In this episode of the Super Strength Show, Krista Scott-Dixon takes us on her journey to becoming the intellectual powerhouse behind Precision Nutrition’s coaching programs. During this interview, Krista teaches you how to consistently seek to learn lessons and work hard to truly master your training and your life.
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[0:00:18.6] RT: What’s up Strength Maniacs? And thanks for tuning in. I’m pleased to welcome today’s guest, Krista Scott Dixon. With nearly 20 years of experience in adult education and curriculum design, Krista AKA, KSD is an intellectual powerhouse behind precision nutrition’s, coaching program development.
Once the kid picked last for every team, Krista sees health and fitness as pathways to a bigger goal, which is changing people’s lives. Krista is the author of several books and dozens of academic publications and inspires a loyal readers of her ground breaking women’s weight training website stumptuous.com. I like the sounds of that. To connect with Krista you can visit stumptuous.com or PrecisionNutrition.com.
So that’s that and Krista, welcome to the show, it’s a pleasure to have you here. We had John not too long ago, Dr. Berardi and you guys at PN just are doing a wonderful thing, fantastic resource for people who — I mean everybody should honestly get some of the information that you guys have and ideally, take one of your guy’s courses because it cuts through so much of the BS when it comes to nutrition and just figuring out how to properly fuel your body to get good results. Thank you for coming on, I’m really looking forward to getting into this.
[0:01:42.7] KD: Well thanks so much for having me.
[0:01:45.1] RT: My pleasure, pleasure is all ours. Now, if you wouldn’t mind, how about you give us a little bit more info about yourself? That just kind of obviously, as I always say, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. How about you share just a couple minutes, a little bit more info so we can learn more about you?
[0:01:58.8] KD: Yeah, I think the kid picked last for the team really sums it up quite nicely. I am definitely someone that you would consider a non-athlete but I did come to weight training fitness, health, kind of later in life and I think that’s kind of cool because it does give me an interesting perspective on things and really my day job, if you wanted to call it that, I thought that I was going to be a university professor.
I consider myself a bit of an academic refugee, I was a university professor for a number of years and then I just left and joined precision nutrition and I think at that time I was employee number six or seven, it was just a startup at the time and I think John Berardi even famously said at one point, “I don’t know if this Internet thing, I don’t know if it’s a thing, I don’t know if it’s viable or if it will ever make any money.” It’s kind of funny to think about how far I’ve come but yeah.
So I think whenever I frame myself for people in that way, I always try to emphasize that I’m not an athlete and I don’t say that to disavow anything that I do in the gym but just to say it gives one kind of an interesting perspective when one comes to fitness, health, nutrition as a kind of outsider to it.
[0:03:17.8] RT: Yeah, I would definitely agree with you. It seems many times that outsiders, when they get into something, because they are outsiders they’re able to look at problems or things that are normally taken as tradition at a different angle. Because of that, they’re able to really enact change, positive change because they can break free of that tradition. Being an academic refugee, maybe that’s not such a bad thing. We’re happy to have you here, that’s for sure.
[0:03:42.3] KD: Well I definitely, I agree with you for sure and I think being an outsider has a lot of potential advantages. But in certain ways, I’m not an outsider because at my age, in my mid-40’s, I represent the bulk of training clients now, which is a sort of an entrusting place to be in. Having that perspective actually helps me understand how our clients think, what they need, what they’re concerned about, what they are anxious about, how they feel in their bodies, all these kinds of things and often, one thing I’ve found in the fitness industry, is that the people that are serving clients are not the same as the clients.
There’s an interesting difference there. Often people who work in fitness on average are a little bit younger, many of them come from an athletic background where as their clients tend to be a little bit older and may be recreationally active but certainly not ex-athletes. And so there’s often this interesting schism between care providers or whoever and the people they serve. So I feel like I’m someone who has been able to bridge that a little bit for people and help trainers understand that, “This is what your clients might be thinking.”
[0:04:52.1] RT: So with the academic background that you do have, how have you found that that’s helped you when it comes to addressing the needs of, as you say, the average client that you have nowadays?
[0:05:02.1] KD: I think there’s lots of different ways at an academic background can help you. One of the most obvious ones is teaching, I know that different universities have different priorities for their academics but certainly the university that I was at, teaching was a big deal and so I really learned curriculum design, how to offer adult education, how to communicate with students and I was teaching a lot, I taught for 10 years, lots of different kinds of courses.
Teaching I think is one big piece because coaching is a lot about teaching and I think a lot about how to offer information in ways that people can understand and make use of. The other piece I would say is research. The great thing about being an academic is that you don’t necessarily have to have a background in the subject that you’re investigating. I mean it helps obviously but if you come across a new subject that interests you, you have the skills to discover more about it, you can learn about it in research.
So if I wanted to, I could become a subject matter expert on something much more quickly than the average person could because I know how to learn, I know how to find information, I know where to find information which is almost better than knowing the information itself because then you don’t have to walk around with all that stuff in your head. The research skills are huge and I use them every day really.
[0:06:25.6] RT: You know, you just reminded me of one of my junior high teachers, or middle school teachers. I remember it was an English teacher, I remember he said to us, “You’re going to need to pick a book to read,” it was an English teacher, “and you need to basically learn how to learn. You guys are going to be on your own but by the end of whatever it was, a month, two months, three months, whatever it was. You guys essentially have to s how me that you’ve learned something.”
We all thought, “Oh great, we’re going to be able to do whatever we want, we’re free to do what we want,” figured that we can get just basically do nothing right? Well that wasn’t the case because obviously we were being tested, he was surprising us with things now and then. At the time, it didn’t really clue in how important of a skill set that is.
Later on, I remember looking back and saying, “Wow, that really was one of the best things that we actually took away from probably our whole middle school experience, if not, almost schooling,” because once you learn how to learn, well now, the world’s your oyster because you can literally learn anything. What would you say are some of the key aspects required or key traits of a good learner?
[0:07:36.6] KD: That’s a great question and I could just jump off that and say, asking questions is a huge part of learning how to learn and treating questions not as a threat but as an exciting opportunity. Often I think with coaches, because obviously we train coaches at Precision Nutrition, often coaches will have a client ask them a question or they’ll be confronted with a question that they don’t know the answer to.
They’ll feel stupid or they will feel like I don’t know enough and to me, that’s the wrong approach to questions because questions are these awesome little opportunities to learn or to explore and maybe you never answer the question, right? I mean you have to be able to tolerate the idea that you won’t maybe be able to answer the question. Maybe it’ll be one of those questions that’s unanswerable right? Treating questions in a certain way would be piece number one.
I think piece number two would be being able to prioritize information. I noticed with a lot of newer coaches, I think this is true of newer athletes in any kind of sport, they don’t know what is important to know or to think about, and so everything seems equivalent. I think of it like learning boxing or any kind of a martial art. Where in the beginning, you don’t know what’s important and what’s not. You ask questions like, “Well what if my had is over here? What if my opponent’s hand is over here? What if it’s three inches to the right?” Or something like that.
Really, it doesn’t matter because there are these larger principles of things like transfer of force and so forth. But when you’re starting out, you don’t know that. Learning how to prioritize information and also to distill the core concepts from a large volume of information because now, access to information is not the problem, right? It’s making sense of it, making it coherent and being able to pull out what really matters, that’s I think the task for the 21st century in terms of learning.
I think the third piece would be understanding — I call these things before things. What things have to come before other things in order to enable things to occur? In the context of something like skill development. What does someone have to be able to do before the can move on to the next step and are they jumping ahead? Are they starting at point D and getting stuck and feeling stupid when in reality they actually just skips steps A, B and C?
Things before things, it sounds kind of goofy but it’s actually a foundational concept in learning how to learn and I find that often when people get stuck. It’s not that they suck or they’re bad or anything like that. It’s actually most often a skills deficit, they’re missing a thing before a thing. That’s kind of cool to think about, right? Because when you get stuck, you’re like, “Well aybe I’m just missing a thing before the thing.” You can kind of work backwards and figure out, “Okay, where’s my skills deficit here?”
It’s like a movement in the weight room where maybe you can’t stabilize your body in space just yet. Maybe you can’t do a pull up because that’s the step that you need in order to be able to do a pull up or maybe you can’t transfer your weight behind your feet properly or move your hips to counter balance yourself. So you’re not yet ready to squat but that will come if you get the hang of moving your body in space. I guess those would be the top three things. I’m sure there are tons more but those are the ones that just pop for me.
[0:11:03.4] RT: Yeah, actually you’re reminding me of a situation where I got into something and I got my hands on some more advanced information. I was trying to implement it, trying to implement it and all of a sudden, I just had this realization, it’s like, “No wonder I’m not getting anywhere, I don’t even know the very fundamental basics. How am I supposed to do this more complicated stuff?” I don’t know, learning how to drive a car and like a race car driver but not knowing how to start it, not understanding what a break in the gas does. I mean that’s just a formula for some serious problems.
If you look at school, yeah, it makes a lot of sense that you would understand this because coming from the academic world, school setup, it’s structured in a way where it’s progressive, grade one, grade two, grade three, grade four. The realm of let’s say martial arts, you have a white belt, yellow belt, green belt, depending on the style, the colors may change, but you progress and you work your way up. Yeah, that’s actually a really important concept.
