Want to Become Unstoppable after 40? 

Then you’re going to like today’s podcast episode with Andrew Read.

Andrew is a personal trainer , gym owner, Iron Man competitor, author, and a graduate of Seal Fit’s 53 hour long Kokoro Camp.

He’s an absolute beast and today we’re going to talk about how to get stronger, faster, and tougher, even if you’re over 40.

Have a listen or keep reading to find out how you can get into the best shape of your life in your 40’s, why you need to include more suffering and event participation in your day to day life, and how to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Show Notes

Here’s a quick summary of topics we cover:

  • Breaking World Records at 74 Years Old
  • Why Building Mental Toughness is Something You Can Work on Your Entire Life
  • Most People Are Beginners & Here’s What Beginners Do and Do Not Need
  • The Four Things You Need Training In
  • How to Make Gains Week After Week
  • “Murph” Workout Progression
  • How to Build Up to Doing 100 Pull Ups in 1 Hour
  • Training for Sealfit’s Kokoro Camp
  • Building Endurance
  • Andrew’s Book Run Strong
  • How to Start Your Running Training Program
  • Training For IronMan
  • Why Marathon Times Are Getting Slower
  • Andrew Read’s Personal Training – Read PT
  • Weak Point Training
  • Learning to Suffer, Learning to Stay Focused
  • Persistence Hunting: The Painful, Gory, Endurance Based Way We Used to Get our Food
  • Why Most People Are Miserable (And what to do about it…)
  • Russian Kettle Bell Certification
  • Being Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
  • Dealing With the Discomfort of Losing
  • Find Andrew on Facebook
  • Buy “Unbeatable Mind” on Amazon
  • Buy “The Way of the Seal” on Amazon
  • https://gymjones.com
  • Andrew’s Book “Run Strong
  • Articles by Andrew on learning to run #1, and #2

Transcript

Adam: Andrew, Welcome to the Civilian Strong Podcast.

Andrew is in the States right now visiting with his mom. Andrew, why are you here with your mother in the US all the way from Australia right now?

Andrew: My mother and I were in Baton Rouge, Louisiana because this weekend she is competing in the world championships for powerlifting.

Adam: Nice. How old is she?

Andrew: She’s 74.

Adam: That’s amazing.

Breaking World Records at 74 Years Old

Andrew: Yes. She’s a current world record holder in the deadlift and she only deadlifts. She’s got a cartilage in her knees and she’s got some shoulder issues so bench and squat are actually out but she deadlifts. We were basically just messing around training one day and she… It all started when she turned 70. She lifted 70 kilos for her 70th birthday and then the next year she lifted 75 and after that we’re screwing around. I pulled my phone out and just started Googling what world records were and it turned out the world record was only like 2.5 kilo away or something. She got a little bit excited. She signed up for a power lifting competition.

She actually had some problems leading up to it. She had some injury stuff and only lifted… She got the world record but only just and qualified for the world championships which were in Sydney that year. This is two years ago. We’ve been tilting [SP] on the edge of disaster the whole time and then finally got to the world championships. And she actually tore her hamstring on the first lift. So all she had to do was get one lift on the board and she would have been world champion because there’s not too many 70-year old women who weigh 50 kilo who want to compete in powerlifting.

She’s the smallest on the day always by a country mile even if there are other people her age. She’s tiny. For American people, she’s like 110, 112 pounds so she’s really not very big at all. It took nearly a year to rehab that properly. And then, obviously, healing is quite slow when you’re in your 70s. She lifted at the start of this year, broke her world record by about 5 kilos and she’s broke it in training leading up to this, her current world record by 2.5 kilo in training. We’re hoping this weekend she will come away with another world record but as World Champion as well. That’s why we’re in the States.

Adam: Great that’s awesome. Well, best of luck to your mom.

Why Building Mental Toughness is Something You Can Work on Your Entire Life

Andrew: For you guys I think it just shows that you don’t need to…like this attitude, like the mindset thing about looking for new challenges, about staying strong both mentally and physically. It doesn’t have to stop because you get to a certain age. It’s an attitude for life, not just for right now.

Adam: I think that totally resonates. I think today people more and more they want to stay fit, active, healthy. They want to be doing things and pushing their limits no matter what age they are. It doesn’t stop at some point, right?

Andrew: Yeah, and things are accessible now. Not long ago, there weren’t age groups for things. These days you can go to age group world championships for… I went for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Masters World, so that’s all age groups. You can do triathlon and I think Spartan has age groups. There’s ways you can keep toeing the line. I think there’s a lot of benefit to signing up for an event. I told guys at my club, because these are kids half my age training jiu-jitsu, and they are like, “It’s so impressive that you keep competing.” I was like, “You don’t understand. You could learn more about your skill level, your strength, your fitness, these holes that you’ve got in your game in five minutes competing with someone you don’t know than you can in six months of training, regularly at your own club.”

It’s almost greedy in that sense. If you keep competing, you’re going to improve faster because you keep sealing the holes. You keep having stuff to work on. But then you’ve also got the mental side of it. When I signed up for the world championship, I felt sick, sick to my stomach in terms of, “Oh my God. What have I done?” Then I would regularly get these waves. And so you get e-mails like, “Hey, this is the last day to make sure you’re in the right category. This is the last day to change your registration,” kind of thing and each time one of these e-mails will come out, I would get sick. I felt terrible getting on the plane heading to the States. I was good for a couple days and then I walked to the venue and I felt sick when I got to the venue and all these moments of doubt that you have to face. I think, again, you learn so much about yourself.

Life is so soft. We don’t have much challenge and we talked about this before we came on. If we go back really and not far, go back 100 years, Great Depression, First World War, electricity, we had electricity but not like we do now. First mass produced motor car was like 1905 or 1906 or something. A lot of these things that made us comfortable didn’t even exist. You don’t have to go back very far in human history to see that we used to have a lot more challenge and these days we have none. I don’t think you can really grow as a person to your full extent unless you apply that kind of pressure to yourself. Like I said with my mom, there’s no reason why you can’t keep toeing the line, keep signing up for stuff as you get older anymore. I guess it’s up to people how much they want to develop, but the limit is… I don’t think there is a limit in sight. You’ve got potential to keep expanding for as long as you want.

Most People Are Beginners & Here’s What Beginners Do and Do Not Need

Adam: Let’s touch on that. We were talking before the call here just for our listeners and, Andrew, you said something really interesting. You said something along the lines of like most people, they are training improperly and they’re not really training for anything. And, therefore, just about anything will work. It’s kind of along those lines.

