18

Oct

Alex Viada – The Hybrid Athlete, learning, growth and the constant cycle of improvement

Jane Erbacher: Hello and welcome to the RevoPT High Performance Podcast. My name’s Jane Erbacher and I’m your host. RevoPT is a personal training, strength and conditioning, and functional fitness gym in South Melbourne and our goal is to inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Every week here on the podcast, we’re going to have a different episode for you and we cover all things health and fitness. From training to nutrition, to mindset, to recovery, to training after having a baby, to training just to feel right. This is your hub for all things health and fitness.And we really hope that you like the show.

Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the RevoPT High Performance podcast. My name’s Jane Erbacher and I’m your host. I hope you guys have had a great week since last time. I hope you got to listen to last week’s episode with Lisa talking all things training after having a baby.

Today we have something completely different, which makes me really, really excited. I’m actually talking to somebody who I really, really admire and I have learned so much off. His name’s Alex Viada. Hi Alex.

Alex Viada: Hi! Thanks for having me.

Jane Erbacher: Thank you. Thank you so much for coming. He’s come all the way from North Carolina. So I absolutely love America and I’m going to do my best not to talk all things America and actually talk content. But before we launch into exactly who you are and what you’re about, I really wanted to start the episode off with a thought, which I usually like to do. The kind of thing that I’m thinking about a lot at the moment is, create your own story. So, I like to think of every day as an opportunity to create our own story, whether that’s in, you know, your health, or whether it’s in business, or whether it’s in love, or it’s family. Every single day, you have a choice on what your reality is and what your story is. So I really want you guys to think about that through today. I actually think it’s very relevant to the discussion I’m about to have with Alex, because he’s had a pretty interesting life. And he’s definitely created many stories, I think, for his life. And I think that you guys are going to enjoy listening to that.

So, without further ado, I introduce to you, Alex Viada and I’d really like you, Alex, to give us a little intro on who you are.

Alex Viada: Yeah. So, again, my name is Alex. You know, again, thanks for having me on. You know, it’s funny I like that quote especially because you know, I think about the last couple years, and actually you know, kind of what I did personally and you know I spent a lot of years just kind of working, working a job that was, you know working jobs that were, I think very draining. And you know, a couple years ago really had the thought that maybe it was time to do something different. And you know, got into coaching and got into kind of trying to pass on a little bit of what I know because you know, I decided that it was time to make a change. It was time to do something different. Time to pursue something I actually enjoyed that made me feel good. Made me feel like I was building something. Made me feel like I was helping other people and influencing their lives.

And when I started this company a couple years ago, it was really just a kind of thing where I realised that I was spending my free time learning and trying to pass on information when it came to fitness, when it came to health. That’s what I did in my free time. And this company, the whole idea behind Complete Human Performance was “Hey, you know, I’ve learned a lot of things. I’ve made a lot of mistakes myself. I really had fun learning from other people who are very passionate about what they did. Maybe it’s time to kind of give some of that back.”

So, and over the last couple years, that’s a lot of what we’ve been doing. We’ve … I’ve had the opportunity to learn from great coaches. I’ve has the opportunity to pick their brains about everything. And in the process, have really learned a lot that I feel like I’ve been able to pass on. A lot about strength training. A lot about endurance training. And a lot about just kind of, I guess, go against conventional wisdom a little bit. And it’s been tremendously gratifying. It’s been a lot of fun for the last couple years.

Jane Erbacher: And I can see that about you. Like, your passion just like oozes out of you. Like it’s really great and it’s quite easy to then engage with you because you believe so wholeheartedly in what you’re saying. And you clearly live it. So I want people to know exactly what it is you do. Like what’s Complete Human Performance? What do you do?

Alex Viada: Yeah. So we’re a coaching company. We train a whole bunch of different athletes at this point. Our whole idea is that the human body is capable I think so much more than people give it credit for. I came from a background that said,”Oh well you know, strength training, if you want to do that, that’s all you can do and cardio is a bad word.” And I realised looking at a lot of athletes that I admired in multiple sports, they were so all around exceptional. And they didn’t know that they weren’t supposed to be able to do what they could do.And thinking about it a little more and thinking about even, you know …God, you know, I have a family history of heart disease. And thinking about just living for health and living for enjoyment and pushing the limits of what you can do.

