How To Cultivate A Winning Mindset [Ben Pakulski Interview]

– Molecular hydrogen for mitigating oxidative stress. That’ll be your next step. – [Rad] No, yeah, yeah. – [Yani] Molecular hydrogen. – Yep. They just come in little tablets. You can drop them in your
water and you can’t taste it. It’s like effervescent. – [Yani] Yeah, really. – And it mitigates that. – We’re about to, where you
see that dodgy sort of bench around the corner there,
I’m putting like a bar, a water bar, I wanna
get a really top level reverse osmosis water system
but I wanna get a good one. Maybe not even reverse osmosis,
maybe something higher, higher level than that. I had this, uh… It’s called live water. – [Rad] When we start, – [Yani] At a resort, at a retreat. – [Rad] I’ll answer Ben’s
question that he asked me, just to get that out of
the way, so we can move. – [Yani] Start by just
talking a little bit about the workout you just did. – [Rad] Yep. Richard, you can tape, the
broadcast will begin soon. Alright. – Go to the main cam, Richard, as well. So we got all three of us there. – Yup. How are we, folks? Welcome. We are live. This is officially the
first of our 2019 Unity V. So we’re thrilled, very excited, and it’s of course the
first one that we’re doing in our brand new studio. You maybe have caught a few
of the tests runs yesterday, it was a bit messy, but we’re rolling, and we’ve got an epic guest today, and a great friend of mine, Mr. Benjamin Pakulski, and we’re here, we’re gonna be talking about mindset, because that’s something that I know he is absolutely amazing with. And also really just some
of his recent experiences. He just went through his
paces with a workout with Rad, who I’ve also god here joining us, live. How did that go? – Humbling, I guess. I mean, amazing, right? I know that I need it, which is why I was so eager to
come and work with you guys, and it’s definitely that I’ve made a bigger piece of my life. Every athlete, or at least
every bodybuilder at some point experiences pain, whether
that be physical or mental. And often times it’s to do
with your inability to move through the range that you
need to be able to control and access for what you’re
trying to accomplish. So if you’re sitting out
there trying to build a body, or ultimately be able to
move and live a healthy, vigorous, rigorous life,
movement is a huge part of that. So I’m very grateful to have
Rad put me through the paces. – [Yani] Yeah, awesome. – Yeah, it was good, man. You did, I mean… My sort of idea of a bodybuilder is someone that’s just really stiff and they can’t move that well at all and you surprised me, man. You got some good flexibility there. – You know and I used to be much better. When I was competitive
I think I was better because it was daily practice. And I made sure that I had control. My thing is not just mobility,
it’s control of those ranges. I don’t wanna build and it
goes more than I can’t control. So, I was very conscious of like, how do you mobilize and then
stabilize and then strengthen. It’s the natural progression. – This was the big reason, the big element of your coaching that
captivated me when we first met during your muscle camp, was
that I’d had a lot of mates who called themselves bodybuilders, but most of them were very dysfunctional in the way that they moved, and when I watched you moving, and even just demonstrating
the full range of movement of the biceps and things
like that, I was like, shit, man, this dude really
knows what he’s on about. And you could take your body there. – Bodybuilding itself
is dysfunctional, right? That’s what it is. Ultimately, you’re trying
to train an aesthetic, not a function, but Rad and
I had a great conversation just a few minutes ago
about how these things could and should be a natural marriage. It should be a natural
integration, yet nobody’s doing it, and I think there’d be
a beautiful marriage between what I do and what you guys do. Because ultimately just
because I’m muscle, muscular, muscle-bound, doesn’t
mean I have to be that way. Doesn’t mean that’s part of
what it should be, it’s like, well no, if I train this
and this at the same time, you should be able to maintain
massive amounts of stability and mobility with hypertrophy. Is there a point of diminishing returns? I don’t know. Nobody’s every tested it. But there’s certainly
bodybuilders out there who are very mobile. At some point, tissue gets
in the way of certain ranges. But for the most part, every
range that you have access to, you should have control of. – [Yani] Yep. Absolutely. – Yeah, I’ve seen some
bodybuilders that may look tight, and I’ve seen dudes
that are real flexible. – Who was the guy that used to
go out and do the big routine and do the splits and stuff like that? – [Ben] Oh, dude, half the
guys can do the splits now. – Yeah, really?
– But that’s one range, right? – But it’s not like you guys talk about. It’s the idea of like, hey,
I’m gonna stretch my hamstring in this plane, and this
plane, but not circular plane. And that’s the difference. The integration of being able
to control all those ranges is very important. And that’s something I teach in my warmup. It’s like, I’m not trying to get you, the idea of a dynamic
warmup to me is ridiculous. Like swinging your hip
or something like that. People were doing that
for a long time, and like, that, for me, doesn’t
prepare you for anything. That’s just swinging your leg. What we’re after is like,
how do I gain control of all these ranges, which is like, go there, stay there. Now go a little further, stay there. Go a little further, you know. So accessing all of those
180 degrees of, or whatever, 120 degrees of hip rotation. – [Yani] Yep. – There’s a lot that warmup that we do out there before the session. – That’s great. Great. I love that, actually. And I know you guys make that
available to some people, and that’s the first thing I said is like, where do I get this? How do I make sure that like, for me, time is of the essence, like of you guys. So if I had a 20 to 30 minute routine that I can do first thing in the morning after my meditation, or a 20 to 30 minute routine
I could do before I train, that not only improved
scapular and hip mobility, but it improved stability. I win, right? As you get older, you guys are my age. So, 35 plus I think, things just start to get a little tight,
and I still feel good, but just a little tight to wake up, takes a little longer to warm up. If I have that consistent daily routine, that I’ve just locked in, like oh, now my motions feel better, I don’t feel those aches and
pains and bumps and bruises that are kind of characteristic of aging. – I thought you were younger than me but I couldn’t see in the light before, now I can see the little grays in your beard,
– [Ben] Right? – Now I can see it. – [Ben] No, there’s no grays there, man. (laughing) – Maybe that’s why I’ve
just taken mine off. It was like… – The good thing is, Ben, is that the routine I taught you, the way we teach it online, it’s actually only 15 minutes, so you can get it done. You get that whole thing
done in 15 minutes. You set a time for 3 more rounds, it’s beautiful. – And I was definitely throwing
some questions out there just to slow you down a little bit. If I’d actually did 15
minutes of work in a row, that’d be great, right? More than adequate, I think. I mean if anyone hasn’t
checked out your stuff, obviously, if they’re watching
your YouTube they have. But if they haven’t, go. Because… I don’t have a perfect
warmup for everybody, but pretty damn close. – Well I used to do, well yeah. I mean, look. When I see something that’s better, we change what we do. So we’re always evolving with what we do. And I used to do my personal warmups, used to take about 40 minutes. And then we were doing
warmups in the class, that went for about 20 minutes or so. And I’m reading a book at the moment, called Overcoming Gravity, which is just reminding me of
a whole bunch of things, and, the author, I can’t remember his name, but it’s all about bodyweight
training and stuff, and this guy’s a highly
achieved gymnastics coach. And he talks about warmups shouldn’t be more than about 12 or 13 minutes. So we try and keep our warmup
down, now, to 12 minutes. – [Yani] And why is that? Because we wanna get,
explain that to the audience. – Because it’s not the
purpose of the workout. I just realized my
microphone’s in the wrong spot. – Yeah. (laughs) We also didn’t turn the top lights on. But that’s alright. Does it look alright? – [Kalisha] Yeah, it looks good. – Yeah, awesome. – We’re getting used to
all this stuff, aren’t we? – Well you can put them on. – Well you got a green
door in the background, folks, it’s like, this is like, literally hot off the press this place, we finished building yesterday. – Well the reason why is that
the purpose of the workout isn’t the warmup. The purpose of the workout is the workout, and the purpose of the
warmup is just to prepare you for the warmup. So, if a warmup goes for too long, it can have a negative
effect ’cause it can start to fatigue you a little bit, and you wanna finish that warmup. You want full blood
circulation to your muscles, you want vasodilation, you want synovial fluid in the joints, you want everything, you want the central
nervous system’s ability to activate the muscles
really quickly, he talks about how increased heart rate increases cross bridge
coupling time, so, you know, the actin and myosin,
the cross bridge coupling happens quicker, which grants
quicker muscle contractions. But then if you go too far,
you start to get fatigue and then you try and do your first set, and you can’t lift as much
weight as you could, so… – One of the things you talked
about during our workout Rad, was that I think it’s important
for the audience to know, is the two kind of hubs
for strength and stability, or maybe the tests or grip
strength and core stability, and strength, right? So I think those need to be a
big part of people’s warmup. And I write those into my
warmup as like, how do I, and I love the stuff that
you did with like the wrist. Activation and strengthening
this, ’cause like, especially with what I do. If I’m trying to maintain
output of my limbs, I need this to be unbendable. I need this to be unbendable. And ultimately this to have
great mobility and stability. So that’s one thing that people miss is if they’re trying to get output here, well I need to have this thing strong if it’s flaccid and weak. You can’t have output
by deductive reasoning. Same with this, like, your trunk and core is the foundation of all output. If this thing isn’t moving and stable, so mobility and stability, you can’t have maximum output. And I think those are the two things that people miss, and the warmup, they don’t have a thought process. Objectively, I want to prepare my body for what I’m about to do, as specifically as
possible, and then also, I want to make sure that my
trunk and my grip or wrists are really primed. – It’s awesome to hear you
say that, ’cause I love, I mean, we create this
stuff, and we believe it. But it’s really good to hear someone with your kind of experience reinforcing what we do.
