From NASA to Fitness with Brandon Heavey

Brandon Heavey’s story is epic: He’s a former NASA engineer who, after a personal fitness revelation, decided to change careers and become a fitness trainer. Heavey swapped Mars rovers for squat cycles and never looked back. Now nearly a decade into his second career, he’s one half of the husband/wife duo behind Evidence Based Athlete, using his scientific mind to help optimize results for elite athletes and reformed couch potatoes alike. 

We talk about his transition from the world of space exploration to fitness closer to home (though the conversation also touches on the future of fitness in zero-gravity). We also talk about his successful podcast — publishing weekly for five straight years! — and the problem with most strength training studies. Brandon is one of the most prolific evidence-based trainers and podcasters around, and he shares some serious knowledge here!

In this episode of The BarBend Podcast, guest Brandon Heavey and host David Thomas Tao discuss:

  • How the Strength and Scotch Podcast came about (releasing episodes weekly for five years straight!) (2:20)
  • Coming up with fresh topics for their audience (4:00)
  • Why Brandon thinks diet and lifting programs are “like religion” for some people (6:00)
  • Brandon’s unique path from the world of science to fitness (this is a WILD ride) (6:30)
  • Will we see MORE scientists move to the world of evidence based fitness? (9:32)
  • The goal behind Evidence Based Athlete and Brandon’s approach to assessing fitness methodology (11:25)
  • Where research in fitness and nutrition is valuable — and almost useless — for the average person (15:00)
  • The problem with test subjects in most fitness research (hint: they’re generally using beginners) (19:00)
  • A base level of knowledge you need to have before reading and interpreting strength research (22:00)
  • The impact of LANGUAGE on coaching cues and training (24:10)
  • Issues and challenges with training remote clients, and more on how language impacts interpretation (27:26)
  • Rapid Fire: Brandon’s pet peeves, secret talent, and more (31:20)

Relevant links and further reading:


David TaoDavid Tao

Welcome to the “BarBend” podcast, where we talk to top athletes, coaches, influencers, and minds from around the world of strength sports. Presented by

Today I’m talking to Brandon Heavey, one-half of the husband-wife duo behind Evidence Based Athlete. Out of the hundreds of trainers, athletes, and coaches I’ve met over the years, Brandon has one of the most interesting paths within the fitness industry, seriously. Brandon spent nearly a decade as an engineer with NASA’s jet propulsion laboratory, helping to lay the groundwork for a new era of space exploration.

Spoiler, we spent a decent chunk of this podcast talking about Mars rovers. Shortly after discovering CrossFit, Brandon caught the fitness bug in a big way. He and his wife eventually opened up a CrossFit gym. They later sold their portion of the gym and now focus nearly full time on coaching athletes through their company, Evidence Based Athlete.

Brandon is also the co-host of the “Strength & Scotch Podcast,” a fantastic show, that brings a fun atmosphere to fitness’ most pressing questions with a hefty side of Scotch reviews, of course.

In this episode, we discuss the nature of strength and conditioning research, and the challenges and triumphs of applying those lessons in the real world. There’s also plenty of nerding out on space exploration. One of my key takeaways from our conversation, in the world of strength training, sometimes conventional wisdom really does hold up to scrutiny.

Just a quick reminder, if you’re enjoying the “BarBend” podcast, make sure to leave a rating and review in your podcast app of choice. This helps us stay on track in bringing you the best content possible week after week. If there’s someone you’d absolutely love to hear on a future BarBend podcast episode, let us know in your podcast review.

Today on the BarBend podcast, I’m talking to a relatively new friend of mine, but someone I’ve been lucky enough to record with before on his podcast. That is Brandon Heavey. Brandon, thanks so much for joining us today.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

Yeah, thanks for having me, David. I have really respected what you’ve done with BarBend for quite some time and was honored to have you on the Strength & Scotch Podcast. You know, excited to be here chatting with you today.

