Sebastian Oreb: Inside the Mind of Australian Strength Coach

Today we’re talking to Sebastian Oreb, better known online as Australian Strength Coach. Sebastian has trained athletes from professional rugby players to elite powerlifters, and he’s also the strength coach of 2018 World’s Strongest Man Hafthor Bjornsson. Sebastian joins us to talk about his unconventional path in strength, the ways in which personal strength goals impact how you coach, and why building personal relationships with athletes is so important in establishing trust. We also talk about how a single day and a bench press cue was what convinced Hafthor to hire Sebastian as his coach.

On this episode of The BarBend Podcast, host David Tao talks to Sebastian Oreb about:

  • Coming up with the online name “Australian Strength Coach” (3:30)
  • Working toward a 1,000 kilogram powerlifting total (5:40)
  • Finding strength training, plateauing, and rebuilding interest (7:20)
  • Meeting Hafthor Bjornsson and becoming Thor’s strength coach (12:10)
  • The importance of social media for trainers like Seb (15:20)
  • People in the strength space Seb admires (20:20)
  • Taking strength sports mainstream and to Hollywood (27:20)
  • Seb’s diet and tackling Hafthor’s day of eating (29:00)

Relevant links and further reading:


Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

…what he has done for the sport, regardless of social media. He’s brought the attention from the Hollywood crowd, the people that leads the television and Game of Thrones to these strength sports.


Now, thanks to him, I believe that strength sports will start earning a little bit more money. Still not as much as the other sports that I’ve mentioned before, but I think it’s a huge contributing factor to the success of strength sports today.

David TaoDavid Tao

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


Today I’m talking to Sebastian Oreb, better known online as Australian Strength Coach. Sebastian has trained athletes from professional rugby players to elite powerlifters. He’s also the strength coach of 2018 World’s Strongest Man, Hafþór Björnsson.


Sebastian joins us to talk about his unconventional path and strength, the ways in which personal strength goals impact how you coach, and why building personal relationships with athletes is so important in establishing trust. We also talk about how a single-day seminar and a bench press cue was what convinced Hafþór to hire Sebastian as his coach.


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. I’d also recommend subscribing to the BarBend Newsletter to stay up to date on all things strength. Just go to to start becoming the strongest person in your gym today. Now, let’s get to it.


Thanks so much for joining us today. I have to ask, and I knew I was going to ask this question to start off. You’re best known as Australian Strength Coach. My question is, is there a cabal of national strength coaches?


Is there someone who’s American Strength Coach, Canadian Strength Coach, Chinese Strength Coach, and you all share insights?

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

There is now. The way that I came across the name Australian Strength Coach was actually by accident. Many years ago, I was developing a website, and I wanted the website


For those of you who have tried to create websites and find domain names, you’ll know very quickly that that name, it’s not available.


Nothing with one-word .com is available, so then I tried, which wasn’t available. I came across, after about over a thousand different name choices, australianstrengthcoach was available, so I took it.


David TaoDavid Tao

It’s always interesting to hear the story behind brand names. Coming up with it for BarBend was a bit of luck. It was available. I remember when we bought it. When you go to events or when people see you in person, do they call you Australian Strength Coach and maybe not know your actual name?

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

Yeah. I walk down the street and people scream out, “Australian Strength Coach.” Even people that I know, but they knew me first through social media. It’s quite funny. They come up to me and say, “Hey, Australian Strength Coach. I mean, hey, Sebastian,” and I have a little laugh to myself. It’s just the way it goes.


People see that name more than they see my actual name, so [laughs] it is what it is.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s a fantastic brand. Your brand is international. Maybe earlier in the year and before that, you were traveling around a lot. We see you filming footage and getting content internationally. It’s a way to lead the conversation. People know where you’re from, they know what you’re about, and it makes it easy. It’s like, “OK, let’s get down to brass tacks then.”

