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The Easy Road To Upgraded Performance

“God damn, piece of junk…”

That little spinning circle appeared again and my entire computer froze…

I looked longingly towards the nearest window visualising using it as a launch point for the over sized paper weight my laptop had become…

When your computer slows down like mine had, you have 2 options. You can contact all the companies which write software for it and ask them to improve the code, making it more elegant, more efficient so it requires less processing power to run.  

Good luck with that one. 

Software development is expensive, slow and difficult to do, taking teams of highly skilled developers years to do.

Or you can just plug in a bit of new memory, change up the motherboard and improve the CPU.

It’s much cheaper, you can do it yourself and once it’s done your computer will run like new.

Why am I talking about this?

I went to a conference on high performance at work. They talked about how to increase employee learning and performance using the latest neuroscience, advanced learning techniques and understanding peoples true motivations…

The food they served at lunch time was absolute shit.

I was doing work for a top sports team (you’ve heard of them) they wanted me to improve the players mindset to push their players to even higher levels of performance on the pitch. 

I went to the changing rooms and they were full of traditional deodorants, shower gels and other endocrine disruptors which increase oestrogen, definitely not what sportsmen or women want.

In short, they were all focussing on the software…whilst totally ignoring the hardware

And it’s something I see being repeated across all walks of life…all industries.

The simplest most effective way to improve your performance in ANYTHING is to upgrade the hardware.

Want to improve your employees performance and raise the bottom line of your business? Get rid of the vending machines in the office and improve the food served at the canteen. Want to improve your teams performance on the pitch…look at their habits off the pitch first.

By working on the hardware first it gives people much more bandwidth to install any software they like…and have that software run properly.

Your brain like your body is a biological machine. 

  • If your brain doesn’t have the resources to create the chemicals which cross the neural gap to fire the next neuron in the net. 
  • If it lacks the building blocks to make myelin, the stuff which coats your neurons and allows them to fire faster and more accurately.
  • If your brain is inflamed so neurones fire slower and with less potential so any message is much more likely to get lost.
  • If your body lacks the hormones to grow, to give you energy, to power your muscles and your brain. 

In short if the hardware isn’t working properly…I don’t care what software you try to install on it…IT WONT RUN PROPERLY.

Once the hardware has been upgraded most of my clients see such huge performance increases they don’t really care about the software. 

But if they do, we can now take the time to really install software which works in concert with their newfound hardware and takes their performance to stellar levels.

But without that hardware any software we install is like trying to run Google on a ZX Spectrum….it might run but you’ll be seeing a lot of that spinning wheel.

kitesurf fitness

So if you want to improve your kitesurfing, your surfing, your snowboarding, your performance at work so you earn more and work less and have more time to do what you love, your performance as a husband, wife, father, mother…lover! WHATEVER!

Start with the hardware…it’s easier, faster, much simpler to maintain and once you have it set up, much easier to run any fancy software you want on it.

I’ve set up a community called “The Pack” where I personally coach you in how to upgrade your hardware so you can perform like your 20 when you’re 40, 50 or 60 +, it’s free and you can join here >>

See you on the inside!

Sam
😎🤙

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Improve Physical Performance By Playing Computer Games?

You might think it’s obvious that if you have a tough day at work you’re going to have a worse than usual session on the water or on the slopes afterwards.

What you may not realise is just how closely related those two things are.

In a study by S. Macora, subjects sat and played a simple and fairly mind numbing (I’ve played them) computer game for 90 minutes. The game was ridiculously simple where shapes or letters appeared on a screen and subjects had to press a button depending on what they are shown.

Easy right?

Well yes, but the point is that you have to pay attention for 90 minutes.

What’s incredible is that after these 90 minutes were up, the subjects reached physical exhaustion 15% sooner in an all out cycling test.

The implications of this study are huge and indeed are being investigated by the British military as a way of extending physical endurance by subjecting candidates to repeated “brain endurance training.” Thus building mental and by implication physical endurance. (It’s not currently known if this works in the other direction so to speak)

But the possibilities if it does are pretty amazing. Meaning that by increasing concentration and focus we can also build physical endurance.

The more immediate takeaway for us is to leave a gap between heavy mental work and our sessions.

Or don’t do your accounts just before you do your favourite sport.

