Iron Culture

By Eric Helms & Omar Isuf

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Podcast Republic User
 Jun 3, 2022

 Mar 1, 2020
Eric and Omar have a well-thought out and self-aware perspective on the fitness industry and the Iron game and their guests really have something to say. Definitely check em out.


Iron Culture was started by Eric Helms and Omar Isuf as a means of exploring the world of physical culture and attempting to distill a unified philosophy of lifting and to help listeners find greater meaning from the iron. The lifting community has become fractured over the last ~70 years and this Podcast will attempt to explore the fundamental threads that unite these different tribes. The Podcast focuses on dispensing practical, useful information to the listener, bouncing from history, to philosophy, to contemporary lifting culture issues, to science. This can range from teaching the audience about lifting, programming, nutrition, supplements/PEDs and the history of lifting culture. The format includes casual conversations between the two hosts on a variety of topics, discussions with a panel of experts and interviews with authoritative figures in the lifting community.

Episode Date
Ep. 183 - Overcoming Adversity & Building Resilience

What is the difference between a lifter who takes a hit, and keeps on lifting and the lifter who “used to bench 315 in high school?” Is it always that the former is harder working, more resilient, more committed lifter? How plastic are these traits? And are all “hits” the same? For some, when it rains it pours, and for others, they are lucky enough to get dolled out life’s curveballs at a pace they can handle. Ultimately in this episode, we acknowledge that when viewing advanced lifters who’ve been at it for a long time, we are to some degree seeing survivorship bias. Further, we discuss how self-efficacy can be best built, and how to deal with what is, and what isn’t in your locus or control. No matter what though, Iron Culture will continue to persist, demonstrating ultimate resilience, never missing a Monday release (and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).

0:00 - Intro 

10:55 - Instagram reacts: revisiting misinformation/disinformation

Marton 2020 Science, advocacy, and quackery in nutritional books

Iron Culture episode 132: Where does Bro Science come from?

Vigotsky 2020 Improbable data patterns in the work of Barbalho et al.

35:30 - Question: “Why do some people get derailed when their routines get thrown while other people show resilience to unexpected challenges?”

Transtheoretical model of behavior change

41:45 - Adversity builds self-efficacy. Dealing with what is and isn’t in your locus of control

48:30 - Just-world fallacy and extreme ownership.

“Maximise given the constraints” Iron Culture episode 27: Natural Bodybuilding

58:20 - Practical applications for building self-efficacy and Eric’s experiences

Iron Culture episode 83: You Are NOT An Advanced Lifter

1:15:15 - Responses to fight or flight signals and tips for coaches

1:28:24 - Framing and calibration of adversity and resilience in your journey

1:34:49 - Delayed gratification of lifting and the power of your environment

Iron Culture episode 173: What is the Best Training Environment?

1:46:02 - Wrapping it up

Aug 08, 2022
Ep. 182 - How to call out B.S. and Pseudoscience

Myth busting is a favorite past time of the “evidence based fitness community”, and pwning noobs with copious “um actually”s is just part of the job, right? Well, yes and no. While it’s more important than ever to combat mis and disinformation, it’s arguably just as, if not more important, to do so in the right way…which, spoiler alert doesn’t involve pwning said noobs. In fact, while those who use science to “dunk on the bros” do get more follows, props, and recognition, it likely comes from people already within the evidence based community, rather than without. So how does one make a true impact and change hearts and minds, rather than just preach to the choir? Join us to find out!

Aug 01, 2022
Ep. 181- Is Natural Bodybuilding Dead? (Q&A)

What started out as a Q&A episode quickly evolved into an in-depth conversation surrounding the future of natural bodybuilding. To some inside the space, there are alarming signs of stagnation within the sport and in this episode, the hunks set out to examine if this really is the case.

Drawing upon personal experience, a healthy dose of history and broad observations of general socioeconomic trends, the picture painted might not be so grim. There will always be an appetite for hunks being hunky.

Oh and they also discuss carbohydrates before training.

Jul 25, 2022
Ep. 180 - Cultural Shifts in Lifting

The lifting community is more siloed than it used to be, and it is larger, so it’s understandable why today we have a broad and varied cultural landscape. It’s also more complex now in the modern age, and you can find parallel communities in the same lifting discipline with very little crossover. Further, in each community, the changing of the guards seems to be happening at an increasingly accelerated rate. The lifters, coaches, voices, and perspectives of today in any given subculture, don’t seem to be the ones of yesterday. More so, the time between “today” and “yesterday” feels like it’s getting shorter. Why is that? What role does social media play? Should we be concerned? Most importantly, what is the things that don’t change? How do we use this information to avoid a “dark age”? Join us today on this episode of Iron Culture as we discuss the wild world of lifting, from an almost anthropological perspective, ultimately coming away with a deeper understanding of what unifies and what also persists beyond any single person.

Jul 20, 2022
Ep. 179 - The Dangers of Being Shredded (& Why It’s Almost Impossible To Sustain)

Getting really really lean is something a lot of people do, from physique athletes to fitness models, to serious lifters with a lifting-related bucket list. But staying really really lean, is something very few people ever achieve, despite most who get shredded wondering at least once,  “could I maintain this?” Why is it the case that most people struggle to stay shredded? Indeed, there are the few who seemingly can walk around shredded 24/7, and if you believe your Instagram feed, or are involved with specific sports at an elite level, you might think it’s a relatively innocuous achievement. Regardless of where you sit in terms of your observations, if you want to know what physiological, psychological, and environmental factors influence how lean you can stay, this is the episode for you.

Jul 11, 2022
Ep. 178 - In Search of Supplements: An Examination

Examine is arguably one of the most important resources to the supplement consumer in existence. Haven’t heard of it? Imagine a third-party, expert-informed, wiki page on human research on nearly every supplement in existence, organized in a clear, logical, and informative manner, and you’ve imagined Examine. Today, we sat down with one of its founders, Sol Orwell, to learn about how and why it started, and where its future lies. Given people are still falling for insincere supplement marketing today, this is a conversation that’s just as important as ever.

Jul 04, 2022
Ep. 177 - Jessica Buettner: 2x IPF World Champion Powerlifter

We are joined by the reigning 76kg world champion and now the strongest deadlifter on the women's side of the IPF, fresh after returning from the 2022 IPF worlds in South Africa. Jessica came away with a squat and deadlift world record, the latter of which she had to pull in order to win, tying the equipped IPF champion Agata Sitko, beating her on bodyweight, who had thrown her hat into the ring at classic worlds. What did Jess’s build-up look like? How was the cut? How did nearly two days of travel impact her performance? How do Eric and Jess operate as coach and athlete? And how did having two of her protein bars stolen by monkeys impact her mental state? Join us to learn all of the above!

Jun 27, 2022
Ep. 176 - Turkesterone Controversy, Powerlifting World Records & The Ivory Tower

Sometimes you just gotta shoot the s**t and talk some s**t. In this episode of Iron Culture, we discuss some of the recent insane competitions in the world of powerlifting. If you live under a bridge, you might not be aware that a ton of ridiculous numbers were put up across almost every weight class at IPF classic worlds as well as USAPL mega nationals. In addition to this, we both had some things to get off our chests. Omar shares that some of the snake oil, aka turkesterone, being sold online…get this…doesn’t even contain very actual much snake oil (aka actual turkesterone). Additionally, Eric lets off some steam about some bothersome trends in sports science...that’s right tune in for some serious nerd drama! This isn’t one to miss folks, what better way to spend your Monday than listening to us bitch and moan on a variety of topics!

Jun 20, 2022
Ep. 175 - Training Burnout & Rekindling Motivation

Motivation is for the weak, commitment is for the REAL lifers! Right! Right? Well maybe not so much. Join us on an existential journey into what motivation really means. What are our motives to train, how does this relate to our identity, and self determination? In this episode we comment on our observations of long-time lifters’ motivation to train in the public eye, and how that intersects with the research on motivation, identity and meaning. You might just come away with a better understanding of the meaning of lift.

Jun 13, 2022
Ep. 174 - Periodization for Hypertrophy: An Overview

In this Q&A episode, we address a few great questions, the first of which, on how does periodization for hypertrophy works, resulted in a deep dive by Mr. Dr. Eric Helms on the topic. You’ll learn about the definition of periodization, how it applies to hypertrophy goals, the rationale for periodizing specific variables, and what gaps we have on this topic. Finally, we discuss what we do know, and logically what’s reasonable to periodize and how. To wrap up, we answered questions on what gym equipment Omar is planning to get for his home gym, and also how NSAIDs impact gains. 

Jun 06, 2022
Ep. 173 - What Is The Best Training Environment?

Your training environment, it’s a variable we all acknowledge as being relevant and important, but it’s rarely discussed in depth. In this episode, we give this topic the attention it deserves. What are the pros and cons of commercial gyms of various types? What are the pros and cons of home gyms? Collectively, we’ve both been personal trainers in multiple gym and studio environments, and personally, we ourselves have trained in a wide array of commercial, boutique, hardcore, specialty, military, and community gyms. In this episode we do a deep dive on how to find and cultivate the best training environment possible for one’s personality and goals. 

May 30, 2022
Ep. 172 - All About Saturated Fat & Cholesterol

Saturated fat, it gets a lot of attention, but there’s not much consensus in this attention…at least in influencer conversations. However, the research on the health impacts of saturated fat are reasonably consistent in terms of scientific consensus. Beyond the impact of saturated fat on health, often in bodybuilding circles discussions on the effects of saturated fat focus on testosterone. However, does saturated fat have a meaningful effect on testosterone? In this episode we’re joined by returning guests Alan Flanagan, and Spencer Nadolsky, both experts in the topic, to discuss. 

May 23, 2022
Ep. 171 - Jesus Olivares: a New Era in Powerlifting
This week we are joined by new IPF super heavyweight 2021 world champion and 2x US national champion Jesus Olivares. We’re all familiar with Ray Williams, one of the most impressive lifters of all time, who holds the highest IPF total currently at 1112.5kg, which he put up in 2019 at the age of 32. Amazingly, Jesus put up an 1110kg total just recently at Powerlifting America nationals at the tender age of 23. He’s only a few weeks out from Worlds and we were fortunate enough to sit down and learn about his history, his mindset, and his training. Are we on the cusp of a new era in the IPF super heavyweight division?
May 16, 2022
Ep. 170 - Training Twice A Day

Training, it’s the most fun thing we all do in our mundane lives, and we’re ok with that! But unfortunately, it’s only about 4-8 hours of the week and typically not every day. So, what’s an easy way to improve our quality of life? Train twice a day! In this episode, we actually discuss the intriguing research on two a day training for lifting. While it’s not something that makes sense in most cases, that isn’t to say it’s a universally bad idea, depending on your goal and your situation. In this episode, we discuss the context and also the research on this topic for how it can apply in a variety of situations. 

May 09, 2022
Ep. 169 - Lagging Body Parts, Body Recomp & Minimalist Training (Q&A)

We’re back with another Q&A episode, with just one trendy commercial break. That’s right, we had to shill the 5-year MASS anniversary sale going on until May 3rd because let’s face it, no corporation except one we’re a partial owner of would sponsor us. But we do cover a range of questions in this episode, the first being how to address lagging body parts and setup muscle group specialization cycles…oh and 3DMJ has a new course for this…OK, so just one commercial break AND one integrated ad, BUT THAT’S IT (we gotta eat folks)! In addition, we also discuss other important topics, like body recomp, minimalist training, and the verifiable fact that Iron Culture Podcast started before the Stronger By Science Podcast (not that you’ve heard of it).

[MASS Research Review]

[3DMJ Lagging Body Parts]

May 02, 2022
Ep. 168 - Movement Screens & Modalities Roundtable (feat Nick Licameli, Jared Maynard & John Flagg)

The world of rehab is full of assessments and treatments. Some are legitimate, others less so, but the confusing part is that some of these assessments have a logical basis, connecting movement to function, can be improved with an treatment, and this coincides with the natural time course of healing. But was the assessment actually measuring the dysfunction or injury in some way, and did the treatment actually positively impact recovery beyond the placebo effect? To answer these hard questions we’re joined by Iron Culture regular, Dr. Nick Licameli, an experienced physical therapist who works with the general populace as well as 3DMJ athletes, and his colleagues Dr. Jared Maynard of Unbreakable Strength and John Flagg of Rebuild Stronger, a physical therapist and a certified athletic trainer, respectively, who both work with strength athletes.

Apr 25, 2022
Ep. 167 - The Resurrection of A Powerlifter (ft. Mike Tuchscherer)

Mike Tuchscherer has been on Iron Culture multiple times to speak as a thinker and coach, but this time we brought him on as an athlete. For those who don’t know, Mike has been competing since 2003 and has competed at the highest level. He is a two-time single-ply junior national champion, a single-ply collegiate national champion, a two-time single-ply open national champion, a four-time open raw national champion, a single-ply junior world champion, and to top it off, he’s a world games gold medalist, the highest honors a powerlifter can win. Over nearly 20 years of competing, his mentality has understandably and necessarily changed over the years. Most recently, he came back after a 6-year injury induced hiatus to beat his last competition total by nearly 80kg, with room to grow. Join us to learn how this story unfolded and what you can learn from it.  

Apr 18, 2022
Ep. 166 - The Death of Powerlifting

Powerlifting has exploded in popularity over the last decade within the lifting community. From deadlifts being frowned upon at commercial gyms to your favourite fitness influencer now entering a local powerlifting meet for clout, the rise of powerlifting has been well documented.

However, beneath this meteoric rise has been some signs that this rapid expansion within the community might be coming to a halt. Why did powerlifting become popular in the first place? If powerlifting IS regressing popularity, what are the likely factors? And ultimately what does the future hold for this beloved sport?

Two hunks seek to uncover the full scoop in the latest sizzling episode of Iron Culture.

Apr 11, 2022
Ep. 165 - Volume While Cutting: Why the Confusion

Combine enough truisms that lack precision and nuance and people get confused. This is exactly what happens in typical discussions of hypertrophy training while dieting. When a deficit is framed as a “state” rather than the cumulative effects of long term (body comp) and short term (acute energy balance) energy availability, and tropes like “volume is the primary driver of hypertrophy”, “intensity is more important than volume” and “dieting is catabolic” are stated without nuance, logic disconnects from physiology. In this episode we discuss the nature of caloric deficits, the effects they have in the long and short term, why and how you lose muscle while dieting, and the role of training for muscle retention in this context. 

Apr 04, 2022
Ep. 164 - A Scientific Examination of the Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet has exploded in popularity over the last several years thanks in large part to some very bold claims made by leading advocates. From the harmfulness of plants to the uselessness of fiber, these assertions are certainly bold. In this sizzling episode, Iron Culture hosts Omar Isuf and Eric Trexler investigate the validity of these claims, thoroughly examining and dispelling many incorrect beliefs commonly parroted by some aspects of the community. Surely this will be the least controversial episode they've done to date.


