90. Greg Amundson | The Original CrossFit Fire Breather

90. Greg Amundson | The Original CrossFit Fire Breather

In this episode Jason Ackerman the host sits down with some who he’s said from day one of his Crossfit journeys was someone he personal looked up. His guest Greg Amundson is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz, the US Army Officer Candidate School, South Bay Regional Public Safety Academy, and the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Federal Academy. Greg started his CrossFit training in December 2001 at the original CrossFit Headquarters gym in Santa Cruz, California. As an Athlete at the first CrossFit gym, Greg was coached and mentored by CrossFit Founders “Coach” Greg and Lauren Glassman for over seven years. Greg was also a former owner of the worlds first CrossFit gym on Research Park Drive in Santa Cruz, CA.

Greg is a frequent contributor to the CrossFit Journal and was a founding instructor at the CrossFit Level I Certificate Course. Greg is the creator and lead instructor of the CrossFit Goal Setting Course, the CrossFit Law Enforcement Application Course, a Lead Instructor for the CrossFit Kettlebell Trainer Course, and the originator of the apparel company Firebreather Athletics. Greg works for CrossFit Inc. as the Law Enforcement Liaison. In this capacity, Greg coordinates and leads the CrossFit Law Enforcement Summit and the CrossFit Law Enforcement Seminar.  Greg travels extensively, teaching CrossFit and Goal Setting around the world. Greg is a Krav Maga Black Belt and honor-graduate of the prestigious Los Angeles Police Department Handgun Instructor School (HITS), and serves as an adjutant instructor for Krav Maga Worldwide on the FORCE Training Division for Military and Law Enforcement. Greg is the Fitness Expert for the internationally esteemed Law Enforcement publication and training group Calibre Press.

Timestamp 

(10:38) Goal Setting Seminars & His Books
(13:25) Faith
(29:09) Even Glassman makes mistakes
(32:00) Training to do 100 miles run just using Crossfit.com
(40:19) Morning Routine 

Social media 

https://gregoryamundson.com/about-greg-amundson/
@gregoryamundson

Greg’s Books:

https://www.amazon.com/Greg-Amundson/e/B00AAOWILK?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1569583258&sr=8-1

Recommended Book: 

Book of James, New Testament – Bible

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Greg Amundson:
Turn my phone off. Well, I guess the only thing that could be better is it's your podcast, Jason.

Jason Ackerman:
Well, hey. That's, uh, that's what I do now. So I'm excited to have you on. This is really awesome cause I've mentioned you in quite a few episodes, so.

Greg Amundson:
Oh, cool.

Jason Ackerman:
Is it? I want to hear all about what's going on in your life. But is it strange for you to kind of be the O.G. and Crossfit, right now?

Greg Amundson:
I think it's strange. You know, it's. It really for me, it really affirms there's this Bible verse, it says The steps of a righteous person are ordered by the Lord. And it just really affirms for me that God put me at that place at that time. I think there was a reason why he destiny to be an O.G. in Crossfitters and what that purposes will be determined in God's good time. Yet it was certainly part of his will that I was there that December morning in 2001.

Jason Ackerman:
Well, I want to hear about all of this that's going on. But let me let's give the listeners a little background in case they A they just Google you. They'll find out plenty. But in the early days before the games were on ESPN, before, you know, the Crossfit, was what it is today. You were the guy you were the guy that I saw. And I was like, OK, this is what I can strive to be like. Well, there was getting a DVD of you doing Helen while watching you do G.I. Jane or, you know, as a four a Fran, were coaches like anybody beats this guy, you get five hundred dollars. That was you back then you, like you said you will. You walked into Crossfit, in December and the old HQ, you know what was Crossfit, San Cuz original box and just drove in.

Greg Amundson:
Yeah, I drove in and I think the motivation for my diving in is important, it provides good context because I was searching for something that would enhance my capacity as a deputy sheriff, not only enhance my capacity yet save my life, because just a few months before finding Crossfit,, I had a fight in which the assailant was trying to take my life and it felt like I was fighting two assailant. There was the physical suspect. The other assailant was myself. I was fighting myself. My mind was trying to communicate to my body something my body could not do. So I was searching for some type of fitness program or some means by which I could recreate the sensation that I had on the street because I knew it would only be a matter of time before something like that happened again. So I was trying on my own to devise workout methods that could recreate that feeling of sheer exhaustion. And nothing I was able to do on my own gotten me even remotely close. And then a friend of mine named Sandra Debt Ski who knew what I was up to. He had heard about Crossfit, and the way that he presented this to me, he said, ya know Greg. I've heard about this crazy little gym there. There's this crazy coach, these crazy workouts, and they might kill you. And here's the phone number. And I thought to myself, well, that's what I've been looking for. So I called the phone number 4 6 4 2 5 2 0. I still know it to this day and had that much of an impact on me.

