“I think visualization is so under-rated. Cause I feel like almost any workout is 80% mental and 20% physical. ” – Lauren Fisher
The Unbeatable Mind Experience is the opportunity for you to train in person with Mark and other Unbeatable Mind instructors, and to experience physical, mental, and emotional training in person. You will have a chance to learn under the same conditions as Spec Ops and SEAL candidates in an unforgettable environment of sea and sand. To find out more, go to unbeatablemind.com/experience.
Lauren Fisher (@laurenfisher) is well-known as a superb, young CrossFit competitor and athlete. Lauren started “Grown Strong,” a company dedicated to bringing out a different concept of women’s strength. With her partner Rasmus Andersen, (@rasmuswandersen) who is a Danish CrossFit athlete, they operate “GrownStrong,” and they are both still major CrossFit contenders. Today, Mark talks with them about the athletic lifestyle involved in CrossFit and how they find balance with athleticism and other demands.
- Athletic needs are more complex than just training – nutrition and recovery are absolutely essential as well.
- A large part of both training and competition is as much or more a mental challenge as it is physical
- Grown Strong comes from Lauren’s belief that we should be focusing more on strength for women, rather than appearances
Listen to this episode to get insight into how an athletic lifestyle works for these two competitors.
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Hey folks. This is Mark Divine. Welcome back to the Unbeatable Mind podcast. Thanks so much for joining me today. I don’t take it for granted. I know you’re super busy. 101,000 distractions coming at you – the fact that you’re spending time with us – that means a lot.
And so we won’t waste it. We’ve got a really, really cool guest today we’re gonna talk about mental toughness, and resiliency, and durability, and flexibility, and staying in the game, and preparing for the fight.
And maybe the spiritual aspect of fitness even. Who knows, right? So we got a lot to talk about.
Before I do, let me remind you, you can find this podcast pretty much everywhere now. Maybe a few places we missed. If so, let us know.
But it really helps if you rate the podcast. We have like 500 five-star ratings so everyone counts, because other people find it – other people interested in this stuff will find it. And there’s a podcast popping up like every day nowadays. So go rate it, if you if you like what you’re hearing. And I really appreciate that.
Today I have Lauren Fisher and Rasmus Andersen?
Mark: Okay, I did it right. So both top CrossFitters. I remember watching both compete in the CrossFit Games. Many of you know that I competed in the open division in the CrossFit Games.
I have a little story about that. The second year. I got cheated out of my bid – it’s not a sour grape story it’s just one of those… Like CrossFit’s been all over the place right? With their tech and changing everything. And their systems were pretty shitty that first year.
Anyways… I love you Greg Glassman and I’m not dinging you.
And they’ve got a really cool business building… And they’re all over the place… Going to China. I can’t wait to talk guys. So really thanks for coming up. We’re at SEALFIT headquarters in Carlsbad and they made their way up here, bearing the traffic. Cause you guys live in east village?
Rasmus: East village, downtown San Diego.
Mark: Okay. Thanks for being here.
Lauren: Thank you for having us.
Rasmus: Thank you. We love being on these shows. It’s a lot of fun.
Mark: You always do these shows together?
Lauren: This is actually only our second podcast together.
Rasmus: Yeah. We really haven’t done that many podcasts actually.
Lauren: And actually probably my third podcast – his second.
Mark: You’re starting to get out there and so you wanna… That’s cool. It’s fun to do things together. It’s fun. It’s very dynamic.
Actually the second podcast I’ve done today with three people. This is my podcast week. I try to chunk it into like time blocks, right? Good policy otherwise I’d be doing this all the time, right in the middle of a really busy week. So this week, we’re all podcasting. So it’s awesome.
Lauren you started CrossFitting like when you were two years old right or something like that?
Lauren: I started CrossFit when I was 13 years-old. So I’m 25 now. It’s been about 12 years.
Mark: God, can you imagine? Doesn’t it seem like it went so fast?
Lauren: It’s pretty crazy. Like, there’s a 17 year-old girl I train with at my gym. And I’m like “I used to be that girl.” and now I’m like eight years older, and I feel like one of the older ones. Even though I’m still young.
Mark: You still look about 14, maybe 15.
Lauren: I’m not sure if I should take that as a compliment or not.
Mark: Yeah. I’m not sure either. That’s funny.
So you had some early success as the – I remember reading – the youngest CrossFitter to place in the Games, or something like that?
Lauren: Yeah, I went to the CrossFit Games as an individual in 2014. And I also went in 2013 on a team and I was only 19 years old in 2013. And then I was 20 years old in 2014 and I had placed ninth in the whole world. So ninth fittest woman on earth.
Mark: Nice. Awesome claim to fame. “Who are the other eight? Let’s go knock ’em off.”
How did you find CrossFit? Was someone in your family into it?
Lauren: My two older brothers – Ryan and garret were doing it at the time, and so it was back when I used to play basketball. And I kind of wanted an additional strength and conditioning program, because I wanted to go on to play in college and then the WNBA. And they told me that there was this really good fitness program I should try. With this guy named Vince Carter.
So went in one day and I immediately got hooked and like never looked back. And I only went in like three times a week, just for like the normal class sessions. And now I’m here training twice a day and training as a professional athlete.
Lauren: Full-time, yeah.
Mark: Okay, well good. I want to talk later more about your training regimen and all that kind of stuff…
But Rasmus, you’re also a CrossFitter.
Mark: And how did you get started? You’re from Denmark…
Rasmus: I’m from Denmark, yes. A little bit of the same story, but a little different. I started CrossFit was still such a new thing right? So like back when we started it was still like “hey what is CrossFit even, right? No one really knew about it. So back when I started it was a friend of mine told me about it.
I was quite frankly like really out of shape back then. Both overweight and also just not developed very well in terms of strength and conditioning and stuff like that. So I did it… I didn’t even know what it was called back then and I just did it.
And honestly, I was just hooked right away. Like that feeling of going into the class – it was a group class – I just go in there for an hour and in my opinion get so much stuff done in one hour. And be very efficient with your time and both get like strength and conditioning done in a good way within an hour. Just got me hooked right away.
Mark: What year did you get started?
Rasmus: This is back in 2010. And there’s been a slow road, just like every year has been like doing a little bit more competition. Getting a little bit better and it to where I’m at now.
Mark: And you committed in the Games? Or regionals?
Rasmus: Yeah, I was at CrossFit Games 2014…
Mark: From Denmark?
Rasmus: No, I moved to San Diego in 2013. And qualified with a team to the CrossFit Games in the 2014 season. And we end up winning, actually.
Mark: Right on.
Rasmus: And then ’15 on team again – a little bit of a strange season – but I was on a team didn’t go quite as well ’16 individual, ’17 off and ’18 – I was an individual again.
Mark: Okay. What year did you start CrossFit? I’m trying to like place my…
Lauren: Way back when.
Mark: So I went to my first cert in 2006. And it was in Colorado state police academy with Glassman and Greg Amundson. And then I ended up going to like maybe 15 or 16 certs. Because we did all the ones for the SEALs -we did it with the SEALs until the SEALs basically kicked CrossFit out. That’s a whole different story.
So and Glassman was at every one of them. We had a blast man. Good guy. It was early days. We had a CrossFit affiliate – us CrossFit – we were like number 400 or something like that. And that lasted until last year, right Geoff? Or like a year and a half ago we shut it down. We were right downtown, Encinitas. And the city basically wouldn’t let us workout outside any longer…
Rasmus: Zoning and stuff like that…?
