The page formerly known as War Stories: Tales from the Front has undergone a change.
With the recent success of our first Mental Meat Heads Workshop I have seen the opportunity for a new direction or, better put, a sharper focus on what has been up until now a general one.
We stand, my friends, on the edge of change. Many of us have grown dissatisfied with the status quo of our industry. We’ve seen through the surface oriented dialect that prevails as the standard and we wonder if there isn’t something more.
We are no longer satisfied living half a life. In short, we want the brain and the brawn. We recognize the power of the aesthetic, but have found an even greater beauty in ability.
As leaders we see the potential, not just to change bodies but to change lives and once we’ve seen that possibility anything less seems a disservice.
Mental Meat Heads, the new iteration of this series, is committed to promoting this change. Come and meet the true leaders of our industry. Meet Physiological Philosophers, thinkers who move and movers who think, and if our thoughts move you (sorry, couldn’t help it) join the conversation HERE.
Meet Rafe Kelley. Rafe is already a known entity in the parkour community. If you haven’t seen them already check out his videos on his channel Rafe Kelley. Also search “TreeRunner” it’s one of the most beautiful things you’ll see all day.
In this interview we talk play, parkour, dogs, parenting and anything else that happened to pop into our heads. Enjoy.
To learn more about Rafe and his work check out his website: http://evolvemoveplay.com/
Meet Mental Meat Head Tyler Welch. Originally from the great state of Wisconsin, Tyler has traveled far and wide in pursuit of movement, strength and fitness. A renegade of the fitness industrial complex, Tyler works with a passion for excellence and embodies the Bodytribe mantra of “Better Before More.”
Listen in as we discuss the usual topics of punk rock, fitness, strength and fatherhood.
Mental Meat Heads Interviews are conversations with cutting edge movers and thinkers within the fitness industry.
For more on Tyler check out his website at http://www.ironcovenant.com/.
Meet Mental Meat Head Charles Levine. Charlie lives and works in Cincinnati, Ohio. Professionally he’s a group fitness instructor specializing in boot camp style fitness. Additionally he’s an aikido-ka with over 14 years of experience under his belt.
Listen in as we discuss training, martial arts and how the two crossover and support each other.
Mental Meat Heads Interviews are talks with the cutting edge thinkers and doers of the health and fitness industry.
For more about Charlie check him out at http://513fit.com or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/513fit/157614981037559?ref=br_tf.
Cameron Conaway: Part 2
We’re back! Cameron and I sit down for Part 2 of our interview and boy, do we get at it. No subject is taboo. We discuss human trafficking, father issues, writing, and solving the world’s problems.
For more on Cameron check out the Good Men Project http://goodmenproject.com.
Cameron Conaway: Part 1
Meet Cameron Conaway. Cameron is the Executive Editor for the Good Men Project.
He’s a former pro MMA fighter, a poet, a world traveler and a writer.
Listen in as we discuss martial arts, the Good Men Project, and the purpose of existence, you know “Why Are We Here?” type stuff. Hey, we’re big boys, we don’t play around.
Unfortunately our conversation was cut short due to technical difficulties. But fear not dear viewer as we pick up the conversation in Part 2.
To check out the The Good Men Project go here: goodmenproject.com/
Meet Neil Hill. Neil is the other half of Earth Strength which he runs in Tarifa, Spain with Rannoch Donald. Earth Strength is a movement based program designed to help modern, metropolitan humans (Read: Most of us) rediscover nature and the inherent joy that comes with being actively involved in the world around us.
Neil teaches bushcraft, or the original skills passed down from our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Think primitive fire making technigues, animal tracking and foraging. He offers classes for both children and adults throughout the year. For more information and schedule of events, check out the Earth Strength page.
Meet Andy McCloy.
Andy runs Body Creations, Inc. in Madison, Alabama. He specializes in athletic performance and functional fitness.
Listen in as we discuss the nuts and bolts of his training, how he balances single fatherhood and running a business that competes in a highly competitive market, and what it’s like to be a transplant to the Deep South.
CLICK HERE to access the interview. To download, right click and “Save As.”
To learn more about Andy and his gym, check out the Facebook page HERE.
Happy New Year!
This year I’m kicking off Mental Meat Heads 2014 with a revisit with a man who is easily one of my favorite people on Planet Earth. Charles Abouzied has the soul of a Buddha and the heart of lion. As the leader of an eager group of fitness enthusiasts Charles runs Crossfit House of Pain in central New Jersey.
Listen in as we discuss Crossfit, the Biggest Loser, body image and overcoming limitations, both internally and externally imposed. To listen CLICK HERE. To download, right click and “Save As.” To watch on YouTube, GO HERE.
For more on Charles and Crossfit House of Pain check out his website. While you’re there be sure to check out the promo video for the gym. It’s truly inspirational.
To keep up with the goings on over at the CHOP Shop, be sure to follow them over at Facebook.
Meet Rannoch Donald. Besides going into the pool for possessing one of the coolest names of all time, Rannoch is a Renaissance man, a generalist in the finest sense of the word. He’s a martial artist, a blogger, and overall movement enthusiast. A former band promoter, he’s now turned his talents to the fitness industry. Rannoch hosts fitness workshops in the south of Spain, drawing in names like Steve Cotter, Mike Mahler and Erwan La Corre.
Listen in as we discuss fitness, martial arts, diet, eating habits, and what it takes to be a better man.
