The Power of Recovery with CrossFit Champion James Newbury (podcast #65)

May 05, 2020 53 mins read

recovery-podcast

Today we've got James Newbury on the show. James is an absolute legend in the CrossFit community, he was awarded Australia's fittest man in 2017 and has consistently reached new levels of physical excellence throughout his career. James takes a soulful and holistic approach to fitness and athleticism catering his movement programs and classes to serve his wider community. James is passionate about longevity in body and in mind, and places a huge emphasis on the power of intentional rest and recovery, especially when training hard. James shines a light on the potency of an embodied physical practice, for anyone out there who is into CrossFit or curious about it, tuning into today's chat is an absolute must. 

 

Mason and James discuss:

  • The practice of CrossFit.
  • The importance of mindset and sustainable training.
  • Exercise/movement as preparation for life.
  • James' cycling accident and the natural measures he used to accelerate his recovery.
  • The power of recovery in general, one of James’ favourite sayings is "recover harder than you work out".
  • Longevity in fitness and in life itself.
  • Using visualisation as a performance strategy.
  • James' top recovery practices.
  • James' favourite herbs, foods and supplements.
  • The potency of nose breathing.

 

Who is James Newbury ?

With a background in semi professional Rugby League James Newbury has dabbled in many sports, eventually finding his true passion in CrossFit. In 2013 James founded Adelaide specialist gym, Soul65. From here James has excelled in CrossFit competitions across the sport and is currently the 27th fittest man in the world. James has competed at the CrossFit Pacific Regionals for the past 5 years finishing 1st in 2017 earning him the title of 'Australia's Fittest Man'.

  

Resources:

James Instagram

James Facebook

James Website

James' Gym 

  

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Check Out The Transcript Here:

 

Mason:   (00:00)

James, thanks for being here, man.

 

James Newbury:   (00:02)

Hey, how you doing?

 

Mason: (00:03)

Yeah, I'm cruising. How you doing down there?

 

James Newbury: (00:06)

I'm good. I'm good. The weather is actually perfect today. It's about 20 degrees and not a cloud in the sky, not a breath of wind, it's perfect.

 

Mason: (00:14)

Yeah, nice one, man. We're cruising on here with the fires on the border in Byron. It's one of those weird days because we had got a little bit of rain the other day so the smoke's cleared. I think unlike Sydney's kind of coping the smoke today. But for us, it just seems like this perfect, cloudless day at the moment.

 

James Newbury: (00:42)

Oh, man. I've been seeing all the news about the fires. So devastating. Hopefully it's under control.

 

Mason: (00:43)

I don't think it's getting there. We've kind of got like nothing compared to what's going on outside of Port Macquarie, I think we've got like 6000 hectares on fire at the back here. Which is still significant enough. Anyway, enough on that for now. What was your rugby league background? I obviously forgot to ask you.

 

James Newbury: (01:04)

I started playing rugby league back when I was about 11 or 12. I got into it a little bit late.

 

Mason: (01:11)

Me too. That's about when I started.

 

James Newbury: (01:16)

I was born in the Blue Mountains down in Sydney and then I moved to Adelaide when I was probably eight years old. And then I got hooked on it after doing a school carnival. And I was just like, wow, this is so cool. You get to tackle other kids and you're allowed to do it. At that time, I was like, oh, whatever I could do to get out of day school, like any type of sport, I would just be like, yeah, let's go do this. And then I got really hooked on it. Back for my age when I was playing, everyone caught up to me eventually and overtook me. But at that time, I was fairly fast for a young kid. And then as everyone hit puberty, they kind of all caught up to me and go faster than me. But back then, that was kind of like my strength. So I really enjoyed playing football because at that age you kind of just run around everybody.

 

James Newbury: (02:06)

Basically from there, I just got really hooked on that and I played up until I was about 21. I moved to Brisbane, I played in Brisbane for a little while. I moved to Sydney when I was like 19, played in Sydney for a little while. And yeah, during my teens, played a lot of state carnivals. I got picked in a couple of affiliated states, Australian teams, which was really cool. So like under 15 and under 18 Australian team. That was my thing for probably almost eight or nine years. Absolutely loved it. And yeah, after that, during one of the preseasons of football, that's when I found CrossFit. So, that kind of just moved a different path.

 

Mason: (02:50)

And then you just deviated for the reason, just like that was what you were enjoying. So you went that direction?

 

James Newbury: (02:55)

Yeah, exactly. I really liked the fact that with CrossFit, being an individual sport, you kind of got out what you put in. So if you trained really hard and you had some decent athletic ability already, you would win the competition, it's just as simple as that, it was so black and white. Whereas with football, you could do all the training you liked, you could put as much effort in. But then at the end of the day, it really came down to the coach whether they wanted to pick you in the team for that week or not pick you at all. So it wasn't a biased or it wasn't someone else's choice. It was really like if I wanted to train and train hard every day and make sure I recovered well and I was competing optimally, you'd reap the benefits at the end of the competition and you'd take first place or take second place or whatever it may be.

 

Mason: (03:50)

You've been like my kind of initiation into like understanding CrossFit a little bit more. I think it's been about two years we've been chatting on Instagram. We never actually tuned in but you've been on the tonic herbs, which has always been to my delight. CrossFit beyond the cliche edges, you generally hear about the people doing it poorly. It's like with health, it's like with anything, it's like with herbalism and adaptogens, it's like with veganism it's like with us, trippers, we're into detoxification. There's always those people on the edges doing it without a centredness and doing it within a complete system but kind of can give the rest of it a bad name. That's kind of been like in the beginning, it was just, busted shoulders was what I heard, Crossfit being a physio's best friend.