The Company trains people who want to do unconventional combinations of sports. We have 300 lb strong men competitors who are running 10Ks and you know, we have ultra-marathoners who decided they want to do power lifting meets and just being able to show people that you can pursue whatever passion you want, you can do things that are different. You can engage in multiple different sports and it doesn’t mean you have to compromise what you love. That’s really been what we’re about and finding an intelligent way to do all this, that it’s not terribly complicated. It’s not … You don’t have to live an unrealistic lifestyle to make it happen. It can just … It can all work together.

Jane Erbacher: And that’s why I actually am really drawn to you and your, like, your process, because I’m one of those people that actually just likes doing everything.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Like I played every single sport growing up. I want to be involved in everything. I love absolutely pushing myself to the limits-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: In all different things and so it’s really great because when you have somebody like that, they can be quite misdirected. Misdirected? Undirected? I don’t know, in that they will end up doing too much volume and not actually going anywhere with it.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: So, which is exactly what I end up doing even though I have a lot of knowledge in the area with my own training. I definitely just end up doing too much. And so, I’ve just spent the last two days doing a workshop with you and learning so much and what you actually managed to do for me, which I saw was, you simplified the process-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Like we just went through how we could take somebody to an Olympic distance triathlon and they could be a really great weight lifter and really good at Olympic lifting and it was a process.Like we probably spent, I don’t know, an hour programming-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: For them.

Alex Viada: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jane Erbacher: And you know we recruited proper weight lifting coaches and-

Alex Viada: Right.

Jane Erbacher: Olympic lifting coaches and triathlon coaches, but it was actually a simplified process.

Alex Viada: Right.

Jane Erbacher: And that I think is one of the most valuable things that you actually do, is to actually simplify it and make it realistic.

Alex Viada: Right.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah. And not just from a participation point of view, but from a performance point of view. It’s not just that

this person is going to now go and do these things. They’re going to go and do them well-

Alex Viada: Right.

Jane Erbacher: And they’re going to do them injury free and for like a sustainable amount of time.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: So I really like that. So what I want to know is, what, like …you talked about how you were in another job a few years ago…Like what actually led to this point in time with you? Like, I want to know, training wise, I want to know work wise, I want to know sort of education wise, what led you to this?

Alex Viada: Sure. Yeah. So, my background going through school, I went to Duke University. My background was, at first it was actually Political Science, but then it converted to Biology. I wanted to do BioChemistry. I wanted to go into medicine. That never happened. I ended up going into Pharmaceuticals. What was interesting about that it gave me the ability to really look at clinical trials and look at study… look at studies, look at clinical data and really understand what was relevant and what wasn’t. And the limitations of clinical trials.

One of the interesting thing coming from clinical trails is you look for every thousand new compounds that people think of. They think,”Okay, well this medication pathway will have this effect on people.” There could be a thousand promising compounds and of those, only ten will make it through the last round of trials. And only one will actually be useful. With exercise, with exercise science, with fitness, there are so many good ideas and so many … You know, whether it’s supplements, or training ideas, or anything else, and of those thousands and thousands there are only a handful that really stand the test of time. And being able to make things simple, but not simplistic-

Jane Erbacher: Yes.

Alex Viada: I think has been the goal.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And coming from that background, and having the opportunity to, you know, a little bit like you said, try a million things and discovery what I’m really bad at-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: I think it’s forced you to really say, “Okay, you know, I can do a million things at once, but what are the tried and true principles that are actually useful? What are the things that I can actually sink my teeth into and devote myself to and be aware that that is what really matters?”

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: You know, for me the biggest thing, if I talk to somebody and they say,”Wow, that was so easy.” My goal is to convey the sense that a good coach doesn’t tell you what the 100 variables are that you need to follow. A good coach says,”Here are 100 variables. Here are the only three that matter.”

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Alex Viada: And I think that’s kind of what my background has done. And what my own training has done more than anything is said, there are a couple things I always come back to…A couple variables I always come back to as being the most important. It doesn’t matter what your sport is. It doesn’t matter what your goal is. These are the things you should focus on, no matter what your background is-

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And I think that’s probably been the most valuable lesson I’ve learned through both professional career and then going into this sort of training has been is, focus on what’s important.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah. Cool. And …Sorry. I just like heard something. I thought it was a UFO in the room. I’m very easily distracted. But yeah. Okay. So now what I want to know is, I want to know what sports and like, actual events you’ve done and stuff like that and what you’ve tried to balance, because one of the key things that we talked about today was strength training for endurance athletes and endurance training for strength athletes.

