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South Loop Strength & Conditioning Podcast
1 minutes | Oct 15, 2017
That’s right, the SLSC podcast is now Todd Nief’s Show (how arrogant). Go ahead and point your browsers to www.toddnief.com or point your podcasting apps to one of these locations to stay current with what we’ve got going on: iTunes Overcast Google Play We’ll be releasing a few episodes per month over at www.toddnief.com.
61 minutes | Mar 31, 2017
SLSC Podcast #21: Stephan Guyenet, PhD – Author of The Hungry Brain
There’s been a culture war raging for decades – high carbohydrate diets vs high fat diets, paleo diets vs vegan diets, people tracking all of their food in apps while others shout that “calories don’t matter,” and a bunch of people off in the corner sipping exogenous ketones. If you’re familiar with Jonathan Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind or the moral foundations theory, it’s no surprise that our morality is easily intertwined with our basic biological urges for food. It’s also no surprise that strong emotions like disgust can mingle with our food choices, causing extreme reactions – people aren’t just failing to achieve optimal results by consuming the “wrong” macronutrients in their diet, they’re degrading their bodies through their impure and improper behavior. But, how do our bodies actually regulate our weight? How do we regulate our levels of body fatness? Everyone knows that one guy who is freakishly lean – seemingly no matter what he does for diet or exercise. Everyone also probably has a cousin who lost a ton of weight on a low carb diet. And then there’s the friend who had great success with paleo. And the other who went vegan and swears it changed his life. What about hunter gatherer cultures? Kitavans (eating a diet of approximately 70% carbohydrates – predominantly from sweet potatoes) to the Inuit (eating a diet of approximately 50% fat) all seemingly regulate their bodyweight at healthy levels and are free from chronic diseases that plague industrialized cultures. Is there a thread that ties all of these things together? How can so many seemingly disparate approaches to eating all produce results in both individuals and populations? There is a “middle way,” so to speak, and Stephan Guyenet has been promoting a framework that makes thinking about bodyweight, body fatness, and appetite all a lot more reasonable. Stephan has a PhD in neurobiology, and has published research on the role of the brain in regulating body fatness – particularly the role of hypothalamic injury and inflammation. Stephan has blogged actively for years – first at Whole Health Source, and now at his eponymous site www.stephanguyenet.com. He’s also been a presenter at conferences such as the Ancestral Health Symposium. Fortunately for the unwashed, unclean masses who have been defiling themselves and their palate through improper eating behavior, Stephan has just released a book called The Hungry Brain that distills the complicated science of bodyweight and body fat regulation into a cohesive narrative. Stream the episode below, or listen on your favorite podcast app to learn: *The “thermostat analogy” for how the body regulates hunger and activity *The hormone that stays out of the limelight, but has a much stronger global effect than insulin on fat storage (hint: it’s leptin) *The few months of the year that account for the most weight gain Listen Here iTunes Stitcher Overcast mp3 Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out more from Stephan here: Buy The Hungry Brain on Amazon here Website: www.stephanguyenet.com – check out the articles archive at Whole Health Source as well Twitter: @whsource YouTube: Stephan Guyenet Resources Mentioned Kevin Hall – Obesity Energetics: Body Weight Regulation and the Effects of Diet Composition Dan’s Plan Show Notes 00:25 – Introduction of Stephan Guyenet and summary of The Hungry Brain 06:50 – Energy balance and the brain’s role in regulating energy intake and expenditure 17:48 – Body fat setpoint: is it a true setpoint or is it a “settling point”? 22:42 – Hypothalamic injury and potential dysregulation of the body fat set point. 33:51 – The unreliability of self-reported calorie intake – Does “reverse dieting” align with the science? 41:38 – Cheat meals and weight gain around the holidays. 48:11 – How do you sort through dense information in while conducting research and literature review 53:37 – What would be the next step in studying the processes and phenomena that you cover in your book?
96 minutes | Feb 24, 2017
SLSC Podcast #20: Mark Macqueen – #1 Ranked Scottish Powerlifter
Mark is from Glasgow, Scotland. Mark is the current Scottish and British champion in the 120kg class. He was the IPF European silver medalist last year and is currently the #1 ranked powerlifter in Scotland. Mark has personal bests of a 700lb squat, 407lb bench press, 710lb deadlift, and 1,808lb total as a raw/drug-free athlete. He trains out of Outcast Barbell Sanctuary and works with coach Ben Rice. Listen Here iTunes Stitcher Overcast mp3 Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Mark here: Facebook: @markmacqueenpowerlifting Instagram: @markmacqueen2 YouTube: @markmacqueen2010 Show Notes 00:29- Catching up and discussing coming back to training after a holiday break. Mark’s 2017 competition season and the end to his junior lifting career. 7:28- Writing your own programming, coaches having a coach, and separating being an athlete and a coach. 19:57- Having a training partner/s and the benefits of enjoying time in the gym. 25:55- The mindset of an athlete might be pretty similar to the mindset of a successful business person. “Not many people want to be a world champion.” 28:55- “The number one thing people should be is, try to be a good person.” Wanting more, and living life on your own terms. 41:28- Not every person we work with as coaches want to be world champions. 50:00- Understanding individual priorities and balancing that within a relationship. 54:28- Strongman, the most entertaining strength sport? A review of last years IPF world championships and what it takes to be champion. 1:00:00- What does it take to be the best of the best? Specific traits from nature, natural gifts and genetics, early life tragedy or trauma? Expression of ones internal motivation through athletics and competition. 1:04- Competition and competing as a job. Game day planning is crucial to success. 1:09- The obsession that drives people can be difficult to understand. 1:13- Screw up at 180%. 1:18- Rags to riches… Conor McGregor. 1:22- What book, blog, podcast, etc has interested you recently?
