Chasing Excellence

Chasing Excellence

www.benbergeron.com
Chasing Excellence is a show dedicated to dissecting what it means to live a life of excellence, both inside the gym & out. On each episode, we’ll deep dive on various aspects of being an athlete & maximizing your potential.


#102: The 10 Principles of Training
Dec 9 • 44 min
We’re breaking down the fifth of our 5 Factors of Health, this time diving into the principles you should keep in mind as it relates to training for health and longevity.
#101: Reinvestment & Infinite Games
Dec 2 • 35 min
We’re talking about why reinvesting back into the business is really just investing in yourself, how to know when you’re ready to go all-in, and whether I think differently about reinvestment today than I did ten years ago.
#100: 3x3 on Worthwhile Expenses, Lousy Excuses, & Travel Workouts
Nov 25 • 27 min
The 3x3 is back! This time we’re tackling 3 things you should be spending your money on, 3 excuses we should all stop using, and 3 movements to do next time you’re on the road and away from the gym.
#099: CrossFitting While Pregnant
Nov 18 • 32 min
Heather stops by to talk about how she thought about doing CrossFit while she was pregnant, and we answer some listener questions about what training and nutrition advice we’d give for folks before, during, and post pregnancy.
#098: The Discipline I Most Attribute To My Success (2:00 Drill #11)
Nov 11 • 27 min
We’re back with another episode of the Two Minute Drill! This time around, I’m answering questions about how to raise money for gym improvements from your current membership, training in a fasted state, & the discipline I most attribute to my own success.
#097: The 5 P’s of Decision Making
Nov 4 • 36 min
We’re taking a 10’000 foot view on how to make decisions, discussing how to factor in our principles, priorities, & purpose to make sure our lives are headed in the right direction.
#096: 10 Principles of Mindset
Oct 28 • 28 min
We’re breaking down another one of our 5 Factors of Health, offering up the 10 principles of thinking meant to get your mindset right.
#095: 3x3 on Nutrition Tips, Fitness Routines, & Necessary People
Oct 21 • 23 min
We’re talking about 3 nutrition tips you probably haven’t heard, 3 fitness routines (that aren’t CrossFit) worth trying, & the 3 types of people everybody should have in their lives.
#094: How to Control Outcomes
Oct 14 • 28 min
A listener question about our intro sequence triggers a conversation about control vs concern, reactions vs responses, and the moments right after something happens during which our choices make a world of difference.
#093: The One Word I Use to Define Success (2:00 Drill #10)
Oct 7 • 33 min
We’re tackling 14 more listener questions in this 2 Minute Drill, including how I think about the value of strict movements versus kipping, how we respond to athletes who show up to class late, and the difference between self-assessment and…
#092: 10 Principles of Nutrition
Sep 30 • 33 min
We’re breaking down another one of our 5 Factors of Health. We’re talking about avoiding sugar, eating more veggies, understanding good vs bad fats, and how to eat mindfully.
#091: Tactics of Coaching Games Athletes
Sep 23 • 34 min
We’re talking about the technologies & metrics I use to optimize training, the psychological effects of wearing the leader’s jersey during the Games, & how I push my athletes out of their comfort zones without risking injury.
#090: 3x3 on Limiting Words, Time Hacks, & Great Movies
Sep 16 • 31 min
We’re introducing a new episode format this week, breaking down 3 limiting words that are holding us back, 3 time-saving hacks, & 3 great movies that anybody chasing excellence should watch.
#089: The Rationale Behind Rx’d Workouts
Sep 9 • 31 min
We’re taking a look at the CrossFit convention of prescribing specific weights, the arguments for and against doing so, and the importance of understanding the intended stimulus of a workout.
#088: Two Minute Drill, #9
Sep 2 • 32 min
We’re answering more listener questions, including my tips for increasing your pull-up strength, how to recover better when you’re an older athlete, and whether CompTrain will ever field a team at the CrossFit Games.
#087: Leading Kids Effectively
Aug 26 • 33 min
We’re talking about how to create a culture for kids that’s all about developing a growth mindset, how I would suggest parents create a physical education curriculum for their kids, & why I don’t think it’s the job of the leader to push a kid to find…
#086: The Class Experience Scorecard
Aug 19 • 33 min
We’re taking a look at a theoretical scorecard I put together to judge how effectively a class is being organized and run. We cover subjects like how you set-up the room, why you coach more and talk less, & how to use music to create an exciting…
#085: The 10 Components of Fitness
Aug 12 • 25 min
We’re going over the ten general physical skills that we’re trying to maximize in the gym, the sports that test them best, and whether I think practicing is more difficult than training.
