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188 Ingrid Marcum: Find Your Passion and Move Towards A Better You

Ingrid Marcum - World Class Elite Athlete - Super Strength Show - Podcast1
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In this episode of the Super Strength Show, Ingrid Marcum takes us on her journey to becoming a world-class elite athlete, strength & conditioning coach, weightlifting champ, speaker, educator, and Founder of BGB Fitness. During this interview, Ingrid inspires you to find a better version of yourself. 

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[INTRODUCTION]

 

[0:00:18.8] RT: What’s up Strength Maniacs? And thanks for tuning in. I’m pleased to welcome today’s guest Ingrid Marcum. Ingrid is a world-class elite athlete with a great passion for teaching and coaching. Accomplished in multiple sports, Ingrid started in gymnastics before she was two years old and later competed for the college of William and Mary.

 

A 2009 US National Champion in weightlifting and a two time American open champion, Ingrid also lifted in the 2004 and 2008 USA weightlifting Olympic trials. She was a US Bobsled World Team member between 2003  and 2013 and was an alternate to the 2006 and 2010 Olympic bobsled teams. Ingrid also successfully competes in the Highland Games.

 

Since 1997, Ingrid has also been helping others reach their own fitness and athletic goals as a speaker, educator, strength and conditioning coach and movement specialist. She has trained athletes from various sports both individuals and teams including her time as a strength coach at the college of William and Mary, and for the women’s US national field hockey team.

 

She also recently worked with the US women’s national soccer team on battling ropes — absolutely love battling ropes. We’re going to get to talk about that, if you haven’t heard about it guys, you’re in for a treat when you do finally try it. She stars in three fitness DVD’s with John Brookfield, by the way, an absolute legend especially in the grip field but he’s done a lot of amazing things. It’s in his book, it’s called — sorry, his video, it’s called Hurricane Ingrid. That’s actually the first time that I got to know her.

 

Partner and team training and mastery of physical prowess and is a lead instructor for the cross fit weightlifting specialty course. She often travels internationally throughout north and south America and Europe to speak at conferences and to teach a variety of specialty certifications, courses and workshops including the battling ropes, weight lifting, stability, mobility, gymnastics, hand balancing and bodyweight training and I’m pretty sure somewhere there’s a kitchen sinkbecause I think that pretty much covers it all doesn’t it? You can connect with her by visiting ingridmarcum.com.

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

Ingrid, welcome to the show, it’s an absolute pleasure to have you here. Your resume is awesome, I can’t wait to get into this.

 

[0:02:33.6] IM: Oh, well thank you so much and thanks for having me.

 

[0:02:35.1] RT: No problem at all, the pleasure is all ours. So how about we kick it off by having you just tell us a little bit about yourself? I mean you personify physical culture and you are into it completely. So tell me, how did you get into it? You started at a very young age, do you remember when you were a year and nine months when you started gymnastics? Tell me, what were you thinking when you started?

 

[0:02:56.1] IM: Well I don’t know that I was thinking anything other than I just need to go be upside down most of the time. I couldn’t cross a room without doing a summersault or a cartwheel and our local YMCA had a gym and swim program and all of my siblings, I have four siblings and all of us went through that program and I just took to the gymnastics immediately and just never looked back.

 

I have great genetics, all of my siblings were athletes as well and so I was very, very blessed and it’s just ingrained in who I am. I’m built to move, I’m built to challenge my body and see what it’s capable of and it’s just who I am. So yeah, I got started very early but absolutely loved it, I was a gymnast through and through, I’m taller now, now I’m five six and I even finished — I think I grew a couple of inches after I finished high school.

 

But when I started high school, I was four 10, a lot of people meet me now and I’m this five six, 75 kilo weightlifter and people are like, “Wait? You were a gymnast?” But I was. I was four ten and 80 pounds when I started high school. I was actually very, very tiny and very strong. Strength has been something that’s been sort of something I’ve been proud of I guess my whole life and just naturally was part of again who I am and part of who I am and part of my makeup.

 

I was certainly a strong gymnast, I competed in high school, I was on a private club team so I trained 35 hours a week, I competed for IGI which is a local gym here.

 

We’ve had a few famous athletes come out of there, Olympian and some other people. So it was certainly a different high school experience than most people have. I went to school and I went to gymnastics and that was pretty much my life. But it was always my choice and it was, even still looking back I would still make the same choice. Gymnastics is actually probably still my favorite thing that I’ve done. I went on to compete at the college of William and Mary, did division one gymnastics.

 

And at 21 you’re pretty ancient so when I finished college — I mean it sounds so silly but look at all the gymnast in the Olympics, although I will say, I just have to mention this because there is Oksana Chusovitina who, she was a gymnast at the time I was a gymnast and she is just I think a year older than I am, not even and she just qualified for her seventh Olympic games as a gymnast. She’ll be competing this summer in Rio at 41 as a gymnast. That’s amazing.

 

[0:05:18.9] RT: Yeah, I’ve seen her in the Olympics, I remember they’re making a big deal about it.

 

[0:05:21.8] IM: Yeah, she’s amazing.

 

[0:05:23.0] RT: 41.

 

[0:05:24.3] IM: So anyway, I had to mention that because I keep saying, “You’re ancient at 21 in gymnastics,” and she’s just this sort of an anomaly that’s just been able to keep going. I did, I felt ancient at 21 and I got in to strength and conditioning, that was something that spoke to me and over the course of becoming a strength coach, I got exposed to Olympic weightlifting.

 

I was just taking the course as a coach, but was recruited by the guy who was teaching the course and said, “Hey, you should be a lifter.” That’s actually how I got started in weightlifting, believe it or not. Went on to a lot of great things with weight lifting. I became a national champion in ’09 and did a few world trials and Olympic trials and again, just absolutely loved it, I dove in head first. It was, for me to be able to start something in my 20’s and have a shot at Olympic games was just totally beyond what my comprehension.

 

Out of weightlifting, two of the coaches for the US bobsled team actually happen to catch me lifting, just in training, at the NSEA convention in 2002 and invited me to come out to try out for bobsled and because I’m open to opportunity and I’m always interested in what other challenges there are for me, I absolutely jumped in headfirst again and I went out and I won my first combine and one of my first push championship and went on and competed for the US for over the course of 10 years.

 

I would go back and forth between weightlifting and bobsled, the one I focused on depended on whether it was a summer Olympic quad or a winter Olympic quad. But I basically competed in both through the time I finally decided to retire from bobsled, which was just two and a half years ago so 2013. Long career, to feel ancient at 21 and then compete for another 17 years is pretty amazing.

 

[0:07:14.8] RT: That is incredible. I got to tell you, that quick couple of minutes there, if that isn’t enough to tell you, “you should probably leave the house every now and then because you’ll never know who you’re going to bump in to and where it will lead you,” I don’t know what is. That’s tremendous. Just being out there and doing your thing and doing what you love, look where it’s lead you.

 

[0:07:32.6] IM: That’s for sure. I actually got involved in Highland Games much the same way, there was a guy who happened to be just helping out at the nationals because they were here in Chicago in ’09 and I got to talk to him and know him a little bit and I found out that he threw Highland Games. I was taking a little break from bobsled in 2010 and just kind of wanted to do something different, something fun. So I called them up and got to do Highland Games.

 

So I had a lot of fun doing that, I had never thrown anything in my life. Having an athletic background and an understanding of just bio mechanics and technique, I was able to — I was invited to an amateur world championship at my second season and ended up three to eight months which was pretty cool. It’s actually one of the things I haven’t thrown since then. I’m actually planning on getting back to that a little bit, hopefully soon.

 

[0:08:21.2] RT: Yes throwing stuff feels good doesn’t it? Seriously.

 

[0:08:23.3] IM: Oh it feels so good. It’s so funny because coming from weightlifting, when you hit the snatch just right, there’s just nothing else like it.

 

[0:08:32.2] RT: No, no. That’s just perfect.

