About BarBend Podcast
Today I'm talking to weightlifter and coach Zachary Huse. Zack is in an interesting position: he's an active weightlifter in the superheavyweight category, and he's also a coach with an increasingly accomplished roster of athletes. Is it possible to excel at both points in your weightlifting career? How does he balance coaching at competitions while often competing on the same platform (albeit after most of his athletes)? And what are the most exciting developments in USA Weightlifting competition? There are lessons here for all strength athletes, and I hope you enjoy!
Here's one from the archives (we're back with new episodes next week!). Today we're wrapping up our mini-series with elite strongwoman athletes. Hanna Coldiron is the 2021 world's 7th strongest woman under 64kg, and she's looking to better that result later in 2022. Hanna wears a lot of hats: athlete and contest promoter, in addition to working a full time job outside of strength athletics. She also got her start in CrossFit (a bit like multi-time World's Strongest Man competitor Rob Kearney), and hearing her take on transitioning sports was eye-opening. If you've ever wanted to hear from a top strongman competitor in the lighter bodyweight categories — or are considering getting involved in the sport yourself — this is a great episode to listen to all the way through!
Today we have a first of its kind episode in BarBend Podcast history, because it's the first time we've ever had both members of a married couple on the show! We're talking to weightlifter, kettlebell specialist, and trainer Rebecca Rouse. Her husband — Joel Del Rosario — appeared on the podcast about two years ago! I sat down with Rebecca to talk about training in kettlebells and building a following there, making the transition to weightlifting, and tips for finding new coaches and training centers when you travel around or move frequently. Listen to our episode with Joel here.
Today I'm talking to author Alyssa Ages, who recently released a book called Secrets of Giants: A Journey to Uncover the True Meaning of Strength. She's also a strength athlete herself, and in this book, she spoke with dozens of people around the strength community: lifters, writers, journalists, even organizers, etc. It's a look into how strength impacts our lives and how it can push us past our barriers in all aspects of society. And here's the fun part: I'm actually quoted a couple times in the book! This is the exact sort of book and journey listeners of this podcast will love.
Here's one from our archives; we'll be back with new episodes next week! Today I’m talking to trainer, writer, and podcast Tom MacCormick. A writer for sites like Breaking Muscle and BarBend — but hey, I’m biased — Tom is a veteran of the strength and conditioning industry. But one thing he’s best known for online is helping people harness the power of mini cuts — targeted, specific periods of concentrated fat loss — that Tom says can actually help long-term muscle-building and strength goals. Tom joins us to explain how mini-cuts can be adapted to almost any training environment, along with tips on how to balance nutritional parameters with in-gym progress.
Today we have one that really spans the spectrum from fitness to nutrition. I'm talking to Angelo Poli, who is the founder of a company called MetPro. The first part of the podcast talks about Angelo's personal story. He overcame a significant injury that had him walking with a can for the better part of a decade. And through that recovery, he ended up competing in powerlifting and doesn't need to walk with a cane anymore. Everyone's recovery path is different, but Angelo's especially was interesting to me. Angelo is also the founder of MetPro, which by the way sponsored this podcast. You can find more at MetPro, and we of course talk about that: Why metabolic nutrition needs to be tailored for individuals.
Today I'm talking to CrossFit Games athlete Alex Gazan. She's the fifth Fittest Woman on Earth, and still in her early 20s, she made her rookie debut at the CrossFit Games. She improved massively in 2023, and we talk about what it took to get to that next level. I do want to point out that we recorded this episodes while she was still in final prep, so before this year's CrossFit Games, so it's a good look at her mindset and training approach leading up to the season's biggest competition. We also talk about her lacrosse career and how Alex went viral for a 270 pound bench press.
Dr. A'Naja Newsome, PhD is an educator, weightlifter, and weightlifting coach, and she has studied athlete psychology both inside and outside the gym. In this episode, we talk about weightlifting in particular: What are the factors that influence performance from within the athlete, and which external factors impact what and how they lift? Which questions are most coaches NOT asking that they should be? And when do normal strategies for contest preparation and peaking simply fall short? We do a deep dive that's useful for all strength athletes hoping to reach that next level of performance and strength.
Today I'm talking to Bobby Maximus, and it's a fitness dream of mine. If you've never heard of Bobby, you should know he was one of the original fitness influencers online. He's a former professional fighter and appeared on The Ultimate Fighter twice with more than a decade in between those stints, and we talk about those appearances in this episode. He's a consultant to militaries and pro athletes. You name it, this guy has done it. We talk about his insane career, why he works out three times a day, and we also bust some pros and cons of that approach and fitness in general.
This is probably our FAVORITE episode from the archives! Today I’m talking to legendary rapper, songwriter, and actor Ice-T. Since his origins in the underground rap scene of the 1980s to his long-term stint on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Ice-T has been a cultural force in America for as long as many of us have been alive. But one thing a lot of people might not know is his passion for fitness. In his youth, Ice-T was a competitive gymnast and fan of physical culture, and now in his 60s, he’s exercising often twice per day.
