Today on the podcast, Mason's joined by CrossFit legend, 2019's 5th fittest man in the world, and newly Australian men's bobsled competitor, James Newbury for an inspiring conversation around the world of high performance; where mindset is everything and consistency is the key. Whether doing intense training for the World CrossFit Games or leveling up to compete and train with the Australian men's bobsled team, James Newbury is very familiar with the realms of mental and physical peak performance. He understands the score of what works, what doesn't, and above all, the discipline and stamina it requires. The boys talk float therapy, CrossFit, bobsledding, mental and physical preparation, and James drops a bunch of knowledge on the breathing, visualisation, and recovery techniques he uses to push himself to his peak. An insightful junction between high-performance sport and business with James and Mason bringing their insights to the table. Make sure you tune in!
Mason and James discuss:
- Hot and cold water therapy protocols post-workout.
- Quarantine routine; What James did to maximise his time in quarantine.
- Bobsledding with the Australian men's team at the European Cup.
- High performance rest and recovery.
- How James gears up for training, post time off from CrossFit.
- Maximising the body for optimal performance and longevity.
- Mental and physical preparation.
- Why consistency and discipline are key ingredients to any form of high performance.
- The health benefits of Float therapy.
- The power of visualisation.
- How James combines visualisation and his time in the Float Tank.
- Maximising the gains of training and rest.
- Maintaining balance and minimising stress for high performance periods.
- Breathwork techniques James uses to get him through his most intense training and competing.
- Pre and post-workout diet/supplements; Cordyceps, MSM, and others.
Who is James Newbury?
With a background in semi-professional Rugby League, James Newbury has dabbled in many sports. Finding his passion in CrossFit in 2011, James has consistently worked to earn himself a name both nationally and internationally within the CrossFit arena. Named Australia’s fittest man four times, and coming away from the 2019 World CrossFit Games with a placing of 5th, he earned himself the title of 5th fittest man on earth. Newbury is somewhat of a master at pushing himself both physically and mentally. 2020 saw a break away from the CrossFit scene due to COVID 19 implications, opening up the time and opportunity for James to develop tiny-timer ( https://www.tiny-timer.com), a remote-controlled, pocket-sized timer that is magnetic mounted and battery-operated. In 2020 James successfully trialed with the Australian men's bobsled team, going on to represent Australia as part of the Aussie men’s team in The 2020 European Cup.
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Check Out The Transcript Here:
Bro, welcome back to the podcast.
James Newbury: (00:04)
Hey, thanks for having me.
Absolute pleasure. Everyone loved the chat, as did I last time. And as you just mentioned, you can probably know that one of the people that loved it the most was our warehouse manager, Wazza, who wrote to you to say it.
James Newbury: (00:19)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've been chatting with him a little bit about his floating experience and his ice experience. He's just got himself a float tank and an ice bath, so I've got the same at my house as well, and it's stuff that I like to use for my recovery on a regular basis, and we did have our float tank here at the gym. This is actually the old float room which I'm sitting in currently.
James Newbury: (00:44)
But now we have it at home in our spare room, so I can get it all done there. If I want to have a float, then go straight to bed. But yeah, we've been talking shop about cold therapy and the benefits of floating, and just escaping the outer world and trying to do some rest and recovery stuff, which I absolutely love. And visualising training sessions and visualising workouts and visualising competitions, I think a float tank has so many benefits. We've been chatting about that type of stuff and we've also been talking about how cold we've gone with the ice bath, and then I was also mentioning that I've just come back from Europe, I've being spend a bit of time in Europe, and I mentioned that I jumped in a canal over in Europe and it was minus something.
James Newbury: (01:33)
Minus a few degrees in the canal [inaudible 00:01:35] is pretty cold, so we jumped in there and spent a bit of time in there, did some breath work. And I was just saying how invigorated I felt after getting in the canal, and it would have been... I don't know, would have been a degree, in fact it was pretty icy. So yeah. Some of the stuff that I really enjoy doing and then we also compared it to what I've currently got now at the ocean here, which is like a bath that's, I don't know, probably 18 degrees which is mega hot compared to where I was which was minus 10 for half the time.
How long have you been doing your cold plunging?
James Newbury: (02:10)
I've been doing hot and cold and ice baths and things for, I would have to say, we were still doing it when I was playing football back in the day, but regular. Regular cold, like cold showers and things, probably the last like four or five years, and I've been floating since 2012. Yeah. I spent a bit of time, but now it's much more regular, now that I have just something in my house where I can be like, "Okay, cool," finish a session, jump in, have a cold shower, rinse off, jump in the ice bath, do three minutes, jump out. This week so far I've done maybe eight or nine cold plunges, so it's a more regular thing now.
Do you find for you and your metabolism and your body, because you're working out so much as well I assume, when you're doing your plunging, do you ever reach your glass ceiling or for you is it like more the better?
James Newbury: (03:13)
Look, I think everyone is a little bit different, I love the feeling that I get after it. Look, I know that there's been some studies showing that immediately plunging after a heavy weight session or a heavy lifting session, it can potentially slow down or inhibit muscle growth and things like that, but it's only very minor, it's so slim, and for me I'm not looking to build tonnes of muscle. I'm not looking to do anything like that, I'm just looking to be really strong, be really fit and still be flexible, and I want to bounce back from my training. So I guess if you're really looking for the muscular growth and things like that, you probably want to delay your ice bath after your weight sessions by two or three hours and you should have the effects then. But for me if I do a heavy cardio session I'll typically go and jump straight in the sauna, usually do around 40 to 45 minutes in the sauna post-workout, and then I'll always finish off with cold.
James Newbury: (04:15)
So I never finish with heat, I always finish with cold. And I like my body to regulate from that cold experience. It's so invigorating and it also helps put you to sleep too, so decreasing that body temperature which we do before we go to bed, it's also really help to put into a nice really deep sleep.
Yeah. Nice. I've been really trying to reconcile with it because I was always, probably from when I was 21, especially if I found a wild water source, if you were talking about... Like nothing beats the European canal or just like a winter, get into the snowy mountains, or up in the Blue Mountains is when I'd always jump in and then when... I had a few mates started getting ice plunge, like little chest freezers. Have you got a chest freezer or you got the proper...?