 

James Newbury: (04:46)

Yeah. Don't worry. I hear it all the time. It's pretty normal. And I guess like, the idea behind it is, I guess, for a lot of people, they get so hooked on this thing that they've fallen in love with so quickly that all they want to do is progress and get better so fast. Whereas that's not always the best thing. It's like when someone starts eating a better diet, they're just, all they want to do is talk about it and tell their friends and just go crazy and it becomes this like compulsive, obsessive thing that they just can't shut up about. And then when they get hooked on that and they see a little bit of result, they just run with it and they run with it so fast that usually they don't spend the time going through all the steps and processes to really figure out what they're doing. And that's usually when they push themselves enough to cause an injury.

 

James Newbury: (05:36)

So, I think it comes down to at the end of the day, the coach that's coaching them, giving them recommendations and guiding them through that process and doing it well. I was lucky enough to have a great coach in the beginning to hold me back when I needed to be held back it needed to be held back or tell me to work on this more. And for a lot of people it's just like, and for a coach, especially if someone goes and opens a gym and because that's what I want to do and that's like their passion is like I want to open a gym and that's what I want to do, I want to help people, if they have clients that are seeing really quick fast results and it's putting a smile on their face, all they want to do is encourage that more.

 

James Newbury: (06:14)

They get caught up in just feeding these people, quick, fast results. But really, all they're really doing is training bad patterns of movement and then at the end of the day, the people do end up hurt. But I think their intentions in the beginning are quite good but they also need to take a step back and have a look at how they're actually helping progress their clients.

 

James Newbury: (06:36)

So, it's kind of a double-edged thing here. It's like, I really want to help, but what they're doing sometimes isn't the best. These days, I think the coaching is getting better and better. So, I do understand where the stigma comes from.

 

Mason: (06:51)

Well, I mean, as I said, it's so interesting talking about it because you know that that's the reality and because you can see it's the exact same conversation that happens around dietary stuff. And people get hooked real quick. If you keep on going in that short gratification kind of period, you're going to be generally working off cues and rule based kind of like, and it's the same with yoga as well. You see people just like rip their bodies apart with yoga when they're going based on the cue, hang on, that's my Slack ticking along. That's me, everybody, non stop working.

 

Mason: (07:26)

But you can see everyone go based on, it's like an Ashtanga first series, I haven't really ever done it myself but you've seen bodies come out and be like, you need to achieve these patterns of movement in order to progress to the second stage of movement, whatever it is. And although there's lots of beautiful people and coaches and teachers training people on how to do that responsibly, of course, it gets diluted very quickly when there's business involved and when there's like Instagram involved and all those kinds of things.

 

Mason: (07:55)

So it's fascinating to hear that the same is happening in CrossFit where people are just obviously going to the gain or going to master the movement, but perhaps their physiology doesn't want to do that movement in that way. So, when you talk about there being that good coach that spaciousness between just getting the smile on your dial and then sustainably using CrossFit, I guess we're talking about training in general as well when it comes to yourself. Is CrossFit like across the board like triathlon?

 

James Newbury: (08:28)

These days it is because I guess if you go to an everyday local CrossFit competition, you probably just get the standard in the gym style deadlifts and muscle ups and pull ups and handstands and things of that nature. Whereas when you go to say bigger comps and they have the ability to go outside the box a bit more, you'll get the open water swims and you'll get the paddle boards and you get stand up paddles and you'll get maybe some mountain biking or trail running or triathlon style things or even like obstacle courses and things like that. So yeah, it's very broad in general. But basically, it's just work capacity across anything.

 

James Newbury: (09:13)

So, whatever gets your body moving in a measured scenario in terms of work capacity, whether it's moving a ton of bricks from A to B or running from A to B, then jumping in the water and swimming from A to B, basically work capacity, whatever it is, whether it's lifting weights from ground overhead or doing a pull up from full extension of the arms to chin over bar. It's just trying to get your body to move in as many different combinations as possible and doing it as time efficient as possible. That's kind of the key is just trying to use your entire base of fitness, whatever it is.

 

James Newbury: (09:49)

So, for me, getting ready for competitions that might be international, people are trying to broaden the spectrum of how much we can test. I think the more that they do that, the better athlete they'll find. So yeah, chucking in triathlons or long distance running into a mix of maybe pulling a very heavy deadlift or heavy clean and jerk, that's going to find the most broad athlete who can achieve them the most tasks to the best ability.

 

Mason: (10:19)

I get the appeal of that. Like anything, that just sounds fun to be testing yourself on so many, like in such a wide array. And as well, at times when, I can tell, if much of our training gets ambiguous and doesn't become task-oriented or we don't have the ability to drive ourselves towards a goal, having just simply, just being able to time that effort is again, sounds fun.

 

James Newbury: (10:46)

Yeah, it totally is. And I think as soon as you put a timer on something, it's just like people automatically just get this natural feeling of their little bit of competitiveness just gets activated and makes them work a little bit harder sometimes. And sometimes it's great and then other times there's a time and a place just to go about the movements and do just a movement satisfaction, movement conditioning, movement skill progression.

 

James Newbury: (11:15)

So, there are days where I might feel a little bit burned or I might feel like I'm not really with it at the moment to push to a particular capacity. So I can go out and I can just trod it out just nice and easy. It gets me in a mindset that you don't always have to be firing it at a million percent, which is probably the idea that a lot of CrossFitters get is you got to go hard all the time or it's not really the case.

 

Mason: (11:40)

Yeah man, you got to be kicking goals every single second of the day and achieving, otherwise there's no point unless you're just nailing your PB. How do you communicate that because I guess that's the essence of what you were talking about in the difference between a responsible coach that's actually teaching sustainable training. I imagine sustainable training comes into like, if you're going, from what I can tell, the idea of CrossFit is staying optimized athletically for the long term. We're talking about decades. So what are those key things that you're teaching or principles that you're teaching in the gym or for mindset to get people back in that frame?