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

Absolutely. I’ve got a marketing manager that I work with. Two years ago, he told me something which was really strange. He said, “Australia is trending, not just in the fitness industry. Across the world, a lot of people see this country as kind of like an exotic race, and people want to be affiliated with an Australian.”


I thought, “Wow, that’s not why I chose the name. I am from Australia, but that’s convenient as well.” I hope that’s the case.


David TaoDavid Tao

We’ll see. If we catch your accent slipping, and it turns out you’re just a guy from Ohio in the United States…

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

[laughs] I can assure you that’s not it.

David TaoDavid Tao

..that would be the best podcast we’ve done. That’ll give people the real insight. That’ll get the most downloads.


“Australian Strength Coach Uncovered,” no, “Unmasked.”


You are a strength coach, so we’re going to spend most of the podcast talking about that and not the country you’re from, although we might come back to Australia. When I first came across your content — it was, I’d say probably in the last two years, although you’ve been known long before that — you were deep into powerlifting training.


I see you coaching Hafþór Björnsson and a lot of strongmen athletes, so that’s the slice of strength sports and strength training that I first came across you with. I know you’ve touched in across multiple strength sports. You work with weightlifters. You work with powerlifters. You’ve worked with some CrossFitters, you name it.


How do you describe your own current training style right now, and for folks who might not be familiar with you, what are you training for?

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

I guess we’ll do a top-down approach with this. I’m training for a powerlifting competition, so my training is very specific towards achieving, I’ll say, a 1,000 kg total. I think it’s like 2,200 pound total for the Americans out there. My training is quite specific to powerlifting, but I got into strength training originally.


I’m 38 years old, and I’ve been in the industry for 17 years. I started off I won’t say a bodybuilder because I’ve never competed in bodybuilding shows, but with the typical Arnold Schwarzenegger Encyclopedia type of approach of training. I wanted to impress a girl, who ended up being my wife so…

David TaoDavid Tao

It worked! It worked!

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

That worked. That worked. When I first started training, I was probably around 18 years old. That’s when I started taking it seriously. I was first introduced to the world of strength through a professional strength coach for a South African rugby team called the South African Blue Bulls.


He became a personal trainer at the gym that I was working at, which was a commercial gym in Sydney called Fitness First. I was intrigued by his title. He was a professional strength coach. I didn’t know anything about strength training. I just thought men train weights to build muscle and women do cardio to burn fat, and that’s how we train.


I was intrigued by this whole idea of strength training, so I employed him as a personal trainer. It had nothing to do with powerlifting. It had nothing to do with strength sports. It was just to do with being strong. For him specifically, it was for rugby in South Africa. I thought, “Let’s see what this is about.”


He introduced me to some very simple concepts that I had no idea about. Things like progressive overload. I used to train and be of the belief that the muscles didn’t have a set of scales in them, and you needed to train for a pump, as Arnold would say. How much weight that you’re lifting is irrelevant.


As long as you feel a great stimulation, and then you train close to proximal failure, you’re going to be developing a muscle mass. I plateaued after about five years of training this way. I stopped building muscle and I lost a lot of interest, so I changed sports. I took up Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kickboxing.


Then I employed this strength coach. I thought maybe he can get me stronger for my sport. For the first time in I don’t know how many years, I was following a very simplistic model of periodization. We were monitoring how much weight I was lifting week after week, and for the first time in I don’t know how many years, I started actually building muscle again.


That was because I was monitoring how much weight I was lifting and making sure that I was following simple progressive overload principles. That’s when it kind of flipped my whole world upside down, and I turned towards strength. My goal was muscle building initially, and that stopped. When I turned to strength training, I started building muscle again.


Cut to the chase, through college in Sydney, I was given a task to create a program for professional athletes. Because I was doing jiu-jitsu back in the day, it was a very small community. This was over 10 years ago. It was about 10 years ago.


I knew a lot of the professional fighters, so instead of creating a mock-up case study, I approached a professional fighter and offered to be his coach for free. He was an MMA fighter. This was my first professional athlete that I was coaching. No other coaches in my area were coaching professional fighters.


