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

What’s better than peeing in a cup every two weeks? If you thought, “listening to this week’s podcast of Barbell Shrugged,” then you’re more than right. On today’s episode, we spoke with the [Fat-Burning] Man himself, Abel James (@fatburningman), about his super-successful Wild Diet, how the philosophy behind it is nothing new –– yet still absolutely revolutionary –– in terms of helping one achieve physical success, and why making the most of the food that you eat every day is so important for attaining and maintaining optimum health.

Abel’s path to becoming the authority of eating right started in his early twenties when trying to do everything “right” just wasn’t… right. After experiencing the hardship of a fire that consumed everything he owned, Abel refocused his efforts, got in shape, and took on the moniker Fat-Burning Man. During this process, he realized that many of the so-called experts were hawking products and services that were more gimmick than substance, so he began thinking in terms of natural remedies to get in shape. Ultimately, he found that a diet is not about starving yourself, but instead treating health as nature intended and eating in a way that becomes a sustainable, lifelong habit.

From this emerged Abel’s credo of eating RAW (Recently Alive and Well), and it’s the bedrock of the Wild Diet. He discusses how avoiding processed approximations of food and getting wild-caught, free-range food can help consumers become mindful of what is going into their bodies.

Stayed tuned for a fascinating and educational conversation about eating, marketing, and other fun facts, like how Abel worked for the CIA, when he once peed into a cup every two weeks, and more!

This Week on Barbell Shrugged, We Interview the Fat-Burning Man, Abel James, to Discuss:

  • Abel’s Wild Diet and its distinction from Paleo
  • The importance of eating foods that were Recently Alive and Well (RAW)
  • Taking a mindfulness practice approach to eating
  • Avoiding processed, low-quality foods
Direct download: Abel_James.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00pm PST

This week, we spoke with movement expert and all-around badass Carl Paoli (Instagram and Twitter: @carlpaoli), coach and author of Free+Style: Maximize Sport and Life Performance with Four Basic Movements. Carl explains his Three Tricks to be jacked as hell, using his own Free+Style connection framework of position, movement, and purpose.

Carl’s varied background has informed his path, leading him from gymnastics; breakdancing (yes); his athletic shoe business, Strike Mvmnt; and of course, functional fitness. Despite being a jack of all trades, he’s humble and doesn’t profess to be an expert, instead saying he’s a constant student. Carl’s built a reputation by keeping things simple and clear, and by remaining compelling. This got people to do the things he taught – and suddenly, he was called a guru and became The Movement Guy.

Although he was successful, Carl felt expectations were too high, yet his true potential was not met. Two years ago, like the Renaissance man that he is, he disassembled and reorganized his life to begin an epic journey of self-awareness. Ultimately, he found a way to feel fulfillment without “being there” yet.

Also discussed in this week’s episode: how coaching is equal parts engineering and artistry, and how ultimately he’s still “just a guy trying to figure it out.”

The bottom line from Carl this week: Just do. Don’t worry about what happens, and whatever you learn from that, take that next step. This will give you the mindset to give you the freedom to do.

This Week on Barbell Shrugged, We Interview Carl Paoli to Discuss:

  • Carl’s freestyle connection framework of position, movement, and purpose
  • The distinction between being the best and feeling fulfilled at the box
  • Making sure your WOD is safe, useful, and long-lasting
  • Making it all, in Carl’s words, “crispy clean”
Direct download: Carl_Paoli.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

What’s more fun than working out when you’re in crazy amounts of pain? If you answered, “Uh, like, everything,” you are correct! Injury is the biggest factor that can keep a person away from realizing their full physical potential. So today, we went to Physical Culture in Encinitas, California, to meet up with Dan Pope (@fitnesspainfree) and Ryan DeBell (@themovementfix).

Unlike other strength and fitness coaches we’ve interviewed, Dan is also a physical therapist specializing in pain management. His business is Fitness Pain Free. And Ryan is a coach and chiropractor specializing in making sure you don’t mess yourself up. He’s the man behind The Movement Fix. Their forces combine on this week’s podcast to help you heal, keep you from hurting yourself, or both, all while getting an awesome workout.

Listen in to hear about specific modifications for specific injuries or differences. Every body is different, and the ideal squat isn’t going to look exactly the same for everyone. Learn about the squat technique that both helps pinched hips and has caused our guests to receive hate mail! Listen in as Ryan and Dan talk us through backs, hips, knees, and ankles, and how to get the best performance out of all of our often uncooperative bones and muscles.

This Week on Barbell Shrugged, We Interview Ryan DeBell and Dan Pope to Discuss:

  • Specific modifications for common injuries
  • How natural differences in body shape can create different “neutrals”
  • Squatting. All about it.
  • Differentiating a workout for competition or overall fitness

For a special promo code to get the movement modification course for $100 off, go to

Direct download: Dan_Pope_-_Ryan_DeBell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

This week, we went to Bulletproof to meet with founder Dave Asprey (Twitter: @bulletproofexec), a company you might know best for the “butter in your coffee” craze. But Dave’s work, and Bulletproof, are so much more -- they’re in the business of “biohacking,” or changing your environment inside and out so that you can have the most possible control of your biology.

As an executive at a non-profit for anti-aging research, Dave began to understand the nutritive shortcuts -- the biohacks -- that we can activate for our best health. He started blogging about it on the side, and out of that effort grew the Bulletproof empire.

Listen in as we discuss his new bestselling book, Head Strong, about being the boss of your mitochondria, and about how there’s not a lot of convincing science to support coffee enemas… Something we wish we’d known a few weeks earlier.

This Week on Barbell Shrugged, We Interview Dave Asprey to Discuss:

  • The concept of biohacking - what it is and how to do it
  • The difference between cravings and hunger (and how to shut the cravings down)
  • What nootropics are and how they make your brain perform better
  • Coffee enemas… That’s all we’ll say about that right here.

For books mentioned and additional resources, go to

Direct download: Dave_Asprey.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00pm PST

This week we traveled to Onnit Academy in Austin, Texas, to talk to their Chief Fitness Officer, John Wolf. Onnit’s mission is to help people achieve total human optimization, and John’s the one to get you there.

He’ll be the first to tell you that movement and training is just a part of total human optimization. You might know Onnit best from their nutrition supplements and fitness accessories (like these kettlebells, for example). When John was brought on as CF[itness]O, he was tasked with creating a system that incorporated everything Onnit was already doing -- and to use all the information available to make the best humans.

In this week’s episode, John gets into some solid, specific technical about how to make your movement more efficient.

Bonus: Get 10% off your order with Onnit when you go to

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