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ON Presents: Active Life Podcast

It’s with great pleasure that I get to share a conversation I had with Dr. Sean Pastuch with you. It was the first full length episode of his new podcast, The Active Life Podcast.

On this episode we discussed the years leading up to the creation of ORIGINAL Nutritionals, DEUCE Gym, and the book I’m working on. Naturally, we got into some ideology and organizational culture elements. We even talk specifically about developing coaches and how we do that at DEUCE Gym.

I am confident this will be an enjoyable listening experience for you. Enjoy!

LISTEN HERE.

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

A Training Day: Spain’s Hall of Champions

While I was just forty-eight hours away from wrapping up my keynote talks with gym owners from around Europe, I felt like keeping my mouth shut was the best approach when I walked into Oviedo’s Palacio Municipal weightlifting spainde Deportes. I was a visitor in hallowed ground. I’d follow my leader, Alberto Garcia, past the figure skaters practicing in the center of the arena, and then past the rhythmic gymnastics room. He’d open a door, next to the boxing room, into a scene out of a every weightlifting documentary that should be made but hasn’t.

The authentically worn equipment has character and reminds you again that being a champion is about the training, not the glamour. An off number of sparse forgotten dumbbells collect rust behind a simple mirror. The room is all about the three platforms that are the focus of the center of the room. While there are enough mismatched barbells and plates, there aren’t any extra. There are no power racks, branded refrigerators, or t-shirts for sale. While I did see a dusty record player, there was no music.

This is Spain and more champions than we both can count came from this modest, backroom gym. My training partner today, “Berto,” is nineteen and while practicing his English, he explains the seven year old boy in the photo taped on the wall is him. In fact, he’s in a number of newspaper clippings that have made it on the wall, along side contemporary weightlifting legends like Lidia Valentin. Berto is a quiet, unassuming phenom. He’s been training since he was seven with his renown coach, who’s athletes are no strangers to podiums on the highest stages of international competition. He, of course, is a local police officer, who helps weightlifters on the side put up big numbers. Berto’s number speak for themselves and he’s rarely boastful. In fact, the strongest assertion he makes about his goals is how often he coincidentally wears his favorite sweatpants with “TOKYO” emblazoned on the side. While these aren’t official 2020 host of the Olympic Games merchandise, Berto wants you to connect the dots yourself. I did.

From the US, we hear about the grandeur of European weightlifting, but seeing it it person is something remarkable. The results are incredible. For context, Berto has been able to train weightlifting for free since the age of seven and his totals are internationally competitive, and his younger sister, Nere, could be even better. Kids in America don’t take up weightlifting before the age of ten, sure, but as I walk around this classic weightlifting dungeon, I can’t help but think of all the parents paying hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars each month for club teams and one-on-one lessons in basketball and baseball. That’s a full months salary for FullSizeRender 88many parents in Spain.

Furthermore, the resources made available at my gym, DEUCE Gym, to hundreds of weekend warriors that will never have the weightlifting success Berto had before his thirteenth birthday. Our equipment trumps the equipment these athletes are using to claw their way to an Olympic Games. Yet, they do the work. As we finished our snatching session, I took a moment to appreciate how beautiful Berto’s movement was, especially against a backdrop that would get poor Yelp! reviews back home. Nonetheless, he knows his gym is perfectly good enough to be a champion.

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

 

Inside the BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar

With several weeks to decompress, I’m excited to share some insight to the first ever BIRTHFIT Coach Seminar in Los Angeles recently. The three day course is the first of its kind, especially in depth and volume of material surrounding the birth experience as it pertains to movement practice.

Now, I’ve seen this seminar from concept to reality from a behind the scenes perspective. Lindsey, or Dr. Lindsey Mathews DC as she’s known professionally, is my fiancé and she created BIRTHFIT from a deep rooted connection to her own life experience as a child and her practice as a renown healer and movement coach. The frustration surrounding the lack of control that a baby has in his/her welcome party to the world combined with the all too common un-empowered birth experience normalized in the United States made way for BIRTHFIT, an educational resource for both men and women surrounding arguably the most impactful, most critical, most natural expression of life.

