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Category: Experience Blogs

XPT Experience Reflections from Ken Eichner

Name: Ken Eichner

Age: 62

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Experience Location: Kauai

Experience Date: February, 2017

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XPT: Give us a brief introduction to yourself:

Ken: I am a father, husband and high-profile criminal defense attorney, and have owned my own law firm for twenty-years (www.EichnerLaw.com)  I have always loved cycling, yoga, body-building, hiking and surfing.

XPT: What was the most important takeaway(s) from your XPT Experience?

Ken: The takeaways are endless, but to name a few: how fitness can mitigate stress, the magic of working out in a group setting with like-minded people and how breathing is the essence of life.

XPT: How has what you learned at the XPT Experience been applicable to someone with a stressful job like yourself?

Ken: I find myself more tuned into my posture, my breath, my balance. I’m pushing it harder but recovering quicker.  XPT gave me a variety of new tools to mitigate stress, and reminded me that we need certain challenges to push us forward.

XPT: Can you comment on the sense of bonding you witnessed or felt during your XPT Experience?

Ken: I found everyone in the group to be a great hang. The leaders Gabby, Laird, Brian McKenzie, and Kelly Starrett were fabulous as well as the participants. There was a real sense of Tribe.

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XPT: Did the XPT Experience challenge you to do things you thought you couldn’t or that were out of your comfort zone?

Ken: I never dreamed I would like an ice bath, much less get into a tub of thirty-three degree water. It was also counter-intuitive to think I would get into the deep end of a pool with heavy weights but it was great training.  I was pushed out of my comfort zone but had plenty of support.

XPT: Was there a discipline or activity that you enjoyed learning about the most and why?

Ken: I found the session on balance taught by Kelly Starrett to be absolutely fascinating and changed the way I exercise. Also, paddle boarding in Kauai was epic.

XPT: Is there a quote or moment you remember specifically from your XPT Experience you can share?

Ken: Gabby Reece really embodies the notion of how important it is to be the first to be curious, the first to smile, the first to be friendly, the first to lean-in to the moment. It’s contagious.

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XPT: Would you recommend an XPT Experience to others and if so, why?

Ken: There’s an old expression about life: “You will never remember what you bought and you will never forget what you did.” This adventure lit a bonfire in me and I highly recommend it.

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Check out the clip below for more in-depth thoughts from Ken on his XPT Experience:

Additionally, learn more about Ken and his law practice by clicking on the links below:

The Eichner Law Firm: https://www.eichnerlaw.com/

Flourish in the Face of a Criminal Charge: https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/20143-flourish-in-the-face-of-a-criminal-charge

PJ Nestler’s XPT Hawaii Experience Sand Workout

Ever wonder what really goes on at an XPT Experience?  Well, here’s your chance!  We’re giving you a sneak peek into one of the main portions of any Experience – the sand workout, for you to try on your own.  Below you will find a step-by-step guide to what the XPT Experience attendees went through on the beaches of Hawaii this December, as taught by our Director of Performance, PJ Nestler.

Yes, the beaches of Hawaii are amazingly beautiful, but the XPT Experience attendees were not there that morning to take in the surrounding majestic mountains, deep white, soft sand beneath their toes or the mesmerizing ocean spray or the smell of tropical flowers all around.  They were there to WORK!  And PJ made them do just that.

Check out Coach PJ Nestler’s Hawaii sand workout below and follow along to experience exactly what the crew went through on the beaches of Hawaii just a few weeks ago.  This is a unique opportunity to train exactly how the members of the XPT Experience did, without having to be there.  Be sure to take advantage of it and let us know how it went below!

PJ’s Hawaii Sand Workout

This workout is best done with a partner, for support and motivation, but also to time your rest. One person performs the exercises, then rests while your partner goes, and switch back and forth like that each round. If you are performing solo, time how long each interval takes, and give yourself equal amount of time to rest before starting the next interval.

Warmup 1 – Performance Breathing

Get your body warm prior to the workout by doing a performance breathing routine. (10-20 minutes)

Warmup 2 – Light Movement

Mark off 20 yards. Begin with 1 set of each of the following there and back. This warm-up should be performed breathing through your nose only:

Jog/Backpedal

High Knee Skips

Power Skips for Height

Running High Knees

Side Shuffle

Carioca

Lunge and twist

Inchworms

The next section is done stationary, still breathing through the nose only:

Pushups x 10

Alternating Side Lunges x 10

Burpee & Stick (land soft and hold each landing in a squat position) x 5

Bear Position- Arm and leg lifts x 10

Bear Crawl- Forward & Backward x 6 steps each (slow and controlled to learn positions)

 
 
The Workout

Mark off approximately 25 yards (slightly uphill and on the sand like we did is bonus points!)

 
 
Perform the following exercises for 12-15 minutes completing as many rounds as possible WITH GOOD POSTURE AND POSITIONS. It’s important to remember that we are using movement to challenge positions and breathing capacity under fatigue, so quality of movement and control of the breath is the priority here. Poor quality reps will bring poor quality results.

10 Burpees- sprint to the marker (the ocean line for us) & Bear crawl back

*Rest while your partner performs the same interval (slow your breathing)

10 Pushups- sprint to the marker & sprint back

*Rest while your partner performs the same interval (slow your breathing)

10 Alternating Lateral Lunges- sprint to the marker & bear crawl OR sprint back

*Rest while your partner performs the same interval (slow your breathing)

Repeat starting back at the top with 10 Burpees.

Focus on slowing your breathing to recover while your partner works…or get in a good stretch like Mr. Ben Greenfield.

 
Complete as many GOOD QUALITY rounds as possible during the 12-15 minute time interval.
 
 
 
Bear Crawls are under rated…
 
When you are done, bring yourself back to a calm, controlled state for recovery by performing some post workout breathing for 3-5 minutes. Then reward yourself by relaxing and taking time to reflect!
 
 

XPT Experience reflections from Taylor Somerville

Taylor Somerville joined us in Malibu this summer for the XPT Experience.  Here’s what he had to say about it…

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I originally heard about XPT while listening to a Tim Ferriss podcast with Laird Hamilton, Gabby Reece, and Brian MacKenzie.  At that point, I became fascinated in their philosophy and what they were teaching in regards to fitness and recovery.  I could tell that XPT was not just some workout fad or short term fix; it is a lifestyle, focused on always improving yourself and becoming the best you can be.  I knew I needed to experience XPT first hand so this year I decided to make my way to Malibu.

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What struck me from the very beginning is how friendly everyone was.  Laird and Gabby make you feel like part of the family right out of the gate. They are all knowledgeable, giving, and grateful people with a desire to help others maximize their performance and longevity in their lives.  XPT was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had and I highly recommend it to anyone thinking about going.