How would you say can people identify whether or not they’re missing out on something, on how they should structure the information to learn it properly because you’re saying this, this is really resonating with me because I really do think this is a very important skill, which is learning how to learn because, not only is learning a big deal but I think this is a skill set that helps you separate the wheat from the chaff and nowadays as you said, with the internet. It’s just information overload.
[0:12:30.7] KD: Yeah. There’s almost like a cognitive piece to that and there’s a feeling piece to that. The feeling piece is, there’s a feeling that goes with being overwhelmed right? Or not being able to filter information properly. It feels different to different people but you kind of know when you’re in a moment of just “blah!” You don’t know what to do or you’re grinding your gears or you just feel like there’s way too much stuff coming at you.
I think it’s very valuable to attune to that feeling and go, “This is actually sort of a dashboard indicator that maybe I’m missing some key skill here or some key piece.” The more cognitive piece is can you execute things consistently? If you’ve really mastered a skill, you should be able to execute it an repeat it at a high level of quality over and over and over and over again. I think of taking Judo and seeing the black belts before every class, doing their break falls, doing their grips setups, by themselves in the corner, very simple little movements, moving back and forth.
And I was like, “That’s what makes a black belt.” It’s not that they knew any kind of super complicated throw. It’s that their command of the basics, they could take a grip consistently, perfectly, a thousand times. They can feel a weight shift perfectly, consistently, a thousand times. So I would say kind of put those two things together, the feeling of knowing versus not knowing and the ability to actually execute. And to me, that second piece is really foundational because people come to me all the time and they say, “Well I already eat healthy, I already do this.”
Or sometimes coaches in our level two program will say, “Well these skills are too basic, I already know how to listen to people or to communicate,” and I’m like, “Great. By an objective standard, are you doing it? If I were to time how long you listen to a client before you interrupt, would I find that you have adequately listened to them?” Your performance should be able to be measured by some objective standard, not just your own self report of being awesome right?
I mean not all of us think we’re awesome but definitely I think what tends to happen is, at a lower level of skill, you cannot accurately assess yourself. So you may tend to think that you’re better than you are. This happens in martial arts all the time, you get someone who has been training for six months and they’re like all right, now it’s time to take on the black belt. What they don’t realize of course is that the black belt has been very nice to them this whole time.
[0:15:09.9] RT: Yeah, that’s a good way of putting it. I think this is fantastic what you’re saying right now. This is really important essentially, if you’ve developed a skill, it should be like science in the sense of it should be repeatable right? It’s something that you should be able to repeat over and over with consistent results.
Obviously there are some variables if we’re talking about something like sports or martial arts or something like that. The person that you’re applying the techniques to may not exactly be willing to comply every time.
[0:15:42.0] KD: Sure.
[0:15:43.7] RT: But you should feel confident in your ability to do something and if you are lacking that confidence, in all likelihood, it could be just simply a matter of just, you don’t have a lot of practice in implementing the thing or doing the thing or it could simply be, you just have holes in your game plan and you just don’t know everything that you’re supposed to know.
[0:16:02.6] KD: Yeah, absolutely. I would also make the argument that a feeling of certainty, like deep certainty that you know the rules and everyone else doesn’t is a sign that you’re not an expert because there’s almost like this curve and when you start something, you don’t know anything and you just feel like an idiot. I like the feeling of not knowing anything because it’s like this world of possibilities right?
To me, being a total beginner is actually really fun because no one expects anything of me and I can just go and bumble around and that feels great. The other end of the continuum, if you’re a complete expert, you know how much you don’t know. You also feel like you don’t know anything right? You’re also at a statement that you make is qualified and you’re careful with it and you don’t make blanket statements about things.
When you’re in the middle, is actually sort of the danger zone, when you have a little bit of knowledge or some expertise and you tend to create this rules about the world. “Well everyone should do this or everyone shouldn’t do that or this food is bad or whatever.” That’s actually the danger zone.
If you’re walking around with a feeling of complete certainty about the world and also maybe the conviction that everyone else is an idiot and you’re not, that’s probably not a good sign. It signals that you may not be as expert as you think you would like to be. There’s nothing wrong, you just sort of keep practicing and progressing more towards the state of knowing nothing which is the ideal expertise I guess.
[0:16:02.6] RT: Yeah, so when you start believing your own hype, your own marketing, that’s probably a bit of an indication, a warning sign.
[0:17:35.5] KD: Yeah, totally. When you’re intolerant of other paradigms too, right?
[0:17:39.1] RT: Yeah, that’s a big one.
[0:17:39.8] KD: Everyone should squat this way or everyone should eat this way, that’s problematic, and when you start working with real people, real people have a great way of messing up your awesome theories right?
[0:17:51.7] RT: Yeah, for sure. That’s one of the dangers of being an academic that’s stuck in an ivory tower. Your notions, your ideas, whatever they may be, your theories, they’re never really challenged and put to the test. I think that’s also a good point what you just said, dealing with real people.
This is good, this is some — again, the skill of learning, of knowing how to learn, knowing how to teach yourself is huge because that’s what life basically is at the end of the day, it’s a big learning game. We start off life where we spend the first so many years of our life, actually yeah, we’re not in formal schooling the first so many years of our life, but that’s where we are, learning machines. Then we do get it to expand a time where we have 13, maybe 15 or so years of formal education.
A lot of people unfortunately, this concept, you’re never really out of school. School’s never really over for the professional they say. Once you finish your schooling, I mean to me, the way I look at it is, that is basically something along the lines of okay, you’re at the start line now and you have your shoes on laced up and everything and you’re ready to run. That’s really all that’s happened.
Again, it’s like in martial arts, once you got your black belt, that doesn’t mean really much, it just means that you’ve learned a bunch of techniques and obviously you’ve honed your skill to a certain level but now that you’ve achieved a certain level of proficiency, mastery, could be argued if you’ve really become a master at that point.
But you’ve developed a certain level of proficiency now where, “Okay, now that I’ve got this repertoire of things, now it’s the point of where I can become a master, a real master because now I could really start to hone these abilities. I’ve moved beyond the fundamentals in the sense of okay, I’ve learned a series of basic moves or a system, a way of doing things. Now that I have this understanding, okay, now let’s master this thing.” And if anybody thinks once school is out that school is over, well, not good.
I think that’s where a lot of frustrations come in to play for people, especially nowadays in the world we live in now because it is, I mean, there’s so many things that we want to learn nowadays, it’s more advanced, there’s a lot more knowledge that’s out there. I think I read, I think I heard a statistic, “people on average only read I think it’s like one book after graduating from a University or finishing school in their life.” It’s something ridiculous like that.
If anybody’s ever stopped wondering, “Why is life so frustrating, why am I not getting what I want?” Well, you’re not getting out there and learning and probably because you don’t have the skill set that Krista’s talking about which is you don’t know how to teach yourself or you don’t know how to learn. I know when I’ve been in situations like that and not cluing in to that fact, things get really frustrating.
But the minute you click in to it like you said Krista, the minute you start finding yourself in a position where, “Wow, I really don’t know how to do this thing or I’m not really good at this, whatever it may be, that’s a good thing because now there’s a potential for growth there.”
[0:20:48.8] KD: Yeah, absolutely. I think the other factor inherent in this is time. People are always looking now I think for the hack, “How can I hack this? How can I do this for four hours?” Some things work that way, they’re probably more efficient ways to stamp a hole in sheet metal right? Many things are time based, you cannot change that. For example, I can only work out so often, I can’t take 30 workouts and put them in a single day of a month and expect the same results, right?
And so there are, I think biological time, learning time, intellectual development time, emotional maturity time, all of these things are much longer than we would like them to be. I think folks looking for the hack, sometimes yeah, there are little hacks. For example, time management, sometimes are a little tricks and stuff that you can use but in general, the larger project, anything worthwhile, it’s a long game and it takes a lot longer than you think.
It’s funny because I was talking to one of my younger colleagues who was just starting out as a writer. He said to me, “How do you produce stuff so fast. It’s so fast and it’s so good.” And I’m like, “Look, I’ve had 20 years of formal training in this and I have literally written hundreds of thousands of pages of stuff.”
There’s no substitute for time and it’s the same in athletic development too. The people who are the best in the world typically started younger and have put in that time. There’s no hack most of the time, there’s not instant fix and people say this but none of us really wants to believe it, right? We don’t want to believe there’s some trick or special technique that would get us there faster but there really isn’t most of the time.
[0:22:35.8] RT: Yeah, it’s just putting that time in and there’s a reason for that. Now, the whole 10,000 hour rule, Malcolm Gladwell made that somewhat famous, popularized that idea in his book. The concept you need 10,000 hours of rigorous practice to become a master at something. I sometimes wonder how hard and fast that rule is, I sometimes wonder if you have access to the world’s greatest instruction, instructors and teachers and whatnot, if that rule still applies.
But that being said, what you’re saying, I think something that people need to understand is, if you do know how to teach yourself or you are lucky enough or fortunate enough to have quality instruction, you can really shorten down that timeframe but it still doesn’t mean that you can make it overnight which is the point that you are making. You still need to put that time in.
But that being said, again, if you have quality practice, quality instruction, quality information that’s taught to you in a manner that again, like you said Krista, is progressive in the sense of you’re learning things in the proper order and they’re building upon each other. That literally allows you to speed up the process so much more, it’s incredible.
That’s one of the reasons why I’m always harbouring on the notion of find a mentor. Find somebody who has been there, done that. Find somebody who has provided the results that you are looking for in other people’s lives including him or herself, his or her life.
