In this episode, we talk with Kelly Starrett about health, mobility, and training. Dr. Kelly Starrett is a coach, physical therapist, two-time New York Times &Wall Street Journal bestselling author, speaker, and co-founder of The Ready State.
Ready to Run by Kelly Starrett
Becoming a Supple Leopard by Kelly Starrett.
Will Jarvis 0:04
Hey folks, I’m well Jarvis along with my dad, Dr. David Jarvis, I host the podcast narratives. narratives is a project exploring the ways in which the world is better than it has been the ways it is worse in the past or making a better, more definite future. I hope you enjoy it.
Unknown Speaker 0:27
Hey, Kelly, how are you? Great. Nice to see you guys.
Will Jarvis 0:30
It’s great to see. So I want to just get started. Can you give us a super high level overview of who you are and kind of how you got here and what you’re about?
Kelly Starrett 0:39
Boy, how we got here is that I’m obsessed. It’s an act total accident. No, honestly. You know, I’m a classically trained physio, you know, I went to a heavy duty manual therapy school. And I was also a tricky Russian coach and had been obsessed with strength conditioning and pro high performance my whole life. I mean, I paddle in the US Canada kayak team, Apollo national whitewater team have always been interested in how do we go faster? How do we eat? You know, I read the zone book back in like, I don’t know, was that 9697 I read the zone. And I was like, carbohydrates, the devil. Like, I figured I was on to these things early on, like me like eating diet, drinking Diet Coke, eating rice cakes, like the other kids in my climbing gym wasn’t really the wasn’t the way so Yes, sir. So um, you know, what’s interesting is, I owned a gym in the in the Presidio in San Francisco, started that in 2005, with my wife. And suddenly, that was really, I’d say, the beginning of this modern sort of strength conditioning, 2.0 Renaissance where the internet and CrossFit and kettlebells and Olympic lifting finally made their way into the mainstream, where people, you know, before that, if you are you either a track athlete, or you came through a football program, the was your exposure to lifting weights in a real way, I don’t mean like going to the gym, and, you know, doing 17 different kinds of bicep curls, but actual strength conditioning. And then what was really interesting is this gap between my classical physio training and how we were actually training as athletes and what classic strength conditioning looked like, and there was this there, these kind of big holes there. And lo and behold, we stumbled into them and just began by trying to help people solve their own problems. We started making a video a day for a year back in silver 10 years ago. And lo and behold, you know, people, what we were doing wasn’t working or wasn’t working well enough. And whether there are conversations about restoring position, or who owns pain, you know, what we basically were like exercise to the limits of our technical abilities with all these advanced tools. And if you break, that’s not my problem, we’ll go get some help. And then the old models literally exercise how you break trying to break. And then next time, we’ll get a little further before you get injured again, or have an overuse injury. Now, you know, I thought to myself, I was like maybe self, there may be a better way here.
Will Jarvis 3:01
It’d be a better way. That’s great. So another question. And this is this is, this is a hard question. This is the million dollar question. What do you think has gone wrong with American health? You know, we’ve got like longevity? You know, it’s like we’ve peaked and we’re coming back down? Is it people just don’t move enough? Or, you know, off the carbs off the couch? Is there more to that story? What do you think?
Kelly Starrett 3:22
I think it’s complex, I think, you know, what we’ve seen is, I think the way to answer this question, first and foremost, is to take a big 30,000 foot view and say choose something you care about. So you’re like obesity. I care about obesity. Kaley, how are we doing? Well, you get an F. Okay, that’s not working. You know, when you when I went to high school, the chances of us being diabetic was one in 4000. And now it’s one in four. And if you’re a black woman or Latino male, it’s two out of three mean, those are your chances of being a medic, it doesn’t matter how much money your parents make, or the color of your skin. It’s one in four. So what I would say is, what are the what’s the etiology that was the root of that. And what you’ll see is that man, we are bombarded with crappy, sugary, fun foods that light up our reward systems. They’re hijacking our brains. They’re mean that is tasty, tasty stuff. It’s tasty. And then you have to be looking at Well, let’s look at people where they come from how their parents learned to eat. And where did you teach it? Where do kids learn to eat? Well, they learned at home Well, no one teaches them and they solve the problem themselves. And if I turn my 12 year old loose in the store, I know what I’m going to come home with, right? I’m going home with all the you know, it’s not it’s not steak and vegetables, you know? So all of a sudden, you know, what I see is, you add in this, this advent of maybe weren’t loading or having tissue exposure enough. And so suddenly you’re like, well, I care about kids ACL injury rates, I’m like, good up 400% over the last 10 years, and women are tearing their ACL, so six to eight times the rate of men or all you care about, you know, death or you care about being overweight or I’m like choose something and what you’ll see is that We’re not doing a great job. And the reason that’s important is in strength, conditioning and human performance and what’s called that industrial fitness. And what I mean industrial fitness, I’m saying, industrial fitness is designed to make money. So peloton is designed to make money side effects as people find communicate healthier, you know, soulcycle is designed to make money side effect as people will get, you know, they may get healthier and find community right. But this industrial fitness idea hasn’t served us very well. So if, if the highest calling of science is to serve the humanities, well, let’s pretend like strength conditioning is a science and let’s look and say, have we learned how to better humanity through the strength conditioning? fitness model? I’d say no, we’re failing the people that we’re learning and the reason for the people that we should be guiding. And the reason strength conditioning fitness so important is that we basically are able to stress test the physiology we understand. And I would say Come at me right now, challenge me on this. But I almost think that all the revolutions in what you’re seeing in current diet trends have lost less carbohydrate came out of fitness and strength, conditioning and health, right, not not like the med side. So look at how people are loading, look at what exercise they’re doing. And you’re seeing that a lot of the changes. And the promises of changing society behavior really have been rooted in the performance model. So we look at the performance model as like Formula One concept, and that we have to take those breaks those dyspraxic Formula One and apply it to the F 150s of the world, which is the rest of us. You know, one of my heroes is a coach named Franz Bosch was kind of my current current, like, favorite strength coach. And he says there’s more variation in waltzing than there is in sprinting. And when I take that to understand is, when we actually add intensity, load, volume, speed, strain, stress, right car restaurar demand, we can quickly understand what best practices. And the problem with our current selves is that our genetics, our bodies are incredibly tolerant of abuse, we are designed to be ridden hard and put away wet. And we do that to ourselves through lack of sleep, through lack of community through lack of movement, and I’m talking about walking, I’m not talking about like exercising right? through anything that you deem important. We look at the food quality bodies that we are the things we’re doing, like a two liter bottle of soda, like you just it’s mind blowing, the conversations that my wife and I have at our middle school were like, no, a bean burrito is not a good source of protein, you know, that this is E soda has as much has many grams of sugar as a as a seven up even though it’s natural, right? So what we’re seeing is, I think, a real fundamental mismatch, but one that goes on a mismatch between environment and organism, like so many people talked about, but one that goes on for decades. And so we end up with the kind of commonality solutions, or the results of that we think that that is an error in the system, but it’s actually a normal expression of the system. And so we end up in this deep into complexity theory, which means, you know, where are we going to be able to begin shifting or changing the direction of the the tanker on the horizon? If we’re going to nudge that tanker? Is that Is it? Do we wait until people are 400 pounds? And then have that conversation? Do we wait fell to their, you know, we you know, it Kaiser, you know, the medical system, if you come in with high blood pressure, they put you on a status, right, that has nothing to do with your high blood pressure. But they know that if you have high blood pressure, you’re also going to have high cholesterol. So it’s easier for them and vice versa. So it’s easy for them just to get you on a patent and, and high blood pressure. And what people think as well. That’s ridiculous. I’m like, well, they have lots of data that says you’re not going to change your behavior. And this is the right life. Because ultimately, what we’re talking about is behavior change, right? And what we need to be asking is, how do we constrain environments like as soon as we make soda illegal on campus, man, the game is going to change like bringing a gun on campus. So that’s where we’re going to need to get to the bottom of some of these issues a little bit. And argue less about kettlebells versus dumbbells and a little bit more of like, Why are you sleeping? Why we’re talking about chronic pain, but you don’t walk and you don’t sleep? So how do we even know what we’re talking about?
