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Interview: Rob Morgan of KIS Fitness - Part 1

by Shaun Kober
July 30th 2020

I met Rob in 2015 when he was a coach at Unit 27, in Phuket, Thailand.

In part 1 of this interview, we discuss how his Military career shaped his coaching style and philosophy, and the evo... More

and all that does, it comes from the military, right? It does. And making sure that you get inadequate sleep and rest in when you can. All these things, all these things have stemmed from military, which essentially has helped me on my journey and is what I want to basically show to my clients and to everybody that I come across is, it doesn't need to be that complicated, it doesn't need to be confusing, it doesn't need to be overwhelming. Let's just start to integrate these daily actions slowly over a period of time and you'll be surprised at how simple, not easy, but how simple things can be. Hey guys, welcome to the live train perform podcast. I'm your host, Sean Cobra and joining me today is mr rob morrigan. This guy is a legend. He's quite well known in the soy uh in Thailand where I work, I currently work at Tiger Muay thai, I met rob in 2000 and 15 I think it was, he was one of the coaches at unit 27 this was back when unit 27 had uh and pretty much all of their coaching self were fucking awesome.

So rob morgen, Welcome to the podcast mate. Thanks brother, Great to be on the show. Yeah, let's get started mate. So first of all, obviously I met you in Thailand was it 2015 It was 2,015. How long were you in Thailand for a unit 27. It was probably around about Dan 1st moved to Thailand and start working at Unit 27 at the back end of 2014. So I got there Permanently December 2014. So I think there's about sometime in 2015, half past would have crossed first. Can you, can you go through the journey of how you ended up in Thailand? Yeah basically done a lot lot of traveling um I traveled all over the world you know I think I've been to over 50 countries but Thailand was the one place that just kept pulling me back and in particular pocket. So before I actually moved there probably spent six or 7 trips out there initially what taught me to poop cat was the mighty kind of aspect of it.

So I went out and did a couple of different training holidays. Initially I was out there did a bit of backpacking and sightseeing and all that sort of stuff but just kind of fell in love with the whole country and then Basically I went out there one year, I think it was the back end of 2013 um and it just kind of kept growing and growing year after year in terms of what what was available there. Um And then obviously the soy tiger muay thai is kind of what brought me to the soy And you know 27 had kind of just opened I think I was one of their first customers in the, in the first week that they opened that. So uh yeah I started training, spend a bit of time, they're sticking, spend like a month there that that that year and then headed off back to back to London when I was working at the time, had a small kind of pt business set up back in London Um before I left, remember, you know, chatting the guys are getting 27 um obviously rob was was an ex military guy who said you know 27 up.

So we kind of, we kind of connected. And then when I left, I just remember saying, look this is ever an opportunity out here and you're looking for somebody then, you know, hit me up with something I'd love to do and then went back to London um you know, carried on chipping away building my business there and I think it was about a year later, almost a year later Um that they kind of reached out. Obportunly things have gone from strength to strength there at 27. Uh They expanded, they, you know, they doubled the size of the, of the gym, they're looking for a new court. So they asked me is this something I was interested in? So at the time it wasn't really kind of on my radar, although I love Thailand it wasn't really on my radar to move there. It's quite a big decision. Um Obviously I'd spent a lot of time and work and energy into kind of building the business that I had in, in London and my client base and I had some kind of, you know, uh, allegiances there, but in the end it was, it was kind of a no brainer for me. Um, I didn't know how long it would be initially.

I thought maybe three months, six months kind of see how it goes. Um, and yeah, that was like 5.5, nearly, nearly six years ago. I've only been actually only been back to the UK three times since then in that whole time. So literally like didn't look back after that point. I'm just kind of yell, love, being implicate, loved that island life, love the simplicity of it, that kind of pulls us all in and, you know, I think you're, you're in a very similar position to me and, And then you spent, you know, spent a couple of years, you know, 27. Um, and that's when then kind of, we were the first met, I think you came over for a, for a few trips as well right before you actually made made the permanent move. Um, so kind of similar story, I was just maybe a year or two ahead of you. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, and that's what I was just thinking whilst you were saying that man, you know, with a lot of our journey with, there's, you know, there's a lot of parallels there.

Um, the first time I came Thailand was 2013, I was traveling just recently, gotten out of the army after six years and um I was traveling around the world and you know, I spent six months, three months in Southeast Asia and then three months through europe in 2013. And uh I came to Thailand and I was over in baton and I was getting on the pierce and you know carrying on over there for a week and I was like, you know, we've already been backpacking for a month and I was like I need to I need to go and train, I need to get my head right and uh end up coming to Tiger muay thai for a week and train there and then continue traveling through Southeast Asia for another couple of months, went over to europe and then on the way back home to Australia, we stopped off at On the soy again and trained at Tiger for another two weeks and you know road up resumes and applied for jobs and things like that for when we got home and same thing mate, like I just fell in love with the place and um there was just something that drew me back again and again and again. So over the next few years then I continued coming back and you know I work for eight or nine months every year and then travel for three or four months every year and I would Come to Thailand and trained for a month and that's when I met you in 2015, I think it was I trained at Titan for two weeks and then I trained at unit for two weeks and then I came back again the following year and And then 2017 ended up breaking up with my girlfriend um and coming back to Thailand.

