Todd Nief's Show

Todd Nief's Show
I love learning about and thinking through the frameworks and principles that people use to understand the world - as well as the processes that they use to maintain and update their principles for decision-making. Do you also like this? Great. Then check out some of these interviews with CrossFit Games coaches and athletes, underground musicians, and start-up CEOs - as well as soliloquies on my own efforts to understand the world and make better decisions. This is about strategy and understanding - not just tools and tactics.
James FitzGerald (OPEX)
Apr 5 • 91 min
James FitzGerald is the founder and president of OPEX and an all around systematic thinker and pattern matcher who has developed some pretty impressive insights into what makes people successful in mixed modal fitness. He’s applied this…
Heather Gabel & Seth Sher (HIDE)
Mar 22 • 85 min
“I just want to make heavy brutal shit that makes people feel anything at all.” My friends Heather and Seth play in a band called HIDE that - in addition to offering a disorienting and bludgeoning live experience -…
Jim Crowell (OPEX)
Mar 8 • 75 min
Jim Crowell is the CEO of OPEX. I first met Jim back in the OPT days at one the CCP certifications in Scottsdale - and now he’s friggin’ running the place. We talk about how to think about competition in the fitness industry (you’re not…
[Alpha Hippie Podcast #44] Mental Models & Death Metal
Mar 1 • 81 min
I was recently a guest on my buddy Angelo’s Alpha Hippie podcast. I got some good feedback on the interview, so I figured I’d share here with all of you as well since you seemingly have some interest in what I have to say….
Michael Cazayoux (Working Against Gravity//Brute Strength)
Feb 22 • 67 min
Michael Cazayoux – co-founder of Brute Strength and host of its eponymous podcast, president of Working Against Gravity, and 2012 and 2013 CrossFit Games Champion as part of Hack’s Pack – joins the podcast to discuss his thoughts…
Friel + Todd on Healthy Longevity and Training for People who Don’t Care About Exercise
Feb 8 • 91 min
We’re trying something different on the podcast this time - this time, I’m pseudo-interviewed by my childhood best friend John Friel. John is not the most fitness-inclined individual, so we thought it would be interesting to have a…
Phil Mansfield (RedPill Training)
Feb 4 • 59 min
This is a cross-post from the Legion Strength & Conditioning podcast - where we get much more into the weeds with CrossFit coaching and competition. Figured this may be interesting to some of the folks here, so bringing this…
Justin LoFranco (Morning Chalk Up)
Jan 25 • 58 min
Justin LoFranco is the founder of the Morning Chalk Up - a daily CrossFit newsletter with many, many thousands of subscribers. Justin has an extensive background in political campaign work - and was able to use his insight and know-how to…
Mike Hranica (The Devil Wears Prada//God Alone)
Jan 11 • 108 min
Most musicians in the world toil in obscurity - hoping that anyone at all will find and resonate with their music. For those select few who do achieve some level of success via their music, they quickly become part of a…
Ask Me Anything #1
Dec 28, 2018 • 43 min
Here it is…at long last. My first ask me anything episode! I put out a call for some questions on the e-mail list, and got some pretty good responses.I picked three to discuss in detail…then I started recording without…
Danny Lopez-Calleja (CrossFit Soul//Wodapalooza)
Dec 14, 2018 • 74 min
You know when you’re walking through the airport wearing a CrossFit shirt and you see someone else in a CrossFit shirt? Or when you’re going about your business at the grocery store wearing a Morbid Angel shirt, and someone down the aisle has…
Josh James (Stick to Your Guns//Eighteen Visions)
Nov 30, 2018 • 64 min
Given that Josh has already told the tales of being kidnapped in Egypt and playing one of the first shows that an American hardcore band in Kenya has played, I was worried that he might not have any stories left for me when he agreed to do…
