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Listen To Podcast Episode #73
Podcast Episode 73 – Matt Vincent & Bonnie Schroeder: Lifting, Injury Rehab, and Athletic Adventuring. Owner of the lifestyle brand HVIII Brand Goods, Matt Vincent, and USAPL 57kg lifter Bonnie Schroeder, took the month of August to hit the road, living out of Matt’s car while hitting up the sights and famous gyms across the country. The two took a break to stop by Bodybuilding.com for a quick lift and chat with the editors. Matt shares how his training has evolved from his days as a world champion in the Highland Games to lifting for health and longevity, particularly after undergoing several knee surgeries, most recently a total knee replacement. Bonnie shares her own experience with injuries as a powerlifter, and how they both balance gym fitness with outdoor adventures.
Original Publish Date: Monday, September 16, 2019
Behind The Scenes Photo:
Ep. isode 73 Transcript ▼
Nick Collias: We’re rolling. Hey, we’re right here. We’re rolling people. Hey, good morning. Welcome to this, The Bodybuilding.com Podcast. I’m Nick Collias, the host up in these parts. I’m wearing a hat today. I don’t care. Everybody’s wearing hats today.
Matt Vincent: Hats.
Bonnie Schroeder: Nope, I missed that memo.
Kailan Kalina: She missed the memo.
Matt Vincent: We’ll swap.
Kailan: I got a black one of these. And they’re sweet.
Nick: So, taking on the co-host duties today for the second time is Miss Kailan. She’s an editor here, competitive powerlifter. Regular listeners, if we have any of those out there, they may remember her from the recent episode we did with Laura Phelps.
Matt Vincent: Nice.
Nick: First woman to squat 700, you guys know Laura?
Bonnie Schroeder: Of course, yep.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, Laura’s very, very strong.
Kailan: Laura is awesome. She is very cool.
Nick: It’s a wild story, when she was like, “Hey, I’m going to try 600. Hey, 600 went. I guess I’ll try six, oh, and, hey, I’ll try 700.”
Matt Vincent: And she’s done it all via West Side, too.
Nick: Right, which is-
Kailan: Yup, for 10 years.
Nick: And the funny thing was I remember asking her like, you know, injuries? And she’s like, “No, never really had any injuries. Come to think of it, I’ve never even really been sore.”
Bonnie Schroeder: Come on. Come on.
Nick: I was like “Really? You’ve never even been freaking sore?”
Bonnie Schroeder: She’s an OG.
Matt Vincent: Now, those lifts are geared, right?
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah.
Nick: Yeah, geared to the gills.
Bonnie Schroeder: “Geared to the gills.” That’s funny.
Nick: Yeah. But still. But anyway-
Matt Vincent: I’m not taking anything away from her. I’m just figuring out, I did both geared and raw powerlifting throughout my-
Nick: And we should probably introduce you, by the way. We have two guests today. One is Matt Vincent. He’s a two-time Highland Games World Champion thrower in general. You’ve done a lot of, all sorts-
Matt Vincent: Average of a lot of strength sports, was good at one.
Nick: Also, the founder of HVIII Brand Goods, H-V-I-I-I.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, all three I’s. Nailed it.
Nick: A clothing line with a few lifting accessories in there, and also coffee cups that say-
Matt Vincent: “Kick today in the dick.”
Nick: “Kick today in the dick.” Is that a big seller?
Matt Vincent: It has been, yeah. It’s kind of a general motto of life of-
Nick: I kind of imagine you’d like in your CEO chair with a big cigar say, we’re out of dick cups again, somebody get some more dick cups made!
Bonnie Schroeder: Where is that chair?
Matt Vincent: CEO chair? Bring them in. I do a lot of that. A lot of buy, sell, yell over the phone.
Kailan: Lots of cigars-
Matt Vincent: That’s what a CEO’s life is. A company with ‘a’ employee of myself.
Nick: Matt also has a single article on Bodybuilding.com from about five years ago. I don’t know if you remember that.
Matt Vincent: That’s right. Holy shit.
Nick: I remember it because I was the one who… I was reading the Power Magazine. We had a republish deal with them back then and that was like, I love this. This is a great piece about hip mobility. I think it’s called, “Unlock the Power of Your Hips.”
Matt Vincent: And now, I’m crippled.
Nick: Do not read that article.
Matt Vincent: It will damage you.
Nick: And then over here we also have Bonnie Schroeder, known alternately as BonSchro. Some people are like, “Oh, Bonschro. I don’t know who Bonnie Schroeder is.”
Nick: Powerlifter, coach, also a traveling strength athlete. You guys are both kind of traveling strength athletes, right?
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.
Matt Vincent: Think so. Mostly a nuisance at people’s gyms.
Nick: You used to have a blog called The Drift of Lifting.
Matt Vincent: I did that. That’s kind of where it all started. Yeah.
Nick: So, tell us a little bit about kind of the lifestyle you lead, and traveling in general cause you’ve been doing it for a while.
Matt Vincent: I really like it. I’ve always really liked travel even … when I got into college and started doing track and field, and that we were traveling every week and going to track meets. I really loved that, and being in new places, and checking out gyms, and getting to train or compete with other guys.
Matt Vincent: And so, after that, and then did some powerlifting and strongman after I failed at owning a bike shop.
Nick: But also, just like adventuring, we were just talking before we started [crosstalk 00:03:19].
Matt Vincent: In general, I just want to travel.
Nick: [inaudible 00:03:21] Dinnie Stones all over the world.
Matt Vincent: I feel like all that’s part of the strength history that we’ve done. And to me, especially after getting into Scottish Highland games and something that’s got a weird history.
Matt Vincent: Some of the games that I’ve done in Scotland, you’ll get there and they’ll have a field record with a stone lift or a… even like their Braemar Stone. Right. And it’s like, well, this record… We’ve used the same stone at this game for 700 years. I’m like, “Oh, my country’s not very old.”
Nick: Here, try it.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Right. And so-
Bonnie Schroeder: Well, it’s so incredible that those stones have such a draw.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Or they like-
Bonnie Schroeder: They will draw the strongest people in the world to them.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, like the Húsafell Stone, the Dinnie stones and all that. Right. Have just a certain gravity that if you hang out there long enough, the strongest people come to you and it’s an inanimate object that all of these people use. [crosstalk 00:04:09]
Nick: Feels a little animate though I imagine.
Matt Vincent: It does, it’s definitely got its own spirit and like you know, something to be part of.
Nick: Well, yeah, and I mean I’ve read a bunch about stone lifting. I’ve been totally fascinated with that, as well. I just imagine, though, that it was all the travel that it takes to get there and all the history that you have in mind when you get there, you walk up to that thing like what’s the feeling? Are you just terrified? Like all right, here it is. I have no idea what to expect or are you just ready at that point?
Matt Vincent: You’re pretty ready. But like the Húsafell, for example. To me it’s one thing to train it and it’s one thing to do a Húsafell Stone carry or a stone carry here in the States and it’s another to get on the flight and go to Iceland and then figure out where an hour and a half outside of Reykjavik, it is laying in this field.
Nick: And you get in there and you’re like, “Oh, it’s a rock.”
Matt Vincent: It’s a rock in a field. Next to other rocks.
Nick: Right, exactly. We could show you some rocks out here that would probably be a similar lifting experience.
Matt Vincent: Exactly right. But it’s got that history to it and so it’s there and it’s waiting and so. But you got to go, it’s not the same as saying, “Well, I did the equivalent.”
Bonnie Schroeder: Right. Yeah. I’m very excited. We’re going to Iceland in October.
Matt Vincent: Yeah.
Kailan: So cool.
Nick: We’ll be there for three weeks.
Bonnie Schroeder: I’ll get to see some of these things for the first time.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Train with some friends and hang out.
Nick: Do a little stone lifting?
Matt Vincent: Probably not. But I’ll go look at it again.
Bonnie Schroeder: Go look at it.
Matt Vincent: I’ve put my hands on that one a number of times.
Nick: But you guys are, you’re kind of on a trip right now?
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Right.
Nick: Like where’d you sleep last night? That’s the wrong answer.
Bonnie Schroeder: We did an Airbnb last night. That’ll probably be the only one or this entire trip though. Right? So, we’re on the road for a month. Probably about exactly a month. And the whole plan is to camp or stay with friends.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Camp. Do friends, try to lift, train some type of physical activity every day. Like almost a perfect day would be like, get up, train, food, hang out a little bit, get a little bit of work done, and then some type of activity in the afternoon, whether that’s a bike ride or a hike or something to go do, swim.
Bonnie Schroeder: Plenty of that around here.
Matt Vincent: Right. That’s why we’ve traveled North to where it’s not the temperature of the sun.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, the first night camping in Kansas was a little, a little warm, but not bad. We survived and then we stayed at a friend’s place in Denver. Then drove up to Salt Lake, stayed at a friend’s place for a couple of days, Airbnb last night. And we’re going to camp tonight and then after this, there’ll be a lot more camping.
Matt Vincent: A lot more camping.
Bonnie Schroeder: So, we’re looking forward to that.
