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Your ancestors developed key reflexes to protect you from danger in emergency situations. This is good because your survival didn't depend on thinking before acting. This is bad because in modern society, these reflexes get triggered, and get stuck on repeat. Since they're beneath conscious control, we can't reset them with our thoughts. Using these as a lens, I would argue that getting stuck in these emergency survival reflex patterns can literally begin to explain just about every malady I can think of. (Or at the very least, play a role in):   weight gain carb cravings diabetes lethargy and chronic fatigue back pain muscle tightness and stiffness any postural pain feeling of stress / overwhelm feeling of loneliness, isolation, disconnectedness social anxiety blank stares; ability to win staring contests inability to laugh/cry difficulty swallowing / coughing / gag problems dry mouth, oral health problems constipation / diarrhea vision and hearing problems addiction lack of motivation, feeling helpless, like things are pointless, useless to even try wounds that won't heal   So how does it all work? Survival Reflexes   For my first trick, I will now attempt to make this mess of science as digestible as possible. Okay so your brain as you know it is the product of MILLIONS of years of evolution. Before your earliest ancestors had the luxury of conscious thought, every action and behavior was instinctive, reactionary, and subconscious. In other words, you weren't the boss - your DNA was. If you ever found yourself in danger, your ancestors had already passed on reflexes telling you exactly what to do. (What's FREAKIN COOL is that they can still be observed in all of mammalian life in the wild! I've got some videos for you later.) As time went on, subsequent brain layers developed, and our mammalian nervous systems became increasingly complex. New layers brought with them new survival abilities, and...

Thought of the Day - 2/19/17 Q: Are you doing more reps than necessary, just to fatigue all the muscles and patterns you shouldn't be using in the first place, so you can finally get to the real reps and drill the intended muscles by the end? A: Why not start with the real reps? Feel. Perform purposely and mindfully. ...

In May 2016, at age 41, I was at my highest weight ever, morbidly obese. I felt helpless. So I went to an information session held by a bariatric surgery clinic. They described the process leading up to the procedure, the surgery itself, and the expected results (and dangers). To be honest, I left feeling pretty terrified and defeated. I knew it wasn't for me, but I just felt forced to consider it. I knew I needed something radical, but what other option could there be? I honestly didn't know what else I could do....

This week’s question comes from a dynamo doctor who refuses to let his life pass him by - from skiing double black diamonds and learning how to train like a wild animal, he embodies the need to conquer! Father Time be damned, he never uses his six decades of worldly experience as an excuse, and is interested in how to push even harder! What an inspiration! Q: How do I push harder without you [or another trainer/training partner] looking over my shoulder? A: Great question - This can be a difficult task, but it is a critical problem faced by many and is certainly worth solving. Remember, intensity in the gym is far more productive and conducive to producing real, lasting results than utilizing longer durations/volumes of a lesser intensity. Let’s break this topic down into a few steps. My first suggestion is to figure out why you’re even looking to be working harder. Nobody wants to work harder because it involves hard work. Hard work itself sucks. Yet, people out there choose to work hard every single day, so something has to be worth more than “the suck” of hard work. So how do you figure this out for yourself? Set aside some time to think about why you even go to the gym in the first place. What is it that you want to accomplish? Why is it important to you? Most importantly, make sure you identify what is the alternative to NOT pursuing and reaching your goals? If you honestly can’t find anything, perhaps you should re-evaluate your habit. Why continue to spend time and effort even going to the gym? I’m sure you have better things to do. I train because I love the process and the experience, even if it is usually challenging and even grueling at times. If I didn’t love training, I wouldn’t...