Ep 125 – Bridging the Gap Between the Hospital and the CrossFit Affiliate

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We are trying to reach the populations that would otherwise never consider walking into a CrossFit gym.  That was goal #1 was, when we first put this out to people, if you’re the least likely person to go to a CrossFit gym, we want you.  And it was followed pretty closely after that with, we will meet you wherever you’re at.  And, got a pretty good response just from that.  We have targeted two primary populations.  One we call special populations, and that covers everything from the severely overweight to chronic disease: diabetes, COPD, you name it, we’ve got it.  And, that was our primary target was a special populations class, and then reaching seniors, and the people who didn’t have exposure to any kind of physical activity, let alone CrossFit, and teaching them some of the skills that would be necessary to keep them living independently.– Michele Mootz

When it comes to helping seniors and other “unlikely exercisers” become active and functionally fit for a lifetime of health, Dustin Jones and Michele Mootz are leading the charge.

As a home health physical therapist, Dustin Jones works to keep older adults resilient and independent at home.  He is also the founder of Geros Health and the Geros Health podcast, where he connects thousands of clinicians to share information and education about caring for older adults.

Michele Mootz is a true CrossFit original, getting her start in Santa Cruz back in 2004.  An experienced physical therapist, she fell in love with CrossFit methodologies and ultimately left her formal work as a physical therapist to become a full-time coach.  Michelle has worked on the CrossFit Seminar Staff member for 10 years, currently serving as a Flowmaster.  Most recently she has taken over the CrossFit Heath program at CrossFit HQ where she works with older adults as well as those struggling with obesity and chronic disease in an effort to help them regain their health and independence.

Michele, Dustin and I met up at a recent CFMDL1 seminar to share a discussion on how we can bridge the gap from the hospital to the affiliate.  In this episode, we discuss the considerations that go along with working with these special populations, how affiliate owners can get start their own senior and special populations programs, and how healthcare providers can get involved with their local affiliates.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The stereotypes surrounding CrossFit, and the initiative CrossFit HQ is undertaking to reach populations who would never consider trying CrossFit, including obese populations, those with chronic disease, and seniors
  • How a box owner or a dedicated coach can create an inviting environment for those who need CrossFit the most so they feel welcomed
  • The criteria CrossFit HQ uses in allowing those interested to join their CrossFit Health program
  • Scheduling and programming considerations for special populations
  • What primary care physicians should look for in an affiliate in order to feel comfortable referring patients
  • How healthcare providers can get involved with their local affiliates
  • The Derelict Doctors Club or “DDC”
  • The trickle-down theory: why the MDL1 is not open to all healthcare providers
  • How HQ is working towards a directory of doctors who CrossFit
  • The reasoning behind CrossFit HQ’s decision to track quality of life over other health data markers
  • Michelle’s action steps for box owners and coaches who would like to get started helping special populations
  • Julie’s action steps for medical providers who would like to consider using functional movement to help their patients
  • Dustin’s thoughts on why functional movement is so important for rehabilitation patients

You can follow Dustin and Geros Health on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and via his podcast.  You can contact Michele Mootz via email.

Links:

Related Episodes:

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 #PursuingHealth. 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.


Ep 124 – Breaking Barriers with Adaptive Athlete and Coach Kevin Ogar

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“I think we’ve seen a lot of these to-be athletes, these persons with disabilities be told no, or that they can’t, and then they just give up or they stop and they’ve never actually tried, and they’re only told no because of some statistic that says they’re probably not going to.  But they’ve never tried for themselves, and I’ve always thought that was kind of weird.  And what we’re finding is that when we get these people to try, those statistics are wrong, and they’re based off people who don’t want to do any better.  And so, they have this whole vast life of functionality that they haven’t even begun to tap because someone somewhere along the road said, ‘Hey, don’t do that.’  Or, ‘Hey, you can’t do that.’  Or, ‘You should be careful because you’re already broken.’  I think my big goal is to allow them to understand, yeah, you may have some broken parts and pieces but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to better those things.  You shouldn’t [stop trying] to push and the limits of your athleticism just because someone told you no.  I mean, imagine an able-bodied person, imagine the CrossFit Games if half of these athletes had been told no and they just stopped and hadn’t pushed the limit.” – Kevin Ogar

In the blink of an eye, Kevin Ogar’s life dramatically changed while weightlifting during a fitness competition.  An erratic bounce of a barbell clipped him in the back, injuring his spinal cord and leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.

At just 28, Kevin went from being an active CrossFit coach and aspiring Games competitor to being paraplegic and learning how to navigate life from a wheelchair.  In the aftermath of the accident, Kevin was surrounded by love and support from the CrossFit community, and his passion for CrossFit helped him navigate through some dark times as he focused on getting back in the gym and to the community he loves.

