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Muscle Intelligence

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Nov 18, 2019

On this episode of Muscle Intelligence, we start by discussing Gabrielle Bryan’s response to The Game Changers and whether it’s possible to have an unbiased opinion, especially in the contentious vegan/carnivore argument. We then get into the topic of productivity, which turns into an insightful how-to about time efficiency. Ben lays out the strategies he uses to get so much done and makes some convincing guesses as to how working absurdly long hours became a value in modern society. However, the main topic of the show is Ben’s muscle camp that Ashleigh was a guest on. You’ll hear Ashleigh’s main takeaway from the experience, a lesson that while working out, we don’t actually practice the basic principles of good form we all think we learned years ago. Form is key! Knowing how to do an exercise properly makes it ten times harder, sometimes removing the necessity for weights at all. Hidden in this is a lesson to get over your ego and be mindful of your body. Stop thinking you have learned it all because you haven’t. The best exercises are simple and can become even more effective through variation. Finally, we share our lesson of the week with you, which is a reminder to count your blessings, because nobody ever got anywhere by complaining!



  • Why vegan activists like James Cameron are really just trying to sell vegan products. [01:30]
  • A consideration of whether unbiased opinions about diet are possible. [03:03]
  • A new activity in the podcast where great comments get read out. [07:48]
  • The role of reverse engineering and bracketing in Ben’s approach to productivity. [10:29]
  • How to approach effective intellectual work without spending many hours on it. [14:54]
  • Where the productivity fetish might have come from: corporations and government. [16:05]
  • Ben’s tips on condensing time: meet your mentors rather than read their books. [17:00]
  • The different mindfulness-related lessons Ashleigh learned at Ben’s muscle camp. [19:13]
  • What most people don’t do: get past their egos and remember basic form in the gym. [21:27]
  • How Ben applies the principle of getting past ego and mindfulness to his teaching. [24:03]
  • Managing the balance between focus and working unconsciously. [26:47]
  • Remembering that rather than moving weight, it is contracting muscle that’s important. [28:23]
  • The way proper form can reduce the variety of exercises necessary in a workout. [30:04]
  • Maximize effectiveness by varying the parameters within simple exercises. [31:15]
  • The many kinds of stability and how to incorporate them for maximum gain. [34:15]
  • What Ashley learned when she found out about how to do a proper hamstring curl. [36:47]
  • How the lessons of good form in Ben’s camp were revolutionary for Ashley. [37:36]
  • Why muscle and joint pain are not par for the course after a workout. [38:04]
  • Ben’s hopes for a future where nutrition is geared to the body’s daily needs. [40:12]
  • What makes Ben’s gym the best: active care. [43:12]
  • This episode’s habit of the week: stop complaining, and practice gratitude. [44:01]