With Rebel Performance Radio having produced well over 100 episodes along with a backlog of truly extraordinary guests, it’s about that time to throw it back to an episode with one of my favorite humans on the planet, Andrew Triana, the co-founder of The Performance Vibe and Allostatic Labs.
Whether you’re new here and missed this episode, or perhaps you’ve been listening in with us for some time now and could use a refresh, this is a phenomenal episode, and I guarantee this flashback will not disappoint.
We kick things off getting into Andrew’s background and talk about how he found the sport of Strongman and why he fell in love with it. A strong theme throughout the episode is this notion of extremes bringing balance, and our conversation definitely speaks to that. One second we’ll be jamming on detailed cell physiology, and then the next we get into phenomenology and the importance of subjective experience.
Topics covered include Strongman, creatine, hypoxia, phenomenology, being authentically productive, hypertrophy, protein pathways, and all sorts of other goodies. If you’re an athlete or coach looking to up your game, then this episode is definitely for you. There’s no chance you don’t walk away with at least one way to upgrade your tactics, models, and thought processes.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- [03:00] How Andy found Strongman
- [15:30] Why Andy started Allostatic Labs
- [19:00] Thinking about Creatine based adaptations
- [22:30] Phenomenology
- [26:30] The importance of subjective questionnaires
- [30:00] Using extremes to bring balance
- [31:00] Hypoxia
- [38:30] Hypertrophy pillars and protocols
- [45:00] Metabolic stress vs. mechanical tension
- [58:00] Things we can learn from Strongman that will help improve our athletes
- [01:02:30] What are some of the biggest shifts in Andy’s thought processes over the past 1-2 years
James Cerbie: Sweet, dude. Okay, awesome. And we’re live with Andrew Triana. What is going on, dude?
Andrew Triana: Not much. Happy to be here, James. I have my first week of peak training coming up and I’m just ready to get back into training hard. And the work routine. I’ve been traveling a lot recently. I’m just going off clean lines transition week. So, I’m craving routine right now.
James Cerbie: Yeah, absolutely. We recently went on a trip down to South Carolina to see some family and hang at the beach. And I was laughing with my fiancé because I’m really good at unplugging for maybe 48 hours. And then somewhere in that 48-to-72-hour realm, this, like, little voice in the back of my head just starts getting really loud. It’s like, okay, on my routine back, we need to get back to doing things. What are you doing?
Andrew Triana: It’s weird. I have a strange addiction to working.
James Cerbie: Oh, absolutely.
Andrew Triana: It’s very impulsive. Like this weekend I was hanging out with my girlfriend. I had this idea and I had to write it down on a piece of paper. I had to stop everything while I was doing it. I just had to make some chemical symbols and draw some ideas out in my head and then pull the piece of paper, put it aside, and come back to it later. Sometimes work just has to get done.
James Cerbie: Oh, without question. But it’s also like when you enjoy what you do, then it’s not really work. I look forward to getting to do what I do on a day-to-day basis. So, it doesn’t feel like I’m dragging myself to my office to have to do something that I hate.
Andrew Triana: Yeah. I think even the connotation of the word work is really messed up. Like ever since my favorite book of all time is Homeostasis, a phenomenal book. And I think mostly because it really changed my perspective on work as a whole. Adaptation is the cost or there’s a cost to it, you got to pay that upfront. So work isn’t anything else in a gateway towards adaptation in my mind. So, I’m always willing to put in the work. I’m always willing to pay that cost and to give up whatever ATP energy time I need to give up getting what I want. So, when I think about work, I think it has a positive connotation now. I never really view it as something that’s like, oh, yeah, I’m open to grind in, like, whatever area.
James Cerbie: Exactly what I understand, dude. So, before we start going down those paths, let’s real quick give people the background on who Andy is. Like, where are you from? What do you do? How did you kind of get to where you are now?
How Andy Found Strongman
Andrew Triana: Yes, I always tend to skip over there. We’re just excited to be talking. But I currently live in Raleigh, North Carolina. I’m the co-owner of the performance of Ibn Allocated Labs. I’ve been competing in Strongman for about eight years now, and I have a couple of little gigs on the side. Like, I’m a content contributor to Muscle and Fitness. I write exclusively for Evil Genius, and obviously everything I do with you, James, with Rebel and Train. So, I do a couple of little things, but I really got into Strongman in College via Dr. Pat Davidson Team Iron sports. I’ve always trained really hard. I’ve always enjoyed just, like, I don’t know if it’s Euphoria chase or more of, like, the acute suffering I’ve always seen. It was enjoyable. I participated in difficult sports. I loved wrestling. I liked the sport I enjoyed the most at everything I tried whenever I trained. I think the reason I’m drawn to Strongman is because I like getting bloodied up and tired and covered, tacky and messy. So, it’s just kind of how I am in general. And I think that’s how I got into the deep biology of things as well, because I was like, well, if I really like this, how can I keep doing this and keep getting better?
Because always, like, the most gifted and I didn’t have the best advice coming up with some nutrition and some restorative help. So I really quickly dug myself into a hole where I was, like, getting fatter and losing weight even though I was training and I was like 20 years old. So diving into biology there ended up being good for me because I kind of drove that same personality. I talked about, like, being gritty and diving all into it, and I learned how to synergize the two. I think that’s really, like, the basic principles I use today.
James Cerbie: Yeah, man. It’s funny. When I think about the rabbit holes that I have found myself going down, they usually stem from some selfish reason. First because I’m trying to figure out a way to help myself. And then once I’ve figured out how to better help myself. Okay, cool. Now I can actually take this and apply it to a larger scale and help more people because when I came out of College, I went through your very classic gambit of high school collegiate strength and conditioning. Just whatever you think that is probably what it was like. Lots of injuries, stress fractures in the back, so many problems. And so I spent the good first half of my 20s trying to figure out, okay, trying to figure out the question, how do I, one, fix myself and then two, there has to be a better way to train so that you can be this freak athlete without all these negative consequences and injuries that come. Injuries are part of the sport 100%, but they shouldn’t be as frequent as they are and always hated the term. Well, you’re just an athlete. If you push it right, you’re just going to get injured.
So it’s going to happen. Well, there’s probably a better way to do things. What we’re doing if it happens as frequently as it is.
Andrew Triana: Yeah. That stigma even extends to the fact that people don’t even know you and they’re, oh, you do that stuff talked to me in 30 years. Just assuming that I’m engaging in a finite task or it’s like, yeah, I’m going to destroy myself. I’m going to do it anyway.
James Cerbie: Exactly. I got rubber going into seeing a doctor when I had the stress fracture in my back in College and he told me, yeah, you’re never going to squat again. No load like that. And I think I actually got up and just walked out of the room and my parents had to come grab me. I’m not listening to him. I just don’t value this opinion because I’ve spoken to this dude for 30 seconds in my entire life and the first thing he does is come in and say, well, you’re never going to do one of these things that you love doing again, which I just don’t believe and I don’t buy he was blatantly wrong. But we were going to take a step back here. I am intrigued to know, when was it that you fell in love with Strongman? You kind of had that moment of this is it, this is my passion, this is my one thing. This is what I want to do for maybe the rest of my life.