82 minutes | Jan 12, 2017
SLSC Podcast #19: Stefanie Rulla – State Champion Powerlifter and Neuroscientist
High schools across America have been pitting nerds against jocks for decades. I’m not sure if the same dichotomy exists in Germany, or if it’s merely the outgrowth of paragons of American culture like Archie, The Breakfast Club, and Friday Night Lights. Either way, that distinction between “brains” and “brawn” has never sat well with me. Sure, I can anecdotally think of all kinds of “dumb jocks” and “nerds” hunched over computer keyboards. In coaching beginners to CrossFit, I do often encounter analytical types who have a hard time learning new movements – often due to what I perceive to be excessive self-awareness and intellectualization of movement patterns. It’s really hard to execute a snatch properly when you’re abstractly thinking through every step. So, sometimes the dumb jocks probably do have an advantage in their ability to shut off their pre-frontal cortex and be present with their movement. Still, I think there’s more overlap between rigorous academic pursuit and training than most people realize. I mean, where else do you get to embark on a multi-year journey of continuous self-improvement involving spending multiple hours on a weekly – or daily – basis suffering for the benefit of some sort of idealized future self? I recently saw a documentary on the Barkley Marathons called – well – The Barkley Marathons. This film tells the story of a wildly eccentric man and his wildly eccentric race, which consists of three laps through the Tennessee woods that round either up or down – no one is really sure – to 100 miles. Only a handful of people have finished the race over the years, and, of the three who finish in the film, two are graduate students and one is an engineer. While every scientific instinct in me screams “the plural of anecdote is not data,” I’m of the inclination that there are personality types drawn to both physical and mental challenges. It also seems that I’m not the first one to opine on this topic, as Wired just ran an article on this concept as well. I think there may be some cross-over here with strength sports like weightlifting, CrossFit, and powerlifting as well. For a case study, we have Stefanie Rulla. Steffi is a state champion powerlifter from Nordreihn Westfalen and PhD candidate at the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn. Check out this interview with Paul and Steffi to learn about getting started with powerlifting, the challenges that females face competing in strength sports, and the neuroscience of the threat response. Listen Here iTunes Stitcher Overcast mp3 Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out more from Stefanie here Instagram: @steff.rulla.powerlifting Twitter: @steffi_rulla Show Notes 0:30- Caffeine intake and getting started with powerlifting 3:30- What was your first powerlifting meet like? How does it feel to overdose on caffeine? 8:15- The underwear requirements for beginner powerlifting meets 12:10- How to transfer from bodybuilding to powerlifting – under the guidance of Coach Mark Macqueen 21:10- The supportive community amongst female powerlifters 25:00- How to excel at the mental game of powerlifting 28:40- What stage of your powerlifting life are you in? Whats your training age? Best lifts in competition? 44:16- How do you balance training for elite level powerlifting with getting a PhD? 56:55- You’re a neuroscientist, what does that mean? 1:05:00- How has your mentality towards education changed throughout your continuing education journey? 1:14:55- “The field of science is cruel and not in the favor of science.”
55 minutes | Nov 23, 2016
South Loop Podcast #18: Peter Rahal, Founder and CEO of RXBAR
I remember Peter Rahal approaching me by the whiteboard at River North CrossFit. If you’ve ever met Peter, he’s kind of a quiet but intense guy. He has a sense of humor, but is also a weird guy with weird ideas, so sometimes you’re not sure if he’s joking or serious. He comes up to me and says, “Hey, I’m thinking of starting a protein bar company. What do you think?” I don’t remember what I said, but I know it was something to the effect of, “I don’t know anything about protein bars or the food business, but hopefully you do.” A few years later, an annoying middle-aged woman in Trader Joe’s who doesn’t know anything about CrossFit or about how to properly check out at the grocery store (Help bag your groceries! Chat pleasantly with the cashier but be ready for when the card swiper is ready to accept your form of payment! Move it along, people!) was talking loudly about how much she “loves these new protein bars” while purchasing a handful of RXBARs. Looks like Peter was on to something after all. RXBARs quickly spread throughout the CrossFit space and have now made the jump into the mainstream of alternative grocery stores like Trader Joe’s. But, success on this scale doesn’t just come from having a great idea or a great product – it comes from execution. Scaling any business involves massive challenges in tactical logistics, as well as higher order thinking regarding how to maintain quality, create a culture, and hold employees accountable. Check out this interview with Peter to learn: When to quit your job and focus on your business idea What benchmarks you see in a fast growing company The best interview questions for hiring employees RXBAR’s unexpected and comical branding problem When to listen to marketing experts and when to trust your gut Listen Here iTunes Stitcher Overcast mp3 Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Peter Rahal and RXBAR Website: www.rxbar.com Facebook: @RXBAR Instagram: @RXBAR Show Notes 00:22- Intro 01:54-What made you think you could start a protein bar company? 08:14- What have been the tipping points in the first few years of business? 12:16- Why does disregarding the standard branding advice pay off? 15:31- What happens between making bars in the basement and the re-branding of RXBAR? 17:13- At what point did you fully “jump off the cliff” and solely focus on RXBAR? 23:10- At what point did you hire people? 31:35- Work/life balance…. 33:32- What does day-to-day look like for you? 38:24- What would you choose to do if you had total control over your time? 42:48- New flavors…. Yum, how does that come to pass? 49:29- What was your biggest mistake?
