A while back while I was in attendance at Zach Even-Esh’s Underground Strength Conference, I was lucky enough to catch up with a few Navy SEALS.
These guys are the “True Warriors” of the world and are down right awesome dudes! I would NOT mess with them though…
The man on my right in reference to you is none other then “Quattro Duece” and the other man to the left is The Seal Grinder PT, Brad McLeod. Both are Navy SEALS (AKA – Bad Mo Fo’s).
I’ve been following Brad for a while now and I was pumped when I got to connect with him a bit more after the event. I talked him into doing a kickass interview about how the being in the SEALS and how it’s had an impact on his life that I have posted up for you below!
BM: I am very humbled to do this interview for your blog. Many thanks for asking me.
I am just a normal guy who was sick and tired of going nowhere in life. I decided to pick a big challenge and joined the Navy to become a SEAL. Despite all odds (asthma) and being kicked out my first time through (failed a math test) I made it through the training and went on to serve at SEAL Team Four in Little Creek, Virginia. Later in life I became a fitness trainer and started the website www.sealgrinderpt.com. I have a lot of fun training athletes.
Me: What did you do to prepare to become Navy SEAL?
BM: I read a few books about the SEALs and got really fired up. Me and a buddy Jim would bench press in his barn and later joined a local bodybuilding/powerlifting gym called Cliff’s Gym in Tallahassee, Florida.
I had a copy of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Education of a Bodybuilder”. This was my guide to train. I also did a few pushups and lots of abs and a few pull ups and ran. I had never ran more than 3 miles, never worn a real ruck (military backpack) or swam more than a few hundred yards before I joined the Navy at 19 years old.
I did skateboard a lot so I had sorta strong legs. But more important I was fearless from doing a lot of crazy stuff skatin’ hard.
I knew how to pick myself up from a really hard fall and keep skating despite the pain. I once went to the doctor to have my left wrist x-rayed as I thought I broke it. I had to put both hands on the glass to x-ray. The Doc came back and said left wrist ok – right wrist broken. I was learning early how to ignore pain.
My training methods were not what I would recommend at all – but somehow I was one of two guys who passed the BUDS test in bootcamp and got orders to BUDS class 125 in Coronado, CA. For me it was like being a first round draft pick to go play Pro football – I was getting a chance to live my dreams.
Me: How long were you a SEAL?
BM: I spent 5 years 1 month on active duty and 11 months with the Reserves. I had a blast – one of the best times of my life.
Me: How has being a Navy SEAL changed your life? Did it have an effect on how you train today?
BM: not a day goes by that I am not effected by that experience in some way. I know deep down that no matter what happens or how bad it gets – I always believe in myself and know that I will overcome in the end. I was very blessed at an early age to have this life shaping event.
What type of things did you have to get through when in BUDS (Navy SEAL training)?
BM: Everyday is a challenge as we have to get up early and do Grinder PT before chow. We would often go on a long beach run or swim or obstacle course after that. In the fourth week you have Hell Week where you drill all week with no sleep. Many quit during this week.
In second phase we would dive all day but many hard drills to eliminate the weak. I was half way through second phase when I failed a math test and was sent to the Fleet (regular Navy) for a year. Third phase you go to the Island and shoot weapons and blow things up and do missions. It was a grueling 6 months to say the least. We started with about 140 guys and finished with 16.
ME: What’s your take on mental toughness and how important is it?
BM: Many sports psychologists have tried to define mental toughness so you will read varying definitions. For me in my life it means “the ability to stand tall in the face of adversity time after time”. I have had many ups and downs and have had to summon this ability repeatedly. You have to be strong in the long haul to truly make it.
Me: How do you personally stay mentally tough?
BM: I have many methods that I have learned over the years that I use and am constantly working to refine. I am admittedly only using a fraction of my true mental and physical potential. I like to pick many small but tough goals to work to accomplish. I build and build to move towards the larger goal. This builds my mind and body.
This is very different from my earlier method when I joined the Navy. I picked a gargantuan goal – one that I was probably not quite ready for. Looking back I should have had more smaller intermediate steps. I would not recommend the method I used when going to BUDS.
Me: What’s a typical training day for you look like?
BM: Currently I am training for the CrossFit Games Masters division so my coach has me doing lots of cleans, snatch, burpees and cardio. I also throw in a long distance trail run as that is where my heart is. Everyday is different and I love it. I am visiting my Coach today in South Florida to train.
How about nutrition – How do you typically eat?
BM: I eat in moderation with lots of clean protein (chicken, fish) and a big salad for dinner. I occasionally have a cheat meal but mostly good. I don’t weigh portions.
Many thanks for the interview Travis – it is a great honor. Keep training hard!
It’s always good to hear how other people train and handle things in life, especially from a Navy SEAL.
Stay tuned to the blog this week as later I’ll be having a special treat from Brad I’ll be sharing with you.
Also, since we’re talking about Navy SEALs, mental toughness is always associated with them so I’ll be having some more stuff on mental toughness this week as well.
Let’s hear your thoughts on MENTAL TOUGHNESS. How important do you feel it is when it comes to SUCCESS in your life? Post up your thoughts comments below.
Train and Live Aggressive!