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165 Joseph Morstad: How To Feel, Move, And Perform Better With IBD

Joseph Morstad - Perform Better with IBD - Super Strength Show - Podcast1
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In this episode of the Super Strength Show, Joseph Morstad takes us on his journey to becoming a passionate fitness coach driven to help those with Inflammatory Bowel Disease feel, move, and perform better. During this interview, Joseph teaches us to revisit our starting points and to never fear rebuilding things in order to actually perform better in the end.

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[INTRODUCTION]

 

[00:00:19] RT: What’s up Strength Maniacs, and thanks for tuning in. I’m pleased to welcome back today’s guest, Joseph Morstad. For those who haven’t listened to episode 155, here’s a bit of background on today’s guest. Joseph Morstad is a passionate fitness coach driven to help those with inflammatory bowel disease feel, move, and perform better. In 2008, Joey was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis and ended up losing, get this guys, 50 pounds in just six weeks – crazy – due to his condition.

 

After leaving the hospital, he used his knowledge as a fitness coach to recover and rebuild his body. Within a few months he had regained all of his lost weight and became even stronger than before his diagnosis. Joseph’s first interview on the show was so inspiring that we wanted to bring him back on to learn even more about this, not only his amazing recovery, but how he did it and we know there’s other’s out there that can benefit from this information. So we really appreciate you coming back on.

 

In today’s episode we’re gonna be driving deeper into Joseph’s condition and drilling down on the exercises, movement patterns, and other techniques that allowed him to manage his Ulcerative Colitis. His mission is to help as many people as possible find their strength, inside and out. So regardless if you’re suffering from IBD or not, you’re going to be able to take away some high quality actionable info from the interview. If you wanna learn more about Joseph you can check out his website at strengthandnutrition.com.

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

Joey, welcome back to the show, absolute pleasure to have you here. Looking forward to getting this.

 

[00:01:50] JM: Thanks, it’s great to be back. Looking forward to it also.[00:01:53] RT: Yes my man, let’s do this dude. Let’s help some people, it’s gonna be great.

 

[00:01:56] JM: Yes.

 

[00:01:57] RT: Okay so first of all, tell us about your recovery and what not. We touched upon it last time, but if you don’t mind sharing again for those who haven’t listened to the first go around.

 

[00:02:05] JM: Yeah so initially when I was diagnosed with IBD, Ulcerative Colitis in 2008, I had a bunch of weight loss ’cause I just wasn’t able to eat or digest or hold down anything and after being in the hospital and being on medication to help with the inflammation was released form the hospital and was searching for how to start regaining that lost weight and muscle and ability to move again. And just things like getting up and down out of bed and walking up and down stairs was kind of a challenge so I was literally starting over like a baby would learn how to move and crawl again.

 

And just kind of kept that approach and outline of “what did my body need to regain movement?” And kept building upon that and kept getting more and more focused on getting stronger in the sense of stronger to walk up and down stairs and walk up a couple flights of stairs and start living again. And once that was good and stable again, taking it to the gym and progressing through there and just building and continually building my body and I’ve been using that approach ever since.

 

[00:03:24] RT: Yeah it’s incredible man to think, I mean you literally were starting from square one.

 

[00:03:28] JM: Yeah. Looking back on it, sometimes it’s kind of funny, sometimes it’s kind of crazy also and it almost feel like it didn’t happen to me, kind of like an out of body experience in a way. But yeah, it definitely understand – it’s helped me a lot with clients because I understand when they can’t do something. I understand what it feels like to almost not move in a way cause I was so weak. It wasn’t a torn ACL or injuries like that, but just overall weakness and fatigue and tired, and just challenged by that.

 

And so literally laying on the living room carpet and trying to do a glute bridge, trying to hold the top of a pushup position was kind of like, for day one was the workout. A few reps of those each and to see where I could go from there.

 

[00:04:22] RT: Now is this typically where an IBD sufferer would start, in this type of a condition that you’re talking about?

 

[00:04:29] JM: I think so. It’s hard to say typically, because everybody with IBD is somewhat unique and somewhat different in their recovery aspect and challenges. But I think it’s typical in the sense of what the body goes through after the weight loss and the time spent just laying on your back, in or out of the hospital, the body’s response to that. Like I got really weak and really tight, my hips became really tight. My hip flexors, I was shocked! I literally wasn’t using them and they just kind of shrunk up a little bit, it felt like.

 

So finding a mobility aspect there while finding a strength aspect also trying to use my glutes again, trying to build them again cause all the muscle was just gone. And so it was a really interesting aspect of, “Okay how do I move right now? What muscles to I really need to focus on?” Kind of like that 80/20 rule, I don’t have a ton of energy, so I’m gonna use the energy that I have in the most effective way right now and typically that was trying to regain some glute strength and some core strength. And that was the main focus and everything just kept building and spreading from there.

 

[00:05:44] RT: Yeah interesting that most people say 80/20, I don’t have a lot of time so I’ve got to focus on the most effective movements. But I mean you were literally down to next to no energy. And I mean some people could probably relate to that who don’t have IBD, that are just tired from just running around all day. I mean talk about taking that to the extreme in your case and all the IBD sufferers.

 

[00:06:03] JM: Yeah.

 

[00:06:04] RT: Joseph, what are some of the training principles that you use? Now you and I were talking, you sent me over some information, there were these eye drills that you were sharing and I found that was interesting, so let’s start with those.

 

[00:06:17] JM: Yeah, I think the over-arching principle is just finding movement in whatever capacity that can be. And for that situation for myself and for someone recovering from an IBD or anything like that where movement’s just compromised and challenging. I kept looking for, what was the simples thing that literally anybody could do, and eye drills, these eye exercises a lot of stuff from Z-Heatlh that I find really fascinating.

 

But literally being able to look left, look right with your eyes, make circles with your eyes, how that can improve balance by training the vestibular system and just working on that sort of motion helped make some – literally just moving my neck left and right also just making circles and movements from all these eye drills seemed to carry over by waking the body up again and allowing for a little bit better movement, which allowed for a little bit bigger movement and just kept going from there.

 

But starting with those eye drills, I found that to be really helpful. Eye drills and then also breathing, just taking big, deep breaths, a lot of meditative type breathing, yoga type breathing stuff.