For more on Rannoch, check out his websites:
Meet Mental Meat Head Cliff Dyer. Cliff is a fitness enthusiast I met at Mental Meat Heads 2. He’s an aikidoka, an Oly weightlifter, a swing dancer and a computer programmer.
Listen in as we discuss the connection between martial arts and dance, a more practical approach to training, and a grand epiphany about “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain” is revealed.
Hey there. Meet Kirsty Grosart. Kirsty is a gymnast and strength enthusiast from Toronto, Canada. We first met at the 2nd Mental Meat Heads Symposium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Kirsty is originally from Scotland where she spent her childhood as a self described “sporty kid,” of which gymnastics was a major component. She now lives in Toronto and works as an actuarial programmer. She teaches gymnastics on the side and runs her own blog “Garage Gym Girl.”
Listen in as we discuss gymnastics, teaching kids, blogging, astrophysics, actuarial programming and what it’s like to be able to do amazing stunts and tricks.
For more about Kirsty, check out her blog, http://www.garagegymgirl.com/.
Meet Kyle Winchell. Kyle is one of the Merry Pranksters of Fitness from the Bodytribe in Sacramento, California. Kyle, in particular, is responsible for bringing his own flavor of play based training to Bodytribe with the addition of Hot Lava Tag.
Originally, Hot Lava Tag was just a way for the trainers to blow off steam after work. Soon locals passing by would see them at play and ask to join the game. Now it’s a regular phenomenon drawing in new participants every week. Kyle’s even in the process of “formalizing” it into a league.
Listen in as we discuss training, music, books, philosophy and the vital importance of play in our training and inclusion in our lives. To listen to the interview CLICK HERE! To download, right click and “Save As.” To watch on YouTube GO HERE.
To learn more about Kyle and his training, check him out on the Bodytribe webpage http://bodytribe.com or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alexandra F. Williams
Meet Alexandra Williams. Alexandra is one of a small cohort of highly creative, intuitive, and dedicated trainers that make up the Bodytribe in Sacramento, California. I like to think of them as the Merry Pranksters of fitness.
Listen in as we discuss the great college town of Athens, Georgia, swimming for UGA, a national championship and Olympic trials, hipster gyms and body image.
To learn more about Alexandra and her training, check out her website at http://alexandrafwilliams.weebly.com/.
Meet Corben Thomas. Corben is the strength and conditioning coordinator for the annual PaleoFX conference held in Austin, Texas. He also does social media and promotions for several Crossfits and the upcoming Naturally Fit Games. His day job is as quality control guy for a construction materials firm and he somehow also manages to fit in being a father and husband, as well.
Listen in as we discuss the varied and complex world of Paleo, the PaleoFX Symposium, health, fitness, training and ice cream…and beer, we talk about beer. Confused? Don’t be. Just listen in and enjoy yourself. We did.
For more info about the PaleoFX Symposium, check out their Facebook page, HERE.
For more on Corben check out his blog. You can also follow him on Twitter @PaleoLife365.
Meet Josh Serrano. Josh is one of those young guys I love to interview. At 21 he has a clear sense of purpose and direction. At 21, I could have barely told you what I wanted to do today let alone with my life.
Part of Josh’s sense of direction comes from having nearly lost it all at a young age. At 10 Josh suffered a stroke. It left him paralyzed on one side of his body. At 12 he was gifted with a set of weights by his grandfather and he’s been training ever since.
Listen in as we talk about training, blogging, getting started as a personal trainer and what it’s like to have such a clear vision at such a young age. To listen CLICK HERE! To download, right click and “Save As.” To watch on YouTube GO HERE.
Sara Gustafson Eye
Meet Sara Gustafson Eye. Sara is a holistic health consultant in Austin, Texas.
What, you ask, is a holistic health consultant? In short, Sara is a fitness trainer but her interest goes much further than how many pounds you want to lose or what size your waist band is. Sara’s interest is in your health. All of it. How well do you sleep? What’s your stress like? Are your hormones balanced? How’s your lipid profile? How well are you living this thing we call life?
Listen in as we discuss the importance of all of the above and how it fits in with parenthood, running a fitness business and overall all how we as humans get better at being human. To listen, CLICK HERE. To download, right click and “Save As.” To watch the video, GO HERE and well, HERE…we had a few technical issues. Sorry about that.
Published articles: http://paleomovement.com/
Meet Professor Dewey Nielsen. Dewey’s a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, hence the title professor, and a movement specialist. And by movement specialist I mean he specializes in movement, which actually makes him a generalist. Dewey feels that the human body was designed to move and in all kinds of ways. The better we move in all of these different ways the better we are. Body flow, power lifting, yoga, weight lifting, boxing, martial arts, you name it, regardless of your discipline Dewey can find something of value in it. Odds are he’s already doing it, too.
Dewey lives and trains in Newberg, Oregon and is the owner of Impact Performance Training. His clientele is as generalized as his philosophy, training both athletes and the general population alike. Listen in as we discuss movement, joy, martial arts, programming and our mutual affection for the man who is Tom Waits.
F. P. DeLeon
Meet Fred DeLeon. Fred is one of the trainers at Body Tribe Fitness in Sacramento, California. We met a little over a year ago and really just hit it off.
You’ll be able to tell from the interview as it runs more like a conversation between two friends than a true interview. Which honestly, is how I like it best.
Fred’s day job is as a life skills coach for developmentally challenged adults and he trains himself and a lucky cadre of clients in the perimeter hours. Listen is as we discuss parenting, comic book super heroes, Voltron, and how they relate to fitness.
