True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are united

~ Alexander von Humboldt

George Church (Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School) argues, in this Big Think piece, that the age-old divide between science and religion is solvable. “We can bring them together,” he says, “but it requires less extreme views, or what would benefit from less extreme views.”

And it’s my belief that the same idea holds true for Physical Culture’s role in taming the beast that is the American healthcare crisis.

As it currently stands, there is no credible entity that acts as a non-dogmatic, “non-partisan”  clearing house, of sorts, in which the various tools and techniques of Physical Culture can be explored in relation to the seeker’s desired outcome (along the health-performance continuum) — especially for those who’s desire it is to use a Paleo-like diet, coupled with resistance exercise, as a tools for achieving superior overall health.  My hope is that this summer’s Ancestral Health Symposium (and the symposium’s parent organization, the Ancestral Health Society) will become just that entity.  I am at the same time thrilled — and humbled! — to be one of the presenters at the symposium, where I will discuss resistance training’s role in achieving optimum health, the difference between “superior health” and “superior performance”, and the emergence of the Physical Culturalist (i.e., the new breed of personal trainer) and his role as “swim coach” as opposed to the healthcare professional’s role as “lifeguard”.  Hat tip to Greg Glassman, of CrossFit, for that fine analogy.  As medicine’s role in this new paradigm must change, so must the Physical Culturalist’s.

~

Of Autoregulation and overtraining

TTP reader Jeff Erno asks the following (via Facebook), in reference to EETV, episode 6:

Really enjoyed the episode, thanks for recording. The auto regulation stuff sounds interesting. Is there somewhere I can go to read more about it? Also, my experience is with HIT the last 2+ years and if I only workout once per week I have steadily gained week over week. At twice a week I can have what can look like a stall or retrogression. Do you think it is possible that my situation is more common and most people don’t know it since they never tried backing off? Curious what your take is. Love the episodes, please keep then coming.

And here’s my answer — expanded a bit, from my original Facebook response:

I’ve written about Autoregulation a few times in Theory to Practice, Jeff — see, especially, this post — and actually the subject is in our EETV bucketlist of topics to cover in more detail.  As well (and as I alluded to in this post), I’ll be talking more about the tenants of Autoregulation and it’s practical applications at the Orlando 21 Convention this summer — so stay tuned for that! 😉

As for the second question: a regression/stall at 2x/week is certainly not unheard of *if you are engaged in the same “type” of workout (rep tempo, exercise selection, rep/TUL scheme, etc…), workout to workout* This is one reason why I shift things up in a conjugate-like fashion, both in my own workouts and in those of my clients.  You simply have to give the body a reason to overcompensate, otherwise, homeostasis will rule the day.  I really don’t want to get into a flame war over what I consider to be the (substantial) drawbacks of single-set-to-failure routines for performance enhancement, but let’s just say that it’s my humble opinion that these routines just don’t give the body much (or enough) stimulus to have to fight against.  Why should the body continue to adapt when it is not up against novel angles, cadences, tempos, volumes, intensities, etc.?  Ask any strength and conditioning coach what happens to 40 times when all you have your athletes do for speed/conditioning work is to run repeat 40’s — they digress — and not insubstantially, either.  This is similar to the problem you’re running up against here.

I really wish you could have been in Wimberley, Texas this weekend, at the home of Ken O’Neill, where Dr. Frank Wyatt spoke to us of “the Body Chaotic”, pushing physiological threshold limits, the nature of physiological fatigue/failure, and what it takes to force the body to overcompensate.  I’ll just say this: the early stages of training are relatively easy going, as just about any stimulus will force the body to overcompensate.  The longer one stays in the game, however, the harder it becomes to push up to and beyond the fatigue threshold required to elicit an overcompensation response.  In laymen’s terms, it’s friggin’ hard work.  It’s painful, even.  It requires a mental toughness that most trainees are simply not prepared for, or willing to offer-up, in exchange for results.

Now I’m by all means not an advocate of training unintelligently or in a shotgun, willy-nilly manner.  I do believe, though that doggedness, intensity, and the ability to repeatedly push beyond the brain’s “shut ‘er down” response are crucial for achieving optimal gains (note: striving for optimal health is another issue — related, but certainly not the same).  I do believe, as well, that the body’s ability to recover (another topic discussed by Dr. Wyatt) can be “trained” as well via periodic forays into an overtrained state. Chronic overtraining ought to be avoided, of course; acute bouts though are, in my opinion, necessary if one’s quest is enhanced performance.  Remember, performance enhancement (which includes the chase for hypertrophy) is an emergent phenomena — akin to the study cloud formation, weather patterns even — not a more easily described, step-by-step process, akin to the operations of a clock, say.