Will Jarvis 9:28
Yeah, Kelly, is it? Is it fair to sort of view this through the lens of an addiction model? Because you’re talking about, you know, these these addictions to foods like clearly sodas, not what you should be drinking? Clearly, bean burritos are not what 11 year olds should be having for lunch. You know, clearly we need more sleep, but my understanding is a lot of that is tied to you know, we’re up late watching TV, which is itself a form of addiction and all this stuff. So what just sort of what do you think about that lens and what does that tell us about how to get where you’re describing
Kelly Starrett 10:00
I really appreciate that. And what I would say is maybe I just back up and you know, addiction, maybe is the wrong word. And I know where you’re coming from. And let me and I’m not trying to be cute here. But I’m saying is that I think addiction is a problem when it begins to obsessively ruin your relationships in your life, right? And, yes, we can make the case that your lack of sleep, and your insulin sensitivity is going to shorten your life. So you know, maybe it falls into that category. But the root of addiction is self soothing, and appreciating sort of the some of the, the mechanisms by which the brain pays attention to things, the reward centers those things. So someone exercises instead of drinks is that an addiction? Well, they found a way of self soothing and I think what you’re seeing is, man, we have gotten really hyper clever about hitting all of the reward centers are missing misappropriating the reward centers of the brain, serotonin, when your phone goes off that sugar, hit that caffeine low, the you know, mean, just check the box. And suddenly you do view addiction, which is a really, I think, more benevolent and humane and appropriate way to look at people who, whose brain chemistry gets hijacked by opiate says man, you are wired to be hijacked by opiates. You know, some of this was the system’s fault. Some of this was not recognizing that like that stuff is poison, and it will hijack your brain. And clearly we are seeing that happen from porn addiction and porn use, right? I mean, there’s billions of hours. I’m not saying porn is good or bad. I’m just saying that man. You know, it’s a lot. I’m not sure you are wired to be seeing that all the time. And, you know, I think what really is interesting is that model doesn’t get us to what’s best practice, right? A single bean burrito is not the limiting factor. You know, drinking a soda, you know, an eight ounce Coca Cola cane sugar soda was what it was, you know, once a month, because it was a special treat. That was not that was not the thing.
Will Jarvis 12:04
How bad is sitting for humans? in a chair?
Kelly Starrett 12:08
It’s such a great question, because, you know, is drinking a bottle of wine bad for humans? Right, that expect sometimes a little bit for a while? Not not? Not right away? No. And I guess what we should be doing is looking at what are the best behaviors or best environments for human being to thrive in
Will Jarvis 12:29
Kelly Starrett 12:31
What you see is it’s not about sitting versus standing. It’s about moving versus not moving. And the research is irrefutable that you need to move more and be less sedentary. So Harvard defines a sedentary lifestyle as sitting more than six hours a day in aggregate. So total six hours a day. And that sedentary list has a whole host of really interesting physiologic aspects, you don’t burn fat very well, you become insulin sensitive, you’re fluid in your legs backs up. Like I mean, just check the things that, you know, seem like they’re important. And suddenly you’re like, Oh, it’s about moving more. And more importantly for us, we can help people to see that like, you know, the goal during the day is to get honestly tend 15,000 steps, sure, if you’re elderly might be 8000 steps a day. But really, it’s not about steps. It’s about how much movement you can get in what we call non exercise activity. And if you if you sit at the the kind of sitting you’re doing is different, you know, if one of the things that I think is worth talking about is if you perch against the barstool, like you’re sitting in a bar, like at a coffee shop, like a high calorie bar, you’re having a balance with your trunk and your waistband through the legs. And guess what, your one and a half metabolic equivalents are higher in terms of your calorie burning. So it turns out one and a half Mets metabolic equivalents. That’s that whole thing on the Stairmaster would tell you where the cutoff for sedentary behavior is. And so what we’re trying to do is get enough musculature to kick on that your brain is like, oh, we’re being active here, we better pay attention. And it turns out when you sit in a chair, you’re below one and a half metabolic equivalents. If you sit on a wobbly chair or the edge of your chair perch, you go above one and a half metabolic equivalents. So what that does for us is that it gets rid of the stigma of sitting and will die,
Will Jarvis 14:27
Kelly Starrett 14:28
we think you’re not moving and all the most hated behaviors, like you know, because it’s easy to be like, Well, what about this person? she smoked cigarettes and died at 98. I’m like, and she had COPD and couldn’t take a breath was an aerobic athlete, right? Yes, you can. You can always put outliers. But is that best for the function of the human and now we can start to be a little bit more nuanced? Well, you know, can you take a full breath in that position? Well, it turns out now your chest breathing and practicing chest breathing all the time, and practice doesn’t make perfect practice makes permanent. So look Get your resting default positions. And again, if you’re just going to the grocery store, it probably matters less, ultimately. But if you want to put your arms over your head or extend your hip guarantee, you’re going to have problems with that stuff. So what we end up saying then is, you know, what should we be doing. And what you’ll see is maybe I shouldn’t be sitting on my hamstrings, and instead of the weight bearing surfaces of my, my pelvis. And what’s interesting is, when you sit on the ground, you have all of these structural systems that support the spine built in because we over two and a half million years, people sat on the ground, slept on the ground toilet on the ground, ate by the ground, hung out on the ground played on the ground, it’s really only recently that we got up off the ground. So what’s the Turkish get up? Well, it’s doing fake work that you needed to do to replicate your old life like that. That’s what the Turkish getup is right? to exercise, we do fake exercises to support muscles we don’t actually use in our real life. That’s that’s the definition of current exercise, you know, theory. And so one of the things that we we suddenly see is, if you look at how the spine works, one of the things that you have to appreciate is that the spine derives a lot of stability off of the pelvis, through rotation of the femur, or into rotation of the femur. So you have 10 muscles that flex the hip, bring the knees to the chest, but you have 13 muscles that create an external rotation force in the femur. It’s almost like with your feet straight, you have all of these structures and all these facile systems that help wind your femur into your pelvis, so can become more stable, all of which go away when you sit down in a chair, and use the chair for support. And what you’ll suddenly see as well. If you’re not wobbling, you’re gonna slouch, you’re gonna stand, you’re gonna end up in a position, which again, may or may not ever cost you in terms of long term disability, but the research is pretty clear. That may be something else. Right? It may be, you know, leading to a whole host of other issues.
Will Jarvis 17:13
That makes a lot of sense. So, Kelly, I had another question. It’s quite similar to the one we were just were just talking about running shoes.
Kelly Starrett 17:20
Hey, Paul, let’s back up for a second. Because what I really want to say as an easy way of thinking about how much sitting is too much, right, right. Well, what are your moving vital signs? How would you know if your body you’re losing the ability to move freely? Right? every physical therapist, every surgeon on the planet agrees we all have these normative ranges. So if you don’t hit that normative range, I have to ask you, What the hell’s wrong with you? Why can’t you put your arms over your head? Why? Why did why is your hips stuck at 90 degrees? Why are you missing all your rotation? Have you have no hip extension? And people like sittings? Fine. I’m like, knock yourself out. You just are a Demi human right now half human, because you can’t even do what humans supposed to do. So there’s something going on in your habitus and behavior that we should take a look at. Right, which will lead you to your next question.
