SGPT Interviews Coach Brandon Richey
SEALgrinderPT (SGPT): Tell us about yourself.
BR: Well, I’m currently 35 years of age, but I’ll be 36 this Friday November 16. So depending on when you are reading this that is my age. I guess I like to consider myself a serious strength coach/trainer and business owner, but in reality I do like to have a sense of humor about a lot of things. I enjoy movies, sports, training, learning, and long walks on the beach. Ok, maybe not so much the last thing.
SGPT: Did you have an athletic background growing up?
BR: I did have an athletic background. I played the traditional sports of football and baseball through high school. I suffered an ACL tear in the right knee playing football my senior season and back then while I was still young I made the tough choice to start looking in to coaching more than trying to play sports. Instead I chose to try and push myself in the weight room and to harness my love of strength as a means to try and help others. I did later pick up on training in the art of Muay Thai and still do today more as a means to stay in shape rather than joining the ranks of UFC. The plan here is to hopefully one day either beat out Jason Statham in his role for Expendables 3, or to at least join him! 🙂
SGPT: How did you get started as a trainer?
BR: I would say that I started because of my love and competitive nature from being an athlete. I have always been hard driven and competitive and I like to see that same driven spirit in the athletes that I train. I love the whole “Rocky Balboa” sort of visual in the training process. I think most coaches can relate to the whole visual of the athlete that goes through the hell in training and then the coach getting the satisfaction of seeing them succeed come game time. I also enjoy both the teaching and learning process that goes with being a strength coach. It basically was the next best option for me because it gave me the opportunity to combine my love for being an athlete with a means to earn a living. To me there was no other option.
SGPT: You do some great workouts with kettlebells – tell us more about the style of training you do.
BR: I do love training with kettlebells. I always like to tell folks up front though that I am a strength coach first, not just a “kettlebell coach.” I love kettlebells and kettlebells are a wonderful training device, but I see the kettlebell as simply being another tool in the toolbox of training. It just so happens to be a very versatile tool.
Video – Brandon Richey 1 minute kettle bell drill
Now having clarified that part of it I love utilizing kettlebells, barbells, medicine balls, bodyweight resistance, and dumbbells (the iron kind, not the human kind) as training implements in my program. I also love integrating athletic performance such as speed training, agility, and plyometrics. With my program the goal is to be versatile, but not diluted. It seems that a lot of trainers these days want to try and do everything all the time. I’m certainly not one of those guys. I don’t only want my athletes to use these various implements, but I want them to use them well. Quality trumps quantity all day long in my camp.
SGPT: What all types of athletes do you train?
BR: I have trained and still do train all types of athletes, but I currently work more with the MMA community. I have several Muay Thai fighters, Jiu Jitsu competitors, and MMA fighters. I love working with these guys and girls. They are 110% committed and never complain. Well, almost never! 🙂
Having said that I do currently have some baseball, lacrosse, football players, and even a World’s Toughest Mudder Qualifier on the training schedule. I enjoy training all sports. As a strength and conditioning specialist it’s one of the challenges to be able to program for these various athletic populations, but it is also what keeps life interesting.
SGPT: You have a new book out – can you tell us about that?
BR: Yes, I actually wrote and self published my Better than Steroids ebook about 3 years ago, but over the past several months a did a complete revamp of the ebook. One of the goals of this ebook that I wanted was for it to be more than just a typical training manual. Training manuals are all over the place.
With Better Than Steroids I actually went in and included personal stories that involved a history on both myself and with various training experiences that I have had with some of my competing athletes. I made the ebook interactive as well by including embed video links to give people a visual on some of the exercise techniques I describe in ebook. I wanted to try and connect to folks in a number of different ways by using a number of different methods.
The reason I wanted to write the new revamped edition of BTS stemmed from the fact that I have had so many more experiences in both my life and my training since I had written the first edition. This one is way more informative and entertaining in my opinion. Fortunately folks are giving me a lot of positive feedback on it too. Whew, I can wipe the sweat off the forehead now! 🙂
SGPT: What about diet – how do you eat and fuel yourself and coach your athletes?
BR: As far as nutrition I’m a big believer that we all can benefit from simplicity. I mean when it boils down to it we all know what is good for us and what isn’t for the most part. I live by the logic of asking myself the question “which is better for me the Snickers bar or the Apple?” From there I simply apply that same logic to the rest of my nutritional intake.
Video – Brandon Richey dual man-makers
For the most part, I make sure I get enough protein and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. I will say that I do prefer fruit. Also I have never really had much of a sweet tooth so maybe that’s why I’ve never had too much of a problem with my diet.
SGPT: You were a Strength and Conditioning coach at The University of Georgia. Tell us about your time there.
BR: Yes, my best friend Bryan Pulliam was a strength and conditioning assistant for UGA and went and spoke with hall of fame strength coach Dave Van Hallanger at the time. Coach Van was kind enough to let me come into the weight room and show me around and let me help out with the team. That was back in 2002 when the DAWGS won the SEC Championship. Coach Richt and coach Van Halanger are not only great coaches, but they are awesome people as well. It was a tremendous experience getting to work with those guys and with the players at the time.
SGPT: Have you had any injuries in the past and how did you deal with
them in training?
BR: Yes, going back to the knee injury I had torn my ACL, meniscus cartilage, and medial collateral ligament. I was much younger when that happened, but back in 2004 I had a complete patella tendon rupture on the opposite knee. There was no good explanation for it happening b/c it was a non-contact injury.
At the time I was able to work under a really good physical therapist which taught me a great deal about how to get myself back up to speed and progress in the therapy by going through an athletic performance program. A lot of what I learned during that time was literally “hands on” which is why I have adopted a large part of that philosophy as part of the athletic performance portion of the training program I run today. I work hard to stay fit, but I credit implementing this along with my strength program as to why I don’t have any problems with my knees today.
SGPT: Do you have any pre-workout warmup or mental drills you perform?
BR: Yes, before every training session I go through a series of dynamic stretches to get the nervous system ready to fire. I also take the time prior to the stretching to try and perform some manual therapy more these days. I use the foam roller and a lacrosse ball religiously to break up soft tissues in order to restore mobility prior to training. This makes all the difference in the world.
SGPT: What are you reading now?
BR: Ha, well I’m not currently reading anything at this very moment, but I am about to start on the book No Easy Day which is based on the first hand account of the Navy SEAL that was part of killing Osama Bin Laden. I really have a lot of respect for those guys and all of our military. I actually have several military men and women that follow me on Facebook and through my blog and I’m completely honored that they share my stuff the way they do sometimes. I love the SEAL philosophy of The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday. I think that today more than ever we can all learn from that mindset!
SGPT: Thanks for the interview Brandon.
If you are interested in training with Brandon Richey or his new Ebook – Check out Kettlebell training with Brandon Richey Fitness.com