Mental Meat Heads 2
Hoo boy. This just might be a mistake. This was supposed to be a joint interview with Jason C. Brown and Chip Conrad, a slick marketing ploy to help promote our upcoming workshop, Mental Meat Heads 2, September 21 and 22, in Indianapolis, Indiana.
It would probably be better titled Laugh Track with Three Goobs. If we’re lucky there’s some intelligible material here, after all we are pros and really good at what we do. But the thing is whenever the three of us get together we just end up having so much fun. Which is exactly what you’ll be doing too if you happen to join us on the 21st and 22nd.
Somehow we all got this idea that fitness has to be all aggressive and super serious. Why can’t you laugh and have a good time, too?
Rest assured despite our goofball antics in this video we are super serious when in comes to form and technique. There is a right way and wrong way and we’re very clear about which is which. We just also know that along the way there’s a ton of fun to be had. And we’re going to share us much as we can. Join us.
Hey there Mental Meat Heads, meet Ryan Magin.
Ryan is a close friend Elliott Husle’s and a regular at Strength Camp in St. Petersburg, Forida. Ryan started his athletic career as a BMX racer. As he honed his skills and began to build his strength he turned pro. Part of that transition was due to his strength gains and his association with Elliott. In fact, these two launched their internet careers at the same time — on a bet.
And while Elliott may be the more visible of the two, Ryan is just as much a pro. For the past three years he’s supported himself off of his online business and now boasts a lifestyle and a level of freedom most of us would envy.
Listen in as we talk salesmanship, training, online marketing and business and the launch of his newest product, 101 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally.
Say hello to Gina. Gina LoMonaco lives and trains in Augusta, Maine. A former competitive thrower who made it into the Olympic trials, she now trains at Impact Strength and Fitness alongside Mental Meat Head Chris Dwelle. Gina calls her business GEvolution Fitness and she brings her passion and competitive drive full bore to her work.
Check us out as we discuss training, passion in business, her first upcoming figure competition, and the joys of mommyhood. To listen CLICK HERE. To download, right click the link and “Save As.” To watch the video, GO HERE.
And don’t forget, Mental Meat Heads 2 is fast approaching. Come to Indianapolis, September 21 and 22, and learn from Chip Conrad and Jason C. Brown, two of the industries top presenters. To register or learn more, CLICK HERE.
This week’s interview is James Smith.
James, formerly of Virginia, lives and works in Hawaii, with his wife and two boys. A work from home dad, James homeschools both the boys and maintains an active schedule of training and online activism about training. He maintains his own group on Facebook, Animal Ability, and is active in many other groups including Mental Meat Heads.
James’ takes a very natural, holisitc approach to training combining, gymnastics, Olympic lifting, flow movements and martial arts. Listen in as we discuss his training, fitness past 50, Paleo eating, martial arts and raising a family in the natural paradise of Hawaii.
If you’re interested in a more natural approach to your training consider checking out the Mental Meat Heads 2 Workshop and Symposium September 21 and 22 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Chip Conrad and Jason C. Brown will be presenting.
Facebook Group Animal Ability
Meet Devin Gage. Simply put, Devin is one of my heroes. He’s young, just two years out of college, but he’s a single dad, with shared custody of his daughter, AND an entrepreneur. Devin owns his own gym and online coaching service Gage Strength Training.
Devin is a man of spirit, passion and commitment. Last January during Mental Meat Heads 1 Devin’s flight from Philly was cancelled due to a snowstorm. Undaunted Devin caught a flight to Atlanta early the next morning, rented a car and drove the remainder of the way from Atlanta, arriving just in time to make the second half of Saturday’s presentations.
From the photo above it’s clear to see that Devin’s priorities are well established and his motivation is clear. He applies that drive to his business and to the service he provides his clients. Listen in as we talk business, training, fatherhood, and commitment. To listen CLICK HERE! To download the audio, right click and “Save As.” To watch the video, GO HERE.
If you’re in the Philadelphia area, check out Devin’s Second Annual Firefighter vs. Police Strongman Competition at http://policefirecharity.com/.
And don’t forget, time is running out to sign up for Mental Meat Heads 2. Chip Conrad and Jason C. Brown will be in Indianapolis Sept. 21 and 22. Sign up HERE.
Hello Everybody! We’re back. I apologize for the break in postings. I had not anticipated the house we were renting at the beach for our family vacation had no Internet. That proved both a blessing and a curse, but now rested, tanned and ready I’m back on course and bringing you this week’s interview.
Meet Rob Hudson. Rob owns Fitness by Design in Indianapolis, Indiana, the home of this year’s Mental Meat Heads 2 Symposium. Rob is a thirty year veteran of the fitness industry having started his personal training business back in the early 80’s. He now owns his own 10K square foot facility (he even owns the building!) and is the forefront of fitness in Indianapolis.
Listen in as we discuss business, changes in the industry, keeping your business alive over the long term and Mental Meat Heads. CLICK HERE! to listen. To download, right click and “Save As.”
Don’t forget! Mental Meat Heads 2 is September 21 and 22. Space is limited, SIGN UP NOW!
Flashback! Jason C. Brown
To celebrate the launch of ticket sales for Mental Meat Heads 2 we’ve dug back into the archives and brought out our original interview with Mental Meat Head Jason C. Brown. Jason, alongside Chip Conrad, will be presenting for two days at Fitness by Design in Indianapolis, Indiana, September 21st and 22nd, 2013.
Jason was a favored speaker at Mental Meat Heads 1 here in Birmingham last January and we’re very excited to have him presenting again. Attendees can expect a deeper exploration of the concept of Blissipline and all sorts of ways to incorporate both bodyweight and the kettlebell into this practice.
