Author Archives: Luke Scott

So you wanna be an Ironman?

What the hell even is an Ironman? Well I’m here to give you a little insight into what is is and how my little project is coming along!

The definition;

Iron Man


  • (Especially is a sporting context) an exceptionally strong or robust man
  • A multi event sporting contest demanding stamina in particular a triathlon involving swimming, cycling and running.

Cheers Google, fairly accurate.

However in my quest to become an Ironman, through conversations with my non-triathlon affiliated friends/family/clients I’ve been called far from the above, more close to the following:

  • Addicted
  • Crazy
  • Insane
  • Inspiring
  • Committed

I’ve been looked up and down with a strange look on people’s face, as if to say – You?! How?!

I’ve had people say that I don’t have a typical triathletes body type.

I’ve been told that they are extremely expensive.

Mostly commonly I get asked why? Why would you want do that?!

These comments and questions are also somewhat accurate.

So here is what I believe Ironman is all about…

The breakdown of the day, 3.8km swim, 180km bike & 42.2km run. Easy as that right? Well I’d like to say yes, but I truly believe that the day will be the easier part, its the months of training, recovering, eating, sleeping and working to pay for the event that has been the hard part.

The decision to undertake my first Ironman was decided well over a year before the actual race date. It was never a dream of mine as a kid to do one, in fact I never had interest at all to do one when I started in triathlon nearly 3 years ago. I had no desire what so ever to do one.

Until…. Well I guess I was surrounded by more and more people who were training for them. I had been on various training camps where people had shared their Ironman story with me. My coaches often referred to them, it just seemed to be around me more and more. The more I heard about them the more I became fascinated with them. The distances for each discipline, the preparation that is required, the dedication, I wanted to know more. I read many blogs about pros and age groupers completing them, some good, some not so good. Every time I read more, heard more, a part of me wanted to experience this. I wanted to call myself an Ironman.

It wasn’t until around this time last year, when many of the athletes I train alongside were weeks away from toeing the line to complete their first Ironman when I made a commitment to myself that it would be me their the following year. I was going to do Ironman Western Australia. This made my body tingle! I couldn’t believe I was going to be doing this.

From that moment it has basically never left my mind, I think about it every day.

‘If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it’ And thats what I did.

I knew I needed a tribe of people to work with me to help me get prepared.

In my mind I made a list of important people who I needed on board to allow this to happen.

So first stop was my darling boyfriend, Scott. We were out for dinner and I was like a nervous school girl. He was on his phone when I said I had something to ask, his face instantly looked worried. I told him I wanted to do an Ironman. With a relieved look, he responded ‘Your going to be so tired’, followed by if thats what you want to do, go for it’.

His support means the world to me, knowing he will be at the finish line makes me so happy.

Next up was my boss Luke Scott. Training for Ironman while working full time doesn’t allow for much else. I needed to no I had his support, that he understood what I was committing to. Of course he was fully on board and has shown great interest throughout the whole process. Again knowing Luke and his family are travelling over to watch gives me motivation to keep pushing throughout each week.

Last but not least was my amazing coach, Sarah. I was super excited to tell her my new goal but also part of me was nervous to know what her reaction was going to be. Of all people, Sarah was going to know if I was capable of doing this. She was so supportive with the whole thing. Very real and honest. Something I believe needs to happen between us when preparing for an event like this.

With my tribe on board, I was good to go. From that point in time, everything I was doing was building into Ironman. Over the weeks my training has slowly started to increase across all disciplines. Three weeks of slowly building up then an adaptation week which is a week with decreased volume. It still amazes me how the human body adapts to progressive training. As a PT I see this all the time but training for Ironman has amplified this. Long rides starting at around 2-3 hours on the weekend, to now 5+ hours with a run and swim and the body just copes!

Some days are definitely harder than others. There are days I just want to go home and sleep for hours. But time is just so crucial.  As part of my build I raced a half Ironman up at the Sunshine Coast, the race was pretty awful, it wasn’t a reflection of the hard work I had put in. It still gives me shivers thinking about it. But after experiencing such a crappy race it has fuelled many of my sessions where I have felt like skipping them.