Matt Vincent: Far enough north, the weather’s good at night. I’m not sleeping outside if it’s above 70 degrees.
Bonnie Schroeder: No, he likes to [crosstalk 00:06:32] that.
Matt Vincent: Heat like the sun.
Kailan: What inspired your guys’ road trip here, the whole thing?
Matt Vincent: I’ve done it for the last year. I’ve traveled a lot over the last 10 years. Just a had an outside sales job back in regular life. And then I’ve always liked travel and so any excuse I’ve had, even when I was competing, I was competing 23 times a year and so in about a six-month window. So, it’s almost every weekend. I’d fly on Friday, compete Saturday, Sunday, fly home Monday. And I love it. It’s never feels a hassle to me. And so now that I’ve got the truck set up the way that I have it and I don’t have a real job.
Bonnie Schroeder: Right. Well neither of us do.
Matt Vincent: Technically unemployed.
Nick: Just selling Dick Cups.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Selling Dick Cups and tee shirts, like I’m amazed this is working. Thank you, guys. And then the other stuff I’ve done and since I don’t have to be in a place and I don’t have an office or a nine to five, like I want to take advantage of can I sustain what I do for a living and create content and essentially fuck off for a month, you know, be on the road and go check out gyms and do what I want to do.
Matt Vincent: I mean me, my idea of freedom and anything like that is I just want to wake up and do what I want to every day.
Nick: What I want to ask you a little bit about how you make the strength part of that strength traveling work. You mentioned like you go to different gyms, you pop into town. Do you just start scouting gyms immediately?
Matt Vincent: Instagram’s wonderful cause people will give you 9 million recommendations. But we’ve been really lucky because, I mean I’ve been lifting for the last 23 years and then I’ve done strength sports and I started traveling with my original job and stopping in at gyms and meeting people. And I’ve built a really odd network because not so many people have been in it as long as I have. And so, the people that have been in it as long as I have, we all know each other now and are friends.
Matt Vincent: And so, I mean we did an East Coast trip and we were able to stop and train at, you know, a train at Elite and train at Sorinex and other amazing companies that I’ve known and people. And so, it’s kind of been the world’s greatest private gym tour.
Nick: That’s cool.
Matt Vincent: That’s what we’re constantly on.
Bonnie Schroeder: Essentially.
Nick: Sorry, but on your YouTube channel, I saw you did this really cool tour of your tricked-out Toyota Tundra, or it’s like you can live in that thing. But one thing I did not see anywhere and there was any sort of like, Oh here’s, here’s my bands, here’s my ski rack with the barbell in it or like baby seat with a kettlebell in it or anything like that.
Bonnie Schroeder: We don’t travel with any equipment.
Nick: I was going to ask you. Yeah. Is there like an arsenal of torture devices in there?
Bonnie Schroeder: I mean, mountain bike’s hard enough. You can find effort anywhere man. And like I really liked the idea of keeping it simple as far as what training requirements I’ve got. I’m not training for a sport anymore. So, if I was still trying to train and compete and do Highland games at a high level, it’s got to be more focused.
Bonnie Schroeder: Be a little tougher.
Matt Vincent: But since now it’s just like I want to be stronger and I want to feel better and I want to be like almost having strength for me now is like a deposit in my account, which gives me the opportunity to do more things.
Nick: That makes sense.
Matt Vincent: I kind of just want to be ready for whatever pops up. It’s like, Hey, let’s go for a bike ride. I’m in physical enough shape that I can do that or a hike and you know, cool. Like I’ve never done a 10-mile hike, huh.
Kailan: Right. And that wasn’t always your story. You went through some major weight loss from chronic pain and all that. So, it’s probably a completely new lifestyle.
Matt Vincent: I’m very, very aware of what the other side of the coin feels like, of not being able to do things. And so, while I’ve got the opportunity to push and go and be active, I’m very grateful for the fact that I get to do it and I’m going to totally.
Bonnie Schroeder: Totally.
Matt Vincent: So.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, and it’s like once you, I mean I think a lot of people in strength sports get so caught up in what they’re doing and it’s awesome and it’s addictive and it’s fun. But once you realize there’s all like hiking and biking and all this stuff is so awesome. And then when you travel, you can do all those things. It’s like, you know, I think it’s something to be said for, I mean, I hate the word “balance”-
Matt Vincent: Balance?
Bonnie Schroeder: But once you realize you can do both of those things. And still be in great shape and meet really cool people who have different hobbies than you. It’s like there’s more out there than just, “Oh, yeah, the barbell,” the hiking is so great. I love it. It’s therapeutic.
Kailan: Yes, it is.
Bonnie Schroeder: You feel so good afterwards, even though you know your legs might be tired and you did some type of cardio. But it’s so therapeutic and just being out in nature has been so good for both of us. Right. We did an eight mile hike the other day in Denver and we’re pretty tired by the end and that was our, you know, that was our day. That was our fitness for the day.
Matt Vincent: Four hours long. And-
Nick: The mountains really are the ultimate test of fitness. Before, I worked here, I was not really any kind of lifter. I would just go out, hang out in the mountains all the time, and we’d go climbing, we’d go hiking, we’d go running or whatever. And then when I came back here and started getting really more into lifting and things like that, I still find that when you go out to the mountains, it lets you know exactly how good of shape you are in. You can tell yourself like, “Oh, I can do this, I can do that.” But then you’re like, all right, we’re going to go for a five mile hike up to the top of that thing over there. That’s, that’s the ultimate test.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. And I just, I really like it. And for me, Highland games was really special because I got to compete outside and then you just spend so much in a gym. And for me, I always do better that I’m training for something and so I want to train to be better on my mountain bike so that I can get more miles in or and so have a longer experience doing a thing or be more capable to go on a longer hike or you know, really anything like, I mean I’m far from ever going to be an endurance athlete of any type of stretch, but …
Kailan: I think now is the time to try it.
Matt Vincent: No, not the time, drop another hundred pounds.
Nick: That’s funny. It’s funny to hear you say that because that’s like that’s a, that’s a normal goal. Like what do I want to be better at? I want to be better at, you know, the stuff I like the, the types of goals I imagine you’ve had in the past have been far more specific. How do you even conceptualize that at this point? After all of this very high-level strength sports, you’ve been involved with here? It’s like, well, okay, how do I, how do I train to just get better at being, at feeling good and being on a mountain bike?
Matt Vincent: Well, I mean, man, it’s Father Time. There’s only so long you get to push that red line for a sport. And I mean fortunate enough for me and even though I’ve had injuries and stuff like that, I don’t have any doubt about did I get as strong as I could possibly be during the window that I gave it hell? Yeah, I know I did. Because anywhere I pushed harder than that, I got hurt. It fought back.
Matt Vincent: So, I won’t have this thing of like, did I perform at the max level that I could have? I absolutely did. And so now that that time’s done, I don’t want to be that dude that’s still chasing the thing I did. And I’m really okay with most places I go, people don’t know that I did the Highland games at this point. That’s fine. That chapter is over for me and I want to have another one where it is being healthier and a little smarter with nutrition and continuing to learn and experience new things that are still physical and fit and healthy and being able to push myself in a different direction that isn’t always hitting myself with a hammer.
Matt Vincent: Right. No, it makes sense. And I, and I imagine that when you are going to places like Elite and Sorinex and things like that, it can be super tempting when somebody goes there to be like, I’m here. I must do the thing.
Nick: I mean, look, if a gym has a record board in it, yeah, there’s a chance I’ll do something stupid.
Bonnie Schroeder: So, he means the other day-
Nick: Okay, so this is still a thing?
Kailan: I saw that on Instagram.
Bonnie Schroeder: The other day when we were in Denver.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. We were in Denver.
Bonnie Schroeder: Where were we [inaudible 00:14:14] at?
Matt Vincent: Strong Bodies. Yes. Great gym outside of Denver or in Denver and they had a record board. She ended up getting on four of them. So, bench, pushups, pull ups, overhead press. And I did a …
Bonnie Schroeder: To be fair, there wasn’t a women’s …
Nick: Sounds like a pretty common complicated record board.
Matt Vincent: They just had a bunch of stuff. Yeah. [crosstalk 00:14:35]
Bonnie Schroeder: And so, like all the, all the main lifts and then the body weight movement.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. As I didn’t get in and get involved with a heavy deadlift, heavy squat at this point, but they have an overhead press and then they had a max number of pushups in a set and max number of pull-ups. And so, it was fun to do. It’s like bet 240 pounds. I did 70 pushups. In a set. I think they’re CrossFit strict, but my chest lower didn’t raise back in.
Nick: Guinness wasn’t there.
Matt Vincent: This wasn’t, yeah, no.
Bonnie Schroeder: Those elbows are bent. Right? He was done for the day. [crosstalk 00:15:06]
Matt Vincent: It’s basically gone for the day. Yeah. Like let’s see, elevation here. I’m dying.
Bonnie Schroeder: Blame it on that elevation. [crosstalk 00:15:13]
Matt Vincent: It’s the egg rolls, not the ecstasy.