Kristin Miller (CrossFit Mayhem)
Nov 16, 2018 • 56 min
This is a cross-post from the Legion Strength & Conditioning podcast. If you want some more detailed information on training, make sure to subscribe to that pod as well on iTunes as the “Legion Strength &…
Berkeley Dietvorst, PhD (University of Chicago)
Nov 9, 2018 • 77 min
Even though we live in an era of “big data” and huge amounts of our internet usage and content consumption are governed by algorithms (Facebook’s newsfeed, YouTube’s related videos, Google’s predictive search, the advertising we’re served…
Brian Blake (Real Friends)
Oct 26, 2018 • 104 min
Many people dream of achieving success - thinking that once they achieve at a certain level that they will be happy. Tara Brach calls this “If Only…
Adrian Bozman (Head Judge of the CrossFit Games)
Oct 12, 2018 • 81 min
Anyone who obsessively consumed everything in the CrossFit Journal from 2008-2014 learned a lot from Boz. Here’s Boz explaining what to say when a member is…
Mike McGoldrick (Training Think Tank)
Sep 28, 2018 • 73 min
You certain wouldn’t accuse Mike McGoldrick of having an over-bearing sense of bravado, but he has achieved a trifecta of fitness business success that few other folks can match.You certain wouldn’t accuse Mike McGoldrick of having an…
Megan Benzik on Testing Positive
Sep 18, 2018 • 78 min
Earlier this year, Megan Benzik was selected for a drug test at the South Regional. Weeks later - if not months - CrossFit HQ…
Shawn Knight (Child Bite//Berserker Fest)
Aug 30, 2018 • 74 min
Some people seem to have an insatiable, irrepressible, uncontainable urge and desire to create.Some people seem to have an insatiable, irrepressible, uncontainable urge and desire to create. My friend Shawn fits into that category. We spend…
Brady Cable & Brandon Senn (Kabuki Strength)
Aug 16, 2018 • 72 min
The folks at Kabuki Strength spend a lot of time getting people to roll around on the ground like babies. And I like that. I recently attended the Kabuki Movement Systems course, and I found it to be quite valuable - and I also…
Ron Petzke (Bongripper)
Jul 30, 2018 • 74 min
My friend Ron has a long history of being in bands with ridiculous names that become popular.My friend Ron has a long history of being in bands with ridiculous names that become popular. We’ve got Weekend Nachos. We’ve got…
Michele Fumagalli (2018 Individual CrossFit Games Athlete)
Jul 12, 2018 • 68 min
Michele Fumagalli just missed the CrossFit Games in 2015, and decided that she would be back in 2016. But, life got in the way, and she discovered she was pregnant leading into the 2016 Open. When she didn’t qualify for Regionals in 2017…
Lindsey Love Jenks (Macrostax)
Jun 25, 2018 • 59 min
Lindsey Love Jenks used to coach over 100 individuals on their nutrition. But, she realized there was a much larger market for something in between the individualized nutrition coaching she was offering and impersonal, unadaptable templates….
Debra Giunta (Design Dance)
Jun 7, 2018 • 68 min
I went to a party at Debra’s dance studio to celebrate that it was full of toxic mold and that it was shutting down. That could have been the end of Design Dance, but - after getting fired from a call center that “a dog…
Mike Lee (OPEX)
May 16, 2018 • 75 min
Mike Lee is the Director of Coaching at OPEX - and he’s worked with some pretty big names in the competitive CrossFit community like Tennil Reed, Marcus Filly and Amanda Goodman. I met Mike at one of the OPEX CCP Level 2 courses a…
The Micro-Skills of Coaching
Apr 23, 2018 • 52 min
Any complicated, multi-layered skill is made up of potentially dozens of other “micro-skills” - and coaching is no different. It’s not enough to have book knowledge of energy systems progressions. It’s not enough…
Daniel Shea
Apr 12, 2018 • 96 min
