The Bledsoe Show

Kettlebell and Functional Mushrooms with Ian Gilligan

Kettlebell and Functional Mushrooms with Ian Gilligan

In this episode, I have Ian Gilligan – Founder of Kettlebell Collective, Co-Founder of Remarkable Wellness, and coach at F45 Training Del Mar and EDGE in San Marcos, CA. We talked about functional mushrooms, kettlebells, breathwork, and some psychedeclic tangents as well. Enjoy!

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Table Of Contents

Episode Introduction

Mike: Yeah. So, it seems to be, I know it is for me and I know that I tend to put myself in bubbles. I create a bubble and then live in it. And the bubble I'm in is flow is a common thing. Doing kettlebell flows and mace flows and animal flows are becoming more and more common. And I think it's coming up on other people's radar too. So, how do you get, what got you into the flow work for one? Was that your entry point to a lot of the fitness stuff? Were you doing a lot more structured fitness stuff and then got into flow work? How did that work?

Ian: I was always interested in mindfulness practices and meditation. So, I think it started with that and I was probably in my late teens and 20s whenever I started doing a lot of meditation and exploring that. I always into playing sports and staying active but it was much later, much more recently that I connected that mental stillness with actually doing something in terms of movement.

Turning movement practice into a meditation

Mike: Yeah. Okay, that's really cool man. I find the same thing over, I'd say the last five years stumbling around and turning my movement practice into meditation. Where people go, oh I need to be training with other people or this or that. And I am more of the opinion of I'd like to train by myself and get in my own little zone. But mixing it with other people tends to be really distracting.

Ian: Yeah. I notice that a lot in yoga classes where I'm trying to keep up basically with the cues and I'm just like, oh, this isn't really right for me. I don't need to breathe yet? I kind of want to hang out here a bit. But I guess the beauty of the group setting is you actually do it whereas if you're by yourself you don't always.

Mike: That's true. I think for the majority of people out there, just getting in there and doing it is, that's the highest leverage thing for them. Otherwise, they're just not going to do it. So, it's better to do that than nothing.

And I had a breakthrough in yoga a few years ago where I realized I can do whatever the fuck I want on the mat. Instead of trying to keep up with everybody, it's like I might fall behind or I don't do the exact pose or talking about and yeah I am feeling or oh I want to breathe here, I want to stay here for a second and breathe or something here for me. Or I want to go a little slower. Then, that's okay.

Breathing deep is much important

Mike: I tell people a lot of times, I do some movement stuff, really light movement stuff when we do Training Camp for the Soul and the majority of that is I say, you know what, if… Most of the yoga that people are doing is super advanced in a way. I don't want to say it's super-advanced but you're being led through poses and if you look around the room, people are breathing really short and they're just trying to hit the pose but their breath is all fucked up. And I go, if you can't breathe through the movement, don't do the movement or maybe push into that a little bit.

But when I go to yoga class and most people come out and they're rejuvenated and it was good for them and all that but it could have been way better had they gone at their own pace and breathe deep the whole time.

Ian: There's one of the famous yogis who says, “If you aren't uniting the body, the breath, and the mind, then it's not yoga.” And I think that's the challenge we're talking about. We know there's a palpable difference when those things are in alignment versus I'm just trying to keep up and I don't want to look weird in the corner.

Mike: Yeah. I've talked to a lot of people. Living here in Encinitas, it's debatably the yoga Mecca of the United States. I think there are teacher training every other block and you've got the Temple of Self Realization where Yogananda decided to put something which is really cool. One of the things I love about this town and I have a lot of people all day go, “You do yoga?”

Ian's exposure to yoga

Mike: My yoga just looks a little bit different. I'm usually in the garage by myself playing house music and I'm matching my breath and my movement and I'm in a meditative state and so it's really rejuvenating. So, I like to point that out as people, I think a lot of times think yoga is this thing. It looks like you're stretching and there's somebody at the front of the room. But it's much more than that. Do you teach yoga classes?

Ian: I do. Right now I teach Yin Yoga. So, I did a teacher training about three years ago. I was in corporate banking for 10 years; quit that, drove to Encinitas basically to reboot everything.

