193 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 • 601 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.

    Steroids, Staying Natural & The Tyranny of Progress

    Steroids, Staying Natural & The Tyranny of Progress

    Intrinsic motivation: we talk about it’s importance, but let’s be honest, most people first step in the gym mostly or entirely for external reasons. That’s not always bad, but one thing is for sure, it needs to change over time, or at least be complemented by other forms of motivation, or inevitably lifters quit. Even when the shift is made to focusing on personal progress rather than external goals or standards, it can go wrong. Having something to continually improve upon or strive to achieve can provide a continuous staircase to personal improvement, but it can also be an overbearing presence invading every thought, making the inevitable plateaus experienced lifters face feel like failures. At these crossroads some lifters seek anabolic assistance, or quit. Sometimes one of these choices might be the right decision for an individual, but many times, both choices simply avoid the deeper issue. This deeper issue is also the reason some “noble” natties see themselves as morally superior to enhanced lifters, and why some spend so much time calling out those they believe to be fake. This is a deep one folks, well, once you get past the banter. 
    00:00 Intro: reacting to reviews
    Can You Stay Shredded by Greg Nuckols Eric Trexler Mike Zourdos Helms https://www.strongerbyscience.com/stay-shredded/
    Iron Culture Ep. 109- Empiricism vs Rationalism: What Do We Really Know When It Comes To Fitness? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qT3KPnTgO7M&t=492s
    16:00 Natural or enhanced? The pressures of social media
    Iron Culture Ep. 188- Steroids, Aesthetics & Irresponsible Influencers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oF31sb3Db0
    23:34 Intrinsic motivation, goals, and satisfaction tied to lifting
    What Is Strong? https://www.strongerbyscience.com/how-to-get-strong-what-is-strong/
    39:55 Comparing yourself to and living up to an ideal
    49:38 The application of effort when enhanced and the psychological impact
    Health Science Explained Podcast Ep. 197- The path out of muscle dysmorphia https://open.spotify.com/episode/2CRNuQrn1MSmRpBdow2xwQ?si=a91fe465ed4c4712
    1:14:04 The unintended consequences of our choices and the inherent issues of setting external goals
    1:27:23 Being self-aware and the fragile social hierarchy in the lifting space
    1:42:40 Wrapping up another monster episode 

    • 1 hr 44 min
    The Dave Tate Interview

    The Dave Tate Interview

    For more than two decades Elite FTS has been a household name for powerlifting information, equipment, and a sense of community. The progenitor behind Elite FTS, Dave Tate, honoured us at Iron Culture by joining us to share his story, wisdom and experience. Tune in to learn about the history of Dave as an athlete, thinker, and entrepreneur. Also you’ll learn the history of Elite FTS, it’s future, and what paths weren’t traveled and why. Finally, we hear what lessons Dave’s learned from decades under the bar, not only for lifting itself but also how he’s applied it to business and life.
     
    00:00 Introducing Dave
    05:08 Demographics and the changing of the guard in the fitness industry
    11:25 Dave’s journey
    23:05 Joining Westside Barbell  
    34:49 EliteFTS as a content creator in the social media era
    50:01 “Evidence-based”, being open-minded and continuing to learn
    1:01:25 Dave’s powerlifting experience and the double-edged sword of the going all in mentality
    1:19:19 EliteFTS in the business world
    1:32:55 Playing the long game: using numbers to learn and grow
    1:42:33 Providing a service for your consumer
    1:53:55 The future of EliteFTS
    Where to find Dave and EliteFTS
    Dave Tate 
    Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/underthebar/
    Podcast: Dave Tate’s Table Talk https://www.elitefts.com/content/table-talk/
    EliteFTS
    Website: https://www.elitefts.com/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/elitefts/

