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Marshall Officer of Anvil Training and Development

by Shaun Kober
September 20th 2021

Welcome back to the Live Train Perform podcast to Marshall of Anvil Training and Development.

Marshall and I met whilst we were undertaking our veteran run, veteran heavy yoga course in Au... More

yo, what is up guys, just jumping in here quickly to let you know that I've just created a live train performed podcast facebook page. So what I want to do with this page is allow the listeners, you guys to have access to myself along with some of the other coaches that have been part of the live train performed podcasts, particularly those that have featured on the coach's corner episodes because a lot of these coaches have a very similar philosophy and most coaches are spooking, most good coaches are spooking the same information, right? And that is that any change is going to be difficult, It's going to require psychological change is going to require behavioral changes and it's going to require doing small things consistently over long periods of time. So there is no magic pill, there's no magic potion that is going to get you from A to Z without your trials and tribulations along the way. So what I want to do with this page is cut through the bullsh It, I also want to use this as a filter because I have had a number of people um request that I answer questions via my Q and M M's um, and also sending me DMS on my social media platforms and then when I follow up with them, you know, a week or two after the episode goes live and I've tagged them in it, they haven't actually listened to the episode.

So whilst it is beneficial for you guys as audience members to um listen to these questions that come in from other people and have them answered. Okay, I'd much prefer to service the people who are actually listen to the podcast. So what I ask from you guys to be a part of the facebook page is simply leave me a rating and review and then send the screenshot through to me. My social media platform is at coach underscore codes K O B E s, I'm going to allow 50 people in for free and then at some stage in the future I am going to monetize this. So just a heads up for you guys, I am building out the next phase of my business which is going to include a website, it's going to include e books around mindset, nutrition training programs etcetera etcetera. So I want to service you guys as best I can and that is going to allow you to get exclusive access to all of this stuff as it comes out as well as being able to interact with me and the other good quality coaches that have participated in the podcast and shared their knowledge and experience.

Um it allow you to you guys to interact with us, ask those questions directly so that we can then service you better if you want to be one of the O. G. S for the live train perform podcast group, Head over to facebook type in live train, perform that group should pop up request access to that. There's three questions that you'll need to answer once you've answered those questions and left a rating and review, make sure you screenshot that send that through to me on social media, I will grant you access and we'll start building an amazing community much love guys, what does it mean to live life to the fullest, train to your potential and perform at your best, leave nothing on the table. That's a non negotiable is that I strive to be better every day because if I'm not on top of my game, how is anybody else gonna follow me down the road? Keep demanding more of yourself to live up to that potential and to stay hungry. Training is progress, you know when I look at the word training, I think of steps, baby steps to get somewhere that you want to be and that is basically your life journey, It's a mindset in itself, man, it's like, it's not just about I know that for you, a lot of that's about the physical, but we're constantly in training, whether it's growing our skill sets, whether it's growing up physical bodies, whether it's growing our relationships whatever and all of that is a training ground and that kind of goes back to the mindset that we just talked about, you underestimate yourself and you don't even start, but then once you start, you often surpass what you thought you could do, performance your best mate, that's that's sort of what life is all about.

You don't have the knowledge and have the fitness to health, the ambition and drive that no matter what comes along when that next phone call comes I can just say yes I don't have to worry, just go and do it. Hey guys, welcome to this episode of the live transform podcast. I'm your host, Sean Cobra and joining me for the second time. Today is Marshall officer who is the O. G. Of the coach's corner. You're actually the first coach's corner episode that I did martial some 10 months ago mate. Good to be back. Yeah, how you been? Yeah not too bad. Um just living with lockdowns and and coaching so that's life these days I think. Yeah. Yeah. Just for a new audience members that may have come on board uh since our last chat, marshall is the owner operator of anvil training and development. Can you give the audience quick introduction to anvil who you guys are and what you guys do mate? Yeah look we're a better known business. A couple of one of our guys who just got together and decided they wanted to do their own thing when it came to coaching people.

We mainly focus on power lifting. That's pretty much our number one thing but we work hand in hand with a psychologist were all about supporting veteran mental health. We're all about supporting physical health and then we also have a part of the business that sells training equipment online. Custom training belt restaurants and that sort of thing. So yeah, yeah, your training built a sick man. They actually going pretty well. Yeah, people love Yeah, nice, nice. Um for the audience as well, Marshall is one of those guys that I met on the veteran heavy yoga course the start of last year um that I was luckily luckily enough I had the time off to go back to Australia, do that yoga course and then go back to Thailand and got locked down 10 days later. So Marshall is one of the dudes on that course um which was awesome for networking, awesome for a meeting in another um you know a group of veterans that I could um use as part of my network and Marshall and I have spoken over the over the last year and a half or so and I've written an article for him and shared a lot of his content with some of my guys as well.

So um love what you guys are doing in the veterans space mate. That's something I want to kick off the episode with obviously with the last week and a half, two weeks, what's happening in Afghanistan with the taliban? Pretty much rolling straight back into Kabul and the security forces falling to pieces over there and Taliban taking control. I know a number of my mates have been hit pretty hard with that, you know with thoughts of, well it was all a waste of time. Why did we lose our guys, why, you know, we've had a number of guys that we lost um that came back uh you know, missing limbs and things like that came back different people. And we've also had a number of people that have taken their own lives um since we returned from that conflict. So you know, I totally understand where a lot of these guys are coming from, where, you know, they're kind of angry and they're asking was it all worth it, etcetera, etcetera? What have you experienced from your inmate? Um Well, it's, I mean it's an emotional topic. Um it's completely fair to be angry about something that most of these guys put a significant amount of time and energy into something that a lot of people, you know, you don't serve and not be passionate about it.