Even though I only had one professional athlete, I was known as the guy that trains the pros. Soon after this, I got my next professional fighter. He was a boxer. He was a middleweight champion of Australia. Then after that, I got my next professional athlete, which was a powerlifter. I wasn’t a powerlifter at that point. I was just training to be strong for martial arts. It just evolved.


Probably about five years into this, I competed in my first powerlifting competition because I thought, “You know what? I need to start walking the talk and practicing what I preach.” Powerlifting was like the cross between…I didn’t have the time to train jiu-jitsu if I wanted to be successful in my career.


I thought, “What do I have to do to walk the talk, practice what I preach, to show some credibility for my athletes, for my clientele?” Powerlifting just so happened to use squat, bench press, and deadlift, which you don’t have to be a powerlifter to train those movements. They just so happen to be quite beneficial for anyone that wants to get strong.


I thought that’s going to bridge the gap between non-strength sports and someone like me who just wants to be a good coach. I became a powerlifter. Then I became a fanatic at it. I just so happened to get pretty good at it because I put all my time in that space.


It wasn’t making me money as a powerlifting coach. People were intrigued by my ability to lift heavy weights and I was a coach for the pros. It all happened by accident. As you know, my name, Australian Strength Coach, that wasn’t me choosing the optimal name. It’s one of the only ones that was available.


It was a sequence of events that happened like this. I had a list of professional athletes under my name. I had a pretty good powerlifting total at that point. With my wife and her sister, they’ve got a business called Base Body Babes. They were quite popular on social media in Australia. We collaborated, and we opened a gym together.


Opening the gym attracted another larger audience again, and this is when I met Hafþór Björnsson. By the time it was 2016, he came to my gym. I had a list of really strong athletes, from professional rugby players to MMA, like UFC fighters and, of course, powerlifters as well.


Hafþór came to my gym to present a seminar from…He was employed by a company called SodaStream. Anyway, after the day of holding the seminar, he was happy with the way that I coached, and he approached me and asked me to be his coach.

David TaoDavid Tao

After one day?

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

After one day. This one day was quite interesting. There was a few highlights of this day. One of them, we were demonstrating the bench press. My job was to showcase Hafþór as the amazing man that he is. That’s a really easy thing to do. You look at the guy, and you think, “This is a different breed of human.”


We were demonstrating a bench press. I asked Hafþór in front of the class, “What’s your personal best for a bench press?” He said, “230 kilograms.” I was there just to display how amazing he was. I walked around the class. I said, “Who in this class can bench-press that? That’s five blue plates and a little one on each side. Who can do that?”


Everyone, their jaws dropped, and they were like, “Wow. Of course we can’t.” My wife, my biggest fan, she jumped in and she said, “You can.” I thought, “That’s not what I was asking. I was trying to show off Hafþór.” I saw him in my peripheral vision look at me, sizing me up.


We’re demonstrating this bench press technique. He put up his hand. He was one of the presenters, and he put up his hand. He said, “Sebastian, do you mind if I try this technique?” The first time he tried it, he was able to bench-press 240 kilograms.


That was one of the highlights of the event where he saw that I had a good understanding of movement, and I was able to get him to bench-press 20 pounds extra, or 10 kilograms extra, in one session. It was one day of working with him that he was able to ask me.


He was still not completely sold. It took a lot of years of working together before we started to really, really work well. That’s how it happened. That was in 2016. Since then, it’s opened up my world to a lot of high-level powerlifters and strongmen athletes especially.


I train a list of people that are competitive in the World’s Strongest Man at the highest level. That’s pretty much a 10-minute spiel of how I started and how I got to where I am now.

David TaoDavid Tao

I’m sure you thank your wife for that, for speaking up, and being your biggest advocate. Sometimes you don’t want to present yourself. You don’t want to be the guy who always walks the walk when sometimes you think your role is just to talk about other athletes and to be the coach.