So definitely a lot of similarities there, you will also ex military and there's a lot of people that a lot of my mates listen to this podcast and there's a lot of service personnel, current, serving and ex serving that. Listen, so if we can go back to your military career, talk about, you know why you join the military, what you did, how long you were in for and then kind of your transition from there into ending up in Thailand basically. Yeah, so I I joined the army at 16 and it was just something I always wanted to do all through my childhood, I'm not sure why, but for some reason I was just hell bent on joining the army. Um being kind of one of the youngest in my year, my birthday was in the august and Basically I left school in the July SAT my exams, I turned 16 in the August and then two weeks later in September, I joined up and like obviously my, my parents at the time weren't too keen on on the thought of me going off to the army at that young age wasn't, you know, I didn't even need to share at that point, fresh faced, baby faced 16 year old, but my dad kind of said, you know, they had to give me permission and that the sign, you know, that the authorize for me at that age, my dad kind of said, um, he was happy to do it, but only if I did something that would give me a skill or a trade on the, on the back end of it.

So I actually wanted to join the infantry or the artillery. I'd actually joined the Army Cadets at 13. I just love the whole military, you know, aspect of it, There's a 13, 14, 15 year old going up to the, to the hills in bracken and, and spending the weekend away and you know, getting to, to, to do all your weapons handling and all that sort of stuff. Just really excited me. So that's, that's the kind of rude. I always wanted to go down, but my dad kind of talked me into getting a still again a trade and had actually done pretty well at school and pretty well in my exams. So I ended up joining the royal signals. So I was a common guy was a common engineer. So I'm not necessarily, you know, the thing I wanted to do, but it was a way of me getting in and I understood my dad's reasoning for that. Um you know that if it wasn't something like continued with that, it was something I could fall back on and how that trade trade behind me. So I joined uh did my basic training as a 16 year old, I think it was about eight or nine months and then you go off to your trade school, Suspend that time, uh you know, becoming a common engineer basically.

It's almost like a military college, you do all your basic training and you go off to sort of military college, so you're still doing all your soldier in and your your ranges and your weapon handling and you feel the craft and all these types of things, but you're also Learning and getting in an apprenticeship as well at the same time, so it's pretty handy. Um then I went to my, my working unit, I was in my first working unit at 18 and this was in 2001 and literally as soon as I got to my working unit, I think within a month Like Sep September 11 had kicked off. So the british army for quite a long time weren't particularly that busy and there's things going on in the, in the Balkans and Kosovo and Bosnia, the back end of the nineties and there was Northern Ireland before that it was quite a quiet period, So when I got to my working unit then, you know, September 11 happened and everything that was going on in Iraq with Saddam Hussein and the weapons of mass destruction and all that sort of stuff, it was a busy, busy period to be kind of getting in.

Um but I was kind of excited by all that, so the first couple of years was basically, you know, we were training, we won't stand by to deploy, waiting to see what was what was gonna happen out there. uh then I ended up going to Iraq in 2013 as uh As a 19 year old, I think it was at the time. So then my first talk in Iraq, obviously being a cons guy was wasn't necessarily like I wasn't a combat soldier, wasn't on the front line. Um so I was kind of in the rear with the gear as as we say, so not necessarily a frontline troop, but yeah, out there kind of for the, for my six month tour um and I ended up end up spending eight years, did some time out in Northern Ireland, went to the Falklands for a little bit of time. Um I really, really enjoyed my time, you know, one of the best things I've ever done, um spend some time uh kind of, you know doing all the things I'd wanted to do as a boy growing up and then I got to a point where I was 23, um in my job in my trade, you progress quite quickly, so I was at a point, even though I'd actually got myself into a little bit of mischief, and and a little bit of trouble along the way, I've still managed to progress pretty quickly.

And I was Basically faced with a crossroads of going for my upgrade as sergeants course, which essentially meant going back to trade training for another almost 12 months, um which wasn't something I was really that keen to do. I mean, like I said at the start, I joined up as a commons guy, but didn't really necessarily have too much of a, of an interest in that particular field. So the thought of kind of going back to, to trade training at the trade school for, for that period of time in order to be able to apply for the, you know, for the sergeant's course didn't really appeal to me. Um, so I love to do and a few other things. Um, but given my conduct records, um, probably not well if you want to go into that too much, but yeah, I'd be happy to talk about some of the mischief you got up to me because I got charged a few times whilst I was in the army as well. And, you know, in the Australian army, they say you're not a real soldier unless you've been charged.