I don't think I met a single person. I mean you might leave jaded or you might get out and have no interest in ever going back, but that doesn't mean that while you were in, you weren't extremely passionate about the job you're doing, especially the guys that I served with, what overseas with everyone. Um everyone was passionate about the job we went there to do, everyone was passionate about the job we're trying to do and I think that's one of the key points that I think as, you know, people with some kind of voice in the veteran community um as people that, you know, other veterans are going to tune into and maybe pay attention to the first thing that you didn't need to get out there is let them notes, it wasn't a waste of time. If you if you went over to do the job that you're trying to do, if you went over to protect your mates, if you went over there and your mates protected you or did absolute very best they could, there's no time wasted whatsoever, you know?

Um It's it is pretty tough I think seeing what's going on with the country, especially in this day and age where we have unprecedented access to media and like we're basically getting a minute by minute rundown of what is happening in the withdrawal, like that, that's never happened before, not, you know, the internet has never been at a point, media has never been at a point, I mean we've got Taliban on twitter, you know, we can follow what they're doing based on their tweets, which is like, it's crazy, that's never happened before. Um So it is a pretty unusual time for the veteran community I think because they have been given this really clear window into the end of a military operation and just how confusing and I don't know, disastrous or just like unplanned, it can be like uh I'm absolutely no expert on the war in Afghanistan, I have done a postgraduate certificate on counterterrorism on security, so I have done a little bit of university study in this area that sort of crosses over with my time served.

Um But You know what's happening over there with the withdrawal? Well, now that it's over, it's day one. No more us in Afghanistan as of today really. Yeah, so today including all of Okay, that's including all of the evacuation personnel and everything. Yeah, today, day one in Afghanistan, that's solely us free. Okay, we're recording this on one September for those listening as well. I'm not exactly sure when this is going to drop. Yeah. Um and that was the deadline that the Taliban gave the U. S. Um was 31st of august to be out by this date or there'll be consequences. Obviously some ship happened IsIS decided to chip in, they like to do. And uh and there was, you know that horrible loss of life, which is just really sad to see. Um And as far as withdrawals go, I mean, so many people have made connections between this and the fall of Saigon. I was talking to um someone on a zoom chat the other day that actually lived there at the time and watched it happen on the news.

Um and he said that it was crazy watching what was happening on the news with Afghanistan and just how similar it was with the U. S. Withdrawal of Saigon um in Vietnam. So I mean that kind of makes me feel like withdrawing from a conflict so long and drawn out and difficult as the one we've been in is something that is very hard to get right mm And I think with all that confusion and and sort of uh with all the media coverage of what's going on, I think the veteran community really does need to focus on the fact that they did the job that they were sent over there to do and that is not a waste of time. You went over there, you protected your mates or you did your very best uh those guys that unfortunately lost their lives over there, they were doing the job they sent they were sent over there to do that, they were passionate about and they were doing their very best job to protect their mates in turn.

Um I think we need to look at it from a perspective of they were doing the right thing, everything that they did was the right thing to do um and we can't fault that. Yeah man. Yeah, just to echo that as well, I mean the way that I look at it is, You know, we were there for 20 years and the Taliban were not in control for 20 years and that gave the local people a look at what life could be, like you know and it's pretty been pretty crazy to see, you know going back to the withdrawal man, like as you said, it's going to be very fucking difficult to get right, particularly in those circumstances because what was happening, look look at like a month ago, right a month ago, it was like all right, It was like on fringe news like alright the Taliban taking control of these smaller cities All right. And then it's like now it's sucking you know, surrounding um this city now it's captured this prison and it's just let all the prisoners out and Blah Blah Blah and then like within like 10 days or something man like Taliban surrounded Kabul and it's like what the funk man like they literally just marched through the entire country just fucking taking villages, towns, cities, provinces like and they captured the whole country within like what seemed like a couple of weeks.

I'm sure there was a lot going on behind the scenes and there was like a lot of lead up going into that. Um But that's from what from what I heard man, it was like 2 to 3 weeks and Taliban are just like march through the entire fucking country and taking control. So you know, it's pretty difficult to come up with an evacuation plan when events unfold so rapidly like that and the security forces deteriorated as fast as they did you? Yeah, I mean looking at what was happening over in the US at the same time, you've had a massive change in leadership between the trump administration, the biden administration. Um they've said that, I mean even trump said he wants to be out of Afghanistan by whatever date biden's administration has obviously continued that. Um And as far as I'm concerned, I think, I think leaving was probably the right thing to do. Um I think that as Australians there wasn't a huge contribution towards the end there towards the way the country was going, my experience over there.

Um It looked like we were fighting a losing battle with the anna anyway. Um That's just my, my perspective, it might have been different from the top down, but from what I could see it, it was it was an uphill battle every single day trying to get these people to and I work harder for their country rather than just for themselves, which was hard to see, but I mean it was clear from where I was sitting here watching the news as you said over like a two week period um that the US just want to be done with it. They wanted to wash their hands of the whole thing. Um And it from that day onwards, it was like, well if we're done with it, that, I mean, what what kind of confidence could they and they have in the face of like you said, a military force moving very quickly across the country taking city after city. And um and I did talk about this on one of our live streams um on one side, you've got the taliban who are moving quickly and having quite a lot of success.

So they would have pretty high morale. On the the other hand, you've got the A. N. A. Who are losing all of their support, you know, all of their close air is gone, all of their training support is gone, all of their like leadership support is leaving. Um And so they're already thinking that they can't win. You know, they're sitting there just going, well why fight if we can't call the apaches, if the U. S. Can't call the air strikes, if the drones are going to be there. Um So they're there already ready to give up basically. And we saw what happens when you've got a side that is highly you know, full of high morale and a side that is the complete opposite. It doesn't take very long for that situation to deteriorate very quickly. Yeah, you make a really good point there and this is something that I saw whilst I was there as well, was like some of the ana guys that we worked with were really fucking solid, right? But we didn't unfortunately get to work with those guys for very long because we did our job, we mentored them, they were highly motivated, They had good leadership.

