Epinephrine AKA Adrenaline is the hormone which takes you into the state of excitement. Inside the gym, we can use the arousal to boost our performance. I mean, did you think some people were out here slapping backs for fun? Coaches like me clap loud to the point of pain to pump up your adrenaline so you can get focused for intense lifting too. If adrenaline in the training room is so useful, why not spend a lot of time fostering it and learn to use this power for your benefit.
- Fight Sports learn to defend yourself
- Hike… really really far
- Technical lift
- Lift to failure
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What’d we say? | Podcast Transcript
What’s good with you. Thanks for joining me. Welcome to my show. Ego Killer. I’m Johann Francis CSCS, and this is the show where we talk all the moves you need to be making inside the gym so you can move and live better. When you’re outside living your life.
The goals we’re looking to accomplish inside the gym, it’s easy cuz sometimes to misidentify them or misrepresent them, right? Because, and any given Monday we’re over here trying to do overhead presses, we’re trying to learn new techniques. Calisthenic moves, right? Maybe you guys are down with doing only body weight, whatever it is. You’re trying to get to a set in a rep count. And that’s your goal. That’s your micro cycle for the day. Ultimately you could get not necessarily lost, but caught up in doing that and achieving and accomplishing and going for those goals week over week until someone, hopefully your coach, hopefully the homies, the homegirls will ask you, like what are you trying to accomplish at the end of the day? Like what’s your goal?
The biggest goal that we’re going to adopt if we don’t have a concrete goal, is that maybe it anchors our life. Maybe we do this so that we feel better on it daily. Maybe it’s just to improve our mood. But I think what it is a lot of the times is we’re trying to govern or see what the limitations of the ego are this week. What is it that our ego is preventing us from getting over? How much of what we learned from the previous week, previous times is actually bullying and helping our ego get dipped so we could get stronger and better. We get stronger and better with our bodies utilizing it staving off injury, right? Staving off the doctor. You actually become better steward and advocate for your friends, your homies, the family, everybody in your life. You become a better version of yourself.
You know, the truest meaning of the ego, like death and rebirth at the end of that journey, right? The hero’s journey, as it’s told the motif of the hero’s journey involves shedding the ego and then doing what well, it involves telling the story, sharing it with others. And I think that’s why we do the thing we do in the training room. We want to get stronger so that we could share the story of how we overcame and got stronger. Well, how we get there, that’s a matter of your own personal preelection right? How you get to the point where you’re able to tell others about the, the, the process of building yourself back up, building yourself a little bit stronger, looking good when you didn’t think you could, right? The means that you go about doing that well, they’re based on your own personal experiences in your life.
That extends a whole gradient from those of us who just like being kind of active and using something like Pilates as soul fitness, something that’s rather benign at the end of the day, not mega intense, all the way to folks having to get into gym battles in gym wars, doing the fighting thing, lifting really heavy weight man or woman doesn’t matter inside the gym, you could be as milk toasty as it comes, or you could be a straight up adrenaline junkie straight up, adrenaline junkies, get the work done. But there is something to learn. I think from what we might perceive as those people who are really extreme.
Okay. And I mean the life of someone who is an adrenaline junkie takes a lot of different forms. It doesn’t always have to be about how you spend the Saturday and Sunday, defying gravity in all this, right? Maybe you just like to push yourself to the absolute limit and then take out all of your aggression inside the gym. Right? I would consider you a type of adrenaline feed as it were. Right. I would kind of consider that too. Then again, there are straight up those among us who like to take on every fitness challenge and go as hard as we can. It is. It’s a reason that all those obstacle obstacle course races are so popular because inside of those races, you’re literally defying every limitation, the physical limitations of the world around us and your own mental psychomotor, physical, physical barriers themselves, like what you thought your body could do, what it can do all under the guise of getting your shirt really, really, really muddy.
