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Gear Not Stuff: Travel Edition

Travel gear: My 15 favorite items.


New to 2%? Start Here

The best of 2% with Michael Easter and how it works.

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Gear Not Stuff: Travel Edition

Travel gear: My 15 favorite items.

How Authentic Are You? Take This Test

A test to see if you're living true to yourself.

Five Ways to Live Authentically

Be yourself. You won't regret it.

Burn The Ships: June '24 Edition

A powerful rucking workout you can do anywhere.

The 2% Summer Book List

43 books from the 2% community.

Six Lessons From a 50-Mile Ruck

What I learned during the 80th anniversary Normandy ruck.

My Top Stress-Relief Technique

It works on multiple levels.

Follow the 100-Hour Rule of Helping Others

The strong case for being useful others.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone This Memorial Day

Five ways to challenge yourself.

AMA: Wacky Health Trends

The good, bad, and ugly of online health information and how you can think about, vet, and use online health information.

A Researched-Backed 12-Minute Workout

It's the perfect one-exercise workout.

Guy Fieri Got Fit and Lost 30 Pounds—Here's How

Guy Fieri told me six ways that he lost weight, got fit, and reinvented himself.

The Expedition: May Edition

Ozempic stats, running, death, great podcasts and albums, etc.

5 Simple Health Rules

The truth about the most popular health and fitness rules.

Explore More to Live Better Now

Five ways to leverage the life-giving power of new places and experiences.

Gear Not Stuff: Rucking Gear

The best gear for a long ruck.

Five Exercise and Fat Loss Laws

The best exercises for fat loss.

Big Debate: Does exercise lead to weight loss?

The answer may change what you think about exercise.

Burn the Ships: May Edition

A workout featuring the two skills you need to live and perform well now—and survive if disaster ever strikes.

The New Science of Caffeine—9 Big Findings

Caffeine and fat burning, pregnancy, fitness, and more.

Yeah—you might be overdoing it on caffeine

Half of people drink enough caffeine to cause health problems.

AMA: Cold plunges and ice baths

My complicated and changing thoughts on ice baths and cold plunges

The Truth About Saunas

Humans have used the heat to thrive for 1.8 million years. Here's how that can guide us today.

Benefits of the Heat

🌞 A discomfort we could all use more of ...

The Inactivity Paradox

Some inactive people don't get pain or sickness. The reason why can improve your health, fitness, and performance.

The Power of Getting Lost

You find the best stuff when you have no clue where you are. Summary of today's post * We tend to think getting lost is a bad thing, but it has legitimate benefits for our mindset, health, creativity, and more. * You'll learn six reasons why getting lost

Gear Not Stuff: Five Books That Changed My Thinking

Books I've read and re-read and will keep reading forever.

Don't Die: Beat Back Pain

A new study reveals the best exercises for treating (and preventing) low-back pain.

The New Science of Extreme Weight Loss

The UFC's top nutritionist explains four lessons you can learn from pre-fight weight cutting—where fighters lose and then gain back up to 20 pounds in 5 days.

Burn the Ships: April Edition

A workout that’ll make you stronger in every way so that you can do amazing things.

The Power of Observation

Dr. Kashey explains a tactic to reach goals and make lasting improvements.

How I'm Training for a 50-Mile Ruck

Five ways to crush any distance and get fit. Very fit.

The Best D*mn Leg Exercise Ever

This 2-minute finisher prepped me for some of the toughest mountains on earth.

The New Science of Running Better

A giant new study discovers three techniques that help you run farther faster.

5 Lessons from the World's Biggest Happiness Study

They're counterintuitive but they'll improve your life (featuring my favorite life rule).

AMA: Our Brains on Smartphones

What science says about how you, the government, and institutions can help young people (and yourself) navigate the world of addictive tech.

My 12 Favorite Smartphone Apps

These apps improve ideas, nutrition, fitness, productivity, organization, mindset, and more.

The 2% Screen Time Challenge

We're partnering with Clearspace to get our time and attention back.

The Expedition: March Edition

The best exercise for improving mental health, scary plastics data, a good book, how far you should be able to walk, lessons on rucking from the Imperial Japanese Army, and more.

What Could You Do In 10 Minutes?

Five practices to improve your health, career, decision-making, and happiness in (almost) an instant.

Measure What Matters

Why some numbers and measurements can steer us wrong—and how to better assess performance and improve.

Gear Not Stuff: March Edition

The eight favorite pieces of gear from a Green Beret and founder of GORUCK.

Be Supermedium and 5 Other Life Lessons

A Green Beret and entrepreneur's thoughts on health, fitness, and living better.

What a Police Ride-Along Taught Me About Mental Toughness

Four mindset shifts that reduce stress and worry, build mental resilience, and help you perform better.

Burn The Ships: March Edition

When's the last time you hit yourself with a 4x4? Hit yourself with this one—it'll make you harder to kill.

3 Ways to Change Others (and Yourself)

Why yelling, anger, and punishment don't work, and three far more effective ways to get yourself or someone else to do anything better.