The week was setup with multiple workouts ranging from pool training, gym training, high intensity, a beach workout, paddle boarding with Laird, yoga with Jill Miller and a little beach volleyball with multi gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings.  The breath work and ice and heat for recovery were intertwined throughout the Experience, too. While all of the activities were amazing, the time sitting around and talking might’ve been my favorite. It’s not every day you get to sit back and talk about life, longevity, and fitness with high performers like these.

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The workouts were mainly focused on getting out of your comfort zone, moving, and trying activities you may rarely have the opportunity to do on a daily basis. The XPT team strives to test your abilities while also stressing proper form and taking care of yourself to be able to recover and keep going the next day.  As adults, we don’t do that enough and it really is a great way to stay young.   One of the great things about the Experience was the lack of ego and competition between participants.  It is more about learning new things and enjoying the company of like-minded individuals.

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The pool training was like no workout I have ever done.  I do not train very often in the water and it took some getting used to.  The water stresses your cardiovascular system, forcing you to stay calm and focused on your breathing.  It is great to have such an intense workout with no hard impact on the body.  Laird and Gabby were there every step of the way coaching all of through, making you feel comfortable regardless of your fitness level.

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Even though I have a lot more experience with the gym and HighX workouts, I was still able to learn a lot at XPT.  Brian led us through the gym workout and I really appreciated the focus on form over speed; quality over quantity.  It is nice getting back to body awareness instead of trying to beat your friends in a workout.  Gabby’s workout was very intense!  It was non-stop movement; 3 minutes at each of the 12 stations.  There’s no trying to hid or cheat on reps because she will be all over you. It was nice doing it with other members of the Malibu community in such a beautiful setting.

The breath work, run by Laird, focused on having you perform deep nasal belly breathing all day long. Nasal breathing will keep you out of the fight or flight state and is a great way to reduce anxiety.  While most of the breath work we performed each morning lasted upwards of 30 minutes, they also gave us a few exercises that can be performed in 5-10 minutes.  In the morning, one of the breath techniques we used was called cadence breathing.  It helps to stimulate the system and prepare you for the day ahead. Cadence breathing calls for doing a ratio of 1 inhale, 1 hold, 2 exhale, 1 hold sequence – repeating for 5-10 rounds. An example would be to breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4, exhale for 8, hold for 4, all through the nose. Apnea breathing is a technique we used when regulating our breath from working out and is great before bed. Use a tempo of 1 inhale, 4 hold, 2 exhale–repeating for 5-10 rounds. For example, breathe in for 5 seconds, hold for 20 seconds, exhale for 10 seconds.  It takes a lot of focus to control the air out on the exhale.  We also did some more intense breath hold work that is really hard to explain; it sent me to a place of euphoria and then relaxation that is not something I would’ve ever imagined possible with just my breath.  For more on XPT Performance Breathing™ click here.

The ice and heat is a great way to recover from sports, but can also be used for general health and wellness. The heat can improve cardiovascular function, lower the heart rate, increase red blood cell count and increase efficiency of oxygen transport to the muscles. The cold boosts the human growth hormone, increasing norepinephrine and circulation while reducing joint swelling. While you are in the ice, it is a great time to focus on your breath to downregulate your system and stay calm.  After a few sessions of heat and ice, your body and mind will feel refreshed and recharged.   At XPT, we used saunas and ice baths but you can get the benefits with hot/cold shower contrasts. Start with 30 seconds of cold water to end your shower and work up to 3 minutes over the course of a month.

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They also had a group of excellent guests; Jill Miller, the creator of Yoga Tune Up put us through one of the best yoga workouts I’ve had. She takes a different approach to yoga by incorporating multiple mobility balls she has created. The mobility balls enable your body to open up and relax like I’ve never felt in a yoga class. Her “corgeous ball” is a great way to get in touch with your diaphragm and help with lower back pain.

Don Wildman, the creator of Bally’s fitness and circuit training, is truly an inspiration to all. He’s an 84 year old machine that works out daily. He does 1.5 hours of circuit training three days a week and 3 hour bike rides the other days. He also is an avid heli-snowboarder and adventurer. He completed his first Ironman triathlon at 50 and proceeded to do eight more, until he finally won his age group. He is passionate about living your dreams and never allowing others to define you. Don’t let age or people’s perceptions bring you down. You are the one in charge of your life.

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Darin Olien spoke to us about nutrition and superfoods. He’s been traveling the world for the past 20 years to find the best superfoods. He’s a vegan but advised that it is just his way of living and not for everyone. He emphasized getting the most nutrient rich food in your body combined with the best water.  According to Olien, the meat and vegetables we buy in the grocery store are pretty much crap. He emphasized getting food from local farmers markets, eating seasonal, and choosing colorful food. He also believes you need to filter your water and add a pinch of Himalayan salt to properly hydrate. He recommends a liter of water with salt first thing in the morning. He is a big proponent of intermittent fasting and does not eat breakfast, which Laird and Don also believe.

While we had more speakers and experiences I’d love to share with you, these are just a few highlights.  XPT is something I wish everyone could experience and I plan on making the trip to Kauai next winter.   Until then, I will be incorporating the pool training, heat and ice, and breath work into my life.  I like to push myself in training and all of these techniques are helping me get better.  It is also a lot of fun sharing my new knowledge with friends and family.  XPT has had such a positive impact on my life and I know it can do the same for others.

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One of the things Laird said before we left was “Life is fragile, so maximize everyday.”  Enjoy life, play, don’t let stress overtake you. We all live stressful lives, but you control how you handle it. Don’t be rigid in your thinking, be willing to try new things, and learn from others. Don’t stress about having the perfect routine or living the healthiest life. It’s ok to get off track on occasion. Just have fun!

“We create our own limitations. No one can do you, better than you!” – Laird Hamilton

Taylor Somerville grew up playing sports in Montgomery, AL. He’s lived in Memphis, TN for the past 14 years where he works in the investment business and lives an active lifestyle.  Taylor will be competing in the World’s Toughest Mudder in November, a 24-hour race around Lake Las Vegas.  He enjoys focusing and learning all he can on mental, physical, spiritual well-being and he reflects on these in his weekly newsletter, The Long Game:  http://bit.ly/2rf91Ku.  

The XPT Experience According to Angie Byrd

In late December 2016, Scott and I were sitting on our sofa one evening discussing where we wanted to take a trip together in 2017, but not a typical vacation. We wanted to be challenged. We wanted it to revolve around fitness. We wanted to be intentional about how we spent our time together. We wanted something really different.