Smajis et al 2020

Ingestion of a high dose of fructose for 8 wk was not associated with relevant metabolic consequences - lean, healthy, weight-stable individuals consuming 150 g (!!!) of fructose daily

Nick Hiebert

Mullie at al, 2021

Vitamin C in East-Greenland traditional nutrition: a reanalysis of the Høygaard nutritional data (1936-1937)

Anderson et al, 2009

Barber et al, 2020

If you want good info on diet, blood lipids, and cardiovascular risk, check out the three-part series by Alan Flanagan of Sigma Nutrition:

The Pattern of Fatty Acids Displaced by EPA and DHA Following 12 Months Supplementation Varies between Blood Cell and Plasma Fractions

Increasing dietary linoleic acid does not increase tissue arachidonic acid content in adults consuming Western-type diets: a systematic review

The omega-6/omega-3 ratio and cardiovascular disease risk: uses and abuses

Apr 01, 2022
Ep. 163 - All About EMG and Hypertrophy (feat Andrew Vigotsky)
EMG studies, they’re the classic “evidence-based” tool to “Um actually” all the bros about what the perfect exercises they should have chosen for every muscle group. Or are they? Today we’re joined by returning guest, Ph.D. candidate Andrew Vigotsky, who’s published some of the most influential papers on the limitations and the best practice guidance for EMG research. In this episode, we learn what EMG data can and can’t tell us, what types of evidence we should rely on to inform exercise selection, and what research we should perform in the future to move the field forward. Ultimately, we unfortunately learn that the good old days of T-Nation articles might be sadly behind us.
Mar 21, 2022
Ep. 162 - Training To Failure, Advanced Lifters and Breaking Through Plateaus
As you all know, we at Iron Culture have succeeded in becoming lifting cult leaders, which basically means we’ve failed at our previous attempts at having respectable jobs  (sorry mom). However, the good news is that we are experts on failure because of this. In this episode we do a deep dive on failure in resistance training, building on prior episodes to help you understand why this seemingly straightforward concept is so murky, and why there is so much disagreement in the literature on proximity to failure. Further, before we even get to the topic du jour, we have a delicious appetizer discussion on expert creep and how not all sources of misinformation are necessarily perpetrated by sell-outs trying to trick you, and how to respond accordingly. 
Mar 14, 2022
Ep. 161- Are Evidence Based Influencers Selling Out? (Q&A)

We’re back with another completely legit Q&A episode from 100% real listeners. Once again, thank you, Tommy, Tanya, and Tyrone. Omar was the highlight of this one, as the second question was specifically about using “questionable” marketing tactics, but in the name of good, to distribute evidence-based information, and whether doing so was ultimately helping people, or discouraging critical thinking. Sandwiching Omar’s fantastic answer, Eric addressed two science-based questions in this episode, the first being about when is it best to be process-focused versus outcome-focused, and the second is about how periodization operates with respect to other types of athletes and how much S&C should mimic the movements of the sport. Tune in for some great discussions on these topics in this episode!

Mar 07, 2022
Ep. 160 - Autoregulation & Individualization: Everything You Wanted To Know

Recently, the first systematic review and meta-analysis on the effect of autoregulation on strength and hypertrophy was published. In this episode we explore why this publication almost sent Eric into a proverbial dark cave without a pen light, never to return, and what realizations helped him find his way out. In this episode, we discuss that the promise of autoregulation is really Individualization. With that discovery, we explore how it succeeds, and fails, at least in its current limited form, what research on autoregulation can and canto capture, and what will be needed in the future for autoregulation to truly become the game changer it theoretically could be. 

Feb 28, 2022
Ep. 159 - Vitamin D Supplementation: A Deep Dive

The hype around Vitamin D supplementation has waxed and waned over the years in the lifting community, but has overall, landed in a place where it’s more or less universally seen as a positive supplement. But what is the state of the data? What can you expect as a lifter out of vitamin D supplementation? How do you measure vitamin D status, how reliable are these measures, and should we even be measuring it? The answer probably differs at the population and individual levels. We’re joined by Dr. Niamh Aspell of Sigma Nutrition who did her Ph.D. on Vitamin D as well as Austin Baraki, MD from barbell medicine who deals with this on a clinical level on a regular basis to answer these questions.

Feb 21, 2022
Ep. 158 - Why You Should Be Skeptical of Ecdysteroids (Including Turkesterone)

Turkesterone and ecdysterone have garnered a lot a of interest as of late, and a number of notable folks in the evidence based community have done a great job pointing out the lack of evidence supporting their efficacy. For newer lifters, you might not be aware, but this isn’t the first time these compounds have been hyped up beyond the evidence. Is this hope and hype founded? In this episode we’re joined by Ben Esgro, who uses his pharmacological knowledge to explain that it probably isn’t. Join us as he goes through a mechanistic evaluation of how these compounds works, and why we probably shouldn’t expect much out of them. 

Feb 14, 2022
Ep. 157 - Exercise Selection for Hypertrophy: An In-Depth Examination

Exercise selection, a multi-layered piece of cake that you don’t have to eat all of to benefit from, but really, who eats just part of a slice of cake (weirdo)? For hypertrophy, it can be as simple as having a few compound exercises for each major muscle group, a few isolation exercises to round them, smaller muscle groups out, and training through a full ROM. But, what about the folks who tell you compounds are all you need? And what about all those bodybuilders who swear by (certain types) of partials? Well, the former folks may have not considered the functional anatomy of specific muscles, or how biarticular muscles function in compound exercises, and more importantly, they probably don’t care. Most of the time, these minimalists are actually answering a different question and have different goals from the competitive or non-competitive physique athlete, but on the internet, this gets lost. Likewise, those IFBB pros training through a partial range of motion…is it just steroid-induced ego lifting? Or are they perhaps focusing on something you hadn’t considered? In this episode we go through each layer, helping you understand why the range of motion is an important variable, and how certain types of partials are actually fine, and maybe even beneficial, while others will short change your stimulus. Finally, we talk about why it’s a good idea to not just stick to compounds if your goal is hypertrophy, and which specific muscle groups and exercises you need to consider.

Feb 07, 2022
Ep. 156 - Deloads: The Science of Overload, Fatigue & Recovery

Watch the Episode Here:

Deloads, sometimes called unloads, light weeks, or simply incorporated as phases of a periodized plan, are frequently discussed in the evidence-based community, but they actually have very little direct research behind them. If that’s the case, why are these phases universally used? What principles are deloads based on? What sectors of research do we use to indirectly inform their structure? And most importantly, what options do you have for deloading, and how should you apply different approaches in different contexts? Join us in this episode of iron culture to find out! 

Jan 31, 2022
Ep. 155 - Alex Tilinca: A Self Made Man

In this episode of Iron Culture, we’re joined by Alex Tilinca. Alex is a young competitive physique athlete with an already impressive amateur career thus far, seeking to get nationally qualified this year and hopefully compete at the national level in the NPC in the Classic Physique division. He’s also a prep coach at Scooby Prep, the well-known prep coaching company started and led by Jason Theobald. What makes Alex’s journey unique, is that he was born female, and is the first transgender man to compete in the classic physique division. His goal is to become the first transgender IFBB Classic Pro and one day, to become an Olympian. Join us in this episode as he shares his story, his experiences, the unique aspects of contest prep he’s discovered along the way, and how he helps other similar lifters navigate their goals through his experiences. 

Alex Tilinca



Jan 24, 2022
Ep. 154 - Intermittent Fasting & Peri-Workout Carbohydrates

In this episode of Iron Culture, we do a deep dive on the topic of pre-workout carbohydrate intake. While the data on endurance training is relatively consistent in showing a beneficial effect on performance, it’s more complex for resistance training. For strength and power, what you eat prior to training is probably less important, but when assessing the ability to perform volume, the data indicate that eating prior to training can in some contexts make a difference. This then leads to a discussion on time-restricted feeding (AKA intermittent fasting), as many adherents don’t consume a meal before training. Specifically, we discuss a new year-long study on time-restricted feeding, the longest to date, to see how these two lines of investigation converge.

Jan 17, 2022
Ep. 153 - Were Ancient Warriors Actually Jacked?
Watch Episode 1 Here:

In this episode, we lean heavily into the history and culture side of Iron Culture and discuss ancient history, specifically, ancient warfare and its accompanying physical culture. For those who don’t know, Omar teamed up with the History Channel to host a series that just launched on the History Channel’s YouTube and streaming service titled “Ancient Workouts”. You can catch the first episode which is already out now, and in this episode, we discuss some of the coolest aspects of the show. Specifically, we evaluate the various tropes we have in modern times about the physicality, training, and diets of Vikings, Spartans, Gladiators, and others, and dissect how these tropes compare to actual historical evidence. If you didn’t know, Omar is actually somewhat of an amateur historian, so you’ll get the rare experience of hearing him go in on a topic, while Eric listens and learns.

Jan 10, 2022
Ep. 152 - Effort vs Exertion, Frequency, and Qualitative Research (Q&A)

We’re kicking off 2022 by listening to the people. We, your humble cult leaders, are benevolent theocratic overlords, who want your voice to be heard (so long as you say and ask things that we approve of beforehand). That’s right, we’re back with another question and answer episode! In this episode, we discuss the differences between effort and exertion, what the latest data on frequency suggests, and what the limitations of the extant frequency data are, and finally, we discuss the role and importance and qualitative research in a field dominated by quantitative data. Enjoy!

Jan 03, 2022
Ep. 151 - Strange But True

As it’s said, truth is stranger than fiction. On Iron Culture we’ve pointed out multiple fantastical, claims backed by pseudoscience that were just gimmicks designed to make you buy something. But sometimes, things that sound gimmicky are actually legit. In this episode, we cover a number of them, like the surprising effects of visualization (AKA motor imagery) training on strength, the effects of compression garments on recovery, and also the positive and negative effects of cold therapy.

Dec 27, 2021
Ep. 150 - Iron Culture: 3 Years Later

Can you believe it’s been nearly 3 years of running the cult? By this point, most people in our shoes would have had their final Kool-Aid party, ran out of followers after inaccurately predicting the apocalypse too many times, or simply had the law catch up with them after too much credit card fraud and polygamy. But nay! We still stand (err sit) before you, preaching the gospel THEY don’t want you to hear. That’s right, this pirate radio station isn’t going anywhere (at least until one of the big corporations we hit up for an ad partnership on the daily finally responds)! Join us for this 150th anniversary Iron culture reflections episode…and thank you for listening!

Dec 20, 2021
Ep. 149 - Overreaching, Overtraining and Insufficient Recovery: Everything You Need To Know

We get questions all the time like “is squatting more than twice a week overtraining?” Or, “how much volume is overtraining?” But what is the actual scientific definition of overtraining, do lifters actually experience it, and what does overtraining result in? In this episode we do a deep dive on the topic of insufficient recovery, some of which falls under the umbrella of overtraining, and some of which falls under the umbrella of under-eating. Ultimately, by the end of this episode you’ll walk away with a true understanding of what overtraining syndrome, functional and non functional overreaching, mechanical overtraining, and low energy availability are, which should be on your radar, and what to do about them. 

Dec 13, 2021
Ep. 148 - Personal Training: A Lost Art Form (ft. Chad Landers)

Chad Landers has over 30 years of experience as a personal trainer. He started as a young trainer, working for others as an employee or a contractor, as most trainers do, but eventually became a gym owner. More importantly, his gym has survived in LA, an incredibly saturated and competitive market, through both the mid-2000’s financial crisis as well as the recent COVID epidemic. He’s prioritized value-based teamwork, developing relationships, evidence-based knowledge, understanding of history, good communication with a client-centered, individualized approach, and coupled that with a strong foundation of basic financial knowledge and planning. Because of this approach, he’s had the fortune of working with clients long term, had the experience of working with high profile clients, helped other trainers develop their careers, and he is essentially the model of how to make personal training a long term, feasible, and rewarding vocation. Chad Landers, the 2018 NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year, joins Iron Culture to share his knowledge in this enlightening episode. 

Dec 06, 2021
Ep. 147 - What The Fitness Industry Gets Wrong About The Obesity Epidemic (Part 2)

We’re back with Part 2 of our discussion on “What the Fitness Industry Gets Wrong About Obesity”, this time we move from a discussion about the divide between the diet and anti-diet narratives, and the role of the coach, and bring on a clinician. Dr. Spencer Nadolsky AKA “the doc who lifts” is an obesity and lipid specialist physician who works in the real world, on a day-to-day basis with his patients with obesity. He has to assess with each patient the potential risk and benefits of attempts at weight loss, what approach to use, and when medical interventions should be considered. Join us to learn how he has changed his opinions over time, the current state of the evidence, and how he constantly evolves his approach of communicating with his audience in order to hopefully educate, without doing harm. You don’t want to miss this episode of Iron Culture!

Nov 29, 2021
Ep. 146 - What The Fitness Industry Gets Wrong About The Obesity Epidemic

Returning guests Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro and Dr. Ben House discuss how the divide in the nutrition community spurred by the “diet” and “anti-diet” debates can potentially lead to inaction and subsequent unaddressed problems. When there is a passionate debate across a moral divide, data often goes by the wayside. This occurs when obesity-focused practitioners and researchers don’t acknowledge pathways to improved health other than weight loss, or the potential harm from weight loss attempts which are often unsuccessful. Further, it can occur when weight-neutral-focused practitioners and researchers don’t acknowledge that in some cases, weight loss is the outcome with the largest potential to positively impact health, or that multidisciplinary evidence-based approaches result in successful weight loss maintenance much more often than other approaches. In the middle is the trainer or nutrition practitioner who is aware of all the problems, but unsure of what tools will solve them, and is also worried that some of the tools have the potential for doing harm. In this conversation, we hope to equip you with the understanding of what tools are best in which situations, so you can become a part of the solution.

[Further Information]

[Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro]

[Dr. Ben House]

Nov 22, 2021
Ep. 145 - Powerlifting & Strongman Training Before Social Media (ft. Chip Conrad)

Are you useful? I don’t know, but we’ve got the author of this amazing book back on! That’s right, none other than physical culture revivalist Chip Conrad. This time, it’s storytime as we catch up with Chip after our last chat way back in July of 2019. Learn how he used to spend weekends at Mel Siff’s house talking exercise science in the sauna, how he interviewed all the strongmen champions competing at the Arnold Classic, how he has a more recent book that he wishes Omar and I would promote instead of his older one, and why he’s currently traveling across the US to train in the wilderness. 

Nov 15, 2021
Ep. 144 - When To Call It Quits?

Another duo episode? Some say it’s because we’ve burned every bridge with every guest we’ve ever had on, but the truth is we just can’t get enough of each other. In this episode we discuss how mental fatigue can impact training, based on some interesting research on the topic, and how being distracted in certain ways can potentially help skill acquisition. After this brief research review, we dive into the main course, which is to discuss the following questions: when is it the right move to take your foot off the gas? How do you know when to be content with moving into a maintenance phase? Do people normally take their foot off the gas before they actually hit their peak? What type of mentality is needed to keep pushing and break plateaus as an advanced lifter? Join us as we discuss these challenging topics that eventually all serious advanced lifters struggle with. 

Nov 08, 2021
Ep. 143 - Everything You Need To Know About Velocity Based Training

Velocity-based training, you’ve probably heard of it and have a vague understanding of what it is, but don’t fully grasp it. That’s about to change with this episode as we bring two experts on to discuss it, both of who are literally doing their Ph.D.’s on topics related to it. Landyn Hickmott, MS is a powerlifting coach, semi-pro hockey player, creator of RTS’s new velocity-based training course, and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Saskatchewan. He joins Ivan Jukic, MS a strength and conditioning coach and Ph.D. candidate at Auckland University of Technology, actually studying under Eric, on iron culture today to talk through everything velocity based training from the concept, to how it works, it’s weaknesses, strengths, limitations, and unique applications like monitoring, feedback, and both load and volume auto regulation.

Nov 01, 2021
Ep. 142 - Myths and Facts About Creatine (New Research ft. Dr. Darren Candow)
The creatine kingpin, Dr. Darren Candow is back to update us on what’s happening in the world of creatine research and explain the many myths that still prevail despite decades of published studies. How can creatine both dehydrate you and cause water retention? Does creatine really cause hair loss? Do you need to load creatine? Does it matter if you take it pre or post-workout? And is the optimal dosage for bone health and other clinical uses the same as it is for performance and body composition? Find out the answers to these questions and more on this comprehensive creatine update with professor Candow! 
Oct 25, 2021
Ep. 141 - Peak Performance (When & How Long Will You Be At Your Strongest?)

