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Learn from the top athletes, coaches, and influencers in strength! Each week, the BarBend Podcast brings together some of the world's biggest strength names across weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, strongman, and more. BarBend Editor and Co-Founder David Thomas Tao sits down with the strength community's smartest and strongest minds to with a focus on their learnings through training, competition, and coaching. We dive deep on their journeys and where strength training has taken them. W ...
 
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Bodybuilder Kevin Malone joins us to talk about finding competition later in life and how his bodybuilding career took off around his mid-40s. We talk about Kevin's focus on compound movements and heavy weights for hypertrophy, and how consistency is ultimately key to success in aesthetic sports. Kevin is proof that a long-term outlook paired with …
 
Today I'm talking to strongman (and 90kg World's Strongest Man) Nicolai Myers. Nicolai is also the winner of America's Strongest Veteran. We discuss being a strongman in a sport more often associated with giants, and how he capitalizes on his strengths to win competitions that might include some of his weaker individual events. We also talk about N…
 
Today I'm catching up with American weightlifter Mary Theisen-Lappen. A former collegiate thrower (track & field), Mary found weightlifting about four years ago through a USA Weightlifting recruitment program. Since then, she's made astounding progress in the sport and is now one of the top lifters in the country. She's also a Pan American Champion…
 
Today I'm chatting with a repeat guest on the BarBend Podcast: Powerlifter turned (now professional) bodybuilding competitor Amanda Kohatsu. Amanda originally made a name for herself in strength through her powerlifting accomplishments. But about a year and a half ago, she decided to take a break from competitive squat, bench, and deadlift to enter…
 
Margaux Alvarez is a 7-time CrossFit Games athlete, long drive competitor, coach, and wine entrepreneur. She's one of the most multi-talented personalities in fitness, and her future in CrossFit — and beyond — is something we had to learn more about. We sit down with Margaux to talk about training across multiple sports, strength training for golf …
 
Today I'm chatting with strongman Rob Kearney, who joins the BarBend Podcast for a second time. Rob has been through a lot in the past two years, including a tricep rupture on an American Log Press record attempt, as well as a testicular cancer diagnosis. Rob joins the podcast to talk about his injury, illness, and road to recovery, including retur…
 
Hey folks, we have a short and sweet one for you. Today I’m talking to American weightlifter Hampton Morris. Just 17 years old, Hampton has an athletic resume that is nothing short of jaw-dropping. He was 2 World, 10 Pan American, and 16 American weightlifting records, and he’s the 2021 Pan American Senior Champion and 2021 Youth World Champion. We…
 
Heather Connor is a 2-time IPF World Champion and the first female IPF powerlifter to deadlift 4 times her bodyweight raw. Heather joins us to talk about the injury that sidelined her for nearly a year, along with why it’s so easy for lifters to ignore the signs of significant underlying injuries and issues. We also chat about Heather’s goals in th…
 
Today I’m talking to weightlifter, CrossFitter, pro strongman, financial advisor, and coach Graciano Rubio, best known online as the Wall Street Weightlifter. He’s also the owner of CrossFit Valley View. In today’s episode, we discuss his strength background and why you should treat training like an investment portfolio — especially when it comes t…
 
Today I’m talking to powerlifter Andy Huang, perhaps better known online as That Huge Asian Guy. Andy has put up some of the world’s all-time great totals at 275 lbs bodyweight, and after battling several injuries, he recently came back to top competition form. Andy talks about finding powerlifting a bit later in life, and how his training approach…
 
Today I’m talking to Donna Moore, a British legend in the sport of strongman and a three-time World’s Strongest Woman. Donna has been competing in strongman since 2012, and in today’s episode, she shares her unlikely origins in the sport — including a seemingly random competition through Facebook — as well as her future aspirations, which include c…
 
Today we have a rare repeat podcast guest, James Fitzgerald. James was the first-ever men’s champion at the CrossFit Games – back in 2007 — and since then he’s built a reputation as one of the fitness industry’s most thoughtful and prolific coaches. His company OPEX offers a variety of online coaching and education resources, which gives James near…
 
From the BarBend Podcast archives: Jen Widerstrom rose to the national spotlight as a star on "American Gladiators," but after the show was canceled, a career in the fitness industry didn't happen overnight. We talk with Jen about behind-the-scenes stories from "Gladiators," finding footing as a coach and trainer, and eventually becoming one of Hol…
 
Today I’m talking to legendary strongman competitor Laurence Shahlaei, better known in the strength community as Big Loz. Loz has a storied strongman career, having competed in more than 10 World’s Strongest Man competitions, winning Britain’s Strongest Man twice, winning Europe’s strongest man, and racking up more podium finishes in the sport than…
 
Today I’m talking to strongman Adam Bishop, the reigning Britain’s Strongest Man (as of this podcast’s publication). After playing rugby at a high level, Adam became a strength and conditioning coach for professional rugby players. It was only in the past couple of years that he was able to focus full-time on training for strongman, and his results…
 
