Chris Duffin: Squatting 1,000 Pounds and More Impossible Feats

Chris Duffin is an inventor, record-setting powerlifter, author, and founder of Kabuki Strength Labs. He’s also one of the strongest humans on the planet, becoming the first person to deadlift 1,000 pounds for reps back in 2016. We caught up with Chris while he was training for his next feat, which he’ll attempt in March 2020: Back squatting 1,000 pounds for a triple. 

In this episode, Chris explains the unique training approach for these records, recovery techniques, lifting for charity, and the one strength feat he regrets not completing. 

In this episode of the BarBend Podcast, host David Thomas Tao talks to Chris Duffin about:

  • Chris’ final great feat of strength and why he’s ending on this (2:30)
  • The underestimated difference between lifting massive weights for singles compared to multiple reps (and squatting 800+ pounds every day for a month) (4:55)
  • How Chris uses these feats to raise money for charity (6:22)
  • The training cycle leading up to the 1,000 pounds X 3 rep squat attempt (10:30)
  • Chris takes us through his squat workouts (16:00)
  • The strength feat that Chris regrets not completing (19:55)
  • Updating research in the field of strength (23:02)
  • Dialing in recovery for world record attempts (25:30)
  • Why recovery should begin immediately post-workout (32:00)
  • Building a well-rounded life outside of strength sport (34:00)

Relevant links and further reading:

Transcription

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

I always wanted to do a 225-pound barbell, single-arm snatch and the best I got was 215 pounds. I don’t know why I want to do…I really enjoy that exercise or that movement.

 

I wouldn’t call it an exercise, because it’s so raw and explosive. You can’t even have good technique with it for the most part. You can’t pop it with your hips when it’s a barbell, because you’re going to make it spin to one side. It’s very different, and it’s a raw, explosive, powerful look movement.

 

I’ve had it written in my notes of the goals that I wanted, and that’s one I was never able to get.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Welcome to the “BarBend Podcast” where we talk to the smartest athletes, coaches, and minds from around the world of strength. I’m your host, David Thomas Tao, and this podcast is presented by barbend.com.

Today I’m talking to inventor, author and record breaking powerlifter Chris Duffin. He’s the founder of Kabuki Strength, based out of Oregon. Also the author of “The Eagle and the Dragon,” an autobiographical look into Chris’ life and inspirations. Though he’s retired from powerlifting competition, Chris is still on a mission to accomplish a series of strength feats, once thought impossible.

That includes deadlifting 1,000 pounds for reps, which he did in 2016. More recently, squatting 1,000 pounds for reps, which he plans to attempt this March. In this podcast, Chris and I chat about his training and motivation for his incredible squat challenge, which includes breaking training barriers few, if any, other humans have ever attempted before.

We also discussed the mental toll of prepping for near superhuman strength feats along with the cutting edge recovery tools and techniques in Chris’ arsenal. It’s a look into pushing the limits of performance that you won’t want to miss.

Also, I want to take a second to say we’re incredibly thankful that you listen to this podcast. If you haven’t already, be sure to leave a rating and review of the BarBend Podcast in your app of choice. Now, let’s get to it.

 

Chris Duffin, perhaps better known as Mad Scientist Duffin online. Thanks so much for joining us today. We’re recording this podcast right in the midst of your training for what you claim is your final great feat of strength.

 

First off, what is it? Then secondly, why you’re saying it’s your final one. You’re someone who’s known for quite a few feats of strength, over the course of your career.

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

Well, this is actually a culmination of a few things. I retired from powerlifting competitively, four years ago. At the time I announced I’ve got these grand goals I’m going for. I didn’t really fully elaborated on. I just said, “Hey, you know, it’s to go for 1,000-pound deadlift.”

 

I ended up doing that which still stands as the Guinness World Record for the sumo deadlift. I did it for almost three repetitions.

 

That was actually my goal all along. People watch my training. They’re like, “You’re strong enough to pull 1,000, why aren’t you doing it?” The plan was to be the first person in history to have done reps with 1,000-pound deadlift. That was only part of the plan. The entire plan was to be the first person in history to do reps with 1,000 pounds, for both the squat and the deadlift.

