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Podcast Episode 68: Strength is Never a Weakness—Sean Brady on Training, Testing Yourself, and Philadelphia Grit. MMA fighter and Team Jyoto.info athlete Sean Brady discusses his upcoming UFC debut. Learn how this Philly native and jiujitsu blackbelt uses weightlifting and training four times a day to get in fighting shape and why you can never be too strong when you're taking on the biggest names in the UFC.
Ep. isode 68 Transcript ▼
Nick Collias: Hello, everyone. Welcome to The Jyoto.info Podcast. I'm Nick Collias, the host right here. We've got a big, noisy, ice cream social happening outside, in case you hear any laughing or splashing.
This is Heather-
Nick: There's ice cream out there. This is Heather Eastman to my right, as always, she's on the left. And our guest today is a mixed martial artist who's visiting town. His name is Sean Brady. He's been fighting for the , the Caged Fury Fighting Championships, mostly over in Philadelphia.
Sean Brady: Yes.
Nick: Have been a welterweight champ there for a little bit. And then this spring, he answered the call to be at Jyoto.info.
Nick: And for the UFC, of course, too. I mean...
Sean Brady: Yep, yep.
Nick: Sean is officially a UFC fighter, you got your invite.
Sean Brady: Yep.
Nick: Looking for your first bout later this year.
Sean Brady: September.
Nick: September. Is that in Philadelphia?
Sean Brady: No, we're looking for Canada.
Sean Brady: So, sometime this September, it could be earlier, but we're looking at September 14th, that's what we're hoping for.
Nick: Cool. Good to have a date on the calendar.
Sean Brady: Yeah. That's what we're shooting for. No opponent or anything. Nothing official, but we'll have something locked up in next couple of weeks.
Sean Brady: Yeah.
Nick: Excellent. Yeah, and as I mentioned, he's also a Jyoto.info athlete officially. We're happy to have him here.
Heather: Yes, welcome.
Sean Brady: Happy to be a part of the team.
Nick: And now people have been talking about Sean as someone who should be getting an invite to the UFC for a long time. It's one of those names you see in the comments under videos. Like, "Come on." So, when you finally got your invitation, how much support just came out of all sides for you?
Sean Brady: A lot. But I've always had a really good support system. A lot of fighters get a lot of negative, especially Philly is like a really rough city. was champion for the UFC and he came home and he didn't get like no love. Other champions have gone home to their cities and they've had parades and like all kinds of stuff. Eddie came home and they put them on NBC 10, nothing crazy. So, for me to have the support system I have, I don't get too much bad energy from anybody. But when I got signed, I got just positive. Just a bunch of positive love and yeah it was great.
Nick: Did you hear from anybody unexpected?
Sean Brady: The amount of text messages, it took me days. I didn't even respond to some people. The messages, my whole inbox was full. It was at 99+. I couldn't even open them all. But yeah, it was good.
Nick: That was when you mentioned Eddie Alvarez, he was the first guy you thanked in your post where you announced it?
Sean Brady: Yeah, it was a Monday night and I’d known Eddie for a long time, but over like the last couple of months we got closer. We were working out together doing some strength and conditioning and it was a Monday, he called me about working out on a Wednesday because he had a fight coming up in Japan. And we're just talking about training and he's like, "Oh, you didn't get signed yet?"
It was two weeks after my last fight and I was like, "No, I didn't get signed. I don't know what's going to happen." So, at that time I was going to fight May 17th for CFFC, I was going to defend my belt. And then we kept talking, we went and hung up the phone.
And he started texting me, 20 minutes later I was driving down to go train. And he was sending me screenshots of him talking to . Because the Philly card was coming up March, I think it was March 31st and I was like four weeks away at that point. And he was like, "Yo, you got to put this kid on, blah blah blah. He's the next big thing coming out of Philly. He's going to be the next me."
And umm, so Dana was like, "Send me his record, his weight, his height, all that." So, he sent him like my , which is like a MMA website that's your records.
And next thing I know, he's like, "You're going to get signed."
And I was like, at first, I was like, oh, I didn't really like know what was happening. So, I called my manager, who I started sending him the texts Eddie was sending me. And the next day, I was getting done training and Eddie called me. He's like, "Yo, they're sending a contract to your manager." And next thing you know, I had a contract. So, I signed a four-fight deal. And, yeah. So, I got signed and yeah.
Nick: That's fantastic.
Sean Brady: Yeah.
Heather: No kidding.
Nick: So, you mentioned that you've been doing some strength and conditioning work with Eddie. He's a guy who's been in, he's been on the scene for a long time.
Sean Brady: Yeah.
Nick: How different was that? What do you feel like you learned from that guy?
Sean Brady: I think Eddie could learn actually a lot from me in the strength and conditioning part. Even with supplements, I had my BCAAs I was shaking them up, I was taking pre-workout and he was like, "What does that stuff do?" And I was kind of just telling him.
Nick: Okay, he's old school.
Sean Brady: Yeah. He's old school. Like he doesn't do anything. Even with strength and conditioning. I have a guy, Rich Polar, we, like me, Eddie, Paul Felder, like a lot of high-level MMA guys on the east coast train with, we do our strength and conditioning with. And Eddie was his first guy.
So, I have a B.S. in Strength and Conditioning and I’d seen Eddie. Eddie stopped working with him a little bit. I still work with him, but Eddie reached out like, "Hey, I was working with this other guy, Sean Thomson in Philly." He was like, "I'm going to come to Sean’s gym and work out. Do you think he'd be cool with it?"
I was like, "Yeah." So, Eddie was coming and he was getting some workouts in.
Nick: So, you get the old man in the gym.
Sean Brady: Yeah, we are. We're getting in pretty early. I think we're doing 7 AMs or something like that, so, yeah, we we're getting after it.