In the years since the accident, Kevin has not only become a prolific adaptive athlete, he has also dedicated himself to helping others use CrossFit for fitness and recovery.  He travels the world teaching CrossFit Level 1 seminars and Adaptive Training Academy courses, runs his own affiliate, CrossFit Watchtower, volunteers with Craig Hospital to run a therapeutic recreation program, and is on the board of directors for The Reveille Project, a non-profit that provides tools to aid veterans as they adapt back to civilian life.

I had the opportunity to catch up with Kevin at the 2019 CrossFit Games, and we chatted about his recovery process, how he adjusts his mindset when he’s having a down day, and his passion for helping others push beyond their limits to achieve more than they ever thought possible.

In this episode we discuss:

  • How Kevin got into fitness, and what it was like to be doing CrossFit while the sport was in it’s infancy
  • His competitive drive and how that helped him succeed as a Regionals athlete
  • The injury that severed Kevin’s spinal cord and resulted in paralysis from the waist down
  • The overwhelming support he received following his injury and his desire to give back to the community
  • The mental, emotional, and physical stages of his recovery
  • Kevin’s partnership with Craig Hospital which helps other rehab patients try CrossFit
  • His own drive to resume CrossFit during his recovery
  • Opening his affiliate, CrossFit WatchTower, and how he keeps the focus of his gym on creating a community for those who need CrossFit to help with recovery
  • Getting started as an adaptive athlete
  • Kevin’s goals for the Adaptive Training Academy (formerly the CrossFit Adaptive Athlete Certificate course)
  • His non-profit, The Reveille Project, and how they’re helping veterans get involved with CrossFit to restore their lives post-active duty
  • His work on the CrossFit Level 1 Seminar Staff
  • Kevin’s process for changing his mindset when he’s having a down day
  • How Kevin hopes to impact people
  • Why it’s so important to continue trying, even if someone tells you no
  • Three things that have the biggest positive impact on Kevin’s health
  • One thing he struggles with that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Kevin

You can follow Kevin on Instagram and Facebook, and you can support The Reveille Project here.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 37 – Steph Hammerman on overcoming obstacles, teaching CrossFit, and crushing cancer
Ep 60 – Chris Spealler on training for longevity and becoming a Master
Ep 75 – Growth through Adversity with Kyle Maynard

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 #PursuingHealth. 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.


Ep 123 – Zoë Harcombe on Dissecting Nutrition Research and Dietary Guidelines

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“For me it’s so easy, it’s just so easy.  So, if we could put aside the conflicts, would we all be able to agree that we should eat real food and not processed food?  Surely, that is a starting point that we could all agree on.  And it’s actually where carnivores and vegans should be on the same plate.  So, please guys, can we agree, we know… horribly conflicted in the US, with the dieticians in bed with half the fake food companies in the world, it’s the same in the UK, it’s absolutely the same in Australia although they’re trying to clean it up a bit…  So, that is getting in the way of what should be just such an easy first principle.  Eat. Real. Food.” – Zoë Harcombe

Zoë Harcombe, Ph.D., is a researcher, author, blogger, and speaker in the fields of nutrition and health.  Her particular area of expertise is public health dietary guidelines, especially dietary fat, nutrition and obesity. She has a BA in Economics and an MA in Mathematics from Cambridge University, and she earned her PhD in Public Health Nutrition from the University of the West of Scotland.

Zoë is well known for her thorough examination of nutrition research studies and journal articles, and she advocates for the public to be educated in evidence-based dietary advice.  After many years as a vegetarian, Zoë herself now follows a low carb, high fat diet and believes that eating real food, including animal protein, is the key to long term health.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Zoë at the 2019 CrossFit Health Conference where she was presenting on the corruption plaguing current nutrition advice.  We covered a wide range of topics including what prompted her to leave a successful human resources career to pursue her Ph.D. in public health nutrition, and how, as she completed her thesis, she learned that much of current public health dietary advice is not evidence-based.  We also talked about what she believes research shows to be the best diet, why there is so much misinformation regarding nutrition out there, and what listeners can do to influence change in the current dietary guidelines.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Zoë’s background and how her brother’s diabetes spurred an interest in nutrition
  • Her interest in studying eating disorders while at University of Cambridge
  • What her experience of writing a book was like while working another job
  • Why she decided to leave a successful human resources career and return to school for her Ph.D.
  • The research she pursued as part of her Ph.D.
  • Why Zoë believes the current dietary fat guidelines were released in spite of lack of significant research findings
  • What Zoë thinks the research is telling us about which is the best possible diet to follow
  • The nutrients we need to survive
  • Her take on the fat-carb combo, and how that makes our appetite insatiable
  • Why she was initially vegetarian, how she made the transition to eating meat, and how she reconciled the change with her ethics
  • The changes Zoë noticed when she began eating meat
  • How eating meat benefits the planet by improving topsoil
  • The addictive nature of carbohydrates
  • Vegetables and fiber: how the evidence for 5 a day isn’t as strong as we think
  • The difference in fiber in vegetables versus whole grains
  • Zoë’s process for dissecting research studies
  • How she advises the layperson to analyze articles they are reading, and what red flags they should be looking for
  • Why Zoë believes revising the current dietary guidelines is so important, and what she’s doing to create change
  • What listeners can do to influence change in the current dietary guidelines
  • Three things Zoë 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 Zoë