 

This has been a multi-year training plan. Over four years of developing my axial load tolerance to be able to handle the training, that’s needed to be able to have somebody that’s a bit lighter like myself. Again, the only other people pulling 1,000-plus pound deadlifts at the time were 140 pounds heavier than me. Same thing with the squat.

 

They’re just body weight nowhere near me, so I have to train a lot more and a lot harder. My final piece of that is to squat 1,000 pounds for a triple. I chose this because a lot of times you have specialists in one area or the other.

 

I really felt that this could stand, to make a statement on the principles of the things that we talk about in the education with Kabuki Strength which is the largest global importance is being able to stabilize and control spinal position.

 

That’s definitely demonstrated by being able to do this, [laughs] more so than a heavy single. A lot of people don’t realize that it takes me about 30 seconds to do a triple with around, upper 900-pound weight. That’s a longer time to be able to stabilize and manage and control that. That’s been the plan. I’ve done a few other things in the interim, while I’ve been developing it.

 

If you think back now and understand, I was working on increasing my axial load tolerance, you’re like, “Oh, those all actually fit into the plan.” I squatted 800 pounds every single day, for 30 days at one point. I dead lifted 880, so 400 kilograms, every single day for 16 days, 17 days somewhere in there, as well over the course of this last four years.

 

Just a side note, this is now tied to our core beliefs. My core beliefs, my company’s core beliefs around philanthropy and giving back. Every time I do one of these, we partner with a charity that we believe in, and help raise awareness and funds. More recently, actually actively participating and like doing some of the buildings and things related to the charities.

 

It’s a great opportunity to combine those things together, by using that platform to help facilitate that.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

I do want to ask more about the training protocols that lead up to this. I also want to ask maybe right now, how do you identify which charities you want to work with for their particular feats of strength?

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

Yeah, so, that’s a really good question. Nobody’s actually asked that before. It is very specific. A lot of these are all tied to…I have a book titled The Eagle and the Dragon, it’s about my upbringing. There’s a lot that’s covered in that book.

 

There’s a lot of experiences that happened to either me or my family, growing up homeless and trauma that happened as a result of that. A lot of these charities are like the first time I did the ground goals. We were helping build homes for homeless mothers, and teens that were coming out of sexual abuse situations. This more recent time again, was more housing for homeless veterans.

 

It’s related to a lot of my personal experiences. One of them the last one with the 880 deadlift, we did a fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, which is for childhood cancer research. My business partner, Rudy, his grandson was going through chemo at the time. That was a really close point for all of us, here at Kabuki, while that was happening. Both of those charities that we’ve tied most closely to.

 

We also do the Special Olympics. That’s just something close to my heart, from a philosophy standpoint. Empowering people and teaching them independence and strength and building those characters really, you can see it. We don’t do any fundraising for them anymore. We just support their teams, because the big thing is, we also want to make sure that all our funds are going to the cause.

 

Like Alex’s Lemonade Stand, you know 100 percent of the funds, are going to research for childhood cancer. Our stuff that we’re doing for all the other causes, is through the Portland or the homebuilders foundation, here in the Portland area. I think it’s for Oregon, but all the activities usually here in Portland.

 

We have a close ties to them. We know that nearly everything, a lot of the admin positions they’re volunteer, and so everything is going to these causes. There’s a lot of charities out there.

 

If you don’t do the research, you’ll find that very small percentages. We’re not talking like 90 percent, 80 percent or something, is only going to the charity. It may be a miniscule amount, 5-10 percent or something like that, and so on.

You talk about this. First of all, thank you for that explanation. I think that in the fitness industry, there’s certainly been a trend towards supporting charitable causes. Getting into kind of the business side of that, all right. I guess you could say the admin side of that how people select those charities and those causes. One’s near and dear to your heart in the family over at Kabuki Strength.

 

It’s neat to hear that it’s neat to hear kind of the logic behind that. Going back to the training for the 1,000-pound squat for three reps. It’s a combination of a four-year training cycle in many ways.

 

I like how you pointed out that no, none of these things have been in a vacuum. It’s all culminating in a series of goals, not just individual ones on their own. It’s been a bit of a four-year training cycle.

