Shrugged Collective

Real Chalk  — Better Body Performance w/ Dr. Mike T. Nelson  — 24

Dr. Mike T. Nelson has spent 18 years of his life learning how the human body works, specifically focusing on how to properly condition it to burn fat and become stronger, more flexible, and healthier. He’s has a PhD in Exercise Physiology, a BA in Natural Science, and an MS in Biomechanics. He’s an adjunct professor and a member of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Dr. Nelson has been called in to share his techniques with top government agencies. The techniques he’s developed, and the results he gets for his clients have been featured in international magazines, in scientific publications, and on websites across the globe.

In this episode, Dr. Mike T. Nelson covers everything from the way our mind can influence our physiology, to recovering optimally. He also gets into the details comparing a ketogenic diet to a high carb diet, and give guidelines on how to determine which specific diet you or your athlete should follow.

Dr. Nelson also covers various strategies on flipping from a high fat diet to a high carb diet, and the benefits of having fast or slow access to ATP. When it comes to training, Dr. Nelson talks about how he develops programs to fit each athlete he works with, and how to find optimal training to recovery ratios.


– Ryan and Yaya

Mind, training, and nutrition

The discussion about connecting the mind to physical performance comes down the autonomics. Dr. Nelson goes deep in the explanation of carefully manipulating the sympathetic and parasympathetic states. The number one predictor for how long an athlete’s career will last is their ability to down regulate.

“If you want to see how the system works, apply a bunch of stress to it and see what it does.” — Dr. Mike Nelson

Key Takeaways

  • CrossFit and carbs  —  Dr. Nelson recommends that all Crossfit athletes eat more carbs than they think as their sport is so glycolytic. The only caveat is to determine whether the athlete is training for body composition or performance.
  • Down regulation: Program 1 hour for athletes to do something by themselves that they enjoy  —  Encourage your athletes to take downtime to read a book, go for a walk, get in a float tank, etc. This allows the athlete to give themselves permission to be themselves as a priority. Dr. Nelson recommends you go forest bathing! All of these techniques reduce stress.
  • Active recovery: Make a point to prioritize the recovery in active recovery  —  Dr. Nelson often recommends for example a lifting day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and doing fasted cardio on Tuesday and Thursday. For the cardio sessions, target a heart rate that is 180 BPM minus your age.
  • Get parasympathetic: Immediately after training, focus on getting your heart rate down  —  The best performing and most sustainable athletes seem to be able to be very parasympathetic. They can pop into sympathetic mode to perform and go right back to parasympathetic. A good exercise for practice is to do laying belly breathing after training.

Connect with Dr. Mike T. Nelson

Connect on social: Facebook, Twitter

Resources: Mike T. Nelson Website, Reflexive Performance Reset

Mike Bledsoe

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