Andrew: If you look at traditional Russian strength stuff which is what everyone is basically training off anyway, so you go into something like super-training, Medvedev, Shansky [SP], all these kind of guys and they have these benchmarks for what constitutes beginner level or not if you’re a Russian strength athlete. So the first misunderstanding is that everyone thinks these rules apply to them. Unless you’re a strength athlete, none of these applies. For strength athletes, you need at least a double bodyweight deadlift or squat. Anything up to then, you’re a beginner. We have, at my gym, we have some people what’s called Mathlites [SP] because they’re signing up for stuff. It doesn’t matter what they’re signing up for, they’re signing up for stuff.

Then we have other people who are training to stay in shape and more and more these days there are people who are treating the training to stay in shape like a sport. And Crossfit definitely is part of that. But there are other groups as well that have. And Jim Jones do it. And they’ve got these workouts that are like benchmark kind of workouts. You’re competing for a time but you’re really just working out because you’re not training for anything specific. You’re not training for a triathlon. You’re not training for a run. It doesn’t even matter. You’re not training for a specific event.

The Four Things You Need Training In

Most people, and I’ve been to a lot of gyms all around the world, not many people got a double weight deadlift. Maybe a lot of trainers do, but not a lot of their clients do. In that respect, everyone’s a beginner. Here’s the thing with beginners. They don’t actually need specialized training. And, again, if you look at all the text and read it correctly, you realize that what they talk about people needing is basically a wide variety of training, building a strong athletic base. They need maximum strength work. They need some strength endurance work. They need some actual endurance work. And within all that, they need actual mobility stuff. It’s only four things you should be training for.

Most people concentrate on just one. Then there is usually a fifth one, which is aerobic fitness. And let’s face it, max strength, lifting heavy things, that’s fun. Anaerobic fitness, that’s anything from rowing or [inaudible 00:08:52] intervals or running four hundreds to a workout like friend [SP], like that real, heart-in-mouth, “I think I’m going to be sick,” kind of work out. That’s fun, but they’re not necessarily the most… The anaerobic stuff is not necessarily the most productive. The research on that says that you’ll pick somewhere around the four to six week mark in terms of an anaerobic fitness and after that, see no more improvements.

If you’re actually training for something, you would only need to do that for about a month before your event to bring up that specific match fitness, race pace kind of stuff to reach your peak race fitness. Yet most people are training with that year round. They wonder why they’re not getting results. Probably because you’re doing a form of training that you’re going to peak after about four to six weeks. Max strength. You can see improvements for a long period of time, but if you’re only practicing three to five reps, I mean, let’s imagine in terms of functional fitness. I think moving house is a good test of functional fitness. You might have the massive deadlift but you’re only good for five reps total in a workout session. One case you’ve moved the couch, you helped move a table and now you’re done and you need to sit down for half an hour.

You probably need some more reps. You need some of the strength endurance stuff, too. A good training plan should cover that. The Jim Jones guys have a conjugate method they follow so you have the original West Side template, calls for the three main methods of speed, load and volume. Dynamic effort, maximum effort and I can’t remember what the other one is called. But it basically comes down to speed, load and volume. Jim Jones tend to use max strength, strength endurance. They have endurance and they also have anaerobic endurance and they have recovery as a fifth option. In a general week of Jim Jones’ training, you’ll actually hit multiple qualities and I don’t see many people actually running programs like that.

One of two things happen. Either people start airing towards the, “Well, I just lift heavy more because that’s the thing I enjoy,” or “I just devolve into this ugly mess of non-stop anaerobic power or anaerobic endurance work and every workout starts to look the same,” which is a little bit not pointing the finger, but basically it’s WOD after WOD after WOD every day of the week.

How to Make Gains Week After Week

Most people just… They’ve got their lives crossed. They’re looking at the wrong things. You can make great gains for a long period of time and not burn out by focusing on maximum strength, a little bit of strength endurance, maybe one session per week, and then basic endurance work, which just means steady aerobics stuff.

Adam: Now, the strength endurance combo, what does that look like?

Andrew: It’s actually almost… It ranges from bodybuilding. It starts around the 10 reps per set mark, but you can go as much as 20, 25, 30 reps per set. The exercise that you use is obviously much lighter. You could start with, let’s say, you go maybe 4 or 5 sets of 10 of an exercise and then the next week would be sets of 12, 15, and the next week would be sets of sort of 18, 20 and up to 25 reps. You’ve gone from doing 50 reps to doing maybe 125 reps over a period of a month. The goal is you’re trying to teach the muscles how to contract for longer periods of time so you build some strength. That’s what the maximum strength work is for, but then you’ve to translate it into a usable form of strength because the body only gets good at the things you practice. I can think of times where my two or three reps squat was very good and I’d get puffed after doing 20 reps of squats. I just hadn’t practiced them. If you want all round fitness, you’re going to have to do some strength endurance work, too. For a lot of people, stuff like body weight circuits and things like that, can come in.

“Murph” Workout Progression

Adam: On your website, on your blog, I read an article before the call and you were talking about Murph as the classic workout Murph and a progression for that. Is that a good example of strength endurance?

Andrew: Yeah. Murph is a fantastic strength endurance work-out. I always laugh when people say. “Murph is too hard.” We can’t even have a serious conversation about training it because I don’t think Murph is that hard. Particularly when people are like, “”You know I’m not going to wear the weight vest.” Well, it’s not Murph for starters if you don’t wear the weight vest and if you didn’t do the round it’s not Murph. Like the workout is the workout. Once you start pulling bits and pieces of it out, now you’re doing something else and that’s okay, because what you’re doing is the thing you’re ready for, but it’s a fantastic representation of strength endurance and this is for people who think it’s too hard. After Seal Fit mark one, we did it about mid-night after starting at 10 AM or something and before we did it, we went for like a two-hour run in the sand on the beach getting smashed by the stuff in and out of the water and all that kind of stuff and came back and we’re like, “Right now we’re going to do Murph. Go.” I did it in 77 minutes which I knew cut off time back then. It was 75 minutes.

That’s actually the thing that got me bounced out the first time. The second time I did it in 59 minutes. Again we started at 10 AM and we were doing as the sun was going down. I don’t know like summer in California, what’s that like 7 PM- 8 PM? I mean I never watch them so I don’t know but maybe going for 10 hours or something. I beat my time by nearly 20 minutes and we’d been going for 10 or 12 hours at that point again. If I can do it in under an hour in my mid 40s after non-stop stuff for half a day, it’s not that hard.

How to Build Up to Doing 100 Pull Ups in 1 Hour

Adam: Let’s talk about…there’s a couple of things that I’d like to talk about but first of all, Murph. If you look up the workout online and let’s say you’re starting wherever you’re at and pull ups in particular I think, that’s one of the tougher parts. Correct me if I’m wrong, right?

Andrew: Yeah. That’s the stinking part for most people.