 

But, leading up to this feat, your training in the squat has certainly ramped up. It’s something we’re seeing you post more about on social media. By the time this podcast comes out, you might have already attempted and done the 1,000-pound triple. What, in the months leading up to that attempt, has your training been focused on and what does that look like?

That was a problem we ran into with a Special Olympics. We tried doing some stuff for them and we found out that even when we offered to do all the work, it wasn’t happening. We train their team members and do things like that and coach the teams, and stuff like that now, versus actively raising funds. We were finding that wasn’t really going to where, we were hoping it was going.

David TaoDavid Tao

You talk about this. First of all, thank you for that explanation. I think that in the fitness industry, there’s certainly been a trend towards supporting charitable causes. Getting into kind of the business side of that, all right. I guess you could say the admin side of that how people select those charities and those causes. One’s near and dear to your heart in the family over at Kabuki Strength.

 

It’s neat to hear that it’s neat to hear kind of the logic behind that. Going back to the training for the 1,000-pound squat for three reps. It’s a combination of a four-year training cycle in many ways.

 

I like how you pointed out that no, none of these things have been in a vacuum. It’s all culminating in a series of goals, not just individual ones on their own. It’s been a bit of a four-year training cycle.

 

But, leading up to this feat, your training in the squat has certainly ramped up. It’s something we’re seeing you post more about on social media. By the time this podcast comes out, you might have already attempted and done the 1,000-pound triple. What, in the months leading up to that attempt, has your training been focused on and what does that look like?

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

About nine months out is usually where we start really planning specifically for here’s the event. The same thing happened with the deadlift. It was around 9 or 11 months. We’ve got a few large blocks of training leading into that. The first one is, we’re choosing exercises that are going to lead towards developing the qualities that we want, but are less specific.

 

So, at the time, nine months out, I was doing front squatting. We were also looking at developing qualities in areas that were lacking or not lacking, but needed developed.

 

To be able to hold that bar and hold that position for that long, I needed a lot of upper back strength, lower back strength. So, we were seeing a lot of rowing variations, good mornings, things of that nature that were mixed into the training program.

 

As we got closer, some of those things started to get more specific. Some of the accessory movements started dropping out. I switched to doing transformer bar squats with…similar to a safety squat bar, but a lot more variability and load location and specifically what you want to develop.

 

I was doing those a couple times a week with only what I call a breathe belt on. That’s the name of it, it’s a breathe belt that’s on our store. It’s an expandable, non-supportive belt. What I’m doing with that is front-loading and really challenging my ability to maintain torso stability. With those bars maintaining position of the TL junction, things like that becomes very, very challenging.

 

Then taking away basically a supportive belt really made me focus on building the stability. I felt I needed to get to the point that I could handle 800 pounds a couple times a week, and from there I knew I would have the stability that I needed to be able to start getting to those next phases.

 

The final phases, the last few months, is very, very specific. So, this is very unlike you would see in Olympic training, power lifting training, strong man, because it’s one event. It’s one goal. This is one of the ways I’m able to pull off things that are just completely outside the norm that we don’t normally see. I can put all of my recovery resources to just that.

 

If I was trying to train bench press and squat at the same time, I’m going to be consuming more of my training resources. More of my recovery resources will need to be allocated to that, as well. You’re just not going to be able to achieve or reach as far. This isn’t a methodology I would suggest to anyone because it is very specific, and it’s also…

 

I’ve been training for over 30 years. I don’t need to put on more muscle. There’s a whole lot of things I don’t need to do, like, what about your pressing? When are you deadlifting? I’m not. [laughs] So, these final phases, that’s literally it. I’m going to be squatting on a Duffalo bar, so that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m squatting on a Duffalo bar.

 

The most recent phase, it was two training days a week. I was squatting one day and still doing belt squats on the secondary day. I wasn’t axial loading, but still working on trying to get a little bit more high-pressure feed into those legs at a little bit more muscle mass before getting into the final phases.

 

Now, that secondary day has dropped. I’m only squatting once a week. That’s it. That sounds really easy. I’ll tell you, that is so far from the truth. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

What is that squatting day like, your most recent training day? What was the volume like on that?

