35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”

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Coach Greg Glassman grew up in southern California as a gymnast and he supplemented his training with modalities including weightlifting and cycling. When he began his career as a trainer in 1974, he brought innovation to the industry ultimately redefining fitness with CrossFit, otherwise known as constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement. He was kicked out of several globo gyms before finally opening the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, CA in 1995. Shortly after, CrossFit.com was created where he posted Workouts of the Day, or “WODs.” Athletes from all over the world would complete these workouts and post their scores online. Beginning in 2003, CrossFit affiliate gyms began to open and CrossFit experienced exponential growth over the following decade such that there are currently more than 12,000 affiliates worldwide. During this period, we’ve also witnessed the growth of the CrossFit Games, the ultimate proving grounds for fitness which identifies the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth each year from a pool of hundreds of thousands of athletes across the globe. We’ve also witnessed incredible stories of transformation in the affiliates, with participants losing weight, gaining confidence, and ridding themselves of chronic disease. I recently sat down with Coach to discuss the role of CrossFit and the affiliates in addressing chronic disease and where CrossFit is headed.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • His athletic background and how he got into training
  • What influenced him to innovate as a trainer
  • What it was like to open his own gym after being kicked out of several globo gyms
  • How he developed CrossFit’s definitions of fitness and health
  • The role of CrossFit and the affiliates in creating health
  • The role of chronic disease in the current health of our nation and our health care system
  • His “5 buckets of death” model
  • Why fighting the soda industry has been such an important focus for him and CrossFit over the past year
  • His perspective on CrossFit affiliates opening in hospital systems
  • His plan to address chronic disease with “Doc in a Box”
  • Three things that have the biggest positive impact on health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him
  • What inspires him and what he does to exercise his brain
  • What it’s like to see his ideas and CrossFit change lives around the world

You can follow Coach Greg Glassman at CrossFit.com, The CrossFit Journal, and on Instagram and Twitter.

Links:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

34 – Sal Masekela on his Achilles rupture, growing from setbacks, and CrossFit family

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Sal Masekela is perhaps best known for his work as a commentator and journalist on platforms including NBC’s Red Bull Signature Series, ESPN’s Summer and Winter X Games, and E!’s Daily 10. He most recently hosted and executive produced VICELAND’s VICE World of Sports, a docu-series which explores the people, politics, and culture of locations all over the world through the lens of sports. Sal also shares the musical talents of his father, South African jazz musician Hugh Masekela, and the music of his band Alekesam has been featured on TV shows such as Entourage and House of Lies. He also co-founded Stoked Mentoring, a nonprofit action sports organization for at-risk youth. Sal’s CrossFit journey began in the fall of 2010 after he finished running a marathon for charity and began looking for a fitness program. He started at CrossFit LA and later moved to Deuce Gym near his home in Venice, CA. Our paths first crossed on May 30th, 2015 – the day that both of us tore our left Achilles tendon. I was competing in the 2015 CrossFit Games Central Regional, and Sal was playing in a celebrity basketball game. We connected over social media and used one another for support, inspiration, and motivation throughout the recovery process. Over a year later, we met up at Deuce Gym for a WOD and then sat down to reflect on our intertwining Achilles journeys, CrossFit, and life.

 

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With Sal at Deuce Gym in Venice, CA.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • The story of how we each tore our left Achilles tendons on the same day
  • Sharing our experience of recovery with one another and others on social media
  • Sal’s favorite Achilles rehab and prevention exercises
  • How his injury forced him to look at his life and reconsider what is most important to him
  • How he found CrossFit in the fall of 2010 and how it changed him
  • The changes he’s seen in other professional action sports athletes who have started CrossFit
  • What he finds unique about the CrossFit community
  • His favorite CrossFit affiliates to drop into around the world
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him
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After a class at Deuce Gym
Links from this episode:

You can learn more about Sal on his website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