Adam: Yeah. The pull-ups. If you need to build up the capacity to be able to do 100 strict pull-ups in 70 minutes or whatever it is, how do you tackle something like that?

Andrew: That’s got two components. That’s got a maximum strength and a strength endurance component. In that article, (AK: Here’s Andrew’s article on Breaking Muscle) it talks about ways to build the reps up. Let’s say you can do two. Maybe if you’re building Murph with someone who can just do two, if you can just do two, you’re going to have to do one. Maybe you want to do 10 rounds of 1 pull up, five pushups, 10 squats or something. Next week it’s going to be either more total rounds, so you do 12 rounds or 15 rounds or whatever, or you try for that. Maybe you don’t go straight to 2 but you got like 2-1, 2-1, 2-1 something like that for 10 rounds.

Just slowly adding reps while at the same time we’re going to be working on, we’d have a workout that was specifically dedicated towards pulling strength. We’ll be doing some rows, doing heavy chin ups, heavy pull ups, maybe pulling a sled. A whole bunch of … and the function training crowd hates this but bicep curls because even the elbow flex is quite weak in a lot of people because if you can’t … From a dead hang just to break your arm, just that initial bend that’s all bicep. Your back hasn’t done anything at that point. If your arms aren’t strong enough to slightly bend against full body weight you need to do some curls.

We got two things we need to work out but slowly, slowly you’ll get there. I’ve got female clients who can do an unweighted Murph. I can do they whole thing but without weight and they can do pull ups and takes them about an hour and five to 10 minutes, so like 65 to 70 minutes. I don’t have anyone yet who can do it with weight. Like Kevin here is…so we don’t do keeping pull ups at my gym and so if you’re allowed keeping pull ups we’d probably have more girls who could do it.

Adam: Let’s say you follow that progression that you just talked about and you go into on the site, and let’s say you toss in, add in another work-out to build that strength, at what point do you start trying to train for the ability to also do it with weight?

Training for Sealfit’s Kokoro Camp

Andrew: The point where you’re easily…I mean when using Kokoro Camp as an example, so when I was actually deliberately training for Murph, I would do bits and pieces. I worked three days a week because it had been a weakness the year before, I wanted to make sure I absolutely nailed it and there was no way I was going home because of Murph the second time. I was doing pull ups with 24 to 32 kilos because I hang kettlebells off me because they come in 24-28-32 kilo. I was doing a few reps with that and then I was like okay, “I’ve got to use 10 kilo. I could easily handle 10 kilo for reps.”

That was then I started doing volume work with 10 kilo but I was doing…and someone joked about what I was doing. I was push-ups and pull ups that didn’t count towards my actual workouts for the week. I was doing 2000 push-ups and something like 500 or 600 pull ups every week on top of what I was doing in training. Those were warm ups, those were grease the groove. I wasn’t even…I would still do extra while I was training. If you’re going to go for 50 plus hours no sleep and the standard unit of punishment is push-ups, and there’s a lot of burpees and stuff as well you need to make yourself…and I would do planks for 15 to 20 minutes. If you’re going to be on your hands and pumping up push-ups or burpees for long periods of time, you need to train to do them for long periods of time.

I was pressing double kettle bells, like double 32s for sets of five to eight reps. I was doing like I said, weighted pull ups with up to about 30 kilo. My strength work, when I put the little 10 kilo weight fixed on, I would get some weird looks, I’d get to work, I’d put it on like a quarter to six in the morning and I’d just leave it on all day.

Adam: Really?

Andrew: Yeah. I’d just get used to having it one. I would run in it. There were periods…and I talk about this, I’ve got a running book called Run Strong and I would talk about this in my book. There are times I would be running to work like 5:30 in the morning and it’d be dark. I’d be in black pants because the slim fit have these you’ve got to wear black pants and boots and all the stuff and I’d have my weight vest on and it’d be winter because I’m training for a summer event in the states, I’m training for the winter back home. It’s pitch-black, I’ve got a beanie and gloves on and they make you carry this piece of PVC pipe which is meant to be like your weapon. I didn’t have a PVC pipe but I had a sledge hammer. I’d be running to work, it’s four kilometers to work so it’s almost two and a half miles or something and I would run to work in the dark wearing black in my weight vest. Any cops that would have gone past would have pulled me over for sure.

The training for me anyway it was, I don’t think actually I’ve ever trained so much for anything but it really showed me, what I was saying before about people have it wrong, I was doing some maximum strength stuff, I was doing some strength endurance stuff. I was doing tons and tons of base endurance and then a little bit of the anaerobic stuff like the WOD kind of stuff because again it’s a 50 plus hour event. You need to have the ability to be diesel-powered and just go and go and go.

Building Endurance

Adam: On the endurance side of things, is that all pretty low intensity?

Andrew: Running with a weight vest is never that low intensity. I was in the gym four days a week. I would warm up with a 5k run. Often I would run again later in the day either with the weight vest or I would do like a longer run or a faster run or something like that. The 5k runs were always easy. I was running something like 70 or 80 kilometers a week. Most of it quite easy again because the reality is if you’re going to run a lot, you need to be able to run a lot. There’s no secret to it as an example. People are like, “All you need is sprints.” Okay. BUDS…my understanding is…I’ve not been to BUDS but I’ve read enough about it. It used to be that the chow hole was a mile away from the beach at Coronado where they do buds. You’ve got to run there and back for breakfast, you’ve got to run there and back for lunch, you’ve got to run there and back for dinner. Six miles of running a day just to eat. That’s not counting the bonus runs. That’s not counting the punishment runs. That’s not counting all the other stuff.

If you can run…and for people who are listening who are not US-based, that’s 10 kilometers of running a day just to eat. I was like, “You know what, I’m doing three days. I better be able to run a lot.” I have friends who are SEALs and they would say they were running 100 miles a week in training leading up to buds. That’s what marathoners run. That’s a pretty serious amount of running. We did by my estimation nearly two marathons in Kokoro Camp. On one night you do 20 miles straight and it’s 10 miles up a mountain and 10 miles down and we ran the 10 miles down. My group were running a little bit behind everyone else. We had one less person and it was a stretcher-carry thing so we could rotate less people on and off the stretchers so we were really suffering.

By this point we were really dragging our ass and were miles behind everyone else and the staff just said, “You’re all shit. Get rid of the stretcher. You’re now running the entire way down the mountain. If we see you walking, you’re going to pay for it.” We ran 10 miles straight down. If you’ve ever run downhill you know how hard it is on the body. We were wearing boots. We had packs on. It destroyed guys. We lost two guys in my little team just from that because their knees and their feet were so sharp afterwards, they couldn’t walk anymore.

If you want to be prepared for that. We did 20 miles in 1 effort, and then lots of little runs here, runs there, run over this, run over that. We easily ran two marathons in what amounts to two and a half days. If you’re going to do that, you better be ready to run.

