01 Jun Live Kinetically & Move Your Body | Dan Palacios
Do you ever get so stressed that you want to curl up and sleep it off? Moving your body, even when you don’t want to, has countless benefits. Living kinetically will get you on the path to health and wellness.
WELCOME TO THE DARIN OLIEN SHOW
Dan Palacios dedicates his career to getting people to live kinetically.
With over 10 years of experience working with clients from young kids to elite athletes, Dan Palacios is dedicated to teaching the power of movement. With all his intensive experience, Dan has come to understand the power of biomechanics and how it relates to the human condition. His goal is to guide and inspire people to redefine the meaning of health by inspiring them to move their bodies.
Dan and I are cut from the same cloth, and we had such a fun conversation about the importance of physical health. You hear me talk about food and nutrition quite a bit, but this episode allowed me to focus on another one of my passions–physical health. Like me, Dan wants everyone he meets to live their best life. And he doesn’t think that’s possible unless they know the mind and body connection as it relates to movement. Living kinetically means focusing on your body’s needs from a biological perspective. Nutrition is just one piece of the puzzle, and Dan is the perfect guy to fill in the rest.
ALSO IN THIS EPISODE:
- Individual healing methods
- What’s going to take your training to the next level?
- Neurological connections
- Living kinetically
- Intellectual empowerment from physical capability
Darin: You are listening to the Darin Olien Show. I’m Darin. I spent the last 15 years exploring the planet looking for healthy foods, superfoods, environmental solutions, and I’ve had my mind blown along the way by the people, the far off places I have been, and the life-altering events that have changed my life forever. My goal is to help you dive deep into some of the issues of our modern-day life, society’s fatal conveniences. The things that we do that we’re indoctrinated into thinking we have to, even though those things are negatively affecting us, and in some cases, slowly destroying us and even killing us. Every week, I have honest conversations with people that inspire me. My hope is through their knowledge and unique perspectives they’ll inspire you too. Together, we’ll explore how you can make small tweaks in your life that amount to big changes for you, the people around you and the planet, so let’s do this. This is my show, the Darin Olien Show.
Darin: Hey, everybody, welcome to the show. This is Darin Olien, and this is The Darin Olien Show. How you doing in your body? Are you working out? Are you moving? Do you have pain? Are you consistent? Are you understanding your proprioceptive sense of your place in time and space? That means are you aware of your body? We nerd out with Dan Palacios in this episode. He’s got over 15,000 hours that he’s spent with real people facing incredible odds from helping the special needs to top athletes. And he’s really jumping into the biology and biomechanics on the most powerful way looking at, you know the multiple chain movements, all of this thing. You can check everything out, he’s got livekinetically.com, and he dives into a lot of things. He reached out to me. He’s got all these mechanisms and of action and these belts that turn on your diaphragm and massage your psoas and tons of connections in the space. He has really dedicated his life to learning, understanding, to better allow his clients to sit in their body, to turn on their body in other ways neurologically, physiologically, chemically and biologically, and we got into it. So this is to gain some inspiration about your body, about working out, about looking at it differently. Everyone can enjoy this episode. Now, he’s gonna use a lot of terms that may fog you out for a second but stay with it, and we will do our best to bring you down the path of having more awareness. So enjoy with my good friend, Dan Palacios.
Darin: Dude, just stoked to have you, and we’ve been in touch with each other, and you’ve been lofting me some good people and ideas and the whole training and kinetic space. You know, having a background way back in the day of physiology, I’m stoked to talk with you and dig into your world and learn. You’re on the cutting edge of training and kind of understanding the body and we always want to reduce things down to like the old school bodybuilding things but your whole kinetic approach, why don’t you unpack that and then unpack your business as it relates to that, and how you got so curious and fascinated about this amazing machine that we get to carry around with us.