– Right, so quick question I had for you, and I’d love
for you to dig into, man, it’s like, you mentioned your
influence from Ido Portal, I’d love to hear how you’ve
evolved his thought process or what you’ve learned from him, and how you’ve evolved it
into making it your own. – Kyle can you just put a timer on, just I know not to… (laughs) – This could go for a while. – I’m a huge fan of the guy, and like, I think he’s amazing, and I
see myself going that way, but obviously at 275, 125 kilos, it’s gonna be a while
before I really get there, but I really see myself
going down that path of like, integrating strength and mobility. I don’t know if it’ll ever
be Ido, he does Ido, right? But how do you integrate. – No one will beat Ido, but no one will ever be Ben Pakulski either. And I’ve seen this, I mean, I’ve watched everything on the guy, ’cause I just fell in
love with his methods and what he does when
I’ve trained with him. And there’s a really cool little
one and a half minute video on YouTube where talks about the secret to longevity. And he talks about your individual nature, and that we’ve all got these experiences that create us as being us. And one of the biggest problems
that so many people have is that they’re constantly comparing themselves to other people. And I mean, I was guilty
of that when I was younger, and I’m sure in the
bodybuilding community, you have that yourself. I used to look at myself
and be, oh man, you know, why can’t I make my body look like this? And one day, you have to
just come to this point where you realize, well
I’m me, and they’re them, and I will never ever
ever look or be able to do what that person can do, ’cause they move just
completely differently. It’s really amazing. So my experience started, my background is in martial
arts, I’m 40 now, I started, I mean I did martial
arts when I was a kid. Yani and I both did, but, I wouldn’t accredit it
towards who I am now. I’d say I started martial
arts when I was 17. That’s when I really sort of
said, okay, I’m gonna do this. I did that probably until I was 30 and I joined the army. Got out when I was 34. And then I came back, and
became a personal trainer again, with Yani, and we were working
towards opening Unity Gym. And for the first time I
thought, well, I’d better start learning about weightlifting
and stuff, you know. I’m gonna be a personal trainer,
I’m gonna have to do it. And so I started training with
Yani and for a year, we did, he taught me about bodybuilding
and strength training. – [Yani] The little bit that I knew, yeah. – You passed it on to me,
what he learned from you, and we did that for about a year and I… just by eating well and
having protein, and creatine, and BCAAs, I got from I think
84 to 90 kilos in a year. But it wasn’t really for me. I wasn’t passionate about it, and I never really gave myself to it. And I started trying to play around with a little bit of gymnastics and stuff, and just wanting to learn
about it, trying something new, and I did it for about three
months, and then Yani goes, oh, I bought this workshop
with this guy, Ido Portal, you should probably go to it
if you want to do gymnastics. And I knew nothing about it. Never even heard of the name before. So I went there, and
he went around the room and got us all to say why we’re here and what our background was, and I said, oh, I’ve just started learning gymnastics, I’ve got a martial arts background, so I’m here to learn
more about gymnastics. And he looked at me and
shook his head and said, this isn’t gymnastics, bro. It was really funny. So anyway I did the
movement workshop with him. And it was like nothing
I’d ever done, man. Like we did these… He taught us spinal ways, you know, like that stuff I was
teaching you in the warmup where you’re learning. And man I just couldn’t do it. He got us to do these
things where you have to, like I can do it now, where you have to move
your neck like this, and I was going… I just couldn’t move it. I just couldn’t get it. – [Yani] That neural connection, yeah.
– There was just no ability. Like I was struggling to
even get a centimeter in. Years later I’ve got,
not compared to a dancer, but I’ve got great movement
compared to the average person. And what really, I said
this to you in our workout. What really blew my mind was, I was not better at anything
than these guys, in this room, and I wasn’t used to that. I was used to going into workshops and I could always fall back on, I could jump better than these people, or I’m more flexible, or whatever. But these guys were just
better than me at everything. And it was really amazing for me. It was really eye opening. And the big message that
I took from that was, I walked in there a martial artist. No, I walked in there an ex-martial artist and a current gymnast. I was doing gymnastics, and
that’s what I was doing. And ’cause I was taught
through martial arts, you know you have to
train for five hours a day if you wanna get good, and I
could barely find three hours. So I would reject everything else. If there was something that
I would have benefited from that Yani could teach me, I rejected it, because it wasn’t part of
my martial arts training, and I didn’t have the time for it. And Ido talked about the
idea of dogma, and of, one of the hardest things
that you’ll ever do as a practitioner, he
calls people practitioners. You’re a bodybuilder,
but you’re a practitioner of being a bodybuilder,
or you’re a dancer. Whatever it is. And he spoke about this
idea of freeing yourself from the dogma of your practice. So the dogma being,
other people’s beliefs. So the dogma in kung fu is, you don’t do boxing, and
you don’t do jiu jitsu, because kung fu is a
traditional martial art, and it’s better because of X, Y, and Z. And you certainly don’t
do gymnastics or whatever because it takes you
away from your practice. And I walked out of there going, no I don’t need to be a gymnast, I could just be a mover. So actually, I can actually still practice a little bit of my martial arts, and a little bit of what
I’ve learned from gymnastics, and a little bit of what I’ve learned from weightlifting from
Yani, and I can do that, and that’s okay. And that was really weird. It was a liberating experience for me. I was like, wow, I don’t have
to be one of these things? So how much, back to your question, how much influence what we do now? Everything. It made me come back and
question everything that I did. And I spoke to Yani at the time. We were running programs,
we were either running fat loss, strength, or
hypertrophy programs. And it was what do you want to do. Which goal do you have? This is the program that we’re gonna do. And we wrote personalized
programs for people. But you came under one
of those three banners. – [Yani] We pigeonholed people. – Yeah we pigeonholed. You either wanted to look fat, you either wanted to lose
weight, build strength, or build muscle. And I spoke to Yani and I just, I didn’t know the answer,
but all I knew was I just had this strong feeling in my heart that what we were doing wasn’t right. And then we went over. We decided to go train
with a good friend of ours who I went to school with, Aaron McKenzie. Check him out after this. He’s unbelievable. He’s just over at Blind Eye. And he… He’s been doing this kind of style, he opened his gym five years before us. And he’s become a personal
trainer five years before us. So he was just a little bit
ahead of us in his career. And we went over with him, and he took us through a warmup that was similar to what I took you through. Different. He’s got his own way of doing things. But he took us through this
15-minute all over body warmup, and then we did strength training. And we’d never done that before. We never, like, normally,
stretching is this kind of thing where we used to tell our clients, look, you should do a
little bit of stretching before your workout. But there’s no emphasis placed on it in the hour that we’re training people. So if you don’t place emphasis on it, the client doesn’t place emphasis on it, and they just never do it. And we came back going, well, maybe we could come
up with some kind of warmup that we do for 15 minutes that
everybody does in the class? And that was the birth of it. Again, back to what you said about how much of Ido has influenced this. What he does is, in my experience, he does movement. And some of the stuff that he does is so radical and different to anything that anybody else is doing that if we try to teach it, I think most people have…
– [Yani] It’s at that extreme level that we spoke about. You’ve got mainstream, you’ve