 

[0:08:34.3] IM: Yeah, and even though I had never thrown anything before, I could feel it in my body without having done it just watching people and watching that release and I just, I had always wanted to experience that and try it. So then when I got the chance to actually do some throwing it was just like, “Ah, this is great,” it’s the same thing, when you just hit that just right and the timing and the speed and the technique is just right, it’s the same thing, it just feels so good.

 

[0:09:03.5] RT: When a snatch, when you get — the form is just dead on, it almost feels like weightless, it’s so hard to explain how, everything just works perfectly and just the movement is extremely, it’s almost like a hydraulic almost. That smooth. Throwing, there’s something about that. I think there is obviously a bit of a close relation with the Olympic lifts, you got that explosion and then throwing has that explosion but with the throwing, it’s a little obviously different because you’re actually releasing the object that you’re holding on to.

 

I remember being at a track meet in high school and seeing one of my friends Trevor and he was throwing javelin and he’d let out a bit of a yell when he threw it and to me that was the first time I kind of saw that stuff and seeing somebody do that because a few people who threw before, I think they were like in grade 10, he was in grade 12 at the time. I was in grade 10 also. We didn’t know what the heck we were doing, right? For the most part unfortunately.

 

A lot of us we just started at that point in time, it wasn’t like we were practicing track leading up to that point. Not a lot of experience. Him on the other hand, he had a few years so seeing that and just, I don’t know the satisfaction and obviously the discus as well. I was like, yeah, I think I’m going to do that, I think I’m going to try that out and it was a lot of fun definitely.

 

[0:10:19.4] IM: It’s just so cool. I’ll tell you, I think the change for me for moving from, not moving because I was still weightlifting obviously but the difference that I find as a weightlifter, my strength funny enough was not in my strength, I was not strong for a weightlifter. I was a strong girl obviously but I was not strong for a weightlifter. I was fast, powerful and efficient.

 

So my pull was everything, but I would get pinned under cleans all the time. Like I could jerk, I could snatch, great. I could pull a clean to my chin but I would get pinned at the bottom because I just wasn’t strong. What’s so cool about highland games is that even though you have to be strong, I was strong enough to make it work and you get that release and then there is no standup from a clean. You just get to let go after the power and speed part.

 

[0:11:12.8] RT: That’s a good point.

 

[0:11:15.0] IM: So it was actually kind of a nice change for me.

 

[0:11:18.2] RT: That’s a real good point actually, you’re right, there’s no getting stuck or pinned.

 

[0:11:21.3] IM: Right. You just get to let it go and watch it fly.

 

[0:11:26.6] RT: Okay, how about this? Let’s get in to the first main question of the show and somebody like yourself with all that you’ve accomplished and that tremendous energy that you have, I’d like to hear this. How about you share with us one of your favorite success quotes, maybe an axiom, a motto, a saying and an example of how you’ve applied it, the meaning of it, to your training in life?

 

[0:11:46.2] IM: So what’s interesting is, the one that I’m going to give you is actually the name of my business and that’s why I named my business this and it’s “Better Get Better” which essentially is just better than yesterday. As an athlete, it’s not enough to be good, it’s not enough to be great, you always want to get better, right? So if you’re only comparing yourself to the field when you’re on top, then where do you go from there? But if you’re comparing yourself to where you were yesterday, you’re always trying to get better, you’re always trying to move forward.

 

And not only that, if you get injured, if you whatever. Again, if you’re trying to compare yourself to the field, that’s a problem but if you get injured and you’re moving yourself forward again and you’re only comparing yourself to yesterday, then you can see more positive and stay on track and move yourself forward. I think I’ll talk about that a little bit when we talk about one of the next questions.

 

But yeah, so just being better than yesterday and always — and that now applies in my world as a strength coach to if you have somebody who has never done anything in their life fitness wise and they come in to see me, we’re just trying to get better. If I have somebody who is an athlete at the top of their game, we’re trying to get better. It’s always getting better and there’s not an end to it right? It’s just a never ending process. It’s not like okay, here is your 12 week program and then we’re done, “Let’s just keep getting better,” because we can always get better. Anyways, I guess that’s my motto.

 

[0:13:20.3] RT: I like that. Ancora imparo, something that Michael Angelo used to say, always learning.

 

[0:13:27.1] IM: Always learning, exactly.

 

[0:13:28.9] RT: Always improving, always learning. All right, let’s jump in to sharing a story of a time in your training when you encountered a major challenge and if you could take us to that time in your life and tell us a story and share the lessons that you learned from it?

 

[0:13:42.4] IM: I will. So the story that I’m going to use for this one, I have another challenge that’s maybe just more significant over the entire course of my career but I think it fits better, had a different question so I’m going to use that later. But the challenge I’m going to talk about this time made a big change in my attitude towards training and competition. I had been, it was always about winning or making the team or getting a score or getting a number or getting whatever. It was more about the destination rather than the journey.

 

So going into the Olympic year in 2005/2006 for bobsled, I was ranked second on the team, I had come in, I had done well in the combine, I had done well in push championships, I was 9,000’s of a second behind Vonetta Flowers who had been the Olympic gold medalist in 2002. Mind you, all of our athletes were very good, there were six break man that year that were really pretty close but I had proven myself, I thought, to be at the top. The way that bobsled works is there’s lots of different combinations, lots of variables that go into how teams work together and I was relatively new, I hadn’t really raced with the girls that were driving that year and it was driver’s choice.

 

So I actually went the entire season and I did not get selected for a race and going into then the Olympic team selection, I did not get selected for the Olympic team. It was probably, I came out of that season physically, mentally, emotionally completely destroyed. It took me a few months to finally come back from that and because all I can keep saying was, “But I proved myself, I did this, I did this.” But it wasn’t enough right?

 

I made kind of a switch in how I operated to understand that there were lots of things out of my control, nobody targeted me, there was nothing like that that happened. It’s just, this was the circumstances and other people were chosen and that’s just how it works, that’s unfortunately how bobsled works in general. Going into the next season, the only way that I was able to come back and continue training and continue going for that without any promise that anything was going to happen. No promise of anything.

 

The only way I could do that is if I finally understood that I could only do what I could do and if I could. When that decision is made, if I could look back and know that I did everything possible that was under my control going into that selection then I had to be happy with that and that was success. Especially if I had proven my numbers when we had testing, when we had whatever. I mean there’s no more you can do than that. Then I was able to — I certainly had disappointments throughout my career, it’s not like everything is okay.

 

But you’re able to continue and you’re able to enjoy the process a whole lot more and appreciate the sweat, the tears, everything that you’ve put in and walk away from a career being really proud of it even if you didn’t reach the ultimate goal of what you were striving for, right? Because there’s so many other things that can happen. I guess that’s my challenge that changed a lot of who I am and how I operate in my career.

 

[0:17:23.6] RT: Yeah, that resonates with me on so many levels. Not just in athletics, physical culture, working out but also in just life, work, business. I remember having this one project I was working on and I was just not willing to allow myself not to try everything. I had to turn over every single stone, I had to try everything I could to get this thing through and I had the consultant working and he, I think, thought I was crazy because I just was like, “No, this is what we’re doing.”

 

Even if it means that I have to literally do it the hard way and if it means I have to go out there and knock on every single door in the city and whatever is required, I’m going to make this thing happen. Prior to that, this person never really did that. They just basically put in whatever effort that he put in and whatever was approved would be approved and that was that. I just thought to myself, “No.” Because regardless of what happens, even if I get what I’m shooting for or maybe a little more than what I’m shooting for to turn around and look back and go, “But what if I gave more and everything I had, then what? I let myself down. I cheated myself.”

 

And if I didn’t get anything at all but I gave it everything I had, well then if you’re logical and you step back and you take a look at it and you’re reasonable, you would say well, I did  everything in my power. In this point of time. Down the road I may have better skill set, I may know other people, who knows? But I did everything I possibly could and I left it all on the field and the cord and the ring, whatever you want to say and that’s that. In doing that, that’s the best that you can do and if you’re honest with yourself then yeah, you leave feeling good about yourself because that’s what’s required over time to ultimately achieve the things that you want.