Jason Ackerman:
Hopefully not giving our coach his phone number right now, but.

Greg Amundson:
I've gotten his personal number any longer. That was the number that rang Landline into the world's first Crossfit, gym. What's really remarkable is that that ring into the gym coach answered the phone. And I introduced myself and asked if I could come work out. He said absolutely. Tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m.. I showed up and I never looked back since.

Jason Ackerman:
And I think I've heard you tell this story before. That was the first time when you showed up where coach says you're going to go against him.

Greg Amundson:
Yeah. Yeah. That's something I talked about often because whether we realize it or not, we we get fairly indoctrinated into the Crossfit, culture rather quickly. Yet this is a radical concept, at least it was for me, because I've been exercising with people for many, many years prior to that particular workout. Yet. What coach said one word changes everything. It's not that I'm gonna work out with Mike Weaver. I'm going to work out against Mike Weaver. And that is what lends itself to the inherent community of Crossfit,. But of course, also the intensity of Crossfit, is I really wanted to win that workout because I was equating that workout in my mind with this is officer survival training and I have to win this workout. Anything less than winning the workout is equitable to losing a fight on the street, which for a law enforcement officer. I mean, you're not going home.

Jason Ackerman:
Did you win that workout?

Greg Amundson:
No, I got crushed.

Jason Ackerman:
Did did you ever have to fight an assailant again where it all your Crossfit, training helped you?

Greg Amundson:
Yeah, I mean, I know I'm approaching. I'm still a law enforcement officer. I'm approaching 20 years as an officer. So there's been numerous occasions where I'm absolutely certain my level of capacity achieved through Crossfit, has helped save my life. Yet even more important, it's also saved the lives of thousands of other officers who indirectly I've talked Crossfit, or coach Glassman and has taught Crossfit, or you've taught Crossfit,. That's what's so important. Understand is that when a Crossfit, trainer teaches a law enforcement officer, firefighter, paramedic, military operator Crossfit,, they are enhancing that person's ability to live, to survive, to go home safely at the night.

Jason Ackerman:
That's really, you know, as you're saying that I'm thinking of all the people I've taught over the years and I never thought about it that way, so that's really incredible to hear. Wow. How how hard was it, though, for you to bring it back? You know, even this day and age in Crossfit, 20, 19, you bring it to a police academy or to some law enforcement firefighters. Now, ahhh that's that crazy stuff. It must have been even harder back in 2003, 2004.

Greg Amundson:
Well, I started that day. That workout was at 6:00 a.m. I was working swing shift. So at 2 o'clock, I was in roll call telling all these senior deputies, hey, guys, let me tell you about my workout this morning. And then they don't want to hear about my workout that morning. They could care less. But something Glassman taught me in the early days, he used it as a humorous illustration. He was serious. He used to say, hey kid. When you get home, knock on your neighbor's door, teach him how to squat. And the implication was that we have a responsibility and this is biblically supported. Once we learn something that can bring quality to someone else's life, we have an innate responsibility to share that. And that's what I felt compelled to do. I knew that it was just a matter of time before that program would save my life. And therefore, it was just a matter of time before it could help save the life of one of my fellow deputies. So from that day until today, I really made it one of my missions to bring Crossfit, to the law enforcement community because we really need it.

Jason Ackerman:
When did you realize you were outstanding at it?

Greg Amundson:
I still don't feel outstanding at it.

Jason Ackerman:
Maybe not so much anymore, right? Where did we see this? We've seen everybody just leaps and bounds. But I mean, you still are an extremely fit back then. How did you even know you were a good.

Greg Amundson:
Coach Coach to do no coach told me that I was I was achieving what he had designed the program to achieve. I was meeting his definition of constantly very high intensity functional movement and I was demonstrating intensity. And that was important because functional movement and variance can be understood at a theoretical level. The other whiteboard. Now, intensity that needs to be felt to be experienced. And it took my leadership at the early Crossfit, level ones specifically with the workout fran. That's the amazing history with this workout. It took my leadership in these workouts to show people. Oh, that's what you mean when you say three, two, one, go. That's what you mean, coach. You want me to go like that?

Jason Ackerman:
Was he having you do, Fran, at every seminar?

Greg Amundson:
Yeah, that was my job. I do. Fran, I'd be on standby to do Fran at a in the early days. There were certifications and they were three days. All right. Friday Saturday, Sunday,.

Jason Ackerman:
Do you think back then he was like, this is it? This guy is what I'm trying to achieve. We've hit it and he's the standard do. Do you think he had any idea of how far this sport would go one day?

Greg Amundson:
Well, it's a case in point. All we have to do is scroll back through the archives of Crossfit, to see that I think the capacity that humanity has achieved has startled everybody, because as you already mentioned, there was a time when going under five minutes on friend was a big deal. There was a time when 20 consecutive pull ups using a kip was a big deal. And now there's the likes of Chris Stiller doing one hundred. And we have athletes doing sub two on Fran. So I think just like any physical endeavor, we continue to evolve. And as the expectations rise, so do our capacities and abilities to meet them.

