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On today’s episode of the Flex Diet Podcast, world-class elite athlete coach Justin Kavanaugh (Coach Kav) and I discuss the recovery tactics he’s found work best for his professional clients. You might be surprised by his advice.

The Flex Diet Certification will open for enrollment on June 5 and close on June 12, 2023. In the course, I cover eight interventions to increase your performance and to have better body composition. Go to to sign up for the waitlist. You’ll be the first to know when the course opens.

Listen to hear:

  • [6:54] Experience with Coach Catalyst

  • [11:05] AI and coaching
  • [20:54] Coach Kav’s favorite coaching lesson
  • [25:09] Applying life experiences to your coaching
  • [31:45] DIfferent modalities of recovery
  • [36:50] Sleep quality vs. quantity
  • [40:35] How elite athletes figure out what works
  • [45:10] Cold water immersion and hypertrophy
  • [50:51] Thoughts on Wim Hoff breathing, acupuncture, TENS, and natural stones
  • [57:04} PEMF mats and other stem units
  • [1:04:59] Red light therapy, oils, the Rife machine, and peptides
  • [1:18:43} Looking near and far
  • [1:28:48] The power of disconnecting

Connect with Coach Kav:

Referenced links:

Rock on!

Dr. Mike T Nelson

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Dr. Mike T Nelson

Dr. Mike T Nelson

PhD, MSME, CISSN, CSCS Carrick Institute Adjunct Professor 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. He’s been called in to share his techniques with top government agencies. The techniques he’s developed and the results Mike gets for his clients have been featured in international magazines, in scientific publications, and on websites across the globe.

  • PhD in Exercise Physiology
  • BA in Natural Science
  • MS in Biomechanics
  • Adjunct Professor in Human
  • Performance for Carrick Institute for Functional Neurology
  • Adjunct Professor and Member of American College of Sports Medicine
  • Instructor at Broadview University
  • Professional Nutritional
  • Member of the American Society for Nutrition
  • Professional Sports Nutrition
  • Member of the International Society for Sports Nutrition
  • Professional NSCA Member


[00:00:00] Dr Mike T Nelson:

Hey, what’s going on? It’s Dr. Mike T nelson here. Welcome back to the Flex Diet Podcast, and on this podcast we talk about all things to increase strength and hypertrophy performance, improve your body composition, and do it all without destroying your health in a flexible framework. Today on the program, I’ve got a very crazy interview with my buddy Justin Kavanaugh.

If you’re in the coaching circles for, I would say advanced athletes, especially track athletes, professional athletes, Olympic athletes, I guarantee you’ve heard of him. If not, you may not have heard of him. He works with all sorts of high-end athletes. He’s worked with some of the fastest humans around.

One of the main ones there is gonna be Justin Gatlin. So worked with Tokyo Olympic, Jason Rogers, tens of thousands of high level athletes from N F L N H L Olympics, you name it. And he has an extremely wide background from everything from Advanced Recovery, which we’re gonna talk about today, strength training, periodization, you name

he’s done or experienced it, and the reason I wanted to have him on the podcast today. Is to go down the deep rabbit hole on recovery and what are some of the methods that he uses with his athletes? And of course, the basics are going to work as I cover in the Flex Diet Certification.

There’s no denying that. But when you’re working with elite level humans at the top level, you’re gonna do the basics and you’re gonna do everything else. And that may be a kitchen sink type approach. And one of the words of advice I got from a buddy from Frankie years ago was, look for weird people that get results.

Which I always thought that was super interesting and in a nice way I would put Kav in that category. And the one thing you know about working with high level athletes, especially in events like track and field and pretty much all high level athletics now, is they’re gonna test things and they’re gonna know if you are full of shit or if what you’re doing is working or not.

So as weird and wacky as some of this stuff sounds, I always keep that in mind that if it was not working, there’s no way they would have him back to try to do stuff again. So we talk here about everything from the use of some peptides. You can see the podcast I did with Dr. Ryan Green, my buddy Dr.

Andy Galpin. We’ll link to that some of the, the neurostim, I guess you could put devices in there such as the Dolphin and others. And Kav was very open about all the different recovery metrics and different things that he uses with high level athletes. Some of them are quite expensive and rare or hard to find.

I will try to put as many links in the notes as I can. But some of ’em, it’s, they’re just not around. And some of the other ones are pretty easy to find and not super expensive either. So I’ve taken a couple of the tips that he is given me and I did it on my right knee in South Padre, I came down a little bit hot off jump, kite boarding wasn’t damaged or anything like that.

Just overloaded the muscle and it was pretty darn sore for a couple days. And yeah, literally 48 hours later I was out riding and then it felt pretty good. So who knows? N of one, but check out all this great information from him and then if you want more information about the certifications that he’s done you can go to stronger

Shout out to our buddy Phil there, and if you are a speed coach, I would highly recommend the art and science of speed training with Coach Kav and Hank Ov Hank’s another guy that if you are around this area in depth, I’m sure you’ve heard of him. If not, He is probably one of the winningest Olympic coaches around.

He’s based out of the Netherlands. So check out their program. I’ll put a link to it. I also have a nutrition program that I’ve done for stronger experts, and then also the Flex Diet certification. We’ll open again on the June 5th of this year, 2023, it’ll be open for one week until June 12th. So if you want the basic and even go into some intermediate and some advanced stuff of a foundational system to use for nutrition and recovery.

Obviously I’m super biased because I’ve put, oh man, I added it up the other day. I was saying 13 years, and it’s actually been 16 years now that I’ve been looking at the concepts of metabolic flexibility and even longer than that working with clients so you can get the entire system. And how I set up nutrition and recovery.

Everything from the macronutrients, like proteins, fats, carbohydrates. How do you know which ones, when to use them to sleep micronutrition different things like neat non-exercise activity, thermogenesis, walking, moving twitching, et cetera. All of that is Go there. You can get on the wait list.

I’ll have some pretty cool bonus items for you. Most likely, probably just through the newsletter. We’ll have a couple other bonus items open to the public. So go to and enjoy this wide ranging interview with my buddy Coach Kav, and it goes without saying that this is not medical advice.

If you have any medical questions or conditions, please check with your physician, and this is for entertainment purpose only. Enjoy.

[00:06:23] Dr Mike T Nelson: Welcome back to the Flex Diet podcast. I’m back here with coach Kav. How’s it going,

[00:06:28] Justin Kavanaugh: man?

Oh, fantastic man. Good seeing

[00:06:30] Dr Mike T Nelson: you again.

Yeah, it’s good to see you. We finally got to meet in person for two weekends in a row, actually.

[00:06:37] Justin Kavanaugh: I we missed two decades of Yeah. In-person connection. Then we see each other back-to-back week, so it’s a

[00:06:42] Dr Mike T Nelson: win.

Which is pretty wild cuz I didn’t know you were gonna be at the Raise the Bar event and then we talked there and then you were at the Real Coach’s Summit again in Vegas and you were there helping out the coach Catalyst guys, correct?

[00:06:54] Justin Kavanaugh: Yeah, they’ve they’ve built an amazing business and really helping coaches. So I’ve had a lot of, they came in and helped me tremendously with our coaching business and now being part of the team and seeing how that thing has been able to grow has been fantastic. I think we’re really cool when you start looking at like behavior change, which as a coach we understand that, we could force this stuff down of our client’s throats, but at the end of the day it really comes down to the autonomy of them doing it and working through behavior change, which is where, they’ve been strong.

So it’s been a lot of help for me. And then I saw the power of it for businesses, so got involved and it’s been really fun to see what that could do for the coaching industry.

[00:07:28] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And shout out to Trevor and Kane and everybody there. I met Trevor many years ago and he was kinda the first guy who came up to me and was asking me about the flex diet cert and.

So we have exclusive software through Coach Catalyst. Now we’re literally like, you’ve taught obviously very different certifications and it’s sometimes hard for me to convey to someone that you’re literally buying their system. Like there, there’s no, especially in the stuff you’ve done, the stuff I’ve done, there’s no hidden agenda of, we’re not trying to upsell you and do 17 other products.

It’s no, this is literally the system that we’ve used. Here’s how to use it, here’s the context. And in the case of Coach Catalyst here, even the 40 action items are all preloaded into the software. So once you understand it, you can literally. Drag and drop and add clients to it and start with a system that’s already been proven.


[00:08:21] Justin Kavanaugh: that I know it’s, and that to me, what’s so important when you think about something like that, right? And this goes into anything from a training perspective when it comes to behavior change or even just like client check-ins. When you basically take the author of the book and you then take the book and everybody who does this, they read a book, they hear a podcast and they go, I want to implement that in my life.

But when they have the chance to do it, then they kinda like back up a little bit, right? So here they have the chance to take what you actually do at your clients, what you actually do with, the coaches that you train and you teach through the certification and you get to implement.

How powerful is that? And then they could put their personality on it. So when you have a system and you have a process, the coach that comes on top of it, it’s then becomes their personality. That adds to the individualness, to the actual program. But you gotta start from a process that has been, tried and tested and that’s what you’re doing here, which is really cool.

[00:09:15] Dr Mike T Nelson: Thank you. And it’s nice now that you’ve been around long enough that I wish I would’ve switched to some software sooner. Cause I did stuff by paper, which I still do now. I did stuff by Excel spreadsheet for probably way too long, and I knew the breaking point was when Excel kept breaking all my hyperlinks to YouTube for some reason.

And I was spending more time like fixing hyperlinks and going back and fixing stuff that should have been in. But eventually just said, okay, I gotta figure out some better

[00:09:45] Justin Kavanaugh: way of doing this. I think there’s a coaching lesson in this too, because software or technology enhances behavior. It doesn’t replace behavior.

It doesn’t change behavior, it enhances behavior. So if someone’s disorganized and they get into, a project management software or organization or Google Drive, I guarantee you someone who’s naturally disorganized, their Google Drive is a wreck, right? I guarantee you somebody who’s not really good at you.

Doing things with, like a naming convention is gonna make a mess on a digital platform. So all they do is enhance behaviors. But if you’re somebody that when you’re with your client or you’re coaching and you’re on top of your stuff, basically it takes one pad of paper and it makes sure that it’s foolproof.

So instead of dropping the ball, which sets reps or macros or timing, you now could have consistent, behaviors that are tied into a data point that you could then scale not just across, one client to a hundred clients, but also the repetition to that same client over and over again without missing anything.

I think that’s where technology enhances the coaching experience. But you still have to be a good coach first, and if you could layer a good coach on top of technology, that’s when you develop like a SuperCoach, kind of image.

[00:11:01] Dr Mike T Nelson: So you’re not afraid of AI overtaking the coaching business then.

[00:11:05] Justin Kavanaugh: I’m not, because I think what they miss, which, although all there’s humor in into it, there’s actually a lot of fear. Our world is very fear-based right now with ChatGPT and AI and all of these things that happened. If you think about it, it’s augmenting some of the people’s biggest weaknesses.

So if you bolt on one of your strengths it then becomes a way to accelerate learning. One of the greatest superpowers that people want is accelerated learning. This is why there’s mentorships and books, coaching programs, masterminds and or events for you to go to. So you could spend time with people.

It’s accelerated learning. All you’re doing is collapsing time. You’re taking, what would take you 10, 20 years to do? Every book is 10 years collapsed into one book. You may take three weeks to three months to read that. You just collapsed seven and a half, 8, 9, 10 years of time to learn it.

