Joe Di Stefano, CSCS, RKC — “Joe D.I.” as he is referred, is an international speaker, fitness expert, entrepreneur and coach. Joe is the Director of Sport at Spartan Race, the world’s leading obstacle racing organization. He is also the Founder of RUNGA, an off-the-grid experience designed to help people achieve their highest potential.
Over the years, Joe has consulted with major fitness brands and hotel chains on their approaches to fitness. He has instructed more than 100 seminars in over 10 different countries on topics inluding OCR, kettlebells, breathing and mobility.
Joe’s work has been featured by TEDx, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, Outside and SELF Magazine.
In this episode, Joe opens up on how he struggled to find direction early in life until he found his passion. He also walks us through his daily cold shower routine, carefully explaining the details of what he learns from each experience with cold. Joe also touches on his morning routine, which typically begins with morning sun exposure while he is having coffee naked in his backyard, and much more.
– Ryan and Yaya
Digital detox and Win the Day
Joe Di opens the episode talking about how he initially struggled to find direction early in life, particularly in college, until he connected with the director of the Department of Exercise Physiology, and found his passion in training. Joe explains how he was initially introduced to obstacle course racing, and how he eventually got into spartan racing, telling the story of how the 5-minute frozen swim during a race in Tahoe changed his life.
Joe walks the Chalk Crew through his daily cold shower, carefully explaining the details of what he learns from each experience with cold. Joe touches on his morning routine, which typically begins with morning sun exposure while he is having coffee naked in his backyard. He also describes how daily training should be broken down, as well as the importance of continuously moving throughout the day. Borrowing from Tim Ferriss, Joe offers strategies on moving through the workday effectively and how to optimize time while avoiding busy traps. He also runs through his strategies for detoxing the mind and his meditation tactics.
“We fear a future that never arrives.” — Joe DiStefano
- Cold exposure — By now the benefits of cold therapy are well known. However, Joe uses cold therapy as a diagnosis of the state of his nervous system. As someone who is experienced with the cold, Joe can enter with little shock regularly, on days that he finds it particularly difficult, it is an indicator that his nervous system might be overly sympathetic that day.
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner — Joe views a movement practice in three pieces each day. Breakfast, in the morning, typically consists of breath work. Lunch, in the afternoon, typically is a “workout”, where the nervous system is heightened. Dinner, he downregulates the nervous system and focuses on mobility.
- Runga — A retreat program started by Joe, in which attendees immerse themselves is a full digital detox. Time is spent doing yoga, eating clean, surfing, free-diving, working out, and meditating.
- Optimizing work time — Joe employs a few strategies for increasing productivity, such as listing 5 things that need to be done in the evening before, and not accessing phone or email until they are done. He also uses a technique called time batching, in which he will spend an solely hour on email, then spend 30 minutes on a fan bike, then an hour on another task, followed by 30 minutes on a fan bike.
- Dynamic meditation — In yoga, silent meditation is considered very advanced. Using other dynamic techniques such as breath holds or kettlebell swings as a form of meditation can often be more effective in a meditation practice.
“Before a workout, I want to heighten nervous system, and to get you mobile and pain free, I want to lower it.” — Joe DiStefano