Run Strong

Adam: Fair enough. You mentioned earlier your book.

Andrew: Run Strong.

* Click here to get a copy of Andrew’s Book “Run Strong

Adam: Yeah, Run Strong. Maybe that’s a good segue since we’re talking about running and endurance, maybe you could tell us just a little bit about that.

Andrew: I was running this website and the first Melbourne Ironman was on and I made the mistake of going to signing up. I’d been attracted to Ironman as an event for a long time. I remember watching Dave Scott and Mike Allen battle it out when I was in high school. The drama of the event and obviously the difficulty of it is quite appealing to me. I go to the finishing line and I watch the top pros run and this guy Craig Alexander who’s one of the greats comes across the line in under eight hours, it looks like he hasn’t even done any work. He’s basically just stepped out the door and run across the finish line. He looked so fresh. The next guys come in they’re looking equally amazing. I’m like, “Oh my God. This Ironman thing and the crowds.” I messaged my editor on the spot and I said, “Hey, what do you think, zero to Ironman in 12 months?” and sadly she loved it. I was like, “Shit. Now I’m going to do this stupid thing.” I had been … I’ve done 1000 kilometer bike ride for charity, maybe six months before.

Adam: How long did that take?

How to Start Your Running Training Program

Andrew: That’s a week. We did like 160 kilometers a day or something and then did … I had some bike fitness, I had actually been swimming a little bit and I swim quite well. Like a half Ironman or Ironman I’d get out with somewhere between the top 5 to 10% of the water, but then people started passing me all day long so I actually don’t run very well at all. I started this process and I’m running a bit, running a bit, running more, got hurt. Start running a bit, running more, got hurt. Run a bit, run more get hurt and I said, “This is ridiculous.” I had to learn an enormous amount about running, injuries management, what needs to happen to help you run safely and effectively and again the information is wrong. Most people say, “You should just run intervals.” No. That’s the equivalent of going to the gym and doing heavy deadlifts when you don’t even know how to deadlift. You’re not ready to run fast yet. It takes about two years for a non-running adult to get their body ready to run hard. You need to start short and easy.

I didn’t have that luxury. I had 12 months to get ready for a marathon. On top of 180k bike ride and a 4k swim. I didn’t have a huge amount of time. I had three months or four months or something of non-injury prep-time before the Ironman. What I wanted was 12 months but I had 4 in the end. Run Strong was written because I thought when I go on internet on Facebook or whatever, “I’m getting ready for a Spartan. I’m getting ready for this thing,” and people have no idea because the information out there is geared because you can split. It’s strength and conditioning. You have the strength people and you have the conditioning people.

The people who are giving advise who are runners, well they are little 135-pound guys who’ve been running their entire lives and don’t get muscles torn from it, they are super-adapted to it, they are nice and light. They don’t have any problems with running. To an extent, like all sports running self-selects so if you have a problem with it and you want to do it long term, you’re either going to figure it out or you’re going to get hurt. One of those two things.

Then on the strength side, you’ve got guys who are too big, their legs are in the sense terrible but kind of soft because for running you need to be somewhat stiff and they are giving people advise about running when they don’t actually know about running. I was definitely in that category. I had to run a bit previously for things but never habitually or rather out of any love. I had been forced to run, like a lot of people. I ran high school cross-countries. I ran for some military selection stuff. I didn’t run because running gave me joy.

Adam: Yeah. You had a purpose.

Andrew: Yeah, but I had to learn that. If you don’t enjoy it, you’re not going to get better at it. That’s the first thing. It actually says that in the intro for Run Strong. Basically, I had displayed the same enthusiasm for running that most teenagers show for tidying their rooms. I’ve done it a couple of times a year reluctantly at best and what a surprise I wasn’t friends with running. I simply didn’t have the experience with it to become any good at it. I had to immerse myself in running to become better at it. Run Strong is basically the lessons I learned from all the mistakes that I made, from actually following the wrong advice.

It starts with the there’s a plan in Run Strong that is called “The Walk Run Plain.” (AK: Andrew goes into more detail via this post on Whole Life Challenge) I’ve written about it in a number of different places and it still remains the best introduction to running plan I’ve ever seen. It’s quite slow. You’re not going to a do like, it’s not a couch to 5k in six week kind of plan, but at the end of it you’ll be able to run for an hour and you won’t have got hurt at all along the way. In fact it gets you running for an hour three times a week, injury free, but it takes quite a while to get there.

Everybody who’s followed it has managed to get to pain-free running and then that formed the basis for Kokoro basically like just this “take it easy, slow and steady” kind of approach because is obviously quite stressful. You’ve got to run with some weight, you’re running in boots, you’re running when you wet and all these different stresses on the body that aren’t normally there and the only way to get better at that stuff is to spend time slowly letting the body adapt. The mistake people make I think particularly from the strength to me is they are quite strong, but the problem is that the body isn’t used to that activity. They are basically strong enough to hurt themselves.

If you think about the last time you ran regularly and for a lot of people it’s quite a long time ago, if ever. Maybe they ran a little bit in high school but they probably again weren’t running as athletes and now they come to Spartan or Triathlon or whatever in their 30s or maybe 40s. Okay so you haven’t run for 30 years. If you got a brand new 10 to 15 year old athlete in front of you and they had to do an Ironman or Spartan beast where would you start? Would you start with let’s do [inaudible 00:31:03]. You’d start with … hopefully with your 10 to 15 year old, you start with something a lot gentler but we look at adults and we look at someone with a big deadlift and maybe we think they are strong enough to cope with more. They’re not.

Their running ability is the same as a 10 to 15 year old with no experience. Why are you giving them something so much more advanced? The stuff in Run Strong basically says, “I’m an idiot. I did all the wrong stuff.” Everything you read in there is learnt from me making mistakes along the way. If I had the chance to go back and do it again, I guarantee I wouldn’t get hurt getting ready for Ironman and I probably would have given myself a little bit more time too.

Training For IronMan

Adam: I’ll make sure that I include a link to it in the show notes when podcast goes live. Just on the Ironman topic, how did it work out for you?

Andrew: Well, know that Ironman is a super flat course mostly. The year I did it the swim actually was like a roller coaster. They had to shorten the swim because it was too dangerous. The bike was, I mean it’s 180 kilometers but you know no problem finishing that. Then the run, the first was it 14 or 15 kilometers are quite flat and then it gets, when I say hilly, it’s not really hilly. I wouldn’t count them as hills now, but from where I was with my running ability back then, there’s a hilly section which is about 10 kilometers and it gets you to about seven kilometers from the finish. Anything that had even the slightest incline, I was reduced to walking. I just didn’t have enough running in my … or cycling actually in my legs. My legs tough enough to deal with being able to just keep running.