Mike: From where?

Ian: From Pittsburgh. One thing that came up in the yoga teacher training is just that the physical postures are a very small part and there are many traditions that don't even include those. A lot of Yogananda's work doesn't include physical postures. But yeah, that's what on Instagram and it could be a gateway to other things.

Mike: Yeah. Yoga as fitness.

Ian: Right.

Mike: I was reading a series of yoga books and realizing the original yoga was just meditation and then there was this way of sitting and this way of breathing. And then there was, some guy came along and said, “Well, if we do these three exercises, if we do these three movements, postures whatever, then we can sit up better.” I can sit better, I can be stronger and it was for the purpose of meditation. And then someone else said, “Well, those three movements are great but I've got some other movements too.” And the next thing you know we have power yoga.

Ian's Take on Breathwork and Transcendental Meditation

Ian's Take on Breathwork and Transcendental Meditation
Photographer: Joshua Earle | Source: Unsplash

Mike: I want to point out, you're into the kettlebells, you're into the yoga, you're into the breathwork which if you get very far into yoga you're in breathwork. And then you've got the mushrooms. So, I want to point out, as we go through this show, we're going to cover all these topics. So, tell me about your take on breath because you're doing stuff with breathwork.

Ian: So, I notice breathwork is a means to ground oneself and quiet the chatter of the mind which I think physical movements can do that as well; yoga and certain workouts and everything. Going really intense in a cross-fit workout may give you just a quick reprieve. So, I've had a noisy mind I'd say throughout most of my life. So, I've been drawn to meditation. What are the different ways that I can quiet this?

Mike: Do you think your mind is noisier than the average?

Ian: I used to until I started to talk to other people about it. Yeah, based on the bubble that I'm in it's probably not noisier than the average person in that bubble.

Mike: Not noisier? Anyway, so you started getting into breathwork. Did you try to go down the meditation route?

Ian: I did transcendental meditation and paid for, it's a hefty fee. Sat with this guy and this was back when I was in Pittsburgh for a couple of days and he gave me my mantra. We went through the ceremony and everything and I crushed it for 40 days and I was at my desk job and I'm just like, wow this is interesting. I'm clear. I'm getting upset at work, I'm getting stressed but I'm getting over it much quicker.

Transcendental Meditation

Mike: What is your mantra if you don't mind me asking?

Ian: I'm not allowed to say.

Mike: You're not allowed to say!

Ian: No, that's one of the things you agree to learn transcendental meditation.

Mike: Really?

Ian: Yeah.

Mike: It's one of the things I have not tried. I went to an introduction at Burning Man and it just didn't connect. And then I just never went back and tried. However, I have friends that have done all sorts of things. They've done TM, they've sweared that it's the best thing ever.

Ian: Yeah. I don't see it as that far better than most forms of meditation. They have a unique angle on the mantra but I think it's just the consistency. What I liked about TM were all the studies that they had behind it. So, they were able to present a lot of compelling data. It was very interesting. Yeah, But, yeah.

Mike: So, you started doing TM.

Ian: Yeah, did that and then… Growing up in Pittsburgh, my group of friends, we'd go out and we'd drink pretty heavily on the weekend. During the week is fine. So, I went 40 days basically without it and I was just like, okay this is cool.

Mike: Without booze.

Ian: Yeah.

Mike: Was it because you had the mantra or was this like, I'm changing my life right now and TM is a part of this?

Ian: I don't recall exactly but it just, it didn't come up at the time. So, then I did go out one weekend and I felt like I was just knocked back to square one basically. So, I still come back-

Getting introduced to breathwork

Mike: When you say knocked back to square one your mind went back to being full of chatter and you were annoyed with yourself or?

Ian: Yeah. I lost that composure or equanimity.

Mike: Yeah.

Ian: As the ability, I guess to not get attached to stressful situations or things that would come up in work and…

Mike: Was old Ian an asshole? Is that what was going on here?

Ian: Depends on who you ask. I think some people definitely say that. Yeah, some people still say that I'd say.