I had heard XPT mentioned in a podcast a few days earlier, and after researching it online and seeing what all was involved, we knew it was the right atmosphere, the right place, the right activity for us. Not to mention, it is led by big wave surf legend Laird Hamilton, his former professional beach volleyball player, first Nike female spokesperson and gorgeous wife, Gabby Reece, and world-renowned strength and conditioning expert, Brian Mackenzie.

Um. Yes please.

Fast forward to mid-July of 2017, Scott and I boarded a flight to LAX and headed to Malibu to experience three days of highly intensive, highly intentional fitness. This was a vacation like no other. It was truly…an experience.

This was one of the most transformational things I’ve ever done. (I would say we, but I can only speak for myself. Although I know Scott feels the same way.) Honestly, the best way to explain what happened, is to see it. I’ll give notes along the way.

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DAY ONE: early morning at the Malibu home of Laird and Gabby. A fantastic group of 23 people and staff get ready to embark on a journey of a lifetime. I was really nervous and really excited. I think it’s safe to say we all felt that way. We knew what we would be doing, but the actual performance of it was the big question. What the hell would this be like? And will I be able to do it?

The thing that stood out for me here was how warm, inviting, encouraging and downright real Laird and Gabby were. No pretense. No hoopla. Before this shot, as we walked into the yard, they took each one of us by the hand, looked us in the eye with a brief pause, and welcomed us to their home. They were truly connecting. They created each one of us, in that moment, as moving through the process with success and support. (Lesson 1: we are always creating.)

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We started with breathing. Laird taught the procedure and methodology of the specific performance breathingtechniques we used throughout the week. Oxygenating the body is one of the most important things we can do for our physical health. And we do it through breathing. Breath is life.

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Yes, those are weights and we are working out in the pool. Swimming with weights. Underwater squat jumps with weights and other exercises that pushed me in incredible ways. I knew the pool would be a challenge for me, and I was right. Even so, it was really fun and gave me a new appreciation of water workouts. And the stuff the super-ripped guys were doing in the deep end of the pool was mind-blowing. (Lesson 2: being uncomfortable won’t drown me.)

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Annnnnnnnd, this was the sauna/ice bath rotation, or recovery therapy. The ice was one of the aspects that terrified me the most, and ended up being one of my favorite segments. First, you go into a 212-220 degree sauna for about 12 minutes. Then, rinse off in cold water. After taking 3 deep breaths and bracing for ice hell, you step into the tub, dunk every part of the body underneath the ice water (face, head, everything) come back up and sit in the tub for 3 MINUTES. We did this for 3 rounds.

It was invigorating and exhilarating and completely awesome. Every cell of my body was tingling after coming out of the ice. Literally, I felt every cell. Also, before you come out of the ice, you dunk BACK under the water and stay there for 2 seconds before slowly coming out of the tub. It’s intense and really wonderful. (Lesson 3: When I am focused, I can accomplish anything.)

Why do this thermal contrast therapy? There are many claimed benefits, which you can read more about here, but the basic premise is to aid in overall recovery, to mitigate inflammation and boost circulation. I felt all of those things and then some. I assumed I would have painfully sore muscles all week, and while they were tight at times, it was completely manageable. I’m convinced it was the ice bath lowering inflammation.

At one point I remember thinking, I’m really f*cking cold, but I’m in a tub, in Malibu, at Laird Hamilton’s house, looking at beautiful scenery and people, and Laird Hamilton is talking and laughing with me. Ehhh, not so bad. I think I can make it. (*Hey, that one picture, I’m laughing not crying…)

One more thing, they have a commercial grade ice machine outside. They live what they teach. 

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DAY ONE part 2 (yes, still day one…) we went to a serious – serious – gym called Proactive Sports Performance where top pro athletes go to train in the off-season. This was only a small shot of the gym and some warm-up exercises. Even the pre-workout stretching was thorough and completely effective. The workout itself was a supremely developed circuit of functional training and weights. Super intense, quickly paced exercises that were challenging to the mind and body. Just awesome.

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After a post-workout recovery smoothie, we went back to Calamigos Ranch for a nutrition talk by Gabby and then on to the Malibu Cafe for a wonderful and nutritious dinner. During the meal, a few of us were talking about how just after one day, we felt as if we had known each other for a year. When you sweat, are scared, freeze, melt and sweat some more with people, it forms an unbreakable bond. I really love these people.

Day one complete.

(Lesson 4: I can do waaaaaayyyyyy more in one day than I think I can.)

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DAY 2: Started with a 90-minute hike in Malibu. This was a great workout all by itself. The environment was absolutely stunning. I think all days should start this way. But the very best part, was the conversation with my new friend Ann as we walked down the mountain. We talked about our lives, our families, our children. This is my favorite part about these types of adventures. The people who put there lives on hold and are willing to push themselves and share themselves with complete strangers. Ann was a warrior on this trip and she is a warrior in her life. It is an honor to know her.

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The morning hike was followed by a delicious lunch at the home of one of Laird and Gabby’s close friends. The home was STUNNING on the beach in Malibu. Before we ate, we sat in the grass on blankets in the warm sun as the marine layer melted away and listened to a talk by Dr. Justin Mager. He spoke about his path to medicine, his thoughts on general health and how he applies “systems biology” to working with his patients. He also supported Tim Ferriss in the use of biomarkers in The Four-Hour Body. Dr. Mager was absolutely delightful to speak with and was a wealth of stories and information. Having conversations with him was one the highlights of the trip.

After lunch we took a short walk down the beach to another friend’s home. From there we went paddle boarding. It proved to be quite the challenge for those of us novice boarders, as the waves were larger than usual that day. And it’s the Pacific… Much different from my quiet, warm South Carolina coast! The surf instructors helping us get out were funny and extremely experienced at their craft. They took immaculate care of those of us that needed a bit more help 😉 Just another chance to stretch ourselves beyond what is comfortable and prove how strong our minds and bodies can be when put to work.

Since we hadn’t done enough that day, it was on to a complete sand workout! Functional training and conditioning in deep, hot sand. After a hike. After lunch. After SUP. No breaks here. We came to work, and that’s what we did.

Post sand workout, we had a gorgeous performance breathing session under the shade of the tents, with the breeze blowing off the ocean. It was truly special.

Then another nutritious, delicious meal on the beach and some beach games and conversation. Day 2 was a wrap.

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DAY 3! We started at Malibu Cliffs Park with Gabby’s High X workout which was ridiculously fun and very challenging. She stood in the center of a circle, and had a number of different circuits/exercises fanned out in sections. Each section was a set of 2 different exercises for a total of 3 minutes, then we rotated immediately to the next section, for a total of around 45 minutes. We then went straight into another breathing session led by Laird. It’s hard to express how incredible it feels to push a hard workout, then fully oxygenate the body afterwards. Amazing.

