One of the challenges trainees have faced in prior programs is consistently, and literally, showing up to the basics over an extended period of time. And this includes some who have had extensive experience in fitness and/or mind-body training.
After the first few weeks, prescriptions lack variety. They lack novelty. They lack that sex appeal that coincides with visions of new self.
And that’s the line, my dear readers, between those who pivot and seek titillation elsewhere, and those who set themselves on the path to mastery. If it's sexy, it probably ain't useful. Unless we're talking about sex. Which we're not.
When you hear recruiters and coaches swoon over a potential talent, they NEVER comment on the flowery BS that awes crowds, even if said talent possesses those types of skills. They look for something different… they look for the substance, the structure, the raw materials of hope (yes, you can extend this metaphor) and potential – they comment on their FUNDAMENTALS.
How a footballer plants and pivots, a figure skater spots within spins, a martial artist breathes, a boxer jabs - these skills are SCALABLE. They’re foundational. If done incorrectly, an athlete remains an amateur. If done properly, they contain the essence of all techniques and indicate limitless growth potential in the craft.
As some of you know, I practice the rope dart/sash. I was fortunate to have studied under several Shaolin monks going on 15+ years ago now, progressing from the short range nine-segment chain whip to the longer, 4-meter-long meteor hammer. In the years since publishing Rope Dart Master Goes Crazy (which nearly has 1 million views now!), soft weapons and related practices have blown up in popularity.
When I first published that video, there weren’t many demonstrating similar skills. Today there is no shortage of videos with exceptional object manipulation. With complexity and nuance that exceeds my own. BUT… but it pains me to see the lack of movement mechanics that make the craft what it is – a martial art.
I have no problem with anyone practicing whatever in a way that makes them happy. But what many practice today is simply not the rope dart. It’s fancy rope articulation.
It’s all flower and no earth.
So too in the domain of mind-body development / peak performance / personal growth at large. People obsess on the minutia, the add-ons, the optimizations, and they lack the foundations that matter most.
Examples you ask?
Sure, I’ll give you examples.
Today we have geared-up bodybuilders who have extraordinary physique symmetry and muscular strength, but who lack the tendon and ligament strength that comes with slower growth and heavier loads over time. There’s a line in Fast and the Furious (Yes, I love that shit, don’t judge me :) ) when Dom says the Mustang in his garage scares him – it has so much torque the chassis twisted coming off the line.
For those unfamiliar, this is what that looks like:
Different car, of course, but you get the idea.
The car had so much power it compromised the integrity of the frame. Sound familiar? So much muscular strength that one injures tendons and ligaments lifting weights…
When power exceeds structural integrity.
This is optimization without first order principles. This is optimization of a piece at the expense of the whole.
We have an epidemic of leaky guts, yet “Fitness Experts” insist on getting that 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to build that muscle without first assessing digestion. So avid gym goers wreck themselves in the gym, then force down protein only to shit it all out, destroying their guts and depleting their energy in the process – a recipe for poor general health and cyclical fatigue.
I know… I’ve been there.
While a healthy gut can do magical things, an unhealthy one not only provides poor nutrient breakdown, it also leads to poor absorption and utilization. Meaning your body ain’t getting 200 grams of protein if you do manage to consume so much, it’s getting a mere fraction of that, at best.
The same can be said for the impact of coffee. For alcohol. For simple sugars. If they compromise digestion, adding more to your plate (literally) in pursuit of optimization just compounds, not compensates for, the problem.
First order principles are ignored.
You don’t fix a protein problem by adding more, but by returning to the basics – a microbiome supporting diet rich in micronutrients. Weightlessness Nutrition does this by design, and removes the need for micromanagement of calories, macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats), and supplementation.
Nature heals, you just have to stop screwing it up.
Nutrition is not only the foundation of physical health, it’s also the foundation of psycho emotional health as 90% some odd of one’s serotonin (the happiness hormone) is released in the gut.
Therefore a coach trying to support a client struggling with lack of purpose, willpower, or energy without first auditing their nutrition and breathing mechanics is again ignoring first order principles.
It’s adding horsepower without a reinforced chassis. It’s adding protein without a healthy gut. It’s attempting to shift perspective to one of greater positivity and openness when one’s gut is signaling depression and one’s breath is signaling duress.
First order principles are being ignored.
I was talking to a prospective triber just the other day and one of the questions he asked, which was much appreciated and highly relevant, is "Why have people taken the program (The Weightlessness Process) more than once?"
Well... because a boxer never stops refining his jab. And if you want to apply more horsepower (the stresses and pressures of trading up in life - doing more, striving, going after what you want), than you need a stronger chassis. And that takes practice.
This isn't something you learn via exposure to an idea or read in a book. It's something you must be able to demonstrate in your life, to perform to higher and higher degrees, to internalize. It's knowledge that must be embodied.
That's what peak performance is about.
It's about getting your reps in. About refining your movement, your structure, your breathwork. It's about practicing presence, not merely studying, discussing, or contemplating the value of it.
You don't need to go broad in search of that next hack to optimize body and mind. You need to go deep with a handful of deeply meaningful tools that age in you like fine wine.
Focus on the chassis. The horsepower will come.