Today I'm talking to Zachary Bartell, who's not only a competitive powerlifter and coach, but also a gym owner. We don't often talk business on this podcast, but today, we're diving into the ins, outs, ups, and downs of gym ownership. Zachary founded and grew SoCal Powerlifting, but where were the speed bumps along the way? How does one maintain and foster community as a gym grows? And why do most gyms fail? It's valuable insight into a side of the fitness world most of us never really glimpse.
Today I'm talking with Mona Pretorius de Lacey, who has one of the most impressive athletic resumes I've ever come across. She's perhaps best known as a Commonwealth Games medalist in weightlifting. But she's also a CrossFit Games athlete and six-time Karate World Champion. Mona has perspective on international athletics above and beyond what most of us can fathom. We talk about her experiences on the world stage, along with lessons learned and applied across sports at the highest levels.
Today I'm talking to my friend Dan Churchill. Dan is a performance chef and athlete who's been on the podcast before — and life has changed a lot in a couple years. Dan gets vulnerable and talks about the tough decision to shutter his physical restaurant, then we dive into where his nutrition company is going now. (Spoiler: They're growing like wildfire by doubling down on what really works for them.) Then we move into his training regimen for an upcoming ultra-marathon — what does training to run 100 miles look like while working to maintain strength and capacity in other areas?
Today I’m talking to Chris Chapman, Senior Sport Scientist at Whoop. He is also the Lead Strength & Conditioning Coach of the Big Air & Slopestyle Ski Team for Freestyle Canada. Chris is certified as a Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Exercise Physiologist, Sport Scientist, Olympic Weightlifting Coach, Track & Field Coach, and holds a Master's Degree in Biomechanics. And if those qualifications aren’t enough, Chris has coached athletes for 7 Olympic games. Our conversation focuses on the future of strength tracking and performance research, and I truly hope you enjoy! In case it wasn’t clear, today’s episode is brought to you by our friends at WHOOP. The WHOOP 4.0 has more capabilities than ever for the strength athlete — find out more at WHOOP.com today.
Today I'm talking to Ebenezer Samuel, Fitness Director at Men's Health. It's Eb's second time on the podcast, and today we're breaking down his recent training session with Arnold Schwarzenegger. It's always fun talking with Eb, and while our companies are technically competitors, we've built a friendship over a shared love for fitness and the culture surrounding it. There's a deep dive in this episode on the difference between training and working out. How are you approaching your time in the gym?
Today I'm talking to my (new) friend Luka Hocevar. He's got one of the more fascinating stories I've ever heard in the fitness industry. He grew up and played pro basketball in his native Slovenia, then he eventually transitioned to a career in fitness. After permanently relocating to the United States, he gradually — and all good things take time — became one of the fitness world's most in-demand coaches for pro athletes and general population folks alike. Now, he runs a fitness empire from the Seattle area and mentors dozens (if not hundreds) of coaches making their way in this industry. He has some of the hottest takes in fitness, and I'm curious what our listener feedback is like after this episode with one of the industry's true straight shooters.
Today I'm talking to pro strongman Evan Singleton, who is coming off a 5th place finish at the 2023 World's Strongest Man, along with his first-ever WSM Finals appearance. Evan made a quick recovery from injury and surgery last year to make it back among strongman's elite. He's a straight-shooter, and we actually share a lot of interests outside strength sports. So be ready for more than a few pop culture, movie, and dinosaur references along with a lot at what it takes to be one of the strongest humans in the world. They don't call him T-Rex for nothing!
Today I'm talking to one of my oldest and dearest friends in the fitness industry, Adam Bornstein. He's a New York Times Bestselling Author, personal advisor to Arnold Schwarzenegger, journalist, and all around Swiss Army Knife of all things content. His latest book is call You Can't Screw This Up, and it's a new paradigm for dieting and the journey to wellness. I learn something every time I talk to Adam, and this podcast recording was no exception. I hope you enjoy!
Today I'm talking to CrossFit coach, athlete, and affiliate owner Adam Neiffer, who joins The BarBend Podcast for the second time. Adam is perhaps best known today as the coach of two-time reigning Fittest Man on Earth Justin Medeiros. I've known Adam for approaching a decade, and he's one of the most thoughtful coaches I've ever had the pleasure of chatting with. Adam shares his approaches to training both elite and general population clients, and he also dives deep on the challenges of training top athletes in a sport where anything — and we do mean anything — can be contested.
Today we're joined (for the second time!) by Dr. Conor Heffernan, an historian and educator regarding the history of strength and physical culture. He's also a frequent BarBend contributor! Dr. Heffernan joins us to talk about the history of stone lifting in cultures around the globe, with a particular emphasis on Irish stone lifting. Dozens of historic Irish lifting stones have been uncovered in the past few years, and one intrepid explorer/lifter has even been called "Indiana Stones" because of his rare finds. How exactly are researchers finding these historic stones? And is anyone lifting them today?