Andrew Triana: It’s funny, I have such an iconic image. I even feel it when I can go back there. It’s like one of those extremely, like, fields of Pharrell base. Yeah, it was a medley. So it was mech, Matt McCroy, Dr. Pat Davidson and Ethan. Yeah, right. So we were all super young. It’s crazy. Nick Hatchback then was like barely 220. Yeah, it was crazy. Like, Rob and Ethan were small, relatively. That was a long time ago. But the medley was Hushafelt to Duck, Walk to Sandbag to Sledge drag. And I was totally not prepared. It was my first day at Lightning. I had never done anything even like others since wrestling. But even close to that glycolytic, I was doing like powder looking stuff since high school ended and it was just, you’ve never done any of this stuff before. It’s pretty heavy too. I believe that the spell was 250. So I somehow got through the medley. It took me easily over three minutes like, I probably should have stopped. It was one of those things where watching someone get slaughtered, this was very painful to watch. Even at the very end. I hit my head on the yoke as I was in the slug drag, and I was totally incapacitated. And right then and there I was like, this is how I’m spending my days.
James Cerbie: This is it. I found it.
Andrew Triana: Yeah. I really can’t put it off, maybe I’m addicted to some type of anandamide based cannabinoid in my brain, but nothing I love more than just getting absolutely trashed. I want to get my oxygen as low as possible. I want to question if I’m going to make it through this and I don’t want to do it again tomorrow.
James Cerbie: Oh, without question. It’s one of those very instances of the majority of people that find their way to training had that competitive outlet or had something previously to where it’s just that sensation or knowing that you’re pushing yourself to the limit and that your biggest threat. And your biggest challenge is always yourself. And you get to compete against yourself in this thing. And that thing is not changing, because 500 lbs today is going to be 500 lbs 27 years from now. Gravity is not changing. And so it’s an opportunity to show up every day and put yourself kind of into those deep trenches and be like, okay, am I good enough? Am I strong enough? Do I have the willpower to sit here and put myself through this so that I can then appreciate what’s going to come on the back end? I know this suffering right now is brutal and it sucks, but what comes after is fantastic. Like that growth that I can experience because I’m willing to just go into the fire and suffer.
Andrew Triana: Yeah. No, I think it’s really important. It might be nihilistic, but your life is just basically about you and you can choose to have other people in it. But when you experience something or when you get your deathbed, it’s literally still only you. That’s why self development needs to be that predicated driver for all humans. This metaphysical mind, the personality you have isn’t aimless. It’s not just there for fucking shit. Excuse me.
James Cerbie: Okay, you can curse on here. It’s fine.
Andrew Triana: All right, good. I can’t stop sometimes. Our limbic system has that metaphysical and physiological side. They’re so beautifully kind of melded together so we can traverse through life and have experiences. So if you don’t put self development first, I really question your morals and how much introspection in your life as a whole. And I think that’s why I find comfort in getting to that. Like, oh, shit, that was kind of a scary type of state and training. Just know that, okay, there is a limit out there. I can go there. I’m comfortable there. And it’s comforting in a way.
James Cerbie: It is. And it’s funny. I think the one piece you mentioned there about self development is because my fiancé could totally attest to this. I’m a better human when I’m training consistently and training is going really well or I just have a plan there that I feel good about executing on because the minute training starts to, for whatever reason, go down the wrong path, or if I can’t prioritize it the way I want to prioritize it just because of other life factors at that point in time, I just become kind of a very grumpy and somewhat crotchy person to be around because that’s my ultimate outlet. I just need that solid 90 minutes plus somewhere around that ballpark to where I can just go in there and listen to music and just be. It’s like I don’t have the internet to worry about. There’s nothing else I have to concern myself with. It’s just 90 minutes of me getting to go in there and lift and vibe out and listen to music and enjoy myself. It anchors like everything else that I do in my life. And if you take that away, I’m such a just poopy person to be around.
Andrew Triana: I agree. I’m so glad you described it the way you did, because it’s about you currently in my life. I’m very competitive in athletics right now, but it’s still about me. Like someone commented on my post yesterday because I said I was down to 85 kilos and they’re like, Jeez, I never know what weight class you’re going to compete in when I change my underwear. And I laughed because from an outside perspective, people just think everyone is first place. I don’t give a shit with out of place, man. I want to be a super freak if I freak out and take last. I’m cool with it. Obviously I have aspirations and quantitative goals, but most of it is about me. So like you said, I don’t get necessarily all the satisfaction I want just from a specific type of exercise. It’s just 90 minutes of generalized trash. Like if there’s a point in my life and there will be soon where I’m not going to put all my emphasis into a convenient strong man, I’m still going to get those 90 minutes of getting trashed through something that might take up less physical tax on my body. But like you said, those 90 minutes of just vibing out.
That is what’s important. It’s like that self centered being able to let go. It isn’t specific. It doesn’t have to be deadlifts or strong man. And if it’s for you, not for you or me, but if it happens to be distance running for you, that’s cool too. Everyone just needs that 90 minutes of openly accepting some type of bioenergy suffering you enjoy.
James Cerbie: It’s almost like meditation. For me, to be honest, it’s like the ultimate form of meditation. I’ll sit and just be mindful for ten minutes in the backyard, which I love, but I’m never more present and more aware of where my feet are than when I’m training.
Andrew Triana: I think you need that duality. Everything exists in life and extremes and I would rather have a dial that goes like negative 15 to 15 and have a dial that goes like from three to seven. I can deadlift 700 lbs back to meditate for 35 hours a week. That’s just the nature of who I am and how I approach things. So kind of like the funny part you bring up like you’ve experienced a lot of my training prescriptions and nutrition prescriptions. That enjoyment of extremes is totally there. Before that pre training meal, I basically want you to be a hippie on Max, uptake and hungry. I want you to pound carbs and then I want you to dive into a totally different hat when you train and try to destroy yourself temporarily. So you go from like a hippie to a glutton to a catabolic monster over that 90 minutes window. But it’s just approaching it that way. It makes it really special.
James Cerbie: Yeah, 100%. Having been in the protocol, you’ve written my training and nutrition protocols more than probably anybody has. And just the flow of it and the feel for it is so unique, but it’s so spot on. And that’s like one of the things I love about it is because everything comes together so nicely and it’s this very like, I tried to explain it to somebody. It’s almost like an out of body experience because it’s all brought together so well. It’s not simply just training, it’s when you put the whole package together, like everything, the flow of it is just so good. I do want to take one small step back. So you did start Alistatic Labs. Was that last year? Two years ago now?
Why Andy Started Allostatic Labs
Andrew Triana: No, actually last week in February. It’s somehow really. Yeah, it’s seemingly grown very well. But ironically enough to that comment that on Instagram, I was talking about me changing weight classes. One reason I remember it so specifically was because I was competing at 231 that weekend. Oh, damn right. Because I’m so compliant nutritionally, I can shift my biology very easily. When I was like 220, I was still eating and weighing everything I do the same way I do now and I’m like 27. It was just drastically more food and different. But yeah, Alistar Glass opened the last weekend in February.