Dan: Yeah, that’s really the fun part about it is I’m at a place in my own sort of physical career, so to speak, beyond just being a personal trainer and teaching other humans how to human better. My whole athletic career started when I was a kid. I was a football guy. So you know, contact sports was what it was all about for me. It was an outlet for getting my aggression out and I developed pretty much like a classic football player would. I mean, you know, toss the barbells around, a couple of dumbbell exercises, some big lifts here and there, programmed in and certain training blocks. And that was what I was sort of pre-programmed for when it came to my own physical development. And that got me plenty far from an athletic perspective, but it did sort of box me in a little bit. So when I stopped playing football in college, I realized, most importantly, I didn’t want to become that sort of proverbial washed-up football player who just gets big and overweight and becomes more clunky over time. I wanted to continue moving, so I actually started exploring out as just a personal practice parkour and freerunning when I stopped playing football in college, and that just opened up the doors for me on a very personal level as a personal practice to all kinds of creative movement and just seeing the world from a different perspective. It’s all about moving over, under, and through any given obstacle, and you can make that whatever kind of metaphor for life that you want, but that was where, as a very personal level, it took a different turn for me, and made me see things in a different light for training the people that I started to train, because that I did for several years before I even became a personal trainer and got my bachelor’s in exercise science and all that different stuff, which actually I didn’t even end up finishing. It was funny because I was right on the cusp of finishing my bachelor’s work, and I started personal training with a really great, great company down here and they taught me a lot, so much so right out of the gate that I realized, man, I learned more in two weeks in this field and in practical application than I did in four years of school, which was crazy for me. And it really solidified for me that I didn’t want my education to get in the way of my learning because the more I sat in my college classes, I started to really realize that because it’s that sort of theoretical research realm that they want to have concrete answers for everything. And it does tend to kind of limit your ability to grow in a creative way. So that was where it really all kind of started. And then several years after having worked for that facility that I was working for, I discovered the team at Kabuki Strength and the guys at Weck Method, and that just really blew the doors wide open because by that point, I had established a pretty strong sense of my knowledge for strength conditioning at its very foundational levels, understanding all the classic movements, the bench presses, squats, deadlifts, and a lot of the athletic work that goes into working with athletes like I had, by that point, about five or six years. So it was at that point, seeing the guys at Kabuki Strength and Weck Method that I went, okay, well, there’s something going on here in the training space that’s taking a little bit of a divergent path because that’s where you really start to see a lot of the mace work, I don’t know if you watch a lot of the mace swinging type stuff. And being in the parkour and free running background saw a lot of like break dancers and gymnasts and all kinds of acrobats, people who were doing amazing stuff with their body. And so much of it was really contradictory to what I had been taught classically in the strength conditioning field, in the traditional athletics field, and physical therapy and orthopedics. Now those, obviously, are great fields that definitely need to have their place in the continuum of care and what they do with working with patients and people who have had injuries and need surgical repair, all that kind of stuff, but it really did fuel me to look for alternative methods for as many different people as I could because, by that point, I had worked with every kind of client from little kids all the way up to seniors in their 90s and adaptive athletes, people who had lost limbs, things of that nature. And it really required me to cut my teeth on getting far more creative and finding what worked for the individual. So that was really one of the areas that sparked my curiosity to go, what else is there, are there better ways, not just for me personally because I don’t teach anyone anything that I haven’t tried first, but I think there’s definitely room for far more exploratory methods as far as exercise, training, programming, and finding what the individual that you’re currently working with can connect with them, and what’s going to take them to the next level because everybody just has a different way of attaching themselves to the information you’re delivering them, or they’re just flat out resistant to it. So what do you need to do with that individual person to circumvent their sort of natural psychological or emotional or even physical resistance to what it is they’re being taught, and get them to learn what they need to learn in order to human better, to look at the world from a movement perspective and how to improve it and optimize it.
Darin: I mean, there’s kind of a sub-question I have in here too because I also kind of came from that traditional model. And there’s a way of it’s almost like linear training as opposed to we’re dimensional beings. We’re in a third-dimensional existence, but yet all of those other planes of training were very linear. And was it Kabuki?
Dan: Yeah, Kabuki strength.
Darin: What was that kind of epiphany moment of what they were doing and change your whole trajectory? Because obviously, your kinetic training is all about using the third dimension.
