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60: Brian Mackenzie – Breathing Your Way to Peak Performance and Super-Immunity

By July 30, 2016Podcasts
Reading Time: 3 minutes
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My guest today is Brian Mackenzie. Brian and I go back to 2005, when I attended his first ever CrossFit Endurance seminar. At the time, he was a Master Pose Running coach, ultra-marathoner, swimmer, and triathlete, as well as a newly-minted CrossFit affiliate owner. That seminar was my first introduction to proper running mechanics, as well as my introduction to the concept of short, intense workouts for building endurance. I remember it well, mostly for the incredible amount of pain I was in for the week following (note to self: sprinting makes you sore — really sore.)

Brian MacKenziePrior to Brian’s CrossFit Endurance program, the majority of the endurance world believed that long, slow distance training was the only way to maximize your endurance. Brian was one of the first to both question this and put it to the test. Experimenting on himself and his athletes, he built workouts and training programs comprised exclusively of short duration, high intensity efforts and CrossFit-style workouts in the gym. He saw great results — so much so that he built a global movement around it, CrossFit Endurance, wrote a couple books (Power, Speed, Endurance and Unbreakable Runner), and was featured in Tim Ferriss’ The Four-Hour Body.

I didn’t know it at the time, but Brian has always been a rebel, going against the grain and questioning dogma. This hasn’t held him back in the slightest. In fact, it’s one of the things that drives his success. I remember bumping into him at the CrossFit Games this time last year, and getting an earful about this new thing he was on to — cold showers, ice baths, and breathing. What? What did the combination of those have to do with performance, fitness, and life? Well, if you listen, you’ll find out.

Join me for this episode during which we talk about Brian’s tumultuous past and how it shaped his future success, the one-and-only correct way to run, walking barefoot, breathing, how to naturally boost your immune system, and his latest program called XPTLife — a program that combines breathing, ice, water, and endurance and that evolved from his training with Wim Hof (“The Ice Man”) — and his partner in the project, Laird Hamilton.

Links Mentioned:

Dr. Nicholas Romanov — Inventor of the Pose Running method.
Pose Running — YouTube video of the technique
Laird Superfood — Laird’s Superfood coffee formula.
Gabby Reece — Website of the American Volleyball legend.
XPT Breathing — The breathing articles Brian discussed.
I Am Not Your Guru — Economist article on Tony Robbin’s documentary.
Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Consilience: The Unity of Knowledgeby Edward O. Wilson.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankindby Yuval Noah Harari.

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Andy Petranek
Andy is what you’d call a modern day Renaissance Man: a former professional trumpeter who attended the Eastman School of Music; a snowboarder, mountain biker, surfer, kayaker, outrigger paddler, mountaineer, and former Marine (Gulf War veteran); a professionally sponsored adventure racer; and the oldest participant to qualify for and participate in the CrossFit Games at the age of 43.

Andy is a certified CHEK Practitioner and holistic lifestyle coach. He holds a spectrum of certifications from CrossFit and is also a Vivobarefoot certified running coach. He has trained as a Zen buddhist and graduated with a Master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Andy founded CrossFit LA one of the first and most successful CrossFit training centers in the world and the first to be featured in national media. He is the co-founder of the Whole Life Challenge, Inc, currently its president, and is also a consultant and life/business coach. Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Julia, and son, Dashel.