Now that doesn’t mean you understand it and you have the ability to apply it, but you can now conceptually, Grasp the idea and then play with it, with already knowing what doesn’t work. Cuz it does. That to me is what’s exciting when you start thinking about AI and you start thinking about like, all of the stuff that everyone’s got a fear mind about technology is going to enhance our behavior.

So if you’re someone who reads a lot of books, right? Podcasts came around and said, I’m not the best reader, and I like listening to people talk, that become a really good learning opportunity to digest content from and reading a book, it’s a single task. You can’t read and drive, you can’t read and write, right?

A podcast, you have the ability to do a higher level task and a lower level task at the same time and just start to consume. So I think that AI is exciting because what you, what it could do is you could put it, put some stuff into it. Like I could take, Mike T Nelson stuff, drop it into chat G P T, and basically say, use this framework.

To solve some of these problems and it will basically use your brain that has already been curated and organized. Now, what’s fascinating when you start thinking about books is books, to me, that’s the baseline, right? That’s the filtering mechanism, right? Because the key is like, how do you learn?

I’m very long-winded. So how do you learn to write clear, concise, and shorter? And what we’re able to do in a book is give somebody like the base, so now they understand the general concept and then we can dive deep with stuff. So if they see us in person, we take those frameworks and then we can get into the practical application because everything is individual and that’s where it gets a lot of fun.

So I actually love the idea of AI, cuz I think it’s going to enhance coach’s behaviors.

[00:13:39] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, no, that’s a great view. And you mentioned writing, and obviously I’m biased. I teach the flex mentorship and then one of the things I have people do is like literally write articles and I’ll proof ’em, give you feedback or whatever.

And it’s amazing how many people even with students like this is a ridiculously hard skill because they just haven’t been taught. And a lot of the pushback is, oh, I’m never gonna write. I’m writing a book. I’m just gonna do videos and, dancing, TikTok things for 30 seconds. But I think they forget that the process of writing, at least in my experience, enhances your learning and your ability to explain it to somebody clearly.

One of the things I’ve had coaches do is you, okay, write out all your progressions and regressions for a squat and write out what cues you would use with somebody. Pretty simple, but the process of them going through and doing it and having that in their brain. And then, okay, edit that down.

How many words can you take out and still keep like the same intent? Like you get to edit and you get to simplify. And I think it, like you said, it clarifies your thinking quite a.

[00:14:41] Justin Kavanaugh: What’s interesting too, cuz when they talk about note taking, being a great way to retain information. When I go into classrooms, when I go into seminar, I don’t take a lot of notes on the subject that they’re discussing.

I take the notes of the thought that came up that was provoked during the conversation. So for instance, if you and I are discussing something, I go, man, you just connected a dot for me. That’s the thing that I’m writing down to remember, but I’m rarely jotting down, what you’re teaching.

Cuz that’s where the curriculum comes into play. That’s where I could go back and, go through some of the details a little bit. But there’s five things that I tell parents that they should do. I try not to recommend too many things to parents because everyone’s what’s your advice after all these years coaching athletes?

But there’s five things I recommend parents do with their kids. And number one is make sure your kid reads because reading is a self educator. It’s so important for the athlete and the individual to learn how to read. Number two is learn a second language. Number three is play an instrument.

Number four is play a team sport. And for and then number five is writing, right? I like those. And the thing is that each one of them are autonomous in the learning process, but there’s collaboration attached to it as well. And there’s immediate reflection regarding kind of accountability attached to the progress of the skill.

So for instance, when you’re reading, you obviously know how much you retain, number one. And then number two, you know the words that you know or don’t know. Number three, you know how fast you read, cuz you could easily count how much pages that you’re reading maybe per hour. Easy factors for any kid, even if they’re seven to 17 to 70, knows where things are either progressing or degrading and regarding their abilities.

Learning a second language, when you speak in a second language, you hear yourself think, right? You’re like, oh, that’s what I was saying. That’s weird. And it’s really cool because what happens is as you’re, pronouncing something, you’re constantly thinking of am I saying it right?

And it immediately makes you a little self-conscious around how you sound. Which, if you think about it, anything that creates a level of self-consciousness that you continue to work through develops actual confidence. So how confident is someone going to be knowing that they’ve worked through something that’s been difficult to them, which is learn a second language and then use that skill for them to actually present on stage.

Very valuable. Playing an instrument. Number one, there’s a lot of research done on actually learning and the ability to retain information When you use your hands attached to something and then you’re reading it and you’re articulating the movement by way of or sound that’s on paper right through your hands, which is very valuable, right?

So things that work with people that are all times or all timer patients, Parkinson’s disease, actually work really well with the learning process when you’re younger. Sculpting is very valuable, playing an instrument, extremely valuable, woodworking, extremely valuable. So these are some of the skills that people say are some of the best skills for people that have, like Alzheimer’s.

You think about like ladder drills and how they’re not that important for speed or athletic development where people argue that all the time. But the reality of it is coordination is really critical for speed development. And the ladder might be fantastic for people learning how to dance, learning how to do a rhythm.

It’s the same thing with like boxing for people that have Parkinson’s. So these elements have transferable effects to the learning process as well as to, other benefits throughout the body, also, so I’m a big fan of them, so each one of the components provide like self feedback, reflection, and kind of rate of progress, which I think is really critical when you’re learning on like with something cuz you’re, it’s telling you where you are now and where you’re trying to go.

[00:18:45] Dr Mike T Nelson: I love that. And that kind of fits in with what we’re talking about today with recovery. And one thing I’ve been, I don’t know, I guess not yelling at clients more often, but I keep bringing up more often in the past couple years is after you do a lot of consults with, especially fitness professionals, it’s amazing how.

Focus. They are in a good way, but almost at the exclusion of anything that’s not fitness. It’s what do you do for fun? Oh, I lift weights. Cool. What else do you do for fun? I don’t know. I watch Netflix once in a while. Okay, interesting. Do you have any hobbies? Do you have any recreation?

They’re like, no. I go lift weights again. I’m like, okay. I like lifting weights too. I think that’s cool. But, and then you look at how much real estate in the brain is just dedicated to movement, and the joke I make is like, how much technology would it take for just a robot to catch a ball that’s thrown at it?

So like limited. Limited, yeah. But tracking

[00:19:42] Justin Kavanaugh: depth perception and the ability for it to move around. That’s it.

[00:19:45] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, but humans do these more complicated tasks, relatively easy. And like you’ve heard the story of the sea slug, right? Little sea slug little critter that floats through the ocean and then it finds its rock and it sticks to its rock and it never leaves Its rock and then it eats its own brain because it doesn’t have to move.

Food just flows by. So I sometimes get the impression like we’re all becoming more like sea slugs. We’re really not using our brain the way that it’s developed, especially for the standard fitness person. So you mentioned about doing things with your hands, playing an instrument like I’ve told clients like, go play tennis, go play golf, kite boards, surf anything.

Just do something where the environment is semi unpredictable. Like you know what’s coming, but you’re not like a hundred percent sure. And then do something with your hands. Like I told a client recently Hey, have you ever tried to build the surfboard? Cuz he is like super into surfing and foiling and everything else.

He’s no, I would be horrible. It would suck. I’m like of course you’re gonna suck at first. Of course, it’s the first one, right? Yeah. That’s the point. But the point is, I think doing something with your hands, creating something is those things are just tasks that we’re missing in modern day now.

[00:20:54] Justin Kavanaugh: Yeah. So one of my favorite coaching lessons that I’ve ever been on was in Barcelona. I went to the Picasso museum. And it was fascinating because the light switches didn’t have frames around them. And I’m like, that’s interesting. I was like, why is that? And they said anything that’s like deserving of a frame is art and that’s not art.

It’s oh wow, that’s really cool. And then one of my like, you look at like mentorship and coaching world. The relationship between Dali and Picasso was fascinating, right? Dali looked up to Picasso, sought sought him out to become a master at like pointalism, imagery, cubism, and all of these different types of art.

And he was an absolute master. If you look at early sta early work of Salvador Dali, you’ll see that he was. Almost immaculate in regarding his ability to like Xerox a print. It was unbelievable. It’s super fascinating when you watched his skillset and that’s where his creative genius came in, is because he wanted to create his, like his own, personality into the art because everything else was so simplified cuz he was able to just literally put it out like a factory press, huh.

And he sought out pa Picasso over the years and they had a they ended up building a great relationship and that was like mentor-mentee. And it was so fascinating until one day that Dali sent Picasso, a portrait that he made of himself, of him. And Picasso sees this self-portrait now that was made for him.

And that day he never talked to Picasso to Dolly ever again. Really, the reason for that was the image in which he held himself was not the image actually that his mentee held for him. I was like, Ooh, how are you showing up? It’s kinda a really, it’s like that was one of the greatest coaching lessons I’ve ever received as an athlete, as a coach, someone who basically understands that there’s different roles and people differently during different times of your life.

How do I show up for those people? That was like a real critical kind of time for me, and instead of taking that coaching lesson from a sport, I took it from a museum in art. Right? Music has such lessons, and you could see, oh yeah, where does the, or where’s the orchestra? Where’s the conductor? When you watch a play, right?

So you go to an orchestra and you see it, and they’re in front of you because that’s the show. That’s the entertainment. But if you think about just the sound of a play, where are they? They’re underneath and they could see the play, but you can’t see. So there’s so many different things that are hidden.

When I like to go to a play, sometimes I like to go to plays two different times. The first one, I get to watch it head on, and then the second one I get to watch it from the side. . Because optics are interesting, right? There’s a parallax, which is like you see sings from one angle, but from the other angle it’s a different object.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re wrong or your eyes are lying to you. It’s just from your current perspective, that is what you cannot see. So I like to change angles of these things, and these are great lessons that taught me on how to coach. These are lessons that I was able to connect those dots.

And I think people in the fitness industry, like you said they’re using such a small amount of the brain. It’s because all they’re trying to do is co collect them. I did this cert, I did that. I know this person. I’m taking a handshake and a picture, instead of connecting the dots between people and realizing that there’s a lot of value that this person has to say.

And then there’s a lot of really interesting things that I’m learning from something completely different and how I can apply it to my coaching. Just most people are not willing to get outta their own way to be able to do that.

[00:24:25] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. I think of it as the collectors versus the connectors. Absolutely. And use it, you can find the collectors because they’ve done every certain known demand and they’ve got all the initials after their signature.

Yep. And then you ask ’em like, oh, how does you know R KC relate to StrongFirst? Or, whatever. And they’re like, huh like you did both of ’em. I see the little signatures here, they’re similar. You go into the history of where they came from and like for them to, like TU lab talks about lateral transfer.

Like for them to move one thing from one area to another is just like a disconnect. And so they just have all this collection, but it’s not, I would say, synthesized into a useful output.

[00:25:09] Justin Kavanaugh: Yeah. And that kind of rigidness that they have when they go through people’s processes or a system, it basically eliminates the stickiness between you and the client.

Because people are, they’re amazingly adaptable, but they’re also, humans change. They’re different. Everyone is unique in their own way. There’s a lot of similarities that you’re gonna see, right? Like we’re, you could say the same statement and say we’re all the same in one way or the other, but we’re all very different.