To listen to the interview, GO HERE!
CLICK HERE! to sign up for Mental Meat Heads 2. Hurry space is limited.
Meet Dru Patrick. Dru is a five time World’s Raw Bench Press record holder. He’s a Strongman competitor, a Powerlifter and a steady coaching presence at Frank Dimeo’s Crossfit Gulf Coast in Sarasota, Florida.
With two instructional videos, Bench Press Secrets and 8 Day a Week Program, and a published video training diary, Dru is committed to sharing his knowledge and experience with as many as are willing to hear. On July 27th he’ll be at Crossfit Gulf Coast teaching a Powerlifting seminar, Summer Strength Fest.
Listen in as we discuss training, the importance of mental training, the state of powerlifting today and gain some insights on where to shop for that hard to fit strength athlete on your list. To listen, CLICK HERE! To download, right click and “Save As.”
Dave Ruel is the Muscle Cook.
A master marketer, who has redefined the term internet entrepreneur, Dave’s Anabolic Cooking, has taken the industry by storm and continues to be, not only a great cookbook for fitness enthusiasts, it’s also been a steady revenue generator for the affiliate marketing community.
Dave is an awesome guy. I met him two years ago at our mutual friend Mike Westerdal’s house. Despite that relatively casual encounter he has been consistently friendly and accommodating. Today’s interview ran an hour and a half!
Listen in as Dave and I discuss his recent wedding, internet marketing, lifestyle, books, business, aliens and Dave makes a very special announcement! To listen CLICK HERE! To download, right click and “Save As.” To watch the video, GO HERE!
To get your own copy of the Anabolic Cooking click HERE!
Welcome all the way from the UK, the gubernatrix, herself, Sally Moss.
Sally is, as Chip Conrad once named her, a strength ambassador and not just because she comes from the land of hobbits and elves…oh, wait is that New Zealand? No, Sally is a strength ambassador because she sees the value in developing strength and has made it her mission to help others bridge the gap between ability and inability, between meekness and self confidence. Strength training is a vital tool in making that happen.
If you don’t know what a gubernatrix is, don’t feel bad. I had no clue myself. Countering my suspicions that Sally had exploited her rights of English citizenry to doctor the language, this is a Latin term for “she who points the way.” An apt term, indeed, for one committed to sharing her own journey and shining a light for others as she makes her way.
Listen in as we discuss strength, training, living on a boat in the middle of London, gender issues in the fitness world, Michael Douglas’ pivotal film from 1993, Falling Down, the transition from intellectual geek to intellectual-strength-freak-geek and our mutual appreciation for everything that is Tom Waits.
Michael De La Pava
Meet Michael De La Pava, former Muay Thai kick boxer, current strongman and rugby player. Located in Miami, Florida, he’s the owner of The Battle Axe gym and, as a social worker for the elderly, a champion for our nation’s Nanas and Poppies.
Few people I know embody the warrior’s spirit like Michael does. He’s decisive, a man of action, with huge appetites and a lust for life. At the tender age of 28 Michael’s life choices have taken their toll. Finding himself riddled with injury and a body that wouldn’t keep up with his mind’s desires, Michael began a cycle of testosterone and anabolic steroids. Listen in as we discuss his take on the controversy of steroids and their use, training and the life of a warrior.
website: The Battle Axe
Welcome to the platform the Mighty Kat, Kat Ricker. Not only is she a weightlifter, she’s a former competitive bodybuilder, a boxer, a published author (no, really, she’s got REAL books for sale on Amazon), a photographer, a film maker, and a promoter of park lands for the great state of Oregon.
And don’t forget, the Creating the Holistic Weightlifter workshop is THIS weekend. Reserve your spot NOW!
Nick and Tamara
Today, I’ve got Nick Horton and Tamara Reynolds giving us the skinny on the upcoming Creating the Holistic Weightlifter workshop, June 22nd and 23rd in Asheville, North Carolina. Last week I spoke with Chip Conrad, the co-presenter at this event, and today I bring you the hometown hosts.
This is going to be a “can’t miss” event. Chip, Nick and Tamara are three of the best coaches in weightlifting today. Beyond coaching competitive lifters to the national stage, these guys have a basic love for lifting and want to share that love with as many as possible. That means you. This an event for lifters of all levels, even if you’ve never touched a bar before in your life.
Listen in as we discuss the details of the workshop, doughnuts, how lifting can make you a better person and how becoming a better person can make you a better lifter. As a special bonus, Tamara’s resurrected laptop, Lazarus the OZ (Original Zombie), was kicking some awesome ghost-in-the-machine audio effects. Where else can you find such coolness?
After you’ve given us a listen (heck, even while you’re listening) mosey on over to the Creating the Holistic Weightlifter info page and sign up. Space is limited and spots are filling fast. Don’t miss out!
Chip Conrad: Part Deux
Yep, it’s our good buddy Chip Conrad again. This time we’re talking something specific, the Creating the Holistic Weightlifter workshop that he and Nick Horton and Tamara Reynolds are hosting at Asheville Strength and Conditioning in lovely Asheville, North Carolina, June 22nd and 23rd.
This is going to be a powerhouse of a weekend. If you have the least desire to improve your weightlifting skills (we’re talking snatch and clean and jerk here) then you NEED to be at this workshop. Chip, Nick and Tamara are uniquely gifted not only for their weightlifting ability but for their coaching skills AND their passion for helping lifters, beginners to advanced, get better.