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

I’ll walk through it, warm-ups included. That goes pretty quick. I keep my warm-ups…I make fairly big jumps because I’m trying to conserve both my physical energy, but also my mental and emotional energy that’s needed for those heavy lifts.

 

I make large jumps, but I do a lot of movement prep work on specific areas that I know that I need or are going to get things turned on and moving the way that I want.

 

A lot of the way that we warm up is part of greasing the groove, developing the skills, refining the patterns, whatever you want to call it. Those are not things that I necessarily need to do at my point in the career. It’s all about getting things turned on and getting prepared. Really, the warm-up is just a couple test points to make sure everything’s moving well.

 

I do my movement, body weight stuff. If you want to know what that stuff’s like, you can go on our coaching Instagram, which is kabuki_virtualcoaching. We produce content there every day on Instagram. I’ll do a few movements like that.

 

Then I’ll do five or six sets of 12 to 20 with just a plate. I’m using kilo plates, so it’s roughly 160ish pounds, say. From there, it’s 70-kilo jumps. 300 pounds for a triple. 500 pounds for a couple reps. 700 pounds for a double or a single. 840 pounds, 850 pounds, something like that, for a single.

 

Then, now’s my working. This is done every week. The volume and intensity I’m talking about here, I don’t know that anybody’s ever done it before. Last workout was 916 pounds for a double, followed by 965 pounds for a double, followed by 982 pounds for a double, followed by dropping it down to 943 pounds for a double.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

A nice easy back-off set at 943.

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

Yeah. You still have to be mentally engaged on all this stuff, so it’s eight reps at an average load of 952 pounds. For example, in the last two months, I’ve squatted over 400 kilo, 881 pounds, 71 times. That’s nuts, if you think about it.

 

When people ask, “That’s all you’re doing?” That takes a toll on your body. If your max is 500 pounds, and you’re working up close to that, and doing the equivalent percentages, it’s very different because maintaining the positions with those 900-plus pound loads, everything is on.

 

I walk away from the workout and I’m like, “That’s the best lat workout I’ve had in years.” My biceps are sore, my triceps are sore, my lats, my traps, my entire core…Everything is destroyed after every workout.

David TaoDavid Tao

This is a single workout a week, super high intensity, crazy volume for those weights, and you’re not doing any other accessory work. There’s no day when you’re coming in and you’re doing accessory rows or any pressing or anything like that?

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

Nothing like that. The last block, I told you I was doing some belt squats. There’s about four weeks of that. The block before that, there where still accessory days and I still have upper body pump days, just for my mental well-being and stuff.

 

I was doing curls and push-ups and things like that. I even went away from pressing because when you’re in pressing, you’re getting a little bit of that arch. You’re opening the pelvis to a rib cage relationship, and I was seeing a negative carryover into my squat on some of those days.

 

I went to a push-up which is more of a plank, so I could get some volume, and I do like five sets of 25 on the push-up or total sets to failure or whatever.

 

I was still doing things like that as I could, but as I get closer in those weights…so in the last three months, I’ve gone from an 840-pound average load to 950 pounds. At a 840-pound average load, I can still mix that stuff in and recover, but I can’t now.

David TaoDavid Tao

If you look back on your career, whether as a competitive powerlifter or after when you’ve gone after these more singular feats of strength, is there any feat of strength that you regret not going after or any that you feel has eluded you?

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

 

There has been one that’s eluded me. It hasn’t been a huge driver and I don’t think I’m going to go after it after this, but I always wanted to do a 225-pound barbell single arm snatch and the best I got was 215 pounds. I don’t know why I want to do that. I really enjoy that exercise or that movement. I wouldn’t call it an exercise…

…just because it’s so raw and explosive. You can’t even have good technique with it, for the most part, because you can’t pop it with your hips when it’s a barbell, because you’re going to make it like spin to one side.

It’s very different. It’s just a raw, explosive, powerful look, movement. Every now and again, I’ve had it written in my notes, of the goals that I wanted. That’s one I just never able to get. [laughs] It looks like it’s going to be that way, because when I get really lean, it gets a lot more problematic to throw the bar around like that.