 

James Newbury: (12:26)

With my gym, so we recently just kind of had a bit of a restructure on how we like to sort of, I guess, program things. My gym is named Soul. And what we do there is we try and look at health in its entirety as much as possible. So looking at balance. We found that getting someone to come in after work after probably a busy, hectic, stressful day at work, and then putting them through a crazy, hectic, stressful class workout where they're lifting weights and running around and heightening them even more and then sending them on their way to go home and and hopefully they go home and have a really nutritious meal and stretch and fall asleep. Well, that's usually not the case.

 

James Newbury: (13:17)

So, we identified that being an issue and we knew that every different person that came in probably needed something different to the next person. So, what we tried to do is figure out an array of classes that could cater for everyone on any particular day. So we run strength and conditioning classes, we also run stretch classes, we run a low impact, low intensity class. We do some bike classes as well where they don't have to lift weights, it's basically just biking. We also do some specific only weightlifting classes. So, people can make it a choice on what I want to train for the day instead of just coming in and always getting strength and conditioning, strength and conditioning, strength and conditioning every day.

 

James Newbury: (14:01)

So, if someone comes in and not feeling up to doing strength and conditioning class, they can choose a stretch class instead and they can sit down for 60 minutes and just do a nice relaxed passive stretch that's going to help bring them back to a really nice relaxed, parasympathetic nervous system instead of heightening them even more after a heightening day, and then trying to just zone out and sleep because I know not everyone's going to go home and do breath work before they go to bed and down regulate before they try and sleep.

 

James Newbury: (14:32)

It's really about trying to find balance and that's what we're doing with Soul as much as possible. We have some fantastic coaches there that love to program and love to program progression for people for longevity, rather than programming, trying to make everybody an elite athlete, which is, in my eyes, most of the people that come into the gym, they want to be able to function throughout their day really, really well. They want to be able to play with their kids, they want to be able to hike on the weekends, they want to be able to go wakeboarding behind a boat if they so choose to. It's just preparation for life. And if they do choose to go down the path where they want to compete and push themselves a little more, we can cater for that too.

 

James Newbury: (15:17)

But to be honest, people either just want to do local competitions and have some fun with some friends and do it in a partnership or a team environments. So, we also cater for that too. So it's really just trying to be as wholesome as possible. And not only that but in terms of balanced health, we also looked at the mental side of things as well. So getting someone to come in and putting their headphones in for the whole session is not our idea of mental health. We think interaction and social settings are really good place that they can get a more wholesome health approach. So we created the coffee bar and smoothie bar so people can come and train with a group of friends and then hang out and stay and chat and be social for a period of time. And so instead of just coming into their 45 or 60 minute class and then getting on their way, they can come in, they can do the 60 minute class and they can hang out for 20, 25 minutes and just chew the fat for a while.

 

Mason: (16:18)

That piece is one of the, you said about like getting functional so you can just play with your kids. That's sometimes the hardest thing when you're coming from a programmed young mindset about just fucking killing it physically all the time. And then still, like, of course, that's like functionally, I do want to be able to play with my kids, but it was just as a secondary adjunct. I've been using that as a primary focus. And my training, the holistic nature of my training has opened up big time. Once I get in, my crawling on the ground, when I was doing that to be functional, I just couldn't get the consistency. But thinking about crawling like a goanna after Aiya on the beach for 10 minutes, 15 minutes, I'm like, oh, now we're talking.

 

James Newbury: (17:22)

It's so hard. If I was to go out and try and bear crawl up the street, give me 50 meters and you're already in a world of pain. It's functional. It does help you and it teaches you good movement patterns and gets you sweaty. It's good for the body, good for the soul. So I think that type of stuff is fantastic.

 

James Newbury: (17:43)

And then your kids also, they're learning everything just through, they're just absorbing it all day long, they're just soaking it all up. And if they can see that you're being active and getting outside and finding sunshine and walking around barefoot, they'll do the same thing. It's good for them.

 

Mason: (18:01)

You've got a real good ethos. I don't know whether I've just noticed a little bit more but on Instagram you've been, and maybe after.. I know we haven't told everyone that we were meant to talk like two weeks ago, three weeks ago. You happen to-

 

James Newbury: (18:15)

I fell off my bike.

 

Mason: (18:16)

You have a couple pf fractures in your spine and punctured your lung, just that little chestnut. I was just saying how I didn't really talk to everyone about the fact that you had, your fracture your spine and you puncture in your lung. I think that was like the day before we were meant to talk so your partner sent me a beautiful picture of you laid up with your neck brace on. And then saying, he's really sorry, he was going to jump on and still do the podcast, but I think he should have a little bit of a rest. I was like, man, you're a badass.

 

James Newbury: (18:55)

I was like saying to Kayla, I was like, "Oh, no, I've got to get on this podcast with Mason. I've got to get on." And she's like, "You can't talk, you can't sit up, you're not allowed to do anything." I'm just like, "We'll figure it out." And she's like, "Maybe we'll just try and reschedule for next week or the week after." I'm so glad you could do that. That was great.

 

Mason: (19:13)

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We can do that. You were on your bike? Were you mountain biking or off road?

 

James Newbury: (19:19)

Yeah. So basically, I was mountain biking with three other friends, and we had three bikes and there was four of us. And basically, when we got to the bottom of the run, we would just swap someone out and then the next group of three would go up and come down and do a run, come back. Yeah, I was just coming down a run and I just took a corner just too fast, I just overshot the corner and lost my front wheel in some loose dirt. And there was just this medium-sized to small tree just with a thick stump on the bottom and I kind of just went over the handlebars and basically just kind of speared, javelin this tree with my head. And as I hit the tree, I kind of rolled my back into the tree into a branch. The branch kind of got me in the back a bit.