Nick: So, what do you feel like stands out about your favorite gyms? Though, having been in a bunch of them at this point. Aside from a record board.
Matt Vincent: Truth is equipment’s equipment. Like there’s a couple pieces that like once you kind of have a threshold of solid equipment, like I don’t give a shit who makes it. Now, it’s awesome going into somewhere like Sorinex and seeing how perfect and beautiful that setup is. And especially because they’re still innovating stuff for performance athletes. But I also enjoy the challenge now of like if I’m staying on the road at, I don’t know, Holiday Inn Express, right? and they’ve got a shitty hotel gym. I’m curious to see how much I can suffer on the least amount of equipment. Because it’s effort at the end of the day that really matters and people will get caught up in this “Well, I didn’t train today, because I couldn’t find a squat rack.”
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Fucking that up, dude.
Kailan: It’s easy making excuses when you don’t have the equipment you’re used to having or the specialty bars or …
Matt Vincent: And I don’t want the excuses. I can still go in there and put in effort and that’s, that’s come from the last couple of years of being hurt, with the knee, I mean if the only thing that I enjoyed of training was hitting max heavy lifts, so we’ll then I’m done. Like I don’t ever get to do that again.
Bonnie Schroeder: So, and on the other hand, from gyms of beautiful perfect equipment also I love places like the basement of like the warehouse gym. Where it’s just like a dirty dungeon basement. But the vibes there in the atmosphere are so good. And you can’t get that just anywhere.
Nick: So how do you feel like that influences what you’re actually doing in there?
Bonnie Schroeder: Oh, you want to go just as hard as everyone else’s go. Yeah, absolutely. That was a, we were there in June.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. June for their Veteran’s outreach workout.
Bonnie Schroeder: We did a like a basement workout the night before the event and it was just, it was just dumb. And the group of people there is just, everyone, but it was a ton of fun and you just don’t get that intense vibe everywhere. You know? It’s special places like that.
Matt Vincent: It’s really rare that you have the right group of people at the right time, at the right place. Typically, you can get one or two of the three, but it’s rare that you get all three. And so, for me, I like being in good enough shape that when all three line up …
Bonnie Schroeder: You’re ready to go.
Matt Vincent: let’s get it right. I mean like, well, I didn’t plan on doing that today. Who cares? It’d be fine.
Nick: No, I like that.
Kailan: Future you will deal with it.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, exactly. That’s, that’s been an ongoing saying lately. I was like, “Oh, I’ll go ahead and let future me deal with the repercussions of these decisions.”
Nick: Future me somewhere [inaudible 00:17:55] I like that idea, though, of you’re training for almost a communal event as opposed to a competitive event. You’re just sort of ready, ready to go.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. I don’t know what I’ll do as far as competition goes anymore. I mean, I don’t think I’ll do strength sports as far as the competitive lift. I may enter a power lifting meet once a year, depending on who runs it. You know, I’ve done Mark Bell’s hosted meet the last couple of years that I’ve gotten to be part of this. It looks so, Mark’s a good friend and I get to lift with other great friends, you know, so it’s, you know, myself and Stan Efferding or Charity Witt and Mark and you know, support a thing that he’s putting on. It’s a little bit lower key than going to an actual power lifting meet.
Nick: Right. And SummerStrong looks kind of fun …
Matt Vincent: SummerStrong’s Amazing. That’s its own whole crazy thing. [crosstalk 00:18:45]
Nick: That’s at Sorinex [inaudible 00:18:45], it’s kind of a seminar, kind of a strength festival. Like there’s, there’s lifting that goes on. There’s a lot of talking that goes on. I’ve never been to it, but it looks fascinating.
Matt Vincent: It’s all the behind the scenes stuff that is what’s so special about Sorinex. If you walk into that room and think you’re King Kong, you’re terribly mistaken. There isn’t anyone in that room who’s the best at everything. And I mean the variety of people you’ve got there, like Rudy Reyes or Tony Sentmanat that comes from a real, yeah. You know him, you know he’s a monster and then you know other …
Bonnie Schroeder: Tait. Derek Woodske.
Matt Vincent: Tait Fletcher. Derek Woodske. You know, Sorinex’s own guys, the military dudes who show up. It’s just such a variety of people. But we all have this thing in common because of the barbell. And I know for me, like as I’ve whittled down what’s been important to me over the years of finishing competing and stuff like that is like, I just know that things are better in my life if I have a bar in my hand four times a week.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah.
Matt Vincent: That’s just makes sense.
Nick: That’s why I totally expected you to have the barbell on the ski rack.
Matt Vincent: No. I’ll find a gym. They take up too much room to move that food. Like food or toys could be in …
Nick: I liked that. I liked that because I’ve done that in the past when I was, I’ve done that in the past where it’s like I can’t even put the axle bar in the, in the ski rack and it just, oh, you end up kind of having a babysit shit. Like there’s, there’s a guy who I used to follow on Instagram and I can’t remember his name. Maybe Instagram just doesn’t show me this stuff anymore, which happens as well.
Matt Vincent: Algorithm.
Nick: He travels with a 50 pounds Sorinex center mass bell …
Matt Vincent: This maybe Rudy Reyes.
Nick: Okay. Yeah.
Matt Vincent: It’s [inaudible 00:20:21].
Nick: It’s painted. [crosstalk 00:20:24] And he takes it takes it on like international flights. Yeah. And it’s cool, but I just imagined myself having to babysit that.
Matt Vincent: He doesn’t feel that way. He’s a lunatic.
Kailan: Rudy’s a special guy.
Matt Vincent: If you guys had like a treadmill or something in the bottom here, that could like power the lights, he could take care of it.
Bonnie Schroeder: The whole building.
Matt Vincent: Just send him down there and put enough pre-workout or [inaudible 00:20:46]. Yeah,
Bonnie Schroeder: So, he was traveling with that, right? and they tried to check it at the airport. Is that it?
Matt Vincent: He was on the phone with someone like FaceTiming and he’s trying to check this 50-pound dumbbell because his entire …
Nick: It’s a weird dumbbell, too. You could try to tell somebody like, “Hey, this is a dumbbell.” And they’d go, “no, it’s not.”
Matt Vincent: You know, he’s flying somewhere for a week. Right. And so, like all he’s got with him is a 50-pound dumbbell. Like he’s probably, he’s traveling in super tight jeans and-
Kailan: Maybe a scarf?
Matt Vincent: A scarf and probably some vest.
Nick: And this thing, I mean it looks like a, it looks like amazing, like a flower, but it looks like the weapon too. It’s a mega man, right? [crosstalk 00:21:25] Yeah. You can send me like, I’m not letting it on my flight. You’re going to punch out side of the building.
Matt Vincent: Well just check it. I don’t want to carry it on. And so, he’s got that and he’s got a Bluetooth speaker caught a DemerBox and a, they’re like a Pelican case that they turned into a speaker and he’s got like four pair of silkies and an extra sleeveless shirt in there. And he’s like, I’m sick.
Nick: And is he doing like blaring tunes the whole time too?
Matt Vincent: Not all the time. But I would assume that it’s just the, like the Hulk Hogan Walkman [crosstalk 00:21:51]-
Nick: If you have the right Walkman, they’ll let you on any flight is my experience.
Matt Vincent: Somebody was on the phone with him while he’s going through the airport and he like handed his phone to a stranger as like a FaceTime video and now is showing like the, the check-in people how to do exercises with the center mass bell, like doing Turkish get ups and he’s so animated and amazing. He’s, there isn’t a second Rudy.
Kailan: No, you told me kind of what to expect, but it was, no, you can’t prepare yourself. He’s incredible. Yep.
Matt Vincent: Yep. Rudy Reyes, amazing human.
Nick: So, I had a question for you also because you’ve both been pretty serious competitive lifters in the past and I was wondering how, how periodized or goal-driven your training can even be when you travel this much? Has it changed the way that you view the whole idea of periodization?
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, for sure. I’m not training for any competitions right now, so mine is kind of more just maintenance and I’m working on rehabbing some injuries, so I’m a little bit more serious, I think, than Matt is. Like if I don’t get to the gym a couple times a week, it will affect my attitude.
Nick: Go in there and do something pretty specific?
Bonnie Schroeder: Most days, most days.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, she’s still very program driven, though. She’s still writing down her stuff and doing her program every day.
Kailan: You do all your own programming, right?
Bonnie Schroeder: Yes, yes. Yes, I do.
Kailan: Okay, cool.
Nick: You go in and you’re like, “All right, it’s 87.5% for …” You go in that specifically?
Bonnie Schroeder: For some things, for my bench right now I try to be pretty specific because that hasn’t been affected by my back injury at all. So, with that, I’ll still be pretty specific. Squat and deadlift days are a little bit more free-flowing, kind of do whatever feels good.
Kailan: How you feel, yeah.
Bonnie Schroeder: Most days. Yeah. Most days.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. She’s still very program driven. She still riding down her stuff and doing her program every day.
Kailan: You do all your own programming, right?
Bonnie Schroeder: Yes, yes. Yes, yes. I do.