There was a lot of walking in my marathon. I ended up with a 12:19 was my finish time. Afterwards I said to my girlfriend, “Now I feel like I’m fit enough to train for an Ironman.” Basically, it took a year of training. It took a thousand kilometer bike ride the period before, the three or four months of uninterrupted run training and the event itself to make me feel like once I’ve recovered it was a couple of weeks like three-four weeks, to feel like I was actually ready to now start training for an Ironman.

It should have been, if I was smart it would have been a two-year journey not a one-year journey but once I started I had to go buy a bike and all these kind of stuff and once I started talking to people in shops about what was doing and I already had a decent relationship with Promotion which is my local bike shop and with some swimming coaches and everyone at entry times people started giving me stuff. I ended up with like about \$20,000 worth of stuff very quickly on the provisor that I would [inaudible 00:33:56] on various articles and social media and stuff. When people were going, “Hey, we’re going to give you this \$10,000 bag. We need you to write about it.” I was like, “Shit. I’m going to do Ironman right now,” because that’s what they’re expecting. That’s what they’re giving you the product for. Ideally it would have been a two year period not a one year period.

Adam: It kind of begs the question, if someone’s looking at doing an Ironman or doing something like Kokoro Camp or Spartan beast, I think what you’re advocating is take a good hard look at it and give yourself lots of time to get ready and start slow. Is that kind of what you’re saying?

Andrew: Absolutely. I mean there are going to be hiccups. Kokoro it took me two goes. That was a mistake in training on my behalf. Ironman should have taken two goes. I should have gone and done like a second one, but it was actually my girlfriend’s turn the next year so we have a deal where because you’re so exhausted towards the end of training. If you’re both doing it we believe that no washing would get done, no grocery shopping would get done. I mean because you come in from a six-hour ride on a Sunday and fall asleep so nothing’s getting done around the house.

If people would be again just respect the event like be more realistic about where you’re at. There I asked some people they could, “Yeah. I’m going to sign up for an Ironman. I’ll put in three months of training and smash it.” Great, I’m super envious of if your abilities. There are people that could probably turn up to Everest and climb it tomorrow too. I’m definitely not one of them and most people are not that person.

Why Marathon Times Are Getting Slower

Andrew: The biggest problem I see is people just don’t respect the event. Marathon is a classic example. Did you know in the 70s what the standard finishing time for a marathon is?

Adam: No idea.

Andrew: 3:30. You know what it is now?

Adam: No.

Andrew: 4:30. Do you really think humans have gotten an hour slower of a marathon in the last 40 years?

Adam: No. What’s your take on what’s going on there?

Andrew: People who go, “I’m going to do a marathon.” It’s the bucket-listers. It’s great because it’s giving them a focus but you see that lack of respect for the event. Previously, it was only people who took running very seriously, who trained hard, who had put in the work. Who would actually even have the balls to sign up for one of these things and now every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to do one of them, and so the times blow out. I would bet if you looked at Ironman, you would probably see the same thing over the last 20 years. You would see finish times, I mean you’ve got 17 hours to finish it an Ironman. I imagine you would see the average finish times go from more like 10 or 11 hours up to 12 plus, 13 and 14 hours. I was, for my Ironman, I was the exact middle person except for one spot based on how many finishes they were. I was as close to the average times as you would get but I can easily see how it can get worse if that makes sense. Like this is very easy. The longer the event goes, the more things that might go wrong.

Adam: Why don’t we change it up a little bit and just talk about what you’re up to right now and you’re training clients in Australia, hosting events. Maybe you can tell us a little bit about that.

Andrew Read’s Personal Training – Read PT

Andrew: Like I said we’ve got two types of clients. We’ve got the clients who are training just to not die, basically to not suck as human beings. That’s great. I think physical fitness is an important part of things you can look at stuff like Socrates, Aristotle or Plato or whoever who said, “This one has a right to be an amateur in the realms of physical endeavors.” Basically, stay in shape. We’ve thinking this for hundreds of years if not thousands of years. Then we’ve got the people who compete in things and the people who compete in things, guys who play rugby and I’ve got people who do ultra-marathons. We’ve got a fair cross-selection of people. There’s a smattering of pros in there. There was a guy who I worked with briefly last Christmas who rode in the Tour de France this year and I’ve worked with pro-baseball pitchers but mostly it’s regular people who are either just trying to stay in shape or they are recreational athletes.

The training is … This is the thing. Just because you’re an advanced runner for instance so whoever thinks there’s a running plan. It’s not. It’s just a you-plan. It based on what you need right now. Like they say you and I decide what you’re going to do in Kokoro, while there will be some similarities in our training just based on our own strengths and weaknesses we have two different plans. I have no idea what you’re best at, but I know the things I’m weak at and so my training is going to reflect that. I think when I look at most people’s training, beyond the mistakes we talked about before, all the focus only certain elements of training people are too focused on a single event.

Like if you’re training for a triathlon, you’re doing your triathlon specific training. Every time you swim, run and run. What you do in the gym, is the same stuff to offset injury, to regain mobility, to keep you durable enough, to deal with swimming, riding and running a lot, but what you need and what I need and what three or four of my customers might need, are completely different things. I have a husband and wife who actually just went to the Himalayas to do this amazing ultra-run. It’s 150-160 kilometers over five days. There’s a ton of elevation gained. A couple of nights they said because of the elevation they couldn’t sleep. They’re coughing and whatever all night long because they can’t breathe. She won and came fourth outright and he came second. They are both studs. They’re amazing really and very easy to train because they’re super-motivated and disciplined, but what she does in training super different to what I have him. Their needs are so different.

Even though they training for the same events quite often, their training is completely different. I think that’s probably the biggest thing that we do as a gym that’s different to everybody else. There’s no … even though people are training at the same times it’s like this group training thing. It’s not you coming in and there’s a workout written on the board. Go. It’s quite common you come in my gym and there’s a dozen people training and every single one is doing something different. What we really have is like a private gym setting where the person in charge is usually me is running almost individual programs so people.

Adam: Got you. It’s an individualized thing, right? Everyone’s at a different place.

Weak Point Training

Andrew: It is and if you really want to make progress in your training, the cookie cutter kind of plan will work for a little while but as much as I said you know even if you’re a beginner you just need to train. Yeah, but you also need to focus on your weaknesses. If you’ve got the biggest deadlift in the world, my opinion the last thing you need to be working on the gym is a deadlift. Unless you’re a competitive power-lifter. The rest of the people who’ve got a big deadlift but maybe they’re a little bit overweight, maybe they catch their breath when they walk up a flight of stairs, maybe their flexibility is not good. We’ve got some other things that we should work on instead of your deadlifts. The gym is for training your weaknesses. You compete your strengths, but in the gym we want to eradicate this weakness. Even Jim Jones, these guys are almost famous for the mental side of their training. Some people they haven’t learnt to persevere. They haven’t learnt to suffer and so you can create programs to help them address some of the mental issues. There’s a bunch of ways you can train in the gym to address those weaknesses, whether they’re physical or emotional.