Alex Viada: Sure. I started out doing power lifting. Actually, just started out doing meathead lifting.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: Really got into power lifting briefly. You know, lifted a little bit at the local meets and really, just trying to be as strong as possible. Got into running my first 5K from there. Went and became a terrible marathon runner-

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: Then decided I wanted to branch out. Since then, I’ve done a couple Iron Mans. I’ve done a couple 50 Mile Ultras.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: I’ve done a few 50Ks. Let’s see. What else have I done at this point? Bike rides. Century rides. Metric Century Rides. Power lifting meets doing a strongman competition. My goal has been to continuously [to 00:10:59] find things that I am really bad at.-

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And I think what’s so fun about being bad at things is, teaches you your weaknesses more than anything else.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And being able to look critically at something that I’m just not very good at and think,”Okay. I think I’m a good athlete. But here’s something I’m terrible at. Why am I terrible at it?”

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: “What have I not been doing so far? What are those holes in my fitness that are letting, that are really, really kicking my butt here?”

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And that process of learning … It’s fun. It’s problem solving. It’s a way to progress really quickly. And every time I go out and try something new, I come back and I’m better for it.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And…

Jane Erbacher: It’s great for your mindset then too as well, like, to achieve something that you were previously like bad at-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Is amazing. It shows you that you can actually do anything.

Alex Viada: Yeah. And that’s been the thing is like, my Iron mans were never fantastic-

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: But you know, I … Between the two Iron Mans that I did year to year I improved by an hour and 45 minutes. So, I got the chance to say,”Look. You know I was never a long distance swimmer, but you know, I did my 2.4 mile swim and I did significantly better the second time around.”

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: “You know, I was never a great cyclist, but suddenly, I’m good at cycling.”

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: I never enjoyed running but I just did a couple 50 mile Ultras, so it’s the kind of thing where it says, you know, here’s …take something that, you know, you’ve never been fantastic at and be able to show improvement.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And be able to show that here’s a problem. I solved it and I took something I was bad at but now I actually, I can see the appeal of it. And every time you go into it, you meet a new group of people-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: You meet a new group of athletes. You find people who have thrown themselves into these things and you learn something from every one of them. You can learn so much about the looking at long term, and just about the Zen mentality from Ultra runners-

Jane Erbacher: Oh. They’re amazing.

Alex Viada: Oh they are! But you can learn so much about the importance of precision from cyclists-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And you know, focus and technique from Olympic weight lifters-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: So from every kind of athlete you work with you learn something new that just you bring back and it all becomes … It makes you a better individual.

Jane Erbacher: And that’s what makes you such a great coach is your willingness to a) Put yourself into a position where you’re not the best-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: And learn from all those people because then you can really relate to anybody that comes … That walks through your door.

Alex Viada: Absolutely.

Jane Erbacher: Or contacts you, because you’re like, “I know how you feel.” And something that I really want to talk to you about is if people haven’t seen you, definitely Google Alex Viada…Is that how you say it? Did I say it right?

Alex Viada: It’s Viada, but-

Jane Erbacher: Viada. Okay yeah.

Alex Viada: Everybody says it …

Jane Erbacher: Damn. I always pride myself on like, pronouncing those names right. But, okay. So Alex is jacked. Like he is … Like what do you weigh?

Alex Viada: 234 lbs. I don’t know what that is in kilos …108?

Jane Erbacher: Okay, so that’s probably like …I don’t know. 110 maybe?

Alex Viada: 110 something-

Jane Erbacher: 105 and you’re very low body fat.

Alex Viada: Well yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Maybe what? Like 12%?

Alex Viada: Yeah. Probably.

Jane Erbacher: Okay. And I’m all over these estimations. But what I love about this is that you are like a big, strong man, and you do endurance stuff-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: And I really like that because there’s definitely this idea, and I’m going to generalise before is that like jacked guys can’t do cardio.

Alex Viada: Right.

Jane Erbacher: And you’ve kind of exposed that as-

Alex Viada: Yeah and-

Jane Erbacher: Not the truth.

Alex Viada: It’s not and you know, you look at …I think the thing is, people don’t like doing cardio because it’s hard–

Jane Erbacher: Yeah. I agree.