You can follow Zoë on her blog, her YouTube channel, her podcast, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”
Ep 71 – The Sugar Free Revolution with Karen Thomson
Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease
Ep 93 – Debunking Nutrition Myths with Gary Taubes
Ep 118 – The State of CrossFit with Coach Greg Glassman

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 #PursuingHealth. 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.


Ep 122 – Competing in the CrossFit Games while in Medical School: Singapore’s Fittest Man Ian Wee

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There was, of course, a lot of shock, a lot of happiness, a lot of pride because we all knew that this was the first time that Singapore gets to send athletes to the Games.  Of course, within the box… members were proud, the box owners were very happy.  Outside of the box I received a lot of support from people I don’t know- people overseas via social media, and of course, my family.” – Ian Wee

Ian Wee, the Fittest Man in Singapore, is one of 236 athletes who qualified for the 2019 CrossFit Games by earning a National Champion title in the CrossFit Open.  This feat is all the more impressive when you consider that he’s also in the process of completing medical school, so his time spent training has been quite a bit less than many of his competitors.

A student at the National University of Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, Ian has been participating in CrossFit off and on since 2013.  Over the past six years, he’s taken time away from the sport to focus on medical training and research (he’s published over 50 papers), and to compete as a National Olympic Weightlifter for Team Singapore, where he’s set national records in the snatch and total.

With the announcement of the changes to the 2019 Games selection process, Ian re-committed himself to regular CrossFit training and found ways to squeeze in extra sessions while keeping up with his studies.  His efforts paid off when he finished the Open in first place for his country, securing a berth to his rookie CrossFit Games.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Ian the 2019 CrossFit Games, and it was fun to compare notes on what it’s like to be a medical student while training as an elite athlete.  We talked about his experience representing his country at the Games, how he balances school with training, and what plans he has in store for the future.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Ian’s athletic background and how he made the transition from working out at home to training at an affiliate
  • His experience competing as a National Olympic Weightlifter for Team Singapore
  • His interest in research and some of the studies he’s published
  • Where Ian is at in medical school and how he fits in his CrossFit Games training
  • The factors that led him to pursue a career in medicine
  • Why he’s considering a career in surgery
  • The process for arranging to take time off to attend the Games
  • The support he received from his family, affiliate, and community as he prepared for the Games
  • His CrossFit Games experience
  • The next event on the horizon for Ian
  • The changes Ian made to his training to prepare for the Games
  • His approach to training for the 2020 season
  • Three things Ian 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 Ian

You can follow Ian on Instagram and Facebook.

Links:

Related episodes:

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 #PursuingHealth. 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.


Ep 121 – Christy Adkins & Lindy Barber on Transitions in Life and Fitness

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“So, you get to the CrossFit gym, and you see- or I see other moms, I see other dads, I see people who have competitive aspirations and I’m able to mentor, and so, it kind of feeds a lot of things at once.  And that’s 45 minutes to an hour and a half, and then you walk away feeling very fulfilled and able to be your best at the rest of your day.” – Christy Adkins

Christy Phillips Adkins is an 8-time CrossFit Games athlete, competing as an individual seven times between 2009 and 2016, and once on team CrossFit Balance in 2017.  Over the course of her career, she overcame both physical and psychological challenges, including narrowly missing the cutoff for the 2015 Games, and recovering from a torn biceps tendon in time to qualify in 2016.  After retiring from competition to focus on starting a family, she quickly became pregnant with her now 15-month-old son, Bo, and has embraced what it means to train for longevity and health as a post-partum athlete.

Lindy Barber is a former collegiate soccer player who began competing in CrossFit in 2012 after rehabbing a fractured vertebra in her back.  She has competed at the CrossFit Games twice as an individual, and has had three podium finishes as a member of Team CrossFit Mayhem Freedom.  In Lindy’s final season, she found herself losing some of her excitement for training as her back injury flared up and she knew that her body was asking for a break. She knew it was time to shift gears with her training to protect her long-term health and to preserve her joy for the sport. The 2019 season marks the first year that Lindy has not been training for the CrossFit Games, and it has been a huge transition for her to figure out what life looks like when not training 6-7 hours per day.

