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

Ben Greenfield was voted as America’s top personal trainer in 2008. He's competed as one of the top ranked amateur triathletes in the world, completing over 120 races and 12 Ironman triathlons.

A relentless self-experimenter and biohacker, Ben became a professional obstacle course racer, completing the coveted Spartan Delta, training with the Navy SEALs, competing across the globe in open water swims, mountain runs and adventure races, winning multiple USA bowhunting competitions, and appearing on the planet's toughest reality TV shows. Ben was named as one of the world’s top 100 most influential people in health and fitness.  

Check him out at:

► Subscribe to Barbell Shrugged's Channel Here- 

Listen to the audio version on the Apple Podcast App or Stitcher for Android Here-

Barbell Shrugged helps people get better. Usually in the gym, but outside as well. In 2012 they posted their first podcast and have been putting out weekly free videos and podcasts ever since. Along the way we've created successful online coaching programs including The Shrugged Strength Challenge, The Muscle Gain Challenge, FLIGHT, Barbell Shredded, and Barbell Bikini.

Find Barbell Shrugged here:





Direct download: Ben_Greenfield.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:23am PST

Jesse Burdick, the funniest coach that can lift your whole family, visits Barbell Shrugged

  • Jesse talks turkey about power and a mindset about movement
  • How competitors can still have a good time
  • Coaching vs. Teaching
  • Cutting weight / managing body vs. strength
  • He's damn strong, his numbers will blow you away

► Subscribe to Barbell Shrugged's Channel Here- 

Listen to the audio version on the Apple Podcast App or Stitcher for Android Here-

Barbell Shrugged helps people get better. Usually in the gym, but outside as well. In 2012 they posted their first podcast and have been putting out weekly free videos and podcasts ever since. Along the way we've created successful online coaching programs including The Shrugged Strength Challenge, The Muscle Gain Challenge, FLIGHT, Barbell Shredded, and Barbell Bikini.

Find Barbell Shrugged here:





Direct download: Jesse_Burdick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:35am PST

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

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