#084: Two Minute Drill #8, w EC Syncowski
Aug 5 • 30 min
EC is back to tackle some listener questions! We talk about supplementation for average CrossFitters, what a healthy diet looks like for kids, and whether gut microbiome tests are worth doing.
#083: The Origins of NOBULL
Jul 29 • 48 min
We’ve got the co-founder of NOBULL, Marcus Wilson, on to talk about how to spot the right people to work with, why NOBULL had to build a brand before they had products to sell, and how it was that they had the confidence to go up against the big guns in…
#082: How to Start CrossFit By Yourself
Jul 22 • 35 min
We’re discussing how I would advise different kinds of people who want to start CrossFit but who are unable or unwilling to go to an affiliate.
#081: Leaderboarding in Real Life
Jul 15 • 37 min
We’re talking about the dangers of comparing ourselves to others, the role education has in setting us up to chase the wrong things, and how we can learn from our peers without letting their lives dictate our own pursuits.
#080: Building a Stronger Brand
Jul 8 • 67 min
We’re diving deep into marketing, branding, and advertising. We cover topics like the marketing hourglass, why advertising doesn’t work for CrossFit affiliates, creating talk triggers, and understanding your three uniques.
#079: Two Minute Drill, #7
Jul 1 • 40 min
We’re answering more of your questions, covering topics from how to deal with doubt midway through a workout to what advice I’d give leaders who are tasked with motivating reluctant people.
#078: 25 Questions for E.C. Synkowski
Jun 24 • 24 min
E.C. Syncowski of OptimizeME Nutrition is back for a round of rapid-fire questions. We get her thoughts on everything from probiotics, dairy, and bacon, to bread, powdered greens, and alcohol.
#077: Comparing Solo & Group Training
Jun 17 • 47 min
We’re talking about what type of athletes thrive in a one-on-one environment, the differences between progressions and periodization in your programming, and whether I think coaches should specialize in either group or individual training.
#076: 14 Ways to Recover Better
Jun 10 • 51 min
We’re talking about a bunch of ways to recover from our workouts better, from simple foam rolling to electric stimulation and float tanks.
#075: Scaling Culture at CrossFit TILT
Jun 3 • 37 min
We’ve got Max Isaak in to talk about what we’re doing at CrossFit TILT, how I think about scaling culture across multiple gyms, and the distinction between being a leader and a business owner.
#074: Win or Learn
May 31 • 32 min
We’re talking about failing, the difference between pain and suffering, and why I think the ability to learn from our failures is a skill everybody should learn to cultivate.
#073: Two Minute Drill #6
May 20 • 22 min
We’re tackling some more of your questions this week, including the food I’d recommend you eat before a workout, what I’d do differently if I was starting CFNE today, and my tips on overcoming performance anxiety.
#072: Optimize Your Nutrition, w/ EC Synkowski
May 13 • 55 min
We’ve got EC Syncowski of OptimizeMe Nutrition in to talk about the fundamentals of a good diet, the 800g Challenge, and whether it’s more important to focus on the quality or the quantity of our food.
#071: The Theoretical Development of a Business
May 6 • 67 min
We’re walking through the framework I’ve developed for building CrossFit New England, which has five areas of focus: Culture, Product, Marketing, Management, and Systems.
#070: Top Trends Inside the CrossFit Community
Apr 29 • 58 min
We’re exploring some of the common trends we’ve seen come and (sometimes) go within CrossFit over the years, including the Zone Diet, post-workout chocolate milk, and subscriptions to mobility programming.
#069: Embrace the Chase
Apr 22 • 37 min
We’re tackling the concept of chasing excellence head on, talking about putting first things first & why pursuing success isn’t as meaningful as the pursuit itself.
#068: The Changing Landscape of CrossFit
Apr 15 • 50 min
We’re diving into all the changes at CrossFit, why the Sanctionals are better tests than Regionals, and how re-learning what it takes to get to the Games now.
#067: Danger Foods
Apr 8 • 39 min
We’re covering some of the foods you want to consider avoiding in your pursuit of better health, as well as a breakdown of how some simple changes can have a huge impact on the overall quality of what you’re eating.
#066: Two Minute Drill, #5
Apr 1 • 28 min
We’re tackling more of your questions, talking about training seniors, active recovery, and whether I’ve ever considered a vegan diet.
#065: Prioritizing the 5 Factors, w/ Katrin Davidsdottir
Mar 25 • 43 min
Katrin is back to talk with us about the difference between pursuing health and optimal performance, as well as some of the hacks we’ve found to sleep better, eat cleaner, and train harder.