[0:24:00.1] KD: Yeah, absolutely. There’s another piece to it. So you can have an amazing coach or a mentor, instructor, whatever. But you have to be open to this, you have to be coachable and teachable and not walk in going, “I need to know this, I need to show other people that I know this.” Throw that out, you need to be a really good student and I see this in our courses, there are students who show up who are largely blank slates, maybe they’re career changers or people who don’t have a lot of background in the field of fitness and nutrition.
But they are so eager to learn and they’re just like sponges and they’re like, “Please just teach me everything and I’ll devote myself to the openness that is required for this.” They just skyrocket, it’s amazing what they can do with that level of openness and receptiveness. Part of it too is about your attitude as a learner and having that growth mindset, right? Not locking yourself down too early and saying, “Well, if this is hard then it means I suck.”
No, it should feel hard, it should — true learning and deliberate practice should feel effortful and if it doesn’t, it’s probably not doing you a huge amount of good. I mean it’s probably consolidating something, it’s not bad, but for true growth to occur, it has to feel effortful. It’s like just rolling into my gym and doing a few easy things, it’s not bad but in order to make progress athletically or in terms of my fitness level, I have to disrupt homeostasis and that takes effort.
[0:25:29.5] RT: Yeah, what is it? The second law of thermodynamics? I think isn’t that something like that when the system gets to a point of it has to evolve to basically I think it disrupts homeostasis and because of that, I believe it evolves, I think I’m butchering this right now.
[0:25:45.2] KD: Physicists in your audience are screaming right now.
[0:25:46.2] RT: Yeah, definitely, for sure. I need to remember that right now, anyway, okay. All right, we’re talking about learning how to learn. How about we get into, I mean this was — I can’t stress enough how important of a skill set this is and obviously we’ve spent some time talking about this for a reason. I really appreciate the fact that you allowed me to kind of take us on this detour here with this.
How about we circle back here or kind of turn back and get on track in terms of the questions that I normally ask during the show here and let’s try to take the experiences that you went through, the hard times, the good times, really extract those lessons and help people get the most out of them when it comes to their life in training? How does that sound?
[0:26:24.9] KD: All right, that sounds good, let’s get back on track although hey, any divergence is good, I hope people are interested so far.
[0:26:32.2] RT: Well, I am, that’s why I went in that direction. So hopefully that I’m a representation of the listeners. Fingers crossed here because like I said, anytime that I find, somebody is sharing something — there’s a lot of extras that come on the show and they mention something and to them, they’ve done it so much it doesn’t really stick out to them.
Whenever I do hear those little nuggets where it’s kind of like it’s almost like seeing the tip as I said during the beginning about your bio, it’s the tip of the iceberg. And it’s like, “Oh, I know there’s so much more there and I know that’s really important and how about we just dig in to that a little bit more because I really think that’s something that can benefit people, and I don’t want to pas sit up,” so that’s what we just did here, I really appreciate you taking the time to do that.
But Krista, what about sharing one of your favorite success quotes and the example of how you’ve applied its meaning to training in life?
[0:27:23.9] KD: Okay, I’m going to cheat and I’m going to give you two. The first one I think is easy and obvious, it doesn’t require a whole lot of explanation. The first one is, most people have heard this one, which is, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” That one’s attributed to Gandhi, people have attributed it to all kinds of different people but for me, this is really about the fact that academics are often very good at critique.
They’re not very good at building things or creating things or producing new things. To me, that’s always been an instruction or an imperative or a request to build something, to create something, produce something, try something and to live some things. If I want change, I’ve got to start with myself, I can’t walk around complaining about how much things suck. I really have to build an environment and a world and a life where I manifest whatever it is that I would like to see.
So I think that one is pretty straight forward but the other one I’m loving lately is from Connor McGregor, the MMA guy. He says, “Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners.” I love that because to me, it’s about the intrinsic motivation for things. People who are true winners and I don’t mean they actually win a thing they win the gold star but they act like winners in their lives, are intrinsically motivated by the joy of the activity that they’re doing, by the process of problem solving, they’re intrinsically motivated to train or to devote themselves to their craft.
They will often do that despite the outcome and recently I read a story about a woman who ran her first marathon and she finished after the course closed and it took over eight hours and she was a new runner and she was a bigger woman and she had just kind of taken up running and it’s hard to move a larger body around.
She really struggled but her goal was, I’m going to do this because of the intrinsic value of this process. What I am getting out of the process. The process is the point. To me, that’s what emulates a winner, the way that winners think. She wasn’t thinking, “Oh what is everyone else doing,” right? She’s like, “How am I showing up to this process and celebrating the intrinsic value of this process?”
That’s how I interpret that quote and I don’t know, it’s really kept me on track recently, whenever I find myself drifting into worrying about external measures of validation or what is someone else doing? Or any kind of comparative external standard, I’m like, “No man, focus on winning, focus on whatever pathway that you’ve put yourself on and the intrinsic value of that pathway and that process.” That’s been working for me lately, that quote.
[0:30:18.9] RT: It’s funny, it just seems like it’s something that a smart Alex, smart ass guy is saying just because he’s on top right now. But the reality is, that slight shift in the way you look at things makes a world of a difference. That’s actually a really solid quote, I like that.
[0:30:36.4] KD: I think it also speaks to the difference between acting like a winner and being the winner, right? The winner is contingent. Today you win, tomorrow you don’t, who knows right? I don’t know if you’ve been following the Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm thing. Holly Holm is an example of a winner, she thinks like a winner and has admitted, “Oh yeah, I’ve lost.”
We all lose in fighting, it’s just a matter of time and I use my losses as ways to grow. Everything is a pathway to me and my job is to show up and to execute my duty as a professional. Whereas Ronda Rousey talked about being crushed by her loss because she wanted to be the winner, she wanted to get the gold star, to get the accolades and the external approval. What happens with that mindset is that you become extremely fragile.
As long as you’re winning, things are great right? As long as everyone is high-fiving you and you’re getting the trophies and stuff, that’s awesome but there’s going to come a time when even the most awesome winner in the world is going to start losing.
And I’m sure we’ll talk about trials and tribulations. I think that’s one of them. Everything you have at some point, you will probably lose even if only temporarily and a winner is equipped to deal with that whereas someone who likes to be the winner is not, they’ll crumble and collapse in the face of that.
[0:31:58.8] RT: Yeah, you kind of notice that for example, we’re talking about UFC and George St. Pierre, just, there was something about him that was different than a lot of the other guys and he was there, it was almost like he was on a journey to master himself, to perfect himself, it almost wasn’t even really about the belt.
[0:32:15.1] KD: Yes, 100%. That’s a great analogy and you see that in all that he did. Actually it was funny because he was one of our Precision Nutrition clients, he was one of our first pro athletes and for him, the process was everything and of course it manifested in winning, it can’t not in a way.
[0:32:32.6] RT: Yeah, exactly, the law of averages right? The law of numbers, at some point, you’re just going to win, it’s just the way it is.
[0:32:38.4] KD: Yes, exactly.
[0:32:39.6] RT: When you act like a winner and you do everything a winner is supposed to be doing, you think like a winner, I mean at some point, in all likelihood, it’s just going to take care of itself and you’re going to become a winner. But yeah, again what you’re saying right now, it almost sounds like semantics, but it’s not just word play here, this is really important stuff. This is the difference between the champions and the people who are performing at extremely high levels, everybody else to a degree.
It’s these slight tweaks in the way they look at things or belief systems, the paradigms, all of this stuff makes a massive difference. That’s why I think sometimes, some people are perceived maybe as cocky or whatnot. Obviously with somebody like McGregor, he puts on a show and flash and people say he really loves attention. Maybe, maybe not. Who knows right?
At the end of the day, there is a business aspect to what he’s doing with the realm he’s in, the world he plays in. But again, I think sometimes people, they kind of have a bit of a negative reaction to people that think differently. Merely because they are thinking different, they are operating differently and it’s difficult to comprehend why they act like that. It may put some people off.
But usually there’s something there, it’s kind of like what you said earlier in that if there’s an area where you’re not doing well for whatever reason then don’t get upset. That’s the potential for growth. If you meet somebody and they’re rubbing you maybe the wrong way, there’s some people who are just probably better of you don’t hang around with them.
But there are other times when something just doesn’t seem like it’s vibing with you at the same level. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s wrong, it just means that it’s different and there may be something to that. And that may be something to take a look at.
[0:34:26.5] KD: Yeah, I think if we’re talking about athletics too, I think from the outside, there is a perception that star athletes are somehow more talented and more gifted and they certainly are, I mean you can’t have zero talent and be the best in the world. I always joke that the NBA is not breaking down my door as a mid-40’s, five foot tall woman who can’t actually hit a target with the ball.
There’s got to be some level of talent and giftedness and any elite level achievement, to be the best in the world but the elite achievers, especially those who have long careers are the ones who showed up for practice, they are the first to show up, last to leave, they’re the ones doing the extra drills and the extra work and constantly bugging their coach, let’s look at my video and let’s get feedback here and how can I do this better?
They are the ones who are putting in the work and I don’t mean to sound like one of those old school conservatives who is just like, everything is hard work, it’s not exactly like that and you can work very hard often at the wrong things or I could work forever and again, still not make it to the NBA but hard work is a huge component of success.
