Shrugged Collective

Feed Me Fuel Me  — Firebreather Lifestyle w/ Anders Varner  — 87

Anders Varner is the new host of Barbell Shrugged Podcast! Anders has a similar background to Mike and Doug, he has been an athlete since high school, studied strength and conditioning, and opened his own gym.

Anders is co-creator of The Low Back Fix, The Knee Fix, and The Shoulder Fix, and owns Anders Varner Training located in San Diego, CA. Anders found the weight room at age 13 and decided he would call it home for the rest of his life.

A four- time CrossFit regional competitor and member of John Cena’s “One Ton Club”, Anders has trained with and coached high level athletes from the worlds of the NFL, WWE, and CrossFit.

A true believer in self-discovery, Anders finds his true passion in helping the everyday person live a pain free, empowered life through mindful movement. Anders Varner’s approach has helped transform the lives of stroke victims, pre and postpartum moms, extreme weight loss clientele, and individuals recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

In this episode, Anders takes on his journey in the fitness industry, and how he got involved with CrossFit. He explains how CrossFit as a sport, and as a business, has evolved over the past couple of years, and how it has changed for both athletes and gym owners. Anders also questions the sustainability of CrossFit as a sport, while offering perspectives for gym owners to appeal to a athletes in the long run, and much more.


– Jeff and Mycal

P.S. Check out Anders welcome episodes on Barbell Shrugged: The Future of Barbell Shrugged w/ Anders Varner — 307, and The Future of Barbell Shrugged with Anders Varner Part II — 308.

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Creating space

In an effort to continually grow as a person, Anders talks about how he is working to find his purpose and to be authentic. He is seeking not only optimal performance, but longevity in a movement practice. He has recently shifted his focus from coaching for performance, to leading from a place of love and how important it is to genuinely care.

Anders also stresses the importance of never forgetting who your friends are, especially the ones who helped you along the way. When you make it to the top, they need to come with you!

“Instead of knowing everything, I try to attack everything as if I am learning.” — Anders Varner

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Key Takeaways

  • The evolution of CrossFit  —  It’s 2018, and CrossFit is not the same as it was in 2010. In order to be a competitive athlete, you need to have been working with a high level coach for at least 6 years. There is also a very specific male body type that can succeed as a CrossFit competitor, which is typically 5’8” and 205 lb.
  • Opening a CrossFit gym  When you open a CrossFit gym, you need appeal to a wide audience. The goal of having a box to train Games athletes is short sided. You will be cheating your athletes both physically and mentally unless you open with the goal of creating a sustainable practice.
  • High intensity: It is important you don’t go all out everyday  —  There should be a wide range of movements and intensities to training. Sometimes, you should explore general movement patterns. Sometimes it means going very fast, sometimes very slow.
  • Hard work: Know that you will have to work incredibly hard to be good at what you do  —  Believe in yourself! Coach Greg Glassman was a trainer at 24 hour fitness before he started CrossFit. John Cena was a coach at Gold’s Gym. Dream bigger and go places!
  • Feed  —  Anders is fed by his morning routine, he wakes up every day at 6am, and does some breath work and meditation. As someone who is high energy, he likes to start the day down regulated, which has made a huge difference in his life.
  • Fuel  —  Anders is fueled by creating space so that he can respond versus react. He feels that he can solve any problem, as long as he has time to react. He is fueled by the pursuit of building that cushion in his life.

“Everything I have and want in my life has come from knowing how to lift a barbell.” — Anders Varner

Mike Bledsoe


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