#064: Responding to Training Setbacks
Mar 18 • 33 min
We’re diving into some ways to avoid overuse injuries in the gym, how to think about coming back from whatever setbacks may have derailed your training, & what we do as an affiliate to try to minimize injuries from happening at all.
#063: 10 Principles of Connection
Mar 11 • 22 min
We’re covering the ten ways we can all do a better job of connecting with each other - things like seeking first to understand, asking interesting questions, and complimenting without hesitation.
#062: Two Minute Drill, #4
Mar 4 • 42 min
We’re tackling some of your questions, covering topics from mobility, to what I think about people who train to the point of sickness, to whether bodybuilding has a role inside of CrossFit training.
#061: How I Think About Coaching
Feb 25 • 62 min
We’re talking about how to climb the ladder of leadership with your athletes, why you should never ask a client why something isn’t working, and how to get the most out of your coaches.
#060: Building Stronger Nutritional Strategies
Feb 18 • 42 min
We’re talking about some of the ways you can set yourself up for nutritional success at home, at the office, and when you go out to eat.
#059: Running Your Gym Like a Private School
Feb 11 • 31 min
We’re talking about how CrossFit New England on-boards new members, the three things we believe can guarantee our members’ success, & why gyms should be paying attention to their churn rate.
#058: Embracing Vulnerability, with Heather Bergeron
Feb 4 • 37 min
Heather joins us in this episode to talk about living a life of honesty, dealing with the judgments of others, & why being vulnerable is how we can build trust.
#057: Two Minute Drill, #3
Jan 28 • 34 min
I’m answering your questions on subjects like ideal body fat for health, whether fear is a good motivator for change, & what I would do if I had to start my coaching career over from scratch.
#056: Taking Small Steps Toward Big Goals, with Katrin Davidsdottir
Jan 21 • 42 min
Katrin joins us to talk about how we came to start working together, how we think about & build toward our goals, & when we start creating the year’s training plan.
#055: Defining & Pursuing Balance
Jan 14 • 28 min
We’re breaking down what I mean when I say that I’m seeking balance in my life.
#054: Starting a Career in CrossFit
Jan 7 • 45 min
We’re talking about the journey I took from being a personal trainer to building CrossFit New England as it stands today, what young trainers who want to start a gym should do first, & my best advice for owners who have just opened their doors.
#053: 10 Principles for Better Sleep
Dec 17, 2018 • 33 min
We’re talking about developing better sleep habits & why optimizing our sleep is really optimizing our health.
#052: A Masters Athlete’s Guide to Competing
Dec 5, 2018 • 30 min
In this episode: We’re talking about strategies for maximizing the competitive career of a master’s athlete.
#051: Learning to Flip Fear Around
Nov 24, 2018 • 28 min
We’re talking about evolutionary sources of fear, the role it has played in my life, & how to use fear to make yourself better.
#050: Favorite Books, Podcasts, Films, & People
Nov 16, 2018 • 64 min
In this episode: We’re covering the books & other resources that I most frequently recommend.
#049: Game Day Nutrition
Nov 5, 2018 • 37 min
We’re talking about the best practices & common mistakes of keeping your nutrition on point during your next CrossFit competition.
#048: What it Means to be Productive
Oct 25, 2018 • 45 min
We’re talking about putting first things first, the number of hours the average American spends watching television, & how I schedule my days & weeks to ensure I’m being effective.
#047: Two Minute Drill, Take #2
Oct 15, 2018 • 40 min
We’re answering listener questions, including my advice to young athletes who want to make CrossFit a professional endeavor, recommended approaches to uncover food sensitivity issues, & my morning routine.
#046: Earning Trust & Building Teams
Oct 5, 2018 • 52 min
We’re talking about the philosophy & the process we take at CFNE to hire new people, the value of trust, & how to share your vision so that the whole team buys into it.
#045: Don’t Get Bamboozled by Big Food
Sep 25, 2018 • 37 min
We’re talking about some of the reasons we’re set up to fail when trying to eat clean, as well as a bunch of foods & ingredients to look out for as we pursue better health.
#044: Talent, Opportunities, & Effort
Sep 11, 2018 • 28 min
We’re talking about whether Katrin, Fraser, & Tia are more talented than other athletes, the value of deliberate practice, & why I think it’s important to first define what you would consider a success.
