Peak Performance – Steve Magness & Brad Stulberg

by | May 16, 2017 | Podcast


 Steve Magness and Brad Stulberg join us this week to talk all things Peak Performance. They have written a book (called Peak Performance due out June 6, 2017) talking about ways we can achieve our best performance in the office, on the field, in any competitive field.
We dive back into sleep (remember that episode with Amy?) and we talk about how principles from sport (like periodizing our stress/recovery) can help boost our performance at work and in our lives.

The Show is sponsored by:

SHRED GIRLS – A new fictional book by Molly Hurford for young ladies who like bikes!

Pre-order now for June release ->
Don’t forget to check out for show info, other WAP podcasts and to become a Donating Member (free bonuses!) Visit W.A.P.

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Download and view on Wide-Angle-Podium Site 



Steve – coach college and pro runners, 2016 Olympian, had top athletes in worlds and Boston Marathon.
– known for asking questions and using questionnaires with his own athletes

Brad – a writer, started in Mackenzie working with top performers. Saw corporate stuff would work with athletes and vice versa. Writes for New York Times and Runners World Magazines.

 molly bicycle article “I tracked my sleep for a month and is what happened”


1) bio

2) how did book partnership happen? 

steve- knew via twitter, send an email about writing a book and turned out they both were intending to do a book on the same topic.

3) easiest and hardest part about collaborating

– easiest – another person to run things by.
– hardest – to let go of ideas
– a writer needs to have some ego to put something out

– easiest – writer’s block- pass it on
– hardest – not married to any idea

4) sleep
– it is when you get better. rebuild the stores
– drugs try to increase much of what is max during sleep (HGH / testosterone etc)
– increasing marginal returns -> extra hours pack a lot of benefits (ie. more after 8hrs)
– if delay going to sleep the body doesn’t start the natural hormone
– melatonin ? – not sleep aid but a trigger. Timing is important. At the wrong time it can delay quality, delay onset. Time it with 1-2 hrs before bed as natural light decreases (sunset)
– don’t use chronically. Save it for the time change.

– lower hanging sleep helpers => caffeine intake, screens before bed, sleep with a cell phone in bed.

– mindset shift –> we get excited about big workout or project but put same focus/excitement for sleep.

What is good sleep?
-> molly bicycle article “I tracked my sleep for a month and is what happened”
-> new york magazine- sleep trackers cause worse sleep article

-> feel well rested and not falling asleep and can go to sleep and fall asleep.

-> snooze button – book talks about falling asleep without an alarm. Be against smooth, the extra 15 min isn’t restful.

5) Sleep Hygiene
– get natural light during the day – get outside
(Circadian rhythm and melatonin cycles)
– watch exercise before bed
– ideally caffeine out at least 6hrs before bed
– no other activities in bed (emails etc)
– no booze before bed (not deep sleep, poor quality sleep)
– blue light exposure – 4 hrs before bed
*F.Lux and night-shift
– cell phone out of the bedroom (angst/nerves)
(Try notebook for ideas/ thoughts)

6) alternating hard: easy in life and traininG
– routine
– growth moments
– hard-core athletes motivated to work, but very hard to rest. Elite marathoners and CEOs all want to grind away, step back and achieve more
– hard work needs to be focused, needs a point
– schedule rest? Programming rest (not a number but emphasis on recovery, sleep hygiene practices)
– track sleep by asking how tired? How much quality sleep?

7) Burnout
– stress + rest = growth
– if you get close to the line, easy to go too far.

8) purpose, goal, why?
– have a why. Don’t ‘just go thru the motions’
– Try to ask why you compete?
– if not pro?
– 2 main reasons
A) external validation (result, social etc) risky
B) internal (feeling, community, confidence)
– process oriented – try to engender the processed oriented
– how to change a mindset? Tough but education and second to change story tell them.

9) how has this book helped you.

Brad – sleep,
– having a why (writing as performance)
– enjoy the process
– working in chunks (90-120 min writing)
** always exceptions

Steve- create your own way/spin to accomplish these things
– be in your own head (meditate) on runs for a period
– not optimizing everything. No one perfect

10) social

Book will be any retailer for June 6th, 2017


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