“Actually choosing to try to be an artist as a terrible idea. Nobody should do it. It’s really fucking stupid. It’s like one of the stupidest things you could do with your life. And it’s really hard. And you’re an idiot if you think…
Cal Wysocki (Fulcrum Education Solutions)
Mar 22, 2018 • 81 min
Cal Wysocki is the founder of Fulcrum Education Solutions, a company dedicated to improving the quality of instruction in our schools. In this discussion with Cal, we focus on the strategies and tactics that he uses to elevate the processes by…
Carleen Matthews (3x CrossFit Games Athlete)
Mar 8, 2018 • 66 min
Carleen Matthews is a multiple time individual CrossFit Games competitor. It’s always interesting to hear how people competing at the highest level in a sport think and operate on a daily basis - but Carleen’s story has another layer. She has a…
James Pligge (Harm’s Way)
Feb 20, 2018 • 91 min
You may think that James is an intimidating and frightening man. But, it turns out that he is one of the weirdest and funniest people I know. Check out this discussion to learn about James’s long-standing fascination with Fear Factory, the process of…
Austin O’Neal & Megan Benzik (OPEX Athlete)
Feb 12, 2018 • 62 min
Austin and Megan have both spent significant amounts of time at South Loop Strength & Conditioning as both athletes and coaches, and - last year after competing at…
Angelo Sisco (O’Hare CrossFit)
Jan 11, 2018 • 63 min
“An alpha hippie is a tree-hugger who can rip out the tree and smash you with it, too.” Angelo has built O’Hare CrossFit into a thriving business, which is much, much harder than it seems in this market, and he was also head of coaching for…
Task Management and Prioritization - A Soliloquy on Getting Things Done
Dec 31, 2017 • 31 min
I recently re-read Getting Things Done as part of my obligations for a book club that includes my business partners at South Loop Strength & Conditioning, and I realized I had gotten sloppy with a few key areas and I had simply failed to…
Misbah Haque (The Airborne Mind)
Dec 13, 2017 • 73 min
Misbah Haque runs a really great podcast called The Airborne Mind. We discuss being overly analytical and potentially socially awkward, the process of connecting with influencers even when you have “nothing to offer,” and creating narrative and story…
Stefanie Cohen (Hybrid Performance Method)
Nov 27, 2017 • 66 min
Stefi used to be the weightlifting coach at South Loop Strength & Conditioning, and his since gone on to set world records in powerlifting while working towards a doctorate in physical therapy at the University of Miami. We discuss screaming at…
Dylan Walker (Full of Hell)
Nov 10, 2017 • 96 min
Dylan Walker from Full of Hell chats about spooky childhood stories, the in-group signaling of grindcore freaks, how to maintain a creative vision, and tells tales of the Cavaleras.
Rehab Principles in Performance-Based Athletes
Oct 26, 2017 • 14 min
Flying solo this time to discuss how performance-based athletes and coaches can benefit from an understanding of rehab principles - without diving into a sketchy rabbit hole of telling people that you’re going to fix their pain or being…
Jason Phillips: Macros, Certifications, and Mentorship
Sep 27, 2017 • 60 min
Jason Phillips comes on to talk about how to manage stress and training in athletes relative to their nutrition prescription, what to do when someone doesn’t want to count their macros, and how to grow your business to the point that you’re personally…
Stephan Guyenet, PhD – Author of The Hungry Brain
Mar 31, 2017 • 60 min
There’s been a culture war raging for decades - high carbohydrate diets vs high fat diets, paleo diets vs vegan diets, people tracking all of their food in apps while others shout that “calories don’t matter,” and a bunch of people off in the corner…
Peter Rahal, Founder and CEO of RXBAR
Nov 23, 2016 • 55 min
Learn about how RXBAR filled a whole in a market that didn’t seem to exist, and how they went from making bars in their parents’ basements to being distributed in national grocery chains.