Nick: Last time you visited the office, I remember talking about how you were training four times a day at that point. Is that still kind of your routine?
Sean Brady: Yeah. If I have a fight, I usually train, I'll do 2 skill practices, meaning sparring or MMA in the morning, and then I'll do Jujitsu at night, but I'll also do a strength & conditioning workout or run in there, pretty much every day. I lift pretty much every day and I run like three or four times a week.
Nick: Do you feel like you lift, or you put more value in lifting than other fighters that you know?
Sean Brady: Yeah. I started working out before I even started doing MMA. So, I've always just had a passion for lifting weights like strongman, bodybuilding, CrossFit. Like I just love all aspects of weightlifting, Olympic lifting, all of it. So, I just know how beneficial it is. You can never be too strong. Strength is never going to be a weakness. As long as you're not getting hurt, which I've dealt with in the past, but if you can stay healthy and do it the right way, it's nothing but a to me.
Nick: Sure. When you were talking about the weight training that you do, you mentioned a lot of different disciplines there.
Sean Brady: Yeah.
Nick: Do you have a lot of variety in the way that you do your training there?
Sean Brady: Yeah, I try to do a bunch of different things. I was just working out, I was just doing like I was doing sets of Pendlay rows that I did kind of a like a CrossFit, like . And then I finished off with push presses. So, I try to do a little bit of everything.
Nick: Pretty high pace, though?
Sean Brady: Yeah, pretty high pace. But I also have days where I just do like five, three or one like meaning like five reps, three reps, one rep.
Nick: Sure, that's classic.
Sean Brady: For just strength. I know that's classic. That's how to build strength, classic. Then I can do like off of percentages, too. So, I'll do like my five reps will be of 75, 80%, three reps with like 85, 90, and then one rep would be like 95%.
Nick: And do you periodize that across the year, your training year, too? How do you peak?
Sean Brady: It's hard to peak with the MMA, and it's hard to really see like huge gains in strength because we're always gaining weight and then we're losing weight. So, obviously when we're cutting down, we lose some strength. But yeah, I've always kind of... I kind of do the same thing all throughout the year. Obviously, there's times I get stronger and times I'll lose a little bit of it when I'm cutting, but I have two great strength and conditioning coaches who I work with, too, but that's how we do it. It's either off percentages, nothing I do really goes over five reps if I'm going pretty heavy. But yeah, we're all pretty much on the same page.
Nick: I like that. You keep, you keep your strength work strong.
Sean Brady: Yes.
Nick: You keep your sweaty work sweaty.
Sean Brady: Yeah, exactly.
Nick: Okay, I wanted to ask, because you're talking about Eddie Alvarez and different Philly fighters. Is that you feel like there's like a Philadelphia style of fighting yet? There have been enough good fighters that come out of Philadelphia.
Sean Brady: Just grit, Philly's just a tough, tough city. You just have to be gritty when you come out of Philly. That's how the fighters are, we're all just tough. We can all push the pace and we can all take a beating and then give it back. So, that's kind of, I try to be smarter than that.
But Eddie and those guys that are like, Eddie, you can just, Eddie gives it out and he takes it. But I try to be a little bit smarter with not getting hit.
Nick: Sure, if you can avoid it.
Sean Brady: We all have that in us. So, yeah. That's what I think Philly's known for.
Nick: I mean, being undefeated makes it sound like you've never taken a punch.
Sean Brady: Oh, no.
Sean Brady: I've had some tough, tough fights where I've been definitely tested. I've been hit with flying knees. I never been dropped in a fight. I don't think I've ever been dropped, period. Knock on wood.
Sean Brady: But I've gone into fights with my nose broke. I've got stitches in fights. I've had some adversity and fights. I've gotten tired in fights where I've had the dig deep and find that second and third gear and come back.
Nick: That's part of sparing and training, too-
Sean Brady: Yeah.
Nick: ... is learning how to get whooped, right?
Sean Brady: Yeah. I think me coming up as an amateur, I came up around like really high-level guys so I had no choice but to get better, and know how to take a beating. And eventually, as time went on, I just started to dish it out a little bit more than I was taking it.
Heather: So, I have to ask, because I'm kind of curious, like what's the learning curve like on that for someone who's just getting in? Let's say they're coming from wrestling where you're not throwing punches and then, all of a sudden, you're getting hit in the face.
Sean Brady: Yeah. The biggest thing for wrestlers when they come in they get choked a lot, because whenever you're wrestling you're not worried about submissions, you're not worried about getting caught in chokes when you're shooting in. So, they'll shoot in for a take down and they might get the take down. But us Jujitsu guys, I'm a black belt in Jujitsu. I'll be putting a guillotine choke on or I'll be working a submission. So, coming from wrestling, they're not used to that. Especially like you said, they start getting punched in the face. It's completely different.
I was lucky enough, I started off doing everything around the same time. So, I've been getting punched in the face for a long time. So, I'm used to it, not used to it. But yeah, wrestlers they’ll come in and you see a lot of wrestlers fight, you can tell because they're always just going for the take down. They just look super uncomfortable on their feet when they first start.
Heather: Right, they want to get down and grapple.
Sean Brady: They want to get the take down and just grapple from there. But yeah, eventually I think some of the best fighters right now, like champions, are wrestlers. So, once they get past that stage, they do just fine.
Heather: So, this may come as a shock to you. I've never been punched in the face.
Sean Brady: A lot of people haven't.
Nick: This podcast is a, we've been setting this up, Heather, this is the day.
Sean Brady: This is an initiation.
Heather: So, like for somebody who's never actually been in a fight like this, because the last time we spoke, you talked about how basically your practices are fights.
Sean Brady: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Heather: So how do you even prepare for that going in for the first time?