Mark: The noise and also parking was a big issue. We had a really cool compound – it kind of looked like a little mini buds – so it was all enclosed without a roof. But the inside was meant to be a parking lot. We used it for training.
And then someone complained about the noise which is really from our SEALFIT program, because we would do log PT and make a lot of military sounding noise. Some people in the town didn’t like that.
Rasmus: They don’t like that…
Mark: And so when the city started coming down and looking at it they’re like “hey, you can’t use those parking spots for training.” we’re like “well, we don’t need them for parking.” they said it doesn’t matter.
So they tried to squeeze us back into our 900 square foot box and…
Rasmus: Couldn’t happen…
Mark: And we cut it there. But so I’m a big believer in CrossFit. It’s got some hair on it in terms of the way it’s evolved. And I think it’d be fun to talk about that. Because not everyone really sees it from the competitive perspective. They might see it from the affiliate perspective, or like the older athlete getting hurt perspective… You know, there’s all sorts of different ways that people see CrossFit, which I think is fascinating.
So as a competitive athlete, what has been like the best parts of CrossFit? What has CrossFit brought to you guys in your life? And how has it changed things for you?
Lauren: I think CrossFit has brought like so many different aspects of my life. I think one of the biggest things that I’m extremely grateful for is that I get to travel all over the world through CrossFit.
Mark: As a competitor?
Lauren: As a competitor. I don’t think I would have been able to travel to so many countries like if I hadn’t done CrossFit. And like I just recently competed in Dubai. The Dubai Fitness Championship.
We’re now going to Asia to compete in China.
Mark: These are all independently organized competitions that bring CrossFitters to compete?
Mark: And do they pay travel? Or how do you afford that? What’s the financial stuff going on there?
Lauren: Going to Dubai I paid that out of my own pocket, but it’s pretty good prize money. They pay all the way down to last place. I think it’s $1,000 so that basically covers your flights…
Mark: Last place gets a thousand bucks?
Lauren: Yeah, last place gets a thousand dollars. So if you can qualify and then even out of the qualifier they pay five hundred dollars if you can make it on to the main competition. So already you’re $1,500 in to help cover for a flight… Hotel.
And then it’s kind of my own way to figure out how I’m gonna make the rest of my money, but they pay out pretty well so that’s how I’m able to pay out travel to Dubai. Asia we’re kind of paying a little bit out of our own pocket.
It’s really hard these days to find like sponsors to help cover travel expenses. I know a lot of people think that we get a lot of things paid for because we’re a sponsored. But it’s actually a little bit harder than people think. So usually we try to go in it with confidence knowing that we’re gonna win because some of the competitions do pay out pretty well.
Mark: How many athletes do you guys think are actually making a living from CrossFit? Cause it’s still pretty immature as a sport, right?
Rasmus: I was going to follow up without and be like, CrossFit is still like a sport where like – some people now make money off of it – but it’s still so early stages. Like, it’s unfortunately still a really tough spot to be in, because like you got to spend the time to be at the top of the world. Like, if you really want to compete with the best of the best, you’ve got to spend the time. As anyone else would do with a full-time job or a full-time athlete any other sport.
But unfortunately payouts are just not going very far down the leaderboard right it’s either the top of the top that gets paid really well. Or if you manage to pull off – nowadays – a good social following. And then you be able to pull off the good sponsorships.
But in terms of a straight number I don’t know what I can say, but the top five definitely get paid okay at CrossFit Games. But after that, it’s a little bit of hit and miss between who gets paid well…
Mark: What are the payouts now at the CrossFit Games? Remember it’s like 25 grand when I…
Rasmus: It’s gone up a little bit since then.
Lauren: First place gets $275 grand, but if you place last at the CrossFit Games, you actually don’t make any money. They only pay the top 20. And I think 20th place gets maybe $1000. So actually some of these other competitions are paying pretty well. Like we went to WODapalooza recently and they pay 25,000 to the first-place winner. So just depends what competition you choose to go to.
Rasmus yeah but again, you’re saying that but like obviously with that higher price money obviously the best athletes are going to that competition right? So then you only take again only the top of the top at the CrossFit Games. They typically go to these well-paying competitions and typically win them right? So then it leaves again like that gap between the best in the world and then right below them. It’s quite a big gap actually.
Mark: Is there any activity going on with that initiative the national fitness – NFPL?
Rasmus: I think unfortunately it died-off. I was actually part of that. I was one of the very first combined…
Mark: I knew tony budding went from CrossFit, and he was launching a team or a league actually. I think he was behind the league, wasn’t he? That didn’t make it, huh?
Rasmus: It was a great concept. I really believed in the concept. I thought it was really fun to actually… My personal opinion… Fun to watch two teams go head-to-head. And I think they had some mistakes in their way. In terms of the finance and business model, but I mean that the concept was good.
Mark: So because I haven’t been following it – and I know how many of our listeners have – what’s the format now for the CrossFit Games? A few years ago they had regionals – you know, they had the open and the regionals. And then they took the top 20 from each region. Well, no the top two or something like that….
Rasmus: Well, it depends. Like it would depend what region you’re in and they also changed that. So back in the day, they only took three from each region. Top forty qualified from the open to regionals. And then depending on what regionals you go to – some of the places take a little bit more people, some of them are taking a little bit less people – and then from there top three would qualify to the CrossFit Games.
And then they changed the format to the super regionals where like they combined the regionals basically and had fewer of regionals. And then they took five from each regional to go to the CrossFit Games.
And then this year yeah they completely took everything and threw it out.
Mark: They did away with the regionals…
Rasmus: Say again?
Mark: Did they do away with the regionals?
Rasmus: Yeah. So like what they did was they took the regionals and completely threw it out of the window. And like scratched it. It no longer exists.
And then they take the open as a qualifier for the CrossFit Games. So the winner of each country – assuming they have a registered affiliate in that country – will then go to the CrossFit Games. And then top 20 in the world from the CrossFit Games open will go straight to the CrossFit Games.
Mark: Interesting. So what does that mean for you how do you think that’s gonna affect your guys’ stature and being able to go to the Games.
Rasmus: Obviously change quite a bit, because it depends, suddenly, on like where you’re from. And I have a Danish passport meaning that I compete against the people of DenMark: Even though I live in the US.
Mark: Oh really? That’s interesting.
Rasmus: Yeah, it is. A guy from the gym he’s actually from… Is it Luxembourg he’s from? Like and there’s not that many CrossFitters in Luxembourg. And no offense here.
Mark: (laughing) a population of 20, right?
Rasmus: Yeah. And he’s pretty damn fit. Like he ended up being the fittest in Luxembourg. And never really been to the CrossFit Games before, but he actually qualified. So I think they’re trying incentivize people to kind of bring back this…
Mark: More of an international flavor…?
Rasmus: Yeah. Like where CrossFit started was like more of a community thing. And I think they want to bring to CrossFit Games back to that a little bit of like “let’s have a community.” rather than just the elite.
So now it’s gonna be like more of a community. Maybe I should say also like so they have the open – but then there are also these sixteen Sanctional events. One of them we’ll actually going to tomorrow – to China to compete as a Sanctional event and the winner of these 16 events will actually also qualify for the CrossFit Games.
Mark: Oh, so they’re gonna bless external events as qualifying events. That’s interesting, because I was gonna say as a follow-up that when the Games kind of like took off and they started to be a sport of fitness it was really – things started to change quite a bit. Because originally it was about the affiliate base, and about building community and you know fitness being a way to bring people together and to have kind of a lifetime of health and fitness.