got unique, or innovative, and then you’ve got
extreme on the outside. And there’s an extreme in that direction and an extreme in that direction. There would be an extreme
mainstream, you know. Like I only do something if there’s 10 years of
scientific literature about it, and, you know, if it’s
not been peer reviewed by 1000 different people
that are in good journals, that’s like extreme that way, and then there’s Ido extreme, you know? Like that sort of, there’s a lot of people
like that, but yeah. – It’s like some of the
stuff that we didn’t do that I’ve learned from
Ido, is all the crawling and moving along the ground,
and even different ways of hanging like brachiation,
where you’re swinging around on the bars and it’s got
nothing to do with pulling. It’s just swinging and
hanging and rotating around, and I mean, that’s just
one tiny element, like, the depth that he goes into
this stuff is on another level. Beyond my understanding of it, because he’s been researching it and been obsessed with it for a lifetime. But we drew back a little bit
from that, because what we identified the majority
of what people need, an even ourselves, is
strength and mobility. Those are the, like I was
trying to do all these moves, that I was watching Ido
and his students do, and I would try for six months
and I would get better at it, And I could do it and I could
post a cool YouTube video. But what it came back to, the reason why I wasn’t getting better is strength and mobility. Just a combination of the two. So we stripped our program back, and we made it more about straight up raw strength and raw mobility with a goal that when people get strong
enough and mobile enough, we start teaching them
higher movement skills. So, we try to leave no stone unturned. We create mobility in every joint. I mean what we did today was just upper body and spine mobility. So we do spine every day. Doesn’t matter if it’s upper
or lower body, because, you know, the spine is the
backbone of your body, of course. And then when we do a low…
– [Yani] No pun intended. – No pun intended. When we do a lower body workout, we do lower body mobility
before the workout. And then the goal is that
when people get strong enough, and when people get flexible enough, we move into some of the cooler, more out there stuff
that I learned from Ido. – Very cool. – Yeah, so. I hope that helped. – That was the short answer too. – That actually was the real short answer. – [Ben] That’s great, though. – But that’s the thing, admittedly, when he came
back, like I had a very, the majority of my
training, if I could say who had the biggest influence on me, was the late Charles Poliquin
and a friend of ours, Tony Battagi, who originally
brought Charles out, and Charles had had a
huge influence on Tony. Tony was sort of my mentor
and trainer for a while. So I was quite… You know Charles quite well, or you knew Charles quite well. So you would know his style of
sort of training and coaching and it’s very methodical. Very strength and conditioning. Conditioning oriented. So, you know, when Rad came back with all this crazy
concepts from Ido Portal, initially, I resisted a lot of it. I was like, no way, man. We cannot get people doing that. We can’t get people crawling on the floor, we can’t, like, people are just gonna go, what the fuck is going on here? And so… – [Rad] And a lot of people did. – And a lot of people did, you know. Because our clientele was used to the way I’d been
structuring and programming it. Up until that point I had designed most of the programs, you know? And we’d also just send Richard, Richard came out of the army. Guys, Richard’s behind producing the show, just in case you’re unaware of who I’m pointing to over there. He just came out of the
military after serving overseas, and I put him through
all of these internships to really level up his strength
and conditioning knowledge. We had him doing, you know, Portal stuff, so the two of us were
initially rejecting it. But, we found a real sweet spot, where there were a lot of
elements of his coaching that we really, first of all, his ethos we resonated with a lot. The whole concept of movement. And that’s really what sparked
something for Rad and I, because we always knew that there’s always an element of your training that’s very aesthetically driven. – Sure. – And that’s human nature,
you can’t really fight that. But, I questioned, I suffered a little bit of… Emotional sort of up and down
with depression and I found that when I was chasing
that body image goal, it really started to affect my psychology, because I was comparing myself to dudes. – [Ben] ‘Cause you can’t. You can never get to where you’re happy. – That’s exactly right. – [Ben] I was one of
the top 10 in the world, and still not happy. So, you’re chasing a moving target. – That’s exactly right, you know? And I started to think shit, you know, like I’ve gotta do it different. And I also started to find that I was becoming
less and less motivated to train like that. When we spoke about this the other day, we got families now, and
we’re practically married, and all that sort of thing, and I was like, I’ve gotta find something else to get me
out of bed in the morning and hit the gym, you know? And keep moving. – Also, one last thing to wrap up, unless you’ve got any more questions about this, about the idea
of how much Ido influences. The split that I’ve
told you about, in time, lower body stray down, I had learned that from Ido. I had never heard of that before. Since learning it from Ido, I’ve seen it in other
places like in the body, Overcoming Gravity book that I’m reading. He talks about, that’s one of the possible splits that he talks about in there. And I hadn’t heard about that before. So yeah, that’s it. – Yeah, I think speaking
to what you said, Yani, that a lot of people lived, men, I don’t know, I can’t speak for women, that live that reality of, you train through your twenties, it’s usually an aesthetic goal. And at some point in your thirties, maybe it’s later, maybe it’s earlier. You have some awareness of like, I don’t really want to
get bigger any more. And my framing of it, like, what my objective is for my life, and I frame my podcast around this, is brilliant mind, resilient body. And you know, resilient to me means being able to move the way I want. Run when I want. Jump when I want. Lift, all this integration of resilience, whatever that means to you. And ultimately keeping yourself not just like, resistant
to disease and illness, no, I want to be optimized. I kind of envision it like a pyramid. Most people live at the
bottom of the pyramid, I wanna be at the top of the pyramid. And most people are kind of suboptimal, we want to first bring
them to like, baseline. And then once you’ve reached baseline, now let’s start pushing performance, or, sorry, let’s start
optimizing a little bit. And then once you’ve
optimized, then and only then can you push performance, right? ‘Cause you can’t push performance at a level of baseline, you have to push above baseline, optimize the body, and then aesthetic changes come. Then performance improvements come. So I kind of envision
it like this pyramid. So that’s, yeah, and I wanna
live at the top of the pyramid. Ultimately I want to be able
to do all of these things, and I’m not there yet, ’cause I’m so recently removed from professional bodybuilding,
that may be an excuse. But moving toward, yes
I want to be able to do a workout with Rad and Ido. Yes, I want to be able to do a 600, or let’s call
it a 300-kilo deadlift. That kind of stuff. Like how do I create that
body, and ultimately, it’s really just building an army special forces kind of mentality. Not that extreme, maybe, but I’m like, I want to be able to do all those things and always be prepared
for whatever is thrown. And for me, it’s not
being prepared for battle, it’s being prepared for adventure. Where I’m like, I want my
life to be an adventure. I want to be able to climb
a mountain on demand. I want to be able to
jump out of an airplane. I want to be able to do some
scuba diving, like whatever. Whatever comes at you, I
want to be able to do it. Maybe martial arts, whatever it is. – Can I dive deeper into that mindset? Because that’s something
that I wanted to talk about. I promised the audience a
little bit of mindset stuff. And considering that you
made it to the top 10 in your field, in the world,
you certainly achieved a higher level of success
than most people do. Is that something you’ve
always had, since being a kid? The mindset?