Nick: You go in and you’re like, “All right. It’s 87.5% for…” You go in that specifically?
Bonnie Schroeder: For some things. For my bench right now I try to be pretty specific because it hasn’t been affected by my back injury at all. With that, yeah, I’ll still be pretty specific. Squat and deadlift days are a little bit more free-flowing, kind of do whatever feels good.
Kailan: How you feel. Yeah.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah. And with traveling, you have to listen to your body, you know?
Kailan: A lot of sitting.
Nick: And to the equipment available.
Bonnie Schroeder: Of course, of course. And long days when you’re sitting in the car.
Kailan: Sitting forever.
Bonnie Schroeder: That can affect things too. For us, it works best if we train in the morning before we get going.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Typically after a six-hour drive, we don’t want to do a whole lot.
Kailan: Yeah. Your brain’s a little melted.
Bonnie Schroeder: Right.
Nick: Rather go for-
Kailan: Hips aren’t feeling it.
Nick: Go for a walk or something like that after being in the truck all day. It’s tough to want to get pumped to go to the gym at 7:00.
Bonnie Schroeder: Right. So, something more along the lines of a shakeout workout is better then. But yeah. My training has definitely shifted gears because we’re traveling so much. Since I’m not in prep for a competition, it actually is going very nicely together. If I was still trying to train for something serious then this would be a lot tougher.
Matt Vincent: You can’t.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah.
Matt Vincent: I don’t think you could. There’s no way-
Kailan: You could but you might not perform as well as you want come meet day.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah. Like Matt, we’ve both had our own injuries. And I’ve kind of figured out how to be okay with training for health and having fun in the gym. Weird, right? You should have fun.
Bonnie Schroeder: It’s been a shift for me but it’s all positive.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Do you feel like every once in a while, though, the amount of strength that you can build with that approach sneaks up on you? Like, “Oh, wow. This makes me a little bit stronger than I realized.” Or do you go, “No, no, no, no. I’m not as strong as I would be if I were specializing.”
Bonnie Schroeder: Right, yeah. It kind of goes back and forth because most days, I’m just training to feel good, right? And if I’m happy and having fun, then that’s all that matters at the end of the day. Because I’ve done the running yourself into the ground trying to deadlift over 400 pounds. I know what that’s like. It doesn’t feel great.
Bonnie Schroeder: What I’m doing right now, I think is a much better balance. I know we don’t like that word.
Kailan: I know.
Bonnie Schroeder: But I do need a little bit of it. It’s been good, it’s been good. I feel like strength mostly has been maintained and for now, that’s enough.
Matt Vincent: But even saying balance is a little odd because… I think for gen pop, we’re not terribly balanced. We’re very active and we’re going to do a lot of things, right?
Bonnie Schroeder: For general population-
Matt Vincent: There isn’t a balance of like, “Today, we’re going to hang out on the couch.”
Matt Vincent: Like that shit’s not happening.
Nick: But you are in a car, potentially for six to eight hours a day.
Matt Vincent: Sure.
Nick: That’s not-
Matt Vincent: I don’t veg well, though.
Nick: That’s not hard to do. If after a six to eight-hour drive, I don’t wake up wanting to train deadlifts the next morning. How do you find the balance between that? I know you have like a Stim unit, sort of, right?
Matt Vincent: Sure. Yeah, yeah. The PowerDot’s a great unit that helps from recovery and stuff like that. But at the end of the day, I mean it’s still the big picture stuff. It’s hydration, and movement, and being able to take care of muscles and anything else. Whether scraping or find a hot tub or…
Matt Vincent: Get moving. Training for me is, basically as long as I am benching, squatting, deadlifting, and overhead pressing once a week, I don’t care. I can get the job done. Some days those need to be a higher volume and less weight. Other days I feel like going a little heavier, but as long as I’m hitting those every week, I’ll probably be okay.
Matt Vincent: I don’t think I could travel the way that I travel now and be very good at the Highland Games. It wouldn’t have worked. I need too many days out in the field throwing. I had an outside sales job when I was doing that, but I was home almost every night. Matt kept a full run of implements in my truck and I’d stop in places and throw if there was a field.
Kailan: That’s cool.
Nick: I like that. Was it in your truck video? I saw you mentioned the other day you were like, “This is from the Highland Games but I’m not definitely not doing that shit anymore,” basically. I couldn’t quite tell the tone you were saying it in. Is it a tone of relief? Or disappointment? Or how do you feel about just that whole idea? We’ll get to your injuries in a second.
Matt Vincent: Sure.
Nick: That part’s done.
Matt Vincent: Well, the chapters done. I mean, how I feel about it is a little irrelevant, right? Because I can be either pissy about it or I can accept it and move on. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m not competing ever again. I didn’t plan on ending my career when it ended, but it’s still over. I didn’t want to be one of those guys that’s sitting there, and bitter, and pissy about the time that ended. Because father time’s undefeated. At some point, all of us have to quit doing this dumb shit.
Kailan: Well, I think it’s so important to talk about, too.
Matt Vincent: Yeah.
Kailan: Losing your sport sooner than you expected.
Matt Vincent: Losing your sport’s tough. There was definitely a lot that I had to sort out mentally through that-
Kailan: Identity thing a lot of people have.
Matt Vincent: Yeah.
Kailan: Yeah. So much of your identity.
Matt Vincent: I try not to ever get too tied into the identity of it.
Kailan: That’s good. A lot of people don’t.
Matt Vincent: I know a lot of people, man that struggle with that. And I’ve been fortunate enough to hold conversations with guys. I remember, you know when Brandon Lilly got hurt, he and I talked a lot and it was-
Nick: His injury was awful.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, awful, right?
Nick: The videos out there. I don’t recommend it.
Matt Vincent: He didn’t understand but like, “I’m Brandon Lilly the powerlifter.” And I’m like, “Well, figuring out how to offer more than that.” Just because you’re not strong doesn’t change the experience that you had in the sport and the time that you’ve put in. And I feel that way about Highland Games. I’m still a two-time world champion and I still one of the most winning guys that ever competed. That’s fine but those days are done.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Bonnie Schroeder: It helps now. You have so much else going on with your brand, you’re traveling.
Matt Vincent: That’s on purpose.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, of course.
Matt Vincent: I like being busy.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah. But you were able to channel it into other things instead of sitting there and being like, “Well, now what?”
Nick: And then teaching also.
Matt Vincent: Yes.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, absolutely.
Nick: I saw a video recently. We were talking about throwing and it seemed like you were really approaching things more like, “Okay. I’m interested in doing up to the point where it allows me to teach.”
Matt Vincent: I think that would be a cool goal. If I can get healthy enough with the need to be able to throw enough to teach, I’d like to do that. Because I think at the end of the day, my competing, or writing, or any… The writing, I’ve really been proud of. Throwing’s fine and then… I mean, I’ve got 1200 or so videos on the YouTube channel that really started with the intention of just sharing throws with the other guys I was competing with. Sharing that knowledge from the perspective I’ve got on it. I mean, I think at the end of the day, when your sport’s done and you’re done competing, there’s still a way to leave ripples in the pond that they affect the other people there.
Matt Vincent: Highland Games is the greatest thing I’ve ever done competing. And has opened all the doors for me. And so, I have a ton of respect for it and I want people to enjoy that sport. It’s great. Not a lot of people know about it. It’s a great loophole of athletics. If you’ve were a thrower in college, you have such a head start to be good at that sport. And that sport at the professional level pays travel, is prize money. I mean, I made 25 or 30 grand a year doing a hobby, which is a shit ton more than I would’ve made powerlifting or playing golf. It was great for me. It totally justified giving that much of a shit about the sport to travel around and be part of it.
Matt Vincent: I want other people to have that experience and the comradery that came with the guys that I got to throw with, and being outside, and testing yourself, you know? In strength sports, it’s a little unique too because it’s so submaximal. The weights don’t ever change. You have to get stronger and build better technique over just adding more pounds. Because eventually, adding more pounds can kill you. You’ll lose. Either your skeleton maxes out or Father Time shows up again and says, “Hey, you’re too old for this.” I mean, guys still… [Mikes Okalwoods 00:07:54] has done Highland Games at a professional level for like 17 years and isn’t too banged up. Like the sport’s got a lot of longevity to it. I just got hurt.
Nick: Right, right. Yeah. We don’t need to get into the… Your videos go plenty into your [crosstalk 00:31:11]-
Matt Vincent: There’s plenty of information on it.
Nick: I mean, you had a pretty major knee surgery recently.
Matt Vincent: I’ve had nine major knee surgeries over about a three-year time period but most recently in April was a total knee replacement.
Nick: And that’s the first time you’ve had a total joint replacement?
Matt Vincent: Yeah. They don’t like doing them a second time. Hopefully, this one will last for me. But honestly, the total knee replacement for anyone out there that’s dealing with chronic pain and trying to put off total knee replacement because of this fear of it. Man, do it. Just get it done. You get your life back. I was out of pain. The pain that I experienced for three years of my knee of this stabbing awfulness was gone overnight. And was back walking. Now, I’ve got other issues, you know, up and downstream from the knee but they’re livable. They’re aches. They’re not pain.