Coaches, they don’t necessarily like to show off. Social media is a great tool. If people go to Australian Strength Coach, if they go to your Instagram account, for example, they can see you’re someone who really values strength that is training at a high level yourself.


If you don’t necessarily have that kind of proof of concept…You can be your own best marketing is what I’m trying to say here. It seems like that’s something that’s really paid dividends for you over the last few years.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

No doubt about it. Marketing, and in particular, marketing through social media has been so beneficial for my entire career. Everything, my entire income comes through social media, and specifically Instagram.


I tried to dabble a little bit in YouTube and podcasts as we’re doing now, but my main source of income really comes through Instagram. It’s an interesting thing. A lot of people look at Instagram and see it as a childish thing or something of vanity and narcissism, but it’s a really beneficial business tool.


Thanking my wife for tooting my horn for that event in particular, but also, when I first started off with Instagram, she’s the one that forced me to get into Instagram. She used to laugh at me when I had only a 100 followers, saying, “When are you going to get to 200 followers?”


At this time, she had about 500,000 followers on Instagram. She had a really successful business, her and her sister. That also was very appealing for a lot of people. I’d opened a gym with these two great-looking girls that had an amazing following in Australia through social media. That’s what actually attracted guys like Hafþór to my gym.


It was actually a public relations company that reached out to my wife. They had a big following. They said, “We want to host an event. We want a bunch of industry influencers in the area to attend this event, take photos with Hafþór, tag SodaStream. That’s how we’re going to make our money.”


There’s so many reasons why the collaboration with these girls has done so many great things for my business. I’m going to put it out there. There is a lot of amazing coaches out there that are just not very well known because they haven’t done their bit to market themselves.


It doesn’t make them bad coaches, but there’s so many facets to being successful in the industry, and marketing plays a huge role.

David TaoDavid Tao

Who are some coaches that you go to today to expand your own knowledge? Strength is…It’s a constant learning process. We learn more about the human body every year, the impact of strength training long term, the benefits of strength training long term for the human body. New research is coming out all the time. It’s very active area of study.


Sometimes it’s mind-boggling to think what we don’t know. When you’re looking to expand your own knowledge, whether it be practical applications with athletes in the gym or just your own knowledge of human physiology and the impact of strength training, who are some people you go to, I should ask?

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

Perhaps I can start with some of the people that I have gone to first.

David TaoDavid Tao

That’ll be great.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

My first mentor was Ernie Lilliebridge Senior. In 2014, there was the World Powerlifting Championships in Australia, and I had sponsored Eric to come over. I played a big role in the Powerlifting Federation that was holding this event.


A bunch of the representatives for this federation, their job was to sponsor an athlete and my athlete was Eric Lilliebridge. With Eric came his father. I had firsthand experience in seeing…His father’s his coach. He’s dad’s a great athlete as well, but he’s an even better coach. Something that I admired so much in his coaching style was the love that he had for his athlete.


Now [inaudible 18:45] love for this athlete because that was his son. That’s Eric Lilliebridge who’s, for those who don’t know, he’s a current under…What is it? 308 you guys call it, 140 kilogram powerlifting division. He’s number one in the world. He’s father is the coach, but I didn’t look at it as the father-son relationship. I looked at that as an athlete-coach relationship.


The love that he had for his athlete was just amazing. It allowed Eric to perform at his highest level. It’s such a motivation to see someone like this and the result that they’re able to achieve just by, it’s not science, it’s the art of coaching. Don’t get me wrong, he’s got a lot of great knowledge as well.


He taught me a huge amount about building great relationships with your athletes. That’s something that I’ve taken with me to this day. A lot of my athletes, I’ve been to their houses. They’ve been to mine. We’re great friends. My wife is friends with their wives. My children are friends with their children. It’s a huge part of the success of a lot of the athletes that I’ve worked with.


Someone else that I’ve worked with, someone that I believe any strength coach should affiliate themselves with, and that’s the rehabilitation/movement specialist. I work with a guy called Andrew Lock in Australia. He’s one of the best physiotherapists. Or I won’t call it a physiotherapist, I’ll call it a rehabilitation specialist. People come to him with injuries and he fixes them.