I am not sitting at around to 4.5 weeks out and I’m right in the middle of my final build, also known as Peak Week. Over the next 2 weeks I will complete the most amount of training I have ever done in my life. Im I am loving every minute of it! I am so thrilled with how my training is going. My goals throughout Iroman was to keep my body injury free. This is the biggest commitment I’ve ever done and I wanted to give myself the best possible chance. I truly believe the 1 percenters outside of the swim, bike, run training have been what has helped keep my body ticking over. Sleep, my number one priority to ensure I recover well. This can be a tricky one at times, but majority of the time is pretty good. Mobility pre and post sessions to help prepare my body for long sessions. Regular massage to eliminate and tightness that occurs from the repetitive motions. Acupuncture and yoga to balance my body out and help keep my hormones happy. (Game changer for me).

I believe strength training has truly helped keep my body together. I have come from a strength training background so always found I have been relative strong, whereas endurance does not come easy for me, I’ve had to work hard and be consistent. It’s the regular heavy strength training while being consistent with Ironman training that is what has helped me get this far injury free. I feel like over the years of building my endurance base while keeping up with my strength training is what has kept me robust. I definitely have experienced niggles here and there, but identifying them early and keeping on top of them has been crucial. Last but not least, good nutrition. Knowing what will fuel me pre and post sessions to allow me to keep trucking along. I’ve become aware of the foods I perform well off and those that don’t. I feel the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been!

Weeks ago when people asked me how I was going with my training and if I felt ready, I would always answer with uncertainty. I mean, it just felt like it was so far away. Now after some big weeks of training, I can really visualise it now. All those long sessions and 1 percenters are starting to come together.

Like I said earlier, I think it is so amazing how your body can adapt.

So when people call me crazy, addicted, insane, committed, inspiring I agree! I believe if you want to get through the process of an Ironman you require these attributes. The process has required me to make many, many sacrifices, some easy, some not so easy. There are times I feel so proud of what I’m doing but lately have felt selfish as my training is my priority at the moment, friends and family have been put to the side at times and this can be really hard. But knowing I have a bunch of amazing people supporting me through this journey has made those tough moments that little bit easier. I believe until your surround around by it, it can be hard for people to understand the time and effort that goes into the preparation. But I know that when I get to cross that finish line it will all be worth every one of those highs and low moments. The whole experience has been awesome.

So yes, I… Jaimie Lee Brown, JLB, the Bumble Bee will be an Ironman!

I cannot wait to share with you my race report, stay tuned!

[Case Study] – Why I chose RevoPT – Pia M

“What I look for in training is Strength and Conditioning, Trainers that help manage my injuries and a supportive community and that’s what I get here.”

We love having Pia as part of our community. She is a super hard worker, one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet and someone that, as a personal trainer is always pushing others to become better versions of themselves.

Are you keen to give training in one of our small Group Training classes a go?

Head along to one of our classes for free to see if what we offer is for you.

You can register for a free class here.

You can view our full class timetable and chose a class that suites you best here.

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Just want to jump right into things? You can purchase your two week Unlimited Group Training trial by clicking the link below.

What I learnt from taking time off from training due to injury.

There are always two sides to an injury…

Until June this year, life was going well and work was busy. I was on a roll with my training (Strength and Conditioning 3x/week, Yoga 3 – 4 x/week, Martial Arts training 5 – 6 x/week) and I was looking forward to making my debut in a Brazilian Ju-Jitsu competition.

In a single moment everything changed due to fracturing my right hand. I wish I had a cool story to explain the injury; in fact I’ve kept the story private from most people. I could, however, be encouraged to discuss this further in another blog post…

As a personal trainer, training is pretty much my life. I train myself, my clients and I am constantly participating in courses to learn new methods to implement into my own and my clients training. I don’t do the job because of money; I do the job because I am passionate about health and exercise and the benefits that it can bring to someones life. I enjoy being healthy, feeling good and moving my body to its full potential. Everything that I implement into my own training, I then pass on to my clients and enjoy seeing them make the same progress and results. I actually get more pleasure from seeing my client’s results than my own!