Adam: That’s an interesting point. How would you train mindset if someone hasn’t suffered and they need to build up that capacity to do something like an Ironman or Kokoro? What would that look like?

Andrew: We have or I use basically an escalating format so often when people come in and the fitness industry it’s funny to me watching so many things that happen. Someone will come in and in the kettle bell world, people will think they’re in shape because they can do a lot of swings. Well, okay you’re in shape to do a lot of swings, but the reality is you might to 10 swings you put your bell down and let your heart rate come back down. You do 10 more swings, your heart rate goes up. You rest, it comes back down and on and on and on. Up, down, up, down.

Even if they did 15 minutes of swings like that, they didn’t actually do 15 minutes of constant work. They’re not used to their heart rate going up and staying up and so when you get someone who can appear strong and fit for the first time to do. “Hey come on over here. Let’s see you roll 10 minutes non-stop,” and 10 minutes is nothing man. I mean that’s not a very long time at all, and they suffer enormously. Then we start with 250-meter row and they’ll get multiple rounds of that. They’ll just learn actually get used to the stuff. Get used to your heart rate coming up and then it goes out to 500, and then it goes out to 2 kilometers. Two kilometers the first time someone does is usually pretty funny. Again because they’ll be most people will have at least one, if not several moments of nearly quitting and 2 kilometers is done usually between 7 and 10 minutes. Most guys will be done between the 7 and 8 minute mark, most girls will be down between 9 and 10.

Learning to Suffer, Learning to Stay Focused

It’s not a really long time to be working for at all. Then once you go into there we tend to go at like five kilometers and so you know you start putting time standards on people and what you see is the people who aren’t very fit lose focus easily. This is why the military guys price fitness so much. If you’re tired you lose focus. If you were in a firefight for three hours and if we’re going to march all night to get to somewhere and you just get tired you’re not going to focus on your job. The fitter you are the easier it is to stay focused so like with two kilometers, I tell people the first 500 is easy because you’re fresh and you’ve just started. The last 500, it’s not easy but it’s relatively easy because you can see the light at the end of the tunnel and you’ve really made sure that it is a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s the exit. It’s not a train coming towards you. Just know how it feels. In the middle of two kilometers that’s how it feels. You’re not sure if things are going to work out okay. In that middle thousand, they’re like Hansel and Gretel lost in the woods without any breadcrumbs. It’s like they can’t find their way home. You see their pace change, the stroke rate changes, their posture changes, they start doing funny things with their head, they make funny expressions, they lose focus.

Whereas if you watch someone whose fit, their eyes are like lasers on the pace. They are a focused. They are like a robot stroke after stroke after stroke. The difference is two things. One is learning how to suffer, but the other one is fitness. They’re both it’s not a chicken or egg thing. They’re both actually growing at the same time, but when you pick and everybody gets a different time standard. I’ll say this, “For you time is going to be super,” and I’ll say this. This is your time this is what I want you to be.” Once you push them out to five kilometers, everyone starts to get pretty close. If you go, “This is what I want the guys to do. This is what I want the girls to do,” and you can see then by now they were able to go for 20 to 25 minutes and stay focused and then we also have on Saturday we run a two hour class and there’s some real physiological reasons for it. There is a thing called INPK which is your ability to burn fat more effectively.

It only happens in situations where you’re low on glucose. Your glycogen store is depleted which takes about 90 minutes. You’ve got to crush people for 90 minutes and so it’s not unusual that you come to this class on Saturday and we warm up for an hour. I want to say warm up. I mean you might do 3 or 400 swings, 300 or 400 pushups, row 4 to 5 kilometers and that’s the warm up and then we can start training. By the time people graduate to coming along to the Saturday class because obviously it’s quite an intimidating class. All of a sudden the 5k row is not so bad because they’ve learnt to get their heart rate up and keep it up for ninety minutes plus.

Then by that stage all of those customers are running outside they are signing up for Spartan races, they’re riding a bike two or three days a week. You know what I mean like it’s not just about coming to the gym a couple of times a week. They’ve understood that actually there’s ways to fit more fitness into their life and so some people never get there or they can’t get there because of various time constraints, but for the people who get there, you actually see them make great progress and it’s really awesome to see…I’ve got customers who had never run before and have signed up and done 10 kilometers half marathons that kind of thing, they’ve signed up for triathlons. They’re doing these ultra runs. They are doing Spartans. I mean we’ve got a 57 year old guy doing a Spartan super in 2 weeks.

He’s a super guy. I mean this guy’s a rocket scientist and I’m not kidding when I say that. He works for that … he actually works for the Defense Department doing something to do with metal stress in missiles. He’s got a PhD in like aerospace engineering or something. He is a legit rocket scientist but no great history of exercise. He’s been training with us for it’s like six years. He has gone from sort of typical 50 year old office worker with not much strength or fitness or anything to a 57 year old guy who is confident about running 14 kilometers plus obstacles. That’s pretty cool.

Adam: Absolutely.

Andrew: He walks on most times and runs on some other days. He trains with us three or four days a week. He comes to the Saturday class and there’s a group that goes out on Sunday and does an extra two hours of running and hiking in the hills to get ready for events like this, so he’s part of that group. How many 57 year old rocket scientists you know who are exercising seven days a week?

Adam: None.

Andrew: One.

Adam: Yeah. One. I know of one. Andrew you mentioned something earlier. I can’t remember if this is sort of chat before the call but I think you’ve touched on it just a few minutes ago. This whole idea of suffering and I think you were saying earlier modern life basically removes suffering from our lives and what’s your take on the result of that? Where does that leave us?

Andrew: I think everyone’s miserable to be honest.

Adam: Really?

Andrew: Yeah. Do you know what the number one cause of death for men under the age of 44 is?

Adam: No.

Andrew: Suicide.

Adam: That’s the most common?

Andrew: Most common cause of death for men under the age of 44. Over 44 it’s heart attack and for females it’s heart attack, it’s cardio vascular disease all the way through. How come more men are killing themselves than ever? They’re not killing themselves because things are going well for them or that they perceive that they are going well. Whether or not they’re actually going well is different because how you feel about something is your reality, but they are not killing themselves because they having a good time are they?

Adam: No.