In this episode of Iron Culture, we address the questions “How long can I keep progressing or maintain my peak as I get older? and "What can I do to stay at my best for as long as possible?” After our previous metabolism myths episode, where we discussed how many age related effects come much later than most think, we wanted to do a follow up to focus specifically on performance, recovery, and how long strength and physique athletes should expect to still be at their best. Tune in, as you might be surprised just how long an athlete can be at their peak.

Oct 18, 2021
Ep. 140 - Squats Are Bad For You (The Origin of this Fitness Myth)

We’ve had medical doctors and physical therapists who specialize in lifting to dispel exercise-specific fears and myths around risk, outdated treatments, and reductionist narratives multiple times on Iron Culture. But, do you ever wonder why they have to dispel these myths in the first place? In this episode, Dr. Conor Heffernan, the strength historian, is back to teach us about the origins of these beliefs, narratives, and fears. Where did the Snap City fears of modern YouTube comments on deadlift and squat videos originate from? Why do some personal trainers, even in the modern era, fear deep squats or your knees passing your toes? Join us in this episode as we go way back, many decades before the majority of us were born to learn how these ideas were born!

Oct 11, 2021
Ep. 139 - Why Try Harder Fails

Hard work is undeniably an essential element of success in the iron game and life. Yet, while that is true, just like telling someone who is depressed to “cheer up”, telling someone struggling with their progress to “try harder” doesn’t help. Despite that, so much of our signaling on social media, our shared community values, and our identities as lifters come down to expressing, celebrating, and worshipping that exact sentiment. In this episode, we explore why this happens, and the rare cases when telling someone to simply try harder actually might be helpful, in what context, for whom, and also discussing all the times this advice falls flat at best, or at worst, is actually harmful. Get ready to dive deep on this one folks, as we take a hard look at the motivations of the lifter.

Oct 04, 2021
Ep. 138 - Metabolism Myths (Age, Sex & Individual Differences)

It’s all downhill when you hit years old!” is one of the most heard phrases by not yet middle-aged lifters at family events. But is that true? In this episode we address “metabolic myths” related to energy expenditure changes over the lifespan, so-called “differences” between the sexes, and also cover some crazy realities like the true extent of individual differences in energy expenditure, and how things change (or don’t change) during pregnancy. Make sure to tune in to this episode of Iron Culture so you can start more sentences with “umm actually…” at family gatherings.

Sep 27, 2021
Ep. 137 - Exercise Selection & Execution for Strength & Hypertrophy (Q&A #5)

We are back with another question and answer episode! This one includes a deep dive into exercise selection, execution, and ways to maximize time efficiency as it relates to exercise selection, covering both strength and physique goals, those who have both goals, and other nuances on these topics that people often don’t consider. Further, we discuss what competitive natural bodybuilding could do to improve the experience of both competitors and fans alike. And finally, we talk about frequency of training and recent shifts in our perspective on the topic.

Sep 20, 2021
Ep. 136 - All About Testosterone & TRT (Yeah We Go There)

Testosterone. The obsession of the lifting world. Previously on Iron Culture, we’ve had Roundtables on PEDs (taking supraphysiological levels of testosterone, synthetic testosterone, and other performance-enhancing drugs), and we’ve had experts on to discuss the history of PEDs, their long term effects, and how they are tested for in sport. But today, we have Dr. Ben House back on the podcast to talk specifically about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) in a clinical setting…and well, the *wink wink nudge nudge* common practice of not so clinical usage of TRT. It’s hard to get good information on this topic, some claim TRT is just as innocuous as taking creatine, and the number of men who hop on TRT in middle and old age has skyrocketed in recent times. But do you know what also has skyrocketed? The number of men who stop taking TRT within a year of starting. Some studies suggest 8-9 out of 10 men will cease TRT, despite claims it’s a fountain of youth without side effects. But why? Join us today for a deep dive on this topic to learn what really seems to be going on.

Sep 13, 2021
Ep. 135 - Lifting For Endurance Athletes

For better or worse we committed to the Iron Culture mission statement of being “for all lifters”…even for endurance athletes who lift. Yes, you heard that right, endurance athletes. In this episode we are joined by Professor Sara Mahoney, who has her Ph.D. in exercise physiology, researches nutrition for endurance athletes, is a runner herself, and coaches Division 1 and 2 cross country and track and field. She’s on to talk about how she uses resistance training to help her endurance athletes improve performance. Shockingly, she’s joined in this episode by one of her clients, none other than Dr. Mike Zourdos. Yes that Zourdos, Dr. DUP, Dr daily max squat, who in this episode breaks the silence on the earth-shattering secret that, in fact, he now only lifts occasionally, and when he does, it’s supplementary to his running.

Sep 06, 2021
Ep. 134 - You Don’t Understand Genetic Limits

Natty limits, genetic potential, everyone talks about these concepts, but most people truly get it wrong. You’ve heard the tropes, “you reach 80% of your muscular potential in your first X years of effective training.” It sounds great in theory, but it is the exception rather than the rule when it plays out this way in the real world. How often do people start off with effective training? How does regular dieting, either for competition or for the likes impact this timeline? What about injuries, time off, school, kids? How about simply figuring out what works best for you after years of being unable to? Despite the “rule” being so volatile and highly variable due to these factors (and others), it’s surprisingly common to hear people use this “logic” to justify anything from slacking off on training, to hopping on anabolics, to even supposedly identifying fake natty's. Join us in this episode as we talk about the not-so-linear timeline of approaching the asymptote that is your potential.

Aug 30, 2021
Ep. 133 - The Shady History of Supplements (ft. Dr. Conor Heffernan)

Dr. Conor Heffernan, the Strength historian, and Ben Esgro, the dual-masters degreed sports nutrition/pharmaceutical chemistry formulation artiste are both back on Iron Culture for this monster episode on the history of the supplement industry. Learn what it was like in the days of Sandow’s cocoa and how at one point in America’s history, every lifter had a little Bob Hoffman in them…literally. Contrast and compare that history with the contemporary experiences Ben has had in the supplement industry for over a decade, and you’ll see what has and hasn’t changed in this insider’s view into the world of powder and pills.

Aug 23, 2021
Ep. 132 - Where Does Broscience Come From?

This episode will hit your ears like a sonic boom, changing your perspective on “broscience” in a flash. Where do lifting myths come from? Locker room convos between Chad Broseph and Chance Halfsquat? Sometimes. But more often than not, the myths of today were the scientific truths of yesterday. So how do we pursue truth when faced with the reality that some of what we think we know today is incorrect? Well, we must avoid over concluding on the limited evidence we have, seeking to evaluate not only what that evidence can tell us, but also what it can’t. Tune into this episode to learn more about this process.

Aug 16, 2021
Ep. 131- Training To Failure (What the Science Actually Says)

If you don’t train to failure, you’ll be a failure. It not only sounds good, but it also appeals to the hardcore inner masochist in every serious lifter that’s just waiting to strike in the comments section. But, is the saying true? In this episode, we’re joined by Zac Robinson from Data Driven Strength to find out. He’s a powerlifting coach who did his master's degree specifically on the effects of training to and short of failure on hypertrophy and strength with Dr. Mike Zourdos at Florida Atlantic University. You’ll learn that there are in fact pros and cons to training to failure, and there are times, exercises, goals, and situations that may warrant training to failure, or *GASP*….quite far from it! So as you tune in, prepare your inner hardcore masochist for jimmy-rustling, feather-ruffling, and maybe even some gear-grinding.

Aug 09, 2021
Ep. 130 - We Were WRONG

The cornerstone of scientific thinking is updating your beliefs based on the available evidence. Unfortunately this conflicts with the cornerstone of being a cult of personality guru leader, which requires doubling down and never admitting fault or when you’re wrong. In this episode we break the fourth wall, coming down off the top of the pyramid to have a non-canon discussion about all the times we’ve changed our minds and updated our beliefs. Not only is each instance an opportunity to discuss how specific evidence has changed over time and the nuances of a given topic, but the entire episode serves as a meta-discussion on continually learning. Make sure to tune into this one to hear all the times we’ve been wrong, but then quickly forget about it because Omar and I are never wrong.

Aug 02, 2021
Ep. 129 - Elite Level Powerlifting (Champions Edition)

2021 USAPL nationals was just back after a year off due to COVID. So, emotions were high, the competition was fierce and as always, USAPL nationals didn’t disappoint. This episode we host the “winner’s circle”, joined by multiple time national champions Heather Connor, Jonathan Cayco, and Sam Calhoun. Not only do we learn about each of their two-year journeys to nationals, but also about the current challenges facing athletes due to the current conflict between the USAPL and the IPF.

Jul 26, 2021
Episode 128 - Book Bodybuilding & The Dog (ft. Ryan Doris)

This episode of Iron Culture was a classic. You want lifting-specific introspection which will resonate with anyone in the culture of lifting? Look no further! In this episode the one and only Ryan Doris, pro natural bodybuilding champion, elite powerlifter, and deep thinker joins the cult. In this episode we discuss the nature of what makes athletes tick, and how to balance “Book Bodybuilding and The Dog”. Don’t miss this one folks, you’re guaranteed to have some “ah ha” moments and to come away with a better perspective on your journey with the iron.

Jul 19, 2021
Ep. 127 - Supplement Science: Everything You Didn’t Know About Stimulants (But Should)

Ben Esgro is back on Iron Culture to do another deep dive. This time, we discuss all things stimulants. What are stimulants, exactly? What makes a stimulant stimulating? Which stimulants are most potent? Why do some products use stimulants you’ve never heard of while others just use caffeine? Why can your experiences with the same stimulant, and even the same dose sometimes differ? Why do some products combine stimulants? Tune into this episode as we cover everything from physiological mechanisms, to formulation strategy, to legal and regulatory changes of stimulants.

Jul 12, 2021
Ep. 126 - Competing At The Highest Level In Powerlifting: An Inside Look (ft. Bryce Lewis and Ashton Rouska)

Does being a competitor require a competitive mindset? In some sports, yes. But in powerlifting, you arguably could just focus on yourself, progressing, and show up on game day ignorant to your competition, put up the best total you can, and see where you place. Indeed, some world-class competitors do just that. With that said, athletes are human. Some thrive off a competitive mindset and feel it drives them to athletic heights they couldn’t achieve on their own. Others, however, feel like this provides pressure, self-judgment, and saps the joy from powerlifting without adding any benefit. Ultimately there isn’t a right or wrong answer. Each person has to figure out what is most facilitative to improved performance for them individually. On this episode we’re joined by Bryce Lewis and Ashton Rouska, the top two 105kg IPF lifters in the world currently who’ve battled it out at USAPL nationals twice now, with Bryce coming away as the 2019 National champ and Ashton the 2021 National champ. They have a candid conversation where you’ll learn how they each approach competition, what they’ve learned, and how it can apply to you.

Jul 05, 2021
Ep. 125 - Competing (and Winning) in BOTH Powerlifting & Bodybuilding (ft. Katie Anne Rutherford)

What do the 2015 USAPL Junior National title, the 2017 Yorton Cup Pro Figure Tall title, and the 2017 WNBF Pro Figure Overall title have in common? They were all won by our guest on this episode of Iron Culture: Katie Anne Rutherford. Competing and simply being competent in both strength and physique sport simultaneously is a challenge that few people can overcome, but achieving truly elite performance in both is something truly extraordinary. In this episode, Katie shared her trials, tribulations, perspectives, history, and advice across multiple physical and mental domains as someone who has not only walked the walk but been incredibly successful doing so. Make sure to tune in as there is a lot of insight in this episode!

Jun 28, 2021
Ep. 124 - Natty or Not, Drug Testing and Genetics (Q&A #3)

Omar and Eric are back with another Q&A episode! This time, they go IN on the topic of not just being skeptical but also being rational when thinking about the likelihood of someone being drug-free. As you are probably aware, skepticism abounds on this topic online, which is fine, but the question is: what do you base that skepticism on? Since most of the information on this topic consists of sweeping generalizations that simply don’t generalize outside of a specific context, is purposely clickbaity and controversial, and is heavily biased, we do our best to present things logically, from multiple angles, and considering different contexts in this episode.

Jun 21, 2021
Ep. 123 - Retiring Early From Natural Bodybuilding

Sam Okunola has been at the top echelon of the natural bodybuilding competitive circuit for over a decade. Winning his pro card in his first sanctioned show in 2009, he’s gone on to win multiple pro shows, culminating in winning the 2017 IPE Overall World title, even NPC regional shows in the classic division, and he’s also placed 2nd at the 2012 IFPA Yorton Cup and 2017 and 2019 WNBF worlds. What kind of mindset does an elite natural bodybuilder like Sam have? How does he stay focused on improving? How have his military background, upbringing, and his experience as a coach influenced him? Join us on this episode of Iron Culture to learn the answer to these questions and more!

Jun 14, 2021
Ep. 122 - From Bodybuilding to Crafting High Quality Content (ft. Jeff Nippard)

What goes into making a YouTube channel dedicated to educating people about lifting, nutrition, getting stronger, and bodybuilding? We asked Jeff Nippard just that on this episode of Iron Culture where he was kind enough to join us to share his experience. But, not before Eric engaged him in probably one of the most important discussions we’ve had to date, who should have won the 2007 Mr. Olympia? In this episode, you’ll learn what goes into content creation, and which bodybuilder got robbed 14 years ago. 

Jun 07, 2021
Ep. 121- Achieving Nutritional Competence

Nutrition is not just about comparing methods, macro breakdowns, or foods. Navigating nutritional changes that support your goals is a skill set that needs to be actively developed over time. What are the common sources of error when someone “should” be losing or gaining weight based on their activity, body mass, and reported intake? How do you correct those errors? Did you ever think that even as a “macro coach” using client-created meal plans might be a game-changer for teaching someone how to manipulate their nutrition, while also individualizing it? Developing nutrition competence is an often overlooked aspect in the “evidence-based” community where we often focus on quantitative science and neglect qualitative experience. In this episode, learn how to avoid overlooking this key aspect of nutrition. 

May 31, 2021
Episode 120 - A Deep Examination of “Specificity”

Principle of specificity bro, everybody knows that? But do they? What’s more specific to a squat 1RM, a leg press 1RM, or doing a set of 10 on squats? Why does squatting have just as good of transference to leg press strength as it does to squatting, but not the other way around? Why won’t training tricep pushdowns in the 6-8 rep range improve your lockout on bench press more effectively than tricep pushdowns in the 15-20 rep range? The answers to these questions, and more, are covered in this episode of Iron Culture. 

May 24, 2021
Ep. 119 - The Strongest Powerlifter (ft. Amanda Lawrence)

On this episode of Iron Culture, we are joined by the strongest of them all: Amanda Lawrence. She currently tops the ranks of drug-tested raw powerlifting by coefficient using multiple formulae and is just weeks out from USAPL raw nationals where she hopes to further improve on her already mind-blowing total of 646kg at under 84kg. Join us as we discuss how she got into the sport, what she loves about the sport, her future in powerlifting, her experiences coaching and competing, and who she is outside of the gym. Also, listen in to find out who she calls out for a post-nationals posedown on Daytona Beach!

May 17, 2021
Ep.118 - Should You Compete?

We’re back with round 2 of our question and answer episodes on Iron Culture! We begin with the dumpster fire that is the “Natty or Not” debate, hopefully providing some unique insights, and then we get into some useful advice on both accurately identifying, and potentially, when appropriate, addressing “lagging” muscle groups. The real gem of this episode though, is answering the question “when is the right time to compete?” We address both strength and physique sport and truly get to the heart of what holds most people back, but what probably shouldn’t. Finally, we cover how to use the right types and balance between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to ensure continual progress. 

