John Little (Linkedin) is considered “one of the top fitness researchers in North America” (Ironman magazine). An accomplished author in the field of exercise (Max Contraction Training, Body By Science, The Art of Expressing the Human Body), philosophy, history and martial arts, John’s articles have been published in every major fitness and martial arts magazine in North America. He’s produced a whopping 40 publications.
Throughout his career, John has worked alongside the biggest names in the industry, from the Estate of Bruce Lee, to bodybuilding icons such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Mentzer, Steve Reeves and Lou Ferrigno to action stars such as Jackie Chan. John is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker, having produced and directed films for both independent companies and major studios such as Warner Bros.
John and his wife Terri opened Nautilus North Strength & Fitness Centre in 2004, where they continue to conduct studies on exercise and share the data with their personal training clients. Nautilus North has supervised in excess of 80,000 one-on-one workout sessions. Little lives in Bracebridge, Ontario (Canada) with his wife of 28-years and their children Riley, Taylor, Brandon and Benjamin.
John is considered to be one of the world’s foremost authorities on Bruce Lee, his training methods and philosophies. Selected by the Bruce Lee estate, he is the only person who has ever been authorized to review the entirety of Lee’s personal notes, sketches and reading annotations and to edit books on the subject of Lee’s martial art and its far-reaching philosophical underpinnings.
He has devoted much effort to popularizing the works and philosophies of Will Durant. He founded and heads the Will Durant Foundation, which is an effort to keep Durant’s ideas and thoughts alive in the modern era.
This is John’s second appearance on Corporate Warrior. To Listen to Part 1, click here. John is the most sought after guest for a Part 2 that I’ve ever had. His knowledge of exercise and philosophy is staggering and I learnt a ton recording both of these podcasts. Both are a treasure trove of exercise wisdom and practical philosophy.
Please check out John’s books: here
Some of the great quotes mentioned in this episode:
“Eat a little bit of everything but not too much of anything.”– Mike Mentzer
“Luck is when preparation meets opportunity” … and … “it is only after the rainstorm that the rainbow appears.”– Bruce Lee
“Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.”– Voltaire
And if you’re feeling confused about the seemingly contradictory views in my podcasts, just remember what Bruce Lee said:
“In the contrast of comparison, some new thing might grow.”
In this episode we cover:
- John’s thoughts on the latest literature on exercise frequency
- How John’s personal exercise regimen has evolved
- Bruce Lee vs MMA fighter
- How to find purpose through passion
- What books to start with on philosophy
- And much more
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”.
Interested in more from John Little? – Listen to Part 1. John explains more of what he learnt from Mike Mentzer, his workout with Hercules (Steve Reeves), how to optimise your workout protocol, and much much more (stream below or right-click here to download):
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Scroll below for links and show notes…
Click the link below to listen from the exact time stamp on Overcast:
- My biggest mistakes since our Part 1 [05:51]
- John’s thoughts on the exercise frequency views shared by James Steele PhD [07:30]
- How have John’s views on HIT evolved since we spoke 2 years ago? [13:00]
- How does John schedule workouts and manage recovery? [14:30]
- What prompted John to reduce his exercise volume? [15:35]
- How long has John been practicing a big-2/big-3 routine? [16:50]
- Why can’t someone train often and intensely and recovery quickly? [22:45]
- My thoughts on optimising muscle hypertrophy [30:15]
- The problems with the Conversation of energy syndrome (the value in changing workout protocol) [33:30]
- How often should one changed their workout routine? [39:30]
- John’s current diet and Mike Mentzer’s diet wisdom [42:30]
- Bruce Lee vs MMA fighter [48:30]
- John’s journey that led him to produce work on behalf of Bruce Lee [53:00]
- How to distinguish pursuing passion vs distraction [56:45]
- How did Alan Watts influence Bruce Lee? [59:00]
- John’s mentors and the danger of having idles and heros [1:02:09]
- Why Mike Mentzer was good at dealing with grief and sadness [1:05:30]
- Alan Watts on the reality of misfortune [1:09:40]
- How has John implemented his learning from philosophy into his life? [1:13:15]
- How does John spend work and leisure time? [1:22:07]
- John’s latest work [1:24:22]
- What is John really not very good at? [1:31:15]
- Mike Mentzer has said that if he lived again he would have invested far more in developing his psychological faculties. In John’s opinion, how might Mike have gone about this? [1:33:13]
- John’s recommendations to people who are new to philosophy [1:34:35]
- How to acquire knowledge in the most effective and efficient manner [1:39:55]
- Best way to find out more about John [1:42:40]
Selected Links from the Episode
- Body By Science by Dr Doug McGuff and John R. Little (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- Frequency: The Overlooked Resistance Training Variable for Inducing Muscle Hypertrophy?
- The Big-5 Workout Program
- Bod Pod
- Heavy duty / Mike Mentzer
- Max Contraction Training : The Scientifically Proven Program for Building Muscle Mass in Minimum Time by John Little (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy
- Early resistance training-induced increases in muscle cross-sectional area are concomitant with edema-induced muscle swelling
- The laziness imperative: Why zealous exercise burns fewer calories than we think
- Paleo Diet
- The China Study
- Coronary Heart-Disease and Physical Activity of Work
- Bruce Lee – A Warriors Journey Documentary by John Little (this is amazing – forgot the name on the podcast!)
- Jeet Kune Do
- Indra’s net
- The Art of Tom Thomson by John Little
- Will Durant: The Greatest Minds and Ideas of All Time by John Little and Will Durant (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- The Story of Philosophy: The Lives and Opinions of the World’s Greatest Philosophers by Will Durant (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- The art of philosophizing by Bertrand Russell (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- Our Oriental Heritage: The Story of Civilization, Volume 1 (The Story of Civilization series) (Story of Civilization (Audio) by Will Durant (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- Tao: The Watercourse Way by Alan Watts (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- The Culture of Counter-Culture by Alan Watts (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- How Proust Can Change Your Life by Alain de Botton (Amazon US / Amazon UK)
- Dr Doug McGuff (Listen to our podcast here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3)
- Dr James Steele (Listen to our podcast here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3)
- Mike Mentzer
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Steve Reeves
- Bruce Lee
- Joseph Campbell
- Joe Weider
- Alan Watts
- Mark Watts
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
- Shinichi Suzuki
- Gautama Buddha
- Adi Shankara
- Alfred North Whitehead
- Bertrand Russell
- Leonard Peikoff
- Will Durant
- Allen Ginsberg
- Heauton Timorumenos (The Self-Tormentor)
- Jeremy Irons
- The Yin-Yang of Fortune and Misfortune: Alan Watts on the Art of Learning Not to Think in Terms of Gain and Loss
- Tom Thomson
- Marcel Proust
- Alain De Botton
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What is your favourite quote on living well? Please let me know in the comments.