33 – Bob Harper on CrossFit, The Biggest Loser, and prioritizing health

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Bob Harper has an extensive background as a personal trainer and is perhaps best known for his role on NBC’s The Biggest Loser. He has been a part of the show since its first season in 2004 as a trainer and has recently transitioned into the role of host. He found CrossFit in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since – he incorporates CrossFit workouts on the show and has been intimately involved in the CrossFit community. You can find him working out and coaching at Brick CrossFit, taking black and white photos, or hanging out with his dog, Karl. We sat down at the 2016 CrossFit Games to record my first ever LIVE episode of Pursuing Health.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How he got started as a personal trainer
  • His introduction to CrossFit
  • How he brought CrossFit to The Biggest Loser
  • His response to a recent study showing long term results of Biggest Loser contestants
  • The most important ingredients for long-lasting lifestyle change
  • Why he is no longer a vegan
  • His current personal approach to nutrition including intermittent fasting
  • What he likes most about helping individuals achieve extreme weight loss
  • Why he loves being a trainer
  • What he wants to do when the The Biggest Loser is done
  • How he connects with clients to motivate them and build trusting relationships
  • What he does to recharge and prioritize his own fitness
  • Qualities of people he spends most of his time with
  • The impact of the introduction of new skills to CrossFit Games competition
  • How Bob programs for his clients
  • What we do for self care
  • Ways to improve mobility and flexibility
  • Recommendations for teaching children about fitness
  • What keeps me motivated now that my competitive career is over

Links mentioned on the show:

You can learn more about Bob on his website, FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

32 – Pete Servold on fine dining, Paleo, and making the most of your meal prep

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Pete Servold developed a love for food and cooking early on and worked in the culinary and restaurant industry since the age of 17. He graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Atlanta GA in 2007 and worked at Restaurant Eugene where he experienced the true meaning of farm to table fine dining. While he was there Restaurant Eugene won Cuisine of the Year from Bon Appetit, Best New Chef from Food and Wine Magazine, and Restaurant of the Year from The Atlanta Journal Constitution. However, working in the restaurant industry took its toll on Pete’s health and after meeting his wife and a scare with pericarditis he decided to join his local CrossFit affiliate. While participating in a 30 day Paleo challenge, he realized the similarities between fine dining and the principals of Paleo. It wasn’t long before friends were asking him to cook their meals and Pete’s Paleo – a meal delivery service – was born. I’ve been using Pete’s Paleo meals for about 6 months now and have been blown away by their quality and convenience. I was excited to sit down with Pete to talk about his background, the principles upon which his company was founded, and his advice for getting the most out of your local CSA and meal prep.

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In this episode we discuss:

  • His relationship with food and exercise growing up
  • The influence of his grandmother on his love of cooking
  • The negative impact working in the restaurant industry had on his lifestyle
  • The wake up call he had with his health at age 26
  • How he met his wife and started doing CrossFit
  • His first experience with Paleo doing a 30 day challenge at his CrossFit affiliate
  • His physical transformation after changing his lifestyle
  • How his personal experience with Paleo evolved into Pete’s Paleo
  • The principles that form the foundation of Pete’s Paleo
  • Tips for getting the most out of your local CSA
  • His advice for someone starting out with Paleo with minimal cooking experience
  • What to look for when eating bacon
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him
  • Adapting training and lifestyle to different phases of life
You can learn more about Pete on the Pete’s Paleo websiteFacebook or Instagram.
Links from this episode:
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

31 – Robert Porter and his coach Patrick Flannery on losing 90 pounds with CrossFit and finding the right community for you

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Robert Porter was a swimmer growing up and active through high school and college. As the years passed, he became more sedentary, and with his job as an insurance broker he ate a majority of his meals at restaurants. His weight slowly crept up to 240 lbs at its peak, and although he wasn’t taking any medications he was starting to develop fatty liver disease, he was snoring at night, and he knew he was heading down the wrong path. His initial experience at a CrossFit affiliate wasn’t what he was hoping it would be, but a year later he followed the advice of his friend, Pate Katz, and decided to give it another shot. That time it stuck, and he has since changed his diet, lost a total of 90 pounds, and influenced dozens of his friends and family members to change their own lifestyles as well. I caught up with Rob and his coach Patrick Flannery at his affiliate, Great Lakes CrossFit in Bedford Heights, OH to learn more about his journey and what clicked for him with this affiliate and community.