Mike: Well of course. Now, so you got into meditation; that led you to breathwork. What came first?

Ian: Right. So, I was talking with a girl on Instagram and she was into this self-development.

Mike: It's always a girl on Instagram. Yeah, a couple of those right now but…

Ian: Let's put a pin in that, we'll come back.

Mike: Yeah, come back to the girls on Instagram. I love you. I love you ladies.

Ian: Here we go. So, she said, “Yeah I'm going to this breathwork thing, why don't you come check it out?” So, I went and it's the breathwork that I'm trying to do now that I'm teaching. And I was like, wow this is really weird. People are crying around me. People are screaming. I'm just like, this is very odd. This is uncomfortable.

Mike: You just scared everyone away from breathwork. By the way, there are different styles of breathwork.

Ian: Absolutely. Yeah.

Mike: Anyways-

Ian: So, this is intense like you're gunning it. You're pushing-

Mike: I'm glad you said that. There's variations of this. If you're going to a breathwork workshop, the possibility of you ending up crying, in tears and all this stuff is unlikely from my experience.

Different types of breathwork

Mike: The average breathwork, you may access some things that you didn't know were there and all that but there are different, I don't know if levels is the right word but different types where some breathwork is intentionally digging up a lot of emotional stuff where I've watched people experience things that they go, “Wow I've never experienced that before.” But, go ahead.

Ian: Yeah. So, at first time, I was like, huh I think there's something here. So, I kept going back and then the more comfortable I got, the more I gave into it. And this took me quite a while to basically just give into it. Whenever I first start I'm constantly thinking, oh this is very uncomfortable, I got to swallow, my mouth is dry. I'm thinking and like, am I breathing too hard; do I stop now?

Why am I not doing retentions like they say to do in Wim Hof? And just all those things so, eventually just got to, I got… My degree of comfort increased and that allowed me to just say, fuck it, I'm just going for it. And then that's whenever I had some deeper sensations and experiences and just felt a profound sense of coming out of that feeling, a profound sense of being grounded and centered.

Mike: Yeah. What's that breathwork called?

Ian: It doesn't have a name but the style is from a guy called David Elliot and there's a woman in Encinitas, Danielle Herring who I learned most of it from. I did one of her teacher trainings which was a weekend and then I did a weekend with David as well.

Mike: Yeah. I've been making up my breathwork so maybe I'll start a certification.

Ian: You should. Why not?

Mike: Yeah.

The danger of getting stuck on awareness

Ian: Well, actually I think the Enlifted, the Procabulary approach, it's something I'm going to start pairing with these workshops but I think they got something there.

Mike: Yeah. We would love that. That's the whole intention of what we're doing with that is… Because here's the thing is, I rarely do breathwork as an isolated event as far as, if I'm facilitating a breathwork session, I only do it in the context, every once in awhile I'll do it for friends. Like gather at the beach or I'll do a workshop, just give someone a taste of something. But the majority of the breathwork that I use is at Training Camp of the Soul where we're doing, it's in the context of all this other work. In my experience with breathwork is it's a great way to open the door and create that calmness, that peace and that getting access to things you would not normally have access to.

Mike: And everybody has based on their experience, different degrees of tools that they can use to deal with what they get access to. I want to say it's dangerous but I think, it's dangerous in that people get stuck on awareness. So, there are different levels of, I will say different stages of development. So, if you're going to get good at something, a lot of times you have to experience before you can get good at something before you can develop it is you have to have awareness around. And I think that western culture has been trained to think that awareness is the completion.

But they didn't actually practically apply it to their life. And so there's a warning against awareness. Awareness is like congratulations, now the real work begins.

Breathwork plus storywork in Enlifted

Mike: And I think a lot of times people assume that awareness is the work when the work begins after the awareness. And then that's where the tools really come in place because you don't have the tools, you don't know where to go from. And this is where doing the breathwork along with the story work comes in super handy is because those are the tools. Calm the mind down, get access to something and then now use the language tools to form new thoughts or new patterns or whatever it may be.