Endurance Essentials and 9 Other Big Questions

Important questions on VO2 max, supplements to take, the four pillars of cardiovascular health, and more—answered by physiologist Brady Holmer.

AMA: WHOOP Band Review

Plus the tracker I'd recommend to someone who wants an activity tracker.

How Much Exercise is "Too Much"?

A historical perspective on exercise, my thoughts on the 75 Hard challenge, and 6 smart tactics to help you exercise more.

The weird science of recovery

You'll learn: What actually helps people recover from exercise and life, and whether recovery scores from activity trackers can help.

The Expedition: February Edition

Bad GPS data, best cross-training exercise, a trick to make healthy food taste incredible, the truth about hunter-gatherer diets, bodybuilders getting outmuscled, and more.

Why Steps Matter: Activity Trackers Part II

Step counts are a useful way to track the most powerful form of activity.

The Truth About WHOOP and Other Fitness Trackers: Part I

I spoke with WHOOP’s Principal Scientist and a critic of some wearable devices to help you understand the new world of wearables.

Gear Not Stuff: Cold Weather Gear

How to build the perfect cold-weather gear system—and my eight favorite items to fill it.

To Quit a Bad Habit, Slow it Down

How the tech, gambling, shopping, and food industries use speed to make us miserable, poor, and sick—and how you can fight back.

The Smartphone Withdrawal Effect

Understand this phenomenon before you try to use your phone less. Its lessons can help you get over any bad habit.

Burn The Ships: February Edition

February's Burn the Ships is a heater. And you never leave the table on a heater.

The Misogi Guide

Here you'll find many ideas for your own Misogi.

Four Lessons from Misogi

You'll learn: Why doing hard things can transform us, and how to navigate challenge better.

AMA: A Key to Mental Toughness

You’ll learn: An easy, practical way to not quit.

A Simple Breathing Trick to Run or Ruck Better

It can help anyone run better, safer, and more relaxed.

The Science of Rucking Shoes

Plus five great rucking shoes that'll work for anyone.

The Expedition: January Edition

Ideal VO2 and BMI, an Exercise That'll Help You Conquer Mountains, and more ...

The Truth About Minimalist Shoes

... and the shoes I use for different workouts.

How to Find the Right Exercise Shoe

The truth about three common athletic shoe myths—and what makes a good running or workout shoe.

Gear Not Stuff: Budget Home Gym Edition

My perfect home gyms at three different budgets. Housekeeping: * Full access to this post and its audio version is for Members, who are people who prefer to have fun and not die. Non-Members get a free preview. * Become a Member below to get full access. Subscribe now * A reminder to

The Peter Attia Interview: 3 Deeper Dives

We’ll go deeper on three topics that came up in my recent appearance on The Peter Attia Drive Podcast: Nutrition, meaning, and the balance between being social and leveraging solitude. Housekeeping * Full access to this post and it’s audio version is for paid Members. Become a Member below.

The Tsimane Diet Challenge

Take the two-week Tsimane Diet Challenge. It’s entirely free. You’ll learn something that’ll change how you eat and think about food—leading to lasting health improvements. Housekeeping * Arnold Schwarzenegger named Scarcity Brain one of his best books of 2023. Thanks, Arnold. * Today’s post and its audio

Burn the Ships: January

January’s Burn the Ships is designed to get you moving faster and better, increase your strength-to-weight ratio—and smoke some calories in the process. Why it matters: Doing one challenging workout a week has physical and mental upsides. And doing it on Friday (or over the weekend) is a

The 2% Manifesto

Why being a 2-Percenter is necessary for living well today.

New to 2%? Start Here

The best of 2% with Michael Easter and how it works.

4 Questions For You

Take these four quick polls to shape the 2% newsletter in 2024. Quick housekeeping * Become a Member of 2% if you want to have a healthier, fitter, more focused, and fun 2024. Subscribe now * Watch for a powerful, no-cost nutrition challenge dropping on 1/8. More to come … On Wednesday,

Best of 2023: Books, Podcasts, Exercises, Apps, Studies, and More ...

You’ll learn: What I loved most in 2023, from exercises and entertainment to Burn the Ships workouts and new research. Quick housekeeping * This post and its audio version (above) are free to all because we didn’t have a post on Monday. * We have way too many cool, useful

AMA December Edition: Am I exercising hard enough; is running uniquely beneficial?

You’ll learn: How to figure out what “vigorous exercise” is for you and how much of it you should get; Whether running is uniquely beneficial, and how to balance running and other fitness methods. Housekeeping: * This post is for Members, who are curious people who ask good questions. Want

3 Ways to Buy Less Stuff You Don't Need

Online retailers are stealing techniques from casinos so you’ll buy more. These three evidence-based techniques can help you buy less. Housekeeping * Full access to this post and its audio version is for Member of 2% (people love the audio versions). * Become a member below (non-members get a lengthy preview

The Problem With Goals

A simple question that will help you accomplish more in 2024. Housekeeping: * This post and its audio version above, like all Monday posts, are offered at zero cost to all. * Wednesday’s post will explain a tactic that will help you buy less stuff you don’t need. Friday’s