    • 2 hr 10 min
    Stretching & Range of Motion for Strength and Hypertrophy

    Stretching & Range of Motion for Strength and Hypertrophy

    Full ROM is king, right? Well, more or less. But why? And are there any types of partials that are worthwhile? What if your goal is strength? What if your goal is hypertrophy? In this episode we’re joined by two academics who helped answer these questions: Dr. Alyssa Joy Spence, an international grade powerlifter, powerlifting coach with TSA and lecturer at AUT who did her PhD thesis on the effects of stretching on powerlifting performance, as well as Milo Wolf, a strength and physique athlete and coach with stronger by science and PhD candidate at Solent University studying the effects of different ranges of motion on hypertrophy. 
    00:00 The banter podcast and introducing Milo and Alyssa
    9:45 Discussing “Range of Motion” in the context of hypertrophy 
    Milo’s new Meta will be linked here when it’s out!
    21:00 What we know about stretching for hypertrophy and strength
    Warneke 2022 Influence of Long-Lasting Static Stretching on Maximal Strength, Muscle Thickness and Flexibility https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35694390/
    30:32 When and how to implement stretching to improve performance
    45:45 Strength-specific ROM: partials for sticking points, injuries, and psychology?
    1:00:14 Resistance and strength curves
    1:07:51 Is there such a thing as being too stretched?
    1:15:48 Training at long muscle lengths: biarticular and monoarticular muscles 
    Maeo 2021 Greater Hamstrings Muscle Hypertrophy but Similar Damage Protection after Training at Long versus Short Muscle Lengths https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33009197/
    Maeo 2022 Triceps brachii hypertrophy is substantially greater after elbow extension training performed in the overhead versus neutral arm position https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35819335/
    Stasinaki 2018 Triceps Brachii Muscle Strength and Architectural Adaptations with Resistance Training Exercises at Short or Long Fascicle Length https://www.mdpi.com/2411-5142/3/2/28     
    Pedrosa 2022 Partial range of motion training elicits favorable improvements in muscular adaptations when carried out at long muscle lengths https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33977835/
    McMahon 2014 Muscular adaptations and insulin-like growth factor-1 responses to resistance training are stretch-mediated https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23625461/
    Sato 2021 Elbow Joint Angles in Elbow Flexor Unilateral Resistance Exercise Training Determine Its Effects on Muscle Strength and Thickness of Trained and Non-trained Arms https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34616309/
    1:27:30 Touching on regional hypertrophy
    1:31:39: How does stretching work and do we actually know?
    1:33:51 Closing out and where to find Milo and Alyssa
    Milo :
    Instagram @wolfcoach_ https://www.instagram.com/wolfcoach_/?hl=en
    Muscle & Feels Podcast https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfLkHRHcMxbdcZDWXfrLkBQ
    Coaching https://wolfcoaching.net/
    Research Output https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Milo-Wolf-2\
    Alyssa:
    Instagram @alyssajoyable https://www.instagram.com/alyssajoyable/?hl=en
     

    • 1 hr 37 min
    Steroids, Aesthetics & Irresponsible Influencers

    Steroids, Aesthetics & Irresponsible Influencers

    What does it mean to be “aesthetic”, and is it possible to have an objective or universal definition of it? Obviously, there are attempts to do so in physique sport, but in society, as they say, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. In fact, even in physique sports aesthetic standards change constantly and new competitive divisions regularly pop up, judging standards change, and people frequently disagree. Moving beyond the possibility of an agreed-upon definition or standard, would having them even be a good thing? How do external beauty standards and pressure impact us as humans who crave social acceptance in the social media age? How can you pursue aesthetic goals and get positive outcomes? There are no easy answers, but we welcome you to join us as we discuss!
     
    00:00 Intro: reviewing reviews
    11:10 In the pursuit of aesthetics
    Can you Stay Shredded? https://www.strongerbyscience.com/stay-shredded/
    MASS Research Review https://www.strongerbyscience.com/mass/
    17:55 Defining the concept of aesthetics
    24:27 Discussing anabolic steroids in the fitness industry
    40:35 Societal influences on aesthetic standards and the impact of your personal experiences
    51:40 TRT and the pressures of obtaining and maintaining a certain aesthetic
    Zhou 2020 Trends and Patterns of Testosterone Therapy among U.S. Male Medicare Beneficiaries, 1999 to 2014 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31928462/
    57:29 Social media algorithms and other influences on decision making
    Bhasin 2018 Testosterone Therapy in Men With Hypogonadism: An Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/103/5/1715/4939465
    1:03:05 The importance of your definition of success and underlying motivations in the pursuit of your aesthetic goals
    Helms 2019 Towards a Sustainable Nutrition Paradigm in Physique Sport: A Narrative Review https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31315180/
    1:17:07 The impacts of improving health and performance on aesthetics
    Iron Culture Episode 95: Old School Bodybuilding https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2m11U_7JmU
    1:21:44 Different physique sport divisions and desired aesthetics
    1:33:20 Beyond surface-level motivations for lifting 
    1:46:20 Closing out