If at all possible, get your hands on Brad Schoenfel’d study “The Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy and Their Application to Resistance Training” (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Vol 24, #10; Oct 2010).  The chase for hypertrophy and/or realizing one’s ultimate genetic potential is not nearly as easy as simply tracking linear load/TUL progressions in a handful of exercises.

~

Workouts?  Oh yeah, you know it!  Here we go –

Tuesday, 5/31/11

(A1) Dips: bw/10; 45/10; 55/6; 90/4, 5; 45/11

(A2) ARX neutral-grip pull-down: HR/3, 3, 3

Thursday, 6/2/11

(A1) BTN push-press: 135/10; 155/6; 185/5, 7 (slight spot); 155/6

(A2) chins: bw/12; 45/7; 65/6, 6, bw/whoops!

(A3) RLC: bw/10, each of 4 rounds

then, 2 rounds of :
(B1) ARX negative only chin x 2

(B2) ARX negative only overhead press x 2

Saturday, 6/4

Sprints!  Bars!  Ropes!

Tuesday, 6/7
GVT volume work, 10 rounds

(A1) high bar squats: 165/10

(A2) seated DB clean & press: 40/10

Prior fixie riding made 10 rounds of squats a real bi-atch for sure!

Wednesday, 6/8

(A1) ARX close-grip bench: HR/3, 3, 3

(A2) dips: BW/15, 15, 15

(A3) T-Bar row: 125/10; 200/10; 245/8, 8 (Autoreg)

Friday, 6/10

(A1) Powermax 360 Tabata intervals (30 seconds on, 15 seconds off), 8 different movements.

(B1) long, fast, fixie ride

(C1) ARX RDL: HR x 3; 3 sets

Sunday, 6/12

Sprints and jumps

17 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Keith,

    I am not enough in the game so I still cannot glean what auto regulation is from that post. It appears to be somewhat of a variant on crossfit or varied training with a dialing in of intensity based on how you feel? Maybe enough repetition and I will eventually get it.

    I have a ton of respect for your opinions on these matters(I read every post and watch every EETV episode), and I hate to be a pain about this but I can’t help but think there is an alternate explanation for the lack of progression you mention as inevitable. This is based on my own experiences and not science, but some of the stuff Doug McGuff has written might have explained the same, but I am no dogmatic HIT advocate.

    As I mentioned in my comment on fb, I have gone over 2 years with near steady progression. No stalls or regressions unless I overdid it in between. This was rare since I kept good notes and knew when it was happening and didn’t last longer than a week since I fixed it by simply adding more recovery days. This isn’t doing the same workout, but overdoing anything in between, including not to failure style lifting, circuits, Devany pyramids. My experience does not add up with the usual suggestion that doing anything for over 8 weeks or so will result in lack of progress. I wonder how this can be explained in light of this post. In this theory I should have needed to mix it up to see the continued progression, but I hardly varied anything.

    I read your answer as unless you mix it up your body will have no reason to overcompensate. I can’t jive this explanation with my experience. In my case, the reason appears to be that each workout is intense enough to cause the adaptation with enough recovery so that I am not digging myself in a hole that I can’t get out of by overtraining. Isn’t that a possible explanation that few have tried since we love to train so much?

    To state my question/point a touch more strongly, I sense that others might have been in the same boat as me but never chose to turn the dial to increase number of recovery days. This was tough for me to back off as well because I, like you, like working out and working out less was tough to get over. I sense that the auto regulation type methods(not that I understand them) and periodization simply are another way to avoid overtraining. Having periods of working less hard by autoregulating on how you feel or by deliberately lifting less weight in a period smells like sneaking in more recovery and less work, very similar to simply working out less. If my sense is correct then the same result can be had in a more efficient manner by simply working out less. Does this make any sense at all?

    Many times you quote n=1 ruling the day and I totally get that. Have you ever tried working out less and seeing if more recovery resulted in continuing gains? Looking at your old posts it appears you hardly ever work out less than 5x/wk. You clearly love it and I totally understand that. I just wonder if your n=1 self experimentation ever included trying backing off to see if it allowed progression without the periodization or auto regulation.