The Expedition: December Edition

Featuring: A book I’m re-reading; numbers on ideal VO2 max and 5K time, nasal breathing, vegan diets, and more; the culprit of the teen mental health crisis; an exercise to avoid and fix knee pain; lessons from high-stakes poker; and a quote on truth. Housekeeping * Full access to this

Harvard's Running and Rucking Prescription

Researchers at Harvard told me the ideal distance to ruck or run each week to maintain a high level of health and fitness. Housekeeping * I’m traveling internationally and have spotty internet access. This post, therefore, doesn’t contain audio of me reading the piece. Substack’s AI audio feature

The Truth About Mindfulness

A Zen expert explains why mindfulness isn’t supposed to be blissful or easy and an easy way to be more mindful. Housekeeping * If you’re new here, here’s how 2% works: * Monday posts are always free to everyone. * Members get full access to Wednesday and Friday posts. Non-members

2% Gear Not Stuff Holiday Gift Guide

This month’s Gear Not Stuff is a holiday gift guide. Housekeeping: * Full access to this post is for Members, who are people who prefer to have fun and not die. Become a Member below. Subscribe now Today’s post is the first annual 2% Gear Not Stuff holiday gift

Five Important Questions on Rucking, Challenges, Longevity, Seed Oils, and Inspiration

You’ll learn: The truth about rucking weights, physical challenges, seed oils, longevity, and what inspires me. Housekeeping * Full access to today’s post is for Members of 2%. Become a Member in the button below. (As a reminder, the audio version for Members is at the bottom of the

The Problem with Grades

You’ll learn: How grades and other scores can hold you back. Housekeeping * Looking for holiday gifts? Consider gifting an annual subscription to 2%. * We also have 2% gear not stuff and signed copies of Scarcity Brain and The Comfort Crisis at the 2% Shop. Enter the 2% Shop * REMINDER:

Burn the Ships: December Edition

We collaborated with GORUCK’s Tribe to bring you December’s Burn the Ships. It’s designed to improve your rucking. Why it matters: Doing one challenging workout a week has physical and mental upsides. And doing it on Friday (or over the weekend) is a great way to wipe

Extreme Calorie Burn

You’ll learn: When you body begins to use fat to fuel exercise and when you simply can’t eat enough food to keep up with your exercise. Housekeeping: * Full access to this post (including the audio version) is for Members. Become a Member below. Subscribe now * As a quick

Can You Out-Exercise a Bad Diet?

You’ll learn how much exercise it takes to eat what you want within reason—and whether you’re even capable of that. Housekeeping * New here? Monday’s posts and their audio versions (above) are always fully accessible to everyone. Only Members get full access to Wednesday and Friday posts

AMA November Edition: A 5-Step Decision Framework and Avoiding Weight Gain

You’ll learn: A five-step framework to determine what practices actually improve your health and life and how to avoid holiday weight gain. Housekeeping: * Check out the 2% Black Friday Deal. Buy it for yourself or give it as a gift. Get 15% off an Annual Membership to 2%. * Members

The Heavy Rucking Mile

A heavy one-mile ruck is a good way to explore the edges of what you’re capable of. Housekeeping * Hard copies of The Comfort Crisis are at the lowest price they’ve ever been: $12, which is 55% off the cover price. Get some here for gifts. This is part

The True Science of Gratitude

Gratitude is essential for wellbeing, but the science and advice around it is murky. We’ll explore what really makes people grateful. Housekeeping * This post, like all Monday posts, is free and fully accessible to everyone. * Membership gets you full access to Wednesday and Friday posts and their audio versions.

The Expedition: November Edition

The most useful stuff I’ve discovered exploring the world and the internet this month. We’ll cover: A great book I read, how salt impacts health, plant-based diets, cardio vs. weights, three ways to be a better trail runner, and more … Notes: * I’m in Jacksonville at GORUCK HQ

Military Nutrition Findings

Cold environments change how you should eat. Here’s how to alter your nutrition for winter exercise. Housekeeping: * Full access to this post and its audio version is for Members of 2%. Become a Member to get full access to Wednesday and Friday posts and their audio versions. Subscribe now

5 Rucking Challenges

You’ll learn: Five rucking challenges from the military that’ll make you feel unfit—and give you a good goal to work toward. Housekeeping * Monday’s posts are always fully accessible to all subscribers (enjoy!), but only Members get full access to Wednesday and Friday posts. Become a Member

Gear Not Stuff: November Edition/Kitchen Edition

Three kitchen tools that can improve your health and make it easier to eat healthily. Housekeeping: * Full access to this post is for Members (non Members get access to only one of the three pieces of gear we’re highlighting). * Become a Member of 2% below to access all premium

Don't Die: Travel Edition

You’ll learn: Important tactics to escape danger while traveling or at home. Housekeeping: * This post might save your life. Full access is for Members only. Become a Member below. Subscribe now * Shoutout to our great sponsors GORUCK, Maui Nui, and Momentous. More info on them below. I’m in