– No, man, so it’s funny, – So how did you cultivate that? – Yeah. So I grew up in maybe the
polar opposite family. So no one in my family’s
ever graduated high school. So alcoholics, overweight, you name it. And I remember being as young
as like six or seven years old and looking at my family and
going, this is not what I want. ‘Cause you see the other
families, and you go, why are they smiling? Why are they driving a nice car? Why are they happy? So I remember the awareness
of that young of age, and something clicked for me. And I really didn’t
start taking action on it until I was maybe 13 or 14, where I started being
active and getting fit. To be honest, the reason
that I took that attitude was because I really felt
like I was a lazy person. When I was a kid,
through my teenage years. I was fucking lazy, like, everyone else was doing things. I just didn’t want to do it. It was very hard for me
to pull myself out of the chair, or pull
myself out of the couch, or whatever it is. Because, I was so unhealthy,
I believe, looking back at it. I was so unhealthy as a kid. Like I ate like shit. And a lot of people do. But I had no vitality, I had no energy. I didn’t get outside, we didn’t take vacations to the beach, I didn’t go out on a
boat, like I lived inside. I played fucking video games. And I watched television. That was my reality as a childhood. But that’s all I had around me. So once I started, 12 or 13, to realize that I didn’t have to live that world, so really from the time
I was seven years old I was a lone wolf, right? I just did what I wanted. Literally in the city like
Sydney, which is Toronto, ride the subway, taking the bus, I got my bus pass, and I’m off, right. So I was very much like a
lone wolf doing my thing. And that really gave me the independence to realize like hey, if something’s gonna change in your life, it’s gonna be you. And that’s the blessing
and curse of life, right? At the time I resented my mom for going, hey mom, could you take me here? No. Like, you know, that kind
of shit, and you’re like, what the fuck? Why won’t she help me? But looking back at it you’re like, that’s the greatest gift she ever gave me was the idea of like,
you want something done, there’s your feet, there’s your shoes. Go. So maybe that’s where that came from. But really, the idea, and my framing, as far as becoming
a professional bodybuilder. I don’t know that I could
ever be Mr. Olympian, although I believed I could be. But I do know that I can have everyone that I’ve
ever trained with say I was the hardest working bodybuilder
they’ve ever worked with, and that’s what I wanted. So I literally remember moving
to Gold’s Gym in Venice. Standing outside, taking a
deep breath, and realizing, holy shit, you’re here, you’re about to go train. And I said, the second I
walked through that door, I want everyone to know me as the hardest training bodybuilder. Because I knew I was lazy. Like I still believed I was a lazy person. So I was like, I never
want that to happen, and any time there was like, something happening in
the gym, I was like, I have to go, and go, and go. I’m gonna break you before
you break me mentality. Not saying that’s healthy or right. But that’s just how I worked. And looking back on it, being competitive with
other people helped. But it’s not healthy. And that’s why I was able to transcend this proverbial mountain of
professional bodybuilding and make it all the way to the top. And feel completely unfulfilled, feel completely inadequate being there. I was of the biggest in the
world, absolutely shredded, and felt my most insecure
and most inadequate at times. Because I didn’t see the daily value of, you know, what I teach now is working out is your daily battleground for becoming a better human being. Don’t go in the gym because I have to. Go in the gym because I get to, and I get to become a better person today. Every single set, every single
rep, every single breath is an opportunity for
you to become better. And that’s the framing now. And as soon as you make
that frame in your life, things change for you. That changed for me when
I had my son in 2012. I started, maybe a
little earlier than that, I started having this awareness of like, it was probably, say 2010, had this awareness of, it’s
not just about working hard because you can get really really big and still feel really really shitty. And it’s not about that. It’s about feeling amazing, it’s about creating that joy inside you. That achievement inside you,
and then living into that. Creating that in your life, because that’s the person you are. That’s how I’ve been able to shift away from the ultimate kid who needed bodybuilding
because I was full of fear and inadequacy, and just didn’t feel like I was capable of those things. I used bodybuilding as a mechanism to allow me to transcend that, but, now I do it because I love it. I go to the gym because
it makes me feel good. It makes me feel like I’ve
accomplished something. I challenge myself. Like what am I bad at? Let’s go. Like, why am I here today? ‘Cause I suck at this. Am I insecure? Absolutely. Do I feel like I need to do it? Absolutely. And that’s the framing
that a lot of people maybe need to take, is like, when they find something they’re bad at, they walk the other way? For me, when I see something I’m bad at, I’m like, put a smile on your face and go. Because that’s how you make a change. It seems like Ido did the same things. Okay, I’m good at one or two things. What are all the other things that I can add to this tool
belt to make me amazing at a lot of, or maybe
one particular thing. – He goes even further, man. He says this, like before
you even master something, before you get to that point of mastery, stop it, and start something new. Because he talks about the
biggest opportunity for growth. Which Yani and I and Richard
absolutely agree with, is doing the things that
you can’t do at all. Because when you think
about it, like I mean, if that bottle represented all the skill that you could ever
achieve in hand balancing, and maybe, maybe like down here is being able to do a handstand, and up here is like a one
armed handstand, and then, up here is all of the amazing
one armed handstand positions. Like, the time that it takes
to get to that point there is probably half the time that it takes to get from there to there. – [Ben] Right. – You know? But, what’s the point of working so hard at something to get such
a small return on it? And, I’m reciting Ido’s words here. He talks about the idea of taking on, which we talk about a lot here as well, shoshin, the beginner’s
mindset, that’s a Japanese word. Which refers to being the beginner, and always just accepting
that you’re the beginner. – Just embracing the beginner’s mindset, even when you have reached
a certain level of mastery in something so that you’re always looking for a new opportunity for growth. That’s the concept. – It’s an interesting
thought, there, right? So I know a lot of professional athletes, I train with a lot of
professional athletes, I work with a lot of them. And they’re such masters at one thing, that if someone takes that away from them, they’re all fucked. And it happens so often, like these guys are like, I’m gonna make all this money. Like I don’t wish that on people, man. Even what I did, that focus and mastery for 20 years on professional bodybuilding, I was just lucky enough to have synergistically developed a skill set, and maybe a thought process and some skills and an education. Most people don’t. They get to our age,
35, 40, whatever it is, and they go, fuck. I have to learn everything, everyone else is learning it at 17, and now you’re 40 and you
don’t know basic life skills. That’s the problem with mastery, right? Because you spend so much time moving the needle that much. And then all of a sudden
everything else in your life has to, like you said, five
hours of kung fu a day. If you want to become a master, it’s probably than that. – [Yani] It is. It is more than that. – And then what? And then what if something,
you realize, like, I break my leg, or I’m, you know, and that’s the same with bodybuilding, I realized that very early. One injury, you’re done. So in 2008, I’d just turned
pro, and I had a contract given to me. They said, hey man, we really
want you to be our athlete, I threw out some absurd
number of how much I wanted, and they said done. And I was like, fuck, I’m set. This is great. Like, this is amazing. It’s five, six months
later, they pulled it. And I was like, (gasps) you know, ’cause you’re
living the lifestyle, right, you’re like, I’m gonna have
this forever, I’m great, they pulled it. All of a sudden you’re like, fuck. They can just do that? And like, yep. I was like, oh. So now I need to have other things here. That was a hard lesson for me at the time. But at the same time, a beautiful lesson. Now you need to realize that just ’cause you’re making money doesn’t mean you have anything. They’ve got you ultimately, you know, where they want you. – I love what you said earlier on as well, about, you don’t go the gym because you have to, you go to the gym because you want to. – [Ben] Oh, yeah. – I love that. – [Ben] And framing is so important. – [Yani] That’s a privilege. And that’s, exactly. That’s exactly right, I think, and this is something we
try and teach our guys here, you know, people come,
they walk through the door, and the mentality for some reason, that they’re here to beat up a body that they dislike, with some hope that eventually, they’ll achieve something that they like. – Let’s talk about that, right? So I teach that, right. So when I grew up, I trained angry. We’ve all trained angry. Like I’m pissed, I’m gonna crush it, I’m gonna kill this workout! No. No you’re not. So what I’m training my clients to do now, is we’re indoctrinating joy,
happiness, and achievement. So, when I’m going in
to do my hardest set, I’m not thinking about
who am I pissed off at, I’m not thinking about gritting
my teeth and grinding it. I’m thinking about, I’m bringing a time into my life, or back into my brain,
into my nervous system. When I was happy. When I was joyful. When I had a sense of achievement. I’m bringing that back
into my nervous system, and then going to do my set. So now I’m anchoring that feeling of joy, happiness, and
achievement into my body every time I walk in the door. And that’s ultimately what
I teach my clients to do, the second you walk in
the door of the gym, you’re anchoring yourself to
the person you’re gonna become when you walk in. So who is that person you’re creating, the second you walk in the door? Every time you pick up that weight, like, I literally teach mindful training, right? So like, when you physically reach down to pick up the weight, stop. Put your hand on it. Breathe. And who are you becoming? Bring something into your
nervous system that’s not anger, because then, if I anchor anger, guess what happens every
time I pick up that weight, or every time I contract
that muscle at home, or every time I look at that muscle? Anger.