Andrew: No. We’ve got safe spaces and we’ve got all this stuff and we’ve got safety and we’ve got wrappers up in bubbles and give us medals for participation. There is no legitimate hardship or challenge in life anymore unless you choose to put it there and I think when I look at the people I know who are still again signing up for events, towing the line, putting that kind of pressure on themselves, they are … I’m just going to say more alive, they are happier, they are more well-adjusted, they deal with adversity better. Then people that don’t, they’re fucking miserable man. Part of it maybe they are miserable also because they’re out of shape in all the cases, but the people who are out there still doing stuff. They’re rock climbing, they’re Spartan racing, they are doing triathlons. They’re staying active and they are pushing the boundaries, learning about themselves. They’re okay. It’s the rest of the people that aren’t but that number is growing so you just look at what the sedentary statistics are in the US. I don’t know about Canada, but I would imagine it’s the same because the US and Australia have a .1% difference in the obesity/ overweight statistic. You guys can’t be too much different because England isn’t any different.

Adam: Canada is probably not.

Andrew: It’s like 60%, right?

Adam: Probably.

Andrew: By 2025 in Australia … so right now we have 61% of the country is overweight or obese and there’s about 20% of those obese. 40% of them are overweight. Overweight as a BMI over 30. Obese is like 35. By 2025, that’s going to be 35% obese, so that means the number over normal BMI will be substantially higher. You got to add another 15% on there to cope with the extra that’s going to be obese. We’re going to be something like 75% overweight or obese. Lack of movement is … so actually your [inaudible 00:52:23] or the thing that is designed to … when you’re in a good mood, it’s slightly bigger, it’s healthier. When you don’t move around, it shrinks. When you sit inside and don’t get your natural sunlight it shrinks, when you don’t hang out with people it shrinks. There’s a whole bunch of ways we isolate ourselves down and we stop moving around and it’s especially all designed to make you depressed.

Persistence Hunting: The Painful, Gory, Endurance Based Way We Used to Get our Food

The more out of shape people get, the higher that suicide rate is going to get. The only way you can you can fix all that is to get outside and get moving. The vitamin D, the movement, the community-based stuff. Even a marathon is … I think a marathon is probably the most interesting event in the world. Tools and when I say tools this thing called a stone axe [inaudible 00:53:10] hedge like Oh my God. That’s like the coolest ever. That’s like a piece of wood with like this stone thing on it like a dwarf would use in The Lord of the Rings. No. A stone axe is a piece of sharp rock with like an edge chipped onto it by smashing into another rock. It’s a super primitive tool. It’s a sharp rock. We didn’t have these things until about 250,000 years ago. We’ve been eating meat for about 650,000. What did we do to get that meat for the first 400,000 years?

Adam: I’m guessing we bludgeoned them with rocks?

Andrew: Well, yeah, but you had to catch it first, right?

Adam: Right.

Andrew: There’s a thing called persistence hunting. We were taught about this in Born to Run, so a persistent hunt because we sweat. Animals don’t. Even horses they are four times as big as us but they sweat a quarter as much as us. You can run an animal to death if you are a good tracker, you can keep separating it from the herd. You send your strong runners out to get it and just keep moving, keep it moving, keep it moving it will eventually just…It will either have to stop at which point you can attack it with your rocks and your sharp sticks or it will just topple over because its heat stroked out at which point you just kill it with your sharp sticks and your rocks. Average persistent hunt takes about four hours.

The marathon over the last 40 years, times has gone from 3.5 to 4.5 hours. The average is four hours. There you are with a group of people running non-stop for four hours. Don’t you think that’s kind of hard-wired into us? That here we are we’re with our tribe, we’re moving, we’re hunting, we’re going to celebrate at the end. That group running is a magical event.

People aren’t signing up for these things. As much as bucket-listers are and stuff like that, the obesity statistics shows that people aren’t signing up for them. As much as people say, “Participation numbers are growing.” Absolute bullshit. They can’t be.

Adam: Just due the numbers of people that are out of shape.

Why Most People Are Miserable (And what to do about it…)

Andrew: Yeah, and are getting more and more out of shape that sign-ups can’t be going up. Maybe there are more events, but that doesn’t mean that more people of the participating globally. It’s the same people participating in different events perhaps. I’ve kind of rambled but I think most people are miserable and I think most people are miserable because they’re not actually participating in stuff. I can tell you, after Ironman, I was on a buzz for weeks. Weeks and weeks and weeks. After Kokoro, I felt bulletproof. I was exhausted but I felt bulletproof and that feeling to regain it having done is as simple as looking back at some photos.

My girlfriend actually had … for Christmas, she had made up, she got blown up photos of Kokoro so some of the photos that SealFit put up and they give you like a little challenge coin and a certificate and stuff and so you got this framed thing and for me that feeling is as simple as just looking at the photos. Then it promised me to remember why I signed up for it which was to keep pushing the boundaries and go ahead and so then I’m like, “Okay. What do I need to do now to stay as that person?” I’m going to go find something to sign-up for. I’ve got to … What’s my thing today that I’m doing to make myself better?

That’s where for me the enjoyment comes in. I don’t want to be the same person today that I was yesterday and this is you know we talked about I think off air I used to be a master of RKC and I decided to leave and it’s not because I dislike the program. In fact the RKC was a really pivotal thing for work for me and I loved being part of it.

Russian Kettle Bell Certification

Adam: Could you explain just for the listeners what that is?

Andrew: Surely. Everybody knows. It’s a kettle bell thing. The best known kettle bell course in the world is the Russian Kettle bell Certification, the RKC. It’s been around since 2001 and this is my only problem with it, is that we’re still teaching this or they are still teaching the stuff that they started teaching in 2001. Now one of two things, either it’s a little bit arrogant to assume you got it so right in 2001 that you don’t need to change it by 2016, or two you’re just not prepared to change it. Now I’m not neither of those things. I’ve learned a bunch of stuff since 2001 and I would like to pass that on to people. Two, I can come up with ways to make it better. I’m absolutely going to be on that side but no one else seemed to feel the same way as me and this isn’t a slight honor of the people but if they prepared to teach what amounts to old information or basic information, that’s fine. I just feel like that’s not what I want to do. I want to keep pushing forward and I want to keep making things better.

Being Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

That makes a lot of people uncomfortable. I mean for people who are listening. I mean if you’ve shed a tremendous amount of weight, if you’ve significantly changed your lifestyle, quit smoking, quit drugs, all these things the people that you associated with when you were heavier, when you smoked, when you drank all those things, they will try to hold you back at some point, because you will make them uncomfortable. Whether they do it deliberately or subconsciously like, “You’ve lost so much weight. You should reward yourself. Have a piece of cake.” You’re trying to sabotage me and I just don’t want to be part of that. It’s made for … I’m comfortable being uncomfortable but a lot of people very uncomfortable around that.