Over the course of three days, we drank water from a firehose of information. Foundational anatomy and physiology led into one of the most progressive things I’ve seen. With influence from Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), which uses the universal development of human movement as scientifically observed in babies, Dr. Erica Boland DC rolled out the BIRTHFIT Functional Progression as a means to pre-abilitate and rehabilitate movement disfunction, and even address diastasic recti and pelvic floor issues. What we’ve learned is that while these conditions are common, they are not normal.

The course isn’t just lecture, either. We also spent time at a training facility where movement was taught, progressed, corrected, and cued. It was refreshing to see from the entire staff of doulas, coaches, and chiropractors that this wasn’t CrossFit for pregnant ladies. It was a movement practice, a mindset practice, a nutrition practice, and a chiropractic practice to prepare for birth, the greatest physical and emotional feat in a woman’s life. Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 9.16.08 AM

My favorite part of the weekend wasn’t even taught by Lindsey. Melissa Hemphill, BIRTHFIT Regional Director – Colorado, led the mindset discussion with not just powerful psychology surrounding controversial issues like pregnancy, nutrition, postpartum depression, and even miscarriage. She gave specific tools to navigate the waters of the mind. I, and the other men and women in the room, were left asking big questions and getting big answers.

Of course, the weekend had an intangible that made the experience far from sterile. The group was inspired to navigate adaptive challenges along the way. There were breathing and meditation elements, squatting with barbells, tear jerking birth stories, Dr. Seuss quotes, and enough research to leave any mind overflowing.

While I may be biased, the seminar exceeded even my expectations and I know the sold out crowd would agree. This movement is covering not just the country, but the globe. If you have a chance to attend, come ready to learn.

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

Book Review: Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall

After hearing the title tossed around some credible friends’ backyard pool workouts for several straight weeks, I finally picked up a copy of Christopher McDougall’s follow up effort to Born to Run, entitled Natural Born Heroes. It, too, proved to be a national best seller and chooses to use excellent story telling to prop up the power of naturalistic training habits and the untold potential of human performance. natural-born-heroes-640x1024

Where Born to Run stuck closely to its namesake with it’s compelling argument that not only should running hurt us less, that humanity evolved to do it and survived because of it. Natural Born Heroes claims, more generally, that the stuff of heroes wasn’t always as much the fiction of today as it’s built on foundational practices we’ve all but forgotten. He ventures back to the Greek island of Crete to retrace the steps of a handful of mostly average freedom fighters and their successful effort to perform an improbable clandestine mission to kidnap a German general and escape the island.

With skill sets that have garnered new found popularity, like parkour, ketogenic diets, CrossFit, and MovNat, McDougall claims the job was pulled of with readily available human capacities. You can’t read it and not want to train more naturally and clean up your fuel sources. Without explicitly mentioning the product, McDougall describes fat adapted performance that would love something like Coco Java Nut Butter.

Check out this adventure of a book. It builds slowly, but McDougall successfully wraps his arounds around a number of disciplines and brings them home in perfect sequence with one of the little known clandestine feats of World World II.

Pinky up!

 

Logan Gelbrich

[VIDEO] Beyond Strength: PR & Chill

We aren’t just talking the talk at ORIGINAL Nutritionals, since 2011 we’ve walked the walk, too. The video above is a piece our friends at Train Heroic has produced to give insight into a program I developed at DEUCE Gym that is shared and followed around the world called Strongman 202. Whether you have an interest in strongman sport or not is beside the point. The concepts in this video pay dividends in any application of strength and conditioning.

Watch and let me know how you like it. Thanks!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

Clean Athlete Nation Invades Barbell Shrugged

I’ve been on a big of a podcast streak! Here’s an excellent conversation from the internationally acclaimed crew at Barbell Shrugged. In this episode recorded at DEUCE Gym, we discuss everything from strongman training for a general physical preparedness program (GPP), developing coaches, and the state of affairs in the world of CrossFit.

