You Don’t Have to Be the Best, Just Do The Best You Can with “Air Force Ken” Corigliano

“Air Force Ken” Corigliano joins This Is NuCalm today to share his incredible journey from a terrible brain-damaging accident to qualifying for the Olympics, becoming a Major in the Air Force, and, oh, did we mention he served in Iraq and won a medal for heroism?

You really don’t want to miss this talk about how to set goals, achieve them, and overcome incredible odds in your journey towards optimal performance.

“I believe that athletics is a fantastic way and training and working out is a great way to systematically and precisely exercise the stress response in a controlled format for a beneficial outcome versus a destructive outcome or an uncontrolled outcome.”

— Ken Corigliano

 

Listen to This Is NuCalm on Apple & Spotify!

 

Ken lives a life of service to others and has over 20 years of wearing the service member’s uniform, loving nearly every minute of it. He brings the joy of being alive and being human to the people of the world. Ken has generated and influenced many things you enjoy today, without expectation of return. Many companies and organizations seek out his advice. He has owned trademarks, copyrights, and patents many times while knowing that Ideas are never original and are always a result of life influences.

To find out more about Ken Corigliano, visit his website.



Key Takeaways

[1:00] David welcomes Ken Corigliano and asks him to share the journey that took him to where he is today — a Major in the Air Force — by way of a disadvantaged childhood, a troubled academic journey, and a terrible accident that left him with some spinal cord and brain damage. Enter NuCalm!

 

[6:00] Ken has synesthesia, he shares what exactly he can see, taste and smell, and it’s really weird.

 

[7:00] A few weeks before deploying, Ken was in a horrible car accident. He opens up about finding out the extent of the damage while in a war zone.

 

[9:45] From injury to superpowers, Ken shares when he figured out what his synesthesia could help him do — and the overwhelming aspects of it.

 

[12:33] From failing the Air Force fitness test — an embarrassing moment — Ken shares his process for achieving his goal of having a shot at the Olympics.

 

[14:57] On winning a medal for heroism.

 

[18:45] Academic excellence requires work; Ken shares the dedication he applied to both his studies and triathlon competitions. His TBI interrupted his Ph.D., he couldn’t read anymore.

 

[20:18] Ken shares how he integrates NuCalm and Ignite, as well as why training your stress response is the key to optimal fitness.

 

[27:05] Ken did some outrageous tests with NuCalm! He shares some of the protocols he ran (ice baths? Yup).

 

[32:25] A week in the life of Ken’s training regimen is both fascinating and a little scary! He also touches on what he does to prepare for competition; it is a handful, take out your pens!

 

[40:13] Travelling with NuCalm is something that Ken calls the most amazing unsung benefit. He also touches on his diet both personal and professional, and while competing.

 

[44:45] Any R&R? Ken shares his downtime and takes a moment to highlight his awesome wife’s accomplishments! He also touches on how NuCalm has helped his three-year-old son maximize his potential.

 

[50:45] David asks Ken what his next big accomplishment is going to be and thanks him for sharing all of his experience before signing off until the next episode.

 

Continue on your journey and until next time, breathe deep, relax, and keep looking forward.

 

Mentioned in this episode

NuCalm

Air Force Ken

 

This is NuCalm, the show for those looking to improve sleep quality, manage stress, and boost recovery. Brought to you by Solace Lifesciences, the makers of NuCalm, the world’s only patented and proven neuroscience technology that works within minutes, without drugs, every time! In over one million medical sessions, NuCalm has helped men and women around the world.

NuCalm: stress relief for the way we live today, technology to help you disconnect.


Full Transcript

David Poole
Welcome, everybody. It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to Ken Corigliano. His code name internally, when I first heard about Ken, was Air Force Ken. We met at CES, the Consumer Electronics Show, probably four years ago, and Ken quickly became a power user and then quickly a big fan of NuCalm, but more importantly, just a nice, genuinely good guy. Ken is a lifelong Air Force person, he’s now a major in the Air Force after being an enlisted man, which is no small feat. And he’s one of the top athletes across all the branches of the U.S. military.

David Poole
So let’s get started, Ken, by first, talk to us about your path to the Air Force and then your struggles and setbacks and accomplishments and how you kind of reached the path of glory that you’re on today.

Ken Corigliano
All right, so I do like to have a conversation with folks and with everybody, so I’ll speak a little bit and then we can kind of go down certain rabbit holes or whatever you guys are interested in, just make sure I’m hitting the nail on the head. But I grew up a disadvantaged young man, I was homeless for a little bit and I got kicked out of schools multiple times, more than once, so I didn’t really have that great of a future. But I was lucky enough to meet a guy who was in the Air Force who told it to me straight, and I really respected that. I liked the immediate feedback approach to mentorship, and it really appealed to me.

Ken Corigliano
My test scores were not great and I didn’t really feel like I deserved a good job, relatively speaking, so I told him to put me in the dirtiest, grossest job there is, and that’s aircraft mechanics. So I was a crew chief on an airplane, which just happens to be the first one that was overseas after 9/11, so that was very fortunate; I got some experience there and I actually got a medal for heroism that was signed by the president, and I got commissioned as an officer. So I went back and went to school at a school called St. Leo University in Florida, and then I was able to get a gubernatorial fellowship and I was able to kind of catch a rising star and be part of that momentum for a while on my trajectory up.