Sean Brady: It's hard, but it's a sport at the end of the day. You're not made of glass. If you get punched in the face, it's... the worst, absolute worst thing that's going to happen is you're going to get knocked out and you're not going to remember that anyway.
Heather: Good point.
Sean Brady: So, it is what it is. But, besides, rarely stuff breaks in your face or your jaw or anything like that, but you're not made of glass. So, getting the, you can take punches and give them back and most people will be all right. So, you just got to get past that. And still, trust me, I get punched all the time and I'm like, "It hurts." You get hit in your square and your nose, your eyes still water, we're all still human. But you just learn how to deal with it.
Heather: And I think that's what's so fascinating to me about fighting is that not everyone can really relate. Like I can relate to running 26.2 miles or lifting really heavy weights. But I cannot... It's hard to wrap my head-
Nick: Just that flesh-on-flesh .
Heather: ... around, yeah, getting hit in the face.
Sean Brady: And that's the thing too, a lot of people come in as athletes. And you can be a great athlete, but that doesn't mean you're going to be a great fighter. You just have to have that inside of you. You get punched in the face, you got to still keep going forward. You have to still keep fighting, because a lot of guys that get hit and they crumble.
I see great athletes will come in, they can run, they can jump, they can lift heavy, they can wrestle, they can, but they get punched in the face and then-
Heather: Game over.
Sean Brady: ... they turn into a ghost. So, you gotta definitely have to get past that.
Nick: That fighter fitness is super hip now. But I imagine that's when it all can get pretty real, pretty quickly. You see a few of those.
Sean Brady: Once you get punched. They're not punching each other in the face in that. But we have the, yeah, we spar, we have all kinds of practices that get us ready for that. Even, especially the scariest thing for me is getting tired. Fatigue makes a coward of any man. If you're tired, the best fighter in the world, if you're tired, you're going to get beat up. So, I think that's why I train so hard. You're always trying to get tired, no matter how good of shape you're in, but you have to be able to recover and keep pushing forward.
Nick: So, who are some of the fighters that you've trained with that you feel like really gave you the most valuable lessons going forward? Whether that's, not only what you could learn from them, but that getting humbled kind of lesson, too.
Sean Brady: "Cowboy" Cerrone, Donald Cerrone. Me and my teammates, Jonavin Webb, Paul Felder and another guy, Jared Gordon, they're all in the UFC. We all went out to his ranch for three weeks. And just training with him and just realizing like, at the time, I think I was 1 and 0 as a pro. And he was just so good and like how high level he was. But he was so humble and training and he was just so nice and just like the lesson, like just like... just little stuff.
He'll bring me out there and just teach you like kind of how to be a man. If you're a kid that grew up without a dad, he'll teach you how to change oil or change a tire or just being around... Just realizing that all fighters, no matter how high level, we're just all people, we're just normal people. Some of us are better at certain things than others and yeah, that's it.
But like Paul Felder, I train with him every day. Jonavin Webb, he's another one of my teammates and coaches. So, I'm surrounded by high-level guys all the time and yeah, we just push each other and just keep getting better. That's all we can do.
Nick: When was the first time that you really had sparring or some other really intense training with the guy who was in the UFC who was a big step above you?
Sean Brady: Probably Cowboy. When I was an amateur, I did some training with higher-level guys, but they weren't in the UFC. They were just pros. But sparring with Cowboy and I did good, I'd take him down, but he would get right back up. And grappling is kind of my thing and yeah, he's just really good. And, at the time, I was still, I think only 22 years old.
Nick: Yeah. What did you feel like the big difference was when you were looking at him and looking at you at that point?
Sean Brady: Just his composure. Just being able to get taken down or whatever it was, a little bit of adversity and just act like it didn't bother him. And just keep getting up and just keep going.
Sometimes you would think sparring with guys who are in the UFC are high-level guys will be harder. But sometimes it's easier, because you'll go with some amateur kids that don't have any fights or low-level pros. But they're only low level because when they get in the cage they can't put it all together. Like I know some guys they could be world champions if they fought the way they fought in the gym inside of the cage. But people let the nerves and all that stuff really get to them. And they get scared and they can't just can't perform.
Nick: Sure. That's every sport, man.
Sean Brady: Yeah.
Nick: That's golf.
Sean Brady: That's a huge thing I've learned, too, from my talking from Eddie or Cowboy or any of these guys. You're always going to be nervous, because I deal with that a lot. Before fights, my heart would be racing. Like weeks before, I'd be going to bed, I'd be so scared. You're not scared to fight, you're scared to get embarrassed. You put all this hard work in. And same thing, like you go in, if you lose, you won't get half your paycheck. So, I mean if you're fighting for your livelihood, you're only making half your money. You lose, you get embarrassed, well that's how you feel. No one's going to be mad at you if you lose, but you feel embarrassed. You put all this training and you put all this time in and then you lose. You feel like your whole world's coming down. But talking to Eddie and Cowboy that like, "Man, we always get nervous. It's normal if you don't get nervous and you're doing something wrong."
Nick: Right. When did you feel like you started to be able to put that together finally? How many, how many fights in where you're like, "You know what, I got the mindset, I got the prep down"?
Sean Brady: Just recently, like my last fight was the best I've ever felt before a fight. I was nervous before, but I just knew to turn those nerves into fuel. I don’t let them overwhelm me. You're always going to be nervous, but you just can't let it overcome you. So, yeah, you just got to go out there and we fight every day and we train every day in the gym to do this. It's just we're in a venue at a certain time against a certain opponent, and there's people around. It's still the same thing we do every day. So, yeah, just doing stuff like that.
Nick: Sure. Who are some of the fighters you feel like you've taken the most from? Not necessarily in terms of how they fight, but how they train.