Kailan: Well, and you were walking the day of.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. I mean, they’ve got you walk in on a fake hip or fake knee, they got you walking that day. I mean, how you approach the rehab is your business.
Kailan: Right. And you already being in good shape beforehand helps a whole lot.
Matt Vincent: Right. Even the doctors were weird because they were like, “Well, where are you doing physical therapy?” I was like, “My house by myself.” And they’re like, “Well…” I’m like, “Look, I don’t need some guy to count reps. This was an elective surgery. I chose to fix my knee, I’m going to choose to do the rehab.”
Kailan: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And you know a lot of PTs. You’re friends with a lot of people who… If you really needed to ask questions-
Matt Vincent: And I do touch base with all those people, whether Stefi Cohen, or Kelly Starrett, or any of these other amazing people that I can bounce an idea off of. Like, “Hey, I’m feeling this,” and they’re like, “Oh, you’re-“
Nick: Hey, Kelly. My knee hurts.
Matt Vincent: Right. And he’s like, “Yeah, you’re six weeks out of total knee replacement dummy.”
Nick: And the knee is a unique one there. I mean, you hear more from people who get hip replacements, they’re like, “Dear God, the clouds parted. I feel amazing instantly.” Knees can be-
Matt Vincent: Knees are tricky.
Nick: They can be super tricky. My stepmother just got hers done and everybody was in, “Get ready, get ready. It’s going to be great.” And it’s just been six months of pain. And you hear stories on both sides for knees in particular.
Matt Vincent: I think a lot of it is how you go into it and how… The rehab for the knee is tricky and it’s tough. I mean luckily, I did eight other surgeries that I rehabbed, so I had a pretty good idea of what was going to work or not work.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Matt Vincent: Range of motion is still meh. It’ll get better.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kailan: I think how you mentally approach it too is huge, because if you’re going to be, you know, sitting there whining about it, and throwing a pity party, and “Oh, I just want to sit on the couch for whatever until it feels better.”
Matt Vincent: It’s never going to feel better.
Kailan: But that’s definitely not you. We can tell.
Nick: But I mean, a knee can be unique too. It can be painful to sit around and painful to move.
Matt Vincent: Yes.
Nick: Are you just chasing comfort through that rehab sometimes?
Matt Vincent: Through the rehab, like I said, it was so nice to be out of the pain that I had been in for three years. That the rehab was fine. I really don’t remember much of the rehab being like, “Oh, this super sucks.” It was just surgical pain and you know that’s going away. I’ve had enough experience with it to know that that’s from tissue getting cut. But the joint pain that I had prior is completely gone. Because that’s completely gone… I made deals with myself as like, “Look man, I may not be able to ever squat properly again or really pull very heavy but if you’ll let it… if the body and the universe will let me do leg extensions and leg curls pain-free, I’ll rebuild the leg.” There’s enough reps and enough time that equal it rebuilding. It’s not fun. But every time I go to the gym, I do a hundred or so more reps of leg extensions and leg curls at a lightweight and it all adds up.
Nick: That sounds very West Side-y. [inaudible 00:11:58]. I’ve seen you squatting and deadlifting too though. You are doing those things.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Doing those things, you know, at a level that feels pretty controlled. For the most part, I don’t do anything stupid. Every once in a while, you got to-
Kailan: Push a little just a little bit.
Matt Vincent: Wave a little caution. And I’m not crazy with it. I’m not trying to do max box jumps or anything on [inaudible 00:35:19]. I mean, hell. I’ve even gotten back to doing some running and doing some hill jogs, I guess. I wouldn’t call them sprints by any stretch.
Nick: The hills that can be your best friend there. Flat ground is the enemy.
Matt Vincent: Yep.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Matt Vincent: I want to be more capable, right? Like I said, it’s just I want to be available for something that pops up. I’ve got a five-day mountain bike trip coming up in September. That’ll be camping every night and probably 40 miles on the bike every day.
Kailan: Where is that?
Matt Vincent: It’ll be The Hayduke Trail, I think is what it’s called. But it’s Grand Junction, Colorado to Moab [Utah].
Kailan: Oh, cool. Oh my gosh.
Matt Vincent: There’s a group of 12 or 13 of us going and camp every night and ride. I’m excited about that.
Nick: So, Bonnie, you had a major injury a few years ago as well, right?
Bonnie Schroeder: I guess technically last year.
Nick: Okay. Yeah. Tell us a little bit about how that kind of steered you where you are now? And how that affects how you steer people in powerlifting as a coach.
Bonnie Schroeder: Right, yeah.
Nick: Especially women who are maybe new to the sport or something like that.
Bonnie Schroeder: Absolutely. I guess it would’ve been last June, where I was having some very serious like deep glute pain. I competed on it in July, which I probably shouldn’t have done. And then spent almost a year trying to figure out what exactly was wrong. I had a lot of imaging done, I had tests done, I was thinking it was some type of deep piriformis issue. I had some lower back imaging done and probably the third opinion on that told me that I had a vertebrae out of place. My L5-S1 is pushed anteriorly about 8%. And of course, they’re saying this could be what’s causing your pain.
Nick: Right. Is it the cause or is it the affect, you know?
Bonnie Schroeder: We also don’t know how long it’s been that way. There was never a moment of, “Oh, shit. I just did something really wrong.” You know? It was more of a gradual thing. But when it was really bad, I couldn’t push or brace through my right leg at all. I couldn’t stand on one leg to put on pants. It was bad. Finally got a diagnosis like couple of months ago.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah. A couple months ago, my chiropractor got another opinion on it. They told me it was the L5-S1. And when that gets really, really bad, your option is to get your spine fused. So, there is no powerlifting total that makes that worth it for me.
Bonnie Schroeder: I want to avoid that. But for a year, I-
Matt Vincent: Because you’re not committed to the sport.
Bonnie Schroeder: I’m not committed enough. Not hardcore.
Nick: Fusion is not the end of the game either.
Bonnie Schroeder: It’s not.
Nick: People who get fused can still train, can still lift.
Bonnie Schroeder: Right, right.
Matt Vincent: [crosstalk 00:37:54]. Perfect example.
Bonnie Schroeder: Any type of back surgery is so invasive.
Kailan: I’m just not interested in having my spine fuse. Yeah.
Matt Vincent: Part rehab.
Kailan: Yeah. And being in a brace for months and all that stuff.
Matt Vincent: Not into it.
Kailan: It’d be a lot if you’re not into it. Okay.
Bonnie Schroeder: Otherwise you’re fully functioning. So, it’s hard to see-
Nick: We’re sponsored by spinal fusion incorporation.
Matt Vincent: Spinalfusion.com.
Kailan: You should really think about that Bonnie.
Matt Vincent: We can fuse your spine in an afternoon.
Nick: Give you all two for one. We can book you guys in today.
Matt Vincent: I don’t even have any back problems. We’ll just do the whole thing just for a better posture.
Bonnie Schroeder: Just put you up straight constantly.
Bonnie Schroeder: But yeah. It was really frustrating because for about a year I didn’t have a diagnosis. So, I was just trying to rehab blindly and doing what felt good and what didn’t cause any pain. I competed at the Arnold in March, which I felt okay at the meet. I didn’t have any pain during my lifts. After the meet, deadlifting and squatting was just not the same.
Kailan: Mm-mm (negative).
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah. I was pulling conventional, like a very narrow stance conventional and that was just putting too much pressure on that spot and causing severe glute pain. Loading my spine can still be a little iffy with squats. Like I said, it’s changed my programming a lot. Mentally, it’s been a huge shift for me because I’m someone that did have a lot of my identity tied to being a competitive powerlifter and being a pretty decent competitive powerlifter.
Matt Vincent: I mean, a big part of your income is online coaching and you were concerned about, “Oh, shit. If I’m not competing, why would anyone work with me.”
Bonnie Schroeder: Right. Yeah. There was definitely some stress with that in the beginning and that was not a problem. It hasn’t been a problem.
Matt Vincent: In fact, it gives you more time to work with people.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, it does. It lets me focus on being a coach more, which is the direction I’m taking my life. You can only be an athlete for so long right? There’s an end time to that. Focusing on coaching more has been great. I think it makes me a better coach.
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Bonnie Schroeder: Definitely.
Nick: How does it affect the way that you coach people? Do you find yourself at like, “All right. You definitely need more…”
Bonnie Schroeder: Right. Yeah. Exercises for sure but also talking to clients about just rest and recovery. And it’s so important to listen to your body because had I done that in the beginning, had I pulled out of that meet last July, would it be as bad as it is now? You know? So, I think really encouraging athletes to be aware of what their body’s doing, listening to their body. What are you feeling? If you need that rest day. Yeah, let’s take it, Oh, your legs are fried? Maybe let’s wait a day or two to squat. You know? And I think that’s so important because there’s so much in this industry that’s like, “No days off. No rest days.” Like, “Go, go, go.” It’s like, “No. Oh my gosh, no.” That’s not the way to do it.