David TaoDavid Tao

Well, I don’t know if the BarBend podcast has as fun of a conceit as the Strength & Scotch Podcast.

We don’t have that nice little end note where we talk about a scotch or a whiskey of note. How did you come up with that idea? How long have you been doing the Strength & Scotch Podcast?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

We’re coming up on five years for that podcast now. The conceit really was that — it’s done with a friend of mine that’s not in the fitness industry, just a guy that I bullshit with a lot — oh, I don’t know, am I allowed to curse on your podcast?

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s totally fine, that’s the appropriate level.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey


We drink a lot together, and we’re sort of nervous about creating a show. We’re not somebody that really wants to put our stuff out there. It took drinking to really grease the skids and get those initial episodes out.

In fact, if you go back — which I don’t recommend anybody do — but if you go back and you listen to the first 50 episodes of Strength and Scotch, we’re getting hammered on those shows to make them happen.

David TaoDavid Tao

How do you come up with the content, the guests and the topics to keep a podcast like that which you publish…is it once a week that you all go live with that?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey


David TaoDavid Tao

Once a week, pretty much without fail for five straight years. That’s a lot of content. Now, that’s a lot of content in the strength industry, and that’s a lot of content in the scotch or whiskey industry. How do you come up with your topics? How do you come up with your guests? What keeps that fresh?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

The truth is that we’ve gone back and forth on the scotch side of things. There’s probably a year and a half where we really didn’t talk about scotch at all and really didn’t drink that much of it. Maybe we’d have a beer while we were recording.

That’s the thing that we’ve gotten the most pushback about, is when we excluded the scotch from the [laughs] podcast. We joke that people don’t care about the fitness part of our show. Keeping the fitness part fresh is actually pretty interesting and pretty easy, because people have no lack of questions.

It seems like there’s always some new thing coming up that people are obsessed about, whether or not that’s going to take their training to the next level, or their nutrition to the next level. They see some article and they want to have us dive deeper.

Or people are in different phases of different constraints in their life. They’re in college or just got a question about a new dad struggling with trying to fit fitness in within his life of having a new kid in the house. There’s really no shortage of topics to cover.

It’s just trying to find a way to make that approachable, which is really what we try to do with the show is have fun with it and be lighthearted, which I think is missing in a lot of the content in the health and fitness industry.

David TaoDavid Tao

Where do you get more disagreement between you and your co-host on…well, I guess between you and your co-host or between you all and the audience. Is it on the fitness side or the scotch side?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

 [laughs] Well, my co-host is kind enough not to disagree with me [laughs] very much. Off the air, I think he gives me a hard time, but he’s pretty kind on the air.

The audience will get pushed back sometimes. I think that the show is still relatively small. In that sense, we don’t tread too deeply in those waters where controversy bubbles up and causes problems. If we happen to read some research on a topic, let’s say like, we talk about keto, which is sort of the diet du jour.

We just referenced some research and a study that I looked at recently that shows it and maybe a less favorable light. People just get upset about it. Diet and lifting programs, they’re like religion to some people. They just believe in it.

They feel like anything that you present to them that is contrary to what they believe, is like disparaging to them and somehow insulting, which is kind of funny.


David TaoDavid Tao

Well, that’s a good segue into my next question, which is, how did you get involved in the fitness industry? This industry where people take these very [laughs] almost religious fervent stances.

After you’ve been in a while and after you’ve been in the fitness content industry for a while, everyone comes to this moment. I think this is something that we’ve touched on before, where you ask yourself, “Wait, why am I doing this?” This is a bit of a crazy industry. How did you get involved with it initially?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

It’s a odd path, I guess. It’s not straightforward. It’s not like I studied this in school or anything. I actually studied engineering in school and electrical engineering. I have a couple of degrees in that.