72 minutes | Oct 31, 2016
South Loop Podcast #17: Dr. Shawn Allen of The Gait Guys
Anyone who has ever been to a physical therapist has inevitably been told that they have “weak glutes” and been given Jane Fondas or some other form of band exercise. Does every human being actually have weak glutes? Is the contractile potential of the muscle limited? Do glutes really not “fire correctly”? Can we actually come up with biomechanical explanations for all of the injuries and issues that we find in athletes? Dr. Shawn Allen is one half of The Gait Guys along with Dr. Ivo Waerlop – a duo renowned for their information dense podcasts and blog posts in which they dissect the latest research articles in rehab, injuries, nervous system development, and strength training. Dr. Allen practices not too far from my parents’ house in the suburbs of Chicago, so I made the trek out to see him for some chronic groin issues I’d had from playing soccer. And, it turns out I had some glute issues myself. However, it’s not as simple as simply contracting the offending muscle group over and over and over again. The pattern in which dysfunction is present must be identified, and then a new pattern must be learned to replace the dysfunctional pattern – which is a higher order way of approaching injuries and movement issues. Dr. Allen and I have had several interesting conversations about injury mechanisms, the nervous system’s control of movement, and best practices in rehab and training, so we decided to record one of them here. Listen Here iTunes Stitcher Overcast mp3 Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Dr. Shawn Allen and The Gait Guys Website: The Gait Guys, Shawn Allen, and Allen Chiropractic Orthopedics Facebook: @thegaitguys Podcast: The Gait Guys Podcast YouTube: TheGaitGuys Show Notes 00:23- Introduction of Dr. Shawn Allen 11:19- How do you balance the biomechanics with someone with multiple movement issues. 21:11- How do you figure out when you should be trying to fix things or just let them go? 29:05- Do you have an example of a thought process or example that you would go through to re-train a pattern on someone? 44:23- How do you reconcile where pain actually comes from and how much biomechanics actually causes pain? 56:26- Muscle testing…
75 minutes | Oct 20, 2016
Cutting Through the Hype: Brandon Heavey & Nicole Latimer of Evidence Based Athlete
If you have any interest in the fitness industry – for health, performance, weight loss, or otherwise – you’ve seen some sensational headlines. “I tried the ketogenic diet and lost 15 pounds in three weeks – all while adding 30 pounds to my one rep max deadlift!” “My squats had stalled out for years, until I tried this Russian squat program that the Soviets used for their most elite level weightlifters. I was sore for a month, but ended up adding 45 pounds to my one rep max!” “Personal trainers hate him…” “I’ve got the number one miracle in a bottle to burn your fat…and it’s raspberry ketones.” Congress even got involved in this one, when they held hearings investigating Dr. Oz’s somewhat unscrupulous claims. So, what’s a person who wants to burn belly fat or add fifty pounds to their squat to do? Well, turn to the evidence of course. Problem is – as anyone who has tried to read the scientific literature – evidence is messy. Evidence is convoluted. Evidence has all kinds of issues like p value hacking (using advanced data mining techniques to find statistically significant correlations in large amounts of data) and the repeatability crisis (a shocking number of studies don’t show the same results when other experimenters attempt to replicate them) – not to mention the challenges of setting up truly randomized, controlled studies when attempting to investigate complicated, mulit-variate, emergent systems that actually affect our health and wellness. Fortunately, folks like Brandon Heavey and Nicole Latimer are willing and able to spend their time digging through the scientific literature while simultaneously coaching people in the real world, which gives them unique insight into both best practices as supported by evidence, as well as a filter for what actually works with real people in the real world. I first met Brandon at an OPEX course in Scottsdale – taking Level 2 program design like a bunch of nerds who want to spend all of their time and money learning weird stuff. A few weeks back, I was at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Boulder, and much to my delight, Brandon and Nicole ended up sitting behind me at one of the first lectures. They used to own CrossFit 626 in Pasadena, and sold that to move into the mountains outside of Boulder and focus on their individualized coaching in both nutrition and program design. Brandon has an engineering background and Nicole is a pharmacist, so these are folks highly versed in systems thinking and understanding complicated webs of cause and effect. Take a listen to learn how to filter all the conflicting and confusing information from articles, blogs, and research studies, how to organize that information, and how to figure out what really works in the confusing edges between fitness, nutrition, hormone testing, and human psychology. Listen Here iTunes Stitcher Overcast mp3 Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Evidence Based Athlete Website: www.heaveyduty.com/strengthandscotch Facebook: @evidencebasedathlete Check out Strength & Scotch Website: www.evidencebasedathlete.com Facebook: @strengthscotch iTunes: Strength and Scotch Podcast Show Notes 00:23- Introduction 1:23- What did you take away from the ancestral health symposium. 5:52- A brief summary of Dr. Gerstmar talks. 9:29- Science of detoxification 15:13- What is Evidence based athlete? 20:49- How do you get buy-in from people on changes you’re asking them to make? 24:06- A run down of backgrounds… 35:24- Interesting aspects of Evidence Based Athlete 38:37- What steps do you take to avoid bias or common errors in why things are working? 41:26- What do you guys do to educate yourselves and stay up to date? 53:36- Continuing education resources. 59:08- How do you decide that you trust a source? 1:03- What does someone do if they want to get started with Evidence Based Athlete? 1:06- What is the actual reliability of tests?