And Coach Glassman is really into lifetime health and fitness. But then all of a sudden you had almost like this split of the community, right? To those who are doing uber-competing and trying to go down that road to regionals and the Games. And then everyone else who’s just trying to have lifetime fitness.
It almost created two companies or two… Like a sub-brand. And Reebok came in and influenced that.
Are they trying to bring that together or rectify some of that, you think?
Rasmus: We don’t really know, to be honest. Like I think that’s one of those things where… Why did this happen? I think that rumors are flying around. Was it because they want to cut money? I guess save money.
Or do you want to do they want to just restructure it? Like, bring it back to the community. No one really knows the actual reason, I think, behind this.
But yeah like it seems like they just want to bring it more back to the roots of where it started…
Mark: But it hasn’t affected your motivation to train and just keep going for it, has it?
Lauren: I don’t think it’s affected us too much. I mean going into the year though, is a little bit unknown for us. Like, usually we compete individually every single year. So we’re always so used to peaking kind of at the open then peaking more at regional so we qualify for the Games.
And now this year it’s completely different. One of the first Sanctional competitions wasn’t… Mark: You got a peak all year long now, right? Pretty much?
Lauren: It depends though you can actually pick and choose which competition you want to peak for. And so our competition was in December. In Dubai, we competed on a team and we kind of just did it for fun. And then our team ended up taking first place, the first Sanctional competition. So we were the first team to qualify for the CrossFit Games in December. And so now it’s like we don’t have to compete until august.
So basically you could kind of almost take an off-season after December for a little bit. And then get back into training. So it has its pros and cons.
Mark: Right. I could see that. But you made a statement earlier Lauren – this is full-time right? Like when you’re training for the Games or you want to be an athlete at this level – there’s not a whole lot of room for anything else is there?
Lauren: No, it’s a full-time job I mean we train from like 9:00 to 11:00 in the morning for one session and then kind of take a little bit of a break. And then we train again from 1:00 to 3:00 so two sessions a day. And then around Games time we’re probably up at 3 sessions a day.
And that’s not even including like warm-up and cool-down. So we probably can spend anywhere from like four hours to six hours on the extreme end. But then you’re almost at like an eight-hour work day.
And then on top of that like we’re trying to grow our own business. And then trying to fit time in for like just normal day stuff. There really is no… Like, we’re constantly going every single day.
Rasmus: Yeah, I think what people don’t think… Like, one thing is the time you spend in a gym right and oh it sounds like they go to the gym twice a day,” whatever… And then some people think that it’s a lot but some people are like “okay, actually, I thought they went to the gym more than that.”
But you got to have to put in a fact as well is like, you’re right and we go to the gym twice a day. And spend like whatever four to six hours a day. But then like that really also… Everything else takes so much time. Like, just cooking the right food, making sure you sleep the right time. Trying not to be stressed so you don’t like mess up your and cortisone level. Just try to be in the right place for everything you do. There’s just body work – there’s a million things going into it. More than that most people think and that’s been one of the… To be honest, like fitting and training is still easy for us even with like trying to grow the business.
But what has been really hard is getting all the smaller pieces put together. Like just get the right amount of sleep…
Mark: Nutrition, sleep and recovery. You can easily burn out if you don’t do that.
Rasmus: Yeah. That’s been really hard. And that’s obviously a big factor in terms of like how you performs actually pays out.
Mark: For sure. Those small details.
Mark: Let’s talk about training… You know, this podcast has a pretty broad scope of individuals and most everyone is fit and training. But not everyone competes at your level. Or probably a very small percentage.
So can you run me through – both of you – like, what does your training plan look like on an average day. I know it’s going to change different times of the year, but what does that look like? Because you’re not like banging out WODS for six hours. There’s a lot of skill development, right? And there’s a lot of mobility work and myofascial work probably.
I mean I’m thinking about my own training days. There’s a lot of other things that go on to keep that body developing and also balanced.
Lauren: I think we go in so our first session’s from nine to eleven. And you go in and probably… Well me – I spend about thirty minutes warming up, and so I do a lot of like mobility work, just kind of opening up my hips, my shoulders. And then maybe spend about like 10 minutes like just getting some blood flow in. Light rowing, light biking, light running – just to kind of feel good and just get my body moving and then I’ll get started with my session.
Mark: We have this saying “your warmup is our workout.” pretty much everyone’s thinking “well, that’s my workout.”
Lauren: Yeah. So 30 minutes like warming up. And then get started. First session’s more cardio-based, so usually we don’t need too long of a warm-up, because we’ll do like biking or rowing or running with maybe some gymnastic skill work built in. So we’ll do running intervals and maybe combined with like ring muscle-ups, or bar muscle-ups. Just some accessory gymnastics.
And then for the afternoon session, we’ll spend more time lifting so just getting the body warm for lifting. So we’ll do like back squats or front squats. Clean and jerk, snatch so probably do about two lifts, so maybe one day we’ll do back squats and snatches. And then we’ll do a METCON, so we’ll do maybe something a little bit shorter, because in the morning we spent about probably like 30 minutes or so doing something a little bit longer. And so the afternoon will be like more of a sprint type workout and then we’ll spend time…
Mark: Like a 12-minute AMRAP or something?
Lauren: Yeah, something like that. Or like sprint intervals. And then we’ll spend maybe like 30 minutes doing accessory work after that. So more like functional body building type accessories… So dumbbell rows, rehab just things you probably wouldn’t spend time doing on your own.
Mark: Right. What about durability work? Like foam-rolling and stretching, yoga… Do you have time for that? Maybe down days?
Lauren: I love to stretch after I workout. So maybe when I’m done with the session, we’ll spend time stretching. I know Rasmus loves to do a little bit more stretching than I.
Rasmus: Yeah it’s one of those things like… It’s kind of sad, but when you run short in time, what do you prioritize? What can you cut out, right? And that’s typically – and it’s probably a mistake right like because a lot of people don’t really realize how important it is – but that is sadly one of those things that get cut out first. With that being said we are definitely prioritizing and when we talk about like peaking for CrossFit Games… Typically on Thursdays we are doing some either yoga – we actually have yoga at our place where we live, so we try to make that yoga class.
Love that. Like love anything that that kind of like brings an aspect of training to it. But in a different way.
Mark: Yeah, yeah. Slows you down, but you’re still moving your body.
Rasmus: Yeah, exactly. And actually sometimes it brings really good body awareness. And you do stuff you don’t usually do. Like you tend to get really strong mostly core muscles, but like actually in like smaller stabilizer or smaller muscles we don’t really realize that we’re sometimes missing out on. And by doing yoga, Pilates, whatever like they are actually kind of sometime highlighting those things. And you realize and you learn from that.
Mark: Most people have like a few things they’re really good at. And then a couple things that they suck at. And you’re always working on things you suck at so what are the things you guys are good at? And what other things you suck at – or you think you suck at but everyone else probably thinks you’re good at?
I hate and I suck at rowing. Like so we had the half marathon row at games this past year and that was the most brutal thing. And like I did not look forward to that. But like I knew obviously needed to be mentally tough going in. Like you can’t think like “oh wow, this is gonna be two and a half hours in a row. I’m gonna suck at this.”
Like you have to go in with that mindset like “yeah, I’m gonna be good at this. Like, I’m gonna actually do okay.”
And so my favorite isn’t rowing, and then what I really love is I love heavy lifting and workout – so I love when we have like heavy cleans, heavy deadlifts – I’m actually one of the smaller girls – so you’d be surprised that I’d say that I love heavy lifting and workout. But usually when I’m under fatigue and when others are under fatigue I feel like that’s when I lift my best.