Jason Ackerman:
One of if people are listening, I mean, the way you're talking now is, is who you are. And one of the greatest experiences I had was when you would travel doing your goal setting seminar. Yeah. And I still reference some of the things you believe unconditionally in yourself from the ability of others. We all do. Yeah. You know, all the Kaizen spirit and all those things.

Greg Amundson:
Yeah.

Jason Ackerman:
A, why did why were you why did you stop doing that seminar? Did you just get life?

Greg Amundson:
Well, I'm still doing the seminar. In many respects, it's just taking a different media. So everything in that seminar and more is now available in all my books. It's a fire breather fitness that is taught in the fable format. In my book, The Warrior and the Monk, a lot of that seminar has been repurposed in my new book that comes out just a few weeks called Victory. So that content and that course is still very much alive. And in addition, I realized that so much of that course is available right now. AUDIENCE MEMBER That's listening could pull up on YouTube. The golden nuggets from that course on the Crossfit, YouTube channel. So because it was available on that particular media, I started to pursue other avenues of teaching as well as. Recalibrating some of the material for my faith background, I wanted to further substantiate what I was teaching based on the word of God, which I was able to do in particular with the book Victory.

Jason Ackerman:
So tell me how we got there. You know, I follow you a lot. It's it's a challenge to follow you all over the place. But for for a long time, I think you're still a part of a very big into yoga and teaching yoga. Are you still involved in teaching yoga?

Greg Amundson:
Very much so, yeah. I've got a yoga studio woven into my gym in Santa Cruz and I'm on mastermind staff for teaching choral yoga. So it's still a really big part of my life. I just thought yoga last night we had a pretty I'm a meditation class at my studio last night following a high level komg, class. So it's really an integrated studio. There's martial arts, there's Crossfit,, there's a church service once a month and there's yoga.

Jason Ackerman:
And, you know, that's what I want to talk about. Now you're in seminary school.

Greg Amundson:
Yes.

Jason Ackerman:
Well, how did how did that occur?

Greg Amundson:
Well, I really felt, you know, that was nowhere on my radar. I didn't. I didn't know what seminary school was. I just had a real hunger for learning more about God's word and for deepening my faith. And I just kind of the way I've been wired my whole life, when I find interest in something, I like to immerse myself in it. And faith has been a huge part of my life since my earliest childhood memories. I was raised by parents who were saints. They were incredible. So it's all I've ever known. I just wanted to substantiate my knowledge and to achieve a level of credibility where if God further called me into ministry, I would have the equivalent of the credentials that I have to teach Crossfit,.

Jason Ackerman:
What so what credentials do you need in that? What? What's the end goal? When I hear when someone that doesn't know any more about seminary school, I assume you're becoming a priest.

Greg Amundson:
Well, there is a. Education path in Catholicism for priesthood. For the Christian Faith Seminary would allow you to be a pastor, a reverend, a missionary, in my case, a chaplain. I have a big heart for bringing spirituality and faith into the law enforcement community. In my department in Santa Cruz, I serve both as a deputy and as a chaplain. So I have a dual role, dual responsibility. So seminary in my case is a course of study that would culminate with a master's of divinity, which is the pinnacle. Academic achievement in the United States. Short of a doctorate degree in theology.

Jason Ackerman:
And from there when you're done with your law enforcement career, is that where you'll be pursuing?

Greg Amundson:
This is an interesting season in my life where you and I know each other from the goal setting course where I was all about having very refined goals and in other words, influencing our will on to the universe. Now, I still subscribe to that methodology and it works. However, the Bible proposes a different approach to achieving goals. The question the Bible proposes is rather than imposing our will. How about we align with God's will for us? In other words, we can step into a current with God and the current can allow us to arrive at a potential destination that's far superior to anything that we had ever imagined for ourself.

Jason Ackerman:
So it's the person that was all about setting goals, is now saying, hey, you have to sometimes go with the flow.

Greg Amundson:
Well, remember, though, the flow that I'm going with is.

Jason Ackerman:
God's flow,.

Greg Amundson:
God's flow. There's a direction, there's a path. There's a purpose, and here's a really great example of this. The principle we're working with is walking by faith, not by sight. What I taught in the goal setting course was in your goal setting. Utilize a micro goal, a daily goal to allow you to have some degree of walking by sight because there's nothing better than the felt experience of tangibly achieving a goal. It provides greater motivation to set and achieve loftier, higher goals. Yet what we see in scripture is. Walk by faith, not by sight. And one of the first examples of this is when God called Abraham the father of faith in many respects. Out of the land that he was in to go to the Promised Land, he said, go to the land. I will show you. And Abraham just started walking in a general direction. He can have a road map. There was no micro goal. He just walked as far as he could in one day. And that's an entirely different experience and approach to have a general idea where God is leading us and to take it day by day, trusting that just like Jesus taught his disciples.