68 minutes | Sep 23, 2016
Group Classes vs Training Templates vs Individualized Programming
Everyone has an opinion on programming and training for CrossFit. Quibbles over the best ways to train are nothing new in any sport. Let’s see how many different ways that people can argue over intensity vs volume in training protocols with a few Google searches. “intensity vs volume CrossFit” “intensity vs volume bodybuilding” “intensity vs volume sprinting” “intensity vs volume triathlon” With all of these competing opinions out there, what’s a helpless, confused trainee to do? At this point, most people training competitively for the sport of CrossFit have a coach – often one who either individualizes training for that athlete or who gives them templated training that multiple competitors of comparable skill levels (or many wannabe competitors) follow. Most people training in CrossFit affiliates participate in group classes with programming designed for an avatar of a specific person – then either modified or scaled to enable each participant to get their training in. Each of these training methods has trade-offs, and many coaches out there have strong opinions about which method is best. Problem is, most of these people have some sort of business incentive for pushing their favorite version of training – and a healthy dose of confirmation bias backing up their opinions. On this episode of the SLSC podcast, Paul, Jon and Todd discuss the positives and negatives of different types of training, and also dive into how to truly individualize a training program for an athlete. And, as it turns out, there is a bit of a business interest and confirmation bias present here as well, as Jon and Todd have an individualized training business called Legion that you can scope out if you’re interested in having a coach filter through all of the competing information out there and guide your training. Listen Here iTunes Stitcher Overcast mp3 Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Legion Strength & Conditioning Website: www.legionsc.com Facebook: @thelegionsc Instagram: @legion.sc Show Notes 00:25- Intro 1:25- Class programming vs. Individualized programming 6:41- How do we write the class programming? What does that avatar look like? 8:40- What are some of the major differences between class/individual programming? 11:29- Catering to what athletes like and what they don’t like. 16:46- Holding hands or flying free… How do coaches approach direction and encouragement. 20:11- Sometime you have to walk away from you training day. 22:03- Distinction between training in CrossFit and being a CrossFIt athlete. 26:27- How to individualize programs and what that actually looks like. 38:17- What makes a good individual coach/program? 47:02- Can a coach be a good athlete? 49:47- What does it actually mean to individualize?
51 minutes | Aug 3, 2016
Ricky Hirsch: The Jerky King of Chicago
You’d think that having the most successful food-based Kickstarter campaign of all time would be a great start. But, Ricky Hirsch was disappointed in having raised only $57,000. He thought his product was so good that he was going to get millions. Now, there’s something to be said for staying off of the hedonic treadmill and appreciating what you have. But, there’s also something to be said for hustle, pushing your limitations and boundaries, and getting out into the world and making things happen. After spending some time in the financial industry and running a mortgage company leading into the economic destruction of 2008, Ricky started Think Jerky after playing around with some other ideas involving hot dogs, pastries, and juice (maybe not all at the same time though…) What does it take to create a business from nothing? Is it just a great idea and endless hustle? From Ricky’s story, it seems that those things are necessary but insufficient. Check out the full interview to discover: How to start a business – even after the economy has taken you for a ride How to match your vision with the existing marketplace What work/life balance means to an entrepreneur What challenges you face trying to grow a successful business to scale What daily meditation can do for an ambitious and driven person Listen Here iTunes Stitcher Overcast mp3 Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Ricky and Think Jerky Website: Think Jerky Facebook: @ThinkJerky Instagram: @thinkjerky Show Notes 00:20-Introduction 4:36- Why Kickstarter? 5:42- What about your background led to Think Jerky? 11:15- What was the initial vision for Think Jerky? 12:58- Low sugar… Why does jerky need sugar? 14:58- What has your involvement been in food culture, CrossFit, Farm to table… 16:30- What did you initial pitch look like, how did that evolve? 22:14- So demoing the product is the best way to get it in new customers hands? 24:16- What does scaling look like for Think Jerky? 28:26- What does the day-to-day look like for the Chicago Jerky King? 34:25- What will enable you to grow the company? 35:52- What does long term Think Jerky business look like? 37:35- Tell me about the meditation practice. 45:46- Work/life balance? 47:37- What happens when you do reach stability in work/life? 49:43- What didn’t we ask you that we should have?
78 minutes | May 12, 2016
Dr. Ben Fergus on How Being a Giant Baby Will Improve Your Performance
I've snuck into a lot of physical therapy continuing education courses that I don't belong in over the last few years. I've enjoyed putting myself in situations where I'm the least knowledgable person in the room, and trying to learn in a field peripheral to strength & conditioning has elevated my thinking as a coach in ways that I would not have anticipated. I first met Ben at a DNS (Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization) course that he was hosting and assisting with – although I don't think he remembers me from that. This was my first exposure to a lot of concepts that are a big part of how I train and coach people today like: *Understanding proper breathing and core stabilization *Understanding the value of joint centration and alignment for proper motor control *Visually assessing not just range of motion in joints but understanding "how" the body and brain are creating motion I remember feeling helpless and confused in this course as instructors and fellow students would watch someone laying on a table and make quick assessments of their motor control and stabilization strategies. I was like, "Are these people actually seeing something? Or are they just making it up?" I can imagine parallels here in terms of watching someone do a snatch at full speed. After a certain number of reference experiences, a coach can immediately see someone rushing their first pull or not getting their knees out of the way as they lift the bar. However, to an untrained observer, every rep probably looks the same. "They're just snatching. Not sure what you're seeing." Now, not to say that my observational skills are anywhere near that of a trained clinician, but, after taking several more DNS courses, GRIP Approach courses, and getting plenty of reference experiences coaching people and trying to get clients to move better, I think I can sometimes see some of the issues and compensation patterns that were totally indistinguishable to me a few years back when I first met Ben. Ben has created his own continuing education courses called GRIP Approach (Global Rehabilitation and Injury Prevention), and he is also a practicing chiropractor in Evanston at Cornerstone Clinics. Through GRIP Approach, Ben takes some of the most effective – yet esoteric – concepts in physical therapy and rehab and makes them practical and accessible to healthcare practitioners, coaches, and trainers. Ben has a huge wealth of knowledge on all things related to developmental kinesiology, soft tissue and fascial restriction and dysfunction, and the nervous system's role in controlling ranges of motion and compensatory patterns. Fortunately, rather than just hoarding all of this information for himself, he's synthesizing what he knows and teaching it through GRIP Approach in a way that's one of the most actionable frameworks that I've seen for this type of knowledge. Take a listen below to hear Ben discuss how he approaches assessment of clients, how he individualizes treatments for different people and different goals, where he personally goes to keep learning, and how he continues developing his craft. Ben will also be teaching a course at South Loop Strength & Conditioning in July of 2016, so take a look below for more information on Ben's courses as well as his personal practice in Evanston. Listen Here *iTunes *Stitcher *mp3 *Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Dr. Ben Fergus and GRIP Approach Website: GRIP Approach & Cornerstone Health Facebook: GRIPapproach Twitter: @GripApproach Show Notes 00:21- Dr. Ben Fergus Introduction 2:26- How did you get into this field? 4:35- An example of an athlete or patient that pushed you to break the standard model. 7:02- Why is one person effected by an issue when another is not with similar patterning issues? 10:55- What is your thought on people who are performing at a high level doing stuff "wrong"? 13:27- Can you elaborate on how you assess people that come into your office? What do you look for? 21:38- Why do people lose the ability to control these neutral zones of reference? 24:54- Fear avoidance… 28:25- How do you filter through what people really need? 32:35- Mobility… Stability… What is happening in situations where you have different issues. 37:18- PT exercises, joint manipulations… studies show that they work, why? 40:41- What are so special about the DNS positions? 46:07- How does the brain select specific ranges of motion and how do we change our ability to do that? 49:58- How did training in Prague come about? 54:17- How do you decide what to read, what courses to take? 1:01- If you could do any study, what would be a massive win? 1:04- GRIP Performance course Resources Mentioned *DNS – The Prague School of Rehabilitation *The Gait Guys *Ben will be at SLSC on July 16th & 17th teaching his GRIP Performance 1 course. Registration link is available here.
