Tokyo Toilet Wisdom: Two Steps to Rule Running Your Own Race

So a guy walks into a toilet at fitbox FunC in Tokyo. (Stop me if you’ve heard this one.)

Above the toilet there was a cartoony graph showing how to gauge the quality of your poop. Color, shape and consistency are the determining factors.

(I tried to find the actual graph but had to stop before I threw up in my mouth Google searching it. Japanese toilets are the best.)

Fine, it was me. And I didn’t like where I found I often landed in the graph. I exited the commode motivated.

MFF has gone some weird places in their blogs, but are we really reading about Fury’s shit?

Nope. Well, sorta.

Recovery, Resiliency and Running Your Own Race

The 3 Rs. Say it out loud in a pirate voice… RRR! Let’s unpack TWO STEPS you can focus on to boost your 3 Rs.

Like many in NYC, I have to maintain several revenue streams to pay the bills. Though I am blessed to do things that I love, it does get stressful and have a big impact on my training, nutrition and sleep.

Throw in that I have a thyroid related auto-immune disease and I had been questioning if I was being honest with myself in terms of running my own race and gauging my own Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE).

Your RPE allows you to rate your level of effort and intensity on a scale of 1-10. At MFF and Fury Industries, we strive for 7-8 most of the time to see progress without shitting blood by pinning a 10.

Which takes us back to that diagram.

Step #1: Master Your Biome

The bacteria inside our intestines, our gut biome (not to be confused with Pauly Shore’s Biodome), is massively connected to our immune system, inflammation and digestion. It’s clear that we’re going to feel systemic negative repercussions if our gut biome is off.

Looking at the chart on the bathroom wall connected to my thoughts about gauging my own training intensity. If my biome is off, my recovery will be off. In turn so will my overall fitness.

For this first step, my journey to reclaim the art of running my own race started with two simple daily action steps.

  1. A probiotic: A good probiotic contains the good bacteria needed for a healthy digestive tract. There are many options out there. My doc suggested the brand Align to me.
  2. A fiber supplement. Most people don’t get enough fiber in their diet. Fiber helps the body absorb more nutrients through digestion and also helps drive more waste matter out.

Guess what? Not only do I rate better in the poo chart, I also feel much less bloated and my post training resiliency has gone up.

Now this isn’t all about your gut biome and healthy dumps.

Step #2: Meet Morpheus

Our heart doesn’t beat at a set interval or tempo. We generally gauge our heartrate in BPM (beats per minute). This is a great way to show where we align with our targeted heart rate as in MyZone. Heart Rate Variability (HRV) gauges the offsets in the beats within a given amount of time. A higher amount of variability in the beats is seen as healthy.

My friend and brother from another Travis Johnson introduced me to the Morpheus HRV app. Designed by Joel Jamieson, Morpheus includes a heart rate monitor and an app. The app, used in conjunction with other trackers like Apple Health, FitBit and Garmin, gauges your HRV in conjunction with your sleep, activity, nutrition and training.

When our body is recovered and feeling well, we’ll score a better HRV rating. However, the rating alone doesn’t tell the whole story for running your own race. The Morpheus app will give you a recovery percentage and then suggest three different training types:

  1. Green on the Morpheus means we’re ready for some serious strength training.
  2. Orange means it may be better to focus on conditioning and not push super hard.
  3. Red means it’s time for a chill movement session.

(Paraphrased how my brain views it.)

Using the app since returning from Asia has been a game changer so far.

Every morning I put the coffee up, put the Morpheus band on and see my score.

One of the biggest bonuses is that it has me recording how long I sleep and gauging its quality. You can use other apps to get a deeper dive into sleep cycles, but I focus on duration and my HRV rating.

The color the app shows tells me exactly what I need to run my own race and gauge my RPE. It takes SO MUCH of the guessing out. When I’m in the Green, I know I can push it. More importantly, when I’m in the Orange or Red (I got my first Red today), I know to back off regardless of what my brain is telling me to do.

It makes me aware that my body is physically not in line with my brain’s perception of it from a recovery standpoint.


What results have I seen so far with the focus on improving my gut biome and tracking my HRV?

  1. Not having to completely self-monitor how hard to push each day has led to more frequent and consistent training sessions.
  2. My overall fatigue is down and my recovery is up from day to day.
  3. I’m discovering a better level of accuracy in running my own race.
  4. Though I am not tracking bodyweight or comp, I am seeing difference in my physique and strength.
  5. My risk of injury is down because of this new awareness on recovery.
  6. These have become sustainable habits for me that I will continue to benefit from.

The Takeaway?

You never know what may come from a picture of poop on a bathroom wall.

Hit me up in if you have any questions.


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Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner is an International Fitness Educator, Strength Coach, dad and film nerd. Formerly from Mark Fisher Fitness, he now runs Fury Industries out of Gowanus, Brooklyn. Fury Industries offers Small Group Classes, Personal Training and Online Coaching.

Fury also teach courses and in-services as a Master RKC Kettlebell Instructor, Master DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training Instructor, Strength Faction Mentor and Original Strength Lead Instructor.

Fury is the creator of the weekly Coach Fury Podcast where he discusses strength, music and movies with current and upcoming heroes in fitness, music and art.

Please visit for more info. You can follow him on Facebook and Instagram.


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