Ken Corigliano
Also fell in love with sports while I was in college because I failed my fitness test as an officer candidate and they disenrolled me from the program, and I learned hardcore that your past doesn’t mean much unless your present is secured and is meaningful and valuable. So fell into sports, and then became a world-class athlete. I actually went to Beijing for the Olympics in 2008 as a liaison and as an observer, got a letter to the Olympic team for 2012, got into an awful accident right before the trials, and that’s kind of where we are now with NuCalm.

Ken Corigliano
I damaged my spine and I got brain damage, affected my monkey mind, my reptilian brain was damaged. At that point they didn’t really understand TBIs, except for the executive-level functioning, which is I don’t know what a pen is, I don’t know what day of the week it is, but not like I can’t control those processes that the reptilian brain controls. Man, those are a whole different animal.

Ken Corigliano
So I spent six or seven years not being able to sleep, having anger outbursts, of course, as everyone’s probably well familiar with brain injury, TBI and PTSD and everything. Sleep was the worst, my hair started falling out, my nails weren’t growing and my eyes started to sink in my head. My face started getting realigned and all this other stuff. It was awful for that respect, and then just trying to rehabilitate my nervous system, I was just always in fight, flight or freeze mechanism all the time. I couldn’t even remember where I parked my car after five minutes of being in the building, so sometimes I had to write it down, I never remembered any password … nothing was being encoded, my brain just was not working right.

Ken Corigliano
I would go to CVS to try to find technology that would help me on any of these things that were bothering me in my life, and I met a guy who looks just like Chuck Norris, it was his double, and he knew about NuCalm. He had this sixth sense about him, he’s like, I think I know what you need, pal. He brought me over to the booth, and Jim and the guys made me skip the line, it was amazing. I sat, and for the first time in seven years I had a dream, and it was beautiful and amazing and I felt calm and relaxed. At that point, I was just sold, man.

Ken Corigliano
So I hope that answers kind of the trajectory of where … I’m an analyst, big data analyst, artificial intelligence, quantum technologies, cutting-edge stuff. I’m all over it. As a side note on my injury, I have synesthesia in a way that allows me to kind of see and taste cause and effect relationships, and I can see and taste and feel and smell data, which is really weird. So I used all those skills to help Jim and the team kind of figure out the effects of NuCalm on an elite-level athlete, heart rate variability and wattage output and all that other nerdy stuff.

Ken Corigliano
Jim, I hope that hits a little bit. I’m willing to expand or retract anything that I need-

David Poole
That’d be fine if I was Jim. Thanks, Doug.

Ken Corigliano
Aw, man, your name’s not on here. Dave, I’m sorry.

David Poole
No worries, brother.

Ken Corigliano
Your face is, like, this big.

David Poole
I believe it. Let’s talk for a minute about the crippling effects. I know a lot more about your story than you just glossed over from the injury … first of all, let’s talk about the injury at the point of origin. What happened, and why did you have the TBI?

Ken Corigliano
Oh, yeah, sorry. So I was deploying to Iraq and I was going to do this race and see my parents, and this was an Olympic qualifying event where it’d give me some points and stuff. So I was in great shape. The very first day I went out on my ride, which was just a few days before the deployment, I got hit by a vehicle, a sports car, crossing traffic at a high rate of speed, and I got hit. I kind of hit the side, I aimed for the wheel, I went into the windshield, crushed the roof, and then she hit the brakes and I flew off and hit my head.

Ken Corigliano
So I hit my head a couple times, but I didn’t really know kind of what was going on or who I was and all this other stuff. But the test they had for pre-deployment were so rudimentary that I still passed them, and so I deployed just a few weeks later. I spent six months in Iraq with that brain injury and that recovery area, which we were getting bombed every night. I didn’t realize what the problems were of rehabilitating in that environment, which were awful because I just felt like I was being attacked for the next five or six years. Even the sounds of trains would sound like the whistling sounds of missiles and mortars and stuff, so that was a big problem of the injury, was recovering in that environment with no medical care. We didn’t have doctors in the middle of a-

David Poole
Well, you had to keep it a secret, from what you told me. If they had discovered that you had this injury, you didn’t feel like you had any other options anyway. You loved the Air Force, you didn’t want to get booted from service. So I remember you told me that you had to schedule release times for peeing and pooping because you’d forget, you were incontinent, and that’s how screwed up your brain was. But you had a dirty secret that you couldn’t reveal in combat.

Ken Corigliano
Yeah, and I couldn’t read. I literally lost the ability to read words. I could do a few at a time, but looking at a piece of paper, it was just a bunch of squiggly marks. Yeah, I had to hide that big time because I really thought that they were going to take my career away. As I said before, it was all I had. They rescued me from the gutter, and there was no way I was going to let that go. I was going to serve as much as I could, as hard as I could, even if I got in trouble for forgetting things or not reading documents or regulations, which has happened often. I just didn’t care, because I was going to wear this uniform and serve in any form that I could, you know?

David Poole
So Ken, can you talk about … the huge disconnect from having a paralyzing injury like that to being one of the top analysts in the military and addressing the joint chiefs of staff and understanding data and cause and effect better than almost anyone on the planet from your condition, when did you realize you had this new superpower from the injury?

Ken Corigliano
It was just a few days after, where people were talking to me and I would, they would say any noun, I see it, I taste it, I’ll feel it sometimes, I’ll smell it. So I was just like, people are talking to me and I’m just like … because I’m seeing all these words, I’m seeing all this stuff, and the very interesting thing, I think the analysis part didn’t happen for a while, where I could see really, really complex data sets in my head in kind of a four-dimensional environment, almost like the movies … not The Matrix, but there’s another one where Tom Cruise is manipulating the data in 4D space and time. That’s kind of how I see things.