James Newbury: (05:00)
Yeah. I got a proper bath, but I have seen the chest freezer ones and yes, they do a great job as well. Jumping in them regularly, it's so epic, it's so invigorating, you get out and you feel just so fresh. If you just want a bit of a pick-me-up, instead of having an afternoon coffee or something like that to keep you up at night, just go and jump in the water, jump in some cold water, have a cold shower, and you'll feel like you've just woken up from a great night's sleep.
Yeah. For me as well, because it's been... I just like forward-thinking, to a lot of the people of the community listening to us, especially I've got a lot of women listening, and a lot of people have tuned into the conversations around Chinese medicine we have, where regulating warmth and keeping the cauldron of your spleen and stomach really nice and hot, as well as that Kidney Yang, keeping that alive. I think it's just a qualifying thing, as you said, everyone's different.
I'm the kind of person that did really well on a raw food diet, not that I do it anymore, but that speaks volumes. A lot of women or a lot of guys who just don't run as hot as a metabolism, they wouldn't have been able to go as long with a raw food diet or be able to thrive when doing a little bit of cold plunging and likewise for me when the amount of exercise that I'm doing goes down, or especially if I become a little bit too tired, my gauge... When I get out of a cold plunge pool, or even when I get out of an ocean swim, if I can't shake that shivery feeling, I'm not strong enough, I don't actually have the capacity to... It's no longer... As you said, you take your body down, let your body work itself. It's [crosstalk 00:06:53] about finding adaptation in swimming, it's like you've gone too far, I've gone way beyond what my body's capable of.
Just to put that out there for anyone listening, thinking... Because we're talking about always putting socks on, warm glass of... We're very Chinesey in the [crosstalk 00:07:11].
James Newbury: (07:12)
That's actually a really good point too, because I have heard that, if you want to keep the feet warm, and I know this in particular, my feet used to stay quite cold, especially through the night. If Kayla puts her foot on my foot, she's like, "Hey, your feet are freezing," and I think to myself and I've listened to lots of podcasts and things about, especially the Chinese medicine side of things, like you got to keep your feet warm and all this type of stuff. But I've also found that you can overdo the cold too, I typically say, and this goes with heat as well, if people ask what's my protocol for hot and cold, and it's like you get to a point with heat where it becomes frustrating or you become a little bit irritable in it and it's like, "Oh, I really feel like I need to get out," that's time to get out.
James Newbury: (08:02)
You don't need to push a path, more is not better, as soon as you get to the point where you're a little bit agitated or irritated about being in there because the heat's affecting you, that time to get out, you've probably gotten all of the hormone responses you want, you've increased your heat shock [inaudible 00:08:21], you're probably done. And sames goes for the cold, if you start shivering in the ice bath, your time's done. For someone it could be 30 seconds, for someone it could be two minutes, someone could be three minutes, but pushing it out and going longer and longer and longer all the time, it's not really necessary. The body can pretty well, you'll probably get most of the benefits done in cold immersion in the first 30 to 60 seconds.
It's so cool. I'm such an extremist, I think probably like yourself and like Waz, and I think we've probably got constitutions that run hot. For me, it's been nice to find that I can do both, I love cold plunging, but then I'm just barefoot, always out exposed to the cold and I take my extreme and I make it my bread and butter lifestyle, whereas I could do that for some periods and I like exposing myself to the elements, but then when you just go to my everyday chop wood, carry water consistent, I'm not always ice plunging and so at those times, like this morning I've just started having a nice warm glass of water, where it spocks when it's a little bit chilly. And I don't have that internal extreme voice as I used to going, "You are such a snowflake."
James Newbury: (09:45)
Yeah. I know exactly what you mean. I know exactly what you mean. That time and place, and I think for when you go through... I think our bodies will go through bouts of it's winter and bouts of it's summer. For me, I've had my winter period, where I haven't done so much, I haven't exerted myself so much, and now I'm ranking up to a new CrossFit season, so I'm exerting myself a lot. This is my first week back at training, and man, I'm so sore, my body is probably really inflamed, I have DOMS pretty much in every muscle group I can possibly think of, so trying to combat that, recover well, get really good sleep, and trying to let my body do its thing, and let my body repair the way it wants to, but just help it along its way. I want to try and maximise the benefits of that because I have a lot of catch-up to do, I'm behind the eight-ball at the moment.
James Newbury: (10:43)
The people that I'll be competing against have been training for quite some time, they probably never let the foot off the pedal, whereas I have let my foot off the pedal a bit and folks don't,-
It's not a sport.
James Newbury: (10:55)
... which made me really happy. I've done some bobsledding things, so I've [crosstalk 00:10:59] been focusing on that. Yeah, yeah. I've done some bobsled over in Europe, so I need to do a bit [crosstalk 00:11:04] of catch-up.
... hear about this. Where were you doing that, with who?
James Newbury: (11:10)
So I got back three weeks ago, and I spent two weeks in quarantine here in Adelaide in a hotel, but prior I was in Europe, I was there for eight weeks and I was doing bobsled as part of the Australian men's team. We were doing two-man bob and four-man bob, and we were competing in the European Cup, so we were basically gaining experience.
Who are you? (laughter)
James Newbury: (11:40)
Yeah. It's super fun, it was just something different, it's something new. Everybody's heard of bobsled but I never thought it was a thing that Australians did, and it popped up on YouTube and someone mentioned it as well, and I kept hearing this word bobsled and I was like, "Okay. I have to investigate this." And then when I looked into it, I was like, "Oh, that looks pretty cool," this bob goes down the mountain really fast and you get to push it off the start line, like what's required, what type of athlete do they need for bobsled.
Well, I'll tell you who to connect and still if you're going to be their right type of athlete.
James Newbury: (12:14)
Yeah, yeah. Well, we actually did meet the Jamaican team and they were really good guys. Yeah. They were super cool dudes. So when I looked into it I was just like, "This looks really cool," it's a bit of adrenalin which I love, it's a bit of risk. And then when I looked at what was required, you need to have a fast athlete, a powerful athlete, they're looking for a mix of a sprinter and a weightlifter, and that's kind of what we do with CrossFit. For me, I love sprinting as well, probably more so than a lot of the other... I guess CrossFit is like I love to sprint, typically all year round with my track club, so I was like, "Cool, we can combine weightlifting and sprinting, that's a pretty good mix for bobsled. Why don't I go do the trials?"