Will Jarvis 18:13
Makes a lot of sense. So beginning the pandemic, you know, Paul, and I do a lot of CrossFit workouts together. But you know, everything had to stop. And suddenly, Paul, who is also former 5k champion for the army, lightly, shall we say, there’s a great story, their story is great story. So you know, he’s a great runner. I’m not at all, you know, way into, like, Olympic weightlifting. But you know, we couldn’t go to the gym anymore. So we’d meet out in the park and go run, and my knees were just getting destroyed, like, my life is terrible. I know. And I had all these these old tennis shoes I was wearing. And then I read your book ready to run and I actually switched to a middle mill minimalist pair of shoes, I’m able to put on a ton of miles, you know, I’m a heavy guy. Probably your size Kelly. And you know, it was just like, it was just tearing me up. But everything was fixed when I switched to minimal minimalist shoes. Could you talk about that a little bit? And, you know, kind of the moral hazard of heel striking when you’ve got an ultra cushion running shoe and Do you still find that kind of critique valid, you know, 70 years later?
Kelly Starrett 19:18
I think is really interesting is, let’s just take your shoes off your feet for a second. Like no shoes, let’s not have a conversation with shoes better. Let’s watch you run with no shoes on. Right and and watch what happens to your technique. You run like a kindergartener, you run like Usain Bolt, you immediately stop striking slamming your heel into the ground because you get this feedback that you cannot do that. And your body immediately adjusts and says No way. Right? It’s like if you just had mittens on and you just constantly reached into the oven and you’re like, man, I can just reach into that with these mittens. It’s totally no problem. Then one day you reach into the oven without your mittens on and burn the crap out of your hands. And what you’re seeing is The shoe wish to be in is the shoe that disrupts our mechanics or Nate mechanics, the least that allows for the best function of the foot. But what you’re also up against here is the fact that we have sold running as an unskilled exercise that anyone can do to get fit. It’s democratized go run, coop you. And what ends up happening is we don’t appreciate on rent, typing or boarding, like, you know, the first day you guys were run, and you’re like, let’s go run. We’re like, whoo, 5k or 10k. Right? What you did, I was like, first ever Olympic lifting, but 315 on there, like it’s gonna be fine. Right? No one thinks those things is moral equivalence. But they are exactly equivalence, right? No, no weightlifting, benchpress six technique, but running doesn’t matter. I’m like, oh, it doesn’t really like it disobeys the laws of physics and the laws of all other training. So what is that we’re finding that the more we don’t spend time on the ground, walking, and extending the hip, the more our mechanics of running start to reflect that inability to extend the hip. That means you’ve got to put that foot out somewhere to get going. So you end up making your strides that have longer out the back, it’s longer out the front. And what ends up happening then is you end up with a mechanic that is made possible by your weightlifting belts, or by your shoe orthotics. Like, right isn’t it’s an artificial construct. And, you know, it’s interesting that if you just pan back for a second and say, well, let’s look at the brain and the homunculus on the brain, how how much brain area in the motor cortex is given to different sensory motor areas, and the mouth is huge, the hands are huge, and get out, guess what else is huge, the feet. So suddenly, you put these shoe coffins, right, these $300 cute love jeans, shoe cup offens on that insulate you from all perception and reality. And you can get away with a lot of murder. And really, it hides the fact that when you went to a minimalist shoe, or will say a lighter, thinner shoe, you could you had to make corrections, because you had feedback about how hard you were hitting the ground. You know, the research is clear that the thicker your shoe and the more expensive the shoe and the more injury, the more severe injury will be. And, and it’s clear that the thicker your shoe and the more sensory issue, the harder you strike the ground. So you know, if you’re slamming the ground, trying to create that visco elastic stiffness in the tissue, suddenly you’re like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, I mean, you’re exposing yourself to a lot of additional load. What’s interesting also is that because of the changes in our habitus, we suddenly are running much slower Keynes’s so if you look at children, no children runs under 90 cades. They don’t run slower than 90 is close to 9496. And by the way, that’s how fast could give Yogi’s Keynes was when he was breaking two hours, he was at 96, and all the marathoners are 9496. So you can’t tell me it’s not the best way. But what you’ll see is that one of some of our running friends have began to say, hey, look, if you’re running and your foot contact, single foot contact is under 90. Let’s actually not call that running anymore. Let’s call that plotting because your feet are on the ground for too long. And what you’re using is your muscular joint system, not your fascist spring system, the Russians call it springiness. That’s really the goal. And as soon as you’re above 90, you can actually tap into that springy elastic recall, if you read Daniel Lieberman’s book, The story of the human body, he’s a Harvard researcher around sort of anthropology, you’ll see that that Achilles can store 80% and return a percent of the energy but not if your heels on the ground because it’s not a spring if your heels on the ground. So you’re just throwing 80% of the energy efficiency and energy transfer of your body means that means you have to make some really weird deals with the devil and get all of that rebound stiffness out of your quadriceps, not your posterior chain, but your anterior chain. So suddenly, again, once again, there’s plenty of times we’re like, I have this terrible event. I’m like, take off your shoes and run and they’re like, Wow, my knees hurt. I’m like, isn’t that weird? Let’s videotape you with shoes. And let’s videotape without shoes. And imagine you put on a different color shirt and you throw the ball differently. I mean, that’s what we’re saying. Right? Like your technique remains steady. And if you run slowly, it should look like sprinting and what you see exactly even in this sort of pattern interference is that if I heel strike, but I sprint on my toes, you’re saying you right slowly with your left hand and right fast with your right hand. No one changes their technique when it gets fast. Like that’s that’s how we challenge technique. And what we haven’t done is given anyone those feelings and said what we sold them is ridiculous shoes.
Will Jarvis 24:43
That makes which look great with jeans. They look great with jeans really good.
Kelly Starrett 24:47
And you have the right and look, you know my favorite currency right now is I wear I don’t have a shoe company I work with. But I wear skate shoes, the New Balance Numerix are flat and it’s interesting that indoor soccer Shoes flat skate shoes flat. Like like football shoes flat. Like why are Why are cleats flat? I don’t understand. Right? And then, like indoor soccer they don’t really notice there’s a lot of cutting in indoor soccer. It’s right here. Why are track athletes running in flat spikes? Like I don’t you in fact they have a negative camp like you’re like what’s going on here. And then the Nike metcon. Again, shout out to my to my kids there. If you take the insole out of the Nike metcon there’s it’s a half peach a half inch piece of foam. It’s bananas.
Will Jarvis 25:31
Kelly Starrett 25:32
There’s you take that half inch, like one pound piece of foam out of each shoe. That shoe is a minimalist paper, thin shoe that looks good with jeans. And then you can start adding in enough flat cushioning to help you not bruise your feet. Right that that’s the how much cushion do I need? I need enough stiffness and cushioning I don’t hurt myself when I’m running on on hard surfaces.
Will Jarvis 25:53
That makes a ton of sense. And I know I switched to a much more minimalist flat shoe it to do just met cons and box jobs. And that really helped as well. I just just that feedback like, well, I’m smacking my Yeah, low body in the ground repeatedly, like no wonder.
Kelly Starrett 26:08
That’s curious. You know, and I, you know, one of the things that, you know, as we get older, we start to become more reasonable. I think I’m more reasonable. And now I’m like, look, I think it probably matters a little bit less what your shoe is, I mean, you don’t need a centimeter of cushion. But three to five millimeters is not going to kill you if got your flat all the time. So you so if you ever heard this Maxim live, like train high live low, right? That’s really the idea of like, if you live high, you don’t have all the adaptations, adaptations and oxygen, but you want to train high. So what I like to say is live flat train high. So if you need Olympic lifting shoes or some shoe, the shoe can help you solve a technical problem. But running shoes are not everyday shoes. They’re running shoes. Like that’s a very big difference.
Will Jarvis 26:58
That makes a lot of sense. And I think this is a great segue. I know, Paul, you want to talk about kind of pain and also some aging issues? I think that
Kelly Starrett 27:08
Oh, well. How many hours do we have?