You know what I mean? There’s a reason why those courses are super popular is because adrenaline is a good thing. And I’m gonna make a case for you guys. Why not only is it a good thing, but we should all become adrenaline junkies to some measure. There’s this, those among us that are really Demir about it, right? Like, yo, I like what I like. I like what I like behind a few glasses of wine. I could read a good book. I could watch a good TV show, maybe a soap or something like this. <Laugh> right. Like my mother, you can do all of these things and just be really low key about yours. But what I found over the years from training and working with people like you, there’s a little bit of adrenaline hungry, human up in you too.
And all I’m saying is I need for you guys to also understand that you gotta let that thing out. And that’s because the nature of adrenaline is there for us to actually engage more in what we do physically and is there to help us. So there is no, no, no dishonor, right? It is not an IG normal event to let your adrenaline junk. You just run loose. If not for an hour or two, how do we sperm adrenaline? How do we use it? Well, let’s talk about why. All right. It’s because it keeps you ultra freaking focused. It keeps the muscles, the skeletal muscles, the ones that create movement of your skeleton in your body. It keeps them during these bouts of adrenaline spiking and releasing, it keeps those skeleton muscles moving at the highest tension it could produce. It keeps you hyper focused, right?
This is not fight or flight. This is not the domain of what we call heightened nervousness. This instead is a useful state where the body is able to achieve a lot behind some great focus. We have to teach and should teach ourselves that we know what to do when adrenaline comes our way. So adrenaline inside our body elicits what you guys might already know as fight or flight, although that can come about for a number of other triggers that are environmental, right? Where the environment around us stimulates what epinephrine is inside of your body. And once it’s released and received inside the body, you feel that that response it’s either dig deep or get the hell out of there, fight or flight. But when we’re talking about physicality and it is mostly a physical hormone, not a physical response, becoming in an adrenaline junkie or learning to become one is a great, great thing. Okay?
Epinephrine, AKA adrenaline is that hormone that takes you into this state of hyper excitement. You can boost your performance whenever you release it. So if you guys ever watch the likes of YouTubes, most accomplished Olympic lifters or power lifters or whatever, even if you’re just kind of on Insta, looking around him, you see people lifting weights really heavily, right? You might see dudes slapping each other across the back. Okay? And this like ritual has a lot of purpose behind it. Doesn’t it that striking causing the pain, getting super rowdy is there to pump the lifter up because as the lifter starts to perceive the environment of cacophony of slaps and yells that blood flow gets going, man. And all of a sudden those weights that looked like they were just bolted to the ground. All of a sudden get a little bit lighter. And look when we’re lifting heavy every little bit counts.
Follow me for a second. If you’re not into football or if you don’t play whatever, but you ever see the college football team during their summer weightlifting sessions. And I think I’ve talked about this before, but go and watch your ESPN or go on to instance, see what the college football team is doing right now inside of the strength and conditioning room. They are shoving each other around like they’re in a mosh pit, but they’re inside the weight room and there’s 400 pounds somewhere nearby. I guarantee it. And the whole goal is to hype mans up. So mans could make that bar travel in some other worldly orbit and toy gravity for just a few seconds. And all the yelling and hollering that ritual there is designed again to boost the adrenaline.
And that’s what it does. It takes all the blood. You know, it, it, it, it denies all the blood flow to smooth muscle tissue, right? That is the sympathetic nervous system. Like all the stuff that you’re not controlling, blinking and breathing, it gets takes all the blood away from those muscles. You think, oh, that’s bad. Well, it shunts it all to the skeletal muscles so that you can get to acting right? When that adrenaline hits, you can get to moving. You can get the lifting, you can get the jamming out of the room. If you need to, you can make focused, aware, problem solving mechanisms of the body happen real quick. That’s adrenaline for you, right? When that adrenaline is received, blood vessels open up and our muscular tension gets better. That’s why when I have you guys inside the gym, even if you’re lifting something that is in the mainstream, not very heavy, but it is really heavy for you.