Ann, Gabby and me.

Ann, Gabby and me.

Back in the pool!

Back in the pool!

Then back to the house for another pool workout and sauna/ice bath rotation. We completed the experience with lunch and conversation at their home, then we all moved on with our lives.

There is so much more I could say about this trip. It was one of the most fun, impactful experiences in my life. Testing, stretching, challenging, moving every part of my mind, body and spirit. That’s the beautiful thing about putting yourself in a completely unfamiliar, untested environment. The brain fires in new ways, creating new possibilities for your life you didn’t know existed.

But perhaps the best part of XPT, was the people. Getting to be with those particular people, at that particular place, at that particular time was a real gift. All the tiny decisions that had to be made by each person there, including Laird and Gabby, to bring us together to create our XPT experience, is humbling. It inspires an overwhelming sense of gratitude for each of them as the miracle they are, how they showed up and who they are being in the world.

And I have to say something specific about Laird, Gabby and their staff. They created themselves as family to us. I’ve never been involved in any event like this that felt so open and intimate. They authentically and appropriately shared themselves, and their lives, with us for 3 days. Each person on the staff was a superstar and left me feeling truly loved and supported. They really have something special here.

As scared as I was at times, as hard as it was at times, as much as my mind was resisting at times, I did it. Every bit of it. Not in record time or record weight or record anything. But the experience is recorded in my body and my heart.

Which is what really matters.

I would absolutely do it all again. And most likely will.

Now, I’m off to buy a tub and some ice.

Love and gratitude,

Angie Byrd

XPT Experience Reflections From 2-Time Participant Warren Graham

XPT Experience two-time participant Warren Graham, with his rolling Southern accent and friendly demeanor, was a pleasure to have with us.  A hard worker and eager learner, Warren held his own with a smile on his face. Here are his personal reflections of his time during the two sessions he joined us for in Malibu in 2016 and 2017.  

I am now a proud veteran of two XPT Experiences in Malibu and I want to pass on a few thoughts about those six days. Some of you may have not attended and are thinking about joining. You should, and here are just a few reasons why.

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Warren chills in the ice bath in Malibu

Firstly, let me tell you that I am 62-years-old and that made me the elder in both Experiences. I have been active in martial arts since I was 15 and I take my workouts seriously, keeping up with them diligently. Everyone else who attended was younger, and in most cases, much younger. That said, I handled all the sessions relatively well, so if you are in reasonable shape, you can complete the various exercises.

Don’t be intimidated by the fact that your hosts are two elite athletes, both of whom are in amazing condition. Both Gabby and Laird were very attentive and supportive. They helped us all as individuals, not merely as a big group. They helped me feel at ease, thus helping me concentrate more fully on the physical task at hand.

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Gabby coaches Warren in the pool

Have you ever finally meet someone that you’ve admired for a long time, you’ve really looked forward to talking with them, and they turned out to be a jerk? Not a good feeling. Well, Gabby and Laird could not be nicer. They are both genuine people who one could tell honestly enjoyed helping you. You simply cannot fake that kind of sincerity. I found there was ample time to speak with both of them together and individually and they made it easy to connect with them.

Let me also say that I am not much of a waterman. My only experience with surfing was my falling off a surf board during lessons in Maui for a solid two hours. My balance is lacking on a paddleboard for sure.  The ocean is not my favorite place and it’s very difficult for me to try not to think about what may be swimming around right under me. No one made me feel inadequate or bad in any way for having this phobia. Even in the pool training, where I feel I did not perform as well as I wanted, both Gabby and Laird gave me specific drills that were challenging, yet geared to my level. I almost drowned in a 12-foot pool when I was a child and some things, psychologically speaking, stay very close to the surface within our subconscious. But with Gabby’s and Laird’s patience and guidance, I was thrilled to see that I improved during my second visit.

Spending time with Don Wildman was fantastic. I had first heard of Don in a magazine article in 2008.  He was the first to inspire me to change and to expand my weight training. When talking to a veteran of eight Hawaii Ironman’s who continually sets new records in world senior games at age 84, you listen. You can’t help but pick up many workout tips from someone who has forgotten more about fitness than you and I will ever know.

Adam Friedman, a trainer to top athletes, took time with me outside his scheduled, informative training class to discuss a workout, nutrition and recovery plan for me.

I could go on and on about all the help I received but I’ll just state that everyone on the XPT team took superior care of us. The accommodations were wonderful and the meals were just unbelievable. I have never attended any conference or training session over my many years where the food was better.

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Warren listening to instructions during one of the mobility sessions with other XPT Experience participants

For me, the biggest asset from my attendance was on the mental side of fitness. I will never be a world-renowned surfer or a champion volleyball player, but XPT gave me the opportunity to tap into those mindsets. The psychological aspects of training are often the most challenging for me and my visits reminded me that, ultimately, I have to be responsible for cultivating and maintaining my own determination. When I’m out in my garage at home in North Carolina, pounding out rounds on my heavy bag, I don’t have anyone helping to get and to keep me pumped up. Visiting Malibu helped me develop and fine tune my own motivation. Others can certainly inspire you, but they aren’t around every day.  Discussing the mental-as well as the physical-dimension of fitness with Gabby and Laird made a profound and lasting difference to me.

-Warren Graham

Courage & Perseverance: A Letter from Jon

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Jon (center) takes on the kettle bell at the XPT Community Workout High X session

We had the pleasure of meeting and being a part of Jon' Dorwards XPT Experience journey from beginning to end. It started with a hesitant phone call.

'Hi, I am interested in attending an Experience but not sure if I am the right fit. I mean, I am not a pro athlete and I don't look like everyone in the photos.”

Jenn (Team XPT)  quickly explained that XPT is for everyone and anyone, and that we want to reach the people that don't think they can do it, that have doubts about their capabilities.

Jon said he would think about it. And after 2-3 more phone calls, he was in. 

Jon showed up a little nervous but all smiles.  As he went through the Experience, we could tell he doubted himself at times but he never backed out of any workout and he fit right in. He did the best HE could do and didn't compare himself to others. There is no time to judge at an XPT Experience, no competing, no figuring out who is best. It's all about what each person gets out of it, and, ultimately, what they take away.  Here's Jon's story…

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Jon looks on during XPT Pool Training

Dear XPT,

Less than four weeks after leaving you guys at the XPT Experience, I had an emergency surgery. It was Colorectal Cancer.

Due to lifestyle changes incorporating more diet and exercise, I'd recently lost 25 lbs., so, my doctor could see that I was serious about improving my health.

But the best news came yesterday when I went back to the Doctor. 