Especially if it’s right work. It’s work that’s directed in the right ways. From the outside, it looks like wow, these guys are just superstars right? George St. Pierre, super talented. Well he is and at the same time, he’s putting that preverbal 10,000 hours and probably much, much more than that. I feel like if there’s a lesson I would love to leave people who are starting out in anything, whether that’s athletics, career, whatever is that effort does matter and consistent effort matters.
I don’t mean you have to kill yourself but you got to show up for practice every day and you got to do your drills and do your skills and that’s just how it works especially if you’re playing the long game. If you want longevity in your career.
Because we can all think of athletes who were flashes in the pan, right? “Oh they’re prodigies, they’re awesome,” and then they play one season or whatever and then they just flame out and you never hear from them again right?
[0:36:32.3] RT: Yeah. Again, as I’m just sitting here listening to everything you’re saying, I can see how it’s so easy to just show me the money, just show me how to do the thing. This stuff sounds great but just give me what I want. Give me the fish, I don’t care about learning how to fish. I just think about times in my life when maybe I didn’t quite have that exact mentality but I just did not understand how valuable it is to maybe alter these slight thought patterns, the way you look at things, the way you learn things.
Just not being sensitive enough to these things. You’re busy, you’re running around, especially when you’re younger, your level of thinking is a little bit different obviously, you get a little bit older but it’s just so important. I’m really happy that you’re bringing such good information. It’s interesting because when John was on the show, a lot of people, we’re thinking, “Oh he’s going to talk about diet, how to get abs and that’s that.” No, there was a lot more than that in the conversation, it was really good, I’m really digging this.
[0:37:33.9] KD: Well, he’s another great example of someone who has put in the time. He himself has put in 20 years of sustained effort towards being at this point in his career, right? He’s a good poster boy for that. I think the other piece as well is not just the outcome that you get, not just winning or being good at something but the other piece is the person that you become when you truly commit to the process and to being present to the journey.
I don’t mean to make that sound woohoo because that’s not sort of how I think, but you do become a certain kind of person by virtue of engaging in these actions consistently. The kind of person who shows up to practice every day and makes that happen, it’s a certain kind of person. It’s almost like you bring yourself into being by virtue of these repeated actions and eventually you become, hopefully what you feel is a very worthwhile human being.
Because what you have to do in order to make that happen, builds all this kinds of amazing skills. I was just reading an article actually a couple of days ago, it was a research piece that looked at athletes and how much they earn and the correlation with being a good team player. What they showed is that athletes who are good members of a team, they participate, they engage, they’re good to their team members, they’re helpful, whatever. They actually make more money in the long run.
I think we have this myth of like the individual genius or the individual prodigy or the super star but in reality, typically it’s much more effective to be someone who not only shows up consistently but also engages with those around them and collaborates and works as a team. So I thought that was just kind of an interesting little factoid.
[0:39:16.9] RT: Agreed, I definitely agree with you on that. Again, some may be listening to this and thinking, “Oh god, got to put in all this time and effort and all the stuff, it sounds terrible.” Well the reality is, if you really do enjoy what you’re doing, it’s almost like a litmus test. You’re going to be willing to do this, if not then you’re probably not too crazy about what it is that you’re doing.
[0:39:36.7] KD: Yeah and find something else. There’s a great writer called Cal Newport. I love his stuff, I think he’s a professor of computer science, but his argument is basically, passion is great, you don’t want to live a life without passion but ultimately, you have to get very good at whatever it is you want to do because passion is not enough.
I get so many resumes from young coaches who are like, “Oh I’m really passionate about health and fitness.” “That’s cool but are you any good? Do you have the fundamental skills that we need?” When you marry passion and skill, of course angels are singing and it’s amazing. You have to be good eventually and of course that takes input, lots and lots of input.
[0:40:20.2] RT: Yeah, all kinds. Okay, now Krista, how about sharing a story of a time in your training when you encountered a major challenge, if you could take us to that time in your life and tell us a story and the lessons that you learned form it?
[0:40:32.4] KD: Well, I think the twin beasts of aging and injury kind of get all of us at one point or another but for me I think one of the most difficult times was when I had an undiagnosed back injury, I had fallen on some ice and I’d herniated a disk, it was a bunch of things that all sort of happened together and I had this weird mysterious back injury. It was very painful and disrupted my life, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t sleep, it just sucked.
No one could diagnose me and it went on for a long, long time. Up until that point, this happened I guess in my mid 30’s I guess, early 30’s. Up until that point, I had enjoyed this identity of I’m a healthy person. I’m a fit person, I work out regularly and then all of a sudden, all that was taken away from me, I didn’t feel healthy, I didn’t feel fit, I couldn’t do those lifts that I’d loved. I couldn’t deadlift, I couldn’t squat and for me, that was really interesting, suddenly living in a body by all accounts you could call it a disabled body, a temporarily disabled body.
Dealing with that shift in my identity was actually quite difficult. I think so many of the traumas that we endure in life are ultimately about identity, who am I? Then what happens when that changes right? For me, it really changed this sense of invincibility, sense of immortality, sense of being a healthy person and I’ve been running my website Stumptuous since ’95 or ’96.
So I’d kind of built this identity, I’m a fit person, well now I’m not. What does that mean right? I almost felt like, “Wow, did I just let a bunch of people down?” That’s a stupid thought but it was circulating in my head, “Who am I if I’m not this person?” What I learned from that first of all was that all of us are only temporarily able bodied, I was telling you before we came on, I had the flu and this thing, the flu knocked me out for two weeks and I’m not a person who is often sick.
I get a cold and have a couple of days of sniffles and I’m fine. I have like one cold every two years sort of thing. This was different right? I was out of commission for two weeks and I had all those feelings of like, “Oh my god, what if I’m not a healthy person anymore right?” Your identity does take a hit. Now I mean, I learned some things from that.
One of the ones I would say that I learned is that to know the difference between when there’s something truly wrong with you and when there’s stuff you should ignore. I think that many of us who do a sport or who train with weights, we deliberately put ourselves into the zone of discomfort. I like martial arts, that involves getting punched and kicked and squished and bruised in all kinds of ways.
I took an elbow to the mouth the other day and I was discretely spitting to see if I had lost a tooth. Then it was no big deal, I was like, “No, it’s good, I still have my teeth, we’re good, let’s keep going.” We do become accustomed to a certain level of discomfort and its’ important to understand, when is it just discomfort, productive discomfort, and when is it actually a dip, damage or an injury that you have to pay attention to?
Learning to distinguish between signal and noise is very important and contrary to that is not treating your body as something that you have to crush and dominate all the time. I know people who get really angry at their body if their body “lets them down”. Your body isn’t letting you down, you’re letting your body down a lot of the time. It’s been telling you, “Hey man, knock it off,” and you’ve been ignoring it.
It’s really a valuable skill to understand when does your body genuinely need care and when does it not? On different tangent related to that is this level of body awareness. I think it’s very important to develop a level of body awareness. Now I can tell when that old back injury is going to start doing its thing, I’m able to avoid it before it becomes terrible.
If I didn’t have that body awareness, I would be injuring it all the time. I might be completely debilitated by it by now. I mean, there’s all kinds of things that one can learn from an injury and from aging as well which is basically that life changes the rules on you all the time. Those are some of the things that I took away.
[0:44:53.9] RT: It’s funny, we mentioned the Holly Holm’s fight and Ronda Rousey and Ronda actually said that she’d said, some of the stuff that went through her mind when all of a sudden the realization when she lost the fight was, “If I’m not a winner anymore, what am I? If I’m not this champion, what am I? Are people going to want to be around me anymore and is my life going to be the same anymore?”
All the stuff was just racing through her mind and she even mentioned I think she even mentioned potentially thinking about suicide. And as you said earlier, if your mindset, if you’re not focused on the proper thing, you become very fragile and just when you were just describing how you felt when you were sick and whatnot, “Oh my god, am I really still a healthy person?” It just made me think about that.
Very interesting how things could sneak up on you and when you least expect it, all of a sudden it just rears its ugly head and it could be a real big problem.
[0:45:45.8] KD: Yeah, I think it speaks to the danger of attaching your identity to anything that can be taken away.
[0:45:50.2] RT: Yeah, exactly, that’s huge. ‘Cause I mean pretty much anything can be taken away, pretty much anything.
[0:45:57.8] KD: Yeah, sure. Job, health, whatever.
[0:46:01.9] RT: What would you say should somebody focus on then? What is something that can’t be taken away?
[0:46:07.6] KD: That’s a great question. To go back to our earlier discussion about the process, I think loving the intrinsic value of the process and being present in the experience, that cannot be taken from you for the most part because you’re always experiencing things. And in terms of aging, I don’t know about you but I’ve had many mornings where I’m down on my basement gym and it’s cold and I’m creaky and I’m sore.
I can hear my knee crunching. I’m like, “When did that happen? What are you doing there,” right? Those are moments when you can feel very discouraged but the thought that I have in those moments is, “Here I am, I’m still showing up, I’m still present in the process and I’m still willing to experience living in this body.”
When things are going great and you have those moments like this morning, I was doing some breathing ladders with the heavy kettle bell. I was just like, “I’m in this experience, it feels fantastic.” I’m not thinking about, “Oh am I doing more reps than I did last week or am I doing more reps than whoever?” I’m just experiencing what it’s like to live in my body today.