Will Jarvis 27:11
So yeah, I mean, Kelly, you and I are actually about the same age. And, you know, one of the things I wanted is 23. Well, I’m 24. So a little, maybe more. I’m aging? Well, I hope but um, now I want to just sort of ask, you know, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that, you know, my top end strength isn’t really going down. In fact, I can still make really good gains. But what’s really going on is with my recovery times, and the amount of strain that I can actually feel on my joints and body as I’m exercising particularly in CrossFit workouts. So, you know, for the older athlete or just in general, I guess two related questions. Is there sort of a baseline level of discomfort? That’s, that’s okay. And relatedly? What are the sort of bodily cues that you’re telling people to look for? indicate, hey, this, this is an incipient injury, not, you know, this is something you need to pay attention to, as opposed to just a normal ache and pain of growing older, that will work itself out if you keep exercising.
Kelly Starrett 28:18
The first thing I would say, and it’s such a relevant question, I’m 40, I’ll be 48. This year, I would probably say I’m a better fitter, stronger athlete, more technical athlete and better prepared athlete I’ve ever been in my life, I would mop the floor with my 23 year old self, comma, love to be able to treat that but my body like I did when I was 23, which didn’t seem to matter what I did. What I’ll say is, first of all, there’s some assumptions in there that we should get to the bottom of one is do I have to hurt to be an athlete who’s not 23 anymore? And the answer is No, you don’t. But what you’ve seen is, we know testosterone is a little lower growth hormones a little lower, less protein signaling, you need to up your collagen, right, you need to warm up a little bit more, you may not be able to handle the volume. Let’s look at your total strain and the sleep quality and hydration. Because what I’ll say is I don’t think your range of motion needs to go away. I think you can be really strong. In fact, at no point is the body stop healing. But what ends up happening is the let’s just say metaphorically, the fire isn’t at the forge isn’t as hot, right? So we, we have to be thinking that the things that didn’t matter as much. The best practices that we ascribe towards to elite performance, those things become more germane. So for example, this is from my friend eccn koski, who has the 800 gram challenge, but she’s like, hey, look as you get older, there are a lot of things that you can get away with. But your diet is one of the things you cannot get away with. You have less tolerance so your diet has to become better and better and better as you get older. You just can’t eat like my, you know, 16 year old daughter and her boyfriend who Just like smash whatever they want and still dust me on the bike, and it’s sort of annoying. So the same thing is true then towards what we know is best practice. Tell me about your sleep. Tell me about your eating. Tell me about how you’re self soothing. You’re drinking a ton of wine, are you? You know, I mean, so all of a sudden, we know is like, well, do the best athletes in the world warm up before they exercise 100% that’s how they do that. Well, I’m like, Well, did you warm up? Well, I did a couple double unders and burpee and, you know, touch my toes. And let’s let’s get into I don’t have time, I’ve got a busy job. So and I’m like, Well, tell me about your non exercise activity during the day. And you’re like, Well, I didn’t I smashed myself during this peloton thruster nightmare I created for myself in COVID. And then I sat down at my desk all day long. I’m like, Okay, so what we end up seeing is we confuse adaptation errors, and sort of the mistakes of what elite practice looks like. And the fact that we just don’t have the tolerance in our physiology anymore, for your silly bullshit. That’s really what it comes down to. So that’s first and foremost, because when we start to take care of those things, so when we start to get a blood panel, when we cut out some of the carbohydrate, when we are really managing our sibling, my wife and I, we get eight hours, that means we’re in bed over eight hours, we’re in bed morally at eight and a half to 845. We cannot get less sleep than that, and don’t expect to train or perform or have the water to the poundage. And one of the things that I think is really important is that it’s this fundamental and shifting conversation about pain, what that means. And what I want people to appreciate his pain does not mean tissue damage. Pain means a request for a behavior change, what I want you to do is begin to think about and conceptualize pain, as just inflammation to same same level, same rigor, as incomplete range of motion, same level and rigor as couldn’t generate wattage today, or couldn’t hit the weights I was trying to hit. Like, if you sucked in the barbell, I’m like, what’s going on? You’re like, well, I’m going to fight with my wife. And I didn’t eat very well, and one got drunk with the boys. And I watched Netflix on my long because I was so sad. And when Well, that’s, I can kind of couple those behaviors. Like, why did your knee hurt? Like, I don’t know, I’ve tore my meniscus, I’ve herniated
Kelly Starrett 32:11
Can you just catastrophize. And what we want people to appreciate is that we define injury as can no longer occupy my role on the team, in my job, or my role in the family that’s really important, or I can’t recreate or learn. So in one of those things, plus clear mechanism of injury, you sprained your ankle when you came off the pull up bar or night sweats, dizziness, fever, vomiting, like you’ve got some kind of pathology going on, right? So when we take pathology and catastrophe away, and we just have pain, pain is just a request for change. I just want us to be familiar that like pain is your companion pain is your friend in so much that it can guide you to understanding a different technique, a different physiology, or it’s asking for, you know, like, Look, if you are in love, and eating great and sleeping, I guarantee you I could put a nail through your thigh and you won’t feel it. Right. But like your dog dies, true story, your old ankle injury will come back to haunt you because your your sensitivity threshold is down. So one of the things that we always are talking about is what are the best practices around make sure that the brain doesn’t interpret what’s happening the body is a pain signal, because right that’s one of the one of the choices that your brain has in your brain has got given you some some messages, loss of force production, loss of range of motion, stiffness, and your brains like bro, Pro, bro, All right, let I’m gonna flick your ear and you’re like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, you know, I went for a run in my knee hurts. Well, let’s let’s get into that a little bit more. Let’s look at your training volume. What’s your hydration, let’s look at your nutrition. Let’s look at your adaptation, recovery kind of things. And suddenly, what we see is oh, you know, this is pretty sustainable. And you know, what I’ll say is you have to pay attention to your tissue quality a little bit more as you get older. Like that is that is not for grand anymore. You cannot be a stiff, hypo hydrated, hyper inflamed person, and expect to yank on that quad or that tendon or that ligament the same way you did when you got away with it. And again, this is this normal accident theory idea of when we get into complex systems. Sometimes the outcome looks like catastrophe. But it was just a normal expression of the system. Your shoulder has been jamming forward on that bench since Vietnam. And then suddenly you couldn’t buffer anymore. The tissues just fell below some kind of thrush threshold and you had this catastrophic tear. And then as we say, as we get into that, well, could we have prevented that in any way? Like what were the mechanisms or things or behaviors? Well, it turns out, those are the same behaviors we would have had a conversation about if we were trying to go fast, or win World Championships. It’s all there. It’s the same stinking thing. You know, my my 16 year old daughter said something really funny in the car or not. And we’re hanging out there tonight. She’s like, you know, Dad Because our dog is a little chunky right now, you know he’s got a little chunky and I COVID wait he’s eating our cat food and we this is this says it all we have a cat that was became diabetic. Right and you know all of a sudden he’s obsessively drinking he’s a US cat is a vintage cat. And we have this cat Austin he’s obsessed with drinking from the fountain and freaky Li like any water now and well, I was like a smart cat diabetic. So we test them and it turned out we had diabetic cat. So you know what cats eat?
