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Side Quest Podcast

If Tim Ferriss and Nerdist had a love child that loved fitness and Star Wars, it would be this show. This is a fitness podcast that explores the stories of coaches, trainers, athletes and explores their struggles and triumphs. Life is like an RPG so I look to explore the tools they used to conquer their quests.

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How to Level Up (Your) Sleep

Fallout 3 was my favorite game released on the Xbox 360. I put in damn near 100 hours of gameplay, including all of the DLC. As I think back to all the hours I put into the game, I realize I skipped over an aspect that would have greatly benefitted my character’s development: resting. Never once did I rest in a bed while playing Fallout 3. Resting to recover health seemed really stupid when all I had to do was kill everyone in my path and take items from their lifeless carcasses to heal myself. However, by not resting, I was actually leaving a ton of experience points on the table. In Fallout 3, when your character rested for longer than 1 hour, not only were all your limbs repaired and health bar replenished, but you were granted a 10% XP (experience points) bonus for the next 12 hours in the game (that’s hours in the game, not real time). Pfft, who needs bonus XP and a FREE way to heal your character? Idiot. Sadly, when it came to my own sleep in real life, I never took it seriously either. One of the most important tools you need to pack in your quest for fat loss, muscle gain, or living a more overall healthy life is sleep. Yet, many of us get less than sufficient sleep and then pound 5 Hour Energy, coffee(s), or Monster/Red Bull all day just to get us to five o’clock. Sleep Makes You More Awesome (and Sexy) One study found that young men who slept less than five hours a night had 10-15% less testosterone produced in their bodies. Guys, if you want to burn fat and build muscle you are going to need your T levels in their optimal state, not to mention low T can really affect your overall self-esteem. Ladies, sleep is just as important for you as well. According to The American Heart Association, heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States. Women who toss and turn more than men may be more likely to develop hypertension. Constant high blood pressure as experienced with hypertension can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), stroke, and more. There are other factors that can develop from not getting adequate sleep, which can start a never ending cycle of destruction. Lack of sleep increases the likelihood of suffering from depression, anxiety, it can increase your hunger levels which can make weight loss harder, and due to impairing our bodies ability to handle glucose it can put all of us, men and women, at a higher risk for type-2 diabetes. All of these things can cause even more stress, anxiety, and fear and thus push us all further down a dangerous path. I get it. We are all “busy”.  We all have responsibilities that take up our time. I have been there and for far too long left sleep for the weekend or holidays. Getting serious about your sleep though can make your quest for health far easier and provide more value to your overall well-being. The 7 tips in this episode, will help you get serious about sleep and provide an extra XP boost to your fat loss and life. 7 Tips to Level Up Your Sleep


9 Mar 2017

Rank #1

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John Fawkes on What He Learned Traveling the World for 9 Months & Being a Science Geek

John Fawkes used to be shy, scrawny, and scared. Now he's a fitness coach who turns science geeks into ripped, sexy beasts. When he's not pumping iron or answering emails, he's usually singing karaoke, playing Dungeons & Dragons (as a wizard, obviously), studying martial arts or eating ice cream.   Last year, John traveled all over the world for 9-months living the nomad lifestyle. He returned home to the US and now lives in San Francisco, CA.  John has written for sites like The Observer, MyFitnessPal, Roman Fitness Systems, and many more. Click here to join John's free recomp program and download his Habit Change Cheat Sheet.     In this episode, we discuss: Growing up in Southern CA Being a science geek Technology assisted meditation Brain waves Going out in San Francisco How he got into fitness Make Your 30s Better than Your 20s 30-Day Challenge If something is easy for you work on it a little. If it’s something that’s hard for you, work on it a lot - Buddhist Proverb What he learned traveling the world for 9 months Making changes to your fitness regiment when life gets hectic Do what you can instead of doing nothing Creating knowledge and wisdom Fun questions What he’s nerding out on Patrick Rothfuss What got him into the world of nerd Journey (the video game)