James Cerbie: Dang, dude. So I’m always curious to know. The supplement world is obviously so big now. Like everybody’s getting into the supplement world and someone who is as educated as you are in that realm, why did you want to start Alistetic? What was the reason for it? What are you hoping to bring to the table? When you look at the industry, you see other people missing.
Andrew Triana: So it’s actually kind of the same as my training. So I actually like being in an oversaturated field because not to necessarily be a little bit cocky, but the way I see it is that over-saturation is a product of everything being the same. So theoretically, if I’m that different, over Saturation for me, is a good thing. Like, okay, you guys are selling green chickens. Go ahead, sell all the green chickens you want in the world. I’m selling purple chickens with double tops. So with labs, I kind of take the same perspective as my training. Like I said, I don’t think about Strongman. I don’t think about deadlifting. I think about that holistic human feel and applying science to it. So that’s why our first product was Match Uptake. Anyone who eats food can benefit from Match Uptake if you understand the basic physiology behind what is approached in it and the fact that I purposely made it devoid of specific vitamins and minerals. So you can have it on any diet and time, no matter what your vitamins and minerals are from other places. But it’s just a food based supplement. So I kind of take that same approach.
Took training on all my supplement stuff as well. It’s not that people are just missing a supplement or missing, excuse me, a bird combination of ingredients, although I do have some really cool patents and combinations that have never been seen before. It’s overarchingly a lens where it’s like, how can I make this even better for this task? So for me, I made a supplement plan. Obviously, being a programmer at heart had to be that way. And step one was food. So it’s like, how can we make humans better at eating food? Bang. Here’s my intake. So the product coming out very shortly is Five Central, and I can be the pre workout. The reason I chose that as second is because that’s a product a lot of people are into. It was a great thing to combine with. The Max Uptake is as. Max Uptake facilitates the uptake of anything in your stomach. It’s very synergistic with supplements that you would find in a pre workout. It complements the gym and Perry workout setting, and that also complements our third product coming out on plan to kind of periodize, the product wise sold together.
So the second product, the Five Central Preworkout, is going to have a Creatine and B vitamin blend that’s never been seen before and a video about it. But I actually originally created it as a decrease. I’m trying to phrase this correctly without giving away too much. But the goal is to increase homocysteine and to increase your acute ability to have a ceiling on creating storage while you train. So that’s as far as I’m going to go. So cardiac improvements and acute increasing Creatine got you substrate. So very cool. And I’ll leave it.
Thinking About Creatine Based Adaptations
James Cerbie: Yeah, man. So on the creative side of things, we don’t have to talk specifically about the supplement with this, but it’s something I’m curious about because it’s not where I’ve spent a lot of time in the literature. How much can athletes and people change that Creatine phosphate pool?
Andrew Triana: So this is where I love biology, because I don’t know if as far as I’m concerned, I don’t know if there’s a tangible number for like, this is how much you can store and this is how much we can change in training, because how are you going to monitor all these different methods? The way I see it is I’m going to apply often enough that they become chronic. So in your last phase of training, you did some of that creating recycling, right. So you feel it like if you do that type of training and understand the physiology, oh, boy. I’m definitely using my elastic system here. I purposely take you out of glycols and strip that as far away as possible and ensure that your recent decision creates as much as possible. So I’m going to aim towards completely depleting you of it. And I put a certain vitamin mineral environment with creating itself afterwards, you’re going to obviously be hypersensitive to update and with certain environments that we do with our food and apply that often enough, the acute fluxing setting. So it’s really a flux based phenomenon on Creatine is going to be able to happen more often and more often.
So just follow basic laws of adaptation. If we impose a stressor often enough without interference, there has to be a long term change. So if we’re looking to increase the ability to store Creatine or the ability to break down hydrolyze ATP at super rapid rates, we’re going to apply that often enough and hopefully make a change. So I don’t know how much people can really, from a quantitative standpoint, tell you, from people who I’ve worked with doing clusters and doing it myself and using this recent Creatine formula.
James Cerbie: It’s all good. He’s playing over here too. He’s just chilling right now.
Andrew Triana: So as you do those things often enough, I’ve definitely noticed a change in capacity and ability to hydrolyze ATP. Again, that’s just your experience and novelty. But oftentimes, especially in the performance world, that’s good enough. Who’s to say that meditation actually makes you better at what you do in sport? Of course, we can make arguments based on the physiology that we know. Based on what happened with meditation, you can’t actually say it makes you better at sports. It has to be phenomenally real. So if the athlete doesn’t do the meditation properly, don’t buy into it. Those benefits that may or may not not be real aren’t coming. It’s only coming if it’s real to you. That’s why I don’t mind the placebo effect. I love this shit, man. It’s a terrible pre workout. It costs 1999. Yeah, I agree. That’s awesome. Go ahead. If it makes you feel that good and there’s no risk, go for it.
James Cerbie: Yeah. I think it’s funny when people laugh at the placebo effect, but it’s doing what you would want it to do regardless. Does it matter if it’s doing something physiologically? Like if there’s an actual, true underlying mechanism? Or are you getting the improvement just because you think you’re going to improve? It doesn’t really matter how it happens as long as the improvement takes place, right?
What is Phenomenology?
Andrew Triana: Yeah, exactly. If you’re a researcher, it’s definitely your job to deal with that. But most of us and basically all of us aren’t researchers, so it’s not my job to deal with it. Like I said, if you’re phenomenologically getting what you want, then it’s a good thing. I think I use that term almost a little bit too often because I love it so much. So phenomenology is the study of what’s actually real to the human based on their object based experiences and what’s just not real based on what they felt like I said about creating storage stuff. It might not be real from a research perspective because no one had studied it. It might not be real to someone who doesn’t understand the physiology, but to you and me, who have in the trenches experience and understand the physiology that’s, quote, unquote real to us. Now, that’s why I care about putting this B vitamin and creatine blend together and making it work and doing all that stuff, because it’s real to me, even if it’s not real to someone else. Like I said, it might be nihilistic, but we all have our one track goggles.
I can’t share my goggles with you and feel and see things through your perspective. I can only talk to you and hope to communicate with you, but that’s the best I can do. So if it’s real to you or me and you like it and it’s cool, and it’s cool vice versa. If something sucks for you, even if it defies the biology and physiology and all the research Church, it sucks for you. So, I mean, I’m extremely sensitive to caffeine, even to the point where it’s caffeine specific. I can take other stimulants and not have negative side effects, for the most part sensitive to them. But caffeine absolutely trashes me. Like profuse sweating, tremors, anxiety, even at a kind of low dose. It’s really weird, but other stimulants seem to not do it that bad. Some people love coffee. It’s an endless ergogenic aid. So what’s real to you?
James Cerbie: You have a huge coffee snob who absolutely loves coffee. If someone took away my morning cup of coffee, I’d be so upset.
Andrew Triana: I enjoy coffee, but it’s just like, it’s real potent for me.