So Yeah, I mean, you know, the environment that you're, you're a young kid, um, you know, particularly for me the ages of 16-18, a very um important to a young man and it kind of sets the tone for for for a lot of your your life, so being in that environment um at that age with, you know, all the kind of testosterone and the amateurism and everything that comes along with that just kind of then they didn't necessarily get led down the wrong path, but just, you ended up in a few, a few situations that I probably ended up making a few bad decisions, um you know, drink and violence and all that sort of stuff and basically ended up before, was it before I went to Iraq? I think probably six months prior to me going to Iraq got into a bit of a bit of a scrap, it was actually on the Queen's jubilee weekend, so we've been given given the long weekend off and I ended up in Nottingham, which is like a university city in uh in England and basically ended up getting a scrap and my honesty served against me, let's put it that way when, when I actually got arrested, taken to the cells all the rest of it, and basically it was, was faced with being charged with GBh actual bodily harm And looking at being thrown out of the army and being sent to prison basically as an 18 year old and if it wasn't for my commanding officer at the time, that that probably would have happened.

So I was literally, you know, I boxed my room up, I had my, my bag was packed, basically, told not to expect to come back, which was obviously quite, quite a daunting experience for for an 18 year old kids. Um but yeah, my commanding officer at the time basically came to court with me and yeah, I just, I think that the kind of this, the speech or the the words he said basically ensured that I didn't, I didn't kind of get sent away. I think that's interesting that your ceo rolled into the courthouse and basically vouch for you. You know, here's the thing as well that the listeners listeners need to understand is like, I'm assuming that you were sucking good at your job, right? Like if you're not good at your job and if you're a little bit of a ship fight then you're commanding officers typically not going to go into bat for you, but if you're good at your job and you know, you get into a little bit of mischief here and there, then people are going to typically come in to bat for you and be on your side because they need you man, they need fucking good operators, they need good soldiers in the units.

What were your lessons that you learned from that? What did you take away from those or from that moment and those, those periods that you went through. Well, I'd like to say I learned my lesson from that, but truth be told that I probably didn't, it probably took me, it probably took me another good fair instances to actually learn my lesson and um you know that that for me it was a it was a wake up call um and I was so lucky with what happened and basically, although I didn't, although I didn't get a sentence, I was given community service and a fine um and actually ended up getting demoted within the army and it kind of prevented me from doing a lot of things and at the time I was I was down, you know, it was in my in my role one of the one of the first on the list to kind of deploy but wasn't able to deploy then straight away immediately. Um So basically I had I had a bit of a wake up call um and I remember my and I hope my officer in command at the time basically saying look you've got this potential, you know in terms of the trust that we have in here and how good you are a job but there's there's some of the things that you really need to work on and to improve on and I did that to be honest.

Um And that that to be honest was the time that I I really started to take my training seriously um up until then I was a little bit kind of a little bit loose, a little bit where you didn't really necessarily have a kind of clear focus um and that's really when I started to like obviously be being military, you start training and you're doing your fears and your pt and all the rest of it, but taking it to that next level in terms of really getting into the weight training and do my own fears, my own training, and focusing all my energy on that, rather than hitting the piste, hitting the town, chasing the girls, getting into fights and all that sort of stuff that they're kind of wasn't serving me. So ever since then that the train has been my my compass and everything that kind of brings me back to, to kind of a neutral point um like I said, I didn't quite learn the lesson at that stage, but definitely a big wake up call for me and you know, help to kind of obviously keep me on track and my life my life could have turned out a lot differently.

Yeah, sorry, mate, that was a little bit of a delay there, but I think what you just said then um is important for a lot of people and a lot of people resonate with this and I'm very similar man, is that, you know, I grew up playing rugby and um you know, I came from a poor family and you know, I was aggressive at times and um for me rugby was how I channeled that aggression and if I wasn't playing rugby, then obviously I was a soldier. So I was channeling that aggression towards that and then, you know, training was that controlled aggression as well. So I think that's important to note for um, for a lot of men that listen that do have aggression and do have, you know, some grudges that they're holding and you know, they need an outlet to be able to express that. And I think training is a great way of doing that. So no, that's awesome man, thanks for sharing that kind of what what happened from there, like, so you obviously got to the crossroads where um, you decided that that was not the direction that you wanted to go, um what was the, what was the, was there a penny drop moment or I wasn't necessarily done, done with the army, I was just done with my, my role and my kind of trade.

So I looked at doing a few other things, but given my conduct records, I basically wasn't allowed to to recap badge or to apply um for, for a different role within a different regiment or a different different coal. So then the decision came right, I either stay in and, you know, do the do the upgrade of course and go for the sergeant or I get out and and being at that time in my life, there was a lot of it was, it was essentially stay in and do 22 years or get out now while you're young enough to be able to do Something else and there was, you know, there was a lot of things that I kind of wanted to do in my life and when you get the 24, you're a lot of different person until you are when, when you're 16, right, so um there were things that I wanted to do in my life, so in the end I made, I made the decision that I wanted to get out um and yeah, very very similar to you. First thing I did was I went traveling, so I kind of got out, my mayor had just done a, done a tour in Iraq himself.