Will Jarvis 35:34
Meat just me just me. Just me. obligate carnivores,
Kelly Starrett 35:38
obligate carnivores, the right who gets what cat food is? Not me, not me. It is. So I basically gave my cat diabetes feeding them the most bespoke yuppie cat food. No, my cat needed meat. This meat just me not giving me so I gave my cat meat again. And guess what? his diabetes cured himself. Right? And I was like, man, how am I like an expert in nutrition performance, and I gave my cat diabetes because I’m an idiot. And that is really this case of what we’re talking about here. So my my daughter’s like, hey, when our dog gets fat, you know, he needs to eat less and walk more. And I was like, that’s really good advice. Like, you know, when, when people get fat, they need fat burners and, and juice cleanses. And, and like, and I was like, good point, George. Humans are really different. Like, we don’t need to eat less and walk more. We need, we need fat burning pills and fen fen. And no, and that’s, you know, what’s really interesting there is that with the cat and the dog, their behaviors are constrained, they don’t have a choice, they eat well, you feed them, right, and the rest of us have to make 1000 choices. And we will default to the good feelings. You know, I had just had knee surgeries you guys talked about, I had my knee resurface four months ago, after a really bad ski accident seven years ago, seven half years ago, I crash really bad going fast on skis, and couldn’t buffer anymore. And you know, this, this idea of sort of, I don’t know where I’m going with this, but we’ll come back to it anyway. You know, the idea here is, we absolutely have all the tools, we just have to constrain the environment to make better decisions that is, I think, is part of the way out of it. So let me tell you how this translates. If I don’t want to wake up eating cookies, I don’t have cookies in the house. Otherwise, my brain will wake up at two in the morning and be like, bro, there’s cookies in the house. Every time you heard it, you heard a noise. Once you go get a cookie, I swear that’s what my brain does. So the only way I prevented
Will Jarvis 37:44
is I don’t have in the house. That makes it makes a lot of sense. You also made one point which I was very valuable to me. So I wanted you to just make I want to make sure the audience got this. There’s a difference. And I you know, I couldn’t sleep for the longest time, you know, it got a stressful job like going on. And I would come in I would smash it really hard in the gym, and I would still be able to sleep and I’m like What is going on? Like, I’m murdering myself in the gym, you know. And then I listened to maybe on a podcast and it was on the ready state I can’t remember. And you said something, it was like there’s a difference between the total movement you do in a day and smashing really hard in the gym. And you need both to be a fully functional human?
Kelly Starrett 38:25
Well, I think what you know, what we know is non exercise activity isn’t optional. And what I mean is you need to move around enough to decongest your tissues. So let’s look at your lymphatic system for a second. It’s the sewage system of the body. A normal adult makes about three liters of lymphatic fluids, right. So if you ever had a blister that’s less lymph, so your lymphatic system is built into your movement system. It’s all in your muscles. And it’s a passive one way system. So when your muscles contract, you drive your lymphatic, right. So what we see suddenly, as well, if I want to just decongest and move the bot natural byproducts of cellular respiration, which can’t always go out to the blood, they go out through the lymph, the bigger proteins and those things, I actually have to squeeze my calves a little bit. Otherwise, I’m gonna end up with cankles. And you’re
Kelly Starrett 39:14
right, and it’s moving around. And so suddenly you’re like, Okay, it’s not about I need to get exercise. It’s about that I need to decongest Don’t be like okay, well, when you put an orca in captivity, one of the things we know happens is it ends up with full defense syndrome, right? And what you can simply That’s right, it’s a nice way of saying instead of floppy fin syndrome, it’s it’s not so nice. Say guys, and the idea here is I’m like well, what have you done to the Orca will fundamentally change its behavior, it spends a lot more time with the surface. So it’s exposed to a lot more gravity sort of moment arm on that fin. But second, that fin isn’t being loaded. It’s not being that Orca isn’t hunting, it’s not fighting, it’s not swimming, it’s not doing its thing so then collagen becomes weak. So now you’ve got a unused system. an orca an apex predator, and you change its environment any Does that sound familiar? Does that sound like a human being to you? And so what’s really interesting is that I’m like you’re just not being you’re not you’re Orca cell theory of folded fin Orca cellphone in captivity. And this is called mccanna transduction, that if you want to have a cell, in the body express itself, you need mechanical input. So if you want your ligaments to be ligaments, you better load your ligaments, if you better if you want your fashio to be strong, you better load the fascia, you better load the musculature. And so suddenly, what you’re saying is man, am I exposing the tissues of my body to concentric loads, East centric loads, nice symmetrical loads, because if your tenant isn’t exposed to those things, it’s not going to be great. It’s not gonna be a full tenants can be a Demi tendon, which is sort of sucky when you really want to go fast when only all of a sudden, you know, so all of a sudden, we’re like, Well, you’ve got to just get some background loading, and well, that walking is pretty damn good for that. Right? Then you start asking yourself, Well, you know, Kirk parsley, Doc parsley describes it as that one of the mechanisms for sleep is this ad nauseam that comes off ATP is that it accumulates and then you start to become sleep trigger become and it’s one of the reasons men fall asleep a little bit more than women is they have more muscle mass, typically, this is one of the reasons my wife would tell you is because she’s running our family and our business. And I’m a buffoon, which is also valid, it’s a valid point. And, but one of the things we see is that you actually have to accumulate enough non exercise activity to sugar fatigue. And, and in an hour of intense exercise is not sufficient to accumulate enough fatigue load. So what we’re seeing is suddenly, this mismatch, again, between environment and organism and the organism, the human being is supposed to move more. Unfortunately, for us, we all have a cell phone, and your cell phone actually has an activity tracker built into it, it’ll count your steps for you. So if you just keep your cell phone in your pocket, which is where it is all the time anyway, you don’t even activity chart, you already have one and take a look. And ask your kids, what you’re gonna see is like, holy shit, I walk 2000 steps today. And I’m like, Huh, that’s weird. And you’ve been doing that for the last month, you know. So one of the things that we’re trying to do when we’re trying to unravel what seemingly complex problems like sleep, because that’s a real big one for us. If you have chronic pain, or persistent pain, or nuance that pain or injury or surgery, you get two things for me, you’re going to get I’m going to ask you about your sleep. And eight hours is the minimum and seven hours is survival. So you got seven hours, correct, you’re surviving. If you want to grow or be faster, or change your body composition or heal, you’ve got to get eight hours, you may need to be in bed for eight for eight and a half to 845 or seven after 745 to get the actual time because an upwards of an hour of sleep disturbance is normal. And also ask you to walk more those two things. Because if I if I’m trying to tug at this Gordian knot, I can’t really see what’s what. And so if you start walking more, and then did some downregulation, before you fall asleep, that’d be great, right? Some some soft tissue rolling, but if you walk more, you’re going to sleep. And then what’ll end up happening is that if you get enough sleep, you don’t wake up groggy, and start slamming the caffeine and then have caffeine at four trying to stay awake, and then have to have a drink at eight which will disrupt your sleep because you’re trying to hit the brakes. And suddenly we have this the stimulant depressant cycling going on, on top of no movement on top of Netflix, and I’m like, so much noise in the data. I can’t even tell what’s what anymore. And that’s what’s really complicated. So now people are like, given that CBD gummy, give me this sleep on it. That’s what I need. So now that’s what I want us to get to is say, hey, let’s just put the first building blocks first. And that is the base of a physical practice, then we can start talking about what’s next.
Will Jarvis 43:46
That makes that makes a ton of sense. All right, I had one more question was kind of a two part question. might ask Paul. If he has one more, and then we want to let you get to dinner. Kelly. So for an athlete that has like an hour, an hour a day, what’s your movement prescription? And what’s the if you don’t do anything else, the mobility movements you want people to kind of think about?