Well, you can catch me clapping. <Laugh> like an absolute, just full <laugh>. Just, you can catch me clapping to the point where my hands hurt, because what I’m trying to do is I’m trying to get you pumped up so you could get into your intense lifting. It heightens everything. And boy is that, look, that is fun. When all of the, the intensity of a workout gets to a fever pitch, man, that is fun. <Laugh> and it feels good afterwards. A lot of you actually live this way outside of the gym. So it’s great. You actually have this mechanism or this means to establish adrenaline. Maybe you’re somebody that likes to maybe you’re into fight sports, right? And you do a lot of sparring, right? I’m very familiar with that world. That’s one way that you can call people being adrenaline junk, maybe you’re outside. And you’re like doing all of the events, you know, you’re kayaking.
Are you doing all of the out outdoor stuff? I don’t know if you’re on the mountain and doing all this stuff. I don’t know if you’re jumping out of planes and the, like, these things are traditional. You’re doing any type of high speed racing. Maybe you own fast cars and motor cycles and bikes and all this, all of these are forms of adrenaline, but not very like common or mainstream. So how look, there’s no way I’m going to be able to convince you guys that all of a sudden, you know, go into your, your car and redo the headers and get an air intake so that your car has 600 horsepower. And now you’re an adrenaline junkie. No, no, no. That’s a hard sell. And it’s a dumb one. It’s not something I fully expect from you guys, but becoming an adrenaline. We got to get there.
We’re gonna find a way for us to become adrenaline junkies. And I have three things that everybody should try in order to not only utilize, but to get more familiar with the adrenaline that your body is able to spike. Cuz if there’s one thing about the epinephrine inside your body, your body gets used to it and needs less of it to respond to new stimulus. So let’s say that you were all of a sudden required to climb a really steep rock. You know, you’re chilling at the beach, you know, you’re hanging out with the friends or you got your, your doggy and you’re at the beach and you’re just kind of cruising about, and you get kind of lost you look up. And the only way that you can see out is to kind of hike upward. And this is a little foreshadowing for what we’re gonna talk about later, but will then your adrenaline it’ll peak pretty quickly as you start to get ready for the physical challenge in front of you, the needs of certain muscles and movement patterns that you’re not really used to.
Well, let’s just say you accomplish that many weeks later, you decide to go back and you try it again. This time for fun instead of out a necessity and it’s a lot less scary. Well, your body has already been there before, walks it off and you respond by producing less epinephrine or adrenaline inside your body. You’ve just learned to utilize adrenaline just enough. And since this is pretty useful and there isn’t really a scientific withdrawal like from being an adrenaline junkie where you kind of withdraw and you’re down and you need the adrenaline rush, this is kind of an overstated platitude. The truth is you can use that feeling to actually hype you up like me, clapping maniacally inside the gym. When you have to lift or the homies, the football players inside the weight room with the TikTok ready clapping for their teammates. It is to be used in portions. So number one, learn to defend yourself. This is the first way that we’re all gonna become adrenaline junkies or at least learn to utilize it. And thus downregulate and upregulate is needed. Learn to defend yourself, go to the school, go to the dojo, take the classes, learn a fight sport, learn a grappling sport, but learn the ones where you are actively learning how to address physical harm.
I know that if I’ve ever been inside of a like CRA Maah class or lesson, and you know what I mean? You have to not just to finish yourself, but you’re also learning techniques where it’s just about go. You just have to go. I know all of a sudden what feels really calm and normal to me personally. And I don’t know if this is the same for you. I imagine that this is a great way to learn how to utilize your adrenaline, but what feels calm to me in those situations, all of a sudden becomes foreign. And now, now I got the big pupils out and now I’m looking at my next move like, Ooh, should I do that? And you have no time to really think, and your body is really primed, right? Getting used to that feeling, getting used to the entropy outside in life, right?
This is why we wanna learn how to do this. Learn to defend yourself, learn to defend yourself from dangerous situations. And eventually, as I talked about before from weapons and attack and someone running up on you trying to take your, learn to defend yourself. This is a great way to learn how to utilize adrenaline in those situations and to expose yourself, right? So you could downregulate it when you really, really need it. Here’s my second way that we’re gonna become adrenaline junkies. I want you to hop on either your bike or you’re not into the bike. I want you to pull out your Asics or your shoes, whatever shoes you have and go for a hike, go for a walk. Let’s just call the walk a hike and go really far. That’s it. That’s all you gotta do. Not in the car, right?