So we headed for South America, brazil Argentina, another bit of, a bit of a rip out there and have a good time. Um And then I kind of did my what we call a resettlement period um which to be honest was was was pretty good. The british army, I'm not sure, it's like, you know, down here in Australia, but the british army in particular, you know, they're they're good at helping you resettle, good at giving you funding to go away into courses if you want to re scale off you want to, you know, Kind of continue with the skills that you kind of already learnt. So they help you, they give you funding, for I think it's 10 years, I'm not sure if it's the same now, but they will help fund Courses in education courses for you for for up to 10 years. So I did um even though communications wasn't necessarily a passion of mine um having that in the bag and obviously like I said from my mindset, having something to fall back on, which would essentially give me a reason to be played job.

When I got the city street, I decided to kind of transfer my my military qualifications that had into into some soviet civilian qualifications and try and work on the, on the com sides of it in some city streets. So I moved back to move back to Swansea in Wales and I took my first city job um and I think it probably lasted all of about two months because it was such a different, such a different way of life um to what we were used to, you know, to kind of there is no sense of urgency and doing things and I just kind of, it just brought me to tears, you know the way that the way that things were done. So we, I think within six months I did my research, I went to South America, did my resettlement, tried a civilian job and then um one of one of the lads that I used to work with, like I was in Northern Ireland when I left.

Um and basically Occam's job would come up on the camp that had been on. So within six months I was back on the camp in Lisbon. I just left as a civilian basically getting paid twice as much walking walking over the grass with with long hair. So life is pretty good. So I kind of I kind of got out of the military but then I was still back in in that in that circle and everybody that was working with was ex military and I was on a military base. So I spent essentially the next I think 2.5 years basically contracting for for the M. O. D. On. On military basis with ex military guys. So kind of getting that bond back that camaraderie. Um I've kind of missed within that first six months I think I think that's important mate. Like that's a that's such a big thing that I hear from you know a lot of my mates and you get a lot of people that reach out to me as well and ask me about my transition period.

And I mean it sounds like the british army has like a much better transition process than the Australian army. Like we pretty much just get discharged and we're left to our own devices, you know, so a lot of people struggle with that um that transition period because you're a professional working with these other highly professional soldiers and everything structured, everything is regimented, You've got standard operating procedures, you've got high standards and all of a sudden you're out of the army and you're left to your own devices and you know, you don't have that structure and you don't have that self identity, you don't have that camaraderie that you don't have that purpose and direction and things like that. So, um, yeah, it makes sense to me that you went back into. And that's the thing, man, this is something that I noticed as well, going from military to civilian is, you know, the same thing, the civilians that you work with just don't have the same professionalism, They don't have the same high standards and they don't have the same sense of urgency.

And it's difficult for military personnel, especially like a highly functioning um military personnel that transitions to the civilian world. And, you know, the standards are completely different and it's a bit of a shock to the system. Yeah. And, you know, the standards and the values that there are driven into for so many years and then, you know, they're not not necessarily appreciate it as much um in in the, in the civilian workplace. Um, and that's kind of, yeah, it's just the way it is, but I think what you said about having that sense of identity is so important, particularly for guys when you get out because you have this identity of being a soldier and you're driven by all these values and these morals and then all of a sudden you kind of lose that identity right? And and like unless you know who you are and what your mission is. Um unless you have a mission, you you don't know what you're doing and that's that's why a lot of guys end up kind of losing, losing track and losing their way I think um particularly when they get out.

So I actually I actually spent that time basically working on on the on the military contacts contracts and eventually I actually ended up taking a military contract contract out in the Middle East. So I was then back out in Afghanistan. So I I basically spent three another three years after that contract in out in afghan. So I was doing three months, three months on one month off for four months on six weeks off. And then that gave that, you know that kind although I lost my military identity, I still had that identity. Okay, now I'm now I'm a contract and I'm in the Middle East, I know what my mission is, I know what I'm doing. I have a purpose and I have, you know, I have a set of I just say S. O PS. Or objectives that I'm working towards and I found that so useful and that kind of helped me stay on course and help me stay on track along the way. Um So I spent that period then out there probably similar to you, like I said working saving some cash up in the bank and then just traveling.

So you know, I was, I was traveling and went up something Stasia south America, it was going snowboarding, uh you know, kind of just leaving a road road tripping across America, just like you're doing it all um and that, you know, kind of like people people think of, you know, obviously to somebody that's never been there working in that environment, but there's you know, it definitely help me number one to stay on track and give me that identity and give me give me a purpose for that length of time, but also just give me so much opportunity to like I say travel and experience new cultures and new things and I think that had a massive part of my development as well, so although it definitely has its kind of downsides and some people would definitely question why you would do something like that. Um there's, there's a lot of positives to come out of it, you know? Yeah, absolutely man, and I think that's a, that's a big point, man, you know, it gives you, it gives you an appreciation, it allows you to be grateful for little things that people take for granted, man.

I remember coming back from every one of my deployments, you know, I did six weeks, six months in Iraq, eight months in East timor and nine months in Afghanistan and one of my favorite things to do when I got back from deployment was to just simply jump in my car and drive man. And I would literally just drive and you know, I'd see other people that were piste off by sitting in traffic and things like that and I was just like, you know, here's me driving along, looking like a fucking idiot with a smile on my face in traffic, you know, listening to music and podcasts and things like that. And for me that was just like the ultimate freedom. You know, those little things like that that, you know, being away and sacrificing and um you know, getting back to my own life, it just gave me that appreciation and that gratitude for just the little simple things that most people take for granted Yeah. From there mate. Like how did you transition into starting your own business? Did you take a pt course or were you training with someone and then decided to basically go into business on your own or did you work for someone else first?