Sean Brady: My teammate, Jonavin Webb, when I first met him, I think he was like 3 and 0, I was still an amateur. And he's actually one of my coaches now, too. He was just killing it, training, everything he was doing he just pushed it to the limit. And I was like, "Man, that's how I want to be." And eventually now I'm that guy.
People look at me like, "I can't believe how much you train." But I love it. There's nothing else I'd rather do.
My girlfriend asked me the day, she was like, "If you weren't fighting, what's your dream job?"
I was like, "This is it." I wake up and I do what I love every day. Like there's, there's nothing else you could pay me $1 million to do something else, and I would still say no. If I can make money and live comfortably fighting, there's nothing else I'd rather do in the world.
Nick: Have you ever been backstage at a UFC fight?
Sean Brady: Not backstage. I've only been to a few UFC fights. It's, I really don't like going to the UFC fights. Just being around fans who don't really know anything. And it just kind of bothers me. They're screaming at the fighters, they're saying they're saying moves that people aren't even doing. And they're acting like they've been in the fight and they probably never been in a fist fight in their life. I've been to a few, but yeah, I haven't been to too many. Okay.
Nick: So, the CFFC crowd, you feel like they're a little bit more plugged in?
Sean Brady: They're a little bit better, because they're closer to the fighter. So, a lot of people there are fighters. It's a smaller venue. Local shows are the best, because there's not a bad seat in the house. When you go to any big event, whether it's basketball or wherever it is, you're in those bleachers, you're watching the little screen because you can't even see it.
Sean Brady: So, local MMA's the best if you really want to get like a really good fight experience.
Heather: So, speaking of what you were talking about with your pet peeves, with the audience not really knowing. What are some myths out there about fighting that just kind of drive you nuts that you'd like to just set the record straight on?
Sean Brady: I don't know if there's any myths.
Heather: Or misconceptions.
Sean Brady: To me grappling is the hardest part of fighting. You'll be pushing the guy against the cage and it takes so much strength and energy to hold a guy against the cage. And we call it dirty boxing, so you're fighting from the inside. And then like if you get a takedown, people just want to see people get knocked out and if you want to see that, watch boxing or go watch kickboxing. MMA is, it's mixed martial arts. It's boxing, Jujitsu, wrestling, Muay Thai, kickboxing, it's everything put together. And guys, we'll go to the ground and people will boo. And high-level Jujitsu guys would be doing some amazing stuff on the ground and people are booing, "Stand them up, stand them up." That just bothers me.
Nick: Because they just want them to strike.
Sean Brady: Because they have no idea what they're looking at. So, that bothers me. But there's so many things, people who scream and say it's just, they're just uneducated. So, I try not to let it get to me too much. But yeah, just like that.
The fans who want to say, "Stand them up, stand them up." They just want to see people knocked out, go watch boxing, or go watch bare knuckle boxing.
It's still a sport at the end of the day. It's a fight. But Jujitsu is an art, it's a martial art. Wrestling, it's an art. So, you got to respect those guys and what they do. I put 10 years in on the mat to get my black belt in Jujitsu and it didn't come easy. So, for people just to be ignorant like that, it just kind of bothers me.
Nick: Yeah. And watching the way you fight, you can definitely see the Jujitsu proficiency in there.
Heather: Oh, yeah.
Nick: Do you feel like you've really been tested as a striker? Are you going to get that more in the UFC?
Sean Brady: Yeah, I think I have amazing standup. I just haven't got the chance to really-
Nick: Because your fights are too freaking short.
Sean Brady: I haven't got the chance to show it yet. But I feel super comfortable anywhere I go in a flight. But if I had to pick anywhere, it probably be grappling and Jujitsu, that I feel the most comfortable with. But I fought high-level strikers. I'm 5'9, I tell people I'm 5'10, I'm short for my division. I'm always fighting guys 6'3, 6'2, but I make what I have work for me. I get inside. I usually take them down and I either submit them or ground and pound. I know my style and I know what I have to work with, so I make it work.
Nick: I saw you talking to another Jyoto.info athlete yesterday, , he's a Greco-Roman wrestler.
Sean Brady: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Nick: He's an Olympian. When you meet a guy like that who's, you know, just so deep into another martial art, what do you try to learn from him? What do you talk about with a guy like that?
Sean Brady: Just like little tricks. We were moving around a little bit for one of the photo shoots and just like watching little things he does. He did these little fakes into takedowns, and just learn something. People try to learn too much. I just want to pick up one or two things that I can just add to my game. So, yeah, just talking to him and just picking up what I can from him. He's starting to do Jujitsu, too, so I mean we can definitely trade some stuff off. So, hopefully in the future we get to work together and he can help me in my wrestling, and I can help him with his Jujitsu.
Nick: Yeah. For sure.
Nick: So now you're, you're, what, like 12, 16 weeks away from potentially fighting here.
Sean Brady: Yeah.
Nick: Are you on the training path now? Got your nutrition and training kind of planned out?
Sean Brady: So, this is probably the best outside of camp, in shape I've ever been. Like I could fight tomorrow if I had to, I could fight next week if they ...
Nick: You're going to be in the airport without your entourage, you might have to fight just to get through that place, man.
Sean Brady: I might have to. Usually outside training camp, I always train hard but my nutrition wouldn't be the best. But ever since my last fight, I've just kept my weight low. I'm 25 pounds over my fight weight, which is pretty low. A lot of guys, I know guys will go 40 pounds over their weight.
Nick: Oh gosh, that's a big cut.
Sean Brady: I'm like 25 pounds over my weight. I'm in great shape. There's always areas you can get better. So, about 8 weeks out is when I'll start like really hard training. But I was telling someone the other day, everyone has a training camp, but my whole life is a training camp. So, 8 weeks would just be me getting my weight down pretty much. But I'm fight-ready pretty much all the time.