I had the chance to sit down with Lindy and Christy during the 2019 CrossFit Games in Madison, WI for a live podcast recording at the Reebok tent. We shared stories about the life and fitness transitions all three of us have undergone over the last few years, and what it looks like to shift from training as a competitive athlete to training for health and longevity.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The recent life and fitness transitions Christy and Lindy have been through, and the factors that helped them make decisions about these transitions
  • What training for health and longevity means, and how that differs from training like a competitive athlete
  • Body image and how their relationship with their bodies have changed
  • How they structure their time and find balance now that their primary focus is not competition
  • The need to cultivate other interests and what they’ve found to be important outside the gym

You can follow Christy on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. You can follow Lindy on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Links:

Related episodes

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 #PursuingHealth. 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.


Ep 120 – All About Keto with Dr. Dom D’Agostino

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“So, for me, it was kind of liberating that once you’re in ketosis you’re not that hungry.  And then, in the context of elevated ketones, they’re sort of anti-catabolic, and I talked about that a little bit.  And, it liberated me from food.  But when I… I like to enjoy food; I think food should be- I don’t think we should deprive ourselves of food.  So, depriving myself of carbohydrates, that’s not something that I miss.  So, and if people really miss that and enjoy that, I don’t think they should eliminate it from their menu or their meals.   I think we need to enjoy food, that’s part of the process.  But I enjoy food much more if I’m a little bit hungry.  I appreciate the food, I enjoy it.  Ketogenic food is like indulgent to me because for years that’s the stuff I avoided. So, I’m more happy with my food now than I ever was, I think.  And I don’t have irrational food behavior.” – Dominic D’Agostino

Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and a senior research scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition.

With a diverse background in neuroscience, pharmacology, nutrition and physiology, Dom brings a unique perspective to the ketogenic diet.  He believes it can be applied not just in treating medical conditions but also in contributing to overall health and optimizing human performance.

The findings from his research on nutritional ketosis have been utilized by Navy SEALs and NASA, and he recently has been at the forefront of research involving the use of nutritional ketosis as a tool to treat cancer.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dom at the 2019 CrossFit Health Conference in Madison, where he presented on the emerging applications of ketosis.  We talked about the basics of the ketogenic diet, how it can fit into the everyday person’s lifestyle, and the exciting research he’s conducting to learn more about using metabolic therapies in the treatment of cancer.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What brought Dom to the CrossFit Health Conference
  • His background and what influenced him to become a research scientist
  • What led him to study nutritional ketosis
  • A broad overview of the ketogenic diet
  • Whether it’s necessary to actually measure ketones
  • The physiological impacts of being in a state of ketosis
  • The known and emerging applications of nutritional ketosis
  • Whether there is an advantage to being in a state of ketosis versus simply eating low carb
  • Populations for whom keto might not be a good fit
  • Why keto can appear to affect men and women differently
  • How ketosis can fit into a typical CrossFitter’s lifestyle and a competitor’s lifestyle
  • What we know about ketosis and the microbiome
  • The metabolic theory of cancer and why ketosis may be a tool for treatment
  • How press-pulse therapy can be used as a metabolic management tool in the treatment of cancer
  • What drives Dom to do self-experimentation and what he’s learned from it
  • Three things Dom 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 Dom

You can follow Dr. Dom D’Agostino on his website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter,

Links:

Related episode:

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 #PursuingHealth. 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.


Ep 119 – Josh Bridges on Recovering from Knee Surgery and Paying the Man

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“I remember asking my Chief, I was like, ‘Hey, I think I want to try to go do this CrossFit Games thing, and I’m not going to have to miss a lot of training, are you good with it?’  And he looked at me, and he’s like- and he didn’t really know a lot about CrossFit- but he goes- he knew a little bit- and he goes, ‘Well, what’s your Fran time?’  And I was like, ‘It’s 2:02.’  And he goes, ‘Okay, you can give it a shot.’  And so, I only had to miss a little bit of work for that.  But looking back on 2011, that was the craziest year because we were in the middle of a workup, and a workup is not easy.  We’re out in the desert doing up-down drills at 130 degrees for 12 hours a day, just non-stop.  And so, you’d get these little breaks in between your sessions of workouts with the military and everyone goes and takes a nap or eats food and I literally would go in the gym and workout.  I look back, and I’m like, ‘How the hell did I do that?’” – Josh Bridges

Josh Bridges is a 6-time CrossFit Games competitor who has been doing CrossFit since 2005.  In addition to three first place finishes at the highly competitive California Regional, his top finishes at the CrossFit Games include second in 2011 and fourth in 2014.

A former collegiate wrestler and U.S. Navy Seal, Josh has used the lessons he’s learned along the way to cultivate his impressive work ethic and mental toughness.  He is known and loved for his fiery presence on the competition floor, and for his mantra, “Pay the Man.”