So during that time that I was in in Afghanistan kind of obviously knew that that wasn't something that would be able to maintain or do forever. It was kind of a short term thing. So obviously the question was, what do I do next? And I'd always had such an interest in uh in training and fitness um and also in in helping helping people or doing something worth while. So becoming a pT or a coach is kind of something that always yearned to do. So while I was out in Afghanistan, I used that time to educate myself and I was doing courses and although I was traveling a lot, I was also picking up qualifications along the way. So I've kind of done a PT course on what I think one of my leaves have done, you know, cattle bell, instructing suspension training and Emma conditioning, all these kind of calls, all these courses.

And then started learning about nutrition and just basically started developing myself in that area with the goal of ending my time uh in in Afghanistan or contract and the job that was doing to basically equipped me to be able to, to go into court chain or to go into personal training and so In order to do that, obviously it took a little bit of time for me to pick up all those qualifications and all those, all those courses and all that knowledge. But essentially I got to a point like, like I said, three years in and I said, you know, it's kind of now or never. So I left, left Afghanistan handed my notice. I'm basically moved to London. So obviously being from from south Wales, the opportunities that you would get in that sort of profession would would be a little bit more limited. So I decided to kind of throw it all in and moved to London, obviously the capital and all the opportunities and everything that that would bring and, and to try and get into the industry and, and, and make a make a name for myself there.

So I kind of picked up, giving my, my clearance and everything from the military, picked up a data security job with the London Stock Exchange. So that was um, that's what took me to London and then I started basically doing military boot camps in the, in the parks in London, saw british military fitness in Clapham Common and Wimbledon Park for the first few months I was there, which helped me obviously integrate. So I had, I had the job that was giving me an income, but I was also kind of trying to get my foot in the door at the same time as well. So it's essentially, you know, working, working two jobs, I'm just grinding it out and trying to make make my way and then I think probably about three or four months into that, I just decided that I was gonna gonna go all in and try and become a full time full time personal trainer. So I handed my notice in at the job of the stock exchange and um, did um, around around London and all the gyms and kind of trying to find my feet and found a gym that I thought would be a good fit for me obviously is one of the, one of the kind of busiest gyms were thought that would be a good fit.

So I just started started pt in full time um as a freelancer paying paying the rent in the gym, and then trying to, you know, trying to build your client base to pick up your first few clients and to cut your teeth as a trainer doing it in that environment, and I think in that gym in particular really helped me because it was such a competitive, competitive place to do it. Um And then I think within the first, within the first three or four months of me being there was I was probably one of the busiest trainers in that gym. Um so it kind of really had a good start with that and just kind of back myself to to do that and then just kind of escalated from there. So I stayed in London probably for about 18 months, building up the client base actually did I know your T. F. W. Guy as well, Right, so I did my training for Warriors, um then my train of Warriors qualification um and end up getting affiliation in London.

So I was running training for Warriors affiliation, small group training uh in London for a little while. Um And then I think I've probably been 18 months to two years, their total time in London and then every, every winter I was traveling to Thailand to do like this training holiday and at the time I remember as I was part of the kind of T. F. W. Family or the familiar, I remember seeing T. F. W. Thailand and which was being run by Mark Mariani and and Woody at the time I remember seeing these guys have been to Thailand quite a few times but never never to that area, so I was like I'm gonna go out there for for for a month in december, december is quite quiet time for PTS in London. So I went out there on holiday and I went to train at T. F. W. With Mark and Woody who obviously you know quite well as well um and seeing them guys on on online like training and being in the sun and down on the beach and and doing all these workouts, I was like yeah I do, I become one of those men so I kind of I kind of flew out this and training with them Then ended up going to you know obviously take my tie off the back of that and then that's what took me to unit 27.

So that's that's kind of the story that got me there um going to train with Woody and and marked down down the T. F. W. Then discovering Tiger muay thai, which to be honest I've done some mighty holidays out in Thailand but for for whatever reason I I kind of tried to stay away from tiger because it was seen as, as this um you know, it wasn't, I wanted more of an authentic field. But then as soon as I got the Tiger and I saw a man, you know what was there was, it was head and shoulders above everything else that I've done with the terms of the quality of the trainers and the guys were training there and obviously since then it's just grown and grown and grown and just yeah, I mean it's it's really a world class facility now and the job that you guys are doing with with all the fighters there is is kind of really inspiring for me to have seen as well the journey that's taken along the way? Yeah. Thanks man. It's been awesome to be a part of that growth for the last three years for me and obviously been coming back to and from the soy for the last seven years or so.