My world fell apart when the doctor told me that I was unable to use my right, and dominate, hand for 6 weeks. Worse, I was told to not put body weight on it for 10 weeks and absolutely no contact sports for 12 weeks. The x-ray showed that my hand was broken, but it felt like my soul was broken too.

Previous to the injury, I had been training so hard. I was getting results with my lifts in the gym and I was nearly ready to compete in my first BJJ (Brazilian Jui Jitsu) competition. I’ve had time out from training before, due to other injuries and things like overseas holidays and I know the drill. When you start up training again, it can make you feel a little depressed. Being unable to complete as many reps, or lift as much weight as you once could, feels like a huge step backwards. Not being able to push your body to its full potential makes training feel wasteful or at least all of the work you had put in previously a waste. So when training is your life and it’s something that you’re passionate about, not being able to reach a goal fast enough can be extremely demotivating.

Even though I couldn’t train how I used to, mainly focussing on my upper body, I knew that there were other things that I could do. I aimed to focus on training my legs and my core. I believed that I was going to be able to train the same just without the use of my right hand. Although I tried to remain positive, I found myself in a depressing rut.

Simple everyday tasks had become a huge challenge – like showering, making my bed, putting on clothes, food prep, cleaning the house and many more. At first, I was frustrated and angry but I knew that a negative attitude would not get me anywhere. I knew that if I wanted to be happy and get through the next 12 weeks without going insane, I was going to have to see the bright side of the injury. So I began to think – we have two hands, why do we limit ourselves to one? I viewed my injury as a blessing in disguise. Rather than seeking help with my small everyday tasks, I persisted to practice with my left hand and after a couple of days I began to see improvements. It wasn’t long before I was writing with my left hand, and even though it looked like a child’s writing, I was proud to say that I had done it!

While my left hand was becoming stronger, my right hand was learning how to move my fingers again. I was attending my hand therapy appointments and practicing what the therapist suggested religiously. As a qualified electrician and personal trainer, I knew that regaining full control and mobility over my right hand was critical. I made my recovery non-negotiable and was extremely motivated to regain strength in my right hand.

Every hour I would do my finger movements and after each appointment with my specialist I would be introduced to new rehabilitative exercises. These were the most simple exercises and essential to my recovery. I cannot stress enough as to how important it is to the recovery process! Whatever the doctor said, I did! If he told me to rest and not do anything, I did! If he said move your fingers this way 10 times every hour, I made sure that I did! I set an alarm and an appointment with myself to ensure success.

Even though I was making progress, I was still not training how I used to. I am a big believer that movement is medicine and I was having withdrawals due to not getting the same dose as I was prior to my injury! Like most people when they miss training, or be absent from something that they are passionate about, it tends to drive them a little crazy. It can make them feel anxious or depressed. In times like this, we need to rely on someone to help us get back onto our feet. We need someone to keep us accountable and motivated. At the end of the day, life goes on and the universe continues to move, we need to choose to get up and keep moving otherwise we can get left behind and not feel any better than before.

I have personally had a PT for about a year and have achieved great results through training with him but dealing with an injury saw my results go downhill fast. I wanted to try and get some strength back before him and I started training again so I took it upon myself by doing some basic bodyweight exercises. Once again, I found myself having bad days, motivation was low and training sessions were missed.

I knew that starting back with my trainer was going to be tough – especially the first couple of sessions due to DOMS. I knew that by booking in a PT session, I would keep the appointment and get results faster, rather than taking it upon myself which had been previously unsuccessful.

The first few sessions were hard and I was extremely sore afterwards! I continued to push through, even when I didn’t want to, and it wasn’t long before I started to notice positive strength results in my legs. My PT sessions meant that I wasn’t skipping anything and it kept me motivated to train. After a few sessions I began to train my upper body, I also noticed that there wasn’t a massive drop in my performance, that I was actually stronger than I initially thought. I was focussed and persisted with my training and it wasn’t too long before I was nearly back to the same strength levels prior to my injury.