 

James Newbury: (20:12)

I never lost consciousness or anything like that, I just kind of hit the deck and I was out of breath. I was like, oh, I've just winded myself pretty bad. One of my mates came around the corner after me and he was like, "Oh, no," I was like, "I'm good, I'm good, you just need to give me a minute, I just need to catch my breath." I was pretty out of breath, couldn't breathe. I ended up walking back to the car, once I got up eventually, I ended up walking back to the car and the guys were like, probably should take you to the hospital. It was about a maybe a 2k walk and then we sat in the emergency for about 90 minutes before they saw me.

 

James Newbury: (20:49)

I ended up having a punctured lung, slightly collapsed, I had a minor pneumothorax. I broke the seventh and eighth rib, and then I had two spinal process fractures in T2, T3. So that kind of pulled me out of finishing off a competition I was doing at the time for CrossFit. And then I thought it was going to really impact, I've got an Ironman in a couple of weeks now which I'm going to compete in. So that's kind of where I was sort of at the time, like we didn't know the extent of the injuries, but they're just like you can't really do too much for four to six weeks. And I was just like, oh well, watch how fast I heal this. And yeah, so we've kind of just gone from there and that's basically when Kayla touched base and then you sent me some goodies to help me out healing up.

 

Mason: (21:38)

Oh yeah, I'll always send you the goodies. I don't know if it was just because that injury was there but on your Instagram, I think you've always been bent this way, but you were talking about the natural healers, you were talking about getting barefoot and sunshine and hydration. So yeah, like obviously, we've been talking about those at the gym. Have you found yourself heightening, the time you're spending having conversations with people? Because your Instagram is pretty huge, you've got like a big following there and I imagine on the ground with the students as well.

 

James Newbury: (22:12)

Yeah. Yeah. My idea of recovery may be somewhat different to I guess maybe mainstream. I really enjoy trying things regardless of whether people think they have merit or whether Western medicine thinks it's going to be a great thing to do or has no merit. I'm just like, well, it makes me feel really good so I'm going to keep doing it. Those things compiled with jumping in the float tank and getting outside and getting sunshine every day and getting barefoot on some grass or going down the beach and getting in the ocean and doing those types of things and doing breath work and meditation and getting cold and having cold showers. I think all those things really add up to better recovery and faster recovery. And I do try and promote that as much as possible through my socials where I can.

 

James Newbury: (23:11)

I do a thing like I do every so often, I'll put up a post that's either a workout or work in. The work in is basically the balance part of the working out and trying to bring yourself back to parasympathetic because if we're always just in that fight or flight, I feel like you get burned out and I've been in there before, I've burned myself out a couple of times pretty bad and gets you to the point where you don't want to train, you don't want to work, you don't really want to do anything. And anything that makes you happy, you don't want to do anymore and it's just like, well, that's not fun.

 

James Newbury: (23:40)

So how can I train really hard, get great results, but then also recover and not get to that point again. I've found by doing all these things and treating my body with fantastic food and making sure I do get out and get into nature as much as possible and becoming as centred as I can, that has really helped regardless of whether they do tests on whether earthing helps you, makes me feel amazing. I would recommend it to absolutely anybody.

 

James Newbury: (24:12)

And to be honest, when I hurt my back and hurt my ribs, I was just like, I'm going to prove that all this stuff really, really works, and it doesn't come down to just already being somewhat fit. I think the food and then the protocols that I've followed have really helped me heal. I was pretty well, within two weeks after, I was like still doing like five hour triathlons after the break. So, that's good two weeks. And then I did a two and a half week checkup and all the bones were already healed.

 

James Newbury: (24:45)

It was a pretty fast turnaround in terms of the healing process. I'm excited to kind of tell that story a little bit more because if I can do it, then everybody else could maybe take just one thing that they could do and add to their lifestyle to make them feel a little bit better and that's what it's all about.

 

Mason: (25:04)

Yeah, man. I mean, grounding, there's that old, the Taoists, well actually, the Taoists would say, they'd watch the deer with the break, go and find the Eucommia Bark tree, that's why we send you the Eucommia Bark and the deer would be at the back of the Eucommia tree. And then it'd be that and water. Just basically like fast for a while but just sit on the earth and just get that negative electron, negative ion charge running through the body. It's like the ultimate antiinflammatory that allows the body to be inflamed where it needs to. And then you're soaking up the sun. It's one of the absolute trippiest thing that there's no sun therapy, Helio therapy in a hospital setting.

 

James Newbury: (25:47)

It's crazy.

 

Mason: (25:48)

It's crazy. I mean, in fact, we go, you've got a break, let's cover it up. Cast it up so that no sun whatsoever can get through there and you can't get any slight mobilisation. You can't get any Chi there. I get it, we're not talking about running off and being like an absolute anarchist and against any kind of modern medicine, but no inclusion of these things which as you kind of said and you're going to go focus on, I think you said, the six best doctors, you're going to focus on, your movement, your breath, your nutrition, the sun, connecting to the earth. These things which are just naturally going to heal us.

 

Mason: (26:28)

It's cool because I'm sure you've seen, you can't take for granted that people know about this, these simple ideas. Maybe have bought into the cultural idea that you can really, they're fun fluffy conversations until shit hits the fan and no, you can't talk about sunlight, earthing, when in real injury circumstances, we need the institutions to heal you then. That's that fear there of going into it but that's when they're actually super relevant.

 

Mason: (26:56)

And look at you, you're saying, you know what, I was kind of somewhat fit. I think in your bio, I don't know if it's up to date, currently 27 fittest in the world.

 

James Newbury: (27:08)

Yeah. Yeah. I think it definitely does help for sure. But I also, I do really think that like, if all your cells are invigorated and they're in a space where they can heal you instead of trying to fight off everything else that you're trying to put into your body or that your body's absorbing and they have the ability to do pretty wonderful things, and if we can just allow them to do their job like, they'll be time efficient. It's just that I think they have to look at worst case scenario when they say, hey, you probably can't really do anything for six to eight weeks, they're usually talking about maybe someone who is hampering the process of healing because of potentially the way they eat or the lifestyle that they live.