So then they would go off into other areas, other provinces to fight the taliban and fucking you know, do their job, maintain security of the local populist, right? So then we get these new guys come in and you know, most of these guys were young, they had poor leadership and they had never experienced like life under the taliban regime. So they we're really fucking lazy to be honest. Like they didn't want to patrol, they didn't want to um go out, they just want to sit around and sucking smoke weed and get high all day. They didn't want to do anything. Like they were literally there so they could get a roof over their head and fucking, you know, get fed and they weren't motivated to do anything. And unfortunately from my perspective like that's the majority of the and a guys that we worked with and every time we got into a sticky situation, these guys were just sucking, put their tail between their legs and run off mate, like they literally ran off from firefights, man, like leaving us Australians there on our own to fend for ourselves, made um and you know, there was, I mean we had an insider attack within the last couple of weeks of our nine month deployment, you know, we had an afghani National Army soldier like Tony's rifle on our cook, mate murdered our cook.

Um and then, you know, we came home a couple of weeks later there was another insider attack, so that stuff was happening, you know, through my era and my generation, but again looking at the afghanis that weren't motivated that looked at us as alright. Well these guys, they have this, you know, superior firepower, good leadership capability etcetera etcetera. They looked at us and just assumed that we were always going to be there and they acted accordingly men. So once we coalition forces actually left and they realized that hey, maybe we should take our job a little bit more seriously and fucking put in some more effort to learn how to be able to maintain security and stability of our own country. Like you know, so as you said, degraded quite quickly and it's a shame to see bro. But the positive that I can take away from it as I said before, you know, you've got a generation or two of Afghan is that have seen what life could be like, you know, So hopefully that causes some form of resistance and I heard something about the Northern Alliance kicking off again um starting troop numbers and thinking Vice President has taken it upon himself.

Um and maybe the son of one of the dudes that uh was the head of the Northern Alliance when when they first went in I think that the U. S. Uh suit or something. Yeah, I might have butchered that name but and I mean we can talk all day about our opinions on DNA and their leadership and the Taliban and our opinion of that organization and ISIS or whatever, but I think the most important thing isn't what's going on over there for the veteran community here in Australia. It's um it's them knowing that they can reach out and get the support that they need. This is a really tough thing to watch happen, especially when it's really, really hard to look at it from an objective point of view, Like uh you know, unless you have some kind of serious detachment from the military or you know, you've spent a long time studying or whatever the case may be, if you are a veteran and if you served in Afghanistan, you're going to have some kind of emotional link to that place, to the people, you're over there with two probably the guys that passed away sadly.

Um and so it's really, really hard to not have an emotional reaction watching this stuff on the news, especially when it's being shoved in our face. Um you know, it's come so soon after all the stuff with S. F. Um you know, it's such a it's and there were guys over there with the withdrawal, so we're watching, you know, one our our troops and allergies and stuff over there and we can see the pictures of them still in the fight basically. Um it's gonna be really tough for the Australian veteran community to to watch that and not feel something, right? So every single veteran that was a part of that conflict or every single person that feels like this is bringing something up. It's bringing up anger or sadness or frustration or confusion. Those people need to know that they can reach out the support, you know, they need to know that they can go see sykes, that they can reach out to people like open arms and all the veteran well being services, there are people you can call, there's lifeline, um you can go see your GP and get hooked up with a mental health treatment plan literally in 20 minutes basically, um and you can get, if you've served one day you can get free mental health care from devia, they'll pay for every single session.

So um those guys and girls out there that are hurting or that are feeling some kind of emotion at what's going on over there, which is completely fair, it's totally understandable, it's a tough thing to watch. Um you can, you can talk to someone, that's what everyone should be, that's what the whole veteran community should be pushing as far as I'm concerned, I think, you know, there's going to be enough people talking about how fun the situation is and in fact the Taliban, all that stuff, I think we need to, I think the main focus needs to really be on these guys and girls can get support, it's there um and this is the perfect time to take advantage of it because it's a tough situation and um if anything is going to bring up negative emotions about your service, it's something like this. So go, go see someone, go get that support. Yeah, absolutely. I can't echo that sentiment enough and we could go down the rabbit hole of talking about all the sf stuff that's happened over the last year or so.

But yeah, we'll probably leave that for another time. Be a long conversation. All right, let's let's change gears and let's talk about what you've been up to recently. You mentioned that you competed in powerlifting competition. When was that? A couple of months ago? I was July 18. So yeah, about a month and a half ago now. Uh pretty well. I'm really happy with everything that happened. So I was supposed to do my first competition last year, but Covid really got in the way of that. Um with all the lockdowns and everything had affected training, affected the comps even being on. Um, so we rescheduled and I ended up getting my first one done July 18 and my goal for my first competition was 600 kg total. Um and I hit that on the head. Um Yeah, I was pretty happy with it. Um, As far as the day went, I've been like, I've been to more meat than I can count now.

I've coached guys through meets. Um And, You know, as far from a coaching perspective, I would always recommend if you're going to coach something, you should probably compete in a little bit as well. So, you know what it's like as the athlete, unfortunately, COVID just really get in the way of me doing that for 18 months, two years or something. Um But once I got out there on the platform felt really good. I felt like I've been there before just because of all the meats I've been to and yeah, basically PVC squat, my bench press was basically a disaster And my dad left was, yeah, basically just played it safe from the dead lift so that I didn't miss that. 600 kg total. Yeah, overall was pretty good day. What numbers do you head for the three lifts? And Squat was 2 15. My bench press was 1 35 and I missed my second two attempts basically. So I only got the opener and dead lifted 2 50. Nice, nice.