    • 1 hr 50 min
    Ep. 187 - Killing It For Over A Decade: The Sigma Nutrition Story

    Ep. 187 - Killing It For Over A Decade: The Sigma Nutrition Story

    Sigma nutrition radio has been a staple for evidence-based nutrition podcasting for the better part of a decade. But truly, even among other similar podcasts, it’s in a league of its own. The guest list is essentially the who’s who of nutrition academia, with interviews digging into the nuance of research coming directly from the sources, covering an incredibly broad span of nutrition topics. Danny Lennon started this endeavor on his own, but in more recent years, it’s expanded to include Dr. Alan Flanagan and Dr. Niamh Aspell. As Alan, Danny and Eric were recently at a conference together, Iron Culture took the opportunity to sit down with them and learn about what they’ve learned as one of the longest-running science-based nutrition podcasts. 
    00:00 Intro
    Danny’s Peachboi Shorts https://raskolapparel.com/collections/shorts
    Sigma Nutrition Radio Ep. 442: Are Vegetables Detrimental to Health? https://open.spotify.com/episode/59oVF6ffJpQlNnPuJ0Ha3N?si=9abf0e4d4ede4a2e
    10:22 The inception of Sigma Nutrition Radio and hosting podcasts
    26:10: Staying up to date with the latest evidence in your guest’s area of expertise (both academics and practitioners)
    Iron Culture Ep. 182: How to call out B.S. and Pseudoscience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckzuycwnRH8
    31:50 Appraising and presenting evidence
    44:10 Maintaining listenership while covering a broad range of topics and reaching a large audience
    51:32 Areas of misinformation that require further inspection and scrutiny
    59:12 Expanding and advancing Sigma Nutrition: holding epistemic humility and speaking within your area of expertise
    1:21:35 Limits of domain-specific expertise
    1:40:55 Challenging ill-informed perceptions and beliefs
    1:50:29 The future of Sigma Nutrition and where to find them
    Sigma Nutrition: https://sigmanutrition.com/
    Alinea Nutrition: https://www.alineanutrition.com/
    Instagram: @dannylennon_sigma & @thenutritional_advocate

    • 1 hr 57 min
    The Resurrection of a Professional Toner

    The Resurrection of a Professional Toner

    What happens when your passion becomes your career? From the outside, lifting as an occupation would be an enviable position for any lifting enthusiast. There are hidden drawbacks however as things such as financial incentives shroud over a once pure pursuit. 
    How do you keep the fire lit after over a decade of lifting when seemingly all stones have been overturned? If you're a member of the Cult, perhaps one of the two Hunks atop the Pyramid, you turn on your penlight and you begin navigating the encroaching darkness.

    • 1 hr 23 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
601 Ratings

601 Ratings

Gaels19 ,

225 stars

What an excellent, informative podcast. My commute is only 30 minutes so I haven’t finished the history of the Grave Digger yet but I can’t wait to continue the episode tomorrow. Was the Grave Digger on steroids? Was he an irresponsible influencer? These are the tough questions Erik and oMar tackle that other podcasts like Stronger by Science have been avoiding for years

aubreyjo4 ,

Keep Pausing

I literally have to keep pausing the podcast, either to chew on something deep and profound (both fitness-related wisdom and non), or to simply savor the brilliant wit. Not exaggerating. So thankful for Eric and Omar who keep on keeping on, endeavoring to keep it real, and allowing others like us to savor the “new levels of rock bottom” along with them!!! 😆🙌 You guys are the best! -Aubrey

Chlera ,

The Peak of the Podcast Pyramid

Eric… and Omar are both two elite, hunky lifters that dedicate their precious time to getting their disciples yucky and swole. Every Monday, my life is changed as we have the opportunity to catch their droppings of wisdom and knowledge. Between their completely unironic love for capitalism and obscure pop culture references that Omar only gets accurate a quarter of the time, it’s clear that these guys are at the top of the muscle and fitness pyramids. On a serious note, this bromance really pulls off the one-two punch of evidence based approaches to fitness and a layman’s breakdown of the science behind it all. After the first hour of banter, the information being provided is invaluable, yet always digestible. Way better than that vile Macrofactor podcast. 10/10.

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