– [Yani] It anchors anger. – Inadequacy.
– That’s exactly, oh man, I just got goosebumps. That’s like, exactly, exactly what I wanted to talk about today. We’re, I’m doing this
mindset coaching course that we’re building out online, and it’s all about recognizing,
when you set a goal, recognizing the person you wanna become. And really really getting a clear image of what that person looks like, what that person acts like, how that person thinks. I talk about the diet being
more than just what you consume for energy and nourishment. The things you read, the things you watch. The things you listen to, all of that. What does that person actually behave like on a day to day basis? And when you step in to the
gym, becoming that person now. – And you have to feel it, right? So thinking about it
cerebrally is one thing, but the only way you make it
reality is if you feel it. Which is why I’ve become such
an advocate of meditation. ‘Cause I can wake up in the morning and become any person I want. Just by bringing that
emotion back into my body. What a powerful thing, man. Like 10 minutes, right. And so my framing of 2019, so 2018 was a hard year for me. Not actually, relatively
to most people, but like, it was a completely… It was a growth year for me. Learning a lot. Got rid of a lot of staff, trimmed all the fat in the business. A lot of things happened
that are new for me. So my framing of, so I felt like I was
almost playing catch up. So my framing of 2019
is, demand excellence. That’s my, for my business,
online, at the gym, demand excellence of all my team, every meeting on Tuesday,
we’re talking about how can you demand excellence today? And maybe what does that mean to you? What does it mean to you to
demand excellence in the gym? What does it mean to
you to demand excellence in your relationships, in your finances, in your hygiene, your
personal care, your diet. All of those things, what does it mean to you
to demand excellence? And to me, that’s just
the highest standard of expectation for yourself. So what does that look like? And can you frame that every single morning when you wake up. And we’re only, what, 15
days into the year now, and it’s an amazing shift that can happen to your
psychology almost overnight. And it takes a couple
days for you to like, really lock it in, ’cause it takes to creating that constant awareness, of what does excellence look like. But that’s what I’m doing, and I encourage everybody to jump on the kind of movement in 2019. What is excellence, and
that’s everything, right. In the way you speak. In the way you communicate with people. Your relationships. The way you love somebody. What does it look like to love somebody with all of your heart? With conviction? And that stuff is, ultimately, what’s gonna
change people’s lives. The mask that I wear is this guy who’s teaching
people to build muscle. But ultimately the reality is, like, building muscle is bullshit. Building muscle is all this
external avatar, right? What we’re all after, whether
you want to build muscle or whether you’re trying to make money, we’re all after some
degree of accomplishment. We’re all after a feeling. We all wanna feel great, right? We want significance. We want to feel fulfilled. And if people can realize that, they can bypass the bullshit of that, I have to 30 pounds
heavier, or 30 kilos heavier to be, no, you don’t. You’re already there, man. You just have to realize that every day is your daily opportunity to be the best version of yourself. And that is the changing of the framework that people need to create in their mind. – That’s brilliant. I love it. – Yeah, and it’s that idea of consistency and frequency, – [Ben] Completely.
– That’s kind of produced those results. Like people, everybody wants it now, and, this is what I struggled with. When I was in my thirties, like, you talk about the different
person that you were. When I was in my thirties I was partying, and doing drugs, and drinking,
and training all the time, but just wasting a lot of time on the weekend.
– [Ben] Sure. And just getting nowhere really, compared to where I am now, and what I’ve achieved in my thirties. From making this big change, and just, really understanding that it’s
consistency and frequency. It’s not how fast you can sprint for a short period of
time, and then back it off and do something shit that
doesn’t get you there, and, that whole idea of what you
were just talking about, that every day is an opportunity
to be your best self, and if you approach every day like that, and create frequency in
doing that, and consistency, of doing that over time, Man.
– It’s the 80/20 principle, right, it’s like, you do 20% of the things that you think you should be doing. Like, find those things
that work best for you. And it’s different for everybody. I think we could probably
make generalizations as to what everyone
probably should be doing, but it’s different for everybody, man. What fulfills me may not fulfill you, and find those three to five things that you need to do every day, that make you feel fulfilled, make you feel accomplished, and allow you to bring that joy to the world. The guy that we brought in here today, great friend of mine. He’s just amazing, we
talked about manifesting. He’s this amazing manifester, because. – Mick? – Yeah, Mick. And it’s not anything
miraculous that he’s doing, and the reason he manifests is ’cause he’s so full of joy, that when people are
around him, they’re like, fuck, that’s infectious. I wanna be like you. He’s so confident, he’s so full of joy. He loves life, and people go, wherever that guy’s
going, I’m gonna follow. Whatever he’s eating, I’m gonna eat that. ‘Cause there like, is there
something magic in the water? No, he just fuckin’ creates
joy in his life, right? And that’s the infectious
reality of his life, and the idea of manifesting. He brings people into his life every day, and just because everyone else ultimately is trying to bring that
joy into their life, he’s already got it, and they’re like, I want that Kool-Aid. Whatever that is. So whoever’s after these things, realize that it’s just a matter of
creating it in your mind first. Bring it into your nervous system. Be a joyful person. Be a happy person. Be someone who can bring that feeling of achievement back at will. Whatever that is for you. And your life will change. Because the people that need
to show up will show up. The people that want to
help you will help you. So it’s, yeah, I mean… – Very interesting you say that. And there’s something. You said something to me many
years ago when we first met that completely changed my life. You wouldn’t have known
this, but when we were out, I think we went to the Ivy
Pool Bar and we were chatting. And a couple glasses of wine
– [Ben] I wouldn’t go to a bar Yani, come on, man. – And I was showing him
the sights in Sydney. And you said something, I was actually going through a really tough
time at that point in my life. I’d broken up with a really
long term girlfriend, and I was dealing with the psychology around that and everything, and there was one thing
that you said to me that completely changed
my life, which was, I was talking about, you know,
finding a new girlfriend, and you said, stop, don’t
look for a girlfriend. Make yourself, don’t
look for a 10 out of 10, make yourself a 10 out of 10, and 10s will dive at you. – [Ben] They’ll flock. – Yeah, they’ll flock. And I really took that to heart, and I went back, ’cause I had been on this quest to find, I was like, I wanted to settle
down with the right person, and find the right person, and I completely backflipped
and just went really internally and started to analyze
who I was as a person. How I showed up. And just worked on myself. And it’s phenomenal the
difference that made to my life. Everything had a snowballing
effect to where we are now. I’m marrying the most
beautiful woman in the world. – Well the funny thing is,
– And I’ve got two beautiful children, you know,
we’ve got a thriving business, it’s just phenomenal. So that’s one little comment. And it sort of aligns with
what you’re saying there. – The funny thing is that Talashir actually did the same
exercise but unfortunately shamed it off of you. So… – Doesn’t always work. – Doesn’t always work, yeah. She gotta know. – There’s another lesson there, right? It’s like, I teach this to everybody. I sit down most mornings,
maybe three or four days a week with my kids. And we talk about happiness. And most kids, well my
kids are five and seven, think that happiness is a toy. Happiness is a cookie. Happiness is all these
things outside of yourself. And I realized that human
beings, and you guys get this. Always are trying to do,
we’re trying to accomplish, we’re trying to acquire,