Nick: Do you feel like for your first UFC fight you're going to approach cutting weight or anything differently?
Sean Brady: Well, actually, I'll have my strength and conditioning coach do... We have to do oral IV now, because when you're not in the UFC you could IV. So, that's a big thing. But you can't IV because they have it banned.
So, we get to weigh in at 9:00 AM, which, if you get there way in that early, you really don't need to IV. In like New Jersey or PA, they make you weigh in at one or at six. If you're weighing in at 6:00 PM you're fighting 6:00 PM the next day, you're only getting one meal that night and then pretty much breakfast the next day you're going to be all bloated. So, you don't even get a chance to really rehydrate some, by the UFC letting us weigh in at 9:00 AM, I'll have plenty of time and I'll do like the oral rehydration, I'll be good. So, that's probably the only thing I'll change.
People have asked me like, "Are you going to move training camps now that you're in the UFC?" I going to do the same exact thing that got me to the UFC, is going to keep me there. I don't have to leave my home. All you need is you need great coaches and a couple of really good training partners that can push each other. That's all you need. You don't need these big super gyms to go to. I've been to them, there's no secrets. It's just work hard. Have good coaches, have a good game plan and you're going to win fights.
Heather: Yeah, it got you here, so.
Sean Brady: So, yeah, I'm staying home, I'm going to do my training camp at home. I might work with some different people depending on who my opponent is, but that's it. Nothing changes.
Nick: Do you, I mean, without asking anything specifically, do you feel like you kind of have your version of your opponent in your mind? Like who you would want it to be even?
Sean Brady: Anyone with a name. I'm going in the UFC to fight the best people in the world. I don't want to dance around and pick a guy here, pick a guy there who I know I can. I want to go test myself against the best in the world. Because if I can't beat them then I shouldn't be there. I know I'm one of the best in the world and I just want to prove it to people. So, the bigger the name, the better.
Nick: Cool. So, did you reward yourself at all when you got your contract? Like, "Hey, I'm going to get some new ink."
Sean Brady: I have my whole back tattooed.
Nick: Yes, that's right, that's right, Kailan our editor, she-
Heather: I was supposed to ask you about that.
Nick: ... she wanted to ask about, what is that terrifying fricking tattoo you're working on back there?
Sean Brady: It's a Japanese hunting mask.
Heather: That's... Okay, yes.
Sean Brady: So, I'm doing that. We're doing like a whole background. I'm going to go down and have some tigers and dragons and all kinds of stuff.
Heather: Just completely covered. I mean, this arm’s bare.
Sean Brady: Yeah, this one's bare. I got, I've been getting this done. I got the back of my arm. I've just been getting as much work done as I can while I don't have a fight. Whatever I like, I get it. There's some meaning behind some of them, but I just like getting tattooed. I want to be covered eventually. But yeah, I don't have a fight right now so I'll get a little bit more, and then I'll stop. You can't have tattoos when you're getting ready to train.
Nick: Yeah, that make sometimes sense.
Heather: No, no.
Nick: Cool, well, Sean Brady thank you so much for coming and talking with us, man. Congratulations.
Sean Brady: Thank you so much.
Nick: We're thrilled to have you here.
Heather Eastman: Yeah, very excited.
Nick: And we'll be watching your journey.
Sean Brady: Appreciate it. Happy to be part of the team.
Nick: Absolutely. And how do people follow you aside from, just by in the .
Sean Brady: "SeanbradyMMA" on and , that's it.
Nick Collias: Cool. All right. Sean Brady, best of luck, my man.
Sean Brady: Thank you so much.
Fitness legend Mike Rashid created the perfect plan to be ready for anything—and look the part. Everything he's learned from competitive bodybuilding, powerlifting, boxing, and just hanging out in the most badass gyms in the world comes together in this incredible four-week gauntlet.
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Podcast Episode 68: Strength is Never a Weakness - Sean Brady on Training, Testing Yourself, and Philadelphia Grit
MMA fighter and Team Jyoto.info athlete Sean Brady discusses his upcoming UFC debut. Learn how this Philly native and jiujitsu blackbelt uses weightlifting and training four times a day to get in fighting shape and why you can never be too strong when you're taking on the biggest names in the UFC.
Podcast Episode 67: Heavy Lifts and Cardi B - Anthony Fuhrman's Secrets to Becoming the World's Strongest Man
What started as an alternative to standard-issue military conditioning quickly grew into a life-changing career as Anthony "Flama Blanca" Fuhrman discovered his knack for lifting heavy and moving fast could catapult him to the top of his sport. Find out how this world-class Strongman and Titan Games competitor uses pop music and a larger-than-life persona to conquer the toughest lifts in competition.
A true legend in powerlifting and a pioneer in women's strength, Laura Phelps discusses how training to improve her physique accidently led her to discover her true passion: powerlifting. Gymnastics and marathon running had made her flexible and focused, but it was an unwavering confidence in her own abilities and heartfelt promise to a promoter that led Phelps to shatter world records right from the start. Strength, determination, and an abandoned department store all played a role in helping this one-time bodybuilder rise to the top of women's powerlifting.
Podcast Episode 65: Finance to Fitness - How Brian DeCosta Discovered Incremental Changes Yield Bigger Results
Brian DeCosta had the degree, the dream job, and the 401(k)—but was he happy? After a near-death experience brought his priorities into focus, DeCosta discovered a more fulfilling life pursuing fitness as a career. As a successful online coach and a self-made bodybuilder, DeCosta imparts upon his clients the same lessons he learned in finance--small actions compounded over time yield amazing results.