So, I think the breathwork movement, the Wim Hof coming along has been fucking awesome. It was one of the… I think without Wim Hof it wouldn't be very, very popular. I'd be doing some breathwork but it would be, all I have to do now is like, “All right, there's going to be Wim Hof.” And everyone goes, “Oh.” Nods their head and like, “Cool.” So, they already have an idea what's going on.

Ian: Yeah. Conditioned a lot of people to be open to it.

Combining Functional Mushrooms with Breathwork

Combining Functional Mushrooms with Breathwork
Photographer: Andrew Ridley | Source: Unsplash

Ian: So, right now, I did my first one a couple of weeks ago and it was just an hour and a half. We serve up some of the medicinal functional mushrooms from Remarkable Wellness and give a little talk about the mushrooms and just the basics on how to do the breathwork, we do it. And if people wanted to share at the end, they had that opportunity to do so.

Mike: That's cool. So, you're combining functional mushrooms with breath which sounds awesome. And these are cordyceps and lion's mane.

Ian: Cordyceps and lion's mane, yeah.

Mike: What are the benefits to those by themselves and why are you combining them with breathwork?

Ian: Across the board, the mushrooms have the profound immune modulating capacity. So, it won't blindly spike the immune system and it won't down-regulate the immune system but it helps as pathogens and stressors come to the body, it helps the body more skillfully respond to those stressors. And that's true for the majority of these, the top medicinal mushrooms. To some degree, you get these polysaccharides and beta-glucans in the more popular mushrooms that you buy but not at all to the extent that you would in these ones that have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years.

Ian: So, beyond that, there are specific applications. So, cordyceps, they've found that it can increase oxygen absorption and speed the turnover of lactic acid in the body. So, there's a couple runners in China that attributed their record-breaking success to the use of cordyceps.

The power of cordyceps

Mike: Yeah, this was, this one gets really… I love looking at plants and all those fungus that we're eating and the benefits they bring and I think everybody wants to know the scientific reason. Why do cordyceps do this and yeah, I think is it a vasodilator to a degree?

Ian: Within the lungs it is.

Mike: Yeah. So, it increases the ability to uptake oxygen to deliver oxygen. I notice cordyceps, when I take cordyceps I experience more energy and so… But cordyceps a lot of times, they grow where there's not, at high altitudes right?

Ian: Yeah. Traditionally.

Mike: So, a lot of these plants that were developed at high altitudes, when you consume them, help you consume oxygen better. We'll say better. And I always think that's fascinating. I go, oh shit, we just consume these plants in a high altitude and now we're able to better use oxygen where the pressure of oxygen is lower up there. It's like, oh this is fucking cool. I love how the interconnectedness of everything becomes obvious.

Mike: So, we get down into like, oh what's exactly happening in the body and then the more experience I get with all this stuff, the more I am, and people don't want to hear this but this is how I like to think about it. And people who don't care about science too much, they like it like this too which is look, it's the energy of that plant. The energy of that plant is to learn how to survive at altitude. And so if you consume it, you're going to have the attributes of something that can survive at altitude.

What cordyceps do ants

Mike: So, the cordyceps thing is fucking awesome because it improves blood flow in the body and delivery of oxygen. Of course it's growing up in that altitude. Does it, the original grow on a caterpillar?

Ian: Yeah. The original cordyceps basically takes over, they actually infects all kinds if insects, ants and stuff. There are some great videos on YouTube of an ant, a great video on YouTube of an ant being under the effects of the cordyceps and it turns the ant into a zombie. The ant will climb up a tree and it looks like it's in a daze and it takes its-

Mike: What does an ant that's in a daze look like?

Ian: Yeah, basically. And it just strays off from all the other ants and they believe that it's the spore of the cordyceps programs the ant's mind to take it to a high altitude above the ant mound. And then it takes its forceps I think they are called and just clamps into the tree and then it dies. And then all of a sudden you see this mushroom explode through the skull of this ant.

Mike: Oh my gosh!

Ian: At that high altitude it then releases all of its spores to go down and infect all the other ants.

Mike: Mushrooms are fucking crazy people.

Ian: Yeah they are.

Mike: I love them.