Greg Amundson:
Give us this day our daily bread. So I'm trusting that God will give me this day. And in this day he'll real deal to me just as much as I need to know to make it through this day. And the same thing will happen tomorrow. And I've been up to that now, which is a new approach for me. I've been up to that for approximately two and a half years. And it's a remarkable way to navigate life, especially considering that in many respects I was an expert in the other approach in the goal setting approach. I had a course that I taught. I had a book that elaborated on those principles and based on the testimonies of thousands of people. Those principles do work and we can still use those principles. They're still very applicable. They can come into alignment with God's will for us. Yet we're taking direction from a higher authority. I'm recognizing that I'm receiving inspiration and direction from God to move in a general direction. Then I use the action steps that I have a goal setting to maintain that course of direction or that path, so to speak, or that azimuth.

Jason Ackerman:
Was there a moment that occurred to you or that happened where you decided to make it's a change but a shift in your direction and go back into school?

Greg Amundson:
That was mainly seminary. That's a long answer to your question. What's up with seminary? I don't know. I just felt so called in the seminary. I always knew I wanted to go back into school. My dad was a chiropractor, so I had entertained thoughts of chiropractic school. Also, with so many years in law enforcement, I entertained thoughts of going to law school, then being a district attorney and a judge. Yet I just couldn't shake this feeling of being called into a school of divinity or a seminary. It just couldn't shake it. So I. Little by little started. Meeting people that had been through seminary and reading on seminary and auditing classes, and it was amazing the potential that I felt this course of study would have for my life and where I was. I just felt it was exactly what I needed. Now, what comes at the end, I don't know. It's it's a much different experience than any other course of study. I knew exactly what came at the end and what came at the end was critical because what I was going through was so hard without a great ending. I'm not sure I would have made it through the trials and tribulations of what I was doing. Yet in this case, I don't know. I don't know what comes at the end, but I do know this is where I meant to be and I really am enjoying it.

Jason Ackerman:
What is one, you know. We've contacted each other a couple of times in setting this up. And you're studying. What do you what do you study when you're in seminary schooling? Do you read the Bible or are there other things that you're that you're learning as well?

Greg Amundson:
Yeah. Mainly it's the Bible. You know, it's a predominantly Bible based course with biblical commentary on the particular texts that were studied. So I'm really fascinated by the theology, by applying God's word to our life. How can the word of God be applicable every single day and every day at my gym when I teach a class, in addition to briefing the workout, all brief what I call the daily whiteboard message. And I'm trying to share these biblical principles that have resounding implication. And for example, here's what I'm teaching today at my gym. In the letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul wrote that we can be transformed, utterly transformed by a renewing of our mind. Now, the challenge that we have is very often this is how we propose this verse in our life. I will be transformed by a renewing of my bank account. I will be transformed when I get my 20 pull ups all be transformed. When I get the new job, I get the new car. I marry the girl of my dreams. Then I'll be transformed by a renewing of something temporal in the world. And what we realized pretty quickly, and this was even part suddenly of the goal setting course, is that. The real change that takes place, just like Coach Glassman said, the greatest adaptation is between the ears. It's our thinking. That's where this real renewal and subsequent transformation takes place. So what I try to do is substantiate or base or another word for this in seminary is proof text a proposition on the word of God. And what's really, I think, exciting brother, is everything that we taught at the goal setting course. I've been able to substantiate and proof text with scripture. So it's pretty amazing that through a series of events I was on the road traveling all over the world. I've taught over 100 Crossfit, goal setting courses. That curriculum to this day is archived and available for free on YouTube and in Crossfit, journal articles and everything I taught could be substantiated on God's word. That's really exciting.

Jason Ackerman:
That is that is exciting. And I and I do recommend if you're listening to check that out. It's an incredible seminar. Where do you where do you find the balance of coaching? And then also spreading God's word. Do you have members that just want to work out or is there and as a no, I'm OK. If we come down to the box, we're going to we're going to learn from Greg.

Greg Amundson:
It's known. You know, I it just who I am. So more and more, the gym is becoming a integrated faith slash fitness. Two sides of the same coin. They're both being taught, demonstrated on a daily basis. Where do I find the balance? You know, I think one of the core values that I have based on the great mentors in my life is leadership by example, something that Mark Divine and I Divine is a former Navy SEAL commander, New York Times best selling author. Great guy, a great guest for your show to brother. We teach this principle of. Imagine you have a coin on one side of the coin. You have self mastery. You flip the coin over on the other side of that same coin. You have service to others, self mastery service. And many people really want with a big heart. We really want to serve other people yet when we really compress and pressure test. This coin, what we find is that self mastery has to come first. Self mastery allows us to credibly, authentically serve other people. And a great illustration of this is think about the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Within twenty four hours, there were lines outside military processing centers. The military recruiters couldn't keep up with the number of volunteers that wanted to go into the military. They wanted to serve. Same thing with law enforcement departments.