Ken Corigliano
What was happening is, and I can’t talk about most of it, but I would see little trends in data that was coming through for protecting American interests and American values and stuff, so for the information streams I would say, “Whoa, something was over here, but something’s over here and then something’s over here. Is anyone looking at all of this?” I’d string it together and literally, we were able to save a lot of lives many, many times faster than the computers could do it, just because I would be able to visualize these connections between things.

Ken Corigliano
Also, there was an empathetic part of this where I could kind of feel people, I could kind of feel their emotions a little bit. That was a very difficult thing to explain and to deal with because it’s kind of woo-woo stuff, but I could sense their heartbeat many times, where their stress level, I could feel that. Someone behind me, I could totally … it would just make my shoulders rise. So not only was I dealing with my own stressors in fight, flight or freeze mechanism, I was dealing with everybody else’s. So it just magnified the stress that was in my life; even on the phone with someone I could tell whether they’re stressed out. And I could even pick it out, like their son or their aunt or whatever, I just could feel it.

Ken Corigliano
It was so overwhelming, a lot of times I just couldn’t even get out of bed, especially with the bad sleep.

David Poole
Yeah, I bet you couldn’t sleep. That’s an unbelievable story. You still have that talent today, it’s what you’re doing right now in your service, right? You’re a systems analyst?

Ken Corigliano
Yeah. Well, I won’t say systems, but yeah, national security.

David Poole
Amazing. Let’s talk for a minute about your sports career and how you got into fitness, obviously inspired by the failure to achieve the standard minimum requirements for officers. What triggered in you, and what did you do? What was your training at the beginning?

Ken Corigliano
Yeah, so I was very fortunate as a crew chief to be very technologically inclined; we read a lot of technical data, so pressurization of the brakes and what brake lines did what. I was quite detail-oriented from that training, so when I failed the fitness test, it was very embarrassing, because the month before I was awarded a medal of heroism. Then four weeks later, they kicked me out. It was so traumatic, it was just so traumatic. So I said, okay, I can’t do this. I can’t do something, not want to do something that is necessary.

Ken Corigliano
So if I’m going to lead troops or whatever, I’ve got to love things that I hate, and I hated running, I hated it, I just hated it. And so I couldn’t even run a half a mile. So I got the videos of the world’s greatest athletes; back then it was 2001, 2002, so back then we didn’t have internet as well as we did now. But I went out, got the books, got the videos, and I watched the best runners, I watched the best cyclists, and I watched the best swimmers, and I recorded myself doing all the athletics, doing them all, and then comparing them on two screens and doing live technique modification.

Ken Corigliano
And then I got coaches, the best coaches, right, two-time Olympic developmental coach of the year was my coach. I said, okay, look, this is my goal. I don’t care to be the best, I just want to do the best that I possibly can with what I have. That’s how my athletic career started, was just doing it absolutely right from the first step and not encoding any bad habits. I didn’t know that language back then, but that was my goal.

Ken Corigliano
And I wanted to set a big goal that would push me, and I told them I wanted to have a shot at the Olympics. I don’t have to go, but I just want to be able to say that. And everybody laughed at me because I couldn’t run a half a mile, but I didn’t care. It took many years, but within 18 months I was winning triathlons. Big ones, too.

David Poole
And where were you serving at this time? [crosstalk 001516]

Ken Corigliano
Huh?

David Poole
Were you stateside or were you international?

Ken Corigliano
No, I was up in D.C. with Air Force One.

David Poole
Excellent. So can you talk today … first, before you even do that, and I apologize, can you tell us a little bit about how you earned the medal of heroism? I think that’s a pretty interesting story.

Ken Corigliano
Yeah, so it took two situations the first one, we were flying special operations troops into Afghanistan before we owned any real estate there, so we were flying from a third country in. It was very far, so one way was about eight to nine to 12 to 14 hours. That was just one way, so we had to bring these dudes in, and early on, we had to try to seize land so that we could create bases. That’s what we did. So we had dudes in the back, snake-eating badasses, who we would land at these places, no kidding, in the middle of the night, very low lunar illumination, drop these guys out of the back, and they would attempt to take the area with the assistance of some airborne paratroopers and stuff like that.

Ken Corigliano
It was a two- to three-pronged approach, where we literally land on that place and the Taliban, they couldn’t see us, but they could hear us, so they would, of course, try to shoot us, whatever. But anyway, it was a very risky mission, the plane’s got to work, right? We can’t be stuck at the place that we don’t own, so we had to fly with the planes. What happened on one trip, we had dudes under fire who were trying to take part of the airfield and we were the reinforcements, but this little device that protects the plane from missiles exploded on top of me, covered me with all this liquid fuel coolant stuff that’s hazardous.

Ken Corigliano
I had to take off all my clothes, I shoved it in the little thing and got everybody on masks and got oxygen flowing. We were able to get those guys in there to back fill the guys who were getting shot at. So I was in the hospital a couple weeks from that, so they say, that’s a great job, Ken, awesome patriotism, blah-blah-blah. Well, the next trip I fly out and the liquid oxygen starts to leak, and we land and we need oxygen to breathe, so pilot’s like, get down there and figure out what’s going on, because we may not have enough to get back if it keeps leaking.

Ken Corigliano
So I go in there, and the whole thing’s a bit snow cone, Dave. I couldn’t see shit. And I was like, oh my God, how the hell am I supposed to figure out … oxygen has an 860-to-one expansion ratio, okay, that’s why they use liquid oxygen on planes, by the way. I was just digging through it and everything, but I took a wild guess and I went in and tightened this thing, and I was like, okay, I think it’s good, man. I think it’s good. I knew a lot about the system, and I guessed from our hard landings and everything that this thing was, whatever.