So watching the soy evolve over that time has been awesome man. Um but I want to go back to what you said before about when you first, you know, the first couple of months you built your business and you became one of the busiest trainers in the gym. Is this when Kiss Fitness was started, is this the kind of how it evolved? Pretty much. So can you just explain to the listeners what Kiss Fitness is and the principles that that was founded on. Yeah, so chris fitness, chaos is basically keep it simple fitness. And when I kind of left my time and the military basically built this ethos or this philosophy on keeping things simple. And obviously when you spend in time in, in, you know, the desert and having tense to training and minimum equipment available and not always the best nutrition and being in a kind of high stress environment. Um, basically I I developed this saying and me with me with a few buddies at the time was just keep it simple, you know, train smart, eat well, you know, live simple was, was kind of the tagline.

So when I was then looking at creating my own business, that was basically the message that I wanted to to deliver and and built all my, my principles upon was was keeping it simple. Um, and just simplifying everything because as you know, everybody is looking for the secret or the quick fix or the gimmick or the gadget or the shortcut to success, but it's not there. You know, you need, you need the hard work, you need to sacrifice, need the commitment and essentially you need to simplify things. So don't go looking at the next shiny thing or the next shiny object. It's let's let's take a step back, let's simplify everything and let's let's get the basics right first. And now I think everybody is so keen to want to optimize things or to kind of by your hack into things, but before we obviously there's a need for that once you get to a certain level. But for the majority of people, let's let's just take it a step at first and simplify everything and standardize things and then we can build off that.

So kiss fitness is essentially about building a foundation in order to to develop further. Yeah, I love that may. Um and a lot of those principles seem to me like they were developed from the military and from your time in the military and that's kind of how my coaching philosophy has evolved is I've basically taken all of these principles that I learned in the military and I've applied them to what I'm now currently doing in my life, is that kind of the evolution for you as well. Pretty much. Yeah, it's it's the, like the guiding principles are the same principles of kiss fitness is train, move, fuel, hydrate, breathe, think and rest. So again, taking things back to a simple basis if you're focusing on all those areas, I believe it helps create a balance, not just in your training and your fitness, but across all levels, all areas of your life and people, people who want to create a change in their life, you know, they think straight right, every knows that you need to train and everybody knows that you need to exercise, but they don't want to spend the time to make sure that they're hydrated or they don't want to spend the time to make sure that their bodies in a good state or that they're focusing on their stress levels or they're thinking about how they breathe and how they consume oxygen and all these things that are so important.

And unless you get those things right, you know, there's no need to be looking at what's the optimal way of working out for. You know, whatever people are looking for and all that does, it comes from the military, right? It does. And making sure that you get inadequate sleep and resting when you can. All these things. All these things have stemmed from military, which essentially has helped me on my journey and is what I want to basically show to my clients and to everybody that I come across is it doesn't need to be that complicated. It doesn't need to be confusing, It doesn't need to be overwhelming. Let's just start to integrate these daily actions slowly over a period of time. And you'll be surprised at how, how simple not easy, but how simple things can be. Yeah, 100% man. And I mean that's why I want to get you on the podcast and this is why, you know, we've had some really good conversations over the years and why we have got along so well is because a lot of our principles and a lot of our philosophies are very, very similar, but I think, you know, here's the thing, man, like most, most good coaches are going to be saying the same things, they're going to be saying it in different ways, but they're putting the same message across right, Like the basics, the fundamentals need to be built first, and the analogy that I like to use is that, you know, if if you've got four flat tires and your timing belts off and you've got no engine oil and no brake fluid, power steering, fluid ship like that, like you can put your foot on the accelerator and try and drive and as hard and as fast as you can, but you know, you're just going to burn the engine out, you need to you need to do the maintenance work, you need to get everything running ultimately first, before you can then put the foot on the accelerator and get the most out of your training.

Yeah, I love that analogy. Yeah, so, um those principles that you just spoke about before mate, I think that's a good segway into um pretty much the theme that I'm running with at the moment with the live train performed podcast and I'm going through the Swiss eight miniseries, which is essentially a proactive mental health model to help people um scheduling the most important things of their day. And this is an app that was developed by combat veterans primarily for veterans, but to also help people, the average person kind of deal with the rising mental health crisis that the Western world is going through and some of the principles are pretty much in line with what you just said, okay, but they use different wording, okay, so they've got sleep, nutrition, time management, discipline, fitness, personal growth, mindfulness, and minimalism. So out of all of those principles, which one of those do you think is most important for you?

Yeah, I think it's it's pretty difficult to pick one because they're all, they're also important and there are also important and like you said, it's like all all good coaches where we're trying to basically teach the same thing and give the same message, we're not trying to reinvent, reinvent the wheel, right? Um so like the swiss 88 that you just said there is great, so it's difficult to pick one, but I think if I had to, it would probably be disciplined because without discipline you can forget your training, you can forget your nutrition, you can forget your mindfulness, you need to have discipline in order to work. I think in all those areas and discipline comes from working in each of those areas and particularly for us, military guys were taught discipline, you know, as soon as we join up, it's it's drilled into us, but I think more than more than discipline, it's it's self discipline because you can have an external discipline um from from an outside force or an outside source whether it's, you know, in the army were taught discipline um with the kind of risk of being punished, right?