    I am 41 and am way past my prime of doing any competitive athletics except some USTA tennis. I am mostly just interested in being healthy and looking good without my shirt on. Is there any reason why I would want to do the other methods if I am continuing to progress on HIT/BBS in weekly 30 minute sessions? Curious as to your thoughts?

    I would love to also hear what Mark and Skylar opinions on this. They seem to be a touch more in the classic HIT camp without the dogma nonsense. 🙂

    Thanks as always,

    jeff

    • Hey, no worries about being a “pain” Jeff — and really, we’re all on a learning path here, myself included; one reason why this is such an exciting, wide-open subject. In reference specifically to Autoregulation, it is a rather nebulous concept, best taught by multiple example. I think we’ll probably run through a few actual exercise scenarios on EETV to help explain the concept. And yes, you’re right, it is a method by which I can help prevent overtraining — but more than that, it allows me to take advantage of those non-linear, fractal-like patterns of progress. We’ve all experienced those times when, “out of the blue”, we’ve made huge strides or inroad toward a goal — whether that goal be growth, learning a language, a skill…what have you. This is the way of nature — fractal, fits & spurts…*non*-linear progress (and regress, too). Autoregulation allows me to build a rock-solid foundation of work capacity in a particular movement (very important in its own right), then capitalize on those “growth/progress” moments. It also allows me to live life in between. For instance, I’ve been doing a ton of sprinting and fixie riding as of late, which is draining (especially in this Texas heat), but I still want to “stay in the game” so to speak, in the weight room; Autoregualtion to the rescue. I’m able to maintain a solid & intense foundation in the base movements, then, when the time is right (the million $ question), I’m able to begin raising the bar anew. All quite naturally, and without me having to become “command and control central”, which, Art DeVany will tell you, is a fool’s errand to begin with.

      As far as your n=1 situation, it may be the case that you’re just on the extreme left of the recovery ability scale; recovery ability being something that is at the same time hugely important (of course), but also the mechanisms of which are vastly unkown.

      …more in a bit…

    • Hey Jeff,

      Here’s how you can think of Autoregulation for a HIT context: if you use a time under load system for tracking a set, then use a range to fall into (say :50 to 1:20). Assuming you are recovering well, you should fall near the top of the range a few workouts before increasing the resistance. You should also pay attention to internal factors as well: if you felt like you really “got at” the muscle but fatigued at 1:00, did you have a poor workout? I’d say no. I wouldn’t increase the weight but I wouldn’t fret about it either.

      Also consider a routine+ system for macro level autoregulation. So let’s say you’re using a “Big 5” workout as your base template. On days in which you are feeling especially vigorous, add a couple rest/pause reps at the end of the set after fatigue or even add a couple single joint movements to really get at the tissue. On days you’re feeling less than perfect, just hit the big 5. Since you would like more muscle, I’d also suggest dropping your TUL’s into the :45 to 1:10 range for maximum tension and mTOR expression.

      Also consider a once or twice yearly “blitz” where you double your frequency and intensity for a short period of time (2-3 weeks at most). This would be done when your responsibilities are low and your ability to rest high. You might get a new strength level and some lean mass out of it before returning to your “normal” training routine. This is flipping the great-gaining curve on its head: someone like Keith can operate in blast mode for an extended period of time, having to drop down to recover periodically; us mere mortals might be better served by operating in “slow and steady” most of the time while periodically cranking for 2-3 weeks.

      I hope this clears things up as far as application of these ideas in a more traditional “HIT” context.