Alex Viada: It is.

Jane Erbacher: It’s uncomfortable.

Alex Viada: It’s uncomfortable.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And it’s not fun.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: You know, generally big, strong people don’t like being absolutely …I don’t want to say humiliated-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: Because that’s not the case, but they don’t like having that, you know, getting the pants beaten of them by somebody half their size.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: But, you know it’s the kind of thing is precisely it. It’s a challenge.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: But Cardio is good for you. It makes you feel good.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: It’s humbling and we all need to be humbled.

Jane Erbacher: Definitely.

Alex Viada: And you know, I think it’s about developing a healthy respect for people who are good at things other than what you’re good at.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And you know, it’s so fun because I work with a lot of different athletes and you know, there will be … Especially because we do a lot of online training and online coaching and you know, we have one client who’s a super heavyweight power lifter and [he 00:15:07] can, you know, [she 00:15:09] can deadlift 800, close to 900 lbs.

Jane Erbacher: That’s weird.

Alex Viada: You’ll have the Ultra runners looking at him and saying,”You are inhuman. That’s amazing!”

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And then he’ll turn around and look at the Ultra runners and say,”Well yeah, but I can’t imagine running 100 kilometres.”

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And so there’s this mutual level of respect and you start to appreciate it. And I hate that this sounds cheesy but, you start to appreciate diversity.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And you start to appreciate what people have to offer, even if you look them and on the surface you say,”Ah, there’s nothing I can learn from them.” You appreciate the dedication that they put into their craft. And you suddenly understand what makes them tick and that gives you so much more. It gives you a new appreciation for different disciplines and for different types of athletes and the world that that opens up to you as far as training goes, is just massive.

Jane Erbacher: Agree and I think that the fact that you actually, you don’t even just appreciate it from the sidelines. You appreciate it by becoming immersed in it-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Which then means that what you are then telling people, like has so much more value.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Sorry. It’s really interesting. I did a trail run on Friday. It’s called the Buffalo Stampede for people from Australia and it was like, it was actually thing physically I’ve ever done.-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Having just done it, I …like in the whole humility thing, like there was a point where I was climbing this mountain on hands and knees, and I just stopped and I just sat down and I just cried.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: And this woman who could have been my mum-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Like fought up this mountain, like just an absolute weapon. She sat down with me. Gave me some sugar and stuff and just kind of like pep talked me up. Anyway, she was off after that. And she was flying and I could have looked at it like,”Oh my God. Someone that could be my mum just absolutely annihilated me.” Or I could have looked at it like,”Wow. Like, she’s amazing. Like, I have so much to learn about this.” And yeah, I didn’t finish it feeling embarrassed.I finished it feeling proud-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Because it was really out of my comfort zone. It was really out what I’d been training for recently and it was great. And I loved that I did that on Friday and what? I’ve just spent two days with you learning that it’s great to balance that with strength trainings.

Alex Viada: Yeah. Yes it is.

Jane Erbacher: So, I’m definitely on the right track.

Alex Viada: It gives you so much to come back with-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: Because you know suddenly you’re capable of so much more than you thought you were.

Jane Erbacher: Oh my God, I know.

Alex Viada: And that was, you said, you know, I hit the lowest point-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: Where I was on my hands and knees-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And almost in tears-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And I still fought back from it.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And what that gives you, moving forward, you start to think,”Wow, you know, there’s no …Nothing can… I haven’t seen anything that’s brought me lower than that”-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: “But I fought through it.”

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Alex Viada: “And you know, I crossed the finish line and there were other people around who fought through the same thing I did.”

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: “And that’s a shared experience and I overcame that. And I never thought that would be something I did, but I did it.”

Jane Erbacher: Exactly. And having done that on Friday and then, like spending this weekend now, I’m thinking to myself,”What’s my next goal? Like, what crazy, you know, two different sports, or events, or challenges, could I combine as my next thing?”

Alex Viada: Yes.

Jane Erbacher: And it’s like this whole context has made me realise it’s possible. So I want to talk to you …Sorry, I want to work with you. I’m thinking that what I want to improve is I really want to improve my rowing.

Alex Viada: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Jane Erbacher: I like rowing.I’m definitely like kind of built for it.And I also think I might want to get into like, obstacle racing-

Alex Viada: Oh yeah!