Over time, again, if I’m playing the long game, that cannot be taken from you because no matter what you’re experiencing, if your present with it, it’s all a learning experience, right? When I sprained my ankle and I was limping, someone else sprained my ankle for me, this is another downside of fighting, people break things for you.
But I was limping around and all of a sudden I felt this overwhelming sense of like, “Oh my god, I’m in people’s way, this is really embarrassing. I’m now in people’s way because I’m slow and I’m shuffling,” and I was like, “Wow, what an amazing window into a different kind of bodily experience.”
So your own perceptions, your own willingness to experience and be present, that can’t be taken from you and you can kind of show up to whatever happens, it’s like I said, “Show up to practice, maybe have a good practice, maybe have a bad practice but you’re still showing up to practice.”
[0:48:15.9] RT: Yeah, again, these things just seem, when everything’s going good and running along and seem fine, this stuff may not seem all that important but this is the stuff that make a difference.
[0:48:27.8] KD: Absolutely.
[0:48:29.1] RT: This is the stuff that makes a difference. Not knowing how to twist your wrist when you do a curl to get the most out of — that’s not the real important stuff here. The real important stuff, sometimes are the things that we kind of take for granted and they just don’t seem like they’re that big of a deal but there’s this saying that says, “Small hinges swing big doors.”
The stuff that you’re saying, there’s so many things that we’ve talked about so far that are these vital key aspects in somebody’s life and the way they look at life, they perceive themselves in the world and what not that make the difference when it comes to the results and the quality of life that they ultimately have.
[0:49:10.2] KD: Yeah, absolutely. Who are you in those moments, right? How are you showing up and what kind of person are you when you face a challenge that is truly a challenge, not to something that’s kind of uncomfortable but if you are in a moment and training or anything else in life.
Were you truly don’t know if you can get up. If you’re buried under a heavy squat bar and you’re like, “I genuinely don’t know if I can stand up underneath this thing.” The person that you are in that moment when you go forward with it instead of collapsing, that to me is really the valuable part of training.
It’s not to say you always have to be a hero and they have to train through crap or anything like that. It’s more like, who are you in the consistent process of facing uncomfortable things and attempting to be your most productive and mature self about them?
[0:50:02.6] RT: Agreed. All right, how about we switch this around and we talk about a time in your life when you had a breakthrough moment? If you can do the same thing, take us back, paint the picture for us, get us really into that moment and tell us what specifically were the steps that you took to turn that light bulb moment into success?
[0:50:24.4] KD: I’m afraid that’s going to be rather boring story because it really does reflect a lot of what we’ve been talking about which is that I’ve had a lot of moments in my life when things clicked, like when you’ve put in enough experience points, all of us suddenly you get it. Often you can’t, often is not a moment, it’s more like you start noticing the problems you used to have are no longer there.
For example, training in grappling. That takes a long time to get the hang of, it’s quite a difficult complex kind of thing even though it sort of looks simple. I remember many moments where all of a sudden I just knew what to do and it wasn’t even cognitive, I wasn’t even thinking, “Oh hey, I know what to do now.” It was like, there I was in the right place and those are kind of great moments where you’ve put in the time, you’ve put in the hours, you showed up for practice and all of a sudden, things just click.
Your hand is in the right place, your foot’s in the right — you’re having all the right reactions and recently I very much enjoyed that feeling of emerging mastery around the things that I’ve been trying to do for a number of years where things are starting to gel.
I think a great example of that is learning Olympic weight lifting. Especially if you’re a newbie, there’s so many moving parts and you’re bashing yourself in your kneecaps, when I first started, I was ripping the bar off the floor and taking my knee caps off with it?
So frustrated and I must have smashed my knees, I don’t know, hundreds of times, I was so mad, I think I even still have the scars because I’m taking the skin off. All of a sudden I was like, “Oh no wait, it’s like this, it’s not like that,” and you get it at a deep level and all of a sudden, the bar just flies.
I think there are lots and lots of moments in lots of people’s lives around that where you have put in the work and you’ve put in the effort and you’ve showed it up over and over again and then it just freaking work, it’s amazing. Now I’m not super invested in grappling but I have enough knowledge to teach it to beginners. Often they’ll say, “Well what do I do here?”
I’m like, “Geez, I have to think about it,” because I don’t know it cognitively anymore. I know it in my body. I just know that I’m here when this is happening. I almost have to reconstruct instructions for somebody else about where to be. I think feeling things in your body at a very deep intuitive level. To me, that’s an amazing breakthrough, but it only comes with very clunky, painful, awkward learning hours in advance of it. But it’s amazing when you follow the instructions and you repeat over and over again, something does work.
[0:53:12.2] RT: Yeah, when you’re talking about that moment and everything starts moving and just gelling, that when you finally figure out how to ride a bike without the training wheels and it just go. It’s like, “Oh my god, I’m doing it, this is amazing, this is so awesome.” You may have tumbled how many times and this, that and the other but then when you finally get it, it’s a similar type of feeling.
[0:53:35.4] KD: Yes.
[0:53:35.2] RT: You’re just kind of flying and it’s great.
[0:53:37.3] KD: You can’t go back, there are these breakthrough moments where you cannot regress from that, you can’t no un-know how to ride a bike, right? There are certain breakthrough points where there’s no going back, even if you are not always able to ride the bike the fastest, you cannot un-know that intuitive knowing and I think that’s the beauty of intuitive level of knowing or gut level of knowing. Once it’s there, it’s there forever which is cool.
[0:54:04.0] RT: Yeah, agreed. Just knowing that — I had somebody on the show before, Adam benShea who is a Brazilian jiu jitsu. He’s pretty impressive, you just take a look for him online, he runs I think it’s Paragon Jiu Jitsu I think it is. I think that’s the name of his school now, just trying to remember.
Anyway, I remember talking to him and interview and ask and I’m like you know why jiu jitsu? He said, “Well, I wanted to have a skill that could go with me anywhere I went.” Like he said, “It’s like once you figured out that you got it, you have it.” Now, it may be a perishable skill in the sense that you need to continuously practice it to be able to perform at a very high level.
For the most part, when you got it, you got it. You could ride a bike, once you learn how to ride a bike, I’ve never heard of anybody who has forgotten how to ride a bike.
[0:54:50.0] KD: Yeah, it’s in there.
[0:54:51.6]RT: Unless obviously physically something happens to you, something happens to your equilibrium. Putting all that stuff aside, that’s it, it’s in there, your brain figured it out and you can just go back and reach way back then in the recesses of your mind and pull that back out the next time you need it.
It could be years and years and years later. That’s amazing how that works, you finally got that circuit to fire properly in your brain and once you’ve worn down that path, you’ve wore down that groove in the mind, it’s there and it stays there, it’s really impressive.
[0:55:24.2] KD: Yeah, for sure.
[0:55:26.2] RT: Okay, we’re going to go to a break, this is a break that we’re taking, way late in the show but this has been, I’m really enjoying this. Guys, we’re going to take a break, we have Krista Scott Dixon with us from Precision nutrition and we’ll be right back.
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[0:56:45.6] RT: Okay, back with our guest, Krista Scott Dixon from stumptuous.com. By the way, can you explain what that word means, stumptuous?
[0:56:55.8] KD: Okay, when I started it, I was about 50 pounds heavier than I am now and I’m five feet tall. I was sort of thinking about my physique at the time and I was like, “It’s really a combination of stumpy and sumptuous. So stumpy plus sumptuous together became stumptuous.
[0:57:19.4] RT: Okay. All right. Okay, what you’re telling me is you made lemonade out of lemons, is that kind of the idea there?
[0:57:28.6] KD: I think that’s a generous framing. I don’t know, the word stumpy seemed really funny to me and it’s something I’ve kind of just embraced, especially in an industry where long and lean was sort of the order of the day at the time especially in the early 90’s, everyone was trying to get long and lean and I was just like a little draft pony in a herd of thoroughbred race horses. And so I thought, “I might as well embrace it.”
[0:57:52.4] RT: That’s quite the visual. All right, well you have — that’s great, I love it. Okay Krista, let’s talk about recommending a training resource. If you could recommend just one to our audience, a couple that’s great too but if you could recommend one training resource for our audience, to help them out, what would it be and it could be anything from a book, an app, training, a piece of equipment, what would you recommend?
[0:58:14.5] KD: I would say go and read everything that Dan John has ever written. Go and watch his videos, go and get his DVD’s, read him, the guy is just amazing. I mean he was one of the people that I started reading in the early 90’s when I was getting started. He’s been around for a long time. The guy is legit.
He has a real gift for, going back to what we were talking about earlier with around information prioritization. He has a real gift for prioritizing information. Like, this is what you need to know for keeping it very simple and I don’t mean dumbed down, I mean, it’s just sophisticated concept but for giving you that clarity and simplicity.
He talks about, I think someone once asked him, ‘What muscle do sandbag carries work?” He says, “I’d just like to lean over and drip gobs of sweat on them when they ask me that.” Because obviously it works everything and it’s an incredibly great workout. Dan John is the man as far as I’m concerned and he’s a man of great integrity and his stuff holds up. It’s as fresh now as it was 25 years ago.
[0:59:24.3] RT: Yeah, because he’s focusing on those key core principles that it’s like the 80/20. He’s focusing on the 20 that gives you the 80% of results. Being able to simplify things, there’s lots to be said about that. It makes me think of back in school again, writing an essay, back to English class surprise, surprise. That’s kind of funny, learning all this life lessons from English class but anyway.