Let's talk about the mindset required going into that. Um I want to talk about some takeaways for people uh listening if they want to compete in power lifting, whether they want to kick off a new fitness journey, it's whatever, whatever like there's a lot of this is what I love about fitness man is like you can take the principles that you learn through the journey of fitness and apply them to other areas areas of your life, you know, like absolutely goal setting. Um like reverse engineering from, you know, competition date period. Ization of training, nutrition recovery, um progressive overload, um you know, intensity, volume, frequency, blah blah blah, like all of this stuff that applies to all areas of your life. So um let's look at some of those principles that you use and then talk about how people could potentially use them in their life. So how much time did you have to prepare for the competition? Like knowing you had a set date? I had quite a while actually. Um I ended up probably taking Maybe 16-20 weeks of of lead up perhaps.

So I went through basically I, the way I programmed, it was not like how I programmed anything really before I took basically a power lifting program from quite a famous power lifting coach over in the States Guy named Corey Swede Burns. He's won some awards. I don't know what associations or whatever, but as a power lifting coach. Um and you know, he's consistently benched over £500 from most of his career, which is pretty impressive to be able to do that raw no shirt. Um And I figured I would just give this one a try because it was designed purely for powerlifters who want to compete. It's not really for anything else. Um and it was only a three day week program, which is something that I haven't basically ever done. Normally. My training workload is like 4-6 days a week. So I was training less than I ever have before. Um and it works in his program works in like eight weeks cycles basically.

Um And it's a four day micro cycle that runs monday Tuesday Wednesday monday and then basically just keeps repeating. So you're kind of doing four sessions over a nine day week instead of a seven day week. Um And you do six micro cycles which ends up coming out to about eight weeks. Um So I did two of those two full macro cycles that way and then a 36 day peak. We just worked out perfectly from when I started uh straight into comp day. Um And for the most part I was pretty happy with the way the program worked. Um There were a couple of things that I wouldn't do again um I think that it's probably a pretty good program for a really experienced lifters who maybe accumulate enough volume in three sessions a week to not want to train 1/4. Um but for you know people that are lifting you know sub 300 squats and dead lifts, I just didn't think it was enough um Enough squat basically.

That was one of my key things was it just didn't have you practicing the movements probably enough for people that need it. Um And my squat. Yeah my squad at the start of this year was just something that was really playing on my um Yeah on my mindset made me like I just got nervous to get under the bar a lot of the time, so what was that? It just didn't feel right basically. Um Yeah I I think it was some like pain or discomfort or not just not confident with heavy weight on your back. Yeah I mean probably a combination of all of those things at one stage or another. Um When I was in the military I was when I sort of got into jim and I like every new gym go er started to just do the stuff that I seemed to be really good at and I ignored the stuff that I was not good at. Um And so dead lifting just felt like it came naturally to me. I did a lot of dead lifts.

Um And I was able to push my dead lift up to like a 200 kg. Dad lived quite quickly. Um Whereas the squad, because I didn't feel as good at it and I didn't give it the time and attention it needed, it did not make the same amount of progress. Um And I basically just like hit this wall at 160 kg, like anything around 100 and 60 it would basically flatten me. Um Which felt silly to me because I'm pulling over 200 why is 100 and 60 on my back giving me so many issues. Um And it was 100% in my head, like it was just one of those things that my head wasn't right and I wasn't practicing this movement enough anyway. Fast forward, like I guess, you know, four years since I left the army and and being a coach, I knew what I had to do to fix this kind of problem. The hardest thing is when you coach yourself, which I wouldn't recommend anyone does by the way, um if you're gonna do a sport or if you're going to get good at something, find a professional and listen to them and just do what you're told because coaches will be able to see what you're doing wrong and they can fix it straight away and you're less likely to develop bad habits.

Um But for me, I was basically teaching myself um and I learned the hard way basically that I'm just needed to spend more time squatting realistically because I mean it just sounds so obvious and you say it like that you suck at something, do it more, you get better at it. Um But yeah, I think when I came back to the no that's exactly right. Um And you know anyone can squat 50% of their max over and over and over again and get no better at squats and the same goes for any task, you know, you can do something shipped over and over and over again, you're just going to get better at being shipped at it. Um because you practice sucks, you know what I mean? Um Whereas you know with the squats, it meant going back to the drawing board, figuring out what's going wrong, I ended up moving from flats to heels, like swap shoes, which definitely helped.

My style of squatting. All of my lifts are quite quick, I think I've got just more fast twitch muscle fibers than slow twitch ones. So for me, force production happens quite quickly and if I slow down or if I get stuck, I don't have very good ability to grind through it. Um Yeah, it's energy anywhere. You're almost going to miss the lift. Yeah, and because of the way that I do those lives, because because I'm moving and it's not fast to look at, you know, if you look at it doesn't look that fast. Um But it's not a grind if I miss the groove, I'm fucked, basically, which means that I need a lot of practice hitting the same group every single time. Um and that's pretty much what it took in that 20 week period leading up to the competition. I did make some minor modifications to the program so that I was squatting twice a week instead of once a week. Um My practice squats, we're literally like, I don't know, five sets of three pause squats, so it was like this tiny amount of volume with 50% of my back of my max.

Um And all I was doing was just practicing my position. Um And that's in the groove. Yeah, and that really paid off and that's, I mean, that's a life lesson, like you said, things that you learn in the gym, you can apply outside the gym to the rest of your life. But if you really do want to improve it, something, you practice it under the conditions where you can get it 100% right, 100% of the time and or as close as possible. I mean, nobody's perfect, but practice it under conditions where you're, you're in complete control. You know, nothing is going to affect, You know, the movement or the action or the thing that you're doing because that's your environment, you know? Um, and then by the time you get around to doing it in uncontrolled conditions, for example, with 110% of your max on your back, you know, put faith in the process to do it the same way you've always done it and hopefully it'll work out well. And that's what happened on the day. I've never squatted above 202 kg or something.

