Carl Lanore of Super Human Radio conducted an extensive and revealing interview with John Drake, founder and CEO of MASS Body Building Supplements.
Joining from Part 1 about the inner workings of the supplement industry, here's the second half of their chat focusing on training and fitness-
Carl: We’re talking with John Drake today, from BodyBuildingSupplements.com, over 25 years of supplying people with non-hyped, over performing supplements, many of them flagship supplements. And we’re talking to him now a little bit about his personal life. You and I talked – we were talking about how we train, and you said ‘you know, I live the same life as the people we supply product to. I prepare my meals every morning, I have a drawer full of supplements that I take every day, I’m getting ready to go on a – how far of a bike ride are you planning to go on this weekend?
John: Well this weekend we have a route we call Apple Valley – speaking of bicycling – I got into cycling seven years ago, almost by accident. I had spent all those years in the gym, weight training was my forte and what I was totally into for the longest time. If I was not in the office, I was in the gym. So, I got into cycling almost by accident, really by way of my son. We went on these long jogs in the evenings, and he got bored with those, and said ‘Dad, can we at least get some bikes?’ I said ‘yeah, good idea, let’s get bikes.’ So we went down that weekend and got a couple heavy, hybrid bikes and my brother, at the same time, went with us, and he bought one for himself and his wife, so we all kinda got into biking in a casual way. I guess I fancied myself as working up to about ten miles, ride down to the coffee shop and then back to the house or something. But – it captured my heart very quickly, and at this point, I’m a hardcore roadie, as we call it, very serious road bike training. This weekend we’ll do Apple Valley and add the Maysville extension to that so – over fifty miles, which is a good nice ride. Sometimes for a charity we’ll do a metric century, which is 64 miles, or a full century, which is 100 miles. I like a shorter distance, you know, 35, 45, 55 miles. Work extremely hard and leave it all out there. It’s euphoric – the endorphin pop. We used to do the StairMaster for one hour at the gym back in the day. We wanted to be like Ric Flair, and he’d talk about that in the pro-wrestling shows back then – the 60 minute man. So, we would do the StairMaster for an hour to be like Ric. And I remember about forty minutes in, that endorphin pop, and it’s a natural high. Cycling is that times ten. It kicks in faster. Most cyclists, if we don’t get to ride for three or four days, we get a little ill. You need that fix. It’s like a drug, but it’s a good, safe, healthy drug. But just from an endurance standpoint, the stamina, it’s phenomenal. I just absolutely love it. I’m going out this afternoon when we finish up. I was up early this morning looking to open up a two or three hour window to go out and ride this afternoon.
How much ground will you cover in three hours?
I probably – and this will be solo most likely, or maybe my buddy Gray will drop in and ride this afternoon as well. It’s almost like a pick up basketball game, you know, if you remember those as a kid. It’s like that, the cycling community is. And Athens, GA is a mecca for cyclists, and a lot of pros come here to train. It’s very advantageous in that you’ve got the terrain and the courses with low traffic. There’s a young pro team that’s been here for three months now. And these guys are young, twenty-somethings who are future pros most likely. At a very high level, at the Tour de France perhaps in three or four years. So that’s what we do.
So how much will you cover this afternoon? In a few hours?
Probably thirty five, forty five miles.
It depends on how much climbing is involved. And that’s what I enjoy, is climbing. And I’m not the best climber, but not bad. That is just hard work, and some might say, ah, that’s masochistic, you like the pain. And we do, we call it suffering. But there is a therapeutic benefit to it like nothing else. And you're out there, and the sun is shining, and you’re working hard, you’re sweating, the respiration – you’re alive. It’s just a thrill. Mentally it can be very peaceful and calming. You’re working at a super high cadence, maybe ninety five is your cadence, or above. And you’re working exceptionally hard on these climbs, but mentally you’re at peace. You’re out in God’s country, the birds are chirping, you know...it’s just beautiful.
There’s something zen sounding about it, you know?
It is, it really is. It’s a unique combination, but it’s something that most people who are athletes – if they ever take that step, they’re hooked, because it provides so much benefit. And it’s low impact, too. I used to love to deadlift a lot back in the day, and as we know, you get older, and – my chiropractor told me about ten years ago, he said ‘John, stop dead lifting now. Stop it.’ And for me it was an ego lift, the test of being a man. You know. How much weight can you pull. But it starts to have really detrimental effects as time goes on.
I have to ask you this question, because you invoked the words ‘getting older’. I’ll be fifty nine on June the 11th. Can I ask how old you are?
I just turned fifty five on May the 9th.