 

[0:19:15.3] IM: Oh it’s so true. It’s then carried over just like you’re saying into the rest of their life. I have goals and it doesn’t change how hard I train for those goals because if it did then I’m  not fulfilling of that criteria of doing everything you can. But changes how I veered and how I decide whether or not I’m a success or I’ve had success or I’m proud of what I’ve done.

 

Because if — you could easily look back over a career and say yeah, I didn’t do this and I should have been good enough but I didn’t. You could be very negative about it but instead it’s like, “Wow, look at all the opportunities I had. Look at what I was able to accomplish.” Then you can be happy with it, it’s just a totally different place to be, it just changes your entire attitude on everything, right?

 

[0:20:09.3] RT: Well you said “confidence” and I think what it does is when you know that you gave it everything you have, that in of itself gives you a level of confidence because you know you didn’t cheat yourself and you didn’t whimp out. It does a lot for you, it’s not just it increases your chances of winning, even if you don’t win, it still built your confidence because you walk away saying, “Yeah, I did everything I possibly could. I have nothing to be ashamed of.”

 

[0:20:33.8] IM: Right, that’s exactly the point is after that season, I could have easily walked away completely disappointed, completely destroyed and just been like, “Well that sucked.” You know? And instead, I was able to overcome that disappointment and come back and do some pretty cool things.

 

[0:20:53.2] RT: Awesome. All right, well speaking of pretty cool things, that’s a bit of a segue into the next question which is sharing a story of a time in your training and when you had a breakthrough moment. If you could take us back, paint the picture for us, get us really into the moment with you and then share with us what are the steps that you took to turn that light bulb moment into success?

 

[0:21:13.7] IM: The breakthrough moment I’m going to share is actually, it’s seemingly a really tiny thing but turned out to be a launching pad to so many of the other things that I’ve done. When you get into bobsled and you watch the push, I mean most people aren’t really familiar with what actually is happening in a bobsled race. But in the first 50 meters and actually by 50 meters you’re already in the sled.

 

The first 50 meters is the start and as a push athlete, that’s your job, you are responsible for getting the sled moving as fast as possible in that first 50 meters as you can as well as creating acceleration on the sled. As brakemen, we’re just compared to one another. So you’re pushing off of a block and the movement that you do to get the sled moving actually is very similar to a snatch. So you fall into the sled just to preload the body and then you drive out and you essentially snatch those sled out in front of you and then start running behind it. That’s essentially what happens.

 

But as anybody who has tried to learn to snatch knows, it’s really technical and we do have some athletes that come in that just naturally push a sled well but that kind of goes with everything. And pushing a sled well and pushing a sled even better than that is where the world class athletes define themselves. I came in and I had won my first push championships, I’d done a lot of really great stuff but there are certain technical things that I was doing wrong and one of those was as I would go to hit the sled, my hips would come up.

 

The only thing that my coaches and my push coaches and all these other people who are involved in bobsled could tell me was, “Don’t let your hips come up. Don’t let your hips come up.” I couldn’t figure out how not to do that and what was really cool is that’s how it was actually the summer five, I was training in Calgary under a coach and I knew that was a problem. So he was really working on some of the technical refinements with me. I kept talking to him about my hips, my hips, my hips. And he goes, “Yeah, your hips are coming up, but I’m trying to figure out why.”

 

We did frame by frame review of video every day for hours of all my pushes, of everything that we’re doing so that I could really understand and what we found out was that there was something I was actually doing with my feet as I hit the sled that caused my hips to go up and until I fixed my feet, my hips couldn’t change. So no matter how much I focused on my hips, it wasn’t going to make a difference until I fixed my feet. As soon as I fixed my feet, I came in second at push championships that you’re behind a gold medalist.

 

So it’s a really tiny change but that was the first time in my career that I understood more about biomechanics and spending those two months just doing all of that video review. I learned so much about how the tiniest change can make the biggest impact and I became a huge student of biomechanics and efficiency and that’s where even in the last part of my career where I actually was dealing with a lot of injuries for the last part of my career and I was very limited in how much training I could do and what things I could do for training but because I had spent all this time understanding efficiency, I was actually able to continue performing at a higher level than I should have based on what my training was entailing at that point.

 

Anyway, so I say that to kind of show the breakthrough for me was the understanding of how alignment, position, and how the whole body connection works together to create performance and those tiny little changes and how big of an effect it can make on what you’re able to do. In Highland Games, in weightlifting, in bobsled, very technical things. I was able then to apply that to everything I’ve done and really fine tune as much as I could and then have great success because of it.

 

[0:25:24.5] RT: It’s interesting, it makes me think of a story that Arnold talks about. He said that he bought Grey’s Anatomy. Him and Franco and they kind of learned how the muscles in the body work and actually, I recently found out that Jack LaLanne did the same thing and they’re not the only ones, actually quite a few people have done this over the years where they get that kind of additional knowledge and it helps them out in kind of going beyond their own limitations and even passing the competition. So something to be said about that.

 

[0:25:54.4] IM: Yeah, I agree, it’s proven to be a valuable knowledge set that I continue to expand on. Again, always learning, there are still so much that I want to learn about that and how those things affect people but using that now with other athletes has just been huge. So applying it to myself and playing with it over the course of 11 years and then now working with other people on those things, it’s been a really cool thing.

 

[0:26:23.2] RT: Yeah, and the reality is there is just so much to learn, it reinforces the reason that finding either a mentor or somebody who really knows his or her stuff to teach you, they have already figured out whatever it is that they’re involved in and it just saves you so much time because it’s really easy man, to start heading down that rabbit hole and before you know it, you’re two, three, four, five years in and you’re still digging and still going.

 

Whereas if you get somebody who has been around the block and really knows his or her stuff. Within obviously not just a workshop will teach you a lot of stuff in of itself but obviously you may need a little bit more than just one little weekend but bare minimum, they’ll at least save you from going down a lot of dead ends possibly. That’s always a reason why I highly recommend finding somebody. I think I’m kind of getting ahead of myself because that’s something you and I are going to be talk about later.

 

Right now, we’re going to go to a break. Guys, you’re listening to the Super Strength show, we got Ingrid Marcum, world class elite athlete and we’re going to be right back with more goodness from Ingrid, be right back.

 

[BREAK MESSAGE]

 

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Whether you’re a novice lifter or have years of experience in the Iron game, this is a very helpful resource that you can either apply to your own training or use as a helpful guide to teach others. Stop wasting time and effort in the gym and get the info you need to maximize your gains and minimize your risk for injury. Visit www.Instantstrength.com and get your free report today.

 

[INTERVIEW CONTINUED]

 

[0:28:33.4] RT: All right, we’re back with our guest Ingrid Marcum, athlete extraordinaire and coach extraordinaire. We’ve been talking about some of her life experiences and what not. Her breakthroughs and we have somebody else who is agreeing as well with me that she is an amazing athlete and coach. Let’s get to the next question here which is — and by the way, what is the four legged wonder’s name?

 

[0:28:55.6] IM: Oh well the one I have up right here right now, his name is Magnus. Magnus is about 20 pounds, which is the funny part but he’s got a Magnus personality. I actually have four dogs only one of which is up here with me.

 

[0:29:07.5] RT: All right, okay. Magnus by the way is hilarious. Name is Magnus? That’s actually… especially if you know what the word Magnus means. That’s awesome. Okay, next question, if you could recommend one training resource for our listeners, what would it be and it could be anything. Books, apps, coaching programs, you name it. What would you recommend?

 

[0:29:25.4] IM: What’s funny is you mentioned it already earlier is for me, it’s finding an in person mentor and that I think is irreplaceable. You can read all you want, go to a workshop, take courses, do stuff online but until you get somebody who works with you directly and can help you understand the pieces of what they’re teaching, I just think that is the best thing that you could possibly do.

 

And everything else can augment that. It’s not that any of this other stuff is not beneficial because it certainly is but I would find whatever it is that you’re trying to do, go study with somebody, go shadow them, go intern with them, offer to clean their gym.

 

[0:30:17.2] RT: No, seriously.

 

[0:30:18.8] IM: And I’m not kidding, that’s seriously so much that I have learned. I learned because I either went and saw a therapist for something and I mean it’s the same thing when I was trying to figure out what was going on with me when I had all these issues with the hip and the back and all these things.