I'd had a heart attack awhile back…a silent one…that would show up on every EKG for the past 5 years.  But it was gone! 
My heart regenerated. It’s just a big muscle, right?  Go figure.

Anyway, the results are back from the surgery.  Cancer?  Stage zero ..one.  I am in tune with my body now…I went in and they caught it!  

I am convinced the days I spent with you all changed and possibly saved my life. Especially the cold water immersions, the breathing, and Gabby’s high intensity workout where she helped me modify yet didn't make fun of me and she made me feel like I belonged.   

You guys seriously rock!  I am on to life’s next great adventures because of what I learned from you.  I may have flailed a bit here and there, but I did it. 

Thank you guys for including me! I love XPT! 

Jon


Our best memory of Jon was when he was at the beach. We caught him staring out into the ocean while he was drinking from a coconut. “Man” he said shaking his head, “I am really going to change my life. I have a whole new perspective. I am so glad I did this.”

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Jon returning from the Stand Up Paddle Session

We are too, Jon.  Keep up the great work.

Join us for the next XPT Experience by clicking here
 

My life-changing adventure at the XPT Experience

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As part of my self-defined mid-life crisis (I just hit the big 50 in July), I have been on a search for the fountain of youth: to somehow get back to a level of energy and fitness I had, say, when I was 40. 

Coincidentally, right after my 50th birthday, I got an email from a good friend and avid surfer, Jamin.  He asked me if would I like to spend 3 days at a fitness retreat of sorts, hanging with Laird Hamilton (50 or so year-old, super freak athlete) and Gabby Reece, his super model wife, for a couple of days… I must say, he had me at “hello.”  Jamin neglected to mention that their third partner, Brian Mackenzie, is the author of books on power and endurance.  Brian's books can be found here

I went in September, and it was a life changing adventure. I was blown away by how engaged our three hosts were: they were thoughtful, present, and frankly, just fun to be around.  The three days were basically a continuous effort on their part to ensure that we learned and took part in everything they knew about fitness and health.  We were immersed in training — with everything from breathing, to eating, to fitness.  They brought in experts from the fitness field, some former pro-athletes, as well as some PhDs in physical science.  These three are truly fitness "biohackers" and have surrounded themselves with a group of incredibly thoughtful people on fitness, health and life. 

Okay, enough with the commercial, but below is my interpretation of what they believe, from easier to harder. Their goals in fitness are quite simple — do whatever you can to naturally to increase growth hormone — this will make you stronger, lighter, faster, feel younger, maybe even smarter.

1. Consume lots of fluids.  Simple rule of thumb:  almost 1/2 oz/lb of body weight.  So, if you weigh 200 lbs, shoot for 100oz of fluids a day.  I talked to Laird’s friend Darin Olien about this quite bit… his view is that water is really a special compound, and that not all water is the same (see Dr. Gerald Pollack, Structured Water).  The concept is quite controversial in the science community, but I have spent hours researching it and have left with the view that you can't hurt yourself drinking more water from a clean source that has minerals in it.  You can obviously get very carried with any fitness protocol, and this is especially true with structured water.  However, if you are cheap and practical like me, you can just move to more bottled and/or reverse osmosis filtered water and add Himalayan sea salt, and this will get you most of the way there.  I told Darien that I am in the bathroom non-stop when I try to drink more water, and he explained that it takes a month or so for your cells to adapt to the more consistent fluid intake and that the water needs something to slow its digestion…such as Himalayan sea salt, mushroom tea, or even just other food.  So now, after 2 months of drinking the recommended amount, I have found that my recovery is better (and I look about 5 years younger :).  Anyone who has been to my house recently has been indoctrinated into chaga (mushroom tea), see link here http://www.superlife.com/the-secret-health-benefits-of-chaga-tea/.  Darin’s website is the best website on fitness and foods I have seen, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention he as fit as Laird, and maybe more fun, except when you mention eating meat 😉

2. More Sunlight and Vitamin D.  This was probably the most controversial thing they believed and followed.  Basically, a lack of sunlight causes a reduction in vitamin D in your body, which can be more harmful than the increase in skin cancer risk.  I am not completely convinced, and neither were others as we put on sunscreen when Laird wasn’t watching.  But nonetheless, they believe that getting sunlight up to before the point of a burn is far more beneficial than staying pale.  Scientifically, you get the most bang for your buck with sunlight below the belt, see link to TB12 trying it out… http://nypost.com/2016/09/26/how-is-brady-spending-the-deflategate-suspension-nude-sunbathing/

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3. Stand More.  In short, standing a bit more each day will do miracles for your posture, your digestion, and may even help you think better.  I had a chance to talk with Kelly Starrett, self-proclaimed grandfather of stand-up desks, and I was convinced.  If you want to learn more click on this link https://www.mobilitywod.com/deskbound/.  I have also become a huge fan on his other videos on his youtube channel — he is a cult phenom in the fitness world, essentially helping you to learn to do physical therapy on yourself  http://running.competitor.com/2014/04/injury-prevention/the-10-best-mobility-exercises-for-runners_36329.  He is also the author of my favorite fitness book, “Becoming a Supple Leopard."

3. Focus on your breathing.  We spent about an hour a day doing different types of structured breathing.  The simple thought is that, as we age and spend more time stressing at our desks and less time stressing and then running after a ball or away from a predator — and as a result, we lose our unconscious ability to perform necessary diaphragmatic breathing, which has all sorts of calming effects on the central nervous system and your general health.

4. Cold/Hot Therapy.  We spent time moving from a scalding sauna to an ice bath each day.  The concept is simple: our bodies have adapted to the temperature-controlled climate we surround ourselves in, and as a result, we can boost our circulation through this barbaric treatment.  I bought into this hook, line, and sinker, and now treat myself to a cold finish to my shower every morning.  I would recommend working yourself up to it, as it is incredibly difficult in the beginning.  That said, every one of my fitness friends at Laird’s bootcamp made it at least 3 minutes in an ice bath.  For those of you who follow Tim Ferriss, he has tried this and measured a dramatic increase in testosterone levels over a month of cold showers.  As I said, this is ranked easy to hard, trust me, you will relish the cold finish to your shower and won’t need a cup of coffee after a month or so. Learn more about XPT Recovery methods here

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5. High-Intensity Training.  I find the work of Dr. Andy Galpin just fascinating.  He lectured to us for a couple hours and then spent a couple hours with us in the gym.   He is breaking new ground in improving fitness for all walks of life, from pro athletes to me.  His message was simple: those that live the longest have one thing in common — high VO2 max.  VO2 max is essentially the amount of oxygen your body can process before passing out.  It measures the health of almost every organ in your body.  Unfortunately, there is only one good way to increase VO2 max, and that is high-intensity training (simply, very high-interval training with short breaks).  Brian Mackenzie and others believe that the optimal ratio is close to 2/1, so 1 minute hard, 30-second rest.  Get to know Dr. Andy Galpin here