Mark: You were on the US team, weren’t you?
Lauren: Yeah, I was on the junior team USA for weightlifting. So I was the USAW junior national weightlifting champion back in 2014. And I also went on to compete at junior worlds and I took 10th place overall. So pretty cool things.
Mark: Yeah. What’s your favorite lift?
Lauren: Clean-and-jerk. I love clean-and-jerk. But snatch is just so technical and it’s almost one of those lifts it’s like one day could be really good and then another day it’s like “what happened?” like you can’t even lift the same weight you used to.
And clean-and-jerk I just feel like I can always get under clean and I can always jerk it so I love clean-and-jerk…
Mark: What’s your PR for clean-and-jerk?
Lauren: I actually just PRed for the first time in five years. 243 pounds.
Mark: That’s good.
Lauren: PRed by one pound, but I’ll take it.
Mark: (laughing) you beat me by a few pounds. That’s impressive.
Mark: How about you? What are you good at and what do you suck at?
Rasmus: Well, for the guys listening, not watching this, I’m one of the bigger guys. I got a little bit of a weight to me. I’m 215 to 220 pounds at the moment.
So with that, naturally, I don’t like body weight stuff. Burpees. Anything that involves me moving my body weight tend to be one of those things that I don’t like.
But funny enough, it’s actually one of those things that I also tend to be good at. Like certain gymnastic movements, for some reason, I actually tend to do pretty well when they actually come up. But yeah gymnastics – anything when I move my body weight tend to be one of things I don’t like so much.
And then on the opposite, obviously, I also like some lifting. Heavier lifting.
Mark: What’s your favorite lift?
Rasmus: I got the snatch. So I got the opposite of her.
Mark: And what’s your PR for that?
Mark: That’s awesome. Very cool.
So let’s shift focus to talk about how you fuel yourselves, cause that’s a big deal. What does that…? Do you guys follow the zone diet or…?
Lauren: So I do macros. So I weigh and measure my food. But again, I like to be really balanced with my diet as well. So on the weekends I don’t weigh and measure my food but during my training week I try to eat around 165 grams of protein, 400 grams of carbs, and 65 grams of fat.
Mark: And tell us what your preferred sources are for those three categories.
Lauren: My preferred sources are whole healthy foods. So I love eating like chicken or steak. Rice. Sweet potatoes. Oatmeal’s my go to in the morning with eggs. Get in fruits, veggies – so whole foods. And I try to stay away from processed sugars and try to stay away from dairy – my body doesn’t react to it too well. So yeah.
Rasmus: I mean personally I’ve tried so many different things. Like I always love just trying out things and see what happens. And also like just being my younger days I was overweight and just kind of like try to find what worked for me.
And I’ve been like all over. Paleo, zone, keto. I’ve tried intermittent fasting. I’ve really tried everything that kind of come about.
But for me honestly macros as well. Like I started working with someone like a few years back and it sounds silly…
Mark: That’s just a way of eating?
Rasmus: Yeah everyone talks about macros nowadays, but what macros is like macronutrients. Like so basically you get a set amount of numbers for carbs, protein and fat that you’re trying to hit for the day.
Mark: How is that different than zone? Is zone just a different way of measuring?
Rasmus: Yeah, at the end of the day, it actually comes out to something similar. I think the zones they’re working little more. It really is the same type because the zone structure would have one block and right. Is a certain amount of…?
Mark: Yeah, those three categories, blocks…
Rasmus: Exactly. So it really is very similar. I think macros just for us like what we’re really focusing on is like just hitting those three numbers by the end of the day. And however you want to hit them – with certain things, keeping that in mind – like it has to be decent food obviously but like you can be a little bit more flexible. You can be like… You can have that ice cream once in a while, but obviously you’re gonna have to cut down on other things.
And you have to be smart – like so Easter Sunday like we went out to a family for Easter we actually had like a cinnamon roll in the morning, and then like then obviously you know that the rest of the day you’re gonna have to cut back a little bit on the carbs and fat.
Mark: Oh that’s cool. So most people would be excited to hear that you can eat cinnamon rolls, but you just have to dial it back in, right? So it’s the quantity and quality.
Rasmus: It is. And I think it’s finding the balance, right? Because some people they can work the whole year round and just be super-strict. And I think from Lauren and I we found that we can’t do that. We tend to fall off if we try to do to year-round. We just hit a hit a plateau where we just can’t keep doing it. So for us it’s finding that balance where in the offseason we stay – like finding that good line where you stay healthy and in moderation and we have quality and quantity.
But we’re going to do it in a good way but we can we can keep up with it. And then we’ll be going into the real season – like trying to peak – then we really try and step up the game and be more important with everything.
Mark: What’s your favorite or go-to resource in terms of like a book or website or a person for nutritional knowledge? To help you design your meal plans and whatnot?
Lauren: Well I started working with this girl who’s training at the gym with me. And she’s actually my training partner and good friend – Jen Ryan. And I think she’s a great source for anything nutrition related. She’s also a registered nurse and she has her own nutrition program. So she’s been a great resource for us to like just reach out and be like “hey, Jen.” or she’s just literally I’m training with her every single day and I’ll just be like “Jen, hey I’m feeling a little bit tired. Like should I up my food a little bit?” and she’ll tell me exactly what I need to be taking.
So she understands as an athlete how much like we should be eating every single day. So I really enjoy working with her.
Rasmus: Yeah. Same for me.
Mark: What about macros? Is there a book on the subject? Is that a specific diet you know…? Is there something like a Rob Wolff for the macro world?
Rasmus: We actually we haven’t really dived… We’ve always been working with nutritionists, so we’ve always been more one-on-one from the person for us.
But for us like… Yeah in the industry that’s just out there… But I really want to say about the macros, always want to add to it, it’s like that for me like I’ve tried all these different meal plans – I won’t call them diets – but like I tried all these different things. And for me like counting my food actually what taught me the most. Like you learn so much from trying to start weighing your food. And looking at labels. I think people will be surprised how much – typically fat – you find in certain foods that you didn’t really know. And then if you’re saying like I’m eating around 90 grams of fat a day if you find something that that has like 10 15 grams of fat just from like one serving, and you typically do a few servings a day, then it adds up really quick.
So for me like the macro’s trying to count my food really just taught me a bunch that I didn’t really know before. And brought awareness to a bunch of food.
Mark: Right. Measures, progresses. You can improve it. So that’s really cool.
And sleep? How is that working out for you?
Lauren: We try to get around eight to nine hours of sleep every night. I think anything under eight hours, I just don’t feel good with my training. I guess I kind of get a little mental with things, and if I get under 8 hours and I’m just like “I’m tired today.” and I think it’s more of a mental thing, but I think 9 hours is like the golden time.
Mark: Well, the amount of exertion you guys are putting on your body, you gotta have the recovery time.
Rasmus: It’s quite noticeable actually. Actually, what’s really interesting, we had that – we don’t have it on right now – we had a WHOOP watch. They have this watch that you put around your wrist and it tracks like how well you recover basically.
And it was actually interesting. Without looking at that watch – when we sleep only seven hours or whatever – I’m saying “only,” but for a lot of people, 7 hours is actually quite a bit probably.
But for us, if we only sleep seven hours, we could kind of tell, just when we wake up that “hey I’m not just not feeling recovered.” and then when you look at that WHOOP watch, and actually saw it gave you a very low number, saying that you haven’t really recovered. Mark: Does it track the sleep cycles? Show you which cycle you’re in?