But you know, of course, this is no ordinary workshop. This is Chip Conrad (and as I’m learning this applies to Nick and Tamara, as well) meaning we’re going way beyond just the physical. We all talk about how lifting makes you better, as in a better person, but we never talk about HOW lifting makes you a better person. On June 22nd and 23rd, that’s gonna happen.
So come, see and experience a whole new level of lifting. Learn how intense, powerful and strong lifting leads directly to growing and improving as a person and how growing and improving helps build more powerful, intense and stronger lifting. June 22nd and 23rd. Don’t miss out!
Welcome to another edition of Mental Meat Heads. Today we have my good friend, Larry Berry. Larry lives and works in Chattanooga, Tennessee. His primary job is Director of Plant Operations at Lee University, but not being one to sit on his ass and coast with just one job, Larry is also responsible for the fitness aspect of the health and wellness program that Lee offers to students , faculty, and staff.
Larry is no stranger to the process of transformation. While living in Chicago he trained and competed in powerlifting. After moving to Chattanooga, away from his family and getting settled into a new job, he let himself go. He stopped training and ballooned up to a 50 inch waist. Listen in as we discuss diet, training and what it really takes to change your body and your life. To listen, CLICK HERE! To download, right click and “Save As.”
Happy Wednesday, ever’body!
Today I’m bringing you an interview with William “Bad Mofo” Lafleur. William is one of the many top notch coaches to come out of Zach Even-Esh’s Underground Strength Coach certifications. We met last year at Zach’s Underground Strength Conference in New Jersey.
At an age when most of us (well, me anyway) were busy “chasing tail” or the next big thrill, William is changing lives and making a real, positive impact on his community. At 21, William is the proud owner of his own gym, Primal Athletic Development, in Sherbrooke, Quebec.
Listen in as we discuss training, Canada, books we all should be reading and what it’s like to be a leader when you’re just a few years older than your followers. To listen CLICK HERE! To watch the video, GO HERE. Don’t forget to look us up on SoundCloud.
What up everybody! As promised, today I’m bringing you my other weightlifting coach and the founder of Asheville Strength and Conditioning (remember, the conditioning is silent), Tamara Reynolds.
If right now, you’re thinking, “Hey, I thought it was Tamara Cohen.” It was. And now it’s changed. Deal with it.
Tamara is a powerhouse. On her way back from a knee injury, she’s already squatting weights that question my notions of my own abilities, and I easily outweigh her by 100 pounds. Needless to say, having her as coach is a tremendous inspiration and a swift kick in the pants. Both, by the way, admirable traits in any leader.
Tamara is a devoted mother of two and in addition to running her gym is partnered up with the evangelical Nick Horton to produce a kick ass online coaching service, Weightlifting Academy and the Weightlifting Academy Mastermind.
Listen in as we discuss weightlifting, motherhood, coaching, gender in the fitness industry and her own personal journey through strength and fitness. To listen, CLICK HERE! To download, right click and “Save As.” To watch the video, GO HERE! Also, look for us on SoundCloud.
Today’s interview is Nick Horton, formally of Portland, Oregon now residing in Asheville, North Carolina and forming half of the dynamic duo that runs Asheville Strength and Conditioning (the conditioning is silent).
FULL CONFESSION: I didn’t know who Nick was. Chip Conrad suggested I contact him for an interview. You guys know how highly I regard Chip, so if he thought Nick was good people that was enough for me. Turns out Nick runs a prolific blog The Iron Samurai and is a successful Internet entrepreneur.
Needless to say, I was highly impressed. So much so that within a few hours of our interview I had signed up for the Mastermind group inside Nick’s Weightlifting Academy, which he runs with his partner in crime, Tamara Cohen (Look for her interview next week!).
To be clear here, we’re talking weightlifting (AKA Olympic Weightlifting) — you know the snatch and the clean and press? You don’t know? That’s a shame, for at one time the United States was producing the top weightlifters in the world, now we’re just okay and that’s probably why most of us don’t know so much about it.
This is a great interview. Nick is a wealth of information. His passion for weightlifting is palpable and his desire to make it more available to the general public is commendable. He runs a highly successful web business and is very generous with his knowledge. You don’t want to miss this one.
I love Wednesdays.
Today, I’m bringing you another trainer from from our fair cousins at Bodytribe up in Sacramento, California. Meet Allyson Goble.
Allyson is an artist.
No, really. She’s even got art school cred and a number of shows under her belt. In addition to being a REAL artist her skills in the gym qualify her for this adjective as well. Allyson is a movement specialist, she’s a technician and her visual skills offer her the unique ability to see movement clearly and to understand movement and especially the issues her clients might be struggling with.
If that isn’t cool enough, she’s also a teacher. No really, she used to teach. You know — school. Art classes specifically, but that gives her and eye for the art of teaching and understanding that if you can’t convey your knowledge to others then it’s only half as good as it could be. Allyson is my kind of coach and I’m very happy to include her in the ever growing pantheon of Mental Meat Head coaches and trainers.
Meet Jedd Johnson. Jedd is a FIVE time world record holder in grip sport, specifically in the pinch. He currently holds the number two position in the Two Handed Pinch Dead Lift, set in 2011 with 121.65 kg (that’s 267.33 pounds!) He’s been published in My Mad Methods, Men’s Fitness, and Experience Life.
He’s also one of the founders of the Diesel Crew (along with Jim “Smitty” Smith) and a highly successful Internet entrepreneur. He runs a top notch membership site that offers cutting edge information and techniques to enhance every training program and has several strength oriented products available through the Diesel Crew’s website.