You could turn away enough candidates. Everyone wanted to serve within 24 hours of that devastation. Little than people realize that once you enlist 2, 3 years later, now you're ready to serve. What came first? You've got to master the tools that allow you to subsequently serve. Now, for the modern day warrior, that has to still remain intact. Every day we have to go through a disciplined series of practices that allow us to maintain self mastery in service of other people. So part of my self mastery, part of my sort of heart. Which is just a yoga term for the same thing. Part of my practice are spiritual disciplines. Those spiritual disciplines, if I left them off the table in what I'm teaching the students at my gym, I would be doing them a great disservice because it would be easy for someone at the gym to see me in my physical capacity and think, well, if I work out, if I focus on the physical capacity, the physical adaptation, then I'll be able to achieve what Greg's achieved, when in fact that's the farthest thing from the truth possible. It's the spiritual discipline. So as Glassman said, it's the mental adaptations that have allowed me to utilize everything I'm learning in the gym in a context outside the gym. And that's just critical for people to understand.

Jason Ackerman:
Can someone that was into porn isn't as fit as you take that same advice and implement it? Did you get it?

Greg Amundson:
Yeah. It's the only advice that counts. It's the only advice that matters because remember, Coach Glassman also said that we differ by degree, not kind. Therefore, the felt experience of, for example, accountability, trustworthiness, perseverance, determination. When I exercise, I utilize those qualities in my physical training, get those physical qualities that I'm testing, result in character development that does not exist within the vacuum of the gym. I use those same qualities in every other endeavor of my life and so does a grandmother who is doing the workout next to me with the PDC. She's using a PDC, I've been doing ring roads, but nevertheless she's developing trustworthiness because she counts all her reps. Accountability because she's at class and she could be somewhere else. So she's developing the same qualities that I am so granted on the whiteboard. There may be a difference in degree, but then as we step out of the gym into life, it's no longer a difference of degree, just kind of doing different things. She's doing different things, but nevertheless, we're using those same qualities.

Jason Ackerman:
I love it. The message you're spreading is it's really awesome. It gets me excited. Just. I think you're well aware that that's why you do so well as you get as soon as we get on this call. It's exciting. You're out there, you're present. And in this day and age, it's very rare to have someone that's as present and genuine as you are. Two things that I wanted to ask you before we got off. What was the craziest workout? Coach Glassman one ever program for you?

Jason Ackerman:
Woo There's been some doozies. You know, there was there is one. That even Coach Glassman realized he made a horrible error. There was a workout that I did with a gentleman. Louis Lewis was his name. Amazing athlete. This guy had one arm pull up, strict one on pull ups, right arm, left arm, tremendous athlete. He's. Accessible via the archive feature on the website. Someone could look into Lloyd Lewis, remarkable athlete. The workout involved. Sixty five pound barbell, if I recall correctly, lunges, walking lunges, thrusters and push press. I believe those were the modalities. Around a 400 meter track. The progression forward was to be a walking lung and it may have been alternating for walking lunges. You stop. You perform your thruster. Then you're pushed, pressed. What Glassman realized very soon is this would take hours. The distance that you were able to accumulate with the repetition scheme and the walking lunge was just horrendous. And he was concerned about the well-being and the safety of Lloyd and I and tried to call the workout off. Yet Lloyd and I had that mindset. Boy was a martial artist. I was a deputy sheriff. We had this mindset that we're in this. This is a battle. We're battling each other. We're battling are will. We're battling the workout. And we kept coming. It was a doozy. And I think what's so funny about that one is even Glassman the new whoopsie. This might have been a mistake.

Jason Ackerman:
I've heard that story and I've actually used it in the programming lecture recently where I saw, you know, hey, it's only a mistake if you let it go. Clearly he let it go, but I don't think it was ever program, on Crossfit,. Yeah.

Greg Amundson:
And he didn't want it to go. He realized the mistake, tried to stop it, but that was like trying to stop two race horses once they're released from the gates. We were going

Jason Ackerman:
The other thing I wanted to talk to you about as it was well known back in the day, but I've used you as an example multiple times from people training for long distance running. Yeah, you were training for a one hundred mile race by only doing Crossfit.com.