Matt Vincent: An easy way to look at that, right, is there’s not a single workout you can do rep scheme, any program, there’s not a single workout that’s going to make you strong. It’s the accumulation of work done over time. But you can get fucked on a single workout.
Bonnie Schroeder: Absolutely.
Matt Vincent: And get hurt and then not train for two weeks. The way that you get stronger is what’s the most you can do over time.
Kailan: Yeah. The longevity part.
Matt Vincent: Still keep showing up.
Bonnie Schroeder: I have clients that’ll feel guilty about rest days or something. And I don’t know where this… I mean, probably from things that you see on social media. Where that mindset comes from, about just never rest. Go, go, go.
Matt Vincent: Well, look. I get it, I get it right? I get the idea of not allowing yourself to get out worked but the idea that more is always better than quality isn’t the way that works.
Bonnie Schroeder: No. It’s let’s train smarter.
Kailan: Stay off social media on your rest days and then you won’t feel like you need to [crosstalk 00:41:31].
Nick: I think part of it also is just that powerlifting is just getting so popular as a competitive sport right now. What it has going forward is this idea that it’s systematic. So, there may be a lot of people in the past that, however they trained it was not systematic. But now it’s like, “I’m in the system. I’m doing everything right and you don’t want to disappoint the system.” Because if you just miss one, the whole system’s off.
Matt Vincent: Right. And then people also think that strength is a complete linear.
Kailan: Yeah, which is totally not.
Matt Vincent: Nowhere success or anything right?
Matt Vincent: It’s big picture. It’s big picture progress. How much did you add to your lifts in five years? Not this 10-week cycle.
Kailan: Right. Well, it’s find a program that you like. Find a coach that works well with you and then do that for a decade.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yep.
Matt Vincent: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Nick: Right. For a decade. Exactly.
Kailan: A decade is the key.
Nick: I did some grip strength competition stuff late last year and early this year. And I worked with this coach and I told him like, “Hey, I had this one little tiny five-pound PR.” And he was like, “That’s great, man. You’re setting yourself up for success five years from now. That’s great.” And he said in this really encouraging way. I was like, “Five years from now. All right.” That’s the timeframe that… But with hands in particular and some of these things that are a lot more connective tissue and less muscle, it’s a decade. It’s a hard decade to get good at shit.
Matt Vincent: Oh, yeah. But that’s anything. I mean, even seminars I do or anything like that, that’s one of the things I say very clearly upfront is we could sum up all the programming here necessary to be like, “If you’d like to get strong, I need you to bench squat, deadlift, and overhead press moderately heavy for the next 10 years.”
Nick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Kailan: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Matt Vincent: That’s it.
Nick: That’s it.
Matt Vincent: It’ll work out.
Nick: And you can never go over 80% in that time and have fantastic success.
Matt Vincent: It’d be fine.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yep.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. You want to do sets of five at 80% from now and forever, you’ll continually get strong.
Bonnie Schroeder: Stronger.
Matt Vincent: It’s not fun.
Nick: Right. Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Matt Vincent: But I never had an issue with Monday, like my Monday workout being the same every week. That’s how you make progress. You do the same shit. So getting bored or jumping programs like that, that wasn’t… that never… Nah.
Bonnie Schroeder: But you’ll see it.
Kailan: Oh, all the time. All the time.
Matt Vincent: You’ll see it because they want progress now. And like, “Oh, I only added 25 pounds in my bench in the last eight weeks.”
Bonnie Schroeder: Oh my gosh, can you imagine?
Bonnie Schroeder: I’m like, “What?” Who’s coaching you?
Kailan: I’m stoked to get five pounds in maybe a year or two.
Matt Vincent: And it’s such a different thing when you’re getting those beginner progress. And by beginner, I mean are you still in your first five years of lifting? Your beginner progress or man… The tough one is kids, is when you have a 15-year-old reach out who’s trying to make progress and wants to know what supplements to take, and what to do this, and what to do that. I’m like, “Fucking eat food and go to sleep.” You have more testosterone in your system now than you will in your entire life. Between 14 and 18 years old as a male, your bench will double just because you were alive.
Kailan: Just stay alive.
Matt Vincent: He didn’t ever have to lift weights.
Nick: Yeah. If you just touch the barbell.
Matt Vincent: You don’t even need to do that.
Bonnie Schroeder: Just walk in the gym and walk out.
Matt Vincent: I mean, between 14 and 18 I was training for football in high school and I put on a hundred pounds in high school.
Bonnie Schroeder: Me too.
Matt Vincent: Yes. You weighed in at 12 as an [inaudible 00:21:42].
Nick: She was a foot at that-
Matt Vincent: One foot tall. She’s very small. Someone added water.
Bonnie Schroeder: Added water?
Matt Vincent: Exploded like a gremlin.
Bonnie Schroeder: Aw. I like it.
Matt Vincent: Gremlin.
Nick: Fed her after midnight. No. I think we’re kind of running out of time here. But I wanted to ask you a little bit about how you eat too because I imagine you’ve eaten just about every way. I started, it was like, “Oh, I wonder how he…” Started digging into it a little bit. I’m like, “Oh, okay. He’s done this, and this, and this, and this.” But you did a recent video that I thought was kind of interesting. It was like, “Okay. Here’s my standard YouTube day of eating video,” basically. And it was an interesting blend. It’s sort of a little bit of fasting, a little bit of vertical diet, little bit of-
Nick: Kind of keto in there. How do you blend that stuff? And how do you do it on the road, I guess as well?
Matt Vincent: Well, working with someone like Stay Classy Meats has been awesome because they send us meat. But I mean, there’s always grocery stores in town, and we can cook at camp, or we can cook in an Airbnb, and we’ll meal prep to an extent. We usually have a Tupperware thing full of meat that’s cooked. Ground meat or steak that’s been chopped up, and then we buy Minute Rice, and you can heat it up at any gas station and throw mustard on it.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah. Or you stop at a Chinese restaurant and just buy rice.
Matt Vincent: Yeah. Or Chinese takeout places have rice. So, you can-
Bonnie Schroeder: Steamed veggies or-
Matt Vincent: … I cooked rice, ready to go.
Kailan: And veggies or whatever, yeah.
Matt Vincent: Exactly. Dietary wise, look when I was competing and I was weighing 290, 295-ish I ate whatever I wanted and drank quite a bit. Now that I’m trying to not be weak and fat, it’s a terrible combination. Fat and strong was just fine, it was for a purpose.
Kailan: Weak and fat however …
Matt Vincent: Weak and fat’s no good. That’s not the retirement I was trying to go into with sports and so, I’ve done … I did keto for a little over two and a half years and that really helped with a lot of weight loss. I think it helped clear up a lot of gut health and stuff like that just from eating trash. And then I did Carnivore for eight months and really didn’t see a big, giant benefit of that over doing the ketogenic diet. And so, where I’ve started messing with Vertical diet a little bit as I want to see if I can get a little leaner and put on some size and so, I do that on training days.
Matt Vincent: I’ll have rice pre- and post, and I do intermittent fasting during the day with a bunch of caffeine as it seems to just keep calories in check. But where I’ve really fallen with my diet and my recommendation to people is essentially eat meat. Did it have a face? Green veggies and be able to identify everything that you’re eating as a single ingredient and good luck screwing that up.
Kailan: Well also a lot of people ask about going out to eat and I think that single-ingredient rule is really good for going out.
Matt Vincent: Eat a steak. Eat a steak and a potato.
Nick: I’ll have the meat please.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, right.
Kailan: Right, can you identify it as a single ingredient? That’s so good for eating out.
Matt Vincent: I think that allows your body to be able to digest it like stay away from the processed foods and the more that I look at it now, I think about look at the couple of past generations. Like our grandparents, this World War II generation born in the 20s and 30s, they weren’t eating anything processed and so that generation lived into their 90s and were smoking and drinking their entire lives and not getting killed from it. Meanwhile, our parents’ generation were sedentary, eating processed food, fast food came along …
Kailan: Cancer rates are up.
Matt Vincent: And the cancer rates are up. Our parents’ generation is the first generation that the life span has decreased from the generation before and the biggest thing that we can put a finger on there is nutrition.
Kailan: The food, yeah.
Matt Vincent: And it wasn’t like some conspiracy, right? We didn’t know.
Kailan: Right, we thought it was great that these foods would last forever. They don’t rot? What?
Matt Vincent: Yeah, this is amazing.
Kailan: Sounds good … [crosstalk 00:48:29] …
Matt Vincent: TV dinners and foods are ready to go and we can work more and be part of society and the wealth that the Baby Boomer generation built is great. But at the cost that they lost an idea of what actual food was and so, I think that plays a bigger part than anything else into how well we’ll feel and how healthy you are. With Keto and Carnivore or vegan or whatever it is, what bums me out is that the argument ends up on both extremes when the truth is let’s talk to the middle who’s still eating absolute garbage, because these are the people that need help.
Matt Vincent: If you’re eating vegan and not consuming just french fries and beer, great, do your thing. And if you’re … I don’t think the answer is eating only rib eyes every meal either.