And when you could actually start to apply life experiences to your coaching, you’re going to connect with your clients significantly deeper. And it’s gonna have a much more fulfilling relationship between the client and athlete and the client and coach than it will be if it’s just at a superficial level.

So I tell people like, I don’t do superficial. I like to go deep. I like to, be around a small group of people, even though I’m around a lot of people. There’s a small group of people that I trust, and in those relationships, they’re very deep and then they go wide, which is exciting, right?

It’s one of those things where it’s like you could enjoy time with them because the thought and the just time that passes allows for deeper conversations. But when you wanna just go and collect things like you’re referring to check boxes, I did the certs instead of learning where it came from and looking at the history of things you miss so much because the applied.

Knowledge is what’s the most important thing. And you can’t ever get to the application if you’re constantly collecting. At some point you gotta pick up the rocks and then actually throw them. You gotta skip ’em. You know what I mean? You don’t wanna keep them. You wanna throw them and see what they’re, if they’re useful or not.

[00:26:45] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, I’ve often recommended it to newer coaches. Just do as best you can to be safe, but get some clients, have them pay you money and like just start like cuz you’ll never feel like you’re ready enough. It doesn’t matter how many certs you do, it doesn’t matter how much stuff you do. Like you’re never gonna be ready enough.

But the amount of stuff that you’ll learn by that person being in front of you, I look back to some of my early clients, a couple decades ago. Man, I feel so bad for those poor bastards. And they was Oh, it’s what’s one a

[00:27:19] Justin Kavanaugh: shit show. One of my first pros is the director of football operations at the University of Miami.

He’s, it’s fascinating cuz he know, I mean he’s been one that’s been like super loyal. He’s a great guy. We’re literally like family. But the training was definitely not that good. So it’s like early on in my career I had such prolific athletes. I was like dealt basically a really good hand of athletes that I was around.

I’m from Miami, I was a high school all American. I trained with friends of mine that were super athletic and went on to have amazing careers. And then I had that opportunity to coach those guys cuz they trusted me. And during that time, what was fascinating, it was like, it was don’t screw it up.

Yeah. It wasn’t like know us, your amazing strategies and coaching ability. It was. I trust you don’t mess this up. And when I didn’t mess it up and they believed that I was every, everything I did was in their best interest, it allowed for deeper relationships. And they also saw that I was on this like deep pursuit of excellence with everything I did.

Even if I couldn’t achieve it, I was on it on a regular basis and say I was gonna make sure no stone was left unturned. And every mistake that was made, I owned and said, we’re gonna make sure it’s better, but if you go back and you look at it and it’s Ugh, that was pretty rough. I have programs, I literally have every program I’ve ever written for an athlete.

I have it still documented. I know what they did. I also have I can’t remember, you know what I did yesterday sometimes, but I can remember what that kid lifted or what that kid ran. In a specific, drill 15 years ago, 20 years ago. So it’s the coaching brain.

[00:28:54] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And you mentioned even at the highest level, like the biggest thing is, Just don’t screw him up.

Like I remember my buddy Sean ishka, I don’t know if you know him, but yeah. Awesome dude. And he was telling me that’s good stuff with the movement side for sure. Just him and Lauren Lando for just pure movement. Like those are like my two go-to people for, general athletic movement overall.

And he was telling the story that he did an internship with the Chicago Bears when Brian Irla was there. Sure. And first day he is okay, you’re in charge of him. If he gets injured, just pack your bags and just leave. Don’t check in. Just go back home. And then he sets some up to do this like max treadmill test and he set ’em up next to one of the other top athletes. And so again, you’ve got these two high level people and of course they’re looking over to see how fast the next person’s doing. Trying to beat the person next to him. And Sean’s standing there and he’s just like going, oh my God, if this treadmill malfunctions, he’s gonna fly through the wall and I’m gonna be out of here.

And he is just oh, he is just freaking out about it. That’s

[00:29:55] Justin Kavanaugh: good stress. That’s good stress. But yeah, I tell people all the time, so the day that I don’t get that little like butterfly in my stomach, when an athlete steps up to the line, I’ll probably stop coaching. Other than that, you’re gonna have to roll me out of the ring.

You’re gonna have to roll me out of, the field. You’re gonna have to roll me out of the oval where I can’t coach it on the track side because the day that an athlete steps up to, to run an event or that whistle’s about to blow, or a guy gets in the batter’s box and I’m not a little nervous about one of my guys performing.

That is the day I’ll stop. That is literally the day that I’ll be like, all right, I don’t have it anymore. But I like that nervous energy because I think I could turn that into adrenaline, right? If I let it get too much, it becomes anxiety which a lot of athletes and coaches experience,

[00:30:42] Dr Mike T Nelson: but I think that’s a good thing, right?

You could reframe that and say it’s just kind of excitement. And if you don’t have a little bit of that, it’s eh, are you really doing your best? Are you just at the point where you’re just phoning it in and you’re just like, eh,

[00:30:53] Justin Kavanaugh: yeah. I, not only do I never wanna phone it in, but if you think about it, the athletes trust is based upon the idea that they’ve put their life their career, their journey, their big thing that they love in your hands.

Yeah. If you don’t take that with a level of respect and even gratitude, I think you’re doing a disservice not just to the athlete, but to the experience in which you are going to learn to become your best.

[00:31:17] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah, 100%. And we’re talking about frameworks and stuff here too, which is into the topic of the day looking at recovery.

And I thought you’d be a great person to talk about, what is some of the basic recovery, how it’s different, and then even some of the advanced recovery, because I think people would be shocked at the advanced recovery in terms of some of the novel things that are done and some of the incredibly basic stuff that’s still done.

[00:31:45] Justin Kavanaugh: I could talk about this subject all day and I think before we even get started, I think it’s critical to understand that everything works until it doesn’t. Yep. And that it was a lesson that I was taught by Dr. Ken Kachin who founded Swiss. And it was fascinating that, he constantly would say oh, that works until it doesn’t.

Then what? And that’s what drove me down the path of learning all the different modalities on recovery because. A lot of times people think recovery and they’re gonna go do ice bath, they think recovery, and then they’re gonna go do a massage. These are still stimulus I run a high, medium and low model in training from a central nervous system sampling.

So if I look at your c n s work, if I’m doing training that’s attached to like lifting. So there’s, four physical quality, strength, flexibility, speed and endurance. And if I’m doing speed work, I understand that I could break speed work in a high, medium and low CN s work. I don’t break it up into any other category as a subcategory until I break it up into central nervous system work.

So if I break it up into CNS work as high, medium, and low, then I’ll categorize volume. But I don’t categorize volume until I categorize the, I. And the reason for that is when you look at injuries take place into two areas. Mainly they take place in volume and velocity. And when those two kind of cross sect, that’s when somebody normally starts to break.

And at any point of contact, if the athlete is not in a sound biomechanical position, the risk of injury goes up. So it’s my job to understand how and why they would be in a, poor mechanical function place. And normally that happens when volume goes up or when we start working in high velocities.

So I first categorize their c n s high, medium, and low. Then I’ll categorize their volume of it. And each kind of category has its own like bucket. For instance, in the recovery bucket, I have high, medium, and low stressors to factor into the athlete. A high. Like a high c n s could be a hot cold shower.

That could stimulate the c n s just as much as it could actually bring you back down if you know how to use it. If you’re not prepared for cold showers, ice tubs, hot cold contrast work, and you’re in an environment where you’re already stressed, the likelihood of the athlete’s immune system actually, being suppressed is high and you could potentially get the athletes sick.

And are you more recovered or less recovered when you become ill? Less, of course. Yeah. So with that is need to be, that needs to be factored into your training recovery components. So again, it may work, but when and how much of it, so much, too much is not necessarily a good. So it’s factoring in those things, and I categorize all my recoveries as high, medium, and low and low CNS recovery strategies.

And then I start picking out which ones I want to use. And we could talk about all the little cool fa, like all the cool little stuff because it goes from, for me, everyone prioritizes sleep, right? Everybody else. And that’s almost one of the very few things I talk to with athletes. Everyone’s oh, you’re a horrible coach for not talking about the athletes sleep.

Okay? So I start with nutrition because with nutrition I could slow them down, right? So naturally, if someone’s eating, they’re not eating on the go naturally. If somebody’s eating, they’re going to slow their body down, right? There’s a, there’s the ability for them to say, Hey, sit there and chew your food.

And I have to almost, some of my athletes, I have to train like no, I want you to chew. They’ll be like, boom. They just scarf stuff down. So I think that if I get an athlete that is always on the go I don’t let them eat like protein shakes. Because I’m forcing a stop. I’m forcing things to slow down.

And then if I get an athlete that always likes to bring their Tupperware and then likes to do the whole college coach world where they like eat and then grab a Tupperware body building style, scrounge it in their car, and then get back to a session, I force their nutritional strategies to food that doesn’t taste good when it’s cold.

And I’m forcing time. So I’m forcing the, you gotta put that in the microwave for two minutes and calm the fuck down. So I do simple things like that because I think the number one factor for recovery in my opinion is nutrition. And it’s actually time off your feet. So it’s not necessarily sleep.

And all the studies have shown the people that sleep the longest actually die the youngest. You sleep eight to 10 hours a day, your lifespans shorter than someone who sleeps six and a half to seven and a half, eight hours. That’s what all the studies show. Nobody wants to say that though.

Everyone’s Ooh, but I heard on this guy’s podcast. The truth is that the quality of the sleep matters. Your circadian rhythm matters, right? And these are the things that help basically manage your blood pressure and your heart rate. So if you look at somebody’s sleep like volume, but the quality isn’t good, what would you rather have?

You want quality. Yeah. And then quality first

[00:36:50] Dr Mike T Nelson: than

[00:36:50] Justin Kavanaugh: quantity. Yeah. And if you look at your sleep quality and you factor in, how’s that affecting your blood pressure? And your person’s blood pressure’s getting more regulated, they’re in a better position. That’s very fascinating. The other thing I do is actually test people’s blood pressure and their heart rates post food, so I’ll take it before they eat and then after they eat.

So you could figure out how their body’s adapting to that type of

[00:37:10] Dr Mike T Nelson: food. Wasn’t that the old was it Copa Pulse test? Wasn’t that originally where something that was from, I think, yeah, looking at heart rate spikes after eating

[00:37:18] Justin Kavanaugh: food. Yep. And it’s something that I found really well with our, N F L combine guys when we used to run those programs is we were like, oh wow, these guys are like not doing well and they’re not able to like calm down either.

Some guys can’t come down. So we look at that like rate of recovery is

[00:37:33] Dr Mike T Nelson: on the heart rate side related to the food or also just the state that they’re in. So let’s say, I think a lot of it is the state. Yep. Yeah. Let’s say they were elevated. Is that telling you that? Maybe their food date was okay, but they’re still super stressed and they’ve got five minutes to like inhale their food type thing.

So their state is not getting more parasympathetic, more in a relaxed digestive state. So

[00:37:55] Justin Kavanaugh: with some of those athletes they have a set time period in which they have that kind of window to eat. What we’ve done is we’ve dragged that out and we said, Hey, no, you’re not gonna everyone used to have the motto where it’s drop the weight, pick up the shake.