Greg Amundson:
Yeah. That's archived on article and video on the Crossfit, Journal called Training Two Miles to run one hundred. Yeah. What I accepted the challenge. I believe in the few weeks that remain, the only running workout I did was Helen, which is three rounds of 400 meter run with kettlebell, swing and pull up. Now, granted, on that particular attempt at one hundred, I think I went eighty four miles. I didn't make the one hundred with a twenty four hour time cap. A few years later, I tried again. Again. No sport specific training. This was a fund raiser that we did for one of my athletes that have been hit by a drunk driver. We did a 24 hour run where every mile you ran was equal to one dollar in donation proceeds to Nicole. I made it 90 miles. On that attempt yet. Just recently, I ran a law enforcement relay race that was designed for four officers. Each team member on a team of four would run a five K twice. Yet our county has lost three officers, so I ran it in honor of the three fallen. I ran it by myself. Eight five case. So I do these types of things all the time on just pure Crossfit, training, and I've done similar things with swims. Marc Devine and I and a few other athletes, we broke the Guinness Book of World Records with most birthdays performed in 24 hours. I did around nine thousand birthdays in.

Jason Ackerman:
24 hours.

Greg Amundson:
24 hours. Yeah. Our team did over thirty two thousand to raise awareness for veterans. Our goal was twenty two thousand. Yet we achieved that goal with about 10 hours left in our 24 hour attempt.

Jason Ackerman:
How sorry for that?

Greg Amundson:
Two days later, I was back in the gym training. I did. One other example. Over the weekend I did five rounds of Murph. I took Sunday off and Monday I did 10 rounds of Cindy. So we achieve a certain level of Glassman being described as a ready state.

Jason Ackerman:
Would you say five rounds Murph if you did? Five times. So, I ran 10 miles plus five rounds of 100, 200, 300.

Greg Amundson:
Yeah.

Jason Ackerman:
And how long?

Greg Amundson:
The average time was for round one in round five. I wore my weight vest that took me about twenty five minutes and then rounds two, three, four. The middle rounds were no weight vest. Those were a little bit longer. I was using a strict pull up to protect my hands around thirty five minutes or so.

Jason Ackerman:
So he did three rounds of district to Murphy in the middle. This was in and around or over the course of the day.

Greg Amundson:
Over the course of Friday and then Saturday morning of just a couple of days ago.

Jason Ackerman:
This is just for fun?

Greg Amundson:
Yeah.

Jason Ackerman:
Are you crazy? What is it about you that allows and challenges you to do this? It's so impressive.

Greg Amundson:
I think there's there's a scripture that says whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. Anything that you do, do it for the glory of God. So that's part of the way I was wired, is whatever I do and whatever I've done, I always do to the best of my ability. And when I came across that scripture a few years ago, I realized, wow, God's implanted that hunger and that drive is just part of the way he made me. And that's also based on scripture. Scripture says that God made us together in our mother's womb. So there are certain faculties, there are certain ways of engaging in the world that are unique to you and unique to me and unique to the listener. These are just the ways, the means by which God allows us to experience life. And one of the ways that he's enabled me to experience life is through these tests that for me are challenges. Yet there are opportunities to ultimately draw closer to him. I really enjoy these tests. And these tests, by the way, are not all physical. You should try writing a book. Holy smokes. That's a test. You know, in Hebrews and a New Testament book, there's this beautiful verse and it says that no discipline seems pleasant at the time, but later on it produces a harvest of righteousness. And that great, so think about it right at the Crossfit,. Jim, you're working out that discipline does not seem painful or correction. It does seem painful to me. Let's try that again. Right. Doing, Fran, it seems pretty darn painful at the time. Why do we do it? Well, we've come to realize that later on it's producing something in us that far surpasses the temporary pain that we're experiencing during the workout. And that's a that's a principle that we can utilize outside the gym as well. It's very meaningful.

Jason Ackerman:
I mean, this is super deep and I love it. And I hate to almost simplify it, but it's it's you are someone that exemplifies what Coach Glassman is pushing out. There is health. Yeah. You know, back in the day, maybe. It was almost lucky that you got started before all this volume was the big deal. Hours and hours of training. Not that what you're doing. You didn't make it a part of your daily routine. You're doing these extreme workouts seldomly now like aathletes to their training hours and hours a day, but because of that and because of that fitness level that you achieve. Now, 15 years later, you're still so fit its incredible .

Greg Amundson:
It's almost 20 years later. And that's also 20 years in law enforcement. 12 years in the military. That's a body that was shaped, a mind that was forged by the Crossfit, program that has allowed me to serve others. Safely, I'm still safely in my body. My body's been safe for 20 years of training. Remember that the training I've been doing is pure original Crossfit,. These are workouts that were designed prescribed by Coach Glassman. With the exception of one workout that I recall, Reklau been told me to stop their workouts that were challenging yet inherently safe. The most weight I'm lifting, if I recall correctly, was on Diane to twenty five pound deadlift. Oftentimes I'm using 135 pound. That was the staple weight on the barbell. Fifty three pound kettlebell rep schemes. Twenty one fifteen nine average Crossfit, workouts, six to 12 minutes, maybe a bit longer if it's purely gymnastic pace. Twenty years later, phenomenal health still serving and protecting other people. Still in many respects achieving the Crossfit, goal of. Increasing work capacity across broad what time and modal domain? I'm a great example of what Coach Glassman has created.