20 Jul 2017

Rank #2

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Adam Ali of Physiqonomics on Mario Kart, Bruce Lee, & Overcoming Cognitive Biases

Anytime I find a fellow nerd, video game lover, and weight lifter I get really happy.  This week's podcast guest is one of those guys.  Adam Ali of Physiqonomics is a writer and fitness coach.  He has been featured on sites like BroBible, Strength Theory, Health Living, Heavy Lifting, JMax Fitness and more.  Like myself, Adam finds inspiration for his content from all the geeky and nerdy things he grew up on like Super Mario, Dragonball, and video games. For more show notes head to www.sidequestfitness.com/podcast/

1hr 7mins

2 Nov 2015

Rank #3

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JMax Fitness on Movember, Decembulk,, & 2015 Achievements

Jason Maxwell of JMax Fitness returns to the show. Jason comes on to talk about growing cool moustaches in Movember as well as his one-month bulking program called Decembulk. In his pilot program for this, one of his clients gained 5 pounds of muscle all while enjoying the holiday feasts that trip many of us up during this time of the year. If gaining muscle and not fat is your goal this holiday season this is the program for you. For the show notes head to www.sidequestfitness.com/podcast/


16 Nov 2015

Rank #4

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Alex Mullan on His First Bodybuilding Show, Mindset, & The Importance of Discipline

This year I've met some inspiring and kick-ass dudes.   Alex Mullan is one of those dudes.   Alex is the owner and creator of MASSthetics. A fitness blog dedicated to helping dudes get JACKED.   Why is getting jacked important? Because as Alex says, "when you look incredible, you feel incredible. When you feel incredible, incredible things begin to happen in your life."   Similar to my belief, Alex Mullan believes when you take control of your physique, everything else falls into place. Alex wants to help men and women build the best body they've ever been in. No longer will you be wasting your time in the gym. No longer will your confusion about what, when, and how to eat hold you back. No longer will you be trapped in a physique that doesn’t bring a smile to your face. Because Alex's goal is to take all that away.   For more show notes head to www.sidequestfitness.com/alex-mullan/

1hr 1min

29 Aug 2016

Rank #5

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5 Ways to Sneak Extra Protein into Your Diet

Over the last year or two, the next big buzzword that everyone has started using is protein. Hundreds of bright colored items in your local grocery store will have phrases or words like this emblazoned on their packaging: "Protein Packed" "Now with extra Protein" "Plus Protein" Everything from Cheerios to bagels, peanut butter, Kind bars, or buzz foods like Quinoa have bright colored labels designed to grab your attention and convince you that their product comes packed with the mighty power of protein. Sadly, most of these foods per serving barely crack double digits protein numbers. How can you claim to be "protein packed" when your product has 8 grams of protein? That's like a Chinese restaurant telling me that Crab Rangoon are stuffed with crab, when what they really mean is: "we stuffed it with cream cheese and crab flavoring but you'll never know." In this episode, I discuss a few ways you can sneak extra protein into your day and succeed with your fat loss goals.


11 May 2017

Rank #6

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Ben Johnson on Writing Well & the Em Dash, Cooking, & His Faith

During the time that I've been a part of the Roman Fitness Systems Mastermind, I have had the chance to meet some amazing people. Benjamin (Ben) Johnson, is one of the most genuine, intelligent, and down to Earth dudes I've ever met. Ben is a writer, fitness coach, and one hell of an amazing cook. In his past, Ben was the fat kid. He struggled with his weight for years until he, like many people, took it more serious.  At his core, Ben wants to help people. Whether that is developing as a writer, carrying their groceries, or helping them achieve their health and fitness goals, Ben's primary goal is to help as many people as he can. Ben is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or commonly known as Mormons. It's from his faith and the foundation that he was raised on that feeds his desire to help others. Having got to know Ben, I don't think I've ever met anyone more willing to go out of their way to help their fellow man or woman. Oh yea, I mentioned he loves to cook. The dude is probably a 4-star chef and doesn't even know it.  For more show notes head to www.sidequestfitness.com/ben-johnson/

