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Muscle Intelligence

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Jul 23, 2020

There are a few fundamentals we need to perfect before hoping to maximize our progress in any kind of physical pursuit, and in today’s show, we explore what that means. As Ben explains, this project starts with learning what functional movement is and making sure we are doing it correctly. Functional movement, contrary to what we might think, actually refers to nothing more than breathing and walking. Ben drills down on the point that the movements we experience while breathing and walking are the foundation for any other movement, and so if we can’t do them correctly all else suffers. These two movements form the first parts of Ben’s ‘Breathe, Walk, Meditate’ mantra, and so naturally the conversation progresses into the third foundation for optimum wellness. We learn what meditation is and how to do it by using its predecessor, breathing. Toward the end of the show, Ben reveals that we can learn to incorporate all three of these most foundational building blocks of optimum performance into one simultaneous activity, so there is no excuse not to do them! Wrapping up, Ben implores us all to give this foundational trio a try as well as get involved with the Muscle Intelligence community, a place where we can all come to share our knowledge and learn from some of the greatest minds out there. Today’s episode was sponsored by BLUBlox. Get 15% off and free worldwide shipping for Ben’s favorite blue-light-blocking glasses and sleep masks from BLUBlox at using the code MUSCLE.




  • Introducing today’s topic: Ben teaches us how to build muscle on a stable foundation. [0:18]
  • What real functional movement is, its importance, and how people get it wrong. [2:07]
  • Developing deep, expanded breath cycles as a foundation of all movement. [3:00]
  • The muscles that are lengthened and fill with oxygen when we breathe deeply. [6:45]
  • Which movements of the body get limited if we don’t breathe deeply enough. [8:58]
  • A description of what happens to the body as we go through a deep breathing cycle. [10:07]
  • Manifestations of dysfunctional breathing patterns: Trouble building pecs and more. [11:42]
  • The possibility of one side of breathing under-functioning and the effects of this. [14:08]
  • Breathing affects the muscles, and the muscles affect the skeletal system. [14:58]
  • Aerobics and yoga, two ways to expand breathing and work on breath retention. [15:27]
  • The negative effects of not walking properly and how to be mindful of foot functioning. [16:33]
  • That if we can’t hold one thought in our brain for long, we aren’t performing optimally. [19:44]
  • How to learn to meditate by honing in on our breathing, which helps to breathe too! [20:04]
  • What meditation looks like: Having interoception and a single point of focus. [21:17]
  • All the stability and mobility-related positive effects of having a breath practice. [21:43]
  • Turning a walking practice into one of breathing and meditation too. [23:03]
  • Ben’s asks us to try the ‘Breathe, Walk, Meditate’ trio and give him feedback! [24:26]
  • Thanks given to this episode’s amazing sponsor: BLUBlox. [26:26]