Ian: It's nuts. And the ants have grown an awareness to see who's infected in their colony. So, some will pick up the infected ones and carry them away.

Mike: So, we're eating this mushroom that does this to ants.

Ian: Well, the one that we're eating isn't quite the same as that and it's not, in most cases it's not the same as the caterpillar one.

Cordyceps effect on testosterone

Ian: Yeah the original ones with caterpillars. High in the plains of Tibet it's believed that these yak herders noticed their yaks digging at the ground and eating something and then all of a sudden the yaks got horny, they started mating and they were like, what is this? So, the herdsmen picked up these caterpillars took it to the monks and they studied it.

Mike: Oh man.

Ian: And so that's another side effect that some people report is an increase in testosterone.

Mike: Man, I've been horny for years. It's the cordyceps!

Ian: It is. There we go.

Mike: It's the… Problem solved. I'm cutting it off tomorrow. This has actually been causing me a lot of-

Ian: This needs to end.

Mike: … trouble in my life. A lot of trouble. It's made things complicated. Well, now I have something to blame it on and I don't have to take responsibility for my actions so this is perfect. It's the cordyceps. It's the fucking cordyceps.

Ian: Yeah, awesome.

Mike: Yeah. All right, so the cordyceps, what else do we know about this? This is fun.

Ian: So, the cordyceps of that nature basically for a number of reasons people don't want to be harvesting these… So, the mass-produce mushroom products aren't ground off the caterpillars.

Mike: Yeah.

Ian: There's huge racket though with that and there are tons of stories about how at a certain time of the year the local peoples just go out and just forage for these things and there are tons and tons of money to be made off of these cordyceps. They'll even toss in little lead cylinders inside the cordyceps because they sell them by weight. So, they make it, you know.

Mike: Ooh, that sounds dangerous.

How Ian gets his cordyceps

Mike: Yeah, it's like I'm eating cordyceps with lead in them. So, how do you get your functional mushrooms?

Ian: So, our functional mushrooms are organically grown and we work with a supplier who… We do dual extraction of the fruiting body and the fruiting body is basically what you see in the store and the root structure is the mycelium. There's nothing wrong with mycelium, you'll see a lot of cheaper products sell mycelium based.

Mike: Or say mycelium mass or mycelium biomass.

Ian: Biomass, yeah.

Mike: Yeah.

Ian: Nothing wrong with that. There are some studies that suggest benefits to that as well. The thousands of years of traditional Chinese medicine has been focused on the fruiting body but the problem we see with the mycelium based products is that you're getting more than just the mycelium because it's virtually impossible to separate those thin fiber strands of mycelium from the substrate that they're grounded. So, you're getting some grain and something else and it may say 500 milligrams of lion's mane mycelium well it's like, well how much actual lion's mane is there?

Mike: Yeah.

Ian: So, we work with a supplier that does the dual extraction fruiting body only.

Mike: Got it. All right, so using cordyceps makes sense, improves oxygen uptake, blood flow, and horniness. So, which is always what I want.

Ian: Proves everything.

Benefits of Lion's Mane

Ian: Yeah. So, Lion's Mane has some interesting impacts on the brain. It can boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor, they believe it re-grows neurons. But the vast majority of people that use the lion's mane have a palpable feeling, a sensation from it of just focus, clarity.

Mike: I take Lion's Mane five days a week.

Ian: Yeah. Why only five?

Mike: I never do anything all the time.

Ian: Why not?

Mike: Breathing is about it. That's the only thing I do that's constant. I even intentionally deprive myself of sleep every couple of months. I allow myself to get dehydrated. Every once in a while I, two out of seven days a week I do no caffeine. I drop any type of supplements or keep it very basic.

For one, it allows me to stay sensitive to everything and which means that I need less and less is more a lot of times; less food, less stimulants and then also not becoming dependent on things. Not being completely dependent on some things, staying sensitive. And I think that over time, it's kind of like taking rest days in training. It's like, yeah if I take a couple of days off from training every week, I'll actually be in better shape in a year from now than if I were to train every day.