I went to work at a NASA facility for about 10 years doing engineering and sending rovers to Mars. Eventually, it got a little burned out on that. Toward the tail end of my engineering career, I came across CrossFit in the late 20 ats and the early teens. I never know how to phrase that. [laughs]

Became so enamored with it like most people do when they first find it that I decided with my wife, and one of their training partner — basically, somebody that had a lot of experience as a trainer for the past previous 10 years or so — to start our own gym.

In 2011, we started a CrossFit gym in Pasadena, California. I did that for about five years. We started out of our garage and there were times that I look back on very fondly. At the end of the five years, we kept running into these real estate issues of trying to move into a bigger location. Ultimately, that led my wife and I to get burned out on that. I guess there’s a trend there.

We sold our shares to our partner. Then left and started our remote coaching business, which is evidenced-based athlete. That’s what we do today is work with individuals one-on-one, developing training programs and nutrition protocols to their specific needs.

I think that the reason that I’m attracted to that model so much is because it really is in alignment with that engineering background that I have where I can look at each person as an individual. Everything that’s going on in their life.

The research that I read on an ongoing basis and figure out what applies, what doesn’t, and how to help that person get where they’re hoping to be. I think that that’s been the major driver for my interest within fitness.

Initially my attraction to the research, which is I spend a lot of time reading scientific studies and trying to develop protocols based upon those. My interest to that is just to counteract all that chest-thumping that you see out there in religion within fitness. That’s where I am in my history within it.

David TaoDavid Tao

Poor NASA, this brain drain of them losing talented engineers to the evil fitness industry.


Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey


David TaoDavid Tao

 Are you the only one you know who’s taken that path or is that something that is relatively common, especially around the 2000 ats?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

 No, it’s uncommon. I still go back every once in a while and visit the place where I used to work. I think there’s maybe one other person that started at the same time as me, that is gone. He went to do other engineering work. Everybody else that gets started there is pretty much a lifer, so, I’m an oddball in that sense.

David TaoDavid Tao

What is the reaction? Do you come back and visit and they’re like, “So wait, you’re doing what now?”

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

Yeah I’m kind of a freak. They’re like, “Oh, that’s neat. I guess.” It just seems odd to most people to spend so much time building a skill set and going to school and spending money and so forth. Then to arrive at a place that a lot of people view as a dream job. To then walk away and do something that many people view is almost a commodity, working within fitness and training.

That’s the reality of it, that’s actually a major struggle. Working with people online is that, a lot of them feel that what’s being offered by most trainers is a commodity, which couldn’t be further from the truth, I think.

David TaoDavid Tao

Do you think there’s a space for you to re-enter the space exploration or engineering field by providing evidence-based fitness programs, to the astronauts of the future?


Is that something that’s ever crossed your mind?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

They do have people that actively work on that. I’d never thought about getting back into that until you mentioned that just now. Maybe that can, you pick on draw from both sides of my background, I’ll have to dig in that a little bit more.

David TaoDavid Tao

You’re uniquely positioned. When we record another episode two, three years from now. I fully expect you to have to say before we start recording. “David, I’m working on this protocol for the Mars expedition, and there’s a lot of stuff I can’t talk about, so you can’t bring it up. Be very careful what we say on the podcast.” I need that to happen.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

I’ll start a premium Elon and see if I can get in with them.

David TaoDavid Tao

Back to your focus on evidence-based fitness. I’m going to read something from your website, which is the URL is We’ll talk about this in the show notes, will talk about…make sure everyone knows exactly how to go to that URL and how to spell it at the end of the episode.

I want to read a quote that you have on the home page that I found very interesting. It says, “Have you gone paleo zone keto, then intermittent fasted, and even threw in a Russian squat program or two, but still aren’t progressing like you feel you should? Fat loss, muscle gain or performance stalled out. Tired of seeing others doing seemingly the same things, and getting much better results, we can help.”