      best,
      Skyler

    • Skyler’s “blast/cruise” analogy is spot on. I have used more of a classic single-set-to-failure-like model (with multiple days-off recovery) when, due to life’s circumstances, I just can’t workout. Vacations are a great example, or during my years in the corporate world, when the proverbial sky was falling on this project or that. Thank God I’m done with that shtick! 😉 Anyway, what I find from multi-day layoffs is this: CNS deactivation. That is, my ability to generate the intensity my body requires for progress just isn’t there. The best way that I can explain it is a “sluggish” feeling, and a big drop in my overall work output for various lifts. By using Autoregulation, it’s not that I *deliberately* reduce my top-end load/reps — the intensity remains the same — it’s just that as a *consequence* of cumulative stressors, I will, at times, be in a natural lull. Today, for example, I hit 425 for 5 reps in the trap bar deadlift. Now usually I’m good for 8-ish reps at this weight, but today I hit the exercise two days after a tough sprinting session and one day following a hellish fixie ride — both in this lovely Texas heat. I also coupled this session with interspersed rounds of ARX overhead presses, an exercise which is a real kick-in-the-ass in its own right. What did not lag, though, was the intensity put forth. And even though I didn’t PR at this rep range today, the ground work has been bolstered (my work capacity has increased), which will support a jump at some later date. One thing I know from a few years of laboring under the bar: one can never accurately predict just when these jumps are going to happen. I’ve had some of my biggest jumps in movements like today, when I figured I would be toast due to a large, previous training load. Let’s just say this — nature and my body are a hell of a lot more wise about these things than I am; I just keep the table set and the door open for opportunity 🙂

  2. Jeff,
    Really dig the detailed question and continued investigation, good stuff.

    Since we have been corresponding for almost 4 years now, I have an honest question to ask you.
    Are you completelly happy with the progress you’re making or is there still a small part of you that would like to be more muscular? Or perhaps better phrased…..would you like to see more “show” muscle? Again, honest question….

    Marc

  3. Hey Marc,

    Of course. Mentioned that several times in fact. I am a lean 185 but would like to be more like 195 at the same level of leanness. I am happy with the progress, probably gaining a pound or so a year. Would I prefer to gain 10# a year, sure! Just not sure that is in the genetic cards for me. Why do you ask? I sense you think another protocol might be more effective for me, no?

    jeff

    • I make frequent excursions to the land of whoo, Jim. I try to keep my perception as flexible as possible 🙂

  4. Jeff,
    Yes I do.
    And I’m certainly not an expert like Keith and Sklyer are….although I will happily take them on on the tennis tennis court 🙂
    but through trying many different things and carefully learning from with Keith over the last 5 years, I’ve found that if you want function coupled with hypertrophy (which for me is just a bit higher on the scale than looking good nekid…which you have already achieved) You’ve got to keep the workouts more frequent. I think you need the 3 days a week in the gym to get the “size” you’re after. Especially for us mere mortals wthout the “genetic cards” like you say.
    Now what protocol is best? Again I’m not an expert and I believe there are many. BUT, I am now convinced that many of us simply can not push ourselves past that comfort limit on a consistent basis that you need to get where you want to get. As such, without regular help from a really good trainer…and there is still a relatively short supply of those, I think sticking with the basics of charting your progress, lifitng heavier weights over time and changing up your routines (not too often), resting, and eating adequately to support your energy output is the best way to do it on your own.

    Look at all the people espousing they’re expertise and what they look like “nekid”…how do you think Keith compares to those folks? (don’t worry keith im done blowing smoke now 🙂 ) Look at the volume and intesity of his workouts.

    n=1. I was in the gym about a month ago and I did a Keith type workout of dips and then chins. Took me 23 minutes. I can tell you that when a guy my size (barely 5’7 and 160-163 pounds) does dips with 75 pounds hanging off him, I get looks from people that don’t quite understand. HELL, I hardly understand as 5 years ago I could not even do 5 dips in a row.
    I’m sorry and I hope I don’t make enemies or upset anyone…as I have great respect for our little community, but I just don’t think you can get there with an ever intensifying TUL once a week workout. Again just my humble opinion and from MY experience. Other peoples mileage may naturally vary.

    Thoughts?

    Marc

    • Something I gleaned from the competitive cycling world (another example of “stealing” ideas from, what would seem to be at the onset, disparate subjects) many years ago was the idea of threshold training. Ironic that this subject should come up now, as this was a good bit of what Dr. Frank Wyatt spoke of this weekend at our little get-together in Wimberley. Anyway, cyclists know that they can push *right up to the point of their threshold limit* (whether that be measured by lactate threshold, max heart rate, VO2 max, etc…) and maintain that level of exertion for an extended period. Take one step *beyond* that threshold limit however, and failure is quick and drastic — an unceremonious crash & burn — “cracked” or “blown-up” in cycling slang. I believe the same type of thing happens with regard to resistance exercise, and this is where building a solid foundation of work capacity (or GPP – general physical preparedness) comes into play. Building work capacity builds one’s tolerance to handle a greater lifting volume at ever-greater intensities which the body, in-turn, has to compensate for. How? Via a more efficient CNS, greater hypertrophy, a more efficient set of energy systems, a greater pain tolerance, and yes — an enhanced recovery ability. Of course I have zero in the way of “studies” to offer as evidence here, and can only offer empirical evidence as “proof”. Really, though, with so many variables involved, I don’t know that an adequate study could be done.