I’ve teamed up with him many years ago. Since working with this guy, strength and rehabilitation have so much carryover towards each other. In fact, I’ve spent a lot of time educating myself on rehabilitation.


Something that I say a lot of — the techniques that I use to rehabilitate a body are the same ones that are used to strengthen a body, and vice versa. They’re two key players in my development so far. There’s a lot on the way as well.


Recently, I’ve been tuning into the American world a lot lately. This has to do with marketing. There’s a lot of Americans that put themselves out there as academics. I’ll name a few of them. Dr. Mike Israetel, Eric Helms, Greg Nuckols, Mike Zuordos. These are guys that are putting out some really great information.


I don’t use them as my coach at all, but these are guys that are putting out amazing content, and I’m able to learn off. Brad Schoenfeld. I’d say these are some of the highest respected names in the industry.

David TaoDavid Tao

Certainly. A few of those names we’ve had on the BarBend podcast and we’ve been lucky enough to talk to. I go away from some conversations inspired. I walk away from some conversations a little pessimistic about myself sometimes, and I walk away from some conversations where I’m like, “Wow. I was not the smartest person on that call and it wasn’t even close.”


Talking to someone like Greg Nuckols, you certainly feel that walking away. Of course, one thing I like about a lot of those folks is they don’t just stick in the academic realm. They are applying the same principles that they’re interested in researching and learning more about into their own strength practice.


That’s cool to see. I think it’s one reason why they stick out in our minds, right? Because they’re walking that walk.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

Absolutely. It’s something that I respect about academics at the highest level, is these guys aren’t afraid to say that they don’t know the answer as well. I’ve been doing this for so many years. I forget what it’s called. The Dunning-Kruger effect, the less you know, the more you think you know. The more you know, the more you realize how much you don’t know, to put it simply.


When I first started in the industry, I thought I knew everything there was to know because I’d read the Arnold Schwarzenegger Encyclopedia back to front. It was only a matter of time before I…


When I was introduced to this strength coach that I worked with, it was like I said, a simple principle like progressive overload. This was foreign to me. It’s not foreign to a lot of people in the industry these days.


It should be the staple of a lot of people’s understanding of how to get better. It’s something that I love doing. I’m an educator myself. The more years that go by, the more I learn, the more I realize…I come away from these discussions that I hear from these high-level academics realizing how much I don’t know.


It’s a good and a bad thing. One, as an educator, it makes me think, “Holy shit, I’ve got some study to do.” It can’t stop. There’s so much new information that’s coming out, and there’s so much shit that I absolutely don’t know.


That’s what I respect about these guys. The higher the level of academic that they are, they’re more comfortable with telling you that they don’t know the answer. They don’t know everything. I admire that.

David TaoDavid Tao

 If there was one athlete you could work with and you could coach leading up to a competition through a training cycle of moderate length, up to a competition and through the competition in the strength world, who would it be? It can’t be someone you’ve worked with before.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

In the strength world, I’d have to say someone that I love watching them perform, Mateusz Kieliszkowski. That’s a World’s Strongest Man athlete. He’s come second so many times. He’s just about to come first. I’m sure that if the World’s Strongest Man comes up this year — who knows what’s happening with the COVID situation — I’m sure he’s going to come first, and he deserves it.


That’s someone that I admire as an athlete. He’s a lot smaller than a lot of the current World’s Strongest Man competitors, but his performance is a lot better. He’s just a [indecipherable 24:27] . That’s probably the man that I believe in.

David TaoDavid Tao


Would you put him under the label of most under-the-radar elite strength athlete who’s poised for…Not that he hasn’t broken through. He’s done remarkably well in competitions, but in that sport, you have to have that title to break through to the public eye.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

Absolutely. The public eye don’t know the sport very well. Within the community, he’s very well known, but yeah, to the rest of the strength world…The strength biz is getting more and more popular, I’ll admit it, but it’s such a low-paid sport compared to things like boxing, MMA, tennis, football.