Adam: What’s next for you in terms of events? What are you going to do that’s going to get you out of your comfort zone? Is it a physical challenges like Kokoro Camp or Ironman something you’re going to tackle?

Andrew: This year I did the…I had basically one big event per year. I went to the Masters World Championships for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu this year, won my first match quite easily. The second match lost narrowly. The next match would have been a medal round. I made the quarter finals and actually had to buy in the first round so technically I had three matches. That was really good. It kept me focused on some stuff. I don’t know what I’m going to do next year. We’ll see. I think I need to re-assess what I’m training for. I think I need to change some work goals a little bit. We’re certainly working on … I have a workshop that I run called Foundation of Conditioning which when I say I run, the first one is in February. I’ve actually got one scheduled for the U.S. in August. We haven’t advertised it yet, but it will be in Arizona in August.

Adam: Cool. Ping me when you have the details for that.

Andrew: Great. It’s basically how to really get in shape. Not this is bullshit stuff that people talk about. If you want to .. and use like Kokoro as end point. Following this template will help you get ready for something like this. It could be as simple as a Spartan race or it could be is as difficult as Kokoro and there’s obviously a massive range in-between. My training needs to reflect that. Brazil Jiu-Jitsu is great but I’ve honestly been very distracted by this year. I’ve been training as much as five or six times a week, which means obviously that I’m not running as much as I should be. I don’t think I’ve swum since last summer which is terrible. My business is actually based on the fitness side of stuff so I need to remember that and stay in shape for that so I probably need an event for next year that forces me to work on that stuff. Maybe an ultra-marathon, I don’t know. I’ll have time I’ll look.

Training for next year needs to better reflect what my work actually is as well as these workshops because a large part of the work …. Not a large part. There’s a bonus part of the workshop that is actually a “how to run” workshop because you’re going to see so many people making so many mistakes with what should be basic information. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about running just like there is about everything else in fitness and really running is something that should be such a basic thing. I mean this is a thing … You don’t get any instruction on how to run but by two years old, you can run, not great. By seven or eight years old you’re running properly. Takes five or six years to get there.
Remember what we were saying about it takes you two years to get to the point where you can run. Well, even that might be a little bit accelerated because if you look at most people’s physical ability I mean they got to school at age six and sat still for the next 30 years and then said, “Well, I’m going to run a marathon.” Well, okay. You are like a sleepy six year old at this point in terms of your running ability. It’s going to take a while for us to wake you up and increase your skill levels. Yeah, I don’t know what the challenges. That’s a long answer. I’m sorry.

Adam: No. Fair enough. When it comes to you, when you get the answer, again, I’d love to know what you’re doing so maybe you just ping me in Skype or email or something and let me know. We’ll put an update in the show notes.

Dealing With the Discomfort of Losing

Andrew: It will be something that makes me scared when I sign-up for it. There is not much to be gained in my mind from doing something that you know you can do. That’s great. But if you’re not willing to push the boundaries you’re not going to learn too much about yourself. Exercise is really now for me a tool to learn more about myself and to actually make myself better so I can learn to be more humble because… I mean, losing. When you get beaten by someone in a combat sport, you lose. Okay, I have to deal with losing. You learn to have respect and you learn to be courageous and you learn a whole bunch of things that probably we’re not teaching people very well anymore.

You know, like when I was growing up, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, these were the heroes. These days it’s Justin Bieber, Jay-Z. What’s that idiot’s name? Kanye West. These are not people we should not be holding up as examples of how to live. But that’s where we’ve gone. You need events that are going to teach you to have these qualities.

Adam: Listen. Andrew, this has been fascinating. I feel like we could talk for another hour. I’ve got more questions I want to ask you so I think if you’re up to it, I’m going to have to invite you back on the show again another time. And I think we can just keep going but, you know, kind of nearing the end of our time here. I’m obviously going to link to your website and your book in the show notes any other resources that you would recommend that people would check out if they’re interested in any of the stuff that we’ve talked about. Strength training endurance and strengthen endurance, the mindset stuff. What would you recommend people have a look at?

Andrew: Look at the mind-set stuff. I will start with… That “Unbeatable Mind” by Mike Divine is not a bad read. I personally don’t think you need a lot of mental coaching if you put yourself out there because you will learn naturally. Some of the stuff you read about can make a difference though, so “Unbeatable Mind” is a good starting point. SEALFIT/ Mark Divine have an Unbeatable Mind course you can do. It’s online. It releases a new module every month. I’ve done it. I’ve got to the point… So you get to like an advanced or an elite something. I did it for like about 15 months and then realized I wasn’t getting anything further out. Not to say that there’s no more information there, but I personally wasn’t getting any more stuff out of it. I stopped. I don’t know what happens after that point, but all that mental training was excellent. In terms of physical stuff, I quite like “Mountain Athlete” is very good. Jim Jones was good. Seal Fit is good. And then I think the stuff I’m putting out there’s not many people saying…and Joel Jemison as well. He really understands conditioning as well. There’s a lot of people who don’t make informed comment about conditioning. I’ve just remembered the Alex Viada , “A Complete Human Performance” as well.

There are a couple of guys out there who are starting to understand strength and conditioning, because what you normally see is strength and strength or conditioning and conditioning. There are starting to be these hybrid strength and conditioning people. Then the stuff I’m putting on my blog, I haven’t seen anyone write any of this stuff on running so you’ll get running coaches talking about something. But I won’t tell you how you can squat 150 kilos at the same time.

Adam: Right. That’s excellent. I’ll include all those resources including your site and your blogs that people can check it out. I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time. You’re here with your mom. You guys are here for an event. Thanks for being flexible, man.

Andrew: Actually, I just messaged her while we we’re talking. I mean she’s… We went and had like to trial weigh-in today and because of flying, she’s actually retained… I mean, this out of body amateur hour, she jumped on this couch. She had a shoes on, still had her handbag on her shoulder and it was like the one liter bottle of water. And so I looked at her then I went, “Damn, she’s like three kilo over that. We’ll be fucked.” Like there is no way she’s going to gain or lose three kilo of water in a day. I can do it but I wouldn’t put that pressure on my mom because it’s miserable trying to lose that much weight in a day. Then I was like, “Take your shoes off. Take the bag off.” She’s only a little bit over but dinner tonight won’t be very much for her. She’s gets to have salad for dinner tonight. No water after dinner because she’s pretty close to the weight limit and when she weighs in tomorrow. She’ll eat some cookies or something. It’s going to be a pretty quiet night for us tonight.

Adam: Good stuff. Good luck with the competition tomorrow. Wish your mom the best and I’m already looking forward to hearing more about your event in August and about the next time we chat. So thanks so much.

Andrew: Thank you very much for your time.

Adam: All right man, Take care.

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