1hr 7mins

22 Aug 2016

Rank #7

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Jason Helmes on Quitting Teaching, Mindset Shifts, & Sex Education from his Mom

It's that time of year again. No, it's not the end of summer. Well, it kind of is. But that's not what I'm talking about.  Nope, this is the time of the year where my good friend Jason Helmes returns to the podcast and catches us up on what he's been up to. Jason was one of my first guests on the podcast nearly three years ago, and then he came back on in 2015, and again in 2016. This year, however, Jason and I dive into what his life has been like after he retired from teaching, and how he's adjusted to the life of an entrepreneur. We dive into how his life has improved, what new struggles he's taken on, and what he's done to make life less stressful. At the end, we also dive into some deeply personal things and discuss marriage, masculinity, and how his mom taught him about sex. In this episode we discuss: Daily Schedules and calendars Turning off notification What it’s like in New York City Quitting teaching and going full-time with online coaching Mindset shifts he made as an entrepreneur Finding balance with work and family What he learned being not being present mentally with his children Masculinity, gender roles, and lessons men can learn in their 30s Sex lessons from his mom For more on Jason head here.


24 Jul 2017

Rank #8

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Escaping the Dead Marshes: How to Get Your Motivation Back

Tolkien describes the dead marshes like this in The Two Towers: "Dreary and wearisome. Cold, clammy winter still held sway in this forsaken country. The only green was the scum of livid weed on the dark greasy surfaces of the sullen waters. Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed up in the mists like ragged shadows of long-forgotten summers." You can smell the staleness of the air, you can feel the icy chill of death as it slowly seeps into your bones when you read this passage. For me, the imagery of the marshes: dreary, sullen, and ragged is an excellent metaphor for those times when we lose motivation. When we enter this area, our thoughts become dreary, and our bodies and minds are easily fatigued. Like Frodo, entranced by the faces of the dead in the murky waters, we're easily pulled down into the depths of demotivation. These desolate, shallow, murky waters are never easy to get out of once we allow ourselves to sink in. So how do you escape these marshes? That's what I cover in this episode.


13 Apr 2017

Rank #9

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3 Fitness Coaches on All Things Deadlifts

There is no lift on Earth more badass than the deadlift. You either lift the weight or you don't. Period. But many people avoid this lift because they've been told that it can cause injury. Well, sure, anything can cause injury if you do it wrong. So this month on Coaches Corner, Nick Sorrell, Tanner Baze, and myself hop on a call to chat all things deadlifts. How to progress deadlifts if your new, how to get through sticking points, how to program deadlifts, and tips on pulling the weight off the floor. For more show notes head to www.sidequestfitness.com/all-things-deadlifts/

1hr 6mins

8 Aug 2016

Rank #10

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Joel Cohen on How to Lose a Marathon & Writing for The Simpsons

Joel H. Cohen is a Canadian writer who has written for Saturday Night Live, Suddenly Susan and The Simpsons. He penned the famous season three episode of "Flaming Moe's." Joel received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1988 from the University of Alberta. He was born in Calgary. Outside of writing for "The Simpsons", he's also the author of the best-selling book "How to Lose a Marathon"  — a hilarious retelling of Joel's training for and running the NY Marathon. In this episode, we discuss: 2013 NYC Marathon…the documentation Getting off the couch (an idiots guide) Post-Marathon contemplation…what just happened? How to keep going? Inspirations Self Reflection, what did I learn about this process? How to prepare for the marathon. What is the next challenge? Time travel and sculling and coxswains (pronounced cock son!) Favorite Video Games “Less velour” Running motivations as applied to life “The Simpsons” (Yes, admit you sung that) and keeping it fresh


8 Sep 2017

Rank #11

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Dan John On Connected The Dots, Simplifying Training, & His Definition Of Evil