Powerlifters and strongmen don’t get paid much at all. It’s not televised, these events. A lot of people don’t know these names because they’re not exposed to it. To become known, you have to win those shows. I do believe he will win the next one. That will put his name on the map to the non-lifting community, no doubt about it.


If we have a look at the past World’s Strongest Man athletes that have shone through and become really popular, there’s a lot that happens. Like Hafþór Björnsson, he’s a charismatic guy. Eddie Hall, charismatic guy. These are the most popular guys in the strength sports.


Zydrunas Savickas has achieved the most out of any of the athletes in the world in all time, but he’s not as popular as these guys. It’s unfortunate because your athletic abilities isn’t what makes these guys popular, it’s the marketability as well.

David TaoDavid Tao

Some of that probably comes down to social media. When Zydrunas was winning title after title, he’s in the conversation for greatest strongman athlete of all time. He’s probably got it honestly by a pretty significant margin as far as trophies. He said he has to have a separate room in his house for trophies.


Some of that is due to timing. He was competing at a high level up to age 40, 41, 42, setting world records even into his late 30s and 40s. When he was in his prime, call it early to mid-30s, it was before the age of social media in strength sports. You do wonder what impact that timing had on his global popularity.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

No doubt about it. That’s such a huge point. That’s what I keep on bringing back to, what social media has done for so many people, so many businesses. People look at it like a childish thing, but it’s not. It’s what’s putting people on the map. It’s what’s making people a lot of great income. At the same time, yes that’s absolutely true.


I’ll go back to Hafþór. Of course it seems like I’ve got a heavy bias towards him, but he was a hugely popular guy outside of strength sports. He was The Mountain from “Game of Thrones.” Every time I’m with him, a lot more people recognize him through Game of Thrones than they do from World’s Strongest Man.


I believe what he has done for the sport, regardless of social media, he’s brought the attention from the Hollywood crowd — the people that are into television and Game of Thrones — to the strength sports.


Now, thanks to him, I believe that strength sports will start earning a little bit more money. Still not as much as the other sports that I’ve mentioned before, but it’s a huge contributing factor to the success of strength sports today.

David TaoDavid Tao

It’s Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno 2.0. It’s people making the crossover to entertainment and then shining a light on what popularized bodybuilding in the ’70s and ’80s, now, what could popularize sports like powerlifting, strongman weightlifting, 2020 and beyond.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

No doubt about it. You mentioned the name Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can’t really compare to that. That’s an even higher level again. That guy’s done so much for not just bodybuilding but also strength sports, which is an amazing thing.


There’s a clear divide between bodybuilders and strongmen, but when you go to the Arnold’s show, he loves the strongman. He puts it up on the pedestal right next to the bodybuilding. He’s done a lot of amazing things as well.

David TaoDavid Tao

Yeah. The impact he’s had on the strength community and not just bodybuilding, it’s really immeasurable at this point. It’s completely [indecipherable 28:46] and immeasurable.


I have to ask, speaking of you and I, we might have a few things in common. One thing I know we have in common is that we both tried to eat like Hafþór for a day. You did a better job than I did, let’s put it this way.


A video you made with Hafþór a year and a half, two years ago, where he walks us through his diet over the course of a given day, I tried to follow that in the BarBend office.


Pounds of rice, steak, you name it, tried to follow it to the calorie. I made it to meal three and just about had to tap out. I got to ask, how did you feel after that? How did you feel after trying to eat like Hafþór for a day?

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

It was quite interesting. I’ve been with Hafþór through many different styles of his diet. Some days, as he gets closer to the competition, he’s dedication with his food is right up there. When he’s even further out, [indecipherable 29:38] months, he’s a little bit more relaxed. He’ll have dessert. He’ll have pizzas. He’ll have ice creams and things like that.


That day in particular, was following very much what Stan Efferding had prescribed. That’s his vertical diet. I’m going to be honest with you. That’s been a huge influence to the way that I eat today. I definitely don’t eat that many calories every day now.