 

James Newbury: (27:55)

But I know for me, what I want to make me feel happy is I want to be able to, if I want to go on a snow trip and go snowboarding, I want to be able to just pick up and go. I don't want to have to be in a state where I have to prepare for that. Or if I want to go hike up to base camp, I don't want to have to spend the next two years preparing for that, like I know I'm good to go like whenever. I like always being in that point where I can just say I'm going to go kite surfing today or I'm going to go mountain biking or I'm going to go hiking or whatever it is, or surfing.

 

Mason: (28:28)

Man, I love that, I really love that intention. I don't talk about that as much anymore with that general preparedness of just being able to pick up and go at it after life. Our focus here, like at SuperFeast, the focus is like, as we've grown is teaching people how preparedness is kind of on the other side of things as well. As you go along in life, you might get sick, someone close to you might get sick. People are going to die, you're going to lose money. Shit's going to hit the fan. And so there's that other side of it, which I think is nice that you bring up this be prepared to go out and just get after life and just have an absolute ball, because I'm with you on that, I just want to be like, Woody Harrelson says in that Zombie Land movie, he's like, "Does a lion stretch before it goes out?" Just like I'm ready.

 

Mason: (29:18)

And then on the other side of it is that you're prepared for the hardships that life's going to throw at you and you're going to be able to cop that and the chin and learn from that as well and integrate with that.

 

Mason: (29:29)

So, with your, recovery is obviously, your whole, again, in the bio, it's like the one thing you thought to have there as a quote is recover harder than you work out. All these things we're talking about, that's what's happening. That obviously comes to the intention of you were saying is coming at life from a parasympathetic place, which I think it definitely flies in the face of where the majority of the fitness industry is coming from. Even with long distance running, it's probably one of the most like, you know, it can be for most people just one of the most adrenalising things that they can do for their body.

 

Mason: (30:18)

So, what other specific practices, mind shifts that you've had to have that allows you to come at this from a recovery perspective, parasympathetic perspective when you are dealing with some various serious competition, and you got a very competitive nature?

 

James Newbury: (30:42)

I guess there's a time and a place where, I try and take everything as calm as I can and just try and be as relaxed as I can all the time. But there's a time and a place where I can jump into fight or flight where if I'm at competition because I love competing, I love getting out there and expressing fitness in a competition setting. I always have. I've got a brother who is only 11 months older than me so I've spent a lot of time just competing with him. So I just continued on just doing competition. And then over the years of just pushing and pushing and pushing and trying to make it to the top of the sport, basically, I found myself burning out a lot.

 

James Newbury: (31:31)

And then I remember finishing a competition and just being like, I just don't want to train. I just feel just really wrecked and then I didn't end up training for quite some time. I took a few months just to not do too much and eventually found the fire again. It really pushed me into a position where it's like, okay, I really need to stop paying attention more to my recovery.

 

James Newbury: (31:55)

I would, at the time, think I was eating really well and I thought, yeah, I'm doing recovery. I'm jumping in an ice bath from time to time and doing that style of thing. But then I started introducing things that would really help me just relax and become a little bit more centered and work on my mental game a little bit more, because everybody can train really hard but when it comes to recovery, I guess some people look at it as the boring stuff but I love it. Jumping in a float tank for three or four hours and just soaking up the magnesium is fantastic and just being with yourself and your mind and disconnecting from social media and unplugging from your phone and emails and things like that is a really good way just to get back to square one instead of being just on the go just like hustling all the time.

 

James Newbury: (32:46)

I know people are just like, you got to hustle, got to hustle. But if you just don't take the time to really get centered and get good sleep and do all the things that our bodies are supposed to do, eventually, you'll get to a point where you hit a roadblock and you'll have to take a few months or a year off doing what you're doing because you're just so burnt out. I've been there, took a few months off, and it's like, well, training makes me feel good, recovery makes me feel even better.

 

James Newbury: (33:14)

So how can I get these guys to work together and also still be really good at what I do. And you can, you totally can. You can do all these things and still be at the top of your sport, you don't need to just crush yourself into the ground every session and wreck your body along the way. And then go and compete one year at the top of the level and then just fly off the radar after that and never be seen again because you're so burnt out trying to get there. It's longevity. So it's just figuring out ways to increase longevity in whatever you do.

 

James Newbury: (33:49)

I think the things that I've discovered and probably will continue to discover as I go on are going to help me more and more to do that. And if I can spread it around and help someone else do the same thing, that's what I'm all about. It's about the experience and how much I can help someone else find extra happiness or find a better way of living that's going to make them happy.

 

Mason: (34:11)

Man, it's really exciting. I feel like it's a really exciting time to hear you're at that level of competition and you're someone which I really relate to. I love the aggro in me when it gets to, when I get into some hardcore competitive setting. I've been able to like go further and further and further into that aspect of myself with the comfort of knowing that I'm not going to be lost in it when I come outside of that appropriate setting.

 

Mason: (34:43)

So, I love hearing, this is kind of like this is really weird because I feel I did burn myself out with the go. And you can subconsciously bring up, for me, bit of shame that I did that in pursuit of something which was in an isolated sense seemed superficial but isn't if it has its appropriate setting and it sits within its appropriate holistic culture. And then a bit fearful or judgmental towards myself. And it takes a while to come back out of the shell. It's a good thing I feel like I am getting in this conversation again, that real resolution with that part of myself because it's a shame to lose that. It's a joy to express yourself physically and it's a joy as well to have it be within like this harmonious system. Yeah, man, credit to you because I feel like, especially the Instagram version, the fitness world really needs to see that, and you're non stop with sharing stories and all that, I really enjoy it.