Now, training every day is better than not training at all for sure and some days it could be heavier and lighter than others and it definitely happens with all that stuff. But I like to take complete and total days off. And-

Ian: Nice.

A Weekly Break with Supplements

A Weekly Break with Supplements
Photographer: Gesina Kunkel | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Yeah. So, I always put that out because I am a proponent of taking a lot of different supplements and there's different nootropics out there and I take some, the majority of what I do, I have this really nice healthy foundation where I'm eating really healthy food. And then every once in a while I'll dose in something that is completely man-made and very extreme nootropic or something like that. And so there's… I'm cycling all sort of things in and out all the time but two days a week. And then once a quarter I take a week off of everything. I'll do no coffee, no nothing. And then once a year I'll do an Ayahuasca Ceremony and so what will happen is the month before and the month after, I don't touch very much at all.

I cut back on most of my supplements the month before and then two weeks before, zero supplements at all or just water and food. And then I do my Ayahuasca Ceremonies and then I don't touch shit for two weeks after that. So, there's one month, there's two weeks on either side of the ceremony where I'm nothing. And then ayahuasca is super cleansing. I usually do combo in there too so there's tons of just getting everything out of the body which is lots of detox. And then any time I go back to taking any supplements, whatever, I'm highly sensitive to them again.

So, I have weekly cycle where I just do less. Every quarter, take a week off where I do less and then once a year do a complete cleanout and I think that's going to help me live longer and also it's a good break to take in general.

Lion's Mane and gray matter density

Ian: Yeah. And I think in the context of the breathwork, you may or may not have those experiences where certain emotions or memories surface but the, I think the lion's mane can stir the pot a bit.

Mike: Yeah. I remember 15 years ago, I've been science geek a long time and I remember when it was commonly thought like, hey if you get brain damage or, we'd study brains like, all right you grow your brain, you grow your nervous system and after that if you lose any of it, you're fucked. None of it's coming back. And in the last decade there's just been tons of research to show, oh yeah that this activity, this supplement, this food actually increases gray matter density. It allows new neurons to grow. There's actually neural growth factors which we didn't know about previously. We didn't know that there was neural growth factors that would keep on going and definitely as we age there's less of that.

By the way, one of the best ways to improve it is to play. So, it's like, there's another thing it's like, oh I just want to take a pill or sometimes like, or you could go play and now you're going to have more BDNF. And so now knowing oh, I can improve… I know some of the smartest guys, I've met some of the smartest guys that are in these fields and they're like, “Oh yeah, this will… I can tell you face to face, human to human, this will increase gray matter density. This will actually add pounds to your brain and everything. Brain gains.” But they can't come out publicly and say that because it's controversial. It's, to a degree to make that type of a claim.

Benefits of adding functional mushrooms to breathwork

Mike: Yeah. So, you're taking lion's mane, you're taking cordyceps, combine these with breathwork and then what are you, what are all the benefits of breathwork that you're getting and what are you seeing from combining these three things?

Ian: What I see from adding the functional mushrooms is just allowing for a deeper experience. The studies show that it improves the PH in the body, the alkalinity. And the latest I heard from, there was a holotropic breathwork guy up in LA and he believes that the breathwork experience operates on the same mechanism of shutting off the default mode network which they are saying that psychedelics are doing as well.

Mike: Yeah, when they do brain scans and it depends on the psychedelic. But yeah, there's less brain activity in certain areas and more brain activity in other areas. And yeah, when you look at what's happening, breathwork, a lot of it is actually depriving the body of oxygen with the hyperventilation. And so depending on the type of breathwork you're doing. Like a Wim Hof is actually depriving the body of oxygen. And so what happens to the brain when that happens? And a lot of the fight, flight response actually shuts down. The limbic brain shuts down and then… Which is really, really interesting; I don't know why that happens but, yeah the breathwork and the psychedelics are very similar. People are having psychedelic experiences with just air. Because your body produces the substances you need to trip your balls off anyway.

Ian: Right.

Mike: It's not like you have to go get them outside yourself.

Ian: It's just a tool.

Mike: Yeah. Although breathwork is, never takes me as far as a full on 5-MeO-DMT experience smoking the toad.

