By Danni Levy
Liver King exudes warmth and charm. The kind of charm you can’t switch on and off. Gentle, polite, and energetic without being OTT. Within thirty seconds of our chat, I’m a superfan.
“Once or twice a year for a beard trim,” the King begins as he arranges himself for the camera, stroking away at his untamed mane. It’s even thicker up close. “When it’s getting obnoxious and starts storing food, it’s time for the snip,” he tells me. “I don’t use any kind of shampoo or soaps. When I take a bath, I just jump in the lake, or do a cold plunge. But once or twice a year I tell Liver Queen, ‘Hey, let’s take a machete to the beard’, and then we make a video. We have a good time. It’s kind of an annual ritual.”
That’s that settled then. My personal hygiene query has been answered. No shampoo, no soap, I was baffled. Apparently, it’s all down to skin microbiome.
“I never use shampoo on my head or beard, and my wife and I will only use tallow-based soap like our early ancestors did,” Liver King explains. “We’re aware of the importance of the gut microbiome, but the skin is also an organ, and we mustn’t neglect the microbiome of the skin. Perfumes, plastics, and deodorants are things we should steer clear of. Why would we put these things on our skin if we can’t eat them? The skin is the largest organ in the body and these products state, ‘If you swallow this seek medical assistance’, and yet we’re putting them on our skin! I’m like, ‘What are we doing’? If you want to use a soap or shampoo, be mindful of the shampoo that you’re using. Make sure it really has safe, natural ingredients, stuff that you could eat if you wanted to.”
Whilst Liver King’s theories made perfect sense, I wonder where it all stems from. Was caveman living something he’d become accustomed to as a young boy?
“I wish I could tell you I’ve lived like this since I was a kid,” he tells me. “I changed my lifestyle habits around twelve years ago when my kids started to get sick. Out of nowhere, they just started wheezing. They couldn’t breathe. They would break out in hives. I said, ‘You know what? Enough is enough’. I researched and researched. My wife and I tried a lot of different things. And then I stumbled upon ancestral living. The way in which we’ve evolved over millions of years, has been forged through what I call the ‘nine ancestral tenets’. And in fact, we still need these nine things to heal and be healthy in the modern world. (The 4th ancestral tenet: shield)
The Nine Ancestral Tenets
“My family started with food. We took out the processed foods, seed oils, and liquid calories. We gave the kids ancestral foods like liver, bone marrow and bone broths. Almost overnight, they came back to life. They started breathing better, their skin color improved, and their energy levels skyrocketed. The kids were in such great health that my wife and I started implementing the same routine.” (The 2nd ancestral tenet: eat)
If liver and bone, often eaten raw, isn’t enough to tease you towards a caveman diet, perhaps five days of complete abstention are more appealing!
“Four times a year we do a five-day water fast,” reveals Liver King. “I’m not pushing it on other people. I mean, if you have a six-pack and you’re kicking ass in life, go kick ass in life. But here are the simple facts: 85% of the population are suffering with self-esteem issues, 80% struggle paycheck to paycheck, 70% of people are overweight, 50% are on prescription medicine, 40% have or will get cancer, and 20% of couples can’t conceive (statistics not independently verified). The world is hurting at record rates. Once a quarter, the biggest metabolic lever you can pull is a five-day water-only fast. For the first day or two, it’s not easy. But if you don’t have to prepare food or eat it, I believe that you’ll improve your productivity in the workplace and at home. After the fast, you’ll have more drive, more determination and better neurochemistry. The best six to eight weeks of life will unfold after doing this type of fast. You’ll be more productive than you’ve ever been. I grew up without my dad and I want to prevent my kids from having to do the same. I want to shield myself and my family from disease. Fasting once per quarter as a means of disease prevention and remediation is a small price to pay. It’s free and it’s accessible to everyone.” (The 4th ancestral tenet: shield)
It’s clear Liver King follows strict diet protocols, but I’m still dying to know how he carves out a six-pack so impressive that he’s been rumored to have had ab implants. (The 3rd ancestral tenet: move)
“I started working out also at the age of eight,” he tells me. “If you look at a picture of young Liver King at fifteen years old, I already had pretty well-developed abs and a really well-developed chest. When you start to work out and you continue to work out as you’re going through puberty, it helps to set you up for the rest of your life. I made a joke once on a podcast interview about having had ab implants and it was taken seriously and kinda stuck. But my abs are 100% natural. I’ve worked out twice a day for most of my life. I’ve been working out for about thirty-eight years now. I believe that if you practice all nine ancestral tenets, you’re going to optimize your hormones and your neurochemistry, and you’re going to be able to lean into expressing your potential. When you go and visit modern day primitive culture tribes, the average person has a six-pack, and they don’t even do sit-ups.”