Nick: But those approaches can build these magical connotations. You’re talking about no single workout is magical, but people can think very magically about Keto, Carnivore, intermittent fasting. Like this is it, I found the thing.
Matt Vincent: Everyone wants the magic bullet and the truth is there isn’t one.
Bonnie Schroeder: There isn’t one.
Kailan: And at first just like lifting, you’re going to see those newbie gains. If you’re overweight and you’re getting on keto or whatever, you’re going to see those losses immediately.
Bonnie Schroeder: You’re eating less food in general no matter what it is, then yes, right?
Matt Vincent: Keto can be super livable and you can do it long term. I’ve done it and there’s a lot of rules of it I really like, but as soon as you start every night I’m going to make Fathead Pizza or I’m going to do fat bombs or any of this, now we’re back into processed bullshit.
Matt Vincent: That’s not the route. You have to realize that even though those are ketos, they’re still a cheat.
Matt Vincent: And need to be treated that way. If you want to go out and have a meal, go have a meal, but get your shit back together. It’s a meal. That’s it.
Bonnie Schroeder: A meal.
Kailan: That’s just it. Any time that we go and have whatever we want, we don’t stress out about it. It’s okay. We did that, we maybe had that pizza. Tomorrow we’ll do better.
Matt Vincent: Right.
Kailan: Neither of us linger or beat ourselves up over it, you know?
Matt Vincent: Nope. Move on and …
Nick: And when you were doing the carnivore diet, were you able to keep it in its place like that as well? Because that’s a little more single-minded.
Matt Vincent: I stayed pretty strict on it for about eight months …
Nick: Knowing that it was an experiment at the time?
Matt Vincent: Yeah, well I just wanted to see what the health benefits would be, how I felt. I did keto and a pescatarian approach to keto for a while and I didn’t really feel any different without having red meat in my system. My body can basically digest anything. I’m a garbage disposal. Even when I was eating trash, I didn’t have digestive issues. I just was fat and inflamed. And so, I started doing the diet first and foremost to do anything I could to help mitigate pain and so, keto and carnivore are super anti-inflammatory, so anything I could do to possibly help my knee was a big help.
Matt Vincent: And so, I noticed the big change in inflammation and how my body felt from those more than anything else and so, when I do eat off of that track and have a bunch of carbohydrates or sugar or anything like that, I do really notice a difference in pain sensitivity to the areas that I’ve got beat up.
Kailan: Also, your joints, like your hands will swell a little bit.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, my hands will swell up and get a lot stiffer.
Kailan: Bonnie, have you kind of hopped on the same vertical diet? I’m sure you guys eat pretty similar especially on the road, you kind of eat what you have.
Bonnie Schroeder: On the road, yeah, it’s pretty similar. I’m a little less strict than he is.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, she operates on a lot more carbs than I do.
Kailan: Yeah, for sure.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, I operate on a lot more carbs.
Matt Vincent: We have a little bit different energy systems.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yes, we’re built a little bit differently, I don’t know if you could tell.
Bonnie Schroeder: Often mistaken for one another. But yeah, I still have a little bit more carbs. I like having breakfast, I like carbs in me before I train. I don’t do the fasting that he does. He can also do the rice and meat a little bit more often than I can … [crosstalk 00:52:20] … he can be pretty robotic with it.
Matt Vincent: But I also like the food.
Bonnie Schroeder: Some people can do that really well and they love it. Yeah, yeah.
Matt Vincent: I can do chopped up ribeye, rice …
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, he is perfect.
Matt Vincent: … and if I want to jazz it up, I’ll add some sriracha and mustard.
Kailan: Get real crazy with sriracha.
Bonnie Schroeder: Get real crazy.
Bonnie Schroeder: I need a little bit more variety than he does, but not much. For the most part, I can do the same.
Kailan: Survive on the same.
Matt Vincent: Moderation’s not been a thing in my life I’m great at. And so, if I’m going to go hard and eat terrible food, all right.
Kailan: All or nothing.
Bonnie Schroeder: Oh yes, I saw it. I saw it in Miami for the first time. It was impressive.
Matt Vincent: We sat down at a place and I had a pizza and then had a 20-ounce steak.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yes, a whole pizza and then a steak. The waitress was confused.
Matt Vincent: She was very confused. I was like I’m going to have the pizza. And she’s like well the pizza’s a pretty good size and I’m like yeah …
Bonnie Schroeder: I’m aware.
Nick: The pizza already, bring me the pizza.
Matt Vincent: I’ll have two steaks, whatever. I’ve done that before.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah, that was impressive and I have more of a sweet tooth than he does.
Matt Vincent: Yeah.
Bonnie Schroeder: So, I like some chocolate and ice cream …
Nick: He’s got the meat tooth.
Matt Vincent: I do meat pretty well until herbal remedy kicks in and then get hungry.
Nick: But I want to ask you a little bit more about the carnivore diet just because I feel like we’ve only had a couple of guests who have really committed to it and I’m just curious about did you eat any recreational vegetables in there or were you pretty much like no, I’m going to eat my ribeye a day …
Matt Vincent: I did ribeye and if I ever threw anything into it, it would just be like avocado. That was about it.
Nick: Are you somebody who tested levels of things throughout this ever or are you just having to listen to yourself?
Matt Vincent: No, just how do I feel. Yeah, how do I feel, how do workouts feel, am I in more pain or less pain, am I digesting? And at that time, I’m living in a caloric deficit as well trying to lose weight.
Matt Vincent: And so, keto or carnivore isn’t some miracle that fixes weight loss.
Kailan: And what was the lowest you got?
Matt Vincent: 228 was the lightest I got.
Kailan: And how did you feel at that? … [crosstalk 00:54:14] … what was your highest?
Matt Vincent: 320.
Kailan: Oof, that’s impressive.
Matt Vincent: Yeah give or take during Strong Man.
Kailan: Yeah, yeah.
Matt Vincent: That was 320 probably 2008 or 2009 when I was doing Strong Man and then geared powerlifting. And then, after I got out of that and got back into throwing, I got probably 270 to 285 and then toward the end of my career, I dropped down to like 265 and then was a little bit too light to throw far.
Nick: Is that … when you say you didn’t like it, is that what you didn’t like? You’re like I lost my velocity.
Matt Vincent: I didn’t like being 228. 228 felt odd. I just didn’t feel strong and that was … I don’t care for that.
Kailan: And you’ve been around 240.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, so 240’s a good fit. I’d like to be a leaner 240. As soon as I could start fitting into a large shirt, I felt really strange. I don’t want to be in a 3X, but single X is a good spot.
Kailan: Yeah, there you go.
Matt Vincent: Because once I get lower than that, you end up normal people size.
Kailan: No one wants that.
Matt Vincent: And the market we’re in, that’s not what people are looking for and so, that is part of what people want from me and that’s also what I want from me.
Kailan: For yourself, yeah.
Matt Vincent: I will change my training and diet accordingly, because I’ve got a bigger mountain bike trip coming up. I’ll start doing more cardio and train a bit for that activity. And so, of course that thing’s going to be a little bit better if I don’t weigh 250. But I also don’t need to be 210.
Kailan: 210, exactly.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, no desire to ever do that.
Nick: We’re going to ask you that question again when you’re halfway up the mountain.
Matt Vincent: That’s fine.
Nick: 210, what was so wrong … this was a mistake. Now, we haven’t talked about your clothing line at all, but clothing lines are popping up all over the place right now.
Matt Vincent: Sure.
Nick: And what do you think has made yours stand out and also what advice do you give to people that are looking to build their brand, I guess?
Matt Vincent: Is make sure that you’ve got a following and a concept. Don’t make the coolest thing that no one’s ever heard of, so you’ve got to market it too. It’s not a build it and they will come type of thing anymore. That’s not the way any of this works and so, I started the clothing line in 2014, I wrote a book and talked about the philosophy of the hate in 2011 and then got asked enough by people following the program to make a shirt and so I did and we’ve always had an ethos behind the brand of what it’s about and what we’re striving for and I think we’ve done a good job of keeping that in the rails in that there’s more to it than just how much do you snatch on a t-shirt, right, like fucking Christ.
Kailan: Yeah, well it may have started in just fitness, but it’s evolved to so much more than that. It’s evolved to very much a lifestyle.
Matt Vincent: Right and I’m making stuff that I wanted, because I didn’t want to wear the rest of the stuff that was in the lifting world. I also don’t want to make shirts … I don’t want to put a barbell on shirts or a bunch of bullshit.
Kailan: Or just a noun.
Matt Vincent: I think maybe that your muscles should show that you’re a guy that goes to the gym and not the t-shirt.
Kailan: Can you give a brief synopsis …
Matt Vincent: Synopsis of it? Yeah.
Kailan: … of what your brand stands for those who don’t know?