May 10, 2021
Ep. 117 - Is Exercise Pointless for Weight Loss?

Dr. Ben House is back on Iron Culture! This time he’s here to explain why not only is exercise not pointless for weight loss, but indeed may be the most effective and low-risk tool we have to arrest the obesity epidemic. In this episode, we discuss why “exercise nihilism” for weight loss stems from an overly reductionist view of activity, purely as a means of increasing energy expenditure. We also discuss how activity can have profound effects on the metabolic response to meals, and can better regulate energy intake. We juxtapose the likely-to-fail strategies based on purposeful, lifelong diet restraint, with a focus on activity and exercise which may better regulate passive energy intake. Finally, we do a bit of ranting about our love affair with “willpower” that leads people astray when the diet is over. 

May 03, 2021
Ep. 116 - Flexible Dieting: A Reexamination?!

Can you believe it’s episode 116 and we haven’t yet done a deep dive specifically on “flexible dieting”? Well, we couldn’t either, so in this episode, we did just that. You’ll learn what the origins of flexible dieting are in the research and also the fitness industry and how they diverged to the point they became wholly separate. You’ll learn why IIFYM is not always flexible, what the data on flexible dieting suggests, and where the research stands today as newer concepts like intuitive eating have emerged.

Apr 26, 2021
Ep. 115 - Tapering For Strength: What You Probably Don’t Know

This week, Dr. Hayden Pritchard joins Iron Culture. Hayden did his Ph.D. specifically on tapering for maximal strength enhancement, which included surveying top powerlifters to see what they do in practice prior to competition. Since his Ph.D. he’s gone on to survey strongmen/women, CrossFit competitors and weightlifters as well. No stranger to maximal strength himself, Hayden Pritchard is also a national-level weightlifter, and a world-level powerlifter, having represented New Zealand at IPF Worlds in the 93kg class. As you know, we value nepotism here at Iron Culture, as you’ll find out that Eric and Hayden actually did their Ph.D.’s at AUT in the same time period, and competed with one another in powerlifting in 2013-2014 multiple times. Join us in this episode as you benefit from that nepotism and learn the science of how strength athletes set themselves up to PR on the platform. 

Apr 19, 2021
Ep. 114 - After Your Diet, Now What?!

The diet is what? Well, that depends. Are you someone looking to maintain your (hopefully reasonable amount of) weight loss? Or are you a competitor who’s purposely dieted to an unsustainable level of leanness and needs to recover physiologically and psychologically so you can have a productive offseason? Depending on who you are and your situation, the answer will differ. Further, there is considerable debate as to the best approach even if you have narrowed down your situation. Reverse diet, recovery diet, or something like else? Have no fear, Iron Culture is here to separate fact from fiction, and clarify the physiology, psychology, and strategies we have that are relevant to the topic. 

Apr 12, 2021
Ep. 113 - Competitive Natural Bodybuilding: A Journey (ft. Brett Freeman)

Iron Culture gets back to its roots in this episode, meaning, hunks. WNBF Pro Natural bodybuilder and 2x World Pro Champion in the lightweight and bantamweight classes Brett Freeman joins us today to talk about his competitive journey with bodybuilding. Getting into the sport early, he’s now spent half his life in a tumultuous relationship with the sport. Like Icarus, he flew too close initially, burned out, and took three years completely off training and competing. As you’ll hear, while these were dark times for Brett, they allowed him to return to the sport with a renewed, healthier perspective towards competition, ironically resulting in his most successful competitive outcomes.

Apr 05, 2021
Ep. 112 - The Truth About Making Fitness Content

Infographics, YouTubers, podcasters, and blogs, oh my! It ain’t easy being a content creator in these hyper-speed feed times. In this episode, the hosts reflect on the challenging balance of producing meaningful, high-quality content that will help, while also staying relevant in the social media age, and somehow managing to pay the bills. Listen and you'll learn how and why Instagram makes it harder for Eric to read and review research, why Omar is one of the few surviving YouTubers who started their channel before the twenty-teens, and also the host's combined insights in how to stay afloat, and hopefully make a difference as a content creator. 

Mar 29, 2021
Ep. 111 - The Future of Powerlifting

In this episode, three of the most talented lifters in the IPF discuss their training, the state of powerlifting and their lifting careers during COVID, and the future. We are joined by Jessica Buettner, multi-time raw Canadian national champion, World Classic Junior Champion, Commonwealth champion, and World Classic Open podium finisher, in addition to Bryce Krawczyk, multi-time Canadian raw and equipped national champion, World Classic podium finisher, and North American Powerlifting champion, and Taylor Atwood, six-time US raw national champion, and two-time World Classic Champion, to reveal how despite their mind-blowing totals, they are human like the rest of us. How have they fared in the last year? How has powerlifting fared, and what can we expect for the future of the sport? Join us to find out! 

Mar 22, 2021
Ep. 110 - Who Are You Without Lifting?

It’s been just about a year since the first COVID gym lockdowns, and for many, they are still happening. Some have been unable to train in the way they were accustomed to for the majority of that time, almost everyone has had to adjust, and the social dynamics of training are absent when training alone, at home. Some have had to ask the question “who am I without lifting?”, coming up with as many different answers as there are lifters. In this episode, we reflect on the road behind us, how we’ve coped, the reasons we lift, and the meaning we make when our pursuit doesn’t go as planned. Join us, while it’s dark sometimes, we know there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Mar 15, 2021
Ep. 109 - Empiricism vs Rationalism: What Do We Really Know When It Comes To Fitness?

We often throw around terms like “rational skepticism” or “empirical evidence” without knowing the specific definitions of what they mean beyond a general sense of them indicating some aspect of scientific thought or inquiry. What is rationalism? What is empiricism? How do we actually evaluate the evidence to make conclusions when viewed from the perspective of each? In this episode, the whole MASS crew chats on Iron Culture to discuss how we form a rational theory based on logical reasoning, and evaluate actual empirical evidence to come to conclusions. How do you evaluate the strength of a rational argument? How do you use empirical evidence and rational thought in a complementary way to answer questions? Tune in to this episode and strengthen your critical thinking skills so you aren’t simply a victim to the blowing winds of #science on social media. 

Mar 08, 2021
Ep. 108 - Sustainable Fat Loss, Bench Plateaus & More (Q&A #1)

You got questions? We got answers. In fact, we have THE answers. In this episode Omar and Eric take a step in a bold direction, doing what no other podcasts or fitness content creators have previously done, and answer questions from our subscribers. No, it’s never been done before, yes it’s a wild idea never previously considered (and if someone claims they’ve done it or thought it already, trust us, they actually stole it from us). But ever the bold innovators, Iron Culture steps into the breach. No need to thank us. 

Mar 01, 2021
Ep. 107 - Supplement Science: All About Citrulline & Citrulline Malate

Citrulline Malate, an emerging supplement in the scientific literature with an overall positive publishing record. More and more these days, you’ll see it alongside the more scientifically established usual suspects like creatine and caffeine in multi-ingredient mixes. But what exactly is it? What’s Citrulline? What’s malate? What do they do? How do they work? What do we know, and what is yet to be determined? In this episode, we're joined by returning guests Ben Esgro and Eric Trexler to answer these questions. Ben is a registered dietitian with two master's degrees, one in sports nutrition and one in pharmaceutical chemistry, and he’s been a supplement formulator and supplement company owner for over a decade. Dr. Eric Trexler actually did his Ph.D. dissertation on Citrulline, so it’s safe to say we have probably the most informed duo on the topic in podcast history. So sit back, learn, and enjoy!

Feb 22, 2021
Ep. 106 - What Hardcore Lifters Get WRONG

Black and white Animal Pak posters, a mid-set roar lunk alarm be damned, a willingness to sacrifice, and a middle finger to the concept of “balance”. Most people would agree these are “hardcore” archetypes. Many of us have lived it, some do currently, some call on it when needed, some respect it but aren’t about that life, and others judge them for not being about it. Ultimately, it’s a subjective mindsight that can have positive and negative effects on your life and even your goals. Also, from some perspectives, it’s actually the easy way out. In this episode of Iron Culture, our hosts ponder the question “what does it mean to be hardcore?”

Feb 15, 2021
Ep. 105 - Powerlifting, Community & Opening Your Own Gym

Opening a community gym in the middle of a pandemic: crazy, or if done safely, sorely needed? That’s exactly what Mike Farr (Silent Mike) and Jim McDonald did. These Nor Cal natives return from their previous episode alongside Alan Thrall and Eric Helms where we discussed what the heck is in the water in Sacramento that produces so many iconic lifting groups. They join us today to talk about their experience of pulling the trigger on their dream of opening a gym in Sacramento, despite the challenges of COVID. Philosophically, they have the outlook that you can only put your dreams on hold for so long, and that there will always be a reason not to do something. Ethically, these two didn’t cut any corners in pursuit of their dreams. They realise that for folks like us, lifting has to find a way, because it’s something we need. Learn how they provide their members the space as an outlet, while protecting their health, and not going bankrupt in this episode.

Feb 08, 2021
Ep. 104 - Bulking vs Cutting: What Should You Do?

Ahhh, the eternal question: should I bulk or cut? It seems like everyone at some point asks this question. In this episode, we tackle what seems like a simple question, but to do so we have to traverse concepts like P-ratios, body recomposition, the spectrum of novice to advanced lifter, rates of weight gain and loss, psychology and the impact of social media, setting appropriate expectations and more.

Feb 01, 2021
Ep. 103 - The History of Women’s Bodybuilding

The women’s bodybuilding division has arguably changed more than any other division in physique sport. It’s gone through periods of existence, non-existence, change, challenge, popularity, obscurity, and reemergence. While many focus on the physical differences of say, Cory Everson, and Iris Kyle, many don’t realize the changing pressures uniquely placed on female bodybuilders in the IFBB. In this episode, Dr. Conor Heffernan returns to recount the history of this division and juxtapose it to the male bodybuilding division. Further, we are rejoined by powerlifting champions Jessica Buettner and Natalie Hanson to juxtapose this historical perspective with their experience in powerlifting in the modern era, as women. As we say here at Iron Culture, the goal is to unite all lifters and to do that well we must put ourselves in the shoes of those we share the love of the iron with. We hope you enjoy the opportunity to do so in this episode!

Jan 25, 2021
Ep. 102 - Programming: Signal vs Noise

Without constraints, it’s hard to know what direction to go in. But on the other hand, if you’re too constrained it’s hard to change direction in any meaningful way. This paradigm exists in many domains of life, but today we’re discussing how it operates in training. You could conceptualise this as “top down” vs “bottom up” programming styles, but ultimately, the questions are: where do I begin and how do I adjust if it doesn’t work? If you’re an athlete, knowing the answer is how you make it to the next level, and if you’re a coach, having a system to answer both questions is the cornerstone of your success. In this episode we tackle these questions, starting philosophically, and eventually getting down to specifics and providing examples and details. Dry your eye dear listener if you haven’t hit a PR in months, today might be the start of something beautiful.

Jan 18, 2021
Ep. 101 - Blood Flow Restriction Training For Hypertrophy & Rehab

Literally, time to strap in for this one folks! Blood Flow Restriction training: hypertrophy training with light weights made as just effective as heavier weights by putting a wrap or cuff around an arm or leg! It sounds like a gimmick, but there are actually two decades of published research looking into this intervention. We’re joined by returning guest and physical therapist Dr. Nick Licameli and Dr. Nick Rolnick, a first-timer Iron Culture guest who has not only published peer-reviewed articles on BFR for bodybuilding but also uses it extensively in his practice as a physical therapist. Not only do we learn about BFR in this episode, and its implications for mechanisms of hypertrophy among other things, but it serves as a foil to better understand gimmicks vs the real deal in fitness. 

Jan 11, 2021
Ep. 100 - Iron Reflections

100 episodes, wow. We just want to say thank you, dear listener. What began as an excuse for us to hang out more often than our friends and families thought was healthy, turned into a bonified opportunity for us to learn about all the various permutations the iron can take, the interesting, cutting edge science related to it all, and the history of what came before. We hope you learned as much as we have, and that your connection to the iron has deepened, and become more multifaceted. In this episode, it’s just us, reflecting on the journey thus far, and our favorite episodes out of the 100 we’ve had. Sit back and enjoy, because you were a part of making this happen.

Jan 07, 2021
Bonus Episode - We Get Kicked OFF The Joe Rogan Experience

Still unsure if they need to get lawyers, our heroes emerge victorious from their mission to make the big leagues by being on with the one and only Joe Rogan. It only took breaking in, barricading the door, and hours of threats, but our hosts know when someone is just playing hard to get. While Joe has never released the episode, we’re confidently waiting, and until then, enjoy these highlights. You’ll notice there is still more work to be done, however. Our attempts to emphasize science and nuance were met with interesting tangents on DMT, wolves, grass-fed butter honey toast, and general frustration with research, but we know our boy Mr. Rogaine will come around eventually!

Jan 04, 2021
Ep. 99 - 35 Years Of Bodybuilding

Jeff Alberts has been training longer than most Iron Culture listeners have been alive and competing in bodybuilding longer than some as well. As a natural bodybuilder, he’s steadily climbed the ranks from amateur to professional, to winning pro shows, to placing top 5 at WNBF Pro Worlds. While these are impressive feats for any bodybuilder, what’s incredible is that he’s turning 50 this year, still at his peak, and is in the midst of contest preparation for the 2021 season. This résumé alone would warrant any smart bodybuilder to listen closely and take notes, but on top of his personal experience, Jeff has coached over 1000 individuals, recreational and competitive, from amateur to professional champion. This isn’t one to miss folks, so sit back and take in the wealth of experience of Jeff Alberts.

Dec 28, 2020
Ep. 98 - Why Nutrition Science is a Battleground

Danny Lennon still isn’t returning our phone calls, but that’s ok because his Sigma Nutrition Radio Co-host Alan Flanagan is! Alan is not only a Ph.D. candidate at Surrey University studying nutrition but was also a former practicing lawyer (and of course most importantly a powerlifter). This means he has not only a solid understanding of nutrition science but also logic and how to construct an argument. This combination makes him not only a potent communicator of nutrition science but also science at a meta-level. He joins us this episode to discuss how heuristics can become falsehoods, how evidence-based “rules” can masquerade as dogma, and why an RCT doesn’t always trump epidemiology. This one is for the nerd’s nerd, so strap in to expand your critical thinking skills (and if not just continue to put your blind faith in Iron CULTure).

Dec 21, 2020
Ep. 97 - Free Weights vs Machines (The 150 Year Battle)

Despite the potato-famine controversy in our last episode with him, Dr. Conor Heffernan the strength historian is back dropping more gems from the past on iron culture. This time we address the ever-repeating cycle of the “machines vs free weights” argument from a historical perspective. From Sandow to Arthur Jones to the modern “functional fitness” era, this episode has it all!

Dec 14, 2020
Ep. 96 - Meal Timing, Intermittent Fasting & Time Restricted Eating

Intermittent energy restriction, intermittent fasting, time-restricted feeding, refeeds, diet breaks, nonlinear dieting, and chrononutrition, oh my! You’re not in Kansas anymore, it’s a wide world of meal frequencies and eating patterns dear cultists, but don’t worry we’ve assembled the avengers on these topics! Teaching us the terminology in the lay vs scientific community, the theories, the state of the evidence, and ultimately, the practical application, are three guests: Danny Lennon MSc of Sigma Nutrition, science communicator well versed in chrononutrition, and Dr. Grant Tinsley of Texas Tech University, a leading researcher in the area of time-restricted feeding return! Also, joining us is a first-time guest, Ph.D. candidate Jackson Peos, who is doing his Ph.D. on diet breaks in athletes. Sit back, grab your popcorn (but only eat it in the 8-hour window while the sun is out on your refeed day or diet break week), and enjoy!