These guys do a wonderful job creating creative content and it was an honor to be on the show. If you’d rather listen to the audio only click here. Enjoy!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

Clinically Pressed Podcast feat. Founder Logan Gelbrich

The Clinically Pressed Podcast is a progressive podcast that covers the spectrum of clinical practice, wellness, nutrition, and performance. With episodes ranging in numerous topics from treatment practices and training tips, you can surely find something to meet your fancy. On this episode, I was able to sit down with Dr. Kyle Boland DC to discuss the gamut.

On this episode this episode, we cover a career in baseball, general physical preparedness, adult development, DEUCE Gym, the ORIGINAL Nutritionals brand, and everything in between. Be sure to share the episode if you find it helpful.

Enjoy!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

Optimal Performance Podcast: 5 Reasons We Fall Short of Our Goals

While I’m not new to podcasts, my latest conversation with Ryan Munsey was one of my favorite on record. Ryan runs the Optimal Performance Podcast by Natural Stacks, or he does so when he’s not speaking at events or drilling into the science of performance, at least. His guest list is nothing to balk at, so I was honored just to be asked on the show. This is actually my second time on this particular podcast and my third official podcast with Ryan, but the best conversation so far.

The topics of conversation ranged from nabbing a local Venice thief, goal setting, coaching, and even public speaking. Whether you’ve got a commute or some quite time on your hands, I’d encourage you to give this episode a listen from top to bottom. It’s worth your time!

LISTEN IN!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

Team ORIGINAL: Three to Strongman Nationals

Next week marks the beginning of Strongman Corporation’s National contest to crown the strongest of people of their gender and weight-class. The event will be held in Quad Cities, Iowa and includes five feats of strength.

Athletes are tasked with max repetitions of a heavy axel deadlift, max presses with a giant circus dumbbell, and a yoke carry for time on ‘Day One’. ‘Day Two’ will culminate with each athlete taking their best shot at max distance Hussafel stone carry and a keg/atlas stone loading event.

We’re pleased to announce that in conjunction with our friends at Caveman Coffee Co., that we’ll be supporting three athletes from DEUCE Gym, who’ve qualified for the event. Emily Russak, California’s Strongman Woman – Middle Weight, Josh Goldstein, and I will take our strengths to the competition in Iowa waving the Caveman and ORIGINAL flags!

 

Logan Gelbrich

@functionalcoach

Building a Behemoth Gym

I have been an athlete for most of my life. What I didn’t realize until stepping foot into the business of running a gym was that my true calling was seeing the potential in others and figuring out how to bring that to life. What drew me into this business was the ability to influence, affect and ultimately change people’s lives for the better. Having complete control over how I could implement these things into my own business made it an easy decision for me. Some days (and people) are a challenge but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Finding CrossFit in 2010 and starting Behemoth not long after gave me an opportunity to be in front of a handful of coaches and gym environments that allowed me to see how I wanted to operate my facility and in some cases, how I did not. I hold high value to my previous experiences and I can accredit some of the things we do at Behemoth to those very experiences early in my career. In my experience, we do things a little differently at our facility. It’s evolved from having clear goals and boundaries from the start; holding everyone involved accountable and demonstrating these values on a daily basis by leading from the front.

With that being said, and in no particular order I’ve outlined a few of our core values at Behemoth:
Customer Experience
At the end of the day, our gym is a business and we desire to provide a high quality service. Our members are integral parts of our community but they’re also paying customers and we want to do everything in our power to exemplify that day in and day out. This includes every aspect of our member experience from equipment, cleanliness and programming to intangibles like interaction with clients, presence, attitude and of course, coaching. Every day when our members show up I want them to enjoy the space they’re in. I want them to feel welcomed and cared for. I want them to experience the difference. We go above and beyond to make sure these basics are truly in place every minute we’re on the floor. I never want any of our members to ever second guess or question their decision to be a part of Behemoth. The little things go a long way. Details matter and if you don’t think they do, you are wrong. People notice.

