He is also devoid of slant and angle. And while he does have product sponsors, his task never seems to be to arrive at a preconceived or specific conclusion. He is a man simply chasing and presenting the evidence.
In fact, he ends each episode of his podcast with the incredibly endearing phrase “Thank you for your interest in science,” which is so filled with mid-1950’s sincerity that I fell in love with it immediately.
The first thing that struck me when I entered the gilded theater was that the event was sold out. Thousands of people had come out on an unseasonably-warm November night to hear a, quite honestly, average public speaker discuss the role of the central nervous system in human performance.
This was remarkably encouraging. When the general focus tends to be on social media influencers and the unreliability of the media, I was enthused that there are still people - lots of people - who care about their health and are looking for accurate information from lecturers, researchers, professors and clinicians.
The other, seemingly off-handed but remarkably impactful, thing that struck me was Huberman calling out the divisiveness of science itself. He claimed that science, eastern medicine and even mysticism all belonged under the same roof of people seeking answers. And as long as those answers had some root in the truth they were all valid and somewhat identical.
(I am extrapolating here. Huberman may put it a different way if confronted on this. But it was my takeaway).
The focus of the lecture was the flexibility and plasticity of the nervous system and how it is the only system in our body that bends and forms to our will. And the main principle that Dr. Huberman seemed to keep returning to was the fact that things like sleep and wakefulness, calm and excitement all exist on an important continuum.
And that being able to utilize tools to control those various states in order to prepare for when you really need to get there was where applications such as cold plunges, breathing techniques and psychedelic drug use came into play.
What Huberman was able to articulate, quite honestly, was the entire purpose of training. Or at least training as I see it.
Training is the ultimate controlled environment of human experience. The gym is a lab in which you can control the demands of effort and rest. Of excitement and recovery.
I can think of no better way - perhaps an argument can be made for mediation - where you can prepare your physiology and train your systems to adapt for the very real rigors of life.
If you are someone who needs to perform at their best to be successful, whether that is as an entrepreneur or fighter pilot or parent, systematic thoughtful physical training is, quite honestly, the best investment you can make to ensure that success.
Certainly there is confirmation bias here. I do own a training facility. But what was reinforced, sitting among the engaged crowd in what, I am almost certain, were the same seats that three of my buddies and I sat in to watch Isaac Hayes perform amidst the thickest haze of pot smoke I’d ever experienced, was that practice and exposure to stress (and practice and exposure in ways to mitigate stress) is how we humans learn to deal with pressure, anxiety, fear and so many other emotions and experiences that can regularly overwhelm us.
In other words, the gym is filling its highest calling when it prepares you for all the rigors - physical, emotional and psychological - of life.
So many people come to us because they want broad shoulders or abs or to be able to chase around their grandchildren. And those are all wonderful goals.
But what they end up getting is a real training camp in how to best perform as a human.
And, along with our wonderful community of people, it’s the best thing we’ve got.
I’d like to thank you for your interest in science.