I remember when we went from writing longer essays to all of a sudden we were told we had to get the point across in much fewer words. We all thought to ourselves, “Awesome, we don’t have to write a 20 page essay, we just have to write a two page essay.” But now, you’ve really got to use your brain and you got to get rid of all the superfluous and you got to get to the point and do so in a manner that is still easy to read and flows well and whatnot. You realize, “Oh, yeah, this takes a lot more skill.”
[1:00:19.7] KD: Yes, exactly. I think it was Mark Twain that says something like, “I didn’t have time to write you a shorter letter so I wrote you a longer one.”
[1:00:26.3] RT: yeah, exactly. There’s a lot of truth to that and we can go to Hemingway and his whole concept of, he was always pursuing the perfect sentence which always getting away of the excess, always hacking away the excess words.
Since we talked about martial arts, I’ll throw this one in. It’s kind of like saying, “Okay, you’re allowed throwing 100 strikes for 100 moves to win versus 10. It’s like, “Okay, this is going to be a little bit more challenging now if that’s all I have.
[1:00:57.5] KD: Yeah, that’s a really great analogy.
[1:00:59.8] RT: I don’t know how well that transfers over but that’s kind of stuff that popped into my mind when I’m thinking about that.
[1:01:05.0] KD: Yeah, that’s a great analogy and what if they can only be the same 10? That advances the game even further. I think that’s especially a rare quality in a field that is drowning in information and is always attempting to come up with new and improved and, “Oh no, it’s not eight reps a set, it’s seven reps a set. Seven reps is where it’s at man.” This is how it is and people get very, very focused on details and I don’t want to be one of those old veterans that’s like nothing matters.
Sometimes it feels like that because again, people get lost in details. “Oh you know, I had 75 grams of carbs today,” who cares, it doesn’t matter. It’s really the larger priority, the larger contours, the larger overview, the structure that matters, the smaller pieces do not matter whether you do seven reps or eight reps. I mean who cares? I think it’s a very refreshing voice in a field that attempts to profit from the selling of my minutiae.
Because if you look at a lot of current diet plans, they’re not really that different from one another, small deviations in macro nutrients, it’s not like humans evolved on very varied diets. We’re actually scavengers and omnivores and incredibly resilient and adaptable. We don’t need the details again, we need that consistency and focusing on the key priorities.
[1:02:31.4] RT: Agreed, yeah I definitely agree with you and Dan John, by the way, we had him on the show, he’s great and I second what you’re saying. His stuff is fantastic, he has a whole series of those never let go and whatnot. He has a great series of books, his stuff is just fantastic. Good information.
Okay. Here is a question that — it’s time for the question we get into and I have a little fun with this one. I’m wondering, when you answered, If you don’t mind if you can give us some specifics like one or two items really focus on so we can take this away and apply them after hearing them.
Here we go, you are training away, rolling around and all of a sudden you catch a whiff and you’re like, “Somebody doesn’t understand that not washing your jockstrap, that doesn’t make you more lucky. What in the heck is that scent? What is that smell?” And then I walk around and I got the gi on and, I’m ready to roll around, you’re like, “I don’t think so, this is definitely not happening if that’s what he smells like, get the heck away from me.”
Obviously, I’m used to it right? I hand you the keys, I just kind of just point outside, you go over to the window, you look out and there’s the one and only DeLorean, full tank of hot garbage, you instantly know what’s going on. I’m somewhat vindicated, not exactly the best way to have first impression when we actually see each other but who knows, hopefully I’ll get over it later on. I don’t know.
You get into the car, going back in time, knowing what you know now, how would you structure your training to get the best results in the shortest period of time and set yourself up for long term success?
[1:04:00.6] KD: That’s such a fantastic question setup. I love the distracting information of the gi and everything else. I guess there are two pieces that I would say. The first one is to get a coach and be coachable. I guess that’s one thing to gather, I’m not cheating. Get a coach and be coachable is the first one, because I used to be a total do it yourself-er for everything, I’m a very independent person, I love learning.
My solution to everything was always, “Well I’ll just go and learn this for myself.” That’s incredibly valuable process, would certainly encourage people to do it. At the same time, I spent years doing things I didn’t need to do or doing them in a wrong way or doing them in a way that wasn’t optimal or thinning about things in an incorrect way like now I have coaches and I have coaches for everything.
If I think of anything that I need help with or that I’m not doing ideally, I’m like, “Hmm, I wonder if I can get a coach?” Like a fashion coach, everything right? I’m working with Craig Weller of Rogue Fitness. He works for us at precision nutrition as well. He was one of my first lifting coaches and I sent him my videos of some lifts and he looked at me and he was like, “What is your spine doing? I don’t even know what that is.”
I’m like, “I never really — kind of thought my spine was all right.” To him it was just a complete disaster right? It’s true. Once I saw through his eyes, I can see, “Wow, my spine kind of looks like Donald Duck.” Having a qualified coach, a qualified observer, qualified feedback giver is amazing because even if you were a knowledgeable person, there’s an angle that you cannot see yourself from, whether that’s literal or metaphorical.
Having them will give you that feedback and input and observation and applied problem solving is tremendous. So point number one, get a coach, point number two is that recovery will not happen by accident, you must chase it. It’s like, if you keep taking withdrawals from your bank account and you don’t have a job, eventually, that bank account is going to run dry. You need a job, you need to be putting money into that bank account.
And ideally, you are in the black, you are running some kind of profit in your bank account, you are not consistently deficit spending. This was something I really did not appreciate when I was younger. I didn’t even warm up when I was younger, I would just show up and start squatting or start dead lifting. It kind of makes me cringe now to think about it but you must absolutely prioritize recovery. If not almost as much as your training, if not more so than your training.
So it’s like, if you take away one unit of training, you must replenish with two units of recovery. This is how serious I think that it is. The more I’m digging into the research about recovery, it’s everything, it’s psychological, emotional, physical. It’s a very broad spectrum kind of thing but you must chase recovery and ideally your bank account is always in the positive not in the negative. Those are the two pieces.
[1:07:11.8] RT: Some really important stuff there. I think something that has — I’ve probably have more of a realization since talking with so many people, great guests like yourself, is the fact that your recovery is just as important as your training. Time outside of the gym needs to be treated like the time in the gym. Just showing up and doing the workout, that’s the easy part.
[1:07:32.1] KD: Yeah.
[1:07:33.3] RT: It’s funny because those who are not really crazy about training, they think, “Oh that’s just so dreadful to get in there and have to put yourself through that workout.” Well, there’s quite a few of us who just love it and they just want to get in there and make it happen, they’re just, this is the best part of the day.
But then there is the preparing the food and getting the food into you and getting the water into you and then sleeping and making it consistent and getting good quality of sleep. If you have to, maybe doing some foam rolling work, maybe making sure that you get into a yoga class, some stretching, maybe body work, massage. There’s all this other stuff that goes into supporting what you’re doing so you can make the most out of those few hours you spend training a week.
[1:08:10.6] KD: Yes, exactly.
[1:08:11.7] RT: Because all that other stuff, as they say, your muscle doesn’t get stronger in the gym, it’s the recovery, the training just sparks the recovery process and the growth process. But it’s up to you to make sure you make sure you make the most of it. The way I look at it is, all of this other stuff, it’s like fanning that spark, that initial flame that the training created to cause to grow and grow and get the most out of it.
Where if you don’t do all that stuff, you’re essentially really getting — you’re leaving so much money on the table, it’s unreal., Number one, you’re not going to grow to the full potential, you can potentially grow from that workout, number two, you’re going to show up the next workout not really ready and rearing to go.
Therefore, you’re not going to have the best workout which means now you’re not going to lead to as good of a skill acquisition if it was a skill acquisition type of a workout or an increase in your performance, strength, size, because again, you didn’t perform at a high enough level to challenge yourself enough to go to the next level and then it just gets compounded because again, you’re not doing the rest of the stuff correctly.
So instead of getting 100 units of return from your workout because you showed up tired and not in the best of condition train. Now you’re only going to get maybe 80 units and then you throw in the fact that you’re not doing all the other stuff right, so now you’re down to like 50 units and it just goes down and then you wonder why sometimes people, they burn out and then it’s not working for them, not getting the best result or it’s taking forever. Or I haven’t changed in months and months and haven’t gone up in anything. It’s because all the stuff counts.
[1:09:41.5] KD: Yeah, absolutely. I think a key point there is after certain point, the workout becomes more damage, it’s not productive damage anymore, it’s just damage damage. Recovery will not happen because there’s all this other things that are draining your recovery, it’s not just training, it’s your job, your finances, your relationship, your kids, your family demands. Commuting, like there’s a million things in the 21st century that drain our resources.
It’s not just recovery from raining, it’s not just recovery from training, it’s recovery from life. Not to make it sound like life is this terrible thing but really, in 2016, there are a lot of demands on our resources. Recovery simply will not happen, it’s not like any of us live or most of us live in some you call it wonderful, idyllic country setting where we get a perfect amount of sunlight and a perfect amount of darkness, we’re out in nature. Like it’s just not like that, right? It has to be a very active and aggressive process because otherwise it just won’t happen for you.