Yeah. And that’s great for like young high school kids that need to gain weight and they’re just starting their lifting careers. But when you start working with like professional athletes that have, their bodies are more sensitive because they’re more fine tuned. Everyone’s oh, my body’s more sensitive because I’m outta shape.

Or it’s actually the opposite. You are more used to eating shit. Yeah. So the more fine tuned athlete to put, you put one thing in it, you’re more aware of what takes place and how you. So it’s actually like finding a better window for them to eat, getting them to calm down before they eat. And these are all factors in play because sometimes you go from running your ass off to eating a bunch of food or eating a bunch of food and then going running where you have all of this kind of energy focused on the digestive process.

And then you’re just back, up and running. So like even athletes that they like to eat before they train, we make them have a longer warmup. And I’ll drag it out if I have to, but I have some guys like my damn meatheads that like to just get in the room and just get after it.

They will literally eat it, while they’re lifting and I’m like, you guys are killing me. And that’s why the 300 pounds shocker, right? Yeah. Yeah. Go figure. So those are some of the strategies that, that we use when I like start to identify like recovery methods. And then it’s also, going into I like to think about anybody, like all things are off the table when it comes to recovery methods, when someone has really good hands. So if someone has fantastic body work abilities, you could do that all the time because they could feel it, they could sense the difference, they could have a good understanding of what your person’s energy is, and they know what they need to work on.

Maybe they’re not beating up the tissue. Maybe they’re working on it smooth. Maybe they’re stretching you out. Maybe they’re just getting you to relax and they’re helping you with some different strategies on the reiki side or energy medicine side. I think those are very valuable that most people don’t think about in the recovery.


[00:39:57] Dr Mike T Nelson: I find that fascinating too because if you look at some of the research or some of the evidence-based bros, they’re like, oh, massage hands on work. All that stuff’s bullshit. Like manual muscle testing, blah, blah, blah. And yeah, I get some of the studies and everything else, however, I can’t really think of an exception to very high level athletes, especially track and field sports of any type.

Virtually every one of ’em that I know of has someone that does some type of hands-on work, and these are people who generally know if something’s gonna make them better or worse. Yeah.

[00:40:35] Justin Kavanaugh: Athletes are really good at identifying with what’s feeling good for them and making them better, versus I didn’t like the way that worked.

Yeah. Some people, even nutrition, like nutritional strategies, like some people don’t work well with certain types of foods and they figure it out. Most elite athletes use food and modalities as utilities, so they don’t necessarily have emotional attachments the way general population clients do.

That’s something I think a lot of people do not take into consideration. I’ll give you an example when it comes to body. I put my hands on most of my elite athletes on a daily basis before their session and after their session to see how, and even during, depending on if it’s needed, but if I could, if I have a sprinter, for example, if I could put my hands on them and I could treat them and get them ready to go without them expending energy and get them to 98% and then they just need to do the last 2%.

Wouldn’t that be valuable for their energy kind of ability, like their tank? Oh yeah, of course. If I could put my hands on the tissue and before he gets moving, realize that it’s not what it used, not, it’s not what it feels like when he’s on, how do I actually circumvent? Now I can’t be like, Hey, you’re not on today.

I gotta turn you off. Like I gotta be like, all right, cool. We, our strategies now change. We gotta like ramp up this warmup a little bit. We’re gonna have to break a sweat a little bit. We’re gonna have to try hard a little bit. I’m gonna have to use some placebo work to get ’em in the mood a little bit.

This is reality. This is reality and coaching. But everybody wants to talk about what this is, what this evidence showed. Here’s my problem with most of those documents on evidence. I train Olympic athletes and pro athletes. That’s predominantly it. I got world champion fighters. I have the best in the world at what they do.

Those my clientele, how many research studies are done on them? Cuz I don’t know any of my guys that are gonna let you test shit on them. Yeah. Because if you test stuff on them, you could end their.

[00:42:29] Dr Mike T Nelson: Gimme your lead athletes and let ’em run this control program and, punch muscle samples out of their VMO a whole bunch of times.

It’s yeah

[00:42:36] Justin Kavanaugh: it’s not gonna happen. No. The best studies that, that I’ve seen is actually done on like identical twins that have same desires and interest so that they can run one program or the other program and they do muscle biopsies. Hank Krasnoff has done that and it’s pretty fascinating cuz he’ll be like, oh, you think you’re a good coach?

You think you’re a better coach than him. You two, you run each other’s programs, identical twins, 12 weeks. We’re gonna take muscle biopsies in between and we’re gonna find out if the guy got technically better, neurologically better. Or you actually change the muscle. Yeah. Awesome. That’s fascinating. That Oh yeah, to me is fascinating.

And that’s what he’s been able to do with a number of his work and I think that’s what’s really cool because that’s what makes him the best. But for me, the majority of my clients are not in any study. You could, how many guys ran sub 10? Are in studies. That’s the people I work with because if we ain’t running sub 10, we’re not winning.

Yeah. So how many guys like are like, forget what they do at the N F L combine. How many guys are three time, five time pro bowlers that are multiple surgeries, like their bodies are beat up and they gotta go perform every single week, for 16 to 24 weeks a year. Yeah.

Guess what they do in the off season? They do nothing and everyone’s oh, we gotta train. I’m like, dude, don’t train. More strength coaches have injured athletes than ever helped them. Yeah. And that’s what’s scary to a lot of these people because they think that they’re doing something good for the athlete and then the athlete’s like just don’t feel good and they don’t listen to their athletes.

I happen to, I have a good dialogue with my guys because they pay me enough to listen for sure. But it is true that. In order to know if something’s gonna work or not, you gotta have skin in the game. Yeah. And research doesn’t have skin in the game. And I think that’s where I I listened to it, I learned from it.

I want to know what they’re seeing and what’s going on, but we found out long time ago that, when people were doing like cryotherapy, they didn’t feel as big. And we our fighters loved it. So it was weird. Our big guys liked it when they didn’t need to get big. And our fighters liked it because they were like, wow.

Every time they were cutting weight, they were feeling stronger, whatever. Now who knows if it was a placebo, but this was long before the study that came out said that it reduces the ability to develop hypertrophy of the muscle. And sure enough Hey, that dumb fighter over there was pretty smart, so it’s oh shit.

That’s cool. And these are really cool strategies. Now, cryotherapy and water immersion have very different effects on the body.

[00:45:04] Dr Mike T Nelson: People don’t realize you’re fine with those two. So the research is very split actually. What does the

[00:45:09] Justin Kavanaugh: research say? I’d love to know.

[00:45:10] Dr Mike T Nelson: I don’t know. So my interpretation of the research is cold water immersion has a lot more data because it’s been around longer.

You’ve got the old military stuff, that type of thing. Sure. I didn’t have the technology now until recently to do cryo. From what I’ve seen, cryo seems to have more of a central nervous system, ramps you up, like the endorphin dopamine type thing. I don’t notice any big difference in terms of any marker that I could look at in terms of recovery.

It paradoxically may modify inflammation more than cold water immersion, but again, that’s based on a handful of studies and these are in healthy individuals pathologies are different. Cold water immersion, as you mentioned. There’s four studies now showing changes in muscle protein synthesis.

Who knows what that means in terms of lean body mass gains. It’s across the board. You can’t really get a number out of it. Performance generally, like a couple of the meta analyses have showed that cold water immersion probably helps performance. Again, what type of performance? You’re looking a vertical jump.

You’re looking at speed, are you looking at power, blah, blah, blah. So yeah, that’s kinda what I would look at in terms of the research. But I’m curious as to what you found in practice.

[00:46:20] Justin Kavanaugh: We have found that heart rate goes up higher in cold water immersion and stays up higher. On them.

We’ve found that in a, in cryo heart rate goes up quicker, but doesn drops, drops back down. Yeah. We have found, Hot cold showers to be more beneficial or like contrast work to be more beneficial than cold water immersion? We have found that there has been more of a like immune suppressant to cold water immersion for athletes that are under high stress environments.

So if they use yes ice tubs or cold water stuff to stress their system when they’re already overly stressed, we’ve seen an actual, decrease in their overall health because their immune response is actually not producing what it needs to and it’s fighting back. And then that’s another stimulus.

Even though it’s a recovery stimulus meant for, it’s still a stimulus and you have to factor in as a coach, our job is actually to be not a strength coach, but a stressed manager. And that’s one of the things that we’ve, found is. We have noticed athletes potentially have gotten sick in camps that they’ve done a bunch of like ice, cold ice like ice therapy because they’re like, let’s work on the breathing.

Let’s do all this. You gotta be tough. Let’s solve this mindset stuff. Like most of the athletes that I deal with they don’t like it. They don’t do it. Some guys that like , they do it right. They don’t like it, they don’t do it. And when you make somebody do something they don’t like, for the sake of them being tough, they’re gonna think to themselves like, how is this going to help me in a fight?

How is this going to help me on the field? How is this gonna help me in the sprint? But if they believe this is the thing that’s gonna help me have that pop, this is the thing that’s gonna help me have that focus. This is the thing that I need to be tough doing. They’ll do it. And I think that has a stronger effect on it than the actual physiological changes.

Although at the, on the biology level, like in regarding what’s happening to the cells, although I’m not. Certain to it from a research standpoint, cuz it hasn’t been done, I have found over 20 years doing this in certain times of the year has a huge effect. I’ve also found that ice immersion therapy or ice immersion training in cold environments does not have that great of effect.

Whereas if you’re in hot environments, because your body temperature is warmer much longer parts of the day Sure. For a longer period of time. So when you do it in certain environments, it actually has a better stimulus. So it’s more contrast. It. It is and it’s, I find it interesting because a lot of times people don’t realize that a lot of these, a lot of these concepts were created in like areas where it’s really cold.

So that’s cold. That’s normal for them. They’re used to getting into the water and what’s their recovery method is actually is the steam bath or the sauna. That’s their actual recovery. So we’ve flipped it cuz we’ve Americanized it. And when you americanize it and you can make money from it, that’s when it becomes interesting.

But I have found, I’m a sauna guy, but mind you, I like the heat. So I’m the guy that’s Hey, if you wanna get the sauna up, we’ll get the sauna for an hour. I don’t care. And I can’t, I could crush it. I could crush 40 to 60 minutes and be like, why are you leaving? This is normal. No, oof. But if I had to do four minutes in an ice bath, will I do it?

Yeah. But I’m gonna be bitching the whole time, and it’s oh you’re not tough cuz you’re complaining and then I’ll shut up. But in my head I’m still thinking this sucks. Yeah. But in a sauna, 40 minutes in there, it doesn’t do anything for me in the sense of grueling environment. It’s not hard.

So what is tough to one person isn’t always tough to another.

[00:49:57] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And that’s what I think people forget too. Like I’ve seen people just completely tank their H R V, go massively sympathetic. One CrossFit athlete in particular a couple years ago. And I was asking her, I said, why? What are you doing?

I can’t figure out like your H R V is just like off the ski slope. We didn’t change anything. And she’s I started doing whim h breathing, and then I started doing long cold water immersion. I’m like, oh, so you’re super ventilation, like breathing in and out really fast. Yeah.

And then getting into cold water. I said, how long are you in the cold water? She’s oh, it’s like mid 45 degrees for five to 10 minutes. I’m like, are you shivering and your teeth are chattering when you get out? She’s oh, yeah. And I’m like, you realize that both of those are acute stressors, right?