Rasmus: It does, yeah.
Mark: Gotta check that out. WHOOP watch.
Rasmus: Not associated with anything…
Mark: I’ve got the Fenix Garmin. I don’t think it has that kind of fidelity.
Rasmus: Specifically what it’s made for is lacking in other things. Like in terms of showing time and stuff like that.
Mark: (laughing) Doesn’t tell time?
Rasmus: No. It’s a WHOOP watch, but it doesn’t even have a clock. It is kind of funny. It’s a great thing, thought. We liked it when we used it.
What about…. So what’s your training cycle during a week? Like CrossFit is 3 on, 1 off, do you follow that, or do you train every single day?
Lauren: I don’t think we’d be able to sustain the level of training if we trained every single day. But we train three days a week, so Monday through Wednesday, and then Thursday is more like an active recovery day. So I like to go swimming in the pool just because I need to work on my swimming. So I swim for about an hour.
And then Friday, Saturday two days on and then Sunday’s a full rest day. And I catch up on anything we need to do before the rest the start of the week.
Rasmus: I think again that’s one of those things that’s like a little misunderstood that like people see Rich Froning and Mat Fraser… And there are certain people in this world that can work out almost every single day. And even that is probably… Like now with social media they could really get a skewed picture of what like they’re actually doing right?
Mark: They might be doing a little skill development like on a down day.
Rasmus: Yeah. And I think people don’t really realize that.
I think that the volume that CrossFit has like completely gone out of the roof. Like people train way too much. Like, rather than actually looking at “hey, how can we improve?” we just talked about nutrition and sleep. I think a lot of people just like don’t even worry about that. All they care about is like volume in training.
But higher volume intensity too pretty much always tend to go down. So – in my opinion -you want to find that balance where you get like you can keep that high, sustain the high intensity you want. The good quality. Still focus on other things in your life like sleep and nutrition and recovery and everything… And then obviously get good volume in. But like not in crazy high amounts. Quality over quantity sometimes when it comes to that.
Mark: Right. What does CrossFit do…? Or some these competitions do to screen out substance abuse? Like steroids and whatnot?
Cause it’s definitely happened in the past. I mean I’ve observed a few people change too dramatically, too quickly.
Lauren: We get drug tested, or the podium gets drug tested every competition now.
Mark: Is that right now? Okay, good.
Lauren: So top three or depending top five get drug tested at the end of the competition. And then they also do random drug testing as well. I know one time two years ago I went to WODapalooza to compete individually, by myself, and then CrossFit drug testing texted me and were like “hey, we’re here in Miami. We’re gonna drug test you tomorrow morning.” so they randomly do drug test us all the time. So I really do think they’re trying to make an effort.
Rasmus: Yeah I mean we fill out whereabouts. So we have whereabouts quarterly, whereabouts where we’re going to be for the next three months. So there’s that.
Lauren was saying the Sanctional events – typically all the Sanctional events I know at least they are testing the winners, who’s going to qualify for the CrossFit Games. And then obviously at the CrossFit Games there’s random testing as well. Asset podium and everything.
So they’re definitely stepping up the game. Could it get better? Yeah, probably could. And it probably will. I think it’s slowly getting there.
But it’s like any other sport. It’s like there’s the money involved, so as you were saying – you’ll see it and you probably still see it.
They catch people once in a while. Like every single year at the CrossFit Games they catch a few people. Masters and individuals and stuff like that. So it happens, yeah.
Let’s shift focus and talk about mental side. Do you guys have any specific training or practices for the mental game?
Lauren: Funny enough, I actually used to work with a mental coach. And he actually used to work with tiger woods back in the day. Like when tiger was really young. And so I would go to his home and then we would kind of just talk about my training. And we would do visualizations. So I would tell him about my competition coming up, and then basically he would help me visualize for whatever competition… Like whatever type of training was going to be coming up, like, I was prepared and so I kind of took that away from him.
I moved to Dubai with him last year and then we moved back to San Diego, but I wasn’t able to do that anymore.
So just the lessons I learned – I know how to like mentally prepare myself before a competition and I think visualization is so underrated. And is one of the biggest things that I use and so I love just preparing myself mentally. Because I feel like almost any workout is 80% mental and 20% physical. Like how are you gonna push yourself into that dark place and I think just a lot of positive imagery and just kind of visualizing yourself doing the best that you can.
So that’s what I like doing.
Mark: So what would your – Lauren – you’re like pre-… What I would call your pre-event ritual – like when you’re getting ready half an hour before the event starts, what does that look like for you?
Lauren: I love to put my headphones on and usually I’ll listen to one of my old visualizations. And I’ll kind of just lay down for 10 minutes with my headphones on and listen to this visualization. And just kind of imagine myself like being in my own little bubble. Not like worrying about anyone else. And just kind of seeing myself going through the steps of each workout.
So if it had like rowing handstand push-ups and pull-ups, then I would imagine myself like “what pace am I gonna hold on the rower?” then like “how am I gonna break on my pull-ups?”
Mark: So would that be like first-person perspective? You’re seeing yourself on the rower, looking at the display?
Lauren: Looking at the rower.
Mark: So second person would be looking at the rower and there’s Lauren rowing. That’s one way to do it.
The other is “I’m on the rower and I’m looking at the display.”
Lauren: Yeah, so I would imagine that I’m on the rower.
Mark: Okay, good.
Lauren: Doing it and like I’m doing the pull-ups. Just imagining how it’s feeling. Like how I’m gonna be breathing during the workout. Like maybe I might even imagine myself straying off a little bit, looking at someone else and like pulling myself back into that workout. So that’s something maybe I do like just for 10 minutes just kind of visualizing exactly how I want to approach the workout.
And then after that I’ll put my favorite tunes on – Spotify playlist – and then I’ll just kind of get myself pumped up and start like warming up and doing all my mobility and activation drills. And then whatever the workout may be, I’ll prepare myself for those movements. And then, yeah, go.
Mark: Okay, so when you hear three, two, one, go – what’s going through your mind?
Lauren: Like people think that we don’t get nervous anymore, but I still get nervous. Like that 3, 2, 1, go – your heart’s just like pounding.
Mark: Yeah, it’s just like a real spike isn’t it?
Lauren: Yeah, it’s like a real spike of adrenaline, but as soon as like 3, 2, 1, go it’s just like it’s all released and you just can go and not worry about anything else. But right before a workout like usually I’m getting nervous and just thinking like calm my heart rate, calm my breathing, because I really don’t want to be like hyperventilating right before a workout. So I think one of the biggest things is I’m trying to just calm myself down. And just breathe, and stay focused – in my own lane.
Mark: Do you have a breath practice that you work on every day? Or just…?
Lauren: No. I wish that I had… Like that’s one of the things I want to start getting into is breath practice. I know that can be so huge – and again, another underrated aspect of training that we don’t necessarily do so often. So, that’s one of the things I want to start doing is learning more about breathwork and how I can incorporate that into my training.
Mark: Good. That’s a big part of our training for the SpecOps candidates. Breath and visualization. And also what we call mental control. Internal dialogue work.
And also attention control. Like being able to keep bringing your focus back – which it sounds like you’re pretty good at. I think most CrossFitters are good at – because you really have to say be so radically focused on that one movement. Because you’re moving load fast. It’s dangerous and people get hurt, when they lose focus.
How about you Rasmus? In terms of your mental game?
Rasmus first time I would say it’s really interesting to talk about that? Especially as a CrossFitter, because I think CrossFit, like Lauren was saying, like 80/20. And I really believe that CrossFit is much more than your physical capabilities. Like, how fit are you?