That line really resonated with me, because as someone who’s been in the fitness industry for a while, and even in fitness industry content for a while. I’ve done that, I’ve bounced around, I’ve thrown in a Russian squad program or two. Maybe a small off-cycle to make things work, and that you really captured a lot in that statement.

Talk about that as it relates to how you approach evidence-based training and developing individualized training protocols for your clients?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

That idea came…it started sticking out to me when I read…You familiar with John Welbourn?

David TaoDavid Tao

Oh, yeah. The power, the power athlete, he used to run…it was CrossFit football for a while.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

When he was doing CrossFit football. He published this article back, I think in 2013, about, “42 things I learned,” something or rather. One of them was, don’t fall prey to the secret squirrel program. He put this idea in my mind back then, which I think was early 2010s.

It just becomes more and more true and evident to me, the more people that I work with, which is that people, they get distracted. I think that it’s especially tough now as the prevalence of social media increases, and there’s more exposure to all these different programs.

All these different diets, and the results that some people, influencers or whomever say that they’re achieving, with these programs. We see like Star athletes doing different programs, and you can follow their program.

It just is like the shiny object syndrome machine. That is designed to get people to not stick with what they’re doing, and runoff and do the next greatest thing, which is probably the most detrimental thing that anyone could do for their progress. That’s what we attempt to counteract with our approach.

Honestly is challenging, because I feel like as humans when you said that you’ve jumped off and done some random programs, and I can freely admit that I’ve done it too. I still get tempted by it, every so often. I feel like we’re hardwired as humans to do that.

What we attempt to do in our coaching is dismantle that, to some degree, and get people to build consistency. To build habits, and to build these efforts that compound on themselves and result in real lasting results. Not like a squat program that will peak your squat for a month, and then you never hit that PR again sort of thing.

David TaoDavid Tao

What is the secret squirrel program? What is the craziest program or misconception or preconceived notion, a client has come to you with saying, “I need to try this,” or like, “This is what I need to do”?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

Every person kind of comes with that own, “I need to do this thing.” It’s hard to say, what the craziest example is. The biggest misconception or preconceived notion that comes along, it’s that everybody’s perception of what works, is highly shaped by survivorship bias.

They see the three people around them, they know that did the keto diet, all had dramatic results. What they didn’t see is that there were 100 people around them, that tried it, but only 3 people made it through to the other end. Sure those people had great results, as however they want to quantify that.

It was such a small percentage that actually made it through. That it’s not really a realistic thing for this person or a valuable effort for them to pursue that. That they should look for something that is going to fit within their life.

Even if they do decide to try to do the keto diet, and maybe they spend some time reflecting on what works and what doesn’t. Ultimately, when we bring in a new client, what we’re doing is asking them the things that have worked in their past, the things that haven’t worked in their past and understand the struggles that they personally have, that caused them to fall off the wagon, if you will, each time.

It’s really about finding those things that people…that trip people up and diffusing them. A lot of times that could be social situations. Being a part of an office that goes out and gets drinks every few nights a week. Having a spouse that’s really not on board and wants to eat pizza every night or whatever.

These are the things that we’re looking at, and they’re not sexy. People honestly turn away from working with us because those are the approaches and the techniques that we’re using. We’re not using like, “OK, we’re going to use this latest developed, this number of sets by this number of reps, which is going to maximize hypertrophy,” that stuff because it honestly doesn’t matter for 99 percent of the population.

David TaoDavid Tao

Are there any protocols, and I mean, that’s more on the training side, as opposed to the nutrition side. Although to look at either of those in a vacuum, would be doing a disservice to any clients? I will say that to couch that statement. You can’t look at them separately. The human body is an interconnected ecosystem of wonder and horror in many ways. If you’ve been around it for long enough.

Are there any protocols or fitness methodologies that it may be surprised you in their efficacy? I want to specify that one step further, especially when it comes to beginners. Maybe people who don’t have preconceived notions, who come to you as more blank slates. What are some of the tried and true protocols you like to get people started on in, say, building that base level of fitness strength?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

 Well, I guess that my thoughts have evolved here. Initially, I came from a CrossFit background and have expanded my knowledge and experience from there. Ultimately, what gets a beginner fit is just doing anything. I mean almost anything will work for a beginner.