No sit-ups required? Surely not!? I had to ask…
“I do a lot of core work,” admits Liver King. “I store a lot of fat on my love handles and I eat what I want to eat. I have two rest days on a Wednesday and a Sunday and spend one hour on those rest days just doing core work. That’s in addition to my regular core work that I do Monday through Sunday.”
Liver King’s Ab Routine
- Strict sit-ups with arms behind head… 10 x 10 EMOM
- Weighted sit-ups
- Weighted GHD sit-ups
- Weighted hollow rocks
- “V” ups… 10 x 10 EMOM
- Race to 100 followed by 6 x12 hollow rocks… EMOM
Okay, so a ‘rest day’ consists of an entire hour’s ab work! I’m beginning to understand…
“I do this one workout called the Murder Medley,” reveals Liver King. “You can do it anywhere and it’s absolutely crushing. I do it in three-week cycles and it only takes about fifteen minutes to complete.
- 20 strict sit-ups with arms behind head
- 20 strict sit-ups with arms out in front
- 20 hollow rocks
- 20 traditional sit-ups
- 20 roll-ups
- 60 second plank
“Do something to make yourself suffer physically every single day. Because one way or another, we’re going to suffer. I say that we can choose to carry something heavy. We can choose to get into the gym. We can choose to carry a log, carry a dog, carry a chair, carry a person, or we can choose to
carry the regret of not lifting anything heavy, of remaining the same piece of shit today, next month, next week, next year, and call it our lives. Do 1,000 push-ups if you’ve no equipment. I can do 100 in one hit, then I’ll do sets of 50-70. I do push-ups and handstand push-ups all over the world.” (The 3rd and 8th ancestral tenets: move and fight)
Push-ups aren’t the only thing Liver King does all over the world. Come rain or shine, he’s guaranteed to rock up shirtless.
“Thanks to all the hard work I do, I can walk around the world topless with confidence,” he says. “This is my primal, wild self. Yes, I do way more core work than I probably should, but it’s what I need to do to feel good.”
Hmmm, the endless topless parade. Is it just for social media?
“Our early ancestors didn’t have shirts and modern-day primitive culture tribes still don’t have shirts,” says Liver King. “Before I was even on social media, I didn’t wear a shirt. The way we look bare-chested is an outward expression of what we believe in life. It’s an expression of our most authentic primal self. I need to be effective at my job as a CEO of the ancestral lifestyle. There are kids depending on me to get this message out and in order to do that, I’ve got to communicate my message with coherence. I’m just my wild, free, raw self. I don’t shave my beard. I don’t wear a shirt.
I live and I speak with reckless abandon unapologetically to the world. We were born without shirts. It’s primal. It’s wild. It’s free. And then we started to put shirts on. We started to wear sunscreen. We started to wear shoes. We started to live in houses and stay in the houses 24/7. And so, what I tell people today is, ‘It’s okay to do those things, but let’s not just stand in line’. We must ask ourselves why we’re doing this? Is it to our detriment, or is it to our benefit?”
Retaining a primitive culture in a world full of five-star hotels would prove a minefield for most. But not for Liver King, whilst chatting from his Dubai King suite.
“When I’m travelling it’s not always possible to get liver, so I eat double and triple bacon cheeseburgers, without the bread, every day,” he says. “I have ribeye steaks every day. I have lobster and butter and sashimi. But raw liver with a little bit of maple syrup and some salt on it, to me, there’s nothing better. The way that I portray that I eat on social media is exactly how I eat. My family and I don’t sleep in beds, even when we’re in a hotel. We have our EMF tents set up on the ground. I do use a pillow though, and I haven’t seen modern day tribes use pillows. I tried sleeping without one for over a year, it didn’t work for me. The reason why sleeping on the ground is so important is that if you don’t use it, you lose it. Think about the mobility that’s required to get all the way from the ground and then to stand up. In the modern world, we have beds that are at the perfect height – they’re so easy to get in and out of. The chairs, the couches, the toilets, they’re at the perfect height. And so, what ends up happening as you get older is that you lose that mobility. This is not okay. It’s great to see elders in these tribes who are in their 80s and can go from the ground to standing up without using their hands. My bed’s not that comfortable. I stay in bed about nine hours a day and when I wake up, I never hit the snooze button. My bed’s not inviting enough
to want to stay in. When I wake up, I’m ready to launch myself into the day. At home I made these wooden planks that are about a foot off the ground to keep us off the mold when we sleep. We just have a wooden plank bed and a little bit of wool padding, and that’s what we sleep on.” (The 1st ancestral tenet: sleep)
Famed for allegedly not brushing his teeth, Liver King boasts some surprisingly impressive pearly whites.