Today I’m talking to my friend Chad Schroeder, the CrossFit Games Lead of Sport Statistics. Chad has been working on the stats side of fitness for nearly a decade, from unlikely beginnings as a volunteer to a driving force behind how top athletes in CrossFit are measured and compared from one year to the next (and even from one event to the next). …
 
Today I’m talking to strongman athlete Evan Singleton. Also known by his nickname T-Rex, Evan is relatively new to strongman, having discovered the sport around three years ago. But in the short time since, he’s rocketed to the top of the sport’s rankings and is now among the best men’s open competitors in the world. We chat about his background in…
 
Today I’m talking to powerlifter, record holder, and Kabuki Strength CEO Rudy Kadlub. Rudy has, admittedly, been stronger than average his whole life, but it wasn’t until his 50s that he really began training in strength sports. Now in his early 70s, Rudy is a massive figure in strength sports for his accomplishments both on and off the powerliftin…
 
Today I’m talking to performance coach and athlete Mike Aidala, who is perhaps best known online for helping resurrect some strongman lifts from a bygone era. Mike’s done immensely impressive things like a one-arm overhead squat at 315 pounds, a two-hands anyhow lift with 430 pounds, and the list goes on. In addition, he’s an accomplished endurance…
 
Today I’m talking to weightlifter, coach, and photographer Steve Galvan. Steve is a multi-talented force in weightlifting, and for both the Rio and Tokyo Olympic Games, he was the official International Weightlifting Federation photographer. He’s also known in the community as the photographer behind Sick Angles, which makes sense; he gets the sick…
 
This will shock many athletes: What you do in training likely has little to no impact on your next-day recovery. The common wisdom about recovery, especially sleep, needs a major update. So we sat down wit Kristen Holmes, WHOOP's VP of Performance, to separate fact from fiction on deep sleep, caffeine consumption, foods that help and hurt sleep, mu…
 
Today I’m talking to Alec Zirkenbach, Executive Director of Adaptive Training Academy. Alec is a military veteran, trainer, athlete, and entrepreneur who has played a key role in growing the adaptive athletic community in and around CrossFit. Through his work at Adaptive Training Academy, he’s also helped develop numerous training courses and modul…
 
Today I’m talking to Dr. Ben Bikman, PhD, a professor, researcher, entrepreneur, and author in bioenergetics. In his own words, Ben’s research drives at exploring the “contrasting roles of insulin and ketones as key drivers of metabolic function.” Ben is also passionate about fitness, and he’s become a go-to resource and expert for many athletes an…
 
Dan John is one of the most respected coaches in strength & conditioning. Over the course of his 40+ year career, he's become well known for straightforward, effective protocols and programs that strip away the fluff to proven principles. He joins the podcast to talk about the popularity of his 10,000 kettlebell swing program, the simplest path to …
 
Today I’m talking to powerlifter Jimmy Kolb, the all-time record holder in the equipped bench press. In June 2021, he benched an astonishing 508 kilograms (or 1,120 pounds) in a single-ply bench shirt. It’s the heaviest bench press ever performed by a human. Jimmy joins us to talk about training as a bench specialist, his transition from raw to equ…
 
Today I’m talking to strength icon Odd Haugen, who’s decades-long career in strength is the stuff of legend. Originally from Norway, he’s an accomplished champion powerlifter and fitness entrepreneur who’s owned and operated some of the most storied gyms in America. He also has a long history in strongman, winning the 1999 Strongest Man in America …
 
We’re bringing the podcast in house today, and for good reason. We're talking to BarBend’s Managing Editor, Andrew Gutman, who’s covered some of the biggest events in strength sports history. But it’s an especially interesting time for the strength community. Late July 2021 includes both the Tokyo Olympic Games AND the CrossFit Games, making it one…
 
Today we're talking to Spenser Mestel, a journalist who has written for publications like the New York Times, Buzzfeed, and of course, BarBend.com. Spenser has an insanely interesting athletic background, from competitive diving to parkour, a journey that includes ups like competing on American Ninja Warrior and downs that include breaking his neck…
 
Today we're talking to Joel Del Rosario, an active duty Marine and fitness coach who has 17 years of experience with fitness in the military. We discuss fitness standards in today’s military, along with how Joel’s approach to training and combat readiness has evolved over the past decade and a half. If you’ve ever been interested in learning how se…
 
Today I’m talking to Kelsey Kiel, a longtime elite CrossFitter who recently made the switch to bobsledding. As she trains toward qualification for Team USA, Kelsey joins us to talk about how her training has shifted, decisions that changed the course of her athletic career, and how bobsledders train most of the year off the ice. It’s a good look at…
 
Today we're talking to Nicolas Cambi, one of the world’s top strongman athletes in the 105kg weight category. We talk about his strongman origins — including training at a famous gym I used to frequent — and how the sport has grown over the past decade. What’s the future of strongman look like? And what are those weird looking, floppy bars Nicolas …
 
In this special (and rare) repost, The BarBend Podcast is going in-depth with a topic and guest that launched to a huge audience reaction. Layne Norton, PhD is one of the strength world's most respected minds when it comes to the science behind building muscle and strength. He's also competed in both bodybuilding and powerlifting at elite levels. L…
 
