Randoms thoughts from me, Mike T Nelson

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Rant: But There Is No Science To Support Your Answer

Does there HAVE to be science to support it?

Do I think most of my clients expect a randomized controlled trial on the new program I just wrote for them?

Of course not!

They are wanting to get the results from my USE of science and data, extended to its logical conclusion to get them the result.

What I do with client is based on the principles of science.

Hyperactive Science

Source: The Science of Coffee | Black River Roasters

Source: The Science of Coffee | Black River Roasters

It seems the fitness world loves polarization to one extreme or the next.

The dude brahs are in in the camp shouting:

“I know it works, screw your books, data, lab coat and expensive education. I know what works in the gym so shut up, you geek, and just go lift stuff!”

The extreme science/research people on the other end cry:

“How dare you write about a topic where we don’t have RCTs (randomized controlled trials) and mislead people?! You are turning your back on science and selling snake oil to just make money. How you even got one advanced degree much less two is beyond me. They should be revoked!”

The funny thing is I have received similar emails from BOTH camps.

When you have an advanced degree with published research, and you work with real clients, you end up in this massive cavern between the hardcore science people and the dude brahs lifting.

And I am ok with that.

I made an active decision to live in that space. . . To help close the gap.




The truth is my clients care about “the what” and not much about “the why.”

They want to know why it works and want to get better; however, they are not expecting me to drop my thesis on them as they are on their way out the door for some late night reading.

If everyone could pick up an exercise physiology textbook and have everything figured out, we would never need trainers/coaches.

The truth is that science by itself is not helpful.

My favorite exercise physiology book (Exercise Physiology: Human Bioenergetics and Its Applications by Dr. George Brooks et al, in case you wanted to know) only serves as a good doorstop if what is written in it is not applied.

The key is the application of science/data.

The key is the application of science/data

Physiology is complex, and not everything is the same for each one of us. While we are all human and certain principles apply, the RESPONSE of each one will be different.

If one program worked for everyone for fat loss, I think we would know what that one program is now.     And everyone would be doing it.

“Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”–Albert Szent-Györgi (1893-1986)


I love science.

I love data.

But more than those, I love the APPLICATON of science and data.

That is where the rubber meets the road.

I also love results and getting better. Both for myself, and for my clients. It is what I was born to do and feel privledged to be doing it, every day.

And currently, the application arena is the area that we have the least amount of hard science to guide us.

In the meantime, I will apply how I see the data to get clients the fastest results in a safe manner.

Even if there is not a RCT to prove it.

Dr. Mike

PS – I have a couple openings in my private 1:1 M3 online training program where you work directly with me to reach your goals (fat loss, strength and/or muscle gain).   Fill out the application HERE

3 Neurology Principles For Mind Control

by Dr. Mike T Nelson

Ok, maybe not other people’s minds, but control of your own!

Mindset is the rate limiting step for many many people in reaching their goals.

The cool part is that it can be changed!

“Transforming your body begins by transforming your mind.” – unknown

And this transformation is NOT the normal rah rah rah motivational quotes you see on Facebook.

Those quotes are cool but will only provide enough hype to help get you through maybe one day.

Surface motivation is like pushing the gas pedal down harder in a Yugo.   You will go faster for a bit, but it will never perform like the corvette.

Changing your mindset is like upgrading to the corvette.

Much faster results!

3 Neurology Principles for Faster Results


Source: Keith Griffin

Strong Brain Source: Keith Griffin

1) Neuroplasticity

Even as recently as a few years ago, scientist believed that once you were fully matured, the number of brain cells you had was fixed. And it was all downhill from there as they could not regenerate themselves.

Later, it was discovered that these brain cells actually CAN regenerate, and do all the time. The brain can change itself, even in old(er) age.

This is an amazing fact since it means that your current brain structure and function will change based on your experiences.   Provide experiences (especially new and novel ones), and your brain will change for the better.

Why you should give a crap about neuroplasticity

Neuroplasticity is powerful. It is the ability of your brain to change.

There is a catch though.

Depending on the inputs (and even your thoughts), neuroplasticity can make you better, or worse.

Read on for ways to literally reform your brain for the better.

2) Association

Your brain (and your client’s brains if you are a trainer or coach) are always associating every movement/exercise with an emotion. This is how neurology works, and it can’t be stopped (nor would you want to stop it).

Why you should give a crap about association

You are shaping the associations generated.

If you are allowing associations that make you worse, you are doing yourself a disservice.

Rule 1 – When you find yourself in a hole – stop digging!

If you tell yourself that you hate cardio, and do cardio all the time with a mad sour puss face, you are literally telling your brain (and body) that this sucks.

However, if you do things that you enjoy (say, car pushes instead), you are reinforcing that while it is hard, you enjoy it.

A bonus is that you are much more likely to keep doing things that you enjoy.

Big Take Away

If you really hate doing something, try to do less of it. Find something you enjoy. Do more of that. Many roads lead to Rome as they say.

3) Memory

Quiz time! I promise this is an easy one you can answer:

“How tall are the windows in your living room?” Just give me a close approximation.

What did you do to answer the question?