The CBS and DOAC Interviews

You’ll learn: My current thinking on mindset, health, self-reliance, and how you’re capable of more than you realize. Quick Housekeeping: * If you live in the Jacksonville or surrounding area, I’ll be at GORUCK HQ on the afternoon of 11/17. We’ll ruck, we’ll BS, and

Burn The Ships: November Edition

November’s Burn the Ships is designed to help you survive when danger arises. Why it matters: Doing one challenging workout a week has physical and mental upsides. And doing it on Friday (or over the weekend) is a great way to wipe the work week off the books. Quick

Avoid the #1 Rucking Injury

Tactics to prevent and fix the injury that is statistically most likely to happen while rucking. Housekeeping: * I’m in Austin this week, recording podcasts, seeing old friends and making new ones. Great town. * Full access to Wednesday and Friday posts is for Members, who are people who like to

How to Change

You’ll learn: Four ways to adapt to change (the only guarantee in life!) Quick Housekeeping: * All Monday posts and their audio versions are always free. * Coming up this week on 2%: * Wednesday, we’re covering the science of outliers and what it can tell us about how to find

AMA: October Edition (Exercising with Music/Podcasts, Sleep Routine)

You’ll learn: How listening to music or podcasts alters the benefits of outdoor and indoor exercise, my sleep routine. Housekeeping: * For those new here, Monday’s posts are always fully accessible to everyone (and always will be). Members get full access to Wednesday and Friday posts. Which means … * Full

Rucking in Airports: A Guide

Rucking in airports during layovers and waits is a great way to sneak in exercise. But people often do it wrong. Here’s how to do it better. Housekeeping: * Full access to this Premium post and its audio version is for Members only. Become a Member below. In the immortal

5 Ways to Leverage the Power of Emotions

You’ll learn: Why and how we use The Scarcity Loop to escape negative emotions; five ways to learn from negative emotions and use them for something positive. Housekeeping * This post, like Monday posts, is fully accessible to all. Full access to Wednesday and Friday posts is for Members only.

The Expedition: October Edition

The most useful stuff I’ve discovered exploring the world and the internet this month. We’ll cover: Two great books I’m reading, numbers on parenting and exercise, a graph that’ll shock you, the truth about low-carb diets, a healthy food trick, a rucking exercise, and more. Notes:

Six Reasons to Appreciate Life Right Now

These actions can remind you how lucky you are to be born today. Housekeeping: * Welcome to all of you who are new here! Here’s how the 2% Newsletter works: * Monday’s posts are always free. (Monday’s post covered how to talk to anyone. Read it here.) * Full access

How to Talk to Anyone

Asking better questions can improve your conversations, make you more likable, and increase your success in business, relationships, and life. You’ll learn: The power of asking questions and four ways to ask better questions. Quick Housekeeping: * Monday’s posts are free for all. Full access to Wednesday and Friday

Gear Not Stuff: October Edition

Great gear under $100, with suggestions from the 2% crew. Housekeeping: * This post is for Members. Become a Member of 2% below to access all premium content like today’s post and our archives. Thanks to all of our Members! Subscribe now * If you read Scarcity Brain and enjoyed it,

The Power of Exercise Snacks

Why mini workouts across a day are so good for you. You’ll learn: A different way to approach exercise, how to schedule exercise to fit your lifestyle and still get the same (or better!) results, a bunch of research-backed effective ways to fit exercise snacks into your life. Housekeeping:

How to Save Money on Healthy Food

Costco and other warehouse stores are the one-stop shop for healthy fuel. Here's a grocery list, plus meal ideas for how to best use the store's lower-priced, high-quality ingredients. Housekeeping: * Scarcity Brain made the New York Times Bestseller list thanks to you all. Thank you for

Burn the Ships: October Edition

October’s Burn the Ships is designed to help you conquer mountains, trails—and everyday life. Why it matters: Doing one challenging workout a week has physical and mental upsides. And doing it on Friday (or over the weekend) is a great way to wipe the work week off the

Don't Die: Do Stepups

Stepups are a powerful exercise for performance, health, and longevity. You’ll learn: Why stepups matter, how to do them correctly, and how to use them. Housekeeping: * Scarcity Brain was named a Best Book of the Month by Amazon. Got your copy yet? If not, click the blurb from Amazon

Why We Get Hooked on (Insert Anything)

Why getting rid of bad habits is more powerful than adding in good new habits.

Scarcity Brain vs. The Comfort Crisis: Differences and Similarities

How Scarcity Brain compares to The Comfort Crisis Quick notes: * If you’re new here, check out our archives at for all kinds of great content. * I’m in New York City this morning. I snuck in a workout at the hotel gym. Here’s my hotel gym

The Joe Rogan + Jordan Harbinger Interviews

I sat down with Joe Rogan and Jordan Harbinger to talk about my new book, Scarcity Brain, and much more Housekeeping: * We’ve released Scarcity Brain into the wild. You can get the audio version on Audible or the hardcover version anywhere books are sold. Get the book * Thanks to

Scarcity Brain Workshop Recording

Missed the pre-order workshop? No sweat. Here’s a recording. Housekeeping * Publication day is tomorrow. Thanks to everyone who has supported this project and the book. It’s the greatest fuel a writer could run on. ⛽ ✍️ * Thanks to our sponsors Momentous, GORUCK, and Maui Nui for their support of the