Jedd also happens to be an awesome dude. We spoke for over an hour discussing his own strength journey, grip sport, online business, training and his ill fated foray into professional wrestling.
As always, thanks for listening.
If there’s a strength or fitness expert you want to hear from, let me know! Leave a comment and we’ll do our best to get them on the show.
Happy Wednesday! Today’s interview is Level II Underground Strength Coach and the owner of Durbrow Performance Training in Boston, Massachusetts, Callie Durbrow.
This is truly a trainer’s interview so, if you’re in the business pay close attention. First off, if you’re a coach, Callie has a new product launching this week Complex Conditioning – Barbells. This is a great guide for implementing barbell complexes into your client’s and small group’s routines.
Complexes are a great way to get a lot of work in in a short time. Callie builds them beautifully and there are over thirty different complexes to choose from. To learn more go HERE.
Secondly Callie is a skilled business woman with a highly successful gym, a well organized staff and a covet-able lifestyle. There’s much you can learn from her experience.
Meet Andrea Walker, local Birminghamian, marketing executive, Crossfit enthusiast, yoga instructor and the brains and passion behind a new fitness software package targeting people’s motivation through a more thorough assessment of where they are based on who they are, aptly named Fit-ability.
Listen in as we discuss fitness, motivation, inspiration and Little House on the Prairie.
Say hello to my good friend and fellow Strengthology Coach Kevin Sheerin. Kevin lives in Dublin, Ireland and for a young man of 24 years has seen quite a bit of life.
Before getting himself into fitness Kevin was a career poker player who played for BIG stakes. The downside of this is that in order to be successful he had to spend all day most days sitting in front of his computer, playing cards. That meant a very sedentary lifestyle and diet consistent of almost exclusively fast food, most often delivery. After reaching a crisis point with his weight he decided enough was enough. He walked away from poker and focused on fitness, transforming both his body and his life.
Listen in as we discuss training in Ireland, Strengthology, his new product Squat Domination! and what it’s like to be the new trainer on the block. To listen CLICK HERE! To download, right click and ‘Save As.’ To watch the video GO HERE!
Meet Khaled. Khlaled is is a trainer and the fitness manager of a 24 Hour Fitness just outside of San Francisco, California. In addition to managing a gi-normous facility (60,000 sq feet) and a full stable of trainers (20+) Khaled is putting together a workshop, the NorCal Fitness Summit, on October 26 and 27th.
Listen in as we discuss training, leadership, personal development, what it’s like to be a big guy in the fitness industry and gain an even deeper understanding about what constitutes country music.
website: Nor-Cal Fitness Summit
Christopher Lopez, AKA “The Jersey Beast,” is passionate about his work. One of the many Underground Strength coaches inspired and motivated by Zach Even-Esh, he sees his mission as more than just producing better athletes or helping adults meet fitness goals.
Chris’s mission is to have an impact and show each of the kids who walks through his door just how capable they really are and to arm them with the confidence to make something out of that capability.
Listen in as we wax poetic about strength, training, young athletes, potential and the true hazards of the Smith machine.
Facebook: Jersey Strength Pit Gym
Yes, Eric Hulse IS Elliott Hulse’s younger brother, and now that that’s said, that’s all we’re gonna say about that.
Except that, like his brother, Eric is poised to make a significant impact in the health and fitness world. Eric’s focus on health, strength, fitness and well, wellness centers around it’s foundation, nutrition, but nutrition in a way you might not have considered before.
Consider, your body is affected by everything you put in it. Not so radical, right? We all know we are what we eat. But consider this: We intake more than just food — thoughts, ideas, impressions, interactions, conversations, feelings, these are all things we “take in” and they contribute to how and what we are just as much as our food does.
Eric’s work centers around addressing the totality of our experience and helping us shape and guide all aspects of that experience to optimal health. That’s pretty damn, cool.
So, check us out.
Starting today I’m exploring a whole new way of bringing you these Mental Meat Head conversations. As always you can listen by clicking HERE! To download, just right click and ‘Save As.’ Or if you’re a visual type, you can watch the interview by going HERE!
Facebook page: Eric Hulse
By all rights Brian Lederman shouldn’t be here. And by here I mean HERE, as in among the living. Raised in a highly dysfunctional household under a single mother crippled by addiction and her own abusive past, Brian, at the tender age of nine, discovered, after a prolonged and undetected infection and an unplanned stay in the hospital, that he was now a Type I diabetic.
Fast Forward another 6 or so equally dysfunctional years, full of drug and sexual abuse, parental neglect and the not infrequent hospital stay. At 15 Brian found his salvation. It came from the mall, found in the back corner of a Waldenbooks in the form of Franco Columbu’s Complete Book of Bodybuilding. From this humble and larcenous beginning Brian launched himself into bodybuilding and started a career, both long and complicated, that spanned from the fading luster of the Golden Age of bodybuilding to the height of personal training to today.
Listen in as we discuss training, life’s struggles and what it takes to overcome and stay positive. To listen, CLICK HERE! to download, right click and ‘Save As.
Website: Brian Lederman
If you’re a follower of Elliott Hulse then you may have also seen Teiko as he’s made a big mark in the Non-Jobs group and has just returned from a month long internship at Strengthcamp in St. Petersburg.