 

[00:07:35] RT: So something as simple as, I mean there was eye circles, there was head movements just tilting your head, swivelling your head. How does that lead to, I guess, improvement?

 

[00:07:47] JM: Well I think, I start with the approach and the approach I’ve learned from other people that are in the fitness industry that teach and are much smarter about this than I am about just overall movement is if we’re able to move well, then we can move a little bit more often. If we’re able to move more often then we can spend that and help build a little bit more strength. And then the more strength we have, the more that can just lead to more strength and more life and living.

 

And so from that context of when I was recovering from the IBD, I wasn’t strong enough to do a bodyweight squat, I wasn’t strong enough to benchpress a 45 pound barbell. I just wasn’t in that world yet. And so starting with something like neck rotations, looking left, looking right, the tilts and rotating. Getting movement from my neck and then it seemed to move into my shoulders, moved into my arms and my wrists and down through the torso, making thoracic glides, movements around there.

 

It just kind of opened the body again for me and allowed me to feel a little bit better, and that allowed me to maybe hold the top of a push up a little bit longer and then that allowed me to maybe do a couple more reps. And it just built from there by making joint circles throughout my body.

 

[00:09:14] RT: And what would you say to people who may listen to this right now and think, “There’s no way that something as basic as that is going to help.” What would you say?

 

[00:09:21] JM: I’d say I understand that. I understand it sounds very silly almost, very simple but there has to be a starting point. There has to be somewhere that we start from and something literally as simple as those joint rotations is a great way. And looking back at it from that aspect of human development and how babies move, I learned a lot of this from Grey Cook and his ideas and his book “Movement” and you’re just most human.

 

Most babies when they’re developing and moving they stand, they kind of work on lifting their neck and they get that ability and then they can maybe come up into – then it can kind of roll over, left and right and get on their back. And so it’s just kind of the starting point of human movement and I think from the situation where I Was in, I needed to start there again. And it depends on how long it takes for person to person, but it might take a couple days, it might take a couple hours, but it’s a starting point to move again.

 

And for someone in the situation where I was, you don’t need any external weight, you don’t need to go to a gym, you can literally do it laying in bed and it’s just a way to move. And I think practicing that and getting good at that is something that leads to more movement.

 

[00:10:49] RT: Yeah agreed. This is some pretty serious stuff guys. I mean from what I can gather, obviously you know more about it than I do, this is something that puts you in the hospital on your back, in a bed for a while and it’s definitely baby steps to get things up and running again.

 

[00:11:05] JM: Yeah, yeah. IBD can be very, very serious and I definitely don’t wanna make light of it or take away anything from that from other people that are truly, truly suffering with that right now. I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve only had two tough experiences, one with a diagnosis where I was losing all that weight and I did have a flare I think in 2012. Beyond that I’ve been very lucky where I’ve been relatively flare-free. I’ve been in “remission” they call it.

 

But there are certain people I know that are just constantly battling this and it’s very challenging and if they’re in that situation of workout programs, not really in the cards, not in the situation for them, but maybe by doing a few eye drills, maybe by doing a few neck and joint rotations they just might not feel as sore or as painful. And if that can help then that’s amazing.

 

And if they’re out of the hospital and able to move, I think it’s a good starting point to progress or to find a starting point to be able to progress towards bigger, more movement that allows them to walk from their car to the movie theatre without feeling exhausted.

 

[00:12:19] RT: Okay, I think that kind of leads into another question that I have is you mentioned GPP or General Physical Preparedness. How does that factor into this? And how about you start off with a definition, if you don’t mind?

 

[00:12:31] JM: Yeah general physical preparedness is just training aimed at raising one’s many fitness components, applied to a wide range of tasks all around physical development. It’s just, I like to think of it as being able to live and to get outside of the house and to be able to be open to walking around the park if you’re physically able to walk and do things and go to events and just kind of live life again.

 

Because we’re not in a situation where we’re trying for a marathon or training for an Olympic event or anything like that. We’re just trying to get around and do stuff and go run errands without getting fatigued and tired. And I think that approach and that principle for someone recovering from IBD is a great starting point.

 

[00:13:25] RT: And how does that lead into fitness in the context of somebody who has IBD?

 

[00:13:31] JM: I think it’s kind of like looking at a pyramid. At the base foundation of that you want to have movement and GPP and be able to just do things. I think it’s kind of a real “sciencey” way of saying it. I just wanna be able to do stuff. And then from there you an add fitness on op of that and you can start thinking, “Well maybe I wanna get a little stronger. Maybe I wanna get back to where I might have been or maybe even beyond that.

 

And having that foundation of movement allows you to do that more often, which it increases your fitness and just increases you ability to do a task. I like that idea of fitness, it’s the ability to do a task and that could be, if you wanna look at it from like a CrossFit, they’re able to do the evens that they are required to do. If you wanna look at it from golf, you’re able to swing a golf club and walk 18 holes of golf and you’re just fit to do those tasks.

 

An it can be whatever you want it to be I think, being able to do five pushups, to squat your body weight three times. Kind of random things in a way, but when those abilities are taken away from you, they become really important again.

 

[00:14:49] RT: Yeah definitely. Alright, so by the sounds of it, when somebody has this condition they are in a – I almost wanna say fragile state. They’ve gotta be careful, when are unable to do some of these very basic movements, you can probably get injured relatively easy. And I’m wondering, what are some of the requirements for somebody who’s looking to rebuild their health and fitness and they’re starting like you did, somebody who suffered from IBD and it hit them pretty hard?

 

[00:15:18] JM: First off, and most importantly, discuss this with your doctor. Don’t just jump into something, but talk to your doctor to make sure that things are in a place where you can take on this aspect of movement. But beyond that, I think an important requirement is obviously just safety, make sure that what you’re doing is safe. So adding a barbell on their back for a squat, not smart, not safe right now.

 

So we wanna make sure it’s safe so a lot of ground-based type movements, things on the floor. You don’t need to add any external weight right now. Beyond making it safe, keeping it simple, it doesn’t have to be complicated. We don’t want it to be complicated, we just want to be able to do a handful of things and just get good at that. Basic movement skills with this appreciation for an all-roundedness.