So if we don't do certain things um were then punished or possibly sometimes rewarded. So that gives us a driving factor and something to work towards. But when you remove that and that external factors taken away and you don't have your commanding officer or you don't have whoever holds you accountable to answer to you can you can possibly lose that. So having the self discipline um to to to to be able to be answer answerable to yourself and to have the accountability and take that responsibility on yourself and go and then going through those motions to build that discipline because a lot of people, let's face it, they don't know what discipline is. A lot of people tell me that they're lacking in motivation or they don't know how to motivate themselves, but you know, when we look at it, it's not necessary, a lack of motivation that they're missing it. It's it's a lack of discipline. And they haven't necessarily been through a process of being able to build discipline for themselves and to do things that they need to do regardless of whether they want to do them or not.

Um So being able to develop and build on that discipline is then going to help physical fitness is gonna help nutrition, it's gonna help you be able to practice mindfulness is going to help you be able to focus on your sleep on all those other, all those other areas and then focusing on that self discipline then just, you know, it gives yourself so much self confidence, so much self awareness and it helps you build trust in yourself. So I think that even though it's not one of my funding pillars, um it comes to play into every single one of those and building discipline is such an important factor for people, I think Yeah, brilliant answer, like you said, you know, some a lot of people do rely on extrinsic discipline where they're, someone else's, their driving force or something else is their driving force, they've got a deadline to hit at work or whatever it might be, you know?

So um and that's the difference, that's literally the difference between motivation and discipline, motivation is fleeting, It comes and goes if you're relying on motivation to get shipped done, like what happens and that's the thing when someone wants to change something in their life, what do they do? They fucking throw everything in together at once, now I'm going to clean up my diet now I'm going to train five times a week, now I'm going to get eight hours sleep, I'm going to drink three liters of water and blah blah blah blah, like that's all well and good when motivations there, okay, but what happens when life starts catching up with you and your fucking, you know, you get overrun and you start losing time and you know, you're under stress, you had a fight with your missus and you've got financial problems and whatever when that, when that starts, when life starts happening, kicks in the balls, you know, that motivation is not going to last, and this is where that discipline comes into play. So um you know, disciplined, I haven't actually read this book, but it's on my list, I think I've already bought it, but discipline equals freedom by jocko willing, and I was thinking about this last night, but I'm actually in the middle of recording my time management podcast, which is going to be, which will have already been released by the time this episode comes out.

But something that I was thinking about there, and I've obviously been thinking very deeply about how to present this information on time management and realistically it all comes down to what your values are and if you understand what your values are, then that drives your actions, that drives your behaviors. Um and, you know, it kind of pushes you in the right direction and this is where the discipline comes into play, discipline for me is doing the things that I know I should do, even though I don't feel like doing it right and for me like going to the gym, I've created that discipline around going to the gym and it's actually easier for me to go to the gym than not go to the gym and that's simply because I've built that habit, I've built that consistency over a long, long periods of time, you know? So um is there any advice that you can give to people to build that discipline into their life? I think like you said there, it's not trying to do everything at once, I'm not trying to go from 0 to 100 it's building up gradually.

So focusing on one area first, whether you want to start training, make that habit, make that behavior, then look at your nutrition, then look at your hydration or actually maybe do that the opposite way around. It's funny my my keeper seven to keep it simple seven I have sleep last, right? But if, like if I had my way I'd have sleep first, but if I can bring that into somebody's program is the first thing they're going to lose interest straight away. It's everyone wants to kind of once the train. So I mean, the advice would be just the ticket slowly and slowly start to develop these habits and behaviors and like you said, think about what your values are because if you don't have values, you don't have any direction and that comes back to your identity. It's knowing who you are, it's knowing what your values are and it's knowing what you stand for. So if you want to become a fitter, healthier person, you need to adopt the habits and the behavior as of somebody that's fitter and healthier.

So you need to essentially change your identity. So from from being one person one day to completely changing your identity in 24 hours, it's not, it's never gonna happen. But if you can give yourself a year and say right, I'm slowly gonna slowly going to get to this point, but rather than looking at what the objective or the goal is focused on those daily actions and behaviors that you want to learn or that you want to adopt from somebody that you want to become, Then that's going to be so much easier to get there rather than just trying to make a full kind of 360° turn around. Yeah, that's brilliant man. Um and that's something that I, you know, that's the reason I asked that question is which one of those um principles is most important to you? And I mean, ultimately it's a trick question, right? Like every single person is going to be different and as coaches, we need to meet our clients where they're at, so we both know that sleep is funding important, you could be eating a good, you could be following good meal plan, hitting good um good calorie intake, good macronutrients micronutrients etcetera could be following a really solid training program, you know, your stress management is pretty good throughout the rest of your life, etcetera, etcetera.