James Newbury: (12:59)
So reached out, went to do trials, that was in I think October, and the next thing that I knew by end of November I was over in Europe with the team and we were just racing bob and getting experience for an upcoming season, so next season we start probably October, November of this year, and we basically spent the last two months in Europe just gaining experience, getting points on the board, getting used to each other, and learning. That's what I've been doing for the last few months.
So you qualified for the Australian Bobsled Team?
James Newbury: (13:35)
Yeah. Yeah, pretty much. I guess you could say that.
This is just so fascinating to me, sorry to push.
James Newbury: (13:44)
So basically, what's required is you go do testing, and when you do testing they put you through a 30 minute sprint, they put you through a broad jump, they get you to throw an object horizontally as far as you can. Then you do heavy back squats, like you do a 300 back squat, you do a heavy power clean, and if you can show them that you can do all these to a high standard, then you're in the mix. And then it basically comes down to being able to get across and go wherever you need to be with the pilot. So Evan O'Hanlon, who's an Australian Paralympic sprinter, he reached out to me and said, "Hey, I saw you did testing, it looks like your testing went well, do you want to come over and do some breaking for me?"
James Newbury: (14:35)
So basically a pilot will drive, then you need someone at the back to push with him and then pull the break up at the end, so you've got two people in the bobsled for the two-man, same thing for the four-man, but you've got three break men and then you got your pilot and I said, "Yeah, mate, for sure. I went to testing, because I want to be a part of it. I think this looks really cool, I'd love to give it a go. I'm always open to new experiences," and he said, "Okay, cool. Can you come over at the end of November?" I'm like, "Yep," so I booked a flight and went.
That's so cool. I'm mindful of times, I'm just thinking what was the name of your bobsled, I'm thinking of Cool Runnings 2?
James Newbury: (15:16)
So we basically, our bobsled, we don't particularly have a name name, but I think we will have to come up with one for the next season.
Yeah, for sure. I can see like in 10 years time some crazy Australian coach that thinks that CrossFitters are going to be the best bobsledders.
James Newbury: (15:34)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't know. We've got a kangaroo on the side, so we'll probably run with Like I don't know, something to do with a kangaroo, something really Australian, I guess.
Sweet. I reckon Disney will go for Cool Runnings 2, the Australian edition.
James Newbury: (15:51)
Okay, so you were over there, so that where you're two months out of that intense CrossFit style training, and so when you got back into... You had to do two weeks quarantine. I wanted to ask you about the time in quarantine, as you were saying you found it a bit cruisier from what I've heard most did [crosstalk 00:16:16] so about how you used that time to get back into your training and what protocols you were running and just any general tips you have for anyone going through that?
James Newbury: (16:28)
Sure. So basically, at the end of the CrossFit season of last year, which was cut short due to COVID, I just put my focus into weightlifting and sprinting. And then I wasn't really doing much conditioning stuff, so no CrossFit stuff, and then I just focused on weightlifting, I wanted to get stronger, now I wanted to get faster, and then when bob popped onto the scene, I was like, "Well, this is exactly what I need for bobsled, so why don't I just do that?" So all in all, I've been out of doing CrossFit training for like, I would say, probably at least seven months, including the time away in Europe and then obviously I had two weeks quarantine.
James Newbury: (17:14)
So it was actually quite a good transition for me to go into quarantine because I could have the basic set of equipment in my hotel room, I had some dumbbells, I had a roller [inaudible 00:17:24], I had a roll ball and basically I just used that time to break myself in, blow out the cobwebs a little bit. And the time during quarantine for me, went really quick, I got stuff done that had been building up that I hadn't done on the computer, lots of computer stuff and business stuff. I just put in place a bit of a pattern that I had to follow each day, which is I wanted to work out three times in the day, but short. Short stuff like only 20 minutes in the morning, around 20 minutes to 30 minutes in the middle of the day, and around 20 minutes in the afternoon.
James Newbury: (18:00)
So I wasn't doing an hour session or a 90 minute session, I was literally just getting up. I set myself a goal to do seven minutes of continuous burpees every morning just to start my session, and then I may do some type of movement after for maybe another 15, 20 minutes. So it was basically just trying to get my body used to high repetition again, so a session might just be 150 squats with the med ball and then that would be my session done. So I tried to do this morning, midday and afternoon and there were some things that were non-negotiables for me. And then basically every morning I would wake up, first thing I would do is I would wake up, I would open my Wim Hof app, I'd do my Wim Hof breathing and then from there I would get coffee, I would sit, I would look out at Adelaide City, I had a pretty good view, which was good, and just watch the city come to life, for 45 minutes.
James Newbury: (18:59)
So really cruisy morning, then I'll do my workout, get a bit of stuff done on the computer, I'd work out again, have lunch, and then repeat that for the afternoon and do my afternoon session. I'd probably talk to Kayla during that period as well, but just having some staple things to do so I'm not lying in bed watching Netflix all day long, is what I wanted to avoid, I wanted to be able to come out of quarantine feeling like I could get back into doing the metabolic conditioning stuff that's required for CrossFit at a medium level, because I know what it feels like to take time off, come back and get straight back into heavy-duty volume, and it is rough. I've had a rough week already, but it would have been way worse if I didn't do that at all.
James Newbury: (19:45)
And this is probably the longest period of time that I've taken off doing really specific CrossFit conditioning stuff, it's been six or seven months and I can feel it. I can feel it for sure, but what I knew I needed to do was to build in, blow out the cobwebs, and I would have to be consistent and then when things don't go my way when I do a workout and I repeat a workout from two years ago, and my two years ago time beats my time now, I have to take it on the chin, look at it as just something that I have to deal with and I have to be consistent. You just have to keep picking yourself up, you have to be consistent, and you have to keep showing up every day and to improve.