She’s no, I thought this was recovery. I’m like it potentially can be, but not at the dose or the intensity. Oh, yeah. You’re doing, but I think people, you

[00:50:51] Justin Kavanaugh: have a headache. Do you need chemotherapy? Or Tylenol. Yeah. Or maybe some water. So you bring up some really good points because when you.

Here’s a, like I have a lot of people that are in the breathing space. I think breathing is critical for athletic performance, but I think most people overcomplicate it. Yes. So let’s get into breathing for a split second cuz I think it really could help. And I think that a lot of people could actually play with this and see if it works for them.

Simple box breathing, right? So if I’m literally treating it like it’s a box, so I’m going basically breathing, I’m breathing I’m breathing in for, let’s say a three cap. Three, right? And I’m bringing it slowly. So I’m going 1, 2, 3. Breathing in right box is going across, holding it right for three and then breathing it out for three, three and then holding it and then doing it again.

Simple box breathing. You could choose whichever number that you’re comfortable with. As you’re listening to this, if you are feeling like you need to calm down you actually want to start. With a faster number, quite opposite that everyone thinks, right? So if you want to, if you wanna calm down, you wanna start with a faster number.

So we’re gonna go one hard, one out, one hold, one, right? And then I wanna work my way up to two, to a longer number, to a point where I’m doing a box breathing of five. So it’s 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, hold for 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Exhale, push it all the way out and five, hold for five and bring it across. And then you’ll calm down.

Because when you restrict the pipes, right? And you hold things down, it’s waiting to come out, right? And then all of a sudden when you then get it to calm down, it’s a lot smoother. So what I do is I have somebody, whoever wants to like move, if they have too much anxiety, right? And I need to get them to calm down, breathe with it a little bit so it matches their mental state.

Fast and then slow it down. And then if you want to build it back up take a deep breath in and then build it up. Pop, right? So increase your box breathing at the rate in which you want to like actually get into active li rods. Very simple. You don’t need to worry about whim Hoff.

You don’t need to learn anything. It’s very simple and play with it. What you’ll find is you’re gonna figure out something that’s gonna work for you, but most people haven’t even played with it yet, right? Yeah. So I’m a big believer in like doubles and triples, so And that you let it out because you’ll get a lot of value out of that. It’ll also calm people down. But you can affect somebody physiologic side. I play with the ears a lot. I’m into a lot of meridian lines, , Chinese medicine, acupuncture points. I find that they’re very beneficial if you know them.

Acupuncture’s an amazing recovery tool. There’s a ton of people. Norm Sheely doc Sheely, he has created essential oil oils that he’s used on different points and meridian lines that has helped change basically your heart rate and just meridian flow tremendously. It’s unbelievable what people could do.

Dr. Ken has put a lot of like magnets in different parts of like your body Yeah. To actually change the effect. Huge. In regarding impact, when I treat an athlete a lot of people use like electric st e n s, like tends pads. Most of my Electrical stimulation units have those like sticky pads that everyone’s used when they’re in high school and they’ve lasted all the way through college.

The majority of my TENS pads and e m s pads and all of my electrical stimulation units, I actually transfer most of that stimulation through actual natural rocks. So I’ll use like shum guide stones, I’ll use minerals and basically you, they actually hold an elective charge and then you ju we, we have to tape it or wrap it to the body, which then gives me like another added benefit cuz I will tape it with infused tape or I’ll wrap the area in some sort of an infrared, far infrared infused, structure that allows for a better healing thing.

I’ll actually have someone sit on while I’m doing manual therapy on them, or even stretching a P E M F mat. So when I’m doing my treatment on somebody, I have them laying on a P E M F mat. And that’s very valuable when I’m working with somebody or if I’m just talking to an athlete, I, passive strategies for recovery are very valuable and underutilized.

So I’ll have them sit on a grounded mat and they don’t even know it, and they’re just like, man, I feel so good here. I use mountain Blood, which is Mumo, right? Yeah. It’s fantastic tea. It’s really hard. It looks like SAP and you just crack a piece off a little small dime field, drop it in hot water, make tea out of it.

Hey, sit down and talk to me.

[00:55:42] Dr Mike T Nelson: Very block tar

[00:55:42] Justin Kavanaugh: yep, correct. Yeah. Yeah. And I’ll just be like, Hey, sit down and talk to me. And they don’t like, man. This doesn’t taste bad. It’s fine, they just drink it, A hot tea, whatever. You could throw some ginger, some lemon, whatever you want to like, flavor it up for ’em, but they’re feeling better.

And I like to infuse all of this stuff, right? I had a little, I play a little fun game with you with the little posters. Yeah. And I bring those to a bar and have a little, their little party tricks where you could basically change the actual liquid structure, organizing the liquid and actually changing the way something tastes all through the reflective image of a color, which is really cool.

Now, if you ask me how to explain it, like I’m not Elon Musk, so don’t worry about it, but try it for yourself. And if it doesn’t work, you still gotta a shot of vodka or bourbon, so Yeah. Yeah. It’s on you. Oh, good. So I’m a big fan of that. When, if you have minerals, crystals I’m a b, it’s just the same thing.

I don’t think there’s a lot of difference between healing energies that are natural. Then internal healing of like herbs and spices. I think that they’re very similar and the body just needs to receive them. So you have to play with that stuff. But there’s so much that you could go down that rabbit hill that’s super exciting.


[00:56:51] Dr Mike T Nelson: what pmm F like kind of mats do you like? I know there’s a whole bunch. There’s from, yeah, pretty basic ones to, ultra high-end, 30, 40, $50,000 industrial looking units.

[00:57:04] Justin Kavanaugh: So the one I have a bunch of them, right? Like I really do, I have a bunch of toys. One of the, the everyday mat I use is a mirror mat.

That’s what it’s called, Mira mat. Okay. And the reason why is it’s a super low dose, right? A lot of times people think that you need to crank this stuff up. Some of the patients I work with, if they’re not at the, if they’re at the elite athlete level, that’s one thing they can receive that really high jolt.

But again, don’t forget, that’s still a high stress. Oh yeah. Even if it’s giving you energy, right? It’s still a high stress. I can walk into Dr. Serrano’s office and he’s laying down a P E M F machine that’s used for fucking horses and he’s getting shocked and he feels great and he’s half asleep.

He’s literally knocked out snoring, right? And he is getting shocked by this thing, but it’s for horses and that’s the difference. Whereas a lot of the athletes, I like people to not know that it’s happen. And let them know Hey, what you’re on is very special. Here’s what it does. Educate them like, I don’t even feel it.

Wow. But I do feel better. And that you could get them a believe in it, which is I think part of the work that we do. But the MI mat is my favorite one. It’s a super low dose P M F, and I found great results with it. They also have mirror magic, which are like these little small devices that are mobile.

I’ve used that for like bone healing, putting it around like any sort of joint or bone. If that has like any sort of fractures or any injuries. I’ve had a lot of success with that. The mat that I use, we, you could even sleep on it. Here’s what I have found. My son’s five, he loves the mat. If he’s not feeling well in the middle of the night, my wife will be like, oh my God, that’s crazy.

Like at the middle of the night, he’ll get to a point and he’ll just slide slightly off of it. That’s it. So when his body’s ready and he’s done, he’ll just move off of it. Yeah. He’ll be out the whole night right there. And then some days he’ll stay the whole time and sometimes he’ll slide right off.

So I like that. There is a ring by Dr. Norm Sheely that was just created, that has different wavelengths that Dr. Ken brought to me when I was going through. I went through a bout of about 12 days of getting around two and a half hours of sleep max. Now I don’t sleep much. I sleep about five and a half hours a night on average.

Sometimes I could get up to about six and a half on a good day. My wife is amazing and she lets me sleep in on a Saturday when I’m in town and I’ll like crack out like a whole like nine hour sleep. And I feel like, but. I was struggling. It was a good 12 solid days. And then the last two days I pulled like hour and a half moments and I was like getting to the point where I would wake myself up and I had real bad insomnia and he used the dolphins on battle Pun battlefield Acupuncture on my ears, which if you guys are not familiar with BA Acupuncture, it’s like the first book I would have you guys read.

It’s a pink book. And I don’t recall the name right now, but I’ll definitely send it to you. Yeah. And it’s just the points inside the ears and it’s unbelievable. And then he put that device on me and then I, he had me literally, lay down with some stones and I slept for 11.

[01:00:07] Dr Mike T Nelson: Was the dolphin, did he just zap the points or did he have it on the continuous to like the point for kind of the parasympathetic No, he

[01:00:15] Justin Kavanaugh: just worked on those points. He did not got it. Do that and he didn’t use the the vagus nerve valgus nerve stuff. Which I think is very valuable.

I u I’m a big fan of the alpha stem as well, but I do think if you have a dolphin, it is significantly, the dolphin is actually significantly more powerful for, vagos vagus nerve work on the ear. I think it’s got a better attachment. I think it does a really good job, but I really like the the alpha stem.

But alpha stem, you need a Doctor’s prescription for

[01:00:41] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. Dolphin you can buy over the counter. I’ve had one for God, seven years now, I think six years. And, Quick story with that. Like I did the scar training for it. That’s how I originally got into it. So that’s

[01:00:54] Justin Kavanaugh: crazy too, cuz you do it and it’s immediate, you’re

[01:00:56] Dr Mike T Nelson: like, holy crap.

It is the weirdest thing ever. So I was at the Swiss conference couple, God, maybe five years ago now, and a guy, Dr. Bruce doing this booth and he’s, you hear this me like zapping noise and zapping all these people and you walk by, you’re like, what the hell? And so I saw one of the guys come over, his ankle would just looked like a tree stump, just all crackly, horrible looking, goes through, does all this stuff.

And you could see what looked like massive scar tissue turn almost like bright pink and get looked like blood flow back into it. And the guy’s oh my God, like the pain, went down and to see a couple of crazy things go by. So I get up there and he’s Hey, what do you got going on?

I said, oh, I’ve got a midline scar I had from, open heart surgery when I was four and a half. He’s oh, okay. He is take your shirt off, lay down. And he looks at the scar and he goes, what’s this from? I said, I had a atrial septal defect repair when I was four and a half years old.

He’s oh, this’ll change your life. And I’m like, okay, whatever. This guy is like this, some weirdo, whatever. He’s a little, he’s a bread abrasive. Yeah. So you’ve met him, obviously. So Zap aka does a whole bunch of other stuff, and I’m asking him, I said, Hey, like, how does this thing work?

He’s oh, helps, re generate atp. And he’s you’re autonomic nervous system would be quite different. I’m like, oh, really? He’s oh yeah, you’ll be much more parasympathetic. And I said, oh. I said I happen to measure my H R V each day, so can I come back tomorrow and, show you my H R V and see what I found?

And at this point, like most people would be like, Oh, it doesn’t really do that. I’m not so sure. And he’s oh yeah, cool. Let me know. I was like, oh, that’s oddly confident knowing I’m gonna show up here tomorrow and be like, Hey, here’s what I found. Yep. It, towards the end of the day, I’ve been traveling, went back and I was just super tired after that.

I was just like, like out, go back to a room, go to bed early, and I woke up the next day, my r v went up 14 points and my heart rate dropped by seven beats per minute. That’s awesome. Which, especially being stressed at a conference and travel, like nothing good ever usually happens there. Yeah. And so I come back to him and I’m showing it and he goes, oh yeah, that’s what we thought.