 

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Rob’s Transformation

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Rob’s athletic background growing up
  • How things started to change as he became more sedentary
  • The breaking point when he knew he had to make a lifestyle change
  • His first experience with CrossFit and why he didn’t go back
  • Why he decided to try CrossFit again a year later and what was different that time
  • His experience during his first few months of CrossFit
  • The changes he made to his diet
  • Changes he’s noticed in his life outside the gym
  • What it was like to go back to his physician’s office after making these changes
  • Using milestones in the gym to keep him motivated
  • How Patrick approaches working deconditioned athletes
  • Advice Rob would give someone who is overweight or intimidated to make a lifestyle change
  • How Rob has influenced others in his life to start CrossFit and change their diets
  • How each CrossFit affiliate is unique and Rob’s advice for finding the right community for you
  • How Rob approaches eating out
  • Three things both Rob and Patrick do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on health
  • What a healthy life looks like to them
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Rob in 2012

 

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Rob and his friend Pete Katz

 

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Meeting Rob

 

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

30 – Nadia Johnston on how CrossFit helped her to overcome eating disorders and depression

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Nadia Johnston just completed her first year studying psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, but several years ago her life looked very different. Since the age of 16 she has struggled with eating disorders and depression, at one point nearly taking her own life. With the support of her family and friends, she began the long road to recovery which in 2013 led her to CrossFit. She got started in her friend’s garage gym and today she just trains with the loving and supportive community at CrossFit Pro1 Montreal and this year she participated in her first Open. I was fascinated with Nadia’s story and I am so appreciative that she had the courage to open up and share her experience here on Pursuing Health.
In this episode, we discuss:
  • How her struggle with eating disorders began at age 16
  • How this started to impact her academic performance and led her to come forward to her parents
  • Her journey to seek help and start the process of recovery
  • Her struggle with depression and functioning in school and work after high school
  • What brought her to the point of wanting to end her life
  • How support from her family and friends helped her to ultimately progress down the road to recovery
  • Her introduction to CrossFit and how it helped to change her body image and relationship with food
  • Different methods of treatment she used
  • How measuring her food still acts as a trigger for her eating disordered thoughts
  • How her experience inspired her current study of psychology at McGill University and future plans to become a physician
  • Three things she does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on her health
  • One thing she struggles to implement that could have a big impact on her health
  • What a healthy life looks like to her
To connect with Nadia, email nadiaj.crossfit@gmail.com.
Other stories of overcoming eating disorders with CrossFit:
If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

29 – Dave Castro on applying lessons learned as a SEAL, his daily routine, and directing the CrossFit Games

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Dave Castro knew he wanted to become a Navy SEAL before graduating from high school, and it wasn’t long after that he enlisted in the Navy, graduated from BUD/S and began his service as a SEAL from 1998-2010. In 2005, he first caught wind of CrossFit and started following CrossFit.com to support his training. By 2006 he had begun training at the original CrossFit HQ affiliate in Santa Cruz, CA and was soon helping out at Level 1 seminars. The following year, he hosted the first ever CrossFit Games competition at his family’s Ranch in Aromas, CA. Since that time, the CrossFit Games competition has grown exponentially into a professional sport under Dave’s direction, and this year marks the 10th season of competition in CrossFit Games history. Now Dave serves as the Director of the CrossFit Games and Co-Director of Training alongside Nicole Carroll. I was excited to sit down with Dave to discuss what drives him, how he continues to use his SEAL training today, and his approach to programming and directing the Games. 