 

I probably went to 30 different therapists, and not everybody has a complete answer and not everybody has the same answer. So I’ve been able to piece things together myself by taking this from this person, this from this person, and you just start constantly learning. The same thing with training, as an athlete, I wanted to find the best coaches that I could find and I moved across the country to train with my weightlifting coach and its, you do what you need to do.

 

If you want to really learn something to the utmost degree, which why wouldn’t you want to if you’re interested in it? Find the people in that field and learn from all of them. Learn from the person. If you can find somebody local obviously or somebody that you can go see for a period of time, that’s even better. It’s also got to be somebody you resonate with. Just because somebody knows their stuff doesn’t mean that you two are going to be a good match for somebody who is teaching and somebody who is learning. It’s kind of putting your feet in the water and trying some stuff out. But I love in person more than anything else.

 

[0:31:44.4] RT: Agree, agree. Somebody could explain something to you, let’s just say form, but it’s completely different when they’re actually watching you and they’re not just giving you what the generic text book good form is but they’re looking at you at your body, your makeup, your abilities and now they can kind of cater that to you and in addition to that, sure, they could say, “Oh you need to do more of this or you need to pull a little higher before you dip on the bar,” whatever it may be.

 

It’s different when they’re there and they can actually put their hands on you, right? And then magic happens, as happens when people put their hands on you. Completely different. And I said earlier, a workshop you could learn a lot in a course of a workshop, you’re not going to learn everything obviously but you can actually learn so much stuff.

 

I mean even somebody telling you just one little tip here or there that could have potentially taken them years and hundreds of workouts for it to finally click in their head, saves you all of that time. But shadowing like what you mentioned Ingrid, yeah if you’re serious about whatever it is you want to do, ultimately you got to find a mentor that you can be around. I mean really be around in one form or another. I agree with you.

 

I think we had a guest on the show before who said that they went and worked at somebody’s gym, was I cleaning the gym just to be with them and to watch them train others and there’s personal trainers man, the ones that really love what they do and want to help others, they’ll allow you to do that, they’ll allow you to come in and kind of watch them work with others. Obviously you got to clear it probably with the client, they may think it’s kind of weird, like, “Who is that weirdo on the corner just standing there?”

 

[0:33:19.0] IM: Well I will say, I’ve had three coaches who have done that with me, who have come in as an intern and did certain things for me. Sometimes I am terrible at, if I do a workout with somebody and I have homework for them, I am actually terrible at getting it to them because I just get busy from the other things and whatever. I would have them, I would tell them what the things were, they would do the homework, write it out for me and send it to the clients.

 

There’s lots of ways they can help you and that also gets them involved in seeing how I program and all kinds of things. They’re even learning more when they’re doing it but there’s lots of things, especially if you are running a business, there are lots of ways that you can use help and especially free help. If somebody just wants to come and learn from you. But yeah, I’ve had a few people that did that and actually one of them just opened his own gym, so that’s a pretty great on both sides for sure. It can be beneficial for both people.

 

[0:34:18.4] RT: For sure, nowadays it’s so easy to get a hold of people and high quality people that really know what they’re doing. Ingrid for example, you can access them online, social media, whatever it may be, you could reach out to them and contact them, it makes it even easier and a lot of people, I mean Ingrid just said she was willing to do it. They’re open to helping you, you just need to actually ask, that’s all.

 

All right, speaking of helping, let’s get in to this next question and that is pretty easy. Kind of one that I like to have some fun with if you’ve heard any of the other episodes, you know I get a little goofy with it but anyway. This next question is a fun one and when you answer it, if you can give us some specifics, that goes a really long way into helping us and here we go.

 

So, you are getting ready I think for Highland Games and that’s what you’re doing and I come around the corner and there’s a funk, I got a quilt on and you’re like, “Oh my god, I think Ray forgot to wear some underwear and I don’t know what’s going on down there but what is that smell?” How is that for a visual everybody? Didn’t expect that one did you?

 

Now, the reality is, that I got the DeLorean parked behind all of the implements that they use, the cable toss, all that stuff is all piled up. The DeLorean’s actually parked in behind. I didn’t want to stir off the whole kind of medieval kind of look to what we’re doing. Stainless steel, kind of weird. I hand you the keys, Ingrid, I know this was a crazy lead up to the question but I figure hey, we got to talk before, you’re not going to run away scared I don’t think.

 

Here’s the keys to the car. Full tank of hot garbage, that’s what’s causing the funk, you just got to get it up to 88 miles an hour. If you go back in time, knowing what you now know, how would you structure your training to get the best results in the shortest period of time and set you up for long term success?

 

[0:35:56.4] IM: Well I’ll start with, I’m not going to say that I — well, I will say that it was a mistake in my training now looking back but I did two sports, high intensity, power, sympathetic sports. Back to back for 10 years and a bobsled season would end in February and then weightlifting nationals would be anywhere from like May to August timeframe.

 

I would finish Bobsled season and immediately start my training full force for nationals and then weight lifting Olympic trials or world trials would also fall in that timeframe. It would be august and we would have bobsled testing in August, September, October and then a whole season racing from November until February. Most athletes have an end season and an off season. I had an end season and an in season.

 

By the end of my career, I was broken as an athlete and I was getting by like I said because I was efficient and I was powerful and I maintain the high level of strength but I was definitely in a lot of pain and I was just broken as an athlete. Looking back, what I understand now is I was so worried about that next thing that was coming up and didn’t necessarily have my bigger goal in mind and it’s really hard to do when you’re in the middle of it.

 

You know, “Nationals is coming up, I have to be ready for nationals.” But what was the bigger goal? The bigger goal was try and make it to Olympic team. What I feel like I probably should have done is taken time every year or following every season to have an assessment of what I was missing or what I was lacking and for me it was stability up the wazoo. I had mobility like crazy and I had no stability anywhere. So that led to a lot of issues in my training and that’s actually what led to a lot of my breakdown.

 

But if I had taken the time following a bobsled season to take four weeks and go, “Okay, let me test myself on X, Y and Z and actually create a foundation of training program,” because I would try to jump in to a weightlifting program and a lot of weightlifting programs early on will do the 10 by 10 squats, right? And all of this high volume, high rep stuff to create a strength foundation.

 

I was so broken down even years ago that I couldn’t do a 10 by 10. I would do one week of high volume training and by week two, I couldn’t even do what I had done the week before, much less make progress. I just would get worse and worse if I kept trying to do volume and at the time I just assumed, “Oh well, I’m just one of those athletes that can’t do volume. I’m a power and speed girl.”

 

But what I know now is, I just had eaten away at my entire foundation until it finally completely was gone and if I had just maybe taken the time and said, “All right, my ultimate goal is Olympics, world championships, whatever it is. If that’s my ultimate goal, I might have to sacrifice this year’s nationals and get myself to a point where I can be ready when the big stuff comes.”

 

[0:39:30.4] RT: Right, yeah.

 

[0:39:31.6] IM: But when you’re in the middle of it, you’re so concerned about that next thing that’s coming. “No, I can’t take time off of training. I have to do this.” But looking back, I think it would have been much smarter to skip maybe an American Open or skipped a nationals and come back stronger the next season for everything, which is a really hard thing to tell an athlete and I’m not sure if I told myself that, if this me would have told myself that at that age, I probably wouldn’t have listened either. But who knows, maybe there were people that told me that but I certainly didn’t hear them.

 

But I really think that was the biggest thing and I think I could have been a better athlete if I had taken the time to do that stuff or at least assess that. Because some of it you can even do throughout your training, even if you’re in the midst of a season, you can kind of assess some of those things and add them in, and I didn’t do any of that. And I certainly paid the price but going through that at the same time, I’ve now learned a lot about that and about rebuilding a body, rebuilding connection, rebuilding basically from the ground up. I’ll be actually be interested to see where I can go from here, that will be fun.

[0:40:39.7] RT: I find that interesting because there are quite a few guests that come on that say one of the recommendations they have is for people to start with some type of like a gymnastic or track and field type of background that allows them to explore a wide variety of movements prior to specializing to something else. That sounds a lot like the eastern block. My understanding is they tend to do a lot of that with the way that their system is setup.