Dan: Well, that, again, the very integrative approach and in sort of trying to understand human movement for all that it’s capable of. You look at what you classically learn in strength conditioning. Across the board, it tends to be flexion, extension, internal rotation, external rotation. And then that moves into what become the functional primal movement patterns of the squat, lunge, hinge, twist, walk, run, sprint, push, pull. And that’s a lot of what you see being sort of pre-programmed, especially in the football world when you have a strength conditioning coach who’s got a whole team of 60, 70 players, they’ve got to be able to program for what’s best for everybody. But I found that that wasn’t what I was doing. I was working with individual clients on a daily basis. And what really kicked the door open there was I had had a slew of clients for one reason or another, call it serendipity, whatever you want to call it, who had come to me with shoulder issues, new people who I hadn’t been training for a while. And it was like rotator cuffs and frozen shoulders, and all kinds of different shoulder issues that just kind of all showed up within a pretty short period of time of each other. So whenever I’ve got a new area to explore, I really, really delved into it. And I would try to learn as much as I could about those specific issues, and there are a million different issues that can show up, but in this particular area, it was developing better flexibility, mobility, and just strength across the board through the shoulder girdle and the entire shoulder joint. And at the time, a lot of that line of learning for me was coming from directly working with some orthopedic surgeons who I was dealing with, and people who were in the orthopedic space. And it was a lot of do this, not that, you can do this, you can’t do that. And then I presume it was the algorithm who I have to thank for bringing these guys to me because it was a guy named Chris Duffin. He’s the founder of Kabuki Strength, definitely a person I encourage everyone to go check out because he’s done tremendous work in the traditional strength conditioning space, as well as the alternative spaces working with a lot of different athletes but using basically strength sports as the foundation for building on all of that. And you had this big, huge, muscular guy, super strong guy, and he was swinging this club around. And it was a product called the shoulder rock. And basically, what it was, was a modified, innovated version of what’s known as an Indian Gada Club. And that’s what all those different mazes that you see people swinging around. And he was swinging it really all over the place. And I’m over here going, you know, my classical learning taught me to look at these movements and go, okay, well, that’s contraindicated, and this is contraindicated, and you really shouldn’t do that because the rotator cuff and all these different things. But then getting the opportunity to really watch these guys and study what they were doing with the shoulder rock product and then looking further and further into the Gada training. I was going well, this actually looks like it’s really great, dynamic, functional, rotational patterns for the shoulder. And it wasn’t just specifically isolating the shoulder the way we classically do in the physical therapy world, and then going into like functional patterns for the shoulder just isolating it. It was really integrated from the ground up, and that’s something that those guys were big on. Early on that I saw was their human-to-ground interface. What’s happening from the floor up to create the kinetic chain and the kinetic energy required to move the object that’s in the hand, so it really came down to looking what was going on at this guy’s feet, Chris Duffin’s feet and how he was shifting his weight and manipulating the momentum of the club in order to produce a pretty significant amount of force with a pretty heavily weighted object. I mean, the bar, the shoulder rock itself, I want to say is about about 20 some odd pounds and he had another 20 pounds locked into it at the head. So he was swinging this thing around pretty fast and pretty hard. And I’m looking at this guy going well, he looks a heck of a lot stronger than the physical therapists and orthopedic surgeons I’m working with, and this is a guy who has at one point detached his hamstring from his bone and only just recently squatted over 1,000 pounds for three repetitions. So maybe he’s doing something right that we don’t know about in the practical application space. That’s where I was at the time. So that was really one of the areas that kicked it open for me. And then Weck method was the other one. They are heavy, heavy, heavy on the rotational movement patterns. That’s a gentleman named David Weck who founded Weck method and he was actually the inventor of the Bosu ball. I would imagine you’re familiar with the Bosu ball, correct?
Darin: Oh, yeah, absolutely.
Dan: Yeah. You know, I mean, we’ve all seen it. It’s the little the dome-shaped air-filled ball, plastic on one side, nice and solid on one side and unstable on the other side. And, really, that was the one that moved me more on the headspace of okay, now I need to not only explore these other methods but now start to find the tools surrounding those methods that enhance the process of learning and help to take someone who really has almost zero Mind-Body connection to start off with. These are my young kid clients. They’re just trying to get a handle on what their body’s capable of. And how do we use that tool to get them at least much better than they currently are and potentially up to even above average and elite level athletics? And that’s what a lot of what I did early on, and I found that the work that David Weck was doing with the Bosu ball went far beyond what I was seeing in the traditional fitness space. You think of a Bosu ball, what do you think of? Balanced trainer, do a couple of little fun core exercises, maybe bounce around on it a little bit, but what it was really designed for was to use that air-filled dome as a compressive resistance that can be used to prime and potentiate the central nervous system. And at the time, I didn’t know any of that. It was actually years later after that initial discovery that I ended up going to Weck method in San Diego and learning directly from the team over there, David and Chris Chamberlain and Alex Kanellis to learn the actual methods behind how they integrated all of the different Weck method tools, which include not only the bosu ball, but their limit force elastics, their rotational movement club, the propulsor, running training, and then the rope flow which is really fun as well, but it goes much beyond just the sort of cool do it for the gram type of stuff that you see in my videos and everyone else’s videos. It’s actually highly scientific, and very, very geometrical as well as it has deep roots in just physics, understanding how to manipulate momentum and force utilizing your ground force contact and how to manipulate it from there. And that’s really where it makes the most sense in the functional space. And in sport application, is how do you control your body in relation to gravity. And that was what was really interesting for me is that I saw much more success with my clients in the orthopedic space, physical therapy, rehabilitative training, prep for surgery, post-surgery recovery, is that people were getting far more out of these alternative methods than the traditional like, okay, you know, put a rubber band in your hand, do some flexion, do some extension, do some internal rotation, external rotation. That stuff was all really great for creating an initial awareness as a tool, but it was really the integrative work. And those sort of non-traditional methods that I saw, people had those real aha moments where it was like, oh, wow, I’m much stronger in the second set of training in just in a few minutes than I was when I first started.