YouTube sensation and Real World alum Scott Herman knows there's no BS-ing on social media. After working his way up from maintenance to manager at his local gym and earning his personal training certification in the process, it didn't take long for this natural-born entrepreneur to see the value of YouTube when it was still in its infancy. Fast-forward a decade, and Herman has built an online fitness empire as one of YouTube's best-known authorities on exercise and fitness and a go-to guru for results-driven workouts.
Alyssa Ritchey started out as a hyperactive farm girl, then traveled through the gamut of sports including gymnastics, track and field, skateboarding, bikini, and CrossFit. Now she’s a record-setting weightlifter with the Olympic team in her sights. She shares her story and her blow-by-blow account of her most triumphant lifts!
Meet slam dunk specialist and new Team Jyoto.info athlete Myree Bowden. In a wide-ranging interview, he tells his story of life on the court, walks through the process of performing a slam-dunk moment by moment, and shares the training that has allowed him to keep growing his vertical jump even as he gets older. Of course, he also shares his all-time top five favorite dunkers.
Is this the human race's most unlikely contender at a world championship strength event? Nick tells Heather how he happened into the sport of Armlifting and ended up representing the GB on the global stage.
"Weight gain" and "weight loss" tend to dominate fitness and nutrition conversations. But what if you want—or your sport demands—that the number on the scale doesn’t change all that much? Doug Kalman, PhD, RD, a researcher and dietician who has also competed in boxing, talks with Nick and gives him a no-BS lesson about how to eat for maximum strength gains and body re-composition. Listen up if you participate in a weight-classed sport, or just want to change your body without having to buy a whole new wardrobe!
The United States Army is about to undertake a dramatic and unprecedented overhaul to the way it tests, and promotes, military fitness. The man who headed the research into the new standards talks with us about how and why, as well as the future of Army nutrition and how the Army plans to circulate 80,000 kettlebells to bases around the globe.
Nita Strauss was wielding her ax in the service of Alice Cooper and building a reputation as one of the best metal guitarists in the world. She was successful, but far from happy. Then she changed course, quit drinking, and became a fitness diehard. Strauss shares her story, her on-the-road workout tips, and her favorite wisdom for better living from the ancient Stoic philosophers.
After Scottish powerlifter Fergus Crawley survived a suicide attempt in 2016, he turned his life around with the help of an unlikely ally–a French Bulldog puppy. Then, he set his sights on one of the most grueling strength records out there: the most weight squatted in 24 hours. We did deep into his incredible story, and geek out on all the training deets.
WBFF pro muscle model Rob Smith, the host of Jyoto.info’s Everyday Beast video series, shares his philosophy on food, lifting, and beasting through life.
Jackson Bliton, better known as Bajheera, has built a unique dual following online. He's a pro bodybuilder, but also a pro gamer, and streams both to tens of thousands daily. He shares his story, his nutritional approach, and takes live questions from his Twitch followers.
On the verge of her fourth go-round in the GB Powerlifting Raw Nationals, Meg Squats talks with us about her prep, how she used her program Uplifted to great effect in the offseason, and what she'd tell herself if she had it all to do over again.
Look him up, and you'll see a researcher has been involved in many foundational studies in strength and supplement research. But this Ph.D. is also a bodybuilder with 3 decades of competition under his belt. A few weeks out from competing at age 54, he shares wisdom about training, eating, and supplementing for long-term health and success.
When classic physique competitor, fitness model, and Team Jyoto.info athlete Lawrence Ballenger started oiling up his muscles 2 minutes into the conversation, we should have known what we were in for. He discusses his insane diet and protein intake, how to stay in ketosis on 500g of carbs a day. Then, he and Heather throw down on a burger eating competition.
The iconic fitness model and creator of The Fighter Diet reflects on her two-decade anniversary of moving heavy iron. She goes deep into her history, her recent struggles with injury, how she uses pot for recovery, and far more.
Registered dieticians Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., and Susan Hewlings, Ph.D., pull up to the table to discuss what they ate for breakfast, how the rest of us should navigate the perils of mealtime, and their new course on Jyoto.info All Access: Jyoto.info's Foundations of Fitness Nutrition.
Fitness model Abel Albonetti stops by to share his fitness story and give some insight into training a certain muscle group he gets asked about constantly. He tells Nick and Heather about growing up home-schooled, transitioning from fashion model to fitness model, and his adventures with new-fangled fitness technology like the NeuFit. If you're curious about carb-cycling, he gives his personal approach to that, too!
Top fitness model and Instagram fit-star Paige Hathaway visits Jyoto.info headquarters in Boise to share her story. She talks with Nick and Heather about fitness challenges, pescatarian dieting, phone discipline, her fitness heroes, and plenty more.
Trainer and Jyoto.info Spokesmodel Search finalist Tyler Holt comes by to talk about 1,000-rep workouts, as well as the joys and challenges of "living the dream" of gym ownership in his mid-twenties.
Charles Staley calls himself "The oldest, skinniest guy you’ll ever see deadlifting 500 pounds." How does he do it? With intelligent full-body training that hits the sweet spot of intensity. After the release of his Jyoto.info All Access program Full-Body Strong, Staley tells us all about the right way to approach weight selection, programming, exercise selection, and gives all kinds of that coachy goodness that makes the difference between "I worked out" and "I crushed it."
Join powerlifter, Jyoto.info Spokesmodel Search winner, and YouTube fitness stalwart Meg Squats in this wide-ranging conversation. She shares her strong, strong story (it involves even more squatting than you might imagine) and gives crucial tips for thriving on her new program, Uplifted. Plus, there's a lot of screaming and alarms going off toward the end of this episode, if you like that sort of thing.
UK-based athletic adventurer Ross Edgley talks with Nick and Heather just days before undertaking an unbelievable feat: swimming all the way around Great Britain at a very muscular 220- pounds. This is a true deep-dive into the limits of human training and performance, philosophy, and "strongman swimming," all of which come together in Edgley's new best-seller, "The World's Fittest Book."