#043: What to Do About Your Weaknesses
Aug 28, 2018 • 37 min
In this episode: We’re talking about how to attack weaknesses in the gym, how to play to our strengths outside the gym, & how I’ve come to think about the areas in my own life I want to focus on improving. Show Notes: 01:54 - How I think about getting to…
#042: Desert Island Health
Aug 15, 2018 • 32 min
In this episode: We’re imposing some imaginary constraints to explore some of my health & fitness principles. Topics include which CrossFit benchmarks workouts I’d pick to repeat forever if I had to, what single meal I would eat if I had to only eat one…
#041: Tips to Improve Competitive Performance
Aug 3, 2018 • 38 min
In this episode: We’re talking about ways to be more competitive in the sport of CrossFit. Topics include how to get better at muscle-ups, tips for improving your double unders, & my best advice for athletes who don’t have a coach. Show Notes: 02:06 -…
#040: Effective Parenting Tactics
Jul 18, 2018 • 43 min
I’m covering some of the most impactful parenting tips I’ve learned, including praising effort instead of talent, not keeping any junk food in the house, and why we don’t let our kids quit. Show Notes: 01:33 - All Pro Dad article:…
#039: 10 Ways to Lead from the Front in Your Gym
Jul 3, 2018 • 30 min
In this episode: I’m going through ten of the ways I try to lead in my affiliate, including taking our own classes, welcoming feedback, & following through on what I say. Show Notes: 01:50 - #1: Take your own classes & follow your own programming 04:53 -…
#038: Why CrossFit is Different than the CrossFit Games
Jun 20, 2018 • 17 min
In this episode: I’m talking about the primary differences between the CrossFit that happens in our gym & the CrossFit that happens in Madison every summer. Show Notes: 02:02 - How I’ve come to think about the differentiation between CrossFit and the…
#037: The Benefits of Negative Visualization
Jun 5, 2018 • 28 min
In this episode, we’re talking about tactful conflict resolution, the benefits of talking through “If, Then” scenarios, & why thinking through what might go wrong is a great way to make things go right.
#036: 10 Habits You Should Stop Having
May 22, 2018 • 24 min
I cover 10 things we shouldn’t be doing, including hitting the snooze button, watching the news, & leaving dishes in the sink.
#035: The Secret to the Good Life
May 8, 2018 • 12 min
In this short episode: I talk about the two questions you should be asking yourself consistently if you want to live a fulfilled life, and why you shouldn’t always trust your feelings in pursuit of your goals. Show Notes: 00:01:55 - The first question…
#034: Frequently Asked Nutrition Questions
Apr 24, 2018 • 25 min
I’m answering some of the most common nutrition questions we get at the gym, from which supplements I recommend to intermittent fasting, from hydration to how much red meat is too much. Show Notes: 00:00:50 - Watch all the CFNE Way Episodes here:…
#033: Assessing Health by Measuring Fitness
Apr 11, 2018 • 21 min
Talking about going to the doctor, why how many burpees you can do in a minute is an indication of more than just your fitness, & the difference between being a swim coach & a lifeguard.
#032: Breaking Down the Five Factors of Health
Mar 28, 2018 • 18 min
We’re talking about good habits & bad, the three steps of every habit, & about taking small steps in the right direction. // You can see the poster here: https://goo.gl/hi4BhA
#031: A Recipe for Better Habits
Mar 7, 2018 • 34 min
We’re talking about good habits & bad, the three steps of every habit, & about taking small steps in the right direction. // Grab “Chasing Excellence” here: http://amzn.to/2vSjU4q
#030: Two Minute Drill, Take 1
Feb 22, 2018 • 24 min
In this episode: Answering some listener questions, including the how to balance intensity & volume in training, what I’m working to improve these days, & my recommendations for athletes coming back from injury.
#029: Getting the Most Out of Your Training
Feb 7, 2018 • 31 min
We’re talking about why we put so much emphasis on recovering well, touching on nutrition, sleep, muscle work, icing versus heat, stress, & much more.
#028: Strengthening Your Grit Muscles
Jan 17, 2018 • 22 min
We’re talking about resilience, a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset, & why hard work is more important than talent.
#027: The Development of a Champion
Jan 2, 2018 • 24 min
We’re breaking down the theoretical development of a champion & what makes the difference between good athletes & great athletes.
#026: Answering the Questions from Tribe of Mentors
Dec 14, 2017 • 15 min
We’re answering the 11 questions posed in Tim Ferriss’s new book Tribe of Mentors. Subjects include the books that have influenced me the most, how caffeine is amazing in small doses, & why I don’t believe in failure.
#025: The Value of Thinking Big
Nov 29, 2017 • 38 min
We’re talking about how CFNE, CompTrain, Project:Elevation, & working with Elite CrossFit Games athletes are all part of the same mission.