James Cerbie: Yeah, exactly. My fiance is the same way. We have, like, a whole canister of kind of like normal beans. We have a roaster here in Salt Lake we really like. And so we have kind of normal beans and we have a whole canister of decaf beans. So whenever we make coffee together, it’s usually going to be more like half or like three quarters decaffeinated and only like a quarter cap, which is fine because I don’t drink it for the caffeine. I love the routine of it, the smell. It just kind of gets my morning going appropriately. But to go back to the cluster sets and the creatine stuff, you made a good point, because a lot of what we chase and do in the performance world, I don’t think people appreciate this enough. It’s never going to get researched. There’s no funding for that. No one is throwing around money for us to study meat monkeys to see like, oh, how can we make this dude who’s already strong, stronger, or more powerful? No one’s doing that study where we hit cluster sets and we’re popping muscle biopsies, and we’re actually looking at what’s taking place from a change standpoint because there’s not money for it, which is unfortunate.
So then you’re left. You have to sit around on a whiteboard, and you have to do your best to have meaningful conversations with other coaches and people, and then you can try to work your way through. Is my thought process here reasonable? Does this make sense? Does it hold up to these other standards of physiology? And what I understand about the mechanisms that are taking place, and as long as on the whiteboard, you can walk through it. But yeah, I think this makes a lot of reasonable, rational sense. And there’s other smart people who would agree with me, then you kind of have to roll with it, and then you just observe what’s taking place, and you have to appreciate the fact that you’re never going to have actual data on creatine and muscle. It’s just never going to happen. But if your ability and a cluster improves, do we really care? Because maybe the change is happening at creatine. I would also bet my house that you’re having tons of neurological changes taking place just in the ability of the synapses and the CNS to actually send messages and then to recover in time, because that’s a whole other aspect of it.
I think that’s super fascinating, 100% dude. Like, that central neural drive that’s coming down. So you can actually have a motor output and how that signal is taken from the brain to get to the muscles, that pathway itself has to be adapting and changing as well so that it can appropriately respond to the stressor, because that’s the name of the game. Always whatever you stress is what’s going to adapt. It has to. That’s just physiology 101.
The Importance of Subjective Questionnaires
Andrew Triana: That’s why I’m so big on all the subjective feedback data, because that’s what energizes the data that we take. And that like you said, we’re never going to know. So our theories need some type of validity, and the only thing we can get is, like, through questions and answers. Like you said, that’s why I’m so big on the little stuff. You see my subjective questionnaires, and when you do those cluster sites, did you get the hormone rush around set two or three? Because if you don’t have that in the trenches, experience to go with biology, then you don’t know if it’s actually working. And you know, that where it’s like somewhere around like 50% to 70% of your cluster work for the day. You get this crazy type of rush where it’s like, it’s really primitive and angry and it’s like not you. It’s not a personality thing. Like you said, that’s some type of brain chemistry neuromuscular junction phenomenon that’s happening. And there’s no other way to explain it.
So you go back to your whiteboard and you look at the stuff and say, okay, I didn’t feel very glycolytic during these steps. Based on my work to rest ratio and having that five to eight second break between the singles, I probably wasn’t too glycolytic. My breathing wasn’t Super, super heavy. I felt that hormone rush. And at the end, my bar speed dropped super quick. So it’s like, okay, those are all signs of a lactic environment. And then based on the subjective data, it’s like, okay, I felt these things and these are signs of an Alaskan environment. So how is it not happening? You know what I mean?
James Cerbie: Yeah, without question, 100%, man. It’s funny. You mentioned the angry piece that I definitely can relate to. When we were doing the heavy clusters, I was like, stomping around my garage in there by myself. If anybody were to walk by, just look in the garage right now, they would think I’ve lost my mind.
Andrew Triana: Because we’re both super nice guys, neither outwardly aggressive towards anyone. So that’s just what goes to show you that training really is so special to us. And like, those neurological adaptations are real because I’m not a lot pissed off. But all of a sudden, after two deadlifts, I’ll put myself without question.
James Cerbie: But it’s nice because it goes back to the whole outlet question in conversation we had earlier throughout the day, I’m a very just laid back mellow, pretty passive dude, to be honest. Very little upsets me, but I love being able to flip that switch in training because the only other time I had that throughout my life was in sports and competition. And I think that’s the way it should be. The person you are on competition day, come stepping on the field, come training should be a drastically different person from who you are when you’re sitting down to eat dinner and it’s time to digest your food and hang out with your friends and family and just be present.
Andrew Triana: I think it’s my responsibility that is so important and having varied responsibilities because it forces you to wear different hats, having to be different people, so to speak. So it’s like, how can you be such a nice guy all the time? It’s well, because I basically come close to dying every day and I accept. That’s why I’m in a good mood right now. But it goes on to different perspectives. It’s like if you have some very cerebral work you have to do, like you being in the lab, it’s probably good for you to have a hobby like meditation that’s super mindless and body centric and slow and lets you let go. Like everyone needs those extremes. How far in either extreme you go to is totally up to you. But I think those extremes are what actually bring balance. I’m pretty sure I’m not too into it, but I think that’s essentially what the Yin and Yang concept is, that greater balance is achieved by having two opposing extremes, being melded versus trying to walk that linear path. I think everyone knows linear periodization. It’s really a short burst tool and progression method you use within microscopicals.
Andrew Triana: It’s not really a method of periodization, but it’s just like the overarching concept related to that. Things don’t move unidirectionally or unilaterally for very long. They’re a step wise process, moving towards a secondary tertiary change.
James Cerbie: Yeah. And then I think what we can do here is actually step back because a little while ago you mentioned something I thought was very interesting in this glycolytic training that you love getting into, and in particular the concept of trying to drive oxygen as low as possible. That’s really important because the more I read, the more I sit and think on these things, the more it looks like hypoxia. It is the bomb. It is the thing that creates so much of the change we’re seeking. Oh, mitochondrial biogenesis, hypoxia, angiogenesis, the growth of new capillaries hypoxia, metabolic stress to try to drive some form of myogenic response hypoxia. It’s this key element of these larger mechanisms that they all tend to funnel back to. You take oxygen away and you get this massive alarm signal which leads to all this remodeling.
Andrew Triana: Yeah. I think it’s perfectly brought up because going back to that dual edge extreme, it’s like, yeah, when you deprive oxygen, you get basically everything. And when you have a very oxygen rich environment, on the total opposite end of the spectrum, you get beta oxidation with optimal fades. In a parasympathetic nervous system, you get optimal nutritional fates. This is how you can be in a hyper caloric environment. Have a decreased amount of hyper oxygen radicals and Ros forms. That sliding scale, I think, needs to happen. So hypoxia in one end metabolic spectrum, the breakdown spectrum is the reason why you want to be breathing heavy. It’s why training hard is so good for you. From a biological perspective, we won’t talk about the mental as much, but then that’s also why you need to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. You need to meditate as well. You need to relax, and when you’re resting, you need to be authentically at rest.
James Cerbie: I think that last point is so important to be authentically at rest, because I think a lot of people still struggle with that. Just with the hustle and bustle of life now and social media and all that stuff that’s just going to always grind. And you have to have those times of day where you are truly authentically, just being just relaxing. There’s no phones, there’s no screens, and that’s going to be different things for different people. Maybe it’s sitting down, having a glass of wine with your wife, or maybe it’s just you’re sitting with your friends in the backyard around a fire, just kind of shooting a shit and having a good time. But finding whatever. That’s true. Authentic relaxation, super slow nervous system state, is so important.