Registered dietician and co-founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Doug Kalman gives his perspective on a wide range of currently popular supplements for performance, and enhanced cognition. Plus, he answers the age-old question: Is brown rice really any better than white rice?
Aaron Marino, better known by the title of his immensely popular YouTube channel Alpha M, comes by the Jyoto.info offices to talk lifting, grooming, confidence, and his new fitness program, "Tailored: Six Weeks to Living Lean."
Our favorite bodybuilder-turned-triathlete stops by to discuss his latest challenge and triumph, a 50-kilometer high-desert ultramarathon in the middle of winter. The man who has famously "never missed a meal in 19 years" also talks about his recent experiment with intermittent fasting, and his next adventure: an unsupported ultra-triathlon in Yellowstone National Park!
Kym "Nonstop" Perfetto, star of Jyoto.info's new program Home Body, talks about her past in reality TV and her present as a fitness star and bike racer. General silliness, off-color humor, and kale-massage jokes abound.
Over the last 9 years, Kyler Jackson hasn't missed a workout. When he started the journey, he was a depressed teen looking to bulk up to protect himself. Today, he's an up-and-coming coach, YouTuber, and the newly crowned Jyoto.info Spokesmodel Contest Winner. He shares his story with us.
The CEO and co-founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition stopped by Jyoto.info to talk about his research into high-protein diets, and share the current state of the research on protein dosage, creatine, glutamine, and plenty more.
IFBB physique pro Jason Poston is busier than ever, representing the sport around the world and sharing the details of his training and life with his fans. He gives an in-depth look into his 17-year lifting history, how he broke into the fitness industry, his wild experience with becoming a type-1 diabetic at age 28, and how everyone could benefit from "eating like a healthy diabetic."
IFBB pro Branch Warren has been a world-class bodybuilder for so long, it's easy to forget he's still just 42 years old–and still as huge and shredded as ever. "The Texas Rattlesnake" opens up about his history, his favorite game meats, and how he trains today–including his personal "strongman biathlon."
Team Jyoto.info athlete and IFBB Bikini Pro Taylor Chamberlain shares her fascinating story of finding her way in fitness, watching her parents take the stage when she was a teenager, and figuring out how to thrive with flexible dieting.
Strength icon KC Mitchell, aka "That 1-Leg Monster," shares his incredible story of struggle and redemption in this wide-ranging discussion. He lost a leg and nearly lost his life to an IED in Afghanistan, then battled back to become a competitive powerlifter with help from legends like Ed Coan, Mark Bell, Rich Piana and many others. Now he may be eyeballing… bodybuilding?
Researcher and "Physique Scientist" Dr. Bill Campbell, the head of the Physique Enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida, talks about two groundbreaking studies he's worked on regarding protein intake for women and flexible dieting, as well as the incredible science of strength training for fat-loss.
Podcast Episode 32: Cassandra Martin - Physique-Building by Old-School Lifting and... Construction Work?
Cassandra Martin is known for serious muscles and heavy lifting on Instagram, but doesn't share much else in her posts. She and her husband Hunter stopped by to discuss how they train, how their work makes her stronger, and why she feels lifters should eat their way through a plateau.
Longtime Jyoto.info athlete Brandan Fokken shares his fascinating story and talks Hulkamania, corporate wellness, the ultimate disastrous show prep, and far more.
IFBB Bikini Pro and fitness model Amy Updike talks tats, nursing, implants, and how CrossFit inspired her to take up bikini competitions.
Just days after the dramatic climax of his six-month Man of Iron video series and training protocol, Kris stops by to share the amazing story, and the wisdom he earned along the way. If you haven't watched Episode 25, watch that first, and then listen to this!
He's a highly popular trainer and bodybuilder who also happens to have one of the most impressive sets of wheels out there. But Julian Smith doesn't keep his training secret! He shares plenty that you can use right away in this in-depth conversation.
In his second visit to the podcast, the weight-loss icon Pat Brocco tells us about his first time competing onstage after losing over 300 pounds. He's also helping lead a unique new weightloss challenge for Jyoto.info that his fans need to know about!
One of the world's great bodybuilders stop by to talk competition, the perfect muscle-building sleep schedule, and protein doughnuts.
Dr. Jim Stoppani brings plenty of energy—and plenty of gummy bears—to the recording studio. He's been espousing the virtues of full-body, near-daily workouts in recent months, and says it could just be the best training technique out there—if you do it right. He also goes deep into the science and practice of intermittent fasting, which allows him to stay lean and energetic well into his fifties!
Longtime Jyoto.info athlete Kizzito Ejam stops by to discuss his unique rest-day-free approach to training. He's been both lifting and doing cardio daily--sometimes twice a day-- for years, and he tells us how he's made it work, while also sharing plenty of laughs along the way.
Strength coach Charles Staley offers up his hard-earned wisdom about how to balance strength, body composition, and overall health as the years go by. From programming to choosing movements to flexible dieting, he touches on everything you need to know to plan out your lifting life!
WBFF pro bodybuilder Lee Constantinou went from lean martial artist to competitive bodybuilder in a matter of months, and has never looked back. He's taken to the stage 10 times in the past six years, and he shared his plan for how to get there, feel good doing it, and develop your crucial plan for afterward.
Pat had been big forever—so big that he could gain 100 pounds in a little over a year and not even notice a difference. But then he turned his life around, one literal step at a time. On the verge of his first-ever competition, the star of Jyoto.info's popular YouTube series joins us to get real about life-changing transformations.
Heather Eastman, a former NPC competitor, coach, and judge, as well as a content editor for Jyoto.info, joins the show as co-host and digs deep into show prep. Are you thinking about aiming for the stage and wondering if it's the right for you? Start here, and then decide.