 

Don’t know if that is still true or not with now the Russians, but quite a few people have said that. With you, starting at not even two years old, you were into gymnastics, I was interested in seeing what you had to say and yes, there’s actually quite a few high level competitors over the years where I’ve heard them say things along the lines of whether it’s bodybuilding or some type of performance based sport of some sort.

 

Many times, got to back off of some of the volume of competitions you’re entering because your just, by the time you get to the big one that year that you really want to go after, you’re not necessarily written off but you’re just not really at a hundred percent. Whereas if you would have paced yourself a little bit better and a little bit wiser with whether competitions, events that you chose to go into, by the time you get to the big event that you want to go to, you’re a lot fresher and possibly even stronger, and more abled, more enduring, whatever it may be, whatever the competition is. That’s actually some pretty good advice.

 

[0:42:03.1] IM: I’ll say now, I’ve now spent, I retired like I said in September of 2013 and I had already kind of been started along the path of trying to do all this rehab because I was just in such pain but then when I finished bobsled, I literally did not touch the gym for about two years. I maybe dabbled a little bit here and there like I would maybe get excited. Like about a year and a half in, I would start hitting the gym but then I just felt like I was working down again.

 

So over the course of the last year, I’ve maybe worked out about 20 times which coming from a background where I was training 35 hours a week, that’s just insanity but that’s just what my body needed. But what’s really fascinating for me now is now at 40, I feel better than I did at 30 because of the foundation that I have now spent the time creating and the connection that I now have.

 

I’m more solid, my joints could withstand more training, more intensity, more volume and not break down the same way. So it’s not even just a kind of a theory that had created that foundation I feel like I could have been a better athlete. Like I’m feeling it now and understanding just the control and what I’m capable of doing with my body at this point and how young I feel and how powerful I feel. Had I done that 10 years ago, I feel like that would have helped me tremendously.

 

[0:43:39.9] RT: There you go. All right, well Ingrid, we’re pretty much at the end of the show. Man, so many more questions I want to dive in to with you. When you said you had mobility, not so much on the stability side of things, I mean that in and of itself is a show. I’d love to have you come back on, thank you on behalf of myself and the audience.

 

[0:43:56.4] IM: Thank you, that’s actually one of my — I’m working on a bunch of product stuff and that’s actually what I talk about. When I speak at all of my courses, stability is one of the biggest things people are missing and it’s one of the big things that I hit on and talk to people about when I’m teaching. So not only the show, but it’s kind of an entire piece of the information that I’m putting out.

 

[0:44:23.0] RT: Well that actually leads me to the next point which is two things before we end it off for today, which is where can we find out more about you, if you could just give us a bit of parting advice.

 

[0:44:33.2] IM: Sure. So more about me, you can just head to my website, which is constantly being updated and in the next six months, even though the next while and then continuing beyond that obviously, I’ll be putting more and more information out there, I’ll be downloads and product and all kinds of stuff available and lots of information. You can certainly find me on Instagram on the Iron Valkyrie, you can find me on YouTube, you can find me on Facebook.

 

If you do find me on Facebook though, you have to follow me, you can’t friend me because I’m actually out of friends. The other place you can find me is that brookfieldtrainingsystems.com. I know you talked about earlier, the videos that I had done with the battling ropes. We’ve actually just released our certification program online with a couple of other programs as well and we’re constantly putting out information at that website as well. That’s brookfieldtrainingsystems.com.

 

You can also send me emails through my websites. I’m easy to get a hold of, I’m easy to find, just search for me and I’ll be there and if you’re in Chicago, come and find me. I certainly do some in person training of all of the things we mentioned from gymnastics to weightlifting to stability, mobility, movement et cetera. So I am around.

 

[0:45:44.5] RT: Excellent. Now, you did mention you’re putting something together and I know that’s going to be ready soon here. By the time this has probably aired, it will be ready. Do you want to maybe give a little bit of info on that right now and the website is IngridMarcum.com. How about you give us just a minute or two to sum what it is that you’re putting together there for people to…

 

[0:46:08.1] IM: Yeah sure. If anyone has heard me talk at perform better or this show I’ll be talking at the NSEA and girls gone strong but I’ve talked about structural integrity and creating a body that is able to withstand the rigours of training whether it’s volume, intensity or load and so many people jump into training year after year and even if they’re new and they haven’t really created a solid enough foundation and so they’re not efficient with what they’re doing and their body just is not going to be able to give them what they want out of it and potentially could break down, cause injury, cause all kinds of things over time.

 

So what I’m doing is, I’m going to be putting out a program that will help you evaluate the pieces of your body that you need to look at and they’re very simple things that you can do and then a way to train all those pieces so that you can have a body that’s ready to train and to train for anything you want to do. If you want to do weight lifting or power lifting or CrossFit or endurance running or sprinting or Highland Games. Anything that you want to do, you can do, it’s just teaching you to move better and creating a body that is efficient and uses everything in the best alignment and best ways that you can.

 

[0:47:24.6] RT: Yeah, crucial, crucial foundational type of work that essentially sets the stage for the highest level performance that you could ever achieve. You need to have these building blocks in placed, these foundation stones. So highly recommend people check that out. IngridMarcum.com. So guys, make sure you check that out. Parting advice, what do you got for us Ingrid?

 

[0:47:56.0] IM: Oh, parting advice. That’s a good question. I would just say, keep training, keep learning, find the things you love, find the things you’re passionate about and pursue it. Pursue it in any way you can and share with other people.

 

[0:48:11.2] RT: I like that last part, share with other people, I like that. They say the best way to learn is to teach.

 

[0:48:16.4] IM: I was just going to say that. That’s one of the things we talk about in our courses a lot. That was actually what was really cool for me being a coach and an athlete at the same time is learning to do what I did as a coach helped me as an athlete all the time and things as I was teaching somebody else something, I would figure something else out myself and be able to apply it to my training.

 

So it’s pretty amazing the places that you can find your own little pieces of performance and they’re out there and it’s just a matter of putting the work in and putting your head down and getting to work.

 

[0:48:52.6] RT: Yeah, and just going out to kind of a workman type of attitude, just get in there, do the work, day in, day out kind of deal and just make it a part of your life and things really start to happen. Make a point of taking notes, you know how you feel, how this feels. I find myself doing that all the time and the more I focus on that, the more almost like perceptive or sensitive I become to, let’s say, form for example. I start picking up on little things because I’m actually paying attention now.

 

[0:49:19.4] IM: Paying attention to your own body because if you pay attention to how a program is working for somebody else doesn’t mean that that program’s going to work for you. If you really start to understand, and that’s actually one of the things that I really did well in my career is I started to understand what did and didn’t work for me as an athlete. And I tried all kinds of things, believe me. But if something’s not working, I’m not going to just beat myself over the head with it. I’m going to change it up and figure out what does work for me.

 

[0:49:48.9] RT: 100% agree with you. That’s the thing. Don’t feel like you have to stick with something because somebody else is using it. That being said, for the most part, “science” generally agrees on a certain set of parameters, workouts, reps and sets, days per week, certain amount of food you need to eat that will pretty much give you certain types of results. Endurance, strength, muscle gains, whatever it may be.

 

That doesn’t mean that you just kind of come up with some wild crazy idea. No, I’\m not saying that but just like you were saying Ingrid, you may feel maybe high volume is not for me, maybe it’s more low volume, vice versa. You need to pay attention to that because there’s more than one road that leads to Rome, here we go, how about that one?

 

Or to the top of the pyramid or top of the mountain and just realizing that just because this is the in thing or this is the cool thing or this is what everybody else is doing, it doesn’t mean that you have to do that, if you find it’s literally not working for you. However, caveat is, making sure that you are truly applying it the way it’s supposed to be done. A lot of times we think we’re doing things correctly but we’re really not when you take a real critical eye.