Using Extremes to Bring Balance
Andrew Triana: I mean, I’m probably biased, but I think it’s just more of a plate to be an extremist. If you find yourself in that constant, like, purgatory of energy, it’s like, well, are you really getting anything done at any point when you’re trying to? Because you’re going to need recovery if you’re doing things properly. I think that purgatory that everyone’s living in as far as energy and productivity goes right now of being stuck in go, go is not authentically productive. And also communication. I work with a lot of people. I do an insane amount of consults and just stuff like that. So I get exposed to a lot of different people and you start to realize how big the spectrum of communication and productivity is. Some people think they get a ton done and it’s like, okay, right now. So the classic example is that hard gainer. I eat everything, man. I bet, man. Yeah, you’re the only anomaly. So give me a food log. Prove it. Let’s see those 8000 calories, buddy. I woke up at eight, I wasn’t hungry. I had a protein shake at eleven and nothing else. A ton of coffee.
Then I didn’t eat or drink much water. It’s like, okay, so do you see the discrepancy here? So I think it’s the same thing. People think that they’re going, they’re actually doing go, go, go all the time. But it’s just because they’re not getting anything done when they’re trying to get things done so they can’t relax when they’re trying to relax. I’ve ameliorated so many sleep issues with just, hey, make sure you’re ready to go to bed. When you go to bed and when you’re doing your work, put your phone away and just fucking work harder. When you drink your coffee, drink your coffee and do something productive. When the caffeine is hitting you, don’t just drink the coffee because you like to drink coffee you want stimulants. It’s like if you’re going to stimulate, do something with it, you’re going to take it at 9:00 at night. And I’m a huge promoter of throwing time out the window and letting your habits and your circadian rhythm run things. So let’s say you have some work to do at 10:00 p.m.. That might not be a bad reason to take a coffee at 9:00 P.m., even though the typical cultural concept of it seems kind of wrong.
So that’s like an okay scenario to step out of the norm if you have a reason to do so, for sure.
James Cerbie: I think that point about being authentically productive is so huge. It’s funny because when I think back on the whole grad school experience and seeing how a lot of the students work and then just having the opportunity to kind of watch how people do things, people are chronically busy, but they are very rarely productive. They don’t know what true deep work looks like. And it would blow me away because I would sit down and do real work for probably 2 hours. Real work for 2 hours is fucking hard. Like no music, my cell phones are on airplane mode in another part of my house. There’s nothing. It’s just me and my work and I’m just totally. That’s all I’m doing right now. There’s no Facebook, there’s no Instagram, there’s nothing.
Andrew Triana: It’s just that all ATP Cascades.
James Cerbie: Yeah, exactly. The amount of stuff you can get done in 2 hours in that environment is incredible. But then you come out of those 2 hours and you’re going to probably be pretty exhausted. But mentally, I feel so good. When I go to lay down at night to go to bed, I’m like, yes, whatever it is I’m doing at that time, that’s it. That’s my entire focus. I don’t multitask ever. It’s one thing. If I’m doing work, I’m doing work. If I’m spending time with my fiance and our dog, I’m spending time with my fiance and our dog, I’m not worrying about work. I’m not worrying about anything else because I’ve already devoted chunks of time to where I know that that is all I’m doing during that period of time. And then once that period of time is done, cool, let’s move on. Let’s go to the next thing I want to focus on. But too many people, they have cell phones out, they have Facebook on, they’re listening to music like they’re constantly interrupted because people are coming in and out of the door. And I’m like, you don’t ever get anything done. Like, you worked for 9 hours but did nothing.
Andrew Triana: I actually recently noticed that paradigm and a lot of coaches and training now as a whole, everything is just based on intensity, talks about numbers or RPE or even tonnage like just arbitrary markers of what the only insane training variables we have. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’re also in an age where people are always proud of how they’re never sore. I’m a pretty experienced athlete. I am sore all year round. I travel all the time. You’ve done those substrate days?
James Cerbie: No. My boobs were so sore last week. Oh my God, man.
Andrew Triana: You’ve never gotten your ass kicked by ten pound dumbbells. And I’ve been pouring sweat and failing at reps.. I’ve failed reps with 15 pound dumbbells all the time.
Hypertrophy Pillars and Protocols
James Cerbie: Well, I think that’s actually a really good point to transition here, because I’m interested to get your opinion and take on obviously a big topic of hypertrophy. So when we think about these myogenic responses, we classically kind of have these two realms. You have this, myofibrillar hypertrophy and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. When I think about hypertrophy, my mind immediately goes to two big rocks. I’m thinking mechanical tension and I’m thinking metabolic stress. But I’m interested to get your take on. When you think about hypertrophy and hypertrophy protocol, what are sort of the pillars that you look at as being really important? Because some of the protocols I’ve done with you, the metabolic stress side of that is so high, right? You’re not getting tons of mechanical tension out of £15, but I’m in just an acid bath hailstorm at some point in that protocol. So I just would love to hear your thoughts on that.
Andrew Triana: So I’m sure you kind of assume this, but I’m going to Zoom out a little bit totally different from step one. And I think that’s why my shit looks so different by the end stage, because I’m literally starting like another planet on step one. So when I think of the word hypertrophy, I try to simplify as much as possible. So I view everything conceptually first. So I’m like, what does hypertrophy mean? It means the growth of something. Right? Because we can hypertrophy to any type of cell. We can apply hypertrophy to really anything within our biological body. So anything can grow. Okay. Hypertrophy is some type of growth, some type of anabolic response of some sort. And then we’re going to apply that word as an adjective to what we’re doing. So, okay, now I’m thinking, what do I want? You said leverage is typically so I think cross sectional area. So when I think about the cross sectional area, I’m thinking, what’s going to grow? This thing that’s going to make it bigger? So the first thing that comes to mind is Glycogen. Glycogen is the largest molecule that we’re going to store in there.
So I’m like, okay, if we want something to get bigger, we want to store more like a gym first. I always question rate limiting factors first. I don’t know why the Chatelier principal spoke so much to me in chemistry, but I swear to God, it was like religious bomb. I remember that lesson and I sat in the front and center. I don’t know how, but there were hymns in the background. They were like.
James Cerbie: Real quick. For people who aren’t familiar with Lashat’s Principle, you should be. It is a cornerstone of all things chemistry. Essentially, what it’s telling you is if you have a reaction so you’re going from A to B or from B to A, because reactions go in both directions, I can force that reaction to go in whichever direction I want and I can do it in two ways. So if I wanted to go from A to B, I could dump in a whole bunch of A to force it to go that way. Or I can also simultaneously just pull out tons of B, and then it’s going to increase flux going from A to B. So just to give that as a quick background.