Darin: Many of you who follow me know I’ve spent most of my life searching for the healthiest foods on the planet from the Amazon jungle to the Andes of Peru, to the Himalayas and Bhutan, to the deserts of Africa, and everything in between discovering hundreds of plants and herbs and superfoods like this is my passion. Things like sacha inch, an Incan treasure, wild [unintelligible 00:31:41] mushrooms, things like Maya nuts, another Aztec superfood, wild cocoa moringa, many adaptogenic herbs and on and on and on. If you look hard enough, there are a few unknown extraordinary foods around the world that people still don’t know about. And a few years ago, I came across my favorite superfood discovery of all time, barukas nuts. Why is that my favorite? Well, when I first tasted them, my eyes lit up. I was blown away. They’re so delicious with notes of popcorn and cocoa and chocolate with peanut butter, and with this amazing crunch, so the taste alone just absolutely blew me away. But after sending them to the lab, which I do, and getting all the tests, I realized they’re the healthiest nuts on the planet. No other nut even compares. They have an unusually high amount of fiber, which is critical for healthy digestion. We’re all getting way too low of fiber in our diet and it’s good for the healthy bacteria and microbiome. And they’re off the charts in super high antioxidants, and have few calories than any other nut. It’s jam-packed with micronutrients. And what they don’t have is just as important as what they do have because they’re found in the forest in the savanna what’s called the Cerrado biome of Brazil, not grown on a plantation or a farm. They’re untouched by industrial pesticides, larvicides, fertilizers. They’re truly a wild food. But they’re not just good for you, they’re really good for the planet. Most other nuts require millions of gallons of irrigated water, not to mention, using bees and shipping them across the United States and just horrible sustainable practices just to grow certain nuts annually, but Baruka trees require no artificial irrigation. At one time, the Cerrado’s forest were made up of millions of these trees. These trees are incredible. They’re nitrogen fixers. They give back to the other plants in the forest. Their grandfather of sacred trees, but most of them were chopped down to make way for cattle, soy, and corn production. When you’re down in Brazil, it can be absolutely shocking. And actually, I’ve cried several times with miles and miles of deforested land filled with soy farms. This beautiful Savanna filled with soy farms and cattle grazing. Our mission is to reverse that. And the long term goal is to plant 20 million new baruzeiro trees throughout the Cerrado. And if that wasn’t enough, we are also providing highly beneficial and fair jobs for thousands of indigenous people so they can stay on their land and they can thrive with this consistent income every year forging and working with Barukas. Barukas are truly good for you, good for the planet, and good for the world community. It’s a win all the way around. I really think you’ll love them, so I’m giving all of my listeners 15% off by going to barukas.com/darin. That’s B-A-R-U-K-A-S dot com backslash Darin, D-A-R-I-N and using the code “Darin” at the checkout. I know you will enjoy.
Darin: And that’s really where that central nervous system being challenged really then kicks in. And it’s so powerful and so teachable if you’re willing to put it in that position of learning.
Dan: Absolutely. Yeah. This is the really cool thing about that kind of journey that I went on from there because again, I saw Kabuki Strength and Weck method early on in that process, and then that kind of just fell off the map for me. And I went on this sort of separate journey all on my own and found RPR. I’m telling you, man, I got story after story about how this stuff just kind of fell into my lap, right place, right time. And RPR came to me at a time I was then training at a facility called Rienzi strength conditioning, it was more of a private facility. It’s actually owned by Dwayne Johnson’s trainer Dave Rienzi, and he brought in JL Holdsworth team with RPR.
Darin: And everyone knows now JL if they’ve heard the episode that I did with him. So if you’re you’re remembering that name, go check out that episode and we unpack what RPR is.
Dan: Yeah, and that was the crazy part is, again, the timing of that was just insane because it was relatively close to that time that a buddy of mine who had been training from my first years of training, a guy I learned from, a guy who mentored me had had a really bad accident. And he ended up paralyzed from essentially from the neck down. He could still move his arms, but this was the guy who was one of the most athletic people that I’d ever known. And now he’s wheelchair-bound as a result of this accident. But when my other training associates and I decided that we were going to take it upon ourselves to start working with him and see what we could do to help get him back up and running and get him optimized, and that’s a big area that the RPR reflexive performance reset guys focus on is how to stay optimized. Get your body as quickly and efficiently to a place of central nervous system optimization is possible, and that was right around the same time. So I had been studying spinal rehab, the neurological system, and how to take someone who has had a spinal injury and give them as much functionality as possible. And about the same time, I had another client who had just had a major head injury not that long ago. So it was like, I mean, the timing of those things to show up at the same time for me, I can’t explain it any other way other than divine intervention. But those were the areas that I started to really integrate the RPR central nervous system manipulation work with the integrated compressive limit force, elastic work from Weck method. And then more of those functional rotational patterns that Weck method and Kabuki strength were teaching with the shoulder rock and their various tools, and it just made the process so much easier. And it made it so much simpler for the clients and the people I was working with to connect with what those tools provided from a feedback perspective. And it really, really challenged me to go beyond looking for the types of tools, modalities, and training methods that anybody and everybody could connect with. And not everybody is even capable of picking up a barbell or dumbbell and that’s what you discover in the adaptive world. So what other tools do we have available? You can’t fix every problem that isn’t a nail with a hammer. And that’s what I really started to discover was that you needed to really not only be able to just teach basic primal movement patterns from a sort of calisthenic perspective. It’s not just about moving, it’s also about making that mind-body neurological connection to be able to contract those muscles as hard as you possibly can or relax them as much as you possibly can. And then it really gets deep into a better understanding of the central nervous system, and what causes it to become limited in the first place. It doesn’t have to be an injury. It could be your stress levels. It could be an emotional interaction that you had that caused you to go into fight or flight mode. So what tools and anchors and skillsets will you have available to help you manipulate your body back into a more objective state so that you can function at a high level, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally?