Um, and I got through and had to 15 nice play. I mean, it wasn't the perfect squad, but it moved really well. I was really happy with it. Um, whereas like the complete opposite happened on my bench press, I, uh, and that's the thing that I'm now working on is, you know, I'm trying to take those things I've learned from the squad, and basically apply them to the bench practice in an environment where you're under control um and practice the same thing. I think the main mistake I made on the day was I tried to do it a little bit differently than how I've always done it and practiced. Yeah, and and I've bench 250 in training, which is meaningless because I didn't do it on the, on the platform, but I went for 1 35 it was okay. Um and then I went for 1 42 after that and just couldn't get it, got stuck halfway up Um and then tried 142 again and barely got it off the chest. So ship uh let's talk about the training program.

Um You said that you've never done anything like that before. Um You trusted in the process. Uh How did you, what did that do two for you mentally or to you mentally going from training 4 to 6 days a week down to, you know, would you say three days a week, 3 to 4 days a week, three days a week. Um Well, the first thing it did was I constantly felt like I wasn't doing enough. Um So one of the biggest parts of my comp crab was and this is something that I I really make a point to do with the athletes that I coach as well. Um and it's really hard to do for yourself. This is another reason why I say if you're gonna compete, you should always have a coach um and its expectation management. Um Generally the coach knows best. If you've got a good coach, they know what they're doing and if they've got a method that works, uh then you should listen to them.

Um for me, I was trying something not necessarily new because this coach has worked with a lot of coaches that I've taken a lot of my um, you know, learning and training philosophies and experience from, but the way that he has written his program is just less than anything else I've ever done before in my life. And so a lot of it was reinforcing to myself, just in my own head on my rest is that this is not a bad thing. You know, I don't have to be in the gym every single day if I want to make progress, I just need to make the time that I'm in the gym, the best quality time that I can, so for those three days a week, for those, I don't know, it was like, maybe not even an hour full session, you've got three hours a week where you are actually training and then the other 23 hours a day, for the other four days a week is basically in your own head, trying to convince yourself that those three hours are going to be enough um, on the flip side of that, you do need to put in a shipload of effort in those three individual hours to make sure that you're getting the most out of them.

Yeah, there's a lot of parallels there mate, with obviously, you know, I'm not sure how many, like weight loss clients you train or you know, general population clients you train that aren't focused on power lifting, but you know, I mean, that's what a lot of people, you know, so many people think they need to do more, more, more, more, more, more, more. And sometimes I'm like, hey, let's pull this back. Like you chronically depleted your, you've been a caloric deficit for fucking a year and a half. You think that you need to train more and more and more and I'm like, hey, you actually need to train less and less and less like you're robbing from peter to pay paul and your body is left with zero energy, like, you know, so I've literally done that before where I've taken people that are training, you know, 56 times a week, man and like absolutely hammering themselves chronically depleted and I'm like, hey, like I want you to pull back to 2 to 3 days a week, we're gonna do some full body training and um it's gonna be resistance training, we're not going to be doing hit and I'm gonna make you have rest periods in between sets and blah blah blah and man, it's fucking difficult to have those conversations with people, right because they think, you know, they've been fed all this bullsh it by the fitness industry and all these influences and ship and you know the the old um a deja fucking like eat less, move more and I'm here telling them something else and there like what the funk, how how do I how am I gonna trust in this process?

Really difficult to have that conversation with people and I've done it so many times man. And what I always say is like, do you trust me and my clients go, Yeah, well that's that's what I'm paying you. Alright, cool. Well if I ask you to trust me through this process, I'm never gonna have to ask you to trust me again and you know, they follow it and then within 2 to 3 months you're like, oh man, I feel amazing, my body is changing, I'm actually losing weight, I'm eating more on training list blah blah blah. Like what is this fucking witchcraft? Yeah, I think as a coach, it can be so hard to address this like cookie cutter approach of like you said, the fitness industry says X. So X must apply to everyone no matter who they are, but without context. Yeah. As we know that is absolutely not true. Um you've got people that I mean I literally saw like an inspirational quote on facebook, maybe an hour ago.

That was like no days off. Yeah, why not? You need days off. You need a rest man. Like This intense, like 100% intensity. 100% of the time is not only unsustainable, but it is, it's stupid and detrimental. After a certain yeah, it's um it's and like there are people out there who try to do it. Um and those people are going to see like we talked about energy leakage in other areas of their life. If you're putting 100% or your perceived 100% into a training session, seven days a week, your body is going to have to make sacrifices somewhere else to make up for that. And if you're trying to lose weight, chances are that sacrifices that it's going to hold onto any fat stores that you've got because it thinks that you're under threat. You know, it thinks that somebody's chasing you down and trying to kill you because you're not giving it any chance to think otherwise.

Mm hmm. There are training people is a spectrum And on either end of the spectrum, you've got the people that are very difficult to motivate because it's not a practiced habit for them. It's not something that they are used to doing. So they just don't want to learn how to do it. Um And then on the very other end of the spectrum, you've got the people who are basically addicted to exercise and who use exercise as a coping mechanism for maybe they're mental health or And I'm not saying that exercise can't be a good coping mechanism, but it's like anything else, if you do too much of it, like you said, it can be detrimental and it can have a negative impact on your mental health and your physical health. Because what you're doing is you're pushing your body to a point where it's, you know, it's in survival mode. You know, it's, it's holding onto every single little bit of food that you put into it. And if you're in a deficit, it's not, it's not going to burn anything off because it thinks that you're starving.

Um you know, if you're stressed, it's going to amplify that stress the amount of conversations that I've had with clients or with people that maybe seeing the psychologist that we work with who are really into fitness that have basically just turned into, look, you need to stop training so hard because you're actually making your life much, much more difficult. Yeah, man, that's a that's a great point. Like training or fitness is a tool, right? And like that tool needs to be applied at the appropriate time. And if you're training can be good for stress management, but training is a stress itself. So if you're, you know, if you are using training as your stress management or stress relief and then you go through like a really tough period in your life of a couple of weeks, you're adding stress on top of stress on top of stress and you continue training and you think that, hey, well I need to train harder.