61 minutes | Apr 15, 2016
James FitzGerald on Quitting Coaching
I first started coaching in CrossFit back in 2010, and at some point in 2011, I transitioned into the role of writing programming for the gym that I was working at. In typical information hoarder practice, I began to search out as much as I could find on the principles of program design. I started reading dense training manuals from Yuri Verkhoshansky, Vladimir Zatsiorsky and Louie Simmons. I remember downloading a PDF of Zatsiorsky's "Science and Practice of Strength Training" and somehow managing to read that thing on my Kindle – which is insane and a testament to an attention span that I think I no longer have. Throughout this process of research, I started following along with James FitzGerald's "Big Dawgs Blog" and being confused at the contrast between the somewhat silly name and the extremely technical training prescriptions that made no sense to me. James was well known within the CrossFit community as the champion of the inaugural CrossFit Games as well as the coach to many athletes competing at a high level in the sport. At that point in time, I wrote my own training, but I would read the Big Dawgs blog and try to understand some of the "whys" behind the complicated prescriptions of tempos and work-to-rest ratios. I remember trying to put together my own lactate power training sessions with airdyne and sled dragging and heavy touch-and-go deadlifts, and just tragically missing the point – but simultaneously feeling like this guy FitzGerald was on to something. I've taken all of James's OPEX CCP modules through Level 2, and that – coupled with my mentorship with his younger brother Michael – has had more of an impact than anything else on my understanding of not just the Xs and Os of program design, but the big picture questions that need to be asked to progress athletes in sports like CrossFit, soccer, and rugby vs. corporate wellness clients vs. doctors, consultants, and students who are members at my gym. In this episode, James discusses what he learned from his relationship with strength & conditioning masterminds like Charles Poliquin and Paul Chek, how he integrated those learnings into his own coaching within CrossFit, how he removed himself from his coaching role with CrossFit Games athletes, and how he plans on growing OPEX's remote coaching services as well as his own continuing education modules. James will be at South Loop Strength & Conditioning on April 23-25th leading the OPEX Program Design Level 1 module – any coaches or athletes interested in an upgraded understanding of the "whys" behind program design should click here for more information Listen Here *iTunes *Stitcher *mp3 *Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out James & OPEX Website: OPEX Facebook: OPEXFitness Instagram: @opexfitness & @jfitzopex Twitter: @OPEXFitness Show Notes 00:23- Introduction of James Fitzgerald 04:53- How did the guys that inspired you create their different systems? 07:50- How do you figure out what works and what doesn't? 09:39- How did you come up with the original models for training energy systems? 14:32- How do you figure out what is actually limiting people? 17:08- What separates the best from the rest? 20:49- It's about fatigue repeatability… 25:37- The concept of dampening relevant to fatigue repeatability? 28:06- Nervous system fatigue; what do you think is going on there? 31:08- What's the value around learning? How are you continuing your education? 35:45- What personal systems have worked for you? 36:39- What does the internal OPEX structure and process look like? 39:10- What have you changed in terms of how deliver information based upon what you have been learning? 40:52- Have you found anything that helps people learn to learn? 42:22- What for you is the process that helps you actually learn, retain, implement… 43:18- How do you come to peace with things that fulfill only you? 46:56- What challenges do they (your coaches) have that stops them from learning/retaining new information? 48:38- You recently delegated most of your coaching roll. How did you come to that decision? 51:07- How do you attempt to separate yourself from OPEX? 54:37- What is a potential coach going to get out of the program design course being held at South Loop Strength & Conditioning? 55:36- What do you get out of coaching from OPEX?