Kelly Starrett 44:07
Well, you know, it’s interesting. Jen, I work in a book right now called bill to move which is really saying hey, what are the essential aspects of being human that create a physical practice so that we can learn stop having conversation about which secret scratch says program relieves the best results, right? Like you want change your body composition that’s about food, right? If you want to change your health, you got to move a little more if you want to exercise and have more muscles because it makes it easier to burn more calories. Fantastic. Like and we’re into that right. So you know what i what, what I would say is let’s instead of saying what are the things you have to do, let’s say what are the opportunities are the windows we can actually do something? You know, one of the triggers for my co wife who’s a three time world champion superstar attorney see over businesses, mother two is listening to tech bros talk about their daily routine and the gratitude journals and how they fast Good morning, drink this detox, meditate. She’s like, who’s getting kids ready. Like she’s like someone’s got a, you know, so she freaks out. And so what we see is, first thing in the morning, we before your kids are up, there’s some agency there. So that’s a place where you could chug some water. That’s the place where you could drop in 10 minutes of like a Wim Hof or x PT style breathing. Maybe you could do the 10 minute hip spin up that we have on our blog on the readystate blog, we have like my morning routine, which is I do a little bit of breathing, and I do a little bit of hip openers, then I try to eat protein. So I’m not a big fan of intermittent fasting. And the reason I don’t like Internet fast is that if I miss an opportunity in the morning, I can’t guarantee you that I will have eaten enough through the day. So for me, it’s about agency, like when my day gets going on my shoot, Do I have anything to eat for lunch? But I know I can leave the house having eaten a fruit or vegetable and a protein. So for me, I’m like, Dude, this is one of the few windows where I have agency because once the door day starts going, I might I might be fasting during the day, I might, you know, maybe maybe there’s food, maybe I food prep, maybe I have leftovers. But what I can assure myself is later on if I have not if I’ve missed breakfast, which is totally fine too fast. By the way, it just may not be the the elite performance rafter. But you know, the idea here is, you know, where can I put the best practices in and then once the day goes, my only goal during the day is to get as much movement as I can. Then in the evening, when I start to have some agency again, I can do some soft tissue work, make 10 minutes before I go to bed, I can roll around on a roller tack with Steph or sit on the ground while I’m watching TV and roll out my calves. And what suddenly you realize is man that those bookends, those are really important. And so if you walk to Tung drank some water during the day ate some fruits and vegetables and some great proteins maxed out on those things. You did a little bit of soft tissue work yet all breathing 12 hours ago Do you killed it? That is a person who is going to be 110 years old. And then we didn’t even talk about how much you deadlift it or what did you do upper body lower body split or, you know, short, medium hard like that just ends up being an extra conversation. And that’s what I want people to appreciate is that we’re not trying to add more to your life, we’re trying to take things out of your life. And that’s really the way to look at it. And here’s here’s what I would say, how’s it working? Are we fatter? Are we more and more anxiety how suicide rate in kids? I’m serious, choose something about and then just ask the question, how’s it going? And what you see is okay, maybe it’s not going great, maybe five hour energy drink. And this protein shake isn’t getting me where I need. And I think that’s where we’re going to just have to ask slightly different questions. You know, are our kids have to turn their phones into us? At 930 respectively and 10 o’clock at night? That’s difference between 12 and and in 16. And the phones live in our rooms? You know why? Because I can’t leave a heroin needle and cocaine. Why? Because I’m like, Can you imagine your 16 year old self? I mean, like don’t Snapchat, your sexy girlfriend that one in the morning, dude, I would never slept ever again. Yeah. And so what we do is we just take that we take that decision away from our kids and protect their sleep. And subsequently, I have daughters who have, you know, nice skin and who don’t feel like they get injured very well. And they focus better in school. And that’s where we have to be thinking about the issues as right now very much our society, the tail is wagging the dog, not other way around. Makes a lot of sense. Paul, you got a parting question?
Unknown Speaker 48:42
Yeah, Kelly, I
Will Jarvis 48:42
just can’t resist asking this while I’ve Well, I’ve got you here. Um,
Kelly Starrett 48:46
you’re kind of these are my real cats. They’re not implants. Sorry. gonna ask me.
Will Jarvis 48:50
That was exactly it. Exactly. No, you’re you’re kind of an OG of the the CrossFit community. And you know, one of the controversies about CrossFit is whether or not it’s a higher injury rate than than other sports. And as I was thinking about this podcast, I started thinking about, you know, it has all these exercises where you’re intentionally putting yourself under a lot of fatigue, while you’re cycling weights that are intentionally heavy for you, which seems like sort of a recipe for, for injury.
Kelly Starrett 49:22
But how about it’s a recipe for mistakes?
Will Jarvis 49:24
Yes, exactly. And then the mistakes I think are leading to the injuries or can and a lot of cases, and I don’t want to get into that controversy, but I wanted to know, you know, what are you telling, you know, the participants and your CrossFit about how to handle that what what can we do as CrossFit athletes to address that potential problem?
Kelly Starrett 49:45
So first and foremost, let’s debunk this and say that 80% of runners are injured in a year. So running is a sport, okay? I mean, if Would you let your children go running if you knew that eight out of 10 of the children are going to be
Kelly Starrett 50:01
So what you see is that actually CrossFit training, which is gymnastics and running, and Olympic lifting and powerlifting have the same injury rates as those sports, which is relatively low per 1000 hours. So, you know, what you see is this is a formal movement codified movement practice that asks you to express full physiologic range, how many landmine presses are there in the workouts? None. How many, you know, you know, ring rows are there and workouts not. And that’s a scale movement as you work your way towards full physiologic range. And so what’s happening is that initially, again, people are protected because they’re beginners, right? They’re not very, they’re not very strong, which is really great. Because you can get away with a lot children can fall a lot early on, they can fall a lot is learning to walk, it’s not a big deal. We want to make mistakes. So what we should be asking for ourselves is when you look at a model like CrossFit, is we’re asking you to express full a normal normative physiologic range in the tissues. What I’m saying this so you can hear me, can you put your arms over your head without bending your elbows? Right, without doing something weird with your neck and your back? Right, just do. And that’s the same range of motion, every physical therapist said you should have every Cairo’s thinks you should have every Academy, orthopedic surgeon says you should have. So now I’m like, great, you can do that. And you can do that slow. What can you do with a dumbbell, which means I can’t create stability off of fixed object like a barbell, I have to create all the stability to the shoulder. What can you do with it? This kettlebell slightly different stimulus can you do with a barbell? Okay, now I’ve gone from, you know, what I call an open torque system, which is the hand is free to a close torque system where I get to creep, torque off a fixed object? Well, I’m like, suddenly, I’m like, Well, what happens to be flipped upside down? Can you stabilize your trunk off the off this fixed arm? I’m like, Oh, that’s interesting. Can you can you express that when you’re doing a pull up? Can you express that when you’re pressing Can you express when you go from a snatch, so suddenly, we’re saying Well, are you do have control of your arms over your head in downward dog. And what you see is the downward dog, you can do downward dog in the worst position possible and still get away with downward dog, you cannot push a dumbbell over your head in a bad position and expect that dumbbell to roll over your head. So what I’m really saying is, do you have this competencies in this movement? And then the first thing that we traditionally have challenged this with is load. So how do I know it’s I got better? Well, I got heavier. Well, turns out for me the most interesting conversation of all the conversations we’re having isn’t load or speed, it’s Can you stabilize while you’re breathing hard, because all sport is ultimately that you’re running down the soccer pitch, you need to cut, you are skiing, and you’re breathing hard, you’re playing volleyball, and you’ve cut. So the metabolic conditioning or cardio respiratory demand is very interesting. And that’s why you’ve seen all of my injury training or, or post surgical training protocols, the first thing I do is challenge your position by making you breathe hard. This is the assault bike. Now show me you can do five strict push ups, right. And what you see is people fall apart under some cardio load. So what we expect to do in our training, is we expect to make it hard enough, fast enough, heavy enough, metabolic enough