You visualized or pictured yourself in your living room, right? You did not file a number away like a computer.   Your brain is wired visually.

Because of this power to literally think in pictures, your brain is much more powerful than any computer. A catch is that each time you recall any memory, you literally change it, just a bit.

Memories were once thought to be perfect and static.   With newer research, both of those aspects have been disproven.

Why you should give a crap about memory

Your path in life is determined by the conscious (and many times subconscious) stories which are held via memory.

Allow them to distort for the worse, and they will impede your progress.

Tweak them just a bit, and you will make faster progress than ever before.

You can’t physically change the things that happened to you in the past, but you can alter your memories of them.   No need to have your future actions be held down by your past.


Neurology is helping provide all of us with some amazing new information that we can use to make ourselves better.

It all begins in our heads.

“Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you are correct.”

I love that line! Just realize that it is only the beginning.

Digging into the stories we all hold in our mind and learning how to change them at the deepest level will bring about real change.

Dr. Mike

PS – If you enjoyed this, then you have to check out the Mindset Performance Institute Level 1 course that I helped create with Brian Grasso and Carrie Campbell. Go to this link NOW! http://mindsetperformanceinstitute.com/level-1-sales-mike-nelson/

Stop Setting Goals!

Goal setting as it is commonly taught is waaaaay overrated.

Stop Setting Goals!

Stop Setting Goals!

I believe it is actually holding your back from reaching your fatloss goals!

If it worked so well, everyone who set a New Years Resolution would have achieved it.

Yet, that does not happen.

I’ve been there. I’ve set those goals on New Years Day.

And then set the same one the following year.

….and the following year.

Oh crap.

Client Example And Goal Setting

A client came to me 4 years ago with the goal to lose 10 lbs in 3 months.

She had the target day down to the exact time.

She was counting the days down…..90….89,….88…33…..2….1…target date!

She made AMAZING progress and lost 9 lbs of her goal of 10 lbs.

I called her up to give her some mad congrats only to find….

……she was very sad and upset.


I was perplexed. She made it over 90% of the way to her goal, yet she was VERY unhappy.


In her mind she failed.

She missed the mark.

Her brain was only focused on the 1 lb that she did not achieve and not the 9 lbs that she did.

She felt utterly defeated.

I Was Wrong

In hindsight I realized that it was MY mistake.

I was helping her and put too much focus on that SINGULAR goal on THAT date.

When she fell just a bit short, she really thought she was a failure.


She was far from a failure even though she felt that way.

What To Do – Intentions vs Goals

Focus on your intention instead.

An intention provides a direction, but does not have an absolute hard date.

Then focus on the behaviors that drive you your intention.

This way you cannot fail.

You may have to change directions a bit here and there, but failure would only happen if you quit.

4 Step Process to Success

1) Ditch your goals.

2) Focus on your intention instead.

3) Track your behaviors.

4) Enjoy the journey.

Dedicated to better,

Dr. Mike

PS – this is just one of the radical topics on mindset that myself and Brian Grasso cover at the Mindset Performance Institute. We just opened up our level 1 cert, so check it out at  —>>  MPI Level 1 Cert  <<—

Join me at PaleoFX in Austin TX 2015

Join me at PaleoFX in Austin TX 2015

Join me at PaleoFX in Austin TX 2015


I am stoked that I will be presenting at PaleoFX again this coming April 2015

Dear Dr. Nelson,

Congratulations! We have accepted the following submission(s) from you for Paleo f(x)™, to be held in Austin, Texas April 24th – 26th, 2015:

Individual Presentation,

“But Technology Is Not Paleo: Useful or Useless Tech for Monitoring Performance”

40 minutes and 15 min Q&A

Get your tickets at http://www.miketnelson.com/paleofx

Hope to see you there!

Dr. Mike T

Failure Is The Goal


failure is the goal

failure is the goal

I think the term failure has gotten a bad rap.

I did a top secret presentation for a certain military agency in the past. I won’t use their name or what I was speaking on (if you know my research you can get a pretty idea of the topic), but I can say that they are responsible for stuff like the freaking internet, GPS, etc. Pretty major stuff.

One thing that I was surprised at was how subcontractors could get fired.

It had nothing to do with budget, money or performance per say.

In fact, the fastest way to lose the contract according to the guy I talked to there was to NOT fail enough.

Yep, if you were not failing, in their eyes you were not trying. And therefore were farther from a solution.

You were rewarded by failing.

Hard to argue with their results historically speaking.

They did not view failure as bad, it was in fact REQUIRED.

Emotional Attachment

We are the ones that “attach” whatever emotions to “failure” (or any word for that matter).

Many times this is done subconsciously.

This was a hard lesson for me to learn too.

One of the phrases I told myself when doing my PhD as I had to rework papers many many times. I even got farmed out to a different department to work on a project there, only to find out 1.5 years into it that what we found could not be published (no result was seen).

The phrase was

“there is no failure, only feedback”

To be honest, most times I FELT horrible at the feedback.

It was a process to understand that failure would make me stronger and I was the one attaching the emotions to it.

While this is still a work in progress, I am better.

The goal is to fail forward as fast as possible.

Dr Mike

PS – If you liked this post, you must check this out below

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