After this goal, after I finished this thousand pounds squat, the next few months is going to be leaning back out. I’m sitting at 280 pounds right now. Getting down, because I hate being on the fatty side, and focus on health and longevity. I’ll still be training, I’ll still be doing stuff and pushing myself, but not in the way and the manners that I do now.

David TaoDavid Tao

Now, at this point in your career, we were talking before the broadcaster, before we started recording. I said twilight of your career, and then I immediately apologized. You were like, “No, no, no, that’s correct. It’s the twilight of the career.” [laughs]

I don’t even know if I could go back, because we’re definitely in a golden age right now of training. The amount of information and resources available, the technology, the science, everything is just come so far from where it was a decade ago, two decades ago.

 

When I started lifting, there was nothing more than Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, and Bill Pearls’ book. [laughs] That was like the highlight of education in the sport.

 

At this point in the twilight of your career, how are you approaching recovery and nutrition? Specifically, as compared to maybe 20 years ago, 25 years ago. You’ve been training for over three decades. There’s a lot of time to borrow from and I’m sure your approach has changed more times than anyone can count.

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

I don’t even know if I could go back, because we’re definitely in a golden age right now of training. The amount of information and resources available, the technology, the science, everything is just come so far from where it was a decade ago, two decades ago.

 

When I started lifting, there was nothing more than Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding, and Bill Pearls’ book. [laughs] That was like the highlight of education in the sport.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

You’ve done quite a bit in increasing the body of knowledge, and in turning that from knowledge to actual content that people can access. That’s kind of cool.

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

Yeah, and I saw a gap there a number of years ago. Let me head down that route for just a few minutes. It is really important to me. I was working and developing knowledge a little bit more on the clinical side.

 

I was doing a lot of clinical continuing education courses even though my degrees are in engineering and master’s in business, and things of that nature, leadership. I was doing continuing education courses in the clinical side, and developing all these relationships.

 

As I was going through, a lot of the research and the people that were working in the fields. We’re dealing with sedentary elderly populations, which there’s nothing wrong, we do a lot of work in that space ourselves now. It wasn’t really clicking for like, how do you actually take this into a normal active person or an athlete’s life and actually make this usable?

 

I spent a number of years like digesting that and, by that point, I was actually speaking on those same circuits. I established a lot credibility, and I was able to talk back and forth with a lot of leaders in the world around. Whatever specific topics it was, in developing the methodology and approach and started testing on our athletes on myself.

 

That’s where we’ve really put things that are a little more esoteric. Like developmental kinesiology, from the Prague School of Medicine and actually making some of that like digestible. Here’s a specific set of steps and how we want to cue and engage that while you’re squatting, while you’re deadlifting, while you’re benching. How would that make a case for how we carry a yoke?

 

We started seeing phenomenal results, and huge on getting people back into practice. After thinking they’ve destroyed their back, destroyed their shoulders, and so on. We’ve got an entire methodology and approach.

 

We’ve got three courses, they’re two days apiece, that we teach this on a regular our basis every month around North America, although we’re expanding globally this year. That’s a lot of what I do. I’m always like, this is a side note on the feats of strength. These are actually huge learning opportunities for me.

 

When you put yourself in the situation where you’re doing these things you have to figure out a way out, and you’re in our uncharted territory. All those feats that I’ve talked about, over the last four years, nobody’s ever done anything like it, with either frequency, volume, intensity. There’s no playbook to go by.

 

Right now, everything is about recovery. I spend one day a week training, and six days a week, significant amount of my day is focused on recovery. Number one thing with recovery, sleep. Sleep is huge, really basic stuff.

 

Making sure your technology is off, not exposure before your bed. Regular bedtime. A little bit of meditative practice. Deep breathing, to get you into that sympathetic state with your nervous system. These are practices that people just need to stay on top of.

 

I also nap every day as well. Here at Kabuki Strength, I’ve got to have my napping couch. Actually, it’s here right here in our recording studio, because it’s soundproof when you close the door.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Yes nice and quite Right, that’s a perfect place to take a nap.

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

 I get a nap in every day. Second to that is movement. Movement is huge, whether it be a walk. I do a lot of movement prep-work focusing on the areas that I specifically need to, on my off days. Another big piece of movement is making sure that you’re moving well to begin with. This is where like, soft tissue work things like that come in.