Dec 07, 2020
Ep. 95 - Old School Bodybuilding

History, Science, Culture. As a CULTist, that’s what you signed up for and we’ve been lax delivering the first: history. But no more! We are joined by Dr. Conor Heffernan, Assistant Professor of Physical Culture and Sport Studies at the University of Texas at Austin to discuss how vaudeville circus acts became the iron game as we know it. Learn how Eugen Sandow literally ripped off his suit to enter the world stage and reshaped the view of what strongmen looked like. Learn how bodybuilding was born of this history and what the very first shows were like. We look back with reverence, but without rose-tinted glasses, exploring surprising aspects of this history, like the legal battles and money-making schemes that look surprisingly like the fit teas of today. Know your history, or repeat the mistakes of the past dear cult.

Nov 30, 2020
Ep. 94 - What Powerbuilding Gets WRONG

You’re hitting those sets of five on triceps pushdowns because you want maximum transfer to bench. Or maybe, you’re doing sets of 8-12 on the big 3, because you want to be strong and big. But damnit, your elbows and hips hate you. Are you doing something wrong? Is this really the best way to train for strength and size? Are you actually being specific in a useful way? In this episode, we discuss not only these topics, but also how they apply when you’ve been away from the gym, like many of us have been due to COVID, and you’re regaining strength you previously had.

Nov 23, 2020
Ep. 93 - What’s Wrong With The Fitness Industry (And How To Change It)

The stories often used in the fitness and nutrition space, but which certainly aren’t restricted to it, can suck us in, bleed our wallets, and turn us into zealots. “I used to think X but I was wrong! Look at this obscure mechanism (which I probably don’t understand and you definitely don’t understand), and look at this anecdote! This is why I now think Y! Everything we thought we knew was wrong and THEY don’t want you to know! You’re unknowingly missing out on gains/unhealthy, so we need to eat/train like Z now!” We are joined by Ben House, who has his PhD in nutrition and has been an educator in the lifting world for years helping people to think critically, learn nuance and get better. Today he joins us to pull back the curtain on the stories that pull us in with an emotional response, prey on them, and subvert our critical thinking. Moreso, he also asks the challenging question, is this always bad? Is this natural and how can elements of these approaches be used positively?

Nov 16, 2020
Ep. 92 - Lifting During Pregnancy

The majority of personal training clients are women, and the majority of women will be pregnant at least once in their life. Yet, resistance training and nutrition during and following pregnancy are not topics most trainers are well versed in. Join Omar and Eric in this episode to watch these two flawed protagonists find redemption. They previously used the documentary “Junior” starring Saint Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito as their sole information source on pregnancy, but now they are enlightened. Join them on their knowledge-seeking journey in this episode. They learn all about lifting and nutrition during and following pregnancy with guests Molly Galbraith, CSCS, a world-leading evidence-based educator for women’s health and fitness through her work as the owner of Girls Gone Strong, and Marika Hart, an experienced musculoskeletal physiotherapist completing her post-graduate education incontinence and pelvic health.

Molly is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and co-founder and owner of Girls Gone Strong, a global movement dedicated to helping women feel strong, confident, and empowered in their lives and bodies through industry-leading education materials, certification programs, and coaching — all focused on women. 

Molly is also the creator of the Girls Gone Strong Academy, the world's first online academy housing multiple evidence-based, interdisciplinary, women-specific certifications for health and fitness professionals.

Marika is a postgraduate trained physiotherapist, pilates instructor, and mother-of-two. She is super passionate about helping women feel fit, strong, and healthy during pregnancy and beyond.

For More Information:
Pre- & Postnatal Coaching Certification Info Page
GGS Coaching & Training Women Closed Facebook Group
Free 5-Day Course: Exercises To Do & Avoid During & After Pregnancy
Free 5-Day Course: The Ultimate Guide To Coaching & Training Postpartum Clients

Nov 09, 2020
Ep. 91- Powerlifter vs Weightlifter vs Strongman...Who’s The Strongest?!

We’ve all been in 5th grade...many of us wish it never ended. In this episode we take you back to that magical time by transposing our most important questions from that era like: “who would in a fight, Superman or Godzilla?” or “Could a silverback defeat a grizzly bear?” and the important follow up “what if they had swords?”, onto strength sports. Today we ask, who are the strongest: Powerlifters, Weightlifters, or Strongmen/women? We discuss what ways we could legitimately test strength across disciplines to answer this question and each guests “picks a character” as a champion of their sport in this thought experiment. To tackle these important questions the guests are thankful to be joined by returning guests and strength aficionados, Alan Thrall, Jonnie Candito and Max Aita. Strap up your Velcro’s, hop on the school bus, grab your bag lunch from mom and get ready to argue during recess in this episode of iron culture!

Nov 02, 2020
Ep. 90 - Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy & Body Composition Roundtable

Everything you thought you knew about body composition is WRONG. Ok, that’s absolutely not true, but this episode will deepen your understanding of the composition of muscle, the composition of fat, the tools we use to estimate (notice I didn’t say measure) body composition, and what this means for understanding how the human body changes in response to training and nutrition. We guarantee you’ll have some eye-opening moments listening in to this conversation as the hosts are joined by Dr. Cody Haun, who carries out cutting edge research on skeletal muscle anatomy, and Dr. Grant Tinsley who is a leading researcher in body composition assessment. More importantly, though, Cody has ridiculous pec development, and Grant can deadlift over 500lbs.

Oct 26, 2020
Ep. 89 - Supplement Science: What You DON’T Know About Caffeine & Stimulants

As a hardcore Iron CULTure listener, you’re already drinking the cool-aid. But, did you know that a large majority of adults are already drinking another addictive drug? You guessed it, caffeine is consumed in one form or another ubiquitously across the globe. In this episode, the man himself, Registered Dietitian Ben Esgro becomes a three-peat Iron Culture guest. He unholsters his dual master's degrees in sports nutrition and pharmaceutical chemistry and comes in blazing in this episode to teach you everything about caffeine. From its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics to its mechanisms of action, performance-enhancing effects, side effects, withdrawal, dependence, and the other nutraceuticals which can modify its effects, this monster episode of iron culture could easily replace your morning cup-a-Joe!

Oct 19, 2020
Ep. 88- How To Get Stronger (Understanding Peaking)

Elite sprinters don’t run sub-10s year-round, elite powerlifters aren’t always ready to total new personal bests, and physique athletes aren’t shredded in the offseason. Why is this? Are they doing something wrong the rest of the year, or are they doing something right when they’re at their peak performance? In this episode, we explore what Omar always says “you may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like.” In the end, you’ll learn whether or not you should continue to freak out and change your program each time you can’t lift more weight or do more reps than last time. 

Oct 12, 2020
Ep. 87- Practical Programming Tips For YOU

You might be just one of the many chosen of the Cult, vacillating between Draperism and Paimon, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t a unique snowflake. Today we discuss just what makes you unique, and how with that understanding, you can unlock your potential and get so smoking hot that the heat threatens your own existence as a snowflake. That’s right Cultists, today we explore the intricacies of individual differences and the fundamental nature of why frequentist statistics will never dominate evidence-based practice...all in the service of the most important goal of all: becoming really, really, ridiculously good looking.

Oct 05, 2020
Ep. 86 - Highland Games: A 1,000 Year Iron Tradition

Today we explore iron game disciplines with deep historical and cultural roots with Kyle Lillie. We discuss Highland games, a 1000-year-old sport, and throwing, which dates back to ancient civilization. Kyle is a professional Highland games competitor and Division 1 throws coach at Sacramento State University. Before Highland games, he threw for Arizona State at the national championship level and was a National Junior College Athletic Association champion before that. Shortly after his start in Highland games, he became a 2-time amateur world champion before turning pro in his now burgeoning professional career. Tune in to learn about the most functional activity of all, throwing stones, spears, discs, hammers, and yes,  even trees at your enemies.

Sep 28, 2020
Ep. 85 - Body Recomposition: Can You Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time?!

Chris Barakat MS, ATC, CSCS is a natural bodybuilder, coach, and researcher studying body composition manipulation at the University of Tampa. In “evidence-based” circles, we like to think we’re immune to the echo chamber effect because what we say is based on data. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. The statement “gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time is impossible unless you’re on drugs, high in body fat or a novice” is often repeated without a thorough understanding of the underlying science. Chris recently authored a publication titled “Body Recomposition: Can Trained Individuals Build Muscle and Lose Fat at the Same Time?” which challenges this belief. Join us in this episode as he breaks down the science for our understanding.

Sep 21, 2020
Ep. 84 - The Original Iron Sport: Gymnastics

Before there was powerlifting, bodybuilding, weightlifting, and strongman, there was the iron game, and it all overlapped. Before that, there was the physical culture movement. During this era, you couldn’t find a strongman or woman who didn’t do hand balancing, calisthenics, or tumbling as a part of their training. Gymnastics has a long history, but today it is its own sport and embedded in some national sport systems to build a foundation for young athletes‘ careers. Further, it’s a major component of CrossFit. Finally, you ever see the delts on a gymnast?? In today’s episode, we explore these relationships, roles, the history of Gymnastics, and the new evolution of sports science within it. To do so we’re joined by Eric’s 3DMJ teammate Andrea Valdez, a former gymnastics coach and young gymnast who has returned to the sport as an adult, and Dr. Dave Tilley who is leading the modern, evidence-based charge in the sport.

Sep 14, 2020
Ep. 83 - You Are NOT An Advanced Lifter

“Advanced lifter” - what comes to mind when you hear this phrase? Strong, muscular, elite, clearly doing things right? Perhaps, and that’s why many people emulate advanced lifters. Everyone wants the athleticism, strength, and physiques that advanced lifters have, and thankfully, these days novices and intermediates are coming to understand that those outcomes take time. But what they don’t often realize is that the processes that result in those outcomes take time to engrain as well. Trying to change your nutritional, sleep, recovery, training, and mindset habits all simultaneously fails to acknowledge that it’s not only the advanced outcomes but also the advanced processes that take time to master.

Sep 07, 2020
Ep. 82 - Becoming A Respected Strength Coach

Kedric Kwan of The Strength Guys, Jim Elli of Reactive Training Systems and Joe Stanek of The Strength Athlete all have something in common: they started as young online powerlifting coaches who were given a chance to learn the ropes under the guidance of some of the biggest and most respected online coaching teams. Today, we host a reflective discussion with them to understand their journey; where they started, what they expected, what they’ve learned, how they’ve grown, and what expectations and judgments, external, internal, real, and imagined they faced. It’s a brave new world and in 2020 a young fitness professional trying to make it online might not know where to start. In this episode, you can learn what the process might look like.

Aug 31, 2020
Ep. 81 - Bodybuilding As Art (ft. Terrence Ruffin)

In another era, bodybuilding was considered as much as an art as it was a pseudo-sport. A decade ago one could argue that its artistic element was at an all-time low, but things have changed in the last few years. In the IFBB specifically, the creation of the classic physique division is arguably resulting in the cultural revival of these artistic elements. Today, Iron Culture hosts a fantastic ambassador of the art of bodybuilding, Terence Ruffin. Not only has he won multiple pro titles and recently finished second at the Arnold Classic, but he was also the youngest IFBB pro card winner when he attainted pro status as a lightweight at the 2014 NPC nationals at the age of 21. His impressive physique stands on its own; however, his ability to displaying it is amongst the best in the game and his posing routines leave lasting impressions on all who view them.

Aug 24, 2020
Ep. 80 - What Is Natural Bodybuilding? An Inside Look

The World Natural Bodybuilding Federation was founded in 1989, and since its inception led the way in professionalism for drug-free bodybuilding. We have the pleasure of speaking to one of the heads, Bob Bell, who started as a WNBF competitor, became a promoter, and now sits at the helm with Tina Smith and Nancy Andrews. The story of this progression is an intriguing one that gives insight into the complexities of keeping a sporting organization alive and flourishing. Further, just how do you decide winners in a fair and consistent way in a subjective sport? Tune into this episode to learn the answer and hear the story of the WNBF.

Aug 17, 2020
Ep. 79 - You're Hurt, Now What? (Practical Tips ft. 3 Physical Therapists)

Previously in Episode 33, Iron Culture hosted a roundtable on Pain Science as it relates to lifting. It was in that episode that the hosts learned Dalton from Road House was right all along; pain doesn't hurt much. Building on top of this episode, the CULT returns to the topic of injury, getting "hurt" and what you can do about it. The hosts are joined by 3 DPTs in Nick Licameli of 3DMJ, Quinn Henoch of Clinical Athlete, and Sam Spinelli. This episode is full of practical takeaways, useful tips, and Quinn's baritone voice letting you know that even if you are feeling beat up, it's going to be OK.

Aug 10, 2020
Ep. 78 - Diet vs Anti-Diet Culture

Things happen fast on the interwebs these days kids. You might have only recently learned what intuitive eating actually means. In the course of that, you might have come across the terms “diet culture” and “anti-diet culture”. If you didn’t know what the former was, then you certainly weren’t aware of the definition or possibly even the existence of the latter. In this episode returning guest, Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro helps us understand the roots, definitions, misunderstandings of, and the arguments between these “camps”. As is often the case when people don’t see eye to eye, there is typically something lost in translation. In this episode, we wade into that gap with Dr. Fundaro, who’s been working to bridge it.

Brene Brown's Ted Talk on Shame

Aug 03, 2020
Ep. 77 - Unintentionally Becoming A World Champion Powerlifter

Evie Corrigan began lifting just over four years ago and started Powerlifting shortly after. This was truly her first introduction to competitive sport, yet within two years, and in her first international competition, she got to represent her home country of New Zealand and became a Junior World Champion. How did her motivations to lift change once she became an overnight champion? What pressures did she experience? Fast forward to earlier this year, she was one of the few IPF lifters invited to compete in the now-canceled Sheffield. Join us in this episode of Iron Culture where we get to take a look into the experience of a world champion who never saw it coming. Trust me, there is a lot of wisdom in this episode, and we were grateful Evie shared it with us!

Jul 27, 2020
Ep. 76 - Strength & Conditioning (for Mixed Martial Arts)

The recent explosion of washed-up lifters getting in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has sparked some introspection within the CULT. To discover their chances of becoming a mixed martial legend, Eric & Omar bring in notable Strength & Conditioning coaches Phil Daru and Seth Lenetsky to discuss what it is liked getting punched in the face. Phil has coached many top lifters at ATT (American Top Team) and Seth is one of the few published researchers on the subject of MMA, with his Ph.D. being in "Punchology" as he puts it. Find out how fighters train to improve their performance and discover a tender moment when Omar puts forth his pride and joy, Eric, as the soon to be undisputed King of the Cage. 

Jul 20, 2020
Ep. 75 - Becoming A Powerlifting World Champion (ft. Jessica Buettner)

This episode is sure to create a lot of future apologies for the co-owners. In this far-ranging interview with IPF royalty and powerlifting phenom Jessica Buettner, the hosts immediately mispronounce her last name. Gracious in victory as well as in hearing butchered variations of her last name, Jessica has ascended to the tippity top of drug-tested powerlifting in only a few short years. Beyond the junior world championship and world records however is an insightful story of a lifter overcoming the odds, redefining what strength means and becoming an ambassador of all things heavy lifting. 

Jul 13, 2020
Ep. 74 - What We Now Do Differently

This is the episode where the two hosts sell out. You knew it was going to happen. Inside you'll find Eric's top tips in order to become the biggest dancing sensation on TikTok and Omar explains how there really is no moral conundrum with selling photos of your calves on OnlyFans. Somewhere between those two sizzling topics, the hosts manage to give a sneak peek at the content creation process at Iron Culture. Many Iron CULT members have noted enjoying the diversity and depth of the discussions; it is high time the hosts explain the guiding principles of the Iron CULT. Instructive not only for aspiring personal trainers, educators, and lifting enthusiasts, underneath the thick banter you might just discover some guiding principles to leading a fulfilling life. Or learn a sick dance move from Eric. The man can move.