cardio respiratory enough skill enough, where I begin to elicit mistakes, where I begin to make sure that my athletes are making mistakes and self correcting mistakes. The problem is, and a mistake on say compensation. Because what’s happening is that people will solve the problem to win the game. If I say the goal is to be done as fast as you can. Let me see what your pie eating looks like does it? Do you have a fork and knife? You’re facing the pie, right? And you come up and you’re like I won right one. So we we end up getting what we value and what were the things that we saw was that when you constrain the system to compete, that was what we ended up valuing. And that was the expression of the the outcome is that whoever did the most work the fastest, and was the fittest, that’s what we valued. Meanwhile, those skills don’t transfer very well to the real world. And this is really where we get into this interesting conversation about industrial fitness, which is designed to make money fitness sing, go to fitness, I love burn so hard. This orange theory says, Well, you know, I’m like you want to win orange theory, show up dehydrated, hung over and underslept your heart rate will spike while you’re walking on the treadmill. Most time in the orange right? And, you know, if you’re a good athlete, well rested, you’re not sure orange there, you’ll lose. And so what we want people to appreciate then is we have all of these ways to solve this to challenge your ability to move effectively. And what we see is you cannot hide your true self and what your default learning movement habits are. So if you get injured in the gym, let me be super clear freak things happen. But this is the only safe environment in your life. And the reason you got injured in the gym through overtraining or do I mean people fall off the pole bar all the times, things like that happen. But what you’re seeing is that people are going so fast, and they can’t feel when they’re making mistakes, they’re solving a movement problem. And that movement problem they can get away with, because they always want until they can’t get away with it until the it’s it’s dead ended. So what we do is we tried to transform GPP general physical preparedness into what I call sports preparation training. So GPP was originally the duration of CrossFit or the sort of the etiology across it. And GPP was, hey, let’s expose you to bigger ranges of motion. Let’s make you stand up and control your body in space, right multiple, like, you know, functional movements. Well, will sports preparation suddenly means Hey, your foot position matters, because I’m not just interested in did did you do a bunch of crappy squats so you can get lean? Or you did a bunch of crappy squats that you could, you know, have better heart function, I’m interested that you can learn how to jump in land and absorb force and cut. Because again, you may be setting someone up to use that practice pattern at speed, low intention, and that means you really do own that injury on the soccer pitch for that 12 year old, because you were saying, hey, I need to get your feet straight. Instead, you were saying turn your feet out, because that’s cool. And you were able to squat. Meanwhile, that kid learns to extend the hip with her foot turned out and cuts and tears your ACL. So when we suddenly start caring about positional compensate, I’m not saying we don’t make mistakes, right, and we’re no matter what, let me be clear, you come into my gym and we’re squatting. You’re squatting today, no matter what. You might be back squatting six inches, but you’re squatting today, like a you may be holding on to trs straps, and squatting but dammit, you’re squatting today you’re doing it. Because those are the fundamentals of how the body expresses itself, What you won’t do is squat like thing, you will be squatting, but we’ll scale it appropriately. We’ll take the torso, vertical torso out of it will give you a box will pause will slow down. So suddenly, when you view cross it through that lens. You’re like, Oh, I understand what I’m trying to do here. Some of these things, I’m adding speed some of these things, I’m adding load of metal and my job is to be boring. So one of my favorite athletes to watch right now is Kara Saunders, Cara Saunders Webb. And I’m always stalking her Instagram page. I’m such a fan of her family. But watch her do wall balls, and you will not see a single wobble in her foot, her foot does the same thing. And if you cover the rest of our body, you can’t tell what movements she’s doing. Because her feet are so boring. And so what we’re trying to do is take complex movement patterns, simplify them, and make them robust under a whole variety of conditions. And what I’ll tell you is there’s always some load some volume, some speed, some intensity, where I’ll get you to make mistakes. That’s why I want you to train. But what we valued is whoever goes the fastest wins, whoever eats the most pie wins, whoever drove their car to work fastest wins. And I’m like, Well, I’m not sure that’s the greatest way to get to work. But you did get there fastest. But you ran five signs and gotten six accidents and totaled your car. But you’re like, but I want.
Will Jarvis 58:23
Right, right. Right.
Kelly Starrett 58:24
And so, you know, early on again, I think one of the things is that we were protected because we were beginners. We weren’t very fit. I was already a national champion, ride my bike work with an Olympic lifter The first time I did Fran, and I got bared. I got stapled like 12 months later, I was like laying on the ground at my club one Globo gym. And I was like, well, I just did 45 strict pull ups and like what the hell Who does that? And this, like, you know, I thought that this is one of the easiest workouts and only two movements in there, right? And so don’t get me wrong, you know. 12 minutes is very different. Remember, there’s more variation in in waltzing than there is in sprinting, right? That’s really the goal here is that we want to make sure that this high speed high intensity better look like the best expression of the movement and the most force tolerant positions. So if you’re only snatch like this is a classic example. You can swing a crappy kettlebell over your head. If it weighs 35 pounds, you can certainly come over when it weighs 100 pounds, right sumo deadlift, high pole does not become a sort of high pole as soon as it’s heavy becomes a regular high pole. So what you start to see is, there are some constructs that happen under light loads. But you know, your crappy barbell cycling, we swing the barbell off of your 65 pounds off your hips, suddenly doesn’t serve you when it’s 135. And it certainly doesn’t serve you when it’s 225. So for us, it’s that same conversation we’re having about running, right. And instead of saying, well, you ran really fast, but you ran like an idiot, right? We can say hey, I see that you you know, we’re not we’re not we’re challenging your technique with these things. And it turns out when we do those best practices of teaching, the highest expression of the movement Then what we see is that is really safe. It’s much safer than we expect. Oh, by the way, as a 50 year old, I don’t know if you need to do muscle ups. I think let me say this. I think pull ups are a really shitty sport. Like, you know, like, you’re just like, okay, you know, I said it and yeah, I do lots and lots and lots of pull ups. Pull Ups are wide. Like my body works. I do so many ports. I do so many different kinds of pull ups like I call awkward things any way to pull ups on your chins, I did tempo, I pull up on the pegboard. Like I can’t do enough ups in my life. yet. I’ll tell you, it’s not a sport. That’s great.
Will Jarvis 1:00:36
That’s great. Kelly, thank you so much for coming on. Where can people find you? Where should we send folks to?
Kelly Starrett 1:00:43
If people are still interested in my brain? We are at the ready state. You know, we own San Francisco CrossFit for 15 years we got closed down because of rent. And CRO Sorry about that. Yeah, it’s pretty gnarly. But, you know, we are rooted in this community. And we are at the ready state, we used to be called mobility WOD. And I just want to say that we were the first people in the history of the world to use the word mobility. So if you’ve heard that word, now, I’m sorry, it’s my fault. And second, we’re the first company that you be something blank wad. I was like, I’m so clever. I’m the first blank one. And now there’s 10,000 watts of sobriety wad and, and like faith wad and divorce wad, there’s all these ones out there. And we, we became the ready state, because part of our mission is to take what we’re learning and actually transcribe these lessons in high performance, and try to transcribe them to the rest of the people who are just trying to feel better and feel a little more stoked, right. So we are at the ready state. And if you want to see, the ready state, Instagram, or the YouTube channel are places where I do a lot of lecturing, I put up a lot of eight to 10 minute lectures about how your body works and pain and self soothing mechanics. And you won’t see a lot of me with my shirt off, you won’t see a lot of, you know, PR on my lips. Sometimes that substance up there never shirt off. But what you’ll see is we really try to teach and use social media as a teaching platform. And it’s one of the reasons I think we don’t have millions and millions of followers. You know, I mean, if I was a cuter woman with a bigger booty, and a thong, you know, we would be killing it. But unfortunately, I’m a middle aged guy, bald guy. So if you’re interested in knowing how we apply our model to what things you care about, come over to the red state.
Will Jarvis 1:02:32
That’s great. Well, thanks, Kelly. I really appreciate it.
Unknown Speaker 1:02:35
Will Jarvis 1:02:40
Well, that’s our show for today. I’m Will Jarvis and I’m will join us next week for more narratives.