Darin: Yeah, so I’m going to break this all the way down because we’re probably, you know, it’d be one thing if I had a strength and conditioning podcast, but I can imagine people listening going holy shit, I’ve heard terms that I’ve never heard before. I am barely trying to work out. So I want to redefine some of this stuff, and I want you to set the table for people that are trying to lose weight, they’re trying to just be healthier. There’s an absolute application to this kinetic way of looking at their bodies and something so powerful, not only for the athletes but for the normal, regular people that are stressed out of their mind, that are disconnected from their body, they’re in sitting patterns and stress patterns, all of that stuff. So why don’t you kind of go all the way back to like, what are some things people are absolutely not doing? Nothing’s really wrong but that is not that effective when you’re looking at training, strength training. And then what are some things that people can do to better get themselves in touch with themselves, in touch with their central nervous system, and really in touch with their whole body systems instead of just this reductionism or separation way of strength training?
Dan: Yeah. I know you hate reductionism. But the fact is, again, the truth of the matter is that’s the person I actually work with most. Those are the people who I’ve trained the longest is the average person who is just coming to me for an appointment because they otherwise wouldn’t motivate themselves to do it without me. And I’ve made it a really concerted effort to educate those people as much as possible in the simplest, not necessarily reductionist terms, but the simplest terms that they can just understand because that’s the fun of it, right, is being able to take all this really sort of sciency stuff that you put into a petri dish and you check one variable at a time and then decide that this is the thing that’s going to work. But for the simplest terms that most people can understand is that the body is fully equipped to do everything it’s currently capable of from a performance perspective right here, right now. What we need to do is teach people to use it and realize that there’s an athlete in all of us and life is a sport. That’s what I tell my clients all the time. When you look at the way sports work, you’re sort of doing all these repeating patterns over and over and over again. There’s a certain skill set involved with playing baseball, with playing football, with all these different sports, but the same thing applies to your life as an individual person. If you’re a lawyer, and you wake up in the morning, you get into your car, you drive to work, you spend your day in your office, sitting at your chair, that in and of itself is a skill set. What is that skill set? It’s sitting in a car in a certain posture and repeating those different patterns holding in isometric movement for a certain period of time, and then continuing to execute those sorts of skills in your office work. And then there’s all the mental effort that goes into it. So if we’re reducing it down to a few simple things that anyone can do, it’s number one, breathe. And I know you guys talk about this a lot with the 121tribe and all of that type of content that you guys are doing there. Most people, if I’m taking a new client and taking them through my initial assessment, one of the first things that we assess is just their breathing pattern. I have them lay down on their back and just breathe for a moment, just to get a sense of how it is they breathe. And if you look at how most people breathe, it’s very shallow. And they’re usually breathing through their mouth and in a sort of tongue and cheek way, I say, don’t be a mouth breather. We want you to be a nasal breather and we want you to learn to use your diaphragm to breathe. And what that’s going to very simply do once they learn the actual method to do that is it’s going to start to expand not only their capillaries and all of the different blood vessels that bring oxygen in, but it’s going to open up their rib cage and create just more space for their lungs. So just surely by breathing in through your nose and expanding your chest cavity, as well as your abdomen that’s opening up a lot of space and in its own right reducing a lot of natural stress on your entire system. No system in the body works alone. No system in the body gets injured alone. There’s a great guy named Perry Nickelston, that’s one of his big areas. He’s a guy named Stop Chasing Pain on Instagram. He’s got a lot of great information on the lymph system. And so much of it boils down to the breathing patterns, and the connection between the diaphragm and the spine and what it does to stabilize not only your spine in your body from a biomechanical perspective, but also from a central nervous system and a lymph perspective as well, clearing toxins out of your system. So just breathing alone can make a huge impact on how someone feels. And it gives you the time to separate a little bit from whatever you’re currently dealing with. Taking a second to stop and breathe, get oxygen into your system, and just mentally separate from whatever it is you’re currently dealing with before you respond in maybe an angry or upset way. It gives you the opportunity to stop and think. So just breathing alone is a big one. And then focusing a lot more on the postural muscles, that’s the muscles on the back-side of your body. Any average person without any equipment can create a better spinal extension. How do they do that? Well, lay down on your stomach, lift your chest up off the floor, pick your arms up and squeeze your shoulder blades back. There’s an exercise that you often see in the sort of Insta-sphere, known as the Superman. What does that do for you? It creates spinal extension. It gets you out of a flexor state. We know that fight or flight mode is primarily a flexor position. All of your shoulders are rounding forward, your body’s tightening up and it’s creating compressive force against your lungs and your abdomen and it’s compressing your organs. That tells us that your body is in a stressed-out place. Well, you can stop, take a minute to breathe. And then focus on doing some spinal extension stuff like cat and cows, getting down on your knees, doing thoracic rotational movements just laying down on your side and twisting over from one side of the body to the other. All of that is a great way to separate yourself from your current activities and start moving your body in the opposite direction, which is more often than not most people are moving in a linear way, only moving forward. So neurologically, just neurologically, and there are great studies, we could look up study after study of what moving backwards does for