Dan John is one of the most recognized, influential, and creative minds in the world of strength and conditioning.  He is credited with inventing the Goblet Squat and the athletes he has trained over the years have won countless awards and medals.  For more head to www.sidequestfitness.com/interviewwithdanjohn

1hr 7mins

19 Oct 2015

Rank #12

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Dr. John Rusin on Movement Patters, Building an Authentic Brand, & Cheese Curds

Interview with Dr. John Rusin Dr. John Rusin, aka "The Strength Doc," isn't your typical strength coach. He's also a physical therapist. He first went the route of the traditional strength & conditioning coach but found he had more of a passion for sports performance physical therapy. Human performance is now is life-blood. He has an impressive and diverse list of clientele. From NFL and MLB athletes to competitive powerlifters and bodybuilders, Dr. Rusin develops programs aimed at promoting better recovery and regeneration for world class athletes. Dr. Rusin has one goal: to bridge the ever-growing gap between high-performance strength and conditioning and cutting-edge rehabilitation methodology for both elite strength athletes and amateur fitness fanatics. He brings over a decade of high-level training experience along with advanced degrees in both Exercise Science and Physical Therapy, creating result oriented programs for my clients. This synergy of academia and in-field training experience sets the tone for intelligently designed approaches to fitness and performance. For more show notes head to www.sidequestfitness.com/rusin/

1hr 4mins

5 Sep 2016

Rank #13

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Mason Woodruff on Trusting in the Process, Eating on a Budget, & The Power of Self-Acceptance

Mason Woodruff, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) based in Arkansas. He also works as a sports nutritionist and freelance writer. You can find Mason's writing on sites like Muscle & Performance Magazine, Breaking Muscle, STACK, Anytime Fitness, and more. Mason's fitness journey started out as a high-level athlete; but once he stopped playing sports, he gained excess weight. After gaining 50 pounds and being called "husky" by his grandma, Mason decided it was time to get in the gym. As a former basketball player, strength training wasn’t a huge part of his training regimen. Despite his lack of knowledge, he got in the gym, lost the 50 pounds, and found his love of fitness. In this episode, we discuss: Taking a step back from writing online for a year Creating more video Drawing a line in the sand What made him put the pen down Worrying less about the things he can’t control Trusting in the process What gambling games he’s bad at Eating on a budget Cauliflower rice Why convenient foods are okay Fun Questions How standing up to work has changed his life The power of self-acceptance & the rockstar mentality Facebook


24 Apr 2017

Rank #14

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Slyvon Blanco on Lifehacking, World Travel, & Conquering Fear

Slyvon Blanco is in the running for the coolest name on Earth. He's also a fitness coach, Lifehacker, website genius, and a lover of the finer things in life like deadlifts and donuts. Growing up as an immigrant Sly understood that he needed to work hard and "go get it." From a young age he learned how to find more efficient methods of getting things done. But he grew up nerdy, small, and easy to bully. Fitness for him was about finding the strength, and size, to stand up to his bullies. Since starting his blog in 2011, he's had dreams of traveling the world as he works. This year, he made that a reality. He and his girlfriend started in Southeast Asia, journeyed back Canada, and, for now, are in South America. Sly considers himself a jack-of-all-trades. He wants to learn about everything and not only be stuck in one area of expertise. He's accomplished this not only as a fitness coach and online entrepreneur but he can build websites, code, and he makes some of the most delicious foods. For more show notes head to www.sidequestfitness.com/blanco