 

Being able to squat, being able to bend over and pick up your keys. Things like that is kind of where this is focused at and with that all-roundedness, being able to take that and increase it to getting a bit stronger and just increasing that and doing more, and more with that. And then beyond that you can take that to – anybody can take that to wherever they wanna go with it and they can do other events. They can join 5km races and things along those lines where here’s almost not physical limitations anymore.

 

[00:16:41] RT: Yeah okay. So if I hear what you’re saying, it sounds like a combination of – I mean it’s the fundamentals, the basics. So we’ve got to keep it safe because you are – I mean keeping it safe period is probably wise, it doesn’t matter what you’re training, what you’re doing.

 

[00:16:52] JM: Yeah, yeah.

 

[00:16:53] RT: Yeah. But because you’re in a weakened state you probably really have to pay attention to this because somethings that you wouldn’t even consider as being potentially dangerous or maybe hopping around, or maybe moving around a little too quickly could potentially pose a risk because you’re weaker and maybe you don’t have the balance you normally would with coordination in that state.

 

So it sounds like keep it simple, I mean you need some safety. It sounds like you’ve got to rebuild your basic movements and all around kind of movements because this isn’t like, “Oh, I haven’t been deadlifting so my deadlift form/technique is probably off a bit.” This is across the board, all around, you probably have to build things up I would imagine?

 

[00:17:32] JM: Yes, yes, yes. It’s really getting as fundamentally back to moving as a baby as we can get. It’s frustrating but it’s a really interesting opportunity to be in that world again of, you’re not necessarily, at least in my situation I wasn’t injured. My body wasn’t, besides my intestines, my body was fine. I just was really weak. And so I felt like a baby. I felt like I had to practice rolling over again and I had to practice getting into a crawling position and before I could even crawl, but just things like that.

 

And so, it’s not “I need to deadlift. I need to go from deadlifting 250 pounds to 300 pounds”. It’s like, “I need to be able to stand up without getting light headed and I need to be able to squat a few times without feeling like I’m gonna pass out. So it’s definitely recalibrating everything. It is amazing though where the human body knows what to do and it remembers what we had learned.

 

Everybody that’s walking now learned how to progress from rolling around like a baby, crawling, to kind of standing and walking a little bit. And we’ve all done that and so in someone’s situation of “this recovery after an IBD flare diagnosis that mapping is there. We just need a little bit more time work at practicing those movements again and I think something like – getting back to those eye drills and the join circles and other mobility type exercises is what I found to be the most helpful way of doing that.

 

[00:19:09] RT: Yeah so by the sounds of it, the goal of all of this is ultimately to strengthen yourself, right? And just improve and move up to a site that’s a little bit more compilation activities.

 

[00:19:20] JM: Yes, yes. It’s been tough to find – one thing I liked abut the RKC  I had a 100 kettlebell snatches with a certain wight a da kettlebell. There’s nothing like that with IBD that I’ve found, so I thought, “Well maybe I can create something like that. And just to have an A goal for someone. So for most people listening these are gonna sound incredibly simplistic maybe but it’s kind of where someone is in that recovery realm.

 

So something like being able to do five pushups, five pushups for men, three if you’re a woman. If you get to, with squats being able to do a bodyweight squat with no extra weight 10 to 15 times, being able to walk, just walk for 10 minutes straight is a big goal. And I think a few markers like that are important to have to help work for and strive to and kind of keep you on progress, and it keeps you on track.

 

[00:20:22] RT: Okay so those are like almost like minimums that people should be going after, right?

 

[00:20:26] JM: Yeah, yeah. I like to look at those as, “Okay once that’s been hit, my body’s pretty good and I can,” – you should be able to move on and take on bigger challenges.

 

[00:20:39] RT: Okay so how do you recommend they go about doing that? I mean somebody that’s healthy that’s never had this issue, in my mind it’s like you get in there, you kind of get good at the movements and then you start really stomping on the gas and charging ahead. I’m assuming that’s probably not the way to do it when you’re rebuilding from a state that you’re describing?

 

[00:20:59] JM: Yeah, I wouldn’t do that. I wouldn’t go pedal to the metal. I would take it pretty easy. I definitely would focus on avoiding any overexertion. “Less is more” is the big approach that I like to use in the beginning, maybe workout for five minutes. See if you can get a five minute continual sort of movement if you can. And then maybe make it seven minutes the next day.

 

But something really, really basic like that – just avoiding going too hard. It doesn’t have to be an hour long workout, it should not be an hour long workout. Use your breath as a way of seeing how you’re feeling. Like if you really feel overwhelmed by some of the movements, give yourself more rest in between. It’s a challenge because there’s not really a distinct template that “you have to go this way”. It’s just “we’re trying to move again” and so you need to really, really listen to your body and sometimes taking more time in between is a huge importance to it.

 

[00:22:02] RT: Okay so again, pace yourself, focus on form and technique. And it just seems like there’s a lot more to kind of internal focus going on. And you should be. I mean you and I before we started we were just talking, we touched upon a workshop I was at. It was more bodybuilding focused than anything else, which was interesting because it’s not something I tend to always do.

 

And you were saying that bodybuilders tend to have this amazing mind-muscle connection, which I mean anybody who understands bodybuilding realizes that’s probably one the most important things is that mind-muscle connection. But it really sounds like that’s what we’re doing. And it’s not necessarily mind-muscle per se, but just mind-total body. Really getting in touch with what’s going on.

 

[00:22:43] JM: Yeah. I think I found that as one of the good things that came out of all of this IBD stuff is that I’ve really become more in tune with my own body and I can really sense when I need to take it easy or when I can push it a little bit. And so bringing that back by just focusing on your breathing is gonna be a huge way of helping with that and there’s just so many good benefits of just breathing and breathing better.

 

It was kind of funny, but deep belly breathing while you’re laying on your back, a good internal core strengthening exercise crocodile breathing while you’re laying face down, your hands are stacked underneath your forehead and just focusing on a strong inhale and a full exhale and just that can almost be the workout in a way in the beginning.

 

[00:23:33] RT: Alright. So there you go guys. I think those are some good fundamentals. I think this applies to anybody across the board. Obviously the level at which you’re doing this increases more so than the focus on, let’s say maybe the performance per se if you are, again, trying to rebuild after and injury or after being diagnosed with something like this.