    • Hey Marc,

      I suspected you felt that way. I doubt strongly it will make a difference to workout in a different style or increase frequency. I tried all that 3 years ago and injured myself doing 4x/week explosive style lifting. It took over a year to rehab it with slower lifting methods. I won’t risk injury by lifting in a more explosive way at this point and I really don’t have the time any longer to go to the gym as often as I used to.

      It is also hard to argue with progression. If I am getting stronger each week then that tells me something at least.

      “Look at all the people espousing they’re expertise and what they look like “nekid”…how do you think Keith compares to those folks? (don’t worry keith im done blowing smoke now ) Look at the volume and intesity of his workouts.” I don’t agree with this thinking. Keith would be huge no matter the method he employs to lift. Lifting as often or in the same method as Keith will get me to look like him as much as playing basketball will make me taller.

      Thanks for your 2 cents at any rate.

      jeff

  5. One problem I have with frequently varying routines is the issue of motor learning. If I constantly change exercises, I don’t really make progress since I am spending time learning a new movement. I wonder if the real improvements in strength and hypertrophy occur when you are familiar with a movement that you have been doing for a long time. Since you have maximized your technique, you receive improvements based on hypertrophy. Of course factors such as diet, genetics, volume, rep range, etc. are in play with hypertrophy

    I wonder if people think they are seeing progress when they try new exercises since they get significant soreness and their muscles quiver more when perform a new movement. Is this real progress or the illusion of progress?

    Marc

    • Yes, good point. Variation should come *following* mastery of the basic movements, and once progress made on these movements begins to stall.

    • Hey Marc,

      I have suspected for a while that what appears to be progress early on is getting better at the skill of the movement, not much increases in strength. When you then start to appear you are “stalling” it may in fact be the point where the skill improvements are waning and the real strength gains begin. These gains are slower, so they appear as a plateau, but are more meaningful. I sense that complex movements may cause a double whammy where the movement itself isn’t particularly effective due to faster movements unloading the muscles, so that makes the stall more pronounced as the stimulus isn’t there as much as you think it is.

      I find the arguments from Body By Science satisfying in this regard and as such I currently choose to train in that fashion with slow but steady progression I equate to strength gains. I am not dogmatic about it, but it currently makes the most sense.

      jeff

  6. Schoenfeld’s article as well as his 2 popular pieces on T-Nation make two points not discussed here: (1) distinction between contractile hypertrophy and sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, and their underlying metabolic differences, and (2) differing training protocols needed to embrace all those metabolic distinctions.

    Steve Hollman notes in the July issue of Iron Man that Mentzer’s students tended to gain more in strength than size (injectable “supplement users excluded). The brief intensity of HIT bodes well for contractile hypertrophy while providing less stimulus for gaining size (sarcoplasmic).

    By avoiding density training (intense sets with 15-30 seconds rest, say 4 sets, while doing a max of 12-15 sets with other movements per body part), not much occurs by way of mitochondria biogenesis, hence stimulation of NO synthesis, nor conditions ripe for increasing synthesis of carnosine beds). Without volume the future looks bleak for developing recuperative hypertrophy, hence a plateau beyond which more than one or two workouts weekly will be possible.

    Schenfeld’s article makes it very clear that if your goals are enhanced fitness including strength and size, then your training has to incorporate protocols supporting all dimensions of metabolic responses creating hypertophies – both size and strength.

    In my training, I make use of a two week window with 4-5 workouts per week. Varying recuperation times establish frequency of a specific protoco. For example, one negative set for body part is done once weekly – negs take big time recuperation. Matrix sets (stimulating deep pump and vascular occlusion) are the highest reps (can go up close to 25 full, partial & static holds for one painfully burning set); density sets of 3-4 sets (9,9, 7 – 7 with lighter weight and six second negative), drop sets, supersets – all get worked in over a two week cycle. also higher poundage pyramids – 9, 7, 5 – usually once weekly.