the neurology and even helping in the process of preventing degenerative brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s, things like that. The neurology responds incredibly well to creating new movement patterns and creating new neurological pathways. I mean, it’s absolutely tremendous what you see when you just force someone to move backwards a few more times a week. And that’s a lot of what we try to integrate into just our warmup process. There are so many of my clients, I tell them, look, I don’t even I don’t want you to do anything else but do our dynamic warmup on the days off. When you’re not with me for the first couple of weeks, you’re just going to do this dynamic warmup for 5 to 10 minutes a day. And that alone, moving through all those different directions and movement patterns is going to be a great way, essentially like a coffee shop to your system to get you going. And just learning the difference between maximal contraction and minimal contraction. What does it mean for your body for you as an individual to sit and get as tight as possible in a particular muscle group or all of the muscles together creating that muscular integration from one muscle to the next versus totally relaxing. Most people have no idea that they’re in a pretty tense state most of the time, and that’s usually why they’re getting some kind of referred pain or something along those lines shooting down their neck or into their shoulder or down their leg. It’s because there’s a muscle in there that they are essentially unintentionally contracting. And just by going through the process of contracting it and relaxing it starts to sort of milk that muscle, move blood flow through it, it gets electricity going through there because we are, like it or not, we are electrical beings basically. And it starts to stimulate the electrical systems in the body to start stimulating then the biological systems, right? Your cells, your nerves, your muscular cells, all your tissues respond to you plugging in, stop and dropping your brain in the bucket for a second and just moving in an intentional way. And that’s one of the other things that I really, I really prefer that most of my clients don’t get into the habit of is just walking into the gym and dropping your brain in the bucket. I want them to be plugged in mentally. I want them to be in tune because it’s going to, number one, benefit you to the tune of knowing what you’re contracting and when, what is the purpose of this exercise, and how are you going to not only take it from what we are doing here in this isolated place in the gym but then translate that over to real life? What does it mean to use a deadlift in real life? What’s that actually going to look like? When you and I first talked, you said that one of the things you love doing is carrying rocks around, and that’s an awesome thing because that’s so functional. You may or may not actually have to lift something that way in real life. Well, what’s the difference between lifting a rock and lifting a nice balanced barbell? Well, those are certain positions that are going to be a little bit altered when you do that. So a lot of what we like to make sure that we do is we translate over those traditional, very optimal angularity type exercises like the deadlift, get your spine nice and straight, get your hips under, you get your body into the right position to do that. Well, what’s that going to look like when we translate this over to a more awkward object, something you have to lift in your house. You got to pick up your couch and move it across the room. Those are the types of things that we really try to key into and make sure that people are aware of because it has to translate over functionally. And you get a lot of those aha moments that are really fun for people because they go oh, wow, man, like Dan, every time I’m moving stuff around my house down here in South Florida, we get a lot of hurricanes, right? Every time hurricane season comes around, they’re like, man, Dan, I was thinking of you when I was doing my hurricane shutters because I had to move this sort of awkward thing that’s sharp and dangerous and heavy, and I was able to do it because you taught me how to do the deadlift properly, and then how to lift something up awkward when we’re doing a deadlift. You know what I mean? So those are those areas that if we just breathe, and we focus a lot more on pulling and using the back-side of the body, the posterior chain, and we really key in on the purpose of a given exercise, rather than just moving for the benefit of burning fat and building muscle or burning calories, you’ll see that those sort of traditional goals that people come into the gym with, those are going to happen anyway, burning calories is going to happen if you’re training, it’s happening if you’re sitting here right now thinking and talking. So if your goal is to really see results and really see benefits in your training, focus more on the functionality of that training and what it means to do it better. Pursue better in your training and you will see the results over time because you’re going to be empowered, you’re going to feel stronger, smarter, and more capable through that training.
Darin: So for years, maybe most of my life, people have been asking me, “What kind of foods do you eat? What kind of exercises do you do? What kind of water should I drink?” All of these things and so much more we put into a 21-day program so that can take you through a theme every day of knowledge, action, and then eating these delicious meals, working out, getting support, anchoring in these new habits so you can do what? So that you can kick ass. So you have the energy, the vitality to live the kind of life that you really want. That’s what it’s all about. So all in this app, we have grocery lists, we have education about real hydration and what greater oxygenation and the balance of alkalinization. All of these things we are diving into as you’re heading down this hero’s journey of implementation into a new life to give you the kind of life that you actually want. So join my Tribe. All you have to do is go 121tribe.com. Sign up, and you get three free days. Join me on this hero’s journey. Join the Tribe.
Darin: Ultimately, it’s about engaging and turning on and also turning off the body in ways that we’re all either repetitively moving forward destructively or we’re repetitively moving towards optimally. And that’s really where we have to kind of look at the man or woman in the mirror and say, okay, I’m contributing to my life, and what am I doing that’s causing issues, and what can I do to change that? And it’s not just working out. Working out is kind of a great thing, but it’s ultimately finding the joy and the balance and discovering your body in a new way.