 

But I think anybody at any level and especially those at the highest levels, benefit from all of this. in fact, I think the guys and the gals who are operating at the highest level, they’ve internalized a lot of the different information you’re talking about which is, excuse the pun, but basically the internal practice and activity and exercise that’s going on. The stuff that’s going on in the inside that we don’t see. I think that’s what separates those key performance from the [inaudible].

 

But I also think that that’s probably the quickest way to recover. Would you agree with that?

 

[00:24:25] JM: Yeah. I totally agree with that and a big aspect of what I’ve been researching and looking for over the last few years is that idea of reverse engineering what the best in the world do, and seeing what an Olympic athlete does and seeing someone at the best in their field and thinking, “How can I do that? How could somebody that’s recovering from IBD, what skill could they copy from that person that’s at the peak level?”

 

And again, you can take that down to breathing and the eye drills, and just the smallest little thing that you can do that you can add into your toolbox and the breathing and the eye drills and joint mobility, things like that that we just keep practicing over and over again leads to those bigger movements and bigger goals and helps us recover better.

 

[00:25:22] RT: I agree 100%. Okay guys, we’re gonna go to a break. We’re gonna be right back with our guest, Joey Morstad from Strengthandnutrition.com. How did you manage to get that?

 

[00:25:33] JM: Yeah I got really lucky with that.

 

[00:25:35] RT: I can’t believe somebody else – I’m like pausing as I’m reading this just thinking to myself, “How in the world did he manage that?” So alright guys, we’ll be right back sharing some more great information.

 

[BREAK MESSAGE]

 

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[INTERVIEW CONTINUED]

 

[00:26:49] RT: Alright, back with our guest, Joey Morstad from strengthandnutrition.com. I keep wanting to say Strength and Health. For those in the UK, Health and Strength. Those two vintage magazines are worth their weight in gold. But anyway, Joey let’s talk about the importance of exercise with IBD. Why is it important? I mean obviously there’s the physical rebuilding, but what else is going on there?

 

[00:27:09] JM: Yeah the physical rebuilding is a part of it. I think the stress management, the relief in sort of like you’re doing something. And so for me that was a big part where I felt like I was in somewhat more control of my body when I was moving it and moving it in a way that I wanted to move it. And so that in a big way was a stress management, a stress relief for me.

 

Another one is just the pain reduction in my joints, the more I could move my joints the better I could move my joints. Like with the hip flexors and that tightness, the easier that felt. The pain went away relatively quickly for me. I got improved flexibility because of another bit, a potential decrease of inflammation is huge one. There’s a study I saw, “The Role of Physical Exercise in IBD” is the title.

 

And they talked about this idea of myokins are released through muscle contraction and the potential aspect that those can help decrease inflammation throughout the body, which I just found fascinating that the way I interpreted it was that if we exercise we can decrease inflammation. And IBD is inflammatory bowel disease, so if we can decrease inflammation through movement and exercise I think that’s amazing.

 

And so I wanna do whatever I can for that. Increased bone density is another benefit, just getting stronger, bones get stronger. Then just an overall improved immune response. If you move well you just, your body tends to feel better and you are better and the immune response is a huge aspect to that so I look at it, we’re literally strengthening our immune system and anybody with IBD knows that that’s a key function there.

 

So yeah, those benefits and just that overall idea of “it’s a silly” – it’s not, well it’s silly but it’s not where it’s if I can suddenly do 10 pushups when week or month I couldn’t do five, you’re just gonna feel better. And you are stronger and you feel stronger and that carries over into hopefully every aspect of your life. And it opens up this idea that, “Yeah, maybe I can go do X, Y, or Z because before when I wasn’t doing those pushups I felt like I can’t do that.” So I think that’s a huge, huge benefit.

 

[00:29:22] RT: Oh yeah definitely. The mind side of it, the mental aspect is crucial. Like you said, stress management and seeing those victories, seeing those wins definitely spur you on more. You mentioned “spiralling out effect”, what’d you mean by that?

 

[00:29:36] JM: It’s something that, the idea I think got from Dan John and I just really appreciate his overall approach to how exercise is part of our lives. And so something like being able to, that example of last month I wasn’t able to do this exercise and now I’m able to do it and I can do it well and I can do it for more reps than I’ve done before, like with maybe the pushups as an example. That feeling of hitting a new goal spirals out by being able to physically do it spirals out into this emotional wellness and emotional happiness almost.

 

And that was a big challenge or me, just emotionally I was just not good at, when I was recovering IBD. And so using my physical body helped strengthen my mind also and it helped take that and think, “Okay well now that I can do 10 pushups, maybe I can go back to work again?” Cause I wasn’t working for a few months. And so it’s like, “Okay, if I can go back to work, I can start doing other things. I can get back to living life in a real big way of looking at it.”

 

And something spirally out from those 10 pushups as to, “Well now I can live life again,” is I think just an amazing aspect of what fitness and movement and strength can provide to some people when they’re in that challenged, uncertain kind of scared world that I was in when I was recovering from IBD.

 

[00:31:09] RT: Yeah I think it’s so easy to overlook the importance of the psychological aspect of this recovery, recovery in general.

 

[00:31:16] JM: Yeah, yeah. I think that, in my experience that has been the bigger challenge. The physical stuff was short-lived really and that was for me easier to recover from cause I kind of knew what to do with my body with the fitness background. But the emotional uncertainty and just that the mind is just amazing and crazy and complicated and all these sorts of things.

 

So you kind of get – I got thrown off so recovering and finding back to my body again and being able to control that a little bit more and get stronger, spiralled out into my mental state and my mind and helped me get stronger again in that area.

 

[00:31:58] RT: Now what about considerations when people are going through all of this? Do you have anything in particular?

 

[00:32:03] JM: First, definitely talk wth your doctor. Let them know that you’re interested in that area and there’s, the studies show that exercise and IBD health, it’s still kind of cloudy on exactly what to do. That’s why I’m offering up my experience of what I thought is helpful.

 

Another helpful thing is, build your team. Find people that are gonna be on board with to help with you and your challenges. There’s a lot of online support groups, anybody can send me a message through my website and i can direct you to more of those if that needs to be, friends and family taking advantage. And just sometimes the simple act of the most challenging thing, but the strongest thing is to ask for help sometimes.

 

And that can just be tough, but if you have friends and family members and a doctor, somebody you can just reach out to and say, “I need a little help.” Maybe they wanna work out with you? Maybe you wanna just be there and just do something with somebody like that, I think can be a great consideration as something that’s really helpful and use that as an opportunity to maybe get stronger with your family members, your friends, things like that.