And so I’m like, okay, I’ll buy two units. Please, sir.

[01:03:04] Justin Kavanaugh: Yeah, he’s pretty incredible. He’s got a typical doctor’s bedside banner who’s a bit of a savant, so that makes sense. Yeah, Kelly’s actually really good too. So those are good people. Yeah I’ve had, I’ve seen some of their clients that have gotten tattoos of the points that they need to hit.

So they could have basically their, their partners and they’re older and they just go, Hey, hit hair here, because, they have to be grounded. But when things work, you start to use ’em. Yeah. So I use a lot of scanner devices, Russian scanner devices.

One of my favorite ones is the Dove. It stands for device organizing Vital Energy. I spend a lot of time with Dr. Arina, and I’ve learned so much about the technology. I’ve learned so much about it. It becomes like, to me, it. Playing an instrument. I know it so well. So sometimes some of these tools you do gotta get used to them, right?

It’s just like their hands, right? A, a therapist needs to get used to their hands, but they’re not willing to practice. A coach needs to get used to his voice, but they’re not used to, coaching. And the recovery side of all of this stuff is just a matter of playing. Obviously you don’t want to ever break glass, but most of these modalities, most of these, training recovery tools, they’re, you gotta experience them yourself.

If you’re a coach listening to this and you’ve never, done breathing, if you’ve never, talked to chiropractors that have a lot of different, strategies for them to help heal their clients, you need to open up your mind to this because it will make a massive difference in their impact.

Sound is critical to the to rehabilitation. I met a lady just the other day who, she was a multimillion dollar company doing these like sound cones where she like hits them and she’s Hey, here are all the frequencies, like a Sound bowl type therapy, sound bowls. Yeah. She, that’s what she sells.

And I was like yeah, how you doing? She’s oh, it’s a three, $4 million business. And we just started. Damn. Oh my goodness. Got the wrong market, man. Yeah. For all these yogis, but One of the other things that was fascinating is you look at you look at sound. You look at light, right? I’m a big fan of red light therapy.


[01:04:58] Dr Mike T Nelson: fan of light therapy. Yeah. I’ve got one

[01:04:59] Justin Kavanaugh: right here actually. Yeah. I find them to be so valuable, by the way, that is like research backed that Oh yeah. You could argue that all you want. And it’s like, all right, let’s just test you. And it’s something that is so valuable. I highly recommend it.

And when you do it with like little kids I remember cuz I use a lot of like low level lasers, like cold lasers, different things. And with different enhancers so that you can actually hit different areas. But what’s cool is like resignating frequency in, in light doesn’t need to be deep penetrating for you to absorb it because the largest organ that absorb it is your skin.

You’re gonna get it, which is really exciting. And your body could start to reject it when you, if you ever get too much of it. So this is not gonna have the ability to burn you. But your body will slowly start to stop receiving it and amazing what happens. You can actually see like the pores change or different things.

But I love it for people that have like skin issues, people that have acne, people that are going through like breakouts because of any sort of allergic reactions with medications. And you’ll be like, all right, cool. This person’s allergic to something. They eat something, take their shirt off, put it like a kid that’s allergic to something, take their shirt off, put ’em by a light, and it’s literally like that.

Okay, try it. So for those of you haven’t tried it, try these things, right? So I’m a big fan of them. I like oils. I think there’s so many things in like natural medicine that we have not used for our elite athletes, that if we did, we could make big impacts. So like natural oils, magnesium oil is something that I treat most of the athletes with from a range of motion standpoint.

So anybody that’s dealing with like tension in their hamstrings, or if I need to loosen them up, just get a little bit of magnesium oil, do the treatments with magnesium. So if I am actually treating an athlete’s body and I need them to loosen, That’s where I’m hitting it now. I rarely treat the lower back with magnesium oil because I don’t want the lower back to loosen up.

Like I want to get in there with maybe a coconut oil so I can actually feel it a little bit and then move around. But there’s so many things that, that you could use dual purpose while things are happening. So passive recoveries with lights and sounds, things like that. And then also in the treatment side, right?

So instead of just using a piece of plastic tape, use something that has some sort of a healing power to it. I’m a big fan of. Like a rife machine. I think rife machines actually work really well. I think they’re like banned by certain doctors in certain states because they work, God forbid.


[01:07:24] Dr Mike T Nelson: Explain what that is for people who are not familiar with it.

[01:07:27] Justin Kavanaugh: Oh my goodness. So Dr. Rife was a chiropractor, and I’m gonna be messing up the stories. But it’s said to say that he, we will, we’ll say this on a podcast as an urban myth or an urban legend so I don’t get in trouble, right? But basically there was a device that he created, which was a signal that was put out.

And it supposedly cured cancer. And it basically cured, it killed the cancer cells without harming the other cells because it understood that these cells lived up to a certain frequency. And the RI frequency would go in there, hit the cell, similar to a microwave. So for people that understand how a microwave works, micro waves go from one side to the other side.

And the reason why we all, your mom and everybody always put like a little bit of water or towel with a little bit of water on top is because what it actually does is it actually heats up, vibrates the water, which is what breaks it up, and that causes the heat. If there’s no water or liquid inside the food that you’re heating up, it won’t heat up at all.

So if you go to put something in the microwave that isn’t actually hydrated at any capacity, it won’t get hot. It will stay. Because that’s what it’s doing. So where a lot of people, like I was taught, get away from the microwave, Justin, you’re gonna get cancer, you’re gonna die. That’s not what actually happens, right?

So what a rife Machine does is it understands the frequencies that are at certain levels and cells and where they are healing and or where they are in disease states. And it pushes the frequency to that point into where basically those cells die. Which also allows for ways in which it could help and heal you as well.

So that’s what a rife machine is in the most elementary view from a non-doctor and a mythological statement of someone who cured cancer. So you don’t get in trouble on a podcast. Yeah. But I do know with confidence that I’ve literally seen athletes that have had broken bones get treated, and within a week of treatment with nothing else.

Literally have a bone that was healed. Wow. I’ve seen ligaments, I’ve seen athletes that are sick. I’ve seen some amazing thing. There’s a device called the Spooky two. It’s probably the, it’s probably the best rife machine that I know on the market. And the versatility of it is unbelievable.

So there is, and there’s a ton of stuff that they do. They could literally do d n a frameworks on it, which is like way outside of my league. But I’m lucky enough to have a group of people that help me with that process. For instance I have Hank, when you have somebody like that, that you could call and walk you through stuff, it’s awesome.

And then it’s even awesome because his athlete Renell. She’s getting her doctorate degree in plant steroids. So she’s a genius and she basically will walk you through like exactly how to use it and what setting and everything else. So it’s sometimes you just let your, let the people that are the best at it teach you and then you play with it and that, and you get some really good results.

I, I like using different modalities, but I also think that there’s so much value in also like you’re talking about like nutritionals from a healing standpoint, right? So I’m a big fan of high dose vitamins, high dose supplementation to heal different parts of the body and recovery.

And I don’t think a lot of people are used to it. You could just use like black current seed. And every the typical dose is two. And I’m like, Hey, I tell the athlete take 10 every hour on the hour. And I’m like, what? What? Yeah. And they’re like, I feel like Superman. I’m like, awesome. I thought you were, I thought you were feeling like crap.

It’s as not as good as taking, Voltarin and there’s other things that I think are very valuable. Peptides are fantastic. Yeah. If you know what you’re doing, that’s the whole area. Yeah. And if, and it’s getting more popular now, which is making it even worse. But if you could, if you could get, if you could get with people that know what they’re doing. Peptides are phenomenal. I’ve seen them do amazing work. I’ve seen literally tears from muscles heal a whole chest. I’ve seen I’ve seen somebody literally like tear hamstring and do treatments. I had an athlete that I told what his would tear his hamstring.

If he kept doing something, he did something, tore his hamstring. What’s fascinating about this athlete is he was so professional. That like when I called him, he called me and he is yeah, I need you Kav. I’m like, all I was like, here’s the first thing I want you to do. Like literally it happened the day of.

So I get a phone call, I was like, Hey, here’s what I want you to do. I want you to schedule your p r p, session like tomorrow. He’s I already did. I already did it. I just got outta the doctor’s now. Just got a shot. Oh. So like the kid is on point. So at least at that, even a after the, after shit broke, he was on point, which I appreciate.

Yeah, totally. I just hope for athletes and coaches to take it just as serious before it happens, and then we brought him in, so you just got his p r p, you get his, you put peptides in there, you get that kind of like rocking and rolling. I’m a big believer of laser.

I wrap it, in in an infused tape that has timberline crystal in it. It has healing power. And then I’ll also basically, use different types of therapy. Throughout the night to help ’em with the healing process. So for instance, put ’em on a P E M F mat right? And wrap the entire leg in it.

So it’s like a cocoon. There’s space blankets that you could reflect any negative energy out, and you just wrap it around that. So now everything is encompassing inside that area. Within 10 days, I took a three millimeter to tear in the hamstring to a complete recovery, both from the beginning of the R MRI to 10 days recovery on the mri.

That athlete got tested twice by the n s by the N F L for any sort of drugs. Everything we used were natural modalities and they had never seen a hamstring heal that fast before. That’s wild. Is it like woo stuff? Yeah. But if it works, yeah. And these guys are worth millions of dollars, they’re gonna use it.

[01:13:04] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And that’s the thing that to me is always fascinating because you’re dealing with people who basically, Money is not really an object. It’s how fast can I get back within the confines of the rules of the organization at my man to play again. Yeah. So you, by its nature, you have to find things at work.

And even if they sound weird and if that was me and I was an athlete, I wouldn’t give two hoots about how it sounded, as long as it worked and it was in the confines of the rules. Cool. I’m in.

[01:13:44] Justin Kavanaugh: There, there’s so much to the environment that plays into building trust with an athlete and letting them know that, hey, no stone will be left unturned if you record me.

We’re gonna do everything. So hey, once that, once something happens, if there is some sort of a break, an injury or a problem, Hitting it from every angle could do, no, it doesn’t do any harm. Maybe it’d be wasted effort or it doesn’t make a big of an impact, but it does no harm. So red light therapy isn’t going to hurt you.

Sauna and or water immersion isn’t going to hurt you. So is it taking away? No. Is it helping? I don’t know. I’m not certain. Yeah. But I know it’s not hurting you. So we’re gonna throw everything we a, we, we can at it. We knew this one athlete a different athlete that broke a bone, responded really well to peptides.

So I slapped an insulin pump on him with the peptide mixed and we pumped it every hour on the hour. That was it. And within days X-ray, no broken bone. And everyone’s what did you do? I’m like, yeah, I took the dose that you should be using once every 12 days, and I did it in 12 hours, but he healed and he’s fine.

Yeah. And it’s, and all the other organs are healthier too, so it’s not like it’s a negative, there’s no negative byproducts unless it’s being misused and mismanaged. But, this is all being oversaw. Like the oversee that I have in my team is by all of the Olympic and pro coaches I have too.

It’s not me. I might be doing like some of the advisory work, I might be basically saying, Hey, we need to bring these people in. But the team of doctors I have is probably more than, it’s more doctors I have on my team than I, than people have probably ever dealt with their entire life.

