Jim Kwik Logo

The Power of Strength Training and Mental Fitness with Sal Di Stefano

Sal picked up his first weight at 14 years old. 4 years later, Sal walked into his local 24 Hour Fitness gym and applied to be a personal trainer. He quickly became a top performer and, at 19, was promoted to the position of general manager with as many as 40 employees working under him. At 22, Sal opened a wellness and personal trainer facility that offered one-on-one training, massage therapy, nutritional counseling, hormone testing, and acupuncture. At 28, Sal’s health took a bad turn. The years of training combined with the abuse of supplements caused his body to rebel. He lost 15lbs of muscle and at one point believed he may have an autoimmune disorder. This forced Sal to change his personal approach to fitness.

At 33 years old, Sal met Doug Egge. They formed a close friendship and together they created the first Maps program, with Sal as the designer of the workout plan and Doug creating the marketing material behind it. Their goal was to shatter the failed muscle building workout ideas that Sal had personally witnessed as entirely ineffective. They knew that the MAPS programming would be vastly superior. Their challenge was how to bring this to the masses. 2 years later, Sal met Adam and Justin, and together with Doug they started Mind Pump. The goal of Mind Pump was simple: quality fitness and health information with integrity and honesty. Sal wanted to shift the direction of the fitness industry from an aesthetic insecurity based industry to a self-love and self-care health industry. He knew this could be accomplished with education through entertainment.

This content contains affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase something, we may earn a commission. Thanks.

How do you lose stubborn weight and build mental muscle?

Being fit is more than simply being in shape or losing weight. It’s one of the keys to having a limitless mind. Exercise stimulates neurotransmitters, like dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, and can play a vital role in reducing systemic inflammation.

I’m excited to welcome Sal Di Stefano to the show today. Sal has been a personal trainer since he was eighteen years old. He’s the host of the Mind Pump podcast and is the author of the book, The Resistance Training Revolution: The No-Cardio Way to Burn Fat and Age-Proof Your Body—in Only 60 Minutes a Week.

Even though we know about the mind-body connection, there’s still a misconception that somehow the two are separate. And while any activity that’s good for the body is generally good for the brain, there are some that are better than others. Listen in as Sal explains why strength training has unique attributes that make it ideal for improved brain performance and how you can use these exercises to get maximum results.

I invite you to join me in a world of limitless learning possibilities. Through my revolutionary Kwik Brain accelerated learning programs, I’ll guide you towards rapid growth and extraordinary achievements by unlocking the secrets of productivity, memory enhancement, confidence-building, and more. Unleash your true genius at http://kwikbrain.com and use code PODCAST15 at checkout for an exclusive 15% discount on any of our transformative courses as a thank you for being a loyal listener.

To learn more about your brain type and how to use this knowledge to create lasting change, visit kwikbrain.com/animal-quiz, and take the quiz today.

Sal Di Stefano

Subscribe To My Podcast:

**This week’s show notes are taken from the video — enjoy!**


  • This is the ideal physical exercise that benefits the brain the most. [2:53]
  • Here are all the brain benefits this exercise provides. [3:33]
  • Exercise also improves this area of cognitive ability. [5:14]
  • Compared to all other forms of exercise, this type produces more BDNF on a continuous basis. [7:05]
  • This is the main reason Sal recommends this exercise. [7:39]
  • If you’ve struggled to lose weight, try this. [9:28]
  • This is the one metric that can predict all-cause mortality better than any other metric. [11:33]
  • Building this isn’t just focused on how much you build, but how healthy it is. [12:47]
  • You can lose up to 5% of this in your body for every five to ten years you age. [13:35]
  • This exercise can help prevent one of the leading causes of death as you get older. [14:41]
  • Instead of finding motivation to exercise, look at this. [17:16]
  • This is how you should feel at the end of a workout. [18:08]
  • If you don’t change this, exercise will always be a struggle. [18:55]
  • This also applies to diet. [19:42]
  • To make exercise a habit that will last, start by asking yourself this. [21:01]
  • This is how you develop a lifelong relationship with exercise. [22:29]
  • Take a screenshot, tag us (@jimkwik & @mindpumpmedia), and share you biggest takeaway from this episode.
  • To learn more about the studies Sal mentions:
    • Study on strength training on building muscle to lower insulin sensitivity, here.
    • Study on how strength training may prevent age-related cognitive decline, here.
  • If you want to learn more about Sal and Mind Pump, visit his website, here.
  • Don’t forget to grab a copy of Sal’s book, here.


Similar Episodes