 

If I’m in some sort of compensatory pattern, and I’m moving, it’s not going to help if I’m going for a walk, and I’m favoring one leg, I’m limping a little bit, my pelvis is rotated. Every week, we actually laser my alignment of my hips and my shoulders and my spine. That drives a lot of choices and soft tissue work and retesting to verify that the work is done.

 

We sell soft tissue treatment tools. I do a lot of work with those. I’ve got an in house LMT, that does work on me. The first session that we do is immediately post squat. It’s about five minutes later, 15 minutes later.

 

Literally bars still loaded. I’m on the floor, right there after that last squat. This isn’t deep work. This is like getting the tissue relax, getting it kind of turn off that heightened state, but also addressing some of the huge outliers. If I’ve got some of the hip flexors tight on one side, we’ll start, alleviating that.

 

What we want is, have the least amount of time in compensatory patterns, so that just daily life actually helps with recovery. I see so many people, they’re foam rolling or doing stuff right before they go lift and I’m like, “Why did you wait all week to do that? [laughs] Now you have to do that before you go lift. You didn’t do your homework.”

 

Those are huge things. A lot of it is about blood flow. One of my companies is Built Fast Formula, and I don’t want to talk up, make advertising pitches. The daily use of basically nitrates is really awesome. People think about nitrates as Pump Products. Increasing vascularity, make you feel pumped and good while you train for aesthetics.

 

Those same things are enhancing blood flow and recovery. Making sure you’ve got muscle fullness, so that when you’re walking into a workout, you’re full and ready to train.

 

The daily use of that — that’s what we’ve pioneered and there’s research validating this — has a huge impact on hypertrophy, endurance, recovery. That has been a game changer for me the last year and a half is putting that in. That’s a key. Our product is called VasoBlitz. That has a great mix of nitrates, citrulline, lactate that stimulate this process.

 

You can also go with things like, beet juice, tomato juice, things like that as well that’ll have some similar properties. That is great. For the sleep I also use a recently added an Uhler or chili pad, which is a chilled mattress cover. You determine what your optimal cool is, to maintain your temperature.

 

A lot of the reasons that we wake up during the night is because of our temperature getting out of control a little bit. We heat up during the sleep. You can control that environment. That’s been awesome.

 

On the blood flow side, I also use a vascular flow device. It uses magnets or electromagnetism to take the small capillaries and to expand and contract them. It increases blood flow into those smaller tissues. It’s not effective begin is going and doing a light workout. It’s a passive modality.

 

That one is probably not worth the investment for an individual user. I’ll just be straightforward with that one. If it’s just for you, it’s probably not worth it. You could do some light work, but it’s another one that I put in there. Minor, but it’s Epsom salt baths. I’m doing those almost daily right now.

 

The magnesium is going to have an impact on muscle relaxation, but at the end of the day, it’s pretty minimal. That hot bath and just relaxation time, particularly before bed, again is going to help us with a lot of those other things. Stimulating that vagus nerve to relax, rest-and-relax phase, enhancing digestion, getting you ready and improving sleep quality, all these sorts of things are all tied together.

 

They may seem minor, but they all work together. The bigger process is sleep. [laughs] It is movement. It is blood flow. Making sure that you’re doing the work to address posture, position, and making sure that we don’t have any compensatory patterns lagging with us for any length of time.

 

Post session, I do blood flow restriction. I do a couple. I’ve just added it in because I dropped that secondary. Even with the nitrates, taking a whole week off, my muscles aren’t as full going into the workout.

 

I’ll do a little bit of blood flow restriction and a typical, how it would be employed in a rehab process, the two days prior, with some light training, just to get some volumization, get some clearance in the tissues. I’ll do that around my legs.

 

Post session, I do a different BFR protocol. It’s a passive one. It is developed for recovery. Dr. Mario Novo is my coach on that. He’s one of the leaders in the BFR field.