Teiko is one of my favorite people. As you can see from his picture he is BIG and unapologetically so. In fact, his latest product Big Man Strong is a celebration of largeness and how to build upon and develop the gifts nature bestows upon the larger athlete. Follow the link for a special 30% off for Mental Meat Head listeners.
Listen is as we carry on about being big, interning in St. Petersburg, and doing business through the Internet. To listen CLICK HERE! To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
As a writer I pay attention to names. You might say I’m a bit of a collector. Cool names catch my attention and I hold on to them, sometimes just to trot out and say, “Hey, have you heard this cool name?” Mace Clinkenbeard made the short list. Which I’m very happy about because not only does Mace have one of the coolest names I’ve ever heard, he’s also one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.
Mace started his strength journey as a female athlete. He started with basketball and moved on to shot put and hammer in high school and college. What’s that? Confused? Good, you’re paying attention.
Mace is a transgender athlete. He’s also a trainer over a Bodytribe Fitness in Sacramento. Listen in as we discuss, strength, what it’s like to go from a record setting female athlete to an “adequate” male athlete, testosterone, acceptance, and the wild and woolly world of training athletes for Roller Derby.
To listen, CLICK HERE! And to download, right click and ‘Save As.’
Meet Mental Meat Head Jennifer Conlin. Jennifer is the Head Coach at CrossFit Legitimus in Canton, Connecticut. Self described as “Sporty” Jennifer has a history of athletic involvement in nearly every shade of the spectrum from endurance sports, like cycling, to her current passion, Olympic Lifting.
Listen in as we discuss the fitness industry, training and the ups and downs of running a gym in the “new” economy. To listen click HERE. To download, Right Click and ‘Save As.’
Today it is my extreme pleasure to introduce my good friend, Chris Dwelle. Chris and I met at Elliott Hulse’s first in-house seminar in St. Petersburg, Florida in the fall of 2011. We quickly found common ground and before the weekend was over had become fast friends.
Chris lives in Augusta, Maine and runs his own facility, Impact Strength and Fitness. His passion for strength and it’s ability to change lives is evident in everything he does. Check out hisYouTube channel where he chronicles not only his own journey, but shares the growth of his gym and clients as well. His passion and enthusiasm are contagious.
Also, be sure to listen to our interview where we discuss the transformational power of strength and Chris’ latest projects, Outlaw Strongman and Steel and Stone Ministries.
Listen to our conversation HERE. To download, Right Click and ‘Save As.’
Krista Scott-Dixon has a mission. She’s in the business of changing lives. Through fitness and nutrition, providing both example and support, her mission is to help people, both the lay public and professional members of the industry, take control of their own personal power to make positive change in their lives.
Practically, Krista does this through her work with Precision Nutrition and her website, Stumptuous.com. So, sit back grab a tasty beverage and listen in on our conversation. You’ll be better for it, I’m sure.
To listen go HERE. To download, Right Click and ‘Save As.’
Andrea is the co-owner of Trident CrossFit and Misha’s Coffeehouse in Alexandria, Virginia. A super savvy businesswoman she exemplifies that rare, but essential quality of any truly successful effort — she truly cares. Her commitment to her craft and her clientele is palpable in everything she says.
Check out our conversation HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
If the fitness industry was William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream Chip Conrad would undoubtedly be the mischievous Puck.
Chip is a bundle of walking paradoxes, only one of which is that he’s both a vegetarian and a competitive weightlifter, and he likes it that way. An apostle of physical culture, his passion for true fitness is so strong even he can’t take it seriously.
I am proud to consider Chip my mentor and friend and honored that a man who, in this day and age of modern technology, still can’t be reached by telephone managed an hour long conversation with me via that “infernal device.”
Listen to our conversation by clicking HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
It’s Wednesday, my friends, and I, for one, am happy to be back into the swing of things after the holidays. This week’s interview is Diana Salinas, the mastermind of Bootcamp Divas, which is run out of CrossFit Seguin in Seguin, Texas.
Diana is an Underground Strength Coach, a powerful advocate for women’s strength and fitness and the personal development these help ensure. Diana is a role model not only for her physical prowess, but for her business acumen as well. At present, Bootcamp Divas has a very low turn over rate, if you’re in the area and interested in joining — get in line. There’s a waiting list, a sure sign that Diana is worth paying attention to.
You can listen or download her interview HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
To kick off 2013 here’s an interview Strengthology student, Luis Carrillo. Luis lives and trains in San Diego, California.
Luis traveled to St. Petersburg in June of 2012 for a Strengthology I workshop with Elliott Hulse. There he discovered several imbalances, or what Elliott calls “muscle viruses.” Empowered with a new knowledge for correcting those imbalances and a rekindled passion for change, Luis set to work.
In three short months he gained five pounds of muscle and made great strides in his mobility and athleticism — all with just bodyweight training.
To learn more, check out the interview HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
Happy Holidays, ya’ll.
I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas. Today I’m bringing you an interview with Charles Abouzied. Charles runs Crossfit House of Pain up in New Jersey. I met him last summer at the Underground Conference 2012.
In a room full of fitness pros Charles certainly stands out. As you can see from his picture, Charles is a big man and at first glance not what you would expect in a fitness professional. But don’t be too quick to judge, because Charles will quickly show you his abilities far out strip what his appearance might imply.
So, take a minute, sit back, maybe with a warm cup of protein laden hot cocoa, or even an eggnog, and give a listen as Charles and I delve into what it’s like to be a big man in a skinny industry and how not to let other people’s opinions determine who or what we’ll be.