55 minutes | Mar 28, 2016
Greg Anderson from Southern Lord Records and Sunn O))) on How to Build a Tribe
I've always been kind of a music freak. My first foray into "non-mainstream music" came in seventh grade. I was in some sort of special math program where I was bumped up a grade into the eighth grade advanced math class. At the time, bands like The Offspring and The Mighty Bosstones were popular on alternative radio, and I loved alternative radio. I begged my mother to allow me to put a Q101 sticker on her car, and she was like "absolutely not." One of the eighth graders in my math class (Justin K was his name) somehow found out that I was enthralled with the ska and punk bands nudging at mainstream success, and he suggested that I check out Less Than Jake. I went to Beautiful Day, the local record store, and purchased "Losing Streak." I was completely blown away that a band could be so good without being on the radio, and my life changed in that moment. Justin gave me other recommendations including Operation Ivy and Slapstick, and within months I had ordered pretty much everything from the Asian Man Records catalog. From this point forward, I became a music freak – obsessively researching bands and genres and getting my ears on anything that I could find. This was in the advent of file-sharing, so I used Napster, Kaazaa, album thank you lists, John Peel playlists, and recommendations for charismatic and borderline cyber-bullying internet forum users. At some point, as an older, darker, more depressed teen with a taste for heavy metal, I stumbled into the music of Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson. This was probably a year or so after Sunn O)))'s "Flight of the Behemoth" came out. I quickly started back-tracking and checking out all of their other slow and bizarre projects, and I had a particular taste for Khanate and Burning Witch. At the time, I was familiar with Black Sabbath and a bunch of technical death metal and metalcore bands, but had pretty much no knowledge of doom metal. The idea of contemporary bands purposefully playing slow and non-technical riffs was insane and mind-blowing to me. I also came across Thorr's Hammer a few years later while searching for bands influenced by Celtic Frost, and only later learned that the same slow-playing weirdos Greg and Stephen were responsible for that band as well. Recently, my band Like Rats released an album on Greg's label Southern Lord Records. To have a person who unknowingly shaped your development and opinion of music put his name (and some of his own $) behind your project makes me feel a little bit weird if I actually think about it. Greg graciously agreed to take some of his time to discuss his own creative process – and how this differs between his bands, how he built a tribe of like-minded people who want to hear whatever he puts out with his label or with his bands, and how he thinks about marketing and growing his business in a subculture that frowns heavily upon any sort of calculated or disingenuous salesy bullshit. Even though this post and podcast are appearing on a gym's site, I considered myself a musician long before I considered myself a coach, so I think it's valuable to dig into the same mindsets and processes that we look for in elite coaches, athletes and therapists in areas outside of fitness. Just one insight gleaned from another industry or field can be game-changing when applied in an arena like coaching or performance. Listen Here *iTunes *Stitcher *mp3 *Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Resources Mentioned *Greg Anderson's extensive discography on Metal Archives *Stream the new Like Rats album "II" *Stream Goatsnake's latest release "Black Age Blues" *Stream Sunn O)))'s latest release "Kannon" *Purchase physical copies of any of Southern Lord's releases *Check out the music video for "Brando" off of Scott Walker & Sunn O)))'s collaboration album "Soused" Check out Southern Lord Records Website: Southern Lord Records & Southern Lord Bandcamp Facebook: SLadmin Instagram: @southernlordrecords Twitter: @twatterlord Show Notes 00:17- Introduction of Greg Anderson 2:50- How do you create the music? 6:08- How do you have quality control of what you release? 13:42- During the editing process, is there one lead creative voice or is it a collaborative process? 17:33- A basic history of Southern Lord 28:46- How do you approach marketing without crossing a line you don't agree with? 33:46- Do you do anything to create a following with the music you want to hear? 36:44- A story about Scott Walker 46:47- More information on Southern Lord and Greg's bands
62 minutes | Mar 7, 2016
Interview with Joe Heiler of sportsrehabexpert.com
As a strength & conditioning coach, I've received some of the best continuing education by playing around in areas that I don't belong in. Courses geared more towards physical therapists like DNS, the SFMA, and Sahrmann's courses on Movement System Impairment Syndromes have profoundly impacted how I look at coaching and movement. Joe Heiler has spent the last several years interviewing these folks and making these conversations available on his site www.sportsrehabexpert.com. This time, we turn the tables on Joe and learn how and why he started Sports Rehab Expert, how he accumulated such an all-star line-up of interview guests, and how he integrates all of the different approaches discussed on his site into his own practice – Elite Physical Therapy located in Traverse City Michigan. I had a great time with this conversation, since I'm a continuing education junky and I'm always curious how people decide which pieces of knowledge to pursue, which pieces to integrate, and which to discard. Joe has spent countless hours supplementing his own knowledge with these expert conversations while still practicing himself as a physical therapist and integrating all of these pieces into his own work with patients. This process is applicable not just to physical therapy, but to anything where there's a blend between tacit and explicit knowledge required to execute at a high level. Listen Here *iTunes *Stitcher *mp3 *Or stream here: Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Sports Rehab Expert & Elite Physical Therapy Website: www.sportsrehabexpert.com & Elite Physical Therapy Facebook: sportsrehabexpert Here's a great interview that Joe Heiler did with Gray Cook on how Gray practices in his own facility: Show Notes 00:39- Introduction of Joe Heiler 4:02- How do you prioritize what information you want to consume? 9:10- How do you decide when you can use a certain protocol to fit your model? 10:59- What is your process for getting what you want from a client? 15:05- What are you thoughts on figuring out different types of mobility issues? 17:55- How to get people to adopt new movement strategies at high intensity or max loads? 24:51- How do you get buy-in when someone pushes back? 27:28- What does a typical week look like for Joe Heiler? 31:24- Using the SFMA in practice. 34:41- What led to the start of sportsrehabexpert.com? 37:16- How did the interviews start? 40:26- What are some of the under appreciated interviews on the site? 45:04- What business lessons have you learned between the site and the PT practice? 47:30- How do you educate people on the value of a PT professional? 52:25- Where can people find out more about the site and Joe?
44 minutes | Feb 17, 2016
Interview with Todd on sportsrehabexpert.com
I was on Joe Heiler's site Sports Rehab Expert last year for an interview, which was really cool since the site is focused predominantly on the rehabilitation of athletes looking to maximize their sport performance. Believe it or not, CrossFit has a relatively poor reputation in the rehab community for being a disorganized and dangerous training protocol that puts people in risky situations. Depending on how someone's training is organized, this may be the case. I also see a lot of conflation between best practices and appropriate risk management for someone who wants to compete in CrossFit as a sport vs someone who wants to use CrossFit-style training to improve performance in another sport vs someone who simply wants to look good and feel good. We dig into some of these issues in this interview, which you can stream right here. Your browser does not support the audio element.