 

Mason: (35:49)

But with the recovery, can you run us through little aspects, practices, even if they're principles of recovery and they're not like specifics that are like super lighting you up at the moment, sorry, that was a super hard word for me, lighting you up.

 

James Newbury: (36:07)

That's cool. At the moment, like I've got some recovery things that I'd love to do, every day at the moment, I'm in my sauna. So, I get into an infrared sauna every day. I have a full spectrum sauna so I'm getting near emitted far infrared light. That's something that really invigorates me. I'm trying to do that each morning and then I do it after my training session. So, lots of benefits have been shown in some studies especially with heat shock protein release and wound healing which is why I've been getting in there sometimes twice a day just with my back and my ribs and my lungs.

 

Mason: (36:44)

So good man. We are huge fans of saunas. We've got one here in our office as well. I just had one this morning too.

 

James Newbury: (36:50)

It's the best. It's so good. And it's good because you can do a few things while you're in there too. You can train yourself to relax and be as parasympathetic as possible in a stressed environment. You can also do some breathing practices to help oxygenate the system while you're putting yourself under that heat stress. It also is good heat adaption if I'm going to compete in a setting that's hotter than where I am at the moment. So, I'd always prefer to train in a hotter environment than a cooler environment just for that fact.

 

James Newbury: (37:24)

So that's another thing I really love about the sauna. I've also been doing post-sauna always a cold shower. And then usually after trainings also once I finish cold showers. So that's something else I've been really enjoying and it's a very easy thing to do is just jump in your shower, 60 seconds, only cold. And then try and do it without showing too much emotional stress about it. It's another really good tool just to help you train that brain a little bit more and jumping into a freezing cold shower. It's very invigorating. Like honestly, if you haven't tried it recently, just give it a go because you'll get out and you feel like you've just been reborn. It's the best.

 

Mason: (38:05)

It's a good time to do it in summer when the pipes aren't freezing cold themselves. And so it's a good ease in. And then when winter comes around, keep it up.

 

James Newbury: (38:15)

Yeah, exactly, keep it up because you do actually build resilience towards the cold over time. So, the more you do it, the less effects it actually gives you, the less stressful effects it actually gives you. So, that really helps. But it also has been shown to be really good hormone production and testosterone and things like that for both male and female. So, that's another really good thing especially if you're training and doing other bits and pieces or you're working really hard and stress levels are high, sometimes it can play a bit of a, take a bit of a toll on those. So yeah, cold showers have been amazing.

 

James Newbury: (38:46)

Also sunlight, everyday sunlight as much as possible. Even if it's cloudy, get outside and expose as much skin to the sun as you can. Obviously don't go and get burnt and go roast yourself out in the sun. But getting some exposure to the sun every day. And usually around that 10AM is usually good, 10 to 11AM, I've been finding is ideal because you can also do it without sunglasses on and getting a little bit of sun into the eyes, which is also great as well. So, I think that has been really, really important. And also like just connecting as we said before, earthing grounding and getting down the beach and into the ocean and planting your feet on proper earth is a really good thing.

 

James Newbury: (39:28)

I've found it's been really helpful in terms of pain with my back. The doctor is just like, what's your pain scale, I'm just like, I'm literally at zero. And this was like a week after the accident, it was like, I'm at a zero. If I do anything stupid like try and reverse parallel park my car and I have to twist around, yeah, that hurts. But in day to day activities, even after seven days, I was in like zero pain but I was walking around barefoot most of the time. So, that was a big thing.

 

James Newbury: (39:57)

And then just quality water as well. We're in Adelaide so usually water quality isn't the greatest here anyway, but regardless of where I go, I always try and find if I can just local natural spring. So making sure I've got-

 

Mason: (40:13)

You go out to the spring?

 

James Newbury: (40:16)

Well I don't actually get to go out but we have a local spring just here. So, getting that local spring water is what I like to do and just try and make sure that it hasn't been sat in plastic and imported from millions of miles away and it's been treated and things like that. So getting quality water. I don't think I've had a glass of tap water in, I can't even think, maybe five or six years.

 

Mason: (40:42)

Man, right on. I'm so happy you said that. We're big spring water drinkers as well. I was just thinking about it this morning, everyone is like, drink spring water as well, we have Neverfail. And I'm like anything associated with Coca Cola company, Pepsi company is not anywhere near the, it's not a spring water, it's going to be a well water. And nothing's going to beat that that transformational water that's levitating up out of the earth out of the spring. And it's still super cold and just charged far out.

 

James Newbury: (41:15)

And passed over to rocks and you've got minerals. I think a lot of people are missing out on those minerals. I pretty much put-

 

Mason: (41:26)

Where's the spring down there? Is it a secret spring?

 

James Newbury: (41:28)

No, Lofty. Lofty. We've got Adelaide Hills. Have you been to Adelaide before?

 

Mason: (41:33)

Yeah, but I only came to the city of Churches last year for like two talks really quick. I'm coming back next year. So I'm going to have to tune in and we'll go spring hunting.

 

James Newbury: (41:44)

There's plenty of cool places up in the hills. Plenty of flowing water so no doubt we'll be able to find some, easy.

 

Mason: (41:51)

Man, yeah, I'm with you. That as a healer, again, it's underrated. If you can get on some actually charged living spring water, which is, I know it's a challenge for a lot of people but don't give up. There's findaspring.com where you can go and get your springs, or just keep on tuning in with people in the local area to try and get that water that's the closest to, never been a tap water and as close to out of the ground on its own accord and then bang, over and into your life. Tough to do today.

 

James Newbury: (42:22)

Makes you feel better, that's for sure. The instant that I have something, and I know like I'll go to the extent of even cooking, if I cook my rice, I'll cook it in the spring water too. So, the instant that I have something that has been cooked in just regular water, I'll instantly taste it. And I'll be like, I can taste it. It's not the best. That type of stuff goes a long way to integrating the body to heal as much as possible and to making yourself feel good.