Yeah that’s important when you train with your body.
Mark: But everyone’s at elite level eventually in this sport.
Rasmus: Exactly. And I really think… It really comes down to a lot of times it’s really how well… How tough are you? How well are you actually able to push and actually tap into what you’re actually capable of? Because most people are way more capable of doing a lot more than they usually do.
It’s just a matter of how to tap into that next level? How do we do that? And how do we tap into the brain and allow ourselves to actually push past what we think we’re capable of?
I think it’s really interesting to talk about. I think CrossFit is one of the few sports that really does that well. Practice that really well, because you kind of have to. And that’s how you become one of the best in the world, is by being able to really… Obviously being physically fit… But also being able to really push yourself and take that next step.
Mark: Yeah, I would have to agree. I mean most people – not all – but most people come through our 50 hour Kokoro camp are CrossFitters who really are looking for the mental skills. And the emotional skills. So that they can keep competing and stay in the game over the long haul.
And that’s kind of the juice that we teach. You know, that’s our expertise.
Rasmus: Super-interesting. But it’s also one of those things that’s really hard to teach and really just hard to like… The studies have been done on this, but like it’s really hard to actually read about studies in this. Because it’s not really…
Mark: It’s difficult to track.
Rasmus: Exactly right. And it’s one of those things really hard to even practice. And a lot of people might be skeptical of it, but like in my personal opinion… Just talking about visualization – like I’ve done that personally since I used to do motor sport much younger. So for me like visualization started at a very young age, and I’ve been doing that, like literally, like every single night before the race.
And I still do that. I think is very powerful. For me personally like I start my competition – pre-competition – start that a few days prior to the actual competition. I tend to have a really busy life at the moment, but when we have a competition – like coming up actually this weekend in China – I will probably… Wednesday, I will be like just trying to put everything aside. I’ll have done all my work for the following week. Put it aside to completely try to finally like take some… We talk about breathing… Try some taking some deep breaths and really just enjoy life again.
And just it sounds like it’s a bad thing. But like…
Mark: Throttle back the training. You’ve done the training now it’s time to just relax.
Rasmus: Exactly. So try do that. Then visualizing… I always visualize events…
Mark: Do you always have the workouts these days? Like at the CrossFit Games, they don’t reveal the workouts.
Mark: So when you’re visualizing a workout that you don’t know, are you just guessing? Or are you just visualizing all the different skills?
Rasmus: Obviously, you can’t visualize something if you don’t know what it’s going to be, right? So for CrossFit Games I would say like half the events are going to be known ahead of time. At least one third it’s gonna be known ahead of time. And then the rest of them are going to be like typically the day before.
So just take the event in China. We know we have six events in this coming weekend and we know four of them by now. So two of them are still unknown, and I’m assuming those are gonna be released over the next few days.
Mark: Okay. Interesting.
What about your wake up routine and your go to bed routine? Morning and evening rituals? What do they look like? Do you have an established ritual?
Rasmus: Lauren’s the strict one here.
Lauren: I think lately it’s been really hard for us to get into like a morning and night routine, just because we’ve been traveling so much lately…
Mark: That throws things such a curve, doesn’t it?
Lauren: It throws things so off, and I’m always just like “I want to get back into our routine. I want to do this every single night. I want to do this every single morning.” but since we just got back from Mexico for a fitness retreat, and then I was in Las Vegas for my best friend’s bachelorette, and now we’re going to China. And then he has rogue invitational after that.
So it’s just been like one thing after the next. So it’s been really hard for us to dial into that routine, but like when I’m actually getting into my morning and night routine… Like, I love to get up at 7 a.m. And I love to just wake up and I write in a gratitude journal. So I like to just write everything that I’m grateful for, for the day.
And then I start making breakfast. So usually I’m the one making breakfast and then maybe he’s the one sleeping a little bit more. But then I make my same like eggs and oatmeal every single morning, right before training. It doesn’t really change much except maybe the veggies or the fruit that I add in to my oatmeal.
Mark: Do you drink coffee?
Lauren: I don’t drink coffee. So I drink green tea. I just never really gotten into the taste of coffee. And I know I all the coffee drinkers are like “you’re crazy.” but I don’t know, I just never really felt the need to drink coffee. And I really love tea.
So I drink green tea in the morning. And just kind of eat my breakfast and just relax a little bit before training. Maybe catch up on a few emails and work-related things. And then we’ll head over to training at 9:00 a.m. And then start my warm-up and start my day from there.
And then I don’t know Russ if you want to go over your morning?
Rasmus: Nope. It’s just obviously somewhat similar. I think we would try to… If you talk a little bit more the night routine, as well, we try to… In an ideal world, and we are trying – just not always accomplishing this – but we’re trying to like cut off TV and phones a little bit earlier. Blue-blocker glasses.
And something we tried a little bit more lately, but like trying to get like away from harsh light, like the white light…
Mark: Blackout your room. You try to really sanitize your room from lights and electronics. That’s smart.
Rasmus: Diving even further – we’re trying to really go into the EMF radiation. Now try to cut down on that. Not just for being an athlete in terms of that, but also just for health in general. We’re trying to do that.
And I think health and being an athlete obviously go hand in hand. So trying to do that and so basically trying to get away from the phone, and computers, and TVs. And more of that like blue/white light. We’re trying to get away from that.
And just more of a nicer orange/yellow light at night. And we try to do that by 7 o’clock. Try to see if you can switch over that.
And then hopefully by 9 or something, turn all the devices off, so to speak. And then try to be in bed by 10:00. That’s kind of like where we want to be sleeping by 10:00. And then wake up by 7:00.
Mark: Yeah that sounds about right. Um… I had a question in my mind and it’s danced out… Oh do you guys drink any alcohol, ever? Like enjoy a glass of wine together or something like that?
Lauren: We do drink alcohol every now and then. But we’re not crazy alcohol drinkers. Like…
Mark: Don’t do the paleo martini, or paleo margarita?
Lauren: No, we don’t crave like a cocktail or anything. But it is nice every now and then when we go out with friends to like enjoy a glass of wine. Or margarita.
Mark: I just wanted to see how much of a purist you are. I like that. That’s good.
Rasmus: Well talk about the benefit of being to athletes living together right? Because if you live with someone else, you’d probably fall into the category of where you once in a while would do that.
And it wouldn’t hurt either. It’s just that for us… I don’t personally drink beers and like I’ve never really gone in… We’ve had little bit of a different upbringing probably than most people in terms like going out to party and all that stuff. So for me – and for Lauren as well – we just never really had that in our… We’ve never really done that. And for us this it’s just not really something that we need to do. Feel like we need to have a drink of anything.
That being said, whenever we go out… If we do go out for a nice dinner we will definitely have a glass of wine. But that’s pretty much it, right?
And then obviously there is like… Lauren was talking about the bachelorette party the other week. There’s gonna be once or twice a year…
Mark: Once in a while thing.
Rasmus: Yeah, there’s gonna be once twice a year, whatever it might be that you go out to like something where alcohol is gonna be served.
Mark: Right. That’s great.
Mark: So your business is Grown Strong. And it sounds like Lauren you have a passion for helping other women find their strength.
So tell us about the business. How did you start it? Why did you start it? Where are you going with it?
Lauren: I actually started Grown Strong about five years ago. I originally started it just because I wanted to come out with a Lauren fisher t-shirt for regionals to kind of help support money for my own road to regionals. And at the moment I was like “Lauren Fisher isn’t gonna be an everlasting brand. Like it’s only gonna be a one-time thing.”