Dan: Yeah. Again, there’s nothing wrong with the traditional goals of I want to see this look in the mirror, I want to burn these calories. That’s all good and well, but again, it is going to be a symptom of the process anyway so you might as well enjoy it. Me, man, I’m convinced I’ve got really bad ADD that’s undiagnosed, but it’s a process that makes it just a lot more fun too. Who wants to do the same old thing over and over again? That’s why you’re sick of your job. You want to engage in your training in such a way that it’s gonna keep you interested. How many bicep curls can you do before you get really bored? Are there different ways to do that? Are there different things you can hold when you do that? Absolutely. And that was really what created that mindset when I started exploring all these different tools that were out there and coming up with this sort of kinetic collective and all these inventors that I found and people who are creating awesome products like the breath belt and things like that. What was the way that someone was gonna connect with this tool and was it gonna give them an extra fire and passion or training consistently because I can’t tell you how many of my clients come to me and thank me for how bored they aren’t when we train. We never do the same workout twice and I tell them we’re doing the same stuff over and over again, we’re just doing it in different ways and providing different forms of stimulus using different tools. That’s what the tools provide, is the opportunity to tap into those primal movement patterns and the basic foundational movements, just a new and different and fun ways and help you to connect with that a little bit better and understand those movements in a functional space better. Again, because it all sounds good and well to be able to deadlift 500 pounds but that’s a nice balanced barbell that has really great grip on it and you can squeeze it and it really plug into the ground. Well, what about when you’re feet are in mud and you’re picking up a rock? Or you’re running on the other side of the paddock going to lift that horse and you step on its poop along the way, right? Those are the types of situations that the tools and modalities that I really, really have delved into deep, deep, deep with all these different product providers was to go on the exploratory journey myself being that I don’t have any particular sort of fitness goal in mind. I don’t have any strength goals in mind. I’m not looking to be a competitive athlete any time soon. My goal is the journey, and it’s moving forward with the purpose of exploring and finding and seeking out these different tools and all that they’re capable of, and the ways that the communities that they’re providing to and providing a service to with their products, how does those people connect with those things, and what is it about that particular tool that is really fueling people’s fire to learn more about their own bodies and how to explore the fitness space for themselves or the training space for themselves. What is it gonna do to help them train themselves better and ultimately solve a lot of their problems because that was a lot of what we saw with the innovations of like the breath belt for instance. That was a tool that’s literally just an elastic band with [00:44:03] on it. Well, it created an entire new intention on diaphragmatic breath training and providing resistance to the diaphragm, and giving people the opportunity to tap into what it feels like to breathe with that resistance without impeding the oxygen that’s coming in. We’re not stopping air from going into your nose but it feels a heck of a lot harder to breathe when you’ve got the resistance of the breath belt on there. And then on top of that, it also provides the pockets and things like that to be able to put tennis balls in there and massage the psoas.
Darin: It’s wonderful.
Dan: Yes, that was a response to having to have someone do psoas massage. I’m a strength conditioning coach, a 32-year-old male and father and husband. I can’t be putting my hands on everybody all the time, especially a new client, someone who’s not gonna be comfortable with it. So for me, it solved a lot of practical problems like that. It was like, okay, here, put this on, breathe against it. It’s gonna release your psoas and it’s gonna teach you to breathe diaphragmatically. And if you’re not breathing properly and you’re not bracing properly, you’re gonna know it because you’re gonna be stuck in wind the whole time. And that’s doing simple exercises not even really going out of our way to do a metabolic work. So a lot of it was just practical problem-solving to find those tools and again, get people the right person to connect with it. I even had some situations where it was like someone was gifting personal training sessions to a relative of theirs who they were forcing, dragging the out of the house to come to me because there was no way in hell they were coming in for a training session on their own. They didn’t want to be in the gym, they have a lot of sort of emotional trauma with self-appearance issues and all that type of stuff that they just didn’t want to be in the gym, it’s not an environment for them. And it was as simple as, well, why don’t we do this, bring them by, force them to come in and all they’re gonna have to do is lay down and breathe for 10 minutes. I’m gonna coach them through it, we’re gonna work on it. And let me tell you, man, just those few sessions alone were enough to unwind that person’s system in such a way that they did become more connected with the opportunity to train themselves and better understand their body from not only the biomechanical perspective but then also sort of the emotional attachments that they had to trauma and what was actually preventing them at psychological level from even wanting to be in the gym in the first place. That’s a huge off school that so many people face. And it’s being sort of imprisoned in your own mind and not allowing yourself to escape from the psychological aspects and resistances and obstacles of just making it into a gym or just getting up and moving. That’s an area that a lot of people really have trouble with. It’s like they’re so stressed out with work, they’re so stressed out with what their boss just said, they just got a text from their spouse about this or that, and now they’re really stressed, so it’s all piling up, and they just feel frozen and just feel stuck. And