Ken Corigliano
So I tightened it up and sure, it was a lucky gamble, and we made it back safe. And when we landed, because the trip is so long, they had already done the award paperwork. It took them four or five hours to do the award paperwork, so when I landed, they actually had it signed by the general, and they said, okay, man, we’ve got you nominated for a commission slot, general’s going to put you through, but you got to find a school to get accepted into.

Ken Corigliano
I had the worst grades in the planet, so for four weeks, no school would accept me. We need your school report, but I had a 2.15 GPA, and only a private school, St. Leo, they said, yeah, you’re a hero, you’re down range, okay, forget about the transcripts, so they never saw it.

David Poole
Wow.

Ken Corigliano
That’s a funny story. Yeah, there you go.

David Poole
And this whole time, you had the TBI, yes?

Ken Corigliano
No, this was way before. [crosstalk 001940] This was when I was in enlisted.

David Poole
Good. Well, let’s talk a little about your academic success. You’re very modest and very humble, you are a true American hero. You excelled academically when you took school seriously, right? Really, you’re not a dumb guy.

Ken Corigliano
Yeah, I was tired of being dumb, you know? When I was crew chief, I read every instruction manual I could get my hands on, and that’s when I won multiple awards and I knew more than some of the guys who’d been out there 10 or 15 years, just because I would read the tech data. I didn’t go come, I stayed at lunch, read it all.

Ken Corigliano
When I started my studies in school, I applied that same methodology where it’s like, I am on a mission, everyone else is drinking booze and getting laid and all this other stuff, and I was just like, no, man, this is the taxpayer dollar, I am going to return that investment to them. So I studied really, really hard and I did the cross-country and triathlon stuff, too. It was just non-stop. I got all As every single semester except for one, which was really hard, because I was a gubernatorial fellow, so I had to kind of do that stuff from a distance. I did really well, I was very fortunate to be driven.

Ken Corigliano
And then as soon as I commissioned, I went right into my master’s program. I blew that out in 18 months or so, and I got my master’s degree. And then I started my PhD, and that’s when the accident came. I couldn’t read any more books, so I stopped at that point.

David Poole
That’s amazing. I don’t have goosebumps, but I feel like I’m one big goosebump. Ken, every time we talk I’m always supremely impressed, and honestly, I can’t beat you in a race, just so you’re not insecure about that. So now let’s talk about fitness, because a lot of folks on this call and a lot of folks who are involved, are interested in NuCalm are fitness enthusiasts, and you’ve got quite the regimen and quite the way of training and adapting and staying … being the best is hard to achieve for anybody, obviously, right? There can be one winner, but staying at the top is probably even harder, because you’ve got everybody, you’re the target, right?

Ken Corigliano
Yeah.

David Poole
You’re the gold standard and you’re the person that they’re putting your picture on their wall for training and inspiration. So talk to us today about what it is you’re doing, where you’re training, where you’re competing, and what your regimen is like.

Ken Corigliano
Sure. So the first part of your question was try to relate this to the folks on the call, right? So I think it’s important that your body undergoes stress. I do believe, and I know you guys do too, that your fight, flight or freeze mechanism has to be exercised every day. It just to has to, and it will look for an excuse to do that. And that’s why people throw their cell phones, right, that they don’t work. And I believe that athletics is a fantastic way, and training and working out is a great way to systematically and precisely exercise the stress response in a controlled format for a beneficial outcome versus a destructive outcome, or an uncontrolled outcome.

Ken Corigliano
One of my main goals was using athletics to recover, and I do believe that I would be in a wheelchair, not being able to walk, if I didn’t have athelia, driven mentality and a sound training regimen, because I know folks who’ve got through what I’ve gone through, and some of them are vegetables. It’s just how you exercise that response.

Ken Corigliano
You need to have it part of your habit routine, as part your stress response physically. So the next part you asked about, being at the top of your game if you’ve never been at the top of any game, you have no idea what it takes, and you have no idea what you’re capable of. The real unleashing that NuCalm and Ignite does is gives you a key, or rather a snippet or a glimpse of what you’re capable of in a controlled environment, where you’re able to control that stress response and operate it systematically and precisely.

Ken Corigliano
At the top of one’s game they’ve mastered that, and it’s very hard, because I’ll tell you, if I eat so much as a cookie in the evening time, I know that, in the morning, I’m going to wake up 10 to 12 minutes later because I’m just going to feel like shit, well, more shittier than normal, right? And if I have an entire pizza, which I’m fully capable of doing, I’m not getting up to work out the next day. So that kind of discipline is really hard, but it takes that to be the top of the game, and you’re fully capable of doing that if you’re not completely overwhelmed with stress and compensating for the stress response and self-deprivating and all, all that other stuff that you do to yourself as kind of this unconscious punishment.

Ken Corigliano
You can’t do that at the top of the game, because people win from .5 to 2%, and if you talk about a two-hour race, that’s 1.5 minutes, two minutes, three minutes. Sometimes people are winning for a few seconds over the course of a six-hour race, and if you think of the margin of error on that, I mean, it’s insane what could go wrong. Your shoelace comes undone and you’re now not a medalist, right?

Ken Corigliano
There’s a lot of that that’s involved at the top of the game, and also, some of the most important things is systematically sequencing the stress response on certain areas of your body. You don’t follow a long workout with a speed set, and you don’t do a speed set back-to-back, you don’t tax the nervous system. Workouts are in three categories cardiovascular, which is delivery of the oxygen, right, neurological, which is delivery of the electrical system, and then muscular, which is essentially the body’s ability to push around wait or move around.