 

[00:33:10] RT: I know you were also mentioning to me things like “cautious of overexertion at first”, you were even saying, “Use like the talking test for recovery between your sets.” What do you mean by that?

 

[00:33:19] JM: Using the talking test is getting back to that breath again and focusing on being more mindful of your breathing. So say you do an exercise, you’re gonna do two different exercises. You’re gonna do a set up pushups and then a set of squats. And you do you first set of pushups and you get four or five reps maybe. And maybe you’re breathing hard. Don’t start the squats until your breathing has gotten back to the conversational level where you can just hold a regular conversation using, that’s the talking test.

 

And so once you’re back to that, “Alright, I can hold a conversation without feeling winded,” then start the set of squats and just use that in between each exercise. You don’t have to time it, you don’t have to jump from one to the other, but you wanna be able to be ready for the next one. And I think using your breath is just the simplest, easiest, most mindful way of keeping things where they need to be.

 

[00:34:17] RT: Alright. Now Joey, tell us about comfort zones man. Not erogenous zones, but comfort zones. On the show I’m always talking about playing outside of your comfort zone, at the edge of it and pushing it to expand that threshold. But in this situation the approach has to be a bit different.

 

[00:34:37] JM: Yeah, this is definitely my personal approach to it. I’m a big fan of the self help books world and I love that. And I get the idea of what “get outside your comfort zone” means where you know we want to, that’s how we grow and get better. And it’s maybe a personal thing for me, I can be a little bit more on the introverted little quieter side sometimes.

 

And so when someone tells me, “Get outside your comfort zone,” that’s stressful to me. That sounds terrible actually. And so I’m like, “That’s like the last thing I wanna do.” I get what the benefits are of it, so I’ve been thinking about that idea for a while and I looked at it as, “Well if I think of getting outside my comfort zone as a stressful thing, there’s a stressful response.” Tension builds, I get cortisol levels increase and that’s like, I don’t want any of that.

 

So I want to expand my current comfort zone, is how I look at it. And maybe it’s semantics, maybe it’s just the same thing but different wording to it, but I wanna be comfortable because I don’t wanna be stressed and I don’t want my cortisol levels to increase. So for me I want to expand my current comfort zone by getting stronger. And the stronger I am, the easier certain movements and physical things become.

 

And so that basically keeps me in that comfort zone, but you draw that circle on a piece of paper, if I get stronger that circle gets bigger nd then I can put more things and do more activities and live more life within that comfort zone and keeping my stress levels down and my tensions low and physical things like cortisol levels hopefully stay pretty low and I’m just able to do more things.

 

And so it’s something I’ve come up with and I like that approach that I feel it helps me a lot and I think maybe people wit IBD that are in that stressed-out space can hopefully benefit from that approach also.

 

[00:36:34] RT: Yeah, I would agree with you. The last thing you need to be doing is adding more stress to your plate when you’re in that condition. I think there are some semantics going on in terms of the way you were wording it, but ultimately the idea is to expand that comfort zone at the end of the day.

 

[00:36:49] JM: Yeah I think we still want growth, we still want to get better and there needs to be a challenge in some way to the body. For the muscles to grow we have to challenge them. And so it’s not eliminating anything challenging or difficult, but it’s – maybe it’s just, yeah it’s a semantics. Maybe it’s repurposing how we look at it and taking it from a little bit different point of view for me that I found to be easier to manage, I think.

 

[00:37:20] RT: Alright, how does biofeedback feed into this? Excuse the pun.

 

[00:37:24] JM: I found that to be just a really helpful approach where it’s, I’ve heard it’s something as simple as the biofeedback, the simplest approach with that is checking your toe touch. If you bend down and your hands can only get to your knees, okay that’s your starting point and then you stand up, you do some eye drills, you do some joint mobility, you do some other warmup type drills and then you recheck your toe touch and you can actually get to your toes, that can be biofeedback.

 

That’s a very simple approach to it, but it’s feedback on how things are working for us. We have FitBits and cellphone apps and things that are more technically focused that can provide that sort of feedback also. But I think the ultimate goal of how I find it helpful is that it gets you more in-tuned with your body and more in-tuned with what is working, what might not be working, what works best, and we can just do more of the stuff that works well for us and you don’t have to do the stuff that doesn’t work well.

 

And the more we understand ourselves, I think the better everything becomes. And so that’s how I like to us biofeedback. And I mean you can see a biofeedback specialist and you can really get into the nuts and bolts of it, which is fascinating. But on the simple approach to it, I think the toe touch is something like that that I’ve found helpful.

 

[00:38:50] RT: Okay so how, just give a quick explanation, a descriptino of how somebody would use the toe touch? They’d go in to train, then how would they go about doing that?

 

[00:38:58] JM: So I like to start my workouts with that. So say like you’re trying to the gym, there’s a lot of traffic, you get cut off a few times, you’re stressed out. You get to the gym and you check in. I like to workout without shoes on so I take those off. First thing I do, I check my toe touch. Most of the time I can touch my toes. If I can’t, that’s a signal, that’s a starting point for me to say, “Okay I can’t touch my toes right now, I’m a little tight somewhere or my body’s not quite ready for a big movement.

 

So I spend a little bit more time on my warmup, a little bit more time on my joint mobility stuff, a lot more of the ground based movements and just start to warm up and get better with how I’m feeling. Do that for maybe five, 10, maybe 15 minutes if it feels like it. Stand back up again, recheck the toe touch, most of the time, 99% of the time it’s improved. Once it’s improved I’m like, “Okay, that’s the green light to progress to the next area of exercise.” So that’s usually something maybe withe weight or something a little bit more strength focused, a little bit bigger type movement. And I just keep using that to kind of climb the ladder for that day’s workout.

 

[00:40:13] RT: Okay, and it’s just something you just keep checking in. You don’t just do it the one time you say? You just kind of keep going back to it to see how you feel within one workout?

 

[00:40:23] JM: Yeah I mean within one workout I’ll definitely start with it, so I’ll start, I’ll do it twice in the beginning. After I’ve seen that it’s improved, I’ll go and do some deadlifts and some pushups back and forth, maybe and ab exercise. If everything’s feeling really good, I’ll just keep working through that throughout the workout. If it’s not quite awesome, I would say I’ll recheck the toe touch and maybe I’ll need to add a few more mobility drills.