 

Accountability – “Character is what you do when no one is watching”

Accountability builds character and also reveals character. Show up when you say you will show up. Be on time. Sign up for classes. Put up your equipment. Count your reps accurately and move to the best of YOUR ability. This mentality has really set the tone within our gym environment. Many times people are coming to classes they might typically miss because they told someone else they’d be there. People show up early and on time because they know 5 minutes past the hour means they’re late. People put their equipment up after using it because they’re respectful and they know other members will call their asses out. We work hard and have fun while doing so, but we set a standard and hold people to that standard. Neither our members nor our coaches take advantage of one another or their privileges. Those that disagree; give a man an inch, he’ll take a mile. They’re clichés because they are true!

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Humility
When Aryan and I started this gym, I never wanted it to be about what I may have accomplished in this sport. I have always kept my athletic accomplishments as far away from our gym as possible because “Aja Barto, the competitive CrossFit athlete” has nothing to do with my abilities as a coach or even owning a gym. I would rather someone seek my services or become a member based on how we can help them not what I have accomplished athletically. I want the spotlight to be on the people that make up our community rather than those who run it. To our benefit and our community’s credit, this mentality has spread. Every one of our members will go above and beyond for the person next to them. This behavior has been infectious and it’s pretty amazing to see the true selflessness that exists within the Behemoth community. Ego doesn’t exist within our walls. I can proudly say, we are a douche-bag free environment!

 

Coach, damn it
Too often I’ve heard of the Groupon coach who sits and texts while they watch people exercise. Or the coach who cares only enough to proctor the workout then sit in oblivion, cheerleading from their chair every few minutes. This isn’t coaching. This is laziness. The root of good coaching is simply caring enough to interact with your clients. Coaching is what people don’t get in their garage gyms. Just the simple act of caring and coaching can separate a good facility from the rest. From the start of class to the finish, keep folks engaged. Don’t assume anyone has mastered anything because the minute you do is the minute you stop bringing value to your classes experience. Each time you’re on the floor, find different ways to teach and to educate. If your people can walk away from a class having learned something, you know you’ve done your job. If you care to deliver the best possible experience to each and every athlete in the room, coaching will come easy.
Master of your craft
In the fitness industry, things are constantly evolving and if you’re not learning, growing and changing with it, you’re irrelevant. Good coaches are constantly learning. I also believe great coaches are never satisfied with what they already know and are always open to comments or constructive criticism and questioning what they currently believe is true. Read, watch, listen, observe. Empty your cup then refill it. Repeat.
Make them earn it
If you haven’t noticed, our society revolves around the notion of instant gratification and it’s getting worse not better. Within our industry, it may look like the newbie who wants to kip at all possible costs even when they’re unable to hang from the bar. It can also look like the athlete that wants to go “prescribed” regardless of the quality of their movement. We have always been about intelligent progressions not just for the sake of coaching but also for the safety and efficacy of our member’s progress within our gym. Before you drop 3x your body weight on your shoulder girdle, show me you have the requisite strength to do 5 pull ups. Before you get inverted and start doing handstand pushups, show me you have the requisite strength to perform 10 perfect pushups from the ground. We care for our folk’s health, progress and well-being in the gym. If they’d rather do things for the sake of doing them, they’re at the wrong facility. We believe that with intelligent progressions implemented at the right pace for the individual, that individual can potentially progress for the rest of their life. However, if that individual moves faster than what their body is able to keep up with, they may end up living a life full of pain, discomfort and injury. I believe progress is always most rewarding for those that commit to the process and can respect the journey.
All in all, getting Behemoth to where it is today has been a HUGE learning experience, a lot of trial and error and a whole lot of experimentation. I truly believe my brother Aryan and I built our business the right way. We started at ground zero with a handful of equipment, a vision and a burning passion to teach, coach and educate. Even though our direction may not have been as clear as it is today, our “why” behind starting has helped build our core values which in turn has shaped our culture, our community and the way we provide our services.

I believe I was put on this earth to teach, coach and educate and I will continue to be relentless in my pursuit to help those that desire to be helped.
Aja Barto

@behemothcf