 

And somebody else takes a look at what it is that you’re doing, they start to realize, “Not exactly, this isn’t quite right and this thing here is maybe a little bit off and this over here is not quite right,” and when you add it all up, it adds up to this is actually quite a few items that are kind of throwing things off. So it’s like a recipe, right? A little extra gram or two extra of something here, a few extra grams there, the extra dash there and before you know it you have a completely different recipe, right?

 

[0:51:16.5] IM: Absolutely. Well and if you know you like garlic, you put in a lot, if you don’t love garlic, you don’t use it very much. I mean that’s kind of how it is, right? Try different things.

 

[0:51:26.4] RT: All right Ingrid, thank you so much. Guys, it’s superstrengthshow.com and you put in the search bar, Ingrid Marcum and then you will find the show notes page, you will be able to listen to the show again there, download it, share it socially with all the buttons there, we really love it when you do that.

 

Also, there are some links to the various podcasting platforms we’re on where you could listen to it there but we highly recommend that you actually subscribe to it because then guess what? Boom, it comes back to you it automatically, you get the updates and you don’t have to go running around looking for the shows and constantly trying to remember, “Did a new show come out that I missed?” They just all come to you. As you can see, with guests like Ingrid, there’s some pure gold that they come on here and they share.

 

Also, any link, goodies, all that stuff that she mentioned during the interview are going to be on the show notes page, we’re going to have some great images, photos, there’s going to be some videos, all kinds of good stuff, bonus Q&A, it’s all going to be there. So check it out guys, make sure you go there, check it out. Also, if anything Ingrid said resonated with you, she’s in the Chicago area, do you want to give out the address where you’re at or just simply go to the website?

 

[0:52:28.9] IM: Well, you can certainly go to the website. I’m actually, I moved my — because I’m doing so much teaching and traveling so much, I’m actually, I moved my business inside of Big Shoulders CrossFit, which is owned by Tom Seroka and Brandon Ziegler. Tom used to actually work for me, I got him started in weightlifting which is a whole another story but yeah. So Big Shoulders CrossFit is where my gym is in Chicago so that’s easy to find. I certainly have my website as well.

 

[0:52:51.4] RT: All right, there you go guys, real easy, real simple. So just think, just go back okay, and listen to the intro, okay? Listen to basically her CV or her resume and all the things that Ingrid has accomplished. This is somebody who has been there, done that and not just reading books or just putting in a few hours in the gym. No, no, no. She was doing 35 hours a week at one point, okay? Big background, Olympic level athlete. She’s done it all.

 

Just imagine the favor you would do to yourself if you actually go and learn from somebody like Ingrid. So she mentioned finding a mentor earlier and you know guys, I’m always the one that’s always harping on that. I always say, there is no shortcut in life and the only real closest thing to a shortcut is doing it right the first time. The only way that’s going to ever happen is if you have a guide, somebody who has been there, done that, ideally started in a similar position to you and even better than that, has taken others like you to the Promise Land and can come back and take you there too.

 

When you find somebody like that that you connect with, not just that they could teach you well and they don’t just necessarily have the skill set and the knowledge but personality wise, you really connect, amazing things can happen in very short periods of time. It’s kind of like flight. Listen to me throwing all this stuff in. We went from horse and buggy within like a couple of generations we’re on the moon. Like what in the world happened there? That’s because they just learned the principles of flight and before you knew it, they went from like crazy bi and tri planes, and the Red Baron type of guys to all of a sudden you got fighter jets.

 

It’s the same thing with the body, once you dial it in, you start doing things correctly, you’re eating right, you’re recovering properly, you’re training properly, your form is right, your mobility is right, your stability is right. The body will then do what you want it to do, which is however you train it. More endurance, more size, more strength, less fat, whatever it is, it will do that because you were doing things correctly.

 

Having somebody like Ingrid on your side helping you along the way and you show up and you put the work in, that’s the big thing here. Just because you have all this stuff doesn’t mean anything, it’s kind of like a poser who gets all the crazy gear to go do whatever it may be, but really doesn’t know what he’s doing. Well that doesn’t help either, you can’t just have an amazing go and put the effort in, you got to put the effort in. Pretty sure Ingrid, makes sure you put the effort in too if you show up at her gym.

 

So anyway, the point I’m making is, take advantage of just the amazing resource that people like Ingrid are, I mean just tremendous. She made time out of her day to come on the show and I truly believe that this is in all likelihood just resonating with some people. Guys, girls, young, old, whoever it may be, athletes, check out, see what she’s about. If you guys are a good fit for each other, make it happen, definitely make it happen. That actually leads to the next point, which is getting great guests like this on the show require us to have an engaged audience, not just my lovely personality obviously.

 

We show the guests or potential guests that we have an engaged audience by the reviews that we get. So when we have great five star reviews guys, if we truly believe we deserve it, it goes a long way, ratings will who up higher in the rankings, they could see it, they could expose to it, they get to join in on the fun that we’re having here and the benefits that they give from these amazing guest but also what it does is it shows that the guest that we’re looking to get on, hey, we got an engaged audience, it’s worthwhile to come on to share their message and spend an hour or whatever it may be from their day to be on the show.

 

If you could do that for us on either iTunes or Stitcher, you can leave reviews there. Five star reviews on iTunes go a long way for us. Only if you think we deserve it and for everybody who has done that for us so far, thank you so much, we really appreciate it. Feedback, good bad or fugly, let us know guys, what you want to hear different, if you want us to keep doing what we’re doing, whatever it may be, guest you want us to bring on, questions you want us to ask them.

 

Just shoot over that feedback, simply feedback@superstrengthshow.com and then if you have any training photos, before and after, maybe your home gym setup, info@superstrengthshow.com and when you’re on the site, don’t forget to sign up for our own little free report and you get the weekly newsletter as well. That’s simply signing up on basically any page on the website when you’re on our site, superstrengthshow.com.

 

So with that being said, thank you so much Ingrid, absolutely love having you on and there’s a lot more that we can get in to, a lot more.

 

[0:56:58.8] IM: Yeah, thank you for the invite for sure, that was a lot of fun.

 

[0:57:01.2] RT: No problem at all, I’d love to have you back on. So many things that we can talk about, battling ropes? Like what is that all about? Why is that even effective? Is it actually different than other things? And guess what guys, it is. It provides you a different method of training that you can’t get any other way, that’s really interesting stuff. So much. We’d love to have you back on and thank you so much for making the time.

 

All right guys, as we always say, put this stuff to use and until next time, train smart, train hard and talk to you then.
[END]

 

More Specifically in this Episode You’ll Learn About

  • Ingrid shares how she got started in the strength game!
  • A shift from gymnastics to weightlifting
  • Find out why you always want to get better
  • Become better than yesterday
  • You can only do what you can do
  • Take time to understand your efficiency
  • The importance of finding a solid mentor/coach
  • Learn how to tone things down so you can focus on the long-term goals
  • Focusing on creating a solid foundation
  • Why stability is one of the biggest things people are missing
  • Find your passion, pursue it, and share it with other people

About Ingrid Marcum

Ingrid Marcum is a world-class elite athlete with a great passion for teaching and coaching. Accomplished in multiple sports, Ingrid started in gymnastics before she was 2 years old and later competed for the College of William and Mary. A 2009 US National Champion in weightlifting and a two-time American Open Champion, Ingrid also lifted in the 2004 and 2008 USA Weightlifting Olympic Trials. She was a US Bobsled World Team member between 2003 and 2013 and was an alternate to the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Bobsled Teams. Ingrid competed briefly in the Highland Games and had a successful couple of seasons.

Since 1997, Ingrid has also been helping others reach their own fitness and athletic goals as a speaker, educator, strength & conditioning coach and movement specialist.  She has trained athletes from various sports – both individuals and teams – including her time as a strength coach at the College of William and Mary and for the women’s US National Field Hockey Team. Ingrid also recently worked with the US Women’s National Soccer team on Battling Ropes. Ingrid stars in three fitness DVDs with John Brookfield: Hurricane Ingrid, Partner and Team Training and Mastery of Physical Prowess and is a lead instructor for the CrossFit Weightlifting Specialty course. She often travels internationally throughout North and South America and Europe to speak at conferences and to teach a variety of specialty certifications, courses and workshops – including Battling Ropes, weightlifting, stability, mobility, gymnastics, hand balancing and bodyweight training.