James Newbury: (20:26)
So yeah. My time during quarantine went like that, and I actually quite enjoyed it. It wasn't as bad as what I expected, I thought it was going to be really bad, but I guess you could also look at it as, some people go into quarantine knowing they're going to hate the whole thing, whereas I went into quarantine going, "Well, I've got no choice, so I'm going to try make the most of this and I'm going to do a bit of training, I'm going to catch up on some things." I just started a new little E-commerce business, so I wanted to really get on top of that. I just used [inaudible 00:20:54] and made the most of my time, and before you knew it, it was 5:00 PM at night. I had a blast.
Actually first, before I go into the E-commerce business.... I'm going to just write that down so I don't forget to talk about it. So you always say, and the last time we chatted and every time we've been talking, you've already a really holistic way to approaching your training and then last time we were talking, it was so... For someone who is in an arena where output and optimal peak performance is what's touted as the ultimate, we talked so much about recovery and just going and doing the inner work... Is that what you called it?
James Newbury: (21:41)
Yeah. Working in.=
Yeah. Which is awesome and I want to have just another question just around that inner work, but especially just around your general disposition towards life, disposition towards going into something like quarantine, and is it always been easy for you to have that outlook of like, "I don't have a choice," you're going to make the most of it, or have you felt like you've cultivated that along the way with your strength and with your speed? Is that another thing that you're wary of cultivating?
James Newbury: (22:14)
Yeah. Look, I definitely changed over the years. I think prior when I was 20, 21, coming to, when I was learning about this, I was open to anything back then as well. I liked getting new experiences, I liked learning new things, nothing was off limits in terms of the experience, and I think keeping an open mind always allowed me to be able to take what I enjoyed and leave what I didn't. I think for me, I understand what I'm doing to myself is very taxing on the body, it's very taxing on your sympathetic nervous system, it's very taxing on your joints and your physical body too, and also mentally it's a grind, like every time you get stuck into a deep part of the workout, it's a grind. You've got to push yourself through it, but you can do it, you have the ability to do it.
James Newbury: (23:13)
We're pretty resilient if we allow ourselves to be and if we provide ourselves the right building blocks to be resilient, we can do it. And also I love to push myself, so I love to see what I can get out of my body given the right ingredients. So for me, it's like being about also looking at the longevity side of things too, so I don't want to just be able to work out, and this has always been something that for me I've never wanted to only have a career of training that lasted 10 years and then I'll be buckled from 30 years onwards because I'd put myself so hard that my knee's weren't working properly, my shoulder's weren't working properly. I love doing tonnes of recreational stuff, I love surfing, I love trekking, I love going out and seeing the world, I don't want to be inhibited by anything that I do during my CrossFit career.
James Newbury: (24:08)
So for any professional sport that I end up me wanting to try and take on, recovery has always been a big part of looking after what is going to be part of looking after my mind so it's been a big part of it. So over the years I've gathered the things that I've really been drawn to, I think like icing and things like floating, and things like continuing to surf. For a long time there, I was just so fixated on competing in CrossFit, I didn't surf properly, I maybe surfed once a year for four or five years, and then since COVID started I surfed more in 2020 than I had surfed in the last 10 years combined. It was just such a breath of fresh air.
James Newbury: (24:52)
So for me, it's always been about how do I maximise my performance but also maximise my longevity, because I still want to be surfing when I'm 70 years old, I don't want to be restricted to my household because I can't walk properly. I want to make sure my body's functioning well, I'm providing my body with the right nutrients and good food, and I want to be nurturing that side of things just as much as nurturing my performance side of things too. I think they go hand-in-hand, it's just that kind of turbo charge it to try and maximise performance.
Yeah. They obviously go hand-in-hand, but you... Maybe it was before we got onto the chat, we were just talking about discipline and consistency. There's just a certain element of discipline that comes with maintaining say like even if it's just a meditation like surfing when you're in the middle of competing and creating companies and all that kind of stuff. It's a real discipline thing, I guess you've brought up the floating, and now I'm lucky enough Waz who we mentioned earlier, his girlfriend has opened a... Waz landed in a good spot, he didn't even have to buy a float tank, his girlfriend lives across the road from him and bought one, Total Balance Studio in South Golden Beach, for anyone in the shire or anyone that's holidaying here, can go to get a float and cold plunge pool, and have a PT session, have a sauna and mineral bath and all that kind of stuff over with Kat there.
If anyone was watching my... I did a complete one day Body Shred, How to get Shredded in One Day, a little spoof video on my Instagram and then I was doing my PT session and doing my cold plunging. That's where you can go get one in the area, guys. You brought it up a couple of times, I guess I haven't utilised floating as much, I've had a few floats, but I'm curious as to how it fits into your lifestyle, because it's such a staple. I know talking to Waz, it's such a stable for him as well. How are you utilising that time, how that fits into the train....? Like that going hand-in-hand, where you focused and something already, just talking to you about challenging yourself in that deep grind, I'm going back, I've never been someone that... I don't think anyone does, few people do, really enjoy that deep grind and even getting through it, sometimes I'm like... I don't even know whether I enjoy getting through it.
James Newbury: (27:16)
Honestly, you're not the only one because Kayla, my girlfriend, she says it all the time too, same thing goes, like we're in Hawaii and we were doing some cliff jumping and she's like, "I'm not doing that," I was like, "Yeah, you don't have to do it. Don't worry." And so we all jumped in and we're all sitting out 150 metres off the shore at the end of the cliff, then one of the other girl's got out there and she jumped off, and then I saw Kayla up there and I'm just like, "What are you doing?" And she's like, 'I'm going to do it," I'm just like, "What?" It's like she's never been one to do anything a bit of adrenalin, but when this other girl did it, she's like, "Oh, I want to do it too."
James Newbury: (27:51)
Anyway, she's sitting on the edge of this cliff 15 minutes, 20 minutes, we're all waiting in the water, waiting for her, and I'm just like, "Come on, you can do it, you can do it," and then she ended up doing it and I was like, "Once you dit, you'll love it. You'll thank yourself for doing it." And then she hit the water, she came back up and I was like, "Do you love yourself for it?" Like, "No, I hated every minute." That's like the workouts too. It's the same thing. Sometimes you get to the end of it and you just like, "I did not enjoy any of that," but then again a lot of the times you end up thanking yourself for it, so there are times that you're just like, "I just have to get through that," but that's the part of consistency and that's what I've found to be the most beneficial for good results at competition, is being consistent.