But if you're not sleeping very well then your body's ability to recover is going to be um you know, decrease and then that's going to affect your performance and that's going to affect your cognitive ability, etcetera, etcetera. So, you know, for me it comes back down to meeting my clients where they are. Um And and and and that's the thing. You know, we look at one thing and as coaches, we need to understand what these principles are and go, right, well all of these are important, but one of these is going to be more important right now. Which one can we can we get you to follow consistently over time. And even though for us we might be looking at sleep as the most important thing for that person. You know, it might be nutrition. Let's work with nutrition first. They say that I can't get eight hours sleep at night. So. All right. Cool. Let's not focus on that principle. Let's go to nutrition. All right. What are we going what are we doing at doing here? We're looking at their caloric intake. We're looking at the energy balance. We're looking at their macronutrients micronutrients. Any possible deficiencies there and then we go call what's one thing you can do here I'm seeing a deficiency with micro nutrients.

Okay, I'm seeing a deficiency with water and your macro nutrient balance is way out of whack, eating way too many carbohydrates? All right. So what's the one thing out of those three, we can reduce your carbs, increase your protein, we can add some more vegetables in or we can drink some more water. You know, which one of those three things can you do consistently for the next week? And then the client goes I can do X, Y. Z. Okay, cool, let's just focus on that. And once we build that foundation, once we build that principle, once we build that habit inconsistency, then we add the next thing. So um I think that's an important takeaway for a lot of people, man, is that um you know, you can't do everything at once and you need to prioritize and obviously, you know there's going to be things that are higher and lower on the priority scale, but you know, it really comes down to what can you do consistently right now, that is going to have the biggest impact. And I think I think that's important as well. It's putting it back in the hand of the client, right?

So rather than telling them right now I want you to eat less carbs and I want to eat more protein. It's given them the opportunity to put things into their hands so they can choose what, you know what's going to be easier for them to integrate into their lifestyle. Yeah, yeah, yeah. For some reason like over the last probably four or five years of my coaching career man, I've I've figured that out that everything comes back to putting it back on to my clients. You know when I first started out it was like here's your training program, here's your meal plan, here's this, here's that and people just didn't fucking follow it. So I was like I'm not going to do meal plans anymore and I'm going to make sure that I get you to track your food and the reason I'm getting you track your food is so you can start connecting the dots with how food makes you feel, how much energy energy is on a plate, what your macro nutrient ratios are, how these foods are making you feel and affecting you. Are you getting digestion, digestive issues, bloating gas, energy crashes and things like that and then I'm explaining this stuff and then putting it back on to the client.

So then they start connecting the dots with what's going on, what's serving them and what's not serving them. Yeah. So important to do that. Yeah, for sure man. Um Call mate, we're just coming up to the one hour mark. So let's start wrapping up. Um Let me first ask how what would you say to people to get them to or what would you recommend to people to allow them to live life to the fullest train to their potential and perform at their best I think to live life to the fullest is just to live every day as if as if you're not gonna be around forever. Um don't be that guy that looks back and has regrets and if there's something you want to do, just, you gotta go out there and do it and don't hold back and give it everything you've got um training to your potential. I think to me that means leaving nothing on the table or whether it's nothing on the cage, on the mat, on the track or whatever it is, as long as you've given everything that you've got and you've kind of emptied your tank, then you're never going to have any regrets.

Um, but also the kind of keep demanding more of yourself to live up to that attack potential and to stay hungry. What was the last one you said then perform, perform your best right? That pretty much thinking is just doing the best that you can with what you've got in any situation. Because if you do that, nobody can ask any more of you regardless of what resources are available to you. You just do the best of what you've got and have the integrity to know that whatever you did that you give it your best shot. Yeah, I love it may appreciate the answer. Um So for the listeners, you do have an online coaching business. If people want to get in contact with you and they like your message and they want to work with you, where can they find you. Yeah. So my online coaching business is still Ks fitness. So it's Ks dash fitness dot com. Keep a simple fitness, it's probably the best way. That's my website or I'm on instagram at the dot rob at the dot rob morrigan.

Yeah, call me anywhere else. People can find you. You have a facebook business page. Uh First of all, business pager is kiss Fitness, simplifying fitness for men. Um that's my facebook business page or just Yeah, rob morrigan hit me up brilliant, I'll have all of these um links in the episode. Show notes. Um rob morgen, thank you very much for your time mate. Always appreciate getting to sit down, talk shop with you man. Um you know you are fucking good coach and you know, we've shared a lot of knowledge and experience and bounced a lot of ideas off each other over the last couple of years. So thank you very much for coming on to the live train performed podcast mate. Really appreciate your time and I will catch you next time brother. Thanks sean, Take it easy brother. The western world is in the middle of a mental health crisis and our veterans have taken action switch sides. Team of combat veterans have built a proactive mental health program that is delivered through a mobile app. The app offers users programs in eight categories of health and lifestyle, all proven to reduce anxiety and depression.

This holistic model forms your daily routine, aiding you to build structure, improve discipline and take ownership of your life. Once these habits are formed, the app will teach you new skills, skills that can form identity, purpose and encourage physical interaction to rebuild your tribe and reduce isolation. Mm.

Interview: Rob Morgan of KIS Fitness - Part 1
Interview: Rob Morgan of KIS Fitness - Part 1
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