Andrew Triana: Yeah, very well said. So with that concept, I’m like, okay, that’s going to be the way we can move the most glycogen. So then what’s going to be the rate limiting factor in continuing to do that? Well, we need muscle cells and nucleated muscle cells to store glycogen in the first place. So it turns out that the biggest rate limiting factor there is the ratio of mitochondrial biogenesis to protein myofibril damage. So if we don’t have that ratio set up properly, then we will cease to be able to continue to store glycogen. So I know that got really intense, really fast, but that’s how I approach it. So it’s like, okay, that’s what we can do. So the next question for me is, what things are we going to be able to purchase? And I kind of briefly gave it away. We can, in a sense, hypertrophy mitochondria. It’s called biogenesis. They change the remodel. We can muscle fibers and all their friends. So, like, integrins Titans, all those constituents, those contractile elements. Yeah, we can hypertrophy all those boys, and we can hypertrophy blanketing capacity. So it’s not necessarily hypertrophy in the sense of it growing, but we can just store more and then therefore deplete more.
So those are Hillary that I start with. It’s like, all right, we need flux, we need mitochondrial change, we need myofibril change, and we need glycogen change. The last limiting factors there are androgens UV light. So assuming you train hard, sleep well, just have a good diet. You’ll have enough androgens to cover your needs. And the only limiting factor then is you need photo photon based exchange of life. So that’s why I’m such a big promoter of outdoor meditation. So those are kind of how I start. So then I go and I’m like, well, where is this person? Kind of like, I view it like a video game. What are your stats? What are your stats for glycogen capacity? What are your stats for protein? Myofibril area like, where are you at in that Myo site maturation process? Like, where are you at as far as IGF one talking satellite cells. And how far are those satellite cells along with that process? And how are your mitochondria? So everywhere from nutrition? Is your blood glucose low on non training days if you’re eating less food and does it modulate well when you intake carbs and stuff?
So are you autonomically good with oxygen and your mitochondria? And then when it comes to a training environment, how flexible are you? Can you get glycolytic and do well? Can you go through non oxidative glycolysis and go, well, can you flip in and out of those energy systems and still utilize and resent the size? All those questions come to mind. So once I answer those questions, obviously, I told you I love the Chatlia’s principal. So I’m going to attack the weakest one first, and it’s going to be based on needs. So how much cross sectional area needs to change? So kind of use you as an example. I was like with the way we are at now with James, if we add we’re at a section in his squat and his movements where the next couple 510 pounds of muscle will change it a little bit, but after that, he’ll be good for a while. Okay, let’s make that glycogen change as soon as possible for you. Get that cross sectional shifting done, then we’re going to focus on myofibril change. We can pepper in the mitochondrial changes to pair with our training as needed.
But it’s like, where are you looking to go? How soon do you need to get there and what do you need to change and mess with your eliminating factors to make optimal progress the whole time?
James Cerbie: Yeah, man, that’s fascinating. Thank you for that. So I’m not crazy up to date on this literature by any means, but just when I rethink this stuff and I think about this glycogen based remodeling versus more of a contractile element kind of myofibril remodeling, would you think or from your experience, would you consider more of, like, your metabolic stressor to have a larger role in the glycogen remodeling, and then you have mechanical tension playing a larger role in the Myo five role remodeling for sure.
Metabolic Stress Versus Mechanical Tension
Andrew Triana: So soon we’re still talking about, like, hypertrophy as a whole, definite where I would go with it. So it’s like your mechanical Loading and tension is going to be the criterion based marker and nothing more. So are we getting enough mechanical tension just to balance out the glycogen fluxing changes and those microcosm changes? Because obviously you’ve done the program. The substrate leads are kind of centered on that, and we’re getting mechanical damage elsewhere. So that’s why I split it up that way. So it’s are you getting your criterion amount of mechanical damage to elicit the stimuli you want? Because it’s really the environment in which you place the stress and do the contractile damage that causes the adaptation, not the contractile damage itself, because we’ve all tried to do sets of ten as heavy as we can with a ton of rest in between, and we don’t get any bigger or stronger. You just get better at doing such a heavy task. So just kind of backed up by everything. So the hypoxia. So it’s now more of a factor of how many heavy enough, quote unquote sets of ten can you do with 90 seconds rest while maintaining integrity?
Now we’re really talking about hypertrophy.
James Cerbie: Yes, I would agree that it’s worked well, for me, it’s also just the type of athlete I am. I’m very much more power shifted, if you want to say more. Type two ish person, right? I played baseball, football and basketball. The longest I ever had to run was probably like 60 yards. And then I would get the rest for a little while and then I could do it again. And so when I really started getting heavy into training, I realized that I was really good throughout five reps. If we’re thinking like a decently high load, big lifts up to about five reps, cool anything over that. And it starts to just there’s a dramatic drop off in the quality of what I’m now doing. I’m sure I could train and change that to a certain degree, but it kind of goes back to the point of the question of at some point you have to kind of play to your strong suits a little bit. And is it worth spending tons of time trying to change the hand that you’ve been dealt to a certain degree when like you’re describing right now, we have other options and protocols that work quite well.
Andrew Triana: Again, I love the Chateau’s Principle for that. So it’s like you’re right. In sports, you should play with your hands. That’s why your weaknesses, like you said, you have these goals and we’re going to capitalize on these goals. Knowing James peaks well. Knowing James is very neurological and explosive. So it’s like if we can just get this dude, have enough glycogen, have the lever we want, and enough protein remodeling to actually be strong enough to handle those loads. Basically all we would have to do then is make you confident enough to just do it because your personality, you are in your strong suits will realistically do the rest. In a way, the hardest part of your next one year or two of goals, just because of your weaknesses, is the stuff you don’t really enjoy. And it’s also the stuff that, because of La Chatelier’s principle, will actually give you the most return. So one of the statistics on the Shot Lies principle is like if you increase your rate limiting factor by as little as 50% up to a 100% increase in total yield. So it’s kind of an 80/20 rule where it’s like those numbers don’t actually apply to equations or conceptual numbers.
But it’s just the concept that, like I said, with James, if we can just get him to have the levers we want with enough glycogen, all I have to do is give him a couple of cluster sets for a couple of weeks, getting them really hyped up and feeling good and he’ll just take care of the rest.
James Cerbie: Oh, yeah, without question. So I do think a cool conversation to have here would be before we go, there actually one thing I did want to bring up. So I think a cool aspect of adaptation or where adaptation is taking place in the cell that doesn’t get nearly enough combo or love is kind of interesting, but it makes tons of sense when you think about what’s happening with proteins in the cell. So this sort of transcriptional translation changes people for a long time. Like, well, the change will be at the protein level. So we’re going to take this thing, we’re going to Western Blot, it takes your pick, and we’re going to look at what’s the concentration of this protein we’re trying to change. And it’s really interesting because what you see is a lot of times the protein that you think would change isn’t changing. People sit there and like, their heads are like, well, what’s going on here? Blah, blah, blah, blah. And recently now, thankfully, you have people that are smart enough to say, okay, if we’re going to look at protein changes, don’t just look at the end product. We also need to start looking at all the microRNAs and things like that along the way.
Because what it looks like is that the adaptation isn’t taking place at the final protein. It’s taking place between the fact that I’m translating it from the DNA to having a finished product, and you have these little microRNAs that are flowing around and they’re essentially grabbing this mRNA, the messenger RNA, and they’re keeping it from being translated. And then what happens is when the stressor comes and we need the additional protein now, the microRNAs go away and we have this enormous, like, a built up army of reserves that’s just been holding out behind the wall. And now the enemy showed up, they all ran out the gate and we could party.