To listen to Charles’ interview, go HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
If you’re not familiar with Elliott by now, you clearly haven’t been paying attention. Not only does he frequently get a nod of acknowledgement here, he is one of the most prolific authorities on YouTube.
Husband, father, pro-Strongman, gym owner, Mental Meat Head, Non-Jobs guru and purveyor of knowledge both profane and profound, Elliott has been a huge influence in both my business and my life.
In today’s interview we wander off the beaten path, digging deep into the philosophical side of fitness and how to become the strongest version of yourself.
Elliott will be here at Agoge Fitness Systems, in historic Birmingham, Alabama, January 26th and 27th, along with Chip Conrad, Jason C. Brown and Matt Wichlinski for the Mental Meat Heads workshop and symposium. There are only a few tickets left, be sure and get yours now by going HERE.
To listen to Elliott’s interview go HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
Alex Villegas is the second half of Synergy Transformation Center in Miami, Florida. A fellow Strengthology coach and student of Elliott Hulse, Alex is the powerful yin to Zach Marcy’s yang. The DIME PEACE project, mentioned in Zach’s interview, is Alex’s brainchild and passion as he dedicates his professional life to giving back to all the powerful women who’ve helped him along in life by doing his part to help create more powerful and dynamic women in the world.
You can listen to his interview HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
Jason C. Brown
Jason C. Brown, the man who started it all, at least for me anyway. Six years ago, I ran across his kettlebell tutorial videos on YouTube. It was his work and his associations that started me on the path I follow this day. To say I owe him a debt of gratitude is an understatement.
Jason has the soul of a poet. Former Marine, vegetarian since 1989 and former straight edge hardcore musician, Jason has seen much of the world and maintained his own unique individuality along the way. His love is fitness, but not fitness for it’s own sake, fitness for a purpose, that purpose — life. His philosophy is that strength and ability are essential to life’s enjoyment, the better we move the better we live.
Look for his two new projects Sundried Kimonos and the Strength Garden, coming soon.
Jason will be in Birmingham at Agoge Fitness Systems for the Mental Meat Heads Workshop, January 26th and 27th. At present there are only a few spaces left, don’t let this opportunity pass you by!
Listen to his interview HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
Eli lives in Asheville, North Carolina and is a student at the University of North Carolina there. Despite having been diagnosed with Type I Diabetes several years earlier, Eli has forged himself into an athlete and a warrior in every sense of the word. Not one to let anything hold him back Eli has mastered his body, becoming proficient in many gymnastic movements including the gymnastic rings. He is a testament to the power of will and the rewards of dedication and hard work.
Listen to his interview HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
Zach Marcy, AKA El Tiburon, is the owner of Synergize Transformation Center, in Miami, Florida. Zach is an Underground Strength Coach and a Level 1 Strengthology Coach. He is highly motivated and highly motivating, his infectious presence cannot help but bring you to a higher level. make sure you check out his FREE Holiday Thrival Guide to help you not only survive but THRIVE this holiday season. Get your copy HERE.
Listen to his interview HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
Isaac Wilkins is the owner of Relentless Strength Training. Isaac is a fellow Underground Strength Coach and the author of a top notch training manual, The Athlete Reborn. Isaac is no stranger to adversity, growing up a loner and an outsider he found a refuge in the gym that helped bring him out of his shell, only to face further frustration and adversity in both a failed relationship and business. Not one to be knocked down for long he once again turned to his training, intensified his efforts and rebuilt himself.
Listen to his interview HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
A true Mental Meathead and one of the top coaches in the industry, Matt and I spent a full hour talking about fitness, the industry and the importance of a philosophy to your training. I am so excited not only to share this interview but to have Matt coming here, to Birmingham, to serve as one of the four cutting edge coaches presenting at Mental Meatheads: A Symposium on Philosophical Physiology and the Thinking Man’s Fitness check out his interview and then sign up up for the workshop. Spaces are filling up fast.
Listen to his interview HERE. To download, right click and ‘Save As.’
Happy Halloween! We thought we’d take advantage of Dan’s appearance at the Hall of Heroes as Sabretooth to promote his interview. Dan runs Strength Haven in Elkhart, Indiana and is an all around awesome dude. Having taken more than his fair share of knocks from life Dan just keeps going. His quiet strength and determined attitude are qualities we all can study and emulate.
Listen to his interview HERE. To download right click and ‘Save As.’
Zach Even-Esh is a cutting edge leader in the world of fitness and strength. Starting with a small garage gym in his parent’s house Zach has gained worldwide notoriety and national acclaim. Beyond the Internet he is featured as a leading expert with published articles in Fitness and Iron Man magazines. Most recently he’s been a contributor to Schwarzenegger.com.
Listen to his interview HERE. To download right click and ‘Save As.’
Check out Zach’s incredible tribute to Physical Culture and one of history’s greatest lifters George Hackenschmidt in his Russian Lion Power Course.
Frank DiMeo runs CrossFit Gulf Coast in Sarasota, Florida. At 62, Frank has no intentions of backing down from life. He’s dedicated himself to the development of himself and others through fitness and exemplifies all the noble qualities of a seasoned warrior.
To listen to his interview, go HERE. To download right click and ‘Save As.’
Steven lives and works in St. Petersburg, Florida. He runs two businesses, an Anytime Fitness franchise and 5,000 square foot Crossfit facility called Crossfit9. He is the married father of two young boys. At 51 years old Steven’s passion is to share with all people that age is not defining and that you can have the body and the life you want regardless of how old you are or where you’re starting from.
To listen to the interview go HERE. To download right click and ‘Save As.’