[1:10:45] RT: Agreed. All right, we are definitely at the end of the show, I mean we’ve been here for quite a while, so I appreciate you giving us the extra time, I want to thank you on behalf of myself and the listeners but before we end it off, Krista if you please can tell us where can we find out more about you and provide us with some parting advice as we end of the show.
[1:11:05] KD: Well, you can find me at stumptuous.com and then of course at PrecisionNutrition.com and you can find my voice if you will in our coaching programs at PrecisionNutrition.com. I’m involved in writing the PN coaching program as well as a level two coaching program. If you get the new level one text book, eventually once it comes out, you’ll find my voice there as well. Those are sort of the two best places to find me.
In terms of leaving off with a final thought, I feel like I want to return to this idea of learning. Get coaching, be a good learner, be humble, be open, be receptive, don’t be afraid to look stupid. To me, that’s just been sort of an excellent advice to applying my own life as well. I feel like the moment I gave up my fear of looking stupid was the moment that awesome stuff started happening for me.
[1:11:59] RT: Oh yeah.
[1:12:00] KD: That’s where I think I would leave it for people.
[1:12:03] RT: Yeah, the minute you were able to set that ego aside, that’s when now you are, you’re truly showing the level that you’re currently at. There’s no false pretences, because that’s what happens. Essentially what you’re saying, “I’m not going to do something that makes me look stupid.” You’re faking is what you’re doing at that point in time.
If you’re faking then we can’t get real feedback as to where you are or we can’t get a real assessment, a real reading. If somebody is there to help you, even yourself, you can’t get a true understanding of where you’re at to get the feedback you need to get to the next level.
[1:12:35] KD: Yeah, and you know what? It’s okay to suck at things. I feel like people are so afraid of sucking at things. They are so afraid of making mistakes. I’m like, “Go and make some mistakes on purpose,” that freaks people out, right? There’s no shame in sucking as long as you have the willingness to improve.
[1:12:56] RT: Well guys, I mean anybody who is listening, there was a time when none of us could walk, there was a time when we didn’t even make it to the washroom to use the washroom.
[1:13:06] KD: I was going to say, we were pooping our pants.
[1:13:08] RT: We were definitely crapping our pants all right. On everybody else and everything else, the bed and you name it. At that point in time, this is an example, I can’t remember where I heard this. Just imagine telling a child that’s learning to walk, anytime that that child falls down, “Oh stay down, don’t try again. You’re looking stupid or why do you keep trying to so hard, don’t try again.”
Can you imagine that? We would never ever do that. We got this expectation of children to get up to speed quickly, learn the language, learn how to walk, learn how to use the washroom, learn how to go to bed at a certain time, brush their teeth and within those first few years of life, it could be argued, “Oh well we’re programmed to absorb and take everything in like a sponge.”
But because children are treated in that way, we’re making the most of that time also.
It’s not like we can’t learn later on, somewhat touched on that. We didn’t get to too many specifics about that. We can learn and they know nowadays, there’s this concept of the mind being plastic and it’s consistently can grow and learn and evolve and if we just apply that attitude throughout life. Just imagine how quickly we could progress along and all of the things that we could learn and just how much more we can get out of life.
[1:14:25] KD: 100%. I would even add, it’s actually much easier to learn many things as an adult. I’m learning Spanish right now and it’s taking a long time, learning any language, it’s complicated. But as an adult, to learn things, I think it’s a lot easier because you get abstract concepts so much more quickly if you think of it, how kids learn, it actually takes them 20 years to learn to speak their first language well right?
[1:14:51] RT: Yeah, that’s a good point, that’s actually a really good point that you just made there.
[1:14:55] KD: Yeah. So as an adult, to learn things, your conceptual schema and you can graft new things on to other things, you have a vast pace of experience, you can say, “Oh I get this thing because it’s like this other thing I’ve already done,” right?
So I actually make the argument a lot of times that learning things as an adult is often much easier than learning things as a kid where you don’t really have context or experience or the ability to put patterns together or really even know what the heck is going on half the time, you know?
[1:15:26] RT: I think that’s really key what you just said there. It’s like the concept of taking a couch potato versus an athlete, let’s say I don’t know, a basketball player and then taking these two people and then getting them to learn how to play soccer when neither of them has ever heard of soccer or played soccer. Who do you think is going to pick it up quicker?
[1:15:44] KD: Yeah, that’s a perfect analogy.
[1:15:46] RT: It’s pretty good that the athlete’s going to pick it up better because they’ve developed their ability to play athletics, their body awareness, they developed the skill set, they’ve developed a concept of how a sport is supposed to be played. Like you just said, they can overlay that stuff and apply that stuff to this new thing that they’re learning.
And martial artist, you’re in martial arts. How many martial artist for anybody who is in that realm or pays attention to it, many times, you get to a point where you see somebody who has a multiple degree black belt of some sort in not just one art but like multiple arts. They’ll just have a whack and they may have taken them a while to get the first few or the first one but then from there, it just is amazing how quickly they can pick up this other ones.
Again, it’s because they developed their abilities and they’re much quicker able to catch on to things, like you said, and see patterns and take advantage of all that experience that they’ve had. I sometimes wonder if you need, going back to that whole Malcolm Gladwell and those 10,000 hours. Do you really need 10,000 hours when it comes to learning something that is somewhat related to the skill that you just mastered?
Is it 10,000 hours for each new thing that you try to master? Maybe if it’s completely opposite, maybe that’s the case but if there is a bit of overlap, I bet you probably no, you could probably learn it and master it much quicker.
[1:17:13] KD: Yeah, that’s a great point. It also speaks to this enjoyment of seeing the world as a set of opportunities. So maybe you’re a grappler and then you see the strikers and you’re like, “Oh that looks kind of cool, I bet you that would be fun,” right? You wouldn’t have that exposure to them because you all train at the same gym right?
Your experience in grappling gives you a jumping off point. You see how it’s somehow related and I think that that’s true for a lot of the subjects that we learn. This is why research is such a compelling thing to do because you read about one subject and then someone makes an off head mention of something.
You’re like wow, that sounds really interesting. I’m going to look more into that. Of course it’s related so you’re interested and you see how contextually it all fits together and it leads to something else, and something else, and something else. And the more you know and can do and experience, the more you can connect things which again, makes the acquisition of skill even easier.
[1:18:08] RT: Yeah, a term I like to use is cross pollination and when you hear of this polymaths from way back when, De Vinci and whatnot. Until today, there’s quite a few people around that are considered polymaths, you just don’t, I guess they just don’t make as big of a deal of them. These are people who are masters in a variety of subjects.
It’s like, “How are they able to do that?” Well, they probably figured out how to learn, something that teach themselves how to learn. By setting a wide variety of subjects, fields, you can borrow concepts from one and somehow use it in the other one and you just kind of, like you said, you just mix and match and it just somehow causes you to grasp things at a much higher level.
You could probably cause you to come up with ideas that you wouldn’t have otherwise because you have a variety of ways of looking at things and doing things, different disciplines and whatnot. I’ve heard some people argue and say, “Yeah, but way back then, the stuff that they knew, kids learn that stuff in elementary school possibly, they got that stuff covered.”
Yeah, maybe, I don’t know, the guy was a sculpture and an artist and the mathematician and an inventor and on and on it goes. There’s something to be said about when we talk about reading earlier, learning things that are outside of your wheelhouse or outside of your interests, sometimes there’s a benefit.
“Hey, let’s check out some of that. You know what? I never ever thought about taking a cooking lesson, Italian cuisine or Indian cuisine. I never thought about doing that before,” or some type of a dance lesson or learning about astronomy. It’s like, “What does that have to do with anything?” I don’t know but you never know, you get into that stuff, like you said, you can borrow and you take from here and from there.
Just provides I think the mesh work or the structure that you can use to develop a much higher level of learning whereas. I think if you really get tunnel vision, I think you see that sometimes with academics where they become extremely specialized in something but I think when you do that, it’s at the risk of having blinders on. And if you take that too far, it may get to the point where it may be somewhat limiting.
Then you see sometimes where somebody will come from outside of that world, you’ll get somebody who will show up, complete outsider and they will take four, five different expert like people who just spent their lives studying something, they’ll take that research from all this different people and they’ll somehow put it together and come up with something that’s just amazing that’s a greater than all the individual parts. I think that somewhat relates to what you’re saying. Another topic that we could go off for another hour but anyway.
[1:20:50] KD: Yeah, totally. This is something I tell our younger coaches especially that are training with us is, “Don’t be just a fitness and nutrition person, don’t make that your life, don’t be that person that only reads about it and thinks about it and has friends that do it. Get out into the world, travel. Specifically seek out spaces that are different than what you were doing,” because that’s absolutely essential part of being — I call it becoming a complete coach right?
The more stuff you have, the more life experience you have, the more you can effortlessly speak to your client’s experience. “Oh hey, you speak another language? Great, boom, perfect for the client that speaks that language. You’ve been to such and such place, great, you can talk to the client that’s from,” — whatever you’ve got, all of a sudden it just expands your tool box immensely.
But one of the dangers I feel is that I see people in the fitness industry, in particular, becoming extremely narrow or limited in their experiences. They start to think that the world is full of people that do meal prep, you know what I mean? Or like CrossFit or whatever the thing is, they forget that really they’re only looking at 0.5% of the world.
[1:22:07] RT: We’ve got to have you come back on Krista.
[1:22:09] KD: You’re right, we could go on for ages, we really could because I’m thinking about Leonardo De Vinci now and I feel like I want to say some stuff about that. We should probably cut it off.