Andrew Triana: I’m so glad you brought that up. Such a great topic. And I think it’s so true because you can’t just look at one sector in time. I had this conversation with a very well known coach, and he’s incredibly intelligent. The guy is smart enough to understand and do the math on protein fractionalization, rate of the drug we were talking about that he wasn’t taking and he didn’t have. These are the protein levels that should be in my blood right now. Why am I not seeing change? But then we Zoom out. It’s like, well, because you’ve only changed it for two weeks, bro. Yeah, those are the levels. But things don’t start on day one. These protein micro transcriptional changes, they understand. We’re anticipatory creatures, so it’s not going to be this protein changing today that’s making the change. This is something I got from that book. The concept is so incredible that things are happening over time. We’re anticipatory and they’re going to happen when they need to happen. And it’s the flux of them that makes things so magical and the adaptations change. So with even something as simple as the hydrolysis of ATP, it’s not having ATP in your blood or in your cell that makes energy.
It’s hydrolysis. And the breaking of it gives you energy, and that is a very small sliver in time. So going back to your referencing with these proteins, it’s not that they exist. It’s not that they’re being monitored improperly. It’s the changing of the proteins going through these channels. And like you said, waiting for that time for the adaptation to actually happen, that work. So it’s not looking at it. It’s like glucose. Looking at it at a moment in time is only telling you the moment in time. But the cost of flux. So looking at it build up and come back down is what makes that adaptation happen. So I think that’s why it’s so important to understand, to look at those like small protein transcriptional things in the first place. But I think the concept of looking at them needs to be from an appreciation and understanding standpoint, unless of how can I tangibly change this with a certain type of training or adaptation or stimuli? Look at, Zoom out, look at the hypoxia, look at the big hitters, see if you’re getting an outcome goal and understand what’s happening along the way.
James Cerbie: 100%. Because people who have taken the time to get into that total metabolic soup of what’s going on in the cell should at least very quickly realize just the smush portion of it all. You get in. And this drives me insane when people say this, you have the people who talk about AMPK and mTOR pathways and I sit there, I listen like, okay, they’re all fair points. Like, have you ever looked at just by chance, like a legit graphic of all the things AMPK and mTOR interact with in the cell? We don’t understand this pathway at all. None. Not at all. Very little. We have maybe a kindergarten level understanding, if we’re lucky. And so, like I said, what you just said, and I talked about this when I was talking with Dean Guido on his Fitness Devil podcast was the more down in the weeds I find myself, I need to come back and anchor myself to the big rocks because those are the rocks that matter, that create change. And I can try to appreciate this flux and what’s happening downstream of these things in these really complex metabolic pathways. But at the end of the day, if I know Hypoxia creates this change and the pathways make sense to me and I see the change in my athletes, then that’s plenty good enough in order to continue using those types of protocols.
Andrew Triana: That’s why I say phenomenology is so important so much, because we get lost in that mortgage board and you forget that it’s for fun, it’s for enjoyment and appreciation, and you go out, how can I change this? Athletes, mtRNA? Two levels. All my stuff intercorrelated between these things. That’s the only hope we can ever have is just understanding and appreciation. And then it’s real to me because I love science. But if I learn something new today about something that is a mortgage board. I’m not going to go change all my big pillars. It’s not going to change the fact that I do substrate A’s predicated on different Glycolytic goals and stuff. Those are your big rocks. I appreciate something now that I got a little smarter. I developed myself, as we talked about earlier, that self development is good for me. I’m a better human for it. But that just is what it is.
James Cerbie: Yeah, dude. And that’s another aspect of academia that can get frustrating is people keep chasing druggable targets because you can make money off of druggable targets. But for whatever reason, people don’t want to appreciate the fact that we just don’t understand things at a level enough to say, well, I’m just going to take this drug and it’s going to go block this one protein in this unbelievably complicated soup. And to think there’s no redundancies built in or pathways in and out above and below it. It’s just naive. And so that’s where one of the reasons I decided to kind of stop the whole academia thing from where I was at was because I realized that if I wanted to go into the stuff that I was really interested in, the end game was largely going to be finding druggable targets. I don’t really care about druggable targets because that’s not what I think of as the way to make meaningful change for people. But yeah, we don’t have to believe at this point any further. It’s very complicated. And I think that as humans, we sometimes are not naive, but we’re so just overconfident in our capacity to think that we really understand this thing for what it is.
Andrew Triana: I think it’s part of it. I think is there’s comfort in being able to find that one thing. Everyone out there in dancing is like, I just want to meet that one person. For me, heads are like, I just want to find this one steroid that I could paint once a month shredded. Everyone’s looking for the easy way out. I just want to be able to find that one PPA receptor that I can just target and all these fat people will get healthier, leaner, and better hearts, never having to worry about anything again. They invented that. It’s called GW 501 five, one, six. And when in fact, people take it much doesn’t change that. It’s the layering, it’s the phenomenology. It’s putting your whole life together and being balanced that gets you results. So with the training and everything we do together as a coaching athlete, you realize that’s what drives the results. All science can be as cool as it wants, but it’s the fact that you’re happy, you eat the food you should be eating, you train hard, then everything, of course, is just going to go well.
There’s not just one drug or one thing that will ever carry everything in life. Everything is predicated on the balance.
James Cerbie: Yeah. The physiology is just so complicated. So complicated. We just have to have respect for that. So we’re coming up in an hour. A couple of questions I did want to hit before we wrap this up. One, when you think about strongman as a sport and the training that goes into strongman, and then you think about field sport athletes, say, like football or take your pick of kind of runofthemill field sport athletes or team sport based athletes, court athletes. Are there things from the strong man world different, either implements or methodologies or things that you run into there that you see as being potentially very advantageous for people to pull and then use in their, quote, unquote, if we want to call athletic development programs for sure.
Things we can Learn From Strongman That will Help Improve our Athletes
Andrew Triana: I think, number one, absolutely. My reasoning for loving Strongman so much is because it’s all behavior based. Like people don’t realize, or maybe they do and they just think we’re idiots for doing Strong Man, that the variables are absolutely infinite. They’ve never done the same contest twice. You don’t get to touch anything close to the actual implements the day of before the day of you just show up and do it. It’s totally different. You don’t get to warm up, and then they might change things on you the day of. So to be a proficient and Strong man, you need to have extreme integrity and intangible aspects of confidence, like who I am as a person, how I’m going to behave no matter what, and all these things. And I think that’s something that as field and professional sports progress, athletes are losing out on. And it’s a good thing they’re losing out on it because they don’t have to be good at it. It’s like the ubiquity of food. It’s like people are obese because you can buy a bag of chips. It’s 500 calories for $0.99. But if you want to go to the market and get a good quality piece of meat, 599 is not going to get you 500 calories.