Jason Ackerman:
You're a great example, period. And I'm a good human being. I it. I want to ask this of you only because I think you will give us a great answer. But what is your morning routine look like? You just spark me and someone has a very disciplined morning routine.

Greg Amundson:
Yeah. Yeah. That's where it's at. You know, Jesus said seek first the kingdom of God. Then everything else will be added to us. Another same sermon, different author recording wrote. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and everything else will be added to you. And what Jesus is teaching is this principle of putting first things first, which is critical to understand because we all have a lot to do. And sadly, many people put what's most important underneath what's least important. They're prioritizing things that really don't matter. And what's exciting about what Jesus is teaching is that we'll put the kingdom of God first when you seek God first. Then everything else is added to you. Not worked for added to you. It happens as a byproduct of seeking him first. And if we come back to the proposition that I'm experiencing as mandated by God to seek him first, to trust that when I see him first kill, orchestrate everything else in my life accordingly. This further substantiates why this approach to goal setting is rather good. Because oftentimes in the traditional approach to goal setting, I achieve one goal which only leads me to have to work to achieve another goal. You can imagine if there was a master goal that if achieved and if sought after, every other goal could subsequently come into alignment. That's what Jesus is proposing. So that being said, in the morning, when I wake up, I see him first. And the way I do that is with study in the Bible, meditating and beautiful practice that I call first words. First words simply means that we understand there's a sequencing of events. The sequence of events, whether we're aware of it or not, begins in the mind. We think something or we have thought something that leads us to speaking something.

Greg Amundson:
What we speak about, we act on or we act about now, what we're acting about becomes habit in our life, ultimately shaping our character very soon, our destiny. When we reverse engineer that sequence of events, we find that, well, the inception point was the mind. So this practice of first words disciplines me to be aware of what I'm saying, which necessitates my discipline, to be aware of what I'm thinking. What I do is, I repeat in my mind, a verse from scripture. Then I'll speak that as my first word. Which further ensures that I am in fact seeking God first, both with my voice, with my eyes, with my ears, with my mind. It's a really powerful practice. I've been doing that for several years now with just. Resounding results. It's become such a big part of my life. That's a fundamental principle of what I teach. It's in all my books, its environment, their fitness, the actual step by step sequence of events that I go to. And my morning practice is taught through the fable in The Warrior and the Month. And it's a huge part in my upcoming book, Victory Which Man I can't wait for you to read, brother. It is that. Get this the subtitle of the book. It's called Victory. The subtitle is a guidebook to Forging Eternal Fitness.

Jason Ackerman:
I like it.

Greg Amundson:
Because if we're only focusing on elite fitness, that's temporal. That's going to cover us during our time on Earth. But we need to think long term eternity. So victory teaches the duality of let's be really, really physically fit and experience health in the world while simultaneously having practices to ensure that we're also setting ourselves up for a turn.

Jason Ackerman:
It is an awesome book on its side and I've read your other books and you. You also wrote a book called Your wife Is Not Your Sister, correct?

Greg Amundson:
Yeah. You know, I don't mention that very often, but that book has sold more copies than all my other books combined.

Jason Ackerman:
It's a great book by the way just do you know.

Greg Amundson:
Ya know, brother to this day all received messages from people that say it saved my marriage. There there's testimonies of people that were that were a signature away from divorce and they turned it around after reading that book. So, you know, the heartache I experienced has been an opportunity for thousands and thousands of people to have. Forgiveness and peace and love in their relationships. It's just amazing.

Jason Ackerman:
I. I'd recommend it even if it's not one of the ones you're putting out there. It's a great book and looked at as you were talking about seeking first. It reminds me about positive, self-talk, which has always been something that you've put out there. And I use a reference of yours all the time where you were talking about. Running after I think it was for one of your training sessions and. E e people would say something like, don't stop, don't stop, don't stop. And what they're not realizing is every other word they're saying it's stop.

Greg Amundson:
Yes.

Jason Ackerman:
Versus keep moving or keep going. You can do this. And for me, just remembering that has oftentimes stopped me from speaking negatively and made sure that I'm in my mind, speaking positively.

Greg Amundson:
Yeah, it's a great. Just that alone. You know, we think about are there are there daily disciplines that can radically fundamentally alter in a positive way our life? And one of them is repurposing or recalibrating or refocusing a positive thought in place of a negative thought, just like a carpenter would use a good nail to drive out a bad nail. The daily discipline of replacing negative self talk with positive self talk can fundamentally change our life. It is that powerful.

Jason Ackerman:
I love it. I have a feeling I ask this question to every guest of what book you're going to recommend, but what do you recommend all the listeners check out?

Greg Amundson:
Well, I'm a big advocate for studying the Bible.

Jason Ackerman:
I assume that's why you're gonna say yes.