68 minutes | Jan 5, 2016
Michael FitzGerald on What Metrics Actually Matter for Performance in CrossFit
Michael Jordan had Phil Jackson and Tim Grover. Muhammad Ali had Angelo Dundee. Michael Jackson worked with Seth Riggs. Many of the greatest performers of all time in sports, business and entertainment got where they are not only from talent and work ethic – but also from their training with a coach who was able to guide them on their journey. As someone who coaches athletes myself, I obviously see the value in coaching, and Michael FitzGerald has been my “coaching” coach. I originally reached out to Michael a few years ago when he first offered a “program design mentorship” on his blog, and we worked together for almost a year. I would design a program for a theoretical situation (critique Spencer Hendel’s training, write a program for Chris Spealler, etc.), then he would tell me what made sense about my designs and what didn’t. From there, Michael started coaching me as an athlete, which, on my end, is a continued learning to see how he designs programs, how he targets specific adaptations, how he waves volume and intensity, and other nerdy, meta things. In this interview, we get into some of the nitty gritty aspects of program design for CrossFit performance as well as some of the psychological barriers that can limit athletes from achieving their top performance. Listen Here *iTunes *Stitcher *mp3 *Stream Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Optimum Performance Training – Calgary & Michael FitzGerald on the world wide web Website: OPT Calgary Facebook: Optimum-Performance-Training Instagram: @optimum_performance_training Twitter: @coachfitzgerald Show Notes 0:30- Introduction 4:01- Creating new training protocols for the sport of Fitness 11:44- How has training for the Sport of Fitness changed over the years? 17:41- What metrics matter for CrossFit performance specifically? 21:04- How do you train high level repeatability? 28:37- The ins and outs of testing repeatability and high level fitness 50:25-How do you get buy in from athletes that want to compete and are used to more traditional programming/testing? 55:00- How do you deal with the psychological barriers athletes create when testing?
46 minutes | Dec 10, 2015
Elisabeth Akinwale on Mental Toughness in Competition and How to Coach like a Social Worker
In addition to being a five times CrossFit Games competitor (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) with two top ten finishes, Elisabeth Akinwale is a mother and a former social worker. Elisabeth is very self-aware and articulate about her experiences competing, coaching (in her new role as head coach at Brick Chicago) and balancing priorities in her life. She has a lot of insight into the mental edge of competition (it's not just always about pushing harder) as well as the psychology behind motivation, accountability and game day performance. Listen Here *iTunes *Stitcher *mp3 *[Stream] Your browser does not support the audio element. Check out Elisabeth's internet presence Website: www.elisabethakinwale.com Facebook: akinwaleelisabeth Instagram: @eakinwale Show Notes 00:00- Introduction 1:02- New life as Head Coach at Brick Chicago 4:21- Working with Chad Vaughn 7:28- How do you deal with the mental chatter? 10:47- Do you purposely attempt to detach from performance with outcome? 14:24- Do you have a mindfulness practice? 21:31- Background as a social worker and application of those skills within the coaching setting. 31:24- What does your conditioning look like right now? 38:37- The glamor of being a professional athlete may not be what you think it is. 41:21- Where do people go to find out more information on Brick Chicago and your seminars?
81 minutes | Nov 2, 2015
Interview with Mike Kesthely of Dynamic Nutrition
Back in 2013, Mike Kesthely effectively closed Dynamic Nutrition down. He had consulted with several CrossFit Games level athletes on their nutrition and had lead nutrition seminars for OPEX (formerly OPT). However, his full-time job as a firefighter and the pending birth of his second child caused him to reevaluate his priorities. Fast forward a few years, and Dynamic Nutrition has risen from the ashes. By bringing Jason Phillips onboard, Mike has re-energized his company and has expanded into supplementation, seminars, and group coaching in addition to the one-on-one consulting that he has always done. He's still working with CrossFit Games athletes and he's still obsessively researching best practices in nutrition. In this interview, learn how Mike runs his company (despite hating the business-side of things), how Mike sifts through the endless stream of information to provide the best coaching he can to his clients, and how he works with the best fitness athletes in the world on both a tactical and a strategic level. Check out Dynamic Nutrition Website: Dynamic Nutrition Facebook: dynamicnutritionhq Instagram: @dynamicnutritionhq & @mikedynamic Nutrition seminar @ Windy City CrossFit on Saturday 11/7/2015: Register here Listen Here *iTunes *Stitcher *mp3 *Or stream below: Your browser does not support the audio element. Show Notes 00:14- Introduction of Mike Kesthely of Dynamic Nutrition 07:30- Saving Dynamic Nutrition from death 14:50- When did your mindset change towards keeping Dynamic Nutrition going? 16:44- How do you make it work, being a fire fighter and running a business? 22:05- What do you do for yourself to manage stress? 26:14- Do you practice any mindfulness practices? 28:34- You seem obsessive with your research, Why? 35:07- How do you manage using PubMed? 40:20- What is your framework for looking at the stresses people apply to themselves? 43:49- How do you track stress with clients? 53:59- How do you handle athletes that possibly have issues caused by stress/over-training/over-reaching? 1:00:- Let's talk supplements. 1:18- Wrap up and information on seminar in Chicago, IL. Resources Mentioned *Examine Research Digest *Alan Aragon Research Review *PubMed
51 minutes | Oct 20, 2015
Interview with Ben Crookston, CEO of Train Heroic
Starting a business from nothing is brutal. Getting anyone to pay attention to you in the first place, then to part with cash for some product they've never heard of, then to deliver on that product is crushingly difficult. Also, getting anyone to believe in you and work for you or invest money into your schemes is equally difficult. Ben Crookston of Train Heroic has spent the last few years doing all of these things – and doing them successfully. A few years back, Ben, Josh (one of the co-founders of Train Heroic) and I would travel deep into Southern Illinois on weekends and give continuing education seminars to high school teachers – sort of as a starting point for marketing Train Heroic. Josh would always sleep on the floor in our hotel because he's a freak. Now, Train Heroic is probably best known within the CrossFit community for The Barbell WOD. This is where Dave Spitz of Cal Strength shares programming for weightlifting with the intention of getting CrossFit athletes exposure to some true progression in their snatch and clean & jerk. Train Heroic originally started as a more prescriptive entity – giving pre-packaged programming and coaching to high school and college sports teams that needed it. However, over the course of their development, they realized that they had more power as a platform for coaches to share their programming and philosophy than as an entity prescribing reps and sets from above. Now, coaches can develop their program in the Train Heroic marketplace, and athletes can receive coaching and programming from some of the top names in the business for a monthly fee. Check out Train Heroic Website: Train Heroic Facebook: trainheroic Instagram: @trainheroic Listen Here *iTunes *Stitcher *mp3 *[Stream] Your browser does not support the audio element. Show Notes *Why did Ben start Train Heroic and what is it? (1:16) *Who is Ben Crookston? (4:18) *How Ben handles people that are not internally motivated. (9:33) *Techniques Ben uses to make goals clear and help people understand what they actually want. (13:26) *How Ben differentiates between outcome goals and actions goals. (18:21) *Ben talks about where Train Heroic started and where it is going. (21:02) *Who are some of the coaches offering programming on Train Heroic? (25:45) *Ben explains what creating and developing at start-up is like. (27:30) *How Ben got people to invest in his start up? (34:26) *Ben explains what it's like running a start-up and how's the work/life balance? (38:10) *What books are you reading and what sources do you pull frameworks from? (43:40) *What's next for Train Heroic? (49:26)
32 minutes | Sep 28, 2015
Why are you training?