[1:22:19] RT: Give us one thing that you’re thinking about, just one little sentence, go for it.
[1:22:22] KD: Oh about Leonardo De Vinci?
[1:22:23] RT: Yeah, go for it.
[1:22:25] KD: Oh my god.
[1:22:26] RT: We went this long, what’s another minute? Go for it.
[1:22:28] KD: Yeah, I think one of the pieces that people don’t necessarily appreciate about him was that he was a military engineer and so he actually developed many of the items of modern warfare. He was able to do what he did because of support from inter-city competition and what’s now Italy, but really was not a nation state.
And so it’s fascinating to me how so many of our innovations that we credit to him, sort of being culturally sophisticated actually came out of warfare. In fact, many of the things that we know about human beings, about psychology, about bodies, physiology come out of the military. I’ve always enjoyed that little piece.
[1:23:08] RT: Yeah, that’s definitely — I hate to say a proving ground but you can’t waste your time with ineffective measures when it’s something as serious as warfare.
[1:23:19] KD: Absolutely, stakes are high right? So your psychology has to be accurate. I’m doing a lot of research right now on stress and resilience and change and motivation and the military is the perfect example of that because if your people are not motivated and they’re not paying attention and not mentally on, you got some problems.
[1:23:34] RT: Oh yeah, big time. But I mean, the same can be said about some traditional forms of martial arts and the more combat oriented forms of martial arts.
[1:23:42] KD: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely
[1:23:44] RT: The more combat form styles of whatever, because there’s a variety of martial arts — could be jiu jitsu, karate. Whatever it may be, there are more combat versions of them and you don’t tend to have all the flourishes and the spinning moves and all the crazy hand — a lot of that stuff gets taken away and because they realize it’s not effective.
[1:24:05] KD: Yeah. You got to do what works and you realize that your fancy stuff — there’s a kind of moment of truth that happens when you have a 200 pound guy crushing your face and you’re like, “Hmm, my fancy stuff doesn’t work. All right. Time to go back to the drawing board.”
[1:24:18] RT: Like Tyson said, “Playing goes out the window when he gets punched in the face.”
[1:24:21] KD: 100%
[1:24:24] RT: Got to bring you back on Krista, this is fantastic. Okay guys, geez, people got to get on line and thank you for spending as much time as you have with us today. superstrengthshow.com. If you go there, you put in Krista’s name and guys, the spelling is really easy. Krista Scott Dixon. Correct?
[1:24:48] KD: Yup, that’s right.
[1:24:49] RT: Real easy. You’ll get the show notes page will pop up and then you’ll be able to listen to the show there, you can share through social media, there’s a bunch of options there. There’s links to the various podcasting platforms you’re on, you could listen to it there, I recommend that you sign up so that way there shows come directly to you. I think I just said that you can download the show as well, you can actually save a copy of it, that’s always great.
There’s the option to leave a review on iTunes, we really appreciate for everybody who does that for us, five star reviews, they go a long way, they bring the show higher up in the rankings which means more people get exposed to it. And ultimately, people like Krista are more willing to come on the show because they feel this is a platform that is worthwhile, worth their time, it has an engaged audience and that works out to everybody’s benefit at the end of the day.
Really appreciate it when the guest can do that and obviously when you can leave those reviews for us, we really love that. We will have links to a bunch of goodies that Krista has mentioned during the interview, ways to get a hold of her, links to PN, Precision nutrition. Great, great resource. Guys, you hear me say this all the time and Krista said it today.
Take advantage of finding a coach, a mentor, somebody who has been there, done that, taken others like you to the promise land and back. Has come back and they can take you there as well. I can’t stress it enough, it is the closest thing to a shortcut, finding somebody who can help you do it right the first time and help you avoid a lot of the pitfalls and whatnot.
Although there are benefits from having that happen, the experience and whatnot you gain from that, you learn how not to do things like supposedly Edison said, “10,000 failures? No, I just found 10,000 ways not to make a light bulb.” That being said, there’s always a potential of getting frustrated and just giving up on things, that happens a lot but with a proper coach, that can keep you motivated, they can give you the proper feedback and just put you on the fast track.
It doesn’t mean it will be overnight, it definitely means that you can get there much quicker and arguably as quickly as you can potentially get there. As quickly as you can get there. I can’t recommend that enough. stumptuous.com, precisionnutrition.com. Go there, check out this information, great stuff. If what Krista has said resonated with you, I mean just reach out to her, highly recommended, great information. The people over there at PN, they got some great stuff going on, I just can’t recommend that resource enough.
Feedback, good, bad or fugly guys, let us know, Feedback@superstrengthshow.com. We love taking it all into consideration and if you’ve got any photos or training videos, before and afters, photos of your home gym, whatever it may be, send us the photo or a link in an email, firstname.lastname@example.org, we love sharing it with our audience.
When you’re on the show notes page, don’t forget to take advantage of the offer that we got on there. When you sign up for the free report and actually, when you sign up for the newsletter, you get a free report. So highly recommend that, it’s a great report. It teaches you some of the most fundamental aspects of training. Key concept that you need to maximize your strength and minimize your risk for injury. Very important. So with that being said, thank you so much Krista, I really appreciated this.
[1:27:39] KD: Well, thanks so much for having me.
[1:27:41] RT: Any time, love to have you back on. It was a very edifying conversation. So as I always say guys, 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
- Krista explains her transition from being a university professor to working with Precision Nutrition
- Care providers and the people they serve
- Teaching, Coaching, and Research
- Learning how to learn
- Asking the right questions
- Learning how to prioritize information
- The things that have to come before the other things
- Knowing Vs. Not Knowing
- The ability to execute
- A feeling of certainty is a good sign that you’re not an expert
- Many things are time-based
- Be the change you want to see in the world
- Focus on the pathway that you put yourself on
- Why consistent effort matters
- Why passion is not enough to succeed
- Know when to ignore the things that don’t matter
- How to feel and learn things from your body
- What is Stumptuous?
- How to get a coach and be coachable
- Recovery will not happen by accident, you must chase it
- Expand yourself from just training experiences
About Krista Scott-Dixon
With nearly 20 years of experience in adult education and curriculum design, Krista (or “KSD”) is the intellectual powerhouse behind Precision Nutritions coaching program development. Once the ‘kid picked last for every team,’ Krista sees health and fitness as pathways to a bigger goal: changing people’s lives.
Krista is the author of several books and dozens of academic publications, and inspires the loyal readers of her groundbreaking women’s weight training website, Stumptuous.com.
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
How to do what you know – Fat Loss Summit
Your Body Is Your Truth
F*ck Calories w/Krista Scott-Dixon
Connect With Kirsta Scott-Dixon
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 Krista Scott-Dixon provided below!
Can you share one of your habits that contribute to your success in the gym? Just showing up. I’ve been showing up consistently for the last 20 years.
What are your favourite exercises? Squats, deadlifts, pullups, and anything that resembles farm chores or feels truly functional.
What are your favourite muscle groups to train? Trick question: Movements, not muscles.
What are your favourite pieces of equipment? Heavy objects? Other human beings? Do people use other stuff? 🙂
What is currently on your workout music playlist? I’m starting to learn Spanish, so I’m playing Spanish hip-hop. In between sets I try to figure out the lyrics.
How do you psych up for a workout or set? I’m not a big psycher-upper. I like to be more chill when I train. However I do believe that action generally inspires action.
If I’m feeling sluggish or uninspired to train, I do some movement that amps me up a little bit — e.g. a little run or walk outside, some light hitting of the heavy bag, etc.
Breakfalls are remarkably effective at waking up the nervous system, I find.
What was one exercise or routine that gave you great gains in muscle mass and/or strength? For me the deadlift is queen. Few other things hit the body so completely.
Second, though, is the pullup / chinup.
I personally like high volume — lots of reps, done often. Not always heavy. But just consistently grooving that movement pattern, over and over.
What’s your favourite way to speed up recovery between workouts? I try to be in nearly constant motion — walking, pacing, just fidgeting and moving stuff.
Motion is the lotion, as they say.
I mix up my activities. This also helps with mental and emotional recovery. The energies around every type of activity are different.
I make sure to get lots of colourful fruits and veggies. I started doing this very intentionally about 15 years ago, and noticed a big improvement in my immunity.
And I am serious about my sleep. I mean SERIOUS. In bed by 8:30.
What’s your favourite meal? I love food, and have about a million favourite meals!
But if I had to pick one, I’d go with a big, sweaty plate of BBQ ribs. Like 5 pounds of greasy, smoky, sauce-slathered meat.
What’s your favourite cheat meal and how often do you indulge? I don’t believe in “cheat meals”; I believe in just living one’s life. 🙂
Sometimes life involves salmon sashimi or a kale salad, sometimes it involves the aforementioned sweaty pork ribs.
I don’t think of anything I do as “cheating”, because nothing I do “breaks the rules”. I don’t believe in “rules”. I believe in decisions and consequences, that’s all.
What supplements do you feel work well for you? Over the last few years I’ve gotten more into Vitamin D, seeing how important it is for a variety of metabolic activities. Genetic testing tells me I have a variant of the vitamin D receptor that may make my normal D levels lower, so I supplement. It seems to really help with stuff, including seasonal depression.
What do you do to relax? I find that relaxation is often a natural consequence of good activity.
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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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