Today we're talking to Tommy from Massenomics, a lifting, apparel, and social media brand — and also a functioning strength sports gym — based out of Western North East South Dakota. If that sounds strange, then you haven’t gone headfirst into the Massenomics world. They’re curators of some of strength’s funniest memes and content, and they’ve buil…
 
Today we're talking to Hunter Henderson, a record setting powerlifter. A heads up that we recorded this podcast before the Kern US Open, where Hunter won her weight class with a commanding performance — and took home a few records as well. Hunter has an interesting focus on cardio for recovery, which is something we think a lot of strength athletes…
 
Today we're talking to American weightlifter Meredith Alwine, the current Pan American champion in the women’s 71kg category. I first met Meredith back in 2016 - in the early days of BarBend - while doing color commentary for the RVA Open in Richmond, Virginia. Back then, she was an up-and-coming collegiate lifter, and let’s just say her progress s…
 
Today we're talking to Justin Cotler, a longtime CrossFit coach and affiliate owner who works with top athletes like Fittest American Woman and CrossFit Games podium finisher Kari Pearce. Justin joins me to talk about building a new destination for functional fitness athletes in Las Vegas, the ins and outs of coaching CrossFit Games athletes, how C…
 
Today we're talking to Christmas Abbott, a woman with a fitness resume about a mile long. She’s been a team CrossFit Games competitor, weightlifter, influencer, reality TV star, and also NASCAR’s first-ever female pit crew member. I’ve known Christmas for over seven years, but it’s been a long time since we’ve had a proper catchup. In this episode …
 
Today we're talking to strongman athlete Brian Alsruhe, who actually joins the BarBend Podcast for a second time. Recently, Brian has been focusing most of his time on building a homestead in the woods, completely by hand and without the use of power tools. We discuss what it means to use strength in a real-world environment, along with how buildin…
 
Today we're talking to Kris Gethin, a renowned bodybuilder, biohacker, and owner of KAGED Muscle Supplements. Kris, who joins us on the podcast for a second time, is also an extreme sports junkie, and earlier in 2021 he suffered a significant triceps injury while snowboarding. We talk about Kris’ approach to recovery, and how his years of working t…
 
Today we're talking to an athlete who probably needs little introduction: Martins Licis, the 2019 World’s Strongest Man and one of the strength world’s most charismatic athletes. We don’t want to say too much more, but a quick preview: we discuss coming back from injury, when Martins plans to compete again, how long he thinks his strongman career w…
 
Today we're talking to pro strongwoman Jessica Fithen. Among her many accomplishments, Jessica is the first strongwoman to block press 100 kilograms or more. She’s also very active on social media and is the brains behind the Instagram page “You Look Like a Man,” which highlights and parodies some of the more ridiculous — and usually unsolicited — …
 
Today we're talking to coach Travis Mash. In some circles, Travis is best known as a champion, world record-breaking powerlifter, and his career in that sport is legendary. But fewer people know that Travis’ first strength love was weightlifting, a sport he spends most of his time coaching these days. Travis joins us to talk about training athletes…
 
Today we're talking to kettlebell sport champion Kim Fox, who holds multiple all-time world records in the sport. She’s also one of the most accomplished Americans to ever compete in the sport. If you’re not familiar with kettlebell sport, this conversation is a solid introduction to what it entails, the intense mental and physical challenge involv…
 
Today we're talking to OUT Foundation founder Will Lanier. Formerly known as OUTWOD, the OUT Foundation’s mission is to remove the barriers that block LGBTQ+ individuals' access and participation in fitness, health, and wellness to ensure their success. Will takes us back to the group’s origins as an informal workout community in New York City, and…
 
Today we're talking to British weightlifter Sarah Davies, who represents England at the highest levels of international competition. The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist is also the IWF Athlete Commission’s Chair, a role that sees her advocating for athlete representation within the sport’s international governing body. Over the past year, m…
 
Today we're talking to health & fitness journalist Michael Easter, a contributing editor at Men's Health magazine and journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Michael is one of the fitness space’s most prolific writers of in-depth profiles, covering the people, trends, and breakthroughs that keep this industry moving forward. He…
 
Today we're talking to Alyssa Royse, owner and coach at Rocket Community Fitness — formerly Rocket CrossFit — in Seattle. Today’s episode is a bit different from the norm, and Alyssa joins us to talk about a variety of issues regarding representation, diversity, and inclusivity in fitness. Some listeners may be familiar with Alyssa’s name after an …
 
Today we're talking to professional strongman Gabriel Pena, also known online as Texas Titan Gabe. He joins the show to talk about his experiences in the sport, including his 2020 World’s Strongest Man debut. At that competition, Gabe had to make a tough, health-based call, and we dive into his thought process. We also discuss why Gabe, a native Te…
 
Today we're talking to Dr. Daniel Lieberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University and Chair of Harvard’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology. Dr. Lieberman is also the author of numerous books, most recently one titled “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding.” Dr. Lieberman took time o…
 
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