“We have this company called Strong Jaw,” he says. “Our early ancestors didn’t brush, didn’t floss, and didn’t get cavities. Not only do I not use toothpaste, I don’t brush my teeth, and I don’t floss. My wife is a retired dentist and gives me a quick routine check over. She’s like, ‘You know what? You might have dragon breath every once in a while, but your teeth are nice and healthy’. We’ve
been sold this oral hygiene hypothesis that we’re supposed to spend four minutes a day brushing followed by flossing. I don’t believe it. The societies that do the most brushing and flossing, also have the highest cavity rates.
“When I’ve been to visit modern-day primitive culture tribes, their teeth are beautiful, and they don’t brush or floss. It’s what inspired us to stop. My wife likes to floss once in a while and the kids might brush once a week with a dry brush or a bone-based tooth powder. I haven’t brushed in over a decade!”
No beds, no brushing, no top and from what I’d witnessed on social media, no shoes either.
“We used to be connected to the Earth 24/7/365, but because of rubber-soled shoes, elevated beds, buildings and cars, we no longer come into contact with the Earth’s negative charge,” explains Liver King. “We have to find a way to reconnect. Unless the soles of your shoes are made out of native material leather or plant material, you’re likely not connecting to the Earth. What I would say is, ‘Take off the damn shoes and anchor yourself to the ground’. There’s nothing better than getting your bare feet connected to the actual earth, getting some early morning sun, and feeling that connection with nature.” (The 5th ancestral tenet: connect)
Liver King goes to bed shortly after sunset and wakes just before sunrise. And no matter how hot the sun may be, sunblock does not feature in his healthcare regime. (The 7th ancestral tenet: sun)
“As a society, we’re deficient in the nourishment of the sun,” he claims. “We’re already predominantly indoors and then we cover ourselves up. And then if we’re going to be in the sun at all, we slather up with sunblock. Modern-day primitive culture tribes are in the sun almost all day long. I stay in the sun most of the day, and I can be in the sun six to eight hours, and I won’t burn. The key is not to burn. Go slow and slowly build up to being able to tolerate more sun. Speaking of sunblock, again, if you can’t eat it, you probably don’t want to put it all over your skin. You don’t want your body absorbing all of that kind of stuff. If you’re out in the sun for a long time, just be sensible. I believe the benefits of getting sun far exceed the issues that people talk about related to skin cancer. In fact, if you look at skin cancer stats, people living close to the equator suffer the least amount of skin cancers. Doesn’t that tell you something?”
As well as getting plenty of hot sun, Liver King promotes cold exposure as one of the nine ancestral tenets we should follow. (The 6th and 8th ancestral tenets: cold and fight)
“Comfort is not good for the organism,” he says. “If you live in a hot environment, ask yourself how you can get even hotter. Forget the air con. Get outside, go do a workout under the sun, get hot as shit and let those heat shock proteins restore you. If you’re in a colder environment, switch off the heating, go take your shirt off. Go get really fucking frigid and cold. Cold showers are a great way to expose your skin to low temperatures. Stop getting comfortable.”
A promoter of his own supplement brands, Liver King accepts this is something outside of ancestral living but states the importance of injecting traditional nutrients back into a limited modern-day diet.
“If you procure the whole animal and you eat nose to tail, bones to blood, horns to hooves, you don’t need any supplements, except maybe when you travel,” he advises. “But every time I travel, I take supplements with me. The overwhelming majority of society do not get nose to tail nourishment in their diets. That’s where companies like thefittest.com come in. We make a protein blend called ‘The Whole Feast’, and it has all these organs in there. It’s delicious. I’ve even had vegans come to me who are suffering, and so some of them will say, ‘You know what? I’ll try your liver supplement’. And so, they’ll get on a liver supplement, and they’ll start feeling better. Liver is an incredibly powerful healer.”
Supps aside, what about modern-day medicine? Does it have a place in Liver King’s life?
“Emergency medicine, acute medicine, I’m all for it,” he says. “If you have a broken bone or some horrific infection and you’re about to die, acute emergency medicine is badass. But ironically, modern medicine is causing a lot of our health issues. We built this model whereby we prescribe all these medicines and band-aids but fail to treat the root cause. Practice the nine ancestral tenets and no matter what your chronic condition is, if you really live your life close to nature, you’re going to address the root cause and you’re no longer going to need chemical medicine.”
Liver King has one final message for families and kids across the globe who are intrigued by his extraordinary lifestyle. (The 9th ancestral tenet: bond)
“I exist today because kids need to hear my message,” he says. “And parents need to hear my message, because we’re suffering and struggling at record rates.”
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