It matters probably the least for this population what they do that will actually result in real, tangible improvement in both their lifts or…

I had Mark Rippetoe on our show. He made an offhand statement that I thought was pretty funny where he said, “Have a beginner ride a bike for two weeks, and their bench press is going to go up.” This statement is true. I know that maybe doesn’t quite hit what you’re referring to.

I think this idea of the beginner is pretty interesting, especially as it relates to evidence-based. We see a lot of research making its way into the public space now. A lot of people would like to claim that what they’re doing is science-based or research-based. I don’t think that we acknowledge necessarily that all of that is very easily manipulated. I don’t even know if it’s necessarily with malice.

What happens, especially with training, is that there a lot of these studies that will demonstrate that a certain protocol works or that a certain diet leads to increased strength or anything really. They have to use beginners because the pool of people available for them to use in these studies is very small. It’s difficult for them to get people that have been lifting heavy for five years.

That pool just doesn’t really exist for most research studies. They use beginners to do these training studies especially. Then they have them do any number of things and look to see what results in improvement. Often times, since everything works in beginners, we see that those results are skewed. If we retest that same study in a group of experienced lifters, we’ll see that those findings do not hold.

I think that’s a really important concept for people to grasp, when seen in evaluating different articles that they find maybe not at sites like yours, but in mainstream media, when you see an article that’s like, “Chocolate makes you healthy,” there’s something else to it. I think that we need to take a step back and really try to understand.

This comes to this idea of being evidence-based, because being evidence-based, it doesn’t mean that you use science to guide your guidelines. What it means is that you combine the best current evidence with personal experience and tailored for the individual.

It’s really the combination of those three elements which makes an evidence-based practice. That is what we try to do, is take the scientific, combine it with what we learn practically speaking with our clients, test it on them and evolve those recommendations, so that it works with our clientele.

Then modify it, based on any specific needs or imbalances a lifter has, or lifestyle constraints that they have and get something that fits well for that person. That’s really what’s going to deliver the results.

David TaoDavid Tao

I think it should now be a requirement that any fitness trainer, anyone in the fitness industry writing programs for clients, needs to spend a decade working at a NASA facility…

…because you’re not going to establish this baseline for evidence-based methodology without that. That’s what I’m taking away from this conversation, Brandon.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

Well, I think that there is some level of knowledge that people should have if they are going to try to use research to guide their recommendations. That’s just to do some basic understanding of the pitfalls that are present within a lot of research.

If we had not 10 years of study, but if we had a weekend class, which is all that’s required for most people to do anything within fitness, then we would be miles ahead and much more and better informed trainers. There would be a lot of value to that, but I don’t believe that exists presently.

David TaoDavid Tao

You do focus on combining the best available scientific evidence with your own observations, the feedback you are getting from your clients. There’s a level of the objective combined with the subjective, combined with the individualized there.

How are you tracking client progress? How are you gathering data from your individual clients in order to help hone in the content, the workout programs? What you’re feeding back to them to optimize their own performance, and their own experience working with you?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

That’s also evolved a lot over time. You should go back and see what I was doing in my CrossFit gym. I had these wild spreadsheets where I would put everybody through these testing periods every six weeks. I had these massive spreadsheets with pivot tables to track all of this.

Fortunately, there’s been a lot of improvements in that field over recent years. Like with our personal clients now we’re using software like TrueCoach, which facilitates delivering training programs and tracking results and watching videos, and all that stuff.

It makes it so much easier so that the coach can focus on that task and not on like, “How do I store this video in some directory and then try to find it again or look through a hundred text messages,” which is how it used to be.