James Newbury: (28:37)
The balance that I find is like when I'm competing and when I'm training, I have to wake up with a mindset, it's like my soul purpose today is, I have to train because it's my consistency, it's my key to performance, but then and it pushes me so far to that fight or flight that I need something so far to that rest and digest and that's floating for me. It's like that line, it gets in the middle, so that will balance me out and if I'm up here too much, and like we spoke about last time, you up this end too much and my bucket starts filling up with stress and it starts to overflow and my performance starts to decrease, I can tell. I'm training [inaudible 00:29:17], I'm pushing myself and pushing myself and pushing myself, but my performance is still going down, and I'm not getting out as much it what I think, it's just my stress bucket is overflowing, it's inhibiting me from getting the most out of myself, whereas bringing myself back to be able to recover and let my muscles do what they need to do so they can output better, letting my nervous system recover at the same time.
James Newbury: (29:40)
If I can bring those two areas back to central, maximise the gains here in that fight or flight, maximise the gains here in that rest and digest, being in the float tank and doing breathwork and meditation, and good sleep, and having nurturing mushrooms and things like that. That's what I find helps me to get back here and get back up there. So basically putting stress into that stress bucket brings on the response, and then utilising those parasympathetic elements to help take out that stress to then maximise the gains from that [inaudible 00:30:20] response, is what I'm looking for. So I don't just want to maximise this end, I want to maximise this end as well so they both work together and they both work cohesively.
It's such a good reminder as well, especially one like... I think something I'm personally remembering, is your talking about going into times it's like when you know you doing something extreme, or you're working towards a goal that's really extreme, and I'm just thinking about myself, because sometimes I'm just resistant to things like float tanks and I'm just resistant a lot of the time, to my... I'll do it, but the consistency of my practise or sometimes like how much is of a attention releasing yin cultivating element is needed and I'm like why can't I just get back to that place of balance like I used to and then when you look at it, I get it from you saying all of a sudden you've gone to world, like you're going up and into the world stage, I just think of, even for myself, for all the mums I talk to, the dads I talk to you, it's like we're in a really unique stage, whereas it might not be a natural level of output sometimes when you go into your competition.
For me, I think about just being in SuperFeast, and the amount of times I'm in meetings and high-level chats and then run around with a four-year-old and that, I'm just like, "Yeah." It's full on, it's like we all got our little ways of being athletes within ourselves and pretty still technologies and techniques really. I think of you really get me over the line with the float tank and I'm curious what you're doing in there. Are you just taking the time to meditate, visualise?
James Newbury: (32:02)
Honestly, I think the best thing you can do once you get in there, is do whatever feels right for you. If you feel like just laying down, closing your eyes and falling asleep, do that. If you feel like you're drawn towards doing breath control, you can do that. If you feel like you want to do some cadence breath or box breathing, do that. If you feel like you want to keep your eyes open and look around, do that. If you feel like you want to visualise something that you want for your business, you can do that too. It really depends and for me, it always changes. So typically when I'm training, I just want to go in there and I want to detach from my emails, detach from my social media, detach from conversation, detach from everything and just let my body just be by itself for an hour. When I'm leading into competition and during those times, I want to soak up the magnesium too, I want to just get a heavy hit of magnesium.
James Newbury: (33:02)
And then when I'm leading into competition, if I know what the workouts are or I'm going to a place where I have worked out before, and I know what it looks like, I know what it smells like, I know what the temperature is, I know what the sound is like, I can then put that into a visualisation practise and I can picture myself doing workouts. And then what that does for me is, if I know what the workouts are and I've already tested the workouts in my gym or at home, then I can picture these workouts and I can run them through front to back, back to front, and basically I know what I'm going to feel like, I know my heart rate's going to be up here, I know that my legs are going to burning here, I know that I'm going to be out of breath here, I know that I'm going to go from that barbell, pick up my rope to start my double unders, and to relax and to breathe.
James Newbury: (33:52)
If I can go through it front to back, by the time I get there, instead of getting there and I only have maybe practised the workout once or twice at home, if I know what the workout is, I've already practised that work out 100 times inside the float tanks, so my mind's not so shocked when something doesn't go quite right, because I'm already visualised that thing going wrong, I've already visualised that thing going right. So I don't have to think so much, all these different little... And even a thought process, a conversation, all these things add up to extra energy used, so if I can decrease that and decrease any anxiety that I have towards an event or decrease any doubt that I have in my mind about the way it's going to feel, like the last thing that I want to happen is, I don't want to get to an event, get halfway through, start my box jumps, and just go like, "Man, my legs feel way heavier than what I've expected."
James Newbury: (34:50)
I want to be able to get those box jumps and like, "Yeah, I know what this feels like, I've run through it before. I've done it before. I'm fine. You're good." You want those things to be positive, you don't want to get to an exercise and be like, "Oh, this is a negative feeling," it's like "I've really thought about it, it's fine, this is how you should feel. You're all good. You're fine, keep going." And that's what I can do in the float tank and that's what helps me. I'm pretty sure they've done some studies in the float tank with visualisation and they said it can be, after seeing a new movement, it can be 50% as effective just visualising the movement, obviously without the stress physically on the body by doing the movement. So you can teach yourself a lot of things just by really in depth visualisation practise. That's why I like [inaudible 00:35:34] competition.
Man, so good. I'm laughing at the difference of our lives at the moment, I'm thinking, "Cool, I'm in the float tank," and you're talking of what I really like about is like something I forget again, like you're on the forefront of like an athletic mindset and sometimes I forget, those same techniques, if they used in the upper echelons of performance, they should just be used in everyday life because they're the proven ones that are just going to bloody work.
James Newbury: (36:07)
Tahnee's having conversations with a lot of managers, talking about going in, preparing conversations with employees or if it goes this way, if they get a yes, if you get a no, if you get pushed back and getting all this... So I'm like a little bit different, I'm thinking about my application about thinking goals around management structures and getting a four-year-old to bed and what happens if it goes one way, what happens if it goes another way, what if you get pushed back and all I'm seeing is that just across the board it's cultivating an ability to have preparation, presence, not just being behind the eight-ball, but just being proactive going into your activities.