Jul 06, 2020
Ep. 73 - Genetics vs Mindset (Powerlifting & Athletics)

Have you noticed that more and more of the new crop of elite powerlifters were high-level athletes before hitting the platform? Powerlifting participation has grown greatly, and with it comes a greater talent pool. But what is talent? Is it just “genetics”? Or might it also be that powerlifting’s recent popularity, and later age-peak for performance attracts former athletes? If so, are these athletes succeeding purely because they’ve got “genetics”, or is there a mindset that comes from years of sport that fuels success? Tune in to this episode with world champions LS McClain and Taylor Atwood to get the perspective from two individuals who were competing long before they got their first squat command.

Jun 29, 2020
Ep. 72 - Principles of Progression for Hypertrophy

Training volume has a relationship with rates of hypertrophy in research. But how do you quantify volume? Further, just because a group doing more volume often grows more than a group doing less, does that mean your volume needs to increase? When should volume increase? Are there times volume increases are counterproductive? What are the fundamental differences between increasing load or reps, and number of sets? In this episode we break down hypertrophy, progressive overload, progression, and volume from a first principles perspective, ultimately helping you understand the answers to all of these questions.

Jun 22, 2020
Ep. 71 - Powerlifting & Strength Training in the Internet Age (ft. Jonnie Candito & Russel Orhii)

It is time to talk about the new old school in powerlifting. We aren't referring to Larry Pacifico, Don Reinhoudt, or Ed Coan. We're talking about the rise of drug-tested powerlifting in the last decade with two of the biggest voices leading the way, Jonnie Candito and Russel Orhii. The number of participants in the IPF (and USAPL) has grown immensely over the last decade in no small part due to individuals being able to share their journey online. Jonnie Candito (of CanditoTrainingHQ) pioneered the informative strength video on YouTube, leading to many of his contemporaries trying out powerlifting. This in turned inspired individuals like Russel Orhii to get into powerlifting. Russel is one of the most popular powerlifters today with his 2019 IPF Championship win accumulating more views than any other IPF related video. What has led to this explosive growth? Why are squats suddenly cool? And is there any point in training other than getting ridiculously aesthetic? The hosts find out in today's episode.

Jun 15, 2020
Ep. 70 - The Science of Supplements (ft. Eric Trexler & Ben Esgro)

A few years ago, the supplement industry was in such a state that simply putting effective ingredients at their proper dosage on a label, without a proprietary blend was revolutionary. Fortunately, today there are a handful of “evidence-based” companies that do this and do it well. However, in a competitive market, where do you go from here? What is the process? In this episode, we’re rejoined by a registered dietician and DeNovo Supps founder and formulator, Ben Esgro. He has two masters, one in Sports Nutrition, the other in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. He gives a behind the scenes look at formulation and development. Also, Eric Trexler, Ph.D., a researcher with experience conducting and reviewing studies on supplements is back to give us insight into the research process of supplement science.

Jun 08, 2020
Ep. 69 - Introduction to Weightlifting (ft. Catalyst Athletics & Juggernaut Training Systems)

Weightlifting is the filet Mignon to the ground chuck of powerlifting and bodybuilding, the First Class to our coach seats on the Iron Game Express. Most people can lift weights, but weightlifting requires power, range of motion, and coordination that squatting or curling in the squat rack simply can’t compare to. In this episode of Iron Culture, we’re joined by Amy and Greg Everett of Catalyst Athletics, former champions in American Weightlifting, and now some of the most prominent coaches and content creators in the sport. Also, Max Aita returns, also a prominent coach working with Juggernaut Training Systems, who competed at a high level in both weightlifting and powerlifting. In this episode of Iron Culture, we explore the unique aspects, history, athletic demands, experience, and training philosophies of weightlifting, and compare and contrast them with the rest of the iron game.

Jun 01, 2020
Ep. 68 - Training Rest Times: A Very Misunderstood Concept

In a perfect world, we would never need to rest between sets, because we would never need to stop lifting. Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world, and we do have to consider rest. How long should we rest between sets? Why? What is the nature of fatigue? How do we reconcile research suggesting longer rest periods enhance hypertrophy, and other research suggesting rest-pause and drop sets can be just as if not more effective for hypertrophy? Join us in this duo episode as we get into the weeds and answer these questions.

May 25, 2020
Ep. 67 - Getting Stronger By Understanding Your Biomechanics (ft. Megan Bryanton-Jones & Andrew Vigotsky)

Biomechanics is the understanding of the body’s structure, function, and motion with physics to describe what we experience. As lifters, most of what biomechanics explains mathematically, we understand intuitively. But, in a complex dynamic system like the human body, sometimes what we experience, or our assumptions based on a limited understanding of biomechanics, can be counterintuitive and misleading. To clear up the confusion and address the popular tropes, we’re joined by Megan Bryanton-Jones, PhD, the powerlifting biomechanist behind Kinetic Advantage. She joins us alongside returning guest, the PhD candidate and intellectual entity known as Andrew Vigotsky, on this episode of Iron Culture.

May 18, 2020
Ep. 66 - Cardio for Lifters: Everything that Matters

Around these parts, cardio has a bad reputation. Sure, in the greater fitness community, cardio (a fancy way of saying running, usually on a treadmill) has long been one of the cornerstones of any fitness regime. Want to lose weight? Do "cardio"! Have stubborn fat to lose? Do (slow) or (really fast) "cardio"! Whatever body composition problems you faced, cardio was seen as an essential tool. This has largely fallen by the wayside over the last decade, with its importance now seen as being grossly overstated for body composition. Some go so far as to call it useless and utter waste of time. Is this truly the case? In this episode, two men with grossly irrational fears of aerobic activity struggle to unravel the mystery behind the ever-elusive cardio question. Just kidding, they completely nail it.

May 11, 2020
Ep. 65 - Periodization vs Programming For Strength (ft. Dr. Mike Zourdos)

In the lifting community, two words are often used interchangeably: periodization and programming. Are they, in fact, the same thing? As you will learn in this episode featuring special guest Dr. Mike Zourdos, they are surprisingly not synonyms. What develops from the conversation is a more thorough understanding of the two which will yield a better perspective on your training. Find out in what context both periodization and programming are useful and why Bulgarian style training sounds fun until you actually try to execute it. Don't say we didn't warn you.

May 04, 2020
Ep. 64 - Powerlifting, Weightlifting and Bodybuilding (Hybrid Training ft. Dr. Stefi Cohen and Max Aita)

If you’re a long time listener of Iron Culture, you’ve been exposed to calisthenics, CrossFit, powerlifting, bodybuilding, strongman/woman, and more! Maybe, just maybe, it’s influenced you to pursue multiple avenues of strength? If so, you might have had some head-scratching moments or found yourself struggling to juggle multiple goals simultaneously. In this episode, we’re joined by Dr. Stefi Cohen and Max Aita, impressive multi-sport strength athletes in their own right, who have made careers out of helping lifters make simultaneous progress in multiple disciplines of strength. Join us in today’s discussion as we learn how that balancing act is performed.

Apr 27, 2020
Ep. 63 - Lifting Weights & Brazilian Jiujitsu (ft. Chad Wesley Smith and Dr. Melissa Davis)

From lifting calibrated plates on competition spec bars in approved knee sleeves through the same three movement patterns to moving uncalibrated humans through a near-infinite combination of vectors and forces while covered in your shared sweat and blood in a half-off Gi. How did such an unexpected turn occur? It seems like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has taken the strength world by storm. Instagram feeds once populated by squats, bench presses and deadlifts are now populated by rolls, holds, and throws. Just what is going on here? Join us we sit down with two individuals who know a fair bit about BJJ: none other than Chad Wesley Smith and Dr. Melissa Davis, as we explore this recent iron game cultural shift.

Apr 20, 2020
Ep. 62 - How To Stay On Track With Your Nutrition

Dig if you will this picture, of you inside with the kids. This is what it sounds like when gains die. At this point, it has been four weeks without access to gyms for most individuals. Exacerbating the painful absence of the gym is the abundance of free time at our disposal, leading many to struggle with their nutrition. Fear not because in this episode today, Iron Culture co-owners (and current hosts) Eric Helms and Omar Isuf overview what you can do to stay on track with your nutrition. Eric delves into what the literature shows when it comes to activity levels and hunger cues. A robust helpful framework is established to arm you with the tools necessary to better adhere to your nutrition paradigm. We're all going to make it, one deliciously grilled chicken breast and a steamed cup of broccoli at a time.

Apr 13, 2020
Ep. 61 - Maintaining Muscle & Motivation Without the Gym

“Nihilism: the belief that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value; used to explain the general mood of despair at a perceived pointlessness of existence.”

We’ve all been there folks, and many of the iron cult are without the iron and struggling. In this episode rife with coping-motivated banter and sarcasm, we dig deep and discover that the iron is in fact, always with us. Join us in this iron-forge side chat as we discuss how to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones and find a will, and thus a way forward. What can science and history tell us about training in our current time? The hosts explore this question in today’s episode.

Apr 06, 2020
Ep. 60 - Supplement Companies (ft. Ben Esgro and Mike Matthews)

From the 1900s when Eugen Sandow promoted “Plasmon” and his “Health and Strength Cocoa”, the supplement industry has been rife with dubious claims. Since, like a game of limbo, the bar for quality, and scientific accuracy has only lowered. Rather than bending under the low bar, a few individuals vaulted right over by doing the unthinkable: starting companies that sell science-backed products, educate consumers, and use no-nonsense marketing. This week, Eric hosts a roundtable consisting of Ben Esgro, the biochemical-artist behind De Novo Nutrition, Mike Matthews of Legion Athletics, and our very own Omar Isuf, founder of Ouroboros. Learn the challenges they face as iconoclasts in the supplement industry and how they overcame them in this episode.

Mar 30, 2020
Ep. 59 - Stretching, Mobility & Rehab (ft. Dean Somerset)

Ten years ago, any supposedly knowledgeable PT would be making judicious use of the friendly blue foam roller with clients. Ten years later, the blue idol has fallen out of fashion and we've seen a trend towards minimalism. Stretching is overrated. Doing a squat will prepare you to squat and that is the end of the story. Or is it? Co-owners Eric Helms & Omar Isuf are joined by veteran personal trainer and gym owner Dean Somerset. Dean has been successfully navigating the realm beyond simply counting 3 sets of 10 for almost 20 years and his approach is an exemplary model for aspiring trainers to follow. By the end of this episode, you will learn that the blue cylinder is neither friend nor foe but a tool whose utility depends upon the context of use. Spoiler Alert.

Mar 23, 2020
Ep. 58 - Beginner Training Mistakes (And Successes) We Made

Rewind the clock. The year is 2009, Lady Gaga is all the rage, MySpace is THE social media platform and if you eat carbs after 6 pm, you are sabotaging your gains. Enjoy this episode of co-hosts Eric Helms and Omar Isuf reminiscing on their early days as lifting enthusiasts. You'll learn about the most anabolic chili, how far Eric is willing to go to get his protein intake and why adding 5lb per week to the bar doesn't work forever. You'll probably find yourself nodding along relating to many of the anecdotes...and probably being horrified by several others.

Mar 16, 2020
Ep. 57 - Aesthetics In Bodybuilding

What is aesthetic? While the hosts agree on what they consider aesthetic in a physique (except for the importance of calves), individual opinions vary drastically. Despite the variety of opinions, physique sport judges have the difficult task of ranking competitors in multiple divisions. In this episode, we are joined by first-time guests Chris Bumstead, the current Classic Physique Mr. Olympia, and Pro Natural Men’s Physique Champion and Coach, Paul Revelia, to explore aesthetics in and out of physique competition.

Mar 09, 2020
Ep. 56 - How To Properly Cut Weight To Maximize Performance (ft. Kedric Kwan, David Nolan, and Arthur Lynch)

Omar and Eric realized that if they maintained their current totals, and cut to the 59kg class, they’d rank among the top 10 raw drug-free powerlifters in the world. In this episode, they bring on three researchers/coaches/athletes: Kedric Kwan, David Nolan, and Arthur Lynch, experts who in the course of their ongoing PhDs have published the only peer-reviewed research in existence on this topic. Ultimately, Omar and Eric’s dreams of becoming elite 59kg lifters are crushed, but the listeners come away with valuable knowledge.

Mar 02, 2020
Ep. 55 - The Science of Behavior Change (ft. Dr. Melissa Davis)

Dr. Melissa Davis is a Renaissance Periodization consultant and coach with a Ph.D. in neuroscience, who specializes in behavior change. She is also no stranger to setting and achieving difficult goals as a black belt in Brazilian jujitsu who is a multi-time masters world champion. Join us this week on Iron Culture as we explore the science and practical application of behavior change with Dr. Mel Davis.

Feb 24, 2020
Ep. 54 - Process vs Outcome Oriented Approach (ft. Brett Gibbs)

Brett Gibbs is one of the current icons of IPF powerlifting. Having placed 1st or 2nd in the 83kg class every year since 2014 at IPF Worlds, competing sometimes in both equipped and raw divisions, he’s elite among even other elite lifters. However, what is perhaps most interesting, is how his outlook on the sport and his outlook on winning has changed over time. Join us this week as we delve into the mind of a champion, as we discuss the journey of Brett Gibbs as a lifter.

Feb 17, 2020
Ep. 53 - Intuitive Eating & Autoregulation (ft. Gabrielle Fundaro and Mike Tuchscherer)

Eric & Omar are joined once again by guests Gabrielle Fundaro and Mike Tuchscherer to discuss a seemingly taboo concept in the "evidence-based" fitness community: intuition. Find out how intuitive eating & autoregulation are related and why listening to biological feedback has a high degree of utility. Our subjective experiences can provide useful inputs for how we shape our decision making. Intuition need not be relegated to the background of our choices and fortunately, Gabrielle & Mike emphatically explain why.

Feb 10, 2020
Ep. 52 - Training Differences In Men & Women (ft. Greg Nuckols and Sohee Lee)

This week Omar and Eric sit down with Greg Nuckols and Sohee Lee. Both are fantastic science communicators in the world of fitness, but specifically, they both have expertise in sex differences among lifters. Greg did his master's thesis specifically looking at sex differences in inter-set recovery during resistance training, while Sohee is in the early stages of her Ph.D. in which she’s planning to examine how circuit vs traditional resistance training may impact female lifters. What differences are there between men and women, different modalities of lifting, and why? Join us this week to find out!

Feb 03, 2020
Ep. 51 - Periodization & Programming For Hypertrophy

Periodization in and of itself tends to be a confusing and hotly debated topic, heavy on opinions but light on evidence. But periodization for hypertrophy alone is an even greater unknown. Join Omar and Eric this week as they explore this nebulous topic by discussing the scant, and not perfectly applicable research on the topic, periodization theory, and mechanisms of hypertrophy. In the end, this speculative discussion sheds a bit of light on what elements of periodization, if any, might be applicable for hypertrophy training and how they could be applied.

Jan 27, 2020
Ep. 50 - Why Meal Timing Really Matters (Chrononutrition Ft. Danny Lennon)

At last, the long-standing feud between Iron CULTure, free speech and Danny Lennon of Sigma Nutrition comes to a close. The co-owners, Eric and Omar, interview the very friendly (there is not even a remote possibility that he is a serial killer) Danny Lennon on chrononutrition, the intersection of circadian rhythms and nutrition. Learn about your master clock, why it appears those who eat the majority of their calories earlier in the day lose more weight and dietary considerations for every individual.