Dr. Shawn Allen of The Gait Guys
Oct 31, 2016 • 72 min
Anyone who has ever been to a physical therapist has inevitably been told that they have “weak glutes” and been given Jane Fondas or some other form of band exercise. Does every human being actually have weak glutes? Is the contractile potential…
Brandon Heavey & Nicole Latimer of Evidence Based Athlete
Oct 20, 2016 • 74 min
If you have any interest in the fitness industry – for health, performance, weight loss, or otherwise – you’ve seen some sensational headlines. “I tried the ketogenic diet and lost 15 pounds in three weeks – all while adding 30 pounds to my…
Group Classes vs Training Templates vs Individualized Programming
Sep 23, 2016 • 67 min
Everyone has an opinion on programming and training for CrossFit. Quibbles over the best ways to train are nothing new in any sport. Jon, Todd and Paul discuss the best practices in training through group classes, training templates, and…
Ricky Hirsch: The Jerky King of Chicago
Aug 3, 2016 • 51 min
You’d think that having the most successful food-based Kickstarter campaign of all time would be a great start. But, Ricky Hirsch was disappointed in having raised only $57,000. He thought his product was so good that he was going to get millions….
Dr. Ben Fergus on How Being a Giant Baby Will Improve Your Performance
May 12, 2016 • 78 min
I’ve snuck into a lot of physical therapy continuing education courses that I don’t belong in over the last few years. I’ve enjoyed putting myself in situations where I’m the least knowledgable person in the room, and trying to learn in a field…
James FitzGerald on Quitting Coaching
Apr 15, 2016 • 61 min
I first started coaching in CrossFit back in 2010, and at some point in 2011, I transitioned into the role of writing programming for the gym that I was working at. In typical information hoarder practice, I began to search out as much as I could find…
Greg Anderson from Southern Lord Records and Sunn O))) on How to Build a Tribe
Mar 29, 2016 • 54 min
Greg Anderson is the owner of Southern Lord Records and plays guitar in a variety of extreme metal bands, most notably Sunn O))), Goatsnake, and Thorr’s Hammer. Greg released my band’s record (Like Rats - II) In 2016.
Interview with Joe Heiler of
Mar 7, 2016 • 62 min
As a strength & conditioning coach, I’ve received some of the best continuing education by playing around in areas that I don’t belong in. Courses geared more towards physical therapists like DNS, the SFMA, and Sahrmann’s courses on Movement…
Michael FitzGerald on What Metrics Actually Matter for Performance in CrossFit
Jan 5, 2016 • 68 min
Michael FitzGerald first came to prominence in the CrossFit scene while screaming in pain during the final workout in the documentary filmed on the 2009 CrossFit Games. Since then, he has coached multiple CrossFit Games competitors through his company…
Elisabeth Akinwale on Mental Toughness in Competition and How to Coach like a Social Worker
Dec 10, 2015 • 46 min
In addition to being a five times CrossFit Games competitor (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) with two top ten finishes, Elisabeth Akinwale is a mother and a former social worker.
Why training harder doesn’t necessarily mean training better
Dec 3, 2015 • 37 min
If you start taking a look at fitness celebrities on social media, their timelines are full of inspirational quotes. There’s all kinds of stuff out there about pushing harder, never quitting, never backing down, and not making excuses. While…
Mike Kesthely of Dynamic Nutrition
Nov 2, 2015 • 80 min
Back in 2013, Mike Kesthely effectively closed Dynamic Nutrition down. He had consulted with several CrossFit Games level athletes on their nutrition and had lead nutrition seminars for OPEX (formerly OPT). However, his full-time job as a firefighter…
Ben Crookston, CEO of Train Heroic
Oct 21, 2015 • 50 min
Starting a business from nothing is brutal. Getting anyone to pay attention to you in the first place, then to part with cash for some product they’ve never heard of, then to deliver on that product is crushingly difficult. Ben Crookston has grown…
Why are you training?
Sep 29, 2015 • 32 min
In this episode, Todd & Paul discuss the five “whys” of training. At SLSC, we see a lot of people with a lot of different goals. The best practices in training for all of these individuals will vary quite a bit based upon their experience level…
Liz Yerly of Chicago Recovery Room
Sep 2, 2015 • 41 min
Liz has a plethora of letters after her name: MPT (Master of Physical Therapy), ATC (Certified Athletic Trainer), LMT (Licensed Massage Therapist) & CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist). While certifications don’t necessarily mean much in…