James Newbury: (36:49)
Totally, totally. And you can even do... For instance if that's how you want to spend your float tank session, or even a portion of your float tank session. Let's just say you get into the tank and you still feel elated from the outside world, spend the first 30 minutes of your float tank doing a visualisation practise and running through what you want to get out of a business meeting and from there, after that, then say, "Okay, cool," when your mind starts to trail off, which it will, you'll think about something completely different and you'll be like, "Wait a second, I was thinking about my business meeting and now I'm thinking about something else?" That's when you can say, "Okay, cool. Now I'm just going to do some breathing, I'm going to relax, I'm going to fall asleep and I'm going to catch up on a little bit of sleep, or I'm just going to sit here and just let whatever happens happen for the next 30 minutes. I'm just going to enjoy peace time."
James Newbury: (37:36)
So then you get that really relaxed theta brain waves going on, rather than that heightened active mind thinking about that visualisation process. So you get the best of both worlds.
Yeah. It's so good. I've only done it twice and the last time I did it over in Perth, I wrote down everything that was swimming around in my brain beforehand... I was just like, "Okay, I'm going to have this business meeting, I'm going a chat about this, I've got this idea for a comedy skit," I just got it all down out of my head so that I knew... I do the same before sleep sometimes.
James Newbury: (38:13)
Yeah. Totally, totally. And the tank is a great place as well, because you know that you're not going to be interrupted, whereas anywhere else I am, unless you really you know you're going to be home alone, or you know your phone's off, it's on do not disturb, the float tank is a place where you can not be contacted. It's like no ones coming in, no one you touch... You can't hear anything, and then on top of that as well you're in a place where you are at the most... There is no interruption and also no interruptions, but there's no stimulus, there's no light, there's no sound, there's no touch sensation, everything is dulled to it's complete bare minimum, as much as you possibly can. That's a really good opportunities for really good ideas to pop up.
James Newbury: (38:58)
Every time Kayla gets in the float tank she comes out and she's like, "Oh, I just thought of all these really cool stuff that I really want to implement." She writes it all down and then it could spur on a great idea that formulates or manifests into something really cool for you. It's a practise you don't have to do all the time, you can do it once a fortnight or once a month. I like to get in there for the recovery benefits of the magnesium and the destress on the joints a few times a week, but then if I'm getting in there for something else... You could even just do it once a fortnight or once a month and just go in there for a bit of a reset period. And I think that's quite all right too.
I'm convinced. I'm going to get back into it a bit.
James Newbury: (39:42)
Yeah. That's great.
You mentioned meditation, have you got a meditation practise as well?
James Newbury: (39:48)
Typically, for my meditation, all I really do is I like to just focus on my breath, otherwise my mind goes crazy. So if I can just bring it all back down to focusing on my breath, that's pretty much how my meditation goes down and I usually follow it as a particular frame set of long breath in, long breath hold, long breath out, long breath hold, and I'll repeat that, repeat that, repeat that, unless I'm going through a guided meditation, which sometimes I'll do. I'll just jump on to either YouTube or Spotify and play it through a little speaker and I'll do a guided meditation, and I'll just try and follow that if I don't feel like following my breath control, if I feel like listening to someone's voice in a guided meditation, then I'll do it like that.
James Newbury: (40:37)
But any type of peace time is good, I think. For what I have to do everyday in terms of training, any type of passive relaxation or passive guided meditation or passive stretching with some breath control work is going to be nurturing that parasympathetic. So anything like that is great. I haven't stepped into the realm of being a great meditator, but I also don't understand what a great meditator is. At the moment from what I feel, if I can just focus on nurturing my breath while I'm doing nothing, letting my body just relax and do what it feels, then I'm probably in a good state there, instead of forcing myself to lift weights and run and do all this other stuff.
I don't think anyone's a real great meditator. I think that's a-
James Newbury: (41:33)
My mind goes crazy all the time. It's like you get into a Meta-State, it's the same old thing like, "Stop thinking, you're meditating. Stop thinking." Those thoughts are going to pop into your head anyway, so one thing that I can do to try and reduce that, is to just float for my breath and count my breath, count my breath, count my breath, and just relax and just simplify everything. This is going to have to happen at some point, especially when I'm out surfing, because I know my friends at some point are going to want me to go surf some really big waves at some point and I'm going to see something on the horizon that's coming for me, and it's going to want to eat me, and I'm going to have to relax, because if that thing hits me on the head, I'm going to have to be able to be super relaxed and if you start to panic in a stressful situation, you're probably going to come out second-best.
James Newbury: (42:17)
So learning how to control and relax is, I think a really good part of it starting in an area as relaxed as your own bedroom or your float tank or your shrine, if you've got a shrine set up at your house, that's a very good way to start the process, so then when you do jump into a stressful situation or I'm at the CrossFit games and things aren't going well, I can reset a little bit easier. It's just making little gains everyday.
Just quickly on that, I really appreciate finding that stillness and ability to connect to your breath. Again it just falls hand-in-hand with everything you're talking about, with how to actually get that out for the performance which is consistency, and finding that little sweet spot of that moment within that yin, very important. Just quickly, even for my own benefit, I like hearing how people get it through that point in your... If you're doing seven minutes of burpees when just get back, and you're five minutes in when you hit that place where it is actually becoming a grind, what have you got going on, is it a collection of inner talk?
James Newbury: (43:29)
Yeah. 100%, mate. You're on the point, right on the ball there. It's [inaudible 00:43:36] get three and a half minutes in, or four minutes into something and it starts to hurt really bad, and it's like, "Man, I don't remember hurting this much before," but probably it did. I just think to myself... I just simplify it, it's like, "What's my next move? What's my next move? Get down, get up, get down, get up," and I just think about that in my head. It's just like, "You gotta get down, you got to get back up," and that's it and then I'll count. So everything comes down to counting for me, typically if I want to get through something and it's super difficult, I just count.
James Newbury: (44:08)
So I'll just count on a rhythm on a metronome and I just count my breath, if I need to take a quick break, then I'll count, "One, two," and then get back into it. And if you get to five minutes in my burpees set and it's starting to get really bad, it's just like, " Just get down. Cool, get up," and then it simplifies the next movement so don't think too far ahead. If I was in the Iron Man for instance when I did that, if I was already thinking about my run while I was in the swim and my run was still seven hours away, then I would not be putting myself in the best position to keep a positive mindset. All I had to do when I was doing my swim, and it was a 60 minutes swim, it's 3.8k's in the open water, all I had to do was focus on just one little thing and that was stay on a person's feet in front of me. So all I would do is I would breathe, swim, breathe, breathe, look at the feet, breathe, swim, look at the feet.