 

Maybe I’ll need to reassess something or sometimes I’ll just need to cut off that workout and be like, “Okay, that’s all I’m gonna get for today because I don’t wanna push it any farther cause the feedback I’m getting from my toe touch isn’t really giving me that green light to progress.” And so that workout for that day might just be a lot of mobility drills and joint circles and warmup type stuff where that is the workout for that day if that toe touch didn’t improve.

 

[00:41:22] RT: Right, right. Okay interesting. And it’s just like an assessment tool, right?

 

[00:41:26] JM: Yeah. Yeah it’s just an assessment tool. It’s not the only one, I just find it the simplest one and it’s something where with clients and myself, “Can you touch your toes? No? Okay so then we’ll see what we can do and then you could either touch your toes or you can’t. Or sometimes you can get your whole palm flat to the ground, depending on someone’s mobility and flexibility.

 

But I just find that it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s really simple and I like that. Anything like that and effective I think is, all sounds good to me.

 

[00:41:55] RT: Yeah agree. Stupid-simple, right?

 

[00:41:57] JM: Yeah.

 

[00:41:58] RT: Yeah I mean way less likely something breaking down and not working. So I would agree with you. Now okay, so this whole biofeedback deal, you’d sent in it a quote from Jim, and I wanna pronounce the last night to make sure I’m doing it right. Is it Cahill?

 

[00:42:10] JM: Cahill?

 

[00:42:10] RT: Yeah. Do you want me to read that quote and then get you to kind of touch on it? Cause it does have to do with biofeedback.

 

[00:42:17] JM: Sure. Yeah, yeah if you can do that that’d be great.

 

[00:42:19] RT: Okay so I’m gonna read his quote right here. In disease or pathological states, patients need to relearn control over lost sensory motor functioning and movement. Biofeedback allows such patients to gain control over sensory input by circumventing the pathological focal point that inhibits adequate sensory-motor integration.” So how about you unpack that for us and explain exactly what all that means and how biofeedback helps?

 

[00:42:44] JM: Yeah. I think as simple as I can make that is that when there’s pain, that signal from the brain to the muscle gets disrupted and that causes a lot of issues with movement and strength and things are just off. And so it’s a big world of modalities and ways of doing that and people with PhD’s and people much smarter are working on this and I’m just listening to what they’re saying with it.

 

But when there’s pain, the muscles aren’t gonna work as well. And so we want to do what we can do eliminate pain and using that biofeedback approach of something as simple as a toe touch or actually a biofeedback session with a professional in that field can help circumvent, help re-wire the brain-muscle connection that was disrupted by the pain signal. And so it’s just trying to not work in pain, or if there’s a pain message somewhere in the body, understanding why that might be there and doing what we can to address that.

 

And so in my world I think what I can do with that is move better through joint mobility and getting back to the eye drills, if we can see better we can move better. If we can move better we’re not as afraid an eventually not as in pain. And then we can move better from there also.

 

[00:44:10] RT: Okay. When you say pain is that something you experience with IBD? I mean it might be a bit of an obvious, I dunno?

 

[00:44:18] JM: Yeah. Yeah no definitely. There was physical pain on my lower left side, which is where my IBD presented on my intestines, lower abdominal area. So yeah, physical pain where I was kind of curled up on the floor, found a spot that didn’t hurt too much and just stayed there while I was in the flare and in the diagnosis stage of going through all that stuff.

 

And so after that those muscles around the area, my abdominals, the obliques, just didn’t feel like they could turn on. And so I kind of had to re-wire that it felt like. And at the time I wasn’t quite aware of that, but after research and looking back on it, that’s how I interpreted that situation for me. I had to send that from my brain somehow to the muscle that, “Hey, we need you to turn on. We need you to work and do these exercises again.”

 

It’s okay cause the intestines aren’t in pain anymore and it’s just, pain is a very complicated area, but I found that the more I could work on that, or basically I worked best on it by starting from a safe place. Movement wise starting from my back and feeling like, “Okay, I’m not gonna fall so I’m safe and so now I can do a few things that will hopefully strengthen those ab muscles.”

 

[00:45:38] RT: Interesting. Okay. Wow man. I mean, just to sit down for a moment and really absorb what you’re saying. Like I mean you’ve got to start from ground zero. You hear about people who get in accidents and they have to learn how to walk again. And to an extent, I mean you kind of fall into that category. IBD sufferers fall into that category.

 

[00:45:58] JM: Yeah, I guess to an extent yeah. That’s what it felt like to me. Learning how to walk again, with some strength was a challenge. And so everything I’ve been doing after the diagnosis until no has been researching ways of making that better and easier and decreasing the length it takes for someone to get stronger after a situation like that.

 

[00:46:22] RT: Yeah, no definitely. Okay Joey, we’re pretty much at the end of this interview here and I gotta tell you, you know I’m thinking about somebody who’s in this condition or something similar to it, it feels like they’ve got no options. Maybe there’s no coming back from it. But you’re proof, you did come back from it. You had a flare up that kind of set you back, but you came back from that again, and I think it says a lot about the character you have to have been strong enough, resilient enough to go through that, over come that.

 

I can’t imagine that could’ve been easy. There must’ve been some times man where you must’ve been pretty fearful to all of a sudden have a diagnosis like that. Like, “Yup, life’s different now. It’s definitely not the same.” So I really applaud you for stepping up and overcoming. And not only that, but standing up and kind of showing others kind of lighting the path for others to follow and get out of whatever darkness, whatever trouble they find themselves in. Thank you very much for doing that.

 

[00:47:16] JM: Thank you. I appreciate it and it’s something I feel that owe it to other people and I’m proud to help other people with it because when I was in that dark space and that challenge, there were people that had done that before me that gave me some hope and some guidance to it. Ralph Benirshka, a former San Diego Charger kicker in the 80’s went through something worse than I – same IBD but to a scale that I can’t imagine. So hearing his story and being able to talk with him really helped pull me out of that darkness and if I can provide something similar to anybody that might be listening to this, then I would be ecstatic by that.