we’re trying to transcend, or we’re trying ascend
this proverbial mountain. We want to accumulate muscle, we want to accumulate
money, whatever it is. We all want the things
outside of ourselves for that instant hit of happiness. It’s bullshit, man. Happiness is not outside of yourself. Happiness is inside of yourself. And when you turn the journey inside, you realize that you don’t
need someone else in your life, man, to be happy, to be fulfilled. You’re just looking for
something outside of yourself just like a woman looks at a bag, or a pair of shoes, or a cookie, whatever. You’re looking for those
things outside of yourself to feel fulfilled and complete when the only way to feel
fulfilled and complete is inside. And like, how do I make myself
feel better, more confident, and realize that I’m
everything I ever need. And then that person shows up because she sees you’re not seeking. She wants that stability that you bring, because gosh, this guy’s
got his shit together. He realizes how great he is. He sees his inner light. And then she’ll see it too. If you can’t see it, she can’t see it. And that’s the beauty of life, man. Stop looking outside of yourself. I’ve got to the top of the world in the most egocentric sport known to man, and it’s because I needed it. I needed the punch in the
face to realize that lesson. There’s so many times when I was standing there and like, my fear and my inadequacy just
grew the bigger I got, and the closer I got to
the top of the world. I’m just very blessed
to have been able to, you know, many people in life, are chasing something
and they never get it. So the constant, they
have to keep chasing. Like oh gosh, and once I
get it, I’m gonna get there. Once I make the million
dollars, the hundred million, whatever it is. Once I get the muscle. And it’s fuckin’ bullshit. It doesn’t matter. I got it. I got to the top of the world. I could have been, very
close to being Mr. Olympia. Doesn’t do anything, man. Just like making the millions
won’t get you what you want. You have to create it now, create the happiness now, and all those things will come,
just like that did, right. – [Yani] That’s exactly right. – It’s always inside. – It’s interesting how
the things that you want will be attracted to you, I mean, I know the law of attraction
and all that sort of thing, I’m not a big fan of manifestation and sitting and just meditating
and not doing anything, not taking action. But, it is really quite phenomenal how when you really go
inside and work on yourself, and work on embetterment
and empowerment and, just progress, things just
start to gravitate to you. Like the things that you want. – ‘Cause you’re complete. – That’s exactly right. – I’m so happy with the person I am. I’m so happy with the life that I have. All of a sudden those things around just start to get better,
and you’re like, oh. Yeah, I’m so happy. If you’re not starting your
day with a gratitude practice, I don’t fuckin’ open my eyes until I’ve been grateful
for three minutes. Like my daughter sleeps
beside me many nights. Like she’ll crawl into bed with us. And like, I can’t possibly open my eyes until I reach over and have the
biggest kid smile in my face and go, holy shit. I’m the luckiest man in the world. Thank you. And I teach that to my
kids every day, it’s like, I’m so thankful for, I’m so grateful for, and you just keep doing it
and doing it and doing it, and the circle grows, you know? So I do three minutes. Try doing that for three
minutes, and it’s just like, I’m so thankful for this. I’m so thankful for this, I’m, so, you end up getting 30 to 50 things in three minutes. And it’s just like, boom,
boom, boom, boom, boom, and then your brain just
goes, holy shit, like, I’ve got so much around me. That’s awesome. Rather than waking up and going, fuck I gotta pay bills. Fuck I gotta check my e-mail. I got a job. And yes, like, yes, you have bills, that means you’re accomplishing something, you’re able to pay them. I have like a $30,000 a month
net payroll, like, fuck. That’s a stressful thing, and I’m like, that’s a pretty cool thing. So you be grateful for
that stuff, you know? It’s always just how you frame life, and we can create a great life or we can create a stressful one. And there’s always, don’t get
me wrong, I’m not perfect, it’s always an ebb and flow, right? There’s days where like, oh, I need to get back to
my gratitude and meditation because, things just go better, man. Things just go better. – I do exactly the same. I do it morning and evening, actually, because I find it’s a really nice way to move into a parasympathetic state before you go to bed, and
switch off the stress mechanism. DHA production in the body
gets rid of all the cortisol, you know how it works. But, I also am a big fan of affirmations. Positive affirmation and stuff
like that in the morning. My morning routine starts with gratitude, freezing cold shower, just to really stimulate the body. – [Ben] Same as me, man. – Really? Yeah, yeah, awesome. – [Ben] 30 seconds. I just stand there for like, it’s only 30 seconds, but I’ll stand there
for 30 seconds like… – Absolutely. I do exactly the same. – I try and do a minute.
– I only just started doing the cold showers a couple weeks ago,
– [Yani] Oh, really? – Yeah, it was amazing.
– [Yani] Oh, man, I love it. I can’t live without it any more. – It’s only the first five seconds that’s actually that hard. You go whoa, like that. And then you go ahh. And then when you get
out, you’re like whoa. It is summer, though, so we’ll
see what it’s like in winter. – Shit’s very different in winter. – It’s very different in winter, yeah. But it’s still so good. Like it really is. And then I go out and I do my, I only do five minutes of meditation, I’m still not a master at
meditation by any means. – So there’s an app that’s
been life changing for me, man. Like I’ve meditated for
ten years, but, 10 minutes, Sam Harris. If you don’t know who Sam Harris is. – Yeah, I know who Sam Harris is. – So his app is called Waking Up, and I’m not affiliated in any
way, like it’s just amazing. So to do 10 minutes. And he’s got 50 or 60,
maybe more than that. Daily 10 minute meditations. And he’s just so great for a beginner, at teaching you how to actually
get into a meditative state. Like telling you exactly what to focus on. And he’s got a brilliant
progression built in. It’s just perfect for someone. Waking Up. – Waking Up, Sam Harris. – If you don’t know Sam
Harris, man, like, listeners, Sam Harris is amazing. One of the most brilliant
people on the planet. And that brings up a topic
that I love to talk about. And I think we talked about
this when we went out to dinner. That two people who I
respect most on the planet, or of the two people I
respect most on the planet, Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris, both talk about how their relationships, the reason they’ve been
able to become so successful is they have a relationship
with their wife, their spouse, founded in
honesty, grounded in honesty. And like, they have made
commitments, and many people make a false commitment, but
a commitment to themselves to only tell the truth. And there’s so much power in that. Like, gosh. Living on a ground that’s
stable and you know is truthful, is I think, you know, it’s my next phase. ‘Cause you know we all tell little, like, little white lies, or we
soften things a little bit. Imagine having a life that is grounded in truth, exclusively. And having the people
all around you know that. So I think that’s challenging at first, because people don’t always
want to hear the truth. But then don’t ask. I think the right people
will come to you, who are… The only way you can get better, the only way you can get better, is if someone’s honest. If you have someone blowing
smoke up your butt all the time, you don’t change. You don’t get better. If you’re always, you know, just to use Jordan Peterson’s term, like, sweeping the dragon under
the rug, it’s gonna grow. It’s gonna feed it, and it’ll grow. And all of a sudden, oh shit,
there’s this huge problem but we didn’t tell each
other the truth on it because now it’s this big. And all of a sudden marriage fails. Honesty has to start with
the small things, like, hey, I didn’t like that you did that. Like hey, I would appreciate
if you helped me with this. Those small communications
that are the hard ones, those are the ones we need to have. So have you read 12 Rules for Life? – I haven’t read 12 Rules
for Life, but I’ve read… – Who’s it by? – Jordan Peterson. – Yeah, I’ve read Crucial
Conversations, which is, which was a brilliant book. – Who’s that? – Oh, god, I think I might even
have a copy of it up there, on the shelf. – [Kalisha] Do you look kind of right around that area right there? – Yeah. Yeah, he’s a co-writer. – Oh.