There’s that element of it. Then we bring that data in and still do some custom stuff, which is somewhat in spreadsheets and somewhat in…

I’m fortunate enough to have a background in software development, too. We have some custom software that we run in house to try to look for trends. That’s something that’s continuing to evolve. That’s actually something that has struck my interest more recently is understanding the effect of environment and language, especially on compliance and results.

I read this study about people using the phrase “I can’t” versus “I don’t” and how that affects their commitment to the program. How that can even dramatically influence what they get out of it. Just the fact that they are taking responsibility when they say “I don’t,” and they feel like a victim when they say “I can’t.”

One thing that I play around with here is looking at our most successful clients, and seeing if they in their communication with us tend to use more, “I can’t,” so that we can track that and maybe try to get on top of that earlier.

Those are things that we’re working on. Maybe you didn’t ask that, and that’s too much in the weeds, but I find that stuff fascinating. That’s the sort of thing that I tried to do within our business. Less of the coaching and more of these pieces, the backend pieces designing best practices. Then, I’ve got a couple of coaches that do the dirty work.

David TaoDavid Tao

How big is your team right now?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

There’s three of us. Two coaches. One’s my wife, and she’s much fitter, and she’s the one that…The website you mentioned, heavy duty, which is sort of my pun on my name. Our main website is evidence-based athlete. You can see there that she’s much fitter of the two of us.

David TaoDavid Tao

Looks can be deceiving. I’m not saying that’s the case here, but looks can be deceiving.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

[laughs] That’s true.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s interesting talking about language and how people internalize and then express their own progress along their own fitness paths. Something that I really enjoy learning about and getting in the weeds on a little bit.

This is something where my interest was initially sparked years ago. By a friend of mine whose now a very big name in the fitness industry, his name is Jordan Syatt. He’s perhaps best known for being Gary Vaynerchuk’s trainer, but he has a lot of…He’s got a big social media following.

He joined me on doing some color commentary for the CrossFit games a few weeks ago. I’ve had the real pleasure of getting to know him over the past few years. He’s very big on internal versus external cueing when working with the client.

Now, a lot of that comes from his experience training clients in person. Saying things like, “Keep your chest up,” versus, “Show me the letters on your shirt,” or things like that.

Cues that come internally versus externally and the efficacy of those compared, obviously, I’m sure you can guess, which tends to be more effective long term. How do you think that relates to or might be modified when you’re training clients at a distance or remotely, which is, I know a pretty core part of your business?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

I think that is to some degree the same principles apply. The language that we use affects their interpretation, whether it’s being typed in or whether you’re speaking it.

We do lose some of the opportunity that you have as an in-person coach. You don’t have that ability to tactile, adjust somebody, and to really like be there and give them a high five sort of thing. You do miss out on some of that when you coach people remotely like us, which is why the people that we work with, the clientele has to fit a certain mold.

We really try to focus on filtering down to the right clients that we’re working with rather than casting a wide net because ultimately…We’re not trying to blow this up and make it a massive business. We just want to work with cool people, and give them some good results.

Come to terms with the fact that…There are a lot of ways that you can optimize your business for. One is for revenue, and I had no interest in doing that. I did that when I was doing my CrossFit gym, and there was some downsides that I came across with that.

Now, I just optimize for paying the bills and working with cool people that make it fun. Anyway, getting back to your real question. When you get the right people in place, then communicating with them in the exact same way is very important. It’s all communication.

The way that you deliver the message to somebody has a dramatic effect on their interpretation of it, and their compliance with it. The more that I learn about that, the more that I learn about language and that communication pieces, the more I realize that it is far more important than optimizing…

We’ve talked about here, the sets and the reps, and the timing of the protein shake that you have after the perfectly designed workout. All of that stuff really does not matter.

For 0.0001 percent of the population, for everyone else, it would just be cool if you spoke to them in the right way and told them, “Show me the letters on their T-shirt,” and got them to say, “I don’t eat pizza seven days a week,” sort of thing.