We may have, we may have four to six doctors on a single. So it’s not like we’re just like haphazardly throwing shit at the wall. We just understand that this athlete is worth a lot of money and he is not going to bear an expense to be able to, get himself healthy.

So I, I’m a big believer of it. And when you create environments that they have that level of like trust and transparency between the people, you can move really fast. For instance, an athlete comes in. Yeah, we talk about putting ’em on the seat. We talk about creating a good environment. We talk about good light, man, just put music on that.

They like, you’d be amazing how much, how stronger they are. You do muscle testing, muscle test. People with music that they like in versus they don’t like it, it’s mind blowing. Essential oils mind blowing what it does. But again, everybody will like, they don’t want to hear that shit.

I don’t know if it’s gonna help you pull, a pr, but I know that it will help you with that. Pulled.

[01:16:21] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And I’ve got another podcast I did with Dr. Ryan Green from Monarch Health, along with Dr. Annie Galpin, where we talked all about peptides and, if people are listening, what do they do?

How do they find them? Because unfortunately, as they’re becoming more popular now, they’re still considered a gray area. Sure. And a lot of the stuff that people can get is hopefully sterile and inert at best of worst, I guess you could say. Or not real and all that kind of stuff. But like

[01:16:50] Justin Kavanaugh: everybody is gonna say 99% pure.

Of course they’re gonna say that. The problem is the 1%

[01:16:57] Dr Mike T Nelson: right? What’s the other shit in there? Yeah. Like

[01:16:59] Justin Kavanaugh: the one percent’s the problem. The 90 nine’s not. So that’s the big thing. The other thing to think about is for novice that don’t know the difference, Do you really want to experiment with low quality or would you rather be working with the best on the market?

See, I don’t have to worry about that because everything I do is gonna be done at, at least with the intention of the highest level because expenses are not necessarily going to be the resisting of that not the rate limiter. No. And what is time and speed and deliverability and, you might be able to eat, you might be able to have a whole bunch of things and take it in on nutrient side, but are you absorbing it?

So we wanna make sure that quality precedes the quantity. Cuz I find that the quality of stuff could enhance the recovery tremendously. And I’ve, I’m a big believer in that And just look at, for those that have ever taken a European trip and ate bad food, right? Cuz you guys have a psychology in your head that’s broken, that’s bad food.

You guys ever went to Europe, ate bad food and felt great. And when you come home and you eat good food and you feel like shit, what does that tell you about the quality of our food? Why can you go, why can you go to Europe and eat pizza and bread and everything and you can’t have anything here?

[01:18:17] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And part of that goes, I think, back to the state we were talking about before too. A lot of people are there, they’re more relaxed, they’re not working, they’re like, eh, hey, so their state is completely different too, because I’ve had that happen with a few clients and I’m like, okay, so let’s try to recreate the state that you were in over there, or on vacation when you’re at home.

And let’s start with that and see how you do. And here’s most of ’em do

[01:18:43] Justin Kavanaugh: better. Here’s an interesting way to test that is. If you have a morning routine where you have a cup of coffee and every day you have a cup of coffee, but you’re working from home or you’re doing something and you just do it in a rush, instead of doing that, find a window, find a seat outside, find something that’s quiet, and go have that exact same cup of coffee with zero distractions in a completely different environment while you’re looking.

Very have the ability to look very far away because I believe that proximity to your body and sight is actually really critical for your brain. Cuz your brain is just an ex your eyes are just like internal external organs. And you need to be able to have the ability to look far and near away to relax yourself, I think.

Yep. These are the easy tests that you could do if you actually wanna test your heart rate is just like looking different, far away and close. And I guarantee your heart rate will slowly come down. You could do this with like tight 10 tension and tightness in like d different parts of your body as well.

Put something close to you, look at it and then stretch. You’re gonna feel tighter. So again, states are critical, but when it comes to food state, If you actually look into the actual the like nutritional biochemistry part, look at the gut brain access, look at the microbiome and the actual change that happens when you’re in different states, when you eat something significantly different, right?

And again, I’m probably not the expert at that, and there’s plenty of people that I’m one I’m talking to right now. That may be that you have a lot of things that you could opine on because you understand it from a holistic view, that you know that some of these things aren’t gonna be the easiest wins.

So you wanna start with the easiest wins. And if environment is the easiest win, how much is that? That first domino gonna create the rhythm and momentum in which you’re gonna actually get the result that you want. Because at the end of the day, we’re results driven. So whatever the first domino is that’s gonna push the that’s going to push it down, that’s going to then steamroll into the thing that we, want to achieve.

And if you start your conversations as a coach with, you’re never going to recover unless you get eight hours of sleep. The hardest behavior change that we have, you might as well tell a person that you’re going to die tomorrow if you don’t quit smoking. Yeah, we know they’re going to die, but that’s not going to kill them right now.

So you gotta start with some sort of behavior change. You gotta start with some sort of action that actually gets them in a ri in a better position to start resting. So for me, I’ll tell an athlete instead of sleeping, I’ll say, Hey, I don’t care what you do, you gotta get off your feet.

So my rules are get off your feet. I don’t want you standing, I don’t want you walking. I don’t want you moving. So being off your feet is critical. I’m a big believer of that. And, there’s so many different things that we see that are completely misrepresented in the sport, performance trainer, exercise, science, strength and conditioning world.

A good example. For all these coaches that are like barefoot coaches. I love barefoot work. I love the foot moving around. But if you look at the body if it’s got a soft surface, it needs to get hard, right? Because if you’re soft and soft, what happens? You just crumble. If you have a hard surface, then it can relax.

So we always talk about oh, you need to wear these vibrams, you gotta wear these. There’s nothing wrong with wide bass shoes. There’s nothing wrong with moving your toes around. I think that’s fantastic. There’s a time and a place for everything. Don’t use that on the sport field. You’ll break your foot.

But people don’t realize that there’s a reason why no N B A player wearing tennis shoes, right? There’s a reason why no NBA A player is wearing sprint shoes. The, it’s a tool and it needs to protect both the bones and the joint structure so that it could perform its task. The most mobile foot of the five major sports that we have in the United States is what sport.

[01:22:24] Dr Mike T Nelson: Or five.

[01:22:26] Justin Kavanaugh: So if you got like baseball, football, soccer hockey and basketball. Out of those five sports, which foot do you think has the most pliability and the most control of their toes? I would guess soccer. Exactly. Guess one has the most ridges. Foot soccer. Yeah. This one has the loosest foot. The most control, the most managed ability of their dexterity of their toes.

Hockey. Yeah. Which has the most movable, cleat soccer. Why? Because technically when you kick a ball, you need to roll the ball. You need to curl your toes. You need to be able to move so that the foot has to move. In hockey, you need a hard skate, right? And your foot and your toes pushed down and that’s how you skated.

But again, these are things that. Teach and we hear in theory, but in practicality and in reality, which is the world I live in, when there’s skin in the game, you learn so much because you say, Hey, hockey guy, he can move his toes around like a monkey. And the soccer kids got like barely any Dorsey flexion with the big toe.

The foot’s messed up the ankle’s all callous over cuz it’s been rolled up on a gazillion times. So the recovery modalities for those things sometimes aren’t what we think.

[01:23:42] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And you have to deal with the constraints of the system, right? No one’s gonna design a aki skate that just looks like your foot strapped to a blade with no protection.

So the reality is you’re dealing with like a hard boot system. That’s just the reality of the sport. And you can’t really change that either. Cause I think some people

[01:24:04] Justin Kavanaugh: get, but if that was the case, if. A soft boot, a pliable boot, a footplate that actually had the ability to move around would make them a better hockey player and safer hockey player, they would’ve already done it.

If making a running shoe into a basketball shoe would’ve made someone faster, they would’ve already done it. The reason why they haven’t done it is cuz they know it doesn’t work. The problem is on the training side, we’re so disconnected from reality that we end up actually evaluating our stuff from our, from our keyboard, not actually from, on the, on, with our boots on the ground and hand in the dirt.

Like we gotta see it in practice and go, oh shit. That’s what that means. But most people aren’t willing to do that. Yeah. Like

[01:24:48] Dr Mike T Nelson: we said at the beginning of the program try something out, see what the results are. I remember something our good buddy Cal Det said, he is yeah, I try all my new programs out on all my track and field athletes and my swimmers.

Because I know if they got faster or not. He’s my hockey players, I don’t know, unless we do some other type of testing, he is I have to have something that’s repeatable, that is at least one of the parameters of a sport to know if they’re gonna be a better athlete or not, because that can involve a whole bunch of other things too.


[01:25:20] Justin Kavanaugh: track Olympic weightlifting and swimming are the controlled environment settings that allow for you to actually know if you’re doing a good job in the inside the weight room. And yeah, there is a lot of technical changes to those sports, but all things being equal, that is the best place to measure your performance on the sports transfer side.

And why aren’t you as a coach being like creative and curious with these things? Probably like you said in the beginning, because you’re so stuck in fitness and training and nutrition and lifestyle work that you have no hobbies that you could pull from. Yeah. I I had the luxury of working with Lenny Kravitz early in my career and I got a chance to go see him not too long ago, a couple years ago.

Oh, awesome. With my wife at Wolf Trap. And I watched him literally on stage slip, and I go, Ooh, he hurt his back. And I knew it cause I watched it and I’m like, I know it cuz I know what he does when he gets mad and I know his little I don’t want what’s going on right now, mannerisms.

Nobody noticed except for me. Yeah. And I’m just like shooting him a message like, Hey man, are you still in? He’s I’m off to London. Like I wish I would’ve seen you. Like dude, like I saw what happened. How’s your back? He’s dude, it’s a wreck. I wish I get a still been there. And I’m like, here’s one of the coolest dudes in the world.

And it’s just like noticing that little nuance. But observation is what makes you better as a coach and then doing it makes you more confident. Observation’s gonna make you better. Doing it in practicality is gonna build your confidence. And then when you actually start to have conviction with your athletes, you’re gonna start to see major changes happen.

And it’s also the same thing with the recovery, but I think the big picture of this conversation is what are you doing outside of your world that you could pull from? And if you have nothing outside and that’s all you’re doing, then you know you’re probably gonna be limited in your mind. This is why we’re all like the creatives come from places that are like, they’re probably on something and they’re experiencing different things in the world.

The truth is some of the same creative nature could come from conversation with really good people. Some of this creative stuff comes from music. Some of it could come from art in, in environments. Go to different places. You could see some amazing things and you could pull from it. Yeah.

What I do

[01:27:29] Dr Mike T Nelson: with that is I think of. Low movement and high movement environments, right? So low movement environment. For me, if I’m trying to solve a problem or run questions through my brain, I’ll lock myself in like a flow chamber for 90 minutes. So I’ll literally try to remove all other stimulus and then I’ll get out and I’ll just write stuff out for, sometimes like an hour afterwards.

Nice. And then that’s awesome. If there’s other things I’m trying to solve, I’ll also do like a high movement strategy. So in a perfect world, I’ll read a whole bunch of stuff, literature, and then I’ll normally just go kite boarding for a couple days. I won’t look at any of that literature. I won’t actively think about it, but I know I’m subconsciously processing it and all of a sudden things will just show up and I’ll just make a note.