Jan 20, 2020
Ep. 49 - What Makes A Great Coach (Ft. Bryce Lewis)

Bryce Lewis, elite powerlifter and founder of The Strength Athlete is back on Iron Culture fresh off his 2019 USAPL Raw Nationals 105kg Open win. Now a 3-time national champion, his 902.5kg total is an unofficial world record and ranks him #1 in the world for tested raw 105kg lifters. His eyes are on IPF Classic Worlds 2020 to secure a 2nd World title, but 2020 also marks his 10 year anniversary of working with Eric as his coach. In this episode Omar grudgingly puts aside jealousy to interview Eric and Bryce, getting to the heart of what makes an effective coaching relationship long term.

Jan 13, 2020
Ep. 48 - How To Not Be A Terrible Personal Trainer (ft. Jordan Syatt)

Four words to describe this podcast would be authentic, vulnerable, and being real. Or something like that. We are joined by Jordan Syatt, a personal trainer who has grown an online presence by doing everything you shouldn't. You'll find almost no video or photo of him lifting, showing off abs, or "exposing" other practitioners. Instead, he delivers on a consistent basis practical, insightful, and useful fitness information. Explore with co-owners Eric Helms & Omar Isuf as they define what qualities make a good personal trainer and how to succeed in the online fitness space without selling your (immortal) soul.

Jan 06, 2020
BONUS: What We Learned In 2019

It’s a new year, it’s a new decade, and it’s a year in review for Iron Culture. Join our hosts...or rather owners, as they reflect on the first year of Iron Culture and discuss their plans for 2020 in this tongue and cheek bonus episode. 

Bonus: Eric tries to expand the Culture’s demographics into Mukbang territory.

Bonus Bonus: And apparently ASMR. We apologize.

Jan 02, 2020
Ep. 47 - Everything You Wanted To Know About Protein (Timing, Amount, Frequency)

In one of our previous duo episodes, Omar went on a deep dive with Eric into autoregulation, the topic of his Ph.D. In this episode, Omar sits down with Eric and asks him to rewind the academic clock even further, to his first foray into academia and research, his masters. In this episode, the hosts not only discuss the roots of how Eric’s career as a trainer and online coach forked into becoming a researcher, but they also dive into the nitty-gritty of his master’s thesis, which was done on everyone’s favorite macronutrient: protein!

Dec 30, 2019
Ep. 46 - Powerlifting: Raw vs Equipped Lifting (ft. Mike Tuchscherer, Natalie Hanson, and Bryce Krawczyk)

Mike Tuchscherer and Natalie Hanson return to Iron Culture in this obscenely strong episode. These world champions and top tier powerlifting coaches are joined by first-time Cult member, Canadian champ Bryce Krawczyk, also an elite lifter and coach. Uniquely, each has competed at the highest level in both raw, and equipped powerlifting and has experience coaching both types of lifters. We cover the short history of supportive equipment, how the sport went from its raw roots to being dominated by equipment, to now in modern times seeing raw re-emerge as the common expression of the sport. The three guests discuss the similarities and differences of equipped to raw lifting, the experience of equipped lifting, bust myths surrounding this side of the sport, and share how you can get started if you want to give it a try. 

Dec 23, 2019
Ep. 45 - Everything You Wanted To Know About Strongman & Strongwoman (ft. Joey Szatmary & Alan Thrall)

Accused of being "Aesthetic Boys" that just care about muscular men, the hosts decide to pivot and talk about the next best thing; Strongmen/women. The hosts are joined by Strongman competitors Joey Szatmary & Alan Thrall. Joey is the recent USS National Strongman champion and Alan has been competing in Strongman for almost a decade. The two provide informative content on YouTube, helping to spread the knowledge and awareness of Strongman/woman. The hosts explore the interesting origin of Strongman/woman, its recent rise in popularity, and how to get involved. 

Dec 16, 2019
Ep. 44 - The Science of Bodybuilding (ft. Dr. Bill Campbell)

Dr. Bill Campbell is a full professor at the University of South Florida where he runs the “Physique Lab”, a unique place in the world of sports science. At his lab, Dr. Campbell and his students and volunteers specifically conduct research on practical strategies to improve body composition that are both sustainable and evidence-based. Interestingly enough, he often consults with leading coaches in the bodybuilding community, specifically to ask them what questions they want answered, what approaches they use which haven’t been validated empirically, and what methods they employ that should be compared to one another. In this episode of Iron Culture, he joins us so we can learn the story behind the physique lab and what cutting edge methods are being studied.

Dec 09, 2019
Ep. 43 - Veganism, Nutrition & Moderation

“Documentaries” have changed the game (pun intended) when it comes to nutrition. Unfortunately, this has not been for the better, as misinformation, bias, and conflicts of interest have polluted available knowledge. However, there is always the consummate guardian against confusion: logic. In this episode, Omar and Eric discuss these changes in the latest chapter of the diet wars, and how you can arm yourself against the propaganda of any type. In addition, Omar and Eric continue their meta-discussion of a theme across Iron Culture, the meaning and significance of moderation.

Dec 02, 2019
Ep. 42 - Strength & Conditioning (Ft. Ian Pyka)

Coach Ian Pyka has more history than fits in an episode. While currently an instructor of kinesiology, biomechanics and strength and conditioning at Florida Atlantic University, Coach Pyka has done it all. He was a 3 time NCAA All American Shot Putter and made the 1980 Olympic team as an alternate. He completed his MS in Ex Phys at The University of Tennessee in 1984 and got his CSCS in 1986. Since then, he’s worked at all levels as an S&C coach. As the former head S&C of the University of Massachusetts, Tulane University, the New England Patriots, the Florida Panthers, and in his own S&C company, he‘s accumulated an incredible depth of experience that we were privileged to discuss on Iron Culture.

Nov 25, 2019
Ep. 41 - Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Creatine (ft. Dr. Darren Candow)

It is no secret that co-host Omar Isuf has had a long and difficult relationship with Creatine Monohydrate. Today's episode is about facing your addictions head-on as the hosts bring leading Creatine researcher Dr. Darren Candow on to discuss the potent white powder. The talk extends beyond the normal discussions on Creatine, examining not only the performance benefits but the cognitive perks as well. Even if you are a fellow Creatine enthusiast like one of the hosts, we're positive you'll walk away with a few new insights on everyone's favorite PES (Performance Enhancing Supplement).


Nov 18, 2019
Ep. 40 - Training Frequency For Strength & Hypertrophy

Humans try to reduce answers to binary outcomes: yes or no, black or white, or often as is the case in fitness, good or bad. Unfortunately, this is often to our own detriment as few fitness questions have binary answers. Training frequency is no different. While there is a recent perception that higher frequency is better, full stop, in many cases it is no different and if improperly implemented has the potential to be worse. In this episode join the cult leaders as they discuss frequency conceptually. Listeners will leave with tools rather than a false binary answer.

Nov 11, 2019
Ep. 39 - How Bodybuilding Saved My Life (Ft. John Berardi)

John Berardi has been a voice of evidence-based nutrition for decades. A competitive bodybuilder in his youth he went on to pursue his Ph.D. and became one of the first well-known voices advocating for a scientific approach to performance nutrition. Before social media, he became a well-known writer on topics related to nutrient timing, macronutrient breakdown, and nutrition for enhancing fat loss and muscle gain, and was one of the first writers on T-Nation. Since, he started Precision Nutrition which became a wildly successful personal trainer education company helping professionals learn nutrition to aid clients in achieving weight loss, wellness and performance goals. We were very fortunate to sit down with Dr. Berardi to discuss the long road that took him from being a young bodybuilder to a successful fitness entrepreneur.

Dr. Berardi's new book -- Change Maker -- is being called the health and fitness industry’s #1 career guide. And, for a short time, he’s making the first few chapters (plus other bonuses) available to Iron Culture listeners.
===> Check out the free chapters + bonuses now:
If you decide you like what you're reading and want to order the book, you can pre-order and save 10%.
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Nov 04, 2019
Ep. 38 - Flexible Dieting, Meal Plans & Nutrition (Ft. Laurin Conlin)

If you've been in the fitness industry long enough, you've undoubtedly heard of flexible dieting. Depending upon who you ask, flexible dieting is either a liberating way of quantifying the food you consume or needlessly obsessive. The question becomes, what is the best approach for an individual looking to get into their best shape? Today, the hosts are joined by accomplished coach Laurin Conlin (MSc in Exercise Science) who's Masters research focused on how different dieting strategies affect weight loss and weight regain. Particularly, looking at a ‘flexible’ diet where no foods are excluded versus a meal plan, where foods were excluded. Her research was the first study to directly examine this relationship between these two diets. Join us for an in-depth conversation on nutrition.


Oct 28, 2019
Episode 37 - Insulin, Obesity & Weight Loss (Ft. James Krieger)

James Krieger has been putting out some of the best science-based information in the lifting community for over a decade. With expertise in nutrition, resistance training, statistics, and with personal experience in physique sport and with substantial coaching experience across a diverse spectrum from recreational lifters, to high-level competitors, he’s a voice of reason worth listening to. In this episode, James helps us understand the oft-misrepresented and frequently demonized hormone: insulin! Is it the cause of obesity? What role does it play in the body? How should we conceptualize it? If you’ve struggled with these questions, you won’t want to miss the episode where he joins Eric and Omar on Iron Culture.

Oct 21, 2019
Ep. 36 - How To Look Your Absolute Best: Peaking (ft. Cliff Wilson)

Cliff Wilson is universally respected in the bodybuilding community, on both sides of the fence, by enhanced and natural athletes and coaches alike. He’s an example of a coach who is science-aware but informed by what works first and foremost. Never one to be trapped by how “it’s supposed to be”, his keen observations, attention to detail, and practices built through years of trial and error have resulted in the peak performance of many a competitor. Join us for this episode of Iron Culture as we discuss what peaking is for physique sport, and how the concept of there being a universal peaking formula is inherently flawed.


Oct 14, 2019
Ep. 35 - What Bodybuilders Do Differently (ft. Alberto Nunez)

In this episode of Iron Culture, you get to observe the emotional maturity of Omar as he realizes he’s in an open relationship with Eric. The original bodybuilding bromance is on display this week, as Alberto Nuñez joins Iron Culture so that he and Eric Helms can discuss the “lifestyle” of bodybuilding. While many take careful notes on the sets, reps, exercise selection, food choices and macros of physique competitors, most miss the deeply entrenched habits that are the true keys to their long term success.

Oct 07, 2019
Ep. 34 - How To Coach Yourself (Ft. Mike Israetel)

We were joined by Dr. Mike Israetel to discuss Maximum Recoverable Volume...just kidding. Actually, we were moved to chat with Mike after his recent post where he went point-by-point through his self-perceived shortcomings as a science communicator. In an industry where “being right” is often valued more than being correct, and serving one’s ego comes before serving the greater good, we saw this as an opportunity to discuss the importance of critical self-evaluation, and how to prevent your ego from ruining your career, life, goal pursuits or reputation.

Sep 30, 2019
Ep. 33 - Pain Science, Injury & Rehab (ft. Nick Licameli, Quinn Henoch, and Jordan Feigenbaum)
Everybody hurts, but what if pain don't hurt much?! The immortal bard Dalton from Roadhouse might have been onto something. This episode the hosts are joined by three experts in the field of performance, rehab, and pain science. Nick Licameli of 3DMJ (PT, DPT), Quinn Henoch of Clinical Athlete (DPT), and Jordan Feigenbaum of Barbell Medicine (MD, MS) discuss the current status of pain science, injury reduction, and managing setbacks.

Further Information For Our Guests:

Quinn Henoch (DPT):

Nick Licameli (PT, DPT):

Jordan Feigenbaum (MD, MS):
Sep 23, 2019
Ep. 32 - Alan Thrall, Silent Mike & Jim McDonald (SacTown Boys)

Consider this episode a homecoming as co-host Eric Helms reminisces on Sacramento lifting culture. He is joined by fellow Sacramento natives Alan Thrall, Silent Mike, and Jim McDonald. A seemingly small city tucked away in Northern California, the soon to be infamous SacTown Boys explore the reasons why Sacramento has made such a strong impact inside the lifting community. From weightlifting legend Tommy Kono to Body Tribe in the present, Sacramento is home to a vibrant, diverse lifting community. The conversation also explores starting your own business, traversing the fitness industry and why Iron Culture is the world's friendliest Cult.

Sep 16, 2019
Ep. 31 - Chronicling Weightlifting & World’s Strongest Man (ft. Randall Strossen)

Over the last three decades, Randall Strossen was there for it all. World records in weightlifting at the Olympics and world championships, incredible performances at the Highland games world championships and the worlds strongest man; if he wasn’t behind the lens as a photographer, he might have been the commentator, or written about the performances in Milo magazine or in his sport psychology column in Ironman magazine which ran for 12 years. Randall has a Ph.D. in psychology, founded IronMind in 1988, and Milo magazine in 1993. Thousands of lifters have seen what level of IronMind Captains of Crush grippers they could close, most serious strength athletes from prior decades owned a copy of his book Super Squats, and he took every iconic picture that adorns the covers of Milo magazine, which ran for 25 years from until 2018. Sit back and marvel at the rich iron game experiences and personal insights that Dr. Strossen had to share with Omar and Eric on this episode of Iron Culture.

Sep 09, 2019
Ep. 30 - The Science of Weight Loss (Metabolic Adaptation ft. Dr Eric Trexler)

Is Iron Culture big enough for two pro natural bodybuilders with PhDs named Eric (or was it Derek)? The banter heats up as metabolisms cool down this week as the cult leaders are joined by Dr Eric Trexler to discuss metabolic adaptation. Why is weight loss difficult to sustain? What is adaptive thermogenesis, the phenomenon we call metabolic adaptation colloquially? Is it the cause of our fat loss woes, or are it’s effects overhyped? If it is overhyped, what really are the barriers to successful fat loss and fat loss maintenance? Join us on this episode as we discuss all of the above.

Sep 02, 2019
Ep. 29 - The Science & History of Steroids (And Drug Testing ft. Alex Kolliari-Turner)

Doping: the topic every 19 year old in the YouTube comments section seems to be an expert on. Maybe it’s more complicated and nuanced than the local internet culture would have you believe? In this episode, we have Ph.D. candidate Alex Kolliari-Turner on Iron Culture. He is a true expert in this field, doing his Ph.D. research on the long term effects of anabolic steroids on muscle. His research examining the impacts of steroids on anabolic signaling pathways and potential permanent retention of myonuclei may have wide-reaching impacts on how we view doping, doping detection, and the concept of being “drug-free”. In addition to the hard science, Eric and Omar discuss with Alex advancements in anti-doping, how retrospective testing is changing the face of elite sport, and how different sports cultures, societies, and governmental structures impact how commonplace doping is, the reason and pressures behind the decision to dope, the source of doping, and its sophistication. 



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The papers he used in the discussion of the Podcast: 

Hoffman et al 2009 Position stand on androgen and human growth hormone use

Kanayama & Pope 2018 History and epidemiology of anabolic androgens in athletes and non-athletes

Aug 26, 2019
Ep. 28 - The Problem With The Fitness Industry (ft. Chip Conrad)

In this episode, Eric & Omar are joined by firebrand Chip Conrad. A true physical culture enthusiast, Chip has been involved with seminal figures in our culture (Mel Siff, Tommy Kono, Jan Todd and Dan John to name but a few).  Chip's unique approach to training stands in stark contrast to the modern fitness industrial complex. Combining aspects of different disciplines from strongman to yoga, Chip is a rare thinker and teacher. Listen to how he redefines what strength means, what the point of lifting is and the merit of early Van Halen.