AMA: September Edition (Protein Debate, Building Gritty Kids)

You’ll learn: My thoughts on the government protein guideline controversies and how to build grittier kids. Housekeeping: * Thanks to everyone who attended last night’s Scarcity Brain workshop. We had an awesome crowd who asked amazing questions. It was great to see a lot of familiar names. * This post

Misleading Protein Claims

Clever food packaging can lead us to believe that some foods have more protein than others. You’ll learn: The best formula for determining which foods are good sources of protein, how to avoid misleading food claims, why some nutrition label information can lead you to gain unwanted weight. Housekeeping

Rucking: Backpacks Vs. Weight Vests

A deep dive on which you should choose and why. Quick housekeeping: * Monday’s posts are always free to everyone. * Premium posts go out Wednesday and Friday. Full access is for Members only. Become a Member of 2% below. Subscribe now Ok, let’s get on with it… A couple

The Expedition: September Edition

The most useful stuff I’ve discovered exploring the world and the internet this month. We’ll cover: Books I’m reading, what causes running injuries, is saturated fat good or bad?, a better way to make decisions, best cheap gear, an exercise to bulletproof your ankles, and more. Notes:

A Writing Tip That Works

You’ll learn: The highest impact way to instantly improve your writing. Warning: It’s awkward. But it may make you more money and even improve your health if you regularly practice it. Housekeeping: * Thanks to all the Members who keep this train running. * If you’d like to become

The New Science of Outdoor Exercise

Research suggests outdoor exercise is better for your body, brain, and mental health than gym exercise. Here’s how to use it. Housekeeping: * Speaking of outdoor exercise and learning how it improves our lives: I’m running a Misogi event in Costa Rica from January 22nd to 26th. * It will

Gear Not Stuff: September Edition

Featuring a great shoe for rucking and sunglasses that are hard to kill. Housekeeping: * This post is for Members, who are people who like to have fun and not die. Become a Member below. Subscribe now It’s the second Friday of the month, which means it’s time for

Don't Die: Stop Doing Dumb Stuff, Edition I

All of your good health habits are for nothing if you don’t nix your worst ones. You’ll learn: What’s most likely to kill you and how that should influence your decisions, why bad habits are more powerful than good habits, etc. Quick housekeeping * Full access to this

Put Labor Back Into Labor Day

The nature of work is changing. It’s a good thing, but it does have downsides. And we need more than exercise to offset those downsides. You’ll learn: how work has changed our bodies over the last 120 years, the number of fewer calories we burn daily, why exercise

Burn the Ships: September Edition

September’s Burn the Ships is designed to improve your strength endurance in a way that transfers to the real world—and help you not break Rule 2. Do the workout every Friday. Why it matters: Doing one challenging workout a week has physical and mental upsides. And doing it

The Paradox of Making Your Bed

Why a common piece of morning advice has downsides. You’ll learn: The surprising method of making your bed that will improve your health, how an easy tweak to how you do chores can enhance immune function, and more. Quick Updates: * Full access to this post is for Members. * Become

11 Important Health Questions: Answered!

We asked one of the country’s top doctors a handful of critical questions that can help you navigate our strange medical system and live healthier and better. You’ll learn: why medicine is failing us and what you can do about it, questions you must ask your doctor, a

AMA: August Edition

You’ll learn: The ideal number of high-intensity workouts to do for your goal; a surprising way to approach exercise while traveling. Quick Notes: * Full access to today’s post is for Members only. Become a Member below and get access to all premium 2% content. Subscribe now * Today is

The Unexpected Benefits of Fortified Foods

Food fortification saved millions of people. It can still have upsides today. You’ll learn: Why we add vitamins and minerals to certain foods, which foods we still fortify today, and how to use fortified foods to perform better. Updates: * Full access to today’s post is for Members. Become

Is Breakfast Cereal Healthy?

The healthiest breakfast cereals.

The Expedition: August Edition

The most useful stuff I’ve discovered exploring the world and the internet this month. We’ll cover: Endurance tips, nutrition misinformation, the sugar/obesity paradox, two important mental health stories, a great podcast and TV show, etc. Notes: * The full version of this premium post is for Members, who

2% Hydration Guide: Part II

Everything you need to know about hydration supplements. You’ll learn: When to use electrolyte supplements, their potential downsides, the truth about salt and hydration, when sugar is good and bad in hydration supplements, and more. Housekeeping * Happy birthday to my wife, Leah, the ultimate human. * Full access to this

2% Hydration Guide: Part I

What you need to know about hydrating and hydration supplements. You’ll learn: the truth about hydration and performance, how to tell if you’re dehydrated, how dehydration does and does’t impact health, three guidelines for hydrating, and more. Note: There’s no audio version today. I’m currently

Gear, Not Stuff: August Edition

Featuring one fitness item I’ve used weekly for nine years, an app that saved my sanity, the best (and strangest) sub $50 purchase I’ve made, and thoughts on trail running shoes. Housekeeping: * My next book, Scarcity Brain, is available for pre-order—and pre-ordering gets you killer free bonuses

The 2% Warmup

The best warmup for any workout.