I had the opportunity to sit down with Josh in front of a live audience at the 2019 Reebok CrossFit Games.  We chatted about the tools he’s using to speed his recovery from a recent knee surgery, his background as a Navy SEAL, what it means to ‘Pay the Man,’ and his plans for returning to competition.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The lessons Josh has learned from having to step back from intense training during his 2019 season in order to heal his knee injury
  • The recovery methods he’s using to speed and assist his return to training
  • The origin and meaning of “Pay the Man”
  • How Josh’s time as a high school and collegiate wrestler shaped who he is today
  • The process behind becoming a SEAL, and the qualities that allowed him to be successful
  • The mindset Josh uses to get through tough moments
  • What led to Josh’s decision to train for the CrossFit Games
  • The factors that influenced his decision to retire from the military
  • Josh’s thoughts on the format of the new CrossFit Games season, and how that has shaped his approach to 2020
  • His current goals and priorities, and whether we will see him as a Master’s competitor in the future
  • Three things Josh 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 Josh

Josh also answered some great questions from the audience, including:

  • Lessons he is trying to teach his sons
  • His favorite recovery tools
  • His take on Murph and the significance behind it
  • Josh’s competition goals
  • How he got into the coffee business
  • How Josh maintains his joy for fitness
  • His recommendations for athletes who are looking to take their training to the next level
  • Josh’s favorite music for working out
  • Exercise for older athletes: his thoughts on whether there a time when CrossFit no longer appropriate
  • Where he sees the sport of CrossFit progressing in the future
  • How to buy Josh’s coffee

You can follow Josh on his website, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes

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 #PursuingHealth. 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.


Ep 118 – The State of CrossFit with Coach Greg Glassman

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“There was an orchestrated mass media campaign by our critics to portray us as dangerous- by the opposition. And that’s all waning now, because of the changes in the website. So, we were actually able to alter the world’s view of things. And you know the living room set? There are people that thought that I was trying to reach out to people in their living rooms, which is really funny. I’m not. I’m not at all. No one that looks like Bob on that couch is going to stumble on crossfit.com and start doing this stuff. It’s not like that. But we all know someone that looks like that, you know? That looks like my grandma’s living room, or my aunt’s living room. And we know people that are sedentary, and we know people that are eating too much carbohydrate and we know that they’re sitting there watching TV and we know that they’re older. And yet, the CrossFit stimulus has more to offer them than it does you in terms of the change in lifestyle. And so, I said to Sevan, I said, “Let’s bring those people into the gym. Let’s reach out into the community at large and let’s bring the, what I’m calling the underserved.” These are the people that no gym wants them walking in. I promise you at 24 Hour-Nautilus or LA Fitness, when you come in with a walker, no one’s getting all excited, “Look, this is gonna be great.” But I did. I would. We can. Our affiliates will.” – Coach Greg Glassman

As the founder of a program that has revolutionized fitness, Greg Glassman is no stranger to controversy. Known to many as simply “Coach,” he grew up in southern California participating in gymnastics and complemented his training with modalities including weightlifting and cycling.

When he later became a trainer, he was kicked out of several globo gyms for employing his unique style of constantly varied, high intensity functional movement before he finally opened the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz, CA in 1995. Shortly thereafter, CrossFit.com was created and Greg would post Workouts of the Day, or “WODs” for athletes from all over the world to complete.

Beginning in 2003, CrossFit affiliates began to open and CrossFit experienced exponential growth — today there are over 15,000 affiliates worldwide. During this period, we witnessed the rise of the CrossFit Games, the ultimate proving grounds for fitness which crowns the Fittest Man and Woman on Earth each year.  Most recently, we’ve witnessed a significant shift in the qualification process for the Games and major changes at CrossFit HQ.

We’ve also witnessed incredible stories of transformation in the affiliates, with participants losing weight, gaining confidence, and ridding themselves of chronic disease. With the inception of CrossFit Health, CrossFit has turned it’s focus towards fighting ever-increasing disease rates and medical costs while also networking CrossFit physicians and educating affiliate owners, coaches, and the general public in an effort to combat corrupted medical science and a tsunami of chronic disease.

For his third visit to the podcast, Greg and I sat down just before the 2019 CrossFit Health conference and CrossFit Games in Madison, WI.  We discussed the evolution of CrossFit and CrossFit Health, the implications of scientific misconduct in the medical field, and what he sees for the future of CrossFit.