James Newbury: (45:11)
You talk to yourself a lot and you... I guess everyone has their own little tricks and tips that they go through in their mind to get them through whatever they're doing, but try and make it very basic. I like to make it basic like all I wanted to do was breathe out, breathe in, check the feet, breathe out, breathe in, check the feet. And then I just did that for an hour. And then once that was done when I was on the bike, I just did the same thing, it's just like. "Breathe through your nose, breathe out, breathe through your nose, breath out," I just did that for five hours. You get used to it and the better you practise doing these things, it's like everyone has those negative thoughts and sometimes it's just like they'll come and they'll go, but I've never done a workout that hasn't ended.
James Newbury: (45:56)
It's not like you're going to be stuck in this limbo forever of doing a consistent workout for the rest of your life. It eventually finishes and you'll feel good at the end and sometimes you won't feel good, but sometimes you do. And it's just simplifying it, keeping the things basic and probably what you think about when you work out is probably what I think about too. It's just we got to keep trekking here, we gotta keep going like, "We're going to get it done. It's all going to be fine," and you know you get stuck into a 10k run and you're struggling about three k's in, you're just like, "No, let's keep going, let's get another 100 metres, let's get another 200 metres, let's get another 300 metres. Oh that tree looks good, look at that tree," and then you just keep your mind occupied.
James Newbury: (46:39)
But typically for me, it always comes back to my breath. I'm not going to be able to move forward if my breath is not working, so I always come back to breath and just remember to breathe, breathe, move, breathe, move, breathe, move, and that pretty much goes to any exercising thing that I do, whether it be seven minutes of burpees or whether it be like an Iron Man or an event at the CrossFit games, it's always just breathe, move and you always come back down to the level of training that you've done. So just breathe and move, breathe and move, breathe and move, if we don't breathe, we're dead. So I think that's one of the key things that we have to focus on and learn how to breathe well, and at the end of the day if you breathe, you got to keep moving and you'll be fine.
I find that inspiring, because as you said, it's probably not that different, and I don't think it is [crosstalk 00:47:38] practise. Yeah, it's faith in yourself in the process and it's also knowing that this simple approach is the approach, there's not some technique that athletes or anyone else has. It's just about sharpening that sword and yeah that's awesome.
James Newbury: (47:56)
Yeah. Well that's exactly right.
Post-workout. What are you doing, what's your unique little like pre-workout flow, anything to help you, besides the ice baths so good for inflammation and that, but have you got any supplements or techniques to just amp up your performance and make sure that you're recovering well from... Whether it's supplement and dietarily.
James Newbury: (48:28)
Yep. Typically, what I like to do, I've always been a big fan of Cordyceps. I've always found that to be a big part of what I like to use, especially when I really want to get really fit, I love my Cordyceps, So in the morning, typically what I'll do, depending if I'm doing a big long cardio session I'd like to do it fasting, and if I do it fasting, I would usually not have anything until after, but if I'm doing a weightlifting session where I don't want a head spin or a dizzy head, I'll usually like first thing in the morning, I'll have some oats with some berries. And then I'll typically, a lot of the mornings, I'll have a coffee with Kayla, sometimes it might be a decaf coffee, but we try and get organic coffee and then I'll have some Amp-V.
James Newbury: (49:19)
Amp-V which is like a peppermint oil from ATP, I feel I like that as well, but then in terms of like a flow that I go through, I always like to start my workouts with a bit of movement and then I'll usually go through a bit of a stretch, open up my hips, and at the moment I'm super sore. So stretching and opening up is what works really well for me, but in terms of a bit of a perk, a pick-me-up, it might be a bit of Amp-V with a shot of coffee or something like that. But I'm also wary that I don't want to be reliant on the caffeine too. That's something that in the past I haven't really attended to, but now I'm starting to realise that it's something I don't want to be relying on all the time. That's typically what I like to go towards.
James Newbury: (50:12)
I don't like to look at anything like a crazy pre-workout with... I don't have anything with chemicals involved, I like everything to be supernatural like a coffee and some peppermint oil. It's like it's pretty much the extent that I go, and that makes me feel [inaudible 00:50:28], but then sometimes it's also good for me to workout without having coffee and just get in the flow just have some water and get some things like that, just to not feel like I'm relying on it all the time, because there'll come a point in time where I'll have to compete and I won't have the option.
Are you doing much after? Do you focus on anything like an anti-inflammatory or joint support or anything like that?
James Newbury: (50:54)
Yes, yes. So post-workout, presently I've been using some msm.
James Newbury: (51:04)
So I got some msm now which is great. So typically what I'll do, I like to put in place a bit of a protocol after my workout, which is I go straight to the sauna. So I listen to a few podcasts about heat therapy post-workout and I think it's a big benefit for me, I love doing it. So as soon as I finish my workout, I'll go and have a sauna, I'll do some stretching in the sauna, I'll do breath work so I can get that oxygen back into my system because I probably just depleted it really bad, and then I'll finish with either a cold shower or a cold plunge or [inaudible 00:51:39] I'll go to the ocean. And then from there, something to try and revitalise myself. Usually after a workout I'll have typically like five to 600 mils of coconut water. I'll have a little bit of Hemp protein powder, I'll have a little bit of Creatine. I'm plant-based now so I don't have any animal products, so I like to have a little bit of Creatine in my post-workout smoothie, and then I'll put some mushrooms in that too.
James Newbury: (52:08)
So looking at things like key & gene and then like my Cordyceps as well. So I just pack it all into a smoothie, maybe put a bit of baby spinach in there and if I'm knowing that I have to workout again [inaudible 00:52:23] later that day I'll probably also chuck in maybe a little bit of organic maple syrup too, just to get some carbohydrates back in the body, and sometimes I'll add in two or three bananas, just depending what I've got on hand. But yeah, I'm a big smoothie fan, so I'll do smoothies all day long. That's typically what I like to have after a workout.