You can connect with her by visiting IngridMarcum.com

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Guest Videos

Ingrid Marcum, floor exercise, gymnastics tumbling

 

Clean pulls

 

MoveStrong M3 bars playtime

Connect With Ingrid Marcum

Website
Facebook
Twitter  – @IronValkyrie
Instagram – @theironvalkyrie
Flickr
Google +
YouTube

Bonus Q&A

Every person that we interview on The Super Strength Show has an opportunity to answer some extra questions that aren’t asked in the podcast. It’s a chance for our listeners to learn a little bit more about our guests and to get even more value from our show. Check out the answers that  Ingrid Marcum provided below!

Can you share one of your habits that contribute to your success in the gym?  Consistency, determination, learning to  read and listen to my body

What are your favourite exercises?

Snatch and snatch variations
Deadlifts
Battling Ropes pulling work and Battling Ropes power generation
Sprints
Jumps/Plyos
Throwing
Handstand and other gymnastics work
Circus class – as a strength foundation it’s amazing!

What are your favourite muscle groups to train?  I don’t tend to train muscle groups – I train movements… but I guess legs and shoulders.

What are your favourite pieces of equipment?  Barbell, Battling Ropes, my own body, gymnastics or circus equipment.

What is currently on your workout music playlist?  Everything from country to Metallica!

How do you psych up for a workout or set?  Honestly this has never been something I had to focus on.  I’ve always been mentally prepared for my training, and for tough days or tough sets, it’s just about buckling down, doing the work and giving it everything you have with every ounce of attention and energy you have.  I also use visualization.

What was one exercise or routine that gave you great gains in muscle mass and/or strength?  I put on the most size when I was doing a large amount of heavy volume work. I do 4-5 working sets of 20 reps where most of those reps were tough and as heavy as possible.

For strength, I did well with a 5×5 or 5×6 foundation and also with pyramid sets, doing 2-3 rounds of 1×3, 1×2, 1×1, working progressively heavier with each set, then repeating the 3-2-1 sequence, with each round heavier than the one before it. So if I went 100×3, 105×2 and 110×1, then I’d do 105×3, 110×2 and 115×1 the second round and so on.

What’s your favourite way to speed up recovery between workouts?  At my age, there isn’t any speeding up the process 😉 But honestly, I have always been a fan of massage, acupuncture, parasympathetic activity, self tissue work, light activity, sauna, and cold tub.

What’s your favourite meal?  Hmmmm… I don’t have a favorite, but I do like good food!

What’s your favourite cheat meal and how often do you indulge?  My favorite cheat isn’t really a meal – it’s dessert 🙂  When I’m really in training mode, maybe once per week.

What supplements do you feel work well for you?  Magnesium, Vit D, B complex, Fish oil, BCAAs, creatine and greens.  Never really did much more than that.

What do you do to relax?  Time with my boyfriend, time with my dogs, jigsaw puzzles, reading, movies, time with my family, travel, home projects, and gardening.

Check Out What Others Are Saying on iTunes! 

  • Awesome Podcast
    April 21, 2017 by Brooke Craven from United States

    Ray, host of Super Strength Show, highlights all aspects of fitness and nutrition in this can't miss podcast. Ray and his expert guests offer insightful and inspirational advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle!

  • Un canal de lo mejorcito en la materia
    July 17, 2016 by Pipiripiii from Spain

    Un canal con contenido muy completo e interesante. Gracias ppr toda la info!

  • Informative, deep and instructional
    July 9, 2016 by Charles M R from United States

    That Frank Zane interview!

  • awesome fitness podcast and great variety
    July 7, 2016 by jskoosh71 from United States

    Really glad I found this. Lots of care into each podcast, Ray walks the walk and really understands what is being discussed. I really just have one request- stop the Delorean story.

  • 51 and going strong
    June 22, 2016 by Canvas back from Canada

    I used to lift heavy in my late teens and into my 30s and then other thinks like kids,job, house etc took over and I lost motivation. I'm 52 now and starting to show the signs of aging so I thought I better get back at it. It was real tough. Slower gains, easy injuries, slower recovery. Tough to get back into the grove. While searching for some motivating pod casts I came across the SSS pod casts. I listen daily and I can honestly say that it has changed my life. It's more motivating that a gym full of people. I have learned more in 2 months than I learned in 20 years. The host is great to listen to, is very knowledgeable and keeps me wanting more. The guests are great. I look forward to listening. We have a wellness committee at my work and I think I have the entire group as fans of the SSS. Please don't ever stop!

  • Physical Autonomy = Personal Liberty
    June 18, 2016 by Mrsborch from United States

    Ryan inspires me to change my fitness mindset from just doing more reps to creating a body to live the life I want.

  • Lucky find
    May 16, 2016 by Keith3187 from United States

    Stumbled upon this podcast and very glad I did, fantastic guests with tons of evidence based information, highly recommended.

  • Tier 1
    May 14, 2016 by Dragon 1-5 from United States

    Truly a great pod cast very informative and 100% applicable.

  • Great interviews
    May 5, 2016 by Adamdv18 from United States

    Ray has some very interesting guests on here and does a good job of getting some useful information out of them.

  • Intelligent, interesting interviews
    March 25, 2016 by Clown puncher 5000 from United States

    Really. Smart guys.

  • Killer Podcast
    February 26, 2016 by RidgeWC from United States

    Ray puts out a really great show—every episode is top quality!

  • Great work!
    January 14, 2016 by NotMattDamon from Canada

    Impressed by the content and guest - keep up the great work!

  • THE Super Strength Show
    December 14, 2015 by Oastorga from United States

    I came across this podcast through another great podcast (the RDella Podcast) and I must say I'm hooked. I like the action items that are revealed for us to do rather than just taking in more info. I especially like that is simple but not simplistic. I'm 58 years young and shows like this reafirm that I'm doing the right thing. I use Kettlebells, Sandbags, Barbells, Indian Clubs and body weight in my training. I don't look like a fitness model but I feel pretty good. Knowing more and refining techinque has been very important for me. The idea is not to just listen but to do something with the information. The format allows that. Thanks for your hard work.

  • BOOM!
    December 1, 2015 by Getusomemore from United States

    I listened to the entire interview with Danny Kavadlo while I was cooking dinner. VERY good podcast! I give it a ?!!

  • Highly recommend this show
    November 30, 2015 by Altruistic? from United States

    I love this show. Thoughtful host. Interesting guests. Since listening it, I have been giving more consideration to the mental side of training. It's a very encouraging show.

  • Great show!
    November 14, 2015 by Rmolson from United States

    I started training at the age of 41 obese and intimidated. The guests are an inspiration and encouragement toto keep moving forward on this journey.

  • Amazing Content
    November 13, 2015 by MattTucker93 from Canada

    Love listening to this podcast. Amazing information and I always learn something from all the great guests. Thank you!

  • Great show
    September 15, 2015 by unadjective from United States

    Some really cool guests that I wouldn't otherwise come across and Ray does a great job getting into their expertise. Almost always wish the show was longer.

  • I love this
    September 12, 2015 by Mvecdi from Canada

    Please don’t ever stop,i really enjoy it. Wish i found it before. I listen to it while working out or driving etc. Just wanted to tell you to keep doing what you are doing. And would love to see more of people like Mike Israetel etc. Such as Brad Schoenfeld. Anyways love the show, thanks for making it.

  • Very professional
    September 7, 2015 by Ayrshire Lad from United Kingdom

    Always learning something new from Ray and his well selected line up of guests. Sometimes feels a little repetitive as Ray asks all the tried and tested questions to ensure the listener always has a takeaway..its laid back but focused and very professional !!

  • I love this
    September 3, 2015 by Mvecdi from Canada

    Please don’t ever stop,i really enjoy it. Wish i found it before

  • The best podcast in the strength/ fitness industry!
    August 28, 2015 by Powerlifting101 from Canada

    I recommend this podcast to anyone that trying to physically and mental better them self in every aspect.