all they want to do is curl up and go to sleep when in fact, almost everybody who had ever trained goes, man, I feel so much better after this training session than I did when I came in. And I really feel like I’ve got enough mental clarity to be able to take on this stuff that I’ve been dealing with. And that’s one of the biggest benefits to the entire thing is how can you optimize yourself not just physically but also mentally, and those things go hand in hand. The emotional aspects of training the intellectual empowerment that you get from becoming physically more capable is irreplaceable and I call the muscle biological gold because the investment that you make in order to gain it is tremendous. It’s a lot of time and energy and effort over years and years and years. But once you have it and you teach yourself to keep it and you have the right skills and tools and capabilities to utilize it in those just crazy ways, not just lifting in the gym, but understanding that you need to straighten up and sit up straight or when you’re doing your work at the desk, those are the areas that really, really comes through to shine if you’ve been trained properly and educated properly during that process. And that’s, again, so important that we don’t drop our brain in the bucket when we do our training because we need to remember why it connects to what we actually do in real life. And training shouldn’t be your life. Training should enhance your life. And that’s my biggest purpose behind what I do with my work is to help people through that process and figure out how to learn, what to do with themselves when they don’t have me because the fact is, I typically got people for maybe 2 or 3 hours a week. There’s 168 hours in a week. If I’m not with you, and you’re relying on me to tell you what to do and teach you what to do all the time, then I haven’t done a very good job to teach you. So I always say that if I can train a client for a while and they feel good enough with our training and educated enough with our training that they never feel the need to come see me again, that’s actually a great thing because I’ve done a good enough job to teach them. Now, if they want to come and hang out just because they like me and they think I’m a good guy, that’s fine too but it really is my goal to be able to educate my clients and anyone I work with at such a level that they can understand how to take everything we’ve learned to the gym and apply it to their real life and what they actually do on a daily basis.
Darin: Yes, that’s great. Well, there’s gonna be a lot of people that you won’t be able to train one on one but you do have some amazing educational videos, you have amazing tools that you have curated over the years that people can have access to get in touch with and take a break from everything else in their lives and get in touch with their bodies. So where can people find you and where can they find some of these great curated tools that you have?
Dan: So everything that I do can essentially be found through my website, that’s livekinetically.com. My business is Kinetic Training. Live kinetically is my tagline. That’s really sort of the ethos behind everything I do is how do we live in such a way that we’re always pursuing a better way of optimizing ourselves. And the tools can essentially be found through all of that in my Instagram, so livekinetically.com. My Instagram is livekinetically. I’ve got my YouTube page which is all under the same name. So beyond that, because I do so much of the personal training space, I also have adapted to the sort of the post-Covid world by doing a lot more remote work. So, even my video analysis, my movement signature analysis can be done remotely with video work and a lot of my programming can as well because what we can do is it customize packages, equipment packages for people who want to utilize those things, or we can do body weight work as well. And I can really take a look at and evaluate people from a remote perspective, and then just give them much more customized tools because I don’t love the sort of generalized programming space, it’s just not me. I really do prefer to be able to do that movement signature analysis with my clients whether they’re remote or in person. And I even offer access to a company called Fitness Genes that does genetic testing that allows us to get a much better foundational basis for their genetics, how their body response to even certain rep ranges and loads, are they more responsive to heavy weight or light weight, cardiovascular work or combination, as well as their nutrition. Those are all those different areas that really help us start off on the right foot and then we can really customize our program and make it fun if you get a hold of say, you know, products like the BAMF hammer and the inertia wave and the breath belt. We can build an entire customized programs around that and your lifestyle. So that’s where it really gets to be fun.
Darin: That sounds good and comprehensive and I’m a big fan of Fitness Genes as well. So Dr. Dan and I are buddies.
Dan: Oh, really, I love that guy.
Darin: He’s the best. So dude, so great and thank you for dumping the knowledge and being an advocate for individual’s health and wellness and just being better people. And I appreciate your time, man. And anyone who wants to check Dan out, he’s got a ton of information that will help steer you towards a healthy body. Thanks, brother.
Dan: I really appreciate it, man. Thank you so much for having me, and I appreciate the work you’re doing as well. I’ve learned a lot from your book, Superlife, as well as this podcast. It’s been an amazing journey, can’t wait to keep growing with you, man.
Darin: Sounds good. Thanks, brother.
Darin: That was a fantastic episode. What was the one thing that you got out of today’s conversation? If today’s episode struck a chord with you, and you want to dive a little deeper on a variety of topics, check out my live deep dives on darinolien.com/deepdive. More episodes are available on darinolien.com as well. Keep diving my friends, keep diving.
Darin: This episode is produced by my team at Must Amplify, an audio marketing company that specializes in giving a voice to a brand and making sure the right people hear it. If you would like or are thinking about doing a podcast or even would like a strategy session to add your voice to your brand in a powerful way, go to www.mustamplify.com/darin. That’s www.mustamplify.com/darin.