Barbell Shrugged - Talking Training w/ CrossFit Games Athletes, Strength Coaches & More

This week, we went over to CrossFit Invictus in downtown San Diego to meet up with some of the very best athletes in the world. This week’s six-for-one special includes insights from four Games competitors and two Invictus coaches about what it takes to go from great to the greatest.

In our first segment, we talk to training partners Garret Fisher and Holden Rethwill about how their workout styles compliment each other, how they train for such an unpredictable athletic event, and how to know when it’s truly time to give their bodies a rest.

Next up, we talk to weightlifters and Games competitors Maddy Myers and Lauren Fisher about the challenges they face as dual-discipline athletes, how they’ll decide when it’s time to specialize, and what it’s like to enter this field as new athletes––only to discover you’re the best in the world.

We round the conversation out with the coaches who got them this far, CJ Martin and Tino Marini. CJ’s trained over 40 individual athletes to Games, and Tino’s coached alongside him since 2012. We talk to them about these four athletes, and what makes them stand apart from even the most elite in the field.

Enjoy the show!


P.S. And if you want to follow any of these athletes or learn more about them head over to the blog. We've posted their social media accounts here.

Direct download: Invictus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PST

This week we stopped by Onnit in Austin, Texas, to talk about some pretty big ideas with CEO and founder Aubrey Marcus. If, for example, you want to know how to change the world for the better, then this is the episode for you.

“If you want to be of service for society at large, you’ve got to be fit for service. And to be fit for service, you have to do these personal practices. You have to get yourself in a state where you’re able to affect change and really help people.”

Aubrey shared a lot of insight about what he does to get himself fit for service, and he peppers the podcast with both the science and ancient philosophies that justify his practices. Y’all know about ecstatic dance? If you don’t, you will by the time you’re done listening (and you might be looking up where to find it in your area). Aubrey tells us about how to stack practices wisely for the best results. Looking at health through the lens of identity and consciousness, Aubrey’s practices take functional fitness to a new level. Ecstatic dance is just one item in the toolkit he employs to reach a flow state on the regular. Meditation, floating, yoga, and (of course) the gym all have their place, too.

He describes flow states as a “pause from all the stress and worry. It’s a really dramatic reset. Just like sleep resets all of these biological functions, I think flow resets a lot of these emotional functions… You get to escape that for a little while. And sometimes it’s waiting for you on the other side, but at least you’ve given yourself that break.”

Enjoy the show,


Direct download: Aubrey_Marcus.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PST

“You need to cross-train your balls, is basically what I’m saying.” Biomechanist Katy Bowman gets straight to the point in this week’s podcast. We interviewed Katy at Paleo (f)x Austin, where she’s a featured speaker on the concept of movement -- not to be confused with what we often refer to as “exercise.”

“There are more muscles than you’re working in the gym, and those muscles will go on to affect your health,” says Katy.

We’re big fans of her book, Move Your DNAwhich mentions the various casts we put on or around our bodies, from shoes to mattresses to underpants. So, in fairness to Katy, she didn’t lead with cross-training your balls. It was the first question we brought up.

Rather than focusing on the biomechanics of workouts, Katy’s expertise is in the total ecosystem of our movement. How we move, what we move, and when we move, during the full 24 hours of our day. Through this lens, she evaluates health on a cell-by-cell basis, rather than looking just at the muscles developed in the gym.

“The difference between [a person who works out] and a couch-potato is like 4% in terms of total movement. So we’re not moving well for health, because we’re teaching to the test. We’ve set up the variables that we think will correspond to better health… You end up getting people who are fit, but unwell, and they’re extremely confused.”

Unlike old-school fitness models where athletes are encouraged to basically be sedentary when they’re not working out, Katy emphasizes that the real thing our body trains around will be whatever we spend the most time doing (or not doing). Those of us who work office jobs are usually training our bodies to sit. Then maybe we hit the gym after work. Then we go home and train our bodies to sleep on a soft mattress. So we spend billions of dollars trying to perfect that one hour of exercise we get during the day.

Listen in as Katy graciously points out the way we’re screwing up our lives every day, and what tiny and iterative lifestyle changes will improve us in our cells and beyond.




Direct download: Katy_Bowman.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PST

At this year’s Paleo F(x) conference in Austin, we had a chance to interview one of the primary spokespeople for the Paleo movement, Mark Sisson. You know him from Mark’s Daily Apple, his website and blog dedicated to “primal living in the modern world.” A true Paleo hipster, Mark has been preaching the primal diet gospel since before it was cool.

Mark’s interest in primal living can be traced back to college, where he became really interested in evolution and human DNA. He later worked as the anti-doping commissioner for the sport of triathlon worldwide. As the guy who oversaw every hearing, he learned a ton––not just about the off-limits performance-enhancing drugs, but about the healthy supplements and eating styles competitive athletes and little old ladies alike can use to reach their full potential.

These two threads of experience set Mark up for a career in discovering the health lessons of our ancient ancestors and applying them to our daily lives. In particular, he’s developed interest in how we can “turn on” certain strands of our DNA in order to live the best we can.

Twenty-one years ago, Mark started his own supplement company, all while he was married with two kids, and no money in the bank. Today, in addition to his nutritional supplement line and his best-selling books, Mark’s Primal Kitchen brand will keep you from having to eat gross mayonnaise. Mark’s newest book, The Primal Kitchen Cookbook: Eat Like Your Life Depends on It! is hot off the presses. He told us he refuses to eat a single bite of food that isn’t delicious, so this is a good guide to check out. 

In this week’s episode, we interview Mark Sisson about:

  • How the right eating habits and exercise can alter our DNA
  • Why our workouts need to be playful in order to be successful long-term
  • What to put in your exercise pyramid
  • What to expect when you switch to a ketogenic diet

After the episode, head over to Mark's shop and get 15% ALL of his books, supplements, paleo mayo, snacks and etc with the code GROK15.

Click here to shop now



Direct download: Mark_Sisson_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PST