– He’s involved in this. – That’s Patterson. – Oh, Patterson, not Peterson, oh, okay. This is, it’s basically just, – [Ben] Oh, that’s very cool. Great book? – Yeah, really good. But it’s all about this. It’s about really just
opening communication and I should have just put
that on the desk, dammit. And exactly that. I mean they sort of talk a little bit on the physiological states
that occur in the body when you are not just bullshitting,
but not telling the truth. There’s a physical, it has a
physical impact on your body, it’s not just psychological. And I’ve never even
considered the concept of, ’cause I lie to Kalisha all the time, it’s a part of, okay. – Well you probably do, but it’s not like, harmful lies. It’s always with a positive framing. Like oh, yes, just trying to appease.
– That new bikini does look good, okay? – Yeah, well, no, it’s always
little stuff like that, right? It’s like, yes babe, I love
these brussels sprouts. God, they’re fuckin’ terrible, right? And it has to be honesty because she can’t get better, you can’t get better if it’s not grounded in honesty. Yeah, so talking about what
happens in the nervous system. If I have fear over conversation with you and I don’t have it, if you haven’t read The
Body Keeps the Score, that’s what they talk about, it’s like, so every time you have
an emotion that exists that you don’t express, or mobilize, through movement or exercise, it lives in your body. You develop an energy signature. So it lives in your nervous system, it creates a muscular tension pattern. So you see people that
walk around this way. It’s just a muscular signature
that exists in your body. And every time that situation
happens, it can make it worse, and worse, and worse. So, you just end up getting
these pathologies in your body, or you end up getting energy blockages, so disease and illness happens, and like, that stuff’s real, man. So when can just have that
conversation when it’s this big, it prevents it from getting
this big in your body, and when it gets this big in
your body that’s when like, (gasps) I have a heart
attack, or oh, I have anxiety, ’cause I have so much angst
over those little conversations that I didn’t have with you. Then you have a blowout. Then you have to express,
you have no choice. Rather than just a little one, like, yeah, it’s gonna hurt a little bit. But at least it’s not
gonna be a blowout, right? Those are the conversations
that we need to have as people. And again, I’m not
perfect, man, I’m learning, but it’s something I’m
really learning to express with my children. Because teaching your children,
when they have that like, guarded fear response,
no no no no no no no. Come here. Whatever it is, you have a safe environment to talk to me. I’m not gonna react, I’m
not getting angry, like, let it out. And then teaching them to let
that out as soon as they can, becomes a habit. Then they’re expressive,
rather than constricted. And you can see it like, you’re an analytical thinker like me. I’ll look at people’s posture. I’ll look at people’s
body and I’ll go, ooh. I’ll see that, like, you know
people that walk like this? Like that slight elevation? I’m like, ooh, or really
tight pelvis, or like, any type of dysfunction, you’re like, so that’s why movement is
such a big part of life, is expressing those emotions
that are living in you, getting rid of them, feeling them. It’s a big part of life. So you get it, man. You see someone standing
there, you’re like, I’m not going anywhere near you. Whether it’s conscious or otherwise. We all do it unconsciously, right? You look at somebody’s beautiful posture, their beautiful physique, we associate it with a strong mind, because their mind has to be strong for their body to look that way. If they have a weak mind, you can see this kind of stuff happening. Or their arms don’t swing as much, or the sway changes in their movement, and that’s why human
beings, unconsciously, are just so drawn to movement,
and exercise, and athletes, because that is a strong
representation of a strong mind. – I love a quote from Arnie, he says, the thing about a good physique
is that it doesn’t lie. And so when you walk around
with a good physique, everybody can see that you
have a good work ethic. And that you’re a disciplined
person and you do it, ’cause you can’t look that
way, if you’re not disciplined and you don’t have a good work ethic. – That was one of the coolest things about being a bodybuilder
that people don’t know, right, is like, you walk into any room, respect. Instant. The perks, it’s crazy. It’s like you’re a celebrity. No matter if you are or not, you’re getting bumped to first class, you’re getting free meals, you’re getting, anything you want, people
just take care of you. It’s a conscious or unconscious, just respect. And it’s not something I talk about a lot, but it’s there. There’s no question that bodybuilders get privileges that other people don’t. So that’s like, a side benefit, I guess, that
people don’t think about, but it’s certainly an amazing thing, when you look at somebody who’s got one of the best physiques in the world, they get shit that normal people don’t. And that’s a draw for people, lean toward bodybuilding, it
sometimes keeps them there. But it’s an interesting thing, how humans beings are always
just judging, unconsciously. – This is something that we should just, I’d like to finish on anyway, because Not many professional bodybuilders that achieved the level that you did make a conscious decision to stop. It’s usually a forced decision. And I think that’s a really big deal. And it’s something that you
should be acknowledged for. Because of exactly what
you just tipped on. Like it’s a very hard
lifestyle to give up. To just one day say, you
know what, this isn’t for me, I want to focus on these areas of my life, and you give up a lot. If it’s not just the physical, like size and I mean, there’s certainly egos attached to that, because you’re like, boom, you know, I’m one of the biggest and
strongest people in the world. The perks, the lifestyle,
all of that sort of stuff. And, is that something that
you would care to go into a little bit?
– Oh, I’d love to. So first about speaking to it, when I retired from bodybuilding, I decided I wanted to
lose a bunch of muscle. Like I’m gonna make it
small, make it healthy. So my decision to leave was health, right? Like my health was perfect,
but I want to keep it that way. And I was like, okay, I
wanna lose a bunch of muscle. And I started to lose a bunch. I mean I lost 60 pounds. So 25, almost 30 kilos. And felt great. And felt amazing. But people like, oh, what happened to him? So unconsciously, I was like, uh oh. Like I need to start training more. So I ended up putting
another 10 kilos back on, just like training hard
again, it wasn’t like, I just went from training twice a week to training four times a week,
and all of a sudden bang, because your body just remembers it. So I’m still fighting
that battle too, man, because you do lose that
little bit of immediate respect that you have been used to,
unconsciously, for 20 years. Like okay. So truthfully now, I wanna get smaller. But I realize now it’s not
necessarily even smaller. I just want to be lean all the time. So that’s the new quest,
is how do you live eight percent body fat
or less all year round? It’s just started for me January 1st. Like let’s start winding this down. And what does it look like to
live at under eight percent and not be neurotic about
your health and fitness? Sorry. Not being neurotic about your nutrition. Like, I don’t want to be neurotic, I don’t want to be weighing shit any more, I did that for 20 years, like, how can I eat really really
nutritious healthy foods and in adequate amounts
that nourishes my body and still have, be lean enough to feel great? So that’s part. But speaking to why or how I retired, 2012, I was on top of the world, man. Probably when I was here, right? I was, just finished fourth
place at the Arnold Classic, qualified for the Mr. Olympia, second time I qualified,
first time I’d done it. And you know, people were
like, man, keep going. You’re gonna be the next Mr. Olympia. And I believe it. Nothing in my mind was, that’s the thing with me from day one, is everyone goes, you can’t do this man. You don’t have the genetics
to be a bodybuilder. – [Rad] I almost have that too. – Everything. And there wasn’t even like an
inkling of doubt in my mind that I was gonna be a
professional bodybuilder. There was never an inkling
of doubt in my mind that I was gonna be Mr. Olympia. I will do whatever it takes to get there. And I knew I was smart enough, I knew I had the people around me, I knew I had the work ethic, whatever it’s gonna take, I’m gonna do it. And I’m so blessed that
I was sent an angel. I was sent my son, in 2012. And he allowed me, for
the first time, to have a little bit of perspective on life. ‘Cause 2012, man, I was
single mindedly focused on being Mr. Olympia. Nothing else. Anyone that came into my life, it was literally the conversation, like, this is who I am. This is what I do. If you can make that better,
I would love for you to stay. ‘Cause I will make your life better. If you can’t make that better, or if you’re gonna hold