So that paradigm still exists here. So it’s like, where are people going with all these things? So you want to make sure that people have integrity in their behavior and confidence as an athlete, more so than anything else when it comes to performance, because when something changes and all those beautiful moments of sports, when you walk up to the plate, hit a Grand Slam on three or two count with two outs, when you really need that hit, you can’t train for that. That’s a behavior based phenomenon. So, number one, I think that’s what everyone in any type of sport can take from Strong Man, that it doesn’t matter how you actually perform and express yourself as a human. And then as far as tangible things, I think stones and some of the more iconic levers like car deadlift are actually great because they’re very safe. As far as if you’ve actually done it. You realize if you’re holding a stone in front of you, you’re going to get a pretty nice spinal curvature position as far as the thorax and where the arms are B because it loads in front of you. You can’t really fall backwards.
You have to really mess up if we see people. I’ve seen a lot of dumb people, and I’ve messed up plenty of times. You almost never fall backwards. If you’re falling to one side, it’s because the stones are rolling away from you or the stone is going to roll out of your lap and you’re not going to be able to pick it up because you’re picking up a rock. It’s very easy to coach because you tell people, pick up this rock and put it over there, and then they do it and it’s like, okay, pick up the rock a little bit different, but there’s not too much specific technique and levers that we’re looking for when picking up a rock. Lastly, I like it because who cares how much the rock weighs? People argue that stones grow. That stone is at least 230 fucking rock. Like, it’s a lot of hard deck the same way because the lever is something that you’re going to lean backwards into. You can actually totally take low back pain and a lot of things out of the equation because of where the center of gravity is and because of the type of lever it is, I don’t need to coach you on it.
Put your feet there and stand up and just don’t stop until I tell you to stop. And because of these parameters that are created that are external to the athlete, it forces them to just focus on behavior. You don’t know how much a car deadlift weights in hand. I don’t know what type of lever I’m using. I’m just going to continue to lift this thing up. So that’s from a tangible and intangible aspect, how I look at behavior. That’s what I love so much about strong man. That’s probably something I think people can take away from it more than anything else. It’s just how do you perform? Because some people I know this is the most power lifting get too attached to the numbers, the plates, the bar they use, and it’s a scapegoat for real confidence. And when something happens, the day up or doesn’t go their way, well, the plates were wrong or this was different or the spotters or something. No, it’s a performance issue. And performance is a behavioral phenomenon.
James Cerbie: Very interesting, man. So three more questions here, and then we’ll wrap it up. So the first one is perfect. The first one is, if you think about yourself just kind of as a coach and as a thinker, what are some of the biggest shifts that you’ve made over the past, let’s say year to two years and your philosophy and how you think about things is a good question.
Biggest Shifts in Andy’s Thought Processes Over the Past 1-2 Years
Andrew Triana: I think the biggest one was probably two or three years ago. I was a mortgage war guy trying to use the biggest words, talk about the fanciest proteins because it was also new. I was just out of academia and you really just experienced it hardcore. Like academia kind of shed such positive light on that that they trick you into thinking that’s the only way to be smart and that’s smart people only use big words and only like spit chatter that isn’t really accessible. So I think it’s probably the biggest change, even though that was probably more than a year or two ago. I think the concept of flux has been huge. Like we kind of just talked about it’s not like this singular thing that matters. It’s the concept that’s going to go up and down over time in a cyclic manner and that it’s not necessarily day one, week one, or day two, or week four. It’s not time dependent. Like I said earlier, I don’t care about time as much. So I think focusing less on things that aren’t changeable and kind of focusing on just things that can I change and why?
Andrew Triana: And then just kind of let go of the stress about things that you can’t change. I can’t change the fact that if I eat too much food, eventually I’ll get fat. So just maybe eat less food so you don’t get fat. I talk about people’s goals from an aesthetics and architectural background. So it’s basically words I use to cover up categorical and anti categorical thinking. So the things that are architectural or categorical, don’t worry about them. So if your goal is to build muscle, we know from a criterion based perspective, this is about how much protein you should get a day. So architecturally, get that fucking protein and don’t really care too much about it. From a categorical perspective, get it in. But from the aesthetics perspective, the anti categorical lens, what’s the best type of protein to eat? When amino acid blends do I want all these types. So don’t worry about the categorical stuff because as long as you hit it, it’s going to happen. Just make sure you get the protein and plan accordingly. But then from the aesthetics background, from your minute to minute life, how do I plan it to be as joyous, as high quality of life, as satisfying as possible?
So like some trippy stuff and some science stuff.
James Cerbie: All right. Yeah, man, absolutely. I dig it. And then list the last question here. So I think I probably know the answer to this question, but I’m going to ask it anyways for the people listening, if you could recommend and I typically hate these questions, but I’m going to throw it out there just to see kind of what we get from the first handful of people we have on the radio and on the show here. If you were to think about books, you’ve read seminars, you’ve attended workshops, you’ve gone to things of that nature. If you are going to recommend a single one right now. And obviously there’s so much just like, high quality, so much high quality material out there. But if you could recommend one and be like everybody, make sure you go out of your way to make sure that you read this, attend to this, do this. What would that be for you?
Andrew Triana: Because we’re talking to everybody. So my idea is the most change for the most people. You have to read the Norman Deutsch series, The Brain That Changes Itself.
James Cerbie: Fantastic.
Andrew Triana: Those two back to back. I think we make the most change in the most people. Like, across everyone, the idea that old dogs can learn new tricks is the gateway to understand that we can do whatever we want. The reason I’m so into being an extremist is because that lets you kind of do whatever you want. Like the concept of neuroplasticity, that we can set an environment to make change, to do whatever we need to do, regardless of time, is the most confidence boosting thing you can ever think of. Like, far too many times. Do you hear people say, Well, I’m too old to do this now, or I’ve waited too long, or any of those things that never even come to mind, or the fact that I was handed these genetics. I can’t make these changes, or my IQ is low, I’m just dumb. So I can’t get smart, or I can’t learn a new language or any of these things. That’s all bullshit. If you understand neuroplasticity from a conceptual and foundational concept, you really understand. That’s why anything is possible for humans.
James Cerbie: Perfect. I think that is a fantastic way to end this and wrap it up. Andy, that was a blast, dude. That was just over an hour. That was awesome. Loved it. Where can people find you if they want to just learn more about you or connect?
Andrew Triana: So in November, we’re going to be relaunching the Performance Vibe website. So in November, Performancevibe.com will be your one stop shop for everything related to training. So if you want to find either of my businesses, that’s the best way to do that. Instagram is the best way to reach out to me from a social media, personal perspective. It’s just at. Andriana and then very soon I actually say, Excuse me, another birth. Mostly I’m getting excited and I have a big training session. Regardless, there’s going to be an all inclusive and newsletter type thing. I’m going to be starting soon. So basically, I had a lot of people reaching out to me through different avenues, and they know me for different reasons. So it’s basically going to be a hub for, you know, Andrew, Sri Lanka, this is everything that’s going to be going on related to me. All the work I do over the course of like three or four months at a time. So it’s going to be quarterly and it’s going to be all of my podcasts, all of my businesses, my personal stuff and everything.
I speak and write for a lot of different avenues so it’s going to be my attempt at cohesively putting everything Andrew triangle together.
James Cerbie: Dude. Fantastic. Love it, people. Go find Andy. He’s the man. Super bright empathic just an awesome human check out everything he’s doing at performance five and on Instagram with Allostatic Labs and thanks for tuning in on Monday and have a great week.
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