Jane Erbacher: Like yeah. I’ve done a couple and I’m definitely not built for it. So I think that, that would be really fun to try and balance the two.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: I don’t expect you to write me an entire programme right now, but if I wanted to work with you and those were my goals, how would I go about doing this?

Alex Viada: Well, go to my website! No. But, well, here’s something that might even explain a little bit of how we do this. So for example, with those two goals, we actually have a rowing coach.

Jane Erbacher: Mm-hmm (affirmative)

Alex Viada: And we actually have a coach who’s done multiple obstacle course races.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And so what we typically do and a little bit of what we did in the clinic, speaking to those two individuals, you say,”What are the critical components of rowing and notes here that you can combine? What are the specific stresses going to be on your body?” So what we do is, we look at where you are now, and we say,”What are your strengths?”

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: You know.”What are your weaknesses? What are the things we need to work on?” So, for OCR, what’s important would be of course, you know that burst speed and running and depending on the distance of the race, running 800 metre repeats. Mile repeats. Being able to operate while fatigued in those. The other thing with OCR is being able to cross obstacles and engage in tactical movements while fatigued.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah. True.

Alex Viada: And combining that with running. Er. Sorry. Combining that with rowing what does rowing involve? Rowing involves short hard intervals and things like that so you start to look at the commonalities in those two programmes and you start to look at,”What’s my rowing training going to involve? How can I combine that with my OCR training. They both involve grip strength and back strength. So I need to work on …” You know obviously, you need to do some run repeats. You need to work on your aerobic base a little bit to be able to get through those long workouts. Your lifting then needs to be focused around, you know, your upper back, your grip, things like rope climbs, which also help your rowing.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And things like that, so when you break down the programme and start to think about it like that, you start to look for overlaps and you say,”Okay, what muscles am I using? What are the specific weaknesses in my game right here? And when I’m constructing this programme and putting it all together, what are the potential pitfalls? What’s going to fatigue first? If I had to think what would an overuse injury be from this, what’s it going to be?” You know, knees, ankles, things like that. And you sort of think,”How am I going to avoid those? What sort of preventative lifts should I do to prevent that?” It’s all very much that process we talked a little bit about, disintegration and breaking down the challenges of each sport, and then putting it together and finding common threads between each one and doing those workouts together.

Jane Erbacher: And even just talking about it, it’s so interesting, because it’s like there are so many commonalities between the two-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: But you don’t actually … You almost don’t even consider it.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Because we’ve definitely narrowed ourselves to be like,”Oh yeah. I’m going to do this one challenge. I’m not going to worry about the other things.”

Alex Viada: Yup.

Jane Erbacher: But like, to be all round, to demonstrate what the human body is capable of, we need to challenge it in all different ways.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: We can’t just continually do the exact same thing. So I just love this about, like everything to do with your programme. I really like that. So what does your training look like right now? What are you doing?

Alex Viada: Oh gosh. So right now I’m training for my first ever Strong Man Competition-

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And by training for it I mean that I decided to take about a total of two and a half weeks worth of time off training before it, so it’s not going so well-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: But so I’m doing strongman, which is something I’ve never done before-

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: All entirely new movements.

Jane Erbacher: I feel like you’re going to be good at this. Like this is your thing. Yeah.

Alex Viada: That’s the thing. Like, I don’t know.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: I’m not going to know until I get there.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: I can show up and do horribly.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: And you know what? That’s just going to teach me. It’s going to teach me, “Well what[crosstalk 00:21:43]”

Jane Erbacher: You’ll like it even more then.

Alex Viada: Yeah. Hey, I can only get better from there.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah. Totally.

Alex Viada: And you know what? In the process, I’m going to meet a lot of people who are very good at it. I’m going to have the chance to learn from them.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And it’s going to teach me something new that I can pass on, so it’s going to make me a better coach, so it’s can’t lose.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: So I’m training for that. I’m training probably for a couple cycling events. My company just did a fundraiser with a couple of our athletes a couple weeks ago that was essentially 10 hours of riding on the trainer.

Jane Erbacher: Oh.

Alex Viada: It was horrible. It was about 150 miles-

Jane Erbacher: What was the fundraiser for?

Alex Viada: Basically, there were two foundations that we were raising money for-

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: It was through the company called the Suckerfest, which is actually based in, I think, New Zealand.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And the two causes we raised money for, the first was Oxfam.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And the second was a company called Puppies Behind Bars.