 

BFR, I’m not talking about just like slapping some bands on your body. You need to use an ultrasound and measure your venous flow, and know when it comes at what pressure. That happens so you can use the right parameters, and get the results from it and also not endanger yourself.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s a very important point when it comes to [laughs] any recovery methodology as far as not endangering yourself. Chris, as you look to wind down your…

 

Well, your official power powerlifting career ended a few years ago, and as this last feat of strength is on the horizon, are there any movement practices, sports, anything athletic you’re looking forward to trying in the next phase of your life that maybe you haven’t had the opportunity to dive into, while being so focused on these lifting goals?

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

Yeah, I think that is almost a little bit of a bigger question. We see people oftentimes that have an identity developed or tied to their sport, if they’re at a very high level. When they reach that point of like, maybe that’s why they don’t want to retire, or they’re scared of it, or afterwards, they have trouble finding themselves.

 

I think it’s always good, anybody at any level, to make sure that they’ve got a well-rounded life. That their definition of themselves is not tied to this one thing, because that can be taken from you at any time. You could have an injury in the sport, you get hit by a car, you could get…there’s so many things.

 

I have a lot of other things in my life, and a lot of other goals. When I’m training at this level, it’s very consuming in these periods of time that I can’t participate or do some of those other things. I wouldn’t say that there’s more that I want to go do, but maybe things that I need to spend more time with.

 

I love snowboarding, but I’m not going to go out. It’s winter, right now. I was almost late to this podcast, because we got some snow on the ground here in the city. I’m not going to go up and hit the mountain right now. [laughs] I end up rarely doing that anymore.

 

Big hikes, when I’m sitting here at 280 pounds, I’m not going to want to go do those sorts of things, or enjoy it the way that I have in the past. I’m going to stick to just your question, not talking about my other hobbies or things that I have planned post, exiting this. I’m not exiting, it’s just a shift.

 

I’ve been training for over 30 years. I competed for 16 years. Almost a decade of that I was ranked number one in the world, nearly every year straight. I set multiple all time world records. Now, I’m getting to my mid-40s, I still plan on being active.

 

I’d like to be producing more content to help people and doing other stuff, but my personal goals that are driven by my ego take away from what I can contribute because I have so much time consumed with what I’m doing.

 

I’m really excited about that next phase and focusing on it. Yeah, I’m getting a bit older. I got three kids. I got a young wife. I need to be around, and so I’m going to be active and doing things, just in a different manner than I am right now.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

At a lighter body weight. [laughs]

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

 

And a lighter body weight, yes. [laughs] Although, I’m going to post a little picture up on social. It’s freaking nuts. I’m sitting at 280 pounds right now and I still have visible abs. It doesn’t make sense to me. [laughs]

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Well, I’m sure we could dive into that but there’s a lot of muscle on the frame. Chris, what are the best places — I know there are a few — for people to keep up to date with the work you’re doing?

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

he primary places that I stay active is Instagram and LinkedIn. You can find me just by typing in Chris Duffin but on Instagram, my handle is mad_scientist_duffin. I highly encourage people to follow our coaching account. You can follow our main business accounts as well.

 

The coaching account we drop educational content nearly daily on and that’s the kabuki_virtualcoaching on Instagram. I also drop that same content onto my LinkedIn on a regular basis as well.

 

I do have some Facebook pages, I think the company does. I do, but Facebook has been a difficult platform to deal with the last few years so I really don’t interact much. It’s literally cross-posted Instagram stuff. It automatically goes on there and that’s it. [laughs] Instagram and LinkedIn are the places to go.

 

You can find all my projects on christopherduffin.com. My personal website’s christopherduffin.com. The main company that I’m involved with all the time, the most well-known is Kabuki Strength, K-A-B-U-K-I Strength, and you can find that at kabukistrength.com.

 

There’s a link to my bestselling book on my main site too, christopherduffin.com. There’s a link there and I think you can download an audio version for free if you go through that website as well. That’s a pretty cool deal.

David TaoDavid Tao

 

Awesome. Chris, thanks so much for joining us. We are excited to see what’s next for you after this final feat of strength, and we’ll be tuned in in a big way here at the BarBend office. Thanks so much for joining us.

Chris DuffinChris Duffin

I’ve always appreciated your guys’ support. It’s great getting to talk with you today.

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