Everything was slowly starting to get back to normal with my training and recovery process, I could now see the light and the end of what was a very dark tunnel.

I am now back into my pre-injury intense training routine and registered to compete in my first BJJ competition on the 27th of October – Pan Pacific IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship, the Biggest comp in Australia and what I’ve been told is a great one to make your debut in!

Everything that my injury has taught me, I have applied into every aspect of my life, I still enjoy using my left hand for basic tasks!

There is always two sides to everything in life and if you want to get through the tough times, you need to try and find the bright side. It is always there, even though you may not see it at first! Sometimes though, you need help to see it – that’s when you can rely on a trainer, friends and family. When you’re struggling with an issue, physically or mentally, please don’t hesitate to seek help because there is always someone out there to help you through the ups and downs of life.

Alexa Towersey – A real life super hero

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 great. 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 edition of the RevoPT high performance podcast. My name’s Jane Erbacher, your host. You’re probably getting sick of my voice by now, but I’m here, I’m still here and today I’m super excited because a really, really good friend of mine and my absolute mentor … I was about to say actionalexa but you do actually have a name apart from that.

Alexa: No actually I don’t, it’s just that.

Jane Erbacher: Okay. So she’s known on Instagram as actionalexa. Quite well known as actionalexa, but her real name is actually Alexa Towersey. So …

Alexa: Oh my God, you got it right, I was gonna … I actually thought you were going to prompt me for what is your last name. ‘Cause I am so glad you introduced yourself because I have no idea how to pronounce yours.

Jane Erbacher: Oh that’s so funny. Well now we can be friends forever because I know how to pronounce both your name and my name. But welcome. Welcome to Melbourne first.

Alexa: Thanks.

Jane Erbacher: And I know that you have no idea where you are right now.

Alexa: Oh no.

Jane Erbacher: But I’ve switched the lights on so things are less creepy. But I usually like to start each podcast with a little bit of a quote and Alexa actually wrote one today, and I feel like this absolutely sums her up. And after you listen to today’s podcast you’ll understand how and why.

So this is what Alexa wrote today, she wrote “you will make mistakes, you will fail, you will be uncomfortable, you will cry, you will learn, you will grow. You will do many things on your road to greatness, but quitting is not one of them.” And I absolutely love that. So without further ado I just wanna ask, I’m not gonna give you an intro, I prefer people to give their own intro, so Alexa can you just tell me who you are please.

Alexa: Well I’m actionalexa clearly. I could give you my horoscopes and stuff. I am a personal trainer, nutritional lifestyle coach, I work out of 98 Riley street in Sydney for the most part, but I am doing more and more work down here in Melbourne at the moment. And I guess I work primarily in the business of empowering women.

Most often in the weights room and then, you know, it’s just very rewarding for me, but when you see their attitude in the weights room change, it affects the rest of their life, so that’s my gig.

Jane Erbacher: That’s awesome. Okay, so now I’m going to buff that out a little bit, because I knew that you’d be modest, so as Alexa …

Jane Erbacher: I know yeah. But I love … I absolutely love what you’ve just said now and I’ve had experience working with you so I understand that what you actually do, the core of it is you empower women because I’ve felt that from you.

So Alexa, as she said works as a personal trainer out of 98 Riley street, up in Sydney, and she’s also a nutrition and lifestyle coach and the founder of the Creating Curves programme, so Alexa’s an incredibly strong woman and a lot of clients of hers have actually referred to her as Superwoman, so I want to talk about your …

Alexa: Where are they …

Jane Erbacher: I know …

Alexa: Pay them.

Jane Erbacher: I know. You left them out there. So I want to talk about your Creating Curves programme. What is it?

Alexa: Essentially I teach the fundamentals of lifting weights to women. I teach them how to be comfortable in the weights room so that any time, anywhere they can walk into what is normally regarded as the male domain and feel really comfortable knowing what they’re doing, and why they’re doing it.

