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Muscle Intelligence

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Mar 26, 2020

Trainers and coaches often overlook the synergy that is produced when the body and mind are mutually benefited with exercise. Our preoccupation with physical appearance and our “weak areas” have caused us to ignore the role that our mind plays in effectuating the physical changes we long to see. In this episode, Ben interviews Jacques Taylor to discuss workouts that not only develop the body but that are stimulating to the mind – exercises the reset negative associations and rewire the brain to form the positive connections required for holistic transformation. Listeners will learn about the strong correlation between mindset and the physical changes that manifest in the body.

Indeed, negative attitudes cause the excretion of cortisol and other hormones that hamper the effect of training on the body, and, therefore, there is strong evidence that suggests that by enjoying exercising, you get much more out of a workout, allowing you to change mind and body simultaneously. It is up to coaches to construct an environment where people engage with their exercises mindfully and where they are systematically guided in changing the way they think about physical training. Tuning into today’s conversation, listeners will learn about triggers for the production of BDNF, how the brain’s anticipatory nature plays into workouts, and how training can be used to change the mind. Jacques also discusses and gives examples of the seven principles of neuromuscular orchestration.

Thank you to our awesome show sponsor, makers of my favorite grassfed collagen and powdered MCT: BUBS, a company making just a few extremely high-quality products and giving back a whopping 10% of their sales to charity. I use their powdered collagen and MCT in my coffee every morning. Use the code MUSCLE for a full 20% off your purchase HERE.


  • The importance of not clinging to a mindset and learning to trust your mind flow. [3:36]
  • Why it might be necessary to go through anger to reach peak performance. [5:12]
  • The role of the hormones that are produced by your muscles during exercise. [7:11]
  • Triggers for the production of BDNF in aerobic and anaerobic conditions. [8:55]
  • The restricted physical benefits of exercise on people who dislike exercising. [10:48]
  • The mechanisms that prevent positive responses to exercise in those who find it stressful. [12:53]
  • How the brain can anticipate exercise-related stress even before the workout  [15:07]
  • Why some people hate to exercise and ways to combat the negative associations. [17:00] 
  • How training can be utilized to develop the necessary skills and transform the mind. [21:33]
  • The advantages and disadvantages of the anticipatory nature of our brains. [25:14]
  • The neurochemical processes that shape a person’s mindset about their likelihood to succeed or fail. [27:14]
  • The rationale behind the seven principles of neuromuscular orchestration. [30:57]
  • Principle 1: When you train the body, you inextricably train the mind. [32:59]
  • Principle 2: The resolution of the nervous system is plastic (and this relates to movement). [36:18]
  • Advice for improving thoracic mobility while still maintaining the same load. [42:04]
  • Principle 3: The sensitivity of the nervous system is dynamic. [45:17]
  • Principles 4: The mobility of the nervous system is key to posture and motion. [46:50]
  • Jacque’s view on the use of a foam roller to impact the nervous system. [53:03]
  • Principle 5: To perform an exercise, a nervous system must determine which muscles or motor units are best suited and then recruit them. [54:22]
  • Principle 6: The motor units and muscles recruited must produce adequate energy to generate the required tension and power. [58:03]
  • Principle 7: The nervous system coordinates a cardiovascular metabolic and endocrine response required to support the activity of the neuromuscular system. [1:01:10]
  • An example of how you can develop a mental/emotional characteristic in the gym. [1:09:29]