In this episode we discuss:

  • The evolution of CrossFit Health since the first MDL1 in February 2018
  • The changes that have taken place in CrossFit as a whole over the past year
  • The corruption in the health science research
  • How Greg has developed relationships with key physicians and scientists around the world
  • The key people with whom Greg is working with at CFHQ, and how his team makes decisions
  • Whether he foresees any changes for the next CrossFit Games
  • The direction CrossFit is headed and how CrossFit is uniquely qualified to fight chronic disease
  • Greg’s decision to remove CrossFit from social media
  • His message to affiliate owners who felt caught off guard by changes within the organization
  • His goal for the upcoming 10-year affiliate gathering
  • Greg’s advice to an affiliate owner who is looking to grow their business and serve CrossFit’s mission as a whole
  • The story behind the infamous couch set
  • What CrossFit HQ is learning from working with senior and overweight populations, and how Greg plans to share that knowledge with affiliates
  • What he’s most excited to work on these days
  • The new seminar he’s developing on modern science and the scientific method

To learn more about the CrossFit Health movement, follow along with the daily articles posted at crossfit.com. If you are a CrossFit Physician (MD or DO), email info@crossfithealth.com to find out more about future MDL1 seminars and other events.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 21 – Pat Sherwood on CrossFit, the Games and quality of life and longevity
Ep 35 – Coach Greg Glassman on CrossFit, Chronic Disease, and the “5 Buckets of Death”
Ep 69- From “Obese to Beast” with John Glaude
Ep 71 – The Sugar Free Revolution with Karen Thomson
Ep 80 – Greg Glassman on Networking CrossFit Physicians and Fighting Chronic Disease
Ep 93 – Debunking Nutrition Myths with Gary Taubes
Ep 114 – Practicing CrossFit for Health with Dr. Maude Dull

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 #PursuingHealth. 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.

 


Ep 117 – Functional Bodybuilding & Earning Intensity with Marcus Filly

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“We’re so resilient as people that we can deal with a lot of stuff.  And if you pull back on the intensity, and you give your body a chance to heal, we’re also remarkable healers.  You know, you give yourself the right ingredients, we’ll heal from almost… I mean, from a lot.  And I had to go through that experience first-hand and people watched me go through that experience and they’re like, “Marcus, what are you doing, I want to try that, what’s that thing?” and so I had to give it a name.  I mean, I intentionally gave it a name to let it create an identity.  And now it’s’ a couple years into it and there’s a very clear look and feel to doing functional bodybuilding workouts.” – Marcus Filly

Marcus Filly is a 6-time CrossFit Games athlete, a former medical school student, and the catalyst behind the functional bodybuilding movement.  As the owner of Revival Strength, he is passionate about providing training programs to help his clients build strength and endurance without breaking down their bodies.

However, Marcus wasn’t always so sure about his path.  Following his collegiate athletic career, Marcus entered medical school to pursue what he thought was his intended purpose.  Instead, he found that while he appreciated the knowledge and the discipline of his medical training, a voice inside kept telling him he was on the wrong track.

After a lot of soul searching, Marcus decided to follow his heart and begin a career in fitness.  In doing so, he found a new way to educate and empower people with the tools they need to begin their own pursuit of health and happiness.

Marcus and I had a great conversation about the many parallels in our lives, from medical training to the demands of being a competitive athlete.  In this episode, we discuss the importance of finding your true purpose, the distinction between functional bodybuilding and other styles of training, and why lifestyle stressors are a huge consideration when it comes to earning intensity in a workout.

Topics we cover in this episode include:

  • Marcus’s athletic and educational background
  • The application process for med school and how his fitness experience shaped his intended career path in medicine, with a desire to focus on health
  • The importance of being introspective and taking time to figure out your own path
  • How periods of great stress can lead to revelations about your true purpose, and how Marcus applies his own experience to help his clients
  • Marcus’s CrossFit journey from team athlete to individual Games competitor
  • The factors that drove his decision to step away from competition
  • Where the concept for Revival Strength came from
  • His goals to create careers for his coaches and provide one-on-one attention for his clients
  • The distinction between traditional CrossFit style workouts and functional bodybuilding
  • The value of periodization, control points, tempo, and rest
  • Marcus’s belief that you have to earn intensity in your workouts by balancing the stressors in your life
  • Strategies that he employs to manage his stress and maintain balance
  • Three things Marcus 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 Marcus

You can follow Marcus on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on his podcast.

Links:

Related Episodes:

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 #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is  brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your first order and Burgers All Summer! Sign up before August 8th and receive a pack of 6 FREE burgers in every box you receive from now until October 15th.

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.


Ep 116 – How Healing Works with Dr. Wayne Jonas

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“I call that integrative health.  Integrative health is a little different than complementary medicine, is different than integrative medicine.  Integrative health is the merger of conventional care like I learned, and you learned in your own medical training.  Evidence-based complementary practices, non-drug approaches, and then self-care: behavior and lifestyle. If you put those three together you have integrative health, and now we’re talking.  Now we’re able to really not only prevent a lot of illnesses, but in many cases, reverse a lot of chronic illnesses that plague our country today.” – Dr. Wayne Jonas

Dr. Wayne Jonas is a practicing family physician, an expert in integrative health, and a widely published scientific investigator. In addition to his medical practice, he has served as President, CEO, and Executive Director for Samueli Integrative Health Programs, Director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, and Director of the Medical Research Fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research.  Dr. Jonas is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Medical Corps of the United States Army and a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Drawing on his experience from leading hundreds of research studies, Dr. Jonas authored the book How Healing Works, in which he explains the biology of healing and the science behind the discovery that 80 percent of healing occurs outside of our conventional medical care.  His goal is to change the way doctors and patients approach healthcare—away from a disease treatment model to an integrative system that incorporates the best of evidence-based conventional, complementary and self-care approaches.  Dr. Jonas’s advice can help us facilitate our own innate ability to heal after both minor and major medical incidents, change how we consume healthcare, and enable us to be more in control of our own health.

