How To Operate On The Cutting Edge Of Physical & Mental Performance With Ryan “The Birdman” Parrott Of The Human Performance Project.

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A few weeks ago, a guy named Ryan “Birdman” Parrott contacted me.

Here's what he said…

“My sniper partner in the SEAL Teams took his life three years ago, and I am tired of it. I know for a fact that there are plenty of brain treatment centers around the country, but the military, and first responder communities’ leadership, don’t seem to care about their health, nutrition, and sleep, so we are going to work with physicians, sports physiologists, and mental health experts to develop a simplistic manual that will showcase: 1) turning the ignition on so that kids who are starting to get athletic can understand how to create a baseline of correct fitness and how to get back to homeostasis (this also goes for brand new military members and first responders because they don’t get taught human performance); 2) restarting the engine for the warfighter, career firefighter, and law enforcement, so that they can come out of their careers unfractured.

This manual should and will discuss what to do on the flip side to reboot. I am not going to sit back and watch another warfighter take their own life because they are not being tended to after devoting everything that God has given to them to national security. I have run a successful non-profit for burn survivors called ‘Sons of the Flag‘ for the past ten years and am now making this my number one focus to do my part…

…it's called The Human Performance Project

…and I would love your advice on nutrition and supplementation as we begin this training and as we analyze our blood to give us all a better understanding of what is truly making us better. These are all warfighters on the team that will be training to pull this off, and I am the youngest guy on the team, so we have our work cut out for us.”

Ryan's Human Performance Project is designed to gain outcomes on human performance by testing supplements while training and looking deep into the DNA, physiology, and human spirit, to create a docuseries along with a manual that supports all data-driven findings and proof of concept. The program is designed to essentially press the reset button on a 20-year military veteran or first responder and start the engine for the next generation to train, eat, sleep, diet, and live well.

Originally from Detriot, Michigan, Ryan is an author, public speaker, former Navy SEAL, patent holder, action sports athlete, and founder of two non-profits benefitting veterans and first responders. Ryan enlisted in the Navy after watching the Twin Towers fall on 9/11, and served eight years as a U.S. Navy SEAL attached to SEAL Team SEVEN, completing three combat tours to Iraq before being assigned to Advanced Training Command as an Instructor.

In 2005, while serving in Iraq, Ryan Birdman was riding atop a Humvee manning the gun turret in enemy territory when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device (IED), causing a detonation and throwing him from the Humvee. Ryan regained composure with his face and hands burned and witnessed his fellow team members suffer devastating burn and blast injuries. While Ryan's burns were only first- and second-degree, his teammates suffered lifelong injuries.

In 2012, Ryan established Sons of the Flag to help burn survivors and their families find the help and medical attention they truly deserve. He is also the founder of the Bird’s Eye View Project, addressing the extreme needs of veterans and first responders through extreme sports. He authored Sons of the Flag: Real Accounts from the last 100 years of American Service.

Now a sponsored athlete in the extreme sports arena, Ryan Birdman has founded The Human Performance Project, taking a deeper dive into health and wellness and giving the next generation a better understanding of taking proper care of their bodies through physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual guidance from world-renowned experts in their fields. After I read Ryan's message, I decided to ask him to be on the show to talk about how to truly optimize performance, especially when you need to be on the physical and mental cutting edge.

More info on the Human Performance Project is here.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-Ryan's personal journey to the present day, and how he got the name “Birdman”…06:25

  • Grew up in Detroit, MI; going nowhere in life
  • Marine Vietnam vet motivated Ryan to join the Navy SEALS
  • Enlisted in the navy after 9/11; 8-year career ensued
  • IED detonated under HUMVEE, Ryan shot into the air like a bird
  • “Blissfully unaware” of emotional damage inflicted during combat tours

-Addressing a severely underserved segment of combat-sustained injuries through Sons of the Flag…11:52

-The Human Performance Project: what it is and who it serves…16:26

  • Sniper partner took his own life in 2019; he was the “true north” of the platoon
  • Rather than reverting to depression, Ryan decided to step up and provide help for those suffering from post-combat stress
  • Look beyond brain injuries and emotional stress or mental health
  • Pro sports and military is an “old boy network”; eat and supplement however everyone else does it
  • Look at the entire body; what does it need to thrive?
  • Bird’s Eye View Project
  • Sponsored by Thorne, BUBS Collagen Protein
  • Skydive, marathon, plunge in water on 7 continents in 7 days (breakdown phase)
  • Reboot phase would be outlined in a sort of “Metcalf Manual”
  • Chris Hoth
  • if you want to join in (February 13, 2023)

-The first 3 things you should do when you want to take control of your health and fitness…33:00

-The first thing to do when you realize you're broken physically, spiritually, and emotionally…41:30

-How you will feel if you attempt a hard-core cleanse…47:50

  • Sleep architecture: high sleep scores
  • HRV should be high
  • Improvement in gut
  • Higher cognitive performance
  • High drive to move; little resistance to doing the work

-Improving the overall sleep experience…55:00

-The system in the body that needs the most attention, and how to address it…1:00:03

-To what extent will improving your physical game improve your mental game?…1:05:15

-And much more!

-Upcoming Events:

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Ryan “Birdman” Parrott:

– Podcasts And Articles:

– Books:

– Tests:

– Other Resources:

Episode sponsors:

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Inside Tracker: Created by leading scientists in aging, genetics, and biometrics, InsideTracker analyzes your blood, DNA, and fitness tracking data to identify where you’re optimized—and where you’re not.

Organifi Green Juice: Now you can get all your healthy superfoods in one glass…with No Shopping, No Blending, No Juicing, and No Cleanup. Get a 20% discount on your entire order when you use discount code: BENG20

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Ryan or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

2 thoughts on “How To Operate On The Cutting Edge Of Physical & Mental Performance With Ryan “The Birdman” Parrott Of The Human Performance Project.

  1. Steve Moore says:

    Hi Ben,

    Great podcast! You mentioned the Thorne SGS protocol (3 times per day for about 2 weeks) for those with severe gastrointestinal issues as a clean up protocol. Are the calories in the shake 100% of the daily calories recommended? Essentially “mimicking” a fast? Thanks!

  2. boa says:

    I’d definitely include the book Minimize Injury, Maximize Performance by Dr. Tommy John.

    Feels like he was heavily inspired by Jay Schroeder, who made the Iso-Extremes positions in training popular.

    – Push-up
    – Scapular Pull-up
    – Dip
    – Lunge
    – 1-Legged Squat
    – Standing Hamstring
    – Preacher Curl
    – Supported Squat

    6x34sec until one can handle holding for 5min. This will test your will to train, but well worth it.

    Bilateral-Training can be detrimental, test it and bring balance first. Free workshop from Dr. Eric Cobb

    Also I remember M. T. Keshe mentioned in his weekly Workshop he’d gift some “Universal Enhancement Units” to support US soldiers, a friendly gesture from Iran. Contact someone in the Keshefoundation, they’ll know more.

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