Ken Corigliano
Each of those workouts have to be divided in the muscle groups in a way that complements the stress response and gives a precise reaction from the body. What’s amazing, what I’ve discovered with NuCalm and Ignite too is you can do that mentally. Your body does not know any difference whether you do it in your head or if you do it in the real world. It is in charge of sending the reaction to those muscles of stress, whether it’s perceived or actual stress.

Ken Corigliano
So what you can do is double or triple your ability to maximize your capability by inserting NuCalm and Ignite into your regimen, and you can do this, if you’re a financial trader, you can operate this law where you can maximize your recovery after you maximize a stress response. So your body and mind, they don’t realize any difference between you doing it in your head and you doing it in real life. I have tested this, and you may remember, you may not know, but where I stopped training for six months and I did all of my workouts as planned, but I did them in my head, and then afterwards at NuCalm, or before at NuCalm.

Ken Corigliano
I wore my heart rate monitor during the mental sessions, and if a workout took me 45 minutes in real life, it took me 45 minutes in my head and I’d visualize every step. And that is gosh-darn mentally hard, I will tell you that those are way harder than the actual workouts, just sitting there visualizing each step. So the mental aspect of what the tools give you is way tremendously more important and more powerful than the physical response.

Ken Corigliano
Literally growing back neurons where I literally now can read, and I am piling two to three books a week. I’m not kidding with those numbers, with my now-ability to read, because I’ve been systemtically using these tools to pretend that I’m reading in my head, and then NuCalm, so all of myelin gets wrapped up, all the responses, all the proper responses go down, and then that six-month period where I didn’t work out, I came back, I ran for two weeks just to shake off the cobwebs, and then I gold-medaled.

Ken Corigliano
So that proved it right then and there, that the mental aspect of these tools at the elite level is totally tremendous. And I recorded all of this data and shared it to you guys, of course, and that was last year.

David Poole
I remember, I remember the conversation we had, I recorded it, and we talked about when you were testing NuCalm, you did pain sensory conditioning by doing ice-cold baths.

Ken Corigliano
Oh, yeah.

David Poole
Oxygen intake by using an oxygen vest and swimming in the ocean.

Ken Corigliano
Yep.

David Poole
You did some outrageously interesting … can you walk us through a little bit of that, your testing phenomenon for fitness?

Ken Corigliano
So as you guys should know, I tried a lot of stuff, right? And there’s all kinds of things out there, as you guys probably know, so I knew from the first bit, that first experience, it was something about this, but I had no idea. So what I found kind of accidentally is elite athletes, we do the same shit every day, man. Sometimes you just want to gouge your eyes out. But the workouts just repeat every single week, every single week.

Ken Corigliano
I know that last week I did this course under the same conditions, and I did a 17-45, right? On the bike, we have the privilege of having watts, which are pretty precise, they’re really good. What I found is the sets after a NuCalm night, my heart rate … I had to do this three times, because I didn’t believe the data because I’ve never heard of it. I knew where my heart rate would set at exactly what time during exactly what period at what wattage it was at, and my heart rate was literally 20 beats lower, but my watts were 15 to 50 watts higher.

Ken Corigliano
I’m going to tell you, my power sets on my bike are between 300 and 350 watts. If you talk about, if I’m going to do a 20-minute set, I’m probably going to hold about 280. I’m now holding 315. And that, my friends, if you remember my statement I said before where races and competition are being decided from .5 to 2%, and you’re talking about a 15% increase or a 10% increase in wattage output? That doesn’t translate to a 20% or 15% increase over the distance. That can be a really big influence over where someone was at before, just from the impact of using the NuCalm.

Ken Corigliano
I was like, holy shit. So I literally started fooling around with all the tracks, and I did a couple where I would just put them on repeat all night. I would do six, seven hours on repeat over and over again, and that’s when I really started seeing very interesting impact on oxygen uptake was very interesting, cold tolerance was also, I discovered that your fight, flight or freeze mechanism will cause your cold tolerance to dramatically decrease, and you will notice this with people who are always very anxious, they’re always cold. They get cold pretty easily because their thermo-regulation system doesn’t work as well because the body’s not allocating the resources to that.

Ken Corigliano
I knew how long I could sit in an ice bath, I did them every day. And I was like, holy cow, I can sit in this thing for two hours. I literally did. One day I sat in, I just wanted to see how long I could go. At 95 minutes, I got bored and got the hell out. I could’ve gone another half an hour. So it was very interesting to see some of the results that were happening in all these different domains, of being able to read and retain and then the heart rate and the oxygen uptake, and then my breathing in the pool. Everyone knows their breathing rate in the pool, that’s just the thing. Everyone knows that they got to either breathe out of the corner, whatever.

Ken Corigliano
Those details, I mean, if you can take one less breath per lap, that’s 1.5 seconds faster for the 100, okay? So I’m doing a mile, that’s 16 of those hundreds. So you’re talking a 1.5 over 16, you’re going to be doing that thing in 40 seconds faster or something like that, and especially if you can draw that up in a geometric format. I mean, you’re going from, say, a 22-minute mile to a 20-minute mile, and all you did is NuCalm. You didn’t even have to train more.