In this episode, we discuss:

  • His thoughts on the 2016 Regional Competition
  • His approach to programming events for various levels of CrossFit Games competition
  • How he uses inspiration from art, music, literature, and other sports to inspire CrossFit Games events
  • His daily routine
  • His experience dropping in to every affiliate in San Diego county this year
  • His current training regimen
  • What inspired him to become a Navy SEAL
  • How he applies lessons and skills learned as a SEAL to his position as a leader within CrossFit
  • How he found closure as a SEAL and transitioned out of the military and into his full time role with CrossFit HQ
  • What drives him to make the CrossFit Games competition the best it can possibly be
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • The books he’s read most recently
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • How he distinguishes health from performance
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can learn more about Dave by following him on Instagram, The CrossFit Games website, or by watching the video below:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

28 – James Hobart on teaching, competing, and the real purpose of CrossFit

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James Hobart found CrossFit in 2007, and over the past decade he has served the CrossFit community through a variety of different roles. James joined CrossFit’s Seminar Staff in 2010 while at Suffolk Law School and graduated with his JD shortly thereafter in 2011. After working for Reebok‘s Fitness and Training team from 2011-2013 during the early years of the CrossFit partnership, James took a full-time role on Seminar Staff and has since traveled the world teaching CrossFit and meeting the community. In the midst of these responsibilities, James has also developed into one of the top CrossFit Games athletes in the world, competing at the Games as an individual in 2009, 2010, and 2014 and on both the CrossFit New England and CrossFit Mayhem Freedom affiliate teams, winning the Affiliate Cup with each. James is notorious for training with some of the best CrossFit Games athletes including Austin Malleolo, Spencer Hendel, and Rich Froning. I was excited to sit down with James in the midst of the 2016 CrossFit Games Regional season to hear his perspective on teaching and competing in CrossFit and his relentless drive to make himself and those around him better.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How he found CrossFit
  • His transition from using CrossFit for personal health while in law school to making it into a full-time career
  • His experience teaching CrossFit seminars all over the world and the lessons he’s learned from that role
  • His evolution as a competitor both individually and on two separate winning teams at the CrossFit Games
  • His recent CrossFit Journal article on training volume and what inspired him to write it
  • Watching his mom start CrossFit at age 54
  • His best advice for introducing CrossFit to a friend or family member
  • His best advice to someone who is just starting CrossFit
  • How and why he seeks out training partners such as Austin Malleolo and Rich Froning
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can learn more about James by following him on Instagram or Twitter, or by watching the video below:

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.

 

 

 





27 – Adrian Bozman on teaching CrossFit, judging at the CrossFit Games, and garage gym training

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Adrian Bozman, known to many as “Boz,” has been a staple figure in the CrossFit community for nearly the past decade. Coming from a well-rounded fitness background that even included circus training, CrossFit was a natural transition. After attending his Level 1 Seminar, Boz started helping out the seminar staff and eventually found himself traveling the world teaching the philosophy and methodology of CrossFit as a Seminar Staff Flowmaster. Boz is also well-known as Head Judge of The CrossFit Games and has played a large role in the development of the standards and judging of this still very young and evolving sport. I was excited to sit down with Boz to find out more about his background, experiences, and perspectives from his very unique vantage point within the CrossFit community.

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2013 CrossFit Games Open Standards Videos

 

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Training at CrossFit HQ with Boz and James Hobart

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How he found CrossFit and eventually his role as a flowmaster on seminar staff
  • What he loves about teaching and the Level 1 Seminar
  • How he evolved into the role of Head Judge at the CrossFit Games
  • How the judging has evolved at the CrossFit Games and how he addresses controversy in judging
  • His recent “Ro vs. Boz” win in the 2016 Open and how that experience has evolved over the years
  • What he loves most about training in his garage gym
  • The essential equipment to start with for building a garage gym
  • His background before starting CrossFit
  • Three things he does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

 

You can follow Adrian on Instagram and throughout The CrossFit Games season.

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear all of your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #JFHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.
Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.