My New Book: Scarcity Brain

My new book, Scarcity Brain, will be released on September 26th. Pre-order it now to get limited-time, exclusive bonuses. You’ll learn: Details of the free bonus pre-order campaign; a quick rundown of Scarcity Brain. After traveling 40,000+ miles around the world, speaking to more than 100 sources, reading

Burn the Ships: August Edition

2% partnered with MTNTOUGH to bring you this mountain-inspired workout. It’ll improve your health and performance and help you not break Rule 2. Do the workout every Friday. Why it matters: Doing one challenging workout a week has physical and mental upsides. And doing it on Friday (or over

The Power of Taking the Stairs

Research proves just how effective a single staircase can be. You’ll learn: Findings from a fascinating study on how climbing stairs can impact your VO2; how to mimic the study protocol for significant benefits. Quick Announcement: Misogi Event * I’m hosting an epic Misogi retreat in Costa Rica with

6 Pillars of Useful Fitness

Training for the outdoors is likely best for overall health, longevity, and utility. You’ll learn: Four important lower body exercises; how to think of and leverage “zone 2” cardio; my favorite core exercise; a case for being supermedium; and more … Housekeeping: * New here? Here’s how 2% works. In

AMA: July Edition (Mental Toughness + Returning from Injury)

This month’s AMA covers how to make the best of an injury and what I think about mental toughness. You’ll learn: A four-step process for returning from exercise pain; a question I ask myself to gain a clearer perspective of any situation. Housekeeping: * The 2% referral program is

Absolve Yourself of First-World Problems

An astonishing story of perseverance and stoicism shows us how to think about modern life. You’ll learn: The science of first-world problems, and how it can be the ultimate mental health and happiness hack. Housekeeping: * We just launched a killer referral program. In short: You get free stuff for

Six Fitness Lessons From a Fascinating Study on the Amish

The Amish reveal the wild benefits of farm and manual labor. You’ll learn: How farming changed human fitness; the upsides of farm and manual labor; six ways to mimic farm and manual labor in your exercise to fill fitness gaps and build grit. Before we start … Announcing Our New

The Expedition: July Edition

The most useful stuff I’ve discovered exploring the world and the internet this month. We’ll cover: Ideal running mileage; downsides of dopamine; an explosive podcast; five qualities that make people mentally tough for life; my favorite lower-body exercise; insane ways to die; etc. Notes: * The full version of

The Simplest, Most Effective Exercise

Don’t overlook the power of standing and walking. You’ll learn: How human movement changed; physical and psychological upsides of walking; the ideal number of hours to sit and steps to take; six powerful and sneaky ways to get more steps. Housekeeping: * If you’re new here, here’s

Fix Your Posture

Correct posture can improve your rucking, walking, and lifting and fix the most common pain Americans face. You’ll learn: How to find the ideal posture, signs your ruck is too heavy, and more. Notes * Monday posts are always full accessible to everyone. * If you want full access to Wednesday

Gear Not Stuff: July Edition

13 items to stay healthy while road tripping. You’ll learn: What I bring on the road to eat well, work out, stay safe, and be entertained (by one really ridiculous podcast). Housekeeping: * The full version of this post is for Members of 2%. * To become a Member and get

A Nutrition Rule That Cuts Through Nonsense

Eating well is as confusing as ever, thanks to online influencers and the nature of research. You’ll learn: why and how many online nutrition claims are wrong and a rule that will help you navigate the complicated world of food and health. Quick notes: * Want the full version of

Why Boring is Better for Nutrition

Adam Bornstein is a nutrition advisor to stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and LeBron James. His new book, You Can’t Screw This Up, unpacks why diets fail and teaches you lessons for a lifetime of smart nutrition. You’ll learn: Why extreme approaches to diet and exercise backfire, how learning

Burn the Ships: July Edition

The July edition of Burn the Ships drops now. This tough weekly workout will improve your performance and help you not break Rule 2. Do the workout every Friday. Why it matters: Doing one challenging workout a week has physical and mental upsides. And doing it on Friday (or over

Fitness Secret of the UFC's Toughest Fighter

Strength, power, and athleticism are nothing without the cardio to sustain it—and UFC legend Nate Diaz serves as proof. You’ll learn: How Nate’s unique approach to training turned him into the fittest fighter in the UFC and how you can use his idea of “fight test” to

Four Fitness Skills Every Human Needs

The University of South Carolina Football team has become one of the fittest teams in the game by leveraging the physical skills humans evolved to have. You’ll learn: Four movements your exercise should include to improve your performance, resilience, health, and longevity. Catch up quick * Last week we covered:

This Exercise Fixes Rucking Shoulder Pain

Shoulder discomfort is common among new ruckers. A simple exercise solves the problem. You’ll learn: Three variations of the best exercise for relieving all sorts of shoulder pains and how to fix shoulder discomfort mid-ruck. Quick housekeeping: * This week I started having great conversations with Founding Members. We’re