And I felt like growing strong really stuck to me because I grew up with three older brothers and everything constantly in the household was always super competitive. And they were pushing me around and nothing was ever easy.
I always like to tell a story – like back in the day I was playing basketball with my brothers outside and my brothers pushed me into the bushes. I was like eight years old and like I was with a group of boys. And like I went inside to my mom and I started crying and I was like “mom, they pushed me in the bushes.”
And she was like “well, you either need to stop crying and you can go out there and play with the boys. Or you can stay in here and continue crying with me.” And so I decided to wipe off my tears and I went out with my brothers and started playing again.
And I feel like just those moments really helped me become Grown Strong. And so that’s why I created this brand, is I want to help empower other women to be Grown Strong as well.
And it doesn’t necessarily have to be any obstacles you’re going through in the gym. Like it can be obstacles they’re struggling with in their daily life. And so, right now I sell apparel through growing strong, but we’re currently about to launch a fitness program targeted towards women.
I feel like nowadays there’s so much going on with just everyone needs to have a bigger butt or like better abs. And I feel like I really want to target women that they can be strong and confident and healthy in their bodies. And so with Grown Strong that’s going to really help them in all aspects of life. So we’re really excited about the future…
Mark: And you’re helping out with the business, Rasmus?
Rasmus: Yeah, I’m doing all the work and she’s just collecting all the fame right now. No. It’s definitely a passion both of us have.
For me, we obviously did CrossFit before, and that’s been our main thing. Legally I’m not allowed to work in the US.
Mark: You are? Or you’re not?
Rasmus: No, I’m not. I’m still a Danish citizen and stuff like that. But with that being said, being an athlete…
Mark: There’s a way to solve that by the way.
Rasmus: (laughing) There is a way to solve that. That might be another podcast. But no, so I haven’t had time to do any work to be honest. It’s not that I wanted to have work… I haven’t needed it anyway.
And then this Grown Strong just seemed to be a passion that I’ve been wanting to influence life as well. Whether it’s through one-on-one coaching, I’ve done that in the past, and it’s fine, but I really want to take that to a different scale. I would really like to do that in a much bigger way.
And the way for me to do that is through something like this, where I can do something like an online fitness program and help multiple – hopefully thousands of people, right? And down the road definitely want to open up some like… Not CrossFit gyms, necessarily, but some fitness gym and maybe start franchising. Whatever it may be.
But really start impacting more lives in a way that’s helped me. Like, fitness has done so many things for me, it would be awesome to kind of do that for other people.
Mark: Pay it forward.
Mark: So you’re gonna launch… It’ll be an online fitness program where you provide coaching? Or what’s the structure going to look like to you so far?
Lauren: Well, we’ll offer three different programs. It’ll be beginner, intermediate and advanced. And so basically the beginner program will be a basic bodyweight program. Anyone can do anywhere in the world. You don’t need any equipment at all.
And then the more intermediate program will just be basic equipment. Maybe dumbbell, jump rope, pull-up bar so you don’t really need much again to train. And it’ll be 30 minutes. You can do anywhere in the world.
And then our 90-minute program will be something a little bit more advanced and taking those classes… Kind of the functional fitness – CrossFit classes one step further, but also like making it like targeted towards health and longevity. So we really want to build like a proper strength and conditioning program. And get 90 minutes you can get your lifting in, your conditioning, and get some accessory work as well.
So we’ll have those three different levels. And so basically you can choose what tier you’re at. And you could do it anywhere in the world.
Rasmus: Yeah, it’s important that we’re not trying to make that an elite level fitness program. A lot of people are trying to do that nowadays.
Mark: Make it broader audience.
Rasmus: Yeah. That’s not what we want. Maybe we could have done that, but that’s not really what we want.
We don’t want to try to make that. We really want to try to help people who were at the place we were at…
Mark: So, are you targeting athletic women? Or just all women? Young women?
Rasmus: We don’t really put like an age limit on this. Don’t really say like “hey like this is 30 to 40.” or whatever. There’s gonna be way more of a… Obviously, we are tapping into like a place where it’s for people who are into fitness. Obviously, there’s gonna be people who are into fitness. But really like it’s gonna be a lot more just like – in terms of like marketing – it’s gonna be like just people who want to feel a part of a community that they might not be feeling a part of before. Just take Lauren’s example of like we’re getting growing up as like maybe a basketball girl. Like a little bit bigger muscles and a little bit outside of quote-unquote “norm,” where people consider like a pretty girl maybe.
And I just think it’s been really skewed picture of what I think a few years back – and I think it’s changing now – but a few years back it was like “how skinny could you be?” and the more skinny you were, the prettier you were. The more of a female you were.
Mark: So the message is that strong is beautiful.
Rasmus: Basically. Without saying those exact words, but that is basically what it is. Trying to say that we are now in a decade where health is more prioritized than being skinny. And being healthy, doesn’t mean being skinny. Gonna mean…
Mark: Oh yeah, you know it’s some of unhealthy… Or that’s not the right word… Most unhealthy women I’ve seen are like models. And they look great in a picture – which is airbrushed – but you look close, you’re like “oh my gosh. You eaten anything this month?”
Rasmus: That’s the thing, right? And we really want to change that. We want to be like finding a life that’s happy, healthy… And with that it also comes like a good body. Like a good body is not skinny, in my opinion. I think the perspective on what a beautiful woman is nowadays is really changing. Going more aligned on
Mark: CrossFit has done a remarkable job in just changing the paradigm of what health and fitness looks like. I mean, at the elite level like the body types that have come out of CrossFit, we’ve never seen it before. Like very rarely do you see a body type like that.
It’s pretty interesting. Human body… Like you both know that you’re capable of so, so much more. But you got to prove it to yourself experientially to really get it. And then once you get it, you never go back.
Rasmus: I think that’s one of things. We want to show that it’s not just guys that can be muscular and just lifting straight weights… Like girls can do it too.
And still be feminine. It’s not like if you’re doing that, then all of a sudden you gonna have like a baseball cap
Mark: And you know there’s… I was a SEAL for 20 years and there’s a lot of controversy around letting women into the SEAL teams and blah, blah, blah. But it’s coming. When I heard that, like I instantly knew that there will be women in the SEALs.
Because of CrossFit. Because I’ve seen what the women can do in CrossFit. And I’ve seen so many women come through our 50 hour Kokoro camp, which is a hell week simulation. It’s as hard as hell week, just shorter. And just crush it. Like just do far better than the guys. As a general rule.
I mean, there’s definitely gonna be women in the SEALs. The only reason there haven’t been so far is because they just opened the door. And it takes years to prepare for something like that. So you’re gonna see maybe in the next three or four years, the first women cycling through.
Maybe Lauren will be the first Navy SEAL. 28 is the cut off. Get your application in.
Lauren: That would be an honor, to be a part of that.
Mark: It’s a pretty extraordinary group.
Rasmus: Yeah, it is.
Mark: So Grown Strong. What a great brand… Reminds me of Live Strong which is Armstrong’s thing. Grownstrong.com.
Mark: So right now it’s mostly your fitness brand or your clothing, right? Your apparel. And then motivation and social media type stuff?
Lauren: Yeah, right now the brand just lives mainly through the apparel. Just building brand awareness. But also motivation on the Instagram and Facebook channel. So I try to provide inspirational quotes on there.