Matt Vincent: The Quickest One of the Hate it’s a little self-motivation through self-loathing. And for me, in a very healthy way, I’m not a guy who beats myself up and doesn’t have this positive image of myself. It’s more of the holding myself accountable to man, you don’t deserve shit. You don’t deserve progress and you don’t deserve to win and you don’t deserve to be in the shape that you want to be, because someone else did this or someone else had done that. Man, this is your journey and so, if it’s important to you, you hold that line and be willing to hate yourself enough to do the work when it sucks.
Matt Vincent: And it’s easy to go to the gym when things feel great, but there’s plenty of days that it doesn’t and for me as an athlete, I’m not a big guy in the Highland Games or Strength Sports that I did. Most of the Highland Game guys I competed against, the average size of the pros are 6′ 3″, 310 and I’m 6′ 0″ 285. And so, I’ve got to make up ground in other ways whether that was technique from throwing more than they were willing to go throw or whatever it was. I knew that when it came time for competition, that you had not out-suffered me, that I’m willing to work harder. And so, if you’re going to beat me, good luck. It won’t be because of that. If you’ve got the natural gifts and talents to beat me, cool. But …
Kailan: I’ll still work harder than you.
Matt Vincent: Yep. And that’s fine. And that way, at least for me, I knew whenever I got to the field that I didn’t leave anything on the table of fuck, I could’ve done more.
Matt Vincent: I could’ve trained harder. Like nope, I took third today and that’s as good as it was going to go. And that’s okay. I knew that I didn’t leave anything behind and I didn’t give myself the out of oh, you deserve a break or you’ve done enough. I don’t deserve shit.
Nick: But at the same time, it’s not like your clothing is just an inspirational saying on a shirt or something.
Matt Vincent: No.
Nick: It’s much more design.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, it’s a bit more design driven.
Nick: Have you gone back and forth, do you feel like on that?
Matt Vincent: A little bit. Yeah, there’s some stuff that’s got a motivational bit like the shirt I’m wearing right now on the back, it’s …
Nick: And your famous coffee cup.
Matt Vincent: Right.
Kailan: But it’s unique, that design, you look at it and you’re like what does that mean?
Matt Vincent: Yeah.
Kailan: It intrigues you and someone has to ask you what is this?
Matt Vincent: Exactly and so, we have a little bit more concept besides the stuff we put out instead of just a different variation of the Hate Brand logo. And for me, some of the shirts we’ve put out don’t say “hate” on them. I think it’s on the inside tag, but this line that we’ll have go out Thursday, it’s fuck yes or no. That’s really simple decision making for me. Is I don’t do anything out of obligation anymore in my life.
Kailan: Half assing, yeah.
Matt Vincent: None. Right and so, if it’s not fuck yes, the answer’s no. Do I want to do that? Eh, that’s a no. So, I don’t. And try to go on with that, but if I’m going to do something, I want to be fully in it and I want to be completely present and be aware and dive in like a goon and be super excited. I just don’t want to show up somewhere and be like oh, this was a waste of my time. Then just don’t come.
Kailan: Don’t go, yeah.
Matt Vincent: Decline gracefully as you can, but just don’t show up. But if you’re going to go do it, be in it and give it hell. Everything’s a choice and going to the gym and doing any of that and even like what we talked about with this road trip is I’m very excited that I have the luxury of time to drive to the places I want to instead of have to fly, be there for two days, put in 12 or 14 meetings like I’ve had to do in L.A. trips. I like being able to slow things down like this.
Kailan: Go at your own pace.
Matt Vincent: Right and if I feel like stopping, we’ll stop.
Matt Vincent: And yeah, the brand, it was just I wanted it to be more and we’ll do some stuff as it grows that are just apparel like our shorts or any of that type of stuff and more minimal branding stuff, but at the end of the day, we make t-shirts. The other stuff’s great, but t-shirts are the bread and butter.
Nick: Well, I’m glad we made the cut on your road trip here.
Matt Vincent: No man, this is exciting. You guys have been around forever.
Nick: For freaking ever. Yeah, 20 years, 20 years.
Matt Vincent: That’s crazy.
Matt Vincent: My company’s been around for five. I’ve never had the same job for more than nine and so, I look at that even with the brand, I’m like all right, so I’ve probably got another five years of this and probably need to figure something else out. Am I going to be 45 and still pedaling t-shirts? I don’t know.
Nick: But to be clear, that’s not all you’re doing …
Matt Vincent: No.
Nick: … you’ve got e-books as well. You’ve got a podcast. Tell us about the other places that people can find you.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, so YouTube, I’ve been active on for the last seven or eight years. Nothing’s ever really gone nuts. I’ve stayed away from viral content, I guess. With that said, it’s not like I had a bunch of brilliant ideas that were going to get 1 million views and I chose not to make those videos, but I’ve stayed away from a lot of trendy things, like I never did a 10,000-calorie challenge. I didn’t want to do a video explaining my tattoos to strangers or shit like that’s just not for me.
Kailan: That question comes up a lot.
Nick: Stop somebody on the street.
Matt Vincent: Can you explain your tattoos? No.
Kailan: No, I didn’t get them for you.
Matt Vincent: Right, nope.
Kailan: Your YouTube is pretty much all logging.
Matt Vincent: Yeah.
Kailan: It’s your life … [crosstalk 01:02:57] …
Matt Vincent: It’s my life and it’s the lifestyle I’m living, so because I’ve stayed away from doing any of that viral bullshit to try to pad the number of people watching my stuff, I’m also never trolled, because there isn’t a bunch of people who showed up, because I did one crazy video of eating or setting myself on fire while lifting weights that they’re like why don’t you do this again? I don’t want to fucking do that, I’m not a circus clown. I was good at a thing and so, I want to share more information in an entertaining way with its own style, but it’ll get the views it gets and the audience that I’ve had has been around a long time and so, being able to translate that into the podcast has also been cool. The podcast UMSO, I’ve done …
Kailan: UMSO is the name of your podcast?
Matt Vincent: UMSO, yep. For a little over a year and I named it that, because it’s not lifting based. I want to talk to whoever I want to talk to about whatever I want to talk to. And I’ve had professional BMX guys on, I’ve had guys who do TV shows. I’ve had professional wrestlers on, it’s across the board. And it’s all people that end up working their ass off for a thing. It’s more about people that have chased a passion and weird how no matter what that passion is, there’s a lot of similarities to the road there.
Kailan: For sure.
Matt Vincent: Why did these people never, ever run into that thing in their head that said this is dumb, we should stop? I don’t know why, but it’s been fun and the podcast for me has been probably my favorite that I’ve done. I really enjoy getting to do that. That one’s good …
Nick: And you still write as well?
Matt Vincent: Yeah, I still do. I’ve been in the works on a book that I’m hoping will get out before the end of the year and it documents through the knee surgeries. I started journaling, planning to write a book at the end of 2016 when I had the first round of knee surgery was just an ACL repair and a meniscus and I was like cool, take the year off 2017, come back and compete 2018 and I’m going to journal and document how I feel, the mentality behind it, here’s what rehab looked like, here’s what getting back into training looked like, here’s what taking the first throws feels like and then this big build into coming back and competing.
Matt Vincent: Well, that didn’t quite go as planned and so, I end up documenting seven more surgeries and then going through the process of that of I’ll never compete again and realizing that I won’t and then making peace with it and understanding that’s not the end. It’s just the end of that chapter.
Kailan: That chapter, yep.
Matt Vincent: Right and so, how do you continue to go forward and still be passionate about the things you are and what is this identity? Luckily for me, I’ve said a long time that my PR’s in throws in world championships aren’t going on my tombstone. They never will. If that’s the greatest thing I pull off and I was 30, I’d be bummed. I don’t want the highlight of my life to have been high school football or throwing in college or even the Highland Games. I hope I look back at all those in almost a third-person view of someone else’s life experience.
Nick: It sounds like a very different book than the other books.
Matt Vincent: It’s a very different book.
Kailan: Than originally planned … [crosstalk 01:06:10] …
Matt Vincent: A lot more …
Nick: You’ve done a lot more training-focused eBooks in the past.
Matt Vincent: Yeah and even in the book, man, I talk about chronic pain and what that was like for three years. I talk about what I did to avoid opiates and being caught up in that, because that sucks too and then losing weight and why I lost the weight and how that felt. I talk about other drugs and about how cannabis has been a big help with me with pain relief or psychedelic use for different changes of perspective and mindset. I’m pretty open to just about anything. Try not to hold a lot of … I guess bias toward well, that’s a dumb thing. Well, I’ll find out if I think it’s dumb.
Nick: Cyllacibin use for knee pain, I feel like that’s a best seller.
Matt Vincent: It’s not bad. It could be worse, man. It doesn’t hurt when you’re on it.
Nick: So, Bonnie, tell us where people can find you as well.
Bonnie Schroeder: People can find me on Instagram @BonSchro and then, I also have a new website in the works that people will be able to show up and follow my daily workouts and also follow along our travel blog and things like that.
Nick Collias: Cool, well thanks so much for coming and talking with us guys.
Kailan Kalina: Yeah, thanks guys.
Bonnie Schroeder: Thanks for having us. It’s worked out well, really.
Matt Vincent: Yeah, it’s just great.
Bonnie Schroeder: Yeah.
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