I’ve set up a community called “The Pack” where I personally coach you in how to upgrade yourself so you can perform like your 20 when you’re 40, 50 or 60 +, it’s free and you can join here >>

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Your 2 Brains (Not The 2 You’re Thinking Gents!)

You were born with 2 brains.

One of them is awesome at pretty much everything.

The other one sucks..big time.

The awesome brain I call the animal brain, the sucky one, the human brain.

The animal brain is incredible at pretty much everything, it’s faster, more accurate and requires much less looking after than the human brain. It is however a shy and timid beast.

The good news is you have your own animal brain…

Unfortunately you also possess the human brain.

Your 2 Brains

The animal brain is our instinctive brain…

The brain we share with lizards. It includes not just parts of the actual brain but also the nervous system and any intelligence held within our body, muscle memory and the like.

It’s responsible for all our instinctive actions, the actions which happen without you thinking about them and thus have very little control over.

The withdrawal reflex when you put your finger in a fire.

The instinctive flinch when someone raises their fist to hit you.

The uncontrollable laughter when your mate smacks himself full in the face whilst trying to pull his wetsuit on (well maybe not, but I for one don’t have much control over this one).

It does it’s work under the hood and we have very little access to the controlling mechanism.

Your human brain is your rational mind. This is the part of the brain that we use for planning ahead, for rationalising, for analysing past events and predicting future consequences, the inner critic.

Now, each of these brains has a separate connection to each sense (except the sense of smell, but that’s not relevant to our discussion here). So from your eyes you have one connection running up to the human brain and one connection running down to the animal brain.

The important thing is this: The animal brain connection response time is 10 times faster than the human brain connection response time.

Why?

Because your human brain has to think about its response.

All that awesome technology that goes in to making the human mind the most powerful supercomputer in the known universe has to swing into action.

It has to workout what the incoming information means, pass it through various filters, determine what it means to you now, come up with an appropriate response and send the response back to you, so you can do something about it.

The animal brain doesn’t do that. Whenever an incoming stimulus matches the correct pattern the appropriate response is automatically fired.

No thought, no hesitation.

It’s hardwired.

And thank God it is

In a survival situation where every split second counts this is crucial.

So to gain true mastery of any skill we have to transfer its processing from the human brain to the animal brain (thus speeding up it’s processing by a factor of 10) and making the whole thing automatic so we do it on autopilot.

First off though we need to get one thing straight…

Your human brain doesn’t trust your animal brain.

It thinks it’s a bit of an idiot.

The human brain likes to think it’s very intelligent because of it’s higher reasoning capacity. It loves technical, results based, how to, style information. It wants detailed instructions telling it EXACTLY what to do in every single situation.

It then uses this technical know how to browbeat the animal brain, constantly telling it what it should be doing. You experience this when you’re learning a new skill.

It’s that constant voice in your head saying.

“Ok keep your eye on what your doing, dummy…”

“And watch out for that other person over there…”

“Keep your knees bent…”

“God damn! You T***, why can’t you just do it right!?”

The problem is when your human brain is commanding the animal brain like this, your animal brain doesn’t perform very well, it crumples under the pressure.

Compare and contrast that experience to changing gear in a car.

The first time you tried changing gear (if you’re anything like me) it seemed like an impossible task. There’s all these different things to do, in the correct order, coordinated over feet, eyes and arms and you’ve got a split second to do all of it, whilst keeping your eyes on the road.

Your human brain was constantly on at you to “do this, don’t forget that, push the clutch you idiot,” and as as result you got stressed out and the whole experience felt clunky as you waited for the human brain to tell you what to do next.

Now, if you’ve been driving a while, I bet you can’t break it down into its separate parts. It has become one action that you do not think about. You human brain does not get involved. It’s learned to trust the animal brain on this one and as a result you perform the task effortlessly.

And if you do try and think about it, and I challenge you to do this (make sure you’re on a quiet, wide road at the time)  often the action doesn’t feel natural at all.

When you’re on a roll, in the zone, deep in the flow state, lost in the moment. Just doing it…

You’re not thinking about what you are doing AT ALL.

Your animal brain has taken over and you’re operating on instinct alone. When we leave the animal brain to just get on with it…

It does really well,

So what we’re actually trying to do when we’re teaching you a new sport is to get your human brain to shut up. To stop it feeding this information, these endless instructions and criticisms to the animal brain…and just let it get on with it.