That’s not physical. Go really far on your hike. Never been a few times where I’ve been out me personally, again, just to give myself a personal example, hopefully you can find a little value in this example and then try it on your own, like where I’ve been hiking with other people. And like all of a sudden I’m like, you know, a little high and you wanna start thinking about going back and all of a sudden the adrenaline starts to pick up, right? It’s a little high, maybe the air’s thinning, but this is a great adaptation for your body. Your body will adapt. We wanna also remember that, but it’s also like, yo, how high are we going? Do you know how to get back? They’re Bobcats or what’s mountain lions. Like all of these start to become real things that you think about inside your mind.
So I like to get to that place if you’re not into learning, to defend yourself, which I suggest everybody does go for a hike and go farther than you have before. Right? Maybe even bring a bag, bring a pack so that it’s a little bit heavier so that your hike becomes a little bit more intense. So you have to go farther and come back. Talk to me then, right? I want to hear that you guys tried something like this and how good it felt later on, cuz I guarantee that’s gonna make you feel really good when you get back, knowing that you push that adrenaline up a little bit higher and for the last way that we’re gonna become adrenaline junkies. I wanna encourage you guys to start learning to technical lift Olympic lift. Okay. I wanna encourage you guys to learn, to do hand cleans, power cleans, snatches, overhead presses, ATG squats, do the same, all that stuff with kettlebells and do it for what you might call a triple I’m more into doing it for three, five, you know, to eight reps.
And look, look for your 80% maxes. Go to that place where you don’t know if you can complete the lift on rep number five, if it’s too heavy, cuz look, you always have the option to pull some weight off, but go to your five max and not be uncertain about being able to do it for sixth rep right there, and then give it your best shot. Now you need somebody to teach you how to bail out. If that weight starts flying up in the air and you decide, oh, this ain’t for me. It was all good right up until that last hitch and just drop the weight step back and move away. Right? Don’t end up on Jim fuckery and learn to technical lift. I think this is really a benefit for everybody involved, not just for the metabolic benefit, not just for the conditioning of all of those movement patterns and functional movements that are so you know, usable in, in general in life.
But it really teaches us to use our adrenaline. There’s nothing like pulling up on a bar, literally walking up to a bar that you’ve loaded yourself and you’re ready to get active with it and thinking, man, man, I don’t even know if I could do three, let alone. I’m supposed to do six. That feeling, this is super rewarding to piggyback off that lift heavy lift heavy. When I see and hear that you guys are avoiding lifting heavy. I cringe because I know that you’re missing out. You’re missing out on the feeling of not being sure how much of a spot you’re gonna need. Or if you said, Hey, I’m gonna go ahead and lift six of these. Maybe at three, it’s gonna get really tough. Adrenaline starts to kick in. All right? So those are my three number one, start learning to defend yourself or learning some kind of fighting art.
Number two, go for a ride or a hike or a run. That’s go farther than you have before. Take a different route. Figure out how to get back. Look, I would not have said this in 2000 when there wasn’t a GPS on every single phone. Now there is. And of course I already know you guys smart as you are. You’re gonna tell your loved ones. I’m going out really, really far today. Before you go, you’re gonna do the app where it’s like I could check in and you could check in, we’re gonna be smart about this as we go really, really far, but go ahead and a don’t play it safe, right? And number three, learn to lift heavy and technical lift. These are just three that I think everybody can get into today to boost the adrenaline that has little to do with learning, how to belay or whatever.
And because of that, I think everybody should try at least one of these things. So go take your next boxing class and maybe get good enough to get to the point where you have to defend yourself or have someone swinging at you. All of these are gonna unlock parts of our body that we didn’t know when you had to utilize. And thereby we get to check the ego, right? It’s all about checking that ego and learning to use it for our advantage. So let me know how it goes. Ego killer show.com. And if you like this episode, raid it on apple podcast. You’ll get a gift for five stars, a free guest. I promise until then stay up, stay up