I first read Dr. Jonas’s book during my own residency in family medicine, and his message really resonated with the way I aspire to practice in my career.  I was excited to chat with him recently about the concept of integrative health and how research supports that taking care of the whole person– mind, body, and spirit– is imperative for long-term healing.

*Dr. Jonas’s bio adapted from his website.

In this episode we discuss:

  • What interested Dr. Jonas in a career in medicine and eventually family medicine
  • How he developed an interest in patient-centered care with a spiritual focus
  • The healing paradox: how 80% of healing occurs outside of modern conventional treatments
  • The definition of integrative health
  • How cultural context affects the preferred placebo delivery method and how placebo response should actually be called the healing response
  • Open placebo studies and how they demonstrate that intention, ritual, and belief can create healing
  • How to train the body to give a learned response to a conditioned stimulus
  • How mindset around lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise, can improve health
  • How one can start the process of healing through finding meaning and purpose
  • The importance of stress management and exercising the relaxation response to strengthen your parasympathetic nervous system
  • Where health comes from: the impact of physical environment, love, and social connections on health
  • Using visualization for healing
  • Jonas’s advice to physicians wanting to tap into the extra 80% of healing
  • How doctors and patients can use the HOPE Note to add integrative healthcare to a routine medical visit
  • Dr. Jonas’s daily life and practices he implements for his own self-care
  • Three things Dr. Jonas 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 Dr. Jonas

You can follow Dr. Jonas on his website, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Links:

Related Episodes:

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 #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: $20 off your first order and Burgers All Summer! Sign up before August 8th and receive a pack of 6 FREE burgers in every box you receive from now until October 15th.

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.

 

 


Ep 115 – Becoming a CrossFit Games Athlete: Rookies Fee Saghafi & Erin Vandendriessche

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“I didn’t start CrossFit to be competitive, and I didn’t get into the competitive side until several years later.  And, I would say, I didn’t start getting competitive until 3… 3-4 years ago.  And then I was like, ‘Oh, this is fun,’ I started with local competitions.  I remember seeing Erin at local competitions, and so that was always cool to me and that was always fun, and it wasn’t so much about competing, it was about, I wanted to prove to myself that I could do something that I never thought that I could do.  I always see these- the top-level girls, they have the 10 years of gymnastics, they come from Division 1 swimming, they are- they were- elite track competitors.  And I just didn’t have that background, and I didn’t have those same opportunities, and to be able to prove that I could still get there, over time, was something that I wanted to prove to myself.” – Fee Saghafi

Neither Feeroozeh Saghafi nor Erin Vandendriessche started CrossFit with the intention of becoming competitors, but over the last several years, both women have slowly worked their way from beginners to up-and-coming Games athletes.

Erin Vandendriessche is a former Baldwin Wallace University gymnast and two-time Central Regional athlete, making an appearance on the CTown CrossFit team in 2017, and an individual appearance in 2018.  With the changes to the 2019 Games season, Erin made the surprising decision to opt out of the Open, and instead focused on competing at Sanctionals, most notably the Italian Showdown where she topped the podium and earned her ticket to the 2019 CrossFit Games.  A former nurse and current nutrition coach, Erin trains out of her husband’s affiliate, Root 18 CrossFit in Medina, OH.

Fee Saghafi is a former high school volleyball athlete who started CrossFit as a way to manage her weight and provide direction in the gym while she was in college.  After two appearances at the Central Regional (on team CrossFit Mentality in 2017 and as an individual in 2018) she decided to dial in her training and her mindset and commit to her goal of becoming a Games competitor.  She finished 24th in the 2019 Open, securing her rookie berth to the CrossFit Games.  Fee attended John Carroll University where she earned a degree in Exercise Science and most recently graduated with her Master’s in Business Administration. Fee coaches and trains alongside Scott Panchik at CrossFit Mentality in Mentor, OH.

