Mermaids, Magic and the Benefits of Breathing: 6 Questions with Deuce’s Gym’s Dynamic Strongman, Mr. Logan Gelbrich
By Team XPT
I’ve been fortunate enough to train with Gabby and Laird at their home in Malibu during the past two summers. I’ve known Brian Mackenzie for nearly a decade. When they asked me to speak to the Malibu experience group about implementing strongman for general fitness and lead a strength and conditioning evolution, I was blown away. During the Malibu Experience, I was able to participate alongside everyone else to get a grasp for what the XPT Experience is all about.
While I had plenty experience with these guys in the pool, in the ice, and in the heat, I was anxious to dive into the breathing techniques. I was particularly interested in three full days of immersion. What Gabby, Laird, and Brian bring to the table is infectious to be around, so I was expecting a healthy dose of inspiration, too.
Throughout my life, I’ve been continually amazed by the experiences that show me, not just things I don’t know, but the things I couldn’t have known I don’t know. There’s a difference. While I had plenty of insights and specific expectations about this experience, XPT surpassed it all. I couldn’t have known how powerful the group was going to be. The breathing alone was a spiritual experience worth the price of admission. I still keep in touch with the other participants!
While I was most specifically at XPT because I was a fitness person, it’s worth mentioning that I’m much more of an over-worked-scattered-business-minded person, like many people. The meditative clarity of the XPT experience transcended any in-gym performance hacks. That wasn’t it for me. I was just seven miles from my house the entire time and I felt like I was on another planet.
As long as I am welcome, I will continue to take every opportunity to train along side these people. When I’m away from them, I’m incorporating breath work. Part of it is for physical benefit, but mostly for me the habits that are foundational to XPT are so rooted in lifestyle that it makes me a better writer, a better leader, and a more dynamic communicator.
There was a moment during a stand-up paddle where I found myself in an unrecognizable scenario. Like I said, I’m from Los Angeles, I’ve spent time in Malibu, and even many of the faces at the XPT were familar to me. Nonetheless, there I was on a paddle, in Paradise cove wondering where I was. I mean you can look into the water and see kelp that looked like an underwater pre-historic tree as tall as any tree I’d seen on land. To my right, a woman form outside our group dives under the water and catching her long fins out of the corner of my eye made me feel like I was seeing things. “Mermaid?!” All of this comes, of course, on top of an inspirational day of constant activity and blissful mindset practice. It felt unreal. Just writing this is funny because as I read it, it still seems like fiction.
Anyone. Everyone. Period.
Logan Gelbrich, CCFT, is the owner of DEUCE Gym in Venice Beach, California and ORIGINAL Nutritionals, a CleanAthlete sports nutrition company. He's a four-year alum of the nationally acclaimed University of San Diego baseball program, as well as an ex-pro with the San Diego Padres as a catcher. In addition, as a national level strongman competitor, he currently travels the world coaching the CrossFit Strongman Seminar. You can find his writing in various magazines, including Muscle and Performance Magazine and The Box Magazine.