How Flip-Flops Lead to Sports Injuries

Flip-flop sandals can lead to lower body pain, injury, and altered running, rucking, and lifting mechanics. You’ll learn: How often you should wear flip flops, better alternatives, and how to strengthen your feet to perform better and avoid lower body injuries. Updates: * If you’re new here, 2% is


I spent last week at MTNTOUGH’s facility in Bozeman, Montana, learning from that crew and others. Here are seven takeaways. You’ll learn: Why less gym equipment can be better, a couple killer workout tips, info on the healthiest meat on the planet, and more. Quick housekeeping: * ICYMI, the

AMA: My Fitness Tracker + Recovery Practice

Happy Friday. Today we’re doing AMA a bit differently. Instead of researching each question and then writing out answers, I decided to research, take a few notes, then answer each question more off the cuff over audio. I.e., this is more like a mini-podcast than a written post.

The Science of Fitness Tracker Calorie Burn

We’ve all guessed that our fitness band’s calorie count is probably off. But it’s shocking just how wrong many calorie burn estimations are. You’ll learn: A more useful way to use calorie burn data, a better metric for measuring workout intensity, and why exercise isn’t

How Accurate is Your Fitness Tracker?

Your activity band is wrong. But some are more wrong than others. Why this matters: Moving enough each day is critical to health and longevity. Here’s how to counter bad data so you’re active enough. Quick housekeeping * Ask and you shall receive: The 2% gear store is live.

The Expedition: June Edition

This new series covers the most useful stuff I’ve discovered exploring the world and the internet this month. Why it matters: You’ll learn about a critical longevity test, the truth about artificial sweeteners and saturated fat, the downsides of too much muscle, and a couple of dumb observations.

Carrying Kids: The Incredible Science and Benefits, Part II

The science of carrying kids reveals that carrying lighter weights is the most essential fitness hack you’re not doing. Why it matters: This information will make your workouts smarter, not harder; prevent and relieve back pain; and much more. Quick housekeeping: * To fully access to this post and its

Carrying Kids: The Incredible Science and Benefits, Part I

Carrying children is one of the original forms of rucking. It changed our species and still benefits us and kids today. Why it matters: Carrying children played a vital role in human evolution, development, and fitness. Even if you don’t have a kid, you can learn something from it.

Gear Not Stuff: June Edition

We’re introducing a new series for Members. It’s called Gear Not Stuff. It features the best gear I’ve used in different scenarios. Why it matters: Having the right gear and knowing how to use it helps you live better and not break Rule 2. Quick housekeeping … * Full

The 2% Vitamin and Mineral Guide

Even healthy diets can lack some vitamins and minerals. But knowing your status is complicated, and getting more isn’t so straightforward. Why it matters: Micronutrient deficiencies can lead to many physical and mental health issues. This guide will help you get the right amount the right way. Quick reminders:

You Probably Don't Get Enough Vitamins and Minerals

Not getting enough vitamins and minerals is a common and growing problem in the U.S. and other developed countries. Why it matters: Micronutrient deficiencies are overlooked, and they can hinder your health, sanity, and performance. They’re associated with everything from obesity and heart disease to fatigue, depression, and

Burn The Ships: June Edition

We’re introducing a new series for Members. It’s called Burn the Ships. It features a tough weekly workout that will improve your performance and help you not break Rule 2. We’ll do the workout every Friday. Why it matters: Doing one tough workout a week has physical

Don't Die—Wilderness Edition

Many of you will head into the mountains this summer. We spoke with a wilderness survival savant to help you stay safe. Why it matters: These four simple guidelines will help you follow the 2% motto: Have fun, don’t die. Important housekeeping * Today is the final day where all

What is The Murph Challenge?

We’re diving into the surprising and important story behind how and why the CrossFit Memorial Day Murph Challenge workout became a cultural force. Why it matters: Knowing how the workout evolved will make you want to find and do your own Murph Challenge. Quick housekeeping: * God bless America. Be

Use Science to Reduce Screen Time

New research shows changing your phone to grayscale makes your phone less interesting. Why it matters: Boring screens get used less. Quick updates: * I appeared on Mike Rowe’s podcast. He’s hilarious, and his voice sounds like it was created in a lab to broadcast to the masses. We

10 Lessons From SummerStrong 16

SummerStrong brings together some of the top minds in fitness and performance—and we were there for it. Why it matters: These 10 pieces of advice can help you train and live better. First, some housekeeping: * Remember that 2% is my misogi to change the landscape of health journalism. Here’

6 Fitness Tips From New Research on Female Athletes

New studies on female athletes are opening up a world of performance advice. Why it matters: Sports research has ignored female athletes for decades, but studying women has recently led to breakthroughs for everyone. Quick updates before we dive in: * The online comments section of 2% has been killer. The

Q&A: Problems With "Optimizing;" Benefits of Moving Heavy Stuff

In our inaugural Q&A, we’re covering weighted sleds and the downsides of the optimization craze. Why it matters: Question one investigates the upsides and downsides of a popular new(ish) fitness practice. Question two can help you find a more efficient (and saner) way to improve your

A Smarter Perspective on Sports Nutrition

We’re overthinking sports nutrition and it might be creating more problems than it solves. Why it matters: Following these guidelines will help you hit your performance goals faster. Quick housekeeping: * Founding Members, look for an email on 6/1 regarding your founding member benefits and 2% swag. Thanks! * Want

Don't Die. Do Pullups.