 

James Newbury: (42:51)

Floating is another big one for me. I floated since 2012. I've got my own float tank which is great at my gym, which I, pretty much we have probably five or six people every day using our float tank. And that was something that I really enjoyed trying to get out there for a lot of people to have a go and it's just a good way for people to disconnect yourself. People are so connected to work and phones and technology which is, this is a great place to just relieve yourself of that. Soaking in the magnesium, laying back, taking all the weight out of your joints or your connective tissues, and then just being in silence and darkness and no sensory input. You can take the time to breathe and to relax in there and you're never interrupted, completely silent. It's just fantastic.

 

James Newbury: (43:40)

I've done a couple of overnight floats in there and they're absolutely amazing. So staying in for like seven, eight hours is absolutely brilliant. You come out feeling like a newborn baby.

 

James Newbury: (43:51)

So yeah, so it was basically jumping into the float tank, laying in the magnesium, de-weighting all your joints and connective tissues. You can sit in there and visualize certain things. So l spent some time in there visualising my back healing, I spent some time visualising my lungs doing what they needed to do to come back together and the new thorax dissipating and picturing my ribs going back in place. I even do this for competition too all the time. I think the power of visualisation is so good because you can basically learn particular movement patterns just through visualising without putting your body under the stress at the same time. I'm not saying it's better or worse or anything like that, but it's just time to visualise that muscle up or time to visualise that triathlon you're about to do or visualise even having a good day or getting something done at work or nailing a presentation you're about to do or a talk you're about to do.

 

James Newbury: (44:50)

You can go through it in a float tank, uninterrupted, no stimulus from anywhere else and you can go through it back to front. I usually jump in the float tank for about a week every day prior to a competition and I just go through the competition in my head for 30, 40 minutes and think about the events and think about how I'm going to feel and what it's going to smell like feel what type of heat we're going to get. And then how the workouts are going to affect me.

 

James Newbury: (45:17)

And then by the time I get out there, I've already done it 100 times. So, I kind of know what to expect. Nothing is making me over exert my thought strategy. I already knew it was going to kind of hurt at this point and get really uncomfortable at this point. So I think that visualisation thing really does make particular tasks that we have to do every day just a little bit easier to overcome instead of putting a lot of pressure on yourself to now first time, you can do it 100 times in the float tank before you actually do it in real life.

 

Mason: (45:50)

Yeah, nice one. What I like about float tanks and visualisation with them, it's like a lot of the time people think visualisation is just like speculation and fingers crossed, I'm going to make up the outcome. And then yeah, fingers crossed, that's the outcome that I get. But when you're training so much or when you're doing something like a float tank where you can actually get a perception of your body and the way your body works, when you're visualising, you're visualising through experience of I know how I work, I know how I train, I know my shoulder works in kind of like, you know, when I'm going for a muscle up. And you can almost problem solve in that scenario and see where your limits arethrough your experience of knowing yourself in the way you're training your body, you can feel exactly how you're going to overcome little hurdles.

 

James Newbury: (46:42)

Exactly. I think that's the coolest thing about it. You're basically putting yourself in a scenario where you don't ever get to be in that type of situation where you're not contactable or you don't have anything that's actually stimulating your brain other than your own brain. It's pretty cool.

 

Mason: (47:08)

So, to bring us home, I want to ask three kind of quick favorites. Like some favorite foods, or the way you're getting your food and your nutrition in, or whether it's a meal or an ingredient, just some favorites you're loving at the moment for your optimization. Any particular supplements that you really love. I know you like the ATP guys I haven't tried this stuff but I know they're pretty good. A lot of people put ATP and SuperFeast stuff together a lot.

 

James Newbury: (47:40)

They go hand in hand really well.

 

Mason: (47:41)

Good to know. I think everyone would probably be like keen to know which of the tonic herbs you're really enjoying long term.

 

James Newbury: (47:50)

Yeah, totally. So firstly, my go to, I guess one of my favorite things is like, I kind of love making power bowl. And this power bowl is kind of like the old school avocado mousse, but I just chuck a whole bunch of extra stuff in there. With that, its basically avocado, banana, I put a little bit of dark organic maple in there. Always a little bit of Himalayan salt or sea salt. Then with that, I just add a ton of berries, sometimes some hemp seeds. Always put a little bit of collagen in there too, collagen protein. And then I add in some maca and cacao and that's pretty much me good to go. I've got a bit of a bit of fat, a bit of carb, a bit of protein and then a ton of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. And then at the moment, since the back, I have been chucking Eucommia bark and I've also been chucking in the Deer Antler too.

 

Mason: (48:55)

Yeah, sweet. They're good just regenerating herbs to have in the protocol anyway. Well, we might as well stay on the herbs. I know it's been like, I mean, in the beginning it was just kind of like, I think I just kind of sent you some, but, I'm sure you've kind of gained a little bit of relationship, but I think it's like the Cordyceps and the Astragalus, I think they're especially the two I keep on sending.

 

James Newbury: (49:20)

Yes. The Cordyceps, I love the quadriceps. Well, I love the Astragalus too. But the Astragalus I guess is so good to me just in terms of really fortifying that immune system and something that I punish a lot of the time just with high volumes of training. If we're training five to six hours a day, five days a week, having the Astragalus just really fortifies the immune system, helps the blood. But the Cordyceps in particular I found to be really beneficial, especially for that high end aerobic work. So, helping the blood carry oxygen really well, helping the lungs, helping that transfer of oxygen through the lungs into the capillaries, the Cordyceps has been a really big bonus.