It’s interesting for me because before being in Australia, I actually, I was in Hong Kong for 7 and a half years and I was working in a mixed martial arts gym, and I trained men and I was regarded, like I was voted one of the top five toughest trainers in Asia, and that was my gig, I really enjoy flogging people. And I never expected to come to Australia and actually end up in the female space. I was in Hong Kong, I was sort of, very intimidating for women, I’ve always been really athletically built. A lot of women was like your muscles are…

Jane Erbacher: I think it’s also your attitude, it’s not even what you actually look like, it’s this whole thing is quitting is not an option, so if you want it work for it [inaudible 00:04:34] that kind of thing. It’s like that … it’s not at all a masculine thing, but a lot of women will shy from that, but what we’re realising now, is that women want that. Like we want to be a part of that as well, so it’s good that you are working with women.

Alexa: Yeah look I love it and I think like now is a really exciting time to be a female, like not only just a female, but also in the personal training industry. Last year was such an amazing year for strong women role models. You’ve got Ronda Rousey, you’ve got Holly Holm, you know like, they really brought strong women to the forefront and I think even as much as I don’t … I hate … I don’t harp on about crossfit, one of the things I do love about it, is the fact that it’s really made lifting weights accessible and sexy to women. Women are embracing being athletic and strong I think it’s fucking awesome.

Jane Erbacher: I think what I really like about what you’re doing is that crossfit has definitely revolutionised a lot of things to do with training and a lot of physique stuff. But what I like is that you’re a completely different body to a crossfit woman’s body, but you’re demonstrating that strong is hot, and it’s great because there’s a demand out there. You know, girls see these crossfit girls and they’re like “they’re really, really strong, you know, I don’t necessarily want to do crossfit, my body isn’t like that, what can I do?”. And then there’s this because it’s what you really do is you embrace the female shape and enhance it.

The whole idea of what your programme is, is to enhance it so I really, really like that, so okay and what about … Is there anything else you want to talk about professionally right now that’s going on for you? What else is happening?

Alexa: Well with the Creating Curves stuff I mean originally it was founded because I started working with females here and I did, I wanted to provide … like I wanted to bridge the market. There is such a need for weight training for women who don’t necessarily want to gain unwanted mass. And to be honest, I used to be one of those trainers who, a woman would come into them and they’d be like “I don’t want to get big” and be like “oh my God, seriously, I have this conversation again”. I think it’s really negligent because if you are a woman and you’re coming into a weights gym and you’ve never done it, even if you have done it before, and you don’t know how to engage the right muscles, how to switch the right muscles off, how to eat properly for your objective, how to train for your body time, you can and you will get big.

Jane Erbacher: Yep.

Alexa: And I think it’s the mis-education right, it’s the whole misinformation around the whole topic that leads to that, but women just blame weights …

Jane Erbacher: Completely.

Alexa: Because that’s where it starts.

Jane Erbacher: But it becomes the entire lifestyle …

Alexa: 100%.

Jane Erbacher: It’s like “oh protein powder’s sold in my gym, I better have that if I’m doing weights”.

Alexa: Absolutely and women justify it, especially like the whole eating thing plays into it. You don’t get to eat whatever you want just because you’re training in the weights room.

Jane Erbacher: No, exactly, it’d be nice if you did.

Alexa: Oh absolutely.

Jane Erbacher: Okay, so I actually I wanted to give a little bit of a brief intro about how I came across you last year. Everybody knows Luke, who’s the owner of RevoPT. Last year Luke met Alexa and was like … thought she was just amazing.

Alexa: Well I am so.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah, see I know. Those of you who haven’t met her yet, Alexa is amazing.

Alexa: And funny, and smart and with great hair.