Through the years of competing alongside each other in local events, Fee and Erin have grown to become friends in addition to fellow competitors.  While they earned their rookie spot at the Games through different avenues, both women have found that embracing a champion mindset has been an integral part of making the leap to becoming one of the best in the world.  I caught up with Fee and Erin at CrossFit Mentality to chat about their evolution as athletes, and what tips, habits, and practices they used to qualify for their first CrossFit Games.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Erin & Fee’s athletic backgrounds
  • How and why they got started doing CrossFit
  • How the three of us got to know each other
  • Erin & Fee’s first Regionals experience, and how that impacted their goals for the future
  • How their training changed as they made the transition from team athlete to individual
  • The importance of dialing in areas outside the gym to improve performance
  • The lessons Fee learned from her individual experience at the 2018 Regionals, and how she changed her training and mindset going into the 2019 season
  • Their reaction to the changes in the qualification process for the 2019 CrossFit Games
  • Erin’s strategy to qualify for the Games, and why she opted out of the Open
  • Erin’s team experience at the Mid-Atlantic CrossFit Challenge
  • Their experience at the CrossFit Italian Showdown, and finding comfort in competing alongside a familiar face
  • The biggest mindset shift that Erin & Fee made that helped them to qualify for the Games
  • How Fee draws on Games veteran Scott Panchik’s competition experience to improve her training
  • The biggest changes Fee & Erin made in their training and their mentality to support their goal of making it to the Games
  • What their schedule, training and nutrition look like as the 2019 Games approaches
  • Three things Fee & Erin 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 their health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Fee and to Erin

You can follow Fee and Erin on Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes

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 #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: Free Bacon for Life* + $20 off your order!

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.


Ep 114 – Practicing CrossFit for Health with Dr. Maude Dull

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I really just… kind of wanted to get more into the CrossFit community.  More interested in sort of where things were going, especially as we were moving, CrossFit as an organization, is moving away from the sort of Games mentality into more of a health mentality.  And I remember saying a lot of times in Huntsville when I was training that CrossFit is wasted on the fit.  I really felt like training for the Games, training for the Open, or people are training for the Games, and stuff like that, and there’s this huge emphasis on this elite fitness and I was like, it’s kind of wasted on people that already have it.  Whereas there’s people like me that needed it so bad.  That had to sort of, we were embraced and brought into it, but not the way we would be embraced now.  You had to sort of… you had to break in a little bit, still.  So, that was always one of the things that I said, was CrossFit was wasted on the fit.  So, I would… when I sort of saw this shift going on, and heard some of the stuff that Coach Glassman was talking about, I was like, ‘You know what? I want to get in on this, I want to check it out.’” – Dr. Maude Dull

Dr. Maude Dull has been active throughout her life, but from middle school through medical training she struggled to maintain a healthy weight, peaking at 240 lbs.  As a young doctor specializing in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics and working in fast-paced intensive care settings, she used martial arts and then CrossFit to provide an outlet for her stressful work schedule but found her weight wouldn’t budge.  Wanting to reach her full potential as an athlete, she enlisted the help of a nutrition coach from Precision Nutrition who focused on changing her habits, and a performance coach who helped her shift her mindset.  Maude was finally able to bring her weight to a healthy level, and along the way she learned valuable lessons about the importance of balance in all aspects of life.

These days, Maude has pivoted away from adrenaline-seeking work and workouts, and instead enjoys moderation with a challenging job in a Step-Down Unit and workouts scaled to help her remain healthy long-term.

I had the pleasure of meeting Maude at a recent CFMDL1 seminar, and was excited to catch up with her at San Francisco CrossFit to share her story of how she changed her habits to overcome obesity, why she made the shift from training for the Open to training for longevity, and what prompted her to join the CrossFit Health movement.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Maude’s childhood and why she decided to pursue medicine
  • The multiple factors that played into her becoming obese as a middle schooler
  • Qualities that contributed to Maude’s persistence in pursuing her goals
  • Deciding on her specialty of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
  • Maude’s experience with weight fluctuations and the healthy habits she prioritized throughout her medical training
  • Maude’s observations of the differences in critical care for adults vs children
  • Maude’s turning point for her own health
  • How she got involved with CrossFit
  • Her coach’s suggestion that she try Precision Nutrition to spur weight loss when her consistent exercise was not creating change
  • How Maude found success using a personal coach to change her mindset to support her weight loss goals
  • Her realization that her alcohol consumption was holding her back
  • How Maude gets herself into a parasympathetic mindset and away from constant adrenaline seeking behaviors
  • Making choices to support her long-term health, including shifting her career and dialing back her workouts
  • Changing her goals from training for the Open towards training to get out and play
  • The legacy she hopes to leave
  • How Maude’s focus on diet and nutrition has changed
  • What drew Maude to attend the CFMDL1 and what her experience was like
  • The advice Maude would give to someone going through medical training
  • Three things Maude 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 Maude

You can follow Maude on Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

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 #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is also brought to you by Butcher Box. Butcher Box delivers 100% grass-fed and finished beef, free-range organic chicken, and heritage-breed pork directly to your doorstep, on your schedule. You can order curated or custom boxes of meat, and they always come with recipe ideas for you to explore. Visit butcherbox.com/Julie to receive an exclusive offer for being a listener of Pursuing Health: Free Bacon for Life* + $20 off your order!

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.