Okay, so we’re in that same age bracket. I’m suffering some of the same problems you have, and my problem is that I keep lying to myself and telling myself I can keep doing this work. But I have some lumbar spine compression that are causing numbness. Below my knees. I have been doing a lot of inversion that has been helping me.
Very good, very good.
But...me too. I love to squat, I love to deadlift because I – Brooks Kubik. And I did a show a few years ago, about – you know how there’s working group dogs, right? The hounds – the English – the German short hairs – these are working class dogs. If you don’t work them every day they become neurotic, they start chewing furniture, they start having ailments?
I’m a strong believer that before we started having modern civilization – first let me back up. Women drive evolution. They actually drive selection pressure.
They choose men equipped to deal with the situations of the day so they can have offspring and have a safe life and raise their children. And that selection pressure has changed over time. Forty thousand years ago, thirty thousand years ago, twenty thousand years ago, it was raw brute strength. And -
Strength and tenacity and intelligence and all of that, but just the survival...
Right. And I kinda feel like that some of us, still aren’t that far away from those selection pressures. So some of us, if we don’t work hard every single day, if we don’t climb like you were talking about, the suffering – we will actually get physically and mentally sick. So, I’m like you. I really like to push myself into the danger zone. I actually feel better the rest of the day, it’s like medicine to me.
The euphoric high after a ride like that, it lasts for four, five, six hours after. You just feel like a million bucks. You have accomplished it, on one hand, but the physical exertion is so satisfying. And I know you’re a workaholic like me, sixteen hour days. I really can’t stop. My father – is still the same way. And he runs circles around kids, he’s so productive, and he can’t sit still. I’m the type, if I go on vacation – and that’s a rare enough thing – well, my vacation this year is Bike Ride Across Georgia.
But, you know. It’s a wonderful escape. But my Dad is like that, so it comes naturally. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But if I go on vacation, I’m looking for something to do after about two or three days. I’m almost hoping to find some guy who has a flat tire, because I don’t feel good unless I’m being productive and helpful. It’s just incredibly satisfying. And some people have obviously gotten far, far away from that, but you see those people, and they’re depressed. And the diets, and the lack of exercise, in my mind, no question, is the cause. You just cannot be happy and content – in my opinion, not truly – being a lazy bum.
Yeah. And that’s my point, what Brooks and I talked about. There are some of us, that are working group humans, and we must work hard, sweat, suffer. I love that word. Suffer.
I used to read a lot of Brooks’ stuff, back in the day – is he doing well?
He’s doing great. He’s still writing, still lifting. He’s doing fantastic, he really is. He lives right here in Louisville.
I did not know that. Great.
I want to take our last commercial break, and when we come back – you said you had a special announcement on Twitter...did that ever get done? Or -
Whopper. We got that launched just before going on the air here, and its already taking off.
Okay, let’s do this. We’re going to take a quick commercial break, and when we come back, John is going to drop a surprise on all of you. The website is BodyBuildingSupplements.com, I think we’re going to get something special in just a minute, so stay tuned.
*radio commercial break*
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Carl: Welcome back. So, we’re going to have John back on the show, because John has a lot of great ideas and opinions on a lot of things that have to do with health and fitness, and inflammation and so on. And we don’t have time to get into all of that today, but -
John: Reduce inflammation. If I can just really quickly - athlete or not – reduce inflammation.
Yeah. And you know what, it’s easier said than done, because there's lots of inflammatory pathways, but absolutely important to do. And it’s especially important as you age, because age seems to have a lot to do with it. The machinery gets more rickety, I don’t know what it is, but it really does have a lot to do with it. And we’ll have you back on.
A quick plug here for Tranquilogen and Coach Rob, and just a – a great formula that really does reduce inflammation in your body. It’s great.
If you have any questions for John, I’d like you to email them and we will have him back on the show to answer your questions.
Great. Would love that.
You told me right before the show, ‘we’re going to do something special’. So tell me about it.
Well, we first went online at MuscleMASS.com back in 1996, and were one of the earliest companies online, as far as sports nutrition goes. You can still type in musclemass.com right now and it takes you to our website. But over a year ago, we started work on a complete revision of the site, a major upgrade, and the new home for it all is BodyBuildingSupplements.com, just to clarify that, some people are a little confused and so forth. Our biggest supplement stack kit is called Ultimate Muscle Mass. And we decided to give one of those away on Twitter. We just launched that about an hour ago, so if you go to our Twitter, type in askmass on Twitter, just one word, askmass. That brings us up. Just follow us and retweet that top tweet, and you’re entered to win the Ultimate Muscle Mass kit. It’s a $347 value. And we just put it on sale for $50 off if you want to go ahead and buy one, you’re welcome. We’re giving it away on July 1st. (visit for new contests and discount codes, Editor). We’ve done a lot of these contests over the years, but this is our anniversary and definitely the biggest giveaway we’ve ever done. Go on over, sign up, and good luck on the contest.