Jane Erbacher: Endorsed by … and so funny, great hair, clean hair, Alexa just washed her hair for the podcast, I’m gonna say it’s for the podcast. But Luke basically was having a bit of a war with poor Alexa on Twitter because I was going over to America to do my Gym Jones training, and Alexa has the world record at Gym Jones for the women’s 2k row time, and Luke and I decided that I could break her record. So we had a little bit of banter going on, and then I started to actually follow her and I was like “this woman is amazing, this is who I wanna” … at the time I was like “this is who I wanna be”, I now understand that I want to be me, I just wanna be the best version of me, but I really, really, really, really look up to you and I went over to Gym Jones and I gave it my absolute best shot and fell nearly twenty seconds short.

Alexa: Thank God for that because I did not want to do that again.

Jane Erbacher: So a substantial amount. Yeah, I know. It was really hard, so we definitely come from a similar sort of work ethic I think, the two of us, I think that’s why I identify with you so much, but I really wanna ask you something that I think about a lot and I ask nearly everybody who bothers to have a conversation with me. Why do you feel like you’re here? Like what do you feel is your purpose in life?

Alexa: Okay, so when I went to school I was bullied at school for being too skinny so my nickname was Alexa Anorexa, so seriously I’ve never actually had a name.

Jane Erbacher: I know, actionalexa’s way better than that, you can just like …

Alexa: Yeah, yeah, so I was, I was a skinny girl, buck teeth, I had long, long, long blond hair that I used to be able to sit on, my legs were the size of my forearms, and I was teased. And I started going to the gym because I was on a mission for muscles, and I was just really fortunate that I went to a gym where people were so passionate about what they did and it was the first place I ever truly felt like at home and supported, and strong, and it’s really where I began to change both physically and mentally.

And that’s kind of what I always come back to is for me, that was my safe haven, and I want to give other women that. I wanna make other women feel just as empowered as I did.

Jane Erbacher: Yep, and that’s the amazing thing I just wrote down just then, training is so empowering. That’s one of the things that I am constantly harping on people, I’m like “what you do in the gym is a microcosm for the rest of your life, it’s symbolic to you. It’s not just that you’re prioritising you in that time, but the movements are really, really empowering”, so that’s great. I’m really impressed with your answer there, sorry I’m just like … I go off on like a little tangent yeah.

Okay, so what I want to talk to you about now is sort of … anybody who’s seen you, whether in person or in pictures, would definitely agree that you have one of the most … I’m not even gonna look at you when I say this, because I feel like a creep, but one of the most incredible bodies going around, definitely, like, not just that you’re strong and fit and healthy, but your face also looks vibrant and radiant and healthy. So I feel that whatever you’re doing is definitely working so I think you look great and I really want to talk to you a little bit about what it is you do day-to-day.

So what it is you eat, like how much you sleep, and what training, so let’s focus first on nutrition maybe, like, there’s so many trends, are you following … do you follow a paleo or macro diet or, I don’t really know any of the others, or is you just clean eating, or how do you eat?

Alexa: I eat as stress free as possible and I try not to worry about it too much. Look I went through my whole twenties where like my first ever coach when I started lifting weights, his partner was Miss Olympia, and that’s how he trained me. So hence like I don’t really touched weights, and everyone’s going to be really shocked at this, for my upper body, but my back is really developed and it has been since I was 23 years old because I put a lot of time and effort into it, and now for me it’s just maintenance.

When I was in my twenties, I did … I played gridiron, I wrestled, I did a lot of high intensity stuff.

Jane Erbacher: You boxed. Did you box? You fought yeah.

Alexa: I boxed, I wrestled, I just, I played pretty much every sport known to man, most of them to do with hitting other people. And a lot of them cardio based, and a lot of them were a lot of high volume, high intensity work and my body at that point in time responded really well to it, until I over trained, and I guess we’ll get back to that at some point.

Jane Erbacher: Yep.

Alexa: But my training now is so much more relaxed and the same goes for my nutrition because now, as your hormones change, especially being female, you notice it more, when you hit certain ages it becomes more difficult to maintain your goal weight or your goal the way you want your body to look. And I’ve found now that stress management is far more important to me than high volume and training, so for me, I actually do, I do probably three weight sessions a week that are all from my Creating Curves programme because I’m all about the booty.