Ken Corigliano
So those are really very interesting results that I was finding and I was documenting for you guys, and recovery, too. Now, still, permanently, 38 seconds my heart rate can go from 170 to 124, in 38 seconds, no problem, no matter what. I mean, over and over. 20 sets, 20 rounds, and I can do that. That seems to be a permanent change, physiologically, as a result of two years on the NuCalm, absolutely. And I haven’t even talked about Ignite, man. That’s a whole different … that’s some crazy stuff. You throw the Ignite on there, I will throw 80 more watts in my session, I will pay for it, okay, and I realize that too. At a hormonal level, I will pay the Ignite, and I have to make that up at a six-to-one ratio with the NuCalm.

Ken Corigliano
But I will throw down big time with the Ignite, and I have done repeats and repeats for two years, hundreds of them, where I will do three or four or five or six one-mile repeats running, okay, and this is five 20s, five 15s, this is no messing around. Okay, on the third and the sixth, I’m going to Ignite, and it is light and day, where I’m a 5-28 and I’m a 5-10. That’s hard data. You can’t fake that on the last one, you’re gassed, man. You can’t make that stuff up.

Ken Corigliano
So very interesting data, and I hope I’m answering, I’m not going too much-

David Poole
This is extremely fascinating, Ken, I love this stuff. Can you walk us through a week in the life of your training regimen, which is equally disturbing, fascinating and inspiring?

Ken Corigliano
You sure?

David Poole
Yeah.

Ken Corigliano
All right, so we’ll start with Monday is I do three 5Ks for time with a mile or so warmup, mile or so warm-down with drills and stuff. It’s a disgusting course, okay, you don’t want anything to do with it. It’s 600 feet of climbing and everything. So I typically break 18 minutes on that, both rounds, and I’ve done those, one with Ignite, one with nothing, but anyway. So that’s Monday, and then I swim in the evening time, which is typically 700 descent, so I’ll do a 500 warmup, 700, 600, 500, 400, 300, 200, 100, bring that down and a 500 warm-down, so it gives me two miles, whatever.

Ken Corigliano
Tuesday is bike from Hell, so that’s 60 one-minute repeats with 40 seconds all-out, 20 seconds heart rate recovery. Of course, there’s warmup, warm-down with that. And then I’ll do legs and the weights in the evening time, and then Wednesday I run, that’s my speed sets, where I’ll do eight hundreds, okay, with a couple mile warmup, couple mile warm-down, whatever. And sometimes the alternating weeks, even-odds, there will be four hundreds and miles as well, and then sometimes I have 5K for time, which would probably be low 17s or whatever.

Ken Corigliano
And then Thursday is another bike from Hell with, we call it a brick, run off the bike, bike run, brick … people don’t like those, they hurt. And that is a max-wattage for 20 minutes, 25 minutes, and then 15 minutes, or we’ll do three 15-minute rounds, if it really … oh man, holding as much wattage as possible for 15 minutes straight with eight minutes’ recovery. And then that gives me an opportunity to either Ignite or switch around or whatever it is.

Ken Corigliano
And then on Friday, sometimes I recover on Friday, but I always do weights and I do ninja training, so I’ll do flagpoles and flaunches and stuff like that. If you’ve never seen flagpole, it’s kind of funny-looking, but it takes a lot of core strength. So I do a lot of core. And Saturday, you don’t want anything to do with this I go to the Appalachian mountain with a 50-pound rec bag, and it’s about a mile and a half up, about 1,500 feet or so, and I carry the 50-pound weight on my back, I run up there, and then I do two 5K for time on the top of the mountain, and then I run down with the rec bag. Yeah, I know, I see your face. Run down with the rec bag, which is a real pain in the ass at that point.

Ken Corigliano
And then I do weights, sometimes I swim on Saturday. And then Sunday is two to two and a half-hour bike ride for distance to try to hit about 50 miles, and then I do a little bit of core work. So there you go.

David Poole
And you’re doing this with your wife the whole time too, right?

Ken Corigliano
Well, until she got a bun in the oven, yeah.

David Poole
Good for you, congratulations, by the way, that’s amazing.

Ken Corigliano
Thank you.

David Poole
When you compete, how do train, how do ready for a day of competition? When do you slow down the training, the intensity, and recover and prepare?

Ken Corigliano
Oh, man. That’s an art more than a science. That’s been a hard code to crack, mainly because I’m all over the place. I race so much, but what I would do if I were to do what we call peaking, we pick a race and we decay our racing volume in favor of intensity, so we bring up the intensity but we bring down the amount of time that we’re overall training, so we would decay.

Ken Corigliano
What I would do is I would super-load the NuCalm in front of that, so 10 days out I would super-load where I would do it three times in one day, just to kind of get everything back in sync, and then maybe take that day off. And then the next day, start in on it where I would systematically end the day on NuCalm. Not so much in the mornings during that time period; that would be in the back end of it, where my volume is lower but my intensity’s way high, so I would begin my workouts in a more calm and relaxed state because I know that the session duration is less.

Ken Corigliano
I don’t know if that makes sense, so it’s kind of like a V-shape with the amount of NuCalm that we’ll be using. And then I would pepper in my Ignite, because that’s a weapon, it’s very interesting, it’s very, very powerful. So I would use that on the sessions that would replicate the race. So I race in my mind in the course; no matter what I’m doing in real life, I invent the course in my mind. I bring the audience, I bring the sounds, and sometimes I put my phone on where they’re recording me racing last year or whatever, and I put it in my pocket and I’ll play that with my buds. This is where it’s going to get really cool, okay?

Ken Corigliano
I will play that with my buds, and then I have these bone-conducting headphones from Trekz that I play the Ignite. I call it seasoning, so I season my workout in the beginning for the first three of four minutes with Ignite, and then I shut it off. And I let that resonate in my brain so that my subconscious now plays it, and then I try to recreate those frequency modulations in my head while I’m listening to me racing in my mind.