Will Jarvis 1:03:03
So we just got off the phone with Kelly’s to wrap up like you’re waiting for? Yes. We absolutely just got off the phone with Kelly. Yeah, it’s great. So I guess what were your big takeaways? Okay, that makes us come through all right, there we go. Well, I mean, there was a lot there. Right. Um, you know, the things that particularly interested me, you know, from a CrossFit perspective, was, you know, I heard him to be saying, Hey, you know, CrossFit is moving into a new phase that needs to de emphasize the sort of winning as defined by, you know, I did more reps with more weight than you did. And therefore, I win and re focus back on mechanics and building mechanics slowly. Yeah, there’s a great glasman line. It’s like anyone, like people will die for points. But I think it’s great and true. And the interesting insight into human nature, but it has gotten a little into it’s like good hearts law, it’s like, this is what we’re measuring on is like scores and how fast you need to do things. And right, well, I mean, that’s the old Napoleon line, right? Like, men will die for a piece of ribbon. This is not a new idea or by thruster races, um, you know, but but it’s tough, because I think, you know, in some sense, the popularity of CrossFit. The reason or one of the reasons why I like it so much is because it provides that little adrenaline rush of competition. And that competition takes you out of the immediate physical discomfort of what you’re doing. And you you know, you’re sort of looking to validate yourself by gains you’re making in your friend or your lifts and I think those can be conflicting goals and i i think it’s it’s sort of self evidently true that Kelly’s right. Yes. But it’s, it’s like so difficult to have Like, hold these competing like priorities. I think you and I have gotten much better at this like, especially since the pandemic, you know, just like, wow, like, what are we actually trying to do? And like, how do we prevent injury? And we’ll leave that and for both of us Now, a couple years of chronic and like, oh, gosh, what is wrong with my shoulder? I think Yes. Yes. Yes. Um, you know, which, which I think is related. The other thing, you know, he talked about was, like, he talked about a lot of good stuff. But the thing I think, related here is you he talked about we we live in a world where stuff is designed to activate our pleasure centers, right and intentionally so right, a Dorito, for lack of better word is engineered to make you eat it. So, this is great, I’ve got a box of cheese, it’s right over here, I brought in, like that target, like, you know, I really needed the season. And I was eating them in the car. And like, these are not good, but they are really activating some dopamine release in my brain right now. Right? And you can sort of both know that they’re not good intellectually, and still have your physiology even rejects them, and yet, you will keep eating. It’s, it’s a really, it’s really interesting, kind of, right, because we’ve got this the society we live in, you know, it’s like, we got these incredibly vivid video games, marijuana, you know, in these ultra palatable foods, like all these, like, pleasure center, you know, like social media stuff, just getting fired on all the time, I’m reminded of like, john Melton, you know, has the devil say this in Paradise Lost, you know, he makes a hell of heaven in the heaven of hell. And it feels like we’ve we’ve almost turned inward a little bit. And we’ve got this focus on the self and lucretian like, pleasure all the time in the garden. I don’t know, it’s weird. It is a real thing. And I think it’s probably a symptom of something else that’s difficult to get to. That’s going on within our society. But but it’s a real thing. And the tail is wagging the dog like Kelly said, Yeah, and, you know, I hear I guess I go back to you, I hear Kelly saying things that, of course, he’s right. Right, like this emperor has no clothes, you gotta like, Oh, yeah. This is all addictive, bad stuff that we need really bad shoe this? Yeah, that’s why we’re fat and unhappy and can’t sleep. Right. You know. And it’s good to hear, you know, taking nothing away from from his insight. You know, I’m hearing him boil it down to look, you lay off the cheese’s, get enough sleep, drink some water, get up and move around. So, you know, you, you ask him Well, what, what can we do during the day? And he sort of very politely said, you could get off your fat. You could start off you’re right, right. Yeah. But I guess the simplest messages are the hardest to hear sometimes like that. Yeah. I
Will Jarvis 1:07:53
mean, it’s necessary, right? Because you have to, I think you have to keep reaffirming that alternate voice. Because we are living in this world, where, you know, I don’t mean this as a sort of conspiracy theory, I mean it as truth. Like, the things that are surrounding us are designed to capture our attention and hold it, they’re designed to activate these pleasure centers that that’s not it’s not a shadow we organizations control is it’s, it’s the chemical composition of achieves it, it’s a Netflix show that has been audience tested to activate your interest. It’s, um, you know, we can talk about the effect of blue light on REM sleep, but it’s just true that, you know, most of us would love to be Snapchatting at one in the morning. Yeah, you know, if that goes off, we’re gonna be like, Yeah, let’s do this. Great. It’s better than sleep in the moment. Um, you know, so how do we, how do we combat that? And I think that’s, you know, what Kelly’s trying to do, you know, the writings of his that I’ve read from the conversations we’ve had, he’s trying to say, we need to combat that. First, we need to recognize that. And we need to take active steps to take that one step back and try to find alternate ways to activate those pleasure centers, the good endorphin rush of exercise the, you know, sense of belonging and community that I find in CrossFit, right, a lot of people do, which is very much missing in broader American society at this point, in church membership is down. Like there’s not a lot of places you can go and it’s COVID aside, there’s not a lot of places where people go and there’s like a real sense of community with people, especially if different ages, you know, like that very rarely happens. There’s extreme age segregation, kind of in that society more broadly, that I feel in social atomization like people are just lonely one at a time. Yeah, I was gonna, I was gonna use the word atomization. there because, you know, that’s sort of a byproduct of the ability to be anywhere, right? You know, you if, if you really want to watch you know, videos of pigs being dunked in barrels of crude oil and then put into catapults that’s out there. There’s an organization you can find, yes, um, but but that organization is going to be online, right? And it’s going to be remote, it’s going to be virtual, it’s going to take you into one community, maybe, but at the cost of taking you out of your immediate surroundings. Exactly. And I don’t think we’ve really found a way to negotiate that tension in ways that give us the benefits of this access to a broader community in ways that, you know, outweigh or, or at least act as companions, to the in person community. And I’m sort of hopeful that the pandemic has in ways made people it’s made me realize the value that I had in my life of sort of in person interaction. In some ways, I sort of didn’t realize how much of my time was spent going out with friends, right? Oh, with a purpose than sitting with him and conversing until I couldn’t do that. God, and you know, we’re on zoom calls, I’m like, well, this stock has not yet. decidedly not. Yeah, that is such a great point, right? In some ways. It’s like, there’s this inherent trade off between, like, you know, if you’re a gay person in Alabama, and like an ultra conservative, small town, you know, and this was a more true like, 20 years ago, and you had the Internet, and you could find people that were like you, and you could talk to them. And that is like super valuable, right. So if you’re in in an insular community, you can have like a group that’s similar to you that you can talk to on the internet. But on the same coin, it’s like, well, we’ve gotten so embedded because there are, we can get our perfect match, like we find our perfect match community wise, virtually, which probably doesn’t exist by you, right, like, you know, if you’re into the crude pigs, pig, you know, compatible conspiracy. Like there’s just not that local chapter. Like, that’s a real. Yeah, you know, I don’t think it’s helpful to, to fail to recognize there is value in natural community, there is value in modern society, you know, there’s, I would not choose to go back to, you know, for me time before anesthetic, that doesn’t sound like a good idea at all. But how are how are we negotiating that? Right, you know, what are we doing to actively think about capturing the benefits of that, while rejecting or at least minimizing the drawbacks? And I think Kelly had some really good points about that. They’re, they’re straightforward, but I think they’re things that we need to hear, just in general, because it’s too easy to forget that when, when we get so involved and all these other things,
Will Jarvis 1:12:48
yeah, it all runs together. That’s great. Well, any other thoughts you had coming off the top? No, I mean, I, I enjoyed the hell out of a chance to talk to him. It was great. It was really cool. Awesome. Well, thanks, Paul. I appreciate you coming on. All right. Take care. Bye.
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