Ryan Munsey is an elite trainer, athlete, and entrepreneur who built a huge following as the host of The Optimal Performance Podcast. Now he’s written his first book and started a new podcast called The Better Human Project, but he’s hoping it’ll be way more than just a podcast. We caught up with Ryan and talked about his recent work, plus his thoughts on alcohol, fasting, and light therapy. Check out the full interview to hear Ryan’s best advice for bettering yourself and sticking to your core values. Hint: you have to actually know your core values first.
Can’t watch right now but ready for a quick read? These are the highlights of our conversation with Ryan:
The Optimal Author
Ryan Munsey has pushed his limits as an athlete, trainer, entrepreneur, biohacker, speaker, podcast host, and plenty more, but he says writing a book is the hardest thing he’s ever done. Check out the interview to hear Ryan explain the time management strategies he used to power through most of the first draft in just a month.
Lesson: Mindful work habits can break enormous projects—like writing a book—into manageable little pieces, which helps you overcome the mental hurdle of focusing on how much work you still have to do.
F*ck Your Feelings
Slap an R-rating on this thing. We talked to Ryan earlier in 2018, just before his new book came out. Having said that, F*ck Your Feelings: Master Your Mind, Accomplish Anything and Become a More Significant Human is now officially available.
Can you judge a book by its title? Ryan explained what he means by the provocative phrase f*ck your feelings. It isn’t about invalidating or ignoring how you feel. It’s recognizing that how you feel right now is temporary and shouldn’t be your biggest priority—or get in the way of your larger goals. Ryan says it’s like self-talk, a reminder that other people are counting on him. If he needs to get something done today, but happens to not feel like doing it, well then f*ck those feelings.
Lesson: When you need to do something, but don’t feel like doing it, sometimes you just have to say f*ck my feelings, and do the damn thing. Which often makes you feel better than anything anyway.
Valuable Advice on States and Traits
Ryan went deeper into the book’s subject matter and talked about states and traits. The current mood or emotion (states) can be very appealing, even intoxicating. But to do big things, people need to be able to zoom in and out on their own life and see the bigger picture (traits). Ryan’s advice is to be conscious and deliberate about what your core values are. In other words, what are 4-5 principles, goals or beliefs that you want to live and work by? When new opportunities arise in your life, or when you need to make a big decision, think about your options in the context of those values.
Lesson: Businesses often sketch out their mission statement or core values because it helps the organization focus itself in order to remember what matters most. Individuals can do the same. Often, people act on feelings and emotions when ultimately they should probably act on longer-term convictions and principles.
AM Joovvin’ With Ryan Munsey
We love talking to elite trainers and biohackers about their morning routines to learn how the most deliberate, efficient people on earth spend those crucial first hours of the day. Red light means "go" for Ryan and his wife Donna. They start the morning right with a Joovv session. Ryan does 6 minutes per side and adds breathing exercises to maximize his time.
Then he downs one of the least appetizing morning power drinks we’ve ever heard: warm water, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Ryan isn’t selling anyone on the flavor, but it works wonders for his body and prepares him for the most important jobs of the day.
Lesson: Light therapy is a great way to jumpstart the day, and sometimes when it comes to nutrition, you have to say f*ck my taste buds and just fuel yourself.
Ryan Munsey’s New Podcast: The Better Human Project
After building The Optimal Performance Podcast with Natural Stacks, Ryan has started a new personal improvement podcast that he hopes is way more than just a podcast.
Ryan explains the mission behind The Better Human Project and talks about how it’ll go beyond his previous work. His background is in nutrition and fitness and that’ll always be central to his work, but this is a broader mission to talk to people in all walks of life about how to be better, more effective humans beings. He hopes listeners come away from every episode with actionable steps to improve their lives in new ways—some fitness-related and some not.
Lesson: Ryan’s motto sums it up: Be better. Do better.
Plus One: Ryan explains why his youthful stint as a fitness model in New York City didn’t last a full year.
Plus One More: Check out the full interview to hear Ryan’s take on fasting, how many meals a day work for him, and why he retired from drinking before the age of 21.”