And just like topics that not necessarily would be covered on other social media channels. I think one of the biggest things actually was something I posted the other day – someone made a comment to me they’re like “why don’t you have a flat belly? No matter how many hours you train… You train so much but you still don’t have abs.”
And I brought up this topic like it doesn’t matter how many hours you train in the gym, I’m eating to perform so I’m here to fuel my body. I’m not here to like look good in a picture so I might not have abs all the time.
Mark: And you’re not cutting weight for a fitness competition.
Lauren: I’m not cutting weight for a fitness competition. So that’s something I really want to like help target with Grown Strong is like really to empower those women who feel a little bit out of the ordinary. So maybe someone who used to swim back in the day and they have bigger shoulders. And a lot of those girls like maybe make fun of her, just kind of she doesn’t feel like she fits in.
And so with Grown Strong there’s a community of women who are all feeling like they can be strong and empowered and confident and happy. And so with this fitness program we’re gonna be launching, we really hope we can help with that.
Mark: That’s awesome. I love that.
And how big is your following? I imagine you have some social media following?
Lauren: So on my own following, I have over a million followers. But on a Grown Strong we have around 25,000 followers. So it’s growing slowly.
Mark: Good luck with that.
Rasmus: Thank you. Well it’s also for us it’s a business, right? But like it’s not really like… For us, our business is being an athlete right now. So for us Grown Strong is more of a side project that we really want to grow. And really help. It’s not to make a quick buck
Mark: But you won’t be athletes forever.
Rasmus: No. Obviously, with that being said, like obviously long-term, we’ve got to develop a big brand and a big business eventually.
But right now, we really just want to create something that has value. We’re not trying to make a quick buck, because we don’t need that right now. It’s not what we’re looking for.
We’re really just trying to figure out like what do people need? And it’s been taking us quite a while to kinda like find exactly where are we going with this. It’s always been around that area, but it’s been…
Mark: Business is tough, isn’t it?
Rasmus: Oh man. It’s a completely different game. But yeah, we finally found out…
Mark: If it was easy, everyone would do it.
Rasmus: Say that about a lot of things, but yeah, you’re right. That’s exactly what it is.
Mark: How long do you guys think you’ll be competing?
Lauren: I’m gonna keep competing as long as I love doing this. So I’m only 25 – so I’m still really young in this sport. I know women these days don’t peak until they hit like 31, 32 so I think I still have a long time to compete.
But honestly, it just depends like do I love competing? Like am I having fun doing it? Because if I’m not having fun, then I’m not gonna do it.
But I see myself still competing for years to come. It just really depends what’s going on with all these changes with the CrossFit Games. So we’ll kind of see how that plays out this year, and then kind of make a game plan for the following season.
But just taking it one year at a time.
Mark: If CrossFit blew up, is there any anything fall any fall back for this type of fitness competing?
Lauren: I mean, I always said that I would love to compete in weightlifting. Like I would love to try to qualify for the Olympics. Or even just the team USA at worlds. And so I think that would be such a huge honor if I could do that.
Mark: And you can’t do both simultaneously?
Lauren: I think now it’s so much harder to compete in both CrossFit and weightlifting. Like back in the day, I could get away with it. But nowadays like the weight lifters are just doing weightlifting, and the CrossFitters are just doing CrossFit. Like you can’t be a CrossFitter who’s trying to go in weightlifting and still like running a 10k and doing all these things that are kind of hindering your ability to lift heavy weight. So I really think you have to pick one or the other, nowadays. You can’t do both.
So if I CrossFit somehow hit the bed, then I would love to get into weightlifting.
Mark: Mm-hmm, great. How about you?
Rasmus: I don’t know. Like it’s a good question. First off, how long do I compete? Like I think the same as Lauren: As long as it’s fun.
For me training tends to get to a point now where I don’t enjoy it as much anymore. But what I really do enjoy is the competing aspect. I love just that feeling when you’re competing and it goes well. Like, that feeling afterwards is something that I just never experienced anywhere else in my life. And I love that and I want to keep doing that for a while.
And that might not have to be in the CrossFit Games. It could probably be like another sport that would give me some kind of the same reward of like “have you done well? You did the best you could, and it turned out well.” that feeling is just for me absolutely amazing. So like out keep doing it – like Lauren was saying – for as long as I find it fun. And like even after that like I will still do CrossFit, because I think it’s a great training. But I’ll definitely cut down the volume and get to a healthy volume. And just kind of do it more for it for the sake of health.
And then probably find another sport, but not to compete at the highest level. Just more to stay active and have fun with it right.
Mark: Awesome. So you’re heading to China. Got a big competition this weekend. Good luck.
Lauren: Thank you.
Rasmus: Crush it. I know you will. You’re feeling ready?
Lauren: Yeah. I’m excited. I think we have some last-minute packing to do today. But I think we’re ready to go, yeah.
Mark: That flight is gonna be brutal. You’re getting there… Do you lose a day or gain…?
Rasmus: 15 hours ahead. You lose quite a bit, I think…
Mark: So you’re gonna get there on… Tomorrow’s Tuesday… You get there on Wednesday?
Lauren: We leave Tuesday and get there on Wednesday at 4:30. So leave tomorrow at 8 am…
Mark: And when does it start?
Lauren: And the competition starts on Saturday.
Mark: Okay, so you got a couple days to get your bodies back and your minds back in order.
Mark: Awesome. Well good luck.
Rasmus: Thank you.
Mark: And if there’s anything we can do to support you – we will. Reach out.
Rasmus: Thank you.
Lauren: Thank you for having us.
Mark: Oh it’s been great. Really enjoyed talking to both of you.
Rasmus: It’s always fun to learn a little bit on other people’s world as well. Very interesting.
Mark: Yeah. Well we’ll definitely promote Grown Strong and in this podcast I don’t know when we’ll come out probably in a couple months, or a month. Yeah it’s not gonna be like next week. You know we kind of like put them in the bank and then they come out. So I can’t tell you when it’ll come out.
But when it does come out, Allison will let you guys know and we’ll you know push it out on social and do all that kind of stuff.
Rasmus: Thank you.
Lauren: Yeah, thank you.
Mark: And we’re right up the road from you. Kokoro camp when you’re ready to…
Rasmus: Hey man, we talked about that. We need to do that. I think that’s on our bucket list.
Mark: You know most competitive athletes struggle you know just because of the volume of work – both to prepare and then to do the Kokoro camp. It’s pretty intense.
So wouldn’t be something you do necessarily when you’re peaking for Games.
Rasmus: No, I think we talked about it, last time.
Mark: We do have an event though in I think September, or October…
Rasmus: That’s a good time for us…
Mark: Or when you’re starting to throttle down and get into something else.
Rasmus: Yeah, maybe. It’s on our list, let’s say that. We’ll definitely make it happen at some point.
Mark: That would be cool. You would enjoy it. It’s life-changing.
Awesome guys. Well thanks so much. Really nice to meet you in person.
Rasmus: Thank you, Mark. It’s nice meeting you. Absolutely.
Mark: Look forward to tracking your careers.
Rasmus: Well, thank you. It’s been great fun.
Mark: Yeah, hooyah.
All right folks. Thanks for joining us today. Let’s root for Lauren and Rasmus and hope they kick ass and take names in China. And CrossFit Games this year.
Fun to meet you guys. And for you train hard, stay disciplined, stay focused, relax have fun… Dial in your nutrition and sleep, that’s so critical. And visualize your game. In the SEALs, we call it dirt diving… Dirt dive your game, it really makes a big difference. Big-time thanks for playing attention. Unbeatable Mind. We’ll see you next time.