Ken Corigliano
And that does two to three things first, it creates my workout as an actuality of the day and I don’t know any different. And I crush it, okay? I just destroy the workouts. What that also does is it won’t overload me too much with the hormonal response of the Ignite, and I kind of want to be careful on that in advance. But it gives me some of the benefit, and the third part is when I do the race, I now play it in my head because I can’t not do it, because they’re wired together. So that’s what I want, is no matter where I am, I can turn that on, and then I just want it to turn on, I don’t even want to have control over it. So I just call that seasoning.

Ken Corigliano
And then the last portions of the tapering period, it’s full-on Ignite, man. I am rocking and rolling and I’m crushing it, and I know that I have the time to recover and I’m going to make sure I do the ice baths to reduce inflammation and hit the NuCalm multiple times, because I know I’m going to start and I’m going to end the day on the NuCalm so I can really plug in the Ignite and just crush it.

Ken Corigliano
I will tell you another thing too, is I did this during the financial trading, so when oil was, like, -40, I was employing the same methodology to try to get in tune with universal consciousness, whatever you want to call it. Worked really well. The same premise proved to be true, where I would NuCalm before the day starts, thankfully the markets open 930 Eastern Standard Time; people sleep on Wall Street, I guess. I’ve been up for five hours. So I’ve been using that also, and that methodology, because I don’t think that this is just a physical tool.

Ken Corigliano
These are not just physical tools, these are, you need your mental acuity, you need to be able to … if something goes down, your stock or your commodity or whatever, it’s the people who can weather the stress that ultimately come out in the end, don’t sell a loss. I just wanted to addend that at the back end there, Dave.

David Poole
I like that, thanks for the stock tip. So Ken, obviously the races aren’t in your backyard, how do you account for travel and acclimating to the environment and all that?

Ken Corigliano
Using NuCalm has been incredible. It’s actually one of the most amazing benefits that I’ve noticed. Not only with the, I don’t care about colds or anything like that anymore, I don’t give a shit, right. These guys, I don’t know if you know, but I swam Alcatraz last year, and I did half the course without a wetsuit, okay? They require a wetsuit when you start, but I went back and I did as much of the course without a wetsuit, and that’s 52 degrees. So I don’t care about that.

Ken Corigliano
One thing is very interesting is I don’t give one shit about jet lag. I don’t believe in it anymore, I don’t need it, I don’t care about it, and so on that plane, I NuCalm and I fire and forget, man. And that has been a serious advantage, because a lot of times races are starting … I got to be there 545 in the morning, and I just flew in at midnight, and I got to find a hotel and all this other gobbledygook. That in itself is stressful. Not only would someone be lacking the sleep, but they’re stressed about it, and so it just compound the whole thing.

Ken Corigliano
I’m sliding in, man, I don’t give a shit, I got to sleep in the trunk of the car, which I’ve done, and I won the race the next day, by the way. I don’t care about how much time I need to sleep, I know that I’m going to wake and I’m going to feel good. And I have tested this multiple, multiple times over many races and had just crushed it.

Ken Corigliano
So I hope that answers your question. And also, doing races at altitude, I don’t care about altitude anymore. It doesn’t even affect me because my oxygen uptake is so well, all I need is … I don’t even need it, but if I can get one night sleeping there, because … you probably know this, but when you got to altitude, your diaphragm is not used to pulling in that air pressure. You’re at 14.7 pounds per square inch, I believe, at sea level, if I remember my data right.

Ken Corigliano
You go up 12 and even 13 and a half, you can’t suck it in, your diaphragm’s too weak. You’re a weakling. So when you go up to altitude, 5,000, 6,000, 9,000, I did a nine and 10,000-foot races. I don’t even care anymore because my diaphragm has been stretched and strengthened so much due to the quality of sleep and the oxygen density that’s in my blood because I’m sleeping so well. I don’t even give a shit about altitude anymore.

Ken Corigliano
That has been really, really cool, because people are really stressed about some of these races that are up there, it’s snowing on them, it’s 9,000 feet in Utah, and I’m just chilling. Just great out there. So I hope that hits …

David Poole
[crosstalk 004653] What about your nutrition, Ken? What’s your diet generally like in your civilian life, and then pre-race and all that stuff?

Ken Corigliano
Yeah, I’m thankful to be alive and I understand the fragility of life, and I just can’t stomach putting garbage in this amazing thing that we’ve been given that just doesn’t … there’s no equal in the universe that we know of. Especially on this planet, there’s no equal. So I really don’t do artificial stuff, I do not do artificial preservatives, colors, especially colors, and I don’t do anything that’s not humanely treated, because I do believe that that genetic code is affected by the treatment of that animal and all that stuff.

Ken Corigliano
So my diet is pretty clean, and I definitely don’t do anything from a cow. I believe that there’s a lot of bad stuff that, you know, whatever. What I’ve noticed is that my palate is incredibly good now, because dairy has this stuff called whey in it, and whey blocks the taste receptors in your mouth, a lot of them. That’s why companies put whey in their food, because the artificial preservatives that they have in there actually curdle in your mouth, and they put whey to block your taste receptors from tasting the curdling that’s in your mouth.

Ken Corigliano
So my nutrition is lots of greens, I have salad every single day, I focus a lot of vegetables, I have reduced the amount of sugar that’s in my life and in my uptake, and I attempt to reduce all added sugars, which is incredibly hard in America. So I don’t do anything that I don’t need. But a lot of vegetables, particularly a lot of vegetables, and then I do some high-quality meats, depending on where they’re from and all that stuff.