It's the best way to pack it in, with those sugars, and especially you doing all the formulas and blends as well, a bit of creatine... Nothing beats a smoothie when you're doing it in that way, when you... Everyone listening as I just talk about smoothies here, and in winter and if you haven't got the constitution you have a bit of ginger, he's putting the Qi blend in as well, bit of ginger we like to... Just put in a bit of ginger, a bit of cinnamon, I've always got to mention, because I've mentioned it so many times and there's so many people who fall into the smoothie culture and then they start getting loose bowel movements or bloating. There's this real secret, especially in the Instagram world, like this secret symptomology around smoothie taking, which I don't realise because I was probably similar to you, I always thrived on them and had such great bowel movements and digest.
James Newbury: (53:42)
Yeah. 100%. Yeah. I've been a big smoothie fan for years, I've just always done it, I just feel like I just love the taste of the smoothie. It's predigested for you, because you blended it up really, really well, and then you can just chuck in all these really cool ingredients, you can just chuck it all in there, you can pile it all up, you put it in. And you just feel like you're getting so nourished from it, because you're putting in some really good carbohydrates, you're putting in some really good fats, some really good protein, and then you're putting in your medicinal mushrooms, then you're putting in all the things you hear, your phytonutrients as well, you're just getting this little hit of nutrition that's just going to help revitalise the body and help you to repair from what you've just done to it, especially after a workout.
James Newbury: (54:28)
And this goes for day-to-day stuff too. Even if you're not working out as much, your body still needs this stuff to be able to continue to repair and function. A lot of our energy is just used in thought process and people that are working stressful jobs, it's all relative. You need to be able to replenish that, or there'll be consequences to pay if you don't treat your body well, and if you can get it all into a smoothie a couple of times a day, then you're getting a big hit of nutrition. But then typically, a meal afterwards would be something fermented, like a sauerkraut or pickled ginger, or something like that with some rice and some tofu, and make some pomegranate or something like that, and some berries. That's what I would go to for a lunchtime or something like that. That's my go-to, easy meal prep.
Sweet, man. Bringing this home, what's this new E-commerce, is this you're working on?
James Newbury: (55:25)
So during COVID, I noticed that a lot of people were working out at home and I was like. "Man these guys, they're using their phones a lot to time their workouts." So we created a little miniature timer that you can basically, it's magnetic so you can stick it to the fridge or you can stick it to a freezer or if you've got a home rig and you want to stick it to something metal you can stick it. It comes with a little tripod. But basically it's a home gym timer, but it's miniature, so it's only very small, but it gives you that feeling of working out at your local gym. You can set it for intervals, you can set it for Tabata, you can set it for up and down, you can set it for stopwatch, it's basically just allowing people to have this feeling of training in their gym with their miniature gym timer, without having to use their phones.
James Newbury: (56:18)
And the good thing about it, it's rechargeable, so you can take it anywhere you go. So if you want to travel with it, you can travel with it, you can still time your workouts, if you're in quarantine you can do it in quarantine, if you're in lockdown you can keep [inaudible 00:56:33] in your living room and you can work out with it. But yeah. In essence, it's just a miniature, portable gym timer that's run on a battery. It's very simple and I don't know why I didn't think of that years ago.
I actually didn't make the connection, I must have saw it on your-
James Newbury: (56:50)
... Instagram. Anyway, I sent it to Waz, and he's like "Oh yeah, I know," and I'm like, "Get one for Kat's place."
James Newbury: (56:57)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'll have to send him one.
Oh, man. He would love that. And I think we'll grab one, what we might do is I might order two, I might order one. Because we've got a little gym at SuperFeast and I like going and using them.
James Newbury: (57:14)
Something like that will be really... I've got my little interval things, especially for swinging kettlebells and things like that. It's just really magic. We might give one away as well, because I've doing [inaudible 00:57:29] for every podcast.
James Newbury: (57:30)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. Totally. We'll organise it. For sure. Definitely.
Well, sweet. That's tied itself up into a nice neat little package.
James Newbury: (57:41)
Awesome. Man, I appreciate it so much, especially, selfishly this has been really good for me because I am... Yeah, I've got two weeks left off, I've had two months off, January, February, from the business. One of the things I've really been trying to do is get back into my business and get back into my workouts. You were talking about like having those eight weeks off, like long days. I feel like it's been four years with a kid and I would really like to go have a real proper workout, and so it's been really nice, I've got such a strong yin practise as well which is probably where I go to as a safe space, to actually start going in and really exerting myself in a yang space and it's been good to chat.
James Newbury: (58:34)
Yeah. I'm glad. Well, the best thing I think I could recommend, is don't set the standard to do an hour or two hours, just set 10 minutes and do 10 minutes persistently for a month every day and make it super simple, like do burpees for one minute, take a minute off, and do that for five rounds. And start with that, and then the next day do something different, but don't make them long. And then once the consistency gets into rhythm, it snowballs and then it's easier to then do 15 minutes and 20 minutes and 30 minutes, if you eventually want to. I wouldn't set the standard to be working out for an hour every day if I wasn't competing like I do, I wouldn't be doing a full two hour session every day. I would be doing you know what feels good and I'd probably be spending more time surfing to be honest. And count your surfing sessions as workouts too.
Sweet. We had a little shorey happening, so I might put my flippers on actually.
James Newbury: (59:39)
100%, 100%. [inaudible 00:59:42].
Thanks, bro. Everyone we're going to put all links to [5NStudio 00:59:52], your Instagram, anywhere you particularly want to send people to have a look, things you're up to at the moment?
James Newbury: (01:00:01)
Yep. Perfect. I love it.
Sweet, sweet, sweet. All right. Man, go well. You got time to surf or you working out, what are you doing now?
James Newbury: (01:00:10)
I'm working out again. I just finished my morning session and I've got an afternoon session to do and then once I finish that, I have some family commitments. I've got to put the boyfriend hat back on and then I'm going out to Kayla's aunties place for her 60th. Another couple of hours of working out and then just a little bit of rest till tomorrow.
Well, love to the fam. Love to Kayla.
James Newbury: (01:00:38)
Thanks so much, bro.
James Newbury: (01:00:40)