I need to train more. Like you're now just stacking stress on top of stress and like it's going to get to a point where he's gonna fucking burn yourself out, man. Yeah. And I mean, you look at what's going on in the world right now, There's a pandemic that is having a pretty significant impact on most people's stress levels. Um and how they are responding to that vary greatly from individual to individual. But you do have uh and I mean, I see it every day on social media, you have some pretty big people in the fitness industry who are quite clearly under a lot of stress from how they are, how they are responding to this pandemic situation and they are pushing themselves even harder in the gym than they ever have before. And it is, it's a spiral. You know, these poor people are, they're ending up feeling probably worse than they ever have because there's external stress and then there's the stress that they are generating themselves by their actions. Yeah, that's a great point.

And you know, going back to what I said, it's like, it's a tool but if training is your only tool to be able to deal with that stress, then now you're in trouble. Like this is where we need to start adding more tools into the tool box mm, You know, one of my mates many years ago, a guy that I used to live with and played rugby with like um him and his missus were trying to get pregnant for the longest time. And uh you know, his missus went and saw a heap of doctors and got blood tests done stuff like that. And um I think ended up speaking to like, you know, a functional functional medicine practitioner or something like that. And they were like talking about lifestyle, nutrition, blah blah blah training and it was like, she was a cross fitter and the functional medicine practitioner was like you need to stop training so much and she's like what? It's good for me, It was like, yeah, well it's good for you until it's no longer good for you, you know? So she actually like really dolled her, pretty much stopped doing crossfit man and just went into like, you know, normal resistance training, you know, single sets uh sorry, straight sets having rest periods in between, but not pushing herself, not doing the hit stole training blah blah blah and lo and behold she got pregnant bro.

Yeah, yeah. And I don't want to just rag on cross feared or um which is pretty much the classic tale. It's pretty easy to do that, but they bring in things like they bring it upon themselves like, let's be honest, I'm a crossfit coach. Like I'm a qualified crossfit coach. But you know, it goes against it goes against so many of my principles and beliefs that I've adopted from strength and conditioning. I mean, crossfit has done some amazing things for the industry, but it's also done some fucking retarded things, you know? Yeah. Um and I mean things like at 45, anything hit focused high intensity interval stuff, anything that's focused on, I mean, if it's got high intensity in the name, you need to approach with caution. You know what I mean? Just on that as well. Like, most people, most people don't actually understand what it is, they think, don, you know, seven exercises, one minute each go hard for seven minutes, then rest one minute and repeat that five times.

Like, that's not fucking hitman, like, you're not doing it properly. Like, high intensity is like, all right, let's actually do some sprint base work. Like, you know, 10 seconds of actual fucking max effort work, and then let's rest five minutes. Yeah, that's the thing with uh Your body's energy systems when it comes to high intensity work because they're designed for those short sharp burst. But the recovery for something like that is like 3-5 minutes. So um and like, this is science stuff, you know, it's not just a gas. Um And that's why I mean, when it comes to crossfit athletes or, you know, the classic f 45 sort of stuff. Um And nothing against people that are into that. It can be a really good community and it can be a really good way to get into exercise and stay active, But you do have to be really careful about a culture of 100 of your energy, 100% of the time, because if you're doing a award, which literally stands for workout of the day, um and you're doing that seven days a week, and some of these workouts are, like, confusing in how, like intense they are, for basically no reason, A lot of those workouts are taken from, like, tests, you know, and this is a and if you're doing a test, you're not just supposed to do a test every single day, supposed to do a test once every six weeks or once every 12 weeks or something to see what level you're at, you're doing tests every day to see if you're progressing, Yeah, if you're doing tests every day, it's a it's a self defeating cycle.

So all the props to people that, especially crossfit athletes who are absolutely incredible athletes, the people that compete in crossfit at a world level, you know, some of the people that have walked the earth, but the way they train is not warned monday to sunday, the way I do, like the way that Yeah, the way that I think about is like, you know, if I'm a rugby guy, right? So, you know, I don't go to if I'm a professional rugby player, I don't go to rugby training every day and fucking play rugby, I go to rugby training every day and, you know, monday, Wednesday is going to be strengthened, power Tuesday, thursday is gonna be speed and conditioning um you know, and there's gonna be some whatever, there's gonna be some mobility work in, there's gonna be some stability work, and there's gonna be some hypertrophy work in there, you know, like, and then we're going through skills and drills, and then on the weekend we put it all together, right? Like that's how training should be, that is training okay, we're training throughout the week, and then we're testing ourselves on the weekend, you know, and that goes for whatever four months of the year, and then we go through an off season, where we look at changing our training style and we address these areas, put on a little bit of muscle, put on some strength, put on some, put on some size, put on some speed, put on some power, build our conditioning, blah blah blah, and then we go through that cycle again, you know, whereas I look at, you know, those high intensity um style uh sessions like crossfit and f 45 it's just like, smash smash smash, smash, smash all the time, man, like where's the training, that's not training, that's just that's just exercising bro, you know, we want to train often test seldom, as you said, and here's the thing bro, like what I see with people that go and do that type of training, is there really fucking motivated and as you said, there's, there's some great things about building community and um you know, you see the same people at the gym at the same time every day and you compete against each other again, it's competing against each other, you know, you're working hard and you build that great community, but then, you know, after 6 to 8 weeks you see really good results, but then people burn out, they start getting injured or they continue going for another six months and the body doesn't change after that because it's adapted to what they're doing and they now need a new stimulus, which they're not getting because your training sessions are just the same over and over and over again.