David TaoDavid Tao

Maybe the secret squirrel program was the friends we made along the way, is what you’re saying.


Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

[laughs] Exactly.

David TaoDavid Tao

That was a terrible joke. I really do like your framing on that. I like how the way that things are expressed and communicated. Obviously, it makes a difference on how people internalize and then self-implement.

There are interesting differences between doing that in person as opposed to writing that out, doing it via the written word. I’m sure that’s something that we’re both going to take from this conversation and maybe try and observe in our own work.

What we’re doing at BarBend is primarily communicating with people via the written word. We do a lot of video, we do podcast now, but most of the content we produce is written.

How does that differ in what people take away from a piece of content as opposed to the language we’re using on video, on the podcast? It’s really interesting conundrum. I don’t have a lot of solid answers for it right now.


Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

I think that there’s another side to that. As a content company, one motivation is to get in front of as many eyeballs as possible, right?

David TaoDavid Tao

100 percent.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

 That’s in alignment with the secret squirrel approach, 100 percent. How do you find a way get more eyeballs but then get people what they think they need, and then deliver on what they actually need? It’s a tough problem.

David TaoDavid Tao

I came into this conversation with a ton of questions for you, and you’ve completely turned it on me.

I might be very self-reflective after this.

Brandon, we’re coming to the point in the podcast where I want to just do some rapid-fire questions, and then I want to make sure we give some time for you to talk about where folks can follow more of your work especially when it comes to the Strength & Scotch Podcast, but also the work in evidence-based training that you and your wife were running. Quick rapid-fire questions, are you ready?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

Sure, let’s do it.

David TaoDavid Tao

I didn’t tell you about this beforehand. I’ll tell some guys, but I thought you would be perfect to go in cold. Your secret talent.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

My [laughs] secret talent. My secret talent is smoking meats. I don’t know if it’s secret, but I really love the barbecue. I love Central Texas barbecue. It’s an obsession of mine. I guess that’s my secret talent.

David TaoDavid Tao

 You are a good person to be friends with. I will keep that in mind. Your pet peeve. It doesn’t have to be fitness-related.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

That’s tough. [laughs] Let’s see here. My pet peeve is people asking questions that they don’t really care about the answer to.

David TaoDavid Tao

Like this one.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

I didn’t mean it in that sense. I meant some more in the fitness sense, where people will ask your impression on something, or what do you think about this, that, or the other, and you will give it to them. You give them an answer.

You could spend a long time creating a valid response for them, and they just roll with it. There’s no value to it. I think that people really feel that there’s very little value in information today, the value of it is going down and down. When people post those questions and treat the crafted response that you’ve put together of low value, that’s a pet peeve of mine.

David TaoDavid Tao

Who in the fitness industry do you admire most? It could be an athlete, coach, anyone in the fitness industry.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

My biggest role model within fitness is James Fitzgerald of OPEX. Back in my CrossFit days, I came across this stuff and he…Going out there and doing trainings at OPEX, it was OPT at that time, opened my eyes to why…It forced me to ask my question of, “Why am I not applying the engineering principles to the fitness stuff that I’m doing right now?”

I have this whole strong background that would help out what I’m doing in fitness, and I’m not doing it. He takes that approach. He’s also opened my mind to a lot of different things. For those reasons, he’s definitely one of the people I look up to most.

David TaoDavid Tao

Where can people follow along with what you’re doing both on the podcast and in your day job creating evidence-based programs and working with clients to get them fitter, and help them achieve their goals?

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey

 If they want to follow along with the podcast, Subscribe anywhere that you get your podcast. That’s probably the easiest way to do it. If they want to learn more about the coaching that we do, they can just go to, and check us out there.

David TaoDavid Tao

Perfect. Brandon, thanks so much for joining us today. I always love where our conversations go. I look forward to the next ones moving down the road. Thank you so much.

Brandon HeaveyBrandon Heavey