Greg Amundson:
But that's a lofty just to say read the Bible. Where do you where do you begin? So what I'm up to these days is recommending a particular book in the Bible.

Jason Ackerman:
OK.

Greg Amundson:
And that's the book of James in the New Testament. And here's why I recommend James. It's very applicable. It discusses principles that we've talked about today self talk, kindness, leadership by example, integrating your faith with the demonstration of your faith through your works. Yet what's really exciting about this particular book is the author himself. So get this. James is the half brother of Jesus Christ.

Jason Ackerman:
I didn't I didn't unawareness a your educating radical right.

Greg Amundson:
And during the lifetime on earth that Jesus and James had together. Jesus being the older brother to James. James did not believe that Jesus was the son of God. He ridiculed him. Yet here he is years later, a faithful apostle whose martyred he's killed in faith of Jesus Christ, he writes this letter in faith of Jesus Christ. His half brother. What changed? Well, what happens is, after the resurrection, after Jesus was crucified, resurrected from the dead, Jesus met with James. And when James saw his brother resurrected, he came to faith, he believed. Yes. You are the son of God. And it changed his life a little bit. Yeah. For people that are either already deeply immersed in scripture, it's a wonderful book yet for people that are skeptical or have doubt. Who better to read than James, who doubted for thirty three years of Jesus's life on earth? He doubted, too. And there's something so relatable about reading his book, his letter, because oftentimes I think we all question our faith. From time to time, we all question our faith. And this book is really reaffirming our faith from a very relatable author. It's just wonderful.

Jason Ackerman:
Well, I appreciate that. Definitely. Check it out, although if you're in a little bit of a spoiler in there, but still read it. Where can people find all of your books now if they want to purchase a library, their fitness, the warrior and the monk victory when that comes out? where can find it it, actually.

Greg Amundson:
But they're all on Amazon victories out now. The Kindle version is available for presale. It got a drop in just a few weeks. The paperback will be out by July 1st. The other books are all on Amazon. So that's a good place to go for my books to contact me. They're welcome to go to my Web site. Gregory Ahmed Simcox. That's a great landing place. My books are there, my podcast, my mentorship coaching programs are all located all there, as well as links to the other projects that I have going on.

Jason Ackerman:
Here we can find out all about you. What's any big endeavors as far as fitness goes? Coming off of five rounds of Murph, anything happening in the near future?

Greg Amundson:
Well, something I'm really excited about is I'm the new section chair on physical fitness for the National Tactical Officers Association. So that's a. But is really just an amazing group of men and women that are part of the NCAA and the NCAA by bringing me on as the expert on physical fitness as indirectly. Aligning with Crossfit,. So this coming Saturday, June 1st. I'm meeting at NATO headquarters with a handpicked group of experts who are officers and also people that I see as leaders in Crossfit, in law enforcement. We're all meeting with the purpose of. Creating benchmark workouts for law enforcement for both patrol and walk on a nationwide standard on physical fitness for law enforcement, so it's never been done before. There is not a nationwide agreeable standard on what equates to a ready state of physical fitness for law enforcement. Yet it needs to be done. It has to be achieved. It's important for our nation to come to terms on what equates to. Sustainable physical fitness for law enforcement. So what's the bottom line level of capacity needs to ensure the mission and the safety of your code and the life of their fellow officers. So it's a lofty goal that we're meeting for and I believe it's something that can be. So I'm really excited about this.

Jason Ackerman:
That's really cool because, you know, a lot of people hear that may think I'm the standard one and a half mile run or two minutes of sit ups and push ups and be in front of military or from law enforcement. While there certainly correlates to fitness, it's probably not the best test we can be using. So that's really cool that you're doing that and it's going to be standardized across the country.

Greg Amundson:
Yeah, I'm excited about it. And the group of people that I've that I've picked, just phenomenal athletes, great leaders within their department. They're great ambassadors for Crossfit, back to their respective departments. So I really feel strongly that once we design these tests of these protocols, the ability to roll it out across the nation is gonna happen really quick.

Jason Ackerman:
Well, selfishly, I'm very excited that we just chatted because you cannot help but be motivated after spending some time with you, so thank you for your time. Thanks for all you've done for the community and everything else you've done. It's hard to put into words, but you've been a tremendous influence for me from day one in Crossfit, watching you do. I was talking to somebody about you watching you do G.I. Jane and you switched your grip on the others, right? That's a game changer. We can change our grip that makes it so much easier. Or watching the old school from kids and trying to mimic it. So it's been really awesome. You know, so I really appreciate your time. Thanks for all you do. And I will definitely be checking out your new book, Victory.

Greg Amundson:
Thank you for having me on the show. Thanks for your flexibility with my crazy schedule. I appreciate it. It's worth it. Thanks a lot. Have a great rest of the day. Well, bless you. Thank you, Jason.

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