Just rebranded Yeah, I mean, talking about community and talking about um pushing each other, you know, competition within that group, that's one of the reasons why I like power lifting so much for the veteran community and I mean, it's just a tiny little group of guys that I've got that I coached three days a week, um but, you know, we've got a huge age range, I've got guys that are um still in their twenties and I've got dudes that are in like their fifties, um and all of them compete and all of them come to training, you know, at least one of those days a week, but they'll train, You know 3-4 times a week anyway, but the best part about power lifting is I see it as a team sport where at the end of the day when you get up on the platform you're only competing against yourself, you know, you're only going up there and trying to do a little bit better than what you did last time because of the way power lifting works, you know, it's weight classes and divisions and all sorts of shit basically.

You get up on the platform and you're not really competing against anyone else there, you might be lifting similar weights or you might be lifting something completely different but realistically all you care about is a little bit of a PB from the last time you got on the platform, I think that's really good for the veteran community because they need that challenge, They need a goal, especially combat veterans, especially ex infantry guys, stuff like that, they are very goal driven people and they are very um you know, process driven as well. Yeah, they see a challenge or they see adversity as something to attack head on, you know, they're not adverse to adversity. In fact they tend to seek it out in some way or another after they've left the military and a lot of the time that can cause some issues if it's not done in a healthy way. Um So you know if you give them a controlled environment with heavy weights and I mean fighting a heavyweight is one of the hardest fights of your life, you've ever put a max on your back or something.

It can be a really tough battle, so it gives them that thing to fight against, but it also puts them in a room with a bunch of people who have similar experiences who are their community where they can sort of talk a bit of shit, they can push each other a bit harder than they would by themselves. Um you know, and then they feel supported, you know, if you've got a spotter for a heavy lift, you feel like that guy, you know, you can rely on that dude, it's the same as when you've got a battle buddy, you know what I mean? Um and a battle buddy who's been through the same ship that you've done, who's gone through the same level of training, you know, who's done the same shitty field exercises, That's a guy that you can have a laugh with and that you have a level of trust with that you wouldn't have with any other, you know, random city bloke or something. It's the same with someone who spotted you through one of the hardest grinds your life, you know, that guy was there when you thought you were going to die. So um you know, it builds that trust really quickly and on top of all of that, every single one of these guys is injured and in a power lifting gym injuries are very common to deal with.

They're not common to happen, but Um you know, just because someone's got hip issues or knee issues and back issues doesn't mean I can't find a way for them to squat or bench or dead lift. I've got guys that came in after, you know, 10 years of chronic back pain who are now dead lifting like twice what they their body ways and they don't feel that back pain anymore. It's hard. So that's another bonus I think. Yeah, there's something um there's something about that process man that I really love and again, I want to take the lessons from everything you just said and then apply that to people's lives. You know, power lifting its objective, right? You've got to make this weight class and you've got to lift as much as you can write like those numbers are there, they tell you whether you succeeded or whether you failed and then you get your total at the end, okay? You take that, you then take that away and you do and they are all right. What can I fix? How am I going to do that? What can I improve? How am I going to do that? What can I sustain?

Maybe tweak a little bit. Alright. And then guess what? You know, you've got another date coming up where the next power lifting meet is going to be? I know I've got whatever. 16 weeks. Cool. I'm gonna reverse engineer that a week out. I want to be here two weeks and I want to be here three weeks out, four weeks out. I want to be here blah blah blah. So then you start setting these um these little checkpoints along the way. Okay, how am I going to be able to get to that point? All right. I need to be doing this, this this this. Then you start going through your program. You start putting that together, you're looking at your nutrition, you know? So again, like I love that process of being objective because then you can structure, then you can plan, then you can start walking that path and then tweak and adjust on the way. Whereas if you put that up against, you know, like the F- 45 of the crossfit or whatever. Like I mean crossfit does have those um uh what are those workouts called? The, having a brain fart? Like the girls, the heroes, the benchmark was. That's what I'm trying to think of. You know, which is a test to, as you said, see where you're at sea if you're progressing, but you know, you're not training for those things.

You're testing yourself by doing those things. You're testing yourself all the time. So, you know, in power lifting, it's more of an objective measure. Whereas the 45 crossfit style is more of a subjective measure of am I progressing well, I didn't feel this funk this times I felt last time, so I must be moving in the right direction and like a good training session is measured by how fucking tired you are, how much you sweat, how high you got your heart rate, how much, how long you need to fucking lay in the fetal position by the end of the session. Like that's how people measure a good workout. Whereas you know, you, you, you measure a good workout by, hey man, like I used the same weight that I lifted last week for my whatever my, my five sets of three, but you know, last week that was a fucking eight rating of perceived exertion today. It was a seven that bomb moved moved smoother. I felt better. I'm dialing that technique in. So there's many, many different ways to measure your progress and using those objective measures and objective markers, I think is a brilliant way to be able to ensure that what you're doing is moving you in the right direction.

Yeah. And I mean, the last thing I know either of us want to do is rag on every single crossfit coach or whatever are there. They're great coaches in Crossfit Crossfit coach. Yeah. And they know exactly what they're doing, you know, and they create, they produce really, really good athletes. Um, I'm, you know, all we're saying is if it's high intensity every single day, you need to ask some questions, you need to understand that this is not, this is not going to produce a good result, is not going to be good for your body physically and mentally. It is a stressor and you are inducing stress over and over again. Um Also when it comes to, uh, you know, those objective measures, there are some great crossfit gyms out there that can produce those objective measures. But I was, I was talking to this and this is something that veterans have a real issue with, especially infantry soldiers who probably didn't have good pts or psychos who knew anything about training or whatever.