6. Combine High-Intensity Training and Focused Breathing Together.  Each morning we spent a couple hours in the pool, doing exactly that, think of it as water aerobics, Laird Hamilton-style. This was, by far, the coolest thing we did and was the most unique.  We essentially grabbed relatively heavy weights and jumped up and down in his 10-foot deep pool… grabbing air for a second and then bounding off the base of the pool.  There is nothing like the fear of sinking with 80 pounds of weights in your hand and a super model yelling at you, to get you to focus on breathing correctly.  Experience XPT Performance Breathing Here

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Through the work of Jamin and a few small nudges from me, we have persuaded XPT Life to come to Southern Maine for all of our east coast friends.  They will have a 3-day program in mid-June (http://www.xptlife.com/product/xpt-experience-maine-june-15-16-17/).  I am all in, again, and, suffice it to say, you should join me.

Dave A. Daglio Jr

 

XPT & My Breast Cancer Journey by Jenny Oh

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It was a breezy September afternoon in Malibu when our XPT crew hit the water on paddleboards with Laird and team. I had never paddle boarded on open water – so one of Gabby & Laird’s friends, Sam George – who also happens to be a pro surfer and film maker – patiently taught me the right technique and chilled out with me behind the energetic pack charging toward Point Dume. I remember the refreshing chill of the water gliding under my feet and the air smelling clean and salty. Conversation with Sam was easy and gentle. The Malibu coastline is breathtaking. Sam said it is the longest stretch of beach in southern California. I made a mental note of how lucky I was – to be healthy and strong enough to participate in XPT.

The three-day experience was truly the best investment I had made in myself since college 20 years ago. That was not my expectation going in – but it was confirmed by the last night surrounded by amazing, good-hearted people who felt like family.

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Fast forward to January 2017. Like all of us, I was geared up with my New Year’s resolutions – many of which involved being more active outdoors – and HAVING FUN (Laird’s motto in life) no matter what I was doing or who I was with. Upping my nutrition game to be more consistent in what I consumed. Being mindful of putting out positive energy into the world. These are all underlying values that drive the challenging performance training you learn at XPT. I was ready for an awesome 2017! Then on January 12, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. My tumor was not insignificant and the cancer cells were aggressively multiplying. I was stunned.

An indescribable sensation rushes through your body when you hear the words, “You have cancer.” My life came to a standstill for about 2 weeks, as I went in and out of endless appointments with oncologists, radiologists, surgeons and nurses. Between online research, phone calls to update family, crying and laying in complete disbelief, I did manage to find moments of clarity by BREATHING. Breath – as Brian and Laird teach you – is everything. Whether you want to maximize your VO2 capacity – or as I was reminded, to simply keep moving forward.

I am now 6 weeks into what will be a 20-week chemotherapy treatment. That will be followed a form of surgery, yet to be determined. I plan to beat cancer – and along with the unwavering support of my family and friends, the tools and knowledge I gained at XPT are helping me through this unexpected journey.

When you have cancer, you feel a complete loss of control over your life. Being a bit stubborn in the face of adversity, I was determined to control at least two aspects of my life – my fitness and nutrition. Darin Olien is part of the XPT team. He is a nutritionist and superfoods guru. Not a day goes by when I do not open his book Superlife – and read a few pages to remind myself of what nutrients I need in my body and what foods provide them. One of the first things I did after my diagnosis was order spring water delivered to my home so that I could drink a clean source of slightly alkaline water (hugely important because an acidic body helps fuel cancer). I switched over to produce and foods that are organic and non-GMO. On any given day, you will find my pantry and fridge stocked with nuts, avocados, turmeric, ginger, chia seeds and a myriad of highly nutritious veggies.

The second person I reached out to was Gabby. One of my favorite moments during XPT was pool training with her. I consider myself to be a fish. I was born and raised in Hawaii – I love the ocean. But plunging into her 12-foot deep pool with 30 lb weights scared the shit out of me. I struggled to find my breath. So we worked on the shallower end – and jumped, swam and paddled across the pool with those weights. And I am certain my lungs and muscles benefitted.

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Gabby is tough love. It was a gift to spend time with her. I reached out to Gabby to find a personal trainer who could help me maintain muscle mass and improve my functional movements. Chemotherapy often debilitates people through neuropathy (losing sensation in your toes and fingers) and fatigue. Exercise combats both. I do not plan on going down like an old lady. Gabby connected me with a highly qualified gentleman named Jim who is now my godsend every Tuesday morning. His knowledge of how chemotherapy can affect your body impacts how we train. I give him a big hug after every session because he is the kindest human being in West LA.

Focusing on my nutrition and physical fitness has made the past 6 weeks of chemotherapy very manageable. I go in every Thursday to receive a drug called Taxol. Aside from needing a nap every now and again, I wake up most days feeling refreshed and limber. The normal side effects such as nausea, vomiting and pain have not occurred (knock on wood!) Every morning I count my blessings and am grateful for simple things I used to take for granted. I often meditate then write in my journal. Some mornings (and nights) are tough, and I let the tears flow. Then I get out of bed and get on with life. The nurses are constantly stunned at how well my body is processing this potent drug. Two months of clean eating and deadlifts can make a visible difference. Although “looking good” is not my priority, all those Superlife directives result in clear and luminous skin and a slight drop in body fat. Maybe I am just exuding a better attitude in life, but this cancer girl has gotten a few phone numbers recently which I find hilarious. Most importantly, my oncologist this week said my tumor is noticeably shrinking! “You are doing really well. We are heading in the right direction.”

The road for me is still long and unpredictable. But I have learned to focus on each day and not look too far ahead. The concept of being present becomes much easier to practice when mortality pays you a visit long before you expect. And oddly enough, it can make you a happier and more peaceful person.

I had originally planned on participating in the XPT Kauai experience last month. But obviously God had other plans for me. To all of those contemplating whether this is an investment worth making, my take is absolutely.

What Laird, Brian and Gabby teach you is not cutting edge science from a NASA laboratory (except maybe when Laird is in the water!) But they are very well-informed practitioners of improving the human body and mind. They do their homework and "experiment" in a smart way that only uber athletes know how. They are sharing comprehensive knowledge that would be nearly impossible to pull together on your own – and inviting you into a safe place to test your limits. They open their homes and community of friends to you – several of whom I shared intimate and thought-provoking conversations with. And it’s fun! You will smile and laugh every day.