David Poole
You’re saving us from the bad guys, you’re eating responsibly, you’re winning races, you’re a father and a husband. When do you take a moment off? What’s your R&R look like? That wasn’t a trick question, Ken.

Ken Corigliano
I meditate; those are some of the best moments in my life, because I relive some of the best moments of my life, and then I invent the best moments of my life that have yet to come, and I create them. So I love it, and what I really love, and man, that new track, oh my God. [crosstalk 004943] I call it my nuke. I used to call NuCalm my time machine, because I’d just be like, oh my God. It felt like four minutes, but I’ve been out for forever.

Ken Corigliano
That has helped me kind of get in touch with me, so I give a lot of gratitude during my meditative sets, and I just thank that I’m alive and I just say, look, you know, if it’s to be, let it be me. If not me, who, if not now, when? I say those kind of things, and those are my moments. And then a lot of my workouts are, I just go out there and I just want to fall in love with what I’m doing right now. I had to do that last night. I went out to the reservoir and I got in a kayak and I just put my arms in the water and I just felt the water in my hands and the birds and just truly just revered this nature that we’ve been given and this world and this existence that we’ve been given. I reconnect with our Creator in that way.

David Poole
Can you talk a little about how proud you are of your wife and her … now you’re not training with her, but every we talk about a race, like, yeah, I crushed it, I won, but oh my God, my wife got a personal record and she destroyed the competition. Share some of her successes with us, I’m always really impressed.

Ken Corigliano
Yeah, and I know that we’re approaching on time, so I want to do two things my wife’s from Ohio, and she is the most critical, non-believing human being I’ve been with, and it’s great because it really forces me to proof’s in the pudding kind of stuff. And the first day she used NuCalm, she was like, I have never experienced this, anything in my life, and this is the greatest thing, this is awesome.

Ken Corigliano
So I know that if she believes in something, it’s the sealed deal. She used it through pregnancy with my son, we literally played it through the belly, okay, we got special headphones, all that stuff. And I am willing to bet that my son is maybe the only person in the world that has listened to NuCalm every day of his life, I don’t think anyone else can say that. So he’s super-smart.

Ken Corigliano
But my wife has used it, she beats me in triathlons and in races, she won multiple triathlons while five months pregnant, by the way, and actually ran a 5K on her due date. So, yeah, beat that. It’s legit, okay, everything is solid about it, and she uses it systematically even now.

Ken Corigliano
We actually, I called Jim, who’s not on the phone right now, I called him when we were having some problems recently, and this is a personal story for me, but we had to run her to the hospital, very concerning situation, and it was a stress response from something, we don’t know what it was, but she turned the NuCalm on and literally, that was the cure. It relaxed her, it stopped the contractions, and stopped the potential fatality in our family from happening.

David Poole
Wow.

Ken Corigliano
It’s great stuff. So she uses it … oh, and by the way, she’s a schoolteacher for kindergarten, and she plays it in the class to chill the kids out, and she has the number-one class in the county. She’s a brand-new teacher, by the way, she just got hired, okay? And they’re like, whoa, we’ve got to see what Rachel’s doing over here, because her kids are scoring all the highest, they’re the calmest and she’s got these outstanding kids, and she truly believes it’s the magic of music and her playing the NuCalm strategically in the class.

Ken Corigliano
And she was a caretaker on the Air Force base last year and the year before, and she could get four screaming kids all asleep at the same time on the ground, she’d put the music on the kids were just … Anyone who has four or five kids from four different families, okay, that’s tough, getting them to sleep all at the same time. That just doesn’t happen. But she executed it every single time.

Ken Corigliano
That was a bunch of different examples there, but my son is incredible and I really believe that NuCalm had a total role or a lion’s role on his ability … he’s three, he has memorized over 40 books verbatim. He can’t read, okay. Three-year-olds don’t read. He has memorized them all by the pages, we can pick a page out and he can say what’s happening on the page.

Ken Corigliano
My wife is a teacher, okay, so elementary school. Her kids in the elementary school can’t do that, and he’s doing math and multiplication now at three. So his ability to grasp data and encode it, I believe, has been increased by using NuCalm in that developmental period. If you know, there’s priming going on and trimming, priming and all that other stuff happening in the neurons right now. If I can convince that process to either slow or be more efficient, I do believe that we can have pretty incredibly humans on this planet as a result.

Ken Corigliano
There you go. I know that was more than …

David Poole
Sounds like you and Rachel are breeding a super-race.

Ken Corigliano
That’s the goal, man.

David Poole
Don’t stop at two, man. We need a lot more of that.

Ken Corigliano
Yeah, our next son, oh man, now we’re way smarter now, too, so it’s going to be pretty awesome, I think.

David Poole
So Ken, what’s your next big accomplishment besides being a new dad?

Ken Corigliano
I don’t know. I don’t know yet. 2020 has really … I was going to win three world championships, so that would’ve been my answer four months ago, but I don’t know yet. I think just coming out of here being more in tune with the universe, so I’m using NuCalm and Ignite to get in tune with the universal consciousness at this point. I just want to be more in flow, you know? I think that is just-

David Poole
Lofty goal, yeah. Hey, Ken, how many pull-ups can you do?

Ken Corigliano
40? I don’t know. Yeah.

David Poole
All right. Well, I accept your forfeit. We were supposed to race yesterday and you never showed up, so I’m 1 and 0.

Ken Corigliano
Yeah, okay.

David Poole
All right.