I mean, I was one of them, I was a second, I have no idea how to train people. So sometimes the session was just a smash session, but yeah, but now that I'm out and that I'm a qualified coach, I've had a conversation recently with a guy, he's a whoa, now, funnily enough and he loves the technology that you can use to measure certain stuff with training. You know, you just got to watch and the heart rate thing and like, I don't use any of this stuff as far as training goes, I'm pretty old school, realistically, like I go off, like what I can see from my athletes um and and it's very much alike by feel and I and I don't get me wrong, um data driven training is very effective if you know what you're doing um and if you're able to use it the right way data driven training can produce some absolutely incredible results. And this guy is talking to me and he's like, oh yeah, you know, have the watch going and you will be doing a session and and I just figured, you know, I'll just smash myself into the ground and then I look at my watch and it's like actually this session had a negative impact on your overall well being.

And he's like, oh what the fund does that matter? You know, what would the watch? No, sometimes people need a smash session and I was like, they don't, they absolutely do not. He's like, he's like, what about infantry soldiers? You know, infantry soldiers need to be smashed every now and again to get them used to the hard stuff. And I was like, dude, that's what field is a field is the hard stuff on base. You should be treating these guys like fucking tier one rugby players, you know, you should be putting them into situations where all they can possibly do is succeed and succeed well Because they need the confidence builder, they need their bodies in 100% condition when they're on base so that when they go out field or when they go on operations, which is literally the goal line, once they're there, they're as dialed in as they possibly can be because they can't dial themselves in at that point, they can't call themselves in outfield, they can't call themselves in Afghanistan or Iraq or wherever they have to do it on base. So every single session should be just a little stepping stone in the right direction and absolutely none of it should be detracting, none of it should be a smash session.

Yeah, that to me blows my mind and it's the same with um, you know, if you're a veteran and you've left the military and you think that's a good approach to training, it might be time to take a step back and just go, well, what am I training for? My training for health? In that case, I don't need to smash myself ever because that's not healthy. You can put yourself in a training situation where you're tested sure. If you want to manage your stress levels effectively, some of your training sessions should be of a higher intensity so that your body is used to operating at higher stress levels, but it should never be um killed up on the floor in the fetal position, wondering why I ever did that. You know, there's a, there's a massive difference between high intensity and negative effect. Yeah, yeah, that's a great point, mate. Like your training session should be adding to your day, not taking away from it, right? This is something that I'm always talking about with my athletes, man, it's like, you know, I'm in Russia right now in flight camp with peter john and you know, he's training twice a day and I'm running him through strength conditioning, like monday, Tuesday, thursday, saturday and you know, he's got other sessions that day and if I'm doing too much and he can't perform in his later session, then I'm a fucking decade.

I'm not doing my job as a coach, I'm doing him a disservice, right? So everything I'm going to every single one of these training sessions bro, and I'm making, I'm having a look at what he's doing with his other coaches, I'm making sure that I'm monitoring his workload, I'm monitoring his intensity, his volume, his rest, his recovery, et cetera, and then I'm adjusting my sessions man, I'm still making sure that I'm getting, I'm giving him the stimulus that he requires for adaptation, but I'm ensuring that what I'm doing is adding to his day rather than taking away from adding to each other sessions rather than taking away from it, you know? So it's getting the most out of the least. Yeah, and I mean as another example for people that are maybe more numbers focused or spend time in the weight room and they do programs with percentages of their one or m or something um For that 20 week period where I was leading up to p being on, you know, two of my left on the platform. I didn't go over 80% more than once for each month. I tested my left as part of the first week of the peak, but up until that point, The first eight week cycle was 75% work, that's the heaviest I did, and then for the next it's 80% work and there's some um wraps in there for to force that kind of stimulus and adaptation.

But Apart from that, there's, I'm not maxing out regularly, you know, and that produces an incredible result in a raw athlete. For people on Pds, changes need to be made because they can adapt much faster. However, if you're just a regular person and you want to continuously get stronger or get better or get fitter, you need to be working in the range between like 65 and 80%,, And that's where you push yourself, push yourself in a very manageable environment. You shouldn't be hitting 95% much, you shouldn't be hitting 100% like almost ever really, until it gets to competition day, because those are 100% sessions, those ones hurt your body more than they help it? 100%. And again, that's taking away from your training and your day, right? Like it takes the higher you, the higher intensity, how do you work, the longer it takes to recover? Yeah. Yeah, man, No, that's a great place, great place to start wrapping up.

Is there anything else that you want to finish up with? No, it was a good chat, I think we covered, pretty diverse range of topics to be honest, lover may always appreciate chatting to your man, Really appreciate your time. Marshal will definitely need to do this again mate, much like good seeing you again, cheers man, you two met and there we have it guys, Thanks for listening. Always a great conversation with marshall of animal training and development. If you are one of those veterans who are struggling with your mental health at the moment due to the scenes unfolding in Afghanistan, uh feel free to reach out to me or any of the the organizations that we spoke about during the first part of this episode. This episode was brought to you by Swiss eight which is a proactive mental health program designed by veterans. Initially four veterans that has been pushed out to the wider community that allows you to structure in and schedule their eight pillars of health and wellness, including nutrition, sleep time management, discipline, fitness, personal growth, mindfulness and minimalism. Myself and marshall actually have training programs under the fitness component of the app, which you can download and get that those training programs delivered straight to your phone.

This episode was also brought to you by the spunky, which is a male hormone optimization supplement that I've been taking for about a year and a half night. Absolutely right. It is a TJ listed nutraceutical meaning that it's made from all organic produce to help you manage and optimize your stress levels, which in turn increases your ability to improve testosterone production levels Naturally. Use the code codes 10 at checkout for your 10% discount. All of those links will be in the show notes. If you've got some benefit from this episode, please make sure you pass it off to your friends and family. I'd appreciate any shares on social media platforms. If you tag me or if you share it to your stories, make sure you tag me so I can share that as well. Any five star ratings and reviews are much appreciated. Much love Guys Peace.

Marshall Officer of Anvil Training and Development
Marshall Officer of Anvil Training and Development
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