Near-Death Experience and Breathwork

Near Death Experience and Breathwork
Photographer: Daniel Jensen | Source: Unsplash

Mike: But a 5-MeO-DMT is like [5 10X 00:51:13] whatever that is. And then when I've introduced guys who've done… I'm just like, hey you should go try this 5-MeO with this facilitator. When that's happened, they come back and go, “Holy shit. Okay, I get what you're saying now.” And there's levels to that shit too. If you really want to go all the way, there's reports of people from, having near death experiences, the people who go in comatose and they die and then they come back and they have all these experiences they bring back. Have you seen these?

Ian: Yes, yeah I've seen documentaries and stuff.

Mike: There are some really cool ones on YouTube you just go, fuck, what the fuck man. That shit blows my mind. And the reason it blows my mind is because what they're describing in the initial phases of their death experience is what you'd see in breathwork and 5-MeO-DMT. I'm going, oh wow. The 5-MeO-DMT seems like a, for me a peak experience. I'm going, I don't know how you go any further than that. That's pretty fucking out there.

And then when the NDE people the near death experience people start talking and describing their experience, I go, wow that sounds a lot like 5-MeO. And then they keep talking and their explanation just keeps going and they've gone further than what I've seen and experienced and I go, oh shit, death is going to be really fucking interesting. There is something to look forward to and I don't know what it is but it sounds pretty cool.

The Film Enter The Void

Ian: Interesting. Have you seen the film Enter the Void?

Mike: No.

Ian: I think it's Gasper Noé who did this film but it follows a guy who smokes DMT in Japan and then he goes to do a drug deal. And drug deal goes bad, he gets shot.

Mike: I started watching this and I just, I was like, I don't like this. All right, go, I want to hear it though.

Ian: Well, he dies and the soul leaves the body and travels through, goes on a journey until it's, basically reenters another human. But it's supposed to be completely in line with the Tibetan Book of the Dead as to what happens to you when you die.

Mike: Yeah. Well, the Tibetan Book of the Dead is interesting because they just sat there and watched people die and they would describe what was happening for them in the death experience. It's how they collected some of the information for the Tibetan… It's a fucking freaky book to read because of how they got the information. How else would you do it?

Ian: It's wild.

Mike: Those Tibetans are crazy, man.

Ian: Yeah, they are. That's where they got started with the cordyceps.

Mike: They got the cordyceps, they got… Oh man, all over the place, love it. Jeez.

My Remarkable Wellness & Upcoming Podcast

My Remarkable Wellness & Upcoming Podcast
Photographer: neil godding | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Yeah. All right. So, what are you excited about next? What's coming up that you're working on that is… You're doing the breathwork, you're doing the functional mushrooms. I went to the site; you guys are selling the mushrooms too, cool.

Ian: Yeah. So, we have myremarkablewellness.com is where you can buy functional mushrooms. And we got two products right now, we've got a six mushroom blend which is good for basically all the organs in the body as well as your general immune health and then we have a lion's mane and we'll be adding to that in the coming, about a month we'll be focusing on cordyceps and reishi and chaga as well. On top of that I have the kettlebell collective featuring coaches and athletes from around the world. We'll be doing and Instagram contest for the world's most effective kettlebell workouts where this is an opportunity for the best workouts, the most well explained most well-coached to the extent you can in an Instagram post will be put in a book, published, sold and you'll have an opportunity to sell that book yourself.

So, I'm excited to take those to the next level. I've got podcasts for remarkable wellness, recovering, remarkable ways of healing, alternative approaches to health and a podcast for the kettlebell collective; getting inside the minds of coaches and athletes from around the world. And I'm excited to facilitate more of these breathwork experiences and

Mike: That's cool.

Going Back To Kettlebell

Going Back To Kettlebell
Photographer: Alora Griffiths | Source: Unsplash

Mike: Yeah, the kettlebell. So, I've been fucking with them for so long and I love them more now than ever. It's like the tools are getting simpler. I travel around and I have a couple of kettlebells, clubs, a mace and some bands. That's it.