 

James Newbury: (50:11)

And that's probably my favorite, to be honest, I would say the Cordyceps is something that I'll always keep as a staple, just in terms of aerobic function, like high end aerobic function. Especially now that I really love triathlon stuff at the moment, just having a blast doing that. So, that's been really good. But then I guess in terms of healing and joints and cartilage and connective tissue and bone fortification, that Eucommia bark and the antler has been fantastic. I'm really loving that too. If I had to pick one, try the Cordyceps.

 

Mason: (50:49)

Because I'm going.. Because I've got a kelpie now as well, so I'm running on the beach. And you know what I'm doing as well, you reminded me of, I used to do a lot of barefoot extended running and trained myself to do so breathing through my nose the entire time. And so, I've been watching you. You had some people come in and train you, kind of retrain you, get your nose breathing rocking. And then you have the like, "I rocked that triathlon, I started breathing through the nose, this is me looking like super composed", and then you kind of like haggard it at the end breathing out of your mouth.

 

James Newbury: (51:24)

With the nose breathing, it definitely helps keeping you relaxed and composed as much as possible. We had a CrossFit Games has been a few years ago, it was a marathon road and I did that all through the nose. It just kept me really relaxed, kept me in an aerobics state. Helped me uptake oxygen a little bit better. It got me through the 42k's on the rower without kind of burning out and cramping up and things like that. So, I think learning how to breathe through the nose is really good. When I first started I got to about 130 beats a minute, which isn't all that hard to me and it was really hard to continue through the noise but now I can take it up to like 90% of my heart rate all through the nose and still be quite composed.

 

Mason: (52:04)

That's some serious stuff. The nose breathing, combine that with a bit of Cordyceps. And just on the Cordyceps because I've been really thinking about this, just how it can help with them in an athletic performance. And that helps as well. I like using Cordyceps in these instances and then in geriatrics, just like whenever you get like an elderly person like want one herb, I'm like Cordyceps, absolutely. It's like full Jing, Kidney, Adrenal optimisation and then full lung blood invigoration as well.

 

Mason: (52:34)

But I've been trying for people like you were like playing around with them, I tried around the Cordyceps Militaris which is a different strain. It's quite effective but not as effective as the CS4, that's the one we have, a liquid ferment of the Cordyceps, a little bit of a strain and you probably know the quadriceps, the fourth strain that took off original caterpillar parasitic fungus. And they fermented that. But then, the other thing I've kind of realised because a bunch of people try out Cordyceps compared to others. And I was like, I know ours is a good strain and good practices, but I really kind of delved a little bit deeper into the broth we're using for the fermentation, and it's like a full secret traditional broth recipe that we're using.

 

Mason: (53:25)

I remember tuning into that, but that just kind of clicked my remembrance of that's why it's like a real badass Cordyceps, it's a bit different to the other CS4's. So I'm all over that as well.

 

Mason: (53:38)

And then finally, any other little just, good supplements that you're frothing on?

 

James Newbury: (53:44)

I really like especially if people have a ton of gut issues or anything like that, I really love the ATP GutRight. That's just a bunch of, it's just plants, it's all real food. It's just basically blended up plants and barks and things like that that just create a nice friendly gut environment for your bacteria. They basically help keep the balance. Instead of just adding more and more and more probiotics which is kind of what you get from, like your prebiotics you get from food and it just helps create bacteria cultures in the gut. This trying to help level them out a little bit more.

 

James Newbury: (54:21)

I guess in terms of like other little things that I think have really helped increase immunity and helps to get the most out of your food, the GutRight is something I would really have a crack at.

 

Mason: (54:34)

I love it so much. Where can people get in touch with you? I definitely recommend your Instagram. But you got a website and all that stuff as well?

 

James Newbury: (54:44)

So, probably the best place would, if they wanted to get in touch and have a chat, definitely through Instagram is completely fun. That would be probably the best place. I always check it and I get back to everyone that writes through me there. I do have a website but it's kind of like a programming website. I do little bits of working in practices and athletic training stuff. And that's on ultrainstinct.com.

 

Mason: (55:08)

Ultra instinct?

 

James Newbury: (55:09)

Ultrainstinctathlete.com. Yup.

 

Mason: (55:13)

And this is James Newbury on Instagram?

 

James Newbury: (55:17)

Yep.

 

Mason: (55:19)

What about your gym? Is it just Soul 365 fitness?

 

James Newbury: (55:24)

Yeah. So the website for the gym, we're in Adelaide, and it is soul365.com.au. So if you ever come past, we have a sauna, float tank and you can come work out and train and relax, have a coffee or have a smoothie.

 

Mason: (55:39)

All right, that's cool. I'm always needing things to fall into place before I go on my next tour. I've got a new talk that I'm going to be doing. We'll slot that in, I'll leave a couple extra days so we can go get some spring water as well.

 

James Newbury: (55:53)

So good.

 

Mason: (55:54)

Cool. I'm going to come over sauna and the float and do all the things. Man, thanks so much for coming on and just good luck with everything as always. Seems like you're having fun, which is you don't need too much luck when you're having a ball doing it. You've got the triathlon coming up, and oh no, sorry, not triathlon, Ironman you said, right?

 

James Newbury: (56:14)

Yep. Ironman, two weeks.

 

Mason: (56:16)

Two weeks you got an Ironman. And any other, are you out of competition for this season?

 

James Newbury: (56:21)

So then after that, we're going straight to Bali, we're doing a fasting retreat, seven days. So we'll do that. And then we get back into competition next year.

 

Mason: (56:30)

Cool, man. Have fun fasting man, I hope to have a chat about that one aswell, that's a whole nother kettle of fish. Obviously, you're big on recovery. Naturally you're going to give yourself some time for your digestion your metabolism to chill out and for your body to go do some deep repairs.

 

James Newbury: (56:49)

I know. I know. I can't wait. It's going to be epic.

 

Mason: (56:52)

Enjoy, man.

 

James Newbury: (56:53)

Thanks dude. Take it easy.



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