The reason why I value that type of nutrition plan is the idea behind the vertical diet is that it’s food that’s easily digestible. White rice with…Did you put dextrose on your rice?

David TaoDavid Tao

We put dextrose. On short notice, all I could get was orange-flavored dextrose. Everything tasted like orange beef.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

That wouldn’t taste too nice.


The way that [indecipherable 30:24] cook it, it’s really nice. It’s really palatable foods. It was actually quite easy not only to digest, but it’s really nice food. Same with the steak compared to the beef mince. The beef mince was also a lot easier to consume.


What happened with me on that day is…The only thing that tipped me over was at the end of the day, he made me drink a liter of milk. That’s the only thing that my stomach didn’t agree with. I couldn’t actually get through it. That was where he beat me. I didn’t actually finish it. That was all it was.


It was probably about a 100 ml of milk that I couldn’t consume because I was literally about to explode. I wasn’t able to tolerate that much dairy. The rest of it, it’s very much how I eat today. I’m just trying to think about the pounds. I’m about 270 pounds or 260 pounds currently.


I’ve only gotten that way by using these same principles. It’s easily digestible food, the chicken stock as well. Were you doing that?

David TaoDavid Tao

Yeah. When I say we were following everything, I mean, very specific…The only difference was that our dextrose, we had to get flavored dextrose on short notice. The [indecipherable 31:44] , the oatmeal was the same. Everything was the same.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

People talk about vertical diet from a fat loss or a muscle-building perspective. I don’t know from a fat loss perspective. From a muscle-building perspective, that’s where it has a lot of merit for me. All of the food, like the chicken stock, it moistens the food and makes it easier to swallow.


That’s the hardest part for me for eating a high calorie diet is you’re not hungry, especially when you’re training hard. I’m not sure what else you were doing on that day. The only reason why I was able to keep up on that day is we weren’t training that day. We had nothing on at all. It was purely dedicated to making that food video.


Of course, Hafþór has the dedication to eat that way while he’s training as well. For me, I’d say that’s the only reason I was able to get through it because I had nothing on that day.

David TaoDavid Tao

I just want to clarify — the first bite of everything was always delicious. It’s getting toward the end of the meals where it was just like…At the time I think I was about 200 pounds. I’m a little leaner than I was then. I don’t know why I thought I stood a chance, although the milk was actually the easiest part for me. That was ironically the easiest part for me.


Yeah. Seb, I really appreciate you taking the time to join us. We said it ad nauseam over the course of this conversation, but just to repeat, where’s the best place for people to keep up to date with the work you’re doing, the training you’re doing and the education you’re putting out?

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

Without a doubt, Instagram. I try and put as much free information as possible. Of course, I have a business. I’m an educator. I have online seminars since COVID. I used to do a lot of face-to-face education, but that’s not possible now. We’ve changed to online.


I don’t like to be the salesy kind of guy, but I like to give as much free information as possible. On my website, a lot of people ask me questions every week. “How do I get strong? How do I get…?” It’s not a one-word answer. I’ve written a whole bunch of great new articles that are on my website. That’s


My Instagram page is @australianstrengthcoach. You don’t have to buy anything off me. You don’t even have to like me. When I was up and coming in the strength industry, I didn’t have a huge amount of mentors and readily available information for me. A lot of the things I had to stumble across myself.


I’ve spent a lot of years of doing the wrong thing, which I don’t regret because I know a whole lot of what not to do. Definitely, if I had information like what I’m putting out for free, I think I would have achieved what I’ve achieved a little bit quicker.

David TaoDavid Tao

Awesome. Thank you so much for your time. It’s fantastic learning from you, talking one on one. I absolutely love tuning into the content you put out. Hopefully, we’ll get to do it again sometime. Until then, thank you for joining us.

Sebastian OrebSebastian Oreb

David, thank you so much for having me. I really loved this conversation. I look forward to doing it again.