So, I get people come up to me all the time, not cross fit games athletes but they're not asking me this. But average human beings, people who are just living life and being healthy, they go, “How are you in such good shape?” I'm like, man it's fucking swing some kettlebells. It's not what you think. It's like-

Ian: It's accessible.

Mike: It's 30 minutes of crawling and swinging things and I look like a little kid playing around. It's not that big of a deal. There's some things, you'd have to learn some foundational stuff but like what you're doing at Equinox is not what I have to do.

Ian: Right. You can take it anywhere.

Mike: Yeah, this could be fun. Yeah and please do it outdoors if you can. It's easy for us to say in San Diego, I know. I know. It's easy for us here.

Ian: That's for sure.

Mike: Because I've lived other places where I'm like, fuck this. I'm not going outside. But I also like, most of the stuff can be done in the living room too which is really, really nice. I think that is, I know some gym owners are going to freak out on me but I think the gym in the future is going to become much more of a place for performance athletes to get better at their sport and they need all these different tools and they need that space.

Bright future with kettlebells

Mike: But I think the average person being fit in the future, it's like, yeah they just get better tuned with how they feel and then they eat more appropriately, eat more intuitively. I think that's possible. I know it's possible because that's what I do and people who are at a high level of fitness and health, they're pretty intuitive of how they do things but it takes a long time to get there for a lot of people.

Ian: Yeah.

Mike: So, in the future I think that a lot of people will be working with kettlebells and… Just basically what I have, probably what you do a lot of and they'll be probably not needing to go to gym too much. You have to have a coach. You have to have a coach to help you do whatever but the gym environment, I'm just not sure it's going to last. We'll see. But for high-performance athletes, it'll always be there.

But a lot of people, don't want to go to the gym because they don't want to, they're intimidated. They don't want to look like an idiot and that's why these products are, I'm going to work out at home.

Just look like an idiot at your house. Dude, I was at Mt. Zion, not Mt. Zion, I was at Zion National Park last week and I was doing animal flow and stuff in the park and everyone else just got their cameras out and looking at animals and all sorts of shit. And I'm just doing that and I'm like, yeah I'm that guy. I'm the guy, I'm the fucking weirdo. I was like, come over here with me. Come hang out. What; no. Everybody's doing tourist stuff.

Ian's Experience On Strong Coach Summit

Mike: Yeah. You came to the summit, what did you think?

Ian: I did. I was very impressed. I had been following you for years on the Bledsoe Show and Barbell Shrugged but I had no idea the depth of your business background. And actually your interview with Lynn Marie really made me think, oh wow this guy really, he's been through it. He knows what he's talking about business wise. I knew you had businesses and stuff like that but I didn't…

Mike: Yeah. Got really good at fucking them up.

Ian: But you learned.

Mike: I learned a lot, yeah. It's funny, things that I fucked up, I now have come back and built new businesses and it's been really fucking easy.

Ian: Yeah it's okay.

Mike: I go, oh yeah I just don't do all the stuff that caused it to fuck up in the first place.

Ian: On day one, I kept thinking of Ray Dalio's book, Principles, where he's talking about basically take action and failing is fine. Not learning from your failures is what the problem is. So, just act fast, fail fast, learn fast. And I think that ties back into your speed of implementation. Make the decision and act on it.

Mike: Yeah. Always start on that because what I don't want to happen is people get up there and have mental masturbation and really get off on sitting in a chair and being entertained. Because really, if you don't take action you're just paying for entertainment now.

Use the tools

Mike: Yeah. Got to have the tools. Got to have the tools. I was talking to some guys, we're putting together a documentary for… The initial idea that was brought to me was, psychedelic medicine, military veterans, PTSD, healing from that type of stuff. And got talking and I go, let's, I was like, I cannot promote this without the coaching and integration piece. If you don't have that then people may, they may get better for a period of time but they'll slide back and all this kind of stuff. That integration is super, super important. So, can't talk about plant medicine without talking about integration every single time.

Mike: Ian, dude, thanks for joining me today, this has been a lot of fun.

Ian: Hey, it's been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

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