  • Excellent Resource
    July 25, 2015 by J. Steinmann from United States

    Some great interviews with a wide variety of people. I've listened to a number of episodes, and there's always some great information in every interview. If you're serious about strength training, health and fitness, or just want some good life philosophy, this podcast is worth a listen.

  • Must subscribe!
    July 9, 2015 by Roddygo from United States

    This is one of the best fitness podcasts. A lot of big names from various backgrounds and Ray asks good questions. He also knows when to ask follow up questions without getting too out of subject and having the guests share some more secrets

  • Great Show!
    July 8, 2015 by Wes Kennedy from Canada

    Ray is a great host and has a wide range of quality and professional coaches that have a TON of experience to share with you. Check it out!

  • Excellent interviews!
    July 8, 2015 by another anatomy geek from United States

    Ray does a fantastic job of asking articulate and interesting questions. I always really enjoy his podcasts and learn useful info! Keep up the good work!

  • has become the best Strength podcast
    June 21, 2015 by SuperHuman YYZ from Canada

    I think its overtaken superhuman radio and motivation + muscle as the top podcast for those who love physical culture and the iron game. Ray does a great job interviewing, just the right amount of interjecting his ideas and opinions. The guest list is incredible, the who's who, past and present.

  • The fountain of youth.
    June 10, 2015 by rroxanne from Canada

    Very good . I love the article. I listened to it 3 times to write everything down. Lol. Bad memory. Oh and love Rays voice.

  • just pure MEGA, Pig Iron all the way
    May 25, 2015 by Strongman1981 from United Kingdom

    The Super Strength Show is an amazing and extremely informative resource for anyone involved in physical culture. With an enthusiastic and highly intelligent host and a who’s who’s line up of guests, a must for anyone to sit down, eat grapefruits and enjoy. great work chaps

  • On another level! Once you hear one episode you will have to hear them all!
    May 22, 2015 by Chuck Osswald from United States

    Super Strength Show starts with top performers/coaches/trainers from around the world and chunks down all the important pieces, directed towards any audience. Ray Toulany is unparalled in his ability to make information easy to understand as well as tease out the unspoken gems. You will be glued to your speakers for the entire episode and find yourself eagerly waiting for more. The care put into each episode is clear with a show notes page that helps the curious learn in any medium. Keep up the great work and thanks Ray!

  • A fountain of Strength and training knowledge
    May 14, 2015 by HCF82 from United Kingdom

    After searching for an age to find a good strength podcast I discovered the super strength show through Chris Duffins interview and have been hooked since. The format is excellent with some of the best voices in the world of strength and conditioning appearing. No nonsense straight talking, this really should be one of your first resources to go to if you are a coach or an average joe looking to improve in the weight room.

  • fantastic
    May 10, 2015 by gena_wallis from Australia

    i enjoyed your session.looking forward to more staff.Victor from the Youngpreneurs Podcast!

  • Well structured, interesting, and informative.
    May 2, 2015 by TEEJ888888 from Canada

    I just listened to the first two episodes of the podcast. It's really good. The questions are solid, there is lots of good advice for lifting and for life, and Ray does a good job at interacting with the guest but keeping things on track and flowing. Ray is articulate and the guests seem professional and smart. Overall, I'm very impressed.

  • My top 5 favorite show!
    April 16, 2015 by mrcdmag from United States

    Great show with lots of valuable information! I always have my notebook open and writing.

  • Top strength show
    April 16, 2015 by Alastair7890 from United Kingdom

    Very informative. Top guests

  • Great Show!
    April 10, 2015 by SloneStrength from United States

    Well prepared show. Amazing professionalism! Keep up the great work.

  • AWESOMENESS CONTAINTED
    March 4, 2015 by jamie729 from United Kingdom

    This is an awesome podcast the format, the guests & the topics disscussed are all truely infomative. No BS contained the show always opens up new schools of thoughts and ideas to the listeners. keep up the good work.

  • Subscribe, instantly addictive
    March 2, 2015 by thebroadkaz from Canada

    This show is amazing to listen to it motivates you not only for the gym but for setting and achieving goals in your every day life. Very motivating and positive. Truly helps to get you in the right frame of mind for life and for the gym.

  • An absolutely ace show everytime
    February 24, 2015 by Tommy Eggleton from United Kingdom

    This show is phenomenal! The format and repeated questions for each episode keep the show driving forward, the guests have had ample time to prepare excellent and considered opinions and yet the show never feels like anything but no-BS conversations on building seuperhuman strength and mighty bodies. The host, Ray Toulany, consistently does a marvellous job of drawing out even more from his guests than the material they've prepared and some of the stories that are teased out are superb. I wholeheartedly recommend this to anybody that trains, thinks about training, or simply admires strength sports and bodybuilding in general.

  • Great Resource
    February 4, 2015 by Velvet Jones81 from United States

    For someone new to the strength sports like myself this show has been a great resource. Thanks for doing this show. It has helped a lot.

  • Paul McIlroy
    February 2, 2015 by Paul McIlroy from United Kingdom

    I've been an avid aficionado of all things strength and physical culture related for the vast majority of my entire life. As a former world champion powerlifter and trainer of world champions in different strength sports I can honestly say that Ray Toulany's Super Strength Show is an absolutely INVALUABLE resource for those wishing/needing to maximise their holistic understanding of strength, what it is to be strong, why that is important and how to best achieve it! The list of guests reads like a star studded "who's who" of strength and conditioning ROYALTY! Plus, more than anything the interviews are a ton of fun and provide a fascinating insight into the very best in the business and what makes them tick. It was my complete pleasure and privilege to be a guest on this amazing show (episode 37). If YOU claim to be serious about strength training and are not currently subscribed to THIS show, my honest advice is do so immediately...if not sooner!

  • Super Strength Show
    January 26, 2015 by Joeino from United States

    I love this podcast as I seem to pick up valuable information from each guest. Listing to this is a fun and productive use of my time

  • Excellent Information
    January 26, 2015 by TaylorrrrNB from United States

    These guys obviously do their homework, work hard to create an excellent show and know who to interview in the world of strength and fitness! I’m very impressed by what they have created and the quality of what they do. You need to subscribe! TODAY!!

  • by Brandon Richey
    January 22, 2015 by Great Work SSS from United States

    The Super Strength Show is a fantastic resource for all things concerning strength, fitness, and life. The multitude of guests provides tons of information and perspectives that every listener will appreciate. If you’re serious about strength and the physical culture this is a resource that you just can’t pass up!

  • Very glad I stumbled across this podcast!
    January 22, 2015 by rk102 from United States

    Great info from big-time guests in the strength and conditioning world. Keep up the great work, Ray!

  • Awesome show
    January 13, 2015 by Bonjower from Canada

    The Podcast is the best I’ve encountered in the fitness/bodybuilding sector. The host has a great ability to pull the pertinent information out of his guests. The topics are great and you seem to be able to get useful information out of every interview! Awesome podcast!!

  • Do yourself a favour and subscribe
    January 1, 2015 by GameOverBoss from Canada

    The amount of info and resources in the SuperStrengthShow is just incredible. All of this coming from guests that are the best of the best in their fields. Great questions are asked to these guys and some really insightful answers given (along with a few laughs). I hate wasting time and i'm always looking to evolve and refine my training. This podcast has saved me hours of digging through the crazy crap on the internet to find valid info. It has also introduced me to things i would have never thought to look up. Really can’t recommend enough.

  • Master SFG
    December 24, 2014 by X-Fab69 from Italy

    Awesome Podcast! A whole lot of great and useful information provided by very accomplished athletes and coaches with an extended experience on the ground!

  • Charles C
    December 22, 2014 by CharlieConnely from Canada

    Very impressed with the quality guests that the Super Strength Show is interviewing. Loaded with with actionable and inspiring information. Great production quality and daily episodes!

  • Well done Ray
    December 19, 2014 by Matt McWilliams from United States

    Wow…Super Strenght Show Podcast is flat out awesome. Good production quality. Easy to listen. Very impressed Ray. Keep bringing it.

Click here for the full page of reviews!

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