PS (it'll be a real thing soon, we promise)

Aug 19, 2019
Ep. 27 - Natural Bodybuilding (ft. Brian Whitacre)

In this episode, Eric and Omar are joined by one of the most celebrated, revered, and respected pro natural bodybuilders, Brian Whitacre. Brian is a legendary figure, historically being the first to win both the WNBF Worlds and Yorton Cup Overalls the same year in 2015. The hosts discuss natural bodybuilding, economics, and what it takes to be a champion. Listen up, you might be surprised.

Aug 12, 2019
Ep. 26 - How Progressive Overload Actually Works

Brian Minor, MS, pro natural bodybuilder and national level USAPL raw powerlifter, is not only an impressive dual-sport strength and physique athlete, but he’s also top of the bodybuilding and Powerlifting coaching game. As a thought leader in the evidence-based strength and physique community, he does an excellent job putting context and application to theory to help move practice forward. Join us in this episode as we get into the nitty-gritty of what progressive overload really means with Brian, and how it’s often misunderstood.

Aug 05, 2019
Ep. 25 - The Truth About Gut Health (And Pseudoscience)

At the edges of scientific understanding, pseudoscience is bred and born. When a topic is studied, but not yet understood, marketers plant the seeds of hype to suck you in. “This one weird trick”, “doctors hate him”, “the herb the FDA doesn’t want you to have”. The emerging field of gut health is an arena rife with such quackery. Fortunately, we have Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro as a guiding light. She has a Ph.D. in human nutrition, is a competitive strength and physique athlete, and was a professor at Georgia Gwinnett College before joining Renaissance Periodization as a coach and science communicator. As a gut health researcher and professional, she joins Omar and Eric to uncover the myths and truths, and to discuss how pseudoscience forms.

Jul 29, 2019
Ep. 24 - What Is Autoregulation?

In this episode of Iron Culture, Omar leads a discussion looking inward to the academic journey of Eric Helms through his Ph.D. As we explore the science, history, and culture of lifting, it’s important to not only consume the outcome of scientific research but to consider it in the context of the human experience of the researchers who dedicate years of their lives to sometimes uncovering ludicrously simple answers through intense and complicated study. Like lifting itself, exercise and nutrition research is a marathon not a sprint, and a labor of love. In this episode learn not only about autoregulation, the topic of Eric’s Ph.D. but also about the experience of the academic pursuit of knowledge.

Jul 22, 2019
Ep. 23 - The Science of Strength Roundtable

Iron Culture hosts a Roundtable discussion on strength development and the relationship between hypertrophy and it’s relationship to a one-repetition maximum. We’re joined by researcher Andrew Vigotsky who is currently pursuing his Ph.D., and also we bring back the ever jolly Greg Nuckols of Stronger by Science. Between them, they have not only personal experience with the iron, but more importantly, they’ve published academic peer-reviewed papers specifically on the multi-component factors that go into strength expression, from neuromuscular, to biomechanical, to technical and morphological contributing factors, including hypertrophy. Tune in to this episode for a deep dive on strength.

Jul 15, 2019
Ep. 22 - What You Need To Know About Eating Disorders

Dr. Jake Linardon is a researcher at Deakin University in Melbourne Australia where he is leading the charge with a flurry of new research on the causes of, contributors to, associations with and the effectiveness of treatments for eating disorders. Additionally, he’s one of the few researchers exploring surprising similarities between rigid and flexible dieting approaches. In this episode, we explore how eating disorders manifest, especially in lifters and physique athletes, what might be at their root, what we know, what we don’t know, and discuss exploratory steps towards solutions.

Jul 08, 2019
Ep. 21 - Why You Should Listen To This Podcast

Modern social media has an abundance of choices. Look up any particular topic and you’ll find a plethora of options. An abundance of choice does not mean an abundance of quality, however.

In this episode, Eric & Omar explore the role of the evidence-based practitioner, contrasting it with the rise of the “guru”. In this podcast, you might not find easy answers but you will find deeper meaning.

Jul 01, 2019
Ep. 20 - The Problem with #Science

“Evidence-based” is said without questioning its meaning. While science popularisation in the iron game is a net win, we must learn the difference between #science and evidence-based practice. To understand what differentiates the two and why the distinction is critical, we‘re joined by two researchers, science communicator, practitioners, Drs. Andy Galpin and Brad Dieter. Andy is a former competitive weightlifter, consults with athletes, and is a professor studying muscle fiber responses to training at Cal State Fullerton. Brad researches exercise and nutrition to improve health and human performance and is an author at Science-Driven Nutrition and the Chief Scientific Officer at Eat to Perform. Join them as we strive to understand the role of evidence-based practice in lifting.

Jun 24, 2019
Ep. 19 - The Science Of Hypertrophy Roundtable

At Iron Culture we ask important questions, for example: “what meaning do you make in life?” But in this episode, we are joined by Drs. Brad Schoenfeld, Brandon Roberts, and Juha Hulmi to ask THE most important question: “why and how do muscles grow?” Each guest in this episode is such an avid devotee to the iron that not only are they a dedicated lifter, but dedicated to the scientific study of muscle. Brad is one of the foremost experts on the mechanisms and applied training variables of muscle hypertrophy, Juha is renowned for his work on muscle wasting and anabolic genetic signaling, and Brandon is an expert in molecular signaling of hypertrophy. If you’ve ever wanted to learn the complexities of muscle growth, then join us this episode for a deep dive into the science of size.

Jun 17, 2019
Ep. 18 - How Technology Can Make Lifting Easier

In 2019 technology is not only a part of life, but a part of fitness. Whether you wear a heart rate monitor, track your steps, scan the barcodes of foods to track their calories, or watch videos of your lifts to assess form, you’ve experienced this intersection first hand. We take these things for granted, but we miss the behind he scenes hard work, success, failures, struggles, ingenuity, creativity, setbacks and triumphs of the fitness-tech developers who make the augmented fitness world we live in possible. In this episode Iron Culture welcomes the founders of three lifter-specific apps, Obi Anachebe of FitGenie, Eric Wagner of Gravitus and Nidhi Kulkarni of Spitfire and Gravitus to give us a peak behind the curtain.

Jun 10, 2019
Ep. 17 - Examining the Psychology of Bodybuilding

Omar and Eric are joined by two experts in psychology, Dr Kori Propst and Amanda Rizo, MS, who are not only therapists, but are both lifters themselves. Dr Kori Propst was a elite level natural physique athlete and has worked with the Diet Doc alongside Dr Joe for a decade as a world leader in bodybuilding psychology. Likewise, Amanda Rizo, MS is a licensed therapist and the Team 3DMJ mental health consultant. Join us for an in depth discussion of what goes on in the minds of physique competitors.

Jun 03, 2019
Ep. 16 - The Art of Coaching

This is a Podcast you'll want to listen to from start to finish. Selected by hosts Eric Helms & Omar Isuf as one of their favourites (look, they can do that), this Podcast delves deep into the art of coaching. The hosts are joined by Sioux-z Hartwig-Gary, Matt Gary and Dan John; three veteran coaches at the top of their respective fields. Coaching is so much more than giving someone a spreadsheet or telling them their macros. Learn insights from these three who have spent decades honing their craft. Whether your goal is to become a better coach or just be more introspective as a lifter, this episode has something for everything.

May 27, 2019
Ep. 15 - The Changing Face Of CrossFit

In this episode, the hosts learn about the brief but interesting history of CrossFit, both as a fitness movement and competitive sport. They are joined by James Fitzgerald, the first CrossFit Games champion, who transitioned from athlete to coach, to a coach of coaches as the sport has evolved. A highly influential leader and thinker in the high-intensity functional fitness arena, he has watched CrossFit change and morph over time. Also, they are joined by Marcus Filly, a prolific athlete having competed at the games six times while CrossFit only became more competitive. He is also a coach, and pioneering thought leader using rational approaches to combining high-intensity functional fitness training with other modalities such as bodybuilding.

May 20, 2019
Ep. 14 - Why Lifters Lose Motivation

The reality of lifting is that most individuals do not make it a lifelong pursuit. For a variety of reasons people start lifting and somewhere along the way, they stop. Why? In this episode, Eric & Omar explore motivation and take a look at the outcome vs the process of any activity. How can we frame lifting in such a way that we stick with it forever?

May 13, 2019
Ep. 13 - Jeff Nippard & Greg Nuckols Talk Science Communication

For a long time in the fitness industry, it was said that scientific information wasn't sexy. If you wanted to attract an audience, go with a captivating headline and tell people what they want to hear. One weird trick to lose weight. And for a long time, this was the norm. However, two individuals in the last several years have completely disproved this theory. Greg Nuckols & Jeff Nippard have grown sizeable audiences while actually increasing the complexity of science in their fitness information. How do you effectively communicate information so it reaches a large audience? How do you avoid clickbait? What can we learn from marketing? Hosts Eric Helms & Omar Isuf explore these questions and more in this extended podcast!

May 07, 2019
Ep. 12 - The Dark Side of Natural Bodybuilding (Ft. 3DMJ)

The hosts are joined by 3DMJ, a group of extremely knowledgeable coaches aimed at providing science based strategies for the natural lifting community.

In this episode, the coaches share war stories from their competitive days. You might think you know what dieting is like but it is a whole different animal when you are preparing for a bodybuilding show.

Apr 29, 2019
Ep. 11 - Lifting In The Social Media Age

Today the hosts are joined by two elite Powerlifters, Bryce Lewis & Isabella von Weissenberg. Both athletes have achieved tremendous success in the sport of powerlifting, as well as being internationally recognized coaches.

However both have had to come to terms with using social media as a tool for business and their athlete profiles. Is social media all that it is cracked up to be? What are some of the potential pitfalls? We explore these questions and more in today’s episode.

Apr 22, 2019
Ep. 10 - Bodybuilding Prep, Online Coaching And Being An Entrepreneur

Eric & Omar are joined by Dr. Joe Klemczewski, the pioneer of modern natural bodybuilding coaching. Many practices taken for granted today, including tapering for a proper peak week, were first utilized by Dr. Joe. He is the OG evidence based natural bodybuilding coach. 

He also was one of the first successful coaches to transition into online coaching. The hosts discuss his successes in a multitude of business ventures and learn tips applicable for aspiring fitness entrepreneurs.

Apr 15, 2019
Ep. 9 - History of Lifting Part 2 (1900-1950s)

Eric and Omar are joined again by Dr. Dominic Morais, Physical Culture and Sport Studies scholar, to discuss the emergence of the “Iron Game” in the early to mid 1900’s. We learn what it was like to be a lifter when Muscle Magazines emerged. Communities formed around shared experiences created by the stories told in magazine columns. This contemporary history would be the first battle grounds between magazine owners, athlete icons, “gurus” and training philosophies. During this era Olympic Lifting underwent changes, bodybuilding became a legitimate separate endeavour and powerlifting would also formalize.

Further Resources:

Dominic (@brainybrawn)

Apr 08, 2019
Ep. 8 - The Importance of Calisthenics Training

In this episode, the hosts are joined by calisthenics competitor and filmmaker Rain Bennett. His documentary Raise Up illuminates the recent explosion of calisthenics (body weight training) around the world. Chronicling the rise in Brooklyn in New York and drawing parallels with the rise in Russia, Rain explains the fundamental appeal and utility of calisthenics.

Apr 01, 2019
Ep. 7 - The Rise of Women in Powerlifting
For the longest time, powerlifting was a male dominated sport. Recently there has been a seismic shift as more women train and compete in the sport of powerlifting. Reports indicate approximately 38% of competitors are female, a stark contrast from just a decade ago. What happened?

In this episode we are fortunate to have three women at the top of their respective categories, share their insights. For raw classic powerlifting, we have the OG, Jen Thompson who has broken over 60 world records in the IPF. For equipped powerlifting, we have 2x IPF Open World Champion Natalie Hanson. Last we have the unstoppable Stefi Cohen, who continues to shatter world records in the untested powerlifting division. These three women offer an inside look at their experiences, struggles and triumphs in this episode.
Mar 25, 2019
Ep. 6 - Carbohydrate & Ketogenic Roundtable

Eric and Omar sit down with Danny Lennon and Cliff Harvey for a non-dogmatic discussion of the ins and outs of carbohydrate manipulation, ketogenic diets, and the context of when one might use various carbohydrate intakes in various situations. Cliff Harvey is a registered clinical nutritionist, author and researcher in the final stages of his PhD at the Auckland University of Technology. He has extensive experience working with athletes, the lay public and clinical populations and is a published researcher in the field of ketogenic diet induction and low carbohydrate diets. Danny Lennon is the founder of Sigma Nutrition. He has a masters in Nutritional Sciences from University College Cork and has worked as a nutrition practitioner with a wide variety of clients. He became well known for his role as a performance nutritionist to professional mixed martial artists & boxers, and is known worldwide as an educator through his seminars and podcast.

Mar 18, 2019
Ep. 5 - Content vs Clickbait

This week on Iron Culture Eric and Omar reflect on the decisions content producers make in the fitness industry. While snake oil peddlers are abundant, even well meaning, well informed leaders have to figure out how to help as many people as possible without losing the quality and utility of their message. In this episode Omar and Eric reflect on their own content and where they personally try to find the balance between building a broader reach without turning away from their mission statements.

Mar 11, 2019
Ep. 4 - Periodization & Autoregulation Roundtable
In this episode Iron Culture brings a who’s who panel of the some of the most influential modern minds in periodization and auto regulation. Champion IPF powerlifter and prolific coach Mike Tuchscherer who introduced the lifting world to “reactive training” based on programming a specific proximity to failure within a set is joined by John Kiely, a sports scientist, theorist and long time strength and conditioning coach whose peer reviewed articles have acted as wake up calls in periodization academia. Last but not least, Dr Michael Zourdos joins the panel, a pioneer in modern applied periodization research who was the first to specifically advocate for the integration of periodization concepts previously considered mutually exclusive. Join us for this in depth discussion!
More Information On Our Guests:

Mike T:

Mike Z:

John Kiely:
Mar 04, 2019
Ep. 3 - An Honest Conversation About Steroids

In this episode, Iron Culture attempts to bring an intellectually honest conversation to the emotionally charged topic of steroids. The hosts will explore societal attitudes around steroids, discuss why someone decides to use and contrast lifting as a natural vs being enhanced. The goal of this episode is to give different perspectives on a controversial topic and highlight the large similarities that exist between both parties.


For More Information On Our Guests:

Mike Israetel:

Feb 25, 2019
Ep. 2 - History of Lifting Part 1 (1700s-1900s)

Eric and Omar are joined by Dr. Dominic Morais and Dr. Ben Pollack, not only accomplished strength athletes but also experts with PhDs in Physical Culture and Sport Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. The guests take us through the history that leads to modern lifting culture. We trace the strongmen and strongwomen doing Vaudeville performances in the 1700s to the early 1900s where the earliest organized strength sports were forming and when the culture-shifting Eugen Sandow emerged, planting the seed for bodybuilding.


Further Resources:



Ben (@phdeadlift)

Dominic (@brainybrawn)

Feb 19, 2019
Ep. 1 - What Is Iron Culture

Iron Culture was started by Eric Helms and Omar Isuf as a means of exploring the world of physical culture and attempting to distill a unified philosophy of lifting and to help listeners find greater meaning from the iron. The lifting community has become fractured over the last ~70 years and this Podcast will attempt to explore the fundamental threads that unite these different tribes.  The Podcast focuses on dispensing practical, useful information to the listener, bouncing from history, to philosophy, to contemporary lifting culture issues, to science. This can range from teaching the audience about lifting, programming, nutrition, supplements/PEDs and the history of lifting culture. The format includes casual conversations between the two hosts on a variety of topics, discussions with a panel of experts and interviews with authoritative figures in the lifting community.

Feb 08, 2019