes Kennedy from Canada
Ray is a great host and has a wide range of quality and professional coaches that have a TON of experience to share with you. Check it out!
- Excellent interviews!July 8, 2015 by another anatomy geek from United States
Ray does a fantastic job of asking articulate and interesting questions. I always really enjoy his podcasts and learn useful info! Keep up the good work!
- has become the best Strength podcastJune 21, 2015 by SuperHuman YYZ from Canada
I think its overtaken superhuman radio and motivation + muscle as the top podcast for those who love physical culture and the iron game. Ray does a great job interviewing, just the right amount of interjecting his ideas and opinions. The guest list is incredible, the who's who, past and present.
- The fountain of youth.June 10, 2015 by rroxanne from Canada
Very good . I love the article. I listened to it 3 times to write everything down. Lol. Bad memory. Oh and love Rays voice.
- just pure MEGA, Pig Iron all the wayMay 25, 2015 by Strongman1981 from United Kingdom
The Super Strength Show is an amazing and extremely informative resource for anyone involved in physical culture. With an enthusiastic and highly intelligent host and a who’s who’s line up of guests, a must for anyone to sit down, eat grapefruits and enjoy. great work chaps
- On another level! Once you hear one episode you will have to hear them all!May 22, 2015 by Chuck Osswald from United States
Super Strength Show starts with top performers/coaches/trainers from around the world and chunks down all the important pieces, directed towards any audience. Ray Toulany is unparalled in his ability to make information easy to understand as well as tease out the unspoken gems. You will be glued to your speakers for the entire episode and find yourself eagerly waiting for more. The care put into each episode is clear with a show notes page that helps the curious learn in any medium. Keep up the great work and thanks Ray!
- A fountain of Strength and training knowledgeMay 14, 2015 by HCF82 from United Kingdom
After searching for an age to find a good strength podcast I discovered the super strength show through Chris Duffins interview and have been hooked since. The format is excellent with some of the best voices in the world of strength and conditioning appearing. No nonsense straight talking, this really should be one of your first resources to go to if you are a coach or an average joe looking to improve in the weight room.
- fantasticMay 10, 2015 by gena_wallis from Australia
i enjoyed your session.looking forward to more staff.Victor from the Youngpreneurs Podcast!
- Well structured, interesting, and informative.May 2, 2015 by TEEJ888888 from Canada
I just listened to the first two episodes of the podcast. It's really good. The questions are solid, there is lots of good advice for lifting and for life, and Ray does a good job at interacting with the guest but keeping things on track and flowing. Ray is articulate and the guests seem professional and smart. Overall, I'm very impressed.
- My top 5 favorite show!April 16, 2015 by mrcdmag from United States
Great show with lots of valuable information! I always have my notebook open and writing.
- Top strength showApril 16, 2015 by Alastair7890 from United Kingdom
Very informative. Top guests
- Great Show!April 10, 2015 by SloneStrength from United States
Well prepared show. Amazing professionalism! Keep up the great work.
- AWESOMENESS CONTAINTEDMarch 4, 2015 by jamie729 from United Kingdom
This is an awesome podcast the format, the guests & the topics disscussed are all truely infomative. No BS contained the show always opens up new schools of thoughts and ideas to the listeners. keep up the good work.
- Subscribe, instantly addictiveMarch 2, 2015 by thebroadkaz from Canada
This show is amazing to listen to it motivates you not only for the gym but for setting and achieving goals in your every day life. Very motivating and positive. Truly helps to get you in the right frame of mind for life and for the gym.
- An absolutely ace show everytimeFebruary 24, 2015 by Tommy Eggleton from United Kingdom
This show is phenomenal! The format and repeated questions for each episode keep the show driving forward, the guests have had ample time to prepare excellent and considered opinions and yet the show never feels like anything but no-BS conversations on building seuperhuman strength and mighty bodies. The host, Ray Toulany, consistently does a marvellous job of drawing out even more from his guests than the material they've prepared and some of the stories that are teased out are superb. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anybody that trains, thinks about training, or simply admires strength sports and bodybuilding in general.
- Great ResourceFebruary 4, 2015 by Velvet Jones81 from United States
For someone new to the strength sports like myself this show has been a great resource. Thanks for doing this show. It has helped a lot.
- Paul McIlroyFebruary 2, 2015 by Paul McIlroy from United Kingdom
I've been an avid aficionado of all things strength and physical culture related for the vast majority of my entire life. As a former world champion powerlifter and trainer of world champions in different strength sports I can honestly say that Ray Toulany's Super Strength Show is an absolutely INVALUABLE resource for those wishing/needing to maximise their holistic understanding of strength, what it is to be strong, why that is important and how to best achieve it! The list of guests reads like a star studded "who's who" of strength and conditioning ROYALTY! Plus, more than anything the interviews are a ton of fun and provide a fascinating insight into the very best in the business and what makes them tick. It was my complete pleasure and privilege to be a guest on this amazing show (episode 37). If YOU claim to be serious about strength training and are not currently subscribed to THIS show, my honest advice is do so immediately...if not sooner!
- Super Strength ShowJanuary 26, 2015 by Joeino from United States
I love this podcast as I seem to pick up valuable information from each guest. Listing to this is a fun and productive use of my time
- Excellent InformationJanuary 26, 2015 by TaylorrrrNB from United States
These guys obviously do their homework, work hard to create an excellent show and know who to interview in the world of strength and fitness! I’m very impressed by what they have created and the quality of what they do. You need to subscribe! TODAY!!
- by Brandon RicheyJanuary 22, 2015 by Great Work SSS from United States
The Super Strength Show is a fantastic resource for all things concerning strength, fitness, and life. The multitude of guests provides tons of information and perspectives that every listener will appreciate. If you’re serious about strength and the physical culture this is a resource that you just can’t pass up!
- Very glad I stumbled across this podcast!January 22, 2015 by rk102 from United States
Great info from big-time guests in the strength and conditioning world. Keep up the great work, Ray!
- Awesome showJanuary 13, 2015 by Bonjower from Canada
The Podcast is the best I’ve encountered in the fitness/bodybuilding sector. The host has a great ability to pull the pertinent information out of his guests. The topics are great and you seem to be able to get useful information out of every interview! Awesome podcast!!
- Do yourself a favour and subscribeJanuary 1, 2015 by GameOverBoss from Canada
The amount of info and resources in the SuperStrengthShow is just incredible. All of this coming from guests that are the best of the best in their fields. Great questions are asked to these guys and some really insightful answers given (along with a few laughs). I hate wasting time and i'm always looking to evolve and refine my training. This podcast has saved me hours of digging through the crazy crap on the internet to find valid info. It has also introduced me to things i would have never thought to look up. Really can’t recommend enough.
- Master SFGDecember 24, 2014 by X-Fab69 from Italy
Awesome Podcast! A whole lot of great and useful information provided by very accomplished athletes and coaches with an extended experience on the ground!
- Charles CDecember 22, 2014 by CharlieConnely from Canada
Very impressed with the quality guests that the Super Strength Show is interviewing. Loaded with with actionable and inspiring information. Great production quality and daily episodes!
- Well done RayDecember 19, 2014 by Matt McWilliams from United States
Wow…Super Strenght Show Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Ray. Keep bringing it.
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