How to do more pullups—or nail your first. Why it matters: Pullups are a uniquely good exercise for health, performance, and longevity. Being able to do just one pullup (or working towards your first!) offsets many of the problems brought on by our modern environment. Catch up quick: * I’

My Badass Mom

For Mother’s Day, I’m (re) sharing a story I wrote in 2017 about my mom, a righteous badass. We can all learn a lot from her. About hard work and persistence. But also about how quitting can paradoxically get us ahead. And how this ride we call life

8 Sleep Tips That Actually Work

Sleep advice is rife with misinformation because we all sleep differently—evolution programmed us that way. We dug through the science and spoke to researchers to determine the best sleep tips. Why it matters: Improving poor sleep is magic for your health and performance. Monday we explored 6 Big Sleep

6 Sleep Myths

Sleep is tainted with misinformation, and it’s driving up sleep anxiety. We dove into deep research on sleep and discovered the surprising truth about six common myths. Why it matters: Evolution programmed us to all sleep differently (it was a survival mechanism). Understanding the nuances of sleep can help

11 Lessons From the World's Top Fitness Minds

I recently learned from 22 of the world’s brightest minds in health, fitness, mindset, community, warfare, adventure, and more. Why it matters: These 11 ideas will help you meet goals faster, improve your habits and happiness, breathe and age better, and more. This email concludes the first week of

Wild Findings From an Analysis of 400 Diet Books

A scholar read 400+ diet books going back to the 1860s. She discovered the real reason why diets become popular—and ultimately fail. Why It Matters: Understanding the stories popular diets tell can help you use a diet’s best parts, ignore its worst parts, and reach long-term goals. Five

A Major Announcement From 2%

The 2% newsletter is expanding to make you better, and I need your support. Why it matters: You’ll start receiving more practical and actionable information that measurably improves your health, fitness, and life—delivered in new and more convenient ways. I’ve spent the last 15 years traveling, researching,

My Go-To Hard Workout

It's quick, tough, and beneficial for anyone.

The Best Breakfast Food

It's the original superfood.

Do Hard Things

Four ancient lessons on the upsides of challenge.

The Truth About Morning Routines

Many morning routines are a distraction. Here's how to make your routine work for you—and not the other way around

5 Ways to Have Life-Changing Ideas

Creativity can be built

Does What Time You Eat Matter?

Biology says one thing, psychology says another

A Tough Rucking Challenge

Why and how you should burn the ships

The Most Uncomfortable Thought

Pondering this topic is hard—but it can improve long-term happiness

What's Your Misogi?

Tell me about your most epic adventure

Cold Benefits Without Extreme Exposure

There's a better, saner way than ice baths

4 Ways to Make Exercise Great Again

Our fitness changed for the worst once we adopted gym culture. Here's how we can take it back.

6 New Types of Rucking to Try

It's the healthiest activity you can do

How Many Steps a Day is Best?

Hint: It's not 10,000, but the answer depends on what your goal is

Six Ways to Sneak In Exercise

These methods can add up to 800 extra calories burned per day

Be a 2-Percenter

It's the best way to improve your health for the long-haul

This New Year, Resolve to Quit

Why grit isn't always good.

The Power of Mind Wandering

Leverage unfocused mode to see psychological benefits.

Leverage the Power of Silence

How to escape the noise.

Eight Ways to Optimize Boredom

Last week we covered why boredom can be a good thing. Read it here. As a reminder, boredom is an ancient cue that tells us to do something else. In our past, that something else was often productive. We’d hunt, gather, mend our shelters, make tools, etc. Today we

The Lost Art of Boredom

Better advice than "use your phone less."

The Secret Superfood of Thanksgiving

You can and should eat it year round.

Bad Science and 5 Nutrition Ideas

Understanding how research goes wrong can help you make smarter food choices.

Fasting: Facts, myths, and best practices

What fasting can and can't do for you.

The numbers on rucking and injuries + two bonus exercises

These stats will change how you exercise.

How much weight should you ruck with? A formula.

It can help you find the perfect weight.

Why Women Should Ruck

Four reasons why rucking is the best exercise for women.

How Rucking Can Improve Your Mental Health

6 reasons why rucking works.

You are capable of more than you think

Misogi can help you realize that.

The New Science of Fasting

And how to do it better.

Two Rules for Challenging Yourself

Follow them or die.

A Simple Challenge with Surprising Results

Doing this quickly increased my health and fitness.

Gear Not Stuff: Travel Edition

Travel gear: My 15 favorite items.

How Authentic Are You? Take This Test

A test to see if you're living true to yourself.

Five Ways to Live Authentically

Be yourself. You won't regret it.

Burn The Ships: June '24 Edition

A powerful rucking workout you can do anywhere.