#024: Fueling the CrossFit Athlete
Nov 7, 2017 • 28 min
We’re talking about why nutrition is so important in the sport of CrossFit, ideal body fat percentages for athletes, & what supplements I recommend CrossFit athletes take.
#023: Maximizing Your Minutes
Oct 24, 2017 • 31 min
Talking about time management, putting first things first, & why it’d be great if email wasn’t a thing.
#022: The Importance of Being Strong Enough
Oct 11, 2017 • 20 min
In this episode: We’re talking about why athletes who want to make waves in the sport of CrossFit need to focus on getting strong enough to actually be competitive.
#021: W.H.O.O.P.I.E.
Sep 27, 2017 • 20 min
We’re breaking down an acronym that can help you set better goals & achieve bigger things.
#020: 2017 CrossFit Games Debrief
Sep 1, 2017 • 34 min
We’re talking about Madison, the programming, & the lessons we learned during the 2017 season
#019: Katrin Davidsdottir
Aug 1, 2017 • 47 min
In this episode: Talking with Katrin Davidsdottir about moving to the U.S. to train, surrounding yourself with the right people, & putting in 100% effort.
#018: Putting Character First
Jul 26, 2017 • 27 min
We’re talking about why I always start with character, the value of spending time in silence, & what most people are missing in their training.
#017: Preparing for the Games
Jul 11, 2017 • 26 min
Talking about my month-long CrossFit Games training camp, why eliminating distractions are important, & how excellence is contagious.
#016: How to Train with Intention
Jun 6, 2017 • 27 min
We’re talking about the difference between practice, training, & competition, & why you should go into every session at the gym knowing which mode you’re in.
#015: Redefining Adversity
May 24, 2017 • 23 min
Talking about why a busted ACL can be a good thing, what Brent Fikowski, Tom Brady, & Katrin Davidsdottir have in common, & why you should focus less on what happens & more on how you respond to what happens.
#014: Simplifying Nutrition
May 3, 2017 • 26 min
We’re talking about why I prefer to keep my nutritional advice simple, the value of getting blood work done, & why both quality & quantity matters.
#013: Working With Members Who Compete
Apr 18, 2017 • 21 min
Talking about the best ways I’ve found to work with my members who want to compete in CrossFit, without losing their connection to our community.
#012: How to Chase Happiness
Apr 3, 2017 • 28 min
We talk about why happiness doesn’t live on the other side of achievement, gratitude, & why relationships matter more than money.
#011: Cole Sager
Mar 21, 2017 • 52 min
Cole Sager stops in to talk about growing up in a small town, his football career, & the “why” behind everything he does.
#010: Conditioning-Biased Programming
Mar 7, 2017 • 26 min
Talking about the difference between programming for competitors versus members of our affiliates, the downfalls of strength-biased programming, & why less is almost always more.
#009: Living Based on Core Values
Feb 21, 2017 • 30 min
We discuss how I think about Core Values today versus how I used to think about them, & why they’re so important to think about every single day.
#008: Brooke Wells
Feb 8, 2017 • 36 min
Brooke Wells stops in during a weekend of training with Ben to talk about her background, her training, & her hopes going forward.
#007: Becoming a Leader
Jan 24, 2017 • 30 min
Talking about the different levels of leadership, the definition of trust, sincere listening, & how to build a staff of strong leaders.
#006: Daily Discipline
Jan 10, 2017 • 29 min
Talking about goal-setting, building habits, & why you want to strive to keep the chain of success going.
#005: The 2030 Games Champ
Dec 27, 2016 • 29 min
Talking about how I might guide a young athlete toward future success in the sport of CrossFit.
#004: Practical Ways to Boost Your Community
Dec 13, 2016 • 32 min
In this episode: We’re talking about some of the small (but important) ways CFNE shows their members they care, touching on topics like thank-you notes, what your programming says about your priorities, & the value of giving your coaches constraints.
#003: Evaluating Opportunities
Nov 29, 2016 • 27 min
In this episode: We’re chatting about how I think about opportunities, some of the reasons we decided to cancel the East Coast Championships, & why I made the decision years ago to stop being a competitive athlete.
#002: Maximizing Your CrossFit Open
Nov 15, 2016 • 28 min
In this episode: We talk about how to maximize your CrossFit Games​ Open. Topics include how to fit the events into your normal training schedule, what might be coming in 2017, & the value of leaderboarding.
#001: Building a Coaching Team
Oct 26, 2016 • 25 min
We look back to when CrossFit New England was first ready for us to build a coaching team, the mistakes we made while we figured that out, & what we look for in new coaching hires these days. Web: http://www.builtbybergeron.com/ Instagram:…