“Ok great,” you might be saying, “but when changing gear for the first time I wanted to have the human brain telling me what to do. Otherwise I wouldn’t have a clue what to do in the first place.”

Yup I’m right with you.

And herein lies the paradox at the heart of peak performance.

We need to try really hard and then not try at all

You see, I’m not saying that all that technical information is of no use…

In fact I would advise you to swot up on as much technical knowledge as you can BEFORE you start.

Watch all the YouTube video’s you can, visualise your move over and over, have a perfect picture in your head of what you are trying to achieve, feed the human brain and let it transmit this knowledge (osmosis style) to the animal brain.

But when you actually start to do whatever it is, forget it all and let the inner animal do it’s job…believe me, it’s much better at whatever you’re doing than you are.

Interested to know more?

I run an exclusive FREE VIP club where we delve in to this and a load of other stuff in much more detail to enable you to perform like you’re 20 when you’re 40, 50 or 60+, you can check it out here >>

See you on the water,

Sam.
😎🤙

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The Road To High Performance

When I first started getting serious about optimal human performance, I had no idea where to start.

So the first place I went was my doctors, after all, who knows more about health? 

I asked him ”Doc, I feel ok, but I want to feel amazing, can you help?”

My doctor looked at me and said, “Ok great, what symptoms do you have?” 

“Hmmm…nothing really I guess”

“Well I’m afraid I can’t help you young man.” (I was 25 at the time!)

I must have looked pretty disappointed as he went on to tell me something which has stuck with me all these years. 

”As doctors we are only trained to cure sickness, you get ill, you come to us, we fix you. But if you’re not sick there’s nothing we can do.

We have a model of what is called health care when in fact it’s sickness care. Health care would be ensuring people never got sick in the first place! How’s this relevant? Well…

Most of us peak in our natural performance between the ages of 15 – 25, some of us, the athletes and those who look after themselves or win the genetic lottery manage to stay there a bit longer, maybe up to 30.

After which it’s generally a long, slow decline towards death…”

“Cheery thought huh?”

“What most people don’t realise is, this isn’t inevitable. In fact there are some people who seem to totally avoid this decline altogether and it can certainly be prolonged long after what is currently considered natural.”

I thought of the various athletes I knew who were considered outliers as they were considerably older than the norm and still dominating their game.

Tom Brady the 43 year old star quarterback and superstar of the NFL being a prime example.

“You see, declining performance in ALL areas is a process of death by 1000 cuts. We eat crap, we neglect sleep, we work too hard and for too long, we party too much, we don’t exercise or over exercise, we spend too much time being stressed or don’t apply the right kinds of stress to the body.

In short we abuse our bodies which slowly, slowly, slowly get worn down as a result.

So by the time most of us reach 30, we are operating at 50% of our full potential, at most.”

Then he flashed a grin at me and said…“That’s where I come in,

It’s at about this stage people start coming to see me, lack of energy, can’t sleep, gaining weight, feeling tired, depression. If they’re unlucky it might be some industrial disease, CFS, IBS or something else with a name. It might be simpler, just not being as fit as they feel they should be or not being able to bring it like they used to.

There’s still not a lot we can do as doctors at this stage as they generally don’t have any medical symptoms for us to work with.

So they start to self medicate.

They drink coffee to wake them up in the morning, alcohol to knock themselves out in the evening and energy drinks to get through the day.

They throw down painkillers, start doing crash diets which, although they may provide temporary relief, actually throw the body into greater chaos, further reducing their long term performance by adding a few more cuts to those 1000 we talked about earlier.

The insidious problem here is, all their friends are showing similar symptoms as well. So they think their complaints are normal and chalk it up to old age.

One of the major problems in the western world today is the belief symptoms are normal and simply a sign of growing old…I’m telling you after 30 years as a doctor, symptoms are common in our western world…they are NEVER normal. It’s just, we pretty much ALL suffer from them and so believe they are.”

“Wow,” I thought this is interesting. So I asked, 

“Ok, now you come to mention it, I’ve been noticing I’m not as energetic as I used to be, I struggle more at the gym and on the water, I don’t sleep as well, I get bloated after eating and I’m starting to put on a few pounds…do you think this means I’m not performing as well as I could be?”

“Young man…” he said, looking me up and down, “I believe you are currently operating at somewhere around 50% of your true potential…”

“Holy Cow!”