    My measure of a workout is in terms of physiological outcome states – pump, burn, deep muscular fatigue – those very with what’s done on a given day. negs produce a soreness very different from Matrix.

    I wouldn’t recommend training this way for just anyone. I’ve been at it more on than off since 1959. Despite age an hour workout is invigorating. I should add that my primary robust activity most days is that hour – hour & 15 minutes. And often the measure of a really good workout is a short nap an hour later.

    One item that’s helped big time is implementation of John Ivy’s Nutrient Timing drink before, during and especially right after training. For detailed information see John’s book by that title or find a copy of Iron Man Magazine, July 2005 for my lengthy interview with him. Within an hour post workout and post drink, blood draws indicate next to no free circulating testosterone – it’s all be used up for protein synthesis in cell repair. That’s due to the drink including a mix of whey and measured quantities of simply sugars to induce insulin release to start up the recovery response. Usually requires 6 hours post workout for HGH levels to rise: with the drink that’s reduced to 2 hours, a 66% decrease in time. Recovery drinks of whey will sustain recovery for up to 24 hours. John’s chair of the department of Kinesiology, University of Texas, Austin, a pioneering research in nutrient timing.

    That’s all the rambling thoughts occuring now.

    • My idea exactly; HIT is but *a single piece* of a much more complex hypertrophy puzzle — as are *all* training methodologies, which, in my mind at least, at more analogous to various spices comprising a dish. None, in and of themselves, can lay claim to *being* the dish itself, but can only be said to affect the total outcome.

  7. Keith:
    Your essay, our ongoing exchanges, and Frank’s stimulating talk last weekend are stirring thoughts.

    Having reviewed much of the popular literature purporting advocacy of a Paleo model for training for moderns I’m at a loss. The granddaddy of the Paleo movement, S. Body Eaton along with his son, Mel Konner, Loren Cordain and others did papers throughout the 80s and 90s reviewing Paleo extertion and activity. Some referred to Kim Hill’s work in the 70s. Loren Cordain’s Paleo for Athlete’s has a lengthy discussion of varying Paleo activity levels, and he’s published two papers earlier this year again on the topic. In none of the material drawing from anthropological studies do we find an evidential basis for the blatant lowering of the bar advocated by today’s popular authors. It’s easiest to conclude they don’t do or don’t know how to do thorough primary research. In abstentia of a general accounting first based on living, known expenditure patterns of extant hunter/gatherers, one tenable conclusion is detrimental allegiance to unscientific, commercial theories of condition have created a cultural of paradigm paralysis offsetting rational analysis! Astonishing.

    Maintaining a minimalist standard rather than programmatically using a minimalist standard for new students is two way different things. In coaching, you’d sure never field a winning team for any kind of individual or team sports by sluggishly maintaining beginner level output skills forever. Coaches aim to develop skills for athletes to become bigger, faster, stronger and enhance recuperation along the way.

    Examples come to mind. Eric Heiden swept the skating events at the Lake Placid Olympics – speed and endurance events, something never done before or since his triumph. Those who knew him will tell you his training was not genetically gifted – it was pure true grit intensity, pure dedicated concentrated will. On the old vertical leg presses he’d knock out set after set of 100 reps with 500 lbs. His quads measured 28+” around, same as a bodybuilder of that era – except, he was drug free. On one occasion Heiden went to the gym, and with no warm ups cranked out a set of squats with 205 or 225 pounds – depends on who tells the story – but the reps part doesn’t change – 300 nonstop reps.

    I may be old school, and may be far too much affected by living and training in a path of mastery in Japan. For me, treating people as if they’re fragile and will break only strengthens their weaknesses. Mastery isn’t a done deal – you find out who you are and what you’re made of by entering the forest where it’s thickest & darkest and where there’s no path – you meet your self and find out what you’re made up of. We don’t know who we are until we embrace pain, until we embrace intensity, then go for more in terms of what’s beyond what we’ve now just mastered. Strength, character, fearlessness, even shameless naturally arise from becoming a man or a woman – a human man or human woman. We’re born human babies; most of us never get far beyond that. The way of the hunted/gatherer, the warrior, the athlete is becoming a human being, earning wisdom of the hidden human condition.

    As we move from the amazing yet unconscious wisdom of our biological heritage into learning the wisdom innate in the brain yet to become humanized, we’ll find strength and imagination taking us forward to the next step in evolution – evolution finally made human by humans so making it.

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