 

[00:47:57] RT: Yeah. I gotta tell you man, definitely wanna spread this. Anybody who’s listening who knows anybody who could remotely benefit from this, whether or not they’re an IBD sufferer, definitely, definitely share this. we really would appreciate it. I love the fact that you’re willing to come back on and share more of your story, so thank you so much or doing that. I really appreciate it.

 

[00:48:12] JM: No, thank you for the opportunity. Again, it’s great and anybody that wants to reach out to me personally, please feel free to through my website.

 

[00:48:20] RT: Yeah, that was my next question, how can people do that? How can they get ahold of you?

 

[00:48:22] JM: Yeah, strengthandnutrition.com has my contact info. There’s an email address there, I think my cellphone might be on there also. Whatever works best for you, please feel free to call, text, send me an email. If you don’t know anybody else with IBD, after listening to this, you know me. So there’s people out there and there’s a lot more people that we realize that have it. There’a a player on the Buffalo Bill’s football team that just came out saying that he had Crohn’s Disease.

 

So professional athletes, a bunch, I don’t know if a bunch but there are big strong people in professional sports and throughout the world that live this and can thrive with it. And so there’s a chance and it’s possible. So If I can offer that to anybody going through the darkness or the challenge of IBD, then I hope that comes across.

 

[00:49:13] RT: I think it has. So anybody listening, pas on the information. If you know somebody who’s suffered from any of these issues, get a hold of them man. I say all the time, the shortest path to your goal, the only real “shortcut” is getting somebody who’s been there, don’e that. So just reiterate the point that you’d made a couple times Joey, which is definitely talk to your doctor about it before starting any of this stuff. But once you get kind of the A-okay green light from the doctor.

 

Maybe give the link to this interview or to Joey’s website to kind of allow that to offer more information and together everybody can kind of work towards, you know maybe not curing it in the sense of making it go away. Hopefully that’ll happen some time in the future obviously. Definitely give you back as much of a regular every day normal life that you can have. And right now in that regards, I mean how do you feel in terms of just regular every day life? Are you back to a fairly normal life?

 

[00:50:04] JM: Yeah. I take one pill in the morning and that’s it for something diretly related to my IBD symptoms. And beyond that I just try to be healthy in the way anybody I think would be healthy. And I don’t have any limitation and workouts that I can do on travel and life. I work, I have a full time job and yeah, I’m very lucky right now. I just want to let people know that there are a lot of people with IBD that live and do a lot of things. There’s considerations but just being aware and know that it’s not the end to anything. For me it was really the beginning I guess.

 

[00:50:42] RT: Very good. I like the sounds of that. Okay guys, you got it. strengthandnutrition.com is where you can find Joey. In terms of the website, if you put in Joey’s name, Joey Morstad, and you guys will find the actual show notes page where we have links to all the ways you can get ahold of him. Also we also include not just links to his website but to any social media. Like you’re on social media, aren’t you Joey?

 

[00:51:06] JM: Yes. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram also. Yep.

 

[00:51:10] RT: Okay so we’ll have links to all that. And you can just put in, “Joseph Morstad”. Okay there you go. And when you go to the show notes page, you can re-listen to the show, you can download it. There’s social media links to share it with others as we talked to you a moment ago, we really appreciate it when you do that. There’s links to the various podcasting platforms we’re on. Highly recommend you sign up so the shows come directly to you. That’s a ig one.

 

And then I would say if what we’re doing here resonates wiht you, there’s an option to leave a review. And if you can do that for us, a five star review especially on iTunes goes a long way. It gets the show higher up in the rankings and then that in turn makes it easier for us to get guests because they realize we have an audience that’s really into what we’re doing. So thank you to everybody that’s already done that for us, there’s quite a few of you. Thank you so much and keep them coming guys. It goes a long way for us.

 

Feedback, good, bad, or fugly, lets us know. Feedback@superstrengthshow.com. Anything you want us to do, change, keep doing, anybody you wanna bring on the show, questions you want us to ask them, send them all over we love getting the emails. Also training footage, photos or any videos you may have already, let’s say on YouTube, send the links. We love sharing them on our social media platforms on the website as well. So that’s info@superstrengthshow.com. Make sure you send them there.

 

Other than that, when you’re on the show notes page, make sure you sign up for the free report and you get the daily tips and whatnot, the newsletter we really appreciate when you do that. It shows you how to maximize your strength while minimizing your risk for injury, which is vital because the last thing you wanna do is get injured, that does not help anything. It’s double regression, as I mentioned in the prior episode and you don’t want that to happen.

 

So this just teaches you how to put more pig iron on the bar, means more muscle on your frame, better performance, better body composition, but most importantly how to do that and maximize the safety factor because there’s nobody out there, even the strongest of the strong, they’re not going into it like idiots. They have a very specific way in terms of how t life, they’re not just doing it recklessly. And that keeps them healthy, which allows them to put in the training and the consistency to get as strong as they get. Whether it’s just enduring, or to increase their performance and ability or muscle mass.

 

So highly recommend you check out that. Other than that, thanks again Joey, I really appreciate you coming on. I love what you’re doing. Keep doing it man. Anything we can do to help you out. Love to have you back on again also. So thank you so much.

 

[00:53:18] JM: Yeah I appreciate it. Thank you again so much. It was awesome.

 

[00:53:21] RT: No problem. Alright guys, I always say it and I said it a moment ago, the only real short cut if you can call it that is doing it right the first time and you do that by finding somebody who’s been there, done that, has taken others like you to the promised land and has come back and is able to take you there too. So if what Joey’s saying resonates with you, reach out to him and put this stuff to use. I mean all this great information, all these great guests, all this great info that’s all out there, put this stuff to use. And until next time, train smart, train hard, and we’ll talk to you then.
[END]

 

More Specifically in this Episode You’ll Learn About

  • Joseph shares how he recovered and rebuild his body after being released from the hospital
  • Improve your balance through eye movements and breathing, which helps for better movement.
  • Find a starting point
  • GPP: General Physical Preparedness
  • Abilities become really important again, once they have been taken away from you
  • The human body knows what to do, and it remembers what it had learned before
  • Less is More
  • The use of reverse engineering and learning from others
  • The importance of exercising with IBD
  • Spiraling Out Effect
  • Expand your comfort zone
  • Use Biofeedback to get you more in tune with your body
  • Rewiring the mind and body connection through Biofeedback

About Joseph Morstad

Joseph Morstad is a passionate fitness coach driven to help those with Inflammatory Bowel Disease feel, move, and perform better.