In this episode, Todd & Paul discuss the five "whys" of training. At SLSC, we see a lot of people with a lot of different goals. Some are motivated primarily by aesthetics – they want to look good with their shirt off. Others are motivated by long-term health – they got some scary blood results back from their doctor or they have kids and want to be healthy long-term as their children grow up. There's also people who want to find their maximum physical potential in sport – whether that's in CrossFit or in something like distance running or rugby. And, to be completely honest, a lot of people have mixed goals or haven't fully investigated what they want. They may say that they want to lift more weight and get better over time, but they really want to look a certain way at the pool. Each of these goals is equally valid. There's no value judgment on someone's "why" behind training. However, the best practices for each of these goals is different. We see a lot of confusion and conflation surrounding the way that people train for competition, the way people train for aesthetics, and the way people train for health. There's a lot of information and advice floating around, a lot of which is being misapplied to people with different goals. A bodybuilding stage prep diet is a great way to get super lean for a competition, but a horrible way to prepare for a CrossFit competition or to lose weight for long-term health and wellness. A lactate endurance protocol is a great way to peak for a CrossFit competition, but is a horrible way to develop every day fitness for an over-stressed office worker. Check out the SLSC podcast on a variety of formats: *iTunes *Stitcher *Download as an mp3 *[Stream] Your browser does not support the audio element.
42 minutes | Sep 2, 2015
Liz Yerly of Chicago Recovery Room on Injury Prevention and Recovery for Athletes
This is the first interview that we've done for the South Loop Strength & Conditioning podcast, and our guest is Liz Yerly of The Chicago Recovery Room. Liz has a plethora of letters after her name: MPT (Master of Physical Therapy), ATC (Certified Athletic Trainer), LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) & CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist). While certifications don't necessarily mean much in the grand scheme of things, her devotion to continuing education gives her a unique perspective on both treating injured athletes and helping people maximize their performance. Liz works as a physical therapist and also has relationships with local CrossFit gyms, the Association of Volleyball Professionals and the Chicago Performing Arts Team. If you want to get treated by Liz or recover with Liz, head on over to the Chicago Recovery Room website. If you want to follow CRR and Liz on social media, check them out on Facebook and Instagram. Check out the SLSC podcast on a variety of formats: *iTunes *Stitcher *Download as an mp3 *[Stream] Your browser does not support the audio element. Links from the episode Here are some of the continuing education resources Liz mentioned: *Gary Gray *Gray Cook *Active Release Technique *Adriaan Louw *Osteopathic Manipulation *MobilityWOD Other links – Liz sent over a few more resources after the fact Blogs Mike Reinold Dr. Perry Nickelston The Manual Therapist (Dr. Erson Regligioso) Eric Cressey The Gait Guys Medical Minds in Motion Evidence in Motion Books ICED! The Illusionary Treatment Option: Learn the Fascinating Story, Scientific Breakdown, Alternative, & How To Lead Others Out Of The Ice Age by Gary Reinl Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, 3e by Thomas Myers Continuing Education ART – Active Release Techniques SFMA – Selective Functional Movement Assessment Graston Techniques Intra-Muscular Dry Needling (Kinetacore or Myopain Seminars) Maitland Australian Physiotherapy Seminars MAPS Mulligan Concept of Physical Therapy Richard Jackson Seminars NKT – NeuroKinetic Therapy Show Notes Here is a brief outline of some of the topics discussed in the show: *Difference in licensure between physical therapy, athletic training and massage therapy *What kind of clients are treated by the Recovery Room? *What is the relationship between recovery and soreness? What role does lymph play? *What's the deal with the ice controversy? Does contrast therapy change this at all? *When should active recovery be used and how much is too much? *Is there a reliable way to measure recovery – like HRV (heart rate variability)? *What can people accomplish through self-care (foam rolling, stretching) and when should they get treated? *How can you differentiate between mobility issues and motor control issues? *How much can psychosomatic effects add to chronic pain issues? *How can people differentiate between "pain" and "discomfort" when training? *What are some things to consider when balancing training and recovery for long-term athletic development? *How do you convince motivated, Type A people that it's ok to take time off from training? *What type of continuing education do you find valuable?
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