Jane Erbacher: Yep.

Alexa: Yep. And then I do a couple of hot yoga sessions, a couple of Pilates sessions and I power walk. And I really … I eat when I’m hungry, I eat until I’m almost full. I try to eat clean foods as much as possible, I had a food intolerance test done, I think that’s a biggy. Healthy gut, happy everything else.

Jane Erbacher: Definitely.

Alexa: And that’s always my go to and I do infrared saunas. So like, it’s just about being as stress free as you can possibly make it, like, the problem with all these fads and trends, it doesn’t matter if it’s training, it doesn’t matter if it’s nutrition. You need to create a lifestyle that works for you and only you. And that’s the only way it is ever going to be sustainable.

Jane Erbacher: Yep.

Alexa: And when you find that balance everything else falls into place.

Jane Erbacher: I absolutely love everything you’ve just said. I think that a lot of people are looking for some sort of a quick fix. A lot of people would love to hear you saying carbs are the enemy, don’t eat carbs, you know, if you eliminate all the carbs you’re gonna have the perfect body, but it’s not about that, it’s an entire … it’s a complete picture.

Alexa: My body responds really well to carbs, so I eat them. If I eat high protein, my body doesn’t like it.

Jane Erbacher: Yep.

Alexa: So for me, I can eat cream eggs if I want on a daily basis, doesn’t mean…

Jane Erbacher: I’m like “what’s a cream egg?”. We’re talking about chocolate. I know, sorry we call them Cadbury cream eggs in Melbourne.

Alexa: Oh yeah, okay, that’s just [crosstalk 00:13:48]. So if anyone wants to take me on a date they just need to buy me a cream egg.

Jane Erbacher: Oh great, I’ll keep that in mind.

Alexa: My birthday’s coming up by the way.

Jane Erbacher: Happy birthday. I’m gonna post you some Cadbury cream eggs.

So if I was working with you and … how would we go about deciding what I was gonna eat?

Alexa: So normally I get clients to do first off is fill in a lifestyle diary for five to seven days because people forget that it’s not just the stuff they do in the gym that matters. Like lifestyle choices and really underestimated, or poor lifestyle choices. So you’d fill it in for a week. I would have a look at your go to habits on a daily basis. When you go to sleep, how much water you drink, when you train, what you do to relax, how often you go to the bathroom. I know that’s a really weird question.

Jane Erbacher: It’s important.

Alexa: And then … it basically … it helps to identify all the potential limiting factors that are outside of the gym that could be hindering you. From there I normally recommend a food intolerance test because it doesn’t matter how good your nutrition plan is, or what macros you have, if you are eating foods that are causing an inflammatory reaction in your body, whether intolerance is a cause genetically or whether you develop them over a period of time because you’re eating the same foods over and over and over again, if your body doesn’t like specific foods, it’s not going to give you the results you want.

I had five PGs of water weight at one point that I couldn’t seem to shift and I couldn’t understand what it was, cause I was eating clean, I was training properly, I was doing everything I should have been doing, I’d started drinking coconut water. Now I went and got my food intolerancy test, turns out I was intolerant to coconut water, cucumber, cayenne pepper, celery, raspberries.

Jane Erbacher: Oh my God.

Alexa: Now all of these things in their own way, like quinoa, kale, they’re all superfoods.

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Alexa: But they’re not superfoods for me. So if I eat them, I have a really shitty reaction, literally so …

Jane Erbacher: Yep. And five kilos of water.

Alexa: 100%. So the minute I cut out all of those things, my body just dropped the weight naturally. We need to learn to listen to our body, because it’s really freaking clever. It will tell you when it doesn’t like something. So if a food makes you feel bad, why are you eating it?

Jane Erbacher: Totally. Yeah, I think that it’s such a modern thing that we do not listen to our bodies. We completely, like …

Alexa: Because we wanna do whatever she’s doing.

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Alexa: To get that body, she’s hot.

Jane Erbacher: Totally, but it’s not about that at all.

Alexa: 100%.