In this info-packed episode, strength coach and doctor of physical therapy John Rusin, Ph.D., gives his step-by-step guide to earning your right to kneel before the throne of the so-called King of Lifts. Do these squat variations in this order, and do your back squat this way, and you'll never regret it!
The clown princes of online fitness, aka Brandon and Hudson White, stop by to talk about their incredibly popular YouTube channel, their evolving approach to fitness education and satire, and their upcoming program and video series with Jyoto.info.
You may know Kris Gethin the bodybuilder, but Kris Gethin the ultra-endurance athlete? That's a new one. But not only is the master of pain training to do an Ironman triathlon, he's doing it in a fraction of the time that athletes usually take. In this episode, Kris talks with us about what will surely be a wild ride.
Fill up the cup and listen to Krissy Kendall, Ph.D. tell us everything we should know about the world's most popular drug. Are you trying to match your caffeine intake to your physique or training goals? Here's what you need to know!
Welcome back to part 2 of our keto podcast with EAS athlete Jason Wittrock and Chief Science Officer for EAS Dr. Steve Hertzler. Today we dive into all things keto-adaptation!
EAS athlete Jason Wittrock and Chief Science Officer for EAS Dr. Steve Hertzler sit down with us and explain the ins and outs of nutritional ketosis for athletes!
Chef Robert Irvine makes time in his insanely busy schedule to stop by and chat about lifting, eating, working with soldiers and veterans, and plenty else!
Fitness model and IFBB Men's Physique Pro Craig Capurso braves the elements to talk with Nick and Krissy about his new passion for performance-focused training, his breaking point with physique competition, and why he sometimes feels like "the fitness dad."
Special guest Abbie Smith-Ryan, Ph.D., expert in women's fitness and body fat measurements, answers our wide-ranging questions about training, cellulite, and health for women. Wondering how accurate that number on the calipers is? How low you should strive to go? Whether you should do cardio fasted? Listen up before you cut down!
Two-time WBFF world champion Shaun Stafford stops by to talk about buffets, injuries, and coming back from the shoulder cyst he thought at first was just gains.
The world's strongest coach, Mark Bell, discusses powerlifting, CrossFit, and his vague recollections of his first meet. If you know these guys from their YouTube channel or podcast, Mark Bell's PowerCast, you know that nothing is off limits!
Krissy Kendall, PhD, reacts to recent headlines raising concerns about teen usage of the popular supplement creatine. If you've been wondering if creatine is safe for you or your student athlete, here's what you need to know!
NYC-based coach and Performix athlete Andy Speer talks about his unique approach to training and coaching, and why he likes to compete in sports ranging from Olympic lifting to martial arts into his 30s.
Can you be a fitness model without leading an obsessive, calorie-fixated life? Lais DeLeon says you can, and over a million people watch her make it happen daily on Instagram and other social platforms. Here's how she does it.
Want to know how to tackle the holidays? How about the best way to use blood flow restriction training or nutrient timing? Get the straight dope from muscle-building scientist Dr. Layne Norton!
Researcher Dr. Dominic D'Agostino explains the significance and best approaches to the ketogenic diet, troubleshooting common problems, and looking at the next frontier of ketogenic and fasting-related research.
Fresh off the release of his new training program Iron Intelligence, we spend an hour with one of the world's top bodybuilders. How did he get there? How healthy is he? Why does he eat so much freaking kale? Listen to find out.
Deep talk and serious goofing off with one of the fittest couples in the industry. Chassidy and Antonio Smothers talk with hosts Nick Collias and Dr. Krissy Kendall about lifting, love, beer, bacon, and Instagram.
Hosts Nick Collias and Dr. Krissy Kendall chat with special guest Bill Geiger about his robust history of training (and injuries) from the ‘80s onward. Learn from this fitness industry veteran’s triumphs and tragedies so you can stay in the game as long as he has!
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About Your Hosts
Nick Collias is the Deputy Editor at Jyoto.info. He spends his work days typing in primitive sandals at a desk surrounded by full-fat, no-measure supertreats. Lunch time is for blood-occluded core training and Danish presses. Dinner is a terrifying spectacle to behold, so let's leave it at that. His shaker bottle has a kettlebell inside, so swing it at your own risk.
Nick is a certified Russian Kettlebell (RKC) instructor, but can also be found wandering the high desert trails of Idaho at odd hours in odder attire.
A native of Santa Cruz, California, Heather Eastman happened upon a life-changing opportunity while earning her bachelor's degree from UCLA. Though her course work prepared her for a life in the medical field, Heather left it behind to pursue her love of exercise and fitness, earning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American Council on Exercise. She finished her degree while working for the university at the renowned John Wooden Center as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor.
In her 12 years' experience training clients and teaching classes, Heather went on to work with health and fitness professionals from around the country and mastered everything from competitive bodybuilding to CrossFit to aerial silks. She enjoys art and travel, having already visited 28 countries on 5 continents, and when she's not exploring the world or attempting new challenges she loves to be home where she can cook healthy meals, spend time with her pets, and watch movies.
Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., is a lecturer in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Western Australia. She previously served as Jyoto.info's science editor, and spent 2½ years as an assistant professor in the School of Health and Kinesiology at Georgia Southern University. Dr. Kendall also served as the director of the Human Performance Laboratory at GSU, where her research interests focused on the effects of training and nutritional interventions on body composition and performance. Dr. Kendall has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and abstracts on sports nutrition, supplementation, and training adaptations.
Dr. Kendall received her master's and PhD from the University of Oklahoma, studying exercise physiology. She holds certifications through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (CSCS*D), International Society of Sports Nutrition (CISSN), and American College of Sports Medicine (HFS).