1 Aug 2016

Rank #15

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61 Life Lessons I Would Deliver to Younger Versions of Me (And Wisdom You'll Find Useful as Well)

hey say it’s important to reflect on your birthday; to ponder what you’ve learned during your latest orbit around the sun and to contemplate how you can make the future better. Well, I don’t know who the hell “they” are, or why they’re telling me that I should do anything on my birthday other than eat ice cream, play video games, and drink whiskey. But fuck looking back, I’m looking forward. (To the steak I’m going to eat and the sex I’ll be having with my wife.) Pfft, who am I kidding, of course I’m going to look back. I'm an introspective kinda guy. And it’s fun to imagine traveling through time to deliver messages to younger versions of Robbie Farlow. So if I could travel through a wormhole and deliver some life lessons to the younger, dumber, and far less attractive version(s) of myself, what life lessons would I attempt to upload and save in my adolescent cranium? Originally, this article started as a letter to my younger self. But that quickly (d)evolved into a listicle. Because, a) people like lists. And, b) the future is on mobile and I’m trying to crush that game early on. So since it's my 31st birthday, and I'm doing what “they” suggest, which is really an excuse for me to attempt to leave a mark on the world should I cease to live in 2017 and humanity is denied witnessing another four or five decades of my wisdom, here are the 61 Life Lessons I Would Deliver to Younger Versions of Me (And Wisdom You'll Find Useful as Well).


8 Jun 2017

Rank #16

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Mitch Calvert on Being a Better Man, Losing 50 Pounds, & His Days as a Security Guard at Sears

Mitch Calvert has a degree in communications, is a certified trainer and fat loss coach, and his blog was ranked as one of the top ten fitness blogs by Breaking Muscle in 2013. Once a 240lb line cook in university, Mitch has dedicated more than a decade of his life to fitness and helping men unlock the best bodies of their lives. Mitch his a husband and father who loves to lift, cook, and at one time, play video games. But now you'll find him coaching clients, writing, or cooking in funky aprons. For more on Mitch Calvert, you can follow him on social media or click the blue link and head to his site. In this episode we discuss: Cereal Manhood What drives Mitch His days of being an obese gamer playing Everquest 2 When/why he put down games His days as a security guard at Sears What it means to him to be a good man Men in the media And more


8 May 2017

Rank #17

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Peter Baker on Harry Potter, Training for Strength vs Hypertrophy, & Butt Stuff

Peter Baker is a Tampa personal trainer, thinker, and uber geek. But he's also a competitive powerlifter and submission grappler. Oh, and a writer. Peter trains and writes about the totality of training both himself and others.  He's written on sites like BioLayne, T-Nation, Roman Fitness Systems, and more. When he's not writing about fitness or butt stuff on Facebook, you'll find Peter snuggling with his dog Bubba, eating donuts, or getting into too much bourbon and answering endless amounts of ridiculous questions on Facebook. Peter has been on the podcast three times now. His first episode you can find here, he came on as a guest for the Star Wars episode in December, and now he returns. In this episode we discuss: Harry Potter Draco Malfoy Star Wars Rogue One Strength vs Hypertrophy Butt Stuff


15 May 2017

Rank #18

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The Why of Motivation

Get ready for some fire. Because I'm talking about the why of motivation. PS: Listen for a chance to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card


6 Apr 2017

Rank #19

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Alex Mullan on Building a Beach One Grain of Sand at a Time & Not Appreciating What We Have

Born and raised on the West Coast of Canada, Alex is a short shorts enthusiast, espresso fiend, and an unapologetic meathead. Alex is a self-proclaimed anti-meathead and casual nerd. When he’s not working towards Herculean status or learning how to better serve his clients, he can be found exploring how to further crush life, perfect his flair in the kitchen, or pull the perfect shot of espresso. Alex is currently preparing to step on stage at the CBBF Nationals in July. In this episode we discuss: His first episode Spending time in Greece Training during his first true bodybuilding off-season How Greece changed him Wake Up Ron Burgundy Going to Thailand Traveling, training, and eating as a bodybuilder on the road Why travel is life-changing Gratitude and not appreciating what we have What his days look like now Gavin McHale’s post Building a beach by placing one grain of sand at a time Nootropics (Limitless) Music he’s jiving on Heart rate variability training Social Links


10 Apr 2017

Rank #20