And so I’ll have a couple pages of notes after a few. And then I’ll go back again to the process of, okay, I wanna look up this, I wanna look up that, and then just reiterate some of those things,

[01:28:28] Justin Kavanaugh: that’s fascinating cuz for me it’s like fighting jujitsu, boxing, wrestling. Yeah. In that area.

And then on the opposite end of scuba diving. Yeah.

[01:28:39] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. Same idea, right?

[01:28:40] Justin Kavanaugh: It’s like you, because what happens is like you hear your own thoughts when you’re schema

[01:28:44] Dr Mike T Nelson: diving. Oh yeah. It’s

[01:28:46] Justin Kavanaugh: crazy. And I like, I can I’m like, I sound like that. Like I could hear my thoughts and that’s scary. Cuz you’re not talking.

But it’s so interesting to give yourself space and disconnect from that stuff. I did a thing for a year, Jim Quick who’s the memory guy’s? A friend of mine. And he’s a fascinating human too, but he challenged me for one year to do it. And I did it and it was for the first hour of a of the day.

Do not look at your phone. Oh

[01:29:15] Dr Mike T Nelson: yeah. Oh yeah.

[01:29:16] Justin Kavanaugh: First hour now. Yeah. I’d be lying if I do, if I say I’m doing it now. Cause I don’t. But I did it for one full year, every single day for a year. I did not pick up my phone for the first hour. And it was fascinating. It made a huge impact in my mood. It had a huge impact in my presence.

It made a huge impact in my relationship and it was very noticeable, to the point where just a couple weeks ago my phone broke and I had to give it to Apple to, to fix. And they’re like, you could bring it back tomorrow, or you could just leave it overnight and be ready in the morning. I just left it overnight and then my wife is just like, how are you doing?

Are you okay? You don’t have, you don’t have your little toy, you don’t have your little like extra girlfriend with you. And it’s so true because. Thing that kind of ties us down, that we’re so glued to is actually tying us to some of the wrong things. And it removes the ability to be present and you gotta take that away sometimes.

So I probably need to get back to doing that, but that was a challenge that, Jim Quick gave me and I did it. And I’ll tell you what, it was probably a significant and one of the biggest changes I had in regarding a morning routine, cuz I’m not a big morning routine guy that I made a big deal.

[01:30:20] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. I notice right now as we wrap up that, because I had the Phys Flex Cert when this will air later, but it was opening now it’s closing as it was recording tonight. So I’ve tried to be on

[01:30:30] Justin Kavanaugh: more get on it. If you don’t hear it,

[01:30:32] Dr Mike T Nelson: get on it. That’s right. Thank you. And so I tried to be more on social media.

People had questions trying to be, more responsive. So I go on, a couple times, three, four times a day and I noticed every single time. As it’s ending, like I literally feel like I give myself squirrel, a d h, D brain because like I, I get in the habit of being distracted and like you, you almost look forward to them being distracted.

So the amount of times during the day I’ll be like, oh, I know I should see if someone, sent me a message on Instagram about this or that. And so then I have to almost detox my way off like the next week of, okay, stuff’s on autopilot. I’ll write for the newsletter, someone else will post it, try to get back to, I try to set up not looking at email first thing in the morning, do some red light, do some meditation, a little bit of cardiovascular stuff, and then have my one to two hour block of, the big tasks where I actually have to think.

Obviously helping with the Triassic Tube book is the main one right now. And try to get through those things because I find as soon as you start allowing your brain to be distracted, it’s much harder to then ave out those kind of uninterrupted spaces again.

[01:31:40] Justin Kavanaugh: Absolutely. Yeah, and I think it’s one of those things similar to athletes where a good athlete knows how to get out of a bad position.

A great athlete never gets, and a great athlete doesn’t get there, gets in one. Yeah. And what’s really cool is it’s also when it comes to sprinting or movement, if you start in a good position, it’s so much easier than to find a good position if you start in a bad one. So how can you start your day?

How can you start your environment in better positions so that it’s easier to build momentum. And it’s the same thing with the changes that you’re trying to make with your athletes or your clients. How can you do that? By way of making it easier for them, not easier for you as a coach. And that’s something that I think is pretty fascinating. That’s why, with Coach Catalyst specifically, you could prompt your people to do things and then also see that work. So you get a way of, to identify where their behavior changes. And most people do not identify change. So they don’t notice that they made a significant change. Other people notice it. But if you could actually use every single person’s action as the way to manage the accountability for their change, it becomes self-reflecting and they become better at self-awareness and appreciation and gratitude, which are all very important in things that we probably don’t see enough of as coaches.

[01:33:01] Dr Mike T Nelson: Yeah. And a lot of that you get to even tie back to positions. The biggest thing I learned for, kite boarding. My goal of this trip or coming up is to hit a jump at 20 feet up. So I’ve hit almost 18 feet before for about 5, 5, 6 seconds, right? So you land about 160 feet away from where you took off.

And the biggest thing I learned was, oh yeah, if you go off in a stable position, odds are you’ll probably land pretty good. But if you go off just all fucked up, like trying to correct all that stuff as you’re sailing through the air, it’s really, and it’s one of those things that sounds so obvious about position, but like for years I got really good at just, ah, just setting the kite and I’d go off in all these messed up positions and couldn’t figure out why I could never land anything.

And then one day I took a lesson and the guy’s maybe you should work on just going off in a stable position. I was like, Oh, shocker. How simple. But again, it’s those simple things. Having an outside source go, Hey, you should try this, and then you try it, you’re like, oh yeah, that is, that’s a lot better.

[01:34:05] Justin Kavanaugh: We’re our brain’s constantly moving. I I told this story the other day, it was pretty funny cuz I’m actually not great at math, but I was in the math team growing up and I know that’s a shocker for those people who know me, but. I was really good at reaction stuff and seeing it and being like, bang, that’s it.

But I was always the anchor on the at, in the competition. So we had, we made it all the way to literally like the big state competition with our team and, a bunch of smart people. And then there’s me in the end, the dumb jock. And one of the things that made it a little bit easier on me is I was really good under pressure so I knew what the clock was.

And the last person basically has to handle all of the pro, all of the end problem after it’s solved by the three people in front of you. So there’s a problem that’s solved that becomes the variable that plugs into problem number two. That becomes the actual next variable that becomes into problem number three.

And then the, that solved variable becomes the variable for problem number four that you solved, which is either right or wrong. And if any of those problems are solved incorrectly, you’re obviously going to have a mixed result at the end, and then you’d have to go back and fix their work. One of the reasons why it was good is because everybody, And regarding competition, that was, the anchor would always be watching their teammates.

And trying to solve problem one while they’re doing it, solve problem two, and they’re mentally checking their work and their brain is like literally exhausted by the time they get to them. And for me, I’m like, I would look at the clock and I would look at our competitors to find out how much time we had just to get a gauge.

That’s all I would do, just be looking across and I’d look at the clock and the minute I got it plugged in variable and did the best I could. And it’s because when you have, like, when you take space away and you block out all that noise, who are you on your cell phone with when you’re in mid-air, on a kite board.

No. Who can I talk to other than some fishes and nemo when I’m scuba diving. That’s what’s fascinating. I think that like we as coaches constantly have our brains being cloudy because we’re so trying to solve puzzles that are not ours. Solve your puzzle first, then have an opinion about other people’s, but everybody wants to solve everyone else’s and how that affects them.

Focus on what you have in front of you. Everyone’s let’s think outta the box. You first need to know what’s inside the box first. Yeah. Then you can start thinking outside of the box and that’s like to your certification in two kind of the thing. We’ve done a certification on the same platform together.

We know how much time it takes when you’re able to collapse time as a coach, you fast track. You get to take the lessons of 20, 30 years of experience and use it for yourself. That’s very valuable. So I highly recommend for people to do that if that’s something of interest to them. And I’m gonna highly recommend for you to come to our office in Portugal.

So you could come to the place in Porto where we have big ass waves and you could Yeah.

[01:36:50] Dr Mike T Nelson: Do some kite surfing. Yeah. Shit. Myself. You

[01:36:54] Justin Kavanaugh: gotta see, you gotta see Trevor. He’s Mr. Adventure, so he likes the doing all the boarding and all that stuff, so We’ll,

[01:36:59] Dr Mike T Nelson: yeah. Yeah. He’s gotta learn to kite board. I was giving him shit last time I saw him.

Dude, you snowboard and everything. Like you got the board skills now and you just gotta go learn how to fly Kit. Yeah

[01:37:07] Justin Kavanaugh: he’s the snowboarder, Kane’s the pickleball guy. And I like to go under the water, so we’re

[01:37:11] Dr Mike T Nelson: good. Yeah. Awesome. Thank you so much for all your time and really appreciate it.

I know you’ve got certifications and you’ve got stuff with Coach Catalyst give us. Info where you can be found, what stuff you got going on if you want to be found.

[01:37:26] Justin Kavanaugh: Yeah. So if you are interested in speed and performance training, I did a certification that’s 20 hours with myself and my mentor, Hank Crok about the art and science of speed training under stronger experts.

You can also find one of Mike’s courses there, so it’s really you’ve got on nutrition. And so that’s there. If you want to contact me or reach out in any way, Instagram’s probably the easiest platform coach Kav, K a v. And if you’re a coach or a trainer that works with clients online and you want a platform that could help you scale, grow, and eliminate all of the frustrations that you deal with client behavior change and worry that you’re gonna be dropping the ball because you’re trying to grow while you are trying to actually communicate with your clients, then you need to go to coach and sign up for a free trial.

I feel like you’ll get a huge benefit and it will help grow your business. Like I know it’s already done for me.

[01:38:18] Dr Mike T Nelson: Awesome. Thank you so much for all your time. I really appreciate it. Thanks again, man. Absolutely, man. Thanks, Mike. Thank you.

[01:38:29] Dr Mike T Nelson: Thank you so much for listening to the podcast here. Huge thanks to Kav for coming on the podcast and sharing all of his knowledge here. Really appreciate it and was wonderful to chat with him.

I’ve followed his stuff for long time and finally got to meet him in person at the Real Coaches summit in Vegas recently. And also, yeah, one of events before that. So it’s cool to see him. And if you’re interested in nutrition and recovery, the Flex Diet Cert opens again June 5th, 2023 until June 12th.

Go to for all the information. You can sign up onto the wait list there. I’ll have some exclusive bonus items, only going out to the newsletter people there. And for this round, I have also decided that. If you have any personal questions on anything that’s in the certification, things you don’t understand or you’re not sure what macronutrients or what priority is to assign to clients, you can just email me.

I’ll literally give you my private email. You can ask me any questions as you go through the certification. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep doing that. I really like doing it because I like the teaching aspect of it, but eh, at some point it just becomes a bandwidth issue. But I’m gonna try to do it as long as I can.

So if you want a complete system on how to master nutrition and recovery, go to the Thank you so much for listening to this podcast. Really appreciate it. I know your time is valuable and we. Appreciate you listening in. Again, huge thanks to Coach Cav for all of his great information here, and stay tuned.

We’ve got a ton of guests coming up on the podcast here in the future. Brian Bornstein, Adam Ross Rd. Dr. Andy Galpin, Dr. Scotty Butcher. Ron and Juliet Ette and many more. Stay tuned in. Thank you so much, greatly appreciate it. We will talk to you next week.