XPT is a celebration of life. If you are lucky to do so, embrace it with gratitude and humility.

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Join us!  Click here for a list of 2017 XPT Experience dates and locations…

Gina Bradley

The XPT Experience from a Diva’s Perspective.

The XPT Experience will change your life in the most positive way. If you don’t take three days to detach from the world around you and tap in, you are cheating yourself. From the moment you meet Laird, Gabby, Brian and their team of coaches, you are so accepted and encouraged that you feel like a child again learning to walk. There is such a camaraderie and team spirit infused in every second throughout the days that you come out a different person on the other side.
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PADDLE DIVA

I own a business that is a stand up paddling business called Paddle Diva, located in East Hampton NY. I was honored, when I was asked, to host the team for the standup paddling session in Montauk last summer and then to participate in the rest of the experience. I was so inspired and rejuvenated by the three days, I wanted to go back and try it again on Gabby and Laird’s home turf of Malibu one month later. The Malibu experience left me wanting more! The pace, energy and excitement of the three days kept us all going and so happily engaged. The XPT Team has amassed some of the most interesting and intelligent participants, fitness leaders and speakers. It seemed like at the end of each session I would walk away with more actionable information on how I can better my life, vitality and physicality right in that moment.
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FLOW

The days are structured so there is nothing you can’t do and you are encouraged to work in your comfort zone and never chastised if you tap out. Whomever is leading you be it Gabby, Laird, Brain or some other professional athlete you feel like you are one of them. Their ability to keep you engaged and inspirited is something I have only experienced here.

UNITY

The best part of the XPT, especially for a woman, is that the egos are left behind. It’s so refreshing to see the vulnerable side of these powerhouses and it’s a great exercise for us as participants to learn humility, acceptance and camaraderie no matter what your level of ability might be! My most favorite parts The XPT Experience are hard to pick, from one day to the next I would wake up feeling like I was 8 years old and it was Christmas morning!

FAVORITES

The activities that I find I crave more of are the pool work, Gabby’s HIGHX work out and the mobility breathing.

-XPT WATER: As a ‘water baby’ I love learning how to use my mind and my body to accomplish swimming and moving underwater using weights and unique swim strokes. For someone who does not love swimming laps, this was the ‘ah-ha’ moment to how I can do workouts in a pool without going mind numbingly bored.

-HIGHX: Gabby’s HIGHX work out is something that anyone and everyone who likes to go to a gym, train or do any kind of class workouts must experience. First, Gabby is one of the best leaders and teachers I have ever trained with, her ability to command the class and keep everyone working hard is the most powerful experience. The work out is also so manageable and you are with the entire group of men and women. You end feeling a true sense of camaraderie.

-MOBILITY BREATHING: Brian, an integral part of this triumvirate. He can be quieter but he is no less powerful. He has such a depth of knowledge about mobility, movement and how to preform at your optimal level no matter what your level is. Laird, is so affable and genuine that after decades of being awed by his feats to be given this opportunity to listen, learn and train with him, is invaluable.
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GO FOR IT

The XPT Experience is something that everyone should do, at any level. It was the most life changing experience for me, as a life time water woman, athlete, business owner and mother/wife. The XPT Team made me responsible for how hard I worked (or did not). This training was about me, not my trainers. That is so refreshing. This is a great transference of power and gave me such a personal freedom and true ownership of doing what is right for me to live my healthiest and happiest life. You will see me at as many of these experiences I can be a part of, and most importantly, I can’t wait to meet YOU! One critical part of The XPT Experience’s power is due to you, the participant. See you there!

 

 

Justin Singer

My XPT Experience

 

In September 2016 I had the opportunity to spend 3 days attending the XPT Experience in Malibu California.  You can read the background on the experience here:  http://www.xptlife.com/product-category/experiences/  It was a truly amazing 3 days. Below are my impressions.

Perpetually Fit and Fun Along the Way

To anyone who has ever trained regularly, whether 2 – 3 workouts a week to avert the affects of food, booze, and couch time; or 2-a-days, 6 days a week in pursuit of a new personal best, you know how hard it is to stick with it.  Here’s what dawned on me at XPT.  Laird Hamilton is training for THE monster wave 365 days a year.  You can’t control when nature presents perfect circumstances, so when it’s go time it’s go time.  In other words, Laird trains so he’s in shape on any given day for a “high consequence moment.”

What Laird has perfected along with Gabby and Brian is a lifestyle that is sustainable, trains you for high performance, and is FUN!   Notice “lifestyle”, not training program. You can certainly find a ton of good workout programs, but to actually find one that provides the opportunity to train for high performance and mix in the fun you need to sustain it is a rare find indeed.   Yes, XPT incorporates a number of training elements, and they’re rigorous and effective – I’ll describe those below.  You can dial each of them up individually as much as your training goals warrant.  But to me the real magic is weaving the individual training elements into a lifestyle that is healthy and sustainable.

What is Laird and Gabby’s Life Like?

The XPT experience immerses you in 3 days of living like Gabby and Laird.  Along the way you’ll learn through instruction, coaching, immersion, and peer support what has worked for them (as well as a lengthy and impressive roster of professional athletes and celebrities to boot.)  Yes, it’s a real deal.  At the Malibu experience, you’re training at their house (“Please wipe your feet before you walk inside to use the bathroom”), taking a lunch break at their friend’s Malibu house (the view is pretty darn incredible), eating at their favorite restaurants (try the specialty espresso drink), Laird’s got an extra spot for you in his truck if the bus is a bit too crammed, and his dog Kawa might jump on your SUP board as you’re paddling out if you’re not watching closely.

What is XPT Made Up of

Here’s what you’ll learn at XPT:

  1. Breath Work
  2. Pool Work
  3. Hot and Cold Training
  4. Fitness / Nutrition Knowledge
  5. Location and Mobility

Immediate Take Away Value Through Breath Work

Breath work may be the single easiest and biggest take away from XPT.  Brian Mackenzie leads the breath workouts. They can be as short as a few minutes of self-measured inhale, hold, and exhale breathing in a repeated manner.  They can be as long as a half hour, wherein the timing is progressively pushed (at your own pace) to get your body into a hyper state of awareness and readiness.  Everyone describes a feeling of relaxation.  Some describe tingling and a state of hyper awareness.

For me, the biggest benefit has been focus and relaxation during my workouts (and even when I’m not working out.)  I used it the very next day after XPT ended and I went surfing.  I found it made the time being under the water (read – dumped by a wave to the bottom of the ocean) feel more relaxed and as if it went by faster.  I used it at yoga since returning to Houston, and found I can get into poses more deeply.  I use it during CrossFit / HIIT style workouts to pace myself and to gauge the workouts impact on my cardiovascular “tank” so to speak.