I was the healthiest person I knew!

He continued, “Right now you have 2 choices. You can carry on as you are and continue this inevitable, slow decline into death or do something about it and take your performance back up to 100%.”

“Is that even possible?” I said.

“Oh God yes…

Think of your body like a car, a high performance sports car.

If you take this car and put crappy fuel in it, drive it like a maniac, crash it a few times and never take it for a service or to see a mechanic, in 20 years it’ll be ready for the scrap heap.

But if you take this car and put a new engine in, replace all the parts with new ones and lovingly restore the body work, you can restore it to its former glory. What’s more because technology has advanced in those 20 years, it can actually be rebuilt better.

Biology works in exactly the same way, but it’s easier because it does all the work for you. You just have to give it the inputs it needs to do its job…which is actually a lot simpler than people think.”

I go over those inputs and coach you in how you can use them to rejuvenate your biology, knocking years off your biological age in our online community “The Pack”

You can join for free here >> (it’s not on Facebook!)

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How Giving Up Booze Nearly Killed Me…

A Journey Into One Mans Dysfunction.

I hadn’t drunk alcohol in 6 months…

and I felt terrible for it.

Sure I hadn’t suffered the hangovers, but I’d developed something much worse… 

Before I gave up the bottle I was working 16 hour days and doing the work of 6 people. 

I thought my ability to do this consistently was a sign of my high performance lifestyle. I was eating well, exercising plenty, taking handfuls of supplements and following the advise of a bunch of Peak Performance gurus, I thought I was Bulletproof.

Now the fact that I was sleeping for around 4 hours a night, waking up with my stomach in knots and my mind racing only forced to reinforce this fact in my misguided mind. 

I was resilient and could take it.

I knew however, I still had one crutch. I’d go out most weeks, get absolutely smashed and then spend the next few days feeling terrible. I realised if I wanted to be truly high performance this habit had to go. So I gave up.

Suddenly I started falling asleep the instant my head hit the pillow, didn’t suffer the apathy and depression of hangovers and had a TONNE of energy…

Well that all sounds great Sam, well done…

And that’s exactly what I thought, but…

Let’s Explore The True Depths Of My Dysfunctionality.

What did I use this new found energy for?

  • Did I go kitesurfing and set out on crazy adventures like I really wanted to? 
  • Did I use it to spend more time with friends? 
  • Did I maybe just use it to read more and feed my brain? 

Of course not…

I used it to work even harder!

I was now doing the work of 8 people…not only was I a high performance human being I was now a high performance human being who didn’t drink…how incredible was I? Just look at me you mere mortals as I run around from 4 am to 12 am and never stop…

What a perfect example of a High Performance Human Being….

What An Idiot!

The short story is giving up booze drove me towards burnout even faster….it gave me the energy to bugger myself up properly! 

And for that I am actually grateful. Had my journey towards burnout been slower I’d still most likely be living that way now.

Now funnily enough the message I want you to take from this post isn’t that giving up booze is bad, when I actually sorted my life out this proved to be one of the most empowering steps I’ve ever taken, but instead to highlight my fundamental problem with the world of high performance at the moment.

Nootropics, bio hacks, handfuls of supplements…all these are great if you have the fundamental foundations to build on…ie a healthy biology and a healthy lifestyle which supports high performance. 

Mainly one which combines ample recovery time in-between your bouts of high performance.

If you don’t have these you’re just…

Putting Rocket Fuel In A Skoda.

And can just sit back and watch as the poor vehicle shakes itself apart when you put your foot on the gas.

The key here is to build a lifestyle of high performance first. And that doesn’t mean running out and ordering all the latest nootropics. The most important aspect of high performance isn’t high performance itself is how you recover from and prepare for your next bout of high performance. 

Just like a top class athlete knows the time between training sessions is where the magic happens (as this is where your muscles grow and your brain lays down new neural pathways) so the same is true of high performance. We must learn to recover effectively, to prepare the body for its next bout of high performance.

And the way we do that? By switching off, powering down, chilling out and giving our body time to do the heavy lifting it needs.

I’ve set up a community called “The Pack” where I personally coach you in how to upgrade yourself so you can perform like your 20 when you’re 40, 50 or 60 +, it’s free and you can join here >>

Sam
😎🤙