156 episodes

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.

Iron Culture Eric Helms & Omar Isuf

    • Health & Fitness
    • 4.8 • 528 Ratings

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.

    Intermittent Fasting & Peri-Workout Carbohydrates

    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.

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Were Ancient Warriors Actually Jacked?

    Were Ancient Warriors Actually Jacked?

    Watch Episode 1 Here:
    https://youtu.be/VHBTMm94yeM
    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.

    • 1 hr 31 min
    Effort vs Exertion, Frequency, and Qualitative Research (Q&A)

    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!

    • 1 hr 11 min
    Strange But True

    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.

    • 1 hr 22 min
    Iron Culture: 3 Years Later

    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!

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Overreaching, Overtraining and Insufficient Recovery: Everything You Need To Know

    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. 

    • 1 hr 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
528 Ratings

528 Ratings

Andy Boyce ,

Statler and Waldorf

Phew. Eric. This is the big one. The review I have been meaning to write but haven’t gotten to it for no reason other than I succumbed to sloth. As I realize that is not in line with the Cults Mantra, I figured, what would be better than to write a review for the two most entertaining guys in the fitness industry?

The gang is at the peak of the pyramid (please don’t sue) when it comes to combining fitness, science, and culture and dispels it to the masses in an easily digestible format. The banter between Dr. Helms and Omar provides “aha moments”, laughter, tears, and yes, gains, to anyone who desires to step foot into The Cult.

When I am old and grey with my grandson on my lap telling him how grandpa went from an average to a slightly above average lifter in my 20s-30s, I will have him turn on the Netflix special “Mystery in the pyramid: The rise and fall of Eric and Omar” to explain those dusty old instagram photos of granpap flexing.

In all seriousness, thanks guys. By far one of my favorite podcasts and you are doing the work of Amun.

sgtmhr2021 ,

Best health and fitness cast for nerds

It’s already better than stronger by science for the simple fact that neither host pronounces “aerobic” like the lunatics on the other show do. For real though, it’s really difficult to parse through the misinformation and garbage fads in the fitness industry, and I really love the in-depth, nuanced discussions and guests that this podcast has. Kudos to Eric and Omar, and the information that they convey. Really, it has helped me immeasurably by allowing me to figure out what is important and where to focus for my own fitness journey.

LonelyCompanion ,

Crisis averted

*deep exhale as the lights fade in* So, Erik and Omar… I felt myself having a brief bout of sorrow as I was listening to episode 150, and it almost seemed like you guys were just going to hard stop the show right then and there. But what about the intergalactic hunt for who rightfully claims the pyramids, what about the truth regarding the Irish potato famine? What about a certain someone who might be wearing other peoples skin? Well, thank the iron gods that’s not the case, but it was this thought that got this long time listener to finally rate and review. I love the banter, the science, and the free space that is created on this show. I hope to continue to be able to listen (I guess not until the end of time as was previously mentioned), but until that natural end point when you guys move on and up. Love the show, thankful for all you guys do!

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