Hot and Cold Treatment  – Cleansing and Therapeutic

A second big component is the hot and cold training.  You alternate time between a sub 40-degree ice bath and a 220 degree plus sauna.  Apparently there a number of positive effects on the body through exposure to rapid temperature changes, the science of which is in the process of being understood.  This article is a good starting point if you want to start investigating that a bit:  https://www.foundmyfitness.com/reports/cold-stress.pdf

My experience with the ice bath is that the absolutely worst part of it is the 10 minutes or so BEFORE hand.  Anticipation is a killer, and wrapped up in that is a broader life lesson as well.  The second worst part is the first 15 seconds.  So when Laird tells you you’re going to shoot for 3 – 5 minutes in the ice bath, what you really need to think about is getting through the first 15 seconds and then you’re golden.

My own experience is the following:

  1. Time in the ice bath is surreal.I thought I was in my first ice bath for about 30 seconds.Apparently, it was 4 minutes.
  2. The ice bath and sauna work appeared to be the X factor between allowing me to spend 3 days at XPT working out hard without my body feeling exhausted, stiff, or generally beat up. If you work out a lot, you know that is huge.
  3. A 220-degree sauna sounds like it is morbidly hot, but turns out to feel a lot less hot than you’d expect.And, if you get in the ice bath beforehand, you can stay in the sauna much longer than you might think (I was in for 20 minutes after getting out of a 5-minute ice bath.)
  4. Better than coffee, a regimen of ice bath and sauna work leaves you feeling cleansed, refreshed, and energized.I have had a number of people ask me what it feels like after you get out of the ice bath and it is hard to describe.Refreshing on steroids is as good as I can put into words.

The breath work ends up combining nicely with the ice bath work.  Breath work helps you get through the ice bath – in a way, the ice bath is a vehicle to test your mastery of the breath work, and so sharpens that sword at the same time.  In turn, better control over your breath lets you spend more time exposed to the cold (Wim Hof is the master of this:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wim_Hof .)

2016-09-20-09-36-46Pool Work Training – A Challenging New Way to Workout

The pool work training is a fantastic training method.  Try this: Go to your local pool and repeat the following 5 or 10 times:  Swim the length of the pool and back, jump out and do 10 burpees as fast as you can.  What you will most likely find regardless of your normal training regimen is that you are quite winded.  If you really push yourself, I bet you have to stop for a minute and catch your breath in the middle of the workout.  The pool work XPT teaches you is essentially a much more sophisticated (and powerful) version of the above, where in you are using weights and the weight work is actually done in the water.  Water is a truthful judge of your cardiovascular endurance, pace, and ability to regulate your breath.  Do a bad job breathing and you find yourself needing to abort the workout to get to the surface.

I found the workouts challenging and enjoyable.  I feel comfortable in water and I wanted to push myself. My workout partner certainly did that to me (he was a regular @ Laird and Gabby’s workouts.)  That said, there were others in the experience who felt very uncomfortable in water, so Gabby helped them scale the workouts back and did all their workouts in the shallow end ( < 4 ft deep.)

No matter who you are and how much experience you have in the water, there is a level you can push yourself to where you feel some measure of discomfort. I think the beauty of these workouts is gaining comfort in the water while working out.  Much like the new weightlifter makes the fastest gains while the experienced weightlifter kills himself to sweat out a few percentage points improvement,  I think the pool workouts are likely even more impactful for those with minimal water experience and/or discomfort in the water.  For me, as someone in the middle of the two extremes, I got a great workout and increased my comfort level in the water to boot.

Locomotion and Mobility

If there’s an area I wish we would have spent more time on in XPT, its locomotion and mobility.  I believe this area of fitness will prove to be one of the biggest fitness elements you hear emphasized over the next few years. Stretching and flexibility has always been talked about as an important element of a workout program.  I think it’s the flossing of the workout world. You know you’re supposed to do it, you know it feels good, you know it has benefit.  Somehow, it just falls to the bottom of the heap.

We had several hours of locomotion and mobility work over the course of XPT (I said I wanted more of it, not that we didn’t spend any time on it!) and two things that come across are the importance of the exercises and also how you can make it fun.  Kelly Starrett spent 1 hour working through various mobility exercises with us.  If you’ve never heard of him, check out Supple Leopard – https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Supple-Leopard-2nd-Performance/dp/1628600837/  The hour he spent working through mobility exercises with us was entertaining and enlightening.

Adam von Rothfelder spent another hour with us working through various stretching and locomotion work.  In essence, getting a workout while having fun moving around.

 

HIIT and CrossFit Workouts – Interesting twists on workouts you may be familiar with

We did a couple of CrossFit / HIIT style workouts.   Gabby led one, Brian and his team the other.  A few interesting take aways from these experiences:

  1. Gabby structured a 30 minute workout in such a way that we did essentially 30 different movements and didn’t repeat any of them (HIGHX).I heard that she’s led 100s of these and everyone is different.I’ve done HIIT style workouts before but usually with less number of movements, so you end up having to go back to at least one exercise you’re dreading.This was an interesting experiment in extreme variety that I really enjoyed.
  2. Gabby’s HIGHX workout (as well as a few others we did) were community workouts that were opened to the public. I’ve had the experience of doing these kind of workouts in my hometown of Houston and I really like them.It’s a very cool thing to give the gift of fitness to others.To boot, you meet great people you probably wouldn’t have interacted with otherwise and you can be fairly confident that anyone willing to subject themselves to 30 minutes of intense fitness is someone you will have some kind of connection with. After all, you signed up for the same thing.justin-singer-xpt

 Deep Dive Knowledge (… But Only if You Want it)

The last element of the XPT experience I’ll comment on is the experts.  There are a number of friends of the program that are credentialed academics studying fitness, nutrition, and wellness. In the downtime between workouts, you have the option to listen to them speak and they can go as deep as you want.  Every XPT participant took advantage of this.  Most of the experts stay for most or all of the experience and join in the meals and down time activities.  One of my favorite parts of my experience was a cool down hike in the mountains of Malibu.  I spent the entire time talking with Dr. Andy Galpin and we had a fairly intense and deep conversation on the molecular biology behind various diets and their usage for various training regimens.  If the thought of a talk like that is exciting to you, there’s plenty of opportunity for it.  And if it bores you, by all means avoid it and just enjoy the beauty of nature or talking with your new XPT friends as you walk and stretch your legs.

 

Try XPT if you can

Perhaps the simplest commentary I can offer is this.  I’ve already cleared my calendar to attend the next XPT experience in Kauai.  Here’s hoping we meet there. justin-singer-2

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