Jane Erbacher: Yeah, so interesting. Okay. So we’ve talked about your training, so I wanna talk about over training now, and stress management, just hone in on that.

Alexa: Yeah, look. I’m always saying to my client, recovery is just as important, if not more important than training itself. And I liken it … my common analogy is the bank balance. So every training session that you do it’s like you’re withdrawing money out of your bank. Every recovery session that you do, whether it be foam rolling, infrared sauna, acupuncture, reflexology, massage, power walking, ice baths, whatever you wanna do, is like a deposit.

Now if you’re always withdrawing money out of your bank account, and you never making any deposits, eventually you’re going to end up overdrawn, thus injured.

Jane Erbacher: Totally.

Alexa: You know, and I had a conversation with a guy in the gym the other day, when I was foam rolling because it’s like a game changer for me, I have to do it every day for my hips and my lower back. And he was like, “I don’t have time to do this”. And I was like “well I don’t have time to be injured, so whatever floats your boat.”

Jane Erbacher: You choose. And I think that what a lot of people don’t realise is the withdrawals can also be in the form of everyday stress of life. So just because an elite athlete can train three times a day and whatever, I was gonna say ten times a day, but however much they train, that is what their entire life is set up to do, they’re doing all these recovery methods, they don’t have to go to a nine to five job where they’re stressed out of their brains. They don’t come home to screaming children or whatever after a full day at work.

Alexa: No, and that’s what people forget about the crossfit athletes as well. Like you go into a normal box if you’re like a Gina Pop, and you’re doing these hardcore workouts. But you’re forgetting that these crossfit athletes, they spend hours on mobility specific training. They spend hours on recovery, they had their [crosstalk 00:17:38] planned out.

Jane Erbacher: Their entire life is, yeah.

Alexa: Like they don’t just come into the gym, do an hour, then go sit at their desk for twelve hours and tighten up.

Jane Erbacher: Totally, exactly, yeah, hunched over.

Alexa: Yeah.

Jane Erbacher: Okay, so what’s next for Alexa? So what are you like … where do you see yourself in 12 months time?

Alexa: Well at the moment, so my Creating Curves programme I’m now sort of starting to tour around Australia, so I’ve got my first one in Melbourne on April 10th, which is exciting.

Jane Erbacher: Woo, this is a complete coincidence by the way.

Alexa: I’m also teaming up with Lorna Jane so I’m doing another active living room workshop on the Saturday before with the aim of also getting their clientele who have been more sort of yoga or Pilates based in the past, more into educated in the weights room.

Jane Erbacher: Awesome, so is that the second of …

Alexa: That is the ninth of April and then the workshop is on the 10th April.

Jane Erbacher: Great, okay.

Alexa: And then we’ve got Perth and Gold Coast lined up and then hopefully in 12 months it will be international.

Jane Erbacher: That’s awesome, that is so, so exciting.

Alexa: That’s the plan.

Jane Erbacher: And if I wanted to work with you one-on-one, how could I do this?

Alexa: So you could either DM me on Instagram, which I’m sure by now you would have got is actionalexa.

Jane Erbacher: I was about to say it again, yeah.

Alexa: Or you can go to my website, which is

Jane Erbacher: Awesome, okay, and yeah, everybody who’s listening I have actually worked with Alexa, I was gonna say actionalexa again, I’m good at that. I’m definitely not doing myself any favours. And she is amazing.

Alexa: Seriously gonna get married with that name.

Jane Erbacher: Oh you will, for sure. I really hope you marry someone with the surname Action as well.

Jane Erbacher: But thank you so, so much for your time today. I absolutely love hanging out with you and I really love chatting to you and I love that now it’s in history, recorded.

Thanks guys, talk to you next week, have a great week. Bye.

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.

[Case Study] – Why I chose RevoPT – Qi S

“Darren corrects my form in the right way and gives me the confidence to push myself outside of the gym as well as in it.”

Qi has been training with Darren for around 6 months now and have managed to put on a whopping 10 kilos of muscle.

We love your dedication Qi.

Keep up all of your hard work.

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