Jane Erbacher: Ah.

Alex Viada: I think that was it.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah. Are they-

Alex Viada: Basically what they do is … I think it was Puppies Behind Bars. I’m trying to remember the name. But basically what they do is they take dogs that are going to be used as service dogs-

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: And they actually give them to prisoners and actually have the prisoners raise them-

Jane Erbacher: I’ve heard about this. This is amazing.

Alex Viada: Yeah, they get the rehabilitation-

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: They get to actually work with these dogs. It’s great for them-

Jane Erbacher: Unconditional love as well.

Alex Viada: Unconditional love?

Jane Erbacher: People who probably don’t have that much of that anymore in their lives.

Alex Viada: And a lot of them are non-violent offenders.

Jane Erbacher: yeah

Alex Viada: If you look in the US, a lot of these people are put aside for like, you know, drug related issues-

Jane Erbacher: Exactly.

Alex Viada: Things like that.

Jane Erbacher: Yup.

Alex Viada: Having something like that and not only that but then the dogs go to great cause. They’re used for either service, or you know, treating soldiers with PTSD. Things like that.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah.

Alex Viada: So those were the two foundations and we actually did pretty well. We only had a couple people do it and I think we raised about $3000.

Jane Erbacher: That’s great.

Alex Viada: So it was a lot of fun and I spent a lot of time on the bike.

Jane Erbacher: And again, something like that, like I just love the kind of community then that gathers around for something like that-

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: And it’s really good. I feel like a big focus of yours is actually community.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: And engaging with all different communities.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: So one of my favourite questions to ask people and I ask all my friends and anybody I meet, I really like to know what people feel their purpose in life is? Like, why you were put on this Earth?

Alex Viada: You know, I love to teach. My goal though… I think I realise more than anything is …You know I come from a family history. We have a lot … There’s heart disease in the family. I have a deep seated love for strength sports. You know, I love the spectacle of strength sports. I think it’s a lot of fun. But I also realise how inherently the lifestyle can be and how unhealthy it’s become. My goal is to… And I think my purpose more than anything else, is to help people enjoy the satisfaction of the sports and past times they love, but be able to balance that with their health and not have to sacrifice their health to do great things.And to be able to push themselves and achieve ridiculous goals they never thought they would be able to do, but do so in such a way that’s not going to shorten their lives. It’s not going to have them confined to a wheelchair, or taking heart medications by the time they’re 40. So I think that’s it. Help people do what they love, but help them do so… Understand that moderation is sometimes necessary to do something that’s a little bit extreme.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah. I feel like you’re doing that very well right now, so keep doing exactly-

Alex Viada: Wow. I appreciate it.

Jane Erbacher: What you’re doing.

Alex Viada: I really appreciate it.

Jane Erbacher: Something else, just right before we finish is, how long are you in Australia for?

Alex Viada: Here until next …I think leaving Friday morning.

Jane Erbacher: Awesome. And are you going to do anything while you’re here?

Alex Viada: We’re actually hopping in the car and driving up the coast. Actually heading to Sydney. Just taking three or four days.

Jane Erbacher: You’ll love it.

Alex Viada: Just kind of taking the tour.

Jane Erbacher: You’ll love it. You’ll absolutely love it. And thank you so, so much for today. I really appreciate it.

Alex Viada: No, thank you so much.

Jane Erbacher: And thank you for the weekend.

Alex Viada: Thank you for having us.Really.

Jane Erbacher: And I’m definitely going to jump on, and so it’s Complete Human Performance-

Alex Viada: Yup.

Jane Erbacher: Is the website.

Alex Viada: Yes it is.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah and so, I definitely encourage you guys to jump on and have a look at this and have a rave about Alex. I think you’ll find it really, really interesting. And obviously, there’s clues there on how to work with him and his whole team of coaches.

Alex Viada: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: So. Yeah. I just want to go back to what we started with which was, you have the opportunity every day to create your own story. So it’s really exciting to speak to somebody like Alex who’s so vibrant and so alive and so enthusiastic and on such an amazing mission to make this world better. So I want you guys to take that with you today. Take that energy with you and go out there and sort of …I know it’s so cliched, but just live your best life. So thank you Alex.

Alex Viada: Thank you so much.

Jane Erbacher: Bye.

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