me back, there’s the door. It was literally that clear. And I wasn’t ever malicious about it, but like, you ask my wife, I
had that conversation with her, I was like, if you can
make this life better, fuckin’ awesome. Like we didn’t go on a
date for eight months. Like we just went to the
gym and came to my house, and like, that’s it. She’s just, you know. – [Yani] Kinda like the
conversation we had about business. – Yeah. Well it has to be, right? This is who I am, this is, anyways. If you wanna be the best at something, you can’t be sidetracked,
because you’ll fail. And then, she fell pregnant,
we talked about it, and, my life changed, you know? Nothing else in the world, literally nothing else in the
world short of having a child would have pulled me off track. And even after the first one I was like, I can still do this. Like I can still be Mr. Olympia. I can do that cause it was a son, right? And then, did the Olympia, I did a guest posing in Hawaii, my wife got pregnant again, and girlfriend, now wife. And I was like, okay. Two kids. This is your sign, man. And I said enough, I said
this to you, but like, the instant I held my
daughter, I was done. That was 2013 in July. I was done. I had this rush of emotion. So I had briefly mentioned my childhood, and I don’t wanna go into that stuff, but, I never felt loved as a child. Like I didn’t know what love was. And the instant I had
my daughter I realized what unconditional love was. And I no longer felt inadequate. I no longer felt like I
needed to do bodybuilding. I no longer felt like I could
be the selfish person anymore. So that’s really where
it started, man, and, I still continued to compete for two and a half years after that. But only because… I just didn’t want to leave with regrets. And I made up my mind that
I was gonna retire at 35, I made up my mind before
I had ever got my pro card that I was gonna retire at 35. ‘Cause I knew that once you
start pushing it as a pro, like you’re hitting those top levels and you’re starting to win
shows, and really place, you’ve really got a five
year shelf life of health. Beyond that, I could have
pushed for another five years, but my health would have
started to deteriorate. So I was like, okay. So once I hit 30, I was
like, alright, let’s go. 35, I’m done. And that’s just literally
the way it worked, and I felt so great about
leaving bodybuilding, because my greater purpose was being
the best dad in the world, and creating an amazing business where I could impact other people. And it’s been easy. People ask me if I want to go back. Doesn’t even cross my mind, man. And intentionally in
2016 I did five shows. ‘Cause I was like, I wanna let it out. I wanna get it all out, man. I wanna get it all out,
get as many as I can, know that I’ve left my best, play with some things,
experiment with some things, learn some things so I
could pass along the wisdom, and that was it, man. I’m completely okay. I will never go back to
professional bodybuilding. I just don’t need it any more. I don’t have that internal need
to be externally validated. It’s just not there. – [Yani] Now you’ve got so
much time for calisthenics. – Yeah, man, let’s get some mobility. Sorry if that was a long
winded answer, but… – No, that was absolutely awesome. – No, man, that’s awesome. – Look, in all honesty, this is the thing, you won so much respect from
me just for the sheer fact that you made the decision to do it, and it’s hard to step away
from something like that, and I respect that. – [Ben] I was my peak,
man, I was getting better. – [Yani] This is exactly right. – I was continuously getting better, but I lost my purpose. When I would go into the
gym in 2012 and prior, I had a purpose. I knew I was gonna be Mr.
Olympia, and I was like, I was just driven. I’d run through walls right? And after having my children, I’d go to the gym and go, why am I here? I’d so much rather be at home loving them. Like why am I here? And I opened a palace, right? I opened a gym, which was, at the time, was considered one of the best, and maybe still is one of
the best gyms in the world. And I built it to my specifications, like, every piece there was
exactly what I wanted, everything is designed the way I wanted. And by the time it was open, my heart wasn’t in it, man. How can you walk to the gym, and go, well honestly I gotta get home. – [Yani] Yeah. – And I built the gym intentionally with a really big daycare
so I could bring my kids, and I’m like, well I’m
not gonna, go train, once I had built, my idea was, big daycare, bring the kids to the gym, put them in the daycare, go train. Right. So you’re gonna go up there and squat while your little babies
are in the next room? Not gonna happen. Focus-wise, right? Not gonna happen. So that, I think they’ve been in, – [Rad] It’s hard, isn’t it? – Oh, it’s impossible. So I was like, forget it. I don’t need this any more. So let’s build something
else that’s great. – Awesome. Awesome. And that is your MI40 nation, and the MI40 program. What else are you
working on at the moment? – I’m doing a bunch of things. So the whole half of, first half of 2019, I’m gonna be on the road doing seminars. Basically doing a world tour, myself and Dr. Jordan Shallow, – Who’s an insanely smart guy, by the way, if you don’t know of him, look him up. I had a conversation for
about 15 minutes out there, and we could have sat
there chatting all day. Amazing. – So we’re just doing the
world tour for the first half until basically mid June. And the second half of the
year finishing my book. So I started a book in the
last half of last year. Just all these integrated pieces, of how to build your greatest body, but all the other things that goes into living a healthy, holistic life, while building the body of your dreams, and I think people need
to know that stuff. It doesn’t have to be unhealthy. It doesn’t need to be
anchored in negative emotions. And I’d love to be the person who becomes the spokesperson for that, right? It can be a joyful process. It should be a joyful process. Your body is a gift. So enjoy this gift, embrace the gift. So that’s happening. And then we’ve got, I’m
launching, that’s kind of the business. I’ve got a podcast that’s
relatively popular, most people have heard of it at this point in the fitness industry. So previously called Muscle Expert, we’re just gonna shift and
call it Muscle Intelligence, ’cause that’s the business. And it’s just providing
an intelligence approach to build your greatest body, man. And all those pieces
that go into it, right? All the talking about the movements, and talking about mobility, and talking about
autonomic nervous system, and sleep, and nutrition, and
the environment, and mindset, and all those things going
into this beautiful synergy of being able to ultimately interview the world’s most epic humans. Which is just a blessing. How awesome is it to be able to call up the smartest
people in the world and go hey, man, you
wanna chat for 90 minutes? Like, fuck yeah. It’s just like, a Ph.D in
fitness and mindset, you know. – [Yani] Yeah. That’s brilliant. – Yeah it’s awesome. – Awesome, man. Well look, it’s been an
absolute pleasure to have you on the show today, and I’m sure that Kalisha’s gonna be busy over the next week creating a lot of
insightful pieces of content that we can deliver on
every single platform around the world. No, man, it’s just been amazing. – Thanks, man. – Thank you so much for giving your time. – I appreciate you guys having me, it’s just worked out perfectly, right? I love that you guys made some time, and I just happened to be in town, and gratefully get a workout in. – [Rad] Yeah man, it was quite a workout. – And reconnect. And I strongly, you know,
no endorsement from you or no request from these guys, but I strongly advise you guys to get out there and try it, because these programs
are amazing, and I think it’s an addition to everyone’s program. The beautiful thing is,
at least the way I see it, you may not be asking everybody to change the way they train, just keep doing what you’re doing. But add this do it as an adjunct. At least to start, right? – [Rad] Yeah, that’s right. – Yeah, try this 15 minute
program, it’s amazing. Like I felt amazing. My joints feel amazing. My mobility feels better. My nervous system feels turned on. My brain feels turned on. And that’s something that
most people would kill for. And if you can do that
in 15 minutes a day, and then add that to your daily routine, for me, it seems like
it’d be a great synergy to do this on the gym floor, like I wake up in the
morning, I do my gratitude, I do my meditation, and then I move. So that may be walking, that may be yoga, that may be whatever. But if I can add this 15 to
30 minute piece in there, where just all I need is some Vans and maybe a wooden dowel, like, yes. Sign me up, dude. – Awesome. Fantastic. Alright. – Until next time, everyone. We’ll see you guys later. – Yep. We are the gym that
teaches people how to move instead of just exercise,
because we believe that health is about performance, not just body image.


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