What does that include, what does the kit include?
The kit itself is two bottles of Kre Anabolyn, two containers of Mass Pro Whey, Adaptogen N, Multi Life, which is an exceptional multivitamin/mineral/antioxidant that we distribute, and that’s a newer product, but has really caught on in a big, big way. Plus you get all the workout routines laid out for you. A free t-shirt, and just – on and on. It’s our top kit and has been for the longest time. It’s a lot of stuff. A big, big box of goodies will be arriving, if you win it. Part of it also is the original Fast Mass course, which I wrote back in 1992, that we founded the company on. So if anybody would like that course, in fact, email to customer service and put “hey John”, in the subject line, that will route it directly to my inbox. Just tell me you’d like a copy of the Fast Mass course. I’ll send it over to you, will be more than happy to pass that along as a free gift with my compliments. That’s when it all started, over 25 years ago.
Really exciting. Longevity takes not only a lot of work, but it takes a love of what you’re doing. So many people are involved in companies right now, exclusively because of the money they want to make. And then just sell the company and go into some other business. I’ve seen this in the podcasting industry. I’ve seen so many people start out with health and fitness podcasts, and then just somewhere along the way they morphed into ‘well, now we’re going to talk about motivation, now we’re going to talk about investments. Now we’re going to talk about social media, now we’re going to become business gurus’. And it’s almost like a child that can’t make their mind up. One of the signs of adulthood is stick-to-itiveness. Kids are jumping from thing to thing; they’ve got the attention span of a fly.
And now more so than ever in this society. Now, the attention span is so minuscule.
Because of the fractionated attention because of – you’re getting text messages and social media, you’ve got to be on Facebook every second. These kids can’t hold onto a thought, till later tonight, they’ve got to get it out of their head and into the keyboard or its gone.
I haven’t tried this, but I wonder – a lot of the youth today, if you asked them ‘what’s your dream’ they might not even have an answer. They may not even have that in their mindset.
Actually, may be the first domino of success. So many people out there are just floating, and they float from thing to thing, but they don’t have the love of doing. They don’t have the desire or the ability to suffer for what they want. I love that word suffer. I love it.
I would encourage anybody from any age – but especially the youth – do what you love. Don’t worry about the money, it’s secondary, trust me. We’ve never focused on that. It’ll come eventually. If you do what you love, and benefit other people, everything – you’ll be fine. Everything will take care of itself.
No doubt about it. And John. Thanks for being on the show today.
My pleasure Carl. Blessings to you, and congratulations on over twelve years yourself, that’s fantastic.
And I love the program myself, happy to be a part of it. Thank you.
And I have to tell you, you’ve inspired me to get a bike.
I have one of those old – I call them English racers, but I’m going to get a road bike and I’m going to start riding. I may just start out riding to and from work. I’m going to do it. I need to expand my physical culture, my horizon. I do.
You’ll love it, Carl. It’s just fantastic. I never thought I would wind up being an ambassador for bicycling, but I preach that gospel all the time. But it really is like nothing else. And I think as we age, as athletes, it’s more and more valuable. I know riders – there are guys in our groups who are competing at a very high level – I’m fifty five, but there are two or three guys in our group in their sixties, and they are stronger riders than I am. We’ve also got guys and gals who are twenty one years old, college students at the University of Georgia. So you’ve got a very wide range – from early twenties to seventy, competing at this level together. It's great on so many levels.
I’m going to do it. And yo know what else I read? A good friend of mine is a world renowned orthopedic surgeon, he’s the orthopedic surgeon for Dancing with the Stars. We talked about it six months ago, after I had my lumbar spine situation, my compression – he said, ‘you know, I’d be excited to see what bicycling would do for your lumbar spine. Because you’re leaning in such a way, but you’re also opening it up.’
So this may actually be the answer to some of my problems. So I want to thank you for that gift.
My knees have never been in better shape. I did all the sports coming up. I always loved athletics, but my knees – starting in my late thirties, were giving me problems from all the squatting and deadlifting, and cycling has healed my knees. Stronger – the tendons, ligaments – than they ever were, even as a kid. It's very beneficial, I can't say so enough.
I want to thank you, because you’ve definitely inspired me. I’m definitely getting a bicycle.
That’s great. Glad to hear it, Carl.
Alright John, we’ll talk to you soon.
Thank you Sir, take care now.
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Part 1 of the engaging conversation with John Drake and Carl Lanore is HERE and focuses on the inner working of the supplement industry.