In 2008, Joseph was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and ended up losing 50lbs in just six weeks due to this condition. After his release from the hospital, he used his knowledge as a fitness coach to recover and rebuild his body. Within a few months he had regained all of his lost weight and became even stronger than before his diagnosis.

Joseph’s first interview on the show was so inspiring, that we wanted to bring him back on to learn even more. In today’s episode, we’re going to be diving deeper into Joseph’s condition, and drilling down on the exercises, movement practice, and any other techniques that allow him to to manage his ulcerative colitis. His mission is to help as many people as possible find their strength – inside and out, so regardless if you suffer from IBD or not, you’re going to be able to take away some high quality, actionable info from this interview.

If you want to learn more about Joseph, you can check out his website at StrengthAndNutrition.com

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Success Quote

Joseph Morstad - Perform Better with IBD - Super Strength Show - Quote1

Training Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Movement by Gray Cook

The IBD Fitness Solution by Joseph Morstad

Guest Videos

Offset Double Kettlebell Press (28 & 36 kg bells)

 

Mobility and Strength drills

 

Welcome to Strength and Nutrition!

Connect With Joseph Morstad

Website
Facebook
Twitter – @StrengthNut
Google +
YouTube

Bonus Q&A

Every person that we interview on The Super Strength Show has an opportunity to answer some extra questions that aren’t asked in the podcast. It’s a chance for our listeners to learn a little bit more about our guests and to get even more value from our show. Check out the answers that  Joseph Morstad provided below!

Can you share one of your habits that contribute to your success in the gym?  I think one habit that has really helped me in the gym is being able to “check in” with how my body is feeling with each training session. While I haven’t followed a specific training program in awhile I’ve been using proven training templates like Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 and Max Shank’s Ultimate Athleticism as guidelines. Then with each training session I just start moving to see how my body is feeling. A few joint circles and mobility drills lead into more specific muscle activation drills and movements. I’ll move to one of my favorite exercises, the Turkish Get Up, to get even more feedback about how I’m feeling. When I get a “yellow light” and don’t feel really good I’ll spend more time doing warm ups, mobility drills, and/or just stick to that with a few more Turkish Get Ups. When it’s a “green light” I’ll get into more traditional training methods like deadlifts, handstand practice, pull ups, etc.

What are your favourite exercises?  Turkish Get Ups, Single Arm Swings, Handstands, Deadlifts, Pushups, and  Sprints

What are your favourite muscle groups to train?  Hamstrings and glutes, Chest, and Abs

What are your favourite pieces of equipment?  Kettlebells, rings, and a hill

What is currently on your workout music playlist?  I’m slightly addicted to Macklemore’s new song “Downtown” and have been listening to Pandora’s LL Cool J station

How do you psych up for a workout or set?  When it’s a challenging workout or set I actually try to slow down, increase focus and basically get out of my own way. On a big lift or new PR I focus on all the ways I’m able to accomplish the lift with the intent of eliminating any fears about missing or failing. Also staying positive and focusing on the excitement of being able to even have the opportunity to perform the challenging workout or set helps me. Basically I smile, feel grateful for the challenge, then move.

What was one exercise or routine that gave you great gains in muscle mass and/or strength?  In 2008 after my IBD diagnosis I had lost about 50 pounds and was just getting back into the gym and found Eric Cressey’s “Maximum Strength” training program to be awesome for me. It helped me move better, get a lot stronger (got a front squat of 255lbs x 3 at the end of it) and regain the lost weight plus a few extra pounds of muscle.

What’s your favourite way to speed up recovery between workouts?  Getting outside for 5-10 minutes of joint mobility work and then going for a walk. Sometimes I’ll add a light jog/sprint up some hills at the end of that session. Also finishing all that up with Qiqong for a few minutes helps me a lot.
Acupuncture also helps me a lot.

What’s your favourite meal?  The San Diegan in me would say Mexican food (a bean and cheese burrito with guacamole and nachos)…the nutrition coach/IBD person honestly really enjoys scrambled eggs and yukon gold potatoes with avocado.

What’s your favourite cheat meal and how often do you indulge?  Did I mention the Mexican food 🙂 Haha, honestly I’ll eat Mexican food 3-5/month but each time it’s more like a chicken burrito bowl from Chipotle so it still fits my IBD and fitness/nutrition goals.. If I’m really going for a cheat meal then it’s nachos and that’s only 2-3/year probably.

What supplements do you feel work well for you?  Very interesting topic for someone living and exercising with IBD. I feel that these work best for me: a multi-vitamin, omega-3, Vitamin D + K, probiotic, B12s, Curcumin, DHEA, and herbal adaptogen along with my daily IBD medication of Imuran.

What do you do to relax?  Being active and exercising really helps me release any tension and relax. Walking in nature helps a lot. Going to the beach. Golfing with my brothers and Dad. Spending time with friends and family. Laughing and enjoying life. Reading. Meditation/prayer. Qiqong.

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  • THE Super Strength Show
    December 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 show
    November 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 Content
    November 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 show
    September 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 this
    September 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 professional
    September 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 this
    September 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 Resource
    July 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 podcast
    June 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 way
    May 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 knowledge
    May 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.

  • fantastic
    May 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 show
    April 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 CONTAINTED
    March 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 addictive
    March 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 everytime
    February 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 Resource
    February 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 McIlroy
    February 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 Show
    January 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 Information
    January 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 Richey
    January 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 show
    January 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 subscribe
    January 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 SFG
    December 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 C
    December 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 Ray
    December 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.

Click here for the full page of reviews!

Before You Go – Rate, Review, and Subscribe In iTunes

Reviews for the podcast on iTunes are greatly appreciated (especially 5 star reviews) and will allow us to get the word out about the show and grow as a community. We read every single review on iTunes and believe that each one goes a long way in helping us make the show even better! Good, bad, or ugly, we want to get your feedback. It would mean the world to us if you participated in rating/reviewing our show in iTunes. Here’s how you can participate….

Step 1: Follow this link: Rate/Review Super Strength Show in iTunes

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Step 4: Finally, if you would like each episode automatically downloaded to your iTunes, hit the subscribe button on the iTunes page.

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