What if I told you that there’s a performance-enhancing drug that’s completely free, completely legal, and has no ill side-effects when used correctly? Oh, and you’ve probably already taken it many times in your life.
Competition is that drug, and today on the show I talk to author Po Bronson about his book Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing, which digs deep into the science of competition and how it can improve our performance in a wide variety of tasks.
In today’s podcast, Po and I discuss the difference between adaptive and maladaptive competition, the culture of virtuous competition that existed amongst the ancient Greeks, and how you can shape competition to make you a better man in all aspects of your life.
- Competition’s PR problem
- The link between testosterone and competition
- The important difference between adaptive competition and maladaptive competition
- Competition in ancient Greece
- The benefits of competition (hint: it’s not just about winning something)
- The first scientific studies on competition
- What an Air Force Academy study on freshman dropout rates can teach us about competition
- The differences between men and women when it comes to competition
- The relationship between risk and competition
- Why you should think about smaller competitive pools in order to be more successful
- The biological processes happening in the midst of competition
- How competition is wired into our genes (and also how those genes don’t define how you’ll do in competitive situations)
- Stress and competition
- How to make the most — and get the most — out of competition
Resources/Studies/People Mentioned in Podcast
- Competition: The Fuel for Greatness
- Norman Triplett
- Triplett’s paper on competition
- NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson
- What the Length of Your Ring Finger Can Tell You About Your Masculinity
- What Stress Is, and How to Manage It
- Jeremy Jamieson’s study about Harvard students
- AoM’s testosterone archives
- AoM’s series about male status
- Study on pacing and competition in cyclists
- The N-Effect: More Competitors, Less Competition
- The Future of Sports
Top Dog provides a lot of insights on how you can use competition to become a better man. The sections on the genetics of competition and how it influences testosterone are particularly interesting. Grab your copy today!
Connect With Po Bronson
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
And thanks to Creative Audio Lab in Tulsa, OK for editing our podcast!
Read the Transcript
Last updated: January 16, 2017